06 Nov. 2009
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 Market Efficiency and My Flu Shot

But First - The Longest Song Title Competition

I have always touted the Shawn Phillips song "She Was Waiting for Her Mother at the Station at Torino, and You Know I Love You Baby But it's Getting too Heavy to Laugh" as being the longest song title.  But in the 05 November Wall Street Journal, reviewer Jim Fusilli called my attention to two songs by Sufjan Stevens with the following titles:
  • To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament, and it Involves an Inner Tube, Bath Mats, and 21 Able-Bodied Men
  • A Conjunction of Drones Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens Has an Existential Crisis in the Great Godfrey Maze
It would seem that the first of the Stevens entries is the longest, both in terms of space taken in justified print and in number of words.  I acknowledge that the Stevens is longer than the Phillips, but since I long ago memorized the latter, you will forgive me if, when you accost me in person and put me to the Question, the Phillips remains my candidate selection.

My Flu Shot

I am employed.  My employer provides health insurance.  I got a flu shot a week or so ago.  I was given a form to send in to get reimbursed for same.  I should get my payment back in due course. 
In case you've been wondering why the health care/insurance "system" in this country is so furshlugginer*, the above paragraph says it most.  I'm waiting to see how long it takes to get reimbursed, and will probably expatiate further when I receive my "explanation of benefits."

Market Efficiency

Back in the '80s one of my favorite bloggers, Andrew Tobias, wrote a book about the insurance industry.  He titled it "The Invisible Bankers" and I bought and read it long before Andy hit the internet.  The book fell out of print, and copies are scarce.  Far worse, my own copy was so scarce that I was unable to find it despite over an hour of searching.  I was eager to re-read it, but not eager to pay the $25-$75 I recalled it was fetching on eBay.  Nonetheless, I did a search and found some copies.  After my search I sent this email to the author:

Talk about inefficient markets...

Four copies presently on eBay for $13.65 to $45.00.
There were five until, after searching all over the house for my original,
I looked on eBay and found one for $1.37.

Somewhere in this eBay thing there's a big opportunity!


"Somewhere in this eBay thing there's a big opportunity!" is not the only lesson to be drawn from this pricing disparity.   

*I've just dated myself as a member of the Mad Magazine generation.  And by adding "Got a problem with that?" I'm also charmingly au courant, albeit a bit stuck up given the italicized French expression.  Got a problem with that?

"Stairway to Heaven"
Far Corporation




I won this shirt during the Night of the Living Prius.  Although it was a prize for answering questions about the new 2010 (Gen III) Prius, I don't consider that getting a score higher than the five other participants merits the appellation "Genius." 

On the other hand, it was free and it fits.

Prius Genius T-shirt
Richard Factor

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