Monthly Archives: December 2005

2005 is the year of no bank failures

The Wall Street Journal reports today that:
“this [year] marks the first year since 1962 without a bank failure”

that is outstanding and pretty remarkable. a lot of that has to do with riding the mortgage boom of the last few years. however, with housing prices starting to fall in the last few months, i expect 2006 will be a much more difficult year for some banks — especially those that are not diversified. we can confidently assume that there will, unfortunately, be at least one bank failure in 2006.

Book: Theodore Roosevelt on Leadership

TroljpgpaperTheodore Roosevelt on Leadership : Executive Lessons from the Bully Pulpit by James Strock

Jim Strock writes a great book on Teddy Roosevelt and how his leadership style can be mimicked by today’s leaders. I’ve been on a Teddy Roosevelt kick this year (also reading Theodore Rex) and I highly recommend both books. Get acclimated with one of America’s greatest historical figures.

John McCain’s hero is Teddy Roosevelt. Bush is reading about him this holiday season. And others are commenting about his leadership styles.

book: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

Full_image_5The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard Feynman

This is a splendid audiobook. And while maybe not as compelling as Surely You are Joking Mr. Feynman! it was a wonderful book nevertheless filled with great anecdotes.

If you are an audible listener, this is a great audiobook read by a terrific actor. I’m so glad I was turned onto Feynman by friends like Christian Bailey this year.

book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

this is obviously a very famous book but i always pooh-poohed it and never read it. when is finally came available on Audible i decided to take the plunge and check it out.

this is a great book. really. it is. i am really impressed with it. in many ways it is the sequel to one of my favorite all time books: The Effective Executive by the late Peter Drucker.

read the reviews of this book and you’ll find people raving about how it changed their life. i would go so far but i would bet that anyone who followed the 7 habits described would become a much better and happier person. and when you think of the happy people you know, they tend to follow most of the habits (though probably not all as most people aren’t perfect).

summation: for those of you like me who have skipped this book over the years, i highly recommend you read or listen to it (in fact, i really recommend the audio book).

Bill Simon is a stand-up guy

Bill Simon is a great guy

i’ve known Bill since 2001 and am a huge fan of his as he is a man of incredibly integrity and talent. last year he decided he was going to run for Treasurer of California. right when i heard this I immediately write him a check to contribute to his campaign since i strongly felt that Bill would make a great public servant and is also perfect for the Treasurer position.

a few months ago, Bill decided not to run and pulled out of the race. i thought it was really unfortunate because i strongly believed in Bill Simon and because, especially now, we need people of high integrity in government. and he had a good chance of winning. but i respected his decision.

then today, out of no-where, i get a check in the mail. my campaign contribution has been returned in full. Bill Simon returned the campaign contribution of every one of his donors. this is extremely rare in politics. often candidates will use that money as influence and donate it somewhere to gain special favors. of course, this action is another piece evidence pointing to Bill’s high sense of ethics.

summation: Bill Simon is a stand-up guy

Why does it rain more at night?

It seems from my experience that it tends to rain more at night. why is that? sure it is colder at night — but what does that have to do with rain?

I searched and found an answer on Ask a Scientist by that I am not sure I agree with:

Some types of precipitation are diurnally affected, such as thunderstorms that result from surface heating. These storms usually form in the afternoon, and may extend well into the nighttime, before dissipating in the early morning. Other thunderstorms associated with frontal movements may occur at any time, when conditions are favorable.

The heavy rains you mention usually occur in California as a result of
storms moving onshore from the Pacific ocean. But time of day usually is not a factor in these precipitation events. These storms may seem to occur during the evening and night, because people tend to be at home more at those times, and are more aware of adverse weather conditions. During the daytime, when they are at work, these rain storms may be less noticed.

It seems it really does rain more at right (at least in California) and that I’d actually notice it more in the day (because I am awake and sit by a window).