Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh Snap!!


Jessica just gave me approval to buy this bad boy. I'm practically stealing it off this dude on Craigslist.

Can You Wanna Say "Finances?"

Bloomberg News recently reported that former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan is predicting an impending 'burst bubble' in terms of the Chinese stock market which has surged 170 percent this year. Interesting.

I've often pondered the potential to capitalize on fallen markets since the post 9/11 stock decline in which the markets took a sharp (but decidedly temporary) dip.

It seems in stock investing, the prevailing wisdom is to ride out the storms, ignoring short-term fluctuations, to capitalize on the long term growth of the economy. That may be sage advice for those seeking a safe return and a place to park their assets, but is it the best advice in terms of making money from your money?

History has shown time and again that the stock market is a fickle beast with a propensity to twitch and overreact to every tidbit of bad news. A sparrow contemplating a visit to a feeder in a room full of hungry cats has calmer nerves. From a slight reduction in anticipated profits to a suspected terrorist plot, the market reacts like a turtle on it's seventh can of Red Bull, pulling its head in so fast it gets whiplash. Time after time, history shows that the sky was falling and the dips in the market were temporary.

You may be asking yourself what this has to do with the price of rice in China? Well, maybe we all ought to be working real hard to increase our liquid reserves right now. Maybe, when the Chinese market bubble bursts, we ought to be ready (with cash in hand) to buy out the timid investors who sell out at the first sign of trouble?

Would you rather invest in the market at the peak or at the 'height' of a slump? What's that you say? You aren't comfortable investing in foreign markets? How about saving your liquid assets for the next post-9/11 slump? According to Edna Moog, "Luck favors the prepared."

Lost Days

I just realized that while the last few days in chicago on business
(while productive from a business standpoint) have been essentially
two days lost from my life. I just got the feeling that they have
been the same as when our flight was cancelled in London the other day
and we had to sit in a hotel room for 24 hours. It is just days that
I can never get back, and have served no purpose in the achieving my
personal goals. It's like putting your life on hold for a few days.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Yeah, I'm in Chicago. Yeah, I have my computer. Heck, it even worked
great while I was driving (as passenger) between sites. What is the
problem? Yeah, I left the power cord at home, so when I went to fire
it up this evening,
...nada. :(

On the plane last night I was victim of a bout of baseless ambition.
Inc. Magazine has a tendency to engender a sort of entrepreneurial
wanderlust and creative longing. The result was that I (naively?)
brainstormed a couple of tactics for facilitating a PR campaign and
threw myself out as volunteer PR manager of the pre-fledgling
RedRocketResume. Let the PR commence!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Paki Taxi

After a quick trip out to the farm (to grab my wallet, which I had
left there) I got ready to hurry up and wait for my taxi. The doggone
dispatcher had given the driver the wrong address and between him
calling and trying to get me to direct him to the house via landmarks
(not streets & compass directions,) the thick accents and apparent low
intelligence level, it was needless to say I was a bit frustrated when
my driver finally arrived. Long story short; I at phase II of
hurry-up-and-wait...I am sitting at the airport waiting on a plane to
Chicago. Watchagunnado?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Apiaristic Interude

Dad put his name out as Plano's Apiarist expert (bee expert) and
charges a princely sum per hour to remove bee colonies from peoples
houses. Tonight Sterling and I accompanied him into a gated
community of Cinderella-style mansions in Frisco where a colony had
moved into the floor of a balcony in a under-construction home.
Sterling & I talked with Angela's family on the phone and did some
bonding while dad went up to the balcony and scooped hatfuls of bees
from the balcony and dumped them into the box. The night went well
with all the stings being received by dad and none by Sterling (who is
highly allergic to insect bites/stings of all sorts.)
It was refreshing to take a day of rest from the labors of the farm.

The POs Are Finally Out!

That's right, the previous owners of the farm FINALLY got all their junk moved out today. At this point, anything that is left is ours. They have really been dragging their feet about cleaning out the junk out of the shop. We have been trying to be patient with them. In fact, I think their horses may even still be ranging on our pasture.
Anyway, I didn't post last night because we were at the farm camping out in one of our bedrooms. We woke up early and worked till 11:30pm tonight chipping up the kitchen floor, de-caulking windows and (best of all) dad and I started framing in the wall to break the entry room area into an office area.
Grandma Helen came out to bring us dinner and stayed to watch the kids play in the pool. Keith Taylor also stopped by at dad's request to take me into Bonham to buy lumber and sheetrock at the local hick store. We were in a state of 'shock and awe' at the amazing sights of seemingly endless crack that was being displayed by the lumber-yard workers.
The highlight of the day? Jessica found a dead mouse and a five dollar bill in one of the air return registers.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bombs away!

We didn't accomplish anything extremely noteworthy today, but we did finish off several small projects and we had some good times hanging with everybody's favorite Rugg; my man Neil.
As a matter of fact, Neil is a former Boy Scout and (in harmony with the boy scout motto) he just "happened" to have a fishing pole in his trunk. So today was the first day anyone cast a line at the farm (no one caught anything, but it is just a minor setback.)
For those who are wondering, yes, there was time for a tractor ride today.
To close the day up, we set off an insect bomb in every single room in the house. I pity the fool that breaks into our house tonight!

Opening Pandora's Box

Real quick here: I just realized that as a bona-fide blogger, I can now push my favorite websites on the world. You need to stop whatever you are doing, think of your favorite song and get onto right now! It absolutely rules! (or in my case, it rocks :) I used Pantera's Planet Caravan as my initial seed and listen to righteous tunes all day long while I am working.
Spoiler alert: It's a free internet radio station that allows you to custom-tailor the "channel" you listen to according to your own listening preferences. It's all done via crazy algorythms and based on 400 uniquely identified characteristics for each song. You tell it a song you like and based on that, it creates your channel and feeds you more music you're sure to love.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Carpet - It's A Nasty Place

Today's work at the farm was fruitful in some ways and beyond nasty in others. At the end of the day, Jessica is confident that we'll be able to meet our deadlines and actually be moved into this place by the 7th of November.

We finished getting the ceramic tile out of the entryway (I have the blisters to prove it.) Jessica also removed all the Pergo out of the family and living rooms as well as some carpet from several of the rooms and started hand-troweling texture onto the family room walls. Mom & dad came out for a few minutes to check things out and took the kids home early (thanks) and we also even unloaded some of my garage tools into the shop.

Did I mention that there was also some time for a tractor-ride. (I am finding that there always seems to be time for a tractor-ride.) Winter and Ginger today were the lucky participants and they were both pretty enthusiastic about it. Winter and I drove part of the fence line. It looked good.

I suppose I should also mention that I received my first (of many to come I am sure) wasp stings at the farm today. One got inside my glove somehow and nailed me twice. I always used to tell people that one of the reasons I didn't like TX is the biting/stinging bugs. Since I am consciously making an effort to make the best of this, I am going to do like my dad does and chalk up this latest sting to bee-sting therapy. Sound intriguing? Ask him about it sometime.

The piece de resistance came after Jessica had called it a day (she had already gone home) and I
decided to pull the odoriferous carpet from the master bedroom. It was basically stinking up the whole house. We knew it was bad (knowledge based on two clues: 1. the stench 2. It was brown everywhere...except where their bed was at - where it was white) but I had no clue a carpet could be as foul as this.

These are pictures of what was UNDER the carpet. Literal dirt traffic patterns that had sifted through the carpet and pad. The first one is the view of the entry into the room right after the carpet pad was pulled. The clean spot is where the bed was. The second shot is more of the same with the dirt paths leading into another room on the left and into the master bathroom on the right. You'll also want to note the miscellaneous urine stains throughout. The smell is actually worse now that the carpet is out. After the dirt is removed, we'll be bleaching the concrete for

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Regarding 'the farm'

On Monday, Jessica hauled Ginger & Sterling out to the farm for most of the day.
She spent most of the day ripping off the wallpaper in the master
b-room. The kids spent most of the day running around the unoccupied house yelling and screaming like wild animals. They also made a nest in the master bath tub out of wall paper scraps.
I showed up later with Winter and we then commenced tearing
out the built-in entertainment center and a bunch of wood trim from
above the fireplace. We got that done and started in on the ceramic tile in the front entryway and even made a few good sized holes in the drywall. It was good times, but gave us a real dose of
'what did we get ourselves into?'

Welcome Back!

It's funny how a hundred dollar welder can prevent you from ever owning a decent welder....

So, I created a Blog a year or so ago on blogspot and posted a few things and then promptly forgot to remember the address. That may seem like an insignificant event, but the fact remains that since I knew that I already had a blog (somewhere) I could not ever convince myself to start a new one. Since I never started a new one, you the reader have been forced to suffer with a small hole in your soul whilst you have been forced to continue on through life without being able to read my blog.

All dramatics aside, you can see that the hundred dollar welder (my existing blog) which does weld (in theory, but not good enough for most applications) has made it so I could not purchase a nice welder (a new blog) that would weld the way I want it to. I know - it is a stupid theory, but sometimes that stupid cheapo welder ruins your life.

Anyhoo, back on the ranch, the news around the barnyard is that we bought the farm yesterday, so I figured what better time to get over any misgivings and start chronicling life at the farm via blog. So, prepare yourselves for mindless drivel, updates, ranting and possibly even some occasionally entertaining content. I may even slip in some shots of the kids on the tractor or something. Stay tuned!