Aug 31, 2012

The Alaska State Fair

I love our fair. It is the last hooray of the summer, the final goodbye to warmth and sunshine and the welcoming hello to the beauty that is the Alaskan winter.

There's is much that could be written about the fair, and many pictures that could be shared. But for the sake of time I'll share just a few from when Christy & I went to the fair together Wednesday night. We had also gone the previous Saturday. The weather was perfect, so the place was packed. We did it as a family event, with all the in-laws, nieces & nephew.

Wednesday night was just me & my lovely bride and the crowds were much less. We wandered by most of the booths and ate a few of our favorite fair treats. Here's the pictures:

This is one of my favorite things at the fair... Pork Chop on a Stick. It's best on the slow days because after being cooked they leave it marinating in it's own juices so it's super flavorful & super tender.

These were something new for me to try... They are locally grown fried Yukon Gold potatoes. They weren't that good though... They were cut too thick so not cooked all the way through, plus they had a ton of Montreal Steak Seasoning on them. The better choice is the fried Peanut Potatoes from the Bushes & Bunches booth.

My other fair favorite... Buffalo Chips from Buffalo Bills. They are just waffle cut fries with Johnny's Seasoning Salt on them, but they are good. The burgers from Buffalo Bills are really good too. I almost forgot to grab this picture before I ate them all...

The Chugach Mountains to the south past the old barn. This is near the Red Gate.
The Colony Stage. They have different acts that rotate through out the day on this stage. We watched the Gothard Sisters, three young ladies from Seattle who did Irish dance, played fiddles and sang. They did a good job.
The Colony Stage. They have different acts that rotate through out the day on this stage. We watch the Gothard Sisters, three young ladies from Seattle who did Irish dance, played fiddles and sang. They did a good job.

The King BMX Bike Show. These guys were pretty fun to watch.

This is the Hooperdoodle cookie. It's big and sooo very good. Christy always gets their M&M's cookie.

As we leave the fair we always get a bag of kettle corn from Becky's. Novices will buy this as they come in, but then you have to pack it around with you. Experts know to get it on the way out and eat on it over the next few days.

The view of Matanuska Peak to the east as we head back out to the truck.

Aug 24, 2012

A Fun Cache....

If you are unfamiliar with Geocaching, start by going here to learn a little about it. It's basically a high tech treasure hunting using a GPS device to find "caches" that have been hidden. We've found over 700 and have hidden about a half dozen. Here's one I have hidden in the Lake Lucille Park area.

Oh, I guess first I should explain that caches come in all shape and sizes. One very common size is a called a micro. As you may have guessed, it's a very small cache. It's often a metal container called a bison that is about the size a tube of chap-stick. Now these caches are fine in an urban area, but I get annoyed when they are hidden in the woods where a larger cache could easily be concealed.

This one is called "Micro in the Woods." It's kind of a tongue & cheek reference.

Do you see it????

How about now?

See... It's a "micro" in the woods.

Yes, that's a real, full sized microwave that I packed a quarter of a mile into the woods. Now all I need is about 1500 feet of extension cord and I can plug it in.

Aug 18, 2012

10 Ways to Achieve Your Money Goals with Financial Peace University

10 Ways to Achieve Your Goals With Financial Peace University

The kids are back in school, before you know it the trees will be changing colors and summer will be over. But don't let that get you down! Fall is the second New Year's, meaning it's time to readdress all those resolutions you made for yourself at the beginning of the year.
Remember all those financial, physical, spiritual and mental goals you made? Fall is the perfect time to create a schedule that allows you to meet those resolutions! And with back-to-school shopping out of the way, why not get started meeting some of these goals with the help of Financial Peace University?
The life-changing information you will learn in Financial Peace University (FPU) will help you take control of your money, but have you ever realized that money is tied to all areas of your life? Once you work toward getting your financial house in order, your other goals will follow suit and build upon each other. Here are 10 ways FPU will help you improve your money ... and your life!
  1. Helps couples get on the same page with money. No more money fights! Couples learn how to make decisions about their money together.
  2. Forces you to do a budget and actually use it. Guessing games are a thing of the past! Learn how to make a written plan for your money.
  3. Explains the importance of an accountability partner for singles. Gain a sense of empowerment over your money by acquiring an accountability partner help you make smart decisions.
  4. Shows you how to teach your kids about money. Tell your children how to save, spend and invest their money and help them make a great future for themselves!
  5. Teaches you how to get out of debt—for good this time. Time to kick out Sallie Mae and get rid of the car loan! Using the debt snowball, you'll learn how to pay off your debt.
  6. Lets you know what insurance you need and don't need. Learn how to cover yourself with the right type of insurance for you, your family and your assets.
  7. Tells people how to bargain and get great deals. Learning how to negotiate deals will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars!
  8. Prepares you for a happy and stress-free retirement. Planning now saves you heartache and money in the long run. Figure out how you can retire with no money worries.
  9. Helps parents plan ahead for their kids' college funding. If you have kids, preparing now for their college funding will save them from student loans later in life.
  10. Demonstrates the importance of working in a job you love. Instead of dreading Mondays and loving Fridays, you will learn how to do work you love.
This article was taken from Dave's Newsletter. If you would like more information on my upcoming FPU class, click here...

Aug 15, 2012

The Colonel

I love me some KFC... There's nothing better than a bucket of the original recipe chicken with some biscuits and a side of gravy. And of course you can't think of KFC without thinking of the Colonel. Colonel Harland Sanders. The man who came up with those 11 original herbs & spices.  He passed away in 1980 but KFC still uses his likeness as their logo.

The Colonel was born in 1890, the oldest of three boys. His father died suddenly when he was just five years old. His mother took work in a tomato-canning factory, and the young Harland was required to cook for the family. He dropped out of school at age 12, right around the time his mother remarried. His new stepfather was abusive and Sanders moved to live with an uncle. At age 15 he lied about his age and joined the army.

At age 18 he married and soon had three children. He worked a variety of jobs to support his young family, but after his boss fired him for insubordination while he was on a trip, his wife stopped writing him letters. He then learned that she had left him, given away all their furniture and household goods, and taken the children back to her parent’s home. Her brother wrote Sanders a letter saying, "She had no business marrying a no-good fellow like you who can’t hold a job."

At age 40 he opened a small service station in Kentucky along a busy Highway 25. In the small residence attached to the service station, he'd cook and serve meals to weary travelers and soon became well known for his cooking skills. He became so popular that seven years later he built a hotel and a 142 seat restaurant across the highway . Two years after opening it burnt to the ground and Sanders had to rebuild.

Then when he was 65, Interstate 75 was built and the once busy highway suddenly was bypassed. The restaurant failed for lack of business. At the age when most people retire, the Colonel took $105 from his first Social Security check and set up a franchise business for his famous fried chicken recipe. Ten years later he sold Kentucky Fried Chicken for $2 million.

The early death of his father...
An abusive stepfather...
A failed marriage...
A failed career....
A fire...
A failed restuarant...
Old age...

None of it stopped the Colonel. So why should the challenges you face stop you?