Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Illusionist

Wow. This movie was amazing! After not hearing much about it while in theatres, I didn't expect it to be all that good. I haven't been that wrong in a long time. It's absolutely one of the best movies I've seen in a while. Great story, great directing, great acting; the only thing bad about it was that it had to end. Once in a while, a movie comes along that is nearly perfect for the story it tells. The Illusionist is definitely one of those movies.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Timberlake on SNL

SNL finally gets it right. Justin Timberlake is a funny guy.

Trump Keeps It Real

I'm a fan of Trump. I have been ever since reading his book The Art of the Deal. But behind all his self-promotions and corporate mumbo jumbo, I always felt like he was hiding the real Trump. This might be the most honest Trump on tv to date:


But is he just trying to build hype and publicity? That's certainly not a stunt beyond Trump. He's a little over the top and that public behavior isn't really consistent with what we've seen in the past. He certainly would not have just snapped over Rosie being critical of him, he's dealt with critics all his life. Besides that, this is all a little too childish. It's a little suspicious, but still more real than we've ever seen before.

Rosie responded on her blog with a copy from the Trump Wiki article about his bankruptcy and:

"loving the wiki
i use it
do u

i will let u know if the donald sues me
or if kelli leaves me for one of his pals
dont u find him charming"

Man vs Wild: Tip #37

If you're ever stranded on the plains of Africa, just remember this little chestnut:

Sadly, one of the mic men spewed his Sprite upon seeing this.

Was it really neccessary? I'm pretty sure showing that little tip to the viewing public is not going to save anyone's life. Let's hope they aren't trying to give the survivor shows more shock value to compete with series such as Nip/Tuck. If Bear Grylls screws a gazelle to stay warm, I'm totally turning off my television.

This has been Man vs Wild: Tip #37.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Now that school is out, I'm going home for some R&R. I'll be visiting family, seeing friends I haven't in far too long, catching up on some reading, and playing cards. My only goal is to relax and take a step away from the real world while I can afford to (in time and money). It'll be hard not to try and do *something* productive because if I'm not busy after a few hours I feel like I'm wasting too much time and not getting enough accomplished. That's the plan, though.

Everyone should do something like that at least once a year. You can wash away the wear and tear of daily life and come back reinvigorated and renew that drive for success. Get that hunger back. It's good for the mind. It's good for the body. It's good for the soul.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Saturday, December 09, 2006

School is OUT!!!!

School is finally out now until after X-Mas. I might get to spend some quality time back home for once this entire year. This wasn't a bad semester; I came out with A,A,A,B. I had some of the best teachers I've had since being in college, and believe me, I've had a lot of teachers. One may have been the most knowledgeable person I've met in my life. But most importantly, CONGRATULATIONS to those friends of mine that graduated this Saturday. It seemed like everyone was graduating this weekend. It's a long road and you made it. Now can a brotha' borrow a dollar?!?!

After graduation, what's the next big step? Maybe a move out to work in a location suspiciously close to Dale Jr's home town (Vanessa). The party's got to stop sometime (Erica). Maybe you should think of settling down (Erin) and marriage and kids (Dan and Meg).

Whatever you decide, you're all talented enough to be successful in any endeavor you choose.

Best wishes.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

PS3 Launch: How it Went

Well, the PS3 launch has come and gone and it was quite an experience. I had hired 4 other guys to stand in line with me and only quit at 5 because I ran out of available capital. The plan was to get to Walmart's along with my boy H.R. on Thursday around 8-10 a.m. and wait the 12-14 hours to the launch at 12:01 a.m. Friday. If something came up, we could fall in line at Best Buy around midnight and wait for the 8 a.m. launch there. As expected, things didn't go according to plan and I had to improvise. Here's how things went down:


I find out one guy has dropped out and I get the call in the wee hours of the morning from one of the guys standing with me that people are calling the Valdosta store from Atlanta wanting to know when they can start lining up; that all the stores in ATL were only getting 4 or so units and the lines are already full. This moves my plans up considerably. I go up to our store and get into our inventory to find we are getting 6 units. Yikes! After talking to H.R., we decide to get in line about midnight on Wednesday instead of 8 hours later as planned. Just out of paranoia, I ride up to Walmart to see if anyone is already there. Guess what? The line was full. This is very bad. It's 1pm Wednesday, the launch isn't for another 23 hours at Walmarts (W-Mart launched at 12:01 a.m. Friday while the rest of the nation launched 8 hours later at 8 a.m Friday) and people are already lining up.

I call up all the guys standing with me and tell them to be ready, we may have to move quick. We go to the store across town to find that they are only getting TWO units. After walking back to layaway, we see we are the only people there. Phew! That was short lived however after we turn the corner to see 4 chairs already there! This is falling apart.

The last place is Best Buy. The good news is that the Best Buy chain was receiving half of the U.S. launch alone. The bad news is that it was a good 40 hours until launch and the wait would now be outside instead of inside.

We decide the best thing to do is just start the wait before the line is suddenly full there. I cut a deal with everyone for $250 per person for the 40 hour wait. I couldn't believe what was happening. FORTY HOURS outside of Best Buy would be excruciating. If the money wasn't so good...

We actually start the line....probably accelerating the time it fills up by a couple hours. Once people saw us there they starting forming up behind us, with the same surprise that we had. Everyone was there a full day earlier than expected. We had about 33 people there by 10p.m. Everyone was about the same age, early 20's, all there for the same reason, to re-sell. It really wasn't to bad because everyone was cool. The majority of ppl were college kids and everyone was having a good time, as crazy as that sounds.

About 12 p.m. we find out there's a big storm coming. That doesn't surprise me at all... Some people start pitching tents which I always thought that was ridiculous when I saw it on tv. Let me tell you, bringing a tent was a good idea. As the rain started, more and more people began buying or bringing tents and I soon found myself in Walmart looking for the same thing. We got them all set up like some kind of Best Buy Village and let the rain and wind do it's worst. I actually slept very well that night.


I woke up at like 11 p.m. the next day, got some food, and went home for a shower. It's a good thing we were with such a great group. My "waiting in line" on Thursday consisted of going home for a shower and bite to eat, walking around the mall, going on food runs, checking out Books-A-Million, and killing time in Best Buy. Everyone knew everyone and people were going and coming as they pleased. We actually had a list with everyone's name on it to keep things organized and most of the people started referring to each other as a number. It was just like the Bond/Austin Powers movies where peoples names are Number 1, Number 2, Number 3, etc often with the Dr. Evil accent included. No lie. We didn't know that guy as Jeff or Bob or whatever, he was just "Hey Number 6..."

The wheeling and dealing began that night as people started offering cash for spots. Number 6 traded his spot for $400 cash and the Number 19 spot. That's not a PS3 for 400, that's just a spot to buy a PS3. There were only 18 60 GB PS3's and 19-24 spots were for 20 GB's, which was the reason for the swap. People came up asking for prices, bidding as high as $600 for just the spot in line. This is where another idea should have hit home. After talking with H.R., we thought of the idea of hiring people to just stand in line without the intention of actually buying the PS3. They would just stand there and auction off their spot to the late comers. This required no cash up front and I wished we had the time to pull it off. That would have been an easy extra grand while still letting whoever wanted the spot to profit from eBaying the system. The real shit hit the fan late that night though.

About midnight, some guys came up in car that looked like something off Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift but toned down. They had it hooked up and I could clearly see the Laptop and full screen dash mounted GPS as well. A tall asian guy steps out and immediately starts throwing big figures around. He starts at about $800 per spot and says he can get the cash immediately. This was very fishy though and put me on guard quickly. His story was that he had to have a PS3 for his bro's birthday party the next day, that his parent's would kill him if he didn't show up with one. After one of my group showed interest, he immediately opened the offer to the 3 of us. All four spots for $3,600.

For most, this would be followed by an immediate "HELL YEAH" but for me it just seemed too suspicious. He needed one for his brother but he ALSO wanted all the spots he could get. If he was just re-selling, why even make the story up to begin with. If it was a con, they should have tried a little harder.

The whole crowd of 30 something gathered around us while the guy was pressuring us for a quick decision. This, by the way, was the 2nd thing that set me off. The guy came on strong, aggressive, and wanted a quick decision.

Me: "You're going to have to give us time to discuss it."
Guy: "Ok, so you will do it?"
Me: "No, I need time to think about it."
Guy: "So, what, do you think you'll be able to sell the spots, I don't want to be wasting my time or anything."
Me: "I can't tell you that yet."
Guy: (to another in my group) "Will you sell your spot?"
Me: "Dude, calm down for a sec, if you want the spot, we'll have to talk about it."

This really made me suspicious. He was acting very out of line for someone that would be legitimate. We walked away and discussed it. I knew that 1)If he threw up 800 that quick, he would go higher, but most importantly 2) he was acting very suspicious there there was a lot of money to be made for any guys trying to run a hussle.

I decided against selling out. He didn't want to take no for an answer.

Me: "Why don't you make the same offer to the other people here, I'm sure they will want to sell."
Guy: "Because I don't trust them."

This began confirming my suspicions that something was up. I have always been fortunate to be able to read into things very quickly.

Me: "You *trust* us? Dude, you don't even know us, what makes us any different than them"

I knew asking quick questions would push him off guard and if something was up, he's likely to start slipping up and cracking somewhere. This was more of a rhetorical question, I knew there was no answer to it that would really make sense in the situation but I wanted to see what he would say.

Guy: "I.....*breaks eye contact* just don't."

I'm sorry, but answers like this mean he hasn't had time to think about it and is saying the first thing he can, a general answer.

Well, we go on like this and eventually get to talk to the group and find out he's said he's from 3 different places. For a while, he keeps coming to my group members trying to buy the spot, whom refuse and he eventually figures out that I'm the one he has to convince, but my patience at this point is growing thin.

Me: "Look, you came up here throwing around big numbers at midnight to people you don't know. Your story's not matching up. Are you workin' or somethin? I'm not sure what you're hoping for up here but we're not selling the spots."

He keeps on and acts mad that I accused him of being shady and calling him out in front of everyone. At this point, I just start having fun with it as the guy just won't give up. Apparently, he feels he's found a weak point and can drive it home.

Guy: "I'll give you a grand for your spot. $4000 for all four spots."

I'm undeterred as I've put a read on him and feel completely confident in it.

Me: "Look, take that grand, order one from ebay for the same price, have it overnight shipped to your brother's place and save yourself some time and money."

Guy: "You don't understand. I have to give it to him, I have to physically give it to him."

He start smiling and I can tell that he realizes what he's said doesn't make much sense.

Me: "You have to *physically* give it to him (big grin)."

Guy: "It's a long story." (He breaks eye contact a 2nd time, a big tell that someone is lying)

Me: "You know what, it just so happens that I have another 5 hours to kill."

At this point, he's caught and just says "Nah man" a couple of times which only says to me "I haven't thought of a good answer yet."

Well, to make a very long story shorter, the police show up later and have a long talk with he and his friend driving the car. I'm trying to figure out what the hussle is exactly the whole time. After returning (he hasn't done anything illegal so far), he gives up on us and moves down the line of people. Because of what we said, no one in the line gives up their spot, even for a grand, not even the people buying the less valuable 20GB PS3's and everyone eventually tells them to go the hell back to Florida. Smart group. They leave and a couple minutes later a car that was parked for an hour squeels around the parking lot and floors it down the highway after them. Not sure why, but there was probably a connection.

Something was definitely going on. About a minute into first meeting the guy I could read that much. The rest of the night only confirmed it but it bothers me that I couldn't figure out what the hussle exactly was. Counterfiting? He was asked to show a $100 and when someone began looking for the strip the guy got very animated and said "The Watermark Dude, look at the Watermark" diverting attention away from the strip...which was said to be missing. He was lying about something, that was certain. You never want to make a deal concerning a lot of money when you know you don't have the edge. The fact that it was clear he was keeping something hidden was all it took to turn down $1000 per spot, a deal I would have instantly taken if he had been for real.

The store opened the next morning early and everything went as planned. As expected, the market got flooded with PS3's this weekend. I listed my first one immediately (to get some cash back) in a 24 hour auction. It was number 30,228. 30K PS3's would be sold on Ebay in the next day. This dropped the price from $2,000 average to about 1,100 average, still a nice $500 profit for a system that costs $600 and 2 days of *work*. Mine sold for $1500 due to some incentives that set it apart from the crowd. It's a good thing the market at least went according to plan. The rest I'll probably save until after this initial flood. People are just trying to sell what they stood in line for as soon as possible to get in when the price is the highest. They are still extremely scarce and will probably go back to averaging $1500 each closer to X-Mas and when much fewer are being sold. I'll be selling the rest at that time.

All in all, the wait wasn't too bad at all and an incredibly easy way to make a few extra grand. I followed the launch up with a great night at the card room to end a very good week.


I just got in from watching the UFC fight with the Hughes/GSP title fight and the Silvia/Monson fight. It really left a lot to be desired. The Silvia/Monson fight was one of the worst title fights I've ever seen which I suppose is not surprising given that it was Sylvia. Dana, the owner of the UFC, needs to spend some cash to bring in better quality heavyweights as Sylvia is just killing his chances at making any real money from a heavyweight championship centered fight card. As is, Sylvia's fights need to be packaged with other title fights. With some better fighters, Dana could at least start some pay-per-view fights centered around the heavyweights which *should* be one of his biggest audience builders. Instead, audiences are just boo'ing now. Maybe Dana will wake up and get his heavyweight division in gear after this last fight card.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Supply & Demand

I'm going to help you make some easy money. If you like that, read on. If not, entertain yourself with this.

On Nov. 17, 2006 Playstation 3 will be launching. Last year, the XBox 360 launched at a shortage and was retailing at appr. $400. On Ebay just before Xmas, XBox 360's were selling for a little over a GRAND due to that low shortage but extremely high demand.

Enter PS3. It's shortage is going to make the 360's look like a joke. They are so short, in fact, that it will only be lauched in North America and Japan. No where in Europe at all. I highly suggest that if you have $600 that you can do without for a week or two, that you get in line for a PS3 and make the easiest money you've made in a long time. You don't even have to know what a Playstation 3 is. Just imagine a sign that says "If you want lots of free money, get in line here!" How often have you made $500+ at work in less than a day?

As of today, PS3 presale auctions are ending on Ebay between $1,500 and $2,000 each.

It might sound funny, but if you see a TMX Elmo in a retail store, you can make a quick 40 bucks by reselling on Ebay as well. I think they retail for about 40 and are currently going for $70-90 on Ebay. This will only go up as soccer moms get desperate around X-mas time.

Be on the lookout for this guy!