Sunday, September 11, 2005

How My Work Is Like A Retirement Community

In the midst of regaling some of my friends at work with one of my doubtless witty stories, I made the comment that when I get off work, I would go home. Unbeknownst to my brain, my tongue blurted out that I would go to "the home". This of course led to JHD commenting "The home? What are you in a retirement home?" I did note however that working here is like a retirement community. Don't believe me? Let the Devil explain it to you ....

1. Our day is defined by breaks and meals. Much like your aunt that your family callously threw into the hands of ex-cons posing as nursing staff who rifle through her goods during arts & crafts hour, we too measure our time by events during the day. For instance, we're tied to the phone as some elderly are confined to rooms. So we look forward to those 15 minutes when our tether is cut loose. During meals, we tend to migrate to our little cubby hole and simply stare blankly at our computers eating bland tasteless slabs of meat between bread. Trust me, when I get my lunch break, I am counting down how long 'til I leave this hell hole to go home.

2. We have field trips. We don't get those nifty field trips to Denny's for the early bird specials or to the nickel slots in Vegas. However, we do have the same sort of "team" day activities complete with games that even the most slovenly of us can compete in. Such athletic endeavors include walking over to touch a wall, the 10 yard brisk walk, donut gorging, and sitting for hours on end. Unfortunately, my request for seated "exercises" with Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart" have largely gone unheeded.

3. We have alot of shit to deal with. I would kill for some Depends with all of the bullshit I have to put up with some days. I don't know what's worse; having shit physically around my ass in a plastic diaper or having shit fed into my ear by the lazy, ill-mannered, socially inept, or unscrupulous legal community.

4. If you piss yourself, no one notices. Well, not really but it relates to that old saying: Doing a good job here is like pissing yourself wearing black pants, it gives you a warm feeling but no one notices.

5. Our days is planned to the minute. The elderly get shuffleboard or crafts time planned down to the minute. We get the same without the enjoyment; basically it's like this: 8-9 Answer jackass phone calls, 9-10 Answer moronic phone calls, 10-11 Answer braindead fuckhead calls ... you get the idea.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Gas Situation

Lindsay shed some light on the gas situation right now. If I remember hearing this correctly, the Saudis did tell us they won't be able to meet our oil / gas needs starting in 2015. Isn't that a hint and a half for the jackass in the White House to really start investigatin alternative energy sources?

Well, I've decided to post Lindsay's response. It's pretty eye opening....

Cincy! $36 for HALF a tank??? Dear God!!!

Basically, there's a ton of factors that are causing this spike in gas prices. First, demand for oil has skyrocketed. The Indian and Chinese economies are using up a TON of oil and will continue to do so in the future (an interesting aside, checkout the fight between their state oil companies for oil in the Caspian). U.S. oil demand is also expected to grow. Even with these high gas prices...people are still buying H2s so they can navigate the mean streets of their suburbs.

Oil producers can't keep up with this demand. This isn't like the 1970s, when the shocks were due to a political embargo by OPEC. Bush can "pressure" all he wants, but OPEC members are pumping at full capacity. OPEC (nor Russia) itself isn't a huge fan of these high prices...Russia would usually like to see $30-35 barrel. They're afraid that if oil prices are too high, it will cause a rcession, demand will drop, resulting in huge economic losses for them (and oil is the ONLY income for these countries, so it's disastrous) so they are pumping all they can to bring some equilibrium back to the market. Iraq won't be producing at full capacity for awhile...pipelines are constantly blown up, and many oil-producing countries aren't politically stable - rioting workers, shutdown refineries, etc. The areas where oil is cheap and easy to produce are drying out, whereas there is a ton of oil under the Caspian and the permafrost of Siberia, but it's extremely expensive to get out of the ground.

Of course, cars don't run on oil - it has to be refined into gasoline, which is another problem. There haven't been any refineries built in the U.S. since the 1970s. People don't want them in their communities, and oil companies don't want to build them - they're expensive and the profit margins from refining aren't that high (hard to believe, eh? lol). So, a huge growth in gas use, and no new refineries that can keep up with this. Also, states have different rules on what can and can't be added to gas. In California, for instance, the gas prices are always higher due to environmental regulations that stipulate the gas has to be "cleaner." So companies can only sell this specially refined gas in that state and can't draw on stocks from say, Texas.

And on top of this, the Gulf region is devastated...they produce a third of U.S. domestic oil supply...that's 1.5 million barrels a day that aren't reaching the market. Refineries are sitting under several feet of water, oil rigs are drifing will be awhile before production is up again.

When I eventually have enough money to buy a car, I seriously think it will be a hybrid...I don't see these prices going away anytime soon.

Hope that to the pub now! :)

I think I need to head to the pub myself; working here sucks ass!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Don't Blame Me ....

I've waited a while to really throw it the face of my friends who are denziens of the Anti-Christ, but now I get to say it.... Don't blame me, I voted for Kerry!!!

God, that is so sweet to be able to say it. With a 38% approval rating for the Anti-Christ, hopefully this is the beginning of the end of the Evil Empire.

I topped off the Jeep last night. I had a little under 1/2 a tank. It was the strangest thing to see the amount going up so quickly and the gallons creeping up. My total? $36.00; thankg God I had a 1/2 tank already or it would've easily crept towards $60.00.

Actually, I am hoping Lindsay can shed some light on this. She is a grad student in London who is studying exactly these sorts of issues. So be sure to check the comments section because I'll see if I can cajole her into giving us an explanation as to what is going on.