Mr. Sensitive

May 31, 2011

What Is A Question

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 21:14

Reagan:  Daddy, I have a question.

Me:  Okay, what do you want to know?

Reagan:  Guess what?

Me:  That’s not really a question, it just sounds like a question.  You already know the answer and you don’t need me, so…

Reagan:  Guess what?

Me:  [sigh]

Reagan:  Guess what?

Me:  What.

Reagan:  I’m awesome.

May 30, 2011

Why The Feet?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:22

I hadn’t seen the cats today, but I laid Brinkley down just now, and one of them immediately materialized in the family room.

There were some unexpected Brinky feet available for the sleeping-next-to, and they don’t miss that.

May 29, 2011

The Hot Dog Appetizer Was Unnecessary

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 20:14

I decided to do this today, in honor of meat and fire:

The Cheerwine can is there for perspective, and for deliciousness.

Here’s a side-view, so you can get a sense of the thickness:

I had Katie and Dre on hand to witness it.  I got the sense from Dre that he was afraid for me.

I was not afraid.

I attacked.  And attacked.  And attacked again.

And after 20 minutes I fell back, fat and ruined.

I was out of belly.  The meat believed it had won the day.  But I was able to call upon my reserve belly–which I keep inside Wilson–and together we vanquished the foe.

Thanks, reserve belly.  And thank you, meat.





Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 19:48

Get in line, ladies.

How do you get this chiseled midsection?  Crunches.

May 27, 2011

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: FSX — lbej @ 16:53

Oh man, what a snooze-fest.  S&P and Nasdaq -0.2%, Dow down 0.6%, even the dollar and the major commodities nearly flat on the week.  I don’t have anything substantial to say about the market this week that I haven’t already said.  It’s not going anywhere right now.  It’s not that it has nowhere to go, because it has down to go.  It’s just that there’s too much liquidity blocking the way.  Right now the jumpiest traders are in control of the market, which is problematic since they’re not in control of themselves.  From the headline averages to individual stocks, every move that is made is reversed the next day, if it even holds through an entire trading session.  I don’t think we have a legitimate back-and-forth between the bulls and the bears, each side bolstering or moderating its case depending on the tenor of the economic indicators.  I think it is the same coterie of performance-chasing, flip-flopping money managers buying and selling the same high-profile names over and over again with no conviction on either side of the trade.  We’re in the last month of the quarter, so I expect the intraday and intraweek volatility to intensify, and then, mercifully, everyone will go on vacation on July 1 and nothing will happen until the end of August.   I don’t know how it’s going to play out for the balance of 2011 any more than you do, and then 2012 is an election year so no one will say or do anything useful at any point therein.  There will be a price to pay for all this free money, but I don’t know when the bill will come due.  If I said I did know, I’d be wrong and then I’d have to say something completely nuts like that Camping dude, about how judgment day actually happened, only it was a secret judgment day.  I’ll be like, wait, the market really did crash—in my heart.  All I can say definitively is that if the facts underlying your investment thesis haven’t changed, don’t make changes to your investments.  And—this is important—you still not knowing something you didn’t know before does not constitute a change.  That sounds trivial, but it’s not, not when every other selloff gets pinned on “uncertainty.”  You can’t tell me you’re selling out of a position because you can’t see the future unless you can also tell me you could see the future when you bought in.  And you can’t tell me that, because now you’re selling at a loss, so you obviously didn’t see squat.  You’re selling because you’re scared, which is also why you bought, and why you do everything.  Sigh.

The FSX had a nice week, albeit not as strong internally as the big numbers might suggest.  Yes, a 1.3% increase to a two-week closing high of 1289.35 is good, but many of those index points were contributed by the high-vol names, and they can and do take away as easily as they add.  There are some genuine positives, with potential bottoming in recent losers like Katie, Marcus, Brinkley, and even me.  Still, we need the buyers to come back after the sellers move on, because Reagan and the pets can’t carry us forever.


  • Winston (HWD) +6.9%.  I didn’t mention Winston last week despite a 6.1% gain, because that’s the sort of thing he does—gives you 5%+ and then takes it back.  But now we’re talking about a two-week move of 15%, and it becomes clear who really wins in the NFL lockout mess.  With no football, Mario will have more time to spend with Winston, walking him or whatever one does with dogs you can’t just put in the backyard and ignore.
  • Icarus (FLOW) +6.0%.  I think Icarus wouldn’t mind being put in our backyard, and it’s going to happen for him in just a few weeks.  That’s not to say that Zondro and Wilson don’t enjoy their time in the literal sun.  It’s just that it doesn’t matter to me one way or the other how they feel about it—they’re not coming in until the girls get home.
  • Jenny (LEN) +5.2%, and Reagan (REGN) +2.4%.  The market is betting on a fun summer for Jenny and Reagan and has been for weeks, all the while crushing me and Brinkley.  I know that while Reagan will enjoy sleeping in and playing, she will miss her favorite person in the world, Mrs. Huffman.  At least until she meets her new favorite person—her 2nd Grade teacher.  As for Jenny, I’m hoping that this decisive performance is indicative of something just as impressive on the end-of-grade tests she finished this week.  I know she won’t miss her teacher, and her mother and I won’t, either.
  • Ruby (RBY) +6.1% and Mario the Elder (PBY) +5.7%.  Ruby and Mario bought two more houses this week.  I can’t speak for Katie, but I’m starting to feel left out.  Where’s our house, Mom and Dad?  Can I at least have a car?  Actually, I don’t want a different house or even a different car.  I want to drive this ’95 Maxima until I do an over-half on it—that is, until I’ve had the car for over half my life, and I’ve been driving it longer than I haven’t.  For the Maxima that means I keep it until I’m 39, just five more years.  As a side-note, I get my over-half on Katie next year.
  • Mario the Younger (SUP) +2.3%.  I was going to write up this modest rise as Mario bottoming out after the Megan Fox selloff.  But Katie pointed out that he finally watched the 90210 season finale this week so that they could talk about it, and that must be why he’s up.  Or maybe he finished the lovely lace doily he was probably knitting while he watched a ladies’ television show.


  • Charlotte (ICE) -1.7%.  I know all about the soul-suckingness of an unfulfilling job.  I did something I hated for 11 years, and some days it sucked less than on other days, but it never didn’t suck.  I just hope that one day Charlotte can be as fortunate as I was, and that she too can find a chest full of Spanish doubloons in her backyard.
  • Nicole L. (COL) -2.4%.  I’ve been given to understand that Nicole does not partake of secret ladies’ television-watching with Mario, and so that’s why she lost about as much as he gained this week.  No doubt Nicole does watch the occasional program targeted toward ladies, but perhaps not the programs targeted specifically at teenage girls.  And at Katie and Mario.
  • Wilson (WILC) -3.6%.  I yield the floor to the Willi-Food marketing department:  “Willi-Food is proud to introduce, for the first time, a premium kosher Italian pizza, considered by many to be the best pizza in the world.”  It would seem that none of the many who consider this new pizza to be the best in the world decided to buy the stock this week.  I love the Willi-Food press releases—not kidding at all—but maybe they need some rebranding help.  The slogan on their website isn’t the least bit memorable: “The highest-quality food products all carry one name – Willi-Food.”  Maybe it’s catchier in Hebrew, I don’t know.  I would like to humbly suggest this alternative:  “Willi-Food makes Judaism delicious.”  Or if they want to try to grab market share amongst the Gentiles, how about this:  “Willi-Food—as Jewish as Jesus.”  Tell me you don’t want to run right out and buy a kosher chilled Mediterranean salad right now.
  • Zondro (ZRAN) -3.9%.  It’s a bifurcated dog market this week, with the ones that live here tanking and the ones that don’t leaping higher.  It might be related to the fact that we’ve got the comic convention coming up and we’ll be out of town overnight Thursday and Friday.  We haven’t settled on a plan for the dogs, but probably we’ll ask the neighbors to attend to them, and almost certainly I won’t just shoot the both of them and put them out with the trash, so this is probably a market over-reaction.
  • LULU -6.4%.  How does it feel, Fat One?  How does it feel to be on your own, with no direction home, like a complete unknown, like a stupid, fat, piece of garbage?  Or is that not how the song goes?
Name Ticker 5/27/2011 Change
Brinkley BCO $28.90 +0.32
Charlotte ICE $119.17 -2.01
Dustin DST $47.84 +0.56
Icarus FLOW $3.87 +0.22
Jenny LEN $18.90 +0.94
Justin WOLF $3.04 +0.08
Katie CATY $15.79 +0.13
Lee LEE $1.16 +0.02
Lisa LSI $7.31 -0.20
Lucas LEI $2.83 +0.13
Lulu LULU $90.08 -6.21
Marcus MCS $10.50 unch
Mario T.E. PBY $13.98 +0.76
Mario T.Y. SUP $21.78 +0.48
Marisa MOLX $27.14 -0.12
Nicole B. NI $20.24 -0.13
Nicole L. COL $60.20 -1.46
Reagan REGN $58.27 +1.36
Ruby RBY $4.84 +0.28
Wilson WILC $7.48 -0.28
Winston HWD $17.63 +1.14
Zero FRZ $3.02 unch
Zondro ZRAN $7.84 -0.32

May 25, 2011

Evil Plan

Filed under: Operation Simba — lbej @ 14:29

I know he has one.  He slept from 10:30 to 1:30 and he’s not even being horrible right now.  He’s sort of whimpering while he bounces, but expressing one’s existential angst is hardly a crime.  I’m still expecting an attack; time, however, is no longer on his side.

Banana Face

Filed under: Operation Simba — lbej @ 09:34
Tags: , ,

I’m not going for it, the decisive Wednesday battle Brinkley wants.  I’m just going to keep changing it up, refusing to let him concentrate his strength anywhere.  He shifts to, I shift away.  I went to the bananas earlier than usual.  It was a tough decision, but you know, they all are.  I had already committed to a bananas attack, but he was really enraged and I can’t have him thrashing around and screaming when the bananas come in.  I decided to lead with a 3 oz bottle and if that put him to sleep, so be it.  The bottle calmed him and I hit him right in the pie-hole with the bananas.  He handled the pie-hole periphery himself.

What does Dre think?  Respect.

I was surprised to discover that if I gave him a wet cloth, he would wipe the food off his own face, and do a cheerful and thorough job of it to boot.  This is more than I’ve managed to instill in Jenny after almost ten years.

Operation Simba – Wednesday Showdown

Filed under: Operation Simba — lbej @ 07:25

If I was calling the shots at Baby Headquarters, I would use a mid-sized holding force through the middle of the morning, let that initial attack dissipate, and then throw in all the reserves immediately after noon.  I’m tired and I need a break, and if he’s going to strike, this is the day to do it.  And it’s Wednesday, his favorite day for his one-man human wave assaults.  Katie will be here next week and he’s got to break me now if the breaking is going to take place at all.  Well, I’m not taking the bait.  General instructions are as follows: delaying actions with the main force; screening and skirmishing with light troops; and partisan sabotage all along his lines of supply and reinforcement.

May 23, 2011

Risk Is Off

Filed under: Girls — lbej @ 14:09
Tags: , ,

Beginning of Day 2:

Me – 18 territories, control of Africa, South America, Australia

Reagan – 14 territories, control of Asia

Jenny – 10 territories, strongest position in Europe

  • We open with my turn.  I drive up through Alaska and into Kamchatka, breaking Reagan’s hold on Asia.  “What happened to Rasia?” she laments.  Daddy happened is what.
  • Jenny attacks in North America, despite having no strategic reason to do so.  She is stretched thinly there by the end of her turn.
  • Reagan attacks in Kamchatka and is repelled.
  • On my turn, I roll up Jenny’s overextended armies in North America, reducing her to a lone holding in Eastern U.S.  I attack her there three times at the cost of six armies.  I wonder aloud if this is my Stalingrad.  It isn’t.
  • Jenny continues to ignore the obvious strategic imperative to consolidate Europe and tries to revenge herself against me in North America.  She fails.
  • Reagan slogs away in Kamchatka.
  • I complete the destruction of Jenny in North America and become master of the Western and Southern Hemispheres.  My empire is like a giant Pac-man preparing to chop down on Europe and Asia.  Let’s say Ms. Pac-man, because she’s more bad-ass.
  • Too late, Jenny discovers prudence and does not hurl her newly recruited armies against unassailable positions.  She has only six territories remaining.
  • Before Reagan’s turn, I gamely suggest Jenny agree to indissoluble political union with her sister, creating a Eurasian Empire to rival my own Ms. Pac-Land.  Much like the Reynaud government in 1940, she refuses.  Reagan invades Africa from the Middle East.  She is repulsed, but my losses are considerable.  Reagan is proving that she is a capable general.
  • On my turn, I gobble up Scandinavia and then send wave after wave of human fodder into Ural, to no avail.  It’s the gold armies that fail me.  My black armies are consistently better performers; it’s like the black troops are my German regulars and the golds are the Italians.  “I’m never sending any gold guys into Earl again!” I shout.  “What about black guys?” Reagan asks.  “Oh, Earl’s going to be full of black guys; just you wait.”  A turn later, Earl goes black.
  • Jenny takes a shot at North Africa for no reason whatsoever.  She loses four armies and now we are all tired.  We extend the game to a third day.

Beginning of Day 3:

Me – 28 territories, control of Africa, South America, Australia, North America

Reagan – 10 territories, all in Asia

Jenny – 4 territories, all in Europe

  • Jenny declares that she goes first on the third day, which I point out is a load of crap since she went last on Day Two.  She presses this indefensible position with the same misdirected courage she has shown throughout our game.  She grumpily hands the dice to Reagan.
  • Reagan attacks Earl once again.  Amazingly, she clears out 10 armies over the course of six rolls.  Jenny, impressed but also bored, turns over her European holdings and command of her remaining forces to Reagan.  She goes upstairs to re-watch Smallville.
  • Reagan’s new empire now stretches across most of Asia and a large portion of Europe.  She holds 15 territories, up from 10 at the beginning of the day.  But all she cares about is that she gets Jenny’s armies, and so she gets to play with four colors instead of two.
  • I load up on goldies in Australia and land troops in Siam.  I clear it and wipe out Reagan’s armies in China as well.  I take Iceland and fortify.
  • Reagan annihilates an eight-army garrison in China.  She is better than I am, especially when she’s fighting goldies, but the numbers are beginning to tell.  I’m adding more than 20 armies every turn and they’re all massing in southern Asia and along the perimeter of Europe.  Reagan has also declared that she’s no longer going to fortify at the end of her turn because “fortifying’s stupid.”
  • Now I am focused on my ancestral homeland, Europe.  My attempts to break German resistance with repeated assaults across the Rhine from France end in failure.  Reagan is able to replenish the armies she loses, but only just.  Eventually, I make like Gustavus Adolphus and invade Germany from the north.  It takes three more turns, but Europe falls.
  • Reagan continues to fight bravely, sometimes attacking one against twenty.  I am pressing her from the west and from the south.  I retake China and Reagan is unable to recapture any further losses.  She refuses to yield, but soon I have driven her back to her last redoubt on the islands of Japan.  She holds out there for two turns, and then it is over.

What does it all mean?  I draw two conclusions about the girls: first, they are both devotees of l’offensive à outrance, and Maréchal Foch would have been as proud as I am; and second, while they cannot be united by need or opportunity, they will come together if one or the other of them is bored enough.

May 21, 2011

I’m Going To Stop Asking

Filed under: Girls — lbej @ 12:12

Reagan is supposed to go to a birthday party today and she’s being picked up by the birthday girl’s Mom.  I have been trying to move Reagan along the path toward preparation for the last hour, with mixed results.  But like everyone else, I am useful for some things and not for others.  Thinking independently about what little girls need to do to prepare for little girl parties is not one of my functional features.  I have the little girl basics covered: clothes, shoes, appropriate clothes and shoes.  Beyond that I have a go-to tactic that I call accelerated forgetting.  I say to Reagan, alright, you’re going out the door on the way to the party–what did you forget?  I try to get her in the proper state of mind to go ahead and forget what she’s going to forget.  But it didn’t work today.  We had about two minutes to pickup time and I tried once more.

Me:  You’re ready to walk out the door right now? 

Reagan:  Yep.

Me:  You haven’t forgotten anything?

Reagan:  Nope.

Me:  [disconcerted pause]  Were you supposed to bring a birthday present to the birthday party?

Reagan:  Yep.

Me:  So you just decided not to?

Reagan:  I should get the birthday present.

Me:  You really should.

Reagan:  [runs into the kitchen to grab the present]  I didn’t wrap it.

Me:  Too late now.

Just then the lady rang the door bell to collect Reagan.  Reagan grabbed the present and stuffed the unwrapped gift tissue paper in the gift bag along with the present like it was, itself, a present.  She ran out the door, past the lady, who then said to me, “Isn’t she going to have a sleepover?  Does she need a bag?”  Reagan overheard her.

Reagan:  I should get my bag.

Lady:  We can just swing by and pick it up later.

Me:  Reagan, just go before we remember something else you forgot.

They’re gone now.  I was clearing off the kitchen table and I found the birthday card that was supposed to go in with the birthday present.  I’m pretty sure Reagan was wearing shoes, but now I think I should have triple-checked.

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