Oy gevalt.

Well, there were layoffs at work today.  I survived.  I assume there’s not going to be another round for a while.  Whichever way the wind blows.  Is this an awkward time to ask for vacation days?  We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

Talk about the law of  unintended consequences.  I switched over to WordPress from MySpace for more control, quality, flexibility and features.  However, on MySpace my unofficial ego stroking goal was 100 views per week.  Not a lot but a nice round number.  Not quite there since I relocated the blog.  I guess I’d actually have to offer something useful — useful information or ramblings about a certain topic — in order for any actual audience to partake.  But as long as you’re here, dear reader, that’s what matters.  Welcome.

Hey, do you want a drink?    Oh, hold on, let me get you a chair.  Okay, let’s see.  I’ve got some home made iced tea.  One Woodchuck Draft Cider.  Hot chocolate?  It’s Ghirardelli’s.  With a little half & half it’s decadently delicious.  No?  What else.  Apple juice and tap water.  I would not advise the tap water.  Oh, and some bottled water.  Well, whatever you’re in the mood for you know where it is.  Help yourself.  Mi casa es su casa.  Except for the bedroom.  Don’t go in there.  It’s a mess.  But every other part of mi casa es su casa.  Or apartment.  However you say that in Spanish.

Coffee Break French

Speaking of languages other than English, I am in love with “Coffee Break French“‘s Anna’s voice.  Is there anything more endorphine releasing than a young Scottish woman’s accent?  And speaking French, no less.  It’s better than Ryme.  I would pay money for Anna to read to me.  “Here.  Read this turn of the century tax code to me, please.  I will give you money.”

Unforunately, there’s no episode or lesson that features her talking for more than a few sentences at a time.

To Scotland!

Sunday Drive

Sunday we had a family gathering.  Aunt and uncle’s birthday.  I drove up relatively early to pick up Leika’s prescription from the vet in Dundalk.  I like to drive.  I’m kind of like Leika in that regard.  I feel calm and settled when I’m on the move.  It’s an urge to either be on the move or at home, such as it is.  I drove up to the Hunt Valley Town Center.  I like that Sunday morning laid back feel.  Everyone’s out eating breakfast or getting a morning beverage.  Very chill.  I didn’t really feel like getting out of the car, though.  Looked for a Starbucks, found one, too crowded.

So I got back on I-83 and headed north.  The fuel light came on after a while so I stopped at a gas station a few exits into Pennsylvania.  Instead of getting right back on the highway I drove up a hill where there were a few restaurants and then just followed the road around.  Leika was sizing up a lawn ornament of a buck, which was kind of funny.  Kept driving aimlessly and ended up on the other side of the freeway at a shopping center.  Starbucks!  Yeah.  Pumpkin spice latte.  Drove around some more past a school and a bunch of new houses.  All the same, more or less, but nice and new.

Anyway, I kept driving and ended up on Main St. in Shrewsbury, PA.  I wish I had thought to take a picture of the Professional Wresting Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka flyer on a telephone pole.  So quaint?  So what the heck.  Got back on the freeway and drove up to York just to see what it looks like.  I dig the towns and townships in Pennsylvania.  So much to explore.  Downtown York, there was a play running starring Sally Struthers.  Lots of different feels and flavors to the town.  Pennsylvania is homey, quaint, industrial, post-modern, European, urban, suburban, Norman Rockwell, hick town, 19th century, Luddite, Amish, state of the art, 20th century blight and mills on the edges of rivers.

Good stuff.

I get looks occasionally.  The Starbucks in Hunt Valley, people looked at me like they’ve never seen a black person in the store before.  Not in a “you’re not welcome here” way, but in a “you don’t see this often” way.  I wouldn’t mind living in the apartments on the hill above the Town Center if I could afford it and if I could telecommute.

I have written almost 800 words and have said nothing.  Are you having fun yet?

The Ecopalypse

So dig it.  I like to drive.  I’m a recreational driver.  I drive a smallish SUV, a Jeep Liberty.  Usually, it’s just me and Leika in the car.  So if you’re an environmental activist or otherwise concerned about climate change, you may rightfully think I’m an idiot.  You may be right.  I may be crazy.  But I’m …

If gas prices were near $4 a gallon would I cruise without destination?  Not as much.  I mean, I don’t want to waste gas.  Heck, I wanted to get a Prius or Ford Escape hybrid when my Pathfinder was totaled.  They were way too expensive, though.  So I decided I wanted a Subaru Outback or Forester.  Also too expensive.  Then a Jeep Liberty or a Honda Element.  And then there were car payments.

So what I’m saying is that I would perfer to drive a zero-emissions vehicle.  But I don’t.   Whoops.  “Perfer” is not a word.  Captain Typo!

I am a fan of nature.  I believe that we need more trees, more green spaces, more eco-friendly development, if we must develop.  I think that most cities are abominations.  Fine, cities grow and people need resources but look at NYC.   New York State is so beautiful and invigorating.  New York City used to look like that.  Rivers running through it, beaches, thick, lush forests and wildlife.  Now it looks like the god of industry took a concrete dump on it.   No offense.  But you can tell when a city was built with that “we are so great and we conquer nature with our greatness” mentality.

Check out Ecopolis, by the way.  Great show.  And you might want to read the book Metatropolis for some sci-fi envisioning of life beyond cities, kind of.

But I think that there’s too much hype about climate change.  I’m skeptical of the doomsday predictions and, frankly, I’m overwhelmed by all of this ecological proselytizing.  Let me put it this way.  To my Christians I say that religion is not about power.  No religion should ever be powerful.  It is anathema.  Christianity is about humility, service and love.  Supposed to be.  Not pseudo-theocracies and culture wars, mega churches, cults of personality, self-isolation or public prayer spectacles.  To my Atheists, we hear you.  Please calm down and take the militant bug out of your ass.  I have respect and love for you but I don’t want to be assaulted with your enlightened proselytizing either.

To the ecologically enlightened of all stripes, you sound like you’ve got your own book of Revelation.  Doomsday prophecies, warnings from on high, a vengeful Mother Gaia.

Let’s get the message out.  We need to be more responsible.  We need to seriously invest in renewable energy sources and pursuing many different strategies and technologies.  We are straining our various ecologies to the limits and we’re wantonly consuming the planets resources at an astronomical rate.  That’s bad.  That’s very bad.

But it has become the new moral standard and it is   in     your       face.  Movies with themes of ecological morality:

  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Quantum of Solace
  • WALL-E
  • The Day After Tomorrow
  • Hoot
  • Happy Feet
  • Syriana
  • Over the Hedge
  • The Happening
  • Hellboy 2
  • Children of Men
  • An Inconvenient Truth
  • Arctic Tale
  • The 11th Hour

Those are just off the top of my head and does not include the myriad of straight to video or Sci Fi Channel movies.  According to a Wired magazine article, there are three more Hollywood movies on the horizon:

  • The Thaw
  • Creature From the Black Lagoon
  • 2012

Ads everywhere.  There are a lot of sci fi short stories and novels — Spin, Axis, Metatropolis, Deep Storm, Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, etc.  Not to mention all of the kids shows and cartoons.  Remember back in the 80’s when the message was “ninjas kick ass” and “just say no to drugs”?  All those pop movies were about Communists, terrorists or drug dealers.  Or all of the above.

I’m all for the Green message.  I’m just a little concerned that it’s becoming dumbed down to the point of dogma.  Dogma never leads to a solution, just hedging and platitudes.

Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready to Rethink What It Means to Be Green

I wasn’t trying to be controversial but check out the article:

Take it with a grain of organic sea salt.  Wired Magazine can be a little sensational.  I’d like to horn in on that money in exchange for informed(?) opinion racket.

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