Friday, August 4, 2023

Stay Hydrated

The choices are:

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Take an ambulance to the emergency room and learn first hand how painful a kidney stone can be.

I chose poorly. May you learn from my mistake.

The good news is that the 4.5mm kidney stone that was causing me so much pain passed within 10 hours of the first symptoms, the pain medication given in the ER was quite effective, and the stone was smooth so once it exited my kidney, the pain was gone. No jagged spikes, thankfully. Not everyone is so fortunate.

The bad news is that the other kidney has 3 similar ticking time bombs and one of them is 6mm. Yikes!

Why an ambulance you might ask? Seemed warranted given the extreme pain and the fact that I was throwing up like a machine gun. 2 bursts of 4! And with such force that my ribs hurt when laughing or coughing for 4 full days thereafter.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Wage Inflation Pressure

The following chart shows the natural log of U.S. wage and salary disbursements. When using natural logs, constant exponential growth is seen as a straight line.

The Fed does not need to deflate wages back into the long-term channel in green, but rather to return to the slope of that channel. What's done is done. Deflation to undo the high inflation is definitely not the goal.

Some progress is being made. We've noved from the steep slope of the red line to the more moderate slope of the yellow line.

I'm convinced that they can achieve their goal, one way or another. But at what cost? I can be a bit cynical, but there's a high risk here that we're still in the early stages of a no-win situation.

How high will the unemployment rate need to rise to get us back to the healthier wage inflation trend? I have no idea, but I can say with 100% certainty that 100% unemployment would do it. Can't have any wage and salary disbursements if nobody is working.

The bulk of my net worth sits in inflation-protected I-Bonds and TIPS. As of about a year ago, my IRA sits entirely in bonds without inflation protection (TLT). And here's where I sit until I see a reason to take on more risk. Near record unemployment expected to rise, falling house prices, and high interest rates are not things that make me excited about taking on riskier investments.

Not investment advice.

Friday, February 10, 2023

The Sarcasm Report v.291

February 8, 2023
lifehacker: The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Eat Healthy

Eating enough to stay healthy is important, and eating enough protein is a big part of that.

And if you continue to scroll down after reading that article...

February 10, 2023
lifehacker: Get Free Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers Until Sunday

You can only get one per visit, but you can visit as many times as your stomach desires.

Bacon, cheese, and beef sure are great protein sources! Visit as many times as your stomach desires! You know, for your health! Woohoo! ;)