September Update

I think California needs to add a new saying,”Beware the Ides of September” for all the fires we have going on in the state. I just reviewed the California fire map and noticed that the three largest fires currently with less than 50% containment total over 282,000 acres. That’s over 44 sq. miles of active fires. And there are a number of smaller files. I hope and pray your family and friends are safe.

I shared earlier this year my goal of doing at least five endurance races at 50 miles each this year. Last Saturday I was outside of Paradise CA to complete that fifth race and actually Chance (my horse) and I did the complete mileage, but because somewhere in the last 12 miles he took a bad step, causing a strain and some small swelling on his lower leg, as a result we were not “fit to continue” and were not given credit for the ride. It was pretty tough to swallow a “no completion” after riding for 50 miles on a very hot (up 90’s) and high humidity day on very hard packed and gravel dirt roads. But the rules are the rules and I couldn’t argue, the more he stood around after crossing the finish line, the stiffer he was getting and the more pronounced the limp was. So he is on bed rest, ice and anti-inflammatory meds for the first week, then another 1-2 weeks of bed rest before will try a few easy easy short rides and see if he might have one more 50 mile race in him before the season closes out on November 30th.

One of the reasons I like doing these organized rides is the fact there are vet’s that check out the horse at various points (ignoring the rider completely), including the finish. The vet makes the call if the horse is fit to continue. When your tired and exhausted it’s easy to miss something so I do appreciate the vet’s that stand up for the horses when the riders are too tired, or too focused on a finish, to make the right decision. In my case this weekend about 5-6 miles from the finish I knew something was off so went very slow, and hand walked the horse for a considerable distance. In the end it wasn’t enough, but I’m glad I did it anyway to minimize any further injury/discomfort.

On the gardening front, my grandson came home last June with a pumpkin plant from his kindergarten teacher. We planted it in the garden since many of or our plants were not doing well, we had plenty of space I thought. This little six inch plant, not takes up a 30ft x 30ft area and has produce 6+ giant pumpkins. These pumpkins have got to be 30 inches tall. I guess he is ready for Halloween.

Notes from History: On this day in 1920, sometime before noon, a drayhorse hitched to an enclosed wagon, stood, unattended, pawing the ground (or cobblestones) at the curbside in front of the U.S. Assay Office on Wall Street. It  was a cloudy, somewhat  humid day and brokers and clerks at the Stock Exchange began setting up lunch reliefs amid a mild rally in moderate trading.

Just minutes before noon, and just minutes before Exchange clerks and other clerks from the House of Morgan, (just across Broad Street from the Exchange) might have poured out to the corner of Broad and Wall, a huge explosion erupted from the wagon. It killed 30 people on the street instantly, and injured hundreds of others. Flying metal shards tore into the limestone face of the Morgan Bank, dislodged steps on the Sub Treasury next to the Assay Office and even shot through the window of the Bankers Club at 120 Broadway (one block away and 30 stories above the explosion).

Bill Remick,  the Exchange  president,  walked to  the rostrum from the “money desk” and rang the bell, halting trading for the day.  He said he did it because it was “just the right thing to do”.   (Where are they now?) No one ever caught the mad bomber despite the final death toll of scores of people.  And the next morning the rally resumed, beginning the upswing of the roaring twenties.   Years later, but before the crash, an Attorney General would remark that the bomb had been planted by those who believed in communism.

Perversely, until the tragedy in Oklahoma City, the Wall Street bombing was the most devastating  terrorist  attack in U.S.  history  in terms  of casualties. After 9/11 it became a distant third.  Some believe that if the 1920 bomb had gone off twenty minutes later – it would still be #1.

I found this interesting if you take the cities of Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Jose, and Oakland, in that order roughly south to north. The Median house price increase over the last 12 months repectively are: 5%, 11%, 15%, 19%.

Market data for Morgan Hill CA September 2015
  • 125 homes on the market, a reduction from 142 a year ago.
  • 42 median days on market compared to 48 a year ago
  • Median price: $899,000 vs $809,000 a year earlier
  • Median size: 2,440 sq. ft. up 5% from a year ago
This includes condo’s and single family homes. Data pulled from
Mortgage rates are up slightly from a year ago. Everyone is waiting to see what the Fed does with rates.
Product Today 1 yr Low  1 yr. High
30 Yr FRM 4.04  3.55  4.26
15 Yr FRM 3.27  2.95  3.41
FHA 30 Year Fixed 3.75  3.25  3.85
Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 3.85  3.57  4.11
5/1 Yr ARM 3.00  2.95  3.25
Updated: 9/16/15