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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat

Hope everyone is having / had a good Halloween!

These two pumpkins are kind of special in that thanks to our good friend Debbie, who provide our youngest son a present of Pumpkin Seeds for his birthday, enabled us to try growing pumpkins for the first time this year. We grew 4 pumpkins, 1 rotted before we picked it, 1 was eaten by the deer, and these two were home grown and carved just for Halloween Night.

Though tricky, the month of October proved mostly a treat stock wise.

Starting lineup returned 5% for month of October lead by:

HOGS: 15%
They engage in the processing and distribution of meat and food products primarily in China. They experienced a good run starting in mid September and continued through the first half of October. Since then it has hit top end resistance (twice) and appears to be cooling back down.

VHC: 22%
Makes their living off of suing other companies for patent infringement. They won against Microsoft earlier this year and using that case as precedence have set their sights on other companies such as Apple, Cisco, and NEC. I think they are still worth watching for further developments with these law suites.

TPI: 10%
engages in the development, manufacture, marketing, and sale of modernized traditional Chinese medicines and other pharmaceuticals in China. After reporting good profits and outlook in September the stock went on a nice run but has since cooled off a bit and is probably again worth watching for another entry point especially if it dips below $3 a share.

My Bench lineup once again outperformed my starting lineup returning 6%. Lots of really good winners in this bunch, including:

QUIK: 17%
TNDM: 14%
ASIA: 12%
GILD: 10%

All of these are still worthy of watching but GILD seems to be setting up a nice resistance line and could be looking to push further upwards for another breakout.

My Practice squad had a return of just under 1% and showed exactly why speculative buyouts are so risky.

It correctly picked:

GYMB: 30% which was bought out.

And completely missed on:

SVNT: -45% who announced they did not successfully find a buyer.

As for me, I had nearly a 7% return thanks in part to HOGS. I hedged my bet on them and was barely up on my other picks. I can’t complain, 7% is pretty good for a monthly return but I coulda woulda shoulda done better.

But at least I beat the averages!

DOW: 3%

Stay tuned for my November watch list!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Sanity or Fear?

This weekend we have:

A Rally for Fear which will occupy approximately 30,000 people and 3 hours of our time.

A Rally for Sanity which will will probably produce the same results as the Fear Rally.

A Marine Corp Marathon which will showcase about another 30,000 people running for another 3 hours.

I don't want to even mention the nut who happens to be running around with a loaded rifle randomly shooting at military and government buildings and structures.

Halloween which will produce untold amounts of sugar and alcohol highs in kids of all ages.

About 50 or so televised college football games which alone equals more minutes of football than minutes in any given weekend.

A dozen televised NFL games.

A World Series.

Fourteen Hockey Games.

Need I say more? . . .


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cheap Shots - Revisited

Not that I am a believer in “hitting them when their down” or politically incorrect cheap shots, but here is one worth publishing. In order to give credit where credit is due, I took a screen shot.

Romo shouldn’t worry though, I’m sure Jerry can still get him good seats to the Superbowl !

There, I feel better for having dumped on da boys.

Now on to the rest of my post...

I think I am going to change my teams name in my Borderless Fantasy League to the Bar Brawlers.

Right now they are called The Fun Bunch (my little protest and honor to the good ol’ days).

But after picking up Kenny Britt and moving him to the starting roster and totally blowing away my competition. I think a name change might be in order.

(Confession time) The only reason I played him was because DeSean was knocked out (literally) this week.

If anybody made a case for not being on the bench (bar stool) or otherwise, it was Kenny Britt.

It was a good week for my Fumbled Returns League of Experts team too!

I figured if the Giants defense could beat up on Cutler and the bears, so could the Skins.

In a game where I swear they were both trying to see who could throw the game more, The Skins Defense ended up being my teams top scoring “player” on the team.

And speaking of the Giants, I suppose congratulations are in order. Though I had my hopes up that da boys would actually win this one and force a tie with my beloved Skins and the Giants. Imagine that, me routing for da boys! What was I thinking ?

But alas, the football gods had other plans.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Things I don't or didn't know

What is and is not a touchdown catch anymore . . .

Or why certain plays are or are not reviewed . . .

Or why you would celebrate before being tackled?

Why Cutler decided to make DeAngelo Hall his #1 receiver

Why McFadden waited until I vowed never to draft him again to prove how good he really is . . .

Oh yeah, he gets injured too much and (it's only one game)...

How old man Collins can be a stud QB

Oh yeah, bar brawler Britt showed why he should never be kept on the bench

Why going down on a knee is a celebration penalty but going down on two is not excessive . . .

Oh yeah, he's looking up thanking God he managed to run 92 yards !

Why a team averaging 5+ yards a carry would abandon the run or even think that passing it could be better

Why anybody EVER thought that not trading for Cutler was a missed opportunity for the Redskins

That Andy Reid once made the brilliant coaching decision to bench Donovan then brought him back the next week? Yup - he was making bone headed plays

Hmmm Shanny is a pretty smart coach who demands excellence. I wonder if he will do the same?


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Basic Everyday Stock Investing Ideas

Sometimes folks, including myself, get too caught up in over analyzing stocks and companies.

Sometimes folks, including myself, get tunnel vision or self imposed blinders on with investments and do not realize opportunity when they see it.

One very basic tenant of investing is, if you do not understand what a company does or how it makes money, then perhaps you should not invest in it.

By doing research, one can learn about a company and understand what it does and decide if it makes a good investment. By doing this one can literally spend hours staring at the computer screen reading articles, SEC filings, analyst reports and financial statements.

Or, one could take a moment to look at what you do when not staring at the screen with blinders on.

Things like:

Watch Netflix movies (NFLX) 216% YTD Return.
Eat out at McDonalds (MCD) 25% YTD Return or Chipotle's (CMG) 130% YTD Return.
Or buy and sell stuff online with Ebay (EBAY) 33% Three Month Return.

All of these everyday companies that most everyone knows about and uses had huge (really good) quarterly reports this past week.

What other brand name products and services do you use in your basic everyday life?


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Congratulations Rangers

Yes, I know the original Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins. But I'm not quite that old (yet) and the Washington Senators I remember are the ones who became the Texas Rangers.

I'm so glad the Damn Yankees lost. (That is my dad's old Brooklyn Dodger Fan gene coming through)


The Hit Stick

How good is Devin Hester?

Devin Hester, the fifth-year player from Miami, returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown last week. It was the 13th kick or punt return for a score in his career. That ties him with former Redskins standout Brian Mitchell for the most all-time. Brian was a pretty darn good player with a nice combination of talent and attitude. The difference:

Mitchell returned 1,070 kicks and punts in his career. Hester has returned 262.

So, how do you stop him?

You break out your god given talent, mix it with a lot of attitude and add some good ol’ fashioned football competition. What does this give you?

The Hit Stick.

Mike Sellers, Lorenzo Alexander and most recently Chris Wilson made tackles that have jarred the opposing team and fired-up the Redskins - leading to a competition for who can dish out the most.

"We do the dirty work," Sellers said. "You got to find ways to let people know you can still play. Chris Wilson is figuring out me and Lorenzo's secrets, so we got to keep him out of the mix."

Currently there are 3 numbers on the stick - a 45, then a 97, then a 45.

Someone who delivers a major blow on special teams gets their jersey number on the stick and then gets to keep it in their locker. The catch: Such a blow must come in a win.

So Sellers's No. 45 is on the stick twice for tackles he made against Dallas and Green Bay. Alexander's No. 97 is on for a ferocious tackle against Philadelphia. But Wilson, who delivered a powerful hit against Indianapolis, is still waiting to see his No. 95, because he hasn't come through in a win.

Let’s put another number on that hit stick this week guys!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Little Things

We have a 4 year old.

Being the youngest, he learns a lot from his older siblings.

We, as responsible parents, try to limit, or at least filter, the “things” he picks up on.

But still, there are times when I have to look at him and be amazed at how he figured certain things out.

Like the other day he wanted to play star wars on the Xbox, (yes the old version) but still a whole lot of fun to play.

This 4 year old of mine has learned some key strategic tactics.

Like the value of height in the playing/battle field.

Line of sight.

Hiding (out of the Line of sight).

And camping . . . (that little bugger)

It also amazes me how a 4 year old can often beat his dad at a stupid video game.

I think I have to teach him one more tactic.

Letting the other guy win.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cheap Shots

OK, not exactly what you may have been thinking but hey, at least the colts kicker was an honest drunk.

Cop: "How much have you had to drink?"

McAfee: "A Lot, I'm drunk !"

But now on to the real meat and potatoes of this post.

I originally was going to post something about how the NFL Helmet has evolved from your basic cover to padded protection to a secure battering ram and how the old school style of helmet, similar to hockey may actually deter players from launching into another player.

But that was already covered fairly well here By Ditka and Paterno.

You can see by the picture(s) below how the helmet has evolved over the decades. If one were to decrease the protected area of the face, that probably would discourage players from launching their heads into other players.

I kind of actually like this idea and think it might work.

Then I got into thinking about how all this hype about the new rule changes is really nothing more than a PR smoke screen.

Let me try to explain my point by taking a moment to mention an analogy. A few years ago there were several instances of over the counter medications being tampered with and tainted with dangerous substances. One of the most notable instances was with Tylenol.

The risk was somebody tainting or altering the Tylenol capsules before they were bought by the general public. Of course this was extremely dangerous and a huge risk to the population.

So what was one of the biggest most noticeable and lasting changes to this and other over the counter medications. Tamper seals and warning labels.

Do these warnings stop somebody from endangering the public?

Do the tamper seals ensure the safety of the product?

But the perception is that they do. And PR wise. Perception is 9 tenths of the law.

And it is a very cost effective strategy because it hardly costs the company anything at all to implement.

Now in regards to the NFL.

Does the 3 strike rule stop players from taking controlled substances?

Do fines stop players from behaving badly or repeating illegal plays?

Are suspensions going to stop helmet to helmet hits?

But this gives the NFL commissioner the smoke screen of caring and doing something to protect the players.

And it does not cost him any money to do this.

I do have an issue with how this was done and the timing and the lack of specifics.

How are you going to determine if the helmet to helmet hit was accidental or not?
Are you going to suspend players the first time and every time and for how long?

A buddy of mine at work had an interesting idea. Perhaps if you suspended a player for as long as the "victim" was kept out? But I can just imagine all the conspiracy theories and warping of the rule by teams, doctors and coaches.

Another one was that we all should have a voting system where the fans get to vote on rulings, plays, and penalties. Again, another bad idea. But this does lead me to my next point.

That the game is changing. It is not the same game it used to be. There is a fear that the game is getting too watered down. That pretty soon we will be watching professional flag football.

Professional football players know the risks involved with their sport. In fact, they prepare themselves for these sort of plays all the time. Lavar talked about this in his article in the Washington Post how he had all the canned answers memorized so he could get back into the game. Answers like "why are you asking me the time? Do I look like I'm wearing a watch?"

My point is that most of the players know how to play the game and know the risks involved. Most fans know how the game should be played and the rules of fair play.

This smoke screen of perception is fine but it does not solve anything. Education will.

Sure injuries will still happen and rules are there to make sure everyone is able to play the game the way it should be played. In Junior football the topic of concussions is just as relevant and in the news as it is everywhere else. We enforce proper tackle techniques every practice and game. To my knowledge, we have not had one instance of concussion suffered by a player in our league.

What we have had is a ton of broken arms and wrists, but not concussions. In fact, we are thinking of putting in a weight regulation into our league because of the increase of broken arms and such. Our county is the only one in our area that does not have this rule and as a result, we have a fair number of players from outside our county playing in our league. But back to my point, no concussions.

I think we should let the players play football the way it should be played. And that we should make sure that fair play rules are taught. Rules like not leading with your head or launching yourself as a missile at another player. And, like the old school coaches said earlier. Reinstate the old style helmets with no face masks.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Quote of the day

Carlos Rogers's hands are so bad it's amazing he can feed himself.

Thomas Boswell/Washington Post


Saturday, October 16, 2010

One Day ...

I'm going to do this...

Today is the official "Bridge Day" at the New River Bridge.

I have to admit, that looking at the temperatures, that water has to be cold!

I rafted the New River, I highly recommend this, many years ago and that bridge is simply amazing! I can't imagine what it is like to actually jump off it. But , hey, that is why I have to try this at least once...

Maybe someday.

Check out the official Bridge Day Site.


Friday, October 15, 2010

The Setup

This blog is about sports and stocks.
The one thing that really gets me going with this blog more than talking sports and fantasy football is stock pattern investing.

One of my watch list stocks (HOGS) had some really great setups over this past week.

I first took notice of this stock as it made its initial break out and was forming a new resistance level close to $18. The first pattern is an ascending triangle patter that shows a rising strength pattern of continuously lows ascending to a common point of resistance. As it reached the breakout point, a good rise in volume (the lower bar graph) provided good momentum to sustain the upward trend.

The stock then leveled off around $20 and showed a good "resting" pattern and never really dipped below the $20 support level. The only question was, what would it do next?

Well, towards the end of the day on Wednesday, the stock showed yet again an increase in volume and momentum and broke above the $20.50 resistance level. This upward pattern continued into an amazing 3 tier or (step) pattern. When this happens, and it does not always work out, but when it does a sudden spike upward in price happens after the 3rd tier. Almost always followed by a pull back down until a new support level is reached. In this case, at least for Thursday, it appeared to be around $21.00.

The pattern was actually looking like it would form either a "W" pattern or double bottom pattern, and I was actually a little worried that it did dip below $21 momentarily. But, the stock recovered nicely and as is characteristic of a possible new break out experienced a sudden spike in activity at the end of the day and burst up to $22.00 for a brief moment before the close of the market and a final daily close just below $21.50.

It will be really interesting to see what it does next. Will it continue it's rise to form yet another ascending triangle patter and potentially yet another larger 3rd tier pattern?

Or will it cool off for a while before testing new levels of resistance and support?

Of course I will watch this stock for the rest of the month, but for now I am really psyched that all these patterns happened and that my investment ideas worked as well as they did.

See, I place a buy limit order for when HOGS reached $18.00 per share and then a sell limit order of $21.60 for a nice 20% gain.

Not bad for a weeks worth of investing.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Play Ground Rules

The Preschool Play Ground Rules Are:

"No hitting, no piling on, no throwing mulch, no head butting, no shooting others with fingers"

- To this William responded, "how are we going to play good guy bad guy?"

As always,

Be good, Do Well, Have Fun

And play good guy bad guy.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Miller Time

Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Marisa Miller will become the new spokesperson for the NFL.

What's up with all this "female" movement in the NFL? Nothing against looking at pretty models, cheerleaders, or even pretty model sports reporters . . .

I find this decision, and timing, rather strange. I know these advertising things often take weeks to put together and publish but with last weeks Brett Favre thing hitting the internet and yet another football model reporter scandal . . .

Well, I'm just saying that perhaps Ms. Miller should get an unlisted number.

But for some reason, when I think of the NFL, I do not think of these people. Apparently Ms Miller will be the official spokesperson for the NFL and is also set to appear in both print and television commercials for the league. The former Victoria's Secret model will be an NFL spokesperson through at least the 2011 Super Bowl and also will be promoting the upcoming 49r - Bronco game in London.

Maybe it is just me, but if the NFL really wanted to expand their viewership and demographic base, I would look for more relevant figures to advertise the NFL Brand.

For the upcoming London game, perhaps a prominent English political or other sports (Golf, Soccer) or famous business tycoon to say something along the lines of "when I think of America, I think of the NFL". OR perhaps show that person playing Madden Football and then blending into the real thing.

Could you imagine a commercial with the Queen Mum doing this? It would be great!

Speaking of commercials, promos, and the NFL: Did you happen to see the new Sunday Night intro with Faith Hill. Gawd Awful.

This is another example of a bad decision on the NFL's part: IMHO. At least they can all laugh at themselves and also air the SNL spoof during the past Eagles game.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Randy Moss, Brett Favre and Jenn Sterger

Randy Moss on wondering what kind of pass that Brett Favre will be making . . .

And buying a new pair of gloves . . .

It’s not the ball that bothers me . . .
It where the hand that threw it has been . . .

Randy Moss is now worried that Brett Favre has his number . . .


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dan the Man

In case you missed it. Dan Snyder sat down with ESPN and did an interview.

Thanks to Hogs Haven and YouTube for access to this really fascinating owner of the Redskins.

It does give a very different impression of Dan than many folks may or may not have.

But if one thing does come across in the interview is that he is media shy, loves the skins, and is always, as happens to be a common trait of entrepreneurs and successful business owners, trying something new.

And if they see something wrong or an opportunity to improve; jump right in and take care of it or as I believe Dan say "fix that".


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A box of chocolates

Yes, life as a Redskin Fan is like a box of chocolates...

You never know which team will show up.

We go from losing to the Rams to defeating the Eagles.

The good news is we are, for the moment, on top of the NFC East with a 2 - 2 record and, more importantly, 2 - 0 in the division.

Last week everyone, Redskins Fans that is, were complaining about how we always seem to play up or down to our opponents.

After this week, I kind of flipped the coin over and was thinking how bad it must be to be a Cowboy or Eagle fan right now. Because I bet they are saying the same thing about losing to the Redskins and playing down to our level.

Ha Ha! I don't really care. Tooooooo Baaaaaad . Nya Nya !!!

Hey, we weren't the ones trading away our best QB or arrogantly thinking that we were a shoe-in for the Superbowl and building a brand new stadium so we could celebrate.

All we did was get some really cool high definition screens for the fans in the stadium to look at. And yes, they are punter proof!

Now that I think about it, there has been a lot of crazy happenings in the NFL this year. Of course, that is the very reason why both my entries are long gone in the elimination league I entered. But hey, it only cost me 5 bucks.

In my other leagues, both my teams are 3 - 1.

My Skins team in the Fumbled Returns League of Experts won. Sorry Sam , NOT!

And in my Borderless League my undefeated streak came to a crashing end. Oh well, I knew it could not last for ever.

And just like the real Redskins, both are on top!

So here is to a wild and wonderfully crazy NFL and Fantasy Football season.

And the box of chocolates.

How sweet it is!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Can't Complain

For the month of September, my investments returned a healthy 16.59%.
My Starting Lineup returned about 5%
My Bench returned about 8%
and my Practice Squad about 5.5%

So, how did I get the 16.59%? Well, I invested in the big September watch list winner VHC which returned a whopping 70%!

VHC is yet again on my October Watch List simply because it has not shown any signs of weakness yet.

When reviewing my candidates for the October Watch lists, I am once again going to go with the three team / squad approach. This time the practice squad is made up of high risk plays and stocks that have been subject to merger mania.

Starting Lineup:

WWIN : has shown a big pop in volume and recently upgraded by analysts
COCO : is on the rebound after hitting lows and is once again on the list
HOGS : is currently showing good strength and upswing in price
JGBO : could be setting up for a good W pattern if it holds support
NSM : this stock is currently at a decent entry point
SNDK : another stock looking for a good rebound and showing good potential
SNTA : expanding drug trials and research and showing good promise for profit
TPI : recently reported record results and stock is on the rebound
TXN : a big supply winner for all the great Apple i-products out there
VHC : 70% in one month is impressive and no real signs of slowing down - yet


FCX : looks like a stock that wants to finish out a strong cup and handle pattern
GILD : this just finished a good W pattern and is hitting top end resistance - watch
TNDM : a decent well run company with recent momentum which has crossed over its 50 day moving average
ASIA : a telecom company which good growth potential with good insider buying
INTC : the chip sector and this company has shown good upswing lately
NEU : showing good momentum and worth watching
NSR : is currently in top end of cup and handle pattern
ONCY : has been showing good strength and momentum and is now showing signs of cooling off - worth a watch
QUIK : another stock showing good potential and worth a watch
GFRE : with a recent announcement of stock buy back and bounce off of lows this stock is showing good recovery

Practice Squad :

AVEO : has regained rights to drugs and patents and has shown really good momentum that it just can not maintain
NPD : very risky spiked movement upwards now without a lot of good support
CRIC : a high flyer in the Chinese real estate sector - can anybody say bubble watch?
CRXL : J&J announced they are planning to buy them out but it is not a done deal yet
GYMB : is considering selling to a private firm, but like CRXL nothing is in writing yet
HNR : another rumored buyout / take-over bid
HYC : entering a hostile take-over bid and potential escalation
OCNW : another potential for a bidding war on this one but not 100% likely
SHG : is showing really strange action for no apparent reason - something might be immanently announced
SVNT : this one is riding the hype wagon, I just do not see why

Oh, and BTW, as of this writing, it looks like both my fantasy football teams are going to finish this week at 3 -1 and at least tied for 1st place.

But more on that later.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Stupid is ...

As Stupid Does.

The infamous "Dirty 30" are back. They are going to reconvene Sunday to greet Donovan McNabb back to town.

The "Dirty 30," created by CBS RADIO Sports morning host Angelo Cataldi, were the 30 fans assembled to attend the 1999 NFL Draft, where they lustily booed the selection of McNabb, who they considered an inferior pick to Ricky Williams.

Cataldi was quoted as saying...

The boys are getting back together one last time to provide closure to the Donovan McNabb era, and to step forward proudly for one final bow. We were right about McNabb, a crybaby who never won the big game in Philadelphia.

Yes, this guy and the other 30 are idiots. In fact, IMHO, so are most Phili fans...

Obviously I am not the only one, there's even a Facebook group -- "Angelo Cataldi is an Idiot" -- dedicated to him.

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