Well, I just got back from Chicago, where Riatsila and I attended G-Fest, the daikaiju (giant monster) convention. Godzilla, Mothra, like that. This is our third year at G-fest, and the second of our printing their con T-shirts. J.D. Lees of Manitoba has parleyed his love of Tokyo-stomping critters into a well-produced fan magazine (G-Fan) and a major player in the fan convention world. Godzilla and Co. are rarified fan objects, but J.D. and his crew pull a stellar group of guests and (ahem) dealers to attract a stellar group of fans to the Crowne Plaza O'Hare hotel for a weekend of costumes, movies, toys, t-shirts, and the camaraderie to be had in cheering on your favorite monster in battle.
We enjoyed the pizza of Chicagoland (Al's Pizza is amazing), the fireworks from the 13th floor in a 180 degree panorama of flame and color, and alas, we mourned the passing of Larry Harmon, the real Bozo, the only clown not included in the Aardvark's Axis of Grease-paint Evil. Our business was record-breaking for the con.
Thanks, J.D. and all.
Our trip was nine-plus hours by Aard-van, traveling at 70 MPH. Senator John Warner (R, VA), is actively working against my best interests. After thirty-plus years of Congressional inaction re: domestic oil production, Warner is fielding the idea of returning to the 1970s. Maybe he wants to dig out his Saturday Night Fever outfit. He wants to study the benefits of a return to the double-nickel. Yep, 55 MPH nationwide, good buddy. We can surely conserve our way out of this fuel crisis. And I have fairies at the bottom of my garden.
Conservation plays a (small) part in the overall solution, but with the oil companies prevented from exploring for domestic oil by Congressional fiat, we will have no solution that maintains the lifestyle to which we are accustomed. You know, the lifestyle that feeds the world's hungry (when hoarding dictators let their people partake of our largesse), that produces new technologies which usher in the future, and that has cleaned up a polluted nation, and rehabilitated moribund wildlife populations. Ten years ago, our representatives whined that drilling and building new refineries wouldn't do any good for ten years, so we should do something else, which turned into nothing else. The same song is being warbled again by politicos and pundits alike: ANWR is no answer. Oil shale is too hard to make profitable. Drilling off Florida will lower beachfront property values (the same values that will plummet when no-one can drive there).
There are a plethora of "alternative energy" options out there, but compared to the existing petroleum-based economy and infrastructure of the US, they are nothing more than classified ads for ecological living in the back of Mother Earth News.
Here's an idea. Make NASA do summat useful. put up BIG solar-panelled satellites in geosynchronous orbit. Convert the electricity thus produced to microwaves (a maser would be perfect), then beam it down to rectifying antennas in the Mohave desert and similar wastelands. The rectennas convert the unending supply of Sun-power to electricity, where it is put into the grid for toasters, TVs and washing machines to run off of. And electric cars.
Like it or not, though, our world runs on oil, and it will not easily give it up, thus we must increase our current supply so as to birth the future energy systems into the world. Effective wind power, solar power, geothermal, even zero-point energy for the Keelynet crowd, all must be built up from the present modes. Congress has done nothing but obstruct, mandate, and bloviate for decades where energy policy is concerned, and now Sen. Warner and his ilk want to punish The Peeeee-pul, guys like me, and Billiam, gals like PL and CunningDove with a 55MPH speed limit, when THEY have stood in the way.
Obama wants to "examine" nuclear power, but sez "we have to look at nuclear waste".
Ah, the nuclear waste that would be reduced by 90% if Congress had not legislated against the recycling of nuke waste back into usable fuel. John Adams had it right.
"One useless man is a disgrace, two are called a law firm, and three or more become a Congress."
We must have conservation. Yes.
We must have increased production of oil from domestic sources. THAT is called homeland security.
We must have new alternative energy sources.
We must have nuclear. It works, and Utah squawking aside, the waste is containable. Read about vitrification, which turns nuclear waste into a solid block of glass.
I wpould let 'em store some in my back yard. Besides, it's the 21st Century. Where's my Li'l Atom Home Atomic Pile? And my rocket pack? I want my rocket pack.
It is not either/or stupid binary thinking. We need them ALL, but we need the oil FIRST. Not instead of. Merely first
DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELVES TO BE PUNISHED FOR CONGRESS' INACTION.
This is not advocacy, merely the Aardvark using his golden eyeglasses to prognosticate. If our representatives do not get hearing aids and start listening to the folks back home, if they do not BEGIN representing us, then the only options left for true "change" will be starving Washington by removing the economic feeding tube on a national basis and sending no money to D.C., or the people actually uprising and throwing them out by main force.