Saturday, April 25, 2009

Injured, But Not So Bad

It's been a little bit since I wrote in my blog. I got hurt a week ago. We were on a dismounted patrol and got ambushed from 3 sides. The rounds were impacting around us, and one of the rounds fragmented. One of the fragments got stuck in my leg, which I ended up pulling out. Luckily it was small enough to not have made me get med-evaced. They ended up putting me in for a Purple Heart, which the LT signed off on, so I will be having an award ceremony soon.

I can't wait to get home. I just have been getting pretty tired of being here, and away from my family. Kathy has been having to take care of our three kiddos who have been sick. Thankfully Mom and the family have been there to help as much as they can.

I received word that the kids are now sleeping in my shirts. It was initially Peyton that KAthy allowed to wear my shirt, but then Broc became jealous, so she allowed him to as well. Kathy says it makes them feel really special. She told them that only special kids that I really love get to wear my shirts. Their response was obviously enthusiastic. I think it is pretty awesome that they like to wear my shirts in bed.

Other than that, things have been pretty slow around here. I just can't wait to get home.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope everyone has enjoyed their Easter Sunday. Things were pretty uneventful over here. The Chaplain provided an Easter service, and that's the extent of our celebration.

I am expecting to get some awesome videos of the kids having an Easter Egg Hunt, and all the other fun stuff. They are getting to the fun age now, where they can actually participate from what I understand. Wish I could be there!

Weekly Top 2 Stocks

I have started my weekly Top 2 Stocks contribution. These stocks will be based on past performance in relation to future projections.

Apple Inc (AAPL) - Last Trade: $119.57 (2.79%)
Apple has shown a competitive edge in their product lines. Their recent overwhelming defeat of the Zune has shown them to be a force to be reckoned with.

Iron Mountain Inc. (IRM) - Last Trade: $25.83 (4.03%)
Iron Mountain has been a steady performer, even in recent market conditions. Their contracts in the office supply market provides them a buffer against short term market changes. Judging by past performance, I can see Iron Mountain reaching the mid $30s by next year.

Do you have your top stocks that you would like to see mentioned here? Feel free to e-mail me at michamus@gmail.com with the title "Top 2 Stocks". Include a summary of why you chose the stock, and it could be mentioned here!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Is it the Economy, or the Stock Market?

I have noticed that lately there has been a lot of talk about how the "Economy" is in a downturn. What I think is interesting though is that the reference provided in support of this viewpoint is of the Stock Market.

I am not a particular expert when it comes to economics, but I know the difference between the Stock Market, and the Economy. The Stock Market relies heavily on the financial market, for the very fact that it is usually a credit based endeavor.

This recent Stock Market downturn has been mainly due to the freezing up of credit flow, primarily due to the sub-prime mortgage bubble bursting. These banks lost billions of dollars on bad loans, which they needed to reallocate quickly. This means they needed to call in outstanding loans, rally up fresh capital, or sell stocks and bonds to infuse themselves enough to rebound.

The obvious result was a little bit of the first, and the last. This created a huge stall in the Stock Market with the mass sale of shares at lower prices. With this massive move out, enough shareholders were spooked to follow suit, creating a domino effect, bringing the whole market down.

What is my point you ask? I personally have not seen any actual atypical changes in the Economy. Businesses that were credit dependent folded due to lack of credit availability. These were weaker businesses anyway. I haven't seen a single business fail of late, that wasn't already trending to failure.

An example would be GM. GM has been selected against for many years now due to their inability to adapt to changing economic demands. Simply put, consumers want cheap, small, fuel-efficient vehicles, which is everything GM isn't. The failure to adapt has always been the theme of a "survive or die" world.

I would say that to equate the Stock Market with the Economy is a gross misrepresentation of our economy. A vast majority of jobs and commerce is provided by small businesses. Businesses that aren't public, so they can't be found on Wall Street. These businesses are not seen in Stock Reports, which means those same reports will never be a true representation of our Economy.

Leave is behind me

Leave was excellent. All I can say is that I wish I had more time to spend with my family. I was amazed at how much the kids had grown. Peyton's development has improved dramatically thanks mostly to Kathy's desire to get her enrolled in pre-school. She has improved her language skills to a much greater level than before. Her vocabulary has increased quite a bit.

Broc has become a big dude. He and I had all kinds of fun playing with his trains, cars, and just hanging out. I could tell he was very happy I was home. I was very impressed with his development as well. The guy is very smart and has quite the vocabulary. He and Peyton love running around and playing with each other. They do get in the occasional fights, but those are usually quickly resolved from parental interference in the form of a time out.

Hunter is a very handsome fella. It was nice to finally get to know the guy. He has a very sharp intellect for a 9 month old kid. Despite his should difficulties he has been learning to crawl, and from I have heard, he has taken his first step! This guy has no concept of quiting. I can tell he is going to be a very inspiring person.

I wonder how many dads actually look up to their sons? I can tell you that I honestly look up to both of my boys. I can only hope that I can help them in their paths to manhood, in whatever way I can. My children have certainly humbled me.

I think the person I enjoyed spending time with the most though was Kathy. I had been apart from her so long, I had forgotten what it was like to have her by my side. It was awesome being able to just discuss things with her. I love how she listens to me, and understands me. It's really nice having her to go to when the world doesn't seem to care.

Coming home for leave has deepened my appreciation for my family. I am certainly looking forward to coming home soon, and getting to have my family again.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Closer

Every day I am that much closer to coming home for mid tour leave. It is extremely exciting. So much has changed at home, it will take me awhile to catch up. Peyton is growing in leaps and bounds, especially with Pre-school and a very attentative mommy. Broc's arm is out of his cast, and Hunter is well... Hunter. I can't wait to come home and be with my family.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bailout bill

I am appalled at the latest Bailout bill congress is considering. The last bill of $700b has yet to be completely spent and congress is begging for more. What is this next package going to cost? 850,000,000,000 dollars. What is interesting about all this is that no one in the media is asking where this money is coming from. I can only imagine the ungodly amount of interest we are going to have to pay for this loan.