"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Prior Post

Heard the News today... oh boy...

Spent a good bit of the afternoon with Fritz and his lovely wife Tina.

Missed the benefit: Fritz Friends

Guess there were a bunch of folks there
Raised some good money, but not enough

Glad I could spend some "one on one" time with Fritz
Small talk, but also dug into some of the creditor issues

There are some "hard assed" lawyers that deserve a real good butt-kicking
We'll have to see what can be done.

I recalled another scene from past times.

I'd had a rather "uncomfortable" crash
In short, not wearing leathers, riding a friends Kawasaki H2
750 2stroke Triple - real fast, but big time shake machine, at about a hundred the bars buzzed enough to be about 3inched in diameter.
Long story short, the front fender came off (likely the vibration) and grabbed the front tire - bam, on the pavement.
Nothing broken (bones that is) but nasty abrasions ... both palms gone, most of a forearm etc.

Well, Fritz had seen me bandaged up (not too pretty)

About this time, maybe a year or so later, he must have been early teens and was growing and feeling his "oats"

I was visiting the bike shop (his dad Fred worked there)
Fritz jumped me from behind and we did a bit of 'rassel'
Broke off and I walked over to Fred, asked if I could rip into the "kid"
"Go for it"

Went back to Fritz, and calmly mentioned that he must know that I really didn't mind pain and we could 'get serious'

Well ... nothing further happened and all was well.

Just a little message.

Haven't seen as much of Fritz in the last few years, we live north, he's been raising his own family.

My thoughts and prayers are with him and Tina.

While the doctors are amazed that he's still with us, I believe that there is good in being a good person, having positive attitude and taking life as it comes.

Hard to find a better person, loving husband and father.

Pulling for you Fritz

Chilean Cyber-Economy

Interesting bit from South American socialists

Before ’73 Coup, Chile Tried to Find the Right Software for Socialism - New York Times:

"The project, called Cybersyn, was the brainchild of A. Stafford Beer, a visionary Briton who employed his “cybernetic” concepts to help Mr. Allende find an alternative to the planned economies of Cuba and the Soviet Union. After the coup it became the subject of intense military scrutiny."

Friday, March 28, 2008


He gets my respect for casting as wide a net as necessary.
This is not a Republican or Democratic problem it's a fully bi-partisan problem.

Obama Casts Wide Blame for Financial Crisis

"Speaking at Cooper Union in Manhattan, Mr. Obama blamed Democrats no less than Republicans for the crisis that now casts a shadow of foreclosure and insolvency over millions of Americans. He did not mention former President Bill Clinton by name, but the target of his criticism seemed clear.

“Under Republican and Democratic administrations, we failed to guard against practices that all too often rewarded financial manipulation instead of productivity and sound business practices,” Mr. Obama said. “The result has been a distorted market that creates bubbles instead of steady sustainable growth, a market that favors Wall Street over Main Street but ends up hurting both.”"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Great Right, er Left Wing Conspiracy

Roaring in from left field :

Daily Kos: State of the Nation

It's Time to Give Hillary Clinton a Break.

I'd phrase it "give the Clinton's a break... they are a team.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Starting to melt


An hour ago (7:45)

West is West and East is East

... and never the twain shall meet

Likely simplistic overview of history

Worlds at War - Anthony Pagden - Book Review - New York Times

Democracy vs Despotism

"The Greeks subscribed, broadly, to “an individualistic view of humanity.” The Persians displayed courage and ferocity on the battlefield but as a society, Mr. Pagden writes, paraphrasing Herodotus, they were “craven, slavish, reverential and parochial, incapable of individual initiative, a horde rather than a people.”

From the Greeks to today's "Crusaders"

“The society of Islam is ultimately based not upon human volition or upon contract but upon divine decree,” Mr. Pagden writes. “In the societies of the West, by contrast, every aspect of life has been conceived as a question of human choice.” Never the twain shall meet.

Mr. Pagden is scathing about the idea that moderate voices might prevail, since the very notion of moderation appeals primarily to one side in the argument. “Who says that tolerance, dialogue and understanding are virtues?” he asks. “The answer is invariably: secular Westerners.”

So here we are, after 2,500 years, back in the same place. On one side stand the liberal democracies of the West, convinced that their Enlightenment values and political ideas apply to all peoples everywhere. On the other side, a restless and aggrieved Islamic world defines itself as a vast community of faith, its members convinced that their beliefs, too, are universal. It may take another 2,500 years to sort this out.

Politics - and Markets

From overseas, why one should pay attention to markets vs polls.

My opinion: markets people vote what they expect, polls what they "want"
Also : in polls... people lie.

FT.com / World - Punters more accurate than polls, says study:

"If you want to know who people really think will win the US presidential election, ask them to put their money where their votes are.

This is the basis for the predictive power of the Iowa Electronic Markets, run by the University of Iowa, which - according to new research - have for 20 years been more accurate at predicting the outcome of elections than opinion polls."


"Polls tend to be a static, one-time prediction," she said. "The market is a dynamic system that can respond instantaneously to the arrival of new information and asks traders to forecast how everyone will vote in the actual upcoming election, not just how they, the individual, will vote."

IEM 2008 US Democratic National Convention Market Price Graph

National Election
IEM 2008 US Presidential Election Vote Share Market Price Graph

Bookmark them as they update daily

Some Politics links

As the Democrats haven't been able to settle on a candidate, we continue to have a bit of theater.


Hillary or Nobody? - New York Times:

"She can’t win without him, said one Hillary adviser, and he can’t win without her."

Maureen's prediction, Hillary takes the party down and expects to return in '12

She references the "Tonya option"

Political Punch:
"The Tonya Harding Option -- the first time I've heard it put that way.

It implies that Clinton is so set on ensuring that Obama doesn't get the nomination, not only is she willing to take extra-ruthless steps, but in the end neither she nor Obama win the gold."

"Hill Hater Dick Morris"
TheHill.com - Hillary’s list of lies:
"The USA Today/Gallup survey clearly explains why Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is losing. Asked whether the candidates were “honest and trustworthy,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won with 67 percent, with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) right behind him at 63. Hillary scored only 44 percent, the lowest rating for any candidate for any attribute in the poll.

Hillary simply cannot tell the truth."

He lists a catalog of mis-truths/fibs/distortions or whatever

Rules : like changing to soccer at half time from "American Football" Superbowl

Hey: it's still football

Clinton Backer Points to Electoral College Votes as New Measure - New York Times:

"“Presidential elections are decided on electoral votes,” a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, Howard Wolfson, said in an e-mail message.

But Mr. Wolfson said superdelegates would also be looking at the popular vote when determining which candidate to support.

Bill Burton, a spokesman for Mr. Obama, said that the idea of using the Electoral College as a metric was specious because the Democratic nominee, regardless of whom it was, would almost certainly win California and New York.

Many Democrats, including Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Bayh, have opposed the Electoral College in the past, particularly after 2000, when Florida’s 25 electoral votes were awarded to George W. Bush, who became president, even though Al Gore, the Democratic nominee, had won the popular vote nationwide.

At the time, Mrs. Clinton, who had just been elected to the Senate, said, “I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it’s time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president.”"

Brooks :

The Long Defeat - New York Times

" Last week, an important Clinton adviser told Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen (also of Politico) that Clinton had no more than a 10 percent chance of getting the nomination. Now, she’s probably down to a 5 percent chance.

Five percent."

David paints a picture of a political machine, maybe one that has no "off switch"

Down...hill from there.
And taking down the party with them?

But things may change.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Reflections on a one-of-a-kind

I marked these a couple of weeks ago
Just got around to reading them

Dick Cavett on William F. Buckley
Read for snippets

A Most Uncommon Man - Dick Cavett


Uncommoner Than Thou: Buckley, Part Two - Dick Cavett

No "commoner" for sure
I may have disagreed with many of his positions, but he was aways articulate and interesting


Heard this on CNBC this AM

Art Cashin on the takeover of Bear Stearns
Fear was that there were $14 Trillion on outstanding "counter trades"

If major dealer closed up, who knows how far the damage would have run.

Not recession fears, but credit market lock-up/freeze-up

Sunday, March 23, 2008


While I never had a chance to see this other than in photos, I found it fascinating
Pure "car"
No place for a person, just ... itself

Blather from an art magazine?

Artform Magazine:

"With the decline of the horse culture the horse became romantic symbol of the past. Now that the car’s decline and replacement is imminent, we have come to see the private car as an even greater object of nostalgic appeal. It took an artist who grew up in California, where the car has had it s greatest boom, to realize an apotheosis model. Potts’s car was built to be stored in heaven as an epitaph to the car, now that the car must soon cease to exist. The car having matched its waste with man’s own, it may soon be impossible in many places on earth for either men or cars to breathe. I suppose the people still have a veto right, and it will be the car which succumbs first. The message of the apotheosis model becomes; This is how the car could have been if the game had been this honest the first time."

Well that was 1970 and cars are still here

I hadn't thought of it much lately until I was visiting this site :
Ariel Motor Company

This one has room for the driver, and even a passenger

Call it a dose of spring fever ...

Video Here
YouTube - Top Gear: Atom

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Whoopsie ... cont

So lying SOB's mislead even seasoned vets.

This Is What Jim Cramer Said Last Week Regarding Bear Stearns (BSC) Outlook

March 17, 2008 10:32 AM EDT

It was obviously hard not to fall for the assurances offered by Ace Greenberg and Alan Schwartz of Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) regarding being highly liquid. Even highly-regarded professional investors from the likes of Jim Cramer said there is no need to avoid Bear Stearns.

A person called into Jim Cramer's Mad Money show and asked, "Should I be worried about Bear Stearns
Bear Stearns? In terms of liquidity and get my money out of there? --Peter

Cramer said: “No! No! No! Bear Stearns is not in trouble. If anything, they’re more likely to be taken over. Don’t move your money from Bear.”

There is link to video on the site

Healthy Eating

Pretty much sums my my attitude... now to learn to keep the weight off

The Fat Pack Wonders if the Party’s Over - New York Times:

"“I do find it irresponsible that they have done nothing to address health issues,” he said of eGullet, which he left in 2006 after a dispute with another of the site’s founders, Steven Shaw.

“The whole foodie lifestyle and diet I used to participate in — I’m not going to say it is unhealthy, but it is excessive,” he said. “I think you can still keep the food very interesting, but do it in moderation. That’s what the food community of the future is going to have to be.”"

And this is the idea behind Earthy Delights
( which I own a piece of )

When people cut back on calories, they tend to spend more per calorie

Clintonian plot

Publication of piece that infidelity is "normal"

In Most Species, Faithfulness Is a Fantasy

Birds to beetles to amphibians
Cheating and even prostitution is the norm, but with a price

Did Spitzer know this?
His bad was to sign legislation to bust johns ... then get caught as a john.


Arthur C. Clarke, 90, Science Fiction Writer, Dies

"Arthur C. Clarke, a writer whose seamless blend of scientific expertise and poetic imagination helped usher in the space age, died early Wednesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he had lived since 1956. He was 90."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Perp Walk

I guess the new "perp walk" is the politician (either party) coming to the podium with his wife...

Ouch, that's a hardball one

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:

"If Obama is being compelled to give a speech about his race, and Romney felt forced to give one about his faith, will Hillary Clinton ever have to give a speech about her husband? Has this campaign shown that it is better to address the elephant in the room, or leave it alone?"

Monday, March 17, 2008


Follow the rules until we change them.
(calling Will Rogers...)

Clinton aide cautions Obama against blocking Mich. do-over election 

"A top campaign aide with Hillary Clinton’s campaign -- and one who intially voted to strip Michigan of its delegates to this summer’s nominating convention as a member of the Democratic National Committee -- today said if Barack Obama blocks a do-over election in the state, “he will be putting his own political interests ahead of the people of Michigan.”"

As well as the taxpayers don't have to pay ... whatever

October Suprise?

Well, it wasn't used for '04, that was handled in Florida (one way or another, take your pick)

Will this swing things for McCain?

Where's bin Laden?

"So, a bin Laden capture on the eve of the '08 election? Conspiracy theories abound!"

If this counts as a bailout...

As Steve Liesman just said on CNBC ... the end of investment banking.

JP Morgan Pays $2 a Share for Bear Stearns - New York Times:

"In a shocking deal reached on Sunday to save Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay a mere $2 a share to buy all of Bear — less than one-tenth the firm’s market price on Friday."

Only a year ago, Bear’s shares sold for $170. The sale price includes Bear Stearns’s soaring Madison Avenue headquarters.


Markets nervous
Fed meets Tues

Will lower rates
Market to start recovery

There will be more shake up's among Investment Banking
Likely no recession

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Whoopsie ... yet more

JPMorgan Acts to Buy Ailing Bear Stearns at Huge Discount - New York Times:

"The all-stock deal values Bear Stearns at about $2 a share, based on JPMorgan’s closing stock price on Friday, the companies said. In contrast, shares of Bear Stearns, which fell $27 on Friday, closed at $30."


"JPMorgan’s bid of $2 a share for Bear Stearns represents a gigantic 97.5 percent discount to the $80 book value that Bear Stearns has reported, reflecting the broad view that the fallout from the credit crunch has permanently devastated Bear’s core mortgage operations."

Whoopsie... Cont.

Story on attempts to get Bear sold before the opening tomorrow

Bear Stearns Racing Toward Selling Itself to JPMorgan - New York Times:

"There is little faith in the assigned or “marked” value of so many assets, including but not limited to mortgage-related securities. In fact, the experience of Bear Stearns proves that it is confidence, not capital, that topples even the savviest financial institutions."

And perceptions are everything

"Throughout much of its history, Bear Stearns has masterfully persuaded the market that its business — narrowly focused on mortgage finance — was worth more than it actually was. To some degree this trick has been a testament to the coy gamesmanship of two of its past leaders, Alan “Ace” Greenberg and Mr. Cayne.

Both men are devout bridge players, and Mr. Greenberg is an amateur magician to boot, so they are well schooled in the art of not showing their hand. Mr. Cayne’s hint eight years back — that he would sell the firm only for four times its book value — was even then a flight of financial fancy."

I had described it as poker, not bridge, but the idea's the same, you don't show your cards.

No wonder Paulson was cagey on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos this AM.

More on WallSt follies

Some further thoughts on current status of Wall Street.

Andy Kessler: WSJ: What's Next for the Banks:
January 24, 2008

If you want to know what's going to happen to the big banks and investment banks, you've got to go back to early 2003, when the seeds of destruction were planted.

It had been a year or so since a couple of trillion dollars of investor wealth had been wiped out. The Dow was 8000 and dropping, and the stocks of big institutions from Citi to Merrill Lynch to Morgan Stanley were at multiyear lows. Bank lending was down, but no one was really worried. The old 'borrow short, lend long and pocket the difference' game had been around for millennia, and banks had weathered worse than this mild economic slowdown."


Rescue Me: A Fed Bailout Crosses a Line - New York Times:

"What are the consequences of a world in which regulators rescue even the financial institutions whose recklessness and greed helped create the titanic credit mess we are in? Will the consequences be an even weaker currency, rampant inflation, a continuation of the slow bleed that we have witnessed at banks and brokerage firms for the past year?"

Bill Fleckenstein had these comments before the Bear Bailout:
Fed's latest giveaway won't work:

"For some time now, the Federal Reserve has been writing a book. It's called "What Not to Do," and on Tuesday it penned a chapter called "The Prudent Bailing Out the Reckless."

That was via the Fed's creation of a $200 billion Term Securities Lending Facility, a pool of money it can lend to securities dealers on top of funds it has already injected into the financial system.

I guess the sight of all those suffering hedge funds and brokers was just too much to bear."


True nano-tech in the form on biology and development of "bugs" to grow fuel?

Craig Venter: On the verge of creating synthetic life (video):

Might this vindicate my arguments about hydrocarbon fuels for personal transportation?
Convert CO2 to octane?

My bet is here

Interesting Talk

Just over 15 min clip on cheap "fix" for global warming

David Keith: A surprising idea for "solving" climate change (video):

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Just occurred to me that it's The Ides of March

Not suprising

Growing list of problems I've been having with these folks.

Letting Sr.VP go (along with about 50 others in Mich) while I'm in London, leaving replacement clueless with regards to Line of Credit I was arranging.

Then requests for my tax returns...
But I'm putting money into the bank, and not borrowing.

I've been securing the line.

I'm starting to think that, if anything, they need to show me such things as their capital coverage and portfolio quality.

Zacks Sell List Highlights: Fifth Third Bank, UAL Corp, Circuit City and Sunoco:

"Fifth Third Bank (NASDAQ: FITB: 21.84, -0.98, -4.29%) shares have been in a steady decline for over five years, and the situation has only worsened in the last 6 months as the meltdown in the credit markets has tightened its grip on the financial sector. The company badly missed fourth quarter analyst expectations, posting earnings of seven cents per share against the expected 28 cents. Earnings estimates have been plummeting across the board. Within the last 30 days, 14 of 18 covering analysts have lowered their current-year projections, dropping the consensus estimate by 63 cents to $2.45 per share."


Likely will be gone by this time next week

Fed Races to Rescue Bear Stearns In Bid to Steady Financial System - WSJ.com:

"Bear, although not one of the giants of Wall Street, long had a reputation as one of the most astute risk managers. It has a large mortgage business, but its mix of other businesses is less diverse than those of investment-banking rivals. That profile hurt Bear when the subprime-mortgage problems developed last spring. Two of Bear's mortgage-related hedge funds collapsed in July, costing investors more than $1 billion and worsening the credit crunch then developing. Longtime CEO James Cayne, who was seen by some investors as too hands-off when the mortgage mess unfolded, stepped down in January, though he remained chairman. His successor, Mr. Schwartz, has been trying to rally Bear. But another downturn in the credit markets in the past couple of weeks fed nagging fears that Bear wasn't financially strong enough. Word began to spread among fixed-income traders nine days ago that European banks had stopped trading with Bear. Some U.S. fixed-income and stock traders began doing the same on Monday, pulling their cash from Bear for fear it could get locked up if there was a bankruptcy. That development put firms that still wanted to do business with Bear in a tough position: If Bear did fail, they would have to explain to their clients why they ignored the rumors. On Tuesday, a major asset-management company stopped trading with Bear."

A reply

Doc posted this a couple of days ago
Been too busy (machine updates, file migrations) to reply
Dinner with friends last night and got me thinking

Are humans an itch the Earth wants to scratch?

So here goes
Through the early stages of development, mankind does tend to be hard on the environment, deforestation, farming, mining.

But as we move to a "post industrial" stage, our impact is reduced.
Indeed, we see reforestation, lower impact, more knowledge intensive use of materials.

Mankind, despite the views of some, does not stand outside of nature, mankind is part of nature. Granted, with amazing powers, and the ability to create vast changes, shall we say wreak havoc on the rest of nature, but we do not stand outside, we are affected by nature, the natural world.

If man does change the world, as there is ample evidence that he does, is it different from how nature changes and adapts the world?

Gaia has managed to maintain a (relativity) stable environment form millions of years

The "Oxygen Catastrophe " of some 2 billion years ago far surpasses anything I can conceive of mankind ever achieving.

My sensibilities are upset by degradation of the "natural" world, but I also realise that weather and tectonic events can cause drastic change.
"Stuff Happens"

We seem to like to think of the "natural world" as something like a painting by Paul Gauguin, or Edward Hicks - Peaceable Kingdom...all peaceful and serene.
When in reality, populations rise and fall, prey/predator ratios get out of whack.

Maybe it's just that mankind has the capability to be aware of changes that he causes, and, hopefully, adjust behavior.

If/when mankind is removed from the planet, it will still be a dynamic and sometimes violent place.

Related thinking : on urbanization from Stewart Brand:
Long Views “Cities And Time”

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Too busy

To Blog
Got new MacBook Pro, for some reason "migration" software doesn't want to recognize my old 12" so I'm, ever so slowly, pulling apps and files over to the new machine.

Suppose it's just as well, will only pull what I need, most frequently used files are in the cloud anyway (dot.mac)

Updating log-ons as I go, cleaning up passwords, discarding old stuff.
Just checked Northwest, and have topped 1,000,000 miles as of our last trip to London

Now back to transfers

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not so fast

Caution on "Green Fuels"

Pollution Is Called a Byproduct of a ‘Clean’ Fuel - New York Times

Not necessarily that they are a bad idea, just that they need to be produced and processed properly.
Nominally clean byproducts can be hazardous...

According to the National Biodiesel Board, a trade group, biodiesel is nontoxic, biodegradable and suitable for sensitive environments, but scientists say that position understates its potential environmental impact.

“They’re really considered nontoxic, as you would expect,” said Bruce P. Hollebone, a researcher with Environment Canada in Ottawa and one of the world’s leading experts on the environmental impact of vegetable oil and glycerin spills.

“You can eat the stuff, after all,” Mr. Hollebone said. “But as with most organic materials, oil and glycerin deplete the oxygen content of water very quickly, and that will suffocate fish and other organisms. And for birds, a vegetable oil spill is just as deadly as a crude oil spill.”

Mama don't let your babies grow up to be politicians

Koch: Spitzer has ‘a screw loose’ :

"(CNN) - As the political world comes to grips with revelations of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's involvement in a high-priced prostitution ring, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he thought Spitzer's behavior was 'irrational.'

'I think there's a screw loose,' says Koch. 'I believe that his behavior, beginning with his becoming governor, has been irrational. And, what he did is to indicate that he doesn't play by the regular rules, that regular rules don't apply,' Koch adds."

Regular Rules Don't Apply

How about this:

Foes of Sex Trade Are Stung by the Fall of an Ally - New York Times:

"And with his typical zeal, he embraced their push for new legislation, including a novel idea at its heart: Go after the men who seek out prostitutes.

It was a question of supply and demand, they all agreed. And one effective way to suppress the demand was to raise the penalties for patronizing a prostitute. In his first months as governor last year, Mr. Spitzer signed the bill into law."

And I got a chuckle out of the site of his activities as reported ...
The Mayflower Hotel... also the ship that brought the Puritans to the New World.

He who lives by the sword...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Country living

A bit of reflection.

Around 5AM, sitting in the hot-tub and I was thinking back on city vs country living
Having just visited daughter in London, I was doing some comparisons.

The city (London, Chicago, NYC, any big urban area) offers culture, variety of menus, shopping (when needed)...
But rural spaces offer star filled skies.

This time of year, without the seasonal residents we have a plethora of wildlife.
Couple of days ago, I was, again, in the tub, and as I got out ... there were about a dozen "peeping bambies" (deer) about 30 yards away ... out on the ice.
Lately the deer have been coming by once or twice a day.
Posted a shot of one of our coyote's a bit back.
Red Fox has been coming by as well.

Then there are the skies
We've been getting cloudless days lately
And dark nights
Young moon, so my early AM soaks allow wonderful star gazing
Almost every time, I catch a meteor or two (or more)

All things that would be consider rare to impossible in an urban setting.

Monday, March 10, 2008

We're the Government, we're here to help you ...

How government makes things worse - The Boston Globe:

From Ethanol to Sub Primes

"'No man's life, liberty, or property is safe,' warned Mark Twain, 'while Congress is in session.'"

The season starts

Besides my own involvement with motorcycle racing, back in the bronze age, I enjoy watching it because, compared to cars, the rider is an integral part of the package.
The rider has to use his body to affect the dynamics, the physics, the balance of the man/machine package.

With cars, even if the driver could move his/her butt (he/she can't) it wouldn't make any difference.

Bikes are cambering machines, they steer by lean as well as slip angles, cars steer by slip only.
And note the small contact patch of the tires.
The rear transmits about 230 HP to the pavement

Photo by Graeme Brown on Superbikeplanet.com

Race was this past weekend in Qatar
Dani Pedrosa on a Honda

(Sheila : this is for Keith and Peter)


Bright guy Seth Godin on political brands

Seth's Blog: Sunk costs, quitting and the value of your brand


Looks like he's got a cattle prod up his backside

Spitzer has been known for dogged pursuit, sometimes maybe beyond the bounds of legal ethics when prosecuting financial figures on the street.

Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring - New York Times:
"ALBANY - Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation."

He who lives by the sword ...


When the conservative "voice" was articulate, not just plain dumb (a la "Rushbo")

When the voice was reasoned not just bombast

When politics was about ideas not simplistic ideology

I'd suggest reading the piece

Bill Buckley: Mr. Right, RIP | Newsweek Politics | :

"He united the conservatives. But William F. Buckley did more than that: he crafted a winning alternative to New Deal liberalism. Now the right is adrift and needs … another William F. Buckley."

There were ideas, sometimes many, that I could not agree with, but I could listen to them.

Resident Evil

Fun to watch from the sidelines
Long long time Apple user, about ready for next upgrade

Disclosure, I do use MuSoft Office
For OS, I've been with Apple since long before the Mac OS
Back to when I'd juiced up my Apple II with a whopping 64K memory, self taught Basic, and stored both data and apps (well, not really apps, call them rudimentary programs) on a tape recorder.

Oh yeah, and managed to catch Browser Wars on Discovery channel, complete with footage of Billy Gates testimony at the Federal Anti-Trust trial.
Made Bill Clinton's "I did not have sex with that woman..." look straightforward.

They Criticized Vista. And They Should Know. - New York Times:
"Then there’s Mike, who buys a laptop that has a reassuring “Windows Vista Capable” logo affixed. He thinks that he will be able to run Vista in all of its glory, as well as favorite Microsoft programs like Movie Maker. His report: “I personally got burned.” His new laptop — logo or no logo — lacks the necessary graphics chip and can run neither his favorite video-editing software nor anything but a hobbled version of Vista. “I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine,” he says.

It turns out that Mike is clearly not a na�f. He’s Mike Nash, a Microsoft vice president who oversees Windows product management. And Jon, who is dismayed to learn that the drivers he needs don’t exist? That’s Jon A. Shirley, a Microsoft board member and former president and chief operating officer. And Steven, who reports that missing drivers are anything but exceptional, is in a good position to know: he’s Steven Sinofsky, the company’s senior vice president responsible for Windows."

Sunday, March 09, 2008

More from Marc on Barack

Andreessen, a seriously bright guy

Should have posted this before
The listening part stuck with me.

An hour and a half with Barack Obama:

"First, this is a normal guy.

I've spent time with a lot of politicians in the last 15 years. Most of them talk at you. Listening is not their strong suit -- in fact, many of them aren't even very good at faking it.

Senator Obama, in contrast, comes across as a normal human being, with a normal interaction style, and a normal level of interest in the people he's with and the world around him.

We were able to have an actual, honest-to-God conversation, back and forth, on a number of topics. In particular, the Senator was personally interested in the rise of social networking, Facebook, Youtube, and user-generated content, and casually but persistently grilled us on what we thought the next generation of social media would be and how social networking might affect politics -- with no staff present, no prepared materials, no notes. He already knew a fair amount about the topic but was very curious to actually learn more. We also talked about a pretty wide range of other issues, including Silicon Valley and various political topics.

With most politicians, their curiosity ends once they find out how much money you can raise for them. Not so with Senator Obama -- this is a normal guy."

Collaboration Tools

Good stuff, patterns to what I've been trying.
Read it

Running an Office by Wiki and E-Mail - US News and World Report:

"Wikis, blogs, E-mail, and other new technologies are reshaping how customers, workers, and companies interact—and making it much cheaper and easier to be in touch. In his new book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (Penguin), Clay Shirky zeroes in on which tools are best suited for various tasks. Excerpts from a chat with U.S. News:

Shirky recommends wikis for developing a consensus.

What's the thesis of the book?
One of the underappreciated revolutions that the Internet is bringing about is the ability for groups to communicate together and to do things together. In particular, you get groups doing it who don't have to look or operate like traditional organizations."

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Piling On

Links to various pieces on the Clinton's, who appear to fear cheated out of their rightfull return to the White House.

James Fallows (March 05, 2008) - More on Clinton, Obama, and the OODA loop

Gloria Borger:

Hard to Be Happy in Camp Hillary - US News and World Report

Then there's Confronting the Kitchen Sink - New York Times:
"And if there is one thing the Clinton crowd knows how to do, it’s provoke."

Dick Morris:
TheHill.com - It’s over:
"The next time Hillary uses the recycled red phone ad, counter with one of your own. When the phone rings in the middle of the night, have a woman’s voice, with a flat Midwestern accent, answer it and say, “Hold on” into the receiver. Then she should shout, “Bill! It’s for you!”"

and, on the rules of politics

Gary Hart: Breaking the Final Rule - Politics on The Huffington Post:

"One of those rules is this: Do not provide ammunition to the opposition party that can be used to destroy your party's nominee. This is a hyper-truth where the presidential contest is concerned.

By saying that only she and John McCain are qualified to lead the country, particularly in times of crisis, Hillary Clinton has broken that rule, severely damaged the Democratic candidate who may well be the party's nominee, and, perhaps most ominously, revealed the unlimited lengths to which she will go to achieve power. She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her."

Well, it makes for interesting theater from here on the sidelines, and I would really like to see a campaign on issues, carried out by reasonable candidates ... McCain & Obama?

Tut Tut

Interesting exhibit, but I wonder how much of the story is interesting (restoration of the old gods after Achnatan) because of access to the artifacts, how much due to the story itself.

In other words, if other tombs had been preserved as well, would the stories also be interesting?

We caught it while in London earlier this week...

Tutankhamun :: About the Exhibition:

"It has been almost 30 years since the golden artifacts of the boy-king last left their home in Egypt. In the 1970's, the unprecedented King Tut exhibit fascinated millions of visitors with the marvelous treasures of King Tut's tomb, setting attendance records worldwide. Now Tutankhamun's treasures are back, giving a new generation the chance to learn firsthand about the life and magic of this ancient monarch."

I think we're going to post these in the guest house

From Ian's private club...

Milk & Honey - House Rules:

"Do not bring anyone unless you would leave that person alone in your home. You are responsible for the behaviour of your guests."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Home ...?

Whitney & Ian got us a suite at the Chester Grosvenor
Turns out that the suite was the Talbot Suite
Talbot is my middle name ...
Tre Cool
(Talbot is a Norman name, don't know how far back we can trace it)

Imagine me with big ol broadsword?
Maybe if I got back to some free weights...
As for horseback, Whitney was way ahead of me

British Dining

We managed some wonderful dining while in London & Chester

I'll try to post some link's and impressions

First night (Thursday) was Hereford Road for some "English Fare"
Home | Hereford Road
"We will be bringing whole-hearted, robust, simple British cooking to our new restaurant using the great wealth of our national produce."

Nice, but had to field call about 5th3rd bank, maybe more on that later...

Then we caught a train to Chester
Ian had arranged dinner at The Arkle Restaurant: with a Michelin star for 18 years !

Saturday with Ian's family, late dinner (for us ... about 9PM) at Piccolino �Restaurant in Chester:
"Stylish, modern Italian restaurant voted by many as 'The' Italian restaurant in Chester and the place to be seen in. Stand alone bar, fab food and an incredible atmosphere."

Well, it wasn't Glen Arbor on a Saturday night!
Loud, and looked to me like all the young women were there, wondered if the guys were at the sports bar... but seems that there were several birthday parties going on.

Good food, good time

Sunday back to London for simple Italian, local place nearby:
De Amicis Restaurant

"Situated in the heart of London’s Notting Hill area and a stones throw from Kensington Gardens we have been serving fine and authentic Italian food using fresh andDe Amicis seasonal ingredients for nearly 15 years."

Good food, again, good time...

But Ian saved the best for last:
A visit to Milk & Honey - London
Then dinner at: Indigo

Delicious dinner, topped with (sorry, can't recall exact age, I think it was about 30 yr) Port

In between we tried GBK Gourmet Burger Kitchen
I'll have to pass some ideas along to Tim at Art's
The satay burger was very nice

I'll get back to it

Light bloggin for the last week
Note that I did post a few pieces, dated them to when I read them.

We were off to London and Chester, time with daughter and son-in-law to be, met his folks (very nice couple of visits, look forward to seeing more of them), etc.
Gone Wed to Wed

A few photos, will have to work on that

Bunch of links to post
Maybe a few comments

As we sat down to supper, we got a bit of fresh snow coming through

Just read it

Excellent piece on one of the candidates
Marc Andreessen on Barack

An hour and a half with Barack Obama

"He's a post-Boomer.

Most of the Boomers I know are still fixated on the 1960's in one way or another -- generally in how they think about social change, politics, and the government.

It's very clear when interacting with Senator Obama that he's totally focused on the world as it has existed since after the 1960's -- as am I, and as is practically everyone I know who's younger than 50."

Monday, March 03, 2008

British view of "America" ?

Prince Albert Monument

The Naked and the Dead

(title a nod to the late Norman Mailer)

Warren Buffett sums it up well.
Reminds me of being on Greek Isle of Mykonos, known for nude beaches.
Well, sitting in a cafe, noting the passers by, we decided that mostly they were folks we'd just as soon not see without their clothes...

Tough time for insurers? - WSJ.com:

"'As house prices fall, a huge amount of financial folly is being exposed,' Mr. Buffett, 77 years old, wrote. 'You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out -- and what we are witnessing at some of our largest financial institutions is an ugly sight.'"