Sunday, May 3, 2009

Derby watching

What a race!

Ever since Barbaro and even before that, it's become too hard to watch the ponies.

So yesterday, I had one eye on my reading material and the other on the TV at the gym. Mostly I pretended to read while keeping an eye on the woman one bike over who was clearly wrapt in the race. When she started hooting and hollering, I had to look and saw the amazing Mine That Bird come from back, WAAAAAAY back, along the rail to take it by a mile.

Then the wonderfully crazy Calvin Borel took his victory lap in some of the best television in a long time. Borel sure knows how to seize the moment The parade led to some world-shaking questions back at the gym. Like:

1: Where were his teeth?

2: Did he take his teeth out to make weight?

3: Did he take his teeth out to minimize injury?

4: If he was toothless to start, would he use his winnings to buy teeth?

whatever the case, he is one charismatic rider. And the aerial view of his winning surge was amazing, and nearly a carbon copy of the "rail sanding" push he made two years ago to win the Derby.

Best of all about this Derby, nobody died.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why we love Anthony Lane

He is the snarkiest of film critics and the one people run to read. (Face it, no one cares what David Denby, the anti-snark crusader, has to say.)

Examples of Lane at his best: From his February 2, review of Liam Neeson's thriller "Taken":

If "there’s one thing we’ve learned from “24” it’s that anybody named Kim, with a father schooled in dirty work by the U.S. government, will have a large echo chamber where her brain is meant to be. Kim and a friend leave for a vacation in Europe, where, ignoring the advice of her father, they are abducted with such consummate speed that it might have been simpler if he had FedExed them directly to the kidnappers. Pausing only to borrow a private jet from his ex’s slimy husband, Mills flies to Paris, where he proceeds to work his way, without mercy, through a personal alphabet of undesirable aliens. This being a brisk affair, of little more than ninety minutes, he gets only as far as Albanians and Arabs, but, if I were an innocent Bermudan, let alone a Belgian, I would be starting to get nervous about a sequel.

Snark personified. Plus real value add.

Lane's review of the Star Wars sequel/prequel/ whatever was priceless.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wanna survive the recession? Bet on booze

This weekend's Wall Street Journal had a great analysis of stock performance from the Great Depression onward. What stocks did comparatively well in the cauldron of the late '20s and early '30s? Not many.

Money quote:
"The only clear winner: cheap vices. Among the sectors with positive returns were cigarettes, cigars and tobacco, sugar and confectionery products, and fats and oils, which each gained between 1.6% and 7.5% annually."

So if fattening, carcinogenic vices were good bets in the Prohibition era, here's betting booze is the best bet now.

You don't have to tell me twice: But not sure Maker's Mark is publicly held.