Battered Men Make Better BBQ!

I had been contemplating whether or not to do any local business reviews on this page and had mostly decided not to do any local writing because I wanted to keep this page geared towards product and book reviews for Amazon and a handful of other national type businesses. Well, that all changed as of last Friday.

We were having friends over for lunch on Saturday and I thought I would stop by this new BBQ joint here in Leesville, LA and pick up a little yardbird for part of our meal. Now before I go any further I need to interject a little something for those of you who are following my Weight Loss Journey on this page; I need you guys to know that I take a cheat-day off of my diet every Saturday, so don’t stone me for what you are about to read.

Now that that is taken care of I’ll move on.

When I first pulled into the drive-thru (it is drive-thru only. No seating at this time), the all familiar smell of a wood-fired pit found its way into my car. I was not upset with that. I pulled up to the window to get my order (I called my order in prior to getting there) and Carla, the sweet lady working the window asked me to pull around back while they got my order ready. I had ordered two half chicken orders. One half chicken comes with 2 half chickens, so my order was actually the equivalent of 2 whole birds. It also came with sides, and we only asked for potato salad.

I had pulled around to the back of the building by the outdoor grilling area. I had to get out and take a peek at their setup. All I can say is it is a grillmaster’s dream! Not only the equipment, but the smells coming out of there were to die for. Rocky Gattis, the owner, saw me snooping around and came out to talk (really just to make sure I wasn’t hooking his Grill Trailer to my car). Both Rocky and the Carla lady are very pleasant people. But I wasn’t there for pleasantries, I came for the BBQ. I asked him for a sample of his BBQ sauce.

Before I tell you about the sauce, let me first explain that I am in no way an expert on BBQ Sauce, or much of anything else for that matter. BUT, I have had the opportunity to eat BBQ at some joints in towns who are famous for great BBQ. Chicago, Kansas City, Memphis, and all over Texas just to name a few. As a truck driver for 17 I used that time on the road to sample a whole bunch of BBQ. Still, I am no expert, but I do have a good point of reference on the subject.

Back to the sauce. Rocky has been training with and competing against some of the greatest grillmasters in the business. He has done well in many of the competitions he has participated in. I tell you that so that you will know he is not serving his customers Heinz or Sweet Baby Ray’s. But don’t ask him for the recipe. I’m afraid if he told you he may feel compelled to make sure you never repeated it to anyone…..EVER! Let me just say this about his champion BBQ sauce. Once it hit my tongue my first reaction was “wow thats sweet” and then almost instantly my tongue started tasting every other nuance Rocky has designed into it. I was like “HOLY COW! What is this???!!!” I was experiencing sweet, tangy, and spicy simultaneously. It was delicious. I honestly have never had a BBQ quite like his.

But then I swallowed it, and just when I thought the whole thing was over, something hit the taste buds in back forty. There was a smokey flavor afterkick. It was like, OHHHHH YEAHHH!

I hope Battered Men’s BBQ is around for many many years. I wish Rocky, Carla, and Carl (Grillmaster #2) all the best. I know that the good folks of Leesville, LA are gonna treat them right.

ps The tater salad was pretty good too!

**DISCLAIMER** This is not a paid recommendation or review of this business. This is my honest opinion of this establishment.

STASH Update Feb 11-15, 2019

BEFORE WE GET STARTED CLICK HERE TO GET $5!

Good Friday afternoon everybody! It is time for the weekend update. I know its not Sunday, but I actually had some time today to get this done.

So first lets take a look at my Monday stock purchases using my regular weekly transfer to my STASH account of $40:

  1. Take-two Interactive added $5
  2. Marathon Petroleum added $5
  3. ConocoPhillips added $5
  4. AT&T added $5
  5. Kraft Hienz added $5
  6. The Walt Disney Company added $5
  7. Sunoco added $5
  8. Ford added $5

Remember, all I am doing is investing in every company that STASH offers, and keeping the amount invested in each the same as each other investment. In other words in the beginning of this project I began purchasing only $5 of each stock and ETF STASH offers. I did this with my $40 per week deposit. It took some time to purchase all 200 companies, but I did. I actually used some extra money one week that I had taken from another savings account. Now, I am working on adding the next level of investment funds each week to my investments. I am bringing each investment up to $10. So all of the above companies listed are now at $10 each for their “amount invested” as it reads on the app.

Now, last Friday I had only a few investments that met my selling requirements. As mentioned before it takes two to three business days for the funds to settle up and be available for reinvesting. The investments listed below are the stocks I sold the previous Friday, and I rebuy them at the original amount I had invested in them. In other words if I had $5 invested, sold for $5.76, I am only investing the original $5 back into that particular stock. The leftover money is saved in my account until it accumulates to $5 with other sales at which point I invest it in the stock on my list that has the biggest loss AND that needs to be brought up to the current “amount invested” level. Here is the list of rebuys that I made on Tuesday:

  1. Snap $5
  2. Chipotle $5
  3. Expedia $5
  4. Diageo $5

With those four sales and their profits I ended up with an extra $5 left over. I went to my portfolio and found my stock with the biggest losses that had not yet been brought up to the $10 level yet. Royal Caribbean Cruises was sitting there with only $5 in it, so it got $5 of EARNED MONEY added to it, leaving it at $10 “amount invested”. Just to kinda show you how this is working, Royal Caribbean Cruises (ticker symbol RCL) is up 1.6% since Monday. That means that my investment is also starting to come up.

I know for some readers who have been investing for years this may seem very simplistic. You’re right, it is. I am not doing this for seasoned investors. I am doing this to help show people who have never invested just how simple it is, and that by following simple principles and trading rules that you can actually pile up tremendous wealth long term. You just have to get started.

And finally, here are the end-of-day screen shots of my portfolio for each day this week:

Well there you have it, up $28 for the week on a very small investment account, and without spending any time doing research on companies or watching charts all day. Sure, this is entry level stuff, but you do need to start somewhere. Join STASH and get your feet wet. Go ahead and get started, then you can build your investment account while you are learning the secrets of investing like the pro’s. Get started today and you get $5 just for joining!

Weekly STASH Update For Feb 10

Hey! Have you downloaded STASH yet??? Why not!? STASH is your best bet as a beginning investor to learn the ins and outs of investing in the stock market.

So here is this week’s update. The week started off good but the overall market got sluggish the last few days of the this week. Did you see what SNAP did? At one point this week I was up 30% with SNAP. That’s a great return, and much more than your bank pays in interest. Of course, that doesn’t happen every day, nor does it happen with every stock or ETF. But it does happen occasionally, and the more you diversify the more frequently that will happen in you portfolio. Full disclosure; the potential for the opposite to happen increases as well. All in all you can easily expect about a 15% increase each year in the stock market by simply putting your money into a good SPY index fund and letting in grow. However, if you actually create a trading plan, even using the one that I have implemented with my STASH portfolio, you can possibly expect much bigger returns. Keep in mind that no one (myself included) can predict what the market or individual stocks will do. Don’t believe me? Go check out the posts on StockTwits. Watch the constant flow of predictions going on there on an hourly basis. It is really crazy. By the way, I do not recommend that website for new investors. Heck, I don’t even recommend it to seasoned investors.

I Won’t be doing the video trades from here on. Instead I will be updating on Sundays with end-of-day screenshots of my portfolio as well as whatever dividends I received, Monday morning purchases, Tuesday purchases of the previous Friday’s sales, and current week’s end-of-week sales. I hope this will be an encouragement to all new investors. Please get started creating a future today. Join STASH!

Why I Promote STASH!

In a nutshell, the above image sums up my reason for joining STASH. Read on for details.

When I was a teenager just getting out of High School I had my first introduction to investing. It was from a preacher who was trying to get my Dad involved in a company called A L Williams. At that time (33 years ago give or take) the product being sold was some sort of savings or investment product. Maybe an annuity, but I really don’t remember for sure. Anyway, what I do remember was a breakdown sheet the salesman showed my dad and me. I found it really mesmerizing as it showed how, through compounding, a person could invest $2000 at age 18 and at age 19, let it stay there in whatever product they were selling, compounding year by year, and when you reach the age of 60 you would have over $1,000,000 to retire on. I was VERY impressed because no one had ever taught me what compounding could do.

But, did I do anything with this info? Did I start investing immediately? Have I since piled up a huge retirement???? Well…..NO! I never learned to be disciplined. I never learned to overcome my fears, and countless other reasons. Long-story-short, I have worked hard all of my life and here I am at 50 (soon to be 51) years of age with nothing to retire on in a few years.

Why did this happen to me? Why does this happen to so many people? How can this be fixed? Those are the questions I hope to address in this blog.

The first 2 questions I am going to attempt to answer together. Keep in mind that my answer is based in my experience, and though I may use a very broad brush stroke to convey my answer I in no way think that my answer fits everyone. I also don’t believe it is exclusive to me either.

Question 1. Why did this happen to me and so many other people my age?

My answer is a bit more complex than to just say “fear”, but fear is definitely the heart of the matter. As a 50 year old man I was raised by parents who were born during the Great Depression. My grandparents saw hardships. Terrible hardships. Not only in their lives, but in the lives of everyone around them. They experienced the banks closing and watching their money disappear. They were devastated to say the least. This put a huge amount of distrust in them in financial institutions for the rest of their lives. And all they really knew was that it all happened because something call the “stock market” crashed and made all of their money go away. They were told that their money was perfectly safe in the bank and that nothing could ever happen to it. Today, that idea is mostly true. Banks now, because of the Great Depression are required to have insurance on all money deposited into the bank up to a certain amount per account. Back in those days though there was no such thing as bank insurance. So when the market crashed if you had money in the bank it was suddenly all gone.

This fear of financial institutions and the stock market was then passed down to the children of the parents of the Great Depression. It makes sense really. I mean, parents are to raise their children to be cautious of the things that have hurt them in the past. Right?! Well, that’s what they did. And then that fear was passed down to the next generation, and will be passed to the next generation if someone doesn’t step up and say, “HEY, things are a bit different now!”

This is pretty much what happened to me. I believe I got caught in the vortex of Hand-me-down fear from the Great Depression. Maybe not directly drilled into me like it may have been into my parents, but more of a residual gleaning of the idea because I was raised in a home where saving money was rarely done due to lack of it, and investing was discouraged because of their past experience with the Great Depression.

My dad did okay for his family. He graduated college, got a job as a school teacher and retired with a teachers retirement, and a military retirement. He never had to save for his retirement. He did encourage me to follow in his footsteps, but when I decided to go my own way he was unable to give me direction. Therefore, I struck out on my own with no real understanding of the future, and all the learned fears handed down from my grandparents and parents. Bottom line, financially I have always felt unprepared for the future.

Question 2. What can be done to change this process?

First thing you need to do is understand it is never too late to start investing. It is also never too early or too late to start teaching your children the importance investing. Now, there are a ton of expensive options out there for you to start your new investing lifestyle. If you choose an online broker like etrade, scottrade, or ameritrade, you can expect to pay as much as $9.95 per trade. In other words, you can pay $9.95 to buy a stock and then $9.95 to sell it once you make a profit. That is $20 total for every stock you buy. I could go on and on about the high cost of investing, especially if you use a traditional broker in a brick and mortar building. It gets outrageous.

But I have good news. You can now buy and sell stocks at no cost per trade. With STASH you start trading with as little as $5. Thats five dollars that goes 100% into the stock or etf of your choice. The only thing you will pay is a $1 per month account maintenance fee as long as you have less than $5000 in the account. After $5000 it does go up, but it is minimal.

Whats more is you can actually start a custodial account for all of your dependent children. How cool is that??? I mean just imagine if your parents had started buying stocks for you 20-50 years ago. Imagine where you would be today! Maybe they didn’t do it for you, but now you have the opportunity to do it for them. I have recently started doing this for my kids. Just $5 a week I have automatically set to be deposited into different stocks and bond funds through STASH. They actually get to keep up with how much their little account is growing and get excited when the dividends hit. Its satisfying to do this for them and to know that I am breaking the curse of fear with them, all while teaching them some of the in’s and out’s of investing.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today! If you will use my referral link STASH will give both you and me $5 today. Here is the link

Paderno Masticating Juicer Review

And the clean-up!

As part of my new weight loss program, I am incorporating wheat grass juice for its power-punch of vitamins and nutrients. This stuff is better than any “power drink” on the market. Just do a quick Google search on the health benefits of wheat grass juice and you can spend days going through the results. It is incredibly easy to grow, and incredibly economical to grow in comparison to what you would have to eat in terms of vegetables just to get the same amount of nutrients. So check out this juicer here..

Order Growing Trays Just Like The Ones I Used HERE

One More Thing

 

You know, you can get just about anything online these days. You can get a spouse, a car, a vacation to Bora Bora….you can even get worms. Yep, W-O-R-M-S! Worms!!

CLICK HERE TO SEE WORM PRICES

You may be asking what in the world do I need worms for!? Well, if you are considering purchasing the Garden Tower 2 then you should buy some worms from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. If you’re wondering why you need to buy them rather than dig them up there are a few reasons why purchasing them is much better.

Reason #1 You need to purchase composting earthworms because they will bring the best natural fertilizer directly to the root base of your plants from the compost tube. The worms eat your kitchen scraps that you dump into the center tube of your Garden Tower 2, then they travel out into the garden area of the tower. Their food digests, they poop near your plants, then they return to the food tube and repeat the process. In doing this they are giving your plants the most sought after garden amendment/fertilizer known to man. Not only that, but they are also helping to raise the moisture content ability to your soil helping it to maintain healthy moisture levels between waterings when watered on a proper schedule. You do not need to be concerned that these worms will be bringing fresh manure to your plants roots. Their manure is naturally balanced and ready for immediate use by your plants. Worm manure will not burn your plants no matter how much they deliver. Try that with other manures and things won’t end so well for your garden.

Reason #2  You need to start with a larger number of worms than what you are going to be able to dig up over several hours. You need to start, in my opinion, with at least 500 worms. You see, if you start with only 20-30 worms that you dig up from your backyard or buy from the bait store, it could take them months to reproduce into the number of worms you need to adequately compost the material you dump into the center tube of the Garden Tower 2. And, if you try to purchase that 500 worms from a pet store or a bait store it will cost you quite a bit more than purchasing directly in bulk from the worm farm. (500 worms from Uncle Jim will roughly cost you $35 including shipping. Buying 500 worms from a pet store or bait store is likely gonna cost you $125 more or less.)

Reason #3  that you need to purchase them is that not every earthworm is good for composting. The Red Wiggler earthworm is the only true composting earthworm that there is, and if you happen to mix them with certain other earthworms in a colony situation you are liable to cause a clash of clans type of event in which your Red Wigglers could be completely destroyed. Not the best situation for your garden.

So what are you waiting for??? CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR WORMS TODAY

Garden Tower 2 (first update)

 

Day 1 Feb 19, 2018

Ok everybody, just a quick post about my Garden Tower 2. I’m basically a month into the growing season, and the results are very good so far. Compare the photos here and the dates they were taken.  I used  the cheapest potting soil that was available from Lowes. I believe it did have fertilizer in it which worries me for the worms, but so far they seem to be doing fine. If it is a chemical fertilizer I know that over time the effects of the chemicals on the worms will decrease as the amount of chemical will decrease. As the chemical fertilizer decreases the worm compost will increase and eventually my Garden Tower 2 will be completely organic.

Day 13 March 4, 2018

Looking at Day 13  it appears that my plants have more than doubled in size. At this point I had not even dumped the bottom tray of water into the top because we have had plenty of rain so far this season.

Day 29 March 19, 2018

And now Day 29. WOW!! I am now starting to pick some of the greens to make a small salad, but no tomatoes just yet. I am absolutely loving this thing and I have to admit I cannot see gardening in any other way. Let me give you my reasons. My time is very valuable. When you factor in the time that it takes to plow, plant, and work your traditional garden, the cost in time alone is phenomenal. It is a daily time commitment throughout the growing season as well. You must factor in every detail as well, both time and financial. You must own a tiller which is going to run you about $400 on the cheap end unless you find a deal at a garage sale or Bookoo. Then you have add the costs of soil amendments and fertilizers when and if needed. Of course you have to fight the insects. That is another expense in both time and money. By the time you factor together all of the costs involved in a traditional garden you realize you are eating $10 tomatoes.

So why do I find this Garden Tower 2 to be more cost effective? I have a total of about $500 invested in my garden this year. This amount includes the cost of the Garden Tower 2 (which is a one time expense), the soil (also a one time expense if you are composting), and the plants (the only constant expense). The Garden Tower 2 should last for years and years if used continuously. By the way, why did I not mention insect problems in regards to using the Garden Tower 2? Its simple, the plants do not make contact with the ground which is where the majority of the pest insects come from. Insects are mostly not a problem. So far with mine there has not been a problem with the insects. If that changes, I will let you know.

I will be adding more Garden Tower 2’s to my gardening projects. I intend on experimenting with different types of plants as well. Plants like bush beans, pole beans, corn, and even vine plants like cucumbers and melons. I will share my findings about these plants and how they do in the Garden Tower 2 with you.

Thats all for now. CLICK HERE for more information on how you can get your hands on this product!