Saturday, January 24, 2009

Economic Prognostication

It is a very rare day that I read, much less rebroadcast, financial articles, but
this one
from CNN Money is particularly timely, understandable, interesting, and.....concise.

h/t microlesia

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"The Last Lincolns" and Books I Haven't Read Yet.

As I mentioned a short time ago, I need a new category tag entitled "Books I Haven't Read Yet," so that I can offer unqualified recommendations and initiate uninformed discussion and opinions on books that look interesting but which I may or may not actually get around to reading.

Here is one such book, entitled "The Last Lincolns: The Rise and Fall of a Great American Family," by Charles Lachman.

Here is a blurb from the publisher:

Most books about Abraham Lincoln end on April 14, 1865, the day he was assassinated at Ford's Theatre. But that historic event takes place near the beginning of The Last Lincolns, a singular title in the vast output of Lincolnia and one of the most unusual books ever written on the sixteenth president and his family. Going far beyond that fateful day into uncharted territory, it's a gripping page turner written by a TV producer with proven storytelling skills. This absorbing American tragedy tells the largely unknown story of the acrimony that consumed the Lincolns in the months and years that followed the president's murder. This was not a family that came together in mourning and mutual sadness; instead, they fell out over the anguished mental condition of the widowed Mary. In 1875, Robert — the handsome but resentful eldest Lincoln child — engineered her arrest and forcible commitment to an insane asylum. In each succeeding generation, the Lincolns' misfortunes multiplied, as a litany of alcohol abuse, squandered fortunes, burned family papers, and outright dissipation led to the downfall of this once-great family.

Charles Lachman traces the story right up to the last generation of Lincoln descendants: great-grandson Bob Lincoln Beckwith, his estranged wife, Annemarie, and her son, Timothy Lincoln Beckwith. Bob, who was according to all medical evidence sterile, believes the son who bears the Lincoln name was the product of an adulterous affair. Annemarie, however, wanted the boy to be a "Lincoln," putting the child in line for a vast inheritance. There's even evidence — uncovered by Lachman for the first time — that a scheme to obtain possession of the Lincoln fortune was orchestrated by Bob Beckwith's chauffeur, who may have been the notorious outlaw and skyjacker, D.B. Cooper.

Published in advance of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday in February 2009, The Last Lincolns provides an unforgettable glimpse into the personal legacy left by the man who could unite a nation…but not his own family.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

George Bush saved 10 million lives

Yes, George Bush saved 10 millions lives.


From the Music By People You Never Heard Of wholly owned subsidiary of PikeSpeak, here is "Doot-Doot" by Freur, circa 1983.

Other than "doot doot", most of the lyrics are completely unintelligible. It doesn't matter, though, there is much to love about this song/video and I suspect that deep, thoughtful lyrics would probably just get in the way. Sure the haircuts and clothes look funny, but so what?

Things I like about this include the understated "slow-burn" groove, the synchronized echoey vocal sounds and the complex texture created by layering multiple simple parts.

My favorite section starts about 2:32 when the drummer comes in, attacking that classic Simmons drumkit with such drama. That is also where the synth strings come to the fore....and I really love the rich, warm sound of 80's analog strings.

h/t Chordstrike

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Comical. Or not?

Personally, I was always a little suspicious of Aquaman.

This is just darn silly
, in my opinion. But Stan Lee is a man who knows a business opportunity when he sees it, that is for sure. I, too, wait with baited breath, to see what super-power this "hero" will reveal.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The middle distance

I just noticed that on my blog masthead, I have the same expression as Miles Davis does on the "In A Silent Way" album cover. Except I'm all neon-y and he's a famous jazz trumpeter noted for his extraordinary creativity and crotchety demeanor.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The importance of context

"...I got rid of the body. I kept the neck, but I had to trash the body..."

This was what I was saying to my wife in a matter-of-fact voice just as the window opened in the Starbucks drive through. I turned to see an earnest, wide-eyed young man with a startled expression on his face, reaching out to me with a Grande Americano (plus half-and-half) in each hand.

I received the beverages, smiling broadly as I handed him the payment.

I am certain he wondered what I was talking about.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Blonde Joke

A blonde is watching the news with her husband when the newscaster says, 'Two Brazilian men died today in a skydiving accident.'

The blonde starts crying to her husband, sobbing 'That's horrible! So many men dying like that.'

Confused, he says, 'Yes dear, it is sad, but they were skydiving, and there is always that risk involved.'

After a few minutes, the blonde, still sobbing, says, 'How many is a Brazilian?'

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Do you believe that we'll be reunited with our loved ones when we get to heaven?

Thanks to for pointing to this compelling Q&A from

Q: Do you believe that we'll be reunited with our loved ones when we get to heaven? I deeply hope we will be, but with all the millions and millions of people up there, how will we ever find them? Maybe I shouldn't worry about this but I do. - Mrs. R.E.

A: Yes, I firmly believe we will be reunited with those who have died in Christ and entered heaven before us. I often recall King David's words after the death of his infant son: "I will go to him, but he will not return to me" (2 Samuel 12:23). This truth has become even more precious to me since the death of my dear wife, Ruth, a year and a half ago.

And, yes, there will be a vast number of people in heaven, for every person through the ages who has trusted Christ for their salvation will be there. The Bible says that because of Christ's death for us, heaven will be filled with "a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb (Christ)" (Revelation 7:9).

But you shouldn't worry about getting lost, or never finding your loved ones in heaven - not at all. If God brought you together on this earth - out of all the billions of people who live here now - will He be able to bring you together in heaven? Of course.

Never forget: Heaven is a place of supreme joy - and one of its joys will be our reunion with our loved ones. But heaven's greatest joy will be our reunion with Christ, our Savior and Lord. Is your hope and trust in Him?

The person that answered this question is Billy Graham.