Friday, August 29, 2008

Home, Clean Sweet, Home

Well, we've returned "home" from our trip to Peru.

It'll probably sound kind of pathetic but the entire time away I was really missing our dog. We had the original plan to put her in the kennel because she likes to play with other dogs.

Then GL found an easier (for her at least) way to take care of her needs while we were away.

Ode had our housekeeper, Rita, come and stay at our apartment and take care of Midori while we were away. This worked out well because she was able to clean up the semi-disaster we left on the way out the door before we got home too :)

I'd heard it said before that it's great to come home to a clean house. And, I think I've even heard of some folks who clean their house before going on a trip -- no one from my generation I can assure you. But, I have to say it was refreshing. And, of course Midori was taken care of.

The dog loved it. No furniture was eaten or soiled. The floors were shiny, windows sparkling, kitchen ready for cooking, and bed was made - which i quickly crashed in after our red eye and early a.m. layover in chile.

We haven't had a maid for long in UY -- we were here nearly two years before GL broke down and asked rita to come in a day or two a week and help out with some household cleaning and chores. Housekeepers, household help, maids, nannies, and in home nurses are all things that are relative bargains here as compared to Seattle or San Francisco where I lived before.

In San Francisco the maid that came in to dust and clean the parts of my house cost $200/day. In WA state, Seattle maid services costed around 150/afternoon at the "turn of the century" when I lived there. Here, there are literally people who have full time maids or household help for a similar salary (monthly).

All in all the cost to have our housekeeper come and stay with the dog ended up being less expensive than sending her to the kennel for a week and all the way around less disruptive -- sometimes it's hard to find cabs who will accept labs in the back (it's against some rules apparently and i know people who've been ticketed for it :) )

Ok....I promise to post some pics of peru soon -- all of them are on GL's laptop though so I need to wait for a chance to kick her off long enough to post 'em.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Coked to the Gills

Uruguay Guy and Golden Lotus are in Cusco, Peru today.

Seeings how the 30 meters above sea level is considered "high ground" in Uruguay this is pretty dramatic change in altitude for us.

Luckily, strong backed Peruvian Indians are very inexpensive to rent for the day and I've hired 4 for each of us to carry us around by hand on giant thrones. I got the idea after visiting the Peruvian gold museum. GOLD! :) But I'll save the details of that for another post.

The peruvian sherpas have helped with the lack of O2 and they also introduced us to a little friend called the "coca leaf" :) Ok, in truth I think there is some processing that takes place before you get the really potent stuff...I'll wiki this later....but the coca leaf itself has some medicinal qualities. The indians like to put it in their gum like chaw and serve it to tourists in a slightly more dignified "tea" --- which i'm sure loses some of the potency of putting it in your cheek and gum ("skoal brutha")

I've had about 30 of these cups of tea so far with no side effect other than the nasty hangover i get after i sleep -- my solution? "keep drinkin the tea" :)

Obviously lots more to write about and pics to post. but, some crazy tour guide was trying to get us to wake up at 4:30 (!) good grief....i told her no freakin' way and she finally whined her way into convincing me that she really needs to come by and pick us up at 5:20. (what are we doing? going duck hunting?)

Well, if you know anything about cusco, you probably know what we're doing. and even if you don't you can probably guess. but, more on that in future posts. bedtime for now. i'm starting to come down off my coca high and i'm not sure how easy it will be to "score" this time of night :)


short term bounce, long in tooth

ok the short term bounce i called about a month ago didn't have the washout confirmation other than intraday. so unless you're an active trader you may have missed the day but if you've been bullish on us markets and us dollar and short all the commodities the last month you've probably faired pretty well.....there were a ton of entry points.

now, it's going to get a little trickier. :)

we've got some conflicting opinions out there, however the ones i tend to believe think that there is a setup approaching for something potentially ugly in the markets.


that said, "there's always a bull market somewhere." some "credible" models put an oil temporary bottom between 100-110 per barrel (back when it was still in the 130's). we are very close to that now. a move below 110 could provide some of the "fuel" for a move solidly into the 1300's for the s&p.

a subsequent rally back into the 120's for oil *could* be the straw that sent the markets down. Right now, obviously, it's all conjecture, but the reason i'm wasting digital ink on this is that the people who have been relatively accurate in modeling the markets moves the last couple of months model the next bearish move as bein significant enough to be something you want to avoid.

time will tell if they are right.

if i have time tomorrow, i'll outline a little bit of the "bullish" case going forward which would be the counter argument to the technicians who use elliott waves to predict price movements.