Coping: Life in the Alternative Universe

imageThis being Friday, and all, the futures were indicating a modest rally today – which should land us very close to my “number” for this week (1960.48 on the S&P).

So to mark the occasion, I’m now working on my next career:  As a comedy writer…  Since life “is-what-it-is” there’s no shortage of material.  And that’s before hitting politics and economics.

I’m guided in this endeavor by one of the finest collections of bad jokes out there; the Federal Register.  Allow me to elucidate.

So there I am staring at a project that requires a super good, durable paint job.  And it involves aluminum, so the paint must be preceded by either Alodine or Zinc Chromate ( to MIL-DTL-5541) to prevent a future paint flaking issue – a couple of clicks and it’s on the way.

Then I come to paint selection.  I know from past experience that white kitchen appliance epoxy enamel is a fine match for the paint I have in mind. 

I make the mistake of reading the fine print…






Hold the phone, Jackson.  I think we have crossed over into another dimension.  A dimension not only of sight, but of bureaucracy.  There, at the signpost up ahead:  California!!!

I have never been out to Catalina.  But in order to perpetrate a potential act of civil disobedience (which would be labeled domestic terrorism for budget and narrative purposes), I am considering importing a can of this illegal spray paint of this epoxy appliance enamel to Catalina.

I can see it now:  Getting on the boat at wherever the boats to Catalina come in…facing down a body scanner or having some Gestapo agent frisk me, looking for cans of….spray paint!!!

Is ALL spray paint illegal on Catalina?  I frankly don’t know.  What I DO know is I’m not the first to notice this.

It seems highly paradoxical that one of the most unwrecked places on the planet has to be one of the most regulated.  It’s like there is an unwritten formula of life that says something like “Pollution times regulations must always equal this value.”

Under this formula, highly polluted places in Asia are under-regulated (they sell cigarettes like crazy in Indonesia, says our correspondent down in the Dark Side).  But if a place is “pristine” the only way to make the “formula” work is to regulate, regulate, regulate.

How insane is this?  You have to keep the past couple of weeks of headlines in mind as you read about these thoughts of defiance.  I assume you know that California has a HUGE MOTHER of a natural gas leak going on – big enough to cause all the global warming in the world by the sound of it.

Yet verily,  the righteous are protecting Catalina. Oh, freaking, goody.  But the “secret formula is intact.”

I am happy for the sea lions, whales, and whatever else the greens are protecting out there.

But here in  different state (Texas) of mind, we find outdoorsy preservation projects are sometimes helped by a good coat, or two, of dangerous amine-containing fast curing epoxy enamel.  (Baked in the oven for a couple of hours at 180-degrees when Elaine goes shopping when I have time to air the house out afterwards, is better…usually the cardboard I set things on for curing doesn’t catch fire.)

Turn about is fair play.  I’m putting the imperialistic greenocrats of California on notice:  When I get elected County Commissioner here in District 3, one of my first acts in office will be to promote a 100% ban the sale of Sea Lions and whale meat in Anderson County, Texas.

And to show my sensitivity to environmental issues, I will also press for a ban on whaling in the county, as well.  Perhaps an environmental tax on new cars made in Japan as punishment for their past sins against whales could be passed, too.

My First Campaign Contribution Arrives

My buddy Jeff from the local ham radio club has become the first person to step up and contribute to my campaign fund.

My campaign fund now stands are precisely $1 U.S. dollar.  However, I don’t believe I have to report it until it is cashed.  I’m doing a study of campaign finance loopholes and it’s like crawling around inside Swiss cheese.

Elaine thinks my popularity would be higher if I cooked with less garlic.

But, no.  Then I’d lose my Italian immigrant base out here in Deliverance country.  The lesson in politics is that these things have to be carefully weighed.  Lots of garlic, wings, and Bud should make for a shoo-in.

Our Campaign Purchases a Computer

After many seconds of research, the campaign has made a decision involving email and computers:

In deference to what’s-her-name’s pending woes and potential indictment, we’ve decided to buy a dedicated campaign computer.

This means there is no chance of having all the classified emails that pour into UrbanSurvival News Tip Hotline from being disclosed by staffers.

No, we don’t have money for staff, yet, either; that’s beside the point. 

As the head of the Porcupine Party, (“Get the pricks out of Government”) I’m supposed to take a longer view of things.  Short of EMP, computers may be here to stay.  But we only recently agree that electric lighting might be here for good, too.

The computer selected is a convertible:  Runs as a 10.1-inch Windows 10 tablet, or it drops onto a keyboard base.  32 GB of Ram and already, I can walk around the house on Skype, watching myself on another computer.

I’ve given such rousing campaign speeches here lately that I haven’t been able to go to bed until after midnight, or so.  They’re that exciting.

Campaign Computer Details

In case you decide to run for office, our super-thrifty computer for the campaign set us back only $160!  It’s a iRULU Walknbook 10.1 Inch Tablet PC, 32GB Hybrid Laptop, 2-In-1 Tablet, Microsoft Windows 10 OS, Quad Core,1280*800 Resolution, Detachable Keyboard With Stand (Grey).

Amazingly, it comes with both a front and back camera, depending (bad pun alert) on whether our campaign scandals will involve frontside or backside pictures.  I may resort to posting lapcam pictures on my Facebook page as a way to generate some social buzz, too.

A wireless keyboard and mouse ( LB1 High Performance Portable Ultra-Slim Keyboard and Optical Mouse Combo (Black) ) set us back a further $29.

So after this $189 outlay, and with our first campaign contribution having rolled in ($1) it looks like our campaign will need to raise $188.

We have hired a panel of CPA’s to advise us on  whether the notary fees to file for office as an independent are a campaign expense.  One side says I was not a candidate at the time I paid the fee (before getting the documents in hand.  The lady at the title company down by the courthouse thought I looked shifty and untrustworthy so she wanted cash before delivery.

I did my best to explain that looking shifty is one of the prime qualifications to run for office.

Meantime, the other side of the accounting review board argues that the notary fees were incurred as part of an asset acquisition for the campaign, so it’s a campaign expenditure.  So is 1/10th of a mile of car use since I was too lazy to walk over to the title company.  “Every 5.7-cents is important,” they assure me.

I’ve been eyeing a trip back to Washington to meet with our local Congressoid to get some hints on how to tap into some of that out-of district BIG money.  He is not Jeb Bush but they do share first names and I gotta figure they know where the keys to the bank are.

While there, we’d attempt to recruit him into the Porcupine Party but we have to manage growth of the party carefully.  If all the (you-know-whats) in Washington decided to adopt our candid approach, we’d be swamped.  That would be too much like real work – and that would leave no time for lapcam pictures to ramp up the social media groundswell.

One other campaign IT note:  I will NOT be hooking our campaign computer up to the 4TB network-attached-storage (personal cloud) for the home networks.

If you’re a campaign finance investigator and need data from us, please call the folks on the far side of the moat up in Provo.  I’m sure they’ll have a back-up.

Stamping Out ED

As long as we’re talking about adult topics and screwing (as politics) this morning, Elaine spied an article in an AARP publication that came in a while back (ARRP the Magazine, Oct/Nov 15) that was pretty interesting.  We sometimes age reading materials a bit due to work demands.

The article suggested that if a man is interested in finding out if he is getting nocturnal erections, the way to check is to put a ring of postage stamps around the base of the family tree (so to speak).

If, upon waking, the stamps are broken, then you don’t have to worry about ED.  (You might not want to walk by an automated mail processing machine, however.)

The article didn’t go into enough detail for me:  Since most stamps are pre-glued with adhesive, I was wondering if the Post Office still made the old lick and stick variety…I figure a trip to the Post Office and then liquor store and then on to pick up some steaks for my…um…assistant…. Shortly thereafter, the initial question could be answered without the nuisance of sleep.

Then it struck me to ask whether stamps so-used could be reused in commerce, or whether there was some federal law against that.  (There seems to be one for everything else, for heaven’s sake.)

If government is protecting Catalina from epoxy spray paint, surely there’s gotta be something in the Code of Federal Regulations about postage stamp reuse after ED tests: “Stamps used in ED experiments may not be used for domestic mail.  They may only be used on letter destined for North Korea, Syria, or Iran plus all other countries we are waging undeclared wars on…”

We’ll save that research for the campaign computer…

Write when you get rich, or if you need wire instructions to drop fabulously large contributions into our offshore campaign account at Barclay’s in Grand Turk.  What ever happened that old British colonel (Col. House, if I recall) who used to live in the bar back in the day at the Kitina?

We now return you to your planet of origin.


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