My blog

I write in spurts, mostly at random.

AIG’s $62 billion loss, and a little trouble sleeping

Remember this anxious, sleepless little feller? Today the New York Times describes how AIG (American International Group) is "preparing to report a $62 billion loss on Monday, the biggest quarterly loss in history." After some additional figuring, AIG -- already...

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Twitter recommendation for Racine locksmith excellence

I saw yet another startling demonstration today of how quickly one short, local message can zip through the Internet and find its own target. We needed some locksmith work done, so Amy recommended Racine's Hoernel Key Shop, Inc. because they have done very good work...

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Deep thought: Happy birthday, Jack Handey!

Jack Handey is a real person, and just to prove it, he got himself born 60 years ago today. Even Wikipedia agrees that "Handey is a real person, not a pen name or a character," so happy birthday, Mr. Handey. Even though Jack Handey has authored books -- such as Deep...

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Etymology of ‘Lent’

So what is the etymology of "Lent" anyway? What does the word mean? Where did it come from? Via Wikipedia: In English, the word used is Lent, which initially meant spring (as in German Lenz and Dutch lente) and derives from the Germanic root for long, because in...

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‘Tecktonik’ dance craze from France

Tirelessly scouring the world for the exciting and the new, I heard about a dance craze called Tecktonik overnight, during my monitoring of the BBC World Service. The "programme" I heard was the Monday installment of The Strand. Unlike The Meatstick and The Mashed...

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Super healthy ‘Engine 2 Diet’ plan from Texas firefighter

The Engine 2 Diet suddenly became a very hot trend on the Internet yesterday, right after it was featured on a Today show "Take It Off" segment with Amy Robach. The story is that professional athlete-turned-Austin-Texas-firefighter Rip Esselstyn learned that some of...

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The Oscars: Honoring the movies, our healing stories

I was catching up my backlog of Internet reading and writing on this morning of the Academy Awards when a message from a Twitter followee caught my attention: I just don't understand all the Oscars coverage. It's quite pathetic. For some reason, I was instantly...

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Mardi Gras music playlist: New Orleans songs

With New Orleans Mardi Gras coming up, I thought I would post a few New Orleans song suggestions for your listening and partying enhancement. Here, in no particular order, is a treasury of New Orleans and Louisiana music gems. Some are Mardi Gras music classics,...

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NPR: Wisconsin car dealer Russ Darrow is hiring

There was an inspiring story from our area on NPR's All Things Considered this afternoon. "Wisconsin Car Dealership Hiring Despite Times," reported by Erin Toner of Milwaukee's WUWM, featured the Russ Darrow Group, Wisconsin auto dealers with 15 locations. [include...

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Chimpanzee attacks woman in Stamford, Connecticut

There's a really bizarre story in the news this morning about a chimpanzee attack: A 200-pound pet chimp named Travis has been shot and killed by police in Stamford, Connecticut after a violent attack that has left a woman in critical condition with life threatening...

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Food Allergy Mama Kelly Rudnicki is blogging and baking

Meet Kelly Rudnicki, mother of four in the Chicago suburbs. Here's an introduction from her website: My second child, John, was diagnosed at age one with severe dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut and legume allergy. He also is asthmatic, so the likelihood of a life...

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Trader Joe’s commercial: Jobim’s ‘Waters of March’

Update, 8/26/2010: There was a brief profile of the mysterious Trader Joe's company today on NPR's Morning Edition which also mentioned "The Trader Joe's Song" -- "Trader Joe's keeps quiet on secrets of success". The piece was in reference to the August 23 Fortune...

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I’m a PC? (I’m looking to buy a Windows laptop)

All through my idealistic youth, I swore this day would never come. Now, however, I find myself wearning horn-rimmed glasses, classic-fit essential chinos, and bison double-sole slippers. I am also shopping for a Windows PC. It's not that I...

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Hummingbird babies webcam

The Ustream video below is from the Hummingbird Babies Webcam. Go there to chat with other viewers. Here's the description: This is a live webcam at our home in Sunnyvale, California (45 miles south of San Francisco in Silicon Valley). "Hummette" laid two eggs on...

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The Tylenol murders of 1982: Tylenol killer caught?

It was the night before last that I cursed the Tylenol killer for the seven hundred thousandth time. I had just ripped the plastic wrapper off some hoisin sauce with my one free hand, and turned the bottle bottom up. I started shaking it, but nothing came out. Doh!...

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‘Peter Himmelman’s Furious World’

For several weeks now, Amy and I have devoted our Tuesday nights to a friendly little music club in Santa Monica, California. From the comfort of our Wisconsin home, we join with a couple hundred others via live chat and video streaming to enjoy Peter Himmelman's...

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‘No Country for Old Men’ (2007 movie, Javier Bardem)

We have recently endured an insufferable procession of godawful movies. They show up here roughly a year after being added to our Netflix queue, so it's sometimes hard to remember who to blame for muck like Never Been Thawed or Love Actually or Dreamland -- or The...

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How Jerry Taft and TweetDeck found me fresh eggs, dead body

We're sitting here this morning watching No Country for Old Men. (We dutifully try to keep our Netflix viewing no more than a year or so behind the Oscars.) We're about 46 minutes in. Javier Bardem has just located the Regal Motel. This movie is so great that we don't...

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Obama inauguration, complete text and video: MSNBC

The video clip above is pretty amazing -- and not just because of the sweet ushanka worn by George Herbert Walker Bush, or the fact that President Obama included the "pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off" reference that I suggested eleven days ago. No, the amazing...

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Obama inauguration: Breathtaking images

We're ditching the commentators on the various networks and watching C-SPAN's inauguration coverage today on TV. Meanwhile, over on the computer, I am getting blown away by the astounding seven feeds of HD video streaming from CBS2Chicago.com....

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Oprah Winfrey, crack cocaine, and L. Randolph Cook

The latest blockbuster National Enquirer breaking news exclusive concerns a pair of books called The Wizard of O. Apparently the first volume, My Life with Oprah: The L. Randolph Cook Interviews, is available now through a website and the second volume, The Truth...

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