Monday, November 16, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Finally, a break, sort of

So I guess my last post was probably some random picture from a night
out or it was something about BBQ. Whatever it was it was too little
too long ago. The program I am in is quite intense, and if I miss
just a few minutes, let alone a full day, then I spend twice as long
trying to catch up. So enough complaining and let's get to a little
update...

I am spending the week in New York City catching up with some family
and probably eating more pasta than an entire Italian village. I met
up with Don Ball on the way up here and found that he is starting his
own company around bringing people together and facilitating
conversations between leaders and intelligent people of all types. I
am not exactly sure how the money comes in, but he is a real pro-
active, quick-thinking type, and he has a lot of something I am still
working on - patience. So good luck to him, don't think he has a web
page going but here is a link to his Linked In profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/donball

Something about catching up with family is relaxing and a little tense
at the same time. You want to see everyone and spend time with
everyone, but it's not really possible. The time you do get however
is just like apple pie though, just comfortable sweet and warm.

Here's to family, pour one out for all of your aunts and uncles and
cousins for me.

One other note, after getting drunk almost everyday last week,
including a trip to Beerfest in Durham (I must have tried over 50
beers in one night), I am hanging it up for the rest of the month.
Sobertober, OcSober, whatever you want to call it, it's time for a
break.

I will post some pics this weekend, maybe on facebook if I have enough.

-Marco Mascioli
marcomascioli@gmail.com

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bunch of BBQ

If you are unfamiliar with North Carolina-style BBQ it can be a little intimidating, a sloppy mess of shredded pork may not be exactly appetizing to the untrained eye. Here is a tip, the juicier and sloppier, the tastier. Pretty much the same as good brisket. Which is made similarly, cooked low and slow. Some BBQ is smoked, some is pit-fire cooked, some is electric heat grilled, some is even slow-cooked in a pot. By the way, another important distinction for North Carolina BBQ is that it refers to a specific dish, not just the event or the style of cooking. North Carolina style BBQ is shredded pork, usually cooked over a fire pit, sometimes on wood planks, sometimes smoked, always delicious, and ALWAYS with a Vinegar based sauced.

So as part of my re-introduction to the North Carolina, I am going to be doing a tour de force of the best BBQ joints around. Clyde Cooper's (downtown Raleigh) has been around since 1938 for good reason, Allen & Sons in Hillsborough serves BBQ out of an old farmhouse, and Bullocks serves family-style. I will start my review with Clyde's since it is the closest to my house.

Clyde Coopers
Location: Raleigh, NC
Cooking Style: Electric Grill
Price: $6

I was pleasantly surprised with the meal here, it was cheap, fast, and tasty. It wasn't the best BBQ around, but I think they hold themselves up well as a stalwart in the capital city.

Pros: Cheap, Fast
Cons: A little bland, slightly dry

Overall (out of 10): 6.5

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ladies in Love

A new school wedding on the Delaware shore. With the blessing of the
great state of Connecticut, they tied the knot and begin a life
together. Evolution is wonderful.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The man of the hour

I flew over 3000 miles to see this guy get married, I've known him
since I could play Risk. This is a cheers to Doug.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Re: New SkyMall product

Oh goodness, it gets even better, there is also a laser photo-therapy
medical hair growth device, medically proven to regrow hair!

What ever happened to Kojak?


On Jul 31, 2009, at 4:03 PM, Marco Mascioli <marcomascioli@gmail.com>
wrote:

> It's a Hair Laser! Guaranteed to stop hair thinning!
>
> A laser that adds hair!
>
> Wow, we are quite an amazing civilization.
>
>

New SkyMall product

It's a Hair Laser! Guaranteed to stop hair thinning!

A laser that adds hair!

Wow, we are quite an amazing civilization.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Analytics

It is almost like having two heads is the only way to get through this
program.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Light Em Up

Entering the Method Man/Redman Show. As was explained to me, the
difference between a Bentley and.a Rolls is that you drive a Bentley,
but you get driven in a Rolls.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Back in NC

I hvae been pretty busy since school started, but I finally have a day
to relax and my neighbor is holding a pig pickin.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bathroom Graffiti

Bathroom graffiti has always been one of my under-spoken loves. It's
not the dick and fart jokes that I really dig, but some people have a
gift for summing up the essence of complex topics in just a few
words. Some really great stall etchings have definitely served me
well over the years.

So in South Carolina we stopped just outside of Columbia, I got some
great barbecue and we even found a small independent organic grocery.
As we were filling up the 40 gallon tank in the Uhaul I went inside to
use the facilities, and on the condom machine above the back of the
toilet was written in pure black marker was:

"for refund insert baby"

Count it!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Goodbye Louisiana

I will surely miss everything I found there.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Chicago Roller Derby

The halftime show is performed by a Punk Rock Polka band called the
Polka-holics. Rock n Roll.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hook Em!

I thought about putting up a picture of the sniper tower but that
would not be with the right intentions.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Austin

Got to Austin just in time for a really great seminar on the financial
crisis. The professor knocked a ball around in my head and opened me
up to the effects of foreign capital flows on the power of the Federal
Reserve. It seems that over the past twenty years the paradigm of Fed
power has been shifting slowly until their ability to control interest
rates has completely fallen into the hands of foreign capital.

Now, some might say the Fed never had that power in the first place,
but let's take one thing at a time.

To Austin!

Just got into Texas and had to take Black Betty off-road to dip around
a lane closure. No time dilly-dallying.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Camp is Set

TentARoo

All camped up, amidst a couple of torrential downpours and blazing
heat. Hopefully catch some music tonight, maybe some other
interesting things.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bonnaroo Prep

We put up the tent this afternoon, all systems go, I found a Coleman popup at Academy for shade, got a tarp, and now I am looking for a Camelbak (useful while biking as well).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Goodbye FEMA!

Free at last! Free at last!

Some jobs you would hate lose, but to this one I bid goodbye and good
riddens. Not that I despised my time there, but it is definitely time
to move on. I wish all of my friends and colleagues well, but I gotta
go. It's just a shame that my whole team also has to go. I was happy
to leave everything I've put my heart and soul into over the past four
years to capable hands, but now that whole team is gone I am not sure
how things are going to work out. Well FEMA is notorious for
mismanagement, and this is no exception, at least I was already
planning for this.

Katrina was a special lady, she tore people apart and brought people
together, she forged new paths and unmade old ones. She was a curse
and a blessing. She will not be forgotten.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

On the Road

Out of traffic and almost into Mississippi.

Listening to some good blues and learned a new word - SatisFire!

My girlfriend is successfully wielding a GPS, her cell, my iPhone and
a laptop.

-Marco Mascioli
marcomascioli@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A little Ketchup

I hate ketchup, its an abomination of all things tomato.

Why would you process and chock a tomato full of preservatives and sugar? WHY GOD WHY!?! OH THE HUMANITY!!!

Speaking of tomato, I made some kick-ass pizza last week with some homemade wheat dough. I had previously made it with that same dough and burned it last time, so the little extra care (and extra time to rise) really made for a crisp, light and tasty crust. I will definitely be doing this again.

I also got to trim and cut a full beef tenderloin, so tender (duh - its in the name), so ripe, so tasty. My friend grilled up the steaks for a little pre-going-away party for me as my days in Louisiana are numbered. NC here I come.

I put an offer in on a house today. Pretty exciting. There was a little tension between me and the fax machine as I almost didn't pull the trigger on the last number, but alas it is in and I feel great. Now we wait.

My cousin graduates this weekend, so I will be in Florida. I am taking my girlfriend and the dogs in my Mustang on a nice road trip. Wish us safe travels, and hopefully I will have some nice pictures to post from my drive.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Running out of steam

I am still feeling a high level Dow (circa 10K) sometime this year before we fall back into the abyss, but be careful here. Some heavily overbought conditions are bound to deflate. Being that this rally has a limited ceiling, its probably more valuable to get yourself into cash as soon as possible, and wait for the next turn.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New website idea - Eat What Marco Eats

I am so confident in my eating habits and their powers to help you
control your weight that I want to start a website that tracks my
meals and allows you to follow along.

Some major sticking points are:
No candy
No sugar drinks
Natural over processed (butter over margarine)
Lots of fruits and vegetables
Last meal two hours before bed
Always eat breakfast
4 meals per day
Eat less meat

I'll let you know further details next month when u have some free time.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Market Trend Guide

I have been pretty on-point as per following the trend of the markets the past two months, and I think its time I start sharing my positions. My positions last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. I rarely enter and exit on the same day, and I prefer to scale into my entries and scale out of my exits. That being said, I am not afraid to make a move when necessary.

I am still learning more about some technical trading tips, but most of my direction comes from an overarching fundamental knowledge - which directs the general trend of the market - and some fledgling technical analysis - which is directing my shorter-term moves.

In general I believe we are in the midst of a deep and enduring bear market. I see now such "V-shaped" recovery in sight. The problems that are being worked out go way deeper than any recession we have experienced in the last 70 years. The truth is we began this big bear in 2000, and the intermediate bull-era was a full fledged credit induced hysteria, that is only going to make our fall into the abyss longer and more protracted. If you are thinking about investing for your retirement, for your child's education, or any other long-term purpose, please wait. PLEASE WAIT! This market will take years to recover for any long-term purpose. Investing in equities now will be akin to leaving your money under a mattress for 5 years (a mattress will dollar-eating bed bugs). Invest in bonds, CD's, or pay down your debt, but please do not put long-term money into equities for at least 2 years.

That being said, in the interest of making some money now, it will take some more active investment. You will have to willing to cut your losses quickly and change your position. You will have to short the market some times, and be ready to long in others. Just know that we are in volatile times (a sure sign of a bear market) and buy-and-hold strategies are dead.

So for the last six weeks we have been running up with a nice bear market rally, there have only been two other times that the market has been up 6 weeks in a row, each followed by healthy pullback correction weeks. I still think that this little bull has a way to run, but we are going to have to catch our breath a little from the last few weeks. Prepare yourself for the pullback this week, and then another last gasp of the dying bulls.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The nature of our economy

One of my favorite websites recently has been EvilSpeculator.com, the guy that runs the site does some very intense technical analysis on movements and trends in the market and freely posts his charts on the internet. He has also cultivated quite a community of fellow traders and analysts that rode shorts all the way down to 660, and went long right around 700 (on the S&P that is), for quite a profitable year. Every once in a while the admin will post a picture that just captures the irony of it all, and here is what he posted today (the frontpage of marketwatch.com).


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wedding Crashed and Heading to NC

The wedding was a smashing success, plenty of good food, booze and merry time all around. The ceremony was on the front steps of a museum, as some ominous weather threatened to turn the wedding into the 50m freestyle, but a little wind was all that Madre Nature would conjure up. Some after party in the hotel and a late-night steak and shake rounded out the day nicely.

Many thanks go out to Matt and Melissa for getting me to the airport on time the next morning. Waking up at 8 AM and driving two hours to the airport after an all night party-fest is no small feat.

So today we decided to head to NC this weekend and found some crucial tickets to Wilmington, it will be nice to be in NC for the Final Four - as opposed to last year sitting alone at The Bulldog in New Orleans without a UNC fan in sight. I did get a pretty bitchin t-shirt though.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The beginning

After a couple of Sam's and a shot of Jameson, we are on out way to
Orlando!

Wedding Crashed Weekend begins!

-Marco Mascioli
marcomascioli@gmail.com

Wedding Crasher weekend off to a rocky start

My plane was supposed to leave new Orleans 10 minutes ago, too bad
it's still in Houston.

Bah!

This puts me in the air dmost likely uring the entirety of the
Carolina game. If I ever get in the air that is.

Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts think happy thoughts...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AIG Drinking Game

1) Just turn on C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC, or your cable news network of choice.

2) Pull up a beer, white russian, single-malt scotch, or your beverage of choice

3) On any mention of AIG - DRINK!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jon Stewart vs. Jim Cramer

The last TV pundit that got into an on-air verbal brawl with Jon Stewart is now hosting his show on local public television. I don't think its a good idea to match words with one of the most lambastic (yea, I made that word up) personalities of our generation, but when it comes to being a rational decision-maker, I think the guy that beats a squeaky toy on a desk to announce his stock picks amidst a flurry of cheesy sirens and sound effects does not reign supreme. If you haven't followed this in the media or on The Daily Show itself here is a great summary from the Huffington Post, complete with ongoing Daily Show clips:
Stewart Vs Cramer

I have been a fan of the Daily Show since back in the Craig Kilborn days, but Jon Stewart has really taken it to a whole new level of intelligence and notoriety. The show itself has been a bastion of intelligent comedian talent, from the likes of Lewis Black, Stephen Colbert and Stephen Correll, amongst others. Watching Stewart is a joy and a pleasure.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hummus at home - no food processor

My New Years resolution this year was to start making my own hummus. It has become a such a staple in my diet as a healthy and hearty snack that I go through one of those small tubs within about a week. So I bought me a bag of garbanzos, armed myself with some tahini and went to work.

I had made beans before, so I was at least familiar with the idea of overnight soaking to soften up the casing. This worked wonderfully and more than doubled the size of my beans. Then came the matter at issue, how do you mush up garbanzo beans without a food processor? I think I probably foresaw this issue, but in these difficult economic times, I decided I should make due with what I had instead of heading to Target to buy a new food processor.

In comes the egg beater from 1954, I swear I saw this thing on Magic Kingdom's Carousel of Progress next to the butt shaking rubber band exercise machine.

So I start to get medieval on my beans with this thing, slam it into high gear and even hit the little turbo booster switch near the trigger.

It takes about a half an hour, and finally I get a decent looking paste. I could have invented my own food processor with the time and concentration it takes to run this thing.

So tonight I am making jambalaya (just a side note, relatively unimportant) and I have also conveniently run out of hummus. I did find some zen peace with my beater and I got a decent hummus out of it, but the effort was still outrageously disproportionate with the end result. So I pull my beans out of the freezer in their little baggie, since I realized the bean boiling thing could be done en masse and I could freeze the beans to stagger my hummus creations. I let the bag defrost in some warm water, and about half a third of the way through defrosting I start playing with the beans in the sealed up bag. I put two fingers around the bag where a bean was and just...squished it. plop.

Ah-ha! a little advantage I had over the beans, they were sealed in this little ziploc bag. I started squishing all of them with my fingers, and my palm, and just rolling the bag around in my hands. Kind of lake playing with play-doh, but only then you get to eat it...wait a second, were you one of those kids too?

Anyway, to make some hummus when you don't have a food processor, stick your post-boiled beans in a ziploc bag (hopefully not while steaming hot) and just squish with your hands. It makes up for time savings with squishy hand fun.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Guns N Roses was right!

All you need is just a little patience.

In relationships, in business, in cooking, in raising kids, and in Axl's case - marriage.

That is the lesson for this week, if you feel yourself getting rushed or being a little overwhelmed or frustrated, just realize that the world is not going to end anytime soon (at least not until 2012 if you're into the Mayan calendar) and take your time to just do things right.

The world will come to you, no need to seek it out. You are surrounded by it, if anything you should struggle to keep it out long enough so that you can do what you need to do.

Chicken thighs taught me this tonight. Find your lesson for patience and you will be rewarded.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pictures from Egypt and Turkey




Got some pictures in from my trip to Egypt and Turkey. The first half are from Istanbul and the second half is from Cairo, Dahab, and Mt. Sinai.

I may have some more pictures whenever Charles figures out how to use the internet.

Just click on the picture above for the slideshow.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Professional Relaxation on the Red Sea

I am learning many new lessons in relaxation techniques. This is a
picture from the cafe in front of our hostel in Dahab, Egypt on the
Sinai peninsula, we are on the Red Sea and you can see Saudi Arabia
across the water.

My schedule for today involves eating oranges and breakfast/lunch,
walking on the beach and chilling at the cafe.

Something crazy around here is that most of the restaurants don't even
have ceilings. No need because it doesn't rain nor get much colder
than 80 during the day.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cairo HOOO!

This city is ginormous.

I saw the pyramids from the plane and got chills. I have decided they were made by aliens. Just too awesome for human hands to have constructed.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Giants shoot another gift horse in the mouth...

So anyway, the Turkish currency just underwent a massive re-valuation.

Justin Tuck just went down grabbing his knee, not a good sign.

So the currency here is almost in line with the Euro, I am not really
sure how every country near here is undergoing some serious financial
crises while Turkey seems to have a job for everyone and food and beer
costs in line with the US.

G*****n it, the giants apply no pressure on third down and the eagles
complete a 20 yard ad-lib play, didnt they learn something watcjing
thr eagles abuse their preveny at the end of the first half?

I am sure some of that, maybe even a lot of that, has to do with the
weak dollar. It will only get more apparent later this year when all
this monetary policy expansion and "fiscal stimulus" actually makes
it's way through the system, but I digress.

Philly hit a field goal to retake the lead, the giants need to put 7
on the board if they want this game.

So yea, Istanbul is way more expensive than I suspected.

Bullish on Istanbul

The economy here is nothing like I expected, business is booming and
the Turkish Lira is out of control. They underwent a massive effort
to get the economy ready to join the EU next year that I am still
trying to dissect.

Sorry I don't have time for this right now, I found a pub playing the
Giants game and one of the GMen's 300 pound defensive lineman just
intercepted Donovan, will get back to this later.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Orleans to Chicago to London and soon to Istanbul

I think its 2 or 3 or maybe 4 oclock in the afternoon around here, I am in London Heathrow at an internet station fighting my desire to catch up on umpteen hours of sleep. If I sleep then I may never get out of this terminal, I might be destined for a Tom Hanks experience. This place definitely reminds of a uber high-class American mall, the shopping options are excessive and slightly repetitve, the food options are multivarious and largely expensive, and I can't tell if its day or night.

Its funny, that also sounds oddly like a casino, considering you can buy beer here and not at most american malls (except for those huge beers you can get at those hot dog places - remind me to tell you a good story about those one day).

Anyway, I leave for Istanbul in about an hour and a half and I don't really know where I am going to stay yet, so I am going to try to figure that out now.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Years from New Orleans!

Ever see 100 Christmas trees burning in the middle of town? Just
another party in New Orleans.