I keep thinking about all the preppers out there in this wide world of ours. I haven’t read too much about or heard much from them recently because they’re probably hunkered down in the shadows right about now. They’ve grabbed their bug-out bags, jumped in their 4x4s, and they’ve headed for the hills. This has got to be the absolute craziest and most rewarding time in their entire lives. I’m almost positive it is.
Laura and I watched a few of those half-hour prepper shows a while back. They were pretty short at only a half hour, which gives an indication of either their popularity or their worthwhile content. They featured a few individuals or families who feared one thing or another. And as I sit here and type this post, I have a wry smile on my face as I recall what some of these people were preparing for. Some were over the top and some were utterly stupid. One fellow was preparing for a meteor strike. Another was preparing for some sort of invasion. A guy and his wife were preparing for a solar flare. I mean, really? A solar flare? I have to hand it to them though. They had their individual fears all sorted out and they knew exactly how things were going to unfold. It’s like I always say, if you’re going to commit yourself to a doomsday scenario, you may as well be well versed at your commitment. I say that a lot, by the way.
I also have to hand it to those crazies out there who were preparing for a global viral pandemic and economic crash. I mean, those guys hit the nail on the head this time. I honestly do wonder where they are currently. There are so many of them. I read tidbits from them and watch their videos quite frequently online. They’ve got their land at the ready, their fuel tanks full, campers, guns, dried meat, and so on. It’s all sitting there waiting for them. It’s been sitting there waiting for them. All it needed was a reason.
It’s been exactly a week since I’ve last written about this topic. If memory serves, we had one case of the coronavirus here in Maine. We’ve now got 87. A week ago, New York state had about 700 cases. They’ve now got over 15,000. I can’t make up my mind which is better, for us all to get it at the same time and take the losses or to drag this out indefinitely so the entire globe collapses and we have nothing left anyway. I’m still confident that the powers that be will figure something out just in the nick of time. As a species, we always do. Right? I mean, rarely do we say, “Well, I guess that’s just the way it’s going to be.”
Here at the house, or lives haven’t changed very much. Actually, we haven’t experienced anything out of the ordinary at all. Laura and I work all day from home and go food shopping every other week. We go for our walks, hike around the back yard, do some bird watching, and take short trips in the car here or there. If we haven’t been reading and watching the news so much lately, we’d have no idea what’s going on out there. I know this isn’t the case for so many others though. I can only imagine the disruption to everyday life that people are experiencing. The smart folks have their schedules precisely set and any deviation from what’s supposed to happen can be a real hassle. I empathize with how this is affecting people’s lives. I do wonder what’s going on inside so many households across America though. What are people doing? Are they playing board games? Talking? Drinking? Crying?
I’ve been working double-time all week. I got myself into a new project that’ll take about a month to complete. It’s fun, but it’s a lot of busywork that a chimp could do. I sit here at my computer, typing and listening to any of the countless New Wave mixes available to me on Youtube. Every time I hear a new song that I’ve never heard before, I stop what I’m doing to search the artist on Wikipedia and then see how much their music costs on Amazon. I have to tell you that there is so much incredibly awesome music in this world that no one has ever heard of. I’ll also tell you that about 90% of it came out of the UK in the early 80s. I wish I was just a few years older during that era so I could have enjoyed it more. At least the fruits of the decade are still available to me online, so I’m not complaining. I just miss what I imagine the vibe to have been like, if that makes any sense. The 80s were so radically different than the way things are today. I’ll tell you one thing – for being so connected today, we’re miles apart. And here’s another – having the ability to produce and listen to music at our fingertips hasn’t translated into better music. Read the comments below any 80s music video on Youtube for confirmation on that.
Anyway, enough of that. While we prepared somewhat well for the past week and this next week coming up, food-wise, I think I’d like to make some changes to my daily routine in an effort to create some memories, if you will. I’ve been meaning to begin my next puzzle for over a year now. I think I’ll clear all the junk off my puzzle table to do just that. Puzzles are good for the soul. If you haven’t tried one lately, give one a chance. They’re great by yourself and they’re wonderful bonding experiences when done with others. I’ll be doing this next one by myself. I crank up the tunes and drink wine while puzzling. It truly doesn’t get any better than that.
I’d also like to get my hands on the board game, Monopoly. All this market stuff has got my mind turning and I imagine that playing a game that revolves around money to be fun. I’ve actually been meaning to get back into this game for a while. We owned a brand new copy, but had to unload it on someone before we moved to Florida back in 2013. My goal is to somehow acquire a new version and then play it a few times. Did you know that there’s actually a strategy to playing Monopoly? It’s true. There are plenty of videos on this too.
Finally, in closing, I’d like to mention something that’s been on my mind regarding investing in the stock market. Back in 1987, everyone thought the end was near in regards to their investments. It wasn’t. The same thought pattern was prevalent in 2002 and then in 2008. People sold their holdings and only had huge losses to show for it. I’m not too old, but by this point in my life, I feel as though I’ve been around the block a few times. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and you ain’t gonna fool me no more. That’s what I say. If I have one piece of advice for someone who is in their 20s right now, it would be that if they play their cards right with this, they’ll be sitting very pretty in their 40s. Pretty like a shady tree man. The dividends of some of my favorite stocks are well over 10% right now. And these are huge blue chip companies too. Sure, the company will most likely pull their dividend back some for the short term, but to get in on basically the ground floor when the nation is about to have four trillion dollars of stimulus pumped into it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I said this before all of this began; “These are the times clever people become very wealthy.” You just have to resist the temptation to follow the herd. Whatever everyone else is doing, do the opposite. That’s especially true when it comes to investing. I know, it hurts. It’s uncertain. It’s uncomfortable. But, in a few year’s time, you’ll be reading books and articles about how some schlub who was living in Pittsburgh at the time made it rich by taking a few of the right steps years before.
Well, that’s my update for today. We’ll see how next week turns out. I’m sure it’ll be a completely different story on Sunday, as this entire situation is unfolding quite rapidly. Good luck to all of you.
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