Slope of Hope Blog Posts

This is the heart and soul of the web site. Here we have literally tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. You can also click on any category icon to see posts tagged with that particular category.

The Final Blow

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I have sad news to share with everyone. Our beloved brother-in-arms, Bruno de Landevoisin, has passed to the eternal realm. For those of you who don’t know to whom I’m referring, Bruno was a very long-time member of the Slope community, writing more posts here than anyone except myself, and doing so with a fastidious attention to detail. He went by many names – – Idiot Wind, BDI (which meant “Bob Dylan Idiot”, since he was a huge fan) – -but we all knew him as the loveable Frenchman, descended from royalty, who was a tireless and lovingly combative member of this community

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An Occasional Pisser

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Allow me to grumble a moment. In the course of trading today, my trading computer unexpectedly “dinged”, and I saw I was just stopped out of Morgan Stanley (MS). This didn’t make sense to me. I glanced at my spreadsheet, and my stop price was miles away from the price. However, there was a momentary and inexplicable spike in trading. I expect this kind of nonsense with thinly-traded issues, but not the likes of Morgan Stanley. I got back in, but I was pissed. I took a loss on the former position, and I paid a worse price for the new one. I have no point here. It just bugs the hell out of me.

What a Bizarre Day

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Time for an anecdote. Because some days deserve it. This one certainly does.

And by “day”, I don’t mean “Sunday” or “Monday.” I really mean the period between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon. That 24 hour block. Because there was a lot compressed into it.

To set the scene: I had spent the last several days in Kansas City, Missouri. As with virtually all my destinations, it was not particularly by choice, although the city does have a few charms of its own. During my time there, at which I was accompanied by my family, the firestorms in California were all over the news. The entire state was shrouded by a thick layer of unhealthy smoke.

One of my beloved children and I were slated to head back early, on Sunday evening, abandoning the rest of the family. My wife insisted that the aforementioned child stay away from the smoke, and she strongly encouraged, almost to the point of insistence, that I remain as well. However, I really wanted to get back home, smoke be damned. I wanted to get back to my computers, my screens, my dogs, and my super-high speed Internet. I would see the family soon enough. (more…)

Nyquil Driver

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Well, I was ready to head home, but the darlings at Southwest cancelled a ton of flights, so I am driving allllllllllll the way up the great state of California. Thanks, Southwest! I’ve been having heavy duty blogger’s guilt (mercifully, it is Sunday), but I wanted to at least explain where I’ve been. And I’m about 60% of the way there, currently in the Central Valley where the smell of cowshit saturates the air.

Great Moments in Product Design

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I’m traveling now (you can guess why), and as often happens during these trips, I encountered a bit of a nuisance that merits a post. Frankly, after yesterday’s post, I’m sort of out of big ideas, so why not an anecdote!

For decades now, I’ve had a book on my shelf called The Psychology of Everyday Things. (they renamed it the Design of Everyday Things to makes its content more obvious, but frankly, I prefer the original title, particularly since it makes the lyrical acronym of POET). The book describes at length good and bad design in everyday objects, such as doorknobs, signs, switches, and so forth. It’s a light, fascinating read which tunes you in to the surrounding world better.

I was reminded of it soon after I got our rental car here. I got a minivan, not because of its sex appeal, but because we have a lot of humans and gear to deal with. It was an extremely new 2019 Dodge Caravan. In fact, it had 3 miles on it, so I was its first occupant. I figured it would have all kinds of new, spiffy features. But I wasn’t after anything new or spiffy. I just needed to plug my phone in for a charge, since it was just about dead and I needed to navigate. (more…)

What a Ride……….

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Well, THAT was something, wasn’t it?

I’d like to recount the past 24 hours for me. Just a way for me to share some thoughts, for whatever they may be worth. Perhaps there are some insights buried in these words for others so that it’s not just a self-absorbed narrative.

As regular readers know, I had taken on the decidedly un-Tim-like stance of turning bullish. To be precise, last week I reduced my short positions from 90 to 30, increased my long positions from 0 to 4, and had reduced my overall exposure from 300%+ to 135%. In short, I was ending the week with much lower risk, much lower opportunity, and an eye toward a bounce.

I was eagerly awaiting the open on Sunday. I kept scanning the news, and there was nothing particularly market-moving going on, with the exception of the radical-right nut job winning the Brazilian Presidency, which was actually kind of bullish. Even ZH couldn’t seem to find anything really big to worry about. (more…)

Will Chart for Booze

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In Mountain View, just off the Shoreline exit and the Google campus, is a dive bar called the Sports Page. Now if you know anything about me, you understand that, first, I have absolutely no interest in sports, and second, I’m not the kind of hang out in dive bars. However, it just so happens that Sports Page is across the street from the Tesla Supercharger, so I like to hang out a bit in the bar with my crappy Dell laptop while my Model S is charging. A Blue Moon and some charts is a nice way to pass the time.

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Achieving the Impossible

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From time to time, I mention a disease I have that doesn’t seem to affect most people. It’s called “Blogger’s Guilt”. I feel an insatiable need to create content and tools for you.

Most other sites – – and I could name them, but some of them are ostensibly my friends, so I won’t – –  get away with maybe three posts a week and no tools at all. I, on the other hand:

  • Generate about 100 posts a week;
  • Have given you the greatest comments system in existence;
  • Have built the best charting platform on the web

And yet still I drive myself to do more. Every day. Even weekends. Into the night.

Having offered up an ungodly number of incredible ideas lately, I feel I am entitled to giving myself a two hour break. So I will do that. Because, as you can see below, it’s been a busy day.

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To Boldly Go…..

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There is no product of media that has had more influence in my life than the original Star Trek series. I watched the show incessantly as a child via reruns, but it has been a long time since I’ve really spent time watching the episodes in detail. Having done so recently, the experience is naturally an enormous contrast with what I experienced as a kid.

The special effects are obviously quite primitive, the technology references are woefully outdated, and the writing is uneven, varying from superb to absolutely awful.

The biggest shock for me, however, was the sex. It’s EVERYWHERE in the show. Easily one-third of the episodes are almost entirely driven by some kind of love interest, and it isn’t just Kirk. Most of the male crew members have got it goin’ on at some point or another with human women, alien women, green-skinned women, and even robots (that look like women).

I’m sure I spent far more time om this than I should have, but………….. (more…)