Saturday, April 21, 2012

Why We Are Where We Are: A Social Commentary - Part One

Ya, know what I don't like?  $4.00 a gallon.  Ya, know what I like even less?  People who bitch about $4.00 a gallon. The weather in the old saying about complaining about the weather but no one does anything about it, could easily be replaced with gas prices.  The only difference is everyone could do something about gas prices but most people choose not to.  The following commentary is mine.  I have done no research.  The commentary, I believe to be common sense.  I am not going to give it a slant, spin or any other political motive; just plain ol' Shane's Brain common sense. 

For those of you who don't know, I have degree in Economics.  The first day in Econ 101 or 1001 , as in my case, the Professor  will tell you that in Economics, 75% of the answers will be supply and demand.  I could stop there because that is the answer to Why are we paying $4.00 a gallon?  However, there is more to the American story.  And I am going to answer the question Why we are where we are? when it comes to gas prices.

It all started after World War II.  During President Eisenhower terms, a interstate highway system was created. All of a sudden people could go further quicker than ever.  This allowed more people to move out of the cities and into the 'burbs and beyond.  People driving farther equates to more demand.  More drivers means higher demand.  Now take those two issues into today add major traffic jams with extremely long waits, you get even more demand for gas.  More demand means higher prices.

 So how can you and I curtail these problems?  Live where you work.  I'm not talking about the at office. I'm talking about within the general vicinity.  People want to live way out for reasons that I will cover in either Part Two or Three, and drive in.  120 years ago that would have been impossible but today we just accept it but we don't have to.  Look at the urban decay, rows and rows of abandoned houses but once again I cover that later.  Living where you work will cure the problem of driving in and maybe even more drivers, as bikes and mass transit come into play.

Next, comes the choice of vehicles.  We choose our cars on how they look, feel, sound and how they make you feel about yourself.  Living in Baton Rouge, I have come to the conclusion that there must be a lot of men with small penises and they must be trying to make up for it with the size of their trucks.  Seriously, you live in the 'burbs, you don't haul anything and you drive a monster truck.  Getting what?  10 -15 miles to the gallon and driving up demand of the precious fuel.  But God forbid, anybody say anything about that.  Why?  Because we are spoiled Americans who feel entitled to anything we want any damn time that we want.  So we continue to drive our gas guzzlers and blame oil companies.   Take a good look in the mirror.  When is the last time you have done anything that wasn't for you, about you, or got something in return for you.  Yes, I know that we are working on alternative fuels but until they are in everyday use how about demanding  30 miles to the gallon in town.  Is that to much to ask for?  Buy more fuel efficient vehicles and stop trying to be so macho.  I think I can speak  for most people when I say we really don't care how big your penis is.

Thirdly, let's talk about the way you drive.  I believe 55mph is the most efficient speed in which to drive a vehicle.  Why is it that you're driving 85, 95, 105 down the highway?  You weave in and out of traffic like a freaking idiot.  All for what?  To arrive at work or home 5 or 10 minutes sooner.  Why don't you try leaving a little earlier or how about doing the aforementioned and live where you work.  The way you drive wastes gas and causes accidents.  Raising both gas prices and car insurance.  You are greedy, arrogant and most of all an asshole.

Lastly, some minor issues that effects demand are our hobbies.  Motorcycles, motorboats, RVs, ATVs or any activity that you are driving over 50 miles to attend.  All of these require gas, which  does what class?  That's right. It drives up demand and thus increases the price of gas.

These are all just common sense but yet no one wants to hear them.  The American way is just to blame someone else rather than look in the mirror.  Americans were pretty lucky for the first century of gas powered automobiles but now with over populated countries like China and India continually increasing their demand for gas, the next century doesn't look so good. 

To summarize:  increase in demand and the price goes up, decrease demand and the price goes down.  Of course, you can always change your supply.  Increase the supply and the price goes down, decrease supply and the price goes up.  So, can we increase supply?  Sure.  We have a huge reserve called Alaska.  But I have other plans for Alaska. you can hear those on the bottom right of this page.  Just click on In Shane's Brain Live: National Debt 101.

This is the first of three Social Commentaries.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Brett Tagged Me Again, It's Kinda Weird

    So, Brett Minor tagged be in his blog again.  We went down this road once before.  I didn't realize that I was so fascinating.   Now I get to take my second quiz of the day.  Let's get right to it.  First question please.         

1. Book or movie and why?
     Is that an actual question?  It sounds more like a really bad Barnie song.  But if your asking which I prefer, I'd say even though I want to write, I am a movie buff.

2. Real book or e-book?
     I've only read the A-D books.  I hope to get to E real soon.

3. Funniest thing you've done in the last 5 years?
     Last year I gave my then 9 year old a wedgie.  When it was over, I held his waist band in my hands while the rest was deeply displaced.  It was atomic.

4. Do you put yourself into the books you read/write or the movies you watch? 
      I believe I am playing a role in someone else's book or movie and therefore placing myself into the aforementioned would cause some intergalactic time dimensional explosion and thus abruptly ending this so called life. I would like to add that for some of the crap that I've been through, I will be asking for a page 1 re-write.

5. How would your best friend describe you?
     You-pronoun:  the person or persons addressed

6. Favorite kind of car and why?
1965 blue Mustang convertible
absolutely gorgeous

7. Would your choice of party be a catered meal or barbecue out back?
Duh!  Why the hell would I want to barbecue when I can have it catered?  

8. What's your favorite season and why?
      If I was still in Illinois I would say Fall, but in Louisiana you have Hot and Hotter.  Take your choice.

9. What specific lesson have you learned - Spiritual, educational, occupational?
     Spiritual-  red wine-red meat  white wine-white meat
     Educational- teachers are underpaid
     Occupational -Today at work,  I learned that tapping your foot while in the middle bathroom stall can be considered sexual harrassment.

10. Besides writing, what's your favorite thing to do when you get some extra time?
       I love to take in nature's beauty

11. What's one place you can be found at least one time every week?
        Standing in the garage wondering what brought me in there

Now I suppose to tag more bloggers.  Here are some good blogs that others haven't tagged yet.   It is their turn to answer the questions.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Technologically Challenged

I have been without a cell phone for almost a month.  I admit for the first couple of days, it was strange.  Then, I got used to not having it.  The people I work with now can't believe I don't have one.  They say "I couldn't go a day without my phone." I think they are technologically challenged.  I know that's not the normal definition but hear me out. (I guess it would be "read me out")  My definition of technologically challenged is being unable to function without technology. 

How would these people survive on a deserted island or post-apocalyptic world?   I highly doubt that the individuals in those situations would really care that Sally had a rude cashier, Joey scored two goals in the two and under league or that Mary thinks people should keep their comments to themselves.    Cell phones as well as  Facebook have created this need for people to just be plain nosy.  And for the nosy to be down right intrusive.  Remember when you would call somebody because you needed something or that you wanted to talk?  Now you text 8 people to find what they are doing at that precise moment only to get into the following conversation: **note: I will be using real words

A:  What are you doing?
B:  Driving.
A:  Where are you going?
B:   Burger King.
A:   What are you going to eat?
B:  I don't know

This could go on forever.  The point is do you really care where they are going or what they are going to eat.  My guess is that you could really give a care less.  But with your cell phone in hand you just have to know every single detail of everyone's life every second of day.

Moving on. Do you actually need "your" music with every minute of every day?  Today, it seems that people can't function unless they have their headphones in their ears.  To make things worse, they will talk to you and never once remove them.   This is just rude.

The same can be said for games.  People have to be entertained every second of the day.  They will be concentrating on the game trying to tell you something and they end up sounding incoherent. 

The human race functioned just fine before cell phones.  Now, we seem more dysfunctional and have a lot more problems.  I think the two go hand in hand.

PS:   I miss the days when phones conversations were private and kept within the confines of a phone booth.  I'm tired of people screaming into cell phones telling everyone in the world about Uncle Bob's new harlot, Grandma Jean's hemorrhoids, and their lazy ass boyfriend.  Get a real life and quit living everyone else's.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Devil Made Me Do It

I have been told that I have the devil in my eyes.  I don't exactly know what that means but occasionally the devil comes around and causes mischief.  Here is a brief countdown of "his" doings:

5)  While Gretchen and I were dating I placed a huge crawdad in a shoebox and placed it on my bed.  I knew she would be too nosy not to open it .  I couldn't wait to hear her scream and start running.  She never opened the box.  Funny but failed.

4) I was once at a friends house and his mom was watching TV.  I happened to secretly find a second remote so I changed the channel.  Everytime she attempted to flip back to the correct channel I would make it go one channel further.  She didn't understand what was happening and was getting worked up.   If I could have kept from laughing it could have gone on all night.

3)  Once time as a teenager, I answered the phone.  The girl on the line asked for "Shawn," well my twin brother wasn't home so I said "This is Shawn."  Needless to say, we went on to have a very interesting conversation.  I know you're dying to find who she was but I ain't saying.

2)  One of the times that I spent the night at TJ's, we decided to go for a late night walk.  I don't know why but we did.  Anyway, we got the bright idea to start taking the real estate for sales signs and moving them to other yards.  I have always wondered how many calls the Realtors received about these bogus properties.

1)  One night, TJ and snuck into a hotel's swimming facility.  We really just wanted to sit in the jacuzzi. (no that's not gay, not that there's anything wrong with that) Anyway, the jacuzzi was packed with old women.  After waiting for an eternity (probably 5 minutes) I came up with an idea.  So, we got into the tub with the ladies and after about a minute I whisper (loudly) to TJ, "I should have peed before I got in".  And with that I made a thoughtful face followed by a face of relief.  No I didn't pee but those ladies sure thought I did and they quickly got out  and we had the jacuzzi all to ourselves.

Those were things that he made me do.  The next countdown is a list of things he tries to make me do but I resist:

5) In a nice quiet restaurant,  act like I have turrets and start shouting obscenities while ordering.

4)  During a church service, get moved by the Holy Spirit and act like I have turrets and really speak in some tongue.

3)  Say things like "gracias" and "por favor" to the waitress at a CHINESE restaraunt.

2)  On an airplane, cut the bottom out of the barf bags.  I would never see the end result but some poor sucker would barf all over his shoes.

1) While at pharmacies, when an elderly person is having their blood pressure done at one of those sit down automatic stations, sneak up behind them and scream RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.  As their sitting their filling their depends you can watch how high those digital numbers can go.

And you all think you know me..........