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It is very hard or impossible to time the broad market consistently — there are no famous investors that got rich by consistently knowing what the broad market would do next. This only makes sense, as there are just too many variables in the broad market. But there are many famous investors who... More
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  • Introducing Dan! 4 comments
    Jul 27, 2012 10:26 PM | about stocks: HSY, RMCF

    My friend Dan is a math-whiz with lightning recall memory, but his best skill might be writing. An enthusiastic gambler and sports prognosticator, Dan and I will be writing comparing stocks to football teams if we ever get around to it. Sometimes Dan goes on weekend long eating binges and live blogs about it. Here is a portion of his latest:

    --I've rediscovered sweets. I've always enjoyed full-pint sessions of Haagen-Dazs Rocky Road, or Chocolate & Peanut Butter. Even the occasional boycott cross-over to the fairy land of Ben & Jerry. But in recent months I've rediscovered cakes, pies and pastries, and in recent weeks it's been candy bars. Since I can't seem to do anything in non-excess, and my office lobby coffee shop sells candy bars at $1.25 each or three for $3, I basically eat zero or three candy bars every weekday. This has created a situation where I feel like somewhat of an authority on the subject as I am eating different candy back to back to back on a regular basis, and I'm able to compare and contrast different candy bars more effectively than the standard single-bar user. We can do a candy bar tournament some other time, but here are individual notes on some of the best candy bars:

    Peanut Butter Snickers (a.k.a. proof that there is a God) - holy crap these things are delicious. You know how regular Snickers is top-5 by any measure or almost anyone's opinion? I think the Mars brand just has it's ratios dialed in so toooight when it comes to the Snickers line, that it makes something like the Peanut Butter Snickers work out better than it should on paper. When you add peanut butter flavor to the existing snicker base, it just takes it to a whole other level. I have tried all four Snickers bars in various orders, and Peanut Butter Snickers is hands down better than the original - hard to believe. Original is the clear #2, and the clear Snickers Almonds is a strange situation where even for people who prefer almonds to peanuts in general will probably still prefer the original. It's like you might like mozzarella cheese better than cheddar, but in a broccoli omelet, your going with cheddar ten out of ten times. I would say it is more of an example of the rare appreciation of the peanut rather than any diss on the almond. Each nut has its place in the universe and the peanut's place is on a Snickers bar. Bringing up the rear is the Dark Chocolate Snickers - I don't know if Dark Chocolate and peanuts are just not the natural pairing, but it actually tasted horrible coming off a peanut butter and an original. The chocolate tasted wrong, like a 3-year old Russell Stover semi-spoiled yet edible chocolate or something. Stay away and enjoy your dark chocolate in other settings.

    Reese's Peanut Butter Cup - obviously incredibly good. Only peanut butter cups and Twix have held their own back -to-back against peanut butter Snickers. End of list - everything else is inferior, even 4th best overall Hersey's bar w/ Almonds. Will save the long explanation for when it probably wins the candy bar tournament.

    Twix - Twix is so good that it's the only bar for which I remember the exact circumstances when I had my first one. I had it in the back of a Dodge Grand Caravan during a fall foliage family trip while listening on the AM radio to Roger Clemens pitching in the '88 ALCS for Boston vs. Oakland, who swept them. Anyway, I had a major breakthrough with Twix a few weeks ago, and I have no idea why I'm the first person to figure this out, but Twix tastes BETTER when you eat it upside-down. Seriously. I couldn't believe my taste buds, so I took another regular bite before going upside-down again and it is CONFIRMED. Incredible - there must be some scientific explanation involving the order of the ingredients hitting the taste buds, and the different parts of the tongue responsible for the different sensations, but Twix is a clear top-3 candy bar and a threat for the title when eaten upside down.

    Kit Kat - a consistent treat, but they really needed to do something about the packaging/delivery. The breakaway four bars are nice in concept and if you are a five-year old, but they need to either separate the four pieces into their own pouches where you can push them out while holding the outside of the wrapper, or at least have the wrapper rip away conveniently on the edge rather than down the middle. You wind up licking three fingers just breaking the first piece off. I want to eat my Kit Kat no-hands "thermometer style" if you know what I mean - with me? So they did figure all this out, in a way - they created the Kit Kat Crispy bar. It's like a super-sized single Kit Kat "log" with a higher ratio of crunchy part to chocolate, and it's quite good and mess-free. Just not on the level of the aforementioned bars.

    As for other sweets, some underrated items that you may have been missing for years at a time, like me:

    -A bakery-level cheese danish. As great as Entenmann's/similar is/are for certain items, you just lose touch with what a cheese danish was supposed to be in the first place until you come upon a top-shelf one. I guess they are available at nice breakfast buffets all the time, but you just never think of going the danish route at a buffet - it could prematurely fill you up when you are trying to set state records for pigging out. It's hard to describe exactly what's so special about a cheese danish, but a fruit one could never match it. A close relative of this phenomenon is a properly-airy and properly-iced apple turnover.

    -Coconut custard pie, and (more risky) Cocunut cream pie. This used to be a Halloween-Christmas thing. Now it's just the best flavor of pie year-round not named key lime.

    -Warm glazed donuts
    -Full-fat blueberry muffins

    And if you really want to reach for the word:


    Stocks: HSY, RMCF
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  • Joe Springer
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    Author’s reply » Update: By the way, after last night's Wendy's W burger, 1/4 lb single and large fries, I had a big bad of steamed vegetables and various desserts. Then today:


    Two 2-egg/meat/cheese sandwiches
    Beef and dumpling chunky soup
    1 pound burger with three slices of cheddar on a kaiser roll with ketchup, mayo, sauteed onions and lettuce (we split 2.6 lbs ground beef into three burgers - Mom got the baby .6er)
    Four full-sized blueberry muffins (for some reason I just ate them all - good thing it wasn't a six or eight pack)
    Two bowls of homemade mac & cheese with bacon


    But most importantly I've discovered a love for archery and fencing.
    28 Jul 2012, 11:07 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Springer
    , contributor
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    Author’s reply » More: "My mom just says "don't make yourself sick" a lot, especially when fruit is involved. My stepfather says I am like a squirrel or chipmunk storing food. Then understand that I am eating once a day during the week and there's no way in hell they could do that. It really is a license to pig out when you undereat before that. Mostly they are just used to it though and don't even comment anymore. My mom helps to identify potential food to raid from her fridge and freezer quite well "oh, we have half a meatloaf from 3 days ago..." cha ching!


    IHOP wouldn't work - I can't do anything that could be confused as a dessert. Sweetness stops the momentum. That blueberry muffin thing yesterday was weird even for me. There might be a hole in my stomach and muffin pieces swimming around bumping up against my other organs right now.


    Time for the two 2-egg/meat/cheese/butter sandwich breakfast!"
    29 Jul 2012, 12:02 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Springer
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    Author’s reply » Gearing up for Labor Day in Providence: "Too risky to do pizza or anything with bread or dough made from rhode island offense, but the water acidity makes all the difference not only in taste but hw my body will react to eating it. Loooks good though...and that's the best use of black olives known to man. If pepperoni pizza isn't involved, I can do without them."
    29 Jul 2012, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Springer
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    Comments (2650) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Dan on Three Muskateers:


    "Granted, that first bite is "Zen-like," mysterious and comfortably simple at the same time. But if you eat a full bar or more, it's unclear if it's all even getting to your stomach. There is also the little-discussed nagging discomfort/itch the nougat can create towards the back of the roof of your mouth, similar to the lingering discomfort after projectiling liquid out of your nose due to a really funny and unexpected joke or comment. If you've every almost choked to death on beer vomit, it's similar to that feeling too. There is some sort of fizz/latent carbonation/acidy quality in that Buddhanougat - no thanks. Fun size is delish - just be smart. "
    7 Feb 2013, 06:43 PM Reply Like
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