Wednesday, August 31, 2011

from the clouds

Read the profile in New Yorker of Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio this evening. Had a hard time putting it down. Many of the really successful hedge fund guys are just so smart it's just compelling.  Jeremy Grantham, Barton Biggs, Soros, you read much of the stuff they write and say about what they're doing and the analysis is compelling by its sheer breadth and ambition.  They make a lot of money, yes, but that's kind of a pain in the ass actually because then everybody comes round and sucks up to you. But the discipline and insight of it all is engrossing.

Often, when they start philosophizing, they go downhill.  Soros -- far from being the evil puppetmaster Glenn Beck makes him out to be (it's clear the puppetmasters are in fact Roger Ailes, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney) -- is warmhearted but pedantic. Dalio sounds overbearing.  Grantham, depressing as he may be, is perhaps the exception. Sad to say, he's pretty much a hard-eyed empiricist.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Our renovation

Many people blog a lot about their renovations. I haven't done so. Somehow it doesn't inspire me to write.

The house is going to be great, don't get me wrong, but the process is sucking the life out of me. And I'm not even doing a tenth of the work that Mary is.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I have been buying the same razor blades for years

And still, when i look at all of the variants available in the drug store, i get confused.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I keep intending to write

and then end up reading or doing something else. Whoops!

Was just on a cruise ship for a week to the maritime provinces and New England. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, I rented a car and Rob and I drove off out of town into the little peninsula just west of the city. As always, trying to be smarter than everybody else, I did not go in the direction of Peggy's Cove, where the tour buses go, but went instead on the East side of the peninsula, which led us to Crescent Beach park, which was in fact a good thing. Beautiful place.

Intense to get a load of Canadian nature up close, the shit Natalie wouldn't let me check out last year when we were in Quebec. Generally nature is impenetrable there. Rocky. Marshy. Foresty. Rob's word was "inhospitable," which seems right. We went to the end of one road and came to a place where a pine forest was slowly growing and collapsing with moss all over it. I reckon it was the slow formation of peat bog or some such. You didn't see many deer tracks because the forest was so dense that how the hell would the little bambies get through there? In another place there was stuff that seemed like bamboo growing between a path (not a natural one, entirely maintained by the state, as it would need to be) and the rocky shore. Very cool.