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Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Return to Central New York

It was family weekend at Cortland State and a pretty good time was had by all. We managed to squeeze out some quality time with our freshman progeny without disrupting her evening party commitments. As for the parents, it was the Saturday night biker bar (Easy Streets) in Homer, NY, one of central NY's finest, believe me. In between, we saw C-State rip Montclair State on the gridiron and enoyed the ever changing weather typical of the Adirondacks - Rain on Friday, cool and breezy Saturday, summer - like on Sunday. As they say, if you don't like the weather, just wait 15 minutes.

Overheard - Misty eyed husband: Did you ever think, in your wildest dreams, after all these years, we would get to this point, visiting our daughter in college?
Wife: Honey, in my wildest dreams, you're not even there.

Also, as fate would have it, I have been spending a little extra time visiting in the Rehab Center (talk about the Sandwich Generation). Nevertheless, there is the occasional amusing incident, even in that setting. One evening, after visiting directly from work, and on my way out, I was stopped by a female elderly resident (FER) in a wheelchair in the hall.

FER: Are you the boss?
Me: I'm sorry, I have no authority here at all.
FER(puzzled, frowning): Then why are they making you wear that suit?

Writing in Forbes Life, P.J. O'Rourke discussing the need to respond to recalls of China made toys: "My wife and I have had to empty our playroom and come up with an explanation for why there's nothing in there except a Mr. Potato Head. We invented a tale of the 'Anti - Santy.' He comes in the middle of the year and takes toys away from bad children. Fortunately our children are pretty bad, so they're buying it. But I wouldn't say they were happy with the situation."

The stock market has bounced back the last two days, impressively today, but we still might find that this rally is merely short covering after last week's misery. Once the shorts have restored balance and taken their profits, the selling may well resume. A certainty is that we have not seen the last of the mortgage mess or the credit crunch. That should make the market vulnerable for some time yet.

Anyway, I've been buying, since we raised all that cash selling PWI and UIC, and then the market fell. On 10/15, I bought 200 shares of USA Trucking (USAK) at 14.46. Last Wednesday, I bought another small trucker, Frozen Food Express (FFEX), 400 shares at 6.58. This was a stock we were selling in 2005 at prices ranging from 10.59 to 13. Yesterday, I bought 100 shares of Watts Water Technologies (WTS) at 29.34.

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