Wednesday, January 30, 2008

This Is Common Knowledge, Right?

I never know what to think of my fellow countrymen/women. Sometimes I'm enamored of their ability to be giving and forgiving- the capacity for compassion and mercy. Then other times I'm dumbstruck at how little they actually know about anything, and the terrible harmful decisions that they make, or allow to be made in their name. Help me out here- tell me that this is common knowledge...

I was not an econ major, and every lesson I've learned about money and finance has been the hard way- and in the past number of years I've tried to change that. I'm looking at the market today and I know the vulgar intentions behind these actions, but I don't know that everyone is seeing it. The Federal Reserve (and seriously, if you don't know about the FED, spend some time on Google over this sham outfit) dropped another half point today. This is meant to forestall the inevitable drop until after the election. They'll keep dropping it until November if they have to. Secondarily, by doing this, they are devaluing the dollar in astonishing ways.

Consider- the minimum wage for 1979, when adjusted for today is $16.50 an hour, or $34,320 annually (*my source is Bureau of Labor and Statistics, as quoted by Jimmy Carter isn't looking so bad in hindsight, eh? Now it can be hard to contrast this even using Cheeseburger Economics (a measurement of the economy based on historical retail cheeseburger costs), so again I'll mention gold. It's something like $930 an ounce these days. And the thing is, gold is no more or less valuable than it ever was. There is the same amount as has been around for years- it's the value of the dollar that is in freefall. It's back to parity against the Canadian Dollar, it takes about a buck and a half to buy a Euro, and two bucks for a Pound- and they are down as well against gold.

I'm not intending to prattle on about macroeconomics, or to inspire fear, but everyone is hip to what's really happening here- yes?


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Whip Me, Tag Me, Make Me Write Bad Checks...

Vulgar Wizard tagged me, but only on her blog, thereby breaking a rule of her meme, but who am I to point fingers?

The poop:
Link to the person that tagged you: Post the rules on your blog. And here they are:
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog, tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I wasn't at all claustrophobic until I was trapped in a maintenance shaft I was mapping in my elementary school at the age of 9.
2. I like naked girls all tied up.
3. I get nosebleeds all the goddamned time.
4. I'm a "sniffer". That is to say, I smell things. All sorts of things.
5. I always ALWAYS match my underwear to my shirt. I disapprove of white socks. Let's just say I have fashion peccadillos...
6. I don't like or play computer/console games.
7. I will never again camp. Fuck that shit.

There you have it. I'm tagging Vulgar Wizard back (hey, she broke rules- I'M breaking rules). Oh, and NO TAG BACKS! Heh.


Weird Science and Sex Toys

This has been a great week, featuring a visit from our blogless friends from Colorado. Our buddies arrived Thursday and we've been showing them the town and relentlessly browbeating them about moving here from poopy ole' Colorado, and it may be having some positive affect. Thursday night we did fish and chips on Alki, and then Friday they came down to "do" the Public Market, and I met up with them there for some Teriyaki for lunch. Later it was the Westlake/Monorail deal and then home. Friday night every eatery was busy so we ended up at the Fox Grill downtown before going to Babeland, the sex toy store. The novelty of the night was a cone and some restraints. I'll see if Schmoopie wants to report back on the satisfaction index of said device later.

Saturday we went to Vashon Island after eating at a West Seattle joint called Endoline Joes (as in "end of the line") and Vashon really seemed to resonate with our guests. One the way home we arrived to the ferry terminal as the Seattle boat was leaving, so we ate at a Mexican joint right by the docks, and the food was surprisingly good- that is to say, it was good on its own merits. So many times food places with a super-convenient location either screw you on prices or crappy food, and this place did not.

Today, I got up and fuck o'clock to have a play date with Irrelephant and his talking radio blog deal (are you folks checking that out, or what?), and this time Schmoopie got in to the fun after the live airing, and my buddy Andy was going to town in the corresponding chat room. I was much maligned, and a goodtime was had by all. Then we went back to Endoline Joes, followed by a jaunt to Lincoln Park, (as seen in these photos from an earlier visit) and are now goofing off.

We also recovered part of our treed rocket today, which reminded me that I forgot to mention a weird science note from after the launch- I brought the launch pad in the house and one of the dogs seemed really interested in the burned black patch on the metal deflector plate. I thought "he must be fond of the sulphur smell" and then left the room. When I returned, he'd licked the damn thing clean and had hella bad breath. Weirdo. Later that day, he began farting some of the most toxic smelling farts ever- like a landfill on fire. So, don't let your dogs lick your launch pad, mmm'kay?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Alas Poor Hydrox, I Knew Them Well...

I post this as a courtesy to Schmoopie, who will undoubtedly be in mourning until her next seasonal post. The Hydrox cookie is dead. Long live the Hydrox!

Now, I wouldn't be so crass as to mention that I don't really remember them being any better than say, an Oreo, because one day I suggested as much, and Schmoopie delivered to me a scolding glare the likes of which I cannot bear to revisit. It was right after I'd asked "Whatever happened to Hydrox cookies?" and Schmoopie looked lovingly and sad. This is a serious passion, with which one favoring life and limb shouldn't trifle.

The part that I find interesting is that Kellogs pulled the plug in 2003, and people are just now discovering that they are no more. That means:

1.) These people hoarded cookies like Elaine on Seinfeld hoarded birth control sponges.
2.) These people eat cookies really REALLY slowly.

And then there is Schmoopie, who tries both. She'll buy tons of sweets and then six months later act surprised that the babies and I have eaten it all. And as an aside- to those of you saying "oh SURE Stucco, blame the kids for your lack of self control"- yeah, you're right, but so am I. I exhibit all the restraint of the Cookie Monster to be sure, but then our daughter A. just last week ate something like seven packages of the organic pop-tarts (and come on- ORGANIC pop-tarts? WTF?) in the course of two days.

It's sugary bedlam, I tell you. This is all a sign. And, yay, so it is written, when the Hydrox cookie is no more, bad shit will happen. Or something like that.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Pervy Mad Inventor Strikes Again

On Irrelephant's blog talk radio deal this morning, I had an idea. To transition sex workers to clerical positions, or clerical staffers to the sex trade, I envisioned a couple of sizable USB dildo's (one for each hand) with the keyboard keys on them in various places. I need to come up with a name though. QwertyCock? Typenis? Keyboner? Time for prototyping... or is that pornotyping?


Monday, January 14, 2008

Yes, Yes, Yes, You're SO Fucking Green!

HP, in their limitless wisdom, sent me a satisfaction survey today for one of several hard drives I ordered (with a full server and software) back in September. I wonder if Ford will ask me about my satisfaction with my passenger front tire? Crazy. Anyway, the survey was straightforward, and apart from being belated and not including an "N/A" or "not applicable" option, it was sensible. Then comes the thank you. Was I entered in a raffle for cool shit? Was I to receive a Starbucks card or t-shirt for being one of the first 500 respondents? Nope. I was shown this screen:

Hey! It's GREEN! Like maybe HP is a "green" company! Wow! Happy fucking tofu finger sandwiches! No- I'm not opposed to companies being environmentally conscious, but gimmie a break already. What the hell is this crap? This is HP, right? The TECHNOLOGY AND COMPUTER COMPANY? Do you see anything in that image that would even hint at technology? Couldn't they have used a green circuit board? A green LED? A green network cable? Anything? No, this is the product of marketing people, who have no souls.

HP, you want to impress me with your "greenness"? Stop shipping me things the size of an Altoids tin in a box the size of a filing cabinet. Stop making LCD screens with Mercury filled fluorescent tubes- use LED's instead. Use metals instead of plastics more often. Install windows that open in your buildings, and use natural lighting. Stop putting every goddamned cable, clip, plug, adapter, wire, widget, screw, and trinket in it's OWN PLASTIC BAG. Make things that run on less power, and that produce less noise and heat, and garbage in 5 years or less when they get tossed into a landfill.

Oh, and send those clueless shithead marketing people back to the ashram. Find someone who knows your industry.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

How To Lose A Rocket In Three Easy Steps

Step One- Prepare to launch

Step Two- Launch

Step Three- Land in a BIG tree

Yes, it's visible in the last shot here, but even zoomed WAY in it's hard to see. Look about halfway down, left of the trunk. Sheesh.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Where The Hell Have I Been?

No, I don't really have any good excuses. I had a delightful time meeting two new blogger folk in the Real World, and finally got a mailing address for VW, so she can report on her prize soon enough. I guess more than anything else, I'm waiting for some inspiration. I'm kind of distracted by a few things of late that aren't so appealing, and show every promise of getting worse (work related, and no- I'm not the subject of the concern). But my buddy Andy and his better half M are Seattle bound in less than two weeks, and I am really happy about that. I remain optimistic that they'll see the area in a favorable light so that I can continue my relentless badgering of them regarding moving nearer.

I was thinking about writing up some thoughts I've had lately based upon observations of single people my age (as in never married or otherwise committed) but I expect that this would only serve as a character assassination as there is little wisdom to share and plenty of things that'd be hurtful. Yeah, sometimes I censor myself.

Last weekend we went to some swanky retreat kind of place called Sun Mountain Lodge and the pictures are up (along with some other more current crap) here. I don't understand the appeal of these chi chi places, let alone the prices they charge, but Schmoopie had a nice time and discovered a new love- snowshoeing. I'd've gone skating if the frozen pond was greater than 15' across.

As I write this and it's coming up on midnight (PST), I'm still debating the idea of getting up earlier than my nature would dictate to play with Irrelephant on his talking blog party line deal. I think he's selected Sunday mornings as an act of savage cruelty, or to discourage my attendance. I can't figure out which, but c'est la vie.

And finally there is this: