Jeff Sexton

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Veda Sexton

My Grandmother was born to the family Lewis Lloyd and Margaret Bolton of Boyd Oregon in 1915. She was one of three sisters.

When she was school age, my Great Grandfather moved his family to a new house "in town," The Dallas, where my Grandmother grew up surrounded by the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins of her large, extended pioneer family.

Veda Bolton attended Oregon State Agricultural College (now OSU) and Willamette University before marrying a watchmaker in 1937 and becoming Veda Sexton.

The new family relocated to Cour d'Alene, Idaho for a watchmaking position at a store, Overjourde's, which is still there on Sherman Ave. Today, the shop is Clark's Jewelers. Eventually, my Grandfather came to own the store, where my Grandmother did the books.

My Grandparents were married for 70 years. They raised two children in Cour d'Alene, my father, Gene, and my Aunt Carol. They were very happy there, but for my Grandmother The Dalles was always and forever her home. They visited The Dalles frequently.

Veda Sexton was a living memory of a time when draft horses were the only engines on the great wheat fields of the Columbia River basin. She was proud of their Oregon Trail history, and of their home, which still stands, and the of Boltons that still work the land.

My Grandmother was loved by everyone that knew her. She was a devoted mother and wife, and cared for my Grandfather through to his last days. Even though his passing left a large hole in her life, she carried on, with a smile for everyone. She had an uncanny cheerfulness and above all else she believed that, no matter what, things were always right in the end.

She made it easy to believe that she would always be there.

We will miss her very much.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

This Week's Economic News

Buried machinery in barn lot in Dallas, South ...Image via Wikipedia

The Week of June 6th...

"For the first time in a year, unemployed workers in April outnumbered job openings in America by a ratio that was less than 5 to 1."

* * *

"Americans reported spending an average of $80 a day last week, the highest such weekly spending average in more than 17 months"

* * *

Wholesale inventories rose for a fourth straight month in April, sales rose for a 13th consecutive time.

* * *

"In testimony prepared for delivery to the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee, Bernanke said the economic recovery appeared to be on solid footing and that while a double-dip recession "can never be entirely ruled out," he expects the economy to continue growing."

* * *

Beige Book: "Economic activity continued to improve since the last report across all twelve Federal Reserve districts, although many districts described the pace of growth as 'modest,'" the central bank said

* * *

"The number of people receiving continuing claims -- a measure of long-term unemployment -- dropped to 4.46 million, the lowest figure since December 2008."

* * *

"Foreclosure filings were made on 322,920 U.S. properties in May, up less than 1% from a year earlier. Bank repossessions hit a record monthly high for the second month in a row, totaling 93,777--up 1% from April and 44% from last year. Meanwhile, default notices dropped 7% and 22%, respectively, while scheduled foreclosure auctions edged down from both periods."

* * *
"Sales at retailers unexpectedly fell in May for the first time since September following a record slump in purchases of building materials, adding to fears the economic recovery was losing some steam."

* * *
"Confidence among U.S. consumers rose in June to the highest level in more than two years, a private survey showed."

* * *

These statistics and reports are not here selectively. These are, I think, the major bits of economic data reported during the week.

In spite of these items being almost entirely good news, or at the very least solid and indisputable evidence of a recovery, traders continued the create extreme market volatility all week. Why? "Nervousness"? In what other jobs do professionals get to behave like this and attribute it to nervousness?

The only "bad" news in these reports is May retail data which were weaker than expected. They are also 7% better than the same period 12 months ago.

One percent swings in the Dow day after day are not normal.

Of course, yes, yes, everyone knows that short term market behaviors are not rational and should not be taken into consideration by long term investors. This is quite true. However we have just come off a 30-40% loss in the savings of the world. It has taken quite a lot of dollar cost averaging and bargain hunting to rebuilt only up to the levels of two years before. No one expects markets to be rational, but volatility is breaking records these days. This isn't just irrational, it's random.

Memo to traders: the United States is not headed into a Mad Max scenario in the third quarter. A poor economy in Greece will not trigger collapse of all the world's major governments before Christmas. China is not planning a fire sale on Euro bonds for next Wednesday. And Iran is not going to cause world wide nuclear Armageddon during your lunch break.

I just received the July issue of Harper's Magazine. There's an amusing list there of statements found in the transcripts of the Federal Open Market Committee meetings of 2004 that were noted to have provoke laughter. For example:

"He suggested that we do what those in the survey industry do - have focus groups and really experiment with traders. My reaction was that the only time I've ever thought about experimenting with traders it involved cattle prods!"
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Monday, June 07, 2010

What's My Wave ID?

Google Waves have an ID, and a URL. This information is needed with some add-ons, and of course is needed in order to tell someone how to find your Wave.

Yet Google does not make it obvious what the URL and the ID of Waves are. Here's how to tell...

First, the URL. The URL of a Wave is visible in the address bar of the web browser when you have a Wave selected. For example, this is the Elgintime vintage watch Wave:!w%252BBi-bhBc4A

The Wave ID is included in this path. It is:!w+2BBi-bhBc4A

To get this, the escaped "%24" has been changed to "+".
Sometimes, and I don't know why, a decimal point and a number appear at the end of the URL, like this:!w%252BBi-bhBc4A.4

This, the ".4" in this example, is not part of the Wave ID and should be removed.

Some add-ons want to know the Wave's path. Unless you're working with Wave through a Google Sites or a Google Apps domain, this path is;

There is at least one robot that will tell you what the ID of a Wave is, as well as the "path". To use this robot, just add the address below to your Wave contacts, and add the resulting contact to your Wave. The ID will be displayed. You can then remove the robot from the Wave.

"My Wave ID" robot:

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