Bottoming Out

Dinosaur Trader is a stock trader. He writes about the daytrading lifestyle, parenthood, marriagehood and the often combustible mixture of the three. He created the stock blogosphere in 2007.

A week ago I nearly wrote a post titled, “How To Lose $1000 and Blow Up Your Dishwasher” because on that day, I actually lost $1000 and destroyed my dishwasher.

For many reasons, not the least being that my wife is 11 months pregnant, I didn’t.

Anyway, here’s a very shortened version. Judy told me the dishwasher was acting funny and that I needed to call an appliance repair guy. Out of some weird mixture of pride, poverty and paranoia, I refused. Instead I attempted to fix the dishwasher myself, and made matters worse.

Dinosaur Trader… Stock trader. Poet. Landscaper. Dishwasher Repair Man.

Fast forward to yesterday. Judy is now 15 months pregnant and full of hate and rage. My in-laws are over… The dishwasher is still sitting in the middle of the kitchen and everyone is wondering out loud what personal flaw I have that makes it impossible for me to simply call someone to fix it.

The vibe was so thick, I figured I’d hook the thing back up with everyone around, just to keep them quiet.

I did the plumbing first. I grunted under the sink. Now and then I’d ask Judy’s father to hand me something. I got a little cut on my hand, winning some sympathy from her mother. I slid the machine back in place.

Next the electric. I had too much wire… thing was nearly a foot too long. I manhandled the thing, wrapping it this way and that so that it’d fit under the kickplate. I took the wire nuts from the tips of the white wire, and the black wire. I hooked up the ground wire.

I was laying on my side, face an inch from the electrical box, cursing, twisting and then “POP!” blinded.

Far away, thousands of miles away, everyone in my kitchen was screaming.

Holy fucking shit! I thought. The wires are hot!

I collected myself, laughed, told everyone “don’t touch that wire” and ran to the basement to shut off the main electrical. I looked at the panel. #28 was popped, not #22, which I had switched off earlier. It was labeled “dishwashed.” I stared at that panel for a good 5 minutes, in open-mouthed disbelief.

Last time I trust an electrician.

I was manhandling a live wire and had nearly sent 220 volts through my 155 pound frame. I doubt it would have ended well.

The ultimate blowup. The complete smokefest.

Zero dollars.

Electricity now fully off, I finished the connections. I turned the dishwasher on. Miraculously, it worked. In-laws=dazed.

Fast forward again, this time to today. I’m buying copper as it’s plunging. Too many contracts. I get stopped out a nickel from the bottom. Account smelling something like a forest on fire. So bad, I want to quit.

I buy back, this time, 25 cents off the lows. The low. I make all my money back and then some.

Yesterday, I nearly offed myself physically. Today, I nearly offed myself financially.

My wife is 19 months pregnant. New kid should have been here already. Apparently it’s the fat and lazy type. Whatever. It’s coming. Meanwhile, my neighbor, who I’ve been complaining about for years,  is finally through with his tree work. I see lots of loose ends coming together. I believe in cycles. Perhaps the fact that I’m still here today, physically and financially, means I just bottomed out.

As a believer of cycles, I’m hopeful, and buying.

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