Quick update to family on what you probably already knew:
Rachel is now Rachel, CPA. Her certificate finally came last month, so she is fully licensed to do your taxes or be called to court as an "expert witness." Ask her about energy derivatives and FAS 133. Once you get her going, she won't quit. Its like talking sports to her. She's also a graduate of The University of Texas, McCombs School of Business, Master in Professional Accounting.
Rob just finished his MBA from Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Management. I'm not about to toot my own horn, so I won't say much, except that I'm happy to finally be done. Without a doubt the best two year investment in my young life; I now know how to create a forward interest rate curve, value your company, and identify your companies' strengths, weaknesses, and how to fix them.
Prior to graduate studies, both Rachel and Rob are proud graduates of George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.
A very handy tool for road warriors and soccer moms alike: 1-800-GOOG-411. The good folks at GOOGLE (NASAQ: GOOG) have integrated their online service with a toll-free number that lets you get directions, phone numbers, and information about almost every company in America. For instance, you're driving through Centralia, WA. You know there's a McMenamins somewhere off I-5, but you don't know where. A quick GOOG-411 cell phone call reveals its location and connects you for free. Repeat this for almost any situation you find yourself in. This is yet another way that technology is making the world a smaller place.
According to the Pew Research Center, only 4% of America potentially (but not likely) knows more current events than I do. What do I do with this vast pool of mostly useless knowledge? Maybe one of you will be a contestant on a game show, and you'll use me as your "phone a friend."
I'm sure Rachel would score highly too. She's become quite the current events buff since the Peace Corps provided us with 2-years worth of Newsweeks (one of the "perks" of service to our country). She's busy creating energy forward curve benchmarks, otherwise her score would be listed here too.
As a kid I lived with horrible allergies, 365 days a year. I downed Benadryl, Claritin, and Allegra, which caused my heart to race, gave me bad dreams, and required that I never miss a dose. Eventually, an allergist (ie, a “super expensive” luxury) concocted a unique mixture of inactive allergens that she shot into my arm every week for three years. When I moved away from Texas, my allergies went away. Six years later (I thought I was “immune to all allergies” by this time), we moved back to Texas, and the allergies came back overnight. It was horrible. Rachel was frustrated, maybe she was reconsidering her 3 year marriage with me – I don’t know… A lady at Whole Foods begged me to try Allernone. “But it’s $30 a bottle!” Her response: “Do it for me!” Unnecessary story short, I tried it, and it worked like a charm. 3 years later, my allergies are nonexistent. All I do is take about 10 drops of Allernone, 2x a day (I’m down to 1x per day), and I have no allergies whatsoever. Dog, ragweed, mold, whatever. Allernone uses the same ingredients in expensive allergy shots, but instead of injecting it into your arm, you drop it under your tongue. It doesn’t make your heart race and it doesn’t make you sleepy, because it isn’t medicine. It’s just inactive allergens that your body uses to build up an immunity. Long story short, if you’re suffering like I was, give this stuff a try. I laugh when I see those ridiculous Claritin commercials, because they are so expensive and ineffective compared to Allernone.
A few weeks ago, Rob and Rachel visited the San Jacinto Monument. Not many people know it exists (even in Texas), but it's worth a trip if you happen to be visiting Houston. At 567 feet, it's 12 feet taller than the Washington Monument, and situated in the actual spot / swamp of the battle where Sam Houston exclaimed, "Remember the Alamo!" Given its size and the sacredness of its location, we found it a little bizarre that it was so unkempt. Let's just say there is a lot of opportunity for improvement around the facility. For starters, the sidewalk that surrounds the reflecting pool is sinking into the water...