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. 
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04/05/2009 17:10:38
 jim  Pittsburgh OliveGarden-20090405
04/05/2009 00:00:00
 jim  Happy Birthday - Jen
04/03/2009 04:51:18
 jim  Rainy Day Birds - Cardinal, Robin
04/01/2009 07:03:43
 jim  April Fools Day - Oooo Watch Out!
Just kidding...or am I...haha
03/31/2009 14:19:06
 jim  Cranberry Atrias-20090331
03/31/2009 06:00:00
 jim  ..Wexford Apt Backyard-20081105
I'd say the odds are very good Larry.
We ate at Atria's last night (sorry we missed you). The plan came too late in the day.
03/31/2009 06:00:00
 jim   (Reply)Wexford Apt Backyard-20081105

Bet you didn't expect to see my pic
with these trees! We've seen almost all of the seasons in Pittsburgh this year. I'll put some summer pix in this spot later.
Meanwhile, its my Birthday today
Yea, thats right! Spank me baby!
Gimme 53 and 1 to think about.
03/29/2009 09:31:50
 jim  Wexford Apt Robin-20090329
03/26/2009 18:20:46
 jim  Life as always is good
As I was working with a fellow Support person (in training) today, a problem came up. We used my new Support Menu to check it out, which resolved the problem quick.
That was cool.
Also, his boss borrowed my electric cigarette to show other people.
He's all enthused. I told him, hey, you have an S-Corp in PA, I have one in NV, I also have the paper work, Lets market this thing!!!
I know I've when I've seen something good, and my electric cigarette is one of my latest gadgets.
Its pretty much unknown to the US, and there is no marketting for it yet. So, we could be on the ground floor.
On the other hand, I really like the way things are now. I wonder what I'd be if I had a lot of money.
We could get rich off of this thing...we're both go-getters as the term used to go. But...
Someone has to turn on the ignition and take the wheel.
03/26/2009 17:29:54
 jim  Cranberry BarLouie-20090326
03/25/2009 19:13:37
 jim  We hooked up with a Singles Group..
Now its not like you think!!!
These are professionals like myself, who are temporarily displaced here in Pittsburgh, and they all are both attractive, and nice or either or neither :^).
We went to an Irish Pub in Cranberry, where they had happy hour AND appetizers for $6 between 5pm and 7pm.
We got 6 stuffed mushrooms that were as big as my foot, and burgers as big as my head!!!
We had a lot of fun.
In other news, we just saw Las Vegas on national news
They were talking about people torching their cars for the insurance, however, I'd swear I've got pictures of the car and truck they were hauling off of Lake Mead Blvd near the lake. I took them over a year ago. I thought it was so interesting, I walked from the road down through a gulch to get to them...
Makes me want to say hmmmmmm about what we see on the news.
03/24/2009 19:10:59
 jim  Pittsburgh MullaneyPub-20090324
Mullaney's is an Irish Pub
We've got a good group at my job site. Becky and I got together with two of my coworkers, to see/learn Ceilee dancing (bad spelling). We had fun, and the dancing lessons were interesting. My ears are still ringing from fiddlers tunes though.
I think it might have been happy hour for senior citizens when we got there. It sure made me feel younger! Oh Yea!!!
03/22/2009 21:11:01
 jim  A good weekend - Its SPRING!
We went to Erie, Pa. Watched the sunset over Lake Erie. Hung out and at a local pub off of the lake. Drove around downtown.
We talked to Sonny almost the whole hour and a half back to Wexford on the Truck Phone. That was great.
Coming back through Cranberry, Pa, it was all lit up, and a lot more exciting than anything I'd seen in Erie.
I thought that was strange, that a small town like Cranberry could be so much more exciting than a city off of the Great Lakes.
Anyway, the rest of the weekend was about chatting, writing code and playing Wii. What a life. This weekend seemed to last a month.
Renee set up a three-way conversation with us and GMa. We enjoyed that a lot.
To cap off the weekend, we ate at the Outback, where we got a couple of steaks and a weeks worth of leftovers.
Just another weekend, but, we enjoyed every day.
03/22/2009 13:47:50
 jim  Wexford Outback-20090322
The Outback in Wexford, PA
Winter has ended,
and we are still seeing snow,
but an Outback is an Outback
whereever you go.
Click on the pic below,
then right click, for an interesting background on your PC.
03/21/2009 18:36:44
 jim  Lake Stevens, Wa - Renees New House
03/20/2009 23:48:11
 jim  Favorite Songs from the past on YouTube
03/20/2009 16:49:10
 jim  Erie Church-20090320
03/20/2009 15:47:30
 jim  Erie,PA-SloppyDuckBar-20090320
03/20/2009 15:30:16
 jim  Lake Erie Sunset 20090320
03/20/2009 15:28:46
 jim  Erie,PA-Bayside-20090320

After I got off work on Friday,
Becky and I decided to see Lake Erie. It's about 100 miles north from here. My step mother (Lottie Cutlar) passed away there last week, while we were in Vegas. It's amazing how much can be seen within a few hours of driving.
BTW-My Grandfather burned this into me. Every Sunday, we'd go to some park, or forest near Paducah, Ky.
Thanks Grandfather !
03/20/2009 14:51:02
 jim  Erie Drive-20090320
03/18/2009 12:34:18
 jim  North Park - 2009/03/18
03/18/2009 06:42:14
 jim  Meanwhile: Back in Pittsburgh
I got up at 6 yesterday morning, drove to work and it was dark and foggy. I LIKED IT!
I had the same old problems to solve, sitting on my desk, and I LIKED IT!
I came home to my beautiful Becky, and saw some red breasted robins searching the new grass for worms. And guess what...I LIKED IT!
Some think I am crazy for wanting seasonal weather, but I don't.
As the weather changes, its like another year is being reborn, just to dye again. Snow, fog, rain, sunshine, those days when the sun just barely peeks through the clouds,
to me, they are beautiful. I can't wait to hear our first thunderstorm.
Oh, I told a white lie.
I actually picked Becky up at the store.
She grabbed her back pack, took the trail down to the creek's bridge, crossed McKnight Road, and went shopping at Giant Eagle (or as I like to call  it, the Big Bird).
Yesterday was a nice day for taking a hike through the woods.
03/15/2009 19:13:06
 jim  Vegas,NV-Leaving
03/15/2009 15:19:38
 jim  Vegas,NV-FlightToPA
03/15/2009 15:19:38
 jim   (Reply)Vegas,NV-FlightToPA
03/15/2009 15:13:16
 jim  Across the Skies - 2009/03/15
03/15/2009 15:01:52
 jim  Vegas,NV-LeavingMcCarren-LakeMead
03/15/2009 13:13:01
 jim  Vegas,NV-FlyingOutOfMcCarren
03/15/2009 11:57:00
 jim  Taking off from Vegas - 2009/03/15
03/15/2009 11:45:36
 jim  Vegas,NV-LeavingVegas-Sonny
03/14/2009 16:13:46
 jim  Vegas,NV-GMas-Bedroom,Bathroom
03/14/2009 13:31:24
 jim  GMas-Dustin,Jen,Becky,Robert,Em
03/14/2009 10:56:08
 jim  Vegas People - 2009/03/14
03/14/2009 10:56:08
 jim   (Reply)Vegas,NV-GMas,Jen,Dustin,Emily,Amy
03/13/2009 14:57:41
 jim  Vegas,NV-Giving Sharon A Bed
03/13/2009 12:07:22
 jim  Vegas,NV-Condo,Views,Mustang
03/13/2009 12:07:22
 jim   (Reply)VoTech Hill - 2009/03/13
03/13/2009 11:07:15
 jim  .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 11:07:15
 jim   (Reply)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 06:35:10
 jim  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: MicrosoftMuch 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.
Company Jan 31st Close February 8th Close $ Change ~ % Change
Baidu $279.95 $233.91 -$46.04 -16%
Google $564.30 $516.69 -$47.61 -8%
Apple $135.56 $125.48 -$10.09 -8%
RIM $93.88 $89.71 -$4.17 -5%
IAC $25.94 $22.11 -$3.83 -12%
Nasdaq 2,389.86 2,304.85 -$85.01 -3.5%
What do you think? Is Microsoft stock down because of the Yahoo bid, general market conditions, a combination or neither?
03/13/2009 05:47:16
 jim  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 17:01:01
 jim  Vegas,NV-Luxor
03/12/2009 17:00:14
 jim   Vegas Luxor - 2009/03/12
03/12/2009 08:31:12
 jim  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 20:00:55
 jim  Vegas,NV-Cannery-Becky,Jim
03/11/2009 18:26:53
 jim  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 11:37:32
 jim  Vegas,NV-4703 Gabriel-Kitchen,LR

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