Tag Archives: Red Green

Our Unwitting Journey Towards Lumbersexual Fashion

“Though he works for a software company he looks like he just walked out of the forest:  His beard is shaggy, (he wears) the boots and shirt of a lumberjack.  The Lumbersexual man, with his savage style,  is displacing the Metrosexual in the urban landscape.”

-Rough translation of the opening paragraph of following article from Cochabamba’s “Los Tiempos”:

Adiós metrosexuales, el “lumbersexual” salió del bosque

The Spanish-speaking media recently picked up on the what has, at least from our perspective, become a slowly developing trend over the past few years:  The rise of the Lumbersexual.

If you need a primer on what exactly is a Lumbersexual, Tom Puzak, writing over at GearJunkie.com, who’s work is referenced in the Los Tiempos article, sums it up well in the following article:

The Rise of the Lumbersexual

Fashion is not our forté here at The Mint, but this trend is somewhat personal as we have unwittingly begun to embrace it.

The seeds for this fashion trend, at least in the Portland area, were planted by the publicity tactics of the Portland Timbers in 2011, who at the time began to drape billboards and painted buildings in the city with images of men, women, and children wielding chainsaws and axes.  This continues to some extent today.

With this subliminal messaging firmly embedded in our subconscious, we were thrust into the Lumbersexual style via our well publicized tree incident back in 2012, in which an unfortunate household accident caused us to get in touch with our inner lumberjack (Scroll down to the “Black Locust” heading on this link).  While we had the larger tree felled by an arborist, we purchased the requisite chainsaw and the other tools of the lumberjack and went at the beast in our yard until we could no more.  We left it for the winter.

The following summer, our inner lumberjack was summoned once again when the HOA presented us with an ultimatum to “get the wood off of our lawn.”

While we had the tools (we have since moved up to an 8 pound axe and added a 9′ pole saw to our arsenal), it was not until two years ago that we began to wear a beard.  We simply felt it was time.  The only time we had worn a beard before was for two unfortunate weeks in the mid ’90s when we contracted the chicken pox at 19 years of age and we were unable to shave under the threat of permanent scarring.  When we began to hear reports that men in Miami, who could not grow a beard, were paying up to $8,000 for facial implants, we knew we were squarely in the middle of a fashion trend, a rarity for The Mint.

The Lumbersexual Style Circa 2013
The Lumbersexual Style Circa 2013

Where did it all start?  While Lumberjacks have been admired, especially here in the Land of Giants, from time immemorial, we like to attribute the latest trend to comedic origins such as Monty Python:

And Red Green:

Whatever the origins, the Lumbersexual is now out of the Forest and into the Urban landscape.  For the sake of the trees, it come as a relief that most of us wield iMacs instead of axes.

It is Winter, do you know what and where your Bitcoins are?

12/3/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

“It is winter, a time to pause, the driveway is half shoveled out, but I lay down the shovel, and I pause to enjoy this moment, after all, this is my first heart attack.”

A Poem recited by Red Green during The Winter of our Discount Tent show segment

For those who were fortunate enough to see Red Green in his prime, circa 1991, the words “it is winter” immediately bring a sense of comic anticipation to mind.  Really, the mere sound of the man’s voice will bring a smile to your face if not cause one to break out in laughter.

Red Green, a Canadian, brought a unique brand of humor to the late night airwaves.  While there is really nothing to compare it to, if one were to imagine a cross between Al Bundy (Married with Children) and Crocodile Dundee in Canada doing a variety show against the backdrop of an ongoing storyline in his men’s lodge, you would be in the ballpark.

Yet as the poem above hints at, you never quite knew what would come out of Red’s mouth, but his dry delivery and lighthearted machismo made nearly anything the man said pass for hilarious. (see the poem read live by Red below and see for yourself).

It is winter, and while any number of narratives continue to fill the financial landscape, they all have one thing in common:  Inflation is here to stay and the Federal Reserve and it cohorts around the world are not about to do anything stupid, like raise rates or end bond buying programs, at this stage of the game.  From their standpoint, risks are on the side of deflation, no matter what your grocery bill is.

In the context of this stance by the caretakers of the world’s currencies, a developer known as Satoshi Nakamoto launched the Bitcoin Genesis block back in 2009, like a self replicating message in a bottle to the world that reads “try using this as money.”

Today, as we near the end of 2013, it is becoming clear that the message is reaching quite a few individuals, and that they are taking action.  The message came to us in March of 2012, when the Bitcoin/USD ratio hovered around $5-$16, and it took us until March of 2013, when the ratio was near $150 to act upon it.  The ratio now sits at around $1,100 and has garnered so much attention that a US Senate committee called a hearing in a feeble attempt to understand what it is and why it is valuable.

As anyone who has followed such hearings can attest, they rarely, if ever, shed light on the subject being discussed, and it was clear in watching that the Senators who attended as well as their expert witnesses have no idea what Bitcoins truly are.

Misinformation regarding Bitcoins abounds, indeed, a discussion we have been following in one of our Treasury groups has drug on for weeks with the participants vacillating from the stance that Bitcoins are a good idea and viable fiat alternative to them being a Ponzi scheme.  Our take is that those who are obviously confused are not hindered in their understanding of what Bitcoins are as much as they are hindered by their failure to understand what money is in the first place {Editor’s Note:  If you count yourself among the confused, stay with us for a spell or pick up a copy of one of the following publications:  What is Money, Of Money and Metals, or Bitcoins: What they are and how to use them}

Our take here at The Mint is twofold.  First, Bitcoins are clearly a Ponzi scheme, however, they are a self-limiting Ponzi scheme with no clear beneficiary, and in these respects are superior to other widely accepted Ponzi schemes such as equities and fiat currencies, which share similar characteristics to that of Bitcoin in terms of representing and indirect claim on wealth.

Second, and more importantly at the moment, Bitcoins are the gold standard with regards to digital currencies by virtue of being the first and most widely accepted.  All other digital currencies to come are practically forced to use the Bitcoin market as a point of reference in the same way the gold market looks to comex prices.

During the past few days, a Welshman named James Howells has been in the news because he tossed out a hard drive containing approximately 7,500 Bitcoins.  The same article mentions a man named Stefan Thomas who allegedly lost 7,000 Bitcoins according to Der Spiegel.  Indeed, we have a friend who told us he had wiped “thousands” of Bitcoins off of his hard drive.

While these types of stories may seem to offer a reason not to dabble in Bitcoins, we see them as yet another reason that the Bitcoin/USD ratio will continue to go vertical for the foreseeable future, as there will only be 21 million Bitcoins ever created, and, if the system is as tight as it appears to be, neither Mr. Howells’, Mr. Thomas’, nor our friend’s lost Bitcoins will ever be circulated again, making the remaining Bitcoins that are tradable all the more scarce and, at the moment, valuable.

A bit of free advice from The Mint.  While it seems counterintuitive, we encourage you to store your wallet online at a service such as blockchain.info to avoid the fate of the above mentioned individuals.  This goes without saying, but choose an extremely complex password.

Finally, if you are convinced that Bitcoins are a Ponzi scheme, remember that so are equities and fiat currencies, the only difference is that Bitcoins are still in an extremely early stage.  Think of it as buying Apple or Microsoft in the 80s, only better, as Bitcoins represent a confluence of technology and commerce that has just begun the search for its value.

It is winter, do you know where your Bitcoins are?

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice!

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus!

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for December 3, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.16
Oil Price per Barrel:  $97.19
Corn Price per Bushel:  $4.22
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.78%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US:  $1,158
FED Target Rate:  0.09%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,224
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  15,915
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,563,700,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,942,300,000,000