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      .@GovRonDeSantis: “You don’t have to politicize every tragedy in this country.” Also @GovRonDeSantis: Immediately politicizes Hurricane Ian tragedy. pic.twitter.com/er3hjzL5kp — The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 4, 2022
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      A lot of mistakes come from assuming rationality means “thinks the same way I do” rather than “reasons from premises I might not share.” Left than 1/1000 economists predicted the financial collapse, because they reasoned from assumptions like “the market is self-correcting” or “housing prices never go down.” (Sometimes both at the same time, which is rarely […]
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Christmas Break

I’m relaxing. Do not point me to any horrific videos of violence.

Let’s talk about less weighty matters.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.29.11 AMMusic: The Third Annual “Lick My Love Pump” Award is upon us. Each year, this award goes to the catchiest single with the raunchiest lyrics. Previous winners have been Bruno Mars for Gorilla and Beyonce for Blow. I’ve been listening to Hozier and Florence and the Machine since Brook went off to seek her fortune at an institution of higher learning. So, I don’t really know who the contenders are this year. Any suggestions?

Games: I’m looking for a game that’s as beautiful as Monument Valley for my iPhone. Also, does anyone have any experience with Eurogames like Settlers of Catan? I see Eurogame groups popping up all over Pittsburgh but it usually involves hanging out at a Crazy Mocha with strangers. So, I need a gateway game in this genre that I can sink my teeth into.

Books: My newest favorite author is Kate Atkinson whose Jackson Brodie detective novels are hilarious but are also deeply human. I’m looking for more good books. Preferably historical fiction, political intrigue, light on the bodice ripping. Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon series comes pretty close but can be a tad too raping and pillaging. Suggestions welcome.

What are you up to?


Run for the Unemployed

Washington wants to talk about deficit reduction, bond vigilantes and runaway inflation.  Yes, let’s just scare everyone into thinking that the money is all going to run out and interest rates are going to soar.  So far, no indication that that’s true.

But what *is* true is that 9% of us are out of work and looking for jobs.  And I’m not just talking high school dropouts.  I went to an all day session yesterday at Rutgers for people in the pharma/biotech industry who have lost their jobs.  The crazy suggestions I heard yesterday might make a surreal chapter in an even more surreal book.  (one not so crazy suggestion is that if you want to start your own biotech with state aid, one of your best bets is Minnesota.  Who knew?)  The lunatics have definitely taken over the asylum.  But that’s for another post.

This post is about making us more visible.  It does us no good to sit behind our doors in our middle class suburbs where no one can see us. That’s what the masters of the universe would like.  If no one can see us, we’ll just go away.

I think we should flaunt our unemployment.  Not only should we flaunt it, we should run around outside wearing T-shirts that announce our employment status and what our professions are.  If anyone has ideas for a design that we can get made in a union shop, post them in the comments.

I’m also proposing that we plan a running event to coincide with Labor Day.  That’s right about when the presidential race will begin in earnest.  Let’s make sure they see us.

OK, here are some basic guidelines:

1.) Wear whatever footgear you want. I wear Nikes.  Yes, I know they are made in sweatshops in Asia.  But my Nike shoes, engineered for mild overpronation save me from days of pain.  I can’t run in any other brand of running shoe and believe me, I have tried many.  If you have a problem with Nike, don’t wear them.  I am not enduring shin splints to satisfy your purity. Let’s all just keep our eyes on our own running shoes, ok?  Other than that, wear clothing appropriate for the exercise. It should be comfortable, have some stretch and not be too loose.  Batten down those boobs, ladies.  Although genetics have more to do with whether you’ll sag or not, it’s just not comfy to have the girls slapping you in the face while you bounce along.

2.) Run with other people.  I propose that we find a running group meetup tool that will allow unemployed runners to meetup and run together during the remaining spring and into the summer.  Maybe we can pick a time when our visibility would be at its highest.  Rush hour?  Or we can pick places that would generate the most consternation in the observers. I’m open to suggestions.

3.) If you can run, run.  If you can’t run, walk.  If you can’t walk, roll.  You decide what level of physical activity is right for you.  Consult a physician first.  I just had a physical complete with EKG, BP and full blood work and I’m in excellent physical condition so there’s no excuse for me.  But if you don’t know what your stress level is, make an appointment with your doctor first or just walk.

4.) Get some good music on your ipod.  It will make the time go faster and your run easier, especially at the beginning.  I suck as a runner. In fact, it is one of my least favorite activities.  But music makes it all bearable and over time, I *do* get better.  I try to pick music that has a propelling rhythm and that matches my heel strike.  The first song starts pretty slowly but usually has a “kick” to it.  I put the songs in order of intensity so that by the time I get to My Big 10 Inch (Record), I’m cruising at my peak speed (which for a beginner is not that fast).  After that, the songs ease up a bit and I finish with a slow song to come down from a run to a walk.  Before I run, I do some calf stretches and lunges just to loosen things up a bit.  When I’m finished, I do a stretch routine usually on the floor of my nice cool basement.

Here’s my run playlist.  Feel free to make it yours:

1.) Amazing Grace- Laura Love (warm up)

2.) Jessica- Allman Brothers

3.) Raise Your Glass- The Warblers (Glee)

4.) Welcome to the Future – Brad Paisley

5.) Iko Iko – The Belle Stars

6.) My Big 10 Inch Record – Aerosmith

7.) Love Today- Mika

8.) All These Things That I’ve Done- The Killers

9.)Let the River Run- Carly Simon

10.) River of Dreams- Billy Joel

11.) Run – George Strait (cool down)

12.) Volcano- Jimmy Buffet (post run stretch)

Ok, all you unemployed, are you ready for this?

Let’s move.

Celebrating geezerdom

I saw what follows on the BBC, written by a young teenager and good sport named Scott Campbell. I laughed practically non-stop through the whole thing, coming at it from the geezer side myself. I have to share snippets with you.

BBC | Giving up my iPod for a Walkman

My dad had told me it was the iPod of its day.

He had told me it was big, but I hadn’t realised he meant THAT big. It was the size of a small book. …

From a practical point of view, the Walkman is rather cumbersome, and it is certainly not pocket-sized, unless you have large pockets. It comes with a handy belt clip screwed on to the back, yet the weight of the unit is enough to haul down a low-slung pair of combats.

And you probably thought we didn’t wear those diaper pants because we weren’t cool, huh?

… It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser ….

I love it.

You can almost imagine the excitement about the Walkman coming out 30 years ago, as it was the newest piece of technology at the time.

Perhaps that kind of anticipation and excitement has been somewhat lost in the flood of new products which now hit our shelves on a regular basis.

Personally, I’m relieved I live in the digital age, with bigger choice, more functions and smaller devices. I’m relieved that the majority of technological advancement happened before I was born . . .

Bwahahaha.  Sort of reminds me of whoever it was before Niels Bohr and Einstein burst upon the scene, saying there was nothing new to be discovered in physics.  The boy’s in good company.

. . . as I can’t imagine having to use such basic equipment every day. …

Did my dad, Alan, really ever think this was a credible piece of technology?

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Thursday Morning at The Confluence: Browsing at Nini’s Corner

Nini's Corner Newstand, Harvard Square

Nini's Corner Newstand, Harvard Square

In your mind’s eye, join me for a leisurely morning browse through the Nini’s Corner newstand in Harvard Square. Before the internet, it was great place to find local, national, and international newspapers and periodicals. For now the monsoons have stopped and Harvard Square is warm, sunny, and welcoming. We can buy a selection of newspapers, grab a cup of coffee and a muffin, and find a comfortable place to sit outdoors and catch up on what’s happening in the world. Many thanks to MABlue for sending along some recommended links.

Sotomayor Confimation Hearings

Legal experts’ views on the Sotomayor hearing

At Stake in Hearings Are Post-Sotomayor Nominations

After three days of testimony, Judge Sotomayor appeared to have made no major mistakes that would jeopardize her confirmation in a Senate dominated by Democrats. So both sides are trying to use the Judiciary Committee hearings to define the parameters of an acceptable nomination in case another seat opens up during Mr. Obama’s presidency.

Charlie Savage is such a good reporter–a real throwback.

Franken Stumps Sotomayor

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was breezing through her third day of confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee when she was tripped up by, of all people, the junior senator from Minnesota, Al Franken.

The comedian, in his second week on the job, noted that Sotomayor had, earlier in the day, said she was inspired to become a prosecutor by watching “Perry Mason,” who, in all his TV episodes, lost only one case to the nefarious Hamilton Burger. Franken’s question was deft and devastating: “What was the one case in ‘Perry Mason’ that Burger won?”

For the first time all week, the future justice was stumped.


“Didn’t the White House prepare you for that?” he asked with incredulity.

I remember that case. But I think Perry Mason won it on appeal.

Coburn might have some “splaining to do”

Of Pride and Prejudice: Latinos celebrate a milestone that Judge Sotomayor’s critics struggle to understand (h/t MABlue) Continue reading

Purty Christmas Music – Enjoy!

I’m not a Christian, but I LOVE Christmas music. So, as my holiday gift to you, here are some of my favorites:

O Holy Night“, sung by Dame Joan Sutherland (yes, that is a high “D” at the end! You go girl!)

“Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Robert Shaw

Riu Riu Chiu“, Christmas Carol, performed by Capella Gloriana

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear,” performed by Ella Fitzgerald

and of course:

White Christmas,” performed by Bing Crosby (and written by nice Jewish boy Irving Berlin)

May your days be merry and bright!