Next, did you know there is a patron saint of the internet and it isn’t Al Gore?
Born circa 560 in Spain, Isidore began his life similar to most modern day American kids, as a really lousy student. Then again, students of those days were expected to complete the Trivium and Quadrivium, meaning if you mastered grammar, logic and rhetoric you were still a dumbass who couldn’t make time for geometry, astrology, music and arithmetic.
Burned out on book learning and unable to plagiarize from Wikipedia, Isidore did something unlike American students: he turned to God for help, instead of weed and gallons of alcohol.
After this he became one of the most learned men of his time, writing a dictionary, encyclopedia and complete history of the Goths (that is, the historical barbarians of eastern Europe, not brooding Hot Topic dwellers.) He has been widely recognized as the patron saint of both computer users and schoolchildren. Since 90% of what schoolchildren do with computers is surf the internet, it seemed like a pretty logical step. So, in 2003 it was proposed he become the patron saint of the internet.
JUNK, a project of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, is a raft now on its way to Hawaii and constructed of 15,000 plastic bottles and a Cessna 310. Its mission is to raise awareness about plastic fouling our oceans. They’ve just hit the halfway point in the voyage. Check out the blog …. JUNK
From monkeys to Guerillas…I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged here about Guerilla Gardening before. Here is a little more on it. My friends C and Hunter have started to build permaculture gardens in the wasting dirt areas of parking lots here in Hawaii.
Flower power sums it up exactly. War, like gardening, is about destruction as a means to creating a better civilization. Guerrilla gardeners fight neglected land, fight the scarcity of land and fight the pests in their way. But of course using garden tools and flowers means our approach does not draw blood. Frankly, people who see gardening as something devoid of anything warlike are not in my experience serious gardeners but whimsical dreamers, the type of people who feel guilty pulling up weeds and foolishly imagine the best kind of garden is one in which humans have an absolutely minimal role — the wilderness, for example.
And then there is poor John McCain. His wife is a large shareholder in the now Belgian owned Anheuser-Bush beer company. Turns out the company’s Belgain side has been selling beer to Cuba for a long time, will they stop to keep McCain from eating his words about a Cuban Embargo or will he change his stance so that Cindy doesn’t have to sell her beer shares? Time will tell.
McCain’s wife, Cindy, owns the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributor in the country — which means she would stand to profit by partnering with a company that is in business with the Cuban government.
McCain is a staunch advocate of the embargo, which bars most American companies from doing business in Cuba.
In the sad and bizarre death departments we have two entries today.
1.The corpse of Father Adelir Antonio de Carli was spotted by a tugboat at sea near the city of Macae, three months after he disappeared while flying a contraption buoyed by balloons over the Atlantic Ocean in a fund-raising stu
2. An autopsy showed that a woman who was found dead near a burning boat on a Lummi Reservation road near Bellingham, Washington was dead before the fire started.She was badly burned in the July 24 fire and the body was found by firefighters.
I used to date a Lummi girl and I hope it wasn’t her. I also used to work in a bar that was primarily filled with Lummi Indians and ex-military bikers. Fun place. I broke up 3 fights in the first night I was bartending there, after that it got better. In any event, strange things happen on the res, that is for certain.
On to economics and diet…
First, the big mac index:
Want to try to understand the complicated world of exchange rates? Look no further than burger prices.
In Malaysia, for instance, a McDonald’s Big Mac, which goes for $3.57 in the States, costs $1.70. In Norway, it costs $7.88.
Although no statistics are available for garage sales, it appears that more folks are staging them to put extra change in their pockets, but fewer are actually attending them, garage sale regulars say.
As to what to eat, my advice would be to avoid the big macs completely. I’m not alone in this:
Check this out from Slate.
There’s never been a better time to be a half-assed vegetarian. Five years ago, the American Dialect Society honored the word flexitarian for its utility in describing a growing demographic—the “vegetarian who occasionally eats meat.” Now there’s evidence that going flexi is good for the environment and good for your health. A study released last October found that a plant-based diet, augmented with a small amount of dairy and meat, maximizes land-use efficiency. In January, Michael Pollan distilled the entire field of nutritional science into three rules for a healthy diet: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” According to a poll released last week, Americans seem to be listening: Thirteen percent of U.S. adults are “semivegetarian,” meaning they eat meat with fewer than half of all their meals. In comparison, true vegetarians—those who never, ever consume animal flesh—compose just 1 percent.
Arguing that technology has ensured that “complete privacy does not exist,” Google contends that a Pennsylvania family has no legal grounds to sue the search giant for publishing photos of their home on its popular “Street View” mapping feature. Responding to an invasion of privacy lawsuit filed by Aaron and Christine Boring, Google has countered that the couple “live in a residential community in the twenty-first-century United States, where every step upon private property is not deemed by law to be an actionable trespass.” In a motion to dismiss the Borings’s federal complaint, Google’s six-lawyer team asserts that, “Today’s satellite-image technology means that even in today’s desert, complete privacy does not exist. In any event, Plaintiffs live far from the desert and are far from hermits.” An excerpt from Google’s U.S. District Court motion can be found below. The company asserts that the images of the Borings’s Pittsburgh-area residence were “unremarkable photos of the exterior of their home,” and were taken during a “brief entry upon their driveway.” In their lawsuit, the Borings charged that a Google vehicle–outfitted with a panoramic camera on its roof–drove down a private road to take images of their Oakridge Lane home. In its dismissal motion, Google noted that it intends to prove that there was “no clearly marked ‘Private Road’ sign at the beginning” of the Borings’s street.
Now for our first installment of Ask the Terror Suspect:
Dear Terror Suspect,
What is the appropriate amount to tip for services other than dining? My grandfather always tipped a clean fresh dollar bill. Is that still a good tip?
Tipping has come a long way since the days of your grandfather. While a clean dollar bill will still buy you something (1/5 gallon of gas, a cheap chocolate bar, water) , Mr. Washington is not the power he used to be. To start, lets look at this.
In his book Thanks for the Tip, an anonymous New York waiter says that some female diners ask the waiter how much their date tipped. “They use it as a litmus test,” he writes. “They think that if you’re not generous with the waiter, you won’t be generous with them — whether that generosity is financial or emotional. Besides, bad tippers suck in bed.”
I was recently talking with some fellow guides and waiter friends about tips and among other things, we can’t figure out how someone will get a $5 beer or latte and tip a buck but they will take a 5 hour hike with us that costs $50 per person (with a family of four) or order a $75 bottle of wine and feel that tipping $2 is appropriate. I’ve worked in tipping positions for a long time and back when I was a bartender and waiter we used to say that Canadians and Europeans tipped the worst, mainly because tipping wasn’t such a huge part of the income for the same jobs in those places. Well, let me tell you, that has changed. Americans are now the worst tippers by far. And frankly, there is no excuse besides being cheap. As soon as someone starts to tell me how lucky I am to have my job and rushes to open the sliding van door themselves, I can be sure that no tip is coming. That’s why this story makes me laugh so hard, their poor wives! I wonder if they tipped better before getting married? lol.
Now, as to how much to tip. 10% of the overall price is a minimum unless you have lousy service from a grumpy and unpleasant person, then you are justified to tip nothing at all. In most decent circles, 15% is considered the right amount. If someone goes the extra mile for you, 20% shows your appreciation and will probably make the person tipped remember your name the next time they see you and perhaps provide other extras in the future. Regardless of overall price, if you are spending hours with someone and enjoying the time, $20 is a great way to show that. Jackson is the new Washington. One Andrew Jackson shows that you have style, class, and perhaps that you know what you are doing in the hay as well.
I hope this helps you Mr. President. btw, I’m not sure that you should tip the secret service but it can’t hurt.
On completely unrelated notes, here are two articles from Policy Today that I found interesting and enjoyable…first a letter from the publisher that suggests raising interest rates is a good idea.
And then this:
Having saved the world from itself over 60 years ago and put a man on the Moon 25 years later, Americans are a proud lot. But, time waits on no one. As the country’s vaunted financial infrastructure reports over $400 billion in write-offs and credit dries up, the transportation infrastructure watches its airlines charge for carrying a suitcase while bridges collapse, and its social security infrastructure sinks slowly into the abyss of insolvency, dare we ask, “what’s next?” Try energy. Meeting America’s energy needs and moving toward a low carbon future look increasingly distant. Full story.
I mentioned veteran suicide a few days ago. It’s not just vets and lower ranks. Also flag officers on active duty.
The commander of the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf Air Force Base died of what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound Sunday night, Air Force Col. Richard Walberg said Monday.
Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Tinsley, 45, appears to have shot himself in the chest with a handgun in his base house, Walberg said. It was unclear whether the shot was an accident or a suicide.
Thanks to JC for sending this to me. It’s missing one ‘I’ before the O but I think it is still pretty cool that this little ship that almost has my name carried troops to D-day.
In googling Damito (as oppossed to Damitio), I find that my second great grandfather had his name spelled Damito (by mistake) when he was supervisor of Hamtrack Township in the Michigan Territory in 1843.
I’ve been reading Moby Dick lately. Started it a few days ago and haven’t been able to put it down. If my high school English teacher is reading this, I admit it, I read the cliff notes in 12th grade. On top of that, I’m glad because this book by Herman Melville is worthy of the title classic and I am experiencing it for the first time. I’m laughing to myself about the new search results that will bring people here. Now in addition to cross dressing ( a story about cross dressers in China), buttplug (The Bushplug), and penis (West Africans scared of having their penis stolen by magic), now I can add Dick to the terms that draw people here. Moby Dick is amazing. I’m laughing while I read it as Ishmael and his new head hunter friend cuddle and chat while sharing a bed, learn from each other about friendship, and meet several different types of religious zealots that all view life differently. I’m glad I’m reading it now, it would have been wasted on me in high school and I probably would have never read it again. I’m only about 100 pages in and the story is still just beginning, they’ve only just gotten berths on the ship and it is still in port. More on this later.
In the real world where truth is stranger than fiction (sometimes anyway), a group of Iowa citizens attempted to citizens arrest Karl Rove. That is so fucking cool.
Des Moines police arrested four people who tried to make a citizen’s arrest of Karl Rove on grounds of “treason, sedition and subversive activities leading to the deaths of 300,000 Iraqi civilians and 4,000 U.S. Military personnel,” according to AP.
And finally, I’m hoping that if I mention Obama enough, that he might enter my search engine results but so far he is way dwon below buttplug, sex with dog, penis, cross dresser, and other choice terms. I don’t know the calculus of worm demographics but worms apparently do understand calculus.
Worms calculate how much the strength of different tastes is changing – equivalent to the process of taking a derivative in calculus – to figure out if they are on their way toward food or should change direction and look elsewhere, says University of Oregon biologist Shawn Lockery, who thinks humans and other animals do the same thing.
Who knew that my worm bin was so smart?
Also, I am sad to report that this war on our psyche is indeed having a toll. Many veterans that never take a bullet are still being hit fatally by these wars we wage. Over 22,000 veterans called the suicide hotline set up for vets in the first year it was operating. This is probably about 10% of those who had thoughts of suicide. War has casualties that never get counted. Male veterans are twice as likely to commit suicide than men who are not veterans. The V.A. says that at least 6500 vets commit suicide each year. Add those to the U.S. casualty list and the number of dead goes up significantly.
Earlier this week, I went to see the film Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson at the Doris Duke Theater. The film brought three dimensions to a figure more commonly seen as a cartoon. Thompson was a bitter and disappointed romantic idealist who became a caricature of the persona he created. In his early life he really believed that he could make a difference. He believed in the idealism of 1960’s San Francisco, and then, as he himself famously wrote, the wave reached its high water mark, broke and receded. After the Kennedys were killed he was never the same. He got pretty enthused about George McGovern and then McGovern lost. Thompson’s marriage fell apart and he became a miserable jerk. It is kind of hard to watch because as our candidates spout platitudes and we torture and imprison mere children, I found myself wondering if his disappointment in the world was justified. In any event, the film is excellent and the many interviews from both ends of the political spectrum are priceless. Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008) – Plot summary
The economy continues to slide as auto repossessions reach their highest level in the United States since the beginning of the 1980’s. Now we can see that the banks not only are taking houses but also cars. I would guess that they are also taking furniture and plasma televisions too. Today, U.S. regulators took over two banks too and sold them to Mutual of Omaha Bank, the sixth and seventh bank failures this year as financial institutions struggle with a housing bust and credit crunch. Ouch…tough times in America and the world.
As for me personally, I just like the sound of “Moron- the Economy”, sort of like “Tarzan- the Movie” or something. I haven’t been able to figure out why I’ve been so tired lately, but I’m pretty sure it’s not because the booze I used to drink was super food of some sort, instead, now that I take a moment to think about it, it’s because I’ve been pretty exhausted. Sometimes I forget that waking up at 5 am, sprinting to work on my bicycle to avoid getting run down by impatient auto commuters, educating a dozen people in a van and driving through Waikiki traffic then climbing Diamond Head and bringing them back, grabbing a rice and sushi plate across the street and eating in fifteen minutes, then picking up a dozen more tourists and leading them on a waterfall hike or guiding them through a botanical garden for several hours, dropping them off and then biking back home (uphill, thank you very much) is work. I mean, mostly I enjoy it, but by the time I get home at 6 or 7 I’m pretty damn exhausted but I like to read and play guitar and paint so I rarely make it to bed before 10, 11, or 12 (usually closer to 12). And then I do it again. I’m signed up for something like 15 tours a week, a couple usually get cancelled (6 or 7 actually) but I never know that early enough to make solid plans more than a day in advance and that in itself is a bit exhausting too…so I guess that is why I’ve found myself feeling a little exhausted lately.
It just seems like I should have more money than I did when I wasn’t working but just wheeling and dealing online, but in fact, I don’t seem to have much more. Funny how that works. I suppose that is part of the reason I am canceling my cell phone, but mostly it’s because not having tv, internet, or cellphone contract appeals to me. At the moment, I watch the occasional movie on my laptop, use the internet at the library, and use my cell phone not much at all. We’ll see how it goes.
Contrast all of this to the Hawaiians who numbered close to a million when contact with the west occurred. They produced 100% of what they needed here in Hawaii. Currently we produce about 10% and so much garbage we have to pile it in fertile and beautiful valleys. The average Hawaiian worked about 4 hours a day for whatever they needed. That’s it. There were downsides of course, such as seeing the face of the wrong ali’i and then getting strangled or clubbed to death, but at least they never had to fear getting run over by a tour bus.
Remember when Obama said that within 18 months of being sworn in he would have the troops home? Well, that was just the kind of bullshit we hear from other politicians. Really, you should vote for Ralph Nader if you believe in change, here is what Obama says now. He says he wants to bring the troops home except for 50,000 of them! He says he wants to bring the other troops home to Afghanistan.
Barack Obama’s plan to build up U.S. forces in Afghanistan while keeping perhaps 50,000 troops in Iraq has triggered a deep rift among antiwar activists, a reminder of the difficult tasking facing the presumptive Democratic nominee as he tries to broaden his appeal.
The Illinois senator wrapped up three days of tours and talks in the war-ravaged nations Tuesday, stressing in a news conference that the “situation in Afghanistan is perilous and urgent” and that “we should not wait any longer” to provide additional troops.
In Iraq, Obama won a tacit Iraqi endorsement of a plan to withdraw U.S. combat troops in 2010, but he also said that he backs leaving a residual force in Iraq to help train military personnel, provide security for U.S. interests and thwart terrorist threats. The residual force might total up to 50,000 troops, his campaign advisers have told reporters.
And as if that isn’t enough, he stands firmly on the side of the war mongering Israeli government. Frankly, I’m tired of my government and my tax dollars going to support a police state that is guilty of flagrant human rights abuses. The Israeli government doesn’t even have the decency to pretend that they are ashamed of the children and families they are slaughtering, starving, and causing to die of disease. As long as our government continues to send untold billions (maybe even trillions all told) of dollars to Israel, we deserve whatever happens to us in the United States. Let Israel pay for their own genocide and let me keep the 1/4 of my taxes that go towards killing people I have nothing against.
O! Boy! O! Bama! O! Bah-humbug!
Meanwhile 1 in 20 homes were foreclosed on in Merced county this year (166,000 + in the past year in California alone!) Do all these foreclosures mean the banks are holding a lot of real estate now? Does anyone know the answer to this?
And at least one prominent cancer researcher is saying that cell phones may indeed cause cancer, so use those headsets and speaker phone. By the way, just stop driving and holding the cell phone to your ear. It should be illegal and the fine should be huge, but beyond that, it’s dangerous to everyone including you and on top of that…you look incredibly stupid talking on your cellphone while you drive your massive bulldozer of an SUV with one hand…so listen tiny asian lady that can barely see over the wheel and old white guy with super thick glasses and tattoo covered hipsters…just stop it. It’s embarrassing to see you degrading yourselves this way….besides, to us that new i-phone you are trying to show off looks like it might be a remote control…the thought makes you look even more ridiculous.
I’m going to stop using the word awesome. Here’s some pretty good reasons why I’ve made this choice.
I’m pissed that I didn’t get one of those $300 checks that the government sent out to everyone. I know, I filed $0 on my taxes, didn’t pay any taxes, and still got $50 back (That’s fifty dollars that doesn’t go to killing people, instead it goes to buying watermelon and pizza). They should of sent me a check, I would have bought an i-Phone! Or joined the Masons! Or bought more watermelon and pizza. Or donated some of it to Ralph Nader. Maybe it’s still on the way.