Friday, December 17, 2010

Knock Me Down and I Get Back Up

Sandy and I went out for a run today, and in a storm water retention area behind the neighborhood of San Tan Heights, we came across this interesting tree, and for some reason it inspired me to take a picture of it, and use it as the foundation for an entry to my blog.

At first glance this looked like four small trees randomly growing out of the sand, but on closer examination I observed that this was one tree that had been blown over, likely in a windstorm, or was pushed over by high water flows during a heavy rain. It struck me how closely Mother Nature and human nature are guided by the same choices when facing adversity. This tree could have just "cashed in its (wood) chips", and died, but by the survival instinct found both in humanity and in nature, instead it reached for the sun from its new-found horizontal position, and is surviving quite well here in the desert.

Probably what got me thinking about this was the challenge we are facing with the launching of our newly designed website. Right after the launch it appeared that we suffered no adverse affects regarding a loss of our traffic and our position in the SERPS (search engine results pages), but within a couple of days we noticed a substantial drop. After some agonizing days of tweaking the SEO aspects of the site, adding some new content and video, and working on analytics, we are clawing our way back to the position that we have been fortunate to occupy for the last several years. Like the tree, our new website affords us the opportunity to branch out and continue to develop the website bigger, better, and stronger than it was before.

With 2010 coming to a close, I got thinking about a blog entry I made in October of 2008, right when the economy was down, and about to fall even further. At that time I was looking at the markets and comparing numbers so I thought it would be interesting to look back to see where we were then, and where we are now, 2 years later. Also like the tree, we have made some huge strides toward recovery. Sure things could be better. The jobless rate and the housing market being two of the major stumbling blocks of the recovery, especially in the U.S.A., but let's look at what has happened since October, 2008. Being a Canadian (eh), I had used the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) as my rough indicator of the economy. Back in the spring of 2008 the markets had begun their decline, and the TSX started to fall from a high of nearly 16,000 points. When I wrote that post, the TSX closed around 9600 that day, and the worst was yet to come, falling to below 8000 in the first quarter of 2009. Today, December 17, 2010, that same TSX index closed at 13,200. That's up 37.5% since that post from October 17, 2008. The other markets have followed a similar pattern. Consumer spending is also up this Christmas season, and other areas of the economy are showing optimistic sentiment as well.

So as we move towards the festive season, and the new year of 2011, I hope I've given you something to think about, and like the tree, I hope you didn't just lie down in the sand and dry up, but that you have looked at being pushed over as a new challenge, and with challenge is opportunity, to reach back up and branch out, bigger and stronger than ever!

We are adding content and videos to the website on a regular basis now, so please check the site often to see what's new.

My son Lyle is coming down for a visit and to spend Christmas with us starting tomorrow so we're looking forward to that. Lyle has partnered up with Sandy to start his own website about his passion, the world of horses, in particular show jumping, so check out his site at

Should I not get a chance to post another blog before the end of the year, have a very Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays), and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Off the Computer, on to the Motorcycle!

Last Saturday Sandy and I were joined by a good friend Rob, and Sandy's sister Tammy for a ride on the motorcycles out east of us toward Globe Arizona. The scenery changes that you will see on this short little trip are nothing short of astounding! We leave the low desert here in San Tan Valley (formerly known as a part of Queen Creek), climb a short pass over to Superior, AZ, then up another pass through spectacular red rock canyons and craggy peaks up to the Miami / Globe area, mining towns with cooler temperatures at a considerably higher elevation.

We stopped for lunch in a little Mexican restaurant (excellent food) in Globe, right beside an old west Tavern on the Main Street.

We continued on north of Globe past the Roosevelt Dam and Reservoir. We stopped there for a quick look around to see what this area has to offer.

We then continued on north, where we connected with Highway 87 south of Payson. We then headed back south to one of our favorite stops, Saguaro Lake, and enjoyed a pint of beer before carrying on home to San Tan Valley, through Apache Junction, AZ.
This week has been busy as well, with our good friends Brenda and Adrian coming to stay overnight on Tuesday, so we took the opportunity to have a belated Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner with the gang, and now it's back to work on the website today.

I just posted a new article about electrical wiring diagrams, and Sandy is working on getting some more videos up-loaded to the site.