The Perfect One

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Wow, just glanced at the calendar and realized it’s Thursday. Then glanced at the blog and see zero posts since Monday.

Mercy!

I was all set today to go on at length about how freaking cool my Wednesday was. I got tickets to The Olympic Club and spent the day watching professional golfers at their highest level competing on a pretty tough course.

The day about bowled me over with how cool it was.

But then the day took a turn that bowled me over even more.

So let’s leave today’s post to honor Matt Cain and the perfect game he threw last night in San Francisco.

It’s an awesome day to be a Bay Area Sports fan.

And and even better day to be a Giants fan. I haz a proud!




Don’t bother counting, there are 14 k’s hanging on the wall




Photos from the SFGiants Photos blog, they reserve all rights and it’s used here under Fair Use.


You Scream, I Do Something Else Entirely — For Ice Cream

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It’s a blisteringly hot summer day in Albuquerque and mom has hauled her three monkey children to the swimming pool at the Coronado Club (inside of Kirtland Air Force Base) to cool off and work off some energy.

I’ve swam and swam until all my digits are little prunes and then I swim a little bit more for good measure. Exhausted, I finally drag myself out of the pool to lay on the scalding hot concrete and let the sun dry chlorinated water from my arms and legs.

Mom is out in the grassy area surrounding the pool reading a book or chatting with friends. She always finds a lot of folks she knows at the Coronado Club. She’s been coming here since she was just eighteen.

I find my mom and plop into a lawn chair with my beach towel. Starving, I gulp down a sandwich or some cold fried chicken or whatever fun stuff mom has packed into the ice chest.

As the late afternoon sun begins to cast slanted shadows on the ground, if I’m lucky and have been a good kid, I’ll ask my mom for some money and she’ll agree. Cash in hand, I’ll dash to the food stand and procure a soft serve vanilla or chocolate ice cream in a cone.

I’ll bear the thing proudly, like Lady Liberty and her torch, then I’ll savor every last drippy bite.

Ah, summer and ice cream were made for each other.

However, lately, something dark and insidious rumbles inside of me, irrevocably breaking the summer fun and ice cream connection.

Seems I’ve developed a little ol’ thing called lactose intolerance.




It ain’t right. It’s some cosmic comedy, it has to be. Dairy and I are friends from way back. Ok, I can’t stand fluid milk, but sour cream, all manner of cheese, ice cream and half and half in my coffee are what make walking in this mean old world seem tolerable.

The Good Man marvels still at the vast array of dairy products I have in my fridge. I have a whole drawer devoted to cheese! Well, I used to…

Me? Lactose intolerant? It just isn’t even funny. Not one little bit.

I took my concerns to my doctor who nodded thoughtfully and said, “Well, you know, that happens pretty frequently to people over the age of forty. It’s common as we age.”

Great. That makes me feel ever so much better.

I use Lactaid and it helps some. It is, at best, an imperfect solution.

The only real cure is to stop eating dairy entirely.

Well that ain’t gonna happen.

That said, I have cut waaaaay back. And because the universe has a really excellent sense of humor, I also get rumbly tummy from soy milk, the most common substitute.

So far hemp milk and almond milk are my frontrunners for adding to coffee and having an ice cream-like treat.

They are fine, but just…not the same.

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for almond milk iced dessert” just doesn’t have the same ring.

Because we don’t all scream for that.

*sigh*




Image is, of course, The Scream by Edvard Munch, and is used under Fair Use as the image is considered Public Domain in the United States.

This week’s Theme Thursday is: ice cream



My Official Opinion On The Matter

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Been reading up on this whole Facebook IPO debacle.

Oh so very ugly.

As I think about it, I am reminded of my old NMSU Finance professor Dr. Hawkins, and his Ten Investment Rules.

And so…my official comment on the FB disaster?

Keep #5 always in mind. And #7 too.



Originally posted December 29, 2010

________________

Sometimes, the cranky old man is the smartest man in the room

Back in the good ol’ days, that wild time known at the 1980’s, I was full of youthful optimism, and I was attending New Mexico State University.

My undergraduate major was Finance.

Ooh, those were heady days when I wanted to be a stockbroker when I grew up. This was back before I realized that “stockbroker” and “salesman willing to sell underperforming securities to your family in order to make commission” were synonymous.

While the dream was still alive, I took courses at NMSU from some really fine professors with a lot of experience.

Among them, several courses with Dr. Lowell Catlett, now the Dean of the College Of Agriculture, and a noted expert on futures trading.

There was also both undergrad and grad level classes with Dr. Clark Hawkins, a man who had actually worked as a commodities trader on the NYSE floor. In his words, he had tried pretty much every investment vehicle out there…and lost money on ’em all.

Dr. Hawkins was a strange little man. Wiry, small of frame and nasally of voice. He referred to himself as “Uncle Hawkey.” He often told us that, as Finance students, we should have our Wall Street Journal under one arm and our financial calculator under the other.

And this was to be done while wearing a t-shirt imprinted with “Uncle Hawkey’s Ten Investment Rules”.

At the end of each semester, he gifted us with a copy of the ten rules.

Recently, I was searching around in all the old boxes under my house, picking through my crap looking for things I can sell on eBay.

How ironic, then, that I should come across my framed copy of Uncle Hawkey’s Ten Investment Rules in my search for something to sell for money.

Well, I sat down and read the rules.

Goddamn if Uncle Hawkey wasn’t right. He was right then. He’s right now. Right is right.

Now…snap your Wall Street Journal in place, put your finger over the “future value” button on your financial calculator and get set.


 Uncle Hawkey’s Ten Investment Rules:


1. Don’t invest in things you don’t understand.


Ah, every single customer of Bernie Madoff…take note!


2. Remember the fundamental mathematical rule of finance.


You know what? I don’t.

I suspect this was about future value and present value of money. He was a stickler on that.

Because I understood and could calculate time value of money, I kicked the salesman’s ass when I bought my first car.

I got that salesguy demoted because he was such a dunce. Thank you Uncle Hawkey.


3. Know the difference between investment and speculation.


Oh I remember this one. I rant about this one. A lot.

Let me just say his own words, with the same shouting nasal tone…

INVESTING IN THE STOCK MARKET IS THE SAME AS GAMBLING!

If you do not think putting your money in the stock market is gambling, then you need to re-examine yourself and your money.

Sure, it may return better odds than Vegas, but not always.

For those of you wailing and gnashing your teeth in the current economic downturn because you had all your money in the stock market, I suggest you get this rule tattooed on your arm and look at it daily.


4. Don’t invest or speculate in financial securities that you can’t easily find quotes on.


Dangling participle notwithstanding….Uncle Hawkey was right.

Once again, I’m looking at you friends of Mr. Madoff….paging investors of Mr. Madoff….


5. Don’t buy a closed end fund on initial offering.


Oh yes, everyone gets oh so very excited about IPO’s. Especially during the dot com boom of the early 2000’s.

Look how well that worked out for most people.

Right.

But Uuuuuncle Haaaawwwkkkey, people in his class would wail…what about _____ and they’d name some company.

And by tracking the history of the stock price, he’d show them how they were wrong. How the price would be driven up on IPO and would, over time, settle back down.

He recommended waiting out an IPO for a company you liked, and buying the shares after the initial flurry of the IPO wore off and the stock had settled down.


6. Be skeptical of people who say they can forecast the future.


Well, if more folks did this, then people like Jim Cramer would be a lot less interesting, wouldn’t they?


7. Don’t do business with a man you can’t trust.


Too true. I would also substitute “man” with “company.”

(And for 2012 I would substitute “man” with “egomaniacal manchild“)

And yet…how many of us do anyway? (*coff* AT&T *coff* Comcast *coff*)

Honestly…it’s getting a lot harder to find honesty these days.


8. If the brokers are pushing it hard, it probably should be avoided.


So simple. So true. Yet….

Paging followers of Mr. Madoff!

(seeing a trend here?)


9. Long range planning gives the dangerous notion that the future is under control.


Oooh, this one hurts.

Remember how great things felt in, oh, say mid-2008? When we all had some money and maybe a big mortgage on a great house and the financial future looked, well…bright?

Yeah.

I broke this one. Uncle Hawkey, wherever in the world you are now, I give it up to you.

You knew. You always knew.


10. Don’t lose money.


Well sh*t. I broke this one too.

However. Slowly but surely, it’s coming back.

Because Uncle Hawkey warned us about short term and long term.

My wise investments will, eventually, find their way home.

And finally….


11. (Bonus rule) Remember Rule 10


Fair enough.

And so…as we slowly but surely dig our way out of these ugly financial times…

May we all remember Rule #10

Thank you Uncle Hawkey.




As a post script…

In my senior year of undergrad, Uncle Hawkey decided to go on a sabbatical from teaching.

He invited us, the students that he had so tortured, to join him for happy hour at El Patio. Ah, that venerable old Mesilla Plaza bar (former home office of the Butterfield Stage).

Uncle Hawkey slapped down a credit card and said we could have all the beer we wanted. Nothing else. Only beer.

Oh, the pitchers flowed that day, and Uncle Hawkey paid for it all.

Maybe all of us college students were, on that day, a good investment.



What the…? I don’t even know

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Ok, it started with an article from Cracked.com titled 14 Photographs That Shatter Your Image of Famous People.

I follow a lot of photography blogs and I see a lot of links like this.

So I took a look.

And in the course of those fourteen images, this one came along. (Click for a larger size)





I can’t stop looking at it. I don’t even know what to say. I seriously don’t know what to say.

It’s Al Pacino and Christopher Walken, but what the HELL is going on? Please tell me this is something from a movie?

My fascination with this image led me to the Awesome People Hanging Out Together Tumblr….which I guess is a pretty popular site because it was named to Time’s list of the 30 Must See Tumblrs.

None are quite as fascinating at this one, but there’s some pretty good stuff in there.

Meanwhile…I must construct stories in my head about the Pacino/Walken photo. Neighbors out for a stroll? Just escaped from the home for doddering elderly actors? LSD? LSD flashback?

I mean seriously? What?




Image originally posted on the Awesome People Hanging Out Together Tumblr on April 17, 2012.

This week’s Theme Thursday is: neighbors



Pass The Salt

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As posted to Instagram….

At least there is *someone* who is happy that it’s raining.

Because I’m not.








Photo Copyright 2012, by Karen Fayeth. Subject to the Creative Commons license in the far right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone4s and the Hipstamatic app.