a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

Have been swamped with a couple new clients plus tax time so hadn’t looked at my trading account quarterly P/L until this morning. I knew it would be bad, but ouch. I think was a good case for ignorance is bliss. Sigh… – 10% for the quarter. 10.3 to be exact.

This is my first losing quarter since the 1st quarter of 2012. Which I guess is good but ugh. The really dumb thing is up until mid-March, I was solidly up. I place blame at the feet of Janet Yellen! Of course, my insistence at continuing to play when the game changed was very dumb.

Looking at my trades from the quarter, I **really** owe Elon Musk a big hug as I made a lot trading TSLA. CEO crush confirmed :)

Tesla-logo

And my second biggest gains are tied – trading PLUG and precious metals (both silver and gold in various forms.) This further solidifies my Uncle Scrooge love as well ;)

Another hero :)

Another hero :)

Biggest loser? AMZN calls held through ER. Ugh. First time they let me down though so I guess that I can’t complain too much. 2nd biggest loser? AAPL. I made so much money trading AAPL calls in the past. It was so fun. The fun has sure been sucked out of that stock though. I am making myself a promise – NO MORE AAPL! I have my long term common paying me dividends (and that’s about all it does lately) but no more trading it. It’s a slug. And that’s insulting to slugs. Oh well. My fault. Tim Cook didn’t make me buy the options.

Had I listened to chessNwine (over at iBankCoin), I would have been less invested over this time period. But the gambler in me couldn’t help it. Luckily I never play too large in options since you can literally lose 100% pretty quickly (quickly when playing in the momo stocks anyway.) I know I’ll make it back. But I hate when I feel stupid. And there was more than 1 occasion (a lot more) when I KNEW I should sell something but the greedy devil inside me said “hold out for a little more”. And then POOF. Just like letting it all ride on black and the ball lands on red. Stupid. I get mad at myself when I do stupid things and KNOW I know better. Grrrr.

A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense…so I WILL make it back and then some. But all I can think right now is I should be adding to gains, not making up losses. *shakesfist*

That seems very fitting. Angelus loved the snow. Even more than he loved chicken. And that was a lot :)

…I lost one of my best friends. He taught me that every day should be fun. That every day should have smiles. Rain, hail, snow (obviously) or shine. And if it doesn’t, you are doing it wrong.

One of my twitter friends, who I finally got to meet at Comic Con last year with his wife, made this video for me. And for Angelus. I put off watching it because I knew I would be a wreck. And while I’m bawling like a baby, I can’t believe how sweet and truly awesome, it is.

I still miss you buddy. Every day.

Handsome snow guy :)

Handsome snow guy :)

I LOVE chicken enchilada soup. As long as it’s not packed full of onions, it’s always delicious. I was thinking it would be a yummy thing to make on a snowy, winter day. And in my slow-cooker that I haven’t used all winter yet. So I searched the interwebz for delicious-sounding recipes and found 2 that I mixed together and changed a bit to suit me.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 can (11 ounce) diced tomatoes (1 recipe called for Ro-tel diced tomatoes & green chiles but I wasn’t sure if I’d like that – spicy?)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken breasts
2 cups petite corn (frozen is fine)
1 can black beans
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (crush it up)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
1 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
tortilla strips, for serving
sliced avocado, for serving
(p.s. Both recipes also called for a diced yellow onion but yuck. If you did want to use that, it gets cooked with the red pepper and garlic and added when you add them.)

Instructions:

In a skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the red pepper and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile add the tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, corn, black beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano and 1 teaspoon coarse salt or 1/2 teaspoon fine and about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to your slow cooker. Then mix in the cooked peppers and garlic.

Cook on low 6 hours stirring occasionally. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board. Stir the cheese and sour cream into the soup (let’s face it – I “accidentally” didn’t measure these precisely and erred on the side of a little extra for these 2!) Shred the chicken/cut into bite-sized pieces and add back to the cooker. Taste and season as needed. Cook 1 more hour on low heat.

Serve garnished with more cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips and avocado.

YUM!

YUM!

IT WAS SO DELICIOUS!!!! I highly recommend this recipe for a simple, winter recipe.

Been a weird day. Made some good (great actually) trades. Had fun in the snow with Shadow. But I felt weird too. Didn’t know why really. Then just received an email from our real estate agent that the our counter offer was accepted and the bay area house is now is escrow.

Funny./.same lady who made the very first offer that we rejected. We pulled it off the market in December for 3 weeks, painted it, put it back on last week and had 3 offers. OK. Same house….whatever. But then the lady who made the very first offer ended up making the best final offer.

I am happy. Cash money. Cash money is great. And I hate the bay area so good riddance.

But I got sad too. It was the first house my ex and I bought after being married for a year. The house we lived in for years and raised the huskies in. It will be always be Angelus’ yard – we hung out in that yard on his very first day and he always loved it. Always laid with his head in the fence, looking like the Prisoner of Zenda, as he surveyed what was going on. Even on his very last day.

And Stormy will always sleeping in the downstairs hallway and complain when I tell him it’s sleepytime. And on the upstairs deck…even in the foggy mist.

I won’t miss the house. Or the area. The view was great though. And the memories will be forever.

I was hoping to write this after the NFC Championship Game but the Saints didn’t get that memo. Oh well.

I’ve been to a lot of 49ers games at Candlestick. Actually my very first football game in my life was a 49ers game at the Stick. And I became a huge fan from there on. I took my little brother to a couple games when he visited form Florida and those are good memories for me to have of us. One of them was a game where Jerry Rice was breaking some big NFL record and the place was going nuts. It was also pouring rain and freezing cold. Ah Candlestick. That was the 1 good thing about the dry winter this year – not 1 rainy or even cloudy game this season. Frankly, it seemed really weird. Candlestick games = cold, cloudy/foggy and windy.

And I went to a lot of SF Giants games there. Went to the all of the play-off games leading up to the World Series vs the As. And yes the ’89 World Series game when the earthquake hit. I was on the escalator and it felt like we were surfing. The ground didn’t shake as much as roll. After it stopped everyone yelled and cheered because it didn’t actually seem that bad at all. Only a bit later after being in our seats, and people had their little TVs or radios on (yes…before smart phones..), did we realize how bad it actually was.

Once they called the game, it took forever to get to our cars. And then it took forever to get out. One of the joys of Candlestick is its location in the ghetto along with horrific routes in and out. So traffic is a nightmare on a good day. The police were sending us out through some side streets where all of the street lights were out and it was not a good place to be. There were bricks thrown in car windows, people standing around watching all the cars. But got home safely. All of my friends and family were freaked out because cell coverage was gone and all the news kept showing was the fire in the Marina but really saying how it was basically the city on fire. Nice.

I started going to more 49er games once we signed Jim Harbaugh. Was a fan of his at Stanford and was excited to have him! Then I finally got season tickets 2 seasons ago and it’s been a blast. Tailgated at almost every game with friends and had a super fun time each and every game. Our seatmates in our row and behind us were all super fun.

The send-off at the MNF game a couple weeks ago was great. We won – most importantly! And they had Boys II Men do their goodbye songs, many 49er greats to say hello/goodbye – Dwight Clark, Steve Young, TO, Jerry Rice, EDDIE D! It was AWESOME that the entire stadium chanted for Eddie. But no Joe. Don’t get me started. He lost some awesome points in my opinion but oh well. It’s a business.

A fantastic fireworks display set to Hello, Goodbye by the Beatles which was fitting both in song and also that they played their last concert at Candlestick (the Let it Be rooftop show was more of a jam session of a few songs.) As a huge Beatles fan, I liked that. No one left. Everyone stayed for the entire send-off and people were all singing with Boys II Men and the Beatles. You did actually want to shed a tear or 2. :)

I say Farewell Candlestick. It’s been a lot of fun. You gave me a lot of nice memories. But I would be huge liar if I said I’m not extremely excited about the new, way-more-cushier stadium :)

GO NINERS!!!!

Me and gnome at the Stick (with bubbly!)

Me and gnome at the Stick (with bubbly!)

Just calculated my Q4 and year-end trading account returns. Not too bad. Overall I certainly did well but we were (are) in a spaztastic bull market so can’t take all that much credit for it. And I did not make my goal of a double due to some dumb trading errors so that’s a drag.

For Q4, I had a 10.7% return. Had it not been for November, probably would have been much better. This quarter my biggest wins were (big surprise) in momo stocks: $TWTR (seriously the gift that keeps on giving in December), $SCTY, $GOGO, $NFLX, $WYNN and $AMZN. But then also in $AAPL and $ISRG (went short on that which I never do so that was fun.) Also did well in Chinese solars stocks that should just be called roulette.

Biggest loser was hands down, no questions asked $NUGT. But since that should also be called roulette, what are you going to do. Since it was a huge winner in previous quarters, I won’t complain. Too much anyway ;) This thing really should be in my don’t ever, ever trade this again category. But I haven’t put it in that bucket yet.

For the year, I was up 39.5%. A good year for sure. I hope I can do as well next year. I’ve done decently on sticking to my “take profits” rule but did leave some money on the table in $TSLA. But I think I’ll get that back. Did OK on my “stop trading so many options” rule. BUT, besides 2 initial buys/sells on IPO day and some sitting in my long-term account, I’ve traded $TWTR only through options. And done very well. So that will likely keep me in the casino.

Still taking most ideas from inside the 12631 trading room. Followed @chessNwine in pretty much all of his longs. I don’t go short much though (other than his $ISRG which worked GREAT!) I followed more of RaginCajun’s quick strikes this quarter and ideas from other members that worked out quite well for the most part. Much smarter market people in there than me :) Plus I’ve gotten some great long term ideas from Chess that are working very well in my 401k.

So I’m ready for 2014 to be another good trading year. Who knows what the heck will happen in the market but I think being in 12631 gives me a definite advantage. I invest in my 401k. I trade in my trading account. I do not confuse the 2. I will still keep my trading account relatively small. I will still make my quarterly physical gold and silver purchases. I will not trade Bitcoin. And I will still keep most of my money in cash or private investments. Kitten is generally conservative and will keep it that way.

A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place. ~ Gordon Gekko

New Year’s Eve was a bit weird. First NYE spent without my (ex)husband in 17 years. And since Shadow was with his Dad last night, first without my doggies in 13 yrs. Picked up Angelus on New Year’s Eve in 2000 and spent the night sleeping on the kitchen floor with him (even though I was sick) as he was missing his doggie mom and puppy pack on his first night away. But I think our bond was created that night as he always loved me most :)

I had several invites for parties but didn’t feel like driving anywhere with any drunkards on the road. So I went to the closest friends home – they live about 5 minutes away. Super nice couple who decked out the house in NYE decorations. As the husband put it – Party City threw up on the house ;) Yummy Thai food brought in and champagne punch plus a lot of other liquor concoctions that I did not try. 2 tea cups of punch was it for me!

It was 6 couples – all with little kids or babies. And me. Doh. All the women started talking about babies and breast feeding and pregnancy (1 was pregnant with 2nd on way) so I mostly hung out with the husbands talking football. Then somehow the ladies all migrated into the conversation and the hippie lady started in on corporate greed and why the bay area is sooooooo much better than anywhere else aaaaaand so I had to chime in on those subjects…. Got the ladies to leave that convo and started talking football again! I was exhausted so left around 10:30 and ended up reading the New Year in.

I say good riddance to 2013. I won’t say it was an awful year. I moved up to Tahoe full time (yay!) Did pretty well in my trading (but didn’t hit my goal – boo.) Did a lot of hiking (need to do more.) Had fun with my friends (although not enough.) And most importantly, got my “annual” (every 5 yrs) physical and a clean bill of health.

But I also lost Stormy in August. And my divorce was finalized. For someone who isn’t a fan of change (that would be me), it’s been a bit tough. Sheldon (Big Bang Theory…if you don’t watch it yet, you should) is a big fan of homeostasis. And so am I.

But I’m also pretty tough. And I certainly do not have anything to complain about in my life. Other than I feel it is grossly unfair that dogs don’t live long enough.

So let’s go 2014. I’m ready.

I just watched the last episode of Veronica Mars. Yes…I realize I’m a bit late to that party.

I admit that I never watched when it was first on. And I also admit that when the panel for the new movie coming out was scheduled for Hall H at SDCC, I was pretty annoyed. How could they put that in pre-Walking Dead and Game of Thrones?!?!?! But we had to sit through it so whatever. The cast came out and the place went crazy. Ho-hum. But after listening to the cast, their interactions and watching some brief footage, I was intrigued.

I have watched many shows and movies that I was not previously interested in after attending the panels at SDCC. And it is always because of how the cast interacts. If they are fun and engaged, it makes a HUGE difference.

So I looked for the show on Netflix – no luck. It’s on Amazon but is not part of Prime you you have to pay to watch. It was on Hulu but I already pay for NFLX and AMZN Prime so was not signing up for Hulu. Then I found it on SoapNet (via DTV) – yay! And they were JUST starting Season 1 on Saturdays (they run it a few times a week but the episode sequences are all different.) The downside was that I got 3 episodes a week. So I recorded 6 over two weeks before I started watching any. I watched the pilot episode and was HOOKED!!!!! So I’ve been watching since July. And finally finished tonight as the last episode of season 3 aired today. And I’m sad it’s over. NOW I understand why so many people were bummed when it was cancelled. At least I have the movie coming out soon!

The writing was smart and witty. Yes – it’s about a high school girl (and then college in S3) who works as a “junior” PI for her Dad. But the stories are great. Each season has a season-long story arc. But each episode also has individual story lines.

Kristen Bell’s delivery was perfect. She is so perfect in this role and now thinking of her playing a dingbat in Forgetting Sarah Marshall is very wrong (although the voice of Gossip Girl works as my blog title suggests :) ) She plays a strong female character who is smart as a whip but adorable too but she is not perfect and does make mistakes and has boy trouble (to say the least…but not the Edward/Jacob kind so don’t worry.) Plus she loves her dog! And carries a taser. Perfect. She is the PI equivalent of a vampire slayer.

The entire cast is great. Well..let me take that back. I didn’t like Duncan. At all. He was way too wooden and I cannot see what Veronica would ever see in him. . But everyone else was great. And a bevy of famous guest stars – Paul Rudd, Amanda Seyfried, Harry Hamlin, Steve Guttenberg, Ed Begley Jr, Sam Huntington, Leighton Meester (Blaire!), Kevin Smith, Aaron Paul (for you Breaking Badsters), Jane Lynch, Laura San Giacomo, Armie Hammer, Alyson Hannigan (Willow!), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia!) and even Patty Hearst (oh yeah also Richard Grieco which made me laugh!) But so, so many of the characters, even small ones or minor recurring ones, are so fantastic.

I also love that they portrayed a great relationship between Veronica and her Dad. Keith Mars is pretty much the perfect dad without being a fake perfect TV guy.

I say again that it is sad that shows like this (well written, well acted with fun/interesting story lines) get cancelled so quickly but so much crap gets made/renewed (as I see an ad for another season of The Bachelor.)

If you haven’t watched it, and were thinking about it, I say do it before the movie comes out! And if you weren’t thinking about it – maybe you should. Apparently SoapNet is going off the air as of 12/31 so you can’t watch it there. If you have Hulu – go! If not, there is always Amazon:

Also, Team Logan forever…and ever :)

Took Shadow out in the fresh snow this AM. He was FIRED UP!! Run, run, run, stop, eat snow, run, run :) Hiked uphill as it continued to snow on us and I took a gazillion cute pics of him having fun.

Then I got a weird feeling. Looked around, didn’t see anyone or anything but just felt weird. Ran to catch up to Shadow and BAM – slipped on some ice and down I went. Darn it. I know better. Luckily experience has taught me to twist a little so didn’t land on my tailbone and my arm took most of it. Shadow immediately ran up to make sure I was OK (or see if any of the cookies fell out of my pocket…) and I put his leash on.

Not 30 seconds after his leash was on we see 2 coyotes. Whew. Shadow would have taken off to play with them for sure! Score 1 for listening to gut feeling!! If only I could apply that more to my trading account.

Started heading back down the hill and get allllllmost home and decide to cute pic of Shadow. My phone?! Not in pocket?! Oh….good…I bet it’s right where I fell and IT fell out of my pocket instead of any cookies! Shadow failed to mention that…

Let’s go back buddy. He looked at me like “what?? back uphill??” We charged back up the hill quickly as I was imagining my phone being buried in the still falling snow and falling victim to the dreaded water damage. Found it! And it worked and seemed perfectly fine. Whew.

Back down the hill we went and Shadow got more crazy running time. I let him off leash again as we got closer to the house and away from where the coyotes were. Got home and he didn’t even run straight to the kitchen for breakfast! Fed him and he went right to the deck door and looked at me with pleading eyes “let me back in the snow LadyMom.” OK…and he fell right asleep as he was being snowed on.

Successful snow morning mission!

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