Unanswered Questions

1)  Carmakers are bringing us electric cars!  You can plug ’em in and recharge ’em!  But my question is:  Aren’t we going to have to build more power plants to satisfy the demand for all that electricity?  It’s not like recharging an IPod – these things will suck a lot of juice.  And according to what little science I’ve seen , we lose a lot of the electricity we generate through transmission lines.  Listen , I’d love to have a zero emission car.  But it ain’t going to happen, not in my lifetime.  Solar panels – you gotta make ’em, they don’t grow in the sweaty folds between Al Gore’s fat rolls.  I don’t have a creek in my back yard that I can dam and generate hydropower from.  Geothermal sounds groovy but you gotta get down to where all that hot water is and unless you live in Yellowstone you gotta dig.  Digging takes time/energy/money.  Why don’t we get the gummint to subsidize human-size hamster wheels?  You’d have to run a  couple of miles to recharge your Nissan Patchouli, or whatever it’s called.  It would cut down on obesity rates, plus anything that keeps me from watching Operation Repo is a good thing.

The Mall Lady

Ok, by now you have seen the video of the “Texting Mall Lady” – the one where the blissfully vacant woman is so busy texting that she fails to watch where she’s going.  If not, here it is:

<object width=”480″ height=”269″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/video/xgliw6_girl-falls-into-fountain-while-texting-at-shopping-mall_fun?additionalInfos=0″></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always”></param></object><br /><b><a href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgliw6_girl-falls-into-fountain-while-texting-at-shopping-mall_fun”>Girl falls into fountain while texting at shopping mall</a></b><br /><i>Uploaded by <a href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/aggelosandreou”>aggelosandreou</a&gt;. – <a target=”_self” href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/us/channel/fun”>See more comedyvideos.</a></i>

However, she is now suing the mall, claiming “they did not come to her aid” and “they laughed at her”.

Put me down as a defendant on that case.  Here’s an approximate transcript of my reaction when I saw this incident:


Let me put it this way – if there had been a fountain in front of me when I first saw this, I would have fallen in it.  I should sue this Cathy Cruz Marrero for damn near making me pull an abdominal muscle for laughing.

Her numerous interviews repeat her “embarrassment at the video”.  The irony of her numerous interviews aimed at prolonging her 15 minutes while claiming to be humiliated is probably lost on her, but now the lawsuit is forthcoming.  I have not heard settlement numbers yet, but surely it will be enough to keep her in fake bake and waterproof phones for the rest of her life.  I can only hope the judge laughs her out of the courtroom.


Pet Peeves, Part 1

Wow, spluttery title.  Hope you weren’t drinking red wine when you said it aloud.  Anyhow, this week’s topic is more of a list – pet peeves.  Now, I have a zillion of these things.  I’m hoping that the blog will act as a catharsis, a dose of mental fiber to unstick the ol’ metaphorical GI tract.   In no order:

1)  The use of “____ Words” as a device to elicit a laugh by use of a short statement.  You know, almost any list will have this.  “Two Words – Nude Pelosi” on a list of threats the Democrats used to get votes to pass the health care reform.  It was played out 10 years ago, and continuing to use it is as worn out as the gag where an old person is really hip. I take it personally, almost like YOU think I don’t know how to count.  Hey, Three Words – Go Fuck Yourself!

2)  Preowned Vehicles – C’mon, this is just marketing’s way of making a used vehicle sound better.  Technically, a “new” vehicle is pre-owned.  It was owned by General Motors, or Jeep or Toyota – it didn’t just pop into existence like some technobabble term that will allow the Enterprise’s engineer to apply more power and get them out of a jam.  Pre-owned makes it sound like you hired the 1st owner to break the car in for you, get the smell out of the car and break the trip odometer or something.

3)  The use of “Hand made” as a positive marketing tool.  Lots of little places will tell you great their handmade stuff is.  No thank you – give me a machine that doesn’t scratch its ass and can be sprayed with bleach.  When I see “Handmade Pizza”, I automatically think I’ve got a 50 % chance that I’ll get the used Band-Aid baked into the crust.

4)  Use of the word “green” – it’s totally overused, kind of like “extreme” was 5-10 years ago.  Green cars, green homes, green ways of doing business, green ways of making things.  How much energy did you use to film and show the 40,000 commercials that tell us how “green” your company is?

I’ll come up with more at another time.  Meantime, kick me down some of your pet peeves.

How to write a country song

Working in Wyoming, I listen to a lot of country music.  Not by choice mind you – it’s just better then listening to the wind blow or the meth people grind their teeth.  I’ve also noticed that country music tends to follow certain patterns and it’s pretty rare that a song strays too far from these patterns.  So, in the interest of helping our economy, I have some tips for writing a country song.

1)  Be sure to have a line mentioning your favorite mode of transportation.  Acceptable forms of transportation in country music are tractors, horses, or pickup trucks.  Your song won’t be accepted if you claim to be mending fenceline while driving a Prius.

2)  Extol the virtues of alcohol.  Virtually all country music will mention “drankin”, which means consumption of alcohol.  Again, there are only certain acceptable forms of alcohol – beer, whiskey, moonshine and tequila.  A special onetime exemption was given for margaritas, but Jimmy Buffett has already  made a career out of it.  Your reference should be about the lack of toughness exhibited by someone who did not adhere to one of the acceptable varieties of alcohol, plans to visit an alcohol-serving establishment (a “bar”), or the poor decision-making that was done while under the influence of alcohol.

3) America.  Mention it whenever possible, how much you love it (at least the parts without cities, government, or liberals), how big and broad it is, or how you’ll fight for the caucasian parts of it.  Keep your references vague – your love of Keynesian economic theory as practiced by America probably won’t stir too many hearts.

4) Complain about your job.  Acceptable jobs are farmer, cowboy, or trucker but you must complain regardless.  Your job must be of the variety that has you living paycheck to paycheck and subjects you to a terrible boss.  Bonus points if you claim that your family has done it for generations.

OK!  You are on your way! Now, for your look.  You want to look like someone who does an honest day’s work, so you’ll need to wear jeans.  No, not the goofy looking ones with the butt all bleached out – when I see those, I think “whoops, misjudged a fart, didn’t you!”  Good solid jeans by Carhartt or Levi’s.  A belt, preferably with a silver buckle that you could use as a serving platter.  Boots, of leather or some endangered animal.  And finally, you must wear a cowboy hat.  It doesn’t matter that the closest you’ve ever been to a cow is a Big Mac during high school – nothing says authentic country music better then a sweat-stained, droopy, ungainly Stetson.

If you follow these steps, you’re already ahead of any American Idol contestant.   Good luck!!

Zero Population Growth

Feb 2010.  US  Economy is in the toilet, showing small signs of shaking itself out of its torpor but nothing really encouraging.  (BTW, I place the blame for this squarely at the feet of George Bush and the Republican Congress 0f 2000-2006).  Now, I’m not an economist (if I were, I’d be on CNN saying the economy sucks and getting paid for it rather then blogging about it to single digits of people) but it seems to me that all our models of economic growth are predicated on more of everything – more houses, more people, more sh1t to fill up the house.  And how about an honest gauge of inflation while we’re at it.  I’m tired of hearing “Inflation is only 2% this year (not including energy and food)”.  Where I come from, energy and food are pretty important components of anybody’s household.  Congress gets a raise to $174,000/yr.  and I’m buying the generic Ramen at the store instead of the upscale stuff with the freeze-dried vegetables.

So, my challenge to you.  Can we come up with an economic system that improves the people we already have?  Wouldn’t it be nice to hear that instead of new housing starts going up, house remodels increased?  What if everybody had a Masters Degree instead of 10,000 lbs of plastic sh1t from Wal-Mart?  What if we subsidized our secondary educational system the way California used to?  Used to be, you could go to community college in Cali for $5/unit.  Before it turned into a welfare state, California spawned Silicon Valley and Biotech clusters, based in part on that relatively cheap college-educated pool of workers.  A model of growth based on knowledge, not on crap.  Have at it!

Recently came across this little tumor of a news story.  A local “woman” is being charged with neglect after her newborn baby died from numerous causes, including hypothermia.  The infant’s crib was in an unheated garage, and the infant was already being considered for Child Protective Services after testing positive for THC at birth.  The “mother” was a a minor celebrity after giving birth to the first baby of the New Year.  Guess they’ll be rescinding THAT story.

Hopefully this is the kind of story that makes us all nauseous.  But I’m examining my feelings on this and realizing I’m too angry about it, and I don’t know why.  If I had my druthers, I’d lock this cow in the stocks at the local prison, let the inmates have a conjugal visit or three, and then beat her to death with a flashlight.  I didn’t know this woman, and I didn’t know anybody associated with her, but her narcissism, her lack of responsibility and her callow, vicious nature just enrage me.  This poor little baby knew nothing but fear and misery.  Meanwhile mama gets 3 square meals a day and the company of friends for awhile.  Let’s add Kaylynn Davis to the pantheon of monster “Moms”, along with Susan Smith and Casey Anthony.

Feeling Good

I got a job the other day.  In the broader context this doesn’t sound like much – despite America’s economic woes, ~90% of Americans still have jobs, and in my area 93%.  But it was with wild cheers (OK, a mild “congratulations from the Wife) and a massive drinking binge (OK, a 12 pack of Shiner Bock consumed over a week) that I jumped back into the workforce.  I’ve been unemployed for so long (not counting the odd jobs here and there like murdering my neighbors blue junipers) that I’m afraid that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to work.  I stay busy at home – could stay a lot busier if I  had some freakin’ money – but the actual process of hopping in the vehicle, and commuting to a fixed location is going to be nice again.  (Remember that in 2 months when I’m bitching about my job).  I’m trying to analyze this, and I’ve come up with this:  I feel useless when I’m not working.  Sure, the dog crap would be 6 inches deep if I didn’t take care of it.  I’ve been staining my perimeter fence (which my neighbors appreciate), spending an unholy amount of time on the computer, mountain biking when the fancy strikes, volunteering at the Girl’s school and cultivating a relationship with a wild rabbit who has adopted our yard as his home. ( I do this in hopes of his kindly staying away from the garden).  But the unemployment check only maintains a bare-bones household – it does not allow us to travel, fix up the house, put the Girl in extracurricular activities on the weekends, etc.  I also can’t buy good beer (I only drink good beer) on an unemployment check.  Life was very vanilla; I hope for a return to jalapenos and Old Chub.