New Technology

The Internet and related technologies are changing the securities business. Buzzwords such as “investor empowerment,” “democratization,” and “paradigm shift” only begin to suggest the extent to which the industry is being transformed. But if technology is the driver, regulatory change is the pit crew.

Consider a few recent examples. A couple of years ago, Congress repealed the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, eliminating barriers between commercial banks such as Citibank and investment firms such as Salomon Smith Barney. Later, Congress was debating whether to repeal the ban on trading single stock futures (surrogates for the underlying securities) and which set of laws – securities, commodities, or both – would apply to that area of trading.

U.S. exchanges shredded trading in fractions in favor of decimals. In the following years, the securities settlement cycle shrunk from three days to one day, dramatically reducing risk in the financial system. Eventually, a security may trade globally and continuously as firms pass their trading book from closing markets to open markets.

My Christian Ghetto

There are two great temptations every Christian faces in regard to how he relates to the world. The first is that which we are most familiar with, that narrative of a boy taking his inheritance early and running off to cavort with heathens.

Stay out of pool halls. Check.
Don’t rush down to Cancun on Spring Break. Check.

I was in Bible College when I started hearing about the second temptation, to withdraw from the culture-at-large and hang out with only Christian friends. Some people referred to it as “the Christian bubble” that arena wherein inhabitants are shielded from the evil realities of the world out there.

Jesus famously instructed, “Be in the world, but not of the world.”

Okay, Jesus.  You lost me.
Are you saying you want me to go to Cancun?
Not exactly? Well, then I don’t get it.

I really liked that verse though it may have been the eisegesis talking.

Our Dorothy Days

beyond-religion-sexuality-bible-beyond-religion-s-39In this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, Darcey Steinke reviews Mary Gordon’s Circling My Mother: A Memoir, what seems like another really excellent book by a really excellent Catholic writer. In the review, Steinke, the daughter of a Lutheran minister, reminisces about the days when priests were not just respected, but revered.

A time, frankly, when American Catholicism seemed to have something to offer to America. In literature, AC gave us Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy; in politics, the Kennedys; in Hollywood, the convert Gary Cooper; and in the world of service, reform, and activism, two more converts, Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day.

Clean Shaven Legs

It’s Saturday night and I’m exhausted. Things have been so busy these days that I feel like I’m just rushing through the day from one thing to another with no time to sit back and enjoy any one of them.

Today, I was so mixed up that I went to a birthday pool party an hour EARLY! I was standing there with my son looking around and wondering why no one else was there (we were supposed to meet at the pool of an apartment building complex). Then when I called my friend, I thought it was strange that she sounded surprised to hear from me and said that she wasn’t ready yet but would come and get me at the pool as soon as she could. Aren’t we supposed to meet out here? Why isn’t she here already? It took me a good three minutes to figure it out. Duh! I’m super early.

When I have to wear a suit to work

For one or two days out of every year I have to wear a suit to work.  This is one of those days.  I hate it.  I can’t stand wearing suits.  I feel like I’m at my own open-casket funeral.  I don’t mind tuxes, in fact I quite enjoy wearing my tux.  I think a man in a tux is just about irresistible.  And most men look pretty darn good in a suit.  I just hate wearing one.  They are itchy and stuffy and blah.

I own two suits.  The first one is now a museum piece, as I had a small waist when I first bought few years ago.  Days gone by, my friends, days gone by.  The second is a chunky dark gray suit that looks like it was taken right out of The Sopranos wardrobe.  It was poorly tailored in a rush to have it ready for my grandfather’s funeral and completely unsuited (ha, unsuited!) for business use.  Unless I’m conducting business in a titty bar.

The $100K trigger finger

Most of us are familiar with the story of the Six Million Dollar Man, and most of us have eaten a Hundred Grand Bar (the candy bar formerly known as the Hundred Thousand Dollar Bar). But what about the Hundred Thousand Dollar Trigger Finger?

This story concerns an acquaintance of mine who is a sworn officer for a state law-enforcement agency. One weekend, while doing a little home improvement, he accidentally cut off the tip of his right index finger, just above the first knuckle. Since the guy is right handed, his right index finger is his trigger finger—a fairly important digit for someone in law enforcement.

After the accident, he and the severed fingertip were rushed to the hospital. The doctors called in a hand specialist—there’s a specialist for every body part, apparently—who attempted to re-attach the finger. The hand specialist was unsuccessful, so he called in a plastic surgeon to sew up the shortened digit in a way that would minimize scarring. All in all, my acquaintance spent two nights in the hospital.

February Expectations

So first off, we’ve already had 1 month of 2016 – will somebody apply the brakes, please? February is a little bit of a funny month – it’s the one that I never really remember, or pay much attention to. It’s just a bit of a filler if you ask me – once March kicks in, then the year really starts but I have certain expectations about February…

1. Expect more blog posts about my placement because it’ll be in full force this month – I just completed my first full shift and it went quite well. I’ve got plenty of jobs to be getting on with (possibly too many) so there’s lots of new stuff to learn – slightly gutted, but oh well, what can you do?

2. Taking on Math. I found this really good website with Math questions, so I am getting ready for my Math exam. How good is your math?

3. Money will be tight. Every bill known to man looks like it’s coming out of my bank account in February – credit card, subscriptions, phone contract… *sigh* Last month I think I had about $5 to last me two weeks – very tough, and I delved deeper into the credit card pot, but I came out the other side which I expect to do this month too… ask me that at the end of February.

I am exhausted and I’m not even sure why

First of all, thank you everyone for the prayers concerning Nathan. I received a reply from him this morning…And he is fine. Yay! He actually had not yet made it to Baghdad yet at the time he had emailed me…and while he had heard about attacks, he had not even heard that there had been soldier casualties. Anyway, thank you. I’m still feeling nervous for him, however, and that will probably continue. Nothing you can do about that.

So yesterday was a non-stop panic attack. If you don’t remember me talking about Nathan, my childhood friend who is currently serving in the Army, …and you obviously haven’t read enough of the archives to know about him. The guy that is going through the divorce, I’m going through a break up…and we’re both too vulnerable to know better.

Yes, I think I kind of have feelings for this guy. But I can’t act on them right now even if I wanted to, you know? We’re both in the wrong place right now. He’s broken. I’m broken. We’re both a mess and for now we have sat and written endless emails to each other in an attempt to vent out our feelings. There are things we have shared with each other that we would not and have not shared with our other friends and/or family members.  It’s been nice to have him in my life. And well, yes, I have developed some sort of feelings. I’m not sure what kind but yeah. They are there.

Black Friday Dilemma, Shopping deals for runners

Today is Black Friday but it is also Buy Nothing Day, however, one should be prepared for the other 364 days when you can spend, without worrying about your conscience, therefore I present to you The Ars Technica Holiday Gift Guide.

This year they’ve conveniently divided it up into sections. Under the kitchen section, for example, the first item is an Impressa E Espresso Machine, made by Jura-Capresso that will set you back an astonishing $899 although, when it comes to the coffee fiend who shares your bed you should spare no expense.

Moving along the next section to catch my eye was the fitness section.

The first item on the list is the Gramin forerunner 310 GPS. It’s a special gadget made for runners. You strap it to your wrist like a watch. If you are a runner and feel the need for something to track how far, how fast and at what pace you are running you want this. It also comes with a heart rate monitor you strap around your chest so it can send data wirelessly to the GPS. The cheapest place to get this is at GPScity.ca or .com. For a cool $169.95 CAD you are saving $80 -$100 over the competition. Mine arrived in the mail two days ago. I will post a review in another week or two once I get on to it.

Book Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The best book I have read lately is called, The Help, written by Kathryn Stockett. I put it on my hold list at the library back in November. Five days ago I bought it home and stayed up way past my bedtime to finish reading it.

All the action in this story takes place in Jackson Mississippi from 1960-1964.

The story unfolds from the eyes of two black domestic workers, Aibileen and Minny, they spend their days cleaning up after white families, cooking their meals and raising their children.

Skeeter, a young white woman just returned from college, is struggling with the racial inequalities she sees all around her. As well, her mother would like her to be like her friends and settle down with a husband and kids. But Skeeter is desperate to become a writer.