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May 7th, 2008
01:14 pm
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Dear life, still miss you. Signed, me
Hey, looks like this Internet thing is still on.
  1. Gratuitous Icon Post: Lake Emo Lake Valley Reservoir*, near Truckee, Calif., just begged for this. Anyone know of any happy-face bodies of water? I foresee great success for LOLakes.


  2. The end is in sight: I just gave notice at job #2. I doubt that'll get me back any time until after Memorial Day, but moving forward that'll allow me to really streamline my schedule. (tired cheer)


  3. Waiting for the upgrade: I've just been informed** by the Microsoft Knowledge Base that "Tad's Mouth Doesn't Move" when he speaks. No known workarounds. Well, crap! You'd think with nine months in their testing cycle, my parents could have caught that one before it shipped.


  4. A modest proposal: roaminrob made the mistake of exposing me to the Screaming Frog very shortly after I discovered Cat Yodeling. And now I know what must be done.

    The world needs a Screaming Frog/Yodeling Cat duet remix.

    I recommend using them both as backing vocals for Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You."


  5. Your Baxil has evolved: Comedian Eddie Izzard famously has drawn the distinction between "executive transvestites" and "fvcking weirdo transvestites." Pace Eddie, I'm pretty sure I completed my transition a week and a half ago to Executive Dragon.

    It went something like this:

    Saturday: Spent the afternoon in the close company of a dozen topless pagan women (and almost as many men), capping off a ritual to Dionysus with an afternoon of overtly sexual competitions.
    Sunday: Went home and assembled an investment portfolio.***

    Both, for the record, were firsts for me.

(Edited to add: I'm not trying to imply that Saturday was a "weirdo dragon" day. No no no. Random pagan debauchery is good. More like, I'm an executive dragon because I can both do these things and blend in conventionally with some measure of objective success.)

--
* Enter "39.307,-120.585" without the quotes in Google Maps for original. Although I used Mapquest's satellite view for this icon; the color was better.
** Via the hilarious "Funny Microsoft Q Articles" compilation.
*** If you should find yourself in a similar position -- the entire U.S. market is taking a thorough beating right now. I, and my financially savvy father, recommend fleeing into commodities (especially energy) and foreign bonds. Right now, the dollar's in a slight rally, so it's a good time to buy in. The underlying structure of the economy is such that painful inflation is basically inevitable.

Current Location: ~spiral
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: Michael Johnathon, "The Dream"
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(13 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]
From:ceruleanst
Date:May 8th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
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If that's not a GIP invitation, I don't know what is.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:May 8th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
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That's just awesome. ]B=8)

Please name your price* (in cash, goods or trade) for a custom Baxil icon in the same style. (Possibly with less French.)

--
* And don't you dare say "free" -- my three jobs have to be good for something, dammit.
[User Picture]
From:hislittlekitty
Date:May 8th, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
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You are not dead!
YAY!

[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:May 8th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
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I'm pretty happy about that one myself!
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From:frameacloud
Date:May 8th, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
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Re: 3. "Tad's Mouth Doesn't Move"
Telepathy: it's not a bug, it's a feature!

Looking forward to potentials LOLakes and squealing animal video.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:May 8th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
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> Telepathy: it's not a bug, it's a feature!

But its interface with third-party hardware is a little glitchy. :-( For instance, whenever I try to install a Thin-Tin-Sheet Cranial Firewall, I lose network connectivity entirely.
From:silussa
Date:May 8th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
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If you're looking at a potential inflationary scenario, it's worth considering gold mining stocks, of which there are several good funds. There's also at least one index-traded fund which is intended to match the commodities basket.

I've tended to keep a 50-25-25 mix myself of regular stocks - cash/bonds - inflationary hedge (a little gold and silver, mainly international and gold stocks).


And did you participate in the competitions, judged them, or neither?


--Silussa, who supposes she's been an executive dark elf for quite a while
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:May 8th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
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Commodities in general tend to overperform against inflation, yes. Gold's always popular. With the levelling supply of petrochemicals and ever-increasing demand (google "peak oil"), energy's going to be an interesting market.

I'm trying to diversify myself, as well, though it can be hard at smaller dollar amounts. Right now I'm 50% in a mutual fund of world energy stocks, 25% in foreign bonds (both collecting interest and hedging against the dollar), and 25% in domestic government-backed bonds. In case America nukes the rest of the world, I guess.

--

> And did you participate in the competitions, judged them, or neither?

Yes. :)

(Except for the "neither" part.)
From:silussa
Date:May 9th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
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Hedging against the dollar is usually good, but I tend to be contrarian. If everyone else is betting against the dollar, it's probably time to be betting ON it. (I've had the gold mutual fund for a while; recently stopped the regular adding to it for the reason above)

Ditto on energy stocks.

Domestic "full faith and credit" is always good if everything tanks. If the US Government defaults, you have a lot bigger worries then the money. *wry grin*

And what level of "small dollar amounts" are you playing with? (some people consider $500,000 small; I consider it HUGE)
From:antwondotcom
Date:May 10th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
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Aw, I don't think things are quite far enough along for things to be in the "everybody is pro-gold and energy stocks!" camp quite yet. Not nearly frothy enough. When you see Jim Cramer kvetching about which mining companies are hot every night and the cover of half the supermarket magazines are raving about "gold is great - but make sure palladium and silver don't get overlooked!", OK, then you're in Danger Will Robinson territory. :)

As it is, I still see plenty of mainstream articles chuffing about with "well, gold's fallen back from $900, guess that ride is over" and "oil is high right now, sure, but some experts anticipate it'll be back below $100/barrel by next summer". And hell, if you're tracking where cash actually seems to be allocated at the moment, you see everybody and their sister moving into bonds (of all things!) right now. (Doesn't make a damn lick of sense to me, but that appears to be what many folks are doing.)

Me, I am long gold and silver ETF-style. Still looking for specific mining companies worth my time - not entirely convinced that for many firms, the awesome-high metal prices aren't going to be totally offset by awesome-high cost-to-mine prices and, in some cases, foreign governments "revising" companies' mining terms. Also holding energy-related items that should weather the storm well whether oil is at $80 or $180, like oil-exploration technology companies and the occasional junior uranium mining firm.
[User Picture]
From:kevynjacobs
Date:May 8th, 2008 05:25 am (UTC)
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OMG! CAT YODELING!
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From:baxil
Date:May 8th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
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Go Kevyn! Use your YouTube video making skills! Yodeling cats! Screaming frogs! Whitney Houston! You can do it, I believe in you!*

--
* Assuming Whitney doesn't give you an aneurysm, anyway.
[User Picture]
From:joysweeper
Date:May 9th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
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I love the "Engineer's Guide to Cats". The deadpan delivery is a big part of it. Hadn't heard the screaming frog before, though. Creepy.
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