Thursday, August 21, 2014

Back in the market?

The US stock market has been doing phenomenally well lately. I measure my words “phenomenally...” By all measures, today's market is overvalued. By how much? Some 3%. Will its evaluation fall (I've not said “will the market fall”)? Probably. Will it go back up? Definitely. Then what's an investor to do?
Look at historical data; in case of doubt stay in the market, if not invested, buy on “dips”, keeping in mind that the biggest dips were 55% in 2009 (yes, the market was 45% below true valuation then - what a fantastic opportunity to buy!)

If you want to sell, watch for the market to get overvalued to 105% or 106% (it went up to 114% during some “bubbles”) and then patiently wait for it to get to minus something and then purchase! This said, buying on an elusive dip is always very challenging!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Battle of Ski Companies

Today, the conflict between Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) reached a new level as it made it to the New York Times. Even though it is generally accepted that “all publicity is good publicity” I don't think it quite applies to Park City economics.

This said, I remain confident that the Cumming family, the owner of PCMR, will come to the negotiating table ready and well prepared to extract the most outrageous consideration from Vail Resorts. Even though its CEO Bob Katz is known to be a fierce negotiator, the Cumming family has a lot that Vail needs desperately to make their astounding “lease” with Talisker work.

At the end of the day, Ian Cumming, the patriarch, who knows business well, will get more than the total assets of its resort are worth by selling or leasing them to its opponent. The bottom line though, is that the entire Park City community will win even bigger!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Massage of France

The person front and center in French health-care isn't a doctor or a surgeon; it's a masseur or a masseuse. Any remedy, recovery and rehab protocol seems to involve the hand treatment of these professionals that are as ubiquitous in France as an Advil or a Tylenol is to an American.

The liberal French health-care system that requires virtually no co-pay and gladly picks up a taxi fare to the most remote hospital has hooked its citizens on massage, until – it's just a matter of time - it will finally run out of money!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Video back-log

Yesterday, as I had not much going on, I've came to realize that a significant video footage was still lingering in my “raw footage folder.” That's when I begun to step in and did something about organizing these random shots into video form that made more sense.

I began with last Christmas and I'm still working on winter stuff. With some luck I should be through that project by next week. You see, building our new home not only had a disastrous effect on my skiing, but it also substantially slowed down my cinematic projects. Now, that I realize the hole I've fallen into, it's only right that I start some clean-up of my own.

What was great, though, was to discovered how memories are fleeting and how some seemingly memorable episodes - just a few months ago - appeared to have been long forgotten. Let me also add that preserving little, fun memories is just what creating family movies is all about!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Guess who came for dinner?

It shouldn't be news to the readers of that blog. I regularly interact with Jesus through Skype. So it wasn't long before Jesus accepted an invitation for dinner. Unlike what you would expect, he didn't make an “apparition”.

As one official in Heaven had mentioned to me earlier, “We don't let our senior executive do 'apparitions' anymore. It's too complicated and requires to much paperwork after the fact; we've bought a few drones and we take them where they're needed. No need for pilot or crew, no fuss!”

So I wasn't surprised when I saw a one-passenger, flying-saucer drone, parking in our driveway late afternoon yesterday. We were all uptight and I had prepared a few “talking points” for the occasion. Gaza, Ebola, Ukraine and ISIS, to name a few. Then we had dinner. My wife had prepared some delicious rabbit along with sauteed potatoes, green beans fresh from the market, salad from our veggie garden and we drank a bottle of Argentinian Malbec. For dessert, we had Häagen-Dazs ice cream.

We ate on our covered deck and when it was time to leave, Jesus said: “The dinner was delicious, but the conversation was such a bore! Life isn't that fun at home, so when I make the effort to come to Park City, I'd like to talk about skiing, mountain-biking and hear a few dirty jokes...”

As he closed the hatch of the drone, he added: “You guys better make some substantive efforts!” Not knowing what else to say, I answered: “We'll do our best, I promise...”

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hillary Clinton for 2016?

I think Hillary is super smart and is probably behind her husband getting elected in 1992, but I'm not looking forward to having her as my president in 2016.

First, I'm against “dynasties.” The Bush one was enough to show that the “like father, like son” theory is fraught with high danger.

Second, I think Hillary's priority is to get elected, not to roll out a good plan for America (she's hasn't got any at the moment) and lastly, there's a mean, snappy side in her that I don't like at all that takes away the respect I should have for her.

Oh, yes, there's also the fact she's a woman? We've got plenty of American women better qualified than her, and this, in and of itself, isn't a good reason to be elected president.

Just my two-cent.

Friday, August 15, 2014

“La Vallée Ronde”: A cool concept!

Next to my house is a wonderful open-space area named “Round Valley” where we mostly go to for mountain-biking. Getting there is much work though, and since we're no longer in our twenties, we wish that there would be more "old-folks-friendly"trails love, namely featuring low grade (up to 4-5% incline maximum) and dirt instead of rock.
Add to this the fact that this would be a wonderful platform for would-be-mountain-bikers to get to know the sport and develop the basic skills that could take them to more technical trails. We wouldn't need to build a brand new trail, but rather add access spurs and “borrow” existing easy sections and add them to the whole, to create “La Vallée Ronde”.

This idea and vision, that has come to me over almost a decade of riding as a “mature sportsman”, would be a terrific project that could maximize the potential of this open-space and would contribute to making Park City even more of mountain-bike mecca than it is today. Stay tuned...