Do phrases like “mortgage-backed securities,” “credit default swaps,” or “naked short-selling” make your mind spin? Trying to decide if you like the idea of a $700 billion bailout of the people that caused the problem to begin with?

Back in May (I believe), the fine folks over at This American Life (a really interesting show that I highly recommend) did an entire hour-long episode devoted to explaining the housing bubble burst and how we all got in so much trouble to begin with. The episode was so popular, due to its crystal clear, jargon-free explanations of the financial mechanisms that are bringing this country to its knees that the producer, Alex Blumberg, and the NPR correspondent that he put that show together with, Adam Davidson, decided to start their own daily podcast covering the ever evolving nature of the crisis from a neutral, still jargon-free perspective. They call it Planet Money.

They’ve got a blog, a podcast, and a twitter feed, too, all of which have really illuminated my understanding of what is going on.

Just this past week, as the bailout plan was passed through Congress, they teamed up with This American Life again to do another hour-long show about the economy, which is currently available, free to download, through Sunday, October 12th, here. After that, don’t complain to me when you have to cough up a whole $0.95 to download it; I’ll just tell you to stream it free from their website.

So, go check them out, and let me know what you think.


dad, can we go to bed yet?

Sunday night, after the baths, I got an itch that I needed to scratch. So, I broke out my studio lighting set up (umbrella, light stand, wireless triggers…you know) and threw a make-shift studio together in the living room with the dark dining room behind. I frantically looked around for volunteers, and since we’d already bribed the kids with candy, they were willing.

We had way too much fun. Me playing with my camera, the kids playing with their faces:

Of course, I had to get in on the fun, too.

Why the mean face? Well, it was part of a theme for the night, the highlights of which you’ll have to check out here (and believe me, they really are the best in show for the night). Michelle’s entry has, unfortunately, been disqualified by the judge, Michelle, as being too scary realistic embarrassing. I, of course, will just post them later.

how cool do you have to be

…in order to convince your friends that it would be a great idea to get together at your place, take off their shirts (covering those bits needing covering, of course), stand in front of your gorgeous blue wall, and let you dump all different sorts of foodstuffs on their heads while you take pictures?

Meg Wachter knows. You can see the results on her website. It’s in the “Dumped” collection, of course.

She made a video, too.

3 down, 25 more to go

At least, I think. Someone more knowledgeable in the dental arts will have to confirm that math for me.

Oh well, this is really about the pictures, not the math.

Chloe recently lost her first upper tooth. Let the games begin:

There’s one more, perhaps the best one (but perhaps not…that’s all interpretation) over here.

the sum total of my work

Since August 29, 2006, when I started working at K-State, I’ve had a little program running on my computer that tracks how many keys I press, how many mouse buttons I click, and how many kilometers I move the mouse. So, while this post may have made more sense a week and a half ago when it was actually August 29th, 2008, here’s the two-year sum of computer work at KSU:

  • Keys pressed: 3,754,277
  • Left clicks: 551,033
  • Middle clicks: 36,135
  • Right clicks: 8,835
  • Total clicks: 596,003
  • Miles traveled (by the mouse cursor): 83.5

Of course, by the time I finish this post, all the numbers are now out of date, but that’s an issue for the next anniversary post.

C: Mommy? Daddy? When I get older and I’m in high school, can I have a purse?

Mom: Sure, sweetie. Of course you can have a purse.


C: When I’m in high school, can I have a wallet?

Mom: Well, if you save your money, I don’t see any problem with you buying one now.


C: Can I have a car?

back to school (finally)

And oh so ready for it, too.

One more here, just because I can.