20210219F Day 416: Schrödinger’s COVID

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This morning I woke up feeling well … unexpectedly well. I even exclaimed to my friends that I don’t recall ever feeling so healthy and alive – almost like being reborn. To tell the story properly, I should start at the beginning – well, not the very beginning since I don’t have that much time, but I’ll start at the beginning of the week.

Day 397 (Sunday) – My good friend Katie had been staying with her ex and sons for a few weeks. When I heard she was flying back to Austin, I offered to pick her up at the airport. Mid afternoon I got a message from her – she missed her connecting flight. Ahh, evidence of a split in the universe, I thought at the time. Her missed connection was an unexpected event. I dismissed it instead of pondering what new futures might be visible now. An hour later I got a new message that she had been placed on a new flight arriving late Sunday.

“I can still pick you up – and you can stay overnight if you want”, I text Katie.

“Awesome!”, Katie replied.

Had I stopped to ponder the universe split, I would have realized that it had increased the probability that Katie would be staying over. Most likely, had I picked her up earlier in the day, we would have caught up and then I would have taken her home. But with her arriving late, it was more likely she would stay over. Nothing much else changed between these two universes where she made or missed her connecting flight.

My day continued normally and I picked Katie up at the airport. I confirmed she wanted to stay over.

“Would you like to take a shower?”, I offered. You can’t be too safe these days with a COVID pandemic and potentially infected people traveling on planes.

“Yes, that sounds really good. Do you have any clean clothes I can wear?”, Katie replied.

“Sure, you can also do a load of laundry if you want”, I answered.

As Katie took a shower, I showed in the other bathroom. After we were both dressed, Katie said with annoyance, “My ex just texted me that he has a fever. He probably made himself sick. He’s such a hypochondriac.”

I even had a good night’s sleep. Since the beginning of the week when I found out my friend had become sick with COVID, I had been preparing for the worst. I had picked her up from the airport late Sunday and we had talked late into the night, falling asleep together in bed. She coughed a few times during the night, but nothing alarming. While she was over, she got notified that someone she had been in contact with recently now had a fever. In retrospect, I should have paid more attention to this moment. It was like …

(to be continued)

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Day 416 (Friday) – Katie and I are listening to soft piano music playing over the Sonos speaker in my living room. The sun is reflecting off of the ice covered trees outside. Snow is still on the ground from a few days ago. We are cuddled under the covers while lying on Katie’s egg-crate mattress topper. It’s time for us to write. Katie just read a prompt to me about how when we are creating, then the creator is also creating through us. It made me think about life and creation. I imagined how all life on Earth could have been designed by some intelligent alien life form and somehow seeded onto Earth. But this could not be the original creation event since the intelligent alien life form also needs a creation story. I zoomed my perspective out in both time and space and imagined and quantum field of random fluctuations flowing through the field. This reminded me of the Tai Chi that Katie and I were practicing the day before and how the instructor led us through a slow, smooth movement practice that would occasionally result in a slap of energy. From this zoomed out perspective, I saw the entirety of the universe we know as an infinitesimal point in space-time.

“It’s going to be lumpy”, Katie said as she stirred a pot of polenta on the stove.

“That’s what our universe is, just a bit of lumpiness”, I replied.

20210125M Day 391: AAPL reaches new high today

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AAPL stock is up pre-market in anticipating of Apple’s quarterly and annual earnings report coming Wednesday in which Apple is expected to announce a record over $100B in revenue for the quarter.

AAPL’s market cap and enterprise value are both on track to cross $2.5T soon.

AAPL’s P/E ratio now hangs out in the 35-45 range. The last time AAPL had a P/E ratio consistently this high was in 2008 before the stock market crash that occurred on Sept. 29, 2008. During the following decade 2009-2019, AAPL had a P/E ratio in the 10-15 range.

APPL’s price to sales is currently 8.88. It’s price to book is around 36.

AAPL’s enterprise value is 8.6 times it’s revenue and 29 times it’s EBITDA.

I can feel it when AAPL is going up now because it starts feeling too high for me and I sell covered calls a bit out of the money. These promptly lose money but provide a bit of insurance against a large drop. I think AAPL is going to continue to rise into earnings and possibly after. AAPL is beginning to join the ranks of other stocks, like TSLA, in which the branding becomes worth multiple times the actual business.

20210124u Day 390: Personal Observations

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I wasn’t planning to write today. Something seems to be bubbling up and I’m not sure what it is. I hope that by writing my thoughts down now, whatever it is will reveal itself.

I just got off the phone with my beloved. We had a somewhat heated discussion about white privilege due to my not accepting my beloved’s belief in the importance that white privilege has played in benefiting me throughout my life. We found common ground in agreeing that racism exists in the world and the world would be better if it did not. We also agreed that many white people have benefited from white privilege. We also agreed that I have also benefited from white privilege. However, we disagreed as to the extent that white privilege played a role. I believe that the vast majority of my personal achievements would have been possible regardless of my race or skin color. I even believe that there’s a chance I may have benefited additionally as a minority due to affirmative action programs in existence during my education and early career. As I type this however, I’m becoming aware of certain times in which I felt “blessed”, or lucky, and I’m wondering now if my luck was due to the color of my skin, or my race, or being male, or some other discriminatory factor. I have to admit that there were times in my life that I have received large benefits and have not really been able to logically explain or understand from where these benefits came. I can accept the possibility that white privilege, male privilege, religious privilege, or some other privilege was a larger factor than I have previously believed.

Before my heated discussion, I watched a few videos – a press briefing from the new white house administration, and a couple videos on financial bubbles forming due to the easy money flowing through the system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was pleased to hear Dr. Fauci present a reality that felt in alignment with the reality I believe to be true. I especially liked when he answered a question by saying he didn’t know the answer and that the Biden administration was adopting a policy of only answering questions for which there is a known answer – not making something up on the spot just to have an answer. For the financial videos, I was glad to see Dr. Ron Paul doing well on Kitco news and still promoting liberty, reduced government and sound monetary policy. I’m attracted to him because he does not pledge allegiance to either political party and has a consistent set of beliefs. I don’t agree with all of his beliefs, but at least I can follow his logic when he explains why he holds them. One of the other videos was an interview by Bloomberg news of an individual who seemed to be reading a prepared statement warning Robinhoodlers and Stonks purchasers that one day the FED will not come to their rescue.

Also, today, like every day this year, I had a conversation with my Aunt who is on the board of directors of my condo HOA. At the end of 2020, like a final kick in the ass, our HOA found out that our management company had been stealing our money for the last 5 years and that we were broke with over $30K in debt. I’m now in a universe in which I’m working full-time helping our HOA get back on it’s feet. I hope to use this full-time effort I’m putting forth to tunnel to a universe in which I’m putting in similar effort towards something meaningful AND also getting paid for it.

What are the chances? I just checked to see what was happening on Nov 1, 2016, the day that $25K was moved from the HOA money market to checking. The next day another $25K was moved and then all $50K was moved out of our control to another HOA. This was Election Day 2016! The same time period when most people around the world felt a huge shift from the normal time line to a very unexpected time line. The conclusion of this fraudulent activity ended about the same time that Trump left office. What are the chances? Synchronicity.

20201218F Day 353: Residential Real Estate in Austin

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check-in: Today has been a cold and cloudy day and I’m feeling a bit gloomy. But, birthday celebrations continue with a friend coming over to celebrate December birthdays, and so I’m looking forward to some socializing. I just saw that Austin hit the magic ’50’ number on 7-day average hospital admissions and so Austin may soon be moving to “Level 5”. I’m grateful that Austin is currently not a COVID-19 hotspot. However, I just heard from a friend who has a house full of COVID-19 roommates who caught COVID-19 after traveling to Houston and Dallas. This is why reducing non-essential travel does slow down the spread of the disease. In the future, we will use wildfire and fire-break analogies to help people understand the spread of infectious diseases.

Speaking of hot, the Austin real estate market has been hot and is getting hotter with the stories of technology companies leaving California and moving to Texas. One of my neighbors is moving and I’m about to put an offer on his condo. My hope is that it will move me closer to the universe in which I live in community. I have hopes of either having my family or friends living there

20201217h Day 352: Happy 75th Birthday Dr. V!

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check-in: I’m feeling disappointed for not writing yesterday. I’m annoyed that there seems to be a tiny splinter in the tip of my left index finger that I can’t get out. I’m proud, though, of the wooden screen doors that I hung which led to the apparent splinter. I’m still feeling both sad and excited for the two sets of universes identified by whether my beloved visits me next week or not.

75th Birthday Frittata – spinach, kale, mushrooms, chicken feta sausage, onions, sweet potatoes, feta

Yesterday was my Aunt’s birthday. It was on her birthday a few years ago that I published Surfing the Multiverse. One of the ideas she shared with me was about holding the tension of the opposites until a third emerges. I use this idea daily in my own universe surfing.

20201216W Day 351: Believe in Magic and the Power of Dance

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check-in: I made it to Barton Springs yesterday. A man and a woman were, separately, doing yoga on the south lawn. There was one other person on the south lawn and about 30 people on the north side or swimming. I felt blessed to live in a city that has such a wonderful, natural swimming hole. I got a little sun before it turned too chilly as the sun moved lower in the sky and the wind picked up. The woman doing yoga was playing some music and I danced to her music in the sun. As I type this now, I’m feeling a connection between the dancing yesterday in the sun and dancing outside at a campout under the moon. It was at this campout that some magic happened and I have been trying to use magic the last few days to increase the odds of being in a universe in which my beloved and I are together soon. Speaking of magic and dancing …

Where the dancing magic happened!

A few months ago, I was camping with some friends who all enjoy dancing. My DJ friend came up to me an hour before we were planning to dance and asked for my help.

“Can you take a look at my computer?”, he said. “It was working fine and then the screen went black. When I tried to restart it, it got stuck with the spinning rainbow disc.”

“Sure”, I replied with confidence. I then use my phone to search online for ways to fix the computer. There were about four different suggestions and I tried them all once or twice before telling my DJ friend that he should come up with a backup solution because his computer likely had some kind of hardware failure. I continued to try fixing his computer with no luck until it was time for the dance to start.

At the beginning of the dance, my DJ friend told the group the bad news of his computer breaking and how I had tried everything to fix it. I then had a thought and interrupted him.

“Well, there is one thing that I haven’t tried. I haven’t tried Magic! I know a lot of the people here believe in and practice magic. The problem with the computer is it isn’t booting up – it gets stuck. So, if everyone can imagine and focus an intension of the computer booting up fine using your own magical gifts, then we will have tried everything.”

I expected a few seconds of silence. Instead, the group of 8 or so people all intensely practiced some magic for probably a minute. I thanked everyone and the dance begin, with the DJ using his phone. As the music played, I rebooted the computer again and took it out onto the dance floor. I danced with the computer as it rebooted and imagined it rebooting successfully. The progress bar made it to the place where it normally stops and stopped again. I spoke to the computer and gave it some more encouragement. I thought I saw the progress bar move further. I believed the magic was working! I continued to look at the progress bar and saw it moving ever so slightly – almost imperceptibly. Once it made it through the “rough patch”, it continued along until the end and I saw a background picture of the DJ’s family.

“Look! The magic is working!”, I exclaimed to everyone as they cheered and danced. I then took the computer over to the DJ table and left it for a while. The mouse was stuck, but the mac finder was now visible. Slowly, the computer came back to life and by the next song, the DJ was able to switch over from his phone to his computer.

I felt proud of myself for asking the group to perform magic to fix the computer.

As I told this story to others over the next few days, I formed an hypothesis to explain how we were able to use magic to fix the computer. The hypothesis is that magic can only work to do things that, when done, can be explained by means other than magic. For instance, in this case, it could be true that the magic had nothing to do with the computer booting correctly. Instead, perhaps it was overheated and when it cooled down, whatever hardware problem was causing it to stall was no longer present. Or maybe all the various things I tried to fix it just needed “one more reboot”. If there were no non-magical explanation, then the magic would not be able to do anything. Therefore, magic by this definition can never be proven to exists.

So, believe in magic and use it in your life. Just make sure you can visualize how the universe can achieve your magical intention in a non-magical way.

20201215T Day 350: Financial Market Predictions for 2021

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Check-in: I woke up after 4 hours of sleep and it took me an hour to fall back to sleep. I was then got an hour of deep sleep before being awoken by a 6am alarm. I’ve now had some coffee – I’m still surrounded by universes in which I start my day with caffeinated coffee. Using a plastic filter holder, I filtered the freshly ground coffee into a mixture of half-n-half, cacao powder, and coconut oil. I spoke with my beloved yesterday and she is still feeling anxious about coming to Austin. She is highly sensitive to multiverse energies and her anxiety leads me to believe that the next few months will be chaotic as the northern hemisphere experiences moves through a surge of COVID-19 cases that will overwhelm many hospitals. I feel she will come in a week and stay for two.

The year 2021 will see value stocks outperform growth stock. Low debt value stocks will outperform high debt value stocks. Silver will outperform Platinum and Platinum will outperform Gold. Bitcoin will outperform Etherium and Etherium will outperform Silver. Both residential and commercial real estate will drop in real value but currency devaluation and low interest rates will keep prices from falling. Residential will outperform commercial real estate. Short-term bonds will outperform longer-term bonds.

These predictions are based on the current state of the financial market which has appearances of financial bubbles in various areas of the market, such as the bond market, popular index ETFs, celebrity stocks, speculative small cap stocks, and even most fiat currencies.

Using these predictions, and assuming that they will most likely be wrong, then a diversified financial portfolio might be weighted in the following order:

  1. Bitcoin
  2. Etherium
  3. Silver
  4. Platinum
  5. Gold
  6. Low debt value stocks
  7. High debt value stocks
  8. Growth stocks
  9. Residential real estate
  10. Commercial real estate
  11. Cash
  12. Short-term bonds
  13. Long-term bonds
  14. SP500
  15. Celebrity stocks
  16. Speculative small-cap stocks

I’m not a strong believe in crypto-currencies, but until these are outlawed by governments then the major ones will likely continue to outperform the “old school” stores of value silver and gold. There are universes nearby in which governments add Bitcoin to their reserves instead of outlawing crypto-currencies. It is these universes that cause Bitcoin and Etherium to top the list above.

20201214M Day 349: BIRDY Authentic Relating Relationship Game

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Check-in: I’m missing my beloved and wondering if I will see her in a week. A cold front blew in last night. I woke up from a dream at 2am and went outside to look for meteors. I saw a long cloud or vapor trail across the sky but no meteors. I had homemade cherry pie for breakfast with my Aunt and my friend K. Her daughter made it before leaving for CA. Music playing this morning has been the beautiful piano music of Ludovico Einaudi followed by an ecstatic dance set (1/17/19) by DJ Hamid. K and I are going to do virtual yoga in an hour – I’m looking forward to stretching my body.

BIRDY is an authentic relating (AR) game based on a relationship exercise I learned from a friend. I learned it as BIRD, and then added Y. BIRD is an acronym that stands for Boundaries, Intensions, Requests, and Desires.

AR Games are structured communication exercises, about 10-25 minutes in length, that are often led by a facilitator who establishes a safe container for the exercises. To establish a container, participants agree to certain agreements, such as confidentiality upon request, respect yourself and others, lean into your edge, and be present. The guided exercises/games can either be played as a full group or in pairs, triads, quads, etc.

Whether you are on a first date, in a fresh relationship, or have been in a relationship for decades, BIRDY can help you build a deeper and more authentic relationship with someone. I have only played BIRDY in a pair group, but it could be played in groups of three or more. For simplicity, I will describe the game play for a pair of two players, Austen (he/him) and Blair (she/her).

  1. Austen goes first and shares with Blair a boundary, intension, request, or desire. There is no need to go in BIRD order. It is best to pick whatever is alive in the moment.
  2. Blair replies by repeating back Austen’s boundary, intension, request, or desire as close as possible using the sentence stem “I hear you have a …”. Blair then continues her reply with the sentence stem “Hearing that, I feel …” and shares a particular feeling she is having and/or describes any physical changes she senses in her body.
  3. Austen then replies with the sentence stem “Hearing that, I feel …” and shares a particular feeling he is having and/or describes any physical changes he senses in his body.
  4. Switch players and now Blair shares with Austen a boundary, intension, request, or desire. Continue going back and forth until any pre-established game time is up or for a particular number of rounds. It’s a good challenge to play long enough for each player to have a chance to share at least one of each boundary, intension, request, and desire.
  5. As an option, the sharer can add a “why” to their share. This is for the Y in BIRDY.

Here’s an example of play:

Austen: My Intension is to date you and explore a romantic relationship with you. This is because I find you attractive and understand that you are, like me, looking for a partner to settle down with and start a family.

Blair: I hear that you want to date me and explore a romantic relationship with me because you find me attractive and we are both looking for a partner to start a family with. Hearing that, I feel a bit of tightness in my chest and throat, and feel a mix of anxiousness and excitement.

Austen: Hearing that, I feel curious and optimistic.

Blair: My Intension is to get to know you slowly and be open to either friendship or romance. This is because I have recently ended a two-year relationship and am wanting some time to digest that relationship before getting into a new one.

Austen: I hear that you want to get to know me slowly and are open to either friendship or partnership. You have recently ended a two-year relationship and want some time before beginning a new one. Hearing that, I feel empathy, compassion, happiness, and relief.

Blair: Hearing that, I feel curious and understood.

Austen: I have a Desire to put on some music and dance with you in the living room. This is because I enjoy dancing and am feeling playful now.

20201213u Day 348: Three Ceremonies of Love

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Check-in: I’m feeling a bit depressed now. My beloved is currently planning to come visit me and also planning to not visit me. She has apparently learned some universe surfing methods from me and I’m feeling both the excitement of anticipation of her coming and the sadness of her not coming and us not being together for the holidays and perhaps for an indefinite period. What feelings are alive for you right now? …

Forgive me if I repeat myself, both now and in the future. I experience time as flowing both ways. I sometimes notice that the thoughts and feelings I have seem to be affected by events that occur both in the past and in the future. From events in the past and future, these thoughts of three love ceremonies arise.

The first love ceremony is all about love of one’s self. In this ceremony, you invite all of your friends and family to be witness to your professions of love for your self. This ceremony will likely include elements of “coming out” – showing your true self to those you love. Everything about the ceremony and celebration is tailored to your own personality and truths. You share everything you have learned about yourself. You share both traits that you love about yourself and those that you might hate or at least have negative judgements about. You share your thoughts, feelings, emotions, desires, and fantasies. You share any current plans and goals. By the end of the ceremony, you have created a shared reality between you and your friends and family around who you are. This ceremony is one of knowing yourself, loving yourself, and being yourself in the presence of those you love.

The second love ceremony is a double ceremony that involves two people repeating the first love ceremony (which must be done first, of course 🙂 in the presence of the friends and family of both people. In this ceremony, instead of sharing everything you have learned about yourself, you share everything you have learned about another person. You share both traits you love about them and traits that you have some judgement around. You own your judgements and share how you are sometimes triggered by the other person. This ceremony can easily last twice as long as the first one since both people will be sharing. While one person is sharing, the other person is mainly listening. Depending on the two people, what is shared may be prepared and read, or may be completely in the moment. By the end of the ceremony, a shared reality among the loved ones of both people will have been created. This ceremony is about knowing another, loving another, and being yourself in the presence of another and another’s loved ones. Part of this ceremony includes a profession to explore partnership together.

The third love ceremony is also a double ceremony like the second, with friends and family of both people invited. In this ceremony, it is not so important to share things you love about the other person, as this was done in the second ceremony. Instead, the purpose of this ceremony is to share about the relationship between the two people that is being created. Both people share what they love about the relationship that they have created. They also share the challenges of the relationship. Some personal traits can be shared as reminders to help better explain the relationship. In this ceremony, both people can share simultaneously, more or less, or take turns. By the end of the ceremony, everyone has a shared reality of the relationship that has been created between the two people. This ceremony is about knowing the relationship between two people, loving this relationship, and living this relationship in the presence of others.

The first love ceremony is one that can be held at anytime after someone feels they have learned enough about themselves and feels ready to love and be one’s self in the presence of others. The second and third love ceremonies can be between any two people. It is not just reserved for those who might otherwise hold a marriage ceremony. These ceremonies can be held between two friends or two family members. They can be simple or extravagant. For the third ceremony, it is not assumed that the relationship being celebrated is “life long”. This could be the intention of both people, but it could also be the intention of both people that it not be life long.

How do you feel when thinking about these three ceremonies? What emotions arise? Do you feel like you know yourself well enough to have the first love ceremony? Do you feel ready to share who you are with those who love you? Who would you invite?

20201212S Day 347: Has it really been 150 days since I last blogged?

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My Tarot draw tonight at my Aunt’s birthday party

Today was an early celebration of my Aunt’s 75th birthday. I cooked a frittata with onions, roasted garlic, spinach, chicken sausage, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, cooked sweet potato, and feta. This was our breakfast, along with mimosas. Her daughter and son-in-law joined.

I then snuck in a trip to Barton Springs. The cold water and the hot sunlight combined to make a enjoyable experience. As I walked in, I remembered that I needed a mask. I had no idea where my mask was. I normally keep it in my car. I didn’t want to walk all the way back to my car and so I imagined the universe in which I forgot to put it back in my car and it was instead in the bag that I used the last time I came to Barton Springs. I unzipped the bag pocket and reached inside with about 90% confidence and found myself 10% surprised that the mask was there! I then walked back to the gate and had my temperature checked while I signed my name and phone number in case I needed to be contact traced due to any covid exposures that day. There were two cups of pens – clean and dirty. I asked if I could use one of the “dirty” pens and, after getting a “whichever you prefer” answer, I signed my name with one of the dirty pens and put it back in the dirty pen cup. There were only about 5 people swimming laps in the pool and about 30 people sun bathing. I almost didn’t go to Barton Springs because I was planning to go the next day. I just now checked the weather and tomorrow looks like rain – so I will likely not go tomorrow. That also means no ecstatic dance under the monkey tree.

Speaking of ecstatic dance under the monkey tree, there was a planned dance last wed there which only lasted a few minutes before it stopped by the police who said that a permit was needed. I had wanted to go to it, but changed my mind at the last minute. I wondered how much the future shutdown had on my feeling of my mind changing. I have been using a framework of bi-directional time in which cause and effect and proceed in both directions of time. It helps me to understand why I might decide not to go to a dance that is later canceled. Who wants to go to a dance that is canceled? Actually, I kinda wish I had gone now.

It’s been a wild 150 days since I last blogged. My experience has been one of imagining two different sets of universes continuing to collide. This is how I understand why about 25% of the U.S. population believes that Trump not only won the presidential election, but that Trump will be staying on as president for a second term.

Speaking of politics, today I had a wish that Biden (in the 75% of universes around us in which he becomes the next U.S. President) establishes the “Biden doctrine of bi-partisanship”, which becomes a doctrine for the foreseeable future. In this doctrine, Biden uses the power of the pocket veto to send a clear message that he will only sign bi-partisan legislation. Any bills arriving on his desk which are voted closely along party lines would just sit in a stack. Only bills with at least 20% or so support from the minority party would be considered. A byproduct of the Biden Doctrine would be that the centrist in each party would gain power at the expense of the extremists. A new power block would be created, which would slowly (over 50+ years or so) lead to the formation of a third “Centrist” party.

In other news, I deleted Twitter from my phone a couple days ago. This was surprising easy to do and definitely life changing – having an immediate effect reducing the amount of time I spend on my phone. While I did compensate a bit by surfing on Facebook instead, Facebook has never really grabbed my attention and so I’m now in a space where I have extra time. I credit the deletion of Twitter for having time and energy to begin writing blog posts again.

The Tarot card reading that I received tonight also motivated me, along with a text from J about the Geminid meteor shower tomorrow night on the date of the new moon. Now I just need a dark place from which to view it!