January 3rd, 2011

#2472: Oil's going to skyrocket but gas won't?

CNBC sez gas isn't going to get expensive even though crude is reaching 2008 prices again.

AP, surprisingly, says otherwise.

Okay: in 2007 we were told it would take three years for drilling in ANWR to produce any oil, so it wasn't worth doing because it wasn't going to fix the problem we had right then.

Guess what? It's three years later and we are facing exactly the same problem and we're still not exploiting any of our own goddamned natural resources.

Gas is going to be $4 per gallon, but some rich guy says it's not a problem--oh, it's only an extra $750 per year! Well, hell! If it hits $5 per gallon that's only an extra $1,500 per year! No problem, right?

Well, there is a problem: the economy began to hit the skids in 2008. At least both articles agree that high oil prices are a drag on the economy.

In 2008, it was all about Bush: he was somehow making oil prices rise in order to line the pockets of his buddies in the oil business. This time, there's no mention of Obama's for-econazi energy policies (like his illegal ban on offshore drilling) and their effect on oil prices.

Either way, when the price of crude oil rises, the oil companies make money, because it costs them around $15 per barrel to pump the stuff from the ground. I predict there'll be more grandstanding from liberals and Democrats about "obscene oil profits", but that's not exactly a stunning proof of prescience, is it?

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Hopefully the GOP won't waste time on asinine totalitarian crap like making oil company executives come before Congress and explain themselves, the way the Democrats did a couple years ago. Congress doesn't have the constitutional authority to make anyone answer for anything, other than when they vote to impeach the President.

Congress--in theory--can't punish anyone for anything. For example, if the Democrats wanted to punish the oil industry in 2008 for their "excessive profits", it could be argued that such a bill was a bill of attainder (unconstitutional) and possibly an ex-post-facto law (also unconstitutional). Congress is not a court of law, nor should it have the powers and priveleges of one (except, as noted, in the case of a Presidential impeachment) and the idea that people somehow have to answer to Congress ought to be laughable to the point of the ludicrous. The fact that we take it seriously ought to be cause for concern.

* * *

Someone's testing a "FlashForward" device. I don't know. At least this one doesn't quote some nimrod saying, "It was just like Hitchcock's The Birds!" *sigh*

* * *

More proof of anthropogenic global warming:

NOAA says this year was Florida's coldest on record.

Great Britain suffers its coldest winter since 1890.

You see, the warming causes a shift in weather patterns, which leads some areas to get much colder even as the average global temperature increases. This does not violate the Laws of Thermodyamics because WE GLOBAL WARMING ADVOCATES ARE SMART AND WE KNOW WHAT'S RIGHT AND YOU'RE JUST A STUPID STUPID POOPOOHEAD--

* * *

I really hope you all got all your Kodachrome developed last year. The last Kodachrome developer has been scrapped.

* * *

Taking a shower after gym class just provides another avenue for humiliation. Your peers will insult and deride you for any defect, real or imagined, and if you have to shower in front of a bunch of hostile strangers you will get abuse heaped on you.

Male or female, it'll happen. "Lookit Betty! She's got no boobs! Lookit Barbara! Her boobs are stupidly big!" Change "boobs" for "penis" for guys. Or whatever. Body hair, pimples, fat, skinny, tall, short, everyone will be a target for the popular kids.

I never had to shower after gym, and believe me, I'm grateful for that.

* * *

Anyway, I'd love to stay and chat more, but I've got chores to do, and the sooner I do them the happier I'll be. (More time for WoW that way.)

#2473: You can't answer a simple question without a death certificate?

All I wanted to know was who's name is on Mom's checking account besides Mom's. I don't want to take money out, I don't want to change the PIN, I don't even want any personal information. I just want a simple answer to a simple question: is my name also on the account?

Like an idiot, I didn't write down which accounts I've got joint tenancy on; now I've got to contact each bank and find out, and apparently they can't be arsed to tell me over the phone. Charter One apparently works this way, anyway; "You have to go to your local branch with a copy of the death certificate, blah blah blah." Argh. And I've got two others to deal with.

The two banks here in town, I know the tenancy of; one's got me and the other's got my brother. At some point he'll have to come down and close that checking account, but it's not an emergency or anything, and I can take money from it via the ATM. (There isn't much in there anyway.) At the same time I'll have to put him onto the account I'm using as the estate account, just in case.

*sigh* Well, I didn't think it was going to be simple.

* * *

But I did manage to get the bills paid (finally) and did some housework to make the place look and smell better. I don't use enough dishes to justify running the dishwasher more than once a week but when dishes pile up, they begin to smell a bit after a while, even if you are careful to rinse them out and try to leave them as dry as possible in the sink. Guess I've got to get into the habit of rinsing them off and putting them into the dishwasher as I use them.

Getting the bills paid and organizing the pile of papers Mom left on the coffee table consumed my afternoon, though. Tomorrow I get to contact all the douchebag entities associated with my student loans and say, "Okay, send me copies of the promissory notes and whatever other documentation you've got" so I can sift through everything and figure out WTF is going on in that department. Regardless of outcome this is going to be an enormous pain in the ass, but if I do indeed still owe money I intend to hold them to that $24,000 figure; I have the name of the person who told me that number and I'm holding 'em to it. Since Mom wanted my student loans paid off before the estate was divided, hopefully my brother and sisters and I can each put up 1/4 of it and get that off the table. (I expect the crazy one to demur, of course.)

Mom left behind a $1,000 Discover bill, which has to be paid somehow. After the bills today I've got perhaps $2k left in the household fund (ie my living expenses until I find a job). IMHO the four of us should each pay around $250 out of our portions of the estate to satisfy this debt. (Heck, we've each got about $300 coming from the life insurance, after the funeral is paid for. Just use that. But, again, I don't expect to see a dime from the crazy one.)

* * *

Dinner tonight was grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with a hint of brown mustard. I once had sandwiches like them at a upscale restaurant a friend was a chef at; they were pretty good.

The other day, when I cleaned out the fridge, I found all this lunchmeat--big containers of sliced ham and turkey--and two pounds of cheese in there. My oldest sister likes to have sliced turkey for breakfast; I found a container of the stuff she usually gets, though, and that didn't explain the cheese--then I realized, "These are leftovers from the wake."

The cheese is cojack, which is my favorite all-purpose cheese; and I resolved to make grilled cheese sandwiches with it.

I looked over the ham while the pan was heating, and saw that the bottom edge of the top slice had turned grey. Sighing, I picked it up to examine it closer, and the grey went away--and found that the ham was sliced thin and laying on black plastic. It smelled okay and tasted okay, so I put two slices of ham on each sandwich and spread a thin layer of the mustard on before marrying the halves.

They were good sandwiches. Maybe use a touch less mustard next time.

I figure that ham--properly refrigerated--is not going to go bad in a touch more than two weeks. Cheese certainly won't. But I once had a bad experience with ham that had gone just a touch too long, so I tend to be leery of it if I think it's too old.

I still have five freakin' pieces of chicken left from Friday night. I just cannot bring myself to eat any more; I ate six of 'em already in the space of a couple days. *sigh* If I'd just bought the 8-piece, I'd have one leftover piece rather than five. But no, the 12-piece was the same price as the 8....

Well, worst case, I chop it up and give it to the cats. I've been thinking, though, that I could pull off the breading and toss them into a pot of water, and make chicken stock--maybe even chicken soup. It's worth thinking about. Or I could pull the meat off the bones and use it to make a chicken pot pie. That'd be tasty....

* * *

I haven't shaven all year!

...since Christmas Day, in fact. I'm about due; and once I'm done blathering about nonsense I'm thinking I'll go shave and shower and look a little GQ. (Extremely little.)

But last night I had a mild anxiety attack; and I needed half a Xanax to get to sleep--and then slept until after noon. It kind of screwed me up, schedule-wise, though I was still able to accomplish what I'd wanted to get done today. That clears the decks for student loan stuff, tomorrow.


I'm still fantasizing about being on that beach in Okinawa, watching pretty Japanese girls go by and playing WoW when there's nothing else to look at. Maybe have a Mai Tai or two, relaxing under a beach umbrella while Yuki Nagato (in a swim suit no less) hacks the WoW server for me and gives Victoria the ability to use 80th-level gear at 50th level....