This one’s for Old NFO

Old NFO‘s daughter and grandson are visiting him at present.  I sent him this picture this morning. He replied: “That’s [my grandson] in a nutshell!” I suspect it was him, too, in his younger years – to say nothing of yours truly . . . Peter

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I’m on a folk music jag . . .

. . . so I thought I’d share some of my current listening pleasures with you. Let’s start with a slow one.  This is Steeleye Span with the classic ‘The Elf Knight‘, which goes way back to pre-medieval times.  (The lyrics are here, if you need them.) Fairport Convention is another English folk rock group, contemporaries of Steeleye Span.  Here’s their performance of the nineteenth-century ‘Seventeen Come Sunday‘.  (Lyrics here.) Here’s Steeleye Span again with the classic ‘Sir James the Rose‘.  They rock this one!  (Lyrics here.) Finally, here’s Fairport Convention with a modern composition by Ralph McTell that’s profoundly

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Doofus Of The Day #901

Today’s award goes to the US Army servicemen who were supposed to prepare vehicles for an air drop in Germany. During a recent training exercise in Hohenfels, Germany, this month, soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade practiced launching equipment from the rear of C-130 transport aircraft. Somehow, during the course of the drops, three Humvees managed to lose their parachutes, hurtling to the ground at high velocity. . . . According to the Army Times, the April 11 exercise involved dropping 150 supply bundles. During the course of the drop, three Humvees slipped their parachute rigging and fell hundreds of

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Errr . . . oops? In Russian?

A friend sent me the link to this video clip.  It seems to be a compilation of fails, self-inflicted injuries and various and sundry pratfalls.  It’s a bit painful to watch at times, but it’s also got some laugh-out-loud moments.  Watch it in full-screen mode for best results.  (LANGUAGE ALERT:  There are a few rude words in some of the scenes.) I could nominate multiple people from that video for Doofus Of The Day awards . . . Peter

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Fancy a real shipping bargain?

I’ve written (and warned) about international cargo shipping for some years, most recently in January.  I said at the time:  “People, if you ever needed one single sign that would point out an impending economic recession, this is it.”  Back in 2014 I wrote:  “the international shipping of containers and bulk cargo is a harbinger of world economic conditions.” Roost, meet chickens.  Chickens, roost.  The Telegraph reports: A heavily indebted shipping firm has been forced to sell off its fleet for as little as $1 a piece as the global shipping crisis takes its toll. Goldenport Holdings said on Friday

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Wood pron

I really like finely figured, well-grained pieces of wood.  I’ve admired them for years in rifle stocks, cabinetry, dashboards, and so on.  (Ever driven in a Rolls-Royce, where they not only make their own veneer, they also retain part of the log so that if your car is involved in an accident, they can recreate your veneer in exactly the same grain and detail?) As you can imagine, I was very interested to discover a hardwood company offering pictures of precisely such woods, in their newly-cut, unpolished state.  Talk about beauty in the raw!  Here are a few examples out

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About that pension crisis . . . it just landed

I’ve been warning for years (as have many others) that US pension funds, both government- and private-sector, are generally woefully underfunded and unlikely to be able to meet their commitments to their members.  My most recent article about it was only eleven days ago. Guess what? More than a quarter of a million active and retired truckers and their families could soon see their pension benefits severely cut — even though their pension fund is still years away from running out of money. Within the next few weeks, the Treasury Department is expected to announce a crucial decision on whether

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In Memoriam: Prince

Rock musician and legend Prince has died at the age of 57. I didn’t always like his music, but I had to respect him as one of the most innovative and talented musicians of his generation.  He’ll leave a gap that I don’t think will be filled for some time. To honor his memory, here he is at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.  He appears with Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others in a performance of George Harrison‘s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps“.  His guitar solo (from about 3m. 29s. onward)

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