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Joshua Sharf

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« Tradesports Arbitrage | Main | Erev Yom Kippur »

View From Today

I don't see any way around it. The whole format of this thing is going to have to change, probably to something more like Lileks, only without the witty comedy stylings. When I worked at home, I would get up early, maybe around 6:00, to read the papers and have something to blog on, or at least something to chew on. Now, I get up at 5:00 and still have something to chew on, but it's a bagel on the way in to work. It's pretty much non-stop meetings and report-writing until at least 7:30, usually 8:00. And then maybe I get a chance to look at the paper. So having something to blog on with my (or your) coffee is pretty much impossible.

Since I like to actually have something to say, rather than just reacting to the first headline that crosses the monitor, I'm beginning to think that the best thing to do is to set aside a serious 15-30 mins at night for writing. Anything during the day is bonus. I know, I've been at this for 4 years and I'm still figuring out when I say it, never mind what I say. Well, hey, it's worth what you pay for it.

I'm also typing this on the new Bloomberg keyboard they sent me. The keys feel different. They're flatter, don't have as much give, and some of them are slightly smaller leading to unsightly errors when I have to used the arrow or INS-DEL-HOME-END keys. All this for a subscription that may not even be renewed in a month. The top row of keys doesn't work yet, and since I don't want to reboot right now, I may not find out until Tuesday if they ever will. There's also a plug for the speakers, in case I want to listen to Hugh & Dennis through my keyboard rather than proper speakers. I don't think the thing is programmed to filter out everything but Bloomberg radio; it's not Microsoft, after all.

Still, it's a real Bloomberg keyboard, none of those cheesy stick-on overlays that look like the last page in a book of S&H Green Stamps, where you picked up the groceries at the gas station because you only needed one more row to fill out the book.

There's also this cool gizmo in the upper-right where I can sign in using my thumb, saving me a full 5 SECONDS!!! in the morning, but also making me wonder if the next time the phone rings it'll be Jack on the other end asking me to move satellites around for him.

In the meantime, Monday's Yom Kippur. We all know about Yom Kippur, but it's worth remembering that while it's a fast day, it's solemn without being somber. The intention is self-reflection, not self-flagellation, and at the end of the day, the break fast is usually festive, and often held at peoples' homes. There are certain parts of Jewish culture that tend to survive even the most benign environments, and the Yom Kippur break fast is one of them.

One of the guys here at the office, who's about as Jewish as you can get and even more non-religious, is hosting a break fast at his home Monday night. His wife insists on real babka, real chocolate bobka, even if it's the last one in the store. He sent the other trader off to the East Side Kosher Deli, Denver's only reliable babka supplier, and in the course of events, bought lunch for everyone. Thus was Wm. Smith & Co. treated to the spectacle of everyone else in the office being trained on the proper way to eat a kosher pastrami sandwich, while the only guy who keeps kosher was chowing down on a beef enchilada.

It was also Decision Day for the sod guy. Through a combination of drought & dog, the back yard has been gradually transformed from an edenic paradise into a weed-infested wilderness. It's time to give up and start over. I've already got the sprinkler system, although it could use a little repair work itself, but it's time to make the back yard fit for public display. Not to mention working from, with a tall glass of iced tea and perhaps even lunch.

The kicker is that there are some sections that are still shielded from the sun, where even the depredation of Landscaping by Sharf couldn't stamp out the grass, and it flourishes still. I've suggested leaving it, but the sod companies all assure me that it won't match, and that the only thing worse than weeds and grass is grass that doesn't match. Apparently inside of every sod installer is a little Givenchy struggling to get out.

In the end, though, for the moment, it looks like October 17. So on the same date that Burgoyne surrendered Saratoga, and Cornwallis surrendered Yorktown, my old yard will be surrendering to reality. Ironically, it's also the anniversary of the date the President Grant suspended habeus corpus in certain counties in the South. Make of it what you will, but no doubt the jackboots will be roughing up the new sod any day now.

Could be worse. Could be raining.


Years ago I was plant Manager for Scott's Liquid Gold. The CEO was Jerome Goldstein a fine Jewish genrlman. When our Personnel Manager was informed by Rocky Mtn Employers Council that we gave our employees one less holiday that the Denver average
Mr. Goldstein listened to all our suggestions for evening things up i.e.
Give them their birthday off, etc.
He said I know none of them are Jewish , but lets give them Yom Kippur, that will give them a day between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

So we closed the plant except for thr Security Guard
who informed me the next day that my brother had called while I was off. When told that I was off my brother asked if I was sick. The Guard replied "oh, no it was Yom Kippur.
There was a long silence and finally my brother asked "Did he convert?"
I am long retired but I look back and remember the great experience of working for a fine gentleman.


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