Sunday, May 25, 2008

Not a Doomsayer, but...

Well, maybe I am.

The pic to the right is from I am Legend.

My friend Ben Hatke, about a year and half ago, introduced me to the quasi-organized body of knowledge regarding "peak oil," a phenomenon which basically means we are going to run out of oil relatively soon and our economy and way of life will change dramatically.
At the time, I was a car salesman, already seeing the desire of many customers for hybrid vehicles and gas conservation. Because of this, I thought that car companies would see the writing on the wall and make more earnest efforts to alter their fueling technology. But this has not been the case, as the automakers continue to produce gas guzzlers, even while they cut production for vehicles in North America. Ford, has recently announced plans to cut production of their best-selling F-Series and SUVs due to gas.

The F-150, the best-selling large pickup for 31 years only gets an estimated 12 MPG in the city and 18 MPG on the highway. That's awful, but that's been the industry standard for many years now and the industry, while it claims to be "green," has barely made even a dent in our consumption of oil.
Meanwhile, the auto industry in China and India is booming--and they're not drving Hybrids.

What I am gettting to is that this means a lot of consumption of fuel. I presently believe at this time that we are in for an oil shock at the pump, while the MF oil companies' revenues continue to soar to record margins to the tune of a billion a week. Some are preparing in a very serious way to handle this seemingly inevitable catastrophe, and the more gas prices spike to where the oil companies want them to be, the more I think these people aren't so loco and it's time to get a subscription to Mother Earth News.

Back at Christendom, I thought it was almost the cute eccentricity of a bygone age when my history teacher--the college founder--related the sage advice of his grandmother from Maine: "Don't let your life be ruled by a machine."
She had said this in response to the boom in mechanized industry at the beginning of the 2oth century. He had ended his class on this note, and even laughed about it, passing it on for what it's worth to reveal just a glimpse into the hardened personality of those in ages past.

Common sense is that we will one day run out of oil. Many debate when, but it may not matter if price shoots up to 10.00 a gallon and the world's economy comes to a screeching halt. Back to the horse and carriage we shall go.

And the Glock will come with me.
Over and out,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Shout Out to My Homies

Hey there. Sorry for the continued lack of updates, but if you've seen my bathroom lately, or lack thereof, you'd understand.

I've been working hard not only to rebuild our bathroom from scratch, but also to rectify our home's plumbing problems.

After I ripped up the floor in our only bathroom I discovered that I certainly got more than I bargained for:

1.) Termites in ages past had eaten through some of the joists
2.) Others were warped
3.) The plumbing for the entire house is not properly vented
4.) The drain pipes were also configured incorrectly, e.g., a clog in the toilet could very well become a problem in the tub or sink

Thus far, I've leveled and reinforced the joists with new 2x10s and attached them (unlike before) to the wall where they end with brackets. (Because of the wall's configuration, joist hangers, my original plan, would not have worked without serious reconfiguration.) I then cemented in 4 cement posts underneath the middle joists with T brackets in hopes that 15 years from now the floor will be just as strong.

Next comes shoring up some of the remaining floor framing, cutting out the remainder of the shoddy plumbing, and then starting from scratch with a new and hopefully improved design.

Many have said, "Nick it's so good that you can do this!" My response: Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I'm really just flying by the seat of my pants and trying not to get my ass kicked.

And that, my friends, is a Monday moment.

Over and Out,