Monthly Archives: January 2006

Tankers full of oily cash


XX-rated greed.Make that EXXON-rated greed and greed is good if you’re in the oil bidness.On Monday, Exxon Mobile released a grossly exorbitant figure for its quarterly profit.
$10.7 Billion.
No, that’s not a typo, that’s a B as in Billion.
Also note that the $10.7 Billion is the profit acquired from us, the American consumer, over the span of one quarter, a.k.a. 3 months, not a whole year.
Add that $10.7 billion to Exxon’s profits in the other three quarters and you come up with a figure that amazingly reaches an incredible $36.13 billion, a 42 percent rise over Exxon’s profits in 2004. According to a Reuter’s story, the $36.13 billion annual profit is bigger than the economies of 125 of the 184 countries ranked by the World Bank.Exxon is also still trying to wrangle its way out of paying the fines it was assessed after the Valdez crash that soaked an entire coastline in slime. They’ve probably already paid enough in lawyers’ fees trying to get out of taking care of their mistake they could have covered a pretty big chunk of their fine.
Greed, greed, greed.
What would Jed Clampett think of this sort of bubblin’ crud?

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Keepin’ it Squirreal



I love documentary films. I can’t help myself. No matter what creative brains come together and create the most out-of-this-world scenarios featuring everything from people who survived a plane crash on a deserted freaky island to Empire State Building climbing apes to Jabba the Hut to Blondie to Laverne & Shirley, sometimes Truth really is stranger than Fiction. And often more compelling.

I’ve spent the past 24 hours or so with my nose pressed against the boob tube. I’ve just discovered a recent addition to my satellite selections.

The Documentary Channel has definitely grabbed my attention and on top of that I caught a showing of “Slasher” on IFC this morning. Last night’s Doc channel offering included a viewing of “Almost Elvis” a doc about Elvis impersonators. I’ve actually seen that one before. I missed the offering covering Bob Marley that came on just before the King wanna-bes. I’m sure they’ll replay it and I’ll take a gander at the Ganja loving guy.

Then this morning IFC brought me the John Landis directed “Slasher” about a mercenary used car salesman who travels across the country spending three-day weekends at car lots doing his “Slasher” bit, hacking prices and probably eventually hacking off the customers who buy the lemons on the lot.

The guy was ADD and beer-swilling from early a.m. to late in the evening. Yet, you have to give him credit for loving his family and his friends. And the ability to talk just about anybody behind the wheel of a 1995 Escort.

Even more compelling was the fact this was shot in Memphis with plenty of images that are familiar to anyone who has spent a weekend in the cty by the mighty Mississippi.

I’m sure IFC will give “Slasher” plenty of viewings since it financed the doc. So, when you see it on your TV guide grid, mark it to watch.

Interesting, compelling, sometimes scary. You may never look at the process of purchasing a car the same way again.

Face/Off


John Woo was way ahead of his time. The visually interesting director was behind the lens for the action flick “Face/Off” that starred John Travolta and Nicolas Cage and featured a Hollywood-version of an identity switch thanks to a surgical procedure that was thought to be completely beyond the realm of possibility. People scoffed at the premise when the movie premiered in 1997.

In reality, surgeons in France have caught up with the Tinsel Town concept, giving a 38-year-old French woman a new visage after a grisly encounter with her labrador left her face a bloody mess of hanging flesh and visible bone. Voila, the world’s first face transplant. The first photos of the woman have been published. The previous link provides the story of her recovery and includes a pic of her. You won’t be able to pull your eyes away from the image.

Obviously there are bound to be some psychological issues in this woman’s future and those of her teenage daughters. What must it be like to stare into a mirror and see someone other than yourself?

Creepy, Vincent Price kind of stuff happening here.

Ban censorship


It appears some not-so-forward thinking folks in Middle Tennessee have taken offense at the classic novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee, according to The Tennessean. Some sensitive parent has issue with the tale of a young girl learning about race in a small Southern town. The little girl, Scout, and the denizens of her hometown all have lessons to learn and Lee’s tale keeps readers entranced from start to finish.
This parent, in true cowardly form, is pursuing the banning of the book from a school library as an anonymous judge and jury.
Check out the story.
Thanks to Newscoma for bringing this to my attention.

Mano-a-mano with a monkey


You know, it’s not just any day you have a monkey make an appearance in your working environment. And, no, I’m not referring to some human jerk who upsets the entire staff. I’m talking about an actual swing-from-its-tail, chattering monkey.
We had a woman bring a Capuchin Monkey into our office yesterday.
A diaper-wearing, sucker-licking monkey.
No, the circus wasn’t traveling through town. No, not a man in a gorilla suit bringing a singing telegram. No, the zoo didn’t have an escaped primate. Heck, our town doesn’t even have a zoo, not even a peetting zoo for that matter, or a singing telegram service.

This woman with the monkey, from what I understand, is sort of a temporary foster care mother for this little 10-month-old Capuchin. It’s not the first one she has taken into her home.

Talk about making whatever limited productivity was occurring in our office grind to a halt. Bring a cute monkey, even without roller skates or a cowboy hat and chaps, into a workplace and everyone takes a timeout from their desk.

As best I can recall in my foggy, hazy, lurid past, this is the first time I’ve ever touched a monkey. (Attention all of you with a penchant for double entendres, please keep your mind out of the gutter at this point.) I’m pretty sure, I would have recalled such a human-to-primate encounter. And dang it, not one person got a picture of me going mano-a-mano with the monkey, so you’ll just have to take my word on it.

Polecat promenade



Living in rural West Tennessee means traveling many a side road, back road, trail and track to get where you need to go. Even the main roads are pretty off the beaten path.One certainty of auto commuting this time of year is frequent olfactory encounters with the permeating musky aroma of the skunk. It seems that late January and early February brings out the frisky nature in this woodland critter. And blinded by love, the search for the perfect mate and or the need to procreate and fornicate, these polecats forget to look both ways before crossing the highways and byways, resulting in an inordinate number of aromatic road kill.

Or maybe those left scattered around the pavement are the skunks spurned by forest love gone wrong that have flung themselves in front of oncoming Ram trucks in an effort to end their pining for a black-and-white mate.

Either way, they keep my nose busy on the way to and from the office.

Love gone wrong is always so sad.

Cravin’ a trip to Cravens World

As Squirrel Queen, it’s not often I admit my flawed human nature, but today I must. I’ve been remiss and I now genuflect before you, begging for mercy and forgiveness.I have delayed too long in providing you the path to Cravens World.
Cravens provides political cartoons for the newspaper I work for. Her work is one of a kind. Very often political. Always creative and thought provoking. Usually stirring the stink.

The sketch above this post flowed out of her pen as her bit of tribute to honor my birthday. A fine gift it is.

Take a trip into her mind.

Now.

I command you.