Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Beware of the Camryn Manheim Steamroller.

Should We Trash Da Earf (the Earth)?

I thought since I've written two anti-environmentalist rants that I ought to clear up where I stand. This is a touchy subject and one that's filled several books. I'll try to cut to the chase.

I mostly take the classical view that mankind is the custodian of the Earth. God created it for us to live on and take care of. It's our home, we belong here, and we ought to keep the place tidy. At the same time, the Earth should not be an object of worship. It is not the reason we came to be, it's the other way around. I would say the environmentalist movement as we know it has that equation reversed. In addition to believing that the Earth and it's ecosystems are static and never change they tend to believe half a dozen doomsday theories; the oceans are rising, average temperatures are rising, the ozone layer is disappearing, there are too many people, we leave too many lights on at night, etc. I tend to believe this is panic resulting from the belief that we're in control and we don't belong in nature and deserve punishment for what we've done.

Global Warming

In reality the Earth is a complex and dynamic place, one that God created and still has a hand on. Using geology as reference point there were warming periods in the 1300's when there were a fraction of the number of people there are now and there weren't any SUV's. That's just one reference point. There are many others and the only conclusion one can come to is the Earth is constantly changing. Environmentalists seem to believe that whatever the climate was like around the world in the 1950's is the way it's always been and should always be. Any changes whatsoever are harmful and we caused it. Both of those premises are false. Neither has been proven and more and more people are calling this into question. Just see this story for example.

I'm for recycling where it makes sense from an efficiency standpoint. Why throw away things that are hard to recreate, especially when they can be reused? The less metal ore we have to pull out of the ground, the better for several reasons but mainly because we could spend that time and energy doing something else. I always take steel, iron, copper, aluminum, etc to the metal recycler or junkyard. I've dropped off thousands of pounds, actually. There are increasingly monetary motivations for this and it just makes sense to me. Ditto on batteries of all kinds. It'll take a billion years for that stuff to break down in a landfill and we'll have to mine more in the meantime. It can be reused so don't throw it out.

On the automotive front, I drive whatever car I want to but I always dispose of oil, antifreeze, and old gas properly by taking it to the county household hazmat site. They or whoever they hire recycle the chemicals where possible or dispose of them in a methodical way. Dumping that stuff into the sewer makes 0% of it recoverable and makes processing wastewater and sewage more expensive. Dumping it on the ground directly pollutes the water table and damages the soil. It's so easy to avoid so why do it? Auto parts stores also have to collect used oil by law (not entirely bad legislation but that's a different post) so that's convenient as well.

I actually littered when I was in a hurry the other day (missed my trashcan shot at Sonic) and it bothered me enough that I stopped back by to see if the bag was still there. It wasn't. Anyway, littering is so preventable and really dirties up the landscape. It's pure carelessness. People who litter are slobs at best.

Smog is nasty stuff to look at and causes health problems. I'm all for emissions standards but do think this has gotten out of hand due to global warming fears. Our EPA has become so aggressive with emissions standards that they have regulated diesel engines off the map for future production. They will only be used when they really need to be which means big trucks only. Near as I can tell VW doesn't sell a TDI version of any of it's cars any more.

Industrial Pollution

Anybody still reading this? Yes, businesses should take every precaution not to dirty up the environment. Yes, I think there aren't necessarily market drivers for this and therefore we need the EPA. But I don't think we should strangle business with over regulation and this is the tendency at the moment. This topic begs specifics but could probably also be it's own post.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

World's Smallest Car


And now for your viewing pleasure...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Modest Proposal (Warning: Crudeness Ahead)

I think we're quickly reaching the point where I cease to be surprised by what odd ideas people come up with in the name of saving da Earf. I'm talking about the boat that's powered by your ass.

Check out this article from the Daily Mail, the gift that keeps on giving.

Some New Zealanders have decided to navigate the globe in a boat powered by biodiesel, some of which was made from human fat harvested from liposuction surgeries. I've got no beef with biodiesel (ha!) but the source of the biodiesel just sounds odd to me. There are easier places to get better sources of bio-sourced oil. Why did they bother doing this? I think it reveals something about how Earf-first people think.

In their minds mankind has sinned by raping and pillaging the Earf and therefore mankind must be punished.

What better metaphor for that than devising an eco-friendly machine that actually runs on human flesh? I honestly think that may have been a sub-conscious motivation because seriously, there can't be that much human fat available worldwide to actually make this a useful experiment. But there are simple, low cost ways to get more human fat if we act as one world society... as a planet UNITED for a just cause. If the women like the one in the last Daily Mail article were to have late term abortions repeatedly throughout their reproductive lives--what, it's not a baby, you conservative simpleton! It's just a clump of cells that the woman has a RIGHT to choose to keep or discard before 9 months' time! Anyway, if those cells were harvested a week or two before birth there would be plenty of fat available from both the would-be mom and the b- er... ah... 'choice'. If every eco-conscious woman of birthing age did the right thing and sacrificed for the global community we could cease importing oil from the middle east in 12 years. Just think of it! We could immediately end this unjust war in Iraq!

Does anyone else remember 'A Modest Proposal' by Jonathan Swift?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nooooo.... Yay..........

While we're watching tv commercials, this has to be the best tv spot currently in circulation.

Mikey and His Tricked-Out Vip

Okay, I know this isn't fresh but it's just about the best commercial I've ever seen. Therefore I think you should watch it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Will it Blend?

Okay, enough Beyonce-hating. Now we'll move on to iPhone hating. I don't really hate iPhone's. Their usefulness is readily apparent. I do know a person or two that has had software issues with their iPhone though. I also don't like that you can only use them on AT&T's low-quality network. I'm glad other people are paying the big bucks to own these things though. A few years from now the product should be pretty well refined and much cheaper at which point I'll swoop down and grab one. Remember when Motorola Razr's were $250? I do. Now they're drink coasters. Same thing should happen in maybe 3-4 years with the iPhone.

Anyway, I thought this series of videos was interesting. It's basically an ad for some high-end blenders. Very entertaining though.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

No More Beyonce, Please

Am I the only one that longs to see the red laser dot of a sniper rifle right between Beyonce's eyes?

I admit I've probably been watching too much TV lately, but I don't seem to be able to get away from her annoying presence. She pimps American Express (et tu?), Revlon, Verizon, Cox Communications, and that's just what I can remember off the top of my head. Enough, Beyonce. Go away. Give someone else a turn, you endorsement hog.

Oh no you dih-ant!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

My Favorite New Sport

WARNING: This video contains English people cursing. It's quite funny but wholly inappropriate for viewing in an office cube farm or around kids.

Simmer Down Now

Don't worry, I'm safe again. The anger has subsided and I've transformed back into Dr David Banner. I go through more purple pants this way...

[For those of you >40 or of the female gender, this is an Incredible Hulk reference.]

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Paypal Sucks

PayPal is a big steaming pile of dog crap. If this weren't a mostly PG-rated blog, I'd say much worse. I'd suggest to them several inappropriate things they could do to my person, their collective genitals, and their mothers. I'd also cancel my account. But since PayPoop is pretty much the only game in Ebay town I would only be screwing myself because I have a lot of stuff to buy and sell (anyone need a spare right rear drive hub assembly for an '84-'87 Corvette?).

I'll try to keep this rant short. Some jackass in Pakistan stole my PayAlot login and bought $200 worth of stuff a couple of months ago. I don't have a clue how he got the info; could have been a key logger virus, could have infiltrated the PayCrap site; I don't know. He bought a professional wrestling Xbox game, a cellphone, and some miscellaneous little crap. Luckily he attempted to change my password at that point and was unable to answer the security questions which automatically locked up the account. So I get an email from PayDork. Not a phone call, not a letter, just an email. This leads me to believe that PayAlot does not take identity theft very seriously.

Being somewhat panicked I decide I need to talk to a person rather than emailing what may be a brick wall. After navigating their automated phone line (not toll free) I prove I am who I say I am and officially dispute the charges.

PayAlot begins their slow 'resolution' process which includes verifying another payment I made locally to someone for car parts. That transaction is being held hostage until all the other transactions are rectified. After several phone calls, emails, and etc I think we're straightened out. I then call up American Express to have my card #'s changed since I have no idea how much the thieves have on me AND PayUp EVEN RECOMMENDED I DO SO. Much to my surprise the next day I log on to PayCrap and they ask me if they can post a small charge to my old credit card # so they can reactivate the account. If I had known they needed to do that I would not have canceled my credit card and requested new #'s. Most of a week gets burned. I decide to pay my car buddy in cash for the parts I bought from him. It's embarrassing.

A few days later I get the new credit card and jump through PayDump's hoops. At this point they decide to let the charges ride and credit my account. This sucks because I will now have to wait 2-4 weeks for a check to arrive from PayAlot (because I took my checking account off there a long time ago) so I can pay my American Express bill. I also get to pay a $1.95 fee for this privilege. I call Amex to let them know that the charges should stand but that they should somehow put an asterisk by them saying the charges are fradulent and that I do not accept any liability or future charges from the vendors in question. All is fine for a month.

Then, inexplicably, American Express revokes payment on the transactions I flagged. This is mildly irksome but I guess understandable and what I wish would have happened from the start. Now I have to go back in to PayUp to cancel the 'charge backs', print out an affidavit, get it notarized, and fax it back to PayUp.

All of this could have been avoided if PayPunk would simply have voided the transactions. Instead they have maximized the inconvenience for me, the victim in all of this, and the guy who pays them (aka 'the customer').


PayPal, you are the biggest bunch of clueless incompetent ass-clowns.

You've taught me a valuable lesson on how to deal with you. The answer is, I won't. From now on you'll be dealing with American Express when something goes wrong. They're loyal to me, the customer, and will chew on your sorry asses like a rabid pit bull if you screw me around. I will avoid using my PayCrap account wherever possible. I can also promise you it will be a cold day in hell before you get my checking account info, so stop asking.