Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Price Is Right

So, I graduate soon. Then it's off to LA for the Price Is Right before I fully enter adulthood.

Check out the t-shirt design, yea baby!

Monday, April 24, 2006


Why is the entry so far from the top, arrgggg!!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I'm a bit gassy

First of all, I have no idea why my last entry is so far down there, sorry.

On to the subject at hand. I don't understand why gas prices keep on rising. Last summer it was because supply was damaged by hurricane katrina (please don't assume that i'm being insenseitive *sp?* to that horrible event, there's far worse than gas prices as a result of the hurricane, i'm just sayin...) Then the "summer driving season" always drives up prices because more people are using a finite supply of gas, ok ok ok. Economics was never my thing.

Some research on the internet yields the answer that gas prices are climbing as gas stations are switching to the "summer blend" which kind of sounds like a beer to me, but anyways apparently the demand for ethanol is high so the prices are remaining high. Wait, I thought ethanol was going to make gas cheaper? They add ethanol to the gas in order to dilute some of the gas with a cleaner and renewable resource, and it's driving the price up. What?

I don't really understand supply and demand. I don't understand webpages explaining how oil is refined into gas and there's a whole chain of events from research to extration to production, blah blah. These things are beyond me, i've tried. Maybe i'll try some more.

But it seems to me that the reason gas prices are so high is that we'll obviously pay them. I drive more than anyone else I know, except for maybe my Dad when he was a DS (Methodist jargon, don't worry about it for all you non-Methodists out there). I buy lots of gas. I hate it. Last summer the prices rose, we paid. So why not test the waters a little more if you're an oil/gas company? Why not make more money if you can?

What I HAVE gathered from my limited economical education is that in our capitolist system, competition encourages lower prices, as two+ companies will vie (vye?) for your money and in the process a better and less expensive product results. But these oil conglomerates are sort of in a different boat than lots of other companies. Gasoline literally drives most of our economy, trucks bring all the goods to where they can reach the market, we transport ourselves all over the place, as our cities are not set up for pedestrian travel, or public transport. The oil/gas companies can do whatever they want as long as we're willing to stick with the status quo-- continue to bow to whatever they want to charge and refuse to stand up for emerging renewable energy resources. I realize that this is an oversimplification, but think about it: Do you know why gas prices rise? Do you wonder how long this will last? Exxon made more money than most countries last year....even though gas prices were rising and supply was in jeapardy...hhhmmm.....

Part of me feels horrible complaining about gas prices while war is going on, while people I met in Mexico have almost nothing, name any other awful thing there.

But it's even more horrible that middle aged and old men in suits are profiting off of all of this.

I hate being a slave to my car, but I am. What can I do? I walk to class every once in a while, ok. Big deal. I guess i'm hoping that hybrid cars continue to prosper, maybe I can get one of those in the distant future. I guess i'm hoping that the US can break free of all the politics of oil, our dependance on oil which 'fuels' (haha) our involvement in the middle east. I don't think it's too much to expect some ethics from companies regarding responsibility to the consumer.

I don't think much will come of this.

Next time my entry won't be so money focused.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I read this article today. All of this turmoil over immigration is real tough. Lot's of issues, but this is mostly about money. It's a congressional election year, there's voting blocs to be appeased, there's the percieved "threat" to American culture, the language thing, all sorts of stuff.

I've recently been to Mexico. We're not only talking about Mexican immigrants of course, but i'd say that's the biggest group. Go down to Juarez, where you can literally see the El Paso city lights and people have migrated to Northern Mexico to work at the American factories. Not for the good pay, but for the meals the factories provide along with meager health care. It gets worse the further south you get. Go down there and think about who wouldn't want to get out?

Also, let's think about how we all got here. European immigration, with the subsequent destruction of one people and the enslavement and importation of another. A bit of a philosophical point really, but all the people who criticize the immigrants should trace their family history.

But this is all motivated by cash. "The illegal immigrants don't pay taxes and suck up public education, health care, and social services. They are taking American jobs." Please. What about American companies who outsource to India or Mexico, they're being pretty up front with moving jobs elsewhere because they don't have to pay foriegn workforces nearly as much. As for "American jobs" what Americans are competing for the tomato harvesting jobs? But we certainly love our cheap tomatos at Wal-Mart. I'd be interested to see the cost of public services vs. the money saved on sub-par labor compensation.

I don't know the solution to the immigration issue, but I do know that it's not as simple as people want to make it out to be. The article reflects the public opinion's split, or at least one poll's portrayal of that split. You can't just say "get out of our country".

Long Time Comin.

Hello everyone. It's been over a month. Bad form. A lot has happened to me.

1. Spring break in St. Louis working at church. Everytime i'm there i'm amazed at how being connected to a community of people is so refreshing. When I see those folks it's usually been a couple weeks so there's the feeling of "Hey! How are you!" which is really authenticly joyful. I think one of the goals of people in church is to preserve that feeling, and honestly mean it, not losing the importance of each other in the mundane week to week routines of our lives.

2. Mission trip to Mexico. We took over 30 youth and adults to Juarez, Mexico through Proyecto Abrigo (Project Shelter). It's really changed a lot for me. I've learned that I really don't have any problems. Any. At all. None. I have it so sweet and I haden't been appreciating it. I also got some sweet belt buckles at the market.

3. SICK AS A DOG. On the way home from El Paso (A 22 hour bus ride) at approximately 1am I woke up, felt a little sick, then suddenly puked. On the bus, waking up dozens of sleeping youth and sufficiently grossing out several adults. Pretty much one of the worst things I could imagine, kind of. From 1am-8am I proceeded to vomit over 20 times, and also multiple #2 sessions. Was it from getting water in my mouth during the shower? I think not, as many of the group also became ill. Montezuma, screw you! I don't want to get too graphic here....but let me say two things: I've never had to take a trash can into the bathroom with me, and i'll never eat beef jerkey again. I am still recovering from being sick a little bit, and also recovering from the wrath of my schoolwork.

(Be warned, next part is going to get lengthy)

4. It's my birthday tommarow. So, I turn 22 tommarow. Let's recap the last 22 birthdays shall we? Ages 1-5, brain still developing happy to get cake and gifts (although I guess that never really changes).

6-12 the "and a half years" where when people ask you how old you are you feel it neccesary to give them your current age as well as how close you are to the next one.

13-15, you're excited you've made it to "teen" on the end of your age as well as the anticpation of driving. Everyone from 13-15 is usually a jerk sometimes for no real discernable reason, at least I was.

16, sweet sweet drivers license. I'm old school, no "intermediate license" or any of that bunk. I was so excited to be able to drive my parents were able to manipulate me into begging them to run their errands for them.

17, you can finally see R movies! Not that I haden't before, but now there was no doubt of admission to the theatre. I remember arguing with my Mom about whether I could see them, and I envoked my legal right, which ultimately is endorsed by the President of the United States himself. My Dad took me to see Judge Dredd in the 5th grade, so he was cool with it.

18, you finally have to register for the draft! That was creepy. Also, you can buy smokes and naughty magazines, rights I did not envoke like R movies. You're a legal "adult", you can vote. 18 is perhaps the most liberating birthday.

19 & 20, not as exciting as 16-18, but another decade of life is pretty cool. 20 also sounds a lot older than 19. So, 19 & 20, eh, whatever.

21, if you watch enough MTV 21 could be the pinnacle of your life, which is stupid. Obviously, the big deal is you can drink, and even if you choose not to booze, you have the legal capacity. 21 is cool because the "under 21 until..." on your license no longer applies. 21 is cool because your insurance drops (mine did a little). When you turn 18 you're a legal adult, but it's pretty much a countdown until full blown adulthood at 21.

22, ugh, 22? The first of my "just another year" birthdays. It's horrible. I know a lot of you out there are older than me, many of the staff members at church revel in the fact that they could be my parent (a fact that can also be wielded against them). So you could be thinking '22, he's still young'. Well, whatever, the double deuce here I come.