Not an IED.

I only recently learned what a IUD was. (the things I will admit to) Yeah… my knowledge of female reproductive health (which is likely typical of my gender) is apparently quite dismal.

‘Wait… so you put this t-shaped thing wrapped in copper wire up into your lady bits… and that stops you from getting pregnant?’

‘Basically’

*Jo looking horrified*  ‘Jesus… that sounds a bit medieval’.

I think its the wrapped in copper wire thing that concerned me. I sorta envisioned a solenoid… or an electromagnet… grafted onto… one of those plastic t-pieces you might use to connect three pieces of garden hose.

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‘And that’s… inside you… like permanently? 

‘Yeah’

The next thought that occurred to me was… what exactly is the percentile chance that your penis gets snagged on this thing? Vigorous shaking may after all, un-spool the wire, creating a somewhat hostile environment in which to go spelunking…

(I think I just proved, perhaps once and for all, how shallow I actually am)

Of course if there was ANY actual danger to male genitalia this thing would have been banned AGES ago. The patriarchy looks after its own. I take comfort in that.

Still… I can’t believe that this is where we are at in terms of female reproductive health in the year of our lord twenty nineteen

I mean we have flying cars. And mile high black skyscrapers.

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Ok, sadly Bladerunner got a couple things wrong about the dystopian future of 2019.

But we do have iPhones and a… eh… work-in-progress notion about colonizing Mars. Surely not getting knocked up should be an easier problem to solve, you know, that doesn’t involve splicing together bits from Home Depot?

Of course I’m just making stuff up. Maybe it is REALLY difficult? Like curing cancer difficult. Or… *thinks* making the perfect sunny side up egg, thats pretty hard. Although now that I think about it, poached eggs, where you have to swirl the water, is harder. Maybe that should be my go-to analogy…

I also think this means I’m a feminist now.

In a lip service, put it on my facebook profile, virtue signalling kinda way. *raises his fist* Solidarity and stuff. Yo.

I can’t believe your lives are so… inconvenient. I mean I imagine this is not a do-it-yourself kinda insertion?

Having now imagined that, I don’t really know how to move on from there.

So maybe I’ll just leave it there.

 

 

…How about them Mets.

A bridge too far

Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are hanging off a bridge by their fingertips. Which one would you save?

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I’m going to avoid trite and glib answers. As you might imagine I don’t really like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Nor Donald Trump. Neither of them though look like they have the upper body strength to haul themselves back over the side of the bridge though. And I assume if you save the one the other would fall, in the classic sense of this trolley-esque conundrum where you have to make these sort of life and death decisions. No, I’m not going to get a sandwich, I’m not a psychopath. Even if I am a little peckish. Just to be clear… what kinda sandwich is it?

After a brief moment of consideration I’m going to have to try and save Alexandria. I am more confident in my ability to haul her carcass back over the side and onto the asphalt. Sorry DT, but your girth has doomed you to… I was going to say terminal velocity… but I suppose the bridge would have to be pretty darn high for someone reach that before coming to an abrupt stop.

I mean if I think about it. There are some things me and AOC would likely agree on.

  1. Immigration is broadly a good thing. (although we would likely quibble on the mechanics of allowing people to meander wherever they desire)
  2.  The Department of Homeland Security is a grim and somewhat superfluous entity that should be disbanded.
  3. The War on Drugs has been a complete and utter failure.
  4. Mushrooms and psychedelics should be decriminalized.
  5. The police are NOT supposed to look and act like the military.
  6. Government should give not be giving tax credits to corporations. If you can’t make your business work without a handout… you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

I suppose there are some things me and DT would also agree on. (and some things I that I don’t actually mind giving him props for)

  1. Obama was a fiscal lunatic who doubled the US debt from 10 trillion to 20 trillion. (admittedly you’re not doing a great job on this either guy)
  2. Medicare etc (although I would add social security in its current form) is not sustainable and may eventually lead to the collapse of the free world.
  3. He destroyed… severely crippled ISIS.
  4. Hasn’t gone to war with Iran… eh… yet.
  5. China is going to be very scary (although fighting this opening battle with tariffs is, imo is the incorrect tactic)
  6. Tax cuts are good. (Unless you borrow money to make up the shortfall)

Damn. This actually makes it looks like I agree more with Alexandria. To be fair I wouldn’t let AOC near the cash box for a (licensed) lemonade stand never-mind the coffers of the Federation.

Also, I should probably add that I expect adulation from the masses for this self-less act. I will obviously try and be modest about my roll in this… outcome. Just know… that on the inside… I am dancing.

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Trading misconceptions

I’m sure there is way more conjecture and misconceptions about (day) trading. These are the ones I’ve thought about… Candles

You can start (day) trading with a small amount of initial capital

This is likely the one that makes me suck the most air through my teeth. Yeah… you can…  Someone who has a significant amount of day trading experience under their belt (and doesn’t have to eat and pay any bills) could, theoretically turn $1000 into $10,000 in *thinks* a month or two. *and then vacillates* Lets say three months. I can sorta envision this as possible (albeit quite challenging…) even without having to resort to something dangerous… like the killing field that is the USD/ZAR (or similar).

Can a n00b trader do this with three months trading experience? Hm. Color me skeptical. Let say the odds are likely stacked against you.

The problems as I see them is that with such a small war-chest from which to wage stock-market conflict, your stops have to be super tight, which means you’re likely to get stopped-out quite easily, which means you need to make very solid trades that need to head (almost immediately) in the direction you envisioned. Then because the amount that you’re allocating to each trade is likely to be quite low, you have to be able to do this consistently. Which I realize is what you’re (broadly) doing with bigger amounts anyway, but your margin for error is a significantly bigger with more resources, which gives you some breathing room to get it wrong every now and then. Alternatively adjust your expectations. With $1000 if you can get to $1300 by month end, I think that’s pretty darn good. $300 is not going to cover rent, groceries though… oh yeah and TAX.

In any event, having more capital when you start out is preferable to having less. Which means I suppose you have to have made money in order to get into day trading. Which, begs the question, if you have money and are making money, why do you want to trade? If you have no money, you either have to borrow money with which to fill your trading account, or you have to save up. Neither of these circumstances speaks to your financial proficiency. Sorry. First get your house in order. Either through austerity or earning more. Then maybe look at investing. Or entrepreneurship… And then maybe trading.

You only have to work two to three hours a day… and then you’re done

Um… I suppose this is definitely possible. Although, I think this is only really claimed (and posited) by people who make Youtube videos about trading. I suppose this is broadly personality and likely also trading tactic dependent. Personally I would prefer five trades that make $200 a trade than one trade that makes $1000. In order to make those those five trades a day I need to be present. The tactics I employ to make money trading only ever really suggest four… or five solid opportunities to trade during the course of the eighteen hours a day that I’m awake. Which means I’m always near my computer. There’s a lot of waiting involved.

I usually wake up at 4am… the first thing I do is reach for my Macbook. For example, I like to trade the EUR/USD when it is range bound ie (when, in my timezone, the US markets are still closed and Frankfurt, the first real significant exchange in this pairing hasn’t opened yet)… which usually means I’ll take a trade before 6am if my prerequisites are met. 

I guess you’re either a full time trader… our a part time trader. Both come with their own significant environments.

As a full time trader there are some serious downsides to working from home. It is a lonely existence and one where you are wholly dependent on your own skill and acumen to survive. There are no co-workers to back you up. No one to bitch to when things aren’t going well. No one to blame. You’re going to have to take responsibility for all your own actions. Also the anxiety of having your fiber go down mid trade is unparalleled, ha ha. (Have an LTE backup)

If you’re trading as your side hustle… *long exhale*… well… you’re splitting your attention between two jobs and likely both are going to react adversely to this…. which sorta leads into my next point…

 

You can learn this stuff quickly and just be immediately good at it

My fall back example is always grappling. It took me forever (okay, like ten years) to become truly proficient at Brazillian Ju-jitsu. Training every single day, two hours a day. And I’m still learning stuff, still getting tapped out.

When it comes to trading we (for whatever reason) think we can be proficient after three months and we can already envision ourselves earning $100,000 in our first year.

There are undoubtedly outliers than can do this sort of thing. But I imagine its a rare skill-set/personality disorder.

Its better to learn how to trade when you don’t need the money. Needing the money because you’re broke or you think this will solve some perceived deficiency in your life, adds a lot of extra stress into the equation. And stress is the mind killer… or was that fear? In any event…

Learning to trade while trying to do another job… is also, really hard. Likely your current employer will take a dim view of you Alt-tab’ing between your trading account and your CRM system in your little cubicle when your should be filling out TPS reports (or whatever corporates actually do). Which means you have to either switch out to longer time frames and/or trade after hours.

After hours trading, can be… weird. Markets react differently under conditions of volume. It can be like splashing around in three inches of water. You think you’re doing well and so you move off to the big pool where your feet don’t touch the bottom…

Or longer time frame trading… which means you’re not… well imo, cycling through your trades fast enough to train your brain in that trading ‘muscle memory’ that is required to start identifying good entries and exits. I may be a bit bias here, because I’m (kinda) swing trading/scalping my way into profit, so I generally look at the longer time frames with suspicion.

If mastery is 10,000 trades. (I’m not sure I believe this, but lets go with it) +/-10 trades a day on a 10 or 15 minute chart… will get you there in… 5 years or so. 1 trade every other day on a daily chart… well… its going to take significant longer.

Like with grappling, spending time on the mat wrestling a variety of opponents is the only real way to get better. Sure you can read books on grappling, watch Youtube videos, practice sprawling and arm-barring a dummy… but nothing compares to actual mat time with someone who wants to triangle choke you into unconsciousness.

I can trade ANYTHING… its all kinda the same thing.

Woah… woah…. woah. It really isn’t. Stick with like… three things. Maybe even two. One thing might even be the best actually. I am always amused when I see all these traders with… some of them have a ridiculous number of screens in front of them. I have NO idea what they are looking it.

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Take this guy. Youtube guy. Lol. (and actually there are loads of people with way worse than this) That’s a lot of charts. I suppose maybe… if you’re trading stocks… and you’ve got your four that you’ve identified as potentially interesting for the day… and you want to… I dunno… I’m reaching here. Really, you need a laptop. And maybe another screen. All this other stuff is just vanity, consumerism and really, totally superfluous.

I suppose I should point out that I don’t trade individual stocks. I find them overly reactive to asymmetrical threats. I like boring stuff. Like stable pairs and indexes. Maybe you do need more screens trading stocks? My instincts still says no. *shrug* anyways…

Lots of people want to flip-flop between currency, crypto, commodities… (I wanted to alliterate more here)… cannabis! I feel like you should stick to a couple of things and get really good at those specific markets.

 

Trading is glamorous

Eh…

Its actually a lot like grinding for trophies or loot when you play a video games and you’ve already won. Also if you had any existential crisis about your previous job being meaningless (in the grand scheme of things) trading will definitely not fix any of your psychoses. (apparently that is the plural of psychosis. Looks weird to me)

But you know… if you’re successful you can pay for therapy and fill your abode with shiny knick-knacks that can help deaden pain somewhat. Also people will like you. If you’re not successful you will feel like a complete failure who just sucks at EVERYTHING. Also you will be broke.

Shark bait

On a list of human beings, Steven Spielberg, I feel has a lot to answer for. And I’m not just talking about Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull. Although, I must confess, if I look deep inside myself, left of my libertarian heart (which is three times smaller than a regular heart) there are still some smoldering embers of hatred there that, even after a decade since… my childhood was crushed under boot like someone mean-spirited might step on a snail… simply will not go out. I have since gathered this ever-smoking detritus in a tiny earthen bowl and placed them on the shrine (to the Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte) that I keep down there for when situations (now more numerous than I would like to admit) like this occur in my life. Actually... now that I think about it this altar is looking a little crowded. *picks up the little First Order Tie Fighter* *puts it back on the altar* ‘Not quite ready to deal with you yet either’.

In ANY event. Steven is also responsible for (one of) my biggest phobias.

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Being young and impressionable Jaws really robbed me of my appreciation of the surf zone and any water that isn’t clearer than a LED lit aquarium.

Even now… many years later, the murky kelp forest near my parents house in the Cape is persona non-grata for the Jo and his delicious multi functional appendages and other extraneous protuberances.

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My reluctance is also at least particularly fed by the their proximity to that particular stretch of water where the Great Whites have learnt to breach, somersault and then belly flop in a manner that may suggest playfulness. And also to snatch prey lollygagging on the surface at incredible velocity.

Weirdly these creatures are no longer the dominant predator in these waters.

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Which is kinda scary. If not nothing else, today I learnt that Orca’s are basically the Hannibal Lecters of the ocean and totally less cuddly than I gave them credit for.

Also Blackfish makes sense to me now. Lull them into a false sense of security. And then drown them.

 

Sleep study

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Having once been for a sleep study… this is potentially the most accurate portrayal of what it is like do one of these things…

How they manage to gather any significant data from someone who sleeps for like one out the eight hours they have you hooked up to their machines is a mystery to me. Also… forget about going to the bathroom… not without some serious calisthenic movements and potentially an assist from the technician.