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Selective color fun!

Selective color

Ahh it has been a while.  On some of the boards that I visit, people have started showing off their selective color photography skills, and here is my most recent attempt.  Basically all one is doing is creating a black and white layer over the original color picture and then allowing a selected area of color to show through.  Here is a link to the tutorial that I use:  http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/pselements/ss/partialcolor.htm.

Damn you Apple!!!

financial.jpgSomeone could make a lot of money shorting the stocks that I buy. So I was in the market for a good, tech stock for my Roth IRA. Apple, 20% off of its 52 week high, seemed like a prime candidate. All indications pointed to a stellar quarter, and Cramer seemed to like it as well (mistake #1). So I rang the register and then, BAM, the market tanks like a rock. Wait…earnings are right around the corner, and hey, they did awesome!!! Wait…no….not THAT….their guidance for 08 is not good. NOOOOOO….there go all the shareholders, dumping the stock and dropping the price like a BIGGER rock. So here I am, -15% on my purchase. Thankfully, my time horizon is far off in the future, so I’m not too worried. Still, if I posted my purchases here, someone could make big bucks going to their broker and saying “Short this stock!!! Chris just bought it!!!”.

Super Bowl XLII Set!

football.jpgWell the Super Bowl is set and it looks like it will be a rematch from the regular season *ZZZZ*. The good thing is that the Giants gave the Pats a pretty good game, and I so desperately want to see New England finish 18-1, just so I can call my sister-in-law and rub it in until next year. The AFC Championship game was a real snooze fest, while the NFC game was actually compelling. Green Bay just could NOT move the ball in the second half, and once Tynes (Giants kicker) was given three shots at winning the game, one was finally put through. I guess I now need to get a “Seubert #69” jersey in support of my relative (well, 3rd cousin to my dad) on the Giants. Sadly, he was injured during the game….let’s hope he is ok in two weeks for the big game.

The price of TRIM!

hammer.jpgNevermind that the price of gold and oil is skyrocking, what is this country going to do about the price of TRIM!?! All I wanted to do was wrap two pass-through entries to my kitchen, and I come out of Home Depot with a bill of $150!?! Who knew trim would cost so much??? One of the presidential candidates needs to address this on his or her platform (perhaps Ron Paul could do it, he apparently does everything else if one is to believe the internet).

financial.jpg

Well now that a new year is upon us, it is time to re-examine my investment strategy.  In the past I have been sticking to ETFs due to my lack of time to really do my homework on individual stocks.  This year however, I plan to put more time (and money) into my discretionary portfolio and come up with a set of five core stocks.  I will admit, one is an ETF (ADRE) which will give me my international “flavor”.  Right now, for the other four, I am leaning toward one tech, one agriculture, one oil, and one consumer stock.  I have been listening to Cramer lately (for better or worse) and I am leaning toward adding Google (GOOG), Monsanto (MON), Transocean (RIG), and Pepsi (PEP).  These are up for debate right now, and I will be continuing my research, but these really seem to be “best in class” in each of the categories.  The market seems to in a fall as of late, so I may wait until the weakness is complete before adding these positions.  If I go for a sixth, it may be some sort of gold play due to our dollar issues, as next year it seems like more of the same.

Rose Bowl = UGH!

illavatar.gifWow that was one ugly game. I’ve never seen so many bounces go one way in my life. Of course it doesn’t help that all the lllini had butter on their hands and couldn’t hold onto the ball. Sadly, now I need to go face “Michigan fan” tomorrow who will be so excited that they actually won a bowl game. I was surprised that they beat Florida, but it does make one wonder….how come they couldn’t do that all year long.

Happy Christmas!

christmas.jpgHappy Christmas to all! Tis’ the season for family visiting, and eating way too much food. I did come across a very good toffee recipe from the web site www.cookingforengineers.com. It was a perfect recipe with temperatures and times all laid out in “science-speak”. Good stuff….I’m sure Alton Brown would love it. Does anyone else do the “alternating visits” thing between families on Christmas? It is nice, as you are not subjected to the same family drama every year (you simply alternate BETWEEN family dramas). I can’t imagine doing it if both families were out of state though. That would be way too much traveling for me.