Saturday, March 31, 2012

Favourite moon shot, taken last night

Me thinks this is a new favourite! I was unbelievaby lucky to catch the plane flying into the shot at just the right time.

New Picasa - test shots

Just uploaded the latest version of Picasa. There new software has quite a few more tools, including a range of retro/1960s type filters and a pretty cool cinemascape filter. Here are a few pics:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Shorting the Gnomes of Zurich

It's a struggle finding shorts beginning with G. In this case it's a silent G.

The trade would be long EUR/CHF. Duration: 1-3 months. Current spot: 1.2039/40. Stop-loss at 1.1999.

Do I have the trade on. Kind of, but not really. I'm long at 1.2047 in small size, with a plan to scale into the trade at 1.2030 and maybe once again lower down.

Come on the Gnomes, keep repatriating the Swiss Franc and force the SNB to intervene.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A good article on Vitamin D

The Scientist has a comprehensive and balanced article on the state of play of Vitamin D, which I've been harping on and off about for several years now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Some more pics from Saturday - Windsor Great Park and the Environs

A pigeon and the moon

This beady eye pigeon pic was taken yesterday from my bedroom window.

 Moon shot taken this evening. It's out of shot, but Venus was shining brightly above.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Film: Step Brothers

Will Ferrell and company deliver the goods once again in this many-more-hits-than-misses comedy about two 40-ish year olds who live at home with their parents and finally have to grow up and start acting like adults....but acting like adults can really suck and you should never really lose your dinosaur:

A few pics

Taken earlier today. There are lots more to post but the exciting world of Audit & Assurance is beckoning. Time to pull the blinds down, pretend like it's raining and stare at some pages of audit procedures. Musn't peak too early of course, and my room must be cleaned before I do anything, and it would be the height of madness to start work on an empty stomach, and ....

 Windsor Great Park on a hazy Saturday morning.

The pond frogs are getting used to human presence. I like how I can see my reflection in the frog's eye.


Taken just off a main roundabout in Staines. Who wouldda thunk it?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ninja tends his garden

Ninja makes a paste from the deadly plants and applies it to the points of his ninja stars to make them extra deadly.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Zucchini Rancheros

I concocted this beauty today and it was a little bit good:

Mushroom roughly chopped.
Onions diced.
Half a courgette diced.
A few small tomatoes, halved.
Salt & pepper to season.
2 eggs per person.
Potato pancakes.
Chedder cheese.

- Fry up the mushrooms, courgette and onions in a healthy dose of olive oil (now does that mean a little or a lot?...your choice). Stir about the pan, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes into the mixture about half way through.
- Pop the pancakes in the toaster on a high setting.
- Add the two eggs to the pan, switch to a low heat and scramble em up as you please.
- When the pancakes pop, drop a little cheese onto each one and lather on the scrambled veggie egg mix.
- Gobble.

Om nom nom. Will definitely make again and soon. No picture was available...too busy eating.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Game Group call in the administrators

"The future of Game Group is hanging by a thread as it said it would appoint administrators and admitted the business was worthless..."

The shares have been suspended. This is my last post on the company. Time to hunt down the next big short.

Film: 21 Jump Street


This is a fun movie with a good measure of high quality, low brow humour. As a bonus we get to see Johnny Depp appear along with a couple of other members of the original 21 Jump Street series (most folk in these parts won't even know this series existed).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gonzalo Menendez is in Act of Valor

Way back when I cooked up a batch of cookies and named them in honour of actor Gonzalo Menendez, who was the only good thing in a movie called 12 Rounds. In the post, I commented:

'Gonzalo Menendez is the actor who plays Santiago and you have probably seen him around. Looking at his profile on IMDB he has carved out a bit of a niche, appearing on a whole host of crime shows in one guise or another, straddling the role of criminal and cop : he went from playing 'Pablo' in 24 to a role in Damages. From there it was a case of Cold Case and double CSI (NY and Miami). Then over to Numb3rs and Criminal Minds, and then Hollywood baby, with a role as 'Uniform Cop' in Fracture, 'Lieutenant' in Rise of the Silver Surfer, and finally culminating in a pretty decent role in 12 Rounds. I hope Menendez is giving better roles as time goes by. We're watching you buddy.'
And the guy (or at least I think it was him) responded with the comment: 'Yo man, the writer of the film read this and sent it to me. I really appreciate the post, and love havin' a cookie named after Agent Ray. Best wishes, Gonzalo Menendez'

After 12 Rounds I didn't see Gonzalo appear again ... until now. My housemate played a trailer of "Act of Valor" and I glimpsed a familiar face. Yes, Gonzalo is back on the big screen as gun-toting all american hero Commander Pedro. After I watch this movie, I may have to cook up a sequel batch of cookies!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ninja with topknot

Why most amatuer traders blow up

Insufficient capital = excessive risk taking = probability soon catches up = capital destroyed.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Some cool things

I'm just about to go into an accountancy class (on Mother's Day!). Instead of doing some pre-reading I thought I would find and post some cool things I found on the net this morning:

"The CERN-SPS accelerator has been briefly operated in a new, lower intensity neutrino mode with ~10^12 p.o.t. /pulse and with a beam structure made of four LHC-like extractions, each with a narrow width of ~3 ns, separated by 524 ns. This very tightly bunched beam structure represents a substantial progress with respect to the ordinary operation of the CNGS beam, since it allows a very accurate time-of-flight measurement of neutrinos from CERN to LNGS on an event-to-event basis. The ICARUS T600 detector has collected 7 beam-associated events, consistent with the CNGS delivered neutrino flux of 2.2 10^16 p.o.t. and in agreement with the well known characteristics of neutrino events in the LAr-TPC. The time of flight difference between the speed of light and the arriving neutrino LAr-TPC events has been analysed. The result is compatible with the simultaneous arrival of all events with equal speed, the one of light. This is in a striking difference with the reported result of OPERA [1] that claimed that high energy neutrinos from CERN should arrive at LNGS about 60 ns earlier than expected from luminal speed."
What does this mean? It means that neutrinos do not travel faster than the speed of light. Einstein still rules. These guys are from the same lab as the OPERA team who came out with the original claim (okay, it was reported as more of a possibility). Next stop is a face-off between the two teams in the parking lot.

Elsewhere, we see that frustrated male fruit flies turn to alcohol, pointing to evolutionary explanations for our addictions. The story and experiment is cool and some of the comments are pretty neat:

  • Sancho
  • Washington, DC
NYT Pick
Well, I would imagine that if you only live for 24 hours and get rejected, what the heck else are you going to do, go look for a job?

  • Dr WU
  • hotel calif
NYT Pick
Flies get drunk,who knew? I recall that Groucho Marx said the truest thing about fruit flies-- "Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Inappropriate use of Comic Sans

This sign is on the fence of a power sub-station thingy-ma-jig just down the road. "Shocking".

Ninja comes home to find his pet wasp lying dead

Friday, March 16, 2012

Groupon follow up

More trumpet blowing. In early Jan I mentioned how Groupon represented really poor value as a stock. I don't mind it at all as a consumer. Indeed I just purchased another full car service from a local garage for a mere £40 through the site. However, the business model is flawed relative to the valuation. The chart below shows what has happened to the stock over the past three months. The actual stock price (blue line) is pretty much bang on where it was when we started the year. However, the orange line drifting steadily higher is the broader Nasdaq market.

Did I have an outright position or a spread trade perhaps? Nope. It's all talk and hot air. If I take any positions, no doubt Groupon will find a route to strong profitability or be taken over in a bidding frenzy, such are the universal laws. I remain on the look out for other questionable companies starting with the letter G.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Planetscapery - Jupiter, Venus and Mars

The above picture was taken from our garden last night. It shows Venus and Jupiter in close proximity. The two planets can clearly be seen as the two brightest lights in the sky directly to the West. Use this cool star map here to get your bearings.

Looking across to the East we could also clearly see Mars. Elsewhere in the vast expanse of blackness, the constellations were pretty easy to spot, with the big dipper and Orion most easily identifiable. I've often looked up in wonderment at the stars but I'd never really joined the dots, and I'd only spotted Venus once before. All in all a most successful venture into the garden, me thinks!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Game Group is almost dead

Now at just 1.5p. The companies suppliers are deserting. This is the death knell.

Don't say I didn't tell ya.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How many frogs do you count?

By opting for a slow, sneaky crouching approach, I managed to catch a veritable bevvy of frogs poking their heads out of our pond.


Some less slimy pics from from Windsor Great Park follow below.


Friday, March 09, 2012

Magic Nutella Filled Flapcakes

My housemate was in a baking mood today. Ingredients were haphazard and roughshod in equal measure. Expectations were low. The first batch met expectations. The second batch were amazing, absolutely amazing. 9.5 out of 10, maybe 10 out of 10. The difference was half a tub of Nutella. Eaten hot with a centre of gooey goodness, these things were about as good as they get. The recipe can never really be known by anyone, even the baker!

Weekday luncheon

Museli for breakfast and two toast for lunch. Baby steps towards normalising my eating habits, perhaps. Probably not though, as the toast are not sitting too well in my insides. Funnily enough, my weekend eating habits are perfectly fine.

Until I find some scientific evidence that one large meal a day is bad for you, I may well continue with the current practice of not breakfasting or lunching through the working week.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Moon shots - full moon tonight

I say, this is not bad goings for my Moon Shots project. Tonight we had a full moon. The intensity of the light doesn't make for good photo taking but I still got something worth posting. More interesting however, were the passing clouds which provided the gift of a smoky ninja dragon (see below):

 From the above clouds a wispy, windy ninja dragon was born. The body is captured in the pic below. The profile of the dragon's head further down.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Moon shots - March 7 ... almost full

Moon shot + Buzz Light Year

The moon was pretty much the same as yesterday, not worthy of a stand-alone pic but definitely worthy of a composite with Buzz Lightyear!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Last big run for a while

Not quite a record, but still close to 8 miles. It's starting to feel like a natural limit.

Deciding it was finally time to turn right upon leaving the house; unlike Zoolander I had only ever turned left when going for a run. I hot footed it to Windsor town centre, where I jogged about a little searching for the entrance to the Long Walk. When I found the gates, I decided to jog the full distance of the Long Walk which is about 2.7 miles. And then, when I got to the horse statue at the other end of the Long Walk, I found I had too much energy left in the tank so I turned around and ran back to the castle. Then I thought 'oi vey, still too much energy' and decided to run back home. What do you know, about 8 miles again.

This time around though, I wasn't running on empty. I'd had a coke and two biscuits throught the day, amount to about 300 calories. However, I must have burned some 700 odd calories on the run so by the time I got home I was calorie negative for the day. Fortunately my housemate had flapjacks cooking away in the oven...sweet, sweet flap-jackery, with no holding back on the butter. Add to that a Hershey's chocolate bar, four crackers with thick wedges of blue cheese, four hash browns, a plate of vegetables with olive oil and two fried eggs, and I was back in a good place.

Monday, March 05, 2012

The moon tonight...almost full

I will soon tire of the Photoscapery....not yet though!

If you look to the bottom right, you can see the site of a massive meterorite strike which has created blast lines kicking out who knows how many hundreds of miles.