Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Owtch, Budby.

(inside joke)

I don't often write Market Commentary here, but yesterday was a bad, bad day for the world stock markets. China started it off, quickly followed by other Asian and European markets, but our own Alan Greenspan had a lot to do with it too. On Monday, Greenspan said that our current economic cycle is nearing and end, and that a recession was "possible" late in 2007. There is a lot of truth in that, because most cycles tend to last about 5 years (and *SHOCK* correspond to a shift in power in our government- the Dem's seem to benefit from the Rep's economic plans which take years to see results) Some have speculated that his comment on Monday spurred sell off's world-wide on Tuesday- including here in the States. The Dow suffered a HUGE loss yesterday, down 416 points- the worst day since re-opening after 9/11.

Our small-mid cap markets have been going gang-busters for several years now, consistently outperforming the larger growth stocks. Since 2000, small-mid cap value companies have blown away their larger, more established blue chip competition. This tells me that small pockets of the US economy are supporting the masses. Yesterday's selloff hit all market caps- with each of the major indexes falling about 3.3%. I would have rather seen the NASDAQ experience a greater loss than the Dow, but that didn't happen.

The Dow stocks are larger, more established companies and are typically bought to stablize your portfolio. Less experienced investors like them for their slow, stead growth- it lets them get their feet wet in the market without taking huge risks. More experienced investors like them for the same reason- but they use them to balance out their more aggressive investments. Russell 2000 stocks are smaller, emerging companies- the heartbeat of American ingenuity. Because they are smaller, they tend to move up and down more quickly (just as a toddler can outrun a parent, smaller companies can move like a bugger!). Investors like the smaller companies because of the quick hits, but less experienced investors tend to dump them at the first sign of trouble, causing them to plunge even quicker. Keep in mind that these stocks do move quickly- both up AND down. Larger stocks move a little slower.

The overall slow economic growth of our country has worried many analysts for several months now. In order for our country to increase it's economic strength, we need the larger, more established companies to experience steady growth, AND we need the smaller, more dynamic companies to experience growth spurts, allowing them to funnel more cash back into R&D. The past 5 or 6 years have seen the smaller company spurts, but we haven't really seen a lot of large cap consistency. The S&P 500 Growth has been amongst the lowest performing equity indexes since 2000, whereas the Russell 2000 Value has been amongst the highest.

A self-correcting market is always more preferable than government influence, which is what we are seeing now. Since the asian markets rebounded today, I am speculating that our markets will too. HOWEVER. This sell-off is not complete. I would look for mixed US stock market over the next few months. Think of it as a buying opportunity, because we will recover, and we will get back on the straight, slightly uphill road our economy usually drives upon.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Here, Spot!

I can't help it... I'm really not supposed to be posting from work, but this was just too funny to pass up.

This morning, my son Kevin was playing in the bathroom while I was getting ready for work. He had a little stuffed animal puppy in his hands, and he was talking to it, saying "Here, Spot! You're gonna be my Butt Hound!"

I said... "what did you call him?"
Kevin said "He's my BUTT HOUND!"

"um. sweetheart. I think you meant to say 'he's your BLOODHOUND."

Innocent enough, but the more I thought about it, the more it made me laugh. I can just see it now, he's in school, during playtime.. takes out the puppy and announces to the whole class that this is "SPOT! My BUTT HOUND!"

I'm waiting for the teacher to call.... LMFAO.

(it could be worse: I was listening to Bob and Tom on the radio this morning, and they were talking about a lady who was teaching her 4 year old son the proper term for his 2 year old sister's "pee pee"... "it's a vagina", which the son misheard as "fine china". LMFAO!)

Monday, February 26, 2007

MSotP Headline News

I was *THRILLED* to see that 74 year-old Vietnam hero, Major Bruce Crandall, was awarded the Medal of Honor today in Washington, DC. (I am DIGGIN' that Cav Hat, btw..!) He was recognized for heroism displayed 41 years ago, during a battle in the Ia Drang Valley. Over a period of three long days, Crandall, along with fellow MoH honoree, Major Ed Freeman, helped save the lives of more than 70 men. Their story was made public with the Hollywood production of "We Were Soldiers".

US and Iraqi forces seized a large cache of weapons containing Iranian-made components for EFP's (explosively formed projectiles) that fire a slug of molten metal capable of penetrating armored vehicles.
But... Mr. Bush! Iran has NOTHING to do with the current war in Iraq! Why in the world are you worried about THEM? *dipshit Democratic leaders... TAKE NOTE OF THIS*

Late last summer, a heart-wrenching story unfolded very near my home. 3 year-old Marcus Feisel was bound in a blanket, taped up, and left in a closet for the weekend while his foster family attended a family reunion. When they returned, Marcus was dead. His foster father took his body out to the country and burned it down to nearly nothing. According to the prosecutor, what was left of his body would fit inside a small styrofoam cup. Last Thursday, the foster mother, Liz Carroll, was found guilty and on Friday was sentenced to 54 years in prison. Today the foster father, David Carroll, entered into a plea deal leaving him with a 16 year sentence. This whole case has been tragic from the beginning- a mother gave up her autistic son to the county, saying "He's YOUR problem NOW", leading them to place the child with family who ultimately killed him.
Words do not express my outrage... When the Carroll's left for their weekend trip (a family reunion), they left Marcus tapped in a blanket in the closet... but they took their DOG with them. (note: that link, of all of them, is the one you need to read... trust me. Pay attention to the jury's opinion of Amy Baker and the dog comment.) They had more respect for the well-being of their pet than they did that little boy. Oddly enough, it was David Carroll's live-in girlfriend, Amy Baker, who turned them in and told the police what happened. (yes, live-in girlfriend- with his wife and children, Amy's children, and little Marcus) She was granted immunity, but there is speculation that other charges are fothcoming.

A park in Marcus's memory is being built this spring, just a few miles from the park he supposedly disappeared from last August. The park has been funded entirely from donations, and will feature areas dedicated to mentally and physically handicapped children. The park was planned before Marcus's death, but upon his death, it was turned into a memorial park in his honor. One more note- the agency which placed Marcus with the Carroll's has been shut down by the state of Ohio. I guess some good comes from all bad.


Enough doom and gloom.... "It was just one of those God moments." That's what Heritage Academy basketball coach Steve Offutt had to say about Tuesday night's game against Silver Grove. Thing is, Offutt wasn't talking about his own team, or even the outcome of the game (which Offutt's Heritage team LOST by nearly 50 POINTS). He was talking about one player's efforts, and the crowd's reaction. Junior Josh Neace... someone you should know. Go read it.

I'M ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Many thanks to Tater for asking... all the rest of ya'll just don't care... *sniff* Yes, I'm still here, and yes, I'm still a blogger... just not a very active one right now because, well, LIFE HAPPENS, DAMMIT!

When I wrote my last post on 2/13, we were in the middle of an ice storm that knocked down gi-normous branches from my trees (30-40 feet long), and eventually knocked out the power too. Did I mention that it was an ICE STORM!?!??! translation: the house was cold as penguin's feet for a couple of days. The ice stuck around for a LONG time- it didn't melt off of the trees until Sunday- 5 days after the storm. I have to admit though, it wasn't all bad. It was beautiful- like a crystal forest. Everything glistened like diamonds for almost a week. It really was gorgeous. Deadly, but gorgeous. A little girl was killed when an ice-covered branch broke off of a tree and hit her. It was incredibly sad. The kid's schools didn't even have power, so they were off school for a whole week.

I started a new job on the 20th which, like most employers these days, don't like you playing on the internet at work. DAMN THEM. *sigh* Work is always getting in the way, ya know? BUT! I've been interviewing for this job for months, and I really like it so far. I'm back in the 401k plan administration business! YIPPPEEE!

The new job will require me to drive a lot, so I needed to get a more dependable car. Mine isn't that old, but had 116,000 miles on it. So, I traded it in on a new car. I figure with a 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, all major repairs will be totally covered by the time I run it into the ground.

I decided to do something fun and unusual with the boys this weekend- a charity basketball game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds! It was cool to see some of the "classics" out there- James Brooks, Icky Woods, and Tom Browning, to name a few. I even "took one for the team", and stood in line with the boys to get a Ben-Gals calendar autographed by the girls. Thomas was SO damn funny about it- he hardly put it down to watch the basketball game. Yep. He's a boy. Actually, he's a little man, with fuzzy man-hair legs and even a little dark peach fuzz on his upper lip. When did my baby grow up?

When we got back from the game though, the house was FREEZING.
The furnace was broken. It's an odd manufacturer (Winchester. Other than the rifles, I've never heard of them before), and it took a day to get the part. I got a quote on a new system (I have propane heat now, which is running me a BUTTLOAD in gas over the winter). The quote came in at *drumroll please* $6400.00. HOLY MOLY. Guess I'd better start saving my money, eh? Needless to say, I paid the $250 to have the old one repaired for now. The kids were all happy though, because they got to spend the night in a hotel last night- with a pool. I was just happy it had heat.

I do have more to say, but this is it for the "where in the F&CK have you been" update.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


First of all... Sometimes Angels become angels, too. *sniff*

Secondly... you need to go read Hoosierboy's Love Story post. I am still swooning.

Next... have you ever tried to cool your Coke by putting it on ice? Well, of COURSE you have! But my son, Kevin, just tried to do it by putting the ice INSIDE the can. He was not successful.... creative, but not successful. Can you say "square peg; round hole"? *sigh*

And then there's this:
I, like so many others, I am sure, have a stack of unmatched socks. I told my son, Thomas, that I would pay him a dime for each pair he matched up. COOL! He thought this was a great idea, and started in right away. A few minutes into the job, he flung something aqua-colored at me and said, disgustedly, "THIS is YOURS." I looked down at the object and realized he had just thrown a pair of THONG PANTIES at me.

*ahem* Why yes, son... those are mine, thankyouverymuch.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Am I the *ONLY* person in the United States that doesn't give a flyin' flip that *GASP*
ANNA NICOLE SMITH DIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

good LORD, people. She's just a big-tittied blonde who slept her way into millions, ate her way out of millions, made more millions by pushing TrimSpa... BABY!, *had* a baby (identity of her Baby Daddy is still up for grabs, I might add), supplied her son with drugs that he OD'd on in her hospital room after giving birth to the new baby.

I swear.
This is really *NOT* news.

THIS is news. (he needs to be castrated, without anesthesia, and made into a prison bitch for life)
THIS is news. (he needs a reverse castration, considering he's obviously lacking balls)
THIS is news. ( "David Duke with a blow-dried haircut"... oh, that is GOOD)
THIS is news. (say it with me now.... "glass parking lot")
and THIS is news. (Soviet war casualty given new hope by US doctors)

THIS is *NOT* news. ("She was too drugged up"... GEE. YA THINK!?!?)

At least now her new baby will get a chance to find out who her real father is, and maybe, just maybe... he'll give her a better life than Anna ever could. Drug-using hobag.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


We ordered chinese for lunch today, and this is what my fortune cookie said:
Why not treat yourself to a good time instead of waiting for someone else to do it?

Sounds innocent enough, until you add the obligatory "while in bed" to the end of the fortune.....

*please excuse me while I take advantage of my "good fortune" *

Monday, February 05, 2007


The NFL put a stop to a standing tradition in at least two churches that I know of by threatening them with a lawsuit if plans for Super Bowl parties went forward. Many churches I *don't* know of also cancelled their plans. The Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis advertised a Super Bowl party on their website, complete with snacks (covered by a minimal entrance fee), a testimonial video featuring Colt's coach Tony Dungy and Bear's coach Lovie Smith, and the game being projected onto a giant 12-foot screen tv. Once the NFL got word of the party, they sent a cease and desist letter to the pastor, informing him that the church was violating the NFL's copyright laws.
In the letter, they outlined the church's infractions:
*No admission fees can be charged- even to create a break-even situation on costs for the host

*The name "Super Bowl" cannot be used in promoting the party

After receiving the letter, the pastor responded to the NFL by saying that they wouldn't charge a fee, nor would they refer to it as a "Super Bowl" party. The NFL responded, saying that the party also violated two other rules:
*The game can be shown on no more than one tv, 55 inches or smaller.

*The game cannot be used to promote any sort of "message", like the testimonial videos by the two coaches.

The church cancelled their event, and so did a local Cincinnati church which had planned on showing the game on their new 28 FOOT HIGH projection hi-def screen. According to River Hills Christian Church's Executive Pastor Will Mullins, the Falls Creek situation prompted their decision. Pastor Mullins said he received many emails from other pastors with similar plans, asking what he was going to do.

Pastor Newland of Falls Creek brings up a VERY good point, when he says that there's a double standard going on when sports bars with giant screens can charge barstool rental fees and sell food and drinks, but his church can't offer a free event for families. "It just frustrates me that most of the places where crowds are going to gather to watch this game are going to be places that are filled with alcohol and other things that are inappropriate for children," Newland said. "We tried to provide an alternative to that and were shut down." (source)

IMHO, the NFL needs to STFU and accept that people are drawn to the Super Bowl, and will gather, en mass, to watch the big game. Why should they care if it's done at a church, or a bar, or someone's home? I guess I can understand them not wanting the host to charge a cover fee, or attaching the game to a message... but we ALL know it's the SUPER BOWL, and who cares how many tv's it's being shown on, or how big the screen is? In this case, the "message" was a video featuring the head coaches for both teams in the big game... so obviously the NFL let the coaches be interviewed for the show- why not let it be aired? Especially in churches, for heaven's sake!

The NFL's objectives here are to:
1. get the game to be watched by as many people as possible
2. get viewers to buy products hawked by their advertisers
3. promote the game of football
4. associate the name "Super Bowl" with the NFL championship game
By sending cease and desist orders to churches, they're turning away MANY viewers. MANY viewers. I just don't see the point. I really, really don't.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Weird.... VERY

Well, apparently that's what AWTM, HF6 (who has the sweetest, and saddest picture/post up today) and some others have been saying about each other lately. They're spreading the luuuuuv by passing around a "6 weird things about me" meme, and I got tagged! KEWL! I actually like these things... they're fun, and quirky.

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

Here goes!!!!

1. I HATE NOISY EATERS/GUM SMACKERS. Oh, Lordy... do I ever.

2. AFBrother and I used to make pickle sandwiches when we were young. We'd get a piece of bread, put a pickle spear on it, and then drizzle a little pickle juice over the bread, fold it up like a hot dog and eat up. YUMMY, eh?

3. I have arthritis (or Arthur-itis as my grandma calls it) in my big toe. Several years ago, I fell down the stairs, hyper-extending the big toe on my left foot and causing injury to my right shoulder as well. The shoulder was operated on, but the toe... it is simply left with arthur-itis. *sigh*

4. I am deathly allergic to dairy products. Sucks. Truly... but it does keep me from eating too much ice cream or cheese. The prospect of death by chocolate is MUCH more appealling...

5. I have never done illegal drugs. Honest. My weirdness is not the result of teenaged years marred by the use of pot or anything else for that matter. Unlike Clinton, I not only didn't inhale, I didn't even smoke it.

6. I am not a very good housekeeper. As much as I'd like to have a June Cleaver clean house, it just was not meant to be. I try to keep the clutter to a minimum, but am not very successful.

And now... who to tag?
Maggie (for no other reason than because I am curious to see what she will reveal)
FbL (because she's not very weird, so I'm wondering what she'll come up with)
ALa (because it's been a while since I've seen you tagged with anything)
Slag (because you've been ignoring me... *sniff*)
1SG (because you've been a blog-slacker)
Trias (because we don't know that much about you.... so why not start with the weird stuff!)

Enjoy and celebrate your own personal weirdness! It makes you unique and sometimes appalling to others... haha!!