Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The BBC, Rastani and My Lack of Sleep

On September 26, 2011. Alessio Rastani scared the hell out of folks in the UK and Europe. He also worked my nerves something terrible. I was so messed up I couldn't even read or do anything worth a damn.

For those folks that can't see the video he basically said in a clear, assertive voice that traders and brokers don't care about governments or stable societies. They are looking for profit. The next money fix.

This is not news but he said it in plain English. That was news.

And the work that others folks are trying to do to save Greece and parts of Europe aren't worth the effort because traders and financiers are looking for safe ports for their money, even if they have to stick them in U.S. dollars. It isn't about governments, it is about what Goldman Sachs wants and needs for monetary growth.

What has that got to do with me or you?

Business as usual you say. Well, he also said that he has been waiting for the next drop so he can make some serious bank. A drop that will clean out bank accounts around the world.

I can say with painful memory that small depressions are bad enough. The pure hell of 2001 nobody should wish on any group of people. 9/11+Dot Com bust+Enron all in the same year was quiet enough thank you very much.

And this man speaks of that type of event happening again like a cash money wet dream. It turns out that Mr. Rastani is not a big time trader. He is more of a dabbler.

Rastani is not technically a fraud but he does not roll with the big boys. The BBC did not fully verify his actual qualifications to appear on the broadcast. He is just a man who loves to talk, he wants to be a public speaker.

Rastani got his big break.

And yet,what Rastani said is the truth.

Not about Goldman Sachs. It isn't just that company. Be real. 

We know there are people who would do anything to make huge sums of money. Ethics or societal responsibilities have nothing to do with it. In fact, we are being schooled that no one has any responsibility for anybody but themselves. The rest be damned unless you have money to buy you way out of perdition.

It is the truth that we need to prepare for a serious cosmic money azz whipping or fiscal re-alignment. It is the truth that no one in government or those that aspire to public office has a clue on how to fix this. None. There is no desire to do so.

We are in palliative care mode at the moment. We cling to the side show when the main attractions are just too much to witness.

We need to have alternative sources to our food supply. How are we going handle brown and blackouts? Skills for services or products is going to make a comeback but do most folks have something to trade? Actually no, what do any of us know how to do that does not involve electricity?

You will not catch anyone from this side of the pond say the words that Rastani said on the BBC.  He probably will not appear on any of the business or talking head American television programs. Really shouldn't have been on the BBC.

It makes what he said no less true.

That is why I was curled up in my bed trying to sleep with all kinds of thoughts romping through my head. I didn't sleep much at all.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yes, There Was Chocolate

I feel like that rabbit from Alice In Wonderland. Running here, late there and mumbling to myself.

I have video but I don't have time to edit just yet. My beloved computer is one foot from the grave and I can't make a decision on the replacement. It is a very personal thing. It has to be just right.

So does chocolate and access to it. Which is why I went to the Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon that was held in Pasadena.

This was the fifth salon and my second one that I have attended. So many people! Seriously. Not near enough space for the chocoholics; of which there were many.

Special shout out to all the excellent chocomakers who participated and sliced, diced and gave to the teeming masses of humanity that flowed by their tables.

I'll have more later but I'm still in recovery from that most excellent choco-chilli morsel that lit up my mouth with a living incarnation of the pleasure/pain principle.

In the meantime, if you want to see some of the folks that presented at the festivities you can catch a glimpse at Chocolate Television on Hulu.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Edge of Night and Memories

Before blogging there were web sites and e-newsletters. I started an e-newsletter to keep my computer students and my friends up to date about software programs and the Internet. My friends at the time didn't understand what the Internet was or why I was so jazzed about it. They thought it was something like CB Radio.

I made so many mistakes back then. Spelling, typing, factual; you name it I did it. I kept plugging away at it and I got better. I learned from other people. I learned I didn't have to write a book each time I hit the keyboard.

I didn't want to make money, I just wanted to let people know what was going on and how things were changing. It was a form of self expression. There is nothing wrong with that; despite what other will say about journal writing and blogging.

I was exploring, learning, laughing and connecting with other people who had interests other than what was on the soap operas. Not that there is anything wrong with soap operas or the people that love them. No disrespect intended.

Much love to The Edge of Night

A day in September 2001 changed that. I didn't know if there would be a tomorrow. I didn't trust the Bush administration. I didn't know if the war hawks would bomb first and figure out later.

I knew that I wanted to be of service and help. So I wrote about elephants in the room, emergency preparedness and looking out for each other.

The truth of the matter was that I was alone. I could call people and e-mail folks but for many hours I was by  myself.

It was my edge of night in that I could be scared but if I was going out I wanted to do something positive. So, that is what I do.

There have been earthquakes, floods, fires and riots. There have been dark nights of the soul.

Lots of them.

So my memories and lessons about that time carry forward. Be of service. Keep learning. Make more contacts and friends. Limit the negative voices. Live in the day.

I still make mistakes.

It is all right.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Healing Spaces With Junk Mail

Many folks I know are practicing a media blackout until September 12, 2011. To the extent possible, I do not watch mainstream television and have just about given up on most broadcast news so most of the time I am out of the flow. I will be even more so on Sunday the 11th. I'm reading the book Water for Elephants instead.

I'm going through my junk mail. The PennySaver wants me to know that I can get a lap band if I want to invoke insurance verification.

I don't have PPO insurance. Don't want a lap band either.

Well, I would think about it if involved four men cradling me in their laps as they sung me to sleep. One guy to massage my feet. One man to rub my lower back, one fella for the shoulders and one songbird to sing in my ear.

That is a pleasing visualization. Let see what else I can salvage.

A satellite company want to give me the world and 225 channels for $34.99 including football. 

I can't read the block of fine print on the other side. I believe that is intentional on the vendor's part.  I can just about make out something like $135 if I don't do something in time or $20 per the remainder of the two year contract.

I'd feel bummed out but I don't watch free TV so why would I pay to watch infomercials and football?

Next ad is another lap band circular, this time telling me that freedom is losing the weight. No, freedom is a state of mind and my mind has the foot guy rubbing a bit on my ankles.

EZ Lube - yes I'm going there. No such thing. It is either goopy or runny and you can't just stick any old substance up the ying yang. You have to read the label to make sure it is compatible with your body.

I'm sad that I gotta think about such things but I have to be prepared for the future. What? I don't have a car. What else could I associate it with?

An insurance company wants to offer me affordable coverage. There is a huge honking apple on the paper. This remind me to tell you the fruit eating thing is working out. Mangos and strawberries work well but cherries are labor intensive.

The rest of the junk mail seems to be more of the same..
I place the papers into the recycle bin of life.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Another September Has Come

The smoothie of the day is a mixed berry kind of concoction. I would have like to have added a chunk of garlic to it to keep what has been biting me at night unhappy but I can't find the cloves. Too lazy to look for it.
I can imagine it. Some bloodsucker bug looking for an easy meal strolls up to my arm and takes a sniff. Just as he is about to break off a chunk of me he gets a snoot blast of Gilroy's finest garlic.

"Pee-yoo, that is some rank human! I'm not that hungry." He flutters to the nearest tiny crack in the door.

Yes, I must find the clove for the next batch. I don't know how well garlic goes with strawberries and blackberries. I'm adding a tablespoon of Cheap Chuck (aka Two Buck Chuck) to mellow things out. I was saving it for the earthquake kit but I can pick up another bottle easy.

Special shout out to the new east coast members of "Yes, it really was an earthquake" society.

Yo, y'all can't be running outside during a quake. Too much masonry that can conk you on the head. As a public service to quake newbies this is Martha, the Safety Gal. And some rubber duckies.

Don't hate, reciprocate. When California has a hurricane you are free to send me tips and suggestion.

Time Thief or Aging Is A Drag

I can smell the change of weather. I notice less light outside in the evening. Fall is coming.

I have mixed feeling about Fall. I always feel I get cheated out of more summer. I only get three months of official summer and spend the other nine wishing for more sun and heat.

It also means the great plans and life experiences I thought would happen either worked or didn't work.

That can make me sad but this year, no complaints really. I'm actually in gratitude mode. Grateful I can pay  the bills, grateful I have outside interests. Grateful I have choices on what I want to do when I want to do it.

Well, no not really. One day last week I tried to stay up for 20 hours. I didn't get enough sleep on day one and I had two projects due on day 2 so I stayed up very late. I got them done but by day three I was a wreck.  I came home and I slept 10 hours and could have used three more.

I was the person that could stay up through the Late Show, The Late, Late, Show and the Early movie. I could sleep for two hours then go to school, come home and start it all again.

Those days are gone. Other Septembers have taken my super power away. I'm left with a body that I have to take care of or there will be repercussions. Bad ones.

So for this week I have been good. A hit of garlic and early to bed. There has been slippages but the internal time clock is on my case. The TickTockMan is telling me to repent and I have no choice.

I do not mind being older but man I gotta say some aspects of aging are a stone cold bummer.