Monthly Archives: June 2008

I’m not one to get on my soapbox to blog politics or the like, but I heard something today that really made me sit back and think about the state of this great nation, and how far down the tubes its been sent in the past 8 years.

What got me was an interview on the APM/NPR show Marketplace about the price of oil/gas and what could be done to deflate the oil bubble. Now I’m not one to believe everything I hear and/or read, but in this interview, Michael Greenberger from the University of Maryland Law School, basically stated that we’re still paying for Enron and commodity speculators:

Kai Ryssdal: You’re not really telling me that seven years on, we’re still paying the price for Enron, are you?

Michael Greenberger: Well, this has been called the “Enron Loophole” and there are many legislators working very hard to close that loophole. There is tremendous concern about this on Capitol Hill and on a bipartisan basis, people are drafting legislation to try and get a handle on this and not eliminate speculation, but bring the speculation under the kind of time-tested controls that were used until Enron had its way and amended the law to escape traditional tested regulation on speculative activities.

Greenberger went on to say that he thought that we were in a “bubble” situation with the oil market because of these speculators driving up prices. And with every bubble, there is a POP. So the next question is inevitable:

Ryssdal: How long is it going to take then if we are, as you say, in a bubble, for it to work its way through and us to get back to something more realistic for the price of a barrel of oil, whether its 50 bucks or 80 bucks?

Greenberger: From my own experience as a commodity regulator, I believe that if the Bush Administration were serious about its regulation, we could begin seeing prices drop within a month. If we don’t get the kind of regulation that has been done for decades and the market proceeds along the pace its proceeding, we will have to go through a very, very serious recession. The question is do you want to deflate the bubble by that kind of suffering or do you want to deflate the bubble by applying tight U.S. regulatory controls?

A month…it would take a flippin’ month to bring this back to some level of relative sanity. Do I fully buy that estimate? Not really. But the point is that if the administration had a clue, they could do what is needed quickly to bring prices back to some level of normalcy in fairly short order and turn this around before things get in really serious, serious trouble. If anything, the silver lining is that the country is now being forced to think about alternate energy sources.

Is it November yet?

I step off my soapbox and will get back to more entertaining posts.

A lot has been made about Kobe Bryant and his drive to win a championship on his own, without the likes of Shaq at his side. And there is also his egotistical desire to elevate himself past Jordan.

Well, last night the Lakers blew a 24 point lead. And as Bill Simmons at ESPN put it:

The Kobe-MJ thing … done. Over. Jordan never would have let that happen in the Finals. Ever. Under any circumstances. Nobody is ever allowed to bring this up again.

As it was, last night’s game was one for the ages. If the Celts end up winning this thing (because as the Red Sox have proven in 2004, its not over until its over), the impact of this game will grow exponentially.

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

This past weekend, my wife and I took the second leg of our three stop journey to see three of the most amazing post-modern architecture landmarks in the country, if not in the World, by visiting Meis van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Plano, IL. The tour was very interesting and engaging and if you are ever in Chicago, I’d recommend you take the opportunity to drive out there and visit.

As you may recall, back in October we visited Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Caanan, CT. Later this year, we’re planning on visiting Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, out in Bear Run, PA.

The tour guide at Farnsworth House was very knowledgeable of the history of the house, including the deterioration of the relationship between Meis and Dr. Edith Farnsworth by the time the house was completed. He told of how Dr. Farnsworth wanted to decorate the space with her own furniture and curtains, while Meis had a specific vision to have the interior design and space be one with the exterior.

In terms of the property and the house itself, I felt that the house was much more of an element of its surroundings, with its proximity to the Fox River and the creeks running near by. The huge pane glass windows and the cantilevered porch drew the outside into the living space and I felt much more comfortable in the space. The way the kitchen was designed within the space was extremely interesting. But of all the elements of the house, probably the most innovative and impressive from an engineering perspective was the way Meis had all the “guts” of the house flow through one small engineering room in the middle of the structure. When I look at both buildings, Farnsworth seemed so welcoming while the Glass House, with is herringbone brick floor, its black metal structure, and a feeling that the structure itself was just dropped on the plot of land, had a pervasively cold and soulless feeling.

At long last, I have finally refreshed the site a bit. Its not a full redesign. Just a refresh. As you can see, I have kept with the London Phonebooth imagery and theme and basically updated the look of the site. Why, I’m not sure. I guess I liked the quirky photo of a field with a phone booth in it…a la Dr. Who.

I have upgraded the navigation to these cool inverted tabs. I have moved to a three column layout on the main blog area of the site, which enables me to add the “Long Tail” column to the site. The “Long Tail” is where I can now post short snippets and links that I see around the internet, and thus use the main body of the blog for longer missives.

Why did I do this? I was getting bored with my old site. It was looking dated. And I wanted to widen the layout to take advantage of the 1024 screen resolution that most computers use these days. I was inspired to refresh my blog after seeing Waxy, John Battelle, and others update or refresh.

So, hope you like it. Provide feedback, comments, and any bugs you may see. I am sure there are numerous formatting issues (House blog, Resume for sure), so please bear with me.