A Plan to Restore the “Xanga Style” Community on “Free” WordPress

(Note: This is a “Pinned Blog” – newer blogs below this one)

Soullfire is Bringing Sexy Community Back ** Former Xangans – Like and Reblog if you support this idea ** It’s been close to a month OVER SIX MONTHS A YEAR TWO YEARS since Xanga has launched it’s “updated” “Xanga 2.0″, driven with the WordPress engine, and it’s still operating well below the “free” WordPress state. The “community” that was, disappeared with the end of Xanga 1.0 with the loss of free blogging, along with all of “1.0’s” community centric features like having a front page, ring groups, and general areas where users could find each other and congregate. Xanga has given no updates – so no one over there knows how long the “non community” condition will last. Many former Xangans like myself have moved their general blogging over to “free” WordPress but are also feeling a general loss of overall community that “Xanga 1.0″ had. After using my WordPress site more often, I realized that it has certain features that will allow the former Xanga community to reconnect.  The answer lies in the “Reader” section, which is accessed by the top menu bar: Top_WP_menu In the Reader section, on the right hand side, there’s a “Topics” exploration search column underneath “Find Friends”: Side_WP_menu The topics search works by searching all the “Tag” keywords put in a blog and displays the blogs that have a match. Below shows an example of the Tag area in a new blog: blog_WP_menu Tag words go on the bottom line separated by commas. So once you’ve published a blog with certain tag words, it can be searched by others using the “Topics” search function. Now here’s where the Xanga community restoration comes into the picture. All that’s needed are some common “key words” used as tags that will allow users to find posts by former Xangans. Searching on a particular keyword will be similar to using the Xanga “Blog Rings” to find a group of posts related to a similar interest. Okay, to set this up, Xangans need to do the following: Post a blog stating what your Xanga name was and what your current name is now. In this blog use the tag word “ID_Xanga“. This will let people search for other former Xanga users using “ID_Xanga” as well as identify the Xangans who have changed their usernames. The beauty of this is it will only pull up the blogs that use this tag, so you will have an exclusive Xanga search feature. Next, when blogging, include the tag word “FreeXanga“. This will allow folks to find the latest blogs of former Xangans. Following this format, we can now use keywords to group blogs by interest or subject, just like the former “Xanga 1.0″ Blog Ring or “Ish” sites. I’ve created a few tag words to get us started: QOTD_Xan  – Use this tag word to post with a question of the day Dollarish_Xan – Use this tag word to post with a money/savings/economic blog Politicish_Xan – Use this tag to post with a political related blog Rant_Xan – Use this tag to post with a rant type of blog Drama_Xan – Use this tag for drama blogs – for the drama lovers, haha. =) Townhall_Xan – Use this tag for general community info. This would be the tag to use when introducing new tag words to create a new search group. FreeXanga – Use this tag in all your blogs to make them “Xangan” searchable. I added “Xan” to the tag word topics to make it unique to Xangans, and it provides the general format for creating new search terms/groups. “ID_Xanga” need only to be used once for identification and to create a search list. I think this should work to help restore the “Xanga 1.0″ style of community on WP, with the super bonus of now having a new world of people available to meet as well! Note: The max number of searchable tag words is 9, so don’t add too many tags words to your blog. ** Like and Reblog this and pass the word around if you support this idea – the “FREE” solution to bringing back community “Xanga 1.0″ style! =)  **

Trading Update: Charting Analysis Progress Made – Performance Stats Returning

Made some significant understanding breakthroughs that resolved the problems I was having with the amount of extra volatility spikes in price movement. It was a work in progress starting with the last week of June going into July, but during that time some major discoveries were made in how to interpret the “nuance” in market moves that filled the gaps in my trading plan.

Now at the end of the month and many trades later, my adjustments have been confirmed and the results have been some of the best trading I’ve done in years, and likely the best continuous precision trading ever.

The biggest obstacle to trading success, at least in my case, is the brain, and getting it to just understand and interpret market price action without the pollution of personal bias. This is far more difficult than it sounds because we have a lifetime of learning and experience that our brain seeks to engage in times of doubt and uncertainty. This leads to the brain “backseat driving” our decision making process which makes it that much harder to just focus solely on market behavior alone to achieve correct solutions. So the challenge most traders face is developing a system that will neutralize our external/internal biases and bring the focus back to pure market activity.

My July results will speak for themselves but before that, I will be updating my monthly/quarterly performance from the last update I made, which was January.

The months of Feb – June were “less than spectacular” with negative returns, which is bruising to the ego, but necessary to be fully transparent with returns for this year. As any trader/investor will tell you, it’s far easier to post the positive returns than it is the negative ones. =)



Why Brian Encinia Must Be Charged – A Transcript of #SandraBland’s Arrest Video


Another tragic case of abuse of power – a simple traffic infraction that was “supposed” to be just a warning escalating to a person’s incarceration and ultimately, the end of her life.

This blogger does an excellent job providing all the disturbing details.




Originally posted on Mary Crockett - Young Adult Author:

Generally, my blog is a happy place. But not today, friends.

Today, I am sick at heart. I’ve been following the Sandra Bland arrest case with an equal measure of shock and dread. The idea that a young woman can be pulled over for not signaling a lane change and end up dead in a jail cell days later is beyond grotesque.

So when the dashcam video was released by the Texas Dept of Public Safety, on July 21, 2015, I wanted to take a careful look.

{NOTE: The video uploaded by the Texas Department of Public Safety was taken off youtube after 1 day and over a million views. You can still find the uncut version, though, here.)

I was especially concerned when I found Ben Norton‘s keen observation that the video had been altered at key points when the arresting officer, Brian Encinia, is speaking to someone…

View original 5,036 more words

Stock Market + London Pub = Booze with Bulls & Bears

A Bar owner in London was inspired to bring the energy and action of the stock market to his Pub, and his vision became the Reserve Bar Stock Exchange. At this Bar, drink prices fluctuate based on consumer demand and all the price action is displayed on a brightly lit screen that shows highs, lows, and price trends as if you were at the Market Stock Exchange.

Reserve Bar

In addition to attracting traders and bankers, it looks like a fun way to introduce the general public to the world of real-time market trading.

This is one place where the Bear is the cheered hero instead of the Bull.

Full article here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/when-this-market-crashes-traders-get-trashed-2015-07-17




Life Cycle of Trading Blogs

In the past I blogged about the scarcity of personal trading blogs, and the difficulty of finding US based trading blogs in general on the Web. For the trading blogs found, they typically go through the following stages of existence:

1) The Introduction

The start of a trading blog is very similar to any blog in general- a brief introduction followed by what they intend to write about. There we see one big split among trading blog intros:

a) Normal

b) Attention Grabber/Proclamation


Normal intros just state their case that it will be a blog on trading without much fanfare. The “proclamation” intro makes a big claim about intended performance that attracts attention from others. An example of attention grabbing blog intros:

I’m new to trading, but will try to make big bucks from my modest account.

These fall under claims such as someone starting with around $30K, and saying they plan on building it up past a million bucks over time. Some even put a time limit on this feat to add to the pressure of achieving it. Mind you every trader is aware of (or at least should be) the high rates of failure in day trading and the corresponding low rates of success. Hope springs eternal with new traders. =) Another example would be someone saying they will double their money on a regular basis over time.

It’s fair to say even those who make far more modest claims privately hope to achieve these type of results, but don’t wish to be judged by that bar level.


2) The Activity Phase

Here is where the actual blogs of traders put their plans into action. Results here invariably follow the reality of low success probabilities with the majority of trading results being mediocre at best or losing big sums of money at worst. There are a few rare ones that show high promise with successful results with at least a positive balance over time. The successful ones attract a good amount of attention since they are few in number.


3) The End Phase

Trading blogs reach a point in time where they mostly end in one of the following ways:

a) Blowing up- when a day trader loses all their money and can no longer trade. The odds favorite for this type of scenario typically goes to the blogs that make those big proclamations of making big bucks fast. This makes sense since the pressure to perform results in greater risks being taken. A side effect of many “blow up” blogs is their sudden disappearance, as in the blog will be taken offline as if to erase the past.

b) Abandonment- this is the typical path most blogs of all types take. Blogs become less frequent over time and eventually stop with no official ending.

c) Official Hiatus – When a trader decides to take some time off to work on their system due to lack of performance expectations. The majority of these don’t return.

These above three are the most common ways trading blogs end. Here are the extremely rare ones:

d) Officially Giving Up- Trader admits day trading is too hard to master and actually calls it quits. No one like to admit defeat so this makes sense.

e) Successfully Retired- When a trader successfully trades the market over time and eventually retires the blog to move on to other ventures and generally enjoying the lifestyle successful day trading provides. As expected, this is the rarest of all endings.


I’ve seen some short term successful trading blogs stop blogging, but I’ve never seen one that showed their continued success over a significant amount of time like at least a year or more of consistent high profits, which justified their reasons to stop blogging along with a formal ending saying they were moving on. Just to be clear, I’m referring to personal trading blogs and not commercial ones of any individuals selling training courses or systems of some sort.

Of course, that’s not to suggest successful non professional traders don’t exist, just that many likely don’t blog.  Here’s an example of one of the best past blogs I’ve seen chronicling the performance of traders that don’t blog: Link

An example of an extremely successful personal blogging trader is Michael Burry, a medical doctor who traded/blogged during his off time as a hobby. He eventually created a hedge fund and scored huge on his correct market calls during the 2008/2009 market crash.



Futures Trading Pits Closing- The End of an Era…

From Fortune Mag:

On Monday, most of the futures trading pits in Chicago and New York—where traders flashed hand signals lightning quick to buy and sell commodities like cattle, corn, gold, and, of course, pork bellies—will shut their doors, bringing the venues’ 167-year history to a close.

The pits, which were made famous in the movie Trading Places, thrived for decades on a schoolyard atmosphere of bold bets, ruthless competition, close camaraderie, and professional opportunity—no matter a person’s upbringing or past. In announcing the closures in February, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group, the owner of the exchanges, said that open outcry futures trading had fallen to just 1% of the company’s total futures volume. The practice has lost out to a faster, cheaper, and quieter competitor: the computer.

Link: http://fortune.com/2015/07/06/chicago-mercantile-exchange-closes-futures-trading-pits/


Time marches on…

Now trading can be done anywhere in the world that has access to the internet, which gave rise to home traders like myself.


A great documentary movie chronicling life at the CME from its heyday to the advent of the computer age and its eventual fall from prominence can be seen here:



A Hero Among Heroes has left Us: Sir Nicholas Winton

Wednesday, July 1, marked the passing of a WWII era hero by any sense of the word, Sir Nicholas Winton. He was working as a stockbroker in Britain in 1938 when he learned about the plight of refugee families in Prague fleeing from German oppression and neighboring European countries wouldn’t take them in.

This man took it upon himself to help with getting the children of the families relocated to safety, and wasn’t afraid to break a few rules to do it.

He could have just reported the situation to the British authorities and hope they would take care of it, but he chose to become directly involved to make sure help would be coming. That a civilian living a comfortable life would go to such lengths to help strangers is a testimony to what we should all aspire to be like.

It’s also a condemnation on both international government and charity bureaucracies who could have done so much more but took no action on their own.

Feeling the weight of this story and the scope of his actions triggers an emotional response from me…that there are humans that show the depth of their love/compassion to do something like this. What’s more, this man is so modest and shared his story with so few, that it took decades for what he did to become widely known.

His actions were responsible for saving 669 children before the outbreak of WWII. He lived to be 106.




60 Minutes link to story (made when he was 104): http://www.cbsnews.com/news/proof-that-one-person-can-make-a-difference/

Trading Update: Waiting to Publish – A Lesson in Patience and Persistence



My trading thought process/plan these last few months has been to wait until I’ve achieved a string of consistent profitable trades for an entire month and then post all my monthly performance returns up to that point to mark the turning point in mastering my new methods.

The fly in the ointment has been it’s taken me longer than I anticipated to complete the fine tuning needed for the precision needed for the entry/exit points I desire. My old nemesis the volatility spikes in pricing has proven to be a difficult nut to crack. The difficulty lies in entering the market, and setting a short range stop price, which means I have to be fairly accurate on price direction at the point of entry or else I can get stopped out if prices move far enough against me to trigger the stop.

While stops are extremely important to protect you against big losses if your trade is wrong, volatility in price movement can get you stopped out easily if you enter a trade at the wrong time or have the stop range too small. Since using wide stops increases losses when wrong, I veer towards much narrower ranges. Now a narrow range stop reduces the loss when stopped, but has a much higher probability of getting triggered as there is also a smaller margin for error.

So using narrow stops has put me in a position of forcing me to fine tune my system before I can move forward.

So the days and weeks have gone by with me trying to lock in certain price patterns that are both recognizable and repeatable with much higher precision, which means keeping focused on all the tiny details.

When I announced a few months earlier that I can now see how price moves, I thought that I was basically done with the main research since I was able to trade profitably using what I learned. The problem was my techniques at the time lacked the exact precision I was looking for. It was at a level that was good for scalping but not for longer term moves. I could figure out certain patterns that led to a minimum price target, but I had no idea how much further the price could move. The pattern I was looking at was also complicated and could take a few days to find a good set up versus daily trades.

So it wasn’t back to the drawing board, although at times it sure felt like it, but I had to take what I learned and continue with the refinement which turned out to take much longer than anticipated. When it comes to researching unknowns, you wind up with “Microsoft Minutes” – such as when you are told by your computer that a program will load in “X” minutes and seconds, but takes MUCH longer than what an actual clock reads. :?

I have to say it can feel frustrating at times when you think you have it, only to need to reanalyze and recalibrate.

I’m ever hopeful that I’ll complete this phase in the near future and go back to posting monthly performance stats for the year. I am making slow but steady progress so it may be, dare I say,  sooner than later.

The final system will have the following qualities:

1) On cruise control once entered with target price and stop price input and just waiting to see which is filled first.

2) Precision entries that is basically the main goal in market timing- knowing when to enter the market for a predicted move.

These two points have been my overarching goal for years and I had no idea that it would take this long to bring it forward. Those Microsoft Minutes!





Latest Riches to Rags Tale

Saw this in the news: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/25/scott-storch-bankruptcy_n_7661638.html

Apparently this guy had $70 million in 2006, but now claims to have only $100 in cash and just $3600 total assets.


It seems surreal to have so much money, only to burn through it so quickly. One could easily live off the interest income of about $1.5 million without touching the principal if budget conscious- or make measured withdrawals that would enable you to live off it for a lifetime with more money to spend. Sure, you wouldn’t be living like royalty, but all the essential bills would be paid for a modest lifestyle.

This is just the latest example that wealth creation/retention centers much more on what one spends versus what one earns.


Man Unhappy with Divorce Settlement Applies Solomon’s Wisdom, Sort of, by Cutting His Possessions in Half

German man states he and his wife are divorcing after 12 years and that apparently she left him for another man. He indicates the court system has awarded her half of their home possessions.

Clearly not amused by these turn of events, he decided to comply with the court’s verdict in a way that goes back to Old Testament Solomon, of whom it was written ordered a baby two women were fighting over to be cut in two to determine who the real mother was based on their reactions. That’s right – he decided to give his ex literally half of all shared possessions by cutting them in two, which includes a car.

He placed his half on ebay, and gave his ex the other half.

Ebay Ad:



Video of him doing the cutting:


Video description says: “Thank you for 12 beautiful” years Laura !!!!! you’ve really earned half, Greetings also to my successor