Monday, August 30, 2004

"It's a Big Mess Going in a Loop"

I got a funny email today. Actually, it was semi work-related. One of the fellows I work with in Newark, CA (yes, there really is a Newark in Cali, New Jersey doesn't have a lock on the name, despite what you may have heard) sent out an email, something like this:

Bug number yada yada is a duplicate of yada yada which is a duplicate of yada yada which somehow got closed.

It's a big mess going in a loop.

Somehow, I found this quote entirely funny. I just have this vision of people, who keep opening up bugs they think are new, only to later find them closed as duplicates of defects that don't exist.

Speaking of big messes and loops, did you know that they have an entire school devoted to the fine art of wallpapering? I'm painting a room in my house this weekend (hopefully) and I'm reminded of this as I go into the paint stores, shoping for just the right shade of beige (because I'm dull.) As I'm sitting there, wondering, trying to decide between the "light burnt umber" and the "covered wagons" of the world, I see the poor, helpless, lost souls wondering through the books in search of suitable wallcoverings. You know those books, those are the ones with the sample wallpaper and color swatches in them.

Ah, yes, my friend, fear the books. Fear the books for they force you to make decisions. Fear the books for any mistake you make will cost you dearly. Fear the books for they are filled with nothing but loops of big meses in the making. Fear the books! Put them down and run, run for your lives. Never give into the books for, after the books, comes the "we need new furniture to match the new wallpaper."

Until next time...

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Absence is Present

Today, I received the latest version of Aperture in the mail. For those who aren't familiar with Aperture, it's a magazine (periodical) devoted to photography. Not photography in the sense of Shutterbug or Popular Photography, more like photography as image, icon, and art.

The thing I like most about Aperture is that it always makes me think. Something about it just spurs my creativity. Just when I get to the point of thinking that "it's all been done before" and there's nothing else we could possibly do to extend the creativity of the artform, bam! along comes Aperture. It's almost like it's sitting, resting, nesting in the lurches, waiting to pounce on my negative thoughts.

Apart from this, Aperture is a magazine without filter. They don't judge photography, or the photographic images presented within, no they just sort of present them, leaving the sometimes daunting task of mentally processing the images to the reader. This degree of interactivity is what, I would imagine, the world wide web was initially intended to harness. It makes for interesting reading. You get to see nudes presented next to landmine victims, alongside European ruins. All there in black and white (and, actually, quite good color representation) for you to enjoy. Is it art or pornography? Is this something worth looking at or just noise on the photographic landscape? They let you be the judge and jury, but present the vision as close as they possibly can to it's original intentions.

This month's issue is typical in that there's an add for a photo book called American Cockroach which, from the ad, appears to be a book dedicated to the beauty of the ugly creatures of the night (it's not, as far as I can tell, a political essay; there's no mention of John Kerry or George Bush, rather it's actually about the buggy-bo's.) There's also Return, Afghanistan, Jock Sturges: Notes, and one in particular I really liked called Candida Hufer: Architecture of Absence.

It's the last one that really got me thinking. Architecture of absence is very close to what I photograph; it's like my work in a nutshell. I concentrate on the conspicuous absence of people in public places. It's comforting to see somebody else working along those lines. Just gives me peace of mind.

Something else, which sort of gave me the opposite of peace of mind, is this excerpt from the article accompanying the landmine photographs:

The thing about minefields is how quiet they are. A minefield has none of
the noise and chaos you'd expect in a violent place. The other thing about a
minefield is that until you find the first mine, you don't know where the field
starts, or even if it exists at all. ..When you're standing at the edge of an
unmarked minefield, the terrain looks just like as it would anywhere...You would
think that no one would go intentionally into minefields, yet people do it all
the time. Desperation is a consistent factor...They know it is dangerous to let
animals graze here, or a gamble to cultivate the land, yet they do it anyway,
because they can't conceive of an alternative.


It's the alternatives in life that are special indeed. Along with my subscription, of course.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

And the Gold Goes to...Olympic Sports that Weren't

The Olympics always seem to have one defining moment. One moment where we collectively hold our breaths, clench our fists, wonder in amazement at how they pulled it off-that sort of thing. I can remember the miracle on ice, the girl who broke her foot but still managed to stick a landing on the gymnastics horse, Nadia Comancei's perfects 10's. I don't know if this years' Olympic events will have such a moment, but I'm sure the athletes will do their collective bests. It's part of the job. The Olympics are savored by the best.

We all try to be "the best" at something. We try only to find that sometimes we succeed and sometimes, alas, we take our place on that silver or bronze medal podium, watching and listening as somebody else's national anthem gets played over the loudspeaker. That's how life goes, I suppose.

I'm sure we're all "the best" at something, we just have to get out, get off our collective duffs, and find what that "something" is. We need to make our own little podiums, our own track and field events, our own indoor sports, if we want to really succeed in life.

So, without further ado, I bring you my notion of Olympic Events That Weren't. Perhaps there are sports that should never be, maybe they just haven't come to fruition yet, or maybe their an idea whose time has come. You be the judge (and yes, that means, you get to hand out the medals)
  • Office Politics-we've gotten so bad at it, might as well make it a sport.
  • Bullshitting-middle managers everywhere would salivate as they read off the winners. "And the Olympic gold for bullshitting goes to..." Imagine that.
  • Dumpster Diving-"My cousin' Jimmy here won that there GOLD MEDAL when he found his-self a dia-mon ring in that there trash bucket. Almost one whole caret, yes indeeeed." (Would give back woods Appalachia a level playing field.)
  • Trolling for Spouses-gold diggers would finally get their own medal. Hey, don't laugh. I'm sure they'll get one to match the diamonds and jewels they already weaseled.
  • Russian Wedding Sports-the bride closest to her delivery date, without going over, wins! Just think of what this could do to the pregnant bridal gown industry. Shotguns optional.
  • Head Banging-Rokken with Dokken puff metal heads compete for the Gold!
I'm sure there's plenty more where these came from, but these should get you thinking.

Go for the gold, but watch what you step in along the way.

Until next time...

Monday, August 23, 2004

An Urban Legend in His Own Mind

Remember that urban legend? The one about the guy who plants his butt down in a lawn chair with a shotgun, attaches weather balloons to the arm rests, and ascends into the Heavens above, only to find himself haplessly floating along at thirty thousand feet? It's been kicking around for a while, with various incantations having him sighted by low-flying pilots, negotiating landings at LAX, folks scratching their heads in disbelief, even helping to steer him to a safe landing. I think some reports boast NASA listing him as an "official UFO" or some such thing (not to be confused with an "unofficial UFO" which is a slightly more "politically correct" term for the aliens who play cannasta on my front lawn.)

My friend Steve was IM-ing me the other day, asking my opinion on movies suitable for viewing. Since this was an oh-so-pressing issue, I decided to tackle it head first, and perform elaborate research on the world wide web. Ok, so I googled. I googled "movies" and found myself at movies.com or some such site. As luck, or lack of creativity, would have it, they've made a movie about this very story.

Danny Deckchair is now playing in a theater near you. Words cannot begin to describe how I feel about this cinematic triumph, which has perhaps made it once again socially acceptable to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Phrases like, "Run! Run for your Lives!" and "Even porn would be better than this" will be used by critics everywhere to define this mega-movie, starring the likes of people who've never heard of you either. The mind boggles.

This:
Danny is a cement-truck driver with a bad girlfriend, who manages to screw up his holiday plans. Furious, Danny plots to escape his suburban prison by attaching helium balloons to a deck chair in hopes of flying away. Surprisingly, his plan works, and he soon finds himself in a neighboring town.

is from the official "blurb" about the movie, not to be confused with the "unofficial blurb" which consists of a five minute symphony of groans and gastrointestinal noises, which shall be left for bloggers with audio. Hey, at least *I* don't waste film like that, ok?

But, what if there's something to this Danny Deckchair? What if Danny's really onto something? What if we all took our little helium helicopters up into the stratosphere, only to find ourselves dive-bombing the suburban Hell's in which we live like some sort of pidgin race run amok? Hmmm. Going up anybody? Take that you metrosexual yuppie-wanna-be. I think I'll shoot down my not-so-big balloons and land over here this time. The world's got to be a better place when you have a shot at flopping down into something better, right?

Until next time...

Testing, Testing...

Blogger has been having trouble lately so I'm generating this test posting to see if it's back and stable again. I'll continue posting when they fix it, or at least get it to stay up for more than five minutes at a time.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Drive on, you DINK!

I suspect that we all do it-making up words as we speak. Sometimes, our words come from other words, sometimes, we do it as a manner of convenience, and sometimes, we just trip up and say the wrong thing, only to find it stuck and voila! we now have a new one.

I don't know what it is that compels us to make up language-to keep the language ever growing and evolving, but it always seems to do just that. We formulate new grammar by morphing the old into the new, all along playing with the language. It doesn't really bother me; I'm not one of those "fuddy duddy" old-timers who thinks that language is not a play toy. It's a tool that, when we see fit, we choose to follow the rules but, every once in a while, we break them just because we can.

Language is, in a lot of ways, like a metaphor for life. We learn it quickly when we're young and religiously try to follow the rules. Just when we master the rules, we recognize the value in breaking them. As we grow older, we wish we had more time to play with our language, just because it's there, as we did when we were a child.

My friend Mohinder speaks about 4 or 5 languages, including Punjabi and English. Interesting thing about his English, he's always tellings us that he speaks, "English-English, not American English." He uses this as a defense when he makes up words. I find it kind of amusing, and chastise him for speaking "Mohinglish" when he does it, but I'm actually convinced this is his mastery of the language showing through. I suppose, if I spoke more than 1 or 2 languages, and there wasn't a convenient word for what I was trying to get out of my piehole at a given point in the time space continuum, I would just sort of make one up on the spot. Imagination is so under-rated these days. Wonder, Think, Dream, Drive, Become-it's my new motto.

Speaking of driving, I have a made-up word for drivers who travel too slowly in the left lane. DINKs I call them. It's actually short for Drivers In Need of a Kick. Fortunately, for me, I've been avoiding the DINKs almost all week long, since I've been working from home. I do miss the office, but not having to contend with the DINKs, well, that's like a prize in itself. There's a prize I didn't even have to make up, I can imagine it floating over the horizon, trapped in traffic, stuck behind all the DINKs in the world, lined up in the left lane, just waiting to pass.

Until next time...

Monday, August 16, 2004

The Folks in Florida Now Know

This weekend hurricane Charley hit the gulf coast of Florida, knocking it for a loop and, I have to admit, I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised that a hurricane hit Florida, as this is where they always seem to go, and I'm not surprised that they named this one after my dog, Charlie. I've been telling you all along he's chaos disguised in fur, and you've never believed me. Now you know (and my heart goes out to all the folks in Florida, having suffered the wrath of Charley.)

I've been to Florida many times, having just sold some property there. We were in Port St. Lucia, which is, I'm told, closer to the Atlantic coast than the recent storms. Kathy, my photographer friend, visited Florida just last year and was telling me how I'd hardly recognize the place; it's changed so much in recent times. "Lots of condos and traffic you wouldn't believe," was the verdict. As luck would have it, I canceled a vacation to Sanibel Island earlier this year, which, as it turns out, was Charley's point of entry. My dog is a bird dog and this particular spot is home to some endangered bird rescue habitats.

This hurricane was brutal in three separate, but equally devastating ways:
  • It turned from a cat 2 to a cat 4 rather quickly and just before making landfall.
  • It charted off course, having unexpectedly hit landfall earlier and in a different location from originally anticipated and charted.
  • It hit a populated area and spread lengthwise across the state.
It's times like these that remind us that, despite our best attempts, our fondness for PDAs, cellular telephones, and GPS tracking gagetry, we have little to no control over mother nature. She rules the roost, as it were, and every now and again she sees fit to remind us of this fact. We don't like to think of her as a queen and we certainly don't like her to remind us of her powers, but, sometimes, she does just that.

Sanibel Island, my would-be vacation spot, is known as an eco system that's quite fragile, but somehow managed to survive the hurricane. Amazes me how the small endangered birds take shelter from a storm the humanoids did not know was coming and failed to correctly predict. I suppose it serves to remind us that, although we like to think of ourselves as "top of the food chain" sort of folk, we're all really fragile and dependent upon each other. Sometimes, as in this case, the birds may know what the people do not.

In this case, we could have learned a lot from those cluckers, if only we'd paid their warning system some mind.

Until next time...

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Leave it Behind and Slowly Back Away

Last night I was reading something I had scribbled down on a piece of paper and I could hardly make out my own handwriting. The note said, "I'm leaving a t..." and then there were a few letters I could not distinguish at first glance. Starting with the letter T, I assumed the missing characters made up the word "trail" but, in hindsight, I double-checked and came up with the word "trap."

What's so interesting about this is that these each represent two very different left-behind items. A "trap" is so much more belligerent and carries an entirely different connotation than a "trail" yet I could hardly distinguish between the two physically. The exercise of deciphering my own handwriting got me to thinking about the poetic ramifications each word carries with it.

Here's an interesting question to ponder. Which would you rather leave? A trail implies that you are being chased, followed, or somehow left mark on the landscape in your past. A trap is more like a loaded gun, a sharp knife, or a blind date: could come in handy, possibly save the day, but could also prove explosive and harmful if used the wrong way. You never do know exactly what you might catch in one of those, do you? And you may just end up empty-handed after the struggle. So, question for the day is, do you opt for the high risk with the huge payoff potential? Or play it safe and go for the intrigue?

I think my choice would depend upon what sort of mood I were in. I would probably opt for the "trail" if I were happy, content, waxing poetic, but I see myself as a "trap" girl when pissed off, generally upset, or maybe just looking for some excitement. Either way, I suppose, I'd be happy, so long as the dust scatters from my path and I can see my way into some hope that lies ahead. And, it follows too that, if I were somehow to manage a trap for the reclusive yet oh-so-hunkerly cabana boy, I'd be happy as a clam on the seashore.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Extremely Narly Longboards

Today's wardrobe item of choice is a blue-ishly colored T-shirt from Hawaii with this moniker scribbled upon it. I don't know exactly what it means but, having a degree in communications allows me to make an educated guess. So, giving you the benefits of my education,
"Extremely Narly Longboards for Extreme Pipe Riding"
probably has something to do with surfing, catching a big wave, "hanging 10" or some such thing.

Speaking of education, I was talking with Ken yesterday and he sent me a link to a resume that had me laughing so hard, I almost fell out of my chair. Seems some guy he used to work with had a few "gems" on his, and I just couldn't contain myself. Maybe I was in a laughing mood, maybe it just struck me as funny, or maybe the guy is that big of a doofus. You be the judge.

Buried between the "I went to Princeton, didn't get a degree, but am putting it on my resume anyway, 'Princeton University Coursework in European history'" and the proud display of having taken a Powerpoint workshop as recently as 2002, was this little gem:
Intern - Washington, D.C. Correspondence, research, elevator operator.
Ah, so that was Monica's official title and, yes, you read it here first. Somebody actually put this on a techie resume. (ELEVATOR OPERATOR! Elevator operator? As in, I pushed a button so some dumb-ass in DC could get to the top floor.)

I've finally figured out what my problem is. I'm competent, I hold a master's degree in computer science (apart from the aforementioned degree in communications) and I have about 16 years of experience working as a coder, designer, software architect, and margarita chef. My life would be so complete if only I could put elevator operator somewhere on my resume. Sigh.

Now, don't get me wrong. Official Clarkson motto is "a workman that needth not to be ashamed" and I'm not one to pass judgement on any given profession, trade, skill, or the like. I'm not waging war or officially even "making fun of" elevator operators. But, for crying out loud, if you have over 10 years experience in a technology why on God's Earth would you highlight the fact that you started out life as an elevator operator? Is that really going to make a difference on your next gig? Are you trying to go for some "my thumbs are more nimble than yours" type of award of which I am not even aware? Geesh. Get a life. Get a clue. Get real. Nobody gives a crap that you were a kiss-up in Washington, you don't have a real degree and Powerpoint doesn't require it's own month long workshop to master. You've unimpressed me so much, I wouldn't even allow you to type my letters to Santa, Mr. Doofus. Put down that mouse and back away from that spreadsheet before I get violent.

But then, what do I know. I've never been an elevator operator. Maybe there's something to that. Maybe it's just the type of narly experience I need to kick my career into the stratosphere. Maybe I shouldn't have wasted my time at Clarkson and BU but should instead ventured into the world of BIG button pushing. "Going up?"

Ok, maybe not. Sheet man, I'd tell the fat cats to take the damn stairs and get on with it already.

Until next time...

PS Our local presidential candidate, Charlie, is busy today getting his hair done. Yes, it's true, he's at the dog groomers. If he's running for prez, he's gotta have a surpreme do. And he'll want a cute little poodle to push all the right buttons on his elevator, I'm sure.

Gosh, I hope they don't stick any bows in him. Or give him one of those dorky bandanas. Dude, that would be extremely narly.

 

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Odds and Ends

It's not ofte and it's been a while since I've written about odds and ends. These are the summary of all the little things which, when taken alone, are not large enough to warrant a weblog entry of their own, but still fall under that mysterious category I like to call "interesting."

Have you been watching The Grid on TV? It's not a bad little series. A little too "MTV-ish" in terms of fast camera cuts and editing I would have to call "too tight" but still it's rather interesting. I've been sort of watching on Monday evenings, especially since it's on at a convenient timeframe for me to catch it. One high point for me is that there seems to be a few characters who are not so obviously on the side of good/evil. The world likes to spin in shades of grey despite our best attempts at painting the entire universe with one single brush stroke of black or white.

Next up on the list, found thisLink link on the new craze in NY called cuddling. It's where grown people (my age even) dress up in their PJs and crawl into bed with each other, after first getting on the ground and "mooing" like cows. A bit odd, don't you think? But, this is the same city that gave us the cosmo so, I suppose, anything is possible. Eat, drink, and be merry my friends. Somebody has to rely upon you being weird and you've got a big burden to carry, for you have to support enough "weirdness" for all of us. Thank goodness for folks like Alice Cooper who can help out in the pinch.

Went to Cool River Cafe for lunch today. Was actually pretty good food, I had some sort of chicken taco-y dish. The salsa was ok and the chicken was smoked to perfection. Now I can say I've actually been inside the place, as the last time I was there, I went for the September 11th tribute hour, hopped the fence, and sat on the patio.

I still haven't ordered memory for my PC. Need to do that this afternoon before I forget yet again.

I'm really craving a moca-latte-ish type of fru fru drink but can't have one because I just opened up a can of coke and I've had way too much lunch. I'm stuffed. Another food item and I think I'll just explode. *poof*

Until next time...

Monday, August 09, 2004

Bad Blogger, No Links

Before I was typing away at a reasonably good posting when, poof, out of the blue, blogger ate my message. It's not often that blogger swallows whole my daily positing, in fact, it's happened only a few times since I've been posting on this site. It happens so infrequently, I almost feel cause for celebration when it does occur. Whoo Hoo! Blogger ate my posting. Now I won't lose any files for another six whole months! Woot! Or, um, something like that.

It did happen when I was trying to add a link to my posting. Perhaps I should try to add a link now and see what happens. Here goes. (If you are reading this, I was probably successful, but that doesn't mean you should count your blessings just yet. I'm sure something will blow up and you will blame it all on me soon enough.)

Here is the linkLink

Hmm. It seems blogger is taking my link but it's acting mighty weird about it. Ok. So, like I was saying.

These (read the link) are the CD spinners that I put together this weekend. They are rather cute, although they do look a little different from the picture in question. My original posting was something along the lines of me being tired from putting together all the CD spinners, hanging a mirror and some hanging vases, and doing a lot of WORK this weekend, as opposed to the high-tech stuff I do all week. Sigh. Now you'll never know exactly how good my coffee was this morning, for this too, was the subject of my now deleted web log entry. But, you can comfort yourself in knowing that the great bit bucket in the sky now has a new found appreciation for a good cup of coffee, and it's probably being stored right next to that file you lost but really needed.

Maybe the good folks at the great googly moogly should start a new category. "I'll take stuff I tried to blog about but you wouldn't let me for $400 please, Alex."

"Oh crap! Don't click THAT button..."

Until next time...
(or maybe this time depending on how the button clicks go.)

Friday, August 06, 2004

Campaign Kickoff

We keep hearing different stories from the candiates. It's degraded into a giant game of "he said, she said, he lied, I was misquoted" and we're all going to lose. Despite our best attempts at civility, politics is a dirty game. Having said that, I'm announcing candidacy for the office of the President. My dog, Charlie, is going to run for president of the United States. Yes, you read it here first, My Dog CHARLIE for President in '04

Sure, you may think I'm crazy but consider these facts:
  • He's probably smarter than the other two bozos already running
  • He knows how to mark a fire hydrant all by himself
  • He doesn't hump (much) on people's legs
  • He's already king of the block, top dog in the 'hood, captain of the subdivision, he might as well go ALL the way.
His platform is going to be, "A dog biscuit on every table. And every one of 'em is mine to eat. Woof!"

His first campaign stop is going to be my backyard, where he will leave me with glorious "presents" to ponder for days to come. See how giving he is? And he'll smell from corner to corner in the process. Nothing gets past that doggie, no sir, he can sniff a breadcrumb from miles away. Think the terrorists will be able to sneak into NYC past Charlie? Think again!

Imagine what this will do to foreign diplomacy. It will now be socially acceptable and downright expected for politicians to smell each other's tails.

The oval office would make a great spot for a doggie bead. And he probably sleeps less than most of the senators (despite snoozing through most of the day.) I'm guessing his first state of the union address would be met with applause (maybe even a-paws, mind you) because he would not pre-empt Monday night football or CSI. Gotta love that, right?

Until next time...

Thursday, August 05, 2004

But It's Such a Pretty Blue Screen of Death

My computer at home is very close to being finished. I think, in the entire process of backing up data, uploading data, installed a new Windows version, new drivers, new printers, new CD burner/reader, and a new network router, I only saw 2 or 3 blue screens of death. And all of them happened when I was trying to get my laptop to go out over the wireless connection, recognize a network printer connected to my Dell box, and print over the net. Best guess is I just have the wrong drivers. It's kind of nice getting to see that pretty blue screen so few times, after having done so much with so little hardware (most of which is out of date.) As much as I like to knock Microsoft, and, face it, we all do, I must admit, they've come a long way. Actually, I think Dell is a friend indeed (not to be confused with "a friend with weed" which, I'm told, "is better" or so the song goes.)

I've gotten a lot done. Yesterday, I got two different email clients configured, one for home email (ahem, "spam") and one for work. Steve was over, helping me out and, at one point, he said, "don't you want to restore your email?" I was like, "NO. No....No! No! No! NO!" I wanted to avoid the spam-o-rama at all costs. The problem with restoration of email is that I get tons of junk. I've so much spam, I could bury myself in it. It's like a black hole. The black hole of the net is covered with spam, and all of it resides in my email box. It waits to pounce on me when I'm not expecting it and, believe me, it can get mighty ugly.

All of this long-winded diatribe on the benefits of a network router, a wireless card, and broken printer drivers can be summed up with the following plea:
If you send email to my home address or use it to communicate with me on a regular basis, please be advised that I have removed all of my OLD email, including my contact information, so you may not hear from me in a while. I'm determined to enjoy having only 87 messages, 68 of which are claims that I can enlarge my penis, lose 30 pounds overnight, or make millions selling crap nobody wants on eBay.
This, of course, can be shadowed by the follow-on plea:
If I don't contact you, or don't respond to your email, please send me another note. I've recently un-buried myself from the spam heap and do want to talk with you, I'm just attempting to avoid the penis enlargement gang who, apparantly acting on a tip that mine is too small, keep following me in the hopes that I will buy and use their wonderful products.
Not that I have anything against the penis enlargement gang. Try as they might, I don't think they'll have much success in my case. Call it a hunch. I wish I could send them a blue screen of death for their troubles but, as luck would have it, it appears I'm even out of those.

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The World's Fastest Confuser

Recently, I've been busy setting up my home computer. When all is said and done, it's the little things that really get to me. For example, I installed a wireless card in my laptop and now I can surf the web from the back porch. On a nice day, this could make all the difference in the world. Just the thought of being able to work while sitting outside kind of makes me feel warm and happy inside. It's the little frills and perks in life that makes things so much more tolerable.

Steve has been helping me. I didn't really get anything different, just put together and upgraded some of the stuff I have. Plus I also moved it around so it's rather nice in the office. I've been busy too getting the software setup for work.

Tonight is the "National Night Out" meetup. I'm not really looking forward to is, as it's hit the 100 degree mark and seems to be getting hotter. Still, there's something nice about meeting everybody in the neighborhood, and socializing a bit. I will perhaps make some iced tea and sit in the shade, if I can find some, so that I can meet folks as they walk by.

Had my car serviced today. They washed it as part of the service. Granted it's not all that clean (they didn't get a lot of the tar off) but it looks way better than it did yesterday.

On the whole, I'd have to say things are looking up. At least I don't feel like I'm looking up at the bottom of a shoe. Of course, having said that, I suppose now I should expect one to drop any second now.

Tick tock...

Until next time...

Monday, August 02, 2004

Taking Stock

People sometimes ask me for stock tips. Sometimes they ask my advice, wanting a "hot tip," or they just want to share in which stocks I'm currently tracking. It's part of trading, I guess. You buy into certain companies, based upon what you know, what you think they will do in the future, or perhaps your "gut," and then poke around to see what everybody else is doing. It also provides a nice means to justify your choices. Usually, I am reluctant to give out stock advice, mostly because I'm afraid to and partially because I don't want my friends to get angry with me if the ticker in question should happen to take a dip.

This weekend and this morning, we heard on the news about the current terrorist alert regarding the stock market. Seems al queda is trying to blow up Wall Street. I've decided to go against my own better judgement, break ranks, and actually give out a tip.
If there's a terrorist attack that impacts Wall Street, in any way shape or form, I will buy stock. And you should too. It will become the best buying opportunity all year.
As soon as I'm physically able to, even if I have to drag myself on my hands and knees to some brokerage hundreds of miles away, I will buy stock. I will buy a lot of stock, in a multitude of companies.

Why?

Two reasons:
If every person in the US bought stock, even one share, after a terrorist attack on Wall Street, the market would move up considerably.

Historically, the people who've made the most money on Wall Street did it by doing the reverse of the current trend. Most folks buying? You sell. Most folks selling? Buy like there's no tomorrow.
If you bought stocks during the great depression, you would have made a KILLING as soon as it was over. I know, I know, it's sometimes easier said than done, and you won't make a heap of cash buying one share of stock. Even so, given a terrorist attack, taking stock would become the most profitable thing you could probably do all year long. It would present the only opportunity in time when the majority of people, most of whom should be buying, would turn around and sell, for no valid reason other than their own personal fear and trepidation.

Besides, taking stock at that time would be the best thing for the country. Wouldn't that, and that alone, make you feel better? No amount of money (that you could potentially make or lose in the market) could cover that emotional cost. At least, it would go a long way towards making up for those high flying 90's that we all enjoyed, wouldn't it?

Until next time...