Chapter One: Fight!
After finally getting to bed on Monday (morning, 4am), I had a very potent dream. I rarely dream, and even more rarely remember them. But this one still haunts me.
I practiced uechi-ryu karate from roughly age 8 to 14. This was a significant influence on me, in particular given my teacher -- very skilled (6th degree) spiritual white guy. The kind of person whose past included work as a jug band musician, and who left teaching karate to become an ER nurse in central DC. It was a dream with him in it; rather, a recording. I was in a dojo, starting back up, and the class stopped to watch a professionally produced video of (Michael) performing a kata. The performance was beautiful, and reminded me of why I liked the style so much (although it was the only one I knew).
Uechi-ryu was originally one of the Shaolin temple styles... smuggled out by Uechi to Okinawa. Uechi-ryu is focused, at least in our dojo, on the kata forms. There was very little emphasis on sparing, and far more on form, movement... and breathing. The hardest exercises (and granted, this was when we were all little kids) were activities like not moving, not focusing, only concentrating on breathing, for 30-60 minutes.
I researched some of the options in the Pittsburgh area but didn't find much that resonated. For whatever reason, I'm not really interested in getting into mary and donovan's kung-fu. But I think I will check out some places and see if I get back into it. If nothing else, it is yet another good form of regular exercise. And for some reason, I've lusted for access to a heavy bag again. And may be interested in boxing.
Anyway, the whole mood from the dream is still lingering, a day later.
Chapter Two: Party!
I've been invited to a Bachelor Party.
For my upstairs neighbor, a former CMU frat and football player who is now a ChemE grad student. I'm not sure what to do -- the activity list includes the usual suspects of such a party (sports, bar crawls, "private room") most of which are not normally me. And I probably don't know anyone. But, if I wanted to, that could be a good thing -- they don't know me, and so I don't have to be me. It is also likely to be somewhat expensive, but not prohibitively so.
What do you, the Reader, think?
Chapter Three: Patent!
Yesterday was a pretty amazing day on the market. Everything I track, with about 2 minor exceptions (BRKb was up $2, or 0.018%), was down.
Today all of the losses incurred have been reversed.
In January I started tracking NFLX, when I realized just how potent a company it is. I've been a subscriber since October, after I realized I was spending more than $20/mo on rentals and late fees -- but I had gotten my parents subscribed almost a year earlier. For them it seemed like a no-brainer given the ultra-small video store option in their area (we didn't rent anything the first night because we didn't want to run through their selection of movies too quickly).
A bit of my push into the market are a result of watching NFLX go from $10 to over $20, because they hit their Million customers faster than projected... which I had expected. I've doubled my money in TIVO on a similar basis, and expect another boost when they also hit the Million customer mark faster than expected (I predict mid-Q3, before the seasonal boost in Q4).
Finally, after doing some analysis with bucy, I decided to get in on NFLX anyway. It isn't as terribly overvalued as I had expected having seen it double. Got in at the time when the company guessed accurately the morning WalMart would re-announce itself into the marketplace and preemptly released very good numbers. Stock got hammered anyway, for a couple of days, lowering my cost-basis.
Today it has shot up again. Why? This article summarizes it. They got a business method patent. They had not talked about it previously, despite filing in 2000. Apparently the market likes it. But to knock competitors out because of a business patent? Doing so with the strength of my money? I'll be watching that carefully, and see how I feel about it...
I like the netflix business model, and they've done a great job at getting it out there (note the ad, likely at the top of the list at the bottom of the article). I'm tickled to read postings about how Blockbuster is pitching its service in its stores by saying "its like NetFlix" and then explaining the netflix business. Even Walmart is doing the same, and that only works to their advantage, because NetFlix has already conquered many of the problems that the competition is now facing... and so people will switch.
And the more I learn about how exactly they operate, the more impressed I become. But now I'm less comfortable.