Monday, September 17, 2007

Arrivederci and Stocks

Tomorrow morning, QB and I are off to Italy. Neither of us has ever been, so it's going to be quite an adventure. And, since we're going to do the trip on our own and not as part of some large tour group, it might get a bit nuts at times. I guess we'll see.

We'll start out in Rome. After a few nights there, we'll spend one night each in Naples and Siena. Then, it's Florence for a three nights, and then Bologna, Venice, and Milan. I'm pretty excited... should be some good food, good sights, and good fun.

Now about stocks... I haven't posted much about stocks lately. I've been figuring out what my monthly expenses are with the new place, and I've also been spending a bit on one-time house-related things (like furniture, washer and dryer, etc). Lately, I've done a good deal trading mostly for fun, and I've been getting pretty lucky recently (I used to update on all the short-term trades as well as changes to the long-term positions, but I got too busy).

Anyway, with the help of poker and also the short-term trading gains, I've been able to build up some funds earmarked for the Long-Term Portfolio soon. I'm currently considering potential new investments in Mattel (MAT) and Illinois Toolworks (ITW), and possibly bolstering the existing Yahoo! (YHOO) position.

I guess I'll figure that all out when I get back. Arrivederci!

Friday, September 14, 2007


*** Edit 2: I measured the spider out in its dried state, and I also preserved it in a jar of alcohol. The spider's body is roughly 1 3/8" in length and 1/2" in width at its widest section. I estimate that fully extended (as in the picture below), it's diameter was around 4". Also, I think the spider was even bigger when it wasn't dessicated, so who knows. Seriously, it scared the crap out of me when I first saw it.

I'm still not over the fact that through my stupidity, I killed it. Ugh. I guess the basic necessities I provided weren't enough.

*** Edit: I'm sad. I got home, only to find that the spider had died. I left it water in a jar cap, and also provided it with shade. I suck.

I caught a big ass spider this morning. Initially, I thought it was a tarantula. But, after reading up as much as I can and looking at a ton of pictures, I am pretty sure that it is a Wolf Spider. I'm planning to keep it as a pet. From what I have read, it makes a good one.

I put it in a deep bucket with a little bit of water and a cardboard cutout (half of a checkbook box cover) to provide it shade. I'm hoping that it cannot escape the bucket before I get a proper terrarium set up for it.

Here are a couple pictures of my new pet spider. The first one is the spider where I found it. The second one is a close-up after I put it in the bucket.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Many Faces of BruteForceX

Crestfallen put up some distorted pictures of herself on her blowg (coined by none other than Duke). I figured it'd be a fun diversion to do the same, since I'm taking the night off from poker. (Side note: I'm on a moderate downswing... last 4 sessions have been 2 wins and 2 losses, for a grand total of -77 bets).

So, here they are... I don't think I really look like any of these. The closest one to reality is probably the third one. I suppose you can get a reasonably good idea of what I look like from that one. Enjoy!

And, here's a bonus image I just made, because I was bored.

Okay, I can't stop... I'm addicted. Here's a cartoon image I just created using a distorted QB face merged with some pic I found googling for 'bikini chick' images. This one could be a Street Fighter character. Ha ha.

And, to be fair, here's my sumo picture from above done up to be more like a video game character. Okay, I really should stop. Time for bed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Here's a fun puzzle game for those who like this sort of thing... I've only gotten to Stage 20 so far. For the levels I've beaten, I think Stage 18 was the toughest one.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Wedding Weekend

On Saturday, QB and I attended the wedding of Naomi and Joey of ERR fame. It was held at the B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen near Sonoma. And, I must say it was the perfect day for an outdoor wedding... the weather could not have been any better, really.

There were a ton of people in attendance. I would guess probably close to 300 people. With an open bar all night, and a really awesome crowd (and tons of people I hadn't seen in a while), what else could anyone ask for? The wedding was half-Jewish and the rabbi was an all-in-one kind of guy. Not only was he a rabbi, but he was an opera singer, a flautist, a guitar player, a poet, and at times, a comedian. He was really awesome.

And, here's the wedding favor... a kippah commemorating the event.

The DJ that they hired did a great job. He definitely kept the party going up until the very last minute. Then, a bus took many of the guests (bride and groom included) to downtown Sonoma so that the partying could continue at the bar in the Swiss Hotel. We also did some partying at Steiner's Tavern, but a near-brawl broke out and the wedding crowd was forced out.

Joey's motto in life has always been Go Big, Or Go Home, and it was indeed big. What a blast!

We even got to participate in the Jewish Hora dance.

Anyway, I'm still a bit tired from all that took place over the weekend, so I'll just share a few more pictures. Check out the custom ERR cufflinks and the Orca car! So, congratulations to both Naomi and Joey!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I'm A Geek

I just read that Duke took this Nerd Test, and he was crowned a Cool Nerd King. I wanted to know what I would be classified as, so I went ahead and took the test as well. And, I guess I'm not fit to be a nerd... I have to settle for being a mere geek. says I'm a Cool Science Geek.  What are you?  Click here!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Hidden ThInkblot Primates

So, this weekend, Duke, Crestfallen, QB, and I played this game called Thinkblot. Although I enjoy the occasional game of Pictionary, I found this game to be rather dumb. The game is based on the Rorschach inkblot test, and involves having the players come up with different things they see.

Anyway, there was one image that brought the four of us into a heated debate. We decided to put up the image here with a poll (please vote)... what we all want to know is whether or not most people see a monkey in this image, and if so, how strong is that image?