Logos Bible Software is celebrating the launch of their new online Bible by giving away 72 ultra-premium print Bibles at a rate of 12 per month for six months. The Bible giveaway is being held at Bible.Logos.com and you can get up to five different entries each month! After you enter, be sure to check out Logos and see how it can revolutionize your Bible study.
I know I will probably offend some folks with my comments, but here goes.
First let me say that I have been successful several times over the past 25
years winning grants from Federal, State and even commercial sources (yes,
some corporations have grants to support local public service).
What I have never been able to understand is why a fire company exists in an
area unwilling to provide more than $10,000 a year in annual funding. If the
people in that area are unwilling to protect their own property, they will
end up paying one way or the other, either by higher insurance costs, or
lost property and lives.
To me this is like people who spend all they make while working, never
setting aside anything for retirement, and then expect the rest of us to
take care of them.
Why should I in my state have federal tax money extracted from me, when I
buy insurance and pay high local taxes to support fire services, in order to
support some community far away unwilling to take care of themselves? Don’t
reply to me about helping my neighbor. My paycheck reflects the fact that I
am helping plenty of my neighbors already.
I invited two neighboring counties twice in the past five years to join us
in grant applications that required 25% matching funds. Both declined. I
believe the primary reason they declined was not due to lack of need, but
rather due to timid people who are intimidated by amounts of money multiples
of their annual personal income. They are literally afraid to go to their
governing officials and request what they are sure will be considered an
outrageous amount of money. We proceeded without them and easily obtained
millions of dollars, which has been very successfully applied to our own
The recent forced sale of Bear Stearns to J. P. Morgan, while spooking the markets initially, seems to have been the pressure valve that was needed. Market tensions had wound tightly wondering how the crisis would eventually pop the cork. This brutal, controlled uncorking seems to have eased pressures. The Fed’s Uncle Ben has shown that he is able and willing to use tools that folks had forgotten were in the Fed’s shop. The Treasury Sec visited foreign money troughs and invited them to invest in our weak financial institutions albeit with some gentleman’s agreements not to accidentally take over our country’s mismanaged financial houses.
So, looks like the sky is not going to fall after all. But, there will be dark clouds for at least months to come.
A look at the 6 month chart and you could easily convince yourself you see the beginnings of an upturn. But a glance back at November reminds us how easily the markets can bluff us.
I will remain in the S&P 500 tracking fund.
In my personal trading:
An option on Apple bought 3/12/08 is currently at a 20.6% gain.
An option on ValueClick (VCLK) expired worthless Thursday.
I am still eagerly learning to trade the Foreign Exchange markets. This month I have focused on the Euro/US Dollar (EUR/USD) pair. I have been able to increase the balance in the FX account by about 5% so far this month. This is a fascinating trade. If I buy the Euro when it is at 1.5440 to the dollar, and it rises to 1.5540, that is an increase of .0100, or 100 “pips”. The 1 lot trades I am doing yield a $1.00 gain or loss for each 1 pip move. A 30 pip move can happen in minutes or hours and generate a $30 gain or loss. To me, the secret of this trade, like most things traded is to limit the downside and take all the upside move you can capture. My current strategy is to limit the downside to 20 pips, and try to get 30 – 100 pips on the upside moves. (I also work this in reverse on the downside, selling high, and buying back low.) Generally, many of the financial actions taken in the U.S. have led to continuing weakening of the dollar. As the dollar falls, the Euro increases in comparison and I am able to profit from this spread.
This week I added positions on the British Pound/Japanese Yen (GBP/JPY), and the Australian $/ US$ (AUD/USD).
The focus on FX this month has distracted me from my trading of the Dow Futures contracts. My gains on that contract this month have only amounted to $25.00. However, after hearing sad stories from others who attempted to trade futures and lost large sums before giving up, I am happy to have gained the experience at no cost. I will be actively trading the futures again.
I noticed at the local gas station this morning that diesel fuel is $3.99/ gal. That will be reflected in the cost of everything we buy when we go shopping. The dollar rallied some this week, and oil and gold pulled back in response. But, since we are probably looking at a new administration not favorable toward big oil or domestic exploration, I suspect we will be looking at much higher oil prices next year.
In this morning’s paper is an article about a distant star blowing up, as all stars, including our Sun, are destined to do. NASA says it was so bright you could have seen it with the naked eye, had you been looking at the time. What is amazing to me about the story is that this star was 7.5 billion light years away. This means that the flash of its death, seen here this week, began its travel (at 186,000 miles per second!) toward us 7.5 billion years ago! One day, our Sun will do the same, and all trace of us here will be eliminated. Just as the Bible suggests, the earth will be destroyed by fire. Keep these distances and vast time periods, and destinies in mind when you start thinking about how significant we actually are in all of creation. While we fight over “critical issues”, the rest of the universe doesn’t even notice we exist.
Keep things in perspective. Have a good week.
I have just finished reading The Gospel According to the Son, by Norman Mailer. I was drawn to the novel after seeing recently deceased Mailer interviewed on a Charlie Rose TV program repeat.
Mailer, a Jew, wrote the 256 page book from the perspective of Jesus of Nazareth. While a work of fiction, based on the familiar Gospels, it provides an interesting study on the life and times of Jesus.
The treatment of Jesus’ confrontation with the Temple leadership and Roman authority is insightful. The book gives one an interesting perspective on Jesus’ relationships with such people as the Samaritan woman at the well, and the disappointing of Judas and Peter in their betrayal and denials.
If you read it, just keep in mind that this is but one man’s interpretation of the Gospels, not the Gospels themselves. The manner in which the book deals with Jesus knowing his Father’s will, may not be in keeping with the way, if any, you have considered this before. But, nothing in the book caused me any particular conflict, although occasionally I did have to remind myself it is a novel.
Jesus’ miracles before his crucifixion, and his appearances after his resurrection are dealt with in a way that for me, presented them powerfully.
If you find reading the King James version of the Gospels often leaves you wondering what was said, you will find reading this book very easy, yet with a use of language that conveys a sense of reverence and antiquity.
Obviously, this book is controversial. You can read comments made about it here:
Early June I went to a local Lenscrafters to get sunglasses. They had to order them. A month later, no glasses. I went in and got a refund. They said the lab had sent the wrong lenses three times.
In July I went to the Eyeware Center in a local Target store. I asked if they were affiliated with Lenscrafters and the person told me they were owned by the same company that owns Lenscrafters. I told him about my experience and he assured me they would take care of me. Two weeks later, and I called today since I had not heard from them. No glasses. I went by the store to get my refund and the nice person told me about how their computer system had never gotten my order to the lab because the model number for the frames was not in the computer system correctly.
All these stores and many other brands in the U.S.A. are now part of the Luxottica Group. Apparently their drive to consolidate the business for increased profits has been done without attention to the back office parts of the business.
I am now going to find a vendor who is NOT affiliated with this group. So, if you are in the market for glasses, be warned.
Maybe I should be shorting their stock!
A couple of months ago I built a new PC and set it up running Linux. This was prompted by my desire to familiarize myself with that OS due to its similarity to Unix, an OS used on many new servers we recently upgraded to on the Public Safety radio system I manage at work.
After some period of gaining enough familiarity to be able to do the basic things, I am becoming increasingly impressed.
This weekend I installed Wine, a package that says it is not an emulator, but allows applications created for a Windows PC to operate in a Linux environment.
I am running a Linux distribution known as Mandriva 2006. Running Wine on this, I was able to install Amibroker, my favorite stock charting software on the Linux PC.
Linux is open source and has a reputation for being very stable.
I finally decided to get rid of my local phone service from Sprint along with my AT&T long distance service.
First I checked out Lingo. I actually subscribed and had it installed. Then they told me they could not port my old phone number. They included Europe in their included calling arae, so I hated to not use them, but my wife wanted to keep our old number so we returned the Lingo equipment and they issued a refund. They were very friendly and professional to deal with.
Then I checked on Vonage. They were able to immediately determine they could not port my number, so I did not have to sign up.
Then I looked at AT&T CallVantage. They took a couple of days to determine if they could port my number, determined they could, and then shipped their Telephone Adapter (TA). The installation was easy, and the number ported over on exactly the day they said it would. We like the service and are getting used to having to dial the area code on local calls. The audio is very good and the voicemail to email feature is great.
My overall monthly costs for telephone should drop from about $75.00 to $29.95.
I was shocked and ashamed to see an article in this morning’s newspaper about an outrageous situation at my Alma Matter:
N.C. Wesleyan 9/11 class fuels debate
Conservatives, liberals at odds
By EMERY P. DALESIO, The Associated Press
The classroom where N.C. Wesleyan College’s only political science professor is teaching a course titled “9/11: The Road to Tyranny” has become the latest battlefront in the campus culture wars.
The full story is here:
I’m not defending, just explaining.
An American cop has the worst job in the world. If crime goes up the
politicians go after them. If they try to fight crime, the politicians go
after them. They are asked to do more with less. They are as likely to end
up in jail as the crooks they are trying to catch, for doing their job.
There are many lawyers who see cops as providinng a steady stream of law
suit revenue. Liberal courts hate them and the folks who need their
protection the most turn against them.
I am amazed we get as many as we do to take the jobs. All the above insures
we will not be getting the best we could.
The Chief of the U.S. Park Police (our city’s former chief) was fired
for complaining about budget cuts.
Here is a great site when you are stuck writing and need to know how to make something plural, or what word to use.
Here is my favorite place for downloading software. Download.com – Free downloads, shareware, and more.
My most popular yahoo group is radios4sale. Begun on my home computer with a small number of friends as subscribers over seven years ago, today there is over 1500 members.. Yahoo! Groups : radios4sale
Beware of priceline.com
We have friends from Italy visiting. We helped them make hotel reservations in Florida, not realizing at the time that a hurricane would be arriving when they were there.
We attempted to get a cancellation and refund from Priceline.com for one night they were to spend in Daytona Beach. Priceline refuses to cancel and refund even though the government has asked that people not enter the area. In fact they are evacuating.
Another reservation was made on cheaptickets.com and they immediately agreed to cancel and refund.
So, beware of Priceline, even their “insurance” will not cover such an event.
My home is in Wake Forest, NC, a beautiful small town north of Raleigh. We escaped Isabel with no damage to our home. However, we did lose an old giant Oak tree in our front yard.
Over on the right I have some links. Check out my personal web page. Also, there is a link to my labor of love, my Two Way Radio Directory. I also moderate several popular Yahoo Groups., take a look.