When the spring temperatures finally get past the threat of frost at night, I get busy playing in the dirt – as my wife likes to call it – and getting my garden ready. It also means that lawn care companies are gearing up for their weekly grass mowing and that air conditioning companies get their first seasonal calls for repairs and maintenance on home air conditioning systems.
Some parts of the country can get by most, if not all, of the year without air conditioning. My sister in law lives in San Diego and she claims that the ocean breeze and a ceiling fan is all she needs to be comfortable in her house. But my nephew who lives in Southern Florida says that he needs to run his air conditioner 10 months out of the year. For air conditioning West Palm Beach repair technicians, business is pretty much year round, with a short break in January and February.
While I was working in the front yard trimming the hedges and pulling dandelion weeds, I noticed two different air conditioning repair company trucks pull into driveways across the street. All 8 of those houses were built by the same builder at the same time, so those neighbors can pretty much predict what repairs they are going to be facing. If one of those eight houses has problems with their air conditioner, it is a good bet that all eight of those houses will be having the same problem within a few months to year.
With April 15th the deadline for filing taxes, tonight is a big, stressful night for all the filing procrastinators. I am not one of them, but I have noticed that Facebook is very quiet tonight and that a lot of my friends have posted that they are working on their returns tonight.
I suspect that most of the people doing their number crunching tonight are people who have reason to believe that they owe taxes this year. The people who are getting refunds usually file as soon as they get their W-2s so they can get their money back quickly. And then some of us have to file an extension request, because even procrastinators sometimes can’t get it together in time for any deadline and need more time.
The week of April 15th, a lot of the really big name companies are expected to report their financial earnings. The stock market’s performance and mid-year recommendations will be based in large part on first quarter reports from these heavyweights:
- Bank of America (BAC.N)
- Google Inc (GOOG.O)
- Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O)
- Goldman Sachs (GS.N)
- American Express Co (AXP.N)
- Citigroup Inc (C.N)
- General Electric (GE.N)
- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N)
- Coca-Cola (KO.N)
- McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N)
So, my college buddy who became a stock market wiz, met me for lunch and we pretty much talked about how the stock market has been improving steadily this year, that the experts are surprised to see double digit gains so early in the year, and what are the next big things for small investors like me to consider. I love talking shop with him, because he never tries any of those canned sales pitches on me – he knows I will laugh in his face. But I do respect his knowledge of the market and he’s doing all right for himself. Its not the advice that makes me laugh – its the pitch. I’ve been in sales too long to be taken in by all the basic sales techniques, especially from guys who I’ve known since I was 18.
As to the next big thing, he tends to agree with Timothy Sykes, who has a blog and just wrote a good article on what he sees as the three main growth sectors this year. If that is something you are interested in, you can read his blog for yourself and find more information here. He also writes about his methods for short selling stocks, how to analyze the hot new industries, and other investment advice. And even though I have a good buddy to help me make my investment decisions, I still like to read up on the different topics and stay informed.
This coming weekend is the biggest sales weekend for gardening centers in the Nashville area. Our growing region predicts that April 15th is typically the last day to worry about frost, so people can put out their seedlings and plants without much worry of temperatures dipping below 32 degrees.
Almost everyone in my neighborhood has mowed their grass at least once by now, and I will be tilling the ground on the south side of the house this weekend so I can plant some full sun vegetables and flowers. I also have three raised beds that need to be aerated and some compost mixed in before I plant in those.
There are several gardening centers around me, my favorite being Lowe’s, as they guarantee their plants and are usually within 50 cents of the price of plants at Home Depot, K-Mart and Publix. Around here, almost everyone gets into the act of selling tomato plants and hanging baskets except Target.
Depending upon the weather this week, I’ll be outdoors as much as possible each night after work, setting up for my vegetables and flower gardens. Then I will probably join the throngs at Lowe’s Garden Center on Saturday to take advantage of their Black Friday Weekend specials. I hope they will match the prices advertised at Home Depot. Right now you can get 5 seedlings for $10 at Home Depot, but Lowe’s is selling the same plants, from a different local grower, at 2 seedlings for $5. That’s not a huge difference if you are only buying one or two plants, but if you want to buy 30-40 plants, that extra money adds up quickly.
Do you wish there was an easier way for you to plan your business trips because you are sick and tired of using a local travel agent? Are you noticing you are paying a lot of money when you go through a local travel agent and you want to find a new way to save money when you plan your business trips? Then you need to check out the Expedia website at http://thingstodo.expedia.com/chicago-illinois-activities/. You will be able to browse through the list of activities that you can do while you are staying in the city, and you can even book your hotel room, flight ticket, and rental car all in one spot. You will end up saving hundreds of dollars off your total trip once you switch to booking your own rooms and tickets online.
Since you are in business to make money instead of wasting money, you will want to find a website that allows you to bundle your hotel room, plane tickets, and rental cars all together so you can receive a discount. You will be able to book your entire trip through a travel deals website like Expedia so you can save money off your trip. Local travel agencies add a commission to the total price of your business trip package. You don’t want to pay this anymore. You need to start planning your vacation online.
Searching for Rooms Online
You will find that you can look through a list of hotel rooms that are available to you during the dates you enter for your business trip. You can browse through photos of the rooms so you can find the best hotel that suits your needs. Booking your room is easy when you use an online travel deals website. You will enter your information in to reserve the room that you want to stay in.