Thursday, December 31, 2009

Farewell 2009

Jib Jab says goodbye to 2009 with their year in review.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Disc Golf Haiku

The wind howls
A hungry lake beckons-
Chains rattle.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Johnee Jingo and Honest Work

Two a cappella tunes from the master himself Todd Rundgren. Although acclaimed as a musician, producer and all around innovator, I think he is probably one of the most underrated lyricists of all time. These two songs are wonderful not only for their harmony and the fact that they are a cappella, but because the lyrics are poignant and very appropriate for the times. Johnee Jingo is a recording from the A Cappella album and Honest Work (from the same album) is concert footage.

Consider these lyrics from Johnee Jingo.

And the throne, the pulpit and the politician,
Create a thirst for power in the common man
It's a taste for blood passed off as bravery
Or just patriotism hiding bigotry.

The entire song Honest Work is just an incredible piece of writing so it is hard to pick a snippet of lyrics but here is one example.

The prophets of a brave new world
Captains of industry
Have visions grand and great designs
But none have room for me.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Living life offline

Are there such people, people who refuse to get an email address, surf the web and indulge in all of the other online conveniences of today? Of course there are and here is an article about one such individual with an ironic twist. As a 30-year technician for AT&T, the man delivers broadband Internet access for a living. I'm guessing he probably won't be reading this any time soon.

Do you go out to eat much?

We don't go out to eat nearly as much as we used to after having kids, but it is still interesting to find out what goes on in a server's mind. I was a bartender at one time, so I know about sizing up customers, but I never worked as a waiter. None of it surpises me though. According to this, be careful complaining about your soup not being hot enough, amongst other perils.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dolphins now 7 - 8

Although still mathematically alive it will take a miracle for the Dolphins to make the playoffs this year and the best Miami fans can hope for now is a .500 season if they win next week. The Houston Texans came into Land Shark stadium yesterday on a balmy South Florida afternoon and proceeded to shred the Dolphins during the first half. When the half was over, the Dolphins had that deer in the headlights look and the Texans were ahead 27 - 3, the 3 being a field goal right before the half expired.

If there is a rap on the Texans it is that they do not know how to put two halves together for a complete game and the same could be said for yesterday's experience. Houston did not score another point in the contest, but the 24 point lead Miami had spotted them was too much to overcome. The Dolphins lost 27 - 20 and as I said, essentially erased the slim chances they had going into yesterday's game to extend their run into the post season. Miami fans will have to wait for next year.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Working for this next manager may cause you to want to start going to the gym and working out once in a while.

MOTW: Hottie Manager

The good looking, well built manager that all the office is either gossiping or fantasizing about. Hottie Manager’s supervisory skills are not germane to these conversations or private thoughts.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


From their concert in Segovia, Mecano performs Aire. Ana Torroja is loooking a bit Madonna-ish in this video, but then again it is 1984 when they are performing and a lot of female singers were dressing like Madonna at the time. Aire is Spanish for air and as befits a song with this title and production the lyrics are intricate as well as ethereal.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Weekend Haiku

Year after year
on the monkey's face
a monkey face.

Basho (1644-1694)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

This is the 100 foot high Christmas tree we visit every year at downtown Delray Beach. The kids love it. It is huge at the base and for a small donation they get to walk around inside. Merry Christmas to all my readers. I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, safe holiday and would like to give you my best wishes for a prosperous new year ahead. May you receive all you wish for.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The relentless pursuit of (im)perfection

Jason Gay of the WSJ says in this article that there are way too many football analysts out there clogging up the airwaves with their inane opinions. The latest opinion he takes issue with is the view that an NFL team shouldn't try for an undefeated season. I like Gay's style of writing. It is irreverent, humorous and packed with a great deal of sense. I agree with his stance.

As a die-hard fan of the Miami Dolphins, the only team to ever go undefeated (17 - 0) through the entire season, the playoffs and Super Bowl, albeit in 1972 when the regular season was only 14 games long I say to any team that has it in reach, GO FOR IT! This year's contender is the Indianapolis Colts and in my humble opinion they should put their best product on the field and try to win just like they would any other week. Momentum is a funny thing in sports and in my view it is important to take the field having tried your hardest the week before. Apparently not everyone agrees.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Citi sends branch employees memo

Citibank continues to deny the report that federal authorities are investigating a breach in their secure systems which allowed hackers to steal funds amounting to tens of millions of dollars from customer accounts.

According to the WSJ, Citibank is trying to reassure its customers that their deposits are safe and has sent U.S. bank branch employees a memo as a job aid to help respond to customer inquiries.

Quotes for today

Two contrasting perspectives on family and holiday time...

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.

Burton Hills

Marry an orphan: you'll never have to spend boring holidays with the in-laws.

George Carlin

How American wines shocked the world

Competition is good. Better wine for all of us.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Citibank hacked?

The F.B.I. is probing into a recent hacking attempt at Citigroup which they say was inititiated by a Russian cyber gang. The attack took aim at Citigroup's subsidiary banking arm Citibank, which includes the retail bank's North American branch network. The theft is reported to amount in the tens of millions. Citi denies the breach.

This is not the first time this has happened to Citi. In 1995 Russian computer geek Vladimir Levin hacked into Citibank and robbed it of $10 million. Interpol arrested him in the UK that same year after he had transferred money to his accounts in multiple countries.

There was also an incident in 2006 where Citibank put transaction holds on some Citi-branded MasterCard debit cards. In that case, the action was later linked to a breach at office-supply retailer OfficeMax. That intrusion remains unsolved.

Ho Chi Minh City

Or Saigon as you may still think of it. The WSJ takes a look around this city after hours and encounters a thriving night life.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Shutting down SAAB

This is depressing news for all SAAB enthusiasts as you can see by the depressed expression on the faces in the picture of the article. I have owned two SAABs in my life and absolutely loved both of them. The first was a 1979 fuel injected four speed GL99 which was a delight to drive. The car was perky, fit anywhere and was a wonderful vehicle. Here is one pictured below and to the left.

Next up in 1987 I brought a brand new five speed SAAB 900 base model with all of its features manual. That car was a beast and also a lot of fun to drive. It took me everywhere and when you put the back seat down you could fit a coke machine in the back. The only downside was that whenever someone was moving they always called me to help, because as I said, you wouldn't believe the amount of stuff you could fit in the back. Although not as quick off the mark as my previous GL99, the 900 was also a lot of fun to drive and I felt incredibly safe in it. It gave me 18 years and 250,000 miles of faithful service. It took me everywhere I wanted to go, even into the thick of the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew where lesser cars were left behind, and when our run was over I donated it, still running well, to a single mother in need of transportation. It was on its third clutch when I gave it to her. Here is a picture of a 1987 900 below and to the left.

Circumstances prevented me from purchasing another SAAB and I am sorry to see the cars that were born from jets go. SAAB owners in general have a very curious affinity with their cars which inspires a certain kind of loyalty to the brand. I am sure there are many SAAB stories (no pun intended) being told out there and this is merely one of them.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Working for this next manager is a complete non-event. No one will ever remember it.

MOTW: Non-Descript Manager

Just like the character in Woody Allen’s Zelig, Non-Descript Manager blends into whatever scenery and situation effortlessly, leaving no trace of ever having been part of any decision or action within the business unit. Although worthless, Non-Descript Manager survives because no one in Senior Management ever recalls his/her name or anything associated with it. He/she is thus rendered virtually invisible whenever the cost cutting cycle rears its ugly head. He/she is a very distant relative of Stealth Manager.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays, or is it Merry Christmas?

A cousin of mine sent me the following holiday greeting. I pass it on in the spirit of the holiday season.

To My Liberal Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, though this is not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wish.

To My Conservative Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Weekend Haiku

Hey, sparrow!
out of the way,
Horse is coming.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Endless Dream

A recording of Conjure One's Endless Dream with an accompanying slide show. That is Anne "Annie" Decatur Danielewski, professionally known as Poe, on lead vocals. I love her voice.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Man exonerated after 35 years in prison

This just happened in my home state. After 35 years behind bars, James Bain is exonerated by DNA testing. The article states that...

"Of the 245 people in the United States whom DNA testing has exonerated, none has spent more time behind bars than Bain."

Bain says he is not angry. The man is truly amazing if he is not angry which I believe he is not. After having 35 years of his life stolen from him his priorities are seeing his mother, keeping faith with his God and getting an education. If you watch the video what you will see is a dignified, soft-spoken, polite, religious man with a wry sense of humor and a penchant for humbly enjoying his well deserved reversal of fortune. Amazing.

Treasury halts plan to sell Citi stock

Even the special tax break wasn't enough. The Treasury department quickly halted its plan to sell off Citi stock when the shares weren't fetching the price the government had hoped for.

The WSJ reports that the shares got a lukewarm reception on Wall Street this week where leery investors are skeptical of Citi's earnings prospects and have already spent heavily on rival financial institution's shares. I'm not sure who has more egg on their face from this episode, Uncle Vik or Mommy.

It's just business

From Yahoo Finance come the Dumbest Moments in Business of 2009. My favorite is the guy who never actually worked for Avaya but got paid for 5 years. Avaya deposited $470,995.53 into his checking account over the 5 year period. The guy wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer either. He got caught because he tried to make an early withdrawal from his 401k. Greedy and stupid typically do not make a good combination.

About Champagne

It is holiday time and quite a few people have a glass or two of champagne during this time. From the duo at the WSJ, here are some answers to some frequently asked questions about champagne.

Also, here is a fact that is not in the article. A lot of what champagne is today is owed to women, specifically widows. The word "veuve" in French means widow as in "Veuve Clicquot", but she is not the only one. Have you ever tried Bollinger, Veuve Laurent-Perrier or Pommery? All wonderful champagnes that were transformed by women after their husbands died and the wives decided to head up the business.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

U.N. Climate Conference President resigns

Of course the Danes are saying that this move is procedural and completely expected, but hmmm? Why would you wait until the conference is in full swing and resign right in the middle of it? It seems like kind of an inopportune time to do it if you ask me. Also, I am sure there is a joke about the climate of the conference getting too hot for her in there somewhere.

And from Politico, Chaos at climate conference. The money quote...

"People around the world [are] actually expecting something to be done from us,” red-faced Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen lectured delegates from nearly 200 nations.

Citi gets tax break

Desperate not to get fleeced when it sells its stake to private investors the government has made an exception and allowed Citigroup to retain an enormous tax break on losses it has incurred in prior years.

Since the Obama administration has publicly stated that taxpayers are likely to profit from the sale of the Citigroup shares it is doing everything in its power to shore up the financial supermarket's languid stock.

So now, right after it announced it would pay back a little under half of the TARP money (20 billion) Citi gets another boost from the federal dole, this time on the tax side of the books.

The price of infidelity

It's more like the opportunity cost. I have talked about Tiger before on this blog because I think he is such a great golfer. To win like he has requires stamina, consistency, focus, athleticism, talent and hard work. Now he will put all that on the shelf, for a while at least and the NYP is estimating that it will cost him approximately 180 million dollars a year to be away from the game, or 15 million per floozy as they put it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dream of You

Schiller performs Dream of You. That is Peter Heppner singing lead vocals.

A gift idea

Wondering what to give that one person who is so hard to shop for? The duo at the WSJ suggest giving a bottle of vintage Port. According to them 2003 and 2007 were great years for port. Based on their descriptions in this article I wouldn't mind if someone gave me a bottle.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Miami Dolphins now at 7 - 6

Yesterday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars was an interesting game to watch. The Dolphins got away with one, winning the game 14-10 at Jacksonville. The offense came out on fire and put together two 13 play, clock eating, scoring drives to score the 14 points in the first half and that was it. For the entire second half it was up to the defense to stop the Jags time and time again to sustain the lead. The defense came through, but it is worrisome that the same team can look so dominant on offense for a half and then be befuddled and have its output snuffed for the rest of the contest.

Ricky Williams ran for 108 yards, but fumbled 3 times, losing one of them. Chad Henne again played solid, finishing 21 of 29 for 220 yards, with one interception. He also had a one yard run for a touchdown on a bootleg. This win was earned by the defense and again, I like Cameron Wake coming off the edges to rush the quarterback in obvious passing situations. The man made several plays yesterday. Miami, at 7-6, is now solidly in the thick of the playoff race, but needs to win its last three games.

Citi announces repayment of TARP

Citigroup has struck a deal to repay 20 billion of the 45 billion it owes in TARP money. It will do so through through a combination of stock and debt, the bulk of which will come from a $17 billion common stock offering.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Getting a degree in logic theory is exactly the opposite of what you must do to survive this next manager unless you use that learning to anticipate the exact opposite behavior from him/her. This next manager can be very stressful to work for but can have good surprising outcomes from time to time. It's a lottery.

MOTW: Illogical Manager

Everything he/she does defies rational thinking. Consistently surprises staff with announcements, promotions, raises, bonuses, layoffs and policies that do not make any sense based on what is really happening in the office.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weekend Haiku

Fall going
and we part,
clamshells on the beach.

Basho (1644-1694)

Friday, December 11, 2009


Click here to watch an interesting video about the state of social media today produced by the author of Socialnomics. It is extremely interesting, provides a lot of fast, hard-hitting data and does it all to the tune of Right Here Right Now by Fatboy Slim.

Getting into the Christmas spirit

Since I have kids, it is kind of mandatory that I get into the Christmas spirit, so here is an old Christmas classic, Bing Crosby and David Bowie sing The Little Drummer Boy. This is my eldest boy's (age 5) favorite Christmas carol. Happy Friday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Citi to pay back some TARP funds

CNBC reports that Citigroup will pay back some of its TARP funds in the near future. The article reports that Ucle Vik changed his travel plans to announce that Citi will do this through an equity offering. Stay tuned.

If your house, car and clothes are awash in glitter...

Does that make you a member of the glitterati? Oh, not even close huh? The stuff is insidious. And right now around our household it is ubiquitous as well. My wife volunteered to help fashion some centerpieces for our eldest son's school Christmas function. We had forty huge wreaths covered in glitter in our house's garage for days and brought them into the house to work on them.

Upon simply touching them or even eyeing the wreaths it seems, the glitter magically transports itself from the wreath and attaches to its new host with both lightning speed and an epoxy-like stickiness. Not only that, but the stuff is miniscule, making it almost impossible to target for removal. It is immune to vacuuming, mopping or sweeping. A remora would be envious of its tenacious adhesive properties. I'm thinking of renting a sandblaster to deal with this stubborn scourge.

On the bright side it is an excellent analogy for teaching our kids about the spreading of germs. They are both very visual and a microscopic bit of glitter can be used to play the part of a germ in an impromptu lesson. For evidence of how easily germs can be transferred I can even cite the speck they laughed about on their grandfather's face yesterday. How it got there I know not, but there it was. Ah, the holiday season. It is heartwarming and fun as always.

The 7 foods experts won't eat

Wow, this article freaked me out a bit, because myself or someone in my family eats just about everything on this list. We don't consume all of them on a consistent basis, and some are fairly intuitive, but others, who knew? If what they say is true I don't think we will be giving any more microwave popcorn to the kids for a while.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Are you headed to the airport to catch a flight?

And if so, are you tired of waiting in those long TSA (Transportation Security Administration) lines? To get a jump on how they screen you download the "secret" TSA screening procedures manual that the agency accidentally posted online. Wonderful! Our top security agency for the screening of terrorists at airports can't even keep its procedures under wraps. They should probably include plans for building a bomb in flight as an added bonus for those who download the whole thing.

From CNN: TSA says action taken in online release of screening procedures. Apparently the individuals involved are being put on leave. That'll teach 'em!

Oh no, that pesky teleprompter strikes again!

Many times conversations have gone off script during our Thanksgiving meal with a crazy or tipsy relative making an innapropriate remark, the kids saying something hilarious, etc, but I'm glad I haven't upgraded from index cards to a teleprompter for the pre-dinner toast. Technology can be a bit flaky sometimes, as President Obama found out during his own family dinner. From the Onion, the first family's Thanksgiving dinner was marred by a malfunctioning teleprompter.

Obama's Home Teleprompter Malfunctions During Family Dinner

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Swiss have it together

This small, neutral country just seems to keep things in perspective. No hyperbole, no extreme emotion, just a matter of fact attitude towards national defense and a straightforward, organized plan for it.

Freestyle and street soccer

With the World Cup draw in the bag and people getting excited about the event I thought I would post a couple of wild soccer videos. First check out Ronaldinho, Abbas Farid and Soufiane Touzani freestyling with the soccer ball. Pretty cool huh?

Now check out these guys and their street soccer. They do some pretty amazing things with a soccer ball as well.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Where was I?

In a coma apparently. This song just got named One-Hit Wonder of the Decade and I didn't know the song. As a music lover I am ashamed to admit this, but then again about the song itself, I have no comment. I must have had a Bad Day when it was released and simply missed it, but according to the article it was ubiquitous hence my coma reference. And no, I don't watch American Idol.

Dolphins .500 again

How big was that loss to the Bills in Buffalo last week? It was huge. The Dolphins beat the Patriots at home yesterday 22-21 to muddle up the playoff picture once again and keep Dolphins fans playoff hopes alive. Had we beat Buffalo last week Miami would be 7-5 and right there at the top in the AFC East. As it stands we are now 6-6 and one game behind New England with four games to go.

A lot of players came up big in this game like Vontae Davis stepping in front of Randy Moss and making the inteception in the end zone which stopped a critical New England drive, but I have to say it seems that whenever Miami inserts Cameron Wake to rush the quarterback, good things happen. The man is a lightning fast terror out of his stance and yesterday wrapped Brady up, forcing him into an errant throw which sealed the victory with Channing Crowder's interception. They should play Wake a bit more.

Treasury Linking Citigroup Sale to TARP Payback

The Treasury department is delaying its sale of Citigroup stock until there is an agreement between regulators and Citi on how and when the TARP money will be repaid. The fear is that selling the stock now could weaken investor demand for an already shaky stock should Citi be required to raise capital as a condition of exiting the bailout program. Ouch!

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. It is very difficult not to become a casualty of war working for this next manager. Our recommendation here at The Night Canopy is to take your basic training very seriously. Pay attention at every moment and do not sleep through it because your career may depend on it.

MOTW: Combat Manager

Combat Manager is a touchy sort and takes umbrage at anything others do or say without even the slightest provocation. He/she typically has two or three concurrent political battles waging, as well as three or four e-mail wars ongoing at any given time. He/she keeps a helmet and body armor in his/her office and frequently dons this attire just to get through the day and live to tell about it. Sometimes Combat Manager sends his/her staff out as advanced reconnaissance scouts to test the battle-readiness of his/her enemies, causing the staff to return from the fray with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. When sent on these missions the recommendation is to unconditionally surrender as quickly as possible and negotiate a prisoner of war exchange to another business unit.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

5 under today

I was able to get out on the course early today and play an 8:00 a.m. round with 4 other buddies. The weather was slightly cold, for South Florida anyway and there was a light wind. I came in at 5 under par with 8 birdies, 3 bogeys and 7 pars on my card. I didn't lose a single disc or go out of bounds during the whole 18 holes. All in all, it was a good round and a lot of fun. Not bad for not playing nearly enough as I would like to and not practicing at all.

Miami Music Festival

The Miami Music Festival will take place this week. It starts on my birthday Thursday, December 10th and runs for 3 whole days until Saturday the 12th. Artists too numerous to mention here will perform on more than 25 stages throughout the extravaganza. It should be a lot of fun! Check out the festival's website here for more information.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Weekend Haiku

They swallow clouds
and spit out blossoms-
The Yoshino Mountains.

Buson (1716-1783)

Friday, December 4, 2009

The draw is done!

The groups have now been decided for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. If you don't already know what the groups are you can click here to see where the 32 countries ended up. Good luck to all. There can only be one world champion.

Thursday Night Football

I watched my second Thursday Night football game on the NFL network last night. It was an AFC East match up (Jets vs. Bills) which in theory should interest me since I am a die-hard Dolphins fan. Here is the result of that game for those who want to know the score.

But enough about the game. What I want to talk about are the announcers. First off, this is only my second time listening to play by play man Bob Papa, and so far my grade is an A. The man knows what he is talking about, prepares well, and best of all, calls them as he sees them. No cold feet at all, no ifs, ands or buts, no hemming or hawing, he calls a play as he sees it and stands by his call during the replay and the challenge. Guess what, he is usually right. At least last night, the game that I watched, the man never wavered and everything he said on tape was instinctively right. Now maybe he has a better angle, but perhaps the man should be officiating, because he interpreted what football should be within the context of what the rules are today.

So let's move on to the color man shall we, that lightning rod of controversy himself, Matt Millen. At first I was thinking who would hire this guy to do color commentary? But, surprise, surprise, he was pretty good. He seems to have a handle on everything that is going on in the game. His comments are knowledgeable, straightforward and enlightening. So if he is that good analyzing plays on the fly my question is, how could he have been such an unmitigated disaster and caused the tragedy he did during his tenure in Detroit? What the heck happened?

Brand New Cadillac

A video of The Clash's cover of Vince Taylor's 1958 song Brand New Cadillac. Although many bands have covered this tune, for me the Clash's version is the one that by far rocks out the most. It just has a Friday feel to it if you know what I mean.


What the heck is "Webtribution" you say? Just by the word you may intuit that it is some form of cyber-revenge and that it isn't pleasant and you are right. Simply put, it's vengeance, or payback if you will, via the internet. Behind a monitor and keyboard people do things to rectify perceived slights, be they real or not, that they wouldn't dream of doing in person. From this WSJ article comes the following passage.

"Psychologists actually have a term for this: the "online disinhibition effect." They divide this type of behavior into two categories: "benign disinhibition" (which is what happens when someone says something private they might not have shared publicly with many people offline) and "toxic disinhibition" (expressing rudeness, anger, criticism or hate)."

The article doesn't say anything you might not already know or might not have surmised if you spend any time online in social network settings or on opinionated blogs, but it does give some interesting examples and encapsulates this phenomenon in a way which makes you think.

A stroke of good fortune

For them at least. From the blog Ananova comes the story of two destitute brothers, living in a cave outside of Budapest, who stand to inherit a fortune. This is the kind of thing almost everyone secretly wishes for at least once in life.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Beaujolais Nouveau

I have never been a big fan of Beaujolais Nouveau. It's a little too light and fruit-juicy (is that even a word?) for my taste, but it's that time again and it can be a fun wine. The craze has faded and the brightly colored, splashy labels have been reined in a bit, but in this article the duo at the WSJ are pleased to report that the Beaujolais Nouveau is getting back to its roots -- affordable, fun and fresh. Here they give their recommendations. It can be a good wine to bring around during holiday time, especially if you know the people you are bringing it to prefer a lighter red.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Is this irony?

Here is the headline of an article in the NYT business section, "Significant Risks to U.S. Bank Stocks Exist: Citigroup." Let's see, Citigroup is a U.S. Bank, Citigroup's stock has been risky for quite a while now ($4.06 at the time of this post), Citigroup had to be bailed out to the tune of 45 billion U.S. taxpayer dollars which it has not paid back yet. I know that it is their analysts job to make these pronouncements but I just find it a tad ironic that a bank which has had issues with its stock price for a prolonged period of time is commenting on other banks stock prices.

Who really is the writer?

A closer look at "ghost" writers and their world. This WSJ article looks at what the role is of the often overlooked "aide" who helps shape, write or even birth a celebrity book or memoir. How much involvement do they really have and how much money or credit do they get? I can assure you, there is no ghost writer on this blog even though sometimes it feels a little haunted and I get very little credit and even less money

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Deirdres Samba

For the first day of December, a recording by Swedish songstress Anne-Lie Rydé of the song Deirdres Samba with some accompanying still footage. The original tune was written by the Brazilian Chico Buarque de Hollanda. This is by far my favorite version of this song. Rydé builds the song into her own crescendo of emotion from beginning to end and it fits her powerful, lilting voice perfectly.