Many Meetings

Greetings from Vancouver where I'm spending the holidays visiting friends and family.

Christmas reading this year consisted of some light fare entitled "Quantum Investing: Quantum Physics, Nanotechnology, and the Future of the Stock Market" by Stephen R. Waite.

WILL: You f*ckin' people baffle me. Spend all your money on these f*ckin' fancy books. You surround yourselves with 'em and they're the wrong f*cking books.
SEAN: Then what're the right f*ckin' books, Will?
WILL: Hey, whatever blows your hair back.

This is one of those books that does just that, or at least it would have if my hair were a little longer. Despite the intimidating title, its the best thing I've read in a long time. A ton of frankly startling insights into the future of technology. Of particular interest to MBAs, Waite evaluates the accounting industry as hopelessly out of date with regard to valuing intangible assets. Here's a taste:

(Stern School of Business prof Baruch) Lev says it is currently acceptable practice to "mindlessly" write off all investment in knowledge or intellectual assets. Accounting, says Lev, has lost its credibility for many reasons, and intangibles are one of the most obvious.

Although the actual value of companies' intangible assets has risen since 1980, the value of those assets in corporate financial reports is diminishing ...modern-day financial statements ...are as useful as an eighty year old road map of Los Angeles.

But without further distractary, here are the winners of the first annual TAML awards (scroll down to the previous post for all the nominees)
Best Band: The Walkmen. If you're not hip yet - get hip.
Best Movie: Return of the King, natch (It's the only movie ever to receive 5 thistles from TAML)
Best TV Show: The Sopranos. No explanation necessary.
Best Canadian Athlete: Peter Reid. This guy has won the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon 3 times, and he finished 2nd this year. He's Canada's answer to Lance Armstrong - and nobody knows who he is.

Best Pop Culture Happening: After careful consideration, this one goes to Ron Artest. Ben Mathis-Lilley encapsulates my thoughts on the matter here. It generated a lot of finger wagging and tongue clucking, but Ben and I feel that this was an event to be enjoyed.
Bonus Category - Condiment of the Year: Your nominees are Caesar Dressing, Corn Salsa, Ketchup and BBQ sauce. All of these condiments had very solid years, and I wouldn't want to imagine a world without any of them - the living would envy the dead. But ultimately, because of its versatility, the award goes to Corn Salsa (and because I like to say "Saal-Saah").

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the dozens And Dozens of TAML readers out there.


Saturday, Wait

It's Saturday and first half exams finished up this morning. I just banged off 10k upstairs on the treadmill in a semi-respectable 47 minutes, replacing the restless, spastic feeling in my legs I've had all week with that good, tired feeling. Now it is time to watch some football. I'm joined here today by a fridge full of Carlsberg, a bag of microwave popcorn and the sofa. The Steelers are giving only 10 points to a thoroughly stinky Giants team and I'm all over that action. The Giants have lost 6 straight, and the Steelers have won 11 in a row. There's nothing to do now until the Rotman year-end party tonight at Lounge 88 but chill out, watch the game and write in my blog for the first time in ages.

For anyone who's interested, I've recently switched my sports betting account from Sportsinteraction to Pinnacle Sports. Pinnacle's lines are -105 vs. Sportsinteraction's -110. That means your paying $10.50 to win $10 on an even money bet instead of $11 - big difference.

Speaking of betting on sports, I see Mark Cuban is starting a hedge fund based on sports gambling. This sounds like a good idea, sports gambling is an inefficient market, and therefore somewhere you can make money and Mark is certainly a bright guy. But I don't understand how he will get around the problem of the casinos kicking his people out once they figure out what they're up to. To the casinos that would be akin to counting cards, and they won't let anyone bet if they think they have an edge over the house.

Other things I've noticed recently, the Economist is calling the folks in Private Equity the New Kings of Capitalism. They say Private Equity players are the new junk bond traders and investment bankers of this decade (whatever this decade is called). This is a very good introduction to Private Equity, what they do and how they do it, even if I don't quite agree with the premise.

On a lighter note, probably my most-linked blogger Tony Pierce, busts out with more on what's wrong with music today. The money quote:

and i thought about the punk scene, which there isnt one, and i started to see that without strong metal and punk influences, rock just winds up being everything that isnt slutpop or rap.

As promised, here are the nominees for the first annual TAML awards for 2004.

Best Band: Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, The Killers, The Walkmen, Wilco
Best Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Garden State, Kill Bill 2, Return of the King (ok, maybe ROTK wasn't technically released in 2004, but the DVD just came out with 40 minutes of new footage)
Best TV Show: The Apprentice, Kenny vs Spenny, Lost, The Sopranos
(notably absent - The Trailer Park Boys)
Best Canadian Athlete: Steve Nash, Brad Richards, Peter Ried (triathlete), Adam Van Koeverden (olympic rower)
Best Pop Culture Happening: Janet Jackson Super Bowl Wardrobe Malfunction, Red Sox beat Yankees & Win World Series, Tara Reid Exposes Breast by Mistake, Ron Artest Looses it in Detroit

If you want to vote, or have an idea for a nominee or a new category, leave a comment.

Finally, in deference to my trip home to Vancouver on Tuesday morning, I'm posting the lyrics to what is possibly the greatest drinking song ever conceived of by men, "The Crawl" by Spirit of the West. It's about a pub crawl that goes from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove on Vancouver's North Shore:

Well, we're good ol boys We come from the north shore. Drinkers and carousers, the likes you've never seen. And this night, by God, we drank til there was no more. From The Troller, to The Raven... with all stops in between.

Well it all began one afternoon on the shores of Ambleside. We were sitting there quite peacefully, with the risin' of the tide. When an idea(r) it came for-to mind to usher in the fall. And we all agreed next friday night, we'd go out on the crawl.

Well we planned to have a gay ol' time, the cash we did not spare, We left all the cars at home and paid the taxi fare. I got out to Horseshoe Bay a little after five from a table in the corner, I heard familiar voices rise.

The spirits, they ran high that night, old stories we did share. of the days when we were younger men, and never had a care. The beer flowed like a river and we drank the keg near dry. So we drank down all our glasses, and were thirsty by-and-by!

Park Royal Hotel, The Rusty Gull, Square-Rigger, and Queen's Cross. We started off with eight good boys, but half had gotten lost. And you'll never keep the lads together, when there eyes began to rove. And there were just the three of us that made it to Deep Cove.

We arrived out at the Raven, just in time for the last call.The final destination of this, the first annual crawl. We dug deep into our pockets, there was no money to be found. Nine miles home and for walkin' we are bound.

And we're good ol boys We come from the north shore.Drinkers and carousers, the likes you've never seen. And this night, by God, we drank til there was no more. From The Troller, to The Raven with all stops in between.

Update: Stupid Steelers!


Guestblogging from Detroit

Gents: I am flabbergasted by the lack of constructive reporting that is supposed to be coming out of Toronto. It seems that our fearless journalist is either holed up in the local watering hole, drowning in his sorrows, madly in love with some new squeeze or has just stopped caring about TAML all together.

You know what I say? "NONSENSE"!

In his absence, I will pick up the pen and donate my time and resources toTAML. First, I'd like to touch on the labor dispute in the NHL these days.You know what I say? "NONSENSE"! I listened to both Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenall yesterday and both of those guys don't have a clue. Jayman's prediction, no season this year, replacement players next year and then an agreement that will bring peace to the NHL. Far-fetched you say? It worked in the NFL and in MLB......

The Death of Dime-bag Darrell. Shocking and completely devastating. How someone could do that to a person is just beyond words. I was a big fan of Pantera and Dime will be missed. This will change everything about attending live shows now. Cheap tickets are a thing of the past because now there will be more security and more hassles. To the ballsack that caused this, I hope you rot.

Fatherhood. I'm digging it, it's all I live for anymore. To be able to roll around on the floor with your kid is the best feeling in the world. I also think that little Thea is going to grow up a metal-head, she has taken a liking to my Iron Maiden DVD's and she's a big fan of "Number of the Beast".

Anyway hope all is well with everyone.

We'll check you out soon.jw

Clearly, this character needs to start his own blog. Hang in there, exams are almost over - coming soon: New year predictions & the first annual TAML awards.