Moth Balls and Rattlers, and a Weekly Roundup of Random Links

Random Doodle #7

The title of this week’s roundup is dedicated to learning experiences falling under the category “Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit, that I didn't know”. After we bought Terra Farms and started noodling around the place, an surprising number of shed snake skins were found. I mentioned this to a colleague at work, an old hand at country living.  He volunteered that moth balls are an effective way to keep snakes and copperheads in particular away from the house.  Place them in little bags at points of ingress or traffic, and Bob’s yer uncle. Mrs. 101 was recruited into the effort, producing a couple dozen neatly sewn bags from leftover fabric remnants.  They look very tasteful in a pink and orange pattern and pretty … [Read more...]

Yakezie Blog Swap: The Best Unnecessary Purchase Ever

Mr. and Mrs. BP are owners of the blog Broke Professionals, a site dedicated to a young professional couple's struggle to deal with some serious student debt, and rise back to a positive net worth.  This guest post is part is the of the third round of the Yakezie blog swap.  The theme of the swap is “A time you splurged and were glad you did”. Check out my own post Splurging on an Anniversary It is rare for me to be glad that I “splurged” on anything, other than education.  That said, once in a while a “splurge” purchase can go down as easy as a Corona after cutting the lawn.  That said, no “splurge” has ever been more valuable to me personally then our dog, Sophie. To be sure our Shetland Sheepdog Sophie … [Read more...]

Career Tip #3: Watch Out For Scorpions


[ Continuing on with the series on advice for young folks entering the workforce ] I'm fond of the parable of the frog and the scorpion. Regular readers and commenters on this blog (shameless pandering to the audience alert!),  uncommonly erudite and well-read as they are, judging by the insightful quality of the comments, will no doubt have heard of this tale. For those who have not heard of this tale (but are equally well-read and appreciated), it is about a Frog who was sunning itself contentedly by the bank of small stream.  Along comes a Scorpion, bidding the Frog a good day. "Greetings, dear Master Frog, I am needful of being across to the other side, but I cannot swim," said the Scorpion "will you take me across? You are … [Read more...]

Today’s Irrational Stock Market and The Rise of The Propeller Heads


This a guest post of sorts, re-posted with permission from Fred Carach's blog. When I broke into the stock market in 1961 the stock market was a far more rational market than it is today. The type of news that will send a stock up or down four or five points today would have in the 60s and 70s only sent the stock up or down a half point. The stock market today resembles to an ever increasing degree a" perpetual overreaction machine". It is forever being jerked around like a monkey on a chain. One constantly hears alleged market authorities proudly proclaiming that the market is always looking forward six months. Not any more! Today's market is too stupid to anticipate anything. It does not anticipate it reacts in shocked surprise … [Read more...]

Stepping up to last week’s Roundup

Random Doodle # 6

Just how sedentary are people that spend hours parked at a desk at the office, and then pay good money to go to a gym?  How many steps do you think you take in a day?  If you’re walking less than 5,000 steps, then you’re a couch potato.  It’s on, so it must be true.  A minimum of 10,000 steps makes you moderately active. Not wanting to rely on random bits of knowledge from the intarweb, I put this to the test myself with an Omron pedometer, and whaddaya know, it sure is a fact. About 5 to 7 thousand steps a day, is what I clock in at most days.  4 to 5 thousand at the office, and another 2 to 3 thousand puttering about the house in the evening.   Some days, I clock in at a slothful 3,500 steps.  On the weekend, … [Read more...]

New Furniture Sucks

Quick bed bail fix - Repeat as required

Particle board, MDF board, and low-density foam.  That's what new furniture made abroad in mostly China seems to be made of. I was cursing the poor quality of our kid's twin beds last weekend, as I got around to fixing yet another bed rail that had given way, busted up by rough-housing kids.  We purchased the beds years ago at a fairly typical bix-box store.  Heavy as the dickens, which makes sense since they seem to be all pressed MDF board.  They look nice enough, but they're not holding up worth a crap for 8-yr-old kid furniture. We don't hardly buy any new furniture any more. Virtually all the hard goods (beds, dressers, sideboards, sofa, tables, etc.) for the weekend cabin were bought used, either in yard sales or thrift … [Read more...]

Centavos Model Portfolio Update – February 16th, 2013

Centavos Portfolio feb 16 2011

Time for an update to the model portfolio of resource stocks.  I had an order filled for JNR Resoucers, a Canadian junior explorer of uranium properties.  I bough 2000 shares at $0.35, and it's since ticked up to $0.44.  I’m not entirely in love with this stock, but it fits several criteria like a price/book ratio of 1.28, not overlarge stock float of about 100 million shares, and active drilling operations on  drilling on 7 or 8 properties in North America.  They've teamed up with Altius Minerals, a successful and well-regarded company active in Newfoundland, on their primary Topsail project.   There’s a good discussion on JNR in the Financial Sense Newshour podcasts on uranium broadcast aired back in November (Part 1 and Part … [Read more...]

“Coffee Talk”: Bring Enough Money

First Gen American's monthly challenge is upon us again.  This time, in the spirit of Valentine's day, we are to go deep into the way-back machine to our very first girlfriend or boyfriend, and reflect on what kind of financial lessons we learned. Well, I thought on this for a good long while, and I didn't learn a darned thing from my first girlfriend, or the second, or the third.   What did stick with me came from an  in-between girlfriend and in-between date.  But the lesson learned was pointed enough to stick with me. Lisa was a very nice girl, and we had been seeing each other for a while.  We met at a Halloween costume party, where she was dressed as Raggedy Ann.  We hit it off right away when I introduced myself as … [Read more...]

Lard, Oil and Roundup Links – February 13, 2013

Doodle #5

Fat is bad, right?  It must be, otherwise we wouldn’t see the plethora of low-fat, fat-free, reduced-fat products on store shelves.  Animal fat is even worse, isn’t it?  Low-cholesterol, reduced-cholesterol, heart-friendly Canola oil, etc etc  The Weston A Price guide on Know Your Fats challenges some of that conventional wisdom. How about lard?  Would you enjoy eating lard? Say that word slowly.  Laaaaard.  Lard-butt. Not the very best of connotations. How about a tripe sandwich, sounds even grosser, doesn’t it.    Maybe.  Check this video at Divina Cucina, and see the reaction of the food reporter when confronted with Tuscan lard. I remember a great little restaurant near Vicchio, Italy.  Vicchio is a little town … [Read more...]



This recipe is adapted on our own family recipe, passed down from Nonna Clelia (Great-grandmother) to Nonna Silvana (Grandmother) to Mamma (my Mom) to me.  With the celery and carrot, it’s very close to the traditional Ragu’ alla Bolognese, that  most popular of pasta toppings, and one of those recipes that is endlessly customizable, as varied as there are cooks with pots in the world. Say the word Ragu’, and a picture of a tomatoey pasta sauce immediately springs to mind, but in fact, the classic Ragu’ alla Bolognese has very little tomato  in the ingredients.  Even Italians can’t agree on this one.  Each region has its own distinct variety:  up north in Friuli, thyme and marjoram are the prevalent … [Read more...]