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Tag Archive | NH Highland Games

Sony RX10 II — Way Overpriced At The Final Reckoning!

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Other Related posts:samsungnx1
>>
Shy away from Samsung NX1.
>> 1-star review: 
Sony a77 II on Amazon.
>> Decide to DITCH Sony a77 Mk II.
>> ‘Unable to Display’ error!

>> 1st pics with Sony a77 II from Cameta
>>
Sony a77 II from Cameta Camera?

>> My review of Sony a77 II Bundle.

>> Search ‘Sony’ for other related posts >>>>


Push comes to shove, the Sony RX10 II
is NOT cost justifiable.

fz1000vssony

Click to access the very useful ‘snapsort.com’ comparison of the Sony DSC-RX10 II vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000.


In the end I did NOT need the above head-to-head comparison by ‘snapsort.com‘ to tell me that the RX1o II was NOT worth the money — BUT it was the final straw.

When the Sony RX10 II was announced in June 2015 I drooled over it for three months. I genuinely thought, till well into August, that the RX10 II would be my next camera — when I treated myself to a new camera in September, for my birthday, as I have been doing yearly of late. I researched the RX10 II for months. I really wanted to convince myself that this was THE right camera for me. Then right at the last minute I decided that I did not want to go down from an APS-C sensor to a 1″ sensor. That is when I went with the Sony a77 mk II. I loved the Sony a77 mk II — once I got used to it. On Sunday, September 20, 2015, at the NH Highland Games, in Loon, it was taking some awesome pictures. I could see that just on the LCD display. It was all that I wanted from a camera. I felt vindicated. I had made the right choice. It just happened that it was THE 989 images that I took that day at Loon that I lost — off the card. But, fortunately I had downloaded the images before they went ‘poof’.

I could NOT live with the a77 mk II after that ‘lost image‘ episode. So I returned the entire kit and started again looking at cameras.

Given the TON of research I had done over the Summer it made sense to go back to what had been my short-list cameras — bar the Pentax K-3. The Pentax no longer had any appeal. I want to be mirrorless — or at least get away from a MOVING mirror. So I want back to the Samsung NX1 and Sony RX10 II. Samsung NX1, on second look, proved not to have the right glass at the right price. Plus there are still questions about its AF even with the firmware at 1.4.

I then went back to the RX10 II willing to compromise down to a 1″. But then I realized that IF you discount 4K video — and video in general only has tertiary appeal to me — then the RX10 II is WAY overpriced given that its optical zoom only goes up to 200mm. Yes, it is fixed aperture, at f2.8, across all its range but a camera with 200mm range should not cost $1,200+. In the end, weighing the ‘competition’, I came to the conclusion that the RX10 II should be in the low $900 range. So, I am NOT going to get a Sony RX10 II — and remember that I BOUGHT SNE shares because I was so enamored by the RX10 II. That is how the cookie sometimes crumbles. So here we have the paradox of a Sony shareholder eschewing a flagship Sony product because it is too expensive! 


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Fidelity Investments New Account Look — Now In Preview, Permanent In Mid-Nov. 2014.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>>
Fidelity online training.
>> Grossed by Gross.

>> Alibaba IPO
>> GoDaddy IPO

>> Resisted ‘FKU’ but bought ‘EROS’
>> OptionMonster option trading book
>> Facebook has bigger market cap than IBM

++++ Check Category ‘Investments’ or search ‘Fidelity’ for other related posts >>>>


fidelitynewlookoct22

Did YOU REALLY think I would let you look at my account? Wow. Give me a call. I have some great real estate I can sell YOU.


Starting yesterday they want us, i.e., Fidelity online customers, to test drive the new user interface. I was in a hurry yesterday, BUT did.

I kind of like it. LOTS of information on one busy screen BUT I like data. I am a strong believer that you can never have enough data. So in that respect I am a believer.

All the columns are also sortable. That can be handy, BUT be aware of it. IF you accidentally did a sort, all your positions will be in the ‘wrong’ places, BUT there should be a THICK underline below the column that is currently active in terms of the sort. IF the thick underline is NOT under ‘Symbol’ then your positions will not be in alphanumeric order. Remember that.

Yes, ‘Pending Activity’ is also still there BUT not as prominently. Look for it below. You can click on the ‘+’ to expand it.

The ‘Options Summary’ is neat. I could get addicted to that.

The one thing that really sucks. ‘Current Value’ & ‘Quantity’ are columns 5 & 6 respectively. That is awkward.

I called up Fidelity and, as ever, spoke with a very nice Rep. He ‘confessed’ that I wasn’t the first person to complain about this. Even he didn’t like it.

We agreed that the BEST solution would be to give us the option to reorder the columns. That would be REAL neat.

Found something else and just conveyed it to Fidelity. Screens do NOT automatically resize. So if you move an open tab from one screen to another, as I can and will do — with my dual-monitor set up — the tab doesn’t automatically resize. YOU have to manually hit the Windows resize button at the top. Fidelity now knows about it.

So that is about it. I like it. It is a LOT. I will get used to it. IF they give us movable columns it could be real nice.


Fidelity Investments (New) Online Training Events With On24 Webcast Technology — Quite Cool.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Grossed by Gross.

>> Alibaba IPO
>> GoDaddy IPO
>> Resisted ‘FKU’ but bought ‘EROS’
>> OptionMonster option trading book
>> Facebook has bigger market cap than IBM

++++ Check Category ‘Investments’ or search ‘Fidelity’ for other related posts >>>>


fidelty0n24ss671a

Click to ENLARGE. This afternoon’s ‘On24’ Webcast technology based Browser pane I had for my online training event. I was impressed. Worked well.


As I have alluded to before, multiple times, I do play options and have done so for nearly twenty years. But, I just do covered calls. That I understand how to do, quite well, given that over the years I must have written hundreds of them.

But, I have no clue about any of the other option strategies. Today I heard ‘Iron Condor’. I have NO CLUE.

Over the years I have promised myself that I will teach myself options. Knowing who I am and what I can do, I do know that I will be able to master options and even be pretty good at it. BUT, I have yet to set out to learn options. I always appear to have some excuse — mainly that I am writing a book. Well, I am writing a book again …

I get a fair amount of e-mails from Fidelity — which is fair enough because I do have a fair amount of transactional volume a week through them. Quite a few of the e-mails have to do with informational or training events. Fidelity no longer calls me to offer me financial advice or access to financial advisors. They have access to my record and performance. They know that I muddle through … and that muddling through is all that I am interested in.

Last week I got an invite for this “Generating option trading ideas using Fidelity’s tools and resources” event — today, at noon. I knew I really should ‘attend’ because Fidelity’s option ‘platform’ totally baffles me. I don’t use it. Good ol’ option-chains is all I need or at least all I use.

I registered, which was not a problem. I got e-mails with a link. This morning I had yet another reminder — which was good. At 11:45, within the 15 minute pre-event window, I clicked and was automatically ‘enrolled’ without having to type in anything.

It was slick. It was seamless. No glitches. Very smooth. I was impressed.

I have, over the years, going back maybe 15 years, used various online Webinar technologies. I am sure this was the first time I had used ‘on24‘ Webcast. I was pleasantly impressed. It did what it had to do with no fuss and to me that is the beauty of a good Webinar tool. It should not get in the way. It should facilitate without getting in your face. That it did.

It was a decent educational Webinar. Yes, after 30 minutes I lost interest. But that is par for the course. I am NOT good, never have been, at any ‘classroom’ based education and training. I have to do it on my terms on my pace. But now I know some places to look.

I am going to bite the damn bullet and get the damn book EVEN if it is not available online. I know that that is what I should start with.

But, I am pleased and impressed with Fidelity and On24 — but, 99.6% of the time I am always impressed with Fidelity. They try and they are good.


Two Of Last Week’s ‘Hot’ IPOs, Vivint Solar & Yodlee, Plummet Within First 72 Hours.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Grossed by Gross.

>> Alibaba IPO
>> GoDaddy IPO
>> Resisted ‘FKU’ but bought ‘EROS’
>> OptionMonster option trading book
>> Facebook has bigger market cap than IBM

++++ Check Category ‘Investments’ for other posts >>>>


Click to access “MarketWatch” coverage for each.

Red track on chart is that for SPX — S & P 500 index.

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vivantsolarchart1a


Two classic examples that all IPOs don’t do well. Even Alibaba is down from its first day — albeit not from the $66 that some lucky buggers were able to get it at, that being the IPO price.

I was aware of both of these IPOs and ‘tracked’ them given that Fidelity told me that I might have a slim chance of getting an IPO allocation.

I stayed clear of VSLR because it was solar and I had read enough bad things about that sector. I am GLAD I did. But there was something very scary about what happened with that IPO. The day after the IPO, “Seeking Alpha” (which is a bunch of unregulated, amoral, unethical cowboys as far as I am concerned) published an article saying that VSLR was “destined to destroy shareholder wealth“. The stock plummeted. They claim that they could not publish this article, i.e., that it was on embargo, till after the IPO. Please. I feel bad for all those that got 3rd degree burns.

I was interested in YDLE. Most IPOs to do with ‘the cloud’ have a pop — because people think the cloud is sexy and strategic, though in reality we have been exploiting cloud for the last 10 years, IF not more. Some of you, I know, can’t even remember ‘the network is the computer’. I do. I decided to beg Fidelity for 2 shares at the IPO — that being all that I could afford at $12 a share.

Well they didn’t give me those 2 shares — probably because you have to ask for allocations in blocks of 100!

I am GLAD that Fidelity didn’t give me those 2 shares.

I can buy YDLE in the open market now — without any flipping restrictions.

So I am just giving YOU a heads up because unlike the clowns on “Seeking Alpha” I am not out to get you so that I can make some money. Maybe that is where I go wrong.


Three Video Clips On YouTube Of The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey “Built To Amaze” Circus In Manchester, NH.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Feeding bunny to python 
Oct. 3, 2014.
>> Selling cigarettes at circus … 
Oct. 3, 2014.
>> No elephant parade 
 Sep. 30, 2014.
>>
$10 tickets for opening night — Sep. 26, 2014.
>> “Built to Amaze”
 
July 23, 2014.
>>
‘Dragons’, Oct. 2013 — Oct. 7, 2013.

++++  Search ‘circus’, ‘cirque’ &  ‘elephants’ for the numerous circus posts.  >>>>>>


The “Built to Amaze” circus, by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, at the Verizon Arena in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday night, October 2, 2014.

Deanna, with her Panasonic shot all three of these short video clips. I couldn’t take my Canon T3i because the Verizon Wireless Arena bans, categorically, all cameras with detachable lenses! That is so arbitrary and meaningless that it borders on insanity. I could get a fixed lens camera that takes better quality images, stills and videos, that my cheap Canon T3i.

The human cannonball act by Elliana Grace is good — though we have seen other human cannonball acts before. Deanna captures it to perfection. You can see her coming out. WATCH. Definitely rewarding.

The other two clips very nicely capture the spirit and tone of this circus.

Click image to access the YouTube videos.

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Trying To Feed Live Bunny To A Python At The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus In Manchester, NH — Is NOT Appropriate.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


bunnyhhhRelated posts:
>> Selling cigarettes
>> at circus … 
Oct. 3, 2014.
>> No elephant parade
>>
 Sep. 30, 2014.
>>
$10 tickets for opening
>> night — Sep. 26, 2014.

>> “Built to Amaze”
>>July 23, 2014.
>>
‘Dragons’, Oct. 2013

>> — Oct. 7, 2013.
>> The circus elephants have 

>> arrived — Oct. 2, 2013.
>> Oct.  2013 circus/elephants

>> in Manchester — Sep. 29, 2013.
>> Circus will play down
>> elephant parade
 Aug. 15, 2013.
>> ‘Dragons’ circus is coming to town — July 6, 2013.

++++  Search ‘circus’, ‘cirque’ &  ‘elephants’ for the numerous
>>>>  ‘circus in town (with elephants)‘ posts.  >>>>>>


pythonssh1a

Click to access the “Alex and Irina Emelin” page at the official circus Website.


The “Built to Amaze” circus, by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, at the Verizon Arena in Manchester, N.H., yesterday, started off with a supposed CLOWN ACT that distressed us greatly and we were not alone judging from the screams of anguish that ran out around the arena.

These two Russian clowns, who really were not that good,
went through the motions of feeding a live bunny to a python.

I do not care if it was the circus. The whole depiction was wrong and very disturbing.

I called Manchester Police and complained!

It was like a parody. There are animal protesters outside the arena, about nine or ten (if not more), holding signs about cruelty to animals and they start with this act.

The whole act which involved 3 or 4 bunnies and one large python was NOT funny. It was downright disgusting. It might play well in Moscow but not in Manchester, N.H.

We have 3 bunnies. Our kids like bunnies.

They manhandled these bunnies and threw one around in an enactment of hiking a ball in football. That is not right. We don’t let our kids throw bunnies around.

Then the python thing was not just right.

I believe that animals experience FEAR. You are scaring a poor bunny.

This act should be stopped.

We have done quite a bit this morning. I called up bloody Barnum & Bailey. They laughed. They think everything is funny.

Plus lets not forget the SELLING CIGARETTES incident!

Deanna took to Facebook. This guy from 105.5 JYY was there. So Deanna, at my behest, post on their Facebook too (bottom). She started with Barnum & Bailey. They took down her post. So she posted again. Click to ENLARGE.

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pythonpostsh12 pythonpostremoved

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Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus In Manchester, NH, Selling Cigarettes To ‘Kids’, At Verizon Arena!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


marlboroRelated posts:
>> No elephant parade —
>>
Sep. 30, 2014.

>>
$10 tickets for opening night —
>> Sep. 26, 2014.

>> “Built to Amaze”
>>July 23, 2014.
>>
‘Dragons’, Oct. 2013

>> — Oct. 7, 2013.
>> The circus elephants have 

>> arrived — Oct. 2, 2013.
>> Oct.  2013 circus/elephants

>> in Manchester — Sep. 29, 2013.
>> Circus will play down
>> elephant parade
 Aug. 15, 2013.
>> ‘Dragons’ circus is coming to town — July 6, 2013.

++++  Search ‘circus’, ‘cirque’ &  ‘elephants’ for the numerous
>>>>  ‘circus in town (with elephants)‘ posts.  >>>>>>


See below for UPDATE.

Yes we went to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus, at the Verizon Arena, in Manchester, N.H., as we have done every year since 2009 (or was it 2008). This time, for the first time, we went on Thursday night, i.e., opening night, though it was a school night.cigsas1a

It wasn’t packed, despite the $15 and $10 tickets — most likely because it is a school/work night.

I always buy a program and a DVD of the circus. Teischan likes to look at the program and watch the DVD — multiple times. I noticed to my delight that the prices appear to have come down; $6 for the program and $8 for the DVD. I thought they cost much more. I usually buy this merchandise at the end when we are leaving.

But there were hardly any crowds ‘outside’ during the intermission. So while the kids were eating their chicken fingers and fries I decided to buy the program and DVD — so that we could make a quick exit at the end.

We had (v. good) seats in section 102 and there is a big merchandise stall right at the entrance to that section. So I headed for that. Just one person inline.

It was a ‘kid’ in a red golf shirt. Not sure of his exact age BUT he was young — meaning he was NOT an adult.

There was just one lady working the stall. I think she was Latin American. I might have seen her, at the Arena, before — maybe last year with the circus.

This ‘boy’ asked her something and she proceeded to get ‘it’. Then this ‘boy’ did something really weird which I could not but help notice. He started to TWIRL — yes, spin around in circles. He seemed very excited, agitated and on edge. The lady came back carry a zippered travel bag — like a small travel bag you would have, flung over your shoulder, when taking a flight. I saw what looked like VCR cases inside. Got me intrigued. I thought that they must be some special, limited-edition DVDs — in fancy box packaging. I was interested. Maybe I should get one of these, if the price was right, as opposed to the $8, just in a paper case, DVD.

What happened next shocked me. It was just so incongruous. She pulled out two packets of Marlboro cigarettes and gave it to the boy. He gave her a bill. I didn’t look to see how much. Not sure whether he got any change. I don’t think. I was shocked.

Never seen anything like. Something told me that it was NOT RIGHT on multiple levels. Even if the ‘kid’ was old enough, and I really can’t vouch for his age, it seemed ODD that they would be selling cigarettes at a Barnum & Bailey merchandise stall. Now, just at this point, I was only one there. But there could easily have been kids.

I am sure that you can’t smoke anywhere within the arena. So, would they then sell  cigarettes inside. I could even understand IF they sold them at the food counter. But this was the stall that sells TOYS.

So I asked her. She looked at me real sheepishly and one of her shoulders sagged and she said, softly, ‘YES’. I left it at that. I bought my program and DVD for $14 and paid by credit card.

Then as I was walking back to where the kids and Deanna were I saw a Verizon Arena security guard (and they are invariably very nice and helpful). So I stopped and asked whether what I had seen was ‘kosher’. Deanna and the kids were now listening. He seemed very surprised and said that he didn’t think that they were allowed to sell cigarettes to anyone. He said that there was nothing that he could do, right then and there, because it was a circus run stall, but that he would report it to his supervisor at once.

Deanna by now was most upset. She went and COMPLAINED to two other security guards, one male the other female. They like Deanna were not amused. They said that they will notify management immediately. We started to go back to our seats. Deanna hung around with her camera to see if she could spot another cigarette sale. The kids and I went back to our seats. Deanna missed the first 5 minutes because she wanted to keep an eye on the lady. She did not see anything untoward. As she was entering the stadium one of the security guards she had spoken to, the female, came up to her and said that management was coming down to investigate.

When we were leaving we had to walk right by the stall. She was NOT there! It could have been the end of her shift OR maybe she was removed.

Deanna is still unhappy.

I now kind of feel guilty and bad! Most likely this lady was doing it as a sideline. What intrigues me is how would people know that she was selling cigarettes? IS there some urban legend among kids that you can buy cigarettes at the merchandise tables at circuses? I don’t know. But I feel bad, being who I am, IF I got this lady into trouble. IF she was forced to sell cigarettes to make enough money to support her family — I feel bad. I feel that I got her into trouble. I would hate for her to lose her job. I just wish I knew the full story. All I know was that I was perturbed by what I saw. I kind of know I did the right thing.

I would feel much, much better IF I found out that it was indeed Barnum & Bailey that were selling the cigarettes as part of their corporate plan to boost profits. Then I would really go after them. But the poor lady, and she must have been poor IF she would take such a risk. What a world.

People paying $102 a seat to see the circus and lady selling cigarettes! 


UPDATE

On Friday morning I called up Feld Entertainment which owns “Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey”. There is NO “Ringling Brothers” or “Barnum & Bailey” anymore. Feld Entertainment produces the circuses using those brand names — which they own.

I called to complain about the horrendous feeding live bunny to python scene. Well the customer service rep I got, a person called Noah S. (if that is indeed his real name), was very familiar with the act and DEFENDED its appropriateness vigorously. He actually thought that it was funny that I could not see the funny side of it. Well I still don’t see the funny side to it — and this morning I did talk, finally, with the Manchester City Animal Control Officer and he said that he would go to the Arena and talk to those involved. He, however, did tell me, multiple times, that he did NOT think that they were breaking the law. It appears that pretending to feed a bunny to a python (or any other animal) is permissible as long as you don’t actually do it! Seems perverse to me. Basically we don’t subscribe that animals experience fear, anxiety or stress. Do I have to take this cause up? HELP.

Anywho …

Frustrated by his lack of interest in animal cruelty, I then decided to ‘hit him’ with the cigarette sales scenario. He went beyond being defensive. He actually became ugly and it was on a recorded line and ‘higher ups’ at FELD if they care, which I doubt, should listen to the tape as a  case study in how NOT to handle a customer.

He was interrogating me, aggressively like I had committed a crime! I guess he thought he was being clever. I hung up! I had done my duty. I had reported it.

At 5:18 pm last night I got a call. Caller ID said “Feld Entertainment”. So I answered. It was this Noah.

He was contrite. I had told him that I had blogged about the incident and he had found and read the blog post — i.e., this post. I guess that made him realize that Feld was not going to get away from this. It was already in ‘the cloud’. Yes, blogs have become the new pen.

Given that the cat was indeed out of the bag, he had called the ‘local management’ in Manchester to find out whether they knew anything about this cigarette incident.

THEY KNEW!

So it would appear that us reporting it to the Verizon Arena security worked.

We are glad.

So here is the story. The lady who sold the cigarettes does work for ‘Feld Merchandising …. (something or other)‘. Yes, she is part of Feld. She travels with the circus. Feld employees can buy cigarettes from ‘her’ (and others of her ilk, I guess). It is a SERVICE provided by Feld to their employees — because they don’t have transport to go into ‘town’. Very nice. Very considerate employees. I wonder what else they sell to keep their travelling employees happy? I wonder if they have a special saloon car on the train … you know … for ‘oh la la’!

So the implication is that the ‘kid’, in the red shirt, which did not as far as I could see, say ‘crew’, ‘Feld’ or anything similar, worked for the circus.

BUT here is the point that Noah admitted. She should NOT have been selling cigarettes in the arena during the show.

According to Noah they are basically supposed to only sell cigarettes ‘on the train’.

Well I am SURE that ‘she’, and as an employee, Feld, has broken multiple City (and possibly State) ordinances and violated those of the Arena. I kind of know that there are quite a few laws and regulations that cover the sales of cigarettes.

But will anything happen? Heck NO. They will get away with it. Ideally Manchester City police, armed with this, and the fact that we have recorded phone conversations, with basically an admission of wrongdoing, should go and crack down on the circus. 

So that is the sad story.


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