Monthly Archives: May 2007

Duck, duck, goose

J&D – Thanks for the party, as always it was fun, good food, good people, good weather, good nite….nothing better than an intimate gathering for 12,000 people.  Word to the wise – jalapenos are always hotter the next day…if you know what I mean….

Throwing a party is like owning a swimming pool.   The maintenance and upkeep of the facility and people far outweigh the joy have having either…..it’s downright exhausting and heck I didn’t do anything except show up and then I got to leave…..phew

So boys and girls let’s fire up those synapses…it’s a new week and thinking is our top priority.

Robert Pirsig, author of the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” provides the following quote.  It made me think the past couple days and I feel the need to share with you…

Even in the presence of others he was completely alone 

Amen.  I am sure we’ve all felt that way at one time or another.  Heck, sometimes even by choice.  I know that there are times when, after a long day, I can find perfect solitude in a crowd.  All the talking and noise forms sort of a white noise din that is comforting, almost hypnotic.  

However, there are moments, even in the perfect stillness of a quiet summer evening, that the noises created by your thoughts of the day rain down a cacophony of sound that no one can hear except yourself.  It’s these moments that test the strength of even the strongest level of positude. 

When the noise grows loud and seems overwhelming here are a couple positudinal hints for y’all:

  1. Don’t take yourself or anyone else to seriously
  2. Go outside, breathe a book, read the air, look at the wind, listen to the sky
  3. If it already happened, you can’t change it. Move on and learn from it.
  4. If it hasn’t happened don’t worry about it, cuz it ain’t happened yet and the last time I checked you don’t have ESP or the ability to see into the future.  (Note: if you do have ESP or the ability to see into the future please send me the winning lottery numbers.)   
  5. Embrace today – live it large   
  6. Share the love, make someone else feel special today – give positude

 You have the power – MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night 

A great quote from Poe.  This is one of those self help moments for me.  Yep, even I am working on my positude today.  

Dreams are a needed retreat from the day to day reality that keeps us anchored to our world.  I am a dreamer, probably to a fault.  But you know what, I ain’t gonna change.  I am a great example of too much dreaming and not enough action.  That in my mind is my personal challenge, the juxtaposition of my mind….

The fear of making a dream not come true by acting on it. 

Wow, I said it (actually I wrote it but said it in my mind).  I wonder how many of us have ever had this same moment of self realization. 

Today that changes. 

As Mark Twain once wrote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.

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Lord of the Land

Today is one of those days where I wish I owned an ice cream store and not a pizza restaurant.  Even with every ton of AC we have cranking, it’s about a buck twenty five in front of the stove and pizza ovens.  Let me put it another way, it’s fucking hot.  But I am not complaining.  Yes I am.  Fuck off.

I got a landlord who is a dick.  He’s a dick for many reasons but today the reason he is a dick is that he refused to put in an AC system in that would actually cool the building.  Nope, had to go the cheap route.  Now my customers and I get to sit around and sweat our boobies off.  Oops, watch out my boobie just sweated off.  Damn, come back here boobie.  Damn it, my boobie just ran into the walk in cooler.  What a smart boobie….there you are, come over here and get back on my chest.  Good boobie.

Hey dude why do you have that eggplant in your shirt? 

Huh, waddya talking about?

Dude, you got an eggplant in your shirt.

No I don’t that’s my boobie

No dude it’s an eggplant

SHIT!  It is an eggplant.  Fuck, I must have been hallucinating from the heat.  I thought my boobie sweated off and ran into the walk in cooler

Dude, you’re fucked up.

Damn – I need to have a talk with my little friend the mezcal worm  http://www.tastings.com/spirits/tequila.html.  That will straighten me out.  Fuck, this heat has me thinking crazy.

Where the fuck was I, oh yea,  landlord, what a medieval word when you think about it.  Land LORD.  I am the lord of this land.  This is my land and I am lord of it.  Fuck off you minions and pay me my rent for I am the lord of this land!  If you do not pay me I will take the land from you for I am the lord of this land. 

Hey, lord of this land, fuck off and put in a damn AC unit that works.  Bastard. 

I hate being a slave to the lord of the land.  I need to be my own lord of the land.  I think I would be a good lord of the land.  My minions would worship the ground I walked on.  They’d worship the land of this lord.

Yikes, I am not even a lord of any land and just thinking about it made me turn into some maniacal lunatic. 

Hey lookie over there, my boobie is playing with mr. mezcal worm……it’s gonna be a fun weekend…lock up the women and duct tape the kiddies…or is it the other way around

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Mizar and Alcor

Last night I was hanging with Mizar and Alcor and they were rocking. It’s not often I get to hang with M and A and they were bright.  I was chilling with a sweet cigar and my new fave drink….Jameson and Ginger.  Nectar of the gods.  It was a perfect night to hang with M&A.

The night was cool and clear.  No sign of bugs, just the sounds of nature (spring frogs) and M&A shining.

Who the hell is Mizar and Alcor?  Simple, they are the two “double” stars you see in the handle of the Ursa Major (the big dipper).  Mizar is the brighter of the two.  It’s a good test of eyesight to be able to discern the two stars.  However, they are not a double star.  As a matter of fact Mizar and Alcor are about 3 light years apart…give or take a light year.  Mizar is 78 light years from the sun and Alcor 81.  However they are part of the nearest star cluster to our sun Collinder 285.  Sounds like a bad sci-fi movie involving kitchen equipment.  There is actually a Mizar A and a Mizar B.  Probably way too much information. 

Why do I tell you all this, don’t know.  Maybe cuz I can.  There is something about lying on your back looking up into the stars and just watching.  I have a great deck that looks almost due north.  Polaris (the north star) is easy to find and I use it to navigate my way around the heavens.

Last time I did this for any length of time I was watching a meteor shower.  Have you ever sat out and watched a meteor shower?  If you haven’t, put it on your list of things to do.  Soon.   Actually put these dates on your calendar – August 12 & 13.  Those are the predicted dates for the peak of the Perseid meteor shower.  The best news is that those dates coincide with a new moon so there will be no moon interference.  I hate moon interference, especially when it’s a big ass moon (redundant I think) shining bright in the sky.  

There is an art to watching a meteor shower.  The art of seeing but not focusing, the art of eye’s open meditation vs sleeping.  The key is to lie on your back looking up at the sky and letting the sky fill your field of vision rather than you trying to see the sky.  You have to slow down your blink rate so there is a fine balance between letting your eyes get too dry and blinking and missing a meteor.  You have to let the stars fill your vision and then wait for any perceived movement and quickly focus your vision on the movement.  Sometimes it may be a satellite, sometimes a plane and sometimes a meteor.  It’s all good.  It’s peaceful and relaxing and refreshing.

Wow – that was a side trip I had no idea I’d take us on. 

Anyway, last night I only saw one meteor, one satellite but had M&A for a couple hours all to myself, at least that is how it felt to me.  I got up off the lounger on the deck refreshed and relaxed.  Ready for another day of positudeness. 

I’ll check back in with a reminder as we get closer to august.  Cheers

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Follow up gas

Interesting article I ran across this morning….so much for big oil investment….Kinda funny with record profits quarter after quarter they can’t seem to part with any of that cake… http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/business/24refinery.html?ex=1337745600&en=2343ebe0865ca392&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Folks, we best wake up soon – like any addiction we have the power within ourselves to change.  Only we can change this dynamic of oil dependency and it all starts with demand.

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You’ve got Gas and beano won’t help

I got gas today.   No not me, for my car.  As I was standing there pumping petrol into my car at $3.09 per gallon for regular gasoline I started thinking about how it is we’re paying so much for gasoline and is there anything we can do to impact the rising price of gasoline?

As the pump stopped at $44.37 I had a moment of self-realization – I don’t know shit about the whole oil biz process.  What an idiot.   Then again, do I really want to know anything about the biz.

Well that lead me to start doing some homework.   

OK Johnny get Hadji and Bandit into the hydrogen fueled rocket sled we’re going on a ride.  

Factoid #1 – the price of gasoline at the end of January was 2.11, today it’s 3.09.  That’s and increase of NINETY EIGHT (.98) CENTS in about 15 weeks. 

So what has made the price of gasoline go up?  Who the heck knows…Shit I’ve been reading a ton of different articles and I am not sure who I believe.  It’s down right comical reading some of the big oil sponsored sites.  

Reading the oil company sites lead me to rethink what I learned about the founding of this country.  I did not know that without gasoline we would have no freedom or liberty or the ability to pursue happiness.   I guess happiness is driving around in a 1967 Chevy powered by a 427 cubic inch, 435 horsepower engine.  What the fuck.  Last time I checked the basic tenets on which this country was built were discussed and documented over a hundred years before the first internal combustion engine was invented.  

In my opinion here’s a number of factors driving gasoline cost-

Sweet crude oil cost (sweet is “cleaner’ form of crude as compared to sour) don’t ask….seems more like a description of how I order my chicken at Wong Garden.  That would be kinda funny….

Me: Hello is this BP oil?
BP:  Yes, how may I direct your call?
Me:  I’d like to order 100,000 barrels of sweet and sour crude
BP:  Excuse me sir?
Me:  Sorry, can you transfer me to the person I order from?
BP:  Order what sir?
Me:  Oil, I gotta get me some of that sweet and sour crude…

Sorry, back on track….Hadji where you be….   

Supply and demand – I knew that economics course would come in handy.  Supply and demand is, after the direct cost of the raw material (sweet crude oil), a significant driver of gasoline costs.  Taking this a step farther, the supply and demand equation represented by our need for gasoline is said to be inelastic.  It is inelastic in that large changes in price does little to negatively impact the demand.   We want/need gasoline.  It is so interwoven into our everyday we can’t do without and we’ll pay whatever it takes to get us some more.  We’ve become a society of internal combustion junkies.  The challenge is that the folks that control the methadone to help our gasoline addiction don’t want us to have it cause they’re making too much money off our addiction.

The next driver of cost is the whole refinery thang.

The refineries are the vehicles we use to turn sweet crude into gasoline (among other things).  It is a distillation process driven by the boiling points related to the different molecular structures of the components of the crude….My head hurts all ready.

A few notes on refineries.  There has not been a new refinery built in the U.S. in the last 30 years (so much for the thought of capital reinvestment).  The refineries are aging quickly and are subject to a number of external forces that impact there production capability.  First is the weather.  Remember Katrina – well in addition to erasing New Orleans it supposedly did a ton of damage to our refinery infrastructure.  Second is geopolitical turmoil that can impact crude supply and even delivery of refined products.  Third is the aging of the refineries.  This aging is causing many of them to be off line longer and longer for repairs to ensure safety.  Last is the demands for different gasoline products by state.  It seems that every state is developing there own gasoline formula that the refineries need to meet.  Whether it’s the environmentally focused California standards or the live free or day standards in Nude Hampster.  This Baskin Robbins approach to gasoline “flavors” does not help keep the cost of gasoline in check.

Factoid #2 From Jan – April this year the refineries produced 8.73 MILLION barrels of gasoline per day.  This is the highest level ever for the same period, according to API ( American Petroleum Institute).  You’d think that is a shit load of gasoline.

For the week ending May 11 we American’s consumed 9.404 MILLION barrels of gasoline PER DAY!  There are 42 gallons per barrel.  A little math and that reveals that for the week ending May 11th we purchased roughly 394,968,000 gallons of gasoline per day.  Let’s say we averaged 12 miles per gallon then we drive 4.74 BILLION miles a DAY.  Boy are we fucking adicted, never mind where the fuck are we all going?  But that leads to an interesting point.  If we could simply increase the average miles per gallon by say 10 percent to 13.2 miles per gallon we could drive that same 4.74 billion miles on 35.9 million gallons LESS of gasoline.  That would mean our consumption per day would drop to 8.6 million barrels per day.  Boy wouldn’t that piss off the big oil companies….demand less than the supply on an average daily basis. Hmmmm…demand less than supply…hmmm pricing needs to be more competitive to spike demand…hmmm prices go down….hmmm.  Sorry I was daydreaming there for a moment. 

So, here’s what we have to look forward to (my guess – a slight decrease in gasoline prices to make us take our focus off them and then look to see big oil exploit any type of negative news – hurricanes, turmoil, etc to drive prices back up).  Why? 

  1. We’re coming into the highest driving (demand) period of the year
  2. Hurricane season is starting
  3. Global unrest is at an alarming level
  4. Gasoline reserves (supply), while just now being restocked have been at their lowest level in 20 years 
  5. Refineries are not getting younger
  6. Bush administration is just that, the Bush administration

What can we do –

  1. Drive less – stop that addiction – get in a car with someone else, consolidate those trips to the grocery store and post office.
  2. Use public transportation where appropriate – heck it’s even free in some areas
  3. Insist the government adopt more aggressive minimums for new car mileage thresholds – push your representatives and senators to be more responsible
  4. Adopt a single federal formulation of gasoline that meets California standards – do away with the 57 varieties of gasoline…
  5. Continue to develop alternative additives to blend with gasoline with the goal of extending miles per gallon averages and lower emissions…not sure ethanol is the answer…very costly to distill.
  6. Increase federal taxes on sales of automobiles (revisit gas guzzler tax) that don’t meet minimum miles per gallon averages.
  7. Provide corporate tax credits (annuity) related to the production of alternative energy automobiles.  Tax credits wouldn’t be available until the Alternative Energy vehicle is in production.
  8. Significant tax credit for individuals/corporations purchasing SULEV and high mileage automobiles.
  9. Federal commitment to improve rail service infrastructure in the northeast corridor (Boston-NYC-Washington).  Look to France and Japan for realistic solutions.

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As suggested by my bro….pure poetry

The vapors of the water form the clouds

From above they cast their shadows all around

If you holler let them go

Then you know it’s eeney, meeney, miney, mo

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Just messin’ with y’all

This dude at the airport bar ask me where I was from and I told him I live in Massachusetts.  The following is my best recollection of the conversation….sorry…I be getting old…..

Fellow Road Warrior (FRW):  Y’all live in Massachusetts, that’s funny y’all don’t sound like your from Massachusetts.

Me:  Funny?  What exactly am I supposed to sound like? Who is y’all?

FRW:  You know, like, y’all suppose to say cah. Instead of car.

Me:  Oh, you mean, pahk the cah in the Hahvahd yahd?

FRW:  Yea, that’s it.

Me:  Yep,  like me saying that I am from Bahstahn  instead of Boston?

FRW:  Ha, ha, ha that’s it….exactly… 

Me:  Sorry, I only live in Massachusetts, I grew up in Connecticut.

FRW:  What kind of accent do y’all get in Connecticut?

Me:  You get nothing. 

FRW:  That sucks

Me:  Not sure it sucks, you’re from Texas right?

FRW:  Yep, how did you know?

Me:  It’s that fixin’ twang  and all the y’all’s.

FRW:  Really, I never noticed it

Me:  You don’t travel alot do you?

FRW:  Nope, came down heer to Floriduh to look at a car

Me:  A truck

FRW:  Damn, how’d y’all know

Me:  It’s easy, up there in New England we all be wicket smaht

FRW:  Y’all one funny bastard

Me:  If you’re from Bahstan you say Bahstahd

FRW:  Ha, ha, ha sorry I said it wrong.

Me:  That’s OK, Where are the ho’s at?

FRW:  WHAT?

Me:  You heard me, where are the ho’s at?

FRW:  WHAT?

Me:  Sorry dude, I was just fucking with ya….I ain’t really looking for any ho’s…..unless you know where they are

FRW:  Ha (a very weak laugh), WHAT?  I gotta go my planes leaving in a little while…

Me: Later FRW, safe travels….watch out for dem ho’s…hehehehehehe

Well, FRW left and it I began thinking about Connecticut.  I was really kidding about the ho’s….maybe. Back to Connecticut.

Here are some little known facts about Connecticut, if you know them piss off, at least I didn’t know them….

The state animal is a Sperm Whale…hmmm…that’s bizzaro….ain’t a Sperm whale a mammal?  Have you ever seen a sperm whale in Long Island sound?  I know I’ve seen some sperm whales on the beach but I’ll save that for another post.

The state motto is, “he who transplanted still sustains.”  What the fuck does that mean.  Who the hell ends up transplanted in Connecticut and what did they sustain?

Connecticut passed the first automobile law in 1901.  The law was setting the speed limit at 12 miles an hour.  So that leads me to a simple question –  Do Connecticut drivers know that the law has changed? 

Speaking of Connecticut roads, is it my imagination or has Route 84, Route 91 and Route 95 been under construction since prior to the invention of the combustion engine?

There are many good things to like about Connecticut – Pepe’s Pizza for example…simply the best pizza in the world…the Huskies remain a great sports franchise  both the Ladies and the Men…..ah, and, ah……..

So I admit it!  I was born and raised in Connecticut.  So by birthright I am a Connecticuter or a Nutmegger or a Yankee or as Cotton Mather called us a Connecticotian or lastly as Samuel Peter called us a Connecticutensian.  What ever. 

Bottom line I am going out and buying a Carolina Hurricanes jersey and celebrate the fact I have no accent, no professional teams and the Sperm Whale as the state animal. Yee fucking ha.

 Note:  The Carolina Hurricanes are formerly the Hartford Whalers.  Due to the apathetic support the team received they relocated to North Carolina and promptly won the Stanley Cup.   Only in Connecticut…

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