Unfortunate Opportunity

In the same way that it can be awkward to discuss “after death” financial topics with someone from whom you might be getting an inheritance, talking publicly about investment possibilities that are coming on the back of a stock market that’s plummeting due to fear of a COVID-19 pandemic… it does feel a little bit wrong, but the opportunities of a down market also cannot be ignored. 😐

The Dow Jones has lost more than 12% of its value over the past seven days of trading. Unfortunately, the cause isn’t solely due to “scary thoughts” around the spread of the virus. 😟 With China being ground zero, the precautions that need to be taken and the effects that are already being experienced by the industries and workforce there… it was inevitable that markets around the world would reflect the disruption. 😳 Global economies, global trade, global investing… it’s all great stuff, until it isn’t.

Before COVID-19 was even a thing, I had already started researching different types of investing that my family (historically speaking) never really took advantage of. πŸ€” I’ve tended to use methods that I’ve seen work for my dad and my aunt, and they probably used methods that they saw work for their parents. 🧐 It makes investing feel comfortable, but the returns are usually modest in comparison.

The volatility in the markets isn’t going anywhere, so I’ll have plenty of time to continue reading, learning, and eventually planning… even if “the plan” ends up being that I don’t change much of anything. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ And while loads of people have been cashing out, to “protect” their gains from the past year or longer, the farther the markets fall – the better it is for folks who are only just now wanting to get in. 🀨

I suppose I should mention that I’m not thinking about individual stocks when I’m talking about all of this. I don’t know enough yet to speculate on individual companies and their ability to bounce back. I’m thinking mostly about ETFs with holdings that are properly weighted to match gains / losses of the Dow. πŸ˜πŸ€“

Historically, you’re on pretty solid ground if that’s what you’re invested in… but just as there have been extremely good years, there have been some really bad ones as well. More often than not though, the gains for each year have been remarkably good. (Which doesn’t mean a heck of a lot if you didn’t buy your shares on (and only on) January 1st of each year… heh) Meh… just kinda thinkin’ here… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

Vivid Nightmare Tale

Didn’t fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning last night, and I’m not sure if it was something that I saw the day before or something that I had subconsciously heard on the TV while I was sleeping, but I ended up having some awful (but amazing) vivid nightmares. 😯 At least they were situation based, rather than having anything to do with a specific friend or family member.

I’ve always had a knack for returning to the same fictional locations in my dreams, even over decades of time, as well as being able to “pick up where I left off” if I happen to wake up in the middle of a particularly interesting or intense dream. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ§™πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ There are even a couple of fictional “characters” that have persisted over the years, albeit only on rare occasions. πŸ˜•πŸ™‚ It’s no “lucid dreaming” but I’ll definitely take it, compared to nothing but random, fleeting dreams which can never be returned to.

Last night’s dream, split by about ten minutes of waking up and settling back in, featured two different plane crashes. 😳 (And like I’ve acknowledged before, I know that hearing about other folks’ dreams isn’t always the most entertaining thing, but alas…) The first plane crash was one that I witnessed in the evening from our old house on Shepherd Hill. 😌 I actually had my phone set up in my bedroom window, to record a time-lapse video of the setting sun, but accidentally captured a small aircraft making some abrupt movements a couple of miles away – before crashing into the hills and trees. 😧 … πŸ›©οΈπŸŒ²πŸŒ³πŸŒ³πŸŒ²πŸŒ³πŸ”₯

There was distinct black smoke coming from the crash site, but the sun had set by this point, and a layer of fog had moved in, so rescue / recovery vehicles and aircraft seemed to be having a hard time locating the wreckage. πŸ€¨πŸ”­ I not only knew where it went down, but also had a recording of the event, so after a while of watching them struggle from a distance I decided that I needed to get into my car and go help out.

That’s when I woke up, but with the first part of that dream being so vivid (I’m leaving out many of the detailed details) I was hoping that I’d get back to sleep quickly and be able to pick up where I left off. πŸ₯±πŸ€žπŸ»

Back in the dream, I was already in my car (which was my 1979 Olds Delta 88) and driving up an increasingly narrow road on an increasingly steep mountain. 😬😣 But before I had even driven that far, I heard the sound of spooling jet engines above me – and I looked up to see a rescue oriented 747-200 about 2000 feet above, struggling to climb and avoid a similarly marked rescue blimp that was directly in its path. 😯✈️

The jet didn’t have the power to execute the climb and turn, so while it was able to avoid the blimp – it went into a stall and began to fall from the sky. 😬 I immediately stopped in my tracks, since it looked like the plane might graze the face of the mountain but wouldn’t necessarily hit me. Of course that didn’t end up being the case, and as the 747 fell parallel to the vertical face of the mountain, the belly of the plane banged into my car – knocking it off of the road and sending it falling thousands of feet towards a big lake below.

My car, along with many others from the road above, somehow fell relatively softly into the lake… while the plane crashed hard into the mountain on its way down, which meant there was a constant “rain” of debris endangering all of the surviving people in their cars. πŸ˜³β˜‚οΈ Most of the cars ended up floating, and many people were getting out and trying to swim to shore, but they were inevitably hit by falling wings, engines, landing gear, etc. πŸ˜£πŸ€• The lake was also partially on fire due to the jet fuel, so saying that it was a chaotic scene would be a huge understatement.

But in the chaos, my car and several others floated together, so we used a bunch of bungee cables to connect them all and “fling” them with enough momentum to reach land. 🏝️ The dream fizzled out there, once we were all safe, but it was such a vivid dream that I can still remember the detail of everyone’s faces, the vertigo from the heights, the smell of burning kerosene and plastic plane seats, the shortness of breath while trying to not drown, the pinch of my hand under the tightening bungees, the way it went from unbearably noisy to silent except for the sound of the water… just all of it. πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜Œ

Not what most people would consider a fun dream by any stretch of the imagination, but it was one that I was still glad to have had. Almost like the way that you can’t wait to see the weekend’s popular blockbuster action movie. πŸ˜ŽπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Because that’s what it felt like… like an extended scene from some awesome movie. Unfortunately, as it often happens (especially once things really go off the rails), it never really went back to the original “small plane crash” plot, nor did it provide any resolution to any of the rest… but hey, teamwork helped me and quite a few others survive quite the adventure. πŸ€“πŸ€œπŸ»πŸ€›πŸ»πŸ˜„

(I know… I should save this shit for the dream blog. I mean that’s the whole point of it being there…Β πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ )

Trying To Be Productive

Cassi and Steven came down for a visit yesterday evening. πŸ™‚ It was kind of a short notice thing, and they ended up staying a couple of hours, so it had my brain wound up to where I wasn’t able to fall asleep until around 2am. 😴 Me and Steven ended up talking about car stuff almost the entire time, so that was nice to pick his brain about this and that… but they’re getting ready to move, and they’ll be busy with all of that for a good bit – so after last night it’ll be a while until things get settled enough for me to drop in for a visit.

I woke up again after only about an hour of sleep, so I tumbled out of bed and I stumbled to the kitchen… to get myself a bottle of water. 😏 Heh… I used the “9 to 5” lyrics for the previous sentence, but “tumbling out of bed” was exactly what ended up happening. πŸ˜…πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I nodded off with the water bottle in my hand, still sitting up, and (likely) a short time later I woke back up as my dumb ass was falling out of bed. Not my most graceful moment, that’s for sure. I’m surprised I was able to fall back to sleep so easily after that. πŸ™„πŸ˜

Despite that, today started off well… if a bit later than originally planned. Went in town and grabbed some burgers for a visit with Dad around lunch time, and then after that I finally… finally… made it to the Walmart vision center and got my new prescription and glasses ordered. πŸ˜ƒπŸ€“πŸ₯³ I’ve only been “planning” to do that for about a year now I think? I tend to be rough on my glasses, so I spent a little more to get titanium frames with double hinges on the temples. πŸ§πŸ‘πŸ» More of a squared off look than my last few pairs, so I’m excited to get them to not only see how I look, but also to actually be able to see with 20/20 vision again.

They did do eye-health tests along with just getting the Rx, since it’s been a few year since they last saw me, but everything apparently looked good. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ However, the combination of the glaucoma test and then the drops to dilate my eyes… 😳 I ended up with a huge headache which still hasn’t gone away. Luckily I only had to run through the store real quick to grab some cat food, litter, pop, and some other grocery essentials – but then I was able to head straight home, pull the curtains, and turn off all the lights. πŸ€•

Since my IC hearing got postponed, that leaves tomorrow free for me to call (or go visit) the pharmacy to get this month’s WC med situation taken care of… 😠 plus I’ve gotta make a call regarding a stray insurance policy that’s taking far too long to process. (Another thing that I’ve been meaning to do for months.) Those calls will be mildly-annoying at best, but it’ll feel good if I’m able to get these things handled. 😎

Okay, headache is starting to flare up again… time to get away from my screens.

Giveth Taketh

Found out late last night that one of my friends has become unexpectedly unemployed. He was actually working at one place, but had been tentatively hired at another place, so he put in his two weeks notice… only for the job to fall through due to unforeseen circumstances. 😟 He’s already been putting in applications at other places, including companies where he used to work, but in different locations… so hopefully this will just be a small blip – and that his wife’s check will get them by until he gets things back on track.

And apparently it happened on the same day that I posted about my other friend’s boyfriend getting hired on as an assistant manager with a buttload of hours. So maybe I didn’t “knock on wood” correctly. It’s like snapping with the Infinity Gauntlet, or howΒ The Monkey PawΒ works… where things can work out, but maybe not exactly as you expected. I was concentrating on not jinxing them, but didn’t consider that a different friend could be having exactly the opposite experience. πŸ˜• I mean, I know I didn’t jinx him, but the irony of talking about it when I posted about it isn’t lost on me.

And I know I had some funky dreams last night, because I actually woke up because of them a couple different times… but I can’t remember the details. πŸ˜’ Woke up still thinking about his situation though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the dreams had something to do with all that. I’ve gotta implement a “winding down” period before I go to bed each night, where I avoid caffeine, avoiding worrying about the next day’s stuff, and where I avoid allowing myself to absorb crappy news right before I sack out.

Oh C’mon…

Getting a half-way decent night of sleep didn’t do anything to recharge my batteries for any significant use today. Of course I do have a little more on my mind than usual, but that wasn’t what was bothering me today. Actually, I didn’t realize that anything was bothering me today – until it did. Around noon I went outside to use my little air compressor to air up my tires, since that was something I could just do in the driveway without having to drive into town or anything. Figured that was within my ability today.

Spent about ten minutes doing that. It was in the sun, yeah, but it wasn’t like it was actually that hot out. But yeah, so I was just waiting in the normal sun as my slow compressor topped off two of my tires… and when I went back inside, I fell asleep within minutes and didn’t wake up until almost two hours later. So bizarre. I wasn’t tired, wasn’t sleepy, and that’s all that I did… but *ploop*… I was out.

It’s still frustrating, and it still bothers me… but being so close to the end of this phase, at least I can think about it at the end of the day and smirk. It would be terrifying if this was just “how I’m gonna be from now on” but that’s not how it is. But knowing that something so truly small can trigger the “nope” button in my brain, which effectively shuts me down, it’s such a weird thing. Not a fan.

Hoping that I can get one more solid night of sleep under my belt tonight, and that maybe that will be enough to at least avoid any unintentional spontaneous naps tomorrow.