Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Rant

It might take a few minutes to get myself into this Earth Day celebration thing; my bathroom is on the other side of the house and the trips back and forth to puke, clean up and return to the computer are wearing me down. Earth Day, kind of makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over, something like the flu without a trip to the doctor’s office.

Matthew Tresaugue wrote a column in the Houston Chronicle addressing the issues we all face as we live in perpetual guilt here in the land of the free and home of the brave. I give us till the end of the week before the ground opens up and swallows the whole country. Matthew quotes from an interview with a true environmentally minded individual.

“"If we drive like a granny, basically, we can get 400 miles out of a tank of gas, instead of 300 miles," said Armentrout, who recently learned the value of easing off the accelerator. Her husband now goes at least a week between fill-ups of his Pontiac Vibe.”

Isn’t that wonderful? We need to drive like granny; block up the freeways which makes type A personalities boil the blood in their veins knowing that each minute wasted in traffic could have been used productively had it not been for the jerk weed driving ten miles an hour below the posted speed limit. Where’s my gun; I’ll let some air out of those perfectly aired up tires.

There was a list of suggestions, practical means whereby every day “Joe’s and Josie’s” could help reduce the carbon foot print, save money and appease the angry earth goddess. I went down the list and had to agree with the philosophy of saving money in order to purchase things I really do want; that makes sense. The trouble is I really don’t like the way the “government authorized light bulbs” make everyone look sickly; I prefer Edison’s incandescent bulbs. I enjoy my shower, hot with lots of pressure as the water pounds and massages my neck and back; I’ve no intention of taking a shorter shower and I removed the water conservation plug which limited the flow before it was installed.

I spend quite a bit of money on filling up the gas tank on my service truck, and at today’s ridiculously inflated price that comes to about $35 a day. I’ll swap that $35 dollars for the amount of return I get for being productive while I speed down the road picking up an extra job; it’s called capitalism and it beats the heck out of waiting around for a paycheck. You don’t like the way I drive; stay off the side walk.

I had a friend of mine tell me I was spending too much on gas and vehicle maintenance, that my locksmith business wouldn’t justify having to fill the tank each day. Rather than argue with him I smiled and let him continue working his hourly wage job. I never invited him to join me because he just didn’t understand how capitalism worked and my trying to explain that trading a tank of gas for several hundred dollars profit would have only served to confuse the boy.

I had another apprentice locksmith I’d been training tell me how I couldn’t make enough money charging wholesale prices on each car I made keys for. This was a long time ago, before electronic keys and before air bags when my car lot fee was $25 for American cars and $35 on foreign. If I only did one car an hour that was as much as I made an hour as a police officer working for the City of Houston. I could easily do four cars an hour; but you can’t make any money doing cars at that price so he decided not to waste his time.

What has that got to do with Earth Day? Americans are being told to cut back, curb their desires, their wants and get by. We are being encouraged to live with less than what we really want, take a shorter warm showers, drive slower in order to save half a tank of gas for later in the week, read our newspapers under the greenish yellow glow of fluorescent light bulbs while the house if either 5 degrees cooler or warmer than we really would prefer.

Here’s my answer to that garbage; make more money so you can have what you really want. I like to drive faster and don’t mind paying for the extra amount of gasoline required to take me there at a speed which is conducive to making my business flourish. If it takes the extra hind quarter of a long ago extinct dinosaur turned into an oil deposit to accomplish that; fine with me and I’d like the windshield clean so I can enjoy my burst of speed without endangering some idiot ahead of me driving below the posted speed limit just so he can feel good about his carbon foot print. I think I’m getting the feel of this Earth Day Rant now.

I have no issue with saving money through the use of sound purchasing and the reduction of waste; that’s part of budgeting and making each dollar go as far as possible. It would be even better if when it came time to spend those dollars that my own government wouldn’t print them so quickly as to devalue them to the point of my dollar having half its value every four to seven years. I’d like it even better if the environmental whacko community would respect the fact that living in America requires a little more than hoping to survive the day; it requires the desire to live life to the fullest and to conquer obstacles rather than run and hide from challenges.

It’s a shame I can’t drive my BMW Z as a locksmith vehicle, putting premium grade gasoline in the tank so I can whiz around town in style, changing lanes and cutting in and out of traffic on a whim to get around folks too absorbed in saving half a drop of precious petroleum than to get where they’re going in a timely manner and be productive. I did have to use my Z as a locksmith shop one afternoon while my service truck was having the brakes worked on; I drive hard and so my brakes get used up more quickly. I packed a few of the more productive locksmith tools and keys in the back after setting up a couple of high paying jobs which could easily be accomplished with those tools. I was able to pay for the brake job and even have a little left over to buy a set of tires which had been worn about half way. I like to have plenty of good rubber on the road surface while zipping around; wouldn’t do to loose traction while braking for some moron doing ten mile below the posted speed limit.

It’s Earth Day, and if nobody's told you what that means; it means America should quit showing off to the rest of the impoverished world, quit using capitalism to build wealth and provide food for the less productive countries which have all turned to socialism and have yet to figure out that socialism only makes everyone equally poor. That’s my Earth Day celebration, sit on it and rotate!

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