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Posts from — March 2009

Race Day 16 – Iditarod

Iditarod mapFinished as of Midnight CDT:

43 Jen Seavey (61)R
44 Tom Thurston (27)R

On the trail between White Mountain and Nome:

45 Tim Osmar (57)
46 Rachael Scdoris (58)
47 Wade Marrs (48)R

On the trail between Elim and White Mountain:

48 Trent Herbst (20)
49 Eric Rogers (60)
50 Michael Suprenant (11)R

In Elim:

51 Heather Siirtola (63) [nearly 24 hours]
52 Timothy Hunt (64)R

On the trail between Shaktoolik and Koyuk:

53 Alan Peck (32)R [Red Lantern]

March 23, 2009   2 Comments

They Have A Lot Of Galt

Last week Scorpio had a post that went to the heart of the situation: Have they actually read it? Asking me to accept that Limbaugh actually read a 1,000 page science fiction novel is really pushing the envelop of disbelief.

Then Badtux located a compare and contrast between Atlas Shrugged and the Lord of the Rings. I would note that there is another important difference: JRR Tolkien knew he was writing fiction.

Perhaps in the creation of an alternate world for a novel, some fall into the trap of believing that they can will their world into existence. Unfortunately such things only occur in fiction and the minds of certain individuals.

[Read more →]

March 22, 2009   7 Comments

Family

Mitch Seavey (21) is the father of Dallas Seavey (62), who is married to Jen Seavey (61)R.

Sonny Lindner (42) is the father of Chad Lindner (26)R.

Cim Smyth (37) and Ramey Smyth (16) are brothers. [Becca Moore, Ramey’s wife, was a Yukon Quest rookie this year.]

Ray Redington Jr (10) and Ryan Redington (13) are brothers.

Aliy Zirkle (24) is married to Allen Moore (6).

[This could be the backdrop for the next National Lampoon “vacation” movie.]

March 22, 2009   19 Comments

Race Day 15 – Iditarod

Iditarod mapDavid Sawatzky (66) was faced with the ultimate frustration. He has scratched after leaving Safety for Nome because his dogs just didn’t want to move. He led them for several miles, but fatigue got the best of him. His 11 dogs made it to Safety at about 7 mph, so they still had the pace, but the leader apparently quit.

The “red lantern”, Alan Peck (32)R, is on the trail beyond Unalakleet headed for Shaktoolik.

Finishers as of Midnight CDT:

33 Allen Moore (6)
34 Robert Bundtzen (51)
35 Jim Lanier (35)
36 Ryan Redington (13)
37 Harry T Alexie (67)R
38 Bill Cotter (65)
39 Rick Larson (5)
40 Karin Hendrickson (29)R
41 Cindy Gallea (49)
42 Mike Williams (39)

[Read more →]

March 22, 2009   2 Comments

Blackadder, Chancellor of the Exchequer?

According to Atrios, Larry Summers will star as Blackadder, while Tim Geithner will play Baldrick, the man with “the cunning plan”, in the US version. Atrios notes that John Cole has a review, as does Paul Krugman.

Susie Madrak found one by Yves Smith, while the News Writer looks at the pan by James Kenneth Galbraith.

Atrios provides some background on this really bad idea.

Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. – Albert Einstein

This is my response to Obama’s production and his casting decisions. The real problem is the basic belief within the administration that it is important that the financial sector be comfortable with the economic policies. There is apparently no one advising the President who understands that WalMart shoppers are more important to the GDP than Wall Street. It is vital that consumer confidence be restored. “Confidence” has an entirely different meaning on Wall Street than Main Street. On Wall Street “confidence” is a game.

March 21, 2009   6 Comments

Afternoon Update

As I expected, Aaron Peck (2), who has been moving with the minimum of 6 dogs, has had to scratch in Elim. He waited to see if an extended rest would help, but I would guess that one or more dogs was no longer willing to pull. The real problem was probably that one of the dogs that had to be left at a checkpoint was probably his real lead dog, and without a strong leader the team won’t hold together.

The current “red lantern”, Alan Peck (32)R, still hasn’t shown up in Unalakleet. He left Kaltag with Timothy Hunt (64)R at 7:45PM AKDT on 3/19. Hunt is already in Shaktoolik. It is 90 miles. He may be hunkered down somewhere because the wind has come up again producing -20° to -30° windchills.

Update: After over 40 hours Alan has arrived in Unalakleet.

March 21, 2009   Comments Off on Afternoon Update

Race Day 14 – Iditarod

Iditarod mapChad Lindner (26)R is the first rookie into Nome. He pulled away after the weather improved.

Special mention for Jake Berkowitz (12) who arrived in Nome with all 16 dogs, the only complete team in the race. That has to be bittersweet for Robert Bundtzen (51), because Jake had a “puppy” team that belonged to Dr. Bundtzen and Zack Steer, and Dr. Bundtsen still isn’t in Nome.

Today’s finishers as of Midnight CDT:

19 Warren Palfrey (7)
20 Ray Redington Jr (10)
21 Matt Hayashida (19)
22 Sven Haltmann (53)
23 Linwood Fiedler (28)
24 Gerry Willomitzer (14)
25 Rick Swenson (8)
26 Judy Currier (22)
27 Gerald Sousa (36)
28 Bruce Linton (40)
29 Robert Nelson (23)
30 Chad Lindner (26)R
31 Jake Berkowitz (12)
32 Ed Stielstra (46)
[Read more →]

March 21, 2009   Comments Off on Race Day 14 – Iditarod

What’s On The Menu?

If you are the FDIC, it’s: FirstCity Bank, of Stockbridge, Ga, Teambank National Association of Paola, Kan., and Colorado National Bank of Colorado Springs, Colo.

CNN-Money tells us that 3 banks fail – 20 so far this year

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Bank regulators closed three banks Friday, marking the 18th, 19th and 20th failures this year.

The FDIC estimates that the combined cost of the bank failures to its deposit insurance fund will be approximately $207 million.

The FCUA [FDIC for credit unions] wasn’t quite as hungry: U.S. seizes 2 big credit unions

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The federal government, in its latest effort to prop up the financial system, took over two big wholesale credit unions Friday with combined assets of $57 billion.

U.S. Central Federal Credit Union in Lenexa, Kan., and Western Corporate Federal Credit Union in San Dimas, Calif., were placed under conservatorship “to stabilize the corporate credit union system and resolve balance sheet issues,” according to the National Credit Union Administration.

These are credit unions for corporate credit unions, and being corporate they gambled instead of invested their assets.

March 20, 2009   Comments Off on What’s On The Menu?

Larry Retiring

The Anchorage Daily News has a feature article on Larry: Mackey’s famed lead dog hangs up his harness

Larry has finished eight Iditarods — seven with Mackey and one with former Mackey neighbor Paul Gebhardt from Kasilof — and four Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Races, not to mention dozens of middle-distance sled dog races.

His record as a leader is remarkable.

Larry has led teams in 10 races of 1,000 miles, and he has won seven of them. Along the Iditarod Trail, he has become almost as famous as Mackey.

Larry made a big name for himself in 2007 by becoming the dog to win the golden harness in both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod.

Larry is 9-years-old, and while Maple was the primary lead dog this year, Larry had to take over when the team encountered people, because Maple doesn’t react well to crowds.

March 20, 2009   Comments Off on Larry Retiring

More Sad News

The Iditarod Trail committee has announced the death of Omen, an 8-year-old male, on the Rick Larson (5) team between Elim and White Mountain, and Maynard, a 5-year-old male, on the Warren Palfrey (7) team about an hour outside of Nome. There is no obvious reason for either death.

I looked at the records for both teams, and they weren’t in active contention with anyone at the times of the deaths, just cruising towards the finish. The Larson team had been in a one-for-one rest/run regimen at the time, after an extended rest to wait out the wind. The Palfrey team was just loping towards the end with no one close to them.

March 20, 2009   15 Comments

No “Safe Driver” Discount For Navy

A little more that two years after a US sub collided with a supertanker in the Strait of Hormuz, a US sub collides with US vessel:

Two U.S. navy vessels — a nuclear-powered submarine and an amphibious ship — collided during the early morning hours Friday in the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and the Arabian peninsula, the U.S. navy’s 5th Fleet reported.

The military said in a statement that the incident occurred around 1 a.m. local time on Friday (5 p.m. ET Thursday), when the USS Hartford, a submarine, and the USS New Orleans, an amphibious ship, collided.

The Strait of Hormuz is a very narrow passage that is crowded with ships and boats; it is no place for a submarine. Both of the subs were Los Angeles class fast attack submarines.

March 20, 2009   9 Comments

Race Day 13 – Iditarod

Iditarod mapEd Iten (4) of Kotzebue and Melissa Owens (30) of Nome scratched at Elim today. They were so close, but their dogs were not ready to go further. They are both from coastal towns and their dogs were raised in the winds and cold, so they were better prepared than others, but the dogs just didn’t want to continue.

Aaron Peck (2) is on the trail between Shaktoolik and Koyuk, but he is running with 6 dogs, the minimum team. If any of his dogs has a problem, his race is over. He’s from Grand Prairie, Alberta, and the winds chewed up his team.

Everyone has left Kaltag, so the race is around the Norton Sound

The recent finishers:

9 Ramey Smyth (16)
10 Hans Gatt (25)
11 Sonny Lindner (42)
12 Jeff King (41)
13 DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
14 Ken Anderson (54)
15 Hugh Neff (55)
16 Paul Gebhardt (15)
17 Aliy Zirkle (24)
18 Martin Buser (33)
[Read more →]

March 20, 2009   Comments Off on Race Day 13 – Iditarod

Friday Cat Blogging

Pluck Your Magic Twanger

Friday Cat Blogging

Ribbit?

[Editor: Froggy doesn’t appear in a cloud of smoke, but he has a very weird voice for a cat, and his purring is not to be believed. The title goes back to Saturday morning radio, as does the name, Froggy.]

Friday Ark

March 20, 2009   3 Comments

Six Years

Iraq Campaign MedalMarch 20th marks the sixth anniversary of the official invasion of Iraq. Of course, we now know that Special Forces teams went in earlier and the air forces of the US and Britain had been doing some “pre-emptive bombing” prior to the missile attacks on possible locations that the Shrubbery’s intelligence services [as opposed to the CIA, NSA, DIA, and the regular intel groups] swore contained Saddam Hussein.

For those who have short-term memory problems: Iraq did not have WMDs and, as a result, was not in violation of UN Resolution 1441. The UN weapons inspectors were forced out of Iraq by the actions of the President of the United States, not the President of Iraq. The “intelligence” was selected to support the desires of the White House, not the reality on the ground.

March 20, 2009   2 Comments