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Thursday's Update

Thursday - Stock Trends, Charts, and Commentary

It is Thursday and that means it is a Lake James and/or hiking day for me as you know ... Summer or Winter.  This Free Member site is posted every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday ... but not on Thursdays.   (However, the paid sites are posted every day before the market opens ... including Thursdays.)

Below are snapshots of our most recent Farm, Lake, Mountain, and trip photos ... hope you enjoy them.   

Today (4-18) is Good Friday and the stock market is closed.


April 17th. 2014 - Tomorrow is Good Friday and the stock market will be closed.   Finally ... the old Kitchen house is demolished and almost fully cleaned up.   Now, we split wood from the old Oak tree that came down form the tornado and we will be finished.

April 10th. 2014 - Today will be a good day because I will be picking Cindy up from the airport.   She has been in Colorado and is finally getting back. 

April 3rd. 2014 - Its really hard to believe ... here we are getting closer to a year after the tornado and the old kitchen house on the farm isn't fully cleaned up yet. We are being told another week and we can't wait to get all this behind us.

March 27th. 2014 -  Once again, little progress has been made ... the rubble from the old Kitchen house is half gone, but still there.  Cindy is in Colorado tending to our daughter-in-law and our first grand-daughter due in a few weeks. 

March 20th. 2014 -  Little progress has been made ... the rubble from the old Kitchen house is still there.  Our daughter in law with our first grand-daughter has run into a little trouble and needs TLC so Cindy will be going out to Denver on Sunday to help out.

March 13th. 2014 -  Here is what is left of the old kitchen house now.   Another two weeks and it will be down to good ol' dirt.

March 6th. 2014 -   Its now down ... just a pile of rubble.

February 27th. 2014 - Today's the day at 10 AM ... the 100 year old kitchen house will be torn down ... a sad day.

February 20th. 2014 - Almost everything is back to normal from the tornado last Summer.  We should be making the final payment to the rebuilding contractor today.    The "almost" has to do with the old kitchen house on the property ... it had enough damage that we will have to have it demolished in the next few weeks. Then, we will need to clean up debris from downed trees and we will just about be done.....

February 13th. 2014 - I guess it is our time for snow. Here is a picture of the shop ... not much snow, but plenty of ice.

February 6th. 2014 - As we had commented, last Thursday was a Danger Day, and it is now clear what happened.   

Anyway, we only have two projects left on the farm after last Summer's tornado.   One, is to clear up a few trees that were blown down, and the other is a decision about what to do with the old kitchen house.   Apparently, folks built detached the kitchen house in the old days so the main house wouldn't burn down.   So, we still have the old kitchen house except for the tree that fell on it during the tornado. We expect to meet with a contractor to decide what to do this week.

January 30th. 2014 - This is a Danger Day ...

January 23rd. 2014 - Keep an eye on the yearly DJI wedge pattern.

January 16th. 2014 - Happiness is a state of being, not a physical place.   

January 9th. 2014 -   The tornado damage is now fixed at the farm, so this morning I will need to have an inspection scheduled on the work done.   This has been a cold week ... we had a 5 gallon water jug in the well house freeze into a solid block of ice.

January 2nd. 2014 -   Can you believe it ... 2014?   Where did the time go?  Today, I'm off to Asheville for appointments and will be back around 5 PM.   Just a FYI ... the Fed is looking how to stop the parabolic action in the market because it’s a fire out of control and they know how parabolic rises end.   The NYA Index’s 4 day RSI is now up to 93.76 and is screaming overbought, but money keeps pouring in.   It’s not like the old days anymore … now, the Fed has created an environment where investors have to take higher and higher risks “just to stay the same or to make money”.

December 26th. 2013 -  I hope you had a great Christmas.   We are still finishing up the Holiday with the kids and now New Year's day is starting to come into focus.   2014 should be an unusually challenging year for the markets..

December 19th. 2013 -  This has been a tough week so far. Computer and server issues, Christmas shopping, trying to finish the house ... and winterizing projects that haven't been completed yet.

December 12th. 2013 -  A The inside of the house is beautiful ... nice work by the contractor.   As long as we don't look outside, its terrific.   However, were are working on the outside as temperatures and time permits.   Today, a landscaper will help, and tomorrow a furnace technician will come by.   Don't worry, we have three sources of heat and two are working great.   Have a good day, and we will see you tomorrow.

December 5th. 2013 -  As you know, we are back into the farm house ... 5 months after the tornado.  The inside of the house is finished, but we still need two more outside windows replaced.   The back walkway looks like it was hit by a hand grenade, and the insurance company doesn't cover driveways and walkways, so I guess it will be on my honey do list.

November 21st. 2013 -  Finally ... we moved back to the farm last Saturday. The repairs are not all finished yet, but enough has been done to move back in.     We still have a few items to move from the temporary living quarters and expect to do that in the next few days.

November 14th. 2013 -  This morning was horrific. My main computer went down, I had auxiliaries running, files damaged, etc. We made it through everything with backups and reconstruction. Of course, that happened when I had an appointment with contractors to be at the farm for telephone and internet repairs. Everything is now under control, and staying cool, calm, and collective is the key. Below is the pic of the tornado damaged boxes for the phone and internet.

November 7th. 2013 -  We are in Colorado visiting our 2 year old Grandson. Here is Grandma Cindy with Henry. On another note, it is going to be our 4 month anniversary (on the 12th.) since being hit by the tornado on the farm.   We were told we could move in when we get back next week, but that is not looking like a possibility since the contractor has NOT been there at all this week.

October 31st. 2013 -  I guess everything happens at once ... The farm house should be fully repaired in the next week, and we are leaving today to see one of our grand kids in Colorado.   Given the rush this morning, I will defer from any additional comments. Thanks to all of you for your support ... it is much appreciated.

October 24th. 2013 -  You would think that the tornado was less stress than having our house fixed, but I am starting to doubt it because I just checked the storage pod that the Contractor stored our items in, and everything was just "thrown in".

October 17th. 2013 -  No pictures today, and it will be a busy day.    Today, we will be going back to the farm and talking to the General Contractor who is making the repairs. Progress is starting to pick up, so I fully expect that we will be able to move back in before Thanksgiving.

October 10th. 2013 -  Well, the barn had to come down yesterday because of tornado damage ... see the photos below. The chicken house is gone, and the chickens are gone ... and yesterday wasn't the happiest of days.  But you know what?  We still found time to laugh a lot yesterday.

October 3rd. 2013
Thank goodness ... we are at a transition point on StockTiming's upgrade and conversion.   It was actually forced on us by our server company in Texas, and then we ran into software comparability issues. We start launching the conversion "this afternoon", so I really hope everything goes smoothly ... things this complicated seldom do, so it may not be the end of our 14 hour days for awhile.   By the way, the restoration on the farm after the tornado is coming along fine, and we are just finishing up what looks like 15,000 to 20,000 feet of downed trees that are being removed.   I don't get to say it enough, but thank you for your support as it is truly appreciated.

September 19th. 2013 -  Could it be?   We are actually starting to see some good progress made. The ceilings and walls have been repaired and are ready to paint.

September 12th. 2013 -  I do hope cleaning up after the tornado ends real soon. This is a picture of one of the trailer load of debris we took to the dump this week.

September 5th. 2013 -  Eight weeks have gone by since the Tornado and the repair contractor has logged in two days of working inside the house.   I'm starting to wonder how long this will take to get done?

August 28th. 2013 -  This too shall pass ... this too shall pass ... this too shall pass.

August 22nd. 2013 -   I guess I spoke too soon last Thursday. Last week, the roofers worked on the roof for one day never showed up again until this week.  Yesterday, they finished two thirds of the backside roof and you guessed it ... they ran out of shingles!   

August 15th. 2013 -   Finally ... 1 month and 3 days later, the roof is being repaired.   Below is a picture of the repair activity that was going on yesterday.

August 8th. 2013 -   Well, we hit the 3 week mark for being stuck in a hotel after the tornado.   Luck prevailed and we found a decent condo to stay in for the next few months while the house gets repaired.   We hired a contractor yesterday, and meet with a tree removal service this morning ... tornado's are not fun.

August 1st. 2013 -  Over two weeks have gone by and we seem to be at a standstill.   I hope this isn't on purpose, but it is starting to feel like a strategy to wear you down and then you go along with anything being offered in settlement.

July 25th, 2013 -  I guess there was an initially a feeling of shock after the tornado.   It must be wearing off now because now I'm feeling sad and a bit overwhelmed.   There is a lot to do for the clean up, but it is mostly an issue of coordinating people's timing.

July 18th, 2013 -  First ... Thanks to all of you with your comments and support after the tornado got us. I was finally able to get to the computer that allowed me access to the emails, so I am just now starting to read them. (I kept it at the house recently while I was doing work on the web site.)   I posted a few more pictures below as we start the clean up process. For those of you who saw the old barn in the past ... it had too much damage and will have to be destroyed.

Just found this picture of the old barn and fields.

July 11th, 2013 -  We're back, but back with pictures and memories of a great time.   Below is a picture of Cindy with our Grandson Henry.

July 4th, 2013 -  We are visiting one of our Grand Children in Colorado this week. It is the Fourth of July and here is a picture of our second Grandson ....

June 27, 2013 -  I'm going to have to reiterate what a problem getting a new server up and running is.  It is not about just turning on a switch.  It's about updating apache, mysql, php, aMember, Rplus, scripts, pro-rating, etc.   We have run into some real snags where our specialized website scripts can't run on the necessary updated software versions.  Compatibility has become a big issue and has created a frustrating experience.

June 20, 2013 -  Don't try it.   Try what?   Try to get a new server set up in Texas, keep the old  one going, tart the StockTiming updating process at 5 AM every morning, do the daily updates, trade, and keep the subscribers, family, farm, and dog all happy at the same time.   With any luck we are 80% through the hard parts. 

June 13, 2013 -  Good grief!   Who ever heard of such a thing?   Dogs going to obedience school, graduating, and getting a diploma!    Well, that is what we did did today, and here is our dog Sammy.

June 6, 2013 -   We are terribly busy right now trying install a new server while dealing with European support staff and different time zones.  So, I'm not going to post any new photos today although a lot has been going on.  Thanks for your understanding.

May 30, 2013 - Who would have thought?   That with this year's cold weather, it was already time to get the fields hayed?  That is what happened since last Thursday, and our farm photos are below.

May 23, 2013 - I know I'm probably prejudiced, but this picture of Cindy and Sam our farm dog just tickles my heart.  Yes ... Sam is a big ol' dog.

May 16, 2013 - We figure that today might be a good day to initiate the 17 year cicada protection.  Apparently, the cicadas need the ground to reach a temperature of 64 degrees before they start coming out.  We are getting very close to that now.   The protection?   Wrap tinfoil (or something the queen can't climb) around the base of small trees. Tin foil is slippery, so they can't climb it to the delicate upper branches and lay their eggs that destroy the branches.   Not protecting small trees could end up in their demise.

May 9, 2013 - Wow ... we got a "lot" of rain last weekend.  Fortunately, we bought a farm on some pretty high land.   And fortunately again, we did not plant anything at Cindy's old garden location from last year.  Note how flooded it was from the river overflow.  (FYI ... for those who are curious ... yes, we did have a successful closing on our old condo property last Thursday.)


May 2, 2013 - One hour and a half from now?   Yes, we will be at the closing on our town home.  Nothing about the farm will change ... we love it here and here is where we will be staying.

April 25th, 2013 - I know ... I know.  The Thursday page is only for posting what we do as a family, but I will briefly depart from that today and post a 20 year chart (see below) with no explanation here.

I do go into an explanation on the Standard subscriber site.   Here's the situation:  If you are a paid subscriber, login into the Standard website immediately and see the FOUR Special Charts posted today.   If you don't have the time, PLEASE find time, because the information is very important.

April 18th, 2013 - No pictures, just news ... With luck, we will finalize a sale of our town home tomorrow.  As you know, we bought a farm last year, so have had two places to deal with.  It will be a welcomed relief to have less to deal with. 

April 11th, 2013 -  It seems like it was a long time coming, but sometimes you can "just smell it" coming.   What am I talking about?   SPRING!  So, just 2 days ago I took this picture of a tree, and the second picture I just took this morning.    See below for the third picture and comments ...

While Spring is exciting, this picture wasn't so exciting last night.   This is the very bottom of our driveway.  And what did I see last evening?   A great white hunter ... about 14 years old!.  Not sure what I will do about this, so I will think about it for a while.

April 4th, 2013 -  Another week has gone by ... a good week though.  Since last Thursday, we sold a town home that we haven't used for a year.  It's funny ... after only a few interested calls for the past months, we are now getting 4 to 5 calls a week from interested parties.     

March 28, 2013 -  You know that we hike a lot and love being outdoors.   But, the older you get, the more difficult it can be become.   So, regularly working out to stay fit is really important.   Something else we found to be very valuable is Foam Rolling.   If you belong to a gym, ask someone about it and where you can take a class.   We both do it and find it very worthwhile. 

March 21, 2013 -  Whew!  We are just starting to feel like we are caught up on sleep.   During the trip portion to California, I was up at 2:30 AM (doing StockTiming Updates) thanks to the 3 hour difference with North Carolina and a Spring, Daylight Saving Time change.   

Of course, we thoroughly enjoyed the grandchildren.   Here is a photo of my oldest son's two year old overlooking the San Francisco Bay.  

March 7, 2013 -  We are in Denver visiting one of the Grandchildren.   While here, we took him to the Zoo and took a pic of the "old lion".   Today, we travel to San Francisco and then back to NC at the end of next week.

February 28, 2013 -  It two hours we will be on a flight out west to see the grandchildren.  Before I do, I want to leave you with something to think about.  The stock market is all about the sign below which is a picture I shot out of a book at Barnes and Noble.   Have you defined how much risk you are willing to take?  Should take? Or, how you should participate in the market when risk levels are rising? 

February 21, 2013 -  The other morning, I decided to take a picture of Cindy's great breakfast.   A smoothie with fresh garden kale, spinach, and other good organic delights.   I know ... we eat differently than most people, and I believe it helps us stay much healthier, and stronger.    We also work out a couple of times per week, and hike a lot.   Last week I turned 66, but I have to say that I still feel great ... the only thing is that I have to work a bit harder to stay that way.  

February 7, 2013 -  Something to think about ... As you probably know, I start work every morning at 5 AM pouring through charts from the day before.   For those in between moments, I have set my computer's background to flip from picture to picture of collected pics or sayings that I want to ponder.  

This one came up this morning ...

January 31, 2013 -  If you or a friend has chickens, the Chicken Tractor is a must have book and a great reference   Anyway, Spring is coming and we are starting our next wave of planning.   For us, this moveable tunnel system might be the way to go, so we are contemplating this as one of our next "build-it" projects.

January 24, 2013 -  Is this picture the definition of the "good old days"?   I saw  this picture "and the smile said it all" ... more than I could ever say.    I bet it was the same smile I used to have when my Dad took me fishing as a kid.

January 17, 2013 -  Sometimes you're really lucky ... Like the day we visited the animal rescue shelter and found Sampson (now called Sammy).    Everyone there commented on how "sweet he was",  but he was more than that.   He's kind, affectionate, and smart as a whip.  He learned the boundaries of the electric fence in less than 48 hours, is happy, likes hanging around the farm, and protecting the girls (our chickens).   Every farm needs a wonderful companion, and he is it!

January 10, 2013 -  I'm doing research all day today.  Some of it is crazy stuff like "what are the historical odds of a crash at the current PE Ratios"?    (Historically, it turns out to be a 1 in 10 chance now.)    But, I don't like historical data because the underlying conditions then and now are always different.    Interesting though ... the current PE Ratio is very close to the same level of what it was just prior to the 1987 crash.  But, we didn't have a pro-active Fed then, along with a large number of different circumstances.    Bottom line will be what happens to Inflowing Liquidity levels.

January 3rd, 2013 -   As if you couldn't tell ... photography is one of my passions.   Once in a while, I will be driving by a location and see a photo opportunity like this one.   Obviously, it is part of an old house ... at least 100 years old.  I thought it told an interesting story of how an old house weathered time and the elements.  This picture was taking at the end of last Summer.

December 27th, 2012 - Christmas is behind us and we are now preparing for a new year.   Our Christmas stocking found a new dog in it ... well, almost but he was too big to fit.   His name is Sampson ... a very well tempered dog who likes to going on walks.  We got him from the Animal Rescue unit in town and we are glad he is joining our family.

December 20th, 2012 - Well, Cindy is ready to move on and look at another dog today.  It wasn't like she didn't know Stretch was at the end of his time ... it was a tough, slow process that lasted six months.  Given that some coyotes started showing up this week, a big farm dog may not be a bad idea now.   

December 13th, 2012 ...  7:12 PM   This my last posting of the day ...

They always obey, they just want to be your friend.
They don’t judge you, talk down to you, or yell at you.
They just want to be who they are … dogs.

Stretch was such a dog …
A dog that loved to hike.
A dog that liked to walk.
A dog that liked to bike.
A dog that liked to be on a boat.
A dog that didn't complain.
A dog that was loyal.
A dog that was always your friend.
A dog that never judged you.

Goodbye Stretch … we’re all going to miss you.
From your human family

December 13th, 2012 ...  Last June, I posted this picture of our dog Stretch when he was ill.  He's pretty old and the vet thinks he may have prostrate cancer.   He's not well now and is holding on by a thread at this moment.  Hope he feels better in the next couple of days, but the reality is that he will probably leave us in the next day or two. 

December 6th, 2012 ...  It is hard to believe that it is already December.   Below, I posted two pictures today. ... One is from hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains and yes, the second was Thanksgiving dinner that had to wait for the kids.

November 29th, 2012 ...  This is part of my afternoon routine ...  I feed the hens scratch and whistle as I approach them.   They get all excited and rush over for their share.   I think how you treat  your chickens matters, and it matters a lot.  I say that because we are steadily getting eggs that are in 80%+ production rate per day.   Yesterday, we had another 100% day.   Many folks are telling us that we should be getting 50% in this cold weather, and 70% on a regular basis, but that is not what we are experiencing.

November 22nd, 2012 ...  It is Thanksgiving Day today ... We want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving with safe traveling.   We hope this is a family event that brings everyone closer.

November 15th, 2012 ...  Well, I was planning on posting pictures showing how well the chickens can dig up the ground and prepare a bed for gardening ... but, we went canoeing instead!   It was the last good day to do it while not freezing, so we went to Lake James and had a terrific time.   Below are photos of us canoeing, and what we did afterwards ... my favorite beer is Blue Moon.

November 1st, 2012 ...  Chickens can be wonderful ... they can dig up the ground as good as a tiller if you give them a chance.  We want to prepare another garden area for the Spring, so we build an extension for our chicken coop as seen in the picture.  It is very light weight and we move it to where we want them to dig.   I'll post pictures next week showing just how good they can dig!

November 1st, 2012 ...  Our old barn is about 100 years old, and I'm not sure about this old chicken house/corn crib ... anyway, this will be one of our next projects.   Should we rebuild it as a chicken house?   Fix it up and use it as a garden shed?   Or move and fix it in another location?    There is a HUGE dead tree overhanging it that will crush it when the limbs start to fall.  Meanwhile, we insulated crawl space openings and insulated the old kitchen house.    We put mulch down in two large areas, finished the raised bed gardens, and had the chimney cleaned.  Good thing on the chimney as it is now cold and we have the wood stove putting out some pretty nice heat.  Oh, by the way ... our chickens are evidently happy.   Folks tell us to expect a 70% egg laying rate.  Depending on the day, we are seeing an 83% to 100% laying rate, and I must say that they are much tastier than anything from the grocery store

October 25th, 2012 ... No new pictures today.  There will be some next week.    

October 18th, 2012 ...  Finally ... its done.  Chickens are in, laying and we have been getting eggs from day 1.

October 11th, 2012 ...  Well, we are trying to get our projects done before Winter.  The current project is a "chicken tractor" which is a portable coop that can be moved around.  This is the early picture from last week end, but it is almost finish now. Note the $10 snow skis we put under it so it would move easier.

October 4th, 2012 ...  We were talking and realized that the farm has been consuming us and that we have not been hiking.  So, last weekend, we did a 4 mile hike up to Table Rock.  It was a tough hike as even some young kids (in their early 20's) were huffing and puffing and groaning.  When it comes to the Technical Analysis of the stock market, it is something that I really love to do.  It is why I can easily get up at 5 AM every morning, do a complex analysis, and then post 3 dozen charts on the Standard and Advanced websites with complete commentaries before the market even opens.

September 27th, 2012 ...  Whew!  Well, we got the raised bed gardens in.  Here are the photos ...

September 20th, 2012 ...  When we bought this farm, neglect had allowed many trees to have Poison Ivy growing up them and chocking the life out of them.   So we all have been on a mission to save our big trees ... including Billy Bob the goat.  You can see him on this picture, hard at work while eating the Poison Ivy.

September 13th, 2012 ...  Last week we mentioned Mel Bartholomew's "All New Square Food Gardening". We are now setting up our raised beds.   We bought a bunch of 12 foot rough sawn boards, cut them, and Cindy is now coating them with boiled Linseed oil.   When I was a kid, the older folks used to talk about 100 year fences.  My grandfather would stick a post in a bucket of linseed oil overnight to do the trick.  We aren't doing that because we are dealing with raised beds, so we are coating them with a roller brush ... it's much easier and faster than using a conventional brush.  See the photo below ...

September 6th, 2012 ...  We are now getting down to "less work" kind of decisions.   Like selling the small tractor attachments because they just don't do enough for the amount of work you have to put in.  This small disc harrow can't compete with the output of "square foot gardening".   If you are not familiar with square foot gardening, check it out by getting this book:  All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew  ... it is totally worth the small investment.

August 30th, 2012 ...  Well ... we did it.   Did what?  We stopped the drowning feeling that is coming as acres of trees are starting to lose their leaves.   The solution we picked was an Ohio Steel 50" Lawn Sweeper which we pull behind the lawn tractor.    Cindy tried it yesterday and it was a life saver.    

August 23rd, 2012 ...  Well, we did get another lawn tractor.   This time a John Deere, a little less power but greater dependability.   Just bought 400 board feet of rough cut lumber for Cindy's new projects of raised bed gardens and maybe a chicken tractor.   Good thing I grew up handy at everything and that I like the relaxation that comes from working with my hands compared to all the mind-related work on the stock market.  For years, I have started each morning's stock market updating process at 5 AM and I am still very excited every morning because of the unfolding story that comes with this kind of analysis. Have a great day, and I will see you tomorrow.

August 16th, 2012 ...  No new pictures today.   Just having more ol' farm fun this week ... the lawn tractor died.  

August 9th, 2012 ...  Well, we just got back from Denver last night, and I'm a bit tired.  While there, we did go to the Red Rock Amphitheater to see Neil Young and had a great time.   Below are two photos from the event (the second one is of my wife Cindy).  FYI ... you can see the city of Denver in the background of the first photo.

August 2nd, 2012 ...  In just a few hours, we will be on our way to see our Grandson in Denver.  It's nice to be older and to be able to say: "What a nice family they are!"

July 26th, 2012 ...  Humor is a good thing, and Cindy has plenty of it.   Take this photo her with her Dad for instance ... she wanted to mimic the old "ma and pa Kettle photo" so here she is ...

July 19th, 2012 ...  What can I say ... Cindy still has her green thumb.   This was one day's tomato produce from her garden.

July 12th, 2012 ...  Finally! ... we are catching up on the "to do" list at the new farm.   This is good as I was starting to get a little tired.   Now there might be some time for a little fun ... we might go canoeing tomorrow afternoon or Saturday.  Yesterday, a friend posted this saying, and I thought I would share it with you ...

July 5th, 2012 ...  No new pictures today.  I'm working on the old Spring House now and will post pictures when it is finished.   What's a Spring House?  It is a small building that used to be built over a spring in the old days, and it was used to keep milk and meat cool. 

June 28, 2012 ...  Well ... Cindy says she is finally getting to the fun part of owning a farm.  Most of all the repairs are done, and today's photos show Cindy walking toward the old barn, and below that is "Billy Bob" ... Cindy's new lawn mower.

June 21, 2012 ...  Buying an old farm is always fun ... right?  We are now having the plumbing redone, the electrical, floors ... etc. etc.   If you like to work a lot, this is the ticket!

June 14, 2012 ...  Maybe you have the answer?   The first picture below is of the farm we recently bought.  If you carefully look at the field area to the right, you can see the faint remains of a design cut into the field.  Cindy was astute enough to point it out.

We did find pictures from an older government (Federal Gov.) site that showed the field when it was first cut that way ... that is the second photo below.  It was probably cut that way about 15 years ago.  Obviously, it looks like it was cut by some individual.  Here are the questions:  Why would some one take the time and effort to cut the design?  Is there a name for the design?  It makes me wonder ...


If you read June 14th's free update posting, here is what you saw:

There was no Free Update today.  Instead, our dog Stretch got the priority as we rushed him to the Vet.

Stretch has been a good dog, a loyal dog, and a hiking friend.   He is still with us but very ill and likely has the big "C" from what the Vet is saying.  

So, we brought him back to the farm and hope he can really enjoy the next couple of days.   Thanks for your understanding about not having a free update today.


May 30th. 2012 ...  Well ... we did close on the farm property, and now the plumbing and electrical repairs and updating begins.  This will be another busy week trying to juggle everything.

May 17th. 2012 ...  The next 7 days will be very busy.   If all goes right for the farm property, we will close next Thursday.   So, that will be a big change ... no more Lake ... and the boat just got sold.  

May 10th. 2012 ...  With all that is going on, we have not been working out our 3 to 5 times per week.  Which brings me to recent research just coming out ... here is what it said:  If you walk for 30 minutes a day (at least 4 to 5 times per week), then your life span could increase 20%.   If you push it to 90 minutes a day, the life span increase only goes up to 24%, so 30 minutes is an optimal amount of time.  This amount of walking also has the benefits of a decrease in the probability of having a heart attack and/or not getting diabetes.  Obviously, the faster the walking the better, and getting into an actual sweat is beneficial.

May 3rd. 2012 ...  The countdown is on for "Cindy's farm".   We are now going through the appraisal and inspection stage.  Below is a photo of the old farm house, built in 1941. 

April 26th, 2012 ...  Busy, busy, busy ... that is what it has seemed like.   Life changes and Cindy would like to live on a farm now, so the old house is being sold, and we bought a ... small farm?   Yes, 17 acres of pasture and woods.  Pictures are below of the old house and then the farm.


April 12th, 2012 ...  Another growing season coming ...
Cindy planted her garden last week, and of course the temperature fell to 27 degrees last night.  She anticipated a late frost, so she planted the right things accordingly.   Experience is a good thing!

March 29, 2012 ...  We got back from Moab and Denver Tuesday night.   It was a terrific trip seeing our new grandchild for the first time, and seeing the Arches National Park for the first time as well. Below are three of my favorite pictures from the trip ...  The third one is a very interesting petroglyph in Moab Utah that goes back a few thousand years.

Have a great day, and we will see you on Friday.

March 14, 2012 ...  Yesterday's hike was a four mile hike in the Arches National Park.   I took about 200 pictures as there was so many incredible photo possibilities like the three below.  Next, we will board the California Zephyr train for a ride through the Rocky Mountains to Denver to see our new grandson. 

March 14, 2012 ...  Did you know ... that before pink slime beef was treated with ammonia and used for humans, it was used as dog food?    But, it is okay because the USDA decided it is perfectly safe and healthy to give it to our children for school lunches. McDonald's won't use it anymore for their hamburgers, hmm ... but the schools still do??? What's up with that? 

Talking about schools ... 7 million pounds of  "Lean Beef Trimmings" (pink slime beef) are used for school lunch programs. 

How much money do they save?   How about 3 cents per pound or $210,000 per year.  That comes out to a savings of $4,200 per state and a whopping big savings of about 27.4 cents per student.   And for this, they are giving our grandchildren what used to be dog food?  Have we lost our minds as a nation?

March 1, 2012 ...  Well, we finally booked a trip out to Colorado and Utah to see two of the kids.   We will take the California Zephyr from Denver to near Moab which should be a lot of photo taking fun.

February 23rd, 2012 ...  I guess things could change this year.   We want to be in a position to travel out West to see the grand children more often ... so we are thinking of ending our love affair with Lake James and selling everything there ... even the pontoon boat.   At the same time, working out 5 to 6 days a week puts us in good condition for hiking the local mountains a whole lot more.  Doing something that keeps us physically fit while being outdoors is right up our ally. 

February 9th, 2012 ...  Today, we drive off with our youngest son so he can catch a plane.   He's not just catching a plane, he's moving to Utah and with the event ... we will become "empty nesters".  How did that happen so fast?   Add to that ... we are now grandparents with another one on the way that is due any day now.    In spite of it all, we think young, act young, and are physically young.  How so?   We belong to a fitness center and try to do aerobics with a workout 5 to 6 days a week.   We hike, go to the lake, and stay active.   It is part of our secret to feeling good, being sharp, and maintaining high levels of energy. 

February 2nd, 2012 ... Daffodils are starting to bloom, and this has been a Spring like Winter.   At the same time, people in Poland are freezing with 30 below temperatures.   It is hard to believe that we will get a normal Summer with things this much out of kilter.   We would love to start our garden now, but who would dare do so this early?

January 12th, 2012 ... Cindy suggested that I share other kinds of research with you ... research that I have done for the family.  One that comes to mind is a warning to anyone who pays for prescriptions at a pharmacy.   Here is the deal ... a month ago, I asked our pharmacy how much each of our prescriptions would cost if I did not have any insurance.  One particular item was quoted at $10.75.    So I recently refilled it and the co-pay was $10 even.   Gosh, I thought ... something must be terribly wrong here ... if I paid $10 then that meant the insurance company was only paying $0.75.   In that case, I would be getting very little benefit from the insurance

Could this be true?   I asked the pharmacist and he said that insurance companies win at the game by simply moving a prescription to a higher "tier level" where the prescription is not covered or is only covered by a small amount.  

Here is what this means to you or any relative who is on medicare and paying for Part D coverage through a supplemental insurance provider:   It means the person could be paying $30 to $50+ more per month for the insurance than they actually can get out of it. 

What to do: Get the out of pocket costs of each prescription that would have to be paid if there was no insurance.   Then, compare that to what the insurance company would charge you per month for policy coverage.   One person I know came up with a $10 to $12 per month cost projection if he had to pay for the prescriptions himself ... while the insurance company was charging him $60 per month for Part D coverage.   Bottom line, he could save about $50 per month without the insurance.   The only caveat is if he got ended up with some dreaded disease during the year, then he could end up paying a lot for some expensive prescription.   So, the question is: Would it be worth it to him to pay the extra $600 per year "just in case" he got very sick and needed some very expensive prescription or not?

January 5th, 2012 ...  It's January and some of you have been busy making up New Years resolutions.   So, this is probably "as good a time as any" to bring this up.  It is about one of the most un-liked words in the American vocabulary.  

What is it?   Exercise ... not just exercise but what is REQUIRED for your body to stop that steady trending into an older body.   I made this recommendation before and I am going to make it again.   Go out and spend the $5 to $10 for "Younger Next Year".    For now ... you don't have to do any more exercise than pick up the book and read it.   After reading it, if you decide against an exercise program, you will at least have made a conscious and informed decision while realizing what the consequences will be over the longer term for not exercising.   I like the book, I'm on my third read, and I have it in hardcover as well as on my Kindle Fire. 

December 22, 2011 ... Time for a little humor today.  This was sent to me by a friend ...

December 15, 2011 ... She's got the magic touch.   I'm talking about Cindy and her Winter Garden.   Take a look at this brussels sprout plant picture I just took ... fresh, organic, and doing well in December.   Actually, the kale and collards are still hanging in and providing fresh greens on the table as well.  It is not like we haven't had cold weather, as we have seen many nights get down to 25 to 28 degrees. 

December 8, 2011 ... Making life easier ... Today, I wanted to share something with you.  Even if I travel at, I need constant daily access to the internet, a computer, and access to our servers in Texas and New York.  The solution has fortunately been quite easy.   First, we have a Verizon USB760 Wireless card as seen on the left below.   Second, I use a CradlePoint wireless router with it.   With the two, I can access the internet anywhere and anytime while traveling with my laptop.   Continued below ...


The next thing I will share with you is a recent purchase I made.  I don't normally purchase things that could be called a convenience item or a toy.  However, with the Kindle Fire, I made an exception.   Here's why: It allows me to connect to the internet anytime and anywhere with the above USB760 and router.   It allows me to get rid of some of the clutter coming from magazines and newsletters which I can now read online with the Kindle Fire.  And it also allows me to purchase, and then read any book at anytime on this device ... the end of trying to crowd one more book into a workspace or bookcase with no room left.   (Besides, Cindy hates the look of clutter.)

It just makes life a little bit easier.   The cost of manufacturing the Kindle Fire is about $201.79 and you can buy one for only $199.  If Amazon did not make it a loss leader, it would cost about $300.   It is considered a tablet, and is easy to use.   What more can I say?   I love it, I find it convenient, and its quality is exceptional.   I really wouldn't blame you if you wanted one for Christmas!

December 1, 2011 ... Just went through our pictures to Denver again when we visited our son Carson.   And ... I found a picture of Cindy staying young as she always does.

October 27th, 2011 ... The line was about an hour long and you would never guess what these people were waiting for.   On Saturday, we had a brief stop in Shelby (North Carolina) where they were having their annual "Livermush Festival".   Andrew Zimmern (from the Travel Channel) was there and on his quest to find his next "unusual food" item.   I don't think he liked it, as he said little about it, and couldn't even spell it like one of the locals. 

October 20th, 2011 ...  We had a terrific hike last week to the top of Shortoff Mountain.   Unfortunately, I had to take this picture of Cindy on my cell phone ... not very good resolution, but still a wonderful view.  

By the way, our trip to see number 2 son and expectant Mom was terrific and a lot of fun.   We even had a chance to drive up into the mountains where we took these pictures ...

October 6th, 2011 ...  We are off to Colorado today to visit our second oldest son ... and guess what?  Soon, we will be Grandparents for the second time.   Our Congratulations to Carson and Kristen!

September 22nd, 2011 ...  We visited my grandson in San Francisco last week, and here we are at his 1st. Birthday.

A trip to San Francisco would not be complete unless we visited the Muir Forest of giant redwoods.  A breathtaking walk that could bring anyone back to reality.

The Palace of Fine Arts was also spectacular to see.   We like to walk, so overall, we walked about 15 miles during the five days we were there.   Walking is a great way to see San Francisco!

August 17th, 2011 FYI ...  This has been a different year for us.  The youngest moved back in, I finally became a Grandfather, and Cindy's gardening has been hugely successful this year.   I guess it has meant that we have seen a little less Lake time this Summer.   A month ago, I posted a picture of Cindy's 9 foot, 2 inch tomato plant (see below).  Now we are starting to pick the tomatoes as seen in these photos, and they are exceptionally large and delicious.  My favorite summertime lunch? ... a tomato sandwich of course.

Link to prior Photos ... Part II ...