A nice way to stay in touch with loved ones, and a convenient way to share my opinions without having everyone just walk away...wait a minute, where are you going? I wasn't finished..

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fun


We went to Owen's first B-Day party yesterday, and everything was delightful. After a gray chill morning the sun came out big time and it was very comfortable in Steffy and Mark's yard. The party had a pirate theme, so there was buccaneer paraphernalia everywhere, and folks with pseudo-pirate garb, and a lot of "Aargh, maties" We got there a little early so Janett could help with the prep. Owen heard my voice in the other room after being put down for a nap and decided he's rather be carried around than sleep, so by the end of the day he was cashed but happy. Malachy was more attuned to the party's motif, and enjoyed it, although, when he didn't win the "Pin the Patch on the Pirate Game" he said that it was a bad party and he was leaving. He went to the kitchen table to color, but was coaxed back to the yard a little later. Stephy made cupcakes for the children and with the leftover batter made a small cake so owen could be helped to blow out a candle. He then mangled the little cake, and had to leave the party for a brief clean up.






And here's Mally getting all romantic:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rough Sailing Ahead

"The Worst Is Yet to Come": If You're Not Petrified, You're Not Paying Attention
Posted May 15, 2009 09:31am EDT by Aaron Task in Investing, Recession, Banking, Autos, Housing

Related: ^DJI, ^GSPC, DDR, XLF, GM, RWR

The green shoots story took a bit of hit this week between data on April retail sales, weekly jobless claims and foreclosures. But the whole concept of the economy finding its footing was "preposterous" to begin with, says Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates. "We're in a complete mess and the consumer is smart enough to know it," says Davidowitz, whose firm does consulting for the retail industry. "If the consumer isn't petrified, he or she is a damn fool."

Davidowitz, who is nothing if not opinionated (and colorful), paints a very grim picture: "The worst is yet to come with consumers and banks," he says. "This country is going into a 10-year decline. Living standards will never be the same."

This outlook is based on the following main points:

With the unemployment rate rising into double digits - and that's not counting the millions of "underemployed" Americans - consumers are hitting the breaks, which is having a huge impact, given consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic activity.

Rising unemployment and the $8 trillion negative wealth effect of housing mean more Americans will default on not just mortgages but student loans and auto loans and credit card debt.

More consumer loan defaults will hit banks, which are also threatened by what Davidowitz calls a "depression" in commercial real estate, noting the recent bankruptcy of General Growth Properties and distressed sales by Developers Diversified and other REITs.

As for all the hullabaloo about the stress tests, he says they were a sham and part of a "con game to get private money to finance these institutions because [Treasury] can't get more money from Congress. It's the ‘greater fool' theory."

"We're now in Barack Obama's world where money goes into the most inefficient parts of the economy and we're bailing everyone out," says Daviowitz, who opposes bailouts for financials and automakers alike. "The bailout money is in the sewer and gone."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Still in posting purgatory.

But enough about me let's talk about you for awhile.

Jason is now 37, and working more hours than a lot of electrical subs right now.

Dee's indispensable role with her employer seems to be providing job security. She threw Jase a very nice party last Sunday.

Val may decide to take the summer off to be with the kids and go back to work in the fall.

John is pleased his company is spending on equipment at the site he manages. That makes one feel a little more secure.

Nate and Angie were in town for Sue's dad's funeral while J and I were in GA, so we didn't get an update from them. Hope all is well. We're sorry for the loss.

Ross is interviewing, but took off for a couple weeks off to visit family in NC

Kimmy is where she's happiest - with Ross, and the trip may pay a big dividend in the form of Ross's Mom's old Yukon which runs a lot better than that KIA or whatever parked in the drive in Lombard.

Steffy is worn and torn, stressed and fatigued by the two little boys, and wants to have a little girl. (?) Busy right now preparing for Owen's 1st Bday party.

Mark's survived a couple cuts at the church and is working a lot of hours, and is a very good daddy.

Noah's been posting to Facebook and even his blog, which shows how sociable he can be when not doubled down with work and school.

And Lauren, Well, heh, heh, Lauren has some big news to share, in it's own good time.
wink wink nudge nudge.

Jeff Samardzija got sent back to Iowa by the Cubs just before they went on their recent skid: and let that be a lesson to them.

Love to all.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Spirit

I also appreciated Tim's quoting CS Lewis, something like, You don't have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body."

My soul didn't get the lift I was seeking at Willow yesterday. Nancy Beech spoke about the value of friendship, and the diminunition of our sense of friendship is this digital age. All very good, but not what I was looking for yesterday. Still, maybe she was saying what I needed to hear, in the sense that what might be lacking for me is a Christian fellowship with whom to interact and grow, from whom to receive encouragement and criticism. That's the thing about going to church, what you're looking for isn't always what you need.

Julie emailed me this link which yielded these pictures. Touching story.

I googled the punch line from the the joke on Tim's

Facebook page, "With all this horse shit, there must be a pony in here somewhere."
This was the funnest link I found, a pagan 12 stepper.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS AND THE NEO-PAGAN

by: "the Bard"

GODDESS: Grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change,
the COURAGE to change the things I can,
and the WISDOM to know the difference.....!

-the Serenity Prayer

*

Aw, f**k it!
-Serenity Prayer (short form)

*

(DISCLAIMER: the opinions in this article are my own, and should not, and
must not, be taken as necessarily the opinions of AA as a whole. AA does
NOT endorse ANY specific religious belief. To quote the standard definition:
"AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or
institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses or
opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other
alcoholics to achieve sobriety." GOT THAT?)

*

JUSTIFICATION 101

Taoists say, "Shit happens."

Buddhists say, "If shit happens, it's not really shit."

Zen says, "What is the sound of shit happening?"

Hindus say, "This shit happened before."

Muslims say, "If shit happens, Allah wills it."

Protestants say, "If shit happens, let it happen to someone else."

Catholics say, "If shit happens, you deserve it."

Fundies say, "If shit happens, the Devil did it!"

Jews say, "Why does shit always happen to us?"

Baha'is say, "If shit happens, it's a Spiritual Experience!"

Wiccans say, "There's gotta be a pony in here someplace!"

*

Alcoholics don't take lovers...they take hostages.

*

"Hi! My name's "the Bard," and I'm a grateful alcoholic and Recovering
Anglican."

(Hi, Bard!)

Now, for those lucky ones of you that are reading this who are -not-
drunks.....maybe none of this applies to you, tho you could perhaps learn
something from it. Just bear in mind that if you haven't "been there," then
you don't truly understand what it's like. Try to bear with us; we're not
finished yet...
*

Probably the best way to start is to talk about the Twelve Steps of
AA....and comment on them from a Pagan point of view. Being Pagan doesn't
make us any better that anyone else, but it does affect our view of the
Universe. Being alcoholics, however, we will tend to do what every other
alky does, and start logic-chopping and complicating even the simplest things
into utterly unrecognizable impossibilties...and when we do -that- we can
say to ourselves, "It's too hard for me. I can't do that."

Keep it SIMPLE, stupid!

A question to think about: To properly work magick, you must be in
full possession of your faculties. You think you can work magick -drunk-?
HAH! That's kinda like giving an armed nuke to a three-year old child.....
Maybe it'll work out OK, and then again.......odds are pretty good that you'll
get a BIG hole in the ground REAL soon!

Another question to think about: do you wonder, sometimes, if you
maybe -are- an alcoholic? Well, ole hoss, if you gotta wonder about it, then
you probably are.......alcoholism is a DISEASE. It is -not- an immoral defect
in you. It is NOT a "failing." It is simply a disease, and there is NO cure.

There is, however, a way to recover from it. Read on!

*

STEP ONE: We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives
had become unmanageable.

This one is pretty obvious, and doesn't need a lot of comment. It
applies the same to the Fundie as it does to the Pagan. If you
just can't handle alcohol, you just can't handle it. Period.

STEP TWO: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore
us to sanity.

What is the Goddess/God -but- a "power" greater than ourselves?
There IS a "Higher Power." Call it what you will. Call it God,
call it Goddess, call it Ralph, if you wanna, but it IS there,
and surrendering your EGO to it is necessary for it to work.
Brad Hicks said that "Nothing so chokes Magick as EGO," and he
was right!

STEP THREE: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care
of God, as we understood Him.

Now, PAY ATTENTION! It says "as we understood.." Yeah, it says
"God" and "Him." So what? This was written to reach out to people.
Ya want it to say "Goddess" and "Her?" FINE! Say it that way to
yourself. I know a guy that said "Ralph" and "It." Worked fine!
-Don't- get hung up in semantics. You got an agenda, take it
somewhere else. You bring it into AA, and you'll stay drunk.

I notice that fella in the third row right is having problems with
the semantics here...he's associating "God" (or "Higher Power")
with that Big Fella with the Long White Beard that sits up in the
Great White Throne of Judgement and writes down everything bad you
do so He can punish you for it. I thought we had thrown out that
concept of the Punishing God! We ain't talking Fundie here, boy!

By "ego" I do not mean your free will. This you have. This you will
always have. I mean surrendering that part of you that sits in the
corner and screams defiance at an uncaring world. The "child-self,"
if you will. "Child" is selfish, uncaring, and manipulative. These
are things we need to recover -from-. "Child" will manipulate by many
techniques, one of which being "people pleasing." (We need to recover
from -that-, too.)

Besides, if you are a practicing alky, your "will" consists mainly of
finding a way to get drunk. Pbflth! That ain't "will." That's an
addiction.

STEP FOUR: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

OOPS! Here's a hard one! That icky buzzword "moral!" I hear a
LOT from Wiccans about the differences between "morals" and
"ethics." Frankly, if the actions/attitudes are harmful, then they
can be called immoral/unethical. "An ye harm NONE, do what ye will."
If your actions hurt someone, YOU need to realize it, and admit it.
See the next step. Logic-chopping at this point will only get you
into trouble. If you wanna read "ethics" for "morals," go right
ahead....just be honest with yourself. As a practicing alky, you've
lied to yourself long enough.

STEP FIVE: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the
exact nature of our wrongs.

So tell the Goddess (or Ralph) your problems with dealing with
life, liberty and the pursuit of tapioca pudding. Tell it to
yourself, too. GET A SPONSOR and talk to them about it. Pretty
simple, really.

STEP SIX: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of
character.

Talk to your sponsor about this one. The Goddess (or Ralph) will
do it, if you can get out from behind your own EGO long enough to
let it happen....

STEP SEVEN: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Notice it says..."humbly." Contrary to the belief of -every-
single alky I've ever known, we are NOT the Center Of The
Universe.

As amazing as it may sound, the Goddess runs the Multi-verse quite
well on Her own. -You- can't even handle alcohol on your own, so
what makes you think you can run the Multi-verse?

STEP EIGHT: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to
make amends to them all.

Yeah, I know, Karma has taken care of it. But that's on the level
of the whole Multi-verse. Make your list. This helps you to admit
to yourself (see the steps above) just where you were being a jerk.
Notice also it says "...became willing..." This does not mean "made
amends." It means you are WILLING, sincerely willing, to make those
amends. Karma has already stomped on you, if you think about it, but
for your own growth you MUST cop to this.

STEP NINE: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when
to do so would injure them or others.

This is pretty obvious, don't you think? You got questions about
this, ask your sponsor.

STEP TEN: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong
promptly admitted it.

"I thought I had made a misteak once, but I was wrong."

(Good epitaph for anyone who died drunk! You die drunk, you stay
drunk next time around, until you get the message...you wanna do
that, go right ahead. Call me when you become teachable.)

It's always pretty hard to admit to making a mistake...Wiccans and
other neo-Pagans are no different than anyone else about that one.

STEP ELEVEN: Sought thru prayer and meditation to improve our conscious
contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for
knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.

No problem here for Pagans, is there? I mean after all, isn't
this exactly what we're trying to do in the first place? You
ain't gonna do diddely-squat with magick without the Higher
Power, anyway.....and this step is a doggone good lesson in
what real magick -really- is all about. Think about it for a
while.

It is your Will that wants you to get sober. It is your EGO that
keeps you drinking, along with the physical "allergy." Take that
EGO, that spoiled child-self, and turn it over to the Goddess. Or
Ralph.

STEP TWELVE: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice
these principles in all our affairs.

So whattya think I'm -doing- here ?

*

Just for funsies, let's look at those steps in -reverse-......

***************************************************************

THE 12 STEPS IN REVERSE

SUCCESSFUL RULES FOR THE SELF-DESTRUCTION OF THE ALCOHOLIC

1. I stated that I could handle liquor and/or drugs, and I was master
of my fate.

2. Firmly believed that I was entirely rational and sane in every
respect.

3. Made a decision to run my own life and be successful in all my
undertakings.

4. Made a searching and thorough inventory of my fellow man and found
him wanting.

5. Admitted to no one, including God and myself, that there was
anything wrong with me.

6. Sought through alcohol and/or drugs to overcome my responsibilities
and escape the realities of life.

7. Got drunk/stoned to remove these shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons who had harmed me, whether imaginary or
real, and swore to get even.

9. Got even whenever possible, except when to do so would injure me.

10. Continued to find fault with the world and with the people in it,
and when I was right, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through conniving and hypocrisy to improve myself
materially at the expense of my fellow man as I misunderstood him,
asking only for the means to get and stay drunk or stoned and escape
from reality.

12. After having a complete moral, physical and financial breakdown, I
tried to drag those who were dear to me down to my level, and to
practice these reasonings in all my affairs.

*******************************************************************

Well?

It may be that you are still a practicing alcoholic. You are still
drinking and drugging and making everyone around you miserable. I won't
preach to you. If that's what you want to do, then that's fine with me.
That's -your- problem, not mine. I am dealing with -me-, today, not with
you.

When you hit bottom, whatever that may be to you, whether it is
winding up in the drunk tank, or squatting in a corner with DT's, or
being thrown thru the roof of a car at 65 MPH (and surviving it), or having
blackouts, or losing everything you have, or, Goddess forbid, killing some
one else with your car.....and the Goddess FINALLY gets your attention,
then remember that AA is out there, and CAN help you.

Call your local Central Office, and get the location, date and
time of a meeting near you. If you need a ride to it, they'll be glad to
help out. Get a copy of the Big Book, and read it.

Go to meetings. Read the Big Book. You don't even have to -say-
anything in meetings. Just sit there and listen for a while, if that's
what you feel you need to do.....but GO TO THE DAMN MEETINGS!

This is being published, initially, over BBSes. Your local BBS,
if it is FIDONET, may carry the RECOVERY echo. It is available on the
backbone, and can be brought in by your local SysOp. Ask for it. Read it.
It's for -you-.

*

Blessed Be!
Sober, one day at a time:

-the Bard
Yule, 1990 CE

Saturday, May 23, 2009

MMDW

Memorial Day week-end. I just spoke with Jose. His wife has plans for him today so we're not opening the office again till Tuesday AM. Sweet.

I was looking at the article I posted yesterday. I selected it for the interesting chart of the HUI. an index of 25 mining stocks. I previously glanced over the author's reference to a previous article. I'll try to find that article and maybe post it. Right now I'm just considering the author's illustrative factoids that the entire population of the world could fit standing up in the city of Detroit, in townhouses in the state of Texas (4 persons per townhouse), or in Australia with 4 persons sharing each acre. I'm going for the Australia option, and putting in dibs now on beachfront in Sidney.

This idea is unintentionally tangential to the concept or redistribution of resources. Suppose you could oversee a pooling of all the wealth in the world, including personal assets such as automobiles, apparel, and furnishings, and all financial assets including cash on hand and in accounts as well as real estate holdings, stocks and other equity interests and bonds or other receivables, (net of debt) and then redistribute the wealth ratably to each and all the persons in the world. -Obviously, you'd have to safeguard with tax legislation against the table being tilted to allow the wealth to flow back into the hands of the clever few within a generation. Also, I know some of us suspect there would be those who would idly dissipate their gratuitous wealth (me, for instance). We'd have to pass a law against that as well.

But my question is how much wealth per person; parent, grandparent, child, whoever would you exempt from the initial confiscation?

I intended this to be purely a philosophical enquiry, but in case you're interested here are some world-wide statistics. This study done for 2000 shows that 2% of adults own over 50% of the world's wealth. I'm confident the imbalance is even more profound now.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gold - again

My post yesterday got me to thinking, so I went to Financial Sense (see links) which I don't think I've visited 3 times in the last year. Sure enough, gold is warming up.

All Eyes Are On Huey!
by Peter Degraaf | May 12, 2009


The HUI index is poised to break out above 350. The importance of this breakout is evident in the following chart.

Featured is the daily HUI index of gold and silver stocks.

In the event of a breakout at the green arrow (which now appears to be underway), the result will be a very strong ‘up-move’ as all that pent-up demand below 350 becomes unstuck.

The pattern is an inverted ‘head and shoulders’ formation with the neckline at 350.

The RSI and MACD are positive (green lines).
Assuming the breakout succeeds - the target is 550!

On the fundamental side, we have a US government deficit that is clearly out of control.
In the words of William Black, associate professor of Economics at the University of Missouri: “We have ‘failed bankers’ giving advice to ’failed regulators’ on how to deal with ‘failed assets’”.

The US Budget Office estimates the 2009 budget deficit at 1.8 trillion dollars or four times the 2008 record deficit. We’re talking ‘monetary inflation in spades’! While it can be said that it takes time for monetary inflation to turn into price inflation, you can be sure that more and more investors are going to anticipate whopping price inflation.

Such price inflation will result in increased demand for gold and silver, and the stock of companies that produce gold and silver.

Even at 1.8 trillion dollars, the US Budget Office is making certain assumptions regarding tax receipts.

It is the ‘nature of the beast’ that during a recession, not only do tax receipts decline, but the demands on government on the part of unemployed persons increase dramatically.

Think of the letter “Y”, with the tops of the Y rising steadily. One side is less revenue and the other side is increased demands. ‘Never the twain shall meet.’

In my last article I lamented the fact that Mr. Obama made it a priority to sign legislation that exports abortion to foreign countries at American taxpayer expense.

I pointed this out to show that the President is not a compassionate individual. After all he chose death over life! He has voted for abortions right up to the 9th month after conception. Abortion is the scourge of a society. It eliminates the very people who will be needed to support the aging population. Honestly now do you really wish that your mother had decided to abort you?

Historically, when the birthrate falls below 2.5 children per couple, that society is slowly doomed to extinction, except for immigration!

The current US rate is about 2.1 children per couple, with some sources claiming a rate even lower than that. The reason 2.1 children per couple is not sufficient is because a certain number of children die before marriage, and others never marry. Therefore the number soon drops below the magic ‘2’.

As an aside, the Muslim clergymen understand this principle and they encourage a high birth rate, while forbidding abortions.

I received a lot of E-mails as a result of my observation. Most of them agreed with my position, but a few did not. Among the people who disagreed, were some who are worried that we are becoming overpopulated.

It is for these people that I present the following facts:
All of the human beings alive today can stand up in the city of Detroit!
All of the human beings alive today, grouped into fours can have a townhouse in Texas!
All of the human beings alive today, grouped by four can have a home with an acre of land in Australia!

Some of you are worried we will run out of resources.

In the mid 19th century, people were worried that the world was running out of whale oil. Then in 1858 someone in Oil Springs Ontario Canada, dug the first commercial oil well, to be followed a year later by the oil discovery at Titusville, PA.

The world is not likely to ever run out of resources. Even crude oil, which is today being used up 5 times faster than new discoveries are made, is actually a constantly renewing resource. No doubt we will have to switch from one resource to another, but that is what makes life exciting, and it creates opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Copyright © 2009 Peter Degraaf
Editorial Archive

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What does it all mean?

You can read this article or not.
It would probably just confuse you as much as it has me.

The Federal Reserve Bank has loaned 2 trillion dollars since September 2008.
These loans are distinct from the $700 billion TARP "bail out", and is tracked and managed even worse than the TARP funds have been. The Fed doesn't want to say who they loaned the money to, or what collateral they received, or how that collateral was valued. See clip

Basic accounting is for a bank to record loans made as the bank's assets, and customers deposits as the bank's liabilities. If the two trillion dollars are Fed Reserve Bank assets, what are the offsetting liabilities?

I feel naive in asking, but aren't the Fed's liabilities the federal reserve notes we all carry around and use as currency and consider to be money? Traditionally, I thought fed printed reserve notes (currency) to buy treasury notes from the banks. Doing so increased the currency in circulation and would drive interest rates down. Alternatively, the fed could sell treasuries in the open market, reducing the money supply and causing interest rates to rise. I thought that was the way it was supposed to work.

The Fed was supposed to influence interest rates while keeping an eye on inflationary effects of these market transactions. Too much currency pumped into the banking system would keep interest rates low but lead to inflation. Once people realized the purchasing power of their money was being reduced by the increase in the supply of money (more money chasing the same amount of goods would increase price levels), they would prefer to hold other assets than currency, and if they did keep money on deposit in their accounts they would demand to receive higher interest rates in return. So simultaneously keeping interest rates and inflation as low as possible was the job of the Fed Reserve Bank.

The Fed also managed the reserves the banks were required to keep on deposit with the Federal Reserve Bank. This reserve was to be used to loan to a bank in case a transitory financial crisis caused a run on the bank by its depositors. That way the bank wouldn't have to call in loans to pay off depositors.

Janett is telling me it's time to run an errand, so let me wrap it up for now by saying the Fed used to print money and hold Treasuries to back up the value of the currency printed. What we're seeing now seems to be the Fed printing vast, huge, immense amounts of currency to bail out the banks and accepting absolute garbage as collateral.



Later...I haven't figured out what happens when the banks tell the Fed "We can't pay you back, so I guess you can keep the garbage."

PS Incidentally, news reports that some banks are willing and able to pay back the TARP funds to the Treasury, and hope to escape ongoing scrutiny once the TARP funds are repaid, probably have more to do with the Fed's surreptitious loans to the banks than it does with banks having "recovered"

The two trillion dollars figures out to be $7,500 per man, woman and child in the country. I don't think we're all going to receive equivalent benefits, but will probably pay some proportionate cost. The idea apparently is to get the banks off the hook for all the bad loans they profited in making and, through the Fed, to pass the cost along to the citizens.

PS If these loans were made to the banks to cover losses on mortgage securities, how will losses on consumer credit, car loans. student loans, corporate debt and governmental debt be taken off banks' books as the impending defaults occur? Just push that all onto the Fed's books as well? I don't understand what it means if the Federal Reserve Bank is bankrupt except that the currency must ultimately be recognized as worthless. Which takes us back to where we were three or four years ago when I was explaining why I saw gold as a good investment.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I had a little trouble getting my blog groove back after

the recent hiatus but I had a few thoughts to share this morning so I was going to try. However my blog writing page doesn't look right. The input box is much larger and the toolbar is gone. There are entry fields for URL and MIME Type under the heading Enclosure which leave me feeling clueless. How can I attach pictures or links without the toolbar? Down below there are little instructions about using Control B and Control I which don't work. and I'd prefer the toolbar regardless.

(Comment was saved to note pad Sunday and posted Monday when things were back to normal)

Anyway, here's what I was going to discuss

In the winter of 1998, two separate teams of astronomers in Berkeley, California, made a similar, startling discovery. They were both observing supernovae -- exploding stars visible over great distances -- to see how fast the universe is expanding. In accordance with prevailing scientific wisdom, the astronomers expected to find the rate of expansion to be decreasing, Instead they found it to be increasing -- a discovery which has since "shaken astronomy to its core" (Astronomy, October 1999).

This discovery would have come as no surprise to Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966), a Belgian mathematician and Catholic priest who developed the theory of the Big Bang. Lemaitre described the beginning of the universe as a burst of fireworks, comparing galaxies to the burning embers spreading out in a growing sphere from the center of the burst. He believed this burst of fireworks was the beginning of time, taking place on "a day without yesterday."

After decades of struggle, other scientists came to accept the Big Bang as fact. But while most scientists -- including the mathematician Stephen Hawking -- predicted that gravity would eventually slow down the expansion of the universe and make the universe fall back toward its center, Lemaitre believed that the universe would keep expanding. He argued that the Big Bang was a unique event, while other scientists believed that the universe would shrink to the point of another Big Bang, and so on. The observations made in Berkeley supported Lemaitre's contention that the Big Bang was in fact "a day without yesterday."
'A Day Without Yesterday': Georges Lemaitre & the Big Bang by Mark Midbon, Commonweal (March 24, 2000): 18-19.




Lemaitre proposed the big bang theory in 1927. Einstein first rejected, then grudgingly accepted the theory. In fact the term "big bang" was coined by a Cambridge physicist in the 40's who was proposing an alternative theory. Lemaitre's paper was titled "A homogeneous Universe of constant mass and growing radius accounting for the radial velocity (radial velocity: Velocity along the line of sight toward or away from the observer) of extragalactic nebulae". Big Bang does roll off the tongue a little more easily. By 1966 at the time of Lemaitre's death it was almost universally accepted, but until the 1998 observations physicists were reluctant to accept Lemaitre's conclusion that the Big Bang was a one time event.
When word of the 1998 Berkeley discovery that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate first reached Stephen Hawking, he said it was too preliminary to be taken seriously. Later, he changed his mind. "I have now had more time to consider the observations, and they look quite good," he told Astronomy magazine (October 1999). "This led me to reconsider my theoretical prejudices."

Monday, May 04, 2009

Chickie

The electricity failed one night at Janett's sister in law, Sally's place here in Georgia. A coyote took advantage of the darkness to break into the coop and kill a couple chicken's including Sally's favorite. It struck Janett that a baby chick would be a nice gift for Sally, so we went to a feedstore Saturday evening and grand daughter Hannah picked out a chick.



We neglected to ask what kind of chick we were purchasing. I later googled to try to find a breed description that matched our little traveling companion. From McMurray Hatchery I got this description and picture.



BLACK STAR: A wonderful brown egg layer that will weigh a little over 5 lbs. The females are black with gold hackle and breast feathers and are egg laying machines.

One commenter said Hello! I just wanted to take the time to comment on the Black Star. I have one who is now two years old named Beamer. I grew up with chickens as pets, but she is truly unique! She follows me everywhere, comes when I call her and even sits on my lap. I would recommend this breed to anyone interested in raising a great pet. She's also a terrific egg-layer, which is a plus! Katie Glassmoyer Greenville, SC

Boy, we may have found an excellent chick for Sally. Too bad they can't be house-broken.

Since you took the trouble to come here, I'll share


this with you.

At Jekyll Island we saw a resort building named

Sans Souci which translates to "without care". The building contained six apartments, two on each floor. The original tenants included J P Morgan and John D. Rockerfeller. There were other houses on the island, not quite mansions, but fancier than most of our ideas of cottages.



The name may ring a bell because Frederick the Great of Prussia had built a palace called Sanssouci in Potsdam, near Berlin in the eighteenth century. The snapshot of Sanssouci doesnt really do it justice.



One commentator said The south facing garden fa├žade. Frederick the Great ignored his architect's advice to place the piano nobile* upon a low ground floor. As a result, the palace failed to take maximum advantage of its location. Its windows are devoid of views, and seen from its lower terraces it appears to be more of an orangery than a palace. But other views of this palace and other buildings there bring to mind the term "rococco" for their ornateness.

*The piano nobile is the principal floor of a large house, usually built in one of the styles of classical renaissance architecture.