Friday, October 17, 2008

Grandpa's 80th B-day

I don't know if I'll keep this here, but it is the quickest way to show it to those of you who care and make sure it is ok.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Filed under: Things I didn't know that I didn't know about the economy

A short list of items that, one month ago, I knew and/or cared little about, but which I could now discuss for several minutes at a cocktail party
Collateralized debt obligations
Stock injection
Credit default swaps
The role of the Federal Reserve vs. the Treasury
Mortgage securities
TED Spread
Treasury 3-month yield
Commercial Paper
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
Moral Hazard
I will be available for speaking engagements forthwith.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Your mother drove to Ohio

Thursday morning, pre-dawn, David, Simon, Skylar, Brooke, Isabelle, and I set off on a 13-hour road trip in Grandpa's minivan. When we returned Sunday night, we had completed the longest stretch of road travel without vomit in David and Simon's life.--26 hours plus the time we spent driving around our destination. It was memorable for other reasons as well. For instance, I think we set a record for "your mother" jokes. As in "Your mother set a record for 'your mother' jokes."

The goal of the trip was of course cousin Andrea's wedding. Frankly, I was dreading this trip and in the days leading up to it I regretted having committed. It was a lot of money, a lot of time off and a lot of sitting in car seats not barfing for the boys. The boys don't have a lot of experience with sitting still in pews during church. One of the great advantages of a pew-free church is that there is a little more room for youngins and their energy. And if they are just too much to bear in our church, they can go down stairs and chill. I was concerned that I was traveling to Ohio to stand outside in the hallway of the building where my cousin was gettin' hitched babysitting two boys exhausted from too much travel.

Well, my fears were unfounded. The boys handled themselves well--mostly. There was one point in the service where a deacon was talking without a microphone and everyone was kind of straining to hear him. At this point Simon announced that he had to poop in case anyone in the room was interested--no one seemed to be. Oh and when the groomsmen were all lined up at the front, Simon had to count them for everyone. Otherwise, they were great.

The ceremony was lovely, I should say that the many ceremonies of the day were lovely and moving. A wedding day is filled with official and unofficial formalities, from who sits where, to the vows, to speeches, to that point when the children get to finally run around the reception hall and occasionally dance with the adults. I found myself choked up many times. Andrea married a hansom Lieutenant in the Air Force and all the men standing up for him were Air Force, Navy, and Army, all in dress uniform--quiet, precise, and noble. The ceremony was a generally traditional Western Christian affair conducted with belief and affirmation. The saber arch, the car vandalized with shoe polish, the embarrassing uncle, the single young women eying the single young soldiers--as I watched it all I was reminded of this previously posted snippet
Because it is not the rituals we honor
but our trust in what they signify, these rites
that honor us as witnesses — whether to watch
lovers swear loyalty in a careless world
or a newborn washed with water and oil

But don't take my word for it. Here is what the boys have to say: