Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Looking Back

As I sit here pondering the moments, minutes and hours of the previous week, I am reminded of the yearly routine of it all and wonder (again) why we do it all. The gifts are nice, the smiling faces of the children are heart warming and the moments of joy seeing people that you may not see again until next year are needed. Can I learn anything from this year’s activities? I am bound by the schedule of it all. The trip north and the trip west are not set by me. They are a large part of the joy. I think it is the weeks’ previous build up only to come to a crashing thud in 1 day. One 24 hour period of time. From noon Christmas Eve to lunch Christmas day is the ultimate joy and the ensuing crash of its completeness.

How can we stress less in the preceding weeks and coast off the high as it winds down?


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Changes are afoot at the workplace. Promotions and lateral moves are happening with the new year. I avoided the shuffle. However, I didn’t avoid getting a new boss’s boss. It will be a change from the previous administration. I new look - a new voyage. The last trip was wild and turbulent. I smile as I watch the setting of the sun on that experience. I grew during it. I traveled places I would have rather not gone. However, I emerge the other side and see a new sun rising on the horizon. I choose to see clear skies, a warming sun and a calm tide. That is how I choose to wake up this new year. I will watch and listen to the winds and surf for shifting of the calmness that January brings. We shall see. We shall indeed see.


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Poker. It hasn’t bee much lately. A chance to play here and there. I don’t get online much anymore to play. I all but gave it up a long while back on a bad beat. While mathematically possible, not without raising an eyebrow. I am losing touch with the poker blogger community. I read a few blogs and post/reply on fewer. My afternoons are now filled with the joys of my daughter where they once were filled with turn hoorays and river rats. I am pleased with the change. The post change seldom gives me a headache or instant gut checking agony. If I am online now, I am watching the high limit players win and lose the value of my house in less than an hour’s time. Or, I am playing around to past time. I don’t see things changing much this year. Not on the poker front. I am focused on family this year. The poker is a hobby. A hobby that must not consume me or control me.

I have a high passion level for hobbies. I can get all consuming in what I want to do. I understand that. My wife can live with me getting exciting about heading out early Saturday morning to be the first to find the latest Geocache. She doesn’t take to kindly to all niters behind the poker screen only to drag along behind her on our Saturday & Sunday errands. I recall this past year and the general decline in my health from the lack of body movement online poker capsulated me into. I am feeling better and enjoying the outdoor activities of Geocaching and Waymarking. Yippee – a hobby that is good for your health. A winner winner in my book.

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Now, the sun is setting on this one day and I have Geocaching to do. Little one is out of school and with mommy today/tonight. I have a few hours of fun – I mean exercise.

If you see me standing near a bush/tree/light post all bent out of shape acting like I lost my glass slipper, just wave and say “good luck!”

Saturday, December 23, 2006

No Lies

Since I give stock tips on things I am thinking of buying, then I should tell you when I shed stocks as well. This past week I shed my Garmin stock. I haven’t lost confidence in the stock. However, I purchased the stock six weeks ago and the stock was up almost $10.00 a share. I was starting to see downward pressure on the stock and thought I had a nice profit to take off the table. So, I raked the table. Took my cash and invested elsewhere. I will be looking to pick up more Garmin stock in mid January. I still feel this is a good long term stock choice. I am convinced it will double in less than three years. Lately it has been getting good reviews and was a Motley Fool "best international stock of 2007". The television is routinely showing Garmin commercials. I think all these things have led to a short term inflated price. Look for a small dip in price after the new year. After it fads from peoples memory.

I picked up the stock "MIC". This is another international company who makes most of its money in the United States. This company invest in infrastructure type businesses. Mostly airport parking and some energy pipelines. It has routinely issued 6.5% and 7.0% dividends in the few years it has been traded. I am a dividends type investor. A $1,200 investment will yield me a quarterly dividend of $18.70. That’s over $78 to reinvest next year in more dividend paying stocks. I call that compounding dividend interest. I figure, If I do that often enough for long enough, I will have a retirement income.

I am currently updating this blog from the great area of Dalton, GA. I am here visiting my parents. Well, I am here letting my parents visit with their granddaughter. My father and I went out Geocaching today. We had a hit and miss kind of a day. Dad has trouble with his knees and back and was unable to traverse some of the steep slopes on some of the surrounding mountains in Dalton. However, he was a trooper while I dragged him out and about. Dad is more into metal detecting. Metal detecting is fairly more active in that area. There are many civil war sites in that area. Resaca to Chattanooga was a total war zone during the war of northern aggression. An interesting spot we visited today was a mountain ridge that was used by the confederate army in holding off part of Sherman’s troops. It was a great view of the area called mills creek. I didn’t see the state line but I am sure I was looking over into Alabama.

Well, I had better get off here. Company is coming.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Last day of weekend

I am very proud of my girls. Both did a very good job in their choir specials Sunday. Mom and her solo went very well. She was awesome. Little One was also wonderful in her own. Like most children’s choir specials, chaos was the norm. The youngest boys were pushing each other, playing with their ties, wrapping the microphone cords around their ankles. All this going on around Little One and she kept her composure, she said her parts correctly and on time. Mom had instilled in her to be a “lady” and be aware of her dress and what she didn’t want to show the audience. I thought the lesson was comical before the show. However, after watching other little girls sit like male baseball players, lift their dress up to look (apparently at what their parents were pointing at) but missing the point that the parents were pointing to get them to sit correctly. I then understood the lesson my wife had planned in advance.

Sunday on the Geocaching front was interesting. Wading through a stream under an interstate in December was very interesting. Luckily, Georgia is having wonderful winter weather in the 70’s. I found the cache, signed the log book, traded an item and was back home just in time to enjoy Sunday lunch with my family. A good quick trip to satisfy that Gotta get it urge. The cache was a new one placed only the day before. I was the second to find. Someone got up early and beat me to it. Seems it gave a few others fits as well. One Geocacher lost his $400 Garmin along the way. (maybe he will buy another one and help push the stock higher!!) Another took his kids along and didn’t find. I really wish I was retired so I could do this stuff 24/7.

Article on Geocaching: Poconos

Poker night is Tuesday at the Ruby Tuesday’s in Newnan. Show up if you’re not too scared.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Birthday parties and traveling

Saturday was a very busy day for our family. Early morning moms choir practice followed by Little One’s choir practice. Then we jetted out to Anniston, Alabama for a birthday celebration. Then a return trip bogged down in I-85 Construction. Thankfully I live in the GPS age and we took the first exit and was quickly back on our way home at a good speed.

Saturday was also a good day geocaching. I was able to introduce 2 more people to the activity. Jason (Tater66) was the first –He’s our youth pastor. He and I went to pick up a few quick ones near the church while Little One was practicing. The second being my wife’s cousin David (Yell4Bama). While the family was socializing at the birthday part, I took him to a nearby park for some quick finds. I was sure to tout the greatness of Garmin.

I also got a few quick finds along the way to and from Anniston by using the Google Earth® function of routing. The first was outside a gas station along I-85 in Alabama. The second was at the Georgia rest area on the way home. Using the light function of the cellphone - was an easy find.
I hope everyone has a great weekend and see you along the trail.

Photo's of the past 48 hours.

Jason (Tater66) being introduced to Geocaching.
70 degree December weather will make anyone crazy.
Even Jason wearing that shirt!


Mary Thomas (Maggie)
Celebrating her 77th birthday with Family


Part of the exhibit at the Anniston Museum of Natural History



Sunset from the hilltop at Edgewood Congreational Methodist Church
Anniston, Alabama 12/16/2006



Friday, December 15, 2006

Stocks and passing time

The news is Garmin has planned a 2 for 1 stock split today. The share price has risen 14.5 % since I purchased the stock back in the first part of November. I was thinking about selling today if the price hit $57 dollars a share. I know I called this a long term stock hold a couple of weeks ago. My name is rakethetable. I was thinking of raking a $200 profit before Christmas on this one and then picking it back up after Christmas when all the hoopla dies down and the price retreats a little. With the stock spilt plan today, I think I will watch it and maybe pick up some more of it. Depends.

I am heading to Alabama Saturday. There is a family birthday party for my wife’s grandmother. First thing Saturday morning my wife has choir practice for their Christmas Cantata. I am running the sound board for that so I will have to be there also. After that, Little One has choir practice – she may have to miss hers since we have to be on the road to Alabama. I plan on hitting a few Geocaches while I am in Anniston. Maybe I can take an in-law or two with me. Give them a good taste of Geocaching and tell them they need to get into the activity. Then sell them on a Garmin unit. I always have an angle. Sell more Garmin units and retire early. Suggestion – Garmin, increase your dividends – you are a debt free company with about 18% of your value in cash. Come on guys – loosen up on the wallet.

Last Stock tip. MIC This is a pretty good looking stock. It is a trust company that invests in infrastructure type companies. This is not a glamour tip or a get rich quick idea. The company shows good steady growth over the years and pays a whopping 6.5% dividend at the current price. 6.5% baby! Currently, my wife is a fan of her savings account. It pays her .5%. I am a fan of dividends and especially of the ones that pay 6.5% baby!
Little one at Six Flags this past summer

Have fun – catch you guys later.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Meeting New Geocaching Friends

Saturday morning little one and I left home around 7:30AM. I first traveled to Fayetteville to drop little one off at Grumps and Grana’s house. Little one didn’t want to go Geocaching. So, she gave her sweet charm to Grumps and he said he would keep her. Mom was going to a meeting early at the church and then was headed to Fayetteville to pick her mom up for a full day of shopping. She said she would probably be finished around dinnertime. That gave me a full day of Geocaching.

After leaving Little One and giving her a goodbye kiss, I headed 40 miles north to the December breakfast meeting of GGA. (Georgia Geocachers Association). It was my first official event. My first unofficial event was a week earlier. The northside gang met at Golden Corral in Marietta. I am not sure of the final count but I would guess in the neighborhood of 75 people. All great folks.
While I was there, I was fortunately to meet some really nice people. The great thing was that some were fellow Southern Tech alum and students and their friends.


Aaron, Angela, Clare and Tyler were gracious enough to allow me to tag along and enjoy the whole day Geocaching with them. They were set to do just about the same run I had downloaded to my GPS. I didn’t know that – it just worked out that way. With Aaron driving and human GPS Tyler leading us, I was a learning machine. These guys are good. Clare with her electronic gadgetry, Scottish humor (and accent) was a treat to meet and be around. Clare, as I understood it, has only been in the states about 3 months. She picked a great set of people to befriend. Bamadaisy rode shotgun and was the resident navigator. She kept us in sidesplitting stitches all day.



We had a few other cachers with us at start up but they didn’t last long. I think the two that dropped out early had visited most of the caches that were on the list for the day. Being I was 40 miles from home, none were on my already done list. They were on my TO DO list. Thanks guys for letting me be your special guest – I truly enjoyed your company, your jokes, your knowledge of the game and you Aaron for driving. They definately taught me a few more hiding places. I will have to backtrack and look for those that have stumpped me in the past.


Bamadaisy and Clare using a stealthy sit-n-search method.
No luck - this is the only DNF of the day!


I believe the final total of caches found including the event itself was 32. The gang had a good laugh at my expense. Seems they doubled my total finds in one day. When I started out Saturday I had a total of 25 finds to my credit. Now, I think I am sitting at 59. Now that’s Geocaching! I was tired. Being that the gang was slightly younger than me, I was the old man of the group and at the end of the day I was really feeling like an old man.

I mentioned before about the human GPS. Tyler who lives in the Marietta area had already found probably 25 of the caches we done. Sorry dude – thanks for taking one for the group. Maybe someday I can be the driver and invite the motley crew to the Southside for a run on this side of town.
Well, it’s late Sunday night and time for bed. Work calls mighty early in the morning.

Photo Drop

The Sunday School Christmas Party at out house.
This is Little One playing dress up.

This is Emily and Christa doing ....well I am not sure what they are doing


This is Little One, Brianna, and Britton in the play room.






Saturday, December 09, 2006

Promises

Okay - I have been busy. no post lately.

I will publish a longer post soon. I am headed out this Saturday
morning to a Geocaching Event. When we get together and eat,
I have to be there :-). See you in Marietta today.

Then a full day of Geocaching and maybe some shopping.

I primise. Pictures even. I have some of little one I want to share.


Bye!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Saturday = Peaceful

Saturday started out good with meet & greet and eat time at Golden Corral for Geocachers. It was my first Geocaching event to attend. I placed a good many faces with the names I see on the forums and caches. Little One really enjoyed playing and laughing with the kids of Atlanta Beach Bums – thanks. I didn’t win the raffle – Oh well. Maybe next time.

Afterwards we headed back towards Newnan so Little One and mom could have a movie date with a friend Little One hasn’t seen in a while. They went to see happy feet. I thought there might be a movie for me to see. I was wrong. I ended up taking a good nap in the van. After eating all that food, I needed a nap.


A good and peaceful day. I definitely needed one of those.