Don’t Make Me Think

The world is in decline beause people don't want to think any longer. Everything is too fast, there's too much information. I think the motto of the new age is, "Don't make me think". Tech companies know this to their core, "transparency" is their motto, don't make their customers think and they are more likely to spend, spend, spend. I am a good example, if I come to a web site I have to figure out - think too hard to use - I move on, and quickly.

So translate lack of willingness to think with life in the U.S. We've got people basing their world view on extreme right talk radio, or on extreme left PBS. There's no thinking involved, adopt the comfortable bias and move on. It's a world of people who want to be told what to think because they are too busy (or lazy) to think for themselves, there's no time for processing, for discussion - and - there certainly isn't time for critical thinking, understanding the opposing point of view. Take a position, hold fast, move on, screw anyone who doesn't think like you, that's the basic politic of today in America: we've become a bunch of morons who won't think for themselves because they won't slow down for a minute a READ, THINK, DISCUSS, ACCEPT OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS. No, we're screwed. We've finally turned into the morons the rest of the world was afraid we were, EXEMPLIFIED with Goldman Sachs executives arguing that they didn't cause or promote or benefit from the bubble they, in fact, created (EXCUSE ME, BUT HOLY COW WE ALL ARE SOOOOO STUPID). AND YET, one side will blame the homeowners (because they participated by buying up or borrowing against what they knew was fictitious equity) - or - the other side will blame the fat cat Wall Street vampires for sucking the life out of the country because they either created or were in a position to gain from the hideous fraud, and did so.

But then, I am alive, and free, and have a roof over my head, employed, FRIENDS, FAMILY, HEALTHY, what do I have to complain about? nada MIJO, NADA It all make me cranky as hell though. Grateful and forgiving is the way to start and progress through each day. No need to think too hard beyond those two things really.

Too Much Coffee

OK, so maybe I had too much coffee on Saturday but maybe I was still right.  I think we need to get tough on the banks and bankers who abused the system and the investors.  Prosecute them all!

Prosecute Greenspan

Alan Greenspan is perhaps the biggest crook in history.  He stood SILENT over the largest case of financial criminal fraud in the history of the US.  He knew damned what was happening and he stood silent.  While he he coined the phrase “irrational exuberance” for the tech bubble, he stood SILENT on the sidelines while his buddies raped and pi
llaged in the phony real estate bubble.  He a bastard and should be prosecuted along with Goldman Sachs.  Prosecute them all for putting us into this depression!  Come on Obama, show some Roosevelt balls and charge the hill!

Obama – Go After the Crooks!

Barack Obama has a chance to cement his place in history by prosecuting the Wall Street crooks who have put us in a depression, the extent of which is not even yet known.

Wall Street overplayed their hand, the average DUMBASS signed up for it.  Banks conducted FRAUD on a massive scale and it has resulted in the growing economic disaster in the US.  Lenders should be tightly regulated and offenders in the real estate debacle should be prosecuted.  Let us hope that Goldman Sachs is only the first of MANY such news events.

Who are the bankers kidding that they didn’t see what was coming (including the crook Greenspan) if my friends and I could discuss it at BBQ’s back in 2004.  They knew damned well what they were doing.  Send all the crooks to fricking jail.

Pimples, Volcanos and Earthquakes

I’ve heard that global warming might be causing the weather-related problems.  So let me put a little more spice in the soup here.  What if global warming is causing the earthquakes and resultant tsunamis too. 

STAY WITH ME HERE PEOPLE…I can hear the mouse clicks from here as you flee to the Tea Party home page.

OK, so, here’s my theory and I think it’s BRILLIANT and I haven’t heard anyone suggest it yet so remember you heard it here first and I want my Nobel prize for brilliant blogging as soon as the ash stops falling on Sweden.

SO, the ice is melting on the caps and all that weight on the ends of the earth is shifting to the oceans.  This means that the middle has more mass and therefore more gravity pressing it inward while the poles have less mass and therefore less gravity.  It’s like an old fat guy with a belt that’s too tight, there’s pressure see.  So the stress on all of the faults is changing and the plates are rearranging like the belly folds on the old fat guy above and below the cinch line. 

VOILA!  Earthquakes as the plates get squeezed in a north – south direction and the plates overlap more to accommodate the squeeze.  How else do you explain the volcano popping off in Iceland than the obvious equator tightening effect of shifting water mass toward mid-hemisphere?  The volcano is just a big earth pimple being popped!

BRILLIANT!  Nobel PRIZE, Times Person of the Year, Science Weekly, and AARP Cover Boy.  I am expecting an honorary degree from MIT for this one.

Thank you, thank you, and remember, you heard it at Cranky Blog first!

Rainy Sunday

Intelligent design.  So, Christians (myself included) believe that things are created.  I mean, for me at least, it makes sense.  Even if you believe that God may STILL be creating (I’ve never imagined that God was lazy – or – satisfied with us), then where is the proof that He is creating?

I saw this week that a new sort of human ancestor was discovered in South Africa.  The fossils represented some new link in between the monkeys and humans.  If I believe that God created and continues to do so, and if he does, then this find isn’t surprising except in the fact that it took so long to come to light.  Thank goodness for Google Earth.

I have been watching as I walk around for signs of new creations.  Haven’t seen one yet, but perhaps it’s about to happen, and this possibility keeps me vigilant at all times.  Makes me wonder how we will know.  Will there be heraldic music?  Will there be astro-credits over a manger?  What exactly does God DO when HE creates something new?  There has to be a grand opening of sorts I would think.  Perhaps I am too ignorant, but I would think at the very least the scientists standing by as the egg is hatched would be trumpeting the arrival of a new species of Rhode Island Red or whatever.  They would say HERE, Here is your proof of evolution.  Just as I would think that some scientist would be standing in the surf at Malibu with a yard stick measuring the depth of the water saying  SEE!?  Here is your bloody proof that global warming is real.  (As opposed to Al Gore standing in a six foot snow drift in Washington DC)

So, I am lost in ambiguous magnanimity.  I don’t know if people are created or simply appear randomly constructed out of some genetic atmospheric soup.  It is a mystery to me as a frail, ignorant, and somewhat dull human.  I wish someone would explain all these mysteries to me in no uncertain terms like a five year old.  But they would still have to justify their explanation with my experience of the world, which grows each day of my already-extended life span.

Brings me to the debate about whether being GAY is natural since the Bible says it is sin.  Does the influence of the Devil begin when people are mere children?  Do Christians believe that God’s design exclude people who desire people of their own gender?  Do Christians believe that the Devil influences children at 8 years old or younger to “know” something about themselves that God didn’t intend?

I don’t know the answers; if I did, I’d be God.

Bicycle Geeks and Beer Fiends

(disclaimer – this posting was written some time ago and not posted so it may sound a little out of sequence in the space time continuum but please ignore the obvious warp in time)

So, I am having a weekend in Midtown, Sacramento, and it’s a little weird.

First, I dropped my bicycle off at a bike shop for a tune-up. It was needed since the back tire was wobbling a bit.

From there,  I walk over to the Rubicon Brewery. I love their IPA. Did I say love, I meant LOVE. Now I am sitting at a narrow bar, not THE bar but a narrow seating area cleverly designed to increase the seating capacity of the bar. A couple, yuppie to their socks, and another couple, not sure if they’re committed, dating, or whatever, are sitting with the yuppie couple. I’ll call them a dating couple, the male is a slightly older guy with RAPIDLY thinning pate, the yuppie couple is eating like refugees from plates of wings, burgers and fries. The guy reads a finance rag like it’s a bottle of water in the hands of a man who just crossed the Sahara on his knees, the only survivor of a plane crash in the dead-GPS-middle-of-nowhere.

The dating couple guy with thinning hair (I’m above him on my stool where it’s so obvious why he dates short women) is talking so fast I swear he’s on crack, crank, meth, coke…whatever. The yuppie guy couldn’t give a sxxt obviously from his more than slightly disengaged I don’t give a flying fxxk attitude beneath his Boston Red Socks Cap – to his constant engagement with his cell phone and paper and food. The phone is an oddity of young life I have yet to reconcile with reality in my world.

Oh yeah– and bicycle GEEKS

So, I decide since my back wheel is wobbling slightly and I have neither tools nor interest in working on a bike, to take it to the local bike shop for a tune-up which I’ve been threatening in my mind for two years now but have avoided since there has been no obvious defect in the bike’s operation until now.

So I ride the bike over having no interest in walking the bike over there, and I wheel it into the store avoiding an infant teetering on two feet while proud papa stays close to keep him from falling and injuring himself. I wait at the back as bike mechanics work feverishly on a bike for a man in a skin-tight Sierra Nevada Brewery uniform’s bike, clamped into a vice, a guy greasing a brand new cable, and all the while the rider (I presume owner) of the bike is waltzing around in his lycra tights, emerald green in Sierra Nevada fashion deluxe) and his friend comes out with great fanfare when he sees me waiting there with my average mountain bike. He greets me heartily, as only someone can who hasn’t ridden a single quarter mile all day, and asks me with all sincerity what’s wrong with the bike assuring me that he does not work there BUT through the magnificence of his influence on the mechanics that he can relay the gist of the problem to them and have me out in a jiffy. I am impressed, and hopeful that I can drop the stupid bike off quickly and go on my way. He wears black lycra is at least my age and has an apparently gel-infused but pad that could keep one free of bicycle-induced hemorrhoids until the century mark. He’s also clicking around in those little shoes that snap into the stirrups and ensure road rash of the first degree.

So I explain to this angel of bicycle mercy what my dilemma is and he assures me that he will translate my dilemma, intercede with the mechanic on my behalf like a sort of midtown bike-consular general (in bike-eze, I am certain).

This is all of course the fault of Lance Armstrong. Much in the way that Roger DeCoster created a bunch of little motocross geeks back in the 1970’s, Lance has created a bunch of middle-aged bicycle geeks in the first decade of the new century. Guys who admire lycra, thin lithe figures cranking out mile-after-mile on a bike. Not sure what that’s all about but there’s a market and it sells.

One of the interesting things about Midtown is that there are a lot of college students. The main way to identify a college student in Midtown Sacramento is when you see them guiding their parents along the sidewalk, or sitting in a restaurant with them drinking ice tea (instead of a beer) and pretending behind their tattoos and piercings that they are still the quiet, reserved, conservative, church-going kid they were before they left home. And when a local like me passes them, as I frequently do, they glare at me as if to say – “IF YOU TALK TO MY PARENTS (who are bank-rolling my midtown lifestyle) AND TELL THEM HOW I ACT WHEN THEY AREN’T HERE YOU WILL DIE.” At least that’s how I interpret their glare, maybe they’re just PO’d at moping along with their parents all afternoon.

A Warm Wednesay Evening

OK, so I heard a report today that Glacier National Park in Montana has lost about 125 glaciers out of 150 glaciers that used to be there.  I thought to myself, at what point do people begin to admit that things are heating up?  I’m wondering about this seriously.  How can we oppose the idea that global warming might be real, when ice is melting everywhere it should be, well, staying icy?

I usually follow the money but I don’t know enough about politics to follow it in this case, but I’d bet at the bottom of it all is oil, coal, and natural gas.  If I were in a Grisham novel, I’d be following the money.  I’m sure there is a great story here, right-left-center, someone is lying, and they’re lying BIG TIME.  And some group, me, you, us, we’re suckers, and eventually the truth will come out.

My fear is this, that global warming is not only real, but that humans are causing it.  Even more scary is that we’re too stupid and arrogant to get panicked about it until it’s too late to intervene.  Then all the arrogant posturing will turn into kneeling and praying.  I wonder at the arrogance of humans sometimes.

All I know for sure is that something is happening.  Glaciers and ice fields haven’t ever melted in my lifetime, or in the lifetimes of anyone living, or in the history books of anyone who ever lived.  So why is it so unreasonable to explore why this is happening and what if anything humans can do about it?

The scariest thing to me is this, we’ve got several billion people who want to come into the “1st world” and own cars and go to discos and consume the way we Americans have been for decades.  It could be like the age-old algae in the pond example.  It’s where the algae grows to double its size each day and when it gets to the size that it fills half the pond, it takes only one day to fill the pond.  What if we’re one car away from filling the global warming pond? Is anyone out there really smart enough to know that?  Scary stuff dude, very scary stuff.

Evil Hillsides and Crab Legs

Saturday I almost died I think, and I am suspicious that my cousin, who I was helping, had a plot in mind to finish me off and make it look like nothing more than a “green” accident.  Years ago – as a younger man – I made a living climbing up steep hillsides and cutting brush while fighting forest fires, and I emphasize this key point – this was as a younger man.  I carried heavy hose packs, dragged hose, and shouldered backpumps all while climbing long, rocky, steep hills in smoke and 100+ degree temperature.  Saturday, I climbed up this steep little hill, in 60 degree weather, in the shade of the trees, and dragged brush down to a burn pile for about 3-4 hours, although I’ll take the fifth on actual duration –  the spots before my eyes made it tough to watch the clock.  And after my years of sitting behind a desk doing what I am currently doing, writing, my old cardio system wondered just what in the hell I was putting it through.  The payoff though made it all worthwhile in the end because my cousin who owns the hillside he was trying to kill me on, cooked up a meal of filet mignon, crab legs, and a variety of other artery clogging and sumptuous food that I am quite positive could finish clogging arteries that –  if my gasping and clutching at trees on the hillside was any indication – were almost closed off anyway.  I am now convinced that he will wait no longer than two weeks for the saturated fat of the meal to glue itself to my arteries and then I’ll be invited back to help clear more of the hillside when I will go down for the count and lay like a carp on a hot sidewalk sucking at the resisting, earthy air of that slope.