Rik's Ramblings

Monday, March 23, 2009

Short Selling

Everyone hates people that short stock at the moment. But it seems to me that shorting stock is a (healthy?) reaction to other speculation in the market.

People are complaining because the Yahoo stock they bought at $40 is barely worth $10 right now. But when you bought that Yahoo stock what was it really worth? Never was it worth $40! You paid that much because you were speculating - speculating that Microsoft would buy Yahoo and you would make a killing. What were you thinking? Did you think Microsoft would be forced to buy your holding at a million dollars per share?!

Egg on your face?

Great ski weekend

Ben and I spent the weekend up at Tahoe. Skiing and Snowboarding (respectively).

Drove up friday and got there around 5pm. We went to Northstar. They've built a huge new 'village' up there and we 'discovered' a nice little (outdoor)iceskating rink that they've built in the midst of it all - naturally we had to have a go. Also got hot chocolates and belgian wallfles and sat by the icerink by a fire enjoying those. Friday's weather was sunny and warm (for 6000ft) so it was nice to sitout until about 6pm.

Saturday we had a full day on the slopes. Actually, we were a little late getting started as we had to grab all the rental gear, change etc. Plus I wasn't exactly early getting out of bed and we needed breakfast before we could hit the slopes (which we had in the village at Northstar at the 'Blue Wave' wraps place.

Started easy on the bunny slopes, but Ben only needed two runs on that before he was ready to get on Arrow chair and start on the proper green run (Lumberjack). Then it wasn't long before the green run was too easy for him and we graduated to blue (Main Street).

We were doing some little side runs (through trees) and he was handling it really well. Played around there arrow chair for a while on those runs, but by about 2pm we were ready to eat, so we went to the top of the mountain (up comstock chair) and decided we'd ski all the way down to the village to get lunch (West ridge, Luggi, Main Street, Lumberjack, Village run) about 2300ft of decent and a nice long run.

Back to bluewave for lunch.

Due to the late lunch we only had about 90mins after lunch, but we continued with the comstock chair.

A big storm came in around 3.30. Making us rather wet and cold, but we percevered until 4, the again did the village run.

We hung out for a little while with waffles and hot chocolate by the fire. The icering was open, but had a 6inch covering of snow on it- not that this put anyone off. There was also a band playing. Big snowflakes were falling, very pretty.

Saturday night the snow camedown heavy! When we got up sunday the car had a 9inch topping of snow. The roads had been ploughed, but they had chain control on the road from Kings Beach to Truckee (and hence Northstar). Thankfully the Subaru gave us an exemption from stopping and putting on chains!

The mountain was beautiful when we got there. Pines covered with snow, white toppings on all the buildings and powder covering all the runs.

Sunday started off on Arrow chair, but Ben was eager to do blue runs, so it wasn't long before we were up on Comstock and trying some new runs. Unfortunatly we tried East Ridge, which - unlike West Ridge - was a typical Ridge run ... Flat. There were some nice looking black runs dropping down from it - especially given their powder condition - unfortunatly Ben wouldn't have had a good experience doing them, and therefore I couldn't.

We also attempted some backside (drifter). Ben did OK on it, but it was rather too soft for skiis so it took a long while to get down. He did well though, kept his skiis under control, didn't fall over too much.

By the time we got back to the top (Backside express to the summit) it was about 12.30, so we stopped at the summit grill for lunch.

It had been snowing lightly the whole morning, but while we were having lunch it stopped and the sun started to shine a little.

After lunch we 'took it easy', just concentrating on doing the westridge/mainstreet/lumberjack runs until 4pm when they closed down. We both managed to clear the jumps at the sides of Lumberjack, which we were both pleased about.

Back to bluewave for burgers and hotchocolate before heading off home. I have to say, my major disappointment with the Northstar resort is the lack of any healthy food. All wraps, burgers, burritos and chilli whenever you look. We were desperate for some fruit and veg by the end of it!

By the time we left it was past 5. Traffic was slow down to Auburn, so we didn't get home until about 11pm. Great weekend though!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Circuit Simulator Applet

I’ve been playing with some electronics ideas recently and wanted a modern day equivalent (i.e., free) version of SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis).

After a brief bit of Googleing around I found this nice little Java applet that allows you to create circuits and simulate them.  Supports a reasonable number of components and ICs.