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24 April 2008

Don't eat those peanuts!

An old man and a young man work together in an office. The old man always has a jar of peanuts on his desk, and the young man really loves peanuts.

One day, while the old man is away from his desk, the young man yields to temptation and scarfs down over half of the contents of the jar.

When the old man returns, the young man feels guilty and confesses to his crime.

"Don''t worry, son. I never eat the peanuts anyway," the old man replies. "Since I lost my teeth, all I can do is gum chocolate off the M&M's."

Posted by rickroot at 6:28 AM | Link | 0 comments
21 April 2008

Rick Root General Dentistry

Okay, stop asking.  You've all heard the radio ads from the yellow pags where Rick Root, DDS, talks about how business has improved since he started advertising in the yellow pages.

No, it's not me.  No, I haven't changed professions!

If you've surfed into this page after doing a google search, I suggest you hit your back button and try another link =)  I think he's in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted by rickroot at 10:59 AM | Link | 0 comments

Going to Williamsburg this weekend

We're using some timeshare points with our Wyndham Vacation Resort timeshare to go to Williamsburg this weekend.  I got an email about a month ago saying that there were some points discounts for various resorts, and that included a 40% discount at the Wyndham Resort at Kingsgate in Williamsburg, a very nice older resort that has been renovated to be a "Gold Crown" style resort (like all of Wyndham's newer resorts).  Last time Emily and I stayed there last year, we were in a 1 bedroom lockoff, but even the half-kitchen had granite counter tops, and the TV in the living room was a flat panel!   Anyway, the 40% discount ran through the last weekend in April, so that's when I made the reservation for.

We filled out an educational leave form for Emily so we can take her out of school on Friday.  We're going to take her to Colonial Williamsburg.  We'll see if she finds it interesting.  I've never been there.

Saturday we're going to go to Busch Gardens and ride some rides!

The forecast for the weekend looks decent.. Partly cloudy and 78 on Friday, and then cloudy and 78 on Saturday - and only a 20% chance of precip both days.. then Sunday it says "Few showers" and a 30% chance of precip but we'll be coming home Sunday.  If that forecast holds out, I'll be perfectly happy.

Hey Steve, wanna hit Busch Gardens with us on Saturday?

Posted by rickroot at 9:54 AM | Link | 5 comments

Fred Aikens: Spammer for NC State Auditor? No Thanks

I mentioned a week or so ago that candidate Pat Smathers spammed me, and I hate spammers.

Add Fred Aikens to that list, a candidate for NC State Auditor.  Mr. Aikens spammed me today.

If you don't like spam, don't vote for spammers like Fred Aikens.

Posted by rickroot at 8:22 AM | Link | 0 comments

Weekend Boating Update


On my way to the boat ramps Saturday morning (around 9am) I stopped by the gas station to fill up a small (2 gallon) gas can.  I have no idea how big my boat's tank is, nor do I know how much gas I use or whether or not the fuel gauge works.  So I wanted to keep a few gallons of gas on the boat with me in case I run out of gas, that way when I fill up next time I'll know how big the tank is - and whether or not my fuel gauge works.  I suspect that it does not.

I get to the boat ramp at Jordan Lake (Seaforth recreation area) around 9:15, and get the boat into the water by myself.  It's a little tricky to do by myself - takes a little more time because I basically have to get the boat off the trailer and get it tied to the dock and THEN drive the truck up and park it.  So I did this and just as I was driving up to a parking spot, my sister Laurie and her boyfriend Charles show up.  Charles is a mechanic, he owns an automative shop in Cary.

Posted by rickroot at 7:26 AM | Link | 0 comments
18 April 2008

Getting the boat out....

yay spring!
I'm making my first trip to the lake tomorrow (Jordan Lake, southwest of Raleigh).  Got the boat from storage last week and aside from a broken fuse, that caused the blower to not work, it started right up.  So I'm taking it out Saturday for the first run of the season.
BOAT = Bring On Another Thousand
I've been pretty lucky so far with this boat.  It's a 1986 Glasstream 172 bowrider with a 140hp mercruiser stern drive.  It's a piece of crap in terms of looks... couple years ago I probably had about $700 worth of work done to it mechanically (replace the bellows, which had a whole in it) and some bearing or something in the lower unit that was pretty worn out)... but last year I had my sister's boyfriend do a spring tuneup (adjust the timing, clean carburator, etc)... so I'm hoping this year, given how easily it started up .. that I won't have any problems this spring.  knock on wood!  Of course last year I spent about $700 getting it reupholstered (we know a guy!), so it looks a bit nicer than it used to.
So far all I've done this year is replace the blower ($25, and it wasn't necessary - I discovered the broken fuse AFTER the fact), and replaced the running boards on the trailer - new plywood and new carpeting on those.    Assuming I have no major mechanical issues I'm probably gonna buy a nice bimini top for it.  A little shade would be nice.
I need more (and higher paying) freelance work so I can buy one of these:
Posted by rickroot at 7:50 AM | Link | 2 comments
14 April 2008

Pat Smathers: Spammer for Lt. Governor of North Carolina? I think not

I hate spammers.

And now, you can add Pat Smathers to that list.  I've never heard of him before and I don't know why he emailed me but somehow I'm on his spam list.  Smathers is a candidate for the Lt. Governor of North Carolina.

If you hate spam, don't vote for spammers.  Don't vote for Pat Smathers.

Posted by rickroot at 8:36 PM | Link | 0 comments
12 April 2008

Time to get the boat ready!

Okay Jordan Lake is still cold (58 degrees as of Friday).  But it's warming up and the weather is certainly getting nicer - it was 80 degrees here yesterday!

Last year, I didn't get the boat ready until Memorial Day (by then, around here, it's summer and the water is plenty warm to swim).  But that's because I was having the upholstery redone, and though the guy who did it did a fantastic job at a VERY affordable price, he did have the boat for like 8 weeks!

I got the boat from the dry storage at the Marina yesterday and brought it home.  For those of you not in the know, it's a 1986 Glastream 172 (17" bowrider) with a 140 horsepower Mercruiser stern drive.  Nice little recreational boat, good for tubing, runs fairly well.

Posted by rickroot at 9:01 PM | Link | 0 comments
10 April 2008

Smart Investing - Smart401k.com

Okay, so as you know, I work at Duke University.  This means I have a ridiculously nice 403b retirement plan (that's 401k for you for-profit folks!).  Regardless of my contribution (as long as it is 5%, I think), Duke puts in something like 7.3% of the first $45,000 of my salary, and 13.3% of everything above that.  For me that works out to about 10% of my salary.  Since I'm currently contributing 10% myself, that means I'm getting approximately $1 of Duke's money for every $1 of my money.  That's a good match.

By comparison, Adrienne gets a 50% match up to 6% of her salary, so even though she's putting 15% into her 401k, she's only getting 3% from Wyeth - meaning she gets 20 cents for every dollar of her money.

Well, we'll take it anyway.

But the fact is, we're not investors.  I don't have the time to investigate the 70 different Fidelity funds that I can choose to invest in.  I think the vast majority of 401k and 403b investors are not knowledgeable investors.  I mean, I know I'm 30 years from retirement and I'm able to be somewhat risky with my investments, and I know how to look at historical returns and such but I really just don't have the time to be a fully-informed invester.

Enter www.Smart401k.com.

Smart401k.com is a company founded by Adam Bold (and others).  Adam Bold also founded "The Mutual Fund Store" and has a nationally syndicated radio show dedicated to mutual fund investing.  Anyway, the idea is that you sign up - either quarterly or annually - answer a survey about your investment objectives, how willingly you accept risk, etc, and then you tell them how much is in your 401k and what your investment options are.

Once a quarter (or more), Smart401k.com provides you with recommendations for investment allocation.  They notify me via email that new recommendations are available, I log into the web site, review the recommendations, then head over to the Fidelity @ Work web site and reallocate my 403b according to their recommendations.  It's that easy.

Now I've only been in the service for a month, so I can't tell you how well things are going.  Ask me in 5 or 10 years.  All I know is that their recommendations are almost certainly better than anything I would come up with.

Check 'em out.




Posted by rickroot at 6:45 PM | Link | 0 comments
09 April 2008

Brian Vander Ark and Edwin McCain Gig Together

So my friend-in-fandom Trudi posted on the Brian Vander Ark Fan Forums that several of Brian's new announced tour dates are gigs in which he is opening for Edwin McCain.  I've been listening to Edwin McCain *ALMOST* as long as I've been listening to Brian and The Verve Pipe - I discoverd TVP in late 1993 and probably discovered Edwin McCain in 1995, maybe 1996.  I've got four of his albums - Honor Among Thieves, Messenger, Misguided Roses, and Lost in America.

You may remember Edwin McCain for his biggest hit "I'll Be" which was featured for a while as the theme song to the TV show Dawson's Creek.  He also broke into the Top 40 with a song called "I could not ask for more" but that was more popular as a country song by artist Sara Evans.

Anyway, he's a fantastic singer and I've always enjoyed his music.  I'm half tempted to buy a plane ticket to chicago to see the House of Blues show... or perhaps a road trip to Cleveland, and a little side trip to Cedar Point would be in order.... hmmm...


Posted by rickroot at 8:25 PM | Link | 0 comments
05 April 2008

Movie Review: The Mist: 5 SUCKS!

I usually watch a bad movie and say "that was bad" and go a bout my life.  I wasn't angry with the makers of Event Horizon for making a terrible movie, nor was I pissed off at the makers of Oh Brother Where Art Thou for making a bad movie that a lot of people seemed to like.

But The Mist Sucked, and I'll tell you why.  Don't read further you don't want to know how it ends.

I actually was enjoying the movie until the last 5 minutes.  It wasn't a good movie by any means, but it was tolerable entertainment.

The main character, his boy, and 3 others escape the supermarket in a car and attempt to drive out of the mist, and eventually they run out of gas - still in the mist, still surrounded by the sounds of horribly nasty creatures.

5 people in the car, and four bullets.  The adults all seem to agree that suicide is the best route, and the main character shoots the other four passengers - including his own son.

Then he gets out of the car, and is rescued mere MOMENTS after shooting his own son.

Worst possible ending.  No wonder nobody went to see it in the theater.

Nobody wants to see a movie where someone has to shoot their own kid.


Posted by rickroot at 6:49 PM | Link | 0 comments