Archive for July, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sis.

She was supposed to be the last one of us, and she was about as close to perfect as you could ask for.

My sister Catherine Gwynedd was born 28 years ago today. Seems impossible that it’s been that long, but it has. She is the fourth of what eventually became five sisters, the sixth of seven children. She has ebony-dark hair and creamy white skin, the only one of us that looks like that. She’s thin and tall and pretty, sings like a canary and is perhaps the single most organized person I ever met.

So, as I said, she’s perfect.

This drove her sister Allison – a grasshopper bracketed by ants – up a wall, understandably. If she hadn’t been so cute, there might have been real trouble. As it was, and is, though, she’s extremely hard to hate.

When she was about six, she met this kid from down the way named Scott, little Scotty Carlson I called him, and decided she was going to marry him. Scott never had a chance, for which thing, I think, he’ll be eternally grateful.

All through my mission in Hungary, I kept hearing that she thought I was playing basketball (I was gone a lot for that). When I got back, we took a family picture and tucked in the sash of her dress was a little plastic sword from the dinner we had eaten right before that. I love that picture; it’s my favorite family photo.

She sang at our Granny’s funeral, a song so achingly beautiful and so appropriate to the woman she was commemorating that none of us that were there will ever forget it. Her voice continues soaring and beautiful, not an operatic voice, but one of the sweetest and purest lyrical soprano voices God ever made. Her Christmas CD that she gave me as a gift is on permanent rotation on my computer. Yep, even in the summer.

Now she’s a mother and some of that organization has cracked ’round the edges, at it will, and she’s had to learn as much about modern fighter aircraft as she knows about opera (Scott is an aerospace engineer), but she’s still the one we all assume will be planning any big family event. Hoping she will, because, like everything else she does, it will be flawless.

I love you, Cath. Happy birthday.

Extra! Extra!

You Read It Here First


  • Oil has lost over $8 the last two days. If the runup in crude
    oil prices is, as has been contended often, mostly driven by
    speculators and hysteria, let’s all remember that hysteria works in
    both directions. On the upside, it’s called “irrational exuberance”.
    On the downside, it’s called panic.
  • All commodities, actually, are down rather significantly from
    their highs, including precious metals and even corn and wheat. It
    appears that our capacity to grow things, find things, and innovate out
    of needing things is, in fact, expanding. Shocker.
  • Bonds are up, the stock market is down, and despite FNMA and
    FHLMC writing off another $42 billion in bad debt yesterday, both those
    stocks are up this morning and there isn’t any apparent worry that the
    backbone of the mortgage system will collapse any time soon.
  • Fact is, the vast majority of homeowners will pay their bills on
    time and repay their mortgages on schedule. There’s a lot of hysteria
    out there in the credit markets, but there are still good loans to be
    had, and lots of good people that need them. Lenders need to add
    really good loans to their portfolios, and are keeping rates relatively
    low to attract them.
  • Here’s the prediction: the sky is not falling. Oil will not hit
    $150 a barrel this year. Gas will not reach $5 a gallon this year, or
    next year. Mortgage rates will not hit 7% this year or next year. By
    spring of next year there will be a significant, noticeable rally in
    real estate. The world financial system will not collapse. Innovation
    will explode.
  • You read it here first.


Cj


www.thechrisjonesgroup.com

Extra! Extra!

You Read It Here First

  • Oil has lost over $8 the last two days. If the runup in crude
    oil prices is, as has been contended often, mostly driven by
    speculators and hysteria, let’s all remember that hysteria works in
    both directions. On the upside, it’s called “irrational exuberance”.
    On the downside, it’s called panic.
  • All commodities, actually, are down rather significantly from
    their highs, including precious metals and even corn and wheat. It
    appears that our capacity to grow things, find things, and innovate out
    of needing things is, in fact, expanding. Shocker.
  • Bonds are up, the stock market is down, and despite FNMA and
    FHLMC writing off another $42 billion in bad debt yesterday, both those
    stocks are up this morning and there isn’t any apparent worry that the
    backbone of the mortgage system will collapse any time soon.
  • Fact is, the vast majority of homeowners will pay their bills on
    time and repay their mortgages on schedule. There’s a lot of hysteria
    out there in the credit markets, but there are still good loans to be
    had, and lots of good people that need them. Lenders need to add
    really good loans to their portfolios, and are keeping rates relatively
    low to attract them.
  • Here’s the prediction: the sky is not falling. Oil will not hit
    $150 a barrel this year. Gas will not reach $5 a gallon this year, or
    next year. Mortgage rates will not hit 7% this year or next year. By
    spring of next year there will be a significant, noticeable rally in
    real estate. The world financial system will not collapse. Innovation
    will explode.
  • You read it here first.

Cj

www.thechrisjonesgroup.com

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