Saturday, April 25, 2009

Vulture Droppings - Spring cleaning

Vulture Droppings is a semi-regular feature of this blog. It's a kind of "Random Thoughts" post in which I try to quickly summarize a particularly large event or series of events. Think of it being sort of like what a vulture leaves behind after devouring a horse. You don't get the whole horse, just highly processed leftovers.

Over the course of time, as I wade through various news items on TV and on the web, I accumulate a "to do" list of items on which I wish to comment. The only problem with that approach is that new stuff is happening all the time, so only the most pressing (or personally appealing) items actually make it into the blog.

This issue of Vulture Droppings is my attempt at Spring cleaning -- to clear out the "to do" list and start afresh.

I had an epiphany this week.

Have you ever noticed that Earth Day falls on the day after 4/20 (or 4:20 for you stoners)? NOW Earth Day finally makes sense to me.

Hippy 1 (taking drag on joint): Dude, we should totally, like, do something, like, big.
Hippy 2 (irritated that Hippy 1 is Bogarting the joint): Like, what, man?
Hippy 1 (finally passing the joint): Like, I dunno. Maybe, like, save the Earth or something.
Hippy 2 (talking while trying to hold his breath to keep the smoke in): Dude! Like, totally!
Hippy 1 (irritated that Hippy 2 is Bogarting the joint): Dude! Let's make a special day for, like, demonstrations and action to save the Earth.
Hippy 2 (finally passing the joint): We can call it Earth Day! Let's do it! We could start today.
Hippy 1 (reaching for the Doritos): Nah, let's do it tomorrow...

Anyone who has read this blog for more than 5 minutes knows that I L-O-V-E the 49ers. But, if this rumor is true, I'm about to be mad as hell.
Following in the path of the Detroit Lions (which is always a good idea), the 49ers are scheduled to unveil some helmet and uniform tweaks this weekend.
Tweaks? According to the rumor, the Niners are going back to the old red-white-red helmet stripe and gray facemask. Gaack! Don't get me wrong, I love the old throwback uniforms. But the bland 1960's style stripes? And the gray facemask - something I ALWAYS disliked because it made a bland helmet look even blander? Please don't be true! Please!

Schadenfreude, sweet schadenfreude. Congressman Peter DeFazio got to experience his Frankenstein's monster first-hand.
The Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, reported that DeFazio "lost his temper" and denounced the security as "stupid" and complained to screeners that he was a member of Congress who had helped found the Transportation Security Administration. The paper said DeFazio swore and "caused a ruckus that drew extra security officers."

DeFazio told The Oregonian that he did not try to hinder the screening. He was screened at Eugene Airport, flew to Portland and then was pulled out of a passenger line boarding a flight to Washington, D.C.
And the Vulture smiled the kind of smile one associates with a vampire locked in a blood bank.

Wassumatta, DeFazio? You too good to be subjected to what the rest of us routinely experience? Your monster wasn't intended to harass the "important people", just us serfs?

I only wish they'd have done to you what they've done to other passengers who've raised a fuss. A picture of you getting tazed would have been...priceless.

A new criminal class has emerged in Washington State.
The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don't work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation's strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.

But it's not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.

Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe's left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.

As a result, there has been a quiet rush of Spokane-area shoppers heading east on Interstate 90 into Idaho in search of old-school suds.
Smugglers! Contraband! Cascade?!?!?

Two thoughts. First, Washington is experiencing the Law of Unintended Consequences. The quest to "save the Earth", itself a hubris-induced product of the Chris Berman Generation (the 60's Baby Boomers), keeps resulting in more and more regulations that do little to change pollution levels due to the fact that one form of pollution (in this case, phosphates) is replaced by another (the energy cost of re-washing the dirty dishes that didn't get cleaned by the "green" products).

Second, little-by-little Leviathan is making criminals of us all. People who wouldn't DREAM of committing any sort of crime that harms another person or their community are now SMUGGLERS guilty of violating Washington State law.

Criminals. Because they want clean dishes. Priceless.

Caput Penitus Culus has been oddly silent for the past week. Maybe I wore him out...

I get the impression he's not well-liked outside of the sycophants, law fetishists, and judge-felators who frequent his site. I happened upon a post at The Plural Life where a commenter going by the name duaneh1 posted this:
In the ligher side of the news, Coram has a new friend:

“Caput Penitus Culus” (latin for “head in a@@”) is Blueseys new nickname fondly given by Vulture.
He does having a winning personality, that Culus.

Okay, the "to do" list is officially cleaned up. Whew! A Vulture's work is never done!