Sunday, July 5, 2015

FIFA World Cup of womens soccer/football proves superiority of capitalism

I see where the Yanks are giving the Japs a righteous thrashing.

Does this mean anything?

Well, I guess it means Carli Lloyd is having a really good day...

Does it mean anything beyond that?

Probably not.

The problem with buying that used boat

So you think you've scored a bargain with that 1976 Trojan Tri-fly you just snagged. You'll be cruising the Great Lakes and living large all the way from Toronto to Chicago to International Falls.

Well, maybe not.

First of all, let's look at the best case scenario. Those twin big block Chryslers, assuming they've had a recent rebuild, are going to suck up several thousand dollars of fuel to get from Toronto to Chicago and back.

If they've not had a recent rebuild, you'll probably find yourself towed into the nearest marina not too long into your once-in-a-lifetime Great Lakes adventure.

That's where you'll find out a refit of those 383s is gonna cost you two or three times what you paid for the boat.

This is where a lot of folks go for it. After all, when you've been towed into a Michigan marina in the first week of your once-in-a-lifetime tour of the Great Lakes, there's a tendency to push ahead.

You've already flushed 20k down the shitter; why not follow it up with another 40?

Or, you could pull the plug and quit while you're ahead.

Suck up that bad call you made buying the Trojan and make the best of it.

Part it out.

That's when you get smacked in the head with the truth about old boats. A steel or aluminum hull at least has some scrap value. A fiberglass hull is a liability. If your drive train needs any work whatsoever those twins are worth their weight in scrap.

Unfortunately, you'll have to spend time and/or money fishing those Chrysler big blocks out of that fiberglass hull.

Can you see where we're going here?

When you buy that old fiberglass cruiser, you just paid the owner to take a liability off his hands.

In reality, they should be paying you.

Greeks put dignity and democracy before bailing out foreign banks

What, they're allowed to do that?

That's an outrage!

What if they catch wind of this insubordination in Portugal?

In Spain?.... Italy?

Hell, what if the people hear about this in America? What if Americans find out that bankers don't need to be allowed to call the shots?

Holy Geez... what's next?

We're on a slippery slope here folks... next you know there's gonna be pitchfork-wielding mobs marching on Wall Street chanting "OFF TO JAIL" and "LET THEM FAIL!"

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hummingbirds and circumstances

The F-35 has been the most expensive military procurement program in American history. The US taxpayer has sunk close to a trillion tax dollars into this pig that can barely fly. Latest reports have it being skunked by 30 year old F-16s in a mock dogfight.

That's progress!

Me and the Farm manager spent a few hours on the front stoop today. We were very much enjoying the peace and quiet, even as we were discussing what might happen if circumstances change.

We've got a hummingbird feeder hanging in front of the kitchen window. We were watching them all afternoon. We can see them from the stoop.

They can do aeronautical manoeuvres that no F-35 test pilot can even dream of.

Life is pretty damned good when you're sitting on the front stoop. Around here you might have a car or a truck or a motorcycle go by every twenty minutes or so. The cows wander up to the barnyard from their pastures at least once a day.

And there's always the hounds.

But if circumstances change, then what?

Then, instead of sitting on the stoop here in the north woods, watching the cows and the hounds and the hummingbirds, we'll be sitting on a balcony looking down on Yonge Street.

Not sure how I feel about that.

Tourism is bullshit


Back in the hippy-dippy era I too criss-crossed Europe with a knapsack slung over my shoulder. I bought hashish in Amsterdam and checked out some of those store-fronts with the scantily clad ladies in the window.

I was a tourist.

At some level I suppose I contributed something to the economy. But overall I was an obnoxious know-nothing. All things considered, my hosts would have been better off without me.

I think that holds true for the vast majority of tourists today; the hosts would be better off without you. Mass tourism seems little more than a scheme to keep Boeing and Airbus and a handful of multinational resort developers in business.

There is certainly a niche for legitimate international tourism. The mountaineer who has already climbed all the most demanding peaks in Europe and America may be excused for wanting to take a crack at Everest. The religious pilgrim who wants to see Jerusalem or Mecca or Bethlehem or Amritsar... I think we can cut them some slack.

But for the folks who are just polluting the skies and the seas in search of an all-you-can-eat all-you-can-drink package vacation, what's the point?

Just stay home and stay drunk for a week!

Bomb Iran crowd waxing hysterical over prospective nuke deal

 Because what America really needs most is more war!

All the usual Iran-haters are circling the wagons and warning that the doomsday clock is about to strike midnight if the Kerry negotiations reach a successful conclusion.

Here's Charles Krauthammer; he's got this pegged as the "worst deal in American diplomatic history."

Not to be outdone, fellow war-monger John Bolton introduces an international perspective by claiming this deal is "America's Munich." That's code for Kerry is the dupe Chamberlain to Rouhani's Hitler. If Bolton had his druthers he would have bombed Iran years ago.

But wait, those dastardly towel-heads are even worse than that... in fact, they are even worse than ISIS, if such a thing can be imagined! Yup, no less a fear-monger than the Greatest Leader Since Moses came up with that one!

The prospect of a deal is a little more personal for Netanyahu; he's crafted a thirty year political career out of claiming the Iranians are months away from a nuclear weapon.

Wonder what surprises he has in his tool kit to scare his country's voters going forward?

NASCAR gets Politically Correct

NASCAR just noticed why so few black folks attend their stock car races; it's that gosh-darned Confederate flag that's been virtually synonymous with the sport since its very inception! It's about time they noticed!

And there's more good news; the newly enlightened NASCAR brain trust is also taking steps to make hispanic fans feel more comfortable. Yup, no more playing footsie with blabber-mouth bigot Donald Trump! That should pack the stands at future races!

Hopefully these are just the first baby steps in NASCAR's new age of sensitivity and inclusiveness. Here's a few suggestions that are sure to broaden the appeal of stock car racing even more:

  • replace hotdogs with soydogs at the concession stands, because no living critter had to die to make a soydog
  • introduce measures to make NASCAR more LGBT friendly
  • cut out those Air Force flyovers in the pre-race ceremonies; it's offensive to pacifists
  • eliminate national anthem because it makes Canadian fans feel left out
  • get rid of that benediction before the race; it excludes atheists and people of other faiths
  • award Cup points for trying hard, because winning isn't everything!