Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Weekend Trader - Bamboo Shoots

Where do I even begin to describe yesterday?

I guess I'll start by saying that there are a few days that stand out at the end of the year, and perhaps even in one's life. Yesterday was clearly one of them. Said another way, and revisiting the term we referenced in Wednesday's video, it was a positive life "outlier".

Some thought we were crazy in terms of hosting a party -- at our home -- for people we'd never met aside from virtual emails, blog comments, and tiny photos. Especially in this day where the words "Internet" and "danger" seem forever linked. Yet I was never worried, as a funny thing happens when you open your home to a couple of dozen genuine, like-minded people with a common purpose and ethic who have developed a mutual "feel" for each other after a year's worth of diary onlooking and conversation: For one night, the dangers and fears of the world completely disappear.

Yet like many worthwhile events, it wasn't easy at times to get to this moment. I wasn't sure where to host it or gauge the number of people. The weather has been atrocious and unpredictable. Many emailed saying they wanted to be here, yet couldn't as 'tis the season of graduations, weddings, and family vacations. And usually when my trading -- not to mention life -- goes through a flat period, the last thing I want to do is talk to other traders.

And then the coup de grace hit (literally) at noon -- just four hours before our home would be opened to an unknown world -- where I hit my head coming out of our shed and was rushed to the hospital via ambulance to close a two and a half inch gash on my head. You just can't make this stuff up.

Frankly, for a few minutes on the way to the hospital, all I was thinking was "what the hell is going on here? ... I've got a nagging back issue where they're trying some steroid treatment where I need to AVOID infection, and now this?? And how long is this going to take on a summer Saturday in a resort area where the E.R. will likely be packed? Was this event a huge mistake and will my wife end up greeting complete strangers (to her) and trying to host this on her own? Is this another test? Does Someone (capital "S") not want this event to happen? And what happened to all the Peace I had on Friday??

Yet oh ye of little faith, and after a tetanus shot, eight staples in my scalp, and simply tremendous action by life's true heroes -- EMTs and E.R. personnel -- I was back home by 2:00pm (which has to be some sort of Cape Cod Hospital summer weekend record) to help finish getting ready.

And when the first couple arrived -- which included a former student from years ago -- any remaining qualms I had about hosting the event or recent personal challenges completely disappeared, and the rest of the night was one of the best evenings I've enjoyed in a long time as we had the privilege of being surrounded by as classy a group as you'll ever see.

We ate, drank, and ate some more, and when the rains finally came later in the evening, we simply kept chatting undeterred under the canopies before escaping indoors, even visiting the trading "bat cave" for a short time to talk some shop.

To those who made the journey (some from as far away as Calgary, Florida, and Texas), we will forever be linked by a night where world problems and career challenges faded away, and our home and hearts will always be open to you. To those who brought small gifts, Debra and I thank you, yet it was our pleasure just to serve you.

For those who couldn't join us because of distance or conflicts, you were here in spirit.

And for Anthony (son of one of the attending couples) ... best wishes as you begin your new journey, listen to your Dad, and leverage off his knowledge and experience. You have as good a start as anyone could ask for, and the rest will be up to you.

Godspeed to all on your respective journeys.

P.S. Don't forget that sometimes in trading and life, it's simply best to duck.


nursebee said...

What? You didn't see a nurse?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for hosting this wonderful get together. It was a real pleasure to meet you, your wife and all the other traders. It really was a memorable time.
I hope that head of yours gets feeling better...ouch!! And the same for the other distractions.

Last night enabled me to connect with some very nice, genuine, "real" people. The kind you could be friends with...and I thank you for that.
I know with real focus and determination our bamboo trees will be shooting out of the ground also.
So again, thanks for a wonderful night. Let's all continue to stay in touch.
Joe & Cindy

Don Miller said...

Nursebee - Point taken ... all the E.R. folks were great and I changed the post wording :-).

Joe & Cindy - What an amazing night. Thanks for coming and we'll indeed stay in touch.


steve said...

Wow, nothing like a big hard smack in the head from your "boss" to start off the trading week! At least the planned event went super well and the unplanned event didn't interfere too much. Wish we could have been there. Heal up and maybe this smack helped your neck in some chiropractic way.

(Oh, in some ways you could say you asked for it! Quote from April 9th -- "That in itself raises a red flag to me as frustration is usually what fuels the next hard run. That or a hard smack which hasn't happened since the infamous February 10th.")

James Stollenwerck said...


There I am on I-95 southbound at midnight, Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Espresso Mocha Spiced Latte Large coursing through my veins, the needle pinned on 85.

A one hour no interruption tribute to Michael Jackson is on Boston classic rock. He was a genius, but I’m here to tell you, if you listen to a lot of his stuff in a row, it’s hard to get past song five. Sort of like Barbara Streisand: a little goes a long way.

But I digress…

The Boston Bamboo Traders Cookout. Wonderful. I’d be surprised if there was ever any other successful and public trader one reads about who dreams up such an event, much less follows through on it. I am shaking my head.

Yet I’m trying to organize my thoughts, because I, as well as you, I think, see something here, something good needing nurturing and tending to. I’m reminded of…..bamboo.

Maybe, just maybe, this is that something “big” you talk about.

But right now, I’m at a loss as to what exactly that thing is. I’m not worried though; the way my mind works is to let the subconscious take over and it will come to me. It just hasn’t happened yet. Stay tuned.

Charles said...

I just wanted to say thanks to Trader Kevin and FXprop for that interesting exchange from thur. 6/25.

Trader Kevin, you make alot of good points and FXprop, you debate in a good-natured spirit, which is always a good thing.

Don, maybe there's a possibility of a discussion forum here? I know the problem/burden of moderation comes into play, but I would be more than glad to help out with that if you want me to.

re: your banged up head...Godspeed in your healing Sensei


(yes Don I put almost the same comment in the other post hoping Trader Kev and FXprop see my sentiments)

Frank said...


Just got back to Florida a little while ago and wanted to say Thank you very much to you and your wife for hosting such a wondeful get together.

It really was great being able to meet everyone. People with the same common interest and goal. This made for some real down to earth people and it was a pleasure to be there.

And Don I have to say thank you for all the years of your mentorship and inspiration. I truly don't know if I would be where I am in my trading journey without it.

Hopefully we can continue to do something lke this again in the future.

Frank & Debra

Don Miller said...

Frank & Debra -

It was our pleasure.

Glad you made it back safely. (Traffic leaving the Cape later in the day today was pretty rough.)

Deb & I greatly enjoyed meeting Debra and would also like to keep in touch as we move forward.

We'll drop you an email shortly.

In the meantime, stay well.


YM-Trader said...

Don, There are certainly lots of "trader/educators" who deserve a good smack on the head, but you are certainly not one of them. Like so many trades, it started out scary and then somehow ended up gloriously. Its great to see such a good outcome.

E said...

"Do you beieve in Kismet"- Slumdog Millionaire

Many times I have had the experience of meeting someone and felt like I have already known them;but never had that feeling with a "whole group of people".

There is a first time for everything, and we felt the connection with some of the nicest people we could hope to meet.

My wife and join the chorus in thanking the Miller family for opening your doors to us all and for sharing your homes and heart with all of us.

The Band of Brothers and sisters was formed, and it was a magical night that will be difficult for those not there to understand.

Be well all, and continue to enjoy the journey...

Don, better wear your hard hat from now on when you are out of the office...for that matter...maybe leave it on while there also...

B.S.trader said...

Well said, finally. The market may be emerging from it's slumber as well and ready for battle. Life, politics, business, trading, it is usually the tale of the last man standing.

Charles said...

Don, even from a distance, I can feel the good vibes emanating from your Bamboo gathering.

Glad it turned out great...


Bartman said...


Wanted to thank you and Debra for hosting Saturday evening's Bamboo cookout. Enjoyed meeting everyone and getting to see the faces behind the names. What a great group of people!

Agree with you that there is something bigger here. Loved your idea of a new breed of turtles. Whatever direction you go from here, I wish you continued success.

Thanks again for the special evening.


Sagi said...

Hi Don,

Hope you are feeling better. Just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful time.

Someone just mentioned the movie SlumDog Millionaire - which is one of the BEST films in the last 10 years and a great example of how one should never give up!

I was reading a story a while back on this individual who had a hard time getting to consistency. His wife divorced him, he lost his house - went to work as a security guard so he can continue to trade during the day (he was doing FOREX). After a few years he was making lots of money, but said it wasn't worth losing his friends and family over it. Lessons learned:

1. Don't make the market an addiction = live a balanced life 2. You have to put a few years into this occupation in order to make $$$


Client Photos said...

It sounds like a refreshing break you needed. And your right you can't make that stuff up. Who said traders live boring lives.

on a personal note.
I pray that the Lord would renew, restore and refresh you. In the name of Yeshua. Amen.