dissabte, de desembre 29, 2007

I have gotten several emails in the last couple years advocating a boycott of Citgo gas stations. The general premise of these emails is that since Citgo is owned by PDVSA (the Venezuelan state oil company) we should not support them, because doing so would also support Hugo Chavez.
It is true that Citgo is owned outright by PDVSA, but a closer look at the facts will reveal that this boycott is not only foolish but downright retarded.
Where do I begin?
First of all, it is important to note that, despite foreign ownership, Citgo is an American company that employs thousands of hard working patriotic Americans, of which my mother is one. I have been to visit her at her office, and believe me, it is not a bunch of red-shirted Venezuelan communists working there, most of the people who work there would be at home at any of the oil companies here in town.
Furthermore, branded marketing (the industry term for gas stations) is less than 10% of Citgo's business. The great majority of their business is refining, and their refined product goes into ALL the major gas station chains: shell, exxon, chevron, etc. So just because you don't go to a Citgo station does not mean that you are not getting Citgo gas, most likely you are. Also, they are a huge supplier of jet fuel in this country, so any time you fly on an airplane, there is an excellent chance that the fuel for the plane is from Citgo.
It is very silly to imagine that the only Citgo gas on the market is at Citgo stations; the stuff is EVERYWHERE, people.
Another point to consider (and perhaps the most obvious) is this: Venezela is the only OPEC member in this hemisphere, and Citgo is not the only oil company bringing crude out of Venezuela, in fact all the major players you could imagine are bringing the stuff up to North America. So whether you boycott Citgo or not, and even if you figure out how to boycott oil companies that buy refined products from Citgo (good luck with that) there is still a near guarantee that much of the gas you buy ANYWHERE has been refined from Venezuelan crude.
In short, boycotting Citgo gas stations will not make any difference in the money they are making. If the American people really want to stick it to Hugo Chavez, they should stop using petroleum all together, because let's face it, without all his petrodollars, Hugo Chavez ain't worth shit.

dissabte, de desembre 08, 2007

well thank god. more taxes for the oil companies = higher gas prices, you fucking retards.
i guess Chavez is going to have to make some new plans for retirement
Nanotube-producing bacteria
Top 15 Quotes of Prince Philip

Emirates began non-stop service from Houston to Dubai this week, and I really want to fly first class and get my own little room on the plane. Too bad it's about $13,000. But when you compare that to the $10,000 price tag of a 2 hour flight on the Concorde (in a small seat, too) your own luxury suite for the 16 hour flight isn't such a bad deal. Qatar airways, or whatever its called, has announced a Houston-Doha flight beginning this summer. And Dallas doesn't even have a direct flight to Amsterdam, the poor saps.

dissabte, de desembre 01, 2007

fuck you, ethanol
interesting to see how they predicted fairly accurately a lot of what we have today
don't tell your kids they're smart
the way vs. a way
intelligent design is stupid and it has no place in the classroom

Last night Valery and I went to see Two Star Symphony at the University of St. Thomas. It was a really great show, they played every piece of music they've ever done and it was about three hours long, I believe. Then we drank beer with a couple of her friends.
I am tired of living in the suburbs and I've pretty much decided that I'm going to get my own apartment in the heights. Probably during the summer.
A comment on intelligent design education: I HATE to see politicians stick their fat nasty hands into scientific education. Evolution is a basic phenomenon that occurs within any population of living organisms over time. That is all, and that is how it is taught, that's how I learned it. There is no need to go into abiogenesis, or the origin of life. Yes, it is possible to go back in time through the fossil record and see how things developed, but this exercise is not necessary, and more importantly it is not inherent to evolution. And this idea to teach intelligent design alongside evolution is pure folly. That's what you do when having political debates or philosophical discussions; in science you don't throw in extra stuff that isn't scientific at all just because some people might also believe in it. It's like teaching magic along with physics or astrology along with astronomy. If you want to believe that all the life on this earth was created over one week about six thousand years ago, go right ahead, but you may want to ask yourself: why do I need a new flu shot every year?

dijous, de novembre 29, 2007

This is an awesome video of the Talking Heads performing Psycho Killer at CBGB. I'd like to think it was when they were opening for the Sex Pistols in '75, but I can't be sure. This version is quite different from the album version and I love how David Byrne looks downright terrified to be on stage. I'm glad he became more confident in his singing later on.

dimecres, de novembre 28, 2007

supermouse bred by genetic scientists that CAN'T get cancer
U.S. may phase out incandescent light bulbs

I just watched the republican debate and as usual I was disgusted by all the blatant question dodging. I was particularly touched by the retired Brig. General who is now openly gay. His question was: are American service men and women professional enough to serve alongside openly gay people? But of course the debate quickly devolved into an act in which the candidates who responded basically talked about how don't ask don't tell does work and that gays make people uncomfortable. The man phrased the question brilliantly, I guess in the hopes that someone would have the balls to say (and by doing so compliment Americans in the military) that yes, they are professional enough and that it shouldn't be a problem, but no. I had really hoped Ron Paul would respond, but he was not asked to.
In other news, I'm half way through my first week at the new job, and lemme tell ya, I LOVE waking up at 5 AM. Not really. But the job is a piece of cake and it keeps me busy. I like it a lot better than my previous job as fundraiser-whore for the University of Texas.
I would love to shock the oil company employees with a choice remark about the Tupi Field or Sakhalin, so I guess I'll brush up on E&P. Twice now people have assumed that because I a) look slightly Hispanic (I am) and that b) I'm in food service, that I speak Spanish fluently, and have started talking to me in that language. I do speak Spanish, but not very well, and it's difficult to understand natives when they talk fast because they think I'm fluent.

dissabte, de novembre 24, 2007

Top ten most viewed pages on Wikipedia and Conservapedia

Thanksgiving was great, the food was amazing. Fried turkey is delicious. I drank a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau.
Today I helped my brother paint his kitchen a deep crimson.
Tonight I think we're going to eat at Star Pizza.
I'm currently reading Sartre's Nausea.
I recently borrowed my mom's turntable and some records and hooked it all up at my house. I found a mint copy of Talking Heads: 77 at a book store and it sounds great. I also got Joy Division's Amsterdam, which is just a live performance they did somewhere.
the turkey fryer:

dimecres, de novembre 21, 2007

I had never heard of Waking Life before today, and now I feel like a dilettante.

oh my god

290 is a commuter's nightmare in Houston. A new tollway was (at one time in the recent past) proposed along Hempstead Hwy that would go from Jones Rd all the way to I 10. All the info here. I made this nifty diagram in photoshop:

dimarts, de novembre 20, 2007

Hells yeah

My aunt is having a baby next month so my mom, my grandmother, and I are going to see her in San Diego in January. My mom made sure that I well understood it would be a bunch of baby-crazed women lounging around the house all week, and I would probably not be going but for the fact that I will have free use of my aunt's car. I haven't thought too much about where to go, but I definitely want to go to La Jolla to see the Salk Institute. I need to call ahead and make sure they're cool with strangers taking pictures. Last time I tried taking pictures in a place like that I was quickly and politely asked to leave. I will eat at In-N-Out Burger, of course. Animal style.

yeah okay sure, buddy

I just finished Cities Of The Plain. Very nice. McCarthy is good.
I finally got hired as a caterer for an oil company, and I start next week. I guess it would be okay to say which one, I mean this particular company has more than one office locally, as many of them do, this IS Houston after all. But no. I can't wait to have money again. I won't go into how I've gotten by the past 3 months...
Thanksgiving should be good this year, we're frying the turkey, which is something I/we have never done. Someone is also making a beef roast of some kind. I love thanksgiving but the meal, once I've gotten it onto my plate, is never as good as i expect just a moment before. I should have learned by now. Anyhow I think that right now I would say my favorite thing about thanksgivin' is the smell of all the food together in the Kitchen.
Christmas plans have crystallized: myself and the paternal half of my family are driving to stay with my sister in Tennessee. My two nieces and my other nephew will also be there. Should be fun. I think we're planning a side trip to Chattanooga.
I don't want anything for Christmas. And that is not a polite way of saying "I don't care what I get." I want nothing. I really don't need anything, except for a new car, and I don't think santa can fit one of those down the chimney. My sister's house would be crushed in any event.
Last week my friend Valery and I met up for the first time in forever and it was fun. We went to this neat little place I'd never been to and we listened to some of her friends casually playing music out back. A couple fat tires and a big bottle of Duvel later, we went back to her place to vege and discuss the world. I met more of her friends. I really need to take more pictures. I have 19 fucking cameras and I don't take pictures anymore. It's weird, I bring a small one with me all the time, but I've gotten so used to it that I don't even know it's there anymore.
Valery let me borrow a pretty funny book that I read in a couple days.
I don't really have 19 cameras.

dissabte, de novembre 17, 2007

MoMA And Nouvel Team Up
petra and others

In one of the most extreme signs of China's modern grasp of entrepreneurial possibilities, gold panners are striking deals with jewellery factories to buy the contents of their septic tanks

It is time to quit dancing to the tune of a lobby with dual loyalties and to pursue America's interests

some might go as far as to really believe that they are already dead and are indeed a walking corpse, even maintaining that they can smell their own rotting flesh

If I had heard him ... I would have stared him down like an Indian, because I am an Indian and a little bit black and white

a comment on the Wright Amendment: It's fucking bullshit protectionist garbage designed to give American Airlines and DFW airport a monopoly on air travel. Basically, flights are extremely limited out of Dallas Love field, which is Dallas' smaller airport, to only a handful of local states, so if you want to get anywhere further than that you are forced to fly American (yuck, i KNOW!) out of DFW. In Houston, our second airport has no such restrictions, and it is a major p2p hub for Southwest, and a couple others. Meanwhile, Continental still operates more international flights out of Intercontinental (i still don't like calling it bush) and the airport as a whole serves more destinations than DFW.
I think it would have made a lot more sense to have both airports owned by the same authority, as is the case here with the HAS.
The moral of this story: government should stay the hell out of private enterprise.
This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass, Larry.

diumenge, de novembre 11, 2007

Radio, live transmission.
Radio, live transmission.

Listen to the silence, let it ring on.
Eyes, dark grey lenses frightened of the sun.
We would have a fine time living in the night,
Left to blind destruction,
Waiting for our sight.

And we would go on as though nothing was wrong.
And hide from these days we remained all alone.
Staying in the same place, just staying out the time.
Touching from a distance,
Further all the time.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.
Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.
Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.
Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

Well I could call out when the going gets tough.
The things that weve learnt are no longer enough.
No language, just sound, thats all we need know, to synchronise
Love to the beat of the show.

And we could dance.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.
Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.
Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.
Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

oh man if I could go back in time I would go see Joy Division and film Ian Curtis dancing. I really want to see Control.
the trailer:

dimarts, d’octubre 30, 2007

but I want one nooooooooowwww
does this mean the government is gonna bail me out?
what a stinker, that guy
In your face, Oil!

I've been reading like crazy lately, a list:
Child Of God, All The Pretty Horses, Naked, The Crossing, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, and You Shall Know Our Velocity!
All were good, I'm anxious to finish The Border Trilogy.
on my list of books to read soon:
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Cities of the Plain, Blood Meridian, Me Talk Pretty One Day, The General in His Labyrinth, and Nausea.

I'm very likely getting a job tomorrow as a contractor for a large oil company. I'll basically be a caterer, so not really that glamorous, but it's a hell of a lot better than most of the options open to a college student.
I rejoiced when the fall weather came through for me, finally. The past week we've had nothing but beautiful, cloudless blue skies.

dimarts, d’octubre 16, 2007

'Second Earth' found
The organisation is dedicated to providing toilets to nearly 730 million people in India who lack them
oh dear
28 Ways To Interpret A Photo
Humans May Stay Young For 400 Years
Quantum Suicide

If I was young, I'd flee this town
I'd bury my dreams underground
As did I, we drink to die, we drink tonight

Far from home, elephant gun
Let's take them down one by one
We'll lay it down, it's not been found, it's not around

Let the seasons begin - it rolls right on
Let the seasons begin - take the big king down

Let the seasons begin - it rolls right on
Let the seasons begin - take the big king down

And it rips through the silence of our camp at night
And it rips through the night

And it rips through the silence of our camp at night
And it rips through the silence, all that is left is all that i hide

dilluns, d’octubre 01, 2007

List of company name etymologies
many children are taking multiple drugs at one time
data suggesting levels of violence may be dropping
We're outsourcing our investigations of Blackwater to Blackwater

My next project, sprocket hole photography:

I modified my Holga with two small pieces of foam to accommodate 35mm film.
I had the color slide film that I shot [on my Holga] cross processed with regular color C-41 chemicals, which is supposed to have an interesting result. Also, the only place in Houston with the appropriate chemicals (E-6) is really far away, so I'll risk some weird colors for the sake of a short trip.
Holga photos
cross processed