Comment: Up the street from me. Very nice house. Not sure how they valued this at $ 520K. Still waiting to find out how much the house next to me sold.
When the houses were finished, they were not very large. Because the Pilgrims hoped to own their own land and build better houses in the future, the houses in Plymouth Colony in the 1620s were not as comfortable as the ones the Pilgrims left behind in England and Holland. Most of their houses only had one room. The colonists did their cooking, eating, and sleeping, as well as other work, in this room. The women cooked around a hearth, where small fires were lit. The fire from the hearth provided heat during the winter months and light at night. Candles and oil lamps were sometimes lit too. If there was a chimney, it was built of timber and clay and clapboards just like the rest of the house.Comment: I confess I have not lived like a pilgrim. And I don't mean the 1620 Pilgrims. I was humbled by my experience at the Plimoth Plantation ... and to think that my own relatives (William White and his wife Susanna and their son Resolved) were there!
My husband, John, and I, however, are trying to decide whether to include a criterion that's a bit more concrete: "What will it cost?"
... And yet, John is adamant about whether cost should play a part in the college-selection process: We should not veto any of Jamie's choices, he says. Certainly not at this stage and probably not ever.
"She should not limit herself," he says. "Her primary focus needs to be on what she's interested in studying."
John's stance is all the more surprising because he intends to have us foot the entire bill for all four girls' education—including graduate school. He wants to make sure they get through college debt-free, and he's willing to tap into our retirement account if needed.Comment: Glad all of this is behind us. 2 kids paid way through college. One of those going to MIT for MBA starting in August. 3rd kid (who is the 1st kid) is about to graduate finally with Bachelor's this Summer. The reality is (Econ 101) is that cost is a factor in any decision that involves finances!
At the 2012 World Whiskies Awards, for example, Suntory's Yamazaki 25-year-old was voted World's Best Single Malt, while Nikka won the top spot in the Blended Malt category. Suntory now exports well over 10,000 cases a year to the United States alone, with France and the UK not far behind. With their exceptional equilibrium, smoothness and delicacy, these whiskies are redefining an ancient art. When I ask Mike Miyamoto, a former master distiller at Suntory, why their whiskies are becoming so popular across the world, his reply is terse: "Quality. We are trying to make our whisky better every year."Comment: Video click from Lost in Translation.
The acting, as you’ve heard, is powerful. Daniel Day-Lewis is pretty wonderful. What is most remarkable is the look—the thick, rough hair, the hollow cheeks and kindly, abstracted air. It’s clear Day-Lewis studied the Mathew Brady sittings from Lincoln’s last months, when he no longer cared to look stern and dignified and instead allowed himself to look like what he was, a person operating at a certain benign remove.
Much has been said of Lincoln’s voice in the film. It struck me as good, in line with historical descriptions and right for a man of Lincoln’s height and build. Actually the voice is not that different from Henry Fonda’s in John Ford’s 1939 classic, “Young Mr. Lincoln.” Day-Lewis uses a fuller, more mature version of that voice. Most movingly, Day-Lewis seems to have mastered Lincoln’s physical presence, how he held himself and moved. He was a strong man but not a straight-backed, formal one. In her memoir, Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker, describes Mr. Lincoln throwing himself on the couch, picking up books and reading aloud. He often slouched and slumped, like someone who even physically didn’t have to prove his power.
But Day-Lewis really got Lincoln’s walk, or at least the way it’s been reported and described in the histories. Lincoln didn’t walk with the usual spring, but with the whole foot coming down at once. He had an odd, awkward gait, part shuffle, part soft stomp. I’ve never seen a theory for why he moved like that, so here’s mine: Lincoln didn’t learn to walk on streets, roads or lanes, he learned to walk in the wilderness on paths cut through woods. He learned to walk over rough roots jutting out of the ground, over rocks, through greasy mud. Truly, nobody paved the way for him. He got in the habit of placing his foot down flat so he wouldn’t be tripped up or lose his balance, and the habit followed him through life. In the film, as he clomps out of the White House for the last time, on his way to Ford’s Theatre, an usher watches him leave, with his funny walk. The way he watches him, as if he’s seeing for the first time the true size of Lincoln’s singularity, is moving.
If everyone goes see this film with a young person (about 12 or over), the young will get a history lesson that will help them understand America better and appreciate it more, and the old will have been entertained and encouraged Hollywood on more helpful paths. That would be good.Comment: We watched Lincoln on Xfinity pay per view last night. My post is not a movie review. But it was very well acted and interesting.
We've been talking about the distinction between (on the one hand) truth that is so essential to the gospel—so vitally important—that you must affirm it or be condemned; and (on the other hand) lesser truths, where there may be more room for misunderstanding or disagreement. How does one tell which category any given doctrine fits into?
Some have suggested (and I quite agree) that Scripture may be deliberately vague on these issues for good but hidden reasons, so that some of the questions we have raised are answered in the Bible with stark black-and-white clarity; while most of the answers we're looking for are sketched out in indistinct lines and with varying shades of gray.
On the other hand, some who have commented have wondered aloud whether any distinction between essential and peripheral truths is really even necessary.
It seems to me that even a few moments of cursory thought would quickly drive us to the conclusion that we cannot simply erase every distinction between primary and secondary doctrines...Scripture commands us to contend earnestly against error when the faith once delivered to the saints is at stake; and yet, when the unity of true saints is at stake, we are commanded to receive people who are weak in the faith without indulging in doubtful disputations.
We're expected to make sound judgments about which is which. Remember, Jesus sternly rebuked the Pharisees for failing to distinguish between vital and secondary legal principles—even though no distinction between "gnats" and "camels" was ever spelled out explicitly in the Old Testament law. They were held responsible to apply rational, sensible judgment to the biblical data—and there was plainly enough data so they should have understood that justice, mercy, and the love of God are bigger spiritual principles than counting out little seeds for a tithe (Luke 11:42).
Notice what Jesus said: "These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone" (Matthew 23:23). Recognizing a proper taxonomy of spiritual principles doesn't give us permission to abandon whatever principles are deemed secondary. I think that's a misunderstanding that causes some to shy away from speaking of "secondary" truths. But "secondary" doesn't mean "optional." It does, however, mean that all truths aren't of equal import. Not every point of truth is an occasion for all-out battle, especially between brethren who agree on the major points.
That's one of the huge practical realities of real-world ministry that sensible people who want to be faithful to the commands of Romans 14 simply must understand. We may not always agree on which issues are worth fighting for, but it's an evil mind that rejects the distinction completely and fights with equal vigor over every issue, gnats and camels alike.Comments: The image above is from the ESV Study Bible (I improved upon it with some color and a little different labeling (but the same labels). I previously used this image in the post "Essential vs. Peripheral Doctrine". The Latin phrase In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas is ancient and well-know: English = "unity in necessary things; liberty in doubtful things; charity in all things". The wise man will head the admonition of "We're expected to make sound judgments about which is which". This would be a starting point.
And you think your folks are archaic for using flip phones ... Sparkler Filters up north in Conroe still uses an IBM 402 in conjunction with a Model 129 key punch – with the punch cards and all – to do company accounting work and inventory. The company makes industrial filters for chemical plants and grease traps. Lutricia Wood is the head accountant at Sparkler and the data processing manager. She went to business school over 40 years ago in Houston, and started at Sparkler in 1973. Back then punch cards were still somewhat state of the art. A PCWorld profile in early 2012 looked at Sparkler's virtually antique equipment, and the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., even sent a team out to try and coax the company into abandoning the 402, mainly so they could buy it and put it on display in the museum. Wood says the cards are slowly being phased out in favor of PCs, but she wasn't sure when. "We get new cards from the repairman, and when those run out I don't know what we will do," says Wood. That repairman is Duwayne Lafley of Santa Fe, who was an operator on IBMs in the U.S. Navy, before going into the private sector. "I may be the only punch card tech left," Lafley says. He used to work on NASA's machines, since he was cheaper than the official IBM techs, starting in 1977. His work helped get the Space Shuttle in orbit. NASA left the punch cards in the dust in 2001. Companies used to fly him out to work on their IBMs. One of Lafley's clients was even the New York Times. "Ross Perot has a private museum devoted to IBM machines and they've asked about extra parts," says Lafley, who keeps his extra IBM guts at his 1,500 square foot shop.Comment: Company homepage. (I was going to say they host their website on the 402 ... but not believable!). PC World article. Image capture at top is from this article.
Comment: My take on the list an my own preparedness
- You are emotionally ready to quit working
- You followed a retirement budget for 6 months
- You have reliable health insurance coverage
- Your children are financially independent
- Your debts are paid off or nearly paid off
- Your portfolio is big enough to withstand losses
We returned yesterday from our long-planned trip to Cape Cod. Trip details:
The administration's budget proposal on Wednesday disclosed a planned "strategic review" of the authority known as TVA, which provides electricity to parts of seven states, including most of Tennessee. The review will include "options for addressing TVA's financial situation, including the possible divestiture of TVA, in part or as a whole," it said. "Reducing or eliminating the Federal Government's role in programs such as TVA, which have achieved their original objectives and no longer require Federal participation, can help put the Nation on a sustainable fiscal path," the budget said. TVA was created during the Great Depression as a New Deal public works program. It built dams and, later, nuclear power plants. The government still fully owns the authority, but it now funds its own operations.Comment: Wiki Tennessee Valley Authority. A very good idea!
IDC said that Windows 8 hasn't only failed to spur more PC demand but has actually exacerbated the slowdown—confusing consumers with features that don't excel in a tablet mode and compromise the traditional PC experience.
"The reaction to Windows 8 is real," said Jay Chou, an IDC analyst.
Business customers are also keeping their distance from Windows 8, Mr. Chou noted, saying that companies that used to buy new PCs every three years before the recession have pushed out their PC purchases to every four or five years.Comment: Our company is skipping Windows 8 except for a limited number of high profile Execs who want "The Surface". My sister and I just purchased an HP Windows 8 laptop for Mom and I did the setup for her. I was impressed with Windows 8. Plus there is a tile that takes one to the Windows 7 style desktop.
Try going to your neighborhood Wal-Mart to buy some .22 bullets for target shooting, or a couple of boxes of shotgun shells, and you’ll discover what hunters and gun enthusiasts have been muttering about for months now: The shelves are bare. Manufacturers are operating flat-out but can’t keep up with demand, as consumers snap up every box of ammo as soon as it comes on the market. Wal-Mart limits buyers to three boxes when they’re available, and Cabela‘s is limiting online orders to one box per day of the popular .22 long shells increasingly used as cheap ammo for target rifles and pistols.
... It’s difficult to get precise numbers on how many bullets are sold in the consumer market in the U.S. each year. The Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (split off from the ATF a decade ago, not that anyone noticed) collects an 11% tax on ammo sales by manufacturers. That tax serves as a rough proxy for demand, and government statistics show receipts soared from $68 million in 2000 to $129 million in 2008 and $172 million in calendar 2009, President Obama’s first full year in office. That would imply wholesale bullet sales of about $1.6 billion, or possibly retail sales of $3 billion. Consumer retail purchases of clothing and footwear last year, by comparison, were about $327 billion according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
... I called a few ammo manufacturers to get their views on future supply and demand, but they’re press-shy in the wake of the Newtown shooting tragedy. Olin Corp. is one of the biggest U.S. manufacturers of civilian ammunition, generating about a third of its revenue from bullets. Olin’s Winchester division is in the midst of a $110 million upgrade of its ammunition business, in which it is centralizing its operations in Oxford, Miss. Once the upgrade is done, Olin says in its most recent 10-K, it will reduce Winchester’s annual operating costs by $30 million. “Winchester expects to have the most modern centerfire ammunition production facility in North America,” the company says. Ammunition has been a good business for Olin lately, with total sales rising 8% to $618 million and profits climbing 46% to $55 million. The company’s commercial backlog, most of it for civilian ammunition, has also soared from $38 million at the beginning of 2012 to $311 million as of Jan. 31. The company’s shares are up 25% this year. Federal Premium answers its own question, “why can’t you just make more ammunition?” by saying it is already running its plants 24 hours a day. The company also says “there is some indication now that the shortages may be easing, aided in part by retailers’ decisions to limit sales to each customer.” Parent ATK, which has a large defense business, is up 17% this year.Comment: Perhaps one should invest in ATK?
In the final quarter of 2012, the average term of a new car note stretched out to 65 months, the longest ever, according to Experian Information Solutions Inc. Experian said that 17% of all new car loans in the past quarter were between 73 and 84 months and there were even a few as long as 97 months. Four years ago, only 11% of loans fell into this category. Such long term loans can present consumers and lenders with heightened risk. With a six- or seven-year loan, it takes car-buyers longer to reach the point where they owe less on the car than it is worth. Having "negative equity" or being "upside down" in a car makes it harder to trade or sell the vehicle if the owner can't make payments.
The length of loans has come a long way since Lee Iacocca, then a Ford regional manager, helped pioneer auto loans in the 1950s. He became a management star by developing a '56 for $56 sales pitch. The idea: consumers could buy a 1956 Ford for 20% down and $56 a month. The loans were paid off in just 36 months.Comment: Image source with details on “56 for ’56“.
In 1956, Iacocca came up with an inventive new way to sell cars when he developed the “56 for ’56“. The policy meant that any customer that bought a new 1956 Ford should be able to do it with a 20 percent down payment, followed by monthly payments of $56 for three years. After the idea was applied across Ford, Iacocca was thought to be responsible for the sale of an additional 75,000 extra cars. Iacocca’s initiative meant that his profile was enlarged resulting in a big promotion to Dearborn, Michigan i.e. headoffice as the head of car marketing.Comment: We were in the car loan trap for decades. This was largely my fault as I was always buying new cars. When that car was paid off I would buy another new one. We broke that cycle with our last car by saving and paying cash. Negotiating for a new car is much easier when no loan is involved. Our go forward plan is to save $ 100 per week towards a new car. We currently have 58,000 miles our our Buick. I hope to keep it 150,000 miles and have plenty of cash to buy a like model. We average about 15,000 miles per year. So in about 6 years we will will be at 150,000 and have plenty saved. We also save $ 45 per week towards auto repairs.