Thursday, July 20, 2006

Summer Hiatus for Duck

I will be on hiatus for the next three weeks or so. I will be moving my daughter down to the Phoenix, AZ area where she will be going to college, and will also be doing some home refurbishing to get my house ready for sale. The DD will be in the capable hands of Skipper, Brit and Oroborous in my absence.

May the Quack be with you!

7 Comments:

Blogger Harry Eagar said...

OK, you guys have been mighty quiet. What's the oddest thing you've heard or read today?

My mom has asked me to get her copies of her favorite books, so I was at Barnes & Noble looking up Corrie Ten Boom's "The Hiding Place" and found this review:

'The Hiding Place Just Passed White Fang As My Favorite Book'

July 24, 2006 11:03 PM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

An odd thing that I was just considering is that the Chinese economy is considered to be "booming", based on an enormous (for them) amount of manufactured goods produced, large amounts of exports, and the truly amazing amount of construction going on there, of housing, commercial properties, and infrastructure.
They're using something like 40% of the entire world's cement output.

However, all of that construction and manufacturing activity depends on continuous inputs of raw materials and labor, which has to be paid for. To finance everything the Chinese government is essentially just running the printing presses, by handing out gigantic loans from state-run banks, "loans" that everyone involved understands are really "grants".

That ought to be highly inflationary, and yet the producers of raw materials seem to be content to hand over their hard-won resources in return for scrip, and non-Chinese banks seem willing to exchange local currencies for it.

I don't get it.

July 25, 2006 4:52 AM  
Blogger Peter Burnet said...

...and non-Chinese banks seem willing to exchange local currencies for it...I don't get it

Not my field, Oro, but I am always struck by the deference we give to banks and our assumption they are sober, cautious, well-informed and above the ebb and flow of trendiness. I remember talkng to a colleague in the early '8os about the huge loans international banks made to Poland that made no sense and ultimately had to be written off. He worked for a major Canadian bank and told me the way it all happened was that the Chairman would be riding to work in his chauffered limo and reading in the paper about how a competitor made a huge loan to Poland. As soon as he got to the office, he would call his second-in-command and demand to know why they weren't "competing" by loaning more to Poland. Down the chain the message went and by the end of the day, Poland had another windfall.

July 25, 2006 5:20 AM  
Blogger Brit said...

Harry:

I think Skipper and I been recovering from the exertions of our feeble weekend attempt to retake by force the Bros Judd comments section, and the subsequent thrashing we received from the trigger-happy deleter. It was a complete annihilation.

There is some activity below in the Intelligent Denial thread however.

Yesterday was a Red Letter Day for me, since I finally finished the very last (20th) book in O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series. I feel a sort of post-funeral bereavement numbness. "Jane Austen sur mer", as one reviewer correctly summed up O'Brian.

July 25, 2006 5:40 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

I visited brosjuddblog for a few minutes Sunday, for the first time in a long time, just to see how Orrin is weathering the summer of his discontent.

Not well.

Two years ago, he was confidently predicting a revolution in Iran within months. Now, he's down to asserting that Ahmedinijad cannot hope to be re-elected.

I think the Democratic cocks are crowing at a false dawn about retaking Congress in November, but if that happens, I'll be interested to see how he spins that one.

++++

Before Poland, there was Latin America. I believe Citibank and its pals wrote off close to a trillion dollars worth of uncollectible paper there.

Well, you cannot serve your function of creating credit without taking some risks.

It wasn't the first round of ridiculous loans to the Third World (or, as we were told to call it, the South) that seems so bad, but the second.

July 25, 2006 9:51 AM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

I would be mighty shocked if the Dems re-take either house of Congress, absent something really big happening in the next three months.

If it's just more of the same, they have no chance. As usual, the mood nationally is that Congress stinks, and that the opposition party ought to be in charge, but if one looks at the local polls, few incumbents are in any trouble.

Even Lieberman is favored to win his general election, regardless of how his primary goes.

Apparently most people think that everyone else should vote their bums out.

July 25, 2006 9:57 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

OK, you guys have been mighty quiet.

Well, as for me, I'm in the throes of MD-11 simulator training out in Long Beach, CA. Typical day is four hours in the box, plus another 3 spent briefing/debriefing. Add four or so hours/day studying, and I'm just about out of brain bytes.

I think Skipper and I been recovering from the exertions of our feeble weekend attempt to retake by force the Bros Judd comments section, and the subsequent thrashing we received from the trigger-happy deleter. It was a complete annihilation.

Well and truly annihilated.

Yesterday was a Red Letter Day for me, since I finally finished the very last (20th) book in O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series. I feel a sort of post-funeral bereavement numbness.

My feelings precisely when I read the last book.

I haven't had a chance to read anything recently, but did have something of an oddity happen yesterday. My kids are out here staying with their grandparents for a week and a half. Yesterday I was with them at a friend's place in Manhattan Beach. Of course, we went to the beach that gives MB its name to give the kids a chance to frolic in the Pacific. In mid-frolic, about 10 dolphins showed up just yards away to do a little body-surfing. Two 10-foot long gray torpedoes went streaking right (and I do mean RIGHT) by us.

Lois & Eric won't be forgetting that anytime soon.


Okay, completely OT -- but it was way cool.

July 29, 2006 10:53 PM  

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