Friday, November 14, 2014

Inspirational Ideas

I was at a talk, and the keynote speaker made a few points. Here are my thoughts on them.

Life is suffering,  but people are made to struggle

There are two fears: the fear of exposure and the fear of conflict

The fear of exposure is perfectionism, and courage is required to overcome it.

The fear of conflict comes from imbalance in two important values:  compassion and connection.

Compassion is kindness to others, and authentic connection is finding common cause with others.

We need to have strong enough connection to embrace conflict, and sufficient compassion to be in conflict with grace.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jeff Haden's 7 Habits of People with Remarkable Mental Toughness

Jeff Haden , who describes his profession as ghostwriter, wrote an article about how to be mentally tough. He wrote it with the internet meme of X things.

The article is on Inc.

The seven are

1. Always act as if you are in total control. (Meaning stop waiting for God to help)

2. Put aside things you have no ability to impact. (Easier said than done.)

3. See the past as valuable training... and nothing more. (That is, forget about Freudian analysis)

4. Celebrate the success of others. (Generosity of Spirit is good.)

5. Never allow yourself to whine or complain or criticize. (I don't agree. If you don't complain you are a marshmallow not tough.)

6. Focus only on impressing yourself. (Internal focus can be sick, but it is better than sycophantic.)

7. Count your blessings.  (It would make you happier.)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ghost 7 Running Shoe Review

Ghost 7
My last few pairs of shoes have been Brook's so this shoe blog has been getting dull. My lastest one is the Ghost 7. It is very similar to the Ghost  6 without the gel midsole in the heel, or if it is there you can't see it anymore.

I got this shoe because it protects my forefoot from stone bruises. That is damage to the foot from running on gravel on cement roads. I had an injury of that kind last summer, and it reoccurs if I don't take care of it.

The yellow outsole of the Ghost 7 stains easily. 
Ghost 7 weighs 321 grams, which is 24 grams less than the Ghost 6, or almost an ounce.  It has a four part sole with a two part mid-sole - the white and the orange additionally at the heel.

This shoe has a yellow outsole unlike the Ghost 6 which is black. You can see the staining on it in the picture. These shoes have 18 miles on them, and the blackness does not wipe off. It doesn't bother me, but I could see it bothering my DW if I would wear them inside.

Ghost 6

The Ghost 7 is a little less flamboyant than the Ghost 6. Less orange and more yellow with a lighter gray color. I don't find either shoe that attractive. When they wear out, and I can't use them as running shoes. The won't be cool looking casual shoes.

As mentioned I have 18 miles on these shoes, and I find this shoe very comfortable.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Shoe Review: My running shoe update

I have purchased three pairs of shoes since the last review in 2012. These are the Adidas Boost, the Brooks Rivenna 4, and the Brooks Ghost 6.

The oldest shoe is the Adidas Boost. This is made from expanded TPU that my employer BASF makes.  This is a light shoe at 300 grams, and it is touted as having excellent "energy return." Meaning that the sole elastically returns energy to the running. When you are in the shoe it feels like it has a better grip on the street. It is a light weight shoe so the foot protection is not that great.

A pretty nice shoe, but I don't wear it much. I have had sore feet and need more protections.

On the bottom you can see the little balls that make up the shoe sole. I don't know why the sole n the bottom you can see the little balls that make up the shoe sole. I don't know why the sole is sn the bottom you can see the little balls that make up the shoe sole. I don't know why the sole staining yellow.
This is the Brook Ghost 6. It is 345 g (for one shoe) and has high foot protection. It is my newest show, and it does a nice job. 

 Here you can see the bottom, and the "gel" in the sole.


This is the Brook Rivenna 4. It is stiffer than the Ghost with less protection, and it is heavier at 407g per shoe.

It is an OK shoe, and I still wear it once in a while.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Computerized Trading on News Releases is Too Fast for Humans

People with high speed connections to news releases are reacting to news in much less than a second, 50 milliseconds, in one case. In this case, the selling started 50 milliseconds after the news release, and faster than normal news service (Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Yahoo Finance) had rebroadcast the information.

Wall Street Journal: link
This means that traders are downloading news releases and analyzing it automatically. Further, since company releases don't have info on expected returns, the computer was pre-conditioned with what the expectations were.  Based on the computer analysis hundreds of millions of dollars of trading was made.

Nothing illegal about this, but it shows that small time investors can't trade on market news. Unless perhaps they are trying to profit from the over-reactions of the automated trades.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Top Christmas Songs

Add caption
Favorite Christmas Songs

Every year I download different versions of Christmas songs from iTunes. Here are seven of my favorite Christmas Songs.  (Sorry about the commercials in the Youtube videos. Strange to hear a bank commercial before a Christmas song. ) I don't like novelty Christmas songs too much, with the exception of Must be Santa.

I am always looking for new versions.

Gaudete (Mediaeval Baebes)

Angels from the Realms of Glory (Annie Lennox)

Must be Santa (Bob Dylan)

Christmas Nights in Blue (Trans-Siberian Orchestra)

Carol of the Bells (Harry Connick Jr)

Schedryk Carol of the Bells (Pink Martini)

We Need a Little Christmas (Kimberley Locke)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Will Power

Will power isn't a popular idea. In pop culture we go with the Flow, and if we practice will power, then -- no doubt -- we will become internally conflicted and lash out.

On the other hand, self-control is what makes the civilized world civil. What makes for self-control? In the abstract it is enlightened self-interest. In the short term, it can be your brain chemistry.

It turns out that weakness in your body can reduce your self-control, and cause you to over-eat, drink too much, lash out at someone, and so on. This can be caused by being hungry or tired, or intoxicated.

Another factor is mental tiredness or preoccupation with some pressing problem. Let's say you got a ticket on the way home from work, and then when you get home you kick the dog. One day I thought I lost my glasses, and I was rude to a guy at work. This is odd, since I usually am polite and politically correct. I was worried about getting my glasses back, and was unable to process the right response in this social situation.

Self-control has a limit too. People think of it as a muscle. If you skip a donut and go exercise, you may reward yourself with something later. I good antidote to that is routine. If you never eat donuts and always exercise, then practicing your routine takes little willpower. Being out of your routine, creates temptation and a little higher stress level, and that can lead to failure.

A good article on this is by Maia Szalavitz at Time.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What we drink

Gallap tabulated the change in American's beverage tastes, and The Atlantic plotted the above.  

The results show a mixed bag of healthy drinks increases like water and tea, and a drop in juice. I'd like to think it is the low nutrition content of the juice, but it probably was the high price.  Soft drinks also dropped. 

Wine and liquor continue to displace beer. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kathryn Turco Obituary

Her high school picture, a hand colorized photo.
Kathryn C. Turco age 84, of Kenosha, passed away on Saturday June 1, 2013 at St. Catherine's Medical Center in Pleasant Prairie. 

She was born on October 21, 1928 in Oconto, WI, a daughter of the late Peter Angelich and Mary Pionkoske. She educated at U.W. Oshkosh and later earned her Master's Degree in Theology from St. Francis Seminary.

On July 7, 1956 she married Alfred J. Turco in October, WI and then moved to Kenosha and has resided here since. 

Kathryn taught in many high schools in Wisconsin including Kenosha's Bradford High and later taught at U.W. Parkside. 

She was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church. She was active in the senior luncheon program, Altar Society and religious education. She was past president of the Women's Auxiliary at St. Catherine's Hospital. She enjoyed playing golf, ice skating and swimming. 

Surviving Kathryn is her husband Alfred, four sons; Gregory (Jennifer) of Southgate, MI, Douglas (Wendy Wilson) of Bethlehem, PA, Glenn (Kathy) of Brookfield, WI and Timothy (Patricia) Turco of Hartland, WI, thirteen grandchildren; Michelle, Nicholas, Linnea, Gian, Paulo, Michael, Angelina, Laura, Anne, Teresa, Anna, John and Maria. She is also survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers; Louis, Peter and Leon (Pege) Angelich, her sisters; Agnes Angelich, Marion Lane, and Bonnie Aubry. 

Funeral services will begin at the Proko Funeral Home on Wednesday June 5, at 10:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Entombment will follow at All Saints Mausoleum. Visitation will be held at the Proko Funeral Home on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. until prayers at 10:30 a.m. 

Memorials may be sent to local hospices. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Stock Market is a Co-insident Indicator

Everyone knows that the Stock Market is included in the Conference Board's Leading Indicators, right?  -- it is included in the press release every month.

Looking at these figures, taken from Liz Ann Sonders at Schwab, it is clear that market dips and economic dips occur at the same time. It seems that the stock market is just another co-incident indicator.

On the other hand, the economic data shown below was constructed after-the-fact by the BLS -- the stock market is not predicting the economy, but it is a rapid indicator of where it is today.

It is interesting to think about whether it is predicting the US economy or the world economy or some weighted average. Clearly European financial problems rock the stock market, but is that because people believe it will affect the US?

Stock Market at Economic Inflection Points

Chart: Stock Market at Economic Inflection Points I
Chart: Stock Market at Economic Inflection Points II