Earlier this month I went on a four day cruise from Long Beach to Catalina and Ensenada. It was a great trip. I’ve posted a selection of pictures from the vacation. Enjoy.
Here are some photos of the places I’ve visited in the latter part of 2013 and early 2014. Enjoy!
I know I haven’t posted lately…Here’s an off topic post. I recently went on a 2 day backpacking trip from Tuolumne Meadows to Glen Aluin to Waterwheel Falls within Yosemite. I’ve posted some of the pictures on my Flickr account.
Today I went and did some hiking around the May Lake area. May Lake is located within Yosemite National Park…few miles off of Highway 120 right before you reach Tenaya Lake. I’m linking to a sampling of the pictures I took. Enjoy.
The story was originally posted on MSN Money.
The 1946 film classic “It’s A Wonderful Life” is so heartwarming you could almost forget it’s about banking. Central to the story, though, is the Bailey Building and Loan Association. So with remakes being so popular in Hollywood, and with banks being so much in the news this year, it begs the question: Could this film be adapted for today’s banking environment?
Here are a few tweaks to the original story line that could make it work.
- In the original, George Bailey reluctantly forgoes college so he can step into his newly deceased father’s shoes running the Bailey Building & Loan. He makes this sacrifice in part because he wants to carry on his father’s legacy of making loans to the working poor.
- In the remake, you’d have to acknowledge that someone without a college education these days would have trouble getting a job managing a Wendy’s, let alone a bank. So push George’s age up a few years and give him an MBA. However, still a man of the people, he refuses to accept a penny more than $1 million a year in compensation.
- In the original, the antagonist is the evil Henry Potter, a slumlord and chief shareholder in the bank who wants to change its community-friendly policies.
- In the remake, Potter calls himself a real-estate developer rather than a slumlord. Bitter townspeople, however, refer to him as a “one percenter.”
- In the original, George Bailey creates Bailey Park, an affordable housing development intended to give people an alternative to Potter’s overpriced rents.
- In the remake, Potter has spent years selling balloon mortgages to ignorant townspeople, who were willing to sign anything in hopes of flipping their houses for a tidy profit a few years later. When this goes awry, Bailey is the only banker willing to refinance those mortgages at today’s lower interest rates.
The run on the bank:
- In the original, a key plot development is the run on the bank, which creates an immediate need for cash.
- In the remake, thanks to FDIC insurance, a run on the bank is less likely. However, because the Glass-Steagall Act has been repealed since the original was made, banks now have much more exotic ways of getting into trouble. Today, the emergency could be a margin call on the bank’s investment in distressed Greek debt.
- In the original, they never spelled out exactly what was wrong with Uncle Billy. The point is that he’s forgetful, though in George Bailey’s dark vision of what the town would be like if he weren’t around, Uncle Billy ends up in a mental institution. Of course, the real question is what’s wrong with George Bailey: Why would he entrust the $8,000 in cash that’s essential to the bank’s survival to Uncle Billy anyway?
- In the remake, you wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity for some further character development. Uncle Billy could be a rogue trader with a substance abuse problem.
The townspeople gathering:
- In the original, the townspeople gather at George Bailey’s house in the moment of crisis to show support and sing holiday carols.
- In the remake, the Occupy Bedford Falls movement descends on the Bailey family.
- In the original, the bank is saved by contributions from ordinary townspeople.
- In the remake, it’s pretty much the same thing: government bailout, funded by taxpayers.
The closing line:
- In the original, little Zuzu Bailey hears a bell on the Christmas tree ring, and exclaims that it means an angel has just gotten its wings.
- In the remake, Zuzu’s iPhone rings. It’s alerting her to a tweet from Clarence about his new wings, because now there’s an app for that.
You see, with just a few small twists, the story still works. After all, this may be a much less innocent time than 1946, but it’s still a wonderful life.
With tighter inventories and fewer late-season sales expected this year, many shoppers aren’t waiting for new deals to come around, say experts. Indeed, more people started their shopping earlier this year to snap up sales: By late October, the National Retail Federation estimates that nearly 40% of shoppers will have already started their shopping. That’s 2 percentage points more than last year’s rate, a figure the industry group says has barely budged in years…READ MORE.
How many parties do you think this song is played at?
My favorite line of the song is, “If you’re living high on that cheap credit hog, don’t look for a cure from the hair of the dog.” What’s your favorite lyric?
I feel that we can turn this economy around with our own blood, sweat and tears.
Start in your own community. Support local businesses. Go to the Farmer’s Market downtown and support your local farmers and ranchers. Go to the grocery store and buy local foods from your county or state. Support your neighbors by choosing local businesses to shop at.
If your a small business owner, hire somebody that is going to help grow with you and your company. Hire locally and train people that are going to benefit your company and your community.And give a little or give a lot. But give something of yourself for your hometown or community. Because when it comes to this “economy thing” going on right now, that is the easiest place to start making huge strides in improving the social and economic slump that we are in right now.
I feel that in the long term of The United States of America, when we look back, at this financial mess, most historians are going to say, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad” and “It corrected it self out.” Right now, it is simply a small dip on the roller coaster ride of America. And guess what? We will all ride it out.
I believe in the future of The United States of America. I believe in a land where democracy is one of the greatest attributes to our country. I believe in capitalism and entrepreneurship, the foundation of this land was built upon these ideas. I believe in working hard for your money.
I believe that anybody can live the American dream and start out with nothing and become successful in which ever endeavor they choose to pursue. I believe that the freedom that we as Americans have is one of our greatest opportunities that one can have in this world.
I believe in The United States of America… I feel like a lot more people should too.
While talking with my friend, The Market Capitalist, the other day, I had an epiphany. I finally “got” the stock market. I understood what it is all about. In my opinion, investing in the stock market is an opportunity. But, it is an opportunity that does come with risk.
That word “risk” can scare a lot of people off. It can make them turn around and head for the hills. But that word needs to be put into context.
As a person, we “risk” everyday. We drive 65 mph down the freeway to get to work in a vehicle that can be dangerous, if you are not careful. If you plan ahead, make good decisions, pay attention to your surroundings and use your signals; Your daily drive to work will be smooth sailing. I feel that the mentality is that people need to shed the fear of “risk” to become successful in the stock market and investing as well.
The bottom line is that the reality of investing in stock market is you are not going to get rich over night. You are not at the casino “gambling.” There is the possibility of winning that huge jackpot worth millions of dollars at the casino, but chances are you are going to lose more or break even with the money you took with you to Las Vegas or Reno.
The same applies to the stock market. You can get rick quick. It does happen. It happens everyday. But the statistics show whether it be gambling or risk-taking you the chances are not in your favor to win that big jackpot or get rich quick by investing a lot of money into one stock.
“Risk”, Gambling,” and “Fear” are all words that can have negative connotations.
While trying to understand the stock market, I choose to use words like an “Opportunity Cost,” “Ownership,” and “Worth.”
People need to radically change how they think about spending their money. We need to take away the “fear” of investing in the stock market. People need to become more educated with the tactics and solutions to becoming successful in the stock market.
Just some thoughts. You will be hearing much more from me later.