Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fly From Heaven

The video of Fly From Heaven from Toad The Wet Sprocket.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The biggest spender in sports

And it is not George Steinbrenner. He is Florentino Perez and here is a closer look at the man who is spending money hand over fist to try and bring back the glory which was Real Madrid in the past.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Is it time to despair?

Not quite yet, but the season doesn't get any easier any time soon. The Dolphins are now 0-3 with the loss yesterday to the Chargers out in San Diego. Again the running game was effective, but it doesn't matter how much you keep the ball if you can't stop the other team when they have it. To be fair, the defense mostly held the Chargers to field goals and 7 points were scored off the Chad Henne interception, but San Diego hit big pass plays all day long and if memory serves we only got to Phillip Rivers once.

Pennington being knocked out of the game hurt us. Henne was not helped out by one of his receivers, (Ted Ginn Jr., this means you) but he also looked a bit jumpy in the pocket, the product of being an inexperienced backup. I like Henne, he has a good arm but we need Pennington under center for the time being. For right now the defense has to take a long hard look at their pass rush and a secondary which plays well only in fits and starts.

Update: Maybe it is time to despair now. ESPN reports Pennington is out for the season with a torn capsule in his shoulder. Ouch! It's up to Chad Henne and Pat White now, in that order. On the other hand, this could be what takes us to the next level. What do I know? Next to nothing, that's what. I'm just a fan (and have been one for a very, very long time) who suffers every weekend with their ups and downs.

Sir Allen Stanford attacked in jail

According to the article he got into an altercation with another inmate. I wonder what it was about. Perhaps the other inmate called cricket a namby-pamby sport. Or maybe he was trying to shake him up for some of the 7 billion Stanford allegedly lifted from his investors. He continues to deny all 21 charges against him.

The truth about Honduras

Watch the whole thing.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Don't expect much of anything from this next manager and certainly do not look to him/her for creative inspiration. Care should be taken to disassociate your efforts from his/hers.

MOTW: Plod Along Middle Manager

Plod Along Middle Manager operates under the misapprehension that working hard, following the rules and never calling in sick will get him/her ahead in the company. He/she is an endangered species and Senior Management regularly schedules safaris where Plod Along Middle Manager is mercilessly hunted, the outcomes of which are never in doubt. Recent studies released by Forbes predict that the Plod Along Middle Manager species will be extinct within the next calendar year.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Neglected Superhero is back

The Tampa, Florida based pop punk/punk band Neglected Superhero is back. Check out their page and listen to some of their music here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekend Haiku

through a telescope:
ten cents worth of fog.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, September 25, 2009

A date is set for deciding Madoff's victims claims

It seems that Madoff's victims will finally have their day in court and that date is now set for February 2, 2010. The court has scheduled a hearing that day between the bankruptcy trustee overseeing the liquidation of Madoff's firm and the victims of his Ponzi scheme to see how much each victim will receive in restitution. I have posted about the trustee, Mr. Picard before here. His is not an enviable task.

Misty Morning

A recording of Bob Marley's Misty Morning. Don't jump in the water if you can't swim. Pretty good advice if you ask me. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where is Sallie Krawcheck?

What a difference a year makes. Last year when she was with Citi she was number 5 on the list. This year she did not make the top 25. We know where she is. She is working here.

The Rod in the Steel Curtain

Happy Birthday to "Mean Joe" Greene. He is 63 years old today. As a Miami Dolphins fan I grew up disliking the Steelers, since they were an AFC foe which was perennially in our way on the road to the Super Bowl. But like any true fan, I have to admit to a grudging respect and admiration for the Steelers, especially in the seventies when they were such a dominant team. Part of the reason they were so good was their much heralded "Steel Curtain" defense, of which Mean Joe Greene was the cornerstone. "Mean Joe" was a great defensive lineman and well known to pro football fans of Pittsburgh Steelers opponents.

In 1979, he became known to a much wider audience with this classic Coke commercial. It was listed as one of the top ten commercials of all time by TV Guide magazine and shown in many countries around the world in which "Mean Joe" wasn't even known at all. It is an iconic commercial and timeless in its portrayal of a young fan looking up to his sports hero. Even if it only a commercial, some players today could learn a thing or two about star players' deportment and the effect it has on their youthful admirers.

Here is the commercial. Happy birthday, "Mean Joe" Greene.

A rare admission from Sandy Weill

Sandy Weill comes extremely close to admitting he made a huge mistake firing Jamie Dimon from Citigroup after the merger. When it happened there was a lot of speculation about what led to this momentous event. In the second of a two-part excerpt from journalist Duff McDonald's new book, Last Man Standing, he documents in detail what happened during the fateful get-together at The Greenbrier, the luxury resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia which eventually led to Dimon's downfall. Today Dimon is heading up a very healthy JPMorgan Chase as its CEO and Chairman while Citi continues to flounder.

The money quote from Weill is as follows, "I think I made a very bad decision on succession."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Frank Sinatra

Here is Cake's video of their tune Frank Sinatra.

Dr. Gupta contracts H1N1

And blogs about it here. Prior to this I had posted his advice here on how to care for your kids during the upcoming flu season given the swine flu scenario being hyped by the press. Well, he contracted H1N1 in Afghanistan and describes the symptoms in his post. They are bad, but he recovered. It is nice to have accurate information about this virus from a blogging physician.

: I saw an interview with Dr. Gupta on CNN this morning. He still has a cough and even though he didn't specifically write it in his blog post, this morning he admitted on the air it that having this particular flu was the worst he has ever felt in his life. For one who is not prone to hyperbole and whose job it is to give rational information to the public in a calm, reassuring manner, that is a pretty strong statement. Ouch!

Mensa Invitational

Some pretty good humor and creativity here in these results of winning entries of the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational. The contest asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

If you scroll down you will also see a second list where readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common (or some not so common) words. My favorite on this second list is number 15.

n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

For all you Disc Golfers, isn't that what "Steady" Ed Headrick once said? Just look at the quote at the bottom of this NYT obituary.

The quote from it reads, "'We used to say that Frisbee is really a religion -- 'Frisbyterians,' we'd call ourselves,'' Mr. Headrick said in an interview with the newspaper in October. ''When we die, we don't go to purgatory,'' he continued. ''We just land up on the roof and lay there.''

Born to Run

And to make music. Happy birthday Boss. Bruce Sprinsteen turns 60 years old today.

An off-dry Canadian wine

Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. That's right, the title of this post reads Canadian wine, something you don't hear that much about. I have no idea how it might be, but the review of this wine from the duo at the WSJ is not bad. In fact, they say there is value and fun in the wine. If nothing esle it is definitely interesting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Zelaya's return

Keep up to date here about Zelaya's return to Honduras. I'm sure the U.S. stance did not embolden him to return at all, NOT. Let's hope our little, poor, isolated neighbour remains strong in its desire to protect democracy and its rule of law. I have two friends who have been directly affected by this. One who is here visiting and wants to go home but can't and one there who went on a business trip and now wants to come home but can't.

The best part of the updates on her blog so far, at least for me is the following.

"This part of the AP article is too good not to repeat: But Zelaya, who said he would hold a news conference Monday afternoon in Tegucigalpa, told the television station that he had "evaded a thousand obstacles" to return. And his staunch supporter, leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, described the journey: "President Manuel Zelaya, along with four companions, traveled for two days overland, crossing mountains and rivers, risking their lives. They have made it to Honduras."

ACORN who?

A WSJ opinion piece that calls out Obama for distancing himself from ACORN after the latest video fiasco.

F.D.I.C. may borrow funds from banks

As the post title says, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation may soon borrow funds from the nation’s healthy banks. It is pretty clear that Sheila C. Bair, the head of the F.D.I.C., would rather eat shards of broken glass and chase them down with a shot of hydrochloric acid than borrow money from Mommy, hence this possible route for propping up the insurance fund which rescues banks in poor financial health and protects their depositors.

Arghh! We are now 0-2

Last night's Dolphin home opener was a heart breaker. I have been reading Ross Tucker for a while now and think he is a full standard analyst. I believe he is spot on with his analysis of last night's game. Yes, Indianapolis is a good team but they are beatable. The Dolphins did a lot of things well last night, primarily in their running game, but the defense continues to be vulnerable in pass defense mode, especially against a top notch field general like Peyton Manning.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Dolphins need more of a base pass rush. This has traditionally been a weakness for the Dolphins and in the two games of this young season it seems to be one again. So much so that they resorted to the blitz last night and got burned on the last drive by the Colts when Manning read the blitz and called the audible. These were the last points scored in the game and eventually sealed the Dolphin's loss.

I also noticed an alarming trend which continued from the first game against Atlanta and which Tucker does not mention in his article. The insistence on inserting Pat White to run the offense has killed momentum and continuity so far whenever the Dolphins have tried it. It happened in Atlanta and it happened again last night. The Dolphins need to work more in practice on this particular wrinkle and not insist on playing him so early in the season when the offense is hitting its stride. Leave the seasoning of Pat White to some later games where Miami will hopefully be ahead and he can gain that valuable NFL game time experience. For now, the Wildcat is running just fine with Ronnie Brown at the helm and the primary offense is working with Pennington under center.


Take a genius with an IQ higher than Albert Einstein’s, endow him with the gift of conditional clairvoyance, throw in an impending coup d’etat in Saudi Arabia and a budding love interest between said genius and a Saudi princess on the run and you have the ingredients of Ted Dekker’s novel Blink. It is a captivating read with an interesting perspective on Islam, Christianity and the role of an omniscient God determining the future of mankind. The nagging question it poses: is the future predestined, a series of random permutations or can prayer shape and change it?

For all the ponderous themes Dekker writes about in Blink, the book is essentially an action thriller which is surprisingly easy and fun to read. It is full of plot twists and interesting characters, constructing a haunting story which will keep you shaking your head long after you have finished the novel. Highly recommended.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager usually has a desire to help, but typically just isn't very good at it. You do however get to spend a lot of time talking about yourself if you want to.

MOTW: Counselor Manager

Took a few psychology classes in college and did fairly well in them. Prefaces most remarks with the phrase, “You know X, my door is always open…”

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Top Dog

Yesterday I once again took the honor with a 53 or 1 under par. I had 5 birdys, 4 bogeys and 9 pars. It was not an impressive round, but at least it was under par. Our start was delayed by rain and it rained pretty hard for the first three holes, but it cleared up after that and turned into a nice day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weekend Haiku

Calligraphy of geese
against the sky-
the moon seals it.

Buson (1716-1783)

Friday, September 18, 2009

ACORN: We'll help you get away with stuff.

Hilarious! The faux commercial starts at 47 seconds into the video after Jay's monologue. It's priceless.

Swine Flu paranoia

Could he be the source of H1N1? The others are taking no chances. Alas, poor Piglet!!

Fade Into You

Mazzy Star performs Fade Into You live.

From across the pond

The British are following the ACORN scandal and calling it like it is. Read the Daily Telegraph's editorial from their Washington-based editor here. The title is of the article is catchy "ACORN story fells the big oaks of mainstream media."

Pandit says 100 million too much

The saga of Mr. Hall continues to haunt Uncle Vik. He has now gone on record to say that 100 million is too much to pay any banker. This statement elicited a murmur from Citi employees. As I have mentioned previously on this blog Citi is trying to spin off Phibro so that the headache of paying Mr. Hall, its star commodities trader, will go away. Until then it is more sleepless nights for the CEO of the bank that "never sleeps."

Quote for today

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is a process; working together is success.

Henry Ford

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ACORN "deeply disturbed" by videos

As well they should be. Here is the CNN article which reports this disturbed feeling. It's amazing what two young intrepid individuals can do with a little gumption and a hidden camera. The fact that this has occurred at four different ACORN offices in four different cities shows that there is a systemic issue within ACORN and not a case of a bad apple here or there.

While before ACORN had decried the videos as doctored and threatened lawsuits (even though it fired four of the employees appearing in the videos) it has now announced a hiring freeze, an immediate training program for all front-line staff and selection of an independent auditor. What it should do is announce the dismantling of its operations, but never will. No amount of training can teach people to be ethical and no amount of auditing can keep them that way. Rot like this starts at the top and permeates down throughout an organization and I am sure there are too many interests involved.

Links to all four of the videos in this previous post.

Also, the Power Line Blog guys are posting that there will be another video tomorrow from the San Diego ACORN office.

Where Men Win Glory

Jon Krakauer's new book Where Men Win Glory is the tale of then Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman who walked away from a lucrative NFL contract to enroll in the army post 9/11 and go to Afghanistan to fight. He was eventually killed by friendly fire.

I have read two previous books, Into the Wild and Into Thin Air by Mr. Krakauer and both were excellent. I heard an extensive interview yesterday with him about his new book and I look forward to picking up a copy of his latest offering.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Citi chairman to join Providence Equity Partners

Richard Parsons, Chairman of Citigroup, has indicated he will become a senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners. He said he will remain as Citi's chairman and that he wanted to make this move earlier but could not. The reason he gives for making the move now is that Citi is more stable. Hmmm, they haven't paid back the TARP money, the share price is still in the toilet, they keep selling off assets, but they are more stable. Uncle Vik should love that one, not to mention the potential for conflicts of interest.

One frozen shoulder, 10 countries

No, it was not my frozen shoulder which is about 90 percent better now after 2.5 months of physical therapy. I heard this author interviewed on NPR about his experiment. He took his stiff shoulder to health professionals in 10 different countries to see who could help him the most and at what price. The results are fascinating and the topic is extremely timely given the current out of control debate about health care reform in our country. I may have to pick up this book and read it since the review is good, but mostly because the author suffered from exactly the same condition I did. What helped him the most was an somewhat exotic and lengthy treatment in India of all places.

The money quote from the review, "A person’s last days can be spent in any number of ways. But on the phone pleading with an insurer, that’s only in America."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Citi eager to pare U.S. stake

It seems that Uncle Vik is not comfortable with the government having a 34% stake in Citi. Now the banking giant considered "too big to fail" is considering a new multi-billion dollar stock offering while the Treasury sells down some of its holdings. In my opinion more dilution is not what is needed right now. Citi has now had two profitable quarters. It should pay back the TARP money and focus on consolidating its business model/strategy and communicating it in such a way that the troops can understand and execute against it.

Daniel Constantine (Dan) Marino, Jr.

Happy birthday Dan "The Man" Marino. He played his college ball at the University of Pittsburgh and then went on to have a stellar career with my team, the Miami Dolphins. I watched him for years and although he never won a Super Bowl he was the most prolific passer in N.F.L. history as well as being a fiery competitor and an excellent human being. I will always be a Marino fan and the sport of football is better for having had him in the game.


The new drug for annoyingly cheerful people. Check it out.

FDA Approves Depressant Drug For The Annoyingly Cheerful

Quote for today

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

John Maxwell

Monday, September 14, 2009

You plant an ACORN

And you get this...morass. This New York sting is the third video. It's incredible, disgusting and disturbing all at the same time. We knew ACORN was rotten. Being charitable, at best it is an extremely sloppy organization, at worst it is criminal in its dealings. Watch the videos, you decide. Second video from the Washington, DC ACORN office here. First video from the Baltimore ACORN office here. The three instances prove it is not just one batch of bad apples (or acorns if you will) at one location. Wow!

: Fourth video from the San Bernadino, California ACORN office can be found here.

Citi: Bank of the Future

Just what Citi needs, more web portals and confusing Internet banking sites to keep it up all night. Perhaps in the future everyone will sleep less making Citi the right choice as it is the bank that "never sleeps." Now its new strategy is to move "Citi Forward" at least on the consumer side.

Uncle Vik has hired former CEO Michelle Peluso to bring Citigroup banking into the modern age.
It is trying to reinvent itself by producing systems that actually work to serve the client. What a great idea. Perhaps Citi should just work on getting every day customer service right and paying back the TARP money. There is a business model that might serve appropriately.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager is about as innocuous as your average manager, despite often giving the appearance of being out to lunch during meetings and other corporate events. This manager can compare and contrast the moral dilemma of slavery to the plight of non-citizens during the Roman epoch and just might when asked about a project deadline, all while throwing in a reference to string theory.

MOTW: Erudite Manager

Reads a minimum of four books a week. Seldom speaks but when he/she does it is to quote the latest book (obscure or not) that he/she has read. The connection to what is being discussed is often tenuous at best.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

More aid cut off from Honduras

More shortsightedness by the U.S. The U.S. has revoked the visas of Honduran President Roberto Micheletti and 14 supreme court judges as well as suspended more aid. Again, we continue to coddle our enemies and stiff-arm our allies. The U.S. would rather align itself with a thug and Chavista than support a small, beleaguered nation trying to follow its internal rule of constitutional law.

Wake up and smell the coffee U.S., and it's actually pretty good Honduran coffee. I've tried it when I've been in Tegucigalpa. Honduras is doing the right thing even if some of us can't see it. They have essentially said no to the Chavez idiocracy and in doing so prevented the spread of Chavez's cancerous stain to one small country in our Central American back yard. How do we reward them? By ostracizing them and cutting off aid. Nice.

True Love

I've posted about this album before on this blog. You can read that post here. Here is a video of the title track of that album, True Love, by the consummate performer with the fabulous voice, Pat Benatar. She, her band and the crowd are obviously having a great time. This is one sweet performance.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Top Dog

I was finally able to get out and play with the regular Saturday crew and shot a 50 or 4 under par. My scorecard consisted of 7 birdys, 1 triple bogey and 10 pars to take the top honor. It was a beautiful day and if not for the minor meltdown on hole 11 where I took the triple bogey ( a 6 on the card) the round would have been near perfect. I'm glad to be back out there after almost 3 months of physical therapy. It feels good.

Weekend Haiku

First winter rain-
even the monkey
seems to want a raincoat.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, September 11, 2009

A low budget Fidel with a big budget from oil revenue

Approximately 50 years after Fidel Castro looked to the U.S.S.R. as his benefactor and sponsor Hugo Chavez is courting the same constituents. Mr. Chavez was in Russia exchanging views with Putin and Medvedev in the hopes of developing stronger ties. Unlike Fidel, whose appeal at the time to the Soviets was geography, (Cuba's proximity to the U.S. providing an ideal listening post and launch point for the Soviets), Mr. Chavez's Venezuela is in our neighborhood and comes with the added bonus of oil.

Chavez has already stated his intent on seeking closer ties with Iran as well and the money quote from his Russia speech in which he called the U.S. a "terrorist empire" is the following, "The United States wants to dominate the entire world,” he told about 1,000 students. “The empire of the Yanks will fall this century, and I am not talking about the end of the century but in the next decades.”

Along with that speech here is what the Russian university students were treated to during this initial cooperative trip. The title of the video "Hugo Chavez rocks Moscow" is perhaps a bit generous. My guess is the man would not get past the 10-15 second mark with Simon Cowell on American Idol before he got the boot. It is no small wonder that many attendees left early to watch a World Cup soccer qualifying match between Russia and Wales. Anyway, this shows what can happen when dour Russian diplomacy meets the flowery showmanship of an aberrant Latin American leader.

Obama rides bike without a helmet

He does it because he can. Watch Jimmy Kimmell's take on this incident. It's pretty funny.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Facebook, Twitter and Back to School

Another way of looking at the usefulness of these social networking tools. Here on an Onion segment a mother explains the way she uses them to keep tabs on her college age son.

Facebook, Twitter Revolutionizing How Parents Stalk Their College-Aged Kids

The 10 most important nutrition stories of the last 20 years

Or at least this article thinks so, so here they are.

A look at Madoff's properties

The U.S. Marshals take you on an insider's tour of Madoff's different homes in New York and Palm Beach as well as his yacht. These properties will all be sold to help pay back some of the losses his victims incurred. The general feeling you get from reading the article is that Madoff was relatively conservative in his tastes, judging by the different estates. I'm sure the people he scammed might see it a bit differently.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chavez the subject of "documentary"

I've written about Hugo Chavez on this blog before because of the events in Honduras. This is the post that started it all off entitled The Problem is Chavez. Now Oliver Stone has released his "documentary" about Mr. Chavez. The guys over at Power Line Blog have written about this event and they have essentially said everything that I think about this man and the circus surrounding him. I have been in Venezuela many times before and during his rule and there is really nothing good to say about his philosophy of governing. The Venezuelans have paid a high price for having this man lead them and his "influence" has spread like a cancer metastasizing throughout Latin America. Just look at Honduras as an example. They bravely said no to his protege and are now suffering the wrath of the U.S. as a consequence.

Mr. Go for it

Arnold Palmer, now 80, looks back on his visceral, go for broke style of play, which lost him as many majors as it won him. He was a great player and he is still revered today by golfers all over the world.

The money quote in the article, "If I said just one thing about it, I'd say I played that way because I was afraid of losing. I was playing to win."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

No pity for Citi

This NYP article states that the congressional oversight committee which watches how the government is spending the taxpayers bailout money is criticizing Citi for not showing any signs of willingness to pay back the 45 billion it has received and the Fed for not having a plan to get it back.

The money quote in the article, "Too big to fail and not strong enough to succeed is obviously no exit strategy at all," Warren told The Post in an interview.

Warren is the chair of the committee. Something tells me she is not Uncle Vik's biggest fan.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. You have to be a grounded and centered individual to work for this next manager. If you are not eventually your manager's paranoia will rub off on you, making you see things that are simply not there.

MOTW: Conspiracy Manager

Is constantly dissecting the announcements or moves the company makes to understand the implications on his /her survivability. Believes all occurrences affect him/her and wants to ensure his/her position is protected. Sees gremlins everywhere.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What is one life worth?

Bill Whittle, Stephen Green and Scott Ott discuss this question. Watch the whole thing, it's worth it.

And I thought this trip of mine was bad

Actually, overall, mine was probably worse, but this writer's nightmare points out an alarming trend. The airlines just don't care anymore and it's getting harder and harder to complain, much less receive any kind of response. My traveling partner on our Guatemalan fiasco fired off an eloquent, fact laden, non-emotional two page letter about our saga of misfortune to American Airlines. He did this about a month and a half ago. So far there has only been a deafening silence in return.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Weekend Haiku

Visiting the graves-
leaning on their canes.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Unemployment at 26 year high

The rate now stands at 9.7% and we lost another 216,000 jobs in August. Sigh.

Friday, September 4, 2009

U.S. Honduran policy misguided

The Obama administration continues to coddle its adversaries while stiff-arming its friends. After Hilary Clinton met with deposed Honduran president Manual Zelaya the U.S. has announced it will suspend all non-humanitarian aid to Honduras.

The administration got it wrong with its initial response to the Honduras crisis and instead of realizing its error continues to make missteps in its policies towards our Central American friend. If the U.S. does not want to help Honduras then fine, do nothing at all, but to continue with its misguided policy of decrying Honduras for following its constitutional rule of law is obtuse. First the vocal support for Zelaya, then the visa business and now this halting of aid.

Express support for the constitutional government of Honduras by contacting the Embassy of Honduras in the United States.

Its address is 3007 Tilden St. NW, #4M, Washington, DC 20008-3008. You can contact it at: (202) 966-7702 (telephone), (202) 966-9751 (fax), and (email).

If you want more context on this Honduran episode just enter Honduras in the search box on this blog and read the posts that come up and the comments made by Hondurans.

Government to own one third of Citi

It is official. At the close of business on September 10th, 2009 and upon issuance of common stock, the U.S. government will own 7,692,307,692 shares, or 33.6% of Citi's outstanding shares. Uncle Vik will now have to answer to several more constituencies.

Love Alone

Essentially known as Todd's touring band, from 1982 here is Utopia performing Love Alone. Utopia fans know that Kasim was the band's bass player and split most lead vocal duties with Todd, but here he is in full piano ballad/lead singer mode. Backing vocals by Roger, Willie and Todd. These guys are all incredibly talented and fun to listen to. The scope and range of their output is vast and they crossed genres as easily as one crosses the street. What a band. Happy Friday!

Problems for the state we live in

My personal view is that our governor is a pretty stand-up guy who tries to get it right most of the time. This is more than can be said of a lot of other government bodies and quasi governmental agencies. For the first time in 63 years more people moved out of Florida than moved in. Why? There are a lot of reasons which are factually explained in this article and none of them are pretty.

Don't forget about Free Chocolate Friday

Every Friday from now through September you can get a coupon here to get a free chocolate product from Mars. Dubbed the Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act, it provides a coupon for your favorite Mars product. This includes Snickers, Twix, Milky Way or M&M's, among others. Every Friday it is valid for the first 250,000 coupons ordered.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chelsea banned from signing new players

The English club Chelsea has been banned from signing new players during the next two transfer windows. The ban stops Chelsea from adding talent to the team until January of 2011. It was imposed by FIFA which states that Chelsea tampered with a French player, encouraging him to break his contract with his club Lens and sign with Chelsea. The English club has stated that it will "mount the strongest appeal possible." If the penalty stands it will certainly shake up the Premier League.

Defending golf

There's more than a few people who disrespect golf out there so this writer has taken it upon himself to come to the defense of the (ahem) sport. I like golf because it is a relative of the sport I play, disc golf, and yes I do refer to it as a sport. While neither of them may be as physically gruelling as a soccer match or distance swim, mentally golf is as tough as it gets.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dr. Gupta's advice to parents on H1N1

I like Dr. Gupta. I think his style is polished yet no-nonsense for a doctor who presents health and wellness information via the media. He is also a board certified neurosurgeon so he is a credible source for medical advice. I thought I would link to this short CNN article where he went to ERs and Pediatric ERs to find out how the personnel are gearing up for this flu season, given the frightening upcoming swine flu scenario being reported.

Normally I don't give much thought to the upcoming flu season every year, but this one is a little bit different. Dr. Gupta gives advice about what to do should you suspect your child may have become infected with H1N1. He says he is going to follow this approach with his three daughters. Having two young boys of my own I will be paying a little more attention this season. Thanks Dr. Gupta.

Wells Fargo to cowboy up

Wells Fargo has announced that it will repay the TARP money "shortly" without, get this, raising equity. If this is the case then they will be doing so in a way that protects the shareholder. Very nice. Quite a few banks have paid back the loans Mommy and Daddy gave them, but some still have not. Citi remains silent on this issue.

Shopping for wine online

Thinking about shopping for wine online? Here are some things to consider when you do from the duo at the WSJ.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where Does It Go

A recording of Where Does It Go from Planet P Project. I don't think there is a song created by Tony Carey that I dislike. He's a great musician, singer, songwriter, etc.

Inside Madoff's beach house

The scam meister's beach house in Montauk, N.Y. is up for auction to earn cash to repay his victims. For some reason I thought it would be plusher than it is. The big thing is the spectacular ocean view. I also saw a tour of it on T.V. this morning and there was no big screen in the house for Bernie. In fact what he had looked like an unpretentious 19 inch color set. Again, I thought he would have had the biggest plasma screen money can buy. It just goes to show that you never know the tastes of a Ponzi schemer.

Flight 007

On September 1st, 1983 Korean Air Lines flight 007 was shot down by the Soviets over the Sea of Japan because it was off course and flying in prohibited Soviet air space. All 269 passengers aboard were killed. I remember that this incident affected me, not because I knew anyone aboard the plane, but because I just could not believe that such an act could occur outside of an established, ongoing war. Even within a war, shooting down an unarmed civilian aircraft is a heinous act. The Soviets knew this and initially denied knowledge of the incident, but eventually had to own up to the act. I wrote a short poem about it that day and 26 years later, on the anniversary of this tragic incident I put it on this blog. Poem after the jump.

Flight 007

Why should I mind? Why do I care?
Thought the pilot as he started to pray.
We are being shot out of the air,
And one can but die on one’s death-day.

Why do we live? Why are we here?
Then the jet was a ball of flame.
Upon death there is nothing to fear,
And yet who will shoulder the blame.