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Scrounging a few shekels

I made money this morning. I day-traded Verizon from $50.25 to $50.35, only to watch it rise to $50.60.

I bought a little FNMA. This could pop (or crash). I’m expecting it to pop.

I’m obsessed with retailers who sell something others don’t — or can’t be killed by Amazon. Like Tractor Supply (TSCO). Maybe ULTA (Ultra Salon Cosmetics). And, of course, AMZN.

I’m sort of fascinated by VRX. I suspect it will pop as they clean the company up. Probably a double within a year.

Do not “upgrade” to Windows 10. From a reader:


First, the major reason not to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 is summed up in the old adage:

If it’s working, don’t fix it.

The second reason is, as Sam points out, is that many of your favorite software won’t work on Windows 10. That forces you to get new replacement ones. The problem is you may not find replacements. Then you’re really screwed.

Harry has a solution to Sam’s problem. Take your Windows 7 machine and do the following:

+ Start — Run — msconfig, which pops up as “System Configuration.”

+ Go to the tab — Startup — and uncheck anything and everything with “update” in it. If it’s working, you don’t need to update it.

+ Go to the tab — Services — and uncheck anything and everything with “update” in it.

While you’re at it, you can uncheck anything from Adobe, Bonjour service, Superfetch, Themes, and other software that looks fishy or you don’t use, like fax.

More useful stuff:

+ How to avoid back pain on a plane. From Conde Nast Traveler. Click here. Harry’s technique: Scam your way into first or business class. Saves you two days of recovery on a long trip.

+ Digital marketing works. Put ads on Google or Facebook. They both work. You pay for Google by the click. It’s best for advertising your products. You pay for Facebook by the numbers, irrespective of whether you get click-throughs. Facebook advertising is best for services. Since Facebook reads all your postings, they really now what you’re interested in and they can target you precisely.

+ Check your dosage. Her doctor prescribed a 90 pound elderly lady a dosage of pills for a 250 pound man. She died. Check. Check. Check. My friend always asks her doctor “What was your grade in pharmacology?”

+ How to save a web page as PDF. Click here.

Weekend reading and viewing.

+ Banking’s New Normal, by James Surowiecki. Click here.

+ Why the banks should be broken up, by Matt Taibbi. Click here.

+ The Bank Robber, by Patrick Radden Keefe in the New Yorker:

Since 1713, when the Great Council of Geneva (Switzerland) banned banks from revealing the private information of their customers, Switzerland had thrived on its reputation as a stronghold of financial secrecy. International élites could place their fortunes beyond the reach of tax authorities in their own countries. For Swiss wealth managers, who oversaw more than two trillion dollars in international deposits, the promise to maintain financial privacy was akin to a religious vow of silence. Switzerland is the home of the numbered account: customers often specify that they prefer not to receive statements, in order to avoid a paper trail. In light of these safeguards, the notion of a breach at H.S.B.C. was shocking.

For the full, long and thoroughly engrossing article, click here.

+ All The Way. A super-great HBO movie. The best I’ve seen in eons.


Click here.

The view in Fuzhou, China. From a visitor to China:


This is the view from my hotel in Fuzhou this morning. The amazing thing is that I didn’t even know the buildings across the river were there when we arrived last night. There wasn’t a single light on in them. They are just a few of the countless high-rises (average about 30 stories, I’d say) that have been built but are clearly empty. Pretty incredible.

Fuzhou has a population of over 7.2 million. You can see it at the top right of this Google map


The French Tennis Open continues this weekend. It’s largely on the Tennis Channel. They endlessly repeat the good matches, which is wonderful. Rafa and Roger are, sadly, out.

Favorite recent New Yorker cartoons:

UberSchoolBus yoga toaster

Harry Newton, who’s having a quiet weekend with, sadly, no grandchildren. I do have pictures. Here’s Eleanor and Peter:


Here’s Sophie.