Thursday, August 29, 2013

Grounds for Sculpture

While we were visiting my brother Dan and his wife Naz in Lawrenceville, NJ, they took us to the local sculpture garden, called Grounds for Sculpture. 

I'm not a big art fan, as a rule, but this place was kind of fun. A lot of it is sculptures of famous paintings, like this one called "The Scream".

And here's a sculpture of a painter painting a scene which they have a sculpture of

Some were whimsical

This one is called Sue's Nightmare

It's interactive, so we could put ourselves into the sculptures

This is Dan and Naz

We had dinner there in Rat's restaurant.

It's named after Ratty, a character in Kenneth Grahame's classic, The Wind in the Willows. Ratty always threw the best parties. It's a very nice place. Dan and I shared a flight of single malt scotch.

Platinum coin fixes the debt ceiling problem

In 1996, Congress passed a law giving the Secretary of the Treasury authority to mint platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time.  The section of the law for these platinum coins is different in that respect from the sections governing commemorative gold and silver coins, and from the section on the normal coins in your pocket.

It has been suggested that he mint platinum coins of very high values, in the trillions of dollars, in order to continue spending money authorized by Congress without having to issue more Treasury debt.  One suggestion is to mint a single coin with a face value of $60T, which would avoid all deficit and debt problems for many years.

The coin would be deposited into Treasury's "checking account" at the Federal Reserve, and the money would only be spent as authorized by Congress, the same as any other spending.  It would not "dump" $60T into the economy all at once, causing hyperinflation.  But Treasury would be able to spend without having to first tax or borrow to refill its account, and the debt ceiling would become moot.

There is a petition you can sign online, if you want to urge the Secretary to make use of this option.  It was considered and rejected by the President and the previous Secretary during the last debt ceiling crisis in 2011, when the US credit rating was downgraded.

If you haven't heard of this before, you can read about it on the web.  The latest post today is at


We stayed at an RV park in the Catskills last Fall, visited my sister in Mountainville, and toured around. In Kingston, we ate at a deli that lived up to its great reputation Deising'sis an award winning bakery, restaurant, cafe, coffee shop, andcatering company

It was decorated for Halloween

There was an interesting car parked out front

We visited Vicki's ancestral home

went to Woodstock (43 years too late), and saw a historic bridge.

Cape Cod

We went to the Cape last Fall, stayed at an RV park in Sandwich. We went to the Cape Cod potato chip factory

and the Cape Cod brewing company

They both gave us samples :)

We visited Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

And went out to Provincetown, and climbed the tower

On the way to Coast Guard beach

we saw some turkeys

and visited the golf course at Truro lighthouse

And, small world department, a co-worker from the State of AZ used to live in this house in Hyannis

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

France and Bill

In Vermont, we also visited France and Bill. France is a long-time (not “old”) friend from our IBM days. Bill cooked us a rabbit, and gave us some maple syrup that he had made. We went on a hike, and generally toured around leaf-peeping.

Burlington - Lake Champlain

We stayed in Burlington, VT last summer visiting Ann and Bob. The RV park was right near Lake Champlain.

We went to see Ethan Allen's house.

They had some money from the early days, when Vermont was an independent country, before it became the 14th state.

The Sagamore

While staying near Lake George last year, I played golf at the course I played as a teenager with my father when we were there on vacation. It's a classic:

The Sagamore Golf Course: Splendid mountainside links designed by Donald Ross.
Honored by Golf Magazine as one of its Silver Medal Resorts, this beautiful hillside course overlooks Lake George and was designed and built under Donald Ross's personal supervision in 1928. As part of a $75 million restoration in 1985, the legendary course was fully restored according to Ross's original blueprints.
In classic Ross fashion, The Sagamore's golf course uses the natural environment to give each hole its challenge and beauty. The holes are routed naturally through an upland meadow and the Adirondack woods, where white birches enliven the evergreen forest. To add an accent to the rolling mountainside terrain, Ross planted heather from his own native Scotland within the meadow. Lush fairways are narrow and lined with hardwoods, while deep bunkers surround undulating greens. From the elevated first tee, you have a breathtaking view of Lake George and the Adirondack peaks.
Golf Digest rated this course as the "5th Best Public Course in New York State." In addition, Corporate and Incentive Travel gave it a "Greens of Distinction" award and Condé Nast named it a top U.S. resort course.

Short guide to the MiddleEast

The enemy of my enemy is ... um ...

And a visual representation ...