Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Live Blogging my 23rd Birthday

4:50PM The afternoon was more of the same. I'm cooking some chicken and off to meet Patrick for some dranks (sic).

2:15PM I showered with the door open.


A lovely facebook post from my flatmate Sarp. I'm geting a little bit of work done, between champagne filled spiked glasses of orange juice.

V. Sarp Kayalar HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAN! All the best, lots of chicks, and alcohol + success for your new age! The new era has started for us in Slovakia! This summer is just gonna be awesome! Just enjoy as much as you can.

PS: You are the best flatmate ever!!!:)


UPDATE: Easy listening.

Some breaking news in the form of another hilarious decision by Queen's AMS Exec.

I mean, really??

Brandon Sloan, communications officer for the Alma Mater Society, suggested "white privilege" had blinded the student government, which is largely but not entirely white, to the seriousness of the issue.

Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2740807#ixzz0jdzkHI3y

Well, well, happy birthday to me. My office mates are in Mexico and Poprad respectively. I'll be joining the latter for Easter, which I'm excited about. Easter in Slovakia is a hilarious tradition, if you're a man.

Anyways, off to go mix some champagne with my orange juice. I couldn't find Alize at the grocery store, so this thug will be passionless.

Happy Aging.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I acknowledge that it is lamer than a llama with a broken leg to keep blogging about the weather; but to be quite frank, this is my blog, and I shall continue to muse as I please - thank you very much. Besides, this blog post isn't really about the weather.

As I was saying, the forecast for the next two weeks is exceptionally positive. The weather looks great. I'm spending a lot of time on my balcony, looking out over my kingdom, taking in the fresh breeze and watching a parade of Slovak MILS dropping their children off at kindergarten try to parallel park in spaces that are far too tight.

But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The tentative meteorological predictions indicate that rain will fall. Rather than naively question the half-baked predictions of accuweather.com, I've decided to embrace the prophecies, despite their very nature being contrary to my ideal scenario. It's going to be April after all, in my experience that means rain. I'm not going to delude myself by hoping against hope (whatever that means) for the unlikely. That would be a waste of time.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the positive. I'm going to look for the bigger angle.

I love warm weather, particularly after such a bleak winter. This warm spell has me incredibly excited for summer. I’m grinning all the time and shit. I look forward to sitting on patios and watching the world (read: supermodels) pass by. I realize now then, that the inevitable rainstorms of Apri, are a necessity. Without them, I would never see the luscious green bloom that so delightfully defines Bratislava, through the months of May-September. Seeing this as a step in a larger journey, makes things much more bearable. Besides, who even needs to go outside these days? With X-Box Live and up scale casinos online a guy hardly needs to leave his house. If only I could figure out how to order a pizza in this country.

The same principal applies in sales. You need to understand why people are telling you “no” before you ever hear a “yes.” You need to dig through the shit, to find anything worthwhile. On your way to the yes, you better understand what people are looking for and how to best accommodate them. It seems futile, but it’s not.

When you begin to understand the greater forces at play, and briefly remove yourself from the toil of any given moment, you are able to see things in the proper perspective. You are able to see things for what they are, not just the microcosm that manipulates your current reality.

The rain, and wet socks that will assuredly follow, are a necessary evil then. If I'm interested in ushering in the greater good (summer), which I most definitely am.

Hilarious blogging planned for tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blog Blog Blog

I've been blogging all irregular-like; as if I were the bowels of a Crohn's patient after a night at the local burrito bar. I'm working to remedy this problem. Things at the office, which generally dominate the VAST majority of my time, have eased up lately as things start to go "smooth-as-ice," whatever that means. As I iterated earlier, the key now is to keep them smooth, all silky and whatnot.

I just had the most domestic of weekends. Spring cleaning, mixed with a trip to Ikea, had me getting my "Betty the Home-Maker" on. I'm amazed at how a few euros spent on pillows, a floor lamp and bedside table add such value to space. I'm trying not to accumulate too much stuff while I'm here, but a few items here and there go a long way.

I don't know if thanks and praise are due to the sparse closets, following the weekend purge of a number of old and unwanted belongings, or the warm breeze, but I'm feeling quite invigorated these days. I would credit the egregious coffee consumption of this morning as fuel for my renewed energy, but this inspiration goes deeper than some magnificent caffeine dosing ploy.

I'm excited. There's a spark in my step. I haven't felt this way in a long time. I haven't felt this way since I first arrived here.

I like to think back to when I first arrived, standing alone at that desolate airport, waiting. Waiting. Completely incapable of improving my situation. I like to think about what's changed and what hasn't. I like to evaluate my routines. I feel as though such activities are a good barometer of how well-put-together my life is, on any given week. I used to go to the casino every Sunday with Sarp. They have free poker tournaments, and 1 euro black jack tables. Whereas, I spent last night in the office, trying to get a head start on the nascent week. Instead of hoping for a good draw, I'm actively working to improve my situation. Examples such as this intrigue me because I can see how my priorities have changed over the course of the last year. I like to think of it as progress, working away at something I value, rather than harboring a false-hope that the supermodel/dealer would slide an ace my way.

When it comes down to it, I realize I only have so much time, and I need to do what's most important. I need to prioritize. It sounds ridiculously simple, when I pen it out like this. But I just don't have time to be making weekly trips to the local gambling house. As per my business, I'm obviously a fan of the online approach. I mean if I do feel like a trip to the casino, I can do it without leaving the warm glow of my laptop screen.

The internet is awesome. And flexible solutions make sense for the busy man, whether it be a big-shooting business executive looking for the best competitive business information (Look at my website if you haven't already!!) or an ambitious twenty-something looking for a quick thrill at an online gambling joint. My number one priority then, is how to best use my time.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mad Resources

Work has been a little bit LESS encompassing, for the first time in 6 months. We're sort of hitting our stride. The focus has shifted to "how to continue hitting our stride. And how to hit it better."

As a result, I've been finding myself checking on my stock portfolio more frequently, as I like to do in the first available iota of spare time.

I've tinkered a little bit: There has been net selling lately. My cash position is outrageous, at a hint higher than 50% cash. I've also invested 20% of my portfolio in US treasuries, via TLT . I bought when such said equity was in the high 80's. I plan to hold, or sell in the mid 90's. I therefore have relatively little equity exposure. The market is starting to tank a little; I decided it was time to do some research.

Using a favourite analytical engine I screened for high market cap companies with good fundamentals that were on the move this week. I researched a few, but the epiphany struck me quickly into my analysis of the first one, TEVA.

The stock immediately grabbed my attention because of it's big jump this week, and the insanely good fundamentals. I also like pharmaceutical companies; it's a personal interest. My mouse shot over to another bookmark. With four keystrokes I pulled up a chart of TEVA and analyzed it in multiple time frames. The recent volume patterns, and the all time highs of XPH are further confirmation that the stock might be a good buy candidate.

Seconds later I had a stream of ideas, and real time action, on the subject, when I searched TEVA at Stocktwits.com. A lot of people are buying the stock because they think it will benefit from a healthcare reform bill, as it turns out.

Apparently then, this stock, with great fundamentals and an impressive technical pattern also has a story behind it. I still believe that the market has a little ways down to go in the shorter and intermediate term. But this big cap stock might be worth looking at further as a potential long.

My real point though, lucky for you, is not my sub-par stock market logic. It is that because of the internet, I was able to get a very legit idea about a very real equity in real time. The relatively minute amount of action required (in part because of my awesome bookmark organization), and the quality of result are amazing to me. I feel empowered, as long as the power doesn't go out.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


My behaviour is often punctuated with binges. I think it's just that I'm easily excited. Or maybe I really like getting black-out-drunk. The last week has been one such binge.

It is 6:00 Sunday morning. I'm sitting alone in an upscale Viennese hotel room. My uncle left for the airport about an hour ago. And I wasn't able to fall back asleep. I'm drinking [cup after cup of] coffee and trying [successfully] to get an early start on the day. If this were North America, the clocks would have changed and I would be at an even bigger disadvantage [suckers].

As I mentioned earlier, it was phenomenal to have family visit. When you live in a part of the world that is so different from anything you had been acquainted with prior, it's nice to have your friends and family come see what you are going through; because words so often fail to convey an accurate depiction, to the chagrin of this blog. I'm also not that pumped to leave this here civilized world and return to the err, less-developed, Bratislava, in a few hours.

We had a great time over the course of the last 9 days, touring around Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, and of course my darling Slovakia. But now, my strýčko (Slovak for uncle, d'uh) had his early morning departure behind him; and I have a mini-bar's worth of amenities beside my laptop. I'm trying to get back in the game.

Owning my own business has allowed me some great flexibility. The age of connectivity that we find ourselves in has allowed me to easily keep a pulse on things, without too much stress. It's still my business though, and I feel bad for having not given it my utmost attention, but maybe I needed the break to realize that. I'm stoked to get to to the office tomorrow and start actively hustling again. I'm hungry to earn.

So as one week of bingeing wraps up, another, entirely different one, begins. And through it all, maybe a twisted form of moderation will emerge, keeping me from self-destructing for at least a little while longer.

Happy Sunday

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Memories Triggered

The gentle encroachment of warm weather has me opening my windows. The mild breeze carries with it a familiar scent.

There is a Kraft Foods factory upwind. It doesn't produce an obnoxious odor, but one that certainly taints the air. I haven't smelt it since summer. It's got me thinking how funny it is, that I'll soon have been here for a year. The same thing happens when I hear this song. The album dropped right before I arrived.

I've come a long way since then, but still have quite a distance to go.

ASIDE: For the record, I'm wicked jealous of all my friends who are making it to DMB in Toronto.