Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bay Area Meets NC

We had two visitors this week for California. Curtis and Jeff. They flew into Nashville on Tuesday night to partake in a race in Fayetteville, TN this Friday. Ken, myself, and a few others were able to convinced them to drive to Asheville to do some riding.

Below are a few photos of our riding adventures yesterday. Gabe (Smoke) joined in on the fun. Being the out of shape guy I am right now I could only put in about three and half hours on the mtn with them in the morning.

We went downtown from some good grub and a little tour of the basement of Hearn’s Bike Shop in search of all bike stuff. We found a few cool things but nothing to write home to mom about.

Back to the house for a quick nap and before I hooked them up with a few friends around 6:30pm for another dose of riding. Curtis and Jeff got a good 5 ½ hours of riding in yesterday.

This morning we had breakfast at the Moose CafĂ© and they hit the road with a destination of Tsali. I’ll see all of you in August for worlds. Thanks for visiting and riding “The Back Yard” trails.

Ready to roll on a cool morning

Trying to figure out the camera.

Climbing to the top

Taking a break before more great riding

Photo says it all. Welcome to NC you Napa and Bay Area Boys

Trash or treasure?

Paige was happy to see us make it home

Gabe and Curtis climbing up to Five Points

Monday, April 28, 2008

Big Weekend

Where do I start? It was a great weekend with a few issues that started to drag me down but I rallied through them. We had a wedding to go to at Duke on Saturday night. It was a Vet school classmate of Lyn’s and they were getting married at the Duke Chapel. So we decided Saturday morning we would get an early start and head to my parents place, drop the kids off, and head to the wedding. Luckily it was a 6pm wedding.

Saturday morning we left around 9:30am. First stop Winston-Salem for the girls to eat and take a little break from the car. I also had a little work to do in WS so it was a perfect stop. Ya…well that went down the tubes fast. My work that was supposed to take about 30 minutes maybe an hour turned into 3 hours of hell. I’m not going to go into details but let’s just say when all the wheels fall of the wagon it’s no fun.

I think it was around 2:15pm when we left WS and still had a 2 hour drive to the grandparent’s house and another 45 minute drive to the wedding which I remind you was at 6pm. We got to the house at 4:30pm and unload everything, ironed my clothes, got all cleaned up at light speed, and where on our way at about 5:10pm.

We made it to the wedding right when the bride was getting ready to walk down. Wow…we actually made it. The Duke Chapel is AMAZING!!!! It was beautiful! You would see people at the wedding looking around at the chapel during the wedding. It was mesmerizing.

After the wedding we headed to the reception at an art museum. On our way to the reception we drove through the campus and wow….no wonder why it’s crazy expensive to attend Duke. The campus was one of a kind. Most places are all cement but not this place. I know where my poor kids will never be able to go college.

The reception was really nice and we stayed until about 9pm. Big night for us old folks with kids. We headed back to the grandparent’s house to put Claire to bed and get some sleep ourselves.

Sunday was a lot of lounging for the first half of the day. That was needed. We took the girls to a nice park a few miles from the house that had some talking trees. Paige enjoyed the hiking and had a blast with all the insects. She was hold ladybugs, worms, caterpillars, and frogs.

This morning we got up and headed back home. Another couple hour stop in WS and we were back in Asheville a little after 5pm. It was a great time seeing family and friends.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The First Floor Is Almost Complete

I think I'm going to take a few week break from the tree house. I have all the outside walls, safety rails, and so on completed. It can officially be played in.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

More Tree House

I did a little more work on the tree house today. I got the back steps built and the safety bars on the front rails around the porch put up. It amazes me how much time it takes to build all of this. Hopefully I can get this thing completed within the next few weeks. Paige has been helping me and she really loves hanging out in it.

Park Party

Our neighborhood park puts on three events a year. Yesterday we had the party but it started to rain after the food was served. They decided to postpone the band until today. So today we headed back to the park for some good local music and hanging out with the neighbors. Here are a few photos of the event. Due to the weather it was as big as a turn out as it usually is, but we still had a great time.

Claire Is Growing Up

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

Is This What You Really Want?

I did not get to watch the debate the other night so I did some reading on what was said and debated. I had this article sent from a friend and I also heard about this yesterday on talk radio. I find this type of thinking about as detrimental as it can be to America's success in the future. I don't understand class envy, redistribution of wealth, and constantly beating down someone or a company for being financially successful. If you take from hard working American's and constantly give to people who don't care to ever hold a job (because they know the "MAN" is going to take care of them), then what kind of country are we living in? Let me tell you a little story.

I had an employee who made a very costly mistake at one of my stores. It took us about 24 hours to figure out what this employee did wrong. While we looked for the error we put them on an unpaid leave. Not firing her like what would usually happen in this business, but an unpaid leave for 1 day. This employee went to the unemployment office and filed unemployment for a day. Their reasoning for this was…They felt it was the company's fault they did not get paid because it took us a day to figure out their error. Let me say this again. Because this person made a costly error that cost the company lots of money they felt they were entitled to being paid while the company spent several man hours to find and fix their error. They never said thank you for not letting them go. Never said sorry I had to make a lot of people stop what they should have been doing and fix my error. Sorry I cost the company a lot of money. Nothing!!!!! Instead they were mad because they didn’t get paid for one day while they sat at home waiting for us to find and fix their error. This is the type of mentality we are dealing with as a country. No one will take responsibility for their actions. They don't care about their jobs because the government will run to their aid. American needs to get back to tough love and people of this country need to become the hard workers of the past. Stop pointing the finger at someone else for your problems, issues, or lack of success. Quit waiting for the government to come out with a new program that will pay you to sit at home. You’re responsible for your own success. If you do work hard and become successful (which is never a guarantee) do you want someone like Obama telling you how successful you can be? Do you want him taking your profits to help pay for people like the one I have mentioned above? Please do your research on these candidates before you vote. Below is an article about Obama's thinking on capital gains tax. This is some scary stuff.

P.S. They were never awarded the unemployment they filed for.

Obama’s Truly Radical Capital Gains Tax Agenda
via Cato-at-liberty by Daniel J. Mitchell on 4/17/08

Every so often, a politician commits the horrible mistake of saying what he really thinks. This happened at the Democratic debate. Barack Obama has a very punitive proposal to nearly double the capital gains rate. When asked by one of the moderators whether this makes sense, especially given the historical evidence of big “Laffer-Curve” effects, Senator Obama dismissed concerns about falling revenue, arguing that a high rate was justified by “fairness.” In other words, Senator Obama is so fixated on punishing success that he is even willing to reduce the amount of tax revenue flowing to Washington that he and his buddies can redistribute. This position is so radical that my Cato colleague Sallie James was distracted from her work on the free trade agreement with Colombia (I’m not a foreign policy person, but that’s apparently a country bordering Nepal and Mauritania) and demanded that I say something about the issue. But let’s first look at what Senator Obama actually said:

MR. GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

SENATOR OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

The Senator then proceeded to bash evil rich (sorry for the redundancy) people, so the moderator asked the question again:

MR. GIBSON: But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax, the revenues go up.

SENATOR OBAMA: Well, that might happen or it might not. It depends on what’s happening on Wall Street and how business is going.

This exchange is particularly revealing since Senator Obama actually admitted that a tax rate increase might lose revenue, but he held firm to his position that the capital gains rate should be increased from 15 percent to 28 percent. This reminds me of a conversation I had years ago with an economics professor from an Ivy League university. He told me that he once asked his left-wing colleagues whether they would support lower tax rates if they knew that tax revenues would rise. Most of them, he said, shared Obama’s viewpoint that punishing success was more important to the statist ideology than increasing revenue for government.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tree House Update

I have finally finished most of the framing working, installed the windows, and now I’m starting to put the outside walls up. I would say within the next week I should have all the walls up. The time consuming part is going to be all the finishing work (trim, doors, etc.). Paige has been helping me every night when I get home from work. She's loving this thing.

Hopefully I’ll start riding again after this project. It’s actually been nice not getting frustrated because I cannot ride. I have found something that everyone in the Bedsaul family will benefit from. I need things like this project to help slow my mind down at night.

Paige hanging on the deck

Mommy and Paige relaxing on the deck after dinner

Windows in, walls going up

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Tree House Is Coming Together

With Paige in JC for the weekend I decided it was a perfect time for me to work on the tree house. Two solid days of work (Sat & Sun) lead to the photos below. I would like to say thanks to my friends and neighbors for all their help. It was great having all of you stop by and give me a hand. Hopefully sometime in the next few weeks I can get the walls up and enclose the fist floor. Make sure you check back for the progress.

Views from the first level

Paige is getting really excited to play in her soon to be tree house.