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  • geofisher1 geofisher1 May 2, 2011 4:53 PM Flag

    Having Patience is Easy

    Some wonder how I can have patience while it seems Nero fiddles.

    I'll let you in on my little secret.

    ATPG is a highly specualtive investment and as such occupies 9% of my portfolio (after taking some off the table at $19.80), which is about 3 x even weighted as I track 33 investments. As a speculative investment, I have planned that if it goes to $0, I can still fund my retirement, ect.

    Back in 1988, daughter #2 was shot while sitting in her 2nd grade classroom by a crazied women in Winnetka, Il. One was killed and 5 were sent to the hospital, with daughter #2 being the most critically injured. This has been called by some as the "original" school shooting.

    She arrived at the hospital DOA. Not willing to give up, she was taken immediately to the operating room where the surgons worked on her for hours and hours and hours. They were inventing medical proceedures that are now in medical text books. One surgeon told me he had an out of body vision that he was hovering over the operating table directing people.

    It took the doctors 2 weeks to tell us if she was to live. Only by the Grace of God and the expert medical staff at Evanston Hospital is she visiting with one grandchild with another on the way.

    First off, investing is only money.

    Secondly, patience is an learned response,and I learned(the hard way) an important lesson about the need to have patience.

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    • Geo, i live in the chicago area and remember the incident very well. what a horrible situation to go through. thank you for sharing a part of your life and the life lesson (patience) that you gained from it. you are right, money is just not a life. will remember that the next time i'm getting impatient. thanks again for sharing.


    • A little background on my father, he was raised on a farm and he'd state you would only see a doctor if you were dieing, once he sliced his heel open jumping off a windmill barefoot onto the broken bottom 1/2 of a Coke bottle - They simply soaked it in kerosene and wrapped it w/ brown paper. He was a strong, tough, hard-working man all his life.

      August 28th, 2008, My mom called me very distraught as my father had chest pains roughly 3 hours earlier and nearly collapsed. He had been trying to mount a medium sized cabinet in the garage holding it with one hand while using a drill to mount it with the other (77 years of age). She helped him inside the house as he said he wanted to lie down and rest. He refused to go to the hospital even after she got someone on the phone saying he needed to be checked. I came over as I had just gotten off work and he was alert and stated he was feeling much better. I told him he still had to go in, he continued to argue that he wasn't going to pay $200 for an emergency visit, I finally convinced him to see urgent care which was only $50 for a visit, but he stated he wasn't going anywhere before he showered and changed clothes, I reluctantly agreed as he seemed fine.

      After getting completely ready we were heading out of the house and he said he forgot 1 thing, walked around the corner of the bed and like a light switch fell immediately to the ground. I struggled to get him up on the bed as my mom called 911, he had the most ghastly expression I've ever seen outside the movies as 3-4 times a minute or 2 apart he gasped for a breath with a complete blank expression even though his eyes were more than wide open. I tried giving him CPR and massaging his heart until the paramedics arrived.

      We carried him out and they reportedly tried to shock him back to life 4-6 times on the way to the hospital and a few more times there - He never came back.

      He was the strongest man I've ever known both physically and in spirit but due to stubbornness he was gone in an instant.

      I've learned at first hand what life is really worth, and refuse to make the same mistake. 3 months later I got a call from a roommate of my son in Baton Rouge (Southern University) where he was a freshman that my son was in critical condition after being ejected from an SUV that flipped over 3 times as it rolled off an embankment. He and 6 other NROTC members had decided to go to New Orleans to party all under age, but even w/ 2 designated drivers, 1 fell asleep at the switch and over-corrected as he drifted off the highway. My son is fine now, but I brought him back here and he is now completing his 3rd year of college.

      Needless to say I didn't have a good 2008.

      • 1 Reply to valuepeg
      • sorry, Value Peg!

        I remember calling my father in 1999 to wish him happy birthday. My mother said, "You can't--he's dead."

        Lovely...Massive heart attack and poof. GONE...never really got over it either, so I do understand. I am so sorry you have to witness your father's death, however.

        But I would suggest that perhaps 2008 was a better year than you think, after all---that your dad was UP THERE to intercede and save your son...

        Just a thought, but you can BANK on it...with the money that really counts.


    • There is a thoughtful statement made in the old movie "Babbitt" with Guy Kibbee. "The most important things in life are the things you can't touch". Think about it.

    • God blessed U & your daughter! What a wonderful gift.......I have a similar miracle. In 1970 My father discovered stage 4 melanoma thru a miraculous chain of events. Long story short, he lived for 25yrs. Miracles occur everyday & we must pray for the eyes of humanity to be opened to GOD'S unfathomable mercy! Now back to ATPG. I'm re-loading at current levels & should be fully loaded soon. Atpg is lagging the group because of pessimism toward their hefty debt load. The reality is that Atpg's debt is directly correlated to their infrastructure. Last time I checked offshore driller's req'd platforms,pipelines etc to produce oil/gas. Financial covenants are nto a worry given the re-fi that pushed out terms to 2015. Furthermore, anyone around for the move to $4 should know atpg's infrastructure can be easily monetized. Any further infrastructure monetization will again, sned a dual message of the inherent value of said infrastructure & the non-dilutive ability to raise cash. Atpg's debt perfectly matches off with its debt. Any acquirer can re-fi atpg's debt & have a hugely accretive transaction.......

    • Good Lord, George. It's hard to imagine what an ordeal that must have been. I moved with wife and grade school son to to the north side of Evanston, Prairie Ave., not too far from that hospital, in '91 for three years. The events in Winnetka were still fresh on parents and teachers minds, the security at my son's grade school quite tight. Mostly just a lurker here, but I've enjoyed your thoughts and analysis. I, for one, now really understand your calm and patience in not sweating such small stuff as invested monies. Best wishes to you.

      • 1 Reply to jackpinejack
      • Oh my GOD, George and MUST!

        I do understand though, and many of you have heard me say that same thing--"It's only money." When you think you may lose a child, money is meaningless.

        As you know I almost lost my son six times to a reaction to an ACNE medication that eroded his insides and caused him to endure six abdominal surgeries and miss two years at Princeton.

        I do understand. He is graduating in one month--JOY TO THE WORLD.

        Sounds like we are all pretty blessed on this board. And I walk in gratitude every minute of my life, as you do, and that is largely why I am invariably positive.

        George understands...Must understands...every parent does.

        I am overwhelmed, guys. Thanks for sharing that.


    • As long as we are sharing, my daughter was a Senior at Columbine High School in 1999.
      That day she was on the way to the Library (where the most fatalities occured)
      If she had made it to the library, she would have been sitting with Lauren Townsend, and Cassie Bernal, two of her close friends that were killed.

      Just prior to the Hell that visited Columbine that day, one of her other close friends caught her at her locker and convinced her to go off campus for lunch.

      For my daughter, that day, where, and with whom she chose to have lunch was a life or death decision.

      I also learned a measure of patience that day as I waited to hear her voice.

      I also learned that not only can life be short, we have very little control over any aspect of it.

      I hope for the best in everything, and live like I may die tomorrow, because someday, I'll be right.

      Sabrina started sailing competitively with me the very next summer, and we have sailed together for the past 10 summers.
      Every day I get to spend with her is an incredible gift that I never ever take for granted.

      George, I'm sure you have felt many of the same things, and I will never again read your posts without feeling a bit of a connection with you.

      This, this is just money ....

      • 2 Replies to must429
      • George and Must, thank you both so much for sharing those stores. It puts everything in perspective.

        We don't get to keep this stuff anyway. Our church just finished a sermon series based on the book, "It All Goes Back In The Box." It tells of the author, as a child, playing Monopoly with his Grandmother, who always won. He got a little older, and practiced and practiced playing Monopoly against other people who were good. Finally he played his Grandmother again and he beat her. He was so proud, just sat their beaming. The Grandmother said, "Good job", then scooped the markers and paper money and cards back into the box and put it away. The little boy was devastated. He wanted to bask in the moment of victory. You can "win" or you can "lose", but it all goes back into the box either way.

        It's like the old country western song, all you end up with is "Memories, Friends, and 8x10's". And even the old photos go back in the box!

    • Glad all turned out okay George. That must have been hard.