Sunday, October 30, 2005

Business Travel

I'll be on travel for the next couple weeks. I won't be watching the news much and am looking forward to the world moving on without me for a piece. Let me know how everything goes...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

On Travel

Well, I'm hitting the road this morning and will be back late tomorrow. I'll use my small squirrel brain to come up with some interesting posts for later. Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Bernanke Bad!

I know that it happened on Monday, but I thought that I would take a little time to learn about the new Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke. After searching around a little bit I find that I am AGAIN not happy with a Bush pick. Let me try to explain. Here is one of his more famous quotes:
"The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation."

This is textbook Keynesian drivel. John Maynard Keynes was a hack whose greatest contribution to economics is the love of the classic supply and demand curve (which is only an X that explains nothing). I could seriously rant in economistese, but it would be confusing for all (including me). Anyone care to take a stab at why the above quote is nonsense?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

News of the Wacky Left

Check this nugget out from the Portland Press Herald... here's the lead in.
The Bush White House is the most corrupt administration in U.S. history since President Warren G. Harding's, said Howard Dean during his first visit to Maine as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Dean's comments Saturday came as top White House advisers are being investigated for their roles in the outing of a CIA operative and Tom DeLay, the former second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, faces conspiracy and money-laundering charges.

BWAHAAHAHAHA! *wipes eyes* Damn! That is funny. I suppose that if Rove, DeLay, and company are all guilty and the President pardons them on his last day in office... then I may be forced to concede.

Patrol cap tip to the Drudge Report

Monday, October 24, 2005

Winterizing Your Home

Man, it was pretty freakin' chilly out here this weekend. I spent most of it with my hands wrapped around a beer, watching all me teams lose at the last freakin' second. Sheesh. Anyway, everytime I ran outside to find a nut (or other food) I realized that I really haven't been preparing for winter yet, and you know us Squirrels, preparedness is our watchword. So, in anticipation, I have developed this list for winterizing your own tree.

1. Make sure your furnace is in working order. Check that the furnace filter is clean. Even if it is, just replace the damn thing, it only costs a couple bucks. Ensure that your thermostat and pilot light are working properly and that the pipe bringing fuel to your furnace isn't leaking or loose. If it is, call a pro.

2. Feel around your indoor electrical outlets and switch-plates for cold air, add insulation where necessary.

3. Check the cauling around doors and windows to make sure there's no cracking or peeling. Recaulking if needed prevents cold air from entering your home. Keep that heating bill a bit lower.

4. Have your heating ducts cleaned. It is recommended that the ducts be vacuumed every five years (the cleaning guys will tell you every three).

5. Put a insulation jacket on your hot-water heater to save more heating money.

6. Keep your temperature set no lower than 65 degrees. This is the temperature recommended to keep your indoor pipes from freezing.

7. Get to know your plumbing. Learn how to shut water off and know where your pipes are located. If your pipes do freeze, time is essential. The quicker you can shut off the water, or direct your plumber to the problem, the better chance you have to prevent pipes from bursting.

8. Close any vents in your home that may have been opened for the warm weather.

9. Trim trees and remove dead branches. Ice, snow, and wind could cause weak trees or branches to break, damaging your home or car, or injuring someone walking on your property.

10. Remember all the leaves that are falling off your trees? Well, lots of them are snuggled in your gutters. Cleaning them out should prevent water from building up and subsequently freezing.

11. While you're up there cleaning out leaves, you should check your chimney and ensure that it is clog free. Consider installing a screen over the chimney top to prevent this (after cleaning). Maybe even contact a chimney sweep and have the job done properly.

12. Test the flue on your chimney for each fireplace for a tight seal when closed.

13. Keep snow and ice from building up around the bottom of your garage door so that it closes completely and doesn't warp.

14. Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets and turn off the water.

15. Make sure steps and handrails are in good shape. Broken stairs and banisters can become dangerous when covered with ice and snow. Make repairs now to prevent someone from falling and being seriously injured.

16. Drain the gasoline from lawnmowers, weed wackers, and other engines that won't be used until summer.

17. Buy a snow shovel, salts, and other winter supplies before the messy weather hits.

18. Keep extra water, canned food, and warmth items in storage... just in case.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Another One Bites the Dust

USCENTCOM reports that we wacked another Zarqawi Lieutenant. May you rest in hell.

Still Shaking My Head

So our Senators continue to prove that they don't belong in office.

I hate to say it, but maybe Senate conservatives need some time in the "wilderness." Let the left wing radical nutbags that now run the democratic party take over the Congress for two years. Seriously, how much more damage can be done? Conservatives re-group and get their religion back while the general populace goes, "what the fook did we do?" I am damn disappointed!

Handy Dandy Translation Guide For Anti-war Protestors

Nuance: Opposition to United States policy. Often expressed in simplistic terms.

Peace: The complete lack of action from the United States no matter how many must suffer or die.

Dissent: Wearing costumes.

Crushing of Dissent/McCarthyism: Publicly disagreeing with someone more noble. Publicly pointing out flaws in the arguments of those more noble.

Censorship: Only appearing on TV 5 times a week instead of the full 7.

Days of Action: Movie where Tom Cruise met Nicole Kidman.

Facts: Things that get in the way of Truth.

Truth: Something that must be believed regardless of facts. Example: 5,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan. Did not actually happen, but the US wanted to kill that many and more so that means it is truth.

Racism: Thinking non-whites shouldn't have to live under oppressive, murderous tyrants.

Solidarity: Public nudity to tell those who would be stoned for public nudity that, hey, we care because we're naked.

Multilateral: Doing what the French want.

Unilateral: Going forward without the support of the New York Times.

Oil: When it ain't the Jews, it's this.

Militant: Anyone who kills a member of the oppressive power structure.


Hat tip- Reader Jay

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Maybe MacArthur was Right

So the SECDEF is again concernedwith China. I don’t know all that much about China, but I know people in the Community who work China issues non-stop and all of them are concerned. Now they are getting cozy again with Russia. Great. Maybe we should have invaded back in the day when we had some real spine (and less media).

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Iraqi War Crimes Tribunal

So I got to see coverage of Saddam (and others) Hussein's trial this morning while at the gym. Of course, the talking heads were all pointing out "meaningful" differences in how the trial is run in another country. I think that it is important to point out a number of things.

1) This is the first display of accountability found in the Arab world. I've heard it argued by some that the fall of the Iranian Shah in the 70's was a form of accountability, but by that logic, any coup is a form of accountability (principally to those who want to take power). This accountability is extremely significant and will result in more stability.

2) The Chief Judge appeared to be very accomodating towards the defendants. When one man complained of no access to his lawyer and poor living conditions, the C.J. asked about the man's family, the food, etc. The talking heads were incredulous that such latitute would be allowed, but this is important to the trial. Trust me, every Iraqi who is able is watching this trial. The emphasis placed on family and accomodating family is important. The C.J. is fully aware of his audience and is doing what must be done.

3) Trying the seven (or is it eight?) defendants together (for this particular crime) is placing accountability on all of them and shows that Saddam is not 'special.' I cannot emphasize the massive egos of all these men. Each is used to being in control, being the center of attention, and commanding! Just watch, they will not be able to contain themselves (eventually) and show the Iraqi people how immature (and therefore NOT scary or intimidating) these fookers are.

4) This will be a very long process. The death penalty is assured. Note the pics below... this is common knowledge among the Iraqi people. Justice is absolute in this part of the world. It will take time, but Arabs are a remarkably patient people. They will get there and feel FANTASTIC about it once it is completely over.

5) The left is going to hound that this is a debacle. Human Rights Watch (a purely anti-American endeavor) has already said that this trial is a sham. Of course, nothing could change this view unless we released Saddam 'back into the wild.' Remember that, to the left, the definition of peace is: The complete lack of action from the United States no matter how many must suffer or die. Hat tip to my buddy Jay

Anyway, these are photos that I took myself. Unfortunately, like a photo of a magnificent landscape, pictures cannot accurately portray the feelings that go along with the subject...

Mass Graves One

Mass Graves Two

Mass Graves Three

Mass Graves Four

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Stuck in Meetings

Bummer. No meaningful blogging today. Freakin' meetings! Seriously, my company has people whose only job is to go to meetings! Don't have anything better to do? Hold a meeting! Need to stretch out that billable time? Hold a meeting! Work? We can't get anything accomplished without first having a meeting! BTW, we're talking a group of folks whose salaries (mostly) are over six-figures. Today's meeting (for the rest of the day) is actually to determine the future meeting schedule. I would rather be circumcised... again.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Fantastic Weekend!

So I absolutely refused to watch any news this weekend and… I feel fantastic! I felt some what guilty for not staying on top of the constitutional vote in Iraq, then I realized that the outcome had nothing to do whatsoever with me. Hmmm. The world doesn’t revolve around me. That is a strange and novel concept. So, how did I fill the time? I doted on the increasingly pregnant (and nauseous) Sexy Squirrel and played catch, watched football, played X-box, and did yard work with my 10-year old son Jumping Squirrel. It is amazing how much you can decompress when you don’t have the MSM screaming doom and gloom at you the entire time. I may make this a new thing on the weekends. I seriously feel pretty damn good.

Another thing that makes me feel pretty damn good is that my Iowa Hawkeyes won this weekend and that Penn State lost. I’m actually proud of the Nittany Lions and have always enjoyed going to their home games (great stadium and greater fans), but I’d like to see my Hawks take the conference championship and to do that, Michigan had to win. If you didn’t see the game, you really missed out on a nail-biter. I don’t usually follow many other conferences, but the USC game was also freakin’ fantastic. There is something wonderful about college ball. It is in the sound of dice rolling around in a cup. No telling what is going to happen! Jumping Squirrel broke out into several spontaneous renditions of the Iowa Fight Song (causing Sexy to find a new part of the house to feel sick in) and made my day! Wow, I seriously love October!

So, I really don’t know what is happening in the world at the moment. I suspect that the Iraqis voted their hearts (they are a very emotional and patient people) and that Conservatives will find their way back from the ‘wilderness.’ Other than that, it is back to the daily grind. How was your weekend?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Kick-Ass Photo

BOOM! Now that is one fast camera!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Louisiana government may be corrupt, but officials in the District of Columbia are brilliant! Just ask them. I reiterate... Aaargh!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

SF Related News

Prepared for Katrina?

I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Paul McHale, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense on many occasions. He is a former Marine who has done an excellent job of liaising with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This is no small feat as the cultures of the two are irreconcilably different. Let’s face it, DHS is seriously f’ed up. Anyway, I bring up McHale because in an article today, he spoke about the military’s role in Katrina. I am actually supposed to see him later this month if you have anything constructive that you would like me to pass on…

Interesting Articles

I've spent some time today to compile a list of recent articles that I find interesting. Enjoy.
Pentagon Increases Recruitment of Spies from the Washington Times.

The Power of the Chief Justice from The Week Magazine.

Blaming Bush by Dr. Walter Williams.

Politics, Sex and the Court by Suzanne Fields.

High-Deductible Health Plans Join the Mix from Fox News.

How the Communists Rule Germany
by Thomas Rudolf of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute (I'm a member).

Special Forces Suicides Raise Questions from the AP... very sad.

Remembering Operation Eagle Claw from USSOCOM.

U.S. Earthquake Assistance Arrives in Pakistan from U.S. Army News Service.

Remember the USS Cole by Michelle Malkin.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Great Announcement!

My wife, Sexy Squirrel, is pregnant... and if I ever catch the S.O.B. that did it... just kidding. She is seven weeks and we are really excited (this is our first). I have a nine-year old son from my first marriage(Jumping Squirrel) that is crazy excited! I think that he is thinking that the baby will come out at like five-years old and he'll have someone to play with. LOL. Anyway, we had our first sonogram yesterday and got to see the heartbeat. If you would, please send up a prayer for my constantly nauseous wife. WOO HOO!

Monday, October 10, 2005


So no doubt everyone is aware of the massive 7.6 magnitude earthquake that hit central asia. I have spent a fair amount of time in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I am worried for my many friends that may have lost what little they had. It is crazy. Again, the U.S. is already responding. There still isn't a lot of information, but I'm sure that it will start flooding in shortly.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Crappy East Coast Weather

Man, it has been raining for two days. I'm just being a blob in the basement... watching TV and sippin' suds. I was hoping for a long ride this weekend (before the weather turns much more), but I guess it'll have to wait.

Friday, October 07, 2005

No Daylight...

Or blogging today... I'll be stuck in a SCIF. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Okay, my core is still grumbling over the direction of the GOP. Thomas Crown has an interesting letter to the Republican Party that resonates with me. Also, Peggy Noonan's article today raises some excellent points.

The more I think about it, the more I get PO'd. I've mentioned before that I (like most Special Forces dudes I know) am really a libertarian at heart. Unfortunately, the National Libertarian Party is filled with kooks who just want to legalize drugs. Plenty of moral quicksand to go around.

I do find the Constitution Party attractive... although the Preamble to their platform makes me somewhat uncomfortable. I guess I'm really just further expressing my concern and dissatisfaction with out esteemed leadership.

United States Flag Etiquette

It is sad, but I am the only house on my street that displays the United States Flag. While mine waves daily (24/7) the other folks don't even display it on national holidays. This may be because my 'hood is filled with immigrants, but that is even more a reason to honor it. Sheesh. Anyway, this post is dedicated to U.S. flag ettiquette. There are a whole lot of people who gave their lives who would give anything to fly Old Glory again, so lets do this right.

The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:

The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Many Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops retire flags regularly as well. Contact your local American Legion Hall or Scout Troop to inquire about the availability of this service.

Displaying the Flag Outdoors,
When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.

When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag - of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.

When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's union should be farthest from the building.

When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.

When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

If flown during the night (or dark hours) it must be illuminated by a source that is dedicated to that purpose.

Raising and Lowering the Flag
The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.

Displaying the Flag Indoors
When on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.

The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.

When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.

When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag's union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag's own right, and to the observer's left.

Parading and Saluting the Flag
When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.

The Salute
To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem
The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

The Flag in Mourning
To place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.

The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.

When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

New Milblogger...

Or at least new to me. Go check out SPC Phil Van T. over at Camp Katrina Blog. Don't let the fact that he works for the JAG stop you. Please, please encourage him to hit the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) before it is too late. Don't worry buddy, we won't hurt you, too much.

Miers Nomination

Alright, so I'm not an expert at anything (as my readership knows), but I always think about stuff. Anyway, seems like lots of folks have opinions about the Harriet Miers nomination. I don't really know about her, but it seems like when we the people provided him with a victory, the House, and the Senate, he should be setting his sights on a Robert Bork. More significantly, I have expended a significant amount of energy and human capital in defending our CINC... even when it seemed absurd to do so. So, I'd like to quote my favorite President from his acceptance of the Republican nomination for President on July 17, 1980.
We need a rebirth of the American tradition of leadership at every level of government and in private life as well. The United States of America is unique in world history because it has a genius for leaders - many leaders - on many levels. But back in 1976, Mr. Carter said, "Trust me." And a lot of people did. And now, many of those people are out of work. Many have seen their savings eaten away by inflation. Many others on fixed incomes, especially the elderly, have watched helplessly as the cruel tax of inflation wasted away their purchasing power. And, today, a great many who trusted Mr. Carter wonder if we can survive the Carter policies of national defense.

"Trust me" government asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man; that we trust him to do what's best for us. But my view of government places trust not in one person or one party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties. The trust is where it belongs-in the people. The responsibility to live up to that trust is where it belongs, in their elected leaders. That kind of relationship, between the people and their elected leaders, is a special kind of compact.

Three-hundred-and-sixty years ago, in 1620, a group of families dared to cross a mighty ocean to build a future for themselves in a new world. When they arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts, they formed what they called a "compact," an agreement among themselves to build a community and abide by its laws.

This single act - the voluntary binding together of free people to live under the law - set the pattern for what was to come.

As a fiscal and social conservative, I guess that I feel like GW has consistently asked me to trust him, and now I'm starting to wonder if I've been acting a bit the fool.

Another thought: This open letter by Dan Flynn kind of encapsulates my feelings about all of this.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

This is Just...

Lovely. I don't know how I feel about this, but it seems like we aren't appealing to the right folks. I actually still like "Be All You Can Be."

Good News from USCENTCOM

USCENTCOM, in a news release today, announced that Iraqi and U.S. forces nabbed 78 suspects and seized weapons last week. Nice job!

Financial Advice for Joe - Part IV (cont)

Okay Joe, I promised to give you my recommendations and an explanation of why.

Eighty percent of your money should go into the Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX).

Twenty percent of your money should go into the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBMFX).

Here is my reasoning. First, I am assuming that you are in your 20s or 30s and that you have enough time before retirement to recover from the cyclical nature of the market. Second, I always tend to go with Index funds. Why index funds? I’m glad you asked. Index Funds are defined as: passive investing. The primary advantages to such a strategy is the lower management expense ratios on index funds. Also, a majority of mutual funds fail to beat broad indexes such as the S&P 500. More simply, an index fund purchases a number of stocks that are based off an index.

The S&P 500 index tracks the largest 500 companies in the United States. So, when you purchase one hundred dollars of the Vanguard 500 index fund, you are theoretically purchasing a tiny portion of each of the 500 companies. What is particularly enticing about an index fund is that is minimizes the human element at the fund. I suppose that you’ve heard that each year, a Wall Street firm has a monkey throw darts at a board to pick stock and then competes with their best stock wizard (the monkey has won consistently). This is because stock picking is akin to gambling. An index fund spreads the risk among many companies and minimizes your risk. You also get more stock for your money.

Why the 80/20 split? Well, it is to further minimize your risk. 80% in stock is plenty and you maintain the 20% as insurance against a downturn in the market. Not convinced? I maintain that my recommendation is relatively safe. Vanguard has a questionnaire that you can answer to better determine your personal risk aversion.

I’ll mention again that I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. All I’m hoping to do is to walk you through a simple purchase so that you can see that it isn’t difficult or impossible. Go ahead Joe, give it a try. I actually purchased these funds today for the following prices: Vanguard 500 = $113.00/share and Total Bond Market = $10.09/share. Each weekend I will update with the new price. Remember, that you receive monthly dividend from the bond fund and quarterly dividend from the 500 index… and assuming that you chose to reinvest those dividends, will see your money really start to roll.

Is any of this helpful? Has anyone chosen to explore these funds? Please let me know what you find helpful, terrible, dangerous… or if you have specific questions. Next installment? The Individual Retirement Account.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Financial Advice for Joe – Part IV

Okay Joe, we still have a lot to cover, but you’ll remember that I’ve banged the “DON’T WAIT” gavel over and over and over again. So now we aren’t going to wait to start anymore. We are going to get started NOW and learn as we go. So what do you need to get started? How about a little time and your checkbook (Joe, remember that just cause you have checks doesn’t mean that you have money).

Here is my idea/challenge/experiment. I will keep giving advice, but we will do so after you have started the investment process. To track how this all works, I am actually going to invest in my recommendations as well so that we can track our progress together. Remember that my intention is to get you started. You can change all the variables in the future. I’ll explain more as we go along. So go get your checkbook and follow along with me.

First, we need to open an account. I am going to pick The Vanguard Group. Why Vanguard? Low fees, excellent reputation, and easily navigable site. Are you there? Click on "Go to Personal Investors site to explore or log on" in red. Now under the welcome you will see a link called "Open an account." Got it? Have questions? Click around and get them answered... the FAQ links are excellent and I recommend that you read them. For this exercise I am going to open a regular individual account. You may want to open an IRA. For now, go with individual. I will go into detail regarding IRAs in a later post (you may be able to switch your account to an IRA later). Once you feel good, click the "Invest now" button and let's get started. Fill in all the pertinent information. It is really very easy. Pull your checkbook out and fund your account.

Okay, here is the part that can be significantly challenging to folks who want to invest... what to invest in?!? Unfortunately, I'm swamped at work and will have to tell you tomorrow. In the meantime, keep meandering around the Vanguard site.