Friday, November 11, 2005

Remember 'em all on Veterans Day

Veterans Day 2005

Happy birthday, Jarheads

Yesterday, November 10.

"Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed"

The Ballad of Jed Clampett:
Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
Then one day he was shootin at some food,
And up through the ground came a bubblin crude.

Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.
With all due respect to the Beverly Hillbillies, it turns out there is oil (and natural gas) in Appalachia:
The Appalachian mountains are buzzing with the sounds of oil drilling.

Most of the 900 or so wells drilled in Kentucky this year won't produce more than a barrel or two of oil a day. But with prices around 60 dollars a barrel, those little wells are pulling in big profits, especially when they also pump natural gas.
But for Kentucky cattle farmer Billy Carroll, 70, who has two oil and natural gas wells on his property that he leased out in exchange for an eighth of the profits, it means retirement is a lot easier than he had expected.

"The gas well sure has been good to me because I don't have to feed it," he said as he leaned against his truck parked beneath a mountain speckled with fall colors. "I don't do anything. Just get the check."

Two of Carroll's sons also have wells on their farms and many of his neighbors would like to get in on the boom. The problem is there aren't enough rigs to drill them.

"There could be more wells being drilled in Kentucky but because the industry has been depressed for so long there has been a lack of drilling rigs and a lack of skilled labor," said Brandon Nutall, a geologist with the Kentucky Geological Survey, a state agency charged with analyzing and cataloguing natural resources.

Nestled among Kentucky's famed coal mines are about five billion barrels of oil reserves, Nutall said. Most of the oil is in small fields that sit relatively close to the surface which makes for cheap drilling and long production cycles.
Ole Jed really could have started the oil bubbling on his land with a shotgun blast!
The fields are too small to interest big oil companies, but that hasn't stopped nearly 2,000 small ones from registering to operate in the state.

Drilling is hard in the mountains and the atmosphere can be reminiscent of a Wild West gold rush atmosphere, especially since many companies don't make it through the bust periods, Nutall said.

"The drillers are hardworking guys. They don't mind getting dirty. They play hard -- you'll hear a lot of cursing," he said. "Most of the people are fiercely independent. They don't want anyone telling them what they can and can't do."
Ah, the joys of the free market. Much more by following the link including the Congresscritters who don't understand any incentives but the government kind and have their panties in a knot because oil prices are up. Maybe they're afraid some of the folks are going to move to Beverly Hills!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Maybe I can get a grant!

(Via Brothers Judd) So a professor walks into a bar... (Pay attention. This is research.):
Psychologists from a couple of British universities have gone trolling for babes, and analysed 40 pickup lines in terms of likelihood of success. Or as they call it when applying for grants, they analysed "verbal signals of genetic quality."
And they get paid for it!

Believe it or not, they claim a man’s best chance of impressing women is by saying something like: "It’s hot today isn’t it? It’s the best weather when you’re training for a marathon."
Hopefully they don't get paid too much.
At least, that got the most favourable response from 205 women tested by the combined brainpower of Edinburgh AND Central Lancashire Universities.

Leaves you wondering what the worst pickup line was, right? It was this: "You’re the star that completes the constellation of my existence."

Followed closely by bragging about your money: "I was wondering if you had space in your bag for my Mercedes keys."

Okay, back to the allegedly good ones. The trick, says psychologist Christopher Bale (no relation to the Batman actor) is to make yourself look witty, bright, and other good things. Good taste in music helps, so say this, he suggests:

"The Moonlight Sonata or, to give it its true name, Sonata quasi una fantasia. A fittingly beautiful piece for a beautiful lady."
I'm thinking this is some sort of elaborate joke.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The bad news is that I miss all the good stuff on TV!

The good news is that there isn't much of it and that I also miss all the bad stuff:
Picking the worst part of the show is simply impossible, but one of the absolute low points came when Williams ran some footage of his cameraman telling what he had seen at the convention certer... It was a moving interview to be sure. The problem was none of what the guy said was true. He spoke of bodies surrounding the convention center... He said he saw 2 babies who died of dehydration. That's odd, because they never existed, we know that now. Either the cameraman was hallucinating or he was lying. I could excuse such poor reporting in the heat of battle but this is simply inexcusable.

Some two and a half months after the storm has passed, NBC is not only still getting the story wrong, they bragging about how great a job they did. It's simply amazing.

Then Williams spends the last half of the show talking about how great the media was... How they "found their voice."
Who says Brian WIlliams is just an empty suit? He's much worse than that.

Can you bet on lawn-mower races?

Louisiana cash goes to the dogs, cows, goats, and lawnmower races
Louisiana will spend $45 million on sports and livestock facilities and other new projects in spite of a looming deficit, frustrating some officials who say the frivolity reinforces the state's history of political patronage.

"We're in Washington with our hands out asking for $2 billion plus, and rather than holding on to the money to see what the needs are, they're spending it on local projects financing goat shows and lawn-mower races," says state Sen. Robert Barham, Oak Ridge Republican.
Lawn-mower races?
Supporters of the $4 million Morehouse Parish Equine Center say it will give a much-needed boost to the economy.

Jimmy Christmas, center chairman, says it will be used for horse, cow, dog, goat and art shows; rodeos; auctions; crawfish festivals; lawn-mower races; religious functions; an animal shelter; and a community center.
Yep, lawn-mower races.
"I like a good goat roping as much as anyone, but come on," Mr. Barham said. "It's funny, but it's sad. At a time when Louisiana needs so much to enhance its public image, the taxpayers are just shaking their heads and wondering."
More goat rodeo fun by following the link including the state legislature working on a "bill that would allow lawmakers and their family members to obtain Federal Emergency Management Agency contracts." Off hand, I'd say Katrina wasn't a disaster, it was a pot-o-gold!

You've got the point, fellas

From Davids Medienkritik, a transcript of a Donald Rumsfeld interview with Speigel:
Rumsfeld: (...) Everyone wants to have the Iranians as part of the world community, but they aren't yet. Therefore there's less predictability and more danger.

SPIEGEL: The US is trying to make the case in the United Nations Security Council.

Rumsfeld: I would not say that. I thought France, Germany and the UK were working on that problem.

SPIEGEL: What kind of sanctions are we talking about?

Rumsfeld: I'm not talking about sanctions. I thought you, and the U.K. and France were.

SPIEGEL: You aren't?

Rumsfeld: I'm not talking about sanctions. You've got the lead. Well, lead! (emphasis added)
This will send chills through the spines of Germany's diplomats!
Just keep singing Kumbaya past the burnt cars.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Ace of Spades:
Gee, I thought the NYT would be pretty consistent as regards the "absolute moral authority" of those closest to the dead of war -- as they said about Cindy Sheehan -- but it turns out they're giving the finger to Corporal Starr's family and girlfriend.
I am beginning to believe -- and mind you, this is a first-blush reaction -- that the "absolute moral authority" mentioned by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times is in fact a highly selective and not at all "absolute" moral authority, and seems to apply only to left-wing freaks criticizing the war.
Commenter "W":
Jesus Ace, that's crazy talk. Soon you'll be, like, doubting Paul Krugman's objectivity or something.

Have a drink or six and think about this, man. You're screwing with the very freakin' fabric of our existence.

You don't bring riot shields to a gunfight

And a gun fight it is (as if the Molotov cocktails weren't enough). Daimnation!:
The situation in France appears to be civil war, albeit unilateral. It's just a question as to whether the French will engage the enemy.
I'm still betting on surrender, and what better template for the "peace process" than "Land for Peace".

Update: Here's a good start - don't announce how many cars have been burned.

Paul Krugman can't distinguish the Roadrunner from Wile E. Coyote

But Alexander McClure helps him out:
No stupid - you are thinking of Wile E. Coyote. If you don’t know who that is, look in the mirror and you will have a good idea of what Mr. Coyote looks like. If you want to know how Mr. Coyote thought, then re-read one of your columns.
Krugman can't find his butt with a roadmap either.

It looked like a roadrunner to me!