Archive | December, 2008
December 28, 2008

Russky Standart in…Palm Desert?

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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).

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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

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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.”

Indeed.


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

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

‘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)


December 10, 2008

Where a kid can be a kid


Like most babies of the 80s (with apologies to SoCo) I loved going to Chuck E. Cheese’s and eating tons of pizza, drinking several pitchers of soda, and redeeming hundreds of tickets (won from skee ball, of course) for some useless junk toy. According to the Wall Street Journal, however, several Chuck E. Cheese’s have turned into a not so family friendly environment, with some locations even hiring armed guards to keep the peace:

In Brookfield, Wis., no restaurant has triggered more calls to the police department since last year than Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Officers have been called to break up 12 fights, some of them physical, at the child-oriented pizza parlor since January 2007. The biggest melee broke out in April, when an uninvited adult disrupted a child’s birthday party. Seven officers arrived and found as many as 40 people knocking over chairs and yelling in front of the restaurant’s music stage, where a robotic singing chicken and the chain’s namesake mouse perform.


December 10, 2008

Amazing skateboarding dog


This dog is AWESOME.

I am going to teach Tucker to do this.