Friday, December 28, 2007

What's in the Gullet

A 2005 Alto Moncayo Veraton Garnacha. A 100% Spanish Grenache wine with 15.5% alcohol. Modeled very much in the American fruit bomb tradition (though not in the unbalanced sense). It's always interesting to drink a 100% varietal, especially one that isn't so common.
It has an inky purple body that forms long slender fingers along the glass (from the high alcohol) after a good swirl. Delicious aromas of butterscotch, blackberry, vanilla and plum. Soft and smooth forward palate with a nice peppery spice on the way to the gullet. A fantastic Spanish wine that's well worth the reasonable price. salud!


Don't you just pine for the days when toys could kill a kid? And I'm not talking from lead paint. I know that if I was a kid in the early '60s I wouldn't have survived the head trauma from that dump truck my brother beamed me in the head with. What a difference plastics made.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Here's a great article about ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) along with Trent Reznor's (nin) latest Year Zero album. If you love the days of RPGs and treasure hunts, give this a read. Imagine being at an event for your favorite band and given a cell phone that rings 5 days later. You're told where and when to go and you're picked up in a van with blacked out windows (with other chosen few) and taken to an undisclosed warehouse. Nine Inch Nails then puts on a little show for chosen 50 people that ends up being interrupted by a SWAT Team (of actors). You're told to run for the van and in the nick of time you high-tail it out of there. Being that Year Zero is album one of a two part album who knows when that cell phone might ring again. Sounds exciting! Just don't call it "marketing!"

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Is it just me, or does it sound like the Canadian Prime Minister is on to something?
"If the government became the day-to-day underwriter of market risk in commercial securities markets, that's a bottomless pit...A government rescue wouldn't be healthy for the long-term growth of the Canadian economy."

A Year in Review

Over at ETFtrends they reflect on their 2007 ETF predictions. Not too shabby of an 80% correct rate. What they got right: Global ETFs outperform domestic ones, the draw to ETFs will continue to be huge (that was kind of a no-brainer), Emerging markets ETFs a big draw, ETFs in retirement accounts getting closer to being a reality, Ultra-short ETFs a popular play, Mutual Funds feeling more heat to perform.
What they got wrong: Fidelity didn't join in the fray, and Actively managed ETFs weren't exaclty a dud.
At any rate, ETFtrends is a good site to cull ideas out of. I'll have to see what they have on their radar for 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What's in the Gullet

Tonight I'm fortunate enough to be enjoying a Napa Valley 1974 Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. I raided my father's wine cellar and have been wanting to drink this bottle for the past two years. I was actually pleasantly surprised that it has held up so well. For a 33 year old Napa Cabernet it's a pretty amazing wine. The color is still a strong deep ruby (only very slight brick-red edges) and the nose has got that minty/menthol aroma, from the days when the eucalyptus groves that grew around Martha's Vineyard influenced the grapes on the vines. Pretty spectacular really. It's probably just beyond it's aging plateau, but it's not showing too many grey hairs. It's got a bit of tart cranberry on the palate in the beginning, but opened up to a smoother brandy chocolate nose. Also, some remnants of black currant and minty raspberry flavor, light nuttiness (like hazelnut, pecan) as well. An unbelievable relic. Glad there's another one in the basement, I'll have to open it in a few years alongside the '75 to see how they pair). salut!


Some links I might want to refer to at a future time:
- Understanding a Fed Auction
- What does it mean for Gov. Schwarzenegger to declare a Fiscal Emergency?
- U.S. Treasury Dept. is backing down from it's strong stance against an artificially low Yuan; saying China does not meet the legal definition of a currency manipulator.
- MS writes-down $9.4 Billion and "reports its first quarterly loss in 72-years" while selling a $5 Billion stake to China.

Build Your Brain

Was reading this article/blog post regarding "10 Habits of Highly Effective Brains." Some of the pointers seemed obvious enough, but it does well to be reminded of them on a regular basis.
1. Learn what is the "It" in "Use It or Lose It". A basic understanding will serve you well to appreciate your brain's beauty as a living and constantly-developing dense forest with billions of neurons and synapses.
2. Take care of your nutrition. Did you know that the brain only weighs 2% of body mass but consumes over 20% of the oxygen and nutrients we intake? As a general rule, you don't need expensive ultra-sophisticated nutritional supplements, just make sure you don't stuff yourself with the "bad stuff".
3. Remember that the brain is part of the body. Things that exercise your body can also help sharpen your brain: physical exercise enhances neurogenesis.
My favorite pointer:
4. Practice positive, future-oriented thoughts until they become your default mindset and you look forward to every new day in a constructive way. Stress and anxiety, no matter whether induced by external events or by your own thoughts, actually kills neurons and prevents the creation of new ones. You can think of chronic stress as the opposite of exercise: it prevents the creation of new neurons.
5. Thrive on Learning and Mental Challenges. The point of having a brain is precisely to learn and to adapt to challenging new environments. Once new neurons appear in your brain, where they stay in your brain and how long they survive depends on how you use them. "Use It or Lose It" does not mean "do crossword puzzle number 1,234,567". It means, "challenge your brain often with fundamentally new activities."
6. We are (as far as we know) the only self-directed organisms in this planet. Aim high...keep learning. The brain keeps developing, no matter your age, and it reflects what you do with it.
7. Explore, travel. Adapting to new locations forces you to pay more attention to your environment.
8. Don't Outsource Your Brain...Make your own decisions, and mistakes. And learn from them.
9. Develop and maintain stimulating friendships. We are "social animals", and need social interaction.
10.Laugh. Often. Especially to cognitively complex humor, full of twists and surprises.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jersey bound

Here I am in the (toxic) Garden State, with an unprotected and slow wifi connection. So, looks like I'm not going to have much opportunity for getting too much real-time work done until I patch up and speed up the system here. At any rate, hopefully I'll be able to keep on top of things over the course of the next week or two. In the meantime, ya gotta check out today's links on WallStreet Fighter, he's got some interesting stuff up on there.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Mulligatawny Soup Recipe

Thought I would share a recipe I created the other day, that the Mrs. & I thought was so good I had to make it again today. It can be slightly complicated if you don't have the spices handy. You'll need a blender and a sizable soup pot.

1 large Yellow Onion - diced
4-5 carrots - peeled & diced
3-4 stalks of Celery - washed & diced
3 cloves Garlic - chopped
1"- square of Ginger - peeled & chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper - chopped, seeds included
1 large Potato - peeled & chopped (I used a Yukon Gold about the size of my fist)
1/2 c. Yellow Split Peas - picked through & rinsed
1 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes - strained
1 T. Cumin seed
1 tsp. Coriander seed
1/2 tsp. black Cardamom seed*
2 tsp. ground Turmeric
6 black peppercorns
approx. 5 T. cooking Oil
10 c. Water
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1/4 c. Whole Rolled Oats
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
Fresh Cilantro - washed and chopped

For the Rice:
1 c. White Rice (Basmati is preferable)
1 1/2 c. Water
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
Combine and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until done.

- First, chop the vegetables.
- If you have a spice grinder then grind the cumin, cardamom, coriander & peppercorns together, set aside. This isn't completely necessary since you'll end up blending the whole concoction later, but if you skip this step the soup can have coarse bits and pieces of spices in it.
- Heat the oil. When hot add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the ginger, jalapeno, carrots, celery, potato. Stir to coat the vegetables. Cook another 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the split peas.
- Add the spices, with about 1 tsp. salt. Stir around and cook another 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes. Cook another minute.
- Add the cinnamon stick and water; bring to a boil.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the 1/4 c. of Oats and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

- You'll have to blend this whole deal, so a submersion blender really comes in handy (now I know what I could use for christmas). What I do is blend it in batches transferring the blended soup into an intermediate pot and when I'm finished blending I add it all back together in the original pot. If you use a blender be careful!! The steam buildup can blow the lid off the blender. You have to take that plastic percolator looking thing out of the lid and use a dish towel to cover the open hole. Once it's blending you can move your hand off the top to allow steam to escape.
- Taste for salt desirability.
- Put about 1/2 c. of rice into a bowl and ladle the soup on top of it.
- Garnish with chopped Cilantro.
- Squeeze fresh lemon over the soup. This is probably the most important step in getting the soup to taste best. It actually can take a liberal amount of lemon, so keep squeezing until you find the taste that's right for you.
{update} as a variation you might try not using the oats while adding another 1/2 c. yellow split pea, another potato, and if you'd like to kick up the spice add another serrano pepper.

* You can use cardamom pods, just seperate the pod from the seeds inside.
T = Tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon
c = cup

I'm gearing up for my trip to lovely New Jersey come Monday afternoon, so I haven't been paying attention today to what seemed like a shit market. I also have to work later this evening and currently have to get some food items to cook up a Mulligatawny soup for dinner (maybe I'll post the recipe later), so not much time to make a thorough post. Not sure if I'll have much time throughout the weekend to post either. But I'll certainly have time to read all of the first-tier blogs out there that are found in the sidebar of this site under the title "Links I Like." cheers!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stock of the Day

RIGL closed up nearly 200% today on news that its rheumatoid arthritis drug candidate was effective in a midstage study.Check out the weekly chart for this one:
RIGL had a huge move on news today, but check out these other Healthcare stocks that have been quietly strong.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stock of the Day

Rallied mid-day and nailed its 38.2% Fib. pivot point.


w00t! is Merriam-Webster's 2007 word of the year. "The winning word first became popular
in competitive online gaming forums as part of what is known as l33t ("leet," or "elite") speak—an esoteric computer hacker language in which numbers and symbols are put together to look like letters. Although the double "o" in the word is usually represented by double zeroes, the exclamation is also known to be an acronym for "we owned the other team"—again stemming from the gaming community."

1. w00t (interjection)
expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word "yay"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Charts can often make your head spin if you spend enough time looking at them. Today I was looking at ICE and seeing a diamond pattern. The pattern can be a continuation or a reversal pattern. If the breakout is downward we have a price target of where the trend started, $128 in this case. If the diamond acts as continuation then half the move can still be ahead, $200 area in this case.
Some help I've found on this pattern is {here} which says "A genuine diamond pattern is signified by a decrease in volume during the second half of the price pattern," which we seem to have.

Fed Tuesday

Looks like people were expecting a 50bp cut rather than the 25 given. Kinda like Paris Hilton getting a Bentley for Christmas instead of the Ferrari that she wanted.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007

McLaren F1

I'm not a car nut by any means, but still enjoyed watching these clips.

391km/h = 242.96mph
IBM continues to advance towards the technology of using light to carry data quickly "among cores within a microprocessor, taking the company closer to developing a chip that may one day run notebooks with the horsepower of today's supercomputers."
Communications between processor cores handled through copper wire that moves electrical impulses. IBM hopes to eventually replace that wire with a light beam that follows a tiny silicon its destination. Light carries more data in the same amount of time as copper by being 100 times faster."
"But the bigger problem in eventually taking light-driven chips to market will be in manufacturing... Introducing light technology means new equipment and a whole new way of production. Such a major transformation will take time."

Friday, December 07, 2007

Guess Who?

yep...Apple's $15.4 billion Cash Hoard...

....this is where I would insert the Brewster's Millions video clip, but it's not on youtube. Someone needs to get on it.

Stock of the Day

Hansen Natural Corp. (HANS). Ya gotta hand it to the FLY, he knows how to pick 'em. Gapping up at the open it has barely looked back, seeming anxious to close the gap. It's currently stalled at the 50EMA right around the even $50 mark.
And how about MVIS finally having its comeupance today? Until it was hit with some bogus news that seems to have confused Microvision (MVIS) with Macrovision (MVSN), funny (or not) what a single letter can do to a stock.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Gold Bugs

Still bearish on Gold? Most were calling a top in the $700's. Now that we're consolidating in the $800's the Gold bears are giving their "gold-is-no-longer-an-inflation-hedge" shtick yet again. Obviously you've never had to pay the dowry of your future daughter-in-law. My father-in-law, while in Nepal, provided the dowry for his son's wife which comprised a number of gold jewelry items. Had he been in that situation now he'd be paying 3.5 times the price he paid then. While gold might be considered a hedge from inflation in some cultures, in others (India, Nepal, China, etc.) it represents tradition, reverence, commitment, and, above all, wealth.
The bottom line is supply and demand. More than half of the world's population are in the Asian nations. Regardless of price the demand for gold in China alone rose 24% in the third quarter. Gold jewelry demand rose 24%, while investment gold demand on China's mainland rose a whopping 43% in the third quarter. Meanwhile, with Indian household incomes on the rise "the World Gold Council (WGC) says gold sales in India will rise by 10%-15% this year alone. India's gold imports between January and August were up 86.5% from a year ago."
With that being said, increasing the production of a mining company is a "tedious process of identifying a target gold deposit, exploring it, developing it and building the infrastructure to mine it. And this runs in parallel with the constant pressure of procuring, permitting, funding and then producing the gold profitably. This entire process for a gold mine large enough for the markets to notice can take ten years or more and cost hundreds of millions of dollars."
So, with a growing gold-loving population that increasingly puts pressure on demand, and a slowing production output that isn't keeping pace with said demand, what's the logical conclusion? Higher prices of course. But who's to say how much higher we can expect the price of gold to go really. Adjusted for inflation we're only at a level of about 1/2 of what the price was back in 1980. And it's sure to be a bumpy ride no matter which direction the price of gold decides to take. It may not be too late to stockpile those Krugerrands or step into the futures ring.

Time to buy?

I'm thinking of dipping into some NTRI. I was wooed into the stock via the FLY before it tanked. It seems to have gone through a hearty shake-out. The bottom line numbers look good to me and you know what the number one new years resolution is? I'm looking into cautiously dipping in at the levels it's at now.

$200 AAPL any day now

You know nearly every holiday wish list across this country (if not the developed world) includes an iPod, iPhone, or (if you're really lucky) a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 160 GB MacBookPro with Bootcamp installed. Of course they're expecting first quarter '08 upside. Forget about RIMM, and let the feeding frenzy on AAPL stock commence.
MacWorld '08 is a month away and it's always exciting to see the new and improved products on the horizon. Consumers are expecting a lower-priced 13" laptop model their hoping will entice new buyers into the OSX platform. The 3rd generation (already) of iPhone is expected. The MacMini is expected to be kept around and upgraded. And of course there's the new iPod upgrades for the nano, shuffle, and touch models.
Pre-MacWorld = run-up in stock price. Post-MacWorld = stock price deflation.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Stocks of Interest (to me)

Just a couple of stocks I was following today. What's going on with RIMM? A nice even number of $100 support, but looks like it wants to move lower. It had a nice parabolic move this afternoon and recovered nicely at that $100 support area for a nearly $3 momentum gain before the bears beat it down again, where it remained for the rest of the session.
Next we have PCLN. Priceline?? Seriously?? I don't get it, but hey I never got Crocs either.
ISRG looks like it's petering out (Double Top-like) and itching to come back into its 50EMA for a bounce. Though it kinda looks like it's determined to take out it's highs the way it's loitering around resistance. {update} what I missed was the fry pan formation.
CBI retreated from its highs today and looks like it wants to draw out a handle to it's cup before making a run for the highs. Pure speculation of course.Some big moves in foreign tele-comm companies like Turkish TKC & Russian MBT.
And finally there's MA throwing up some flags.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

TODayS Trade

Lately I've been more and more interested in Parabolic "Scalp" set-ups a la Street Smack via Prospectus. The Daily charts usually provide some clear resistance levels to be conscious of. 1-minute charts go so fast it's hard for me to be confident in pulling the trigger though(for both entries and covers).

Monday, December 03, 2007


Will the XM-Sirius merger go through or go the way of the EchoStar/Hughes DirecTV/DishNetwork proposal? In 2002 that $18.5 billion merger was rejected by the Justice Department on the grounds that it "would create a monopoly in many areas, particularly in rural places without access to cable television." What became of that was Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. bought controlling shares of DirecTV for a $6.6 billion steal a few months later. It's worth checking out the long list of News Corp media holdings.
This merger has been in the making for most of the year, publicly anyway (287 days and counting, one of the longest delayed mergers in history).
The shareholders of both companies have even voted to go through with the merger. However, there have been millions of dollars spent in fighting the merger via the National Association of Broadcasters and Clear Channel Communications ("the largest radio station group owner in the United States, both by number of stations and by revenue"). Even Jesse Jackson is against this merger, stating it "would eliminate the potential of any meaningful competition in the satellite radio market, which would, in turn, permanently block the potential for diversity of ownership and control by minorities in the only medium capable of nationwide broadcasting." Sounds like a stretch to me. There are such things as Natural Monopolies (not to be debated here & now) and the hurdles in competing in the satellite media industry seem far beyond the scope of minorities issues.
Even before the merger proposition was officially announced we were given reasons why it wouldn't be accepted. Now, it's taken so long for the FCC to hand down a decision that those who are anticipating a ruling seem resigned to it not happening. While XM and Sirius struggle to survive against such a far inferior product as terrestrial radio (damn I hate those lame commercials and that politically correct programming), and lobbyists earn their keep protecting their vested interests, we're left to speculate on what may become of these two companies. I may be naive but the benefits to a merger certainly sound appealing (who wouldn't love to pay a la carte for cable TV?). Let's face it, there have been much bigger corporations that have merged throughout history that seemed anti-competitive and monopolistic and took a lot less time for them to be approved by the Justice Department. Remember Warner Communications/Time Inc.? How about AT&T/BellSouth? Or even News Corp buying Dow Jones. Check out this list of Media Mergers over the past decade.
At any rate, even though speculation has driven the stock of both companies down over the past year it seems as though over the course of the last few months they're positioning themselves on the opposite side of the fence and betting that the merger will go through.
We shall see.
{I have no holdings in SIRI, XMSR, NWS, or CCU}

Monday Doldrums

Here's some perspective on the commodities markets.

Blogging is most certainly NOT dead.

Bloggers are Bullish.

U.S. Dollar on it's last legs?

The U.S. housing markets are having a Fire Sale!

Woe the time of Broadening Formations is here.

You want links? Well they've got links.

Apple...Need I say more?

And, a wealth of information.

Friday, November 30, 2007

"I paint a window just as I look out of a window. If a window looks wrong in a picture open, I draw the curtain and shut it, just as I would in my own room. One must act in painting as in life, directly."

-Pablo Picasso

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Give the Gift of a Lease

What a great idea. If you (or someone you know) eat your weight in goat cheese, or maple syrup, coffee, or grapefruit then this might be the gift idea for you. Buy a lease in a respective farm and share in their bounty. Go to Rent Mother Nature.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Today's Trade

The first one (UAUA) being a (penant/flag on the 5-minute chart) narrow range break play:

the next(WLP) being a cup w. handle play:
It's nice to finally have some momentum in the markets.

Hard at Work

Pretty cool insight into the fabrication of NYC manhole covers in India. Be sure to check out the audio/video slideshow. I thought it was fascinating to see the workings of a "laundromat" when I was in India, this far surpasses that. It's also not at all shocking to see the barefoot and practically naked wiry men working with molten steel. It's work.
Yes I

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Stock Watch

Miscellaneous stocks I'm watching.WLP Primed to break a pivot or come back in to the 50EMA?

RIG looks exhausted and ready for some retracement.

CVD faking out the longs on a pivot break or ready to move?

AOC making a move?