Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Following Up

I know I said I was going to try to post more than once a month, but life keeps getting in the way. Namely, this whole job thing. Not that I'm unhappy with being a productive member of society once again (whatever that means); it's just that I only found time to write a post once a month or so when I was working part-time, seasonal jobs. Working full time year-'round hasn't really improved the situation. Anyway. I'll be doing some rearranging of what I spend time on over the next couple months which will hopefully get me back on track here.

I know y'all are excited. Try to stay calm.

One thing that I've pretty much given up on (again) is Facecrack. I know this makes something like the third time I've sworn off the thing, but this time feels different. There wasn't any conscious decision that "I'm never logging onto Facebook again!" I didn't even "delete" my account. I just stopped taking the time to look at it. And guess what? The world didn't end. Who knew?!?!

I've also gotten rid of a couple blogs. One hadn't been updated in nearly a year and the second had been idle even longer than that, so it wasn't like either of them were taking up significant amounts of time. But having them sitting there staring accusingly at me just added to the whole inertia thing. So they're gone forever (-ish; nothing on the internet ever really goes away, but it would take some effort to find them). I'm keeping the Uncle Charlie blog, because there is some family history there that isn't readily available from other sources, and I still intend to make some additions when I get the time. (It always comes back to that...) Besides, that particular project doesn't seem as urgent. The information is static; what exists I pretty much have in my possession and Uncle Charlie certainly isn't doing much writing these days, so I don't feel the need to post more than once or twice a year. Which means that the information should probably be on something other than a blog, but hey; Blogger is what I know and I'm not interesting in wrestling with something new. That would give me another reason to procrastinate, which I'm already pretty good at, thank you very much.

The new job: As I mentioned last month, I'm back where I started doing bookkeeping and spreadsheets, along with some other internal stuff specific to the Moose Lodge like processing memberships, etc. None of it is rocket science, but Moose International has certain ways that they want to see things done. Some of them are common sense once you understand the nuances of IRC 501(c)(8). Others are... um... more subtle in their logic. In any case, I'm feeling pretty settled in at this point. Of course yesterday the lodge administrator signed the paperwork committing to installing a brand new shiny point-of-sale system covering the bar and kitchen portion of the operation. The lodge has never had anything even remotely like this before, so this is one of those standing-broad-jump-type installs. In some ways, that makes things easier; in others, not so much. But it will get done and it will be an over-all positive for the lodge. And the lodge administrator and I will be busier than a couple one-armed paperhangers for the next few months.

A couple posts ago, I wrote a long rant on Cecil the Lion. In that, I talked about how the revenue from trophy hunting supported local villages and also incentivised the locals to not kill lions and other nuisance "Disney animals", like elephants. Unintended consequences being what they are... well, best to hear it from a local:

“Before, when there was hunting, we wanted to protect those animals because we knew we earned something out of them,” said Jimmy Baitsholedi Ntema, a villager in his 60s. “Now we don’t benefit at all from the animals. The elephants and buffaloes leave after destroying our plowing fields during the day. Then, at night, the lions come into our kraals.”

Once again, Americans decide what is best for people living on another continent with no knowledge, or even any interest in knowing, the real-world effects of our actions. We are far too busy patting ourselves on the back for being so morally superior to those poor, dumb nige... um... Africans of Color.

I haven't posted much on the anthropogenic climate change jihad lately because not much has changed, other than how outrageous the lies are getting:

There are two stories floating around about the state of the earth’s atmosphere. Both are believed true by government-funded scientists and the environmentally minded. The situation is curious because the stories don’t mesh. Yet, as I said, both are believed. Worse, neither is true.

Story number one is that this year will be the hottest ever. And number two is that the reason it is not hot is because “natural variation” has masked or stalled man-caused global warming.

Which is it? Either it’s hotter than ever or it isn’t. If it is, then (it is implied) man-caused global warming has not “paused.” If it isn’t, if man-caused global warming has “paused,” then it is not growing hotter.

And just to be clear on where I stand: Yes the climate is changing. At no point in the 4 billion-year history of the earth has it not been changing. Sometimes those changes happen over such long periods of time that they would seem like stasis at human timescales. Other times the changes have been very rapid. Both have happened numerous times long before humans began burning fossil fuels. Yes, we are messing with the chemical make-up of the only breathable atmosphere we have access to, which probably counts as some level of stupid. Yes, fossil fuel extraction causes enormous damage to the biosphere. If you don't believe that, Google up images of the aftermath of tar sands extraction or mountaintop removal. Or even conventional oil extraction in countries with dysfunctional governments like Nigeria that allow oil companies to take every possible short-cut. None of which justifies so-called scientists changing data in order to make it fit some politically-correct result, or engaging in literal witch-hunts aimed at anyone who refuses to toe the line.

It would also help if everyone who proclaims that fossil fuels are the ultimate evil would stop using them!

It really is that simple. If, as we are repeatedly told by the mass media, renewables are now as cheap or cheaper than fossil fuels, then by all means, lead the way! Slap some solar panels on the roof of that McMansion of yours and go off-grid! Drive nothing but your electric car that you also charge from those same solar panels! Never fly on an airplane, ride a train, sail on a cruise ship or use any other fossil-fueled means of conveyance ever again!! Do that, and I swear I will become one of you!

Note that I'm letting you off incredibly easy. I didn't say that your solar panels had to be built entirely from raw materials mined and refined with renewable energy and built in a solar-powered factory. I didn't insist that your electric car likewise be built in a renewable-powered car factory. I didn't even tell you that you have to give up the massive energy-hog called the internet. All I'm asking you to do is give up your personal, end-user fossil fuel consumption for powering, heating and/or cooling your own home, and stop using fossil fuels to haul your ass around. That's it. Now get to it and leave me a note in the comments when you've accomplish that incredibly modest goal.

Oh, and as one of the .0001% of North Americans who have actually tried to live off-grid, let me just say, "Good luck with that."

And that should be enough for now.