September 1, 2014

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Gaius

I Have to Work Late Because I Played Tales of Xillia 2 All Day …

I had so much work to do today, but I’m going to be up all night finishing it because I … uh … may have spent six or seven hours playing Tales of Xillia 2, which was released last week.  When I woke up, I just didn’t feel like going anywhere or doing anything so […]

Joshua and Aaron Cheese Plate Closeup

Slow-Roasted Vegetables, French Onion Soup, Fresh Bread, Aged White Cheddar, and Plum Cheesecake

We spent the day at home working on a project we need to get done for the one of the businesses.  As usual, we’re big believers in concurrent time management so we used the opportunity to test slow cook recipes and soups because they could largely sit without a lot of attention for long stretches at a […]

Aga Cooker 1

The AGA Cooker – How a Blind Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Created One of the World’s Greatest Stoves

In 1912, one of Sweden’s greatest inventors, physicist Gustaf Dalén, was blinded during an accident involving pressure containment for his gas accumulators.  He had created a device for use in unmanned lighthouses.  This device lit itself at night and extinguished in the morning, improving marine safety, thereby saving countless lives and immeasurable property.  Despite the setback of […]

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch.jpg

Why Does the Subsidized Hardware Model Bother Me So Much?

It’s no secret I read a lot.  In the past seven days alone, I’ve finished 4 books totaling 1,067 pages, as well as worked on three other books which, between them, probably account for another 500+ pages finished but not in the tally.  (I only know this because, at least a few times a week, […]

Mail Bag Questions and Comments for Joshua Kennon

Mail Bag: Why Would an Investor Ever Buy an Asset Intensive Business?

If asset intensive businesses are inferior investments, why would any rational investor ever buy one? Hi Joshua,I’ve been reading about capital-intensive businesses and from what I gather, their cash guzzling nature makes them inherently unattractive for a long-term investor who would expect significant cash flow. Warren Buffett has been snapping these up because he already […]

Mail Bag Question for Joshua Kennon

Mail Bag: The Logic of Gender Segregated Bathrooms

While I can’t offer any opinion on the topic itself, here is how I would approach it were it a logic problem … Joshua, I know you pay attention to the news and are probably keeping an eye on the civil rights ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The ordinance as a whole seems good because it […]

Mail Bag Joshua Kennon Pen

Mail Bag: Disappearing Blog Posts at About.com

You aren’t imagining it, a lot of the blog posts disappeared over at About.com … Dear Joshua, I love your blog, which I use multiple times a day, every day. I have been searching for an article from the past for some time, but I still can’t find it. The article is about selling stocks […]

Bob Jones University Public Domain Photograph

Read the Amazing, Fantastical, Autocratic Bob Jones University Student Handbook

I mentioned the infamous Bob Jones University student handbook in an earlier post after explaining it was the school from which one of the extremist authors I was reading as part of a self-imposed cultural studies program graduated back in 1950.  It was the university that famously insisted God didn’t want blacks intermingling with whites and refused […]

EBT Card

Should Government Benefits Be Tied to Behavior and Decisions?

I don’t talk about it very often, but one of the charitable organizations close to my heart are community food banks and soup kitchens.  These non-profits collect groceries for those who can’t afford to feed themselves or their children, allowing them to avoid hunger.  They resonate with something very deep in my core, maybe because I […]

Tony the Tiger Vintage

The People You Don’t Know You Know

There are people who are part of your life but you don’t realize it; people who have done work that is ubiquitous in the culture, yet they could walk right past you and you’d never notice.  Perhaps the most famous was Mel Blanc, who was called the “man of a thousand voices”. He gave life […]

North Korea Propoganda

You Have To Watch This – The Newest Propoganda Out of North Korea Is So Masterful, It’s On Par with Leni Riefenstahl’s Work for Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany

One of my reading projects this month has been North Korea.  I mentioned a few days ago that I’m in the middle of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick, one of the highest rated books ever written on the experiences of typical citizens living in the world’s most brutal regime.  Next on […]

Tim LaHaye

And I Thought Tim LaHaye Hated Catholics …

A few of you know I’m in the middle of my 1970-1990 counter-evidence study, in which I dive into books on both extremes of the so-called culture wars, reading everything from radical feminists to conservative preachers to understand some of the things that were happening in the United States at the time from the perspective […]

Margin of Safety Value Investing with Ben Graham

Taking $20,000 Out of Your 401(k) To Buy a Stock for a Couple of Weeks Is Not The Brightest Idea

Since discovering Reddit two years ago, I’ve played something of an intellectual game.  I created an account and, from one of my first comments, purposely analyze conversations to add commentary that results in me being gifted Reddit gold (which means someone liked the comment so much, they paid $3.99 to gild it).  It’s entirely arbitrary but it […]

Merck Taxes

I Believe USA Today’s Money Section Is the Worst Run Financial Publication in the United States

I had such a wonderful day today, visiting with old friends, that I hesitate to write about something as droll as bad financial journalism but this is too good of a case study for the budding investors out there to pass up if you really want to hone your skills. Hands down, I am strongly convinced the […]

AMC Prime Theater Buildings

The Economics of the Movie Theater Industry Will Be Interesting Over the Next 25 Years

The economics of the movie theater industry are interesting.  In many cases, up to 70% of the ticket price goes to the movie studio that created the film and the distributor who sold the rights to it, leaving the remaining 30% for the owners.  This creates a situation where most of the profit comes from […]

Chipotle Salsa Recipe

Homemade Chipotle Burrito Bowls and Guittard Chocolate

We’re working on making our own homemade version of Chipotle’s burrito bowl so we can throw them together fairly quickly (make the salsa in advance, pre-measure the ingredient portions, and all you have to do is a handful of steps in less than 20-30 minutes whenever you want to mass produce them).  The final product […]

Even More Posts

Wal-Mart 401(k) Plan Adjustments

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

As an investor, you can make a lot of money if you are adept with numbers.  This skill can let you see what is really going on and create mathematical models that maximize your earnings.  There is a little known story that Warren Buffett was once in a meeting for Blockbuster, the movie rental chain […]

Space Cats with Lasers

How Am I Going To Get Anything Done In The Next 6 Months?

Despite having the next 6 months fully booked with projects, Aaron and I just glanced at the release dates for some of the video games for which we have reminders set.  I don’t know how I’m going to get anything done.  I’m going to have to stick to a very strict schedule, which isn’t my […]

Owls

Two Barred Owls Moved In Behind the House

Two barred owls have moved into the trees behind the house and have been hanging out for a few weeks.  They tend to fly together and one likes to stare into the windows, watching us inquisitively.  I almost managed to capture footage of both of them hanging out together but by the time I had […]

Ideological Consistency Scale

Where Do You Fall Relative to Your Fellow Citizens in the Pew Ideological Consistency Scale?

Pew Research has an Ideological Consistency Scale it uses to roughly estimate the rigidity to which a person subscribes to a particular political philosophy.  If you have a few seconds, it’s a bit interesting to take.  For each conservative position you hold +1, for each liberal position -1, and for each “I don’t know” or “other”, […]

Nectarine White Chocolate Cream Pie Closeup

Nectarine White Chocolate Cream Pie

Now that the white chicken chili is on the stove, it’s time to turn attention to the nectarine white chocolate cream pie on the other side of the kitchen.  There are quite a few seasonal fruits available – nectarines, plums, cherries, and strawberries among my favorites - so I’m hoping to do as much experimentation as possible […]

Josh and Aaron White Chicken Chili Recipe

How to Make Our Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe

We had been looking for a white chicken chili recipe last year when we came across one published on a major recipe site that met our needs and had great reviews.  Though it was a decent rough template, it called for four ounces of generic canned chili peppers.  Unless you are on a scientific expedition to Antarctica, […]

Coca-Cola United Arab Emirates

Coca-Cola and Modern Slavery

Workers in the United Arab Emirates trying to support their families essentially live in slave-like conditions, earning $6.00 per day.  The state-owned telephone monopoly charges as much as $0.91 equivalent per minute to call home to various countries, meaning a three-minute phone call could be $2.73.  That’s almost half of their daily wages, defeating the entire purpose […]

Financial Paper

Financial Journalism Sucks (Grumble, Grumble, Get Off My Lawn)

There is an article over at The Washington Post covering the decline in inflation-adjusted net worth for the median American household over the past 30 years.  It’s interesting, but like most financial pieces in the mass media (as opposed to academic journals or publications), it fails to adequately explore the underlying mechanics.  What is happening is only half the […]

US Corporate Tax Form

A Basic Overview of Corporate Inversions

There has been a lot of talk over the past few days of corporate inversion.  Corporate inversion happens when an American company changes its domicile to another country by merging with a foreign entity.  Inversions have been occurring at a rapidly accelerating rate.  Pfizer attempted one of the largest inversions in history with the AstraZeneca merger that […]

Alma Mater

I Just Looked Up the Cost of an Education At My Alma Mater

This May will be 10 years since Aaron and I graduated from university.  I just looked up the cost for the upcoming academic year, which includes tuition, room, board, fees, and books, and it’s running at a rate of around $53,000 per annum.  Assuming even modest annual increases, a 4-year degree would cost just shy of […]