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Archive for April 2008

Wayne @ 22

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wayne @ 22

Why does the Royal Sonesta Hotel, where we are staying this week in New Orleans, have a 33-year-old portrait of my older brother hanging in its lobby?

bumper sticker [] - LaBombarde

Written by macheide

30 April 2008 at 11:50 am

Posted in LaBombarde

Desire’s Pork

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desire's pork
Pulled pork sandwich from the Royal Sonesta’s oyster bar, Desire.  I can vouch for the turtle soup here, although even that is probably average at best.  But I’ve had many a pulled pork sandwich that would rank above this one.  Ditto the potato salad: although Susan thought it ok, I found it not too many steps above just eating some unseasoned cooked potatoes.

Maybe it’s just still too early for me to be attempting to eat any serious solid food.

bumper sticker [] - trencherman

Written by macheide

29 April 2008 at 7:27 pm

Posted in trencherman

I Can Has Eatz

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i can has eatz
Spent most of this past weekend just wishing to be dead.

Ate nothing solid. Barely touched a little jello. Lost even that.

Woke this morning within an inch of trying to reach someone in D.C. so I might just cancel this week’s trip to New Orleans.

But Susan took over the driving for me. And after a quick stop at the dentist’s for a new crown (no gas needed), I started feeling somewhat more stable. Enough to take a stab at this McDonald’s cheeseburger halfway through Louisiana. And would even hold onto it until I would be stupid enough to cover it with a few spoons of turtle soup down on Bourbon Street later this evening.

bumper sticker [] - adrien

Written by macheide

28 April 2008 at 12:44 pm

Posted in Adrien

Newly Crowned

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newly crowned

Best way to work on recuperating from a stomach virus? Stopping by my dentist to have a new crown before a 6-hour drive to New Orleans. Eh, but it didn’t go too badly, and now I’m just waiting for Susan to return from the ATM.

bumper sticker [] - adrien

Written by macheide

28 April 2008 at 9:32 am

Posted in Adrien

Tagged with ,

Commuters’ Caravan

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commuters' caravan
Back when this week was just about waking up, I scheduled today as one when I’ll work from the house. Noodlenoggin that I am, I left the scrap of paper with my hotel reservation number for next week at my desk yesterday, when at the office I made the mistake of thinking that paper to be on my nightstand. So I’m heading into the office merely to retrieve that scrap of paper. (Then as will be noted via twitter, I’ll be heading right back out.)

That gray vehicle leading the ‘stang ahead of me is Susan in the Bitty Burb. She’s babysitting today. (And as I’ll be passing along via twitter, her baby is a cutie.)

And of course, that white ‘stang sandwiched between us is the only one of the three of us on a normal schedule this morning: that’s Nat heading off to classes (including a geology lab test).

Ironic post to be making right after my Earth Day memory.

//] - abelian

Written by macheide

25 April 2008 at 7:56 am

Posted in abelian

Earthy Recollections

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Thirty eight years ago today I was sitting in a park in Philadelphia listening to Allen Ginsberg playing his harmonium while reciting his and Blake’s poetry, uniting with 20 million others across the U.S. seeking environmental activism.

bumper sticker [] - DRAM

Written by macheide

22 April 2008 at 7:29 pm

Posted in DRAM

Put A Lid On It

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Personally, I wouldn’t put any money on the DJIA breaking 13k any time this year.

For one thing, I see at least another $100 billion leaving equities during 2008 from defined benefit pension plans; and I don’t see much of that finding any replacement demand to balance out the drag like it did last year. So every time buyers find enough good news to party it up a day or two, I believe we’ll only see the market suffer a quick hard hangover taking it right back down. Reminds me of how I’d be if I tried to get my jogging back too quickly these days: get me feeling some stray burst, and I might even sprint a hundred feet or so, but then I’d be out of breath and worrying folk about stroke risks. Ditto this market: if nothing else, pension fund managers’ current anti-equity strategies are going to keep stocks running out of steam every time they try to run off anywhere.

And while we’re looking at how the institutional investors might be affecting the markets, let’s wait for the 7th inning stretch on the credit crunch until the next round of CAFRs have been published by all the PERS bound to be hit hard enough to send out new shock waves.

Besides, what W calls a “slowdown” is what anyone else will be recognizing as a recession. I know, we’ve got to cut him a little slack: his ignorance here arises from being a politician aiming for a third term by proxy, rather than an economist aiming for fact or an ordinary person out of a job defaulting on a mortgage while struggling to pay higher prices at the pump and at the grocery checkout with a dollar that W policies have sent swirling down the drain. Still, those temporary pleasant surprises in first quarter earnings aren’t going to be sustained with sufficient breadth to keep things afloat anywhere near a 13k level.

bumper sticker [] - calls & puts

Written by macheide

22 April 2008 at 12:47 pm

Posted in calls & puts

Just a Little Hard

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just a little hard

Susan‘s feeling a little better today, but I’ll still want her to have someone here with her all day. Moms don’t know how to be sick, since they’re never supposed to be.

Along with the usual work, I’ll annoy myself today doing some of the advance paperwork for the expenses I’ll have for the training sessions scheduled next week in the Big Easy. At least I won’t need to make airline reservations: little did we know, but we’re already too close, so I’ll just feed my love for driving.

bumper sticker [] - bedhead

Written by macheide

22 April 2008 at 6:37 am

Posted in bedhead

What’s On My Mind?

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If you could read the minds of one gender (think Mel Gibson in What Women Want): men (1) or women (2) ?


Response: 2 Because I prefer roller coasters over merry-go-rounds.

“Women are irrational, that’s all there is to that! Their heads are full of cotton, hay, and rags.” – Professor Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady

But then again . . .

“if my thought-dreams could be seen, they’d probably put my head in a guillotine.” – Bob, It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

//] - strawpoll

Written by macheide

21 April 2008 at 5:06 pm

Posted in strawpoll


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jello through a straw

Little Did You Know: I like to eat my jello with a straw.

bumper sticker [] - dossier

Written by macheide

21 April 2008 at 3:10 pm

Posted in dossier

TRAS Is a 4-Letter Word

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OK, so I’m uninformed enough to think that my attendance at the Enrolled Actuaries Meeting two weeks ago was for “training.” Uininformed that “training” is a TRAS accounting code reserved for specific internal government training courses with specific training class codes. I suppose there’s even a specific internal government training course that might have taught me that, if only I were courageous enough to take it (as in, the type of courage that leads men to jump off cliffs).

But TRAS – the recordkeeping system that I have to use for my governmental agency travel expenses – is apparently sufficiently informed about what “training” means, that when I get around to the second major procedure – filling out my expense vouchers – and finally make it to the very final step of that procedure – electronically signing my voucher – the system is smart enough to not let me do so because there ain’t no training class code for the EA Meeting.

So tell me, if the TRAS system designers were bright enough to program that into the voucher procedure, would it have been all that terribly difficult for them to shove a pop-up screen warning of that way way back as one of the very first steps of the first procedure, the expense authorization itself? Instead of making me and my manager unwind what already took me more than 3 hours to fill out, so I could redo everything as “general” instead of as “training”?

So together with the 5 hours spent with SATO, our government travel agency, over their blunder that wiped out my return flight, plus the time I spent in rescheduling a return on April 10th instead of my original flightplan for the 9th, together with all the usual travel arrangements, together with all this time of struggling through TRAS only to have to redo it from scratch because they can’t tell me I’ve did something wrong at the beginning until I’ve made it all the way to the end, not counting time my manager has spent on my forms for this trip, I figure I put in at least 12 hours just on the administrative hassles. For maybe 15 hours of actual hardcore actuarial time spent at the EA Meeting itself.

TRAS hates me. That’s OK, the feeling’s mutual. And very personal. I’ve been known to crash systems. Watch out, TRAS.

bumper sticker [] - formaphobe

Written by macheide

21 April 2008 at 1:59 pm

Posted in formaphobe

Fortune Zero

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The 2008 Fortune 1000 has finally been released. If I were grading their work for timeliness, I’d give them a flat zero. Five years ago when corporate annual statements were due March 31, Fortune actually released their list earlier in April than they’ve finally managed to drag their sorry butt through the door today, when they had a full extra month since this year’s Sarbanes-Oxley February 29 filing deadline.

I could have published this list myself as early as the Ides of March from spare-time hobby puttering done in connection with my interests in pension plans. If Fortune is as late next year, perhaps I will.

bumper sticker [] - vagblanc

Written by macheide

21 April 2008 at 6:27 am

Posted in vagblanc

Accidental Telecommuter

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accidental telecommuter

I had planned to commute into the office for work today. But upon reaching a major birthday, Susan decided to break one of the most basic rules of the Mom’s Union: for the first time in the decade I’ve known her, she’s confined to her bed sick. So I’ll do my work from the house today and pretend to be a nurse. (This from the same man who melted the steam cleaner yesterday. She’d better not ask me for any hot tea.)

bumper sticker [] - bedhead

Written by macheide

21 April 2008 at 6:04 am

Posted in bedhead

custom do

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i meet up with a woman who works only very early mornings designing hair for th day, as her clients wish, for a specific decision to be made, for a particular meeting that is planned, for a task that is scheduled. sometimes a specific need calls only for several strands of hair to be curled out to th side differently, other times th combination of expected events calls for a collective coordinated movement over th entire head. she is widely known to be th best at her craft, and she has many clients who trust her daily

i myself never need to voice my requests for th day. she feels inside where th hair needs to be, and she has never been wrong

Bumper Sticker [] - oneirra

Written by macheide

21 April 2008 at 4:04 am

Posted in oneirra

Much Better

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much betterA bit of improvement in my BP readings. Still not as far as we want to see, and my diastolic will need to stop popping into triple digits whenever it pleases. But this is a whole lot better than I’d been seeing for days.

Somersaults apparently do me good (especially on top of the extra doses of clonidine).

//] - specimen

Written by macheide

20 April 2008 at 9:32 pm

Posted in specimen

Briefly Unplugged

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I joined Susan and Nat for dinner at Papagayo’s tonight “unplugged.” None of my ubiquitous devices. No cell phone. No camera. No Zen Vision:M. Nothing but a pen and small notebook.

It was a small thing, I know, not to be made very much of beyond the hopeful origin of a more permanent habit.

Nat observed that it wouldn’t work as well until I could manage to turn my brain off as well. True, so true, that device is hardwired for nonstop overclocking, with or without peripheral devices attached. Must consider giving it some of the treatment they had to give HAL. Nat recommends doing something childlike, to step outside of the routine my head sets for me. What might she suggest? “Disneyland,” says she. That won’t work, I respond: I’ve been to Disneyland and had to be more adult than any other time, just to keep tabs on the kids. Having been one of those kids I worried over when we were there, she replies with a mildly uncharacteristic frown. But I’ve an idea to try out when we get back to the house, something I haven’t done for over 40 years:

bumper sticker [] - unplugged

Written by macheide

20 April 2008 at 8:01 pm

Posted in unplugged

Rather Be Blogging

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Do you think this week’s questions have been interesting (1) or boring (2) ?


Response: 1 …Until today’s, which is more boring than all the week’s intersting ones combined.

Better yet, I could be off doing something worth blogging about.
//] - strawpoll

Written by macheide

20 April 2008 at 2:59 pm

Posted in strawpoll