Category Archives: Uncategorized

Flatter Yourself

It’s hard not to notice.

That you think of we as us.

And it boggles me because

I work hard at keeping you as nothing.

It’s not about you, Miss center of the universe.

You babbling attention grabbing center of this verse.

Oh me, oh my, he’s written something again,

And I’m sure it’s about me and my witchy hairy chin.

So listen to me and my crazy rant, so you will protect me from his irrelevance.

Watch him and hound him for my every chance,

To crucify and pierce him with my petty little lance.

For once long ago he showed me his soul. And so I must destroy him. It’s my one and only goal.

It might help you to know, you deluded squak,

That except for now I’ve never written or talked

About you.

Stop flattering yourself.

Dark December Day

Never a darker December has been than this grey, grey, grey day. An emotionless sky melts into the farthest reach of emotionless earth, not even a seam to remark of. Everywhere the absence of light. And life. An occasional silhouette of leaf-less tree skeleton strains to be viewed in the wash of a distant neighbor’s Christmas light display. Sometimes a twinkle. Reminiscent, faintly, of stars i think that once were here. But maybe that was a dream. So many years. So many fallen stars. And now this. A grey so thick and invasive that its tendrils sweep into my soul and drag me into its clutches, the grey earth and sky. No longer a player of life. No longer accounted among the strident. Just a minor ash in the great torrent of liquid grey which is now everything and nothing at once, raging to where the unknown and always avoided has been. And i let it take me where it will. I submit with prayers to God. For the earth is indeed this grey river of nothingness. And it belongs to Satan the Petty, the seeker of all that he is not and can never be. For he is hatred, and nothingness, and calls us “Deplorable” because we see his sinister plan to steal souls. As he told Eve at the Tree of Knowledge, so he tells the young abandoned women of our age that their ability to kill their own child is of their own power and not of the free will God imposed upon each and every one of us. They trick others into believing that lustful sex acts are natural and those who say otherwise are the true deplorables and haters. Rather than this plea being seen as a beacon to my brothers and sisters in this world to help them avoid the trickery of Satan, it will be held up by Satan and called hatred in many forms, accusing my words of being deplorable. “And you will be tortured and cast down in my name. But persevere and the tribulation will be shortened for your sake.” I don’t think there’s any question. The devil is winning this world. This impeachment circus is an obvious sign that chaos is replacing wisdom in this atmosphere of complete and utter delusion. And we stand helpless in this grey world without recourse. Save the hope of Michael swooping down from Heaven to smite them with his mighty sword i can see no other return to sanity before these imps destroy the world with their unabashed and unashamed hatred of all things Godly. And all this amidst their delusional and complete ignorance of that fact. Their minds tell them they are righteous, so much that they can sin and lie and cheat and steal to achieve their develish goals. Because they hail themselves as the purveyers of all that is good. But as Matthew wrote in chapter 25, they will be surprised on judgement day. And so will we all. Which means i will be going to hell with them. You can join this grey torentious waterfall to hell with me or you can save yourself. Go clean, feed, clothe, and shelter a homeless person today. Visit a repentant lonely soul in hospice or prison today. Search for the hungry, the meek and the mild to soothe them with sustenance or companionship. These are the actions God asks of us. Not to pretend we are superior to our political rivals. That is nothing. NOTHING but stumbling blocks for Gods other children. And woe to we who prevent His children from reaching Him. Everyone of us is created in the image of God. All are worthy of love. Those who pick and choose are not true saints of God. Beware of their message and know it is cloaked in chaos and senselessness.

Liquidity of Air

Air is not nothing.  Since we can see through air and are mostly desensitized to the weight of its mass constantly pushing down on us and surrounding us, we can easily be lulled into the misperception that air is empty – comprised of nothing.  But that’s not true.  In fact a cup of air has more atoms than a cup of water.    When we pour water into an empty cup it’s not actually empty.  It’s filled with air atoms that are then displaced by the heavier water.   Water flows in, air gets pushed out.

Air atoms are what make airplane flight possible, by the way.  The air atoms traveling over the top of a curved wing move much faster than the air atoms traveling under the near flat wing.  This causes a decrease in pressure on top of the wing allowing for lift.  Here’s a tip for you aeronautical engineers out there: if you can find a way to slow down the air under the wing then the lift will become greater and easier.  Just saying.  Why do the “next step” processes in scientific advancement sometimes take decades or centuries?  It’s like we are all having collective brain farts.  It only stands to reason that if the faster air on top of the wing increases lift then slowing or compressing the air underneath the wing would increase lift also.  But I digress.

Air atoms are striated in our atmosphere too, like aged bourbon in an oak barrel.  If you open a bourbon barrel after 12 or 15 years you will see that the lighter materials – especially dangerous and very light alcohols like methanol – have settled toward the top.  And the heavier materials like darker bourbon and particulate matter settle toward the bottom.

Air does the same thing.  Lighter atoms settle toward the top of the atmosphere and heavier atoms settle toward the ground.  So air is striated by weight.

The big question, at least in my mind, is why do things striate by their “heaviness?”  Scientists and laymen like myself have argued this question ad infinitum, or until the cows come home.  The bottom line is simple though: we all agree that there is something pulling on atmospheric atoms from earth in order to keep them in our atmosphere.  Some sort of force is keeping the water in our lake beds and ocean beds.

Of course, duh,  every sixth grader knows that the force holding things onto the planet is gravity.  The problem is that gravity is – as of yet – unexplained.  We enjoy a simplified understanding of what gravity does.  We just don’t know how it does it.  Which is OK for now.

Again, it’s not entirely true that the Earth’s gravity holds atoms in place.  We know for example that thousands of metric tons of hydrogen atoms escape from the Earths atmosphere every year and float off to some other gravitational pull.  My guess is towards the Sun or Jupiter, the two largest bodies of mass in our solar system.

It doesn’t matter though because it will be replaced eventually.  What’s important is why hydrogen floats off.  And that’s pretty easy too.  Hydrogen is the lightest element at 1.007 atomic weight units.  So naturally in a gravity situation it gets “displaced” to the top of the atmosphere.  Helium is another story.  At 4.002 atomic weight it will be less likely replaced because of it’s weight, among other things.  Among them is the fact that helium does not react with other molecules to form molecules, and therefore will not get “weighted down.”  The only reason we have helium is that it is trapped under geologic formations.    Once released it will float off into space like it’s lighter hydrogen counterparts.

Why can we see water?  Because we would drown if we couldn’t see the difference between air and water.  It’s a survival thing.

I try to get around making mistakes on environmental math by thinking of air as a liquid, – lite style.  And there are different layers of air too, depending on how high it is.  For instance, oxygen is hard to find above certain altitudes.  So the “oxygenated layer” is pretty much constrained to being down here with us Earth walkers.  Above that is another, lighter layer. And above that is another, lighter layer.  etc., etc…..  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that turbulence is just the jagged waves on top of one layer where it meets the next, upper light layer.  “Waves?  I don’t see no stinkin’ waves!”  Well, that’s pretty much my point.  We can’t see them.

So why are layers separated by their lightness, or weight?  Well, most people explain that with the word gravity.  The problem there is that gravity, in fact, is only a word.  It’s not a definition.



Happy Halloween 2019

It was a cold, cold late October eve,
the moon sat just above the trees.

Crunch, crunch, the fallen leaves complained –
as their once vibrant lives now only maimed –
by the weight of my steps over them.
That I should crush them in my eagerness,
to go where I may.

What future beast shall come to trample my grave?
In my afterlife of heaven or gray….
And will I disdain him that privilege to go where he may?
That my fallen old soul was once young and played?
When souls met and loved and lived –
to nothing now but dust on a walk way,
Uncaring that my own life meant something.
Or nothing.
As he walks over my remains.
Softly my settling dust will whisper, “But I was.”

Happpy Halloween……

Warhol Tomato Soup Can

There it was in its simplest form –
a very common tomato soup can.
Sitting as though it didn’t know,
sitting as though it didn’t show –
….its wealth of childhood memories.
But of course it does.
From the childhood table of Egar Allen Poe,
to gracing the home of Henry Longfellow,
its label plays in the hearts of us all.
Could it be the taste of this heated treat?
Or mom’s loving ladle doling it sweet –
…on chilly nights of ago….
that makes us wish to cherish it so?
Perhaps a measure of both.
And now we are drawn to it,
in glossy eye compose –
and think that it is right to sit,
on a canvas where we can dream. Thursday Challenge:  Warhol in Words: Poetic Pop Art

Magnet Theory 1

Gravity is hard to understand. Why? Because we can’t see, feel, hear, smell or taste gravity. That’s just how our bodies work. Things beyond our senses are difficult to identify. Or it is difficult to even know of their existence. Madame Curae found out the hard way when billions of emissive electrons tore through her body while researching radioactive materials. How did we discover that the metal, lead, provided good protection from radiation? Probably a cool story but it’s not this one. I’m not sure if I like the learning curve on that story. I mean what are the chances someone randomly wearing a suit made of lead happened along to joyfully find he was the single remaining live human after exposure?

In this story we will instead study the possible connection between gravity and magnetism, which are two things whose properties lay beyond our senses.

But first let’s dispel the long held and faulty belief that gravity can be categorized into any sort of stable constant. Gravity is not constant. Not locally. Not only is it -not- constant between planets, stars, galaxies and beyond, but it is not even static on the same single planet.

In March 2009 a scientific mission began. It was named GOCE. GOCE is a dual-satellite experiment launched by a European set of nations. It’s acronym stands for Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer.

An earlier pair of satellites launched between a partnership of Germany and the US in 2002. This pair was known as the GRACE mission.

Together these missions have discovered a very significant fact. (Among many other facts to be sure, even possibly giving us a heads-up on where to search for precious metals like gold and silver! But that’s my surprise for later.) The important discovery, though, is that gravity is not the same anywhere on the Earth’s surface.

Why is this important? Because the long held belief that gravity being derived from the Earth’s core can not possibly be true given the vast differences of gravitational pull from different areas of the Earth’s outer circumference. Even though the Earth is actually more potato shaped than round, if gravity emanated from the center of the Earth then gravity would be more static around the entire globe then what these satellite missions found.

The results we have can more clearly be discerned theoretically as originating in the Earth’s crust. And what lies in the Earth’s crust? Minerals and such. Lets just call them a lot of atoms.

Gravity is a two-way street. Yes. The Earth’s gravity does attract dust and other elements from outer space. That’s one side of the street. Imagine a piece of dust that was created long ago by the destruction of the massive debris field that now makes up the Van Alan Belt, and that little piece of dust just happened to be floating in the vicinity of the Earth’s orbit 2,000 or however many years later. When it get’s close enough it will be drawn toward the Earth because our Gravity may be stronger than that gravity holding it in space. And that’s why dusting is a never ending job.

Atoms also leave our atmosphere in large numbers as they possibly chase some more gravitationally attractive source extraneous to the Earth. That is the other side of the two way street. Perhaps a series of planets and stars line up in the absolute “perfect storm” sort of way to increase their combined gravity field in an exponential way to attract a hydrogen or helium atom, and off it goes into space toward that gravity. Of course it would help if it’s high-altitude azimuth was directly above one of Earth’s weaker gravitational areas, as the satellite missions taught us.

I used the word “possibly” in the above paragraph because it’s also possible that these light-weight elements like hydrogen and helium are being pushed out of the atmosphere as they are displaced by heavier objects like dust coming in. A glass can be only half full, but if you put 50 marbles in it the water will be pushed out of the glass by the heavier marbles’ mass.

It’s more likely that both processes occur but at this hypothetical stage of theory, minutiae like this is just really not important. It’s important just to understand that atoms come and atoms go, in from space and out to space.

What is the perfect exchange of atoms floating into and floating out of the Earth’s gravitational field? If one helium atom rushes out of the atmosphere to chase some other stronger source of gravity, then why don’t they all rush out at once? Thank God they don’t. In any case we can presume they trickle in and trickle out because of a delicate balance between the fluctuating gravity in the Earth’s crust combined with a fluctuating extraneous gravity pull somewhere n outer space. If Earth’s gravity was constant, and the stronger or weaker extraneous gravitational force was constant, then we would see all atoms rushing out or all atoms rushing in at once. Or simply put: death.

Ergo, gravity is not constant. It is fluctuating.

But I give credit where credit is due. Einstein’s theory of relativity uniquely gives us a pretty good ballpark average of gravity. And if we were to travel hundreds of thousands of light years away from earth that average could be used to plan and navigate our way the correct solar system. But it won’t pin the tail on the donkey. Even the Tesla automobile sent to space can’t do that. Once we get into the neighborhood we’d have to manually navigate to the correct spot.

Earlier I teased you with the possibility of using the new “gravity” maps to try and locate good spots to search for gold and silver. Below is sort of a topographical gravity map developed by the gravity mapping satellites. The idea is to study the gravity strength from known areas where gold or diamonds are known to have been found in huge ways, and look for similar gravitational waves with similar mountainous/ancient volcanic formations. You never know. It might “pan” out. (he he he)



Racism in America

Racism in America does not exist in the large scale that our media and Black Right’s activists want the world to believe.  It just simply isn’t true.  And I think the world deserves to know that this whole thing was sparked and influenced by politics.  The losing party mixes half-truths and lies to maintain control of black votes.  So they demonize the other party by accusing the other party of being racists, and only they, themselves – care abut black citizens.  And for some reason, it works to maintain the black vote.  Dinesh D’Souza explains that in about all of his work.

The black vote in America is overwhelmingly Democrat because the rhetoric hits home with them.  A black person dies at the hand of police and immediately the police, in general, are accused of being racist (regardless of circumstances) and the calls for the  reform of all police departments across the country are constantly bombarding us.  The group Black Lives Matter was born and “black leaders” (a common term in America) take to the podium to smear police as being a racist tool of the white man.  The rhetoric turns into reality.  And those politicians shouting it have no qualms at all about shouting it.

The first problem is that none of the rhetoric is true.  The second problem is that it is incendiary, and in my opinion racist in itself.  We have one group of race openly baiting another group.  Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, but yelling fire in a crowded theater will spark a dangerous stampede.  So incendiary speech is not always free.  But politicians who seek to divide the nation don’t care.  They only want to be elected, and nothing will stop them.

As an American I’m sick and tired of the negative campaigning.  This no-holds barred style of campaigning needs to be reigned in because it is hurting our country.  And politicians who resort to it are nothing but tiny little snakes who need to just slither away.  Hillary Clinton has not slithered away.  She continues to fuel the fires of conflict just because she is really just a pissed off version of little Nellie Olsen from “Little House on the Prairie.”  Too bad.  But it shows exactly how much she cares about our nation.  Anyone who doesn’t see her pettiness is completely foolish, including those blacks who feel we are a racist country.

Heather MacDonald compiled a list of 5 reasons why the rhetoric doesn’t meet the truth here:

Black citizens represent 13% of the country’s overall citizens.  However, in Major Statistical Areas (large cities) Blacks usually represent closer to or above 50% of the population.  So the local shooting statistics are way skewed from national statistics.  It is also a fact that around 60% to 70% of violent crimes in MSA’s are committed by black offenders.  And when confronting a violent crime suspect – the police have a reasonable assumption that the suspect will be violent with them.  And so police shootings of black people become more representative of the true populations, both citizens in general and the number of criminals in total.

According to the Washington Post there were 968 cases where police shot suspects in 2016.  According to the Huffington Post 258 of those killed were Black, leaving us with a 26% Black death rate caused by police shooting.  When adjusted for black population and criminal populations of MSA’s that number falls way lower than 15%.

So, the idea that America is racist and biased against blacks just isn’t true.  It is false.  And those of us who love our country are becoming tired of hearing otherwise.

Why don’t we start the conversation on what the facts do show, instead of half truths and lies?  Why do blacks primarily live in large urban areas?  Are there advantages for them there?  What are those advantages?  Why do they commit most of the violent crimes in cities? What can we do to lower those crimes? Do other nations have self-proclaimed “Black leaders” to act as a watchdog groups against other races in specific or the entire government in general?  Or does that sound like racism itself?  I think it does.  You don’t see “White leaders” as a term, as though somehow everything revolves around race.  I personally believe that allowing racist activity like “black leaders” only fuels the fire of disparity between citizens, especially when most of their complaints involve an extremely biased viewpoint.  It tends to cause them to lose believability when they make complaints about the authorized use of force in situations where it was warranted.  It is just a spiraling downwards spiral that is only loosening the bonds between us all.  How would you feel if you were viewed as nothing more than just a “white man” and by default reasoning a racist?  Yeah.  Weeeeeee.  America is fun.

The fact is this: nothing in America revolves around race except delusions brought on by half truths and lies of politicians who could not care less about the actual welfare of our country.  That is why Trump was voted into office.  The foundation of the leftist sewer is beginning to crack.  Keep calling us deplorable And we’ll vote for the next guy too.  And the next.  We are the most endearing and empathetic country in the world.  And we know it.

Epitaph: I did Not Like It Here

Is Life Wonderful?  Certainly!  Life is full of wonder.  The sky the trees the grass the hills the rain the snow the “put your own thing here” are all wonderful.  Falling in love and getting married is wonderful.  Having friends is wonderful.  Helping others and being helped is wonderful.  In fact, I can’t think of a single thing about life that is not wonderful.  Including evil.

{oh boy, here he goes again.}

Why do we tend to lower our interest when people start talking about evil?  Is it because we think evil doesn’t exist?  Try watching the local news sometime.  People killing other people, sometimes chopping them up and spreading their body parts among several different refuse containers.  Hmmmm….  That takes pure evil, I think.

So evil exists.  But why, and how?  How could someone do something so heinous as that described above while you yourself would never consider consciously hurting someone else?  And does refraining from killing other people make us good ourselves, or can we still be a little evil?  How did that killer get so thoughtless and uncaring that he could kill another human being without blinking an eye?  Was he born that way?

No.  He was not born a killer.  He was born a baby, just like you and me.  Was his early environment conducive to changing him into a killer?  Maybe, but he was born with the same Holy Spirit and guiding conscience that you and I were born with.  In order to reach the level of murderer he had to first refuse to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  It might have been a little thing at first.  Bullying a kid at school.  Hurting small animals or other kids for “fun.”  Stealing candy from the corner store.  His conscious told him not to do these things, but he did them anyway.  And that is called blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  As he got older and continued to do things against his conscience, the Holy Spirit’s guiding voice became smaller and smaller, until finally he could not hear it anymore.  The Bible defines that, btw, as hardening the heart.

Most people believe that Murder is just about the worst sin we could commit.  But that’s not true.  The worst sin we can commit, as stated in the Bible, is blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  It’s not necessary for us to know about the Holy Spirit, nor for us to even believe in any religion to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.  It’s as simple as not following your conscience.  Because that’s what the Holy Spirit is.  And blaspheming the Holy Spirit is blaspheming God.  And the very FIRST commandment tells us to Honor God.

God put us here for a reason.  It doesn’t matter why He put us here, (none of us really knows why anyway.)  But one thing we agree on is that He wants us to come back.  He sent His son to die for our sins so that we can come back to Him.  And with Christ’s death came the Holy Spirit to guide us there.  So blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the worst sin because it can lead a person away from God, and not toward Him.

The murderer’s victim was not led away from God because of the murderer’s action.  He could very well be in Heaven now.  The murderer only hurt himself.  And that’s true of all sin.  The things you may do to hurt me or anyone does not truly hurt me.  It only hurts yourself.

Are we susceptible to ignoring the Holy Spirit?  Even though we might think of ourselves as good?  Did you act on that tugging feeling in your heart when you saw solicitors trying to collect money for starving children?  Or not?  What was that tugging feeling anyway?

The Bible, in fact Christ Himself told us that we can gauge our actions by determining if the things we do to others would be things that we would like others to do for ourselves.  And that coincides with what he called “the most important commandment.”  Christ said “Love one another, and love the lord your God.  Do these things and you will go to Heaven.”

None of us are immune from evil, no matter how “good” we think we are.  Are you spreading horrible gossip about others at your workplace?  Would you like someone else to do that to you?  Did you not return the money when the cashier gave you too much change in return?  Did you consciously ignore the hungry, homeless person as you passed by him?  There are a million ways that we choose not to listen to the Holy Spirit every day.  Our actions are what count.  If we had an opportunity to love another and didn’t – then that makes us evil, no matter how good we think we are.  There is no such thing as being a little good and a little evil.  Christ told us that we can not follow two masters.  Follow good.  Or follow evil.  Those are the two choices.

And going back to an earlier question: the reason we shy away from conversations about evil is because there is evil within us, and evil does not want us to believe it exists.  But it does exist.  Inside every one of us.

Anyway, that’s why I think my epitaph should be “I did not like it here.”  In all the wonderful and good things about life, I hate tests.  And life is a test.  Period.  But I like the good things too.  And I love my wife and kids.



Lease vs Owning Your Vehicle

On the big picture, leasing a car vs buying a car is much more attractive.  The payments are much lower and in many cases the payment is around half the cost of buying a vehicle with a loan.  Every two or three years you turn it back in to the dealer and get another brand new vehicle.  The depreciation is the same as it is for owning the vehicle. So why would anyone want to “own” their vehicle instead of leasing it?

The first and main reason is that the owner is taking a chance on the notion that his vehicle will remain fairly serviceable for a period of  ten years or more, saving him thousands of dollars in leasing payments for at least 5 or more of those years.  Of course he would need to be willing to drive a ten year car around without fearing what other people might think about his old car.  But the owner likes his odds.

Of course there is always the possibility of acquiring the inevitable lemon, but he can ditch that if he has to  while the Leaser would have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get out of a lemon deal.

If an individual can afford to pay a monthly lease price but would hesitate at the monthly owning price then that means he/she can not really afford to drive around in this fancy, new vehicle.

What causes him or her to want to drive a vehicle he/she would not be able to afford?  Vanity.  Simple vanity.  They get off on the idea of driving down the road marveling how others must envy them in their shiny new BMW or Mercedes.  That’s just human nature.  So they jump at the chance of owning a new car for half the price, even if it costs them a couple thousand bucks every other year.  I often wonder what my vanity point is?

What does that do to the market when a large group of people lease cars instead of buying them?  It drives up the market with increased demands for new cars and so we all have higher payments, whether we choose to lease or buy.  It’s simple economics.  When you increase demand the price goes up.

The same thing happened with the housing boom and bust.  Banks and lenders found a way to increase business by temporarily lowering interest rates.  So people could afford to make payments on houses worth much more than they could really afford.  And when the temporary ARM payments increased to reality 5 or 6 years later – BOOM!  the people who once signed a loan at 3% interest were now looking at 9% or 10% – affectively doubling their payments.

So why did they go with an Adjustable Rate Mortgage that they knew would rise to triple or quadruple the interest rate in 5 to 7 years?  Vanity.  They wanted more than they could afford.  And they thought they could sell before the higher interest rates kicked in.  BOOM!  A large number of them suddenly found themselves unable to sell the house because the housing market tanked.  And os their interest rates climbed and climbed, and that, dear folks, was the moment they realized that they had screwed up.

So where did they turn to?  The banks and the governments.    So not only did they increase demand by their stupid adventure of buying houses they couldn’t afford, foreclosure on their loans costs all of us through higher taxes and loan interests.  Not to mention the fact that it devalued the price of all of our homes which are currently selling for the same price they sold for before the debacle.

Now they are tricking people with lease options into things they can’t afford.  It is driving up the price of cars tremendously.  But we didn’t learn our lesson from the housing debacle.

I’m one of the people who demanded a fixed rate mortgage on my home because I specifically did not want to buy a home I could not afford.  Myself and everyone else like me got screwed by these vain people.  First for having to bail them out and now to absorb the higher costs of doing business with lenders.

So you vain people out there, yes, I see you driving smugly around in your BMW’s, Mercedes, and mid-life crisis sports cars.  But given the results of all the homes that were foreclosed and covered by Uncle Sam, I might as well lease my vehicle too.  After all, if I’m going to get screwed I might as well get something for it.

Supply and Demand of Vanity

My wife walked into a Duncan’s Donut shop for a black-no-frills-coffee and was promptly asked to pay $2.23 US dollars for it.  Now if you are reading this 20 years from now that may not seem like much.  But today that is a sizeable amount to charge for something that cost only 30 cents to make.

Back in the days of the early 60’s and 70’s most establishments offered low cost or free coffee just to bring in your business.  That was when coffee was not the actual commodity.  The commodity was a friendly sit down meal.  Starbucks and other coffee houses have since turned coffee itself into a commodity.  And that has upset the theory of supply and demand.

Supply represents the rarity of an item.  So what is the rarest item on earth?  Certainly not coffee.  Most people would say diamonds.  But that’s not true.  We have more diamonds than we could throw away.  They are expensive because of a perceived shortage of supply.  And a shortage of supply causes prices to go up, real or perceived.

If you only have one thing-a-ma-jig then it is pretty rare.  And if twenty people want to own that single thing-a-ma-jig then the highest bidder gets it.  So the price goes up and up and up.  But what if we have 100 thing-a-ma-jigs and only twenty people want to own one?  Then you have to keep lowering the price until the last of those twenty people finally decides it’s worth it to buy it.  And you still have 80 sitting on the shelf that you have to pay storage for.  Once I worked for K-Mart and at the end of the season we were forced to throw away about $2,000 worth of spring clothing.  It was cheaper to throw it away than to store it until next spring.  I suggested to the manager that we give it to charity but was told that liability prevented that.  Apparently some homeless people tend to make lawsuits for anything, like pinching skin when it gets stuck by a K-Mart zipper.

But anyway, that’s basically how supply and demand is supposed to work.  And for the most part it does a pretty good job in a free market economy.  Unless vanity is involved.

One of the offshoots of supply and demand is perception and vanity.  Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s we learned that sports shoes could be profitable.  Before that there was a very limited number of sport shoes available, like Converse which were made from some sort of canvas or denim material.  And of course there were generics like the KMart brand and such.  So although the variety of sport shoes were in short supply, sport shoes themselves were not in short supply.  Addidas was one of the first to come out with a “better” sports shoe.  It’s high price indicated the fact that it was a better shoe than other sport shoes.  Which was probably true.  But it’s high price also became a status symbol for quality and since perception and vanity play a part then probably half of their sales were from kids who bugged their parents to get them the latest and greatest shoe and had nothing to do with sports.

Later on Nike came out with the most beautiful leather sports shoes with a “swoosh”!  How cool were they?  Everyone had to have a pair or two regardless that they sold for more than ten times what it took to make them.  There was no shortage of leather or shoe strings or “swooshes.”  Let’s face it.  Buying them at those prices was pure vanity.  And then in the ensuing years shoes like Michael Jordan’s skyrocketed, and soon gangs were attacking children waiting for their school buses in the morning to steal their expensive shoes and starter jackets.  Some kids were actually beaten and killed.  Vanity.  It upsets supply and demand.

Back to coffee.  I want you to imagine the last Starbucks building you were in.  I mean an actual building, not like at the mall or airport.  But maybe there too.  How much do you think Starbucks paid for prime real estate in a heavily trafficked business area?  A half million?  Probably.  And then they spent another roughly half million on the building and taxes.  So let’s say that it cost Starbucks a million dollars just to put that store there.  So when you or I go in and spend $5 on a mocha latte with whipped cream – where is most of that money going to?  To pay off the building, of course.

And added to that they have their mall and airport shops, which are much more profitable because the overhead is significantly lower.  So these shops are the meat and potatoes of the companies main profit.  So the company and any shareholders (if they are public) get the profit.

Now let’s look at the supply of coffee.  Has the supply dwindled since the 50’s or 60’s?  No.  In fact the supply has actually increased.  If that’s true then why has the price of coffee grinds at the grocery store risen – if supply hasn’t fallen?  It’s because Starbucks and these other coffee houses are willing to pay higher prices for their product because they can afford it.  So we grocery shoppers are competing with these coffee houses for our own coffee.  And the price continues to rise.

Kuerig owner?  The smart Kuerig coffee shopper waits until their favorite coffee goes on sale for about a dollar a cup.  That’s a dollar per cup of home brewed coffee.  If you don’t know, a Kuerig cup is a small plastic container with about a dime’/s worth of ground coffee inside.

In the end vanity of shoppers who “must” have their Starbucks every day is what causes the price of our own coffee to soar through the roof.  As I’ve always said, this world would be wonderful without other people.  At least in terms of Americans spending $5 on a cup of coffee to enrich business owners while people in many other areas of the world do not have safe, clean drinking water or food.