A Frivolous Posting About Kleenex

August 19, 2008

It’s a time of great jubilation ’round the office. Snot has its best friend back—Kleenex. Yep, for about four months our office underwent draconian cost-cutting measures and hygienic tissues were the first to go (the toilet paper, such as it is, was spared). Apparently money was found in the budget to bring back this great American invention. I know, as an environmentalist type, I should be appalled by the very existence of Kleenex: cut down trees and make snot rags out of them that, once used, go right back into the waste stream. I will say that, having been without them for so long, my usage of them has decreased, sort of the same way that car drivers adapted and cut back on gas usage when the cost rocketed above $4 a gallon.
I know what some of you are thinking: an employer has no obligation to provide nose wipes to its staff. But once something is expected, its taking away does seem a slight – a lowering of the quality of life; yet another cutback in a series of morale-lowering indignities. The funny thing was that people simply shifted their nose blowing from the Kleenex to paper towels in the public kitchen and toilet paper in the restroom, so I don’t know if any real cost savings was realized by the absence of Kleenex. Anyway, welcome back old friend of my disposable society. -EG

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Peel Your Eyes Off the CGI and the Viddy Games and Look at the Real Special Effects, Dorks

July 26, 2008

Sometimes… no, strike that… all the time I feel like I’m the only person who sets out to work every morning and returns home each evening and actually looks at the amazing light shows that we’ve been blessed with seemingly every day this summer. One reason I think this is that I simply never see people looking at the sky when this stuff is going on; just people scurrying about in their usual dazes. Another reason is the following: I was taking a picture of the sunrise a few days ago at the bus stop and the lady standing there next to me seemed puzzled as to what I was doing, until I pointed above her head eastward. Our habits of ignoring the gifts of nature are so ingrained that we’ve fallen into some kind of groundward-glancing sleep that keeps our eyes below the horizon. This lady was pleasantly surprised at what she saw. Sadly, looking up would never have occurred to her, so inculcated was she into this societal mindset. This is a lady who reads corporate management books in transit, so her bafflement at what is real and important in this life should not surprise me.

While most of you people were getting your fix on the latest comic book movie or first-person computer/video shooter or corporate management books or whatever petty diversions you’ve sequestered yourselves into, this is the kind of stuff I’ve been looking at. Free special effects from nature or God or from whatever origin you like. These are some sunrises and sunsets from just the past few days. The last item here was a very transitory “atomic bomb” cloud effect of the setting sun shooting rays upward through a cloud top, which happened about two minutes before disappearing on the night of July 22, 2008. (See also previous posting: That Sunset Last Night in Louisville, Ky.)

-EG


Let the Weeds Grow and Watch What Happens

July 23, 2008

Botany is not my area of expertise, so I don’t know what these beauties are called. I looked up flowering weeds in Google Images and came up with something that looks similar to this called hoary cress (aka, white weed). [ However, I’ve been informed these are Queen Anne’s Lace; the images bear this out. ]. These babies are growing at the edge of the sidewalk below the front porch and directly facing the front door of my house. The flowers sit atop a two-foot stem. (I did check to make sure this wasn’t some sort of “illegal” plant, otherwise I wouldn’t post the pix.) I found a website touting weed control and it defines weeds as “plants out of place.” Out of place? Says who? Now I ask you, what kind of arrogance is that? The plants were here before us. And do these look out of place to you? Where could they possibly look out of place? They don’t look out of place to me, and that’s why I’m letting them and a lot of other out of place things grow on my property for my own aesthetic enjoyment while my neighbors curse and battle them with toxic poisons like Round Up. To me, these flowers looks as cool as anything I could plant myself. So why fight them?

-EG


Forest Green Fitness Trail at Hurstbourne Green Office Park (Unseen Louisville No. 4)

June 16, 2008

It has been awhile since our last Unseen Louisville posting. That our latest entry should be relatively unknown should not be surprising, since it is new, or rather, is a newly monikered way to present a setting that was already there. In a low-lying heavily wooded area adjacent to the ever-growing office sprawl in the Hurstbourne Lane and Ormsby Station Road area of Eastern Jefferson County is a graveled fitness trail cut through some of the last (relatively) untouched deep woods in that part of town. The Forest Green Fitness trail begins at the back edge of a vast parking lot for several new post-modern glass boxes a few hundred yards south of a McDonalds. (Specifically the parcel is bounded to the north by Forest Green Blvd which parallels the slightly more northerly Hurstbourne Lane and to the west by the head of Dorsey Way and to the east by Dorsey Lane). The woods there seem to have been set aside as part of mitigation, I suspect, required by planning and zoning to ensure that some green space remains in the area. I visited the trail this past weekend, and a nice day it was too, as the following pictures will show. On the way there I checked out another bit of unseen Louisville that I only recently discovered—a wide tunnel that passes directly under Hurstbourne Lane adjacent to the McDonalds. I’ve biked through this tunnel several times in the last few weeks without ever encountering one soul there. If you go there, be careful, it gets mighty dark; the lights do not appear to be working. If you bike, be careful not to hit anyone that might pop up while you’re going through there. Use a headlight. The fitness trail to the south is officially closed after dusk, which only makes sense. You probably don’t want to be down there after hours. During the day the dense foliage makes the air noticeably cooler. While I was visiting, a group of kids were sitting at a picnic table in a clearing, resting from doing whatever it is that kids do in the woods. Make sure you have good heavy mountain bike treads if you try to bike the gravel, as it gets fairly thick and loose in spots. The sign at the ‘official’ entrance (although there are several places to enter the trail) says the path is a mile long, but it only seemed to me to be at best a half mile, at least on the parts passable by bike. I know it only took me a couple minutes to bike it from west to east. There are some wooden steps to the east that were impassable by bike, so maybe that constitutes the rest. A walking trip in the future will tell or not. The creek water that runs alongside some of the trail is contaminated by suburban runoff, as several ‘no swimming’ signs note. I ran into at least three spider webs across the path, indication that not too many people walk through here much. Anyway, here are some views of the trail and of some of the office park area surrounding. You’ll notice my old Roadmaster pressed into service in some of these shots; that’s because my regular bike is in the shop for repairs (broken axle; happens to me all the time). Also, at the end of this series is depicted an awesome perfect anvil-shaped cloud that I captured just before it dissipated at dusk. -EG


Ethanol Madness: Shove a Corncob You Know Where

June 12, 2008

I’m not a religious man, but I’m pretty sure that if there is a God he never intended corn to be burned for fuel, and to pollute the atmosphere on top of that.

The resulting squeeze on foodstocks and price rises that result in a time when so many are hungry has got to be a sin. (Not to mention the senselessness that producing corn in order to burn it wastes more energy than is ultimately produced). Surely, there must be a limit to the free market when it inflicts this much pain on so many. Those who really deserve the pain for letting this happen—the farmers who sell food to burn, the Archer Daniels Midland-type executives profiting from this insanity, and the politicians like Bush who allow it to continue—should all have big fat corncobs shoved up their asses.

-EG


$5,000+ These Fuckers Didn’t Get From Me

April 22, 2008

I’m sure all of you saw this motley crew of oil execs assembled before Congress a few weeks ago, mainly so legislatewhores could posture and put on an impotent display of righteous indignation in lieu of actually doing anything to push real alternative energy solutions. While most of you out there have been grumbling but continuing to line the pockets of these oilmen (and their multi-wifed brethren in the Middle East) I have been taking the bus to work, in tandem with my bicycle (and yes, winter doesn’t stop me).

It was two years ago this month (April) that I began this daily ritual, and in the process lost 30 pounds, increased my muscle tone and improved lung capacity, heart health, metabolism, blood pressure, circulation, digestion and so on—not to mention notching piles of unread books on the 20-mile journey each way.

Oh yes, there’s much to be recommended about the complete lack of stress resulting from letting someone else do the driving, not having to swerve and avoid maniacs and playing stop and go with my feet on a gas-guzzling pedal. I can sleep, read, dream, whatever. And I’m inside a vehicle bigger than a tank, so it’s pretty safe.

And it costs $29 a month. See how much gas that gets you–and how far you can get on it.

AS for me, I ride for free because one of my perks of employment is free unlimited TARC rides with an employee ID.

But the most satisfying thing of all is that the oil industry and the profit-gluttonous CEOs who are sucking up all that cash from you got no more than $6 from me over the last two years. (Had to fill up my lawn mower a few times; otherwise most weeks I use a gasless Scott’s reel-mower, just like my grandparents did.)

So adding that up, that’s about $5,000 or so that Big Oil didn’t get from me in the past two years.

And although I know this is an overused picture on the Internet, there is just no better F-YOU! photo ever taken than this one of Johnny Cash. So Big Oil, let Johnny Cash send my message to you loud and clear.

-EG


Sheer Genius! That’s What it Is!

March 13, 2008

coyotegenius.gifLet’s see. I’ll sell them all on unhealthy lifestyles, then overprescribe massive amounts of drugs upon which they will all become dependent. Then, when they shit and piss all that drug residue into the water system and the water companies are unable to filter it all out, it will go back into the drinking water system and make the healthy ones sick and the sick ones sicker—thus necessitating the issuance of even more drugs upon which they will become dependent.

Genius!!!!

-EG