The Super Bowl and Death

Fireworks go off as the Seattle Seahawks win following the Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on February 2, 2014. The Seattle Seahawks whipped the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the first Super Bowl held in a cold weather site. UPI/Dennis Van Tine

In Colma, California, near the Super Bowl this year,

there are no vendors circulating, selling cups of beer.

For Colma is a city that is made of cenotaphs;

where cheerleaders are cheerless and there’s no one ever laughs.

The only downhill runner is grim Death, who hits the hole

with averages much better than at any Super Bowl.

If you feel like passing, you might try Hail Mary, son;

but you’ll be tackling daisies by the setting of the sun.

Life is but a football game, and Colma a reminder

that all our field goals are in vain, despite the best Sidewinder . . . 

 

Inflation-Wrought Venezuela Orders Bank Notes by the Planeload

Maduro

From the Wall Street Journal:  The shipments were part of the import of at least five billion bank notes that PresidentNicolás Maduro’s administration authorized over the latter half of 2015 as the government boosts the supply of the country’s increasingly worthless currency, according to seven people familiar with the deals.

Nicolas Maduro is a president who aims

to send his country’s finances up into pretty flames.

He’s ordered bolivars be printed without heed or plans,

to be delivered to the banks (and then into trashcans).

So many notes are printed that for wallpaper they’re used.

(And soon enough for tp they will also be abused . . . )

Perhaps if old Maduro will print bolivars on scraps

of cabbage people will not starve so much in this collapse.

 

Salad Greens

From the New York Times:   “Across much of Alaska at this time of the year, as winter tightens its grip with darkness and cold, finding a nice crisp head of lettuce at an affordable price can be like prospecting for gold. Where the farm-to-table distance is measured in thousands of miles, the odds get long.”

When I read the above paragraph I let the paper slide from my nerveless fingers as a brief reverie of my childhood overtook me.

My misguided mother, bless her culinary soul, tried to make me eat raw green salads in the wintertime up in blustery Minnesota.

I fought her to a standstill, night after frozen night. I had heard my dad sneeringly refer to salad greens as “rabbit food”, and so I decided that the manly thing to do was turn up my nose at ’em.

Now, as I try to stave off the ravages of a Cheetos-infested lifestyle, I find myself browsing on salads most every day. The irony would be comical, if water cress weren’t so darn expensive . . .

 

Up there in Alaska, where the nights are mighty long,

the denizens chant plaintively this melancholy song:

“Arugula is but a dream, and endive but a fable;

there are no spring greens we can ever put upon the table.

A leaf of chicory or just a parsley sprig or two

would gladden hearts and give some zest to walrus blubber stew.

Beet greens we have yearned for, till our eyes are soft with tears;

the thought of bok choy keeps the trappers crying in their beers.

A head of lettuce, some Romaine — oh, where can they have gone?

We need those antioxidants to face another dawn!”

Cheer up, all you ice chippers, and cease your histrionics —

you will soon scarf salads through the grace of hydroponics!

The Super Bowl Party

super bowl snack

The Super Bowl means gluttony upon a massive scale;

my guests will want more beer and chips and dip — not any kale.

Anything that’s wrapped in bacon will be gobbled quickly.

Appetites at half-time will be very far from sickly.

The roasted almonds and the cheese balls must remain intact,

at least until the sandwiches are collated and stacked.

This year will it be Lays or Old Dutch chips — I must decide;

if I get the off brand I just may injure someone’s pride.

Little Smokies in a piquant sauce are sure a must.

Donuts by the dozens laced with powdered sugar dust.

 Car’mel popcorn and a keg of Budweiser to slake

the thirst of hoards of people while brined turkey I will bake.

The fact is with each platter being licked until it’s clean,

I seriously doubt I really need a TV screen!  

Yahoo to Cut 15% of Workforce, Explore Strategic Options

down

“Restructuring alternatives” is what the Yahoo group

has called their situation, where the fan has hit the poop.

Fourth-quarter earnings were so dim they took a hefty charge;

they’ve settled in the water like a leaky gravel barge.

News Corp and Verizon circle round like buzzards eager

to pick the carcass clean, leaving bits of bone quite meager.

Of course the only fallout that is really gonna sting

will come to those who Yahoo out of work will gaily fling.

This includes a Mr. Schwab, who left the Yahoo board

faster than a Mustang GT with the pedal floored.

Shares in Yahoo stock are falling like the drifting snow,

while Wall Street helpfully takes cover and shouts “Watch out below!”

 

Ted Cruz Beats Donald Trump in Iowa’s GOP Race

"Hello. I'm a venture capitalist. Do you have any unicorns I can invest in?"
“Hello. I’m a venture capitalist. Do you have any unicorns I can invest in?”

Iowa votes for Ted Cruz, but that’s so they can thump

their secret idol and great chieftain, Mr. Donald Trump.

For Iowa loves Mr. Trump and his bombastic riches,

but they were worried he was getting too big for his britches.

So they took him down a peg, as Midwesterners will do;

a slice of humble pie was served to him out of the blue.

This discombobulation will now hopefully retard

the Donald’s penchant to maintain his lead as head blowhard. 

These German Vacationers Don’t Take Kindly to the Kinder

spanky3

From the Wall Street Journal:

Germans’ demand for more child-free hotels has been seen and heard.

“Adult-only is definitely a rising trend,” says Kathrin Spichala, spokeswoman for TUI AG, Germany’s biggest travel company. TUI’s global network of around 250 adults-only hotels, including its Sensimar brand “created for adults,” is growing.

 

“Mister, watcha doin’ sittin’ there all by yerself?”

“You look like some stuffed animal just sittin’ on a shelf!”

“Wanna play a game with me, and toss a ball aroun’?”

“Golly, where’d you get that awful-lookin’ deep black frown!”

“Watcha got in that there glass? Can I have some, too, please.”

“Is that the stuff my daddy drinks that gives him wobbly knees?”

“Why’s yer tummy stickin’ out; how come you got no hair?”

“Dontcha wanna run with me an’ shout loud in the air?”

“Tag — yer it! Don’t be a poop — you gotta chase me now!”

“Otherwise yer nothin’ but a great big moo-moo cow . . .”

“Hey Mister, see my wiggly tooth? It’s comin’ out real soon.”

“You wanna try and scoop it out with this red plastic spoon?”

“My mom is calling me for lunch, but after I’ll come by . . . ”

“Gee, Mister — I sure promise it; so you don’t have to cry!”

 

Alternate Heat Sources in an Emergency.

Record cold temperatures have settled over parts of the Midwest, reminding all of us once again that Old Man Winter is not just the kindly old gentleman of folktales and children’s stories — but a determined killer for those who are not prepared to deal properly with him.

Hikingware.com recommends you consider some alternate heat sources for your home in case the electricity in your area is compromised during the cold weather. Remember, it may not always be possible to get out to find emergency shelter right away due to circumstances beyond your control — so have a plan for staying warm when the power goes off.

One easy way to stay warm is to have a supply of emergency candles on hand; several people can sit under a folding card table (especially children, who might actually find this fun) that has a blanket draped over it, with one or two candles burning. This can provide a surprising amount of heat for up to six hours at a time.

Many homes still have fireplaces, although they are more decorative than anything else. Gas fireplaces are purely decorative, but a wood-burning one will produce some heat. A fireplace really isn’t a very efficient heater, as most of the heat goes right up the chimney. To be efficient, some means to capture the heat and distribute it into the room are necessary.

You can buy inserts to put in a fireplace which draw cool air in from the floor and return it to the room as hot air. Essentially, the insert is a series of metal tubes, which surround the fire. These either work by a blower motor or by convection. The best ones for an emergency situation are the ones which work by convection, as you won’t need electricity to run the blower. However, the convection models don’t move as much air as the ones with blowers do.

Benjamin Franklin vastly improved the efficiency of the fireplace by the invention of the Franklin Stove. This is a metal fireplace which allows the fire to be placed closer to the center of the room. The metal stove radiates heat from all sides, as well as from all sides of the metal tube chimney, making it much more efficient than a fireplace.

Another very effective option is to use a kerosene heater. These heaters are relatively clean burning and produce quite a bit of heat. Like the wood-burning stove, they will radiate heat from all sides, allowing you to gain the maximum possible heat out of them. There is no chimney, so the heat isn’t lost out the chimney.

The problem with any of these heating methods, whether using wood or kerosene, is that you have to have an adequate supply of fuel on hand. When your fuel runs out, your heat does as well. Fortunately, both wood and kerosene store well for prolonged periods of time, so you can stockpile fuel without a problem.

There is another option that doesn’t require stockpiling fuel. Using a natural gas “catalytic” heater. These heaters are highly efficient and burn very clean. They use a ceramic element to provide a bed for the gas to burn in. The burning gas heats the ceramic element, which then radiates heat into the room. These heaters are available in a variety of sizes, intended to be used as room heaters in both small and large rooms.

There are two huge advantages to using this type of heater. First of all, they don’t need electricity, and secondly, you don’t have to stockpile natural gas. Natural gas pumping stations provide their own power, so they will probably still be operating even if there is no electricity. About the only way that they can go down is if the gas pipes are damaged.

windy

 

Chinese Cooking is “Dope”.

fu_manchu_karloff

From the New York Times:  BEIJING — “It is no secret that fans of Chinese food often find it addictive. They speak longingly of the numbing spice of Sichuan peppercorn or the sour herbs found in Yunnan cooking.

At least 36 restaurants in China tried to take that addictive quality one step further, and now have found themselves on the wrong side of the law. They were investigated in the past week by the authorities for adding poppy capsules and other illegal ingredients to food, according to a report on Friday by Xinhua, the state-run news agency.”

Hold the dumplings, stop the noodles!

Better get some German strudels.

Chinese cooking’s forlorn hope

Is to fill their food with dope!

Sweet and sour is exotic

When you fill it with narcotic.

Don’t worry ‘bout the MSG –

Just ask about the PCP!

So are these meals a chance miscue –

Or are they cooked by Fu Manchu?

Financial Advice from the Experts

From the Wall Street Journal:  “Stocks rebounded from a January selloff, pushing the Dow industrials up 211 points to their first weekly gain of the year, even as high volatility and mixed economic signals continue to perplex investors.” 

I don’t know why I read the Wall Street Journal — I never understand more than about ten percent of all the gobbledy gook they publish. I don’t even own a single stinking share of any kind of stock or bond anymore; I sold out years ago to pay off my child support.

Now, if the WSJ gave tips on applying for EBT or where to find subsidized housing, I would gladly wade through their jargon.

However, I guess I still share in the American folie de grandeur that somehow I’m still going to strike it rich, and so I better keep reading a sound financial newspaper to keep up with the latest investment strategies like all the other financial big shots . . .

 

The blue-chip index rises high; the Dow ascends as well.

But China’s weakened yuan makes the future hard to tell.

The stimulus of central banks has worn off, like a binge

of crude oil guzzling that is making market traders cringe.

Portfolios have lost their way, their managers abashed

by the year two-thousand-eight, when ev’rything had crashed.

The rise in U.S. interest rates has left conflicting signs

that give to Western nations lots of little worry lines.

Growth is soft and no one wants commodities at all;

along with stocks and bonds they seem too fated for a fall.

Commercial lenders have retreated; the downdraft has them scared.

The IMF is back-peddling, and brokers are not spared.

The best advice investors need to stay above the throng

is to toss it all away on wine and women and song . . .