Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Conclusion & Discussion: Heath Bar tasted better. If I had a choice, I would choose See's White Chocolate Coconut Cashew Brittle.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
First on stage was Ryan Montbleau with nothing more then an amp, a mic and his guitar. He put down his guitar and reduced the room to silence as he sang "How Many Times". The dust in the light of the stage lamp was the only thing moving. He captivated. Sure, he must be worthy to open for Martin Sexton, but I don't think anyone expected the genius lyrics that tumbled out. He should have his own show. (Wait, I just googled him. Turns out he has his own show. He even has people who open for him. And he still opens for Martin... of course.)
"Here is how it will be tonight: You say it, I play it... I am done with the set list; I am just going to play. Whatever, my stuff, Freebird, Zeppelin, whatever you want... you say it, I play it."
We immediately started shouting out requests... one by one Martin filled the requests. The "crowd"(1) loved it. After each song ended there was another song shouted out and another song played. This went on time and time again. Finally Martin said:
"Really, if you say it I am going to play it. If that means I am here all night long, even if there are three damn people and me, I will be here". Who does that? About the time a typical concert would be wrapping up, I settled in and recognized this was something that would probably never happen again.
As the songs ran out, and the show drew to a close Martin said (speaking to his crew), "Well this has been the longest show ever by a how long? What? *pause* yeah". I don't know if anyone ever really answered him. It was just knowingly understood that it surpassed all others. That was right before the three encores.
Unselfishly trying to be respectful of our time…Martin began to wrap up by thanking us... then someone said to him “we have no where to go” so he gave us more!
It has been said that Martin Sexton maybe the only artist who actually sounds better live then he does recorded with millions of dollars of re-mastery. John Mayer said that Martin Sexton is the best live performer he had ever seen. Billboard says he is the finest male singer/songwriter in recent memory. I say: The Martin Sexton concert was so epic that it could be the concerts all others are measured up to, but even I realize that the legendary night can not be the bar; it wouldn't be fair to all the other concerts. Marty- you're the apple of my eye.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Not that it matters, but if you are looking for someone to blame... I found him. It's tough to really say if it was Bill or Hill (she was the one really in charge).
Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
By STEVEN A. HOLMES
Published: September 30, 1999
In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.
The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.
''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''
Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.
In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.
''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''
Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.
Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.
Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.
In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.
Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.
In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.
The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
The Soviets need to be punished for their actions, thus I am calling them Soviets from now on... afterall, they are acting like they used to.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
... and eating lunch over the bay- literally- the place is on stilts. I had a fine meal at Spinakers (I would recommend it). I also won a bet about the Bay Bridge- mom you still owe me that $500.
So there I was, enjoying a campfire on Ismailof Island in the Kachemak Bay...
... When I discovered a whale bone! This was right after eating the fresh shark and Alaskan salmon and chatting with Marian (she owns the island).
So there I was, exploring the private island of Halibut Cove...
So there I was, after hiking to the backside of a glacier...
So there I was, fishing in the deep seas off the southern coast of Alaska...
... when I caught this Miracle Fish! I still have the bruises from the fishing pole to prove it.
So there I was, at the Hick Fest in the hills of West Virginia...
... and I completely lost the ice cream eating contest!.... but this girl did ok:
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This year, the olympic waters run deep. There has been much more buzz around these games. It’s almost as if China has something to prove, because, well they do… if they plan on dominating the world, they better darn well be able to dominate the Olympics.
Everyone is sitting around waiting for the USA to lose our Superpower world force. History shows that countries can only sustain this position of power for a couple hundred years, and we are passing our prime.
Enter Michael Phelps. Sorry, China. But the swim team isn’t the only thing going on these days… right now we have more medals then any other country (as time of publishing, China still holds more gold, but its in things people don’t care about like weight lifting and judo).
Here is the deal: with the small stories, the big picture is painted… allow me to elaborate on three key elements that have been overshadowed by what really matters here: We beat France in the 400 relay.
The Good: My Girls
Following just behind Red China, the USA Women’s Gymnastic team has advanced to the team finals competition. To qualify, five gymnasts from each country competes on each event and the top four scores count towards the team score.
Right before the start of the qualifying round, Samantha Peszek heard her ankle pop while warming up Sunday… leaving her able to compete in only one event during the team qualification round and left her team shorthanded.
The team shaken-up, still competes. Someone jumps out of bounds during the floor exercise. Another falls completely on her backside during her dismount. And it continues…Despite their five major mistakes (all of which were not subjective, but automatic point deductions) my girls finished the qualifying round less than 1½ points behind China, our main rival for gold and world domination. The Russians are third.
Will it be Russia? Will it be China? The dollar is slipping, the Leader of the Free world is less then impressive, the girls are falling off the balance beam… and we are still able to stay strong.
The Bad: Opening Ceremonies
Dazzled by the dance, I sat in the comfort of my home and increasingly got more and more pissed as the ceremonies went on. They were beautiful, I was continually impressed with depth of art and work that went into putting on such a show… but wait a second. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WASTED THEIR LIVES FOR THIS.
That’s right… human resources were grossly misused. There were far too many mass dances and meticulous ceremonies with costumes that spent millions of dollars, and more importantly, millions of collective hours to produce.
I understand that China has tons of people and that a couple thousand is no big deal to them. But it is to me… it is to Georgia… it is wrong. What the hell are they doing spending their money, time, energy on making boxes raise up and down to music, only to discover it wasn’t computer generated, but HUMANS were under those boxes. No thanks. You know what Americans are good at? Being lazy. We use it to our advantage… we know that we need to produce the most amount of product for the least amount of energy. Another reason I am not afraid of losing power.
If this is what China has to offer, we don’t want it.
The Ugly: Bob Costas
UPDATE/EDIT: I forgot two important things...
1.) China is a commie country. That alone is enough to stop them.
2.) They are also cheaters... those little girls on their gymnastic team are like 10 1/2 years old. Seriously.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Fourth Fun Run:
I had one of the best independence days to date...