|The Life and Times of Jim|
|Hi, there. I'm Jim. Welcome to my phlog!|
This site was written for Las Vegas, then LouisVille. Now, it seems to be about anywhere. In these phlogs, you'll see a lot of my personal notes and pictures. I like to post my observations here to remember life and celebrate it. I'm not religious. I don't pray for good fortune. I'm ecstatically grateful for the gift of life and I think our time should be remembered and not taken for granted. I'm not a writer. I think pictures tell stories so much better than words. I love just about everything in this life, and, I guess that would have to include you. So, if you've seen me, don't be surprised if your picture is in here somewhere. Of all the critters, people are absolutely the most interesting.
03/15/2009 15:13:16jim Across the Skies - 2009/03/15
03/15/2009 15:01:52jim Vegas,NV-LeavingMcCarren-LakeMead
03/15/2009 13:13:01jim Vegas,NV-FlyingOutOfMcCarren
03/15/2009 11:57:00jim Taking off from Vegas - 2009/03/15
03/15/2009 11:45:36jim Vegas,NV-LeavingVegas-Sonny
03/14/2009 16:13:46jim Vegas,NV-GMas-Bedroom,Bathroom
03/14/2009 13:31:24jim GMas-Dustin,Jen,Becky,Robert,Em
03/14/2009 10:56:08jim Vegas People - 2009/03/14
03/14/2009 10:56:08jim (Reply)Vegas,NV-GMas,Jen,Dustin,Emily,Amy
03/13/2009 14:57:41jim Vegas,NV-Giving Sharon A Bed
03/13/2009 12:07:22jim VoTech Hill - 2009/03/13
03/13/2009 12:07:22jim (Reply)Vegas,NV-Condo,Views,Mustang
03/13/2009 11:07:15jim Why are the stocks falling?
The following are the top 5 reasons I believe that the market dropped today:
1. People are scared! Today's sell off in the stock market was not just mom and pop investor scared about losing their retirement savings, there were huge institutional trades today that seem to be driven by fear.
2. People are confused! The world financial markets are so much more complex than the news anchors on CNBC make it appear to be. Generally, when I'm having trouble understanding something, I run from it. I believe folks all over the world did the same thing today. Many folks are realizing that the stock market is not a game to play.
3. People are irrational! There are sectors of our ecomony that are having huge struggles. In the middle of the struggles, there are companies that have made good decisions, and are doing extremely well because of those good choices. Unfortunatly, on days like this, people don't care about fundamental business metrics, they just want to get dollars away from the stock market.
4. People are fed up! If you are the average American, you get 99% of your market information from the media. This makes it difficult to navigate past the personal opinions and biases of those bringing you the news. With a presidential election on the horizon, the media seems to have gone extremely negative on the US economy. I believe that lots of hard working folks are simply tired of the daily dose of bad news there have having to digest. The natural way to combat that is to get your investments into cash, and turn off the tube.
5. People are funny! We really are funny. We are all experts in our own right. "We sure would do things differently if we were in charge." "I got out before the fall." "I wouldn't have made that mistake." Etc. I think that many people feel like if they get out now, their personal story is stronger. We humans HATE to be wrong!
03/13/2009 11:07:15jim (Reply).Why are the stocks falling?
This article seems funny to me. I don't know anyone personally who sold their stocks.
I think that only an organized group of investors could artificially deflate the value of stocks like it happened in the last few months.
What happened took a lot of large sell orders to be placed across the board, and if it wasn't you or me, then who?
03/13/2009 06:35:10jim I just read an article about stocks
It explained that the value of a stock is based on what people think it is worth, so when it goes from $10 to $5, $5 hasn't dissappeared.
People aren't willing to pay $10 a share anymore. They think it is worth $5.
My problem with this analogy is this, if those shareholders who own most of those $10 shares sell high, then buy back the stock at $5,
they've created the perception of the stock both not being worth $10 a share, then being worth more than $5 a share.
The stock market isn't a car. Its perception of what that car is worth.
If you bought your Ford at $10,000, but now they sell it at $5,000, then you've lost $5,000 (if you try to sell it).
If it really was always worth $10,000, then its value will appreciate when it sells for what it is worth ($10,000).
The real question that needs to be asked is, why was it selling for $10,000, then for only $5,000.
Its the buyers. In the case of the stock market, the car is the same car...but it doesn't get devalued until people quit buying it.
With the stock market, the perception of what a stock is worth is created by the brokers, the news, and what has been going on with the stock.
If people are selling major shares of corporations for top dollar, the perception will be the stock isn't worth as much as what seemed to be.
I believe that is what happened to the stock market. I believe the perception of a failing economy has created one.
This is an except: Much of the talk this past week has been around Microsoft's drop in share price since they made public their acquisition offer for Yahoo. SAI has a nifty calculator and tonight Techcrunch Editor Mike Arrington calls the deal a "$80 billion Headache". TC notes that the share price of Microsoft has dropped from $32.60 per share on January 31 to $28.56, a ~13% drop. I agree with Mike that the Yahoo deal might be a factor in the decrease in stock price, but I am not sold that it's the only factor. I am certainly no stock guy (go read Howard Lindzon for that) and will never give stock advice, but I took a look at some other technology companies to see potentially what the market did as a whole during the same time (January 31st - February 8th). Also, check Ashkan's coverage of the deal, it's very thorough.
03/13/2009 05:47:16jim Saw Criss Angel-Believe at the Luxor
We were comped by Emily to 3 x $160 seats.
The show was excellent !!!
There was a lot of magic with the smoke and mirrors, fake floors, and doves up the sleeves, but the effects were terrific.
The dancing, the screens, the theatre itself, and the people all made the show work.
We even shook hands with Criss Angel (or his look alike).
It was a lot of fun to watch.
03/12/2009 17:01:01jim Vegas,NV-Luxor
03/12/2009 17:00:14jim Vegas Luxor - 2009/03/12
03/12/2009 08:31:12jim Too all of you out there losing everything
You are not alone.
Last year, I lost a fortune in stocks, I lost a fortune of equity in my home, and I too have a bad loan on my house.
Eventually I may lose everything I have.
But I have hope, that by not being alone, things will turn around.
There's a good chance I'll have to start all over again.
If I do, this time, I'll do everything better than I did the last time.
I'm not sure what happened to the stock market and the housing market.
But I have faith.
Kids will get their higher education somehow, houses will be sold, and people will somehow be able to retire, even though most of us have lost our savings.
03/11/2009 20:00:55jim Vegas,NV-Cannery-Becky,Jim
03/11/2009 18:26:53jim From what I have seen of Vegas
The air has cleaned up a lot. You can see the mountains now!
Its just as busy as it ever was. It is still crowded.
About 1 out of every 20 houses I've seen is a Bank Repo.
There seems to be fewer tweakers and street walkers.
I've only met one local that didn't speak any English (it used to be maybe 1 out of 5 people spoke Spanish only).
Driving is still crazy. The same roads are still under construction.
There still are a lot of rude people here. Very few people have been friendly outside of the casinos.
I think its gotten better, but, it is still probably not a good place to live.
03/11/2009 11:37:32jim Vegas,NV-4703 Gabriel-Kitchen,LR
03/10/2009 19:59:08jim Cannery w/Emily,Amy,Becky,Sonny,Robert
03/10/2009 11:37:32jim The Old House Looks the Same
03/09/2009 09:47:47jim Obama reversed Bushes Stem Cell Ban
Imagine, having a new liver grown from a cell from a embyro destined for the trash can..
Imagine some one else saying nope, you can't do that, God says its wrong.
Mr. Bush limited the use of taxpayer money to only the 21 stem cell lines that had been produced before his decision.
He argued he was defending human life because days-old embryos - although typically from fertility clinics and already destined for destruction - are destroyed to create the stem cell lines.
It's nice to have a logical president.
It gives me hope. Taking pills is a lot of fun, but, if it were possible to have an organ replacement for what you're taking the pills for, I think I'd rather NOT take the pills.
03/09/2009 09:07:24jim Vegas Cannery - 2009/03/09
03/09/2009 09:07:24jim (Reply)Vegas,NV-Cannery
03/09/2009 09:07:11jim Vegas,NV-Cannery
03/09/2009 09:07:10jim Vegas Cannery Colors - 2009/03/09
03/09/2009 02:01:33jim This is a very bleak entry.
My brother and I like to sit around, and state our observations of what has been happenning in our worlds.
If you think about anything long enough, you can piece together something that is close to the truth.
The Gas Prices
Ain't it obvious? The refineries got together and decided to cut back on the supply when demand was high. This caused the prices to almost double for gas. This took $100's from every driver in the world each month. We got ripped off.
If supply and demand were working, they refineries would have met the demand with the supply.
The refineries got together and timed this.
This had to have happened.
The Stock Market
Ain't it obvious? Extremely wealthy have sold their stocks, putting their money in their mattress, artificially bringing down the prices of stocks. This has cut our 401ks and our chances for retirement down to almost nothing. The hope is, we will lose our hope, sell our remainings stocks (along with our dreams of a simple 10% return), to drive the stock prices down even lower. When that happens, the extremely wealthy people are going to pull their money our of their mattresses and buy the stocks back at bargain prices.
Here is my sinceriaro
I bought 250 shares of Boyd stock at $40 for $10,000. It was valued at $50.
Now, the wealthy sell their 1,000,000 stocks, and stuff their mattresses with $40,000,0000
The stock goes down to $4 a share.
Having lost faith, and having fear that Boyd will go out of business, I sell my 250 shares of stock a $4 for a $1,000. I've lost $9,000.
When the time comes, the wealthy will pull their $40,0000,000 back out of their mattresses, and buy back the stock at $1 a share, giving them 40,000,000 shares of stock.
The stock will go back to what it was worth ($40 a share). This will make their $40,000,000 now be worth $160,000,000.
The stock is still worth undervalued at $40 a share, but the wealthy will have gained a 400% profit by playing this game.
They've taken my retirement money from me, and caused me extreme depression and despair.
A group of wealthy people got together and timed this.
This had to have happened.
It wasn't fear this time. It was planned. It was organized.
Who are these people?
They are the people who actually have been running the world for a long time.
They would have to be wealthy people from all over the world, to coordinate this intentional disruption of the laws of Supply and Demand.
Competition wasn't working like it should have been.
For example, if one oil refinery was under producing, then another should have been over producing, so they're refinery could make more profit.
But if all the oil refineries all decide to invent reasons to under produce, then Supply is not going to meet demand. Competition has failed to work.
All of the refineries ended up selling less product for more money.
What basic Economics has always overlooked is the power of monopolies.
This is when the government has to step in and make regulations, so the cost of electricity is fairly priced.
But now, there is a world economy. The large businesses control it. No single government can.
Somewhere out there, there MUST EXIST a group of wealth people from all over the world,
that are planning ways to take individual wealth of the middle class, and redestribute it to the upper class.
I hope their grandchildren are happy with my 401k, and all of that money I spent on gas last summer.
I suffered. All of the middle class people I know suffered.
What we aren't reading about in the news, is something else that must be happenning. People are killing themselves. People are dying for the lack of income that they needed from their dividends, or from the money they had to spend driving to the grocery store. A lot of people are just barely surviving.
What we seeing is the new type of WAR
This is a century where the world could actually blow itself up. But that's not going to happen.
This war is quietly killing people. Its quietly destroying the process of supply and demand. The weapons they are using today is money.
They aren't using guns to do it. There are no bombs. Without money, we will die just as surely as if someone put a bullet in our head.
They are using numbers. Simple numbers.
They are creating coordinated attacks on our incomes.
It will have a death count associated with it, but, has anyone figured out how many people died because they didn't have enough money to survive while these gas prices were rising and the stock market was falling? I doubt you will ever hear a number that will reflect the casualties of this war.
We've been misdirected. It's simple magic.
One eye is watching the stock market, wondering how this trick is being done. Our money is dissapearing right in front of our eyes.
Wait a couple of years, and we'll see our money reappear in some elses pocket.
There is no such thing as magic. Magic is a series of planned events that make something seem to disappear and reappear.
Like the dove, in the magicians pocket, it didn't dissappear. It only seemed to. It still existed.
Like the money from the stock market, it didn't dissappear. I don't know know where that money is, but I do know it still exists.
Here is my theory of what is happening, and it is very ugly.
Suppose you knew this planet could support 10 billion people.
If you had power, what you might consider doing is waiting until the population hit 10 billion people, letting the people build their buildings, their bridges, their dams, their infrastructures. However, you and your think tanks would know, this planet could only support 10 billion people. So what do you do when the population starts to hit 11 billion.You might quietly cause the deaths of say, half the population.
You and your friends might cause a water shortage next time, instead of gasolene.
Wouldn't that be wonderful for the survivors? What a wonderful world it could be if I could have an ample supply of buildings, power, food, air, water.
All I'd have to do is mess up the laws of Supply and Demand for a year or so.
And with the worlds knowledge being shared, what you really need really need those 5 billion people for.
Ask yourself "What would have happened if gas prices went up to $50 a gallon"
Hopefully, in your mind, you'll see what I see...a world at war, not in any particular country, but in every neighborhood on this planet. People would be fitting for survival, siphoning gas, robbing gas stations, they'd be willing to kill for gas.
I see that it might possible for something terrible to happen around the year 2012.
I see it, not because of a prophet's predictions, not because of the planets lining up....that cracks me up laughing.
NO, I see it because of the evidence I witness all around me every day.
We know we are destroying this planet. Look at the sky. Look at the lake levels. Look at a garbage dump sometime.
The packaging on a box of cereal cost more than its contents. Where do you think our sewage goes?
People don't care about the animals and plants of this planet. They care about the future of their kids, at any cost.
We know people must die to sustain a decent quality of life for the survivors.
We know at sometime, all of those welfare babies are going to have to starve to death.
We know that the elderly, receiving $10,000 a month in public health care, will have to die.
The time is coming. It has too. Something terrible happens every century.
A group of people, people from probably every country in the world, are letting us know what is coming.
They have been decent enough to give us fair warning.
Hopefully, they'll be decent enough to kill the population of the world without too much discression as to race, creed or color.
I'm pretty sure, it'll be a war between the haves and the have nots.
Wall Street is dead. It hasn't moved to Main Street. I don't where it went.
BTW - Did you see how the magic trick actually worked, or was it just me?
That money in the stock market didn't just disappear, and the oil was always there.
I'm sure the house loans were easy money, given to us, so we'd lose our homes.
These magic tricks keep happening.
Drive around, look at all the bank repos. Remember the prices of gas going up to $4 a gallon. Remember the Dow when it was at 13,000.
What's going to happen next?
Well, it won't be good, I can promise you that. Most people have already lost their retirements and homes.
Maybe what will happen next, will kill most of the human population, but save the planet.
Maybe it seems awful, but if it is a necessary evil, then it is going to have to happen. If the planet can't support10 billion people, then we have to die sooner than expected.
If that is the case, then I'm willing to die for that cause.
That cause, of course, would be the survival of life on this planet.
I'm old anyway, and the youth will hopefully bee wise enough to use the knowledge acquired in the past century, to build a much better colony of our species.
At any rate, the American Dream for me has died.
I made A's in college, but I couldn't afford to go any further. I had to work. Nobody seemed to care that I made straight A's.
And the companies with their retirement plans went away, giving up jobs to the poor people working in factories in China.
And I'll lose my house. I'll lose everything I've worked so hard for and saved for most of my life.
And I'll die from some easily fixed health problem, because I won't even be able to afford that blood pressure test that cost me $80, because I can't afford insurance.
So, good bye Mr and Mrs Cleaver. Beaver will grow up and kill himself some day, and it won't really be his fault.
03/07/2009 18:44:34jim Vegas,NV-Becky,Sonny,Pix
03/07/2009 06:56:51jim Vegas,NV-Strip
03/07/2009 06:56:50jim Vegas Strip - 2009/03/07
03/07/2009 06:11:40jim There is no place like Vegas!
I think I've been around a lot now, and Vegas is the NY Times Square on steroids.
Coming in last night, and just driving down the strip, we must have passed at least 20,000 people, and we just drove a few blocks.
Some business have died, but most are BOOMING! Vegas has grown tremendously in the last 6 months.
I don't understand the stock market.
Why would stock prices in Las Vegas casinos fall. All the parking lots are full. Its more crowded than New York City.
THEY ARE MAKING A KILLING HERE! And its all for partying and having fun.
It seems to me, if a business is obviously turning hugh profits and are expanding, their stock prices shouldn't fall. It makes no sense to me, at all.
I heard Boyd Properties (whose stock fell from $40 to $4 a share) is buying the Station Casino's.
That would make it one of the 5 largest casino corporations in town.
And The Cannery East, that casino that's about 5 blocks away from our house, is BEAUTIFUL.
They did a great job on it.
We are now next to the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign on Boulder Highway.
03/06/2009 21:18:01jim Vegas,NV-McCarrenAirport-Becky
03/06/2009 15:30:19jim PA to NV, a 6 hour flight
03/06/2009 15:06:20jim Driving home from work - headed for Vegas
It felt funny. It felt like it was the last time I'd see this stretch of road to the apartment.
All vacations are exciting.
All flights are boredom filled with anticipation.
I guess what I'm saying is, maybe I won't be back. Life has been full of surprises.
The way this life has been going the last 7 years, its all been a crap shoot.
I'm hoping this trip will be full of adventure and my return to Pittsburgh will be warmly welcomed.
But what I'd like to say the most of all is live each day of your life like it was your last.
Live like us! Live it, and love it.
02/28/2009 07:12:29jim Another rainy week has gone by
It's been raining a lot, and the snow finally melted away. The trees look like they're ready for spring in a couple of weeks.
My new job location takes 30 to 40 minutes to get too, so I haven't been watching the news that much.
It seems like all my time has been revolving around work.
Its the same old thing. Get up at 6, get home at 5, then try to muster enough energy to enjoy the rest of the night.
Usually that involves having a harmless beer at a local bar (I like Blue Moon with an orange in it), or coming home, and watching a movie or playing Wii with Becky.
I guess, at this time of the year, life can't really be described as being depressing, it's more like just plain ol' boring. Its too cold to go out and play.
It takes 10 minutes to put on my t-shirt, shirt, sweater, overcoat, scarf and of coarse, the pants and stuff.
We went to New Jersey and New York.
Every place is starting to look the same to me. Unless there's something that is unusually beautiful, its just another sight. Houses strewn together, factories, shipyards, bridges, tall buildings, and lots of people. The Statue of Liberty and the ferry to and from there was, well, just not that exciting.
On the other hand, the taxi drivers in New York made the trip worthwhile for me.
Those guys are the best racers I have ever seen.
They come within inches of other cars, and don't even sweat it. Most of the roads don't bother with lines to mark the lanes.
Driving in New York is more like a free-for-all. I enjoyed driving there, but when we finally decided to take cabs, those guys made me feel like a beginner.
On the other plus sides of the week
I talked to Robert and Rod this week. Its nice to reaffirm we have friends out there.
Soon, we'll be headed back to Vegas for a short stay. I can't imagine what the economy has done to it.
Our friend Jeff is picking dropping us off at the airport and picking us up.
I keeping hearing about local layoffs in large proportions
Its funny though, I don't see much about it in the news. I really think the big things that are happening aren't being reported to the public.
Once again, I really feel lucky to be working at this time.
Its odd though, I'm working in a large building complex where maybe only 1 in 5 cubes are being used.
I guess most of the people at work think it is life as usual, but I can't help myself from seeing things in a different way.
Welp...that's my babble for a cold Saturday morning.
Love to all, and may happiness fill your days.
02/25/2009 08:04:35jim Wednesday Blues
You know, I was thinking about that 19 year old that posed for the Statue of Liberty. What a sight!!! She's in a sheet, holding a torche, and a book, wearing sandles. Doesn't that make you wonder what was on her mind.
02/19/2009 09:27:58jim Wexford Snow 2009/02/19
02/15/2009 18:40:02jim RockefellerCenter - 2009/02/15
02/15/2009 11:04:22jim New York People - 2009/02/15
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