11/15/2012

Home

Oh hi there, long time no see. You don't call, you don't write, nothing.

Oh well, still trading here, well mainly complaining about the market.

I had to post this cause the steam train in the vid runs a couple of blocks from my sod hut.

Peace out and I hope all is well.



7/16/2012

Welcome

I can't say good bye anymore, because, well you know.

If you don't know:

Good bye #1

Good bye #2

Good bye #3

So.....Welcome.



The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

7/13/2012

PFG

You take a week off and another broker goes down.

Sheesh.

Makes you worried about every Futures Broker out there. Keep the cash on hand at your broker to an absolute minimum and use their money.

It's free if you don't hold overnight.

Wasendorf Complaint

7/06/2012

Hello

Texas

After this interview I came away with a much different opinion of Rick Perry then the one I had formed during the Republican nomination race.

6/03/2012

Solfest Workman

I used to push the button.

Now I just sit here.

5/11/2012

A Corporate Memorandum

Internal Memo:

To All Employee:

We at Solfest Capital strive to maintain a positive workplace environment.

We have implemented several employee morale incentives over the years and we continue to monitor the satisfaction of all our employee with our annual Employee Satisfaction Survey.

This years survey displayed some rather unique responses.

Such as:

If I don't get a trade soon I'm going to start baking kitten pies.

I feel the need to randomly moo at cars.

I have lined my office walls with aluminium foil to keep the genius in.

Now due to some corporate belt tightening here at Solfest Capital we are forthwith eliminating all our employee morale incentives and replacing them with this new and very expensive video.

This new program replaces all the old and apparently rather ineffective programs.

We are calling the new program, This Is It.

Thank You.

Your Enduring Leader

Solfest

4/30/2012

I Find You Odd

Or should that title be, You Find Me Odd?

What I find odd is the lack of conversation about the sudden change in the markets.

As in there is no market.

At least no market that is tradeable.

Or is it just me?

After all one of us is odd.

INTJ Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I find an INTJ?


A: We INTJs are über-introverts, so we prefer asynchronous and semi-anonymous forms of communication. We get most of our socialization through internet forums and Usenet newsgroups. Look for us there.


Q: Can I become an INTJ?


A: Unless you are born an INTJ, your only hope is to find a genie lamp while strolling on the beach, rub it, and make a wish. You can fake being one of us by burying yourself in a mound of books, nerding out on a favorite subject (like quantum mechanics, not needlepoint), wandering around by yourself, not giving a damn what others think of you, etc. If this sounds like too much work, just try doing a good robot impersonation.


Q: How can I break up with my INTJ?


A: Tell us the truth. We’ll reply, “Sure, why not?”, and go on with our lives.


Q: My INTJ is trying to take over the world. Should I be concerned?


A: Remember, he’s trying to take over the world for the betterment of everyone and everything. Just go ahead and let him. He’ll be happy and the world will be a more organized and efficient place.


Q: My INTJ just told me I’m retarded. Should I take offense?


A: You probably are retarded, by our standards. But don’t take offense. Our standards are so high that even we don’t meet them. We judge ourselves more harshly than we judge others.


Q: My INTJ isn’t sensitive to my feelings. Should I take offense?


A: We aren’t even sensitive to our own feelings. Why should we be expected to be sensitive to yours? We won’t even try to fake it. Insincerity is a pet peeve of ours, and anyway, it would ruin our reputation if we ever showed emotion.


Q: Why doesn’t my INTJ ever show emotions or feelings?


A: Because he doesn’t have any. Actually, that’s not strictly true; it’s just that we tend to get emotional about things you might not appreciate. INTJs have been known to cry during the liftoff scene in “Apollo 13″, for example, and there are also many touching moments in some of the Star Trek movies. An INTJ may also smile or laugh at random for no apparent reason; probably one of the voices in his head just made a good joke.


Q: My INTJ doesn’t care about me any more after he tried to explain his idea and I didn’t listen. What should I do?


A: Ideas are of prime importance to INTJs, and disregarding or not listening to our ideas is the highest form of insult. Although INTJs do not hold grudges, neither do we go out of our way to associate with people who don’t give serious consideration to our ideas. You’ll be in damage control mode for quite some time, fighting an uphill battle to get back into our good graces.


Q: My INTJ won’t talk to me. What should I do?


A: What subjects are you trying to talk about? Most INTJs hate gossip, and all of us hate talk of relationships. We also don’t do small talk. Try quantum physics, psychology, or some other deep (but non-touchy/feely) topic. If all else fails, try email instead.


Q: Why does my INTJ keep correcting my grammar?


A: Probably because you are being grammatically incorrect. The next time you tell your INTJ that you’re going to “try and [do something]”, prepare to get bitch-slapped. It’s “try to”, not “try and”. And there’s no such word as “irregardless”. Words have specific meanings, and language has specific rules; please abide by them. And don’t even get us started on your contextually ambiguous use of pronouns.


Q: I have this REALLY good idea… should I tell an INTJ?


A: Sleep on it… for a week or so. If it’s still so appealing, sleep on it for another week. Then maybe run it by one of us and we’ll pick it apart for you. Your idea is more likely to survive our scrutiny relatively unscathed if you have actual logical arguments and sound evidence with which to back it up.


Q: Is it dangerous to annoy an INTJ?


A: First we will ignore you, then we will launch a volley of extremely witty but esoteric insults that will probably go right over your head, and finally we will just engage the “nod-and-smile” autopilot and go back to ignoring you. Best to leave us alone at this point. If you push us too far we may blow up your head with our telekinetic abilities. So, yes, it can be dangerous to annoy an INTJ.


Q: What are the pet peeves of INTJs?


A: Thanks for asking. Our pet peeves are:

■We dislike surprises.

■We hate having decisions made for us. We’re INTJs; nobody is more qualified to make decisions than us.

■We dislike getting gifts, as it burdens us with the need to reciprocate.

■We hate small talk, gossip, and relationship/people talk. Really anything mundane is beneath us.

■We get particularly annoyed by attacks on our intelligence, competence, and integrity.

■We hate it when people try to manipulate us.

■Insincerity and lying.

■People interfering with our alone time.

■People who are chronically late.

■People who talk incessantly. We will just engage our “nod and smile” autopilot and mentally go somewhere else.

■People who are stupid, arrogant, opinionated, and/or closed minded.

■Crooked/badly placed pictures.

■Superficiality (body piercings, pimped out cars, brightly colored anything).

■Salespeople. INTJs are immune to emotional manipulation and have zero tolerance for lines of bullshit.

■Incorrect grammar and word usage.

■People who waste our time (see Salespeople, people interfering with our alone time, etc.).



Q: My INTJ keeps disappearing. Is this normal?


A: Yes. We need our “alone time” to recharge, more so than any of the other introverted MBTI types. Being around people for very long sucks the life force out of us, and we sneak off to be by ourselves whenever our “low battery” warning light starts to flash. (And in those cases where we can’t disappear physically, we will retreat into our minds.) Consequently we have great stealth capability; we can sit in a corner, observing while being unobserved, and we can escape, unnoticed, when we’re ready to move on.


Q: Why can’t my INTJ remember anything?


A: This is normal. Most of us INTJs are very forgetful. We have too much going on in our heads at any time to remember a lot of new stuff. Also, we zone out and go into autopilot mode quite frequently. We often won’t remember where we put our car keys because we weren’t “there” when we did it.


Q: My INTJ employee consistently strolls into work an hour late and leaves an hour late, every day. He/she seems to make their own hours, however the job gets done rather well. Should I feel disrespected?


A: Time is relative to the INTJ, and getting the job done right is paramount. We do not like wasting our time, so we will often adjust our schedules accordingly to miss AM and PM rush-hour traffic. The more traffic we miss, the more time we have for books, movies, video games, books, message boards, books, etc. You should feel disrespected, although it has nothing to do with them not honoring your work rules; it has to do with them not thinking you are particularly smart or competent. If you were smart/competent, you wouldn’t be going on about getting your wittle bitty feewings hurt by your disrespectful but high-performing INTJ employee.


Q: My INTJ is very pedantic.


A: Strictly speaking, that’s not a question.


Q: Dammit, see what I mean?


A: Yes, the irony was not lost on me as I typed the previous answer.


Q: And sarcastic as hell, too.


A: Sarcasm is a free public service we provide to those within earshot. No need to thank us. We also do irony, hyperbole, word-play and puns, one-liners, quick-witted observations and flippant remarks, and abstract and deep philosophical insights on nonsensical themes. Our sense of humor tends to be dry, warped, and morbid, and not everybody “gets” us.


Q: Why does my INTJ just “shut down” at the end of the day?


A: Our minds are always buzzing with plans and theories, and we cannot voluntarily get it to stop. But even an Indy 500 car will coast to a halt after it runs out of gas. When we are very tired our brains slow down, and we become normal or even a bit retarded. If we start asking you to repeat what you just told us but more slowly this time, and/or if we can no longer perform simple routine tasks like computing an orbital transfer burn or finding a memory leak in 10,000 lines of C++ code, you know it’s time for us to call it a day.


Q: Why is my INTJ so… well, so freakin’ WEIRD??!?


A: It’s probably just a side effect of the way our brains work. Many of us tend to be rather obsessive-compulsive, for instance ordering our cd’s, dvd’s, and books by genre then alphabetically (by title for dvd’s, by group then title for cd’s, and by author then title for books, except for series which must be kept in appropriate serial order). Most of us have other quirks as well, e.g., always eating M&M’s in a specific color order, naming our children in alphabetical order, etc. It’s a small price to pay for genius, really.


Q: Why does my INTJ just start nodding and smiling after we’ve been talking for a couple of minutes?


A:


Q: I said, WHY DOES MY INTJ START NODDING AND… Oh I get it, you’re being sarcastic again. Does it ever get old?


A: [ hey, more Wayne Newton anagrams… We Want On Yen, Ant On New Yew, Way None Went… ]


Q: Hello? Are you going to answer any more questions?


A: [ … “Hair Salon For Stray Nerd Nuns”, “Larry Moe and Curly’s On”, “Karaoke’s Not That Fun”, “Harry Potter’s Gay Stepson”, … ]



Q: I’m outta here.


A: [ works every time ]

4/19/2012

Oh



Yer all revved up to trade, Automan is poised and ready to pounce, you are prepared to demonstrate your brilliance to the world.

Prepared for applause.

Then the Leader of the Free World threatens to annihilate all crude oil speculators.

Oh.

Before Obama, fifty one 610 tick bars in the pit session.


After Obama, seventeen 610 tick bars in the pit session.


Oh.

4/18/2012

Sowell to the Rescue

I spent last evening reading Thomas Sowell and listening to Beethoven's 5th Symphony.

I feel better now.

I shan't watch, read, or listen to the "business" news anymore.

"When huge nations like China and India - whose combined populations are more than eight times that of the United State - experienced rapid economic growth in the early twenty-first century, their increased demand for petroleum drove the price of petroleum in the world market up to unprecedented heights, and with it the price of gasoline to new highs beyond anything that American consumers were used to. The reaction in much of the American media and among politicians was anger at oil companies. The notion of volitional pricing has never died out completely, however inconsistent that is with supply and demand." Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics


"A volitional view of economics enable the intelligentsia, like politicians and others, to dramatize economics, explaining high prices by "greed" and low wages by a lack of "compassion," for example. While this is a part of an ideological vision, an ideology of the left is not sufficient by itself to explain this approach. "I paint the capitalist and the landlord in no sense couleur de rose"," Karl Marx said in the introduction to the first volume of Capital. "My stand point," he added, however, "can less than any other make the individual responsible for relations whose creature he socially remains, however much he may subjectively raise himself above them." In short, prices and wages were not determined volitionally but systemically.

Understanding that was not a question of being on the left or not, but of being economically literate or illiterate. The underlying notion of volitional pricing has, in our own times, led to at least a dozen federal investigations of American oil companies over the years, in response to either gasoline shortages or increase in gasoline prices - with none of these investigations turning up facts to support the sinister explanations abounding in the media and in politics when these investigations were launched. Many people find it hard to believe that negative economic events are not a result of villainy, even though they accept positive economic events - the declining prices of computers that are far better than earlier computers, for example - as being just a result of "progress" that happens somehow." Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society

4/17/2012

Free to Choose?

Not anymore.

Mr. Obama chooses for you.

Never mind the fact you have a nutbar in Iran building a nuke.
Never mind the fact you have US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Never mind the fact you declined the Keystone pipeline.
Never mind the fact you banned drilling in the Gulf.
Never mind the fact you ban drilling in parts of Alaska.
Never mind the fact you have printed hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars.
Never mind the fact nat gas is so cheap they can't give it away.
Never mind the fact Boone Pickens gave you a plan to actually use nat gas.
Never mind the fact China and India are gobbling up oil at a ferocious rate.
Never mind the fact that the peak oil preachers tell us we're out.
Never mind the fact that oil traders don't need you or your country.

No, no, no, never mind all of that, it's the speculators fault that crude oil is so high.

It's like having a four year old child running your country.



Oh I'm sorry Mr Obama, from now on I will only short oil, unless you give me permission to go long.



Free To Choose 1980 Vol. 2 - The Tyranny of Control from Free To Choose Network on Vimeo.

4/16/2012

The Road to Plentiful

The western world is awash in debt.

Why?

The world does not understand the economic concept of scarcity.

“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.” Thomas Sowell

We have all been told by the purveyors of consumer credit, advertisers, and governments that there is no such thing as scarcity. We deserve everything and we deserve it now.

We are entitled.

So the road to plentiful starts with spending every penny we earn and then borrowing every penny we can borrow. This is now the norm. Saving money is something old people used to do, no longer relevant to a "modern economy".

Now once we spend every penny we earn and borrow every penny we can have we now found the limits of plentiful? Other wise known as scarcity.

Of course not.

We find someone to blame our temporary scarceness on. It's the bank's fault, the government's fault, my parent's fault, my employer's fault, my realtor's fault, my spouse's fault, my neighbour's (the Jones) fault, anyone but me.

We not only blame we demand reparation. We demand our bank lower the interest rate, forgive some principal. We demand the government "stimulate" us. We demand the government take some money from rich people and give it to me. We riot in the streets, we burn our neighbourhood stores, we fight with the police. We get a divorce, now that really solves your "temporary scarceness".

If all that fails to put us back on the road to plentiful we wrap the whole world up in a blanket of blame and declare bankruptcy.

Aha.... free at last.

Now we still have our job, we are free to spend again, we wait a few months, we borrow at an enormous interest rate to buy something that "repairs" our credit history.

This actually does work, credit card offers start arriving in the mail again. Scarcity is gone, we knew it, we knew there was no such thing, we are not only back on the road of plentiful, we are in the fast lane.



Scarcity requires individuals to make choices. If individuals make the wrong choices there are consequences. There have to be consequences or individuals will continue to make the same mistakes over and over.

There used to be debtor's prisons.

"Although a free market economic system is sometimes called a profit system , it is in reality a profit and loss system, and the losses are equally important for the efficiency of the economy because losses tell producers what to stop doing, what to stop producing, where to stop putting resources, and what to stop investing in." Thomas Sowell

Governments react, they don't think, they bail out some, they let others fail, they decide.

They destroy economies.

Choice requires thought and discipline.

So do elections.

4/11/2012

Perfection



Perfection does not exist in trading.

Or does it?

Perfection in trading is not a 100% win rate.

Perfection in trading is a 100% execution rate.

Only a machine can achieve that.

Since I am not a machine, yet, I have continued to work with Automan to allow it to take over.

Man did not learn to fly in one day.


But eventually you get there.

4/05/2012

'I Have a Dream'




Well actually I had a dream.

It went something like this.

Working Title: Thomas and I

Characters: Solfest, a middle aged bald man
Mrs. Solfest, a not so middle aged beauty
Dr. Thomas Sowell, genius

Act I:
Scene: Solfest and Mrs. Solfest are asleep in their bed after a night of wild s.......ouch! (Mrs. Solfest reads over the author's shoulder and slaps him across the back of the head)

Oh hi honey, let me try that again.

Scene: Solfest is tossing and turning in his bed while mumbling incoherently.
Solfest: Don't shoot, Don't shoot, you're a pacifist!

Sowell: I'm not a pacifist you idiot, you broke into my home, I'm packing heat and I'm not afraid to use it!

Solfest: Wait, wait, this will all make sense in a minute. I mean I love you! Wait a tic, that didn't come out right.

Sowell: What are you some kind of perverted lunatic? I'm going to shoot you between the eyes and display your corpse on my front porch!

Solfest: No, No, I can explain, hey that is something you would do, (Solfest smiling) I mean display the corpse, like in the old west, I read all those Time Life history books, you ever read those?

Sowell: Shut your mouth asshole!

Solfest: Hey now watch the potty mouth, your junior high school teacher, what was her name, Ms. Simon, ya that's it, Ms. Simon, she wouldn't stand for any of that language now would she?

Sowell: (stares in disbelief) Who are you?

Solfest: (now beaming) I'm from Canada.

Sowell: Wonderful, did they ask you to leave?

Solfest: (roaring in laughter) No, No, I knew you were funny, that's a good one, did they ask you to leave, that's funny.

Sowell: (gun still pointed at Solfest's bald head) What are you doing in my house?

Solfest: Well I drove all the way down here cause I wanted to meet you.

Sowell: I have a secretary.

Solfest: Right, right, yes that may have been better. But I know you like baseball and I like baseball, I coach my son's team (Solfest looking desperately for approval) (none forthcoming) so I knew that you had seen Field of Dreams and I, uh, I, uh, well.... you're black.

Sowell: You're a genius.

Solfest: (nervous laughter) No, no, you're the genius,....I'm white, I mean, you know the scene where Kevin Costner tries to kidnap James Earl Jones?

Sowell: You're here to kidnap me? A skinny assed white bald headed un armed Canadian moron is going to kidnap me? (gun still pointed at Solfest's bald head)

Solfest: (more nervous laughter) No, no, I just thought you would appreciate the scene.

Sowell: So you broke into my house?

Solfest: W.P. Kinsella is from Canada.

Sowell: WHAT!!

Solfest: He wrote Field of Dreams. He was born in Edmonton. I thought it was our destiny to meet.

Sowell: Didn't you say you loved me?

Solfest: (very nervous laughter) No, well yes, but no, I mean I really like you, no, I mean I really like everything you write, I mean everything. It's like you're reading my mind when you write. Everything, I mean, almost everything.

Sowell: What do you mean almost everything?

Solfest: Well maybe the part about no gun control I'm not so sure of.

Sowell: I am.

Solfest: (the most nervous laughter) I can see that. You wouldn't mind pointing that some other direction would you?

Sowell: I would.

Solfest: Ah.

Sowell: What did you plan to do with me after your kidnapping?

Solfest: I wasn't really going to....oh you know that...ah, well I thought we could go have coffee, you know, maybe talk about economics, politics and you know, stuff...... I have a blog.

Sowell: Wonderful. (Sowell moves towards his phone)

Solfest: What are you doing?

Sowell: Calling the police.

Solfest: Ah. So you don't want to talk?

Sowell: No.

Act II

Scene: Solfest decides to make a break for the door rather than try and explain himself to the police.

Solfest: (talking to himself) He's old, 81, his reaction time can't be all that good, just go hard, don't hesitate.

Solfest jumps to his feet and breaks for the door!

Shots ring out!

Sowell wings Solfest in the back of the leg and is now standing over him.

Solfest: Wait, wait, don't shoot, don't shoot!

Sowell: I already shot you you idiot.

Solfest: (sobbing) It's not supposed to end this way.

Sowell: Now I'm going to finish the job. (Sowell raises the gun aiming right between Solfest's eyes)

Solfest: No, No, Wait! We are so much alike..... I think you're my Father!

Sowell: Your Father!! You moron look at your skin, your blue eyes, and I can guarantee you no offspring of mine is INSANE!

Solfest: (whimpering like a small child) I'm colour blind.

Sowell: Good Lord!

(Sowell loads another round into the gun's chamber with a cold hard metallic click and starts to squeeze the trigger nice and slow)

Act III
Scene: Solfest awakens screaming, but in a manly way.

Mrs. Solfest: What on earth is the matter with you?

Solfest: (sticky with sweat) Thomas Sowell was going to shoot me!

Mrs. Solfest: Who?

Solfest: Thomas Sowell, you know that book I've been reading....

Mrs. Solfest (rolling over) Good Lord, go back to sleep.

Solfest: Yes Dear.

4/04/2012

I Think I'm in Love

Well love is a strong word, perhaps a serious man crush is more appropriate.

Ok that isn't appropriate either.

It started with some hero worship, now it (whatever it is) is out of control.

To whom are my affections directed?

Dr. Thomas Sowell.

How can an 81 year old man from Harlem and a 47 year old man from Canada have so much in common? Maybe so much in common isn't the right term. How can we think the same on almost every single issue known to mankind?

I have watched and posted his interviews and am now reading The Thomas Sowell Reader. This is a compilation of his essays and columns from his entire career.

I am laughing out loud and shaking my head in amazement with almost every page.

The saddest thing I can think about this man is that he has pretty much been ignored by the main stream media.

I don't think they like his message.

The truth hurts.

I want to quote you the whole book.

Please read it.

If you can't muster up the energy to read the whole book try this little snippet.

What did Winston Churchill say about socialism?
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
Ah yes that was it.

4/03/2012

Prepare to be Surprised



Prepare to be wrong, surprised, whatever.

This chart demonstrates Solfest's little dilemma quite nicely.

Solfest is despondent.


If at first you don't succeed, wait for someone else to get it right.

4/02/2012

El Problemo






The demise of Automan?

Maybe.

Solfest waits for a blue bar and upon completion of that bar Solfest places an order one tick above/below that blue bar for entry.

Automan cannot do this. Automan can only be programmed for the blue bar, not the future bar, the bar after.

The best Automan can do is place the order at bar close of the blue bar. This creates a few problems, one as you see above is if the bar after blue does not go your way you are still in the trade.

In fact the trade noted above went so fast against Solfest that the EMA angle on the blue bar (it was there, trust me) came off enough that the blue disappeared.

The bottom line is Solfest would not have taken this trade and Automan did.

Upon review of past trades Solfest can see on the trades that worked going in at bar close on the blue bar gets Solfest in at a better price.

But the review Solfest doesn't have is how many trades the Automan bar close would have taken, with no break of the high or low, and lost a full stop.

So.....the Big Boy Solfest Trader thing to do is go back to manual and track the different results from hypothetical bar close entries and the one tick above/below entries.

The stupid Solfest really wants to be Automan thing to do would be to say close enough and let Automan run.

Solfest thinks Solfest will do the Big Boy Trader thing and put Automan in the closet for a while.

Solfest will now cry like a Big Boy Trader.

3/30/2012

Automan



The blank space on the right side of the chart is where the Sierra front end sits, why it doesn't show up in the screen capture is beyond me.

Went live with the CL auto trader.

However it just trades what the Solfest non auto trader trades.


Which means Automan looks more like this.



I'll throw this in here so you can see what Automan can really look like. This is a chart replay from February with an auto entry and exit.


The lines on it are from my actual entry and exit without Automan.

So Automan and Solfest are pretty close.

Now all I need is the market to do that again. :)

3/29/2012

I Make Fire, Again



The last time Solfest "made fire" was when he coded the prices bars to turn blue upon meeting his trading parameters.

Now Solfest has made his first auto trade. (pause for applause)

Thank you, thank you, thank you very much, thank you, please sit down, please, thank you.

Now that I have basked in your applause I can tell you that the auto trade was done on the YM, I made 2 ticks, and I took an old fashioned manual trade on CL and lost 11 ticks.

HA, you can't take back your applause!

Now Solfest may have also made a little fire a few months ago when he linked his three charts together so he only gets a signal on the entry chart if the other two charts have signals in place.

This is required to be able to auto trade his system.

The auto trade today was not done using his system, so there is still some work to be done.

That said the signal was created, the entry did happen, and Solfest just sat there and watched.

3/28/2012

Move Over Greece

We are German.

This is how you do things.

3/26/2012

Had Enough?

Ok let's look at our environment in a different light.

With another one of those annoying young men doing fantastic things in fantastic locations while we sit on our collective asses videos.

It's a good thing the young men procreate like rabbits cause I don't think they all survive the fantastic things in fantastic places.

Maybe Red Bull and testosterone isn't such a good mix after all?

3/22/2012

Rex Murphy: Oil sands are a triumph for the human ‘environment’

I’m lucky to be going to Fort McMurray, Alta. this weekend with colleagues from CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup. I have a great wish to see what the green Jeremiahs deem to be the greatest blot on the visage of Mother Gaia, and to meet some of the soulless folk who work there. After all, environmentalists might ask: Who would take a job on a site that threatens the destiny of the planet, except people whose souls have been bought off with oil-company lucre?

Outside Fort McMurray, it is impossible to escape the furor over the Alberta oilsands. Its product is routinely described, lazily and slanderously, as the dirtiest on the planet. The Premier of Ontario, a province that owes much of its prosperity to its huge automobile industry shivers when he looks at Alberta, mutters about the dark forces of the “petro-dollar,” and implied (until he was scolded and half-recanted) that somehow Ontario’s fretful financial state is Alberta’s fault.

It’s almost a fantasy disconnect. Dalton Mcguinty can throw billions at General Motors and urge the feds to do the same, all to save the automobile industry. He ignores that four decades or more of Ontario’s prosperity wasn’t founded on windmills: It was based on gas-guzzling cars and trucks.

Down in the States, Fort MacMurray is the green lobby’s ultimate bogeyman. Environmental groups raise money by attacks on the oilsands. Fort McMurray and the Keystone XL pipeline that would take its bounty south. This rhetoric has even made it into presidential politics. The shameless and high-gloss National Geographic put out a hit-issue deploring the oilsands as the ultimate “polluter.”

Are Canadians falling for this propaganda, too? The bounty of our country has made us complacent, even smug, about the resource extraction that makes it possible. Canada is at the very forefront of the world’s developed nations. Our schools, hospitals, universities, arts and industries are at the very top of the chain — all because we have the energy to drive an economy that can support these great boons.

Yet how easily we bite the hand that feeds us. “Environment” has become a narrow, bitterly focussed word turning exclusively on hurts or despoilations of nature, magnifying the slightest alteration or disturbance of “the natural” as an unspeakable sin.

There is another wider, larger, humane dimension to the environment — larger and more vital than any reference to landscape. That is the human and social element, the business of supplying reasonable support for workers and their families, towns and communities, and ultimately wealth for the entire nation. We owe something, it is true to the rocks and trees. We also owe something to human beings as well.

In my view, this is the first and deepest justification for Fort Mac and the oil industry. Jobs are essential for the human environment — for a woman’s or a man’s sense of self-reliance and independence. By this, I mean the right to be able to obtain what you need for yourself and your family from what you have honestly earned. Being able, because you are employed, to stay off welfare, to turn aside from handouts — this is good for the environment of human dignity.

It mightn’t have the smug appeal of a panda face, and you will not see it on the vivid posters of the Sierra Club or Greenpeace, but having a job and earning a living is a great thing. Those who have been out of work know what a cruel “environment” that is — an emotional and psychological assault of frightful power. So we should celebrate some of the contributions that the oil sands have already made to the fundamental human environments of so many Canadians.

I have thought, and thought again, of my own province of Newfoundland, caught in the great calamity of the fisheries’ close-down in the 1990s, and how providential it was that “out West,” an oil economy was booming at the same time. Many Newfoundlanders (and Maritimers) migrated there in a time of real need.

Great social misery was averted because of the oil boom and Newfoundland’s related offshore developments: Thousands of divorces never happened, thousands of families didn’t break up, thousands of men and women didn’t fall into the trap of depression and worse, which so often attends long-term unemployment — because there was a great oil industry that allowed them the wherewithal to feed their families. It is a great story of modern Confederation: How Alberta, in particular, modified and mitigated the misery of Newfoundland — and other places.

I can summarize the entire case very simply. The environment is not just what you see on green posters. It is not just sunsets and tall trees. It is also the people living in it. And people need energy, and people need jobs. Projects such as the oilsands, which supplies both in abundance, should be celebrated for its cutting-edge technological and scientific prowess. It is Canada’s great national project for the 21st century. I look forward to the trip.

Rex Murphy, National Post

3/21/2012

Don't Spit Into the Wind

Oil sands pollution comparable to ‘large power plant’, NASA data shows

It may not be “game over” for the environment.

Dr. James E. Hansen, climate scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who famously said that the development of the Keystone XL pipeline — which proposes to transport Alberta oil sands to the U.S. — will be “game over” for the environment, may want to review his own institute’s latest data.

New NASA data on its website shows that the emission of pollutants from oil sands mining in Alberta province are “comparable to the emissions from a large power plant or a moderately sized city.”

Chris McLinden, a scientist at Environment Canada who conducted the research, told the Financial Post that the study only looked at two pollutants but he was pleasantly surprised by the technology which could be used in more accurate monitoring of the oil sands, as part of greater scrutiny pledged by Alberta and the federal government recently.

“Let me put it this way, at the beginning of this six-year period, the pollution [over the oil sands area] was in the range of a medium to large coal-burning power plant, and at the end of the six-year period it was within the range of a large coal-burning power plant,” said Mr. McLinden.

While Mr. McLinden would not comment on Mr. Hansen’s claim, it does suggest that while the industry needs to keep an eye on rising oil sands pollution, it’s far from the grim picture painted by environmentalists.



“The top two maps above depict the concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air above the main oil sands mining operation along the Athabasca River, as observed from 2005 to 2007 (left) and 2008 to 2010 (right),” says a note on the NASA website. “The lower map shows those emissions in the broader context of the western provinces of Canada and the northern United States from 2005 to 2010. All data were acquired by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite.”

The research did find elevated levels of pollutants, though. Data showed that the emissions had increased about 10% per year between 2005 and 2010, roughly the same rate as the growth of the oil sands industry.

“For both gases, the levels are comparable to what satellites see over a large power plant—or for nitrogen dioxide, comparable to what they see over some medium-sized cities,” said Mr. McLinden, whose findings were published in Geophysical Research Letters in February 2012. “It stands out above what’s around it, out in the wilderness, but one thing we wanted to try to do was put it in context.”

Financial Post is trying to get in touch with Mr. Hansen.

Yadullah Hussain, National Post

3/19/2012

Money



The message is The Guardian delivers "the whole picture".

Really?

The media is a powerful entity, an entity with one purpose.

The purpose is to make money.

I could make the point that it's evil for the media's sole purpose to be making money.

I could, but that would be hypocritical because it is mankind's sole purpose.

You may argue this point, you may argue that you, and others, have more than one purpose. You may argue this point, but you would be wrong.

You, and I, may think we have other purposes for our lives, purposes like love, charity, environmental purity, and the like.

You, and I, may argue this, but we would be wrong.

We're ok with those other purposes, we may think we place those purposes above money, we may think that, but we would be wrong.

Take away the money and our sole purpose in life becomes very clear.

Take away the money and all other purposes go away. They go far far away and we move to a zone that may even surprise us.

We will do anything to get money.

Anything.

We are willing to lie, cheat, steal, and even kill to get money. You may argue we would be willing to kill because those we love need the money too, you may argue this, and you may be right. (aha fooled you)

Money comes first.

Money comes first for the media, environmentalists, politicians, scientists, oil companies, bankers, and traders.

Money comes first.

The environmental movement is a business. A business whose main concern is making money. Over the years the business moves it's "outrage" to the largest income stream, whether it be population growth, nuclear power, clear cutting, saving whales, or now the oilsands.

Al Gore set the stage for the latest "outrage" with a movie.

One day a few years back Al Gore flew to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and gave a luncheon speech, that same day he flew to Calgary, Alberta and gave a dinner speech.

Then Al Gore flew home.

Al Gore does not have wings.

Al Gore's plane was not electric.

Al Gore's plane was not a glider.

Al Gore flew on petroleum across North America so he could make money by telling us to stop using petroleum.

Al Gore could have stayed home and done a live video link to Saskatoon and Calgary using really cool internet technology. (remember he invented the internet)

Al Gore would not have been paid as much for that delivery method.

Money comes first.

There is usually more than one opinion on most subjects in the media. However the opinion that makes them the most money is the one that gets the most "ink".

Fortunately you have me to help you find the "underprivileged" opinions. :)

Death and destruction always sell better than things look pretty good.

"If it bleeds it leads" someone once said.

Money comes first.







3/16/2012

A Window Opened

Well there it is, or actually there it was. Our first day of "chat" is in the bank and I have to say I actually enjoyed it.

We all came out of our isolation chambers and gathered together without any fist fights or declarations of war.

I believe the grand total of guests for the day was 6 and that was 5 more than I expected.

We had a trading manure spreader, a big secret agent from a foreign land that cannot be identified for fear of death, a flying monkey from California, a handsome Irish painter from Portugal, a Fibonacci trader who only plays golf, and a guru who cannot speak.

In other words just another day in the pit.

Oh and since there were witnesses I had a trade that made 5 ticks and I may have altered my system exit and become rather agitated when price turned back my way and ran after my suspect exit.

Yes a lovely display of calm, cool, and collected trading on my behalf.

Turns out it would have hit my be if I hadn't adjusted the exit anyway.

Still I tinkered and yes, Solfest hangs his head in shame.

On a brighter note I do feel I have done my small part to promote world peace via trading rooms.

Your Welcome.



As I scroll down the blog I don't see any charts so I guess I better add one.

We talked a little about trading psychology in the room today. Since some idiot named Solfest displayed the shortcomings of his human trading mind so brilliantly I thought I'd better display the evidence.

One entry that we could all agree on.

All?

Yes the Solfest, the system, and the ego.

However the three of us in one (no not the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) all had different ideas on the exit.

3/15/2012

You Don't Say

I do say.

I think.

All this "talk" about isolation got me thinking about, well, about my isolation.

It has me thinking about talking to people. People who trade for a living, or at least try to.

I have been in 2 other chat rooms in the last 5 years, one with about 80 people or so and one with 5 or 6 people.

I'm now down to skype with one.

LOL

What does that say about me?

Chat rooms can be good or bad or both in the same minute. The idea is good, create a virtual trading floor to commiserate with yer fellow man.

The reality is sometimes not so good. People are rude when there is no face to face contact. Ever been in an elite trader forum, it's unbelievable what they say to each other some times.

So in order for this to work there has to be a few rules, rules about what you should not do, and rules about what you should do.

Should Not Rules

Rule #1 No selling.
Rule #2 No teaching, teachers are wanna be sellers.
Rule #3 No questions on others trading systems.
Rule #4 No posting dollar figure results.

Should Rules

Rule #1 Participate.
Rule #2 Be civil.
Rule #3 Post trade results (if you want to) in ticks.
Rule #4 Feel free to talk about how you trade.
Rule #5 Random mooing is encouraged.
Rule #6 Feel free to mock Al Gore.
Rule #7 Feel free to adore Margaret Thatcher, Ayn Rand, Thomas Sowell, and Milton Friedman.
Rule #8 Feel free to come into the chat room to see Solfest sitting there by himself, laugh at him, then leave immediately.

I reserve the right to add or delete rules at any time.

I'll be in the room from 7:00 am to 12:30 pm MST, unless I'm not.

We will see how this goes and if it sucks I'll just delete the thing.

That works.

3/14/2012

Maybe We Do Need Trading Floors

Perhaps the solitary world of an independent trader is not the right environment for trading success.

One may find oneself randomly mooing and referring to oneself in the third person whilst demanding, in old testament english, a serf bring oneself coffee.

Although my first thought upon seeing the video was, finally some peace and quiet.

The death row guy in the last video said he just went to other places in his head to survive. He didn't realize it was a problem until he discovered he couldn't stop doing that.

You mean everyone doesn't do that?

Hmmmmm.

We volunteer for our isolation.

Are we mad?

Am I?

Why does The Shining appeal to me?

Does the world really need the colour green?

I think not.











The bottom line is the isolation really only bothers those nutty extroverts.
BBC

3/12/2012

Finally!

"Flip the classroom".

Ya think!

Go home and watch these videos, come back to school to try the work, if you have any problems ask your teacher for help.

Why that's crazy!

Our current system is fall asleep in class while teacher drones on about some stupid math concept, get assigned homework, go home and ignore it until 10:00, then ask Dad for help, Dad asks why are you doing this, kid says I dunno, Dad storms off, ask Mom for help, Mom freaks out as to why this has been left until 10:00 PM, Mom (being actually kind and loving) tries to remember math from 20 years ago, Mom fails in Kid's eyes cause she is sure Mom is doing it wrong.

Everyone goes to bed angry.

Hmmmmm.





Kahn Academy

3/09/2012

Books

I love reading.

More specifically I love books, I love the look, the smell, the feel, everything.

I have to specify that because you can now read books on a device.

A device.

A cold hard device. Yuck.


I digress.

Books are my education. Oh I went to school but I didn't find much that interested me there, basketball, track & field, and girls were interesting, that was about it.

My parents read. I saw this. I went to the library in my school and my Father took me and my siblings to the public library once a week so we could read some more.

I have now surrounded myself with books, as I sit here at my desk, with my idiot screens showing a remarkable lack of blue bars, I look over the screens and I see books, a whole wall of books. There's another wall of books in the living room.

I love books.

I wasted my "formal" education.

Books saved me.

I could say they taught me everything I know, which is true, but the proper tense is teach. They are still teaching me, they will always teach me because I will never stop reading to learn.

I went to my old high school a few years ago, they had done a massive renovation and were showing it off. The old library location was now a cafeteria, the new library was in an old classroom. I have more books in my house then they have in that "library".

I asked them why so few books. They said the kids get most of their information online.

Ah.

My wife and I read.

Alot.

My kids do not read.

They text, play Xbox, and demand more Apple products.

I have failed them.

This man was "saved" by books.

Lest we forget.



The documentary film makers make a nice movie but are a little fuzzy on the details, Kamkwamba explains it better here.

Every Now and Again

Yes every now and again you have a day.
A nice day.
A day with a trade.
A day with a trade that works.
A day where you read a nice story.
A day where you watch a nice video.
A day that you post a nice blog piece about the nice story.

A day like today.


The nice blog piece about the nice story is coming up next.

3/08/2012

BUY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Well, maybe just hold.

Some more behavioural economics for you.



I love the little grin on Shiller's face as he talks about economics.

He looks like he enjoys the whole thing like a game, or more specifically a man with no skin in the game.

Seems like he has said this before.



There's a real danger in listening to people who have done nothing in their life except write books.

3/07/2012

The Right Edge

The Entry



The Result

Ya that edge, the right edge of the chart, the one that's blank if you scroll over a few clicks. That's real trading.

We have the historical data and our indicators indicate based on that data, but the future is always blank.

Then it fills and we live with our probabilities.

Hurray!

3/06/2012

I Am Definitely Canadian

Welcome to the International Headquarters of Solfest Capital Inc.

We're snowed in, hunkered down, and waiting for our 2 week summer that arrives sometime in August.



Yes these pictures are from this morning.

Anyone who lives in sunshine near an ocean needs to just shut up.

3/05/2012

I Am Canadian



You can tell this because I feel bad that I have offended a fellow trader.

I tried to pretend that I didn't feel bad by bolding stating "too bad" on MBA's blog. But after another day of introspection my Canadianess feels bad for offending YM.

I offended him with this statement:

"Discretionary trading is charity work. You just give it all away."

YM must be a successful discretionary trader. Upon further review I had to admit I wasn't even really sure what a discretionary trader is. I mean how do you define it?

They trade by feel?

Tape reading?

Must be price action, yes?

Maybe another successful discretionary trader can tell me. YM won't because he no longer reads "trading bloggers".

The statement was meant to be funny, also true in my experience, but mostly fuuny. I thought it was funny. For the most part the blog is meant to be funny.

If it isn't funny don't tell me.

YM didn't think it was funny.

We work in a solitary business, the trading floors are no longer required, but maybe the camaraderie of the floor is?

Some contact with humans who share the same interests and the same struggles must be good for the soul.

I enjoy what I do, I enjoy reading about it, talking about it, writing about it, and I enjoy hearing back from those who read my thoughts.

I think laughter is required for life to exist.

It's also good for business.

“Good moods, while they last, enhance the ability to think flexibly and with more complexity, thus making it easier to find solutions to problems, whether intellectual or interpersonal. This suggests that one way to help someone think through a problem is to tell them a joke. Laughing, like elation, seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely, noticing relationships that might have eluded them otherwise – a mental skill important not just in creativity, but in recognizing complex relationships and foreseeing the consequences of a given decision”.

Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence

To sum up, we Canadians are very nice, we don't like to offend anyone, but we do have a breaking point.

3/02/2012

Say What?

Daniel Kahneman talks about his new book in an interview with Charlie Rose. He states that traders cannot use data to predict the market, but baseball teams can?

Hmmmm.



I can sum up Kahneman's Ted talk in three words, humans are stupid.

As traders I think we can equate the experiencing self and the remembering self with our definition of recency bias. As Kahneman notes with the colonoscopy example our memory of the unpleasantness is based on the severity of the final seconds of the experience only.

This brain we all suffer with causes us to do strange things in life. In the trading pits it causes us to lose money. Lose money because we cannot get past the immense weight we place on the results of the last trade.

Yes, the last trade, one trade.

Our last experience demotes the other experiences in our memory. We then use this, now very faulty memory, to make decisions going forward.

Imagine (let's be honest none of us have to imagine) the destruction of wealth our decisions have caused based on the last trade. Changing the plan, changing the product, changing the time frame, and on and on.

We may think we have a plan, a system, so we are system traders, quants if you wish. We think that, but every time we change the system based on a ridiculous sample size we quite rapidly turn our system trading into discretionary trading.

Discretionary trading is charity work. You just give it all away.

We can't trust ourselves to make rational decisions because we are not rational.

Period.

We know we have to put systems in place to save us from ourselves. We know we have to keep trade statistics to reference in place of our faulty remembering self.

We know all this, but the question is, will we leave these systems in place long enough to allow the experiences to form a rational memory?

2/29/2012

Wake Up!!

I got some ointment, rubbed it all over, (the directions weren't that clear)
and fortunately the illeism went away.

Startled into action this morning. I almost missed the first trade and as you can see had to make the, is the second bar after the signal bar allowed, decision again.

Last time this happened I called it a mut.

This time I'm not calling it a mut.

Hmmmm, a little fuzzy on the logic?

I know, I know.

Anyway it does seem to make sense to give it one more bar so it's in the plan, good or bad.


I exited early on this one as she was going the wrong way in a hurry.


You sit around and wait, give up, wait some more, get mad, think you need to change, grow despondent, write bizarre blog posts, give up again, fall asleep, and then whammo, there she is.

You just never know.

So you better be ready.

Always.

2/28/2012

Walk This Way



Intellectuals at play.



This kid is a chess master, a chess virtuoso if you please.

Would you want him running your country?

Maybe?

Maybe not.

2/24/2012

Anatomy of a Trade

Solfest has heard the complaints and Solfest is responding.

Solfest has also decided to refer to himself in the third person again.

Solfest has noted the herd is more frightened by Sandy's rants then they are by Solfest's rants.

Solfest has tried to placate thine herd with beautiful music, beautiful scenery, and beautiful women on horses.

Thy herd demands more.

More charts, less rants.

Solfest has no trades.

Solfest shall attempt to explain why.

Brace thyselves.

Solfest has also decided to use Middle Ages English.

Solfest may have run out of meds.

610 Tick Chart

Thy herd looketh at thine chart and sayeth, Solfest why thou trade not thine chart?

Thy herd sayeth Solfest you have a nice move down, beautiful move up, you have blue bars, what has happened to thou.

Solfest weeps at thine ignorance.

Thy chart does show 2 nice trends, trends that could be traded, but Solfest does not trade thine 610 tick chart as the intrabar movement would killeth Solfest.

Solfest reminds thine herd that thou art looking at one day.

Solfest is angry at the lack of spell check for old English.

Let us move on.

2 Minute Chart

Once again thine herd knashes thine teeth at Solfest's lack of trading skill.

Thine herd is prepared to abandon Solfest for a new and shinier trading Swamiguru.

Perhaps Ldubyaaguru?

Again Solfest weeps at thine ignorance.

Solfest implores thine herd to take a close look at the white squiggly line and note thy lack of tautness. Solfest also requests thine herd look at the bar overlap, overlap that causes stops and break evens.

Solfest is growing tired of typing and yells for a serf to attend immediately.

Nothing.

Let us move on.

89 Tick Chart

Solfest is now beginning to doubt Solfest's own trading system and has sent a carrier pigeon to thy Ldubyaaguru's immense castle requesting a séance.

Solfest does concede thine trading opportunities missed and Solfest knows they were missed due to the lack of acceptable range.

Solfest also reminds thine herd that the reason for trading conditions is to stop thine entering into positions that doth not work.

Solfest wishes to repeat, the reason for trading conditions is to stop thine entering into positions that doth not work.

Thine herd often thinks indicators are only to provide an indication of a position that will work.

Many positions will work, unfortunately those that start out looking like a position with a losing probability can ultimately work nicely. (the old English comes and goes)

Let us move on.

89 Tick Chart

Solfest provides thou evidence of historical success.

Very historical.

Solfest notes the taut lines that doth not be squiggly.

Solfest notes the large range in the bars.

Solfest notes the price bars coming out of the 3 non squiggly line convergence.

Solfest can change thy trading parameters to take all of yesterdays missed opportunities.

Solfest shall not do that.

Solfest may go mad, but he will be flat whilst this doth happen.

Let us move on.

89 Tick Chart

Just when Solfest believes all is lost a trade appears. It rises out of the mist like a beautiful woman on horseback.

Solfest earns 1 tick on thine trade with a BE + 1 stop and he roars with laughter at the futility of life.

Solfest demands a serf bring him coffee.

Nothing.

Solfest now realizes that in order to have a séance with Ldubyaaguru one of us would have to be dead.

Solfest also realizes the madness of thine future may already lie in thine present.

2/23/2012

Econ 101

This was in 2006.

Listening to Schiff now you have to hear him say I told you so in every paragraph. Which gets a little annoying.

Fact is he did.

This speech is fascinating as he nailed what was going to happen exactly. Then the PhD dude, who spoke before Peter, comes on and they take questions together.

I'm sure the "doctor" is now in hiding.

All that plus the speech was made to "Mortgage Bankers".

Too funny.

2/22/2012

I Live Here



and here



I'm proud of both.

Without this there is no money to make videos of pretty girls on horses.

2/17/2012

You Can't Put a Price on Love

It was Valentines Day.

Is it just me, or did we not just celebrate this last year?

Anyway I had the perfect gift picked out for Mrs. Solfest, Elton John tickets, ya baby. Why Elton John is coming to Red Deer is beyond me, but hey we'll take it.

Tickets went on sale a few days before Valentines, at 10:00 am sharp. Since I just sit here all day I can do that, be ready, ready to pounce.

Pounce I did, and.....nothing, sold out in seconds.

Now what? Not flowers again, she said she wanted an iPad, so let's have a look.

$519!!!!, what the .....

Hmmmmm how bout a Kindle Fire, ya a Kindle Fire, I hear they're just as good and they only cost $199.

Ya baby.

Amazon makes 1 cent on every dollar of revenue.

Apple makes 24 cents on every dollar of revenue.

Amazon obviously hates their shareholders and loves their customers.

Since I own shares in neither let's go with Amazon.

I know I know she bore your children, she's married to you, you cheap bastard.

Hey trades are scarce and I think the Kindle Fire is just as good if not better than the iPad. And, I found a review to prove it. Ok I ignored a few other reviews as well.

Anyway she'll be happy I'm sure.

One click at Amazon and I'm outa here.

Hey wait a tick, where is it? It's not here?

"The Kindle Fire is not yet available in Canada".

Come on man!

Valentines is today, not flowers again.

Now I'm desperate, the desperate middle aged dude that retailers love. The desperate middle aged dude that can pretty much buy anything, plastic required or not.

Ok, iPad it is.

You can't put a price on love?

Sure you can, $519 bucks.

2/16/2012

"Image is Everything"

A tennis player once said this in an ad, and regretted it afterwards. He was just reading script, but somehow it stuck to him and not the product. (a camera I think)

I think that quote may be right. If you think of the world we live in, the 24 hours news cycle, image is everything.

Or at least if you project the wrong image you stand to lose alot.

What on earth are you talking about Solfest? You are the guy who trades occasionally and rants constantly.


Is that my image?

The Ranting Trader?

I need an agency.

What got me thinking about this was an IPad on it's way to Alberta. The IPad starts it's journey in Chengdu, China, and right now it's in Shanghai where I suppose it's being loaded on a container ship.

The IPad as we all know is an Apple product. Everyone loves Apple.

There is another American company that imports stuff from China.

Wal-Mart.

Everyone hates Wal-Mart.

Why the difference?

Image is everything.

Apple builds products in China that nobody needs. We want them, most certainly, but nobody needs them. Not only do we not need them but I have found their actual performance rather wanting.

The Apple operating system is not user friendly and I find it very annoying to use. That said I don't use it much and I am used to Windows so maybe it's my problem and not theirs.

My daughter bought an IPhone a few months back and it's performance in 2 critical areas is also sub par. One being battery life, what's the point of a mobile device if it has to be continually plugged into the wall. The other is phone quality. Phone as in actually using the phone to talk to someone, yes people still do that.

I have a cheap cell phone and my daughter and I both use the same carrier, my phone never drops calls and you can understand what I'm saying on the phone. With the IPhone if the call doesn't drop completely I can't understand anything she is saying as the call quality is terrible.

It does have apps though.

In spite of all this Apple is the most successful company on earth right now. They make gobs of money and everyone loves them.

Banks used to make gobs of money and everyone hates them.

Wal-mart provides goods that we all need and use everyday. They provide them cheaper than most other retailers mainly because they buy in enormous quantities, have immaculate inventory control, and most of the products are produced in China.

Yet everyone hates Wal-Mart.

Why?

Image is everything.

Steve Jobs, as we have found out lately, was not a very nice man. What he was was a marketing genius. His company gouges us for things we don't need, things that are all built in China, and we all worship him for it.

Steve Jobs made Apple cool, and he either knew, or found out that people are willing to pay up for cool.

Image is everything.

Steve Jobs knew that and that was his real genius.

So Solfest if you're so smart why on earth are you buying a IPad?

Good question.

Since this post is too long I'll answer it tomorrow.