Monday, April 30, 2012

The Dopa is mine. Get your own

(Wouldn't you know it I look for an image for dope and a rock group pops up. Are they running out of names?)

Sex drugs rock and roll, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, cocaine, pick your poison or favorite method of tickling your pleasure centers. It's just yet another facet of our complexly simple selves. We may be simpletons on the outside but the internals work like clock work flipping switches with enzymes and hormones and various proteins.

So what's your fixation? What blows the wind up your skirt? Come on don't tell me you don't have some devilish pleasure hiding in the frontal cortex.

I have a theory about all this as it's another piece of the puzzle that makes us us. Dopamine receptors. That little understood function of the human brain that makes chocolate cake so irresistible and in spring time when a man's thoughts turns to fancy at the sight of some cleavage. Dopamine is the motivator. Or maybe it's the quest for the results of such biochemistry that gets us off our arses to do anything. For me there must be something stimulation about writing or I sure wouldn't be sitting here pounding on the keyboard. But if it wasn't for a certain imbalance in our human anatomy we'd all be laying dead in some cave somewhere starved to death. Even the very act of breathing requires an offset. Did you know that if we were to breath pure oxygen we would die? Our body would become balanced and not take another breath.

This too is tied to our obsessions with obsession. If one is good then one hundred or one thousand must be better right? At some point our feeble bodies start to say enough is enough. "Keep up that obsession and I'm going to hurt you." Illegal drugs? Ha that's nothing compared to to what the doctor can prescribe. Drug Lords have nothing compared to the profits of Big Pharma. What's that you say? Not your cup of tea? Well the doctor has a pill for that you know because after all you can't go home empty handed. Just be sure to read the side effects.

Now excuse me while I stop. I "need" another cup of coffee because I'm running out of ideas here. :-)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I'm going to pump you up

No not that way.

When I first saw this as a thumbnail I thought it was Lady Gaga's newest fashion statement, but the article deals with the brain. A complicated subject if there ever was one. There's been some interesting shifts in thinking about psychiatry and psychology over the last 50 years. Sigmund Freud appears to have everything wrong on the influences of mommy and daddy in how we turn out. Yes you may pick up a habit or two from them along the way but what makes us the unique folks we are is more based on brain chemistry and how we adapt to daily problem solving. I had written a paper some 40 years ago about the subject with the premise that who we are is based on genetics relative to our environment. I see now that it was only partially true. Some years later studies of twins separated at birth concluded similar characteristics even when raised by different families. Now come to find out that our brains are malleable and capable of great changes or rewiring if you will with changes to our situations. That would follow logically as we evolve and adapt to our surroundings. Interesting to note that it can now be determined with great accuracy whether an individual will land up in jail based on little more than a brain CAT scan. Certain parts of the brain can be exposed showing underdevelopment or a destruction from injury that could never be examined before. This may lead to better treatments of many neurological problems. However we have a long road to go considering the side effects of so many medications on the market right now. Repairing psychosis may be one thing but when the liver is destroyed in the process I don't think the patient will go for the trade off.

Neuroplasticity is the latest term meaning the brains' ability to rewire. Whether this can be done through therapy or drugs or a combination of both we'll have to wait and see. And you always though you were stuck in your own ways. I have a theory about that too. We reach a point as we age where we regress back to our beginnings. It's back to the smart ass teenager because will you really care what you say when you're 80 or 90? But then we get to the point where someone needs to change our diapers again.

Read on pump up your brain

Friday, April 27, 2012

Beaver Friday and she's armed

Cruising through the headlines we see little has changed in Syria. A blast yesterday killed a bunch more even as everybody was told to knock it off. I see little to no good in sending observers. What would they do? "Yep here comes another Syrian Army tank and it's firing on that apartment building." This said as the observer runs for cover. Sorry UN we already witnessed much of the atrocities live right here on the web. It's my opinion that when a nation turns on its' own people many of whom are women and children then it's lost its' right to sovereignty. Without some type of due process then we are nothing more than an uncivil mob going by the rules of the jungle.

In looking through the news today I see nothing of our current conflict in Afghanistan. This for all practical purposes has become the forgotten war. Oh there may be a report of a casualty or two in local media but for the most part it's been an information black out. And exactly what is our mission there? I don't think even the generals could answer that question. We went to go after Bin Laden and that was successful last year. If we have this delusion that somehow we're going to turn that area of the world into some functioning nation we'd better think again or better yet read their history. Afghanistan never really has been and will probably never be a nation with a central government. You can't force groups of people to act as a unit when it's not in their nature. They were a region made up of tribes and clans for centuries so their loyalties are local and not national. As soon as we resign ourselves to that fact and depart the sooner they can go about their business. It may not be a pretty life by our standards but it is theirs' none the less.

We now are coming up on the anniversary of Bin Ladens' demise. Wonder what threat level we are at present. They did away with the color coding. And they spent a lot of energy trying to scare us over the last few years which by the way only works for just so long. We are now at emergency alert fatigue. No specific threats isn't going to get anyone in a more vigilant mood and just what suspicious activities should we be looking for anyway? Someone carrying a backpack? Ninety five percent of people using public transportation carries a backpack. And as forgetful as we are it's not unusual to see one left lying around. Maybe a good excuse when the teacher asks "where's your homework". Didn't think the ATF would blow up my bag. So much for the new ipod along with last nights' assignment.

Somehow over the last ten years we've gotten to a very ugly chapter of world history. The crudeness and lack of decorum have become prevalent. No longer do we hold back for a more learned approach to any situation but blare out a gut reaction without first getting all the facts. Stop if you will and contemplate any given situation. Then do a little research before opening your trap. You may find that things are not as you thought they were but then again sometimes they are.

Bank fails as always unless I forget.

Bank update 5 banks failed this week in MD SC MN and Cal. Hard to say what states will be affected in the future but one things for sure this isn't over yet.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ode to political swings

Is the pendulum swinging back the other way finally? After the tea bagger assault on congress the last election cycle are voters finally waking up to the fact that those boys and girls that they sent to congress don't have our best interests at heart? Pennsylvania that "swing" state that moves like a grandfather clock has just dumped two conserva Dems. Couple this with the folks in Wisconsin about set to dump some extremist republicans and we may be seeing a trend. These are somewhat anicdotal examples as the race for power is still in the early stages. We have after all just gone through the most extreme conservative primary on record. Sorry guys the bulk of the American populace is not really that crazy, oft times stupid but never that extreme.
Conservadems loss

It makes one wonder then is this some diabolical plot cooked up by the corporate insiders? I speak of the ones almost never seen in headline news but somehow making it to those G summits and closed door get togethers where the primary goal is to protect Swiss bank accounts. With the lack of transparency we know that such powers are playing both sides of the political spectrum. But will the shift come swiftly as the nation is waking up to the fact that one party does not serve its' interests but those of its' corporate masters. And who in their right mind would vote for an ideology akin to a torturer? Thought the Marqis de Sade was long dead.

But here we have it. A party so void of real constructive ideas that it's down to name calling. And what group, what gender haven't they insulted over the last year? Oh that's right the "job creators" who still after all the cash and tax breaks bestowed on them continue to lay off staffs and close factories because it's cheaper and more profitable to produce over seas. Those smaller companies left that are hiring do so at a loss to wages and benefits. Can't afford the new health care coverage Mr. Employer? But you had no problem covering the private school for your kids or the new fishing boat you just bought. And I'll bet your pure bred mutt gets better vet care than one of your workers.

Should the other side of the aisle get hijacked by corporate powers it will be interesting to see how they can spin the message. There's only so many ways to present a position and make your idea look good. As for Mr Raw Money it's obvious he won't win. His own party doesn't like him but who do they have left left to run? Their enthusiasm for him is apparent in the fact that only 10% of their party came out to vote in the primaries and from what's been reported they are in an organizational mess. But keep an eye on the sate and national senate and congressional races. That's where the real power shift will occur.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Billy saves the day!

Sorry Billy but I lost your comment over at word press. Now if Blogger will kindly keep their grubby hands off the way things work here I just may hang around. And Billy don't let some crazy chick prevent others from commenting on your blog. We can ignore her by skipping over her comments and when in doubt just hit the trash can button. Ya get junk mail don't you? Doesn't mean you seal up your mail box with glue now does it?
Up yours boys Blogger now sucks. The weasly geeks just couldn't leave well enough alone they just had to fuck with things so this may be my last post. You can now catch me on

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

News you can't use and nobody cares about

• North Korean nuclear test ready 'soon'
Wonder if they're any better at this than their rocket science?
• The $50 light bulb you’ve already paid for
This is the bulb that lasts for 20 years? I guess we'll have to wait 5 years until the company outsources production to the Chinese and the price comes down. Wait a minute if we've already paid for it then kindly fork it over.
• Ann Romney says talking to women makes her sure of victory
Which women? Older rich women with grown kids.
• Hugh Hefner declares war on bedroom politics
What an assault with condoms?
• Man stops policeman, confesses to murder 25 years ago
He must need health care coverage because that's the only way you can get it now is in prison
• Couple accidentally shot at gun safety class
Looks like somebody fails the class. Wonder if they give refunds?
• Key witness to testify against former John Edwards
I thought he was still John Edwards.
• George Zimmerman being tracked by sensitive GPS device
Better that than an old hunting dog I guess.
• Man charged with felony for allegedly stealing $1 McDonald's soda
Would they give him the chair if he stole the fries along with that?

Almost forgot there was one bank fail last week. The pace has slowed so much that I forgot to check. Are we coming to the end of the economic poop storm or is the other shoe going to drop?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day and the war against the earth

Hat tip to the German artist for this poster

The post I did about the Gulf Coast got me to thinking about our little rock we live on. Actually it was Jim over at An Average American Patriot who steered my brain cell down that path with his article on the new cold war on oil in the arctic. It reminded me of the amount of plastics we're dumping in the oceans that's not going away any time soon. Our rivers aren't in a very pretty situation either. There's a group of volunteers that comb the Mississippi removing literally tons of trash from grocery bags to cars and refrigerators. Now there may have been a time many many years ago when such dumping would go unnoticed but with the population explosion that thoughtless toss of a candy wrapper or drink cup out the car window gets multiplied by the millions.

I was going to post about just the above issue but the way we treat our earth is far more serious and mean than that. Imagine if we treated a friend like we do the earth? They wouldn't be friends much longer that's for sure. So aside from the tons of plastics that we're dumping every day there are other issues that make up the whole of our environmental existence. I give you:

Climate change — Global warming • Global dimming • Fossil fuels • Sea level rise • Greenhouse gas • Ocean acidification • Shutdown of thermohaline circulation • Environmental impact of the coal industry
Conservation — Species extinction • Pollinator decline • Coral bleaching • Holocene extinction • Invasive species • Poaching • Endangered species
Energy — Energy conservation • Renewable energy • Efficient energy use • Renewable energy commercialization • Environmental impact of the coal industry
Environmental degradation — Eutrophication • Habitat destruction • Invasive species
Environmental health — Air quality • Asthma • Environmental impact of the coal industry • Electromagnetic fields • Electromagnetic radiation and health • Indoor air quality • Lead poisoning • Sick Building Syndrome
Genetic engineering — Genetic pollution • Genetically modified food controversies
Intensive farming — Overgrazing • Irrigation • Monoculture • Environmental effects of meat production • Slash and burn • Pesticide drift • Plasticulture
Land degradation — Land pollution • Desertification
Soil — Soil conservation • Soil erosion • Soil contamination • Soil salination
Land use — Urban sprawl • Habitat fragmentation • Habitat destruction
Nanotechnology — Nanotoxicology • Nanopollution
Nuclear issues — Nuclear fallout • Nuclear meltdown • Nuclear power • Nuclear weapons • Nuclear and radiation accidents • Nuclear safety • High-level radioactive waste management.
Overpopulation — Burial • Water crisis • Overpopulation in companion animals • Tragedy of the commons
Ozone depletion — CFC
Pollution — Environmental impact of the coal industry • Nonpoint source pollution • Point source pollution • Light pollution • Noise pollution • Visual pollution
Water pollution — Environmental impact of the coal industry • Acid rain • Eutrophication • Marine pollution • Ocean dumping • Oil spills • Thermal pollution • Urban runoff • Water crisis • Marine debris • Microplastics • Ocean acidification • Ship pollution • Wastewater • Fish kill • Algal bloom • Mercury in fish
Air pollution — Environmental impact of the coal industry • Smog • Tropospheric ozone • Indoor air quality • Volatile organic compound • Particulate matter
Reservoirs — Environmental impacts of reservoirs
Resource depletion — Exploitation of natural resources • Overdrafting
Consumerism — Consumer capitalism • Planned obsolescence • Over-consumption
Fishing — Blast fishing • Bottom trawling • Cyanide fishing • Ghost nets • Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing • Overfishing • Shark finning • Whaling
Logging — Clearcutting • Deforestation • Illegal logging
Mining — Acid mine drainage • Hydraulic fracturing • Mountaintop removal mining • Slurry impoundments
Toxins — Chlorofluorocarbons • DDT • Endocrine disruptors • Dioxin • Toxic heavy metals • Environmental impact of the coal industry • Herbicides • Pesticides • Toxic waste • PCB • Bioaccumulation • Biomagnification
Waste — Electronic waste • Litter • Waste disposal incidents • Marine debris • Medical waste • Landfill • Leachate • Environmental impact of the coal industry • Incineration • Great Pacific garbage patch

Now we could ignore many of these things if we wanted to after all much of what goes on happens out of our eye shot but the effects they have will be felt on all of us whether we like it or not. It's a sad state of affairs when you stop to realize than many of these problems could easily be solved with better oversight and recycling methods. People may think it's cheap to just dump it in an out of the way place where nobody will notice but eventually it will come back to bite us and bite us big time. So you can pay a little bit now or a whole lot later. The choice is yours. Me? I'm a cheap old fart. I learned the three R's years ago. Reduce reuse and recycle.

Friday, April 20, 2012

More regulations not less you dummies!

We interrupt the usual Friday beaver shots to bring this special announcement:
Washington, DC, April 19, 2012 — The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced today that its investigation into the April 20, 2010 Macondo well blowout, explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico is progressing, with two interim reports with findings and recommendations to be released this year. A final report is expected to be completed in early 2013.
Investigation findings to date indicate a need for companies and regulators to institute more rigorous accident prevention programs similar to those in use overseas. The CSB announcement was made approaching the second anniversary of the tragedy, which took eleven lives and caused the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history,

Process safety regulations and standards utilized by oil companies in refineries and process plants in the continental U.S. have a stronger major accident prevention focus, CSB investigators have determined. Unlike the U.S. offshore regulatory system, the “onshore” process safety requirements are more rigorous and apply both to operators and key contractors.

My comments: Having worked in hazardous waste during the Bush years I have to say it was a "cover your own ass" situation. Your primary concern was just to stay alive to work another day. Many laws were violated both in terms of worker safety and to the general public welfare. But I can honestly say that I did my best under the circumstances on both accounts. I am still here after all and nothing made the headline news.

Friday beaver and a quick course in beaver language

Stumbled on an article on our butchering of the English language via BBC purists and wondered about beaver communications. This being Friday and all. Only once or twice have I heard a beaver make noise but that's another somewhat embarrassing story.

Turns out that beaver have several methods of getting the word out out there in the wild.

Beavers have a pair of anal scent glands, called castors, which secrete a musk-like substance called castoreum. This is used mainly for marking territories. The broad, flat, scaly tail is about 25 cm (about 10 in) long and serves as a warning signal when slapped against the water. Beavers also call out to others, making a low, groaning sound.

Okay I'll let you make your own jokes about all this.

Bank fails later. Oh pardon me that's failures.

addendum: How this code got all mucked up is beyond me but I'm too lazy to fix it right now so deal with it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Back to the Gulf Coast

You will notice an increase in the number of ads touting tourism in the Gulf Coast region all sponsored by BP. And there is their latest effort to put some closure to the oil spill of the Gulf. But the legacy lives on and will live on for generations. We're only now getting a glimpse of the beginnings of the damage to the marine life there. And I think I'd trust the scientists studying the situation a bit more than some CEO guarding his bonus. No BP you lied to us from the get go then lied again. No amount of pretty ads with pristine beaches will alter that lack of trust.

So what's going on? Here's a list of scientists and their credentials and what they found:

Dr Darryl Felder, Department of Biology, University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Runs a research lab that studies the biology of marine crustaceans. Dr Felder has been monitoring the seafloor in the vicinity of BP's blow-out Macondo oil-well both before and after the oil disaster began. He was studying samples from the seafloor in the Macondo area pre-spill via funding from the National Science Foundation, which provided him a grant to log the effects of all the drilling in the area. His funding now comes from the Gulf Research Initiative (GRI), which is funded by BP.
Dr Jim Cowan with Louisiana State University's Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences has been studying Gulf seafood, specifically red snapper, for more than 20 years. Funding is primarily via LSU, although LSU has also received funding via GRI.
Dr Andrew Whitehead, LSU, his lab conducts experiments and studies on Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics. He recently published "Genomic and physiological footprint of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on resident marsh fishes" in the National Academy of Sciences. Much of his funding also comes from the Gulf Research Initiative.

Felder: Studies carried out from January 2010 to present in BP's Macondo well area. Found abnormalities in shrimp post-spill, whereas pre-spill found none.
Cowan: Studies carried out from Nov 2010-present, from west Louisiana to west Florida, from coast to 250km out. Found lesions/sores/infections in 20 species of fish, as many as 50 per cent fish in some samples impacted. Pre spill levels were 1/10 of one per cent of fish.
Whitehead: Species such as the Gulf Killifish, in and around the Gulf of Mexico, will continue to be subject to negative effects of the BP oil spill disaster of 2010. The Killifish, which researchers consider a good indicator of water quality in the Gulf of Mexico, is showing signs that the oil spill is having a negative impact on its health. Tracked killifish for the first four months after spill across oil-impacted areas of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Considering the shear volume of oil and the amount of chemicals they used to try and sink the oil is it any wonder the Gulf is in such bad shape? And lying about it is not going to help their case. Had they come forward and admitted everything I might have some sympathy but not now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

News you can't use and could probably care less about

From the mundane to the ridiculous scouring the four corners of the globe to find stories of great personal interest we find more of the same daily banter packaged and repackaged for your reading displeasure. At least it ain't Fox News.

From the rocker set we have Ted Nugent ranting about the prez. Careful Ted those words could get you a one way ticket to Gitmo. Time to change his meds maybe?

Just no respect for the dead. First it was a news report from Iraq with the departed used as footrests then photos of the war time urinal. Now rather than take a luger or sword it's photos of body parts. What are these guys ghouls? Never saw this after WWII.

Then there's Syria. While most countries in that area would love nothing more than to have us exit their presents the folks in Syria would love nothing more than a little help stopping their dear leader from slaughtering them along with their women and children. Karzi however would love nothing more than have us leave but kindly keep the billion dollar checks coming if you would.

What news would be complete without the latest provocative dress faux pas or half naked or completely naked photo shoot by the latest nearly unknown actress/singer/dancer/entertainer wannabe. Dresses slit up the side all the way up to your shoulders might get a second of attention but if you ain't got talent then I think Walmart could use some better looking greeters. And no Mr. or Mrs. Greeter maybe I don't want to have a nice day. I'm trying something different and expect a crappy day that way I won't be so disappointed.

Scheming, conniving, low down dirty thieves. What news would be complete without the latest embezzlement whether it be from the girl-scout fundraiser or the cocaine hooker laced junket by (fill in most any government agency). Oh but don't get caught stealing pencils from the office storage room. You won't make head line news but justice will be far swifter. Oh and boys it would have been far cheaper to just pay your tab and be done with it.

Don't forget the Ponzi schemes. There in lies the problem. Our entire global economy is one great Ponzi scheme. Think about that for a sec. What country on earth doesn't have some kind of debt? Okay the Saudis maybe rolling in the (what ever they call their shekels) but once the oil runs out the party will be over and they'll have a hard time selling the Rolls. Reminds me I need to take stock of my ever dwindling assets.

So there's the titillating tell all tales of today. More trash tomorrow. Darn I missed National Cleavage Day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The future is here only it's going to get weirder

Fact may be getting stranger than fiction. Was watching House last night one of my few favorite shows left in the vast wasteland of TV. On this episode the patient, who's diagnosis is all but impossible to figure but for the best of the best of diagnosticians, has an odd relationship with a life size doll and not of the blow up variety. That in itself would be odd enough but as we proceed to blur the lines between virtuality and reality it got me to thinking. During a commercial break on comes an ad for the new Iphone 4s with voice recognition. Oh I think you can see where this is all going. Life sized automatons that interact can not be far down the road. Exactly what they'll be able to do makes one wonder. I remember the very first voice recognition computer used by the phone company and got a quick demonstration when an operator accidentally let me overhear her talking to Chatty Kathy, Bell telephones' latest marvel. What a long way we've come since the mid 1960s. But it makes one wonder if we'll have the technology like robots of Westworld or Kryten of Red Dwarf. I can only imagine what a virus would do to those circuits or worse should such a machine develop psychosis. Will we be talking and arguing with our appliances? As we've seen with the Air Canada incident some machines are smarter than us. They don't need to rely on foggy half asleep memory banks.

Then there is the issue of predictability. Like a marriage that's gone on for a long time computers can predict with some degree of certainty what will be spoken next. Exactly how the wizards of computer science managed this feat is amazing. With the complexity of linguistics and the nuances of language not to mention accents and speech impediments this truly is a miracle. Should it get to the point where the computer answers a question before it's asked I'm sure programmers will step in to put some randomizers in the mix or the whole thing will become quite boring. Yet it might make a for a momentary interesting sitcom. Reality shows are getting stale. They did try this technology with talking cars some years back but most drivers found it irritating.

Just where will we be some 50 years from now as we become more isolated in this virtual world? We've slowly shielded ourselves from human interacting with cars and phones and now the internet. Now there's talk of incorporating our 'selves' into virtual avatars. Have we become so lazy that we need to text from the kitchen to the garage? Maybe I'm glad there's such a thing as mortality and I'll be taking my personality with me thank you very much. What's next text messages from the grave? Now there's a morbid thought.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Death taxes and Santa Claus?

As the deadline is fast approaching those fortunate enough to endure the headache (there's 25 million unemployed you know) scurry to reverse engineer their target tax. You should know how that works. Let's see how we can hit the mark and squeeze every nickel of deductions thereby giving ourselves our own tax cut. What do you mean we can't claim the cat as a dependent? Spent more on her in medical bills than the youngest. And yes my adjusted is pretty gross so maybe some more adjusting is in order.

Then there's death. Had a neighbor go out in a blaze of glory by racking up more debt than a Newts' wife at Tiffanies. He left this world owing everybody and must have had a great time doing it. He left behind two houses a car a truck a boat and not a nickel to his name. Even the bank won't touch his stuff because it's not worth what's owed. Eventually the houses will be sold for taxes. Back to taxes. Can't get away from them even when you're dead but at least you won't be filing the paper work.

Now what's all this about Santa Claus you might ask? Seems the global warming deniers have it all wrong. Aside from the 200+ records broken this past winter for warm temps in the eastern part of the country, the polar ice caps are melting faster than a snowman in Arizona in the summer. Our military being up on this situation is preparing for the what ifs when the stampede for resources starts.

To the world's military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes and a slew of potential conflicts.

So two questions come to mind. Can you buy some nice beach front property in northern Canada yet? Oh it may be a bit chilly there right now but just wait a generation or two. Might just be drinking Mai Tais on the beach at Nunavat.
And does this mean Santa Claus is in big trouble? Just can't picture him in Hawaiian shorts and flip flops. They'd probably label him a communist and a terrorist and put a price on his head. But seeing as how he's so efficient maybe they could have him instead of the post office they're wanting to close.

Like a bunch of greedy kids at Christmas corporations just can't wait till the ice sheets are gone and the presents revealed. Will it be gold, oil or maybe more diamonds. Just keep those whale huggers away.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Odd thoughts

Have you ever thought about your own self worth and what it really means? By what standards do we value our own existence. For a guy it's usually measured by what he does or did or is aspiring to do. Is it quantity, quality or complexity that we truly value or some combination of these? What do you do that gives you a sense of pleasure or at the least a sense of satisfaction in your work? I know many have a crap job and are just in it for a paycheck but it gives one a time to stop and wonder. Do we take satisfaction in volume like the billions served at McDonalds? Do we brag about the ground we've covered? "Been to nearly ever state in the union in my job" is a boasting point. Or maybe complexity is up your ally. Computers can sound complex and intimidating until you learn a bit about the language. And there's another problem, that of language, technical jargon if you will. We can take the simplest of concepts and make them sound like rocket science. My guess is to protect the trade or industry and little more.

But there's a bit of a puzzlement. Somewhere along the line those that produce the very least are now making the most. Think about it. A garbage man has more value than somebody selling hedge funds. The latter is really a sick way to make money when you think about it. They try to pretty it up by saying it's insurance against failure. And why then should non involved parties gain from someone's losses? Success and failure is a natural process but we are at an extreme gyrating from one bubble to the next.
But we are after all pleasure junkies. So were you able to fulfill that need of self worth with something meaningful? Being a gigolo may sound like the perfect idea until reality sets in and remember there's the fat and ugly to deal with not to mention crazy. We tend to be bad at what we don't like to do. And something may sound like a whiz bang idea until reality sets in. What may look easy yet exciting may just turn out to be boring and mundane. That's the beauty of the diversity because maybe I'd hate to do your job and you might hate doing mine but here we are and life rolls on because of us.

What we do and who we are may be determined by our success or failures early in life. We know that some do well at math while others have the artistic flair and that is due mainly to right or left brain development. But we progress in life primarily from our failures and how we reach to them. People think I'm a bit nuts because I always focus on the what ifs but I know for certain that's what's kept me alive all these years and I always seem to be the "go to guy" when things go wrong or someone's forgotten how we used to do it in days gone by. They might have a new and improved way to cut a corner but nine times out of ten it results in failure. Sorry guys I've been there done that so I can tell you why it will fail but go ahead try it and find out for yourselves. When it doesn't work you'll be seeking me out but I'll be kind and not rub it in. I'm like that.

And speaking of failures there were no bank fails this week. They either aren't trying hard enough or somebody's cooking the books. How would you like your books done fried, boiled, or roasted?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday beaver shots

Wouldn't be Friday without em.

Okay what were you expecting ya perve?

Other news you can't use or could care less about:

Run for your bomb shelters- After a failed rocket launch the North Koreans are set to test an under ground nuke or so it's reported. At what point does the Lame Stream News media start to get it that at a certain point you can't instill fear in the public? Forget violent desensitizing video games we have the nightly news looking to be the first to scare the bejesus out of us. What was that little boy's name who cried wolf anyway?

More earthquakes - Like that doesn't happen on a daily basis only the magnitude is different. In fact out here we have one that happens continuously only it's so low on the Richter scale that nobody notices.

If it bleeds it leads - Three shot dead in Ohio restaurant- What's the matter Jack couldn't you get your side order of toast?

Then there's politics - You wonder why only the crazies run for office? After being analyzed under a microscope by both the media and party strategists is it any wonder? Oh the opponent is using the non environmentally friendly brand of toilet paper now let's have an in depth analysis with our panel of experts.

Beaver shots, pot shots and crack pots, that's about all I got for today. Lot's to do so I'll catch you later and as usual bank fails ...maybe.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mint Raw Money

A thief a deadbeat and a religious wacko enter a political race. The deadbeat bounces a check for his entry fee. The wacko ran out of steam when everybody remembered what he was really like in years past. The thief remains as is always the case in these affairs. Rolling in the dough of other peoples' money and misery he flaunts his wealth and seems to think that he can appeal to people by telling them that they are the cause of all of today's problems when in fact it was the likes of the thief that's the root of the problem. Nothing like telling women they can get their health care elsewhere when you plan on defunding Planned Parenthood one of the primary places those less fortunate get their coverage. Mittens has never been to a "doc in the box". You know the place. It's the assembly line of medicine that's become the rage. One hundred dollars up front even before seeing a doctor and most times they'll try and send you to a specialist after they (usually an assistant in training) take your temp. and blood pressure. If you get more than 60 seconds with a doctor that speaks understandable english you're doing well. Or you get someone right out of med school less than top third of his class.
Mitt doesn't care about you. He's only in it for the power to make his Wall Street buddies richer. Look at his tax plan. He'll cut the top tax rates yet again (that is if they even pay anything now) and leave the bottom to fend for themselves. Oh you may see a scrap or two but it probably wouldn't cover the cost of a latte.
He reminds me of a bad used car salesman. Tells you one thing one minute then when you point out that the car has no wheels he'll tell you that's a benefit because it'll save on gas. And the white dress shirt and jeans doesn't make me think you're just one of the guys. That didn't work when I was in high school and that was a long time ago. A $10,000 bet? Would have been better if you had bet him you'd wear your mothers' wedding dress and mowed his lawn.
Have to wonder who's pulling the strings behind Raw Money. It's hard to disclose who his benefactors are with the current campaign laws. But one thing is for sure it isn't us. So we see the stripped down version of the republican party. They realize they can't win with a far right agenda so only time will tell when the great pivot will happen. May think he can shake the Etch a Sketch but with video archives he'll look like a street bum talking to himself. Sorry I know that's an insult to the mentally ill but I think you get the picture.

But here's a thought. Now that the "primary" is basically over why bother to even cast your ballot? The clown car is nearly empty after Huntsman and Cain and Bachmann and now Santorum have exited. Deadbeat Gingrich is nearly out and the only one left is Paul who hasn't made headline news since I can't remember when. Has Paul been able to pull off his sneaky end run game by stealing delegates behind everybody's back? Knowing how the party operates that's unlikely. Once they've made their pick it's everybody on board and you'd better salute it damn it. Just remember look no farther than the Palin nightmare to see how they roll. I'm sure the vetting process will involve an anal probe this time around. It's looking like nobody wants to take the physical for this VP position. Can you blame them?

Oops I did it again. In looking for a graphic to compliment this post I discover that casa de Demeur was in first place with not much else to choose from when googling the Mint Raw Money. An apology to Norman Goldman from whom I borrowed the term. Didn't even see an example of him graphically speaking.

Got so busy today forgot to post this. Oh well stay tuned for the usual Friday beaver shots.

And an update: The hard working Mrs. Raw Money had such a tough time of it with 5 yes f-i-v-e housekeepers. Tell that to the single moms who work outside and have to find childcare and raise a family. So to you boo whoo mrs got rocks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Sanatorium is closed

But we have a bed all ready for you at the sanitarium Ricky. It's okay everything will be all right as soon as we get your meds all squared away and the dosage right. And it's so much nicer than Bedlam. No pink bowling balls there to worry about. Shall we all sing "They're coming to take me away" in his honor?

Fear the evil programmers Ricky they've slipped a little message into their games. You might not like it. Is this directed at you that
line 774 of their code? A commie plot you say? They were all in it together Mitt and Newt and Ron. Or was it the strawberries? Yeah you had them with the strawberries. You had it figured down to the very spoonful. Ordered a code red did we? Come on we can handle the truth. We're more than just a few good men ya know. Flies! Flies! Must have flies and care for the Master.

Sweater vests for the men and chastity belts for the ladies and long live the days when sex was dirty and the air was clean only the sex was fun and the air was soot filled from the coal fields of Pa. The mills Ricky the mills, you forgot the mills where men forged steel by the sweat of their brow and made a decent living with enough to send their kids to those elitist colleges. Oh you showed them. You tried to package a neat little product of something. A touch of this a feeling of that but the truth is Ricky it never existed in the first place. Didn't anybody tell you you can't go home again? The home is gone they put up a parking lot right up to the newest WalMart. And father Mac is serving 5 to 10 in the pen for the alter boy scandal. No Ricky it never really existed like you thought. Polka music wasn't the "in" thing in high school even if you thought it was under represented. A coke bottle douche doesn't work as birth control with the prom queen. I see why you didn't move forward. You remembered that the folks of Pa. wised up to you and kicked you out while they had the chance because with each generation the hair gets let down a little bit more and you were generations behind. So have a seat on the front porch rocker and reminisce about days gone by. The nurse will have your meds ready shortly.

And up next the white stuffed shirt Raw Money with 50% more inside inside jokes. Ah Randal you're such an inspiration.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ka boom!

Perusing through the want ads for a lead to gainful employment you come upon some interesting yet unusual offerings. One environmental listing started with the usual nondescript requirements of good verbal and written communication skills (most over 40 could fit that bill). Reading down the list of the usual requirements 40 hour hazardous waste training, check (except our state requires 80 hrs so we're either slow or over trained depending on how you look at it) ability to travel, check (most jobs are done here on location which can be anywhere in the Puget Sound area) and a final requirement I've never had the need or desire to pursue which was explosives certification preferred. Now that got my attention. Was this some position requiring the training of the local police bomb squad or going after someone akin to the Unibomber who left his presents scattered about? If it was clearing some no longer used bomb range on a military base I'm sure it'd be the perfect starting job for a newly discharged vet as the starting pay wasn't that great for the dangers involved but more than what they were making.

Sorry guys I've already paid my initiation dues for this type of danger club. A couple of bucks above minimum isn't going to cut it.
So what do you do with an old half burned out HAZWOPER who knows more about what we dump into the environment than the average joe? Had hoped to get into teaching but with few job listings there's not much need. Even the training centers are laying off instructors. This will get to an interesting situation when us old guys aren't around and the economy finally does pick up. Ha then you'll seek me out but I won't work for peanuts then my friends. We may have done your dirty work on the cheap years ago but eventually the ball will be in our court and I'd like a handsome retirement package thank you very much. You won't care whether it's the blue wire or the red one as long as somebody knows which one is the right one to cut. Then it's just a matter of trust. Well punk do you feel lucky? Do you value us now? Okay then try doing the job yourself but when you muck it up don't come crying to me.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Such cheery news

Nothing like waking up to such bright and wonderful news. No Folgers in this cup. Maybe this is an Easter hangover from the news guys. Grab the first thing off the news spiders and slap it up there. Oh I forgot it's all automatic with some brainiacs' algorithm but then again some monkey had to pound the keys at some point. Was this just a load of scheduled posts as Clark Kent grabbed his fedora on they way out on Friday? But they told me the news never sleeps. Looks like the curtain is slowly coming down on the 60 Minutes crew. R.I.P. Andy and Mike. I don't see any young blood injected into that Geritol set. And I don't think "twice the iron of a pound of calves liver" will help even these guys although 12% alcohol must have had preservative powers. That said I throw my snarky comments at the headline news.

Navy deploys 2nd aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf
Thought we already had 2 in the Gulf. Is this rotation propaganda?
10-year-old girl gives birth to daughter
Man they're starting young these days and parents want to eliminate sex ed from high school?
Doomsday shelters line Kansas missile silo
That's exactly what our enemies want to bomb, a bunch of corn fields in Kansas.
China's gravity-defying economy: How hard will it fall?
Does this mean America is wising up and buying American? Oh that's right we don't manufacture much anymore, never mind.
Start of 2012 shatters U.S. heat records
Move along no global warming to see here.
'Anonymous' says it plans more attacks against China sites
Only fair since they do the same to us.
Gunfire along Syrian border kills journalist
No easy place to get a story these days. Even citizen journalists aren't reporting from there.
White House Easter Egg Roll: Hopping with history
Is that Elmer Fudd I see in the bushes? "Kill the wabbit!"
Santorum's closing window for a graceful exit
That guys' window was closed and locked a long time ago. They do have bars on the windows at the sanitarium right?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Springtime, eggs, and other stuff

We have Easter. All religious significance aside I was wondering exactly how all this came about. First got me thinking about eggs. I like colored eggs especially the ornate Ukrainian variety. But what was their original purpose? A digging through some encyclopedias come to find out that they were originally done as an offering to a pagan god Dazhboh. Dazhboh was a sun god and revered for providing warmth and growth to the country folk. I can follow that logic. These were pre christian times. Put yourself in their shoes (okay they probably didn't even have shoes). I'm sure life back then was pretty brutal with farming and foraging the primary means of survival. The egg therefore would be an example of a sacrifice and a symbol. The eggs used after all were whole with their contents still intact. The symbol was of course that of fertility, spring time rebirth and all that. So I can see how easy it was for them to create superstitions. We know from artifacts that there were human sacrifices back then. I can only imagine being chosen for that duty. " What do you mean I get to lay out on the alter and have a dagger thrust through my heart? Couldn't you pick somebody older or ill? And what about crazy Ivan the village idiot? Wouldn't he be a better candidate?"

To the past populace the sun revolved around the earth and the earth was flat. Everybody knew that because it was obvious until someone questioned the ideas. But the burning question still gnaws at our subconscious. Is there something after this material life? Hard to say as nobody's come back to inform us. No I don't buy the near death experiences. I chalk them up to the mind creating an experience to a bodily function. It's said that the visual cortex is the last to fail on a person's death.
But I won't rule out the mystical all together because we still have quite a bit to learn about quantum physics. As we know facts can be stranger than fiction and myth. I'm sure we'll look like the pagans of old some 500 years from now and the obvious questions will come up like: "how could they have lived like that?" That is assuming we make it that far. I wouldn't be taking odds on that bet.

So celebrate the day as you wish. It is sunny here. Now that's a reason to celebrate for us anyway.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The republican concept of women

chattel n. an item of personal property which is movable, as distinguished from real property (land and improvements).

Ever notice at political events how the candidates display their wives as if they were some trained pet brought out as prized possession that took years to capture. Definitely true of Newt who after many attempts finally found one to his liking. Again they have this idea that we never left the 1950s where women had their place in the kitchen. I really have to wonder how that all worked out seeing as how sex before marriage back then was verboten and divorce was almost unheard of except in Tinsel town.
But how hypocritical is it of them today to present their " family values" (what ever that elusive concept is) while out of the public eye live a life that would make Caligula blush. They may think they can hide the skeletons of their past but there's always some tattle tale more than willing to spill the beans.

Just thinking about the way the party runs and thinks becomes telling when you stop to think who the front runners are. A Mormon and two Catholics make up the lead positions. Not that religion were to matter if they'd keep it from creeping into their plans to run the country. But the methodology fits the republican mind set. They grew up taking orders from superiors whether it be a nun, priest, or church elder. They will march lack step off a cliff if told to do so. They were taught never to question those in charge because "father" knows best. And we've seen the sick consequences of that method with the pedophile scandals but that's another story. I give credit to presidents Kennedy and Carter for realizing the separation of church and state.

Exactly where they stand on any issue is a bit difficult to determine because that position seems to change with the audience. "Cheezy grits" was supposed to invoke some type of commonality like "I'm just one of the good ole boys just like you" but it didn't work. You might be able to espouse the virtues of an anti abortion anti birth control position at a Knights of Columbus meeting in the south but it won't fly in Oakland, California. They may think that the Etch a Sketch will save the day but this isn't the 50s anymore. With cell phone cameras focused ever word and nuance is captured for posterity and easily played back on You tube for all to see. Just what is your position on the subject today? I've seen more consistency out of some of the south american dictators than these candidates. So who would want one of them gracing the halls of the White House? They have tried so hard to foist their own short comings on to the president with very little success.

The last issue from what I've gathered over the last few years (This election thing seems like it's years in the making) is that they have objectified nearly every group of Americans and not just women. This should come as no surprise, it's the blatant signs of an inferiority complex. So I have to wonder just who they have left to pander to. How small a base of people who haven't at some point been insulted by their remarks do they have left? How much more humiliation must women and the rest of us for that matter endure before these guys lose big time? No war on women? Just look no farther than the bills they've past since taking office.

So as this clown car slowly runs out of gas keep a sharp focus on the House and Senate races. There may be some shake ups there if the radical agenda of the right continues. I'm sure there's a bit of buyers remorse with some of the candidates especially in Wisconsin.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Beaver Friday and other useless news

Ever notice how they can take any piece of news and spin it one way or the other? If it's good news they can make it sound like the end of the world with the right phrasing. Take unemployment for example. The numbers came in this week that were better. 120K people are now back to work but by some accounts you'd think the sky was falling. You know the type person who thinks like that. After any service no matter how generous they look sad face and say "Is that all there is?" and you feel like saying "keep dancing then Peggy Lee."

It seems our well to do in this country are of that mind set. After Bush gave them no less than four tax breaks adding yet more money to their already overstuffed coffers they are not satisfied. At what point do we say enough is enough? The trickle down only runs down the legs of the likes of Bill Gates and Donald Trump. In fact I'd bet that their spending habits benefit only a very few. Computer software has come to the point of requiring very few. Once written the product can be easily downloaded with no production costs and very little in the way of distribution. For Trump it's about building "world class" hotels and golf courses always "huge!" at least in his eyes. I'm sure he has picked up on using out of country slave labor in the process of lining his pockets. Eventually something gives in terms of the labor market when workers can't cover a bare subsistence life. Look no farther than that cheap can of tuna in your cupboard to see human suffering. So while the well to do whine about what I don't have, the lesser of the world only wish to have enough to just survive another day.

So what? This post wasn't enough for you?

Bank fails later--- UPDATE: No fails this week

Thursday, April 5, 2012

No snide comments out of you

Or I'll sick Arizona on you. Just when you though legislation couldn't get more ridiculous it does. Do these guys have too much time on their hands or what? Arizona that bastion of free speech and less government interference is in the process of passing a law to make it illegal to post "annoying" or "offensive" comments on users web pages. Ah oh Randal are you getting this? They have your number and by your actions you could be looking at hard time in an AZ. prison. (Sheriff Arpio are you getting this? His real name is Jose) This bellwether against belligerence has set about to rid the innerwebs of those pesky trolls bullies and foul mouthed philanderers. The first and 14th amendments be d**ned. Constitution? Constitution? We don't need no stinking constitution.

A couple of things here. First no definition of annoying or offensive. And by who's standards? I find a lot of things annoying but I don't call the police about it. And as for offensive I find most of the stuff coming from the right offensive. Does that mean I can have them arrested for the stupid stuff they say or post on their web sites? And what about posters who don't live in the state or even the country for that matter? Going to have extraditions are we? I can see it now. "What are you in for guy"? "I wrote 'poopy' on the governors' comment page". And I'm sure the sheriff can take time out from profiling illegals to round up a desperate band of trolls. After all what better things does junior have to do while his mom is waiting to see her invasive ultrasound vids after they dropped her birth control coverage? And don't forget doc any fudging of the process will cost you a year in the slammer. So there sits junior either flaming his internet pals or getting picked on so the state thinks they can make this go away with a new law. Sorry guys it's called the right of passage an initiation along the way to becoming an adult. Don't worry junior will get over it in time and find his own niche hopefully not part of the republican tea party.

Offensive? Offensive? Hell yes this is offensive! The party that screams about government interference is doing just that. Excuse me but I learned in grade school that "sticks and stone can break my bones but names can never hurt me". And here's a thought - tell junior or sissy to change their screen name and sign in as somebody else if they're getting bullied. Better still hang up the mouse shut off the computer and go outside and play ball because you're probably 20 lbs overweight and you probably haven't talked to anybody face to face in months outside of school.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Not nice to fool mother nature

An bit busy yesterday dealing with contractors and meetings and such.

Weather is such a fickle thing. Just when you think you have a handle on it it changes its' mind and throws a curve ball. That however should be expected considering what we're doing to this planet. As one climatologist put it we're seeing weather extremes because we're pumping more energy into the system than ever before. That should be obvious considering we now have another billion people that weren't here just a decade or so ago. Add to that the amount of factories, cars and coal fired power plants and you get the beginnings of major changes. For our scientists it's no easy task to chart those changes. We've had over 200 extreme weather events so far this year. This isn't just about co2 either. And I love how Michelle Bachmann tells us that co2 is harmless. Okay then lady we'll put you in a room full of it and see how long you survive.

I know the effort it takes to demo a house with a back hoe which can be done in a few hours but can't imagine the force that can flatten it in a few seconds. I look in awe of the photo of the tractor trailer being flung 100 ft in the air like it was a toy. Even empty they weight a couple of tons. But somehow we think we can fool mother nature like she's some parent who's gone out of the room and we can just do as we please. Unlike todays' parents she'll be back with the belt and there'll be no reprieve or time out for us. It's not nice to try and fool mother nature.
What can we expect going forward? By our scientists who study this subject we can expect droughts in some places with torrential rains in others. Snow where there was rarely snow. And warm weather in usually winter months. Look no farther than Canada with its' unusually warm weather this year along with the same for the upper great lakes region. Even here in the northwest I've noticed our rains are no longer a simple mist but more gully washers have graced our presents. I've seen it rain so hard here on occasion that it overflowed the roof gutters something you'd expect to see in Georgia or Florida.

No I think we're in for some ugly times ahead weather wise but exactly who will get the brunt of it is anyones' guess. If things are beginning to get bad now imagine what they'll be in 10 years with another billion on the planet and no actions taken to even slow the trend. It seems that we are constantly trying to fight nature when we should try and seek a harmony with it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

They just don't get it

I spoke with a republican the other day. Some how the issue of the pink slime came up in conversation. The non informed caller being fearful of what's being put into our food products asked "How could they do something like that?" Normally I'd jump at the change at giving an explanation. I thought a minute and just figured it was a waste of breath and time. Republicans don't want to hear the truth. They don't want to face up to the fact that their party is bought and paid for by corporations who's only motivation is profit and the people be damned. They don't wish to acknowledge that it's their party that always wants less regulation of commerce. Or that when there are cuts to be made it's always to the agencies that protect our life and health. Forget even the most objective of conversation on climate change because they don't want to hear it. They scoff at California when that state comes up with a bit more rigid environmental standards mainly because they don't live there and haven't witnessed a major pollution alert. They haven't seen with their own eyes the greenish grey haze over the skies when flying into Los Angeles International. Or maybe they did and just didn't care. Not quite as noticeable at ground level and anyway they'll be in an air conditioned room soon enough.

No it's pointless to try and convince someone of the facts until it's too late. Until they're gasping for breath on their death bed then it will be their job to shoot the messenger. They made their own death bed now they can lay in it. Another bone of contention is their thinking that certain things should be free never realizing that everything has a price. "What do you mean I can't dump my trash at the annual clean up day for free any more"? "This is an outrage"! Failing to realize that it was their ideology that got them there in the first place. But they'd never realize that if such things were made for profit as they would like it, that they'd be paying four times as much. Not that most trash hauling companies aren't less than honest right now, but I think you get the picture. But the "something for nothing crowd" would have it no other way. They seem to work diligently against their own ends. Sorry guys but you can't have it both ways. You can't have your cake and eat it too. There is no free lunch. What's that you say? "No government health care but keep your hands off Medicare, my government run health care.

There is no rationalizing with irrational people so I save my breath and go on to the next topic.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Where's the beef?

Take a drought in the south add a dash of mad cow and ecoli scares and a speculator or two and you have a recipe for an inedible dish of beef stew. And now pink slime is added to the mix for the piece d resistance. Cattle farmers here had dumped a goodly portion of their herds last summer rather than face a total economic loss. But the drought hit them from both sides driving up the cost of feed and slashing access to much needed water. It's created a rather unusual situation in supply and demand economics. As prices rise beyond a certain point for any product the demand falls usually causing the price for the product to follow. However when the costs to produce the product start to exceed any profits a farmer is faced with either dumping the product at a loss or finding a new career. Many here have done just that over the last ten years calling it quits. We are reduced to either very small specialty markets or massive factory farms. There seems to be no in between. I'm hearing that farmers are adding stock but it will take a year or two to see any change in the current situation and that will also depend on the weather. At any rate they'll have to find a new market for beef by products as they have grossed us out with their pink slime. Maybe had they chosen a more appetizing name this might not have been such a problem. Funny but in my trade the term has a totally different meaning referring to a colored bridging encapsulant used to seal asbestos.

To add insult to injury we're seeing higher fuel prices something farmers aren't happy to see as their operations depend on it. What more could be added to this perfect economic storm for our nations farmers and beef producers? I'm sure the Blog Fodder could give us his take on the subject as that is right up his alley. I can only dig out the bits and pieces of info on the subject. One thing is for certain and that's that prices are due to increase yet again this year with some estimates at between 4 and 6%.

Make mine the chicken sandwich. But then again you might have to hold the chicken if that gets too expensive.

Poisson d’avril

It is with great pleasure that I remove the fish from your back (inside joke or maybe not) at any rate pussycat est heureux pour le poisson. As they say in France.

And in other news the annual whale races are to begin today with the first heat set to start at noon in the Puget Sound. Fans without scuba gear are encouraged to arrive early at the Colmen ferry dock if they wish to have even the slightest hope of seeing the mammoth creatures race. It was hoped that NASCAR might sponsor the event but when faced with the impossibility of selling beer to underwater spectators they pulled their sponsorship. It looks like the L pod and the K pod are the favorites this year but you can forget the I pods because they aren't waterproof. Lays potato chips and Pizza Hut had hoped to be sponsors but couldn't come up with a water resistant snack in time. The Whale Racers Association is protesting the sponsorship of Starkist tuna for obvious reasons. Sorry Charlie maybe next year.