Chairman Recommended: Digital Kitchen Scale

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Been awhile since I’ve done a Chairman Recommended post … this is the kitchen scale (“Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, White“) that I use. It has a nice big surface and a tare button and shows ounces, grams, milliliters, etc. It shuts itself off. Can’t go wrong for $13. No, that isn’t an “affiliate” link … I don’t need pennies from my dozen loyal followers … I send these recos from the heart (or stomach).

Trading Notes -- 20190103 Thursday

Added on by C. Maoxian.

KTOV: Few shares avail pre-open, instantly pre-borrowed, nothing all day, FIDO n/a

  • 09:25 1.95K, 10:00 10.2K, 16:00 25.8K

SESN: Yes borrow, FIDO n/a — drug fail, Squashed Toad. TC went dead fast, fell of radar as it went back sub $1

  • 09:25 1.69K, 10:00 4.94K, 16:00 14.6K

VTVT: No borrow, FIDO n/a — back from dead only to get smashed again, note rank change from PO to 10AM

  • 09:25 76, 10:00 4.55K, 16:00 11.2K

ALQA: No borrow, FIDO n/a — went super thin, good to avoid

  • 09:25 496, 10:00 4.40K, 16:00 7.23K

DBVT: Yes borrow, FIDO n/a — weak from get-go but avoided 25x entry, went very thin, note 10AM TC

  • 09:25 311, 10:00 1.65K, 16:00 6.94K

ADIL: No borrow, FIDO n/a — Latecomer, note 10AM TC, avoided given thinness

  • 09:25 17 (not Top 50), 10:00 2.97K, 16:00 5.80K

Trading Notes -- 20190102 Wednesday

Added on by C. Maoxian.

CCCL: No borrow, FIDO #19 — Day Two, good spots, no borrow alas

  • 09:25 668, 10:00 18.1K, 16:00 40.8K

ENTG: Yes borrow, FIDO n/a — no news, mystery mover, shorted two legs (50x, 75x)

  • 09:25 n/a, 10:00 7.99K, 16:00 27.1K

PRAN: Pre-borrow possible, none during regular hours, FIDO n/a, dumb PO PR, shorted one leg (25x rushed? bad.)

  • 09:25 2.76K, 10:00 12.2K, 16:00 24.5K

VTVT: No borrow, FIDO n/a — Day Three, good spots, no borrow, big inside coil (see 12hr)

  • 09:25 419, 10:00 5.06K, 16:00 17.4K

MRIN: Yes borrow, FIDO n/a — Latecomer, not even Top 50, shorted one leg b/c had borrow (50x)

  • 09:25 n/a, 10:00 n/a, 16:00 8.79K

SFET: No borrow, FIDO n/a — semi-active PO but no borrow and just dead, #StuckAtaProfit

  • 09:25 316, 10:00 801, 16:00 1.53K

Trading Notes -- 20181231 Monday

Added on by C. Maoxian.

VTVT: No borrow, FIDO #11, Day Two

  • 09:25 #2 1.33K, 10:00 #1 25.4K, 16:00 #1 77.9K

GOOS: Yes borrow, FIDO n/a

  • 09:25 #4 163, 10:00 #3 6.26K, 16:00 #2 31.3K

CCCL: No borrow, FIDO #29, Latecomer, no news

  • 09:25 N/A, 10:00 #5 2.13K, 16:00 #3 21.2K

APHA: Yes borrow, FIDO #30, Day Two

  • 09:25 #3 773, 10:00 #4 4.76K, 16:00 #4 18.0K

SFET: No borrow, FIDO n/a

  • 09:25 #1 1.58K, 10:00 #2 7.91K, 16:00 #5 11.2K

GOOS: Canada Goose's first China store draws eager crowds despite diplomatic headwinds (dumb “news”)

APHA: Aphria Responds To Green Growth Brands’ Hostile Takeover (Endless shadiness)

SFET: , Safe-T Receives an Order From the Largest Israeli Beverage Company for its SDA and SDE Solutions (Dumb PO PR)

Movies Watched -- George Washington (2000)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

89 minute running time so the perfect length, but I still had to watch it at 2x fast forward because it was so depressing. It’s about a bunch of poor black (and some white) kids in some awful little town in the South … one of the kids is killed in an accident and the other kids cover up the death, but there’s not really a story here, it’s just recording misery and poverty and hopelessness. Some white guy’s low-budget Art House flick. Yuck.

I don't have much to look forward to

I don't have much to look forward to

Movies Watched -- First Reformed (2018)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

113 minute running time but felt much longer, at least 20 to 30 minutes too long. This movie was ridiculous, just an unfocused mess. The only thing it got right was the typical size of an upstate New York church congregation nowadays: six people. No idea why they used a church in Queens for an Albany county church, probably has to do with tax credits. And St. Barnabas hospital is in the Bronx so I don’t know why Ernst would go see the doctor there.

SPOILERS: Anyway, Ethan Hawke, he’s exactly my age and nearly as good looking as me… a minister in a dying church which is somehow affiliated with an evangelical megachurch inexplicably run by a black guy who makes toilet jokes. One of Ethan’s flock is a pretty bug-eyed girl whose husband is worried about environmental collapse … Ethan “counsels” him but doesn’t prevent his suicide. The husband had a suicide bomber vest that Ethan takes for himself.

The little church is being “re-consecrated” on its 250th anniversary, all underwritten by some BAD polluting company (like GE) so Ethan considers blowing it all up at the ceremony (including governor Cuomo), but pretty bug-eyed girl prevents this by showing up at the last minute and lover conquers all I guess, especially when she’s 15 years your junior. Honey, why have you wrapped yourself in barbed wire?

God, this was a terrible movie. 93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which means the rating system there is absolutely worthless.

Read Armond White’s spot-on review:

Can I lie on top of you, Reverend?

Can I lie on top of you, Reverend?

Movies Watched -- Lady Macbeth (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

89 minute running time so the perfect length. SPOILERS. I’m not sure why it’s titled Lady Macbeth, she doesn’t appear to be filled with guilt … a pretty girl in a loveless Victorian marriage … she has torrid sex with a gorgeous half-black, Derek-Jeter-like groomsman … scandalous of course … ends up poisoning her father-in-law … and then kills her husband … later she kills her husband’s half-black child (whom he had with another servant, some time before). Maybe you’re supposed to sympathize with her at first, but you don’t in the end, because she’s murderous after all. And she gets away with it: the groomsman and a black maid are taken away for the final crime.

This was made by a guy who looks like a trust fund kid. The lead actress is pretty, but there’s not much of a story here … the class and race and gender politics of it all seem confused.. Is she a seductress or a victim … or both? It’s a simple movie, all shot in one spot, could be a stage play. I didn’t hate it, but I’d never recommend it either. Yellow rating.

Claudia Puig correctly writes: “…it ultimately leaves the viewer unmoved, and possibly confounded … She starts out as an avenging angel and then devolves into almost campy serial-killer criminality … Birch and Oldroyd show little willingness to delve too deeply into the [race issues].“

Oliver Jones correctly writes: “Oldroyd appears to want to say something about race— Anna the maid is black and Sebastian and several other prominent characters appear to be of mixed race— but as with his thoughts on class, whatever his point is seems lost or a least clouded upon delivery … a film that feels emotionally vacant and somewhat pointless beyond its desire to disrupt the typical period piece.“

Tied up too long

Tied up too long

Someone Else's Dime

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Jewel from February 1999 … terrible quality but I love this song and her imperfect teeth (fixed once she got big):

Movies Watched -- Stronger (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

119 minute running time so at least 20 to 30 minutes too long. Boston Marathon bombing story. I like Jake Gyllenhaal even though he has an impossible to spell last name. I think he’s talented and hard working (“Nightcrawler” was one of my Ten Best movies from 2014).

There was a class angle here that interested me … Jake’s family is working class, stereotyped as a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking, dumb bunch. But his girlfriend is from a more solidly middle class family, so the dynamic between her and his morons-with-hearts-of-gold family was fun to watch.

They CGI’d out his legs to get those realistic looking stumps… very high tech. There was a weird sort of product placement for CostCo employee healthcare benefits, which gave me pause… I’d love to know what his whole recovery cost in dollars and cents terms, given the obscene costs people face in the corrupt US healthcare system.

It wasn’t terrible, but I can’t recommend it either… yellow rating.

Not your fault, Tatiana

Not your fault, Tatiana

Ten Best Books of 2018

Added on by C. Maoxian.

The 10 Best Books of 2018, according to the New York Times Book Review editors:

  • Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday — female, no birthdate but looks young

  • The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai — female, born in 1978.

  • The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani — female, born 1981

  • There There by Tommy Orange — male, born in 1982

  • Washington Black by Esi Edugyan — female, born in 1978

  • American Prison by Shane Bauer — male, no birthdate but looks young

  • Educated by Tara Westover — female, born in 1986

  • Frederick Douglass by David W. Blight — male, born in 1949

  • How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan — male, born in 1955

  • Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs — female, born in 1978

The books about Jobs looks interesting… maybe I’ll try to read them all?

Movies Watched -- Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

108 minute running time so 10 to 20 minutes too long. The backstory of the Wonder Woman comic book (“carefully crafted psychological propaganda inserted into a populist medium to further the cause of equal rights for women“) is sort of interesting, but I wasn’t thrilled with this movie.

Professor Marston and his foul-mouthed wife have a lifelong ménage à trois with one of his students. He had children with both women … they were into some kinky stuff (bondage, S&M, etc.) back in the 30’s and 40’s … the sex didn’t disturb me nearly as much as the gratuitous swearing. He came up with the comic book idea to make a living, and in a way popularize his DISC theory (dominance, influence, submission, compliance), after he was fired from Radcliffe.

Yellow rating at best. These people were ostracized as reprobates then, but it all seems rather tame now.

Cut the kink

Cut the kink

Movies Watched -- The Machinist (2004)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

98 minutes so the perfect length, but I still watched it at 1.5x because it was disturbing and I can’t seem to watch anything at normal speed anymore. An emaciated Christian Bale, scary thin, makes watching him very painful, you have an animal response of horror seeing someone who looks like that. Anyway, this is a creepy movie, a sort of mystery / thriller, ultimately about the power of guilt, but I don’t want to spoil it.

They found some crazy Spaniards to finance this and filmed it in Barcelona of all places. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays a hooker with a heart of gold, yet again. Heavy on the Hitchcockian music, channeling old Bernard Herrmann.

Losing your mind, mental health, lack of sleep, delusions, the consequences of violence … all interesting ideas, but I wasn’t super thrilled with it in the end … a yellow rating at best.

Stephanie Zacharek correctly writes: “… ultimately, the picture feels like a cheap thriller dressed up for the art-house set.”

Do I look OK?

Do I look OK?

Movies Watched -- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

115 minute running time so at least 15 to 25 minutes too long. A W.D. By movie (written and directed by the same guy… and oh shit, he’s a “playwright”).

I hated this movie. It’s pointlessly violent and foul-mouthed. They’re playing an unspeakable tragedy and crime, and a mother’s grief, for laughs.

Drag out old Woody Harrelson to play a cracker cop, yet again. (And why would he have a pretty, Alicia Silvestone-ish wife, 30 years his junior?) Stick Frances McDormand in a blue jumpsuit and have her kick kids in the groin. Ha ha. Let’s all have a chuckle about those white trash morons out there in Missouri, shall we?

Red rating, avoid. One of the worst movies I’ve had to suffer through from 2017.

Lessons from Momma

Lessons from Momma

Notes for Chat with Traders, Episode 168

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Episode 168 ... Anand Sanghvi ... "Sang Lucci" (95:20)

  • Prop trading model doesn't make sense any more, commissions too low

  • Prop trading firms now sell education

  • Prop firms take the other side of their own (poor) traders' trades

  • Recently moved to Puerto Rico

  • Live there 183 days and get serious tax breaks

  • No federal income tax, no capital gains tax in Puerto Rico [really??]

  • Sales tax in Puerto Rico is 11.5%

  • Island living very expensive though... everything is imported

  • Ton of crypto guys in Puerto Rico, waiting to take gains tax-free [gains?]

  • Crypto guys are now all "distraught"

  • Electing to mark-to-market is important if you're an active trader

  • Trading under a business entity, you can deduct a lot of things

  • Pay the $500 to set up an LLC if you are seriously active

  • Had a hedge fund, had a couple of bad months, biggest investor pulled out, shut it down

  • 95% long options strategy in the past

  • Looking to set up a new hedge fund in Puerto Rico, with less risky strategy, more automation

  • Trading strategy has changed completely in the last three years

  • Now he's 60% short options, 40% long options

  • Knows immediately if he's wrong when there's momentum

  • No momentum then you are in la-la land, no idea if you're right or wrong

  • Theta -- time component to options pricing

  • Trades NFLX, AMZN, NVDA (etc.) options

  • Used to be up a million in a month, then down 500K the next month, returns were too volatile

  • Holds things for one, two, three days max

  • Has traded options on the same stocks, the Usual Suspects, since 2010

  • AAPL options are so thick you can put 250K position on and take it off in minutes

  • You need portfolio margin to get more creative

  • Right now he's swing long TSLA ... long March 2019 400 strike calls

  • Sells short-dated TSLA calls against his core position to collect income

  • Follows his instincts ... has been trading for over a decade

  • If your trades are too short-term, you're going to get shaken out

  • There's a fine line between following your instincts and being stubborn

  • Instinct tells you to get out, but you're too stubborn to get out

  • Where are you trying to go with your $5,000 account?

  • Hedging allows you to stay alive until volatility returns

  • Find what strategy works for you and when it works for you

  • BTFD "buy the dip" worked for six years in a row

  • Trying to make your losses back -- that's how people go to zero

  • Your instinct will try to save you but you'll be stubborn and ignore it

  • Find ways to hedge your life and who you are as a person -- guard against depression

  • Figure out how to protect yourself from yourself

  • If you hold options till expiration, "the shit's going to zero"

  • There's a fine line between conviction and recklessness

  • If you're too attached to a position, you won't be able to cut it

  • After 2007, high frequency trading changed everything

  • All markets are emotional ... all auction markets are the same

  • Retail traders can't make any money because they're too emotional

  • Retail traders know they suck but they have no solution

  • With automation, you're only as good as your code

  • [He sounds like a profane Jim Cramer, not just the voice, but the pacing ... it's fascinating]

  • Interesting idea about using facial recognition technology to save you from yourself

  • You have an app on your phone that saves you from yourself

  • [Segment from 1:16:50 to 1:17:20 made me fall off chair laughing … “your daughter’s mother”]

  • Script stops you from trading the same ticker repeatedly within X amount of time

  • You need to create a behavioral profile of yourself as a trader, like Facebook has of you as a human

  • Multi-level marketing thrives in places where people have no opportunity and they're ignorant

  • Most people can't stick it out until they make it trading, it's too difficult, they quit (and who can blame them?)

  • Website: www.sanglucci.com

  • Twitter: @sanglucci

Love Me True

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Greek dad, Jamaican mom … not sure why she changes the lyric to “please love me too,” “say you love me too,” but… wow. (Bacharach always thought that Aretha’s version was rushed … and he was right, as this cover proves.)

Also check out: Lianne LaHavas NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Daily Civics Lesson

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Liz Trotta in 1991, pre-Internet

“[News] won't have to be packaged within 22 minutes anymore by seven or eight guys who think this is what your civics lesson should be for the day.“

And on Madame Nhu:

“The Dragon Lady, yes. She represented a sort of female Eastern viciousness and mystery and chicanery and betrayal and all the rest of it and they kind of focused all the animosity towards our allies in Madame Nhu.“

Movies Watched -- Good Time (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

100 minute running time so the perfect length, but it was so grim and sleazy (Guy Lodge calls it “gutter realism”) that I had to watch at 1.5x fast forward in order to bear it. It’s about a deaf, semi-retarded guy and his criminal brother … they rob a bank and everything goes wrong … the deaf brother is captured but the the criminal one is still on the run and it’s all about the chaotic hours of his life that follow. Super depressing. Jennifer Jason Leigh (who is getting old, unlike me) briefly plays a girlfriend character.

I don’t know how to rate this … it’s super low budget, best represented by the cheapie techno soundtrack, but it isn’t badly made … it’s just awful to watch these lowlifes doing awful, violent things in ugly places (like Queens). Yellow rating, I guess.

Ann Hornaday writes: “… a pulp thrill ride that turns out to be as petty as Connie’s crimes.“

Ben Sachs writes: “… the film encourages delight at the adventures of an amoral dirtbag content to exploit people who are poor, black, or disabled. Not since Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void (2009) have I been so mesmerized by a film I found morally repugnant.“

Rex hated it: “Vile and repulsive, Good Time is just under two hours of pointless toxicity.“

A.O. Scott hated it: “… a rickety genre thrill ride [that tries to] feel like something daring and new. It isn’t. It’s stale, empty and cold.“

Alison Willmore calls it a “masterfully scuzzy feel-bad.“

You ever do time before?

You ever do time before?

Movies Watched -- The Wonders (2015)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

In Italian and German. 110 minute running time but felt much longer… at least 20 minutes too long. (I’m catching up on the last few movies I missed from 2015.) I wasn’t too thrilled with this. Beekeeping family in Italy living on the margins … grumpy German Dad with Italian wife and four young daughters … you feel bad for all the kids, especially the oldest girl, Gelsomina (they all have lovely names). You should be glad that this rural life of drudgery disappeared, no need to be wistful. Yellow rating.

Gelso confronting Dad’s whacky expression of love

Gelso confronting Dad’s whacky expression of love

Movies Watched -- The Tribe (2015)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

In Sign Language. 130 minute running time so at least 30 to 40 minutes too long. See screencap below.

SPOILERS: School for the deaf in the Ukraine… new kid comes … there’s a gang of boys who run things … new kid joins them … they mug people, but their main source of income is from pimping out two female classmates at a truck stop … kid falls in love with one of the girls … quite a bit of graphic sex … gets her pregnant … what former Soviet republic movie doesn’t include a gruesome home abortion? … the girl is going to be sent to Italy for the larger crime syndicate’s prostitution operation … kid objects, tries to destroy her precious passport, other gang members beat him and leave him for dead. Somehow he survives and comes back and murders them all in their sleep.

Not a feel-good pic. Not cheerful. A lot of the scenes reminded me of China, but this was much grimmer. Sort of interesting, the whole sign language thing, but I can’t recommend it … too gruesome, too depressing. Yellow rating.

Tirdad Derakhshani correctly writes: “Embrace it as a great work of political critique, or reject it as a form of aesthetic bullying; there's no denying The Tribe is a powerful provocation. “

Now you tell me!

Now you tell me!