Archive for October, 2008

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Re:Voices from the Grave

October 29, 2008

My intrepid sister used the Google to do a little research and it turns out the quote from Thomas Jefferson isn’t real.

Jefferson’s actual quote is:

“I sincerely believe … that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”  The reference for the quote is here.

That quote makes a bit more sense as Jefferson had more than a little familiarity with banking establishments.

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Open Mic Night

October 28, 2008

During a recent lunch with two friends at a local pizza parlor, the band Slade came up.  My friend Adam, a Scottish chap, was a bit surprised (in a dry, British Isle sort of way) that Denny and I, two Americans, knew as much as we did about Slade, a Scottish band.  Unfortunately, our knowledge came from the band Quiet Riot, who rose to fame on the back of two Slade cover songs.

In honor of Adam.

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Voices from the Grave

October 28, 2008

‘I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our
liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow
private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by
inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will
grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until
their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers
conquered.’

Thomas Jefferson, 1802

Via Jeff Meford

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Split, Croatia

October 15, 2008

On our fourth day in Zabreb we reluctantly checked out of the Palace Hotel. Our train wasn’t until 9:00 pm so they held onto our bags while we spent another day exploring Zagreb. We spent the day in series of lazy visits to outdoor cafes sandwiched by the Botanical Gardens, the Archaelogical Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art. After a tasty, filling (always filling in Zagreb) dinner, we headed to the train station.

We showed up at the train station 30 minutes or so before our departure time and checked the overhead board to see what track we were on. For the first time, our inability to speak Croatian smacked us in the face. Up to this point, we were spoiled Americans, relying on the fact that we could usually always find at least one person in each establishment who spoke English. No luck here. Michele was like a U.S. Ambassador, moving from person to person, pleading, arguing and negotiating to try to figure out where we were supposed to go. We had reserved a sleeper through a US based company and the pursers were looking at our tickets with a “what the hell is this” kind of expression. Michele kept persisting and they finally led us to a private cabin.

On Croatian Rail, private cabin does not equal sleeping berth.  The seats folded down but that was the only nod made towards sleeping.  Throw in some Limeys (the soccer hooligan kind, not the Hugh Grant kind) and a loud squeak that seemed to be an integral part of the train and you get a long night with little sleep.  Still, we made it from Zagreb to the coast with little hassle and didn’t lose a full day traveling. And when the sun came up, we peered out the window and discovered the beautiful Croatian Coast.

Our pictures from Split.

We were met at the train station by several locals with rooms to rent. If we spoke Croatian, we may have considered renting a place but we took the safe route and headed to a Travel Agency recommended by our guide book (Thank you Lonely Planet). With the help of Atlas Travel Agency, we found an awesome apartment in the city center for around $100.00 a night.

I had never heard of Split before we decided to go to Croatia for our Honeymoon.  It’s a convenient hopping off point to the islands in the south and it was highly recommended by the guide books (again, thanks Lonely Planet) so we decided to add it to our itinerary.  Fortunately, it was a great choice.

It’s a beautiful, bustling city.  It’s the second biggest city in Croatia and the largest port in the country.  It is also the home of Diocletian’s Palace.

Diocletian was a Roman Emperor who abdicated his position in AD 305 to retire to his villa in what was then part of the Roman Empire.  The city of Split grew up around his Palace.

It is an amazing structure.  A walled city, it is not a museum, but a integral part of the center of Split.  There are restaurants, hotels, shops, museums and private residences all throughout the grounds.  Walking through at 11:00 pm, the drinks are still being served and the music is still playing.  It is one of the coolest places I have ever been fortunate enough to visit.

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Iceland

October 14, 2008

Wow!

You think our economy melted down. Iceland is in really rough shape.

And really, with a name like Iceland, you wouldn’t expect anything to melt down.

And now, for no reason, a funny picture from Iceland.

(h/t Iceland Studio Journal)

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Financial WMDs

October 13, 2008

If you’re interested in an explanation of Derivatives and Credit Swaps, check out this podcast from the This American Life. It places no blame, it’s just an explanation. Well worth listening to.

Also, a few months back, I recommended a blog, Calculated Risk. Needless to say, I spend a lot more time there now-a-days. Check it out.

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Dogs

October 13, 2008

Just for a chuckle.

My dog would definitely be up for it if I could find a way to involve a racquetball.

via Slog