Monday, November 24, 2008

Business Opp

As a young boy of eight years of age my life included not much more then school, work and sleep. Each aspect of my life took approximately eight hours and constituted a third of my daily time within any twenty-four hour period. From morning until night my hand was flipping through pages of books, blistering my small hands on a hoe, or clenching my white bed sheets with my hand. My hands were always put to good use. Despite my mundane style of early life I have learned to listen for business opportunities and harvest the results.

Farming as a major occupation has now ceased to be for the majority of Americans who have become accustomed to food in a can and a few hundred television channels. Apple pie, chords of wood piled in the back yard, and draft horses sound more like something from a Christmas carol or a Budweiser commercial then from a true way of living. Yet this simple lifestyle, and the values that come from it, have taught many worthy Americans how to run and succeed in business. Have you ever heard of Henry Ford, George Washington, Isaac Newton, or Thomas Edison?

Before one laughs at such an odd conclusion they might consider that a farm is a business. The same skills that would be required for corporate success often present themselves daily to farmers. Children learn early how to calculate the yield of an acre and how much a bushel will earn in one's local economy. Of course, such an education wouldn't be complete unless their fathers stopped scanning the local newspapers to find out how much corn is trading in Wall Street for on any particular day.

Certainly the hard skills of math, commodities, production, supply chain and economy aren't the only skills needed to start a successful business. Business gurus must also learn how to set a goal and meet that goal, be persistent enough to wake up every morning to tackle business problems, and need the mental toughness to defeat challenges as they present themselves. In other words, they must have the right personality traits to succeed in business.
Kids on a farm know hard work. Shucking corn, pulling weeds, hauling wood, pushing old Betsy out of the creek, and skinning chicken isn't anything if it isn't hard work. Farm kids wake up every morning to a long list of chores and work each day and complete them without complaint. They learn by the age of eight to handle responsibilities and tackle their goals. Their blisters and responsibilities ensure that they can face any challenge that may present itself in the future.

As the snow sloshed under my rubber boots, and my scarf waved in the wind, at the age of eight I came to the realization that I will someday live farther then "a stones throw away" from all of my other relatives. Since that time I have devoted myself to the scholarly pursuit of business and the rewards it has to offer. Deep nights have been spent in hermit like solitude thinking about the next great business opportunity. While other kids collected baseball cards, I was watering the fields and thinking about a more efficient method of finishing the job.

On his eighth birthday my son received an ear of corn which he examined closely with curiosity. Passing it from hand to hand he kept looking at me and back at the corn in hopes of figuring out why his father would give him such a ludicrous gift. The poor boy finally decided he was going to investigate what was under its wrapping. As he pulled the ears back in hopes of finding some money or other hidden oddity I said, "This ear of corn listens for the next great business opportunity".

Macy's Parade

In 1621, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians shared the first Thanksgiving dinner. However, they did not give it this name because to them Thanksgiving day was a complete different holiday. Thanksgiving was celebrated by going to church and giving thanks to GOD. The feast the Pilgrims shared with the Wampanoag Indians, were to share the harvest of the crops.

The Pilgrims menu for this event is different than the one we share today. They did not have any pies because they had no oven to cook them in. They also did not have any mashed potatoes, corn or on the cob, or cranberry sauce. However, the Pilgrims might have ate lobster, claims, wild turkey, duck, goose, indain corn, pumpkin, peas, carrots, plums, grapes, wheat flour, walnuts, chestnuts, and some seasonings.

Their feast lasted them three days. The food was served all at once instead of having courses. Also, they did not pass the food around, they just simply ate whatever was closes to them. Since they did not have any forks to eat with, they ate with spoons, knives and their fingers. For napkins, they used a piece of white cloth. This feast that was shared by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians was not repeated again.

In 1817, New York State adapted Thanksgiving as an annual custom. In the middle of the 19th century, many other states adapted to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the date for Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The congress passed this day as the day we celebrate Thanksgiving in1941.

A major tradition we celebrate on Thanksgiving is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In the 1920's, some employees, that were first generation immigrants wanted to show how proud of their new American heritage, by having a parade on this holiday. The employees marched from 145 street to 34th street in New York. The same route is still used to this day. They dressed up as clowns, cowboys, and knights. They also had many floats, bands and even some live animals from the Central Park. Large balloons were introduced in the 1927 parade with Felix the cat.
In the 1940's, the parade seemed to be at the end because of World War 2. In 1945, the parade had resumed and was televised for the first time. In the 1950's celebrities started to make appearances in the parade including Sid Ceasar, Danny Kaye, and Howdy Doody. In 1971, winds were to strong that they had to cancel the balloons. Viewer that were at home watching the parade had to settle for clips from the 1970 parade. The 60's, 70's and 80's brought some of the favorite balloons including Snoopy, Kermit the Frog, Garfield and Superman.

This beloved tradition is still going strong for over 75 years and will not let you down this year

A Thanksgiving Story

Are you interested in learning about the history of this fall holiday? Are you wondering when it is celebrated? Were you ever curious about how we determined which day to celebrate this post-harvest holiday?

When is The Holiday Observed?

Thanksgiving Day in the United States is always observed on the fourth Thursday in the month of November.

In Canada, this harvest holiday is celebrated in October, not in November. The Canadian holiday is not on the fourth Thursday of the month, but on the second Monday in October.

When Was the First Holiday Observed?

The first Thanksgiving was held in 1621.

Important Dates and Milestones for this Autumn Holiday

1621: A harvest feast was held by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag (

1777: George Washington calls December 18, 1777 "a day for solemn Thanksgiving and Praise."

1817: The State of New York adopts Thanksgiving as an annual custom. (

1863 President Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation. It was this proclamation that determined that the holiday should be held on the fourth Thursday of November. (

1927: The first giant balloons appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (macy's)

1934: The NFL game that may have started the whole football on Thanksgiving Day is believed to be the game between the Lions and the Bears (Pro Football Hall of Fame).

1939: President Franklin Roosevelt changes observance of the holiday from the last Thursday in November to the third Thursday in November. (

1941: President Franklin Roosevelt give this feating holiday a fixed celebration day: he signed the legislation that determined the fourth Thursday in November was Thanksgiving.

1971: Actress Christina Applegate was born on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1971.

The Friday After The Holiday

The Friday after Thanksgiving has gained status as its own kind of holiday of sorts. For some, the day after Thanksgiving is also known as "Black Friday." Black Friday is officially the first day of the holiday shopping season. Many retailers hold special sales events on this day.

The Friday and the weekend after the celebration is also a traditional day for early birds to find and purchase a Christmas tree. Christmas tree farms tend to open on the Friday after the holiday celebration, or on the weekend after the holiday.

The Friday following the holiday is also a day when some people choose to hang up their holiday decorations.

Home Insulation Basics: Higher R-Values = Higher Insulating Values

Whether you live in Bangor, Maine, or Bakersfield, California, your home will be more comfortable and energy efficient with the right insulation. Insulation helps reduce the costs of heating and cooling your home. Here's how: Heat travels. In the winter, heat flows out; in the summer, heats flow in. A properly insulated home reduces heat flow, using less energy in the winter for heating and less energy in the summer for cooling. That could mean money in your pocket.
To help you get the most for your insulation dollar, the Federal Trade Commission offers answers to some basic questions about home insulation.
Q. What's the first thing I should look for when buying insulation?
Look for the "R-value." "R" means resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulation power. The R-value must be disclosed for most insulation products. (Pipe and duct insulation are the exceptions, although duct wrap is covered.) For instance, if you buy loose-fill insulation with an R-value of 38 from Company A, it will have the same insulating power as loose-fill insulation with an R-value of 38 from Company B. You also can compare the R-value of one type of insulation to another, such as loose-fill to blanket.
Q. How do I know how much insulation R-value my home needs?
Several factors affect the R-value your home needs:

Where you live — You'll need a higher R-value if you live in the Northeast than if you live in Southern California. How your home is built — For example, is it a single-level or multi-level structure? Do you have cathedral ceilings? Is there a basement or is your home built on a slab? How you heat and cool your home — Do you have a furnace, a central air conditioner, or a heat pump?
Q. Should I use the same R-value of insulation throughout my home?
It's more efficient to use insulation with higher R-values in the attic and in rooms with cathedral ceilings than in wood frame walls and basements or crawl spaces with walls.
Your local home improvement store (or its website) may have information to help you calculate your insulation needs.
Your state energy office, local building department, or your gas or electric company, can tell you how to conduct an energy audit to help detect waste and gauge the efficiency of your current heating system. Your utility company may offer free or low-cost energy audits, or you can conduct your own. The Department of Energy offers instructions at
As the colder weather sets in, I hope that this information is useful for you. At the same time, if you or someone you know may be thinking about buying a home or refinancing an existing home, please give me a call.