Thursday, March 31, 2005

Gangster Chipmunks

Chipmunk Gangsta Rap.

Black Gold

* So somebody issues a statement that they think oil is going to $105 a barrel, and that's all she wrote for the market futures. Oil rallies on the statement, and stocks go down. The interesting thing is that nobody was predicting that oil would go higher when it was $10-12 a barrel in the late 90's. Now, after a huge move, everybody has big projections. Isn't that the way it works, though?

* I was a little shocked that Jessica got let go on American Idol. Anwar deserved to be there for making moronic song choices, even if he can sing really well. But I think it's just a matter of weeks before Anthony, Scott, and Nadia are let go.

* I wish barking dogs had a volume slider.

* Seems like there is lots to worry about. This one is on the environment.

* America's Next Top Model... Noel... CYA! Which, is shocking because there's no way Lluvy is going to last many more weeks. I'm still a Naima fan.

* Terry Schiavo passed away.

* Thief steal dog poop.

* I still think the market is going to rally, and it has been going up somewhat since last week. What a grind, though.

* Jessica Alba alert! She's also in the movie The Fantastic Four.

* Larry Kudlow on Supply-side.

* I don't think the Pope will be around much longer. Maybe Jerry Falwell, too.

* Melissa Lee of CNBC is on the road today. I wonder how they determine who takes the floor of the stock exchange versus who goes out in the field, or who is in the studio?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Really Quick Hits

* Really quick cuz things are flyin' here at the Fun Factory!

* American Idol best: Carrie, Vonzell, and Bo. I'm switching to the Carrie to win it all camp.

* American Idol mediocre: Constantine, Jessica. Does Constantine look like Ruthie (Mackenzie Rosman) from 7th Heaven? (Now that I've told you, you'll be making that comparison every week.)

* American Idol suckage: Anthony, Nikko, Scott, Nadia, Anwar. I'd say of these, Anthony should be voted off the island this week. Anwar is pretty disappointing, though. So much for my win it all pick.

* Stock market... wooo!

* Brett Michaels, of 80's band Poison, was on Nashville Star. That's the American Idol of country (I guess). So, I doubt we'll be seeing him on Hair Metal Night on American Idol. Still hoping for Nikki Sixx or Vince Neil, though. Shout at the Devil!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Potluck Patty

* I'm still loving 24. One thing I was thinking of yesterday, is that all of the people on TV shows are relatively attractive. I was comparing the offices of TV shows to my local bunch here at the Fun Factory. Now, while we do have a few hotties here, nothing compares to the workin' crew at CTU, Cold Case, et al. Those shows might stick an overweight guy in there now and then, but all the women seem to be 20-somethings or 30-somethings with cleavage-a-go-go.

* Americans too sleepy for sex. Kind of an interesting article.

* As I type, the stock market is around even, maybe trending up slightly. I was thinking we'd move higher this week given the bearishness out there. Maybe a slow grind higher is the most healthy scenario, because it'd keep bearish sentiment high, because they'd disbelieve the rally. At some point, I think there will be some big days up.

* Maybe folks wouldn't watch TV shows if 250-lb. Potluck Patty was the female lead instead of Jennifer Garner or Sandra Oh.

* Lakers are sure less of a team without Shaq.

* Hey, how come TV shows don't show real working conditions in the office place? Where are the potlucks on Cold Case? Where are the birthday lunches on ER?

* I heard a local real estate radio show pooh-pooh the notion of a falling housing market, and the host suggested 15-20% gains per year the next 3-4 years. Well, using the rule of 72, where you divide the rate of return into 72 to get the number of years for an investment to double, 4 years averaging 18% would double the price of your house. You think that's likely? Me neither. It's an issue of wage growth and affordability.

* Have you noticed that on 24, it seems like there are about 2-3 people who do all the work, while everyone else just runs around and gives status updates? Hmm, maybe it is closer to reality than I'm giving it credit for. Really, Edgar is there trying to do all the work in the office, while getting directions from 3-4 different bosses. Jack is out in the field, trying to take down the terrorist outfit all by himself, while all these people at CTU just complain about him. Meanwhile, everyone else runs around giving each other status reports. "What's going on with Jack Bauer?" "Is Jack safe?" "Has Edgar got that important thing done yet?"

* Got your taxes done?

* So, doctors tell you to eat dairy products to protect your bones. How are vegans doing? Very healthy!

* Tonight? The Amazing Race! American Idol!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Why Did God Create Mondays?

* "Dear God, I think you're cool and all, but what's up with mondays? Are they the result of Adam and Eve eating the apple? Were there mondays before sin entered the world?"

* Ding! Ding! Ding! And that's it for monday's stock market, where the market indices were up, but surprisingly behind the scenes, the numbers aren't as good. Advancers vs. Decliners and all. But, up is up. I think we'll see more of it as the week goes on. End of the month/quarter, funds repositioning and moving money, 401(k) money hits, etc.

* When will that new AC/DC disc be out?

* I hate it when you buy a software product, then they constantly send you emails asking you if you want to upgrade to the latest version. I've found that opting out of their notification list doesn't help. So, then I add it to my spam filter. That seems to work for some, but others change their email details and it slips by. Sneaky little buggers.

* I really don't like it when the market starts off the day strong, and then wheezes into the clothes. I think the smart folks carry the action late in the day, and if they're selling that usually doesn't mean good things are coming. But... I think the market will be up for the week. We shall see.

* Next time you want a sandwich for lunch, but don't feel like standing in line at Subway or Quiznos, try your local bagel shop. Many of them have sandwiches at lunch, and I've found them to be quite good.

* I've been using to track blogs, but I found that Bloglines has a mobile website that works great with the Treo.

* Jessica Alba Alert! Sin City review.

* I did like the way the financial stocks moved today.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Afternoon Delight

* The real estate bubble is getting pretty funny these days. I'm listening to callers to my local talk shows describe amazing things. Like buying condos in Florida that haven't been built yet, and selling them before construction is complete. One guy said he made $70K doing this.

"Wow, you made $70K on your condo in 3 months? Can I see a picture of the place?"

"No. It doesn't exist yet."

* As a kid, I never much liked Easter Egg hunts. I did like the chocolate bunnies, though. Not a big Peep fan, what about you?

* Do you ever wonder who exactly works in a "think tank?" And, what their working conditions are like?

* Well, next week will be the end of March (already). So, will we see end of month buying in stocks? Quarter-end window dressing and 401(k) contributions?

* As a kid, Easter week is great. You get the whole week off. Adults get hosed on this one.

* Who'd want to work in a tank? Tanks are for fish, right?

* If all these folks with investment properties try to sell at the same time, who will they sell to?

* Louisville looked pretty good beating up on Washington last night in the NCAA tournament. Looks like they got the seeding backwards in that bracket.

* There are all kinds of think tanks around. Democrats have liberal think tanks. Republicans have conservative think tanks. Cato has a think tank. Economists have their own think tanks around the globe. I'm sure the Pentagon has a think tank.

* Maybe I'll head to the snack shop and buy some jelly beans. It's Easter, for goodness sakes. Jelly beans are in season.

* "How was your day honey, what did you do?" ... "Think. All day long. Just one thought after another. Very hectic. Only had time for a quick lunch, then back to the tank."

* I added a link to the sidebar today, Calculated Risk.

* Rightio... That's it for the week. Have a Happy Easter.


* Cya, Mikalah. I thought she sang that Taylor Daine song better on her way out the door than she did tuesday. Still, I have to wonder how it feels to be told that you've been voted out because your performance sucked, then be asked to sing that sucky performance just one more time! Yeesh.

* On The Apprentice, one too many winks from Erin, as her team lost the Home Depot do-it-yourself task and she was the easy scapegoat. I think all three in the boardroom were poor.

* Did you notice on the taxi cab ride out, Erin called Trump "Donald?" She was very flirty. Maybe Trump didn't like the allegations of some chemistry, so this was an opportunity go boot her off. Just a thought!

* I didn't watch Life On A Stick. Puh-leeze. I kind of wanted to watch The Office. But, here's the deal. I was watching The Apprentice, and recording American Idol on the Media Center PC. I don't think it makes much sense to watch the results show live, since there seem to be more commercials than anything on that one.

* I wake up this morning, and turn on CNBC... No stock market today! With nothing financial to watcy, I flip to Fox to see the national and world goings-on. Amber Alerts and that sort of thing. Ugh, I miss the business channel!

* The Apprentice is pretty predictable. Once the show comes on, they seem to immediately highlight the person that's going to be fired later in the show. Last night, I thought "Hmm, I wonder what Erin does to get in the boardroom..."

* Kimberly Locke, previous American Idol castaway, is in a new reality show called Aren't You That Girl?

* CA Real Estate tidbits from local talk show:

  • Median price in CA is over $480K.

  • 18% of CA folks can buy a median-priced house (down from 23% last year). Only 7% in Santa Barbara, 24% in Sacramento.

  • Annual income needed to buy median priced home in CA is over $113K. ($44K avg in US).

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Tick Tock Thursday

* Big shout outs to Gail, who covers American Idol like it ain't nobody's business.

* Advancers/Decliners were pretty decent on the advancing side, but the market slid into the clothes. We're getting close to month-end, and maybe we'll move up from there into April. We've been down (I hope you're seated) THREE STRAIGHT WEEKS. You know, it seems that folks get more gloomy the lower the market goes.

* We continue to study the obvious. This one points out that diet and exercise helps out type 2 diabetes.

* (Does "like it ain't nobody's business" even make sense?)

* Group calls for safer asthma drug compounds. I wonder how the group that calls for unsafe asthma drug compounds feels about that?

* Are you trying to figure out what the "L" word is?

* You know, the hybrid tax code model followed by a lot of the world, taxes income and consumption. Is the US going to go to this kind of model? Now, remember how the Roth IRA was touted as a way to avoid taxes? Aha! Gotcha!

* I'm still waiting for the news release that a study determines that "there is more sunshine during the daytime, while there is less sunshine during the night time." Your tax dollars at work!

* Does "Free Will" have any value if it's free? Shouldn't it cost something? There needs to be some cover charge for will. Maybe folks would make better decisions if will actually cost them something. Like "Twenty-dollar Will" at a minimum. Then we'll do a study, and see how things are shaping out and if we need to increase or decrease it.

* Yeah, I saw the hit and run article on Paula Abdul.

* I wonder what Belinda Carlisle is doing RIGHT NOW?

* US Companies Shift More Costs to Consumers. Give me a break. Companies shift all of their costs to consumers. All of their costs for labor, benefits, land, and taxes get passed on when they set the price of their goods/services. Otherwise, they'd go out of business running in the red ink year after year. Can you imagine companies not passing their costs on to consumers? Explain that one to Donald Trump in the boardroom.

Home Automation

* I'm all for home automation. I have a wireless network and will soon be streaming content from my Media Center PC to my TV. But I do realize that as of now, this technology is all still relatively new and not all of the bugs have been worked out. With wireless technology, you can still get some interference from cordless phones, microwaves, and whatever is going on nextdoor at your neighbors house.

* Stock market is closed on Good Friday. Market up today (so far).

* Looks like Terri Schiavo is a goner. Heck, what a tough call. I understand why the Supreme Court took a pass on that one.

* See the Wendy's storyHuman finger found in a bowl of chili. "This individual apparently did take a spoonful, did have a finger in their mouth and then, you know, spit it out and recognized it," said Ben Gale, director of the department of environmental health for Santa Clara County. "Then they had some kind of emotional reaction and vomited."

* Sure, watching TV that's streaming wirelessly from your PC is all fun and games, until your neighbor microwaves some popcorn and your TV starts changing channels on you.

* Poor Mikalah had to sit and watch her performance from Tuesday's American Idol. Last night was do-over night, and I don't know about the rest of America, but I didn't sit through it again. I watched America's Next Top Model instead!

* Brandy was ousted on Top Model, which kind of surprised me. I just don't see much in Lluvy, who was the other one in the bottom two. But Brandy's road-rage personality was very annoying, so I'm glad she's gone. My favorite so far is Naima. But I'm not sure she did so well on the signs of the Zodiac pose last night.

* I was reading this morning about how the Social Security private accounts are unpopular. The article also said that raising taxes and reducing benefits were also unpopular. Then, at the end, the article suggested that doing nothing could prove unpopular as the financial crisis unfolds. File it under damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Seriously. I mean, would you rather take a blow to the head or be kicked in the nuts? Both would be unpopular in a poll, right?

* Lots of other appliances are coming out on the market now, too. But do you want to rely on that bleeding edge technology? What happens if the phone rings, and your air conditioner turns on or your upstairs toilet flushes?

* I'm not exactly sure why folks would pay a monthly fee for the ability to change their cellphone ring tones. A monthly fee? Now watch, liberal Democrats will want to raise taxes on the rich so that the poor can change the ring tones on their cellphones, too. Because poverty is a bitch, and the poor should get their cellphone calls to the sound of Eric Clapton, too.

* Movie alert! Jessica Alba in Sin City.

* Whitney Houston back in Rehab!

* Can you imagine if you're having an intimate conversation with your significant other on a cordless phone, and it's being piped out live to your neighbor's wireless backyard speaker system? "Love you honey boo-boo, smooch smooch."

* Applied Materials announces a stock buyback and a 3-cent dividend. Break out the tequilla. No, really. I'm long Semis! I still think the market is going to rally for a bit. Semis look to be front-running the move by the other index benchmarks. At least, that's my theory.

* Is Britney Spears pregnant?????

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

North Korea

* Bush Says Kim Jong-Il 'Must Listen' on Nuclear. Maybe Bush should try shouting "Hello, McFly!"

* An American Idol Do-Over Night! I think Mikalah will still stink it up, though. Hey, you think Al Gore wishes Fox was running the 2000 election? Do-over!

* I've been using my new PC's Media Center quite a bit to record shows and watch them later. I haven't used the networking feature or streamed content to the TV just yet. Nor have I burned a DVD. I tend to watch the recorded stuff in a little box in the upper left hand corner of the PC. Kind of neat, though.

* If you watched Veronica Mars last night, you saw her do Blondie's One Way or Another in a Karaoke bit. She'd be American Idol Worthy if that was her singing. Maybe. Better than Mikalah for goodness sakes.

* The Snow Man says inflation is still in check, so TAKE THAT ALAN GREENSPAN! Maestro, hahahahah!

* Man, time to go....

Multiple Post Wednesday

* Looking for your CPI stats?

* Looked like Paula Abdul had a couple glasses of wine before last night's show. She was kinda smoochie with Simon. And she was up dancing when folks were singing. Party on, Paula!

* I don't really care what kind of deals XM and Sirius satellite ink with car dealers; I'm still not willing to pay a monthly subscription fee for radio.

* Yahoo ups their free email storage to 1 gig. Remember when it was 3meg?

* "Breaker, breaker, good buddy. Back off the hammer. We have a county mounty on the big slab who's going after Dumbo who just blew my doors off." (Lingo)

* Did you know that there are 6-party talks supposedly going on with North Korea? Even if right now, North Korea has been absent. Now, during the debates between Bush and Kerry, wasn't Kerry in favor of this sort of thing? While Bush wasn't? So. Uh. Well.

* Roger Clemens was impressive in a simulated game. Simulated game? Like on an XBOX or playstation? And was it really Roger Clemens, or an EA Sports simulated Roger Clemens? I NEED MORE SPECIFICS! Technology makes things more complicated.

* OK, stock market. Ick. Semiconductors rallied some, so I'm sticking to my "what's bad for oil is good for tech" theory. The 200dma for the Nazz is close by. Keep an eye on that.

* Gee, and I thought he was just excited about economics. Or, maybe as an economist, he was out checking assets in the transportation sector.

* Now that I'm using my Treo, I've had to unsubscribe from most of the daily email I receive from various places. I rarely read them, and it really clutters things up when surfing from a handheld! What's surprising, is how little email I really get now that I've significantly reduced my junk mail. Sad!

* I think I've had so much caffeine today, that it's making me tired.

American Idol Do-Over!

* Check this out!

Due to an error with the graphics shown on-screen (incorrect voting numbers were displayed) during the performance recap at the end of last night’s AMERICAN IDOL, a live, one-hour show will air tonight, Wednesday, March 23 9/8c on FOX, to enable a re-vote. This new show will combine new live elements with encores of Tuesday’s performances from the remaining 11 contestants.

* Well, Mikalah is about done. I think she'd make it as an actress, though. Nadia and Nikko weren't very good, and Anthony was borderline. Constantine was disappointing again. On the good side was Carrie, Jessica, Vonzell, and Scott. Bo was good; but he picked Time in a Bottle. I was hoping for an 80's power ballad! Anwar has been a little confusing lately. He was my intial pick to win it all, but his song selection is hurting him.

* None of that matters. Do-Over Idol tonight on Fox!

* Oil prices are falling. Everybody seems convinced they're going higher and are ignoring the pullback. So, is the top in?

* Was the dollar on the cover of Newsweek? Maybe that signals the end of the decline in the greenback!

* Do you watch Vernonica Mars? I normally don't, but sometimes catch it if bored. It's one of those teen angst shows that seem to come around every few years. (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson's Creek, Smallville, and etc.) These shows are kind of witty and interesting for a season or two, then we wonder why we're watching 29-yr. olds play high school kids I guess.

* People say oil is up, so inflation is coming. I think the opposite. If you're spending money at the pump, you're spending less at the stores. Oil prices act like a tax hike. Higher oil prices take money away from consumer purchases. Just a thought.

* The low-carb diet went the way of the dinosaur for now; but Atkins is trying to revive their plan. Now, they're touting a glycemic-index diet. Just my opinion, but there is no quick fix gimmick. Just eat mostly veggies, whole grains, and a piece of fruit or two a day. Maybe have a small portion of meat once a week. And walk a lot. Forget the quick fix fads.

* Social Security Outlook Worsens. They talk about the negative cash flow starting in 2017; but what they don't say is that the amount of the surplus starts to decline in 2009 (maybe earlier now). So, this means that the deficit will increase, because Social Security surplus dollars are absorbed into the general fund and spent. Less surplus dollars means that money that gets spent has to come from somewhere else.

* Lets have Vince Neil or Nikki Sixx on American Idol, and see Carrie and Jessica sing some Motley Crue. Dr. Feelgood, anyone? Or maybe Anthony singing Shout at the Devil or Girls, Girls, Girls. Heck, that's a funnier image than Bo and Constantine during Disco Donna Summer night.

* It might be Multiple Post Wednesday for me. Be back later!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Pillow Talk

* You know that saying "I feel asleep before
my head hit the pillow?" Wouldn't you wake up
the actual moment your head did hit the
pillow? You'd have to be a pretty sound
sleeper. I'd think that'd suck.

* Well, the Federal Reserve mentioned the word
inflation today. And that was pretty much all
she wrote for the stock market. I don't try
to catch the 5% moves one way or another,
because it's not really necessary. Sometimes
those 5% moves turn into 10% moves, and it
creates some self-doubt. I'm staying the
course. I think we're due for a bounce, and
how that bounce behaves is when I'll react.
That works both ways, too. Most of my market
timing skills rely on retests rather than
trying to figure out where an intial top or
bottom might be.

* By retest, I mean looking at the bounce or
pullback and watching how that behaves, rather
than the initial move. The problem trying to
pinpoint where the initial move might go, is
that it can keep going in the same direction
for a long time. Of course, the samething can
happen on a bounce or pullback, but I'm just
trying to better the odds. Perfection is
impossible. Well, Jessica Alba is close.

* Project uncancelled, now I have 3 projects.
Who's the mastermind in charge of that?

* Sports? Did you see that #1 seed Washington
is an underdog to #4 seed Louisville? Uh, who
creates the brackets? Explain that one to me,

* 7th Heaven is TV's version of apple pie.
Last night, Ruthie's first date. Oh shut up.
I don't normally watch, but it was one of
those nights that I had reached the end of the
internet, and just felt like killing time
before 24 came on.

* Rain all week they say. This is the norm
here. We get a week or two of seventy or
eighty-degree weather. Enough to make the
fruit plants and flowers bud. Then, rain and
hail storms to wipe 'em all out.

* I think it'd be a pretty cruel joke, if
somebody pulled the pillow out from beneath
your head, in the event that you did fall
asleep before your head hit the pillow. Then
it'd be "I fell asleep before my head hit the
mattress." Unless you were sleeping on the
sofa. Then your head would either hit the arm
of the sofa or maybe the cushion.

* Do you watch Cold Case? Sunday night, they
revisited an 80's unsolved murder. It was
pretty good. I liked the soundtrack during
the flashbacks. Started off with a Duran
Duran song, Save it 'til the Morning After or
some such thing. I've been humming it for two
days now.

* There will be an X-Men 3. I thought they did a good job with the first sequel. Yeah, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, and the whole ball of twine will be there. Except for the ones who died. I don't think Kelly Hu or Famke will be back. Maybe somebody should see if Jessica Alba has some room on her calendar to play a mutant.

* Heck, it's Easter Week. No wonder traffic was light today. Shees.

* And what if you fell asleep in an EZ Chair?
Would it be "I fell asleep before my butt hit
the EZ Chair?"

* US Study Finds High Blood Levels of Flame Retardant. That's almost like having a superpower. (Trying to think positive...)

Monday, March 21, 2005

Back in the Saddle

* It was just a matter of time before the hackers went after VOIP subscribers. It looks like they're figuring out a way to hijack folks' ATT or Vonage accounts and make long distance calls.

* I come back after a week off, and everybody has been selling stocks. Looks like the "March Low" thesis is playing out. (Unless it goes into April, of course.) I remain 100% invested. I think we're close to a rally, but whether or not we'll make a new high or just go retest the previous high and fail at a lower level is what I'll be watching.

* I've missed a ton of reality shows, so it'll take me a bit to get back in the saddle.

* Did you watch Spring Break Shark Attack last night? I watched the opening scene, with the cheesecake on the raft getting upended. And that was about it. That show was the most overhyped thing during the March Madness commercials. Lots of heavy sighs in the sports bar.

* So, is caffeine okay or not with regards to blood sugar? Coffee is okay? I guess soda is bad? Hmm.

* Did you read that GM plans on cutting salaried staff? I guess this means that if you're willing to work for free, you're more than welcome to stay.

* Even though crude oil is at a new high, I'm sticking with my double-top call. CNBC showed gasoline prices over $3 down in Southern California. When you think about it, higher oil prices are probably keeping the economy moving along without overheating. If folks are spending more at the pump, then they're not spending that money on other things. It's not like folks will cut back on their driving. People have to get to work and drive their kids to soccer practice. That won't stop. But maybe they'll cut back on the lattes or going to the movies.

* Why did CBS advertise Spring Break Shark Attack during the NCAA tournament games? Is that their target audience? Beer-swillin' sports bettors? Not unless they put odds on the over-under of hot chicks that were shark food.

* Politics... What do you think of the Terri Schiavo goings on? Shees, that's a tough one. It's easy to understand both the husband's and the family's point of view. I'm glad I haven't had to make that kind of decision.

* GM has a revenue-expenditure problem, is that the gist of what's going on? That would mean to me that they have the option of raising prices or cutting expenses. They have to remain competitive with the other auto makers, so looks like they're addressing the expense side first.

* Iranian Leader Says He's Ready to Battle to Death. Well. Okay.

* I made good use of my Treo 650 while out of town. It's a pretty nifty gizmo.

* Is it just me, or does it seem like the tech market is overwhelmed with MP3 players and cellphones? How are these companies going to make money with all that competition and one-ups every few weeks? (One-ups being that every week, the latest tech gizmo has a new can't-live-without feature.)

* So, if you watched Spring Break Shark Attack, do you feel that "it's safe to go back in the water?" Looking at the previews and opening scene, I think it's okay to go back in the water if you're unattractive. It seems that sharks only eat good looking people. Picky eaters I guess.

* Riddle me this, riddle me that... What is so crude about oil that they'd call it crude oil?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

American Idol

* First, Mario drops out. And goes on David Letterman's show. He did the Top Ten. Check the link!

* Last night was pretty bad, IMHO. Anwar, my prediction to take it all, sang great but what a bad song. Bo did the best last night.

* Stock market selling off again. Is the bull market that started in October 2002 over??? I don't think so, but looks like we're having a correction. Many people have called for a March selloff, since that's been the pattern of recent years. Seems to be happening again. They also predict some "March low" that could be buyable. I just remain long at this point.

* So many choices on who to eliminate.

* I thought Nikko was pretty bad. Mikalah was pretty bad.

* Did you watch the Bush press conference? I just have a hard time watching those. I get the feeling he'd be more comfortable trying to crack jokes and such, instead of trying to be all presidential.

* During most of the boring singers, and during commercials, I was flipping over to The Amazing Race. Believe me, The Amazing Race is so much better than American Idol.

* Jessica did okay. Nadia did well.

* Scott did pretty good. Does he remind you of the singer from The Fabulous Thunderbirds?

* On The Amazing Race, one of the tasks last night was to eat 4 pounds of meat. And it was gross stuff, like cow saliva glands and such. EWEWEWEWWWEW.

* I didn't know that Nikko Smith was the son of baseball great Ozzie Smith. Geez, I must've been reading my Stan Weinstein book when American Idol was giving Nikko's stat sheet. GEEZ!

* Constantine did his best to date, but still... eh. He's just gotta hang until disco night.

* March Madness begins tomorrow. Don't sleep in!

* Carrie did okay, and she's pretty.

* I think it was Lindsey who didn't do very well, and I can't remember her doing well at any time the past few weeks.

Black Gold

The US needs a broad-based plan to reduce reliance on foreign sources of oil. Other than Canada, the US must not be held hostage by our energy needs and the whims of OPEC. America uses approximately 20 million barrels of oil a day. 8 million barrels of these are produced domestically; which means that we import 12 million barrels a day.

First, we must do better with our energy use. We need to conserve, and produce more efficient vehicles. I support hybrid technology and encourage all consumers to consider one of these newer cars that get 50mpg or even more. This nation must also consider more mass transit funding.

The second thing we must do is develop alternative energy sources. We must take advantage of the sun and wind. New developments must be built to include solar panels. And tax credits used to encourage people to install solar panels on existing homes. We must also use the power of the wind where we can, and tap windmills into the power grid. In addition, we must build more nuclear power plants, as France and China are doing. This would also allow us to produce hydrogen for a new fleet of vehicles.

The third thing, is that we must develop more domestic sources of energy. This means environmentally responsible drilling for oil in ANWR or anywhere else that we can. This is only a temporary measure to reduce our reliance on OPEC and until we can achieve a more modern energy program.

The US imports 12 million barrels of oil a day. This nation must make responsible steps to reduce our dependance on foriegn sources of oil. It requires a broad-based plan and everyone must take responsibility and be part of the solution.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


* My project just got cancelled! Official wake this afternoon. I'm taking the rest of the week off.

* The stock market really does tend to rally during options week. It's easy to forget about that on the months where it doesn't.

* I'm kind of in a fish taco tuesday mode. Heck.

* Looks like the Social Security reform plans Bush is on tour touting are dead. There will be no privatization. I just don't see it. There is so much misinformation out there, and this is such a political battle that nobody is interested in the truth. Everything is being framed up as an election issue.

* Speaking of election issues, gay marriage is back on the gaydar, er, radar, for 2006. Who knows what the Democrats are thinking on that one. Add that to their usual cry for higher taxes and anti-military spending, and I think they'll end up losing more seats. Just a thought.

* Man, stocks aren't doing well today. Time for lunch.

* Not sure what to think of project cancellation here. Part of it was implemented already. There are other things in the queue. Just sad to see the last couple months work go down the tubes. Eh, oh well. Nevermind.

* With spring? Mosquitos. Grass and tree allergies. Gee, it all seemed fun on those first couple of days... ACHOO! scratch scratch scratch.... ACHOO!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Manic Monday

* Down go the Kings, as Brad Miller breaks a leg doing a layup in practice. Can't win in the NBA without a big man. And, they traded Webber away. Hasta la vista, baby.

* My favorite "nutrition" bar are those Balance Satisfaction bars.

* Did you watch America's Next Top Model? I forgot who got kicked off already. I was paying attention, honest!

* Stock market tends to rally during options week, especially if the preceeding week was down.

* Palm Treo 650. Yup. And Pocket Tunes!

* Regarding technical analysis? Do I believe in technical analysis? I'm not sure. I've developed systems that seem to work well detecting bottoms and tops, and prefer them to the buying breakouts and selling breakdowns. But I still think that there's a bit of luck required. As always, managing your risk is what differentiates good traders from bad. You could have a stock timing system that is 50-50, and outperform somebody with a system that works 75% of the time. It all depends on how you manage winners and losers. Over the long run, we do know that 90% of people will underperform the SP500.

* Is that 90% of people just a wives tale? I've heard it repeated enough so that it just seems like it's true. Maybe it's not. Who is keeping track?!

* Tonight is 24, where again we get to see Keifer blow away terrorists. And, we get the politically correct disclaimor from Mr. Sutherland. Fire away, Keifer, and appolgize during the commercials!

* Dark chocolate peanut clusters. Just a thought.

* March Madness begins thursday. Hooo... 4 games every three hours thursday and friday. I'll be taking some time off from the Fun Factory to hang out with the guys and relive our high school experience.

* Isn't that funny, no matter how old you are, whenever you get with your high school buddies, it's like nothing much has changed. Maturity wise, anyways. Other than that... Sheez.

Friday, March 11, 2005


* Everybody here at the Fun Factory seems to have powered-off their brains today, and not much seems to be going on. Everyone seems ready for the weekend.

* The week before options week tends to be down in the stock market. It was. Does that mean options week will be up?

* Tana on The Apprentice last night? Classic. John had to go.

* I wonder how AC/DC is doing on that new studio release?

* It's been in the 80's here, degree wise. It's still winter. And spring doesn't start until...

* Is it me, or does Donald Trump seem to be a little gaga over Erin? Who, still looks like Ashlee Simpson. Though, more mature and sultry.

* I have mixed feelings about the bankruptcy bill that passed the Senate. I don't think folks should be able to make lots of bad choices willy-nilly, and then bail out via bankruptcy. But, there does need to be a way for folks who are in dire straights to get some help.

* Baseball?

* I received an email from Satan's Handmaiden today. The ex-gf from my former workplace, The Salt Mine. She included one of these at the end: ;)

* I hope she's put on about 20 pounds since I left. Just kidding. That's too harsh, huh? Hah. She's a looker. So when she includes one of those ;) things, it kind of hits where I'd rather it not. She's just messing with my head. She's good at that. I take it back: 20 pounds on her rear-end it is.

* Back to the Stan Weinstein book. Not bad. I might finish it this weekend. But, it's just a technical analysis book. Buy stocks on breakouts and avoid stocks that are declining. If you follow Technical Analysis, you know that's the game plan. Of course, since everyone seems to follow the same game plan, then why bother? Because these folks tend to underperform the SP500 over the longterm! Yet, the search for the Holy Grail continues...

* Have a good weekend.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Quick Hits

* Why did Mikalah make it into the Top 12? Why was Niko excluded from the Top 12? Well, we're now in the popularity phase of American Idol.

* I still think oil made a double-top and will fall from here. Lets see. If so, that should hold well for tech stocks. A good trade recently has been to buy before Intel gives guidance. (Intel should be talking about now. I'll update at the end.) I didn't make the trade this time.

* The commercial situation on American Idol is a joke. I'm going to take advantage of the Media Center PC and record and watch later. It's just ridiculous.

* I read that just one bat can eat 500 mosquitos a night. And with the temperature hitting the 70's now here, I'm thinking maybe a bat house isn't such a bad idea.

* If you read TV Guide online, you'll see Phil Collins take a jab at Simon Cowell.

* I'd rather have a few bug bites that bat bites. So, nevermind. Nix that idea.

* Hey, I should've made the Intel trade this time! Did you see the report? Hooo... Good for semis. Now if oil can continue to slide...

* Bring on Disco Night for Bo and Constantine! Hurry up, before one of them is eliminated!

* I don't like pepperocinis much. Who had the idea that those things would taste good on a sandwich?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

American Idol Womens Bracket

* Well, I don't think the women are as good as the men this year overall. Jessica Sierra had another great night.

* Semiconductors up again slightly, but the market down. Is this just pre-options week positioning? Lots of fear on oil prices, and even President Bush was out talking about alternative energy today. Bonds also took a beating today, as rates headed up. Watch real estate as interest rates rise. Home prices have been parabolic the last few years, and when they regress to the mean, some folks will get hurt.

* You know those pre-formed taco shells? I just hate it when you get one that's not folded in the middle. You know? The one that's like folded at 3/4ers and totally jacked up. Why don't they discard those and give you a better one? Where's the quality control?

* Here's what they sang last night.

* For some reason, I feel really stressed lately. On edge. Irritable. I don't know why.

* Do you think John Kerry or Al Gore should run in 2008? Hillary? It's probably too far off to think about. In CA, we'll likely have a special election in the fall to vote up or down Arnold's stuff, then the 2006 elections. Plenty to argue about for the near future!

* Three nights of American Idol a week are too much.

* Sometimes, the stock market sells off into wed-thurs pre-options week, then rallies. Lets file that under "When you wish upon a star."

* I still think oil is making a double-top. I could be wrong. But the folks calling for $80 oil are back out from under the rock they crept under last time oil was this high and subsequently pulled back into the 40's. (At that time, the folks calling for $25 oil crawled out from under their rock!)

* Is the low-rise jeans fad still en vogue?

* Back to the grind. Maybe I just need some caffeine.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

American Idol Mens Bracket

* I'm going to make an American Idol prediction. Anwar all the way.

* Stock market? This week is pre-options week, and they tend to be down. Oil up again, but if you look at the chart maybe it's at a double top and rolling over. I'll have to check later. I really think that if oil prices remain high or drift higher, the market is in trouble. Oh, the economy, too.

* Interviews on local TV last night about higher prices at the pump, and folks being asked what they're cutting back on. Less movies. I bet less starbucks, too. For most folks, cutting back on their driving isn't an option. But I was glad to see somebody trading in their SUV for a Civic. Now there's an idea!

* Just a reminder: AC/DC is in the studio. Hurry up, fellas.

* On the American Idol Mens Bracket bubble this week? Scott, Travis, Anthony, and Constantine. I didn't think the Sting imitation was that great, either. I'm pullin' for the rockers to make the final 12. I want to hear Bo and Constantine on disco night. I just do. Can you imagine Bo belting out a Donna Summer classic like Last Dance? Maybe Constantine singing Bad Girls? Beep Beep.

* Bill Clinton back in the hospital for more heart surgery of some sort. Note to young adults: Eat healthy and exercise.

* The movie Bewitched hits theaters in June. Starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. Now, will Ferrell try to emulate the straight Darrin or the gay Darrin? Or is that Darwood, Ezmarelda?

* Remember Camille last year singing Elton John's Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road? Hhahahahahhah.

* I like reality shows, but I don't plan on watching The Contender.

* Are you following the story about King Tut and whether he was murdered or not? Sounds like it'd make a great Cold Case episode. Can we use the Steve Martin King Tut song as the soundtrack?

* Now when I was a young boy, I never thought I'd see, people stand in line to see the boy King. - Steve Martin, King Tut. (On the Best of Steve Martin Saturday Night Live DVD, fyi.)

* Yup, the relationship between oil prices and tech stocks? There you go. You'd think the semiconductors would be getting bashed a bit more on the TXN news, but maybe it's a good bullish sign that they're not.

* Stan Weinstein book, How to Profit in Bull and Bear Markets? I'm liking it. Reading all the chapters twice. During American Idol.

* You know, whenever I see the ticker for Annaly Mortgage, NLY, I think of Nelly the singer. Then the song pops in my head. It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes. (Just replaced King Tut, thank god).

Monday, March 07, 2005

Tyra Mail!

* Well, using the media center PC, I was able to finaly watch Tyra Banks' show, America's Next Top Model. Not just the kick-off episode, but the "What are they doing now" teaser ahead of the show. I have to say that I'm glad that the ones they highlighted have been successful.

* Boeing fires their CEO for having an affair with a female executive. Stonecipher will also leave the company's board and is entitled to a standard retirement package. Not a bad way to go. He gets laid. He gets fired. But, he gets his pension. Isn't that having your cake, and sleeping with it too?

* Kirstie Alley in the Fat Actress? Sure.

* No new favorites in America's Next Top Model. We'll have to wait and see. The funny thing is that right now they're all happy and joyful. Just wait a few weeks from now, when Janice Dickinson tells somebody "you should be doing men's magazines." Bwahaha.

* The market is strong. We'll have to be patient this week. Sure, the market is up early. But we're past the monthly strength period, and in the week before options week. So, this week tends to be down. Seems like we usually get some options positioning midweek or so.

* Semiconductors and tech rallying. I think if oil prices come down, tech stocks will go up.

* After seeing Eva the Diva in the highlights show of America's Next Top Model, I was really wishing Ya Ya won last year. Eva's personality just drives me bonkers.

* Did you see the cat woman in the Top Model auditions? She was bizarre. I thought they'd include her just for dramatics.

* Windows Media Center is kind of what you'd expect from a Windows product. Generally, it works most of the time. I was thinking that this sort of thing would be the death of pay-per month Tivo, since the Media Center runs with no monthly fees. But the tech complexity of it is probably a stumbling block for most. Can't just plug it in and hope it works as well as your old VCR or your Tivo. Nope. Have to download patches, and shut it and start it sometimes when the audio isn't working right, etc. Generally, it works most of the time. And when it works, it's cool. When it doesn't work, eh, it's Windows...

* Who says mondays are bad? We get to watch Kiefer Sutherland blast the hell out of some Muslim terrorists tonight! (And also watch him spend 30 seconds doing a disclaimor about that).

* I think the whole "eat calcium to build bones" thing is a myth. Read this. I just don't think people need to consume cow's milk.

* Intel is shopping for a new home with lower taxes.

Friday, March 04, 2005


* The market is busting out to new rally highs. At least the DOW and SP500 are. Nasdaq has been the laggard. I think that's due to high energy prices. There seems to be some relationship between oil and tech. Lets see if oil falls and tech rallies.

* I'm afraid to watch the news. If the constant news on Michael Jackson isn't bad enough, now we get to see Martha Stewart taking walks. Did you see the pics of that in some infrared kind of shots? What was that? And helicopters following her around? Geeez!

* On The Apprentice, Donald fired the pretty one. It was a failure in marketing, the other team ran circles around them in promoting the miniature golf event. But the pretty one just didn't have anybody's respect. It seems like the show always highlights folks who will end up in the boardroom, huh?

* Do you like the sitcom Joey? I've given it half a season, and every so often, it's funny. But I'm losing patience.

* Of course, if we break out to new highs, there usually is a pullback to the breakout point giving folks a second chance to get long. At least that's what my copy of the rulebook says. I'm still long and strong.

* Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Seinfeld to be in a new sitcom "Old Christine," playing a thirtysomething divorced mom who tries to keep pace with everyone around her. She's 44. Think it'll make it?

* Now that oil is up over $50, the analysts are predicting a moon shot anywhere from $60 to $80. Isn't that how these folks work? Back when we were in the low-mid 40's, they were on the $20-$30s bandwagon. Get the picture? They're late to the game.

When a Man Loves a Cow

This one was forwarded to me, about the man having sex with cows. I think some editorializing is in order.

NEILLSVILLE, Wis. Feb 26, 2005 — A 63-year-old man is charged with sexual gratification with an animal for allegedly having sex with calves.

I see two issues here. First, is having sex with cows. But what the story fails to mention is that these were calves. That means adolescent cows, Mr. President. Underage cows! I'm not sure what age a cow is able to consent to having sex.

Harold G. Hart, of Neillsville, allegedly told police that he routinely stopped at a Greenwood farm, usually after bar closing or on trips to strip clubs near Marshfield or Neillsville.

Here's a question for the male readers. Have you ever left a strip club with the urge to nail a cow? You can use the anonymous posting feature to comment.

A criminal complaint filed in Clark County Circuit Court said the farm's owners installed a motion detector on Jan. 22 after regularly seeing footprints and vehicle tracks on their land. Around 4 a.m. the next morning, a sensor sounded and Hart was caught leaving the barn, but Hart allegedly said he just used a bathroom in the barn and had never been there before.

I wonder what the farm owner's thoughts were? Especially with footprints and tire tracks, but nothing stolen or missing. "Hmm, footprints. I think somebody has been screwing my calves. I'm going to put in a motion detector."

Hart told police he had sex with heifers before he went into the service in 1963 and resumed about a year ago at the farm. He admitted to using a rope to tie calves around the neck and estimated he had been to the farm "at least 50 times," according to the complaint.

I think the word "heifers" adds a little to the story. Plus, there's a little bondage and perhaps S&M theme going on here. So, this guy is having sex with "heifers," and stops in 1963 when he goes into the service. Then he goes 41 years without man-cow love? Do you believe that? If this guy loves ropin' a cow and showing her who's boss, then how can he stop that urge for 41 years? I'd like to know where he was stationed during his service, and whether or not there were farms nearby.

He told police he never had sex with animals while maintaining a relationship with his a girlfriend or his wife, the complaint said.

So, is he trying to say he's been loyal to his wife/girlfriend, or to his calf? Where's the monogamy in this sentence? Another question, how does he pick a calf from the barn? Call me a bovine bigot, but all cows kind of look the same to me. I wonder if he just went around the barn, looking for that special "spark" on eye contact. Maybe he was looking for that chemistry that would single out which calf was "the one," Neo.

I'd like to hear some comments from the wife and girlfriend(s), too. What's going through their minds on this news? Are they surprised? Or, have they always known that they were never quite #1 with their man? Did they feel like they were always sharing him with someone else? Did he ever make any special "requests" that seemed weird or out of the ordinary?

Hart also is charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of obstructing an officer. Each charge carries up to nine months in jail.

I'm using my imagination here, but could imagine the first count of obstructing the officer was something like a plea, "But officer, we're in love!" Then, after the officer put him in the patrol car, "You just want her for yourself!"

Hart is scheduled to appear in court March 10.

Now, I'd much rather get some coverage of this trial, than what we're getting from the Michael Jackson trial or the Martha Stewart release. Know what I mean, Vern?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Aloha? A-NO-ha!

* American Idol must've been reading commentaries on last week's cruel elimination round, and cleaned it up this week. First, they showed mercy on us viewers by cutting the show to 30 minutes. Next, they didn't make the losers sing their loser song as they were kicked out the door.

* So much for "monthly strength" in the stock market. Geez. I don't like that the semiconductors basically fell back after hitting resistance. On the otherhand, oil has been going up and tech hasn't faded that much. So if oil can pullback, I think that'd be good for tech. We shall see. Some are calling for a "March low" in the market. I think that's hard to call, so I remain long for now.

* To borrow a line from Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, Windows XP Media Center is hot. I finaly messed with it last night, and scheduled a recording. In highest quality, a 30-minute show took almost 2-gigs. What did I record? Well... MTV's Ashlee Simpson reality show! C'mon, just to see how it works. I'll delete the file. Really.

* I missed America's Next Top Model last night. But the good news, is that it's replayed on friday. If that can be considered good news.

* The big tech-nerdie thing to do these days is to do your own podcast. That is, create an MP3 file of you doing a talk-show or radio-show, news cast, sports talk, etc., and uploading it to the web for the world to listen to. Folks can download it to their ipod, MP3 player, or desktop, and listen to you.

* Did you watch Lost last night? What's the big guy's name, Hurley? I can't remember, but he's a lotto winner and a millionaire, but he used "cursed numbers" to win the money. So now, he's followed around by curse that affects those around him. Kind of a Pirates of the Carribean theme there. Anyways, he goes off into the jungle to find some French woman, who also has the curse from those numbers. And, the last scene had something on that island with those numbers engraved on it. The plot thickens.

* I hate green bananas. I have to let them ripen a bit, get some brown spots on them.

* I think social security reform is dead, Jim.

* Back to the grind.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Housing Tulip Mania

* I made a mistake last night: Oreo cookies. Who can eat just one Oreo cookie? And don't we fool ourselves with the lower fat version? "Well, they're low fat, so I can eat half the package in one sitting." I know. It was total self control that I stopped half way. I like to call that "discipline."

* Is there a a real estate bubble? Check out yesterday's article in the NY Times. Registration is required, but it's free. So don't get weak knees on me. Read it!

* Greenspan made some bullish comments about the economy, so maybe that's where the credit is due for the morning turnaround. Especially after Novellus kind of nuked the semiconductors last night in the afterhours. Semiconductors were looking nice on the charts and the analysts finaly paid attention with an upgrade yesterday. Did they upgrade on the final up-tick? Maybe not, after the turnaround today. Still early, though.

* From NY Times article above: Within six months last year, Carlos and Betti Lidsky bought and sold two condominiums. Then they bought and sold two houses. They say they will clear a half-million dollars in profit, and none of the homes have even been built.

* I was mucking with my new PC last night. It's pretty frustrating trying to set up all the software the way you want. Sure, getting on the web is easy enough. But then setting up the PDA and configuring ActiveSync beyond the lame defaults. Trying to get registration codes for downloaded software installs is easy enough, but then you have the configuration issues. Oh, and maybe your new sound card isn't one of the ones supported by the software. So then off you go looking for drivers. Eesh.

* Musician Richard Marx, who wrote a few stinker ballads in his day, calls American Idol, "American Evil." (Has he ever tried listening to his own music?)

* From NY Times article above: ...rapidly rising prices are luring a growing number of ordinary people into buying and selling residences they do not intend to occupy...

* I wonder if folks buying these homes were buying Cisco stock in March, 2000? Just a thought.

* The Amazing Race kicked off a new season last night with a 2-hr show. Hillarious. I was sad to see (stop reading if you haven't watched your Tivo yet), the rednecks lose. They were funny. Classic line on the rope slide, "We're going to load test this thing." (They were heavy guys). The gay guys were funny, too.

* Greenspan is sounding the warning alarm on deficit spending, so don't think he's all so lovey-dovey up there on the Hill. He always does this, and Congress just ignores him. But lets be realistic about President Bush's No Veto policy on spending. Because we are running large deficits, and Social Security and ESPECIALLY Medicare loom out there as huge fiscal problems.

* From NY Times article above: Sometimes, homeowners borrow equity from their primary residence to finance down payments. These buyers, some of whom lost money when the stock market crashed five years ago, believe real estate is a safer bet.

* I'm going to keep mentioning that AC/DC is working on a new studio album.

* Crud. That reminds me that I have to spend a day ripping CDs onto my new box. Maybe I should call in sick to work. Reason for absense: Ripping CDs. I don't think that's a category for absense, so I'd have to check the "other" box and write it in.

* Sony Vaio. It does everything but bake blueberry muffins. (But I might get a USB device for that later. Internal or External???)

* I'm not sure who to love or hate in The Amazing Race. But I always cheer on the older couple. They seem to be more at peace with the whole competition and each other, and seem to enjoy the race more. They were pretty smooth with the llamas. I'd have walked 3/4ers a mile with the baskets. I can't get my cat to listen to me, so I'm going to let somebody else be the llama expert!

* More NY Times: Some investment buyers are willing to rent out their properties at a monthly loss, anticipating future sales price rises.

* I'm just watching for these kinds of real estate articles. They seem to be on the increase. And like the stock analysts finaly upgrading semiconductor stocks after the big move, you wonder how far behind the curve average folks are...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The King of Pop

* Michael Jackson is on trial, and there is no way any media outlet is going to let us ignore that fact. The craziness is underway. Every little detail. Every reaction to every comment. Today, they're playing some documentary and he's supposedly dancing a jig under the table.

* I wonder if Gary Kaltbaum has closed his 10% short position yet? Not that he's losing a ton in it or anything. The market hasn't moved that much in either direction. Except the Semiconductors seem pretty strong. They got an upgrade today. Which, could be a sign that their rally is getting closer to the end. You know how those crazy analysts work. They seem to upgrade things at the highs, and downgrade things at the lows. They might as well be making weather forecasts for all their accuracy.

* I was out PC shopping and missed American Idol last night. My bad. Made it home for 24, where Edgar seems to have saved the nuclear reactors from melting down. Or, is that "nukular," Mr. President?

* It's pretty easy to wipe out a sleeve of those Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies.

* Can you believe it's March already? Flies time fun when you are having. No doubt about that.

* I used to subscribe to a bunch of financial sites. Can't say that I miss 'em that much. They're fun to read, but there's enough free stuff out there. And financial blogs as you can see in my links. But pay for more opinions? I'd rather be paying overage charges on my cell phone.

* You know, for a band that produces song after song that sounds the same and tiresome, I think Def Leppard's last CD was pretty decent. Maybe the same could be said of Motley Crue? I'm a 80's hair metal fan. So, throw me a bone on 'em, k?

* Speaking of, AC/DC is said to be working on a new studio CD.

* The Supreme Court said today that this nation can't sentence 16 and 17-yr olds to death. I think that's good.

* Did you read that AIDS drugs may help treat bird flu? Of course, the trick is actually getting your bird to take the pills. "Polly want a drug cocktail?" And getting President Bush to extend Medicare coverage to birds? Maybe. Not like he's vetoed any spending yet!

* Kobe Bryant settles his civil case in Colorado. If you think about it, when it comes to lawyers fees and flying back and forth to Colorado, it's easy to see why he did it.

* Of the free financial sites, I like CBS Marketwatch. It's kind of slow loading, though. MSN and Yahoo are pretty good.