Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From Janell

Ruby Tuesday

Here's a view of my barn.

I love my barn.

Bubba and Lucy love my barn.

Do you like my barn?

I do take requests. Is there something you would like to see for Ruby Tuesday?

If you like good photos, stop by my family blog (The Gatewoods, link at left) and see what my brother-in-law has been posting.

He posts as "Shirley." Don't ask.

Okay, the reason he posts as Shirley is because he's married to my sister Shirley and uses her blogger id.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hey, Everyone!


Janell’s back!

“Here, let me turn around…

and this is my front…”

River City Roundup is wrapped up for another year. Rumor has it that it might be the last. About 85 riders and six wagons started out at Nottleman’s Flea Market; a campground on the Omaha Indian Reservation, north of Macy, NE. My friend Sharon and I rode some trails on Saturday afternoon.

And then… it rained all night Saturday night and most of Sunday morning.

When the sky finally cleared in the late afternoon, some small groups went out for another 2-3 hour ride on the Reservation. Most of the place looks like a Karl Bodmer painting – maybe more about that in some other post.

Monday, (after another night of rain) we followed our usual routine for moving camp: We saddle our horses, find a good tree or fencepost to tie them to and then get in line and caravan all the trailors to the next night’s camp. They haul the riders back to the horses and we spend the rest of the day riding to the next stop – in this case, we rode to Blackbird Creek Ranch between Decatur and Lyons. (Just a few miles east of Jefferson School and about a half mile from the old Blackbird Creek Church, for those of you who know where that is.) It continued to rain on us most of the morning and since we ride mostly on minimum maintenance roads, some of the wagons had a little trouble.

It didn’t rain Tuesday night – hallelujah! Wednesday morning, we trailored the horses and the camp to Tekamah, where we saddled up and rode out to Summit Lake. We had dinner and then rode back through some nice scenery. Our camp was at the Hoot Gibson Rodeo Grounds.

We spent the next morning riding horseback into Herman and then loaded up and moved to the Washington County Fairgrounds in Arlington. Personally, I used the afternoon for catching up on some sleep. We had a DJ and dancing after supper and all the obligatory “thank-yous” and some fun awards were handed out – one to the first rider to get bucked off, one for the one came from farthest away (this year that was Arizona), etc. and so on.

Friday, we loaded up and trailored into Two Rivers State Park, where we rode the trails for the morning. After dinner, we moved everything downtown to Freedom Park by the airport in Omaha.

Friday night, we have a “Trails End Party” for all the riders who participated. In addition to my ride; the Northeast Nebraska trail, we met with the Iowa riders and the West Riders. Most of the rest of them went to the Rodeo and Larry the Cable Guy concert. I did a little shopping in the vendor hall and browsed around in the exhibit hall where they were having the Ak-Sar-Ben Livestock Show. Then I headed back to Freedom Park and hit the sack.

Saturday morning, we all rode in the Parade and then headed home.

So that’s where I’ve been all week. I see that I missed some emails and such and will spend some time getting caught up with that.

Now, it’s back to work!

I’ll be blog-hopping tomorrow.

The post below is from my partner, Joe, who also happened to be gone all last week. I wonder how many times our “automated email responses” would have talked to each other if I had remembered to set that up….?
Joe says...
The fundamentals really are sound!
Hello Everyone....

I'm Back and I hated being gone. Lots to catch upon, including about 7 weeks in the UK. I am pretty sick of it over there. I must say, the rabbit casserole in Basingstoke is absolutely delicious. Definitely a redeeming factor, on the other hand I am so over London.

Well, where do we start? Hmmm... Election, Environment, European Travel, "Cushy Job" stories. I think it best I not ignore the 800lb gorilla in the room. Before I post on the "Crisis" and our bailout, I want to talk about the fundamentals of the economy.

Senator Mccain is getting hammered by saying the fundamentals are sound. Despite my support for him, he has not the level of comfort defend this statement. But guess what, its true! He has either morons (not likely) or wimps (most likely) advising him. There are so many ways to prove this, despite Poll after poll that say everyone feels the economy is bad. I feel like its bad to, but its not.

Let me show one way to prove it. I was quite surprised when I wanted to see the 3Q and 2Q EPS for the 30 companies that make up the DOW. Either I googled it wrong, or it is not published. I am sure it is, but didn't want to pay for it. So I compiled it myself. First a definitions:
EPS is Earnings Per Share - Its basically the number of shares of stock a company issues divided by the number of pennies (literally) they earn (Revenue) in a given quarter/year. This number can be positive or negative. Typically ranges from .01 to about $4.
M = Million
B = Billion
Shares - Shares of Stock
Q - Fiscal Quarter of a year

Example: - Exxon has 5 Billion Shares outstanding (5.2) and to make $0.01 EPS it must ear $50M . Their 3Q EPS Estimate is 2.46 or $123B

Now, based on my experience each $0.01 EPS equates to about $40M in revenue for a fortune 500 company, I am sure its higher, but humor me. Here is what the data says:

1. If you add up the 3Q EPS for all the DOW companies combined you get 1.459T in 3Q this year alone!

2. The Average Earnings per company on the DOW is about 48.6B

3. The Average EPS is $1.22

4. Only one loser in the bunch, and that's GM. They are losing money because of Cafe Standards (save that for a different post)

5. These companies live and die by this ratio, they try not to let them fluctuate outside a projected range. Even positive earnings surprises can be bad.

So, what are you thinking? I sound snobby again, in denial perhaps. Well, the DOW is the DOW for a reason. I've listed below, hopefully image comes through, all the companies in the DOW their stock symbol and 3Q EPS Estimates. What does this have to do with fundamentals? Tell me if you don't know someone working for a company in the dow or it doesn't affect your industry or you are not a customer (even loyal perhaps) of a company on this list? That tells me the fundamentals of the US economy are pretty sound.

Before anyone starts, I am also enfuriated with the greedy bastards who are causing this bailout. I want to see people in cuffs more than anyone. So I am not defending those actions, my point is, aside from a corrupt few, we are still in good shape!

My wife didn't really understand how this happened and isn't into finance (not being condascending here) so I put together an explanation for her. I'll share with you all shortly. Its great to be back!!!!!

P.S. Sorry if I didn't spell check. :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

This lady wanders about in the the pastures that surround my house. She is a Red Angus and has been hanging around with a Longhorn Bull. She has a baby now.

Kind of pretty, in a Bovine sort of way, don't you think?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

From Janell

(This is kind of a rerun, but I like this story.)

September 14th is an important American anniversary.

Baltimore, MD

On the morning of September 3, 1814, a young lawyer from Georgetown, PA and his friend, Colonel Skinner found themselves sailing seaward towards an enemy ship which held Prisoners of War. In the lawyer’s briefcase were a number of letters he hoped to use to retain the release of one of those prisoners, Dr. William Beanes, who had been arrested and taken captive in the previous weeks. The British army intended to try and hang the doctor for treason. The trial and execution would have to wait, however, until after they had successfully invaded Baltimore by land and Ft. McHenry by sea. The letters the lawyer was bearing were from enemy Prisoners of War who had been injured in the fighting and subsequently treated by Upper Marlboro’s beloved physician. Their letters testified to the humane treatment they had received at his hands and expressed their hopes that he would be released. It took the two men until September 10th to locate the ship on which Dr. Beanes was being held and the rest of the day to negotiate his release with the British officers. It was near sunset by the time the British agreed to let Dr. Beanes go. The three men were not allowed to leave, however, because it was feared they had seen and heard too much regarding the impending attacks on Baltimore and Ft. McHenry. They were placed on the sailboat, under guard and forced to wait out the attack and watch the battle that would surely spell doom not only for Baltimore and Ft. McHenry, but endangered the new United States as well.

The bombardment began on the morning of September 13 and would continue for 25 hours. Approximately 1500 bombshells weighing 220 pounds each were lit and launched toward the city. However, some of the fuses were too short and the shells would explode in mid air long before they reached the target. In addition to the bombshells, the British fired their newest weapons; Congreve rockets, which traced arcs of red flame across the sky. The attack was halted at sunset, but began again around 1 AM on September 14.

The three friends waited anxiously, watching the flames and the explosions. A few hours later, the ships in the sea around them fell silent. Our lawyer, Colonel Skinner and Dr. Beanes waited anxiously for the sun to rise so they could determine why the firing had stopped. From their vantage point they would have a clear view of Ft. McHenry and would be able to see whose flag was flying over it.

When the sun finally broke the horizon, the three rejoiced to see that the Stars and Stripes still flew. Having lost 22 vessels, the British were retreating. It was then that our lawyer, Francis Scott Key, took up his pen and wrote:

“Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare
The bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

I believe it still does. Do you?

Additional info: The flag which flew over Ft. McHenry was commissioned by its commander, Major George Armistead in 1813. He wanted a flag “so big the British would have no trouble seeing it from a distance.” A local flagmaker, Mary Young Pickersgill and her 13 year old daughter Caroline made the flag using 400 yards of fabric. The finished banner measured 30 by 42 feet. Each of the 15 stars measured two feet from point to point. It cost $405.90.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ruby Tuesday
Has it been a week already?!?

Roses in the floral department of the store where I work.
Aren't they pretty?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

"Red sky at morning, Sailor, take warning.
Red sky at night, Sailor's delight."

This one was in the morning. I don't remember what the weather was like the day I took this shot, but it's raining today.