30 Day Challenge -- Day Two

Added on by C. Maoxian.

(All 30 day challenge posts in reverse chronological order)

Inscrutable notes:

07:05 4K row

87.8 25.0

07:19 mush (fresh squeezed soy milk, blueberries, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashews, apple, pear, banana)

Raining hard, yellow slicker day getting boy to school, hope his new school books not soaked

08:08 at desk

Scarlett confirms Helen quit, must have happened when I was on holiday

Was able to log on as "Guest" using laptop but only 14 days and they may catch me and crack down at some point.

Teekanne tea

245 cash in pocket

11:08 E3 to gym

Still raining hard out there.

Not sure who's in the hotel but they have the full X-ray machines out, heavy security

Cardio day: 25 min tmill (6 6 is exactly 200 cals), 15 min bike (7 90 cals), jump rope, stretch, 30 min stepper (7 237 cals)

12:49 cardio finished, a bit beat

12:49 apple

steam, sauna (ran sand clock out but didn't truly time)

13:43 84.4 on consistently inconsistent gym scale (the carpet to blame)

13:45 apple

13:50 E3 to office

13:53 beef tenderloin, steamed veggies, boiled egg, bottle chrysth tea

Dreaded work, IPO for Dalian Wanda Commerical Properties, chewed a lot of doublemint gum to deal with stress

As expected, the Guest wifi log-in very shifty on laptop, 3G stick still required, will renew this week

$68.40 Jenny Lou's (blue diamond almonds: habanero bbq and wasabi soy sauce ("gifts"), thousand island dressing)

18:06 "American" bagged salad with thousand island dressing, two deep fried chicken legs, pickle, handful of habanero bbq almonds, 75g beef tenderloin, raspberry yoghurt, large slice watermelon, bottle chrysth tea, another handful habanero nuts, handful Lulu dates

19:02 walk around the block with wife and baby

21:13 BM

21:56 handful almonds (unflavored) at beddy

Watched first half hour of "Gloria"

Another day without any slips or sips. Always the case in the first week.  Just watch as things begin to falter in weeks ahead.

30 Day Challenge -- Day One

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Since the first day of September falls on a Monday, it's an especially good day to start another 30 day challenge.  The challenge is not to drink any booze or beer, smoke cigars, eat junk (esp. Cheetos), have promiscuous sex, etc.  In short, I try to live like a monk for a month, abstaining from all my usual day to day pleasures.

What follows are my inscrutable notes on the day, which are either incredibly boring or completely fascinating:

98? cm above belly button

100? cm at underpants waistline

108? cm chest

07:04 4k row

89.0 25.0

07:20 mush (fresh squeezed soy milk, blueberries, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashews, apple, pear, banana)

07:33 scooter in motion

07:48 arrive FCD

08:00 arrive P3

08:03 arrive desk

Teekanne tea

245 cash in pocket

Finished watching "The East"

Office-wide wifi for the first-time, no need for 3G stick if I log on as "Guest" (2 week limit), iPad completely unlimited, sweet

11:06 E3 to gym

12:16 finished weights: back, chest, back, shoulders, chest, triceps, biceps. Bench 120 multiple sets.

13:33 finished cardio: 10 min tmill, 15 min bike, jump rope, stretch, 30 min stepper. Watched old La Liga games, still marvel at the Flea's skill

steam, shave, sauna (briefly)

14:08 84.6 on gym scale, completely inaccurate since they installed new carpet but could be consistently inconsistent over next 30 days (useful)

14:11 apple

14:16 E3 to office

14:20 75g beef tenderloin, 175g lightly steamed broc caul, one boiled egg, one bottle chrysth. tea (unsweetened)

Grace moved offices, closer to Ernest, will see less of her? One of the few people I will say bye to when I finally quit.

18:08 75g beef tenderloin, 175g lightly steamed broc caul, half a boiled egg, several slices of goose (HK diner), handful of almonds, a pickle, some eggplant, large slice watermelon, cup of raspberry yoghurt

19:25 bottle of chrysth tea

21:48 bowel movement (BM)

22:09 handful of almonds as tum tum feels empty at beddy

First week is always easiest for these challenges. Easy to maintain discipline and enthusiasm, see quick results.  Week two harder and week three a real trial as jonesing for booze, Cheetos and other carnal delights hits a peak and little progress in registered.

Movies Watched -- The East

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Not bad ... Gen Y / Millennial thing ... eco/corporate-"terrorists" and a mole ... token black guy and fat girl (also the computer nerd, kill two birds with one stone) and maybe even a Latino in the group, just to get that Sesame Street-like balance. Everyone else is beautiful so don't worry. Juno girl in there.  Had that Martha Marcy May vibe at points.  Ridley Scott a producer.  Not on my radar since only 68% Fresh at RT, but came across it on some other list.  Wasn't too thrilled with the ending, but as I say, not badly done.  Too long at 1 hr 56 mins. 

Annual Rowing Goal Met

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Every day I try to row 4,000 meters (slowly), it's a sort of meditative thing. I have a rowing machine in my study which is over 15 years old now, I think... still rock-solid, the Concept II.  

 In January I had the flu (despite having a flu shot) and missed over eight days which I had to make up in subsequent months.  In May we traveled somewhere and I didn't plan ahead.

Anyway, 1,460,000 meters rowed in the last year, right on schedule.

Sep. 2013: 120,000

Oct. 2013: 124,000

Nov. 2013: 120,000

Dec. 2013: 124,000

Jan. 2014: 90,000

Feb. 2014: 130,000

Mar. 2014: 140,000

Apr. 2014: 120,000

May 2014: 109,690

Jun. 2014: 134,310

Jul. 2014: 124,000

Aug. 2014: 124,000

Rap Tap on Wood

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From Born to Dance ... 1936 ... original title of the movie was Great Guns. Has one of my favorite verses (so many I love from Cole Porter though):

When ev'ry meal you take
Is made of milk and honey,
When ev'ry stock you stake
Is making mints of money,
When ev'ry heart you break
Is such a cinch, it's funny,
Careful, sonny,
Rap-tap, rap-tap, rap-tap-tap, rap-a-tap-tap....
Ra-ap tap on wood

Other songs in the musical that I enjoy include Love Me, Love My Pekingese ("'Spite of your antipathies") and I've Got You Under My Skin (best version done by old Blue Eyes many years later).

List of Stock Exchanges and Dark Pools

Added on by C. Maoxian.

List of US Stock Exchanges:

List of Dark Pools:

Independent dark pools

Broker-dealer-owned dark pools

Consortium-owned dark pools

  • BIDS Trading - BIDS ATS
  • LeveL ATS

Exchange-owned dark pools

Other dark pools

Dark pool aggregators

  • Fidessa - Spotlight
  • Bloomberg Tradebook
  • SuperX+ – Deutsche Bank
  • ASOR – Quod Financial
  • Progress Apama
  • ONEPIPE – Weeden & Co. & Pragma Financial
  • Xasax Corporation
  • Crossfire – Credit Agricole Cheuvreux

Painfully Simple, Painfully Fair

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From a December 1999 article in Wall Street + Technology titled The top 10 financial technology innovators of the decade

Joshua Levine The Matchmaker
If there's a single person that revolutionized the equity markets in the 1990s, it's Joshua Levine, creator of the Island ECN--a computerized trading system that automatically matches buyers and sellers.
Island is an outgrowth of The Watcher, a front-end trading system into the Nasdaq system that Levine had first created, which provides day traders with direct electronic access into the SOES and SelectNet systems. Island, however, developed in January 1996, is widely considered a more significant innovation.
"This was probably the most influential change in the markets since they did away with fixed-commission rates in the 70s," says Mark Friedfertig, CEO of Broadway Trading, a leading day-trading firm that has used Island since January 1996.
As Friedfertig recalls it, Island started as an internal electronic communications; network (ECN), which Friedfertig and others say led to the SEC's order handling rules issued in January 1997. The rules force Nasdaq market makers to post their customers' limit orders in their Nasdaq quote or send the order onto the newly created ECNs.
According to Peter Stem, the Chief Technology Officer of Datek Online, Island is successful because "the Island ECN is just painfully simple, it's painfully fair, there are few rules because it's very straight forward-buyers and sellers meet, a trade is won, end of story," says Stem, who met Levine when both were freshman at Carnegie Mellon University. Levine reportedly left school and headed for Wall Street where he teamed up with Datek Online co-founder Jeffrey Citron. Noticing that there were "cross markets" going on in Nasdaq-when the price someone is willing to pay to buy stock is higher than the price someone else is offering to sell at-Levine wrote a program to track how many times a day this was happening. 'Josh said, this is ridiculous that trades aren't taking place when you have customers that are willing to pay higher to buy than customers willing to sell stock," recalls Friedfertig. "He created a way for customers to trade with other customers as opposed to just trading with market makers," says Friedfertig.
Levine spread the gospel by publishing the Island API (application programming interface) on his own personal Web site, www.josh.com. Today, Island has grown to become the second most popular ECN after Instinet-executing over 100 million shares a day. (Levine himself argues that "Instinet created the ECN trend, not Island. Island just did what Instinet was already doing, only better.")
Island is one of three ECNs that have filed with the SEC for permission to register as an exchange. And, it's currently the only ECN to display its real-time limit order book to the public on its Web site, using a program that Levine wrote called the BookViewer, as well as to reveal its volume statistics.
Levine, now 31, is in charge of the development of all the core systems, which have been written in DOS and Java. Going forward, where Island needs work, he says, is not in its system, but in its communications. "Our challenge in the future is to explain to the investing public how the markets work." 

Watcher and the Monster Key

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From a 1998 NYTimes article on Jeff Citron and Datek:

"One reason for Datek's success was its innovative software programs like Watcher and the Monster Key -- programs that other S.O.E.S. houses eventually licensed or mimicked. Mr. Citron and Mr. Levine, meanwhile, created an array of companies to orbit around Datek, including Smith Wall Associates, a computer services concern that had sales of $100 million in 1996. It was from many of these companies that the two say they made much of their fortunes, tens of millions of dollars. They even won over regulators by developing an electronic stock exchange called Island, a system that now handles about 4 percent of all Nasdaq trading volume."

Wonder where Josh Levine is now?  I don't think he's still at josh.com. {Update: Yes, he is, though his blog is now hosted by WordPress.)

Movies Watched -- Blue Ruin

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Revenge tale ... but about an avenger who is unable to plan ahead ... things go wrong, very wrong.  It's a downer. Overly violent.  White trash America not very realistically depicted.  But it was exactly 90 minutes long which wins big points with me.

Movies Watched -- Snowpiercer

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Dystopian future vision ... heavy-handed moralizing ... had some wonderful weird bits, but also gory over-the-top violence and an ultimately dumb story ... also too long at over two hours.

Engaged in an Interaction with a Killer Whale

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From the SeaWorld prospectus:

Featuring animals at our theme parks involves risks.
Our theme parks feature numerous displays and interactions that include animals. All animal enterprises involve some degree of risk. All animal interaction by our employees and our guests in attractions in our theme parks, where offered, involves risk. While we maintain strict safety procedures for the protection of our employees and guests, injuries or death, while rare, have occurred in the past. For example, in February 2010, a trainer was killed while engaged in an interaction with a killer whale. Following this incident, we were subject to an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which resulted in three citations concerning alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and certain regulations thereunder. We have appealed certain of these citations and the appeal process is ongoing. In connection with this incident, we reviewed and revised our safety protocols and made certain safety-related facility enhancements. This incident has also been the subject of significant media attention, including television and newspaper coverage, a documentary and a book, as well as discussions in social media. This incident and similar events that may occur in the future may harm our reputation, reduce attendance and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, seven killer whales are presently on loan to a third party. Although the occurrence of any accident or injury involving these killer whales would be outside of our control, any such occurrence could negatively affect our business and reputation.
We maintain insurance of the type and in amounts that we believe is commercially reasonable and that is available to animal enterprise related businesses in the theme park industry. We cannot predict the level of the premiums that we may be required to pay for subsequent insurance coverage, the level of any self-insurance retention applicable thereto, the level of aggregate coverage available, or the availability of coverage for specific risks.

Incidents or adverse publicity concerning our theme parks or the theme park industry generally could harm our brands or reputation as well as negatively impact our revenues and profitability.
Our brands and our reputation are among our most important assets. Our ability to attract and retain customers depends, in part, upon the external perceptions of the Company, the quality of our theme parks and services and our corporate and management integrity. The operation of theme parks involves the risk of accidents, illnesses, environmental incidents and other incidents which may negatively affect the perception of guest and employee safety, health, security and guest satisfaction and which could negatively impact our brands or reputation and our business and results of operations. An accident or an injury at any of our theme parks or at theme parks operated by competitors, particularly an accident or an injury involving the safety of guests and employees, that receives media attention, is the topic of a book, film, documentary or is otherwise the subject of public discussions, may harm our brands or reputation, cause a loss of consumer confidence in the Company, reduce attendance at our theme parks and negatively impact our results of operations. Such incidents have occurred in the past and may occur in the future. In addition, other types of adverse publicity concerning our business or the theme park industry generally could harm our brands, reputation and results of operations. The considerable expansion in the use of social media over recent years has compounded the impact of negative publicity.

You Can't Make Comedy a Rubber Doll

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From an AP story in May 1981:

An interview with Jonathan Winters is an odyssey, a tour through a strange and childlike region peopled by the many facets of this pot-bellied original.
His Reds cap perched squarely on his head, his ample belly sparring with the edge of the formica table in the NBC publicity conference room, the characters living in Winters' head interrupt incessantly, turning the interview into a performance.
You don't interview Winters, you become an audience.
''You know, you get labels in this business, a wild person, 'Jonathan Winters is a wild person. How do you get a net over him? Was he really in a crazy house?'
''But I enjoy my insanity. And I say 'insanity' because when people say to me, 'There's nothing the matter with me,' that's the person who puts the telescopic sight here (he levels an imaginary rifle out the window, aiming into the NBC parking lot) and says, 'Let's see how many we can get before we lose light. There's one (he pulls the trigger).' That's the sort of person who says there's nothing wrong with him.''
That kind of craziness, that senselessness, alienation and blind brutality of modern life, crashes into the conversation relentlessly. There's reason for this. Winters has said that it's the child in him that's funny, and it's the child in us that laughs. The times are tough for all his children.
''It's harder to reach that little boy now. When I was growing up, the little boy saw six cars in the high school lot. Now, in some cases, there's no high school, just cars. We were confused, too, but we were confused in a wonderful way.
''That was the world of imagination. Now, times have changed. It was one thing to live when there was no atomic bomb, another thing to live with the atomic bomb. And a completely different thing to live in a time when you wonder whether there will be total holocaust by Friday at 12:30."
''We've got used to assassinations, we've got used to guys in the Dallas towers, we've got used to guys taking shots at our leaders. I think the hardest thing, for the little boy in me to break through to the little boy out there, is this terrible paranoia we're all in. My little boy has to work 200 per cent harder.''
Another character, 8-year-old Tommy Brichton, comes forth to demonstrate the point.
Man: ''You're little Tommy Brichton.''
''Yes I am.''
''Tommy, how are you doing in school?''
''Well, it's difficult to know what's going on from one day to the next. I watched a man on television who said the school situation is going to turn around by July. But we're going to be out of school by July, so what does he mean?''
''You're talking about busing . . ."
''Yes. I'd like to ride a bus.''
''Why not walk to school?''
''No waaaay. Eddie Terrell was stabbed to death by a 91-year-old man. He couldn't see. Thought it was a dog, that's what he said. C'mon, he killed him.
''That's terrible. How did you feel?
''Eddie was bad. He would have died before he got to high school because he was bad news. He passed out gum balls with stuff in them.''
Point taken. It's kind of strange to find so much grim in a fellow so thoroughly comic. Maybe not so strange, come to think of it.
Winters shrugs and says: ''These are the things that are happening, in Atlanta, everywhere. It's tough to take. But you can't make comedy a rubber doll. Then you've got nothing. You have to go with a piece of reality."
''The key is, somehow we've got to slip in a little more truth and still keep the world a fantasy.''
If such is possible, Winters can work it.

JW a fascinating guy ... an American original.