Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

2008 ends. 2009 begins. With an extra second to boot. Happy New Year to the readers and visitors of this BLOG, wherever you happen to find it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

He Made Off

I can't get enough of the Bernie Madoff story. He's the financier who somehow swindled hundreds (thousands?) of very rich investors by an elaborate Ponzi scheme. There are so many angles to follow. His own sons turned him in (or have they been acting along with him?). Luminaries in sports, entertainment, and academics have been damaged in the wake of his scheme. And on top of these is the most important angle of them all: where's the money?

While the simple answer is that the money's "gone", one lawyer says "there are funds to be found and captured." My wife says that people at the beginning of the scheme get paid first, but I think she's confusing Madoff's "fund" with a pyramid scheme.

Part of me revels with schadenfreude. Madoff's funds are not for "ordinary investors" (i.e. you've got to be "connected", or "introduced" to the fund), certainly not for people like me. There's a feeling of people being taken down a notch or two that's grimly amusing to me.

Another small part of me is thinking "I'm not caught up in this, am I?" Madoff's funds relied on "feeder funds", and who's to say that my money hasn't been bundled up with other people's money to be fed into Madoff's scheme. Maybe I'm being paranoid. Or not.

Forensic accountants say it will be months before the full extent of the fraud can be known. With every new prominent victim that's announced, the story becomes more and more compelling. How did Madoff get away with this? And even though he got caught (he confessed to it, actually), how did Madoff run this ruse for as long as he did? I'm waiting for the answers.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Learning Snow Lessons

Today, all of Greater Boston and points West are bracing for the first Winter Storm of the year. And all forecasts seem to be pointing to a doozy. Last year, I was stuck in a snow storm trying to get home. A 30-40 minute commute became a four hour ordeal of frustration. When my wife announced to me yesterday that the snow storm would be just as bad as last year's, she looked at me expectantly. "I'm going to work from home," I said. Snow lesson learned.

Follow the storm by subscribing to my twitter feed.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Folding Fitted Sheets

I fold laundry. I happen to like it. It's one of the small ways (emphasis on small) that I can contribute around the house. But the one thing I can't fold are fitted sheets. I usually get frustrated, and then make up some technique. The result? Puffy and a messy corners. My wife folds fitted sheets perfectly. Too proud to ask her how to do it, I always think that I can figure out how she's done it by staring at the perfectly folded sheets that she's already done. Instead, I happily toss them into the closest, grateful that I don't have do it for one more week. Not tonight. Tonight I reached deep into the Internet, and found a video explanation for how to do the folding correctly. Folded fitted sheets, FTW!