Saturday, September 29, 2012

Life's little journey and other random thoughts

Just sitting here listening to my arteries hardening and thinking about life. Where have I been and the not so thought about where I'm going. The latter is an easy answer but no one wants to think about the dirt nap that awaits them. There comes a point where it's just no fun anymore. All things come and are appreciated at just the right time. Digging through the cobwebs of memories we think back. What great anticipations had true meanings and delights. Halloween was always a start for long lost fond memories. The afternoon air turned crisp with falls arrival. Constructions of paper jack-o-lanterns were always a fun diversion from arithmetic and reading. Wax lips and wondering who would get the most chocolate bars was always a focus. A two cent memory will always be buried deep in childhood thoughts. But it's the intensity of the experience that wanes as years pass. Who doesn't recall with great anticipation the coming of Friday nights and the base drum beat at the high school football games. Hoping with crossed fingers the home team could beat the visiting rivals. Nobody really remembers who won but they remember the dance after. The sight of girls dressed in skirts and stockings trying to look a bit older and as pretty as they could. Awkward boys trying to look manly and cool. All with enough hair spray and cologne to empty a drugstore. Never to forget that odd and fumbling ritual of paring and repairing with hookups and breakups with a lack of self confidence thrown in for good measure. There was the music that bookmarked the time. You remembered where you were and what you were doing when the top 10 hit the radio waves. And inspite of what our parents said it was all innocent really. It never turned us into some crazed monsters they said it would. And I'd bet their parents said the same things about their music and styles.

Then there was the anticipation of Christmas. As a kid that was like dying and going to Valhalla. Somewhere after the scads of college bowl games had finally played out when December rolled around it was cut out Christmas trees and red and green paper loop chains to make. The anticipation grew as the day came closer and the shops put up more and more decorations and played a litany of carols. The sights and smells and sounds were a near sensory overload for anyone old enough to walk. But it was the intensity of the experience that's nearly faded as years have gone by. Is it the juices, that combination of adrenaline enzymes and hormones, that intensified the experience? Could it be that once an experienced has gone through a fixed number of cycles that it's lost it's punch? Or is this just the result of aging? Been there done that but I may not remember if I did it or not now that you mention it. Always looking for the "new" but everything looking like reruns now. Face it there are only about two dozen story scenarios and the rest are just variations or so they say. What was once a happy anticipated holiday is just now a hassle.

What's left after the hair on your legs has fallen off and the hair line creeps back and slowly turns gray? And you know you're getting old when the barber asks if you want your nose and ear hairs trimmed. There's not much to look forward to unless a trip to the foot doctor is seen as a treat. So are we relegated to shouting turn that noise down and get off my lawn? No, getting old sucks so do yourself a favor and don't get old.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday beaver and under the bus 2.0

As I posted earlier in the week our veterans had a bit of a run in with the wheelie bus from a bill voted down by our wonderful "We support our troops" republicans. On later review it was determined by our scabby scab proofreaders that the bill was actually being held up by who knows who. I guess it's how they roll these days. The little "No" girl from that credit card company ad has nothing on these guys. At any rate tucked into that jobs for vets bill was a cost of living increase for the survivors of the veterans who died in combat. So not only did the living soldiers get the BF Goodrich treatment but the widows and children of our fallen as well. Nice guys we have in congress now eh?

And here we have our Friday Beaver d' jour getting ready for winter. With our dry weather here I'll bet he's having problems building a dam.

Headline reads "Asian shares, commodities rise on relief over Spain". Hello people! You don't change things by rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Shuffling debt around will not solve the world's economic crisis. Spain was just hit with austerity. People are rioting in the street. That will not help to pay off debts. When you lay people off they can't pay taxes which is what pays the debt. When are these people going to learn?

Bank fails and parking lot index later.
UPDATE: One bank failed this week in IL. Parking lot index undetermined. Had to go out this morning on business so we'll catch it next week.
Beavers will be suspended too until spring so keep an eye out here for the Friday Pussies. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Up or down, doesn't matter I'm not buyin it.

Somewhat interesting to watch the markets and job figures. For every five soothsayers predicting a rise in the numbers there's five predicting the opposite. Case in point the housing numbers. Just a day or so ago there was a touting of how prices of homes increased to a four year high. Today that figure would have you believe we're once again in a slump. I can only surmise what's happening by looking at what's going on in my own little corner of the world. There are still a raft of empty homes and businesses within six miles of me and the want ads aren't looking for scores of new workers but things aren't all bleak. I see one restaurant that's been closed for the last six years or so has now been purchased and should open soon. I wish them well as there is another restaurant just like it two doors down. I guess comfort food is never out of style in a down economy.

 What amazes me is how all the coffee stands can remain floating. There are if memory serves correct six Starbucks shops and stands on one stretch of road here plus several independents nearby. As much as I love coffee I just can't see paying $3.50 or more for a cup no matter how fancy or what the barista is wearing or what she's not wearing.

Barbers are another matter. In a down economy people put off such things until absolutely necessary. So you might look like cousin It of the Adams family for a while. Who cares? If you wait long enough it all just might fall out from age anyway. Only to move to other parts of the body like the ears and nose. Not to forget that one eyebrow hair that grows to six inches in length and you can never quit get a grasp on it to pluck it out.

Another fun thing to do while waiting for Armageddon is reading the local police blotter. With the amount of stress of today's economy the blurbs are almost comical.
Suspicious man spotted on corner. Upon arrival police determined that the man was waiting for a bus.
Reports of loud noises coming from a house next door. Police determined that it was workers installing flooring. 
Then of course there the usual amount of missing cats and dogs that are rarely found. And an abundance of suspicious characters who somehow manage to disappear when the police arrive.

So for the most part it's people hunkered down in their bunkers waiting for the economic storm to pass watching their net flix or cable shows or wasting time writing silly blog posts. Oops!

Title this "Waiting for Gadot".  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

News you can't use and other worthless stuff

Stretch yawn repeat.
The Fed thinking it can actually control the economy set about to do what? It bought mortgage backed securities. And somehow they think that would spur economic growth. Sorry guys that's how we got in this mess in the first place. We sold the suckers, er, investors a bunch of paper based on mortgages that most knew were headed south. And they conveniently bought hedges and headed north to the Hamptons. Must have been part of the knights of Neah and they found their shrubbery. Get it, hedges - shrubbery? Oh never mind.

But no comic parody would be complete without the King (Hey didn't he die already?). But this emperor is definitely naked and I'm not talking just shorts here either. So while the market place boys were crowing over the slight rise in home prices they overlooked the millions going into foreclosure or worse just sitting there empty and rotting. And why? No demand of course. That little fact is that 70% of the economy runs on consumer demand and not as the result of some rich guys' Swiss account seems to be overlooked. 

Hopefully the king will die before the third act of this play. We are stuck in economic gridlock. The money has been rising to the top for so long that it can't go anywhere without forcible legislation. With the size of the economy the stimulus bill should have been in the trillions and not just a couple of hundred billion. And what people keep failing to see is that spending would not have been in vain. In addition to rebuilding our infrastructure and providing jobs it would have made for tax revenues to pay down the unpaid for wars and bank bail outs that provided nothing other than more money to people who didn't need it. 

In other news we have:
Greek riots -  business as usual there as their economy remains in ruins.
Spain riots -  the start of the austerity measures following behind Greece.
Syria- Free Syrian army getting in a few blows for their fight for freedom
Russia - Business tycoon charged with hooliganism? Sorry but the definition doesn't quite fit the crime.
hooliganism - willful wanton and malicious destruction of the property of others. Violence by a youth gang. 
Mr Lebedev is neither young nor a member of a gang.
Mitt Romney - And the clown circus rolls on. Gad as long as this election season is going it'll be time to start the next one before this one is over.
Sports - Hum, looks like those union refs aren't so bad after all. 
Weather - Still amazingly dry here in the Northwest. Nice for outings and getting outdoor work completed but the bugs are beginning to get a bit irritating.

Sorry postings have been slim but not a whole lot going on here other than the usual muggings, murders, and embezzlements. Life can tend to get in the way.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Veterans thrown under the bus

(I hope our guys in uniform would copy this image and use it as a bumper sticker or badge)

 You spend two, three, four, and even five tours of duty risking your life for your country. You did every that was asked of you and served honorably only to come home to no future. A parade here or there to honor what you did but little else. You fought and survived in Iraq and Afghanistan only to come home to fight another battle.

OOPS! The GOOGLE screwed me again!

Had to restart this post because Blogger once again threw it in the trash. Gee with friends like that who needs enemies? So I begin somewhat again and try to get a work around. The only reason I haven't thrown Google under a bus is that Wordpress doesn't work the way I'd like it either.

Our veterans unlike my profession doesn't have the luxury of calling a time out should things go awry.  They must rely on their comrades in arms to be on the look out for trouble and provide back up. No so with our dysfunctional congress. A bill meant to provide these warriors with a shot at a career after their many tours of duty was shot down last week. It was all neatly worked out ahead of time by both sides. Only to be voted down by the party that touts their 100% support from the decks of air craft carriers used as backdrops. So I have to wonder what motivating factor would have been neatly tucked into that piece of legislation that would turn it into a fart in a diving bell so quickly. Did someone somehow slip in an amendment that would give illegal immigrant women free abortions? We can only wonder. I'm not going to take the liberty to dig into the bill for a rationale. The damage has been done and there's nothing to be done until next year at this point.

But let us not forget that it is our veterans too whom Romney referred to in his little speech to his donors. If you're out of the military and you don't have a job then you too aren't paying taxes. Which would raise the question. Would Mitt eliminate veterans benefits altogether if he were president? Maybe not but I'd bet that he'd want to cut it to the bone as he's so supportive of the Ryan budget that would do the same. And a little news for Paul Ryan. I witnessed the teaching of Ayan Rand from her own mouth. She is nothing more than a Nazi with all the same ideologies. She fails to see that she would not have a place in society without the benefit of all the little people that make it work. And like our folks in the military you don't throw them under a bus. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

He's not one of us

Mitt Romney He's not the guy you'd vote for for class president that's for sure. Looking at his background he's no stand out of his accomplishments either other than separating companies with their assets. He championed a new method of "vulture capitalism" that is part of todays' economic problem. And it seems his family is always on the wrong side of history. His father rose up through the Nash company that later became American motors. Dad snubbed his nose at the bigger cars of the big three auto makers. Question is, anybody remember a Rambler? Or how about an AMC Matador? I thought not. Only a vague memory now and I'd bet none of your friends owned one of those either.

Mitt seems to have been on the wrong side of just about everything. In college he tried to start a counter protest against the anti-war protests. This while his father George turned against Vietnam. In France he had little success in converting the wine drinking French to the tea totaling Morman religion. Even his early years at Bain proved less than successful. The company made no money the first several years until it moved into the area of "leveraged buyouts". Using the companies assets as collateral and borrowing against it much like a subprime loan this left a mountain of debt and a shell of a company in its' wake. All while lining Mitts' pockets. Not to mention displaced and angry workers with no pension. Workers who would now be considered part of the "us" on unemployment and paying no taxes.

His plan for the nation is just the same, yet in this scheme he'd have the power to write the laws making the unethical and immoral commonplace. All the while telling us that he's doing it to save our precious safety nets. Exactly how you save something by gutting it and using that money to enrich your own pocketbook should be obvious. It's the plan he's used all along to make himself and a handful of his partners very rich. He has this delusion that this country can be run like one of his hedge funds or one of his off shore accounts. That might work if he was running for king.

But we are considered by him to be pons is his corporate chess game. Just something that's expendable in his quest to capture the prize which in this case is more money for his corporate masters. He fails to see the big picture and all the little people who make the system work. And I'm almost sure that it's not even about the money but the game of gaining the wealth and power. It's the process that's become so alluring and not just the outcome or the trail of shattered lives he would leave behind that he'd ignore. That's a sickness by anyone's definition. So yes indeed he's not one of us.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beaver Friday and he's dancing

Animals can be strange things. With the right conditioning they can be made to do just about anything. BF Skinner in the 1950s and 60s proved that by conditioning, pigeons would do his bidding just by offering them a reward. After a while it didn't matter about the timing either. The pigeons would ritualistically do a dance or what ever other action the doctor of psychology reinforced with a reward. This may well be how superstitions came about. But soon these superstitions became part of rituals and then entire religions. Doing a dance and expecting rain is about as logical as expecting a winning lottery ticket just by rubbing a rabbits' foot. Not so lucky for the rabbit though. Humans can communicate using language. Not that it makes anything much better but maybe more interesting. Problems crop up when one group denies logic or reason. True, science is always flowing and new ideas are discovered every day but so many superstitions are put to rest in the process. Otherwise we'd still believe the sun revolved around a flat earth. Sad to think that people were once put to death for believing otherwise. And now we have the choice of choosing a candidate for president. It used to be in tribal days that the biggest strongest male would lead the group. That's true of most animal groups. And it also holds somewhat true today in that nearly every president of modern times has been six feet tall or taller. These days it also requires education or at least the ability to to convince the tribe you have the right stuff to lead. With television it became more of a beauty contest than a job interview. It's no longer a matter of which candidate would be best suited to benefit the entire population but why the other guy is on par with a serial killer. I believe Romney has totally lost this race. He may have been great at carving up companies and pushing underlings around in a corporate world but this country and government doesn't work like a corporation. A corporation works for a profit, not so with a nation. He'll never be able to walk back the statements he made about half the nation. He's basically called us leeches. And you never win friends by insulting them especially behind their backs. Now he is stuck and trying to go on the offensive, angry and confused he looks more like a foe in "the Art of War. He will lose because his campaign has gone beyond the point and is now self destructing. Sorry Mitt you won't be able to etch-a-sketch your way out of this one. Bank fails later. Parking lot index at: 8 No bank fails this week

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The real Rob McKenna

(Sorry the weasel pictured has more socially redeeming qualities)

 You may have seen the latest TV ads about Rob McKenna. How he pushed to give himself a $148,000 raise while blocking an increase of 12 cents for minimum wage. Compassionate little bastard is he. But that's not the whole story behind the republicon candidate. He has a few more skeletons in his closet that need the light of day. You may have noticed his latest ads wanting to appeal to women and there's a reason or should I say several. The first was his law suit against the Affordable Health Care Act. If he had his way and it was repealed thousands of women would have been back to square one with their medical coverage meaning they would have been denied coverage. Side note many of the provisions went into effect even before the the act takes full effect in 2014. Mainly pre existing conditions. Insurance companies can no longer turn someone down with a pre existing condition. He stated only after much public outcry that he only wanted certain parts of the ACA repealed but that's not how he responded to his republican pals in Washington when a Florida judge ruled against it, the entire act. According to an article in the Stranger, McKenna had a bit of a go round with a young lady who wanted to know his opinion about a certain piece of legislation. I was going to post the exact confrontation but for some reason blogger won't let me so I'll paraphrase. A young lady at a Mckenna event asked him a question about the Reproductive Parity Act. She wanted his opinion. He rudely cut her off and told her to "get a job." Then there's Mckenna's ties to big oil. Stating that he was going to get to the bottom of the price gouging from the oil companies in the state, he came to the conclusion that the state was not refining enough. Interesting to note that some of his major backers are "the big oil companies". Also of interest is that we have several refineries here in the Puget sound area and yet pay prices far higher than the national average. Bellingham, Washington which has a refinery just outside the city pays the highest prices in the state. Figure that one out.

Plant safety an issue The Tesoro plant in Anacortes was the plant that exploded in April of 2010 that killed 7 workers. The piece of equipment that failed hadn't been inspected since 1998. The company was sighted for 44 workplace violations including a willful disregard for safety regulations. The state found the company failed to inspect and maintain decaying 40 year old equipment. BP, one of McKenna's other backers, received the state's largest fine $81,000 for willful violations after an investigation of a fire at the Cherry Point refinery. They too seem to ignore inspections and worker safety. This comes as no surprise as BP has been fined for similar accidents in Alaska, Texas, and of course the Deepwater spill and fire in the Gulf Coast. It's the job of Mckenna to see that the laws and regulations of the state are enforced but I guess there are other motivations going on here and definitely a conflict of interest.

More problems with the female vote 
 Mckenna says he's pro choice but that would go against his Catholic upbringing as well as the national republican platform which essentially would outlaw all forms of abortion even in cases of rape or incest and most types of birth control.

I would continue but Blogger keeps screwing up and gives error message after error message. Nothing like turing a silk purse into a sows' ear. Feel free to use that feedback tab to rip them a new one. I guess the nerd likes a Jolt cola bottle where the sun doesn't shine.

Blogger sucks

Was trying to work on a post about a certain republican weasel when blogger decided to completely change the way they do things. So you'll excuse me while I ram a bottle of Jolt cola up some nerds ass.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Careful what you say it's being recorded

Some say Mitt Raw Money was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. I say he was born with a silver foot in mouth.

The gaffes just keep coming. Anybody think of who he hasn't insulted other than some rich backers? I thought not. So all I can conclude is that the republicans have found their puppet. Pull a string and he moves his position in one direction. Pull another and he moves in the opposite direction. Problem is he has a few too many string pullers and they keep yanking him to the far right. And remember the game plan set by the Karl Roves which is to take your weaknesses and blame the other guy. So by that thinking he is the one who isn't paying taxes and getting corporate welfare to boot. The only reason for an offshore bank account is to evade taxes and you don't see anybody in the middle class with one of those now do you?

But it's interesting to note that the corner Raw Money has painted himself into is getting smaller and smaller. So other than a 1% and a bunch of uninformed voters who does he expect to win over with his latest remarks? He's also ignored the fact that people can now actually fact check his statements in real time. That pesky Youtube thingy just keeps a great record of what you said yesterday and the day before and the last few years for that matter. Don't try to tells us you didn't say something when we have the recording coming right from your lips. So it's us against them only the 47% he refers to would include people who are retired, those on disability who can't work and (get this) even himself since he won't release his tax returns. As for government handouts he'd better look in the mirror because Bain didn't become the company it did without millions in government money.

Now there's another little weasel running for governor here that I'll be blowing holes in his campaign ideas at a later time. In the mean time our wonderful congress is working on a bill to provide jobs for the veterans. By the looks of it it's not something to crow about either. Jobs include public lands restoration, cemetery caretakers, and firefighter or policeman. Let me see. They've cut back on national parks. Most cemeteries are already staffed by low wage folks and cities and towns are laying off police and firefighters. So there you have it. And we know what the republican party thinks of public workers.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No boob for you and other news you can't use

Oh all right but don't say I didn't warn you first.

hat tip to Crap USA

I won't bother you with the graphic details of the latest royal gaffe. I consider it along with latest version of Janet Jackson Superbowl caper or the Brittany Spears crouch shot to be less than earth shaking.
A quick google search reveals 83 million hits for the Kate photos. A little over exposed there gal. But to his discredit the camera guy must have been a mile away to get those fuzzy shots. What do they say? Bad publicity is better than no publicity. And considering the royals do little to advance the human race then at least they can entertain us with their antics.

Far more important things to think about with people starving to death or on the business end of a drone strike. If you want novelty try the "As seen on TV store". But I forgot they closed that store in the mall. Now how will a get my replacement Sham-Wow? Fear not there's enough counterfeits going around for everybody and cheaper too. Not so ancient chinese secret if you know what I mean. How can we complain? We set up laws that shipped jobs overseas then complain when they flood our markets with slave produced products. That's vulture capitalism for you.

Nice to know that Raw Money thinks of the little people. Or little thinks of the people. Or thinks little of the people. That'd be us the other non 1% who actually make this country work. Okay so we're the 47 or 48% who aren't going to vote for him. Let's give him a little math lesson. He would have to get 94% of the remaining 53% of the voters left in order to win. That I believe is a mathematical impossibility especially considering he keeps putting his foot in mouth every time he speaks. Stick a fork in him he's done.

Our wonderful congress has just 7 more days to do nothing then they can go home for 7 weeks and do nothing. Damn where do I sign up for that gig? And this is only the "fall" break. Don't forget the winter, spring and summer breaks that last for weeks. Hey when you get a minute Mr./Mrs. congress person you want to actually do some work for us? Oh silly me we aren't their boss.

Okay okay it was a slow news day so sue me.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Round up the usual suspects

Capt. Renault, "Well Ricky this is another fine mess you've gotten us into."
Rick, "Sorry just couldn't afford the new carry on luggage fees."
Capt. Renault,"Should have used Expedia dot com."
Rick, "They won't book flights to Kabul." "Have to take a camel to get to Islamabad."
Capt. Renault,"Ricky, avoid the U.S. embassies along the way. I hear they're quit dangerous now."
Rick,"No biggy most of them are burned and empty now." What was all the fuss about anyway?"
Capt. Renault, " A certain vulgar film slipped out on the web. Well actually just a few short clips."
Rick,"No you got that all wrong pal. It was the rumors."
Capt Renault, "Rumors? What rumors?"
Rick, "There were rumors they were going to cancel "American Idol"."
Capt. Renault, "Oh you'll pay for that one Ricky.""Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life."

A Sunday funny I hope.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What goes around comes around

(hat tip to the Angry Arab for this ad)

Careful what you wish for
In 1954 president Eisenhower instituted the "Atoms for Peace" program. It was an effort to get countries looking for a peaceful means of using atomic energy. The U.S. supplied other nations with information, technology and even materials for the purpose. The Iranian program continued until the Shah was deposed. The Shah was installed by our government when it overthrew the duly elected leader of Iran but that's another story.

Ironic isn't it?
After the 1979 revolution, the clandestine research program was disbanded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who had serious religious reservations about nuclear weapons, which he considered evil in terms of Muslim jurisprudence. Small scale research restarted during the Iran-Iraq War, and underwent significant expansion after the Ayatollah's death in 1989. Iran's nuclear program has included several research sites, two uranium mines, a research reactor, and uranium processing facilities that include three known uranium enrichment plants.

Ed note: Sure wish we'd stop trying to "fix" the world because just maybe it isn't broken.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday beaver don't beam me up just yet Scotty

Interesting things the future holds. And with the net one finds some unexpected things while looking for one thing. How did I get here. Thought I turned right at Alpha Centauri. Some of the soon to be things coming to a store near you in the near future.

1. Nano computing. Rather than old copper wiring in the desk top or lap top carbon fiber lines will carry light waves creating the on and off binary code. Benefits are twofold. First it speeds up the process multiple times and second it makes for an entirely secure system. Any attempt to hack the system results in a breakdown of the message sent and no copying either or so I'm told.
2. Spray on photo voltaics. Forget having to mount some heavy glass panels to the roof. A simple paint job will do the trick. The system can also be used to make transparent windows that collect energy. And all of this accomplished without an expensive manufacturing process to boot.
3. Grow your own organs. Replacement organs grown from your own cells that can be used for transplant and eliminate rejection. They have now grown a hamster bladder in some of the beginning trials.
And at some point beyond that a medication or treatment that will permit the body to regrow it's own damaged parts.
4. CO2 recapture and reuse. Rather than look at carbon dioxide as some type of curse that's killing the planet capture it to make fuels. Bio fuels are being worked on and used for jet fuel in tests. The entire idea is to make the global warming gas part of a closed loop.
5. Autonomous warfare. Our military is spending a bunch of money trying to remove living souls from combat dangers. We've seen the drones of late attacking position a world away but that's only the start. They now have a vehicle called the Black Knight with its' 30 mm front turret gun and machine guns. All capable of being operated from a safe command center. Nothing like finding more efficient means to kill ourselves.

These are just a few of the goodies that can be expected in the near future. And when you stop to think about it technology is starting to leap frog over itself. We can barely get used to one development when that becomes yesterday's news.

Bank fails later
Parking lot index at: 8

UPDATE: One bank failed this week in MO.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mish mash

Never fails when I'm looking for a graphic to go with a post there is a rock group by that very name to go with the concept. Okay then I go with the flow and send some love their way. Not that I've ever heard of such a group or will ever see them again.

In experiment, the Cleveland Museum of Art will replace a roomful of Rodins with a roomful of purple balloons.
I can only assume that they're all waiting with great excitement for the much touted traveling turd exhibition due in next month. After which there are roomers of a used condom display and road kill extravaganza. How exciting! The paint is drying, film at eleven.

Herr Bloomberg has managed to get his Big Gulp ban passed in NYC thereby limiting sodas to 16 ozs. in restaurants bars, and 7-11s. Wonder if I were to bring my own pitcher in for a refill will they just charge me for 5 or 6 gulps? Sorry Mikey there's always loopholes. You of all people should know that.

An interesting website and a peek into tomorrow by what they're working on today but I'll save that for tomorrow. In the mean time beam me up Scotty there's no intelligent life on this planet. the engineer

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Revenge is a dish best served cold

This is The Beetles Complete with title track "I'm a loser" played on ukulele by Tommy Anonymous (how fitting) apropos to this post don't you think?

"To the moon Alice!" For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. Dog whistling to the ignorant hordes we have the "us" verses "them" once more. On the face of it this would look like nothing more than retaliation of an insult upon a religion. It wasn't that exactly but a small bunch of extremist groups, on both sides I might add, who seized an opportunity to make itself clear. The protests started in Egypt then hours later in Libya before the diplomat was murdered. The initial assumption was that this was in retaliation for the anti Mohammed film that had clips released to Youtube. However according to a Jihadist Facebook the attack was actually to avenge for the murder of Abu Yahia , the Libyan who was believed to be the second man in Al Qaeda on the occasion of 9/11. That eye for an eye tooth for a tooth thing may be a bit more plausible. It did take us many years to track down and kill Bin Ladin. And now the search is on for the perpetrators of this crime and the cycle of violence continues. The ancient expression holds true "when seeking revenge dig two graves".

Then on the lesser scale of revenge we have Anonymous that group of faceless unknowns that scours the world looking for and punishing injustice. Their latest attack on Go Daddy was a bit of a backfire in that it took down many sites on the web that I'm sure even their own use from time to time. People seem to forget exactly how interconnected things are today.

But the biggest faux pas today was the Romney response to something that hadn't already happened. This guy shot from the hip without taking aim and hit himself right in the foot. Anybody want this guy to answer the 3 AM phone call or have his finger anywhere near the button? I thought not. So Mr Raw Money will you defend me if I slam your Mormon religion? Again I think not. But by all means Mitt babble on. You're only doing the grave diggers job for him. About time you did some actual physical labor. Metaphorically speaking.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

911 Another view another anniversary

It was eleven and a half feet wide 118 feet long. It weighed more than 200,000 lbs. It was moving at 530 miles an hour. Is it any wonder two towering skyscrapers collapsed in NYC that day in September? Yet in a google search people just can't face the reality of the forces involved. The bulk of images are linked to this conspiracy theory or that. I'm sure the families who morn could care less about some tin foil hat story. But let me dispel some of the nonsense from what I know about construction.

The skeletal structure of a building is meant to take the weight of the floors and not lateral also called shear forces. A building can withstand the force of wind because that force is not focused in a small area. Acting much like a sail the entire structure can move in unison. Engineers factor those wind forces in when designing skyscrapers. Now if memory serves me correct a building is fastened together with 4 to 6 hex bolts per gusset with a tinsel strength of about 10,000 lbs per bolt. Sounds pretty sturdy until you consider the forces that brought down the towers as was listed above. What surprises me was that the buildings stood for as long as they did.
Another bit of info about the building structure, the whole thing was built like a tube meaning the floors were only really attached at the outside walls (called tube frame or cantilever construction). I've seen similar such construction in old warehouses here in Seattle. The floors only sit on a brick lip with a supporting floor joist every 20 feet. Scary enough if you're a firefighter I'm sure.
Another thing to consider was the effect fire from the crash had on the concrete. If you ever want to weaken concrete just run a weed burner across its surface a few times and you will notice how it becomes brittle in short order. The concrete of the towers' floors was held in place with corrugated sheet steel that isn't very thick. Once it melts the weight of the concrete will do the rest and collapse the entire floor.
Last issue was that of asbestos. From my recertification classes I was informed that asbestos was used for most of the fireproofing of the I-beams. That is until it was banned in 1971 in the city. Further research confirms this fact:
The WTC Towers were built from 1968 to 1972. A slurry mixture of asbestos and cement was sprayed on as fireproofing material. But this practice was banned by the New York City Council in 1971. This halted the spraying, but not before hundreds of tons of the material had been applied. Some but not all of it was later removed in an abatement program.

They let the entire issue slide because to try and remove the asbestos would have cost more than the buildings were worth. From my own experience they would have had to use jack hammers or rivet busters for the removal. No easy task to hold that piece of equipment at shoulder level for an eight hour shift although I've done that before.
We were lied to a bit by the EPA when they reported that air samples around ground zero were at safe levels. I could have told you otherwise without an ambient pump and test samples. I knew approximately what was in the air by the materials used in the building and were then airborne. I had considered going but it would have been a long trip and there was no way to decontaminate after working all day in that toxic dust soup. It's only now that authorities are compensating people for all the cancers and other diseases that were contracted. Something I knew would happen.

So consider this a brief memorial to those who died, are dying, and will die from the 911 disaster. It's not over yet.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday beaver and don't deprecate on me bro

(A fiddling beaver probably playing "My heart bleeds for you")

Just calls em like I sees em. Okay all seriousness aside... er?

I see Raw Money had his tax records stolen. How convenient. We can only hope they'll magically show up on line. Is wikileaks still around? Anybody at the IRS about ready to retire? Feel free to spill the beans and we can get this over with post haste. Remember Swiss bank accounts were made for one purpose.

And looking at the elephant in the Euro room we have:
"The eurozone economy shrank by 0.2% in the second quarter from the first, according to the European Union report, as business investment dropped by nearly a percentage point. Europe's decline is expected to accelerate in the third quarter, according to economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and IHS Global Insight. Both see Europe's recession lasting into next year."

As I see it the likes of Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs blew up the world economy by selling the suckers that near worthless paper a few years back and now I'm sure they're looking for payback. But who's left to fleece?
Don't forget to buy shorts before your lose your shirts boys and girls.

Bank fails later.
Parking lot index at 7 (hey where's my job or are the rest just looking)
Update: One bank fail this week in MN. I've lost tract after the tally hit 400.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Smoke and mirrors. Who has the lifejackets for this sinking boat?

When strip tease is all tease and no strip. The smoke, mirrors, lifejackets, and boat come later.

For a start, the lack of a limit on bond buying could simply reflect unwillingness on behalf of the ECB to commit to a specific amount of purchases rather than anything bolder. The reports also suggest such purchases will not be “unsterilised” and therefore not amount to full-blown quantitative easing. What’s more, they will have a maturity of less than three years. Meanwhile, Draghi is likely to restate that the ECB will not act until the EFSF or ESM have bought bonds, which could be months away. And it seems the Bank’s purchases may be conditional on the governments in question meeting economic and fiscal targets – the Bank could even threaten to stop bond purchases or even sell its existing holdings if governments fail to comply with demands.

Meanwhile, with the region’s core countries now following the periphery into recession, the Bank might adopt further measures to support the broader economy. On balance, we see interest rates remaining on hold, although a cut is quite possible. And the ECB could outline plans to get the liquidity that it has provided to commercial banks into the hands of firms and households. The Bank of England’s Funding for Lending Scheme might provide a useful blueprint in this respect. Note, though, that such a scheme is unlikely to do much for the euro-zone’s periphery where banks need any extra money to repay their debts and sky-high unemployment and plunging profits are making the private sector very reluctant to borrow.

Sterilization refers to the practice of draining reserves from the financial system in order to prevent a rise in the money supply. When the ECB purchases bonds, it’s injecting liquidity into the financial system – liquidity that banks might be tempted to use to buy other assets or make loans, effectively creating new money.

First off this has been going on for months now. That slow strip tease of the promise of some type of bailout or solution to the Euro Union mess. And it amazes me that none of these financial wizards has bothered to read history. Austerity has never brought about recovery at any time in the past. Doesn't 'sterilize" mean to render impotent? If the financial system can't lend the money then what's it supposed to do with it? Let it sit in a vault or hard drive and collect dust? Having somebody's back may be all well and good but what about the dangers in the front?

But like the teaser they only show a bit of cleavage. Was the cover charge worth it? Keep promising them more but give them nothing. Oh it's okay we'll get a peek in a couple of months. That's like your parents telling you "maybe" or "we'll see". Better odds of getting hit by lightning. Problem is everybody's wise to the game so nobody's buying this BS. They can credit their debits and debit their credits till the cows come home. It's not going to change the situation. Somebody want to tell them there's a hole in the boat and this thing is no Boston Wailer. Smoke em if you got em just don't look in the mirror. Hey somebody stole my lifejacket!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Writings from the graves of Randal

Randal Graves that esteemed ( or not so) member of the Peonage with a burning desire to produce that one and ultimate literary masterpiece not seen since the days of the Bard sets out with quill pen to paper (er. hadn't done that since he dipped little Susie's pigtails in the ink well in grade school) on the quest for fame and fortune. Well, fortune anyway cause fame ain't all it's cracked up to be.

His first attempt "closed" drew far less than the adoring fans he had hoped for and the reviewers were less than kind relegating not a word to the local tabloids. Perhaps the PR guy should have been fired for adding such a crude comment to the marquee, but hey he came highly recommended and worked for peanuts. At least that's what his handler at the circus said.

His next attempt "One way ticket to hell" might have drawn hordes of younger fans had there not been a battle of the heavy metal bands in Columbus that opening weekend. After all who wants Memorex when they can have the real thing? Dejected and depressed our snarky playwright skulked back to his cubicle and 8 tracks of the sex pistols for inspiration. He thought and pondered for days. Navel staring and shattered eardrums can do a body good sometimes. If only one last smidgeon a faint ember of motivation sought amongst the ivory towers to be had. The old college try. The long bomb. The impossible of impossibles. He'd pulled all nighters before but everything was on the line now. Inspiration came and with fleet of foot and nimble of fingers set out for the masterpiece among masterpieces. A concept so alluring so rapturous so devilishly tempting that no one could resist. And so it was to be. Live birth would have been a kinder gentler process. So without further ado he presented the world with:

(two can snark at this game)

Monday, September 3, 2012

The lack of labor day

About the only labor you'll find going on these days.

Will all available cashiers please go to the check outs.

Sorry we only have one left after the downsizing and she's crabby. Only kept her because she's a relative of the manager.
Where's the manager?
On a fishing trip with the owner. Be back in a couple of weeks.
Who's running the store?
We are. But I have some bad news. Due to a bad quarter profits report you'll have to leave.
Ha ha! The jokes on you, haven't you heard? A chinese outfit bought the place and we're all being replaced with vending machines.
Who's going to stock and service the machines?
Immigrant mexican workers of course.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

We're all doomed I tell you

(Insert your own fear here)

Nothing like scaring the bejeesus out of everybody on a daily basis. Best to just turn off the news and take up knitting. On second thought.

What's to worry about? Plenty.

Swine flu
West Nile virus
Hanta virus
Hair loss
Vision loss
Hearing loss
The heartbreak of psoriasis

Okay time for a break yet? Pop into the kitchen for a snack or meal. That can't kill me can it? Oh contrare.

Okay okay I'll step outside for a breath of fresh air then.
Pollution alert
Heat wave warning
Drive by shootings
Drunk drivers
Pit bulls
Sexual predators
Catholic Priests

Good grief maybe I'll just sit quietly in the back yard.
Solar radiation flares
Mosquitoes carrying west nile, swine flu or who knows what?
Killer bees
Rabid dogs
Hungry bears
Cougars with jealous husbands
Nymphomaniacs? Nah!
Lawn chair recalls
Out of control aircraft
Falling astroids

Okay what's left?
Can't go to the mall you might get shot or the roof could cave in.
Can't see a movie the theater might be harboring a psycho or the place catches fire.
Grocery store? Hum might get in the cross fire with a disgruntled employee or former employee.
Check the mail? Might run into the postman/person and they go "postal".
Oh, let's not forget arsonists, burglars, robbers, con men, ex cons and psychotic ex and current wives, girlfriends, husbands, and boyfriends.

Alright then I'll just sit here typing my meandering thoughts and wonder about who might be hacking my email or stealing my identity.