Sunday, February 19, 2012


Hi Friends;

  I've been spending a bit of surf time this morning.  I saw that Santorum was doing quite well in Michigan and expectations are that he may actually take the state.  That sort of scares the daylights out of me.  But, it gives me a lot of hope, too.  And, the reason it scares me is this picture. 
  You see, I find this to be one of the most beautiful things ever.  It's incredibly innocent, caring, hopeful and endearing.  And yet, for Santorum, it is evil, hedonous and despicable.  He sees it as the end of civilization and a riot in the making.  Why?
  As the man running for the head of one of the most powerful countries in the world, I want someone at the helm that has integrity, but I also want someone who has the understanding that culture changes, people change, and we need to define ourselves not by what was acceptable 2-6,000 years ago in a country half way around the world, but by what are truly foundational concepts important to a people who long to be free and happy.  We need to be less concerned with the fact that someone may love another of the same sex and be more concerned with the fact that people know how to love.  How to care.  How to put another first in their lives and see the wonder and beauty about them.  The fact that Santorum has focused so strongly on "Biblically" based lifestyles concerns me.  To be blunt, he is one who would have stoned Christ for healing on the sabbath. 
  So, why do I think that there's some hope in having someone run who is so polarizing and distasteful and yet unaccountably popular?  Well, I guess it comes from two sources; one is that I find myself an Obama supporter.  I wasn't at first, but he's made some real progress in areas that needed help.  My hope is that he can make great use of a second term and, unconcerned about keeping his job, can really do his job and be the change this country needs.  I personally believe that Obama can beat Santorum.
  My second hope is in America.  I really do have a lot of hope for our country.  It is my sincere hope that given the opportunity to go from what is interesting to fiddle with to what is reality, people will begin to see just how sanctimonious and dangerous this bigot and backwards thinking man really is.  Perhaps we need the opportunity to be tested and grow up.  Of course, everytime one comes to the plate, the chance of striking out is actually greater than the chance of a homerun.  One has to dream. 

Electric and hybrid cars.  I drive a pick-up truck.  A chevy, because I am partial to them, though I love the head-on look of the F-150.  The Dodge is not so appealing to me.  Toyota Tundra I like.  But, the point of it all is mute:  I can't afford any of them. 
  The problem I have is though I love my truck, it sucks gas.  I am really only getting about 17 mpg.  But, at 6'5", I don't fit in the little trucks - well, not in the cab.  So, I'm forced to stick with the larger vehicles.  What would really strike me is the electric/gas version of my truck!  I don't think they make one, and if they did it would cost way too much.  For that matter, I have no idea what the projected maintenance is one electric.  Do any of you?
  So, what brings this to you today?  The Iranians.  Do you remember the Seinfeld show?  Specifically, the episodes that referred to "The Soup Nazi"?   He was so disagreeable, so explosive and unsettling, but sold the best soup.  People would line up out the door with hat in hand hoping to be so humble and yet worthy of a bowl of this man's soup.  From what I hear, it is actually based on a real person who really sells great soup.   
  I think of these middle eastern countries as much like this soup nazi.  The have us by the collective curlies.  We are so addicted to the crude that we seek ways of controlling those countries at the cost of billions of dollars and thousands of lives, while at the same time courting them like psychotic rich wives and excuse any and all offenses until they become just too much.
  Wouldn't it be wonderful to not be a slave to oil?  Wouldn't it be wonderful to end our reliance on oil?  Or more to the point, the endless drama and distasteful actions of people so enamoured with the power that the oil brings them?

  My goal this year is to buy a bike.  I haven't ridden a bike more than a couple of times since I was a kid.  I think shortly after buying my first car.  As a teenager, it just didn't seem so very cool.  But, as an adult struggling to maintain my ever expanding waist line and gut, there is a certain attraction to it again.  For one, the few times I did ride a bike over the past many years, I really enjoyed it.  It was quiet, peaceful, and moved me right along.  Oh - and the thing about never forgetting how to ride a bike?  Not quite true.
  The benefits in exercise being obvious, I also have a dog that loves to run.  I am unable.  My joints just won't take it.  I joke now that as a kid I'd maybe run from a fight - now I'll take the ass whoopin just so my knees and back don't get trashed.  So, taking my puppers for a run is something I know that she would enjoy.  But, also, I spend at least a 1.5 gallons of gas just to go to work every day.  The projections are for gas prices to raise to $5.00 this summer.  I could ride to work every now and again.  Ok, that's bs and we all know it - but it's as good a reason to spend $500 as any other.  And, it would be nice to be able to ride around a bit and enjoy the wind in my face, the bugs in my teeth.  I wonder how long it would take before the dog decided to run in front of me and stop?



Anonymous said...

Hallo Randy,
You had a very inspiring weekend - with several interesting topics:
- Dependence on oil.
- Fuel consumption of large cars.
I've been trying for years to change my lifestyle in terms of these points.
I drive a small car with a petrol consumption of 6 liters / 100 km.
For us at the time the premium gasoline will cost 1.65 EUR per liter.
I drive not more than 4000 km in the year with the car.
I drive but about 2000 km by bicycle in the year.
I actually need the car only in bad weather and for larger errands - and of course for over-land trips.
Cycling is very common and widespread in Europe.
I wish you a "fork and frame-breaking" when riding a bicycle.

randy said...

Hi Nikki;
I tried to do the math but got turned around. I think you pay a bit more for 'petrol' than we do - it works out to about 1.30 in 3.75 litres.
The use of bicycles here is unusual unless you live in a big city like New York - where they say it's actually faster though deadlier to go about by bike. Here in my town, if one sees a person riding a bike in non-racing gear, it is assumed that he/she has a drunk driving and, thereby, no license. That's unfair, but there it is. Perhaps if more people biked to work we'd use less gas and lose some of our weight issues, too. But, alas, such is a dream...