A Waste of Government Time- Roger Clemens, Congress, and the Justice Department

Congress to ask Justice Department to investigate Clemens

This story raises my ire about as much as it can be raised in regards to the government. I cannot believe that they are wasting time over this. I wish I could vote them all out of office. We are in a war in Iraq in which we cannot get the Iraqi government to do a competent job. The graduation rates for high school is abyssmal in our cities. Oil and gas prices are skyrocketing. The social security system is on its way to collapsing. American jobs are leaving to overseas, and the dollar is crashing. Those are just the issues that pop in my head while typing this. We have severe problems in this nation. In the end, the government wants to investigate Roger Clemens. What is our nation coming to?
I started a blog for my stock picks because I thought it would be better to not clutter up this space. The first week did not treat me too well.

If you are interested, you can go to Value Stock Picks.

I like panty hose and...

This morning, our three-year-old (soon to be four on leap day) Eli was in the room when Lindsay was putting on her panty hose. Eli touched the panty house and said, "Oooh. I like panty hose." I became a little worried. Then a brief pause. "And I like race cars."

I found it hilarious, albeit a little redneck.

Bad Guys Have Messy Houses

The other day Isaac told us, "Bad guys have messy houses." Looking around my house, I asked him, "Are we bad guys?" He said that we weren't. I would hate to be in the house of a bad guy.

Lindsay is so relieved that someone thinks her house is clean. That is her own words, not mine.

Approaching 30,000 Unique Hits

It's a small milestone for Pulling Weeds, but we will pass the 30,000 unique hit mark some time in the next day or so. Thanks to all of you who come here and check out my thoughts and get a glimpse at what is going on in my life. I look forward to the next 30,000. I wonder if that will take over three years too.

My Value Stock Picks

I have picked up stock research as a hobby. On January 25, my father put me in charge of $3000 to invest. As of close on February 14, his $3000 is now worth $3351.02. For now, my advice to the world will be free. Use it at your own risk. My first round of picks for my father could have just been a fluke. I have no formal training. I just have read some books on investing during my spare time as I am working on my MA in History & Culture.

During this time, I discovered I enjoy value investing, so these picks are value stocks. Most of them you will have never heard of; that is the nature of value stocks. One value stock manager that I read about does not even tell his investors what stocks he is buying because it scares them. So take my picks for what you have paid for them (they are absolutely worthless). We will see if time tells otherwise.

I will revisit these stocks next month and maybe add a few and possibly remove a few (although most value stock picks are long-term, some times financial results can sway one's opinion of whether a value stock has turned into a crap stock or the price of the stock can mark that it has matured beyond the point of being a value stock and needs to be sold).

Here is the first round of picks (in complete random order). The price is the price at the close of the market on February 14. I only have "Buys" right now. Next month, I might have "holds" and "sells".


Vestin Realty Mortgage II, Inc (VRTB)* 9.25
Avalon Holdings Corp. (AWX ) 5.36
Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. (VSH) 9.44
Sigmatron International, Inc. (SGMA) 7.32
Owens Corning (OC) 19.32
AirNet Systems Inc. (ANS) 1.75
Universal Security Instruments, Inc. (UUU) 6.03
White River Capital Inc. (RVR) 19.05
Bancinsurance Corp. (BCIS.OB) 5.1
BRT Realty Trust (BRT)* 13.29
Ikon Office Solutions Inc. (IKN) 8.04

I will measure myself against the S&P 500

S&P 500 1348.86

* Dividend paying stock, so there is more money made than just what the stock price reveals.

Only two of these is a stock which I purchased for my father. One I bought initially on January 25. The other I plan on purchasing today. The others stocks that I purchased for my father have moved out of the range in which I would be comfortable buying them.

I do not believe myself to be an expert. This is more of a fun exercise to test my stock picking skills and hold me accountable to checking to see if the picks turn out good.

The Political Survey Calls Begin

I received my first political survey call of the primary season last night. Ohio is usually completely forgotten, but this time our state is going to rake in a lot of that political donor money.

It was a political survey paid for by "John McCain for President". It began with the most difficult question I have in this primary season. Are you going to vote in the Republican primary. The honest answer was "maybe", but they did not provide that as an option for me. They offered strictly yes or no. I will vote for Huckabee if he is viable at that time, but I also want to vote for Obama on the Democratic side. If Huckabee appears no longer valid, I am going to vote for Obama. I love open primaries; however, this would be the first time I ever vote in a Democratic primary. I have always went in and voted for Republicans up to this point in my life.

Then the survey listed the Republican candidates still in the race and asked who I was going to vote for. I chose Huckabee.

Then they asked which issue influence my position the most. The other day, the Diane Rheim show had a journalist from the Columbus Dispatch on who said that Ohioans are more pragmatic rather than principled when they vote. I figure that says more about how he votes rather than how the state of Ohio votes. I chose value related issues as most important because they did not have any of the other three as options. Although they did list "war in Iraq", but for Republicans that usually means supporting the war in Iraq.

That was a little disjointed, but that was my thoughts after receiving my first political phone call of the is primary season. I expect many more to come.

Isaac believes in me

I woke up one day last week, and Isaac expected me to go out back and build him an Imperial Tie Fighter. At first I played along, but then it became obvious that he was not playing. He wanted an Imperial Tie Figther, and I was the one to build it. It was nice to think that he believed in me that much. Sad it is to let him down.

We are still trying to convince him that I do not have the required skills to build an Imperial Tie Fighter. I would have a difficult enough time with a treehouse. The all-perfect father is crumbling. Now, he will start to see me for who I really am, and hopefully I will be a reflection of the all-perfect Father.


A new post by me over at Chi Rho Live.

Nazis and the Church - The difference between Protestanst and Catholic

I also was published this week at Newsarama (a comic book news site).

A Question of Demand

Teaching Children not to Drown

I found this video incredible. Lindsay is considering asking them how much it would cost to train her to teach others in order to instruct children in this area.

Here is the video. Incredible stuff.

My Thoughts on Super Tuesday - McCain, Electoral Votes, and the Evangelical Vote

I stayed up too late last night watching the voting results. A few things stood out to me.

NBC and ABC do not understand that states do not matter in the Democratic primaries; all that mattera are delegates. I wound up watching Katie Couric (although I would choose her over Brian Williams) last night because CBS war rightly focused on delegates rather than states on the Democratic side. Being one of the rare non-cable residents of the US, I had to switch over to ABC at 11 because CBS put the local news on followed by David Letterman. Then I had to switch over to PBS at midnight; they quit broadcasting at 1. I then hopped online to the Drudgereport to find that they were only reporting states on the Democratic side rather than delegates, which they are still doing this morning. Idiots!

My Ron Paul friend will continue to think that Ron Paul is the leading candidate (due to amount of campaign signs and everyone he knows besides me is a Ron Paul supporter) and is losing due to voter fraud. Nothing happened last night to change that. I think the only event that could change that perception is him outright winning.

How do they measure if you are an evangelical after polling? They say evangelicals turned out in record numbers for this election in many of the southern states. Is it just people that say they are evangelicals when asked a polling question? If so, it might just mean that more people are identifying themselves as evangelicals rather than evangelicals having some massive political movement getting out the vote.

I am waiting in anticipation to see who the "evangelical" right will get to run in the new eventual third-party due to the pro-choice McCain being all but locked in as Republcian nominee. Will Huckabee abandon the party and run as the third-party candidate? Or do they have someone already in the wings waiting?

In regards to what I am looking for in a candidate, it looks like McCain is on the bottom of my list not having any of the three. He is below each of the other five Democratic and Republican candidates that were viable (I hate that concept) last night. I cannot believe that I would actually vote for Hilary over someone else, but it does seem that is what my convictions would lead me to do if it was a Hilary-McCain run-off. I sure hope I am not left to only a Hilary-McCain option. I am so ready to waste my vote on any candidate other than those two.

Lindsay and I wondered if Katie Couric had some botox work done. Her face does not move. We paid attention to that for minutes. Maybe the lack of moving face is a ratings ploy in the old style of circus promotions reminiscent of the hairy lady, freakishly flexible girl, or women with three boobs. I think that it is weird that people in the news and entertainment think having non-moving faces makes them look better. It disturbs me the whole time I watch people whose faces do not move when they talk. Stop botox!

And my final conclusion last night is that I will be voting on the Democratic side in the Ohio primary, which will actually matter this year, with the hope that Obama will be nominated rather than Hilary. They should not let us independents vote in whatever party primaries we want, but they do. It just means that I would rather have him running than any of the other Democratic candidates. That does not mean I will vote for him in the final election. I am still far from decided. Obviously, I will not vote for McCain no matter what. Hilary is a slight possibility which grows into a yes if it is just McCain-Clinton.