Tinnitus

That cat has tinnitus.

It’s pronounced TIN-ni-tus because it is persistent tones heard in the ear when no environmental sounds are present. It’s not pronounced tin-NYE-tus because, if it were, your tin would be inflamed.

Tin smelters (Or cats. -ed.) can have tin-NYE-tus. The rest of us have TIN-ni-tus.

There is no known treatment for tinnitus. There are methods to train yourself to ignore it, and there are ways to masque it, but the ringing is something you learn to live with one way or another. People will try to sell you on treatments. My advice is to save your money.

The trick is to train yourself not to listen to the sounds the tinnitus makes. After as many years as I’ve suffered with this I think I can say pretty authoritatively that not listening to it, reducing it’s importance, even meditating on it to become one with it, is how to cope with it. I definitely don’t listen to it.

Rainymood or some other white noise generator works best when the tinnitus gets painful or impossible to ignore. I’m particularly fond of the sound of the warp engines from Star Trek the Next Generation. There are several multi hour versions of the sounds on YouTube.

reddit, reddit

My tinnitus is basically a ringing that seems to constantly vary in strength and pitch and be in varying tones simultaneously. It fluctuates from day to day, hour to hour. It is the sound of buzzing or ringing. I can hear my heartbeat in it. It seems to reflect environmental noise, so loud places are intolerable for long periods. Ear plugs are a godsend when hyperacusis sets in.

reddit

Hyperacusis

Hyperacusis is basically an audio migraine. All sounds, even quiet sounds, can be painful. Wearing earplugs is about the only way to deal with it successfully and ear plugs can aggravate other types of tinnitus. Hyperacusis can be so bad that the sound of your own breathing can set it off.

Hyperacusis should wind down like the more traditional migraine does. They don’t know what causes any of the things they call migraines, and that is the biggest problem with them. Some part of the brain is misinterpreting the signals that it’s receiving and you get audio problems, vision problems, skin sensitivity problems or vertigo.

I wonder what the more modern epilepsy treatments would do for it?

Sudden Brief Unilateral Tapering Tinnitus (Otology & Neurotology)

SBUTTs are benign and common among most people. I’m still looking at the literature on the subject, but I see little to be concerned about in it even if it occurs frequently.

I get these at weird times. Possibly more frequently than I did before, but also possibly not. I haven’t noticed that they are linked to spells of vertigo or hearing loss myself, although the sudden spikes that disappear do make me worry about an attack. The worry is probably more of a concern than the SBUTT should be. Worry and street go hand in hand and stress is a major trigger.

reddit

American Tinnitus Association

If you run the slider up and down on this Tone Generator you can find which specific tones that you can or cannot hear. I get a distinct doppler effect as the tone pass through ranges that I can’t hear in one ear or the other. Bit of a freaky experience.

If you want to understand what the effects of hearing loss or tinnitus sounds like to others, hear-it.org has a list of sound files that approximates them. I can’t judge the accuracy since I can’t hear them normally anyway.

reddit

A hodgepodge of comments spliced together from numerous places over the span of a decade. Steven Novella inspired this being posted today with his pithy comment about the pronunciation of tinnitus in yesterday’s episode of the SGU. Since I mispronounce this word frequently myself, I decided to riff on the subject. Featured image.

A Vimeo Sandpit Tale

I wanted to post a simple comment on this video:

YouTube – The Sandpit (Vimeo)

That video is on YouTube. The original video link that I followed was for Vimeo. The Sandpit is a cool little short film that won awards a decade ago. Like most things on the internet, access to the data about the film gets spotty after a few years and the link in the information bar under the video points to a now-defunct blog. I wanted to let everyone know that the content was preserved on the Wayback Machine.

It is shot on a Nikon D3 (and one shot on a D80), as a series of stills. I used my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 lenses for all of these shots. Most were shot at 4fps in DX crop mode, which is the fastest the D3 could continuously write out to the memory card. The boats had slower frame rates, and the night shots used exposures up to two seconds each. The camera actually has an automatic cut off after 130 shots, so for longer shots I counted each click and quickly released and re-pressed the shutter release after 130 to keep shooting.

I did some initial tests a while back using a rented 24mm tilt-shift lens, which is the standard way to do this. However, after my tests, I found it made much more sense to do this effect in post, rather than in camera. Shooting tilt-shift requires a tripod, as it is very hard to stabilise afterwards, and gives less flexibility in the final look. I opted to shoot it on normal lenses, which allowed me options in the depth of field and shot movement in post. I used a tripod for the night shots, and my Gorillapod (which is much more portable) where possible, but many locations—like hanging over the edge of a roof or through a gap in fencing on a bridge– had to be shot hand held, and the inevitable wobble removed afterwards.

archive.org/aerofilm

I successfully linked the interview location on YouTube because I have access to my YouTube account, it’s linked to my Google account. I could not get logged into my Vimeo account. I spent several hours that night going through my old passwords, updating some, deleting the ones for dead websites that I ran across, but I never did managed to get logged on to Vimeo. The best I could do was find some cryptic-assed note about the account being blocked.

So I wrote them a note.

The unhelpful warning about needing to log in before contacting you is kind of pointless. I can’t log in because the email address that I use is flagged as having violated some rule or other. I can’t imagine what rule that could be since I’ve never uploaded a damn thing to Vimeo in my life. I’d really like to know why my email address has been blocked from having an account on Vimeo. It’s been my address since there was a Gmail to have addresses at. Please. Enlighten me.

A few days later, they responded.

Unfortunately, your account fits within our spam categorization and isn’t permitted on Vimeo.

We wish you the best of luck in finding a hosting platform better suited to your needs.

I’ve heard fuck you said better before, even with more words involved in the directive. This sounds like a challenge that I’m up for.

This sort of response is exactly the kind of throw-down that gets lawsuits started. You did not answer my question. I have never posted anything to Vimeo, so how can my email address be associated with spam? To make those kinds of accusations you have to have proof and I’d really like to see the proof that you are making your judgements on. This should be an easy question to answer considering you can high-handedly declare that I don’t fit on the Vimeo platform. Prove this assertion.

They, of course, did not answer the question a second time.

Your account has been suspended because our system has detected some unusual characteristics.
 
For security purposes we cannot discuss the details of our security measures. Additionally, when accounts are suspended for these reasons we are unable to reconsider the status of the account.
 
From our Terms of Service: “Vimeo may suspend, disable, or delete your account (or any part thereof) or block or remove any content you submitted if Vimeo determines that you have violated any provision of this Agreement or that your conduct or content would tend to damage Vimeo’s reputation and goodwill. If Vimeo deletes your account for the foregoing reasons, you may not re-register for the Vimeo Service. Vimeo may block your email address and Internet protocol address to prevent further registration.”
 
Please refrain from opening any additional accounts as these may be terminated without notice. As this is our final decision, we will be unable to respond to additional messages about this matter.
 
We apologize for any inconvenience and we wish you the best of luck in finding a hosting platform better suited to your needs.

Ouija Boards. That must be what they are using. It certainly can’t be my own history on Vimeo. I created the account and linked to a couple of videos on the blog. I might have written a comment or two. Maybe. I don’t know because I can’t see my own history on Vimeo, a thing that pisses me off more than wasting several hours trying to log into the website in the first place.

If I’ve burned a bridge like the one they claim I burned, I should have a memory of that scorching somewhere to recon with. There is no memory, so this has to be some bullshit on their part. I simply can’t prove it.

For all you know I have a thousand different accounts already, all posting whatever the fuck I feel like. You can’t tell and that probably scares the crap out of you and your lawyers. All I want is the ban to be lifted for this email address, a ban placed for no good reason that even you are willing to defend. If I had money (and if Vimeo wasn’t a third-rate YouTube wannabe) I’d already be talking to an attorney about fixing this problem and then you’d have to tell me what it was that you so mysteriously can’t tell me right now without an attorney at my side. As it stands, all I can say is “Sell to Google while you still can.” That would be the smart move.

Postscript

I can no more say why they reinstated my account on Vimeo than I can say why they blocked my account on Vimeo. In any case, my account has been reinstated even if I can’t make a comment on the video in question still. No idea why that is, I’m not even the only person to add a comment within the last year. When I try to add the comment that YouTube gave not one shit about, Vimeo logs me out and forces me to change my password again.

In reviewing my history on Vimeo I was unable to find anything that I might have done on Vimeo that could have gotten the account blocked. Anything at all that I’d done ever aside from follow some accounts. Now this means that either they deleted my account’s history because it got hacked, or I’ve actually never done anything. Either of those cases could be true. I don’t care which one is true, I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t an old password that I left lying around that was causing the problem. It was definitely not worth the time investment from that perspective. Qualitative fuckoff superiority satisfaction, though? Very high.

Atelodemiourgiopapyrophobia

Atelodemiourgiopapyrophobia – the fear of imperfect creative activity on paper.

Word origins: ‘Atelo‘ from Greek ateles literally ‘without end’, meaning incomplete, inchoate, imperfect. ‘Demiourgio‘ from Greek ‘demiourgia’ literally workmanship, handicraft, meaning creative activity. ‘Papyro‘ from Middle English / from Old French papier / from Latin papȳrus, papyrus plant, papyrus paper / from Greek papūros.

robwqueen.com

I know, it is rather a mouthful, isn’t it? A friend and I have looked high and low to find a proper term for a fear of ruining a blank page. We have found fear of blank paper (vacansopapurosophobia), fear of imperfection (atelophobia),  fear of ruin (atephobia) and fear of failure (atychiphobia), but none quite describes it perfectly.

What am I talking about exactly? I’m talking about the fear of ruining a beautiful, pristine, blank piece of paper. The fear that so many of us seem to face as we stare down at that first intimidating page in a brand new journal or sketch-book, sitting there so full of amazing potential of what ‘could be’; that is, until we make that first stroke of a pen, the first sweep of a brush. Not one, single mistake lies between cover and cover yet: its perfect. The things that could potentially rest on those pristine sheets are the things dreams are made of – until we actually write or draw in it and stuff it all up with a misplaced squiggle or a crossed out word.

archive.org/katjohnston.com

The beef? I hate it when obscure references disappear like this one did. A hat/tip is owed to the Wayback Machine once again. If it hadn’t have been there I would have had to personally go knock on Kat Johnston’s door just to find out what the fuck she was talking about back in 2008 because Rob Queen fucking teased me with half an answer on his blog in 2018 and now her website is just a marketing platform for her artwork and not literary at all.

Neither of them appear to write anymore. Apparently Atelodemiourgiopapyrophobia got the best of both of them.

I’m almost caught up on leasticoulddo.com

Why is Postmaster Louis DeJoy Still a Thing?

Why is Louis DeJoy still Postmaster General? He appears to have conspired with Donald Trump in his attempt to scuttle the 2020 election by destroying mail sorting machines in the middle of a pandemic that had us all relying on the Post Office in a way we hadn’t seen in generations.

Now he’s cutting services and closing Post Offices again, and I don’t understand why he’s still in his job and not up on charges of conspiracy, treason, money laundering, whatever. If he was a friend of Trump, appointed by Trump, he’s dirty. Why does he still have a job that isn’t picking up trash by the roadside in an orange jumpsuit?

I’d really like an answer to this question.

Sent to the White House

The Postal Service had been set to purchase as many as 165,000 vehicles from Oshkosh Defense, of which 10 percent would have been electric under the original procurement plan. Now it will acquire 50,000 trucks from Oshkosh, half of which will be EVs. It will also buy another 34,500 commercially available vehicles, with sufficient electric models to make 4 in 10 trucks in its delivery fleet zero-emission vehicles.

The announcement comes after 16 states, the District of Columbia, and four of the nation’s top environmental groups sued the mail agency in the spring to prevent the original purchase plan, or compel it to buy more electric trucks. Activists at a minimum want the Postal Service’s fleet to consist of at least 75 percent EVs, though the agency’s Office of Inspector General found that 95 percent of delivery routes are suitable for electrification.

washingtonpost.com

That is still not enough of a concession on your part Mr. DeJoy. You are yet another unindicted co-conspirator in the coup attempt. I will not forget the fact that I was forced to go out and vote in person in November of 2020 because you slowed the mails down to the point where I couldn’t be sure a mail-in ballot would be received and counted. You forced me to risk my life in order to do my basic duty as a citizen of the United States. I will never forget you or your crimes.

Lying Phones

I sent a random text to a random stranger. In response I get this message:

I’m driving with Do Not Disturb While Driving turned on. I’ll see your message when I get where I’m going.

(I’m not receiving notifications. If this is urgent, reply “urgent” to send a notification through with your original message.)

We’ve all seen this message a few times now from iPhone users, the not helpful at all lie from holier than though iZombies who can’t be bothered while they are driving. If this person is like the other people who do this, then it would be more accurate to say something like the following:

I’m ignoring distractions while driving. You should thank me for this because I am normally an example of short attention span theater. Unfortunately for you I will forget to check messages when I get where I am going. You can text again, but you will only get this annoying message again. You can try the mystical “urgent” reply if you want. Good luck with that.

You might try emailing me next, but my inbox has in excess of forty thousand unread messages in it and the chances of me seeing your insignificant note are somewhere between slim and none. Again, you can try marking the message urgent but there are probably ten thousand of those unread in my inbox. My apologies for the insult and inconvenience of attempting to get my attention.

If you would like to actually communicate with me you will need to call me. One call will not be enough because I won’t pick up the phone the first time and my voicemail inbox is full since it won’t let me store unnumbered messages the way my email inbox does. You will need to call at random times for at least two days in order to get my attention. Again, I apologize for the insult and inconvenience of this effort you have embarked on.

If you ever do get to talk to me be assured that it will make your day, for I am the golden radiance that makes the day worth living for all of the people who speak to me. Please be patient and surprise me with a phone call when I’m not talking to another supplicant of your standing. We do thank you for your patience and wish you good luck in your other endeavors for you will likely have none here.

Yeah. Something more like that.

(24 carat gold iPhone? Yeah, that’s a thing.)

Tatooine Dust Levels

The subject came up in raid chat the other day, the existence of Saharan dust in the atmosphere of the Southern United States. Apparently this was news to people who haven’t lived in the South for the last twenty years. It was about twenty years ago that I first heard reference to Saharan dust drifting on the winds from Africa and landing in my lungs here in Austin.

facebook/AveryTomasco

On a more serious note, here’s NASA explaining it:

The Sahara Desert is by far Earth’s largest source of airborne dust, and the storms can arise at any time of year. In winter and spring storms, Saharan dust often ends up fertilizing the nutrient-poor soils of the Amazon rainforest. Dust storms in the summer tend to loft material higher into the atmosphere, allowing plumes to travel thousands of kilometers on high-level winds. Those summer seasonal wind patterns can carry the dust from Africa to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Plumes of dust recently reached Florida, Texas, and other southern U.S. states in mid-May 2022.

earthobservatory.nasa.gov

This explains why I sound like a frog when I’m talking these days. My apologies.


August 3 – It’s baaaaack. Crap. I went for a walk yesterday without a mask and had a knot in my chest all the rest of the day. Luckily it went away while I was sleeping last night (for twelve hours again) now I’m coughing up a lung. No walking without masks. I see a lot of this in my future.

Why Not UTC?

This is a serious question for the World of Warcraft developers. Why does the calendar in the game stay on server time when the player sets their clock to follow local time? For that matter, why are the servers set to times in particular time zones?

ComputerphileThe Problem with Time & Timezones – Dec 30, 2013

Yes, yes, I know, that’s where the server is or that is time zone that Blizzard wants the player base to identify with or to play from in that region, but why should the players know or care what that time is? Why isn’t all server time set to UTC and if the players don’t want to fuck around with UTC they can set their clocks to local time and the calendar will just update to show those times?

Seems to me the platform can do the math faster and more reliably when it comes to fixing calendar times to UTC rather than having to make each player in a raid group do math each time they want to show up for a raid on time. Or have to remember that their server is in a different time zone than they are every time they look at the calendar to check raid times.

It just seems… stupid.

I’ve never understood why calendaring is treated almost like an afterthought in computers. This has been true in every OS I’ve worked with. The entire Y2K problem came about because of not thinking about the importance of time moving from the future to now to yesterday in a constant stream of increasing numbers.

It is always now on the internet, I guess. Can the calendars at least take what time it is on the player’s screen into account, please?

Apparently not.

Because a Wisconsinite telling a Virginian to meet for raid at 8 pm means two different things.

You do realize that your example completely misses the point, right? Completely, utterly exposes your abject cluelessness on the subject of calendaring and why it’s done, never mind that it skips over the fact that the two people on opposite sides of the country will see the exact same calendar with a time on an event that may or may not correspond with either players time zone and so thusly has no meaning for either of them except to cause them to show up at different times for an event that is probably at another time entirely since server times all changed when the servers were piled together.

UTC on the other hand is exactly what it says it is. Universal Time Code. That is the time everywhere that uses time as we humans have spelled it all out to be. Far from being meaningless it is the time that every clock on every server everywhere uses to extrapolate all the times for all the people who access it, even the sysadmins that dictate what the server times will be.

So again I ask, why are there server times at all in a game that is played worldwide continuously? Why isn’t there just UTC? It’s much simpler and the two players in your example will both know that the server time is incorrect for their local time (unless they live along the prime meridian) and will either change it, which the server software will then correct on the calendar times to match the set local time, or happily do the math every time they want to be on time for raid.

In either case it will be less trouble for everyone involved than the current setup which has the calendar lying about what time your events are if you change your displayed time off of server time. Again, that is almost as dumb as defending its dumbness with an example that is even dumber still. I hope I have rebutted your dumb reply. I await a blue post apologizing for the dumb and promising to fix it forthwith. Either that or the mods will consign this thread to oblivion just as they have done pretty much every other post I’ve ever written here.

Feedback on forums.blizzard.com – January 22, 2022

Step one: use UTC. Okay I’m not going to suddenly say all this advice we’ve been giving for years and years is wrong. UTC is a fine standard to base all your times off of. So use it. Don’t do something silly and change your servers’ timezones from UTC.

zachholman.com

Time Zones

In what is the most bourgeoisie example of the most bourgeoisie era, a bunch of rich, white railroad tycoons met at a fancy Chicago hotel to agree on a standard timezone so their trains would work better together. They used the new-fangled telegraph to synchronize time signals between cities.

zachholman.com

Why are there time zones? Because railroad barons told us there would be time zones and we agreed to their constraints; when what we really wanted was for work to start about two hours after we woke up, and none of us woke up before the sun back then unless someone who couldn’t sleep woke us up with their pacing back and forth.

This is a lot like asking why there is Daylight Saving Time. There is DST because there was this crazy idea about giving us more sunlight in the evenings in the Summer. We change the time back to Standard time in order to make it safer for children to get to school in the morning in the Winter, otherwise most of us have to get up before the sun and go to work and school in the dark.

Short Wave – To Be DST, Or Not To Be. That Is The Question – March 29, 2022

Resulting in a 6% rise in fatal car crashes after the time change in the Spring. Yes, you really are more groggy that first Monday morning. Go easy in traffic. It is entirely possible that the Senate got the time wrong because of dollars. Dollars given to them by lobbyists who wanted there to be more afternoon sunlight for shoppers to spend money in. This was also discussed in SGU #872. They immediately set to arguing about what time the sun comes up and why we can’t just have the sun come up at about whatever time we need to be getting up in the morning.

Now I’m even more convinced that most people really don’t understand time or how it works. I’m for just going UTC everywhere. If cities want to have city times they can do a UTC offset for their cities. That way Austin can have the sun come up bright and early at 10:00 am every morning and those crazy fucks on Wall Street can have it come up at 6:00 am as they are running to work. It’s really still just UTC and no one will care except the people who are deluded enough to think they can control what time it is. Besides, when it gets to be time not found time again (4:04) it means that I really should be asleep.

This rant is still not finished.

Newbs. Am I Right?

I was a little more annoyed with Reddit and r/atheism than I thought I was.

I don’t do TikTok. Or YouTube. Or Instagram, unless it’s pictures. I don’t do video and I don’t talk on camera. It’s a phobia that I’ve dealt with for decades.

I don’t find short videos interesting, I find them maddeningly abbreviated and too quickly replaced with another distracting thing that tries to make me laugh. So I was kind of surprised to be emotionally resonant with this TikTok persona:

tiktok.com/@iblamebill

If you force a religion on people, then they get to own it too. If you shove it down their throats, they get to write a review about the taste. Because that is the other side of the coin. You don’t get to go out and make disciples of the nations and then cry foul when you’ve made critics too.

I’m not attacking anyone else’s culture, I’m criticizing my own. This is my lane.

@iblamebill

I’m punching up when I attack christianity as well. I don’t do it very often because the harm I’ve experienced was small, but the potential harm for other people in this day and age is massive and tending towards growth.

Christianists are moving out and attempting to force their ideals onto the rest of society and the rest of the world and I am no more inclined to allow them to do this than I was inclined to allow Islamists to overrun the countryside in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

It was in this spirit that I wrote:

It was a reaction to Christianists insisting that “atheists deny god.” We deny god, so we are guilty of believing something about god. We don’t deny shit, we insist on proof; and there is no proof that the god of the Holy Bible exists. The rules that the universe obeys exclude that kind of power from existing.

I was kicked off of r/atheism for posting a link to that atheism article. I told them that I wouldn’t be impressed with the power of their authority unless I was permanently banned from the forum, and so they obliged me. Fuck authority. Fuck authority in the open market of ideas that is the internet.

In the moderator’s defense, there is a rule on r/atheism about posting links. I happen to disagree with Reddit’s sense of self importance on this issue, but the rule is there for me to read if I was inclined to kowtow to authority. Unfortunately for everyone involved, I don’t tend to kneel before power. Power of any kind.

Writers do not write for you, Reddit. Writers/creators should not write for any platform’s benefit, they should write/create for themselves. Had I been interested in observing Reddit’s war on bloggers I would have cut and pasted the 10k plus atheism article into as many 10k limited posts as it would have required to get the content in front of the members of r/atheism just to make the point. I wasn’t and so I didn’t.

I accept my punishment with pride, in the same way that I have accepted ridicule for telling believers that their God could not possibly exist because the universe doesn’t allow for wish granting sky-men. It is the principle of the thing that matters. My ideas live here not on Reddit, Facebook or Tiktok. If they want me and my ideas, they know where I am.

Facebook Featured image: everywhereist.com

Real Piracy

Dear Google. There are no less than six pirates and/or fraudsters listed as having posted the latest episode of Last Week Tonight on YouTube in your dedicatedly helpful search result. One of them with a timestamp from before the episode even aired. This search was attached to a notification that you sent to my phone in relation to my interest in Last Week Tonight.

Your denials of responsibility for these blatant acts of piracy and/or scamming ring false when your own search algorithm delivers these results to people who are simply responding to notifications sent to their phones. Phones that run your software. I searched for nothing. I simply clicked on the notification and you helpfully delivered fraudsters and pirates directly to my device in response.

We’re begging out here. Stop the bullshit. Take down these frauds and the pirates who post these kinds of profitable videos. They make you look evil, and I thought Google’s goal was to not be evil.

Feedback to Google from the Pixel 5A that they gave me for signing up for Google Fi. It just happens to be cheapest for my usage patterns. Featured image: fossbytes.com

Wildcat

wildcatter is an individual who drills wildcat wells, which are exploration of oil wells drilled in areas not known to be oil fields. The term dates from the early oil industry in western Pennsylvania. Oil wells in unproven territory were called “wild cat” wells from mid-1870, and those who drilled them were called “wild-catters” by 1876.

wikipedia

The oil industry is all up in arms over the demand that they produce more oil now to compensate for the loss of Russian oil on the markets. They just can’t do it, they say. It’ll take a year, they project. There aren’t workers to do the jobs we need done, they complain. All of it is bullshit. All of it.

Two years ago the oil producers were begging for money from the government to cap and plug wells in West Texas and New Mexico. They were desperate to get active wells reclassified as orphan wells because the wells weren’t producing enough to pay the royalties due on them. Not at the negative oil prices then in effect. Now that the price is back in the familiar territories of $100+ a barrel, they’re saying there’s not enough oil and gas and so they have to charge exorbitant prices.

spotifyacast.com/theeconomist

It is true, the oil industry lost billions of dollars during the pandemic lockdowns. They and all the other industries that made their living on people intermingling and traveling across the globe to enjoy their vacations, all of them have had a rough two years of it.

The fact that the world economy is stretched thin is probably why Vladimir Putin picked now to start a Russian civil war in Ukraine and thereby causing the energy panic that has now gripped the world.

Look, Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country,” McCain said. “It’s kleptocracy. It’s corruption. It’s a nation that’s really only dependent upon oil and gas for their economy, and so economic sanctions are important.”

John McCain – JANUARY 8, 2015

More sanctions on oil? Americans were already complaining about high oil prices:

I would have sworn that everyone was onboard with oil prices rising so as to save the oil industry? That seemed to be the mantra under the last president. Now we can’t bear to pay too much for gasoline? Pick one, people. You can’t have it both ways.

NPR – State of Ukraine – Americans on low incomes are hit harder by high gas prices due to the war – March 9, 2022

I get it, the oil companies are posting record profits for the first time in two years. Great. Maybe they should suck up some of the increased cost instead of raising prices at the gasoline pumps? Sure, that sounds good. I’m sure the investors won’t squall about not getting their larger checks in the mail. Maybe they should squall. Maybe they should get out of the investment business if they think investment should be a certain bet. They aren’t and they shouldn’t be.

I guarantee you that if the US government lit a fire under oil company CEO’s asses they could go find some more oil tomorrow, not in a year. You might not see an increased flow of oil for a few months, but then we shouldn’t see a serious tightening in oil and gasoline availability for a few months, either. It won’t do much good for the political maneuvers that need to be conducted right now, but that is how things work out in the real world.

As for there not being workers, that is a flat-out lie. There are plenty of people willing to work if you’ll pay them. That is the catch, after all. The cost of living has gone up in cities across the nation. You can no longer work for even fifteen dollars an hour and be able to afford a place in most major cities. You should pay no more than 30% of your wages on housing costs and apartments average out around 1500 in Austin. One person living alone might be able to swing the cost of an apartment, but that is a dead-end life of no love, no children and no fun.

My grandfather was raised in Kansas. He used to tell me stories of working on his Uncle’s farm just outside of Scott, Kansas. When he decided it was time to go out and make his mark in the world, he moved to Texas and started working in the then newly discovered oil patch. Over the course of ten or fifteen years he made enough money to buy a large spread of land in the next county over from his Uncle’s. That is what being well-paid looks like. Workers who put in their time and then leave to go do the things they really want to do. Nobody wants to spend their life working the rigs in the oil field. Nobody should spend their whole life doing it unless they want it to be a pretty short life.

These days employers pay only what they are required to pay and then complain about how they can’t find quality work anymore. Why not try offering more money? There is a thing that every corporate leader expects these days, and it is a crime that this thing even exists. They call it the golden parachute. These benefits are paid out in addition to the outrageous stacks of cash that they are paid for every day they hold their jobs.

Oil executives should make less money than the roughnecks that work for them. This is a plain fact that can’t be stated baldly enough. Unless these guys are willing to get out on the rigs and do the dirty work along with their crews, they should be paid office scale for comfortable office work. Their benefits should include not being killed on the job. Not being maimed on the job. Not being forced out of work by repeated injuries that leave you disabled, but not disabled enough to earn disability benefits.

If you started paying the roughnecks the wages that they deserve, I guarantee you that you will get the workers you need to get oil out of the ground faster than we can use it. It has happened before and it can happen again. It just takes a willingness to put the chips on the table and force the play. Are you in, or are you out?

Featured image: Dallas Morning News – The Railroad Commission does what?

Postscript

I hate to break it to Fran Hart but substack is the blogger of 2019. Give it time. “I have a substack” will be derided like blogs are today in a very short order, especially with people like her publishing on the platform. If people come to my blog it’s because they think my writing is worth reading. I don’t have to force people to wade through my spam every day to get to what they want in their inboxes.

The oil price spike happened at the time that it did because the glut ended and the demand went up and the need to drill more became evident, not because of some mystical handwaving thing having to do with people not being willing to work. It is the boom/bust or profit/loss cycle. That’s all. No mystery to solve here.

The spike hit because American automakers stopped making cars and switched to monster trucks for morons who didn’t believe gas prices would go up again.

Dan Tolliver