Crunchy Grooves – Second Skin

Yes, I know there’s a WPBA event this weekend.  No, I’m not spending much time following it.  Rooting for Liz Ford of course, since she’s a good friend and a PoolDawg monthly contributor, but its hard to get too excited about the WPBA nowadays between the lack of events and the fact that we don’t have a WPBA player rep anymore.

Meh.  Head over to AZ Billiards, as I’m sure Mike and Jerry will be posting write ups (or just check the old WPBA pdf brackets).

That and I took today off from exercising mainly because I had way too much box wine last night. This Friday’s crunchy groove comes to us from Widespread Panic.  The band is mos def an acquired taste, but once you’re in, you won’t ever want out.  High quality recording of Second Skin. Out.

Posted in Tunes. Tagged with , .

Oy! What A Dilemma!

So, any of you that were readers of my old blog know that there were a few folks that I had a bit of a verbal tussle with. Sticks and stones were hurled back and forth and in the end nothing good came of it. The dilemma here of course is that one of those involved in said tussle happens to be the guy who makes the Mastering Pool DVDs. So I ask myself, “self, do you really want to carry product from someone that clearly doesn’t like you?”.

So like any good businessman, I check the only things that truly matter – quality and sales. The cold hard truth is that the DVDs are among the best training videos we sell (don’t bother checking numbers Inspector Cleary, as we buy all the DVDs through distribution rather than direct) and while training tools are not a huge part of our overall business, it doesn’t make sense to pull products based on petty bickering. Plus, from a quality perspective, there simply is not a training DVD out there that rivals the production value of these.  Check this teaser vid and you’ll see what I’m talking about:

When personal feuds get in the way of making money, it isn’t good for anyone.  The reality is that there are always going to be people that don’t like me personally. I am snarky, abrasive and probably a bit elitist.  I can’t help it, it’s just part of the tapestry that is me.  The key is to always remember to keep personal and business separate.

As for my bulging belly, I did manage to get in a run yesterday afternoon and did my standard 5 miles this morning.  This of course was all offset by the amazing dinner my wife made for us last night (fresh fettucini with tomatoes, arugula and buffalo sausage of which I had quite a bit more than a healthy portion).  This will be further offset today when I go out to lunch with my buddy Samm.

Weight: 181.6 lbs
BMI: 26.1
Today’s Mileage: 5 miles
Today’s Time: 45:51

Posted in Pool, Teachable Moments. Tagged with , , .

The (Not So) Big Short

Those who know me know that every now and again I like to play the ponies on the NASDAQ and the NYSE.  It’s all sorts of entertaining and every now and again, I can make a couple of bucks doing it.  Buying and holding is fine, but the real fun is in shorting.

The idea behind shorting is that you’re essentially betting a company’s value will go down over time rather than up.  You sell shares in a stock that you don’t own, then hopefully buy them back at a lower price in the future.  The problem of course is that there’s no limit to the amount of money you can lose and your broker can do a margin call on you at any time, forcing you to cover your short.

There are a lot of people that think only a true shitheel would short a stock.  People who short are the same types of people who go to a craps table and bet the Don’t Pass line, making money when everyone else loses (since typically the short ratio is very small, in this case about 4.3% of the float).  So of course it should not come as a surprise to anyone that I do get a kick out of shorting every now and again.

Back in February, I shorted a dotcom company Marchex (MCHX).  I sold it at $8.83 and bought it back at $6.82 in April.  The market had a bit of a run-up in May along with some general excitement about dotcoms with the upcoming IPOs for Groupon, Linkedin, Pandora, Facebook, etc. so the price for Marchex went back up, reaching $8.45 yesterday.

Since it was back in range, I decided to short it again.  I sold it at $8.31 on 6/14 (clearly leaving some money on the table since I’m a rank amateur) so we’ll see how it goes.

As for why I’m shorting, I simply don’t believe in the core fundamentals of the company and it’s business.  In my opinion, they are a lower tier player in the local search game and there is far more downside than upside, especially when you’re going up against companies like Google, Microsoft and the various Yellow Pages websites.  Local search has huge growth potential, but I’m not a fan of the way Marchex is going about it.  I also really don’t believe in the pay per call business, which they’re pushing hard.

I’ll give myself a limit of $10 on this thing, meaning I’ll cover the short and take my medicine if the stock starts running and crosses the $10 price.

Disclaimer: This is NOT in any way suggesting that anyone should do what I’m doing.  I am simply writing about what I am doing personally.  Playing the market is risky and shorting is extremely risky to the point of being reckless.

If you do play the market, do your own due diligence and don’t go on the word of some lone jackass writing a blog, especially one that doesn’t work in the financial industry.  If you want real market advice, go to a site like the Motley Fool.  Those guys actually know what they’re talking about.

Posted in The Ponies. Tagged with , , , .