Wednesday, January 6, 2010

An assortment of updates

First, a request: if any of you know of a finance professor who is an acknowledged options expert and might be willing to consider a quick consulting project (shouldn't require more than an hour of his time), please e-mail me at contact[at] Thanks.

Now, on to some assorted updates and musings.

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days. I meant to post something last night, but after a late, gluttonous, feast at George's favorite New York restaurant (Balthazar) last night I was too beat to post or check e-mails when I got home. Before dinner, I had taken George to meet my developers at Simande. George is considering making some modest updates to his business's computer system (he's currently running it on DOS). I mentioned to the Simande guys that George first set up his system when Tronwas playing in the movie theaters. After a beat, Matt asked, "When did that come out, early 80's?". "Yeah," I replied. "That's when we were born," said Matt. For Matt, here is the trailer for Tron:

I believe a remake of Tron is in the works.

After leaving Simande HQ, we met George's old friend Frank at Balthazar. Balthazar is sort of an upscale version of the French Roast, but Balthazar has its own excellent bakery (located, conveniently enough for us, in nearby Englewood, NJ.). After a few bottles of Bollinger for the table, Frank, an actor/playwright, was in a feisty mood. He launched into some of the political arguments you might expect from a New Yorker, with gusto.

I remembered from meeting him on previous occasions that Frank had mentioned he was friends with Al Pacino, so in an effort to deflect him from politics, I asked him questions about Pacino's performance in Heat (e.g., Why was his character chewing what appeared to be a half-piece of gum throughout the whole movie? Why did he always hang up on everyone without saying "goodbye"?). We probably would have gone through less of the champagne (which was wasted on my palate; I can get heartburn just as easily from a $10 bottle of cava) if George hadn't ordered one of those multi-tiered shellfish appetizers for the table, which the waiters consolidated to lower tiers Tetris-style as we ate). In any case, it was a good dinner with good company, but I ate way too much. Balancing that out today by just having a piece of toast and some ginger ale for lunch. Onto some updates:

Investment stuff:

- AYSI.OB: Got a belated response today from the CEO re the e-mail I sent him when they filed the 10-K on 12/23. I'll post on that separately in a little bit.

- USEG: Up today on this news from yesterday about the latest positive well result from its Bakken deal with BEXP, and this news from today that it received its $1 million option payment from Thompson Creek related to the molybdenum project, and that Thompson creek has budgeted several million more dollars for preliminary work on the project this year.

- The United Airlines puts: These went against me a little this week, a day before Continental announced its positive results. Steady as she goes though.

New blogs:

After e-mailing my logo designer's gal Friday asking her, essentially, "WTF?", she wrote back pleading technical difficulties and saying that if she could crawl into the computer and push the process along she would. The thought of her and him being sucked into a computer Tron-style and forced to play in one of the movie's Jai Alai death matches brings me a small measure of comfort at this point.

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