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Archive for November, 2008

Or maybe he stated, a nickel borrowed is a five cents I don’t have to pay back to another country.  Something like that.  Gee, have learned some tough business lessons and personal ones too about loaning money to people.  Simply stated, never again.  Those that owe, you still owe and shame on you.  I shouldn’t have to come to you months and literally years later asking for it.

Ok, off my soap box for a few moments.  Tis the season (changing the subject).  With the holidays here, I’ll take the addage of one Mr. Benjamin Franklin and attempt to earn by saving.  Cutting corners and watching your pennies isn’t all that much a bad thing.  Unfortunately most Americans don’t do that.  So, my attempts this year and of course through the holiday season will hopefully make these poor economic times more bearable.  Black Friday is tomorrow and there should be some good sales.  I guess sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

Hopefully with the upcoming administration, a nickel saved, won’t be worth only a penny earned.

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It was nice to have a football program if for only but a day.  Notre Dame loses to an eight loss team for the first time in the history of the school!   Oh, Charlie Weis….ouch, see ya.  Hopefully Syracuse will hire a real head coach and reestablish the Orange as a perennial top 25 football team again in a couple of years.

Notre Dame laying a big egg

Notre Dame laying a big egg

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The new poker locale

Found a game not too too far from my new house.  I was referred by a friend and sat in at about 11pm.  Actually recognized one guy from highschool although we weren’t all that friendly back then.  But scouted out the competition and didn’t see anything dangerous.  Had I had some better cards, I feel I really could have run over the table, but played decently for a 385 win. 

These guys seem impatient, they play anything and are overall nice guys, but for the most part, nice guys finish last.  My favorite couple of hands from last night were the following:

The lucky hand – about 10 minutes in I limp in with A,9 off.  Like 7 callers and about $14 in the pot ($1-2NL).  Flop A,3,3.  I check and guy on my left bets $15.  Only I call.  Turn, a Q, deeming my kicker pretty much irrelevant.  I check, he bets a quarter, I make it $75 and he instashoves for about another $60 more.  Woops!  At this time, there’s already about $200 in the pot and if he does just have an Ace, we chop, but he likely has the “3”.  Lady luck brings me the Ace on the river and he mucks his hand in disgust and goes home.  Thanks man!

Quads.  I’m in the small blind and 6 limpers in.  I have 10,10 and just check.  Flop, 10,10,7.  Oh my.  Well, of course I check.  No one bets.  Turn, an 8, bring both a straight and flush draw.  I bet out $15 and actually get 3 callers.  River’s a Jack of clubs, meaning there’s a straight and likely more important a flush out there. I overbet the pot and bet a hundo (that’s American for $100).  Two players think and muck as do all others.  I take a smallish pot, but the two guys that thought, both said they folded straights.  Geez, hit their cards and muck.  Both tight players though.

Aces and Aces.  End of the night and I make it $20 under the gun with two black Aces.  Two callers and then SB makes it $120.  He’s got a grand behind (I have about 9 bills in front of me).  I elect to go all in to take it down there.  One guy really hms and haws and mucks (later stating he mucked KK), and another one folds.  SM instacalls and I immediately know he’s got the two red Aces.  He does and I immediately say, chop it up?  We both agree, but of course they run it out and three diamonds on the flop.  Scary, but we’d still have chopped.

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Moooooose…we’ll miss ya!

Who walks away on top?  What 60-something about to retire American walked away from the market when it hit 14,000?  Um, yeah.  So here we are…Mike Mussina about to announce his retirement from Major League Baseball today.  Here’s a classy guy, that played the game correctly, and going out on a high note posting three consecutive victories in a row in his final three starts to amass 20 wins at the age of (virtually) 40.  And now he’s hanging them up.

The perennial American League Cy Young candidate that everyone loved, signed with the Yanks eight years ago and has been solid ever since (and well before might I add).

And so he held up to the pressures of New York and performed year in year out barring one sub .500 season.  He wasn’t overly vocal but let his pitching do the talking.  A quiet leader.  He wasn’t a loud David Wells, Clemens or a dominant starter like Wang or Pettitte, but he produced.  Let’s face it, Yankees have signed some duds – Igawa, Pavano, Jeff Weaver, and lest not forget Kevin Brown…with whom I think the Yankees are still paying.

He’s likely not a Hall of Famer unless you consider Don Sutton, Kirby Puckett and the like are in there, but realistically he’s not.  He’ll go down as a Don Mattingly, Jim Rice with nice careers but not in.  270 wins and an ERA of 3.68 which should get him at least strong consideration considering a time of performance enhancing drugs and juiced balls.

His going out on top and not milking the Yankees for a 3 year deal at $7M per is a testament to his professionalism and likely a desire to be with family.  We’ll miss his consistency as the Yankees are assuredly going to pour money into at least two big name free agents and undoubtedly, one of them will be a Pavano-type bust (ahem, Burnett)….but maybe one (Sabathia?) will have a Moose like benefit.

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Corporate waste

I was checking out some investigative journalism this morning from Good Morning America.  Good stuff.  It shows the CEO’s of two of the three big auto manufacturers begging for bucks in one breath….then flying off in their corporate jets (at the tune of about $20,000 per flight) in another (thanks for the link Scott).  It’s comical in one instance…yet kind of pisses one or more off in another.  Oblivious.  It’s one thing to state – hey we’re in a bad place right now – quite another to say that and then prove they don’t deserve the funding.  Here’s hoping they don’t get what they ask for.  If they cannot run a viable business so be it.  Someone else will.

AIG is seemingly just as bad.  I understand the importance of ‘bailing out’ such entities, but then they show the lavish and posh boon-doggles and well, it does tick you off.  Again, other companies can do what they want…..they’re not there with their hands out….but if you’re going to ask for help…show you need it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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O’ my ‘Bama

A shade over 60 days until President-elect Obama becomes president.  He’s checking his list, checking it twice, gonna put Democrats in office all over.  Rumblings and discussions about working in the middle and discussions with McCain give the other side and some of us hope.  Hope that he’ll do the right things. 

Considering the bottom 60% of tax payers with incomes below $50K paid less than 1% of the federal income tax in 2006, while those Obama proposes pay even more (3.3% of the population) pays more than 58% of that same federal tax bill….I’m still perplexed that rebates are still going to go to the bottom 60%.  A true life Robin Hood.  The economics are such though that it’s not feasible for Obama to pay for his health insurance plans, increasing foreign aid or other expansions he’s proposing.  My guess is that the tax increase will sift down from the $250K income levels down to the $200K, 150K and even $100K.  It’s the only possible way to fund all of these programs.

Let’s hope income tax rates don’t exceed 40%….capital gains %’s don’t exceed 20%, Obama supports free trade as Clinton, Kennedy and Carter did and that 401(k) system remains in place (apparantly there have been talks in Congress to end the retirement plan eligibility.

Again, I’m more than happy to ‘hope’ Obama is a great president.  He’s being claimed the great savior, the next Lincoln/Kennedy (enter great president here).  But let’s not lose site that capitalism works and continuing to penalize those that make it work, simply tears down a good system.

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It gets earlier and earlier every year.  This year however it’s kind of ridiculous, seeing holiday decorations up at most retailers.  This year will be one of the wildest, scariest, and turbulent of holiday season.  With American pocketbooks clentch, close to their respective owners, how much we’ll be spending this year is a mystery.  Black Friday, the end all be all of shopping days is only but 10 days away…however, retailers have gotten scared and moved up their Black Friday sales to now.  Electronics figure to be the least expensive ever, and no doubt there will be other phenomenal buys.

I think if the stock market picks back up in the next week (say to 9,000), it’ll be a white Xmas, otherwise, doom-n-gloom.

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