New York NYC Journal

Spent much of the afternoon sitting in a coffee shop and reading a memoir posing as a writer along with “Maggie.”

Part of the job as a writer is a lot of reading. A lot of synapses get fired and this stimulates thinking. I took notes of thoughts that passed through my mind as I read “Late Bloomer” a book about a married suburban mother of two who in middle age surprisingly discovers she is gay.

This author I met at the WoodstockBook Festival and was on “Maggie’s” panel the “New-Old.” I got to know Melissa as a person in person and as a writer now by reading her memoir, and her first 35 pages were helpful to me.

What resonated with me was the time in my life where I carried the burden alone without any scaffolding or support, when I was frozen in confusion and pretty much totally lost. It was a strange kind of loneliness.

I’m up to page 50 and at this point Melissa takes ownership she is in fact gay, her husband knows, and she is not fully out yet and still married and with her husband. She has some support, but it is still early.

She has a voice in person and in the writing that provides sympathy and understanding. What is remarkable is how she does this while protecting and respecting the living as to do no harm. A great skill has been performed here to learn from. Pretty much measured doses that are in just the right amount.

Anyways, my journey begins… I’m not sure where I am going or where I will end up.

Last edited:
I look at the raised beds in the photo that Austin posted, and I think of the raised beds I can build out using the cedar fencing I reclaimed to recycle.

Glad I have a stockpile to exploit to save money.

A thought pass my mind that I have had a messy life, and pretty much I still have a kinda messy life that is not so simple, and in fact is still and remains complicated.

The takeaway from all this is in turn I am a complicated and interesting person that certainly has had a life full of turmoil and drama.

For me peace and quiet seems unattainable. Drama-happens, and I have a remarkable life.

I got more medical test results today. More unusual ranges that point towards fatal diseases. I am still on the watch and wait, I am a medical mystery because I remain healthy and asymptomatic. I live with a Lymphoma that looms that might never happen.

On one hand I am healthy, but on the other I am diseased. Can anyone be slightly diseased?

From all this testing the cell death and the imperative response of Red Blood Cell production, my blood levels point to possible liver and kidney damage, but in the bigger picture it is really not faulty or damaged organs, but remnants of damaged cells.

There are questions about how long my body can keep up to prevent any anemia that will lead to fatigue and a decline, especially as I age. I can never discount the disease making a jump to take me out.

I think and believe my destiny is playing out here. I don’t think I want to just fade away, I want to and need to be remembered, and I want a legacy of sorts that will live beyond my mortality. I’m at a point where I believe in “Divine Intervention.” I had this thought even as a little kid, and I also have had this premonition when I was a child that somehow my end would end in tragedy.

It explains the crazy attitude that was fatalistic that persists today. I can’t share these thoughts with “Maggie” because she would not be able to understand. Remember I have known about my CAD since I was 49, and now I’m 66.

The bouts of Cellulitis over the past three years can be explained by a slightly compromised immune system. My Red Blood Cell losses effect my White Blood Cells. Oxygen to the brain is more important than fighting infection.

Don’t tell Maggie… I know what is happening…

Looks like I’m compelled to start writing again. There is a certain attitude that I have nothing to loose. There is something about living in the “now,” seeing what is important, and not getting caught up in the BS. I don’t have time to waste.

My death hangs in the shadows, I am embracing it, and the Blue Zone is still there as a possibility, but it could easily go the other way suddenly…

Fact is I realize I’m on borrowed time so do what I must do to the fullest, hope for the best, and maintain a positive mental attitude. In fact my living in the now with a possible sudden deadline might actually prolong my life well into the Blue Zone. A positive mental attitude also can effect the outcome of a disease. This has been shown in Cancer studies.

If I pass suddenly, I’m cool with that. I have little remorse, I have had the life I wanted, so a sudden end would be just an Oh-well…

I think artists do things to achieve a form of legacy so they will be immortal and be remembered even after death.

I want to have a life of purpose…

Last edited:
“Maggies” book really is about identity and authenticity.

She starts a blog and gains a following because of her authenticity that speaks to people and has a voice, but then this leads to her getting representation (an agent) commercialization, commodification, becoming a Digital Influencer, an unlikely GoDaddy girl, and basically loosing her identity and authenticity.

Then the memoir takes the turn where she reinvents herself, recovers her identity, and recreates herself as a writer.

After writing the book, then comes the promotion, the advertising, the marketing to restart the cycle all over again.

Last night I watched American Fiction. It resonated.

I’m not sure how my story ends. Kinda like the premise of the film.

Gold closed at $2212.33.

No higher-high yet, but this is still an indication that inflation is lingering.

“Open-Interest” in the futures contracts is getting high. This kinda promotes a higher-high in gold futures.

Meanwhile oil hovers in the low eighty dollar range. I mention this because oil prices at $100.00 or near that could trigger a recession.

Last edited:
I look at the raised beds in the photo that Austin posted, and I think of the raised beds I can build out using the cedar fencing I reclaimed to recycle.

Glad I have a stockpile to exploit to save money.
That is what we did as well. Cedar fence, not the treated lumber for a food garden. Here is ours from last summer. We use some stone pavers as well. But the raised bed is old fence lumber. In addition to food we have all native flowers and herbs. Hummer's and bees and butterflies !P1020347.jpg
My cedar reclaimed wood are short sections. I’ll buy some non-treated pine and screw things together where my raised beds will be like mucho short fencing. I used a saws-all to cut out any nailed sections.

Very decorative, I figure.

I can also make my beds taller.

In the spring Home Cheapo and Lowes have sales on garden soil and compost. Then they have sales on mulch. I’ll be loading up.

Let’s see how much money I can print this season. Also I can deliver any surpluse produce to our local homeless shelter. C-HOP does not feed our homeless processed or expired foods. They believe food is medicine. Our homeless shelter is farm to table.

“Maggie” also produces a garden of herbs. She does well with the herbs, but overall does not have such a good green thumb.

I on the other hand am a pretty good farmer. We too also have mucho pollinators. On the back slope where invasive Knotweed once formed a thicket now native fauna took it’s place. We also relocated a lot of bearded Iris and Daffodils in great numbers.

The marsh grass also migrated about 10-12 feet inland and is now embedded at the start of the slope.

I put on some winter weight. I have never been this big (163 pounds). I am still very much still a skinny bitch, but my fighting weight is more like 148-153 pounds where I am pretty much all muscle. Remember I’m 5’10” but I have a small frame so any excess weight does not look good on me.

I think I look best with the lean look of a 16-17 year old boy that is muscular, but really low body fat. Not so sure I can get below 150 again because of the strength training. I think I added perhaps 5 pounds of muscle. 153-155 might be the best I can do.

Maggie although says I have a Keith Richards look about me when I’m 148, and she also says I then look like a heroin addict from the 70’s.

I think I look more like a rock climber or a Marathon runner. Lean and muscular. Now I might look more like a UFC fighter or a boxer.

I think I overdid the carbs this winter, and my neighbor has been gifting me cheesecakes.

It has been hard to keep an exercise routine with Maggie’s book, physical therapy, and all the caretaking we do of the grandkids. Maggie lately with the book has been high maintenance.

The weather will break soon, and I’d be doing mucho bike riding to pump blood, burn calories, and rebuild a strong base. Long slow distance, and slow rides.

I’ll be eating mucho salads to shed the weight gain. With my health issues I don’t need more problems.

Cucumbers for making thick sandwiches, Tomatoes, Peppers, and Maggie does well with growing lettuce.

I know what I need. BTW that Farrow you recommended I love a lot.

I also want to build a lot of bird houses out of the cedar scrap. I have to keep them 25 feet apart in my yard because birds are territorial.

Last edited:
Gold hit $2232.00 in the Pre-Market Futures exceeding the previous $2225.00 inter-day high to make a new higher high.

Seeing the open and close today will be interesting.

Hard assets also will inflate in value as inflation is expected to continue. Likely for an extended period if you believe in regression-to-the-mean.

Today “Maggie” has physical therapy, and later is a book event in Rhinebeck. About 100 people registered to attend at this local bookstore.

Rhinebeck is a town where quite a few writers live.

Sometime in the future is a similar bookstore event in Hudson.

Our social network in the Hudson Valley continues to grow. Because of this I don’t really miss NYC, in fact when I do go to NYC it is an assault on my senses. I also figure that my quality of life is much-much better and I’m only about 40 miles directly north of NYC in a pretty historic rivertown just across the Hudson from mountains and wilderness.

WOW. This Thanksgiving will mark the 4th year of home ownership, and the third year of retirement. My last day of work was right before Christmas, and I was a few weeks from being 63, but technically still just 62.

I used the savings in my 403B as a bridge to fill the gaps. When I turned 65 it became mandated that I had to start collecting my hospital pension. My second pension from 17 years at Grumman and later Northrop Grumman I don’t have to collect till I’m 72. This pension has a cost of living adjustment, so inflation will increase my benefits. I also defer collecting Social Security for a higher level of benefits.

Pretty much my bet is living beyond the age of 82 the age that Social Security used to calculate and create an actuary table based on statistics. Know that mortality rates today are higher in the U.S. and the life expectancy in the U.S. now is only 76.

I used to figure out the tax consequences and made a spread sheet using a free tax calculator. I was totally surprised that I had enough assets to retire comfortably early. In my case it paid for me to live below my means and save money.

As I say, “The money has to come from somewhere.”

So now the question is how many decades more will I live, and the question of my health. I also am impacted by Maggie’s lifespan, and her health. I worry that unless she learns to fully relax and take better care of herself that I might become her caretaker. There is a probability of this already because of all the maintenance I presently do.

I’m settling in though, retirement for me I compare to be like being a teenager all over again where I wonder instead of worry about the many decades ahead. Not so much of a challenge as when I was younger because of home ownership and financial security. In retirement I will have more income than I need and will still be able to live below my means and save money.

A retirement income table places me alone with my income in the very top percentage in the 2 1/2% range. With Maggie’s income combined we are in the absolute top.

A “Retirement Crisis” looms. I can see mortality rates increasing and the mean lifespan decreasing further as many retirees will face and confront poverty. Sadly for many it will be work till death. I already see people older than me working service jobs. Anyways they might only be my age, but they look mighty tired and fatigued.

Sadly this table is skewed because so many Americans don’t have the income or assets. Pretty much because they not only lived paycheck to paycheck, but they also lived beyond their means and did not save enough money for retirement.

The debt loads of individuals, households and government is alarming. Today it is clear to me that living on debt is happening. The FED is hamstrung and could only raise rates only so far to slow down the consumerism, meanwhile inflation lingers to help erode the debt value. Expect purchasing power to decline over a long extended period of time as a policy to make this debt smaller.

Already credit card defaults are up, and the same situation exists with car loans, car repossession on cars and leases are also up. The numbers don’t lie.

Again, “The money has to come from somewhere.”

I’m not so sure the FED can lower rates. Record levels of debt exist on Credit Cards, Auto Loans, and of course the Government increases deficits. Pretty much credit is being abuse, and payback will be mucho nasty.

The best place to be is without debt, or to have levels of debt that exploit record low rates below the rate of inflation.

I wait for the shoe to drop. I’ll be fine, but all around me I expect will be people in pain enslaved by debt and their foolishness of living beyond their means.

Kinda like the kid’s game of musical chairs: the music keeps on playing; I’m not walking I’m already sitting on a chair with Maggie on my lap; but when the music stops all the chairs are already taken by people with no debt or little debt and people that lived below their means. With all the chairs already taken people with debt burdens will be without chairs in this game.

When will the music stop? This is a serious game, a game that I sat out.

Last edited:
Gold opened at $2215.70 an ounce. Presently it is $2239.30.

The close today will be interesting. Higher-highs are being made.

When will $2300.00 be breached? At some point a more vertical e movement will happen to note a “breakout.”

Gold north of $3K is one target.

Remember that Hard Assets are stores of wealth. Some old cameras qualify. How high will an old M3 go? How about an old Blad? Surprisingly Rolliflexes don’t seem to be going up.

WOW. Gold hit an intraday-day high of $2246.80 so far, and is presently hovering at $2240.90.

It won’t take long for $2.3K to get breached and from there a breakout where it goes vertical.

$3K is one threshold, but in what timeframe?

Oil prices are another thing to watch for an indicator of the economy and as a recession indicator. Remember 4 out of 5 recessions are due to high energy prices. $100.00 oil means a recession.

This elevation in gold prices means/translates into perceived continuing inflation.

The FED can’t really raise rates because it will stall the economy, and they really can’t lower rates without reigniting inflation.

My guess is that moderating inflation is the best the FED can do. A recession would be compounded by the high debt loads I mentioned.

BTW they say the car loans are at the level of the housing bubble. Same abuse of credit using “Liar Loans” where anyone with a name could buy a new car.

That is what we did as well. Cedar fence, not the treated lumber for a food garden. Here is ours from last summer. We use some stone pavers as well. But the raised bed is old fence lumber. In addition to food we have all native flowers and herbs. Hummer's and bees and butterflies !View attachment 4835226

Hello, Austintatious, this could be a garden in suburban Australia! And a nice one, looking at your photo.

From what he has already written, Cal has the right ideas in this.

One suggestion. With climate change and global warming on the horizon and staring us in the face, consider putting in a few fast-growing trees in strategic places on your lot. As we are now doing Some species not too water-hungry and given to producing great amounts of leaves.

Many of our neighbors are now buying two- and even three-meter tall trees from local nurseries, to jump-start the process of shading and cooling their properties. Not exactly cheap (depending on what trees you opt for), but wise, I reckon.

A little planning and foresight in this area will repay you massive dividends.

PS Apologies to you, Cal, this may look as if I'm trying to hijack your thread. No such intent. Just an idea I wanted to throw in as a bit of a positive boost to all our futures. Otherwise, I'm still reading all your posts and enjoying them tremendously. Well done!
Last edited:

I support engagement and I want this space to be a platform for all. Pretty much just a community.

BTW did you notice how I go off topic and rant. LOL

One thing though is to plant trees far enough from dwellings and garages to prevent property damage. I got this advice from MFM. Good advice.


I support engagement and I want this space to be a platform for all. Pretty much just a community.

BTW did you notice how I go off topic and rant. LOL

One thing though is to plant trees far enough from dwellings and garages to prevent property damage. I got this advice from MFM. Good advice.

Paragraph 1. Agree. You are truly democratic (note I didn't say Democrat, no politics here, ha!).

Paragraph 2. Yes. It's one of the more enjoyable aspects of your posts. Lateral thinking is a precious commodity nowadays and in entirely too short supply.

Paragraph 3. Agree. A little research can unearth (pun intended, sorry!) species of trees with less "spreadable" root systems. Many older houses in Australia have that problem, the trees planted in their gardens decades ago have sent out so many roots, they block all the drains. Our house had that problem with interior drains blocked by roots. An entire day's work for three 'tradies' and AUD $2000 later and problem solved...

BTW You come across as almost disturbingly (he says, enviously) healthy. But it's good to keep careful tabs on your general health and well-being, especially after retirement, 'tho the picture you paint of yourself is of one who is so committed to and so involved in so many things, at times you must be wondering how you found time to go to work...
Gold closed at $2254.80 an ounce today, and made a new intra-day high of $2256.90. The open was $2215.70.

This is steepening. A breakout might happen soon. Monday’s numbers will be interesting.


I just got back from the book event. The car ride up was due north on Route 9.

“Maggie” was in conversation with Sari Botton a writer we know from the Woodstock Book Festival. I ended up buying her updated anthology “Goodbye To All That.” This book is about writers on loving and leaving New York.

Pretty much the love/hate stories of 30 writers. This book has been updated in a new printing that now includes 7 more writers and was printed first in 2013. I figure this book might be a must read to go through a recent reprint and update.

The thing with Sari is she has a successful magazine that she publishes on SubStack and is a great editor. She and her husband live in Kingston. I could learn a lot from her.

Remember I kinda want to create a magazine called “Lazy-Slacker.”

New friends… Seems like a lot of artists migrated into the Hudson Valley and the Catskills.


I’m thinking about half my weight gain of ten pounds is muscle. 5 pounds of muscle on my chest, back and arms is a lot.


About a month ago Barbara Corcoran mention in an article that it might be a good time to buy a home now even though interest rates are high because she expects when interest rates drop that because of the housing shortages that prices will rise. This kinda makes sense to me. I saw a follow up article that said the same thing, but now include some numbers.

Pretty much a 6% interest rate would draw out the buyers, but because of the housing shortages home prices will go up 8%-10%. She also gave a timeline that she expects 6% interest rates maybe at the end of this year.

Housing prices already are insane, but I don’t think Barbara is wrong. She is a smart woman. Let’s see how this pans out.


My takeaway is the housing shortage is that bad.


I have some OCD tendencies. I like to think we Cantonese are like Pit Bulls: breed for fighting. You never know when you might have to fight for your life in today’s world.

Another thing is I am a vain guy. As a kid I got away with a lot of stuff because I was considered “cute.”

If you followed my posts back through the years when I had a job, pretty much you would learn I kinda got paid a lot to do nothing most of the time. In 2004-2007 pretty much I swung traded energy and gold tickers in a margin fund at work.

Much of my time at “work” was research on the Internet, data mining, market research, and shopping for bargains on EBAY.

When I do do things I tend to go all in. I am pretty obsessive yet impulsive also.

Then again I don’t look my age. Recently some woman at a Doctor’s office asked me my age (66) but she said I could pass for 45. Then there was that woman I mentioned flirting behind “Maggie’s” back that was young enough to be my daughter.

This CAD I have could one day be serious, but so far no impact. My worries are as I age my energy levels might fade. My dad lived to 94, but for decades in pain and handicapped. I don’t want to go down that way. Biking saved my life, and now it will help prolong it by just pumping blood.

I now believe I’m in a good place to do a rewrite of the first draft that exhausted me back in 2007-2008. Somehow I maintained my writing chops here on RFF.

A fun and funny life.

Snarky Joe knows me well, he once said a guy like me can do anything good. My problem is I wander.

For me the days blur by because/perhaps life is a bit too full. Yesterday I though was a Friday when it was a Thursday.

For some reason gold futures are frozen at yesterday’s numbers, yet the three major indexe’s have their futures contracts in the red, meaning going down. I suspect something is brewing because this is unusual.


So to day’s numbers for gold could be rather exciting. There seems to be a lot of “open interest” in these future contracts.

I’m not sure what I will do today. It is a kinda day off. I don’t mind this, and supposedly things will slow down.

I now discover today is Good Friday and the markets are closed.

I have a lot of reading to do.

Last edited:
The temperature and wind are a bit too much for me to bike. I am seeing traces of blueing lately when I get exposed to cold. This is because my blood actually changes viscosity and thicken to restrict blood flow.

A plan “B” is to go for a run to pump blood. Long slow distance would be good. I tend to exploit my strength on the rowing machine, and in a way this is like cheating. I know that long slow distance for a prolonged time is what my body needs the most.

Pretty much the wind chill is a threshold I need to avoid. The sun will help, and I’m waiting for the warmth of the day to play out.

“Maggie” is having coffee somewhere with our neighbor, and I am prepping myself by having 4 eggs with scallion with only one yoke, a piece of toasted pita with humus, and a bowl of granola with banana using plain yogurt instead of milk.

Every day I take a multi-vitamin, vitamin B complex, calcium, D3, and an iron supplement. Pretty much recommended by my medical team of doctors.

Because I was a serious fitness athlete I know my body, and pretty much just pumping blood and burning calories will be just what I need. I need to lighten up and get rid of some fat. I also love this time alone to just think and wander. It settles me.

I don’t know how far I will go nor for how long. I just want to loose myself and feel the after burn that is so peaceful. A coffee and reading will fill out my day.

A slow jog for 40 minutes followed by an hour walk. I feel kinda zoned out at the moment. Now I’m having that coffee.

The state I am in now is of total relaxation like a day at the beach.

The spring Striped Bass run should be happening soon. Hmmm…

The last emergency trip to the ER’s, two hospitals because I required a Ear, Nose, Throat specialist, created a $100K insurance bill.

It seems my CAD has introduced a sensitivity that makes me more prone to infections turning into Cellulitis. This is serious because it could lead if untreated or not caught in time to loss or life or limb. My nose infection if untreated could of spread to my brain…

So it seems like I need to curb mountain biking because I need to avoid cuts and abrasions. Oh-well.

I’m in the process of revamping the Ti IBIS into a fitness bike as a 1x11 XTR with a front disc brake and a 1.5 inch wide slick in the back, and a 1.6 inch wide semi-slick up front. Both these tires have armored belts to be somewhat flat resistant.

Snarky Joe and AJ have told me stories of brake loss on bikes with rim brakes. Where I live it is easy to find hills where you can coast and attain speeds close to 50 MPH. I call this terminal velocity because this is about the maximum speed due to drag and aerodynamics.

Life has its surprises, and I don’t expect this infection vulnerability to go away. It might even progress and get worse as I age. Maybe if I’m lucky enhanced fitness might mitigate the condition, but now I realize that I live with a handicap or limitation.

My seeing a Hematologist confirmed my suspicion that this vulnerability was CAD related.

Anyways, the endorphins wore off from my run, and I don’t feel so drugged. They say an endorphin high is similar to being on heroin. I might throw in some strength training later. I’ll see how I feel. I feel a tightness in my torso from using different muscle groups.

Now I’m off to see AJ. He ordered a Klamper manual disc brake for me from Paul’s Components. Generally he passes these items at his cost. I need some type of adapter to mount and fit the brake caliper.

No matter what I’m moving forward.

My friend AJ ordered me the Paul’s Components Klamper Long-Pull disc brake caliper, and he past on his cost onto me. Pretty much I got the bike shop discount. AJ has done this for me before.

I had intended on just picking up the caliper, but I ended up staying for hours just hanging out.

I met a man named Dave who is my age (66) who just did a 100 mile gravel race through mountains. I inquired about his average mile which was 17.8 MPH. Sustained almost 18 MPH on level asphalt sustained for a hundred miles already is crazy, but on gravel and in the mountains…

AJ even said he would have been dropped.

After Dave left AJ gave me the smut that Dave started initially as a runner, and at the age of 40 he could run under a 4 minute mile. Pretty much half man/half race horse.

I dug in and asked for some training advice. Dave said you need to put in at least an hour a day, don’t push gears, but do some form of interval or sprint at the end of the workout. He also mentioned that since I lost my base that running would be the best place to start.

Pretty much Dave advised what I already knew. Don’t push gears and rely on strength, do intervals of at least a sprint in every workout, and do something every day.

BTW Dave still works as a contractor.

I told AJ about having to stay out of the woods to prevent cuts and abrasions. He mention that I have many cool bikes, and that he would not take offense if I sold the Yo Eddy he almost gave away to me, but I want to keep the bike. “Maggie” paid for it and gave it to me as a gift in exchange for building her the Yo Betty.

AJ mentioned I could still mountain bike on the Boundary Trail, and on the other double track trails, but I’m cool with doing road and Empire State Trailway. Better safe than sorry. It is no fun going to an ER and getting admitted for intense IV’s of antibiotics.

After the endorphins wore off and I was no longer in that heroin addict state of mind I pretty much had a clear focused head and not the usual fatigue and sleepiness. Independently I found and followed Dave’s advice, but also know that Dave has had back problems, a worn knee, and even broke a femur.

I inquired about the broken femur, thinking that this is one of the strongest bones in the body. I asked if it was due to a car accident, and Dave told me it was from a bike crash. Ouch.

Anyways, an interesting man.