Blood on the Street
As I write, the stock market is making like Newton's apple. This turn of events is not enthralling to the hordes that were counting on the market to speed them on their way to early retirement. Even worse, yours truly has money in the market - rather less than he had a few months ago. We have not yet reached the point where cadres of soccer moms march on Washington, demanding that the rescue of their 401 Ks. If things don't improve there will be blood on the street, or, if not blood, tennis shoes marching.
There are various explanations for the market's decline - 9/11 hangover, corporate malfeasance, IOU notes from the tooth fairy, et cetera. My explanation is that we are suffering from a shortage of public concupiscence in the White House. Like kings of yore, the President is a fertility symbol. The state of the union is directly affected by the state of the presidential member. As it rises, so rises the market.
Mind you, it is the public perception that counts. GWB Jr may have lust in his heart when he gazes across the breakfast table at the first lady, but his public manner is seemly. There is nothing there to support a rising market.
Not so with his predecessor who presided over one of the great bull markets of history. Clinton was an active (and not terribly discrete) skirt chaser. The public likes that in a President, and they bid the market up in response. If Clinton's paramours and his affairs were somewhat tacky, well so were many of the stocks that rose during the great bull market. If only Clinton had had more taste, the market might have had more staying power. Alas, it was a Monica Lewinsky boom.
The doctoral candidate
Recently a doctoral candidate in the School of Theology at Our Lady of Incredible Chastity University presented an unusual thesis. When he came before the board of examiners, the only thing he had with him was an emperor penguin. The examiners were somewhat startled and asked him where his thesis was and why he had this penguin with him. He replied that the penguin was his thesis. Even more confused, the examiners asked him to explain. "Oh", he said airily, "this is my magnum opus"
Everyone knows that real programmers use TECO for wimpy stuff like text editing and writing operating systems. Programming is done using absolute patches (binary, octal, hex, it doesn't matter to a real programmer.) Jeez, don't you guys know nothin'.
Fat boy slims down
Diets and weight loss and such like are mostly interesting to those intimately concerned and a dead bore to the rest of the world. As it happens I am engaged in a weight loss project. Being intimately connected with myself (metpahorically speaking - let's not get tacky) the subject is not a dead bore to me.
I have lost about 36 pounds. I say 'about' because I don't really know how much. The highest weight that I was at that I know of was in a doctor's office when I weighed in at 234. To get live body weight one needs to knock off about five pounds for clothes and shoes. Call it 229 undressed. As of this writing (July 21) my morning weigh in was 193. That would be 36 pounds - actually a little bit less because morning weights are about two pounds less than mid-day weights. All told, it works out to losing 6 pounds a month. Not bad, as they say in the construction trade.
Still, as the body mass charts will tell you, 195 is over weight for my height (73"). The BMI folks say my weight should be 186 or less. They are right. I have taken off about 4 inches off my waist, going from a 42 inch waist to a 38 inch waist. The change in mid-torso profile is quite distinct. None-the-less, the bulge in the middle is still there.
This makes for mixed feelings. On one hand it is all very encouraging when I read the record and watch the numbers go down over time. On the other hand I look in the mirror when I am buck nekkid and say to myself, "yep, still pregnant, jest not showin' as much."
I feel as though I'm driving across country and I'm somewhere in Indiana. There I am in some motel in some town in Indiana that I've never seen before and hope never to see again. That I am in this place where I don't want to be is encouraging - it means that I've made progress toward my goal. But it is discouraging too; I'm not where I want to be; instead I am in some place in Indiana.
So what's worth reading?
My web site is a valuable internet resource (snicker). Being that it is such a valuable internet resource, people have linked to various pages on my site. Here is a list of the pages that people have deemed worthy of linkage. It's a pretty eclectic list. The number after the page title is the number of links to the page.
Are You a Literature Abuser? (3)
This page was last updated February 16, 2007.