Activists on a plane

February 25, 2008

Here’s the link, in case you think I’m making all this up.


Apparently, four activists associated with Greenpeace have climbed onto the top of a Boeing 777 at London’s Heathrow airport to protest the planned construction of a third runway. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Greenpeace? Isn’t that the well-known environmental group famous for promoting logical, responsible and calm discussion about environmental issues by pulling stunts like piloting their ship, named the Rainbow Warrior, dangerously close to huge Japanese whaling vessels?” Yes. That’s them. France bombed and sunk the original Rainbow Warrior just to keep Greenpeace from driving their ship around the ocean like a drunken grandma on I95, which they have continued to do in the New Rainbow Warrior. Oh, and let’s not forget that Greenpeace also spent a lot of time and money to officially name one humpback whale “Mister Splashy Pants”. Yes, I expect you’ll be needing a link for that one too. Here it is.

So it only makes sense that four people from Greenpeace would climb up to the top of a 777 to criticize the British air travel industry. Let’s quote now from, “We may have exposed a hole in security at Heathrow, but it’s not as big as the hole in (Prime Minister) Gordon Brown’s climate change policy,” said Sarah Shoraka, 30, another of the protesters, who questioned why flights between Manchester and London are necessary when the train is a viable alternative. She went on to say, “The push for a third runway is being fueled by totally unnecessary flights like this one.”

OK, so where do we start? Climbing on top of an airplane? A BIG one? No. Protesting a THIRD runway at one of the busiest airports in the world, which you would think should already have about 63 runways so airplanes didn’t have to circle around endlessly waiting to land? No, too easy. Hmmm … I’ve got it.

Aren’t airplanes kind of like public transportation? I mean, the activists want everyone to ride the train instead of flying, but what about the other alternative? That 777 probably holds 300 to 400 passengers, depending on how the interior is configured. What if all of those people decided that, instead of flying from London to Manchester, they would all drive their own cars? How would the M1 (the main road north from London) look with an extra three or four hundred cars for every cancelled flight? There are multiple flights from LHR to MAN daily. That’s a lot of congestion and a lot of vehicle exhaust pollution. In fact, I think it would make more sense for Greenpeace activists to take their protest to the highways and try to convince people to fly INSTEAD of drive. Their signs should say something like, “Why are you driving when there is a perfectly good airplane waiting for you at Heathrow?” and “Boeing 777, great public transportation!”

But I guess it’s not about making sense now, is it Mister Splashy Pants?


August 8, 2007

Let’s see. The high temperature here in sunny Maryland today was around 100 degrees. Gaaaaa!

The high temperature in Dublin, Ireland (where I threaten to move my family every summer) was around 64 degrees.

Do you see now? Do you? Huh? Well, do you?

Father’s Day weekend

June 19, 2007

So how was my Father’s Day weekend, you ask? Well I’ll tell ya.

Played horrible golf on Friday and had a blast of a time. Went to the Soul game on Saturday night when they beat Columbus in the final minute to clinch a playoff spot. Had a cool day on Sunday which included a little softball and horseshoe playing, a lot of crab eating and a bit of beer drinking. My brother-in-law and I have taken to buying those little 7 oz. Corona bottles so our beer is always really cold and we can drink twice as many. So, all in all a pretty good weekend, wouldn’t you say?

Summer has begun (I don’t care what the calendar says about it) and the temps have been getting higher. Those of you who know me know that I’m a cool-weather guy. I love cool, rainy, overcast days. LOVE them. Most people would describe that kind of weather as “gloomy”, but to me it is heaven. I’m don’t have a gloomy personality at all, I just like the weather. Summer here in the northeast is not my cup of tea, in fact, every June I threaten to move my family to Ireland. So in the spirit of positive thinking, here are the GOOD things about Summer:

evening thunderstorms
ice cold seedless watermelon
growing things in the garden
Fall comes next

It figures

May 15, 2007

Well, here I am, thinking I’m all evolved and stuff. Then my new “friend from afar”, Cecil Castellucci, has a link on her blog to some sort of a personality test. I’m not usually interested in internet tests, since most of them seem to be written by 15-year-old boys who want to know if I’ve ever kissed a girl before or if I’ve ever been drunk. Not interested. However, the test Cecil linked to is part of the marketing for a movie called “The Golden Compass”, which I’ve never heard of, but it asks a bunch of questions about your personality and then shows you your “Daemon”, which is your soul in some sort of animal form.

Got all that?


Here is mine:


A GIBBON?? Come on! My soul has taken on the form of a small ape? That’s what I get for answering the questions truthfully.

I’ve got to tell you, I’m struggling with letting these blog entries stay informal and not working on them to shape them into mini story nuggets wrapped up in nice, little packages.

Ummm … just thought you should know.

O.K. here are some quick thoughts before I lose them:

I listened to samples of Katherine Mcphee’s new cd and it sure sounds to me like her producers and songwriters have completely thrown out everything she was on American Idol and tried to make her into some dance/hip-hop moaning diva. Just take a look at the album cover and you’ll see what I mean. Yes, that is the same sweet girl who almost won the competition on the strength of her emotional version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. The samples I heard just sound like overproduced, mindless junk. Unless she wanted that image change, she should fire everyone involved.

right. now I’m rollin’!

Chris Daughtry’s cd, on the other hand, is really good. It fits who he is (based on what we know from his time on Idol) and it actually rocks. Kudos to Chris, who wrote or co-wrote all but two of the tracks and producer Howard Benson for “keeping it real, Dog”.

I haven’t taken the time to listen to last season’s Idol winner Taylor Hicks’ record yet. My wife has listened to it and tells me it’s just O.K. I was hoping Hicks would win even though I knew I’d not want to hear a whole cd from him. He’s different and seems like a decent guy.

Now, the cd we have both been enjoying lately is by Corinne Bailey Rae. I know the record has been out for a while, but it’s so good I had to mention it. Easy, jazzy, intimate little pieces of audio heaven. How’s that for a description? Do not listen to this cd if you’re in a “Daughtry” mood. However, if you’re in the mood to hear easy, jazzy, intimate little pieces of audio heaven (had to use it again, sorry), take a listen. Rae is scary good.

One more music thing. The other day I heard a snippet of the old They Might Be Giants song – We Want a Rock. If you are not familiar with the band, let me tell you that They Might Be Giants have some of the oddest lyrics you’ll ever have trouble getting out of your head. It’s not often that I sit in front of my iBook and laugh out loud, but I’d completely forgotten about the part of that song where they sing

If I were a carpenter I’d
Hammer on my piglet, I’d
Collect the seven dollars and I’d
Buy a big prosthetic forehead
And wear it on my real head

No, I don’t know what it means. I just know that it’s knocking around in my head right now (my real head, not the prosthetic one).


January 14, 2007

Watch it. I’m in a foul mood today.

My beloved Philadelphia Eagles lost a game they absolutely were able to win yesterday in their divisional round loss to the New Orleans Saints. Great. Now the media can continue their “Hurricane Katrina devastated the city a year and a half ago and now the Saints have reinvented football” diatribe. Unbelievable. According to CNN, it seems the people in New Orleans are way more concerned about finding ways to kill each other than they are about football.

did I tell you I was in a foul mood?

One more football point. To paraphrase my old pal (and greatest football writer in America) Peter King, televised football (especially on the Fox network) is one long commercial with brief football breaks. There was one sequence yesterday during an Eagles’ 4 play drive, which was 3 actual plays and 1 punt, where Fox had a commercial prior to first down, in between second and third downs and after the punt. Yes, I know that American Idol starts this week, Fox, you’ve told me 47 times since kickoff. Yes, I know that Jay-Z has a new and highly annoying record out and that he thinks Bud is a super great beverage. I know about the new season of 24. I’ve seen more than 24 hours worth of commercials for that show.

Also yesterday, our planned 4 day, 3 night trip to the beach this summer turned into an 8 day, 7 night (and almost 3 times the cost) beach torture event. I’m not a big fan of going to the beach. I like it for about 4 hours on the first day and then I’m ready to do something/anything else. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a nice coffee shop or cafe with internet access and I’ll be able to get some writing done. Of course, I don’t need the internet access in order to write, but it does help with my love of procrastination.

Return to sender

January 2, 2007

Well, the holidays are over and thank goodness. I don’t know for sure, but it seems like when Santa left the gifts for our children, he took their sanity back home to the North Pole with him. It’s been pure craziness around here. The kids all march around and declare a state of boredom in our house. We have, at last count, 3 televisions, 3 computers (all with DVD capability), 1 portable DVD player, 1 video game system, countless board games, many Christmases and birthdays worth of toys, gadgets and dolls, and don’t forget that we are at the end of the fifth warmest December on record, so they could be outside every single day. They’re bored, they say. How can these kids be bored when just two generations ago, kids played games called “Kick the can” and “Stick ball” because all they had to play with were empty cans and sticks. My kids are bored. And crazy. I’m almost to the point where I wouldn’t mind if they played games called “Kick the DVD player” and “Gadget ball”. I can’t even find the words to describe how crazy it has been in our house, so I’ll have to resort to using words I learned from watching cartoons on Saturday when I was a kid. Did I mention that now there are TV channels which show cartoons 24 hours a day? My kids are too bored for that. The cartoon words that describe the situation here are “Rassin’ Frassin’”. It’s been rassin’ frassin’. Now, if I wasn’t such a lazy goof and if I had my podcast up and running, you could hear me pronounce those words properly, with heavy accents on the Rs and As. I am working on producing a podcast because I feel that what the world really needs is another unqualified lunatic with a media outlet. Anyway, it’s been truly rassin’ frassin’ around here and if this is a gift that Santa left for us, you’ll find me in the return line.