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So I bought the stock on Thursday, and on Friday I lost a thousand bucks.

"Hey, Timmy, how did you do at the track?"
"Not so good, Ma."

It's not gambling, damn it. It's bad investing. There's a difference! I think. So I'm reading the transcript to the conference call, trying to figure out how the hell the jockey fell off his horse. Apparently, and I'm scrutinizing the transcript to the conference call, apparently revenues were up 35%. That's good. Not great. Not very good. But good. And earnings? Bit of a problem. As I noted in my, ahem, buy report, there was a slight miss last quarter. Unfortunately, this quarter, it was a bit more than a slight miss. It's a huge frickin black hole of Calcutta this quarter.

Now I'm not a mathematician. Not an accountant. But it seems to me earnings are going in the wrong frickin direction. So, if we continue with my day-at-the-track analogy, the frickin horse has stopped, turned around, and is running the wrong way.

Apparently, what happened is, they've been paying their employees with stock options. Instead of, you know, cash. Okay. We do that too. And what happened, it seems to me, is that when the options vested, all the employees sold, and earnings went to hell. &$)+=! Well, that makes me feel better. Thanks a lot, Sarbones-Oxley. Thanks a thousand!

I don't know. Maybe, maybe, maybe all of their stock options shouldn't vest on the same day or something. I mean, if they're all gonna flee for the exits like that. Somebody could get trampled or something.

You know the insane thing? I'll tell you the insane thing. I still like the story. The story's great. Great story. Nintendo can't compete, Microsoft can't compete, Sony can't compete. And the9 is the platform of choice for every software game developer in the free world. What a great story. So I can't complain about the story.

It's the numbers that suck!

And here I am, stuck in North America. Dude, don't make me go over there. It's only 2% of my portfolio. (Used to be 3!) I'm still up 25% for the year. (Not in this stock!). So I'm grumpy. I'm ugly. I'm an ugly American. Not quite as grumpy and ugly as the folks from E.A., who probably feel like they got smacked from behind in a Chinese whorehouse. Got a bump on the noggin, an empty wallet, plus they got the clap.

Dude, it's the third world, what did you expect? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Gains! Massive gains! Massive, ear-splitting gains, that's what I expected!

And Citigroup, helpful as always, changes their call from "accumulate" to "not". Thanks, Sherlock. A little late, maybe!

Listen, you flim-flammin foreign financiers, I'm just saying, it's not very good for international relations when you smack my wallet like that. In one day! Now I'm all jingoistic. Jingoistic and poor. And making fun of Asian whorehouses. That's not nice. I don't even want insane profits anymore. Can I have my money back?

I'm still holding. Deeply suspicious. Not bullish. Not bearish. More like a possum or a racoon or something. Like I just got caught in the headlights and maybe if I freeze it won't be so bad.

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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