Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bulb Oil, mostly

The Albany Bulb is actually closed off with signs about the oil. I don't know if there's actually oil there, or if it's just in case. It's a big bird habitat area. It's also where I shoot outdoors about half the time - it's a little spit of land that goes out into the bay and it's quite interesting.

Candy, pictured here, is at the bulb. More in the outdoor shoot we did - although the first part of the set is in another location.

Other news:

I have a couple of models I'm interviewing over the next week or so. I'm doing this more with potential models that don't really have a portfolio, especially since I'm really in no rush to shoot right now and can afford to be a bit picky. I also am already being contacted by models to set up shoots for their Christmas break (typically starts mid December).

The last bit of craziness is financial. I used to be with Brown and Company which was this small quirky brokerage. If I remember the sequence properly, they got bought by JP Morgan as part of their attempt to move online. They kept the branding separate but took the picture old man Brown off the envelopes and so forth, and at some point renamed it BrownCo. Well, JP Morgan merged with or got bought by Chase, forming the exciting JPMorganChase. I kid you not. And BrownCo didn't fit in with that very well, so they sold it to E*TRADE, who moved everything to using their software and so forth, but you still get the old Brown and Company rates which are very cheap. E*TRADE, or a part of E*TRADE has been putting their money into subprime mortgages, which turns out to have been about as intelligent as being the first ship to hit the Bay Bridge in the 74 years since they started construction and dumping oil into the bay.

So now the fear is that the whole company's going to be dragged under, and the secondary fear is that just the fear is going to make itself true when the retail customers (that's me) panic and pull their money out. In my case that's pretty much pocket lint, but I was rather fond of it and SPIC insurance or no that's no fun at all. So I spent this morning trying to figure out if it's all fluff (the collapse, not the pocket line which is definitely fluff) and if so what brokers still exist after all the mergers. I'm old enough to remember the S&L crisis - my S&L was solid but got bought by some company to prop up their bad investments but of course it wasn't enough and it all went under. Sigh...

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