Lets face it. Most people do not keep New Year Resolutions.
According to most studies, only about 1 in 10 people actually accomplish or keep their New Year resolutions.
Well, maybe people just do not put a lot of thought into it?
Why are they making the resolution in the first place?
Are they picking something realistic?
Are they making the resolution too generic? Like I’m going to lose weight.
Maybe they should pick something relatively easy and simple to do? Like put pants on every day...
BTW – I tell my three year old to do this most every day. He’s almost there!
But what is a resolution? I did a quick lookup of the definition, scratched out all the answers that had the work “resolve” in them (ignored the ones relating to music, audio/visual, and medical fields) and came up with this short list.
- A firm decision to do something
- A determination or firmness of mind and purpose
- A formal expression of opinion or intention
- The act or process of separating into constituent or elementary parts.
I particularly like the last one because I think it has just as much, if not more, to do with the success of a resolution as do the first three.
New Years is also a time that a lot of people reflect back on all that happened, both good and bad, over the past year. It is also a time to reflect on what you have done, not done, where you are in your life, and where you want to be. I believe it is these reflections that should drive our resolutions.
So, what about me? What has happened, not yet happened, where am I now and where do I want to be?
For this post, I’m going to limit my answers to the context of my blog.
* First and foremost: this blog. I started Fumbled Returns last January. Not because of a resolution or anything but mainly because my wife started blogging Hope and Greyz and I just did not “get it”. Why would anybody “blog”. So, strangely enough, I decided to try it out to find the answer “for myself”. And so far this is the result. And yes, I am hooked on blogging.
* Another thing that happened, and I have tracked with this blog, is that I got back into the stock market and started trading stocks. At first I stuck to my strategy, then I took a couple chances, and ended up doing really well. Then I got distracted, got lazy, did not stick to my strategy and, well, ended up not doing as well as I would have liked. So, I have to work at this and do better.
* Other stuff that has happened is, like many fellow Americans, my family finances and savings have taken a hit in recent years and as a result, I have built up a bit more debt than I care to have. So, I will incorporate this into my resolutions too.
* I mentioned that my wife runs her own blog and the theme of that blog features Greyhounds. Specifically retired Greyhounds. This is another facet of my life that has happened this past year because of my wife, and
she takes all the blame I give her all the credit in the world for it.
We adopted a Greyhound and called him Hero. We liked it so much that we decided to foster. Initially I agreed to foster so long as it could be guaranteed that it would not cost overly much to do and that a “foster” would not become a permanent member of the family.
We have 5 kids and two dogs! OK, 1 dog that adopted from the ASPCA and a Greyhound. I still refuse to call Greyhounds dogs because they are unlike any other breed of dog I have ever met.
So far, everything has worked out well. We are now on our 4th foster. All others graced us with their presence for about a month and then found their “forever home”.
Because of fostering, and my wife's blogging, we have met wonderful people (Virginia Greyhound Adoption) (Greyhound Rescue Inc), been blessed with the experience of knowing Greyhounds and learned lots of new information such as the wonderful research that folks at Ohio State University - College of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. C. Guillermo Couto, DVM, Dr. Paulo Vilar, DVM and Dr. Liliana Marin, DVM do.
I too, have had the chance to meet lots of wonderful bloggers as well, and proudly promote them on my blog. Please take a moment to visit some of them: That Damn Sam Presents Snot Bubble Football, Gimps Wonderful Thoughts, In Historic the sports history blog and The Mission (once your finish reading here of course)
* One other thing that has happened, is that certain people I have known all my life have either become terminally ill and or died. One person, my mom, has been fighting Ovarian Cancer for close to 2 years. I have not mentioned this before in my blog but suffice it to say that by the time the doctors discovered it in 2008 it had already progressed to stage 4. Since then she has gone through surgery, chemo, technically gone into remission, and recently started chemo once again. Ovarian cancer and subsequent treatment thereof is nothing I would want anybody to go through, not even my worst enemies.
So, what does this have to do with my blog?
I’ll get to that in a bit so please keep reading...
If you are going to be serious about resolutions, then I believe one needs define them simply and define how and when success will be achieved.
So, for my resolutions I am going to follow these suggestions for new years resolutions...
1. Be specific and break big goals into bite-sized pieces that you can handle.
For example, instead of resolving to save more money, resolve to save a specific amount such as $100 a month.
2. Create a plan to support your resolution.
How are you going to do it? Where will your money go? Will you have it deducted from your paycheck? Will it go toward retirement, building a cash reserve, or another goal? Will you need to adjust your budget?”
3. Track your progress and celebrate your victories.
Set benchmarks along the way, such as a three-month savings goal, and then celebrate when you make it with a low-cost fun and special activity.
4. Think of resolutions as opportunities to try new things.
Resolutions are a time of the year not only to try and “fix” the problems in your life, but also to try out a new way of being, a new activity or hobby, or a new attitude. Resolutions should not seem like punishments; if you try to make them fun, you will be more likely to stick with them. If your goal is to be healthier, try going for a 10-minute walk before work and enjoying your neighborhood.
Here are the resolutions that I am going to publish and track via the context of my blog.
Stocks and Finances.
1) Eliminate non housing debt. (credit cards etc.)
2) Beat all DJIA, NASDQ, S&P averages with my investment income and do at least 50% better than the 16 % return I had this year. That means 24% annual return.
Sports and Fantasy Football.
Conspire/Rig/Cheat as commish To have the east coast win back the Borderless League Fantasy Football Trophy next year. Oh wait, Conspire/Rig/Cheat as commish, would not be very fair and ethical, so I’ll just put down that I will make the playoffs and the East Coast will win the Championship next year.
4) Double the number of people following my blog. I currently have 10 listed.
New Enterprising and Rewarding.
5) I’m starting a web site dedicated to donating to charities and activities that are most important to me and my family. Specifically The American Cancer Society, and Greyhound and Veterinary Research.
I was thinking of adding more such as the Alzheimer's Association and St. Judes Hospital, and I probably will as time goes on, but I think I will start with the first two for now.
In the past, we have given to each of these charities and will continue to do so. But, I wanted to and felt compelled to do more.
Volunteering was a possibility, but a lot of our time is already dedicated to our kids, their activities in the community and fostering and promoting Greyhound adoption that I felt we had the volunteering part down.
Then I thought about selling extra stuff on EBay and donating proceeds to various charities but then I looked at all the fees associated with doing this and I thought sheesh! What a racket.
I really liked the idea of having an auction site that acted as a sponsor with a charity. But in doing my research, each charity had/has different criteria that one needs to meet in order to officially sponsor and partner and use their logo. Some require a company to be in business for a certain amount of time (such as a year). Some require a certain amount or percentage of proceeds (such as 10%) or $25K/year .
So, here is my multi step resolution #5.
Start an auction website dedicated to Charities.
Done – Please check out The Gift Exchange.
Promote this site and generate enough traffic to achieve my other steps.
- One thing about The Gift Exchange which makes it different and hopefully more appealing to folks will be that it is completely free of any and all registration, setup and listing fees!
- I only charge a percentage/commission if and when your item sells. Everything else is Free!
Free to register
Free to place an auction or want ad
Free to trade you item for another
(this is another somewhat unique feature to the site)
Free to upload, pictures, video, etc
Free to enhance your item listing such as Bold, Category Highlight and even Front Page Feature with large format! This alone could save you over $50 in fees !
I do not require you to donate any of your proceeds to any charity.
- Instead, I take the commission from each sale and do two things.
• First I pay my expenses such as the fee Paypal charges me for the transaction and any operational expenses such as those from my hosting provider.
• Second, the remaining proceeds from the commissions collected will be donated to the charities.
Currently I have only one payment gateway setup with PayPal. As you may or may not know, PayPal accepts payments from other PayPal accounts and from major credit cards. So most everyone should be able to sell and buy on my site.
- Having one payment gateway is advantageous in that I can track all incoming and outgoing transactions in one place and report on those transactions on the web. That way folks will see the following:
o All commission proceeds are collected from the completed auctions.
o How much goes toward paying expenses.
o And how much goes to the charities.
This will enable me to hopefully achieve my goal of becoming a partner or sponsor of the charities and successfully keeping the site up and running contributing to these very worthy causes and organizations.
So please, if you have any items you would like to auction, I of course would like you to try out The Gift Exchange, tell others about it and help me promote the site.
If anybody knows other stores, companies, or organizations who might be willing to help sponsor my The Gift Exchange, I would gladly display a sponsor logo and link back.
But if you end up using another auction site, please consider donating some of your proceeds to any one of the many worthy charities out there.
And I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year.
Doug at Fumbled Returns
And thanks for following my blog.
Be good. Do well. Have fun.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
That you are either complaining that you were robbed of a championship
that you are boasting how great you are.
When in reality, you are just lucky...
See, when it comes to fantasy football, you never know how things are going to turn out.
In the borderless league championship game, the final outcome rested in the hands of the winners and losers of Monday Night Football.
And once again, Brett Favre and the Vikings CHOKED!
And once again, the east coast lost to the west coast...
Oh well, it really was a great season and we had lots of firsts for the league over the course of the season.
In fact we already have some firsts for next season lined up. Such as Franchise Players, and Draft order based on final standings.
One thing I have already noticed is that the default consolation brackets on ESPN negate the over all records and standings of the bottom 6 teams.
The way it is set now, whomever does the worst in the consolation brackets ends up being in last place, regardless of the overall record. Which means you get first pick in the draft next year. This gives the non-playoff teams an incentive to lose each and every single one of the last three games.
Of course, as commish, I can over ride this and do as I please but we do have a league discussion board where ideas, suggestions and complaints are recorded and discussed in an open format.
(I give everyone the false hope that their opinion really does matter).
It actually could be fun to see how badly one could make your team choke but ultimately this could distort the balance, standings and draft picks for next year.
So the current last place team with a record of 4 - 9 in the regular season lost all three consolation rounds and now gets 1st pick in the draft. As apposed to the worst regular season record of 1 - 12 team is actually 3rd in the draft because somehow they managed to win one of the last three games.
I already know this is going to be an active discussion board in the post season.
I really love this stuff!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Yes, it is a real word. Look it up.
Wii-itis is the condition of having pain and sore muscles from playing simulated sports with video games.
The Christmas family present is a big hit. Everyone has been playing it and loving all the games. Trouble is, none of us can now raise our arms above our heads...
That's OK, I'm sure we will not be needing to do that motion much while rooting for the Redskins... ;-)
Of course we all got other presents and like them as well, such as the new big ball Santa got William because his sister burst the old one 2 days before Christmas!...
Thank you Santa.
The other big thing we, (well just us guys), got for Christmas weekend, was to go to the CAPS game last night to watch the CAPS beat the Devils and take over First Place! It was the first time in 4 matchups this season that the CAPS have won against the NJ Devils.
Thanks to Ovechkin, Bradley, Backstrom, Neuvirth and the rest of the team for dominating a 40 shot-on-goal performance and 4 - 1 win!
It was the first time we have gone to a game and they certainly did not disappoint!
We were up behind the scoring end of the CAPS 1st and 3rd period goals in the corner and thoroughly enjoyed the game....
Here is a short video already posted on YouTube or you can see the HD version on the CAPS site.
This is also championship weekend for my commished league and of course EVERYONE is rooting for Leonard Nimoy's Children (East Coast) to totally embarrass Team Edumucation (West Coast) and bring the trophy to the right coast where it truly belongs.
But we will not completely know the end result until ALL NFL games are completed this weekend.
Hope everyone had a fun, safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
So, this is the championship weekend for my Borderless Fantasy Football League.
This is the league I commish and set up a few years back with folks from work and is comprised of 12 teams, 2 divisions (East and West) with 6 teams in each.
Over the years we have tried different things in the league and it has been really exciting to see it evolve into what it is today.
And true to form, we have a survey poll already out there with about 6 or 7 different "suggestions" for next year.
One thing that has struck me is, no matter what rule changes we implement, we always have an even split of representation in both the playoffs and championship.
Because of the way the league is set up, Division winners get in (with a first round bye), all others slots are determined by records and points; it is technically possible that a particular division could sweep the brackets and pit two teams from the same division against each other for the championship.
This has never happened.
This year we have the newbie (Tommy), East Coast, going up against (Yanni), West Coast, who has never been in the playoffs before.
They were ranked 4th and 2nd going into the playoffs, so we did have some upsets. Including one at my expense...
But I did get some payback in that I did get top score this past week in the consolation brackets. Too bad it did not really count for anything except a little extra cash.
So, here's to hoping that east coast Tommy, AKA Leonard Nimoys Children defeats west coast Yanni, AKA Team Edumuction and brings the league trophy back to the right coast.
Next, I will have to see how the voting goes on the suggestions, decide which ones I like, and then, more importantly, I have to decide who to keep as my "Franchise Player".
Oh ...Decisions..... Decisions...
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Many happy returns.
Fund of the decade posts a 1,524% return!
The best-performing funds over the past 10 years have capitalized on emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Russia.
In light of the news that we're ending the worst decade ever for stocks, maybe it's a good time to look at the best-performing fund in that period.
A Stockholm-based equity fund has produced a 1,524% return over the past decade, EFinancialNews.com reports. How? By betting heavily on emerging-market stocks.
The East Capital Ryssland fund specializes in Eastern Europe and Russia, according to EFinancialNews. If you had handed $10,000 to this fund in 2000, you'd have about $152,400 by now.
Here are the other funds in the top five, according to data from Morningstar:
2: Russian HQ Rysslandsfond, with a 962% return
3: FIM Russia, a Finnish fund with a 906% return
4: Baring Russia, with an 839% return
5: Odin Maritime, a shipping specialist run out of Norway, with an 832% return.
You'd think an Asian fund would have been on that list, but the top Chinese equity fund, Invesco PRC, achieved only a 466% return in the period, EFinancialNews reports.
I have not done quite that well with my fumbled returns but I have done OK. I will be posting a review of my year soon enough.
Meanwhile, I wonder what the next 10 years will bring?
Monday, December 21, 2009
NFL to Players: Please Donate Your Brains.
OK, so not to be little this too much, I do realize that this is important for players and the NFL....
But, exactly what are they trying to do here and shouldn't studies such as this be expanded to include other sports, owners, coaches and even fans?
And shouldn't the effects of drugs and other factors be taken into consideration?
And what about just excessive stress and all the "stress relief" products out on the market?
Such as this one...
After all, lets look at some of the symptoms of brain injury...
Any brain function can be disrupted by brain trauma:
difficulty switching between two tasks,
and slowed thinking.
This could explain a lot.
Based on symptoms alone, I think we could apply this study to any number of "bad" Teams, Coaches, Owners and yes even fans...
The Cleveland Browns.
The New Jersey Nets.
The Washington Nationals.
I'm sure people could think of at least a few others.
And of course, sometimes the players are their own worst enemies...
Here are two examples...
One from this past weekend where Flozell Adams shows how to tackle Marion Barber...
And this classic Redskin Moment...
Makes you wonder...What were they thinking!!!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Removed from FedEx Field for the game against the Giants Monday Night!
Extra Crews for both the Redskins and Ravens were set up since Friday to work through the storm in an effort to keep up with clearing activities.
And the Ravens have already delayed Sundays start time.
At least the Redskins have an extra day.
Our Official FumbledReturns Snow Measurement comes in with a solid 19 inches of snow!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Here's hoping your holiday is a hit!!!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Here is the out take from the Washington Post and the Insider Blog.
Allen on Coach Jim Zorn: "I met today with Jim Zorn. Told him what we're going to try to do in the next few weeks. We're going to have some more meetings and discuss the future."
Good DC PC Answer! You'll fit in just fine and handle the press!!!
Allen's impressions about the Redskins: "From afar, I like their talent. They have a nice core of talent here. That's attractive. They have some young players whose futures are extremely bright."
Why do I immediately think of Timbuk 3?
I hope this is not like the JD Power award for "initial quality"? First impression is good but once you get right down to it your Porsche is just another VW...
But I like the shades and bright future reference...
And he is right, there is good talent... What we need is a plan. And some chemistry.
On having the title of general manager, something that hasn't happened with the Redskins under Snyder: "I really cant speak for what's occurred in the past. I'm very comfortable with it. The Redskins will have a common goal," which is bringing in good players and winning.
BINGO! A solid 10 for an answer... To bad Snyder is still living in the Past and plucked another Redskin Family Name to squander...
Snyder interjected that this is something he's been thinking about for a while.
Thinking and doing are not the same thing Danny Boy...
On the team's record: "I've seen the games, but I obviously haven't felt the pain that's been associated with 4-9. Starting today, I feel the pain."
Hmmm, starting today which I take it means from here on out. I definitely get the impression that he will not be trying to pass off what he inherited as an excuse.
On why he came in now, Allen said he wants to begin to build a plan and get ready for 2010. That's why coming in now, with three weeks left, was appealing to him, Allen said.
Yeah I know all the conspiracy theory people. These are the same people who said Lewis was only Shanahan's scout and now they are saying the same thing about Gruden...
Did he mention having a plan? Good.
Snyder: "Obviously this has been a very disappointing season. We disappointed everybody. Ourselves, fans." With everything that happened, it was time for change.
On Jon Gruden and replacing Jim Zorn: "We don't have an opening at that position...Jim Zorn is our coach...give us some time to see our relationship develop."
God I just love the press. They love to spin the namesake and the conspiracy!
Hey, there is that "chemistry" reference from Mr. Allen himself ... You know I think he gets it.
Snyder: Bruce has the authority. When Bruce makes the decision, it's a Redskins decision.
What? OK I'm glad I was sitting down for this one and on this side of the screen! (helps conceal the laughter and smirks)
Mr. Allen, I hope you are as good at deflecting Dan and his suggestions as you are at handling the press.
If so, then everyone's future will be bright! Now, where did I put those sunglasses...
Snyder on Vinny Cerrato and whether he was offered a lesser position in the organization: "The best way to put it is it was time for a change."
No argument there.
Snyder and Allen would not directly address reports about Mike Shanahan being the leading candidate for the head-coaching job; Snyder indicated that a decision about Zorn's future will be made by Allen. Snyder indicated that the Redskins interviewed several candidates for the GM job.
Two references in the same conference that Mr. Allen is in charge?
Wow, maybe change really has come.
But I reserve judgement until this time next year...
And no it is not just Vinni.
Cerrato resigns from Redskins
I'm actually surprised by this announcement. And, as always, there is more to the story and I am sure that more details, announcements and decisions will be made public in the days and weeks to come.
I was actually going to post something quite different regarding the redskins today which involved this quote from Jason Campbell.
It's not just me improving, I feel like the guys around me have found a way where they're playing with a lot of confidence," he said. "We're all playing together, as a unit. There's no selfish players on this team right now, offensively or defensively.
And, I was actually going to give Vinni some credit for being bold enough to try something, anything, even bringing in a Bingo Caller, to help run the team. Because, for one reason or another, the Redskins are playing better than they ever have this entire season. Playing better since Jason was benched, Playing better since Mr. Lewis came to town and started calling plays, Playing better ever since the Selfish Premadonas have gotten injured. And we now have a bunch of players who want their shot, want to play, want to win, and do not care about money or contracts or anything else except going out there each weekend and winning.
Heck, who knows, maybe Vinni was really getting knocked around on all sides, including from his buddy Dan, and finally had had enough.
Maybe Vinni wanted to keep the system in place, trade Portis, keep Campbell, heck maybe even trade Cooley for draft picks and build through the draft. And of course, Mr. Dan would not hear of such a thing and finally forced him out.
Now we just wait for Shanahan or some other big Snyder Buddy to arrive and shake things up a bit more.
Of course, the only time Shanahan is and has and ever will be good is when he has a good QB and RB and if Mr. Dan goes shopping this off season, he will have neither.
But who knows. I at least am surprised by the timing and can't wait for the other shoes to drop....
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
OK so now that my Fantasy Football season is over, I can turn more attention to stocks.
Because the chance to play the stock market is never over.
So, how have my December Stocks done so far?
Well, I have done OK, not great but OK. It looks like I had one really good winner and overall matched up against the indexes just fine.
The DOW is up 1%
The NASDAQ is up 2%
But I did not invest in any of these...
Instead I invested in a pick from last month which remained in my ever watch full eye.
IAX specializes in absorbent materials and products for the pet industry. Basically Kitty Litter and Beds/Pillows. It is a small company with high insider ownership and low industry ownership and low availability of outstanding shares.
All of this adds up to a bit of a greater risk and, quite frankly it was a bit of a risk to invest in this stock. What attracted me to this stock was the fact that it was small, profitable, at an attractive price, and had an interesting "step" setup pattern.
This setup can have great potential if all the pieces are in play. Such as good relative strength, money flow, and volume. Trouble was this was not 100% true. Look at Mid April, Late May and Mid August stats for Money Flow and Relative Strength. Each time there was a pick up of activity prior to the price jump and maintained during each rise. This time I did not see this pick up, but I did see that the price was maintaining strength above the 50day moving average.
So I took a chance.
As it turned out, I was lucky. IAX agreed to be bought out by Kinderhook Industry which specializes in buyouts and acquisitions of Value Companies and Good Management Teams. This obviously was good news for the stock which shot up nearly 20%.
So, Which stocks look like they have favorable setups now?
Lets start with the chanciest and end with perhaps the safest.
FLR is basically an engineering and construction company which specializes in the energy field. As you can see by the chart, the stock has been falling quite a bit lately. And normally one is wise to listen to the old saying about trying to catch a falling knife...
But... This is actually a well run company with a good pipeline of contracts. I believe much of this fall in price is due to the scary condition of the energy exploration industry overall.
So why do I consider this a setup? Well, for two reasons.
Recently Jim Cramer shouted a Buy! Buy! Buy! on this stock and the Commonwealth of Kentucky issued a draft air permit for Kentucky NewGas, a planned coal-to-natural-gas facility that will take about four years and 1,200 jobs to build.
Rumor has it FLR is/will be a big player in this. And we can add a third reason...
Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Maaden) 1211.SE has received four bids for an $1 billion contract to build an alumina refinery. Guess who is a big part of this bid?
Now for the full discloser. I HATE JIM CRAMER!!!
In fact I would probably do the opposite of anything he says. But...
buts conditional clauses...
His Buy Buy Buy shout out seemed to generate a 7% gain in this stock over night. Couple this with the two contract announcements... Coincidence ? Perhaps. But maybe something is about to turn around and maybe there is just enough hype to go along with this increase in contracts to fuel this bounce.
Now for a less risky setup...
This diversified company focuses on either acquiring or financing other companies that provide products and services to growth industries.
Currently their subsidiaries include:
Gemma Power Systems LLC (www.gemmapower.com), a leading power plant designer and builder with expertise in engineering, design, procurement and construction.
Southern Maryland Cable, Inc. (www.smcinc.biz) , provides inside premise wiring services to the federal government.
Vitarich Laboratories (www.vitarichlabs.com) is a farm to market, vertically integrated private label manufacturer that manufactures, packages, and distributes premium nutraceutical products, including nutritional and whole food dietary supplements and other personal healthcare products.
AGX stock has recently maintained a good support line at $12.00 and has seen good relative strength and money flow at the same time. As long as it maintains the $12.00 support level, it could provide a good chance to reverse its pattern and start climbing back up the charts.
Everybody knows Microsoft.
Microsoft is currently hitting up against highs either at or near $30.00
If you look at the chart, the stock is well above the 50day moving average, (a good sign) has established a cooling off period after a good run without loosing price, ( another decent sign) and if you look at the pattern, each hit at the top is followed by a dip. Now, what is important here is that each of the low points are higher than the previous. This can often signal what is called a breakout past resistance.
Of course, it could fail in its breakout and go back down to it previous (26 -28) range before moving back up. But with the anticipation of the holiday season and new releases, it may be a safe bet that folks are thinking that good ol' Microsoft stands a chance to make a buck or two and positively reflect this is the price of the stock.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
So, this is how my season ends. With a first round knock out. I had all the right players picked, except one spot.
Who would have thought that the Saints defense would score 1/3 of their per game season AVERAGE points. And that the Redskins would score DOUBLE their average.
And of course, for, what seems like the 10 Millionth time, I score more than 10 other teams in my league, except one. The one I just happen to be going up against.
At least I'm consistent.
Obama gives himself B+ for first months in office.
Gee, what school kid wouldn't want to give himself or herself their own grade?
Fortunately or unfortunately, the AMERICAN political grading system comes in the form of elections...
And the last time I checked, there are still 3 years to go.
So, for now, I, as a registered grader, will stick with the scale our county school system uses for all kids in their first years of public education.
Incomplete with needs improvement and no days absent.
You can keep track of performance here...
Saturday, December 12, 2009
So Saturday was my birthday and this is some of what I got.
But not your normal everyday pair of sunglasses...
No, these come with a built in video camera.
Lets give it a try...
I also got a copy of a TSO double album....
A new INSTALLED! car battery from my oldest son...
and some hand made artwork from my daughters....
1972 Jamal Willis, NFL running back for the San Francisco 49ers
1972 John Walsh, NFL quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals
1971 Tito Wooten, NFL safety for the New York Giants
1970 Orlando Brown, NFL tackle, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens
1968 Chris Walsh, NFL wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings
1968 Kurt Schulz, safety for the Buffalo Bills
1967 David Szott, NFL guard for the Kansas City Chiefs
1967 John Randle, NFL defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings
1946 Emerson Fittipaldi, Brazil, Indy-car racer, over 10 wins
1970 Kirk Cameron, actor, Mike-Growing Pains, Teen Wolf II
(my wife made me put him on the list)
1953 Bruce Kulick, guitarist/singer, KISS
1946 Clive Bunker, rock drummer, Jethro Tull
1943 Dickey Betts, West Palm Beach, Florida, guitarist, Allman Bros-Ramblin' Man
1943 Grover Washington, Jr., jazz artist, Mr Magic
1942 Mike Pinder, Birmingham England, rocker, Moody Blues
1940 Dionne Warwick, born in East Orange, New Jersey, singer, Solid Gold, Way to San Jose
1938 Connie Francis, born in Newark, New Jersey, singer and actress, Where the Boys Are
1915 Frank Sinatra, born in Hoboken, vocalist/actor, old blue eyes
1805 Henry Wells, founder, American Express Co and Wells Fargo and Co
1924 Edward I Koch, New York City, Mayor-D-NYC, 1977 - 1989, judge, People's Court
But perhaps the best company of all, and the ones I am most thankful for, are my wife and family.
Just don't try to put all those candles on the cake...
Friday, December 11, 2009
Two words that should never be said in the same sentence as Scouting NFL Draft Prospects...
Vinni and Dan.
McCoy, Clausen draw Redskins' attention
NEWFLASH: (queue Jeff Foxworthy voiceover)
If your name is "Colt"...
You could be an NFL QB...
I have a much better idea.
They should start an online poll for everyone (Fans) to vote for who should be drafted for each position. You could even do it live while the draft is happening. So as names are taken off the board, fans can adjust their picks.
And we could even spin this so that Dan would like it.
"For just 99 cents, you can text your vote in as the action takes place"
It could be their version of "Star Search", or "You've got Talent".
Thursday, December 10, 2009
OK, So SI had a whole bunch of "10 best and worst" articles on the NFL for this decade...
Seems they don't think anything memorable is going to happen over the next 3 weeks?
Would you say Belichick was the BEST coach of the past decade?
Or that Priest Holmes was the best free agent pickup of the decade?
If that were the case then there would be absolutely no reason to even bother picking upsets each week....
So here we go again with my fabulously accurate predictions...
Hopefully I can do better than last week.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns = STEELERS
Carolina Panthers @ New England Patriots = PANTHERS
Cincinnati Bengals @ Minnesota Vikings = BENGALS
New York Jets @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers = JETS
Seattle Seahawks @ Houston Texans = SEAHAWKS
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs = CHIEFS
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons = SAINTS
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears = PACKERS
Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars = JAGS
Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts = COLTS
Detroit Lions @ Baltimore Ravens = RAVENS
St. Louis Rams @ Tennessee Titans = TITANS
Washington Redskins @ Oakland Raiders = REDSKINS
San Diego Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys = CHARGERS
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants = EAGLES
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers = CARDINALS
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Well, the last couple weeks have been pretty bad for me fantasy football wise and this week was no exception.
It looks like I will only have one team in the playoffs in any of my three leagues and I just barely squeaked in there.
Santa's Little Helpers have lost 4 in a row and went from 2nd to 6th. But anything can happen so hopefully I will be able to pull myself out of this skid.
Last week I had 5 players out! All because of injuries. It was worse than any bye week. Hopefully I will get them back for this week and the upcoming playoffs.
Weekend Warriors lost by a fraction of a point so I am out of the running there.
Pariahs, Well, they are playing up to their namesake.
And I totally, TOTALLY, putz the peter king challenge. What was I thinking...?
Monday, December 7, 2009
So, just in case you missed it; The Salahi, AKA "reality TV party crashers" have been invading other sacred ground outside of the White House.
Mrs. Salahi recently impersonated a Redskin Cheerleader...
According to reports, others suspected her "authenticity" when she apparently did not know the drills, routines, or even the words to the fight song.
My guess is that Mr. Salahi also infiltrated the organization, most recently as a place kicker....
Here too, he did not know the plays, the timing or even how to kick the DAMN ball through the uprights!!!
Of course, the Redskins are the perfect organization for them.
After all, we already have a couple high profile people impersonating an owner and GM...
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Abandon ye all hope!!!
Abandon ye all your cars!!!
It's the first snow of the season in the DC metro area!!!
Cancel all extra activities, parades, group therapy sessions and schools!!!
Run for the nearest 7-11 or Grocery store!!!
Stock up on Beer, Chips, Milk, Ice Cream, Ice Melt, snow shovels, sleds and Toilet Paper!!!
Start up the fire place, don't forget to open the chimney flue, sit back, turn on the TV, or the Christmas music, and enjoy the weekend.
Oh and if you happen to work for the same company I do...
Trudge out to the holiday party tonight...
Hope the baby sitter shows up...
Friday, December 4, 2009
Not going to talk about you know who and you know what...
So, for Fun Strip Friday, here is some of the other funny stuff of this week...
First off, I usually hate any rendition / remake of this song and video, but...
The Muppets do a commendable job!
Then there was Bill, Shannon "the Stalker" and the rest of the "guys" reduced to a bunch of school boys...
And last but not least, this blasphemous picture....
Be good. Do Well. Have Fun.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
A quick post before the Thursday Night Game....
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills = BILLS
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons = FALCONS
St. Louis Rams @ Chicago Bears = BEARS
Detroit Lions @ Cincinnati Bengals = BENGALS
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts = TITANS
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs = BRONCOS
Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers = STEELERS
New Orleans Saints @ Washington Redskins = SAINTS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers = PANTHERS
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars = TEXANS
San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns = CHARGERS
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants = COWBOYS
Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals = VIKINGS
San Francisco 49ERS @ Seattle Seahawks = 49ERS
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins = PATRIOTS
Baltimore Ravens @ Green Bay Packers = RAVENS
Queue the Linda Ronstadt music...
Because I bet a few weeks ago, or even a few years ago, you (Mr. Tiger Woods) were not sorry.
Oh these women won't let me be
Lord have mercy on me
Woe woe is me
Poor Poor Pitiful me.
Sorry Tiger, but the last time I checked...
Getting caught was not the Sinful Transgression...
However, getting caught by a golf cart while driving a 400 horsepower Cadillac Escalade is ...
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
So, I am totally depressed.
All my Fantasy teams lost...
I got eliminated in the elimination league...
And my monthly stock screens broke...
The bench totally outscored my starting lineup. Only Forsett, Young, and the Saints Def showed up to play. Everyone else scored single digits. It was so bad that even Jason scored more than my other QB and I would have one if I had played him instead of that loser Cutler... I need to win next week to guarantee a playoff spot. Right now I am projected for the 4th slot in the playoffs.
Needed to win in order to have a chance to make the playoffs. They lost by 2 points.
Have been out of it since the beginning...
Discontinued their great customizable stock screener for their canned reports. So my screening methodology did not work. Arrrgh.
Here is a bastardized version of my watch lists for December.
I will have to really look around for a suitable replacement.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Rumors, if true, ruined reputation and marriage = divorce.
There, I said it.
You can believe it or not.
Now, Move on.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Today, Abe Pollin will be buried.
I think it is safe to say that no other person has had more of an impact in the Washington DC sports, entertainment, real estate and philanthropic landscape than Abe.
He will truly be missed and never forgotten.
Ted Leonsis tribute
Abe Pollin was the bravest man I ever met. A man of courage and compassion, with high levels of personal empathy and integrity.
He showed passion and commitment to our city when no one else would. He consistently showed his love to the fan base and to his extended family -- his employees. And you could take his handshake to the bank.
He was a man of conviction and principles, of strong views and great accomplishment. He was the only world championship holder among the major team ownership groups around town today.
He was the last "don"; the last of the family-man moguls, the last authentic nice guy in business.
Most of all Abe was a family man -- and a man of spirit -- who knew his higher calling and the value of public service. His selflessness and caring are evident around Washington today.
I will treasure our times together and the wonderful advice he always offered to me. I will never forget the sage advice Abe gave me in regard to leading a team as a public trust, nor his memorable counsel of "Ted, don't get too high with the highs or too low with the lows -- as this too shall pass." He was a mentor, a friend and a pioneer in so many ways.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Heres hoping your Thanksgiving does not run a fowl...
And for my predictions not to run a fowl either...
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions = PACKERS
Oakland Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys = COWBOYS
New York Giants @ Denver Broncos = GIANTS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons = FALCONS
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills = DOLPHINS
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals = BENGALS
Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans = TITANS
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams = SEAHAWKS
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings = VIKINGS
Carolina Panthers @ New York Jets = PANTHERS
Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles = EAGLES
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans = COLTS
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers = CHARGERS
Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Francisco 49ers = 49ers
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens = RAVENS
New England Patriots @ New Orleans Saints = PATRIOTS
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Detroit won a nail biter...
Dallas got lucky...
Jacksonville kept it close till the end...
Just a couple points or a couple plays different and most everybody in the elimination league I am in would have gone bye bye...
That 12.8% still alive would be more like 1.2%.
What an amazing football week it was.
FYI: I picked Detroit.
As for my other leagues...
Two weeks in a row, Santa's Little Helpers have scored enough points to beat any of the other 10 teams in the league, only to lose to a no name who got lucky and won top dawg (highest weekly score)... Arrrgh!
My prediction: Todd (currently 4-7) will be the 3rd (no name) team in a row to beat me by somehow miraculously getting the top dawg award. Double Arrrgh!
The Weekend Warriors are rolling right along and after spending the entire season in the middle of the pack are now tied for the lead!
The Pariahs, well, lets just say they are still playing... Just not winning very much....
Oh, and I went 12 - 4 for my predictions last week.
All in all, not too bad.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
So this month has been really interesting with the stock market and really volatile.
UEPS - Continues to hold good strength and has held up well off it's support levels.
CNU - Has really shot up off it's critical support levels. If you bought in at that point, it was extremely risky but it did pay out well so far.
NTES - Was at a good buy in spot and responded well. But the Chinese government has decided to play bully, and their qtr report was not as quite as stellar as the market wanted, but despite a recent drop, has maintained it's support levels.
GHM - Another stock which has bounced up extremely well off it's support but perhaps a bit too fast. If you bought in, 30% gain in 3 weeks is certainly not too shabby.
IAX - Is still an attractive play on the pet industry and looks to be worth while for a long term play. This stock seems to be in a trading pattern of a good quick rise, followed by a longer (month or two) period of flat performance. I bet in a couple months it will shoot up once again.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Yes folks, it's that time of year again...
The weather turns colder.
You long for fun in the sun...
And all you can think of is that SouthWest Airlines commercial "Wanna get away?".
Well, this year you can!
A friend forwarded an email to me about this new type of adventure cruise.
To The Point Cruise Lines is excited to offer the ultimate adventure cruise, along the pirate-infested coast of Somalia!
Board our luxury cruise ships in Djibouti on the Gulf of Aden near the entrance to the Red Sea, and disembark in Mombasa , Kenya seven adrenaline-charged days later. Reservations start at only $5,200 per-person (double occupancy, inside room) and $6,900 (verandah complete with bench rest).
You'll relax like never before!
That's because you are welcome to bring your own arsenal with you. If you don't have your own weapons, you can rent them from our onboard
Master Gunsmith. Enjoy reloading parties every afternoon with skeet and marksmanship competitions every night!
But the best fun of all, of course, is...
Pirate Target Practice!
The object of the cruise is to sail up and down the Somali Coast waiting to get hijacked by pirates!
"Six attacks in 4 days were more than I expected. I bagged three pirates, my wife nailed two, and my 12-year old son sank two boats with the mini-gun.
This wonderful cruise was fun for the whole family" -- Fred D., Cincinnati , OH
"Pirates 0, Passengers 32! Well worth the trip! Can't recommend it highly enough!" -- Ben L., Bethesda , MD
But wait! There's more!
Including this beauty!
Twin mounted mini-guns are available for rental at only $450.00 per 30 seconds of sustained fire!
Additional Services Include:
• Need a spotter? Our professional crew members can double as spotters for only $30/hour.
(spotting scope included, but gratuities are not)
• Also included: Free complimentary night vision equipment - and throughout the night, coffee, pastries and snacks are always available on the main deck from 7pm until 6am
• Our deluxe package comes complete with gourmet meals and all rooms offer a mini-bar
You will experience at least two hijacking attempts by pirates or you'll receive an instant $1,000 refund upon arrival in Mombasa ..
How can we make that guarantee? We operate at 5 knots just beyond 12 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia , thus in international waters where pirates have no rights whatever. In fact, we make three passes through the area's most treacherous waters to ensure maximum visibility by Somali "mother ships."
We repeat this for five days, making three complete passes past the entire Somali Coast . At night, the boat is fully lit and bottle rockets are shot every five
minutes with loud disco music directionally beamed shore side to attract maximum attention.
ACT NOW! And receive this special offer!
Reserve now and be automatically entered to win a 5 minute time slot on the Captain's own Twin Browning 50 Caliber M2HB installation!
Ahhh, if only it were truly possible....