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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I donít really like talking business at 9:30 pm, so even though I enjoy chatting with Julie, I was a little dismayed when it was her voice at the other end of the telephone call last night. She somehow got it into her head that Iím a night person, and to her that translates as my being available for consultation until well past happy hour (or the non-drinking equivalent, whatever that is).

Still, it was the first time Iíve talked to her in two weeks, since she went on vacation with the Boss for her birthday bash (or the Texas equivalent, whatever that is). And she had good news for me. Sheís been my advocate when it comes to planning for retirement.

Sheís been my advocate mostly because I havenít done any advocating for myself. I hardly even think about it, which is why I need an advocate. Iím just glad I didnít have to ask anyone (or hire anyone) to do it for me. She gets a charge out of the kinds of confrontations I spend so much energy avoiding. Going head-to-head with the Boss on matters that might or might not concern her directly? Thatís her idea of fun.

When last we visited this topic, I was being advised to look around for land to invest in. We were going to inquire about a 401K plan, which as I understand it is a sort of government-subsidized pension. But upon talking it over with the accountant, Julie has changed her advice. And since I have nothing else to go on, Iím following it.

The plan now is to keep reinvesting the profits made by the Kennel. So far since weíve taken over, the rate of return is at least four times what I could make in any other investment. The accountant was so impressed with the profitability of our little venture that he checked all the figures twice.

Yes, the Kennel is making money. And yes, the best place to put the money I make is right back in the Kennel. No income tax going in, no capital gains coming out. And apparently we have Bush and Enron to thank for that, but Iím not taking that part of the story as gospel. Iíll thank them when they stop stealing money from widows and orphans.

Any of their shenanigans that afford me a collateral benefit will be collected without attribution. In fact, I probably should assume that by the time Iím ready to retire, theyíll have thought of a way to take it away from me and line their own pockets with it. Iím basically not a cynical person, except when it comes to Republican politicians and their handservants (or the corporate equivalent, whatever that is).

12 May 2005

White stripe.

We talked for a good long time last night, Julie and I. I made her say it three or four times, just to be sure I was understanding. In ten years or so, if I decide itís time to retire, there will be enough money for me to live on comfortably. The only things that could get in the way of that outcome are those unforeseen circumstances that are so difficult to foresee. Thatís where my lack of cynicism comes in handy. I choose hope.

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Tonightís game pretty much turned on one umpireís bad call. The Giants had a shot at a big inning in the third, with two out and two on. Deivi Cruz hit a liner to center that was trapped by Kenny Lofton, but the umpire ruled that the ball had been caught, ending the inning. That was the closest the Giants came to scoring until Jason Ellisonís two-run homer in the ninth, but by that time the Phillies had a five-run lead, and they went on to win, 5-2. What a different game it would have been, though, if the umpire hadnít blown that one call early in the game.

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One year ago: Tumble
"They think they own the place, and I'm not inclined to intervene. I'll just let them work it out among themselves."

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