Two weeks of annual leave still needed taking. Lots of late-autumn chores needed doing around the house. The last two weeks of November should be quiet so Dave Leggett and the rest of the just-auto team can handle the news. Or so I thought. You know how it turned out. The Detroit Big Three faced up to looming liquidity crises but were sent home from their first trip Washington to concoct more detailed plans for state aid. Markets everywhere continued to tank. Assembly lines were idled for days or months, more workers faced losing their jobs. And it ain't over yet. In a quarter-century of covering this industry and close to two decades more as an interested observer, I don't think I've ever seen things as bad, though the 1970s oil crises ran it close.