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3rd-Oct-2008 08:54 pm - Dodgers goodness
Being up 2-0 and coming home is nice, but we've gotta finish this off in LA.

Furcal coming back is an under-rated piece of the Dodger's puzzle. 1-8 their lineup is pretty tough right now.

Manny is a monster. What an unbelievable trade to pick him up.

All the talk about coming from the "worst division in baseball" is irrelevant. The way they're playing right now they could beat anybody. That's not saying that they will, but they could.

Billingsley was great in game 2. Check out how good a job he did of keeping things low and away to the righties (all their big sticks).

Bringing Kuroda in for game 3 scares me a bit. He owned the cubs when he faced them and has been good but not great lately. I wonder how close Torre was to chosing Kershaw for game 3?

The best news: even if Manny doesn't come back there is a real strong nucelus going forward w/ Kemp, Loney, Either, Martin, Billingsley, Kershaw, Kuroda... If we can just make sure Andruw Jones doesn't play next year we'll be in really good shape!
29th-Sep-2008 08:48 pm - The "Bailout"
Whoever it is that called the $700 billion package a "bailout" did more to kill it than anybody else. That word makes it sound like it is a strict giveaway of the money. That, of course, isn't the case at all.
1) the exact amount isn't known, they're really only authorizing a line of credit
2) they'd actually be buying securities with the money, which could potentially make the government money.

I guess we'll chalk up today as a buying opportunity and move on. Glad I'm not retiring any time soon...
27th-Sep-2008 08:45 pm - Truman
Just finished reading Truman by David McCullough. It was a little long (just shy of 1k pages), but very interesting. Truman had an improbable life and it makes for a very good story. He also lived through some very interesting times.

I'd highly recommend it. It is also timely, given that Palin has compared herself to Truman. Although the circumstances around her selection as VP are quite similiar to his, as are her small-town political roots, she is also missing a few key things that Truman had going for him:
1) He had spent about a decade in the Senate, and had some people there on his side
2) He had been an artillery officer during WWI, serving with distinction
If she ever ends up being president let's hope she turns out to be half the president he was.

One other intersting thing I noted was the paralells between the current election and the Truman/Dewey campaign of 1948. Dewey was the young, smooth talking favorite who was frequently seen as aloof and elitist. He ended up spending too much time "playing not to lose" and happened to do just that. Truman was the older war veteran and Washington insider, who insisted on taking his message to the people against steep odds. If McCain ends up winning it'll be interesting to see if others make that connection.
28th-Aug-2008 08:27 pm - A long/short trade
Long FDX
Short LUV

Liked Fedex for a while, this was a good way to raise the cash. They have a strong franchise, and have greater ability to pass through fuel than most other transportation firms.

LUV's multiple is way too high. They don't have great growth prospects. There aren't that many more Hobby or Midways for them to expand into and they don't have the fleet for international flight. They should continue to tread water.
17th-Aug-2008 07:40 pm - badminton >> beach volleyball
Over the last two days, saw a couple of high-level badminton matches in the olympics. Those were far far more interesting than the dramatically over-covered beach volleyball. I don't have the stats, but I'd guess that 60-75% of the points consist of serve, bump, set, spike, point over. It gets old, especially w/ all the down time between pts. Badminton was faster paced, was very tactical, and was pretty fun to watch. I'm hoping there is some more badminton on some time soon.

Speaking of downtime during olypmics coverage: olympics on DVR >>>>> "live" olympics coverage.
8th-Aug-2008 11:35 pm - Wiiiiiiiiii
We got a wii about 2 weeks ago. It is pretty fun so far. We've got Wii Sports, Wii Play, and just added Rock Band.

The sports games are fun and decently challenging, especially some of the "training" modules.

Wii play isn't great, but it basically comes with the 2nd controller. The tanks game in that is pretty fun, and could be great in a multiplayer mode.

The game on the wishlist is MarioKart.
23rd-Jul-2008 08:01 pm(no subject)
Got into some Bank of America yesterday at 31. There is some risk of the price regressing, but if they are to be believed that they're maintaining their dividend, then I'll look at this like a bond that'll be paying my retirement (no tax) account 9%.

From the conference call:

conference call excerptsCollapse )

Clearly there's already been a substantial run-up from 18 to the low 30s, but if the worst is indeed behind them I'll be happy with how this turns out.
From the AP article on the housing bill that congress is passing:

"The bill would let the Federal Housing Administration back $300 billion in new loans so an estimated 400,000 homeowners who cannot afford their house payments could try to escape foreclosure by refinancing into safer, more affordable mortgages. Lenders would have to agree to take a substantial loss on the existing loans, and in return, they would walk away with at least some payoff and avoid the often-costly foreclosure process."

Let's do some very simple math: 300 billion / 400k homeowners = $750,000 each

If we are on the hook for $750k on each of these loans what kind of ridiculous homes are we subsidizing? Why aren't more people outraged about this?

If anybody knows how I can get in on the action and buy a home I can't possibly afford and then get the government to bail out my irresponsibility, please let me know.
19th-Jul-2008 11:31 pm - Funny poker story
So tonight I had some time to play a little online poker. Logged on to Absolute Poker and signed up for a 20+2 ultra turbo 9 player SNG. The tourney launches, but when I try to load the table I get an error. When I'd logged on today there had been an AP software udpate, so that was almost certainly the cause.

I went to the live-help chat, which was neither live (had to wait 10 minutes) nor helpful, during which my chip stack in the SNG was dropping - although I was in 6th with 3 people already busted.

Turns out they recommended that I un-install and re-install their software. I started writing their customer support to request a refund for the tourney, and when I look at the tourney page to get the tourney number I notice that there are only 4 players left and I am still alive (top 3 pay). Interesting.

Two guys are at about 5000-5500, one guy is at 1000, and I am at 600. Next time the tourney home page refreshes there are only 3 players left (the guy with 1000 had busted). I placed in the money (payout was $36) by folding every single hand.

I decided to not send the email to Absolute Poker support requesting a refund of the entry fee.
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