Random thoughts about my interests which include (in no particular order) poker, finance & investing, politics, football and whatever else I happen to see that piques my interest

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A little this and that

Sorry about the dearth of posts and posting material, I just haven't had much to talk about.  Work and the stock market have been my main focus lately, I've been too broke to play poker much except a little online and y'all don't want to hear about that anyway as it's been a series of AA losing to AK off due to a four flush etc.  Everyday I when I get home from work the last thing I want to do is think of a post and write it up.  I don't even have a title for this post, hopefully I'll think of one before the end of writing this one.  I have kept up on my various blog readings and even commented on a few of them.  You lucky souls know who you are. 

Which gets me to the first thing I wanted to mention.  Texting, twitter and the like are causing the death of English as we know it.  Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem with the occasional common abbreviation in a post.  I've used a few myself.  And I also understand that some people use twitter and such alot and it carries over.  But people if you're writing a blog post, try to at least write in a recognized language.  The Poker Grump posted a portion of a blog post from some guy named Tony TBC and when I tried to read the post I had to stop and reread twice just to understand what the guy was saying.  I'm not gonna repost it here nor will I debate the merits of pushing KK into an Ace high flop, but really guys, are we that text and twitter dependent that we can't blog our thoughts in complete sentences?  Far be it from me to be the arbiter of blogging but reading blog posts like that is too hard.  Like reading them in French or Spanish.  I could do that but why, it would take me too long to figure out what the guy is saying.  Unless this guy is the twitter version of e e cummings, I don't get it.  And I really don't want to feel like I'm reading the mind of a guy tweaking on meth. 

After my last post, I felt pretty smart when I went into work the next Monday to see a number of stocks I talked about go up on great news.  National Oilwell Varco (NOV) announced a contract with Brazilian oil giant PBR for $1.5 billion and the stock went up over $3 that day.  Transocean (RIG)announced a merger with Aker Drilling of Norway and was up about $2.  I had talked to my wife that Research in Motion (symbol RIMM - makers of Blackberry phones) needed to think about maybe merging with either Nokia or Motorola Mobility as they are just getting crushed by the both Apple's Iphones and the Android based phones from HTC, Samsung, etc.  I had predicted a few months before that RIMM would see $30/share long before $45/share again.  This was when RIMM was over $38.  RIMM was down under $25 after that.  Monday morning Google announces a merger with Motorola.  I felt so smart and also soooo dumb for not getting any of these stocks before this happened.

Fortunately the market felt my pain.  Down a number of times since then.  RIG was up, down, down some more and I got to pull the trigger on it at $50.60 per share.  Money in the bank I hope.  RIG closed at $53.12 so I'm up about 5% so far.  Oil is going to be tricky to play in the near term I think.  With Libya possibly coming back into production and oil already down from it's summer highs by a fair amount I think the short term trend for oil is down.  If Libya starts producing again.  Not a bad thing by and large as the rest of the economy should do better with lower oil prices.  So now may not be the best time to pick an oil retailer like Exxon Mobil (soon though if the price heads lower) nor to pick a more marginal service company like say Weatherford International.  But NOV and RIG are among the tops in services.  And the companies that order from them think in much longer time frames than 6 months or a year.  Oil fields need to be developed and the lag time on large equipment orders means companies are not going to want to cancel an order and go to the back of the line when oil prices take a down turn. 

Oil prices are still going back up, lower prices now mean people have more to spend on other things besides gas for the cars,  world economies improve,  companies hire more, demand goes up, oil consumption goes back up, oil prices go back up.  I haven't seen too many dinosaurs lately so it's doubtful oil is being created at a rate fast enough to replace what we're using.  Oil prices may go down but unless some new cheap form of energy is presented to us that achieves world wide acceptance quickly, the price of oil is going back up again.  Anyone ready for "To Serve Man"?  There won't be an oil price collapse a la the 1980s, not unless a world wide depression happens soon.   Just don't see that, at least not yet. 

I was kicking myself a little bit after selling some of my holdings in AUY and AUQ and seeing them both go up another $1 per share but then gold prices went through a bit of consolidation and fell almost 200 an ounce which caused all the gold miners to go down with them.  So I don't feel as bad.  Unfortunately they didn't go down enough for me to rebuy and they went up strong the last 2 days.  So I'm glad I bought RIG instead. 

Did anyone catch the finals of American Ninja Warrior on NBC last weekend?  I was surprised to see it on national television but it goes to show how much more mainstream Ninja Warrior has become.  It apparently got good ratings for a Sunday night in the summer show.  I've been watching the original Ninja Warrior for years and always enjoy new ones whenever they come on.  Fascinating to see these guys, some just regular no name people who want to compete in this.  One guy is in the military and has been competing on his vacation for the last few years.  This year he finally made it and got to go to Japan.  Did pretty well there too.  Unfortunately none of the guys went all the way but one got close.  It's just so hard to complete stage 3.  I can't wait for the new Japanese episodes to air on G4TV.

I'm currently watching some High School football on tv while I write.  South Panola Mississippi vs Hoover Alabama.  Hoover is a perennial football power in Alabama and is often nationally ranked by USA Today.  South Panola is nationally ranked this year while Hoover isn't (they are 15th in the southeast rankings) but Hoover is winning right now 3-0.  ESPN is showing a bunch of high school games pitting top programs from different states against each other and sometimes in state rivals against each other.  Last night Armwood HS of Tampa, usually a state powerhouse and ranked 9th nationally this year went to Vegas (without me) and took down Bishop Gorman who was ranked 11th nationally.  I heard on the radio that some of the offshore betting sites were offering lines on these games and Armwood was a 7.5 point dog.  But they've played in few of these games on ESPN before and they took the win.  Looks a bit hot there in Alabama for these games.  They are playing at Hoover who has a pretty big stadium apparently and they just played another game before this one there as well.  I enjoy the games and also watch the refs to see if I can see what they see. 

Wow Hoover has taken the ball all the way from inside their 5 down to Panola's 5.  Almost got to see the Umpire run over on that last play.  Hoover has been moving the ball on a few quick slant passes and they just faked a pass, the umpire stepped up to cover the line of scrimmage and the QB ran into the hole his line created and almost creamed the umpire as did one of the guys chasing him.  That's what I fear most as an umpire.  It's often not the running back, who can see you and avoid you, but the guys chasing him.  They are focused on the runner and might see you at the last second when the runner cuts sharply and they can't.  Or they hit the runner into you and everyone goes down in a heap.  They got pads, I don't.  The other thing that worries me is having someone get blocked into my legs, especially from behind.  That happened to me in one game.  A running play went to my right.  I turned to follow the play and a guy behind me got blocked and fell right across the back of my legs.  At the time my left knee had a partially torn ACL and I spin wrong or plant it sometimes and have it start to buckle.  So as soon as I felt this guy hit my legs I thought "Oh shit there goes the knee."  I didn't feel any pain though when he rolled off.  The head ref stops the game and comes running over as I got up rather shakily and tested my knees.  Surprisingly there wasn't any damage.  I got lucky.  I've seen a few refs not get so lucky, one of them had to go to the hospital. 

Last weekend I went down to Manatee County to do a scrimmage for Bradenton Bayshore high school.  The coach asked for us to send down some refs so he could run scrimmages with his 1st and 2nd teams and get his players ready to work refereed games.  We didn't call it really tight but called all the obvious stuff.  It was HOT even though we started in the morning.  Of course August in Florida is not known as a particularly cool month.  No major issues, though the play was a bit rough and out of sync sometimes but better than I expected.  I banged one kid for a couple of holding calls as he kept getting his hands outside the defender's frame and holding him while blocking.  But no one ran me over, only one play got a little antsy and afterward the coach asked us all to talk to the team and let them know what we saw, which was good to let the kids know what we are looking for and where they need to improve. 

Finally I want to comment on women in poker.  Josie had a post about her recent experiences at Foxwoods and what she had to deal with in her tourney.  I know the Poker Queen has had moments in tourneys as well.  She was surprised when I told her that some guys feel threatened by a woman at the poker table.  Some just cannot deal with losing to a woman and so when they see a woman doing well, they will do anything to get rid of her.  Poker also has its share of angle shooters and it seems Josie ran across one.  The one thing I can tell Josie is to ignore these guys and make them pay at some point.  But don't go out of your way to do that.  You play your normal game, you make them face you when you're comfortable, and you take them out.  I know the wife has been last woman left in a number of tourneys and it seems all the guys are trying to take her out.  It's not all of them I know but all it takes is a couple who always raise your blinds and it feels like all of them are ganging up on you.  The second thing I would have told Josie is that anytime someone feels he needs to yell at you, you get the floor over there and get his ass warned.  And if the first guy you call over won't do it, keep calling guys over until you get someone over who will.  Abusing another player, and yelling is abuse, is not allowed at any decent place I've been to.  I've caught a couple of dealer mistakes myself so I know they happen.  That one was too late to correct by the time it happened if the floor wasn't willing to go to video.  I'd have been royally pissed if it had happened to me as well but short of taking the asshole outside and whipping his ass, hard to do when you're 5 foot nothing weighing a hundred and nothing and hanging with the best college football team in the land.  Oops, got distracted there.  Anyway, outside of being mad and frustrated, the only thing she could have done after that was to go to the floor and tell them she wanted them to review the video on that table and not let that dealer work anything until she got better training.  No consolation to her after the fact I'm sure.  I know one time I did have the Hard Rock go to video to correct an error but that was a table game so there wasn't a tourney clock or anything.

Well enough for now.   Maybe I should post more often so I can have fewer topics to post on at once.  Or maybe not.  Oh one last thing.  I hope all of you up in NY and New England are battening down the hatches for a little blow.  Irene should only be a category 1 when it hits but there will still be a lot of rain, a good bit of wind, some flooding, and the possibility of tornados to boot.  Nothing but fun there.  Everybody watch out.  Amazingly I have never been through a major hurricane even though I've lived in Florida for 24 years now.  Something about the currents and winds and the shape of the state here makes Tampa Bay an unlikely hurricane landfall.  Had a number come close and brush by to the west or hit south of here.  Charley in 2004 was supposed to hit directly on Tampa Bay but took a right turn and hit Ft Myers about 2 hours south of here.  Charley was a strong category 4 hurricane but not a big one in size so we got some wind and rain but nothing worse than tropical storm strength.  And that's what we usually get.  The last big hurricane that actually hit here was in 1921 if you can believe that.  Hell Rhode Island got lambasted in 1938 and 1954 (twice, one at low tide so not bad flooding) and 1985 was fairly strong as well.  Apparently there is more of a chance of being hit by a bad hurricane in New England than in Tampa.  Stay safe up there and stay lucky.


lightning36 said...

You realize that your two most recent posts out-Hoy Hoyazo? Mannnnnnnnn ... lol.

The Neophyte said...

They were that good? Thanks Lightning. I think.

Memphis MOJO said...

I bought 100 shares of GG and feel good about it.

The Neophyte said...

They are supposed to be the best of the big miners and if Chris Barker believes in them, I'm sold. I've done very well with Aurico Gold since reading his take on them.