Apr. 29, 2010

Sorry for the extended silence on here recently. It’s been a busy month!

Two weekends ago, Joan and I embarked on a really fun weekend trip to Charlottesville, Va., for the wedding of my friends Carolyn and Vu. Since then, I’ve begun searching for a new job, since my seven-year tenure at GSK will come to an end in late June. (By the way, if you’re aware of any interesting IT positions in the greater Philadelphia area, I’d certainly like to hear from you — feel free to drop me a line through my professional site.)

In the meantime, one item of interest to pass along. Yesterday morning, one of my heroes, Jack Bogle, spent a full hour on Michael Smerconish’s morning radio show. In his familiar baritone, Bogle discussed the uncertain state of the U.S. economy. In particular, he chastised the “croupiers” (i.e., Wall Street middlemen) who subtract value from our financial system without contributing anything of real value, and reap huge rewards regardless of whether their clients profit or not.

With regard to the wizards that brought on the financial meltdown, Bogle observed that many eagerly took credit for massive gains, but remain unaccountable when asked to explain staggering losses. In doing so, he referred to a quote I had never heard before:

“Victory has a thousand fathers,
but defeat is an orphan.”

That’s a gem! Hope I get to see Bogle speak in person again soon.

[ No. 572 ]

Apr. 10, 2010

Met up with Joan, Jeff, Kristi and Todd, and my old friend John Lincoski (who came up from D.C. to visit!) to see Wilco perform at the Electric Factory — the same venue where I first saw them play in late 2001.

We watched the show while standing in the rear balcony, and while our experience was diminished by a partially obstructed view and several annoyingly chatty people around us, the performance itself was unparalleled. Wilco took the stage to the humorous theme from The Price Is Right, then stunned the sold-out crowd by playing a marathon three-hour set followed by a scorching 15-minute encore. According to a descriptive review in Wilmington’s News Journal, Wilco’s total performance in Philly was comprised of — count ’em — 39 songs!

During an intimate acoustic set by the soft light of old-fashioned floor lamps, Wilco played several country-tinged tracks from their first two albums, A.M. and Being There. Toward the end of the show, lead singer Jeff Tweedy invited the crowd to sing “Jesus, Etc.” (a catchy track from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) nearly in its entirety, and the band closed out their main set with an exuberant cover of “In the Street” by Big Star.

I’m sure I’ll see Wilco perform again, but this show will be very hard to top.

[ No. 571 ]