In the field of investing, there is a concept called “seeking alpha”. The idea is that you are smart, therefore your best approach is to make many smart investment choices. However, the facts bear out that active management nearly always loses.

In a nutshell, imagine the following scenario. 100 drunk monkeys throw darts at a list of stocks. Each picks 10 stocks. At the end of the first year, 50 of these portfolios have done worse than average, 50 have done better than average. We retire the 50 worse than average. At the end of the 2nd year, 25 of these have done worse than average, 25 better than average (its a phrase @Kean). If we repeat this a few times we have 5 portfolios that have beat the odds 5 years in a row. We now put on a shiny suit and market it to you the retail investor. “Our smart stock managers have been the markets 5 years in a row.”. You invest. But, you are really just investing in drunk monkeys.

Someone decided to put this to the test w/ a cat. You can read the full story here, but in a nutshell, a cat named Orlando would throw a catnip mouse onto a pad of numbers, and the owner would invest. The owner was competing against 3 teams of professional money managers.

Well, there’s more than enough foreshadowing in this article for you to guess by now the cat trounced the pro’s.

Now, i’m not advocating for drugging your cat and following feline investing strategies. I’m instead suggesting that maybe investing in the index is the best approach for you. These folks will set you on the right path.

Arizona has passed (but not yet adopted) a bill which would require any online store (aka Apple) that has more than 1 million yearly downloads to Arizona to allow Arizona developers a choice of payment platforms.

Apple makes a 30% commission on their monopoly store, famously banning any developer who tries to circumvent. This even includes open source & free applications such as WordPress, forcing them to add in-app purchases where they did not previously exist.

Now, assuming this bill is adopted, I can easily see a lot of corporate shell structures setup, dragging the app developing world to the southwest (on paper at least).

The bill prohibits retribution, so they can’t pull a Facebook and withdraw from Arizona.

(more than) a few years ago I took my first flight on Southwest airlines. I don’t recall the exact routing, but it was maybe Kansas City to San Diego or something like that. Long enough, but not super long.

I get there, I checkin. I get a “C” on my boarding pass, no seat number. OK, no problem, I know its a scramble style. Boarding comes, I wait my turn as the plane starts boarding. Finally its me, i’m more or less last. I get on the plane, I can see only one seat available. Its a middle seat near the back. I push my bag under the seat and take it.

The person in the aisle is what the airlines call a POS (Person of Size). So I’m a bit cramped as he spills over into my seat. The person in the window is kind of the opposite, she is slim. OK, it evens out.

Shortly after take of, and this I am unclear on exactly how it happens, it becomes apparent that the women on my right is a hard-core atheist. Not just the passive kind, but the aggressive converting kind. Like that vegan friend of yours. Likewise the person on my left has opened some Christian literature. Something describing how dinosaurs and people lived at the same time, that sort of thing. They start going at it, heatedly. I’m in the middle of this, trying to seem like I don’t see it. I’m more or less like the net in tennis tho, and they are the type of tennis players who rush the net instead of lobbing it in from a distance..

For those who watch US cable news, imagine sitting between Lou Dobbs and Rachel Maddow. Its that uncomfortable and awkward.

A couple of tense, loud, awkward hours later, we touch down, I bolt.

Recently an Aucma Stand Mixer entered the fleet of gadgetry. No Internet connectivity, so you are probably not clear on where I’m going with this, but… hack on!

You see, the Acuma stand mixer (like others) has a bit of a problem with Dough climbing up the kneeding hook. Drop a bunch of flour, some yeast, salt, a bit of water in a bowl, hit the go button, and after about 10 minutes the dough is wandering up around the top enroute to the door.

This must have a simple solution involing 3D printing, right? Well, a few lines of OpenSCAD and it does look like it. Open up the micrometer, measure up the dough hook, come up with this script:

OD = 27.75;
ID = 24.75;
NOTCH_WIDTH = 2.5;
WIDTH = 35;
HEIGHT = 7;
difference() {
 difference(){
  cylinder(r = OD/2, h = HEIGHT);
  cylinder(r = ID/2, h = HEIGHT); 
 } 
 cube(size = [OD*2, NOTCH_WIDTH, HEIGHT*2], center=true);
}
difference() {
 cylinder(r = WIDTH-1, r2=WIDTH, h = 3);
 cylinder(r = OD/2, h = 3);
}

and we get a shield that looks like below.