Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Hockey season starts

This was the start of our Rusty Blades hockey season.  I am on the Blue Flames team, and it is lots of fun and great exercise too.  We play twice a week so that ends up being about 50 games for the six month season.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Birthday surprise fishing trip

 It was Paul's birthday (orange) so Gary took several friends and men from church on a Halibut trip.
 It takes a lot of weight fishing in the high tide currents of Cook Inlet, and it is a lot of work bringing that weight back up from the ocean floor to change bait.

 Bringing one up now.  We each got two which is the limit.
This one is about 25 or 30 pounds.  It is possible to get one 300 #s.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Debt thoughts

Not many folks talk about this, that the US spends more on defense than the next 17 nations combined. (We are 11th as a percent of GDP @ 4.7%.)

If i was loaning money to a neighbor and he spent it all on guns and ammo... i would be a little worried about trying to collect that debt.

Are we really intending to pay off our debts??? Or, do we really have to worry about paying it off?

Another thought; "the borrower is servant to the lender" i wonder if the lenders to the US are controlling what is happening in this country behind the scenes.

That is probably enough crazy thoughts about debt.

A person with zero debt is free from many worries.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Coicidence or Connection

A few months ago a book was recommended that shows many connections between natural disasters and market crashes; and how the US treats Israel. Since i like to study the markets and am also a fan of controversies and conspiracy theories it caught my attention. The book is As America has done to Israel by John McTernan. He starts out by showing how we supported Israel in the earlier days of the new nation. But later during the reigns of four or five recent presidents we have been methodically telling Israel to give back land and settlements. Often on the same day or day after we do this bad things such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and market crashes happen! Is it just an interesting coincidence or is God really trying to get our attention? Perhaps monitoring this type of news can help the decision to go long or short the markets.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Exodus and Exile

We are living during very trying times lately and for several years now. I found an interesting introduction to Lamentations written in the Message Bible by Eugene Peterson that might have a parallel application to 'what in the world is going on anyway??' I will copy one paragraph:

"There are two polar events in the history of the Hebrew people: the Exodus from Egypt and the Exile into Babylon. Exodus is the definitive story of salvation into a free life. God delivered his people from Egyptian slavery (in about 1200 B. C.). It is a story of freedom. It's accompanied by singing and dancing--an exuberant experience. Exile is the definitive story of judgment accompanied by immense suffering. God's people are taken into Babylonian slavery (the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. marks the event). It is a time of devastation and lament. It is a terrible experience. The two events, Exodus and Exile, are bookends holding together the wide-ranging experiences of God's people that fall between the exuberance that accompanies salvation and the suffering associated with judgement."

We hear the Exodus story a lot in churches but rarely hear about the Exile. 2Kings 23 shows how bad things became in Israel before the judgement of exile. The way things are becoming in this country and world, are we ripe for judgement or exile ourselves?

This is kind of a negative posting, but it is something i just noticed this summer while reading and a light went on and it had to be written to remember it... Seventy years after the exile God was gracious and let a few go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple and the walls (Ezra and Nehemiah). Yet those who went back to the promised land were slaves and had to give their harvests to foreign kings. (Nehemiah 9 and check out v. 36, 37.) Maybe these difficult days can be explained by the exodus AND the exile story.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Final step to Egypt

Will find out in three or four weeks if i get a work visa.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Training Holly for Mt. Marathon race

We took a training trek up Mt. Marathon on June 30th. Holly ran the race in the ladies division on July 4th.

Practicing skipping down the mountain.

Rest stop with a view.

Highlander hiking outfit.

Made it to the edge of the world.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

First grandson, second grandchild

Yesterday afternoon Heidi called and John sent photos of Leeland, our newest grandson. He was a big boy at 9lb. 4oz.!! We are very excited and will be visiting them soon. It is amazing how quick we can see photos of the baby and talk just minutes after he was born. Emery looks like she has her hands full. Nice family photo on top.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yancey - What Good is God?

I have always liked reading books by Philip Yancey because he tackles the tough issues that most folks would rather ignore. In this one he talks about ten places he traveled to for speaking engagements. He shares background circumstances about the places and people he visited. Following each chapter is a talk he gave at each place. He really shows how God's grace and love can work in today's world.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's next???

It has not been a quiet week in the world. I'm going to try to make some links and/or photos to help remember this for later. http://www.spiegel.de/flash/flash-25462.html if it works has some satellite before and after photos of the earthquake/tsunami in Japan. There is a slider bar to compare the two photos.

Here is another list since 2001 borrowed from Big Picture and also Doug Kass http://www.thestreet.com/story/11043072/1/kass-a-contagion-of-black-swans.html

Black Swan events over the past decade

• Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon;
• 78% decline in the Nasdaq;
• 2003 European heat wave (40,000 deaths);
• 2004 Tsunami in Sumatra, Indonesia (230,000 deaths);
• 2005 Kashmir, Pakistan, earthquake (80,000 deaths)
• 2008 Myanmar cyclone (140,000 deaths);
• 2008 Sichuan, China, earthquake ( 68,000 deaths);
• Derivatives roil the world’s banking system and financial markets;
• Failure of Lehman Brothers and the sale/liquidation of Bear Stearns;
• 30% drop in U.S. home prices;
• 2010 Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, earthquake (315,000 deaths);
• 2010 Russian heat wave (56,000 deaths);
• 2010 BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill;
• 2010 market flash crash (a 1,000-point drop in the DJIA);
• Surge of unrest in the Middle East; and
• Thursday’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Quite a scary list above and if that was not enough the middle east is still very unstable in Libya and Saudi Arabia...

Of course stock markets hate uncertainty.

Three woes, all in one week: natural and man made disasters, political unrest, and economic downtrend!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Building churches in Peru....fast

In the last half of February i went with a group to build 3 churches up the Ucayali river. It was a tough week with the heat - 80 to 100 degrees day and night. Each 24x36 building cost about $5000 each for materials. The first took about 18hrs., the second 16, and the third took 12hrs. to build. The lumber was heavy and all cut with chain saws!
Prayer time. No one was injured in the making of these photos or from building
Setting the posts.
Multitasking - building trusses
Check out the long chain saw!
Multitasking - building church pews
Standing up trusses
Finishing the top and front
View from the inside
Dedication service, very thankful folks!

Friday, December 10, 2010

2010 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas to Family and Friends, 2010

It is winter in Alaska again and that means Christmas is near. We are excited because the family will be flying north “over the rivers to grandmothers’ house” soon. Winter has been good – two big snows with a week of rain in between that made all the lakes great for skating for several days. Below are some events from 2010.

We were sad in April when granddaughter Emery moved to Tacoma, but Facebook and Skype kept us closer in spite of the distance. (Too bad we didn’t have this kind of communication 30 years ago for our kids and the grandparents.) John works with Operation Christmas Child for AK, WA, OR, ID and MT. Also, he’s been doing some writing lately for Christian Examiner. We are really looking forward to next April which is the due date of grandson Leeland! Grandkids are so much fun: )

July/August we had a great vacation down to Washington; along with a side-trip to see many Minnesotans for a week in the middle. Heidi and John’s apartment is in a good location, a block from a nice park and about a mile from downtown. So Heidi has a great place to take Emery for some fun and exercise every day.

Holly is making coffees up in Anacortes. She does a little rock climbing and sailing in her free time. She’s about 3 or 4 hours away from Heidi and they get together quite often.

Christoffer is an electrician working all around the oil and gas fields of the inlet and peninsula. He likes all motorized toys in his spare time.

Lois Ann is working half days at the elementary school and has become quite a painter at the lake house we are finishing. I am still retired and have been building and helping some friends a little on their buildings when not playing hockey or golf.

God Bless Everyone this Christmas and in the coming year!!! mstyns@gmail.com

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Did your vote count?

I guess the opportunity to vote is better than not being able to vote at all, and i think it may help some... I heard that out east in some race each vote cost $90 (advertising); maybe they should just pay each voter instead.

Here is a list in no particular order of all the other 'forces or influences' in the ununited states and world that really have nothing to do with voting. Can our elected politicians really control these things?

FED and BANKS The fed is really independent of the government and makes it's own rules for our money system.

RELIGIONS vs ANTI-RELIGION Many religions and many ideologies for/against God and gods which is a big influence of what is happening in the world today.

REGULATORS There are so many regulations made by innumerable agencies maybe just to keep their jobs relevant, it's a wonder how companies can do anything, and how many are hired just to be sure all regulations are followed?

WORLD MARKETS and MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES The jobs and factories go where the most favorable and profitable conditions exist.

MILITARY I think it is the biggest item in the US budget. It seems we are becoming the police of the world and the military seems to protect oil much of the time.

MEDIA Lots of ideas - who is right/wrong? It is nice we can all say something on the internet...

JUDGES and LAWYERS Not elected, and yet they seem to be making many rules/laws that we have today.

OPTIMISM/PESSIMISM Most folks are naturally pessimistic yet we seem to be better off than 50 or 100 years ago.

What do you think??

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trade Mark

That's the name an uncle called me years ago when i was a little kid. Then i would see it on many different things when learning to read. So that has been in my subconscious mind for a loong time.

My dad did a lot of trading in the stock market and brought me along downtown to visit his broker from time to time. Dad worked for the phone company and was always reading articles about new ideas and products like the transistor and studied companies for new trading ideas. Maybe i should have paid more attention. He sure would have loved the computer and charts that we have today along with unlimited, endless information.

That was back in the 50's and 60's.

In 1970 i moved to Alaska. I was poor and sold any stocks i had left to build a house for Lois Ann and me. In 1976 i got a great job at the huge ammonia/urea plant. Anyone who works these types of jobs knows that you see LOTS of charts for pressures, temperatures, flows, levels etc. Eventually that kind of job; all tied in together with personal computers and discount brokers and 401k's and savings got me back into being 'Trade Mark' again. That was the 80's and 90's. Also, a gradual shift was taking place where more responsibility was given to each person to take care of their own retirement instead of the company or government doing it all for you.

We all had to learn about investments or trading, whether we wanted to or not. When you trade using charts it called technical analysis. This comes sort of natural because of 30+ years of looking at charts every two hours and more at work.

Below are 4 great websites that i check out almost every day when it is good to be in the market:

1. http://www.stockmarketmentor.com/ is a good pay site that taught me a lot about using Bollinger Bands to trade. Dan Fitzpatrick also trains you to use stops and become a risk manager. There is free info on this site also.

2. Richard Lehman at http://stockcharts.com/def/servlet/Favorites.CServlet?obj=ID1399335 uses 5 min, hourly, and longer term charts with channels on many indexes to show you where the market is going. It is amazing how often these channel lines contain the price. The last chapters of his book explain this channel system. See his other website www.Channelist.com for more information.

3. Another great one from the public chartlist on stockcharts is Joanne Klein's "Above the Green Line" http://stockcharts.com/def/servlet/Favorites.CServlet?obj=ID3387040 The Green line is a 250 day moving average and page 1 has the highest momentum ETF's and page 2 has the highest momentum stocks. The Relative Strengths are above 90. It is worthwhile to study her trading method!

4. http://blog.kimblechartingsolutions.com/ is a site you must see!! Every chart has a picture for us art fans. You learn about bullish falling wedges and bearish rising wedges, ascending triangles, support, resistance... and above all else, the best times to HARVEST!!!

During hockey season i do a lot of trading. Not so much in the summer. Just trying to make enough to stay retired and comfortable. Hope this helps anyone who thinks the stock market is a mystery.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Emery has moved

If most of you have been checking out Facebook you know that John and Heidi have moved to Tacoma Washington. John is now a regional director for Samaritans Purse - Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. We are missing them and especially Emery. Hopefully we'll get down to see them often.

Grandma painting Emery's toes.
Emery looks a little sad about moving.
Showing Christoffer her doll.
One of my favorite things was watching Emery peel a mandarin orange and then divide it into sections. She uses all her muscles in her tiny fingers and hands, and concentrates on the task at hand. Grandpa taught her how to do it.

It was really great to have them up here for about 10 months and see Emery grow up. I had forgotten what it was like with our kids.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Letter 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Christmas and New Year is a great time to re-connect with everyone. Hope you all had a fine Christmas. About a week ago, every single tree branch was coated white with fresh frost and snow, but it didn’t quite stick until Christmas because of some warm wind and weather.

Thankfully we have had a very good first year of retirement in spite of the uncertain economy. Lois Ann is still working half days at the elementary school and she enjoys it. I have been finishing up some decades old projects at home, and putting in a lot of time working at the lake house making it more comfortable for John, Heidi and Emery. (Golf and hockey still take quite a slice of time.)

We took a fun road trip over the Alaska Highway to Washington in June. Heidi and John took us along as adult guests to Young Life camp Malibu, north of Vancouver, Canada. We had a very good time. We spent some more time in Anacortes and visited with Holly. On the way home we went over to Spokane and stayed with Vivian and Micheal Norris, and the next day stopped by Bruce and Susie Stinsman’s in Idaho. On the way north we went through Banff / Jasper parks in Canada and did some hiking. The Alaska Highway is way better than it was 20-30 years ago, no dust or gravel.

In July John, Heidi, and Emery moved up here. They are helping Young Life grow on the Kenai Peninsula, and also working with a local Christian college. It is sure fun having Emery close by.

Holly is living in Anacortes and making coffees for a living. She travelled to Alaska a few times this year, and India!

Christoffer lives about 9 miles away and has kept busy all year as an electrician. We get to do a little hiking, golf and hockey together.

We hope and pray everyone has a good 2010. These are interesting times and changes we are living through. (New Year resolutions: do more blog and facebook photos and entries.)

God Bless Everyone,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Trail beside Exit Glacier

This is one of the best hikes on the Kenai Peninsula! It is about 7 miles to go up and down. Here you can see some of the zig-zag path going up. I asked everyone where they were from so here is the list: Boston, Texas, Seattle, LA, Ottawa, Holland, Colorado, San Francisco, France, Spain, Belgium, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Florida, Virginia, Whittier (the only ones from Alaska and they were summer hires) California, DC and ?? (they didn't understand English)Mark, Holly, Christoffer
This makes a good desktop photo. There are not many trails around with green forest and ice.
It was so very nasty on top that we did not see the hut until we were about 50 feet away from it. Thankfully the fog and clouds cleared off before we headed down and we could see some of the Harding Icefield.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Frog search

Every spring when the ice melts off the pond you can hear the frogs making a racket. I decided to try and find them or their eggs.

Christoffer's dog Chompers helped in the search.
Lois came along for a walk to the pond. This is the best time of year as the sky stays light almost all night.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

CBS with his new motorcycle

Here it is!! Christoffer was away working for 5 or 6 weeks straight. Guess what popped into his mind when he was free for a few days and the hot summer sun was beating down.
I had to sit down and imagine what it would be like to be a member of the Nobody Motorcycle Club.
I do like Christoffers haircut. He is imagining what it would be like to be retired.