Warren Buffett’s secret to staying young: “I eat like a six-year-old.”


I only drink one or two cokes a day.

Apparently I’m screwing around in amateur ranks.

Buffett drinks five a day, and has ice cream for breakfast; level: expert.

I need to step it up.

Although, as a shareholder, I’m conflicted if I should be impressed, or concerned…



Originally posted on Fortune:

How does the world’s top investor, at 84 years old, wake up every day and face the world with boundless energy?

“I’m one quarter Coca-Cola,” Warren Buffett says.

When he told me this in a phone call yesterday (we were talking about the death of his friend, former Coca-Cola president Don Keough), I assumed he was talking about his stock portfolio.

No, Buffett explained, “If I eat 2700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola. I drink at least five 12-ounce servings. I do it everyday.”

Perhaps only a man who owns $16 billion in Coca-Cola [fortune-stock symbol=”KO”] stock—9% of Coke, through his company, Berkshire Hathaway [fortune-stock symbol=”BRKA”]—would maintain such an odd daily diet. One 12-ounce can of Coke contains 140 calories. Typically, Buffett says, “I have three Cokes during the day and two at night.”

When he’s at his desk at Berkshire Hathaway headquarters in Omaha…

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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do


This writer’s blog post resonated with me, so thought I’d re-post.

Someone once said, “if two people love each other, it can’t end well.”

And it’s true. Either someone is going to die…or there’s going to be a breakup. Still, I think it’s important to be respectful of your partner’s feeling(…’s’, if he or she has more than one). You can leave someone, and still be kind and considerate about it. How someone ends a relationship says so much about their true character. Have some courage and compassion, because at the end of the day, isn’t that what YOU would want?

Anyway, here’s her post:


Originally posted on Fragmentedpoet's Blog:

*Cue Neil Sedaka*

Yes, I know I’m dating myself.

This past weekend, a dear friend of mine broke up with his girlfriend. He’s completely devastated by it and although I’m sure she feels a hell of a lot worse, we often forget the emotional perils that the person doing the ‘breaking up’ feels. Of course, it’s not always the case (and I can attest to this from experience) some people just don’t give a shit if they rip out your heart, stomp all over it, light it on fire and then kick it to the curb, all the while pointing and laughing at you.

Do I sound a little bitter?

No, I’m over all of that and came to a decision a few years ago that the best course of action was to accept what was and then wish that person well. I mean, if they’re not the one for…

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Who Prays for Satan?


But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?Mark Twain

Recently I was having dinner out with a friend, and the conversation came around to the topic of religion. She wasn’t particularly religious herself, and she asked me, “why do people pray?

While God/Allah/George Washington and I are not currently chatting, I still find religion and spirituality in all forms endlessly fascinating. In most cultures, there’s something resembling “prayer”. Prayer can take many forms, including chanting, dancing, swaying, rituals, incantations…and vehemently cursing the driver in front of you who just. won’t. move. the Hell. over! I mean, seriously?!? It’s a passing lane. MOVE OVER!

But I digress.

Growing up, my mother insisted we use the kneeling benches in the church pews that nobody else seemed to. Apparently, if worship isn’t uncomfortable, you’re not doing it right; some parallels to dying on the cross, and all that. I vividly remember my legs and back screaming in pain, and less about the worship part. I did pray, but it was more along the lines of, “please tell my mom to stop making me do this.

Anthropologists have determined that the act of praying has been around for roughly 5,000 years. And people pray for a myriad of reasons. For instance, this was a request from Ginny:

prayer 1

Clearly Ginny’s prayers were heard, because here in Canada, we now have Family Day. Awesome job, Ginny!

And here’s Jane using prayer, but more as a suggestion box.

Prayer 2

It’s “having“, Jane, not “haveing“. Spelling errors detract from your message. Still, it’s a fair observation.

As I said to my friend, I think the main reason people pray is because they simply want to be heard. We all want to feel we have a voice, and that we matter. The world can be an isolating place, despite all our wondrous technology. Sometimes simply talking through a problem with someone – whether or not they’re listening, or even actually there – helps us sort our shit out. How many times has a cow-worker interrupted your day, blurted out their problem, and then immediately realized their own answer. Same thing.

People pray for healing, as well. There have been studies conducted in an effort to determine the healing effects of prayer. These include an exhaustive 393 patient study at a San Fransisco hospital in 1988. And in 2005, Duke University launched a prayer effectiveness inquiry, incorporating touch, music, and imagery therapy, as well. Another study in 2006 looked at prayer results at six medical centers across the U.S. – interestingly, that control group was divided into three sets:

  • Those who received prayer from an outside group, but were not aware they were being prayed for,
  • Those who did not receive prayer,
  • Those who were aware they were being prayer for

Turns out, those that received prayer fared the worst. Yikes. Anyway….

The results across all of these studies, and others, are confusing and inconsistent. Part of the problem might be controlling the variables – you can’t measure prayer, control the dosage, or quantify it’s potency. It’s a statistician’s worst nightmare.

In short, believe what you want to believe. Pray, or don’t pray.

If it gives you comfort, brings you peace, and makes you happy, then why not?

prayer 3


Worst. House-guest. Evar.


Recently, a friend of a friend had a significant flood at their home, rendering it uninhabitable. Her and her husband had to vacate for a couple of weeks while the restoration company did their thing. The two of them could stay in a hotel; their fur-kid could not. Finding a temporary home for a cat is no small feat. First, you have to find someone willing to take the creature in. Second, you have to pray to GOD that the cat doesn’t throw a huge fit; because when a cat throws a fit, shit gets real, super quick.

I haven’t had a cat in my care for years. I get my feline-fix from friends with cats of their own, and that generally tides me over. When I heard about the predicament this couple was in, I didn’t hesitate. I thought I could help some nice peeps out of a jam, and it would be a good chance to test the waters to see if I was ready for a cat in my life again.

Zeus shows up in his spiffy carrying case with dry food, wet food, food dishes, litter box, giant bag of litter and detailed written instructions, in tow. We release him into my home. Cats need to do things on their terms, not yours. I let him scope the place out, unmolested. I set up the litter, his food and water dishes, and watched from a safe distance as he checked out his accommodations.


This shall be my couch, and my pillows. Leave me now.

The first night at precisely 2am, the chatting started. It wasn’t terribly loud, nor pained, it was more of a confident recitation of grievances. OK, I thought, that’s fair. He’s been uprooted from his parental units, removed from his home, and placed in a strange environment. He’s got questions, and no one has provided him with answers. I would have preferred to have had this conversation four or five hours earlier, but, well, he’s a cat.

Some cats don’t like to be picked up, or approached unsolicited at all. Doing so can result in terrifying noises, and drawing of blood. Still, he seemed to need consoling, so I got up. He pretty much looked right through me. Attempts to touch him were met with a deft slinking of the spine, deflecting my advances. Kisses on his little fuzzy head were artfully dodged as if he was channeling Neo in The Matrix. So really, it was just like being in a relationshit again. Oh joy.

The following evening, I went to bed around 10pm, and it was smooth sailing. Until 2am on the nose. Then it was groundhog day all over again, as he sang the song of his people.

Five evenings in, things were better’ish. Zeus would delay his queries until 4:30am or so, which I’m sure he felt was a massive compromise on his part.

At the end of the first week, I was getting a little punchy, what with the sleep deprivation, and all. I began to appreciate what it must be like to have an infant. And I was thankful that I did not have infant.

I purchased a plethora of toys for him, in the hopes that they would amuse him; not unlike a court jester futilely trying to win the adoration of his king. The mice and tiny catnip pillows were met with approval. I think. There was no thanks, of course. You don’t dole out thanks for what is clearly expected.



By the start of the second week, we were more or less done with the midnight inquisitions. But that leaves a void, and nature abhors a void. I recall the first time it happened. It was around 5am, and someone punched me in the face. I started to wake, just in time for the second jab. Zeus was sitting inches from my head, and pawing at me. Pawing makes it sound cute and playful, though. Let’s call it what it was – a punch. A punch with nails. OK, so he hits like a girl. That’s still neither cute, nor playful. Especially at 5am. Apparently, it was breakfast time, and I had selfishly overslept.

The early morning punching rounds subsided (in his defense, I had left my face exposed). I did however, wake up around 5am a few days later, probably out of a Pavlovian Response. He was about a foot from my face, perfectly still, and just staring at me. That was a bit unsettling.

One afternoon I came home to find my new roommate had taken a dump in the living room, which roommates will do from time to time. The litter was clean, and fresh, and it only happened the once. I can only assume he was either annoyed, bored or displeased with me in some way while I had been out.

So, yeah. He was kind of a dick.


I hate it here. This place sucks. You suck. This stupid chair sucks. That fireplace is fake, and it sucks too. Now go scoop out my feces.

That said, he IS a cat. They’re wired differently.

It wasn’t all bad. I discovered a rapt audience in him as I practiced juggling. Back to the ‘court jester and the king’ thing.  Zeus watched politely and patiently, never jeering or mocking me when I dropped a ball. And I dropped them frequently. Anyone else would have yawned, rolled their eyes, and walked away. But not Zeus. So polite!

Despite his…let’s call them nuances, it was comforting to have another warm body around the house again. I wouldn’t say he was a great listener, but at least he didn’t interrupt me while I was telling a story, and then make it all about him. Just sayin’.

The last few days were perhaps the most amicable. He was settling in. He had claimed a number of perches as his own, he was sleeping on the bed with me, and he was even letting me rub his belly. Still no kissing allowed, but that’s cool.

When his guardians came to collect him, it was a bittersweet moment for me. It’s definitely emptier here without him.

Pets – they’re what makes a house, a home.


OK, well, maybe this isn’t the worst place I could be.


1/12th of the year is now done

spring06section5_cartoon.jpg2009816720January is done. That’s one twelfth of 2015 now gone.

So I thought this would be a good time to see how the year was going so far.

I posted this at the end of December, on what I was looking to do for the year ahead. So let’s have a look, shall we?

1. Physical. The running continues, and I’m happy to be back at it. I’m going to join a 10k clinic in February, and I’m looking forward to running with a group again. I’m still “crossfitting”(?) and while it’s brutally painful each and every time, it’s definitely a work-out. It’s an hour of pain…and hopefully some gain. Flossing, check. Sleeping, check. Nutrition – meh, it’s a work in progress, but overall, I’m doing well. Haven’t contracted scurvy yet, so I’ll count that as a win.

2. Mental. The 10 daily ideas practice continues, well, daily. It helps to have people around me who are on the same page – and I have some very bright friends that challenge me to keep pace. I’m also reading, writing, and playing guitar (fun!)  regularly. I even learned how to juggle – that was a ‘holy crap!’ moment.


3. Spiritual. I’m practicing this side of my life daily, and content with the progress I’m making. Still not speaking to God, but that’s OK. There’s more to being spiritual than going to church on Sundays.

4. Emotional. I’ve made some wonderful friends, and continue to do so. I’ve been kinder to myself, and I found The Trauma of Everyday Life helpful in that regard. I reviewed the book here. The purging one item a day experiment is now over, and I think was swimmingly successful. The result is a less cluttered home, and a less cluttered mind.

If de-cluttering your own environment is something you’ve thought about, I’d certainly encourage you to take those first steps. I found the one item a day approach quite manageable. We do tend to accumulate “stuff” and so much of it is rarely, or never, used. Why hang on to that frustration? Let it go. Make room in your life for something more positive and productive.






Anatomy of a Trade $CEMP $DENN

On Sunday, December 7th, I posted a trade I was going to be entering on Monday, December 8th. Here’s that post:

CEMP 1Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, the stock gapped up at the open and never looked back. There were a number of factors that went into my wanting to take this trade. Those included the rising 50 period SMA, the flagging formation near the all-time highs, the weekly close that was slightly higher than the previous week, to name just a few. All totaled, the trend was indicating up. And I don’t argue with the trend.


There are two ways of looking at this.

1. I can be angry and bitter, and let it affect my future trades. I might even decide that I shouldn’t use limit orders anymore, as per my rules, and just enter market orders.

2. I can choose to look at the move as confirmation of the validity of my process, and recognize this as one trade out of hundreds.

I’d rather choose #2. Would I like to be in the trade right now? Of course. But I’m not. I have taken hundreds of trades, and will take hundreds more.

Knowing that my process works, gives me the confidence to take each of those trades.

Moves like this happen. I recently posted a similar set-up for $DENN, and it gapped up as well. That’s OK. There have been many great rides that I did catch, and there will always be another. Next!

DENN 1Again, a flag formation at 15 year highs, and close to all-time highs. Among other indicators, the trend is clearly up, for now.






How to have a 200k account in one month


Start with $100 million. Apparently that’s the secret.

Canarsie Hedge Fund, which in the king of all ironies, was formed by a former head of risk at MS, went tits up in three weeks. I suspect even the most strung-out of all the strung-out heroin addicts could have stretched nine figures longer than a single month. I mean, you really have to focus to lose that kind of cash, that quickly. Assuming you only have Monday to Friday to work with, and get the week-ends off for your troubles, that’s about $5 million a day.

“I’m working late again, honey. We’re only down $2,450,000 so far. Off to trade 3M BIBOR interest rate futures on the TFEX. That should get it done!”

For those that missed this train-wreck of a news story, here’s one of the reports. At this point, there’s about $200,000 left in capital.

In his words, he acted “overzealously” in a futile attempt to achieve higher returns. I’m not sure that’s an accurate word. When I hear someone say they were overzealous, I think about a lonely 40 something that takes in one stray cat, which leads to two, which leads to seventeen. Or the mechanic that’s changing your oil decides to change out the transmission fluid while he’s in there, because it had the consistency of rancid butter. Sure, a phone call would have been nice first, but what’s done is done. I’m not out of pocket $100,000,000.

While financial wreckage like this is blood-sport entertaining for us mere mortals, it does demonstrate just how important risk management is. We could chalk this incident up as an outlier, and nothing more. But whether it’s this poor sap, or it’s Nick Leeson, or the 2007 CDO debacle, or it’s me, or it’s you – managing risk matters. It’s all that matters, actually.

Because that contrite phrase is right: you can’t win if you don’t bet, but you can’t bet if you lose all your chips.

My number one objective is: Don’t. Lose. Money.

It isn’t: Make Money.

It’s: Don’t. Lose. Money.

Losses happen. Lots of my trades don’t work out. But I ensure that when I do take losses, they’re small, and controlled. I take losses quickly, and while they are still small, so I don’t hurt my accounts. I do this because I know if I can control my losses, the gains follow. I never, ever take a large loss on a trade. Ever. And neither should you.