Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

The unbearable strangeness of economics

Economy, walnuts, Wisconsin

Walnuts, which go about $7 a pound these days, are at the top of my shopping list. I use them in everything: baked oatmeal, salads, cakes and cookies, pesto.

But the trip to the store was delayed. First I had to pick up the driveway litter dropped by the recent high winds. In this case, about 120 pounds of. . . black walnuts.

When we first moved into this house, those walnuts thrilled me. My husband's family had a recipe for black walnut bread no one had made for generations, and I was going to impress them. So I gathered the hardball sized green globes, which smell like heaven and stain everything they touch forever brown.

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I'll know the recession is over when. . .

Economy, Recession

". . . I get a job."

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Benefits of competition?--revised

Economy, Student loans

Note: This morning, I received a note asking me to withdraw my blog entry "Competition = higher costs" because it was based on a misunderstanding. The writer, Kevin Bruns, executive director of America's Student Loan Providers, is right about the error in my premise, but maybe not about everything being wrong. So instead of pulling it as requested,  I'll print in full the note from Kevin and fix my entry. 6-5-09

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Sunshine principle, not just for some but for everyone

AIG, Economy, Politics, Sunlight Foundation

On the federal level, lawyers and legislators are arguing for keeping secret the names of the AIG bonus-eaters. They give a lofty-sounding argument underpinned by extreme example: the crazies are making vivid and sickening death threats to AIG members and their families.

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Let them eat credit default swaps

AIG, Economy, Politcs

The New York Times continues to point out that people -- and by people, they seem to mean all people, not just effete liberal New York Times readers or their opposite rough-edged numbers in Dittohead radioland, but the whole lot of us – really are feeling very cranky about the AIG bailout. 

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Health care in America: No purchase necessary

colonoscopy, Economy, Health care

Have you seen the latest sweepstakes contest?

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Greed'll get you: racketeering in Wauwatosa

CSMC, Economy, Wauwatosa

Last March I wrote a very chirpy little bit about Central States Mortgage Company (CSMC) and their then-CEO Richard Jungen. CSMC, the largest mortgage company in Milwaukee, is headquartered in the Fairview Building on North Avenue. The real estate market was starting to wobble, and I wanted to know how this prominent local business--my mortgage originator--was doing.

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You want to raise my interest rate to WHAT?!


One of my credit card companies just announced, and rather imperiously if you ask me, that they are raising my interest rate to prime plus 26.7%. This is more than double the current APR.

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Heinemann's, RIP

Economy, Heinemann's, Wauwatosa

 Last night the kids and I had our only winter break restaurant meal at Juniper 61. I'd just spent $700 on car brakes, so it was one of those "what's another 40 bucks?" kind of indulgences. Enchanted by the tempura green beans, they began talking about opening a restaurant of their own. "Of course, you need a theme, a gimmick," said one. That, good food and service, enough operating capital, plenty customers, and lots of luck, I thought.

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White Christmas, green

Economy, Environment, job hunt, Kids

Coming in from shoveling (and I do mean shoveling, as opposed to walking behind a snow blower), I found a pleasant surprise. Liz, home for the weekend, had chocolate chip buckwheat pancakes, strawberries, bacon, and coffee waiting. With the exception of the strawberries, which were of the frozen variety, and the chocolate chips, a consession to modern taste and decadence, it was a moment my father and grandfather might have  recognized. (Their wives worked hard, but show shoveling wasn't part of the divided-labor routine for women.)

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Me and the Big Three

Big Three Automakers, Economy, job hunt

Actually, when we stop being totally US-centric, or even if we stay that way, it's Big 6 automakers, soon to be Big Mystery Number. But I digress.

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Must be that time of the market. . .

Economy, Wauwatosa

I’m playing with a new theory: one of the reasons Wauwatosa is such a sound and stable community is that for years now, it’s had a woman at the helm.

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Looking up

Economy, job hunt, Politics, Walking the dog

Now that my world has shrunk to walking the dog and looking for jobs, things look a little different.

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Does it matter what your business is?

Economy, Jobs, Manitowoc Co.

The line in the business section stopped me:  "Manitowoc builds ships, cranes, and ice machines. . ." 

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It’s not just “the economy”

Economy, Midwest Airlines

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