Blog Archives

Robert Hughes, art critic & historian, dies at age 74.

I remember him most for The Shock of the New, his evaluation of 20th century art, and The Fatal Shore, his history of the settling of his native Australia.

Hughes attended Sydney University, an architecture major, where he was academically undistinguished. In his words:

“I actually succeeded in failing first year arts, which any moderately intelligent amoeba could have passed.”

A the age of 28 he wrote The Art of Australia, which he later dismissed as “juvenalia.”  After its publication the popular historian Alan Moorehead advised him to go to Europe.

Hughes traveled around the great art capitals of the world, landed in London and wrote art criticism for the Sunday Times. He wrote a book called Heaven and Hell in Western Art (1969) that bombed. However, a Time magazine executive read it, and promptly hired Hughes as art critic. In 1970 he moved to Manhattan and wrote for Time for the rest of the century.

John Cleese lectures on Creativity…

I needed something this morning to get myself back into action. At times like this, there’s nothing like John Cleese.

Late afternoon and I’m back from getting my car fixed…

OK. I’m back from Brown’s, $428.00 poorer, but with a car that has passed the State Inspection. I drove it around town a bit and the steering felt fine… the whole car felt fine. So now I have one less thing to worry about.

I got home to see Chris Matthews go into why he thought the Dems would end up losing both Houses of Congress (Jeez… I hope not!) and how he thought that would actually be GOOD for Obama … he thought it was good for Clinton when he lost Congress in his second year and why Matthews thought that got Bill reelected. I don’t really agree with any of this. I think we are at a point where everyone is looking at next Wednesday and doesn’t want to look like they were wrong THIS Wednesday.

Couldn’t take it any more…turned the channel to “Cash Cab” while I got the trash together and bagged to go out tonite. I always learn something listening to Cash Cab while I work around the house (like, in Finland, duct tape is called “Jesus Tape.”)

So now I just have to get through to tomorrow, when I think I’ll go over to WSHC early in the morning to sit in on John’s show. Unless, of course, I sleep late… but sleep has been rare, lately.



Set your clocks ahead before you go to bed…

Daylight Savings Time starts tomorrow.

Spring Ahead, Fall Back

Now Time Magazine is telling us that the 401 (k) Retirement Plan was never meant to be our main retirement vehicle.

For 30 years, since it was created by Congress, the 401 (k) has been pushed on us from Human Resources Administrators and accountants… and now, with last year’s big recession starting many folks (and I’m in that bunch) lost tens of thousands of their retirement dollars and, subsequently, are not going to be retiring.

Is anyone pissed off about this? I know I am, since I lost a good third of my retirement money before I could move it to another kind of account. I’m two years away from needing it, and now it’s not there.

If you’re in the same boat I am, start by reading the Time article, Why it’s time to retire the 401 (k).
Here’s a clip:

In what must seem like a cruel joke to many, the accounts proved the most dangerous for those closest to retirement. During the market downturn, the 401(k)s of 55-to-65-year-olds lost a quarter more than those of their 35-to-45-year-old colleagues. That’s because in your early years, your 401(k)’s growth is driven mostly by contributions. You control your own destiny. But the longer you hold a 401(k), the more market-exposed it becomes. It’s a twist that breaks the most basic rule of financial planning.