Vern Harmon’s pipe had been carved from blood-red soapstone by a Missouri River Mandan. To Beth it was a menacing totem. When spring squabbled with winter on the Cumberland Plateau she’d wait for the siren winds. It was then that her husband would take the pipe from its beaded case. He’d just sit quietly and study the pipe, his eyes distant and vacant.
Her restless sleep had been disturbed last night when he’d slipped from the Skinners Creek cabin. Loons called mournfully, and soon the wind had brought her the wild odor of his hoarded kinnickinnick tobacco. She’d stared up into the darkness as the winds whispered darkly that they’d come for him yet again, and that this time they’d not be denied. Continue reading
About last night. Here’s what I predicted. Here’s what happened. A few brief comments and then we’ll put it to bed.
First, the officials did indeed arrive in a clown car and, as expected, they spent a great deal of time hosing the guys in blue shirts down with seltzer. In the end, though, their performance probably wasn’t much worse than it is during any other game, so your final grades will reflect whether or not your gauges are calibrated to “basic competence” or “sucked about like they normally do.” Continue reading
by Deb Caponera
If there could be any one person responsible for the “cool” of my generation, and well, all those to follow, it would be Maurice Sendak. But his influence goes far beyond what hip, creative things he inspired in us 40-somethings with his array of stories and pictures. He wasn’t just a children’s writer; in fact, he despised being categorized that way.
Straight-talking, wild-eyed and honest, Maurice gave us “kids” a taste of truth, of beauty, of pain, and of love. He gave us permission to be ourselves, however uncomfortable that was, and a strength that most of our parents discounted or denied us, and he never looked back.
For that alone, we adored him. Continue reading
Normally I keep my work and the rest of my life separated, and therefore blog little about financial industry matters. There are lots of people out there better mentally equipped, and with more time, to do that. But the JP Morgan $2 billion trading loss story is too good to pass up, for any number of reasons. For one thing, it’s fun to see Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon with some egg on his face. Karma is usually a good thing. For another, it will almost certainly derail the impact of the massive lobbying effort the banks over the past several years have put into fighting any further regulation of what we call the financial services industry. I say “almost” because who would have thought three years ago that banks would still be free to put on ridiculous trades that have the capacity to lose billions, three years after similar cavalier actions nearly sank the global financial system?
Actually, this is a bit unfair, because as far as I can tell, it wasn’t a ridiculous trade. Continue reading