I noted with interest that Rick Thoman

got the boot at


(XRX) - Get Report

. This raises the question of what exactly is the batting record of ex-


(IBM) - Get Report

execs who left for greener pastures. (Although in defense of Thoman, who left IBM for Xerox in 1997, it should be noted he didn't start out as an IBMer.)

Let's see, George H. Conrades, now chairman and CEO at

Akamai Technologies

(AKAM) - Get Report

gets a C (love the technology, but hype was bigger than profits). C. Michael Armstrong, now chairman and CEO at


(T) - Get Report

, gets a D (a 50% stock price haircut will do that to a man!). Ellen Hancock, now president and CEO of



, gets a B- (another one who visited the bear market barber). Nancy Faigen, now president of sales and service delivery at



(not to mention that she's my wife) gets a ... (Yeah, right. You think I'm stupid?)

Did I miss anyone? Maybe, but don't shoot me emails that list

Ross Perot

. He was never an IBM exec!

OK, next week we tackle ex-



execs! (Ha! Just kidding ... )

No, next week, we tackle more questions and charts, so submit your favorite ex-IBMer and let me know his or her progress. Our address is

technicalforum@thestreet.com and John Opel will be standing by ready to assist.

Before we start, though, loyal reader

Pam B.

had some further thoughts on

Jim Cramer's favorite topic, "seasonality."

Regarding seasonality, she says, "generally speaking, I'd agree. The old Wall Street saw is 'Buy Halloween, Sell April Fools.' However, the only time this pattern breaks is during election years. If you don't have Yale Hirsch's

Stock Trader's Almanac

, I urge you to get a copy. ... It is filled with invaluable information and it is on my buy list every year. I am a trader and rely most heavily on TA, but I look for any edge I can get."

Thanks, Pam! Also, if you haven't, I urge you to check out Sy Harding's

Riding the Bear: How to Prosper in the Coming Bear Market

for an excellent piece of work on seasonality. You can never know to much.

Rolling With The Punches

Gary: With the recent Love Bug virus, what do you think of a company like Tumbleweed (TMWD) ? Troy Davies

The Right Way To Bottom-Fish

Gary: It's been a long way down for VISX (VISX) , but does Friday's move brighten the future? Your take would be much appreciated. Amy Feller

Congestion-Breakdown-More Congestion

Gary: As as one who reads your charts all the time, I need your opinion on KLA-Tencor (KLAC) - Get Report. Help! Jim Spinella

More Evidence, Please

Gary: Corning (GLW) - Get Report is acting crazy. What are your thoughts? Murray L. Kaufman

That's What a Waterfall Looks Like

Gary: I was wondering if you could share your views on Efficient Networks (EFNT) with us, please. Carlos Zimmermann

The Comeback Kid

Gary: How does Tyco (TYC) look? It looks like it's going higher. Nick Chan

Still Learning

Gary: Want to know what real funk is? It's losing 90% of your portfolio because you sold WAY too many puts at the same time on high flyers and then the market tanked and then instead of lightening up, you met margin calls. Boy do I feel like an idiot. All I can say is that I hope I learned my lesson. I know so much about the market and stocks and strategies, etc., yet I made this awfully stupid move and now I'm like a deer in headlights. Any advice? By the way I enjoy your columns. Eric Lubitz

Eric, what you've been through is probably the trader's version of divorce, or a death in the family: It's traumatic.

Therefore, you need to do two things. One, take time to grieve and clear your head. I know when I've been crushed by the market, it sometimes takes me days to recover. With your loss, it might take weeks or even a few months.

After that, go back and figure out where you went wrong. Was it a great method, but poor discipline? Or simply a poor method? Whatever was the cause, you can then put in plans to fix it, so you don't have to suffer through this turmoil next time.

But, give the whole process some time. The markets will always be there. In the meantime, check out my columns on both building a

methodology and sticking to your methodology (sprinkled throughout my archive).

And, good luck!

Gary B. Smith is a freelance writer who trades for his own account from his Maryland home using technical analysis. At time of publication, he held no positions in any securities mentioned in this column, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Smith writes five technical analysis columns for TheStreet.com each week, including Technician's Take, Charted Territory and TSC Technical Forum. While he cannot provide Investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback at


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