All posts for the month November, 2006

We return refreshed from Thanksgiving in thankless LA with more than turkey under our belt, but a few things learned as well!

– Do not enter the Alterdimension of Wedding Preparation wantonly. Trying to balance our desire for a humble affair with my parents' desire for a sort of go-for-broke-extravaganza-cum-Chinese-cash-machine was a hopeless venture, as if taking the back-end of a No. 2 to the indelible Dorian Gray. I'll end up kowtowing to a much more showy affair… literally.

– Daniel Craig fuckin' rocks as the new James Bond. He's got equal parts soccer thug, rapier wit, and loyalist to the crown, making him the most British of the Bonds. The Bond girls this time are top notch too, the Tanqueray Ten to Brosnan & Co's Tanqueray. Pay the man some respect and go watch Layer Cake if you haven't already.

– The Wii is being marketed in a completely new way. I stood at Target watching the infomercial? trying to decide if they were selling a game console or a sonic toothbrush. The very fact that I hated the approach probably means they'll tap into a geriatric mother lode of casual gamers.

– Democrats may be a good change for Congress, but they're stopping at nothing to be a disaster on the economy. Between the populist minimum wage promises that really affect only 5% of the workforce (mostly part-time teens), the complete avoidance of the Alternative Minimum Tax law (which you'll learn about very soon if you didn't get surprised by it already), the lowering of mortgage interest rates (are they nuts?), and their simultaneous insistence on Republicans balancing tax cuts with budgets cuts while their own tax cuts are being paid by the ghost of Christmas past, we're in for trouble. But that's ok, since they get to blame it on Bush's expensive war, you know the one that made us forget about Clinton's social security scam?

A wild week eh?

First, a tumultuous launch, raucous and powerful as fans braved BB gun attacks and fisticuffs to lay their hands on the PS3, showing that the hardcore gamers who sip in the absinthe of the Sony brand name chase the rarest fairy of all. And my were they rewarded! Queue heroes of Japan, facing the Marxist raffle system that was sure to placate even the most mannered repressed society on earth, were not so lucky. The mere 80,000 grails stamped for that country were brilliantly cornered by rich business men hiring swarms of Chinese immigrants to infiltrate the line. At one department store, all twenty of the first PS3s went to proud, happy octogenerians who spoke not a whit of Japanese, and gave ecstatic stares when asked what games they were going to buy.

Then, the storm wept itself out, a wink of time passed, and the lines formed again for the Wii, this time with grandmothers instead of gangsters, kids instead of their pushers, and the horizon beamed with hope. People brought goodies and Nintendo paraphenalia out to appease this teletubby crowd, but it was all in vain. As the eleventh hour faded, a man dressed as Mario purchased the first Wii, turned to the press that was broadcasting the perfect launch across the world… and broke into an insipid lullaby that will cement the uncool factor of the Nintendo fanboy for all eternity. So say we all. So say we all.

Yet I must say, as the first launch I hadn't waited in line for something for, I do wish I had at least driven past a line. I would have liked to wait those long morning hours vicariously, and from the comfort of my heated leather seats and loyal crate of In-N-Out offerings. But I think I shall watch this war from afar. I will bide my time. I am, after all, a PC gamer at heart, neither impressed by the graphics of the PS3, nor by the lackluster lasting appeal of Nintendo's minigames. On Gamasutra, we see that price is an overwhelming factor for most people. It is for me. And the gambit I shall make, my quinceaƱera into next-gen, will be this amazing Amazon deal. It begins!

Mark Twain says:

"The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right."

It's time for my first year-end review of how my portfolios are doing. I hope this introspective proves interesting for readers, because, as I've garnered from other financial blogs, it will certainly be useful for me to consolidate my experiences into one critical place.

So I'll chomp my surrogate cigar, a slab of delicious Robertson Farm's beef jerky straight from Oklahoma, and get a rollin'! Know-nothing investor a-go-go! …

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