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It's Fun to Go to the DMV, He Bit the Coin, Good Knight Irene 
by Vice President Knight Allen 
Originally published on January 11, 2018 - reprinted with permission

    Happy 2018. How's it going so far? It's certainly very early but I'm enjoying it.

    Every day I take a couple of walks ( gotta keep moving) soaking up the warm sun and the beautiful blue skies that a the hallmark of a southern Nevada winter, not concerned one bit about the brutality of that same sun in the summer. I'll take those three months in the summer every time to avoid what is happening all over the country this winter. Good Grief!!

    Another great start was my experience getting my driver's license renewed at the DMV. As usual I just wrote off the day. Doing that has been a good tactic since no matter how it goes you don't get upset because there is nothing else on your calendar. This time I wanted to get the "Real ID" and had gathered the required paperwork. I also was looking forward to the eye test and the elimination of the "glasses required" restriction since I now have 20/20 vision in my left eye (the good one) thanks to successful cataract surgery in 2017, I must have picked the best day of the year and the best time of day or I was just plain dumb lucky because I was out of there in half an hour; without a reservation.

    I figure next time when I renew there is no way that will ever happen but for right now: Three cheers for the DMV.

    Unless you've been living in a cave you've probably heard about bitcoin* and the incredible rocket ride it's been on. As an investor I like to think I know a bubble when I see one and Bitcoin is a classic. It's right up there with tulips, the Roaring 20's Stock Market, and housing. Even if by some wild fluke it becomes a real currency it will have to stabilize at much lower levels than it's at now.

   There was a informative and fun article in the Wall Street Journal on December 20, 2017: "Early bitcoin investors are distraught over forgetting their bitcoin password." It seems that if you forget your password you are in big, big trouble. Everything is out there in the ether and if you don't know your password there is no way to get your bitcoins. It is definitely not like a bank where you can call up, talk to someone and get a reset.

    Here is an example of a bitcoin "private key" (password). Are you ready?
Not exactly the last four digits of your Social Security number.

    An outfit that tracks the movement of bitcoins, Chainalysis, estimates 2.8 to 3.8 million bitcoins (23%) are lost.

    A few of the individual stories the paper reported were both sad and funny at the same time. One man bought 15 in 2013 for $260.00. Now the're worth over $300 thousand, but he can't remember his password so he can't get to them. There is a hypnotist offering to help people recall their numbers. He charges one bitcoin plus 5% of the amount recovered.

    An IT worker in Wales lost 7,500 coins he mined, that seems to be the term for acquiring, in 2009. A hard drive with his private key was accidently tossed out in an office cleaning. Their value is now over $100 million and he's attempting to excavate a landfill, digging through years of trash to find it.

    Like I said, sad but how can you not laugh? Unless you are in the same boat.

    I see the $750 million crony capitalist/corporate welfare Raider steal is moving right along with the County signing off of a major component of it. This part involves infrastructure which the Raider organization has agreed to pay for itself. It includes widening sidewalks, roadway improvements and a pedestrian bridge over I-15. They still have a serious parking problem needing nearly 14,000 spaces to comply with county code. (LVRJ January 4, 2018)

    Forgive my cynicism but I don't think this is going to go down the way it's being sold. Those improvements represent a ton of money and NFL teams are always looking for ways to reduce their costs by tapping the public treasury. I guess we'll have to see what it looks like when the 2020 season rolls around.

    Personally, I'm a big fan of the Golden Knights NHL team and not just 'cause they're using my name and I see it in the paper every day. I like the team most of all because there was no crony capitalism/corporate welfare involved. Mr. Bill Foley did it all with private capital without "Raiding" (forgive the pun) our pockets. Capitalism the way it's supposed to work.

    Then there is the performance of the team which is blowing away records for an expansion team not only in hockey but in baseball, football and basketball as well. Of course the season has a long way to go but what a great run so far.

    While I won't root against the Raiders when they get here, it will be a lot more fun to root FOR the Knights. 

Vice-President Knight Allen can be reached at:

* Despite what Knight says, I am sure most of you have never heard of Bitcoin. If you would like to learn more about this and you are computer literate, go to your favorite search engine such as Bing or Google and type in "explain Bitcoin."  Or if you wish, click on the link below or type into your browser:  -VERN