1. This year, as in previous years, oil companies are reporting record profits. Essentially, the major oil companies in the world have been setting new records each year in profits for the last several years, defeating the records they set in the previous year. In February, Exxon - the largest oil company - reported over 40 billion dollars in profit (not overall revenue), which was by far the highest profit margin of any company on earth. Think about that for a second. (Finger to pursed lips in deep consternation: "Hmmmm, wonder how that could be?") Their overall sales were 404 billion dollars; according to the New York Times, that's more than the gross domestic product of 120 countries combined. Royal Dutch Shell also set record profits, recording the highest profit margin of any British company in history.
Of course, the oil companies are still talking about the trouble looming ahead, blah, blah, blah, and trying to focus on how much revenue they put into the search for new oil sources. It's all the biggest con job in the history of the world. The circumstantial evidence is certainly strong that there is outright collusion going on, with the major oil companies all agreeing not to undercut each other -- meaning they can drive prices up, literally, as high as they want. Where is Teddy Roosevelt when you need him?
Recently, they installed televisions - yes televisions - in the pumps at my local Shell station, so you can watch local news and weather updates ("The Fuel Network," it's called) while the numbers on the pump are scrolling into the stratosphere. I paid nearly 60 dollars today to fill up my 15-gallon tank. I wonder how they could afford to install televisions in my gas pumps? (Finger to pursed lips again...) I'd much rather just watch TV at home, and pay $1.20 a gallon.
2. The Weather Channel really needs to change its name. The new name should be The Commercial Channel. Have you ever noticed this? No lie, I bet 80% of the time that I switch it to the Weather Channel, they are in the middle of a commercial break. I realize their viewing audience is never high at any given time, so they can't charge a lot for air time, and thus they have to show a lot of commercials, but still. They really should call it The Commercial Channel, so that you can understand that what you are going to be seeing is a series of commercials, with occasional weather forecasts given in between commercial breaks.
3. I stuck a needle in a real live human being for the first time today. In my Patient Care class, we have to learn how to start IV's and do intravenous injections, because RT's routinely have to inject contrast. So we basically have to learn phlebotomy. We practiced last week on dummy arms - which I now know don't feel anything like real arms - and then had to do a competency on a real person today, and get graded. I stuck two people. My first was an African-American girl, which is a little harder because it is more difficult to see veins under darker skin. I missed it when I went in, but I was close enough that I was able to "fish" around and get the needle into the vein to draw a backflow of blood into the tubing. The second girl had a nice, prominent vein, and it was a cinch to stick it accurately. So I was proud of the fact that I successfuly got into the vein on both my first two tries.
4. I also had another "first time" event today. (That actually makes 3 -- first time I've ever paid as high as $3.85 for gas, first time I've ever stuck a needle in a human being, plus the following.) I went to see a movie by myself for the first time today. I decided to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall because I had heard it was a funny raunchy romantic comedy, and had graphic nudity. Perfect! Unfortunately, the graphic nudity consisted entirely of dicks. There were no less than four full-on dick and ball shots in the movie - used sort of as "shock comedy." The main female actors in the film were both very good-looking, but never showed anything. Instead, it was just the lead actor - who looks like an ugly Will Ferrel with fat rolls and love handles and bad skin - constantly walking around naked with his cock hanging out. It was reasonably funny, although not what I would call a "hilarious" movie. It wasn't good enough that I would necessarily want to watch it again, but I don't feel like I wasted my money or anything.
5. Two words: Indiana Jones. I've been waiting 20 years for this. Twenty years!
Lucky for me, it's coming out next Thursday, which is the day I have class at 8 a.m., and am done by 10 a.m. Therefore, I will be one of the first people in the country to see this movie, because you can bet I'll be there for the 12:30 matinee.
6. I just got a new Garth Brooks compilation album. It's 2 CD's, each with about 16 songs on them, plus a DVD with 33 or 34 live songs. I picked it up just planning on looking at it, but when I saw that I could get all that for only $16.99, I couldn't pass it up. I have no idea why Target was selling it for so cheap. With 2 CD's and a DVD, I expected it to be 35 or 40 dollars. That now makes 3 country music CD's that I've bought in my life -- the previous were collections of Hank Jr. and Johnny Cash (unless you count Jimmy Buffett, and then the number goes way higher - I still can't describe him as a country music singer, though).
7. Obama for president.