Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Randomosity (and Hooters Girl!)

  • image The stock market acts well, but is it just a summer rally or a New Bull Market?  That’s not today’s business, as today is the last day of July and I’m gearing up for a pool party.  Beers are in the ice chest!  Woot woot!
  • Old debts that won’t die.  An article about how companies and debt collectors are chasing folks trying to get cash.  I don’t know about you, but my phone number must be very close to others and/or people who owe money are giving out fake numbers, which tend to be my number.  I receive calls looking for Jayne, William, Walter, and Earnie every week.  Once they remove me from their phone list, another few folks take their place.  I’m thinking about just canceling the land line altogether.
  • Make some popcorn, mine with extra butter, as the Hitler home movies get re-release
  • The double-dip recession didn’t happen.  I didn’t think so. Slow growth isn’t the worst thing.  It’d be better at 5% unemployment, though.
  • Looking for underwater equity statistics?
  • High-frequency programmers revolt over pay!
  • Where does Syfy get the money for all its show projects?  I’m a big fan of the network, but they do make some really bad made-for-TV movies.  I’m looking at you, “Sharktopus.”  (Not pictured, but it is at the link).
  • Worried about the future of Social Security?  Better prepare now!  Another article about how Social Security may change going forward.

The program, which has its own dedicated stream of income, is projected to pay out more this year than it is taking in, but that is a function of the weak economy. Social Security will, according to the last annual report from its trustees, be able to pay full benefits through 2037. Then, if there are no changes in the program in the meantime, the taxes collected will be enough to pay out only about 75 percent of benefits through 2083.

  • My thoughts are that there will be some change.  I don’t know if they’ll means test it, reduce benefits or increase contribution rates.  Maybe a combination of all three.  I don’t see that happening in an election year, though!
  • Hey, seven new scripted projects for Syfy channel!  Now that may be popcorn worthy!

2.4% Growth

Digital ink gushed over the slower than expected 2.4% growth. But is it that bad?

I was thinking while reading this WSJ column (via the new iPhone 4!) that while growth is slower than we would like, this does keep the Fed on the sidelines.

Employers still are slow to hire, but some of the hiring news from the tech sector was good. And I believe that this indicates companies are spending and anticipating growth.

Maybe this is why the markets shrugged off the news after the early dip.


Made my second trip to the state fair tonight. Very crowded. Oh the price of a large Tecate? $12.


This is the first blog entry via said iPhone 4.

Have yet to take a video or picture. Have not used FaceTime, either!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Last Friday of July Randomosity


  • It’s Arnold Schwarzenegger’s birthday! 63.  I give you Arnold with Tia Carrere in True Lies.
  • Nice market recovery after the weak open.  The bulls are in control.
  • iPhone 4 update: Took awhile to get apps restored and contacts loaded.  But everything is a go. 
  • The US GDP slowed in the 2nd quarter.  Ya think?
  • Over at 38 Pitches, Curt Schilling is not seeing any job creation.
  • The iPhone 4 is much faster than the 3G.  Apps load quickly.  If you’ve seen the movie Inception, then the 3G is a few layers deep compared to the 4.  Seconds for the 4 can mean many more seconds for the 3G.
  • The Confused Capitalist believes that financial advisors and the blogosphere is asleep to global warming.  They are generally asleep - or worse - unconscious to the threat to global warming. Even from the strictly narrow and selfish point of view of market returns, they are failing their clients and readers in not discussing this widely and frequently.
  • I’m making a new bullet point to be perfectly clear.  Global warming.  LOL.
  • image Arnold-Shmarnold.  More Tia!  Sorry, no nude Tia Carrere pics.  But they are available if you turn off the safesearch mode in google image search.  Just saying.  For entertainment purposes only.
  • Keeping track of the SP500 index trackers.
  • The iPhone 4 battery seems to hold a charge for a very long time compared to the 3G.  Similar to iPad.
  • I hope the Chevy Volt works for folks.  I really do.  But I see Hollywood stars driving them to awards shows, and then when the cameras aren’t looking, speeding away in Mercedes.
  • GM boosting Volt production.
  • Is gaming the future of social media?  I’m thinking, in the back of my mind, that this consolidation and attention is a contrarian indicator.
  • Consumers are not spending like drunken sailorsThe economy is heading nowhere fast. That's the bad news. But the good news is that it still seems like consumers may have actually learned a lesson or two about reckless fiscal behavior.  Maybe they’re all playing Zynga games on their iPads and iPhones.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dropped my First Call on iPhone 4!

I've hit the big time: just had my first dropped call with my two-hours old iPhone 4. Sweet!

Now I am in a low reception building and it may have been the person on the other end of the call. Still, I'd like to note the occasion.

Need to sync up the iPhone to get the apps on. Meanwhile, this is from the iPad.

Yours truly,

Apple Fanboi Muck

PS: Free case is on backorder for three weeks

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The iPhone 4 Has Arrived

image The iPhone 4 has arrived at my local $AAPL store, but I went to the state fair tonight.  See?  I’m not a total fanboi.

Also, there was a 2-hour wait and I just didn’t have time. 

The bottom line is I called the store and was willing to make the effort.  But a 2-hour line?  Eh…

The California State Fair seemed somewhat busy, but I’m not sure if it’s more or less crowded than other years. Seemed less. 


A day of rest for the stock market.  I remain with some cash on the sidelines for the summer months.  Missed out on playing this rally.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Apple Still Makes Desktops?

Who knew $APPL still made desktops? Apple refreshes its desktop line with really expensive options.

With all the news about iPhones and ipads, it's easy to forget that the company makes laptops and desktops!

No word if the new desktops come with the "death grip."


On a related note, I am compulsively refreshing my inbox waiting for the news that my iPhone 4 is ready for pickup...

Lightning Round: Motorola

$MOT was on Cramer's Lightning Round.

Motorola: Cramer recommends lightening up on this technology company because he thinks "the story is over."

The stock has had a nice move on the Droid X. Remember when the stock was left for dead?

I think Android operating system is less sleek and polished than Apple's iPhone operating system. The Droid X is getting mixed reviews, but the phones are selling.

This is the alternative to the iPhone. And there will be sequels. Good numbers coming. Dips may be buyable.

(No positions).

The $41K Chevy Volt

$41K for an electric car with limited driving range? No thanks, Chevy Volt. Even with a $7,500 government reduction. Good grief.

Looks like the lease rate is $350 a month. I don't know the fine print on that, but I'm not going to put on my reading glasses to find out.

I hope the Volt, Nissans Leaf and whatever else do well. But it seems to me these are just novelty items for Hollywood stars.


The stock market hanging in there. CNBC said that the DOW has never had four consecutive days of triple-digit gains. That record seems intact.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ordered an iPhone 4

Maybe I'm an Apple fanboi after all. Ordered a new iPhone yesterday to cap off the vacation.

Do i care about antennagate? Nah I don't use my cell phone to make many calls. I use it mostly as a portable PC. Even when I am on the iPhone I don't hold it next to my head. I almost always use headphones. I won't be touching the antenna. But it's nice to know that if I want to immediately end a call, I have the ability to do that and blame Steve Jobs.


Back at the Fun Factory and trying to focus on work. All I can think about is bailing early and heading to the state fair.

The market on a nice roll. I'm not going to rule out a little selling heading our way to close out summer, but I think dips are buyable. The economy is mending just fine. Slower than we all want, but this means the Fed may not be aggressive in hiking rates back up.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Back From Las Vegas

I went to Las Vegas on Monday, returning just a few hours ago. There is no recession in Las Vegas. I haven't seen it this crowded in years. Good sign that the economy has turned the corner? I think so.

Here is a picture of Cashman Field from last nights game between the visiting Tacoma Rainiers and your Las Vegas 51s.

Temperature at first pitch was 110 degrees. The field and seats are mostly shaded by the 7pm start time. There is an overhang with misters cooling off the fans just a bit. A gentle breeze helped.

I actually won a little over the four-day trip to Sin City, offsetting some of the losses in Reno last weekend.

Meanwhile, the market rally continues. I don't think there will be a double dip recession.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Randomosity

Happy Monday! I'm in vacation mode!

  • A housing bubble in China? We look at their stock market often enough, but could a housing bubble derail everything financial in China?
  • This brings back memories: Pepsi Campaign Restarts the Cola Wars. It's more fun when they fight for our business.
  • Maybe this is good news: Companies Step Up Hiring Plans. How many times have we heard that unemployment is a lagging indicator? So much that we are tired of it! Still... if they hire, then people get paychecks, then people spend and invest, then prices start to increase with rising demand.... Then the Fed gets worried about inflation! And round and round she goes.
  • Paris Hilton sunbathing topless. Link only. But how about a work-safe image instead...

Ho-Hum Housing

Ongoing bad news from the real estate area means housing prices could continue to slide.

People are fried from two bubbles imploding on their net wealth. The drive to hunker down and save rather than spend or invest is not helping the stock or real estate markets.

This you know.

But what will it take to get folks to take risk again?

Jobs and the sense of financial security for now and the future.

The reality is that the long-term needs of people hasn't changed. They still need to save for college educations for their kids and their own retirement.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Other Mobile Phone Operating System

Wow, who would have thought $MSFT would be the least anticipated phone OS?

First, it was Blackberry vs. iPhone. Then, Android vs. iPhone took the stage. Maybe blackberry is the weak sister now. But does anyone even care what Microsoft is working on?

After all, the Kin was a total disaster.

Vacation Randomosity

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve actually taken a week off from work.  WHAT?  Yes, I hear they call it a “vacation.”  Catchy term. 

Have a great week! 

A few randomosities:

  • Uh oh:  Investor Protection.  That’s in the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill.  That can’t be good news.  I tend to believe that whenever the government gets involved, it’s going to cost us money and under deliver on promises.  But, maybe I’m just cynical that way.
  • Is BP’s next big mess in Florida?  More claims have now been submitted to BP in Florida than in Louisiana. Of the claims submitted in Florida, 60% have been filed in the last month.
  • Leo DiCaprio’s “Inception” tops box office.  A sci-fi thriller?  Interesting!
  • After denying insurance mandate was a tax, Obama now defends constitutionality of health care as exercise of taxing power.
  • Okay, so I started out the vacation in Reno.  Lost too much.  Lady Luck must’ve been with another paying customer.
  • Tea Party kicks out Mark Williams because of an inflammatory blog post he wrote.  Well, if the TP wants to be taken seriously, they have to prune their garden a bit.  Get the weeds out.
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor breaks hip, and is having hip surgery.
  • Of course, mortgage rates fall even further after I refinance.  LOL.  Can’t bottom tick that market.
  • Next stop on the vacation involves a beach.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Free Case Friday!

imageCould resist a quickie $AAPL post about the free cases for the Apple iPhone 4.  It’s the $29 bumper case, FWIW.

I guess when Consumer Reports, well, reports, Apple listens.  Up until then, Apple was rather mealy-mouth about the antenna problems that drop calls when the hand covers the antenna.  Steve Jobs cynically told folks not to hold it that way.  Then, Apple blamed the software.  They were falsifying the reception bars and over-reporting the reception quality.

Verizon jumped in with some quality ads mocking the reception issue.  But the Droid X is getting somewhat mixed reviews, and who knows if they’ll be able to capitalize on Apple’s problems.

Not that I think Apple has problems.  I think the iPhone 4 works better than previous iPhones.  And that display is incredible.

Market Swoonage Randomosity

  • imageBad news dog pile on the stock market today.  Getting the blame?  GE, banks, and consumer price and sentiment data.  And $GOOG missed, so shares fell more than 6%.
  • You think Google would be seeing brighter days with the success of the Android and the miscues by Apple.  At least looking forward. 
  • (Although, while I have considered a Droid X or Incredible or whatever, I still will probably get an iPhone 4).
  • Speaking of Apple, Steve Jobs announced that Apple was going to provide free cases to all iPhone 4 buyers to alleviate the antenna issue. 
  • Nasdaq down over 3%, for those keeping score at home.
  • Good news for my state worker friends here in CA.  The court has ruled against Arnold Schwarzenegger and for John Chiang, meaning no minimum wage for state workers.  For now, anyway.
  • In the movies, whenever Arnold has a setback, he usually comes back shooting.
  • h/t to James Taranto’s Best of the Web at the WSJ for the link to The Root.  Sophia Nelson asks, Should Black Folks Give the Tea Party a Second Look?  Nice column.  It’s nice to see someone with an open mind who doesn’t fall for political rhetoric.  Taranto had an excerpt, but here’s another one:

But here is my concern: Black Americans for all intents and purposes are in an economic depression right now and have been since 2007, when the housing and economic crises first started to manifest. Yet we seem to be sitting passively by as the black middle class experiences the greatest loss of wealth ever. Folks, we need to be clear, with black male unemployment at 35 percent to 50 percent in some American cities (Great Depression levels) and sisters leading heads of household at alarming rates, we need to get aggressive about a black economic-empowerment agenda that should not be dependent solely on what the government can or cannot do for us.

  • Well said.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Randomosity

Thursday! Stocks swoon! Droid X! Deflation! Health care!

  • The rally is meaningless! From the Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, ""The selling pressure will abate at times, but by the end of 2010, stock prices should be much lower."."
  • I disagree, FWIW. And I think Elliott Wave forecasts are about as useless as poultry droppings. Isn't ol' what's-his-name still calling for DOW 1000? The guy's been wrong for 20 years. The only way he'll be right is if the DOW has a 10-1 stock split.
  • (Ah ha! That's the ticket!)
  • Meanwhile, today's stock market selling is brought to you by The Fear of Deflation.
  • Free! First lady Michelle Obama announced yesterday that preventive health care services "will be free" under the Affordable Care Act. The law will "require all new private health insurance plans to cover services that can detect the first symptoms of long-term problems." Anyone else see a problem with this?
  • By the way, Milton, this whole thing about "free lunches?" Yeah, you were right. No such thing. It'd be nice, though. Read on.
  • ObamaCare in a Nutshell.
  • Recession Redux: The yield curve and the ECRI weekly-leading indicator (WLI). Good read!
  • 11 Things Apple Should Announce on Friday. Hey, side thought: Isn't the Droid X out today?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Market Yawns

Not exactly the powerful gap and ramp today after the great news from the tech/semi sector yesterday. While the Nasdaq was higher, the rest of the market struggled to do much. (Although, come on, we’ve had quite a move in the past week already!) You know, that’s exactly what Yahoo Finance said:

Meanwhile, the tech-rich Nasdaq outperformed the broader market for almost all of the session as the S&P 500 was mired in choppy, mixed trade. Broader market participants failed to rally around Intel's announcement. Their lack of interest was partly owed to the notion that the stock market had become overbought after it had advanced in six straight sessions for a cumulative gain of more than 7%.


Yeah, yeah. That.

I remain rather calm and unemotional about the market right now. I understand the bull and bear arguments, and ultimately favor the bull side more. But, it is summer. Patience, Muck.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Steinbrenner Avoids Death Tax

George Steinbrenner timed his death perfectly. No estate taxes in 2010.


Billions of Unaccounted for Debt

Maybe the unaccounted for billions is being funneled to the Stargate program.

It's real, Major Carter! It's real!


Okay. So I did mention that I had never watched Stargate SG-1 before now, and I'm powering through all ten seasons on Hulu, right?

On season six!

Fried Earnings Randomosity

After hours pros and cons. Looks like good news in the tech/semi area. Less good in the world of fried chicken.

  • Is the fried chicken business really bad? Keep in mind that fast food is expanding in China. Yum! opens one new KFC in mainland China almost every day. It already has nearly 3,000 of the fried chicken restaurants operating in 650 Chinese cities. That's in addition to 560 Pizza Hut locations. That means that they'll be gaining some weight. Think of the future chronic conditions (and investment opportunities) that will require daily doses of drugs to a very large population!
  • Don't own YUM yet. But craving fried chicken...
  • Intel revenue surges 34%. The Silicon Valley giant swung to a second-quarter profit of nearly $3 billion-compared with a loss in the year-earlier period because of an antitrust fine-on a 34% revenue jump that easily topped projections by the company and Wall Street analysts. Wooo.
  • Hey, it's okay to unleash the f-bombs. It's your right!
  • Piers Morgan (not pictured) to take over for Larry King? WHAT?
  • Line2 iPhone app - free calls over wi-fi. Take that, Consumer Reports!
  • Latest global warming solution: Dissolve dead bodies and dump the stuff. YEESH.
  • Another (usually) ugly word combination: 2010 Fantasy Football Outlook for the Miami Dolphins. A potentially explosive Dolphins offense, eh? Remember to fade the hype in game #1 if the point spread allows. Got to prove it first, fellas.

JR Ewing a Sellout?

From "Who shot JR?" to "What evil demonic spirit has taken over JR?"

Larry Hagman disses oil for Green Energy! How times have changed!

I like the idea of Green Energy as much as the next guy. But is it economically feasible? Is it technically doable? And what do we do until Green Energy is ready?

I wish our energy secretary would push for more electricity from nuclear power. I wish we'd see conversion of part of our vehicle fleet to natural gas.

I guess more practical energy sources aren't what JR is selling.

I wonder what Cliff Barnes is up to these days?

iPhone 4 Mixed Signals

Did you read where the $AAPL iPhone 4 got both a thumbs up and a thumbs down from Consumer Reports?

No kidding. They gave the iPhone 4 their highest rating, but recommended against buying it.

Sure. It's the best thing since sliced bread, which they may also be against buying. Who knows?

No sliced bread for you!

Yes, Apple messed up and should fix the problem. But there sure does seem to be a rise in the Apple Haters movement. It's like they're having their own tea party of sorts. I'm almost expecting Sarah Palin to speak out against the iPhone 4 at any minute.

"I can see Google Android from my house!"

Trading Range or Bull Market?

Another Asian bikini! Why not celebrate? Maybe the market correction is over!

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of Summer, and the stock market seems have drawn a line in the sand at the 1030ish level on the SP500. There was a ferocious rip off the double (or triple, who's counting?) bottom last week. Reaction to earnings (one day in) seems positive.

Investors Business Daily (IBD) gave a thumbs up to last week's confirmation day.

Bob Brinker gave a buy signal on July 1st and said on the July 11th Moneytalk program that he forecasted no double-dip recession.

Gary Kaltbaum said lots of things on his radio to justify that whatever happens in the market, he was telling you about it weeks ago. (Love your show, Gary). He does favor the trading range thesis here.

Plus, the 10-year treasury was under 3%. Who wants to invest in that?

I have always viewed the correction as something to be expected in the Summer and especially in a mid-term election year. No matter the reason, this just seems to happen.

I think Brinker is right. No double dip

I think IBD will continue to whipsaw its followers.

I think Kaltbaum will continue to entertain.

I think the bounce off the lows was significant. I still have some cash on the sidelines and ignored my own advice a few blog posts ago. I will probably remain patient here in the summer, favoring the trading range view. But if the market does get close to the bottom of the range again, I'm in.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Rich Default More

I found it interesting that rich homeowners are more likely to default on their mortgages.

As the article suggests, maybe it's just that they are more likely to cut their losses and invest elsewhere.

Lebron James to the Miami Heat. Maybe because there are no state income taxes. Plus, he wants out of the cold. Oh, and I hear Miami is a party town.

Lazy Hazy Days of Randomosity

  • Not a bad day in the markets after yesterday's ramp. I remain with a bunch of cash on the sidelines and believe that while we are in a bull market, we are also in a correction. Same thoughts as I've had for quite a while.  Just being patient.  No changes even though I have been pondering them in recent blog entries!
  • Weakness in consumer spending alertA government report released Thursday showed that consumer credit fell at an annual rate of 4.5% in May, making it the fourth consecutive month of declining credit
  • Who needs credit when they're giving the lemonade away for free?  Terry Savage writes, "In giving drink away, girls ignore rules of economics -- and sum up what's wrong with U.S."  Great article.  Sounds heartless, but isn't giving away free stuff part of the reason why the country is $13T in debt and unemployment is in double digits?
  • Does anyone really even know what a "double-dip recession" is?
  • A gambler lost $127 million to Harrah's casino?  Good grief!  Makes me feel less bad about the trips to the local Indian casinos!  Mr. Watanabe suffered what is believed to be the biggest losing streak in Las Vegas history. The Omaha, Neb., businessman, who grew rich from the sale of his family's party trinket empire, Oriental Trading Co., spent most of 2007 gambling in Las Vegas while living in a three-bedroom suite in Caesars Palace, a casino owned by Harrah's.
  • Big news coming out on the verdict in the trial of Johannes Mehserle.  (Oakland BART killing).  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Investing, Upper Class-Style

Summer Asian bikini and a look at how Senators invest. $$

I don't think it's too revealing that our Senators achieve investment results that seem to parallel their political achievements. Both result sets seem to underperform common sense.

Okay, let's ignore politics. They do try to get money into their states.

But why do these (typically) well-educated leaders invest poorly?

I think it is because of emotions, the same reason most folks can't outperform an index fund. People tend to make decisions after the headlines are written. By the time the news is reporting the story, it's too late!

I watched Twilight New Moon via Netflix yesterday. Thought it was Boring. The first one was better. Why didn't Jacob just dump the vamp-loving Bella and move on? Who wants that drama? The movie went on and on. Anyway, I can't wait until the third installment hits Netflix, so I can see if Zombies are introduced into the plot line.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Who Wants More Beer Randomosity

That's it from the Thunder Valley casino, where they prove everyday that there is no such thing as a free lunch. But there are go go dancers at the Falls Bar.

High Oil Prices on Deck?

$100 oil around the corner?

The common sentiment is that we are well on our way to a double-dip recession if not there already. So where would the demand for crude come?

What if the economy is doing the exact opposite of what the experts are telling us? Is that such a far-fetched notion? Did those experts warn of the stock or housing bubbles?

No. They didn't see it coming.

The link points to the reduction of supplies via off shore drilling, too.


At the local Indian casino tonight. Extremely crowded. Maybe things arent as bad as the news headlines. Just saying.

July 4th Randomosity and Bikini!

  • image Nothing like a patriotic bikini for the 4th of July!
  • $GOOG looks for Android’s growth in emerging markets.  For Google, it’s all about quantity of phones in order to sell advertising.
  • How low will stocks go?  I’m not as pessimistic as that and believe we’re just in a market correction, as dire as it may seem right now. 
  • So, the party yesterday went well.  I have lots of leftovers.  Now wondering what to do today.  Maybe a road trip to another bbq, or just a drive to the coast.  Debating!
  • I thought I heard footsteps!  Stocks: Pursued by a Bear. "The market is near a critical point where if it loses just a few more percentage points, it's really going to collapse," said Stephen Carl, head equity trader at Williams Capital Group.
  • General David Petaeus says, “We are in this to win!”  That is sooo much better than our previous strategy.  Despite mounting casualties and a stiff insurgency, Gen. Petraeus vowed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization coalition had a long-term commitment to Afghanistan and that "neither insurgents nor our partners in the region should doubt that."
  • Did I mention I was watching all the Stargate SG-1 via Hulu?  In season 5!
  • Joey Chestnut wins Nathan’s July 4th hot dog eating contest.  And, IMHO, the most ridiculous contest ever.  Eating competitions.  Good grief.
  • Last week, Microsoft pulled the plug on the Kin cell phone just 6 weeks after launch. Nice.  Not many buyers.  So, the workers were redirected to work on Windows Phone 7. 
  • Hey, if you’re feeling a bit unsettled, wondering where Joe Biden is today, he’s in Iraq celebrating with the troops!  Here’s a column from Jill Biden
  • Are we sure states can’t declare bankruptcy?

Saturday, July 03, 2010

BBQ Mas Grande! Party on!

  • image Pool is clean.  Patio hosed off.  BBQ clean.  Cooler full of beer and soda.  Let the party begin.  Well, maybe in 30 minutes or so.
  • On the BBQ?  Salmon, chicken apple sausages, and hot dogs.  There will also be some veggies, corn and the like tossed on.
  • I hope this finds you celebrating as well.  Despite the bad news in the headlines, try and make the most of it.  It all comes back to spending time with friends and family.
  • Besides, it’s not all bad.  The AGW (global warming) tipping point, aka the end of the world, has been moved to 2200.  So, use as much charcoal as you like today!
  • Kind of funny to see the US and our allies really with differing points of view on whether to spend like crazy or reign in deficits.  Obama and the Fiscal Road to Hell.  Worth a read before the party starts today.
  • Spend it while you got it!  Obama’s tax hikes start in 6 months.  And not just on the rich:

- The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
- The 25% bracket rises to 28%
- The 28% bracket rises to 31%
- The 33% bracket rises to 36%
- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

  • Marriage penalty returns. The Death Tax returns.  Higher capital gains taxes.  Good times…
  • I knew it!  Soccer is a socialist sport!
  • imageLooking for a map of the “Lost” Island?  Because GPS is teh suck out on that island!  And no software patch from Apple is going to fix that!
  • I saw the first Twilight movie.  Haven’t seen the second or the third.  But I did bump the second one up in the Netflix queue.  Might as well see what all the fuss is about.  I’m a sucker for a good romance, anyway.  Throw in some vampires, and what’s not to like?  Okay, it could have time travel.  There is that!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Travel up for the 4th!

Not sure where I read it, but 26% of Americans don't know which country the US won it's independence from.

No reason to let that prevent a barbeque and swim party.

More Americans traveling this year for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Less than Cheery Market Breadth

Market breadth may be bad and foretelling even worse news ahead, but that's not slowing down gamblers at the Cache Creek Indian Casino this late Friday night...

Worry, worry and more worry.

That's not just for stocks. Heck, Manny Ramirez may go on the DL. It's all spinning out of control. And Lebron James talking to the Clippers?

Job Loss Friday!

  • imageI remain with a bunch of cash on the sidelines.  After selling, I’ve been quite patient (thank goodness) at timing the buy back in.  Just because of the historic pattern of mid-term elections and the summer seasonal stuff.  My gut feeling is that we don’t have that much further to fall, and any buys around here would be gravy by the end of the year.  Of course, in the short term, it may be a bit unnerving.  Just an opinion, of course.  And I haven’t bought back in.
  • Double dip?  The unemployment rate fell as job losses increasedThe U.S. lost 125,000 jobs in June as temporary census workers exited the labor force. The private sector added only 83,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 9.5%.  And the beat goes on. 
  • Apple plans a fix for iPhone glitch.  The Cupertino, Calif., company said that since the original iPhone, it has used an incorrect method to determine the number of bars to display on the device. In some cases, the iPhone would display two more bars than it should, providing an overly rosy indication of its cellular reception.  That’s funny.
  • I still don’t have the iPhone 4.  Not even on order, yet.  I find I’m using the iPad around the house more, and not sure I need to upgrade the phone just yet.  My 3G is slow, but mostly functional.  Still can’t blog from it very effectively, which is why my blog posts are way down.
  • Maybe I’ll get that Droid X, instead.
  • Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger got the thumbs up from the court to cut California state worker pay down to the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.  That will make some of my friends less than happy.  I think it’s kind of interesting to see this play out.  California’s budget is a mess.  I don’t think the state workers are the problem, but they make easy scapegoats.  Heck, I think the governor and the legislature should be busted down to minimum wage, too.
  • I feel as if the state, and maybe the country, is at some tipping point between capitalism and free markets versus government controls and regulations.  People want their entitlements, but is there enough money around to do that while at the same time allowing for economic growth?  I think that’s where we’re at.  I suppose there is some happy medium, but we don’t seem to be there.
  • (And a few good quarters of economic growth would fix everything, right?)
  • Lindsay Lohan punched by a waitress at LA club Voyeur on her 24th birthday.