I spent much of the day in an unusual environment cut off from the simplest pleasures to which I have become accustomed.
I believe that it’s called “work”. Since it’s not really something that I have to do anymore, it’s not really servitude, it’s just work. Although I’ve been very fortunate in always having had good jobs and having been associated with very good people, it was still work.
Forget about the fact that for 20 of those years I actually expanded my mind, gained some professional stature and actually accomplished some worthwhile things, I would rather have been in my underground vault counting the day’s receipts and profits.
I continue to get a kick out of people who profess to really enjoy what they do for a living. Not that it isn’t possible, it’s just that it seems so highly unlikely.
Even Mel Brooks, who for a while really had his pulse on human behavior, got it wrong, when he said “It’s good to be the King”. I’m sure that these days, even King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia must wonder who’s serving whom when he has to release $135 billion in funds to pacify the populace with social program spending.
Not too long ago, one of my sons convinced me that I really needed to watch “It’s Always Sunny in Phildalephia”.
I was somewhat resistant because I don’t want to emotionally commit to a new show and then see it get cancelled. Besides, if it wasn’t on CNBC or Comedy Central, I wasn’t really interested.
Poor Paul Reiser. I still grieve.
But this carried very little liablity, because the show had already been on for 5 years or so and now was being run in syndication on Comedy Central.
Now, as I’ve become a fan, the characters of this show are the ulimate representation of ignorance.
Since I have been to Philadelphia, I agree with that characterization, but the weather forecast would be more accurate if the show was entitled “It’s Always Sunny in Riyadh”. Surely, ignorance knows no national boundaries.
Today, though, I was the “Mayor of Ignorance”.
For the previous 30 years I hadn’t really appreciated how delightful being a stay at home empty nester could be. The ability to trade as needed made staying a home a true and profitable delight. Maybe not as profitable as toiling away on a regular basis, but as a bonus, it’s something that is far from being “work”. I was actually getting a kick out of being me.
But today was different. As much as I looked around there wasn’t a single La-Z-Boy to be had. Although I did have a computer to call my own, there was no familiar background news of an ever-running television tuned to CNBC. I was beginning to question my decision to not drag along my laptop and stream CNBC through the Power E*Trade trading platform.
No coffee machine, no beautifully soft double ply toilet tissue and no dog in my lap.The people surrounding me were nice, but I had to wear socks and real shoes.
Still, trading opportunities weren’t denied to me.
Although I knew that the pre-opening was portending a positive open, I had no idea why the market performed so well throughout most of the day. I was cut-off from all forms of meaningful communication.
I was trading, but had no idea of why. All I saw were the price movements.
Early in the morning, I actually bought back the Freeport McMoran shares that had been assigned to me, yet at a price lower than the assigned price.
As Freeport then climbed later in the aftrenoon, although still trailing the market, I sold in the money calls with a Friday expiration. If I could get 2% return on every stock every week just by getting lucky like that, I wouldn’t have to write this blog. I wouldn’ty have to share my ignorance with anyone.
But I still wondered.
Was there news of a resumption of Chinese growth? Were copper prices going to sky-rocket? Was Pizar coming out with a Freeport McMoRan movie in 3-D?
No clue. I traded purely out of ignorance, fascinated by numbers red and green.
I also sold Visa call options expiring this Friday at an incredibly nice premium. Why were they so high relative to the next week’s premiums? Don’t know. Ignorance reigned.
Now before I try to portray ignorance as a bad thing, I did want to digress a bit toward my new found world of social media.
It was about 6 weeks ago that my son convinced me that I needed to “Tweet”.
Up until that point, I thought that Tweeting was only a means to let people know about the mundane things going on in Ashton Kutcher’s life.
He also convinced me to finally open up my “friend vacant” Facebook account and use it, together with my Twitter account to shamelessly promote my book.
Done and done.
On top of that, I just got a FourSquare account, as well, having entiltled my home address as “La-Z-Boy”.
Here’s where the ignorance is bliss part comes in, though.
Now that I have “friends”, I get to see what’s going on with them.
Most of all, I get to see what going on my my oldest son, who has always been quite the party animal. Fortunately, the youngest son is doing Army basic training right now, and it’s not very likley that he’s doing anything beyond the pale, other than learning how to impale.
Not only do I now know what my son is up to, I also get to see what his frends are doing. What kind of debauchery and havoc they are wreaking.
I’ve also learned alot about the world of Twitter hashtags and acronyms.
#PMGDDO is “Puking my God-damn dinner out”. It took a little bit of concerted effort to figure that one out.
Context is everything, especially if it ends up on your shoes.
Do I really need to know this?
Here’s one place that ignorance would be a good thing.
What little I could garner from today’s events came from the New York Times web site. I learned that Michelle Bachmann, who announced to the world on Sunday that she would be announcing her presidential candicacy yesterday, actually announced her candidacy yesterday.
Reading between the lines, it would have appeared that she did so on Sunday.
Reminds me of the extraordinarily unsuccessful bank robber who would pass a note to the teller:
“This is a stick-up. I’ll be back tomorrow at 10 AM to rob you formally”
When Chris Wallace asked Michelle Bachmann if she was “a flake” on his Sunday broadcast, he was also leaving a question on the table.
Yes, she’s ignorant, as well. Just listen. You’ll see.
But it doesn’t really seem to matter, as she is now an official candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, who somehow was able to participate in the recent Repu\blican presidential candidate debate without being a candidate.
Another place that ignorance seems to have reigned. Apparantly, being smarter than a 5th grader is not a requisite for a legitimate candicacy.
But as the day came to a close, ignorance didn’t seem to be so bad. No breaking news stories to deal with, no local cable advertisements and no disingenuous talking heads seeking the world’s approbation.
All of a sudden, I’m not so distressed about working again later this week and twice the week after.
By then, I should be FourSquare’s “Mayor of Ignorance”.