Saturday, December 22, 2007

Top Five Lists

Finally a day without precipitation up here in Massachusetts. It looks like big time rain for tomorrow however. That should work out just great considering the huge snow piles are everywhere. Hope everyone has their flood insurance up to date.

Boring Saturday
Its pretty quiet on the financial front. Friday's "Santa Claus" rally was the weakest attempt at a bull run that I have seen in many year end sessions. There are still a few days next week for the Street to pump up the markets for year end numbers. There is not much I want to write about this evening, so I will direct you to some of the best commentary on the web if you want red meat!
Karl Denninger has a great wrap of Friday's action. He covers the Friday rally, the myth of bond insurance, and the scam that was the retail sales season. Right to the point as usual:
http://market-ticker.denninger.net/2007/12/do-you-believe-in-santa-claus.html

Mish has been all over the insurance issue, and his coverage has been great. Today's post is very good, and he has many prior posts detailing all the drama:
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/12/insurance-from-mbia-and-ambac-worthless.html

An asteroid may hit the planet Mars on January 3oth, and if it does the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity will be well positioned to study the impact! This is terribly exciting if you are a space lover:
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/ap-071220-asteroid-mars.html

Top Five Lists
Not that anyone out there cares what I like, but I thought I would present a top 5 list for a few categories to highlight some things that I enjoy. Perhaps you may find a last minute Christmas gift idea for that person so hard to buy for.

Top Five Films Not Many People Have Seen
  1. Road to Perdition - Tom Hanks gives a great performance. Paul Newman reminds us all that he is a rare talent. The filming and cinematography have no equal in the modern era. Excellent film that few people I run in to have ever seen.
  2. Streets of Fire - Michael Pare and Diane Lane in an early career film. Ry Cooder supplied most of the music, and the soundtrack is great. Plenty of action and a little romance to keep the wife/girlfriend interested enough to watch.
  3. Berry Gordy's "The Last Dragon" - A film about martial arts that adds enough comedy to be a great film. The lead character is named "Bruce Leeroy"! Good pick for action lovers as hardly anyone has ever seen this film.
  4. Session 9 - The first movie that really freaked me out since "The Exorcist". Very creepy and unsettling. Horror and suspense fans will like it, and not many have ever seen it.
  5. The Best of Times - Kurt Russel and Robin Williams give just amazing performances in this comedy/tale of redemption. The film is about avenging an old football games loss during a mid life crisis for Williams. I strongly recommend this film.

Top Five Books Not on any Bestseller List

  1. Tau Zero by Poul Anderson - Chronicles the travels of the Leonora Christine a star ship that uses a bussard ramjet for propulsion. Explores the concept of Time Dilation and the human stress that it may result in. Great book and not too long.
  2. Darth Bane Path of Destruction - Written by Drew Karpyshyn, this book cover the Sith lord Darth Bane. He is responsible for the Sith "Rule of Two" that culminated in the fall of the Republic under Darth Sidious. The writing is wonderful, and the dark side of the force is finally given a thorough detailing. Any Star Wars fan should love it.
  3. Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven - If an asteroid were to hit earth, this book will tell you all you need to know about what will happen. I also recommend this book for the "gold bunker" crowd as it has all the survival tips you will need in an economic collapse!
  4. World War Z by Max Brooks - If Zombies were real and overran the planet, this book covers it all. Told in the perspective of one on one interviews with the survivors of the Zombie War, it really captures your imagination. Chilling tale, but with a story of redemption as well.
  5. When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management - Written by Roger Lowenstein, it chronicles the tale of the hedge fund LTCM. Great reading in the current atmosphere! It really shows you how extremely smart and educated men still behave like fools given the chance.

Top Five Odds and Ends

  1. A Lightsaber - Whether in blue, green, or sith red, everyone should have a lightsaber replica. I the Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker models. Seriously, everyone really does not own one?
  2. A good pair of Scissors - I tell you, a really rugged and sharp pair of scissors is a must have in my house. I use them for everything and cheapo dull scissors are annoying.
  3. Lint Roller with many refills - As a long time cat and dog owner, those lint rollers really save me from looking stupid when I go to work. If you have animals, you know black is a color not to buy for clothing. The lint rollers help quite a bit.
  4. Good Wiper Blades - If you live in an area that sees some winter weather, do not scrimp on wiper blades. Get a set of triple edge or equivalent with the thick arms. Nothing is more dangerous than not being able to see in bad weather especially at night.
  5. A Sense of Humor - While this cannot be bought in stores, with a little help, it often can make an appearance. The daily grind is tough. Jobs can be boring. Every day is not a party! (it took me into my late twenties to figure the last one out). In the face of it all it is important to not take everything so serious that one cannot laugh. We all should lighten up at years end in the least. While the economic issues are exciting and very serious, they should not consume all our thoughts and feelings.
  6. Perma link to Economic Disconnect - I know this makes the list 6 in number, but really shouldn't everyone have this site on their favorites tab?!

That's all for tonight. Hope everyone has some fun stuff planned for next week.

Have a good night.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

getyourselfconnected

I would have to pass on the books and films and I could do without a lightsaber (never saw the movie and don't intend to) but on the other things I fully agree. One of the things that our family did this year was fore go the gift giving and donated to local charities instead. I have all the crap I need and my wife is a volunteer at the local thrift store which is non profit with the proceeds going to the extended care facility in our town. She hauls enough junk home as it is. The only charities I recommend are local organizations as at least in that case you can see if the money is going to the cause or being squandered. Red Cross, United Way and a lot of the other groups eat up to much of what is donated in advertising and administrative fees for my taste. Never donate to a solicited phone calls as most of these are scams.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

LOVE YOUR BLOG. Keep it real and free.

thx

pl

watchtower said...

First up, in my part of the country the moon was simply HUGE when it appeared last evening, can`t remember it ever looking that big. I showed my daughter and she just about flipped out too.
If I could add a movie or two that I think is worth watching, the first would be "Sexy Beast" with Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley, and the second would be "Lost in Translation" directed by Sofia Coppola (yeah I know it`s a chick flick, but it`s good).
Plus I have to throw in one of the greatest spaggetti westerns of all time..."Once Upon a Time in the West" by Sergio Leone , I`ve seen where critics have panned this movie, but I think they are full of it.
Take care

getyourselfconnected said...

Watchtower,
"Lost in Translation" almost made my list, an excellent film. I will check out the Ben Kingsley film as I think he is a great actor. Thanks to all for stopping by, I should have some time and new material on Wednesday. Plenty of action out there with MER selling its soul for capital. Have a great holiday.