Friday, April 30, 2010

Destiny



The music video for Zero 7 Destiny. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A medical marvel

Is she or isn't she? Ten year old Rachel Shardlow survives an encounter with one of the deadliest creatures in the sea, the box jellyfish. According to the article the box jellyfish completely enveloped her until she lost consciousness. Typically the result of one of these encounters is a swift death, but Rachel has survived and is doing reasonably well several months later, prompting doctors to pronounce her a medical marvel.

Crist will run as Independent

What a difference a year makes. A year ago he could do no wrong. Realizing now that he cannot win the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Florida's governor will make his bid for a senate seat in the general election without a party affiliation. Crist has decided that he can no longer make it as a Republican due to the extremely effective challenge put up by ultra-conservative Marco Rubio. It is a bold move which may end up sinking his political star once and for all. We will see where it lands him come election time.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Are you a little overweight?

Like ten or fifteen pounds? Take heart. This new study suggests it may actually be good for you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Michael Shermer, debunker extraordinaire



Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine gives a very entertaining talk on myths, superstitions and urban legends, and explains why we believe them.

Monday, April 26, 2010

It could be as early as today

That the Treasury starts selling is 7.7 billion Citigroup shares, supposedly under a pre-arranged written trading plan. Uncle Vik says he is pleased and that the bank is "positioned for growth." Look for the stock to fall.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager is like that roommate you had who drove you nuts with his/her mess. In this case it is all a waiting game for you because this manager's habits do eventually catch up with him/her and do them in.

MOTW: Slob Manager

This manager may be competent but that does not matter. He/she is never taken seriously by Senior Management or staff because of his/her poor dress and hygiene. Slob Manager’s disheveled appearance, unkempt office, sloppy eating habits and rampant body odor all conspire against him/her in the respect department. The writing is on the wall for Slob Manager and all it usually takes is one triggering event, i.e. an off-color remark or getting drunk at a company function, for him/her to be terminated with extreme prejudice.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Autumn evening-
it's no light thing
being born a man.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, April 23, 2010

This is a Love Song for the Loveless



From The Juliana Theory, here is the indie video of This is a Love Song for the Loveless. Happy Friday.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

On Presidents and Golf

This article is mostly about Obama's dalliances with the game but gives some quick facts about other presidential golfers.

Here is a quote from the article..."She was unmollified, perhaps because she had written a book about Bill Clinton, whose "billigans" -- mulligans taken anywhere and anytime -- and CBO-style scorekeeping could transmogrify several hundred shots into a score of 82. As for me, I preferred the transparency of Richard Nixon, who after wayward shots would simply declare, "Oh, that didn't count."

It's four in the morning

So I post this...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An honest golfer

To the tune of about 400,000 dollars. That is how much golfer Brian Davis forfeited by calling a two stroke penalty on himself during a playoff last Sunday in the Verizon Heritage PGA tournament. This allowed Jim Furyk to win the tournament and Davis to come in second.

It was the right thing to do and he walked away with the second place winnings which totaled 615,000 dollars, but you still have to admire the man. They say golf is a gentleman's game and on Sunday Brian Davis proved it by acting like a gentleman. There should be more players like him in the sport.

Football 1, Volcano 0

The Icelandic volcano that paralyzed air traffic to and from Europe for multiple days finally met its match in the love Europeans have for football, or as we know it over here soccer. So what if they have to travel by bus, the teams are still playing and the fans are trying as hard as they can to get to the games.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

High Octane Wines

Lettie Teague of the WSJ writes about them and claims they get a bad rap. I like some dessert wines, but not all of them have such an appellation. Some are just strong, period.

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Even holding a Ph. D. in logic theory may not be enough to survive working for this next manager. There are some unforeseen perquisites from time to time however, such as unexpected bonuses or promotions.

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, April 17, 2010

Weekend Haiku

In a dream
my daughter lifts a melon
to her soft cheek.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fake



Fake by Blow Up Hollywood. If you liked their sound check out my brief review of their eponymous CD here. By the way Fake is NOT on this CD. Happy Friday.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The soccer player that wasn't

This seems like it should be fodder for a TV show or something. We have heard of financial scams and frauds of all different types, but this is the first time I have heard of someone posing as a top-tier European soccer player. The fraud was so successful that he even got a tryout with a top tier club. His skills didn't match his resume however and he was sent packing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This is good news

We all need happy endings from time to time so here is one. She was found alive and relatively well considering her ordeal.

Vikram Pandit: Wine Connoisseur

I tend to post about wine from time to time and about Citigroup and its CEO, Vikram Pandit from time to time, but rarely do I get to post on both at the same time. So this post could be considered a double whammy or whatever it is that they call such things when they happen. In an excerpt from Roger Lowenstein's book The End of Wall Street, Uncle Vik and wine figure together prominently. Here is the excerpt...

"The problem of executive pay did not admit to an easy fix. Well into the crisis period, when banks such as Citigroup (C) were operating on federal investment and when Citi's stock was in single digits, Vikram Pandit, the CEO, was observed with a lunch guest at Le Bernardin, one of the top-rated restaurants in New York. Pandit looked discerningly at the wine list, saw nothing by the glass that appealed, and ordered a $350 bottle so that, as he explained, he could savor "a glass of wine worth drinking." Pandit drank just one glass; his friend had none."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Corkage fees: How much is too much?

Lettie Teague of the WSJ has a good rule of thumb and I happen to agree with it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. It is hard not to feel sorry for this next manager, but in today's corporate world it is a necessity to communicate effortlessly at the drop of a hat. If you work for this next manager and have a caring bone in your body, then it is up to you to politely suggest that they sign up for some extemporaneous speaking classes.

MOTW: Deer in Headlights Manager

Extremely competent, a good person and with above average skills, this manager is the antithesis of Smooth Talking Manager. Deer in Headlights Manager’s downfall is the inability to articulate a viable sentence when innocuously questioned by Senior Management. Any innocent starter query such as, “How is it going?” by a Senior Vice President is enough to send Deer in Headlights Manager into a catatonic state, from which he/she emerges (after a long, painfully drawn out silence) sputtering inanities which even a pre-kindergarten child would describe as nonsensical. Finally, after a laborious tongue-tied engagement, Deer in Headlights Manager mutters a corporate platitude, but it is much too late. The Senior Manager has already mentally labeled Deer in Headlights Manager a loser, a difficult to shed moniker which will ultimately lead to said manager working inside the company’s walk-in vault, never interacting with anyone other than the cleaning staff and an occasional bean counter.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Major banks mask risk levels

It seems that hubris continues to fly in our beloved major financial institutions. Large banks, including Citi, have understated the debt levels used to fund securities trades for the past five quarterly periods according to the Fed of New York. The practice, while legal, gives investors a distorted picture of what banks' risk levels really are for the majority of the time. They lower the level right before they report publicly and then raise it back up right after. Did we not learn anything from the "crisis" we just went through? Someone make it stop, please!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Weekend Haiku

No talent
and so no sin,
a winter day.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pioneering punk rock manager dead

Malcolm McLaren, the man who managed the Sex Pistols, is dead at 64. He was a major influence on the British punk scene. He died in his home in Switzerland from cancer.

Stop the Clocks



The video from Donots Stop the Clocks, from their album Coma Chameleon. Happy Friday.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rubin and Prince to testify today

Ex-Citigroupers Robert Rubin and Chuck Prince will testify today before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, an independent, bipartisan group looking into the reasons for the financial crisis. Citi lost more money under Prince's tenure than at any other time in its history and Rubin was right there alongside him when it did. If their narrative holds true to form they will defend themselves and not shoulder any accountability, an approach similar to the one Greenspan took yesterday. Nevertheless, when Prince resigned from Citi he said it was the only honorable thing to do given the giant losses under his stewardship.

They will NOT be signing him up anytime soon

I don't think POTUS will be trying out for the majors in the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Metheny's one-man band

Ever the experimenter, jazz guitarist Pat Metheny is back with his new one-man band sound. This week he starts a 37-city tour of North America with his "Orchestrion" Project. This WSJ article has some clips of his new sound.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yum, bacon!

Vegetarians, please don't get upset. It's all in good fun.

video

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means.Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Anyone with a bit of ESP probably has an edge over the rest of their peers when working with this next manager. If you do not possess ESP then you may want to have a medium on retainer.

MOTW: Telepathic Manager

This manager expects his/her staff to know what he/she is thinking without giving any indication of what is in his/her mind. Usually not a good communicator Telepathic Manager will occasionally give hints as to what he/she wants, but these are generally enigmatic clues with little direction. Staff members then attempt to divine what Telepathic Manager wants and act accordingly, usually with little success. When saddled with Telepathic Manager the recommendation is to buy a deck of tarot cards and become conversant with their use.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Cover my head
or my feet?
the winter quilt.

Buson (1716-1783)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lie To Me



Depeche Mode's Lie To Me. Happy Friday.

Thursday, April 1, 2010