September 2008 Archives

money.jpgA friend sent a variation of this to book/daddy. It's already making the rounds, it seems:

Most Honorable Sir:

You and I have never met, but I had been told you are man of much integrity and Christian feelings. I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis. It has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phillip Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. You may know him as Senator Gram, leader of the American banking deregulation in the 1990s. This transaction is 100% percent safe. I assure.

This is matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds quickly. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance by police. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren. Plus Social Security. And anything you find lying around that might have winning numbers. Lottery tickets or horse race stubs. Email nformation to so that we may transfer your commission for said transaction. After I receive nformation, I respond with details about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.


Yours Faithfully,


Minister of Treasury Paulson

Money image from

September 24, 2008 2:26 PM |
David foster.gifDavid Foster Wallace's suicide has left me pretty speechless. Uncomprehending, I guess.

So I'll leave it to Scott McLemee and Verlyn Klinkeborg -- both very different but moving appreciations. 

September 17, 2008 9:28 AM |

book burn.jpgThe last few weeks -- well, actually, it was quite a few weeks ago now,considering book/daddy's general summer-bred lethargy and all the pleasant distractions of working late hours at the office -- book blogs were ablaze with speculation and comments on the Kindle,Amazon's supposedly revolutionary digital book device. This was odd,considering the unpleasant little thing was released back in November 2007. It seems that the online flurry was mostly in response to the report in TechCrunch that despite Amazon's secrecy, they'd figured out that the company had sold 240,000 'units' and could sell as many as 750,000 in the next year. Set to be the "Tickle Me Elmo" of this Christmas, it would appear.

Leaping into the fray, book/daddy went back to reading books and sleeping late. But the damned discussion kept popping up.

So, here goes. When book/daddy has spoken to book clubs or other literary gatherings the past 5-6 years, he has often asked -- as an experiment in tracking the oncoming digital zeitgeist -- how many here have ever read a full-length novel on an electronic device? Any device, desktop, laptop, e-book reader, GPS, cellphone, hair curler, doesn't matter. But it has to involve reading a full-length novel, not just consulting a reference work. Novel readers tend to be compulsive. So adopting a digital device to feed their habit means, for them, a fundamental change. A fairly big deal. They're not just picking up a lemon peeler at Ikea and saying, isn't this cute, using it once and then losing it for good amid the dusty, boiled-egg slicers and wine stoppers cluttering up the back of a drawer somewhere.

Only once did someone ever raise his hand. All other times -- zero. Not a soul. But then last year, book/daddy posed the question to a crowd at the Texas Book Festival in Austin.

September 5, 2008 11:02 AM | | Comments (6)


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