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The Cody Blog: November 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Goin back to Kansas, to Kansas, to Kansas. Hunh, I don't think so.

Kansas was great. But it wasn't the same without Grandma, the only grandparent I ever knew -- my mom's mom who had spent almost all of her adult life in tiny little Madison, KS.

We'd made annual road trips to Kansas my whole life as a kid. And my parents and I had used each of our own hard-earned money to send me to basketball camp a few summers in a row when I was in elementary school. It's where I stole the line when someone asks me "what's your range on the basketball court? 20', 25'?" and I answer, "Two court lengths, man. Two court lengths." Maybe that line is only funny to a 12 year old. Doesn't stop me from using it to this day though.

My favorite trip to Kansas is probably actually the worst trip we ever had as a family. At some point on the drive from NM to KS, my brother had talked his way into playing some silly football tag game on the van's couch that my sister loved for me to play gently with her to pass the time. The very first play with my brother resulted in my head shattering the side window and my brother catching me by my belt buckle as we drove down some lonely highway at 65 mph. He pulled me back in, but my head was all bloodied (and still scarred from it) and my father was pissed. A few backhands for the sons later and we finally drove onto some dive hotel to recoop.

The van's battery was dead the next morning of course. Two days later I was going deep for a hail mary in a game of football when I tripped over a golden retriever who had come out of nowhere to play cornerback. Head into frozen ground. Yup, you guessed it. Concussion.

Anyway, a few years back, Grandma had just recently moved into a old folks' home in Emporia, KS. I hadn't seen her for several years, so I bought a ticket to go surprise visit her for Thanksgiving in 2000. The day I was leaving my parents called to say that they were heading up to surprise my grandma for Thanksgiving --- total coincidence!

It was a wonderful visit and while the rest of my family went to some sort of college sporting event (later this week, I'll write about how last week I watched my first college hoops game since the day I walked up the ramp at the Pit for the last time in 1995, but that's a different topic...again), I spent all of one afternoon and night playing Scrabble against my grandma.

I won like 2 out of 12 games. And I found the roots of my hoops-trash-talking extravaganzas, as Susie laid me out with a verbal assault that would make Jordan blush. Everytime she and I talked after that, she teased me about wasting me in Scrabble.

Grandma died just a few months later. I'm so happy that I'd snuck down there to see her, to bond with her and to spend some time with Grandma.

And while I'll always associate riding in a van, playing in corn silos, hunting pheasants (as opposed to peasants), the smell of old stairwells (from playing in the dorms during basketball camp) and so many other little things with Kansas --- the place, the feeling, the trip will never be the same without my grandma, Susie. I miss her.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Denim Scavenger Hunt

Hey, check out some more inventive guerilla (gorilla, baby!) marketing tactics from my peeps at handsblue.

Monday, November 21, 2005

No Rest for the Wicked

I'm tired. I'm sick of writing. I've been writing so much this year, and haven't taken a week off. Even last June when I took time off from writing stock and newsletter stuff, I still worked on another writing project -- and wrote on this blog.

I'm going to meet my parents and my lil' sis in KC at my aun't house. I'm excited to get out of the city and get some rest and see my family. My aunt and uncle are big tennis players and since I've become addicted to tennis since this summer that'll be fun too. I am a little sad that I'm not going to make it to Ruidoso. The 12 hour door-to-door trek is just too daunting.

Anyway, I'm going to try to get a little rest this week, so this might be the last blog post til next Monday.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Open And Closed Case

I strive to be completely open, right? -- that I have I have no secrets and no shame, and am just willing to put it out there as I see it and feel it. I pretend that it's a standard. I tell her, "I'll always answer be honest and straightforward with you." And I try. I really do. But then again, I always feel that if I let her onto all those doubts I harbor about us (or her?) that she'll not want to pursue any sort of trajectory any further. So what is this bullshit that I'm telling myself and them about me being honest and straightforward.

How's that for "flipping it" tonight?

New Music Friday (November 18, 2005)

I've got plenty of new bands to review so keep coming back each Friday for more. But today, as long promised, I'm featuring another "real" Cody jam from my band "The Cody Show". I even use piano and synthesized strings in this one. Click here to download it.

I will say that these are some of my favorite lyrics that I've ever written. Hope you enjoy.

Without Their Own Rose (The Cody Show) --

The staleness of the plays you play,
Rang just to get in my head,
The redundant echo of your nymphical thoughts,
Came just get in my bed.

You went to get one or the other here,
And you came back with a bleeding nose.
I said both might be neither one,
Without their own rose.

And I have risen and there I sit,
Hung from your wall.
A bedless tramp who sells her body,
To nourish what she no longer owns at all.
Nourish she no longer owns.

So come on down if you feel very pretty,
Make a tonic for you and your wife.
But don’t you forget to regret,
What you meant to call your life.

But don’t you forget to regret
What you meant to go and get,
You wanted your needs and you needed your wants,
But did you ever place your bet?

It’s the life we choose.

I sleep alone, searching for me,
You know I saved myself all alone.
You should have come back without yourself,
Or you should have just stayed at home.

And I have risen and there I sit,
Hung from your wall.
A bedless tramp who sells her body,
To nourish what she no longer owns at all.

It’s the life we choose.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Women Invented Beer, or, Mmm Yeast Indeed

Now I'm not saying whether I'd drink a pint or not. But, hey, man you gotta admire her marketing savvy.

"Toi Sennhauser's OPB—Original Pussy Beer"

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Cody News (November 16, 2005)

Here's a blast from the past -- a little R&R for you today. Let me know via email or comments section if I should start doing these news snapshots and commentary again:

Washington Post's Woodward Apologizes for Lapse on Leak New York Times - 1 hour ago Bob Woodward, assistant managing editor of The Washington Post, today apologized to his newspaper's executive editor for waiting two years to tell him that a senior Bush administration official had told him about the CIA operative Valerie Wilson. ...
I'll just re-iterate my point that today's bloggers are yesterday's Bob Woodward. But, man, is it going to get messy as we define "journalist" during this dot-revolution (oh, did I mention I've applied for a trademark on that name -- dot revolution? I did.)

US Retains Internet Control Red Herring - 7 hours ago The fight was over before the opening bell as delegates at the WSIS summit throw in the towel on Internet politics. The much-anticipated battle for control of the Internet was over before pre-fight introductions. ...
I'm glad that we're not shifting control of this stuff to another, bigger, more diversified and conflicted bureaucracy. That said, I'm surprised at how quickly this resolved. Maybe all the bureaucrats involved just wanted an excuse to vacation in Athens next year.

Oil: Slow demand weighs in New Zealand Herald - 4 hours ago Oil prices steadied below US$58 a barrel on Tuesday as dealers eyed soft early-season demand for heating oil and awaited government data expected to show swelling US stockpiles. Limiting losses, Opec-member ...
But, but, ,but....I thought demand was way outpacing supply! That's what all the oil bulls have projected into eternity, after all.

Country Music's Best Honored During New York Awards Ceremony Voice of America - 2 hours ago By Mary Morningstar. The 39th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards were presented November 15 in New York City. It was the first time the event took place outside of Nashville, Tennessee, and also ...
Not really anything of value to add here, but last night I was at a dinner and a lady in charge of music talent at one of the satellite radio companies, and she was very funny: She explained how she was supposed to be at the awards and when people would text message her asking where she was, she would text them back, "I'm here, wandering around with several artists." She left the dinner an hour later in order to "make that statment a little more true".

Penguins march toward Oscar glory BBC News - 10 hours agoHit French documentary The March of the Penguins is among the 15 films shortlisted for Oscar consideration for the 2006 Academy Awards. The selected documentaries were chosen by the academy's documentary branch ...
Every time I see that title, I'm reminded of a comment from music analyst Bob Lefsetz that went something like this: "But after all this documentary about how these penguins mate --- we never learned how they actually have sex!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Random Review Tuesday: Keihl's Body Products

All right, I'll admit, I'm actually chuckling out loud as I begin this post and picture everybody going:

What the hell? A review of soap?

Hey, it's a "Random" review, man. Reviewing a body cleanser is about as random as I can get. So it fits. Doth I protest to much?

Anyway, this week's RRT is indeed all about Keihl's body products. I remember the first time I ever came into contact with Keihl's. I was in the process of moving back to NYC from my brief post-9/11 stint in Austin in 2002. A broker prospecting me took me to the Robin Hood event and the gift basket there included a box of Keihl's products. I didn't figure I'd need the eight different types of products, so I gave them to a friend before I flew out.

But about a year ago, I was walking around my neighborhood and stepped into the local Keihl's shop (this is the pic that greets you on the company's website --- why didn't someone touch up the picture and take out the ugly graphiti all over mailbox and relay box?):

I walked out with some face lotion and body cleanser. In the year hence, I almost always buy Keihl's bath products.

The single best thing about Keihl's products will surprise you, given their expensive price tags: the bang for you buck.

The catalyst for reviewing Keihl's today was when I ran out of my body cleanser while taking a quick post-tennis shower this morning and I thought to myself that this is the same damn bottle of cleanser that I'd bought last year. I'd wondered at the time why I was spending $13 on 8 ounces of soap. But those thirteen ounces have easily lasted more than a hundred showers (I use some other soaps sometimes --- gotta mix it up, you know?).

The same holds true for all of the Keihl's products I've used. They cost a lot, but last forever.

Oh, and my skin's tone, texture etc etc --- yeah, yeah, Keihl's is great for that stuff.

PS. Is it me, or do Q-Tips never run out? I do believe I've had the same damn box of Q-Tips and it's been about 1/2 full since I left my parent's house in 1991. Q-Tips are like Gremlins -- they multiply when water splashes on them.

Monday, November 14, 2005

We're Living in the Future, or, Commercials From Your Butt

You ever think back to those futuristic movies and books from yesteryear and end up just amazed at how accurate some of the concepts were? The single most impressive future trend that the movies and sci-fi books from decades past caught onto is the advertisement.

How many movies did you watch as a kid in which there were always media-rich advertisements delivered in all kinds of new innovative ways --- from 3D moving billboards to advertising screens playing commercials in elevators. Heck, I just noticed at the deli up the street from my apartment that they now have this flat-panel advertisement screen set up next to the register. The fact that the only thing being advertised on the screen is that "You could advertise here" isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just such a new form of media and I'll bet you the company is hiring a sales staff from scratch.

But doesn't it all remind you of the movies?

And now, movie advertisments in your wallet from CEO IQ with their rCard technology.

I do have to wonder though, these people can do so much marketing-wise...and that stupid, ugly, impossible to understand logo of theirs is the best design they could come up with?!

Friday, November 11, 2005

New Music Friday (November 11, 2005) -- Mos Def

This week, I feature who's probably my single favorite up and coming artist, Mos Def. He uses a lot of different instruments and samples layered all over the place in his music. I like most how he mixes things up -- some songs sound like old school rap, some like new school rap, some like blues, some like rock, and some are just out there.

They have a good bio for him on iTunes too.

I higly recommend downloading all of either of his two solo albums in their entirety:

Black on Both Sides
The New Danger

His most popular song on iTunes is Ms Fat Booty, but I think that songs not one of his best. My favorites include UMI Says, Habitat, Sex, Love & Money, and Close Edge, but, again, I mainly recommend the full albums. They are works of art, without a doubt.

Rock the rock, baby.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Similes From My Column, or, My Mom Will Dig These Two

Been working since 7am this morning, and though this is the first day in the last seven that I didn't play some tennis, the week has about caught up with me and I'm spent, man, spent.

And now I'm heading out to a business dinner. Tomorrow's NMF (New Music Friday, of course!), but in the meantime, I'm going to repurpose these two lines from a column I wrote today about the future of content:

  • In a flash of corporate vision akin to the tobacco companies recognizing that smoking causes cancer, NBC and CBS announced that they will join ABC in letting people access their content in new ways.
  • Stopping Grokster is like blocking a set shot from your grandma while her teammates, Dwayne Wade and Tracy McGrady, are flying down the wings. Good luck with that, RIAA.
My mom, a HS senior English teacher, likes it when I use the similes (and metaphors for that matter). Rock on, mom, right?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Freedom on the Bike

From the days when I had the ugliest yellow BMX bike with no pads whatsoever to the stupid 21-gear mountain bike that I ride around NYC everyday to this day -- I'm down with bicycling.

I already told you about the best broken bone I ever had which came from riding a bike. But that wasn't even the best wreck I ever had on my bike. No, the best wreck I ever had was back when I was just about 6 years old or so, and I had this hand-me-down blue banana seated bike from my brother. Down the street from our house, we'd found this incredible motorcycle dirt track with a monster 8' foot ramp in the middle of it. My brother who was 9 or so had a new BMX bike and we rode our bikes down to this track, pulled them through the barbed wire fence and started riding around on the track. We'd line up on the south side of the track and ride down this slope and around the curve to the ramp and ride it up and down.

A couple of my brother's friends in the neighborhood showed up and decided that we should try to really jump off the ramp and have a contest to see who could fly the farthest. Being the youngest, I had to fight to participate in the contest, but they finally let me go last. So I got on my bike and went into the woods on the hill far above the track to get an even better run way. I pedaled like a bat out of hell and caught the turn so fast I was leaning sideways as I went around it.

And while the other kids had caught enough speed to at least catch a little air, I came over that jump going probably 25 miles an hour or so. Given that I'd never jumped a bicycle before, I immediately slammed on the brakes (the old kind that you push backward on the pedal to stop the backwheel). Oops.

I landed slightly off center and the bike slammed onto its side and I went rolling into the brush. My jeans were torn, my knees and elbows covered in blood. But I'd won! And, what a rush the jump had been.

That's what bike riding is about. It's about getting the wind in your hair, feeling the adrenalin flow as you pedal hard and wonder if you're about to lose control. It's about smelling the air, and seeing the world around you with no windshield or other incumbrence. It's about going somewhere.

That said, I'm all down with riding the stationary bike -- I'd bet that I've ridden thousands of miles on them over the years when warming up and/or treating injuries.

Someone want to explain this though?


Why, I ask, why?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

RTR: George Carlin Loses Touch

I've laughed at a lot of George Carlin's comedy over the years. He's a funny man, that's for sure. Sometimes his jokes are full of wisdom and statement on society.

My favorite line of him "Flipping it":

Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.

For this edition of Random Tuesday Review, I look at his latest show. On Saturday night, I attended his HBO special -- "Life is Worth Losing". At the risk of making too easy a pun -- this skit was worth losing.

The only part of the show that had any relevance and insight was the beginning as he listed off all kinds of modern-catch phrases and poked fun at --- well, I have to say I sure heard some funny phrases describing people like me in that rant.

The next hour and ten minutes were spent listening to Carlin desperately trying to get us to laugh at things that conventional wisdom would say is too sacred to laugh at. Some very sad topics including cannibalism and genocide. And the customary gross topics such as -- and I quote: "Pussy farts".

But his handling of that last phrase underscored how he's no longer topical --- I'll bet he doesn't even know the more current term for that physics phenomenon.

And when he was ranting about the supposed lack of parental accountability in today's world (talk about a stupid conventional wisdom that he could have actually flipped to drive home a point --- how about how better parents have gotten in the last fifty years!) he was forced to harken back to the ol' Judas Priest being sued for some kid's suicide. Wasn't that like 20 years ago? How about joining the 90s, George?

Sure, he did some good shocking jokes. But an entire skit based on shock isn't very funny or even smart. Especially when the anecdotes and references are so out of touch.

I give Carlin's "Life is Worth Losing" show a Cody Rating of 3 out of 10. Next!

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Bird Flu is a Joke

Man, the ridiculous overhype around this Avian Flu "scare" is out of control. Get a grip, already, media.

From Google News:
News Results 1 - 10 of about 22,000 for avian flu.

22,000 news hits for a disease that's killed less than 200 people in the last 3 years.

WHO: Human flu pandemic inevitable
CNN International - 2 hours ago
GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) -- A deadly new global pandemic of human influenza is inevitable and suffering will be "incalculable" unless the world is ready, the ...

"Inevitable"??? That's the headline? Talk about misleading. It's not even close to inevitable. It will take all kinds of things going completely and utterly wrong for this stupid bird flu to actually become a pandemic. Cases thus far have been traced to repeated human contact with fowl or ingesting insufficiently cooked chicken products, and human-to-human communicability has not been confirmed in a single case, as Stratfor has accrurately reported.

Prensa Latina
World Bank warns of $950B cost of flu pandemic
CTV.ca, Canada - 5 hours ago
... billion in a single year, a World Bank economist cautioned ... and world officials from around the world that if ... Canada, the costs of an avian flu pandemic could ...

"$950 billion"? That's the headline? Read on, of course, and that number gets a big "if" qualifier. As in," if bird flu takes hold across the planet".

Look, the politicians need to give us a McGuffin to worry about and to make sure that we know that they're doing "the right thing" especially after the way they handled something that really did matter -- Hurricane Katrina.

The whole of the mainstream media's stupid focus on this disease that is worthy of concern, but certainly not something that the average American should even have on their radar is exactly why the movement of democratizing media is so important.

Here's to keeping sensationalism to a minimum and reality to a maximum. Here's to blogging.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Retro Music Friday (November 4, 2005)

So I've been highlighting some new acts each Friday for a few weeks here. Of those I've highlighted thus far, I'd have to cite Kasabian as my favorite.

But today, I'm throwing a curveball out. We're going retro to look at one of my all-time favorite guitarist's best bands. Joe Walsh and James Gang.

I often quote my favorite line from Joe Walsh, which unfortunately comes from his days with the Eagles (a band I liked back in high school, but find I despise as an adult): "I can't complain but sometimes I still do."

Also, whatever happened to the wandering guitarist/artist? Joe, Clapton, and others used to just bounce from project to project -- do any big name guitarists do that anymore? I guess now you have Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service and what not, but the wandering guitar/artist in the vein of Walsh and Clapton -- I can't think of any today.

Anyway, while I like the melodies and beats and the way that Walsh sings, it's all about the guitars on Walsh's James Gang songs. Funky rhythm and sweet, bluesy leads. Check out "Walk Away", "Midnight Man", "The Bomber", and my favorite "Tend my Garden". And of course, there's always "Funk #49".

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Week That Almost Was

It's only Thursday? Here's a snapshot of my week:

  • Am very proud of being a first guest on Larry Kudlow's new podcast show. You can sign up for his podcast to be regularly downloaded to your iPod by clicking here. You can listen to this particular episode by clicking here. Thanks for letting me be part of your revolution, Larry.

  • A friend who's 1/2 Lebanese 1/2 Eastern Indian and was raised in Jamaica and schooled in Switzerland invited me and some other friends to his mother's house (read: compound) in Jamaica for the weekend. Flew out late Friday, got back late Sunday. Their home was beautiful with a gorgeous pool, amazing views and access to the beach. Lots of servants, both of Indian and of Jamaican heritage there too. Was a surreal experience. His little brother lives in Jamaica and runs the family's businesses, and his brother's friends were also of Indian heritage and were schooled at Ivy Leagues. Very "old world" money. His family and the people of Jamaica were very gracious and I had a very relaxing time though it rained all day Saturday. Was surreal though, interacting with servants and the proud old world Indian money. Have to ponder more on the experience.
  • Got over my flu-like body-ache symptoms while I was in Jamaica. Been battling a sore throat and cough this week. What the hell is wrong with me?
  • Listened to probably 20 earnings conference calls this week. And have traded a lot of options and common.
  • Wrote three columns for two different outlets, a lengthy newsletter, and lots of emails. The "e" button fell off my two year old Dell laptop recently. Guess I should upgrade.
  • Biz dinner two nights this with good sources from telecom. Dinner last night with a friend (ordered in at my place, at least).
  • Spent hours on phone and in reports trying to understand a private company's technology and how it fits into the teleconomy.

I don't know, wish I had something more profound to write. Point is, I been pushing it hard again this week. Earnings season, when the vast majority of the companies I follow report earnings over a three week period is such a killer. Just passed the half way mark of this season.

Rest? Soon. Soon. I hope.