September 19th, 2009

fox sit

Reflections on my 36th Year

Auto service this morning. Odometer was at 117,816 miles. Nothing much needed to be done but as I suspected, poorly-maintained roads in the area are doing a number on the suspension. After that, I wasn't far from Moe's in Mahwah so I went there to use a birthday coupon. I got a Close Talker with pork. I hadn't been to this particular Moe's in two years because one of the staff thought he could argue with me over something that was his fault. No such problem today but I noticed that they have all new people behind the counter now and the mood was fairly upbeat. The cashier asked if it was my actual birthday today. Then she told me she doesn't normally say Happy Birthday but "Happy Birthday!"

This has been one heck of a tumultuous year. As I recall, stocks took a nosedive around my last birthday and were pretty much dead and rotten for the next six months. I navigated the choppy waters successfully. Since 2004, my strategy has been to deemphasize stocks, in favor of alternative investments, precious metals, absolute return, and hedging, so I really didn't need to change anything, although I couldn't resist making a few trades and used the volatility to score some quick gains along the way.

The social scene was equally tumultuous. A couple of people whom I thought were stable and agreeable started picking fights with me out of the blue. I didn't detail the arguments in this journal because those were so unbelievably stupid and petty and I had far bigger things to worry about. I stopped going to Pennsylvania and upstate New York geocaching events this year because that I'm aware of, at least half a dozen people have turned on me, and I'm not wild about going where I'm not welcome. I do think people are suffering from economic hardships and some of them can't help but transfer their frustration onto others. Beyond that, I won't speculate on motives.

Things came to a boil mid-August when I lost my job. Suddenly, it was time to set my plans in motion. I'd been thinking about moving for years and I'd been in communication with a buyer's agent in Delaware. The week after that, I pored over hundreds of real estate listings and came up with a list of potential buys. Then I took a trip down to Delaware to meet up with the buyer's agent. Viewed all the houses on the list in one day, picked the best one of the lot, made an offer, signed the contract the same day, and did the home inspection the following day. What a rush! Since then, I've been doing paperwork, online and offline, with lawyers, insurance, and utilities to get everything ready for the settlement. All that while getting in a healthy dose of geocaching because I'd better see everything before I leave. :)

What will the coming year bring? I actually do hope that I can settle down and rest for a while. We'll see.