Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wanna Be in the Majors?

It seems like a really cool idea: owning a team; even a minor league one. There's a lot that goes into it though. To start with there are several decisions you need to make before buying a minor league baseball team. There are many benefits to owning any type of minor league team, and most make a considerable profit throughout the year. According to CNN the values of minor league teams rose as much as 2 percent in 2005.

Decide if you want to be part of a franchised, major league sponsored team, or if you want to own an independent minor league team. They all play on the same roster, but have one main difference. Major league sponsored minor league teams are supported by their sponsors. The major league team pays the salaries of the minor team so there is someplace for the team to develop talent. The independent minor league team pays its own salaries. Both teams keep all of the income from tickets, souvenirs and concessions. Major league sponsored teams make more money because they don't have to pay out salaries, but, they have no control over who is on the team. Independent team owners make a little less money, but pick their players.

Decide if you want to be a hands-on owner, or if you would prefer to simply own stock in the franchise. Being a hands-on owner has great rewards, intimate connections with the team, and a direct say-so over what happens. Hands-on owners also make more money. However, it also costs a lot more to have a large share, or sole ownership of a minor league baseball team. If you don't have several million dollars you can still be a part of the thrill of owning a profitable minor league team, and work your way up in the ranks from there.

Be prepared to pay between three and twenty-five million dollars for full, outright ownership of a major league affiliated minor team.

Check with the parent club for available minor league ownership possibilities.

Start your own minor league team without affiliations to the MiLB. There are also established teams occasionally for sale, but the news of the availability is largely word-of-mouth or industry news. Get involved with several minor league baseball websites, and the official MiLB website to keep abreast of all that is going on and any possible openings in indy teams.

Be prepared to enjoy an invigorating sport from the inside and have the pride that comes with owning a team included in the sport that is America's national pastime.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Not Sinking

I bought a new faucet a few months ago, but it wasn't until we installed the beautiful new faucet that I realized the old sink was showing it's many years. I've considered many and am looking mostly at Franke sinks. I love the looks of the off centered, not balanced size sinks. It gives the whole space a more artistic look, and even looks bigger than two side-by-side sinks of equal size. There are also some very interesting accessories such as in sink strainers, colanders, and cutting boards. Not only do they provide a clean look, they are more efficient.

Summer Pops

Summer is in full swing here in Illinois. The temperatures are a hot and humid 80 and over every day now. I don't hate it, not as long as the air conditioning is FINALLY fixed, this time for good I hope. It has brought into full swing another summertime regular, along with boating, swimming, and air conditioning, it's freezer pops. I love them. They are addicting. I can eat them constantly. I have to actually make myself keep track of how many I eat so I don't overdo it. They taste great, are cold and cooling. They don't cost much, although I suppose I could make them myself cheaper. They are, after all, basically just frozen Koolaide.

Accidents Waiting To Happen

Most of the hobbies I have involve big trailers. Several of them are 5th wheel trailers. That is the type that has a neck (many times they're known as gooseneck trailers) that leans over the back bed of a pickup truck where the type of hitch known as a 5th wheel is located. Those are big, heavy duty trailers. Thanks to their weight and size they are more stable, and can carry heavier loads. The drawback is, if something goes wrong with a trailer that big when you are on the road you may be in a tight spot to get it fixed, both physically and economically. This type of trailer really pays to have a good 5th wheel warranty on it so you have the peace of mind knowing whatever you have to do to get your vehicle back on the road, it is covered. Many normal auto policies don't have such coverage, and others can be very expensive. Going to a company that specializes in trailers, RVs, and tow vehicles is more cost effective and better coverage. There are even perks like discounts when you are traveling. Don't wait and think break downs and accidents aren't likely. They may not happen often, but when they do, there's no substitute for good insurance coverage.

Dragon Cave?

The Internet world is fully of crazy games. I guess we're just that bored. Now I can't complain. I get all fired up involved in many of the Facebook games. However, even I can't understand the interest in a game like It seems kind of shiny and catchy, but in reality it is just a matter of getting people from various outside forums to click on your 'egg' in a signature link so you can raise a dragon, and get the website unique clicks. Hum... nah.

Housing Problems and Cancer

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that truly concerns me. Both me and my husband's family have a history of cancer in general, and I recently found out that the home we've lived in for many years is loaded with asbestos products that had been covered up. Before screaming I found out that covering up is the typical way of dealing with things like asbestos tile. However, I wasn't even told it was under there. I know the previous owners knew. They built the house... personally. The man was a contractor. I've thought a lot about getting a lawyer since mesothelioma is a cancer brought on by long time exposure to asbestos. However, it is probably a mute point since I just found out that both former owners (man and wife) are now deceased. I wish I'd found out sooner. Not that they really had anything to sue for.

Batty Fetch

Here's a fun video of Batty playing fetch outside in our backyard a few days ago. She's much better, faster, and complete with the return inside. She wasn't sure about doing it outside, or how her tennis balls got out there in the first place.

Hormones and Acne

I find it a little disconcerting, and a little embarassing that I am having acne problems at my age. I'm nearly 50, but my hormones are all out of whack it seems. I have products like acne body wash that I haven't had on my shelves in years. Not since my own kids were teens. On a positive note, the products are a hundred times better, more efficient and effective than they ever were before. When I was a teen there weren't many acne creams at all, much less washes and scrubs. The acne I have now is even on my shoulders, so the body wash is important. I don't think I even had a problem with shoulders, or back when I was younger. I always thought I would age gracefully, but apparently my body doesn't want to cooperate.

Memories To Make Me Smile

I was going through some pictures and I am not sure how this oldie got in the folder it was in but it made my mind go spinning back. That's the beauty of pictures and videos. They are the holders of memories. Sure we remember stuff, but a picture brings it all into sharp focus. the picture is my daughter and my two grandkids when they were four and six. It was about 3 years ago. Not long, but long enough that seeing the picture tugged at my heart and made me smile all over. I miss them. They are downstate and I don't get to see them often enough.

Get Help with a Quit with Electronic Cigarettes

I don't make much of a secret of the fact that I quit smoking one year ago. I used several aids to help. One popular quit smoking aid is the electronic cigarette. It gives you the oral satisfaction, without the deadly chemicals of a cigarette if you want to quit. There are also version that supply a dose of nicotine to those who need a cigarette but are in a place where smoking conventional cigarettes is not allowed. Even the nicotine version of the electronic cigarette is much healthier than smoking old-fashioned cigarettes because they don't contain many of the deadly chemicals found in the tobacco plant, but rather only a nicotine extract. Electronic cigarettes with nicotine also have no tar which is a huge contributor to lung cancer. Quitting the cigarette habit is the best thing you can do for your body, not too mention your wallet. Using the electronic cigarette can help.

Getting Bigger

Batty is really getting accustomed to life in our home. We've had her three weeks, but it seems much longer only because I thought some things would take so much longer to learn. She is really good about bathroom habits, going out, although there have been a few errors, really they are very few. She sleeps well through the night with only one trip out about 2 am. (That, mind you, is two or three less trips to the bathroom than I make, she stays sleeping now when I get up). She is adjusting to the boat, although that is a little more difficult for her, mostly because of the heat. I do like that she is good about going in her 'pan' during the night. The funny thing is, that while she will go in her pan at night, she won't have any part of it during the day. That worries me a little for when it comes to our longer trips out on the water. When we beach it won't be an issue, but some times we go out for five or six hours where there is no land. She's going to have to accept the pan, or hold it those times.

Eat Right or Take Precautions

Vitamins are very important. I can't say that I'm really good at remembering to take them, but I try. I can say that I sure know when I've forgotten to take my vitamins for more than a couple days. I feel run down and tired. Taking a good vitamin really helps conquer general fatigue. Sometimes, certain problems are treatable without fancy medicines, and just using specific vitamins. For instance, I know if I start having Charlie horses in the middle of the night, I need to increase potassium for a few days. It's easy to deplete and not something a lot of foods have large amounts of, other than bananas. Eating right is tough. It's much easier to make sure I'm getting the right vitamins by taking them.

Changing Market Rules

The mortgage industry has historically been in a state of constant flux. While there were certain items always required in order to get a conventional mortgage, the amounts, or qualities of those items increased, or decreased according to demand or other financial indicators. The downpayment is the most common standard requirement. The down payment requirements now are much stiffer than they were prior to 2006.


The downpayment is a classic mortgage requirement. In general a conventional mortgage will require a downpayment of 20%. That's about 10% higher than usual in the pre-crisis era. Even higher that 10% for the many subprime loans given by banks between 2000 and 2006. Often many of those loans were less than 1% or no money down loans. When the economy and mortgage crisis caused severe downturns, and the housing market plummetted, those low or no downpayment loans were suddenly "underwater," meaning worth less than their outstanding loan.

How to Lower Downpayment Requirements

There are ways to lower a downpayment if you are eligible for certain programs such as a HUD home that has a downpayment of 2.5%. Another way to get a lower downpayment requirement is to accept a higher interest rate. However, over the long run that is much more expensive. Both options are risky in case the market falls again where you could find yourself owning more than the house is worth. Improvement in the overall market may, over time, result in lower down payment requirements.


Source of the downpayment is a long-time issue with banks, but is even more of a focal point now. Banks prefer to see a strong habit of saving and ability to build up your own reserves, so the more money you come up with from savings for a downpayment vs. gifts from friends or relatives the better it will look for your application.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Affordable Health Insurance

If you believe the new incentive the government wants to start, health insurance will soon be available at low or no cost to everybody. For most of us, that is a pipe dream and getting insurance is up to us. There are still ways to get insurance so that you don't have to feel at the mercy of illness, or anxious about what accidents lurk around the corner that may cost you your entire life savings. Health insurance IS important. Too important to trust to government intervention. You need to get the coverage you need for yourself, and find the best deals you can get. They're out there.

Amazing Chihuahua

You really need to watch this video of this amazing Chihuahua doing tricks. I can only hope to get Batty to do such things as she gets older.

Do Something About Hair Loss

I never thought the day would come when my husband would need to look into hair loss prevention. Time marches on, however, and he's getting thinner. There are so many good hair loss preventions now it is easier than it used to be. Most of the time all it takes is to shampoo it in and go on about your life. There are even hair loss remedies for women now. It used to be the sole providence of the male members of the family and items like Rogaine were for men only. Now they have products that work for both men or women so if my own hair starts to thin out I can use these products too. Hair loss just happens. It isn't necessarily hereditary, you can't catch it, you can't cause it by wearing hats, and it has nothing to do with testosterone levels. Hair loss is just hair loss, and there's something you can do about it.

Rosie Roseanne

I'm watching Roseanne right now. There's something about the oldies. The reason they end up in reruns and lasting so long is they have a certain quality about them that made them special. Roseanne lasted 10 years on the air. That's a long time in the life of a sitcom. There aren't many like that. There was M*A*S*H, and a few others. Even some of the early very loved shows didn't make that many years, I Love Lucy I believe was 5. Of course there were spin offs, but shows like Andy Griffith didn't have that many years, but for their time they lasted a long time. They all bring back a time that is simpler, memories of times enjoyed of our own past, and a look into our own psyche.

Viva La Differance

Men and women are different creatures. The differences are vague in some instances, such as ability to learn, work, compete, and striking in others such as toiletries. Yes, toiletries. If you ever want to really see the difference between men and women go into a bathroom and compare the needs of each side. Women have hair products, and, well men have hair products too. Women have hair dye, and uh, okay men have hair dye too. Women use razors to shave their legs, men use them to shave their faces: there's a difference. Okay, not a big difference really. Women have birth control, and men have vigrx plus. Ah, well there's big one. For all their similarities, when they have a difference it's a whopper, but as the French say: viva la differance!

Personal Life on TV

Tonight's show is Miami Medical. It's like all the other doctor, hospital, nurse shows, but has some unique differences that make it quite interesting. It deals only with severe trauma, not a typical emergency room situation where most patients come in with belly aches and broken bones, these are life threatening situations, disaster victims, and mystery cases. It's very enjoyable and the personal storylines help enhance the background without over powering it. I think that was the biggest problem with "Mercy" another hospital/nurse wanna be new show this year and why it didn't hang on. It's personal backstories overpowered the show itself. Perhaps the same trouble with "Trauma" an "Emergency" flashback that should have really done well, but got a little tangled up in personal dramas. I don't think we even knew if Gage and DeSoto (original Emergency series) had a personal life. LOL

All The Comforts of Home

I've been looking at tv stands lately. I need to get one for the boat. With the severe lack of floor space I've been looking at wall mount TV stands. I'd like one that has the arm that swivels so I can angle the TV in the direction I am sitting. I saw one last weekend on a friend's boat that allowed them to angle the TV at the doorway so they could watch from the deck if they were out there. That would be really nice, but I think the area I want to mount the TV at is too far from the hatch for that much angle to be necessary. It's only a 19" flat screen, but Bob is worried that it will be too heavy on the hull. It's a common type of mount for boats, though so I think it will be just fine.

Once More With Feeling

I was going to beg off going to the boat this weekend. It's going to be wild, a holiday weekend always brings out the crazies. My leg still hurts from a fall on the cement stairs I took last Monday night, and I still itch from the mosquito attack by the campfire last week. Why is it then, when Bob called and wanted to know if I was going to go, or if we were going to take two cars, or go all-together like usual, did I say I didn't know, probably just one car? It didn't help that he went and bought the second fan I'd been bugging him about getting, that will help with the extreme heat. I just don't know mainly if my knees can take it, and I am NOT going to the picnic area and getting eaten up again. I really hate to do it, but I may go ahead and decide to take two cars. That way if I just can't deal with it, I can come home.


I just got a new laptop and I really like it. It has the new Windows 7 on it and it beats Vista by a lot. I still use my old one most often at home. I don't want to wear out the new one as long as I still have a working laptop for the house. I primarily bought the new one to use on the boat on the weekends. That works out really nice. Part of me is thinking about switching though, and using the Windows 7 laptop at home and the Vista one at the boat. Windows 7 has so many cool features like the snap windows which makes working with two screens side-by-side easy and fast. The shake that takes all windows away or puts them back. It's just really a good concept all around, and cleaner too while still incorporating the good features of Vista.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Bats in the Belfrey

I have a new family member. We brought a new puppy home about a week and a half ago. She's a lively little 9 week old (now) Papillon. I named her Batty because she's black and white, has big upright ears, and is crazy. Her registered name is TaBo's Little Fly By Night. I can't wait though until she's potty trained. These next few months of constant walking are going to kill me. Thank heaven's it's summer. Here she is. Introducing Batty:

Weight Loss Asset

I am always looking for the best weight loss supplement. It seems like a never ending quest. There are great sites that have done the studies, talked to users, and found the best supplements and break them down for those of us that are looking for the secret to serious weight loss. The best of these websites uses criteria to assign points to each product such as power, ingredients, quality, customer feedback, how often the product is reordered (a much better measure of success than original orders), and overall value among other things. These are points almost impossible for consumers to find out themselves, so this sort of information is an invaluable asset.

Keeping the Yard Green

Fertilizer is an important ingredient in your lawn care plans. You can by commercial blends, or make your own as long as you understand what makes a good fertilizer for grass. Well-fed grass is healthy, disease resistant and easy to care for. Fertilizer improves the soil so plants can grow.

Organic or Commercial

Making your own lawn fertilizer has many benefits. It is cheaper, cleaner, reduces your garbage waste, and you'll feel good about it too. Many people make their own fertilizer for the garden, then go out, and buy bagged fertilizer for their grass. If you do not have the room for compost, or the time to create your own fertilizer there are plenty of excellent commercial choices for grass fertilizer.


Make your fertilizer for the grass high in nitrogen. Grass thrives on high levels of nitrogen that you find in plant materials. Save clippings from your lawn when you mow and add them to your compost. Include leaves in the fall. Sawdust and wood chips from any home project or tree trimming are excellent sources of nitrogen. Get additional sawdust from a local mill for a low cost nitrogen addition. Animal manure is a very popular nitrogen based compost addition. There are drawbacks to manure. Animal feces often contain weed seeds from their ingestion of grasses and weeds. The manure from some animals is "hot" and must be aged before you spread it to avoid burning the grass and plants.


The potassium in grass fertilizer helps resist disease. Add organic materials including banana peels and fish to increase potassium levels. Wood ashes from your fireplace produce an excellent supply of potassium for a compost pile. Potassium is salt based and cannot be used on plant material alone without burning it. Use caution when applying any fertilizer, commercial or home produced, aged or raw, and always wear protective clothing.


The final ingredient in grass fertilizer is phosphorous. Animal manure delivers enough phosphorous to the compost. The phosphorous levels of the compost are the main reason compost needs aging to keep it from being too strong. Raw manure, even at the right levels of 10-10-10 (nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous) still produce too much heat for plant matter without aging to cool it down.


Add earthworms to help spread your manure to greater levels. The worms eat plant matter and burrow deep into the ground around the roots of plants. As they go their excretions deliver the nutrients right to the grass roots where they'll do the most good. In their own way, earthworms are organic fertilizer machines on the move.


Use care when spreading any form of fertilizer. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and gloves to cover skin. Wear dust masks and goggles to protect lungs and eyes.

New Outlook

I've seen a few outdoor fireplaces that have made me really want to create a patio and outdoor area in my backyard. I have plenty of space for it, and even have started putting in some little ponds to shape the landscaping around. It's going slow since I'm gone so much during the summer, but maybe I should focus more on spring/fall and even mild mid-winter days type of landscaping and furnishing. Ponds aren't practical in the spring/fall and winter, but a fireplace certainly is. It is a new way of looking at backyard sculpting, patios, and landscapes, but it makes a lot of sense when you have other outdoor things every weekend during the summer.

Storyline Arc

Burn Notice is on again tonight. So is Royal Pains, right afterwards. I still really like Royal Pains. In fact, some of the little twists like Henry Winkler having cameo spots as the father who shows up out of nowhere are really fun. I'm having a few issues with Burn Notice, but I can't help but watch it and pray I get over being tired of it. It seems like they're trying a bit too hard this season for some reason. Maybe I just don't really like the new 'spy' they brought in. If that's the case, then I just have to get through this season, because the history of the show is, these new people come and go through a seasonal storyline arc.

Show Them Up With Style

I've found the perfect website. My husband and my son both constantly have little 'fun' wars over their can koozies. Most of the time they have koozies with emblems of their favorite sports teams, which happen, here in northern Illinois, to be the White Sox and the Cubs. They like all kinds though, and use them a lot on the boat, and at the docks. I need my own too. I think I'll order something stylish from and show them all up before I tell them about the site so they can get their own.