November 17, 2008

Know Your Role



My role Saturday was getting to the spot, hooking the fish, getting back to shore, and landing it. Brian's role was trying not to fall down, staying off my leader, cutting off the escape route, and snapping photos. Mr. Chrome's role was being dumb and docile enough to make it all possible yet spunky and bright enough to make it that much more enjoyable. A tall order, well performed. And for that I am thankful.

November 14, 2008

Reading the water...

It's a very important skill when fishing. One of the more easily discernable (from the surface) places to likely find fish is along "foam" or "bubble" lines, where current seams trap and hold bubbles formed by turbulent water upstream. How'd you like to fish this foam line?

November 13, 2008

November 12, 2008

"Give a man a sea-kitten...

...and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to sea kitten and he’ll squander his day posting on sea kittening websites."

Oh PeTA, we love you so. Don't forget to read the comments.

November 6, 2008

Pay my respects to grace and virtue

Less than 3 weeks before new Killers. I'm such a homer. I can't get the new single out of my head, so I'll give it to you as well if you haven't heard it.

Baltimore for the weekend. Leaving early tomorrow. It's gonna be weird not standing in the Salmon River at 7 Sunday morning for only the second time in 5 weeks. "Wave goodbye, wish me well."

November 5, 2008

"Banning logging and fishing...

...would be conservation done wrong, because of a lack of vision."

See? Not all environmental advocacy groups are off their rocker.

November 4, 2008

Silly government...

...alcohol is for drinking!

I bet you thought this was gonna be an election-related post.

Gee...who ever would have thought ethanol-as-energy investments would be failing? (free registration req'd for full article, via Ted Williams)

I'll give you a hint...he's got two thumbs....

From the article:

Six of the biggest publicly traded US ethanol producers have lost more than $8.7bn in market value since the peak of the boom in mid-2006....

Ouch...but that's nothing compared to what you've lost....

Investor losses come as taxpayers have paid billions to support the ethanol industry. More than $11.2bn has been spent since 2005 on tax breaks for companies that blend ethanol into petrol. Billions more have been spent on direct state and federal subsidies for US ethanol production.

“We’re looking at an industry that’s cost $80bn to get to this point,” said Bob Starkey, a fuels analyst at Jim Jordan & Associates, a research group in Houston.

Hmmm...eh, it's just money. Money that continues to flow from your pocket to a failing industry built on a flawed rationale; one which private investors are running from despite it's massive subsidies. I would hope $80B is the going rate for an invalid fledgling, but something tells me we still have more to pay before people back down.

...ethanol has disappointed many who saw it as a wonder product that could reduce the US’s dependence on foreign oil while cutting down on pollution. Worse, a growing number of influential critics now say ethanol is helping raise the price of food.

Hmmm...where have I seen these issues before...?

And yet, people continue to deny, deny, deny;

“I’d challenge you to find any energy resource today that isn’t dependent on government support,” [Renewable Fuels Association's] Mr [Bob] Dinneen said. “If domestically produced energy is something that you want to have, then some of these subsidies are going to be necessary.”

That just doesn't sound...correct? Google, help me out.

Oil industry subsidies for dummies

The study estimates that the federal government has provided $725 billion in energy subsidies (including R&D funding and tax breaks) over the last 50 years. The biggest beneficiaries? The oil and gas industry. That’s right. Oil and gas got 60% of that $725 billion. Next in line is coal at 13%, followed by hydropower at 11%. Nukes come in at 9%, while renewables got only 6% — just one tenth of the largess showed on oil and gas.

Okay, that's a pretty good start. So, renewables have only been getting 6% (well...plus hydro...ooops, forgot to include that in renewable?)...but keep in mind that is over the past 50 years. The actual study can be found here. Let's take a look at my favorite non-renewable energy (the atom) vs. ethanol, shall we...

From Energy from Thorium;

...most of the so-called research subsidy to the "nuclear industry", was not focused on conventional power reactor technologies. Only $5.8 billion was spent on light-water reactors, the only civilian nuclear technology used to generate power in the United States.

...getting there...

...only 6% ($1.68 Billion) of Federal nuclear research dollars since 1976 have been spent on light-water reactor research, despite the fact that light-water reactors provide 20% of power in the United States.

...I wonder how much ethanol provides. Now, here it comes...

Unlike all other energy sources there has never been a tax-based subsidy for the nuclear industry. In contrast, renewables as well as oil, gas, and other energy forms receive heavy tax subsidies. Most of the cost of hydro construction is paid for by the Federal government with no return to the tax payers. Most energy forms have received more money from the Federal Government than they have paid to it. The one exception is the civilian nuclear industry, which has paid $14 billion more to the Government that it has received.

Oh snap! We've given over $11 billion in never-to-be-seen-again tax breaks just over the last 3 years to companies that mix ethanol into your gas (someone could pay me to pour white lightening into my tank any day, who needs the middle-man?), while nuclear has been paying us back in full...and then some!? What are we? Stupid?

Granted, there's a lot to take into consideration...there is no silver bullet...but there does appear to be more than a hint of promise for a cheap, domestic supply of energy from a current technology, wouldn't you say? Let's hope someone smarter than I has been keeping track of this.