Miami Marlins baseball makes itself seen at Miami book fair

I’ll add a post-it or post-script to the posting about the book fair.

The bookfair had a cubicle or booth for the Miami Marlins baseball team that allowed kids to hit a T-ball into a batting cage. All I saw hit were little ground balls.

I attracted questions with my Nats cap — would the Nats take away Giancarlo Stanton?

I wanted to see Marlin’s Park — the new one — but there is no sign for it from I-95.  I didn’t even see a sign for FL 968.  I think it is off 2nd St SW,  a few blocks to the west of downtown.

Here is what it would look like.

Wikipedia credit:

;CC BY 2.0, Link

Or try this picture for the field today:   The home run dimensions are pretty spacious. So Stanton’s achievement is even more impressive (as is Christian Yelich).

(Posted: Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017 at 10 PM EDT)

My DADT-3 book appears at Miami Book Fair 2017

Here are the video clips from my visit to the Miami Book Fair 2017 today, where Author Solutions (including iUniverse and xLibris) had eight panels and my own DADT-3 book was on display.

The event took place at Dade College in downtown Miami just west of Biscayne Ave (Route 1) and 3rs St.  It was outdoors like a street fair.

Traffic was horrendous.  But there was valet parking ($20 for four hours) next door.

Some of this I need to edit in Final Cut Pro soon (I am Sideways in Video 2 as I talk about the philosophy of DADT-3

Author Solutions provided a PDF directory of its books at the event and my DADT-III book shows (look for my last name), here.  Like “The Good Doctor”, I walked around at first (I got there about 3 PM Saturday afternoon) and determined that Author Solutions occupied eight booths or stalls; my book was in the sixth, I think.






(Posted: Saturday, November 18, 2017)

TWIMC: Trust Notes after completing relocation; The end of the tunnel

I wanted to bring “everyone” up to date on my relocation and on the situation with the increased funds available in my mother’s trust.

I did close on the trust house on Oct. 10, and on a purchase of a new condo right away on Oct. 11.  All the paperwork and internal wire transfers were done by Oct. 13.  I moved into the new condo near Falls Church, VA on Oct. 18.  Junk removal and a small amount of possible hazmat liquid removal was completed by Oct. 25.  I was permitted free entry into the home until Oct. 31, and that time has elapsed.  All ties to the property are essentially terminated or in the process of expiring. I noticed a rather frivolous sign on the front lawn, “Houses for cash”, which doesn’t make the best impression in my opinion.  It could make a casual neighbor believe that “something happened” to me, but that can be how it is.

I’ll come back to the subject of “downsizing” in more detail, with more “tips” for others and answers to questions as I encountered them with a future WordPress posting on my News Commentary blog.

My main concern today is reviewing what should happen with the two trusts and with my own funds.

It’s well to review what usually happens when an adult child “inherits” through a parent-named trust. Typically, probate is avoided.  But trusts often specify slow distribution schedules to potential beneficiaries (including the principle, the adult child, that is, me) in order to make sure that all potential liabilities are met, and that sufficient funds to take care of the “adult child”, especially if he is elder himself (a more common situation nowdays with longer lifespans) for the foreseeable future remain intact.  Typically a trust pays for the housing of the adult child before there is distribution, and encourages proper preventative medicine and the purchase of a long-term care policy.

In my case, that would suggest funds for the expected taxes, condo membership fees, repairs, and normal property insurance should be set aside and not distributed, and that the property remains in the parent’s trust name.  Some people may see this as controversial, and that idea I’ll take up in the future on the News Commentary blog.

The 2012 Interpretation and Amendment document, Article II Section 5, specifies that 25% of the Trust can be distributed to me outright, and the rest held for my “benefit” (as well as for other beneficiaries listed). The earlier 2009 document had distributed 5% of liquid assets to certain beneficiaries (just one, it turns out) and 25% the trust outright to me.  The “held for his benefit” clause means that the first priority is making sure that the reasonably anticipated expenses related to housing and supplementary medical care are met for, in my case, probably the next twenty years (which would be to age 94).

What has happened in practice is that 25% of the liquid assets were distributed to me in September 2011 and placed in my name only.  Some unclaimed securities were discovered later, and 5% of those monies were distributed to others.  I did not take additional distribution on those.  However I did buy long term care insurance (single premium about $100000) and paid for dental implants in 2013 (about $65000, not normally covered in insurance of Medicare).

Right now, there is slightly more than $900,000 in assets all relative liquid (securities, exclusive of real property) in mother’s trust name, as well as slightly under $100000 for the single premium long term care policy.

By selling a $600,000+ property and buying a $200000 property for replacement, there is an increase in cash liquidity of about $400000 (after allowing for moving expenses, legal fees, commissions, etc). In the old house, there was a high property tax and some concern of potentially high repair costs in the future.  In the newer environment, the lower property tax plus condo fee are less than the old property tax, although there is less tax deduction (which is up in the air with Trump’s tax plan anyway).

It is my opinion that among the $900,000, a set aside of $200,000 in funds that cannot lose principal in normal operations would meet the twenty years expense requirement. Currently, for example, condo fees and taxes would add up to about $7000 a year (of $140000 over 20 years, although this can increase).  In addition, the long term care policy would need to remain in effect.

I do believe that the “25% outright” distribution means in this case, 25% distribution of liquidity, assuming there is enough money after the 20-year setaside.  Other beneficiaires (there is just one affected by the provision) should get 5% of the increase in liquidity from the sale. And a somewhat generous contribution to humanitarian relief efforts, at least from the three major hurricanes or wildfires, would seem to be in order.  I could try to align these with other named charitable beneficiaries or with others (especially in Texas, possibly) who could have some connection to me.

I would like to distribute about $45000 (25% of the discovered funds) to myself, and then from the $400000 liquidity increase, about $10000 to my own trust.  It should be noted that III-8, p. 3, would seem to require me to put reasonable funds in my own trust.

Let me cover two possible other areas of controversy.  One is that Trustees are normally required to furnish annual reports to beneficiaries (who may include parties who do not get distributions during the lifetime of “me” but who would benefit on my death, and who could include both persons and organizations).  I have been keeping the persons informed on what is going on, and I don’t believe that the organizations want reports based on the idea of my death in two more decades; they want money now!) To some extent, these TWIMC public blog postings constitute those reports. However, Article 5, Section 18F on page 10 would seem waive me as a grantor from a legally driven reporting requirement.

I note also that under the Introductory Summary 1C, as grantor I have the power to sell or exchange property for other property of like value.  It is not absolutely clear if this refers primarily to real property or also applies to personal property (like securities) but it would invoke IRS Rule 675.

Section 4 of Article II, p. 3, gives me the power to live in real property owned by the trust or substitute property placed in it, and keep the profits or rents returned from it.

But it is worthy of note that the $400000 increase in liquidity does not constitute “profit” in the normal accounting sense. The “profit” could be related to an increase in value since the last sale to the trust on July 4, 2009.  (That can be taxable, but this gets beyond the scope of this post; seniors have some exclusions).  Profit could also be realized by setting up the house, or any assembly of homes and condos (not sure about coops, which are personal property legally) as a “company” and renting them out, either with long term leases, or with short term rentals like Airbnb (which allows the owner to live on the property in separate quarters), which was permissible on the old property but not on the new. In any case, I sold “as is”, which is permissible under 675 but which might not seem to fit the spirit of Section 4 above.  Inheritances can come with strings attached, and challenge beneficiaries to enter activities in which they are not particularly talented. (That is one reason why the GOP makes so much of wanting to repeal the death tax.)    Think about how many small businesses and especially franchises are handed down through families.  In any case, operating real property is not one of my skills.  I’d rather downsize, have the cash and liquidity (as well as some immunity from possible enemy activity in the future against the value of land) and focus on the skills I do have. Let a party who knows what he/she is doing refurb it, and a large family will wind up living there.  True, though, this means I am, for example, no longer able right now to consider hosting asylum seekers or refugees. But a large family might be able to.

Finally, it’s important to note, as I did here on Aug. 12, 2014, that my own trust and will changes the dispensation of assets were I do perish in an act of crime, war, terrorism, or especially politically motivated violence.

(Posted: Monday, November 6, 2017 at 3 PM EST)

Just a word to the wise (and “TWIMC”), about behavior in clubs these days

Just a “word to the wise” based on a personal experience in a club late last night.

If you are a twenty-something and approach an older person who seems to be “watching” everyone on the crowded dance floor, please don’t challenge the person with something like, “Why aren’t you dancing?” even if you think you are appealing and being “generous”  (Just go ahead and ask for the dance.)

It might come across as a security interrogation, given the times.

Something like this happened last night.  I took it as an invitation to leave.  I wanted to find out how wel the Metro works toward 1 AM anyway (not that well, it turned out).

I’ll have another “TWIMC” posting on my relocation and handling of the trust very soon.

(Posted: Saturday, November 4. 2017 at 9 AM EDT)

My 1962 NIH stay, some paper records no longer kept; my “submariner” cap also retired

Well, you win some, you lose some.

I’m mostly through my relocation and downsizing to a condo.  In the process of junk removal after the move, the property clearing company accidentally removed or destroyed a couple of souvenirs.

The 1963 Sunfish submarine sailor’s cap from my may 1997 submarine walk and low crawl (or “pub crawl” at a “world’s end”) was accidentally removed.  So the only evidence of my crawl is the cap I bought, the image of which is displayed.  All of this is detailed on my DADT-1 book (2000, “My Pwn Submarine ‘Familiarization’”), p. 255, Chapter 4, Section 9.  I’ve ordered an approximate replacement from Amazon, a submarine “Boomer” cap, since the Sunfish was apparently a “boomer” (and a nuke, which would impress Kim Jong Un).

A bigger deal is the loss of the mimeographed paper records (about 200 pages) of my stay at National Institutes of Health during the latter part of 1962.  Now, the January 14, 2014 posting describes this experience in detail (backing up DADT 1 , page 31, (“Therapy 101”) Chapter 1, Section 5).  Even though NIH easily sent me these copies in 1996 (after a telephone interview with a psychiatrist), I doubt it would today because legally driven privacy expectations, for other patients who are named in some of the papers, have tightened (by HIPAA rules especially). However, I do have photo jpg images of all of the important pages, available at this link if you look for “NIH records still” as a jpg.

The file “nihrec.jpg” relates the nurses’ log of a breakfast conversation between me and other patients on Oct. 28, 1962.  “At breakfast, talked about Cuban situation. In a cold manner and with a delightful smile on his face, said war would be revenge for his problems because of world destruction. When reminded that he sounded morbid, said ‘that’s one of my problems’. Mentioned that he felt he had to make a statement to the group about his problems to let them know that he is aware of them, even though they may be aware of his (‘Bill’s’) problems. To school in A.M.  Quiet on return. Attending the ‘license party’ in P.M.”

No doubt, I felt that people “like me” would be burdens if forced into a doomsday prepper world. But some of the other patients were even worse off.  There was a certain element of fascism in these comments, suggesting that I believed people had to prove they were “worthy” of surviving difficult times caused by political enemies.

Other incidents included an occasion when the nurses noted that I had commented on another patient’s chest hair, and still another about spending too much time “in the john”. There was a Friday “unit activity” ping pong tournament in early October (before the crisis) where I won by playing defense by keeping the ball of the table and letting other patients beat themselves with wild slams.  The therapists noted that I made fun of the other patients for losing their composure.

I do remember a pica-typewritten summary by a social worker named Carmen (she) asking “What is really going on here?”  Well, I was privileged, I wasn’t going to give my parents a lineage, I was dependent, and yet refused to stay in my rightsized place (of possibly “low work”).  Carmen’s papers (which had been lost before) had also mentioned a mortgage on the (purchased for cash $25000 in 1949) family house taken out by my father in 1955 to help the First Baptist Church in Washington DC build its new sanctuary which opened Christmas Day, 1955.  I discovered this in 1996 when working on my first book and have never heard about it since.  It did not come up during recent real estate closings.

There are twelve jpg stills, and two short videos above them, which will play in iTunes or Windows media player.

Note that the PDF of the NIJ summary of the patient records (about 10 pages) is linked on the Jan. 14, 2014 post.

(Posted Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 at

A note from DADT 1, Ch. 3 on “inherited wealth”

I wanted to add another comment to the note0, page 82, pr. 5 on this file.

I recall very specifically that one of the young women in the People’s Party group meeting in that drafty Newark, NJ rowhouse (in December 1972 on a Saturday night) demanded that society eliminate all inherited wealth. I thought I had included this in the original book but I guess I didn’t.  The platform made no bones about the idea of expropriating all inherited wealth and using it to strengthen the safety net for “the people”

For someone who finds this post online, this refers to a meeting of the platform committee of the People’s Party of New Jersey back in 1972.

Today, this could fit into debates about “wealth inequality”, which is more insidious than income inequality because it tends to compound itself.  It can matter in business matters, if some people would rather not work with someone depending on inherited wealth as opposed to earned, out of fear that another party could lay claim to it in the future.  This sounds like a rightsizing issue, but it is better to earn what you got.

(Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 6:45 PM EDT)

TWIMC Addendum

As an addendum, here are three disbursements “for my own benefit” from “Mother’s Trust” mentioned in the previous post here. This falls under the language “held for his benefit” and is reasonable and prudent use.

Aug. 2011  About $10000 improvement to the property in terms of a full generator servicing the property.  This was of major benefit after the 2012 derecho.

Sept. 2011;  Purchase of a single premium long term care policy from Lincoln National Life Insurance policy, can be surrendered for value, right now valued at about $96000.

July 2012:  About $10000 in room repairs after the derecho overcharge over insurance; about $800 in minor damage from Aug 2011 earthquake not covered by insurance.

June 2013, and September 2013:  Installation of dental implants, about $67000 total, not covered by ordinary insurance or by Medicare.  Removal of infected teeth and installation of implants as resulted in health benefits, such as improved readings (especially cardiology related) at my next physical.

Normal expenses (yard maintenance, gas, water, electricity. and property taxes, incidental repairs) have been paid from the trust since the start of 2011.

(Posted: Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2017 at 1 PM EDT)

Trust notes: TWIMC

So here goes a “to whom it may concern” posting about my trusts.

I last addressed this topic on Nov. 2, 2016.  I expect to be downsizing, selling the trust house, and moving into a condo in mid October.  I can’t say more about all this until it has all closed.

There are two trusts, one in my mother’s name, and one in my name.  Each has a list of (the same) institutional beneficiaries.  According to federal law, I am told, beneficiaries are entitled to be informed about the financial health of trusts where they may derive future income.

Beneficiaries sometimes receive income from trusts, or they may be in line for distribution in the future after the death of the grantor.  The concept of beneficiary is separate from the idea of initial distribution from a new trust, which often happens within the first year of the trust, after debts or obligations or claims have been settled.

I will not identify these here.  But I can explain how a TWIMC party can gauge what is happening.

The “mother’s” trust does provide some small payments, often monthly, to a few organizations.  If your organization has received a payment from me, your group may be named as a beneficiary, but not necessarily.  The payments are normally made monthly (slightly after mid-month). An annuity payment to my own funds is sent back to the trust as a kind of “rent” for the house, and then charitable contributions are made through an automated system based on that annuity.  Typically this has been about $1200 per month, divided among about 10 non-profits. Some were on the original list in 2009, some were added by me, and some are on the revised 2012 list. While it is possible to add up the various specific totals by non-profit, I doubt that in practice anyone is interested.

The “Me” trust would provide distribution to the same beneficiaries in the event of my death. There are special provisions should the end of my life occur because of violence (Aug. 12, 2014 post).

As of today, the total amount of undistributed money that could be of concern to beneficiaries is $492,492.  I will update this amount after the real estate closings in October.

There are no immediate plans to distribute or spend this money.  If it were spent on a business venture, it would have to follow more “prudent investor” rules than the funds that are already distributed to me and in my name (rather than a trust name).  (A business venture, like a film production, for example, would have to show a legitimate expectation of profitability given usual film industry and guild practices and rules.)  These funds exist in both trusts;  there is no reason that the rules for one differ from the other.  There is no  expectation that these funds automatically provide anyone’s “safety net”.

It is entirely possible for charitable giving from the funds to benefit entities other than those listed in the trust, during my own lifetime  I will always consider where I think a gift does the most good, and where I have some personal interest or knowledge of the parties, as well as the level of need.  It is possible that the urgency of a specific situation, like the recent hurricanes and earthquakes, gets more attention.

Also, my gift to a beneficiary does not imply that the beneficiary “speaks for me” as “my voice”, or vice versa.  It does not imply that I support every specific initiative that the organization lobbies or raises funds for, even though I will agree with the general purpose of the group.

I do not believe that the typical non-profit NGO is interested in being notified individually by mail about funds it will not receive in the immediate future (org’s really don’t have time for this kind of bureaucracy). But any party is free to contact me at the address or phone shown in the contact link(under “About”) on the top of the page.

(Posted: Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 at 6:30 PM EDT)

A jury duty summons after 14 years in Virginia

After living in Arlington for 14 years (returning from Minnesota in late 2003) and voting in all elections, I suddenly received a questionnaire for jury duty.

That would mean I could be called any time in 2018.

Virginia law does allow exemption for over age 70,  but I would not intend to use that.

The state also says that most tours are just one day and one trial (my mother had it for a week about 25 years ago).

Sequestration is very rare.

But if it happened it could mean denial of any Internet access.  In extreme cases, it could lead to loss of social media or other accounts if I could not respond to problems.

Because of an upcoming relocation to the next county, however, the process will probably start all over again.

In Dallas in the 1980s, I got four summons’s.  I was foreman once on a weapons charge (conviction), and was once empaneled on a civil medical malpractice case, whereupon the parties settled.  In Texas the rule was “one day, one trial.”

(Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 9:45 PM EDT)

A minor business change while I relocate

I am in the middle of a personal relocation.  I will stay in northern Virginia.  I expect the relocation to be completed by late October, 2017.

During this interim period, I cannot “lawfully” sell (for $$$) copies of my books within Virginia “by myself’ under my own DBA.  I can do so in other states, and can give away samples.  I can also do under third parties (such as through chain and independent bookstores, where they can be ordered).

The books remain most easily available on all the major sites (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and publisher sites on my “how to purchase” page).  The Kindle format is the least expensive (by far).

I expect to resolve this matter some time after relocation. I will be looking into the idea of setting up a physical office space and sharing it with others.  This might well be necessary for me to self-publish the novel I have planned for 2018, “Angel’s Brother”, or to sell the screenplay, “Epiphany”.

Some communities actually require notification of changes like these in printed newspapers, which have to be paid for.  In the Internet age, it all sounds pretty silly, and protectionist.

(Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 at 5:45 PM EDT)


A repository of footnotes for my DADT books and other stuff