Monday, September 29, 2008

"May you live in interesting times" - pt.3

And another interesting article, this time on the growing backlash in the U.S. to the financial bailout:

(Note that this is a three page article.)

"May you live in interesting times" - pt. 2

I've been following the Peak Oil theory for a few years now. This very interesting article on Matt Simmons, whose 2005 book "Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy", helped bring attention to the issue:

An excerpt from the article:

He found it in the form of hundreds of technical papers submitted by Saudi oil geologists to the Society of Petroleum Engineers over the past 50 years. Simmons spent the month of August 2003 sitting on his porch in Maine and grinding his way through the minutiae of technical accounts of, for instance, reservoir pressure and water-cut percentages, trying to piece together the challenges that the Saudi geologists had encountered in managing their precious oilfields. In the end, his conclusion was clear. "I finished reading the last paper on a Sunday afternoon," says Simmons, "and I sat back and I thought, Holy crap, this is unbelievable. I've just discovered the biggest energy illusion ever in the world. We're in big trouble. I'm going to write a book."

(This is a two page article.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New threads

I recently found a fabulous blue velvet jacket at Value Village.

It was one of those moments - I casually glance down the jacket isle and see the usual black, dark blue, and brown colours (though sometimes plaid and or tan show up in their glory). And I see this colour sticking out; not just blue, but crushed blue velvet! As with such things in life, if it fit and the price was right I had to buy it. Yup, it fit, and it was only ten bucks!

My first opportunity to show it off was at a recent IJO gig at the 4th Stage. I took it along as a gag to display in the dressing room, since I did have my regular dark jacket with me. But we had enough fun with it that bandleader Adrian Cho said "go ahead and wear it - drummers can get away with these things" (or words to that effect).

And of course photos were taken, and of each member of the 9-piece ensemble wearing it!

Here we go...

The drummer

Rick on trumpet

Bassist and bandleader Adrian

Mike on baritone sax

Trombonist Steve (he was gutted on FaceBook over this pic - hehe)

Martin on French Horn

Zak on saxes

Mike on piano

Dan on tuba

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"May you live in interesting times"

The title of this post quotes a (supposedly) old Chinese saying. With regards to what's going on in world financial markets these are certainly interesting times indeed.

Here's a sampling of various articles I've come across:

The first one is from Time, titled "How Financial Madness Overtook Wall Street". It takes six web pages but it's not a long read and well worth it.

Also from Time: "
How We Became the United States of France"

Some eye-opening statements are being made, such as "
the total cost to the US taxpayer is now close to $US2 trillion, and Congress is expected to pass legislation to increase the Federal debt limit to $US11.6 trillion. I believe current events will almost certainly signal the end of the global leadership for the US economy and the US dollar as the world's "reserve" currency. This is an historic event." From a lengthy but good article from Smart Company, "Australia's online magazine for entrepreneurs"

Does anyone think it’s just a little weird to be stampeded into a $700 billion solution to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression by the very people who brought us the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression?" From "A Second Opinion?" by the New York Times.

The trillion-dollar question is where is the U.S. government going to get the funds to bail out the financial system? The Bush administration’s tax cuts and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned a $200 billion budget surplus into a $400 billion deficit, not counting the costs to rescue the financial system." From "Shock and Awe on Wall Street - Worst Financial Crisis Since the Great Depression" by Fight Back News.

And a quote from an unattributed source:

The United States has touted free markets as the holy grail, and even liberal democracies have been excoriated by Washington for not wringing out their last vestiges of socialism. Today, however, much of the US economy is about to be run by the central government, which is supposed to be where socialism went wrong."

Interesting times indeed...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Upcoming IJO gig

This coming Friday night I'll be at the Fourth Stage with a nonet of musicians from the Impressions in Jazz Orchestra, performing "Rebirth of the Cool - An evening of cool chamber jazz". Full details at: