Monthly Archives: June 2008

You can’t have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat!

The oil industry in the USA isn’t using most of the oil fields they have leases for, but they’re begging for more? I don’t understand.  The USA uses 21 million barrels of oil per day, and produces 8; the oil fields they have access to which they are not using could be worth 5 million barrels a day. Meanwhile, the proposals to open up more offshore drilling, combined with the proposals to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, could lead to 2 million barrels a day. So, they’re begging for the ability to get half of what they already have available which they aren’t using. I honestly don’t understand economics, but that just doesn’t sound kosher to me.

I understand the investment to exploit the open fields would be substantial, and the leases they are asking for would be cheaper to exploit. But, still – makes you wonder about the rhetoric about who is patriotic, eh?

WINO Radio is off the air

Ever since listening to the fantastic FM & AM album during my broadcast journalism class back in 1982, I’ve been a huge fan of George Carlin.  Son of WINO was a great piece of absurdist humor (weather report tonight is dark, with scattered light toward morning), his counterculture cred got a bit of unneeded burnishing with his appearance in the Bill & Ted movies (far outshining the acting ability of the stars), and his social commentary was always biting and spot-on.

I’m amazed at his consistently funny career, his ability to come up with topical humor for fifty years, and his almost unnatural capacity to seem to be a young smartass well into his AARP years. His passing will leave a giant hole in the world of satire and humor, and he will be missed by anyone with a funnybone.

It’s Kayak Time!

Kat’s kayak arrived via big truck last week, and then sat on the love seat for two days due to lack of time. Here it is.
Kayak_2.jpg

When Kat arrived home Friday afternoon, she chanted “It’s kayak time” repeatedly until I changed into swim trunks and slathered on some sun screen. I took my inflatable kayak, which is (in contrast) a big pig of an overgrown pool toy.  But, still got us around the lake for a couple hours, during which we saw critters. There were many turtles poking just above the surface, a nutria putting on a diving show for us, a swan, and a water snake. Maybe that water snake, who knows?

The only problem with taking the kayak out, other than sunburn? The cat no longer has a giant bed.

Kayak_3.jpg

Snake!

Kat is working as a naturalist at the local nature center, and gets to spend much time with the critters. She’s owned snakes and lizards and all manner of furry, finned, and scaled critters over the years. She minored in biology. She’s not generally squeamish.

Saturday, I’m finally getting the 2007 DVDs ready to ship to far-flung relatives, when I get a call. “There’s an emergency, I can’t get in touch with [Snake Guy] (her boss at the nature center), and I need you to come out here.”  So, I hit the road for the lake, pop in and she’s standing in the middle of the main room, with the door to the reptile room blocked, while she madly dials anyone who can help with the unidentified snake in the room. Last seen heading for a dark corner, the reptile has decided to enliven the morning and cancel a child’s birthday party.

After a couple hours of searching, a snake wrangler in flip flops (!) pulling apart the reptile room, and general panic trying to identify which snakes might be missing (without going into the “venomous” room if avoidable), the little bugger finally decides to reveal himself. It turns out to be a fairly dehydrated water snake. One of the enclosures appeared to be missing a water snake, except that snake died three weeks ago. This one is the same species, albeit much younger and smaller. He broke into the nature center. While we’re trying to figure out which snake had escaped, it turns out this one was a burglar. What are the odds?

Bletchley Park endangered

Anyone who has read anything of the British crypto effort during WW2, especially regarding the Enigma machine, should be familiar with the name Bletchley Park.  It was the home of the UK equivalent to our NSA, and also housed Alan Turing during the war.  You’d think preserving such an important location would be completely uncontroversial.  Apparently everyone agrees that the site is a wonderful historical locale and its museum of computing is also a great resource.  But, they’re not too willing to pay for it.

The curator says they may be able to keep running for two more years, unless some generous folks step up.  That would be a shame.

Oh, and if you’re not a crypto geek, at least read Between Silk and Cyanide – it’s a fantastic read and a very interesting look at the difficulties of covert agents and how they tie in with the crypto geek culture as well.  Crypto geeks have all read Cryptonomicon, so I won’t bother to link to that one.  🙂