Well, after nearly 4 months of yawns, lawns (preferred), and less-than-riveting entertainment award shows … WE ARE HERE! The endless speculation as to who the Jacksonville Jaguars might take at #1 (Hint: rhymes with “Brever Torrance”), who the New York Jets will replace Sam Darnold with, and all the rest will pretty much begin to be answered starting this evening from Cleveland, Ohio.
Let’s celebrate! Why? Because we now don’t have to watch all of that other crap they’ve been shoving through our remote during this Covid thing. We can finally see something LIVE! Pinch me!! With people around! Really?! You know what they say: “Beggars can’t be choosers.” We’ll take it. And, sorry for such a brief post, but I need to pick up my keg, wings, and the blocks of ice we’ll be sliding on in the backyard after my team picks … somebody who can ball!
A “Blast from the Past” Edition (so much fun, we’ll re-publish it!)
Flubbing our words and phrases?
nother vs. another (“That’s a whole nother world”)
Uh, NO it is not. But it IS a whole incorrect sentence. I’ve sat in professional meetings, witnessed intelligent people on television and interacting on large city streets misuse this term over and over. How about “a whole OTHER” perhaps? It’s easy to remember because all you have to do to not be wrong is simply drop one tiny letter, the “a”
uncharted vs. unchartered (“We’re in uncharted territory”)
Here lies another constant. It is used with such frequency that even we may, at times, become confused as to which is the correct choice. When navigating areas (or waters) that are unfamiliar are we “in uncharted waters” or are we in “unchartered waters?”
I always believed, being part of the general “charter” community, that the correct usage would be unchartered; meaning “not ever having sailed through these waters.” However, if we think of “uncharted” waters, we could reflect on our childhood where gold, treasures & stuff existed – and envision other option of “attempting to navigate a map without any defined charts.” Who knows…?
pacificly vs. specifically (“I was pacificly talking about the last time I saw him”)
We probably first heard this one around the holiday dinner table spouted from the mouth of our Aunt Ida. ‘Pacificly’ is NOT a word. Just noticing all of the red underlining will tell you that spellcheck specifically disagrees with you. However, “pacifically” IS an actual word, but is still incorrect if used in this situation. It may refer to a large body of the earth’s ocean separating numerous islands that we would love to charter (or chart).
relevant vs. relative (“It’s all relevant!!”)
No, it is NOT. My understanding is of ‘relevant’ is that which is pertinent to or important to something else. ‘Relative’ is more of an “it depends” or “relates to.” See? It’s easy to remember…
supposably vs. supposedly (“She was supposably the one…”)
Supposably is just horrible all the way around. (Again, see all of the red in spellcheck if you don’t trust me) It sounds like you took the wrong advice of your Uncle Vito from that fantasy sports commercial. However, it is a never-ending misuse of a pretty cool word…supposedly. “Supposable” is supposedly a word, whereas “supposably” is a sign of, well, incorrect grammar.
misconfuse vs. misconstrue (“He misconfused what I said to him”)
This was one I heard about a decade or more ago on one of those live court television programs where an actual hitman in a criminal case testified using (or misusing) one big word after another. It was so amazing that I couldn’t turn the television off and was late to the office as a result. However, it continues to be a source of humor that my spouse and I still occasionally giggle about to this day.
One final note
Back in high school (a few years back), I recall a hilarious moment in English class when our teacher informed us that one of her students required a tongue-lashing for incorrectly using a transition. In a nutshell, the student stated his idea in one sentence but then attempted to transition it with a new sentence beginning with “Another words” instead of “In other words.” Though I felt bad that the teacher publicly shamed him (she’d probably be fired for it in today’s class), I must admit that I laughed at it as much (and as loudly) as anyone.
A ‘word to the wise’ (Oops, I mean “words” to the wise)
Topic: That ‘silly, crazy stock market’ this month
Categories: Economics, Financials, and Social Psychology
Between a rock and a hard place? You probably spent some of the past few weeks rummaging through the onslaught of news concerning the stock market. In just a few days, there were swings from single digits to over thousands of percentage gains. What is the most amazing part? Ironically, these public companies did absolutely NOTHING different to cause this phenomenon. In fact, some of the biggest debt funds pounced on this situation to dump old, crappy positions they had. This generated some outlandish profits (for those who could get out in time!)
However, for those who don’t own any stocks, I hear you. Who cares, right?! Well, the rest of us care. Unfortunately, it caught our attention instantly. This might be due to many of a certain age recall being caught up in this “spin cycle” very similar to this in our investing past. In fact, if your stomach didn’t roil a bit, and your brow didn’t raise, you must be a first-time trader. You have no scar tissue built up from previous downturns. You haven’t been burned…yet.
Moreover, if you recall in spring, 2001, there was a ton of hoopla regarding “surging dotcom stocks.” It seemed like you didn’t even need an ounce of ability to make profitable picks during that time. Just buy, buy, buy (Thanks, Jim Cramer!) Subsequently, there was a different kind of BOOM! There was a “crash-landing.” In little time, the markets tanked. Everyone ran for the hills, and many brokers ducked their calls. We were shirtless, stuck, and scared!
Nevertheless, I’m not naïve enough to think that the ‘dotcom bubble of 2001’ is anywhere near the same as the last two weeks have been. But I tell you, when you see some of the publicly traded stocks like GameStop (GME) and AMC Theaters (AMC), it forces a reflection moment. These stocks went from (practically) zero to amazing heights. Then, they returned to earth again in mere days. Unfortunately, it rhymes with some of our tortured past like 1987’s Black Monday, spring 2001, and September 2008. I agree, all had different characteristics. We won’t get into them all, but each created a form of sheer terror in the marketplace at the time!
Thankfully, at least for today, it seems like the storm has mostly passed. We’re back to the “old, regular froth” that we’ve become accustomed to from the past several fiscal years. We’ll just keep our chinstraps fastened, our eye on the ball, and continue onward, right? I mean, what else can we do? Happy investing, folks!
We can finally pat ourselves on the back after taking more than a few big ones in the teeth throughout much of 2020. However, I promise not to mention the “C” word (“Covid”) again today. It will be the only time that word will have escaped mention in my A Closer Look… entries since last spring some time. Let’s get to one of the few “survivors in sports” from last year – the entire NFL. Most owners, coaches, players and others emerged with delays and confusion, but no actual cancellations and a full season’s completed regular schedule. Wow! That’s a mouthful!
Issue: Where is the upper brass of the league taking this thing?
As you can imagine, this is hardly the first time I’ve had a conversation about playoff eligibility, league alignment, and whether (or not) teams should even be allowed to appear in the playoffs with a losing record. I would like to get this on the record prior to this weekend’s bonanza of games meant to keep us all on our couches for its entirety. Q: During a lockdown, where the heck else are we going to go? Uh, is that Doordash?!
Anyway, I’d like to begin by arguing I believe the addition of a seventh spot in each conference is an okay thing. However, what I disagree with is when it is combined with the “divisional championship” system from the good old days. That’s when it becomes somewhat of a mess. We are literally going to bid adieu to some teams with 10-6 records – while enabling the NFC East winner to host a game while not even sniffing a winning record. No offense, but what did they do to deserve that?! To use the “S” word, it kind of “SUCKS!” And speaking of the NFC East (no offense Texas) but, the Dallas Cowboys should have been moved outta there a long time ago. We can’t have partial nostalgia and the rest disruption. Right?!
You know, I’m old enough to remember when the Seattle Seahawks played in the AFC West. So, for NFL “purists” who choose to argue that Dallas, Philly, the football Giants, and yes, the newly titled Washington Football Team should remain in close divisional proximity, I say, POPPYCOCK! If the league is going to make radical changes to its playoff schedule – and, I hear game #17 is coming soon to your football platter, we should also become comfortable with other logical changes likewise.
Since I know you’re holding your breath for my suggestions (kidding), I recommend something like: BLOW UP the divisions completely and instead have each conference award 8 (yes, 8! Or, 9!) playoff spots to the best records in each conference. That gives half the teams in the league the opportunity to play in the postseason. And it sets the table for plenty of revenue raising options for the upper brass in NYC and elsewhere. Let’s face it, I would be embarrassed to hang a divisional championship banner in my mancave on the heels of a 5-11 season (or 7-9). Wouldn’t YOU?! C’MON MAN!
Oh, and one other thing: let’s give the top two teams BYES again! I think it’s shameful to overlook a 14-2 or 13-3 team just because the #1 team is 15-1. Again, it’s great to incentivize the lower half of playoff contention, but let’s not cheat the consistent, rightful earners of the best records in the game while we do it, okay?!
It’s not much, but it’s a start. Let’s keep the ball rolling with some debate…
Topic: How and who will pay for COVID-19 vaccinations?
Issue: Pandemic, vaccination costs, and the risks of ongoing collateral damage in the U.S.
Pandemic was recently dubbed the “word of the year” by Merriam-Webster (click link either left or below). Congrats, pandemic, you’ve officially arrived! However, now the discussion has shifted from acknowledgment of the pandemic (for many – but not all – of us) to another word, Vaccine/Vaccination.
Whereas ‘pandemic’ can be delivered to our shores for free, ‘vaccine’ cannot and will not come ashore for the same, wonderful price. What that leaves us with, is, how and who will be actually paying for the delivery and distribution of each vaccine?And, how much per dose?
U.S. Imports: To me, it’s starting to take the form of most every other import into our country. Those who have the means will receive the goods, and those who don’t will just have to sit and wait. And since we’re not talking about the newest G.I. Joe (with the ‘Kung Fu grip’) toy or BMW model, it isn’t quite so simple a formula for success going forward.
a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
(credit: Oxford Languages)
Entrepreneur (my definition) – An entrepreneur represents many key elements wrapped into one. First and foremost, he or she must be a born leader, a person who yearns to be the most responsible party in any business decision to be made. An entrepreneur is creative, highly intelligent, and motivated to succeed at a level greater than the typical wage earner. He or she understands that decision – or indecision – could mean the difference between a great idea becoming a great product, service, or organization – or just simply one of many “brainstormed ideas” that go nowhere.
An entrepreneur understands that he or she needs a roadmap to success. By creating a comprehensive plan of attack, the entrepreneur will now be able to take educated and informed risks because all options have been weighed prior to committing one way or another. Once all the possible angles have been carefully thought out, he or she will have shifted the odds of success as much as possible in his or her favor and will know that the time has come to seize an opportunity.
Issue: What can be expected from the “college fallout” due dramatic loss of revenue from the Covid-19 pandemic. In other words, how do parents of soon to be college students even know which ones will even exist next fall and beyond?
I hear you folks. It’s unbelievable what has already taken place over the past 5-6 months in 2020. Physically, mentally, financially, politically – and otherwise – we all seem to be holding onto our last fiber of sanity (of course, assisted by evening nips of our favorite adult beverage!) But, how are we supposed to have confidence in the whole process? I mean, does anyone actually have a clue as to what the future of (campus) college holds? Q: When is the SAT/ACT? A: They aren’t counting them this year. Q: What?
However, for those of us who have already sent our kids off to college (many peers, relatives, and good friends), are currently trying to figure out where, and if, we should plan to send them for Fall, 2021 (yours truly). Or, how about the ones who are still trying to figure out the navigation process through the remainder of middle or high school (many others), it’s on all of our minds. I mean, how could it not?
Topic: Reliance on remote technology for school, work, and emotional well-being …
Issue: Are we putting so much emphasis on virtual technology that we may find ourselves paralyzed when it’s time to ‘come back into the real world?’ Let’s get something straight from the outset. I have no special insights or secrets for what the heck we are expected to do from 2021 onward. However, like nearly all of you out there, I find myself thinking, discussing, and, occasionally, well, fretting about the repercussions of this new world we’ve had to carve out for ourselves in order to move forward however quickly or slowly we perceive we are. The most recurrent thought is about this Zoom/ GoToMeeting/ TikTok ‘stuff.’ Whether we’re trying to get through a lecture, business meeting, family call, or, creating the next (wink, wink) viral video sensation (we’re all at some point toying with our 15 minutes of fame, right?) – we should also wonder what exactly all of this means. We instead seem to mindlessly download, log in and share every nook and cranny of our lives with – well, who knows who?! In other words, are we potentially exposing ourselves to future legal matters (IP/ property theft, civil liability, etc.) while making use of this technology?