Thursday, November 29, 2007

Putting lipstick on a pig.

The writer of this article would have you believe that black is white and Bush is the greatest president ever. I think not.

Moe Larry and Curly


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hidden inflation

In the same vein as Andy Rooney I'm seeing a sneeky route of inflation coming into our stores. Andy did a piece a few years back about how companies not wanting to raise prices merely cut the quantity of the product. Have you noticed it? The one pound can of (fill in the product) is now 15 ozs. The once 16 oz. package went to 15.3 then to 14. The 12 oz. package went to 9.5. The type of packaging has changed as well. At one time milk came only in glass bottles delivered by truck in the early morning hours. Then came the wax paper cartons that were not good as imperfections would cause a 'leaker'. Not a good thing to have on your breakfast table. Oh, and they were not easy to open. Then came the plastic jugs. Easy to open easy to pour but only one drawback, they don't keep the milk fresh for very long and with energy costs going up a gallon will far out pace gas.
Another thing I've noticed is where things are made. Just noticed a lot of candy bars are now made in South America. I don't have a problem with products being made out of the country, but these companys have made their reputations as American institutions. It's fine if they'd export products here that were native to their culture. But, shipping jobs overseas creates fewer consumers here.
It will be interesting to see what happens in a few years when the Chineese become the major comsumers of the world. Maybe the jobs will come home to roust.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Economy heading South?

It looks like our economic situation is starting to unravel. Wall Street is down over 200 more points today. I'd look for a small up tick in the next day or two followed by an even bigger downward spiral. Amazingly the fed has been dumping money into the system at a rate I've never seen. The presses are cranking out cash like never before. Hyperinflation is just around the corner. As I've mentioned before the real effects from housing won't be felt until March or April of 08 when the poop hits the fan, so hold on to your wallets, rough times are comming.

Money down the drain

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I'm back!

As I said in an earlier post my computer was giving out. Well yesterday it did. The power source gave out and left me in the dark internet speaking. The biggest hastle is that I now have a ton of stuff on a hard drive that needs recovered. Luckily I went to my local Apple store and they will transfer all the info to my new computer at no charge, but it'll take two days. No biggy because I figure it would take me two months to try and do it myself. I wasn't planning to buy a new machine until later next year but oh well. They even threw in a printer scanner copier at no charge as well. Merry Christmas to me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

via jupiterimages

Thinking about what to be thankful for this year there isn't a whole lot. We've had many of our constitutional rights taken away. A president who thinks he's a king and has spent our economy to a looming depression, but in keeping with the season I'll forgo any more negative issues right now. I will say that I'm thankful for having a roof over head food on the table and clothes on my back. I don't have to worry about being blown up when going to market or a band of government forces come to burn my village and run me off at least not yet. Looking at the holiday spreads, a thought comes to mind, the last good meal a prisoner has before the execution. Sure hope I'm wrong on that. I guess after 6 years I've become a pessimist. At any rate like a sailor on leave let us enjoy the moment while it lasts. To all... peace...

Impeachment maybe

I've been out of the loop lately with work and home matters but did manage to come upon this news item: New John Dean
On further investigation it looks like MSM as well as the publishers are trying to quell this story as usual. I just hope Scott lets more details come out in the weeks to follow. And a note to Pelosi "wake up and smell the roses" not much is going to be accomplished until the critters are removed from the now dry swamp.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

This just isn't right

Sea Tac airport in order to be "politically correct" has changed their "holiday decorations" in order not offend anyone.

They went from This:

To This?

And yes the bottom photo (although a model of the actual 'thing') is uglier in real life. Lit with changing megenta and blue lights the displays are depressing. That's my opinion anyway. What do you think? Did the Grinch come early this year and not have a change of heart?

Friday, November 16, 2007

I was glad to see this

Student protesters Via seattle times

This is a good sign that our young people are starting to wake up and realize what's going on around them. Or maybe they think there may be a draft in the near future. At any rate this is where your retirement went if you wanted to know. Sucking the life blood out of America at hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

On the economy

I've never claimed to be a financial wizard. I haven't done poorly, but Warren Buffet or Bill Gates I'm not. With that in mind I give my take on the current economy. There's an underlying factor in the back of my mind that never seems to come out to the forefront of the financial news. Not to sound goulish but the financial health of this nation is like Terry Schivo. It's dead only it hasn't accepted the fact. With a national debt greater than all of the budgets under all of the presidents combined, America is on a course for one of the greatest economic depressions ever seen in modern times. We as a nation are beyond bankrupt and it doesn't take a genious to figure that a depression is soon to come. I truely wish I was wrong, but we've seen events leading up to this over the course of history. Massive debt, hyperinflation, and financial insturments based on promises or non existent values were precursors to hard economic times. I'm seeing the carnival atmosphere on wall street with pundits touting how great our economy (patient) is doing, but did sombody forget that the doctor has declared the patient dead or maybe they don't want to admit the obvious? It's said that the band played on the deck of the Titantic as it was sinking.
Looking at the financial markets is almost humerous if it weren't so tragic. We see money pulled from stocks put in gold one day only to see it move to bonds and treasuries the next. The problem is will be no real value in any of these in the coming months or years ahead. The losses are already there only hidden in a delayed reports that will eventually see the light of day. We're just beginning to see the sub primes, naked shorts, ODC's, and Level 3's and the effect they have on our economic health. I only wish I were the boy who screamed wolf, but what is going on in the background in the financial and political world is not good. It's like giving a teenager a credit card with no spending limit and denying the bill when it comes. Well our bill is coming.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sure hope this is true.

Let's see the decider in chief veto this one.

War funding bill

And the truth about the actual cost comes out.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

S F Oil Spill

Oil spills and Lawyers

This article just irritates the hell out of me. A little background. On Wed. Nov 7 around 8:30 a cargo ship ran into the Bay bridge in San Fransisco. 58000 gallons of bunker fuel were spilled. I've worked with bunker oil in the past and I must say it's not one of my favorite hazardous materials to deal with. Bunker oil is a thick heavy oil that's used as fuel for the ships engines. They use it because it's cheap and it's the bottom of the barrel when oil is processed. Unlike the nice clean oil you put in your car bunker oil smells bad and when you get on your hands and clothing it doesn't come off easily. Even still it's not to be feared and requires little training to be delt with properly. My first oil spill involved about fifteen minutes of training while we loaded the equipment (oil pads, booms and sweeps) necessary for the clean up. The really important issue was getting there asap. Bunker oil will float on water for a while but after a time it sinks to the bottom. It's said that for any given spill the most that can be recovered is about 10 to 15%. The rest sinks or spreads out contaminating the beaches and of course the wildlife.
It would have been easy to have a clean up plan where volunteers could have worked in teams under the direction of an environmental company and haz mat workers. But now 5 days later the damage is far greater than it should have been. It will take decades for the bay to repair itself from the damage done. One method is to use an oil eating bacteria, but as it is referred to in the business as 'spray and pray', well you get the idea.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A great charity idea

My friend and fellow blogger Monkeyfister came upon this really great charity site (just wonder where he finds this stuff).

Free Rice

It works as follows: You provide the definitions to words (multiple choice) and for each correct answer 10 grains of rice are given to a United Nations food program. To date enough rice has been donated to feed 50,000 people and the site has only been around since Oct 7 of this year!
So go feed your brain and at the same time help feed the world.

War Protest

I've been trying to add this to the sidebar all night. Starting to wonder if the rethuglicans haven't infiltrated eblogger and found a way to block this.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hedge funds

I've always had a problem understanding hedge funds. Not that it's important to me as I don't invest in stocks, but I like to follow the general direction of the markets as it usually gives an indication of my work or lack there of. Here's a layman's guide to understanding this complex imvestment.
Hedge funds
The reason these are very important at this time is because much of the bad debt is neatly hidden in the deep levels of these funds and shortly they will be revealed for what they are "bad debt". Overheard a customer at the bread store mentioned to be aware of the economy in the next three months and now I know why. A company holding such bad paper hides it in an account called Level 3. They are legally required to report on this account after the first of the year. So hold on to your hats folks cause some of this Level 3 amounts to more than what a company is worth. Go read and decide for yourself if we aren't headed for hard times ahead.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Safe toys for Christmas

Austrailia just had a recall of toys made in China. The toys when ingested would metabolize into the date rape drug GHB and has made several children sick enough to be hospitalized. I'm not about to make any jokes on this as Leno might. While looking for alternatives to this expanding problem I came across:
Safe toys

Not only are these toys made to higher U.S. standards, they're made in the U.S. and you get a bonus of getting bonds when you buy them. Not to sound like an ad my only real concern here is not poisioning our children.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Bush flaps his gums

Free Trade?

Listening to Bush babble on about free trade and how it will give us higher paying jobs this morning makes me want to ... The iceing on the cake was when he mentioned about following the rule of law. That's when I turned him off.

Most of the jobs went first to Mexico and then to China so Ross Perot was half right. On farm trade it seems nobody wins. Our farmers can't make it so they ask for subsities then they in turn dump produce on Mexico so Mexican farmers can't make a living. And you wonder why there's a drug problem coming from Mexico.

In other news Dennis Kucinich finally stood up and said what most Americans have wanted for some time, the impeachment of Cheney. I had hopes until I read that he and Pelosi backed down shortly afterward. They stated that they had other priorities like health care. (Yea like Bush is going to let anything you come up with get past his veto pen) Don't they realize that they have to get rid of the clowns before anything real gets done or are they just a part of this crime family, distant cousins maybe?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Environmental items


A quick lesson in lead - It is more dangerous for children to be exposed to lead then adults as their bodys are still growing and more importantly there is at present no treatment for children with lead poisoning. There is what is called background levels present in all of us. Since lead was used in the past in such things as paint and gasoline for a very long time it is still present in old buildings and houses and in soils by the side of roads. It is also present in our blood at very low levels because of these exposures. An average of 6 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood seems to be a norm. A microgram is equal to one grain of sugar. It had been thought that children could handle up to 10 micrograms with no ill effects and that has been a standard for some time. There are now some doubts about that 10 microgram figure.
So how to protect the young ones from lead? If you live in an older home (pre 1980's) you can assume that there is lead paint on the walls. You can also assume that the wallls have been painted since, but if the paint chips or peels there is a danger. Keep kids away from paint that's peeling if you are not sure. A simple text kit is a pen that will turn red or pink when touched to a lead painted object. It is just a rough guide and samples should be sent to a lab. Ask your local health dept. for more info on this as laws differ in dealing with this.

I'll discuss chromium and silica exposures in later entries.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Your tax dollars at waste

I just love finding articles like this. Where your tax dollars have been stolen in the money hole called Iraq. And Shrub wants still more money for his illegal business deal.


More Random things

Is this malady spreading of what? First the Mayor of Spokane then Larry Craig and now this clown REPUBLICAN Rep. Richard Curtis a Wa. state legislator gets caught having sex with some guy he picked up at a sex shop. Anybody out there come up with a nice catch phrase for this? Interestingly the GOP asked him to leave office. Sounds like the GOP should stand for the Gay Old Party eh.

Oil is now at $96 per barrel. How much longer will it be before janitors, field workers and other unskilled workers won't be able to afford the gas to get to work?

Speaking of work I just did a recertification class. The instructors always like to show some gruesome safety films. I hate to watch them because someone always gets killed (and these are for real) but then it reminds me not to become complacent about what I do. It's real easy when you've done this type of work as long as I have.