8/29/2008

Hot off the LBB news wires...

29 August, 2008. 1350 hrs...

The environmental activist group Busybodies For Earth-Mother (B-Fem) has filed a lawsuit in federal court for an injunction against Sun, Inc. after learning that the Sun is generating its energy by means of nuclear reaction. Sun, Inc. was 93 million miles away and unavailable for comment.

Nuclear energy has been a political bone of contention, intensifying after the 1979 Three-Mile-Island incident. Branded into America's conscience 30 ago, the accident at Three Mile Island was the most significant in the nuclear power industry. More recently, the threat of terrorism has further escalated opposition to nuclear power.

B-fem is furious after learning the Sun, which enjoyed the status of an “alternative” energy source, is in fact using massive nuclear reactions to fuel itself.

Protesters in B-fem and other environmental activist groups chimed in. “We need to explore alternative forms of energy like wind, geothermal, tidal and sol... uh, well, we need alternative fuels.”

Protesters held signs reading, “Hell no, hell no. Big-Solar has got to go” and “Big-Solar shines on George Bush and his cronies.”

Senior executives at Sun, Inc. are major contributors to the RNC. In the 2000 and 2004 elections, Sun, Inc. donated over 3 million kilowatt hours to the George W. Bush election campaigns. It also is believed to be shining a little stronger over the state of Texas – a possible kickback to former Texas Gov. George Bush.

Scientists estimate that the Sun is polluting the solar system with billions of joules of radioactivity, and that while the Sun imparts only a minute portion of its total output on the Earth – some 93 million miles away -- the consequences are devastating to the ecosystem.

Dr. Eugene Black, an ecologist employed with B-fem, had this to share during a press release following the lawsuit filing:

While we stand by like typical American bovines, the Sun is gobbling up the universe's limited resources of hydrogen. Then it belches out radioactivity spanning the electromagnetic spectrum. These energies interact with the Earth, causing dire consequences. Much of the plant life here on earth is the result of the Sun's nuclear byproducts such as light and heat. Scientists have reached a consensus that plant life levels have been steadily rising over hundreds of centuries. Most believe that if we don't act now, we'll go beyond the point of no return and that in 10 years the planet will be overrun with vegetation.

Perhaps even more alarming, growing evidence links the Sun's output to global warming. Also, unwanted tan lines.


Sun, Inc. could not be reached for comment. But a statement on its website assures visitors that the Sun is committed to universal hydrogen conservation. It claims its energy products are 15% recycled helium. It also boasts its financial commitments to ultraviolet, gamma and particulate radiation reduction – an effort colloquially known as “Going Yellow.”

Politicians are revving up to respond to concerned constituents. Democrats are weighing the idea of a sunlight tax. The targeted taxes would burn those who use solar cells, those with excessive windows and solar tubes in their roofing, and those with “really killer suntans.” People residing in the Southwest, Florida and in beach towns around the coasts may also have to pay their “fair share” of the sunlight tax.

Economic policy adviser Justin Timer explains that the sunlight tax has a twofold benefit: “One, it dissuades people from using or enjoying sunlight. Two, it gives us the funding to invest in alternative technologies for blocking out and eventually destroying the sun. Our vision is to build a rocket that will shoot the the sun and blow it up by 2025.”

Sen. John McCain, a victim of the sun's radiation as a melanoma survivor, revealed in a town hall meeting that he hates the Sun “almost as much as the gooks.”

Not surprisingly, America is mostly to blame for the Sun's greedy profiteering and environmental destruction. The International Panel on Solar Awareness has cited the fact that while America comprises roughly 3% of the Earth's total landmass, it consumes about 6.1% of the Sun's incidental energy – twice its fair share.

8/27/2008

Some thoughts on this and that

*I recently applied at NASA for the position of Astronaut Trainee. One of the questions on the application was, “Are you willing to crap in a plastic bag?”

*Another NASA application question: “Can you tolerate 3 weeks of that 'tingly balls' sensation you get in a weightless environment?”

*You know, NASA is awfully informal for a bunch of scientists. You'd think they'd use terms like “defecation receptacle” and “scrotal nerve plexus kinesthesis syndrome.” But no. It's crap-in-a-bag and tingly-balls. And don't get me started on question #3, which asks whether you could fill a “piss-jar” while Mission Control watches on a closed-circuit monitor.

*Nothing comforts like abundance. Food, money, love, leisure – if you have just enough of these, you tend to worry. But if you have more than enough, you can put that worry to bed and move on to a new one. One exception where one enjoys having just enough, is body fat. And I suppose you could add body hair to the list of exceptions as well.

*Nobody is more evolved and together than they first appear. Given enough time, even the people you once revered devolve into mere humans with their own bag of foibles. I guess what I'm trying to say is that for every David Hasselhoff, there's a Wendy's Hamburger. So don't take anybody too seriously. Huh?

*Traffic jams can turn Mother Teresa into a homicidal maniac. I've often wondered why we're so prone to rage while driving. Maybe the scad of rules is to blame. We expect each other to follow so many rules while driving. We're bound to break a few. Then comes other drivers' indignation. Sometimes, I'll make a mistake behind the wheel, and some cranky fucker will toot. And the weird thing is, I get angry – even though I'm in the wrong. It think I know why. This thought flashes in my head: I've dealt with a thousand asshole drivers – gracefully, I might add. Therefore, I've got a few free driving boners coming to me. So blow it out your ass, Louis Armstrong.

*Yes, I just used the term “driving boners.” I meant a blunder committed while operating a motor vehicle. But feel free to retort with an innuendo.

*The best measure of a vocation's worth is the compensation-to-bullshit ratio. The formula holds at the extremes. That is, if your job is chock full of bullshit, then no matter what they pay you, it's crap. Conversely, if your job has no bullshit – it's invaluable, even if they pay squat.

*How does a bank get its start? You figure it's got to be one guy who rents a building and who basically says, “Hey, I'll hold on to all your money for you and give it back when you want.” You've got to be one charming fuckin' guy to sell that idea! I'm talking Ryan-Seacrest-wearing-Hai-Karate-cologne-charming.

8/19/2008

Bullet-ins

*George Bush could cure cancer tomorrow and Thursday's headlines would read: “New Healthcare Crisis on Horizon: Thousands of doctors and nurses face unemployment.”

*When I was in high school, we dined at local fast food and pizza shops on our lunch break. I ordered my food and made a bee line to the nearest booth. So did many others. But a rare few thought ahead; they took the time to grab condiments and napkins, items we realized we needed once it was too late. I could always tell who was going to be successful by those students who remembered napkins. Isn't that the essence of success? Postponing gratification, a little extra time and effort to prepare for the future.

*I think our most profound loves are pre-wired into our brains – archetypes for the sublime. Those songs you fell in love with in the first few seconds, the face you fell in love with in the first few milliseconds: It's as if the template already existed in your mind, so that the song with the intriguing tension and melody, or the face with the perfect geometry and features, registered in your mind as the quintessence of beauty. Ping. Cue the bliss. This is what I've always loved and yet never known.

*Chat rooms and their descendants, the instant messenger and text messenger services, are the byproducts of multitasking applied to personal relationships. Don't limit yourself to one friend or lover at a time...Subscribe to Corporation X's new InstaChat Service – only $12.95 per month! Incidentally, isn't a menage-a-trois merely a form of multitasking?

*Any sensible person can see the futility of materialism. It's easy, for example, to recall the item that was going to make you happy and did – for a little while, and then failed. It's obvious to see those who have wealth and all the goodies we want, yet who are unfulfilled or even miserable, despite their good fortunes. The diminishing returns of increased wealth, the temporary satisfaction from acquiring new things, these are easy principles to grasp if you make the effort. The difficulty is keeping your resolve as you thumb through the Best Buy and Circuit City ads. Oh, man, that 50” plasma would be sweet!

*Sometimes I feel like I'm a Phillips screwdriver in a world full of flathead screws. I guess that's why I drink so many screwdrivers. Because I'm screwed.

8/12/2008

Where are you, Mom?

When you're a kid, you spend a lot of time waiting for your mom to pick you up. School, the roller rink, the arcade, baseball practice – all are outside biking distance. So Mom has to drop you off and pick you up. But Mom's taxi is a double-edged sword: It's free and it's usually available, but it's always running late.

Time spent waiting for a ride sucks the life energy out of kids. They morph into zombies. Hands tucked into their pockets and heads lowered, they rock and pace in disquietude. Aside from becoming undead, kids find the waiting an embarrassment. Everybody sees you at your most helpless and pathetic. Luckier kids disappear as their moms finally show. You hate to see that. The sight of fellow zombies is comforting. There's an unspoken friendship among abandoned children. Each takes comfort in the other's desperation. But the other moms arrive. One by one, pint-sized zombies are reborn and drink the elixir of mother's love as they climb into station wagons with siblings and poodles with wagging tails. Viva life!

After the other moms rescue their kids, you stand alone. The wind howls. The sun sinks and wanes. Cars rip by. Their passengers look at you and think, “Looks like that poor little bastard's mom forgot him. He'll probably be on a milk carton by Wednesday.”

During those waiting spells, I found kicking stones a good way to pass the time. It keeps you sane. If you're lucky, you'll find a crushed beer can. You can use it as a makeshift hockey puck. So you kick road debris here and there, scoring imaginary goals. This is your existence now. You kick stuff and watch it ricochet down the street, listen to it scratch the asphalt. Every so often you take time out because you spot a car approaching in the distance. It looks like Mom's car. It's Mom...It's Mom...Looks like our car..looks like it... Ah, Damn! It turned off.

Where the hell are you, Mom?

I'd wonder what my mom was doing instead of tending to me. What was keeping her? Hey, here's a pleasant thought: maybe she was running late because she stopped at McDonald's for me. It was compensation for the hell she's put me through, or just because I'm such a good kid. Oh, man. I was in for treat. Sure, I had to stand around for a while, but it was worth it. Soon I'd be riding home, basking in the aroma of a Happy Meal.

That never happened. Forgotten kids everywhere will tell you that the last-minute McDonald's trip is a mirage. Once enough time passed, you realized this was no McDonald's trip. It was more likely a shopping excursion. Mom was probably shopping for all kinds of mom crap: pot holders and Tupperware and gardening gloves and other crap. Hey Mom, why don't you stop by the jewelry department and buy a freaking watch? I'm dying out here!

Fifteen minutes have come and gone. By now I'd resigned to the worst scenarios. I'll either be the victim of homicide or I'll succumb to the rigors of homelessness -- starvation, hypothermia, street violence, whichever. Just wait until Mom discovers my fate. That'll teach her. She'll feel awful and the guilt will plague her for the remainder of her life. I take solace in that. She'll deserve it, too. After all, isn't that the guilt trip she laid on me when I'm late? “Richie, I thought you'd been kidnapped. I have half the neighborhood looking for you.” Jeez, Mom. I'm late because John's mom made a plate of nachos, not because I decided to go shopping for stupid mom stuff. Jeez!

Too bad they didn't have cell phones when I was young. When my mom forgot to pick me up, I could text her: “Mom. Im stranded. U R L8. Remember U have a kid. U R stupid. Come get me.” Kids today will never know the anguish of waiting without explanation. All they have to do is download Mom's position on their cell phone GPS for a live, up-to-date briefing. I wonder if they know how easy they have it.

I should give Mom credit. She always showed eventually. To be fair, she was often on time. She usually had a pretty good reason for being late. And a few times she felt so bad that I did indeed parlay the transgression into a trip to McDonald's. Thanks, Mom.