Monday, May 30, 2005

Day Trading: In and Out in a Jiffy

The problems with most day trading systems are legion:
  • They're too complex
  • They require too much care and feeding
  • Who knows when or if you'll get a signal?
  • You have to stay in and sweat for hours
  • It's hard to know when to pull the trigger (or the plug) or get out
You may be able to think of others. The Sixty Minute Trader is full of straight talk for those who would like to make an excellent living trading the first sixty minutes (probably just a handful of them, actually) of regular trading hours. I haven't seen the ideas presented anywhere else, and, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I've looked at (and paid for) a lot of other systems.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Work On Your Crib: Spin Drying

Well, you don't drive a Hummer, right, but you still dry your clothes with a dinosaur. That's right, you take out a laundry load sodden with water, soap, and minerals and then throw fossil fuels at it to get it to dry. Spin-x spins that load at 3,300 rpm (compared with your washer's 500), at a very small energy cost, and then your dryer sails quickly through the moisture that's left--and much of the soap and minerals are gone, too. I got mine when nothing but the electric dryer that came with my crib would fit through the door. Maybe also the solution for those who are sensitive to soap residue.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Work On Your Body: Back Hair

Either this is, or it isn't, an aesthetic judgment for you or someone you know; Good Stuff sometimes deals with aesthetics, but we're not touching this one. If it is an issue, Razorba is a very inexpensive, simple, effective, non-medical or -chemical, do-it-yourself in 5 minutes per week or less solution.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Work On Your Dog: Gentle Leader

If your dog is a puller (if!), it is counterproductive to use an ordinary collar, or even a choke chain or those medieval things with spikes. When the dog pulls, it chokes/hurts and the dog pulls even harder. With a Gentle Leader (known generically as a head collar), there is no choking. When the dog pulls, it turns the dog's head, the dog doesn't like it, and shortly--with a little help from you--the dog trains itself not to pull. My dogs are not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, and they both learned within 20-30 minutes. It makes all the difference in walking and running with them. Your dog's ability to eat, drink, defend itself, bark, etc. is not affected.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Work On Your Crib: Reasonable Security

Reality Man has to admit, with chagrin, that five years ago when he moved into his current crib he allowed a security system salesman to call on him and sell him a three year contract, at $30/month, for security monitoring--with a security system thrown in for "free." The security system is fine--fairly cool, even--but can be had in 2005 for a couple of hundred dollars. At least I've discovered, which provides monitoring for $14.95/month, $8.95 if you sign up for a year (refunds prorated at the $14.95 rate.)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Work On Your Crib: Protect Your Computer

Much has been made, properly, of such threats to your computer as spyware, adware, viruses, and people glomming onto your Wi-Fi. Less often mentioned is actual theft of the computer, which is obviously made more of a risk by the fact that your laptop typically has to take a little trip on its own at airport security. The Internet has shown its special worth in many applications: stock trading disintermediation (despite my own mixed results), computer dating (ditto), etc. I discovered recently from an article in the New York Times that there is another excellent use: allowing your purloined computer to stealthily email its location when it is connected to the Internet. PCPhoneHome

Monday, May 02, 2005

Work On Your Head: Fire Your Newspaper

I went newspaper-free during this last year, and it has been a change for the better. Recycling is better than nothing, but there has to be a waste of resources there. You've got to spend energy to turn old paper into new paper, and the new paper is only partly old paper; there's no way that printing newspapers is not a net user of trees. I have no more back-breaking humping of newspapers to the curb (let's not even talk about the time they spent on the floor before making it to the recycling bin.) Your local newspaper, like mine, is probably not much more thought-provoking than your local TV news, but it's probably also on-line, if you've got to have it. (You can probably even, if you're perverse, pay to have it formatted like the paper version!) But your on-line alternatives are pretty much limitless: The New York Times, Google News, CNN, the list goes on. And most comic strips are available on-line somewhere. Strangely, I found one thing that was hard to do without or replace was VCR Plus codes, but here is a calculator.

Work On Your Spirit: Heifer International

It's graduation time again. What do you give the graduate who already has everything? What gift will not be lost, broken, the wrong size, meaningless? How about one that honors the graduate's awareness that there are millions less fortunate? Heifer International fights world hunger and poverty by providing working and food-producing animals to needy people. I believe I'm giving a goat this year.

Work On Your Head: Magnatune

First of all, if you're not taking advantage of Internet radio, you're missing a lot. There's amazing variety--and variations in quality--out there. Most players, including iTunes, will get you started with a large list of stations. One worth checking out is Magnatune, which is the product of some interesting premises: that radio is typically boring, that CDs cost too much, and that artists usually are screwed by even the most ethical recording labels.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Work On Your Crib: Design Within Reach

This site is the very essence of cool. Whatever you have been saving your money for, it has been wrong. Good design will get you through times of no dope better than dope will get you through times of no good design. Design Within Reach

Work On Your Crib: Hot Water on Demand

The US is one of the few countries that still typically heats hot water all the time, whether we need it or not. You don't leave your car running all night so that you can use it in the morning, do you? It makes much more sense to heat water only when you need it for as long as you need it. So obviously you save energy but added benefits include: the water never changes temperature and you never run out. I was an early adopter of tankless hot water technology and it has only gotten better and more mature. Endless hot water

Work On Your Body:

Swimming is real joint-friendly exercise for the ageing boomer. And no exercise will put your bod more on the line for inspection: instant motivation to work on it. speaks of the "practice" of "mindful" swimming: it really is a kind of Zen exercise. I imagine long, dreamy strokes instead of counting sheep to sleep. No other source ever gave me any suggestions as to what to do with my hands while swimming. There are short, free videos on the site, and the longer videos for sale are worth checking out (from your library, perhaps). I have also, only recently, been able to rid my mind of the attachment to avoiding seeming like a dork by avoiding the drills.

Work On Your Body: Total Gym

You've seen Chuck and Christie advertise this--but you should not be unduly prejudiced. The gym is sturdy--heavy, actually--and totally utilitarian. It uses your own body weight as the resistance to build muscle. Like any exercise system, it won't do anything for you unless you use it. If you're serious about developing strength and provocative shape--and, for all I know, Christie may be exactly right when she enthuses about "stretching"--this is probably the best price-performer you can buy. Total Gym 1500

Work On Your Crib: Receive Calls While You Surf

You may not know how to pronounce VoIP, or even what it means, but not to worry, CallWave's got you covered. It seems that there is not much that CallWave can't do: notify you that someone is calling when you're online; show you who it is; allow you to listen to the message real time and give you the option of picking up the call--or let you transfer it to your cell phone. If you don't take the call, it takes a message. It's a real boon to dial-up Internet users that allows them to avoid the cost of a second phone line. There are, amazingly, still places in the US that can't get voice mail, and CallWave is very useful instead of, or as a complement to, call-waiting. It has advantages for broadband users as well. There are things it has that I haven't even tried yet, like a toll-free home number.

Work On Your Head: Modest Multi-Media

Just as you weren't about to drive a Hummer even before gas prices went through the roof, your idea of "home theater" is getting good sound at a good price without having to deploy a gaggle of speakers that resemble Stonehenge. Cambridge SoundWorks has been meeting those criteria for years. Here is a speaker system I use with both my computer and my television. PCWorks Speaker System

Work On Your Head: Day Trading S&P E-Mini

This is rarefied stuff--you either know what this is about or you don't. However, even if you "know" what this is about, you may not feel like you know what you are doing. So many trading systems are incredibly long, laborious, tedious, and technical. In a very short, clear, and delightful video, Malcolm Robinson teaches how to apply the lessons he learned as a floor trader. And there's the added bonus of "Masterpiece Theater"-type music and Malcolm's British accent. Day Trading the S&P E-mini

Work On Your Head: The Way to Trade

Despite being "Reality Man," it is the unfortunate case that if I had a nickel for every $1,000 I've spent on trading tools, systems, and publications that failed to meet my expectations or fit my personality I'd probably be able at least to buy 20 minutes of long distance time to make an urgent call for help. One notable exception is John Piper's The Way to Trade. It is absolutely invaluable for its insights into psychology, discipline, money management, stops, and trade entry and exit. The Way to Trade

Work On Your Wrist: Invicta 8926

You're a player, right, but you're a smart player. For example, you drive a Subaru, not a Hummer, right? And you don't need to sport a Rolex to show your status. The Invicta is as handsome and substantial as a Submariner, at a tiny fraction of the price. I only take mine off in one situation--guess. And one hears Submariner owners order it to get a superior replacement bracelet. Invicta 8926

Work On Your Head: The Release Technique

I stumbled on this site at a time when I was looking to try to view life more as abundant and full of possibility and less as constrained, limited, and scarce. The technique can, and should, be used continuously, and the more you release, the lighter and better you feel. The Release Technique