‘A Pretty Penny’ — The Party’s About Over

March 15, 2011

Dude, lose the car.
From USATodayTravel:

University of Iowa sophomore Jimmy Novak didn’t let $3.50-a-gallon gasoline prices keep him from making a spring break pilgrimage to Daytona Beach, Fla., with his fraternity brothers last weekend.
But the prospect of $50 fill-ups did alter his behavior:
“We’re squeezing five people in a car to save money on gas, and we made a ton of sandwiches before we left instead of stopping for fast food,” says Novak. “We just told ourselves it’s going to cost a pretty penny.”

Whoa, we all know chicks just love five slobs barely out of high school stuffed into a Ford Pinto stinking of mayonnaise and bologna — lookin’ good!

In the early-morning hours Tuesday, it’s raining here along California’s northern coast and online news-surfing creates an old heart-tug of sadness, reminiscent of the old Brook Benton song flipped/transplanted, which makes me feel like it’s rainin’ all over the world.
And maybe, baby, it just might be.

And maybe, too, in a desperate sense of clinging to normal, people don’t want to see the reality of life shifting, changing and not-so-nice rearranging right before their eyes.

(Illustration found here).

A Real-Ugly Threesome

A customer told me something yesterday (I manage a liquor store) I hadn’t even considered, that a lot of shit in life comes in threes and the horrendous events now unfolding in Japan is one of those — the tiny, fragile, island nation has experienced an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear crisis, all at nearly the same time.
The situation portends a bleak future.
As I’ve stated here on this blog before, I’m watching the end of an age right off my laptop.

The nuclear problems at the Fukushima plant appears to be spiraling out of control: “I think from a sanity standpoint I’m trying to side with the cool-headed point of view because I don’t want to think about the possibly of a full-blown meltdown,” said Osaki resident Tyler Martin.
According to the New York Times this morning, events at the plant appear to have verged toward catastrophe and all we can do to watch.
And watching up close and personal must beyond comprehension (from the UK’s Globe and Mail): “It’s like a horror movie,” said 49-year-old Kyoko Nambu told the Associated Press as she stood on a hillside overlooking her ruined hometown of Soma, 40 kilometres from the plant. “Our house is gone and now they are telling us to stay indoors. We can see the damage to our houses, but radiation? … We have no idea what is happening. I am so scared.”
Never, ever take things asunder which should not never, ever be taken asunder.

And the shit is going to get worse.
An interview at EnergyBulletin with Richard Heinberg, author of ‘The End of Growth‘ and the perilous age in which we live:

Oh yes, very much so. The new book, The End of Growth makes the case that world economic growth is effectively at an end, both for reasons internal to the world financial monetary system and also for reasons external to the world financial monetary system and the primary factor outside the monetary system is oil. Now in a situation where the system itself — a theoretical situation — where the system itself is relatively stable, (the world financial, political, economic system), it’s I think conceivable that we could still see another year of higher global oil production than we have in the past.
There’s certainly no guarantee — I think it’s pretty unclear whether we’re right at peak oil, or just about past it, or just about to get there.

Fill ‘er up boys, and let’s head to the beach.

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