Monday, June 19, 2017

Cool solutions to melting Antarctic


Alarming news about the rapidly melting Antarctic glaciers has me scrambling for silver linings. They say the inundation of as much as 13-feet of water could swamp global coastlines where 50 percent of the world’s population lives.

Could disaster be averted if everyone in the heartland started digging really deep backyard pools?

The problem isn’t having too much water. Water is essential to human life.

The problem is having too much water where no one needs any more water.

I used to worry Earth was going to run out of water. Now, I worry we’re going to have too much. It’s like every other day humanity must decide whether it wants to die of thirst or drown.

When did life become such a daily disaster film?

Researchers say a Texas-sized iceberg is about to break off the Antarctic. They say this will eventually melt, a prelude to the loss of the icy continent. Fun fact: ants, the most prolific species on the planet, can be found on every continent except the one that includes “A-N-T” in its name.

So everyone is fretting a Texas-sized iceberg is about to break off into the ocean.

I say tow it to Texas!

That much fresh water could turn the arid state into a green paradise. I love the plush Texas Hill Country, but dousing the scrub lands of West Texas could transform deserts into farmlands that could feed the world.

I’ve never been to west Texas, but I understand it’s very flat and unrelentingly nondescript. Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen says it's so flat that on a clear day you can see the back of your own head.

Besides agricultural uses, that much water could serve civic purposes. Texas is full of filthy Texas who could — lather, rinse, repeat — use a good soaking, giving fresh meaning to “scrub” lands. 

I used to think industrial efforts to desalinate ocean water for human purposes just confirmed my theory that humans are nothing more than parasites with personalities.

But rising oceans may make mass desalination necessary.

That’s because a major part of my planet-saving plan will require lots and lots of fresh water. 

I’m talking about saving the planet by — hallelujah — drinking more.

Sure, you’re welcome to wuss out and drink plain water. I’m unsure about the legitimacy of the claim and too lazy to research its validity, but it’s recommended we all drink “8 x 8” (eight 8 ounce glasses of water) each day.

It makes sense. Our bodies are 60 percent water. Again, without the benefit of research I’ll speculate the rest is 30 percent muscle, 6 percent bone, 3 percent compacted fecal matter and 1 percent brain.

Feel free to transpose the last two percentages based on political party affiliation. 

But water is essential. It flushes toxins, carries nutrients to cells and provides necessary moisture — our bodies’ oil — to all our moving parts.

Of course, the real yeoman work will be done by a demographic frequently disparaged as drags on the planet, not its saviors.

I’m talking beer drinkers.

Each beer is about 90 to 95 percent water.

I was too muddle-minded to realize it, but I’ve spent much of the last 35 years helping to save the plant.

Heck, from 1981-1999, I was practically a Superhero.

We can be the wobbly vanguard of a new environmental movement, only instead of bagging sand on flood plains we’d be the ones in the bag.

Instead of spending our bar time discussing things like sports and which weather babes give us high pressure systems in our pants, we could elevate our conversation.

We could talk about climate change and how it’ll effect our bar. 

And we could address the next big problem that’ll be a direct result of solving the last big one.

That being: Where the hell are we going to put all the piss?



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Monday, June 5, 2017

Pledge Week results!


The people have spoken! 

And they said, “Ehhh …”

My earnest, ballyhooed, passionate blog pledge drive landed with a thud. Total haul from nine enthusiasts: $447.

That was three $100 donations, one $52, two $25, one $20, a $15 and a $10. Each donor will receive equal prominence on the acknowledgements page of my new “Use All The Crayons! II,” which I hope to have available for sale by September. And each will receive a free signed copy.

So what do I do with my “windfall?” What’s the splurge? I hadn’t seen my sunglasses in about a month. I’d had them about six years and was eager to update with something stylish. I’d planned on going to The Eyeglass Shoppe on Route 30  today to shoppe, er, shop.

But I found the old ones rattling around beneath the driver’s seat Sunday morning on my way to church.

Nothing’s going right!

Now I’m conflicted about the blog’s future. Certainly, it must change.

I don’t doubt that many people really enjoy it and consider it a welcome distraction. For the first time, I had three months in a row with more than 10,000 unique views from all over the world. That’s not insignificant.

We’re talking Trump inauguration numbers.

And I really enjoy keeping it lively and fresh. It indulges a swampy part of my mind where offbeat ideas stew and seek release.

But, geez, there’s another part of my mind, the minuscule stump where cold logic dwells, that shouts the blog is a tremendous waste of time and energy.

I’d hoped to show that part of my mind a great, big bag of money to refute all its shrill protests. Take that, brain!

Alas, it is not meant to be. 

I’ve started a new novel and I think it’s time to really inhabit it, to divert all the time and thought I use for the blog and apply it to a new novel. I intend it to be fast and funny. My goal is write about 60,000 words by Labor Day and have some version of the story on Amazon in time for the holidays.

What’s the book about? It’s a satire about the upheaval the introduction social media wreaks on the afterlife. It centers on a star-crossed Romeo and Juliet couple only instead of Juliet being on a balcony, she’s in heaven and instead of Romeo being on a plaza, he is in hell.

It’s a match made in heaven.

And hell!

And it’s all thanks to Facebook.

Maybe this will be the project that leads to some sort of authorial stability.

Maybe not.

I now know this after nine years: no stability will come from blogging four or five times each week.

It’s like what Branch Rickey told future Pirate Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner when Kiner said he was too valuable to be traded.

“Ralph,” Rickey said, “we finished last with you, we can finish last without you.”


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