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The Cody Blog: January 2006

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

81: Love and Hate

Long time readers know I'm not much of a sports "fan". I love to play, but I don't like to watch that much. And I couldn't care less about any particular team winning -- I'm passionate about a lot of stuff, some dudes all decked out in the same uniform scoring more points in some strange activity with subjective judges isn't one of them.

And Kobe Bryant? He's the anti-Mark Cuban. I want to hate Kobe for being such a punk all the time, but I can't. He's just too good.

Here's the kid scoring 81 in one game -- condensed down to three minutes. I had 43 in one game in high school and have hit the 70s in tournaments over the years...but 81? In any league, that's mind-blowing.

Radio America

Broadcast is most definitely dying, as I'll continue to write for the next twenty years --- and that italicized part is an oft-overlooked, but very important point.

Anyway, before the model is dead, I'll be doing a radio shot tomorrow. You can click here to find your local station.

Opening Doors on Airplanes in Flight

New York company seeks to make matches in the sky

By Ellen Wulfhorst
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hoping to ease the nightmare of flying next to a crashing bore, a company in New York will match like-minded passengers to help make the time fly.

Sounds like a silly business model, and it's not a company that I'd want to be involved with, but yet another wonder of the communications revolution.

Reflecting on a Deja Vu

A deja vu is a deja vu only if it's a deja vu of a deja vu, you know?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Sundance Teaser

Okay, so here's a Sundance review teaser ---

  • wiping out on a double black diamond in the same pair of jeans I wore to a formal party a couple weeks ago, and having to dig myself out of what seemed like 8' of fresh powder.

  • movie here, movie there.

  • network enhancing party after party, talking content revolution, online rich media strategies, and so much more. I learned and thought through so much....

  • great concerts, crazy girls, insane crowd -- what the hell is wrong with people?!

  • award ceremonies and after-ceremony parties.

  • I kept thinking the weekend couldn't get better...but it kept gettting better. Hell, the flight home itself was the culmination, can you imagine?

Too much fun. Did I mention I'm running on about six hours sleep since last Thursday? Two more conference calls to go tonight and then I'm gonna hopefully crash for a good eight or nine hour sleep.


Friday, January 27, 2006

NMF: Dancing in the Sun

"Cody, you gotta meet us down at Sundance in a couple weeks," so said a couple buddies of mine from a new media company and an old one after I intro'd the two at dinner.

Now, I'm from a ski resort town in NM and I do love to ski. However, I'm not really much of a fan of movies in general, as my patience for formulaic, intelligence-insulting Hollywood crap is pretty much non-existent these days.

More to the point, I'm sorta working on overdrive lately with a lot of stuff in the works, along with all that daily writing, rock and roll, living life, etc --- and that little day job which dominates all aspects of my life and all nooks of my mind of running a fund.

Anyway, I pretty much didn't think I'd make it to Sundance. But the fact is that I had quite a few contacts from a couple little ol' companies that I'm invested in that you've probably read me or heard me talking about for the last couple years while they've all but taken over the world.

So in a last minute frenzy, my assistant found me a couple of tickets to Utah (which I haven't been to since Keith Van Horn dunked on my Lobos 7 times in one game, as I'd noted yesterday on Realmoney.com).

And that's how I come to find myself sitting here typing today's NMF from a ski lodge at the bottom of the slopes in Park City. We've got a couple movies lined up, a concert or two (including Liz Phair, someone I've always had a bit of a crush on, and a private concert with the Counting Crows -- one of the first songs I ever learned on guitar...guess which one), and a bit of skiing to boot. I'm happy I came here.

So today's New Music Friday is a special movie edition.

Off the top of my head, I can think of two movies to highlight, though they're not "new" (I will however highlight any new movies that I see here that are any good, so stay tuned this weekend or on Monday).

The first is "pi", the first movie by Darren Aronofsky. I also highly recommend his Requiem of a Dream too.

Great line from the movie: "That is the truth of our world, Max. It can't be easily summed up with math..." - Sol

And, please no comments about how I probably like this movie so much because I relate to the paranoid, delusional main character who's obsessed with trying to make sense of Wall Street.

The other movie? Star Wars. And I make no apologies for loving this one. Up until just maybe five years ago, I still often dreamed at night that I was Luke. Though Han is my favorite character.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Drawing A Woman From Inside Out

Check out this website. It's pretty cool. I'm not much of a sketch artist (though I do try sometimes), and like in all art I have no training, but as M said in her email:

This is exactly how art teachers tell the students to draw figures....inside out!

Now if I could only understand women from the inside out...or the outside in...or people in general for that matter. Sigh.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Is There Such a Thing as the Mini-Flip?

So in a cab ride conversation with my friend, Carly, last weekend, she told me that she "mini-flipped" something. I told her that's not possible, because "flipping" is a superlative. Either you turn it upside down or you don't. You can't be mini-pregnant and you can't be very unique and you can't mini-flip.

But Carly pointed out that you can look at something more than two ways. Especially the abstract economic topics that I so love to flip. Hmm, great point. And I told her so.

Then yesterday, I hop into a cab to go get my haircut (oh, yes, this...hopefully more on this topic in the future), and the cab driver says, "I gave you a ride on Saturday. You were arguing about a funny topic with a lady."

"Holy cow!" I say. "That's an amazing coincidence and that's even more amazing that you remember!"

"Oh yes," he goes on in his thick Pakistani accent, "I remember because I kept thinking to myself that you were right and your friend was wrong."

Small world. But that story could only happen in NYC.

And the most ironic part of the whole thing: I think Carly is right. Mini-flips exist, no?

Revising My American Idol Confessional

Tis true. I like to watch American Idol. At least while they're touring the country finding singers. I mean, how about that lovely girl last night with the tinyi speaking voice who sounded like a symphony when she belted out those two songs? Like Paula, I had chills listening. And then when the girl starts crying tears of joy and her mother joins her. How can you not have to wipe your own eyes at that moment? Beautiful stuff.

That said, last season, after I'd written about how I actually like AI, it turned out that I only like the first few episodes. And that makes sense to me. Because at that point, those singers still have SOUL. They're bleeding for their chance. By the time they're made into "American Idols", they're cleansed, refined, bleached, and fluffed to the point where they sound like that soul-less commercial crap collectively called "pop".

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

American Idol's Disrespectful Cussing

What the heck is Fox doing with their American Idol brand as they repeat this horrible woman cussing out Paula Abdul's image? It's just disrespectful to their "star" Paula, and incredibly disrespectful to the audience (yes, including children, but not all about the children).

Monday, January 23, 2006

Best News on TV

Remember the controversy of how more young adults get their news from the Daily Show than from network news? You know why?

Because it's the only one that's EVEN watchable! And it's actually really good and insightful. I mean, how much more insightful is it to know the hypocrisy and repeated talking points of the Dems and Repub parites than it is to simply hear them once on the network news. One is propaganda. The other is NEWS.

Typical Relativity

From the WSJ today:

Venture-Capital Bets Swell Stanford's Endowment
Alternative Investments GiveWealthy Schools an Edge; Trinity Can't Afford the Risk

...The big risk: The college education available to most in the U.S. could end up weaker, especially in relative terms...

I have a problem with that statement. I get the logic -- that with more money to offer the best students and the best teachers that the best schools will get even better.

But I fail to see how that "risk" is a "problem". I think it's great to have incredible institutions. And it's not a zero-sum game. The brilliance at the great institutions will shine on the entire system.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Cody Show: Castles Burning

So I've really been on this Neil Young kick ... it went into overdrive the last couple of weeks.

Check out my band, The Cody Show's new whisper-rap cover of his "Don't Let it Bring you Down". In my cover, I sample both his version and the ethereal cover of the same by Annie Lennox, though I play all my own instruments and blues-ify it.

I call my version "Castles Burning". It's sorta Neil Young meets hip hop...or something like that.

Click here to download it for free.


NMF, Flashback Edition: Neil Young

My mom is an amazing concert classical pianist. My older brother is an incredible guitarist. But for some reason, I totally rejected music throughout my youth. Refused to take piano. Refused to be in the school band. Just didn't feel right to me.

I told the story awhile ago about how I became a musician. Logistically-speaking that is. But the reason I fell in love with music is simple: Neil Young.

I worked as a real estate appraiser as my summer, christmas, and spring break jobs during college. My boss, my mentor, my friend, Rod Adamson is, like my mom and brother, a fantastic musician. He'd played in rock bands in college and knew the music of the 70s like nobody else. He sent me home with a Neil Young tape at some point during that first summer. And it changed my life. Made me passionate about music and guitar.

That tape was Neil Young's Year of the Horse, a collection of 12 live songs. There's just so much dissonance, rock, grunge, even ugliness to some of the songs, that they jump out of the speakers, grab your head and shake it. Then they mush your face like a chump who just got dunked on. The guitar man. The guitar.

Then I took home Ragged Glory. F****n' Up is such a classic rock song, as Crazy Horse gently asks "Why do I-i-i?" and finally Neil comes in and prods you, dares you to answer his rhetorical question: "Why do I keep fucking up?!"

And Love and Only Love -- a ten minute lifeboat ride as the ship sinks next to you and you're wondering if you're going to make it to that deserted island. (The song does however, in some ways, sound remarkably like the other 10 minute song on the tape, Love to Burn.)

Neil's a true rock star. He's kept it real always. I highly recommend the Jim Jaramusch documentary about Neil and Crazy Horse's tour from Year of the Horse. You see Neil's passion, perfectionism, and especially his business savvy throughout.

After I bought Decade when I returned to school at the end of the summer, I always told people that you can't listen to Neil Young and be in a bad mood. Even his most depressing songs, say Needle and the Damage Done, make me happy when I hear them.

It's not that Neil hasn't had some losers in his life. Everybody's Rockin comes to mind.

But going through rough spots, exploring new ideas, even when they fail --- and persevering through it, working hard, changing and growing all the time...that's what rock stars are supposed to do.

Update: So I've really been on this Neil Young kick ... it went into overdrive the last couple of weeks.

Check out my band, The Cody Show's new whisper-rap cover of his "Don't Let it Bring you Down". In my cover, I sample both his version and the ethereal cover of the same by Annie Lennox, though I play all my own instruments and blues-ify it.

I call my version "Castles Burning". It's sorta Neil Young meets hip hop...or something like that.

Click here to download it for free.

Return of the Zombies

9:07pm -- "Ah, finally back home. Hunger. Exhaustion."

9:29pm -- "Hmm, I'm sick of answering emails...order food. Scooby snacks." Cottage NYC on Google brings up menupages.com (I don't have paper menus in my apt anymore, that site changed my life like that...). "Mmm, wonton soup, egg roll...what to have for a main course? Ah, just tell the lady taking the order to surprise me."

9:49pm -- Wonton soup, egg roll, sesame chicken. "Looks good."

10:00pm -- "Hmm, this Chinese food that got such great reviews on menupages.com and was suggested by my friend, Daniele -- well, it's too greasy. "

10:10pm -- "How can every single show on TV look, feel, and insult my intelligence the exact same way with its formulaic and obvious set ups, jokes, plots (when they bother with one). Did original ideas on TV peak with Andy Griffith and Dick Van Dyke? I always enjoy those flashback episodes from DVDyke. And, man, how hot was Mary Tyler Moore back in the day? Anyway, I can't wait for the revolutionary content from the masses made possible by the dot revolution to blow apart the formulas."

10:14pm -- "How ironic that I'm drinking an American beer, Sierra Nevada with this bad Chinese food."

11:00pm -- "Man, I am sick of reading the same ol, same ol' politically slanted, superficial, and oft-pointless mainstream media in this stack of magazines."

12:04am -- "Why aren't I sleepy yet? I thought I was tired."

12:17am -- "Man, this might be the first bad Paul Newman movie I've ever seen."

12:49am -- "Stop thinking about your job. Stop thinking about your job. Stop thinking about your job."

1:31am -- "Seriously, just go to bed already, Cody. Try it at least."

2:30am -- "Oh, come on! Sleep! You have such a crazy day ahead of you tomorrow. Video for TSC too, and your eyes are gonna be all puffy. What are you vain too, Cody? Ouch, man, don't be so harsh on yourself. Sleep, dammit. Sleep. Please!"

3:32am -- "Okay, forget it, just get up and do some work. Might as well be productive."

3:39am -- "Does this blog post count for work? No, not really. But it is productive."

3:51am -- "Sigh. Start NMF post. That's productive too, right?"

Been like this a lot the last few weeks. I'm thinking it's cuz I've been having some really bad dreams lately. And so my system doesn't want me to sleep, cuz sleep leads to dreams. Just have to deal. It is what it is.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Even Bud Knows American Beer Sucks

Doesn't this say it all:

Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. Bud Select Budweiser Select - Budweiser Select is “a new kind of beer” brewedfor a crisp taste that finishes clean. Budweiser Select was developed using ...

I mean, if Budweiser were any good to begin with, would there even be a need for Bud Select? No!

Can you imagine "Guinness Select"? Bass Select? No, of course not. Because those beers are already good!

America rules in tech. But, boy, does it blow when it comes to beer.

PS. Ooooh, do I have a great New Music Friday concept for tomorrow! Stay "tuned", baby!

Seton Hall Expo Review

Nice write up and pictures from the Economic Colloquium at Stillman that I attended last week. Click here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Media Pulls, as Push Dies

From my column on page 11 in the Financial Times today: "The powers that be are no more."

And: "They can't stop the revolution."

I'd even worked in a slam on government-controlled media outlets...but it got pulled in the end. Too bad.

Still, fun stuff.

PS. Man, I am being "pulled" all over the place lately. Insanely busy (then again, wasn't I already insane and already busy?).

PPS. A veritable blog post is coming. Soon. Really!

Speaking at SIRE Conference

Next monday night, January 23 at 5:30pm, I'll be joining James Altucher, Lenny Dykstra (yes, believe it or not, it's that Lenny Dykstra), and Michael Soni at Richard Suttmeir's SIRE conference. My main man, George Moriarty from RealMoney.com, will be moderating. For an advanced reservation, you can e-mail gmcreports@aol.com.

The Cody Show: Taking a Bite of Apple

Another day, another step in the video revolution. Check out today's clip on TheStreet.com -- gotta watch the whole way through to get to my prop at the end.

Friday, January 13, 2006

NMF: Alexi Murdoch

I almost hate to feature this kid, Alexi Murdoch, this week, since he's been featured on The OC. The OC?! Pop culture puke if there ever was some. But I can't hold it against Alexi's music.

It's a nice, mellow, chill sound. He's only released a four song EP so far, accurately titled, "Four Songs - EP".

I'd like to hear him with a just a little more layers to his music, and I'll bet they hook him up with an amazing producer to help broaden his sound out.

In the meantime, I'm cool with his mellow sound.

And speaking of mellow, folks, I gots nuttin' left to give this world this week. Peace.

The Video Revolution Redux Re-Ducks

Let's see if this works --- revolutions are never smooth, you know? You'll need to make sure your pop-up blocker isn't stopping a new window from popping up, but you should be able to click here and check out my CNBC appearance from yesterday.

As I wrote on RealMoney.com the other day:

The revolution happens before our eyes; become a part of it, or get the hell outta the way.

PS. NMF on its way. Stay "tuned".

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Closing the Bell

The video revolution keeps on playing. Check me out on CNBC's Closing Bell today around 3:45pm EST.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Video Revolution in Play Redux

Who woulda' thunk it? Back to back video revolution days. This one available at Seton Hall's website.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Video Revolution in Play

Check me out today as part of the video revolution. I talk about a few of my favorite semiconductor stocks. And I even slip in a reference to myself as "The Cody Show"...hoohah, indeed!

Monday, January 09, 2006

On Protectionism as Racism Redux

Great article in WSJ today reminding everyone how un-American and racist in roots (and, though the article didn't make the point, how unproductive, un-virtuous and harmful to the economy) the anti-immigration laws in this country are.

Let people who want to come to this country in. Any of 'em. The more, the merrier, the better for our economy, the better for each of us. And it's constitutional. It's what this country is all about. Yet another red-taped-filled, morally corrupt bureaucracy for us free-thinkers to take down!

For more on my take of how protectionism is simply this generation's racism read this post from the past:

Protectionism is the New Racism

...Today a black woman is a likely front runner for the Presidency of the most powerful country in the history of the planet and a black man is a front runner for the Pope! The end of mass racism is nigh.

If you look back at how racists used to rationalize their beliefs, they often centered around economics. “Those niggers take our jobs,” so said the white supremists for oh so many years. Of course, the reality is that widespread upward mobility allows for economies to grow, which in turn creates value and wealth for everyone who’s willing to partake in the economy. It’s not a sum zero game. It’s a virtuous cycle of growth and value...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Willing to Remember the Pain

Had some nightmare/flashbacks to 9/11 again this week. Hadn't felt that since this summe when I'd had a really rough go of things. Then, looking for another email, I came across this one I'd written this summer. Feels good to have moved on from a lot of that pain, but feelings linger.

Wow. So I can understand that your silence says it all. But I can’t understand why you’d choose that method to deliver the message.

I thought I’d say this to you at some point, but I guess I’ll have to write it instead.

Look, I realized in Nevis that I’d seen, done, and felt so much more on 9/11 than I’d accepted. I saw people burn to their deaths. I saw a couple in flames, holding hands be torn apart as they hit scaffolding. There’s more, but you get the idea.

I’ve never used 9/11 as an excuse for anything. I hate when people ask me about it, in large part because it makes me feel guilty because they want me to wear it as a badge of honor. Being there was no badge of honor. I was utterly helpless as thousands of people died around me. That’s the reality, and it feels awful.

I’ve no idea why this all came up while I was in Nevis. But it did. Sure, I realized that I thought I loved you, and that shook me up some. Maybe that was a catalyst for the whole episode, but maybe it was simply time for me to deal with reality anyway. Maybe I saw something on the plane ride down there. I have no idea. But whatever the cause, the pain around that 9/11 experience hit, and it hit hard. (And here even now, I want to feel guilty for leaning on 9/11 as a driver for my own feelings and actions. But fuck that. I feel stuff from that day. It is what it is).

I freaked out. Personally, emotionally, I was wrecked, and as you and I weren’t even able to talk but for brief moments, I was irrational.

Ironically, I’m fine now. I actually feel like I have access to a part of my mind and my feelings that had been locked away. I had to feel what I had to feel about that day, and I’ve done that and while it’ll always be a part of me, I’ve moved on.

What kills me here is that I can’t fathom that you won’t call, much less email. Did I hurt you? Have I scared you?

You once told me that you thought I was naïve because of some of the optimism and hope in what I say and write. I never understood why you thought that, as I’ve been through and seen so much. I’ve been hurt, I’ve been betrayed, I’ve failed and so much more. I’ve been rich amongst whites and poor amongst blacks. Hell, I’ve been on Wall Street for years, and there’s no more cynical, and often evil place on the planet.

But perhaps I am naïve. Rightly or wrongly, I thought you cared a lot about me. Did I completely misread what we were? I was so close to you, had shared more about my life (including the 9/11 stories I’d shared with you that I’d not shared with anyone else), and trusted you. I knew that my feelings were moving fast, but we talked and interacted so much that I just believed in you, in us, and trusted my feelings. I can’t believe that you realize what it feels like to be on this end of your silence. Did I completely misread who you are?

Call me or write me or something.

NMF: Cover Day!

For today's New Music Friday, it's "Cover Day" (not to be confused with the former cheeseball lead singer from Whitesnake and Coverdale Page -- was there any doubt that Jimmy was done as an artist the day they put out their first video together? But I digress again....)

I'm going to highlight a few of my favorite song covers today -- and one from that ubiquitous band, "The Cody Show".

Sweet Emotion -- Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon

Baba O'Riley -- Pearl Jam (I've listened to 20 different versions of it off iTunes -- most any of 'em are amazing)

Batman -- The Who (sorta' deep that I follow a cover of a Who song with a cover by the Who, huh?)

Beautiful -- Clem Snide

And here's a horrible cover just for the hell of it: Bringin' on the Heartbreak -- Mariah Carey (oooh, just found the LIVE version of it. I bet that one's particularly horrible! I'll have to download to find out...)

Here's a much better cover of a Def Lep (just now noticed how close that is to Led Zep...smart Brits!): Love Bites -- QED

And finally: After the Gold Rush -- The Cody Show (this one's free, just click on the link and it'll download to your computer automatically)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pat Robertson is Evil

Pat Robertson says Sharon's stroke may be God's punishment WHO-TV, IA - 8 minutes ago VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. The Reverend Pat Robertson says Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's massive stroke could be God's punishment for giving up Israeli territory. ...

I can't believe I'm giving this unbelievably stupid, horrible man, Robertson any press at all. But I will do so, simply to flip it:

If Pat Robertson died of a stroke, I might actually believe that it was "God" punishing him for all his evils.

Pat's no Castro, Putin or Che Guevara, but he is certainly a very evil person.

A Legend is Born

Someday I'll publish some highlights from back in my glory football days. One of my biggest regrets in life is having quit football in high school to "focus on basketball".

I watched one of my first college football games in like ten years last night, because I usually boycott college sports (the NCAA is, like the American Medical Association, an illegal monopoly, and it's not cool at all that people like Coach K and everyone else and the universities make billions off the backs of athletes who are lucky to graduate college...but I digress).

Holy cow that was an amazing game last night though. Best football game I've ever seen. You couldn't script Vince Young walking into the end zone on a fourth and five from the five with 28 seconds left.

Other than having to watch the game on mute because the idiot announcers were so bad (I was #14 when I was quarterback on the Colts in 6th grade --- before I switched to 23 in 7th grade (Jordan of course) --- because of Dan Fouts. But he is a horrible announcer, let's face it. And who was that idiot host during halftime who would ask the player from Alabama and the soldier in Iraq one stupid question and then leave them hanging with their half-answers...but I digress), that was simply an amazing event to watch as I worked on my laptop last night.

And Vince Young has to be the best football player since Jim Brown. Period.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Sunset Several Levels Away

Took this photo with my Treo phone on the road from El Paso to Alamogordo.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

ATM -- Absolutely The Money (you requested)

Every time I've ever -- and I mean EVER in my life -- pulled money from an ATM, it's been perfectly accurate in delivering the right quantity per my request. How is that possible? I mean, cell phones suck. Even old world circuit telephones strive to "five nines" reliable, meaning 99.999%.

I've never researched it, but I'd bet that ATMs are even more accurate than that.

That said, I look at my checking account statement like once every six months. Maybe I'm getting screwed somewhere on that side of the transaction.

Anyway, just another incredible wonder of our time and place on this planet. Amazing.

Anybody ever have issues (good or bad) with ATMs?