Archive for September, 2011

Glacier National Park, MT – Day 2

Glacier National Park is in the NW part of Montana [and a small part of Alberta].

In trying to figure out what to do, what to see at the Park, it’s easy, since basically there is only one road that goes thru the park. That’s it.

The Going to the Sun Road is approx 50 miles long. There is an east entrance/exit and a west entrance/exit.

We decided to head to the west side and find a place to camp. I was surprised at how few campgrounds there were. Besides back country camping and/or staying at the very “end” or outside the park there are only one campground on the east side and one on the west. We got to Rising Sun Campground around 11 am and had no problem scoring a campsite. That left all afternoon to explore.

At the end of day 2 we once again went down to a lake. This time it was Saint Mary Lake and I read and watched a windsurfer and boats go by. Water temp was freezing! That windsurfer must really like windsurfing! Brrr.

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BOOK: Trading Secrets. REMINDER: Dogs of the S&P

20 Hard and Fast Rules to Help You Beat the Stock Market
By Simon Thompson.

The Dogs of the S&P
This is the simplest investment strategy and also one of the most profitable.

On October 1st of each year, buy the 10 worst performing stocks in the S&P 500 based on their price performance over the last 3 years.

Sell on December 31st.

Over the last 10 years the average gain has been 23%! In just 3 months!

At times, holding during January also provides significant returns. However, the author suggests using stop limit sell orders since these stocks could quickly lose their gains.

NOTE there is bankruptcy risk here.

Why does this happen? US fiscal year end is September 30th. Fund managers are judged based on their performance during the year. They don’t want to show that they are holding dud stocks, so they sell them before they have to report that they own them.

Other fund managers don’t want to buy them for the same reason – reports showing you own one of the worst performing stocks in the S&P…. so they too stay away.

Thus these stocks are exceptionally under valued as of October 1st.

Another strategy? Do the exact same thing for the FTSE All Share Index during December and sell at the end of January.

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Glacier National Park, MT – Day 1

Glacier National Park is in the NW part of Montana [and a small part of Alberta].

In trying to figure out what to do, what to see at the Park, it’s easy, since basically there is only one road that goes thru the park. That’s it.

The Going to the Sun Road is approx 50 miles long. There is an east entrance/exit and a west entrance/exit.

I was told that the east side is prettier than the west. That is true.

We meandered from Washington to Idaho and by coincidence got to the park at 4 pm the Friday of Labor Day Weekend. We stopped at the first campground once inside and got the last camp site! $20. The weather was wonderful. Not too hot nor too cold. It did rain on us the first nite of camping but not too much. It sounded nice on the tent.

We checked out the east half of the park for the rest of the day.

We ended the day sitting next to Lake McDonald picnicking, reading and watching the sunset. Very nice.

The water temp of the lake was warmer than I thought it would be. However, NOT warm enough to entice me in, but I could see why some people were in the water. Here are other views while sitting on Lake McDonald’s beach:

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Drive in Montana to Glacier National Park

Here are some photos of the view during the drive from Idaho thru Montana from Superior to Glacier National Park.

Close to the Idaho border the landscape was very green with trees and baby mountains. Very pretty.

Lots of really small towns, with just a few businesses PLUS a casino. Every little town has a casino. I asked our dinner waitress about this and she just shrugged and said “this is Montana this is how we roll”. Later I asked the clerk at our hotel and she said that basically, if you have a bar you can get a license to run a casino. So, why not also have a casino and make some extra money? Fair enough.

Heading north, we were on a 2 line highway with houses here and there. The speed limit? 70.

Plains, MT is where the rolling hills of evergreens turns to rolling hills of open plains. Hey … I bet that’s why Plains is called Plains?!?

We were driving along the rolling plains then suddenly …there’s Flathead Lake at the little town of Poison. Flathead Lake is a beautiful lake and the town is a trailer park town!

And then we have evergreen trees again!

EVERYTHING is huckleberry. Candy. Chocolate. Lager beer. Teriyaki sauce. Ice cream smoothies and shakes. Pies. Sauces. Butter.

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BOOK: Trading Secrets. REMINDER-Buy on Rosh Hashanah

20 Hard and Fast Rules to Help You Beat the Stock Market
By Simon Thompson.

Buy on Rosh Hashanah. Buy first thing in the morning the day before Rosh Hashanah, then sell 2 days after. This has produced an average return of 1.1%.

For this year, Rosh Hashanah falls on Wednesday September 28th. Thus he recommends buying first thing on the 27th, and selling at the end of Friday the 30th.

Future dates of Rosh Hashanah:
Sunday September 16,2012
Wednesday September 4, 2013

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Do We really Need a Spice Shop?

I was at the Old Mill and saw that a new store will soon be opening.  A spice shop.

Is this needed?  Can’t one buy spices at any grocery store?  Will someone really make a specific trip to this store in the Old Mill just to buy spices?


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Old Grade School Now is a Diner – Jackie’s Home Cooking

On our way to Glacier National Park, we spent the nite in Superior, MT, which is a very small blip on a map. The next morning we asked where we should eat bfast, and the lady at the desk said; Jackies!

Jackie’s is located in an old schoolhouse’s cafeteria. They don’t serve anything from a bag, can or bottle. All of the sauces and salsas are home made.

Jackie and her husband were laid off from their longtime jobs in Springfield [sh*thole town near Eugene], and when they passed through Superior on their way to a family event they saw that part of an old school was for lease, so they leased it up and started Jackie’s in the old cafeteria. The school was built in 1913 and closed in 1995.

I LOVE hearing stories on how people are forced to deal with Plan B in their lives, and end up happier than before.

Jackie’s Home Cooking is located on River Street in Superior, MT.

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Hiawatha Bike Trail – Montana and Idaho

The Hiawatha Trail is a rails-to-trails bicycle trail, located near the border between Idaho and Montana…12 miles east of Wallace, Idaho.

The route crosses the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana.

Construction of the railroad tracks began in 1906. The last train passed through in 1980. After that the line was abandoned.  With government funding and private donations, the rails were removed, and the construction of the bicycle and hiking trail was started in 1997. The Idaho portion of the trail opened May 1998. The Montana portion opened May 2001.

It’s 15 miles one way.  The fee to use the trail is $9.  You can cycle one way and take a shuttle back… for another $9 fee. It didn’t take me long to figure out why there is a shuttle back. The entire one way is downhill on a slight grade, yet still downhill. Thus the shuttle to bring people back up.

It’s really, really beautiful. We went thru 8 tunnels.

Right at the trailhead is the long, dark Taft Tunnel, which burrows for 1.7 miles under the Idaho/Montana state line.  It is cold and pitch black in there.  A light [or two] is a must.  After mid way, it does get kinda freaky to be in there where it’s cold, and with NO light anywhere.  There is water dripping from the ceiling.  NO graffiti on the tunnel walls.

31 miles is expected to be added on the Montana side.


This is me with my headlight on, getting ready to go thru another tunnel.

The trail itself is rocky.  I was concerned about blowing one of my little bike tires, but didn’t.  There is NO trash on the trail.  There are a couple water jugs/containers along the path if you need more water.  A few wooden “outhouses”.  A bunch of benches to rest and enjoy the view.

And the view?

Spectacular. Rolling mountains covered with evergreen trees. Pine smell. You can hear the water from waterfalls and streams far below.

Deer sightings:

The path takes you over old train trestles/bridges.

Just too cool!

You see other train trestles.

NOTE: There are no bike rentals at any of the trailheads. Helmets and lights are required.

The Hiawatha Bike Trail is owned by all of us. It is on U. S. National Forest land administered by the St. Joe Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.

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Wanna See Bing Crosby’s Oscar? [Spokane]

While in Spokane I read that we could see Bing Crosby’s Oscar in Crosby Student Center’s Crosbyana Room at Gonzaga University.

I wanted to see an Oscar, so off we went on our bikes.

The museum is just one room! The collection includes his 1944 Oscar, platinum and gold records, newspaper articles, trophies and family photographs.  Regarding the Oscar, the “golden person figure” part is about 8″ tall (NOT including the stand). FREE admission.

We also went to the art museum on campus to see some Chihuly glass pieces (plus a couple bronze Rodin pieces). The main part of the museum was closed. FREE admission.

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It’s Thrilla Time Again! [Cyclocross]

It’s September, it’s Thursday, that must mean it’s Thrilla time!  Check out the photos that Ralph took.



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