Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Modern banking = credit swapping OR fiat money = debt

I was taught a misconception in school, and the truth was more than hinted at by my college Macroeconomics teacher. I wish I had been exposed to this explanation of modern banking earlier in my career.
"The fundamental proposition which I first wish to establish in regard to all commercial banking, is that the business of the modern bank is almost solely the exchange of credit, to use a clear but homely phrase, the swapping of credits.The business of a bank is not in the main the reception of money and its safekeeping, nor is it the loaning of money. The money transactions of a bank are, under ordinary conditions, comparatively insignificant: almost its entire business consists of receiving from its customers their evidences of indebtedness, which have a narrow currency, and giving to those customers in ex-change the bank's evidences of indebtedness, which have a wide currency. These evidences of a bank's indebtedness are then transferred from one individual to another and from one bank to another, and in that way the credits created serve the purpose of the medium of exchange by which perhaps ninety-five percent of the exchange transactions of commerce take place.
It is a misconception to suppose that a bank first accumulates deposits and then loans them out to borrowers.The operation is the reverse. The bank first makes a loan to the borrower and in so doing creates a deposit. The borrower exchanges his credit, his evidence of indebtedness, for the bank's credit, a deposit balance. The creation of these credits has relation to production; their liquidation is related to consumption. If production increases, the demand for this exchange of individual credit for bank credit increases; and the indebtedness incurred is liquidated as the articles upon which the financial credit was based enter into consumption."
- FRANK A. VANDERLIP, President of the National City
Bank of New York aka CITYBANK (1864 – 1937)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


This was the "strawberry moon" from June 9th, 2017 as seen from Texas Motor Speedway. Digital zoom made the picture grainy, but you can get an idea about how red it appeared.  This is as small as the moon will appear all year.

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2017/06/12/strawberry-moon-delights-stargazers.html


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wikipedia on a thumb drive.

I saw an article today about an organization in Seoul (and Palo Alto) called Flash Drives for Freedom.  The gist is that they smuggle donated flash drives into North Korea loaded with information that is censored by Dear Leader.  One of the content items they mentioned was a Korean version of Wikipedia.  I thought, that fits on a flash drive?  Turns out, the English version, just the articles without the pictures, clocks in at 15 gigabytes compressed.  Text compresses well, so that's feasible. I assumed that Wikipedia had grown much larger than that, or I just never really thought about it.

Anyway, you can get your own copy of Wikipedia here:  https://archive.org/details/Xowa_enwiki_latest

I haven't decided if it's useful to actually have a copy on my hard drive, but I did find the possibility interesting.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Unlimited breadsticks since 1982

I gotta give it to Olive Garden.  I've been back lately a few times, and I like it.  I praise them for turning things around and simultaneously defending their bottomless breadsticks policy to shareholders.

That said, I'm off for some all you can eat soup, salad, and Italian generosity.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Transition time: The next 10 weeks.

My Aunt Gail mentioned recently that I have always been good at reinventing myself. Well, I am good at adding to my skill set. I completed a year of night classes on massage therapy and got licensed by the State of Texas to be a professional massage therapist. The reason I did it is because I have friends who need massage and can't or won't pay for it.  I have a few paying clients, but haven't formalized it into a real business. . . yet. My long term goal is to open a practice with a scientific bent to quantify the benefits of certain types of massage therapy for conditions like PTSD.

Because working full time in a stressful day job during school was causing me to be exhausted and struggle both at work AND school, I took a contract with lower pay and flexible hours to complete school, and now that contract has ended and I'm starting to get back to consulting with clients of Veritable Networks Inc., a firm I own 50%. I can commit more time and make more money.  Also, during the past year I have been also working as a mentor / caregiver for a disabled veteran who struggles with the effects of combat in Iraq and helping him navigate life as a civilian. Even after I met all of the requirements, including Easter Seals training, the VA rejected my request for pay for doing that work, but I continued it out of a sense of actually caring. I'm going to file another appeal, because the burden of that has been a test of patience, fortitude, will power, and compassion beyond my previous capabilities, and apparently beyond my financial capabilities. If it weren't for the self-care regime that the Easter Seals taught me at the beginning, and the things I learned in massage school, or the gratitude from his immediate and extended family, or the mental clarity I get from my Buddhist-style meditation practice. (Om mane padme um, y'all!)  I would have given up a long time ago. He's turned the corner and I'm starting to ask him to take care of himself.  He's in the gym more and taking more responsibility and handling his own stresses in healthy ways. He's ready for school and a job now, and ready to get on with his life.

So, now is a time for transformation: Really reinventing myself to improve my income, lifestyle, and personal relationships! I'm going to blog about it for 10 weeks, and see if, by the end of 70 days, I'm not way better off by focusing on doing things differently. And, I'm asking for advice, because I'm sure I have a lot of blind spots, so I'm going to need the help of anyone who will help. I wish health, wealth, and happiness on everyone.

Now, I need an accountant.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The glove phone.

Hacking a Burg smartphone watch into a snazzy, futuristic glove is one of the coolest things I've seen on the web this week.  While I'm not ready to don one of these just yet, since I might prefer the watch form factor to fit the "business casual" mold.  Plus, I'm pretty sure I'd miss the nice touch screen of my existing Moto X phone.

http://3dprint.com/39192/glove-one-smartphone/

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Massage Therapy

I have started my clinical internship on the weekends to become a Licensed Massage Therapist. That means that people come to the school and get an hour massage for $25 and then fill out a form to rate my performance.  I have to do about 5 massages each shift until I have done 100 massages.  I'll be done by March.  Here's a 2-fer coupon.  It's a super amazing bargain, and if you live in the DFW area, you should try it out.  The students who are nearing graduation are masters.

Massage Therapy school, at least the one I'm attending, is nowhere near as easy as I had thought. Human Anatomy and Kinesiology courses are no joke. Plus, there is a lot to learn about Hydrotherapy.  I have already learned Swedish, Shiatsu, Russian sports massage, Reflexology, and some variations.  I like being challenged, and this undertaking is definitely a challenge.  I have already put in over 400 clock hours of classroom and hands-on time.  The goal is 815.5, so I'm halfway there!

My goal is to open a clinic or high end spa in a year or so to really help people with their body aches and stress.  I know that it has been greatly beneficial to me in my career.  Right after graduation, I can start a private massage practice and make extra scratch on evenings and weekends to get the money together.  Using my hands and working on people is the perfect complement to sitting at a desk working on computers during the work day.  I have a calm demeanor that allows me to work well with high strung people, and I would love nothing more than to help veterans with PTSD, because I know that massage therapy can settle the nerves and provide a sense of well being.