Friday, August 31, 2012

Beaver Friday and government hand outs

Don't you be givin me no govmint hand outs!
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who slept Tuesday night in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers headquarters in New Orleans, joined Gov. Bobby Jindal in asking Obama and FEMA for 100 percent federal support, as opposed to the 75 percent support preliminarily approved Monday.
What's the matter boys don't you have any boot straps to be pulling up? Oh forgot all the folk down ther is po. Can't fish or drill for oil in a hurricane. Got em living pay check to pay check.

Romney kitty
And the flip flops continue. What is this the beach? No I didn't watch the rethuglicon convention. But wolf whistles to the mouth breathing knuckle dragging ever shrinking base of that party. Raw Money was for abortion then against it and now is for only in the case of rape or incest even though the party platform comes complete with a total ban. And now that Mr. etch-a-sketch has thrown enough meat to the hungry mobs it'll be interesting to see how he can pull a Linda Blair and look behind him at the rest of the country. Who hasn't the guy pissed off? Blacks have no use for him. The hispanics are only about 25 or 30% behind him. Women shouldn't be behind him at all unless they're the Stepford Wives. So that leaves a bunch of old rich white guys which isn't a lot when you think about it. Nope I think old Mittens is going to be a two time loser.

Government hand outs they keep touting. Let me see. I believe there's a section on every pay stub that states what was placed into Social Security for our old age. And a section that pays for medicare when we hit 65 or older. Entitlements? Yes I'm entitled to what I've paid for. Aren't you? So kindly keep your mittens off of it.

And sorry Jeb your brother screwed this country up something bad. Obama said that it would take a term or two or even longer to fix his screw up during his first state of the union address and you call him a liar. And thanks for all the help you haven't given.

Bank fails later
Parking lot index at 8 (suspect a couple of somebody's taking a 4 day weekend)

UPDATE: No fails this week.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water BP strikes again

Nothing like a one two punch again for New Orleans. As hurricane Isaac slowly heads north and the folks down there try once again to pick up the pieces, the legacy of the Deep Water Horizon spill rears it's ugly head once more. All seemed to be going swimingly well. Tourists were starting to come back and fishing was looking like it would recover too. Exactly how the southern part of the city was overlooked yet again is beyond anyones' imagination. An eight foot levy meant to hold back a tidal surge greater than it's height just makes no sense. Like trying to fend off eagles with a cheap fly swatter. No, somehow the lower parishes were overlooked. Something about not being part of the Federal plan. Huh? At this point it's all academic because that damage has been done.

Now it's on to part two of the rope a dope. While everyone (except the people who live there I'm sure) kind of forgot about that nasty BP oil spill of two years ago mother nature didn't. Out of sight out of mind may work for the masses but nature had other ideas. Now if you recall those fine folks at BP bestowed the gift of around 200 million barrels of oil into the gulf. In addition they tried to "fix" the problem by dumping 800,000 gallons of Corexit on it to try and disperse the oil. The problem comes from the fact that any chemical used was really meant to make the oil sink to the bottom. Which it did. There are now mats of oil on the sea floor. And with the stirring action of the hurricane it is expected that much of the oil will now wash ashore causing more damage to the ecosystem.

Corexit for those who may have forgotten is a proprietary formula know to be toxic to marine life. Even the UK in it's studies of the stuff found it to be unacceptable for oil spills off their coast. What's in it that makes it so bad? Simply put think of Dawn dishwashing detergent only 10 times more powerful. It has a few types of alcohol and other petroleum distillates that break up the oil. A type of organic lye that acts as a surfactant to break the surface tension of water and propylene glycol to bond to the oil and make it sink. That's about the extent of my limited knowledge of the chemistry. The companies own safety data sheet recommends workers using it wear protective clothing and respiratory protection. Not good news for the aquatic life there.

When scientists tested the tar mats, they were found to contain about 17 percent oil by mass. That suggested that "every kilogram of oil that reached the Alabama shoreline had the potential to create 5 kilograms of submerged tar mat," the research concluded.

That 17% figure may sound low until you look at the toxic level of oil. Only a few drops can contaminate gallons of water. I'm waiting for the Chemical Safety Boards' complete report which may take another year. In the mean time skip the scampi and have the chicken instead.

Read more:

Scammy scammers and the scams they try to pull

I've caught about 3 or 4 scam artists (artists? and I use that term loosely) the past two weeks trying desperately to part me with what few bucks I have. I give a few details of their skullduggery.

First one is a robo call telling me that they are my credit card company ( never identifying which card or where I have it) telling me I can reduce my interest rate. Again never giving an exact interest rate or actual savings. Upon further investigation this outfit or person is somewhere overseas in either Ukraine or Rumania and will gladly sign me up for their program which is nothing more than a new card. They'll give you the fine mouse print and details upon signing up but only after you send them several hundred dollars for the privilege. And it turns out the bank issuing this gold plated card is not even in the U.S. Yeah right pal I'll fall for that just like there's this bridge someone will sell me real cheap.

Scam number two came in the form of an email. An invoice was being sent for a product from that I of course never ordered. Instructions were to print out the invoice and take it to the nearest UPS store for pick up. A virus scan quickly picked up the shenanigans there.

Scam three came awhile back when I got an email from a niece informing me that she was in trouble an needed several hundred dollars right away by wire. Later come to find out someone had hijacked her email account and was trying to extort money. Sorry guy from Russia I'm not that stupid.

The latest scam I'm hearing from the interwebs is a robo call informing the sucker that they have missed jury duty and must now pay a fine or face arrest. They'll be more than happy to settle the matter over the phone with a credit card. First sign to the scam would be the robo call. In Washington state or at least my county you receive a notice in the mail and must call them for verification. Most times they have enough people to make up a jury and don't need your warm body in attendance. Also they don't bother to come after you should you not show up. It may say something to that effect on the notice but in this economy they know people can't always make it. A call to them might include the fact that you'll be having extensive dental work and you'll be under heavy sedation with a follow up of pain killers. Or just tell them you'll be late for your monthly KKK meeting and I'm sure you'll be erased from their data base.

But the greatest scam (con game) of all goes on complete with balloons at the Republican Convention. And they aren't even good at it anymore. Nothing worse than a cheesy con you can spot a mile away. Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. Too complicated a concept for the last president. Well we were fooled one but not again. Can't go back to doing what got us in the mess in the first place and expect different results. If you buy this snake oil again then I feel sorry for you. I'll get my dog whistle and we can go for a walk. Just don't leave a mess on my front lawn.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Girl Isaac's a- comin, you better hide

Have to give the folks down in New Orleans credit at least they still have a sense of humor. Hat tip to Editilla of the New Orleans Ladder for the graphic.

The best laid plans of men and mice. I don't know how the rest of that goes but the meaning is simple. You can plan and prepare till you're blue in the face and still never know the unexpected. However to their discredit the "leaders" that be in that state are not too bright in my opinion. This time around there'll be no place to evacuate to should the worst hit. The sports stadium and convention center will be locked tighter then a Catholic girls' legs on her first date. Not a smart move if you ask me. Anyone who's done any type of emergency response knows that there always must be a plan B and if they're really smart a C and a D. But these dim wits think that somehow they can magically transport thousands of people in a matter of hours with buses and trains. Tell that to grandma in a wheel chair at the end of the month. The next SS check won't be due till next week.

Then there's the whiners who think nothing of complaining about government hand outs raising a stink because the FEMA funds are not in their hot little hands. To his credit Obama has already declared the gulf a potential disaster area three days before the storm was due to hit. Our old friendly Shub was having birthday cake with McCain while people were drowning during Katrina. And people still had to wait years for any assistance if they got any at all. Fear not the private companies can handle it all. They'll just post armed guards at all the exit roads and shoot anybody who tries to leave.

No, that finger in the photo is pointed in the wrong direction. Should be directed at Tampa.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Where have all the moderates gone?...long time passing

Fat is where it's at and anorexia is in like thin. Where's the middle ground to hide under. Extreme seems to be the new norm. What is normal? Is it any wonder. Went from half fed under clothed overworked masses to closet bulging calorie stuffing web surfers. You call that work? Checking your email for the elevendeith time is not what I call work unless you count the carpel tunnel you'll get by retirement. Let's not forget the other end of the spectrum either. Masses walking three miles for a bucket of dirty water with clothes so tattered you couldn't use them to wash the car and forget the shoes. Takes a bit of work to rummage through dumpsters for tonight's dinner, the only meal of the day.
Everything's become extreme now from extreme sports to extreme politics there is no center. OCD seems to be the order of the day. Never satisfied it always must be the biggest or most or at the other end the smallest and least. You'd think we're all shooting for the Guiness book. Can't be satisfied with just going fishing and catching a couple. They now must be the largest in weight or length. Of course we all know fishermen are liars anyway but you get the point. But it all gives one reason to pause and ask the question where is the end point? Shall we just revert to clubs and swords for the ultimate cage matches? Nobody really wins because there's always somebody better down the line. We used to cheer for the good guy the sportsman with a sense of fair play. Oh how times have changed. It's win at all costs just don't get caught cheating.

A look at the ends of the political spectrum. At one end is fascism. At the other communism. Neither is a benefit to society as a whole.
Fascists believe in the importance of having a powerful dictator and state control. Nationalistic feelings are encouraged and political opposition is not allowed.
Communists believe that the state should own and control the means of producing everything so that everyone can be equal.

The problem stems from the corruption of the concepts. Dictators are never benevolent and communist party leaders always seem to have a greater share of the wealth thus being more than just equal.

But what about our choices today? One party has gone so far right that that they are unrecognizable from just a few years ago. The other party has been pulled right by their inaction and willingness to compromise on every issue. And they all wonder why the populace gives them the lowest approval rating in history. It is said that man can not serve two masters. In this case it is a no win situation. Cross those who support you and risk the wrath of your financial backers. Cross the voters and risk losing your office. No big deal when lobbying is so easy to fall back on. But for us the plebeian masses, we're screwed.

So as the rethuglicons settle down with their martinis and high priced hookers, a hurricane (Isaac) takes a bead on the poor folk once again. The moderates are long gone. Packed up and got the hell out of Dodge while the gettin was good. Where'd you go Joe Demagio?

Oops almost forgot August 31 is a blue moon so whatever never happens will happen on that day.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cavalcade of rant

Back to the usual "top stories" of cat antics, hair malfunctions, and celeb mischief. And as always thank you for shopping at K Mart. Seems the little guy never gets a break in this world. After getting hit with the worst earthquake in the nations history Haiti gets a hurricane two years later adding insult to injury. After two years of living in tents (jeez even Bush wasn't that bad) the island nation experienced Issacs' force as the hurricane passed on it's way to the U.S. mainland. What meager tent dwellings they had were ripped apart by the storms winds. There's really nothing left of this nation. It's been raped for centuries. It's natural resources were looted, corruption rampant and little hope for the future. Once again the few have managed to exploit the many kept ignorant and impoverished.

And on the other side of the spectrum we see the banksters walking away scott free to bask in the Bermuda sun with fat Swiss accounts compliments of the underdogs they raped. It's laughable to see the response to the world economic situation. The can keeps getting kicked farther and farther down the road. After all the longer the can is in motion the more money's to be made. They know that when the kicking stops the game will be over and so will that nice tidy cash flow. Call a meeting to decide when you'll hold that G (fill in a number) summit with the creme de la creme of the economic set but you're not fooling anyone. Nothing will come of those meetings and we know it now. Just another excuse from a bunch of deadbeats. You're sitting on all the worlds' cash and you don't want to part with so much as a penny. Just how does one become so greedy? Momma didn't raise you like that.

The latest "we're going to look into the matter" red herring is the expose of the pubs. That'd be bars here in the U.S. That may be a good start but better territory might be in the brothels or with the call girls of DC. I'm sure they'd have some titillating tales to tell. Pillow talk might get you a cell with Madoff if the truth be told. But just how vulgar and nasty this Greek tragedy will play out is anyones' guess. It's only a matter of time because you know somebody just loves having the goods on somebody else. It's the way things operate in that town. Bribery and blackmail are big business but let's not be crass about it. I believe the term is now called "influence". He/she with the most power and money rules the roost. It's only now that the facade has been stripped and we're seeing the ugly face of the lust for privilege. No compassion for the victim now. Not even hiding the intent.

So there you have Sunday's rant. I don't make it up. I just call it like I see it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flaming Beaver Friday

Patience is a virtue they say and so is the case. For those wondering how Mittens hid his loot from the IRS all the while telling everybody he paid every nickel of taxes due here's the scheme or should I call it scam? :

The audited financial statements of one of the Cayman Islands funds make note of the use of "blocker" entities, which are used to help retirement accounts and nonprofit entities avoid some taxes. Financial statements for another fund note that it "intends to conduct its operations so it will … not be subject to United States federal income or withholding tax ..."

This is what he did at Bain. Sounds more like fraud to me as Bain wasn't a non profit and it wasn't set up for retirements.

Dole Food Company
Has issued a recall for 1039 cases of it's salad.
Dole Fresh Vegetables, a division of Dole Food Company, which is based in Westlake Village, Calif., issued the statement Wednesday evening, saying no illnesses have been reported in association with the recall.
The specific product being recalled is 10 oz. Dole Italian Blend, with a "Use-By" date of Aug. 20, distributed in eight U.S. states: Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Mississippi and Virginia.

Oh gee thanks guys you tell us about it a week after you discover the problem!

Anger Insanity and more Mayhem

Who let the Berserkers out?
I'm amazed anybody cares to set foot outdoors these days. You could get shot ya know. What would we do without netflix, home brews and cyber sex? Another shooting and in front of the Empire State building no less. What's going on? Can't see a movie. Watch out while walking across campus. Forget trying to meet your senator. And keep your mouth shut on abortion issues in church. The next memorial service just might be yours. And not to forget road raging text messaging drunken drugged up drivers. You'd have better luck in a combat zone. I guess it's true, nothing is sacred anymore. Perish the thought of going camping you might run into a mosquito fully equipped with West Nile. That is if you don't unknowingly contract Hanta virus from a field mouse. Did ya check that beef for a recall? But oh I forgot you can't start a campfire because the woods are on fire anyway. Guess it'll be marsh mallows and weenies if you can afford the park fee, but watch out for the gangstas they own the park now. Some smores sure does sound tasty if the black bears and cougars don't get to you first.

Oh hell think I'll just stay here and listen to my arteries harden. Life is just too dangerous.

Bank fails later should I think about it.
Parking lot index stands at 10.

No failures of banks this week but the year isn't over yet.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's a conspiracy I tell you

(factoid- the electric chair was invented by a dentist)

Death panels, FEMA camps and 911
I will never forget the day a neighbor came to my door. I forget what the original reason was off hand but somehow the conversation turned to the newly touted "death panels". Unlike the rest of the sheeple in this country when somebody tries to scare the bejesus out of me with the thought of some government agency telling me who lives and who dies I do a bit more investigating for some real facts. Come to find out that it was only a technical glitch so to speak in the bill on health care. In a nut shell it added a visit to the doctor ( an insurance paid visit) to discuss what your wishes would be in the event you were incapacitated and unable to tell the medical staff your wishes. Also called a living will, it was just that, a legal document outlining your wishes signed by you and notarized.

But for some people you can't let the facts stand in the way of a good conspiracy. It's as if they live to be told to be scared. The next machination of doom and gloom was the FEMA "internment camps". I'm sure visions of Nazi Germany came dancing in their heads, gas chambers and all. Okay a little investigation once again turned up the truth, but I guess they can't handle the truth as Jack Nickelson once said. The truth be known this happened a little while after hurricane Katrina. FEMA an agency that had had it's budget cut by Bush and was run by the least qualified was looking to come up with a real plan for natural disasters, like what to do with a couple hundred thousand people who lost everything in a disaster. Where do you put them until other arrangements can be made? So logic dictates a gym or armory or civic center would have to do in a pinch. It's not like they can take off to their vacation homes in the Hamptons in the interim. This is the reality and not some trumped up images of a far off gulag complete with razor wire as they would have you believe. It's hard enough to watch over the crowd that shows up for the fireworks every year let alone an entire city.

Then there's the twin towers conspiracy. Blown up they say by our own government. And I'll bet not one of them who says that has ever worked in construction. I've been tearing buildings apart for the better part of twenty years. I was shocked when I saw the damage to a supposed heavy duty structure after our last major earthquake. Sorry guys but an I-beam hit by a plane going that fast doesn't stand a chance. In the case of our earthquake I saw bolt holes in beams stretched by the force. Think about that for a sec. But for our twin towers it was a different story. In addition to the force of the aircraft there was the fire. True the beams were covered with a fire resistant material but that could easily have been knocked off by the force of impact. Ah, but beams take very high temperatures to melt they say. That is true but concrete degrades at a much lower temperature than steel and once one floor went it took the remaining ones with it. The building was after all built like a tube with no internal supports connecting to the outside skeleton. So it was a simple matter of gravity causing the building to pancake to the ground.

I only bring all of this up because there's a lot of weird things happening all at once. A major drought has hit the world with no explanation. Some credit global warming while others think it's part of a cycle. We have solar flares that are expected to last into next year or longer. At the same time there hanta virus which is a direct off shoot of warming. It brings out the rats that carry the virus. There's been the massive floods in southeast Asia on a grand scale. The earthquakes of the past few years that are still being dealt with in Haiti, Japan and several other countries. There's been more wars, murders, robberies and suicides than I've ever seen in my life in just the past few years. There must be some explanation to the madness and mayhem. Then of course there's the economic collapse which is easy to explain. Simple greed will take down entire nations. We're watching the slow motion train wreck in progress. Nothing can stop it. Yes it is a conspiracy theory but it can't be defined at least not in any simple terms. Maybe just the perfect storm where all the bad lined up in that perfect cast of the dice of fate. You can't bet on black and you can't bet on red and the house odds are no better.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Get out and stay out

As Tengrain of Mockpaperscissors would call this a bad ad.

I'm never one to jump to conclusions as to how constituents will react to the spewage of a candidate. That said it's always a safe bet to peruse the comments of a local newspaper article on the subject to get the first hand reaction. Oft times you'll find the local yokels standing in firm defense of their "boy" or "girl" as the case may be. But in reading the comments from a couple of Missouri newspapers I'd say it's quit clear. "Stick a fork in him, he's done".

Exactly what medical college did the doctor who told him that women have some type of magical sperm fighting defense makes one wonder doesn't it? Maybe the senator got that bit of information from his mother right after she told him about the stork. But the twists of logic never fails these days. Tell me when is a rape legitimate? As opposed to an illegal rape? Must be a minor felony then. And when is a rape not forcible other than when the victim is unconscious or drugged? And does that still count? Oh but I forgot incest. Guess for them the family that lays together stays together and produces more republican voters.

And as the story unfolds the RNC has given Todd until sundown to get out of Dodge or face the consequences. In this case it'll be no allowance for you and no $50,000 a plate dinners either.

Now as vulgar and ignorant as these comments were they pale by comparison to the legislation that Paul Ryan has tried to get through congress of late. A bill basically eliminating all abortions except in life or death situations. It would eliminate some forms of birth control. Wonder if they'd have to create another department as oversight. Something like the Department of Vaginal Management with offices in every city. And all might be well and good if these republicans actually cared about these unwanted pregnancies but they don't. After the kid is born it's "you're on your own kid". Need health care? Get a job. I'm sure he could learn to clean toilets at the local school once he learns to walk.

Let's call them what they really are the American Taliban because that's how they roll. May they go the same way as the Baath party of the middle east. I'm sure Abraham Lincoln would be rolling in his grave if he saw what his party's become.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fire, I'll take you to burn

(Oops the original title of this post was incorrect. Upon verification for the and looking for a photo de jour the correction was made and now stands. Sorries to Arthur Brown.)

There are currently 42 large fires burning in the west. The bulk of them are in northern California, Idaho, and western Montana. It's been an odd year weather wise that created ripe conditions for large fires. We had a wet winter and cool and wet conditions that lasted well into early summer. But once things dried out the grasses that grew took off creating the situation we have now. I think we're somewhat fortunate here on the west side of the Cascade mountains in that we've had more than average rain this year. Meaning the lawns here didn't turn crunchy brown by mid July as they normally do.

Here's a neat little Fire map in case you're wondering what's going on fire wise.

There's a couple of issues we're experiencing that aren't making things better. We're back to trying to extinguish every small fire before it turns into a major blaze. That may be all well and good for populated areas where homes can be lost but it flies in the face of mother nature. Fires in the forest are a natural thing. They burn creating the start of new life in the forest. But we're back to Smokey Bear telling us that all forest fires are a bad thing and "only you can prevent forest fires". Sorry Smokey I can't stop lightening or idiots who don't tend to their campfires.

Another issue is the cutbacks. We're using tanker planes that are over 40 years old and way beyond their service life. All the companies now are private contractors with the exception of prison inmates and some help from the national guard at times. For the government fighting forest fires is much like a fire extinguisher. It sits on a shelf collecting dust until it's needed. It's just that when it is needed you hope it works. I have a lot of respect for the people on the fire lines. Working 16 hour days with only 2 half hour breaks is a bit more than this old body could handle. I've done my share of long shifts but never that long. I once did a 19 hour shift with only one 45 minute break but that was years ago.

The last issue is global warming. Deny it if you will but it's effects are felt in the higher mountain ranges of the west. With higher mean temperatures the grasses and small shrubs that grow at higher elevations are gone. That may seem like a blessing with less fuel for a fire but it's bad because the forest floor is no longer protected by a ground cover that holds moisture. That leaves dry standing timber to burn freely when fire does hit and creates a situation ripe for insects to further damage the trees . And not much is growing back. Try as we might to control mother nature she always wins in the end.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pussy Riot or how dare you speak the truth!

(A group of cats is called a clowder.)

So we're back to the old Soviet state are we? A group does a two minute song on the steps of a church and the religious pobahs can't take it. If the Kirill I and his minions had as much faith as a grain of mustard seed they'd have laughed off the names and faces routine and gone about their business. But I forgot religion is big business as is political thievery. Where's the humor in that? When you can wear a $30,000 Swiss watch your ideology had to take a wrong turn somewhere along the line. Makes me wonder what the old boy got for cow towing to Putin or was the watch the payoff?

Thought we had already been through all this 40 years ago. A little ditty back then called The Pusher caused quit a stir among the straight laced set. Too bad they didn't bother to read the actual lyrics. They might not have been so critical. But I guess the plain truth is never accepted when you're too busy emptying the state and church coffers. How dare you criticize me when I'm robbing you! But there you have it the plain undeniable truth. Shoot the messenger when nobody else is handy. And no you can't see my tax returns. This is all sounding way to familiar to be coincidental. We could ask who stole the plan from whom but does that really matter? They are all in it together if you ask me. Can only wonder about the side splitting humor in the back rooms of the G 20 summits. Common welfare indeed.

And now for a few facts and other pearls of wisdom below the fold

The scientific name for the Green Iguana is Iguana iguana.

An average cow produces 30 lbs of urine and 65 lbs of feces daily.

Organ²/ASLSP (As SLow aS Possible) is a musical piece composed by John Cage and is the subject of one of the longest-lasting musical performances yet undertaken. The current organ performance of the piece at St. Burchardi church in Halberstadt, Germany, began in 2001 and is scheduled to have a duration of 639 years, ending in 2640. They specially built an organ to play this song and continue to maintenance it while it plays. Each note or chord takes anywhere from 2 months to 2 years to play.

There is never a reason to be defensive. If you are right, you need no defense, if you are wrong, you have no defense.

Here's one for Stu that brianiac of math and science.
111,111,111 x 
111,111,111 = 

Common sense is not so common anymore.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fluid Beaver and process safety

For some reason I always had a bit of fear for things under high pressure. I don't know if it was a boiler room that we had to walk through when in elementary school to get from one side of the school to the gym or what (that's another story). A little fear can be a good thing. It's saved my life more than once as you will see. Something about high pressure things and the possibility of eminent danger or instant death.

I was working with hydraulic fluids at one of the area Boeing plants. This type of chemical will burn your hands and other body parts. It was my job to check for leaks in a maze of pipes, hoses and connections throughout the plant. If we found a leaking pipe we were to clean up any spills and report the problem to maintenance. Some of the hoses used to fill the aircraft before they are sent on their way were neatly located in a small compartment, a shallow trench actually, in the factory floor covered with a steel cover plate. One day I noticed quit a bit of fluid at the end near the connection. I pulled the soaked absorbent pads, cleaned up the excess and placed fresh pads under the connection. Knowing that sometimes when an aircraft is moved residual fluids are sometimes left in the trench after unhooking the lines. These lines by the way are under 3600 lbs psi of pressure and the size of a fire hose. I figured I'd check it again after lunch just to make sure that was the case. After lunch the trench was again filled with hydraulic fluid. I called maintenance. To my surprise they came right away. Not a common occurrence for a place the locals call the Lazy B. They started dismantling the connection and took out some o rings. But there was a problem. They didn't have the exact o rings to replace the old ones. They had a similar one but not an exact same number on the part even though they looked exactly the same. I took notice as several of the engineers were slowly stepping back from the connection as they pressurized the line. They told me that if it were to fail the end cap would fly off like a cannon ball at about the same velocity.

All was completed and the part worked but this is not the end of the story. True I was always careful never to get any body part between me and the end cap, but one worker doing my job at another plant was not so lucky. In the process of taking the hose and connection out of the trench he had his head directly over the end cap. The o ring failed at that exact moment and it took his head clean off.

And now we have another death in Colorado from a gas line burst. I don't think I'd care to have their job. Judging the pressure of gas wells are quit unpredictable.
gas well burst kills one - injures three

Bank fails later as usual
Parking lot index at 10

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stupid is as stupid does

Jeez the idiots. We're surrounded by them. I don't know of any individual who would vote for a party that would, if they had their way, take away so many benefits and human rights, slash safety nets while giving that money to those who absolutely don't need it. Is there something in the water in Florida that wipes out IQ points? Don't want to pay taxes? Fine, then forget about your roads when they're full of pot holes. Call the police and be put on hold. House catch fire? Let's see you put it out by yourself with a garden hose. Need to go to the emergency room? Have a friend hook you up to a car battery or better yet you can do it yourself.
The self sufficient "something for nothing crowd" is always quick to criticize what others make and what things cost until something goes wrong with their little piece of earth. Then they have the nerve to criticize those that might help the situation.

There's a disconnect somewhere in their brain circuitry. They would support a candidate who would like nothing better than to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid, take away their Social Security and essentially gut any programs that might help them. Rationality does not seem to be one of their strong points. But the icing on the cake of this theater of the absurd is that they won't even bother to fact check and be informed. To rely on information that has an agenda, in this case it's for the protection and increased profits of a select few, just boggles the mind. That slow boiled frog that's been discussed is just about ready for serving. I think a few brains were parboiled in the process.

The Tea Party that secretly disguised Koch brother funded astro turf group of minions would shoot themselves in the foot and no think twice about it. Keep spinning the message and soon you'll find that you're arguing with yourselves. And when your bank accounts are empty but the Koch bros. just bought another country don't come crying to me. I didn't steal you retirement they did and are probably laughing about it sipping champaign on their cruise to the Caymans. There's a sucker born every minute and they knew you were it when you signed on to their little scam. Take heart in knowing that they'll be buried in a gold coffin while you'll be found behind the dumpster as just another John Doe. Their families will be most appreciative or not of the fact that it was you who financed their great send off and all the wonderful toys they got to play with during their time on this earth. What fools these mortals be.

I truly would like to have some cards made up that say "Asshole". Upon coming across such folk in daily life I'd hand them a card and say "There now you're a card carrying asshole!"

And that's my daily rant. I feel so much better.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fraud embezzlement and other fun business stuff

Three ex-Chase bank workers admit $4.8 million tax fraud
When I first read this I thought it said Chinese bank workers. Too bad we couldn't send them to China. I'd bet there'd be new meaning to the term "heads will roll". Don't forget to buy some prison stocks.

2 sentenced in $50 million bank fraud conspiracy

Iowa brokerage CEO indicted in $200M fraud scheme
The guy scammed some 24,000 investors over a 10 year period. Jeez how many Madoff clones are out there? Disheartening to think that your retirement fund was being used to buy somebody's yacht.

You say your bills are a little dirty and need to go to the cleaners.
Bank settles money probe
Standard Charter that bastion of honesty and trust was caught laundering money for Iran. Incensed about the matter, one UK executive blurted an expletive deleted about the American investigation. Saying it was only $14 million that was in question.
Well I'm so relieved to know it was just a paltry 14 mil. Any more might be considered real money.

USDA to purchase meat to help livestock producers hit by drought
Haven't seen the meat prices go down much in the last few weeks which makes me wonder if the ranchers aren't holding out for a better price. But considering the story above ( the guy did his fleecing with commodities ) is it any wonder prices never dropped.
Oh well at least we'll have food bank burgers. And maybe it's not such a good time to cut subsidies to the farmers. At least not yet.

Retail sales increased in July more than expected.

This is still a puzzlement to me. Not that sales increased but how they calculate such measures. They take out energy and food because after all who needs to drive or eat? This also excludes sales at auto dealers, building material stores and service stations. So one has to ask what the hell are they measuring? That might leave health care, clothing and entertainment. Not a big boost to the economy when you think about it. Bulk of health care profits goes to insurance companies. Our clothing is made overseas as are most movies.
The Fed is looking at the possibility of economic stimulus. They try to do that by making borrowing cheap by pumping money into the system thereby lowering interest rates. That however doesn't work when there's no demand and the only benefit at this point is to the banks. There's this waiting game going on amongst the "peonage" as Randal call us. We're still waiting for the effects of the euro mess to hit our shores. We saw what happened in Greece and Spain and wonder when we'll get to enjoy the "fun" of more layoffs, wage cuts and general misery.

Okay you caught me again. Late as usual.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Late breaking odd news

Always love finding obscure news items to make your day. Not hard to do when you can talk to people all over the world now.

Not quit as obscure but no less interesting:

Military to test hypersonic jet that could zip across the U.S. in less than an hour
That'll give new meaning to the term jet lag. If memory serves correct flying east to west you'd land two hours before you left. And who said there was no such thing as time travel? On second thought it won't happen. Think of the sonic booms that would create.

A little mix up in priorities maybe?
British athletes will get at least £125 million per year of funding for the rest of this decade to help repeat the rush of Olympic golds won by Team GB, David Cameron has said.
Meanwhile the disabled are losing their benefits…
And another tidbit that goes with this story. The Brits will be holding a special olympics just as they do here. Only problem? Anyone participating will have their disability pay terminated and will be required to sign up for a special work program. A program that just had it's funding cut. Jeez who said Scrooge changed his disposition. They must have watched "a Christmas Carol" in reverse.

US to help clean up Agent Orange from Vietnamese site.
We dumped 20 million gallons of the stuff in Vietnam leaving them a toxic legacy.
Used in the US to treat highly contaminated "superfund" military sites, the soil treatment process involves removing soil from the site and heating it to 355 °C to destroy dioxin. The US is investing $43 million in the project, and it is expected to take about four years.
How is it that they won the war and we get to go back and clean up? Can't they do it themselves? And all this because some corporations want more business with that country. Hey here's a novel idea. How about cleaning up the messes you make over here first?

And a little ditty I whipped up just for the occasion.

They're rioting in Mumbai and I don't know why
They're fighting in Sudan oh man
The world's on fire
No boss will hire
Poop done met the fan

Okay okay corny and I'm late with this post so sue me.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Morning obituary almost

Sadly it is my duty to announce the death of another blog or at least a major cut back of postings from our Canadian born Ukrainian blogger the Blog Fodder. Thinking back I can't remember how I even came upon his blog in the first place. But the sad part is seeing a blog roll list that's shrinking with an array of dead links. Much like losing friends while reading the morning obits. I realize that sometimes life gets in the way and personal issues can take a front seat in the blogosphere, but to drop to drop off the face of the earth? I couldn't do that. So if you open up this blog and find nothing new for days on end I'm either recovering in the hospital or have indeed slipped off the mortal coil. As I said to him and I'll say it here they'll have to pry the keyboard from my cold dead hands. You'll find no exit notes here. Just hope I can make it to the 'publish post" button before the heart gives it's last pump.

We've lost a lot of great bloggers in the last few years and even though you might not consider yourself one of the bigger fish in this ocean, collectively we make up a whole. You might have in your own simple way given others inspiration or advice that their own family could never give. Or as Steve Smith aka Red Green would put it "I'm pullin for you, we're all in this together."

There's always trolls spammers and snipers out here but for the most part the friends you meet are fairly decent and more than willing to lend a hand with advice and moral support. It's just sad to have a blog roll that looks more like a memorial than an active address book. So I guess it's true "you can't go home again". Home is never the same especially without the people who made it a home.

So like it not you're stuck with me. I'm not going anywhere any time soon. Unless of course google starts screwing with the format again in which case I have a back up plan and new digs all ready to move into.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Caturday and some more doom and gloom

Well now that you are refreshed from the Beaver Scream it's time to get back to our miserable existence. Oh where to begin there's just too many options?

There was ebola but as we know that is confined to mostly Africa and other remote places. So as not to disappoint we'll start with another virus Swine Flu. A new strain is spreading across the U.S.. Oh that'll get everybody scared for sure unless of course you actually read the article only to find out that there was 200 reported cases confined to the midwest and not likely to spread. Okay then how about a nice solar storm? So what I need a lead lined umbrella when getting hit with electromagnetic energy or something? Can't even see the stuff so how are we supposed to know?

Okay then how about "water depletion" . What's that you say? Who's taking all the water and what are they doing with it? No this is just the natural process of how water cycles through the ecosystem and how since we are using more and more of it soon there won't be enough to sustain life. I do like the example given. It takes 140 liters of water to produce enough coffee beans for that morning cup of joe. That makes you wonder how much it took for a breakfast of eggs bacon toast and some orange juice to go with the coffee.

Then there's the droughts. It's happening here and in several other parts of the world. Parts of Africa haven't seen rain in years. All the while the Philippines are drowning with too much water. That kind of make you wonder what people in Syria do when they've had their water cut off in places and the temperature hits the upper nineties.
At some point if this keeps up water will cost more than oil. Then things could get really ugly. And I know what some may be thinking. Water falls out of the sky it's free. But they forget exactly how much water we use in any given day. A rain barrel might cover a day's worth of personal use but doesn't account for food production or manufacturing.

Of course there always wars, gun violence, domestic violence, gang violence and a general sense of rudeness that dominate the news. Gone are the days of settling an argument with a heated discussion and an objective debate. Even fists have been relegated to a by gone era. Nope it's "my gun's bigger and it holds more bullets. Whatcha going to do about it?" And forget about going out to a club or a bar in late evening. Wouldn't want to be mistaken for a target after dark on a downtown street.

(A hat tip to the artist. Borrowed from Crooks and Liars)

And if all this doesn't want to make you go back to bed and pull the covers over your head consider our political situation. After riding ourselves of an idiot in chief (let's face it not many in this world had much love for that guy) we are now faced with grid lock and the zombie party candidates of the far right. How's that you say? A zombie contributes nothing to society. The soul purpose of a zombie is to seek out prey and eat human flesh. In this metaphorical case all the things we've fought for over the last 50 years and I might add actually paid for with pay roll deductions. Unlike a real emotionless zombie you can always tell when Romney is lying. You will note that awkward laugh just before he gives an answer. Of course he's lying. An honest person would have no problem reveling any information about themselves. Would you tell a potential employer that they can not see information in your past about what you did and how you handled your finances? Even if there was trouble you'd want to explain the circumstances.

So to end this doom saturday segment our list of choices take your pick:
1. Drought
2. Wars
3. Starvation
4. Violence
5. Pestilence
6. Economic ruin
7. Political consequences
And I almost forgot
8. Natural disasters

So have a nice day it could be your last.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Screaming Beaver Friday

In searching for our angry beaver here one will find an unusual number of rock groups, microbrews, and clubs by the same name so it was no easy task.

While perusing the news looking for my next inspirational post it all started to looking quite the same - wash rinse repeat. Then it struck me. As August drags on and the fireworks of July are a long memory. Who can remember Father's or Mother's or whatever inlaw or outlaw holiday has passed? This would be the perfect opportunity to institute another national day to tack onto the calendar. Because after all who can afford to take a two week vacation in this economy? You might find yourself replaced after getting a nice restful tan at the beach. So this is the perfect time of year to institute a new holiday. I know what you're thinking. Great! Now we have to fill our closets with yet another box of kitsch decorations to collect dust. Nope. This celebration should appeal to all ages, races, sexes, religions and national origins. It requires no decorations, party dress or strange eating habits.

Screaming Beaver Friday. Hadn't really thought of a name yet but Friday seems to be fitting and a screaming beaver has enough of a mystique that all sorts of rumors and misconceptions as to it's origins are sure to make for an interesting web search as years pass. After all who the hell knows any real facts about the Mummers.
But the idea is quit simple. At say noon or one o'clock on the chosen day everyone goes to the front door, steps out and yells at the top of their lungs their most seething low down underlying subconscious hatred. No holds barred. Doesn't matter if it's a boss or spouse or neighbor. Whatever hate may be on your mind at the time let her rip. Bang a pan if you like. Clench a fist. Gnash your teeth. Scream as loud as you like. Use as much profanity as you wish. Jump up and down. Shake your fists. And after about a minute but no more than five all are to remain silent for a minute.

Now don't your feel so much better? And it didn't cost a thing. Well maybe a brain aneurism.

Bank fails later.
Parking lot index 11

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

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

Another installment of today's near non news items. As if we haven't seen enough videos of the cat chasing the feather.

Randy Travis found naked and drunk after crashing his car in Texas.
Reminds me of an old joke about Gun Smoke.
Marshall Dillon shows up in town naked. Much to everyones' shock. The Doc asks Matt what happened? To which Matt explains. Miss Kitty and I go on a picnic. After lunch Miss Kitty gets frisky and takes off her clothes. I did the same. Just as I got close to her she whispered in my ear "Go to town Matt" and here I am! :-)

Southern Cal. gets a 4.5 earthquake
That'd be about enough to shake you martini if you noticed it at all. A passing truck would probably make more of an impact.

Raw Money compares California economy to Greece
He may have conveniently forgotten but we haven't what policies got us into this mess in the first place. Things like tax evasion and off shore accounts don't work any better there than they do here.

Standard Chartered bank gets lambasted
Nothing like pot calling the kettle black as they say.
It's become so easy to scam the system especially when such large amounts of money are at stake. Standard is accused of laundering Iranian oil money through their system. With little knowledge I'd bet I could do that myself. Simply set up a dummy company in an obscure place. List it as a subsidiary foreign operation and funnel the money through it. How do you think Raw Money is playing the system? Twenty three hundred companies can not fit into a small office building in the Cayman Islands no matter how hard you try.

Refinery fire could boost gas prices
Could? No you mean will. So you might want to fill up now and while you're at it stock up on beef and canned goods because the rest of the poop storm will hit shortly.

And lastly but not leastly

There is the latest:

(pick one or more)
1. Affair
2. Weight loss program
3. Drunken night out
4. Pregnancy
5. Illegitimate child
6. Marriage (do they still do that? thought only gays wanted to marry)
7. Tax evasion
8. Assault
9. Dress malfunction
10. Wardrobe choice

And none of this anybody really cares about because they have their own set of problems.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Romney to do a reset in Aug.

(hat tip to Tengrain who stole this from Axel Grease)


Mr. Etch-A-Sketch couldn't shake hard enough to undo the damage he's done. Open your mouth some more your foot isn't in quit far enough. And exactly how he proposes to walk back all of the pandering to the radical right would be the miracle of the century. Sorry Mittens you made your bed now you have to lay in it. And all the money in the world isn't going to help.

Some would have you believe that this country can be run like a business. It can not. It doesn't work for a profit. It never did and it never will.

So along with the ceremonial pressing of the reset button we have the (drum roll please) choice of vice presidential candidate. Now before you jump to any preconceived notions stop to consider that said candidate must have only the tiniest appeal to a select group of voters. Yet at the same time be so repulsive that no one would consider putting a cap in Mittens arse least they land up with bozo number two in the oval office. That idea didn't quit work out for McCain as his choice appealed to only those who drooled over the photos of Hustler magazine. They had something else in mind when they said "I'll give you my vote baby".

Whom to pick? Seems the bulk of choices have about as much charisma as a bowl of milk toast not to mention their own lists of luggage. Exactly how would you climb on board the Raw Money (this country is headed to hell) bus when you've been so busy telling your constituents that things are getting better because of all your good work? Professor Backwards has nothing on these people. Are there any black or hispanic republican women amongst the all white boys club? Oh that question answers itself I see.
Maybe they can alter the ancestry of this woman to fit the bill. They've come quite adept at altering history after all :

who said all foxes are smart?

(hat tip to Tim of Scared Stiff for his photoshop skills)

Now if they could just add a slight touch of rumor that her grandpa was African and her grandma Puerto Rican they might have a chance to capture that sector but alas they incorporated all those voter suppression laws thereby shooting themselves in the foot once again.
Here's a woman who thinks that you can work your way through college. That might have been true when she went 50 years ago when a loaf of bread was a quarter and states paid 2/3 of the costs but not now. Her idea of getting people back to work is to shuffle funds around in the transportation budget forgetting that it was her own party who underfunded that bill. Much like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Sorry babe there is no free lunch at this bar. Her other claim to fame is wanting to eliminate pensions for congress. Ha! We know that won't happen in her lifetime. How's a retired senator going to relax with a mint julip on the front verandah and watch his undocumented workers pick all those subsidized crops?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The psychosis of right and wrong

What is that word/term I'm looking for? Contradiction is close but not quite fitting. In what context you might be asking. The thought occurred to me that when we were growing up we were taught fairness and justice and doing the "right" things. All altruistic and such, but then reality creeps in to state otherwise. We gathered around the TV as kids to watch the Lone Ranger and Tonto fight the bad guys that we all knew would lose in the end. Right from wrong was a simple matter. Everything was black and white back then, cut and dried. Somewhere along the line the bad guys started winning. And as sick as it sounds the audience started rooting for the bad guy. Had Hollywood become bored with the same old plot lines and cast their fate in a new direction? Ah but there was the code to follow. How did they get past the code? They got past the code because it was dropped somewhere along the line because those in charge of the code thought that movie makers were responsible enough to set their own standards. But that never happens both in the movie business or with other endeavors.

So what have we learned over the past 30 or 40 years and what are we passing on to the next generations? Judging by our entertainment media it's that violence rules. Whomever can produce the most force with the better weapons wins no matter if they're good or bad. Honesty is another value that's been thrown out the window. We all know criminals lie but nobody stops to think that so do the police. Our honesty can be tested by both sides. Trickery is another factor. They say you can rob a freight car with little education but with an advanced degree you can steal the entire railroad. And now entire nations are ripe for the pickings. It's all done with computers. No need to get your hands dirty or wear a mask.

Now that our sense of right and wrong has been cast away, it's filtered down to amateur sports. Maybe Lombardi was wrong when he said "winning isn't the only thing it's everything". Which makes one wonder if ethics are even taught anywhere in our schools anymore. No, it's come down to whoever has the most guns or power or violence or trickery wins. Maybe it always was like that and we just didn't see it. And just how can we be promoting truth justice and the "American" way in other countries when we're gradually taking it away here? There are no more fair fights it's now all that old saying about love and war. All tactics are fair. But eventually that gut feeling sneaks back in and the psychosis revealed. And is this patient ill. Right is now wrong and wrong right. Is there any cure?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

News Snark

Syrian forces pound rebel frontline in Aleppo.
Where's the frontline when the entire city is being bombed?

Clinton wants fair elections in Kenya
How about fair elections in this country without voter suppression laws?

Fashion police turn up their noses at the stylings of the Olympics.
What's the matter you don't like blue jeans, a polo shirt with tie?

China blames the U.S. for the Syrian Crisis.
Ah yes nothing like blaming the messenger. And along those lines we have:

Romney to Reid, "Put up or shut up!"
Hey Mittens it's supposed to be the other way around. Release 10 years of your tax records and we'll all shut up.

U.S. resumes beef imports from Japan
We slap a ban on to prevent mad cow and now we need to wonder if our burgers aren't radioactive. Oh but it was so cheap we couldn't pass it up.

Wall Street with positive momentum in the face of headwinds
And the game of pump and dump continues. Just make sure there's no bugs in the software or it's hell to pay.

And Lastly

ECB saves Greece from bankruptcy by securing emergency loans
Nothing like helping somebody out of debt by giving them more debt.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday beaver? To market to market now don't get all jiggey on me

Combination pussy and beaver pic for Friday

I've given up on market information and trying to figure out exactly what happens on a daily basis. I used to follow them on a day to day basis until the advent of computer trading. Some wizards with supercomputers figured that they could squeeze fractions of cents out of a deal without so much as a verbal buy or sell order. The algorithms and mathematical equations used I'd be sure would have Einstein stumped. They say you can make a mistake but to really screw thing ups use a computer. Truer words were never spoken. A couple million here a few hundred million there and soon you're talking real money. But it's all paper and an idea unless of course that was part of your retirement check that just went up in smoke metaphorically speaking. Value you see only has value if there is a seller and a buyer. Real worth is only determined by that factor. That concept has been rudely perverted with the advent of computer auto trading. No need for horse trading here. Computers have no emotions as they carry out their programmed instructions. Where's the fun in that? And what exactly is the job of a broker now that so much of his work is carried out without him/her lifting a finger. After all most investors tend to use the set it and forget it method. They too know that decisions are best left to non emotional machines when trying to get ahead of the game.

Money is an odd concept when you think about it. A seemingly worthless piece of paper representing goods and services traded the world over. Yes I know the alternative could be quite messy. I'd hate to have to carry around a pocket full of melted cheese just because my barber wanted to make cheese cake for desert. Then there's the more expensive items like a house. How many fresh eggs would that take? But then I'm more of a pay as you go person. Maybe I don't want the fruit of the month this month. And I surely hate subscribing to anything that would have me as a member. Don't forget to register we're told. And why is that when the offer/information is free? I really don't want all your spam in my email box. I just wanted to read the damn article not give you my entire life history. And the last thing I really hate is having word verify just to leave a comment. Come on! You get maybe two dozen comments in any given day. Are you too lazy to delete the spam? You think your blog will become the next Firedog Lake? Think again sparky we're all just small potatoes in this chip factory.

Bank fails later
UPDATE: One bank in IL failed this week.
Parking lot index was at 7 (I suspect an anomaly here this being the first week in August)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

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

Mixed bag of (in this case ) cats

This is really a non story when you think about it. Why? Because everybody has a right to their opinion. Does the company ask and refuse service to people they think are gay? I'd bet not. So what's the big deal. We're not talking about a Birmingham lunch counter here where once blacks were refused service.

A Republican Voice With Tea Party Mantle and Intellectual Heft
Now there's two concepts that are diametrically opposed. I believe George Carlin called it something like military intelligence. They just don't go together.

Apple sues Samsung
This is an oddity considering 20% of the parts of an iphone are made by Samsung. Sounds like it will end as a Mexican stand off.

Olympic: London tourism rates plunge
What was that Yogi Berra expression? " The place was so popular that nobody goes there anymore". Now you know what he meant.

CIA authorised to offer intelligence support to Syrian rebels.
In the first sentence of the article it starts out "President Obama signs a secret order to"
Well no secret any more. The cat's out of the bag but then again who couldn't figure that we weren't going to provide assistance to the rebels. I'd also bet that this was going on way before he signed such an agreement. We know after all that Blackwater or whatever the hell they're calling themselves now has been in the area for months now. Let's face it there aren't many secrets anymore.

Fed Poised To Step Up Stimulus Unless Economy Strengthens
Considering Fed Fund rates are at near zero what's old Ben going to do start paying people to take money? Looks like Bernanke has painted himself right into a corner. I do know one thing. If the economy doesn't collapse from all the overseas trouble then at some point it will explode with expansion and pent up demand.
Oh and a fitting Beetle tune comes to mind "If you want here it is come and get it but you better hurry cause it's going fast."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ebola and the new seal flu

There are perhaps a million an one ways to shed this mortal coil but this is not one of the more pleasant ways. The ebola outbreak in Uganda had the locals running from a hospital when they found out patients with the virus were inside. Gatherings were canceled and residents of the city were encouraged to avoid contact with others. And with good reason as the virulent strain of hemoragic fever had invaded their lives.

And you'll note in the photo people dressed in tyvec suits with their faces and eyes covered. Right up my alley so to speak. For you see after 911 I was ( unbeknownst to me) placed in a data base be on the front lines in the war on terror. All righty then. I was expecting some intense training and a call at anytime for mobilization to any manner of shenanigans that might crop up. After all George made us feel as if Al Qaeda would rear it's ugly head at any time to steal out babies and poison our drinking water. That however was not to be. The training came some four years later and it was less than stellar. Most of the information could have been gleaned from any number of sites on the web. In fact that's pretty much how I learned about what I might be up against in such an event. Remember this was the time right after the anthrax incident at the senate office building. I had heard of anthrax but never really studied it extensively as it's not one of our standard hazards.

Now before you consider sealing yourself up in the closet with duct tape and plastic sheeting stop and think about the odds. Prior to our more modern medical techniques and more sanitary procedures it was quit common for people to die from the flu and oft times even a common cold. In 1918 50 million died from the swine flu because they didn't have advanced pathology that they do today. As untrusting as some may be of our current medical establishment the advice for dealing with such things back then amounted to guess work and old wives remedies. Today even the worst cases are survivable to all but the very weak or compromised immune systems. Major airports have screening methods for detecting sick people once they land. Even our present whooping cough outbreak has been little more than an inconvenience in spite of its' numbers. Your odds are better being in a car accident than dying from flu. Ebola as deadly as it may be tends to be confined to rural regions of Africa.

In studying the list of hemoragic viruses over the last ten years it occurred to me that the odds of them making it into this country are very low. There had been that outbreak of SARS some years back yet I can't think of one fatality here in the U.S. The closest I've been to such a virus was a job involving Hanta virus. The difference being that Hanta virus is treatable and fairly easy to prevent once the source is located. The decontamination process is simple and requires little training even though unlike Ebola it can be spread through the air. For some nefarious group to try and make a weapon from these viruses would take quit a bit more than a basement operation. Getting them to their target would be another difficult matter as their symptoms can be obvious and the carrier more apt to want treatment rather than go to a ball game or other large gathering. Lastly it should be noted that most viruses can only survive outside their host for very brief periods of time, sometimes as little as a few minutes.

So there you have my two cents on the subject of Ebola and the H3N8 seal virus. And for those who deny evolution they need to stop and study this a bit more. This virus went through 37 mutations from bird to seal in a very brief period of time. And one more thing. Don't forget to cover your sneeze and wash your hands.