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October’s topic:  

The “Cottage Industry” has caught up with me (finally)

20-plus years working in a remote setting … and wouldn’t change a thing! 


Well, it took a while, but what can I say:  I TOLD you so!  Well, not entirely.  I spent much of my time since 1999 believing I had to keep some sort of secret or something. I asked myself: 

  • Will they ever find out that I tend to wear shorts and sandals during my business calls and videos? 
  • Do you they know that have no interest in driving downtown for any reason at all?  Including closing giant deals? 
  • Will they be mortified if one of my little ones barges into my home office and vomits mac and cheese all over my desk in real time?  Did I care even if something like that happened? 

The answer to the above and many other questions, is, well, NO.  I didn’t care.  I don’t care today either.  And I probably won’t care at any time in the future.  I mean, let’s face it:  Nobody I know out-works me.  In fact, I haven’t been on a real vacation since the end of 2017.  Oh yeah, we probably shouldn’t even count that one because I was finalizing my book, Sorry, 50 is NOT the New 30, during that trip. 

I look around and see Congress on break most of the calendar year.  I see neighbors who can barely roll out of bed by noon and spend their weeknights getting high and drinking all night.  I come across those on social media pretending they’re working, but still, can’t figure out what they’re even working on.  Working on their tans

I suppose, though, it took the Covid pandemic to convince more than a few professionals to “hang up their car keys” and settle into whatever makeshift workspace they could create within their 4 walls.  And looking around, it’s hard to see many other benefits of this whole health scare period in the United States and beyond.   

However, one thing I do know is the cottage industry is here to stay and that’s a good thing because it will keep me plugging along, my sanity in check, and, of course, my dry-cleaning bill will remain where it belongs – in the home office shredder! Ciao! 

So, what’s your story? 

We’ll catch up with you again in about 30 days … I’m out! 

-A.N. 

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It’s practically another fall season, and I don’t know about YOU, but to US, it still feels like we’re inches from the summer sun! Some other areas of concern:  

Whereas most of the above is nature’s doing, we must also be much more vigilant in how we are contributing to the increasing strength and duration of each.  We need to do a much better job of collectively working towards solutions to these problems – as opposed to exacerbating them.    

  • Should our infrastructure plans “adjust” according to the frequency and severity of these events? 
  • What do YOU intend to do about these problems?   
  • What am I going to do? 

These are the questions that need to be asked and addressed.  Otherwise, we are kidding ourselves while we idly stand by as observers of our own demise.   

Any ideas?  

-A.N. 

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A Closer Look

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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) 

  • K.I.S.S. (no, not the Gene Simmons variety) 
  • K-E-E-P 
  • I-T 
  • S-I-M-P-L-E 
  • S-I-M-P-L-E-T-O-N 

Anything you have to say? 

-A.N. 

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Title: W-T-F happened? 

Topic: Wasn’t Covid in our rear window … #GuessNOT  

Why is everyone testing positive NOW!?  I thought we were heading outta this “thing?” I thought the stands were going to be filled with something OTHER than “flat-Stanleys?”  I thought we were heading to the ball parks and arenas and concert venues again.  I thought we were heading back to some Broadway shows?  I thought I was sending my kids off to college to meet real people and professors.  You want me to wait ANOTHER YEAR?!! 

I guess, much like YOU, I THOUGHT a lot of things were happening, or about to happen at least.  But, like, you, I was wrong.  Again.  Or, was I right, and some of the stupidity around me was wrong? Hmm… Either way, we’re all sharing the same space, the same air, water, and, unfortunately, the same collective results. 

You mean the Bros. Bezos didn’t invite you and your bro to get outta Dodge and into space too?  Me neither.  Maybe next time, Geofredo.  In the meantime, I just wanna watch my damn football team this month.  I wanna see my favorite players and coach enter Canton in a few days.  We won’t spend too much time on them, but they are mine, and I’ve waited long enough to see them (since 2020).  And, I’ve remained masked and distant and silent, and….if I don’t get my way, I’m gonna have to be duct-taped to my office chair (not unlike some of these rabid air travelers).  People, we need to relax and agree that if we don’t follow the same protocols, we will remain in this lunatic space until we run out of—water…What? Now, we’re running out of THAT too?  You’re #KillinMe ! 

#CmonMan !

Oh well, I’m done venting…see you in the fall…hopefully…I’ll be the #DryThirstyOne  

A.N. 

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 Happy….Well… EVERYTHING!   

There’s so much going on now, it’s no wonder we’re all running around like chickens with our heads cut off 🐔🐔🐔 

  • The End of Covid (but, are we sure??)😷😷 
  • 4th of July✨✨ Yeay! 
  • Mass crowds everywhere 👫👬👭👫👬👭 
  • 167 degree temperatures daily 🔥🔥🔥 
  • Summer! 🌞🌞 Why doesn’t “summer” make me smile anymore? But, “it’s a DRY HEAT,” right? Still, no smile here…🤒🤒 

Everything’s just … GREAT! I think… 

Well, I guess I’ll just leave it there and head off to my long, lost vacation destination.  What? My flight was … canceled?  You gotta be kidding me.  C’mon man!! And – it’s too damn hot to walk. 

Oh well, it could be worse.  I’ll just turn up the A/C and go read a book…👀👀 

How’s your summer going? 

See you next month guys!😉 

All the best,

– A.N.

A Closer Look … with Anthony Newcombe

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NFL Draft 2021👀👀👀

Here we go again … (you junkies!)

http://nfl.com

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!

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Some Causes of the Stock Market Volatility Craze 

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!  

Any ideas?    

-A.N.     

Feeling a little nauseated?

Supporting links  

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Business Insider 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021 (#HNY)! 

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!

TopicNFL Playoffs  

Category: Sports 

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… 

Tell me what YOU think? 

A.N.  

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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.  

  1. Terminology 

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?

  1. 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. 

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