Monday, November 28, 2011

Turkey Day Activities

* Great hike at Double Peak in San Marcos with the Morilaks - my first time there
* Awesome dinner at the Fletcher's
* Christmas tree lighting at Forum shops
* Rid my computer of the "System Fix" malware/virus

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Follett

I read Ken Follett's two Medieval epics: The Pillars of the Earth
and World Without End. The former was better. It had better characters and the story was more interesting. The latter was a bit bland and somewhat predictable. I am going to take a break for Follett now.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

First Boy Scout Camp

Bengt and I had our first Boy Scout camp with Troop 774 at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. We drove up Friday night to Paso Picacho campground and setup tents in the dark. We were expecting rain during the night but it didn't come until after breakfast. Unfortunately, it didn't stop. The kids spent time in the tents or in the cars and we couldn't get the emergency preparedness drills done that we were planning. The troop made a side trip into Julian for pie to wait the rain out. We finally made the decision to leave late in the afternoon when one of the tents flooded. Overall, it was short, but we learned alot of being prepared in the rain.

Friday, November 11, 2011

America's Historic Triangle

We recently took a family trip to America's Historic Triangle in Virginia which includes Williamsburg, along with Jamestown and Yorktown.
We stayed at the Governor's Inn. It is older motel in need of some redo. But it suited us well since it was cheap and we hardly spent much time there.
We had a great time! I loved the history and the restoration of the Williamsburg area. One of our favorite activities was the "Revolution City" outdoor theater performance put on by the cast. It gave a real feel for the excitement and tension of the time leading up to the Revolutionary War.
For food, we ate two of the taverns: King's Arms and Shield's. They were a wonderful time and the food was good. They are expensive but they help support the foundation. In the Merchant's Square area, we ate at Retro's diner and Aroma's Coffeehouse. The former was great for diner food while the latter was great for good but inexpensive dinners. The kids loved the indoor smores.

We did a half day at Jamestown. It was amazing to see the fort that was only re-discovered in the 1990's. The archeology museum is a must-see.

We also spent two half days in Yorktown. One part was spent at the battlefield. We did the driving tour to see the battlements. The other part was spent in the small town. I liked the cannonballs stuck in some of the walls (see Jaya's photos). Below is Redoubt #10 which the Continentals stormed to complete the encirclement of the British.

Jaya has more photos on Facebook.

Where in San Diego?

Where is this unusual set of gravestones?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Financial Books

* How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market by Nicolas Darvas - I love reading Darvas' tale of the 1950's bull market; the telegrams are quaint
* Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education by Robert Kiyosaki - The latest by the Rich Dad guru and beginning of my latest journey
* Real Estate Riches: How to Become Rich Using Your Banker's Money by Rolf De Roos - A Rich Data real estate investment primer
* The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments by Charles Goyette - great read on the government malfeasance in running the economy
* Rich Dad's Rich Kid, Smart Kid by Robert T. Kiyosaki - advice on educating your kids, both academically and financially
* Investing in Real Estate by Andrew J. McLean and Gary W. Eldred - good reference material on real estate investing
* Emerging Real Estate Markets: How to Find and Profit from Up-and-Coming Areas by David Lindahl - a good primer on how to research emerging markets, a bit vague but useful
* Rich Dad's Advisors®: The ABC's of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss by Ken McElroy - the real estate guide in the Rich Dad series
* Rich Dad's Advisors: Guide to Investing In Gold and Silver: Protect Your Financial Future by Michael Maloney - not as good (or recent) as Goyette's book
* Rich Dad, Poor Dad for Teens: The Secrets About Money--that You Don't Learn in School! (Miniature Edition) by Robert T. Kiyosaki - starting the kids early
* Rich Dad's Advisors: The ABC's of Property Management: What You Need to Know to Maximize Your Money Now by Michael Maloney - essentially a guide to why you shouldn't manage your own properties
* The Art of Real Estate Appraisal: The Complete Guide for Homeowners and Real Estate Professionals by William L. Ventolo Jr. and Martha R. Williams - a surprisingly comprehensive book on the "art" (and it is an art) of appraising
* Real Estate Loopholes: Secrets of Successful Real Estate Investing by Diane Kennedy - a great primer on how to buy, own and sell real estate with the max tax and legal advantages
* RICH DADS RETIRE YOUNG RETIRE RICH by Robert T. Kiyosaki - motivational book, some interesting concepts but little practical advice
* Loopholes of the Rich: How the Rich Legally Make More Money and Pay Less Tax by Diane Kennedy - an extremely informative book on the basics of real estate tax and legal issues
* Sales Dogs : You Do Not Have to Be an Attack Dog to Be Successful in Sales (Rich Dad's Advisors series) by Blair Singer - the last 3 chapters are the meat of the book
* Why We Want You to be Rich: Two Men - One Message by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Donald Trump
* Rich Dad's Before You Quit Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar Business (audiobook) by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter - some interesting lessons and stories of entrepreneurship
* Landlording on Auto-Pilot: A Simple, No-Brainer System for Higher Profits and Fewer Headaches by Mike Butler - some decent tips on self-managing single family homes
* Tax Secrets of Millionaire Real Estate Investors by Richard T. Williamson - a great book on real estate tax issues
* How to Create Multiple Streams of Income: Buying Homes in Nice Areas With Nothing Down by Peter Conti and David Finkel - a good intro to lease option
* Rich Dad's Real Estate Advantages: Tax and Legal Secrets of Successful Real Estate Investors by Sharon Lechter and Garrett Sutton - another decent by somewhat shallow book from the Rich Dad on real estate investing

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

10 Years in Encinitas

This month marks our 10 year anniversary in Encinitas. Much as stayed the same, but some things have changed.
* Moonlight Beach Tot Lot was built and was a great success. Our kids loved it when they were younger.
* Cottonwood Creek Park was built and was a great success.
* The kids have attended no less than 6 schools.
* Less greenhouses and more houses.
* The San Dieguito Heritage Museum moved from a dilapidated old gas station to nice new digs near Encinitas Ranch.
* The Hall property park has still not been built.
* Pacific View school closed in 2003 and still sits idle.
* Quail Botanical Gardens built a children's garden and changed its name to San Diego Botanical Gardens.
* All the Albertson's have closed - one is being replaced Kohl's while the other was replaced by a Smart & Final which moved.
* Our street has cycled as the old guard has moved out and new families have moved in.