Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Was watching Canadian Biz TV and a guy who makes a living promoting junior miners was talking about GIX on the Canadian venture Exchange. He talked about lots of stocks but this one seemed the most interesting.

I woke up the next morning to see that the stock had shot up on his words....but rather than kick myself for missing out on the move, I noticed something really interesting starting to set up on this thing....

If physical gold pulls back a bit in the next little bit from the 780-790 range -- or for some other perfectly sound reason, this stock cools off and pulls back from it's recent highs after touching near it's previous high, this is one I'm goin to be watching.

While the volume didn't die out completely, this is a "decent" little cup formation on the back of an explosive upmove....If the chart for whatever reason creates a nice little trough (or "HANDLE") to aforementioned cup it could be setting up a nice little trade.

The idea is that you'd want to buy the stock at the point it broke through the point of resistance...one can often get a quick 20%+ on such a setup

I'll keep you posted.


the Return of Bread and Circuses...part II

Hi all,

fuBarrio's snaggle-toothed snarling grin is already salivating in apparent pavlovian response to something that happened last week.

in perhaps one of the coolest things ever one of my three dedicated readers did something that single-handedly cemented the likeli-hood of a higher frequency of deranged fuBarrio sightings than has been seen over the last 6 months.

you see, while Uruguay is the land of milk 'n honey, one of the things it unfortunately (for fuBarrio) is NOT, is the land of HOSTESS!!!

why is this relevant?

well, in case you are new around here, fuBarrio often appears after over consumption of corn syrup and sugar laden "north american style" junk food, in all of its empty calorie grandeur! The fuel that keeps fuBarrio going most assuredly is the oft-cited, Hostess Twinkie Snack Cakes.

...the golden fluffy sponge cake, centering the "creamy" whipped-oil-sugar "goodness" on the inside. two great tastes that taste great together!!! especially when consumed in inappropriately large amounts for someone with my blood-sugar temperament.

After numerous unsuccessful calls to the people at Hostess, and a miserably failed letter writing and petition campaign, the people at Hostess informed me that Twinkie's would NOT be coming to store shelves in Uruguay anytime soon. After many inquiries, they muttered something about the infrastructure of international "baked goods" being weak.....

...devestation, disappointment, malaise...who knew that a twinkie could actually go "bad"?....for that matter, who knew that a twinkie could be classified as "baked good"???

So, while my Circuses (north american cable tv) had been suitably replaced with a slingbox strategically placed withing WA Huskies broadcast territory (thanks mom and dad!) and high speed connectivity, *Bread* (aka Twinkies Hostess Snack Cakes) were still missing.

It's like pepper without salt, peaches without cream, simon without garfunkel....while "OK" by itself, the yin of "Circuses" only become sublime when paired with its yang of "Bread". Almost no sooner than this (ok, semi-original) thought flashed through my mind, I got a phone call from the UruguayLiving.com office. The second (of my three) readers had brought me a gift from the states.....a in home twinkie maker to satisfy my every (over) indulgence in the snack cake of the gods.

Golden Lotus has graciously offered to help with the "whipped sugar oil" filling since apparently it is best attempted by someone with opposible thumbs.

To the two of you who have enjoyed a kindler, gentler, blog these last few months I have some disappointing news; you can probably expect a lot more junk-food fueled, maniacal fuBarrio sightings here in the near future.

"chow" :),

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Damages are Contained -- to Earth

I was watching "Damages" season finale last night on my Circuses box (slingbox).

For those that haven't seen it, it's about a big class action lawsuit carried out on a shady businessman (think Enron) who got out of his stock with inside information before the SEC announced an investigation into shady accounting. This, of course, is being carried out by an even shadier lawyer.

It was funny, because I know they filmed this in the spirit of Enron (and probably worldcom, tyco, etc etc), but they things they were saying sounded earily familiar.

He was being investigated for "hiding debts in offshore entities made to hold bad debts off the balance sheet" and "booking income in the present period based on expected income." (cash flows that were future hopes rather than present realities).

I know alot of you are thinking "Yeah, Enron", but look at our current lending environment.

You've got banks creating SIVs...(not sieve) to hold bad assets off their current balance sheets -- otherwise they'd have to pony up more in the way of reserves for the banking regulators.

AND you've got option ARM writers booking the increase in mortgage principal that payers are adding to their loans by paying the minimum as REVENUE. In other words, in some bizarre twist of logic and GAAP reason, they are booking money with the lowest probability of ever bein repaid as revenue in the current period.


I mean, I know we are a stoopid people...after all, if you couldn't see shades of Vietnam -- especially in the rhetoric before it all started -- you were blinder than the cataract encrusted pooch that resides here.

but, C'MON for crap sakes....Enron only blew up like 6 years ago and the trial of the principals JUST FINISHED.....ridiculous.

In other news, I was going to run a really tasteless headline like, "Suprise, So Cal RE is ON FIRE"...or "RED HOT"...or pick your other tasteless joke. Just heard my cousin and his family barely got out of their house with their lives....in fact he was hospitalized.....

They'll be able to return to the house in a day or two to see if anything made it, but as of now, from what I hear, they have their pajamas and each other (and that's it).

Good luck to them, and the prayers of Golden Lotus and I are with them and all the other leftcoasters caught in the blaze.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Estadio Centenario - Montevideo

GL and I attended the Uruguay v. Bolivia futbol (soccer) match on October 13th. It was the opening weekend of the SouthAmerican qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup.

It rocked.

Uruguay got up 2-0 and then a player from the Bolivian team was red-carded for some rough play after a previous yellow (unwarranted) for arguing a call that the linesman missed. The final tally was 5-0 Uruguay.

The crowd seemed to love every minute of it, and was very familiar with all of the players, including gettin very excited when they could tell when one of their favorite substitutes was gettin ready to come into the game.

About a month from now Chile comes to town for a match...definately planning on going to that match....nothing would be sweeter for fuBarrio than to have little Uruguay stomp the Chileans

I have alot more pics, but blogger is making me a bit crazy -- the last couple of days it's been unwilling to upload my pics without cutting off my connection. I'll try to remember to add them later.


Velodromo - Montevideo

Close to "Estadio Centenario" (Century Stadium) is the Montevideo "Velodromo" (Velodrome).

Estadio Centenario looks like it was built for the 1930 World Cup that was held here in Montevideo. The Velodrome, appears to have been built during the same time period with the art deco lettering, but I can't verify that as I'm too lazy to google or wikipedia it :)

As you can see it seems to be in a state of disrepair, however it still receives what looks like a fair amount of use.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

fuBarrio Shrugged

I just looked at my blog and noticed that I haven't been keeping up with my normal flury of semi-coherent posts the last couple of weeks.

What can I say?

Is it that the world has finally come to its senses? No. I can't definitively say that is the case at all? Are there fewer absurdities to ridicule? No. Again, I wouldn't say that.

Why just today I was reading an article posted on the New York times about a professor who wrote a paper about gold and stocks.....he thinks that they are disconnected from their historical adverse relationship and either gold is anticipating inflation or it is *wrong* right now....his reason: inflation has gone down the last 5 years at the same time gold was going up. do professors shop, go to the hospital, pay tuition or drive cars?

the counter argument is that the gov't stats for inflation are cooked.

his "counter-counter" is that if the numbers are cooked, it's ok, cause he is only measuring changes in the cooked numbers to changes to the cooked numbers now....

uh, fuBarrio's counter counter counter is that you can't use something that can be CHANGED as a baseline for anything!!! the cpi measurements have changed countless times over that period, and in everycase I'm aware of, the changes understate price inflation.

Look, I realize that this story and my arguments against this egghead aren't backed up by links, direct quotes, or even a storyline that is easy to follow....And, it's the same reason that i haven't posted a lot lately:

I would have to chalk it up to good old fashioned apathy.

The reach of some egghead professor getting a writeup in the New York Times is mindboggling. Nevermind that his analysis is completely flawed, and as a matter of fact if you'd followed his advice up until now you'd have LOST MONEY.

It seems like anyone that doesn't have something to gain by having their voice heard is drowned out by the rampant commercialism of opinions these days.

Larry "cocaine" Kudlow was telling me - on CNBC where he's afforded an hour every day - gold was going back to 400 shortly before I came down to Uruguay because his connections at the Fed were bound and determined to crush out speculation as it was a signal to the market that inflation was cropping up.

Where is the "mea-culpa"???

Steve Forbes, riding the coattails of his old man's media empire made some monster prognostication that oil was going back to $35/barrel right before I came down to Uruguay. I think I just saw that it punctured the $90 mark in the front month futures contract.

The sad part is that Cocaine Kudlow and Steve Forbes will *always* have more influence, wealth, power, comfort, supporters, for themselves and their families than some doofus like fuBarrio. Their children will enter the ivy league schools, have the introductions to others in the halls of power and continue the incestuous inbreeding that is bifurcating our society into those that have and control and those that shine their shoes.

Were Forbes and Kudlow really serious that they believed these prognostications or were they asked to lie for a grander economic or political purpose???

Either way, they should be ashamed.....tarred and feathered....strung up by their gonads and ridiculed.

Is it so bad to make a prediction and be wrong? of course now, but how about a little bit of admission of fault. Forbes did a freakin' press junket in support of his absurd $35/barrel call.

What the Hell does Steve Forbes know about Oil? The sad thing is, he has name recognition (and a conduit to be heard), so people will listen to his "wishes" over the sound reasoning and science put forward by someone like Matthew Simmons who insists that Saudi Arabia is peaking (or has already peaked) with light sweet crude production.

In light of it all, is it any wonder that fuBarrio is shrugging?


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Money as Debt

Ever wonder how productivity can keep improving each year and yet we have to work harder and harder (now with two breadwinners) to keep up?

In "the fourth turning" the authors say that in the fourth turning that people eventually tend to coalesce an understanding that a lot of their struggles, concerns and "undesirable effects" are all interrelated to a root cause (or two).

This video comes as close to explaining everything in a simple manner as I've ever seen. If you can sit through this 40 minute cartoon, there is plenty more of this kind of thing online....none quite so powerful as this one in its simplicity though.



Saturday, October 06, 2007

Mortgage Meltdown 2007

The title I stole from CNN.com

Pretty amusing. Here's what's NOT amusing.....

Mortgage Meltdown

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

From the article when talking about borrowers who had bought way more house than they could really afford by getting an ARM with low "teaser" rates to make their payments low.....essentiall either betting on a huge change in household income in a couple of years or (more likely) continued appreciation bailing them out (yeah, that's responsible)....

"'Keep it at the starter rate. Convert it into a fixed rate. Make it permanent. And get on with it,' Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said in prepared remarks at an investor's conference. "

THAT is the solution being proposed by the CHAIRMAN of the FDIC? Yeah, no moral hazard there....

To quote the venerable Mogambo guru, "We're DOOMED! DOOMED I say!


Friday, October 05, 2007

Uruguay Directory

I've been doing a lot of "work" lately of dubious financial value..... I've been wasting a lot of nights studying different content management systems, creating sites of possible societal value (at least for expats living in Uruguay).

I remember shaking my head at my friend "IBMikey" as he descended down the rabbit hole trying to figure out Joomla to launch his site http://www.outinuruguay.com/ Now, I'm starting to understand how he felt. I thankfully left behind this web stuff a LOOOONG time ago. Trying to push the last 7 years into a few months is getting a little overwhelming...however, we have had some small successes...

One of the latest sites that we launched is a Montevideo Uruguay Directory.

The idea is to give those people who have something to post of a commercial nature, a place to do it, instead of getting into fights over content that lives in the free forum.

It was sort of done one a budget (meaning NO budget) so we ended up using the PHP Bulletin Board software that is freeware. LUCKILY, we have a kindred spirit in the states that helped us set it up...I won't use his name here cuz he's a little sensitive about it (i think) but it's the same dude that made the sketch of my first fuBarrio gold coin.

In that vein, check it out and keep the heckling to a minimum. If someone knows of some sort of "craigslist-esque" open source software let me know. That could be the way we go for version 2. Once we've done enough "real" work to pay for all this distraction! :)


p.s. click here to check out the Uruguay Directory

Monday, October 01, 2007

266 isn't old -- if you're a Tree!

Yeah, 266, in dog years, creeps up on you fast. Most of us, I'm sure (if we aren't so old our memories are failing) can remember pretty clearly when our parents were 266 and can remember thinking pretty clearly, "damn, you're old".

Of course, that was them...We're not old, right?

Let's see...

Did we just yesterday notice our kids rolling their eyes as we tried to interject the latest slang into our speech? It seems like just yesterday we were the ones rolling our eyes.

And for that matter, when did Madison Avenue get so "hip"?

I seem to remember they were always years behind the curve. "Old" people would chuckly maniacally as Madison avenue presented some "humorous" view on pop-culture....kids of course would notice that the representation of the kids on screen was about a year and a half out of date (a lifetime when your "with it"!)

But, 266 isn't so bad right....it's like the new 196, right?....or so those out-of-date Madison Avenue types try to tell us.

Lately though, fuBarrio has noticed that Uncle Sam isn't the only one on the decline. It started subtley. At first it was just small things. Almost straws in the wind. Lately though the evidence has begun mounting.

Ever since fuBarrio was a young (devil) pup he has joked about being "old".

Then, about 5 years ago, fuBarrio's younger friends stopped protesting such declarations

While single five years ago, and working at his job WAY too much to meet anyone, on the advice of aforementioned young/hip friends fuBarrio considered registering for online dating at match.com. fuBarrio decided not to when he noticed that the maximum age on the registration drop down was 35 :) -- hitting a little too close for home there.

fuBarrio's still limping after playing basketball with a bunch of octogenarians a couple of months ago

fuBarrio attended his 20 year reunion a couple of months ago

...but the most agredious of all the these indignities has to be.....

fuBarrio is losing his hair!!!!!

(oh the humanity)

Well, certainly there are many indignities awaiting us all on the way to puree dinners and adult diapers, but one issue bothers fubarrio more than others. Of course, not one to take such an unexpected course of events lying down (it always happens to the other guy) fuBarrio went on a made hunt for solutions. Below is a list of some options along with the short comments summarizing fuBarrio's initial research.
  • becoming a "member" (har-har)
  • lots of mysterious baseball hat wearing in inappriopriate situations
  • aunt gemima bandana (actually saw brett michaels of poison fame trying to pull this one off on VH-1).
  • Minoxidil
  • Propecia
  • Comb Over
  • The Krylon solution
  • Kojak Solution

Becoming a "member":

I think i have to actually lose more hair before this becomes a real option. The ads are full of pretty creepy dudes too...so that's a minus.

Ball Cap:

This one's pretty lame. 20 somethings can almost pull it off. I notice a lot of dudes only came to the informal Friday night portion of the (aforementioned) reunion. I couldn't tell if this was to avoid the 50 dollar charge for the Saturday dinner, or they didn't want to forced to show off their baldness. Probably a little of both.

I'd be a little more keen on this one if it didn't make my forehead breakout. Don't most people get to enjoy a period of time between breakouts and hairloss? :)

Aunt Jemima:

This one's closely related to the Ball Cap gambit. I wouldn't ordinarily think of it outside of the "hood", but I just saw Brett Michaels (of "Poison" (in)fame) trying to pull of this look on VH-1 -- For an entire series! :)


I'm not even sure they sell this in Uruguay, however, I did see on TV (in the states) that they sell it without prescription now -- so it's a LITTLE less humiliating. Probably not the good stuff though...just some watered down version. I got freaked out when a bald friend said that if you use it and stop, your hair returns to "trend". He was basically saying all the "treated" hairs that decided to stick around, which otherwise would not have, all fall out at once. Not sure if this is true but it sounds like "lock in" to me....or a serious barrier to adoption, as in my case.


This one seems a little better, especially if i could get the pill online from one of those email spammers! :) Of course, I had a *different* friend who looked into this for a pituitary problem (lots of weird side effects with pituitary tumors) and a specialist told him it decreases the volume of your "man sauce".

uh...I'm not shooting any movies or anything so it doesn't seem like such a big deal but then it leads me thinking that it sounds more like a *symptom* of a deeper more disturbing side effect of some kind. I'll prefer to wait a few more years for them to figure that one out.

Comb Over:

I said "266" not "666". 'nuff said. (I did see a sweet documentary on google on these though)

The Krylon Solution:

This one, from what I can tell in the late night infomercial is basically just spray paint....hence, the reason i call it the "krylon solution". Oh yeah, and they also throw in some cheap plastic combs too....This one seems better suited for:

  1. people balding in the back, not the front.
  2. people who live with lots of blind and/or delusional people

The Kojak Solution:

This one seems to be the most well-respected option these days. It was cool in the 70's...out in the 80's....came back again in the 90's and just hasn't faded out yet....or is that just my "non-hipness" again?

If my head wasn't so pointy, and my skin so pastey and/or i didn't live beneath a hole in the ozone layer this would be the "no brainer" option I think.

Anyone have a baseball hat that would look good on a blind dog?