Back to Life


Fiction is great. Real life? Not as much

In the world of fiction, re-animation is real. Anything can come back to life, even things that never had a spark of life before.

Frankenstein BlackberryHow many years and through how many on-screen versions have we celebrated the life of Frankenstein, perhaps the most well known of the re-animated beings.

He’s dead, he’s alive, he’s dead again. And so on.

In some versions he was never alive to begin with, then he’s alive and evil and then becomes charming and sophisticated.

See? Fiction. Try it.

Vampires, talking broom sticks, dancing teacups and even mummies. You name it and they can breathe life into it or in the case of the gentle giant in “The Green Mile.” summon some kind of energy to reverse death.

Fiction is easy.

Sometimes the re-animation is endearing, like the vision of Nat King Cole doing a duet with his daughter.

There are times when the re-animation is totally unnecessary, like the appearance of the late, not so great actress Dixie Carter continuing to appear in the Public Service Ad for Spasmodic Torticolis, two years after her death.

Creepy, but understandable, since there’s probably not another D-List celebrity willing to front for that cause, worthy as it may be.

At other times the re-animation is the result of morbid curiousity, such as when sales of music skyrocket after a stars’ unexpected, yet fully anticipated death.

The “death bounce” in sales is well established and is matched by the sudden appearance of an unending supply of lost studio tapes and recordings.

Even the most explored band in the history of manking, The Beatles, had lost recordings become unlost.

Death will do that. But without death you can’t have re-animation.

I find the many forms of life after death even more fascinating than the fact that someone who may have abused crack for twenty years died at an early age.

Artists of all genres seem to find their lives ending prematurely, yet their work output has a life of its own. I’m certain that I’m not alone in partcipating in the morbid practice of purchasing the work of a prematurely deceased artist in the hoe that scarcity woll drive up the value of the purchase.

It’s also far more fascinating that a decedent’s music can be streamed through the air. Seriously, people have been dying since the beginning of time, but how long has this sending music videos through “the cloud” been going on?

Occasionally stories come across that seem to suggest that someone actually came back from “the other side.” Medical personnel will swear that they’d never heard or seen anything like it. We’ve even heard stories of people having been declared dead and somehow a day later being anything but dead.

Although frequently they’re really are dead very shortly after the super-natural event. Then there’s also the detail of the class ranking of the individuals attesting to the reported death.

Makes you wonder why you would waste such a great super-natural event to just die right away anyway. What kind of deity would let that happen?

In the world of “back to life” phenomena, you’re less likely to have people think that you’re a nut job if you choose words more genteel that “death.” No one comes back from “death,” but clearly they can come back from the other side.

“I was moving toward the bright white light and then I heard a voice calling to me.”

Sound familiar? It’s only the template for every back to life story ever told. The reasoning goes that since there’s such consistency in the stories of people that have “died” or had “near death” experiences, the reports must be accurate.

Last week I felt as if something inside of me had died. At the very least it seemed like my very existence had ended as I just sat and stared at the computer monitor waiting for something to come to life on the screen.

And nothing.

The very idea that I could re-animate myself by taking a position in a dead as a doornail company like Research in Motion must have been an act of desperation, like trying to do basic life support on Frankenstein.

Companies big and small die all of the time. In a way, bankruptcy is one means of re-animation, but the hope is that instead of the same old failure of a company returning, something better will take its place.

Some companies don’t disappear or die, but they fo re-invent themselves and not in a Chinese reverse merger sort of way. There are some companies that just see the death of their core business coming and they start taking appropriate steps to position themselves for a new life.

Look at IBM. Even Apple, to a very large degree is a totally different company than it set out to be.

Some companies just disappear due to circumstances beyond its control.

Do you remember that ubiquitous dietary supplement that everyone was using to help lose weight? Back in the 80’s Ayds was everyone’s go to elixir.

And then there’s RIMM.

At the rate Research in Motion had been going, the word “Blackberry” would have entirely lost its meaning as a bush borne fruit.

Unless you had a Blackberry you were a loser. You clearly weren’t important if one or more of those devices wasn’t in each hand.

And then Blackberry got the sniffles. Instead of taking care of itself when faced with that pesky new iPhone technology it just ignored all of the events surrounding it and gave away the store.

Serious people weren’t going to switch to the iPhone.

Sure, lets play Russian Roulette, there’s an 83% chance that I won’t blow my brains out.

RIMM is dead. Even worse, it obviously doesn’t have any hidden technological gems waiting to be released after its death, becasue it certainly didn’t have any while it was in its pre-gasping phase of life.

RIMM isn’t coming back to life, but I am.

The market opened up nicely and stayed that way through the day, other than for a small fade in the late morning.

For the first time in four weeks I had a largely intact portfolio with very little need to replace anything. If anything, I had some marginally welcome new holdings in MolyCorp and, well, you know.


I quickly bought back my assigned shares in British Petroleeum, which is going ex-dividend on Wednesday and just as quickly sold call options.

While my ProShares UltraShort Silver ETF shares haven’t been delivering very much in way of option premiums this month I’ve come to rely more on Double Dipping for Dividends.

Last week I purchased shares of Boeing and Aflac right before going ex-dividend, sold in the money call options, and as it turned out, will also collect the dividend.

Double Dipping. Hmmmm.

Hey, it’s a living. I didn’t say that I was proud to be scrounging around, but you do what you have to do.

Best of all, with the market opening on an upward spike on a Monday and with anumber of my shares right near favorable strike prices I started selling all of the call options that I couldn’t do last week, as I refused to replenish my depleted supply of stocks by buying high.

Chesapeake Energy, Boeing and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters were added to the newly sold BP calls.

Beyond that, I sold calls on the new MolyCorp shares that resulted from assignment of the puts that I had sold.

Resurrection, right?

I was coming back to life.

Except for the fact that I bought even more shares of RIMM, just to go along with the shares that I was obligated to buy.

Although it seems as if re-animation of RIMM is not too likely, there seems to be that morbid curiousity factor in continuing to place faith in its shares.

That must be it, since I don’t really think of myself as being overtly driven by greed. I try to be greedy in an inconspicuous fashion, letting the pennies pile.

But it seems that anyone plowing money into RIMM is probably expecting a decent and quick pop. It seemed to be heading in that direction last week.

And it’s just that feeling held by the most greedy of “investors,” the options buyers that’s making the option premiums so rich.

Which of course feeds into my greed. It’s hard to resist the premiums. They can be so enticing that you overlook the fact that the underlying technology, corporate strategy and security are all dead.

I don’t know if re-animation will ever become reality. I don’t know if we’ll ever see a body free Ted Williams head talking up the finer points of the game again, but there has to be an element of hope in the re-animation of RIMM’s shares.

Obviously, I share that ill-based hope.

I see the bright white light, but I think that it’s drawing me in even though I want to escape.

And that’s exactly what addiction is all about.

Whether it’s crack or premiums, it’s an addiction.

I just hope to live and re-live to trade another day.




Check out Recent PortfolioTransactions and
Transaction Performance 


Recent Trades Security Type Action Type
February 13, 2012 BP Option STO* Weekly
February 13, 2012 BP Stock Buy
February 13, 2012 GMCR Option STO Weekly
February 13, 2012 RIMM Option STO Weekly
February 13, 2012 RIMM Stock Added
February 13, 2012 BA Option STO Weekly
February 13, 2012 MCP Option STO Weekly
February 13, 2012 MCP Stock Added
February 13, 2012 CHK Option STO Monthly
February 11, 2012 BA Option Expired Weekly
February 11, 2012 CHK Option Expired Weekly
February 11, 2012 HAL Option Expired Weekly
February 11, 2012 MOS Option Expired Weekly
February 11, 2012 MS Option Expired Weekly
February 11, 2012 BP Option Assigned Weekly
February 11, 2012 GOOG Option Assigned Weekly
February 11, 2012 MCP Option Assigned Weekly
February 11, 2012 RIMM Option Assigned Weekly
February 10, 2012 AFL Option STO* Monthly
February 10, 2012 AFL Stock Buy
February 10, 2012 CHK Option BTC Weekly
February 10, 2012 RVBD Option BTC Weekly
February 9, 2012 GMCR Option STO Crumbs
February 9, 2012 GMCR Stock Buy
February 9, 2012 RVBD Option STOP Monthly
February 9, 2012 MCP Option STOP Crumbs