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  • Showdown Between the West and the Rest - Amir Taheri, Times of London
  • Fukuyama's Fantasy - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post
  • Bush Urges Nations to End Violence; Rice Accuses Syria and Iran - David Sanger, NYT
  • Arab Governments' Role in Inciting Riots - Stephen Spruiell, NRO
  • The Promise of Liberty - Fouad Ajami, WSJ
  • Remarks at National Prayer Breakfast - President of the United States
  • 'To detect and prevent attacks against the United States' - General Mike Hayden, Fox News Sunday
  • Our Right to Security - Debra Burlingame, WSJ
  • Spies and Lying Editorialists - John Hinderaker, Power Line
  • Saints in Armor - Ben Stein, American Spectator
  • Presidential Powers Defended - Bruce Fein, Washington Times
  • Iranian Intentions - Washington Times
  • The real secret to defeating radical Islam - WorldNetDaily
  • A Sept. 10 State of Mind - SF Chronicle

  • Hezbollah Leader To Bush: 'Shut Up' - CBS
  • Spies, Lies and Wiretaps - NYT
  • Warriors and wusses - Joel Stein, LA Times
  • We Don't Need a New King George - Andrew Sullivan, Time Magazine
  • Ignoring Protests, Iran Resumes Nuclear Program - NYT
  • 'Bin Laden ordered rocket attacks [on Israel]' - Jazeera
  • NSA Whistleblower Alleges Illegal Spying - ABC News

  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    Affordable, Self-Watering Greenhouse Vertical Garden

    Plant & Flourish Vertical Garden Adapted for Greenhouse Use

    For years, I've looked for a simple, affordable way to grow tomatoes and lettuce in a small greenhouse without the hassle of daily watering - and I think I've found it. I bought an off-the-shelf, self-watering vertical garden from Amazon (sadly, no longer available - so now I recommend this one) and hung it on one of the racks in an inexpensive greenhouse.

    Using a small, plastic pan as a reservoir tank I added a sub-$10 submersible pump to run water from the tank to the garden through a clear aquarium tube.  I added a smaller airline tube to return water from the garden to the reservoir (I bought the larger tube and fittings from local aquarium stores).

    I went to Home Depot and bought a few $4 tomato seedlings and $2 flowers and put them in the self-watered pots and I was done. Instant garden.

    No drilling holes in PVC pipes, DIY carpentry or complicated plumbing required.

    As a person on a budget - with a small yard and limited DIY skills, this setup is ideal for me.

    I still have to add potting soil, drop hydroponic tomato fertilizer and calcium nitrate in the tank every couple of weeks and make sure the Arctic Cove mister is running to keep the greenhouse cool when it's really hot outside - but this setup doesn't take a lot of babysitting.

    Varmints and insects can't get to my plants, and I don't have to worry about watering them every day.

    God willing, in a couple of months, I should have a plentiful supply of several varieties of tomatoes to choose from.

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    Sunday, June 09, 2013

    Free Kindle Version of Churchill's The River War!

    Haven't posted for a while - but this is too good to pass up.  A free Kindle copy of Churchill' The River War  - written  from Churchill's experience as an army officer/war correspondent during Lord Kitchener's campaign against the Mahdists in the Sudan.

    Click on the image to order the paperback

    Much of what young Churchill has to say about the region is still applicable today.  The Kindle version is free.  And for those who prefer paper, the paperback is $11.25 as of this post.   Highly recommended.

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    Saturday, October 31, 2009

    Spirit of '87, '01, or '08?

    Whether it's September, October or November - fall seems to be the cruelest season of all for equity market bulls. This is the scenario that I have been positioning myself for all year -- limited risk with the potential for unlimited gain if the market collapses.

    My "one winged" Nov SDS condor (outlined below) and my short AMZN 130 call/long AMZN 100 put credit spread ($115 gross, $109 net) are both looking very good.

    I want to hedge the AMZN spread and will do so when time decay and/or a further fall in price for the underlying gets the premium for the 135 call down below $50 or so.

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    November "One Wing" SDS Condor In Place

    Able to put the 33-34-53-54 one-wing condor together for $100 gross, ~$79 net. Looking forward to expiration.

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    October Expiration

    Another good month. The Oct DBC 20-21-24-25 condor expired out of the money. The Oct SDS 35-36-50-51 "one winged" condor was fine too, after a brief concern resulting from the equity rally early in the week.

    DBC got close to 24 towards the end of the week, so I bought the three DBC 24 calls back at a nickel each today, and the two SDS 36s and the SDS 50 for the same price early in the week, so I made $30 less than if I had held them all the way to expiration, but it was worth it to be able to sleep soundly at night -- and to be able to go to work today without worrying about volatility on options expiration day.

    New position -- short 2 Nov SDS 34 puts at an average price of $40 each, for a total of $80 ($74.10 after commissions). I legged in at $30 and $50. I'll build a one-winged condor around them as market conditions permit. Still short-term bullish, but longer-term bearish on the U.S. equities market because of the fiscal irresponsibility of the Obama Administration and the Democrats in Congress (in addition to the trillions in paper that the Fed is printing) -- but I'm flexible.


    Sunday, October 04, 2009

    October Expiration Update - One and a Half Winged Condor

    With the market's decline last week, my previously discussed double-short position in the stock market (short 2 SDS Oct 39 puts, long 2 SDS 51 calls) is paying off -- especially since I hedged it this week by buying a couple of Oct 38 puts for a nickel each and selling a 50 call for a quarter.

    Not a classic iron condor, but I didn't want to completely cap my profits, just in case U.S. equities decide to tank in the next couple of weeks.

    So, with just $200 at risk, I have a $65 credit in my account, with the potential for increased gains if the market continues to decline. A very good position to be in, but I take nothing for granted and will watch the position all the way to expiration.

    The risk/reward also looks good on the DBC iron condor -- but I will watch that one too, and take appropriate action if it moves against me.

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    Options Expiration Results

    I was 5 for 5 in September -- to include the original short positions in the 2 Sep Deutsche Bank Commodities (DBC) 22 puts and the Sep S&P 500 Double-Short (SDS) 39 put.

    But it was too close for my comfort level (22.43 for the DBC and 39.67 for the SDS), so I added a contract and rolled them down and forward to Oct. The DBC is now a 3 contract 20-21, 24-25 iron condor with a net credit of ~$102 and the SDS is now a 2 contract 36 put short position with a net credit of ~$74.

    For those (few) folks who read this blog to see my political screeds, this options stuff is probably not very interesting, but for me, maintaining the freedom to succeed or fail in the capital, commodities and interest rate markets with minimal government interference is a vital part of preserving the Western way of life. Ideally, these markets (to include the derivatives markets) are the vehicles for providing capital formation, price discovery, liquidity and credit in the economy -- and, in return, participants are rewarded or punished based on how well they provide these services.

    But I understand that options trading isn't the economic vehicle of choice for most people -- so for those who are interested, I'll be starting a new financial freedom blog in the next few weeks and begin posting my trading strategies and results there.


    Aachkouti Democrat


    Web Battle for the West