Saturday, May 26, 2012

Can't say I remember this one.............

Music Machine...............................................Talk Talk

Blog headers as an art form.................


As a continuing public service to fans of the Mighty E., let me
offer a few more examples of Doug's art (for more go here,
here, herehere, or here). Long may he blog!




































Lessons learned....................

Scott Dinsmore offers twenty "uncommon lessons" learned while spending a weekend listening to Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger - here.  Lessons #2 and #19 here:


2. Don’t expect people to change. Berkshire Hathaway owns over 70 businesses. They buy a few more every year. But they only buy ones they won’t have to improve (contrary to what happens in acquisitions elsewhere). They’ve realized how futile is to try to changes others’ behavior. We love to paint a rosy picture that things will be better after some special event happens (an acquisition, a marriage, kids, a move, a new job, whatever), but for the most part, how people act is out of our control. Make sure the people you surround yourself with are the right fit from the beginning.


19. Stop saving up sex for old age. This is my all-time favorite analogy. Working a job you hate, just to build up a resume to hopefully do something you enjoy later on, is just like saving up sex for old age. There is no sense in waiting. If you’re going to build your resume, then build it with things you enjoy, or better yet, take the steps to start doing things you are excited about, with people you admire, right now. There is no waiting. Happiness not spent today does not equal more happiness tomorrow.

Amendments..................

                                      Amendment III
     No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

The Aleph Blog...............

Some interesting quotes from interesting posts from David Merkel's interesting blog:


On systematic dangers:
"When an economic system is overleveraged, with leverage that is layered, such that a domino effect can occur, small failures can have disproportionate results.  It is almost like the economic system during the bull phase self-organizes for the largest possible failure.  (Note: self-organizing systems do not always optimize for the long term.  Think: what other ideas could that invalidate?)"


On thinking harder:
"Now, I am not a disciple of Dr. Shiller, I disagree with him on many issues, Trills for an example.  When Shiller talks, odds are 50-50 that I agree, which makes him interesting to me, unlike Bernanke and Krugman who I almost always disagree with, and James Grant and Caroline Baum, who I almost always agree with.  Someone who agrees with me and disagrees with me equally is interesting, because he makes me think harder."


On genuine expertise:
"A large part of what makes hedge fund managers successful is their willingness to limit their activity to areas where they have genuine expertise.  They gain insight beyond most into areas where they are experts in discerning value."


On rules:

The trouble is this: during boom times, it is virtually impossible to get regulators to oppose politicians who are being lobbied by financial services organizations when they are making gobs of money, and it all seems riskless, as the bubble expands.  This is endemic to human nature; it is politically impossible to oppose booms.  I for one wrote extensively about the coming housing bust, but all I received was derision.  I wrote about the blowup coming in subprime residential mortgage bonds, but all I got was a yawn.
So, unless we get a new set of regulators that are willing to be junkyard dogs, I don’t care what laws we put in place.  Laws are only as good as those that are willing to enforce them.

Apps...................


Abe...................


"In the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Stephen A. Douglas accused
Abraham Lincoln of being two-faced.
     'I leave it to you, my friends,' Lincoln retorted, turning
toward his audience.  'If I had two faces, would I be wearing
this one?'"
-James C. Humes, The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln

image courtesy of

Friday, May 25, 2012

And the B-side was Gentleman Joe's Sidewalk Cafe

Status Quo..................Pictures of Matchstick Men

Happy Birthday Kate.............
















My sister.  At various times my playmate, my guide,  my teacher, 
my traveling companion, my mentor,  my inspiration.  Always  
there.  Always available.  Always my friend.  Thanks Kate.     
Happy Birthday!

Just as a reminder.............

The glass is half full...................

Those pesky "markets"...............

The Aleph Blog offers a cautionary post for all those really-too-big-to-
fail financial institutions.  Two excerpts:


"The problem with becoming large relative to the market, is that you begin distorting the price signals of the market.  If you have a large long position and the price starts to fall, it is easy to justify purchases, because your internal model indicates that it is cheap.  But every model has weaknesses, consider the examples listed above.  Anytime you get a large fraction of the market’s volume, you should stop, and re-evaluate.  You’re probably doing something wrong.

"Markets by their nature invite diversity, and do not admit anyone to dominate them except under abnormal circumstances.
"What’s my point here?  Twofold: one, rapid growth in financial institutions is rarely a good thing; it usually means that an error has been made.  Two, there is a barrier in many financial decisions, where responsible parties are loath to cry foul until it is way past obvious, because the cost of being wrong is high."

Amendments.........................

                                     Amendment II
     A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed..

On thinking............



































Recognizing truth when I read it............

"Perhaps recovery - when it comes - will be the result of people just doing stuff. Creating new businesses, innovating or just adapting to changed circumstances without much reference to the Big Leaders who will continue to pretend to know everything when they know nothing."
-Richard Fernandez


thanks maggie's

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nothing to hide........................

Syndicate of Sound............................................Little Girl

The Secret........................



















thanks Todd

Don't mess with Abe................

     "At one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Senator Stephen Douglas sarcastically referred to Lincoln's lowly beginnings.  He allowed that his first meeting with Lincoln had been across the counter of a general store where liquor was sold.  Douglas finally ended his remarks by saying, 'And Mr. Lincoln was a very good bartender too.'
     "A roar of laughter erupted at this, but it quieted down considerably when Mr. Lincoln answered, 'What Mr. Douglas has said, gentlemen, is true enough; I did keep a grocery, and I did sell cotton, candles, and cigars, and sometimes whiskey; but I remember those days that Mr. Douglas was one of my best customers.  Many a time have I stood on one side of the counter and sold whiskey to Mr. Douglas on the other side, but the difference between us now is that I have left my side of the counter, but Mr. Douglas still sticks to his as tenaciously as ever.'"
-James C. Humes, The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln

Disliking Facebook..............



From Spengler:
"To the extent that social media become a substitute for unpredictable interaction with real human beings with something real at stake, Facebook and its imitators diminish us."


full post is here

Amendments.................

                                     Amendment I
     Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; of abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That vision thing..................


Looks like a simple lunch break for the steelworkers.  Hey!  Wait a minute.  That's an impossible building.

more fun with optical illusions here