Epistle

                      23 January 2014

Periwinkle,

      I thought I’d drop you a line. It seems harmless doing so, particularly as I’m not concerned about your welfare reading what I have to expound and realizing of course that you will discard any written matter deemed as frivolous. So, the walk with my labrador this evening was wonderful. The sky was clear, illuminated by the stars. It was about thirty degrees as we lolly gagged along in the dark. Twice today I heard sirens, but this evening it was stars and the half moon accompanied by the occasional whine of an engine here and there along with other occasional dog walkers out for an evening stress reliever. I believe this applies to both the man and the dog. I pleaded with two of my children to accompany us this evening, but ’twas to no avail.
     As I walked along, I thought to myself that one should really never find himself experiencing joy at the demise of a year; however, this occurred post 2012 and once again, looking up into the dark clear night, I thought to myself the ending of 2013 was honestly most welcome as well. I will say that there were some positive developments in the past year, such as my having decided to go ahead and flirt with the other elements of the social media world beyond the blogosphere (what I call the online journal). Recall Missoula Sheepheads went the way of all things, so I started the GT journal, which has been a tad different, without the race reports and endurance events. I believe last year there was one post on fishing. Where was I going on the social media bit? Oh, I have expanded my wings into new areas such as Facebook, Twitter Linkedin and Pinterest. Facebook and Linkedin have been a “blast from the past,” having reconnected with old hands throughout the country. This has been pretty fascinating, really. Almost like relaying the pulled up roots. Twitter has become principally a news source (micro blog) for me. I enjoy having the ability to read what is of interest and drive through the worthy links to full articles. I’ve not been using Twitter as a social media per se. Pinterest has for me not been a method to “pin” products that are of interest (though I believe this is the principal driver of the pinning world), but more a way to collect information in/on boards that is of interest to me. For example, I concocted a board which pertains to art and another on Montana Native American History as that is an area I’ve been interested in given our travels throughout the state. Particularly in western Montana’s Glacier, Flathead and Bitterroot regions. So, I’ll continue to poke around in these new online venues while I maintain the general journal and continue send the occasional letters and notes via mail. You understand, I believe. The journal remains simply the online method to continue to keep tabs on matters. I’ve poked around a bit more with poetry – “Lines” – recently, which also found its way onto Hello Poetry. I almost forgot about that little online ditty. It’s of interest what a few words can achieve. The concise nature of poetry is appealing.
   Is it fair to say adios to a year in a jocund state? January is almost over and I still feel the chill of 2013 quite forcefully. One really should not go through life like this. I recently read an interesting article in the journal written by an S.P. Bailey which I’ve clipped out and enclosed for your reading pleasure – remember cutting out articles and forwarding them along? Verily, verily, I say to you that this small work of Bailey’s outlines the thoughts of more than one middle aged (say one in their 40s) individual who is looking for something to do other than their present career. In this article’s case, it happens to be going to divinity school to receive a doctorate in theology with a dissertation emphasizing the theology of evil. Having gone from wealth to impoverishment, coupled with the suicide of a disabled spouse, and yet up from the ashes once more. Being in this age category, Periwinkle, I have to say that such a story and thought has certainly occurred to myself as well, concurrent with thoughts of the fine occupations of waste management fellow or sheepherder. Recall the dialogue on austerity? One reaches a point in their career and life when they feel that the fulfillment aspect has reached a juncture dictating a permutation. Bailey notes in one instance, income being forgone along with the large house, kids and spouse in tow, in order to become an instructor of theology. Do we place too much emphasis on the future payment of tuition for a collegiate education for our children? This matter seems to compel individuals to remain in otherwise undesirable occupations for the sole goal of getting the teenagers through their college days. Perhaps we might explore this subject in a future letter. What is the chief end of man, Periwinke?
     So I see that the emerging world’s currencies have recently found themselves in a quandary yet again. If one watches, this seems to occur with some level of regularity every so often, ie., in (1) Thailand and (2) Russia not too long ago. I’ve often said that a currency at some point will reflect, as is natural, the economic state of the state of its origin. Government meddling in the immediate term with this policy or that, or other governments’ meddling in some instances, will skew the mirroring of the unit’s value short term, but at some point Mr. Market has his say. Mr. Market of course includes many many participants such as hedge funds long and short here and there, sovereign wealth funds, pensions, insurance firms, mutual funds, dealers and governments as well, each attempting to direct matters as they see fit, sometimes in concert. Oh, and lest we forget the central banks. Are certain regimes’ under fire? Turkey, South Africa… It is clearly the case that in Argentina, excessive spending has come home to roost. It seems to me that during the Thai contagion in the nineties, the ill fortune was more than one issue, but being caught holding debt denominated in other currencies became the significant pickle. Not sure if many of the states today experiencing issues face the same predicament. The level of dollar reserves seems to be an issue. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of trade balances adjusting to new norms. I don’t know, Periwinkle. I’ll have to read a few blurbs and see what I can glean through the propaganda. Maybe write a more recent update to another Letter elsewhere.
     Hopefully the present chill the nation is experiencing is not driving up natural gas prices too high in your region. Until the next letter, Farewell.

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