20 July, 2010

Not Ranting Today

Okay, It has come to my attention that I have been on a bit of a tear and done nothing except rip into people, places and or things. I apologize for that. Not so much for the rants, that is kind of what I do, but for the monotony of non-stop ranting.

On to happier things. The nice men at BP have finally plugged the leak in the Gulf of Mexico. I think they finally got it stopped by doing what should have been done in the first place. Putting a new cap thing on the leaky bit. If there was ever any proof  that the company was run by men, this was it. Their approach to the leak was that of any man faced with the prospect of home improvement, no directions needed, We got this. 

I imagine all the engineers were sitting at one of their houses smoking and drinking beers with "fixes" sketched on napkins when one of their wives walked by and said, "Why don't you just go over to the B&Q (That would be Home Depot in the States) and buy a new one?" One week later, the problem is solved.
What the BP guys really should have done was called Norm Abram. He would have knocked together a new cap for them out of New England Ash with a decorative, Hickory inlay held together with some Epoxy to waterproof the wood. He loves that stuff.

I was thinking about all the oil we lost and it came to me that we aren't making any more of this stuff are we? We are pretty sure what  oil is made of right? It used to be carbon-based life forms. Dinosaurs, Plants and the like, that have been buried for a few million years and have turned into crude oil that we then refine and burn. We are taking from the source, but not putting back. Personally, I think it is high time we did, and of course I have a plan.

First we will need an empty oil well. Texas is full of these and no one is using them for anything right now. Then we will need a lot of carbon-based life forms. Namely, dead people. We will then drop the dead people down these empty oil wells, cap them off and leave a note for future generations to "Dig Here". Simple as that.

You might think that dumping dead people down a big open hole is a bad idea or callous or some other bullshit. It isn't. It is the same thing a million of you choose to do right now. I am just asking you to do it in one location and to leave out the addition of the toxic cocktail. Currently, we like to fill our dearly departed with a mix of Formaldehyde, Methanol and Ethanol to keep them fresh and shiny for all eternity. The US alone buries approx. 20 million liters of the stuff a year. That really can't be good for the environment as Formaldehyde is a Class 1 Carcinogen.

My solution eliminates the toxic burritos left all over the world, cuts carbon emissions and gives back to future generations. What could be wrong with that? Or sure, Aunt Sally won't have any where to go cry on Memorial Day. What is the difference of going to cry over a rock and going to cry over a rock that sits on top of a box that holds another box filled with toxic sludge?    

I have included my proposed idea with a wonderful graphic. Think of it as giving something back. Grandma would want it that way.

13 July, 2010

Tea (for a change)

I woke up this morning to lovely, overcast skies, puddles on the ground and smell of sweet-sweet rain in the air. Brilliant! Some of you might be thinking, "What sort of nut likes cloudy, overcast days?"
This sort. I didn't move to London for the 90 degree temps and the dust-dry gardens. If I wanted that, I would be living with my niece in Air-Conditionerville, AZ. But I don't live there. No offense to all the nuts that like it a brain-boiling, 116 degrees Fahrenheit (the projected high for Thursday, 15 July) but I prefer to go outside and not die.
Right, where was I? Oh, this morning. I woke up to lovely overcastness and put the kettle on for a cup of tea. As it was chilly in the flat and overcast, it was a perfect morning for a big mug of Lapsang Souchang. Lapsang is a bit like Sarah Palin. You either love it, or you go around the globe trying to convince others that, not only is she as stupid as a bag of hammers, she is the figurehead of everything that is WRONG about America and a vote for her is a vote for Hitler except this time it won't just be Jews. It will be a Hitler with boobs that hates brown people, animals, free speech, the environment, atheists, children, and the elderly. Okay. Maybe Lapsang is not EXACTLY like Sarah Palin. Although, I have been told she smells like a bushfire or burning tires and on that glowing endorsement, I should like her because I love Lapsang Souchong, it is amazing. Sarah, not so much.

I enjoyed my first cup of smokey tea so much, that I promptly made another then another. Then I spent a lot of time going to the loo. (My tea mug is pretty big.) Between wees, I was reading on the BBC about this Moat character that declared war on the police after shooting his ex-girlfriend, her boyfriend and a cop that was minding his business, eating a donut. I read that his family is upset that he shot himself with a shotgun. Now, let me be honest. I am sure I would be upset if someone in my family shot themselves. But if they shot themselves after they shot their ex-girlfriend, her boyfriend, a cop eating a donut, then called the cops to declare war on them... I would think to myself, what a stupid bastard. And now, now there is an inquest into the cops because they might have tasered him. Oh, come on. I suppose the Irish nutters that dropped a block of concrete on a cop and the ones that beat the hell out of the other cops with lumber, pipes, bricks and petrol bombs should get a stern talking to and given a tenner for their troubles?

This is why I am not a cop. The first time some hoodie-wearing twats took a swing at my fellow cop with a 2x4, I would have shot him. Just in the leg. Then the ones that came to help him would have gotten shot too. And unless they have already sired children, I would be doing a public service. People that stupid shouldn't be allowed to reproduce. Ugh.

And now that I sound like Sarah Palin, I am going to find something cute to look at on the interwebs. Oh, look a kitten. What is that Mr. Kitteh? I should calm down?
I think I will make another cup of smoky tea, add a dram of single malt to it and do just that. Good day to you, sir.

Blogger's Note: I realise this post was all links and no pics, and that makes Jack a dull boy. Or a very boring blog to read. I hope the kitten at the end made it all worthwhile. Oh, and I am certain that Sarah Palin is the Devil's minion. She is not smart enough to be the Devil herself. 

07 July, 2010

Old Man ranting.

I will admit it right now. I am an Old Man.

I like to be in bed early, I enjoy my tea, wearing my slippers with my pipe, kids didn't look/act like this when I was younger... the whole thing. I have been an Old Man for awhile now, but it is getting worse. It was pointed out to me when I had a friend staying over. We were talking about playing the guitar and I was listing off the things that I could play at the time. She is couple years younger than me but remarked that I only listened to Old Guy Music. Ouch. Thanks Rani. (Shortly after her comment, I exiled her to Turkey.*)

I had another moment just the other day. A person walked past me on the street wearing headphones. Now, please don't get me wrong, I have headphones. My flat is littered with them. I have a pair tucked in the pocket of every jacket I own. I wear them at the Gym, on runs, on the tube, when I hear American accents at street crossings. I am not talking about the tiny, miracle, earbuds that are on the market. The ones that pump loads of sound deep into your ear canal so others don't have to hear your music. Those don't bother me in the least. I am talking about the ridiculous people sporting the giant, John Peel mega headphones walking down the street.

You, Hipster Twits. Is the world such a bother that you need to blot it out with giant headphones plugged into your tiny MP3 players? Is that your attempt at Irony? I am aware that you are attempting to make some sort of statement. Something about how cool you are to be listening to music. We get it. This is my return statement to you:
John Peel wore those giant things on his head because he was a damn fine DJ that worked on radio. You are not. You are a pathetic, style-junkie attempting to be "Retro" because that is the current trend. I am glad that you choose to wear the giant cans because it keeps the brain-melting drivel that you play focused into your own head. Thank you, at least, for keeping Usher to yourself.

We may well be SO boring that you simply must blot out our very existence with the magic of your latest Shakira vs Lady Gaga Mash-up playing over the beat of The Killers with the all auto-tuned vocals, but here is what happens when you have your noise canceling, mega-cans stuck on your head. You get so far up your own arse that you forget that the rest of the world is actually happening. You are so deep into yourself that you begin to weave back and forth along the pavement and block my ability to walk past you and your ridiculous headgear. I am waiting for you to blindly wander out into traffic and because you can't hear the blare of horns and the squeal of rubber on asphalt, get hit by the oncoming bus thus removing yourself from the rest of humanity --yet causing a huge delay to people wearing ear buds, riding the bus, trying to listen for their stop.

I realize that anything that has to do with the rest of the world at large has no bearing on you and vintage ear cannons and that I am just a grumpy old bugger at 35 filled with contempt for you kids now days. I also realize that by wearing your giant headphones, you are labeling yourself as an anti-social dweeb, but one that is too polite to let other people hear the wonder that is your music. You must be ashamed of it on some level.

I am going to start packing a small pair of scissors with me and I am going to nip the wire on your silly headphones when I see you. After I snip the wire and pass you, if you figure out what happened. I am going to run off. And you will be stuck there with your ruined headphones and no music because you either: A) have your trousers around your knees, B) are wearing skinny-jeans so tight you can't breathe, C) have your long, Justin-Beiber-fringe hanging in your face and can't see anything D) have on platform shoes/untied trainers/sandals and socks or something else just as stupid. Your chances of catching me are nil. And if you did catch me, you would just cry because you are so Emo and your "Mum gave you those headphones for Christmas" ~Sniff~.


Side Note: I actually know people that own massive headphones. They are web designers that need to focus while in a noisy office atmosphere, or DJ's that actually use them to hear a song while blaring another. For a very cool Music Site, please visit a friend of mine over at Head Underwater. His name is Jimmy and we used to work together.

Oh, and I may be a grumpy old man at 35, but if you dips on the pavement can not walk any faster, move to the bloody side! Single file is not the end of the world. There is no reason you have to walk six people abreast. Noah went two-by-two, if it was good enough to save all the animals on the planet, (although we know that didn't really happen. Where did he put 2 million beetles?) then it is good enough for you damn tourists.

*My friend Rani is actually traveling around the world right now by herself. Turkey is just her first stop. How gutsy is she? 

01 July, 2010

Dear Japan.

I grew up in a land-locked state in the country that ran the Whaling game for the longest time. I should either be supportive of it, or indifferent about it, but I am still passionately against it. Odd. I am not really passionate about anything else. I guess we all need a hobby.

I was thinking this morning (in the shower. All the best ideas come to me in the shower) and I have a way that whalers can get a little support and a little less derision. The need to change their tactics. I think the reason the public (and me) gets so upset with the whole Whaling thing is the WAY that you hunt them. Waiting on the surface until they come up for air, then blasting them with an exploding harpoon? Where is the sport in that? You might as well blast them out of the water with a missile.  

Maybe it is living in England, but I have a pretty good sense of Fair Play, and to me, blasting a whale out of the water with a nuke is not very fair. The Whale has no chance at all.  BUT, if you caught them a different way, you might be able to get the public support behind you. It is the brutal method that people are really down on. Minke whales are of the Rorqual family and they eat krill as well as other smaller fish like, herring, cod, and pollock. That means they can be caught on a line like other sport fish. And not that long line crap that they use for Swordfish. I am talking Pole and Line (also known as Bait Boat*) type that they use to catch Tuna. That way you are only getting the stupid whales. 

The boat would go to the Whaling grounds, and toss a bunch of bait out, then wait until the whales are chowing down and start dropping lines over the side to attempt to get one to bite on a hook. I am sure they make a braided line that will hold 8 tons. If not, you will be creating jobs and advancing science. Once you hook into one, a brave fisherman would have to hang on for dear life until it was tired enough to get to the boat, then the whale would be weighed, and measured to make sure it was within the legal limits. Then it could be dispatched, quickly. I am sure you could employ sport fishermen that are tired of catching 1000 lb Swordfish. What is catching a half-ton sword when you could fight an 8 ton Minke Whale on a spinning rig? Even if you were too lazy to hire someone, you could buy a hydraulic system to control the drag and eventually bring the whale to the boat. 

And the best part, once you change over to the new Line-Caught Minke Whales, you could get your own series on the Discovery Channel! They had the Crab guys, and the Sword boat guys, even the Whale Wars guys that are trying to stop you. If you could get the Discovery Channel on board, get Mike Rowe to do the voice-overs, add in some scripted drama about twisted lines, health problems, financial troubles, and the like, you could turn this whole thing around. If anyone could make the public care about Whale Killers it is Mike. 

Be careful though, Minke Whales are a favorite food of my Navy. And if you harm any members of my personal Navy, Army, or Marine Corps, I will take it as an act of war and you should not be surprised when you find a pack of Hyena in your living room when you get home. We know where you live and the family dog works for us.
Speaking of my Military, I have added a new group to the Navy. A Submarine Corp consisting of sperm whales (60 + feet long, Sonar guided and able to dive 3 kilometers below the surface) for the heavy work and Manta Rays for lighter deployment. Okay. I chose the rays just because they look cool swimming in formation. If only I could get one of these...

So Japan, Give me a call. I think I can help sort this Whaling thing out. Until then, I am not buying a Toyota or Honda.