Saturday, May 29, 2010

How to Downplay the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill Disaster.

Or, What not to do and say…

8:45 – Larry King – Two days ago.

I listened to T. Boone Pickens compare the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill to an airplane crash in which a hypothetical 300 people and two expert pilots died. I suppose he thought that would be a far worse disaster than the 11 men killed in the deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, and the subsequent quite probable destruction of an entire region’s ecology due to the millions of gallons of oil floating on top of and deep within the waters of the Gulf (those strange plumes of oil and other toxins dissolved and mixed with sea water) - not to mention the total loss of economic livelihood for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people in the region and beyond.

“Oh, Why is that, John?”

“Because, dear alter ego, The Gulf Region of the United States has the 29th most important economy in the world.”

Pickens was out of touch on both ends of his inappropriate comparison! I do get it – considering his ties to oil – he is bound to defend the industry. Never the less, I find myself thinking of him as the Marie Antoinette of the American oil oligarchy. We face the greatest man made disaster in American history, the possible destruction of the entire Gulf coastal region wet lands, fishing and tourist industries, as well as the destruction of scalloping, shrimp and oyster beds for decades to come. He might as well say – “Let them drink, drown, and be poisoned by oil besmirched seas.”

I honestly believe Pickens thought he sounded reasonable. However, if such minimizing is to be the mantra of conservative Republicans, and the rich oil guys, how misanthropic!

Computer up and Running

I spent parts of 3 days on the telephone with Apple this past week. Ultimately, we had to rebuild my computer’s system from the ground up. Thank you God – and I mean that – for teaching me last year that I must constantly back everything up in at least two locations other than the computer itself. I still believe the problem originated with “Google Analytics,” because I had no problems with the computer until I downloaded it from Google. That program is supposed to enhance your search capabilities.

U-u-uh U-u-u-uh! Don’t do it! You will rue the day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Key West: The Final Day

I was able to get this editing window to stay without going blank using Safari for the first time in 4 days. The window still empties of all content if I try to sign on using Firefox.

I'm putting the final entry about Key West on here today, and hoping that I shall be able to continue posting using Safari.

We went swimming in our hotel’s huge pool every chance we got. The Inn at Key West has the largest fresh water pool on the key, and it provides a rich tropical oasis for the crazed tourist mind and body. Every evening upon returning from our touring and especially the last day of our trip to key west we did marathon swimming. The pool area was beautiful after dark and we took another swim before retiring each night of our stay in Key West.

We scheduled no touring for our final day on the key. Instead we spent most of the day lounging in the sun and swimming. We went into Old Town late in the afternoon for a walk through some of the back streets in old town and then to dinner on the porch at Café Sole, a wonderful little restaurant on the corner of Francis and Southard. We had conch Carpaccio, hogshead snapper in a borie blanc (white wine sauce made from white bordeaux), and a desert sampler. *1 The hog’s head snapper is a local fish; buttery, mild and sweet, perfect in the sauce. I’ve had conch in the past and wondered what all the fuss was about. This time I thought the Carpaccio was to die for. The porch is intimate and the service impeccable. One small complaint, the tables are a bit close, which did lead to a friendly conversation with two Catholic priests. *2 You don’t have to take our word because Café Sole has won all kinds of local “best restaurant” awards, as well as from Wine Spectator, and in Zagat Magazine for “the best in the keys.”

The next morning and afternoon we drove home through a cloudy mist filled ocean, gulf, and island seascape that totally obscured the usual intense pastel and aqua color of the shallow water surrounding the keys. I took no photographs, as I was totally disappointed. However, that was the only thing that was not delightful about our too short 3-day trip to Key West. Jaded friends have said that “once you’ve been to the keys 4 or 5 times there’s nothing else to do other than the tourist stuff.” I say the tropical ambience alone is worth it. Next time I’ll pack a couple of books, the iBook and iPod, book a small, private inn with a lap pool in a quiet section of old town, and we’ll plop ourselves down for a few days of total relaxation. Perhaps we’ll even go out to Ricks one night to watch the younger set party and dance.


*1 Borie is a place in Bergerac, Dordogne, Aquitaine, France.

*2 The Catholic Church is taking such a terrible beating over the priest molestation issue, and the institution deserves the beating. To claim that God in his infinite wisdom had men write that homosexuality is unacceptable 2000 years ago – in other words, singled out a sexuality as yet undefined a scant hundred-fifty years ago - deserves whatever visitation of bad luck (karma) accrued. At the same time, I don’t pretend to speak for God as the Catholic and evangelical churches do. I just want to say as a non church going Christian that every Catholic priest I ever had the privilege of knowing was a kind and good person.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I am currently having a great deal of difficulty posting. Whenever I try to post on Safari, the posting screen often goes blank. If I try to post on Firefox I get the message, "Transferring data from," and my screen goes blank. I checked help forums and can find nothing about this particular problem. Also, I cannot sign-on to the help forum because the screen goes blank. I can find no way to directly E-mail blogger with this problem. I could use some help here. If anyone knows of a way to fix this problem, or how to contact someone at Blogger directly, please send me a comment on this blog.

I have been blogging with Blogger since 2003 in one form or another. However, it looks as though I shall have to close down because I can no longer post entries regularly.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Gulf Oil Spill of 2010

It may be more than twenty times worse than the Exxon Valdez!

BP claims it is siphoning off 20% of the gusher, or 2000 barrels a day (amount is based on Telivision news sources), which means that the total amount of oil being released per day is only 10,000 barrels. However, several engineers and scientists measure the volume at 80,000 barrels a day or higher. Are the folks at BP telling us the truth? Unfortunately, my bet is on the scientists measuring the flow rate.

So, let's do some calculations – at 80,000 barrels a day, until today, times 29 days equals over 23 million barrels, or 115,000,000 gallons of oil so far. That is equal to eleven and one half Exxon Valdez oil spills already. * 1 As I said above, since May 17, 2010, BP is siphoning off 20% of the on-going oil-spewing disaster. So, from now on, we only have about 64,000 barrels per day going into the Gulf of Mexico.

Alright then!

BP is also drilling a new well in order to close the oil gusher down. They started two days ago. It takes 90 days to drill a well. So, let’s do some more math. 88 days, times 64,000 barrels a day means there will only be about 5 and ½ million more barrels of oil vomited into the planet’s circulatory system (Yes, circulatory system.). 5 and ½ times 50 gallons (per barrel) equals 116,000,000 gallons of oil in addition to the 115,000,000 gallons of oil gumming up the Gulf of Mexico already. If, as it looks most likely, the huge plumes of underwater oil get caught in the Gulf Stream, the red goo will be carried all the way through the Florida Keys, up the east coast of Florida, then on up the eastern seaboard resulting in an Ecological Disaster of Brobdingnagian proportions.

I don’t have to tell you that the Earth’s ecology works like a living organism with every system balanced against all the others. The planet’s oceans and atmosphere function like our own circulatory system. Among many other functions, the oceans and atmosphere distribute oxygen, nitrogen and other gases, as well as heat and cold (the weather) throughout the ecosphere.

If any of the body's systems are damaged thoroughly enough the entire organism goes down. In short, it dies! Think of the Gulf Oil Spill as Cholesterol (heavy fat) in your own circulatory system causing it to be shut down at a critical point. Thus, you have a heart attack and possibly die. Of course the Earth’s ecosphere, is a bit more complex. Never the less, if enough of the ocean’s ecology is damaged – reads coral reefs, fish, animal life, Underwater, plants, plankton, marshlands at oceans edge, and so on – The planet will die of a heart attack!

Why aren’t people screaming bloody murder? Why isn’t the president of the United States trying to rally the people, the Congress and the Senate, marshalling scientists, and institutions, corporations, everyone to STOP THIS DISASTER?

What other analogy can I draw? This horrendous calamity is almost like having an atomic war against all of humanity and the entire planet. It is as though we suddenly started placing atomic bombs in our cities and then set one off every few days until enough radiation was released into the atmosphere to destroy the planet. Remember the 1959 film “On The Beach,” staring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, and Tony Perkins. If not, or you’re too young to have seen it, go get it! It’s one of the darker 50’s sci-fi flicks. However, it clearly demonstrated that an atomic war would mean not only the end of civilization, but also the end of all life on Earth.

To sum up – throw enough crap of any kind in the planet’s circulatory system, and you kill it!

• 1 The Exxon Valdez spill was about 10 million gallons.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

Naughty Mary Yeti

We are back in wonderful lower-slower Delaware after a week and two days of travel and time spent with Joe's sister in Marianna, FL - that small town in the pan-handle of Florida made famous by the Naughty Mary Yeti, and - and - and. No, seriously, Marianna is a beautiful little town,"The City of Southern Charm," and home to Chipola College, and a great and new little Mexican restaurant, Los Guerrerenses - but, more about that in another entry.

When we drove back into Delaware last night, it was 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Both of us were in shorts, having been use to daytime temps in the 90's and lows in the upper 60's to mid 70's. I've still got goose bumps!

Gulf Oil Spill Ten Times Worse than BP Discloses

As I write I'm listening to the news on PBS radio from Tucson, in the Nazi state of Arizona, and I've just heard that an independent scientific laboratory finds the rate of the leak in the Gulf is much worse than BP has disclosed. Of course BP maintains the report is incorrect. I can't get over the NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll that says 6 out of 10 Americans still favor off shore drilling, and that most Americans also support Arizona's Draconian Immigration Law. Welcome to the Twenty-first Century of Reactionary America's precipitous fall into second class nation status. What happened to our pioneering spirit in which we confronted and solved new problems Aggressively?

Instead of holding onto "Drill Baby Drill," we should be shouting - as China, Japan, France, Great Britain, and most of the rest of the advanced nations are quietly stating through actions - "Alternative Energy Baby, Alternative Energy!"

Ah, but that just sounds too complicated for American tin ears.

I still have to finish my 4 part entry about our trip to Key West, and I promise I will do so in my next entry.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Drill Baby Drill: The BP Oil Spill, and the curse of the living dead

We interrupt this blog to bring you a frightening message.

After destroying the Gulf Coast habitat in Alabama and Louisiana, the Gulf oil spill may well follow the Gulf Stream and track all the way around Florida, damaging 1800 miles of the Florida coastal ecosystem, then continue on up the east coast threatening the seaboard states, maritime Canada, cross the

Atlantic and impact Iceland, as well as northern Europe and England.

And, NO, the spill is not an act of God! It is an act of man, and let’s hope man can stop it soon!

I went to our beach this morning and stood with my feet in the clear, clean Atlantic water and looked out to the Gulf Stream 3 miles off shore, and thought the following. “I leave tomorrow. I wonder - when I return to this beach in July - will I stand here surrounded by the stench of oil, dead and putrefying fish and birds, my feet buried in oil tar?”

According to the Bible God gave man dominion over the earth. If that is so – which I doubt - God can just as well take that dominion away. *

I’m horrified and angry! Anyone who isn’t is a fool!

*As I’ve said before, I don’t pretend to know what God wants, so this statement is purely hypothetical.