Archive for October, 2007

31
Oct
07

No Mile High Club

At least, not on Singapore Airlines new A380 jumbo jet. The airline, which offers a dozen private “cabins” with double beds on the plane requests that passengers who purchase these amenities not get their freak on while in flight. Free booze, a double bed, a complete enclosure… and they suggest that sex should be avoided so as to not cause offense to other passengers or crew. Far better for the first class patrons to do it like the unwashed in coach and use the lavatory…

31
Oct
07

Iowa Tax Forms

From the Iowa branch of stupid politicians… Iowans must pay sales tax on pumpkins unless they fill out a form certifying that they are going to eat them. Whatever.

31
Oct
07

Saving For The End

If you are like most modern folks, the mantra of saving some of your earnings has been beaten into your head since a very early age. And, you’ve probably ignored it. Either you plan on working your entire life, or hoping that some government program will provide you assistance when you’ve decided that you’re too old and to bored to work anymore. Maybe it will work out?

In reality, about the only person that you can depend on for meaningful income in your “twilight” is you. If you ain’t tucking some money away now, it will always get more difficult to do so with each passing day. Save some money… with every paycheck. Do it any way you can. With a savings account, a work-sponsored program, or whatever.

I have a variety of investments. I don’t expect all of them to kick butt every year. But I am saving for the long term, which means I tolerate more risk so that I can enjoy more return. I have lofty goals for the money I put to work. My target is an overall portfolio growth of at least 15% each year (over additional contributions). That can be done. Sometimes I have parts that, umm, suck. But I do very well overall and I always have one or two parts that really shine. Last year, my real estate funds were in the 30% range (now they are in the toilet in single digits, but I’m buying more to dollar cost average the holdings). This year, Oppenheimer Developing Markets is kicking ass and taking names. Right now it’s up over 40% inYTD return. You read correctly: 40+%. This is not the first time that ODMAX has been a race car. But I keep in mind that it can tank just as badly. I’ll need that moneyat some point!

30
Oct
07

Healthy Regularity

Once again, on the road. I’m in the drought-stricken land of the carpet-baggers in North Georgia. No precipitation in the forecast… So I cannot make it rain. 13 hours behind the wheel (I’m getting too old for this…), at my friend’s house, eating well. Morning routine functional in all aspects. Thanks for your concern!

27
Oct
07

Cheesy Criminals

A Southern California couple is facing criminal charges after allegedly being caught with 375 pounds of “bathtub” cheese at an open-air market in San Bernardino County, the California Department of Food and Agriculture says. The 375 pounds of seized illegal cheese included panela, queso fresco and queso oxaca varieties, the CDFA says. It was a significant find, the department says. At least nobody was smoking aound it.

27
Oct
07

Child Protective Services

I’ve commented before that I thought that Child Protective Services (CPS) sometimes oversteps their mandate. But I also have applauded them when they do the right thing. Try this scenario:

Houston police said they were concerned about the conditions in the family’s northwest Houston apartment. A Child Protective Services spokeswoman said the couple, eight children and an invalid grandmother lived together in the one-bedroom apartment. Police filed a report with the state on Oct. 7. CPS officials said they did not know where the family was until Oct. 16, when an 11-month-old boy was brought to Texas Children’s Hospital with a broken wrist and arm. His brain was bleeding. His parents claimed he had fallen off of a bed. Olguin said, “He’s got subdurral hematoma, which is more consistent with blunt trauma to the head, and he’s got those two fractures, which is also consistent with something, some sort of trauma — and non-accidental.” She said the boy did not appear to be in pain even though he had broken bones. Blood work showed that he and three of his siblings had cocaine in their bodies.

Let’s recap… 11 people (including 1 invalid elderly woman) crowded into a one bedroom apartment, roaches, ants, a kid with broken bones and a bleeding brain, and positive tests for cocaine. Charges have been filed against the parents and foster care for everyone. I’d say CPS got this one right.

26
Oct
07

Squidling

I have no strength. I have a scary new pipe on the way…