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Some thoughts between taking care of morning business and crawling up in my attic to resume the oft-delayed remodeling process.

• Does anyone else laugh out loud at the fact the NYSE handed out $100M in fines and that this was a record? Holy rounding errors, batman!

• I don't agree with Fokker about Pfizer (PFE). I think the price of Pfizer is nowhere near pricing in the impact of the COX-2 mess and the systemic changes it will involve. Ditto goes with most of rest of big pharma.

• Give until it hurts: Red Cross Tsunami Disaster Relief

• I spent four days removing a virus and malware infestation from my mother-in-law's computer. Now I have a cold. Related? Or not?

• I may kiss the developers of Spybot and especially WinPatrol. If they'd make a version of their software that worked on human colds, I might consider going to second base.

• Your best defense against a similar infestation? Uninstall Outlook and IE and install Mozilla products.

• In two weeks, I start co-teaching a class of 60+ computing and business students who want to learn how to start their own business. I've been meeting with these men and women over beers at a local pub for a few weeks. I'm not sure I've ever met a brighter bunch of college students. Lest you think this is a sign of the bubble, I'll have you know their top question is "How do I start this up for the cheapest amount of money possible and get revenue fast." Not a single one has asked me how to raise venture capital. Not one.

• Want to hear something really funny about that class? The business program has declined to sponsor it for the last two years even though two previous incarnations have spawned six successful companies (a huge amount by percentage at this small university). They backed out at the last minute again this year, so the class only exists because the computing program agreed to pay for it. If you think there are office politics and inexplicable priorities at your job...

• Succo's Happy New Year column should be a wake-up call for this business. Unless we clean up our act and work every day to treat our clients with respect and honesty, we will kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

• Following that same thought, when will the link between research and the trading desk be severed? You can't tell me it represents less conflict than the link between investment bankers and analysts.

• My worries for the new year: (1) China and Taiwan, (2) Back to the USSR, (3) One-party control of Congress and the White House, (4) Reformers of the FDA toss the baby out with the bathwater, (5) Richard Pazdur.

• My resolutions for the New Year: (1) Not see the top side of 170lbs., (2) Schedule time to call friends and family more often, (3) Finish the kitchen remodel, (4) Start writing a book on biotech investing, (5) Take a real vacation this summer, (6) Surprise (pleasantly) my wife more often.

• Forgive me for following the altruistic with the materialistic, but I think the new Ford Mustang is about the sexiest car (non-supercar division) on wheels.

• Someone explain to me the bear case for ID Biomedical (IDBE). I don't see it and that worries me.

• What am I doing for my cold? 500mg Vitamin C twice a day (works for me, may not for you) and a new thing my wife brought home after a client raved about it stopping a round of colds in her office: Umcka drops. I normally avoid these things, but this one happens to be backed by legitimate clinical studies. I dunno whether it is the 'C' or the Umcka, but I think I'm going to dodge the worst of this one...

Kalutara, Sri Lanka satellite photo January 1, 2004
Kalutara, Sri Lanka satellite photo December 26, 2004 10:20am

The second picture was taken an hour after the first set of waves and before the second set. Before you discount the "ripples" in the second picture, remember this is taken from space. Also, note the difference in where the water is on the beach above the river mouth. Experts say it is about 150 meters farther out than in the "before" picture, possibly documenting the outrush of tide immediately preceding a tsunami wave.
• Did I mention giving until it hurts?

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