Monthly Archives: August 2010

Oil and Water don’t Mix

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emulsion....did we forget about emulsion?

I know oil and water don’t mix. I remember my mother making her own special salad dressing in the special salad dressing mixing bottle ( the Tupperware cruet circa 1967) and it was so cool, like science class. There was a line to fill for oil and then a line to fill for vinegar. You fill the vinegar first then the oil….cause the oil floats above the vinegar. Add some seasonings, shake and VOILA! Salad dressing!! Now, the trick is to always shake it before using otherwise you will just get a bunch of oil on your lettuce as it separates, which is gross, you will only ever make that mistake once. The oil will NOT stay mixed with the vinegar. What a lesson in the properties of OIL!!! And I learned this when I was maybe 4 years old. I am 37 years old and this was one of those lessons I just never forgot (after taking a bite of oil covered lettuce).

So, imagine my surprise when this morning on the news I heard some high-ranking, super smart, ocean professional, government type guy saying that most of the oil from the Gulf oil spill is below the surface contrary to popular belief. Popular belief is that all of the oil floated to the surface and has been skimmed or burned or washed up on beaches. I guess the very smart, professional, ocean/government type guy never made his own salad dressing….or went swimming in the ocean.

Cause here is what I was thinking…the oil would stay separate in the salad dressing bottle when it was NOT moving. But give that bottle a shake or a rumble or any bit of movement and the oil mixed with the vinegar. So, dump millions of gallons of oil into a constantly moving and shaking ocean and the oil will stay mixed. It will not have the chance to separate and stay separated. Ofcourse, I am no scientist, I am not a government official, I am not even the smartest person I know so I don’t go around spouting about my theories on how oil behaves. What do I know….

But if this oil theory occurred to me, if this is something that I assumed to be true, how come our extra super smart know all about the ocean and oil government officials didn’t figure this out until today? And why have they not figured out what they can do to correct the situation? Again, I am dumbfounded that these brainiacs are behind the oily eight ball when it comes to saving our planet or reducing the harm that this oil spill has done.

Ok, ok, maybe they have been so focused on plugging the leak that they just didn’t have time to think about the millions of gallons of oil that had already escaped. Poor overworked, well paid, health care covered smarty pants. They can only handle one thing at a time! I guess they are waiting for us to throw them a parade for plugging the leak (4 months later) before they start to think about how to clean up.

In the meantime, might I suggest enlisting a paper towel company to do drags below the surface…like 22 feet and lower. Bounty works wonders. Household Hints from Helousie says that to skim the fat from gravy rip a paper towel so it has a jagged edge and submerge it under the surface of the gravy and drag…it will collect the fat and oil from the gravy, trapping it in the fibers of the paper towel. It may leave some paper flecks but really, that is like fiber and we all know fiber is way better than fat or oil.

I have no solutions, really. I yet again assumed that the people who have studied the ocean and oil, who get paid to fix the issues, would have known that oil and water really do mix when shaken or even stirred. And when you add another ingredient to an oil and vinegar mixture, it stays mixed longer. Like a chemical dispersant, or salt, or fish or plants or sand. In reality, I am pretty sure these geniuses have moved on to hydro fracking or the best one I have heard yet geo thermal drilling!! In California!!! No matter that it causes earthquakes. What better place to drill? California is already used to earthquakes. Makes sense. Oil? What oil?

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Flying the friendly skies

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what would Steven do?

So, by now we have all heard about flight attendant Steve who lost his mind and told off a passenger and then made a grande exit via the blow up emergency slide with two beers in his hand. It has been hotly debated whether or not poor Steve was in the right with his actions or in the wrong. Which ever you believe can’t you at least agree with the fact that what he did was hysterical? I mean, I suppose it wasn’t if you were the asshole he was telling off….but for the rest of us…HYSTERICAL!!!

Poor Steve is just plain lucky that he waited to have his tantrum until the Bush adminstration was out of office. I mean, can you imagine if he had pulled a stunt like that just 3 short years ago? He would have been labeled a terrorist and all air traffic would have been stopped until he was interrogated as to the origin of his ying yang tattoo. And even when Steve would have told them that the pictures they had of him dressed as a jeanie at the company Halloween party was really just a costume rental and that he did not in fact have any ties to Al Qaeda, they would have tortured him and labeled him an axis of evil. All because he lost his cool while on an air plane. I think Obama just giggled.

We have all lost our shit when provoked. Even Ghandi lost it every so often. Just the other day I was sitting with my kid in a family restaurant, trying to have a peaceful dinner when the lady next to us was so incredibly loud there was no ignoring her. Not drunk, not yelling, just one of those naturally LOUD people. And our tables were almost on top of each other. Now, if she was a loud interesting person, that may  have been tolerable. But she was loud and ignorant. What a waste of a voice that carries. Although, I was later to find out that she was the lead in many theater productions including Agnes of God…..amen. Then she went on and on and on about her kids. How her son loves her and her daughter not so much…suprising, really. Then came the state of the economy and her take on housing prices which of course led to the ever productive  Upstate New Yorker Has Opinion About Illegal Immigration conversation. Round them all up and ship them back to where they came from. And if they don’t go quietly shoot them. And make them take their thousands of babies with them cause those babies are the reason we don’t have jobs.

Ok, so far, all I can do is giggle slightly cause I mean really…seriously? Next, she moves onto healthcare. This one apparently really gets her going. Now, sure, I have friends who feel the same way she does which was “I don’t wanna pay for some fat ass person who is going to die of obesity anyway to get healthcare. It’s their fault they got that fat! I mean, look at me…I am middle-aged, I am fit, workout and sure I have great genetics on my side but so what! I watch what I eat and I eat healthy. I do not want to pay for the beer guzzling idiot up the street who can’t be bothered to go to the gym or eat a carrot!”

On a good day I am extremely tolerant of assholishness behavior. I really am. I can generally just nod and smile and make the imbecile believe that I am agreeing with them or at the very least they are changing my mind. The phrase “you might be right” has worked wonders for me in the past few years. When it comes to the level of stupidity that I was sitting next to, this monster who was sucking down a regular coke, eating her 3rd slice of pizza and visually 30 pounds overweight for someone her height, well, it had been a helluva day for me too and this bitch screaming in my ear about healthcare was not helping. So, I snapped. I pulled a Steve.

I turned to her and said with a smile “Ya know, I totally agree with you!! Although, I wouldn’t mind paying for an obese person who wanted to lose weight, who wanted to save their own life. It’s the recreational runner who goes running every day for hours who blows out his knee….hell NO I don’t want that on MY bill!!! I mean, he was running for fun, for excercise, he should have KNOWN when to stop…as in before he needed a total knee replacement at age 40. I have NO sympathy for THAT idiot.” Her smile slowly faded as she took in my point. My smile didn’t budge. I said ” If we are going to have to use our hard earned tax dollars for universal healthcare there should be some sort of regulations on who gets to live and who gets to die, dontcha think? You and I would probably make a great team to decide on the worth of a life!! Now, if you don’t mind could you please keep your voice down, I don’t want you infecting the next generation with your backward ideas.”

She shut up for about 5 minutes and then carried on in her loud ass voice about black people and the free ride they get to college. I left that up to the african american man sitting two tables away to handle. I paid my bill, left an extra large tip for the poor waiter who also had to suffer indirectly, her rant on gays in the military, took my 7 year old and left. I swear this woman was a female Michael Savage. But Michael Savage is never just sitting next to me at Pizzeria Uno’s. I suppose if he was he’d get an earful also. 

We have all lost it. All of us. Maybe not with great style or with humor but we have. Sometimes we ARE the asshole. I was driving thru a mostly deserted parking lot to drop off a few bags of clothes to the salvation army drop box. I was not speeding, but I was not fully stopping for all of the fake stop signs in the parking lot. I was looking to make sure that I was clear, but not fully stopping. When I got out to donate my bags of clothes a lady approached me. She was smiling and she said “Can I ask you a question?” “Sure” I reply thinking she was going to ask the hours of the drop box or how to get a receipt for what was being donated. I was so wrong. She went OFF on me about running every single stop sign in the parking lot. She raised her voice and really shamed me. By the time she was done I felt like the worst person in the entire world and she got into her BMW and left, running the stop sign at the end of the parking lot. I thought to myself that maybe she had lost a loved one to a driver who had failed to stop at a parking lot stop sign, and I vowed to change my disorderly stopping habits right then and there. See? I was th asshole in that situation, and I made an effort to change my assholishness behavior.

I could have told her off with just as much righteous indignation as I was also going thru an extremely rough period in MY life and then hurled a garbage bag full of clothes and shoes at her, mooned her, then drove around the parking lot running every single stop sign until she either called the police or lost her mind. But I didn’t.

Steve had a point. People are assholes and sometimes we lose our shit when trying to deal with them. And instead of blowing up the plane, or stalking the asshole and killing him, or taking it out on his loved ones, he said what needed to be said, then he made a grande exit. Imagine if we all had emergency blow up slides for just such moments, the world could be a better place.