Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Weekend and a General Update

Over the holiday weekend, we headed down to SoCal. Our first stop was Marina Del Rey, where we crashed for a night in a 3-bedroom corner apartment at the Azzurra. Talk about lavish urban living. Though we arrived late (close to midnight), we still managed to have a few drinks with my friend, the Cam Man, and another old high school buddy of mine, Alex. And, I also got to meet Cam Man's new girlfriend and Alex's new wife.

The next day, we hit up Sushi of Naples in Long Beach. The sushi there was okay, and nothing special. But, it was far from great. We were really hoping to go to Kotobuki, where Hiro, the best sushi guy ever, would have whipped up some tasty pieces. Unfortunately, Kotobuki is closed for lunch on weekends. After a quick lunch, we headed out to where I used to live in Laguna Beach, and walked along the ocean admiring the beautiful scenery (and bodies). Next was a quick stop at the Irvine Spectrum just to see how much it had changed... and it has, a lot. Of all the stores that I would have expected to be around still, I did not expect Houdini's Magic Shop to be one of them.

Finally, we made it to Huntington Beach where the GZA and his lovely wife reside. We would be staying here for the rest of the weekend. The first night, we caught an Angels game with the Barber, and watched helplessly as their relievers were ripped to shreds. The nachos were damn good, and the jalapenos were pretty hot. After the game, the GZA was a bit bummed out by the loss, and so we all had to drink with him to ease the pain. But, it was a good thing, as we would be preparing for tomorrow's BBQ and drinkfest.

Sunday came, and the place had a fresh new infusion of guests: Grambrero and his brother, Shaolin Vin, and of course, the Barber. Grambrero brought with him a portable breathalyzer, which added a ton of fun to this party. It's pretty amazing how much high a BAC you can have and still be conscious. At one of his drunkest moments, Grambrero registered a solid 0.31. Now that's impressive. But what was even more impressive were the hamburgers that the GZA and his wife prepared with onions and spices. They were simply amazing. If the two of them ever decided to quit their jobs... err, if *she* ever decided to quit her job and start a burger joint, they'd do quite well.

After saying our good-byes on Monday, we had a late lunch at Mi Piace in Old Town Pasadena. The food there was excellent. I had the Linguine con Capesante, and she had the Calamari e Gamberi Fra' Diavolo. What's even better were the prices, which were quite reasonable for that quality of food. The only downer was the service was slow, since they were understaffed for this Labor Day holiday.

Now, onto some stock talk...

Hibernia (HIB) was hit hard by Katrina, which caused a delay in closing the deal with capital One (COF). This led to an eventual 9% cut in the terms of the deal. So, that stings slightly, but it could have been worse, I suppose.

Synaptics (SYNA) hit the low-end of my price target ($18) today. And, I dumped my shares at 18.05. But, this was only half of my original position. I believe I failed to mention that I had dumped the other half in the 16.70s... just around the time I mentioned my increased nervousness with respect to the market. And, now I see it peaked in the mid-19s, but came back down a bit.

New on the radar: First Marblehead (FMD).

Been playing some EBAY today long and short, just for fun. But, nothing really worth going into detail about. That's all for now.

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