Music Monday: 1970s Orchestra music and “Nadia’s Theme”

Posted By on October 18, 2021

NadiasTheme_DeVorzonBotkinJrLast week I heard Nadia’s Theme playing on SiriusXM 70s on 7 while driving and it brought back memories of listening to Henry Mancini’s orchestra as well as the 1976 recording by Perry Botkin Jr and Barry DeVorzon. NadiasThemeXMHearing the music isn’t exactly the same as the quoted comment below the break … or of the TV soap opera “The Young and the Restless… but it was at a time I was contemplating my future and pondering what I might do and who I might spend the rest of my life with; both versions are beautiful Music Monday pieces for that!

  “Nadia’s Theme” by the Henry Mancini Orchestra
  “Nadia’s Theme” – Barry DeVorzon & Perry Botkin Jr | 1976

About Nadia’s Theme (Cotton’s Dream)

The piece the duo composed for Bless the Beasts and the Children film was originally titled as “Cotton’s Dream.” However, it was re-titled as “Nadia’s Theme” as the sports program Wide World of Sports broadcast a montage of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci doing her routines during the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, with that music on the background (Comaneci herself, though, never used the song in any of her floor exercises). Since the song was heard on the television, viewers began to flood the producers with requests.

Botkin himself re-arranged “Nadia’s Theme” specifically for the Young and the Restless. The theme music, released on A&M Records, became a chart success in 1976, peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard’s adult contemporary charts apiece. “Nadia’s Theme” stayed on the Hot 100 for a total of 22 weeks. The single’s album, Nadia’s Theme (The Young and the Restless), peaked at #42 on the Billboard 200 chart.

“Nadia’s Theme” also won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement in 1978. It has now become an oldies classic tune and one of the easy listening favorites.

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Pyramids: Amazing human-powered ancient engineering

Posted By on October 17, 2021

Saw this last week posted on the @ArchaeoHistories Twitter feed.

PyramidsWhenBuilt

This is how the pyramids looked when they were built four thousand five hundred years ago. Where it was covered with white limestone and its top was made of gold to reflect the sun’s rays.

Investors are concerned as the Fed tapers and inflation rises

Posted By on October 16, 2021

A friend contemplating rolling over his 401K to an IRA asked me a bond investing question the other day as he would like to balance his portfolio of stocks by adding some bonds after the rollover. Since he has never owned a bond (outside of a managed fund), the question was, “what’s the impact of the Federal Reserve ‘tapering’ and what does it have to do with yields and bond prices?”

MacroTrends_10-year_211013
Chart of US Treasury 10-Bond

U.S. Treasuries are front and center (10-year bond chart from MacroTrends above) and the Fed “tapering” means that they will not be buying the $80 Billion every month in the future. Economics 101 teaches us (as does history), that Treasury Bond yields are impacted by “supply and demand.” When a big buyer like the Fed cuts back on their buying, then yields on bonds like the 10-year note will rise to attract more buyers. The challenge for those owning or buying older bonds with lower yields is that they are no longer attractive on the secondary market and therefore must be discounted to sell. As this tapering continues and the Fed ponders or changes their lending rates to banks next year … buying yesterday’s and today’s issues become less attractive.

So the plan of adding bonds to your portfolio for security and investment balance in a volatile or rising interest rate environment can be tricky. My advice is when adding bonds as interest rates rise is to keep the durations shorter (1-3 years). You really don’t want to lock into low 10-year yielding bonds when inflation rises as their relatively low return may not keep up with rising costs.

Tidbit: Even TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) can be risky because even though their interest rates rise with inflation, the government’s CPI (basket of goods) isn’t always reflective of overall true inflation.

Friday Filler humor: Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force

Posted By on October 15, 2021

Who doesn’t enjoy a funny military rivalry video clip. HA!

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Our first Mercedes Benz sedan, but not the oldest #TBT

Posted By on October 14, 2021

KBT_Fall_87MB560SEL1991

Although I’ve highlighted our 1987 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL before (see photo in front of my parent’s house in Sidney) and this fall photo at West Branch State Park reminds me that autumn isHagertyValue_Hagerty211012 the perfect time to take my current 1982 MB 300D Turbodiesel out for a drive. The ‘87 was one of those great driving cars (especially on the highway) and it would  be nice to still own… especially after noticing the Hagerty valuation.

As for the photo above, it was taken when the kids were pretty young in 1991 when we lived in NE Ohio30 years ago! Wow!

HudsonOH_House_Front

All in all, the car makes for great memories for a Throwback Thursday #TBT post.

Tidbits: A favorite kitchen product – Glad Press’n Seal

Posted By on October 13, 2021

GladPressNSeal211011

When it comes to  tools in the workshop, there are a few of them that I keep at arm’s length or in a small toolbox. The same goes for kitchen utensils and products.

One of my favorites, if not thee favorite, is GLAD Press’n Seal® wrap (mentioned year’s ago when I still had a Keurig). It is so easy to use that we’re reluctant to reach for plastic containers or zip-lock bags. Just stretch this “one-half tacky” plastic over a bowl or wrap a piece of fruit, stick it in the refrigerator and move on … no matching up lids or discolored over-microwaved plastic containers to mess with … we could seriously gain some kitchen cabinet space by tossing a bunch of those old containers?

From not being diversified to owning too many tickers?

Posted By on October 12, 2021

AreYouDiversifiedFor most investors, the normal criticism is that they are not diversified enough … or at least they often own too much of one sector or one stock (happened in the old days when companies often matched or did a partial match in company stock). I’ve tried to keep “diversity” in mind over my lifetime of investing, but noticed that I drift towards buying over-sold sectors. The wise investor stays away from too much in one sector like being overweight in on area or one stock … sort of like I was with technology a few decades ago. But when the tech sector became popular or in my view began to get too hot, I took the contrarian route and sold … way too soon I might add. There is something to be said for a rising tide lifting all boats when the crowd piles in … stay in a while! Unfortunately when investments seemed overvalued, I got and still get nervous.

It is happening again with the changing business cycle (graph below). I’ve been long in the out of favor energy sector for a few years now, especially as it comes under attack by climate extremists and bureaucrats. We all still use it and need it, but the heavy hand of big government rarely manages the change appropriately. We’re shifting from fossil fuels to wind, solar and cleaner renewables and the pressure is on to give up fossil fuels in westernBusinessCycle countries before replacements are adequate. Politicians, in the name of a cleaner planet, dictatorially use their power to regulate, legislate, incentivize and tax to stop pipelines, fracking and new exploration; unfortunately its causing energy prices rise and pinching those they govern. In response, it gives them an excuse to grow government and provide more redistribution, entitlement programs and welfare. 

As the business cycle “expands” coming out of the pandemic and the economy reopens, the demand for energy rises and naturally outpaces supply (restricted already by left leaning politicians) which in turn benefit countries and companies profiting from gas and oil (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, etc) … and still using coal (China). Existing domestic companies can’t produce enough energy so we import more, commodity prices and we are forced to import more (using tanker ships, rail and trucks).  The herd trade is to buy those companies profiting. Hold too much in energy though, makes me nervous. I should just sit tight and let the tide lift my boat too … but I find myself itching to sell?

So if I’m going to sell, I might as well make the most of this urge and use it as an excuse to rebalance investments (really a good thing). I’m starting to shift from being overweight in high-dividend energy stocks to something more balanced ETFs and CEFs. Today my approach was to focus on adding a couple utilities $NEE, $XLU, $FUTY. Of course when looking at the holdings, they all hold the same thing as my current $VPU utility holding … which means I’m overweight in utilities now.

VPUvXLU

Next … it will be time to sift through the pile of funds and ticker symbols and decide just how many can be watched and are needed in the same portfolio –  I already know several ETFs and CEFs duplicate the same balance of holdings. 

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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