Friday, March 16, 2007

This has been a very busy week. Sorry for the lack of updates. Asshole week continues. No one can believe that when they get a week off for Spring Break, a lot of other people do too. Half of the phone calls we received this week went something like this:

Me: We're completely booked.
Idiot: What's going on this week?
Me: Spring Break.
Idiot: College kids go there?
Me: No. They go to the coast. People like you come here on Spring Break.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Captain America 1940-2007

A couple of years ago, Marvel Comics began publishing a title called "Young Avengers." A group of teens claiming ties to the Avengers began operating in New York. Captain America and Iron Man rushed to stop them, claiming that these young heroes needed to be trained before they started fighting crime. And who better to argue that? Captain America was born in the 40s when a young Steve Rogers volunteered for a secret experiment to create a Super Soldier. He spent several months being trained by the government before appearing to fight German-American Bund operatives on the Eastern seaboard.

Last year, Marvel began publishing "Civil War" and Cap's opinion on training changed completely. A man who spent his entire career under the often loose supervision of the government, turned against the Superhero Registration Act (passed when a group of young heroes fighting super villains caused a small town to be destroyed), saying that the government had no right to know his identity (which he'd revealed for the second time (the first in the ate 60s or early 70s when Stan Lee was writing the title) in the aftermath of 9/11) and tell him what to do. "Civil War" once again demonstrated that Brian Michael Bendis is a plot driven author, who doesn't mind having his characters act against type. Anyway, Cap went underground, recruiting a cadre of heroes who didn't want to regisiter to join his fight. Last month, the opposing sides squared off in New York, devastating the city. Seeing the destruction, Cap realized that he should have opposed the registration act through the courts, and surrendered. This month, after being released from jail, Cap was assassinated.

All I can say is, Yes, I know Cap will return. The only person who has stayed dead in the Marvel Universe is Spider-man's Uncle Ben. The only other long dead character, Cap's WWII sidekick, Bucky, was revived last year as a Soviet assassin. So I know Steve Rogers will return.

I can also say that this makes a perfect place to stop reading Cap. His title has been boring for the last couple of years. And I've grown tired of 6-10 part arcs that lose me in a couple of months. And Marvel Comics in general have followed this trend. I've stopped reading a couple of Ultimate titles, Fantastic Four, and New Avengers. Cap's death will allow me to make a clean break with the universe I used to love.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I hate Spring Break. Mainly because I work in the service sector. And the long I work in the service sector, the more I realize that people are idiots.

During the rest of the year, when someone books one of our guesthouses we send them a map. Which they leave at home and tell us they never received. We get lots of exercise walking from the front desk back to the filing cabinet where we store our maps and then back to the front desk.

During Spring Break, the mouthbreathers' (as described in Clerks 2) collective IQ drops another 50 or 60 points. We get calls like this: "There will be two adults and four kids and we need two queen beds. . . . What do you mean you charge for children if they bring their own bedding?" Or like this: "I'm just getting into town. Where are you?" (Which brings up the question of how these morons traveled in the days before cell phones.) Or like this: "Spring break isn't a holiday. Why are you charging holiday rates? What do you mean you don't you have any openings? It's Spring Break and I want to spend it in Fredericksburg!"

I shared my thoughts with a friend who works in a retail store on Main Street. She said, " I was up to my armpits with mouth-breathers today. As they left the store, I wanted to say, β€œthank you for coming in, testing all of our lotions, picking up every fucking thing that was not nailed to the floor – just to see how much it is and not buying a damn thing. Have a fucking nice day!”

I hate to borrow from Kevin Smith again, but just because we have to serve you doesn't mean we like you.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Tom Brokaw joined the Church of Global Warming (Praise Gaia and her anointed prophet Al Gore! Hah-men!) with his documentary called "Global Warming: What You Need to Know, with Tom Brokaw." Some of the show I agreed with: recycling using energy saving lights, using public transit, buying more fuel efficient vehicles, and so forth. But what convinced me he had joined the Church are two tiny things.

First, in outlining the CO2 contributions a family of four makes to Global Warming, they mentioned the cost of transporting food. They neglected to mention the cost of transporting their clothes, their TVs, the furniture in their house and they completely ignored the CO2 contribution made by Fido, their dog. If it's a good idea to buy locally grown produce to cut down on CO2 emissions, wouldn't it be prudent to buy clothes made in the United States as opposed to those made in China, say? China is industrializing rapidly, opening a coal fired power plant every week and will continue to do so until 2020, according to NPR. The Norwegian Polar Institute says concentrations of carbon dioxide emitted largely by burning fossil fuels in power plants, factories and cars, had risen to 390 parts per million from 388 ppm a year ago, mainly caused by rising emissions from Asian industry led by China. Isn't it odd that the country we get most of our household products from is ignored in the CO2 calculations. Also ignored is the CO2 footprint required by pet ownership: food manufacture, accessories and trips to the vet. How much would the family have saved in CO2, Tom, if they didn't have a dog? He told us how much we could save by changing one normal light bulb for a florescent model--enough to equal the output of 1000 cars! Why, that should allow them to have two SUVs! Isn't that a bit like having a diet soda so you can have another cookie? But he didn't mention how much Fido adds to the CO2 footprint, what with the manufacture and transportation of pet food and accessories.

The second thing that convinced me Tom has been converted is an interview with a "Global Warming expert." The talking head said that if we all took this steps we could "stop Global Warming." I shit you not. He said we could STOP GLOBAL WARMING! Bullshit! According to The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850 by Brian Fagan, a Little Ice Age hit the world in 1300 causing global temperatures to fall, on average, 7 degrees. In the middle of the 15th century, wine production in the English Midlands was abandoned because it became too cold to grow grapes. As a result, England and Germany turned to cereal based alcohol, and, incidentally, is why Americans drink beer. According to Fagan, global temperatures since 1300 have risen about 4 degrees, and they're still not growing many grapes in England. If this talking head Brokaw talked to is to be believed, had the Industrial Revolution not come along and began spewing CO2, it would still be 4 degrees cooler; that man is the only reason the climate has changed? Bullshit, I say again. We could no more stop Global Warming than we could start it. This talking head is using false information to get you to support his action plan. Bush did that in Iraq and it was ethically wrong. Gore did it in "An Inconvenient Truth" and it was ethically wrong. And it's ethically wrong here.

Should we recycle? Hell, yes. Should we drive smaller, more fuel efficient cars? Hell, yes! Will we? No. You and I don't have the economic muscle to go against the big corporations that own our elected officials, Republican and Democrat. We will continue to tilt at the corporate windmills while people like Gore and Brokaw keep our attention off the real threat to the world's climate: China.

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