Sad for the trees

Enrico lives in a relatively huge home on relatively small lot. He doesn’t apologize for this, but he recognizes that his fate is highly correlated to his good luck in the genetic brain lottery.

His home was built about three years ago. The house takes up a revoltingly large proportion of the lot, but the builder left standing five or six very mature oak trees.

Three of these oak trees are indisputably dead today. Enrico’s tree doctor sez that the builder almost certainly dumped a layer of topsoil on the lot that eventually killed the oaks. Two more very large oaks are obviously very distressed. The tree doc says with utter certainty that they will die.

Enrico is sad about this.

He is quite willing to spend ostentatiously to bring in new trees to be planted on his lot. The tree doc says, however, that it is mostly pointless to attempt to plant trees larger than about ten inches in diameter.


The windy MS150 anomaly

Many of Enrico’s friends are crazy cyclists. A lot of them ride for Team Amy, in the two day MS150 charity bike tour from Houston to Austin which takes place in April.

The April ride is well scheduled for the occasional cyclist, because, in April, there is a high probability of a fairly stiff southeast wind on the Texas Gulf coast and into the Hill Country, which is often going to be a tail wind on this ride.

This past April, though, there was a 15 mph wind out of the northwest, exactly where one does not want it to be. However, the temperatures during the ride were about 5-10 degrees F lower than is typical for this ride, and the humidity was very low.

One of Enrico’s friends reported that, despite the wind, and despite some recent hamstring injuries, the ride was almost easy. A headscratcher. Normally, if someone told you, a weekend warrior at best, that you’d be riding into a 15 mph headwind, you would count yourself lucky to average 10 mph.

It has been proposed that cool dry air is less dense than warm moist air, and that therefore the 15 mph head wind packed less energy. But, it turns out that moist air is LESS dense than dry air. And certainly, warm air is LESS dense than cool air. So, that theory makes a crash landing and breaks up on impact.

It is an anomaly. It has been proposed that Enrico’s friend is yanking Enrico’s chain about the ride being easy.

Scout Camp

Enrico just returned from scout camp, at El Rancho Cima. El Rancho Cima is near Wimberly, Texas. Our campsite was right on the Blanco River, a really exceptionally beautiful spot.

Enrico’s sons belong to the Death’s Head Troop of the Waffen Boy Scouts. The trains run on time.

The troop leadership is unbelievably good. The scoutmaster has been in his position for something like a decade, and right behind him are several assistant scoutmasters who would be equally good or even better. I think this troop has produced more eagle scouts during its existence than any other troop in the world.

The sons of some of the most energetic and dedicated scoutmasters have long since grown up and left the troop. The dedication of these men illustrates the very surprising fact that there is nothing on earth more rewarding than service to others.

Getting off on the wrong foot

Dolores told us about this mystery recently. We all hooted with derision at her tale, but gosh darn it, she wasn’t just making it up.

At the time, about a month ago, no left feet had been found, but now, I see, a single left foot has joined the parade of severed feet.

A bizarre effect of currents and tides? An alien species which prefers to munch on right feet? A strange Canadian fetishist?

I see a Hollywood movie in the offing, possibly with Tom Cruise, or with Nicholas Cage.

I’m wavering on McCain

I don’t like John McCain. And I want the GOP to be crushed like bugs in November, because I believe that total devastation is the only hope for the party to reform itself and repudiate the thieves and scumbags who are the current GOP incumbents in Congress.

However! We have a serious, possibly fatal energy problem. McCain is saying some sensible things about this, as here and in this video, in which he says he wants to lift the ban on offshore drilling.

And, total mad props to McCain for his line, in response to ratsocrat charges that McCain will be a third Bush term, that Obama will be a second term for Jimmy Carter. I laughed my ass off.

I wish Obama would call McCain’s nuke plant proposal and raise him 200 plants, and also say that 2030 is waaay waaay too late.

I see London, I see France…

Gladys and Enrico are taking all the kinder on a month-long excursion in old Europe: London, Rome, Berlin and Paris. Enrico has never been to Rome or Berlin.

We’re going to see a cricket match while in London, and we’re going to do Stonehenge, the Tower of London, The Reichstag, the Eiffel Tower, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the Coliseum. I think we’re going to Wimbledon!

Luckily for France, Enrico lifted his boycott of all things French upon the election of Nikolas Sarkozy.

Enrico hates being herded around while on vacation, and he has a very low tolerance for museums. He wants to acclimate a bit, as much you can anyway in a week, and he wants to take in the culture in a relaxed manner. He suspects that too much activity has already been laid out, but if a reader wants to propose an activity in one of these four cities, Enrico has an open mind.

Zebra Pig!

zebra pig!Here’s more of Enrico’s hardhitting insightful unique content you can’t get anywhere else.

Zebra Pig! Zebra Pig! Does whatever a zebra pig does!

Note the goatee (where is Alanis Morisette when she is needed, to note incorrectly how ironic it is that a pig would have a goatee?) and the supercilious arched porcine eyebrow.

Enrico is selling these exquisite hand-painted objets d’art for the totally nominal fee of $200 each.


zebra pig derriere
Email Enrico, and after receipt of funds, and convincing him you are not just yanking his chain, he will deliver one to you. Each zebra pig signed by the artiste! Useful for storing one’s krugerrands!

The Black Swan

I just finished reading The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. My wife’s niece’s husband, Chris Ferrigno, recommended it.

I highly recommend this book. If Shakespeare were working today, he’d be writing shows for HBO, and the line would be “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the economists.” I was struck by the similarities between Taleb’s writing and Saint-ExupĂ©ry’s prose in The Little Prince, which, shockingly, Chris has apparently never heard of. He’s in for a treat.

Most importantly, Taleb’s meets the criteria of all brilliant thinkers: he agrees with me. I will insist until the day I die that I elected to use the barball investment strategy BEFORE I read this book.

Taleb is a catty little bitch. He skewers a lot of people. I am going to write to him and suggest that he next skewer Robert Mundell, yet another undeserving Nobel laureaute in economics (I guess that’s a redundant phrase).