An extraordinary photo of the Kiev barricades evokes Les Miz.
••••For five years the inflation hawks have been spooked by pending peril. Trillions of dollars pumped by the Fed was supposedly the culprit. Now, if any thing, low inflation may crimp corporate margins and stock market gains. The Fed has pegged 2% inflation as its goal and it struggles to get us up there.
••••Beyoncé yet again proved her savvy marketing skills. Her previously unannounced album and videos swamped iTunes until it crashed. Hundreds of thousands of albums were downloaded in several hours. Content remains king of media.
••••A wonderful time was had by all in Nashville. The highlight for me was my first ballet. That’s an embarrassing admission for a man my age. Sadie was spectacular as Nashville Ballet’s prima ballerina. Her use of hands allowed expression as much as her legs. She was captivating. The production values of this Nutcracker were very impressive. Music, sets and costumes were lavish. Sadie told me that ticket sales covers only 20% of expenses.
Can you feel the love? Sen Cruz waits for elevator with Sen McCain.
••••Remember gold? It was going to save portfolios from ruin. Shares of the large gold ETF, GLD, are down 26% over last 52-weeks while equities are up 27%. The equity skeptics have cost themselves and clients a bundle. I don’t like the unlimited Fed balance sheet any more than you but give me a reasonable alternative. Same can be said for ACA. An ugly start; give me an alternative to the relentless 7% growth in health care costs. Phew, I feel better.
••••I walked past this for years on my way to work. This time of the year the camels would be exercised on 49th…they were part of the nativity scene. The first year I saw them I had turned the corner onto 49th street and came face to face with the camel….scared the crap out of me.
••••No.2 son has corralled the family to Nashville this weekend. He and Sadie will be cruising the Caribbean during Christmas so Nashville will be our family celebration. We will also be able to see Sadie dance in Nashville Ballet ‘s production of The Nutcracker. So we will be drenched in family love for a brief couple of days….HH and I really look forward to it.
••••There have been 194 children killed by guns since Newtown. Not sure why I publicize this, nothing will change.
••••Eye surgery can be gory. After cataract surgery nine years ago a lot of floaters obscured my vision. So I found this doc who performed a vitrectomy on my right eye. I’ll spare you the details. Look it up. The same doc will perform the procedure on the left eye next week. I’ll have to stay close to home over Christmas in case a retina detaches or some similar catastrophe…..like infection. Done successfully the procedure is amazing. My right eye is clear and am hoping the left I will be. Someday over a scotch I’ll tell you about waking up during the first procedure. Eew. Wait a minute , I don’t drink scotch. Usually.
Now for something different. A $10 million bra.
••••What about the guy at Mandela’s funeral supposedly using sign language? He was a fake! Have you seen him? OMG, he’s a joke! Oh, Bishop Tutu’s house was burgled while he attended the funeral. You can’t make this stuff up.
Sunny and cold here. But nothing like the northern states. For which we are grateful.
••••Ever the big spender, I sent $10 to Wikipedia. This fine operation is having a tough time right now and needs our support. Donations can be made through PayPal or Amazon. Go to Wikipedia.com for the links. Simple.
••••Twitter is again proving its worth by providing a medium for instant news worldwide. The uprising in Kiev has a dozen posts per minute. Including this dramatic video of toppling Lenin’s statue.
••••And Richard Barrow, a travel blogger, is sending tweets from Bangkok as 150,000 take to the streets.
••••The film, Dallas Buyers Club, depicts a low-life Matthew McConaughey as an HIV patient fighting the established treatment of his disease. In the mid-80′s AZT was thought to be the miracle treatment for the epidemic of HIV and AIDS. Unfortunately the dosage was all wrong and until it was moderated the drug killed. McConaughey fought that by buying illegal drugs and homeopathic medicines.
McConoughey lost 47 pounds to play the part. I’m thinking Oscar here as he violently portrays a real life Texan.
This movie is not for the faint of heart but you should go. The acting by every cast member is simply amazing. McConaughey loses forever his pretty boy image. He’s an actor.
••••This is the 4th longest bull market, at 1724 days, since 1929.
••••The itchy winter skin on my calfs was alleviated by smothering coconut oil on them. This is the white solidified stuff we buy at Trader Joe’s. Not sure if will last, will report back.
••••The US deficit was cut by $61 billion for the first two months of the 2014 year. Roughly half spending cuts and half tax increases. Stay positive!
••••On the other hand: Josh Brown writes… Cratchit family registers at healthcare.gov and receives a 404 error message. Tiny Tim dies.
••••Great color photo of London after The Blitz.
••••Become of football cameraman, it’ll be fun! At Detroit-Philadelphia game today.
What had been warm weather has turned nasty. But nothing like my nephew’s home in West Fargo. The low was -15 below while the high was -4 below. How do they permit human habitation in that state?
••••Why I own Starbucks stock: Waited in line for twelve minutes at Caesars Palace then ordered a medium Pike Place coffee and a sausage, egg & cheese sandwich. This cost $9.48. Outrageous. But cheaper than the $24 Caesars charges for its American Breakfast.
••••Several decades ago TWA operated flight 711 from JFK to Vegas. Get it? 711? It left at 4pm, plenty of time to have dinner and hit the tables.
••••Let me get this straight. Employment numbers were better ergo the Fed may stop easing so the market went up 200 points? On the surface the jobs report looked pretty rosy. But drill down and we find more of the”hopeless”. These are the folks who have given up, probably never to work again.
••••This nutso is son No 1 in Lake Michigan. The air temp was 20* while water temps were 38*.
••••Jim Morrison and The Doors, 1967.
At the Morrison Hotel, Chicago
Not so pleasant. A German boy walks past hundreds of bodies at Bergen-Belsen extermination camp, May 1945.
Those who have visited Rome can place this war-time vegetable garden.
While the rest of the country experiences bone chilling temps our low will be 59. Currently 70!
Am not sure another human could have lurched South Africa out of apartheid. What a life.
Headed to Las Vegas to join Howie Sweetie and Baby Jane. These guys are serious high high rollers and put me to shame.
HH’s cousin who lives Vienna spotted the fake JFK/Marilyn photo. It’s fascinating art, revealed here: http://bit.ly/1b6XQVAhttp://bit.ly/1b6XQVA
••••Iran and many of the Gulf countries still use leaded gasoline.
••••Sure hope you saw the end of the Alabama/Auburn game. It was the most thrilling final second in decades. HH and I were screaming for the 109 yards. And feeling gleeful that Saban the Satan lost.
••••Have you watched The Fabulous Beekman Boys on Cooking Network? A gay couple operating a serious farm in upstate New York. Very entertaining.
••••Are you an Amazonian? We sure are, we buy tons from Amazon. Recent purchases; new blades for my old electric shaver, water filter for refrigerator, Ray-Ban sunglasses for me, Canon binoculars to use on cruises, a key chain for HH, a used book for $0.18 plus $3.99 in shipping….all at great prices, no tax and except for the eighteen cent book, no shipping.
As a child I vaguely recall one of these iron lungs in the house of a neighbor. It must have torture.
Jack and Marilyn. It looks like Jack’s hand around her shoulders.