Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dubai Builds Worlds Biggest Cess Pit

The Gulf News brings us a story of the solution to illegal dumping by vacuum truck operators. It seems that the truck drivers have been dumping their loads in storm drains becasue they didn't want to wait in line to unload at the sewage treatment plant. This has had a negative impact on the beaches in the expensive areas of Jumeirah Beach and the Duabi Marina where the brown turdfish have been found swimming free.

The solution is to dig a giant pit in the desert. The pit will serve 500 trucks per day. We are told that: "This is what mother nature does over the long term... some of the water will seep into the ground and some will evaporate. The lagoon will have four areas and eventually the water will get clearer," Najim told Gulf News. He said this technology is commonly used in countries that cannot afford proper facilities or infrastructure.

See, its all perfectly natural and "the site would be aerated naturally with only preliminary treatment. Reeds and bamboo will also be planted there to transfer oxygen to the sewage and help break it down." And, not to worry, "it is not just a hole in the desert, it has been engineered."

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Christmas Carol, Updated

I cannot count the number of times I have received emails from Nigerian 419 scammers. I thought I had seen all of the permutations of the letter designed to hook unwary victims, but today I saw one with a new spin.

It seems a Mr. Shu Ya Huo is rich and is dying from esophageal cancer that has “defiled all forms of medicine”. He now regrets that he has lived his life as a selfish man. He says, “I was always hostile to people and only focus on my business as that is the only thing I cared for.” He has given most of his wealth to friends, family and charities in the UK, Ireland and Brazil. Alas, he has now lost his power of speech and due to his failing health cannot do this by himself anymore. However, he still has a few dollars lying around and he wants to give that away as well. He had asked a family member to help in his philanthropic endeavors, but the greedy SOB kept the money for himself. Therefore, Mr. Shu does not trust them with this, his final transaction. He has a sum of money in his “Bank in London” and he is asking me to “collect this deposit and dispatched it to charity organizations”.

The letter doesn’t mention the amount of money or what my take of the loot may be. That is the interesting twist. Evidently, the curiosity and humanity of the recipient will be the bait that lures him into the trap. And coming at Christmas, it is timed to appeal to the charity minded. After all, who could resist this chance to help a stranger in need when he wants to do such good works during the season of giving? The only thing missing in this updated version of a Charles Dickens classic is Tiny Tim.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hurricane Shut in Statistics

According to the MMS, as of November 19, 58 platforms in the Gulf of Mexico are still shut in. That's down from 81 one month ago. These platforms account for about 212,000 barrels per day of oil and 1,800,000,000 standard cubic feet of natural gas. That's about 16% of the oil and 24% of the gas produced in the GOM.

Things are improving slowly, but we are coming up on the winter months when the weather makes offshore construction work difficult.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gun Sales and the Dems

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that the party that espouses gun control is the leading cause for gun sales? I hope someone will tally up the number of "assault weapons" sold recently due to the election of a Democrat controlled government.

Don't forget the BUYcott on ammo on November 19.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Throw Me Something, Mister

Nancy and Harry are like two people who are taking their first ride on a Mardi Gras float.

Anyone who has ridden in a Mardi Gras parade knows the feeling. You are standing above the crowd looking out over the adoring throng. Their arms are uplifted and they are all screaming, “Throw me something, Mister.” You get carried away by the excitement and start throwing beads as fast as you can. You try to saturate the crowd with beads. By the half way point of the parade, your beads are gone and all you can do is stand there and shrug your shoulders at those people still clamoring for beads.

Experienced riders know to ration their beads. They set aside some beads for use in the latter half of the parade. They don’t throw beads to just anyone but single out cute kids, good looking women or grandmas. Maybe they entice young hotties to flash their tits. But they have a system and they stick with it. And they finish the parade with beads to spare. These beads form the basis of next year’s parade. A little lagniappe as it were.

But Harry and Nancy are riding the lead float in the Krewe of Dems and they are going to be throwing beads to the locals as fast as they can while singing “Laissez le bon temps roule”. And they won’t be the cheap beads, no. They will be throwing the long stands of pearls. And they will run out before the parade ends. And there will be no beads for next year.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Marlin Fishing

This is a cool video of a marlin stuck in a BOP (Blow Out Preventer) . Watch the skill of the ROV operator.

This is an example of the things that make the offshore oil industry fun.

Veterans Day

If your veteran was at Omaha Beach, remember them by adding their photo to the web site of my friend, Laurent.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Euphoria Overseas

The evening news recently had a short piece about Americans living and traveling overseas. It seems that since the election, they are no longer ashamed to be seen as Americans and are once again proudly claiming their nationality. They have taken to wearing clothes with American symbols and are hanging out at American establishments.

As someone who has traveled to areas of the globe that are less than friendly to Americans, PE urges expats to exercise caution.

The people who would do harm to Americans have not changed their attitudes because of the results of the recent election. They still hold tightly to their anti-American agenda and nothing short of death will cause them to change their minds. It is not the shop owner who complains to you about America’s foreign policy that you have to worry about, but the radical militant that you never see coming. To think otherwise is naive. And it would be no surprise to me if some radicals decided to test the Obama presidency by pulling off an attack on Americans overseas.

If you tire of complaints from foreigners about America, I suggest you visit Normandy, France or Seoul, South Korea. There you will find many people who will openly thank you for the assistance America gave to them.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Funny

First-year students at Texas A&M's Vet school were receiving their first anatomy class, with a real dead cow. They all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a white sheet.

The professor started the class by telling them, 'In Veterinary Medicine it is necessary to have two important qualities as a doctor: The first is that you not be disgusted by anything involving the animal body.' For an example, the Professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the butt of the dead cow, withdrew it and stuck his finger in his mouth. 'Go ahead and do the same thing,' he told his students.

The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes, but eventually took turns sticking a finger in the anal opening of the dead cow and sucking on it.

When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and said, 'The second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle finger and sucked on my index finger. Now learn to pay attention. Life's tough; it's even tougher if you're stupid.'

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008

Now that we’re back on standard time, it is darker than normal during my morning drive to work. This morning, a coyote ran across the road in front of me. He was almost road kill. He was coming from a residential area and running to a small wooded section near the river. I wonder if the folks living in the nearby developments are missing any pets. I sure hope his running in front of me was a good omen for the election today.

In case you ever wondered why we vote on Tuesdays in the month of November, it was because we used to be a nation of farmers. November was selected because the crops were in and there was a lull in farm work. Tuesday was selected because it usually took a day to travel to the polling place. (We rode horses, remember?) Therefore, Monday and Wednesday were travel days and you didn’t have to violate the Sabbath.