Category Archives: Apropos

September 11

I am ashamed to admit that I completely forgot today’s date and its significance up until the point that the public address system came on at 9:25am to say that “the firm would like to observe a minute of silence in honor of the events of September 11, 2001”. On the other hand, could it

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On testing

Here’s the Twitter conundrum in its full glory: The simplest thing to do was to tweet something along the lines of “Took a professional test – piece of cake. Now certified in something I don’t actually expect to be focused on.” Instead, I wanted to elaborate, and link the occurrence to what I think is

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That age

My wife’s brother’s wife’s sister’s daughter had her first child the other day. Yeah, I know, it’s not exactly a close relation, in-laws of in-laws, I’ve never had a chance to even meet them. Still, there is a certain implication in this new arrival. To that new baby, I happen to be – a remote

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Into the fifth decade

Mark Wahlberg turns 40 today. Noah Wyle turned 40 yesterday. Me, I’ve been on the other side of 40 for a few days now. I have a vivid recollection of a kitchen conversation between my Dad and one of his friends that took place some short time after my Dad had turned 40. They pondered

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Afghanistan

Reading up on the details of the McChrystal debacle and its implications to the Afghan war in The Economist, I had an often-recurring thought. I did not reach the draft age until after the Soviet troops had exited Afghanistan in the 80’s. Despite that, I can count the generation of boys from all corners of

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Daylight

I love stepping out into the bright sunlight at the end of a long workday. I love even more getting off the bus at the end of my lengthy trip home and still having daylight to enjoy. I am a big fan of Daylight Savings for that, if nothing else.

Dress warmly

We were on Brighton Beach on Sunday for a visit to good friends. The area has been officially branded as “Little Russia by the Sea” since the last time I set foot there. True as ever, the vast majority of people on the streets are Russian emigrants. Natasha noted that Russian children that we saw

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Decades and centuries

It occurred to me today that it had always bothered me when people insisted that the 21st Century and the new millennium started on January 1st, 2000 (when, in fact, the previous millennium and century both continued for another year after that1), yet I am not bothered at all with the commonly-accepted notion that a

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National Debt clock

Every day after work I walk by the National Debt “clock” on 44th Street near 6th Avenue. Here is a not very good picture from last night (damn the return to standard time! – I can’t get out of the office before it’s dark anymore and my pocketcam is not very good at taking night

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Quitting AIG: A banker’s tale

With a tip of the hat to Brian, here is a resignation letter from one of AIG bonus recipients that is very indicative of the overall mood within financial industry. I find these passages the most telling: I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that [AIG Chairman/CEO Edward M. Liddy] failed to stand

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On time travel

My brilliant brother pondered this thought the other day: If you had a time machine, where would you travel first? Assuming that you are universally invincible. He suggested several more or less obvious choices for consideration. Witnessing the Big Bang. Seeing the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs. Witnessing the Exodus of Jews. Following Jesus to

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Hail to the (New) Chief!

I have little doubt my RSS aggregator today will overflow with statements from everyone and everybody on how momentous today is. How the removal of “Elect” from President Obama’s official designation finally gives us a leader that we can wholeheartedly cheer for and adore. How thankful we need to be to be delivered from the

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What crisis?

An article in the Economist bemoans the decreasing consumer spending and its effect on the “High Street” (equivalent of the American term “Main Street”). It appears that there are already small but discernible declines in how much people spend this holiday season compared to last year. Given that the normal year-on-year trend is upwards, seeing

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With hope

Well, what seemed like inevitable for the last few weeks is now official – the world woke up today to greet the President-Elect of the United States of America, Barack Obama. I did not vote for the guy, but I will still claim the right to cheer the notion of hope that his ascension was

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The line of defense against lunacy

I’ve been reluctant to blog about this, because I’m always wary of providing cheap publicity to quacks such as Walter L. Wagner. A number of my online penpals, however, have done tons of research to expose him as nothing but a lunatic. I suppose every link counts in cementing lead positions for appropriate posts in

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Current Crisis 101

My friend Brian posted a lucid and thorough summary of the on-going financial crisis. Anyone who professes to be a “layman” in financial matters should head over and read it – you will be hard-pressed to find an explanation of what had happened in simpler terms anywhere. But even if you consider yourself a seasoned

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