Feb 26

Ano

Another thing about short-term trading. You only care about the stupid. Don’t listen at all to most of anything. Just prick your ears up when something really, really dumb is happening. That’s where you make your money.

For instance during the late 1990s, every schmoe in the universe was piling into Yahoo and Amazon as Henry Blodget forecast them hitting absurd highs. I wanted to jump on that stupid train and then jump off before it crashed.

So I did.

Over the course of about two weeks, I quadrupled an already rather sizable pot of money, bailed out well before the top and then stood back and watched admiringly as the inevitable crash occurred.

How much was luck and how much skill? Who knows? I was in the right place with the right money at the right time and I made use of the opportunity. At worst, I would’ve lost a little (less then 5% of my capital) – money I had to lose, by the way.

But as it was, for the first time an account of mine went from five figures to six. And that’s why I only really pay attention to the dumbest things I can find.

Feb 26

Sarah

This song has joined my tally of all-time favorite songs. Ignore the audio problems at the beginning; the sound person fixes them quickly. Kate Miller-Heidke is just awesome. I love when she uses her opera voice (former opera singer). And three percussionists!

I’d just assumed before watching this that the waver in her voice that helps make the song so great was a studio effect. Nope. It’s her (she’s not lip-syncing). Amazing talent.

Feb 25

Pol

I will no longer be doing any blogging of any sort about politics on this (or any other) blog.

It just makes me angry and there is nothing I can do at this stage, anyway. Corporations control the media and the government, and that is only increasing.

Only a huge crisis, far more calamitous than the recent financial implosion and subsequent Great Recession, will bring about any change at all.

Thinking about any of it, writing about it, or even noticing it wastes my time and fills vital brain space with useless garbage. I am by most accounts a pretty smart guy, but I’ve come to recognize that there is only so much information I can process and make use of, and that as I focus more the distractions are killing that focus.

Politics for now is a worthless ritual battleground. It and the scope of thought allowed therein is completely controlled, just as much as in any dictatorship. Voting means nothing; protesting means nothing (especially the way it’s done now). These are just relief valves the mandarins allow to make the hoi polloi believe they have a little power.

Wake me up when the revolution comes.

Feb 25

Zing

Remember a few posts ago, about trading Zynga? Look at its range today.

I would’ve made a lot of money. Easy call. But that’s really the secret, as much as there is one. Make the easy calls, and don’t be emotionally invested. Bail out when you are wrong, and automate the bailout.

If I’d been trading today, I would’ve made about $5,000 in an hour.

So tempting to do again.

Feb 24

Yo

Looking out the back door at our new place today, at first I thought I saw a dog, then realized it was a coyote. Very surprised to see one in broad daylight in an urban area.

It was quite far away, but here are some photos I managed to take with the NEX-5N.

Feb 24

Day

I’d be day-trading the crap out of this stock if I were still in the game.

High volume, large float, large short interest? Oh hell yeah.

That means there’s a lot of stupid people doing a lot of stupid things with that stock. And the stupid is where you make your money.

The thing that makes day trading easy – for me, at least – is that you don’t have to be smarter than everyone else, you just have to be smarter than two things: your own dumb emotional instincts, and about 60% of everyone else trading in that stock.

And to be perfectly blunt, I can be smarter than 60% of even very smart people with one hemisphere tied behind my back.

And I’m so humble, too.

Feb 24

Where I was

I didn’t choose the redneck anti-government paranoiac conspiracy-theorist racist North Florida life, the redneck anti-government paranoiac conspiracy-theorist racist North Florida life chose me.

Not quite as catchy as the Tupac variant, I know. And I am no longer remotely that guy, and indeed I never really was as I seem to have been born a contrarian by nature – though in some ways one cannot help absorb some of the cultural Weltanschauung all around them, at least for a bit.

But really, that is very near where I grew up and it resembles closely the mental climate in which I grew up, though my Dad and his friends were far too poor to carry the nice guns those folks are toting.

Feb 23

Not sighted

I’ve stopped reading about two dozen or so sites now since they’ve gone to a non-blog magazine-style format. I’ve stopped reading another dozen or so because they’ve implemented “Read more” or “Continue reading” links where you can’t see the entire article without clicking through.

At this rate, soon I will be able to read nothing.

That’s okay – as the internet becomes more corporate-controlled and more about social BS, it becomes far less useful to me anyway.

Feb 23

Degrees Negative

I’ve hired a lot of people in my life. I’ve been in management or partial-management positions since I was 23.

And I can tell you that if you insist that every person hired – whether it be receptionist, file clerk or janitor – have a college degree, all that means is that the very minute those degreed individuals find a better job more aligned to their skills and interests, they will be gone often without even giving notice.

And then you will be stuck.

Does it really make any sense that every job requires a degree? Especially since as from what I’ve seen most colleges teach very little useful (that is to say, you get out of education what you put into it, and most 18-year-old kids have no idea what the hell is going on).

Feb 22

Aging

I just can’t understand this outlook.

The older I get, the more I realize that the crappy part of aging is not the weird physical pains, the wrinkles, or the receding hairlines but the slow process of realizing that none of the things you wanted to do with your life are actually going to happen. It’s that moment when you look at your surroundings and realize, This is it for me. This is as far as I’m going to get. You look at the goals you had and the things you wanted to do and you realize that not only are they unlikely to happen, but they’re unlikely to happen because you aren’t good enough to accomplish them.

I like the site, but frankly I find this sort of view and approach to life idiotic.

Perhaps it only applies to people who when young (in academia, in the writer’s case) thought they were going to be stars in their field?

Being a star in any field is as much serendipity as it is skill and dedication. If you go through life expecting to be a star, you will always, always be disappointed.

My life is a fucking gift; I grew up poor in the sticks of Florida. I thought by the time I was 30 I’d either be dead or in jail. If my 15-year-old self could see me now, he’d be awed and impressed I think – by the things I have done and by who I am.

I love my current life and I make it better all the time. I work at it. I have an ensorcelling, unbelievably lovely, vibrantly intelligent and questing partner. I have few friends, but one close one who is one of the most clever, loyal and interesting people I’ve ever met. She is the bee’s knees.

I’ve been to interesting places. I’ve done things few people have done. I’ve consorted with fascinating and beautiful women, all of whom were supposedly “out of my league,” but shit, I have my own league and have never had any problems finding teammates to play in it.

I’ve learned about what I’ve desired to learn about. I’ve explored and been awed by nature and the universe; I’ve seen and done things few people get to see and do. And I plan to keep doing so until the day I die.

As I said, my life is a gift. Every day that I get to do the things I want to do, to read the books I want to read, and to spend time with my partner – a great day. I’m so very lucky and I know it, and when I read something like the above I really savor it. I hold onto it and realize what I have and how far I’ve come.

However, if I spent all my time whining about how I wasn’t a star yet, and might never be, then I imagine my life would indeed seem pretty miserable, and going downhill as I got older.

Sounds terrible.

I’ll take my quiet, wonderful life with time for what I want to do, not the one worrying about external expectations and my status or not as a star in some field or other that in reality few others care or know about.

But that’s just me.