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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July Watch Lists






















This month features a fairly diverse industry selection of Biotech, Pharmacological, Consumer Goods, Apparel, Infrastructure Products, Entertainment and IT Services.

It is also internationally diverse; from US, to China.

Here are the ones I am most interested in.

HRBN: designs, develops, manufactures, supplies, and services of various electric motors in China and internationally. This stock is showing good on balance volume, strength and money flow and I believe will soon break through 52 week highs. It is also in the markets current favorable China sector and stands to benefit as the world economy recovers and continues to grow.

FRPT: engages in the design, manufacture, testing, and delivery of blast and ballistic protected vehicles that support armed forces and security personnel in harm's way. They are also one of the main contenders and potential benficiaries of a soon to be awarded Gov’t contract for armored vehicles. As a result, this stock has been rising on good volume lately.

HGRD: provides proprietary objective healthcare provider ratings and advisory services in the United States. Its ratings address hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies. This stock has recently looked as it has/is breaking out above resistance and is ready for another run. I believe mostly due to all the recent talk and rhetoric regarding healthcare reform. This almost falls into the “hype” category and is worth watching.

NVEC: engages in the development and sale of devices that use spintronics, a nanotechnology that relies on electron spin rather than electron charge to acquire, store, and transmit information. This falls into my “really cool” technology product that has the potential for hundreds of opportunities in lots of products and markets. It seems that the stock market has caught on to this potential as well and that makes this stock worth a closer look and watch.

ONTY: focuses on developing therapeutic products for the treatment of cancer. They recently have reported very favorable results regarding their product pipeline and have major backing and initiated Phase 3 testing with MERK. All very good news for any pharm stock.

Read more...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Victory goes to the Bench!

OK, I know there is technically one day left in the month but I feel inclined to Admit defeat – Sort of...


















Once again, my bench beat my starting lineup.

But at least both finished on the plus side.

Unfortunately I did not pick any of the big winners and basically ended the month flat. Hopefully I will do better next month, so check back tomorrow for my July Lineups.

Meanwhile, you may have noticed that I’ve made some changes to the site.

While still keeping the basic overall theme of a field for my posts with a somewhat impressionistic painting of a crowd as the background, I’ve expanded the playing field.

To my left is the Sports and Fantasy Sideline. Dedicated to sporting and Fantasy football information.

To my right is the Stocks and Investments Sideline. Dedicated to investment news, watch lists and performance to date.

Below is information about me, archived posts, and other followers of this site whom I call fans.

I also have a special feature on each sideline for bloggers with similar interests and themes.

Oh and at the top is a bar for doing some quick searches of post categories.

The covestor badge on the right displays my investment track record to date. It is from inception of my covestor account, which was towards the end of February. I actually started this blog and new investment strategy at the beginning of the year. So I am actually a bit further ahead than covestor says, but this badge update is unbiased and accurate.

As the season progresses, I will try to keep a similar tally of my fantasy exploits on the left. But I have not found a similar 3rd party app which will do the same thing fantasy wise as Covestor does for investments. So for now you will just have to take my word on any fantasy claims I make… ;-)

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Top 24's

Ok, so in my last post I mentioned that I am commissioner a league with 12 teams.
So, I've been playing around with draft orders and here is what I have come up with for RB, WR and QB.

I list them in that order because at the very least, that is what I usually try and draft 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Sometimes, depending on how the draft is progressing, I may even draft up to 2 RB's and 2 WR's before drafting a QB. Then I start going for the best available TE, Def, and K's.

Now, there is still plenty of time to over analyze this even more, and I will, all the while knowing it makes very little difference but hey, it is Fantasy after all and I want to at least delude myself that my preferences really do give me an edge... ;-)

So, without further delay....

My completely biased and crazy top 24's

RB
Adrian Peterson
Maurice Jone-Drew
Michael Turner
Chris Johnson
DeAngelo Williams
LaDainian Tomlinson
Clinton Portis
Steve Slaton
Frank Gore
Matt Forte
Ronnie Brown
Knowshon Moreno
Darren McFadden
Chris Wells
Jonathan Stewart
Pierre Thomas
Kevin Smith
Thomas Jones
Steven Jackson
Brian Westbrook
Darren Sproles
Ryan Grant
Derrick Ward
Reggie Bush

WR
Larry Fitzgerald
Andre Johnson
Calvin Johnson
Greg Jennings
Randy Moss
Reggie Wayne
Lee Evans
Steve Smith
Roddy White
Anquan Boldin
Desean Jackson
Wes Welker
Marques Colston
Terrel Owens
Roy E. Williams
T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Vincent Jackson
Dwayne Bowe
Jeremy Maclin
Devin Hester
Braylon Edwards
Chad Ochocinco
Antonio Bryant
Hines Ward

QB
Tom Brady
Peyton Manning
Kurt Warner
Drew Brees
Matt Schaub
Donovan McNabb
Matt Ryan
Philip Rivers
Aaron Rodgers
Ben Roethlisberger
Jay Cutler
Matt Cassel
Eli Manning
David Garrard
Trent Edwards
Jake Delhomme
Tony Romo
Shaun Hill
Jason Campbell
Carson Palmer
Joe Flaco
Kyle Orton
Matt Hasselbeck
Chad Pennington

Read more...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

League Evolution






OK, so I'm the commissioner of one fantasy football league.

I've done this for a few years now and it is interesting to see how it has changed over the years.

We have 12 teams and it started out as your basic head to head league with standard defaults enabled.

The first topic of discussion was the whole points allocated for QB passing yardage vs RB rushing yardage. Over the years I have tweaked the settings and think I am now at a decent point that everyone seems comfortable with.

Passing
TD Pass 6
Every 25 passing yards 1
300-399 yard passing game 3
400+ yard passing game 3
2pt Passing Conversion 2
Interceptions Thrown -2

Rushing
TD Rush 6
2ptRushing Conversion 2
Every 10 rushing yards 1
100-199 yard rushing game 3
200+ yard rushing game 3

Receiving
TD Reception 6
2pt Receiving Conversion 2
Every 10 receiving yards 1
100-199 yard receiving game 3
200+ yard receiving game 3

But I soon realized that I did not want my league to be just like everyone else.

So, I enabled DB's and DL's and tossed in return yardage and TD's just for fun.

Miscellaneous
Fumble Recovered for TD 6
Each Fumble Lost -2
Kickoff Return TD 6
Punt Return TD 6
Every 10 kickoff return yards 1
Every 10 punt return yards 1

We've basically been this way for the past two years.

Now, after last years feedback, people were looking for the following:

- More versatility with defense and offense.
- The possibility of 1 free trade or waiver transaction.
(Yes, this was proposed by the person who drafted Brady...)

So being the kind and gracious commish that I am and the consummate techie (I can't leave well enough alone); I have come up with the following...

- Enable both offensive and defensive utility player.
(this gives the added bonus of having an extra person on both sides from any position)
- I have allowed one free trade or transaction but ONLY during the pre-season.
- So, this means I have also moved by traditional draft date from right before season starts to the weekend before pre-season.

We'll see how everything plays out.

It will definitely be interesting!

Read more...

Friday, June 26, 2009

You've been Served...

I originally saw this on ESPN site.
Remember, whenever playing any sport, always wear ALL your proper equipment...

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

3 for 1

I like bargains.

Who doesn't.

So when I saw a Promotional Package from our cable provider for their HD Triple Play deal for about the same price we are currently paying for cable alone; it got my interest.




You see, HD Triple Play is cable service, Internet service and unlimited local and long distance digital phone service all rolled into one package.

I had actually started looking into all the VOIP service providers out there with the intent on getting rid of our current phone bill, and there are certainly plenty of them out there. Just do a search for "Internet voip providers" and you will get plenty of sites which compare plans and providers.

There was also a company which has a phone device / system which can be purchased in many local retail stores such as Best Buy. They are called OOMA.

So anyway, back to my cable provider and their deal. The more I thought about this, the more I liked the idea of giving them a try.

For the price of my current cable bill, I get the following:

- The exact same channels and options I currently have from cable, HD channels, and programming.
- I greatly increase my bandwidth for Internet access from my current DSL connection to that of Cable.
- I get to use the same phone number I always have with all the same call waiting and caller ID features including voicemail.
- I get to do away with my DSL Internet service bill.
- I get to do away with my Phone bill.
- Yes my new cable bill is a combination of all those, but as I said at the beginning. I am not paying much more to the cable company for all of these service than I already am. The difference is literally 7 whole dollars.
- 3 for the price of one.
- And their voicemail is accessible not only from the phone but from the Internet as well. You can even respond back to a person who left you a message via email.
- I also have one belly button to push should something go wrong.
- And everything is on one bill, which will be paid automatically.

Hopefully the biggest hassle will be to adequately change all my Internet email addresses.

Perhaps I will technically keep the DSL Internet access going for a few weeks. That way I can still access the old email via the web just to make sure.

Oh and an interesting side note. While I was researching all this, I naturally had some questions for my cable company. So, one evening while watching the kids and TV (sort of) I figured I'd go online and try out their support pages. They give you the option of opening a secure chat window with a service representative, so I figured I could watch one more thing and try it out. When I connected the window said I was 18th in the queue. Great, I'm on hold. I probably should have turned the sound up on my laptop to find out if their was also the obligatory elevator waiting Muzak.

Anyway, it was not too bad a wait. About 10 - 15 minutes. The interesting thing was that twice I noticed that my number in line went back up! In other words, one minute I was 7th, then the next I was back up to 8th! I wondered who could be more important than me?

Well, when I finally decided to purchase the package deal, I naturally did it all online. As a last confirmation part, they automatically open up a secure chat window with a representative to confirm everything and answer any questions.

Guess What?

I was now one of the important people...

I entered the queue next in line and I realized that new service payment customers, new money, are more important than current old customers, old money, with nagging questions and, that I just bumped everyone else waiting online back up another number... ;-)

Anyway, it seems to be a great deal. I'll see just how great after next Tuesday when they come to make the actual switch and installations.

Read more...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A New Tailgate Idea !!!

Ok, so I've come up with this crazy idea.




















If I win the lottery....

Buy lots of land.....

And open this up....

It would be Sooooo Cool!

And really burn Snyders Butt!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tailgate - Revisited

OK, so as is to be expected, there has been some "official" explanation of the "no tailgate party" policy.

From the DC Sports Bog...

"We expect to have more tailgaters than ever," said Mitch Gershman , the Redskins Chief Operating Officer. "Those who want to meet with their friends will have more space, and those who want to simply park will find it easier to do so."

Nearly 3,000 new parking spaces were added to the stadium property.

The new lot was opened and traffic patterns revised after extensive review by an outside consulting firm.

The new parking procedure will have parking attendants directing fans who wish to tailgate in more than one space to the back of lots, where they will be allowed to occupy two spaces until required for additional vehicles. Fans who wish to only park, or tailgate within their single parking spot, will be directed to the front of lots, filling the lot from front to back."


OK, so if you come to the game in a double-wide, you not only get sent to the back row; but, you will be expected to breakdown your party to one space. Oh, and you will definitely have to do this because parking is always, always at a premium! Makes you feel really wanted doesn't it.

Personally, I like the front of the lot option a lot better. And Dear Mr. Snyder could really get the party going if he supplied his own Fedex Outdoor Wide Screen !!!

Read more...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bail on the Redskins?

Take away tailgating options and this isn't the finger Redskins officials will see...








I would comment more on this topic but the article here does it so much better than I could.

Read more...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Jib Jab Dad

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!


I know I already did a post for fathers day, but this was too good to pass by.

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A Tribute for Fathers Day

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sport Shorts

Congratulations to Ovechkin!
Just having some fun with the Hart Trophy, Ovechkin reaches out to touch it before pulling his hands back in homage to his "hot stick" celebration.

Ovechkin is the first repeat MVP in more than a decade and only the 11th player to win the Hart multiple times. He earned 115 of a possible 133 first place votes, 103 more than the league's leading scorer, Evgeni Malkin of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

He also won the Pearson Award; the first player to win the Pearson back-to-back since Jaromir Jagr in 1999-2000. Ovechkin dedicated the Pearson to his grandfather, Nikolay Kabayev.


Go Drew!
As one who went to college in North Carolina and now lives in Virginia, I always try to cheer for the local gals and guys.

If you want to root for someone in the non-Tiger/Phil heavyweight class of this week's Umbrella Open, then the amateur Weaver is a perfect place to start and finish. Nothing against the rest of the field, but very few players here can match his backstory.

He won the British Amateur in 2007. He has played in the Masters and the British Open. He squeezed through the nerve-racking U.S. Open qualifier and was a mere 100 yards away from entering the Engineering Hall when the popping sound of gunshots began to echo from inside the building at Virginia Tech.

Perhaps this is why New Yorkers are following him and cheering him on. They can identify with him, what he has been through and how far he has come.

Last time Vegas had a football team, He Hate Me was king. Now they have We Hate He...He being Adam Archuleta.

Adam Archuleta, who the Redskins made the highest paid safety in NFL history back in ‘06, was selected by the still nameless Las Vegas franchise in last night’s UFL draft.

Honestly there is now team name yet, no schedule, and as far as I am concerned...

Really truly could not care less...


And, just in case you were looking for other type of pics on this post, based on my title...

Here you go.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

I don't care what you say...

This is incredible...

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Taking Stock in Fathers Day


So, the other night my wife and I watch our first movie over the Internet via Netflix.

It worked out pretty well and I was actually impressed with the ease of service and viewing.

Oh, in case you are interested, we watched Bounce.


We watched it on her HP Entertainment PC which got me into thinking that I've been meaning to save up some dime and get myself an entertainment PC capable of playing games as well.


In fact I have had my eye on this one. It is an HP HDX18t laptop, but it may take me a while to save up enough dimes to actually purchase one.

But hey, it would be sooo cool.

Then my mind wondered over to other items I've been looking at recently.

Such as Blue Ray players. There are actually 3 that come to mind.


The Samsung BD P3600 has great features, like..
Network capability which will give you access to services such as Netflix and Pandora.
Good speed, display and tracking of graphics.


The LG BD390 is perhaps equally fast and feature rich but is generally a bit more expensive.



Then there is a blue ray device which would not only let me watch blue ray movies on my wide screen TV but also allow me to play video games as well.

That would be a Sony PlayStation.








Other, perhaps less big and less expensive "stuff" I've been thinking of and looking at lately have been Cell Phones, Cameras, and MP3 type devices that I could use to plug into my car stereo.

For right now, I am going with the smallest and cheapest route for the MP3 and that is the good old USB memory stick.

But since this post is, in part, about Fathers Day; lets think a little bigger...

Apple makes some really cool, hip, handy and useful electronic devices. Specifically the iPhone and iPod.




The iPhone 3gs comes out on June 19th just in time for Fathers Day. (Gee, what a coincidence...)
And runs on the AT&T network.






They also make the iPod touch. I just wish it had a camera.










There are other phones such as the LG enV3 which run on the Verizon network which I also like a lot.







Most everyone I know, except my oldest son, is on the Verizon Network and getting an LG would make sense since then I could call, text and email with most of my contacts at no extra charge.

Except Eric, he's such a rebel...


Of course I have mentioned a ton of stuff here in the post. Yes, I could talk about even more, but these are the things, the stuff, I've been looking at lately, dreaming about; but not being able to afford just yet.

So, if you are like me, perhaps an alternative to buying these products for Fathers Day, would be to buy the stocks. This could be a unique gift idea.

So, with that in mind, here is my Fathers Day Stock List.

Stocks such as LG, and Samsung are difficult to invest in. They are not traditionally listed on the NYSE. So one alternative is to try and buy through a broker such as Etrade. They have recently expanded to international trading markets.
Another is to invest in an ETF such as:

iShares S.Korea Index - EWY
Rounding out the rest of the list are:
Sony - SNE
Netflix - NFLX
HP - HPQ
Apple - AAPL
AT&T - ATT
Verizon - VZ
and a place where you can buy each and everyone of these products...
BestBuy - BBY


Happy Trading and Happy Fathers Day!

Read more...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fantasy Football Strategy

OK, so I've heard talk every year about Fantasy Football Strategies.

So I did a quick look at a couple sites based on a very generic Fantasy Football Strategy search, and this is what I found.

From





I got the following articles on advice:

- Knowing About Bye Weeks Can Only Hurt You- June 12, 2009
- Importance of December Weather- June 10, 2009
- Don't Worry About 2009 Strength of Schedule- June 8, 2009
- Forget About Brees, Brady and Manning- June 6, 2009
- Crabtree: Not Such a Steal in Fantasy Drafts - June 4, 2009
- Moreno: Only Undervalued Rookie RB - June 2, 2009
- Breakout Wide Receivers - May 29, 2009
- Breakout Running Backs - May 27, 2009
- Draft Talent, Not Consistency - May 24, 2009
- Be Wary of Value Based Drafting (must read) - May 22,

So, here we have articles about Bye Weeks, Weather, QB's, Rookies, and looking for breakout players... (more on that one later)

I actually have wondered about the bye week thing in the past. Theory being that if you have 4 or 5 players with the same bye week you are screwed. Well, only for that week. Statistically though, they point out that this does not matter.

The weather strategy I actually found interesting only because I had not thought about it much. But statistically it does affect what players and teams will do well in certain types of weather. You know, if it is being played in really rainy, cold, snowy weather; the run will be called more often than the pass.

The do not draft a QB strategy first strategy is one I actually tend to follow. Theory, 2 quality RB's and or WR, and or combination thereof's, is more valuable than one QB. Statistically this works. The only time I might even consider the 1 QB path is if I felt all the good RB's and WR were gone and I had the last pick of the first round. But, generally I do not go with the 1 QB strategy.

Rookies and Breakout players. Well, Mr. Peterson effectively ruined this strategy for many of us. Now most people are eyeing rookie RB's. I was incredibly fortunate to draft him in the 5th round when he was a rookie. Also, people who are in the last year of their contracts and will become free agents, have all the reason in the world to WOW the world, team owners and their agents. So are rookies and breakout players worth a look? Absolutely, but not in the first rounds.

Then From:






I found more articles of the same, but they actually had a good listing of who all these "breakout" contract year players. Pretty neat.

The only thing about this is that chances are if these breakout players do not have a quality line or people to support them; it makes it infinitely more difficult to actually have a breakout year. These people who fail to excel in their breakout year run the risk of being cut, so I would watch next year to see where they go. If they end up in a better organization or system, then they will probably have their breakout year.

I also found a really good article on playing the waiver wire. Here you look for opportunity. Opportunity for a player to excel because another (starter) has gotten benched, injured, or on bye week.

But perhaps the most important advise, strategy, that I found so far was this:

Know the Rules!

- Are you in an IDP or defensive league?
- Are QB's overly penalized or rewarded point/yardage/touchdown wise?
- Are RB's overly penalized or rewarded point/yardage/touchdown wise?
- Are there points for return yards/touchdowns?
- Are there points for interceptions, fumbles, tackles, completions, attempts...

The list goes on and on.

Just like there are people who will overlook rookies and potential breakout players, there are people who will overlook reading the rules.

And, I will throw out one more strategy that I use. It is by no means totally accurate and like the others is sometimes difficult to judge, but it also something to keep in mind as the year progresses and you use the waiver wire.

And this theory/strategy is: Looking for players on teams who will be fighting to make the playoffs.

Here is why. When is the Fantasy league playoffs and championship? Usually during the last 3 - 4 weeks of the season. Teams with locks on the playoffs, or top spots, often will "coast" into the postseason so as not to risk injury to key players. Where as teams that are fighting to make the playoffs or get one up on a rival team will be playing all out to win and score points.

So, there you have it.

From me - Mr. FumbledReturns

- Know the Rules
- Don't put all your eggs in one basket
- Look for opportunity
- Keep an eye on the end game

And most importantly - Have Fun!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Phenomenal

Simply a Phenomenal Performance
Saturday night my wife an I had the incredible pleasure of seeing these two Gods of Rock and Blues play at the Verizon Center in Washington DC.

If any of you have a chance to see them on tour, you will not be disappointed.


Read more...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

WHO cares and What else I look for...


- WHO announced that the H1N1 had reach Pandemic Proportions.
Actually they also previously said that the H1N1 was close
to Pandemic Proportions.





- Pharma companies such as SVA and Novartis announced that they were
producing vaccines.

- SVA is up 19.7% for the week.
- NVS is up 6% for the week.



OK, so now we know:
That WHO cares enough to announce a Pandemic.
The stock market loves hype.
I sometimes like to invest on hype. :-)

But most of you probably already knew that.

So, what else do I look for?

In addition to patterns, various companies (as a result of my multiple screens), I also look for particular stock indicators.

As with patterns, yes I do look at the particular "value" of these indicators but, I also look a trends.

Relative Strength (RSI): This, as the name implies, measures the strength of the stock at a particular point in time and is based on buying and selling activity.
RSI is plotted on a scale from 0 - 100. Normally anything above 70 is considered overbought and anything below 30 is considered oversold.

Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD): A trend momentum indicator that shows the relationship between two moving averages of prices. The MACD is calculated by subtracting the 26-day exponential moving average (EMA) from the 12-day EMA. A nine-day EMA of the MACD, called the "signal line", is then plotted on top of the MACD, functioning as a trigger for buy and sell signals.

These are perhaps the two that I look at most and no, I do not do any of these calculations manually. Yuk :-(
Most indicators can be plotted using any number of free charting tools such as those found on Yahoo and MSN. Yeah! :-)

Two other indicators I look at are: Volume and Money Flow.

Volume: Plots the number of shares or contracts being traded. This can also be compared to average daily volume and 'on balance volume' which attempt to spot trends of buy vs selling.

Money Flow: The MFI is used as a measure of the strength of money going in and out of a security and can be used to predict a trend reversal. The MFI is range-bound between 0 and 100 and is interpreted in a similar fashion as the RSI. The major difference between this and RSI is that MFI also accounts for volume, whereas RSI only incorporates price.


So, How does this work in practice?
Well, lets go to the video tape... or in this case our classic chart example from last week (MVL).

Below is the MVL chart starting at the end of the "W" reversal pattern. As I mentioned in my previous post, this is classic text book patterns and it is really nice when all the stars align and, of course hindsight is 20/20. ;-)

It gets more difficult to do this in real time and when not everything lines up so perfectly.

And, as always, nothing is ever guaranteed to work every time all the time. These patterns are based on law of averages and probability. But Hey, it does (trend) to work more often than not.

Until next week... Happy trading!

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Friday, June 12, 2009

E3

As some people out there know, E3 stands for the video entertainment industry showcase; Electronic Entertainment Expo. Gaming is one of those things that I wish I had more time and money to do. I am a big fan with a small wallet and little free time. But some day, one day....

Also.

As some may or may not know, I am a big Brian May and Queen fan.

So naturally I was surfing my semi usual internet haunts and came across this on the BrianMay.com site. It is the presentation for Sony at E3 and features a great Queen sound mix and some great video clips of games.

The entire clip is about 117 minutes long but the intro is the most exciting part, ;-) and only lasts a couple or three minutes long and is totally cool.

Oh, and of course one can always invest in this industry through shares of GameStop (GME) and or Sony (SNE). See, I can tie this into stocks and investing after all :-)



If the embed part does not work you can see it and other intros (Microsoft and Nintendo) HERE.




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Body Guard Tryouts

In today's economy, there are more and more people who are learning new skill sets; re-tooling themselves for work in a new career.

Of course, some are more qualified than others...


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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Underdog






















I like underdogs.
I like the unknowns who make a name for themselves through hard work and determination. The ones without all the hype and fanfare.
The guys, or gals, who work hard, persevere and get a shot to make it big.

You can find these people in almost every sport.
Even on most every team.

As a result of the very recent MLB draft, the Nationals drafted two people in the first round.

1st pick, San Diego State's Stephen Strasburg.
10th pick, Stanford's Drew Storen.

Both pitchers, both good but Strasburg has all the hype and all the potential to be a multi-million dollar franchise player.

Drew is a good closer. Talented and already signed to a contract.

He is the one I am more interested in.
After all, the strength of the bullpen is very much defined by their ability to close out a win.
And that is what closers are supposed to do.
Unfortunately, they are often the ones forgotten, taken for granted...
The Underdog.


I think the Washington Capitals have one of the best farm/minor league systems in place for any franchise.

Recent events point towards some major changes in their organization.
Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov are contemplating lucrative deals in their native Russia; and enforcer Donald Brashear may follow them out the door.

The Hershey Bears have produced some of the more note worthy core Caps such as Mike Green, Brooks Laich, Tomas Fleischmann and David Steckel.
Not all of them came with the hype or the franchise expectations of Ovechkin.

They were, at one time, the underdogs, the unknowns.

Now there are a few others like John Carlson and Karl Alzner who played impressively for the Capitals this past season and are poised to be the next additions to the core Caps.


And last but not least...

The Washington Redskins:



There are two players who have come to mind recently.


First is Dorsey who never went to a big name school.













Is all of 5'7"
Bounced around in the CFL.
And now finally gets a shot at the NFL.

Secondly:

There is a good article about Keith Eloi in the Washington Post.

He is another relatively unknown, an underdog, who has worked hard and done what ever it takes to get noticed and playing in the NFL.

He is a good, quick and fast receiver whose performance on the practice field has impressed the coaching staff enough for them to offer him a contract.

He is also a good athlete who has a really good vertical jump. You know, one of the things that they look for at the scouting combines. Why, I am not 100% sure. But what I do know is that Keith and his buddies decided to showcase his ability on YouTube.

His performance was even good enough to get him noticed by SI.com "Hot Clicks".

I know, Hot Clicks is not known for it's in depth reading but it is good for a quick peek once in a while... ;-)

Anyway, here is the YouTube video.



Personally, I think jumping out of a pool is more impressive.
Regardless, hopefully he will be able to make a career out of playing in the NFL instead of YouTube videos.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fast Money

Not too long ago, a co-worker of mine went on vacation to the Carolina Coast. Along the way, he got a speeding ticket. As it turns out, states are issuing more speeding tickets. Not necessarily because people are speeding, they are, but not excessively. States are issuing more tickets because they generate revenue.

With the economy in a recession, real estate tanking; state budgets are taking a big hit. One way they have come up with to compensate is to issue more traffic violations and speeding tickets. In some cases, this activity is up more than 30%.

In fact, the officer who pulled him over in North Carolina, said that this is basically all he does all day long. And, it does not stop there. When Mike, my co-worker, called to try and settle and or schedule a court date, he got caught up in all the red tape and bureaucracy.

Seems he could schedule a court date, pay the fine and court fees and get excessive points added to his record; or, he could work the system, have the DA, who knows the officer, and county clerk, work out a deal where he could pay the fine, pay the lawyer, pay processing fees and effectively reduce the points on his license.

Of course all this cost money. So, a $75 dollar speeding ticket can get processed, paid, and recorded with no points against your record for a mere $300 dollars. That is supposedly worth avoiding the points, the time to drive back down to North Carolina, risk getting another speeding ticket, gas money, court fees and the hassle of driving all the way back.

Add to this that states such as Maryland have just approved measures to increase speeding cameras, not only at intersections, but in other residential, commercial areas; and one has the makings of legal extortion and efficient revenue collection by local and state municipalities.

So, it is of no wonder that in this economic turmoil, and increased law enforcement, that the table has been turned, for a price of course....

Cashing in on speed camera law.

In this article by the Washington Post, this company has developed a program that relays the location of speed cameras and traps, collects the GPS coordinates, and posts them to a web site and GPS service for publication and updates to subscribers.

A one year subscription of $40 will get you everything you need to know for avoiding these traps. $99 will get you a special introductory lifetime membership.

Oh, and the guy mentioned in the article, is the one who helped either invent or sell PhotoBlocker, a high-gloss formula in a can that customers sprayed onto license plates. It was designed to create a bright reflection that made the photo image difficult to read.

He also rolled out PhotoShield, a clear license plate cover with a similar purpose.

Find out more at PhantomAlert.com

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Redskin Mania


Virginia Lottery And Washington Redskins Reveal “Redskins Mania” Scratch Ticket


It seems the economic down turn has even made our Dear Mr. Snyder to resort to a "poor mans tax".








Redskins Mania tickets are $20.
- Cheaper than a ticket to the game!

The odds of winning $1 million are 1 in 1,305,600
- Thanks, I only need to buy $26.11 million worth.

Profits from Redskins Mania will go to K-12 public schools in the Commonwealth.
- And how much does Mr. Snyder get?

The chances of winning a prize through the Redskins Mania ticket are in no way related to the team’s performance on the field.
- Hmmm, seems both chances have a better than even probability of bombing...

Players can enter non-winning tickets at valottery.com for the chance to win these amazing Redskins VIP experiences:
* Win pairs of Redskins Premium Club tickets for 20 years at FedEx Field
* VIP away game Travel with the team to Dallas, on the team plane and team bus, as the Redskins take on the Cowboys in Dallas, TX on November 22, 2009
* Win pairs of Redskins Premium Club tickets for the 2010 season at FedEx Field
* Watch a Redskins home game in a FedExField luxury suite with 19 of your favorite friends
* Watch and attend a private Redskins team practice from the sidelines, just as the coaches do
* Once-in-a-lifetime chance to join the Redskins team roster as a “Player for a Day”
* Other prizes include: Redskins Premium Club seats for 2009 games, autographed helmets by the player of your choice, $500 Redskins gift cards and official game-worn jerseys


Almost makes me want to not win the Redskin Mania Lottery scratch game.

Oh, and on a much more interesting "chance to win" topic. Here is my first test auto-draft attempt of the season.






















What I find amazing is that I was #10 in draft order.

As best as I can tell...

Drew Brees 1st
LT or Payton 2nd
Adrian 3rd...

As always, Please play responsibly....

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Monday, June 8, 2009

All Partied Out...

I think that I am going to need some time to recover from two straight birthday party weekends.

Hey, I know I was just complaining about off topic stuff but stay with me on this one... I'll make it have something to do with sports... Promise.

This past weekend was Marks's 9th birthday and the previous one was Williams 3rd birthday. Click on this link for some pics from Wills.

For Marks party, we went to the local bowling alley. It has been a while since any of us has been bowling, so our championship forms were a bit rusty...



I even got in the act. Here is a still of me and my fat butt getting a spare!

















Honestly I did make it... :-)

Afterwards we went back home and continued the family tradition of birthday dinner of choice, and exchanging of family presents.

One of the presents Mark got was his first hockey stick and accessories.














Mark has really been getting into hockey lately. Watching the playoffs, playing NHL09, and street hockey with the kids in the neighborhood.

With that, he has been borrowing sticks and equipment. Now, at least he will not have to borrow a stick anymore.

But first I have to tape it up and cover a blemish it had on the handle.

Read more...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weekly Tracker

OK, so lately I’ve noticed that I have been posting a lot of “off topic” posts on my blog.

Not that this is necessarily bad, I do like reading and tracking a lot of “local stuff” going on in and around DC , also “gaming” which I wish I had more time to do, and I do have a lot going on with kids and family; but this is supposed to be more about two of my favorite things… sports and stocks.

Maybe I should start up a blog about “everything else”. But then again, I have enough trouble keeping up with just this one blog. Maybe I should make it an open forum where anybody can start a thread about “stuff”. And maybe I am just rambling, not making any sense and shouldn't worry about this.

So, before I completely sabotage this post, and blog, let me try to do the following.
A) Come up with more posts about sports and stocks…
B) Save this post by trying to make it in some ways; more about “a)”…

With that said…
Last week I published my June Watch list.
And my record to date is not all that bad.




So far, I have not invested in any of them. Instead, I had a stock from May Watch lists, UEPS, which was showing a very interesting pattern.


























At first I thought it was yet another “W” pattern that seemed to be so prevalent in my June research that I decided to invest on what I thought could be the second leg of the pattern. Well, that did not happen. What did happen was something that usually sets up over a much longer period of time (weeks or months) called a triple bottom.

This too can be a reversal pattern, so instead of selling UEPS and going with one of my June picks, I decided to hold a little while longer and see what happens.

As you can see by the result so far, it did “pop” back up and this week has been bouncing steadily between 14 and 14.25. I think I will see if this is yet another holding-pull-back “pennant-flag pattern” and is poised to go up again.

But, if it does not do this within the next couple days, I think I will take my 8ish% profit and pick something from my June lists.

Which brings up a point and question that others have asked me lately and that is why I am not holding on to stocks that I buy for the long term? After all isn’t one of the reasons why people invest is to build up “nest eggs”, “cash”, “net worth”, “savings” over a long period of time?

Yes, it is.

- It can also be about investing in ideas, products, companies that you believe are good or well run.
- It can also be strictly about “making money”, regardless of anything else (like ethics)….
- It can also be “fun”.
- It can also be, as the resent economic slide proves all too well, risky, frustrating, and volatile.

I still do invest for the long term.
I have a 401 which I contribute to automatically from each paycheck.

I do invest in the stocks I write about in this blog because:

- It is fun and challenging; and I do want to make at least some money.
- The companies on my watch lists, due to my varied stock screens, are usually well run and span a diverse range of size and sectors.
- I used to invest with the buy and hold strategy, but as this downturn has done with so many portfolios, I ended up loosing quite a bit and, for a while, pulled completely out of the market. That was not fun, nor very challenging…

So, since January, I’ve decided to modify my strategy a bit and play the volatility.

Yes, one does end up paying more in taxes from any short term gains vs long term (greater than 1 year) gains. And it can be quite a bit riskier. But so far I have nearly doubled my investment.

Some might say it is luck. Maybe…?
Some might say it is timing but, I am not necessarily “timing” my investments for the typical “buy low sell high”.

Rather, I try to “time” my investments before they “pop” up as a result of a pattern or event.

I invested upon trends and events; not only a particular stock pattern or event, but also in market trends and events. Some I take advantage of, some, I do not.

Trends and events I have taken advantage of:

- Strong gaming sales, despite the recession, during the holiday months. GME up 22% in less than one month time period.
- Hype in the market about “pandemic” stuff. QDEL up over 25% in less than 5 days.

Trends and events I’ve not taken advantage of:

- Recent run up in oil stocks. TGE (January Watch list member) up 133% YTD – most of it within the last 2 months!
- Other Pandemic Hype: (SVA) A Chinese bio-pharm company from February, up 115% YTD.
- Gun hype: Shares in Smith and Wesson – at one point up 190% this year alone. Now only 86%.

And one trend I still do not completely understand …
ARGN – A consumer auto parts company, a member of the March Bench, up 111%.

I’m sure there are more trends and events out there and there will certainly be more.

So, I will be doing a Weekly Tracker post to help focus on events and trends with my watch lists and the stock market overall.
I also invite anybody who might have an idea regarding or information regarding this topic to chime in with their thoughts.

Read more...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

D.C. invaded by insect aliens

Having commuted into DC more than a few times, I know how frustrating it can be.

Well, now you have your chance for revenge!

This is really cool because it has the DC area metro system detailed pretty well.

Your commute will never be the same again!!!

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Now this is worth going into the city for!








I heard about this on the radio while driving into work the other day.
Here is an "about" listing from their website...


TSNY Washington DC is dedicated to making flying trapeze available to anyone who seeks inspiration, challenge, fitness or just a couple hours of unique fun. Our mission every day is to create a safe, fun, challenging environment where our students strive to surpass limitations and more richly enjoy their lives.

We currently have 4 schools in the U.S.:

- New York City (Manhattan, indoors & outdoors)
- Los Angeles (Santa Monica Pier, outdoors)
- Boston (Reading, MA @ Jordan's Entertainment Rotunda, indoors)
- Washington DC (old Convention Center site, outdoors)

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Quest Through Darkness















That's the title of my daughters new game.

The other day I saw her working on a document and printing out some rather large background pictures.

I thought she was working on a project, but seemed to remember that with only two weeks of school left, all her projects were done.

So, like any good parent, I asked.

She is working on an idea of creating a role playing board game.
All by herself. Pretty cool. I can't wait to test play it.

This got me into thinking about way back in the old days, before the Internet, online MRPG's, and Playstations that I did this sort of thing too.

Back then we did a lot of the fantasy and strategy board games which can now be found in multiple variations on video games and online.

Two of my favorite were;
Squad Leader and RuneQuest.












The two games that I learned the following:

A) Never, no matter how cool it may look in movies, drive a tank through a building. (they have basements)
B) Never trust anyone who says, "Don't worry, I've done it plenty of times".

Then there was the sci-fi space game that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of. But anyway, I digress...

We even tried to come up with a game or two ourselves and quickly realized how hard it truly is.

That is probably why I appreciated a couple very simple yet very fun games.
These were Car Wars and Illuminati.
Both by a company called Steve Jackson games.

So, as a reminiscing ol' fart that I am, I went on the Internet to see what I could find.





Amazingly enough, though I should not be surprised - because they were so good at what they did, Steve Jackson games is still alive and well.

Not only do they have pages about Illuminati and car wars











but they have a couple other cool looking games as well. Plus a few nonsense pages if you find yourself really bored.


And, they even have an online game that I might try.

But first, I will look forward to test playing my daughters game, then perhaps getting a couple Steve Jackson games like the new "Munchkins and GURPS".

Then the updated Illuminati and see if I can re-assemble the out of print car wars games for everyone here to play sometime.

Just for old times sake!

Read more...
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