Saturday, September 20, 2008

The new bridge

We drove over the new 35W bridge today. It smells new. Really. Like wet concrete. It's an odd experience to drive on it because it doesn't seem anything like a bridge. It's hard to describe why exactly. For one thing, from the inner lanes, you cannot see the river at all thanks to a high centerwall. It's thoroughly integrated with the road on the ends of the bridge so that you have no sense of the beginning of the bridge. You cross the river without ever realizing you've gone up in the air. I suppose it was a design objective that we have no sense of it being a bridge to minimize our morbid thoughts, so we're not thinking on every pass, "what must it have been like to have been here when the bridge fell".

Friday, September 19, 2008

Barry's lying

makes bridge-to-nowhere look like small potatoes, no?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Insurance and solvency II

Maybe everyone but me knew this, but I'll share in case you were wondering: states do guaranty insurance payouts for most types of insurance. But there are caps that may be below the payout limits you'd have received under your policy; so if your insurance company goes under about the time you have a claim, you may be wildly underinsured.

In Minnesota, for life and health insurance, we'd rely on the Minnesota Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association which is a statutory entity:
In the event that a member insurer is found to be insolvent and is ordered to be liquidated by a court, the Guaranty Association Act enables the guaranty association to provide protection (up to the limits spelled out in the Act) to Minnesota residents who are holders of life and health insurance policies and individual annuities with the insolvent insurer.
The limit for life insurance is $410,000.

For property and casualty, we have a different association that doesn't have a website, so I can't tell easily what limits are.

Knowing that a) we really can't count on the solvency of our insurance carrier and b) state guaranties may not be sufficient, what is one to do?

[Update: In Texas, the limit for property and casualty is $300,000.]

[Update II: so if the federal government hadn't loaned cash to AIG and if it had needed to declare bankruptcy, then the state of Texas would be on the hook for AIG property and casualty claims from Ike.]

Our bridge is open

The new 35W bridge opened this morning. Thank you all for your tax dollars.

Here's the old bridge:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More lefty anguish from Salon

"A man and a woman whose values we loathe and despise -- lying, rageful and incompetent, so dangerous to children and old people, to innocent people in every part of the world -- are being worshiped, exalted by the media, in a position to take a swing at all that is loveliest about this earth and what's left of our precious freedoms. When I got home from church, I drank a bunch of water to metabolize the Dove bar and called my Jesuit friend, who I know hates these people, too. I asked, 'Don't you think God finds these smug egomaniacs morally repellent? Recoils from their smugness as from hot flame?'
And he said, 'Absolutely. They are everything He or She hates in a Christian.'" [Lileks on Twitter]

ACL, Ike and UT conspire against Razorbacks

From today's Statesman:

The postponed football game between the University of Arkansas and the University of Texas meant the Razorbacks lost out on 120 prime downtown hotel reservations.

Their new accommodations for the Sept. 27 game: the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa in Bastrop, a less-than-convenient 26 miles from the stadium.

The nickname

"Sarah Barracuda" may not mean what you think it means.

Financial meltdown is too enormous to comprehend, so I'm ignoring it in favor of high school basketball nickname silliness.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tax plans

NYT Freakonomics shows three interesting charts depicting the effects of McCain's and Obama's tax plans.

Insurance and solvency

I've heard that states back AIG policies, at least to some degree, so that if they go belly up, policy holders making claims could get payment from their state. If that's accurate (speak up if you know anything about such things), then that's yet another way that we'll all pay for these types of failures.

After Ike

What's going on? Is downtown open for business? or will it take awhile for cleanup?


Home computer has total meltdown while listening to Hewitt on KSKY's website.

Windows constantly opening and then the dread black screen. This is not going to be fun.

The router, Firefox and McAfee all failed me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Insurance claims

If you have a tree leaning against your house, leave it if it is not hurting anything. Most insurance policies will pay for removal of trees that are Leaners. These policies will generally not pay to clean up a yard.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Re: yukyukyuk


Death once had a near Sarah Palin experience*

Chuck Norris endorses Sarah Palin.

*I liked this title so much I stole it verbatim from Ghost of a Flea. His post here. He's on our blogroll, you should go more often.


(between Crystal Beach and High Island) is reported to be wiped out.,-94.750214&spn=0.52644,0.878906&t=h&z=10


is back in our neighborhood, but still out in most of Houston and all of Galveston. Bolivar and Crystal Beach very hard hit.

Balinese Room

destroyed. History here

Saul Alinsky

I hadn't realized that Saul himself was running as the Democratic nominee, but according to Rudy Guiliani on Meet the Press, he is.

Classic from SNL last night

I've watched this 10 times already and I laugh so I hard I cry each time. Palin/Hillary