Saturday, 21 June 2008

The Ramstein Commissary & Tramps

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the tasteless dress of women at the Ramstein Commissary....where I shop on Saturdays. The issue then....was women in pajamas and t-shirts.

Things in the past two weeks have gone downhill a fair bit.

Last week....there was the mid-twenties gal....in some kinda skirt with a dozen odd slits from the waist down to the end....which the skirt was already as short as possible. With any step....everything was showing....which would have been ok....if she had been wearing underwear (obviously, she wasn't).

This week.....the next two episodes I noticed. First, there was the mid-thirties gal who was wearing some kind of leather mini shorts.....with a very tight fit. The top was a bikini-like top which covered 30 percent of her boobs.....with little to wonder about. I just stood there and kept thinking it was as sluttish as you can get. I was wrong.

On the next aisle....was a woman wearing a white one piece skirt...which was held up by her boobs.....no halters....shoulders in full view. The thing here was her fourteen odd tattoos. From the neck on down to the ankle....were various tattoos. So the slutty one....was this basketball sized one on her shoulder, in full view with this type skirt. Here was some woman inked into the image who was sitting on her rear end....her legs wide-spread....and various things readily exposed in ink....on this tattoo. I stood there and looked at this.....some 14 year-old kid was there with his mom....pushing the cart....and basically had his mouth wide-open.....gasping.

I conferred with some guy a few weeks ago....who lives over near Mannheim and asked how bad it was there there. He just smiled. They actually have someone at the front door on Saturdays and Sundays.....to forbid entry to tramps and badly dressed wives. I asked him if that fixed the problem....and he said "yep, I only shop Monday through Friday now."

He even went to the extreme of comparing Ramstein and the other Army-run commissary....saying his place was twice as trampy as Ramstein. Dang, I thought....I need to shop over there. But its just too far.

Its an amusing thing.....knowing that in Bama.....women tend to dress and be somewhat reasonable in their clothing choices. You'd never see a Bama gal shopping in pajamas or wearing some leather outfit two sizes too small.

What I'd like to do is start carrying a cam with me and capture all of this to put on the blog.....but half of it would be adult-mature, and I'd probably be kicked off blogger for doing something like that. So those of you.....really wanting an eyeful.....consider shopping at the Ramstein commissary....especially on Saturday morning, in the summer heat.

Sikhs & Their Woes

So here is the situation....a Sikh, which is a religious group who you can easily recognize with a 15-foot long piece of cloth around their head and always with a beard. ....is also a cop for the British police. This one particular Sikh wanted to joing the region's counter-terrorist Operational Support Unit. As things progressed in this effort....the guys in charge came to realize that the Sikh guy. To be in this special unit....you had to be able to wear a helmet, and a respirator.....over his turban and beard.

As days passed, into weeks....the cops spent well over $150k on an attempt to find ANY kind of protective gear for this guy, which would fit over the turban and give him a airtight seal over the beard area. They could not find a single company in the world which makes such a device.

At some point near the end of this search....the cop then claimed that he was being discriminated against.

The guy spent almost eighteen months....on this search....given special pay status during this entire period....and then reverted back to being a regular cop. He now claims....weeks after being "dumped", that he has serious stress issues. He is on long-term leave right now....from this stress, in fact.

The cops right now in charge of this region...really don't want to chat much about this....certainly not wanting to admit that $150k worth of time and effort have been flushed down the toilet. This is the UK....you know....and folks let all of their common sense go down the tubes over forty years ago.

The amusing thing....somewhere in the midst of this entire episode....there was one comment from the cop's chief spokeswoman said: “West Midlands Police is a diverse organisation, which both serves and recruits from a diverse community". Then they added....to make us all pretty weepy-eyed....."As an employer committed to equality and diversity, we are working to try and find a solution to what is a national issue. This worthwhile work continues.”

My guess....the guy will get early retirement....probably $1500 a month for the rest of his life....because of the damn turban and beard. I'm thinking....somewhere in Bama....we gotta start this mess with the turbans up there and grow some beards.....and try to rip off the government there in the same fashion. The only trouble is that the Baptists just aren't partial to turbans.....and Wanda Jean from the sleeze trailer park who we might associate with in a physical sort of way....dislikes bearded fellas. This might take a while.

UC of Berkeley and the Sacred Trees

The university out at Berkeley, CA....is having some issues. Some big-money folks want a athletic training facility put up on a open field area where a couple of trees lie....all on state property (the university of course).

The facility is valued at $140 million....though with cost over-runs....I'd be thinking of $190 million by the end.

Some environmentalists, and some teachers....are very upset about the trees having to go....so they've had tree-sitters up in the trees for months. They've had teachers and students bringing over food and water to keep the guys going.

The university is a bit upset....the press coverage is making them look stupid, and this simply continues on....day after day.

This week, a judge asked for information about the earthquake values of the facility to be built....trying to delay the episode one more time. The odds are that the college did their job....hired a top-notch design guy and he built lots of earthquake features into the building. But its another week of delay built into this.

The sitters? Well....they did drag down one guy yesterday....and there are a couple left to go. Cops got aggressive and have been cutting off water and food to them. The teachers are upset about the poor dudes in the trees now....starving....just ain't right.

Me? If this were Bama.....a guy would go out and find a big enough truck and launch into a tree at 50 mph.....and bring down the tree and the idiot in the tree. Or we could do the Auburn trick of laying 50 rolls of toilet paper over the entire tree....and then setting the paper on fire (from the late 80's episode). Once the idiot falls to the ground....then start chasing them with a bucket of cow manure.....and kinda get the idea into them that this is going to be "fun" now.

The New Era

So in an imaginary day (in the not so long future)....oil runs up around $225 a barrel.

A letter comes in the mail from the county courthouse, from the county commission. A special fee has been assessed on property throughout the county, to help the school system survive between issues with bus gas and natural gas to heat the schools. Its a $400 yearly fee, due in 45 days.

As you call your plumber to come out and fix the overflowing toilet, he lets you know that there is a service-fuel charge now for this 20-minute service ($7), which is on top of the normal bill.

Then you call kid who normally mows your yard to change the regular mow from Thursday to Friday....and he says sure, but he's just added a $6 gas-service fee onto his $18 mow charge.

You jump into the car and run over to Mo's water world where you buy the four big water canisters for your bottled water usage in the house, and Mo lets you know that next week....he is starting a $1 a bottle gas service-fee to pay the delivery guy who comes in from the "springs" with the fresh water each week.

You stop to discuss matters with the fruit stand on highway 44. There, Ms. Moline in her tube top....addresses all the issues you are concerned with. You nod in agreement....noting her chest primarily. Then she lets you know that she has additional fuel costs, which she is passing along to customers via a 2-cent per pound fee. Doesn't matter what you buy....the 2-cent deal gets calculated into the cost. You aren't nodding anymore.

Then you drive over to Wal-Mart, where you buy the $95 worth of groceries for the week, and then note a little fee at the bottom in the area of gas-service charge....$1. Yep, Wal-Mart is going to pass its increasing cost of fuel straight to you the consumer. Why even bother trying to add it into the 55,000 items in the store?

After that, you drive by the fish stand to pick up a dozen catfish for grilling tonight, and find a $3 gas-service fee added to the normal cost of the fish....to pay for the truck which brought the fish out.

Later, you stop by the stripper bar on highway 14.....to sip some cold beer and watch strippers. Somewhere along the act....they let you know that there is a 10-cent gas-service fee on the beer, and a $8 gas-service fee on watching the strippers who had to drive over from the local college.

Later that evening....the local deacon from the church calls up....mostly to tell you that he saw you over at the strippers joint on highway 14....but then to inform you that the church as a new policy about donating to a energy-service fee ($2 per member per week, on top of the normal donation). This is to pay for energy they use for cooling the church on hot Sundays or heating it on cold Sundays. Strangely enough, the deacon doesn't mention that the typical church in 1905 had a pot-belly stove to heat near the front of the church and no one had any AC to cool themselves. Its information that you really don't need.

Later, the kids arrive from out driving around. They need $135 to fill the tank on their car.

At eleven that night, you open your billfold and note that its practically empty and you won't be paid for another three days. Now you start to wonder where the money went, and just far you can survive in this "BOLD NEW WORLD". Things are not the same....and you really don't know the question to ask or the answer to expect.

Supply and Demand

With the futures market in energy booming currently....thus driving up the price of natural gas, gas, and almost everything you buy....we ought to sit back and ponder for a minute this concept of supply and demand.

I've been told in various forums this week (to be unnamed), that its a "God-given right" to invest and speculate in energy futures. No one wants to really discuss the Enron loophole in this right-wing forums....what they do want to discuss is opening up ANWR and having all coastal exploration for energy in 4th gear. The key to every single argument that they make...is that supply and demand will correct the situation.

So I sat back and considered supply and demand. When you go to Wal-Mart and buy toothpaste....are you paying the actual true value and profit of that tube of toothpaste? The answer is no. Does supply and demand kick in and establish the price for toothpaste? To some degree...but then we have some other factors. For example....Wal-Mart has theft that goes on daily, with shop-lifting affecting the bottom line. So the company has a little percentage of a "fee" that they attach to every store's pricing situation....to make up for shop-lifting. This has little to nothing to do with supply and demand. Then you consider that each Wal-Mart measures the competition in the local area, and they have another little plus-up or minus-down....if there is heavy competition, they take off one or two points on the price of each item...to be the lowest in the area. If there is little competition (a town with no real alternate to Wal-Mart), then they add a point or two.

As you look across the economic area that we live in....supply and demand might be in place....but everything has factors to add to it.

In the case of the speculators who are driving the price of oil to $140, and likely to $200 by Feb 2009....you start to notice its not individual players on this wagon. Several major pension funds (to include our favorite two "Yahoo" players out of Detroit) are on this game. When the bubble eventually bursts.....say at $180 or $240 or even $300....it'll drop fairly quickly....maybe down to $100. The pension funds? It'll be hard to explain to Uncle Joe how his $250k in retirement funds is now worth $160k. Uncle Joe isn't going to want to know the why...he'll want someone put in jail.

Supply and demand is a rather odd concept that we were all taught in high school and college. The amusing thing is that we never were told about the outside influences on supply and demand. I don't remember a single minute of my economics 101 class ever discussing this. I don't remember our history teacher in high school ever going into any detail....other than a brief ten-minute example of how supply and demand works. The vast public? They will recite what they know from the local paper or talking to Uncle Joe at the VFW hall.

So this whole supply and demand thing starts to bubble over....into the delivery cost of your paper. Little Fred wants a gas-usage fee tied to the paper subscription....$40 a year. Barney, the guy who does your tree trimming each fall with an entire day of cutting will have a $20 gas-usage fee tied into his usual bill. The airport business will find fewer customers but rising costs....so they will tack on a $33 energy usage-fee to each ticket. The cops will eventually have a $75 fuel usage fee attached to any arrest, to get you back to the jailhouse. The beer guys? They will have a 5-cent a six pack fee for each store as they start to deliver items.

None of these events have anything really to do with supply and demand....we've gone beyond that door. The guy at the end of this mess....the speculator....is the guy now scratching his head, and wondering why the weekend flight to Phoenix for golf with the big guys....went up $100....and the hotel now has a $5 a day energy usage fee tied into winter visits. Yet the same guy will stand there and discuss how to speculate even further on the futures market and take home more money.

Something is wrong here....but the guys who could fix it....won't.