S.H.I.T. (Store High In Transport)

Years ago, actually “before 9/11” there were rumors that the Russians and the Chinese were trying their level best to get some kind of foothold in Iraq.  They were offering huge incentives to not only map the oil fields there, but to develop them to their full operational capacity.

This of course, did not excite the Bush & Cheney crew and shortly thereafter, we are there searching for WMD’s that did not exist and making the world a safer place by ousting the dictator that lived there.

Now this past week, some thirty six years after western oil giants were ejected from this country the Iraq Oil Ministry has awarded two year, no bid, contracts to these very same companies.  The deals are with U.S. based Exxon Mobil Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, France’s total oil, and Great Britians BP.

All the contracts are for oil-field repair work, technical support, but give these companies the “inside track” in securing enormously lucrative oil-drilling licenses.

Even today, Iraq’s oil fields remain mainly undeveloped, with some experts estimating over $30 trillion in oil assets still in the ground.  Now isn’t coincidental that the American public who was repeatedly reassured “that petroleum had absolutely nothing to do with the Bush administration decision to invade Iraq.”  All of a sudden, these boys are signing up with American Companies to do the work, while the Indian, Chinese and Russian oil companies were told to take a hike.  The bidding, or rather no bidding process, was secretive and non-transparent, mainly non-competitive.

Why on earth would you want a “non competitive pact with anyone” when the price of crude oil is where it is.

Now the Democrats are suggesting that a second economic stimulus check should be forthcoming and magically, the price of a barrel of oil is on the down slide.  Gasoline gets cheap all of a sudden, the pockets of the voters are flush, and they pander the vote one more time, using any tool available.

What a load of bovine excrement this is …. this is simply more government manure, which is kind of interesting in itself.

Manure, in the 16th and 17th centuries was a valuable and dangerous commodity.  In those days, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before commercial fertilizer’s invention, so large shipments of manure were common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a bi-product is methane gas. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.

Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!  Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening

After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term “Ship High In Transit” (S.H.I.T.) on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term ” S.H.I.T., ” (Ship High In Transport) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.  Much like myself, you probably did not know the true history of this word.

I had always thought it was a golf term.  My wife will sometime use it in the kitchen during the construction of Lasagna but I believe she spells it with two “o’s.”

Now I have been set straight on the mystery of the Oil Sands of the Middle East, it was a maintenance deal all along, it never was about oil at all.  And fortunately for me, I can now call it what it is.

Silly me, why couldn’t I see that one coming?


Notable Whatever

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “In Oklahoma, it is illegal to hunt a whale.” … Is this a great state or what?

So I am reading the WordPress.com dashboard and I am looking at the “fastest growing blogs” on the net and I am wondering, “What do they have?” I mean some of them are just sites promoting vacuum cleaners or household items, what in the world is making them the fastest growing items on the net?

There are a few things that I do not understand.  Jay Leno writes one piece, ONE PIECE, and it floats around the blogo-sphere for years? I put up stuff almost every day for four months and it goes nowhere.

I don’t get it. I really don’t.

As I am a firm believer that “people want and need to be fed happy news and flat out unadulterated gossip” not war, death, and unrest, I continue to daily forge on.  But often it is not understandable for me as a hack to figure out this popularity and interest.  I just keep hammering them out, running it up the flagpole to see if someone will salute it on a day to day basis.  Hopefully it will lead to something productive one of these days and some possible good may come out of it.

Enuff on that …….

Congress today raises the age for licking the syrup off a plate to thirteen. High summer temperatures and ever-increasing levels of U.S. beverage consumption are causing ice cubes across the nation to melt at “an alarmingly unprecedented rate,” the U.S. Department of Consumer Affairs reported recently.

After months of tirelessly supporting his wife on the campaign trail, devoted spouse and former president Bill Clinton breathed a resigned sigh Monday and carefully folded the charcoal silk, fitted sheath dress he had hoped to wear as first lady during next January’s inauguration and placed it back in its beautiful box.

Ho-hum, everyone insert a well deserved “yawn” here. The Dollar Store is running a special on Fig Newton’s today.  Crazy Headlines: “SPRINGFIELD, MO …  This week’s Secret Society meeting will be held at the city hall in room 233B.” … Only in America.  Then if you have time, skip across the pond to the U.K. “A man has been arrested after 129 rabbits were stolen from a farm in Lincolnshire.” Damage costing up to £70,000 to rectify was also caused during the burglary at Highgate Farm, Norman by Spital, in January 2008.

I guess they caught him with DNA when he left a hare behind.

Wife is railing me for not taking out the trash.  Funny how things just slip your mind when your multinational energy corporation vows to make obsolete the very product that brought it an unstoppable cash flow for over a century.  Now, who wants to talk about how all school buses might someday run on vegetable oil?

Thought so.

Get ready cuz here it comes.  Declining gasoline purchases, due to higher prices, are hurting the federal fund that pays to maintain the nation’s highways, the director of the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday.

The fund is built on an 18.4 cent tax levied on each gallon of gas. It had been forecast to run out by 2009, but the fund is now shrinking more quickly, Peter Orszag testified to a Senate panel.  “Our March baseline did suggest that it would be exhausted in 2009 and an imbalance of roughly a billion and a half  dollars would occur during that time period,” he said of the CBO’s projections on the fund’s future.”

“Since March, gas prices have caused gasoline consumption to decline. So the incoming revenue will be lower than what we projected in March and the imbalance in 2009 will be more significant,” Orszag added.  Average U.S. gasoline prices have risen some 80 cents per gallon since the end of March to a record $4.11, up $1.13 from a year ago.  The office, which audits the economic impact of congressional bills and programs, will release new projections by the end of summer, he noted.

Once again, I pick up the paper and it tells me what I already know. The gas tax has become an issue in the presidential election, with presumptive Republican nominee John McCain proposing to suspend the tax for a short period to speed economic recovery. Barack Obama, the expected Democratic nominee, has said suspending the tax would provide little relief.

And George W. Bush, looking up from Grand Theft Auto II and saying ………. “Huh? What’s zat?”  By the way, “no more emails on Obammer please, the bottom of the bird cage is full.”

From 1995 to 2000, the U.S. highway fund had a surplus of between $10 billion and $23 billion, according to the CBO, and in 1998 Congress cut $8.017 billion from it.   On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee sent legislation to the full Senate to restore that amount in the coming year as part of a larger infrastructure funding bill.  The House Ways and Means committee is considering similar legislation.

The Congress will take up drafting a new transportation bill next session. Like I said, “Get Ready.” Here it comes. It is never enough, you cannot win. So apparently we must seek out the good in this, as my Grandmother used to say … “Look For The Rainbow, Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining.”

The wisdom of age.

So here it is ….. “For every 10 percent rise in gas prices, [traffic] fatalities are reduced by 2.3 percent”

Like I said … I don’t get it. I really don’t.


Related: Give Up – Surrender

Missing Lil Brother



It has been for the most part, a lousy week.  First I find that a lot of my posts are NOT being posted, and now I find that they are being PRE-POSTED (I had scheduled them, wordpress however prints the things) and it is a lose/lose situation for me.  This morning I am down in the mount, I am under the weather, I am tired and sad.  Why not?  I got the right to be sad, if I want to.

The hot water cascades down my backside and I concentrate the spray on the bottom of my neck, I am tense, my muscles (what is left of them) are knotted up and I am wound tighter than a ten-day clock.This morning I am not singing in the shower, I am using it in some cathartic way to ease my pain.

I want to cry, but my mind says, “Hey dummy, real men don’t cry.”Yeah?Well, that’s crap.We read between the lines, we have a sensitive side, and we cry, we just don’t let you see it … that’s life.

Often it is hard to just sit down, and stare at an empty computer screen, to dwell in the twilight hours of the morning, that special time just before the dawn, when the birds wake up and sing.You sit here and you wonder what it is that you are going to say this day, for nothing is ever for sure anymore. Today is no different than any other, the screen has nothing on it, and I am alone with my musings, my ritualistic cup of luke warm coffee and my thoughts.But on the other hand, it is a special day for me.

A little more than a month ago they laid my Little Brother down for his final internment, the funeral home and society call it “his final resting place.”(might mention here that he was not my biological brother, he was my friend)   Final resting place strikes me as strange.  It to me is a strangely inappropriate choice of words, rest from what?

He is gone now, his work here is over, and he has passed on.Another saying or anachronism that I do not understand.In all fairness, I am not totally sure if anachronism is the appropriate word here, but I am going to use it.

When people die, and it falls around a National Holiday or some other notable day, perhaps it is best to delay the official ceremonies until the day after or thereabouts?He was laid to rest on Friday the Thirteenth, now I am not overly cautious on this day, nor am I of a superstitious nature, but every Friday the Thirteenth, from here on out, I will think of it as “the day they laid John down to rest.”

This day, is now a benchmark in my life, for a totally new reason.Hopefully with time, after the grief and the pain has slipped away, on this day in the future, I will be able to stop, pause and smile.Remember his goofy laugh, some of the weird things we talked about, all the times we spent together.

How do you deal with it?

How is it, that you begin the grieving, the healing process?How is it that you find the appropriate way to let go and begin anew.I don’t understand.I know that deep inside, there is this hidden untapped reserve of strength that can be used to help carry me thru this terrible time in my life. This sick lost feeling permeates my soul.How it is that I tap into this inner strength and use it to find a way to deal with this right now in the moment.Unfortunately, this escapes me.

But I will figure it out … Somehow … I always do.

Pausing briefly to stop and consider it all, I am not running the rat race today.My pace won’t be hectic, I will not feel the need to stop and rest, the need to catch my breath.When I do stop, I just get sad.Man, I don’t like sad.I have done sad before and believe me, happy is much, much better.Please forgive me … but I just miss him.And I will also freely admit, I am selfish, I want him back.

Today I know the telephone isn’t going to ring with some simple, goofy computer problem and the all too familiar, “my printer is doing this and that, and my email is all jammed up.”I know we are never going to sit in the dark at the picnic table in the backyard, under a never ending blanket of stars in the summertime and discuss all the ills of the modern world, those “Liberal Damn Democrats” or “Why it doesn’t hurt a kid when he gets licked in the face by a dog.”

Important issues that friends talk about …

Sudden death is so cruel to the soul.When someone ages and then goes on, you understand, you tell yourself, “they lived their life, they had a good run, things go the natural way and time takes its toll” you have a period of time to convince the mind, to prepare if you will, for the final outcome.I don’t have a problem with that at all.

But when death comes like a thief in the night, and snatches the person from you and he or she is instantly gone, that is so hard to deal with.That compounds the grief, multiplies it ten fold.You have this gnawing feeling deep inside your gut that things were left unsaid, that issues needed to be addressed or resolved, you feel cheated, you feel robbed.

You didn’t get the opportunity to say good bye.

During certain periods of my life, I have at times, fancied myself as a wordsmith or an adept story-teller, but this morning the blank screen wins, it is just not there.I have always feel at a definite loss when a friend of mine male or female, loses a companion or a buddy, I don’t always know what to say to them, what to offer up, to ease them thru it, to relieve their grief and suffering.

And this morning I have a new found understanding of an age old problem.You do your best and, even tho’ this is the best of intentions on your part, there is really “nothing that you can say” that is going to make it better.Because it just is something that you have to face, to deal with, and there isn’t anything that is going to make that any better.No store bought card, encouraging word by telephone, text message or email is going to fill the void.

I have had good times, bad times, hard times, and done time, and my life has been a blessing every day.My life has been grand, and it is because of people like John, who came in and shared it with me for long periods or just briefly.In this case over twenty years, we had a good run, me and my Little Brother JT.

Abraham Lincoln said:“How miserable things seem to be arranged in this world! If we have no friends, we have no pleasure; and if we have them, we are sure to lose them, and be doubly pained by the loss.”

A man dies a little each time he loses a friend; it has to be a rule of life.

This morning I am remembering John, and I am thinking about a line I gave my wife years ago, somehow it seems appropriate this day.It goes like this:“I can fix just about anything in the world, except one thing.I cannot fix a broken heart, I can mend it a little, and try to fix it, but it will always remain broken in one way or the other.”

Kind of like how I feel this morning … Man, I miss my buddy, my Little Brother … JT.

I know this has been long, and I apologize for that, but it is like I mentioned in the very beginning. My mind says, “Hey dummy, real men don’t cry.”Yeah?Well, that’s crap.We read between the lines, we have a sensitive side, and we cry, we just don’t let you see it … that’s life and you can take that with you on your journey this morning..

Along with the rest of it, just a few things that “needed to be said.”