All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Banking News

Fall of 2002 to mid summer of 2003 I worked for a small (less than $200 Mill assets) community bank. I consulted with them on wholesale sub-prime lending, set up a top notch HELOC program, advised on financial structuring of the holding company and additional related business lines I thought should be acquired. I also managed a branch office so they could move out a manager to a different position. I believe it was in the January officers meeting I made the suggestion that the bank should divest its self of 100% of the Freddie Mac stock in our portfolio.

I was openly ridiculed in that meeting.

My reason for my advice was: 1.) Freddie Mac had advised us that they would be offering additional shares in place of cash dividends. 2.) Fannie May was involved in accounting scandals and it was rumored that one of their defenses was going to be that they had copied Freddie's valuation of earnings technique. No dividends and a good chance the stock was going to take a dive, motivated my sell recommendation.

Reason number 1 had a couple of substantiating points, one since the stock wasn't providing us with dividend payments it failed to meet an established investment criteria of the bank and two the bank had never in the 30 some years Freddie Mac had been in existence sold a loan to them. That last point is a little know banking trivia fact. Most banks own a chunk of Freddie Mac stock because stock ownership is a requirement for the bank to be able to sell loans to Freddie. There is a formula that is used that works out a ratio of stock shares owned to the dollar amount of mortgage loans Freddie will buy.

Unknown to the general public is the fact your local community bank does this so they can sell loans to raise cash on short notice. This is unknown because the local bank normally keeps the servicing rights to those mortgages, and collects about 25bps for servicing the loan.

Freddie is in the crapper and most people have no idea why that is a bad thing. If Freddie goes its going to put the hurt on a lot of little community banks that people think are safe. Oh and the FDIC that susposadly insures your deposits, they have $53 billion in cash to pay claims. There are over $6.84 trillion in deposits and the Indy Mac bail out is going to need $8 billion. Most of those deposits are at risk for a variety of different reasons. For more reasons why the US banking system is on the verge of a big melt down read Mish.

If you want a non-acedemic explaination of whats gong on, I suggest you buy a copy of the Pheromones "Yuppie Drone" ablum and listen to Money Go Round.



As a rule, I'm not a big fan of sampling. Sampling is the taking of a part or parts of someone else's song and making into a new song. Run DMC made a hit by using Aerosmith's "Walk This Way", Chris Classic used "Hair of the Dog" (I kinda like that one), anyway you get the idea. While we're on the topic of music, I'm generally not into remaking classic rock songs either.

I'm not sure where Kid Rock falls in my list of non-talents. I don't care for a lot of his work. "Amen" sucks and only the most confused and clouded mind could find some sort of rational meaning in the song. I suppose "Cowboy" is ok. This summer I've found myself listening to a Kid Rock song whenever it comes on the radio and even singing along. "All Summer Long" is a total rip off of Skynard's "Sweet Home Alabama" guitar lick. Normally this kind of sampling is a deal killer for me, but not this time.
"It was 1989 my thoughts were short my hair was long
Caught somewhere between a boy and man,
She was 17 and she was far from in-between
It was summer-time in Northern Michigan"
This song just takes me back. 1989 was a great year for yours truly. I spent spring break kicking around France, making out on the tour bus and posing in pics with girls under the Eiffel Tower. The picture thing might not seem so exciting. A bunch of these girls had bet some other girls back in the states they could get a picture of a French guy "frenching" them in Paris. I was young, I had little pride, and somewhere someone thinks I'm a French guy sucking face with a bus load of American co-eds. I can live with that.

I can't seem to find my photo album, (Mrs Ipsa might have something to do with that) or I'd post some pics of the girls. Back in 89 you had to have a visa to enter France, this is mine.

My mothers family is from northern MI and when the summer rolled around I found myself making my usual trips up north. 1989 was a good year for me and the fairer sex. I was young, had all my hair and was benching around 275.
"Splashing through the sand-bar, talking by the camp fire,
It's the simple things in life like when and where
We didn't have no internet but man I never will forget
The way the moon light shined upon her hair"
"Now nothing seems as strange as when the leaves begin to change"
That fall found me taking out a different girl almost every night, at least on the weekends. Sometimes I'd work in two girls on the same night (at different times, I wasn't that big of a stud). I'd drop off one girl and head up to State and spend the rest of the evening with someone else. That worked too, until the sophomore I was dating there came down to surprise me after work and found me at the park with this red head. That worked out somewhat well as she "discovered" how much she REALLY loved me after she saw me with another girl.

I was doing my normal drop one off, go meet the next one routine one night, when the blond I was with let it be known that there was a great place to park (so we could "talk", mostly about baseball) on the way back to her house and that she wanted me to take her home. I had my second date (a new girl I had just met a week or so before) for the night lined up so I gave new girl a call to let her know I had to work late. When I did there was something about the disappointment in her voice over not seeing me that night and the way she let me off with such grace, that I went back and dumped the blond on the spot. Then I called her back and told her someone else would cover my shift and did she want to get together?

In a weeks time I quite seeing anyone else. I never fell in love so hard. The next spring I took her for a month to kick around Europe together. When she dumped me for a guy she met at U of M, I nearly drank myself out of college. In fact I flunked most of my exams that I showed up for that semester.
Here's the video:

With the exception of catching walleye off the doc, (fishing for eyes was better off the dam) and the party barge full of girls bouncing around, that's pretty much the way it was. That and the "smoking funny things", I was never into that.

The girl? We kept in touch for several years and remained friends, after she had graduated grad school, we even thought about getting back together. It didn't happen. I felt like she thought she would be settling and I couldn't bear the thought of being better than nothing. She finally got married last fall. My folks went to the wedding. I didn't. They said he seems like a good guy. I'm happy for her.
"Or how we thought those days would never end
Sometimes I hear that song and I start to sing along
And think, Man I'd love to see that girl again"
That's not necessary, sometimes its enough to catch a song on the radio and reminisce.


Deep Thoughts

Why is it that people who aren't smart enough to get a job checking groceries at Wal-Mart insist on getting in front of me in the self check out lane?


Investing in Death

As a group they have many faults. In fact the end of American values, cultural, economic and military superiority, can be laid at the feet of the Baby Boomer generation. If you want to take it all the way, the world wide the post WWII generation and their ideas on how to run society, will be the single largest factor in the end of Western Civilization as we know it. Capitalism will face its largest threat from their attempts to vote themselves a secure retirement. Social Security and Meidcare will destroy the American economy as the boomers do what they have always done best, whine and expect someone, preferably a government bureaucrat, to fix the situation for them. After all they deserve it.

There is however a silver lining, and perhaps a gold one too. Over the next 30 to 50 years the Baby Boomers are going to die. In the US thats 76 Million deaths, minimum. Todays average funeral costs over $10,000. So, not accounting for price increases, thats at least a $730,000,000,000 industry, spread out over the next 50 years or so. An industry that BTW has very attractive profit margins. My challenge to ya'll, what companies and/or mutual funds are in the best position to profit form this trend?

This post is for entertainment and general information only. I'm not looking to violate any SEC rules, be they real or imagined. I'm not promoting or suggesting anyone should buy any particular investment. My purpose is to look at a major market trend based on what I see happing in a demographic trend.


On Disrepecting Religion

Vox has been following the Pharyngulan PZ desecration of the Eucharist debacle. I'm not Catholic. In fact I'm not a lot of religions. My guess is you could be identified by all the different religions and denominations that you aren't too. Yet some how normal people are able to get along with all the groups they don't belong to, without making an ass out of themselves.

As a non-Catholic, I don't share their theological views on transubstantiation. However, I have a number of Catholic friends. I get invited to weddings, funerals etc that involve saying Mass. I go. When it comes to partaking, I simply set it out and respectfully watch my friends participate in their faith. I don't debate their faith and I don't offend their conscience by participating in a ceremony that doesn't have the same meaning to me as it has to them. Its never occurred to me to violate their POV or to do something that would be contrary to mine. I'm able to function in society without making an ass of myself over someone else's theology.

This whole disrespecting of the communion wafer ordeal reminds me of another group that suffers from emotionally arrested development. Have you ever seen the news coverage of some animal rights activist throwing red paint or blood on some anorexic debutant's mink coat? In all the years I've gone through the Sturgis motorcycle rally, I've never seen a PETA type pull this stunt with the Hell's Angels. Certainly there is a larger demand for leather jackets than mink coats. Imagine the free publicity that would create.

I predict that the "anti-religion" types will stick to offending milquetoast American Christians. I wonder when we will see them do something courageous, like defile a Koran and then post their name, address, and a link to a Google map of their house and office. That will happen before liberals will quit making an ass out of themselves.


223 Brass

Last night I thought I'd get caught up with some load development. So, having a bunch of 223 brass in need of priming I got the hand priming tool and a box of Winchester small rifle primers. (BTW just try getting some BR primers for the 223 right now. We need to end the war so I can start getting decent components at reasonable prices again.) Since this batch of brass was an assortment of mixed stuff, I sat down to prime and sort them out as I went along.

80% or more of the cases are head stamped FC 07. I assume this means Federal Cartage manufactured in 2007. All of the FC 07's are once fired in my gun. Here's the problem:

Over 50% of the primer pockets are so tight that I can't properly set a primer. Since the tolerances are off, either I damage the primer or the case making the round unusable. All of the other brands of cases (LC, RP, Win, PMC and Rem 223) accepted the primers with no problems.

My first thought was that FC uses a smaller small riffle primer but I haven't been able to find any published specs on it. Then I thought that maybe mil spec ammo requires a smaller primer pocket, again no specs. Then there is the possibility that a metric case has a slightly smaller primer pocket too.

Any help from our reloader's is much appreciated. If you know of a brand of primer that will work, and have a source for buying it, please let me know. Thanks


Forth of July

Thanks to all those great men and women who worked to found this nation. In the spirit of political freedom we present this 2008 presidential campaign ad:

Our forefathers would be so proud that their Republic has come to this.

Heres the link to the guy selling the bumper stickers.

FYI I'm not endorsing the only white male democrat still running for president, I'll vote third party before I vote McCain, or I'll just stay home.


The Salesman's Robot

John was a salesman's delight when it came to any kind of unusual gimmick. His wife Marsha had long ago given up trying to get him to change. One day John came home with another one of his unusual purchases. It was a robot that John claimed was actually a lie detector.

It was about 5:30 that afternoon when Tommy, their 11-year-old son, returned home from school. Tommy was over two hours late.

"Where have you been? Why are you over two hours late getting home?" asked John.

"Several of us went to the library to work on an extra credit project," said Tommy. The robot then walked around the table and slapped Tommy, knocking him completely out of his chair.

"Son," said John, "this robot is a lie detector. Now tell us where you really were after school."

"We went to Bobby's house and watched a movie," said Tommy.

"What did you watch?" asked Marsha.

"The Ten Commandments," answered Tommy. The robot went around to Tommy and slapped him again, knocking him off his chair once more. With his lip quivering, Tommy got up from the floor, sat down, and said, "I am sorry I lied. We really watched an R-rated movie."

"I am ashamed of you, son," said John. "When I was your age, I never lied to my parents." The robot then walked around to John and delivered a whack that nearly knocked him out of his chair.

Marsha doubled over in laughter, almost in tears, and said, "Boy, did you ever ask for that one! You can't be too mad with Tommy. After all, he is your son!"

With that the robot immediately walked around to Marsha and knocked her out of her chair.

Have a good weekend with your families everyone.