Friday, December 30, 2011

Population and our eminent demise

The clock is ticking

People like to think of this world as infinite. Hike to a mountain top or take a boating trip beyond the horizon to observe the vastness of this world yet fail to see how small things have become. There is only so much in this world no matter how we would like to perceive it. The amount of air and water that existed thousands of years ago is still here. There won't be a mother ship sending in an emergency supply. But the one thing that will increase is the supply of people. You can morbidly cheerlead for the thinning of the herds but our obsession with self replication keeps our numbers bounding forward. And like it or not we are moving ever so closer to a breaking point. We have two choices. We can either stem the tide of overpopulation peacefully or wait for the inevitable conflicts to ensue. Even with our present day wars the population clock ticks upward with no end in sight. And no sneaking off to some far off galaxy because our technology won't get us there yet. It's reported that the population will "level off" sometime around just before 2050 at just over 9.5 billion people. I'm glad I won't be around to endure those conditions. Governments will have no choice but to issue mandates about our very existence and it won't be some politically correct BS either. Do it or not survive will become apparent. Yes things could get ugly but we're not quite there just yet.

Pop over and have a look at the ticking population clock and consider how much in resources each one of those little mouths consumes. We have an artist here who makes an interesting representation of what we throw away on a daily basis. It would be wonderful if all that trash were to land up in recycle but that is not the case. A lot of it ends up in our oceans and rivers to come back and haunt at a later date. "But I only threw away a paper cup or candy wrapper" you say. Well multiply that by a million or a billion or two billion and see what it looks like.

The amazing thing is all that has happened in terms of population growth and our polluting the planet has occurred in just the last 200 years with the start of the industrial revolution. We sure learned to produce and reproduce too. And now we face the consequences of our success. People never stop to think that they are part of the planet. Maybe it's our short sighted nature and it seems to be getting shorter still with the advances of technology. We have done everything in our power to separate ourselves from nature thinking somehow that it makes life better only to realize that in the process we destroy nature. What we fail to realize is that nature will always win. It was here before us and it will be here long after we're done.

What would Friday be without the Friday pussy

Cunning little creature these felines. Hope she has strong nails.

U.S. to sell Iraq $11 billion dollars worth of aircraft.
Nothing like a housewarming gift after you've destroyed the neighbors' home. They haven't rebuilt most of Iraq but they'll need a new fleet of F-15s to protect what exactly? Wouldn't happen to be their oil fields so we can steal all the oil now would it? And now to sell the Saudis a bunch of fighter jets too. What's next an aircraft carrier to Afghanistan?

Russian nuclear sub catches fire
I see they at least had the foresight to off load all the missiles first. I'll bet the fire watch is going to be in big trouble that is if they even use one.

Spain tries to cut it's debt further
Nothing like slapping more taxes and spending cuts on people who can least afford it. Yeah that will make the economy just sing. Italy to it's credit was smart enough to start putting people back to work with spending on it's infrastructure. I say we fire the lot of congress and hire an economics professional that knows how to do things. These "job creators" aren't creating jobs.

bank fails later

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Greed. It can come back to bite you in the...

Rootworms have become resistant to genetically modified corn. The corn made by those wonderful folks at Monsanto (he said snarkily) was modified to produce its' own pesticide. Unfortunately the worms have developed a resistance to it and are starting to increase crop damage. The problem has been exacerbated by poor farming methods.

Don't fool mother nature

A problem of greed
Most farmers rotate corn with other crops in a practice long used to curb the spread of pests, but some have abandoned rotation because they need extra grain for livestock or because they have grain contracts with ethanol producers. Other farmers have eschewed the practice to cash in on high corn prices, which hit a record in June.

Crop rotation I might add has been used for centuries and when done properly results in higher crop yields and better soil conditions. We saw what happened in the 1930s when farmers abandoned standard practices and when a draught ensued the top soil blew away leaving farmers with nothing. That was the period of the great Dust Bowl in the midwest. With a dry winter it makes one wonder how the midwest aquifer is holding up. It's been known to be decreasing with the increase of agricultural activity of the farm belt.

I hope everyone realizes that we no longer grow most of our produce in this country. We only cover about 25% of our food needs here. The rest comes from countries like Chile, Canada, India, and Mexico. And you can thank Bush for our abundance of mangos from India. Much of our farm output was outsourced long ago and yet prices continue to rise. Good luck finding a pound of beef for under $5. That was due to our draught this past summer. But this makes me wonder what defense we would have should our supplies be cut off. We have developed a "just in time" supply system and any disruption to that would be a disaster.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Black gold. Texas tea. Bubblin crude as Jeb Clampett would say. Much has been written on the subject of late. But so much has been inaccurate. People focus on politics and geographic locations and fail to ponder the underlying causes of our present situation. I hear talk of alternative energy and a push away from oil. All well and good in theory but there are no replacements at the present time. Take a look around the room and count how many things are made from oil. And even if they weren't made from it they had to be transported there with oil. We are stuck with a major infrastructure built on oil and nothing is going to change anytime soon. Why you might ask? Because those who run oil companies will not let it happen. They may talk a pretty game of change with flowers and butterflies flitting around solar panels but they have no intention of killing their cash cow just for your or the planets' sake. They have said as much in interviews. It's always something like "In 40 or 50 years we'll be able to move away from oil". But of course all the oil executives will be dead by then so what would they care. Just a matter of keeping the game going until then and as the supply dwindles and the price goes up they'll make even more money.

A couple of statements from a business paper -
We're highly dependent on a finite fuel source controlled by crazy people who hate us
We've done next to nothing about this problem for four decades

To which I'd reply - they may be crazy and they may hate us but they aren't stupid. They realize that their income is tied to oil and that the world needs oil. And like the addicts we are we'll come crawling for the stuff. They know perfectly well that economies can't function without oil. So you'll see back room deals and cheats as we've seen with other embargoes all under the guise of humanitarian facades. Did we do anything in the last forty years? Yes we went from the gas guzzling behemoths of the late sixties and early seventies to the smaller cars of today but the population increased as did the number of cars. And with those new cars came plastic parts made from oil. And the greed and the quest continues. So sit back, watch the show and don't be fooled by the loud mouth characters on stage. They are but a diversion from what is really happening. I'll bet the speculators are just loving this show.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Year end review

Taking stock of the year as 2011 slides into 2012 I'd say it was a mediocre year for me at least. I haven't fallen off a cliff yet but I still have a few obstacles to over come moving into the new year. Somehow all of those once in a while bills decided to converge in the month of January. The bi-yearly insurance couldn't have come at a more inopportune moment. And some long over due dental work had to be done before loosing out on the few crumbs the insurance pays. I would just love to be in the position of offering my services the way they do. I'm sorry sir/madame but in order to get my services you'll have to submit to my lengthy questionnaire, physical and be drug tested. Upon review of your application a determination of your eligibility will be made by our acceptance board. A minimum of three month waiting period is required prior to consideration. Should your request be denied you may have the right to appeal the decision. All requests for appeal must be received no later than 7 days after notification of denial. And on and on etc etc.

On the national economic news front it looks like stocks are up a bit. One would have you believe that everything is going well after an increase in retail sales. A few tiny bits of overlooked information on that front. In order to get shoppers into the malls retailers had to slash prices. And this didn't happen just once as is usually the case. Normally they drop prices the day after turkey day then it's back to business as usual until January. Not so this year. There was an uptick as usual on Black Friday but then a large fall off. Retailers fearing full shelves at the end of the year slashed prices even more. They may have moved a bit of inventory but at a cost to their profit margins. And now that the boa constrictor of consumers has been fed it will be a while before the next feeding. I'd bet that those seasonal temps have already gotten their walking papers and are or will be joining the ranks on the unemployment line sometime next week.

But hiding in the depths far from the economic news are a bunch of 800 lb. gorillas. We have the european economic mess which has been neatly shoved off the front pages for cheerier news. They still have no concrete solution in spite of what they're telling you. So once again it's crank up the money presses to shovel money at more debt. Isn't that like trying to eat yourself skinny? The problem there is that in order to keep the body alive you can't starve it to death because after all dead people don't pay taxes. And it's those taxes that pay for the debt or at least lower it. There always is and always will be an imbalance of economic activity. That's what causes the system to operate in the first place but too much imbalance will cause things to stop.
The other 800 pounder is the housing market. I have to wonder just what the banks plan to do with all those foreclosed homes they hold on their books. They can't leave them there forever as they fall into decay. We saw how Cleveland bulldozed their problems but what about all the debt that went with it? Will it become a write off or will they figure out some sneaky way to package this junk into something they can foist on the world markets as they did with the subprimes?

Just a thought, maybe I can package my debt into a bond of some type and sell it on the open market. If I could leverage it at nine times like the banks do I could be retired in no time at all. Just need to buy a hedge when I can't pay the bill when it comes due. It's all paper after all.

Monday, December 26, 2011

One reason I don't go out much

At least on holidays that is. Or make that a couple of reasons.

House Fire Kills 5 in Stamford

Nine shot at Tennessee teenagers' party

Police find 7 dead in Fort Worth-area apartment Update Santa killed Texas family after opening presents.

8-year-old girl killed when branch falls on car

Soldier shot, paralyzed during homecoming party

Man's body found in Everett storage unit after fire Saturday

By the looks of it you'd think everybody got a fifth of scotch and French dueling pistols for Christmas. And with today's economy I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often. Between self emulation and lunatic relatives is it any wonder why I'll pass on such merriment?

So just keep fighting and thinning the gene pool. I'll just sit back and watch from the comfort of my own living room. Goof balls just won't learn will they? You just can't teach them anything. Oh well nothing more to see here. Move along and while you're at it don't disturb the crime scene tape while the investigation is still under way. The coroner's results should be available in about a week. That's all for today. Now get back to work Cratchit!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A message of Peace

People wonder what the reason for this season is and never really stop to consider the true meaning. Yes I get silly here probably because it's the only way I can keep what little there is left of my sanity with all that's going on in the world. But the underlying reality is that this is the season of sacrifice. It's the time of year when we're supposed to look at the other of humanity and feel compassion. It's for people like Billy who helps out his neighbor Helen knowing that she can not care for herself and yet looks after her daily anyway. It's for Randal who inspite of a sarcastic exterior never hesitates to say the right thing when trouble comes. Not to mention S.W. and Jim and Tom and many many others who are always there for you even though they may be hundreds of miles away. It's for the ounce of compassion left in a world that's turned hostile. And to all those out there who for one reason or another have stopped posting we're still thinking of you. Even though life may have thrown it's ugly fate at you we still care and are worried about you.

So to all a momentary period of compassion even if it's brief for we're only on this earth for a brief time. That is the true meaning of the season. Whether it's true or not about a virgin birth doesn't matter. But the sacrifice always matters, it matters for our very existence, our very will to live on this planet.

Peace to all and may at least some of your wishes come true this coming new year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A special Christmas post

Arrest report

Name: Santa Claus
Address: North Pole ?
Age: unknown
Aliases: Chris Cringle, Father Christmas, St Nick, Sinterklaas, Pere Noel, Babbo Natale, Dun Che Lao Ren, Weihnachtsmann, Kanakaloka, Ded Moroz .

Hair color: white
Eyes: blue
Height: 5'8"
Weight: approx. 300lbs
Other identifying traits: White beard
Adendums: See attached photo

Arresting officer report: Subject seen wearing a dirty red fur coat climbing on roof tops with large bag of toys. When confronted subject appeared intoxicated. Face was flush and nose was red. Also suspected drug use. Subject smoking pipe with smoke all around his head. Subject unlawfully entered home on 123 Main street through chimney. Subject left toys at residence. Theft charge: Subject seen carrying glass of Coca Cola. Empty can on counter, one can missing from refrigerator. Owner indicated nothing else missing. Suspected level one child sex offender. Request mental health evaluation. When confronted subject just laughed and tried to escape through chimney. Suspected animal abuse - Suspect carrying whip had sleigh with miniature reigndeer on roof. Fire and Rescue notified. Animals removed from roof and taken to county animal shelter. Suspected radiation poisoning. Lead reigndeer had glowing nose. Hazardous Waste emergency response notified of situation. Danger determined to be low but extreme caution advised. Request contact with ASPCA for further review.

File Date: December 24,2011
Arresting officer: J. Grinch

Friday, December 23, 2011

Occupying "twas the night before christmas"

Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the house
not a creature was stirring
not even a mouse
(the rats were all in DC on Capitol Hill)
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
hope they'd dry by tomorrow
another protest march we'd all be there

The children had crashed all limp in their beds
with visions of Occupy danced in their heads.
Mom was wearing her cold weather head gear
and I wrapped in a space blanket and fisherman's cap
had just settled in
after listening to rap

When all of a sudden there rose such a clatter
I jumped from the bed
had someone smashed a vinyl platter?
I dashed to the window
and threw up the sash
checked my wallet
but their was no cash

The moon lit the camp I could make out objects below
tents and rain gear and thank god no snow
When, what to my watery eyes should appear
More back up police in riot gear

With little old sergeant, clip board and night stick
I knew in a minute eviction would be quick
More rapid than protons his bellows they came
he radioed and hollered and called them by name

Now O'Donnell! now Dugan! now Murphy and Thomas!
On Connley, On Kerry, on Flannagan and Amos
To the streets! to the sidewalks! to the alleys don't fall!
Round em up round em up round em up all!

Like dry leaves before wild hurricane fly
protesters they did scatter with chopper in sky
So out of the park protesters they flew,
With nap sacks and back packs and the old sarg too.

And then with an anti twinkle I heard from the park
tents being ripped and with video proof.
As I covered my head and was turning around,
cops pushing and shoving many hit the ground.

He was dressed in all black from his head to his toe
not a wrinkle or blemish he was no average Joe
A large canister of mace he had slung on his back,
looked like a fire fighter with mask and hard hat

His eye did not twinkle, his dimples be none,
looking at his holster, he was carrying a gun
his mouth did scowl, we wanted to know
when the beatings would start, with each baton blow.

From the look in his eyes, and the clench of his teeth
no merriment here, no dancing feet
his shoulders were broad, his middle rotund,
I could tell by his demeanor, this would be no fun

He was dark and imposing, a stern young elf
I chanted and protested at him, in spite of myself
with a scowl and sneer and a shake of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had everything to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
clubbing protesters galore, to me what a jerk!
And laying a finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, to the patrol car he goes.

He sprang to paddy wagon, to driver he did whistle
It was off to detention, what a mean old pistol
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"58 protesters arrested this eviction night!"

Pussy Noel

And what would Friday be without the pussies.

Bank fails later along with one of those special holiday posts I promised if I can get the damned thing assembled. You know how that works.

Now where did I leave that screw driver?

Update: Shoe shoppers pepper sprayed in Seattle Sheesh! I thought they were saving their pepper spray for the Occupy protesters. Shows you our priorities. 25% of the planet starving and these guys are fighting over over priced tennis shoes.

On the bright side congress passed the stupid budget bill extension. Now I won't have to worry about having to live in the car in the dead of winter. Gee thanks guys.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let the civil war commence

Iraq bombs kill at least 40 in Baghdad
This situation was a given considering that in 9 years of occupation the U.S. could never bring the different factions together. But fear not. After another couple of years of fighting the bullets will stop. Some agreements will be reached and the country will fall into a somewhat peaceful place. Look no farther than Lebanon to use as an example. We occupied there. Then we left. Fighting broke out but eventually peace came forth. People get tired of having to live in such conditions fearing for their lives on a daily basis. This also reminds us of northern Ireland with years and years of fighting for independence with the occupation of British troops. What happened there? It got so bad that the radical groups started to kill their own. Not trusting loyalty even from those within the organization, families were not safe from their own troops.

In other news
US growth revised down for third quarter - Isn't this just as I've said many times before. Bean counters fudge the numbers (mmmm fuuudge ghhahhhh!) to make things look good then reality sets in but everyone has a short memory about the truth. If a certain bill is not passed the first quarter will look very bad with the bulk of americans (160 million was it?) pulling in the purse strings.

Frankincense production "doomed," scientists warn
Horror of horrors what's next a Myrrh shortage? Say it ain't so.

Danish zoo raises polar bear cub by hand
We'll spend thousands of dollars helping an animal make it in the world but when it comes to our own species we'll just let them die on the street. What's that you say your insurance company won't cover your much needed operation?

New holiday (as if we didn't have enough)
Canadians have come up with a new holiday Marijuanica. Nothing official or government sanctioned mine you, but given all the ads for liquor on TV of late why not? Even creative carols have come from this merriment. So one wonders is this the eat drink and be merry attitude and I know you know how the rest of that phrase goes.

The tease (don't you just hate em?)
And stay tuned for my latest and greatest holiday season special posts. As soon as I dig them out of the attic, get them dusted off and polished they'll be ready for your viewing pleasure. Hey wait a minute that's right I don't have an attic. Well I'll find them where ever they are.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Be afraid! On second thought nothing to see here move along.

Fearing Terrorism, U.S. Asks Journals to Censor Articles on Virus

This is absurd on several counts. First the information on biowarfare has been out there for a number of years. Entire governments have devoted great resources in developing the latest methods of mass destruction. It wasn't until anthrax scare after 911 that anyone paid much attention to the biological and chemical weapons. Why? Because those items had been outlawed by international agreements. First in 1975 with the biologicals and then again in 1993 with chemical weapons when George H.W. Bush signed agreements. A great many of the huge stock piles are gone. One weapon I hope they finish destroying is the Vx gas our military is holding. It is the most tenacious stuff to remediate taking weeks to neutralize should it ever be used.
But now we have a dearth of natural viruses coming at us but government agencies are worried that should that information fall into the wrong hands a pandemic of epic proportions could result.
I find that bit of information amusing because being tied to the field in a round about way, we didn't get any training in dealing with a possible event until four years after the first anthrax attacks and even then it was very minimal. Only the very basic knowledge of health effects and protection methods were presented. I've had biohazard training once before but never to a level of a national emergency event. I find their lag in training an indication that they weren't as worried about the situation as they would have you believe. I found out some time later that I was on a national list should such an emergency happen. Thanks for telling me guys.

The governments' biggest fear right now is that some group will weaponize the SARS virus (bird flu). But I'd say if they haven't done this by now then it probably won't happen. Yes you may see the generic loon try to wreck havoc in the name of their cause but I'd be more afraid of catching a case of salmonella or e-coli at the local supermarket from produce or meat.

The thought had crossed my mind that they could easily get hold of one of the hemorrhagic viruses known as VHFs which are 100% fatal but the drawback for them is getting it into the country without detection as most of those viruses are carried by an animal host. Merely injecting a suicide subject with a deadly strain would show up rather quickly on an international flight. The symptoms come on rather fast and are quite obvious starting with a high fever. Airports are wise and have heat scanning detection equipment.

So after all the scare tactics I find that most situations could have be dealt with in a fairly timely manner even if the powers that be weren't the brightest bulbs in the bunch. Much of the terror warnings are just psychological scare tactics anyway. More damage is done by panic and lack of knowledge than facing something head on and actually understanding things. And here's a laugh. Dick Cheney used to carry around with him a top of the line haz mat suit at all times. Hum did he stop to think that there'd be no one around when he ran out of air and needed a refill tank? Not too bright Dicky.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Work or lack there of

I really wonder if we haven't become too efficient for our own good. I think back to a time when the average work day was from sun up to sun down or roughly 12 hours. And back then there was no such thing as a 4 or 5 day work week. It was six for everybody. Some years back I worked seven days a week but that wasn't for too long. I can't imagine doing a six day week for very long now. But back then I could recover with just a few short hours of sleep. Age catches up to you.

What has happened in the last ten or twenty years? With strides in efficiencies there is less of a need for workers. I may have said this before but in just a short period what used to take two dozen workers now takes six or eight. And time schedules have been cut in half or more. A little insight into that though. You see highway projects always seeming to be done ahead of time and under budget? A little trickery there is at work. As the estimate for bid goes through the chain of command, hours get added with each passing hand. It's all a game. Once signed the paperwork makes it back down to the supervisors and foremen but not before the hours mysteriously disappear. If a job takes two weeks to finish the bid gets pushed to three. The workers are told the job must be finished in a week. When that isn't possible they are told they'll get an extra day or two but the new artificial deadline must be met. When the job gets done ahead of schedule management is patting themselves on the back while telling the workers the company lost money on the job. This strategy backfires when workers have enough experience to know exactly how long a job will take. When pushed too far or too fast they will however slow down to make up for lost time and wages.

The though had crossed my mind sometime way back in the 1970s. What if humans or at least most of their labor became unnecessary? What would we do? Never did I think we would come so close to the current situation in my lifetime and yet there is more to come. ATMs, robot welders and auto floor vacuums are but the tip of the iceberg. There are drones and land cruisers that can act autonomously. Artificial intelligence the next frontier of computers and machines is the next blessing or worry. They already have cars that park themselves so why would I even bother going in the first place. I could just send my robot clone. In congress we have clowns, but maybe someday that is if we can pry the cash out of their bought souls, we could have clones. Low on maintenance easily controllable that is if the majority get a turn and maybe something might get done. Just keep the extremists away from the joy stick.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Just thinking of the latest (insert name of the latest cool weapon here). We spend billions if not trillions of dollars trying to devise the latest most efficient methods for wiping the planet of the latest (insert latest enemy name here). Never once considering that it would be far cheaper in the long run to provide a little food clothing and shelter instead of bombs and bullets. How creative we've become in the carnage of warfare with drones and laser guided missiles. Never mind the fact that the next door neighbor might get added to the statistics when the smoke settles. But that's okay he and his family were probably sympathizers too even the baby and the dog.
So now it's official our military can roll down your street in a Bradly tank to arrest either you or your neighbor with no writ or warrant and there is nothing you can do about it. They have boiled the frog and he is ready for serving. We now have a full fledged dictatorship compliments of our U.S. Congress. It's fine for other countries to fight for freedom and democracy but just don't try that here buster or there'll be hell to pay. No standing on street corners or sidewalks and shouting your displeasure or it's pepper spray and baton for you. What are you going to do about it call a cop? And along those lines the creative engineers tried their best to foil such outrage with sound cannons and microwave devices. What they seemed to forget is that such demonstrations are never neat and pretty. Protesters don't just line up in a row to be mowed down and of course you have shoppers intermingled in the mix. Wouldn't want to deprive big business of their profits now. The last use of such a device resulted in the police getting whacked, hoisted by their own petard I believe the term is.

So just when will people stop the madness? Cool off step back and spend a little time actually learning about "them". It's always about "them" not us. We slap enough labels on "them". We try to make "them" different. "They" are the ones who probably did it. You know "them". "They" are not like us. "They" dress funny. "They" don't talk like us. "They" may be plotting something. "They" are out to get us. "They" have strange customs. "They" eat strange foods. "They" will cheat us if "they" get the chance. "They" are dirty. "They" are lazy. "They" are ignorant. "They" are stupid. "They" don't think like we do. "They" are radical. "They" hate us. "They" don't look like us. "They" are all alike.

Now step up to the mirror and take a good look. Couldn't the same thing be said about you?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

R.I.P Missy

I've never know a cat like her or even a dog for that matter. She was unique. A little hellion when we first got her. Tuxedo cat on the outside but in bright sun you could just make out brown tabby stripes underneath. rumor had it that her momma cat didn't treat her too nice as she was the runt of the litter. That may have explained her sometimes feral nature. She kind of grew out of that as she got older but had her times when she didn't want bothered you knew better than even touch her. I don't recall ever hearing of a cat who would wait for you at the front door when you came home from work but there she'd be with a friendly meow greeting. She really attached herself to me as I studied and learned cat behavior. She'd curl up at my feet at bed time and always let you know when it was time for the litter box in the middle of the night. She'd also let you know when it was chow time in early morning and evening. She was like an atomic clock in that regard.
She had her dreams in life just like the rest of us I guess. Hers' was to get out and roam free which she did on several occasions. It was always requirement to check behind you when opening the front door or she'd bolt out and down the steps headed for her favorite hiding place a drainage pipe by the street. She got out a couple of times once for three days. But the last time would indeed be her last. No she didn't get hit or attacked but after four days of feline party I was able to trick her back with a bowl of food. After a warm bath and kitty feast she'd curl up in one of her many favorite spots. I know I should have gotten her fixed but never got around to it. About a week after her latest escapade she started to bloat up. Thinking we'd be having new additions to the household I though nothing of it. I should have known something was wrong when no delivery happened and no miscarry. Yesterday she lay there on the floor with barely a quiet meow like a limp rag. I could see in her eyes that this was nearing the end but didn't want to face the truth. I picked her up packed her in her carrier and raced to the vets. Upon examination he said there was nothing to be done that she wouldn't make it the weekend. And it was then that I had to make that difficult decision. Yes doctor you can put her down rather than have her face any more suffering.

Some would say "it's just a cat" but when you get so attached it's hard to let go. I guess goodbyes are never easy especially when there was the urgency to try and save a life even of a small creature. She only made it about seven years which makes it all the harder. I will miss her.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pussies can do crazy things too ya know

I got nothing zip zilch nada.
And if you're smart you'll just keep you yap shut lest they cart you off to some foreign land for an undetermined amount of time.

bank fails later

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's the economy stupid

(After writing this post I dug through the Bureau of labor statistics on the stats for Oct. and Nov. and they aren't looking good unless you just got your nursing degree or medical training.)

I never claimed to be any technical wizard when it comes to the economy but I do get a general gut feeling about how things are going. Looking at the markets bounce like a rubber ball is just an indication of the uncertainty of today's world. In checking stock trends you will note that most of the retail sector has taken a hit. November may have been what looked like a better than average year but most retailers had to slash prices deeply to get shoppers to the mall. The feeding frenzy of consumerism is about over there with all but a small blip on buying as the day nears. But looking at the fundamentals, the guts of industrial spending if you will, I'm looking at a very weak picture with a pull back. Okay duh! Who couldn't have figured that one out by the austerity measures coming? Mining, heavy equipment and the like are taking a hammering (oops pardon the pun). Pharma is fairing okay but basic staples seem to be dropping as are banks. Insurance is on the rise and I was just informed that rates are going up soon. Gas has been moving in an odd pattern. Even though speculators have tried their best to move barrel prices higher past $100 per barrel, it only managed to stay there for a short time before falling. Even in one of the tax heavy states here it's running around $3.60 per gallon average.

There are so many deadlines coming due in the next two weeks they're hard to pin down. We have the european debt crisis hanging over head. The boys coming back from Iraq who will find little comfort in knowing that there isn't much work to be had out there even with any assistance from government. Did I mention more lay offs? On a bright note the post office has given a temporary reprieve to closing a bunch of branches and dropping a bunch of workers. Everything is on hold until May. How they'll pay the bills in the mean time is anyone's guess.

From an anecdotal perspective I'm seeing more parked cars on the street in the neighborhood during the day and I know they aren't taking year end vacation time. Had some hope for this year but I didn't think it would be quite this bad. But to be political once more the republicans did say their only goal was to get Obama out of office. They don't seem to care if they scorch the earth in the process. Too bad we're the part that's getting burnt.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Feds Want To Take Your Phone

(Guess who was on the phone in this little smash up?) and no it's not me.

Out of your car that is.

Give me a totally plastered driver over a woman texting on her cell phone while driving any day. I've been run off the road twice for that reason. Drunks you can avoid. I don't even like talking while driving because with the likes of some drivers you can never anticipate what they'll do any more. Another thing is U turns. All well and good if it's 3 am and the loonies have departed the bar but not so good at rush hour when opposing traffic can turn on red. I've experience more than one mexican stand off at the intersection after a perfectly legal right hand turn after stop on red. I always win because I have a bigger car. (SUVs rarely try that maneuver) For the most part I don't make many U turns anyway unless it's in a residential area and I just missed a turn even then I'll look for a parking area rather than make a bat turn.
But real trouble enters the picture when someone has finished up a double shift or second job getting off before sun up. A text message or call home might be the last. Can we put that on their tombstone? LOL...OMG... AH SH*T!

So put down the make up. Quit reading the paper. The coffee can wait. Hang up the phone and just drive!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Slanted journalism

Digging through the news I keep a jaded eye about reporting. There was a time when journalists were bold enough to question authority and dig deeply into backgrounds. Today it's a different story (pardon the play on words). Sadly with shrinking budgets and skittish editors news is being perverted or at the least suppressed. Fearing the legal wrath of corporate owners not much of what you'll see hasn't been sanitized to the approval of some lawyer or well controlled editor. When we saw Fox News have a seat amongst the White Press briefings it was obvious that the days of accurate reporting were over. Why not let the National Enquirer or other supermarket tabloid have a seat as well? They could easily photoshop pictures and scramble a story like so much alphabet soup. Just wondering when they'll be able to accomplish such feats with video in near real time. Better not give them any ideas.

I guess it's true. It's easier to lie about something and get away with it today more than ever because the truth is only making it to the very fringes of main stream media. Far easier to lie, then lie about the lie and then when caught in that lie then lie again. I see no one remembers the story of the boy who cried wolf. Lies can bite you in the ass at some point. Doesn't seem that's so with politicians or much of what is reported today. When was the last time you saw a retraction on the nightly news? Ah that's right they never lie or misreport but they're doing it every day now and you don't even notice it. Where is Helen Thomas when we need her? Sure could use her kind of journalism now but I think those days are gone along with truthful honest questions.

The reason I bring all this up is because there is an ugly pattern unfolding in our nation. Looking for the cheapest labor management has taken it upon itself to replace once well paying jobs with cheap sub contractors some many owned by foreign companies. Look no farther than the auto industry in the south to see what's happened. What were once well paying family supporting jobs are now little more than subsistence work if even that. The nations ports are slowly becoming bastions of indentured servitude. But the final straw I believe was when foreign sub contractors were not even permitted to use port restrooms. I'm sure slaves of the Civil War era were afforded some accommodations in that regard. But none of this is making it to the main stream media which seems too busy reporting on trite and distracting news that no body really cares about. And the news that is making it is done so with the watchful eye of it's corporate masters. Wouldn't want to tick off the sponsors now and you never know a new sponsor could be waiting in the wings. This issue is not new. In the 1950s a show was dropped I kid you not because a contestant on a game show in a passing remark said "I'm a lucky guy". The show was sponsored by Camel cigarettes.

So I have to wonder when this McCarthy era ends. We can substitute Muslim for Communist today and the reportage is probably about the same as it was back then but now it's corporations who hold sway and not some drunken senator. This is no tin foil hat conspiracy theory either. The people protesting on the streets are no different than you or me because they are made up of the likes of you or me.

More later when it comes across my mind.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The big tent party

The "big tent" republican party must be getting smaller by the day. Think about it. Who other than their corporate masters haven't they pissed off? Let's look at the list.

African Americans
Latinos and Hispanics
The poor
Children especially poor children
The elderly
The mentally challenged
The disabled
The unemployed
The homeless
Public workers
The active military
Jews unless you're Israeli
Any other religion that doesn't fit into their ever shrinking box
Independents unless you're Joe Lieberman
Any other party not extremely right wing
And yes even many members of their own party who don't tow the line

Didn't see you name/category on the list? You either didn't look hard enough or it means you're part of that 1% everyones' talking about. In which case you wouldn't be reading this blog anyway.

So it makes me wonder if they even want to take back the Oval office. In their position they have really no work to do. It's just a matter of blocking all the bills presented before congress and knowing that nothing will pass. It's down to the point where even a threat of filibuster results in a bill getting scrapped or at best shoved back into the rabbit hole of the process never to see the light of day again. So when you have nothing better to do than shuffle papers all day or maybe a fund raiser or speech then drink with your buddies at night it's no wonder nothing gets done. And they love it that way. If all you had to do to make $172K a year for sitting around saying no all day wouldn't you jump at the chance? Just say no unless it's a tax cut for me.

Will they work all through the Christmas holiday to get a budget bill passed? I seriously doubt it because to do so now would mean having to face the folks back in their home districts and that wouldn't look too good. At best we'll see a delay until after the new year because who wants to take blame for what they are about to do to us?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Whos' land? Sorry this land ain't yours anymore

The concept of land ownership is an odd thing when you think about it. The earth after all has been here long before we were born and will be here long after we and our spawn have vanished. Exactly how did we get to this idea of imaginary boundaries with fences and guards and permits to cross? I think it just may be part of our DNA. From early beginnings we will fight for space whether it's two inches in the back seat of the family sedan with a bratty sister all the way up to a bunch of islands halfway across the world. As Carlin would say get your s**t out of there I want to put my stuff here. Ala a space for my stuff.
Then there's the issue of encroachment. That's sneaking into someone else's territory and claiming it as our own. Isn't that a 10 yard penalty in football? But with nations it's a different story. For one side it's the invaders but for the other it's the settlers (how quaint). One side becomes the regime another insurgents and not to forget freedom fighters and liberators. And how could I forget occupiers? That term that has made it into all facets of daily life now. The real problem is that there is little space left to call your own. You can't stay here and you can't stay there. No camping no sleeping no sitting on the sidewalk and of course we can't forget no loitering. So officer exactly where do you expect me to exist? What do you mean you don't care as long as it's not here? That's what the officer in the next town said when he kicked me out of there. Can't go on state land, need a permit for that. Can't go on federal land you'll get run off from there too. I hear Walmart is kind to campers but only if you have an RV.

That reminds me, this obsession with possession has gotten worse over the years. I remember some years back breaking down in a small town in Texas while on the road. I don't know if it was that small town neighborliness or the time period but I got multiple offers of help. Today it would be "you can't park here or we'll have you towed".

But to finish this piece of drivel with a fitting end I recall seeing in my many journeys a sign at the entry to a national park. It was one of those brown signs with white letter spelling out the law of the land. Went something like :

No Fishing
No Hunting
No littering
No loud music
No open flames or campfires
No picnics except in designated areas
No motor vehicles on trails
No gathering firewood

We hope you enjoy your stay

And today we have:

We hope you enjoy your stay

Friday, December 9, 2011

Crazy pussy Friday

Tell me there isn't a full moon or something going on out there. The lunatics' parade continues with the latest headlines. One mean pussy this morning if you ask me. Oh, you didn't ask? Okay then never mind. Just don't shoot the messenger.

From the "Cut and paste slackers manual" a quick view from my part of the world.

Mental exam OK’d for suspect in Everett couple’s…- Everett Herald
Fugitive Watch- Everett Herald
Cuts would transform Monroe prison- Everett Herald
Total lunar eclipse could bring strange sight to…-
Police: Shoreline man admitted to raping girl-
Jesus statue has Montana choosing sides-
Iconic restaurant chain sued over training video- Seattle Times
Man accused of shooting brother at Moses Lake- Seattle Times
2 neighbors arrested in fatal Spokane shooting- Seattle Times

So tell me how's it going in your neck of the woods?

bank fails later

No fails this week. Surprising

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

News Flash - no that was yesterday I think or was it tomorrow?

It's really kind of weird when you get so far in front of the news cycle that if you catch a live bit of it you have to wait 12 hours or more for the news people to catch up. Such was the case for me today. So much is happening around the world that there is no one place to file it. A google news search fails by sometimes days to catch an important story or item. But I shouldn't be surprised since their algorithms are now set with a profit motive in mind. This can present speculations and rumors adding to the misinformation. And since the main stream media has been corrupted by the very same influences it becomes a challenge to seek out fact from fiction. But take heart a new medium is in it's infancy that should propel us into the next age. I speak of live social media. What was once started as a play toy of teens experimenting with silly dances and back yard wrestling matches has evolved into what could become a viable alternative to the talking heads of the evening news. I must say there are a few reporters in this instant, in your face journalism who have great potential. There is however certain constraints and technical problems to be worked out. All to often a wireless connection is not the best. The equipment used can vary from anything from a cell phone camera all the way up to some fancy cameras with add ons. Lighting at night also seems to be a problem but I'm sure as technology progresses and those who devote so much time to this project things will get better. These unpaid reporters do it for the love of the experience and I'd say given the chance would do it for a living. Kind of reminds me of the beginnings of early TV never knowing if a location shot would work out.
But the real beauty of this experience is being able to get both perspectives of a situation. While main stream media stands on the outside of a home the livestream reporter is on the inside giving that view complete with sight and sound. Nothing like actually being a fly on the wall literally. So to the livestream reporters with names like AJ, Tim , Spencer, and Jessie I salute you. You have more courage than I when you go into situations that could result in personal injury. The dangers of chemicals for me are easy to deal with, angry people with clubs and mace are another issue.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Conflict resolution by force

I'll spare you the silent night song that goes with this. But of course you have the right to remain silent even if they didn't read you your Moranda rights. I almost forgot that I had saved this otherwise I'd have little to report because after all you get the same depressing news as I. But I thought this would be fitting for the season as a juxtaposition to the cheery tunes played on radio and TV. Sorry Mr. announcer a Holly Jolly Christmas isn't going to get me out to buy a Lexis. But peering through the news I came across these little ditties and can only wonder what a Rod Serling nightmare might be like if his Christmas pudding hadn't agreed with him. You know, the contrasting shiny lights and tinsel with the sight of gun shot wounds. But now with the economy in the toilet I know what it feels like to have to endure the endless barrage of sickeningly sweet consumer syrup ladled on the masses knowing that none of that will be this year. No I wouldn't recommend it and I don't like it.

(yes this is an actual cut and paste from yesterday's news cheery isn't it?)
We Recommend
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Bikini baristas arrested for allegedly exposing themselves… (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Port Orchard homeower shoots man who barges into home - (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Bothell woman kills herself after trooper pulls her over on… (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Drunks beat man in U District - (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Man fights off attacker in McDonald's drive-thru - (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Stabbing kills woman, injures man in North Seattle - (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Read more:

Yes Virginia there is no Santa Claus and if you're smart you'll hide in the closet when daddy finishes off that fifth and mommy burns the Christmas dinner.

Now it's back to watching Bad Santa because George Baily is so yesterday and life isn't wonderful any more.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ready for the Italian riots?

Italy will be next on the poop meet fan meter. In researching some data about the countries debt problem I find that they are just shy of the $2 trillion mark. And for a country that size it will be almost impossible to pull itself up by its' boot straps. So many things are going against it it's hard to begin to explain. They had great growth for many years but in the last two decades were saddled with a slow down in GDP to 1.6% having enjoyed 5 and 6% prior to that. And once again they have followed the Greek lead of corruption, tax evasion and several other factors leading to the current situation. Italy must import nearly all of its' gas and oil with a level of about 92%. To add insult to injury the citizens of the country have had a bit of a run on their banks removing some 2 billion dollars to the run up to this crisis. Ah but the best is yet to come in this tragedy. (No I won't call it a Greek tragedy they have their own problems)

What's their answer or should I say what is the newly elected governments' solution?

The package, dubbed a "Save Italy" decree by Monti, aims to raise more than 10 billion euros from a new property tax, impose a new tax on luxury items like yachts, raise value added tax, crack down on tax evasion and bring forward measures to increase the pension age.

(editors note: Like Greece the wealthy can easily hide their euros in numbered Swiss accounts or other local european stashes. And I'd bet that there are numerous offshore companies not paying their fair share of taxes.)

The package is divided into 20 billion euros of budget tightening and an additional 10 billion euros that will be pumped back into the economy in the form of measures to help companies and boost growth. (Hum have I heard this before?)

At least they are willing to spread a bit of the misery on the well to do but the bulk still falls on the lesser of the population. The unions are not happy with the preposed package and have said as much. And let me add that nothing spurs an economy like good old austerity measures. Yep that will make the little folks go out and spend their money. Oh that's right they won't have much left when the government cleans out their wallets. So never mind. I wonder if the Mafia is jealous?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I did not have

Sex with that woman.

Sure Herman and bears don't ...

This guy is amazing. You couldn't have written a Hollywood plot line with so many twists and turns. He reminds me of a failed candidate who just doesn't get it. Not only couldn't he handle the first round of harassment claims against him he can't own up to the fact of what happened over a 13 year period. No woman in their right mind would come forward and admit to such a happening if there wasn't some truth to it. 61 phone calls over a two month period is not what I would call a casual relationship. And how his wife can fall for this cock and bull story is beyond belief. Had she been that desperate he could have consulted his wife whom I'm sure would have wanted to know the details of Ms. White's misfortune.

Ah but the icing on the cake
So Mr 999 announces today that he is "suspending" his campaign. But I thought when you suspend something you stop doing it. Not so for the ex Pizza man. Go to his web site and the first thing you'll notice is a large red Donate Button. Perusing through the news tab you'd think it was business as usual. And that's the point I'd like to make. Herman Cain had no intention of ever becoming president. He has and always will be in this for the money. What better way to hawk books and raise more attention to yourself. And with the latest developments I'm sure there'll be another novel coming out probably just before the republican convention. Got to strike while the iron is hot. (oops that didn't have sexual overtones now did it? Okay I'll leave that to your own perverted minds then.)

My opinion of Mr. Cain?
Of all the bosses I've ever had and I've had quite a few over my working career I would rate Mr Cain as third rate. I can't think of someone so inept, so lacking of knowledge of worldly affairs. Exactly how he managed to make it to the head of any corporation is beyond me. I note that most of the business that he once represented are now long gone from my area and a google search turned up only 1 within 50 miles. I'd say that says it all about Cain's business sense when every other major pizza chain has stores in every suburb around here.

So it's bye bye Herman. This isn't a suspension it's an expulsion.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ebenezer pussy says screw you all

Every get the feeling that Congress is dyslexic? You know the type. They read things backwards. Seems our congress has finished reading Robin Hood backwards robbing from the poor and giving to the rich and are now embarking on Dickens "A Christmas Carol" where Scrooge snatches all the presents he's bought returns them to the store for his cash back and skulks back to his lair. That said it's a tax increase for everyone next year Merry Christmas all. But this isn't the only punishment they've devised to lay on the masses.

There's more...

If it ever makes it through the sausage factory of our governmental grid locked congress you'll be happy to know that you can be arrested without warrant flown to a secret location never again to see the light of day. Humm I thought that was what we were fighting against in those far off lands. Have the republicans developed a Stockholm disorder or something? Just where would you put the 14+ million out of work folks of this country? Gitmo just isn't that big. Just remember to be kind to your neighbors if the powers that be start offering cash rewards for suspected terrorists you just might look tempting for a $1000 cash prize. I just have to wonder what's in the water supply in DC for people to come up with this stuff.

bank fails later --- Oddly enough there were no fails this week