I had a very hectic 24 hours.
Now that it’s over I can recount the fact that my youngest son completed his Army Basic Training and it was wonderful to finally see him after a 10 week absence.
The ceremonies today, for Family Day were really quite nice and I’d never seen so many home-made tattoos on family members. Skulls and swords seem to be very popular this year for the ladies. Sabers are this years’ Satan.
Just as I thought, my son really has become a very different person. He says that he is much more patient, less likely to get frustrated and much better able to deal with a varied group of people.
He also learned the value of not questioning reality when it’s imposed on you and you have no recourse. You never see the carcasses of ostriches littering the battlefields.
Good life skills. I wish I had those, especially in the past 24 hours.
Yesterday, our oldest son’s first flight leg got delayed, causing him to miss his connection.
After an 8 hour drive of our own, I drove another 90 minutes to pick him up at what was supposed to be his interim stop. Luckily, my initial exposure to Cracker Barrel didn’t cause any short term distress, so I was able to unload our car, check in to the hotel and hit the road again. Which is quite important, as I never use public rest rooms.
Funny thing, though. On the way to the airport at about 8 PM, I blew a tire on the highway. Not a simple hole in the tire, but rather the thing just sheared right off.
On a road where the posted limit was 70 MPH you really could feel the passing drafts of those big trucks kicking up that hot air and South Carolina dust.
Amazingly, in the near dark I was able to put on the temporary spare and get back on my way.
I won’t drag out the story about the details trying to get a new tire for Sugar Momma’s Volvo, but let’s say I’ve never been a big fan of the Swedes or their new Chinese overlords.
The day was so filled with events and car related anxiety that the only glimpse I had of the market was at about 10 AM when my son flashed his phone at me to show me that the Dow was only down 45 points.
We both shrugged and smiled. That was roughly the equivalent of a major gain.
But that was the last I heard of the days’ doings until sitting in the Volvo dealership awaiting the “clusterf**k” to build upon itself even more.
At least that had a flat screen TV with an easily accessible remote. I hope Judge Toler didn’t mind that I flipped those channels until CNBC popped up with the closing numbers.
Apparantly, it had been a fairly good 24 hours to have kept my head in the ground, totally cut off from the craziness in the markets. Similarly, at dinner with our newly minted soldier in the Officer’s Club, he told us how during drill training you never have any idea why you’re being “smoked”.
You don’t ask why and you don’t ask for reasons. You just don’t need to know.
He seems to believe, as do I, that he’s an even better person for the ordeal. He says that he’s learned a lot about leadership by basically keeping his head in the sand.
For starters, it’s much harder to get into trouble when you’re out of the loop. You don’t start hanging out with or following the wrong crowd and making ill fated decisions.
I’m glad that I missed the market’s mechinations over the past 24 hours. Had I been fully plugged in and aware of what was going on during the final hours of trading on Tuesday, I might have joined the crowd.
I’d like to think that I would not have done so, as I’m not prone to panic, but still, you never know.
My son also tells me that nothing really makes him nervous anymore.
Another good attribute to have and certainly a good one for soldiers and traders alike.
With Wednesday’s trading, had I been aware of the gyrations between the 45 point downward open and the 30 point closing gain, I may have decided that in fact, the time had come to lighten up and take some losses for the coming plunge.
But my head was happily in the sand. I didn’t see the drop. I didn’t need to make any decisions and I got to spend the day with my family on a very happy occasion.
Now, as for the fine folks at Volvo. Back in my younger days I probably would have considered putting some sand in someone’s gas tank, but that was a long, long time ago.
To anyone from the Department of Justice of the FBI reading this, if there are cold case files on such a crime, I didn’t commit any of those, I just would have liked to.
Sometimes thinking about things and not doing them is just as good as not thinking about things and not realizing what you could have done.
Thursday will be the actual graduation ceremony and since my son is doing a split enlistment, he is headed by for his junior year of college. It will probably be another day that I have my head in the sand.
I could easily plug in and create a trading environment in that Volvo on the way home, but I think I’ve enjoyed the last 24 hours of complete insulation and isolation, despite the minor calamities along the way.
Who knows, maybe a stop at South of the Border to see some ticky tacky touristy things and snap some pictures that will embarrass everyone may be just the thing to convince an Ostrich that it’s much safer beneath the sand. Maybe tomorrow I’ll just opt to spend one more day submerged
Besides, there’s always next week for the markets to shake the remaining sand out from its nether regions and get back into the game.
Now, it’s time to enjoy a family re-united and salute those that helped our soon grow in mind, body and spirit