Friday, March 20, 2009


for YEARS during our evening catch-up-on-your-day conversations, Ron will say something like: You should have heard what they were talking about on KOMP this morning with Craig Williams...

I roll my eyes and he goes over some story in great detail.

Lately I have a comeback with: You should have heard what Glen Beck was talking about on his show today...

Ron rolls his eyes. Thanks to the wonders of DVR, I don't tell him about it - I make him sit there and watch it.

Thanks to the wonders of being able to embed videos, you can too:

I know it's G.B.'s job to hype things up just a bit. I also know that I listen to conservative news and my dad listens to the liberal side, so if I'm ever going to have a conversation with him, I better know both sides of the story. I had some sleepless moments last night, so in the wee hours of the morning I started googling. Started with "fed prints more money" I had two hours of reading at my fingertips. Seems it isn't hyped up, it's a pretty serious situation. The official term for the Fed printing money out of no where is QUANTITATIVE EASING. If you're not sure of what HYPERINFLATION is, it isn't good either. There's a couple of countries doing this same quantitative easing right now. It was some interesting reading. We'll see how it all plays out.

There were all kinds of accounting theorums and big words and soon, I was asleeping again.

Now that I'm bright eyed and bushy tailed, I need to go get my copier busy, I could use some extra money myself.
friday morning ride
The last few weeks I've been going on a Friday morning bike ride with Ashley and the kids. The picture is from last week when we took Kruger along. Usually we ride from Ashley's house in a loop that she does (without the dog).
It's pretty fun, and i love visiting with the kids as they trail along.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Still cracks me up.....

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

(ohhh, I miss Scotty. He could always be counted on for comic relief with some line from this video. I wonder if he even thought about it at all walking around Brazil today -- I wonder if St. Patrick's day is even celebrated in Brazil? I do know if he ever sees a group of people staring at something, he'll bust out with "It must be a crack head that got hold of the wrong stuff.")

Ron had green eggs & ham (bacon) for breakfast.

Stay tuned for more updates: Enrichment Progressive Dinner on Bikes, and Ron's awesome adventure in Mexico.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

steamed, part II

am I the only one that mindlessly watches something on tv, and then starts making smart-aleck comments to it? it happened to me tonight. Folding load of clothes #5 on my bed, on the tv was a commercial from Edward Jones. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Do they think the public is that stupid? I wish I could find the commercial on youtube to include here, but just watch for it some time.

The gist is a man/customer probably late 30s, or 40s walks into his neighborhood EJ office to get some reassurance from his broker. Appearantly the broker called him in, "I know you must be watching the news and concerned right now..."
Me: What he's really saying is I'm scared to death, I've never seen stocks tank 20% in one year, but I better portray to you my confidense in my abilities to keep managing your money. I'll call you in to my office to let you know I'm on top of things.

More blah-blah-blah from the "advisor" on how secure the guy's investments are.
Me: Please don't withdraw any more of your funds, my books are starting to look bad right now. Can't afford to lose any more clients.

More reassuring. And the 'client' is totally sucking up this stuff the guy is saying.

And finally the clincher of the commercial is the advisor telling the client "In my experience in these down trends...blah blah blah."

This is when my gasket blew. For Mr. Advisor to have any experience in these current downtrends, he would have to have been trading stocks since the '30s. Maybe if he was 25 then that would make an advisor with this kind of experience about 104 years old.

Unrealistic to go back to the depression? Let's just go back to the the last bad recession. Mid 1970s. If this advisor was 25 then, he'd be 59 now. Maybe. Maybe the advisor represented in this ad was in his early 60s. Maybe I could believe he had lived through managing portfolios through a tough recession. But, no, this company gives off the young and hip vibe.

Then the investor gives this sigh of relief that this advisor has so much experience to help guide him through this tough time.

Oh. My. Gosh. give me a break. Who believes this stuff?

I did look on the EJ website to find out exactly what prior experience you need to have to become an advisor:

"At Edward Jones, we believe in ability, not seniority. This means when you join us as a Financial Advisor, you ultimately determine your rewards and compensation based on your performance, not years of service. We also believe you are at your best when you control your career. That’s why there are no bosses here. You'll build your own business from your own branch office and plan your own day, every day. And excelling here doesn't require a finance degree or financial background. We provide all the training you need, regardless of your area of study, although a financial background is a plus."

You can go to their site and click on different "stories" of how each advisor came to choose a career with EJ. None of them were in their 60s. None of them majored in economics or finance. I didn't notice any with prior stock market experience. Most were bank tellers, western union, insurance just looking for a change in their career and more control of their future.

I'm not against investing with this company. That's fine if it's your choice. Or if you are an advisor with the company. That's cool. But be up front in your experience level and qualifications. If you've been a bank teller for 6 years and decided to get trained with this company, then don't sit on the other side of the desk and say stupid things like, "In my experience investing in these down trend markets." because, guess what, you don't have any experience with what's happening lately.

Not any more than the rest of us.

I've had my eye on a garment steamer for a couple of years.

I've read about them, researched and day-dreamed while I slaved away with my regular 'ol steam iron. I was sure this magic wand would save me soooo much time. So...two weeks ago when the ward wanted to barrow some tablecloths and I wanted to iron them first I decided now was the time. I wasn't going to iron tablecloths one more time without a steamer to effortlessly remove all those pesky wrinkles.

Off to Kohls I went and wouldn't you know it, they were on sale. Cool. I hurried home, unwrapped my new steamer and started to steam. Except I didn't quite think that the wrinkles came out as effortlessly as I expected them to. In the end, yes it was a little faster than ironing, but had I ironed I could have used starch and I really think they would have looked better.

Which brings me to yesterday when 3 loads of my laundry were hanging up in the doorways surrounding my laundry room. I brought out the steamer again. Now is when it will shine. No more ironing a shirt before I get dressed in the morning. I'll steam it in the laundry room, up to the closet it goes ready to wear.

Shirt number one keeps twirling around as I steam it. If I put my left hand up to steady it, then I almost burn my hand. Not good.

Shirt number two twirls around on the top hook and at one point I turned the wand around with the shirt just as I realized the steam wand was on the other side of my face through the shirt. Not a good place for my face to be, I ducked.

Shirt number three. I'm back to my tablecloth thoughts of "Gee, these shirts just don't look crisp. They need some starch."

I've almost burned my hand. My face. The clothes don't look magically fresh and de-wrinkled. Could it be that this just isn't what I thought it would be? I was disappointed.

Shirt number four. I started and then as all three of the above problems started again I realized this just isn't worth the hastle. It isn't doing the job. I'd be better off ironing them.


So I carry my laundry all wrinkled to my closet. I was getting mad because this thing was expensive. I waited over a year to spend the money on it. It's just too expensive to be a gadget in my laundry room. Then I remembered the original box that I threw in the extra bedroom. I never save stuff like that, I almost always get it out of the way and out on trash day. And low and behold, the receipt was inside the box.

Back to Kohls I went today. "Is it broken?" "No, it just doesn't work on the clothes like I thought it would." They gave me my money back no problem.

Don't you hate it when something you've wanted and waited for turns out to be not what you expected.

In fairness to my mom, I was taught to do all of the ironing one day a week. She would never hang a shirt in the closet w/out ironing it first. And I could watch a movie as I stand and do all my ironing. I know, I know. But I HATE IRONING. One shirt at a time is all I can handle.