Terra Farms Pictures and Last Week’s Recommended Reading

Comfrey and Potatoes: high-yield dividends

We do spend some weekends at the “farm”, with me fussing around outside in the garden, and Mrs. 101 tarting up the inside of the house with frills and lace.  Instead of writing a long post, I thought I’d put up some instructive photographs (Sorry MC, no random doodle this week) First up is proof positive that one permaculture trick I heard about some time ago, and decided to try out this season, works just swell.  When planting seed potatoes, take a leaf of comfrey and wrap it around the potato. The nutrients in the comfrey will act as fertilizer.  The potatoes at right got the comfrey treatment. The ones at left, even with a couple weeks’ head start, don’t look nearly as prosperous.  Obviously, you’ll need some comfrey … [Read more...]

Centavos Model Portfolio Haz Sad Face

Model Portfolio - May 2011

It’s been a while since I posted the last update on the Centavos Model Portfolio on March 29th.  Since then, I’ve made the following additions in the uranium sector. Bought 4,000 more shares of JNR Resources, a uranium exploration company, bringing my total to 8,000 shares an average cost of $0.22.   The share price has now sunk into the mid-teens, where I’m content to let it sit without further buys. Bought 1000 shares of Denison Mines, another uranium junior, at a cost $2.26 a share.  At close of market today, the shares were up a little at $2.36. Denison is a company I purchased last year when it was a little over a dollar a share, and sold when it went over $4.  Since the crash in uranium, I figured I could buy back in.  … [Read more...]

Random Notes: Camping and Focaccia


Time has come to clean up the blogging notebook. All those snippets and cliplets of ideas and topics that will never morph into a full-fledged article or post, but might be of interest in any case. Camping Camping season is well under way, and chances are good many readers will be venturing out into the great outdoors to hunker down in a tent, make smores and sing campfire songs. But first, you gotta have a fire, and some of the best firestarter materials  are dryer lint and tortilla chips.  We keep a couple of baggies of fuzzy lint collected from the dryer mixed in with semi-crumbled potato or tortilla chips, and even with flint and steel, it’s an eezy-peezy way to get a fire going (we cheat and use Strike-Anywhere … [Read more...]

Motivating this Week’s Random Reading

Random Doodle #18

  Motivation   I confess that I’m a total pig-dog for Cookies-N-Cream ice cream (and Bluebell cookies-n-cream is about as close to perfection as it gets). Couple of scoops in a waffle cone, and I’m happy dude.  Eat and repeat.  Same for pizza, you can’t have just a couple slices.  Then comes the guilt, and given all the sugars and carbs, the stomach upsets.  But it is what it is, and as long as I’m going to feel guilty, might as well derive some practical benefits from it. I’m a list-and-plan guy.  Lists for home projects, for investing ideas, penny mining stocks, honey-do’s, garden projects, work projects, things to do with the kids, things to do with my honey, on and on, I gots them.  Some … [Read more...]

Obscure Senators Intrude on your 401K

Some of our overlords in DC are at it again, waggling their tut-tutting nanny fingers at us.   (This kind of stuff just drives me nuts, so rant alert!) A Senate Bill (The SEAL Act) recently introduced by money-grubbing Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) would limit regular peasants Americans from accessing the funds in their 401K’s for emergency loans. I’ve written on this blog about the pros and cons about taking out loans on the 401k, here and here.  It’s not for everyone, and not for every need, and in fact, most uses of 401K loans are ill-advised.  But it’s a personal decision, left to the individual, and not for two douchebag senators to decide. Senate bill Would Limit Savers using 401Ks as Rainy Day … [Read more...]

Be a Sprout Head


This article was originally posted on Mom's Plans in March.  Since I'm now having some mild writer's block coupled with (or because of) a hectic schedule, I'm reposting it with permission. A sprout head in the most benign sense of the word, that is.  Just crunchy green goodness, on sandwiches and salads, full of as many nutrients and phytochemicals as you can stand. And not just alfalfa sprouts.  Broccoli, mung bean, lentil, peas and beans are all seeds that will readily germinate in your kitchen and provide you with cheap, nutritious greens through a cold winter. Something wonderful happens to a seed when it germinates. All the nutrients and  minerals it needs to burst forth with life are magnified. The content of … [Read more...]

Last Week’s Roundup of Links, Plus Some Random Notes

Random Doodle #17

With the days getting longer and planting season in full swing, I’m definitely not blogging, commenting or reading as much as I did during the winter months. The blog post widget tells the tale, as do dropping traffic stats and rising Alexa number.  Still, springtime temperatures are too nice not to be enjoyed, so it’s OK if the blog suffers a bit. I’ve learned a few things lately about gardening lately.  One in particular came as a form of a head-smacking epiphany, but really, it’s no great insight. It falls in the category of “Well duh, you idiot, you shoulda known that”. In the course of potting up some young plants the other day, I reflected that I needed a couple bags of potting soil from the store as I was running … [Read more...]

Is the Bull Market In Silver Finished?

Picture 1

I was about to write a follow up to last week’s article on silver, when along comes Fred Carach with great guest post on silver.  I’ve added some commentary and a photo of a table from the Silver Institute.  Fred is the author of “Forty Years a Speculator“, a book on mining stocks and natural resources. As I write these words silver has collided off of a brick wall that has capped it upside performance since its old 1980 high of $50 an ounce. It is now in what appears to be a death spiral to the day-traders, momentum players and technicians that dominate today's markets as never before in history. As they consult their all powerful charts these trend chasers see a classic double top at $50 an ounce that has held for … [Read more...]

What Makes a Good Negotiator

Wladislaus I of Poland breaks negotiations with Teutonic Knights in Brześć_Kujawsk

In business, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. -- Chester L Karrass One of my books I keep on my nightstand to read snippets from is a course workbook, “Effective Negotiating” by Chester Karrass.  I’ve borrowed it from my boss, and shame on  me,  haven’t returned it yet. In my day job in the industrial procurement field, I occasionally get involved in protracted negotiations for large sums. It is always an interesting process, with opportunities to observe other people’s skills and shortcomings. Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #218: Always know what you’re buying. To quote from to the Karrass coursebook, a skilled negotiator will possess “A willingness and commitment to plan … [Read more...]

The Time Value of Serendipitous Opportunities, and Last Week’s Links

Random Doodle #1 (recycle)

Life and My Finances writes a worthwhile article on opportunity cost and the value of your life: What is Your Time Worth? Well, yesterday morning, it was worth about a hundred bucks an hour in assets and direct savings.  We spent a couple hours tooling around, going to about a dozen yard sales, and bargaining away.  Or at least, I was the one to haggle, beg and plead, josh and jive for discounts and last offers.  Mrs. 101, on the other hand, mostly just pays the asking price.  Where’s the fun in that? Some of the swag: Item Yard Sale Cost Market Value A dozen assorted hand tools, vintage, but in great condition $2.00 $30 to $40 Two jars of assorted screws, nuts and bolts, including some large carriage bolts … [Read more...]