07/05/11 | Comments (0)

Here is an interesting question I think about as we enjoy the fourth of July: “Can we gain Independence by joining hands?”


Wealth comes in many different forms, shapes, and sizes.


What gets measured gets done.

I needed to lose a few pounds, so two months ago I started measuring again.

Unfortunately I no longer fit into the same size clothes I used to anymore.


“Ten pounds will be gone within two months, by the fourth of July.”

Independence Day and all that.


Ug. Simple, but not easy for me. No carbs: pasta, bread, beer all verboten. Potato chips…all the fun things gone for awhile.


The discipline is the hard part.


Speaking of discipline, did you see the rebound in the market this week? Eight weeks of torturous decline were 70% undone in a single week.

If you follow the markets, I am sure you are probably as confused as the rest of us as to which direction we are going.

That’s one of the reasons I look for short term imbalances and accept the idea I will never really know, so I am content with pieces of the fluctuations.


signing up for the long haul

Divorce is one of the greatest destroyers of wealth, in my opinion.

My wife and I celebrated 43 years of marriage this past week.

Before you agree to aspire to such lofty heights, remember that it will take discipline, and lots of it.

We continue to work at it; can’t let a week or two of bad choices and decisions undo a lifetime of good ones.

The measure is “til death do us part.”


We travelled south to Lenny’s for lunch, and enjoyed a lobster roll on the deck in a perfect blue sky day. Relaxed, casual, and just the two of us focusing on each other. No distractions of technology. No cell phones, laptops, notepads, or decisions to make about the market.

A short five minute ride away to the charming water views at Branford Harbor, and nothing but conversation about our years spent together building relationships within our family. The map of life is not about the territory. It seems to be more about the emotional and spiritual connections that we make, not just the physical.

Children now adults, and five grandchildren as a bonus.


Technology is a wonderful thing; when it is working, it eases the drudgery of living.

It cannot replace, however, the humanness of life’s experiences.


We didn’t need to use our car’s GPS, but we used it anyways to navigate north, back through northern Hamden for a brief stop. The Gods were on my wife’s side. I stopped into my chat room to say hi to the team, but Omnovia was temperamental, and the room shut down unexpectedly while the system was paralyzed by who knows what. She was spared my tweeting away during our special day, even if I lacked the self-control to keep it that way.

On to Litchfield, for an evening with my wife’s sister and her husband. Our daughters and spouses generously phoned in an order for a nice bottle of wine, and we enjoyed the peace and tranquility of a quaint New England town during dinner. Ironically, it was at the Saltwater Grille, landlocked 75 to 80 miles away from Branford Point. JoAnn and Henry have no chance of catching us, by the way. They were celebrating their 38th anniversary.

One of the benefits of where we live is that we conveniently located a short drive away from the shore or the beauty of the Litchfield Mountains.


We split a pair of crab cakes, and I had a nice cut of steak and a salad; Ruth Ellen had mahimahi. Maybe we can invent a new reality show: Glutton for a day.


The Chocolate Mousse was fabulous.

Minding my diet with all of the holidays nearby is ridiculous.


Ali had a wonderful party Saturday night. It was one of those magical days that just works. The usual suspects were all there, including Grandma. The Lizard’s birthday was on the first, and Jen’s is coming up on the 18th.

We party all month long.

George and Lucy

Food, more food, kids playing in the pool, family talking about nothing, but everything. Work is put on hold.

The perfect finish? Outdoor movies by starlight. A sheet hung over the side of the recently painted house, kids in their cars like at an old-fashioned drive in movie. Popcorn, drinks, cold beer in the cooler and more pizza at 11.


We lit candles to keep the bugs away, and were careful not to burn down the house.


I have not had the courage to measure in a few days. I am fearing a 70% retracement of my 9.75 pound recent weight loss.


My wife was showered with flowers and presents, as if that could make up for all the times I messed up. Now that she knows I am actually a good shopper, I am in trouble. She is easy to shop for; she still wears the same size clothes she wore in High School…

I missed my wife when she was away a few week’s ago, in New Orleans. I had never been there, and wanted to go. I had numerous business responsibilities that kept me home, including a real estate transaction that I had recently brokered. My clients were counting on me. They lived along the shoreline, and were relocating to Austin, Texas.

Like I said, the discipline is the hardest part.

Everything possible that could go wrong with that closing did, in the last 48 hours.

The seller’s had already left for Texas, and I was point man.

I was unstoppable. We closed, and my 20+ years of experience allowed me keep a cool head and help to “git ‘er done.”

Work some, play some, enjoy them both.


I have found that life is not about perfection, but about excellence.

Enjoying the journey with someone we care about eases the burden. The art of compromise is important; U-turns in our thinking are indeed often required.

“Yu’all” turns as they would say in The Big Easy.

Kevin Bacon had a home in Litchfield before Bernie Madoff made off with all his money. Kevin once said something about 7 degress of separation; maybe it was eight, I can’t remember. I noticed on one of those maps the little town of Peekskill, where my wife and I spent our first 3 years of married life together when I taught school there.

Such memories when looking back at the Map!

Ummmm…Bacon and eggs…

Did you ever notice how all we can think about is what we are trying to avoid?

One of my best friends (of Broken Pete fame) lives in Austin… hoping to get there and visit one day. Another wizard also lives there, so that is also on my bucket list.

Joel’s Pop BobDad is an LSU freakazoid, so with his visit this week, we will be seeing Purple and Gold again. My wife had a nice dinner at Emeril’s, with Martha, Joel’s mom.

Did I mention that one of Joel’s brothers shares our anniversary? No way he will catch up either.


“Life is what happen to us as we are making all our plans.”- John Lennon


Without the love of that special woman in my life, all the material victories would seem like shallow trophies.


What gets measured gets done …

The simple inscription inside my card to my best friend this year read: “Forever.”

I added “I love you”, and also remembered to scribble “It is destined.”

Raining Rice


“If they are the right hands, I think so.”

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