Friday, February 23, 2007

More Hippie Hypocrisy

Before I get to the point of this particular rant, I want to recommend to the five of you who read this blog some great essays about the various aspects of alternative energy, our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels, and the relationships thereof with the war on terror and global climate change. Steven Den Beste wrote these a few years ago, but they still hold up solidly in terms of relevance. Personally, I think any blog post discussing this matter should reference these essays, as they help clarify the factors involved when you are discussing the subject.

This page entitled A New Manhattan Project lists each essay and also details the fundamental points about alternative energy, and why many have unrealistic expectations about it.

I know it's long, and there are a lot of links, but trust me-it's worth reading. One point that Steven makes that is often ignored in alternative energy discussions is the fact that electricity isn't an energy source. We use energy sources to MAKE electricity. So when you get all excited that your new Toyonda Pious is using less gas than a regular car, don't forget that this electricity has to be made somewhere. And half of our electricity is made from coal. If we switched to nuclear power it would make sense, but no one is seriously proposing that we build more nuke plants (which we should).

I happened upon the amusingly entitled blog The Only Republican in San Francisco. The author discusses a recent article from the Independent about a new study which points out that organic farming is in many cases worse for the environment than conventional methods, thanks to the relative inefficiencies of organic farming.

Good job hippie. Yet again another wonderful eco-friendly solution that exacerbates another environmental problem.

The latest one besides that is the ethanol situation. Ethanol is made primarily from corn, and the government recently set a goal of cutting gasoline consumption 20 percent by 2017, mainly by more than quadrupling production of ethanol and other alternative fuels.

Guess what happened so far? It's making corn more expensive. Guess what that means?

From Reuters-
Soaring U.S. demand for ethanol - produced from crops like maize and sugar cane - has sent corn prices to their highest level in a decade.

Mexicans are already feeling the impact. Tens of thousands took to the streets in January when the price of tortillas tripled to 15 pesos ($1.36) a kilogramme (2.2 pounds) - about 35 of the flat corn patties that are Mexico's staple food.

Since half of Mexico lives on $5 a day or less, that's no small jump, and the Mexican president - who generally presents himself as a champion of free trade - stepped in to cap prices at 78 cents a kilo.

Food prices have been on a downward slide ever since the Second World War, but Clay says one of the big questions now is whether biofuels could reverse that process and take us into a new economic era with obvious implications for the poor.

It gets better. Here's more about ethanol from Chemical and Engineering News: Ethanol—Is It Worth It?-

.....First, the U.S. gains little advantage if we burn more oil to make ethanol than is replaced by the biofuel. Second, ethanol holds out the promise of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by recycling carbon from biofuels into presently growing plants; by contrast, gasoline increases today's carbon budget by burning fossil fuels that were generated millions of year ago. The greenhouse gas advantage disappears, however, if more fossil fuel is burned to make ethanol than is used to make gasoline.......corn has many other negative environmental impacts: It erodes more soil, uses more nitrogen fertilizer, and uses more water than any other crop. "Corn is the prime cause of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, which is the size of New Jersey," he says, referring to an area off the coast of Louisiana that is depleted of oxygen due to high levels of nutrient-rich agricultural runoff from the Mississippi River. "These are serious problems," he says.

Good job hippies.

I plan on firing up the smoker this weekend while we watch the Predators/Red Wings game, and I think I'm going to try cooking both an organic and regular beer butt chicken to see which one is better. I'll try and post the results tomorrow.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Forsberg Looks Good, But The Preds Lose Anyways....Food Was Good Though.

Preds lose 4-1 as Peter Forsberg made his Nashville debut. Minnesota played a very fast game tonight and matched Nashville's speed stride for stride. Forsberg had some flashes of brilliance, and I can't wait until he gets some time to adjust to his new teammates. Forsberg played on a line with Kariya and Erat which was exciting to watch, although the most dangerous lineup tonight was Sullivan with Arnott and Dumont, who scored the only goal for the Preds tonight.

Ah well, can't win em all.

At least we did it up right with the food. Tonight's smoked meat spectacular set up consisted of the following-

Using the new smoker we did a beer butt chicken covered in Paul Prudhommes Poultry rub, roast pork tenderloin, chessburgers wrapped in panchetta and topped with fresh basil and mozzarella, some baby-rack ribs with Stubbs BBQ sauce, and some smoked salmon to top it off.

Losing never tasted so good.....

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Your Nashville Predators Fans Are Losing Their Sh*t Right Now..

Barry Melrose just explained it for everyone paying attention...apologies because this is paraphrased-

"I said Nashville was the top team in the NHL last night, and they just picked up one of my favorite all time NHL players, Peter Forsberg..."

Imagine the Titans picked up Jerry Rice in his prime about halfway through this past years season, and then you can begin to imagine what Forsberg will be able to bring to the table with the Predators. All of the pieces are in place, the games just need to be played out.

We were toasting to Forsberg tonight and thanking Stevie Sullivan for being the guy who was the first big time NHL player not from Nashville who really believed in what these Nashville Predators are capable of. The Preds management went all in when they chased Sullivan, and he's been one of the most incredible hockey players -hell one of the best ice skaters-I've ever seen. Since then the Predators mystique has been building, and it's only a matter of time before the rest of the world gets to see what's been brewing at the GEC for the last few years..

I can't wait to see this team get unleashed in the playoffs. It's going to be something special..

There's suv's and then THERE'S SUV'S..

I drive a Ford Escape. I love it: plenty of room for my drum gear, handles well, decent gas mileage (22mpgal city), low emissions so I don't have to worry when I get my registration checked, and a great sound system. It's not very big either, so I can maneuver around city streets with ease.

Deadspin has a story from Bugs n Cranks about Phillies pitcher Jon Lieber and his big ass truck/suv/earth destroyer

Lieber rumbled into spring training yesterday in his 2-week-old Ford F650 SuperTruck, a customized blue-and-black beast, 9 feet, 2 inches tall and 25,000 pounds, with six doors, 45-inch wheels, seating for seven, a satellite dish and customized leather interior. It cost him $211,000, more than twice the $94,000 base price. But when you throw in, say, $22,000 for the two extra doors - actually, an extra half of a cab - it adds up fast.


Recently there was a big kerfuffle over at Nashville Is Talking about SUV's. I think this truck would pretty much cause some heads to asplode.

Me? I think it's pretty awesome. I already have the bumpersticker ready-

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Football Ends Too Close to Valentines Day.

I mean seriously, I have to wean myself away from the NFL channel now that the season is over, as nothing exciting will happen in the NFL until the combines in a couple of months. And to top it off, now you want me to celebrate love and romance on Steve McNairs birthday?

Ain't happening folks.

I looked at my posts over the last two years worth of Valentines days, and well, I sense a theme.

This year will be no exception. I like to make it a tradition to read The Alt.Suicide.Holiday Valentine's Day Survival Kit, but my kit is basically consisting of copious amounts of Guiness and Jager, I consider it elegant simplicity. I have somehow been managing to end up single about this time every year, despite all signs to the contrary when the fall begins. It's either a curse or a blessing I suppose. I'm not saying I have commitment issues, it's just seems to have worked out this way the last couple of years. I will admit that as I get older I'm no longer interested in being with someone just for the sake of not being lonely, I am perfectly happy with my friends and current social scene. I just don't see the point anymore of dating someone if I can't see myself with them for a long time.

So back to the theme, I still believe that it is cruel and inhumane to force men and women like myself who love football to have to deal with this stupid holiday less than a week after the Pro-Bowl.

It just ain't right.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Well, this makes it a little less hazy...

Does everyone remember 9/11?

Yeah, me too.

Well, there are two questions that are asked to Dearborn Michigans own Islamic Imam Husham Al-Husainy in this video that should make everyone remember who we are fighting.

Is Hezbollah a terrorist organization?


Read Michael Totten, who is in Lebanon for further explanation.

Is Israel a peaceful nation?


Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Last Hurrah of My Favorite Time of the Year

And it has been a great one, this the 2006-07 NFL season. There was my personal favorite story, the beginning of the Vince "oh-yes-he-can-do-that-in-the-Pro's" Young era, the changing of the guard as Big Mac goes off to Baltimore to rejoin old compatriots, the tragedy that was Tony Romo, the mind-numbingly asinine first pick of the 2006 draft -perhaps one of the best draft classes in 20 years by the way- going to our favorite AFC South practice squad- The Houston Texans (can I say thank you again that Houston passed on Reggie AND Vince?-Thank you Houston, thanks you) Peyton and the Bears finally getting over the hump and in to the big game. ........yes, that- this Super Of Bowls..

The Indianapolis Colts Vs. The Chicago Bears

Peyton Manning is playing in the biggest game of his life. So is pretty much everyone else on the field besides Adam Vinateiri. This could really turn out to be a good battle as you have a nice balance between both teams. The Colts have Peyton, Reggie, Dallas and Marvin, but the Bears have a smashmouth style of defense that this years version of the Colts haven't played very well against all year.

I'll take a moment to point out that your Tennessee Titans only gave up 32 points to the Colts in two games this year, and the days of Indy and Peyton owning the AFC South are officially over. Have fun chasing Vince and Jones-Drew around next year Indy. I am looking forward to watching you get beaten senseless nest season like most previous years Super Bowl teams. Enjoy the moment, as they say.

I still think that if you get to Peyton early you can get him to rush his throws, and that usually causes his receivers to start to mess up on the timing that they rely on so heavily. The obvious X-factor this year will be the play of Sexy Rexy "F--k It. I'm Throwing It Downfield." Grossman . But I think that if the Bears get T jones and Benson going early, and the Bears defense gets to Peyton and his receivers early, it could be a long day for Indy fans. The Indy defense has been carrying the Colts throughout these playoffs, and you wonder when they finally get exposed. The Bears are not the offensive juggernaut that will challenge the Indy defense too much, but they keep things simple enough to win and let their defense play to their strengths.

I say the Bears are too much defense this year for a struggling Colts offense, and the Indy defense will finally get exposed by a thunder and lightning style running game.

Final Score:

Bears - 26

Colts - 15

Update: Aw yeah..........courtesy of the Fine Folks at Kissing Suzy Kolber