27 04 2009

More posts soon, as more time frees up in the “everyday” category.  While this will never be a politix free zone, it is unlikely to delve into local stuff as much as it may have before January.

Well, Tear My Calf and Have an Apple

27 04 2009

Ouch!  Go to the gym all winter long (less so the last month) and get on the cycles maybe twice a week, trying to keep legs strong.  

Rushed down to Woodstock for our opening game of old man baseball.  I was supposed to be the eleventh guy — a couple of innings to stretch and relax and warm up — but as I pulled up, I found out I was the ninth.  So into the game I went, third out of the bottom of the first was hit my way and as I went to move about two feet to my left, I felt the same fucking pop in my left leg that I felt in my right two years ago.

After looking forward, albeit somewhat distractedly, to the opening of baseball season, I put myself on the DL for . . . two weeks, three weeks?  More?  Last time it was six weeks, after not letting it heal for three weeks.

Man oh man.  Talk about putting myself behind in the fitness category…will be looking for some exercises to help.


CNBC: Good Time to Buy Stocks

4 02 2009

Investors may be waiting a long time for stocks to rebound, but that doesn’t mean they have to sit on their hands.

As the market slides back towards its November lows and investors worry that the stimulus package may not do much to boost the economy, it’s hard to find any reason to buy stocks. But even if the overall market continues to worsen, there are always individual stocks and funds that buck the trend.

“Things don’t have to improve, but just stop getting worse,” says Gary M. Flam, portfolio manager at Bel Air Investment Advisors in Los Angeles. “At the end of the day—outside certain credit spreads—you have seen very little stabilization for the economy, just increasing signs that things are getting worse. That’s made it very hard for the market to rally here.”

How very Dickensian.  Gary and his brother Flim.

Bone Chilling

20 01 2009

On Friday last, the temperature in Waterbury was -24 degrees.  In Montpelier it was -26 and in Island Pond in the Northeast Kingdom it was -42.  Luckily there was no wind to speak of, so we don’t need to discuss windchill.

On Friday last, at 3PM, it was 9 degrees in Waterbury, a change of 35 degrees.  There was no wind to speak of and it felt balmy.

The Bailout, Part 4

15 12 2008

Bernard Madoff made off with at least $50 billion dollars in a high stakes low concept ponzi scheme.

Really can’t make up better names than this.

How Very Dickensian.

The Campaign Part 2

8 11 2008

Far be it from me to get involved in the sniping between the Vermont Dems and Progs about who is a spoiler and who is the standard bearer of the left (of center).  Dems suffer by the nature of their big tent stereotype and the Progs suffer because they are run by personality and not by organization.  Dems wanna be Dems and Progs want respect.

A comment on the radio indicated that the Progressive Party is not interested in winning as much as campaigning for the right things and demanding that the Dems follow suit.  Unfortunately, change at that level can’t happen unless you do win.  Those who have can tell you that.  Those who aren’t can tell you what the outcome of losing is.

Many moons ago, a friend of mine’s mother listened to us criticize the American Government, in the guise of Reagan at the time — or worse, Weinberger, Schultz, etc. etc. — and she issued this challenge:  If you are going to criticize, what solution do you put forward?  This simple edict has honestly driven my involvement in almost anything I have done since.

Spoiler this, backstabbing that, terrible candidates, terrible leadership, big egos, friends losing.  Boo hoo.  And the last lonely Republicans look at us, light another cigar and appoint who they want to lower the morale of the rest of us.

If we’re going to criticize, let’s throw the actual running of the campaigns into the mix.  Both Clavelle and Gaye would have been far better governors in terms of experience and skills, but both ran campaigns that emphasized their negatives.  Their campaigns were closed shops and they did not have skillz at the top.  The other side did.  Let’s hire a pro, and let them help us win.  In the meantime, if we don’t find detente in our sandbox, it’s going to be lonely for a long time.

We lost the opportunity to ride a big tidal wave.  If we can’t find common cause and fault in that…

Prop. 8

8 11 2008

Somehow the irony of the Mormon church negatively influencing marriage rights in states other than Utah is, um, thick.

The Bailout, Part 3

31 10 2008

The name of the Interim Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability is Neel Kashkari.

How Very Dickensian.

The Bailout, Part 2

30 10 2008

That was a huge success.  Who would have thought investment banks would have used that money to provide bonuses to folks who failed?  What a precendent.

Bonus:  Now everyone can say, in parentheticals, (in these uncertain economic times), and not know what they mean.

Double Bonus:  Alan Greenspan:

“In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology was not right?” Waxman asked. “Yes, I found a flaw,” Greenspan said in response to grilling from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “That is precisely the reason I was shocked because I’d been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”

“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity (myself especially) are in a state of shocked disbelief,” said Greenspan, who stepped down from the Fed in 2006.

Bound to found in Dickipedia any moment now.

The Bailout, Part 1

22 09 2008

So says Paul Krugman, of the New York Times (and if we must read any columnist from the NYT about economics, politics and the crossroads of power, please make it Paul Krugman (or Bob Herbert and some days but not always Frank Rich) and not Dowd, Brooks, Kristof or Kristol):

But I’d urge Congress to pause for a minute, take a deep breath, and try to seriously rework the structure of the plan, making it a plan that addresses the real problem. Don’t let yourself be railroaded — if this plan goes through in anything like its current form, we’ll all be very sorry in the not-too-distant future.

In my own little world, I think this is the first step toward universal health care and preschool for all and fully funded special education.  If we can blithely add what is now considered One Point Five Trillion Dollars to the “debt ceiling” for the top One Percent of the Population, we can seriously add the rest for the rest of us.

And then what?  Those liberal programs like Debt Forgiveness in Third World Countries?  Alternative Energy Subsidies?  CapiSocialism?

When you tear the fabric of the universe this severely, the rules change. Let’s hope the Gang of 535 does it sort-of-right for a change.

In the meantime, I’m gonna go play Wii…