Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Bookstore Monster

Despite our best efforts to not socialize our daughter in an overtly girly way, she's very girly indeed. As such, her favorite book at the tender age of 3 is "Fancy Nancy," which is about a girl who likes to accessorize and use French words. So recently, when we asked her which book she wanted to buy for our friend's 2 year old daughter, her immediate response was, "Fancy Nancy."

We entered the local book shop and walked into the children's section. In the middle of the section is a short table with tiny chairs on which you'll normally find a couple of toddlers paging through books while their parents browse the small store. Today however, the table was occupied by an 11 year old boy and his slightly younger sister. A well dressed, and oiled kind of man was sitting on a leather chair adjacent to the table, complaining loudly to his children.

"Why don't you choose something interesting to read?" he was whining to them.

I didn't recognize the guy, and since our town is small (much smaller in the winter) I knew he was one of the city people who grace us with their presence seasonally. We call them "city-ots" (rhymes with "idiots"). The boy huffed back, "But I only like books about MAAHNSTERS!"

The father's phone started ringing and he gave me a look that said, "Can you believe this shit?" But since I couldn't find one ounce of sympathy for the man, I shot him back a look that said, "The kid is a prick just like you." We walked by him and all his tension, to pick "Fancy Nancy" from the shelf.

As we were paying, the boy walked up to the "kind old lady" behind the counter and asked for a book. I didn't hear the title, but I heard him say, "It was released in Europe months ago, and you should have it." He added, "I'm only 11, but I read at an adult level."

The woman drew a breath, studied the boy for a moment, plunked a few keystrokes and quietly shook her head while staring at the screen. "Sorry, but we don't have anything listed for that author."

The boy walked behind the counter and tried looking under her arm at the screen, to double check her search.

"Excuse me..." the woman said.

Her disapproval didn't throw the boy off. "Try again," he ordered, "but type his first name first."

"Sorry, but the database doesn't work that way. If it didn't come up under his last name, it surely won't come up under his first." She was trying very hard to remain calm. "Listen," she said, "I can suggest something else in the genre. Have you read Anne Rice?"

"Yeah, yeah, I've read all her stuff. But I didn't even like it much."

"Okay... how about Stephen King? Have you tried him? He's written many, many books."

"Read 'em all," he dismissed with a wave of his hand.

The woman was growing flustered. This was the kind of kid who'd strain anyone's patience in a matter of seconds. Clearly, he'd been raised by someone who had been paid to raise him...

She took a peek into the back of the store where the boy's father was talking loudly on his cell phone. Something about her "kind old lady" look quickly changed. She asked the boy, "Oh, what about J.S Bach?" Perhaps you'd like him?"

"Nope read him... wasn't impressed."

The woman flashed a little smile and leaned over the counter. "Look kid," she growled. "Get the fuck away from me before I light you on fire with my laser beam eyes."

The boy stumbled backwards and fumbled his way back to the children's section, where he tried to tell his father what happened. But his father was too engaged in his phone conversation to care.

The old woman turned her attention back to us and purred, "Would you like anything else today?"

We paid and left the store, not entirely looking forward to the summer.

Cocorosie, "Good Friday"

I meant to do a daily post tonight, but a quick walk around the block turned into meeting the new neighbors, which turned into a house tour and drinks... so I won't have the time.  However, meeting new neighbors is always good for me, as it means I'll have plenty to write about in the future. Neighbors cause me all types of trouble typically...

Virtual Office, -$285. SPX, +4.90, 1336.20.

Dehtrader, $403 on 3062 shares traded.
Denarii, $116 on 2600 shares traded.
OBAT, $35 on 9400 shares traded.
Timmay, $0 on 2000 shares traded.
Retardo, no trades.
Ainkurn, -$118 on 300 shares traded.
Me, -$721 on 23,400 shares traded.

Holy fucking shit... I just got so hosed on "imbalances" it's unbelievable.

At 3:40 every day, the NYSE publishes imbalances in stocks, that have built up through the day. Today, for example, huge imbalances were published, to the downside.

WMB came out with a -1,337,800 sell imbalance... TGT had a -2,109,700 sell imbalance, FRE had a -3,484,900 sell imbalance... and there were many more.

Now on a normal day, at 3:50 these numbers get adjusted. Normally, they get taken down a bit. So you would expect WMB to still have a sell imbalance, but maybe for 600,000 shares or so. Today, every imbalance SWITCHED at 3:50. Meaning all those massive sells became BUY imbalances. It feels like fraud, but really, what must have happened is that somebody, between 3:40 and 3:50, decided they wanted to buy today's close in a massive way.

Take from that what you will, but let's just say, today's close was not "normal..." there was some big money there, and it wanted to buy stock in the DOW companies. Could it have been the PPT? WSF? We'll probably never know...

But what it means to a "little guy" like me who was playing the imbalances "like a degenerate OTB guy" is that I got fucked.

Anyway, enough about me for now. Even with the excitement of the close, the volume today was awful again on the NYSE. Now, perhaps more and more volume is moving off the exchange... this is possible since the hybrid is still... well... the hybrid. If that's the case, then short NYX. But for all practical trading purposes, it makes things more difficult, because there's often less follow through.

Something was afoot today in the last half of the trading day. While I got smoked, it gives me hope that trading is about to become more active again... we'll see.

UPDATE: INTC up 10% afterhours... seriously, with that close, you gotta wonder who had that news early. I call bullshit on the stock market. Investigate... impeach, whatever...

The Daily Show Discusses Obama's Elitism

Man... thank goodness for the writers of The Daily Show. If ever sarcasm was necessary to drive home the truth about our media and political situation, it is now.

This is a classic segment.

Retardo Strikes Again

Retardo reaches out and virtually slaps Ugly in the face with a vicious "retard attack."

When will this carnage end? Can Retardo be stopped before the entire stock blogosphere is infected by his misguided anger?

Bottled Water, Or Tap? Tap Please....

Wolf Parade, "Call It A Ritual"

I haven't posted a song here in a while so when I found this new Wolf Parade single I thought it'd be a good way to break the silence.