Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Over the river and through the woods…

Filed under: — stan @ 11:53 pm
flying grocery bag
surfliner train at night

Today we rode the Amtrak Surfliner down to San Diego to visit Grandpa Schwarz.

The trip down was pretty uneventful. We rode the Metro Gold Line to Union Station and then got the Surfliner southbound. Lucinda played with her Game Boy and also did some games in Highlights. The train stopped a few times on the way down. At one of the stops I saw a campaign sign for an upcoming election. There are few things more forlorn-looking than a campaign sign for a Democrat in Orange County.

When we got to San Diego, Grandpa picked us up at the station and we went to lunch at the dining room at his place. The dining room where he lives is actually quite good. The place is run by Hyatt, so the dining room is equivalent to a hotel restaurant. We had a nice lunch, and then we went down to his apartment.

Lucinda played piano with Grandpa for quite a while. She played with the animal puppets he has. We also marveled at the miraculous flying grocery bag we saw out of his window. Our grocery bags are usually flightless, but this was was swooping up and down outside the tower for a long time.

When it was time to go home, we went to dinner before going to the train. Then we got on and rode the train home. It was a nice day. It was long, but it was nice.

Everything old…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:37 am

Two weeks ago, we bought a new car. One of the little things it came with is a subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio. They have hundreds of channels for every taste. Cathy likes the Classic Disco channel.

When I was younger, I never understood the appeal of oldies radio. It seemed that they played stuff that was either so old it didn’t mean anything to me, or it reminded me of times I would rather have forgotten. Most ’70s music falls into this category for me.

And then I was playing with the satellite radio in the new car and I found 1st Wave, where it’s always 1985. They even have Richard Blade, Freddy Snakeskin, Dusty Street, and Swedish Egil, who were part of the KROQ crew back in the ’80s. It’s just like old times. I can put that on and just slump over the wheel, weeping for my lost youth…


And we’re all gonna die!!!

Filed under: — stan @ 2:04 pm

we're all gonna die!!!
I went to Caltech last night to hear a talk by Ken Deffeyes: “The Peak of World Oil Production: Thanksgiving Day, 2005″. He talked about the late M. King Hubbert and his analysis of oil production curves and such. It sounds dry, but he was a very engaging and entertaining speaker. And his main point is that the coming oil crisis is starting now.

He showed us a copy of a little article from two years ago about how Saudi Arabia has no more spare production capacity. He said, “This is the biggest story since the Industrial Revolution, so why is nobody paying any attention to it?” It used to be that Saudi Arabia was the regulator of the global oil economy. They held the price stable by opening or closing the taps on their wells. But now they have all the taps open all the way just to keep up with demand.

The last part of the talk was about what could be done about this. He thinks that from where we are now, the best thing we can hope for will be a global recession like the Great Depression. There will be oil rationing, although it’s not determined if it will be rationed by price, coupons, or by the inconvenience of having to wait in line for hours to buy it.

On the other hand, I kind of enjoyed riding my bike past long gas lines back in ‘74. And maybe I’ll even have some company when I’m riding my bike to work.

I think I’m in love with Camille Paglia…

Filed under: — stan @ 1:26 pm

Reading her article in Salon today:

On the second page she says:

Is Madonna suffering Mick Jagger syndrome? Jagger, like Madonna, has tremendous managerial and business aptitude. It is he who single-handedly saved the Rolling Stones during Keith Richards’ reclusive period of heroin addiction in the 1970s. But the end result was that the once-Dionysian Jagger became trapped in the crisp, precise Apollonian realm and was no longer capable of producing lyrics that match Richards’ thunderous, blues-based inventions.

“Dionysian” and “Apollonian”. <swoon> I just love reading Camille Paglia. She just has so much fun with the language.

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