Random Observations, Tips and Links

Picture 2

CORNELIAN CHERRY - Image via Wikipedia What with the holidays and vacation schedules, I haven’t had much time for posting on this blog, but here’s a few snippets, bits and pieces from my idea journal. Gardening - Now is the time to start plotting the spring campaign, and sure enough, January seems to be the month for the mailbox to be inundated by gardening and seed catalogs.  (My name  must have gotten on some kind of list)  My new favorite is Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  Wonderfully illustrated, with good tips and planting information, and comprehensive charts. Other good ones include Raintree Nursery and Territorial Seed Company. Raintree Nursery is particularly good with unusual edible perennial plants.  Last year I … [Read more...]

Auction Strategies

Image via Wikipedia Mention the word auction these days to someone and the first thing that springs into the conversation is online auctions.  Second thing, are sheriff’s or storage space auctions, as seen on those A&E reality TV shows.    What I mean instead are those little country or small town auctions, where you might find a mix of antique, modern, vintage and used furniture (and frequently, just junk).  Names like Col. Bud Phipps, Auction Service & Appraiser, or Uncle Bob’s Country Auction, that’s what you’re looking for.    Even estate auctions out in the country are great.  With a little knowledge and experience, it's a good and frugal way to spend a couple hours, and hopefully pick up a few great … [Read more...]

Eats for the Holidays: Pasta San Giovanni

Image via Wikipedia Not exactly a Christmas recipe, but one that's made in Florence around the time of the Feast of St. John the Baptist.  At least that's how it reads in the glossy Foods of Tuscany recipe book.  I've also seen this by other names, like Pasta alla Carrettiere (take out the parsley, add hot pepper).  It's a pasta recipe that's reasonably simple to make, but also requiresa bit of  attention and practice. Basic ingredients are a 1/4 cup of olive oil, a small can of tomato paste, a package of pasta (spaghetti or rigatoni), 4 or 6 whole peeled garlic cloves, and lots of fresh chopped parsley. For the red wine, let's go with a Fish Eye Shiraz, inna box.  And of course, loads of good Parmesan cheese. … [Read more...]

History, Podcasts and Kids

This past weekend I had three boys in the truck for an hour-long drive, my two and one of their friends.  As always, I have the iPod plugged into the radio.  I told my oldest to be the DJ, and pick out a song.  He selected instead a podcast from Dan Carlin's Hardcore History show, an episode titled "Apache Tears". At one time or another, I've several history podcasts loaded on the iPod, but Dan Carlin's is by far and away the best, and has been a constant.  Carlin has what I can only describe as a captivating narrative style.  His voices rises and falls, with emotion and passion. He speaks eloquently on subjects of history not normally found in textbooks, although he is careful to point out that he is not a historian, merely a … [Read more...]

Fight Those High Credit Card Interest Rates

credit card

Well, this post has little to do with hunting around for the best cc rates.  It's about all those annoying credit card offers we get in the mail. Being in good credit standing and a frequent traveler to boot, I am cursed blessed with all kinds of enticing miles and credit offers.  You can't actually fight, but you can engage in a little pranksterism, giving some customer feedback to the Shylocks working in the thievery swindling credit card industry. Yes, yes, I know that credit cards have their place when judiciously used, but often times they're not. They're offered willy-nilly to young college adults who don't know any better, perhaps not having benefited from savvy parenting in their formative years.  They engage in somewhat … [Read more...]

Blogging Journal, Random Observations, and a Link Roundup

blog journal

I was planning to write a long post this morning about job training and skills, and as usual I’ve run out of time.  So, all I’m left with is snippets and link comments.  Maybe that’s a post for another day. This blog’s Alexa ranking started out the week at around 1,125,000, and it’s now 862,882.  Making progress, I suppose. I’ve gotten a couple of emails from readers asking about penny investments stocks, and if they’re great investments.  A cautionary note: some are investments, and most are speculations.  I have a couple of notes written about mining stocks value proposition, and someday soon it will morph into a full-length post. I’m not a particularly spontaneous writer. Writing is occasionally hard, and … [Read more...]

Centavos Portfolio Update: Otish Energy and Geodex Minerals

otish chart

Continuing on with uranium, we dipped our toes a little further in the radioactive pool of uranium investing with 2,000 shares of Otish Energy at $0.22.  There are others in the Otish Mountains region, including Ditem Exploration, Strateco, Dios, Abitex, Virginia Energy, and one  of the  majors in the uranium sector, Cameco.  I'm not done researching each, so for now I'll stick to one with a well situated land position.  The basis for this trade was the nice map received through Northern Miner.  About six or seven times a year, NM sends out these detailed maps of various mining districts, showing producing mines, past producing mines, discovered deposits, and the claims of the various exploration companies in the district, all … [Read more...]

Mainstream Financial Media vs. PF Bloggers: 401K loans

I am constantly struck at the poor advice or below-average research and information put out by the mainstream financial media, and how badly it compares to the good to great writings out out by personal finance bloggers.  Admittedly, I'm a little biased, but still.... One subject I took an interest in recently was taking a loan from a 401k plan.  We were considering doing just that, and  I wrote a blog post on the pros and cons.  Well, we did eventually take out a relatively small loan, and used it as part of a total cash purchase on rural acreage.  For us, it was a good decision and it's worked out.  The loan will be repaid in full by this time next year. In revisiting this topic, I compared some of the sources I used to … [Read more...]

Links, Personal Productivity and Gardening

“Lace House Dry Goods Co.” By an unknown photographer, St. Louis, Missouri, ca. 1909  This photo of a Chinese Business was part of the Immigration Service's investigatory case file of Lew Wa Ho, a sales clerk with the store. As a merchant, he could legally enter the United States under the Chinese Exclusion Act, which restricted most Chinese immigration. He returned to China, married, and came back to the U.S. in 1909. He may have submitted this photo as proof of his occupation.  National Archives, Pacific Region (Seattle), Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service

Well, I started writing this post meaning to comment on personal productivity and gardening, and intending to quote some links from fellow bloggers along with devastatingly pithy thoughts and quotes of my own, and now... well, now I'm running out of time, my handwritten notes are undecipherable and unfit for public consumption, and I gotta go to work.   I think I'll save it for another post. Anyways, a couple of articles that started this train  was a Reuters piece on Jim Rogers. Jim Rogers bets the farm as he shuns Wall Street (Investor guru Jim Rogers says life on the farm will bring far more riches in coming years than the trenches of Wall Street....), as well as a post on the excellent blog Of Two Minds: "Productivity, Baumol's … [Read more...]

Centavos Model Portfolio Update

Picture 5

I was planning to do an update at the beginning of the month, to start fresh, and between one thing and another, it's the 9th.  In any event, one of the holdings, Tyhee Development, hit a sell price order on December 1st and half the position got sold off. Purchased 10,000 shares at $0.07, sold 5,000 shares at $0.15 and a fraction.  Less commission of $8.95, the proceeds were $763.73.  This was added to the cash balance.  The Google snapshot from today's date: You'll notice that Tyhee today was at $0.163.   Oh well.   Tyhee is a reasonably good story.  It has a single multi-zone gold project, Yellowknife, up in the Canadian Northwest Territories.  Currently under feasibility study, it's 50/50 in my opinion whether it … [Read more...]