Top Five Places to Visit in Toronto

Added on by C. Maoxian.

We visited Toronto over the Columbus Day weekend and thought these were the best five places we saw. They’re all available using CityPASS, which is a real money saver. The photos below are all ones I took on the trip.

  1. CN Tower … impressive views. Go first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds. We had a two minute wait for the elevator. We did go up to the “SkyPod,” which is another 100 meters above the main observation level, which I think cost another 20 bucks? per person, but it wasn’t really worth it, you can skip that bit.

DSC01115.JPG

2. Ripley’s Aquarium … not the second best place to visit, but it’s right next to the CN Tower so I included it here. Again go early in the morning before the crowds get there. If it’s crowded, it’s not very pleasant.

DSC01109.JPG

3. Toronto Zoo … nice zoo, big enough so that even if there are a lot of people around, it doesn’t feel crowded. Has a great zip line down a gorge, which the whole family enjoyed, and I strained it to the max with my Falstaffian bulk — hit top velocity for sure. There’s a small ropes course at the end of the zip line which the kids enjoyed and their aging parents suffered through. They also have “excursions” (forgot the name) which are like short, private tours of various animals … we did the caribou — well worth the money.

DSC01123.JPG

4. Casa Loma … crazy mansion built by a guy named Pellatt, who, like Jesse Livermore, was called a Boy Plunger. Dad was a stockbroker and he was too, made first fortune in Northwest Land shares, reinvested in electrification of Toronto, got richer, government seized his company (the bastards), he invested in all kinds of companies, got richer, but eventually went broke (Home Bank of Canada failure), died poor and ignored by son and old “friends” … fascinating story … anyway he built this giant house along the way in 1914, which is definitely worth a visit.

DSC01129.JPG

5. Royal Ontario Museum … this place reminded me of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London … just chock full of stuff. My approach to museums is you should go see only one section at a time, otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed. You could spend many days exploring the different sections, one at a time. We did a whirlwind tour.

DSC01097.JPG

Movies Watched -- Time Limit (1957)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

96 minute running time so the perfect length. Korean POW camp drama … sort of, an after the fact thing. It was unusual … more of a legal drama … neat to see Governors Island in the 1950s (shots of Manhattan in the background). I can’t recommend it, but it wasn’t terrible. I’m sure that many officers were threatened that the men under their command in the camps would be murdered if they didn’t cooperate, so I didn’t really buy it.

Corporal Evans, Phi Beta Kappa

Corporal Evans, Phi Beta Kappa

Movies Watched -- Moonlight (2016)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

110 minute running time … could have easily cut 10 to 20 minutes and that would have helped a lot, but this was an unusual one, I didn’t hate it … a story in three parts… little black boy growing up in Miami (Liberty City), impoverished, crackhead mom, etc. … he’s taken in by the world’s sweetest drug dealer (played by Remy Danton) … part two are his teenage years (Remy is dead), which are esp. horrifying since he’s gay and terrorized for the fact (he was terrorized as a kid too, but it wasn’t as bad then) … part three he’s in his twenties, a drug dealer in Atlanta.

I’m pretty sure the screenplay was written by a gay black man … I don’t think the black director is gay, but I could be wrong. The score has a key underlying power … the language is very black, “street” maybe? Foreign to me, but I appreciated it.

It was a sensitive, thoughtful movie … not terrible. Unusual for sure, I don’t know what a mainstream American audience would make of it … mainstream critics will of course go ga-ga over it … I’m a little more mixed about it, cut 15 minutes out and it would probably get a green rating from me. Undecided here, but I didn’t hate it and that’s saying a hell of a lot. I see it’s still the #1 movie on RottenTomatoes from 2016, and that makes sense, but I’ll withhold my green rating for now.

Moonlight turns black boys blue

Moonlight turns black boys blue

Movies Watched -- The Prowler (1981)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

88 minute running time, so the perfect length. No idea why this one was in my queue… it’s a slasher (mainly sexualized violence) movie from the early ‘80s… super low budget … I ended up fast forwarding through most of it … the disc had terrible audio quality and no subtitles, so…. “Only for the slasher genre faithful.”

Pitchfork a nice touch

Pitchfork a nice touch

Remembering Timmy C

Added on by C. Maoxian.

22 year veteran of the Bayonne Police Department, quick with a fashion tip, and always knew which bottle of wine to order … he will be missed.

IMG_20191004_0001 tim2.jpg

Movies Watched -- Breach (2007)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

110 minute running time but five minutes of credits so it was a decent length… I watched all the deleted scenes and was glad they cut them out… probably could have cut out five more minutes and made it the perfect length, but…. anyway, this was not bad, pretty good in fact. Chris Cooper plays a traitorous FBI agent (based on a true story) and he’s good (it’s more or less a one-man show) … the kid FBI agent who is tasked with watching him is a weaker actor. Laura Linney is better at playing her part of a cold, spinster agent running the sting.

This guy Hanssen was selling secrets for 22 years!?! Twenty-two! What level of incompetence is there within the government that would allow that to occur? It boggles the mind. Anyway, I enjoyed the movie and can recommend it as a sort-of thriller and psychological investigation into a turncoat. A rare green rating and another good recommendation from John Farr (who also turned me onto Foxcatcher and several other really good movies I’d never heard about).

In the name of the Father … and of the Son … and of the Holy … Spirit. Amen.

In the name of the Father … and of the Son … and of the Holy … Spirit. Amen.

Movies Watched -- Bridesmaids (2011)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

125 minute running time so at least a half hour too long. Very funny in parts, hilarious in fact, but this is a movie written by a woman directed by a gay man (I think Paul Feig is gay, no?) directed at women … it is funny, but it’s just too long, and there is some gross-out, teenage boy humor (most of which I enjoyed since I’m not averse to shitting in a sink in a pinch). I realized while watching it that Melissa McCarthy is Ricky Gervais trapped in a woman’s body.

Lou Lumenick also wasn’t thrilled with the movie’s length.

Off to Vegas

Off to Vegas

Movies Watched -- Everybody Wants Some (2016)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

117 minute running time, so at least 20 minutes too long. Nostalgia piece by Linklater about college life at the University of Texas in the early 80s … members of the all-white college baseball team (don’t worry, there’s one token black guy) getting drunk and having sex (“college pussy”) and smoking pot and goofing around. None of the actors looked of college age, and it was totally uninteresting. I doubt Linklater himself was a jock / frat boy, so I don’t know why he’s fondly recreating this imagined world. Bad. Give it a miss.

Rex correctly hated it.

Performing arts major

Performing arts major

Movies Watched -- Zodiac (2007)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

157 minute running time so almost a FULL HOUR too long … didn’t realize it was made in 2007, thought it was more recent … star-studded, high production values, but I wasn’t thrilled with it, mainly because it was an hour too long and just sort of… dull. Give it a miss.

Stephen Hunter’s review, still blessedly online: “… way, way too much of the film is guys sitting in a room talking about it over and over and over, waiting for a climax that never comes.”

Hunter was one of my favorite critics (I think he’s dead now, and that leaves only Rex Reed as a reliably honest movie reviewer). Sad.

No one calls me Arthur

No one calls me Arthur

Lose $500 Once or $100 Five Times in a Row?

Added on by C. Maoxian.

I asked a handful of my esteemed colleagues on day trading TWTR the following question:

Is it psychologically harder for you to lose $100 five times in a row or $500 once?

These are their replies:

A: Tough one. Probably not a straight forward answer, but go with the five times. Sometimes I feel like I'm having a rough day, being stopped out of multiple very high rr setups. Then I look at my pnl and realise I'm only down X amount lol

B. Rather ask 1k or 5k. Probably 1k 5 times in a row

C. Honestly not any different. Sometimes if it’s 5 losses I forget how much it adds up lol

D. Thats a tough one. I would say the smaller amount over and over.

E. great question. Way harder to lose 5 times in a row. That would drive me crazy.

F. $500 [once] more likely. For my style

G. Probably 5 losses would be tougher. If it's one loss it's just an outlier. One mistake. 5 losses means I got to change something

H. Prolly the lump $500. Would you rather take 5 light slaps in the face, or a whopping, open palm bitch slap?

I. Probably the 5 times in a row

J. I would say 100 5x is harder for me. Once I take a loss I pretty much forget about it after a day and try not to let it affect me. And if I was losing 5x in a row then something is wrong for sure lol

K. It really depends on a few variables but I get the point of your question. It's more psychologically difficult when I lose a $ risk I'm not comfortable with yet through compounding, so in this case the larger sum. I've been in situations where I've taken -6,7,8 R at my $ in a day and can recover. But when I compound too high and risk something I'm not used to losing then it becomes harder, I need to be at that level consistently to have it normalized.

L. $500 once

M. If my normal risk per trade was $100 i would rather lose 5 times in a row than lose 5x my risk in 1 trade.

N. five times. No question

O. i'd rather lose $100 five times in a row, by far.

P. Depends if they were all calculated risk instead of emotional driven loses. It’s only hard when the losses are made on silly mistakes.

Q. I think $100 5 times because you start to question your system or your confidence may shatter slightly. As 500 at once is dependent on account size, day a 2000 account may affect you big time and you may question a lot, but on a 30k account I wouldn’t question it as much. And you start to question your entries and execution on the $100 losses as the $500 loss can be for maybe not stopping out on plan etc

R. I guess I always have a predefined stop so losing $100 five times in a row would be more draining than one larger loss...

S. Hmm. Probably equal. I think I'm a little too complacent about drawdowns. I think I should be more ready to reduce size than I am.

T. To answer: the former, but I've had way longer runs of losses. I distinctly remember 12 consecutive losing trades, which was disconcerting at the time. Overall I try to focus on process and P&L in percentage (or basis point) terms, rather than streaks of wins/losses or $ lost/gained.. If I had a day whereby I lost $100 5 times in a row, then made $500 once (i.e. net result break-even on the day), I'd consider it an ok day. In fact I have had such days multiple times. Hope that answers somewhat.

U. Difficult question. depends on the nature of the loss. When I looked at my initial reaction was the 500 would be because I f’d up, it's happened so that's hard to swallow and possibly the 100 losses are a result of the percentages going against me, which is natural

V. I think they are both equally damaging in their own way. i think you can rebound from a bigger loss than the small cuts. it all depends on your perspective though the 500 at once is a gamblers mentality and that is ingrained into people deeply trying to get rich on one trade and swinging for the fences while the 100 paper cuts are a strategy issue and most likely due to having too tight of stops....the $100 cut issue is far easier to manage and fix imo

W. Good question. Probably $100 five times in a row because if that happens then something is clearly wrong with my system or process.

X. now? neither one fazes me. i analyze what happened, whether it was my mistake (ie. wrong entry point, forced entry, too much size total, too much initial size so i couldn't add when it went against my entry, not enough volume in the stock, going against any of my hard and fast rules) or something in the market (ie. lately, stocks that have moved multi day aren't coming back in but flatlining on no volume, a 1999 JDSU buys SDLI at a 50%? premium and both stocks go up the entire day or YHOO has an RSI of 97 intraday on s&p entry and never goes down at all with RSI flatlining all day - those last two are pretty close to what happened). make sure my head is clear, and adjust accordingly.

Movies Watched -- Flight (2012)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

138 minute running time which means it was 40 minutes too long…. way way way too long. Denzel as alcoholic airline pilot, makes miraculous crash landing, but people still die. Story about the aftermath. I wasn’t thrilled. And it was way too long, did I mention that? Heavy on the heart string violin music. Beautiful skinny redheaded heroin addict gets in the picture. Boring. And how would it have worked if the pilot were white? Audience similarly sympathetic? Give it a miss.

The call of the minibar

The call of the minibar

Movies Watched -- Female Trouble (1974)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

97 minute running time, so the perfect length, but this is John Waters so you have to be in the mood for it… seems very tame now, but in 1974 this must have been off the scales insane … it is funny, but it’s also sick sick sick, hilariously so … I have no idea how this movie was shown in the 1970s? Was it shown exclusively in porno theaters? It’s not that there’s graphic sex, it’s just that it’s so absurdly obscene, it couldn’t be distributed in any conventional way. Cult classic viewers only please.

From Dick Brody’s brief review: “Waters smashes the bowdlerizing codes of Hollywood morality with self-consciously delirious parodies of classic Hollywood genres and tropes; the resulting feast of sex, violence, cruelty, and frivolity mocks sentimental notions of family, work, and love, and turns the egomaniacal furies of pop culture inside out.“

Divine, wearing skidmarked underwear no doubt.

Divine, wearing skidmarked underwear no doubt.

Movies Watched -- Midnight Run (1988)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

127 minute running time so at least 30 minutes too long … this wasn’t terrible, but they tried to cram in too much stuff and made it overly long and ruined what could have been a wonderful movie … some scenes are great, very funny, Grodin plays a great straight man, you can see that he makes De Niro laugh when the script doesn’t call for it. But there was too much profanity and the ending was predictable. Yellow rating at best.

Hal Hinson’s correct review: “Oscar and Felix on the road. Grodin is the overfastidious, nagging wife to De Niro's chain-smoking, junk-food-eating slob husband.“

Why were you unpopular in the Chicago police department?

Why were you unpopular in the Chicago police department?

Movies Watched -- The Gambler (2014)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

101 minute running time so the perfect length, but this movie was no good … Marky Mark playing an English professor! / rich kid with a gambling problem. Gets in debt to both the Korean mob and Chalky White. Beautiful mom (Jessica Lange) tries to bail him out to the tune of $260K but he blows that too. Eventually has to seek bailout from mobster John Goodman wearing a fat suit. Scenes with Goodman are the best since he always has fun with his characters. Sub-plot about love affair with one of his students (Brie Larson). Sports betting, double crossing, blah blah. Re-born a free man followed by a run across town.

Why the movie is no good … it’s just not that interesting in the end, who cares? — gambling / self-destructive stories never holds any interest, even to people who gamble and are self-destructive. RottenTomatoes actually gets one right with a 44% fresh rating. Rex correctly called it a “wet battery.”

Hair over ears is Marky’s professorial look

Hair over ears is Marky’s professorial look

Movies Watched -- Seven Days in May (1963)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

117 minute running time so around 20 minutes too long. Another Frankenheimer movie after being wowed by Seconds … imagining a military coup in the US … Kirk Douglas and his cleft chin save the day, aided by a number of tall WASPs with silver hair. Nice to see Ava Gardner, who aged very well. Propaganda for the status quo. It’s interesting, Frankenheimer way ahead of his time, but I’m not going to give it a vaunted green rating.

We’re a nation of laws, of rules

We’re a nation of laws, of rules

Movies Watched -- The Iceman (2013)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

105 minute running time so they could have shaved five minutes off. Mob movie (you know, Ray Liotta, Robert Davi) about a Polish-American hit man in the 1960s/70s/80s played by 6’ 3” Michael Shannon, who always does a good psychopath. Nona Horowitz plays his wife and I’ve always loved her. It’s a well made movie, good production values, but it’s depressing … deeply depressing, nothing glamorous about it, no humor to leaven the violence. For some reason I hesitate to give it a green rating, but it’s a solid yellow (consider) for sure.

Rex liked it, but bungles some of the details (forex not stock market, Schwimmer the courier killer) as usual.

Doesn’t kill women or children

Doesn’t kill women or children

Movies Watched -- D.O.A. (1950)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

83 minute running time so the perfect length, but this was a convoluted story, and ultimately dumb. I guess it’s “classic noir,” but I wasn’t thrilled. Best part was seeing the old Bradbury building. Give it a miss.

A correct review.

Luminous poisoning

Luminous poisoning

Baby's Born to Run

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Love the sound … Pacific Northwest hipster central (casting). Major bonus points for the clarinetist.

Movies Watched -- Player 5150 (2008)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

91 minute running time, so the perfect length, but this was a badly made, low-budget movie … dumb story, bad acting, so-so production values. Supposedly about a day trader with a gambling addiction (something I’m familiar with), but the guy was a stockbroker or “investment advisor" as they’re now called, not a day trader. And he was a sports bettor, something I know nothing about. Bad movie, waste of time, only stick with the best.

Trying to get back to even

Trying to get back to even