Friday, July 31, 2009

Getting Well

In this down economy there are a few bright spots. One of the bright spots is energy, which I will not go into today. Other bright spots are individual stocks in various sectors.

Apple. In the last few months I have seen Apple go from $65 to $160 per share. Iphones are selling like crazy. If it is a choice between food and phones, the phones must be winning out. Steve Jobs being back at the job has also helped.

Ford Motor. Although it is still tough sledding to sell cars, Ford Motor has done an excellent job of dealing with the down economy and revamping. The quality of their cars is second only to Toyota and they offer a line of trucks that Toyota does not offer. They turned a profit the last quarter. In the last few months Ford's stock went from $1.34 to over $7.00 per share. Wish we had bought more. We still may.

Goldman Sachs. This is the jewel of the financial sector. They know how to get a return on your money. They recorded strong profits while other financial institutions were still recording losses. Love them or hate them, they are still the best at what they do. Their stock bottomed at $47 and is now at $162 per share. They have no negative ratings that I know of. What was I thinking, to not buy this when it was low?

Those who hate Exxon Mobile can now jump for joy because they turned in 36% lower profits than last year. But I remind you, it was still profits when many others were taking losses. If you really want to spite them, buy their stock because it is as low as it is going to get. Oh, wait, if you have a 401K invested in mutual funds there is a good chance you already own some XOM. Thank goodness because you IRA could have been worse without them.

Gee, this coffee is good!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Seattle, Day Three

My Third Day in Seattle was pretty cool. Of course, It started at Starbucks for a sandwich and coffee. Then it was off to see Tracy's wine tasting room. But before we got there I ran out of coffee, so it was off to Mc Donald's to get another cup. Then to the wine tasting room. 

Tracy is running a pretty good business and her wine tasting room is pretty cool. She runs a little store there as well. If you ever have a chance, it would be well worth your while to visit. I wish Tracy the best.

Then it was back to the W, then off to Puyallup to see the in-laws. Lots and lots of in-laws. Pretty nice bunch of people. I knew a few of them. Emphasis is on few. Many of them talked to me. Some of them even hugged me. The more mixed drinks they got, the more hugs I got. One lady, who had a few, and I de-emphasize few, gave me a big hug, said it was good to see me, then asked me who I was. Well, that was cool. I hugged her back and said it was good to see her, too.

The meal was great. The chicken was especially good. Audrey felt guilty eating it because she didn't bring anything to contribute. I didn't feel guilty at all. 

Then it was back to our hotel. We searched for food later that evening. We walked until our feet hurt. We finally ordered in a highly recommended greasy pizza. I had heart-burn pills along, so that was no problem. Then it was off to bed to we could get up at 4:00 AM to catch our flight to Denver. 

Everything went smoothly until we landed early in Denver. We had to wait a half hour to go to the gate. Of course the seat belt sign was on and I had to pee..... bad! So I had to break the seat belt rule and use the toilet. We finally made it to the gate, but nobody showed up to open the door. The flight attendant lost her cool and started pounding on the door and yelled, "Open the damned door!" Then she made a nasty phone call. Can't say that I blame her. No more coffee for me on the airplane, even though it is Starbucks. 

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Seattle, Day Two

Our second day in Seattle was cool. We are staying at the W right down town just five blocks from the West Lake Center and Six blocks from the Pikes Place Market. "Yea ho, yea ho (then throw the rubber fish).  The Crumpet Shop is a favorite place. You can get your crumpet and choose your tea. But you have to go up for refills of coffee. My Crumpet Shop would include choices in coffee as well. 

We met Susan and Jeri at the fish market. We ate lunch together and Audrey went off with the girls and I went off by myself to take some pictures, then back to the hotel to rest my feet (actually my knees). Then we went to Cutters, a highly recommended sea food place which is on the Sound. (I told Jeri that I could see the sound from hotel room, but she didn't think I could really see sound). Anyway, we had reservations at five and we arrived at 4:59 - plenty of time. We got great seating. Everything went smoothly. Audrey bit into some hot green mustard, Susan got the wrong meal, my medium well burger came medium rare and the guest ticket came all screwed up. At least after all this time of not seeing each other we had something to talk about. All-in-all it was a great time so we all tipped the guy. Cool.

Susan and Jeri left for Kirkland and Audrey and I walked up to our room at the W. We have this gorgeous corner room on the 7th floor that faces 4th Avenue and Seneca Street. The Seafair Festival Parade marched by right below us...... all two hours and fifteen minutes of it. The streets were lines with people for a couple of miles at least. Bleachers were set up at the West Lake Center. People had their lawn chairs out at 7:00 AM, and were guarding their goods. The parade began at 8:00 PM. That's 9:00 PM for those of you in Denver. And the parade was.... well .......OK. Really long but just OK. I was falling asleep at the end of the parade.

Today it is off to Puyallup for the family reunion. I hardly know anyone, but it should be a great time. 

After I upload some pictures I'll include some of those.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Seattle, The City of Coffee

Today Audrey and I flew to Seattle. Down town Seattle is one of my favorite cities. It's pretty, it's clean, there's lots to do, and there are dozens and dozens of coffee shops. There is also the Pike Place Fish Market with hundreds of interesting shops. 

The trip to the airport was smooth, check in was smooth, loading was smooth, the flight was smooth, the landing was smooth, getting the rental car went smoothly, hotel check in was smooth, meeting Audrey's friend was smooth, everything was smooth. Tonight I celebrated by getting a raspberry smoothie. It was smooth....... except for the tiny pips.

This morning we met Audrey's friend, Judy, for tea and crumpets at the Crumpet Shop. Delicious crumpets and great tea. Then we went to the  Market Spice shop to buy some tea. We walked the fish market until we came to Cutter's, a seafood place on the Sound. Great food. Later we went to Starbucks Coffee for coffee. Then we were off to the Westlake Center to shop. It was there I couldn't resist the smoothie. Tonight I am sitting at a corner window watching the city and blogging.

Tomorrow a huge parade will march buy our hotel just below our window. It should be a good view. But, of course, we will start our day at Starbucks...... just across the street. It opens at 5:30 AM. 

Cell phones, you gotta love them! Today I picked up a nice contract because I was available by phone. I get to vacation and run my business. Cool!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is Good and That is Good

Good, Good!

Lately work has been really good. I've had some low stress and low expense jobs that have been very profitable. Drywall repair is low stress and profitable. Fence repairs, the same. The smaller jobs have a higher percentage of profitability with lower labor costs. Cool! I am also training another person to do some of these jobs and it seems like he will work out doing some of the things. I'm also getting return business from many of my customers. That's cool too!

The other "Good" has been the stock market. Several of the stocks we have invested in are up over 50% over the past 6-7 months. That's nothing to sneeze at. Goldman Sachs is especially profitable. Since November of last year Goldman Sachs (GS) has grown from $47 at it's low point to $164.00 where it closed today. I know, I know, a lot of people don't like GS because they are a big brokerage bank. But the market has been, in a large part, held together because of the strength of this company. GS has helped your 401K and your IRA whether you owned the stock or not.

Seattle's Best is also good. Found at all Border's Book Stores. Speaking of Seattle. I'm off to Seattle tomorrow. Yes, Seattle, the city of coffee shops. Aaahhh!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Quite a Day

Yesterday was quite a day! It began with at 7:00 AM appointment in Golden that took place at 6:50.  From there I repaired garage rafters and installed sheetrock at the ceiling in Arvada. After that I installed a garage service door in Westminster. Then it was up into the foothills in Genesee to move heavy furniture from a basement to the upstairs. I wanted to go home then, but there was more to do. I headed back to Thornton to buy stain for a deck we are doing in Golden. After that I had to go check out a ladies leaking plumbing in Thornton. It was 9:00 PM by the time I warpped things up.

When I was in Genesee, I mentioned to my client that I hoped that Goldman Sachs went up in the stock market. It did! I made 23% on my investment yesterday.

I was rewarded by being able to watch the news, weather, and spo........ I guess I don't remember watching the sports. Sorry Drew. It was off to bed at 10:35 and awake again at 3:00 AM. That's the usual time my legs start aching.

The Starbucks coffee this morning is really good. I'm in Golden delivering the stain. Then it is off to Arvada and Westminster for two drywall repair jobs. At one job it looks like someone got mad. At the other job the dog chewed about 10 holes in the drywall. (I still don't know why people own dogs!)

Ya, dogs! You gotta walk them, pick up their poop, give them shots, take them to the vet, vacuum up their hair, feed them and deworm them. All this so you can pet them. Then they reward you by pooping on your lawn and chewing holes in your drywall. Is their something in drywall that they like?

Our dog doesn't poop, eat, shed hair, or chew my walls. His name is Spot. He just sits on our soffit and stares at us. I love Spot. Thank you Spot for being such a good dog.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Coffee With Tori

Tori made my coffee several times and did a respectable job, too. I had coffee with her and Amber once. Mine was black and theirs was milk (coffee flavored). But it was fun.

Tori will be leaving us soon, and that saddens me. I really enjoyed having her around. She was well behaved and a lot of fun to be with. I wish her the best as she goes home to Michigan. Who knows when I will see her next. I guess that's the problem when we live so far apart. 

Good luck, and God bless you. I love you. Unconditionally.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cap and Trade

A new market is being created on Wall Street. Wall Street traders will love it. This is being born out of congress and the Senate at the desire of the most economic irresponsible president since FDR, our very own president.... Obama.

Obama is trying to control how much CEO's can make. He effectively fired the CEO of General Motors. And now, through the false premiss of global warming he is forcing American industries to reduce their carbon footprint. Of course, if any corporation is unable to do so it can buy emission credits from other industries that do not need all it's credits. Thus, a new Wall Street security is born. There will be carbon emission brokers who will bundle these credits, selling them for profit. Investors will invest. 

But not only has Obama created a new market for securities, he is also effectively forcing corporations to move manufacturing over seas, thus eroding more American jobs. This will only drive up the cost of products while reducing American production. Then he think we should be happy about paying more and earning less. After all, we're saving the earth! I hope my readers realize that I said this in irony.

For example, let's say that there is a big corporation that manufactures widgets here in the United States. But under these new carbon cafe guidelines it is now exceeding it's limit of carbon emissions. This corporation has choices to make. One choice is to install expensive equipment that reduces carbon emissions. But this will drive the price of their product up so that they cannot compete with overseas widget makers. A second choice is to cut production so they do not exceed carbon emissions standards. But this also will drive the cost per unit up. A third choice is to buy emissions credits from a broker or some company who has extra. This also will drive the cost of each widget upward. A fourth choice is to shut down it's American plants, make it's widgets overseas, sell it's excess credits for a profit. The Widget Corporation will enjoy better profits, investors will love it, and Obama will be happy. But the guy in the American widget factory has no job. Therefore he will pay no taxes and the IRS will collect less revenue. But that's okay because we have printing presses to print more.

Of course, China is already debating whether to drop the dollar as an acceptable currency because of Obama's recent bail outs. China sees the dollar as some day being worthless. Say hello to international currency. Also, say hello to the mark of the beast. Do you think I'm full of bologna? read the New Testament. 

Phony environmental issues will lead to the extinction of American free enterprise. More and more is falling under governmental control. The government is trying to tell auto makers how to make autos, builders how to build, Oil and gas companies how and where to drill, and there is much more. But tell me what the government has ever done successfully other than spend more than they take in. Government wants more of your hard earned money because they want to spend more. They want to bail out the irresponsible while penalizing those who are responsible. Government wants you to work your butt off so they it can confiscate what you have earned only to give it to those who sit on their butts. 

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Grandkids

We have two of our grandkids staying with us for a while, Tori and Amber. Tori is with us for about five weeks and her time with us is over half over. Amber has been with us for nearly a week and she goes home tomorrow. It has been a real joy having them with us. Tori is 13 and Amber is 10, but they get along like sisters..... er..... a.... better than sisters. 

Has this been totally convenient for us, well, dahhhh! No. But it has been great having them stay with us. They have totally behaved! Well, almost totally. They make their bed, keep their room clean, and mind their grandparents almost without incident. 

They swim together, read together, watch videos together, bike together, scooter together, play computer games together, and other things together. They also go shopping with Grandma. They go to Mc Donald's, Sonic, Starbuck's, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Sam's, and other places with Grandpa and Grandma. 

Ya, they even go to coffee with us so long as they can look at books while we are there. Cool. We can handle that. This experience has been totally positive. We're hoping that they will take care of us in our old age and decrepit years. We hope they have just as much fun then.

Well, I gotta finish my coffee now. I'll visit with you later.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 4th

The July 4th celebration has become the same as most other holidays. It's a chance to get away. Only this time we get away with fireworks. This blogger won't be getting away. Boo Hoo! Have we forgotten the significance of the holidays? Are we too far removed from the events that spurred the holidays.

I remember when Memorial Day was a big event. We had the large parades and the speakers in the park and the 21 gun salutes. It was a very patriotic day and we did remember those who had sacrifices their lives for our freedom. Today, most don't even hang their flags.... or.... or event know why we celebrate the holiday. It has become a chance to get out of work and go to the mountains.

The 4th of July, or Independence Day, is going down the same path, only a little slower. Every year the greatest nation in the world is becoming less great. We have a bunch of Liberals that want us to apologize to everybody for everything we ever did. That's because they think that everything we ever did is bad. They forget that we did what we had to do to be who we are today. For some reason they are ashamed of their nation. Liberals that get into office try to legislate our freedoms away while raising our taxes. They tell us openly that it is good for us to pay more for an automobile. They don't really connect very well to the segment of the population that earns less than $40,000 per year. Their idea of Free Enterprise, is government controlled enterprise. They want to tax to hell those who work their asses of, only to give to the lazy who's idea of free enterprise is to live off those who actually work. 

I'm predicting that the 4th of July will be better celebrated four years from now when we have a president who is actually proud of America and who understands that it is small and large business alike that makes it work.