Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
2006 is going to be a fun year for historians and possibly for the rest of us, as well. Why? 20 million emails from the Clinton years will become available to researchers.
Remember anything from those emails? Nope, me either.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Urgent efforts to lash together a $700 billion rescue plan for the national economy broke apart Thursday night, hours after key lawmakers had declared they had reached a deal.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sped to Capitol Hill to try to revive or rework the proposal that the administration says must be quickly approved by Congress to stave off economic disaster.
Congressional leaders were to meet with the economic chiefs into the night.
This bail out not being done yet wouldn't have been a big deal if not for a cascading series of screw ups. The markets have been very panicky for several weeks now. This week, in an effort to force the bailout through, the rhetoric heated up with calls of pending economic doom, culminating with the President's speech to the nation. If this deal gets done smoothly, the rhetoric isn't a problem. But now that the deal has collapsed, the panic is due to hit a feverish pitch when the markets open tomorrow. And the worst part about it is the panic will be a self fulfilled prophecy from Washington. They have no choice but to find a way to salvage this overnight because they made this deal appear to be the only way to save the economy.
I decided that this post needed one more thought to be more complete. I hope that I'm wrong about how I think the markets will react in the morning. Things like financial panics only require a speck of dust around which to begin quickly crystallizing, though, and this looks like a ripe speck of dust.
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Eric Gagne bought 5,000 tickets to tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and plans to give them away.Brewer fans have booed Gagne with a passion this season. He didn't have to do that, and if I had been him, I don't think I would have.
"Tonight we'll be playing one of the most important games in franchise history, and I can think of no better way to thank the fans than giving families an opportunity to pack Miller Park," Gagne said in a statement released by the team. "No matter what happens over these next four games, I want everyone to know that I think the world of Brewers fans. Three million times they have walked through the gates this year and none of us on the field takes their support for granted. We're going to have some fun out here, and I know that the atmosphere will be electric."
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
A 6-year-old girl is recovering after surgeons reattached her left hand, severed when it was caught in a loop of jump rope that had snagged on the axle of her mother's car.
Erica Rix underwent 10 hours of surgery after the accident in early September and spent nine days in intensive care before returning home.
Bravo to the surgeons. And as someone who hopes to be a parental type in the next year or two, I now understand even better why my parents were hard asses about the dumb things I did as a kid.
Digital music is certainly a growth sector. People love buying music online. But there is an old school segment of the market that still isn't all that big on the internet. So for them, and for some who are internet savvy but love shopping at bricks and mortar stores, set up kiosks in record stores and big boxes. Partner with flash drive manufacturers, and at these kiosks sell flash drives filled with music that the user can sample and select from on the computer screen.I had a more primitive version of this concept on May 4, 2006. So what's on the horizon? This.
SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) today announced "slotMusic," an initiative that aims to position its microSD memory cards as a new music medium. The vendor has partnered with the major music labels EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group to produce microSD cards preloaded with music free of digital rights management (DRM) copy protection.
The cards will be available from both online and retail stores including Best Buy and Wal-Mart, SanDisk said.
You're welcome, music industry (and memory card industry). If you'd have listened to me earlier, you'd be all the richer right now. You may deposit, out of goodwill, a small fee in my checking account at any time.
Nicole Kidman has credited a waterfall with bringing about a flurry of pregnancies - including her own - on the set of one of her films, Australia.
The actress said seven babies had been conceived during production of the film in a small town in Australia's outback.
"There is something up there in the Kununurra water", in which she and six other woman swam, she told The Australian Women's Weekly.
Strangely, all of the babies looked like Michael Phelps.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Just the same, I wish I had those crazy moving picture skills of kids today, because I'd be the wiseacre posting a parcel to the intertubes. Dagnabbit!
Vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says today's leaders should take a lesson from the history books and follow fellow Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt's response to a financial crisis.
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened,'" Barack Obama's running mate recently told the "CBS Evening News."
Except, Republican Herbert Hoover was in office when the stock market crashed in October 1929. There also was no television at the time; TV wasn't introduced to the public until a decade later, at the 1939 World's Fair.
I'm not a huge fan of jumping on gaffes because we all make them, but only politicians have the camera on them all of the time. This one is particularly absurd, though. I'm not sure Biden controls his mouth...I think it controls him.I'm betting some wiseacre has a video of Roosevelt on TV in 1929 on YouTube in 5...4...3...
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
My foray into the world of "man candles" began almost accidentally. As the smell of fresh, black coffee wafted around my office one morning, I thought to myself, "Someone should make a coffee-scented candle."
Not a cappuccino or hazelnut or mocha candle. Just something that smelled like hot, strong, black coffee. You know, a candle that a dude could be proud to burn.
A quick Google search led me to two eCommerce sites that sell all sorts of man-themed scents -- like campfire, sawdust, pigskin, bacon, stripper and beer.
I just hope they don't come out with "jock strap" or "gym socks."
Hagel might have been a real force for the Democrats if not for the fact that he is canceled out by former Democratic Veep candidate Joe Lieberman.
Senior Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has voiced doubts about Sarah Palin's qualifications for the vice-presidency.
John McCain's running mate "doesn't have any foreign policy credentials", Mr Hagel told the Omaha World-Herald.
Mr Hagel was a prominent supporter of Mr McCain during his 2000 bid for the US presidency, but has declined to endorse either candidate this year.
He was opposed to the Iraq War, and recently joined Mr McCain's rival Barack Obama on a Middle East trip.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Thursday he would, if elected, fire U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox for failing in his oversight of Wall Street.
"The Chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president and in my view has betrayed the public's trust," McCain told a rally in the electoral battleground state of Iowa. "If I were president today, I would fire him."
The comments by McCain, who portrays himself as a maverick in his bid for the White House, contrasted with the view of fellow Republican President George W. Bush, who appointed Cox to the SEC post in 2005.
Apparently, McCain also decided that there was at least one vote that he didn't need.
Then I set up my RSS feed reader.
I began reading other blogs fanatically. At first, this barely made a dent in my blogging. Over time, though, I'd begin seeing posts that were similar to my thoughts on particular topics. I'd tweak my thoughts so they were a bit more unique. Then I started to get lazy. I'd start to Instapundit posts-you know, saying "heh" or "hmm" and then link to other things without any commentary. But that disgusted me, so I began to just let hundreds of topics go by without comment. After a short period of that, I realized that it was pointless for a blog of this size to blog like Glenn Reynolds, so I just withdrew from posting.
Of course, there have been other things that have contributed to my decline as a blogger. The more I devoted my brain to my profession, the harder I found it to switch gears to commentary. I also found that the more involved I got with my hobby of photography, the less creative capacity I had for writing. It has been difficult to shift the brain gears between the three very different mental tasks, but the RSS feeds remain the biggest challenge. RSS feeds have turned me from a blogger to a blog reader.
Given that, do I intend to give up blogging? Hardly. Just the same, I know that my place in the pecking order of blogs has significantly declined, and deservedly so.
I must admit, since I enjoy being employed and paying my bills, I'm standing idly by with my mouth firmly shut as the Feds muck around in the economy. Do I think it is a good thing? No, not really. Do I think it prolongs the pain? Certainly. Do I think that there are plenty of unforeseen circumstances to come because of the intervention? Without a doubt. Do I think I'm personally better off if this mess unfolds slowly rather than in a quick, violent seizing up of the economy? I do, and that's why I've yet to complain.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
In a statement to reporters, Welter CEO Walter Flounder said that this lean operation plan should also reduce crowding on planes and help the airline return to profitability by 2012.
"Many of our loyal customers may see this as a negative, but in reality we are offering an incredible customer service.
"No longer will our customers have to worry about long lines, delays, cancellations, or unpleasant, crowded flights."
The company is assuring customers that pre-paid, checked baggage will make it to their final destination most of the time. Those customers who must actually fly to their destinations will have the option of paying a $300 butt-in-seat fee to be transported to the flight's destination.
Other airlines are closely watching Welter's plan and most are expected to eventually follow suit. Industry experts are hailing the move as a customer service and profitability model that will forever change the airline business for the better.
(This post is satire)
Monday, September 01, 2008
1. A double whammy strikes the Republican ticket. Sarah Palin has actually been possessed by demons, explaining how a woman could possibly be a Republican. At the top of the ticket, we find out that the man that returned from Vietnam isn't the real John McCain. Instead, we learn his real name is John Black when the real John McCain shows up. Interestingly, the real John McCain is a Kerry Democrat. (Days of Our Lives)
2. John McCain is really an alien from a another world who has hit his head so hard that he thinks that he is a U.S. Senator running for President. It is up to Al and Tipper Gore to bring back his memories so he remembers who he is and gives up on the U.S. Senator persona. (Alf)
John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin said Monday that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant, an announcement aimed at rebutting Internet rumors that Palin's youngest son, born in April, was actually her daughter's.
A statement released by the campaign said that Bristol Palin will keep her baby and marry the child's father. Bristol Palin is five months pregnant, and the baby is due in late December.
Makes that lefty, Depserate Housewives-esque smear look really stupid, doesn't it? Unfortunately for Bristol Palin, she's going to have to grow up in a hurry, because her teenage pregnancy will be the next thing the sewer dogs on the left will be attacking.Update
Elliot makes an excellent point.