Friday Fives – habooby edition

Image result for beset phoenix haboob photos

Have you ever had a vacation ruined by the weather or did you just work around it?

Nothing dramatic I can remember.  We go to Mexico a LOT, almost every year.  I remember we were there one year when a hurricane was coming soon, but it petered out.  I realize this is first world cruel and fucked up, but lots of places we go to (not the tourist spots, obviously) you think “how could a storm fuck this place up?  There is no infrastructure. I good hurricane might give them a chance to start from scratch. However, this isn’t Japan. The town would be rebuilt in just as haphazard as it was the first time.  You go to a small down and see the decimation, and realize a hurricane whipped through here. “When did this happen?” (thinking in the last 2 years) “oh, about 18 years ago.” When you see building happening in Mexico, it is done mostly without mechanization.  They have guys carrying 5 gallon buckets of cement up 4 floors of stairs.

Rocky Point is a real heartbreaker.  I was just there for the first time in 30 years this year.  I was stunned by how many empty and half finished huge resorts there were.  There was a couple dozen (source below) buildings which had been abandoned during construction.  Many of these were HUGE… 20 stories or more.  Someone ran out of money and just quit. The buildings stay there for decades.  Like a proper entitled liberal straight white male, I have a fix that I am sure no one has thought of.  For any new building permit for a huge resort there (of which there are plenty), I would say “here is the deal.  I’ll give you the permit, AND the land, and resources already deployed… if you take one of these half done buildings and finish it.  Yes, even the land for free. We’ll make plenty of money off the taxes and tourism. Otherwise, it is a 10 year wait for a building permit.

Oh wait, they have thought of this.  Even though they admit nothing has happened in at least a decade.

Javier Tapia, general coordinator of the Sonora tourism development commission – the state’s tourism chief – created a task force called the rescate de inmuebles turísticos inconclusos, or unfinished tourism real estate rescue, that has now met with condo builders and city officials. The result: a half-dozen builders have requested state assistance, including use of a private industry expert, to look at how to conclude construction and what to do with a building whose end product, if offered, would be one for which there’s little or no demand.

There is clearly no OSHA in Mexico, and I doubt much building code.  This is why a 4.0 earthquake can break some glass in the US, but kill hundreds in any other country.  Jesus, look at Haiti earthquake in 2010. They are still ‘recovering’ and living in tent cities. It will be a 100 years before anything is restored to any kind of glory.  That isn’t a knock on the Haitian people, but against their shitty leadership, and decades of unfair debt laid on them by the first world.

What were we talking about again?   Sorry, that went way off topic.  How deeply unlike me.  🙂

Man, I am such a pretentious windbag… like every good liberal.  At least I am aware… and well intentioned.

What small changes do you feel people could make to give the planet a fighting chance against global warming?

Stop using single use plastic water bottles!  I see all this outrage about plastic straws ****, but come on people.  Now, you know the environmental impact of the water bottles, right?  The Great Pacific Garbage Reef?  Last month, Consumer Reports taught us that the water isn’t even better.  Not even by a tiny bit. Almost all bottled water is just other cities’ tap water.

Are you adversely affect by the weather, such as SAD?

Are you calling me a pussy?  No, Winter does not make me sad.  Christmas mostly makes me happy. However, it is also a time of great anxiety.  Not because I don’t have enough money to buy Timmy a doll house, but because of my wifey.  I love her, and she means a lot to me. And she is super duper tough to shop for. So, every year I just panic.  I end of doing well, but it super stresses me out every year. Yet another first world problem. 

How is the weather where you are and have you seen drastic changes in it during your lifetime?

It is cold and snowy, which is natural for Denver in December.  What I have noticed is what happened to Phx, AZ. You know those freaky special effect looking sandstorms called ‘haboobs’?   They are really something, and I am sad I have never seen one in person.  Growing in Phx, and so having lived there approx 19 years, this had never happened ONCE.  According to this source, they happen about 3 times a year.  Now, is that climate change? I have no idea, and won’t pretend to know.  This PBS piece says it is directly related to ocean temperature.  If that is the case, it is absolutely related to climate change happening.

Just sayin, they just started happening in the last decade or so.  From afar, I just have to say it looks cool as hell.  If you are driving home, though, and see this?  I have a term for that.  I call it ‘Steven King outside’.  If someone says look at your window, what do you see?  I would look at this and say “it’s rather Steven King out today.”   Meaning > something this freakish, otherwordly, and endtimes-y… could only be in a Steven King story.

Do you think we can stop global warming or is it too late?

I think it was the prophet Donald Trump Tiny Tim Nicky Minaj Kid Rock Robert Burke who once said  ‘Evil triumphs when good men do nothing

Yes, it is too late to avoid the impacts, we are seeing them all around the world daily.  How about when a couple years ago, Kansas had the most tornadoes in history? Or when last year, for the first time in history, 3 cat 4 hurricanes made landfall?  Obviously, there are a million anecdotes like that. And obviously, one can likely find half a million anecdotes to disprove it.

Ok, soapbox tirade coming.

Let’s say climate change is a hoax made up by liberals.  For why? What, exactly, do we gain? What is the worst case scenario of us as a culture reacting aggressively to combat climate change?  Less pollution? Cleaner water? Gee, ok. Maybe it isn’t such a bad thing. Please consider this, mechanization (or… electricity… or automation… or engines) all came about about 120 years ago.  Let’s pin the date at about 1900 for reference. This is when cars, electricity, and the industrial revolution began. Do we not think that has had any impact on weather, or the environment? The only question to me is… how did it take so long?

If that planet isn’t getting fucked by very quickly changing for the worse environmental reasons, why are we hell bent on getting to mars?  Though the president does not acknowledge climate change, the US Govt does, and you can bet your ass the US Navy does.  Rising sea levels are a pretty BFD to deal to them.

“The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world,” 

Look at the pollution in Beijing?  In short, it exists because the Chinese economy was growing at a super scary rate of 12% annually, as opposed to the median 3%.  The govt was taking advantage of it, and they aren’t know to be touchy feely environmental impacts. This is the impact of coal burning fuel (cars, machines, manufacturing).  You cannot dispute that is where that is coming from. Perhaps a temperature inversion is making it worse… but this is carbon burning based pollution. This is what we have done to the earth for 120 years.  You can’t argue that. I guess what we can, and do, argue about is if we caused it. Well no shit we did, jackass.  I am no Ed Begley.  We live in a house larger than we need, and I drive a big ass pickup truck.  It’s for the horse trailer, but still.

I also think it is odd we have made it a political discussion, instead of an environmental one.  I have been lucky enough to be around the world. Just about everywhere I go, it is acknowledged.  Not with judgement, just as an observation. Most other countries see it as a thing that simply is.  There is also proof that even righty lawmakers know it is a thing, but they know they will get drummed out of office if they say anything about it (just like discussing gun violence).

it can all be addressed in SO much more a succinct manner with this

Image result for imagine a group of plucky scientists


Friday Fives – that was weird, wasn’t it?

Kermit's art 2015What moment made you think “fuck, I am weird!”?

Gosh, I don’t know. I am left handed, so that was a big part of it for two reasons. One is, my mind is wired differently. So, I have a pretty unique perspective on things. Second, everything in the physical world is fucked up and working against you. You don’t fit in school desks, you can’t write in a binder, scissors don’t work. The world is a cruel place for a left handed kid. I was literally born to be anti-establishment.

It has been said by many that everything in Australia is designed to kill you.  The weather, the plants, and animals.  As Mike Rowe put it “just a horrible place waiting to kill you”.   That is life as a left handed dude.

 The next big piece of my education of weirdness was art, through Kermit. Kermit was a close childhood buddy who was into all the cool shit. In high school, he turned me on to: Beatles White Album, Hunter s Thompson, Henry Miller, MC Escher, and Salvador Dali.  He even turned me on to the graphic novelGregory‘. He was the skeleton key to my awakening away from the square world. He was also, not surprisingly, an amazing artist. See that painting up there? He did that. Sorry it’s not a better quality replication. I just used my cell phone. Think that one is nice? Mikey D has one that blows this out of the water!

If there was a king of all the weirdos, who might it be?

I gotta go with Salvador Dali.  He was weird, sure.  Many folks are.  However, he made it a living.  It wasn’t just who he was, but the who he was to all outside appearances.  I can’t think of anyone who was so successful and tickled about their weirdness than Dali.  Well, maybe Andy Warhol… but he didn’t make anything lasting.  He was more John Waters weird (as a marketing angle) than fruit loops.  Dali was fruit loops, baby.

I mean… just look at this photo.  This is a real photo.  There are no tricks, illusions, or photo manipulation.  They this photo took dozens of hours to get the right shot.

The difference between Dali and a madman is that Dali is not mad – S Dali.

What’s the smallest thing that seems to piss you off that no else gets bothered by?

Well, I have talked about the turn signal thing. No sense rehashing that one. Another thing that drives me super nuts is watching people vote actively against their own interests. I would argue no state (well, besides Louisiana) has been more impacted by climate change than Kansas. We used to get our hay from Kansas. It has been SO dry there that now all the hay comes all the way from Canada. Yet… Kansas votes super Republican at all times… even though the GOP denies climate change. Plus, the senators from Kansas and Oklahoma are both working extremely hard to eliminate FEMA. Yet, those two states draw more from FEMA than all other states (almost combined).

It’s the tornadoes. So, this state really really really needs FEMA. Because of climate change, Kansas (and OK) have record tornado years… ever year.  Each year it only gets worse, and climatologists say this will continue.  Yet… these folks vote GOP literally at their own peril. It is so sociologically impossible to understand that it has spawned a movement. It’s called ‘what’s the matter with Kansas’. It is a study (and then a book, and then a movie) as to why Kansas folk aggressively shoot themselves in the foot by voting GOP. Short answer, (and I am dead serious)… it is because of the gays. That is why they all vote Republican. They are afraid of gays. Seriously, watch the documentary.

The state, as we all know, depends on agriculture for everything. They are losing the corn. They can’t make enough hay anymore. That isn’t liberal propaganda. Our hay guy is as right wing as you would guess a hay guy is. It KILLS him to drive all the to Canada for hay to sell in Colorado. It won’t get better, either.

Colorado briefly suffered with this. In the Northern Plains is a town called Greeley. The area around this is VERY heavily dependent on water for agriculture. They had a Congresslady named Marilyn Musgrave. Her one and only concern was stopping the gays. From what? We don’t know, but she was going to stop them.

She let her district languish over and over again. She could have been getting water protection passed, bail out money, protections from farmers against bad crop loans. She did not of that. NOTHING. It took a few election cycles, but the good folks of Greeley finally realized keeping jobs and houses was more important that whether or not there was gays next door. Musgrave never did figure that out, and got bounced. She spent every ounce of political capital and resources to fight gay issues.

       So, that drives me crazy.

What is a common phrase that you absolutely hate hearing?

 “It is what it is.” I get it, and I have had to say it. Sadly, it just means ‘fuck it. Why bother? Why even try?

What’s the dumbest product that made a fortune?

I think we can all look back and agree it was the pet rock. Wait… and bottled water. You know that bottled water is just tap water, right? Plus, you are destroying the oceans with those empty bottles.