Monday, June 28, 2010

Wal-Mart in California

Out in California Wal-Marts are somewhat less frequent then you find down south. Folsom, for example, a town bigger than Jonesboro, only contains 1 somewhat wimpy and run-down Wal-Mart. Don't take my word for it... here's a "Yelp" review from a chick in Houston who was unimpressed with our Wal-Mart.

Jonesboro, by comparison, contains two Super Wal-Marts.

We'll start to catch up soon. Our city council just approved a plan allowing our existing Wal-Mart to expand and become "Super" while also improving its facade. Here's what the final product is supposed to look like.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Latest Investment Strategy: Mortgages

No - I'm not talking about buying up a bunch of mortages or investing in some real-estate get rich quick scheme. I'm not even talking about buying a 2nd house so you can have two mortgages. I'm talking about taking your current home mortgage and throwing money at the principle to help pay it off as soon as possible.

Crazy talk? Seemingly not.

It seems the financial debacles of the last year and a half have led a number of folks to this exact strategy. There's certainly been some action in this space among our family. We aren't alone though, several folks at work have also been "throwing" any extra dollars towards their mortgages as well.

There seem to be several things driving this behavior. 1. Fewer investment options in a world of lower risk tolerance. 2. Adjustable mortgages coming due 3. A broader desire to reduce debt. In the housing boom over the past 10 years many folks didn't seem to view their mortgages as debt but rather their primary investment/retirement vehicle.

Will this behavior continue?

1977 Schwinn Sting-Ray 20' Scrambler

New rear wheel, coaster brake and chain, Mongoose tires and tubes. Ready to ride.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Target's Exclusive Ben & Jerry's Flavors

For more than a month, Target has been promoting the coming arrival of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream flavors exclusive to Target stores. A few days ago, they finally arrived. The flavors are "Brownie Chew Gooder" which has vanilla caramel ice cream with brownie chunks and a caramel swirl. This is the best of the two new flavors in our opinion. The brownie pieces are very chewy. If you're the kind of person who likes the brownie in the corner of the brownie pan, you'll really like this ice cream.

The second exclusive flavor is called "Berry Voluntary". It has raspberry cheesecake ice cream with a raspberry swirl and white chocolatey chunks. You read that right, white "chocolatey" chunks, not white chocolate chunks. My best guess from looking at the ingredient list is that said chunks are made from coconut oil.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Not Exactly Wimbledon...

I've had a good year in my local tennis league. With three matches left in the regular season, it appears my next match will be the one that decides who will be division champ. I'm in second place with one loss, and will play Maclean who's undefeated in first place. Of note is the fact that Maclean has not played the guy who I lost to. Maclean has the better record, but my numbers (particularly the number of games lost) are slightly better. He has won and lost more games because he has had a lot more tight three set matches. I'll post the results after we play the match sometime in the next week or two.

Tangeman's numbers:
Matches won: 9 Matches lost: 1 Win percentage: 90.0% Sets won: 17 Sets lost: 3 Win percentage: 85.0%
Games won: 109 Games lost: 59 Win percentage: 64.9%

Maclean's numbers:
Matches won: 9 Matches lost: 0 Win percentage: 100.0% Sets won: 18 Sets lost: 4 Win percentage: 81.8%
Games won: 126 Games lost: 87 Win percentage: 59.2%

Happy Father's Day! The Ritual of Mowing

One tradition that is regularly passed from father to son is mowing the yard. I'm getting a jumpstart on this one with Jack.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yuki's Stray Snaps

Many of our readers aren't avid Facebookers or readers of other blogs. Here are a few stray Yuki snaps to get you caught up.

Yuki gets bored at the garage sale (above) and enjoys a trip home from Arkansas (below)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jack's Stats

Jack had a brief trip to the Dr. last week. Turns out he wasn't sick it all. We did managed to capture his height and weight.

At 2 years and 10 months Jack weighted 30 pounds and was 37" tall.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jack Completes first "fun run" as Summer begins!

It was a long and grueling race. At the 1/8th mile turn-around point the wall emerged and Jack needed to walk for a bit.

He quickly recovered and managed to run across the finish line to collect his medal.

I was able to complete my first 5K in years in just under 30 minutes.

The heat is finally here after a cool spring and we went swimming in the pool for the first time yesterday. 70 degrees is the magic number we look for before jumping in.

Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gulf Oil Leak Tracker

Will be a great day when the oil leak tracker is no longer necessary....heck - 50 years later maybe even the Gulf of Mexico will recover.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The New Big 12???

Stronger and stronger signals point to Nebraska joining the Big 10 and become its 12th member within a few days. This could mean the end of the real Big 12. Here's the ESPN article from today:

The Big Ten is poised to expand to 12 teams, as Nebraska will apply for admission to the conference in the next few days, sources tell

A source with knowledge of the Big Ten's plans tells me Nebraska should be a new member of the league by the end of the weekend. The formal application process likely has started or soon will begin, the source said, and Nebraska then would need at least eight votes from the Big Ten's Council of Presidents/Chancellors to gain admittance. Getting the votes should be more or less a formality.

I'm also told that right now, no other candidates are imminent to join the Big Ten. That means Missouri is far from a lock. Notre Dame? The Big Ten is prepared to move forward without the Irish for now.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Sunday that expansion could happen in phases. Nebraska is certainly Phase 1, but others could follow in the coming weeks and months.

We'll have much more on Nebraska in the next few days, as a formal announcement should be coming soon. I think Nebraska would be a very strong addition to the league, which will be able to split into divisions and have a championship game.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Motorbike Up For Sale

I finally got my 2002 Honda up for sale on Craigslist. We'll see if I get any nibbles. Compared to similar bikes, mine seems quite reasonably priced. I went off the Kelly Blue Book value and priced at $3500. You can click on the image below to see the ad.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Ranger Carded!

A few weeks when I logged into my credit card company's website I noticed the option of creating your own card. I figured why not upload one of my favorite pictures and see how it turned out.

It arrived and is pretty cool. If you are so inclined you can have them create a new picture card for you every month!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Something Funny About Walmart Price Rollback

Walmart usually has the lowest prices on groceries, and their "rollback" promotion where they cut prices a few cents to save you even more money must be successful since they've kept it around for so long. It would appear, however, that Wally World is no longer content with just rolling back prices a few pennies. I noticed this very dramatic price rollback on Coke products in the store today. Yes, five dollars is much better than fourteen dollars for a 24-pack of Coke. Problem is, I can't remember ever having seen multipacks of soft drinks priced at nearly sixty cents per can. Seems like someone's fudging the numbers here.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Another Football Season Coming Up: Auburn Tigers Looking at Bieber???!

As another college football season begins to approach bloggers and fans (aside from Auburn fans) have taken advantage of an Auburn fan survey. Auburn is looking to develop a tradition like many other teams (most notably perhaps - Nebraska) of having an entrance song that the players run out to. Nebraska's is Sirius by the Alan Parson's Project.

Auburn took their song selection to the people asking for fans to select one of eight or provide a write-in. Fans around the country joined forces to write-in "Baby" by Justin Bieber. Responses were so high that Auburn had to remove the write-in option on their website. Here are the remaining choices.

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