Wednesday, October 29, 2008

OMG He's Really Really Old

Oh My God!

It has only just now occurred to me that Sarah Palin could actually end up being President of the United States.

It doesn't seem like the kind of thing that should be real.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Make Your Own Sarah Palin Joke Day!

Check out Sarah's socialist scarf!

Wearing other people's clothes

You know it's a recession when even the Governor wears donated clothes.

Sorry, but that's all I have time for.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Black Silver Lining

I love a good chart:

Oil is literally half the price it was just 3 months ago. This is great news for a couple of reasons.

First, of course, is that our gas is already costing us less. And we like that.

Second, and far more importantly, it shows a dramatic shift in pricing power out of the hands of oil producers (i.e. OPEC) and into the hands of oil consumers (i.e. you and me). We have shown (albeit unintentionally) that conservation measures that reduce demand for oil can have a huge impact on the market price. And pricing power is real power.

So, what do we do with that kind of power? Beats me, but the only man with a plan who I see out there beating the drum is T. Boone. So I'm with him.

Go Rotary!

But whatever we do we should do it soon. Circumstances will continue to change with time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Presidential "What If" Scenarios

Section 3 of the 20th Amendment:

Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Electoral College members meet in each of their respective states to cast their votes on December 15, 2008.

The votes of the Electors are then officially tallied and certified before Congress on January 9, 2009. Members of Congress may object to this certification.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why I Don't Like Mondays

NPR - I remember when NPR had their pledge drives and we would buy the stupid apron or whatever because they played classical music and read books on the radio and didn't have commercials. Now they have lots of commercials, but the pledge drives continue, and they seem to get more obnoxious every year. So on my way to work I switch to Don Imus, who is obnoxious and has lots of commercials but doesn't insult my intelligence the way NPR does. BTW, the I-Man is on 106.7 here in ATL, which bills itself, without a trace of irony, as "Atlanta's True Oldies channel."


Microsoft - I was forced to be the only one in my office to "upgrade" to MS Office 2007 a few months ago, after foolishly "updating" my PC with Servicepack 3 for Windows XP. Are you asleep yet? So, Servicepack 3 blows up my computer, a Hewlett Packard. Schlepping it down to Geek Squad, I'm told that this is the 4th Servicepack 3 blow up they've received that day. (I'll skip the part where I do the exact same thing again the following week.) So anyway, I can't get MS Office 2003 put back onto the PC because we can't find the correct disk (even though my office has several) with the right serial number or something, so I have to buy MS Office 2007. What a piece of crap. Basically they moved all of the buttons and controls around so they are hard to find and simple tasks require several more "clicks" than they used to. So, right now I'm taking this mental health break to blog (and vent) because I've just spent about 15 minutes failing to figure out how to add a worksheet to a spreadsheet I'm working on that was due last week.

Waste of money

Major League Baseball - An umpire calls a third strike on a checked swing with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 8th inning of ALCS game 7? Are you kidding me?

Hear, Hear!

Milk - I get to the office and pour a cup of coffee, get the milk out of my fridge with an expiration date four days from now, and you guessed it . . . sour. WTF?

And it's not even nine o'clock yet.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Random Thoughts

Bush Responds to the Economic Crisis:

The Nation is comforted

Notable Quotes:

The I-Man is back!

Donald Trump phoning into the Don Imus show this morning, calls George W. Bush, "the worst President in our country's history." Such insight.

The Donald - always classy

W - The Tragicomedy

Neil Boortz on the radio this afternoon describes Barack Obama and other unnamed politicians who want to raise taxes as "slavemasters."

Boortz with Falwell
This picture actually flatters both of them

Barry Oh! - The Master
Presidential Debate Review:
Well, as usual I fell asleep listening to the talking points regurgitation during the Great Debate. But I did catch the Joe the plumber discussion, which was, obviously, pathetic. But apparently newsworthy, since everyone on the tv is still talking about it. It turns out that Joe's real name is Sam, which is an understandable mistake since McCain's fact checkers are all in Alaska vetting Sarah Palin.

Johnny Mac - The Disastah

Sam "Joe the plumber" Wurzelbacher

You really have to just love saying the name "Wurzelbacher." Try it. It's fun! What is a Wurzelbacher? A brand of bratwurst? An organ? A toy that spins? An unlicensed plumber?

Oprah's Baloney: I'm sorry, but I'm not buying this story An Overwhelmed Mom's Deadly Mistake where the premise that a woman who left her 2 year old in the car all day isn't responsible for the tragedy. She was just trying too hard to be perfect and please other people. Now she wants to not let her little girl's "life be in vain." So she is on Oprah, saying, "Almost immediately, I said, 'How am I going to make something out of this?' "

Not my fault

Go Red Sox!

Proud Red Sox Mom

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday Quick Numbers

As of Today:

BRENT CRUDE FUTR (USD/bbl.) - 75.030
WTI CRUDE FUTURE (USD/bbl.) - 79.350

GAS - Georgia October 14th:
Regular $3.20 (Last week: $3.72)
Premium $3.51 (Last week: $4.08)
Last year: $2.69 / $2.96

Unemployment Rate: 6.1% in Sep 2008

Inflation - 5.4%

Dow Jones Industial - 9,311

Weird McCain Prayer

HERE is a video with a soundtrack.

HERE is a woman just reading the weird part.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Is That A Bell?

I believe I see the bottom today.
They say it's hard to tell,
and they don't ring a bell.
But with futures turning green,
And cheaper gasoline,
The central bank's guarantees have calmed their colleagues' unease,
So they'll feel comfort in lending away.
Happy Columbus Day!
So, is the recovery here? Maybe. Let's at least enjoy the respite. How? Well, by singing show tunes, of course. It's free! So, here's a song for all of us little people who have been waiting for the big shots to get their act together.
Ding Dong! The Witch is dead.
Which old Witch?
The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead.
She's gone where the goblins go,
Below - below - below.
Yo-ho, let's open up and sing, and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know The Wicked Witch is dead!

We should all break even by 2017!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Someone Has To Just Say It

Sarah Palin is an ignorant, hate mongering, dangerous racist.
That sentence could have been a lot longer.
She is obviously unfit to be Vice President of the United States.
The people of Alaska should be ashamed they elected her Governor.
I am ashamed that she is partly defining our national political debate.

"Our opponent though, is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country?" - Governor Sarah Palin

It could really happen here.

Sarah's muse - Westbrook Pegler, who was kicked out of the John Birch Society for being too extreme and anti-Semitic, quoted by Palin in her Republican Convention acceptance speech:

"We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty, sincerity, and dignity." I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman.I grew up with those people. They are the ones who do some of the hardest work in America ... who grow our food, run our factories, and fight our wars.They love their country, in good times and bad, and they're always proud of America. I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town.

Good Old Westie - No Jews for him

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Glimmers of Hope

Crude Oil prices as of this morning:

BRENT CRUDE FUTR (USD/bbl.) 78.800

WTI CRUDE FUTURE (USD/bbl.) 82.280

Side note - These are both prices for one barrel of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Brent is from the North Sea, north of Scotland and WTI is from Texas. Both are considered "sweet crudes" meaning lower sulfer content, which makes refining cheaper and yields more gasoline per barrel. Generally, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) has been considered the "benchmark" price that you will hear newsies quote when they give a single price for oil in their reports.

This is good news for lots of reasons. First because there will be more money in your pocket after gassing the car, but also because the trend is declining, which means supply is exceeding demand and the price will continue downward.

So, I'd say it's too early to give up all hope.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Are We At Zero Yet?

Glimmer of Hope Alert:

Ben Bernanke's weekend (again with the weekends) coordination of world-wide central bankers all lowering interest rates for banks and providing a federal guarantee on commercial paper has unlocked the cp market. Of course, it wasn't really "locked" so much as rates just went up. With Bernanke's Backstop (I just made that up!) the risk and rate for cp are now down, so hopefully (ha ha) our companies will all be able to make payroll this month.

Banker Ben - Man with a thankless job

Am I the only one who hears the begging of the question as to why so many US companies need to be able to sell commercial paper to make payroll?

Oil Prediction Tracker - Almost to $80 well before November 1st.

What's a Copyright?

Meanwhile, mysterious Barack Hussein Castro Lenin "Benedict Arnold" Obama is scheduled to whip Johnny McCain's droopy white ass and become the 44th President of the United States. Let's hope so. At what point will our national stupidity be exceeded by our collective will to live?

But let's not count our chickens before they hatch. Republicans are a scrappy bunch, and continue to defy expectations. I don't think anybody in their wildest dreams thought they could possibly screw things up any more than they they had, but just look at us now! And it just keeps on coming! Looks like the "battleground states" will be Pennsylvania and Florida, the two oldest states by average age of their citizens. Those Florida contests are always fun to watch. And of course, the panhandle is Maverick Country.

We should be so lucky.

On to planning for next year . . .

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Morning Quick Thoughts

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act Passed!!!


This will allow us taxpayers to prop up those financial institutions in our society that are unsound for 3 more months, before they inevitably fail anyway. Yay!!!

At only $700 Billion, with 90 million actual US taxpayers, that's about $7,777 per taxpayer.

Such a deal!

For you good, simple, small town Republican folks, this is what's known as "throwing good money after bad."

For you gamblers in Vegas, this is called "doubling down."

For you financial wheeler dealers, this is called a "golden opportunity" to grab some free money.

For you folks who actually pay taxes, this is called "getting screwed."
But thank goodness the crisis is over!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pajama Man's Random Thoughts and Vocabulary

Nothing about Wall Street here today!

Sarah Palin and I differ in at least one important respect. I almost never read newspapers anymore. I read newspaper websites. Mostly the New York Times, because it's free, and because I like their columnists. "Like" may be a strong word for some of them, especially Kristol.
But, I must give props to the San Jose Mercury News, which was one of the very first newspapers to have a free on-line edition back in the mid 90's. It's hard to realize now that the internet used to be largely free of business sites and advertising.

Back to the NYT, it is with the NYT columnists or pundits or whatever they call themselves these days that I sort of enjoy a love-annoyance relationship because of their obvious, intentional affection for injecting esoteric words into their columns. Love, because it is fun to look up words and learn something. Sometimes it's a word that I've heard for years and maybe even used myself, without knowing exactly what it really meant. Other times it's something completely new. Annoyance, because having to stop and look up a word interrupts the flow of reading the column and the thought process of absorbing it.

I look them up on, because it, also, is free.

Here are some recent samples. First, from David Brooks, yesterday, describing members of Congress who voted No on you-know-what.

nihilist - a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility

And here's one from Moe Dowd, describing William F. Buckley, a brilliant and gentlemanly conservative that liberals, like me, could not help but like.

sesquipedalian - given to or characterized by the use of long words

William F. Buckley - 1965

Moving on - Fall is Here!

Reflections on the water like shadows in my mind
Speak to me of passing days and nights and passing time
The falling leaves are whispering winters on its way
I close my eyes remembering the warmth of yesterday
It seems a shame to see September swallowed by the winter
And more than that its oh so sad to see the summer end
And though the changing colors are a lovely thing to see
If it were mine to make the change I'd let it be
But I dont remember hearing anybody asking me

Well it's time to make seasonal adjustments. For me, that means pajamas, aka pyjamas. Which I wear. Almost every night. In the winter I wear flannel pajamas. That's cotton flannel, which I know is technically flannelette, but who really cares. My wife buys me one new pair each year to wear on Christmas Eve. And, since I tend to save my clothes for a very long time, I have about ten pairs of flannel pajamas now. They take up a lot of drawer space. But they never seem to wear out. And boy are they comfortable.

Even in the summer I will wear light weight cotton pajama bottoms with a tee shirt. Often the tee shirt is an actual undershirt. I favor white V-necks, slightly large and loose fitting.

Growing up in the 1970's I rarely wore pajamas. They were viewed as goofily out of style. Reminiscent of Fred MacMurray in a full robe and slippers get-up, smoking a pipe or heating a glass of pre-bedtime warm milk on the stove. Nothing so stuffy for us cool kids at the tail end of 60's hipness or the dawning blow-dried 70's. PJ's were out. They did not seem to be something that real people, or at least real men, really wore.

So, what did one wear to bed? Ann Landers famously pronounced that it was perfectly respectable to sleep in the nude. She further delared that wearing underwear beneath pajamas was silly. So, sleeping au naturel became a cool, albeit private, fashion statement to publicly declare, whether true or not. It conveyed a sense, not of a tight clothing budget or questionable hygeine or a lack of air conditioning, but rather a sense of sophistication and self confidence that one was comfortable in their own skin. And not afraid to be seen in it.

Me, I dressed for comfort. During the high energy costs of the late 70's and early 80's I slept in as little as possible in my un-air conditioned, sweltering quarters during the hot months, and bundled up in sweat pants, turtle necks, and wool socks during the cold winter months. Now, with oil DOWN to $95 a barrel today, those days of bundling up may just be coming back.

Flannel Pajamas are almost always plaid

Really, those days weren't so bad. We managed to have a lot of fun. And snuggling up in a warm bed on a cold day can feel positively luxurious.

Grammer question for today: Is the plural of pair "pairs" or "pair?"