Monday, October 31, 2011

Three Classes of People

"There are three classes of people: Those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see."

– Leonardo da Vinci, 1452 - 1519

James with us from Charlotte

Working from home, I can leave the radio on in the background, and not disturb my co-workers.  Last week Thursday, I heard one of the least enlightened, dumbest, most clueless, speaking against-his-own-self-interests US citizens than I think I've ever heard in my life.   The radio show as "Talk of the Nation" on NPR and they were discussing reactions to the various "Occupy" movements.  So that you can see the comments, I've copied an excerpt of the interview (link) here: (I added BOLD emphasis)

"CONAN:  Let's see if we could go next to - this is James. James with us from Charlotte.
JAMES: Hi. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, and we have had for about three weeks now a bunch of people camping out at the federal court house, doing this, you know, all these protests. And you know, granted, these protests aren't nearly as mass quantity in numbers as the people in like, you know, Pennsylvania or New York or California, but my whole thing is, is that these people are so aggravated that the police are stepping in and arresting them and breaking this up. Well, all these people are doing is creating civil disobedience and disorder.
I mean, you've got people chanting, ranting and raving over megaphones for hours of the night. You've got people beating on drums. And what does this create? It creates nothing but disorder. If these people want to make a change, join Congress. Or take all these people and pull your money out of these banks and keep them stored in a fireproof safe at your house. I mean, I just don't understand why all these people think that gathering mass numbers is going to create change for America.
ADLER: I'm interested in one thing that you just said. They're actually using megaphones? That's very rare. The entire Occupy movement has been basically doing this human microphone idea, and they have not been using loudspeakers. I'm very intrigued that you actually have sound systems being used in these.
JAMES: Well, that's, I mean, okay, maybe that was - maybe wasn't the correct term that I should have used. But my point is, is that by having hundreds of people ranting and raving, you know, a phrase over and over and over, how does that create order in this world? I mean, and it's very unfortunate that veteran got injured the way that he did. But the point is, is that nobody put a gun to his head and said you have to come to this protest. He did it voluntarily.
And I'm sorry to say, and I'm very thankful for all people who serve our country, but if you choose to go overseas to fight in a war and you choose to bleed in a foreign land, then you come over to America and you choose to go on a protest like this, I'm sorry to say that you can bleed on American soil for all I care. I'm well below the poverty level. In fact, I've been denied help from the government for feeding myself through EBT. I make maybe 11 thousand, 12 thousand dollars a year, and I'm a cook. And I've been denied EBT assistance, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to complain about not being able to eat some days. I find a way to eat. And in fact, I....
CONAN: James?
CONAN: James, I think we're going to give somebody else a chance, OK?
JAMES: OK. My last point is this. I have multiple pending felony charges that I'm battling in a court right now. I can still find a job, and all these other people can find jobs. Go deliver papers. Go split firewood. It's the winter. Deliver mail. There's thousands and thousands of options that these people have. They've got to get out there and find it. Living in a park is not the way to do it.
ADLER: Thank you very much for calling, James.
CONAN: James, good luck - and good luck with the felony charges. We're talking about the Occupy Wall Street movement and whether they've worn out their welcome in some places. Our guest is Margot Adler. You're listening to TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News."

Okay, so felony-charges-pending-James wants everyone in America to quietly shut up, make less than minimum wage (remember, Republicans running for President want to abolish the minimum wage and let the market decide), work temporary jobs, without health care, without any hope of ever getting out of debt, living with a continually declining standard of living... so we can be like you James?  $11K to $12K a year, you don't "get by" James, unless you are living with your parents rent-free.  Maybe $11K or $12K a year + a 'life of crime' and you can 'get by'.

And James, "EBT" in North Carolina (AKA "Food Stamps") has been cut back tremendously to serve primarily single mothers with dependent children who are living below the Federal poverty line.  Since you're male James, and apparently old enough to not be someone's dependent, you just need to work harder, and get those boot straps in order James.  Why are you wasting time calling into an NPR program?  Is your AM radio not working, and you couldn't tune into your daily does of Rush Dimbulb? 

I told Dr Desert Flower about this "James" character, and she was convinced it must have been a PRANK caller.   I am skeptical of her assessment that this was a prankster.  I am 99% sure that he was authentically indignant that anyone was creating any disturbances and upsetting his simple view of the world.  He sounded quite happy that Scott Olsen bled "on American soil".  Unbelievable.  Yes, it was terrible that veteran Scott Olsen stood peacefully, holding a flag that said "Iraq Veterans For Peace". He was just begging to have a gas canister shot at his head! 

And all those protesters, yes James, they just haven't tried hard enough yet.  They're all just lazy SOBs, looking for a hand-out.  None of them have sent out a single resume (those are the summaries of your work experience James, similar to what your "wrap sheet' or 'arrest record' is, but in a positive sense).  None of them have taken out a mortgage that is underwater now (mortgages, James, that's what the people whose homes you live in or visit have).  None of them have friends or relatives without health care who are now bankrupt from trying to pay their medical bills.  None of them have honorably served their nation in an all volunteer military in an unjustified and un-funded war launched by Republican plutocrats.  Yes James, their all just lacking motivation.  Thank you for elucidating that. 

It is ignorant, uninformed, not-self-aware, semi-sentient sheep like James who are the Vast Majority of the poor who vote Republican against their own self interest or who think they are somehow "libertarian", or who will quietly do whatever 'the man' tells them to do without thinking, without protest, with only an occasional felony charge against them.  James, you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  You're entitled to your own opinions James, but when you call into an NPR program, and voice your ignorance, expect to be called out on it and held up as an example of why so many Americans just "don't get it".

What Percent Are You?

As I'm surrounded by millions of temporarily embarrassed millionaires, I ask you:  "What percentage of the US wealth landscape are you?"  Well, that liberal bastion, the Wall Street Journal, has a calculator where you can find out (link here).

And if you are indignant that you "pay your fair share while so many others don't pay anything in taxes", I recommend the following Kiplinger's sites, that show you how much you make, and what percentage of Americans make as much as you do, and what percentage of the total tax revenue you represent.

Links here: "How do you stack up?"
and here: "Where do you rank?"

Surprised are you?   Millions or Americans are, since they have a "fact allergy".

As Jon Stewart and Colbert have both pointed out, we can take a few more percent from the richest Americans who can most afford it to close the budget gap, OR, take 100% of everything that the poorest 25% of Americans make, every penny they earn, and it won't even match up to 1/2 as much as a 3% tax hike on the richest Americans would bring in.  But like EVERY numb-skull running for the Republican nomination, they wall want to "broaden the tax base".  Yes, geniuses, tax the poorest Americans more who can barely feed themselves, and leave the richest "job creators" alone so that the poorest have to work harder at staying alive while the richest can think harder about perhaps someday, maybe, creating a job perhaps, if it fancies them and they haven't found a better off-shore tax haven into which to put their money.

Halloween Approacheth

7 more hours until Trick or Treaters begin to arrive.  I am looking forward to seeing little kids in costumes having fun.   I am Not looking forward to seeing teenagers with pillow case in hand and no costume who are demanding candy - impotent little thugs whose parents have failed miserably.

I'm hoping Dr Desert Flower doesn't work all the way through dusk and past candy hours as she has every year since we moved here... but... that's the life of a medical researcher.

Around our front door, there's little spiders who have built tiny webs in the corners and contours.   As I was cleaning up the front yard and front door last weekend, I intentionally left the webs there, to help build "ambiance"  =)

For those who don't "believe in Halloween" or don't "support it", that's fine.  Good for you.  Just please do not proselytize to me or anyone I know about how you consider Halloween to be "evil", the "work of the devil", and do not try to push "Jesus-ween" on me.  If I were a kid who was given a Bible[TM] at a trick-or-treat door, I would grab the Bible[TM], scream as if I was being burnt, and throw it to the ground.  If I was the parent of a child who received a Bible while trick or treating, I'd begin to "speak in tongues", and accusing the people in the home of being heretics, and then quoting Revelation and Jeremiah to them angrily.   ...but my son is no longer anywhere near to being of trick or treating age  =)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Scott Olsen's Condition Improving

Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran who was standing, in his Iraq war fatigues, with a flag, next to a navy veteran at the Occupy Oakland protest against corporate greed and a plutocracy accountable only to its well funded masters, is stable condition after brain surgery, NPR is reporting.  Brain surgery that he needed after an Oakland Police tear gas canister fired at his head knocked him to the ground, where other protesters ran TO aid him.  Unfortunately, when the other protesters ran to him, Oakland Police then fired a concussion grenade which exploded not far from Olsen's injured head.  The video shows it here.

Yes, Scott Olsen volunteered to serve his country in the military, in an unjustified war, during a period of unprecedented economic decline and rampant unemployment, and made it back to his country alive, without being killed by an Iranian or Pakistani engineered IED, only to have an angry, frightened, poorly trained member of law enforcement shoot a tear gas canister at his head, and another at his wounded body.

Scott Olsen was not an unemployed "bum".  No, he was employed at a Bay Area technology firm.  Unlike many of his fellow returning brothers in arms, he had a job, but was standing peacefully with the protesters, holding a flag that said, of all terrible things "Iraq Veterans For Peace" - how despicable of him!  Doesn't he know that he was fighting a holy jihad, launched with genuine, iron clad justification to liberate Iraqi citizens from their oil?   er, I mean, their dictator?

But I am pleased to hear that his neurosurgeons are saying his condition is improving substantially, and saddened that it was in the US that he was severely injured, while protesting peacefully.

Danke Deutschland Bundestag

The non-elites of the world, the 99% of us who have not extended credit in fictional financial inventions to Greece, Italy, Spain, and the rest of indebted Euro Zone thank the German Bundestag for having a heart and providing some form - however temporary - of debt relief to Greece this week. 

Now, the 99% of us can continue to stock up on canned goods, ammo, pitch forks, torches, duct tape, face masks, grain alcohol, old jars (with which to make hurl-able cocktails), batteries, generators, spare gas cans, dried fruit, coffee, tea, storage containers of water, candles, etc... for a few more months..  or years... before the next world wide Depression.   A Republican in the White House in 2013 will accelerate that process with removal of all regulations - repealing even the impotent ones that are in place now.

Oakland Raided

Shrodinger Warning

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rangers Lose game 6

Beers, Steers, and .... Texas rangers lose game 6 of the World Series, to a Cardinals Home Run in extra innings!!!
Yeeeeeeeeeee Haw!     Good night everybody!

Dark Side of the....

Pink Floyd, Dark Side Of The That's No Moon

If You Don't Sin

Winter Day Hike Planning, GC

Friends, Family, and Frequent JustJoeP visitors know by now that I'm a planner - I don't like to not have a plan, or at least a contingency, brewing on the back burner of my mind for things to come.  I'm not a Russian, but I do enjoy having a plan as well as devising the plan.

In December, our son will be coming to Arizona to visit his mother, Dr Desert Flower and I.  While Nathan Jr and I have hiked from the Grand Canyon Bright Angel trail head to Plateau Point - where we looked WAY down and saw the Colorado River - and back in one day back in July of 2008, we've never hiked all the way down to the river and back.  Nor have we hiked "rim to rim". In fact, the National Park Service WARNS park visitors to not attempt it in one day, on their web site, on their shuttle bus advertising signs, in their hand-out literature at the park.  Some EXTREME hikers have done rim-to-rim-to-rim (R2R2R) hikes, in a day...  but they are generally insane, and much younger than I am.  42 miles, R2R2R and almost 2 miles elevation change, is too much for my mind to consider.

But down to the river, and back, in one day, is definitely do-able.  I consulted with my colleague Bill G who has hiked the Grand Canyon 13 times, several of those as day-hikes.  He gave me a recommendation that sounds very practical:
1) Start at South Kaibab trail, at milking hours, on a cold Winter early early morning, with no cloud cover and substantial moon light
2) Carry all the water you need to get down to the river - Kaibab has no water sources.
3) Cross the river on the Kaibab suspension bridge and Refill water containers at Phantom Ranch.
4) Begin the trek back up, along the Bright Angel Trail, crossing back over the river on the Bright Angel suspension bridge.
5) Refill water containers again at Indian Gardens, which is about 1/2 way up to the South Rim.
6) Slug up the last 1/2 of Bright Angel in the afternoon, consuming the rest of the water, and avoiding the copious piles of mule dung.  Winter temperatures will help to reduce the stench and "freshness" of the droppings. 

The Bright Angel Trail is somewhat of a carnival atmosphere, with hordes of European & Asian tourists - some prepared, some in flip flops and tank tops without sun screen.   That's not really my ideal hiking atmosphere, but Bill G assures me that the Kaibab descent will be well worth it, with multiple rim-to-rim views.  There's even a "Ooh Ahh Point" overlook, where we'll take lots of pictures.  Our early start will also assure that few other hikers will be on the Kaibab trail with us.  We might even run into a deer or elk or two, if we are lucky.

So Nathan Jr and I will do the Rim to River to Rim hike, if we're feeling well, if there's no snow forecasted, and if there's enough moonlight to hike by.  Since the New Moon will be on Christmas Eve (a Saturday night) this year, and Dr Desert Flower would much rather prefer to be home than to be driving us back to Phoenix on Christmas Eve, we'll plan on embarking on the hike sometime the week before Christmas. 

While I thought the July 2008 hike almost killed me, I was 40 pounds heavier, with a H1AC 1.5 points higher, and in much worse shape when I tried this 3 years ago.  I also stupidly took a massive B vitamin dose with a "Zipp Fiz" at the resting point at Indian Gardens, which sent my heart beating way too fast, raised my blood pressure, and made me think I was going pass out as I hiked back up.  I won't be doing THAT again, and instead, I will consume good old fashion water, as I ascend.

Stay tuned, I will be sure to post images here from "Ooh Ahh Point", and elsewhere along the trail.  Lots of yoga, Phoenix mountain hiking, and stationary bike riding between now and then.

Affluent Effluent

I almost titled this post "Greek Debt? Euro Crisis? What, Me Worry?"   But then the ironic alliteration of "Affluent Effluent" struck me as much more appropriate as I composed it.

Alfred E Neuman is famously quoted for the phrase "What, me worry?"  And I hear this alot from Americans regarding the current European financial crisis.  Greek debt, Italian bonds, Spanish debt, Irish debt, Portuguese debt... the entire inflated bubble of imaginary worth is getting close to popping.  The inherent evil of CDS (credit default swaps - where the rich take out insurance bets on losers), CDOs (collateral debt obligations, where the rich have packaged high risk debt into beautiful, delicious bundles of AAA rated debt [using credit agencies which they have paid off]) and plutocratic international banking is getting close to imploding, me thinks.

But again, why should I, a somewhat average American member of the 99% care if a bunch of bankers lose their shirts / take a hair cut / feel some pain from their really crappy investments in "financial instruments" created by MIT engineers who've bought into Larry Summers (and his despicable like) version of reality?  After all, they're getting what they deserve, right?  Nope.  Completely wrong.

I do not really understand how international finance schemes work in much detail.  I leave that to my friends who trade in crucibles and who are traditional pineapple practitioners - and the little I know about banking and finance I've picked up from my very smart and very patient friends.  But, I do have a Colbert-like "gut feel" for how Systems work.  As a practicing engineer for 2 dozen years, I've gotten a pretty good feeling of how well functioning systems work, and how to fix most things when they start to malfunction. 

Systems that are designed soundly with solid fundamentals and that are built using high quality products and materials and are documented thoroughly are much easier to fix, to tweak, to manipulate, to improve, to repair, to build upon and to salvage.  One very simple, very ubiquitous example of such a design, is a modern waster water sewage treatment system.  1000s of such systems are functioning well across North America, Europe, Australia, and a few in parts of Asia, parts of South America, and very few parts of Africa.  The pipes carry away the feces, urine, bath water, dish water, and wash water by gravity down to large settling ponds and treatment tanks where chemicals and microbes do very efficient work to convert nastiness into much less nasty effluent - and in some communities (like Flagstaff & San Antonio), into a non-potable irrigation & recreational water source.  In its component parts, its a very simple system, and has worked for more than a 100 years in many communities. 

The affluent rich, the shrinking middle class, and the poor all create the inputs into the system that result in effluent out of the system, and it all flows down-hill - gravity, though just a "theory" like evolution works in the real world, just like evolution works in the real world, regardless of anyone's belief system.  The affluent live far from the smells of the effluent, buffered by the middle class who live adjacent to the smells of the effluent adjacent poor neighborhoods (like my paternal grand mother's 2 bed room home [where she raised 5 children in the 50s] in East Chicago down the street from the EC Water Treatment plant was located before she died).  It's a basic fact, a very stark reality how the affluent have very effectively isolated themselves from the effluent they created.  Isolated geographically, economically, and in a olfactory sense as well.

So understanding how systems work, and understanding how resourceful and enterprising and the affluent 1% are, and knowing how it was the richest of the rich 1% who invented and propagated and facilitated these fictional financial schemes where credit was extended to entire nations the same way that credit was extended to the majority of my Phoenix neighbors whose homes were foreclosed in the last 3 years by the same banks run by the same geniuses who cling so dearly to derivatives...  seeing all this, it is not a quantum leap to see the European Financial crisis and say "yep, that's gonna hurt the regular citizen the hardest".  Goldman Sachs has massive amounts of funds invested in hedging their bets that Greece and Italy will default.  And Jamie Dimond still has Tim Geithner on speed dial, so those two peas-in-a-pod will make sure any European effluent not only doesn't touch Goldman, but that it won't get anywhere close enough to down wind for Goldman to smell it. 

The same goes for Shitty Bank, Well-Too-Far-To-Go, Chase-Yourself, and Skank of America.  Like Goldball Sacks, they will still give their "talented executives" mind boggling bonuses in the Q4 2011 Hanukkah / Christmas season.  They will still slowwwwwwwwwwwwwly process HARP refinancing at a glacial pace, denying consideration of short sales and refusing to write down any principal on any residential mortgage loan anywhere.  They will not only raise ATM usage charges, but they'll nickle and dime their poorest customers, who have the lowest deposits in their accounts, with Romney-esque fees, penalties, and other regressive but profit-stream strategies.  They'll claim they need to do this because of the global economic crisis (which they created), and it will be the average citizen who will pay the price.

There are no effective regulators anymore.  There's no prosecutions, there's no penalties, there's no teeth in the financial laws and regulations on the books currently.  Republicans want fewer regulations and weaker rules than what we have now.  Perhaps sometime during President / Emperor / Great Leader Rick Perry's 2nd or 3rd term, in a post apocalyptic American land scape governed by martial law, average citizens will look back at the "good old times" prior to 2001, when you could own your own home, use credit universally, not have to wear a bullet proof vest, not have to barter for food, gasoline, or ammunition, and could speak in English rather than broken Mandarin or Marklar.  The affluent will make sure their gated communities, guarded and walled compounds, and island resorts are well isolated from any and all of the effluent they're generating and the system they've engineered to keep them separate and very unequal from the steaming masses. 
I hope this serves as a "Clarifier" to all (and look where the output of the "Clarifier" goes!)

Koch Brothers Funded Study PROVES Climate Change IS REAL

The Koch Brothers debunk Fox News created "controversy" that Hannity, Beck, and Murdoch's other minions propagated, where they tried to obfuscate the FACTS that Climate Change Is Real.

Well, it took the Daily Show (link to "Weathering Fights" here) to highlight this.

Richard Muller, the Berkeley Physics Professor embarked in an extensive research study to try and "prove" that Global Warming was an inflated lie, propagated by liberal scientific elites.  The Koch brothers funded the study.  Last week, Mueller published an op ed in the Wall Street Journal - you know, that liberal rag - in which he said "Global Warming is real" (link here). 

"Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer." - R.Muller, WSJ, 21Oct2011

It is pathetic and despicable that main stream media (CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, Bloomberg, BBC, etc) and right wing media (Fox and all of Murdoch's Newscorp empire) failed to cover this or highlight this with even a fraction of the amount of conflated coverage they devoted to "Climate Gate" 2 years ago.

There is no debate, there is no "uncertainty", the FACTS are that climate change is real, global warming is real, and the Koch Brothers funded research that proves it is real - even though they hoped (and prayed, maybe?) that Muller's research would prove it is "made up", contrived, exaggerated, part of some "natural cycle" or "God's will".

Believe it or not, Science relies on facts and peer review from other scientists.  Science doesn't care what you believe, because it is not a belief system.  It's a factual basis for exploring the Universe.

And after the opening segment, Aasif Mandvi talked to a complete idiot from Fox News, Noelle Nikpour,  who nearly made Dr Desert Flower's head explode, where Global Warming, Evolution, and the HPV vaccination were criticized as "scamming the American people" (link here) in a segment called "Science - What's It Up to?".    I laughed heartily at the idiocy Nikpour recited, perfectly rehearsed Republican talking points, but DDF started to become physically ill the longer we watched it.  It was a perfect example of how America is sliding deeper into the intellectual and competitive chasm of Idiocracy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Maynard Believes God Enriches?

Maynard James Keenan, the creative force behind Tool, Perfect Circle, and Puscifer, is also striving to be a world class wine maker here in Arizona.  Originally from Ohio and Michigan, after he served in the Army, Maynard moved to LA and formed the band Tool.  After he made millions of dollars in Tool and Perfect Circle, he caught the wine making virus that others rich and famous people have succumb to, like Francis Ford Coppola, Gerard Depardieu, Greg Norman, Mick Fleetwood, Dave Matthews, and Antonio Banderas, to name a few. 

The Comedic Documentary "Blood Into Wine" details Maynard's efforts, in great detail.  I have enjoyed several Arizona Stronghold wines, but I find them to cost about 2X as much as similar quality wines I can find from France, Italy and Spain.  Many local-vore restaurants here in Arizona carry Maynard's wines in their cave, and it's a good standard "Go To" wine when faced with a list full of over-priced Californians, Oregonians, Washingtonians, or super-sicky-sweet southern Arizona candy wines, I go with the AZ Stronghold, and it has not failed to deliver - though my buddy Ryan (also a Tool fanatic) in Atlanta has had at least one terrible bottle of Stronghold that "tasted like dirt" as he described it - so no wine maker is perfect.

Well, Arizona is celebrating its centennial next year.  Yes, it's hard to believe it's only been 100 years since the 48th state entered the union and stopped killing its indigenous peoples and actively participating in robber-baronism - States grow up so fast!  Remember when they were cute little territories or colonies?  After becoming a state, Arizona certainly did not stop robbing the Indians of their resources (water, mineral, scenic, etc), but it did adopt the state motto:  Ditat Deus, which means in Latin "God Enriches".  Not the Earth Mother God of the native Hopi or Navajos...  no, that Christian[TM] God, imported from Europe... or maybe that LDS uniquely American Jesus, imported from Upstate New York & Missouri.  Either way, "Ditat Deus" is emblazoned on state seals and state documents.  Even my PE stamp has it in teeny tiny letters.

So when Arizona ran a competition for who would be named the official centennial wine maker, Arizona Stronghold won, and they're cranking out many fine bottles (priced between $15 and $25, depending on where you buy it retail, or about $40 to $60 in restaurants).  The other Arizona wines I've tasted at the DBG and elsewhere has been too sweet, or too nasty to stomach, so I am not surprised Stronghold won.  What I AM surprised by, is that Maynard James Keenan agreed to put "God Enriches" on his hand crafted, passionately developed product with his name on it.  Maynard has no love of God (links here, here, and especially here, as Judith was his mother who died after being in a semi vegetative & incapacitated state for many years following an aneurysm).

So is Maynard James Keenan now embracing a belief in God, promoting a positive image of deism?  Or is he selling out his values to put on a state motto onto his own wine in order to sell 10s of thousands of bottles of centennial wine?  I don't know.

I do know that the "Rose table Wine" variety we purchased was good quality, drinkable, and went well while chilled with brie, gouda, and dried fruit on a hot (99F) Arizona October afternoon a few weekends ago.  I've not tried the red and white varieties Stronghold is making, but they're probably good as well.  After all, I hear that "God Enriches"  =)


Speaking of steering-wheel-drummable songs... both my son and I have drummed to this classic Reznor work "Sin" a myriad of times in the Honda Civic, Accord, and Volvo V70 over the years.

First Open Window Day of the Fall

It got down into the upper 70s today here in the afternoon, so I opened up the windows chez nous.  The light breeze brought no nasty industrial dairy farm smells wafting towards West Phoenix, so it was remarkably pleasant.  First time I did yoga pool-side since Q2 earlier this year.

"Relative humidity is 28%.  Partly cloudy, and 78, here on K-Jazz."

Supposed to get down into the upper 50s tonight..  that'll be much cooler than the rest of September and October put together.

Hummingbirds were going nuts over all the blooming lavender in the back yard, and one of the aloes that I put in a Big pot has sent out a massive flower stem shoot, long before the plants that are in the ground have sent any shoots up this year.

Explaining Occupy, Simply

Diane Rehm's program this morning just had a wonderful, calm, sane, detailed, fact filled, hour long discussion about The Occupy Movement [Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Baltimore / Occupy Roanoke / Occupy K Street, etc].  Link here to read, Link here to listen.  It DID NOT focus on the outrageous, easily ridiculed and easily dismissed fringe elements that all of Rupert Murdoch's empire repeatedly depicts. 

"Why Occupy Wall Street is Now More Popular Than the Tea Party" - one of Diane's finest shows.

I am going to be sending this to all of my relatives, friends, and acquaintances who label the Occupy movement as
-"get a job you lazy bums!"
- "wealth redistributionists"
- "socialists"
- "un-American"
and in response to them when they say "as soon as the weather gets cold, they're going to all go back home and back to school". 

Maybe some of them will...  but many of the unemployed, retired, disillusioned, and motivated members of the movement will not give up so easily.

For our part, Dr Desert Flower and I will be taking the Occupiers some supplies this weekend - nuts, soup, dried fruit, trash bags, sanitary hand wipes, rice, coffee, tea, etc.   At least here in Phoenix, they won't have to deal with snow this Winter... but they will have to deal with Capital Police arrests and fines.
In Phoenix, part of the libertarian South West, many Tea Party members have joined ranks with the Occupy movement, peacefully, to show a united front against corporate greed & plutocracy - not quite what the Koch brothers and Dick Armey intended.  =)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beautiful 15/8

The Day I Tried to Live, off Soundgarden's Superunknown album - one of the most lovely examples of 15/8 time signature I've ever played (7/8 + 4/4, in my book, = 15/8).  The times I've drummed this on my steering wheel while driving cross country is innumerable.  It keeps running through my head this morning as I compare three different spread sheets to reconcile component damage limits that I inherited from predecessors 3, 4, and 5 years ago. (Lyrics here)

Tip of the Hat to Matt Cameron for his solid work.

Monday, October 24, 2011

E Much More Than A

I just finished watching the painful DVR of Sunday Night Football, where the New Orleans Saints wiped up the stadium with the Indianapolis Colts.  7 to 62, the Colts lost, making it their 7th loss in a row.  Ouch.

PEyton Manning has severe neck injuries that have prevented him from playing for the Colts, leaving them leaderless, quarterback-less, and lifeless.

Sean PAyton, the coach for the Saints, was apparently not missed, as his team easily routed Indianapolis in the New Orleans Superdome.  Sean PAyton played as quarterback for the Chicago bears in 1989, and then Ditka and the Bears let him go.  He's proven himself to be a MUCH better coach than he ever was a player.  Last week, PAyton's tibia was shattered when he was accidentally tackled/clobbered on the side lines by his own tight end Jimmy Graham during a game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers October 16th.  Assistant coach Joe Vitt who coached Sunday night showed that PAyton was not as necessary to his team's success as the lack of a PEyton was on the playing field.

Winchester Zombosium

On the BBC World radio broadcast this afternoon, I heard an interview with Dr Marcus Leaning of the University of Winchester, regarding their upcoming Zombosium in Winchester this weekend.  The Zombosium will study the popular appeal and how the media focuses upon zombies in film, TV, youtube, video games, etc. 

Now, before you dismiss this anecdote as "just zombie related", silly & superfluous, I propose the following theorem:  "We are all zombies, or are all fighting against zombies, in one degree or another". 
  • If you own your home, is the mortgage underwater?  Or perhaps in a stagnant real estate market where your home's value is not growing? If so, you are a financial zombie.
  • If you rent where you live, is your land lord benevolent, accommodating, forgiving, congenial without being over-bearing or intrusive?  Is your rent low, or even reasonable? Or can you not wait until your lease ends and you can get the heck out of there?  If so, you may be a rental zombie, shuffling through time until your lease finally ends.
  • If you are fully employed, have you been getting awesome raises each year, with awesome bonuses, that you've worked hard for and have earned?  Or have you worked hard, or maybe hardly worked, and your wages have risen 3%, 1%, or 0%?  If so, you are an indentured zombie; working hard, Fast Zombie like 28 Days Later, hardly working, slow Sean of the Dead like zombies.
  • Are you under-employed, or employed in the United States and you have no health insurance, because you don't live in Massachusetts, Vermont, or San Francisco?  You are trying to keep from getting sick because you can't afford a trip to the emergency room?  If so, then you are a zombie-in-waiting, or a "stasis zombie".  One good accident or injury, and you'll fully embrace being a zombie too.
    The best Thelma & Scooby depiction, Ever
  • If you are a die hard Republican, and you're not LDS or not a Billionaire who has embraced Mitt Romney, and your preferred candidate can't seem to break into double digits in the polls and probably won't even be considered for a vice presidential slot in 2012?  If so, you are somewhat of a conservative zombie.
  • If you voted for Barack Obama and hoped for change and a reform of the corrupt federal political system which has strangled the middle class in America, and instead have seen a continuation of Bush's policies, with one iFold after another from your winning President and his party of collapsing spelunkers, and you are more than slightly disappointed at one failure after another to stand up to the orange man, the whiner from Virginia, and the oligarchical fraternity known as The Family?  If so, you are a disillusioned progressive zombie.
So you see, whether you ARE a zombie yourself, or your neighbors have already been bitten by one, or perhaps you have friends or family who have been affected... you are among zombies.  Zombies are not glorious or sexy or attractive in any way.  They are repulsive, nasty and slowly decaying.  Zombies are voracious, and they don't stop, until Winter freezes them, or they decompose to the point of no longer being ambulatory, or you take out their brain stem - the old reptilian vestige that evolved into the wondrous brain bouncing around inside of each of our craniums today.  And having such a zombie threat all around us, that we cannot (legally) lash out against, is more than a little bit frustrating.  So seeing the protagonists in Zombieland, The Walking Dead, or a myriad of other vehicles take out the living dead, fight against the over-whelming forces that are trying to devour them... well...  I can see the appeal in that.

Tip of the hat to Dr Zaius for several of the images on this page.  May he continue to fight against the imposing zombie horde to his last simian breath.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Scots & Bonds

I heard on BBC radio last week that Scotland is trying to sell their own government bonds, and loosen the UK's centralized grip on Scottish government more than they've already managed.  I wish them well in their efforts.

I found this image of Bruce Campbell last week, and thought I'd post it for all my Scottish friends, like Ryan McF.  Enjoy

Saturday, October 22, 2011

7 Nation Army

No David Brooks, you're incorrect.  The 99%'ers are NOT 2% of the electorate as you stated on NPR Friday afternoon.  The "Tea Party" might be a vocal 11% (as you stated), but the occupiers are more than 2%.  Perhaps 2^6 (or 64%).  Or if you're stuck on "2%", don't drop the first decimal place.  Try 72% or 82%.

For some reason, 7 Nation Army by The White Stripes keeps running through my head this morning.  Lyrics are somewhat appropriate.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Free Market Kids

Seasonal Oviparity Variation

Last weekend, I experienced first hand the effects of seasonal variation in Anatidae Oviparity.  At the Phoenix Farmer's Market I couldn't get any duck eggs!  Dr Desert Flower and I arrived at 845am - about 30 minutes later than I normally try to get there.  As we were out of eggs at home, I headed to my "go to" supplier, Crooked Sky Farms - no eggs. "We haven't had any for 2 weeks now" the farmer told me.  Hmmm...

So I hustle over to Double Check Ranch's booth.  "Have the coyotes eaten your chickens?" I ask the rancher.
"No, but we haven't had any eggs for 2 weeks now. As soon as the weather starts to change, the hens stop laying eggs."  Oh man! "I'll be back to get some beef later!" I exclaim, as I spy a dozen eggs over at Chili Acres.

I dash over there to talk to the farmer.  The table displayed dozen is his last. "Chickens haven't been laying much lately" he tells me.  Sitting beside him is a friendly rustic wearing over-alls with a "Recall Pearce" button (Russell Pearce is the self declared emperor of the Arizona legislature, and there's an active movement to hold a recall election against him due to his draconian anti-immigration, xenophobic, 'solve problems that don't exist' political mindset, like SB1070).  I said to the rustic "I like your Pearce button" to which he replied "He should be shot!" .. a strong reaction, that took DDF and I aback momentarily.  DDF congenially replied "No, don't shoot him. that's what he'd do. Just get him out of office with the recall."  My wife, the consummate peace-maker.  As I purchased the last dozen eggs Chili Acres had, two other customers eagerly inquired if there were anymore.  Nope - no more.

As I googled about seasonal oviparity I found a great deal of research (links here, here, and here to name a few).  It's a well researched phenomenon, but I was unaware of it.  After my Chili Acres dozen is eaten, I thought I might get more eggs at Costco, who carries a "cage free" & "organic" 18 pack from Hidden Villa Ranch at a reasonable price ( ~ $5 I think).  As I looked up Hidden Villa, I was comforted to find they are the makers of the delicious Horizon organic butter I use too!  Yes, they have some very large, industrial sized hen houses at some of their locations, but they at least seem to "care" and proudly carry lines of organic dairy products.

Hickman's Proudly displaying a new mass production pen
This is in a STARK contrast to Hickman's "Family" Farms.   I will NOT be buying any eggs from Arizona producer Hickman's.  They supply many of the large grocery stores in Arizona.  I was driving down I-10 last week when I had the misfortune of being behind a Hickman's semi truck as I approached 83rd and 91st Avenues.  Hickman's paints a large industrial scene of hundreds of stacked, caged chickens on the back doors of their truck, which I WINCED when I saw them.  A look at the Hickman's website shows the cherry picked, snarky, self-justifying news clips and "studies" that ridicule sustainable, organic, healthy, local poultry farming.  They tout the antiquated and flawed Haugh egg index as "proof" that their massive factory farming produces "better", "safer", more "sustainable" and "healthier" eggs than any free range, organically fed, hand gathered eggs as I get from Crooked Sky, Double Check, or Chili Acres.  They mock and belittle humane methods of egg gathering, and I find their rhetoric and corporate philosophy antithetical to how I am striving to source my food.  Sure, with 10s of thousands (or 100s of thousands?) of hens, and mass production with force-fed hormones and antibiotics, seasonal oviparity variation is probably not as severe for such a formidable factory operation.  Yeah, yum.  =(

I will continue to patronize my local, healthy, sustainable, friendly, human & humane farmers and ranchers whose hens and ducks lay dark yellow nutrient rich yoked eggs, and avoid the factory industrial farms whenever possible.  And, I'll take a note that when the 100F temperatures return next March or April, that seasonal variations lead to irregular egg laying. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Betty White On Being Tough

I love Betty White
Thanks to Dr Zaius for this gem.

Kadhafi Captured?

MSNBC reports that Moamer Kadhafi was captured as his hometown of Sirte (link here).  If it is true, it is interesting that the capture comes just days after Hillary Clinton visited there.  Maybe the price of ammunition will stop sky rocketing, with fewer untrained troops pouring thousands of rounds out of their weapons?

We'll see...

If President McCain were in office, I am sure he'd see this as an opportunity to launch strikes against Iran, and open up a third front.  At least we don't have that to worry about...  in 2011 or 2012...   =\

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

McCain: Get Off My Bus!

My Senior Senator is having more and more "senior moments".  Today, John McCain went on a rant on the floor of the Senate about how ugly President Obama's bus is, and how terrible it is that it was made in Canada.  Sure, Prevost does have a plant in Quebec that makes fine bus shells.  They manufacture them for alot of people.  The presidential bus's shell was made there too, and then finished in Tennessee.  I think Tennessee is in America, isn't it?

Yep, it's a Prevost
What other bus in recent memory were Prevost buses?  Hmmm....
Another Prevost
Enough said.
I guess attacking a campaign bus choice without the facts is what someone does when they are trying to create a distraction and stall for time.  When the Democrats are pushing for jobs bills and financial reform, the Republicans are busy voting to ban abortions in emergency rooms and criticizing presidential buses. 

Ok, I get it.

Invester Romney Wants To Speed Up Foreclosurs

First it was "corporations are people my friend", and then last night, gaffe machine Romney says (link) what's really on his mind, while in Nevada, the foreclosure capital of the United States:

  "As to what to do for the housing industry specifically, and are there things that you could do to encourage housing?
One is, don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy up homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up, and let it turn around and come back up.
The Obama administration has slow-walked the foreclosure processes that have long existed and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang."

Wow.  Again, Mitt really does understand and sympathize with the 99%.  When the 99% with pitch forks and torches show up at one of his many homes, I hope he has a friendly chat with them.

If Mitt or his like-minded Republican friends get elected next year, watch as millions of Americans abandon their homes and underwater mortgages, in NV, AZ, FL, CA, and all around the USA.  Good luck renting to angry mobs, Mitt!

Lessig on Political Bankruptcy

Diane Rehm's guest today is Dr Lawrence Lessig, who has written "Republic Lost".  Dr. Lessig speaks very well and (I think) sees very clearly.  It is a shame that so few people will read his book or pay attention to what he's saying.  You can listen to the show here (link).

A few things he said that really stuck with me:
(single quoted, because my memory is not perfect, and I am going by recall since a transcript is not available) 'I was a friend of Obama's.  I taught with him and knew him in Chicago.  I campaigned for him, in every race, even the ones he lost. When he made that speech on January 20th in 2009, anything was possible. He ran as the reformer.'
'He said he was going to change the system, that the system was broken, and we needed change.  Hillary Clinton ran saying 'I am going to get in the saddle and ride this horse as far as it can go, I am not going to change the system' ' [JJP: THAT resonated with me, with an incredible clarity!]
'When Obama was handed his first budget, it had 7000 ear marks in it, and his first inclination was 'I am going to veto this' ... but then his advisers told him 'no, that will alienate all of the Democrats in Congress, you can't do that'.  Had he been firm, and vetoed that bill, the conflict would not have been Democrats vs Republicans, it would  have been All of Us vs a Corrupt System of Special Interests.'

Diane: 'President Obama ran into a stone wall in Congress'
'Part of the stone wall he (Obama) ran into was a stone wall of his own creation by defining the fight as one between Democrats & Republicans, so 1/2 the people were immediately against him'
[JJP: Hindsight is always 20/20]

What Do You Do With Your Plastic Rings?

I've been cutting mine, since the early 1990s.
I hope this turtle didn't find one of the 6-pack rings I didn't break apart in the first 20 years of my life.

Space for 60 Germans

Best Conductor Ever

Tonight, the Philharmonic will be playing a selection of tunes from King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Rush's album "A Farewell to Kings", with a Danny Carey drum highlighted percussion section.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fantastic Fun Fighting Foo

Dr Desert Flower and I saw the Foo Fighters at the US Airways Arena in downtown Phoenix last night.  We had very nice 4th row seats, adjacent to the 'standing-only' main floor, stage right, section 114 (about 20 seats away from the front of the stage).  Now that James brown is dead, I would say that Dave Grohl is not only the hardest working man in show business (Foo Fighters, Them Wicked Vultures, Queens of the Stone Age, husband & father) but is also probably have MORE FUN than any other performer in touring rock bands today.

I enjoyed Dave's drumming in Nirvana years ago, and did not initially embrace his Foo Fighters and Qof the SA work, but my buddy Ryan once posed the question to me over a beer several years ago "What other group in in America is making awesome rock music, that you can REALLY get into now a days? really, when you think about it, Foo Fighters have been for more than a dozen of years and continue today."  We were not talking about speed metal, heavy metal, dark gothic rock, happy-happy-pop-music-pablum, alternative music, or technically difficult progressive exploratory journeys into the musical wilderness.  He and I don't listen to hair metal bands, shock rock, top 40, country, western, or hip hop (though some old school can be fun, before it became an exercise in misogyny and about rebellion against 'da man)... and while Ryan enjoys blue grass and I have a proclivity for classic composers, classic jazz (not sticky jazz), depressing blues, silliness (likes SCOTS and TMBG) these are not considered "hard rocking bands".  Bands like Queen, Led Zeppelin & the Police don't exist anymore.

I challenge  JustJoeP visitors to comment here, to suggest "Hard Rocking Bands" that are still active and touring today.  Your suggestions will not be mocked or criticized - chacun sa merde - everyone has their own opinion.  This blog gives me a forum to express mine.

Lyrics to All My Life :

All my life I’ve been searching for something
Something never comes, never leads to nothing
Nothing satisfies, but I’m getting close
Closer to the prize at the end of the rope
All night long I dream of the day
When it comes around and it’s taken away
Leaves me with the feeling that I feel the most
Feel it come to life when I see your ghost
Calm down, don’t you resist
You’ve such a delicate wrist
And if I give it a twist
Something to hold when I lose my grip
Will I find something in there?
To give me just what I need
Another reason to bleed
One by one hidden up my sleeve x2

Hey don’t let it go to waste
I love it but I hate the taste
Weight, keeping me down) x2

Will I find a believer?
Another one who believes
Another one to deceive
Over and over down on my knees
If I get any closer
And if you open up wide
And if you let me inside
On and on I got nothing to hide x2


All my life I’ve been searching for something
Something never comes, never leads to nothing
Nothing satisfies, but I’m getting close
Closer to the prize at the end of the rope
All night long I dream of the day
When it comes around and it’s taken away
Leaves me with the feeling that I feel the most
Feel it come to life when I see your ghost
Then I’m done done, on to the next one
Done done, and I’m on to the next one x6
Done I’m done and I’m on to the next
Done done on to the next one
Done I’m done and I’m on to the next one
Done done on to the next one
Done I’m done and I’m on to the next


Done done on to the next one
Done I’m done and I’m on to the next

All my life I’ve been searching for something
Something never comes, never leads to nothing
Nothing satisfies, but I’m getting close
Closer to the prize at the end of the rope
All night long I dream of the day
When it comes around and it’s taken away
Leaves me with the feeling that I feel the most
Feel it come to life when I see your ghost
Calm down, don’t you resist
You’ve such a delicate wrist
And if I give it a twist
Something to hold when I lose my grip
Will I find something in there?
To give me just what I need
Another reason to bleed
One by one hidden up my sleeve x2

Hey don’t let it go to waste
I love it but I hate the taste
Weight, keeping me down) x2

Will I find a believer?
Another one who believes
Another one to deceive
Over and over down on my knees
If I get any closer
And if you open up wide
And if you let me inside
On and on I got nothing to hide x2

[in concert last night here, Dave G paused in a repeated coda... and said "here is where I am supposed to scream my head off..." and held the audience at bay for a good 2 or 3 minutes of tangents]


All my life I’ve been searching for something
Something never comes, never leads to nothing
Nothing satisfies, but I’m getting close
Closer to the prize at the end of the rope
All night long I dream of the day
When it comes around and it’s taken away
Leaves me with the feeling that I feel the most
Feel it come to life when I see your ghost
Then I’m done done, on to the next one
Done done, and I’m on to the next one x6
Done I’m done and I’m on to the next
Done done on to the next one
Done I’m done and I’m on to the next one
Done done on to the next one
Done I’m done and I’m on to the next


Done done on to the next one
Done I’m done and I’m on to the next

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Feline Toast Energy Solution

2000 Posts

...and Ron, it is primarily your fault.


Today marks the two thousandth and one JustJoeP blog post.  Thanks to all my followers and visitors on this series of tubes.

Dr Desert Flower and I are off to Home Depot to get flowers for planting in the back yard.  Winter really IS the time to be in Phoenix.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Not Memorex

I am not sure how the lamp remains standing... ?

When I was in High School, my buddy Ryan helped me to record hundreds of albums onto cassette tapes.  At first, they were Memorex, then later, TDK, with a few BASF thrown in here and there, whatever was on sale and was "chrome" I'd buy in bulk.  I'd purchased enough Memorex tapes and saved enough "proof of purchase symbols" (before bar codes were place on any product) that I got a free mail order Memorex T Shirt, which I wore for about 20 years before it finally fell apart with rotted out arm pits and a rip across the stomach where I caught it on some sheet metal.  DDF was very happy the day that T shirt finally went into the box of rags.

Mr Bubble (Makes getting clean almost as much fun as getting dirty), and the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Cheesasaurus T shirts I got in the late 80s, as a young father, I got matching large and child sizes, so that my son and I could wear matching shirts.   Those lasted through the Clinton Administration, but not into the Bush years.

A Message From Your Chamber of Commerce

We're heading towards 1929 all over again...

2112 - We've Taken care of Everything

Rush - 2112 (Live 1976) by tinkerdill
We've taken care of everything
The words you hear, the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes.

Smithers, Release The Hounds

And as a message to those "53%'ers"'re corporate America's wet dream.  You "work 3 jobs and still can't pay your bills, but you don't blame corporations." Really?  Go back to watching "Dancing with the Stars", Ultimate Fighting, NASCAR, or playing your video games, or maybe get a 4th job, and continue your indentured servitude.  You're never going to get ahead, because the system is rigged against you.  And you're so bad at math, you haven't figured it out yet.

You were not born into inherited 1% wealth, you didn't get an awesome education (with federal student aid) to land a spectacular job, and you're not going to win the World Series of Poker or the Power Ball lottery - but you'd need to be good at math to realize those last two, wouldn't you?  Your net worth and earned wages will continue to dwindle, as the 1% win the class warfare they're very successfully waging against the other 99%.

And you think that the "47% who don't pay taxes" make enough money to pay their rent comfortably? To eat nutritional foods? You think they can afford health care?  (LOL!) You think they're a bunch of free loading, welfare getting, lazy minorities do you?  Yeah, I used to think that too, until I was about 32 years old, and my wife, Dr Desert Flower, went to work at DSS (Department of Social Services) in South Carolina, tracking down dead beat dads. Guess what?  The dads were mostly white, uneducated, red necks.  Go figure.  Then, the longer I studied the issue and read about it, I came to find out, 90% of the "47%" are kids, students, grand parents, the working poor who can't find a nice job with health care and benefits or a pension, the homeless, the mentally ill, the recently fired.  You don't know any of them, do you, 53%'ers?  I do.  I know many of them.  I've worked with them, volunteered with them, lived next door to them, broken bread with them, and I am related to some of them.

And yes, a small percentage of the 47% who get all their Federal Tax refunded are minorities, but don't worry, in a few years, Caucasians will be minorities in America too. 

When that tide turns, do you really want to be on the side of the richest, greediest, dwindling minority of the super rich white people left?  You think Mr Burns is going to employ all of you? (LOL!)

Or do you want to stand with us, the 99%?

And lastly, since "corporations are people", shouldn't those corporations (by your own logic) be paying taxes, as good citizens?   Your logic is deeply flawed, fifty three percenters.  Do you have any idea of how blatantly hypocritical you are being?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Baldwin's Ads On Pledge Week Almost Make It tolerable

"Help me to destroy public radio..."

The KJZZ Arizona NPR station has taken to running pledge drives every quarter... it tends to invalidate my yearly pledge and drive me to turn off the radio... ugh.   thanks Republicans!  Just listen to Faux news instead, it's very unbalanced.

Kevin Bacon, Don't Die!

As a society, we need to do everything possible to keep Kevin with us.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gimmie Shelter

Excellent use of a guireo (the ribbed fish, used in latin percussion), in the intro, and throughout the tune Gimmie Shelter.  I refuse to let Activision's "Call of Duty, Black Ops" co-opt and steal this Rolling Stones classic from my memory, despite their extensive marketing campaign.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Support: Port-a-potties

Yesterday, I searched for a good hour on Google to try and find some site, somewhere, where Dr Desert Flower and I could donate to a fund that would supply Port-a-potty Rental Toilets to the "Occupy Everywhere" protesters.  As The Daily Show lampooned, the protesters are aggravating local businesses to urinate and defecate day after day during the protests.  Many of the protesters have little or no money to buy something at each store - and with unemployment as high as it is with hiring freezes nearly everywhere, I can understand and sympathize with the situation of "no money to patronize a local business" the protesters have. 

But I want them to continue to be able to protest against bank bail outs, against bought and owned politicians, against the plutocratic malaise that has gripped this country.  If they were holding protests in Phoenix (as they will Friday and Saturday this week) I'd take them water and food, but that still doesn't solve the "disposal of human waste" problem (and in fact, makes it worse, if the protesters are fed and well hydrated).  So in New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Des Moines, Los Angeles, Portland, and dozens of other cities in the US where the protesters number in the 100s or 1000s, why can't a Port-a-potty rental company be contracted to bring portable toilets to the protest areas?   If there was a fund to support it, I'd happily donate (since I am isolated by geography).  An RV won't work, as the tank is limited, and navigating a large RV through a major metropolitan area is extremely difficult.

Yes, there would be issues with permitting, and "where" to put the portable toilet, but this is America, and we are creative people.  The toilets have to be delivered by truck or trailer.  The protesters could occupy several parking spaces for a large truck to park, and each person with a full bladder or descending colon could hop on, do their business in a sanitary way, and then hop off for the next protester.  Sure, it would not be ADA compliant, but it would still serve 99% of the protesters very well.

If any JustJoeP readers / followers / visitors know of a friend, relative, acquaintance who has a portable toilet rental business in a major city where Occupy protests are on-going, please have them email me at JustJoePblog at gmail dot com.  Likewise, if anyone has heard of a legitimate donation web site where sympathetic individuals can support the cause in a sanitary, useful, meaningful way like port-a-potty rentals, where protesters are not burdening local businesses and fostering ill-will while inspiring negative media coverage, please let me know.

And if there are businesses that are letting protesters use the bath rooms, PATRONIZE those businesses, clean up after yourselves, and make as little negative impact on those sympathetic business as possible, please!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Iranian Children's Stories

I'm a father who's read his son many a children's story in my life time.  With this reference point, I was amazed and disturbed to hear a spokesman for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claim that the Iranian's government's proven involvement in an assassination plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the US in New York "a "child's story" meant to distract Americans" (links here and here).

A child's story?  Seriously?  Is that how children in Iran are raised, put to bed, intrigued... with stories of conspiracy with Mexican drug cartels, being monitored by the DEA, and plotting to explode a diner while the Ambassador ate there (probably killing lots of people who were not the Ambassador)?  Is this what goes for a "child's story" in Iran?   Sick, twisted, bizarre.  I do not understand the current state of leadership in Persia today.

Happily Ever After Formula

Monday, October 10, 2011

Extended Zombie Dreams

Last Night, Dr Desert Flower and I watched the evil season conclusion of AMC's BReaking BAd.  During the DVR-ing, I noticed a plethora of "Walking Dead" promos, and those planted seeds in my fertile subconscious.  Throughout the night last night (I woke up several times) I was in a series of dreams involving "I Am Legend" like zombies, huddled together in the day time and hunting the non-infected at night.

Except that the longer the dream went on, I found that it setting changed to an alpine setting in Bavaria, combined with the bleak "Walking Dead" lack of a color spectrum similar to The Road.  All the signs and store fronts in the dream were in German.  The world was being taken over by The Infected, but in the dreamscape that my subconscious architect created, unenlightened German scientists had created an insidious vaccine, that was available to only the richest, wealthiest persons in the world, and it didn't really work fully.  Everyone else, who was not borne of privilege and had not inherited their daddy's money were given partially potent, semi-solution inoculations, that either left them catatonic, or shriveled them up into raisin-like gollum smeagols who were not yet crazed and murderous but who were pathetic wretches nonetheless, or (and this is the grossest part)... they turned into pasty, pudgy like characters akin to those on Nick Swardson's Pretend Time, who were quite ugly, very annoying, and extremely disturbing to see my loved ones turn into right before my eyes.

My son, my father, Dr Desert Flower, and many of my friends in my nightmares each turned into these over-weight baby hueys wearing garish lipstick saying awkward, un-endearing things that they were completely unaware of how repulsive and annoying they'd become, as the German serum coursed through veins.  I'd gotten them to Europe in a less-than-stable water craft, and we fought our way across the Ruhr valley and into the Bavarian mountains, only to have the less-than-capable German serum completely screw them up.

Maybe I played too much Battleground WWII in previous years.  Maybe I've seen too maybe Hitler spoofs recently.  Perhaps it's my love of the French language, cuisine, and the phrase "soup to nuts" that I heard ad nauseum last week.  Halloween is approaching.  I don't know.  I do hold AMC partially responsible for a good deal of the material.