Blogs

  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/file.inc on line 647.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/file.inc on line 647.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/file.inc on line 647.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/file.inc on line 647.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/file.inc on line 647.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/file.inc on line 647.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/file.inc on line 647.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/file.inc on line 647.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/file.inc on line 647.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/file.inc on line 647.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/thewils/electricrider.net/drupal/modules/bbcode/bbcode-filter.inc on line 164.
davew's picture

Inquisitive



This Saturday it was up at dawn and a quick ride down to Gregory Canyon. The primary purpose was to catch some birds and give baby some exercise while it was still early in the day and early in the season. The other side benefit is that at 6:30 you can find a parking space. Not too much later this gets really difficult.

What a glorious morning it was. Warm, clear, and still. The birding was excellent and of an excellent kind. We started off by identifying what we could. Then we got some coffee, moved to Walden Pond, and just watched and listened for a while. At one point there was a scrum of three male Red Winged Blackbirds going at it bill and claw up to their shoulders in the pond. Actually it didn't look at that serious. I suppose it was some sort of territorial thing although this doesn't much stand to reason. There must have been one blackbird nest every ten feet and the males and females alike were returning to their nest every couple of minutes with some tasty morsel. I'm not sure what there was to fight about. Baseball standings maybe?

We also had a running discussion over a bird song that was all around us. It sounded vaguely blackbirdish, but not like the Red Wing songs we know. Yet we were surrounded by Red Wings. Yet we never saw one of them make this sound. (I am reminded of a bit of advice from John, a birder with mad bird song skills. If you want to learn to identify birds by ear, watch the bird and then watch the bird sing. Repeat about 1000 times. You'll learn.) Eventually a Yellow Headed Blackbird made his appearance. Actually four of them. Two males and two females. With more water in the pond they are making a comeback. Mystery solved.

The shot of the morning, a Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, cannot be done justice on a web site. Stop by my cube if you want to see the 13x19 enlargement of it. I provided a close crop to bring out the detail (click for the full image). This is why nutcases like me and my brother lug heavy cameras and heavier lenses around. I also use the results as a quick mental vacation from office life.

Ellen's picture

EMAIL

Email has become a social piranha. It disrupts the social flow. Chain
emails, Spam, Viruses, email programs that rudely delete important emails
before you can read them. But email will always have a very warm place in
my heart. It was email that brought my husband and me together.
Before Gore invented the internet, before SPAM, before instant messaging,
before internet gaming, and e-dating, my husband and I developed our
budding relationship by emailing epistles back and forth. If it hadn't
been for email, our relationship would not have unfolded, the delicate
flower that it was.

In 1988, we both worked at a large computer engineering firm. It was our
first job out of school. He was a software engineer and I was a
technical writer. We never worked together, but high-tech friends
introduced us at a party. It was a traditional courtship in many ways. We
met first for an impressive lunch at a sub shop. Then we kept running
into each other at parties and the attraction was obviously there. And
then there was the spectacular New Year's Eve when, on the dance floor,
at midnight, I kissed him. Things started to fizzle after that. I figured
I had scared him off. After all, he was an ultra geek and had bad luck
with women in the past, or so a friend of a friend said. We did see each
other at parties and in groups, but never alone, which can't be described
as a dating situation. We did get many chances to talk, though not about
personal stuff. I remember he did talk me into setting up email on my
UNIX workstation. I knew the company had an intranet, but I didn't
understand its potential for personal communication. I had no concept of
e-poetry just as no one else did. Remember this was before anyone (was it
Gore?) had invented the "e-"; as a prefix to anything done
electronically.

One day, after a weekend water volleyball party, he called me.
"I just sent you an email message." I had forgotten about
my email account. I logged in and there it was. Because this was before
Gore invented the internet, the email came through a UNIX server
networked environment. Don't worry about what that means, just know that
UNIX is to Windows like the cockpit of a Leer jet is to your television
remote, and the computers we used were more like a HUM-V than the
subcompact car-like internet device you might be using to read this blog
right now. A lot more power than most of us need. I read these emails on
a black screen, the ghostly white letters glowing at me in a glorious
monospaced font. There were no BlackAdder or New York Times fonts to
choose from. Yet the words sprang from this dull screen with the romantic
vibrance of a dozen roses. I fell in love heavily and hard and we have
been together ever since. So, thanks to all those university types, NASA,
Al Gore, & whoever else contributed to this first network of
computers. They made us who we are today.

davew's picture

Out for a Lark



Ellen and I went out for a hike and a picnic at Heil Ranch last week and managed to see some interesting stuff. Fortunately she has great patience and allowed me to take my time with the camera. The interesting nuance of these trips is she generally uses binoculars, and I generally use a telephoto. Since I'm the one with more birding experience and trying to identify new birds through a 10 lb lens is not conducive to diligent study, frequently several of the birds we've seen are mysteries until we get home. So it was with this Lark Sparrow. It was doubly thrilling for me because it was the first time I had ever identified one.

(The fact that this posting comes a week after my brother posted some lovely bird shots is pure coincidence.)

davew's picture

Move over Fellini

On a couple of forums I participate in there as been a trend of late of making and posting videos of electric bikes in action. I just had to contribute my own effort. It is brilliant, natch, and critics everywhere are salivating in anticipation of my sophomore effort. Still let me set your expectations appropriately. Vibration is to be expected. High entertainment value is not. My video, unlike most, has been edited... just not much. It's also available on a DVD just in case anyone was to proselytize someone with a slow internet feed.

A few production details in the unlikely event that someone is interested.

The sound was captured separately on an IAudio U2 MP3 player/recorder ($99 and worth every penny) with a Sony powered lapel microphone. The built-in mic on the Canon Optura Pi camcorder ($borrowed) did a surprisingly good job, but at certain angles with wind would totally overwhelm the audio. The built-in mic on the IAudio is hopeless, but the reason I picked this model is because it is one of the few MP3 recorders with line-in recording. The IAudio still had a little wind noise, but it is very consistent hence less distracting. I used Audacity ($free) to change the mono audio into stereo and increase the volume a bit. Oddly enough Audacity did not like the mp3 files from my recorder (you could hear basically what was happening, but it was garbled), but it did like the wav files. Go figure.

The camcorder was attached to the top tube of the bike to the left of and below the handlebars using an Ultraclamp that I got from Campmor ($20) (This is a tip I got from someone around here. Thanks!) I also tried the head tube (hard to get the angle right) and the handle bars (too swishy). I even tried the helmet-cam approach. My momma taught me to look both ways twice before crossing the street which is a habit I just can't break. The resulting video was inclined to produce motion sickness plus I looked really, really stupid and I felt like I had a brick taped to my skull. I really think a helmet cam (for a less safety conscious person) or a chest harness would be the ultimate, but probably the most difficult to get just right.

I got Roxio VideoWave for my wife years ago, but I find the interface counter-intuitive and it is also prone to having strange errors as you get closer to the end of the editing process. We call it video rot. A friend suggested MovieMaker 2 ($free with Windows XP) and it worked just fine. I used the audio track from the camcorder to sync the separate audio track and then muted the former. Once you get them synced up then you can edit them as a unit like removing the especially inane commentary. I was even able to fix brightness levels and add a few other touches. Following the instructions of almost everyone I saved the resulting movie at 640x480 at 30fps and then let Google ($free) figure out how to compress it for streaming.

davew's picture

Typus Interruptus

I've been a mediocre speller all my life. I can admit this and regular readers of this blog are probably well aware of it already. Most people think the computer age is making people into worse spellers with grammar rules ignored and strange acronyms and deliberate misspellings being teh rule of teh day (ROTFL). While this may be true in general, I believe it has had the opposite effect on me. The instant feedback on poorly spelled words is invaluable. It doesn't do a thing for misused words, but if you think I suffer from this your wrong.

My problem is currently doing a 180. I trust myself so little that when I do reach for one of them 25 cent words, like supercilious, I just sit there and wait for that magic red line to appear. And wait. And wait. And if I actually spelled it right, which is becoming annoyingly common, I get stuck in a fugue state. My brain keeps denying the reality of the correctly spelled word while trying and discarding increasingly less likely explanations. Usually the only way out is to go back, change a letter, wait for the little red line to appear, and then let the program put my original spelling back. It's like coding for a half hour, typing "make", and watching your project compile successfully. Maybe I forgot to save my changes. Maybe I typed make in the wrong place. Maybe I'm not on the machine I thought I was. I consider all possibilities before warming to the possibility that maybe I didn't make any mistakes.

So the question is, are these productivity tools really speeding us up or are they such an addictive crutch that we always walk at crutch speed whether our leg is hurt or not?

davew's picture

Misdirection 101

I suppose everyone has heard the flap by now about Patrick Kennedy's impaired driving non-arrest.

What I thought was most interesting about the story is his comment the next day, "This accident had nothing to do with alcohol." Oh, well then it must be okay. So had he hit someone and killed or injured them it would have been all right because he hadn't been drinking. I would love to see him try to explain this, "Yes, I know your child is dead, but you should feel better because the accident had nothing to do with alcohol. Can't you see that?!" There's no logic in it once you think about it a bit. This is why the laws usually read something like "driving with ability impaired" not "driving after drinking beer." The law doesn't care what you took or how much. If you can't make it home without crashing into a police barricade you shouldn't be driving.

This, friends and neighbors, is just a more blatant illustration of what happens all the time in Washington more so because we let them get away with it. I know I rant about energy conservation a lot, but in this case it is apropos. That same day some U.S. Representatives (I forget which ones) almost succeeded in changing the argument about gasoline prices into an argument about whether to drill for oil in ANWR or not. I doubt the representatives who brought this up even really care which way the question is decided just so long as the debate is about ANWR and not about too many cars chasing too little oil. Kennedy would also be well served to get folks debating about whether he had been drinking or not rather than just having the police impound his car and suspend his license for a year (like they would do to any one of us) for driving while being a knucklehead. Humph.

davew's picture

Hardcore Geek Puzzle Answer

The answer I was looking for was "only one bit changes at a time." Now you might very well say "What the heck does that mean?" or "Is this in some way useful?"

First let's look at the progression in binary. I'm a little bit surprised that no one complained the original numbers were in hex. Or maybe very few people read that far :-). It was supposed to be a hint of sorts as the pattern is much harder to spot in decimal.

0000
0001
0011
0010
0110
0111
0101
0100
1100
1101
1111
1110
... and so on

See? Exactly one bit changes at a time as opposed to the normal progression where N bits can change at a time.

"Is this in some way useful?" You betcha. I've heard of several uses but the most often mentioned is rotary encoders. No, no. Keep reading. This really is pretty cool. Suppose you have a stereo knob that goes up to 16. At every click-stop on the knob gets wired to one bit in your output. All that click-stop has to do is change the bit from a 0 to a 1 or a 1 to a 0.That bit could be a real bit in a computer chip or even a relay. Very simple and very little logic required. This is much easier than teaching your knob how to count in the usual fashion. (Some other bit of logic would scan the output and figure out how loud 0110 is supposed to be. That's a different problem.) Actually this whole thing is kind of high-low tech. It wasn't useful until electronics became common, but probably stopped being useful after very sophisticated electronics became very cheap.

Anyway, that's the answer. If you're interested you can Google "Gray Code" and learn more.

The first correct answer was emailed to me by Steve Conklin. Yay! Something nice will happen to him soon.

davew's picture

You never know

Washington (DF) - The U.S. House today passed three bills to lessen the price of gasoline and our dependence on foreign oil. The first the "Pointy, Pointy, Unicorn Act of 2005" levies stiff penalties for anyone caught harboring unicorns whose horns are capable of "penetrating the fuel reservoirs of patriotic Americans and causing diminished efficiency." The second was the "Fuel Sucking Parasite Initiative" making it a felony to genetically engineer and unleash petro-sucking parasites in an urban environment. Lastly, the House proposed fines for companies caught price gouging on gasoline. Heather Wilson, sponsor of the bill, was asked if she thought price gouging was responsible for the current run up in gasoline prices... or if any company had ever been accused let alone convicted of price gouging on gasoline. She replied, "Not to my knowledge, but we're just trying to cover all the bases here. You know, short of anything that might actually encourage Americans to use less oil."

davew's picture

Truth in Advertising

You're now approved to "upgrade" your account to the Chase PRESTIGE Credit Card!

This is from a letter I received yesterday from my credit card company. Well, I shouldn't say my exactly. I never signed up with them. I got sold to them or merged into them or some such nonsense. As a matter of fact I didn't sign up with the previous company either. I've been bought and sold so many times I honestly don't remember who I first hooked up with. I feel so cheap.

Anyway, the first thing I notice about this letter, other than the folksy contraction right up front, is the use of the quotes around "upgrade." This has been a computer joke for years. So often is a software upgrade a major step backwards in stability and/or productivity that most people in the industry can't help but make air quotes when they use the term.

"Is your computer down?"

"Yeah. I just got [finger quote] upgraded [finger quote]."

Here Chase is serving advance notice that their use of the word isn't all it might appear either. That's really nice. Did they do it on purpose in some sudden attack of conscience? Did somebody in their computer department slip the quotes in to warn their computer literate brothers and sisters? Did the government step in and insist that the word upgrade mean some sort of tangible forward progress unless you quote it or cross your fingers? I'd like to think any might be true especially the last, but my innate cynicism won't late me. Either way I started reading more carefully. Sure enough. They want me to contribute $80 a year towards their bottom line in return for some dubious benefits. My favorite is "Computerized trip itineraries, plus local maps." What? Do they just send you a link to Google?

I rather hate to admit it, but this offer has made me feel much better about them. Before they were a nameless, faceless corporate entity out to part me from as much as my hard earned cash as possible. Now I know they are nameless, faceless corporate entity out to part me from as much as my hard earned cash as possible but they're going to warn me about it. At least occasionally. Somehow this makes all the difference.

davew's picture

Energy Jones

Motorists struggling with the high cost of gasoline would get an immediate 18-cent-a-gallon break under a plan offered Tuesday by Sen. Robert Menendez and several other Senate Democrats.

Joe: "Hi. My name's Joe... and I'm a, ... a gasaholic."

Bob: "Hi Joe. My name is Robert Menendez, but you can call me Bob. You say you need gas? Here you go."

Joe: "I said I'm an addict. I just can't get enough of the stuff. The cost of my weekly fix is about to start cutting into my boating budget."

Bob: "I hear that. I want to assure you we're doing everything we can to make gas cheaper -- short of anything that might harm oil company profits or reduce their government subsidies. Nope. George and Dick wouldn't like that one bit."

Joe: "What I meant was can't you help me stop? Isn't there a 12-step program or something?"

Bob: "A 12-cylinder what?"

Joe: "I just can't go on spending and burning like this. It's tearing my family apart. I'm an addict and I think I need to quit."

Bob: "Look, Joe. Do you breathe?"

Joe: "Uh, yes."

Bob: "Would you say you're addicted to air?"

Joe: "No."

Bob: "And that's just the way we in the U.S. congress feel. Gasoline is as natural as air and we're not going to quit until the two are virtually indistinguishable."

Joe: "But I thought the rate that America is consuming fossil fuel is unsustainable."

Bob: "That's what they say about the federal budget, but the government is still here isn't it?"

Joe: "I guess so."

Bob: "You know so, Buckaroo! As long as there is money to borrow we'll make sure you have gas for your Ford Monolith. And then of course there's China."

Joe: "What about China?"

Bob: "Did you know in a few years they might actually be using more energy than the U.S.?"

Joe: "I think I heard something about that."

Bob: "And do you want China to get the last of the oil? Hell no! It's your duty as a patriotic American to make sure we burn all we possibly can before someone else gets their grubby fingers on it."

Joe: "I never thought about it that way. But what about global warm..."

Bob: "Horse hockey! It's always 70 in my office. Now you just get your flabby ass out of here and go for a drive. Go for a long drive and take your boat. You never know when it might come in handy."

Syndicate content