Thursday, April 5, 2012


In my quest for great music, I downloaded Guttersnipe from iTunes, and then pretty much forgot about it. The last couple of weeks, I've been listening to it again. It's GOOD.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Please don't post anonymously, and don't cuss or libel/slander

Blogger allows anonymous comments, but I don't like them. I don't mind pseudonyms obviously; but you should pick an identity and stick with it.

I reserve the right to edit or delete anonymous comments at any time or any reason.

I also reserve the right to repost comments to edit out bad words, again at my discretion. If I do so, I will make a comment saying that I've done so, or will just delete the comment silently. If you want to cuss, feel free to comment on your blog, and then post a link in a comment.

Finally, I will stand behind my own statements. However, I'll happily throw you under the bus. Any comment that I think might expose me to legal liability goes. Again, post it on your site.

Disagreeing with Karl. Again.

I hope Karl doesn't get too mad at me, but he's gone all irrational on Apple again.
Apple: $300 Or Less, Not $1,000 Or More

And maybe $100 or less.
Update: Karl didn't get mad. He just banned me. Oops.

I had to comment about that.
$1000 per share is insane. IMHO $500 per share was sky-high, much less whatever it is now. Apple has to correct here, and IMHO it will overcorrect. It will also take the Nasdaq with it when it blows. I understand why the market is desperate for an Apple: they want actual profits. HP is a zombie lurching towards a chop-shop takeover. Dell is a finance company pushing "fleeces" on hardware. Lenovo is forecasting 3% profit margins. Acer is longingly looking back towards its previous 3% profit margins and is wondering what happened. Samsung hasn't created a single dominant idea, and would be more profitable if it quit wasting its Apple-given profits competing with its best customer. Nokia couldn't find a clue with 4 committees and one supervisory committee of executives (and 5 different OS development teams).

Apple landed right in a perfect storm. Jobs believed in ultimate simplicity. Do it one way, the Right Way (TM). Offer the minimum possible number of choices, and make it easy. It worked for Saturn and for McDonalds. The iPad works because there are 2 choices: wi-fi only or cellular, and then 3 memory choices. For the Apple computers, it's portable or desktop, and then screen size (and processor, but I don't know any consumer that's cared about that for the last 3-5 years). Try ordering a computer from Dell: they have 6 different kinds of computers on the first page, and that's a distinct improvement from the multiples they used to offer.

There is a limit to the "just make it easy" market. Apple can saturate this market, and probably will soon if the economy downturns. Eventually, the cool side will get broken off by some other gee-whiz phone or tablet with a built-in blender and frappachino maker, and the low end will get squeezed by some toy making a $5 profit for their Indian or Chinese manufacturer. 

However, $100 a share is silly. Even if we shave off the parabola and say they go 0 growth. They still have a loyal core customer base buying what they produce, and have a lot of profit margin to give. They could live well just supporting their current market for a foreseeable future, barring Apple's new "one more thing".

Karl, you're generating a Cassandra problem here: if you were putting your money where your mouth was the whole way up the parabola, you'd be long past broke. I understand that you have an irrational hatred for all things Jobs, but I think peeing on Jobs' grave would be more emotionally healthy and cathartic than railing against the irrationality of the market on Apple.

IMHO, everything you've ever forecasted about Apple can be applied to BMW and Mercedes equally. They sell luxury brands into a market dominated by low-cost options. Granted, neither has faced Apple's parabolic stock rise recently; but they have the same fundamental position. They both have loyal buyers in markets that traditionally run towards commodity status in bad times. So, why aren't you short BMW or Mercedes?

If I had money to spare, I could be talked into buying Apple at $300. Apple at $100 is IMHO just projection.

Greg Couch lost his mind over Calipari

I hate to even link to Greg Couch's screed, but here's my comment to it anyway:

UNC has three players going pro early. Anyone for calling out Roy Williams? Robinson will leave Kansas early: perhaps Bill Self should never have recruited him? If you really believe this, advocate that schools bind students to 4 year contracts with repayment and penalty clauses. Let's see how well that goes.

Basketball players do NOT owe colleges anything. Even South Dakota State Teachers College(*) makes more in revenue off its basketball program than it costs to fund the kids' scholarships. A school like UK or Kansas makes multiples on it. The kids carry their school's athletic departments on their backs; they don't "owe" anything to anyone.

We are supposed to go to college to equip ourselves for a living. An NBA lottery pick guarantees enough money to live on for life. A first round guarantees a solid start for life. Even a second round pick is 5-10 years salary per year for the rest of us.

I think Mr. Couch is just jealous that his 4+ years striving for a journalism degree that is rapidly approaching toilet paper in value has clouded his judgement. Quit being jealous that these kids are turning their talents into lucrative careers.

(*) OK, I admit to exaggerating slightly. If South Dakota Teachers State College still exists (it used to, but I can't find it on Google now), it's probably Division 3 or NAIA, and they won't have scholarships. Nonetheless, the general point holds: basketball teams are profitable excluding coaching salaries, and most schools are profitable including coaching salaries. (It's football that usually breaks the athletic budgets at most schools.)

A post from Packrat's brain stem

Sorry for the lack of thoughtful posting, but Packrat is too busy screaming and enjoying the feeling of this National Championship to make a more coherent post.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Breaking News: Title Vacated

NAP Wire, New Orleans: In an emergency effort to assure the fans of NCAA basketball of the integrity of the NCAA basketball process, Dr. Mark Emmert has preemptively vacated UK's eighth national championship.
"We're not exactly sure what they have done, but I'm sure Cal has done something. We just want to be proactive and prepared for a foregone conclusion."
The University of Kansas has asked for the trophy, but Emmert claimed that he left it in his office, and will have to call them back.

Update: April 1st just isn't that interesting around the Interwebs this year....