Archive | December, 2008
December 28, 2008

Russky Standart in…Palm Desert?


I gotta say, I was really surprised to find Russian Standard vodka for sale at our local grocery store (the one off Hwy 111 in Palm Desert).


Now my parents can impress all their friends when they serve cocktails with some good vodka (not that Smirnoff/Absolut/SKYY junk).

December 28, 2008

Stuff I did this week

- Ate In-N-Out
- Ate a TON of Mexican food. Seriously. A ton.
- Saw a bunch of friends
- Took the Mosin M91/30 out to the desert to shoot a few rounds
- Toured the “wind farm” in the San Gorgonio Pass
- Completely ignored this blog and most e-mails
- Etc, etc.

It was good to be home for an entire week, but it’s back to the grind tomorrow.

December 20, 2008

2008 mug shots of the year

Some real winners in this batch.

December 20, 2008

Svetik the pink hippo



Zookeepers at the Kaliningrad Zoo showed up for work one morning and were shocked to discover that their hippo had turned pink overnight.

One onlooker told the Austrian Times: “He looks very pretty but that colour might not help him much when he gets around to breeding. He doesn’t look very manly.”


December 19, 2008

I guess we’ll have to bail out the Iraqis, too

Heeey, I coulda sworn the Bush administration said the reconstruction would pay for itself:

Plummeting oil prices may force Iraq’s government to slow ambitious reconstruction plans, and the country could face a budget shortfall by next summer, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

“We’re in a situation where Iraq is … potentially going to be in a deficit mode next year,” said Paul Brinkley, who leads Pentagon efforts to aid Iraq’s economy.

The trend worries U.S. officials who say a strong economy is needed to lock in the security gains made over the past year. “The long-term stability of the country heavily depends on a vibrant economy,” Brinkley said.


“For next year, with the oil prices going down, we’re going to have a problem,” said Samir Sumaidaie, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States.

If prices decline after that, “it’s not even going to be enough to pay salaries, never mind reconstruction of the infrastructure,” he said in a speech Tuesday.

December 19, 2008

CPC Pipeline capacity to double

I never thought this day would come. The CPC Consortium has finally agreed to expand the pipeline’s capacity, which will carry some 1.4 million bpd of Kazakh crude by 2013.

December 19, 2008

God save the pint

Because “I’ll have a half-liter of (insert beer here)” just sounds lame:

The European Parliament voted to allow the continued use of the pint and the mile on Tuesday, sparing British drinkers from having to order half liters and Irish drivers from staying below 110 kilometers an hour. Before the measure passed, Britain and Ireland, the only European countries still widely using British imperial units of measurement, were required to set dates for scrapping them next year. The vote in Strasbourg, France, also allows shops to post imperial and metric measurements side by side.

December 19, 2008

Russia and OPEC

No promises from Russia on production cuts, but I thought this was interesting:

In a speech to the assembled OPEC ministers, Mr. Sechin said that Russia’s beleaguered oil producers had already pruned production in November, and could cut still more if market conditions warranted. But he gave no promises.

Instead, he put forward a list of changes that Moscow would like to see made to the international pricing and trading of crude.

First, he said, the world needed to establish some other recognized benchmarks than those now used in New York and London for trade in West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oils. Those benchmarks, he said, were “inappropriate and unfair.”

It was also “worth discussing” scraping the U.S. dollar as the primary oil currency and replacing it with a basket of currencies—a pitch made from time to time by Iran and Venezuela.

The world, Mr. Sechin said, also needed “new trading floors” in other parts of the world to counterbalance the power of the New York Mercantile Exchange and to better reflect the “actual turnover volumes” of crude itself, as opposed to the mere “financial instruments” traded on the Nymex. The Kazakh capitol of Astana, he said, would be one good location.

Mr. Sechin then pitched Russia being granted permanent observer status within OPEC. That way, he added, Russia could host an OPEC meeting sometime next year.

December 16, 2008

Dear GW, my glorious alma mater

I just received your most recent e-mail, in which you once again implored me to contribute to this fine institution of higher learning. What intrigued me about this particular e-mail, however, was that you asked me to donate money in order to support scholarships for athletes, including a basketball player named Travis who expressed a desire to play in the NBA upon leaving GW.


A bit of advice, if I may. Asking recent GW graduates, many of whom toil in unglamorous office jobs that do not pay millions per year, to donate money to wannabe NBA professionals is a bit ridiculous. Perhaps in your next e-mail you could tell us about a student who wants to, oh, I don’t know, do something worthwhile, like cure cancer or work in a refugee camp.

Oh, who am I kidding? The next e-mail will probably ask for donations on behalf of Phil, the business school student who dreams of becoming a hedge fund manager and eventually purchasing a gigantic yacht.

Very truly yours,

Lindsay Fincher (B.A. Political Science, 2004)

December 16, 2008

‘Cos there’s a red star up on the Christmas tree

What the EFF?!

I wish they would play this on WashFM (Christmas music 24/7)