Monday, January 31, 2005

Drunk Dialing

* This article on Drunk Dialing was pretty funny. It is in those dark hours of late night and wee hours of early morn, when most people have retired their cellphones for overnight charging, that intoxicated revelers flip open their cellphones and dial into regret.

* Did you see the list of Democrats who support Social Security Choice?

* Stock market gapped up and flatlined all day. If you weren't long friday at the close, sorry Charlie. You missed it!

* Speaking of Charlie, did you see Charlie's Angels Full Throttle? YEESH. That was a bad one.

* Michael Jackson jury slection... I can't imagine being on that trial. I guess you could line up a book deal later.

* "Dude," he slurred onto his boss's voice mail, "I just wanted to tell you that I'm in Rome right now," more slurring, "and I am loving life." Click.

* The Police are reuniting without Sting? What's the point?

* They call anyone who might answer, leave messages for those who don't and continue to plumb the entries in their phone books until they are finally greeted with a sleepy, oftentimes cranky voice.

* I have no idea how Jim Cramer's stock picks perform. His radio show is kind of fun. On his radio show, he plays the I Love Lucy theme whenever he talks about Lucent.

* One thing about the stock market the past week or so, is that people sound a lot like they did late summer 2004. Even though the market started to move up, they didn't like it. There were so many reasons they thought it'd continue down or sideways. Yet, the market went up anyways. By the time these folks were bullish, most of the move was done. Is this a similar period? I hope folks keep "not liking" the rallies.

* Drunk Dialing's Bunch of drunks calling and leaving messages.

The GPS Stalker

* So, you've heard the story about the guy who was stalking his ex via GPS? He put a GPS tracker on her car. He's serving 16 months in the hoosegow.

* Not much Super Bowl hype this year.

* Really good news on the Iraq election. Now, lets hope there's a smooth transition.

* Wall Street is celebrating the Iraq election. I think maybe because it removes some uncertainty and risk.

* The scarey reality of the GPS stalker, is that technology is making it really easy to track people.

* Some Democrats seem unhappy about the Iraqi election.

* No Desperate Housewives last night. Whoever made that broadcast decision, needs to go to the boardroom and be fired.

* The band U2 has a huge following, but I just don't get it. I've never been a fan.

* With a chip inserted in your skin, your whereabouts and personal information can be tracked. You have to wonder, at what point will society decide it's best to destroy the black markets and underground economies (and terrorism), by digitally tracking people's purchases. It's not like terrorists could buy missles and such if currency was eliminated, and everything went digital. Maybe at some point, none of us will be able to buy or sell without one. File it for future reference under Mark of the Beast.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Iraq Election

Is Geraldo just a bit too giddy? From what Fox is showing on TV, the polling places aren't too busy. An occasional person ventures in.

Social Security Calculator

Wonder how much you'll receive under the current Social Security system compared to a privatized system like what Bush is proposing?

Try the Social Security Calculator.

Friday, January 28, 2005

That's a Wrap!

I don't know about you, but I've been decelerating into the end of the week. I'm feeling mentaly weary and ready for a couple days off. The stock market continues to fuddle around. Our troops continue to die. While work continues to pile up here at the Fun Factory.

The stock market is either engaged in some profit taking from the 2004 year-end sprint, and maybe a little weary looking ahead to the Iraqi election; or, maybe it sees near $50-oil and declining revenue growth at some companies. In addition, maybe it sees a flattening yield curve, and is anticipating something dreary in the months ahead. I don't want to use the term bear market just yet, but we have had quite a move since October 2002.

Iraq holds elections this weekend in the ultimate reality show from the Middle East. Like most folks, I suppose I'll have Fox news on in the background no matter what I'm doing this weekend. My hopes and prayers are with the people of Iraq, and I hope for a peaceful weekend and the eventual withdrawl of US troops. The sooner the better!

After a week's worth of effort, the troops here at the Fun Factory have a lot to feel proud about. I'm pretty excited at what our team here has been able to do, yet there is plenty more in the weeks ahead. More folks being added to our team as we race towards summer 2005 deadlines. I feel glad that I left the Salt Mine 6 months ago to come here. It's finaly starting to look like the right decision.

(Which is more than I can say about being long the stock market and having the US engaged in Iraq...)



* Going to the Netflix website, I was typing too fast and keyed in Fortunately, a porn site has not grabbed that one. No need for the boss to call me into the boardroom just yet.

* Speaking of boardroom, did you watch The Apprentice last night? Does Erin look like Ashlee Simpson? Lip sync for me, baby!

* Market nosediving. Fear of the unknown. Iraq elections! If all goes well, maybe we'll get a post-election rally. I think that's the likely outcome.

* Did you see the news blurb that most bone growth happens at night? "Bone" as in your skeleton, right? Not like that ZZ Top song, "I woke up with wood?"

* The right guy got fired last night. That guy was a schmuck. But only $20K to renovate those motels? Add another 0 to the end of that. Those places were dives! Looks like another great year for The Apprentice. I thought Caroline was pretty funny wither little comments. Like sitting down on the new beds where the team didn't take the plastic wrap off the mattress. "Crunchy."

* Microsoft opened up, then ka-boom with the rest of the market. I think their earnings are slowing. Can you see that stock doing much? It's a large member in the index trackers, too.

* There was some negative comments about the Chilean retirement system in the NY Times yesterday. Fortunately, somebody on the ball at Social Security Choice (link tat the right) caught the errors. Good grief.

* Did you buy Jim Cramer's GERQY stocks? (Google, Ebay, Research in Motion, Qualcomm, and Yahoo).

Radio Ga Ga

For some reason, as I was watching American Idol the other night, the Queen song "Radio Ga Ga" popped in my head. The past two days, I've been walking around singing, humming, and mentally rehearsing the song in my best Freddy Mercury impression.

All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio blah blah
Radio what's new?
Radio, someone still loves you!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Singing Psychic

* Did you see the psychic on American Idol, who "saw" herself in the top 10? After failing miserably, and Simon chiding her for failing at two careers, she recovered by saying she was in the tenth chair on stage or something like that. Who knows.

* The market today was pretty strong. 3rd day in a row. I don't know if we're in some sort of topping process in the market or not. For some reason, it kind of feels like it. It'll be interesting to see some of the market internals if we get back near the rally highs. Microsoft earnings afterhours was pretty good.

* Social Security Choice is following the reform debate.

* Nah, I skipped the debut of the latest Simple Life with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.

* "Democrats do nothing", says the Governator.

* The world of psychics is interesting. "I see someone special in your life, but you're having some sort of issue or conflict." Isn't that the usual line? Then the person being analyzed fills in the blanks, and the psychic continues on...

* In a marketing slight of hand, those Fat Free chips with olestra are now being marketed as "Light."

* The 44-yr old trying to pass himself at the American Idol audition as a 28-yr old? Too bad he couldn't sing worth a lick. I wanted to see that back and forth continue a bit. He was kind of funny.

* I've noticed some of the trees are budding. Spring can't be that far away. Isn't that the way it is? You get a little optimistic on some sunshine and some buds.

* More and more companies seem to be blocking web access from work.

* Here's a prediction, if that singing psychic keeps that weight on (she's huge), she's going to have some health problems down the road.

* The Paycheck Guy retired. I've written about him earlier. All he seemed to do, was hand out paychecks once a month. Good news, is that there was some knowledge transfer, and nothing will slip through the cracks now that he's gone. There is a new Paycheck Girl taking over his spot. Probably a very seemless transition as far as us workerbees are concerned.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Knights in Satan's Service

* Two days up in the market? In a row? Whether it's just some relief from the constant down, month-end jiggering, or whatever, it's nice to see. What will be interesting is if we can muster up enough strength to make a new rally high, or will we make a lower high and continue the downtrend. That's what to watch.

* Did you see the research where obese parents seem to have obese kids? Another great use of research dollars. HELLO?!? They blame the genes, too. Not that the kids tend to eat and have the same sort of lifestyle as the parents. Ignoring the obvious, as usual.

* 30 million people watched American Idol last night. I watched half of it, so make it 30 million and one-half. Did you see where Gene Simmons said the one singer sounded like Rosemary Clooney? Like Gene Simmons listens to Rosemary Clooney. C'mon. "Whatcha got on your iPod, Gene?"

* Did you see that MobiTV is now available on Cingular? That means for $9.99 a month, you can watch TV on your cell phone. 22 channels. Take a look. "Boss, can we schedule that meeting in about 17 minutes? I'd like to watch the end of Power Lunch."

* These Blue Diamond Almonds are addictive. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. I think they're a gateway snack. One day, Blue Diamond Almonds. The next thing you know, M&Ms. By the time you're eating Snickers and Baby Ruth's, it's too late to go back to your previous lifestyle.

* Yeah, right. Gene Simmons listens to Rosemary Clooney. C'mon. "YOU ROCK, ROSEMARY!" Knights In Satan's Service, indeed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

More Broker

* Market... Dead cat bounce or is the bottom in?

* Bush asking for another $80B for Iraq. A little too late for John Kerry to say "I told you so."

* Interesting graph of the Social Security crisis. A picture is worth a 1000 words.

* The Tyra Banks Show coming to Fox! You have to give her kudos for her marketing savvy.

* Do all dogs hate vacuum cleaners?

* I wonder what will happen to the economy if we see government spending cut, taxes hiked, and interest rates rising all around the same period of time? Actually, I think I know.

* I heard Gary Kaltbaum say over the weekend that he thinks EBAY is going to $50 a share. For whatever that's worth. That'd shock some folks. I don't know if he'll be right or not. There is a stock split coming, but does that even work anymore to create buyer enthusiasm?

* Fox's 24 had a pretty intense battle scene at the top of the show. They did a good job with it.

* Scottrade is running a TV (and web) ad saying "More broker for your money." More broker? Is that bad English, as in "less wealthier?" Did anybody else spot that? I dunno. I'd think you want to avoid usisg the words "broker" and "money" in the same sentence. And "more broker" just struck me as funny.

* Some knucklehead schedule meetings in the afternoon, so I better have a light lunch.

Monday, January 24, 2005


* Wondering what the worst films of 2004 were? The sad thing is spending $9 a ticket on the darn things, plus snacks... But where is Alien vs. Predator, AVP? It's being hyped a bunch on TV.

* San Francisco is thinking about taxing grocery bags for 17-cents each. Seriously. "Uh, no bags. I'll just carry the stuff out by hand, thanks."

* "We have declared an all-out war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology" - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. At first, I thought this was a Barbara Boxer line from last week's Senate confirmation hearings.

* A lot of attention on EBAY's collapse, but take a look at TZOO. Market continues late day selling, which looks like institutional selling, huh?

* Will John Kerry run again? Maybe next time he'll tell everybody what his plans actually are, instead of just saying that he "has a plan."

* A Mexican restaurant in town decided against this year's seasonal promotion of Tsunami Tacos. Good idea.

* I thought it was kind of funny when the new food pyramid said to start off your day with fruits, veggies, and some exercise. Seems like an excuse for most folks to sleep in.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

More Weekend Quick Hits

* I like sappy romantic comedies, and watched The Girl Next Door this weekend. I had no idea what it was about, but after having watched it, I can say that it's about the male fantasy of having a porn star move in next door, falling in love with said porn star (and her with you), and then setting up all your buddies with her porn star friends. Everyone lives happily ever after. I liked it. Of course.

* New England and Philadelphia! I haven't seen the spread, but it's gotta be the Patriots who are the favorite.

* Johnny Carson, rest in peace.

* I don't know if the market is going up or down this week. Who does? The pullback has been small so far (measured by the SP500), and I remain fully invested. This week should see some interesting headlines. The Iraqi election will be in the news. Plus, lots of earnings. Microsoft is one that folks will be watching. I think they sold a ton of Halo 2 XBOX games over the Christmas holidays. Would a dividend increase suprise you?

* Run Arnold Run! A made for TV movie next week about Arnold Schwarzenegger's run for The Governator in 2003 in the recall Gray Davis election. Uh, no thanks. Not unless they add Elisha Cuthbert and Sung Hi Lee as porn stars in the movie.

* Over at The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid, Don Luskin refutes the lies from the Social Security reform debate.

* I hope the Iraqi elections go well.

* The Mac Mini is cute and all, but I'm not going to get one. (Maybe they should have a Win a Date with a Porn Star promotion?)

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Weekend Quickies

* Despite what seems like panic, gloom, doom, and despair on Wall Street, the SP500 is down about 3.5% from the rally top.

* Saturday Night Live just ran a couple good political skits. The first was post-inauguration party with Jenna and Barbara Bush, with the President. Not bad. Not great. The second was a much better confirmation hearing bit with Condi Rice, John Kerry and Barbara Boxer. Tina Fey did a good job portraying a Barbara Boxer who went a little bonkers during the hearing!

* Everyone is assuming that the winner of the New England vs. Pittsburgh AFC Championship game is for all the marbles. Maybe. Folks thought the same during the NBA Western Conference Playoffs in 2004. Never assume!

* With EBAY earnings growth slowing, is more selling coming? What does their business model and stock valuation say about Google, Yahoo, and Amazon? (Or any other internet stock?). Something? Nothing?

* Honestly, I slept too late to watch the Fox Business Block this morning. I should just record the darn thing. I caught a few minutes of the MASH guy calling the Capitalist Pig guy a moron or something like that for recommending some stock with a 6% yield. He said he was looking for larger returns. Okay.

* Saturday Night Live just drags on. Here's an okay Arnold Schwarzenegger bit on the news, and this thing and that thing...

* So, Sponge Bob Square Pants is gay? I didn't even know he was dating. With regard to cartoon characters, I think a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy is appropriate.

* A bottle of wine and ... Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, or Cameron Diaz?

* I don't want to mention any names, but some money guys on the radio and in the media are what I'd call "questionable." I'm listening to some this week, who said they called the top in the market at the beginning of January and are now making money on the short side. I was listening/reading them at the time, and they said no such thing. Maybe they said it off air or that part got edited out of the final print copy. Stuff happens.

* I read that Eva Longoria is only 5'2". According to TV Guide. Hey! That's short enough so that you could rest a beer on her head! A check box in the plus category!

* The financial gurus sure got the direction of interest rates all wrong in 2004. They said inflation is coming, and rates were going much higher; sell your bonds! The same folks are saying the same thing in 2005. Eventually, they'll be right and say "We told you so." File it in the broken clock is right twice a day file. It seems like the easy guess, though. Doesn't it seem obvious? Can rates stay this low or go lower?

* I'm loving

Friday, January 21, 2005

Search Oddities

I received some interesting visitors searching for the following:

-> Should my husband spank me?
-> Sexy hot used panties
-> CNBC Melissa Lee
-> Michelle Kwan short program video
-> Strippers in San Andreas
-> Quizno Baby Voice

File 'em under "strange, but true."

The Apprentice

* The Apprentice kicks off last night with the "Street Smarts" vs. "Book Smarts" edition. The Street Smart high school grads chose the name Net Worth for their corporation, as Trump indicated that they tend to have a higher net worth than the college grads. The Book Smarts college grads chose the name Magna for their corp. The first task? Run Burger King for a day, and market a new burger.

* Stock market... I ran stock scans on the SP500 stocks last night, and got quite a few buy signals using my timing model. I think we're near a bottom. Good numbers from GE today. (I own it - disclosure).

* Amidst the rash of downgrades of EBAY yesterday, came a lone risk taker with an upgrade. Legg Mason! Well, it's a battle of technicians who are selling vs value players, who are buying. Is EBAY a value stock at these levels???

* The Magna (book smarts) team lost, because they just didn't have enough folks working at the cash registers. The project manager was horrific. He delegated everything, took ownership of nothing, and failed to recognize the important objectives of the task. He got fired.

* The plans to reform Social Security sure seem to be running out of gas. Absent of reform, taxes will have to go up to support it. Or benefits reduced. Because all it is, is a transfer payment system. There are no investments in the system today. Money is taken from the working class, and checks are sent to retired folks. The problem is, the ratio of people working to those retired has gone from 40-1, to 15-1, to 6-1, and soon, 2-1. So those working will just have to pay more.

* Oatmeal for breakfast. Bleh. Sometimes it hits the spot. Other times? Yeah. Bleh.

* The cable company is finaly rolling out HDTV in my hood. Geez! It'll be so cool watching The Donald say "You're fired!" in HDTV.

* Danny (the guitar player), survived the boardroom, but he's gotta go. Maybe he can find a government job somewhere. I doubt he could survive in the private industry.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Order To Go

* Well, the stock market bears are having some fun with the blow-up in EBAY. Looking at the SP500, we're not that far from the rally top. So the correction could have a ways to go. But it is amazing that in the span of a couple weeks, how bearish sentiment can become. Lots of good earnings numbers tonight. KLAC came out with some good numbers, but nobody seems to like the semiconductor stocks anymore!

* I forgot all about reality shows The Amazing Race and High School Reunion. I was watching American Idol tuesday, and missed 'em. Now I'll never know how the prom went!

* I ran into an ex-girlfriend at Quizno's today. "Hi Muck! What are you doing here?" she asks. Well, I came in to get a sandwich. "Yeah, me too," she says. That was it. End of conversation. I decided to get my order to go, though. Because after the opening superficial lines, it just gets weird. What to say? What to answer? WHATEVER HAPPENED TO US? To go, please. See ya later.

* Maybe some stock jitters from Inauguration Day and from the Iraqi elections (upcoming). Although, some of the latter may be boosting oil prices.

* I don't think my coworker has figured out how to schedule appointments in Outlook. I just got a meeting request for 12:00am. Uh, unable to attend that one. They'll have to do that one without me, and forward me the minutes.

* Did you catch the Inauguration speech? I guess it was okay, but I'm waiting for some debate on what tax reform and social security reform will look like. Lets get on with it, man!

* Netflix says there's a long wait for Friday Night Lights.

* So, fridays tend to move the opposite way of the weekly trend. You'd think that means shorts would lock in some gains and enjoy their weekend. We shall see....

Cold-Hearted Snake

* Sweet Paula Abdul, telling a person auditioning for American Idol that she'd be good doing cartoon rat voice overs? Paula Abdul? Simon was breaking out in laughter. Who'd think Paula would say that? It was funny.

* The stock market isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I remain fully invested, and think the trend will be higher. Holding and hoping!

* Tired of listening to market news, I flipped the radio station to the local sports talk show to see how Kings fans were feeling. They're not happy with Brad Miller. Huh? All-star Brad Miller? I turned the station to music.

* Tonight, Round 3 of The Apprentice begins. Book smarts vs. Street smarts.

* Simon calling the triplets "FAT! YOU'RE ALL FAT!"

* Inauguration Day!

* Interesting, that IGT (maker of slot machines) had their profits fall. Is the casino surge over?

* Lunch... must... have.... burrito...

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

EBAY Earnings! Ouch!

Just when you think making money by playing afterhours earnings is getting easy, EBAY misses and sets everyone straight. EBAY stock is getting sledgehammered afterhours. Stock futures are being punished. This has been a stock market that hasn't been able to rally on good news from stocks like Intel and Yahoo. So how will it react at the open on bad news from EBAY?

Not that EBAY isn't doing well, mind you. Heck, revenues are too the moon. They just didn't meet investors' expectations.

Tomorrow moring will be interesting. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

American Idol

* Some of those people need a Plan B! In yet another installment of American Idol, last night was the first of the auditions clips. Yes, 2 hours worth of America the Beautiful and such was a bit too much. But we all watched, didn't we?

* Are you noticing that during the first couple weeks of the year, the market would open up positive and close negative? Are we now in a period where the market opens up negative and closes positive? (Hey, let me have my dream...)

* I receive some interesting emails about this blog. Either people like the bullets, or complain about 'em. The reason I do this, is because I'm working and can't actually devote the time to put together a 500-word essay. Instead, I just open up the blogger window, and jot down thoughts as the day progresses. That's probably the way it'll be.

* Gary Smith over at reminds us that according to the Stock Traders Almanac, February is (historically) the 2nd weakest month of the year for stocks.

* When Social Security reform happens, I bet it ends up a combination of raising the Social Security wage cap to deal with the funding gap, and a privitization system that looks somewhat like the Federal Government employee Thrift Savings Program. Just a thought.

* I think the market is oversold. What's kind of strange, is that the market can't seem to rally on good earnings numbers.

* How long does it take to audition a gym full of people auditioning for American Idol? That's one long day! Most of those folks can't sing; but, believe they can. And some are just crazy and scarey!

* I think the Patriots will beat the Steelers.

* Did you read that Universal Studios is going to have a new show that's based on Fear Factor? There will be audience participation... NO THANKS!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Careful Careful

It didn't occur to me, but re-reading that last entry I think I'm way too bullish. Almost giddy. Uh-oh, that usually isn't a good sign.

Afterhours Earnings

* Earnings numbers coming in hot and heavy... MOT and IBM great, for example. I'm waiting for YHOO, which I bought just for this... It's out. It's good!

* The Housing Bubble? I was listening to a local real estate talk show, and they were saying that one-third of all new mortgages are variable rate. Many of them have terms like 3 or 5 years fixed, then switching to a fixed rate. People are using them because often times they can't qualify for fixed rate loans for today's high housing prices. So, what will change in 3 to 5 years when their loan converts? Will rates be higher? How about property values? Kind of risky, IMHO. I don't know if this means we're in a bubble, but it could get interesting.

* EBAY earnings tomorrow. I don't own that one, although I have a hunch that by this time tomorrow, either I will own it or wish I did.

* I finished my project here at the Fun Factory a couple weeks ahead of schedule. So what happens? Meeting tomorrow where the customers want to change the scope of their requirements. Ain't that the way it goes? I was hoping to lay low for a couple weeks, because I've been bustin' my chops. Trade stocks. Flirt with the homegirls. Long lunches. That kind of thing. NOPE.

* Barbara Boxer really annoys me. I actually like Diane Feinstein, even though I disagree with a lot of her positions. At least I respect her. But Boxer? Egads. Today, she's drilling Condi Rice. Finaly, Condi stood up to her and threw it back in Boxer's face. Catch the Hearing replay if you can.

* And what happened to John Kerry's face? My theory, is that he was using campaign funds for botox injections. Isn't looking your best a campaign expense? Anyways... The well is dry, and he's back to normal. Just a thought. He should be happy, his Patriots beat the Colts sunday.

* I read some stat in the local paper, that in CA one-third of kids don't graduate from high school. Of the kids that do, one-third go to college. Overall, 10% of kids get a college degree. The article in the paper pointed out that college isn't for everyone. In liberal California, most folks think college is a right and that everyone should go. But in reality, many people just don't want to. Or, they can't. Either way, there's no shame in that. The world needs many vocational experts, like plumbers, landscapers, electricians and the like. There is good money in those fields. So, the article called for increased funding for vocational education. Sounded like a good idea to me. For those who want to do something else.

* Dreams are funny. I wish I had a digital recorder tapped into my brain so I could burn 'em to DVD and watch them later when I'm awake. When I first wake up, the dream is in my mind. But a few hours later... POOF! I remember very little. Except on a deja vous kind of thing.

Mystic River

* All aboard! Earnings week! Options week! It's going to be a fun ride. I think we'll end up higher by the time this week is over. The big name tonight is Yahoo. (I'm long YHOO, for disclosure).

* Mystic River is a film critics loved. Yet, I found it a bit unsettling. The acting was fantastic, but the story a bit gloomy. To be honest, I'd rather see a brain-dead romantic comedy with lots of laughs and where the guy gets the girl in the end.

* Larry Kudlow has a great commentary up on Social Security privitization on his blog (link to the right).

* American Idol begins tonight with a 2-hour special! You know that in addition to those trying to make it on their voice, there will be William Hung wannabes trying their animated best to get the same kind of attention.

* The Peyton Manning story reads more and more like the Dan Marino story.

* The movie Honey was okay. It wasn't good or bad, but maybe entertaining enough. I only felt like I was wasting time going through the special features on the DVD. The deleted scenes seemed longer than the original movie!

* There's a Playstation 2 American Idol game. Personally, I'd toss it down the Mystic River. I have no idea what it's all about, and I don't plan on finding out. They make games out of pretty much any idea these days.

* What do you think of those Quizno's Baby Bob commercials? Yeah, yeah, yeah - talking baby. Yawn! I say BRING BACK THE SINGING RATS!

* As if you need to be told not to chew aspirin. (Just in case!)

* Boy, JDSU warning this morning. That company is a disaster, in my opinion. It was one of the stock bubble darlings in the late 90's. When the bubble burst in 2000, it went into a big death spiral. I wonder how many folks have been on the ride all he way down? That one has been like throwing money down the Mystic River.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Snappy Captions - Marge Simpson

In a future episode of The Simpsons, titled "Desperate Nuclear Housewives," Marge Simpson transforms into an Eva Longoria like character, and has an affair with one of the Flanders' boys. Posted by Hello

Snappy Captions - NY Jets

After missing his second chance at a game-winning field goal against the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets' kicker Doug Brien ponders the next branch in his career path as either a fry cook or Walmart greeter. Posted by Hello

Snappy Captions - Michelle Kwan

57-yr old Michelle Kwan competes in the Ladies Short Program, as she skates her way to yet another US Figure Skating Championship. Posted by Hello

Snappy Captions - Swim Team

No one informed Argentina's under-20 soccer team that the pool had been drained and refilled for the "Wintermint" Listerine commercial shoot later in the day. Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 15, 2005


* My buddy says that Rita Cosby, of Fox news, would look great if she lost a few pounds. I chimed in "Well, she looks pretty good now." He said, "Yeah, that's true." Ooh, baby, say conservative things to me.... "say fair and balanced... yeah, that's it. Say it again, in my ear... Spank me when you say it!"

* Well, there goes my $20 on the Jets to win the AFC.

* I was thinking about the stock market and how folks view investments after the first two weeks of 2005. I watched the FOX financial block this morning, listened to Jim Cramer's friday radio show at archives, and caught part of Terry Savage (filling in for Bob Brinker). I'm hearing fear. I'm hearing oil stocks and real estate stocks. Those did well last year. I'm hearing "invest in dividend stocks." Are folks afraid of risk? That makes me bullish heading into earnings from Yahoo and Microsoft. And Verizon. I own the first two so far, and probably VZ sometime next week. I think being long the market is the right play. I could be wrong, but I think it's too early to head for the hills.

* Austin Powers in Goldmember? That was probably the last movie of the franchise. But although it was mostly gross, disgusting and overall bad, there were some funny bits. It seemed like more of the same-old, same-old...

* Pensionomics.

* The big debate on Social Security is gaining steam. I think the sides are defined as the Bush side, which represents an open-minded approach at looking at various proposals to enhance the current system and solve the future funding crisis. Compared to the Democrat side, which represents the opportunity to scare the heck out of folks to garnish votes for 2006. I prefer the open-minded approach. If there's a way to improve the system, lets get the idea(s) out on the table.

* Video games have come a long way since Missle Command. Just a few hours ago, I was poppin' some caps into some homies in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas.

* As short-term interest rates have crept up due to the Fed's rate hikes, I wonder when the long-term rates will follow? I sold my REITs last week, thinking we're on the trend for higher rates. But, folks have been predicting that for almost 2 years. Still, I think shorter maturities are better at this point. Have you noticed that the yield in stocks like SBC and VZ has crept up quite a bit?

* Tom Cruise in Austinpussy!

* Why do politics get in the way of making good decisions? Is it like having a favorite team?

* Do you value the CNET website for product reviews? I'm kind of skeptical, yet I track their RSS feed on my Kinja aggregator. Everytime they review a new PDA-phone, I'm like checking it out.

* Fosters and Coronas and Dox XX, oh my!

* I blogged earlier that my buddy's sister-in-law was doing the reverse-mind-job on the New Year's Resolutions. She weighed 275 lbs, and instead of pledging some unrealistic "Eat lettuce and exercise 12-hours a day" resolution, she said that she was "Going for 300 lbs." Too early to weigh-in the results, but she wasn't saying no to any of the playoff football appetizers today. Looks like she's maintaining her focus on the end goal!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Jessica Alba

* I broke down and Netflixed "Honey" for this weekend. Jessica Alba swivels and pops her way to the top in hip-hop dance flick Honey.

* The market? Friday's tend to move opposite the weekly trend. I think everyone is expecting some more selling ahead of a three-day weekend. But, next week is options week, which tend to be positive. Some big earnings next week, too. I'm adding Microsoft shares today. Keepin' on with the Earnings Theme over technical analysis right now. My stock scans aren't saying to buy anything, but I think MSFT will be good and I'm wondering about anymore dividend news from them. We shall see.

* Have you bought your George Bush 2005 Inauguration Cap yet?

* This sounds pretty suspenseful: Honey Daniels (Alba) dances in nightclubs; when she accidentally gets videotaped, a hip-hop video director spots her unique talent and hires her first as a dancer, then as a choreographer. But when he wants her body as much as her talent, how will she sustain her career?

* Kinja is pretty neat. Saves some time keeping track of all the blogs one follows. I put a link on the sidebar.

* One of the reasons stocks probably have lost some traction, are higher oil prices. Maybe the softer economic numbers, but then again that could keep the Fed at their "measured pace."

* Ooh la la! Alba's sexy gyrations are supposed to be more empowering than other dancers' sexy gyrations, while being no less titillating.

* Just checked my spam folder inbox, 600 entries. Just today! I didn't bother to check what they were. But I suspect the usual crud of herbal this, enhancing that, and naked co-eds. Maybe those phishing for dollars scams, too.

* "Honey" has bonus features! 16 deleted scenes! Outtakes! I don't see Alba Dancing In Her Panties, but maybe that's included in the outtakes or deleted scenes. Or even in the movie somewhere!

* I hate it when the spam filter doesn't work, and that slips into the regular in-box. I still don't open it, but then you have to go through the process of zappin' it. Eesh.

* Life at the Fun Factory has been very busy... I think I like it more than I did at the Salt Mine. I'm not sure.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Hot Asian Strippers

I was reading Maya's blog (link to the right), and one of her blogs was about the Gospels in the Bible, and it reminded me of a story.

I was at a strip club drunk, buying some hot Asian stripper drinks at the bar. She told me some story, and as if she learned her lesson, quoted a Bible verse. I said something like "That's from Mark, isn't it? The 4th book in the New Testament." She laughed, and corrected me. Then she started going in how she believed in God, and hoped that even though she stripped for a living, she hoped that she'd get into Heaven.

You know, I hope so, too. I think Heaven would be a really fun place if God let in hot Asian strippers.

Sleeping With Your Sister

* Gruesome title, but that's what happened on last night's episode of "Lost." The Korean woman speaks English! (What do you want to bet that her husband does, too?) And, don't step on sea urchins. Where does the hatch lead to, anyways? Why doesn't the compass point in the right direction? So many questions, and only an hour each week...

* I think that the stock market is weak early might be a good sign that there is fear in the market, and that should be what lifts us higher. Long and strong! We shall see. It's always tough gambling ahead of earnings news, because look what just happened to UPS. And then yesterday on the otherhand, Apple! I think Yahoo earnings will be good next week and the stock has been coming down as if folks are bearish on it. I believe the surprise will be on the upside for them.

* I was in a hurry and grabbed one of those mass-produced muffins from the cafe. Have you ever looked at the nutrition label on those things? They're like calorie bombs. 600 calories, more or less. Almost half fat, too! And it's not like they're that filling. Especially when you only eat half of one.

* I watched part of "Alias," but got distracted about the point where Jennifer Garner faked the car wreck to get in the guy's house. Let me guess what happened: She had on a bunch of sexy outfits and while there were some close calls, somehow she managed to save the day. How'd I do?

* Speaking of nutrition labels, did you see that the new government food recommendations include more whole grains and veggies? Glad they've come around. Now, just get rid of the meat and dairy...

* A comment on Iraq? Hold the elections. It's going to be shaky no matter when their held. Get a President. Move forward. Always, move forward.

* Should we be surprised at that sales number from Apple yesterday? Doesn't it seem like all the kids (and their parents) own iPods at this point? Their revenues must've jammed ahead of the holidays. Do you think that Apple can keep up that kind of pace? After everyone has an iPod... then what? (They do have their music sales; assuming everyone doesn't just share songs with each other.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Hollywood Romance

* Intel up! So, we're at the wednesday before options week. More often than not, it seems as if the market makes some sort of bottom towards the middle to end of this week, and rallies through options week. Lets hope so.

* Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt! Hard to believe that a Hollywood marriage didn't make it, eh? What are the odds of that?

* Larry Kudlow has a blog entry up on the tax reform possibilities Bush is looking at.

* I'm watching High School Reunion last night, and Nikol and Jim basically make me gag. Does that relationship seem forced or what? Their conversations are so bizarro.

* Maybe Brad Pitt will find himself a 19-yr old Korean sushi waitress. Maybe Nicolas Cage's wife has some friends she can hook Brad up with. On a blind date. Wouldn't that surprise the woman when they met for the first time? "Oh, Hi. My name is Brad. Nice to meet you."

* Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably a great negotiator. If you look at his hard-line proposals for California, obviously that's his opening bid. I'd expect the CA Democrats to respond with an equally ludicrous proposal. And then 3 or 4 months after the budget deadline, say in October, they'll reach some compromise that nobody really likes.

* I think it'd be good for the market if the Semiconductors rallied for awhile. Seems like they've been the laggard, and it's hard to imagine a technology rally that doesn't include semiconductors. On the otherhand, is anyone predicting the kind of market that we had last year, where the market just treaded sideways month after month for the majority of the year?

* The Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic made a deal, Kings sending Christie to the Magic for Mobley and change. Kings win that trade by basically making a sideways move talent wise, but by buying 5 years, as Christie is 34 and Mobley is 29. Geoff Petrie is a smart guy. I suppose Magic fans can argue the minor differences about offensive talent versus defensive talent or whatever. But, they just got a guy on his downside, while the Kings got a guy in his prime. Good trade, Petrie.

* Iraqi elections coming up. Same day as the OPEC meeting I think. Stay tuned to your Google news page!

* I was channel surfing last night, and came across one of those Hollywood tabloid shows. They were interviewing other Hollywood personalities regarding the break-up of Jennifer and Brad. I had to watch. Everyone had an opinion.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Rising Sea Levels

* Here's an article where scientists are concerned about rising sea levels threatening island and coastal cities. Before anyone gets too upset, I'd first check with Gilligan, and make sure he's not just tying his fishing traps to the Professor's measuring stick, and moving it to deeper water. Fool me once, Gilligan!

* A great column on the Social Security crisis, and why it really starts in 2009 when the surplus begins to shrink and the government needs to raise more funds by taxes and/or cutting spending.

* OK, so Intel rocked afterhours. The big news was the increase in cap ex spending. That's a good thing for all the semiconductors. Last I checked, up 3% afterhours. I'm hoping for a rally through options week, so I haven't dumped the stock just yet.

* Did you see Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie, "The 6th Day?" Not a bad one. I'd rank it behind "Total Recall" and "True Lies," but definitely better than anything else he's done for a while.

* Should Dan Marino make the Hall of Fame?

* Something Peoplesoft workers have to look forward to... Oracle will announce Peoplesoft layoffs on friday! Ouch.


* The new season of "24" with Kiefer Sutherland began on sunday night, with a 2-hour episode. Followed up last night, with another 2-hour episode. (For those of you who learned math in California public schools, that means there are 20 hours left. Just trying to help!)

* Yahoo news has a link to a story that says that bran in the diet, is shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Didn't we find that out 20 years ago? At least?

* I’ll have to stick to the approach used by my wife Sue on many of our frequent weekend walks around the neighborhood. After discussing an hour’s worth of her problems she’ll turn to me and say “But enough about me, let’s talk about you. What do you think about me?” - Bill Gross | January 2005

* So, 24 vs Desperate Housewives? Thank goodness for TIVO.

* My Intel long ain't workin' out so far. I'm hoping for the afterhours pop. I might add a little more sometime in the last hour of the day. We'll see. Semiconductor stocks really have underperformed for quite awhile now. What's that they say about new bull markets? That the leaders of the previous bull market aren't the leaders of the new bull market? AMD warned today, so Intel seems to be getting shorted ahead of earnings. I like to see that kind of pessimism. Again, we'll see...

* The ads for Levitra warn, that if an erection lasts for longer than 4 hours, contact your doctor. 4 hours? 3 hours and 59 minutes is fine, but not a minute longer. And don't take one before gym class, guys.

* "24" has started off very entertaining. Yet, I'm impatient to wait for next week's episode. I'm to the point where I'd just rather wait until summer, and buy the Season DVD and watch all the shows back to back.

* I sold my REIT stocks. The dividends are nice on those things, but they do seem vulnerable to increases in long term interest rates. Everytime Greenspan mentions it, they get slammed. So, I think the risk is that interest rates which are now still near historic lows, are going to trend higher.

* My Anadarko buy is down a bit, too. Oil has fallen, and APC announced that they'll buy back stock and cut back spending on drilling. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? On the one hand, they make money on drilling. They're still spending quite a bit on drilling, just waiting for a more opportune time they say. Yet, buying back stock increases shareholder value. I'm still long.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Back in the Saddle

* Whenever I go on vacation, I can't wait to get back home. But, I don't look forward to going back to work.

* Lots of things happened in the stock market, and I really didn't pay attention. All I know is Intel is reporting tomorrow, and I usually play it. It's going to take a few days to get the feel back on the charts. Anyways, I'm in Intel. We shall see how that one plays out.

* Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston calling it quits. Jennifer says she's in the peak of her career, and I say HAHAHH! That sucker peaked YEARS AGO. How many sitcom stars do anything after their sitcom ends?

* Rain storms pounded LA while I was down there, although when the sun broke out it was nice.

* Living on the Southern California beach sounds great; until the storms come. Mudslides, waves, high tides, etc. If I were going to live on the beach, I'd rent. I wouldn't own a house on a hillside, either. What are those people thinking? I think there's some Biblical verse about not building your house on sand. Good idea there.

* Melissa Lee on CNBC? I'd like to see her in some Victoria Secret lingerie.

* Did you see the news reports in LA, about how people get stranded in storm drains? Look people! If it's raining out, stay the heck away from the storm drains!

* It's tough to be vegetarian on the road.

* No Los Angeles Angels merchandise to be found. But there is some lawsuit about the naming, so it may be awhile. Looks like they want to name the team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. How is that going to fit on a ball cap? One local radio guy, had some ideas... Like Prince, they could just call themselves "The team formerly known as the Anaheim Angels formerly known as the California Angels formerly known as the Los Angeles Angels." Or, since Prince was "The Artist" for awhile, the Angels could be just "The Baseball Team."

* Sometimes, the news cameras are out there, and they have to film something. Even if nothing is happening. "This palm tree fell over about 20 minutes ago, knocking over this stop sign. You can see about 6 or 7 residents out of their homes, looking at the tree. That's it from here. Now back to the studio."

* Spring is on the way here. Bugs. Bugs are out. Rain and some sunshine, and out they come. Good grief!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Los Angeles

* Whenever you mention the city of the Angels, Los Angeles, you get nasty looks from people. There's a pretty serious dislike of LA outside of LA.

* Did you see the movie, The Perfect Score? Not bad (for a bunch of kids trying to cheat on their SAT exams).

* Have you noticed when a company or organization re-organizes, all it seems to be is an exercise in moving boxes around on the org chart? Nothing ever seems to change. Maybe people get promotions who drew up the chart. That's possible. But folks in the trenches, stay in the trenches. Only their boxes move. "You keep on doing exactly what you're doing. Good job."

* Hey, Los Angeles is the city of the Angels again, as the once California Angels, then Anaheim Angels baseball team is renaming itself to the Los Angeles Angels. Oh, they'll still play in Orange County at the stadium formerly known as the Big A, but this will help sell their team gear. They say.

* My coworker has some add-on for his PDA that has all the NY Times crossword puzzles. And he's proud of this. "Hey Muckdog, what's a 5-letter word for 'Someone who's different than everyone else, in a bad way?' It starts with an 'L' and ends in an 'ER.' Any ideas?" Uh, yah.

* Having Los Angeles on merchandise is a winner, they say. But I don't see too much Los Angeles Clippers gear around, do you? Nuff said.

* If there is a new org chart, you want to be on that org chart, by the way. It'd be a bad thing if you got the chart, and had to ask "Hey, where's my box?" They might answer, "Well, funny you should ask, because you'll be needing some boxes to pack your stuff."

* Lame vending machine stoll 75-cents from me today.

* The Los Angeles Angels used to be called the, well, Los Angeles Angels. History repeating itself all over again.

* What if I didn't mention the stock market today? Yeesh. It was down. Well, they say it's because the Fed is worried about inflation. But heck, that's why they're hiking rates, right? This is the excuse on the news, but I just think that we're in a new tax year and folks are booking profits. For now. They'll have to redeploy it somewhere. Either in bonds, stocks, or Los Angeles Angels merchandise.

* Last game of the college season tonight! All the marbles at stake. I like Oklahoma in this one. But, I'll be pulling for USC. Lets just say that it's an LA-thang, okay?

* NY Times crossword puzzles are hard. If I had that thing for my PDA, I'd be cheating all the time. I like the easy ones, like in the TV Guide. "Three's Company star John." That's more my speed!

* Heading to LA tomorrow. Maybe to get some Angels gear. Be the first on the block and stuff. L--ER!

Monday, January 03, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

* Ooh, I picked a bad day to go to Subway for lunch. I forgot all the New Year's Resolutions on dietary changes. Long wait for my veggie sandwich today. Hopefully, by next week those folks will be back to the McDonald's drive-thrus where they belong!

* What happens when the outsourcees outsource?

* Market went down - especially gold and energy. Some speculate that a dollar rally would be tough on gold; and that a warm winter will be tough on energy demand. I don't know about the dollar rally idea, but it makes sense. I think it's still too early to sell winter short, don't you? Of course, I have a few oil stocks, so color me biased. And pass the sweater!

* I think sometimes folks go to Subway with all the intention of being healthy. But when the teenager behind the counter asks what kind of sandwich they'd like, all that comes out during that time of intense pressure is "Meatball sub. And throw a few veggies on it. Not those. Not those. Not those, either. And yes, extra cheese."

* Local politician Robert Matsui passed away. He was one of the good guys. Do a google search on him if you've never heard of him.

* President Bush tasking former Presidents Clinton and Bush to raise cash for the tsunami relief effort. They're asking Americans for help. You know, there are some great joke ideas running through my head. I supposed the topic is too dreary for fun, but I'll probably do it anyways. Later this week. Lets see how it plays out and if it's joke worthy.

* Regarding weight loss resolutions, my friend's sister told me she's 275 pounds. Every year, she has a resolution to lose weight. Starts out great, and then puts it all back on plus more. She says this year, her goal is to hit "The Big 300." Reverse psychology, she tells me. That way, she's sure to lose weight.

* Good grief, my wall calendar is 2004. I have no 2005 calendar.

* Well, I tried making hay on the anticipation of Supergen news, by buying calls on it last week. Check out SUPG now. I sold 'em at a loss. Lotto tickets going the way of, well, lotto tickets. Michael Douglass was wrong, greed doesn't work. Not this time.

The Hallway People

* Why do people who walk in hallways, walk very slowly and stop at the doorways/entries/exits, thus clogging up the hallway? What is it with the "hallway people?"

* The stock market ramped up, and then, ramped down. I went to CBS Marketwatch (the website), and looked at their predictions last night. One guy says that there are too many bulls. One guy says that there are too many bears. Too much bullishness where everyone is bearish, I guess. Guarded optimism? Enthusiastic pessimism? I have no idea. I think those columnists are fairly worthless, but I appreciate their efforts. I like to see what both sides are thinking...

* Is it just me, or is the Darwin Awards email being forwarded around the same one every year?

* Has anyone else noticed that Alyssa Milano talks without moving her jaw? Well, maybe just a little bit. I'm thinking if Charmed gets cancelled, she could be a ventriloquist.

* The "hallway people" always seem to be in front of me on the escalator, too. As soon as they reach the end of the escalator, instead of moving aside, they stop right at the exit, and look around trying to figure out which way to go.

* I don't watch Charmed, I just happen to be flippin' channels.

* I spilled coffee all over myself. Defective lid. I mean, what is that? I might as well just buy coffee-colored shirts and slacks.

* The movie Honey was on Starz last night, and I almost watched it. It'd be 2 hours of my life that I wouldn't get back. But, Jessica Alba is in it. I decided to skip it. Only because I might Netflix the DVD so I can see the special features. (Hey, it's Jessica Alba!) Maybe there will be a bonus feature, "dancing in her panties" or something.

* Whatever happened to Shannon Doherty, anyways? She left Charmed, because it was beneath her talents or something, right? So there's this Power of Three thing, where the witches have this special ability to combine their powers. Once Shannon left, it ruined that. But then, the script writers brought in Rose McGowen, as some sort of half-sister or something, and also better looking than the departing Shannon Doherty.

* I also seem to get behind the "hallway people" whenever I go to the pharmacy. They don't have their medical number handy. They have zero refills left on their prescriptions. The prescriptions come in smaller sizes then they claim they usually get. The copay is always higher than it's supposed to be. Etc.

* Another mad cow in Canada. Are you STILL eating red meat?

* My local movie critic rated Ocean's Twelve as a pretty good flick. Yet, my coworkers who saw it say it's a dud. Who to believe? Usually, I ignore the critics.

* Really, I don't watch Charmed. I don't think you're supposed to use your powers for personal gain, though. If I had special powers, that'd be a difficult rule to follow. I'd probably be one of the evil people the Charmed Ones would have to vanquish.

* I also seem to get behind the "hallway people" at ATMs. They're the ones with fifty transactions, can't find their ATM card, and haven't filled out their envelopes or anything before reaching the ATM. Sometimes, after a few minutes of trying to get everything all figured out, they'll turn around and say "I don't think this one is working."

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Happy New Year!

* Have a great New Year!

* This is the last day before the first day back at the Fun Factory in 2005. As today rolls on, my mind starts outlining all these work-related things I need to get done. That's what I hate about sundays.

* I watched the Sean Connery League of Extraordinary Gentlemen over the weekend. Major stinker. Connery almost seemed like that Saturday Night Live parody of himself. It was just goofy.

* Eatin' like crap for about 10 days straight. Football parties 3 days in a row, with beer and sports bar food. BLEH. And it's raining, so I can't get outside to work out. I need a week of veggie sandwiches to purify my soul.

* Coming up in 2005 we have the third installment of The Apprentice, the fourth of American Idol, and then the also-rans coming up like The Bachelorette. I think I'll skip the Who's Your Daddy? and the one where the old guy writes his will via a reality show. C'mon!

* The stock market? Predictions are pretty worthless, but I think the market seasonality trend will work this year. That's the one where stocks seem to do well from fall-spring, and bad from spring-fall. Picking the exit and entry points is the hard part!

* The housing market? As long as interest rates remain low...

* Interesting events in 2005? The Iraqi elections and the aftermath. That's going to be a news grabber however that shakes out. Another? The Super Bowl halftime show!

* Ugh, I'm going to just have to suck it up and go jogging in the rain. Isn't that a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers thang?