Monday, December 28, 2009

Look Out Below!

I was drinking coffee, and no, it was not Starbucks because Starbucks was too busy! Then I laid back and closed my eyes. Then I heard it..... little pieces of ice hitting the windshield. (No, I wasn't driving). I opened my eyes just in time to see this large sheet of ice blow off from the top of a semi trailer and come right straight toward my head. I saw it hit the windshield and the cracks spread like a spider's web. And just like that it was over. At least my life wasn't over.

Audrey was driving and handled it like a pro. We pulled over at the next exit to inspect the damage. I had fine shards of glass all over me, as did my seat, dashboard and floor carpet. No other damage was done to the truck and, miraculously, there was no hole all the way through the windshield. After sweeping myself off with a scraper broom, I swept off the seat and and dashboard. After this we drove much slower than the rest of the traffic because although the windshield had no hole, it was caved in. So we drove the last 400 miles slowly. But we made it home.

I do believe that God protected us and the best Christmas gift to us this year is our health and safety. And, oh, ya, the self setting clock Audrey got me for Christmas. Now when I lay awake at night I can stare at the time displayed on the ceiling.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Road is Closed!

Interstate 80 is closed in Nebraska. That's what the lighted highway sign said. Then it said it again. We were almost there, what should we do? We missed a couple of hotels and we were running out of highway. Finally, we saw a sign for Cabella's. We figured there would be a hotel close by. There sure enough was! The Embassy Suites and The Courtyard Marriott were right off the Interstate. This just happened to be a convention center, and, my, my are the rooms ever nice. For $59 we got a suite with a fridge, microwave, a TV room, a king sized bed, two closets, and lots of nice furniture!
The kitchenette was handy and so were the two flat screen TVs.

Not only that, but we went down to the dining room and got delicious pizza, BLT, and Chili. We ate this while we watched our own high definition TV in our private booth!

We knew we would have to stop somewhere tonight, but the snow storm forced the closing of I80, and we landed here. A closed road opened up a very nice experience! This is one of the nicest rooms I have ever stayed in. And guess what? They serve Starbucks coffee. 

Friday, December 25, 2009

Pretty Fantastic

Christmas Eve 2009 was pretty fantastic. This was the first Christmas we have spent with Ron and Sonia in Wausau. Archie was excited all day! He would sit and stare under the tree at the presents. He could not wait to open the packages. All day long he begged, but the answer was always the same.... he had to wait until after dinner. Archie insisted that he wasn't hungry and didn't want any supper. So we told him gifts were only for those who ate supper.... OK, he supposed he could.

Suddenly it was gift time. Archie was appointed to be Santa Clause (self-appointed). He did a pretty good job until he got sprayed in the eye with shaving lotion (ouch!). So Archie started opening gifts: Socks?, he whined. The next gift, sox and underwear. The next gift, more clothes! Man what a disappointment. But all his disappointment changed in a moment when he opened his wii. He was excited but I had no idea what a wii, was. 

Audrey got a laughing Santa that rolls around on the floor. And I got a laughing dog that rolls around on the floor. As we watched them we all laughed and rolled around on the floor. 

Well, I'm being summoned and have to go now. I'll blog more on this later.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Always the Road

This morning at 7:00 we left  to go to Wausau where our daughter Sonia lives. It was just getting light in Denver when we left and was just getting dark in Des Moines when we arrived there. Tomorrow we head for Wausau. Audrey did a lot of things en route, but it was my job to pay attention to the road. I guess that is what the driver does. It's OK for a while, but after awhile the road takes over your live. 

The concrete highway jiggles and bounces until the road looks like one of those scenes in the movies where they jiggle the camera. The sun makes you squint so you want to close your eyes. The fog also makes you squint to see the road. The headlights from oncoming vehicles burn your eyes. But onward you go, staring at the road. You also have to fight off sleep and distractions. At least one hand is glued to the wheel, but both eyes are glued to the road. After 10 hours of steady driving, it's time for a hotel. Thank God for the Marriott points.

Tomorrow is more of the same. Only the job will get harder with freezing rain and snow. That's why we drove the F-150 4WD instead of the thrifty little Prius. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Early Christmases

At Christmastime children are greedy, at least my brother and I were. We were also snoops. Snooping didn't make our Christmas any happier. We always knew that around mid December we could start hunting around the house to find unwrapped gifts. We always wanted to know what we were getting for Christmas before we got it. One time we even went as far as partially unwrapping packages so we could peek inside. I don't know whether dad and mom ever caught on. At least they didn't let on that they did.

One year David, my brother, and I discovered a couple of model cars that were not yet wrapped. I don't know what dad and mom were thinking, but one of them was a Chrysler Imperial and the other was a Ford Falcon. These were early 60's models. Not cool for kids our age that were into Mustangs, GTOs, and Chevells. Nonetheless. My brother and I fought over who was going to get the Imperial.... neither one of us wanted it. So, I just about cried when I opened it, and it was mine. Somehow, i wished we had never snooped. Maybe, then, I would have liked it. I probably didn't like it because David didn't like it. Well, I did end up gluing it together and painting it. I hated it even more!

Somehow this experience didn't teach me a lesson. The next Christmas I was right back at the snooping. I just couldn't resist. But I had become a pro at acting surprised. 

One of the holiday foods we had was suet pudding. Now before you laugh you need to realize that I was a city kid and didn't know what suet was. It wasn't half bad with caramel sauce on it so long as you didn't know what you were eating. I think mom steamed it for a good long time, mixed it with sugar and raisins and then poured hot caramel over it. We all wolfed it down. After we were married I even asked Audrey to make it. That was a big mistake because that is when I found out what I was actually eating. Sorry, mom, but no more suet pudding for me.

Another holiday specialty was oyster stew. I remember dad and mom would invite friends over for an oyster stew party. I was relegated to my upstairs bedroom and told not to come down. I felt left out because my brother, David, was allowed to attend. I cried and made a terrible racket. The next year they let me attend long enough to get a bowl of oyster stew. Man, is that stuff awful. It's certainly not worth having a party for. Anyway, I took one bite and it went down.... then it came right back up. That was the end of the party for me. I wonder if that is when they discovered I was allergic to shellfish. 

Remember, I said we were greedy. Well it really showed one year. Since there were now five of us kids, there was quite a pile of gifts under the tree. It didn't take us long to open them and have paper strewn all over. As I remember it, the pile of gifts vanished pretty quickly and I had what I thought to be a pretty small pile. So I yelled out, "Is that all there is?" My dad, Santa Clause, just about exploded! "What do you mean? is that all there is?" He went on to explain that they had spent $100 on each of us. Now these were days when a candy bar was five or ten cents. Today a candy bar sells for a dollar. So they must have spent one thousand of today's dollars on each of us. Well, you get the picture, we were greedy little brats.... at least I was. 

How come the only gifts I can remember from my childhood Christmases was that model car, a game of Stadium Checkers, and a pair of corduroy mod pants with a wide belt? I loved those mod pants until I showed up in school with them after Christmas. That's when i discovered the rich kids got something else and these were already out of style. Of course, they let me know that too. They'd laugh at me showing the expensive braces on their teeth. If anybody needed braces, I did, but my dad was a sheet metal man at the railroad, when he wasn't laid off. I wonder how many of those rich kids still have their teeth. Mine might be crooked, but they are mine.

Anyway, Merry Christmas Everyone! 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Unbelievable Story..... But True

In the world of my business, a lot of crazy things happen. A few weeks ago I was contracted to build an entertainment center for one of my customers. I needed to have the center finished before her company arrived before Christmas. This required ordering two base cabinets, which I found at Home Depot. I was told that the cabinets would arrive in about three weeks. Cool. So after three weeks I decided to check on my order. No, they hadn't arrived as of yet. So after four weeks I checked.... still didn't arrive but was told they were shipped and would arrive the following week. So I checked the following week, and no they were not in but were scheduled to arrive on Dec. 15th. So on December 15th I went in to check, this is six weeks by now. No, they hadn't arrived but they would check on the status.

So they checked, but could not get accurate information. First I was told that they had arrived but the customer sent them back. I knew this wasn't right since I was the customer. Then I was told they were at a warehouse dock somewhere, but they couldn't locate the dock. Then I was told that they were returned to the manufacturer, but the manufacturer could not find them. 

I needed the cabinets the next morning by 8:00 AM to finish my job, or I would have to cancel the order and build the cabinets. Well, the lady at Home Depot was working very hard trying to track down the cabinets, I spent 3 hours at the store. That evening she called me and said the docks were all closed now and that she still had not located the cabinets. I was told that they could be back in Ohio for all she knew. 

The next morning I called Home Depot again, she checked again, and again no cabinets. Five minutes later she called again and said that the cabinets were at the manufacturer's warehouse in town. For some reason they made it to the store but were returned to the warehouse. What I am wondering is.... how could the manufacturer not know that they were in their own warehouse? Were they just putting us off when they said they checked the first two times?
I got the project done on time..... barely!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Busy Week Ends

A busy week has ended only to encounter a busy weekend. Yes, My business is still going strong and there are evening things I have had to do. This has made life go past in a blur, so fast that I almost missed turning 60. This week we attended our grand daughter's Christmas concert (Amber), and Audrey's company party. I actually knew two other people there (kind of). And, of course, because everyone was yacking at the same time I couldn't understand what anyone said. But I did a lot of smiling and nodding my head. The food was good. All in all, not a bad time. 

Tonight, though, is one of my favorite parties, Nadine's Christmas party. I call it a Christmas party only because I can't spell hoursdevours (orderves). Ha! Anyway, I know every one there and the food is great (except for the mushrooms). No offense to the mushroom cook but I equate that just a little higher than squash and sweet potatoes. Anyway, before I step too deep in the doo..... this is my favorite party.

I have also invited all of Rod's Home Repairs employees to a party at my house, or maybe at Starbucks. At any rate, it will be a party of solitude and deep enjoyment. Oh, did I mention that I am the only employee?

We will also be driving to Wausau, Wisconsin to spend Christmas with Ron, Sonia, and Archie. We are greatly looking forward to this. I want to drive the F-150 because it has 4WD, it comfortable, has a good ride, and is quiet. You never know what kind of weather we will encounter. Audrey wants to drive the Prius because it gets better gas mileage, has heated seats, satellite radio, and is more comfortable for her to drive. So, should we take the F-150, the Prius, or both? Your vote is appreciated.

We have been invited to no New Year's Eve parties as of yet.

Stay tuned to see how all this pans out.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stuck to the Shovel

Wintertime in Minnesota is always cold. Once the snow comes in November it stays through March. This is a great opportunity for winter sports such as hockey, figure skating, skiing, sledding and tobogganing. As cold as it was, we were usually out doing something. I was pretty limited to figure skating and sledding...... and..... and..... shoveling snow. Yes, there was always plenty of snow to shovel and cars to push out of the drift. 

The best way to start my 52' Chevy was to push it down the street with the door open, then when it was rolling pretty good, jump in and pop the clutch. It worked most of the time. Most of us were too cheap to buy a new battery. 

On one especially cold and frosty morning when I was about 7 I was outside pulling my little sled around (the kind with steel runners). Frost was everywhere, the tree branches and power lines were thick with frost ("one foggy Christmas eve"). Leaning against the garage was a scoop shovel with frost all up and down the handle. The thick frost seemed so delicious that I decided to lick it off. Well, I'm pretty sure that I am not the only kid that ever went into the house crying with a scoop shovel stuck to his tongue. My folks thought that was hilarious, but I was terrified. It seemed like an eternity, but I'm sure it was only a moment and my tongue was free.

Well, kids today are still licking flagpoles. This is one of the important lessons in life. Things aren't always as good as they appear on the surface. Of course, a seven-year-old only learns "don't lick the flagpole!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Frozen Snot

Yep, you read the title right! The weather is so cold here that it reminds me of my childhood in Minnesota and when we lived in North Dakota. In the winters it gets so cold the snot freezes in your nose. The little kids would stick out their tongue and catch the snot as it ran out of their noses. The cold makes your eyes water, then freezes on your cheeks. 

I remember walking to school when I was in high school. It wasn't very far, only about three miles or so. But on those 30 degree below zero mornings it was cold. I would arrive at school with frost on my eyebrows, and on my quilted jacket (that's what we wore back then). The only way I survived was to keep moving. I balled my fist up in the palms of my gloves to keep my fingers from freezing. If I carried books my fingers did freeze. When I got to school and thawed out my fingers they hurt so bad. Today I have very little feeling in my fingertips. 

I would go ice skating in the evenings when it was well below zero. The ice was so brittle it would pop as I glided over it. The blades would hardly cut into the ice. Thank God we had a warming house. It was a small building with benches and a kerosine stove in the middle. It was a place to commiserate. 

I remember deer hunting with my dad in late November. We would drive to northern Minnesota, up around Black Duck. We'd pitch a tent (too poor for a hotel). We'd keep a kerosine heater going all night. We did sleep. Then the next morning we'd find the coldest place in the woods to stand. It was cold (minus 20) and quiet. It was so quiet that when a twig snapped it almost sounded like a gun reporting. And still, the deer were so quiet they could walk around you without you hearing them.

One morning I almost froze to death. I stood in the cold woods until my toes and fingers hurt so bad I could no longer stand it. I decided to walk out to the car, which was quite a ways away. Walking didn't warm me. When I got to the car my fingers were so frozen I kept dropping the key in the snow. Finally, I got the key between my two thumbs and barely had enough strength to turn the lock. Once I got in the car I had great difficulty maneuvering the key to start the car. When the heat finally started, my hands and feet hurt so bad while thawing. It took over an hour before I could use my hands.

In North Dakota, after a snow the cold winds would come and drift the snow high and hard. When we lived in Drayton, I remember a three day white out blizzard. The temperature went into the minus thirties. The wind was in the 40's, and the windchill went down to almost minus 90. School was cancelled (only because the buses wouldn't start). When the blizzard was over, I went out to shovel a 4' drift out of our driveway. The snow shovel wouldn't even make a dent in the drift, it was almost as hard a ice. I used an ice chisel on the drift, and it bent the chisel. I had to carve out cubes of hard snow and toss them aside by hand. My fingers and ears got cold.

Ever since then I have thought that a person must have some kind of mental defect to want to live there. But, of course, they have more than one season..... winter and July 17th. And on July 17th everyone gets together and swats mosquitoes. 

Well, this winter in Denver reminds me of that. It's not nearly as cold, and it doesn't last as long. But it does make me yearn for Hawaii. 

Thank God, they have Starbucks in Hawaii, too. I don't ever remember seeing one in North Dakota. But I did see a sign where they sell "expresso." Man, a Starbucks would have been good when I was sitting in that car trying to thaw out!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Big Hoax

There is a really big hoax taking place around the world. This is much bigger than balloon boy. In reality it is a scam that is costing economies around the world trillions of dollars, and in the USA it will cost us millions of jobs. They used to call it global warming until the globe stopped warming and is now cooling. Now they call it climate change and they are blaming humans for changing the climate. The administration is pushing for cap and trade, which will basically make American goods non-competitive with world markets. More jobs will be lost.

The hoax is this. There is no science to back up the theory of man made climate change. In fact the science is so thin that universities have suppressed any scientific findings to the contrary. Their system has been hacked into and their suppression of true science has shown them to be a fraud. But not to worry, those of you who support their theory, they will press forward anyway because it is what they want to do, and that is more important that science. It's a hoax!

The issue is not really about global warming or climate change. The true issue is control. Our government is careening toward government control. The government wants to control wages of CEOs, they want to control your health care, they want to control auto manufacturers, they want to control the car you buy, the light bulbs you use, the windows you install, and the chips and candy you eat, not to mention your soft drinks. Like little sheep we are willingly led to the slaughter. We are deemed to be too stupid to know what is best for us. They, the government have all the answers. It's all a hoax.

If they have the answers and know what is best for us, after all the bailout money they spent, why did we still lose 10,000 more jobs last month. Our president, who doesn't seem to know anything about economics, got up and made a speech about how good that was. Try telling that to the 10,000 who lost their jobs and the employers who had to let them go. How many of you really like the change the president has brought? 

I'm telling you, this guy is not real. He will destroy our economy, our health care, our national security, and our credibility around the world. All of this is happening now.

The Signs are Everywhere!

As you walk through the door you are met with a host of signs. They are on little stands, they are on placards on the wall, and there is really a narrow scope of business. The signs say we have coffee, tea, cappuccino, latte, smoothies and tea. There are a few little goodies behind the glass that you may also choose from. 

So, basically, I am puzzled. I am puzzled as to how a person can stand in line for five minutes staring at all these signs and goodies and not know what they want when the get to the counter to order. They still stand and stare. They gaze at the signs. And now begins 64 questions. They order one thing, then change their minds for another. By now the line is backing up to the door. They don't seem to realize there are other people in the building. They are oblivious to what the store has to offer. They are oblivious that others actually live on this planet. In fact they are oblivious that a dozen people standing behind them are gnashing their teeth. Some of them have to get back to work. They spent their whole lunch period standing in line. Oh, she settled for a tall coffee.

This kind of person doesn't belong in a coffee shop. She thinks she a patron, but in reality others had to cut out to get back to work. That's okay, she's oblivious to that, too. Well, anyway, she makes a good story. I'm just glad she didn't bring her kids. But at least kids know what they want. But most of the times moms tell them they can't have that. Kids always get what they don't want.

What could be better than a tall coffee, black (with no room for you teenagers)? I know! a grande! For those of you over 50, a tall is a small, a grande is a medium, and a vente is a large. But if you want a small, don't go to Tully's and order a tall. Their small might be a "small" or a "regular." Perhaps it's time to standardize parts (drinks). But then, I think by now, everyone knows what a "tall" is. Who ever thought a "tall" would be a cup of coffee. That's actually a cup of coffee in a paper cup which is actually a cup-and-a-half.

Man, this coffee shop lingo is a whole new language!


Monday, November 30, 2009

It Wasn't So Hard

Most people think that this is really a hard thing to do. I disagree. I believe that it is just something that happens to you if you live long enough..... and most people do. It usually happens with a certain amount of fanfare and celebration. Then there are the snide remarks, and..... oh, the cards. And even worse. The gifts! But, in reality it isn't so hard. In fact, It can be quite fun turning 60. 

After all, You get this little bottle of prune juice, something to soak your false teeth in, and a lot of birthday cards that shows no respect for the elders. The grandkids gave me appropriate videos of Dick Van Dyke, the Three Stooges, and, oh, I forget. My wife gave me a Christmas nutcracker for my 60th birthday (what was that all about?)  Amy and Nik, the champions or all gift givers, gave me a $60 gift card to Starbucks (which I promptly forgot to use this morning) along with an insulated stainless steel cup. It's worth turning 60 after all! 

The grandkids love to draw, so I got as many as three cards from one of the grandkids. Each stating the obvious, that I am the best grandpa in the world. I think that is pretty cool.

As for the false teeth solvent. I still have my original teeth with a few crowns and glittery spots, but all in good shape. But I'll save that false teeth soaking stuff just in case I need it when I turn 70, or 80, or beyond. I'll save the prune juice, too! Just so you know, my only medication is ibuprophin for my knees. And glucosamine, also for my knees. But I want all you young guys who make fun of me to know that these old knees, hurting as they do, still go up and down on ladders and walk across roofs carrying 90 pounds of roofing. 

So to all my birthday celebration attendees who have the wicked thoughts that I am about to kick the bucket, know this: I will be around when you turn 60 and I will remember your gifts! In fact, I can hardly wait. 

Now what could be better than this: Being 60 and in good health, a good job, a great family, a nice house.... paid for, a $60 certificate to Starbucks, and the Vikings winning on your birthday! Some people have it worse, like Chicago fans.

Thanks everybody! When Audrey turns 60 I think I will get her a doll of Mrs. Clause. Actually, I really like the nutcracker (fisherman). I get one every year. Pretty soon I will have a whole army of these guys.... and I will need them because the are a lot of nuts in my family to crack.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving at Brent and Sues

It started out that we were going to have Thanksgiving dinner at our house. Nik and Amy and the kids were to be here. Then Audrey decided to go to North Dakota to see her mom. So then, I was Invited to have Thanksgiving with Amy and Nik. Well, Brent and Sue invited Amy and Nik to their place and they accepted. So in the end, I also got invited over. It was a good time, but I felt a bit like, well, different. I was thankful to be there, but somewhat deflated.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Turning 60

What I want to do, I must do quickly! For I am turning 60 this month and statistics say that I have only 18 years left to live and the last few of those years I might wish I were dead. Time is running out. Procrastination is no longer a viable option. Like the Nike motto, I must "just do it!"

I'm not like Moses who died when he was 120, and his strength was not diminished. This year, shoveling the snow and lifting 90 pound rolls of roofing up a ladder have proven to me that my strength is slowly ebbing away. Yet, all-in-all, my strength and my health are good. My knees hurt but that reminds me that I am still alive. 

At 60 I still have ambitions. Over the next five years I want to build my business so that in the next 10 years it will provide an income without my having to work. I want Rod's Home Repairs to become a household word in the North Metro Area of Denver. Even now, my business is becoming one of the larger home repair companies in the area. But much more must be done.

I want to visit Alaska, Yellowstone, Bryce, and Nova Scotia. I want to see New Zealand and Australia. I want to do and African Safari. I also want to do Longs Peak one more time. I suppose by then I will have titanium knees. And.... I want to do lots of fly fishing.

But my biggest ambition is to be a soul-winner. Scripture says, It is appointed unto a man once to die, after that the judgement. How many people can I lead to make the right decision to receive Christ, I don't know, but I hope it is many.

The calendar tells me time is running out. I am speeding towards death at the rate of 60 minutes an hour. Three-fourths of my life has passed by. What kind of an impact have I had? More importantly, what kind of impact will I have from this time forward?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Give Thanks!

In everything give thanks, In everything give thanks, In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. This song is based on the words of the Apostle Paul. 

When we think of giving thanks to God, it is usually for the bounty and many other blessings He has provided. We ought to be thankful for those things. Just tonight as we sat at our evening meal I thanked God for the comfort of our home and the food we eat. There are many other things that I am also thankful for, such as my wife, my family, my friends and my church. I am thankful that God has provided us with good jobs and a degree of comfort. I am thankful that my home is in the United States of America, a country richly blessed by God. I could fill several sheets of paper with thanksgivings.

But Paul said, In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God  in Christ Jesus concerning you. I am glad that Paul did not tell us to be thankful for everything. I don't really think I could thank God for knees that hurt every step I take. But I can be thankful that even though my knees hurt, God still loves me and that I still have knees that work, even though they pain me. The same can be true in many situations of life. We may be challenged by things we detest, but we can be thankful that God gives us the wisdom and strength to meet the challenge. And we can be thankful that God is with us through it all.

One writer said: "I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet." 

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for all the things I should obviously be thankful for.... and for the challenges that have been sent my way. I am thankful that even though my knees pain me, I don't have a condition that pains me more. I can still walk. I can still work, and yes, I can still sometimes play.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Black & White

It was as clear as black and white because that's just what it was. He was an elderly black gentleman who was wearing a pure white suit. And everyone noticed. No, not because he was black and his suit was white, but because he was standing on the corner playing the sweetest sax music I have ever heard. Kenny G had nothing over on this guy. He had talent, feeling, mood, and never missed a note. But it was what he was playing that really made people stop and listen.

I mean, people stopped and listened. As they walked out of the Westlake Center, they heard the music, sat on the concrete steps and listened. When they came out of Starbucks with their coffees, they sat down and listened. Passersby stopped, sat down and listened. The music was sweet and pure. It, too had to do with black and white.

He played songs like What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Amazing Grace, and It is Well With My Soul. The young ladies that sat to my left were there for over an hour. I know because Audrey and I sat there for a for over two hours, just listening and being ministered to, and wanting it to never end. The young lady to my left had tears streaming down her cheeks. She said to me, This is the most beautiful music I have ever heard. The music told the story of black and white. It revealed the condition of your own heart. It made you want to experience God's love and saving grace in your own life.

This event that we happened upon in downtown Seattle is perhaps one of the rememberable events in my life. I look back to it often. I think of how one man and his sax could have such a profound effect on so many people. 

The black man in white told us how he had been forbidden to be on that corner by Seattle authorities, but he was there anyway. His little American flag was by his side. He also told us that he was a prison chaplain and that he went there twice a week to minister to the prisoners. 

What impressed me the most was how he was there, all by himself...... or...... was he? I believe that God's Holy Spirit was there, and he was doing a work. A lot of people were touched, and moved. I can still see him standing there. And I can still hear the sweetness of the music. I can still see the tears flowing down the cheeks of a young lady. I can still hear the holy hush that dominated that outdoor cathedral. But most of all, I can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit asking me What will you do for the kingdom of God? Who's life will you touch? That voice haunts me even now, for I know I have not done nearly enough.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dancing With Julia

Her dad is in South Africa, so I was asked to dance with her. That's right, me, a 60 year old guy who was forbidden to dance when I was a kid was now invited to dance with a seven-year-old. I, of course, had to accept. I was really nervous. This kid, Julia, really knows how to do the "Pug." I think that is some dance she learned how to do while playing with her "Webkins." But she is confident and she is good.

The dance I was invited to is a "Father-Daughter" school dance. Nik, her father, is in South Africa visiting his father. I, therefore, her Grandfather, was invited. Her face lit up when I said I would. 

The night of the dance I went to pick her up and take her and her mother and Cade, her brother to dinner before going to the dance. When I saw her, O man, she was so beautiful. She wore a beautiful dress with new sandals. She had a flower in her hair. Her hair was so fine! and her face just glowed. Anybody would have been proud to be seen with her. This was going to be an exciting night. The dance had a Hawaiian theme, so I wore my Hawaiian shirt that I bought when I was in Hawaii. 

So down to Red Robin we went for dinner. Red Robin must be the place where fathers take their little girls to eat before school dances because when we arrived there were Hawaiian shirts all over the place. We ordered, but Julia didn't eat much. Her mouth turned upside down and tears trickled down her cheeks. She missed her dad and she was really nervous about going to the dance without him. So what should we do? Well, there was only one thing to do! We scratched the dance and Julia and Cade came to Grampa's house to stay overnight. 

Of course, going to Grampa's house meant that the kids would see Grandma, and that's what really made them happy. Going to Grampa and Grandma's house is better than going to a dance. I did miss going to the dance with Julia, but, I have to admit that I'm glad I didn't have to try doing the "pug." Although at this stage in my life I probably look somewhat like a pug.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Best Invest

Are you looking for the best investment? Believe me, it is not your typical CD. Tie your money up in that and you will loose value as inflation kicks in. And inflation will kick in as the the Federal Government keeps printing bogus dollars that nobody else in the world will want. 

When I think of investments I think of things that will be in demand. Over the next several years the demand for crude oil will continue to increase. They drive cars in India and China now! And other countries, too. The rest of the world is also playing a larger role in manufacturing. All of this takes energy. As oil reserves are drained in many parts of the world there will be increased pressure to find new resources. Therefore, there will be increased pressure on drilling companies and especially deep sea drilling. The best of these companies is Diamond Offshore, Transocean, and Noble Corp. The stock price on all three of these companies is going through the roof. The most reasonably priced of these three is Noble Corporation. Additionally, every analyst has rated them as a "buy" or "strong buy."  

And guess what? Right now is the best time to buy. Oil demand and prices have stayed steady and my actually go a little lower through the winter. Then next spring..... up they will go! Demand will increase as the economy recovers and as the driving season begins. But corporations like Noble are contracting right now for more deep sea drilling services. Their deep sea platforms bring in over $400,000 daily, per platform. In the foreseeable future things look bright. 

We have owned their stock for about a year now and already the stock has doubled. It looks like a good investment to me. But stick with your CDs if you want to.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Made in..... Mexico!

Ford Motor, the only American auto maker to not receive a bail out appears to be turning the corner. They made over a billion dollars their last quarter. This, of course, was aided by the cash for clunkers program. Auto sales are up 3.4% over last years. And they are making some really nice quality cars.

But the UAW is not making it easy for Ford Motor. They voted down contract amendments that would make them competitive with GM. It appears that the members of the UAW haven't learned anything from the bankruptcy of Chrysler and GM. I believe they are committing suicide with their own jobs. They haven't considered that the best selling and best quality Fords on the market are actually made in Mexico where there is no UAW. Ford motor has more capacity to build vehicles in Mexico and may now be forced to do so.

I now believe that it would be best for Ford Motor to move the bulk of its manufacturing to Mexico. The UAW must be broken so that labor in the USA can once again get back on track and be competitive in the world market. Listen guys, if you don't like competitive wages in auto manufacturing you will lose your jobs! Don't you guys understand this? To keep manufacturing jobs here you must be competitive, and you must produce quality. 

I own a 2009 F-150. So I am rooting for Ford Motor, and I am rooting for you to have a job. But I will buy another F-150 only if it is competitively priced.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It Just Keeps Coming

Everyday someone asks me how business is. I tell them that I'm doing great! Really. Revenues are up over 200% of last year's. And nearly every day I get new leads and sign new contracts. Most are amazed that I can do this during the current recession. There is a key.

First of all, I advertise to the market that I want, and I do so cheaply. These little community papers seem to work best for me. Almost everyone needs some kind of home repair. My ads appear on a weekly basis and are there every single week. Additionally, when I do an estimate I hand out my card and a brochure describing many of my services.

Secondly, I always try to save my client money by recommending less expensive repairs. The roofing company wants to sell a whole roof, I want to do repairs when it is the right thing to do. My client always appreciates this. This also applies to other types of repairs.

Thirdly, I do timely service. I don't let things drag out. When I need to I add another sub-contractor to get the job done. I always follow up to make sure the job was done completely and to my customer's satisfaction. 

Fourthly, I get a lot of repeat business. Because my company does a good job, my client calls me back when he wants something else done.

So, the work just keeps on coming.

So There!

Obama and the Dems keep repeating over and over that such movements as the tea parties do not represent the grass roots of America. They repeat over and over that these are a small portion of the American populous that is basically fanatical and out of touch with the rest of America. Of course, they haven't been able to tell the truth in any form since Obama took office and they won their landslide last November. They stated at that time that there was a new order in Virginia. They keep saying that Ronald Reagan Conservatism is dead. At least they want us to believe all these things.

Well, The good citizens of Virginia and New Jersey disagree. They resoundingly elected Conservative governors. In 2010 other states will follow their lead. So There!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

House Hunting

Well, we are at it again! House hunting! At least we were until about 10:30 this morning. That's when we both decided to take a nap. The realtor woke me up at 11:30. That's when I said we were no longer interested. I went back to sleep and woke up at 12:30. That was finally settled, we are staying where we are..... at least for..... now.

We go through these cycles. We have a couple of neighbors that park junk all over and it really makes us mad. We're tired of looking at their junk. Also, we live on the East side and both of us work on the West side. So, ideally, the west side would be nice. And guess what? I found a really nice house on the west side in a really good location, at a really good price! Ranch house, four stall garage, mountain view and all that! So I was told that one was already under contract - "but we have more." So we were going to look at "more." But as we reviewed the locations and the houses versus their prices. These other houses just didn't compare. So we decided once again to stay where we are at, and took a nap.

We like our house.... a lot. We just don't like where it is. We don't like the junk that surrounds us. But I think we hate payments worse. Our house is paid for. Hey, maybe we could buy out our neighbors and resell the houses. Now that's a thought. O well, maybe next month we'll change our minds again.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I Finally Broke Down....

That's right! After all these years I finally broke down. I am almost 60 you know. I know, I know.... a lot of good years left in me. But when it comes to the snow, I broke down this week. We have lived in Denver for nearly 13 years and have always shoveled our snow. Of course, the snow is usually light. The problem is..... I widened the driveway, I shovel the curb sidewalk to the neighbor on my left..... and to my right, and I keep shoveling it all the way down to the community mailbox. Add to this, I have sidewalks on both sides of my house, the back of the house, and all the way down to the shed. On top of this I have this huge uncovered deck that always doubles in snow accumulation. I always thought I was fit enough to shovel. But with this snow storm being so early in the year, I finally broke down. Yes, Sir! I broke down and..... and..... bought a snow blower!

This is expensive, but this is good!  In only 30 minutes I cleaned out our driveway, and the walkway in front of both neighbors and all the way down to the mailbox. And I did one of my neighbor's driveway. Did you get that? Now I'm doing my neighbor's driveway! Is that to assuage my guilt for spending too much? Or, is it because my neighbors still have to shovel by hand? 

Did I tell you that I have a motorized lawn edger? Ya, you guessed it! I edge in front of my neighbors as well. The problem is..... I think they have come to expect it. About once a year they wave at me and say thanks. That's OK, I will keep mowing part of my neighbors lawn anyway. I wonder what else I can buy and do to make my neighbor's lives easier.

Any suggestions? I may or may not break down. Ha!

This mornings Starbucks is really good.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Ron is a drug addict. So is his girlfriend (common law). Noel took Ron under his wing and provided work and encouragement. He invited him to church. Now he and his girlfriend attend. Recently Ron went with us on our missions trip to Navajo Station in Arizona. 

Ron rode down and back with me. He shared with me his background of drug addiction, trouble with the law, and homelessness. For an entire winter he and his brother lived in a car. Other times he slept on the street with his girlfriend. They hustled people for money to buy drugs. Ron spent time in prison, got out on parole, left the state with his girlfriend and ended up on the streets in Denver.

Prior to the church service on Friday night, Janette and myself shared Jesus with Ron, and he accepted Christ as his Savior. It was the beginning of a new life for Ron. All the way home from Arizona Ron asked about what it meant to be a Christian. He said that he sensed the new life within him. He and his girlfriend want to serve the Lord and have a new life.

When Ron got home from Arizona, he discovered that someone had broken into his car and stole some things. A couple days later his land lord evicted him. Ron was homeless again and pretty shook up. I met him outside the church Sunday morning when he told me what had happened. Janette, our missions pastor; Noel, his friend; and myself helped Ron in this time of need. Before nighttime Ron had a new apartment. Janette had found it for him. Others donated to help him finance it.

Ron needs a lot of prayer and encouragement. He's been clean from drugs for over 200 days now. But like an alcoholic, it takes only one fix to put him right back where he was. Except he won't be back all the way because there are others helping and praying. By God's grace, Ron will make it.

In the photo above, our missions pastor - Janette is ministering to Ron.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Samuel is one of twelve kids in the Street family. I met him at our work and witness trip to the Navajo at Navajo Station, Arizona. He's a black boy who looks to be 9 or 10 years old. I first noticed him when he sidled up to me as we were gathered for a group meeting. I put my hand on his shoulder and he looked up at me. We were friends from that moment.

Sam liked my pickup truck, a 2009 F-150. He asked if that was really my truck, then later asked me if it was a rental. He must have thought it was too nice to own. Then he said, "I'm going to have one like that when I grow up." 

Sam also helped with the ditch digging. He chipped away at the hard clay then scooped it out. When it came time to backfill the ditch, he helped with that, too. 

Sam also noticed that I wore the same shirt two days in a row. He sat with me in the church services, and next to me when we ate. I like Sam.

One of the most remarkable things about Sam is is memory. I gave the sermon on Friday night. I gave illustrations of five different families I ministered to in Drayton, ND. The last illustration was about a guy named Gary, whom I witnessed to about Christ. Gary rejected Christ and two days later was killed in a car accident. Sam asked me if this was a true story. I said it was. Then I asked Samuel if he heard the rest of the sermon. He recited back to me all five illustrations in order and in detail. I was astounded!

Samuel has a special place in my heart.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Navajo II

Well, I am home now. It was a long drive from Ganado, AZ to Denver. 601 miles. We left there at noon and got here at 9:30. Sally (my GPS) led us all the way. I'm in love with Sally. The trip was well worth it.

Our church provided and installed a $8,000 generator that we were able to purchase for $1500. It had very few hours on it. Now the church at Navaho Station, only has to flick a switch and the generator starts and runs on propane. We also finished wiring their house so that it now has electricity. We tiled the floor in their kitchen and dining room area and installed the Hardie backer in the two bathrooms. We also finished installing their drywall, however we did not finish the texture. We left the materials for them to finish, and they do have a couple of men who can do that. 

Then we provided what they call "Revival Meetings." I spoke one night and Janette our missions pastor spoke the next. The congregation is very small, but the meetings went well. Their Associate Pastor, Jed Silversmith, spoke Sunday morning.

We plan to go down again next year. If the drywall texture isn't finished we will do that. The next big project there is getting water up to the parsonage. We need to run a line 200 feet and install a septic system. Doors, cabinets, fixtures, carpet, and trims all need to be done as well. Also, the parsonage needs a heating system installed.

We had 24 team members, and all but one worked. But then we don't expect kids in diapers to work. It was a great team and we are looking forward to next year. I want to thank Janette Mikatich, who served as our chaplin, Noel Bennett, who headed up the drywall project and the installation of the generator; Derek, who headed up the tiling; Jerry Street, who headed up the music; His wife who was the head cook; and the Silversmiths, who allowed us to come. And a special thanks to Samuel, who memorized my sermon.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Yahteh! That is "Hi!" in Navajo.  

Right now I am sipping something less than Starbucks in Chinle, AZ. My work site is 55 minutes to the south where there is no phone service, water, or electricity. My GPS (Sally) can find the way out, but not the way in. So why am I here? Why does anyone live here? But live here they do.

Our purpose for being here is to help them finish the parsonage and to set up a new generator system that work off from liquid propane. We are also electrifying the house and fixing gas leaks in their gas line. A couple of our workers are tiling floors, a couple are working on drywall, a couple more are setting up the electric panel and a whole bunch dug 100 feet worth of ditch in hard clay. We buried electric and gas lines. Thank god that last phase is finished. Even the children were digging, and had good attitudes about it - they wanted to help. Their mother had them take turns scooping out 5 shovelfuls at a time. 

I gave the sermon last night. But just before I "preached" the pastor nudged me and asked me to go out to the power house. we had to fill this generator with gas while it was still running. The gas tanks was jiggling and the exhaust was red hot. I thought I was going to see jesus real soon. After I preached, the pastor nudged me again and asked if I would go fill the generator again. I took two associates with me. I was determined I wasn't going to die along. The guy who poured the gas in had shaking hands. The guy holding the funnel just plain closed his eyes. The guy holding the gas cap dropped it down on the red hot exhaust. There really is a god, else this might be my obituary.

This morning my coffee does taste good.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting Ready to Go

Here I go again! Another missions trip! This time it is to Arizona. A group of us from our church will be working on a new parsonage for the Navajo near Chinle, (NW AZ). This will be quite an experience. They have no running water and no power. We have to bring in our own. Some of our group will be staying in a dormitory in a nearby town. I and a couple of others will be staying at the Holiday Inn, in Chinle - about 45 minutes from the work site.

Did I mention that the road is rustic. Very rustic. Very, very rustic. And it is not well marked. So I have our contact down there placing orange flags at all of the turns. You can't see the turn off road from the the main road, and there is no sign. If it rains, my 4WD will be required. We are able to buy supplies at Gallup, NM, an hour-and-a-half away. One of our volunteers has to go to the doctor each day, also in Gallup. 

We will caravan down from Westminster. That should be fun. We have a van with a family of 12 (or is it 14) and they are pulling a large pop-up camper. We have a truck pulling a utility trailer loaded down with materials. There is one other car, then my truck loaded with materials and tools. I can imagine we will need to stop at every gas station and rest area. Someone will always have to go (if you know what I mean). 

Somehow they found out that once upon a time I was a preacher. Now I have to preach for them one night while down there. Maybe I'll get a sore throat and will have to pass. Lucky them. Secretly, I am looking forward to it.

We will be finishing their sheetrock and their tile. We will also be ditching for electricity which will come from a generator we are donating. The house is pre-wired, we will hook up the electricity. We may also build a deck. 

We will definitely need your payers. I will miss my Starbucks. Please pray for good coffee and great success on the project.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Bronco-mania has returned to Denver. Step aside John Elway. There is a new generation of Broncos fans that like the new blood, and the new blood is doing very well. And, did I mention, step way aside Shanahan? The genius you were, you didn't improve the team from the day you arrived. You rode to the Super Bowl on the coat tails of Dan Reeves, who already had a great team in place.

Now we have this new guy, Josh Mc Daniels. Mc Daniels is a rookie, but a good rookie. He learned from the best, and today in his first contest against the best, he beat the best. He let Cutler go (I had a hard time thinking of his name) and hired Kyle Orton. Orton is stingy with the turnovers and is an accurate passer. And, boy, that defense! Pretty stingy. 

So now, all those people who thought the Broncos were going to be a bust are getting back on the band wagon. I'm sure the big Northeastern media will find excuses for the Patriots' loss and will downplay the Denver victory. But who cares? At the end of the day all that is important is, who wins. So far that has been Denver.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Thanks to the Obama administration, gold has topped $1,050.00 per ounce. Think about that. An ounce of gold isn't very big due to it's atomic weight. When you hold that little lump in your hand you have to say, "Are you kidding me? This little lump is over $1,000.00?" Yes, but it is one thousand almost worthless dollars.

There are two main reasons why the price of gold is going up. First of all, the value of your dollar is going down. Ever since Obama started stimulating the economy by printing more money and saturating the marked with it, the value of your dollar has been speeding downward. Therefore it takes more dollars to buy an ounce of gold. 

Secondly, because your dollar has been becoming worth less, thousands are buying gold with their dollars as a hedge against inflation. This has put pressure on the gold market, causing the price of gold to go up. Gold is an international currency and will one day be accepted where the dollar is not.

Is gold a good buy? For now, yes. But if the US economy recovers and the value of the dollar goes up against other currencies, you can expect the price of gold to go down. But the price of gold will not stay down because the demand will always increase. 

But did you know that one day bread will be more valuable than gold? The Revelation says that in the last times a piece of bread will buy a bag of gold. The day of world wide famine will come. Anything edible will be worth a lot. Safeway and King Soopers will be asking a lot for their food, if they have any to sell. 

I wonder how many bags of gold a cup of Starbucks coffee will bring.

For now I will drink my Starbucks and buy Apple Computer stock, which seems to be doing better than gold right now. (AAPL) If you have $190.00 you can buy one share. Or you can buy a share of Ford Motor for $7.50. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

Poor Obama

Poor Obama won't be able to step out of his Chicago home and walk down the street to see the Olympics. He went all the way to Copenhagen to tell them that is what he wanted to do. And of course, being the admired world leader that he is, the committee should have bent to his will. Even Michelle Obama and Oprah were there to convince them. So what happened? Chicago was eliminated in the first round.

Let's put this in perspective. Three influential blacks went to the Olympic Committee pleading their case for Chicago and Chicago was eliminated in the first round. Does this mean that the Olympic Committee is racist? Probably not. But somehow I am racist for not wanting Obama Health care. I don't get it.

What Happened to Starbucks?

Actually, what in the world happened to Starbucks? They have these big red and white signs up pushing instant coffee. You try to buy a regular cup of coffee and they insist on you taking this stupid taste test. I waited and waited in line today, just wanting to buy a cup of coffee. Well, the only cashier was giving taste tests to everyone on front of me. Well, I had taken the taste test myself, earlier. And.... and.... I didn't like their instant coffee. Mean while the cashier was telling everyone that you can't tell the difference. Now, I don't know if I want to buy coffee from someone  who can't tell the difference between brewed coffee and instant coffee.

Well, it was finally my turn to buy my coffee and true to form, I was offered another taste test. I told her, "Tried it, didn't like it, got the T-shirt." No actual T-shirt is given for taking the taste test, but one should be given. To console me she gave me a coupon for a free tall coffee. 

Now, anyone who has read my blog knows that I have had nothing but good to say about Starbucks. They should have hired me as the advertising manager. I mean, two of the best things that have happened to America is Ibuprofin and Starbucks. But, whoah! Instant coffee is a step in the wrong direction. Makes me want to sell my Starbucks stock. And, geez, I hope they don't keep asking me to take that stupid taste test. I don't enjoy standing in line that long along with the people that have the swine flu. Let me get my coffee and get going.

How about this idea? Keep an urn full of fresh coffee, put a credit carder reader on the urn and a swipe of the credit card gets you a grande for the price of a tall. Put your own lid and jacket on and get going. I bet that is a line that would move, and..... be lucrative. Let the people who want all that sticky sweet stuff and the "why bother" stuff stand in line. 

I guess I won't sit by the phone waiting for them to call. But, hey, a good idea can work in anybody's shop. A Starbucks for your hand and an Ibuprofin for your head..... or..... anything else that is inflamed.

Right now I am enjoying my real, brewed, coffee. No cream, no sugar, no flavor, no artificial sweetener. It's just the way coffee was intended to be.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meet Rachel

Hey everybody! Meet Rachel!  

Rachel is a sweetheart. She is the adopted daughter of my brother and sister-in-law. She is eleven years old and is a pleasure to be around. She is also a special needs child. Rachel is autistic. She is very blessed to have Curt and Lorie as her parents. They understand her and care for her every need. They have had the resources to attend to her special needs medically and otherwise. 

Rachel, with her dad and mom, stayed with us in Thornton for nearly a week. I hope we were good enough hosts. This gave me an opportunity to get to know Rachel much better. Always before it was a couple of hours now and then when we visited Phoenix. I didn't really get to know her. But this was a great time. I found out that Rachel loves parks and she loves snow. So we took a trip up to Vail, and a Vail Pass we found snow and played for a while. Rachel is a bright fun loving kid who loves french fries.

This picture of Rachel, Curt, and Lorie was taken on our back deck.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


When I was a teen there was a song entitled, "The Fool on the Hill," and it talked about the world spinning around. I never got the gist of the song then, but I think I do now. Only, the song should be entitled "Fools on the Hill." Yes, congress is a bunch of fools on Capitol Hill, and our nation is now being led by the biggest fool of them all. 

One thing about fools is that they don't know how to keep their mouths shut to avoid a bad thing. Shortly after being elected, Obama shot his mouth off a lot. Every time the markets showed signs of recovery he had to make a speech and the markets went down deeper than before. Of course everybody's retirement account went down with the market. Then somebody told Obama to shut up. And guess what? the markets began to recover and Americans began to see hope again. 

Well, today Obama was back at it. And guess what? the markets had a huge drop off right after his speech. I've have never before seen anyone so high minded and conceited in his own stupidity. If Obama keeps making speeches, it will be a long ways to economic recovery. this means there will be higher unemployment on two counts: 1) Those who would normally be retired will be seeking jobs to make ends meet , and 2) Companies and Corporations will not be able to rehire as fast as they would otherwise.

Mr. Obama, you can no longer blame this on Bush, you have been president 9 months now. This is your baby. So Mr. Obama, after you take our retirement away and force us on government run health care, how else do you intend to torture us? Do you really think you are going to be re-elected just simply because you "look different than any other president?" Excuse me Mr. Obama, I will judge you, not based on your skin color, but based on how you treat me, my friends, my family, the people of my city, state, and the USA in general. So far you have zero brownie points. (no pun intended).

Furthermore, Mr. Obama, your Democratic majority will go away with the next election. The US population is tired of voting for liars and fools. You know this is true. Several of your comrades are already in trouble in their states and districts. You may be rejoicing because of Joe Wilson's ill-timed statement in joint-session (true though it may be) because his opponent is receiving lots of donations. But remember this, Mr. President: Joe Wilson's campaign Fund is also receiving lots of donations. 

Mr. Obama, I do not know who will run against you in the next presidential election, but mark my words, who ever it is, they will defeat you. A leopard cannot change his spots and a fool will always be a fool.

Do I hate you Mr. President? Emphatically NO!  I only hate what you are doing to our country. May God somehow save your soul..... if you have one. Perhaps we'll find that when we find the birth certificate you have so rigorously made unavailable. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bull Market

We are currently in one of the best bull markets I have ever seen. Those who bought stocks or equities in March are being greatly rewarded. If you get into the market now, you will also see great increases over the next several months. As financial institutions sell off their toxic assets they are slowly getting well. By the looks of their stock price AIG is getting well fast. The down days on the market aren't so bad and the good days can be really good.

There are some really big winners that are leading the market back to health. They include Goldman Sachs, Apple, Visa, Citigroup, AIG, Ford Motor, and some of the steel companies. Energy has also been a big winner, but not ExxonMobil, ConnocoPhillips, or Chevron. It's been companies like Mc Dermott International, Noble Corporation, Diamond Offshore Drilling, Quick Silver, and Halliburton. Many others could also be listed. What? you've never heard of (KWK) Quick Silver? Too bad, they have made over 70% for us this year.

If you invest $10,000 now, next year at this time you should have over $20,000. Do the match for greater amounts. But don't just open the financial page and plunk your finger down on a stock. Find companies that have the knack for being successful in a market with potential. Proven companies like Apple, Goldman Sachs, US Steel. Did you know that Goldman Sachs had their best quarter ever during this recession? And, their next quarter results look even better? Did you know that Citigroup is going to sell more shares, then do a seven to one reverse split. AIG's reverse split has resulted in skyrocketing growth. And guess what? Citigroup is really cheap right now. Hint, hint.

Also, traders who left the market during the recession are returning. More money in the market usually means higher stock prices. And during a bull market they are usually not going to be short selling. The more I ramble on here, the more I like the market.

Man, my Starbucks tastes really good right now. A message to my brother Curt...... Hang on to your C, GS, and AAPL. And sorry, Curt, AIG is already up $5 today.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stock Picks

The recession has presented a golden opportunity to buy stocks. I said months ago that stocks were really cheap, and even now, though some of them have a high price tag, they are still cheap. Those who wanted to complain about the market and the economy, and those who did nothing with their money have really lost out on one of the best growth times in the last 20 years. 

Heavy weight stocks that are still cheap includes Goldman Sachs and Apple. While other banks were losing money, Goldman (GS) was gaining. The price of GS stock has gone from $60.00 in March to $180.00 today. That is a 200% gain in 6 months time. That beats your measly 1.25% CD. Apple (AAPL) has gone from a low of $39 in March  to $175 today. That is a 348% increase in 6 months. These two stocks were greatly oversold due to March panic, but they are far from being over bought. GS has a price target of $240 per share. 

Our best performing stock that we bought in the March panic period is Mc Dermott International (MDR) This stock has gained 150% since March. It's a moments like this that I wish we had bought a thousand shares instead of 200. Yet, 300% growth per year on even 200 shares is pretty good.

Other winners are AK Steel (AKS) 70 %, Gerdau American Steel (GNA) 71%, Noble Corporation (NE) 80%, Haliburton (HAL) 50%, All of these increases in the past 60 months. With the economy on an upturn and traders getting back into the market, who knows where these will go?

One to watch, Starbucks Coffee. Starbucks has a loyal patronage and will emerge much stronger than many would think. Believe me, I know from experience that the morning lines at Starbucks are long. That is because their coffee is good. 

Friday, September 11, 2009

Obama Era

We live in the era of "Obama the Great", almighty king of the USA. This era is marked by the change in economy and government, and probably morals. A new era where the truth is no longer important. We now have a new Obama banking system, a new Obama executive pay system, a new Obama Car Company, Stimulus Plan, Obama TARP, Obama Cash for Clunkers, and if he gets his way Obama Radio Police, and Obama Health Care. I am sure that I am only scratching the surface.

Along with King Obama's new programs comes record Obama Deficits, Obama Government Healthcare, Record Obama unemployment, and Obama Ethics where the truth no longer matters. 

Congressman Wilson may not have chosen the best venue to tell the world that the president lies. And he may be censured for his statement. But he told the truth about a man who lies. Why is the president not going to be censured for lying to congress when the man who told the truth will be censured for telling the truth about the man who lied? Why weren't some of the democrats censured when they repeatedly said that Bush lied? I think we all know the answer to this, that type of behavior is expected from the democrats but is an ethics violation for the republicans.

King Obama is bringing reproach upon our country, not only in the eyes of other nations who will soon wake up to his lies, but also in the eyes of the true almight, Almighty God! How will we then say, "God bless America."

King Obama's Era will not last long.... unless.... he can somehow make it illegal for Republicans to run for president, or make it illegal for Republicans to vote. Heck, even some of the Democrats are ready to vote Republican. Even some of them feel lied to. But I suppose Obama will "call them out."

In one sense I am glad the Democrats won the election and control both houses. All of the policies are theirs now. This country will see first hand how sleazy the democrats really are. That will pave the way for 12 to 16 years of republican presidency. 

Even the school children won't grow up fast enough to save Obama.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

All Crooked

Politicians are all crooked. Well.... almost all crooked. The problem is, I haven't met one who isn't. They are sleazy and devious. Some more than others. Our current president is the worst of the worst. Nothing he says is true. It just doesn't stand up to what he has said before. It doesn't jibe with what he has done before. He's the closest thing to an antichrist without being the actual antichrist.
The guy gives me the willies.

Many think that he is a socialist. I think they are wrong. I think he is a communist. He wants to take my hard earned money and redistribute it to those who didn't earn it. He wants to cap the salaries that business executives can make. He wants to control the banks and he wants to control your health care. Not his health care - yours. Yours and mine. 

His health care bill "obamacare", is more than a health care bill. Attached to this bill are attachments that would make small businessmen, such as myself, take withholding taxes on sub-contractors who work for me. These sub-contractors are their own businesses. This would force me to hire an accountant, and an attorney, and someone to do a lot of the paperwork that I do myself. Now, let me see.... would I have to take withholdings on the fees that I pay to the attorney and the CPA?  The fact is, I would spend all the money I make paying more taxes, fees, salaries. So I might as well skip all this, not work, and just become poor. Then at least I would get some stimulus checks. 

Obama is a fool. He does not understand economics. His advisors are fools. I predict that his healthcare bill will be defeated. 

Today one of my clients was bragging about how well government medicine would work. After all, she is satisfied with medicare. She was shocked when I told her that Obama was attempting to cut medicare. Once people understand what this president really stands for, they will turn against him. It is already happening.

The problem is, is there anyone we can trust?