HankP's blog

Football Pool 2014

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Time for the 2014 NFL season. If you played last year, you should have received an invitation. If you'd like to join go here and enter the following information:


Group Name: forvm-pickvm

Group ID#:  47223
Group Password  theforvm


What's Really Happening in the Ukraine

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Hint: it's nothing like the metric tons of ordure being dumped on this blog on a daily basis.


It was 50 years ago today

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that one of the first signs of a cultural revolution manifested itself on national TV. Not that any of the participants realized it at the time (John Lennon was famously quoted as saying that the Beatles would be popular for "two years, tops"). By itself, it wasn't a defining cultural moment for anyone except the young. But the young were just beginning to make their voice heard.


Important Reminder

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With the Christmas season almost upon us, I'd like to remind everyone to use the Amazon link on the right hand column to order your Christmas gifts - at least the big, expensive ones.


Also, for your amusement:





I am the webmaster for http://www.xxxxxxx.com


Where Do I Even Begin?

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Crazy, awful year.

5 deaths, 3 of family members and 2 of friends (update, 2 more friends I just heard about this week). Dealing with an elderly relative who appears to be losing his mind. Renovated the house in 6 months and then sold it in a day (but still dealing with the fallout from a completely incompetent escrow company). Moved to an apartment downtown. Business is booming, new clients every month.


Living downtown is great. The pluses and minuses:

Hagel Confirmed Open Thread

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... now the GOP can go back to obstructing everything else the government does. Government by tantrum looks to continue.


New Year Open Thread

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A Happy New Year to all, full of amity and prosperity and devoid of strife and suffering.


Moderator Nominations 2013

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You guys know the drill, please initiate or second the names of the people you'd like to see elected as moderators for the next 6 month term.


I'll start by nominating notyou, brutusettu and Floater.


Sometimes the Good Guys Win

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Two good stories for a change, from my very own home state of Washington.




(courtesy Meryl Schencker Photography)


This is a picture of one of the hundreds of gay couples who applied for a marriage license starting at midnight last night, as the passage of gay marriage in Washington State in the election took effect.


Also, a few blocks away ...


The Republicans are falling over the cliff

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and it's not a fiscal cliff (which is actually more like a gradual downhill stroll) but a political one. As Wags pointed out and linked here, suddenly the GOP is unwilling to actually say what they want to cut as far as entitlements are concerned. They basically want Democrats and the White House to propose both sides of an agreement, then decide whether they're willing to go along with it.


The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World turns 50

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Quite a milestone, and really who in the 60s thought that any band would make it so long - especially one with their (well deserved) reputation.


Now I'm sure there will be naysayers here, and so let's make some concessions. Yes, they look like not especially well preserved mummies. Yes, they aren't at the forefront of popular music, and haven't been for the past 30 years. While they are still recording it's clear that their best work was in the late 60s and early 70s, and since then they've released more average albums than good ones.

How Private Equity Killed the Twinkie

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While Mitt Romney has (hopefully) moved off the national stage, despised by his erstwhile supporters, it's important not to forget what we learned during the campaign - specifically about how Bain Capital, and private equity in general, works. We have a great example of that in the bankruptcy and dissolution of Hostess (formerly known as Interstate Bakeries), maker of Twinkies and other snack foods.


What Difference Would 50 Years Make?

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Not sure where I came across this picture on the internet, but it seemed so perfect it got me thinking - what differences would 50 years make in the birth of famous people from the past? I decided to move the people born in the 1890s and 1900s forward 50 years to the baby boom generation, and included a few that stretched the boundaries a bit. Here are my best guesses as to what would happen in this alternate reality, but please feel free to add your own.


. . . . .

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