Archive for January, 2007

For months now, I’ve been running Office 2007 Beta.  I’ve been planning on upgrading to the released version on my work computer but I’ve been putting it off.

Well, yesterday, Windows Update installed an update and my version of Excel started crashing.  I have an important spreadsheet that I need to update every day, but every time I tried to save it crashed.  Sigh (rolleyes.gif)…

So, I decided to install Office 2007.  I get it for free (since I work for Microsoft).  I decided to let it run overnight, but when I got to the office this morning it said there was an incompatibilty with Windows Powershell, which I first had to uninstall.  So, I shut down the installation (urgh) and went to uninstall Windows Powershell.  But, that program had no uninstall feature.

I went to Add/Remove programs, and guess what? There was no uninstall there, either!  So, basically, in order to install this software that I need, I first have to uninstall a program that I can’t uninstall.

Of course, Office 2007 installation didn’t fail completely.  It did manage to remove my previous Beta version of Office 2007.  I did a System Restore to roll back to before when I installed Office 2007, but that didn’t work.  Word and Excel are there but they don’t load up (they can’t find a file and subsequently crash).  So the situation is this: I have no version of Office 2007 running (Beta or Release version), I can’t uninstall the piece of software that is standing in the way, and it takes forever to reinstall Office 2007. 

I decided to remove the registry key for Powershell.  I couldn’t get it entirely removed; there is an error message that is not helpful — "Could not remove registry key".  Gee, thanks.

So, I’m trying to reinstall Office 2007.  Hopefully it will work.

Read Full Post »

About 3 weeks ago I posted that I thought that commodities had a ways down to go before they hit bottom. At the time oil was trading around 56/barrel. It eventually went down as low as 51.50.

I actually think the low we reached earlier this month is as low as things are going to get. The reason? This morning, in the front page of the local newspaper in my city they had a story that gas prices today are 15 cents a litre less this month than they were last month. Furthermore, they predicted that gas prices were likely to stay low for the rest of the winter.

Newspapers make great contrarian indicators. There’s an old saying: When Main Street talks, Wall Street walks. In other words, when something has become obvious to everybody, the trend generally changes. Well, how obvious can it be when a local newspaper publishes on its front page that oil prices are a lot lower than they used to be?

Oil surged up 5% today, the chart looks quite bullish. It’s going to be testing resistance, but if I were a betting man I’d bet that oil is going to test 60 before it tests 50. What does that mean to you? It means the low price of gas is not likely to persist.

Read Full Post »

In my current sponge hockey season, here are some of my current thoughts:

1. Will the drought ever end? In the preseason, I was scoring quite a bit of goals. I scored more for my one team than in all my other preseasons combined (in fact, I was the leading scorer on my team for the preseason). However, since my second game for my second team, I haven’t been able to get my name on the score-sheet at all. I’m doing the same things I did before but now they’re not going in for me. On the plus side, I have been able to generate some scoring chances (quite a few, actually) but I haven’t been able to put them in. And, at least my +/- stats are slightly positive. I may not score anything, but at least when I’m on the ice nobody scores against us either.

2. My two teams, a reversal of fortunes – Last season, I played for two teams. One finished higher than the other but it was never a leapfrog (ie, one pulled ahead of the other, then the reverse, then one pulling ahead). My first team was ahead of the other for the entire season. This year, our fortunes have reversed. My second team is playing much better than my first team and I would expect them to finish better come year end. The good news is that they probably won’t play each other in the playoffs. The bad news is that the better team might finish in the A-side, which is a tougher road to the championship.

3. A reversal of fortunes, part 2 – As I say in point 2, my second team is playing much better this year; as I write we are 5-3-1 for 11 points, good for second in the division. I think it’s because we are playing much better defensively. We control the puck a bit more, and when our entire team is out (ie, no playing short-handed) that’s when we’re at our best. We don’t score a lot of goals but we allow even fewer. This may seem to be a rather obvious winning strategy but my point is that we don’t win games through high-scoring affairs.

4. Fewer injuries this year – Last year (and in year’s past) I used to experience injuries either to my lower-back or to other parts of my body. Examples include an ankle injury last year which I had for the entire season, bruises to my shins due to slipping and falling, and a sore lower back. This year, I actually feel fine. The only recovery time I need is for sore hamstrings due to running so much. Even then, I make quicker recoveries. It’s because I stretch my hamstrings in my off-days and I believe that has contributed to fewer lower-back problems. I can get my legs up to about shoulder height, which is an incredibly good stretch and gets them ready for the games ahead.

5. Subjective elements – And now, to end things on the lighter side, this is a pattern that was true in the last season also, but it bears repeating: after having played every other team in the division (either with my first team or my second), I can definitively state that in our co-ed division, the female players on my team are the best-looking ones in the division.

Read Full Post »

Two weeks ago, the power outlet on my laptop died (my other laptop, I’m writing this on my iBook). I figured it would be expensive to fix but without it, the laptop is a fairly clunky paperweight.

So, I decided to take it in to a local repair store to get it fixed. It’s now been two weeks and I haven’t heard anything from them. Seriously, how long does it take to fix it? I’m lucky that I have my backup computer (plus a desktop at home… plus my computer at work) but that laptop has my stock charting software on it. I haven’t been able to do in-depth analysis in over two weeks. I’m starting to get a little bit antsy (not to mention annoyed that I haven’t been contacted in any way).

On the plus side, I have been able to use my Mac to learn how to get around on it a bit more. I can do almost everything I can on my PC except for a few things, including: (1) Finding an equivalent of the Start bar (2) Right-clicking (3) Finding a Home key when in a web browser to scroll back to the top of the page (4) Figuring out where the Home function is in Safari so I can quickly jump back to Yahoo Finance (my homepage).

Read Full Post »

As myself and some friends of mine on their own blogs have discovered recently, be careful what you write on your blog, even if you don’t think anyone is reading it.

I wrote on my blog about an incident a couple of weeks ago and I was a little surprised to discover that some of my co-workers found it so quickly. This blog gets very little traffic, and my co-workers never read my other blog, so the fact that they found this one so quickly is unusual (unless they were actually looking for it… hmmm…)

Anyways, the fact that I wrote about the incident on my blog demonstrates that the story was not exactly a secret. The fact that I spoke about it publically proves that. It was a secret prior to it occurring, however. But afterwards… not so much. I did, after all, come clean to my coworkers, they just didn’t believe me even if I am a master of misdirection.

Read Full Post »

The stock market has been in rally mode since late summer. It’s unusual to go for such a long time without a correction but that’s what the market has done.

Being a market timer, I try to get in on market rallies when it is going up and get out (and go short, usually) when it is going down. Now, there is no way to know for sure when a market is going to top and roll over. Markets usually rally for longer than I think and they usually go down for longer than I think. But, this market is making me suspicious.

First, the market has gone a long time in rally mode. The life span of this intermediate movement has surpassed its historical average. In trading, you want to get in closer to the beginning of the trend, and you can measure intermediate movements by comparing them to previous movements. Second, some of my stocks are showing signs of trouble, like Apple and American Eagle Outfitters (which has been more or less a waste of time). Third, we’ve seen a number of distribution days latetly. And finally, the market is usually strongest from Nov – Jan. We’re now coming up on February. January 2004 the market started decline. It did the same thing in Jan 2005 and Jan 2006. I would not be surprised to see an encore performance.

The odds are not with me at the moment. The only thing working in the bulls’ favour is that we are in the third year of an election cycle. Those are historically the best years on the market. Come on, historical records, don’t fail me now!

Read Full Post »

In this year’s regular season sponge hockey league in which I play, the teams on which I play on collectively have six wins, four losses and one tie.  However, I have missed a number of games.  In games where I play, we are 4-0-1.  In games where I don’t play we are 2-4.  So, that means that this year in the regular seaon I am undefeated.

I have two games this evening.  One is against the top team in the division and the other is against the lowest team in the division.  I think the odds favour a win against the lowest team and a loss against the top team.  Wouldn’t it be something if it were the other way around?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »