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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Putin, to get some good PR, goes to a school in Moscow to have a chat with the kids. He talks to them about how Russia is a powerful nation and how he wants the best for the people. At the end of the talk there is a time for questions. Little Sasha puts her hand up and says: “I have two questions. 1—Why did the Russians take Crimea, and 2–Why are we sending troops to Ukraine?” Putin says, "Good questions."

But just as he is about to answer, the bell goes off and the kids go to lunch. When they come back, they sit down and there is time for some more questions. Another girl, Misha, puts up her hand and says

“I have four questions. 1–Why did the Russians invade Crimea, 2–Why are we sending troops to Ukraine, 3–Why did the lunch bell ring 20 minutes early, and 4–Where the f—k is Sasha?” ——————————— “There are no risk-free choices any more”. My sentiments exactly, but spoken by Adam Kinzinger. ————————- We received literally hundreds of happy anniversary greetings. Thank you. Many people ask the secret to staying happily married. There is no one secret. What happens in a marriage can never be understood except by the people inside it. I am not sure where I got that thought, but if there were attribution here, it would be, perhaps surprisingly, to Carly Simon .

Here is one way to look at things. In some sports, judging is done between 1 and 10. The low and the top scores are thrown out, so most things in life fall between 2 and 9. 2 is “I really do not give a s-t”, and 9 is “I really must have it”. So, if your spouse is an 8 and you are a 4, do the 8 and do it with a smile to get credit, because you are going to do it anyway.

Occasionally, not that often, both spouses are at the same number. Find a way to work it out Maybe one spouse goes one way and one the other. Maybe you forget it and move on. Really, it always works out if both parties want it to. Like any deal, it takes two people to make it and one person not to.

What takes time is knowing where your spouse is on the scale, and making an honest assessment of where you are. Sometimes it takes, you do this for me, and here is what I am willing to do for you.

For a milestone birthday, I wanted to take a six-month trip around the world. Barbara did not want to go and leave the children, grandchildren, and all she does here. However, she knew I really wanted to go, and it did not not hurt to agree to bring our entire family for an 118 day segment of the cruise. Reputedly, I also said “I may be old and somewhat overweight, but I bet I can find a woman somewhere willing to sail around the world in the owner’s suite with a butler”. She agreed, agreed with a smile, and had the time of her life. Furthermore, we are still constantly in touch with and adore Sathtish, who was our butler.

See how easy it is? ——————————- If I were in a position to do so, I would put Tucker Carlson on trial for treason. Most of you are unfamiliar with Tokyo Rose, but this guy is worse. ———————- The Russians are not only not relenting, they are becoming more brutal in their attacks. Clearly, they are trying to inflict as much human pain as possible.

We, on the other hand, are still being too nice. I understand that our tact is to inflict, through sanctions, economic pain. Still, whileRussia has really turned up the throttle, we have not. What are we waiting for? ——————————- Lots going on in the baseball world. There seem to be major trades everyday. Still, it is mystifying to me how badly the Freddie Freeman situation has been handled. I was putting almost all the blame on the Braves, but no more. ——————————- I would love to see Colin Kaepernick back in the NFL. Believe it or not, it has been five years. He is now 34 years old, and says he has done his best to stay in football shape. However well he may have done staying in physical shape, what about his mental shape? Being a pro quarterback is much more than being able to throw the football and to run those are important skills, but reading defenses, knowing the playbook, and leading teams are skills that, almost by definition, atrophy. Anyway, I wish him well. —————————— I thought that once the Hackathon was over, my Wife could relax a little. Not a chance. By the way, although I did mention a U.S Senator attended, I did not mention who it was. Cory Booker attended, and I thought his remarks were fabulous. In my view, Booker is Presidential material. —————————- I am getting hammered so badly in the stock market, I told my investment advisor to stop giving me end-of-day numbers until he had something good to say. “Today was not as bad as yesterday” is not good enough. —————————- We leave Friday night for Italy. Flying Swiss Air through Zurich. Cannot fly directly from States to Florence. Best routes through Zurich, Frankfurt and Munich. Maybe a suitcase will be seen sometime on Thursday. Barbara does 99.9% of the packing, and somehow she gets it done. One would think that with a home in Florence, we could travel lightly but there is not a chance. Six big bags and two little ones, and sometimes more are needed.

I still love my friend Steve Zack’s advice when traveling. Take out all the clothes you think you need and all the money you think you need. Then, put back half the clothes and takeout double the money. Right now, euro is $1.10 which is relatively good for us. One day last week it was a little lower, below $1.09.

Many years ago, we were in London for an ABA Convention and there was parity between the dollar and the pound. Goods were literally flying out of the stores. It was impossible to see something you liked at 11 am and go back to buy it after lunch. No chance it would still be there.

I think parity between the dollar and the euro is the way to go . Obviously not enough people agree with me. Since the launch of the euro in 1999, the euro has been as high as $1.60, and for a little less than two years, the euro was under a dollar.

All of our major purchases are, hopefully, made, so the value of the currency is not of any real concern. No one in our family wants our apartment sold, but if that changed, we would want it sold when the euro were high. —————————— Root for Ukraine, democracy, and have a nice day.

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