Commentary: Sweet deal! Now, I just need to figure out how to climb it when I get there.
Today, two of my teeth migrated from in my mouth to out of my mouth. In other words, I got my remaining two wisdom teeth yanked. Between being a pack rat and not liking to lose parts of myself, I obviously kept the teeth. I must say, teeth are pretty keen little things, structurally and aesthetically; heck, I can totally understand the appeal of a necklace of teeth, especially molars. Ooh, I like this, if anyone out there is getting or has had their wisdom teeth pulled and doesn't really want the teeth, please send or give them to me; if I get enough teeth, I'll make a necklace and I promise you that I'll wear it.
If you would like to donate your teeth to my cause, leave a message here, e-mail me, IM me, hand them to me or mail them to me (relevant contact information can be found on my homepage. I promise that it'll be a nice necklace too, I'd probably spring for a nice gold or silver chain to hold the teeth together.
The insanely awesome (awesomely insane?) television show Wonder Showzen is back for season 2. My first experience with Wonder Showzen was in the form of a wonderful little file that I came across on, the now defunct, suprnova that had a file name of kidshow2.wmv and a description of "kids show (not for kids)". Kids Show turned out to be a pilot episode, which got picked up by MTV2 and turned into the glory that is Wonder Showzen. The entirety of Wonder Showzen season 1 was pure genius and hopefully season 2 will meet the high expectations set forth for it.
I'm sure you're all aware of safe deposit boxes but did you know they're cheap and easy to come by? They can be had for as little as a few dollars a month down at your local bank. And I used to think it was silly keeping your money in a bank.
Just this morning, I was thinking about Nintendo's upcoming video game console, codename Revolution. At the time I was thinking about how fantastic a marketing and hype-building job Nintendo has been doing. The end line of my thinking was the only thing that Nintendo could do wrong at this point is choose a bad release name for the console and they've done just that; they've decided to call it the Nintendo Wii (pronounced like "we"). Now, certainly part of my dislike for the new name is based on having considered it the Revolution for so long and having a general repugnance for the practice of name changing (that's a whole other discussion in and of itself); I expect that I won't dislike "Wii" as much when I get used to it. That said, "Wii" is a terrible name for the US market; "Xbox" and "Playstation" aren't great either but at least they can be pronounced without ambiguity and have some recognizable traits. In Nintendo's defense, I think they've got "Revolution" planted firmly in a lot of heads so people are going to buy it regardless of the name and call it what they feel like; heck, I might just call mine a "Nintendo".
Ok internet, I don't usually talk finances but that's because I don't usually have anything financial to talk about. Today is different though, today, we're going to talk gold. Right now, gold is ~$630/ounce and I would put money down, heck I have put money down, that it's going to be worth more. Now, when I say that gold will be worth more, I mean a lot more. The greedy reader will now being asking where to sign up but the savvy reader will be wanting to know where I'm drawing this notion from. Personally, I'm more interested in the savvy reader, so here's why gold is going to go way up.
There are three different factors involved in why gold is going to go up: gold is currently undervalued, gold's actual value is on the rise and there's going to be a huge gold fad soon.
A big factor in the undervaluation of gold is that it hasn't sufficiently caught up to inflation. The value of gold has gone up and down a little but has remained fairly constant relative to the $USD since the mid-eighties in spite of a conservative inflation estimate of about 250%. On top of lagging behind inflation, gold has a very low value relative to other commodities. Let's take, for example, oil: since 1970, gold has averaged about 7 ounces per 100 barrels of oil but right now gold is about 10 ounces per 100 barrels of oil. Now, some of you might say that oil is a bad comparison because oil is expensive right now and to that I say that oil is expensive in dollars and that commodities prices are far more tightly interrelated. Relative to the dollar, relative to oil, relative to everything, gold is undervalued right now; gold would have to get to about $1000 to be properly valued.
Ignore any monetary value for a moment, gold's application value is going up right now. With China and India modernizing, they will want and need gold. China and India will need gold to support their booming technology industries; gold is vital in electronics and all sorts of other applications. On top of needing gold, China and India will want to flex their muscles in the world marketplace, which will mean bringing their gold reserves up in line with the other big nations, which will increase demand and thus real value. Add to this that the consumers within these and other modernizing nations will want gold items and you get even more value increase.
The impending gold fad is where the real fun kicks in. The current US political climate is making people fear for the future of the American stock market and US currency, which historically has driven people to be interested in the commodities market where they can buy real things, like gold. Gold has been showing very solid growth since 2001; it's up %100 in the past five years and that tends to make people say, "ooh." More than anything else, though, there's been buzz about gold in places frequented by the everyman; it's not a secret anymore. I may not be terribly "hip", or "with it" but I keep my finger on the pulse of information and culture and when gold starts popping up in strange places, I see it. So here's what's going to happen: people are going to see someone mention gold that usually only thinks about stocks and funds or they're going to hear about it somewhere very uncharacteristic, like digg, here or some other blog. Then, these people are going to look into what people are saying and realize that gold is hugely undervalued. Then, there's going to be a huge overcorrection and, before we know it, gold will be $2000-$3000/ounce before crashing back to $1000/ounce where it should be. This is my prediction.
On top of the fact that it's going to be worth a ton of money, there are other reasons why gold is a good investment choice, namely liquidity and taxes. Gold is almost as liquid as currency and, for that matter, better than foreign currency. Find a store that deals in precious coins, metals, goods, etc., walk in and buy or sell gold, that's it. There will be a price spread associated with gold transactions but it will be pretty small. Now, let's talk about taxes; there aren't any. Gold transactions over $1000 aren't taxed and that's both directions so, if you make a gazillion dollars profit in gold, that's a gazillion untaxed dollars.
So, with the caveat that I'm no financial professional and you should do your own research to see if everything checks out, I really think that people should get into the gold market. Further, I think you should get into the market right now or pretty much anywhere up until it hits around $800-$1000/ounce.
I remember, time was, you bought a computer game, popped the CD in, copied the executables over and then played the game. All the data stayed on the CD and you didn't use up your whole hard drive. These days, every game demands that you install the complete contents of the CD/DVD to your hard drive and it pisses me off. It's not like it needs to be copied to the hard drive, I've seen the very same games run on consoles without hard drives to install to and my computer has a faster DVD drive than most consoles. It just annoys me to have the number of games I can play at a given time limitted by the fact that they all demand to exist on a CD/DVD and my computer, especially considering they all demand that you have the CD/DVD in the drive while you play the game.
About a week ago, I undertook the project of cataloguing my Magic: The Gathering card collection and I finally finished earlier today. I am using a program called Magic Suitcase to do my cataloguing. The goal is to improve improve my awareness of what cards I have and my ability to construct decks. Having completed my cataloguing endeavor, I am now able to use the application to get statistical information on my collection. Following is a spattering of information about my collection:
Total Cards: 10,886 Gold: 97 Artifacts: 725 White: 1677 Blue: 1665 Black: 1690 Red: 1692 Green: 1667 Lands: 1699 Artifacts: 725 Creatures: 4194 Enchantments: 2006 Sorceries: 750 Instants: 1511 Rare: 522 Uncommon: 2175 Common: 8189
There, that ought to be far more information than you wanted as regards my Magic card collection.
Commentary: You know, now that I think about it, I really don't think that I'm as vindictive as I used to think. For that matter, I think that I'm generally rather forgiving.
Commentary: Yeah, I know, that's why I'm planning to make such big changes in my life in the near future.
After some deliberation and whatnot, I have decided to attend the University of Minnesota School of Law next year. I've been thinking about this quite a bit since I first got my acceptance letter from them and I'm really looking forward to this whole law school in the Twin Cities thing. There have, however, been a couple of bumps in the road of my mind already.
The first mini-crisis that I encountered happened when I was writing the address on the envelope of my acceptance reply. Things were uneventful until I hit the address zip code, 55455, which hit me like a cosh in the back of my skull. For as long as I can remember having a zip code, it's been a 0####: 01742 - Concord, 02543 - Woods Hole, 02139/02141 - Cambridge. I am moving away in a fundamentally different way than I have before; I will be well over a thousand miles from any of my home ground.
The second mini-crisis hit me right after an IRC discussion about Magic cards; I know it's ultra-geeky but that's what struck me. I am going off to law school and leaving the world of engineering and science; this won't be MIT where, even if they won't admit it, everyone is a huge geek. I am going to have to find cultural context that doesn't rely on Magic cards and computers; I guess it's a good thing that everyone plays Halo.
Now, don't get me wrong, I see these mini-crises as a good sign, not a bad one. Since, change and varied experience are central elements of my desire, being struck by the magnitude of certain changes means that I'm going in precisely the right direction. Besides, Minnesota is cold, gets tons of snow and gophers are almost as awesome as monkeys.