Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Curt, Lorie, Rachel

Being the world's worst speller, I don't know if I spelled any of their names right. Curt is my brother who lives in Phoenix, Lorie is his wife, and Rachel is their adopted daughter whom they love very much. That is where I went for my brief vacation. They are great hosts.

Since this blog site is about nothing, this blog is very appropriate because we basically did nothing. Well, at least there was no pressure to do anything. Lorie and Rachel did lots of things in the daily routine of care for Rachel. Curt and I basically drank coffee. I had coffee at the hotel. We had coffee at Curt's house. We drove down to Starbucks for coffee, back to his house for more coffee, then over to the coffee bean. Good, black, strong coffee. If the doctors are right.... no colon cancer for us. I like this society we live in. Its like..... "coffee made easy." What else could you ask for? Of, course we could ask Obama to make it an entitlement.

Well, we did do some things. We hiked to the top of one of their mountains. That was fun. That was also worth about..... an hour. That's an hour up and back. Rachel had a blast with that. Curt and I gabbed all the way up. I guess that is the other main thing we did.... gab. We also drove down around the Cardinal's new stadium that looks like a giant ufo from a distance, but pretty nice up close. I've never figured out how a team name "Cardinals" can win.

The big Cabellas Store is next to the Cardinals stadium, so we went there. Quite the sporting store. Lot's of taxidermy, fishing, boating, clothes, restaurant, camping, and..... thank goodness for the restrooms. We, of course had to have coffee on the way down.

Friday night we went to a pizza place with delicious deep dish pizzas. They also serve a half baked cookie topped with vanilla ice cream. Delicious.

Thanks for being a great host!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On the Road Again

"On the Road Again." That's probably my favorite Willie Nelson song. And.... I am on the road again. I was going to leave Denver for Phoenix early this morning, then Cathy Sabin, said that at 6:00 am we'd be driving in the rain and snow. So I decided to leave last night. I drove all night and made it to Albuquerque on one tank of gas. I took a one hour nap at a rest area near Las Vegas. Then I was behind the wheel again and rolled into Albuquerque at 4:30 am.

When I got to the Village Inn (yuk!) I fired up my computer, and guess what? Denver has clear skies. I really don't think that being a weather person is a ligit job. How do they do what they do with impunity? They are my least favorite people on TV. I hope it snows in Denver after all so that they have to go out on cold street corners and highways and scoop up handfuls of snow to show the TV audience while they stand there and shiver. I also hope the snow melts before I return home from my Arizona vacation.

The Village Inn is all I could find that was open. A cold skillet, cold pancakes, and luke warm coffee. Think of that the next time you see their ad guy knocking cappuccinos (which, by the way are not pants).

Tomorrow I will be on the road again. I think I'm going to drive by a flagstaff. Do you suppose they named their city after a flagstaff? How big was that staff?

Friday, March 19, 2010

In Praise of Starbucks

A blizzard was predicted for today, so all work stopped, except for those plowing snow and those working at Starbucks. I suppose all the weather people are standing on corners today to scoop up a handful of snow to show us on the news. Well, I guess all the stores and offices are open as well. But all construction work stopped, so that means more time to drink coffee. And Starbucks Coffee is as good as it gets. Great coffee, good atmosphere, great music, plug-ins for the computer, wifi, and lots of windows to see outside.

So far the storm is a fizzle, the roads are only wet. Snow on the grass and the tops of cars and houses. It looks a little too much like Wisconsin or Michigan to suit me. But here, the sun will always soon shine, and the little bit of snow will go away. It's just a good day to drink coffee and play scrabble. It beats sitting around fuming about what the politicians are doing today to ruin out country. Ya, let's not get on that. I'm expecting them any day now to declare my Starbucks a luxury so I can pay an extra tax. Like I said, let's not get on that.

Well, I'd better go do laundry and clean my office now. Na, I think I'll just keep drinking coffee and gabbing with the guys before they declare gabbing with the guys a luxury, too. You never know.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Do You Want Room?

I remember when I could order a cup of black coffee, which meant, just that, black. Thanks to Starbucks nobody knows what black coffee is any more. It's kind of strange when I say I'd like a tall, black coffee (which is a small). Then they just stare at me and ask if I'd like room for cream. Who the heck ever started putting cream in coffee anyway? What's even worse is when I order a tall (small) coffee with no room. Then they ask me anyway if I want room. This is almost without fail.

Once I get my tall coffee with no room I need to get a napkin which is located right next to the cream. Ya, you guessed it, some obnoxiously oblivious person is standing there blocking everything while they are ruining their coffee with cream and sugar. They pour cream and stir, pour cream and stir, add sugar and stir and stir and stir. Then taste and stir some more. By now the line up behind them is reaching the door. They don't know that anyone else is there. Who are these children in adult bodies? Don't they have jobs to go to? Is that the same person that drives 25 in a 45? Do they have to hold up everybody else's life? Sheesh! Oh, wait a minute, I think I see a Prius.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rachie Poo

I sometimes wonder what young parents are thinking of when they name, or shall I say nick name their children. Tonight on TV on "Minute to Win it" There was this gal named Rachel. Now I think Rachel is a pretty name. So why weren't dad and mom satisfied with that. No, they had to nick name her "Rachie Poo." So tonight she was introduced as, you guessed it. Rachie Poo. The sad thing is that this grown adult doesn't mind it. now the crowd is chanting "Rachie Poo, Rachie Poo. That's enough to gag a maggot.

So is my name. What were my parents thinking? Who in their right mind would name their little baby "Rodney?" Why couldn't they just have named me "Rod?" My brothers got nice names like David, Harold, and Curtis. Were they mad at me when I was born? Well at least I wasn't called "Rodney Poo." Something to be thankful for anyway.

I'm tired now, I think I'll go to beddie bye. Or is that beddie poo?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Stanley Steamer

What better thing can you do on a nice warm winter day than to go to Estes Park? So bright and early we were off. Instead of doing our usual there, walking up one side of the street and down the other sticking our heads into this shop and that shop, we decided to park at the other end. We visited a little Christmas shop, then drove up the hill to look around at the residential area close to town. That took us past the Stanley Hotel.

The Stanley Hotel is a large white building that looks a lot like a mansion. We wanted to see what it looked like inside. We were impressed with the lobby, the gift shop, and the old car that was on display.... the original "Stanley Steamer." Now, I always thought that Stanley Steamer was a carpet cleaning company. But I think that is Stanley Steemer.

In 1897 F. O. Stanley and his twin brother started manufacturing steam driven cars in Maine. In 1898 F. O. (Ferninan Oscar) moved to Estes Park Colorado for health reasons. He brought his original Stanley Steamer to Colorado in 1903, and it sits in the lobby of the Stanley Hotel which he had built and opened in 1909.

Mr. Stanley also helped to shape the tourism of Estes Park. He built the road to Lyons over which he brought visitors to Estes Park in His Stanley Steamer. This marked the first time in history that visitors were brought to a resort in an automobile instead of a train. (Now we try to get people out of the automobiles and on to trains).

Some pretty famous people have also stayed there over the years: Stephen King, whose novel, "The Shining" is based on the Stanley Hotel. Also: John Philip Sousa, Theadore Roosevelt, Jim Carrey, Molly Brown, Wayne newton, Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Johnny Cash, Billy Graham, and others. Most stayed in room 217, which we were told is no nicer than any of the other rooms, but is definitely more famous.

And the Stanley Hotel also has a coffee shop where you can get a fine cinnamon roll and a...., and a.....Starbucks. Which, of course makes the whole trip worth while.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Toilet Seat

I can think of only a few things less desirable than a toilet seat. I see dirty ones nearly everywhere I go. I am amazed at the number of men in this world who must have the runs. This is evidenced by the condition of the toilet seats in restaurants, hardware stores, gas stations and malls. I have to be really desperate before I will sit on one of those. Splattered and smelly. Ufda!

And speaking of toilets, what is it that the host or hostess of a restaurant takes so much pride in seating me right next to the toilet and the kitchen. Sounds and smells coming from both of which I do not like. They march me right back between the toilet and the kitchen as though that is the prized place to be. Do I look like I am ravenously hungry, or do I just look like I am full of it.... and will be needing the can soon?

So I always decline to be seated there and ask for another table. So I am wondering why they don't offer that table to the next party that comes in, but they offer it to me every time. Maybe it is because they always offer me some form of spinach and they figure that I can't tell the difference in smell between spinach and sewage, which by the way, are the same thing.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rocky Mountain High.... Taxes

The money grabbers outsmarted themselves once again. Our Colorado legislature passed legislation that our governor signed into law that taxes Colorado based internet sales. It works like this: If a Colorado based company sells anything on Amazon.com, Amazon must collect sales tax and send it into the State of Colorado. That makes Colorado the only State with such a law. Amazon says that it is too cumbersome, so they will no longer do business with companies that have a Colorado link. So, Governor Ritter, how's your job creation program going? I hope your ribs heal as soon as our economy does.

Troubled Bridge Over Waters

There is a big detour on I 70 going both directions. There was a rock slide and boulders the size of busses punched 20 wide holes in the bridge in Glennwood Canyon at Glennwood Springs, Colorado. The detour to get around this is 200 miles of windy road. This is 4 hours of normal driving, but the the Interstate traffic on it, it also is backed up. Going West? fly the friendly skies of United.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Coffee With Josh

My great nephew, Josh, likes to bet on footballs games. The stakes are pretty high... a cup of coffee. So far he has bought me two cups and I bought him one. I picked the Colts over the Jets, so he owed me.

We decided to go to Border's Book Store where they have a Seattle's Best Coffee Shop and Cafe. We also decided on Sunday evening at 7:00 PM. When Josh arrived we went to the counter, and alas! the counter was closed. It closed at 7 pm. The barrister was cleaning up and explained to us they close an hour earlier on Sundays. Then she said there was enough coffee left for two cups. And that was two cups at no charge!

So I am wondering whether Josh really paid his debt or whether I should hit him up for another cup. Na, I guess he is off the hook.

Next time it will be Starbucks. Oh, and I think Josh decided he is voting for Sarah Palin.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Dud!

When I was a kid I played with fire crackers quite regularly around the 4th of July. It was always exciting to hear the pop of the fire cracker or the explosion of a cherry bomb. I hated it when I lit a dud. A fire cracker that looked like the real thing but never went off for one reason or another. Sometimes they were damp. Other times they were just defective.

Duds in the stock market are also a bane. There are some of those stocks that look like the real thing. They are reputable companies, they have good analyst ratings, but they never really take off. They just more or less stay the same. It's about like having a CD only with more risk.

Pfizer is one of those companies. Lot's of good analyst ratings. But about the time you think the stock should move up, they buy another company and the stock goes down, or they get hit with another law suit and the stock goes down. Or they have to pull a drug off the market. Yadda, yadda, yadda. For this reason I do not like drug companies for stocks or options. Pfizer is one big dud! (PFE) So, also in General Electric. What the heck were they doing in the banking industry anyway! I've never made money on either of these.

These two stocks are about the same as kissing your sister, Dude!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

McDermott International (MDR)

Folks, you have read my blogs about this company before. They make national defense equipment and oil drilling equipment among other things. Before the stock market crash they were up to $90 per share, then crashed all the way under $10. I had faith in the company and so bought stock about a year ago, just as it was bouncing off the bottom. The stock now over $25 pre share and there is still a lot of upside potential. Our gain so far is 131% in one year. All the analysts list this one as Strong Buy, Buy, or hold.

The harder it becomes to get oil out of the ground, the more demand there will be on their technology and equipment. It is still a bargain at $25 per share.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom - Ford

Many moons ago I encouraged people to stock up on Ford stock. Back then It was about $2 per share. Then again at $5, $6, and $8. Did you buy? Of course not! Well, Ford stock common shares are now over $12.00 per share. All this in the past year. Should I rub it in and work the percentage of growth for you? Nah! You get the picture. And yet, I tell you that Ford stock is still cheap.

This past week, Ford Motor is challenging General Motors in size. What does this say about government motors (GM)? Another show that the government can't run anything right. Don't expect GM to emerge any time soon. On the other hand, Ford is producing quality vehicles that are selling and are profitable. Remember when they refused government money? Free enterprise actually works.

Ford's future is bright! So is the future of their stock. More analysts are jumping on board. Go ahead and ignore me. We'll visit again and Ford Motor will be up.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Farmer Rod

Farmer Rod! How does that sound? I never thought I would see the day that I am a farmer. Well, the day has arrived. No, I don't mean that I am planting a garden. Heaven forbid! I am becoming an actual farmer..... well, technically.

Audrey and I are buying a farm in Minnesota. Well, at least we are buying farmland. Eighty acres of rich farmland. So, on our tax papers next year, we will be farmers. We already have the land rented out even though we have net yet closed on it. Farmer Rod! Who would have ever thought?