Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012

Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012
Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas at Luche Libre Taco Shop in San Diego, March 2012

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Heart, Cheap Trick & Joan Jett At Red Rocks

Great show at Red Rocks Tuesday night. Three acts I've seen before, three acts that are worth seeing over and over again. 

There was a mother of a rain/lightning delay to contend with that started almost immediately after Cheap Trick's opening set, but we rode it out and it was well worth it - Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Heart both put on great shows.

                     This is the third line-up incarnation of Cheap Trick I've seen in 5 decades (!)

                  The nearly one hour rain (and lightning) delay soaked everybody to the bone.

                  The Wilson Sisters are both in their '60's...and can still rock with the best of 'em

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Maybe A Little Less Zen & A Bit More Motorcycle Maintenance

It's easy to take for granted the things we depend on in our everyday lives. We expect everything from our refrigerators to cell phones to our preferred means of transportation to just work correctly, without disruption or fail, day in and day out, for however long we chose to use them.

But all things can suddenly fall apart, especially things that have hundreds if not thousands of parts and an equal number of screws or bolts to hold them all together.

I am not getting creative with a metaphor about life. health, or relationships here, BTW, I'm being literal - an occasional check to ensure that the important parts of the things you routinely depend upon are in good running order can prevent a mechanical failure or worse from happening. 

But yeah, that does apply to life, health, and relationships too I suppose.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Automatic Zero

                  Not for a lack of trying

                                 But definitely for a lack of doing

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Neighborhood Car Show

I bought my house for the neighborhood, not for the house. 

When I bought the house 16 years ago it was in fairly sad shape - lower level slab had sunk at an angle away from the exterior wall so that it sloped until it was 4 inches below grade due to improper site preparation (a foundation slab poured directly on clay soil w/o any type of compacted fill - seriously), no insulation in a high-altitude climate that experiences several months of below freezing temps, single pane, aluminium framed windows, aluminium wiring, etc. 

Not only was every shortcut concievable taken in the construction of the home back in 1970, the cheapest possible materials were used as well. I still cannot believe permits were authorized and an inspector signed off on a C.O. for the structure - money-stuffed envelopes had to have changed hands.

I have since replaced all the bad stuff with new, leveled the floor and even changed a few of the poorly designed features (moved a staircase and a few door openings). If I had the means, I would have scraped the whole house and built a much better house at the get-go, but I didn't so I made do with what I had and over time the things that needed to be fixed or replaced were.

All that being stated, you may be wondering why I bought the house in the first place. Well, I answered that with the opening sentence. The neighborhood was and still is a truly great place, full of good people and within walking distance to parks, shopping, and everything else I need or want.

And the neighbors are not the type that keep themselves shut in their homes, sharing only the occasional greeting when you see them heading for work or coming home.

Nope, not my neighbors. My immediate neighbors and I get together for bar-be-ques and summer parties quite a bit, and this past weekend some of the neighbors even had a small car show. It was a cool little get-together, and here are a few pics I took from the tail end of that show,

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Little Life Lesson Shared

A little story about a blown investment opportunity to consider, but first a little information on how compound interest works.

Investing only $228.00 in a fund that realizes an annual compounded interest rate of 8.0% for 60 months versus simply leaving $200.00 a month under your mattress for 60 months will result in an increase in the money invested of $107.01. ($200.00 saved over a 60 month period w/o interest = $200.00 vs. $200.00 invested @ 8.0% interest compounded annually over a 60 month period = $335.01)

Yes, that is a stupid little example of how interest compounded annually works, but bear with me here. 

That little example was one I related to a person who I was acquainted with over 11 years ago, when that person inherited, after all taxes and estate debts were paid, the princely sum of $228,000.00

I was trying to illustrate to this person how compound interest could make ordinary people wealthy, and makes wealthy people even wealthier.

That illustration was evidently not very effective, as I ran into the heir in question recently (it had been about 10 or so years since I last seen or even heard about them) and after sharing some polite catching up chit-chat, they revealed to me that they are pretty much back to where they were financially before they received the $228,000.00.

The heir (who was 42 years old at the time of the inheritance) told me they had taken the money and treated their family to a couple of new cars, a few very lavish vacations, and some extravagant purchases, with the end result being...

...the inheritance was completely spent in just over two years time.

Now consider what could have been. If the heir had continued to live as they had been (kinda lower middle class), and invested the inheritance in a fund that realizes 8.0% in annual compounded interest, and kept it parked there for at least 60 months, the $228,000.00 would have grown to $335,006.08.

Even after taxes and fees the money earned would have exceeded $80,000.00 or so - enough for a couple of new cars at least, and maybe a choice vacation or two, and without having had to spend 1 cent of the $228,000.00.

If they had kept the $228,000.00 in the fund from the day they received it until today (11 years and 3 months, so 135 months) it would now total $541,941.11

Over half a million dollars. Without doing anything but taking money received as an inheritance and forgetting about it for a tad over 11 years.

In 20 years the money would have grown to over a million - $1,062,698.23 to be exact. Keep that million+ in a fund that realizes 8.0% in annual compounded interest and it earns just over $85,000.00 a year.

That's more than 75.5% of the working people in the United States earn in a year.

And the million would still be there.

So, if you should ever have the good fortune to inherit $228,000.00, heed this lesson, and heed it well. 

I know I would.

A Fine August Morning At The Lakewood Museum of Abandoned Art

For your viewing pleasure yet more artwork found at garage sales and thrift shops over the past few months. The majority of these are oil or watercolor paintings, though there are a couple of acrylics, a few pastels, a brush & ink piece (with what looks like accents in red lipstick), and even a few sculptures.

Usually these pieces are unsigned or just have initials to identify the creator and so I don't attribute titles or names to them. However, there are two paintings found in a thrift shop, one oil and one watercolor, created by an immensely talented man by the name of Jerry Emil Titera (January 28th, 1929 - June 29th, 1999) that not only were signed, but had his obituary taped to the back of one of them.

I have seen quite a bit of abandoned art over the years, some good, most not so good. These two paintings by Mr. Titera are exceptional and I'm still kicking myself for not purchasing them.

The road to Hell is paved with unbought amateur art, to steal and twist a line from Papa Hemingway.

                                  A Piano Piece, unattributed, oil on canvas 24" X 36"

                                Winter Landscape, signed Amy 2015, oil on canvas, 20" X 30"

         Cabin Near A Small Pond, barely legible signature (Leah C---llie), oil on canvas, 20" X 30"

                            Silhouette of a Tree, unattributed, oil on canvas,16" X 24" 

                            Portrait of a Cowboy, unattributed, oil on canvas, 16" X 24"

                            Fairy and Elf, unattributed, airbrush on hardboard, 28" X 40"

                   The Gates Home near Kittridge, Al Lehman, oil pastels on paper, 18" X 24"

            Scott's Oriole, signed Linda in the upper right corner, acrylic on flagstone, approx 10" X 15"

                  Red Headed Finch on a Thistle by Ollie Pearson, watercolor on paper, 16" X 20"

                   A Couple and their Dog, signed "Bramdan", oil pastels on paper, 24" X 30"

                  Portrait of a Woman, signed "With love, Bramdan", oil on canvas, 28" X 36"

                            Roses in a Vase, signed "Bramdan", oil on canvas, 24" X 30"

                          Minimalist Landscape, unattributed, acrylic on artboard, 18" X 24"

                  El Toro, barely legible signature (C.C. Gomes?), oil on black velvet, 32" X 40" 

                            The Old Barn, Jerry Titera, watercolor on paper, 24" X 36" 

                         The Crystal Mill by Jerry Titera, 1990. Oil on Masonite, 16" X 24"

                     Abstract Rooster, Joan Rose Bloedel 1990, brush and ink on paper, 36" X 48"

                         Animals in the Village, signed "Wilson", acrylic on canvas, 36" X 48"

                       Desert Landscape, unattributed, oil pastels on paper, 24" X 28"

                                  Still Life by Shirley Lasato, oil on canvas, 24" X 30"

                           Somebody's Sweetheart,  C.R. Hester, watercolor on paper, 16" X 24"

                       Three dimensional abstract piece, unattributed, mixed media, 20" X 48"

                                   The Lighthouse, Ollie Pearson, oil on canvas, 20" X 30"

               Rocking chair painted red - probably not meant to be art but it looked kind of arty

                12" high Ceramic sculpture of what looks like a plumbers Y-joint, unattributed