Saturday, September 20, 2008

A fairly straightforward (and sobering) explanation of the financial crisis


Another thought, that my boss mentioned yesterday, is that owning stock right now may not be such a bad idea after all. Even during the Depression, if you owned a piece of a company that stayed in business, you owned an actual asset that will maintain some value as long as the business is viable. And will recover value when the economy evenutally bounces back. Cash or bonds (government or corporate) may not be worth much more than paper or pixels.

It may be a rough ride.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Man, am I out of touch

Billboard picks the top No. 1 single of each year, beginning in 1958. I'm not sure I could identify any of the ones selected in the past 20 years. (Maybe Santana's "Smooth," if you played it for me.)
Well, he is a lumberjack

I knew this would happen as soon as Sarah Palin was picked. The Michael Palin for President Web site.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This Tar Heel team may actually be decent

It's been a long time since I've been able to say that. Since Mack Brown was there, maybe.

Even in 2001, when they had Julius Peppers and I think six or seven other starters on defense who were drafted into the NFL, I was never all that confident about them. (The offense really was uninspiring, even though Darian Durrant was a dynamic QB.)

They looked pretty dang good vs. Rutgers. On the road, where they hadn't won in 20(!) games.

They play Va. Tech Saturday at Chapel Hill. Tech's not as good as they've been in recent years, but they're expected to win the Coastal Division of the ACC. The Heels lost by only a touchdown to them in Blacksburg last year. Right now, it's the toughest game remaining on the schedule (though, to be sure, teams like Georgia Tech, Boston College and Maryland could improve as the season goes along). If somehow the Heels pull this one off, they could win a bunch more.

10,000 people queue up to see Sarah Palin at a facility that will hold 3,500.

The post also notes that an appearance here in Colorado was overbooked.

Here's a report from the Rocky's David Montero:

Her appearance with John McCain in Colorado Springs a week ago drew 10,000 people on short notice. Her campaign had to scrap plans to serve a pancake breakfast during Palin's appearance Monday, saying the demand for tickets was so great there wasn't enough room for tables and chairs to accommodate 5,000 people.

Look, I have no idea if she's prepared to be vice president, which is not to question whether she's qualified. (If Obama's qualified for the top of the ticket, she's certainly qualified for the No. 2 slot.)

In her ABC interviews this past week, Charles Gibson actually threw her a few softballs on domestic policy, asking her where she'd cut spending and what she'd do about Social Security. She swung and missed, in my view.

Decide for yourself. Here's the transcript.

That said, there's something about the prestige media's approach to her that may tend to further marginalize organizations like The New York Times and The Washington Post.

This piece in the Sunday New York Times attempts to reveal a vindictive pol with a secretive style, but it seems thin to me. Attempting to shield e-mails from public view is a very troubling thing, if that's at all an indicator of how she would govern. (Dick Cheney the hockey mom?) But the rest of it isn't convincing at all.

As for her testy relations with other Alaska pols, how about this for a contrary narrative: Palin tried to become active in Alaska politics through conventional Republican circles. She soon learned that the insular party didn't cotton to outsiders like her. So when she found out she couldn't rise through the ranks in a traditional way, and that the party was rife with cronyism and corruption, she railed against it ... and had some success.

It's quite possible she entered politics with no intent of being a reformer. But that's where she wound up. And her former adversaries (from both parties) aren't at all happy about her rise.

Is this a credible narrative? I have no idea. But I'd really appreciate some fair-minded reporters checking it out.
If it's not treason

I have a Facebook page
So long, KCUV

I leave the blog for a few months, and what happens? KCUV, Denver's best commercial radio station by far, leaves the airwaves. It was scoring about a 1 in the ratings, so I guess it was no surprise.

Still, it was the only place I knew you could hear Robert Earl Keen and Clarence Gatemouth Brown. They sponsored Hot Tuna, Junior Brown and Duke Robillard gigs in Denver.

Another reason to renew my XM subscription, I suppose.
I hate to say anything good about Coach K

So I won't. But if you watch any cable sports, you're likely to see the Larry Linville lookalike on an advertisement for DePuy USA, maker of joint replacements, including the new hip he got a few years back. I'm a big fan of prosthetics (my ex's life is much improved, thanks to knee replacements).

But what's really cool about this ad is that the older guitarist you see gyrating around the stage is the great Roy Gaines. Dude played with T-Bone Walker when Roy was 11 or 12. He's now in his 70s, and he still does this.

Back in the day, I became a fan of Gaines thanks to Gary "the Wagman" Wagner at KLON. Bought a couple of CDs and then saw him live twice in Vegas at the Railhead.

The shows were dynamite. Plus, he was signing CDs between sets and I got a chance to speak with him briefly. What a sweet guy.

I know blues musicians don't make a lot of money, so I'm guessing the residuals he gets from these commercials will help pay the bills. Good for Roy and good for De Puy for featuring him.