Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Health Insurance

(not equal to Health Care)

It's not often I quote Ann Coulter, but she does perfectly sum up the problem with US Health Insurance.


It would be as if the government prohibited us from buying cars unless they were Lexus SUVs, fully loaded with every possible option.
Then, when most Americans couldn't afford to buy a car, the Democrats could demand we pass "ObamaCar." Wolf could have asked: "A healthy 30-year-old young man decides, 'I'm not going to spend $100,000 or $200,000 for a car because, you know, I don't need it.' But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who's going to pay if he needs a car to escape a hurricane, for example? Who pays for that?"
Why are the only two options always a behemoth government program or the guy dies?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A little bit of London Jazz Week

Saturday night at the Royal Opera House - Linbury Theatre. As part of London Jazz Week Jack Savoretti performed, opening for the Lucinda Belle Orchestra. It's a night out I shall remember for a long time to come.

Find out more about Jack Savoretti on his Facebook page. I am not often a fan of the acoustic guitar ballad, but Jack's album Between the Minds was one that forced me to open my horizons. It is song after song of beauty. A couple of examples are Dreamers and Dr. Frankenstein. Oh and also Killing Man [Grooveshark links]. Go listen to more.  His current album is Harder Than Easy and I shall keep things simple by giving you the link to the whole album.

After Jack came the Lucinda Belle Orchestra. This, by the way, is how band music should be. Creative, beautiful, consistency in image and sound, with an entertaining performance.
The set started with the harp, sounding pretty much as I expect a harp to sound. As other instruments entered the foray sounds came together to form an excellent dixie-jazz tune. Along with her harp are a piano, classical bass, clarinet, cello, trombone and more. It was one of those things that got me so excited I can't actually aptly describe it. But I do highly recommend seeing this orchestra live.

For now I leave you with Lucinda Belle's version of Lady Gaga's Telephone. She played this, although a highlight of the night for me was "Rose Marie and Bobby McGee".

Oh and if anybody can find a recording of her version of Smells Like Teen Spirit you must let me know. I have to own this track!


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Talking to Cleverbot

CONVERSATION I

I like Pizza

I like pizza too. 

My favourite is spicy salami. What is your favourite?



Olga and Katy they are my girlfriends.


You put them on pizza?


Actually, you play them.


Where does the pizza come in?


I don't hate him.

Ok now you are getting confused.



Yes I think you are.


Aha, I see what you did there. Very clever.


I see what you're doing here. Well done.



Thank you.


Do you read the Wall Street Journal?


Yes I do, it's a great paper.


It's my favorite! Is it your favorite too?


It's one of my favourites. I also like The Economist.


I like Santana too. But I don't really like ABBA.






CONVERSATION II


Do you think consciousness determines being, or the other way round??


I've never thought about it. Do you?


The former. Think about it now.


I like Carravagio.

Friday, 11 November 2011

What to teach

Giuseppe said yesterday that he wants to teach his [future] children to work hard and play a lot of sports.

What would I want to teach my children?

I want to teach them (paraphrasing Ludwig von Mises) that action is the manifestation of a man's will. That should be enough, I think.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Friday night was confusing

I managed to double book myself yesterday evening, and then both events ended up happening at the same place. Plus people I know kept showing up for both camps.

I don't think I planned it that way but I like to think I did.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

New Month Limericks

The Gebhardts start November with a bang.


Beginning with Pater:

In old monasteries the abbots
Enforced most peculiar habits:
“Each day make your bed,
Each week shave your head,
On the first of each month say ‘White Rabbits.’”

I added my 2 cents:

When I first made American friends
I shared what I thought well-known trends
All my family habits
Like saying "White Rabbits"
And thus many friendships met ends

Annalee continued in style:

Today the new month's begun
Another without any sun
Though sounding quite strange
This bad luck could change
"White Rabbits" the secret of fun.

And the Colorado contingent moved us on to haiku:

White rabbits? Humbug!
I ain't a scared of no ghosts.
(cross fingers and toes.)