Thank You, Internet. You Make Even Boring Things Seem Cool

Wow. Just wow. I love people. I really do. Sometimes, I want to give you all a big group hug.

Dear God

I have no memory of writing this but found it in a stack of Kinder Morgan documents.

Condo Smores

A tradition. A terrible, awful, soul-destroying tradition.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all the friends I’ve met through my blogs. I’m so happy to have shared another year with you and I hope it continues for many more.

I hope you don’t read this until next week because you’re with your family, celebrating with people who love you, and you’re fat from too many Christmas treats.

Merry, Merry Christmas, one and all.

Initial Public Offering: Cara Ellison

No, not Cara Ellison Corporation, which has been public for nine years. But the person. Me. Would you pay $10 for a share of Cara Ellison? How about $50? That means you would own a piece of anything I produced – a book, a movie, even my income.

The shareholder meetings would be rather riotous, I think.

The question reminded me of my periodic Enron positions, which encapsulates the idea perfectly. When I say I am long on Jeff Skilling I mean it: I want to be a part of whatever he does in the future. Ditto Rex Shelby, Joe Hirko, etc. etc.

So I wonder if it is possible to offer yourself up as a commodity, an investment vehicle, a bona fide product. What’s to stop it?

Jeff Skilling was able to create markets for anything. Surely there is a market for people themselves.

I’m Like Who?

Twitter has a weird idea of who I am. I have no knowledge of their algorithm to decide who is “like” somebody else, but I don’t think I’m like Tammy Bruce (who I respect a great deal) or IMAO (who cracks me up).

Who are you like?

In The Top 40

Once again, I’ve made it onto John Hawkins’ Top 40 conservative blogs. John is good people, and he has great taste in blogs so I’m very flattered indeed.

Thanks John!

Tonight I Bought

Tonight I bought a spatula. I had dreams of frying beignets on some benign Saturday morning, served with cafe au lait. I would stare at the slender glass vase of natural sunflowers as I tasted the powder sugar, the dough light as a cloud. Yes, Saturday morning was for beignets.

I bought a pasta server because I liked the thought of Friday night spaghetti, the easy meal, the quick nutrition. Tired after a long week, when I wanted not even the company of the man I love, I would sit on my sofa with a bowl of spaghetti, and remember who I was.

I bought a knife. A sturdy knife that would feel coldly competent in my hands as I chopped vegetables. I would throw the tossed cucumbers into a salad, followed by radishes, and maybe jamica. To have a knife is to have health in the palm of your hand.

I bought stainless steel measuring spoons. They have weight and mass in my hand, they tell me they matter. For a long time I was like a 1950s housewife who did not know why she put baking powder into a cake, but now I know the reason anything goes into my cakes. My sweet strawberry cakes, the scant teaspoon of lemon juice… even the smallest ingredient can make a big difference.

I bought a colander, to drain the pastas. I was tired of my kitchenware being mismatched, and thought the colander would be beautiful, holding golden spaghetti or home-made spinach tortellinis.

I bought a stainless steel mixing bowl. For the times when the Kitchen-Aid industrial mixer is just too much, maybe I just want to whip some eggs. Fresh eggs, with a dollop of milk to make them nice and fluffy. Maybe with a little cheese in them… that is how Sean likes his eggs. Oh the mixing bowl, look deeply and you never know what you’ll find.

I bought a saucepan. In honor of the Italian wife I always wanted to be, the sauce pan will hold my experiments in pasta sauces, my small – but successful – soups, my surprise catastrophes, for which I will apologize later.

I bought a shiny new skillet. Sleek and big enough to handle everything from casseroles to cassoulet, my beautiful new skillet promises untold culinary delights.

I bought a cream-colored stoneware lasagna pan – for my signature dish, which needs a beautiful platter for presentation. My lasagna has never disappointed. When I need comfort food, I can bake it while still looking stylish, going from oven to table in one beautiful dish.

And the last thing I bought tonight is …

A 40″ HD TV. No commentary is needed for this one — though I will say I can’t wait until I get it set up!

The Tax System — Explained With Beer

An Enron tax lawyer told me this:

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
* The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
* The fifth would pay $1.
* The sixth would pay $3.
* The seventh would pay $7.
* The eighth would pay $12.
* The ninth would pay $18.
* The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

‘Since you are all such good customers,’ he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.’ Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.’

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

* The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
* The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings) .
* The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings) .
* The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 ( 25% savings).
* The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).
* The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

‘I only got a dollar out of the $20,’ declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, ‘but he got $10!’

‘Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only saved a dollar,too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!’

‘That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!’

‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison. ‘We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!’

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.

For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Columbia Professor/HuffPo Blogger Arrested For Incest

The professor of political science was arrested for having an apparently “consensual” relationship with his 24 year old daughter. What absolutely blows my mind is that the professor, who blogged at the Huff Po, is being vociferously defended by the HuffPo readers. To whit:

This is exactly what conservatives tried to warn people about when gay marriage was being discussed during Lawrence v. Texas. I’ve never been completely annoyed by gay marriage, but I did worry over things like this: that true marriage, one man and one woman, would be weakened by the inclusion of gays because it would spread to poly and incest. While this professor may not have married his daughter, you can see based on 99% of the HuffPo readers that for the left, even incest is just a “lifestyle choice” and if you don’t accept it, you’re a bigoted racist sexist homophobe.

Incest is a horrible crime. The fact that the girl was 24 matters not one iota. And incidentally while all the people on Huff Po were screaming that she’s legal and what happened between father and daughter was nobody’s business, I kept thinking that a 24 year old who has sex with her dad is an adult, but any 26 year old who needs to stay on their parent’s insurance is a child, too immature to even get a job that offers insurance.

Anyway.

The age of the woman matters not, but I have a difficult time believing that he waited until she was of age before having sex with her. He’s a horrible person, and the people who are defending him are horrible people. Really, we have to stop being so polite. We must stop being afraid to call people on their craziness lest they feel “judged.” I can be handle being judged by incest defenders because I know that I am right and I know that I am a better person than they are.

What is next?

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