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Saturday, April 28, 2007


Just catching up.... I had to wrestle Ms. Bullhardt to the vet this morning. She is a bulldog mix, but I am wondering exactly what the other half might be. Something big, anyway. She weighed in at 92 pounds, which is excessive. The bad part is that she does not really look fat - the huge head, chest (including a massive ribcage) and neck are what predominate. I'm not even sure that her skull has finally stopped growing. Honestly, when I got back I thought she might have lost weight!

She now looks somewhat like a mastiff with English bulldog markings, but with eyes proportionally almost as large as a Boston bull's. The vet commented about her incredibly clean teeth. That is because she eats stuff like wood, corn and cob gleaned from the field (she goes out and picks them), and in general, a high fiber diet. I strongly suspect that in my absence she has begun going over and raiding the neighbors', because when I walked her by that border last night she hackled up and acted extremely strangely, and Rescue Dog looked very nervous. Rescue Dog tries to make her obey the rules, but she is a lot to handle even for Rescue Dog. She is exceedingly gentle, which is fortunate because she is also exceedingly strong and has the typical bulldog temperament.

In any case, while she languishes resentfully on the living room floor making big eyes at Chief No-Nag - imploring eyes, that make the point that the word "diet" contains the word "die", eyes that ask for ice cream for a starving lady.... let me get about my blogging catch-up rounds.

Mover Mike is asking for advice. He has prostate cancer and must make a treatment decision. If you have any experience, please go over there and contribute.

The Anchoress skewers rock concerts for global warming in an acerbically funny, but thoughtful post:
The stage…featured vidi walls, 36 video monitors, numerous television cameras, two separate mix positions, 26 on stage microphones, 176 speakers, and 11 elaborately painted Trabants, several of which were suspended over the stage with spotlights inserted into headlights, which all required 1 million watts of power to operate: enough to run 2,000 homes.
One thing's for sure - if we want to cut fuel consumption, we are going to have curb excess consumption. I am pretty aggravated by hearing people who live in massive houses and jet around urge slapping higher taxes on gas taxes to curb consumption. It seems to me that they really want the parents who struggle just buying milk and decent food for their kids to be forced to cut back so that they can continue to preen under the klieg lights. I was raised as an environmentalist. I live as an environmentalist. This farm is being run as a wildlife preserve and at this time multiple species of endangered animals live here. I am tired of hearing the poseurs talk. I want a reality-based discussion on this one - but one thing's certain: a reality-based environmentalism must demand more conservation from those who consume more. This isn't going to get done with fake carbon credits.

Everyone's talking about the French election, but the election that really matters is the Turkish election IMO. I have been following the political drama over there for years, and this does not come as a surprise:
Turkey's prime minister met with his ministers Saturday after the country's military expressed deep concern over the presidential election in a statement analysts said was an ultimatum to the Islamic-rooted government.

In a statement posted on its Web Site late Friday, the powerful pro-secular military said it was monitoring the election with concern and indicated it was willing to become more openly involved in the process.
This is a complicated situation which may have real ramifications for Europe and Iraq. Nothing is simple in Turkey from an American's POV.

A couple of economic footnotes:

An inverted yield curve on Treasuries is considered a sign of impending recession. That sign has been with us for a while, but recently short-term rates are peaked at 6 months, and decline from there until they start rising at seven years with a peak at 20 years. It's quite an interesting picture. Some commentary in this Bloomberg article.

Calculated Risk noted yesterday that the bright spot in the GDP report was that non-residential investment was rising a bit, which implies a rise in equipment and software investment. His post offers a good explanation of norms.

I posted earlier that I thought there was a bit of an uptick in March, mostly because of commercial paper. CF, who I take very seriously, thought it was because of payment problems. NACM CMI tended to prove his point, but if I am right, Commercial Paper Outstanding would now indicate that this uptick is fading out anyway:

I'll be first in line to see the CMI for April. Regardless of headline profits, higher input costs are putting pressure on a lot of firms.

Next up, road trip and home vacancies.

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