Archive | April, 2006
April 27, 2006

Dems’ dog and pony show at your local Exxon



The Washington Post had this hilarious article in today’s paper about some Dem politicians staging a news conference outside the Capitol Hill Exxon station. The reason? To blame the GOP for “high” gas prices. As usual, the Dems in Congress waste yet another opportunity to take the lead on an important issue so that they can engage in pointless and illogical rhetoric:

“Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled!” charged Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), standing at an Exxon station on Capitol Hill where regular unleaded hit $3.10. “They are too cozy with the oil industry.”

She then hopped in a waiting Chrysler LHS (18 mpg) — even though her Senate office was only a block away.

America may be addicted to oil, as President Bush puts it. But America is in the denial phase of this addiction — as evidenced by the behavior of its lawmakers. They have proposed all kinds of solutions to high gas prices: taxes on oil companies, domestic oil drilling and releasing petroleum reserves. But they ignore the obvious: that Americans drive too much in too-big cars.

..After lunchtime votes, senators emerged from the Capitol for the drive across the street to their offices.

Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) hopped in a GMC Yukon (14 mpg). Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) climbed aboard a Nissan Pathfinder (15). Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) stepped into an eight-cylinder Ford Explorer (14). Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) disappeared into a Lincoln Town Car (17). Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) met up with an idling Chrysler minivan (18).

Next came Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), greeted by a Ford Explorer XLT. On the Senate floor Tuesday, Menendez had complained that Bush “remains opposed to higher fuel-efficiency standards.”

Also waiting: three Suburbans, a Nissan Armada V8, two Cadillacs and a Lexus. The greenest senator was Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who was picked up by his hybrid Toyota Prius (60 mpg), at quadruple the fuel efficiency of his Indiana counterpart Evan Bayh (D), who was met by a Dodge Durango V8 (14).

Hopping into a gas guzzling SUV to drive one block to a gas station in order to hold a press conference denouncing high gas prices? Oh God, the irony is just KILLING me.

The WashPost also had this editorial in today’s paper: Phony War on Gas. Basically, the underlying point is, stop blaming the oil companies for these prices and get to the root of the problem: the ridiculously inefficient cars that Americans love to drive.

April 26, 2006

I messed with Texas

San Antonio riverwalk

I finally made it to the actual city of San Antonio on Friday after our conference ended. My flight was leaving at 3pm the next day, so I had a little under 24 hours to see “touristy” stuff. My first stop was the Riverwalk:

San Antonio riverwalk

The Riverwalk has a lot of restaurants and stores…that’s about it. Venice, it is not.

Next, I went to the Alamo:


I was actually surprised how small the Alamo was. For some reason, I thought it was a bit larger. I totally blame the Billy Bob Thornton movie for misleading me.

Self-portrait: I’m so happy to be in Texas I forgot to smile…or I am severly sleep-deprived.

A very good friend of my family lives in San Antonio, so I stayed at her house on Friday night. Friday marked the beginning of “Fiesta”, a 10 day celebration to mark the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. I’m not exactly sure what that is, because as a Californian I did not study Texas history, but if I remember the Billy Bob Thornton movie correctly, that’s when the Texans defeated General Santa Anna’s forces. Anyways, they have these big parties/carnivals where you eat a lot of Mexican food and drink Shiner Bock, which is a pretty good beer, for being American and all.

I should probably mention that I was absolutely floored at how nice everyone in Texan was. It was like a culture shock coming from a city overflowing with jackasses to one where everyone was genuinely polite. Now if only they wouldn’t make such poor choices in the voting booths…

April 25, 2006

NYTimes: How Dare They Use Our Oil!

(Because I’m too lazy to write my own editorial)

Background: China’s Oil Needs Are High on U.S. Agenda

Published: April 20, 2006
How’s this for nerve? The leader of a country that consumes more than 20 million barrels of oil a day is warning the leader of a country that consumes some 6.5 million barrels not to try to lock up world oil resources. When President Bush welcomes the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, to the White House today, the American complaint will be that China’s appetite for oil affects its stance on Iran, Sudan and other trouble spots.

In other words, China is acting just like everyone else: subjugating its foreign policy to its energy concerns. The United States does it, too — witness its long-running alliance with Saudi Arabia.
Still, the size of China’s population — 1.3 billion people — puts things into an alarming context. China recently overtook Japan as the world’s second-biggest consumer of oil. Its real gross domestic product is growing at 8 to 10 percent a year, and its need for energy is projected to increase by about 150 percent by 2020.

China’s move from bicycles to cars has accelerated its oil consumption; by 2010, China is expected to have 90 times the number of cars it had in 1990, and it will probably have more cars than America by 2030.

That leaves the world with two options. The first is to manage energy resources better. The other is to look for another planet. Simply continuing the current trends isn’t viable, especially with the growing needs of India, with its one billion people and a growing economy of its own.

The United States doesn’t have the right to tell a third of humanity to go back to their bicycles because the party’s over. Clearly, Mr. Bush and Mr. Hu must tackle energy in a real and meaningful way. That can be done only if the United States both helps China find alternative energy sources and shows that America is doing the same thing itself.

The best possible course would be for China to leapfrog an oil-based economy and head toward sustainable alternative fuels, just as other countries are jumping past the construction of land lines for telephone service and going straight to wireless systems. China has a lot of biomass — crops, forests and wood products — that could be converted into ethanol.

China, like America, has a lot of coal. But the world can’t afford for it to go ahead with a proposal to build hundreds of coal-fired power plants; that would be an environmental disaster. The United States can help stave that off by sharing clean coal technology.

None of this cooperation will work unless the United States provides leadership by making sacrifices of its own. Asking other countries to lay off the world’s oil supply so America can continue to support its gas-guzzling Hummers doesn’t really cut it.

April 18, 2006

The stars at night, are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas

I’m in San Antonio, Texas this week for a business conference. I found it highly amusing that in order to get here, I had to fly from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Now, if only San Antonio would name their airport after Bill Clinton, my presidential airport journey would be complete!


We are staying at this nice resort in the “hill country.” I somehow ended up with a suite which is decorated with ranching paraphernalia. On one wall ,for instance, hangs two large branding irons that were leftover from when this resort used to be a ranch. On another wall, there is a framed photo of the owner of the aforementioned ranch, and a caption explaining that the dog in the photo is, in fact, his best squirrel-hunting dog.

The temps are in the upper 90s to low 100s, which is putting a severe strain on the state’s power grid (Texas, you see, has its own power grid, unlike the rest of the states). This strain has resulted in…wait for it….ROLLING BLACKOUTS. I tell you, this Californian’s heart is just BREAKING…I am soooo torn up over this.
Not really.

Our meetings here are done on Friday afternoon, but I am staying over an extra night so that I can go check out downtown San Antonio…maybe visit the Alamo or something. I’ve never been to San Antonio before, so this city is completely new to me.

April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

I spent all day at church:

I guess we all have our own concept of “church”, eh? Watching the Angels play the O’s on a beautiful spring day sure beats sitting inside a stuffy church and listening to some minister drone on endlessly, wouldn’t you agree? Welcome to religion, Lindsay style.

Dressed in my Sunday finest.



O’s mascot gives an Angels fan a hug

Laura keeps score.

The Angels managed to win this game, 9-3, with some help from Vlad, who hit two homers, and Chone Figgins, who brought in three with his home run. Lackey also pitched an excellent eight innings.

Mathis signs caps and balls for little kids

Showing Cal some love

I don’t like to discriminate – I’m pretty much an equal opportunity hater when it comes to east coast teams.
Laura and I have decided that we are going to go on some weekend roadtrips and visit as many ballparks as possible this summer. Here’s our preliminary list of cities we are planning to see a game in:

Washington, DC – Nationals (a given, considering we live here and will be buying the 19 game mini plan)
New York – Yankees and Mets
Pittsburgh – Pirates
Philadelphia – Phillies
Boston – Red Sox
Chicago – Cubs and White Sox
And possibly Atlanta and Houston.

April 15, 2006

A beautiful day for a ballgame

camden yards

Saw the Angels play the O’s at Camden Yards today. The weathermen kept predicting rain for this weekend, but as you can see it turned out to be a perfect day for a ballgame. The last time I saw a game at Camden Yards was in 2002, right before the Angels went on to win the World Series. I swear, I was one of five Angels fans in attendance at that game. This time around there were definitely a lot more people sporting Halo caps.

camden yards
camden yards
Angels at camden yards

Unfortunately, the Angels lost 3-2…the Rally Monkey magic was most definitely not working today.

April 8, 2006

The Democratic Party sucks

All they do is send me mail asking me for money, and call me to ask me for money, and fill up my inbox with e-mails asking for money. I don’t want to give them any goddamn money, because they obviously aren’t using it to win elections.

The party octogenarians pressure Paul Hackett to drop out of the Ohio Senate race, Cynthia McKinney is running around the Capitol building bitch-slapping police officers with her cell phone when she’s not too busy trying to get to the bottom of Tupac’s death, and this Congressman Mollohan fellow is spending $480 million of taxpayer money on some ridiculous projects in West Virginia. And Hillary Clinton? UGH. I just have not found anyone in the current Democratic Party that I could really take a shine to, so to speak. Even when the whole oh-my-god-did-you-see-Barack-Obama’s-speech-at-the-convention lovefest was going on, I just couldn’t get into it. Yeah, sure, good speech, I guess, but whatever.

I guess the whole reason I bring this up is because I have to register to vote here in DC (but only god knows why, it’s not like we actually have REAL representation to vote for). Do I register as a Democrat? And hell no, I won’t be registering as a Republican, thankyouverymuch. There’s always that “independent” checkbox, or I could write in a political party that I pulled from the Wikipedia list. The Alaskan Independence Party sounds interesting, and would thoroughly confuse the worker at the DC elections office who would have to input my registration data. The Revolutionary Communist Party sounds like fun, since they advocate waging a “people’s war” to overthrow the evil forces of capitalism, rather than a politically correct “peaceful transition” that became so popular in the 1960s. I am definitely NOT considering the Prohibition Party. Can you imagine how boring their political conventions must be?

Maybe I’ll just start my own political party….

Oh, and if you haven’t seen “Thank You For Smoking Yet” you need to run down to the theatre immediately. It’s one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time. Nick Naylor is my hero.

Joey Naylor: Dad, why is the American government the best government?
Nick Naylor: Because of our endless appeals system.

April 2, 2006

So goodbye California, It’s really been nice

I never thought that after leaving California in January, I would be back in a mere two months. I was in San Diego for a business trip from Monday to Friday. Business trips, I’ve discovered, mainly revolve around plentiful eating and drinking, with several hours of meetings during the day. We also toured a manufacturing plant that provides services to the oil & gas industry, and afterwards cruised around San Diego bay on a yacht. It just so happened that there were four Russian businessmen on the boat, so I spent the majority of the cruise talking to them. I really need to start brushing up on my Russian, considering it’s been almost a year since I’ve been in a classroom. The end result of the night, however, is that I’m now betrothed to one of Ruslan’s sons back in Moscow. Ruslan assured me that he is strong and handsome, so I’m cool with that.
On Thursday my parents drove down from the desert and we had dinner at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, a restaurant we’ve been frequenting since I was a little kid. I stuffed myself with the homemade tortillas and guacamole…we don’t get much of that out here on the east coast so you have to take advantage of it when you get the chance. Afterwards, I met up with Diana, Alex, and Jonathan for drinks.
And now that I’m finally back in DC, the weather is absolutely wonderful…time to put away all the winter gear and break out the flip-flops!