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Friday, April 11, 2008


No, this is not about that popular TV show on ABC that I keep planning to watch sometime, but the DVR's always 70% full (my news programs and JEOPARDY!, my wife's ice skating and Dancing with the Stars, our NBC Thursday night and Aliens in America). Maybe I'll borrow a DVD sometime.

This is about the fact that, 18 days ago, I lost my keys: my house keys, the car key, the key to my nifty lock that keeps my bike from being stolen, and half a dozen others. It also has on it all of those little swiper tags for the YMCA, the CVS pharmacy, the local grocery store, et al. It's your basic PITA, akin to losing one's wallet. (If you're in the area, there's a 2" white square with a green handprint on the key chain.) I thought I had perhaps lost them on a CDTA bus, but, alas, no. Then I figured that maybe someone found them and turned them into a police station, but the property unit, who handles such things, said nada as well.

Also, I have this retirement thing through something called TIAA-CREF. Every quarter, both my employer and I contribute a similar amount, based on my income. At this point, the job and I are each contributing about $1000 per quarter. Sometimes it makes money, sometimes it loses, but never before had I lost more than 50% of the total contribution for the period. I was dreading opening the new statement that arrived Wednesday, and rightly so. The fund lost $5000, or the entire contribution PLUS another $3000. My wife's retirement fund underwent a similar pounding. Brutal.

Someone asked me the other day if we were in a recession. I said that, definitionally, you can't say until after the fact. In that way, it's like a tornado, where meteorologists come around, look at the pattern of the wreckage and say, "Yup, it was a tornado." Since a recession is considered a decline in a country's real gross domestic product (GDP), or negative real economic growth, for two or more successive quarters of a year, economists won't be able to say until we're in a recession now until the summer. I'm more a duck kind of guy; it sure LOOKS like a duck.

Meanwhile, I'm at a loss to know just who might buy this product. Oh, I guess there will be a couple Beach Boys and Beatles fans, but Nirvana?


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