Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fur Rondy Update

After two days and 50 miles of racing, Blayne Streeper has a 33 second lead over second place, Arleigh Reynolds.  Jason Dunlap is holding down the number 3 slot.  Looks like an exciting finale later today.  I'm hoping to be able to tune in on some of the action as it will be streamed live.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Strong Field For Anchorage Fur Rendezvous

Three exciting days of sleddog races begin today in the Fur Rondy Open World Championships.  And this year we have an exceptional line up, including the usual suspects of Buddy Streeper, Egil Ellis, Bill Kornmuller and Arleigh Reynolds.  But those four are not the only powerful teams in the race.  The entry is exciting from top to bottom.  This year's rookie class includes 4 time Iditarod (and past Quest champ) winner, Jeff King.  I love it when mushers cross disciplines like this.  It is quite exciting from a fan perspective.

I am a huge fan of all the drivers mentioned, but I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout to my sentimental favorite, JP Norris and his Alaskan Anadyr Siberians.  I love all sleddogs, but Siberians still own my heart. 

I have no idea who will win.  I know that Egil Ellis has had a pretty good start this season and that Bud Streeper is fresh off a huge win at the International Stage Stop.  I know that Kornmuller and Doc Reynolds can never be overlooked and that there are a few mushers just behind who will take advantage of any misstep made by the favorites.

You can follow the race via Sleddog Central.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Still Think Student Loans Are A Good Idea?

Then check this out.................

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Something You Thought You'd Never Hear From Me... A Compliment For Obama

As a Christian, Conservative with Libertarian leanings, I have strong opinions about big government and leftist policies.  I have offered my share of criticisms of our current President.  But I also wrote a post commending his very public high regard for his wife and daughters. 

Today, I'm going to compliment him again.  I read that the President is backing the building of a nuclear power plant in Maryland and that he is supportive of continued research and development of nuclear energy.  I am so pleased to read that.  I have been critical of cap and trade, and will continue to be.  That is a competitive and economic losing hand.  But I'm all for advancing our nuclear powered energy options.  I'm also for 'drill here, drill now', shale oil, developing ANWR, wind energy, hydro electric, solar energy and even a bicycle built for two.

So, Mr. President (I'm sure he reads this blog ), I tip my hat (with my right hand, of course) to you on this one.  Thank you, sir. Now, all you have do do is change all your other policies...........:-)  If you need any advice, I'm here to help.

Congratulations, Hans Gatt, 2010 Yukon Quest Winner!

What a fun race.  What a great finish, with two of the Quest's legendary competitors dueling it out to the very last day.  From the Dawson City halfway point, Hans Gatt and Lance Mackey, along with Hugh Neff, had taken and given the best each other could throw.  But on the home stretch, Hans pulled away and arrived in Whitehorse 57 minutes ahead of Lance and roughly 2.5 hours ahead of third place Hugh. Thanks, gentlemen, for a week and a half of great fun and exciting racing.

Here's the kicker, sports fans, all three top finishers as scheduled to line up in Anchorage the first Saturday in March for the other 1000 miler, the famed Iditarod.  Several other Quest participants will also enter the Iditarod. The are truly the iron men (and dogs!) of the mushing circuit.

Next up for this race fan is the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous, Feb 26-28.  The "Rondy" is a three day Speed and Stamina event that will highlight some of the fastest and fittest canine athletes in the world.  I would love to be there in person, but at least I will get to listen to some of it on the radio, thanks to the World Wide Web.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yukon Quest Update - We've Got a Race on Our Hands

At the Carmacks checkpoint, with only the Braeburn checkpoint left before Whitehorse and the finish line, a mere 5 minutes separates the first three places held by, Lance Mackey, Hugh Neff and Hans Gatt.  These are three gutsy, savvy mushers and anything is still possible.  This race is a fan's dream come true.  I'm pulling for all three of them. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Grocery Bills

B and I made a tough decision this week that will significantly increase our grocery bill.  We have decided that we will only buy meat, poultry, eggs and milk that have been raised on pasture rather than in a feed lot or on a corn based diet.  The reasons are partly nutritional and partly moral.  Financially, it means eating less meat and paying higher prices.  But this is a case where doing the right thing trumps doing the less expensive thing.

I must admit, it was a difficult decision.  It probably shouldn't have been, but it was.  And if we were still in debt, we may have had an even tougher time.  Fortunately, being debt free allows us to think and see more clearly.  We are happy with our decision.  We have been discussing it for a while at "Our Edible Suburb", if you feel like hearing more.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yukon Quest Reaches Halfway Point

The mighty Quest is half over now and the real racing begins.  At the Dawson City checkpoint, Hans Gatt holds a slightly less than three hour lead over second place Lance Mackey and a three hour lead over Hugh Neff.  Folks, these are three mushers who can just plain get it done.  I'm really getting excited now.  Follow the race at

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Introducing........The eKit

(Caution: Unabashed Commercial Ahead)

The simplest money management plan on earth just got easier to acquire, too!  Today, we are launching our, e-kit at only $4.95.  This represents the best value anywhere for a world class money management program.  We cut out the frills and all 'physical' product for this offer.  The eKit includes one copy of the eBook version of IOU NO MORE and a reproducible .pdf of the Transaction Register, Debt Assessment, Basic Spending Plan and the Cruise Control Spending Plan. 

The IOU NO MORE eKit is your Declaration of Financial Independence.  Join the revolution today.

Only available at our online store.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Grocery Store: Is Bargain Hunting Killing Us?

Most of us scour flyers and the internet looking for bargains at the grocery store.  We know that Food is a basic necessity, and we want to feed ourselves and our families in as healthy and as inexpensive ways as possible.  We clip coupons, we rush from store to store in search of the best deals.  Grocery shopping becomes a road trip where we visit multiple shops to complete our lists with the least possible damage to our bank accounts.  I've done as much of that as anybody.  But is there a hidden cost to our bargain hunting?  Why is 'organic' and 'local' so much more expensive than 'non organic'?  Are eggs just eggs?  Why is one chicken $.79 a pound while another is more like $2 or more a pound?  C'mon, it's a chicken, right?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Last year, I read "The Omnivore's Dilemma", "Fast Food Nation", and "The Vegetarian Myth", which all opened my eyes to different problems and issues related to our food chain and food consumption.  Some issues are nutritional, some are political, some are moral.  I recommend them to you, with the warning that they are not easy to read or digest (pun intended).  I did not agree with some of the world views or conclusions I read, but I do agree with the well researched facts and issues.

Over the weekend, Brittan and I watched "Food, Inc."  which is kind of a synopsis of the issues identified in the above mentioned books.  A kind of 'fast food' version, if you prefer.  There is a more detailed look at the movie at Our Edible Suburb.  Click on the link and have a look. 

Food is so important.  Wise stewardship of our finances, our health and our world is also important.  Balance is not easy.  You and I will have to draw our individual conclusions.  But it's a critical matter, so handle with prayer.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yukon Quest Begins Today.......Yahoo!

Mushing is a part of me.  I don't/can't participate these days, but training and running sleddogs is never far from my thoughts.  I suppose some people get over hobbies and interests, but this is one I will never shake.  But then again, I don't try.  I love the sport.  And we are in the heart of racing season.  There are a few dryland fun events in the late fall.  The early season races get going in December in those regions with enough snow.  Things heat up in January.  But February and March is where the real muscle is.  Apologies to the very good races that run in January and April, but my favorites, The Yukon Quest, Anchorage Fur Rendezvous, Laconia World Championships, CanAm Crown, Iditarod and Open North American all fall in the Feb/March Window.

Don't get me wrong, there's no such thing as a 'bad' race in my book.  I remember some pretty sloshy, muddy messes back in Scotland and England, but I loved every single one.  Those listed are simply my favorites.

And today, the Yukon Quest begins.  24 teams are slated to leave Fairbanks, AK today with Whitehorse, Yukon Territory as their ultimate destination.  1000 miles of mountains to climb, frozen rivers to navigate and innumerable adventures along the way.  The Quest is a true test of fitness, strategy, stamina, speed and pure pig headedness.  It is not a race I was ever even slightly tempted to consider.  Those people are nuts!  And I love every one of them.

Several good books have been written about the Yukon Quest.  Two of my favorites are "Honest Dogs", by Brian Patrick O'donahue, and "Running North", by Ann Mariah Cook.

You can follow the Quest on the race's official website.  Let the games begin!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

And Also Available In A Handy Kindle Version

I'm so psyched.  I just got the notice that IOU NO MORE is now available for Amazon Kindle users.  So there are three formats to choose from: paperback, Kindle and e-book.  I love this country!


We are making the e-book version of IOU NO MORE available for $1.95.  I'm tired of messing around.  I want this revolution to spread.  Please order a copy and tell your friends to get one, too.  You can order from our store.  Any of the links in this update will take you to the store.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Dark Side of Capitalism

Don't misunderstand the headline.  I'm a free enterprise kind of guy.  I am, as I keep saying, a Christian, conservative, libertarian, capitalist.  It is the first trait that holds the last two in balance.

Socialism and what I call, 'unfettered' Capitalism, have this in common; they are overseen by bullies.  With Socialism, the bully is Big Government.  The Govt wields its might, taking what it wants, from whomever it wishes without remorse, doling it out in measure to those it deigns worthy, while taking the lion's share to feed it's own ever growing appetite ("feed me, Seymour, feed me").

Capitalism, without moral grounding, has corporate greed as it's taskmaster.  Giant corporations and their tycoons forcing their will upon others, without concern for anything other than profit alone.  A moment arrives when the drive for profit exceeds interest in either customer or employee.  "Humanity be damned! Feed me, Seymour, feed me."

For those of us more conservatively inclined, we find it easy to point out the sins of Socialism.  We shout "Danger" from every rooftop, pulpit and soap box we can find.  I have little problem with that.  Socialism, if allowed to bloom, will poison our future.

But the liberal is not without argument when decrying Big Business.  A case in point is right out of today's headlines:  Rupert Murdoch and his ilk have targeted Amazon's pricing of Kindle Books because it is undermining their profits. They are demanding a new pricing model.  Never mind that somehow the Kindle has people reading again.  Never mind that real books may benefit from 'trickle down economics'.  Yeesh.

I meet people almost every day, who say, "I love my Kindle. I've read more books since I got mine that I've read since I got out of school."  And they do it because, a. the Kindle is cool.  Never underestimate the wow factor of a product.  And because the books are priced at the consumer's sweet spot.

Mr. Murdoch is not a fool.  He didn't become a corporate giant by idiocy.  But if they push this too far, and trust me, it won't be hard to do, and people will quit buying and reading again.  Society will be better off for that, how?  He won't care.  He will have crushed the competition and regained market share.

I love my Kindle.  I have always been a reader.  But I read even more because the book pricing of Kindle books makes that possible.  In fact, I have even bought several traditional ink and paper books lately, that weren't available on Kindle, but something I read in a Kindle formatted book inspired me to get it. Take the current Kindle pricing model away and I will go back to buying fewer books.  The big winner...... my local public library, where books are FREE. Rupert Murdoch doesn't care.