As I run out the clock on 2006 with some time off at home I find myself falling into my old (very old) ways of late nights and sleeping in mornings. I hope everyone out there reading this made it through the Christmas celebrations well and happy. I know we seem to have lived through another one without a major meltdown as a family though at times I understand parking was problematic.
The run up to Christmas this year was wet and gloomy weather-wise. Christmas day started cloudy with some misty rain (Sherry hates me calling those days Misty Rainy Mondays, but that's exactly what we had), by late afternoon the clouds scurried south and the sun beat down and the sky took on that deep dark blue you only see after a cold front moves through.
The cold I have spent the last week fighting managed to force my wine consumption down to one small glass with my turkey and ham feast so I didn't get to try any of the new ones I bought for the occasion. It's a good thing that the family exchange of presents isn't the production it was when the children were younger since most of our morning seemed to be spent in the kitchen over the stove preparing for the late luncheon.
I am quite happy with the presents I have received and only hope my choices were as well received. One of the greatest for an old TMEN fan was 30 years of digital articles from The Mother Earth News. I must admit I was worried about the presentation on these disks, since I have seen archives before that were simply scans of the magazine pages presented as pdf's. I have always found that magazines presented that way just aren't as enjoyable due to the nature of computer screens. TMEN chose rightly (imo) to reformat everything to html. My aging eyesite thanks them. I have only perused a few articles so far, but I think this may allow me to retire my 20 year collection of aging magazines finally. Anyone out there needing a full (mostly), well handled, many times read through couple of decades of Mother Earth's?
The day after Christmas was spent mainly trying to recuperate. One quick trip to the warehouse store to restock the paper goods, a one way driving trip with the latest driver in the clan of Boyd, a stop at the local Chili's for a nontraditional, non-homecooked, diet-busting burger for me and a steak for the wife and that was a day in the life...
I see in reading my morning email's that President Ford has died at age 93. He was what we needed at the time and I find myself agreeing with Henry Kissinger's assessment of his character...
In a passage on present-day politics, Kissinger drew an implicit distinction between Ford and subsequent White House occupants.
"The modern politician is less interested in being a hero than a superstar," he wrote. "Heroes walk alone; stars derive their status from approbation. Heroes are defined by inner values, stars by consensus. When a candidate's views are forged in focus groups and ratified by television anchorpersons, insecurity and superficiality become congenital. Radicalism replaces liberalism, and populism masquerades as conservatism."
In Kissinger's view, Ford was a leader in the heroic mold.
A great man, may he rest in peace.
I see our new Congress will have it's work cut out for it. One of the best indicators of how the Democratic leadership plans on changing the tone may well rest on how they handle this group...
Some top private-equity funds have joined to form a lobbying organization to head off potential regulation.
The new organization, the Private Equity Council, is backed by such leaders in the burgeoning business of company buyouts as Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association, which represents the U.S. video game industry, will head the trade association.
Don't you just love that list of founders? Can't wait to see a list of Skull and Bones members on their Boards...
And with all of that said I have a trip to the mall to look forward to...Wish me luck.
Photo of the Day
From last week...Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge