Letter to the Editors – January 2003

Title: Letter to the Editors
Publication: The Outcrop, January 2003, p. 16

Dissentary, Colorado
November 16, 2002

Dear RMAG Outcrop Editors:

As many mature readers of past RMAG Newsletters may recall, Lamina and I have long made a practice of visiting cemeteries on Armistice Day to leave mementos on the graves of our contemporaries who fell during WWI, the war to end all wars, and to ponder what their take on the state of affairs in the world today might be. Since this annual pilgrimage includes a visit to Denver, this year we dropped in at the Prospect Fair and Technofest, which turned out to be even more fun than the cemeteries. It was a wonderful event that afforded us several informative and pleasant hours visiting with old friends while viewing the various manifestations of the current oil and gas business that were on display.

Interestingly, several deeply concerned old-timers there asked why we had not written to any Outcrop editors in a long time, which has actually been even longer than it may seem. As mature readers will also recall, our past relationship with editors has not always enjoyed high levels of porosity and permeability and, in fact, our last letter, written in April 2000, enjoyed a nine month gestation period before it appeared in print in January, 2001, by which time some of its cutting edge had eroded. One friend helpfully pointed out that nothing stays the same and those Outcrop editorial chores, traditionally mostly conducted by one man, are now handled by three women. Of course, in days of old, this turn of events would have inspired us to pen comments denouncable by some readers as politically insufferable. However, many former activists and we have mellowed and our sincere response now is “the more the merrier”.

Anyhow, the past couple of years have been as busy as ever for us up here at field camp. The dearth of moisture, together with upgrading to a lovely 1952 pickup, has allowed greater year-round mobility than formerly. Lamina has made endless trips to Denver where she always enjoys pausing on 17th Street across from the Equitable Building and gazing up at the fifth floor facade and fantasizing over the four life-size naked geologists, three of whom impressively display full frontal nudity (FFN), who stand there. She may be correct in believing that their attachment to a registered National Historic Place saves them from destruction at the hands of creationists, the EPA, Sierra Club or some other group of misguided fanatics.

Then, safely inside the DERL, and intrigued by the demand for unconventional resources, she has spent months immersed in the geological treasures collected there. In fact, she gives this storehouse of information, along with meditations in our sacred aspen grove, credit for her recent identification of the Source of the energy that fuels the fires of Hell. Clearly, this discovery has huge potential for commercial development that would improve the quality of existence for both the living and dead. I, as well as all members of her study group, have urged her to seek funding in the venture capital markets in order to pursue this project. However, so far, she has declined for fear that the engineers would just screw it up.

On the other hand, I have been researching ways to alleviate the drought that has been causing so much concern. Meteorological research, together with frequent intense contemplation of the typical frosty beer can, has lead me to conclude that, while cloud seeding technology has merit, silver iodide is not the ideal catalyst to initiate condensation and produce rain. Happily, experiments by me have demonstrated that powdered aluminum is far superior. Clearly, pulverizing recycled beer cans would be cheaper and more technologically advanced than the no brainer of remanufacturing more cans. The resulting deluges of precipitation and runoff would benefit all who long for water for drinking and agriculture, as well as those who covet it for brewing more beer. Of course, we would also again enjoy beer packaged in glass bottles, which not only tastes better but also decreases the incidence of old-timers’ disease, which may result from drinking too much stuff containing aluminum dissolved from the inside of aluminum containers. Obviously, this is a scenario in which everyone wins. Unlike Lamina, I am actively seeking funds to carry this forward, so any RMAGers who like ground floor opportunities should get on board ASAP. Even engineers don’t worry me on this one. Hoping you are the same.

Ripley Marks