Sunday, March 12, 2006

March means "Outdoor Play" in Esperanto

Last Friday was one of those days nobody wants to be indoors. The cubicle dwellers of Floor Four maintained sanity long enough to get some word done. As is normal, we ignored all the pigeon droppings caked on the windows, and opened them all to let in the sounds of the city. This nice weather has everyone's pants on fire, so Saturday found the fellas of The Brentwood cleaning the garage and playing Uno with some hot fillies under the Christmas lights. Nate's reggae CD is the rockinest yet...you actually feel like you're in a Blue Mountains banana shack. Kinda. Perk set herself busy counting the empty beer bottles lining the wall (up to 103; can we make 150 by summer?). The ultimate goal for that place is to leave it comfortable as an outside room, but with room for all the toys. The last entry was about a growing collection of stuff, and this garage is where a lot of that stuff resides. Time to purge, and re-up on other stuff, bigger, more fun stuff. Not sure there's room from the rafters to hang one, but I'm fiending for a new kayak (and you're right if you were thinking a wooden Chesapeake Light Craft Arctic Hawk). My $7 skateboard is still holding up even as super-tall people attempt to ride it like a luge. For that, maybe I'd suggest the Alet Chair. The 3-speed bikes are lonely and feeling underutilized, which they are. My thrift store road bike (a garish green, yellow, black and red late 80's carbon-framed Trek) is getting lots more use because it's much faster and can easily fit in the backside of someone's car. You know, for the times I get lazy. Currently, it's docked at a meter in Adam's Morgan. At least it was Thursday, so maybe it's time I visit, meaning a perfect starting point for a quick ride through Rock Creek Park.

Now that the winter doldrums are beginning to abate (though it'll probably snow in a couple of days), it's time to reasses my thoughts on human-powered transport. I still haven't bought another car but still actively considering it. If not a car, a motorcycle...to be specific, a bobber or cafe racer. Either of these options is useful for a leisurely escape to the George Washington Parkway, or the George Washington, National Forest. At the same time, they'd leave me vulnerable to the volatility of the energy markets. Fueling said fun machines isn't getting any easier, and the future is looking even more bleek.

I'm still what a WSJ freelancer might call a peaker, or someone that adheres to the "radical concept" of Peak Oil. It's a problem I still don't see us having averted, even with the much vaunted talk about corn ethanol ("Go Yellow!" HA, GM's a gas, don't you agree?) and the Athabasca oil sands (See TOD's "Will Canada Fuel Fortress America"). Folks in Nigeria still have beef with Shell concering their actions throughout the Niger Delta, and Hugo's still got a firm grip on the Venezualan drillers.

And then, there's the news out of Iran. All this nuclear back-and-forthing doesn't bode well for the oil markets. Not simply because the Mullahs control shipping through the Strait of Hormuz (through which 40% of the world's daily oil output is shipped to the open oceans), but also because Iran is the world's fourth largest oil producer. They are threatening once again to shut off exports if the global community (led by us, woohoo) imposes sanctions. From Iran Daily, March 12:

Asked whether Iran will use oil as a means to retaliate against possible sanctions to be imposed by the United Nations Security Council, the [Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi] said, “When the issue of sanctions comes to the fore, we will use all means at our disposal. The point is if sanctions are imposed against Iran, the international community will pay a heavier price than the Iranian nation.“

There is some optimistic news coming out of that nation. Wikipedia says Iran has the world's fourth-largest community of bloggers. Iran Daily also reports that their Agriculutre Jihad Ministry (wow) has pushed to the top on the ministry’s agenda the concept of "providing people with health foods, stressing that a specialized committee has been tasked to control use of pesticides and fertilizers in the agriculture sector." Are they preparing for something we don't know about? Imagine if the U.S. devoted itself to such a goal. We'd drastically reduce our dependence on natural gas, a vital feedstock in fertilizer production (and also gaining popularity as a motor fuel...not a good idea).

Soooo, lot's to think about this week.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Esperantist said...

"March" means "bog", "marsh" or "swamp" in esperanto.

;D

12:36 AM  
Blogger LittleTortilla stays in DC said...

I always forget you have blog. Very informative and reminds of what a cool guy you are.

11:55 AM  

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