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January 8, 2000
a year ago
two years ago


Blissful sleep.

I slept in very late, only waking up when it was too light to go back to sleep and I wanted to face the day. That took some doing after the last few days, but I managed it. John was up already, so, I made Irish steel-cut oatmeal. He also told me that he had set up his laptop to connect to the Internet so that I could do my stock analysis.

I really needed to look up all the stocks that Montauk had bought us, and find out some company fundamentals about the stocks to see if there were any that were worth keeping. So I methodically went through every single stock and did fundamental research on all of them. One of the really great things about Charles Schwab's online research area is their stock analyst step-by-step set up, which includes an entire section on fundamentals. The best part about it is that they actually compare sales, income, sales growth, income growth, profit margin, and debt for every single company against the averages of every company in their industry. So it is a very quick and visual method for comparison against the pack that they are running in.

Charles Schwab's online area, however, isn't all that good at presenting all the fundamental numerical data for every single stock I look at, so I also went to Yahoo! and looked up specific numerical data off of various company profiles. There were a few things that they didn't cover as well, so I went to The Motley Fool to look up a few other things as well. The interesting thing was finding that the quick comparison on Charles Schwab's fundamentals page had a direct correlation with the performance of the stocks we have seen and held. Those which actually lead in their field seem to do much better than those who don't compare as well against the average.

It's very interesting to apply the unemotional method of numerical comparison to the something that seems to be so driven by emotions, and find a direct correlation with something that seems so simple. I may have to track all the stocks that I seem to find at the lead of their packs, and see if the long-term returns have any correlation with any of the numerical data as well. I am somewhat hopeful of the price to sales ratios and some kind of indicator of future growth in stock price.

It made for a very data-intense morning. The oatmeal was very good, and John chopped a few extra macademia nuts to mix in with the brown sugar and fruit. He also went off to dump all the recyclables at the recycling center while I was working through all this information. I am tracking about a dozen different stocks, and wanted more information on all of them in order to make some decisions on what to buy once we sell the stocks we are unhappy with from the broker buys.

I spent the entire afternoon watching football. It was an afternoon very well spent. Especially the end of the Tennessee vs. Buffalo game, what a complete heartbreaker!

I really enjoy the contained and controlled violence of American football. With so many hundreds of plays, all done at the peak of aggressive behavior, it seems such an amazing thing that it is all contained within the rigid structure of a play. There are a few extracurricular incidents of violence around the game, and within it, but they are, on the most part, instantly penalized and the exception rather than the rule, no matter what the media focuses on. In many ways I see it as one of the last outlets for glory.

Perhaps it is the same type of edge that my two-edged sword of capability leans on, the energy level that has to be so very high yet also focused and contained within constructive boundaries. Glory or shame, aggressive gains or embarrassing penalties are only separated by choice and action. So it fascinates me, and entertained me all day, though the afternoon game was far more uneven than the morning game. I am glad that the Redskins have made it to the next round. I have cheered for them since 1982, when I used to watch them with Mike Kilby. I'm glad that they are doing well again, though it took some time.

I also took half an hour sometime in the middle of all the football to play some Crash Team Racing. I had actually promised that I wouldn't do anything with my hands, but I didn't think that half an hour would do any damage. I don't think it did, but I won't really know until Monday. I am aware that my time online talking with people actually does far more damage to my hands than any coding or writing I might do. I guess I really should do something about the fact that I am aware of that, but sometimes I really need the company, even of serial ghosts only visible in bit streams glowing on my monitor. At least the ghosts are motivated by living interests.

Dinner was an attempt to clear out a little room in the freezer. I used some of the frozen sausages from Fezzik's birthday party, a slab of frozen chicken breast, and a handful of frozen shrimp to make some jambalaya using some of the spices I bought in New Orleans. I reheated some of the Hopping John and microwaved some peas, and the three, in combination, tasted really wonderful together. The heat of the jambalaya contended well with the smoky mildness of the beans and the sweetness of the peas. John was really happy with the entire dinner, and it was so easy to put together that I probably should do it more often and clear more of the freezer out. I basically browned the sausage, and then browned the chicken in the drippings. The rice went in next along with all the spices and they were toasted a little until they were fragrant. A little chicken broth and a lot of water was then added along with the handful of shrimp and the whole cooked until everything was absorbed by the rice. Yum.

While we ate, John found The Fifth Element playing on TV. I really love that movie, and enjoyed watching it all over again. It is beautiful, with some of my favorite action/cyberpunk style elements, and the character-based ending. So I had fun watching it all again.

John worked on the exercise bike, as it had developed some kind of odd sound the last few rides. He took the whole thing apart in the middle of the livingroom, found that one of the pully wheels was out of alignment, so he bent it into the right shape and then put it all back together again. When he had it completely together, he got on it and started riding it. It is now completely silent. Very, very keen. I have to admire the fact that he believed he could fix it and believed enough to actually just do it. I was thinking, hey, if it's put together wrong and it's under warrantee, shouldn't they just take it and fix it? But this way we don't have to wait for it to get fixed and we can still use it.

We went to sleep fairly soon after he showered, as we have an early morning in front of us if we're to get Fezzik to the Mesa.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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