Monday, July 19, 2010

The Blame Game

I used to live in Pensacola, and there is no more beautiful place than the Gulf Coast. Weston was born there, and this picture was taken in our house there on his first Christmas. We really liked it there- the beaches were gorgeous- white sands, turquoise waters and pale green sea grasses. The oil spill makes me sick, but what makes me sicker is the disingenuous placement of blame solely on BP.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending them; they are a bunch of greedy bastards for sure. This morning, though, I heard someone say that the executives should be lined up and shot, as if they exist in a vacuum created by their own selfishness, and sadly that's just not true. If it was true, we COULD prevent future spills by shooting them. But the truth is, we ALL did this. BP is just the middleman. A dirty, slimy one, obviously, but still just a middleman. BP is only drilling risky wells because there is an insatiable market for cheap oil. They're just going after the money. Gotta keep the shareholders happy, right? What's good for business is good for America, after all. And what's good for business is fast profits. And BP's not the only one: the other companies aren't any better, they just haven't been caught yet.
Yep, we all did this. Every time you take a plastic bag home from the grocery store, you might as well toss a few tar balls on the sand. When you order takeout and end up with a bag of styrofoam leftovers big enough to choke a T-Rex, it's just the same as dipping a pelican in a barrel of crude. Driving alone to work instead of carpooling or taking the bus equals hucking a few water balloons full of diesel at a sea turtle nest.
Now, if we were willing to acknowledge the obvious truth that drilling for oil is environmentally risky, and unsafe (don't forget that eleven workers died on the Deepwater Horizon), and were willing to pay the true cost of our lifestyle up front, say around $10 a gallon for gas, maybe we would have a leg to stand on when an oil conglomerate bungles and/or underfunds a cleanup, because we would have a legitimate right to expect that safety and cleanup costs had been accounted for in the pricing of the product. But to keep sucking up oil at the going rate and demanding Government subsidies to keep the prices down, then heaping blame on oil companies after the inevitable catastrophe is hypocritical in the extreme.
This kind of mess is just going to happen again and again, if we don't change our ways. And we probably won't, but that's okay too. Eventually the oil reserves will be depleted, the oceans will be wastelands and most of the people will be dead, because much of our food supply and almost all of our oxygen depends on healthy oceans. Then the survivors will have to devise alternate energy sources. Maybe they can capture the methane from all those decomposing corpses.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Hmph. I was just sitting here, killing some time before I go to bed, minding my own beeswax, and I came across this link to a website called Typealyzer. You plug in your blog address and it claims to analyze your personality based on your writing. I have always thought that people totally give themselves away in their writing, even when they think they are being sneaky. This is what makes Facebook so dangerous. Well, one of the things, anyway; vodka and narcissism are also right up there at the top of the list.

Because of this belief, I thought I would get an accurate result when I put my blog in there, but all I got was a bunch of BIG FAT LIES. Here, you can read it for yourself. I got the same spiel from typealyzing both this blog and Stories from Korea:

ESFP- the performer. The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don't like to plan ahead- they are always at risk of exhausting themselves.

They enjoy work that makes them able to help others in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontations- qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Come on! Almost every part of that is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Right? Then, they showed this little graphic that says that while writing, I use the 'feeling' rear part of my brain instead of the 'logical' frontal portion. What a crock, man. One only has to read a few posts to realize that my writing is completely, totally logical at all times. Like the turban shaped bicycle helmet! You can't get any more logical than that, people! Try it on your blog and tell me what you think.... I'm starting to get a little nervous that I'll never be a highly compensated CEO, or worse, that I'll swathe myself in brightly colored silks and go around smelling sweet. Ickola.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Of Moles and Men

Hey! How's it going, everyone! Long time, no write, right? Happy Independence Day! Lots of excitement around here; yessirree, LOTS. TONS! MORE THAN ENOUGH, THANKS!

First, Lloyd had an... errr, episode with a remote controlled flying machine, resulting in a Fourth of July celebration in the ER followed by reconstructive surgery. If you're here from the FAA, it was totally not his fault, and not reportable, just so you know. Also, he has never busted a check ride, or put a scratch on airplane. And as long as we're clear on that, we can go on to the leg trap incident, in which contrary to popular belief, I am not to blame, not even the tiniest bit. Apparently, these giant rusty devices (see photos with a shoe and my dad's head for scale) are actually mole traps of some repute. Personally I think moles are kind of cute, especially those pink naked ones at the zoo, but the people who own our garage apartment have a serious vendetta against them and plastered these medieval mole torturing contraptions all over the yard. Unfortunately, they were deployed incorrectly and failed in their mission, unless their mission was actually to snare a small child. In that case, they succeeded admirably. After which they were smashed with cinder blocks and thrown over the fence. The traps, not the small child. Grateful moles can send wine. Soon would be best, and plenty of it! Otherwise, I can't guarantee protection in the future.

Anyway, the small child was fine, because the trap closed over the side of his foot where his extra large plastic yellow shoes had some excess sweatshop material. The shoe was clamped on, leaving a tiny indentation in the foot, though from the screaming you would have thought the whole thing was ripped clean off, leaving a bloody spurting stump.

And on a totally unrelated and way more cheerful note, I've been thinking again. This new idea will finally net me that Nobel prize I've been unsuccessfully angling for for so long, I'm sure of it! Check this out: Vaccuum cleaner bags for charity! Think about it, you send your full vaccuum bag to a family in a third world country. It saves space in the landfill and supplies their every need for a week or more! Popcorn, Cheerios and cheese shreds to eat, toys, dog hair to knit into clothes, fingernail clippings and sticks to fashion into tools to generate income, and when the bag is empty, they can use it to carry their baby around in, or for a home for Grandma. Then the week is over, and you send them another one! The best ideas are the simplest ones, I always say. They pay the Nobel prize in wine now, right?

Friday, July 2, 2010

There is such a thing as a free lunch

Wow, you guys. I had the freakiest nightmare. You will totally pee your pants when you hear this. I dreamt that I drank the Kool-Aid and fell for the old 'Government and Corporate America is looking out for you' trick and gave away all my best ideas to them. For FREE! I mean, how crazy is that? I don't even want to talk about it anymore; it gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. If I didn't know better I'd think they might have planted a chip in my head while I was sleeping or something. I do know better, though, because to find me they would have to scan my ID and I'm too smart to fall for THAT scam. Hold on, I have to adjust my tinfoil hat; the mind control rays are coming closer.

Okay, that's better. I hope your shield is on good; the enemy is strong today. Anyway, my sister and I were out with the kids the other day, and we went to the gym at local community center. It was getting on to lunchtime and we were just about to go fill them up with organic tofu, quinoa and broccoli nuggets and fries, when we were informed by the community center staff that they were serving free lunch! SCORE! At first we thought it was some kind of special day, but no! They do it every weekday from 12-1, AND they serve breakfast from 8-9.

The lunches were weird, no doubt about it. They came in a plastic shell, like a Lunchables box, or what I've heard Lunchables boxes might look like from someone who once bought one. You know, with little compartments and a sheet of cellophane sealed over the top. They had milk AND juice, and there were several different meals, handed out randomly. One of ours had breaded chicken balls, shaped like little drumlets, a brown roll and a pack of gummy candy. And by chicken balls, I mean round pieces of chicken, not rooster testicles, in case you were wondering. The other ones had stips of breaded chicken over a salad of lettuce, pod peas and shredded cheese along with crackers, and someone at a table next to ours had a wrap of some sort and strawberries. Oh, and each one had a strange metal colored little wafer, about the size of a rice grain, right on top. They weren't half bad, but everything was cold, and the kids didn't care for it except for the gummies and the crackers. Weston even stated fairly loudly for the record, and for the staff and the other lunchers, that 'The food here isn't very good.' The whole thing was quite puzzling, until we found out that these were Government funded meals, and they have them all summer, when school isn't in session. So I guess that's good, right? It's win-win. We get free food and the grocery outlets and animal hospitals get rid of their leftovers. We're definitely going to breakfast next time.

Huh, that's weird. I'm feeling this irresistible urge to drink some high fructose corn syrup sprinkled with MSG in a clear plastic cup and watch some network tv, then head to the mall. I'm going to need a new hat for sure. Damn you, Government wafers!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Genius, Free to Good Home

Corporate America, never bothered by grinding the downtrodden consumer deeper into the ground, or hosing over an innovator slaving away in the trenches, has done it again. Check out Pampers' latest offering: Designer Disposable Diapers. You may recall that just the other day I introduced my own DeadCatLine, which features disposables in a variety of high fashion styles. Can you believe this blatant thievery? Seriously, they didn't even try to be sneaky. Next thing you know turban helmets will be flying off the shelves at Wal-Mart and every prego in town will be wearing a DCL rip-off and they'll all be thinking how great those big box chain 'designers' are while true brilliance goes unrewarded, once again.

If you've been reading here for a while, or if you used to read Stories from Korea, you may also recall my frequent objections to many of the most disgusting practices of big business and the assistance they get from our government and legal system, or as they call it, 'business as usual'. But no more. This latest affront to my intellectual property rights has pushed me over the edge. You win, soul-sucking bastards. I hope you're happy, Supreme Court: I get it. Corporations ARE more important than people. Okay, elected representatives: It's not just okay for the laws of the land to be written by hacks funded by the very industries that require oversight; it's BETTER! Enjoy the swag! You deserve it! Thanks for doing such a great job. I don't know what I was thinking before.

I've been assimilated; what's good for the Board of Directors and the House of Representatives IS good for America! AND for the rest of the world, hallelujah! So with that in mind, I offer up all my best products and schemes , free to a good corporate home. This includes such gems as the ninja flight attendant airline commercial, the mini-beers, the fully automatic funnelator, the fully completed childrens' story/screenplay set in the near future about how the Canadians have bombed the US to smithereens, my various housekeeping breakthroughs, and my newest brainstorm: Coke with the Excedrin already in it. This one would work for Pepsi, Gatorade and coffee, too. Surefire winners, every one of them. Gold mines, I tell you. Well, except for maybe the story with those dastardly neighbors to the north. It might be a little too apocalyptic for the grade school set. It does have a stellar vomiting scene, though- it would light up the big screen. Where are you now, Disney? Dreamworks? Probably busy setting up some more of those nifty product placement deals, all for the greater good.

Take heed, food giants, pharmaceutical barons,entertainment behemoths and HFCS peddlers to us unwashed masses! It's all there for the taking. If you would do just one thing, though. Maybe you could throw a few extra bucks to those lobbyists of ya'alls to clear up that pesky labeling issue. We consumers don't need to know all that complicated chemical stuff about what's in all that stuff you make. We know you're just looking out for our best interests. Thanks, you're the best. But you knew that. And so do I.