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A Christian Youth Mission with five churches had over 75 kids ages from ages 14-18 went into the poorest neighborhood in our city to spread the word of love.  They cleaned out gutters, broke up sidewalks to clear a path for the elderly and cut and cleared vacant lots and had fun doing it.


I'm amazed at these kids every time they come into our community working with our Highland Ridge Community Development Corporation "Mending Fences" program.  Each year we meet with area church leadership and put together our plan of overviewing the neighborhood and what we plan on doing.  This year we had over 50 homes involved and did everything from painting walls, porches and helping us with our community garden.  We filled two large dumpsters filled with trash.


What motivates these kids?  The first year we had the Youth Mission we had 40 kids in our neighborhood they only worked for two days.  They told their parents they it was too short of a time and they wanted it to be longer.  This year is was four days, 75 kids and still they still wanted it to be longer.  These kids are motivated by helping people and seeing how the community reacts to them.  Some kids plan on becoming ministers and asked some of the homeowners could they pray for them.


The mission has inspired others.  I have witness neighbors deciding to clean off the vacant lots and keep them clean.  They tell me if these young people can do so can they.


As president of The Highland Ridge Community Development Corporation (HRCDC) this is wonderful boost to our Mending Fences program which is design to help low-income homeowners who are Veterans, Seniors (60 and over) and disabled stay in their homes.  


Next year, I understand more churches want to get involve.  They might have over 100 kids next year for their camps.  There is a fee which supply tools, food for lunches and dinner for the communities they work in and bright colored T-shirt.


For how you can help donate and find out more about HRCDC:


http://www.highlandridgecdc.org

 
 
I've have watched and purchased Baidu (BIDU) over the years.  It's the second largest search engine in the world and right now it's at a bargain.  Baidu is selling on the market for $141 a share and that's down from $230 a share.  I got in around $82 but interested in purchasing more.


Most analysts don't like Chinese stock right now.  Some were never interested in it.  China is going through a rough time and now there are opportunities for the "bargain hunters" in the market.  The following article is from Motley Fool early this morning about Baidu.  Check it out.


http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/08/24/buy-baidu-after-its-39-off-sale.aspx?source=eogyholnk0000001
 
 
The global market is falling all over the place.  Today the market stumbles to some of the worse numbers we have seen in years, do not sell, buy.


Today I purchased more shares of IBM.  It's hitting a low of $145 a share and that's a bargain in my books.  IBM has been as high as $200 last year but hasn't been able to give those great numbers that investors like.  However, it's IBM.  Solid, with dividends to keep you in beer and dinner money.  


Are there other bargains out there?  I'm still looking for bargains and this might be the market to look in.  When others are fearful, be greedy.  Warren Buffett motto rings true.  Don't sell your stock out of fear, hold on and if you have any spare cash buy up something that you know has value.  
 
 
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When I moved to LA I carried a trunk full of books, they were my treasure.  I have been purchasing books by the boxes since early 1960's when it wasn't cool.  My small bedroom had books everywhere.  Reading was and is my passion.


When I moved to Los Angeles I worked for very little money but got a second job to buy as many books as I could afford.  Spent hours in my single room apartment reading business management books, Psychology, science, history and tackled books on electronics, chemistry, health and the latest fiction novels.


When I retired my dream was build a library that could house the thousands of books and magazines I had collected over the 50 plus years.  While some people love showing off their treasure such as a new car, their homes, gold, how much money they have in the bank, I brag about my library I built to house my books.   My personal library houses over five thousand books from mystical studies to Books for Dummies selection.  I have over 400 comic books and 400 volumes of Playboy magazines.


My drawers are filled with my research notes, drawings, ideas on everything and my journals.  I have robotic kits a Robosapien (walks and talking robot) and telescope to observe the skies at night.  This is my hidden treasure.


In my library I've written two books: Spiritual Dancer and Notes from a Whimsical Observer (my lyrical humorous poetry). Currently I'm working on my new book a detective/horror story which I hope to have completed by next year.

 
 
The Hackett Group, Inc (HCKT) beat analysts marks this second quarter by reporting a net income of $3.7 million.  Gross revenues were up $66.7 million over what analyst believed would be only $62 million.


Since I purchased the stock in March it has rose 59% making it one of my best picks for 2015.  Since last year the stock has roses 129% and continues to rise.


The Hackett Group is a strategic advisory and technology consulting firm primarily in the United States and Western Europe. The company offers executive advisory programs, benchmarking, business transformation, and technology consulting services with corresponding offshore support. The business of offering management consultant platforms that work in today's economic environment makes Hackett Group unique in its operation.  The benchmark studies that Hackett performed have solid research and evidence that they are working.  


Today Hackett Group is over $15 a share.


http://www.companyspotlight.com/news/the-hackett-group-inc/23315/1172014
 
 
Can you imagine buying a beachfront property for $199,000 fully furnished?  This must be a scam, but it's not.  The property is located in The Republic of Panama on a beach and you have a motivated seller.  Read more about it in this article:


http://www.chiriquicoastal.com/panama-real-estate-listings/beachfront/56-199-900-beachfront-la-barqueta-house-is-prime-panama-real-estate



You are buying a property in a foreign land, make sure you understand all the rules but it's a $199,000.
 
 
Remember when several analysts where writing that Facebook (FB) was doomed?  I purchased the stock anyway.  My conclusion was that any organization that had a billion followers could somehow figure out a way to make money.


Facebook revenue soared 38% and saw revenues over $4 billion in the last quarters.  Users increased 17% to surpassing 1.4 billion and 938 million users per month.  Yesterday the Facebook stock was down 2%.


Facebook might still pass $100 a share this year.
 
 
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Sometimes I spend several hours, days taking out my pencils and drawing.  Sitting in a public park in Los Angeles near the library I would draw everything I put my eyes on.  Most of drawings, I never complete or even want to show. This is one of Dalai Lama.

In my library I have several practice pads filled with characters ranging from my comic books to my girlie magazines.  There is no pattern or approach I take my pencils, outline the subject, and try to stay motivated about what I'm drawing.

How should you draw?  Like Da Vinci, keep as many notebooks as possible and keep your hands moving.  I have taken a few drawing classes over the years in subject matters that interest me like drawing flowers, plants and a graphic class with a concentration on developing cartoon panels.  Each class I learned about shading, how to use light to create a three dimensional illusion and much more.

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This person was in a script writing class.  I was drawing pretty quickly so that he wouldn't notice I was staring at him. I created a few drawings of him before setting the color tone here.  I wanted to bring his face out of the background and make my drawing appear effortlessly.  It's a style I have worked on over the years and continue to perfect it.

I like pencils because they are easy for me to use.  Everything begins with a light drawing and then I can either ink it or use color pencils.  I also have experimented with crayons and pastels.  Water pencils give me an effect of water color but without the mess.  

I have framed and place many finished artwork on my walls.  It's a proud moment when someone enters the library I can tell them that all the artwork on this wall is mine.

 
 
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This property was left abandoned for many years.  Then a few organizations including the city leaders partnered with a foundation received a $175,000 grant to turn this piece of cold concrete into an "Art Park".  There were going to be park tables, flower pots, murals, and a gazebo.  Volunteers planned to power wash and paint the concrete base.  


The owner had signed an easement agreement for three years in 2014 allowing volunteers and several community partners access to the property to improve it.  There was kickoff, he came, celebrated and everyone thanked him for his generous offer.  And then it happened.  Greed.


Before the "Art Park" was finished his firm placed a "For Sale" sign on the lot.  He stated in the local newspaper that the volunteers thought they owned the property.  Did he forget that he granted access to the lot in the first place?  Did he forget that he signed an easement for three years?  Or did the money offer for the property get in the way of his judgement?


The sign was pulled down for a moment in protest by one of the community partners involved the grant but soon it was returned to the lot.  The city pulled all the benches off the property and stationed them near the police station and volunteers like me felt we were used.  We were used to turn an empty trashy looking property into something valuable in the community.  The owner used us.


The funder and the city had to relocated everything. Would you as an investor want to come into their mess?  What else is this owner hiding?  Will volunteers ever volunteer again?  Will the funder that put up $175,000 want to deal with the city?  


We should never let one hardcore fool stop our efforts in working for others.  I'll be there. Energetic and ready to work. 


Today article in the local newspaper:  Spread the word about this owner.  Has he ever done this before, I think he has.


http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20150828/NEWS01/150829430

 
 
Under Armour (UA) is up over 6% today reaching a high of $95.97 as of this writing.  Could Under Armour reach a $100 this year.  Under Armour for the last few years has seen rocket growth.  I watched my own stocks gain 36% since September 2014.  Since then I've seen UA product everywhere.  They are attracting the younger generation of athletics such as NBA's Steph Curry and Pro-Golfer Jordan Spieth which both athletics had extremely successful years.  The goal is to reach the younger consumers as well.


UA beats the earnings by pulling $.07 instead of the predicted $.05 and earning $783.6 million in revenue up 28.5% over last year.  However, net income fell by 17% to $14.8 million largely due to 31% increase in brand spending.


Under Armour poses a direct competition for Nike.  Its brand is everyone. It is what people are wearing in my gym more than another brand I've seen so what UA is doing is working.  This stock could reach $100 this year.


Facebook (FB) is down today 1.61% to $95.43.  I purchased FB as IPO and kept most of shares even through the bad times. I have a return 143%.  Facebook continues to face challenges of bringing home the revenue.  Even though FB dominates the mobile market with its flagship app Instagram, they calculate that 20% mobile users time is spent using FB application.  When I got my new Smartphone and I could snap photos and load them directly to my FB page wow I was excited.  FB challenge is holding on to their younger consumers.


FB is not focusing on current business but looking for the future.  Buying new technology and looking at making money.  With a billion plus users FB is the one to beat.  Even though there is no FB in China and countries like Japan and Russia attempt to limit it use FB still experiencing healthy returns.


First quarter FB generated $3.5 billion in revenue up 35%. Mobile ads were $2.2 billion with an increase of price per advertisement 285%.  FB stock has grown in equity since last year 30%.  Could Facebook see $100?  Profit earnings are coming out this month, if FB has another great quarter, well it could happen.