I'd like to add towing capability to my RAV4, but before I go ping the Toyota dealer, who seems to be way expensive on things like 30k service, I did a little searching. One guy posted an installation guide on the OEM hitch itself. However, the factory towing package also has an upgraded radiator, alternator, fan coupling, and wiring harness; one forum post indicated that the first three could be had for $160. Installation of course would be another matter.... RAV4World, which had a link to the installation guide above, also has a thread on the OEM hitch.
I suppose I should confirm whether my "trucklet" (apparently that's the in-term for SUV...) has the mount points on the frame; I doubt anything extra would be added, though, in these days of cost-cutting.
So I'm looking for securities tied to gold/silver for two reasons: 1) for convenient trading to play gold vs. silver ratios, and 2) to invest in gold/silver with retirement dollars, since I have more cash there to invest.
There are a number of ETFs, including GLD, SGOL, AGOL, and SIVR. The downsides include a large ratio of shares to physical holdings and gains taxable at the higher collectible rate rather than long-term capital gains.
In my reading online another option came up: Sprott's trusts PHYS and PSLV, which offer physical holdings in gold and silver with convertibility to metal and potential tax benefits. I'll have to check out the prospectus.
Addition: Regarding how the IRS views ETFs in IRAs, apparently there are two private-letter rulings that state that gold/silver ETF shares in an IRA aren't collectibles for tax purposes.
While searching for plans for concrete block raised garden beds, I came across mention of compressed earth blocks (CEB). Several companies make machines to make the blocks, which are constructed out of the local soil on-site. That saves moving tons of concrete blocks around. I have questions about the durability of the blocks, but the thermal mass should provide big cost savings. AECT has fully automated machines, presumably at fairly high cost. One blog notes that a Thai manufacturer produces a manual machine for under $1k, but getting it might be a nightmare, much less parts and support.
A long while ago, D.V. at work had mentioned a study he'd read about where conservatives donate much more in terms of percentage of income than liberals. I had occasion to look that up, and found a couple references (NYT, RCP) to a 2008 study by Arthur Brooks. No surprises there.
Maybe liberals think that spending tax dollars on entitlements is equivalent. However, there's nothing charitable about spending someone else's money to assuage one's guilty conscience.
Apparently there's been some movement recently on the legality of suppressors in Minnesota: FFL holders (though not collectors) are allowed to possess suppressors for soliciting sales to law enforcement or military. Hmm...I may need to get my Type 01....
In the vein of a prior post on stores who give a C&R discount, I found another list on THR that appears to be even more comprehensive. Graf & Sons just sent me a catalog...I'll have to see what their discount is. I just ordered something from TAPCO not too long ago; wish I'd asked about a price break. Ah well.
This showed up in my FB feed: charts showing the value of various commodities in terms of gold over time. The one showing the value of the dollar is most telling. For almost 200 yrs it was nearly constant, except when FDR devalued it in 1934, then from 1970-1980 it tanked, and declined greatly again from 2000-2010. The 1934 devaluation was 41%—that should put the rest of the chart in perspective.