2 min read

Happy New Year!

Hi Friends,

This past week was another vacation week, spent lounging and generally doing nothing at my parents house upstate. I got a lot of reading done, re-discovered an interest in value investing, baked some holiday food, and generally recharged for the coming year.

What Food Did We Make?

Let's see. On Christmas Eve we baked a vegetable lasagna that turned out amazing. Rich, cheesy, and oh so tasty! We ate that for dinner. Somewhat in parallel to the lasagna we made a pumpkin pie, which is a holiday staple in my family and maybe my favorite food.

On Christmas day, we woke up early and baked a vegetable quiche. Broccoli, red pepper, onion, Swiss cheese, egg filling, and pie crust. Can't get much better than that. It came out really well and didn't last long! Along with the quiche (we were out of control), we baked a blueberry buckle. Another hit.

What Did I Read?

I buckled down and finished the last 250 pages of White Teeth. This is a dense book, not something I would recommend for the casual reader. But if challenging fiction is your thing, you probably can't go wrong with White Teeth. I wrote up some more thoughts in my review here.

I'm still working on Their Eyes Were Watching God, which I plan on finishing this weekend. I'll wait until I finish it to write up my overall thoughts, but this passage stood out to me last night as a thought-provoking standalone.

Most humans didn't love one another nohow, and this mislove was so strong that even common blood couldn't overcome it all the time. She had found a jewel down inside herself and she had wanted to walk where people could see her and gleam it around But she had been set in the market-place to sell. Been set for still-bait. When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Then after that some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. So they beat him down to nothing but sparks but each little spark had a shine and a song. So they covered each one over with mud. And the lonesomeness in the sparks make them hunt for one another, but the mud is deafand dumb. Like all the other tumbling mud-balls, Janie had triedie show her shine.

Through one rabbit-hole or another I stumbled on the teachings of Ben Graham, a pioneer of the school of thought known as Value Investing. This is the idea that one does not need to rely on speculation and uncertain predictions of the future to make good investment decisions. I had previously known about these ideas and had read Graham's classic book The Intelligent Investor, but when it came up this week I found a renewed interest.

I spent much of the week digging into Graham's more technical Security Analysis book, taking notes on how to evaluate the strength of a business. I have some plans for how I might continue my study of value investing, but I'll leave it here for now until they've had some more time to marinate.

What Else?

I spent a few hours on Christmas Eve cleaning out my personal email, and wrote up some thoughts on how and why I did that.

My parents' house is along a river, and one of the highlights of my week was taking my dog on a walk on the river every day.

We went and watched the new Avatar movie last night. It's a terrible movie, so I won't say much about it other than warn you to spend your time literally any other way.

Happy New Year!

Stay safe and see you next week ❤️