Aug 31, 2008

Sunday - Fair

This morning, Hotness and I got up and went to meet Qtilla in Monroe where we all spent most of the day at the Evergreen State Fair.


We met around 10:00 a.m. and then walked around checking out all the sites and eating food that is bad for us.

We all went for a Purple Cow and I was hoping to be lucky #13 (and thus get a free one) but was foiled yet again. For 30+ years I've been hoping to get a free one, and I was #12 today. No sooner had I paid for mine when the "clang-clang" of the winner bell rang. I had tried to talk Hotness into getting one with me, but she wasn't interested in any. Had she gotten one, I'd be a winner finally. It's all her fault. *sigh*

We checked out the animals, the antique tractors, the heritage museum, most of the commercial exhibits and breifly walked through the carnival.

It was fun hanging out, but trying to describe a typical day at the fair can be sort of boring. You need to experience it to get the real fun out of it.

Here are some pictures of our day:


goofy-looking emergency VW van


pygmy goats!


bunnies!


cool-looking Dahlia in floral dept.


After my deep-fried Twinkie earlier last week, I knew I didn't need another one ever again in my lifetime.
However, Technogreek said that the deep-fried Snickers was the bomb.... so I got one.

And it was truly yummy!

The weather held out and was nice while we were there, but started getting dark and as we were leaving to go to our cars, we felt the first few drops of rain start to come down.
Perfect timing.

Now we're back home and there's one more big day coming up..
Stay tuned.....

Saturday - PAX

I got an instant message at work on Friday morning from Dr. Zoltar.
"Hey, what are you doing this Saturday?" he asked
At the time I didn't think I had any plans, so after checking with Hotness to confirm that I didn't I told him "I'm free. Why?"
"Want to go to PAX with me? I won two free tickets" was his reply.
So after a quick 'what time and where to meet' planning session, we were good to go for PAX the following day.

Deciding on what to wear that day turned into quite a chore.
I mean really... yeah I'm a guy, but who wants to be seen with the WRONG kind of geek pride T-shirt?
You want to make a statement, but you don't want to be too much of a dork.
I thought I'd wear my "I'd 'Tap' That" shirt, but I got it from Penny Arcade and figured they'd be selling it and somebody else might have it as well.


Hmmm... well, how about my 8-bit head shot shirt? A classic for sure, but convention worthy?

"No," Hotness said, "not that one."

Ah! My GTFO shirt! That's the ticket!

Hotness agreed.

We met up in Bellvue and Hotness drove us both into Seattle to the Convention Center so we could spend the day in a gamer's paradise.

After getting our tickets, we went to get into line. I did not know that the crowd would be as big as it was when we got there. There were a ton of people shortly after they opened (10:00 a.m.) and that was just a handful of what it turned out to be later in the day.

Here we are just getting into the line. Look how many people were already there.
video
The entire Emerald City Comic Con was held in this very room a few months earlier, and PAX was using this room just to line up the crowd. Crazy.
Inside the actual event it was a visual overload. There were game and software companies all over showing their stuff and people glued to screens competeing with one another.

We wandered around to get a general idea of what there was before getting involved in anything particular.

We stopped at one booth that was selling a couple of interesting games.
One was called Redneck Life where you go around the board getting hitched, divorced, re-hitched and having youn'ens all while trying to win with the most teeth at the end of the game.
The other was a card game called Trailer Park Wars and you battle other players with things like surface-to-trailer missiles and molotov beer cans while trying to be the best darn trailer park manager by having good tenants and collecting the most pink flamingos.
These both looked like a a lot of fun, so I ended up getting both of them (plus the expansion pack for Redneck Life) and I plan on bringing it to the next game night when we all get together.

Dr. Z had come looking for game card for another friend and to pick up a book and get an autograph from fan favorite (and really super nice) Wil Wheaton.

We stood in line for a while and when we got to meet him, he was just really cool. We introduced ourselves as volunteers from ECCC and hoped that he was planning on coming back. (He was already invited and did plan to come, but we wanted to let him know that we were already very excited to have him there again!)

We ran into fellow Comic Stop alumni, Technogreek, 2.0, Bogath, and Burnham while we were there. We also spotted comic writer Ed Brubaker talking to folks at the convention, but we didn't go over to him.

We picked up some bacon salt from a guy wearing this cool T-shirt:

They also had a guy in a bacon costume, but he had torn it and it was falling apart when we got to them. So no pictures of Mr. Bacon Man, sorry.

Saw lots of booth babes. Some were very much eye-candy.
Others were.... well.... they obviously looked like they had better things to do than have geeks oggling them all day. (but they were still worth checking out).

I didn't notice any funky body odor from anybody at the convention.
Either all the attendees had bathed or my sense of smell is really getting bad (but I guess that's not a problem considering the conventions I go to. Ha ha!).

Here's Dr. Z trying out Shaun White Snowboarding for the Nintendo Wii:



Other than that, it was just one big game overload.
So many things to look at and it was very overwhelming.
It was fun to go, but I'm not really their target demographic so we'll see if I actually go again.
It'd be fun, but I think one day is enough for me.

Here are a few more random pictures I took with my camera phone:

Aug 28, 2008

At Midnight The Destroyer Of Worlds Will Come For You

Check out this kick-ass clock!

I've gotta find me a cheap pendulum clock and make it over like this for my office wall at home.

Aug 27, 2008

Still White & Nerdy

I'm loyal to Weird Al like fans of the Grateful Dead.

So when I found out he was coming to do a concert here again, I got tickets right away.

This time it was Hotness and myself joined by Technogreek and his brother, George.
We got pretty good seats just left of center stage with a decent view.
This was my 5th time seeing him live and Hotness has joined me for four of those concerts.
T & G had never been to a show, but I assured them that is was a guaranteed good time.

The day itself was pretty uneventful.
I had taken the day off, as we had planned on spending the day at the fair and then seeing the concert. But those plans got changed at the last minute the night before.
So instead, I slept in. Had some breakfast. Then got ready to meet the guys at the Comic Stop in Redmond that afternoon.

The day was nice. Blue sky and sunny. That evening looked to be just as good.

I met them and then we headed back to my house to drop off my car (they can both attest to how far out in the sticks I live!) and then we drove to the Fair.

It started getting overcast, but still no rain.

We had a couple of hours to kill before the seats were open for the concert so we walked around the fairgrounds looking for something to eat and checking out the various booths.

The Weird Al concert was being presented by KISS 106.1 FM. I stopped by their booth to see if there was any way to get backstage passes to meet the band.
Me: "Hi! I hear you folks are presenting the Weird Al concert tonight."
Booth worker #1: "We are?"
Booth worker #2: "What concert?"
Me: "The Weird Al concert. You're even printed on the ticket as presenting him for the fair"
Booth worker #1: "We are? Hey, are we presenting Weird Al in concert?"
Booth worker #3: "Who?"
Booth worker #2: "Weird Al."
Booth worker #3; "Uh... yeah. I guess so. Is there something I can do for you?"
Me: "No. Thanks. Just checking."

We spied a funny-looking sign that appreared to be misprinted:


But it turned out that it was actually what it advertised:

Technogreek got the Pespi and a deep-fried Snickers.
I just got a deep-fried Twinkie.

I can honestly say...
Now that I've had one, I NEVER need to eat another one. I felt like I needed to take a shower after I ate it. It's not that it tasted bad, I just felt so dirty afterwards.

I needed something to drink so I got my yearly Purple Cow.
Hotness soon joined us (she had to work that day and met up with us later), then we four split up briefly.
Hotness went to get a corn dog and some ice cream , while I got a water.
Technogreek and George went to get their sweatshirts from the car before the concert started.

It was now time for the gates to open, so we went to our seats just in time for the rain to start falling.
Here are before the show:


and here's the stage from our seats:


Weird Al performing "Fat" in his costume.


It rained the ENTIRE time we were there, and he thanked everyone for being good sports and sticking around for 2 hours in the rain.

After the show, we all walked back to the cars and went our separate ways home.
I had a good time as always, despite being wet, and I think everyone else did as well. At least they were still smiling when the show was over.

Another year of not getting to meet Weird Al, but I'm not giving up. I'll try again next time.

Aug 25, 2008

.... And Then We All Had Cake

First, I'd like to apologize for the lackluster choice for Music Madness Monday.

I wanted to post something by Weird Al, but all the live clips were pretty crappy and the really good ones were not allowing me to embed them into the post. So we got Bohemian Polka. I wanted to pick something that wasn't familiar but still unique.
Yeah. Kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.
I'll try to do better, I promise.

Well, with that said here's how the weekend shook down;

On Friday after work, I met up with G-rod at the Comic Stop to pick up my weekly dose of four-color crack then he and I went and saw 'The Dark Knight' next door. I'd seen it on opening weekend but he hadn't yet. It was just as good the second time around I thought.

Saturday I slept in a little then got up and made a potato salad. After that I had to meet Hotness downtown at the coffee shop. We were going to the Farmer's Market in Redmond that morning and the day looked to be a great one.

We meandered around and picked up a couple of tiny little cherry pies and a loaf of cheesy corn bread and a yummy smelling candle.

It was getting closer to noon and I began to get a hankering for a pita sandwich so I stopped at Fred Meyer on the way home and picked up stuff to make one.

I had planned on taking advantage of the weather and digging the holes for my clothesline poles and finally get them up and installed, but gravity called me to the couch and I was stuck there.

I decided to watch a movie I picked up at the library, "Grizzly Man". A really good movie about Timothy Treadwell, who lived among grizzlies in Alaska for 13 years until his death by one of them in 2003. Recommended.

Then Hotness and I drove to the Lynnwood Comic Stop to watch Kyle Stevens do a set of his music and some songs from the Kirby Krackle collaboration with Technogreek.

Good stuff!

There was food and drinks

and after the music a few of us stayed around to play ZOMBIES! until about 4:00 in the morning. Ugh!

It was fun (long, but fun) and I look forward to picking up the game to play when we go camping next time. (Playing ZOMBIES! in the woods after dark and drinking mojitos... there's more to life than that?!?)

On Sunday, Hotness and slept in until after 10:00 a.m.
Any plans to get the clothesline poles up were scrappped when it started raining and just got ugly outside.

We had plans for later that afternoon so I stayed in the kitchen and made smoked salmon deviled eggs to take with us. I also made some rice crispie treats, but due to many errors (I blame sleep deprivation) they came out more like rice crispie ROCKS and I had to scrap the batch. Sorry guys, I'll make more again soon.

It was getting closer to time for us to leave, so we got everything in the car and headed up north for Qtilla's (belated) birthday party.

What had planned to be a BBQ turned into a pizza fest since the rain didn't allow for much merriment to be partaken of outside.

Ah well, it still was fun.


We had pizza, ice cream cake and a few of us had shots of some mighty fine tequila.

Then Q opened her presents and realizing it was getting on to around 10:00 p.m. we all started to say goodbye and head our separate ways home.

A fun weekend filled with late nights and hanging out with friends.

More stuff coming up this week and especially Labor Day weekend. Posting may be sparse bewteen now and then though but I'll be back.

Music Madness Monday

Oh man! I forgot to get a post together so it would be ready for today.
I apologize for the tardiness of this one.

Since I'm going to him in concert tomorrow, I'm presenting...
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC

Aug 22, 2008

Good Day Sunshine (fixed*)

This was what greeted me when I stumbled out of bed this morning around 6:00 a.m.

(* fixed the pictures so now you can click on them for "total-sunrise-experience" action.)

Aug 21, 2008

Gayest. Sport. Ever.

Hotness and I grabbed something to eat on the way home this evening and as we were sitting waiting for our meal, the Beijing Olympics were playing.
I haven't really been following the events that much. Preferring to catch up with who won what when they talk about it on the radio or in the paper.

Tonight, they were showing 10m high-dives, female BMX racing (THIS is an Olympic sport?!?) and clips of race-walking. Or walk-running. Or... as I call it, the GAYEST SPORT EVER.

I couldn't find any 'good' clips of men's race-walking. This following clip is pretty descriptive of the style, though, and really... the men and women both move the same way so what's difference?

(is the slow-motion replay REALLY necessary?)

I sat on my fat butt, eating my dinner and watching people 'compete' by walking fast.
Their little, boney arms pumping back and forth while their tushies swished from side to side.
You could be Vin Diesel or Chuck Norris or James F'ing Bond, but if you're race-walking you would still look like you're fresh out of a Pride Parade.
Everybody looks like their trying to find a bathroom before having diarriah right there in the street.

If you're going to run, just run.
If you're going to walk, just walk.
If you're going to do a half-assed job of both, then jog.
None of this intermediate go-between from walking to jogging.

I mean really.... think of the children.

Aug 18, 2008

Camping: Marten Creek 2008

Ahhh..... got out of work on Friday night and hustled over to G-rod's place to pick him up and head out for another weekend of campin'!

This time was up north and a little east of Granite Falls at a place our group has come to love called Marten Creek.

Last time we were there it rained, but this time we had beautiful, hot, sunny weather.

We set up our tents right after we got there, and then commenced to drinking and eating!

Friday evening was hot so we passed on making a fire but we sat around and drank mojitos while the sun set.

Then one by one, members of the group shuffled off to their respective tents for the night.

The next morning, started out beautifully. I ususally get up early when I'm camping, but this time I slept until almost 8:00 a.m.
I made some scrambled eggs and G-rod and I slapped the eggs bewteen a couple of sliced bagels (along with some bacon and cheese) and then toasted it by the campfire for breakfast.

We stood around discussing our various plans for the day.
A couple of people went for a hike to a lake nearby while the rest of us decided to try and make it to the Big Four Ice Caves.

We had to go back to the ranger station in Verlot to pick up a NW Forest Pass and while we were there we found out that the bridge (that washed out during winter storms a couple of years ago) was still out, but that the river was low enough to cross and the rest of the trail was accessible.

So we piled everyone (5 adults and 3 kids) into two cars and off to the ice caves we went.
The parking lot wasn't full which was nice, and the trail to the bridge was uncrowded.

Once we got to where the bridge was damaged we climbded down and walked the river bank to the water so we could cross it.


It was low enough to cross, just like the ranger said. What she failed to mention, however, was that the water was still FREEZING cold! I didn't have a thermometer with me, but it had to be about 40 degrees in the water.

G-rod and I made it across but the other adults decided it was better not to risk crossing with the little ones, so they stayed behind.
The water came up to just above our knees and by the time we got to the other side of the river, my feet had gone numb. A few seconds out of the water, though, and the feeling came back and we started back on the trail.

On a side note: The Big Four Ice Caves are totally worth going to if you have kids or not.
The trail is easy to hike, and although the bridge is out at the river it looks like they are going to rebuild it soon. Hopefully this trail will be fully accessible next year.
I highly recommend going, but be sure to pick up a NW Forest Pass if you do. It's required at the trailhead.
The snow was still plentiful when we got there and the caves are beautiful.
As we exited the woods we could already feel the temperature of the air drop quite a bit just from the amount of ice and snow that was there.

The closer we got to the caves, the colder it became.

Here are some pics of the caves:




We didn't stay too long since the rest of the group didn't make it and we didn't want to keep them waiting too long, so G & I headed back and across the freezing cold river to meet them at the car.

Once back, it was time for a late lunch and then frolicking in the river next to camp. (And by 'frolicking', I mean sticking my feet in the water)

Followed by more sitting around drinking (this time it was Rum & Coke).

The afternoon wore on and we basically just enjoyed each other's company and waited for dinner and the setting sun.




As it grew darker, we could see the light if the moon beginning to poke out from behind the mountains across from camp, so we watched it rise and tried to scare off the mice that kept sneaking into camp to steal food before everyone headed for bed.


I stayed up a bit longer talking to one of the other campers. When suddenly I felt a mouse jump onto my shoulder. I screamed like a girl (yes, I did) and said "Okay, that's it. I'm going to bed now!"
I put in earplugs, shimmied out of my clothes and layed on top of my sleeping bag in my tent.

Sometime during the night (I'm guessing about 2 a.m.) some idiots stopped just outside the gate of our camp and whooped and hollered for about 5 minutes. I jolted awake and put my clothes on, as I didn't want to have to run out of the tent in my underwear.

They took off after a few minutes to points unknown, but I wasn't able to relax and get back to sleep. I kept waking to every little noise I heard thinking they might come back and decide to be more brazen and disruptive.

Then I noticed what seemed to be a flashlight. I opened my eyes but nothing was there.
So I laid there a little longer and it happened again.
It turned out not to be a flashlight but rather lightening.... which was later followed by thunder.
I got out and immediately put the rainfly on my tent, then went around checking with the other campers to make sure their tents were also covered.

I couldn't get back into my tent, as now that the rainfly was on I couldn't see anything outside if somebody decided to come into camp.
So I got in my car and tried to sleep until the sun came up. But that didn't work.

Finally, the sun came up and people started getting around. G & I packed up our tents and gear into the car, then headed over to get some breakfast with the others.

The weather was nice but overcast. We decided we'd head home early, especially since I hadn't gotten much sleep, so we finished the last of our packing and came back home.

Overall the trip was fun, and we got to make new friends, since one of the families that camped with us had never joined us before.
We had a great time, despite freezing river water and stupid idiots that yell in the night.

There's another camping trip planned for Sept. and I think that's our last one for the year, but we'll see.

Music Madness Monday (for real this time!)

I couldn't leave you all hanging with that last one.
Here's something to raise your fist and declare your '80's pride with!

Music Madness Monday

This still falls under the "Music Madness Monday" umbrella..... trust me.




I really liked the drum solo.

Aug 15, 2008

A Downright Shame

Thanks to Geeked who I just found out about this from.

I'm merely re-posting information from another site, as I have a few (yeah, I know you're out there!) readers who come from more than my comic circle of friends and this type of information NEEDS to be presented to everyone so that it can be stopped.

There is no place for sexual or verbal harrassment anywhere at anytime. Period.
____________________________________________________________
From John at "Bully Says":

Overheard at San Diego Comic-Con while I was having lunch on the balcony of the Convention Center on Sunday July 27: a bunch of guys looking at the digital photos on the camera of another, while he narrated: "These were the Ghostbusters girls. That one, I grabbed her ass, 'cause I wanted to see what her reaction was." This was only one example of several instances of harassment, stalking or assault that I saw at San Diego this time.

1. One of my friends was working at a con booth selling books. She was stalked by a man who came to her booth several times, pestering her to get together for a date that night. One of her co-workers chased him off the final time.

2. On Friday, just before the show closed, this same woman was closing up her tables when a group of four men came to her booth, started taking photographs of her, telling her she was the "prettiest girl at the con." They they entered the booth, started hugging and kissing her and taking photographs of themselves doing so. She was confused and scared, but they left quickly after doing that.

3. Another friend of mine, a woman running her own booth: on Friday a man came to her booth and openly criticized her drawing ability and sense of design. Reports from others in the same section of the floor confirmed he'd targeted several women with the same sort of abuse and criticism.

Quite simply, this behavior has got to stop at Comic-Con. It should never be a sort of place where anyone, man or woman, feels unsafe or attacked either verbally or physically in any shape or form. There are those, sadly, who get off on this sort of behavior and assault, whether it's to professional booth models, cosplayers or costumed women, or women who are just there to work. This is not acceptable behavior under any circumstance, no matter what you look like or how you're dressed, whether you are in a Princess Leia slave girl outfit or business casual for running your booth.

On Saturday, the day after the second event I described above, I pulled out my convention book to investigate what you can do and who you can speak to after such an occurrence. On page two of the book there is a large grey box outlining "Convention Policies," which contain rules against smoking, live animals, wheeled handcarts, recording at video presentations, drawing or aiming your replica weapon, and giving your badge to others. There is nothing about attendee-to-attendee personal behavior.

Page three of the book contains a "Where Is It?" guide to specific Comic-Con events and services. There's no general information room or desk listed, nor is there a contact location for security, so I go to the Guest Relations Desk. I speak to a volunteer manning the desk; she's sympathetic to the situation but who doesn't have a clear answer to my question: "What's Comic-Con's policy and method of dealing with complaints about harassment?" She directs me to the nearest security guard, who is also sympathetic listening to my reports, but short of the women wanting to report the incidents with the names of their harassers, there's little that can be done.

"I understand that," I tell them both, "but what I'm asking is more hypothetical and informational: if there is a set Comic-Con policy on harassment and physical and verbal abuse on Con attendees and exhibitors, and if so, what's the specific procedure by which someone should report it, and specifically where should they go?" But this wasn't a question either could answer.

So, according to published con policy, there is no tolerance for smoking, drawn weapons, personal pages or selling bootleg videos on the floor, and these rules are written down in black and white in the con booklet. There is not a word in the written rules about harassment or the like. I would like to see something like "Comic-Con has zero tolerance for harassment or violence against any of our attendees or exhibitors. Please report instances to a security guard or the Con Office in room XXX."

The first step to preventing such harassment is giving its victims the knowledge that they can safely and swiftly report such instances to someone in authority. Having no published guideline, and indeed being unable to give a clear answer to questions about it, gives harassment and violence one more rep-tape loophole to hide behind.

I enjoyed Comic-Con. I'm looking forward to coming back next year. So, in fact, are the two women whose experiences I've retold above. Aside from those instances, they had a good time at the show. But those instances of harassment shouldn't have happened at all, and that they did under no clear-cut instructions about what to do sadly invites the continuation of such behavior, or even worse.

don't understand why there's no such written policy about what is not tolerated and what to do when this happens. Is there anyone at Comic-Con able to explain this? Does a similar written policy exist in the booklets for other conventions (SF, comics or otherwise) that could be used as a model? Can it be adapted or adapted, and enforced, for Comic-Con? As the leading event of the comics and pop culture world, Comic-Con should work to make everyone who attends feel comfortable and safe.
__________________________________________________________


If you go to a convention of any kind and are a victim of harrassment, please report it.
If you witness harrassment, don't stand around like an idiot. Report it.
Unless this is brought to the convention promoter's attention, this type of behavior will continue.
It is unacceptable.

Comments are turned off for this subject.
Actions speak louder than words.

When Out On The Lawn There Arose Such A Clatter....

Last night, after Hotness and I had finished dinner and each had a bowl of ice cream, we were sitting on the couch watching a DVD.
The cat was on her lap and we were just relaxing.

When all of the sudden we heard "CRASH!"
It sounded like broken glass.

Hotness scooped up the cat and put her in the bathroom, then ran back to the living room to get some boots on. I grabbed a flashlight and my shoes and we both headed outside to see what happened (which we assumed was the bear again).

Shining the flashlight all around where we heard the noise, we didn't see any movement. Nor did we hear the now familiar shuffling of big paws running on the gravel road.

"It sounded like glass breaking," said Hotness.
"I know. Maybe it was some used windows I had near the bird feeders," I replied, hoping that it was that and not my car windows (which are low to the ground... about bear height).
But the windows were intact.

Then I saw some movement under the bird feeders.
"Wait a sec! I see something!" I said. Hotness scooted in behind me as I crept forward to get a better look.
"It's a raccoon! Dammit!" I exclaimed.

It had climed up the tree and knocked not only the bird feeder off the branch but also the metal hook that was holding it there.
When the hook hit the feeder as they both hit the ground, it sounded like breaking glass.

Relieved it wasn't a bear I proceed to wave my arms about and chase the raccoon into the woods, yelling gibberish just to scare it off.

Now outside, I figured I'd better get my camping gear out of our pumphouse, since I was going
to go camping this weekend.
Hotness kept me company (just in case any bears were watching) and stayed near the cars next to the house.

Oh, did I mention what she was wearing?
She had on a tank top, a pair of my boxer shorts and a pair of black rubbber boots.
Fashion, baby. That's what I'm talking about.

Anyway, all was going well for a couple of minutes until a car came up into our driveway.
It turned out to be our neighbors who live behind us and of course... they had to drive right by where Hotnes was standing.

She tried to hide behind the car, but they stopped to ask how things were going and then asked why she was hiding. Busted!

She came out from behind the car, in all her fashionista glory and we all talked for a bit.
While we all catching up with the latest (bear update, camping, etc...) I noticed some movement further up the driveway.
I asked my neighbor to turn his headlights on for a moment.
"A-ha! More raccoons!" and I took off running and yelling at them.

Afterwards, they headed up to their house and we went inside.
I mentioned to Hotness "You know, I'm beginning to figure out why some of our neighbors just drive on by and don't stop to chat."

Aug 14, 2008

Cum On Feel The Noize

I know... it's a bad pun, but I felt it was an appropriate title to go with this news story I found.

Man banned from girlfriend's home after noisy sex.




--------------------
Aw heck!
I know it's not Monday, but let's roll with it, shall we?

Bigfoot Found

No, not me and my big ol' size eleven feet.
The "real" Bigfoot of legendary pseudo-science fame.
It remains to be seen whether this is another elaborate hoax or the real deal.

A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow in Palo Alto, CA, where they plan to present photo and DNA evidence of their discovery.

Stay tuned for further developments.....

Aug 13, 2008

Now It's A "Bumper Crop"?!?

Not long ago (late July in fact) we were being told that so much of America's farming heartland was flooded and crops were destroyed. We were going to face big increases in costs at the grocery store, not only because of higher fuel prices (to transport the food) but because there would be less of it to go around since so many of the crops were damaged.

This would affect meat, as animals would have to be slaughtered so compensate for the increasing food costs to growers. Thus, meat and poultry would go down a little after saturating the market, and then take a sharp increase.

Oh, but wait! Not two weeks later they're telling us that we going to have a bumper crop of soybeans and corn. Food shortage and price increases averted. Yay!
What? Food isn't going to go down now? Oh, because food buyers already based their costs on the 'expected' food shortages and susequent increases, so they are locked in on contracts with higher prices.
In other words, we're going to pay more because they already raised the prices and won't back down now.

So really, where's the good news in this?
We're already getting ass-raped at the gas pump, even though oil producers assure us that "they're doing everything they can to cut costs" while still reporting the biggest quarterly profits in years.
Now food retailers are going to get their fair share because not only is fuel more expensive but they are already paying higher prices based on "ESTIMATED INCREASES" that they got locked into contracts with their suppliers even though those costs aren't going to be as high as expected.

A few years back, the price of butter rose dramatically during the Holiday season. Shoppers were feeling the pinch and the news reported that it was due to "dairy producers not realizing the expected increase of usage, so they had cut back production and now supplies were short".
Really? Butter rose in price at the very peak of when people do most of their baking and the producers didn't plan for it? Are you kidding me?
If you haven't noticed, those prices STILL haven't come down yet. Even though there's been plenty of time to adjust for consumer consumption. Butter is still expensive.

Gas prices were over $4.50/gal and now that they dropped were happy to pay $3.99/gal.
Food prices will rise, even though expected costs won't be as much as they planned for.
Utilities have increased because they had to recover from all the storm damage a year ago, but never re-adjusted afterwards.

Which goes to show you that once a precedent has been set, we're expected to jus deal with it.
Welcome to the new future.

Aug 12, 2008

More Bear Goodness

I need to hire this cat to patrol the house while we're gone!