What a Week!!!!!

First, we met 2 astronauts, and actually sat at the main table in the front of the auditorium with the Tulane Dean of Engineering, Dr. Altiero, the Undergraduate Dean Dr. Wee, and 2 astronauts from the Space Shuttle program. Unreal!

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Then today, we made a road trip to a major beauty contest, and low and behold……..

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Pre Teen Lafayette USA. Talk about an amazing weekend.

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Plus, she met another astronaut at the contest. She was one of the judges.  Amazing week for a young girl.  Also got some autographs, So, all is good.

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Keep cranking,

Robert the DividendDreamer
AKA — Seeking Dividends

Follow me on Twitter– Seeking Dividends@DividendDreamer

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Chicken and Crawfish and a Happy Birthday

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Crawfish are in the pot.

………………..

Well, I may not be a cook, but I am going for it anyway. My buddy George would love to be doing the cooking today, but alas, that is not to be. However, life must go on. We are celebrating my brother’s 65th today at my house with a cookout. Normally, a standard Friday night is just the same, but I wanted to make it special to both remember George and celebrate the birthday. So, a two for one. Anyhow, chicken legs, hot spicy crawfish with boiled corn, potatoes, garlic and sausage in the boil.  Keep checking back because  the crawfish are coming soon.

I figured the best way to commemorate my friend’s passing would be to have a celebration with our friends who are still here. And, although I do not partake of libations, I am going to have a drink or two…..or maybe three during the course of this evening. 

I will be cranking the tunes and talking about old times. I encourage all of you to do the same, as we do not know what tomorrow will bring.

I am just about to put the BBQ sauce on the chicken.

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It sure is good stuff.

Oh, and here is my new black shepard, and she is losing her mind while playing with the other dogs.

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Keep checking back today, and you will see just how we eat and celebrate our friends down in New Orleans.

Have a good evening and……

Keep cranking,

Robert the DividendDreamer
AKA — Seeking Dividends

Follow me on Twitter– Seeking Dividends@DividendDreamer

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Watch “My Home Theater Featuring Potentia Maximus LFE (Quad TC Sounds 18″ LMS 5400 + 2Quad 18″ Passives)” on YouTube

It is amazing how much music can truly change the way a person feels. There is something about music and the rhythm of the beat that truly soothsayer the “Savage Beast.” I was at this concert watching every moment as the film rolled.

It took us 12 hours to get to Atlanta that day on what should have been a 6.5 hour trip. Bumper to bumper accidents and tornadic weather popping out of nowhere almost caused us to be late. However, the show was postponed for about 35 minutes and we made it into the amphitheater just in time.

The concert was amazing, and when I watch the replay, I am brought back to that adventure that got us there to enjoy the performance. It was a cool night after all that rain, and the cool breeze felt comforting after such an ordeal. I will always remember that night. Rush put on a magnificent show, and it went of like clockwork. The band truly showed just how professional they truly are.

Sit back, kick up your heals and enjoy “The Experience.” You can rest assured, I will be doing the same. Oh!……….and
CRANK IT!!

Keep cranking,

Robert the DividendDreamer
AKA — Seeking Dividends

Follow me on Twitter– Seeking Dividends@DividendDreamer

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The Eulogy

Another eulogy has been given, yet it never becomes easier for me. I have given so many eulogies in my life, and I can say that it always difficult for me. I did not know that this one was actually…

Source: The Eulogy

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The Eulogy

Another eulogy has been given, yet it never becomes easier for me. I have given so many eulogies in my life, and I can say that it always difficult for me. I did not know that this one was actually going to be done by me. I was just asked to speak with the priest before the services started.

When I spoke to him, he basically told me that he really wanted me to do the eulogy but my friend’s dad told him that I might be too upset to do it. So, I came unprepared. When the priest told me that it was OK for me to do it, I said I would be able to do it. Then I went in my little area and set my thoughts in motion.

I can truly say that the priest who performed the service was great, and he would have been able to do quite a fine job with the eulogy even with the few things I could have told him right before the service.

However, there is nothing that can compare to firsthand knowledge. It comes from the source, and from the heart.  I knew this boy from the moment he was born, and now, I was there to see him leave this earth and be buried. This has truly been a hard week for me. The worst part was that he died on the same day my father died, just years later, so that was a hit all it’d own. That day now has even more weight added to it, and I will never look forward to it coming around each year because of the feelings of loss and sadness that it yields for me.

I was told by all who attended that I hit the nail right on the head with my words. I captured the essence of that beautiful young man, and brought his wit, his happiness, his compassion and his gift of gab and placed it right in front of them for all to see. Although the words came easy, they were not easy to say. I was so torn apart by the loss of my childhood friend and confidant. As I was telling my tales of days of you yore,  my mind was going a mile a minute reminding how I will never see my friend again, and the thoughts of our late night chats will are forever to be silent.

I tried to memorialize GB with things that everyone could easily attest to that were part of his character. I felt that each person had a connection even though they might not have been directly connected to the event at hand. However, there are some things that are for me only-Our personal little snippets that made our friendship so important for over 4 decades.

4 decades…..40 years……Wow! That seems like a lot of time when looking at it with the 40 years in front of you. However, when I look at those 40 years in my rear view mirror, they seem like but a blip in time. They went so fast…too fast.

Although I have no regrets, I…….Hell yes! I have regrets, I am sitting here crying my fucking eyes out at this very damn moment. Part of my life is gone, and it is never coming back. I keep hearing all this talk about acceptance and grieving processes, and I just can’t get my head around it. I feel like running away sometimes lately. I know in my heart that everything has its time, but that is not making any of this any easier. I have given 10 eulogies in the past 3 years exactly. 3 per year- One every 4 months on average- 3 years ago, I did 4 eulogies in a 2 months period. I want to be able to speak to my friends and family at that moment because that is the last time I will be with them before they are laid to rest. That is not the problem.

The problem is that my entire framework of who I am is falling apart. A life that used to be filled with nothing but goals and desires has been replaced with a life of helplessness and sorrow for those who I have lost and the lifestyle that was once ever present. I have carried so many coffins lately, and they have not been only the old timers, it has been many young and vibrant lives that were cut all too short. When I look at the lives lost at such young ages of 18, 20, 27, 38, 40 and 44 from accidents and disease, I start to see the possibility of my ultimate demise. Seeing such things first hand brings our ultimate fate right front and center.

Although difficult to deal with, I still have to work hard to give my children every possible opportunity in there lives. I can’t allow my sadness to interfere with there ability to grow and thrive. They came with us to the funeral, and they were the only children. My friend was very special to them. He used to give my son comic books because they both enjoyed them so much,  and he always complimented my daughter’s achievements, and told her she was going to be something special some day. To see all of them popping fireworks in the street each year was truly a memory I will cherish forever, and my videos of those moments are absolutely priceless. He meant so much to my daughter that she actually came and asked me if she could read one of the prayers during his service, and I was   absolutely impressed at her thoughts on the matter. I know GB was looking down on her at the moment when she was speaking and smiling his ass off. This kid is amazing, and she is only 12 years old-I am so proud of her!

Life really is too short. So, I guess I better get to living it. I keep thinking of that damn Pink Floyd song, “Time.” It really is true that 10 years will get behind you, and no one normally tells you when to run. Well, I can honestly say that I tell my kids to start running each and every day. I am always telling them to reach for the gold ring, and make every possibility an option. Regardless of how my life turned out, I want them to be able to soar into the stratosphere. I do not want them to limit themselves or look back 10 years from now and wonder “what if?” We talk about how important education is, and how playing sports is not just about the sport but the connections and learning to follow directions and overcoming obstacles. They know that competition is not just about winning but working to achieve success- Success in a job done to the best of their ability. It is working and thinking and using their minds and bodies to build a toolbox full of skills that will allow them to overcome obstacles and enable them to teach their kids one day. Wow! That was a mouthful.

On days like these, I always think of my father. Before he died, there was nothing, and I mean nothing that my father could not build, fix, overcome. During my life with him, he was the most solid person I knew or that I have ever known- This is not an exaggeration, but a fact. My childhood was that good, and I only hope that my kids feel the same way about me when they become adults.

For instance, when my dad retired from his job in his early 50’she decided to build a 42 foot boat. He never built a boat, but building is building, and a true craftsman can do anything with anything. He always used to tell me to lay one brick at a time, and it will soon be done. I was a young kid when that boat was built, and people still talk about the boat that was built in the lot next to Interstate 10. I had someone talk to me about it 2 weeks ago. I did not think it was anything out of the ordinary because my dad built stuff constantly. He built my brother’s cases for his jewelry store, and they are still in there today. I just watched it happen, and accepted it as part for the course. I did not know that the average dad just did his job and came home. I just figured all dad’s built houses and jewelry cases in the afternoons when they came home from work. The thing about it was I actually liked working with my dad, and because of that, I just did what he did. I don’t even think about it. Building a 2 story cabana over my back yard and canterlevering a deck over my garage is no big deal.

I am starting to see that it is a big deal when my children bring there friends over. The kids look at some of the things in my yard and can’t believe what they see. When I want something, I build it, and that is because I watched my dad do exactly the same thing. Now, my daughter is doing the same.

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Not many 12 year old kids can handle a drill or a hammer with such ease. She has been doing things like this for years now. I used to drill pilot holes and hold the wood, but now she starts them herself, and she measures the lumber and uses a square and a level, but I only allow her to use a cutoff saw that has a ton of safety features and I am right there with her. My son has been doing the same for many years.

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This is him filing the edges and measuring pieces of what soon became this.

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The arch was the easiest thing for him to make because the router cut the wood and he made a jig to allow him to cut it out. However, it looked to professionally done. That was from an 8 year old, and he just did it because he saw me do it so many times before. However, I never let them use any tools unless I am right there with them. I do not have to worry about him doing it without me, it is my daughter. She just goes with it. Also, I always use as much stuff out of the trash-And I really mean trash. We always go trash hunting to find materials because once it is cut out and painted, it looks perfect. I hope that I am teaching them to not be wasteful and learn to use what they have to get things done. All the wood and the paint was from off the street. It is amazing how many quarts of paint people buy and throw out because of the strange colors they choos. It really is cool to see a kid take a bunch of trash and make something special.

Anyhow, I get so excited talking about my kids, and I sometimes forget everything else that is going on around me. I am sure GB is happy that I am feeling better now. I do miss my friend, and I always will. I am not even tired, and I have been up almost 24 hours with only 3 hours the night before. I am going to wrap this up by saying, “Do you best to tell your friends and family how important they are to you. Don’t wait for tomorrow because it, very well, may be too late. Bask in the glory of your memories of yesterday….and continue to make new ones.

Keep cranking,

Robert the DividendDreamer
AKA — Seeking Dividends

Follow me on Twitter– Seeking Dividends@DividendDreamer

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GE tumbles on Bernstein downgrade | Watch the video – Yahoo Finance

http://finance.yahoo.com/video/ge-tumbles-bernstein-downgrade-160700716.html

Josh hit the nail right on the head. I saw the downgrade, but it came with a price target increase. Just a way to get the market to churn. This ought to be illegal. If the firm is downgrading, it should follow with a lower price right then and there. It is like he is saying it might go down……but, it might go up. The same firm just upgraded the stock a few days back.

General Electric Company (GE) Rating Reiterated by Sanford C. Bernstein

What exactly changed in three days over the weekend? I think some of these guys are either crazy or just plain able to swing markets and benefit from it. I could be wrong, but I want to know the rationale for last week’s story and how things made a turn for the worse in a weekend….. During that weekend, GE posted sales of a few pieces of GE capital and today sealed the deal for Metem, filed for SIFI removal, and a host of other good news.

It could also be a way to push the stock lower in order to allow the company to pick up shares through the buyback when the funds are allowed to be used. Seems like the government has the hands of GE tied in a few ways, and when, and if the ties come off, we should see a move to the upside. Hopefully, earnings are good.

Keep cranking,

Robert the DividendDreamer
AKA — Seeking Dividends

Follow me on Twitter– Seeking Dividends@DividendDreamer

Seeking Dividends
AKA — DividendDreamer

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Jim Cramer and Jack Mohr Discuss Why They Are Buyers of General Electric – TheStreet

http://www.thestreet.com/video/13512695/jim-cramer-and-jack-mohr-discuss-why-they-are-buyers-of-general-electric.html

Well, if they are buying here, they have to expect GE to see appreciation in stock price. I really find it hard to believe that Cramer would buy anything just for the sake of the dividends.

As far as the dividends go, the return has dropped well below 3% recently, so that alone can’t be a huge draw going forward. Add to that the freeze for the rest of this year, and the dividend is not really a big selling point anymore. I feel that price appreciation is where GE will shine in the mid term (2 Years). I am hoping the gears line up and everything starts firing in the right order and possibly test the all time high somewhere in the next 2-3 year period. You never know how things are going to turn out, but GE is doing exactly what the analysts have been begging for, and eventually it will be rewarded with increased stock valuation if the EPS continues to move higher.

Good luck to all.

Keep cranking,

Robert the DividendDreamer
AKA — Seeking Dividends

Follow me on Twitter– Seeking Dividends@DividendDreamer

Seeking Dividends
AKA — DividendDreamer

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Fate Would Have It

Well, I just got back from the hospital. Seems that my friend was pronounced brain dead this afternoon. However, he was an organ donor. So, some good will hopefully, come out of all of this.

When I went up to visit this afternoon, I noticed that there was a bunch of activity, but did not realize the work was being done to ready his organs for possible transplant. All the while, I was wondering if he was an organ donor. When I finally saw his family this evening, I got the whole story about how the doctors took him off of the respirator for 10 minutes and nothing happened. They also told me that the EEG showed no brain waves, then they told me about the organ donor card he signed.

I was so happy to hear that my friend will be able to help others through his donations. He would be so proud that he could help others continue to enjoy life as he always has. I am very proud that my friend will live on in others.

So many emotions, and so many what ifs. All I can say is that I miss my friend already, and this has truly been a depressing week, and it is really just beginning. Life is really just a series of fleeting moments that are put together in our minds and we call them memories. From this friendship, I have a lifetime of memories, and those memories will last a lifetime. I have known this boy since he was a baby. I watched him grow up and experience his life. He was in my wedding and I was his confirmation sponsor. Everytime we saw each other or talked on the phone, the movies and the songs that meant so much to us growing up were always high on the list.  He was like a brother to me, and now he is gone. Such a loss!  I can’t help but rant because I have lost such a wonderful and compassionate friend. All of those days growing up together have suddenly rushed back to me, and I wonder where all the time went.

All I can say is that if you haven’t talked to someone recently or are on th e outs with someone let it go, and call them or go and visit. We have a limited time on this planet and we should make the most of it. I wish I could or would have spent more time with him, but did see him a few weeks ago, and we had a nice time like the old days.

It is getting late, and my words are spent, so I have to call it a night, but I doubt I will sleep. My thoughts won’t stop, although I wish they sometimes would- Just enough to allow me to relax and sleep soundly. I guess that is how it is and how it will be, so I will just deal with it. I am alive and should be grateful for every breath I take. In the past few days, things like money and investing that normally overtake my mind have suddenly become much less important, and that is ok. I feel very sad because my buddy has passed away, and the thoughts of him are now running through my mind. As a matter of fact, he died on the same day as my father just 3 years later. I really was hoping that did not occur, but it did, and now, March 29 will always be very difficult for me to experience.

I ask that anyone who has any sadness or loss in there lives feel free to comment or just speak about your friends and family. It truly will make you feel better knowing that other people are going through the same emotions as you are.

Thank you and good night,

Robert

Seeking Dividends
AKA — DividendDreamer

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Pronounced

I just got a call, and was told that they pronounce my friend dead. He still on the respirator so I’m still going to go visit. Wow! It truly is amazing the feeling of loss I’ve just experienced.

I started this blog in order to talk about my interests which included dividend investing and building houses and all sorts of things. However it has become a good Outlet for me to talk about things that are occurring in my life. It gives me a way to vent my frustrations and 12 so communicate with people who have some of the same feelings and emotions that I am currently having. I appreciate all the sympathy and kindness of people who read this blog I hope that I can help them in any way when and if they experience some of the same situations that I’ve been experiencing.

Thank you

Seeking Dividends
AKA — DividendDreamer

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Just Got Ripped Off

Well, it does not  get any better lately. Someone just stole my brand new backpack blower, so I went home. I called about my friend this morning, and they said nothing has changed. Another friend of mine just called me and said his my friend’s dad is going to make a decision tomorrow. Man, when it rains- it pours!

I guess there is nothing that can be done about things such as heart attacks, thefts, sickness, or just plain old incidents of bad luck. I guess it just has to run its course. Any other time, I would be very annoyed about my blower being stolen. However, I am very worried about my friend in the hospital. At the moment, that is really all that matters. So, once I saw the blower gone, I decided to come home and get cleaned up and go visit him.

I have been very weighed down in the past few years because of all the deaths of those close to me and my family. Most of those deaths were people who were very young. A cousin who was still in high school, just passed away without any signs of sickness. He went to sleep and never woke up.  My nephew was 27, and he died in a motorcycle accident. Another was a good friend who died of Meningitis at 38. One day she was here, and the next she was gone. Yet another was my wife’s sister, and she died one month after my father at 40 years old of lung cancer. It was not really far gone, however the tumor was in her esophagus, and it closed her airway off before the doctor’s could treat her. Once the treatment started, the tumor shrunk, but she was in a coma when it closed her airway and then she developed pneumonia and did not pull out. All of these deaths were young people who used to visit my home and enjoy times with my family weekly. How those times have changed.

Add in the death of my father, 3 aunts, and a few cousins, and in the past 3 years, our family and way of life has been decimated. We still have our Friday night hang outs, but they are far from what they used to be. Although there are some new participants (friends who have been friends for decades and now are coming back to the fold), the number of people has shrunk drastically in the past 3 years.

Looking back at all the good times we had with all those people brings back some amazing memories. It seems that the atmosphere is a bit more subdued, and not quite so raucous as it once was. It seems that each week, we end up telling stories like it was the first time they were told, although the stories have been rehashed inumerable times. Each time, the same laughs persist, and the same interjections come back to emphasize what happened.

Times are definitely getting tough, and the circle of friends is getting ever smaller. New friends are very rare, and I can’t really say we have many that have been added to the fold. But, we have had some very good people come into our group, and we are lucky to have them. They are as close to us as those who have known us our whole lives, and we are lucky to have such a close knit circle of friends.

I hope we can get together this weekend and celebrate the good times and enjoy each other’s company. I hope my friend, who is in the ICU, makes some progress in the coming days. I hope that all of my friends enjoy happiness and fulfilment in their lives, and I wish for continued success in all of their endeavors.

Well, this started out dealing with me being agitated about a new backpack blower being stolen from me a few hours ago, however, as I was writing, I soon forgot all about that trivial nonsense. I got to thinking about family and friends and about what is truly important. I guess the things that are truly important will always make there way to the forfront, and all the trivial nonsense will just fade away. In our day to day lives there seems to be quite a lot of trivial nonsense that fills our waking moments.

I am now going to get cleaned up and go visit my friend.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to post even if you just want to get something off your chest.

Keep cranking,

Robert the DividendDreamer
AKA — Seeking Dividends

Follow me on Twitter– Seeking Dividends@DividendDreamer

Seeking Dividends
AKA — DividendDreamer

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