Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time to get greedy

The stock market is being battered and there are lots of deals to be had out there. I was visiting my parents over the weekend and told my dad I was going to toss $500 in a Scott Trade account and roll the dice with a long shot on Ford and another stock or two that was hurt but will certainly come back.

His response, I'll give you another $500, put a bunch on EXXI for me and if it pay off we'll go to Vegas in a couple years. Sweet, gotta love my dad's thinking. :)

So today I put funds into the account and tomorrow I begin trading.

Energy companies, car companies and car rental companies are all getting beaten up right now. I think half will be spent on long shots and the other half will go on depressed but stable stocks.

Wish me luck, I'm either going to do really well over the next couple years or I'm tossing a really nice wheelset away. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Peak to Peak - A race of lessons

This weekend was my first time attending the Peak to Peak mountain bike race which is certainly going to become a fall classic.

I really broke some cardinal rules at this one, so here is a synopsis of what to do and what not to do.

Do: All your prep work to your bike two days in advance to make sure things are running right, ghost shifting blows.

Don't: Change tires out right before a race start

Do: Have your race clothes ready the night before

Don't: Scramble in the AM to find the right gear

Do: Get a proper warm up for at least 10 minutes before the race starts

Don't: Arrive cold in the start chute and blast off on a 28 MPH roll out with the group leaders and hang for the first two miles when you body is telling you it's unhappy.

Do: Maintain a heart rate that will let you finish well

Don't: Hold a 185 hear rate for the first half hour an expect to do well for more than the first lap

Overall, a learning experience and still a fun race. I owe Jim's friend Doug big time for giving me that tube when I punctured mine and the core came out of my other. I got to the start with less than two minutes to spare.

The synopsis, ten miles of flat, fast non technical single track with a half mile of uphill hell and a super fun blast weaving back and fourth across a ski hill. Overall a total roadie course, no leg rest, a total burner. Even if I had been ready and not blown out my legs early I don't think I could have moved up more than a position or two. I'll take my 18 out of 52 in my age group and be happy to finish nursing a wounded bike back.

The best part of the race? Two giant climbs that felt like I did something, post race beers with friends, and Ali getting a strong second place.

Thanks again Doug for the tube, Jim for the beer, and to Ali for not laughing at me throwing my tire and slamming my car door. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

On my ride today I saw

People fishing

Kids playing

Deer foraging

Leaves blazing

Squirrels packing

Swans nesting

And a camera crew shooting

What a beautiful ride!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Paybacks for my childhood

I did some pretty dumb male things growing up, TPing trees, a couple eggs at houses, building walls of snow across roads. At one point I was even a little foolhardy with a paintball gun.

Well sometime in the past couple days I got my paybacks. The boy next door, whom we'll refer to as "E" happens to have a toy paint ball gun too. He loud, obnoxious and totally lacking discipline. Why his parents figured he could be trusted with something that slings paint all over the place is beyond me. I knew it was only a matter of time until I saw the evidence at my house. For the longest time he was out of paint and I thought I was in the clear. His parents must have recently re-loaded him as I found shells of paintballs on my deck then looked up to see paint on the side of the house, the gutter, the garage and my grill. I guess go big or go home.

His dad helped me clean it up and prime the spots that are stained, however little E is still out playing. When I got caught doing things like that I was inside, grounded and getting my ass kicked. I really wish I could have just ran the gun over with my car to teach him a lesson.

I'm still kinda chuckling at the whole thing, life really does come full circle. :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

He's back

Ugh, looks like I sealed him in a couple days ago. I do not want him hibernating in my crawl space this winter.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate night

And truthfully, I don't think I'm going to watch as it's not going to change my vote and I'll share why.

Barack Obama accomplishments:

Built lots of low income housing like Grove Parc Plaza and other projects, some that have since been seized by the federal government all while taking political kickbacks from Rezko and the like. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/06/27/grim_proving_ground_for_obamas_housing_policy/

Ran unopposed for his state senate seat in Chicago: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/29/obamas.first.campaign/?iref=mpstoryview

Ran unopposed for state senate: http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/ussenate/2004-07-29-ryan_x.htm

Sat in the senate for 144 days usually voting present until he decided to run for the presidency: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_days_has_Barack_Obama_served_in_the_US_Senate

He also wrote two books about himself in that amount of time too!

What I do give him credit for is taking down Hillary, but I thin that also has to do with the struggles within the Democratic party.

So what did he accomplish in the senate? Can anyone tell me?

I think it's funny how people are sooo fed up with Bush they are associating the entire party with him and his policy's. So much that they are willing to vote in a senator who voted just enough times between the "present" votes to earn the most liberal voting record in the senate. http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/

The big issue is that if the house and the senate remain democratic and we end up with all three branches of government under the same party, the politics of the country will swing far too quickly. The balance of power is removed and out comes the check book for programs that will make Bush look like a cheapskate. We simply can't afford to let this happen given the recession we are in, it will take us decades to catch back up if we don't end up pissing off the entire world we owe money to when the money flow dries up.

According to this chart we are in big trouble in our lifetimes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Debt_to_GDP_Forecast_Chart.png

If we don't get spending under control we are doomed as a country. The problem is that nobody in office or running for a political position wants to tell you that the well is drying up and that you better hold on to your ass because it's going to be getting ugly. No money = no military = bad news for us considering what is brewing in the middle east.

Bottom line is, they are both going to spend, but the one that spends less will drive our country off a cliff quicker.

While I don't believe in some of the religious rhetoric of the Republican party, I do believe in numbers as it's what the world runs on. If my children are going to get a shot at living a life in the United States, some things are just going to have to come under control.