Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chinese Oil Drill

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Sigh… Roommate inquiries rescheduled for today (last minute business opportunity apparently) so maybe we’ll meet up today. I’ll be starting to learn some more languages through Rosetta Stone over the next year thanks to a business opportunity myself… so if you start seeing random entry titles is some kind of funny talk, that may be a hint that I’m studying. “Did he just ask for oral pleasure in Mandarin?” Yeah, I’m thinking of brushing up on my German (been a decade or so) and then trying to decide whether to learn something directly useful like Spanish… or ambitious like Mandarin next. Definitely a lot more opportunity to use Spanish with coworkers, neighbors and at least a third of the people I run into on a daily basis. However, the ladies are also impressed with the Mandarin… especially if you can identify their accent as being from Kowloon Bay in Hong Kong. “I was born in Kowloon Bay.” “There you have it.” “This guy is good.” (Watch Wayne’s World, it makes more sense) May also go bowling tonight… or this weekend. Pork Chop wants to meet up and do something but… he’s very vague & flaky sometimes (hence why he associates with me, as that seems to be the way) so we’ll see.

Last night, Filly & I watched a movie that I had never seen all the way through before, “Mystery Men” starring Ben Stiller, Geoffrey Rush, Greg Kinnear and a slough of others… including I correctly identified Michael Bay as a Frat Boy (“Either that’s Michael Bay… or some other douche trying to look like him”). The story is about a group of wanna-be superheroes who come together when the REAL superhero of Champion City named Captain Amazing (Kinnear) is kidnapped by the evil Casanova Frankenstein (Rush, and possibly the greatest supervillian name ever). It’s… well, it has its moments. It’s one of Filly’s favorites (hence why we watched it) because it’s quirky and different… but yeah, I thought it was okay at best. I thought Geoffrey Rush was probably the funniest character in the movie. Not a huge Ben Stiller fan. Not sure why. Being a frustrated superhero in my own right, I can identify with wanting to help out and have a cause and saving the day and all that though. I could totally see myself showing up at the auditions like the Waffler (Dane Cook) and having a few catch phrases already saved up and ready to serve to evildoers. Anyway, if you haven’t seen it & you like quirky superhero comedies, then yeah, check it out. It’s kinda like “Kick Ass” but PG-13, that same kind of appeal. So here’s the news…

Chinese Oil Drill – We’re not the only international powerhouse with a giant oil spill that threatens a lot of our livelihoods & were ill-prepared to contain it. China's largest reported oil spill emptied beaches along the Yellow Sea as its size doubled Wednesday, while cleanup efforts included… wait for it… straw mats and frazzled workers with little more than rubber gloves. An official warned the spill posed a "severe threat" to sea life and water quality as China's latest environmental crisis spread off the shores of Dalian, once named China's most livable city (which is a bold statement for a country with over a BILLION people living in it). "I've been to a few bays today and discovered they were almost entirely covered with dark oil," said Zhong Yu with environmental group Greenpeace China, who spent the day on a boat inspecting the spill. "The oil is half-solid and half liquid and is as sticky as asphalt," she told The Associated Press by telephone. The oil had spread over 165 square miles of water five days since a pipeline at the busy northeastern port exploded, hurting oil shipments from part of China's strategic oil reserves to the rest of the country. (By the way, China just passed the U.S. as the nation that consumes the most energy) Shipments remained reduced Wednesday. State media has said no more oil is leaking into the sea, but the total amount of oil spilled is not yet clear (and therefore probably biblical in scale). Greenpeace China released photos Wednesday of inky beaches and of straw mats about 2 square meters (21 square feet) in size scattered on the sea, meant to absorb the oil (and then what?). Fishing in the waters around Dalian has been banned through the end of August, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. "The oil spill will pose a severe threat to marine animals, and water quality, and the sea birds," Huang Yong, deputy bureau chief for the city's Maritime Safety Administration, told Dragon TV. At least one person died during cleanup efforts. A 25-year-old firefighter, Zhang Liang, drowned Tuesday when a wave threw him from a vessel, Xinhua reported. Officials, oil company workers and volunteers were turning out by the hundreds to clean blackened beaches. "We don't have proper oil cleanup materials, so our workers are wearing rubber gloves and using chopsticks (no joke)," an official with the Jinshitan Golden Beach Administration Committee told the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper, in apparent exasperation. "This kind of inefficiency means the oil will keep coming to shore. ... This stretch of oil is really difficult to clean up in the short term." But 40 oil-skimming boats and about 800 fishing boats were also deployed to clean up the spill, and Xinhua said more than 15 kilometers (9 miles) of oil barriers had been set up to keep the slick from spreading. China Central Television earlier reported an estimate of 1,500 tons of oil has spilled. That would amount roughly to 400,000 gallons — as compared with 94 million to 184 million gallons in the BP oil spill off the U.S. coast. China's State Oceanic Administration released the latest size of the contaminated area in a statement Tuesday. The cause of the explosion that started the spill was still not clear (though I’m sure fireworks have been ruled out). The pipeline is owned by China National Petroleum Corp., Asia's biggest oil and gas producer by volume. Friday's images of 100-foot-high (30-meter-high) flames at China's second largest port for crude oil imports drew the immediate attention of President Hu Jintao and other top leaders. Now the challenge is cleaning up the greasy plume. "Our priority is to collect the spilled oil within five days to reduce the possibility of contaminating international waters," Dalian's vice mayor, Dai Yulin, told Xinhua on Tuesday. But an official with the State Oceanic Administration has warned the spill will be difficult to clean up even in twice that amount of time (but they’re definitely gonna try to beat our time). Some locals said the area's economy was already hurting. "Let's wait and see how well they deal with the oil until Sept. 1, if the oil can't be cleaned up by then, the seafood products will all be ruined," an unnamed fisherman told Dragon TV. "No one will buy them in the market because of the smell of the oil." That’s a simple marketing resolution away… but still, another major oil spill. Maybe I won’t be going to China on a cruise this October (it was honestly considered…and still is a bit despite the fact that it might look like the cruise ship is encased in asphalt when I wake up one morning near Dalian. I just hope that the respective governments and other entities can get these spills taken care of. I like seafood… and beaches… and affordable gasoline… and beautiful water… and oceans… and all that other stuff.

History of Sex – Then again, maybe I’m completely wrong and the ages-old wisdom of the Orient may be onto something with the straw mats. Sometimes some of the ancient ways are the most effective. Then again, maybe not. For example, sex toys have come a long way since the Stone Age - but then again, perhaps not as much as we might think. Last week, an excavation in Sweden turned up an object that bears the unmistakable look of a penis carved out of antler bone. Though scientists can't be sure exactly what this tool was used for, it's hard not to leap to conclusions (tehehe, hard…). "Your mind and my mind wanders away to make this interpretation about what it looks like - for you and me, it signals this erected-penis-like shape," said archaeologist Göran Gruber of the National Heritage Board in Sweden, who worked on the excavation. "But if that's the way the Stone Age people thought about it, I can't say." The resemblance is uncanny…but then again, maybe they were just trying to invite some people to their party cave and it’s a horribly shaped bicep. "Without doubt anyone alive at the time of its making would have seen the penile similarities just as easily as we do today," wrote Swedish archaeologist Martin Rundkvist on his blog, Aardvarchaeology. Well, if a fellow blogger says so, then I have to agree. The discovery is so recent, Gruber said, there hasn't been enough time to submit the finding for publication in a scientific journal, though the researchers plan to (and maybe a letter to Penthouse Forum). The carved bone was unearthed at a Mesolithic site in Motala, Sweden, that is rich with ancient artifacts from between 4,000 to 6,000 B.C. The area's unique features may have allowed bone artifacts, which usually get destroyed over the millennia, to survive. "It's an organic object, that's why it's special," Gruber told LiveScience. "Normally when we excavate early Mesolithic sites we never get the organic material. But this site where we're excavating now is along the shoreline. The preservation is very good here - it's been lying in the bottom sediments and clay layers of the river, and it's been well preserved there." The dildo-like object is about 4 inches long and 0.8 inches in diameter (hmm, surprising with the size of Swedes… but then again, it IS really cold up there). It's not the first time that such a phallic object has been found from the ancient world. Another item strongly resembling a penis was unearthed in Germany in 2005. That one is even older - dating from 28,000 years ago - and made of stone. Yet the recent discovery was enough to shock the scientists working at the dig, which is led by National Heritage Board archaeologist Fredrik Molin. "Nobody here, and nobody that we heard of or talked with, had ever seen something like this in northern European or Scandinavian sites," Gruber said. Perhaps instead of, or in addition to, its sexual purpose, the object may have been used as a tool, such as to chip flakes of flint, Gruber suggested…and then snickering to himself, I assume. One end is shaped into more of a point. It's not immediately clear whether the tool would have been one most likely to be used by men or women or both. "If it's a tool and it's also shaped like a penis, it could be an item where you want to discuss gender questions," Gruber said. Sexual symbolism isn't uncommon on ancient artifacts, though more often female symbols, such as those representing a fertile mother Earth, are seen. "I think this perhaps points in another direction, so to say," Gruber said. So what do you think? Did your ancestors make all-natural dildos? Is the Fleshlight just the next step of human sexual evolution? “UGG!!! Wife, what THAT?” “This ugh… this tool. See? Use to ugh… clean reindeer hide and ugh… club small creature over head.” “Then why you have it… in there?” “Oh ugh… me have no pockets and ugh… work better when kept warm.” See? Rosetta Stone’s already working as I now speak perfect prehistoric Swedish, but the accent could use some work.

Way to a Woman’s Heart – Many people have asked me, “$teve, how do I find the right woman?” And my advice is always the same, ask somebody else as I seem to have trouble in that area. “Hmm, maybe it has something to do with your casual conversation including obscure movie references, the latest in the world of pandas & 4-inch ancient Swedish dildos made out of antler?” Perhaps. However, I do know how to reach woman on a personal level. I know the way to a woman’s heart isn’t through acts of kindness, heartfelt sentiment, her rib cage, flowery gifts or even food. Rather, it’s through their pussy… and I’m not the only Utahn who knows this. A man is accused of violating a protective order because he allegedly sent letters to his estranged wife's cat. Authorities say 32-year-old Ronald Charles Dallas, of South Salt Lake, was ordered not to contact his wife, who is the alleged victim in a domestic violence case against him. Prosecutors allege Dallas mailed 11 letters from jail that were addressed to her cat Molly Judge (yes, the cat has a full name… and if you don’t know your girlfriend’s cat’s full name, then you’d better find out… no need to thank me, just pay it forward) and a neighbor, but were intended for his wife. They say the letters asked her not to testify against him. Dallas now faces 11 counts of violation of a protective order and two counts of tampering with a witness. His court-appointed attorney, Trent Ricks, says he couldn't comment until he speaks to his client. I know what his thinking was… and it’s the whole “I wasn’t contacting her. I was contacting our neighbor… and our cat” and that’s not going to fly, especially if you addressed the letters to your wife or something. “Dearest Molly, thoughts of you and your soft fur have kept me warm through these cold winter nights here in prison. I long for the day that we can be together again…and can feel you purring on my chest as we fall asleep watching Grey’s Anatomy. You know, one way that could happen sooner rather than later is if you convinced your mommy (my wife) to not press charges against me because of our little argument where I threw the beer can at her because she got me Natural Light and she knows that’s not my brand & I can’t swallow that carbonated urine. I’ve forgiven her and her forgetfulness and have moved on. Maybe you can convince her to do the same. All I’m saying is, maybe bring it up with her when she’s reading you this letter, as I know that you’re still trying to learn English through Rosetta Stone. Forever yours, Ronnie – P.S. Whatever you do, don’t let her send this letter to that Dr Mookie Love or his blog. I know this is all part of her plan to get me out of the picture so that she can be with that guy. She’s been talking about him for YEARS and thinks he’s some kind of quirky Casanova or something… but it would just embarrass all of us if he knew about our correspondence. By the way, did I ever tell you some of the dirty fantasies that she had about this guy? Really freaky stuff. Anyway, we can talk about it in person soon.” Yeah, that would be a shame if that information got into the wrong hands.

Special Delivery – Who doesn’t like deliveries? Sure, there are varying degrees of surprise and/or excitement concerning certain deliveries…but it’s always a little mystery (as long as you don’t think too hard about it…or remember that some people are getting married). You never know when you could just be raffling through some mail and stumble upon something unexpectedly wonderful. “Bills… catalogs… junk mail… wedding invite (do I know this person?) … more bills… non-descript brown box that seems to be humming addressed to my wife… what the? Is that… marijuana?” Indeed, police say a surprise 2-pound package of marijuana arrived in the mail last week at one elderly woman's home in southern Michigan's Blackman Township (yes, it’s a real city, about 75 miles west of Detroit). The woman called police. Detectives don't know who sent the weed. They learned that the Arizona return address on the package was bogus (420 Stoner Way? I believe that’s in Tucson). Police say the pot is worth about $2,400 (wholesale… and it must be swag). Deputy Director Jon Johnston told The Jackson Citizen Patriot that the marijuana either was sent to the woman's home by mistake or someone planned to snatch it from the mailbox before she checked. The pot will be destroyed… slowly over an open flame… in trace amounts in various basements in the lower peninsula. Hey, my dad was a cop for a long time when I was growing up. I know how these things work. Anyway, sorry if I ended up disappointing you every time that you go to your mailbox from now until the end of time… but hey, the new Maxim’s coming out soon. Right? That’ll put a smile on your face.

Elvis Update – It’s official. Elvis has been found with the angels. An Elvis Presley statue, taken earlier this month from the roof of a Maryland diner, was recovered Tuesday between two angels at a nearby cemetery. Baltimore County police say a customer found the 80-pound statue at the Faith Cemetery in Overlea and returned it to the diner. Police say the customer is not considered a suspect (the perfect crime). The now footless Elvis (not a foot fetishist, its feet were left bolted to the diner roof) was taken earlier this month from the Happy Day Diner in suburban Baltimore. Diner owner Maria Pigiaditis said after the statue was taken that a former owner bought the 7-foot-tall fiberglass Elvis for $1,500 in 2001, and until the theft he had only been taken down once for a "facelift" after a storm. I know I’m not the only one that thought about having an Elvis statue over their gravesite… but I’m glad it was found so that all the diner patrons in suburban B-more can get their Elvis nostalgia on. On behalf of all of us, thank you very much… The question remains though, who would want to steal the statue? Anybody. Period. That’s why there’s no suspect. Everybody’s a suspect… and that’s a LOT of paperwork with no leads for the past decade… until it miraculously appears in a cemetery (allegedly). However, theft of artwork of a celebrity isn’t where the money’s at…

Another Elvi Update - Autopsy tools used to embalm and prepare Elvis Presley's body for his funeral in 1977 and a toe tag used on the singer for identification purposes are set to go under the hammer at a Chicago auction house. The instruments up for sale at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on August 12 include rubber gloves, forceps, lip brushes, a comb and eye liner, needle injectors, an arterial tube and aneurysm hooks, all of which the auction house say were used only once (and then turned to GOLD). The collection, saved for years by a senior embalmer at the Memphis Funeral Home who wishes to stay anonymous, also includes a toe tag marked "John Doe" which was used as a replacement after the original was stolen by a fan during chaos at the hospital. "The mortician, who prepared the body, retained this tag and the instruments, along with the preparation room case report, the case sheet, dry cleaning tags, the hanger to the singer's suit and tie and the coffin shipping invoice, which are marked "Elvis Presley,"" said Mary Williams, a spokeswoman for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. The items will be sold in two lots, and the auction house estimated the lots will sell at between $6,000-8,000 and $4,000-6,000, respectively. Williams admitted the auction may be controversial as some people "are going to be disappointed" by the sale of these items but Elvis memorabilia was always in strong demand with a lock of his hair selling for $18,300 at an auction last year. "It's really about owning a piece of the celebrity themselves ... and how much closer can you get than the actual embalming instruments," Williams told Reuters. Elvis (allegedly) died from heart problems after taking a cocktail of prescription drugs on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42 but he continues to be one of the top earning dead celebrities, bringing in $55 million in 2009 according to Oh yeah, $55 million last year… and he was dead for over thirty years. You made LESS than a tenth of a percent of that last year (statistics show). How does that make YOU feel? A lock of his rigid, over-stylized hair that’s been dead since disco sold for about a year’s salary after taxes. I’m not trying to make you feel bad. That’s just the kind of weight that Elvis still has in the industry. Speaking of celebrities that have long since given back to the world by donating worm food…

Marilyn Update - Kenneth Branagh (“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” & director of “Thor”) is apparently in talks to play acting legend Sir Laurence Olivier in the Marilyn Monroe biopic "My Week With Marilyn" for The Weinstein Company reports Production Weekly (not to be associated with “A Night in Paris” starring Paris Hilton). The story is based on a diary by Colin Clark, a young actor who worked for Laurence Olivier when the veteran actor shepherded Marilyn Monroe around London while she shot "The Prince and the Showgirl". Michelle Williams (hot dead wife from “Shutter Island” & Heath Ledger’s girlfriend, not the chick from Destiny’s Child…just to be clear) is set to play Monroe, no word on who'll play Clark (though I did turn in my resume). Simon Curtis directs and shooting plans to kick off late September. The project isn't to be confused with the other Monroe biopic "Blonde" starring Naomi Watts and based on Joyce Carol Oates' dramatized memoir and directed by Andrew Dominik. So two more movies about Marilyn Monroe told through the accounts of others are in the works. She’s been dead for nearly fifty years. Will somebody make a movie about your life? Maybe. Would anybody want to watch it? I would hope so. Sometimes when I’m sitting around doing nothing, I have what I call “A Truman Show Moment” and I ponder “If somebody was watching me right now, would they change the channel?” I also briefly consider if it would be because of boredom or sheer disgust… but yeah, I get bored easily, so I would then go out and do something, or at least make myself useful or entertained somehow. Do I think that down the road anybody’s going to make a movie based on my adventures? I seriously doubt it. Besides, I consider myself more of a long-running television series than a progressively worse series of sh*tty movie sequels. We shall see… and personally, I’m more interested on who my cast of costars is going to be.

Hmm… well, while I ponder that (already have Angelina & Audrey Toutou on the phone to play at least two parts), I guess that’ll do it for today. I’ll keep you posted on the roommates… and if any lucky young ladies decide to call upon my pleasure giving services this weekend. Stranger things have happened. Have a great day everybody!!!

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