Flitting, Feeding, and Digesting

By |2018-12-14T07:25:15+00:00December 14th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever watched hummingbirds feed? Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS. Source: Flikr.CC-BY-2.0 We used to have a hummingbird feeder outside our front window. They’re fascinating to watch. They’re can be quite choosy. Because they use so much energy, they prefer only to feed on very sweet nectar – at least 25% sugar. By comparison, a can of soda like Pepsi or Sprite is about 15% sugar, or its equivalent. They consume about half their weight in nectar each day. Because sweet nectar doesn’t have many [...]

Season’s Greetings?

By |2018-12-13T06:28:58+00:00December 13th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Are you ready? Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov. Source: Fancycrave In our family we never get ready very early for Christmas. Maybe it’s because I was a winter-sports athlete. Growing up, I had exams, intense training, and then competitions right into late December. My shopping happened after I returned home on the 23rd or so. Then there was an intense trip to the mall with wish-lists and backup-items and “evergreen” gifts – stuff that would always be welcome on a cold Christmas Day, like gloves and [...]

The Primacy of Planning

By |2018-12-10T23:10:53+00:00December 10th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What’s your plan? Photo: 7854. Source: Pixabay Recently, one of my teenage boys was driving home on a frosty evening and – as has happened to most of us – he slipped off the road. He called and asked if I could bring our truck to pull him out. No problem. I threw a tow chain into the back and trundled off. Only the road was too slick. After we hooked his car to our pickup, the tires couldn’t get enough of a grip [...]

Winter Storm Watch

By |2018-12-07T14:30:03+00:00December 7th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Are we ready for this? Early winter storm. Public Domain. Source: Max Pixel November this year was the coldest and snowiest ever in the Northeast. In general, we try to prepare for winter early, cleaning the yard, raking leaves, splitting and stacking wood. But these early storms caught us a little off guard. In particular, I hadn’t changed to snow tires. Usually, putting them on by Thanksgiving and taking them off after tax day is good enough. But not this time. Apparently, we weren’t [...]

Underdogs and Understories

By |2018-12-06T16:25:47+00:00December 6th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Not every little tree makes it. Pine forest understory. Source: Wikimedia Last summer I went for a walk in woods near my home and noticed a mature stand of white pine with what looked like a hundred little saplings underneath. It was lovely: the majestic pines overhead and the dense carpet of green in the understory. The needles looked soft in the morning light. I thought, “You’re not all going to make it, little friends.” There wasn’t enough room in the forest canopy for [...]

Financial Tundras?

By |2018-12-05T06:04:45+00:00December 5th, 2018|Global Market Update|

The mountains are beautiful. Lake of the Clouds on Mount Washington, NH. Photo: PaulB. Source: Wikimedia I love hiking in the alpine tundra in the Appalachian Mountains. The way plants and animals adapt to the harsh weather up there is amazing. But nature is incredibly diverse, whether up in the mountains or down in the depths of the sea or out on the African veldt. Every possible niche seems to be stuffed with a diverse array of plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms. Wherever there’s [...]

Financial Fog

By |2018-12-04T17:39:53+00:00December 4th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever felt like you’re stumbling in the dark? Photo: Freephotos.cc. Source: Picography A few years ago, my wife and I made a long drive on a deeply foggy night. It was hard. The fog reflected the headlights back at us, dazzling our vision. Otherwise, the thick fog made the night especially dark. It felt like we were driving inside a ping-pong ball. I was so relieved when we arrived safely, but it took a while to unwind. Sometimes it can feel that [...]

Inside, Outside, Offside

By |2018-12-03T08:16:59+00:00December 3rd, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever felt like an outsider? Kids trading marbles. Photo: Tup Wanders. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-2.0 When I was in high school, a bunch of the cool kids had a private language they used. It was a kind of pig Latin they called “Guy-the-gee,” where they changed normal words into their special constructions, with a different grammar, too. When they started jabbering to one another in their private code, no one outside their group had any idea what they were saying. Which was one [...]

Shaving Platforms

By |2018-12-01T18:58:27+00:00December 1st, 2018|Global Market Update|

“Give away the razor, make money on the blade.” Photo: Zino Davidoff. Source: Wikimedia One of the most unpleasant tasks of my morning is shaving with a dull razor. It’s painful, unpleasant, and I nick myself all the time. 100 years ago, people would put up with dull blades for a long time, rather take the chance of cutting themselves and getting infected. Sharpening a straight razor is delicate. The blade has to be honed and stropped on a leather strap to remove any [...]

The Arrow of Clutter

By |2018-11-29T09:19:15+00:00November 29th, 2018|Global Market Update|

My desk is a mess. Source: Pexels No matter how much I focus, no matter how many filing systems I try, my desk still seems to accumulate reports and notes and half-finished books and articles. The piles just mount up. Maybe it’s my personality, or maybe it’s the nature of my work. The other day I found an old invoice marked “paid” from three years ago. It was tucked away in a drawer, waiting to surprise me, I suppose. I have no idea how [...]