Category Archives: Anecdotes

Long Like Me

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A couple of months ago, I decided to do a little experiment. Frustrated with eight years swimming against the stream, I asked myself – – what if I went ahead and bought equal amounts of every single stock in my Bull Pen watch list (that is, stocks with good-looking bullish patterns)? So I set up a spreadsheet with the prices on September 15th and have been tracking it ever since. Here’s what it looks like (the grand totals are at the top):

1116-longs

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Special No More

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“Morning or night, Friday or Sunday, made no difference, everything was the same: the gnawing, excruciating, incessant pain; that awareness of life irrevocably passing but not yet gone; that dreadful, loathsome death, the only reality, relentlessly closing in on him; and that same endless lie. What did days, weeks, or hours matter?”  ― Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych

This is going to be one of those really personal, navel-gazing posts that I do from time to time. People seem to respond well to these, although I doubt it’s particularly wise from a business perspective to engage in such spleen-venting. After all, someone considering an annual subscription to Slope Plus might have second thoughts if they truly knew what I thought about day and night, so it would behove me, I think, to keep lying to you and pretend things are just peachy, even though they aren’t. (I will also note, early on, that I toned this post WAY down, since it was much, much darker before I sanitized it).

Another reason I hesitate on doing any posts besides those yammering on about stock charts is that I’d rather not give my detractors any pleasure in my own pain. I am an opinionated person, and the world hates – – absolutely hates – – a bear. You would never do what I do if you knew. I like to imagine myself spiritually lofty enough to love my enemies, but the sad truth is that I’d probably prefer that they be tortured to death. You would too, I imagine, had you been in my shoes for a little while. (more…)

Big Mac Attack

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This post has nothing actionable. There’s nothing you can do about it. Or me, for that matter. It’s just me bitching. But maybe there’s a lesson in here.

One of my short positions was (note the past tense) Macerich, symbol MAC. I was puzzled this morning to see I was stopped out, because on my spreadsheet, it showed a nice, healthy profit. But I had a sneaking suspicion what I was going to find out. And, sure enough, here’s the intraday chart:

1031-MAC

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How Times Have Changed

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One of my favorite little books is called Hey Skinny! Great Advertisements from the Golden Age of Comic Books, which pretty much describes the contents exactly. It is a hodgepodge of cheesy ads from the mid 1940s to late 1950s for all manner of junk, and it’s eye-opening to see via these come-ons just how much has changed in merchandising. I thought I’d provide a sampling for your amusement, not edification.

First up is the “Lucky Grab Bag”, in which children would send in their precious cash in exchange for a bag of……….stuff. God only knows what stuff would come back, but I suspect it was whatever overstock items happened to be laying around the office……..ballpoint pens, sanitary napkins, swizzle sticks. I suspect an entire generation of kids learned the meaning of disappointment from the receipt of these parcels o’ crap.

1020-grabgab

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He’s Got a Bomb

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This is going to be a weird post. But, come on, it’s totally dark outside, I’m standing here in my bare feet with my dogs looking at me, and you’re just……..sitting there. So who are you to judge?

I will set this up by recalling an X-Files episode from 1999 called Monday.The show is about people being stuck in a time loop in which they are all killed by a bomb used in a bank robbery. As the article explains, in part:

 To the audience, time itself is stuck in a loop. Everyone is oblivious to the repetition of events except for one person, Pam. Over multiple iterations of the events, Pam does everything in her power to save the agents, including trying to prevent them from entering the bank, trying to inform them of the time loop, and even begging Skinner not to let the police into the building. It is implied that she has lived these events many times, as she refers to having had Mulder ask her the same question over fifty times. There are subtle changes in the events, and Mulder and Scully’s conversation is worded differently each time, but the results are always the same: Bernard detonates the bomb, usually after shooting Mulder, and they all die. (more…)