Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
~ quartered and cleaned squirrels, 1 per person
Soak your meat for at least an hour in buttermilk.
Combine the flour & OldBay until you can see the flour turn light pink. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper to taste.
Heat up your shortening to 375 degrees in a iron skillet or deep fryer deep enough to cover the meat.
Roll or shake your meat in the flour mix and fry until the coating is golden brown.
Take it out and place it on a rack to drain. Place it in your oven for about 1/2 hour at 275 degrees.
Serve and Enjoy!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Angelo Mozilo, the co-founder and public face of troubled mortgage giant Countrywide, is eligible for tens if not hundreds of millions in compensation and perks on the sale of the company to Bank of America.
During calendar 2006, the latest period available for review in Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Mozilo took home $48.1 million in compensation. An early analysis of SEC filings by the Los Angeles Times suggests he could get upward of $115 million when he leaves after the sale is complete, despite the fact that the company tanked during the recent subprime mortgage crisis.
In December, Countrywide reported a record number of foreclosures and delinquencies in its loan portfolio. The value of shares has fallen more than 84 percent since mid-May of last year.
Bank of America today confirmed that Mozilo will stay on with the company through a "transition period." Countrywide wouldn't comment on Mozilo's pay.
His long tenure with the firm — he has been there since its beginning in 1969 — and extensive employment agreement gives him the right to a significant payout when he leaves.
Immediately upon a change in control, Mozilo would get $13.3 million in accelerated vesting of stock grants, according to the terms of his 2004 compensation agreement, included in the company's latest proxy statement.
Should he leave the company after the firm's buyout, Mozilo would get a one-time cash payment of $88 million.
These numbers are presented in the proxy in the context of a "hypothetical" change in control on Dec. 31, 2006. The date is necessary since some of the value of the benefits is based on share price. The company entered into a new employment agreement with Mozilo in 2007, which the proxy statement says guarantees substantially the same post-merger benefits.
A senior Democratic lawmaker welcomed on Friday Bank of America's $4 billion acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp, but urged Countrywide's chief executive to donate some of his millions of dollars in pay to help subprime mortgage borrowers, Reuters reported.
The deal could be a "positive development" in the subprime mortgage crisis, said Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
Some of the perks to which Mozilo is entitled after a change in control, according to the official filing:
The company will retain Mozilo as a consultant. Mozilo is obligated to make himself available for a specified period of time each month through December 2011 and at the rate of $400,000 per year.
He will also be entitled to receive other benefits, including office space, secretarial support, use of the company's aircraft, financial consulting services and payment of annual country club dues.
For three years, continuing health, life insurance and financial planning benefits for Mozilo and his beneficiaries.
After those three years, health benefits for the lifetimes of Mozilo and his spouse.
A "gross-up payment" equal to the excise tax charged to him as a result of his receipt of any of the above (with certain exceptions).
All this is based on contractual obligations made with Mozilo when the company was doing well. The terms of the sale to Bank of America might have forced Mozilo to give up some of these benefits.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
The U.S. military's term for using natural objects to accomplish a task is field expedient (FE). If you're lost or stranded in the wild and you have no materials at all, you'll need FE tools and shelter.
FE shelters employ the same methods as ones built with ponchos or tarps. The only difference is what you use to cover the frame. After you build the frame, use branches and thicket to make up your roof. Pine boughs make for good insulation, but as long as you stack and weave lots of leaves, branches and twigs, you'll have adequate shelter. Think of your shelter roof as being shingled like a house. Work in layers from the ground up and keep the branches pointed toward down for rainwater runoff.
A debris hut is an FE shelter that's easy to build and provides great protection from the elements. To build one:
Place a ridgepole, the pole that runs the length of the shelter, with one end on the ground and the other on top of a sturdy base like a tree stump or boulder. You can also lash it to a tree.
Take two more thick branches and place them diagonally at the top of the ridgepole and lash them together with vine.
Use thick branches to line the length of the ridgepole to create the ribbed frame. Make sure it's wide enough to accommodate you.
Place smaller sticks crosswise to make a lattice effect.
Add lighter soft debris like pine needles and leaves until it's at least two feet thick -- the thicker the debris, the more protection it offers.
Cover the interior floor with pine and leaves and block the entrance with a rock or more debris.
A debris hut provides great protection in cold conditions. If you're in deep snow and have large evergreen trees around, build a tree-pit snow shelter:
Find a thick evergreen tree with low-hanging branches.
Dig down into the snow to your preferred depth and diameter -- the cozier the better.
Pack the interior snow well.
Use the natural branches above and add additional boughs for your cover.
Use boughs as insulators on the interior floor.
A tree-pit snow shelter takes a lot of energy to build, but it's a great insulator against frigid weather.
Some other tips to remember:
If you want a fire, it's best to keep it outside or near the mouth of the shelter. In extreme conditions, you can bring the fire inside, but it should be well-ventilated, and the flames should not be near the shelter walls.
Heat up rocks in the fire and stack them inside the shelter for extra warmth.
Always turn off your stove or lantern inside your shelter -- dangerous carbon monoxide gas can kill you.
Found metal isn't good to use for roofs. It will deflect rain and wind, but also reflect needed sun for warmth.
Snow is a great insulator, so use it as much as possible.
Pour water over thatched roofs in freezing weather -- this will ice over into a hard, protective insulator.
Whatever your emergency scenario, the most important thing is to remain calm and in control.
Panic will get you nowhere and knowing some rudimentary survival skills can be the difference between life and death. Basic shelters are easy to build and crucial to surviving the harsh elements of the great outdoors.
If you're an avid camper or hiker, you should practice building a shelter on your next excursion. It can be educational, potentially life-saving and a lot of fun.
The above is an excerpt from:
Charles W. Bryant. "How to Build a Shelter". December 29, 2007 http://travel.howstuffworks.com/how-to-build-a-shelter.htm (January 13, 2008)
To make a Hobo Mattress, you fill two large plastic garbage bags about half-full with newspaper, leaves, or whatever is handy and soft. Duct tape the open ends together to make a huge pillow. Cut the corners off (about 1 inch vent holes) to let the trapped air out. Nice and comfy.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
"Gold’s advance leads way for oil and platinumCommodity markets made a flying start to 2008 with gold, oil and platinum setting records during the first trading session of the new year. Gold led the initial advance, rising 3.3 per cent to $861.10 a troy ounce, surpassing the previous high of $850 reached in January 1980.
Budget crisis crimps Schwarzenegger's grand plans
In Schwarzenegger's budget problem, echo of Gray Davis era
By Mike ZaplerMercury News Sacramento Bureau
Article Launched: 01/12/2008 01:37:25 AM PST
SACRAMENTO - Arnold Schwarzenegger rode a wave of voter anger into the governor's office four years ago, fueled by frustration with his predecessor's handling of a massive budget deficit.
Now, with the state facing a $14.5 billion shortfall, the same issue that Schwarzenegger seized to win the recall election threatens to tarnish his legacy and consume his final two years in office.
Gone for the foreseeable future are the governor's ambitions to overhaul public schools; instead he is proposing cuts that education officials say would devastate schools. To salvage his dreams for universal health care, Schwarzenegger will have to persuade voters to embrace a sprawling multibillion-dollar plan at the same time they're being inundated by headlines about the state's money woes.
And his plan to close the deficit by slashing spending across the board, releasing 22,000 prison inmates early and closing 48 state parks could arouse the same ire that landed Democrat Gray Davis in so much trouble.
No one is talking about another recall, but the governor's popularity certainly will be tested in the coming months. Fairly or not, how he handles the test may determine his place in history.
"In the good times, you get more credit than you deserve," Davis said in an interview Friday, "and in the bad times, you get more blame than you probably deserve."
The former governor denied feeling any satisfaction by the turnabout.
I would like to know where the 22,000 released inmates are gonna live...in the closed parks? What about us hobos that now have to deal with more criminals. What about the lack of benches? You mean I am gonna have to sleep on the ground?
Friday, January 11, 2008
I believe that Bank of America has been ready to buy since they made their $2 billion dollar investment into Countrywide convertible debentures at a conversion price of $18.00 per share. It seems to me that this is where the deal started and probably secured them a position to make an official move when Countrywide's stock hit the bottom. So the article published by the Weiss Research Group caused national recognition of the bottoming out at Countrywide. Once the stock was beat to death it was an easy move for BofA to anounce the acquisition causing an outrageous rally in Countywide's stock value (over 51% in ONE DAY).
Somehow I think that there was some master manipulation going on....which is absolutely typical for Countrywide and its majority shareholder (Angelo Mozilo). Other blogs have predicted an orange jumpsuit for the orange man (see picture...he sure looks orange to me). His smile makes him look like he is getting away with something.
Orange or not, Mozilo stands to get away with fleecing the public. It was Countrywide's massive subprime lending (and sleazy business practices) that has created much of economic tailspin that we are experiencing today. Take a look at http://housingpanic.blogspot.com and you will see what I mean.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
If Countrywide declares bankruptcy, your tax and insurance escrow accounts may be compromised. Theoretically, since the escrows are held by Countrywide, they could get caught up in bankruptcy proceedings and may not be available when the necessary tax and insurance payments are due...causing you big headaches.
“Countrywide is at ground zero of the mortgage crisis,” commented Weiss. “It exhausted many of its extraordinary financing options last year and is ill-prepared for the rising mortgage defaults and home foreclosures that are widely expected this year. Already, the credit quality of Countrywide’s mortgage servicing portfolio has deteriorated, with 7.2% of the mortgages it’s servicing delinquent in December, up sharply from 6.5% in November and 4.6% a year earlier.”
"Weiss’ conclusion: “With the mortgage market and economy continuing to slide, it’s likely Countrywide will suffer intolerable losses. Thus, in the absence of extraordinary intervention, we believe it could be difficult for Countrywide to avoid failure, with a potentially severe impact on consumers.”
"If Countrywide files for bankruptcy, this trend will accelerate. Credit score requirements will rise. Borrowers will be forced to put up larger down payments. Investor loans and stated income financing will get much harder to find. So-called “80-20” mortgage schemes, where a borrower gets an 80% first mortgage and a 20% second loan to avoid private mortgage insurance, will also become much harder to arrange. Second-lien lenders that fund the “20” piece of those deals are already getting hammered with losses."
The above excerpts show the signifigant impact of this probable event.
If you like fine liquor and are having trouble finding cash for it, try making your own. Here is a free ebook about how to make a cheap still that makes great high-test drinking spirits, moonshine, white lightning, whatever you want to call it.
If you don't like to drink, try pouring a couple gallons in the car.
The free plans and other necessary parts are available at www.amazingstill.com
Before you get started, check your local laws regarding home distillation.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Monday, January 7, 2008
Perhaps we should all go short on Starbucks stock as these changes are now being implemented in 13,000 U.S. McDonalds restaurants, saving the consumer a solid 15% over Starbucks prices. Starbucks only has 15,000 stores worldwide, making this a serious competitive threat.