Axes, Hammers and Random Links – January 30th, 2013


A lot of fitness related posts lately.   Kris @ ET&T is thinking about keeping a health journal, while Money Reasons is getting paid to drop the pounds. I don’t do much aerobic exercise in the wintertime, or at all really, since quitting indoor soccer a year ago.  It was a struggle to give it up, but finally the ankles and the rest of the leg assemblies gave way.  The last eighteen months of play were tough, as the legs started accumulating injuries. Soleus muscle tears, calf muscle tears, ankle sprains, one after the other, two or three or six months of recovery, then bam!, another muscle tear.  So I hung up the cleats, and now just concentrate on strength exercises. I mostly do chin-ups, between 30 and 50, in sets of 10 … [Read more...]

A Review of Penny Mining Stocks – Guest Post by Fred Carach

This is a re-posting of a piece written by Fred Carach, author of “Forty Years A Speculator”.  I’ve been asked a couple of times to write more in depth about penny mining stocks, and I thought, who better than I to do it than Fred.  This article was originally written on his blog back on February 20, 2009, and he agreed to have this featured here.  First of a two part series. Picture this: the year is 1968, the place is the USS Little Rock, the flagship of the mighty U.S. sixth fleet. We were sailing in the Mediterranean Sea off the west coast of Italy somewhere between Rome and Naples. I was waiting to go on watch in the CIC (the Combat Information Center) or as we fondly call it: the center of intense confusion. I was … [Read more...]

Food Riots and China’s 12th Five Year Plan

riot police

Lots of news recently about escalating commodity prices.  Lots of news about escalating riots in various parts of the world over high food prices. This interactive map of recent riots over at pinpoints exactly where the trouble spots are. Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt, all erupting in street rioting this month over high commodity prices and government/regime corruption. High onion prices in India. France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy talking about regulating the commodity markets. Sarkozy urges regulation of commodity markets French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said that the world's top economies must agree new measures to curb volatility in commodity markets or risk destabilising food riots. “We want … [Read more...]

Centavos Dividend Stocks

dividends 2

As opposed to the large number of penny  mining stocks that we have in our portfolios, one aspect of our portfolio where we’re not that diversified are dividend-paying equities. EV Energy Partners (EVEP) Golden Enterprises (GLDC) Hugoton Royalty Trust (HGT) Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp (MNR) Pengrowth Energy Trust (PGH) Prospect Capital (PSEC) Teekay Tankers LTD (TNK) Vector Group (VGR) A snapshot from Yahoo shows the dividends, recent price and P/E and P/B ratios. I’m reasonable happy with the stability, prospects and dividend yields of the whole group. A very recent addition is Golden Enterprises, the parent company of Golden Flake Snack Foods. Readers living in the southern United States will no … [Read more...]

50 Cents of Random Comments and Roundup Links

shark tank

Rapper 50 Cent was in the news this week, with his tweet-happy penny stock antics.  Squirrelers and Roger the Amateur Financier both comment at length on Curtis (Fiddy) Jackson’s semi-fraudulently pumping up the stock of an obscure penny stock company sucking at specializing in wholesale distribution of ladies handbags. 50 Cent owns some 13 percent of this company, H&H Imports Inc (HNHI). By tweeting this hot stock tip to his millions of followers, he was able to see his “investment” of 7-plus million shares go up in an interplanetary trajectory, then crash back down.  Not that he could have sold them for a profit, without really getting into some hot water with the SEC  (that may yet com to pass, they might get all Martha … [Read more...]

Favorite Gardening Books & Magazines


With gardening season coming up fast, but the weather outside still frightful, and the fire being so delightful, it’s a great time to sit in a comfy chair with a stack of gardening books and a large hot toddy. I got asked a couple of times what reference gardening books I can recommend for the beginning gardener, so here we go, in no particular order: The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening by J.I. Rodale and staff.   This one is becoming my favorite go-to book for random bits of gardening knowledge.  One thousand one hundred and forty-five pages of, well, encyclopedic knowledge of everything organic, from “A” Horizon to Zygopetalum.   There’s several later editions listed on, mine is a used 1971 … [Read more...]

Penne Girate Al Sugo –- Sauteed Penne with Meat Sauce


A pretty dish of penne, courtesy of Wikipedia I looked over the titles of the last few posts, and it struck me that there's not been a good food-related post in couple weeks, since Jan 5th, to be precise.  An almost unforgivable oversight.  Please, crack open a new bottle of red, and hit that bookmark button. Penne Girate Al Sugo – Sauteed Penne with Meat Sauce The word girate comes from the verb girare, which means to stir or turn.  The pasta is sautéed briefly (or girata) with the sauce, incorporating all its meaty tomatoey goodness into its bronze-extruded nooks and crannies.   Sugo just means sauce. Ingredients: Two or three stalks of celery, a red onion, a handful of baby carrots or three medium sized, a … [Read more...]

Thoughts for Tax Season

Image via Wikipedia The time is nigh for that time of the year.  Spring is coming, birds are singing, flowers blooming, and the IRS comes looking for its cut.  This is when we either agonize over how much goes out, or expect a nice chunky return from state and federal – which most of the time is already spent long before it shows up in the mail.  This time of year is good for a little reflection and discussion on an oft-debated topic. What are income taxes used for? Not roads and schools....much. This seems to be a reflexive argument, and for the life of me I don’t where it originates.  “We need income taxes to pay taxes for roads and schools”.  Except that they're not.  It’s relatively simple to fact check … [Read more...]

Hyperventilating with President Hu Jintao

Image via Wikipedia I was all set to write a post this morning on health, fast food and burgers, but the headline and the blurb at the WSJ on China caught my eye “Hu Highlights Need for US-China Cooperation, Questions Dollar” BEIJING—Chinese President Hu Jintao emphasized the need for cooperation with the U.S. in areas from new energy to space ahead of his visit to Washington this week, but he called the present U.S. dollar-dominated currency system a "product of the past" and highlighted moves to turn the yuan into a global currency. Mr. Hu also offered a veiled criticism of efforts by the U.S. Federal Reserve to stimulate growth through huge bond purchases to keep down long-term interest rates, a strategy that China has … [Read more...]

Random Observations and Roundup Links

Random Doodle on a Post-It note

Happy days are here!  The new Raintree Nursery catalog arrived in the mail yesterday.  These catalogs are truly gardener porn.   Lots of new tree varieties to choose from, including some more varieties of Cornus Mas, Cornelian Cherry.  Grapes, Chinese Walnuts, Asian Pears, Sea Buckthorns, Aronia, and Gooseberries. The mind boggles at the possibilities, while the wallet flinches in anticipation of pending abuse. I won a copy of “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi in a contest sponsored by Kevin @ Invest It Wisely and Jesse @ PF Firewall.  First of all, wow! I haven’t won anything in a contest in donkey’s years.  As for the book itself, it’s a good, quick, and fun read, especially well suited for young adults … [Read more...]