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A Bear and a Beer

February – reminds me of my Dad.  February was his birth month (mine, too).  When I think about my Dad I can’t help but remember his perspective about how much things cost.  He’d always pine, “Oh, the cost of gas is outlandish!” (And that was back when we only paid $1.75 per gallon).  Or he would complain about the price of bananas; milk; beer; you name it.

If you have “Depression Era Babies” in your family, I bet you’ve heard these complaints too.  Now, I don’t like over spending any more than the next guy, but I try to focus on the fact that I am truly blessed.   Of course, I get that annual shock about this time of year, too, when my W-2 shows up in the mail.  Reminds me of the saying from that unknown Sage, “When I first started working I used to dream of the day when I might be earning the salary I’m starving on now.”

And when my annual 401-k statement arrives?  Well, my Dad’s complaints on how far a dollar can’t go any more come back to mind.  I think of the,

“Market Terminology for Dummies:

Bull Market –  A random market movement causing the investor to  mistake himself for a financial genius.

Momentum Investing – The fine art of buying high and selling low.

 Standard & Poor – Your investment strategy in a nutshell.”

                                                                           Mailbits.com

So it’s obvious by my 2010 W-2 (coupled with my investment portfolio) that I’m going to be working for “a while”.  Let’s just say that I’m not quite to the point of being a Wal-Mart Greeter, but I am paying closer attention to where their employment application kiosks are located.  I’m trying not to let this keep me down, though – I love my work, and I’m blessed with my income.  I’d like to keep working as long as I’m physically able.  And if you saw my golf game you’d tell me not to retire yet either.  (Besides, Lisa Kwiecien once said, “The secret to a long marriage is a husband that travels.”)

However, like my Dad, I confess that I’m starting to pay closer attention to the price of things;   Norman Augustine, the former head of Martin Marietta Corporation, did, too.  He told the story of:

“A bear who, displaying a $5 bill, had entered a bar and ordered a beer and; the owner of the bar directed the bartender to give the bear the beer, saying that since the bear didn’t look very smart to only give it 25 cents in change.  Having done as he had been instructed, and having watched incredulously as the bear placidly sipped the beer, the bartender finally could no longer contain himself and sought to engage the bear in conversation.  You know, he said to the bear, we don’t get many bears in this bar.  To which the bear is said to have replied, at $4.75 a beer, it’s no wonder.

Funny thing about money; no matter how much we make, it’s not quite enough to take our minds off the price of things.  And how we deal with the delta between our take home pay and our household budget has a lot to do with our daily outlook, yes?  So whether it was my Dad’s continuously, friendly disposition, or that bear, placidly sipping his beer; both serve to remind me that my glass is truly half-full.

                                                                             GAP

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5 Comments


  1. Gertrude
    Sep 13, 2011

    Boy that ralely helps me the heck out.


    • Gary
      Sep 14, 2011

      Hi Gertrude, Thank you for your kind comment. Hope you continue to share your feedback. Thx, GAP


  2. Anitra
    Sep 14, 2011

    Knocked my socks off with kwnoldege!


  3. Augustine Meray
    Sep 22, 2011

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.


    • Gary
      Sep 24, 2011

      Thnaks Augustine – I really appreciate your words of encouragement! Thx, GAP

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