Monday, August 30, 2010 Nightmare on Bedbug Street

Yikes!  I am glad I do not travel as much as I already do.  I wish my family and all of you readers will never get a problem with bedbugs.

Inspect all crevices for the small reddish-brown bugs and their ink-like streaks of their droppings.

Click here to be taken to's feature on this topic.

I am still receiving Time magazine for free.  To subscribe to Time magazine for 1 year with auto-renewal, click here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

5 investing bubbles?

In this small piece on Yahoo! Finance which is actually from, they discuss five possible investing bubbles and each of their brief rationale.  They are as follows:

  • China economy (yes)
  • United States Treasury Bonds (no)
  • Pure-Play Shale Rock Company Stocks (yes)
  • Cotton (minor yes)
  • Gold (yes)
Would I short any of these?  Probably no.  
Would I take money off the table if I had significant investments in them? Yes.
Would I hedge against them if I had significant investments in them? Yes.

Click on the following link to subscribe to Money Magazine for 1 year with auto-renewal.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Raise the price of gasoline? By taxes?

If you have been tracking my blog, you know that I have been receiving Time Magazine for free.  There was an editorial by Michael Mandelbaum which argues that the Obama administration should reduce the influence that oil-rich countries has by reducing usage.  The best way to do this is by raising the price of gasoline with a tax.

I have mixed feelings about this, but I think that whether someone takes action or not, eventually the price of energy will go higher.  Eventually demand will outstrip supply and prices will rise.  I see him arguing to keep the money in the United States and not sending it to the other countries.

To read the whole "Viewpoint," click here.

You can subscribe to Time Magazine for 1 year or 2 years.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Visit? Calico Ghost Town

We have driven by the signs near Yermo, California trying to lure people to visit the Calico Ghost Town.  Since it is in the desert, it looks like the summer is not the best time to visit.

I think at some point, we will visit this place.  It is a fair distance from the main part of southern California. Feel free to use your favorite mapping website to find out.

Here are some key points when perusing their website:

  • It looks like they are open mainly on Fridays through Sundays.  There are several areas that are closed Monday through Thursdays.
  • Most of their special events are based on the scholastic calendar from about September to May.
  • Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 5 to 16 years.  It is free for children 4 years of age and younger.
  • They have areas for camping in bunkhouses and for those with motorhomes.  The mini-bunkhouse can sleep six and has a private kitchenette and its own bathroom.  The regular bunkhouse sleeps up to 20 people and is $5 per person with a minimum charge of $60 per night.
  • They have many attractions including a train.
  • There are trails and areas for exploring with your Off-Highway Vehicles.
For more information, visit their website by clicking here.

To view posters and books about Calico Ghost Town that can be purchased at Amazon, click here.

Tips for Raising Money-Smart Kids

In the current USAWeekend money feature, Jean Chatzky, gave five tips for raising "money-smart" kids.  Chatzky is an financial expert and author of many books including Not Your Parents' Money Book.

The five tips include:

  • Give children money to manage
  • Offer incentives for saving
  • Strongly encourage work
  • Talk about money
  • Let them fail
To view details and to read the feature on-line, then click here.

To go to to look at other books by Chatzky, click here.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Zotac MAG - Interesting gadget (or toy)

Okay.  Here is a very interesting item that looks very inviting to "play" with.

It is called the Zotac MAG and what they have done is put some hardware together in what looks like a very small box that measures 7.4" x 1.5" by 7.3" and weights 3 pounds.  Here are some key points:

  • It can be placed on its side or even mounted to the back of a monitor
  • It comes with a dual-core Atom processor (most of the "netbook" computers only have a single)
  • 2 GB of DDR2-800 memory
  • A separate NVDIA graphic processor (most devices have integrated processors)
  • Plenty of connections: eSATA, 6 USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, VGA, HDMI (!), WiFi, SD/MS/MS Pro/xD card reader, etc.
  • 160GB hard drive
  • Does not come with any OS (reports you can install Windows 7, XP, Vista, 32-bit, 64-bit, or Linux)
  • It does not come with a CD/DVD drive.  You would need to load the OS directly off the internet or via USB thumb drive or other external drive.
For the size/form factor, this has all the features you would want to run most basic operations on a computer.  With the dual core, you may be able to even run some minor graphics programs.  This probably is not built for video editing.

If you are interested in buying this item, you can buy the Zotac MAG from Amazon with this link.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Routines help with a child's anxiety?

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I am still receiving Time Magazine for free.  There was a short feature in their Child Behavior section that discussed a study by Timothy Monk who is at the University of Pittsburgh.

Parents of 59 babies were interviewed over the course of about 13 years.  Timothy Monk found that babies were had routines at one month of age were less likely to be anxious at 10 years of age.

It is a little late for us now since all of our children are well passed the age of one month.

Click here to be taken to Time's website where they have this article.  They do not have the whole thing because they want you to pick up the current issue or subscribe via the iPad app.

You can go to the "PittChronicle" and read a little bit more by clicking here.

Click here to subscribe for 1 year or 2 years.

Building a Better Playground - Help for the Creativity Crisis?

If you have been reading my blog, you should know that I am currently getting Time Magazine for free.

This comes on the tails of a Newsweek article  published last month on the "Creativity Crisis" that we have in the United States which is more from structured activities (static objects like swings and slides don't help).

Click here to view a video on this article.  They want you to go to pick up an actual physical copy or use the iPad app.

For big-ticket items, know when to shop had a short blurb by Peggy J. Noonan on when the best time to shop for big-ticket items.  Here is a summary:

  • Cars:  August to September
  • Gas grills: September to December
  • Lawn mowers: October
  • Camcorders, GPS devices, Bicycles: November
  • Appliances: December to January
  • Exercise equipment: January
  • Furniture, Indoor: February
  • Televisions, DVD/Blu-ray players: March
  • Computers: at the end of each financial quarter (April, June, October, January).  I think they actually mean March, June, September, December?
  • Athletic shoes and apparel: May
  • Tools: June
  • Electronics: June (not sure how this fits with the above Television, Computer categories)
  • Furniture, Outdoor: July