Sarah Palin knows how old the Chinese gymnasts are.

calendar   Tuesday - April 19, 2011

Business Decisions

How much should I charge for saving my customer lots of money?

I emailed Sylvania and they say that these are both the same product.

This kind of bulb is used in first class commercial track lighting to give good color rendering and nicely illuminate expensive merchandise. It isn’t hard to change the bulbs, but you should wear dustless rubber gloves when doing so, and then give the bulbs a quick wipe with alcohol. They get so hot that even fingerprint oils will burn, or perhaps cause them to shatter.

Oh, and if you think those bulbs are pricey, this one fits the same socket, works on the same ballast, throws the same amount of light, lasts just as long, and is noticeably whiter. You get even better color rendering because the light is closer to white. This is the kind of bulb you illuminate diamonds, platinum, and silver with:

yet I can find the Osram equivalent of that same bulb for under $30

Somebody is ripping somebody off, big time. Not me!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/19/2011 at 01:04 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Tuesday - March 29, 2011

We’re All Special Now

This Could Come In Handi

Millions of Americans may be disabled and not even know it, according to some legal experts.

That’s because sweeping new regulations from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offer new guidelines on the issue of how to define “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Attorney Condon McGlothlen says the new regulations could have a profound impact on that debate.

“Before, perhaps 40 million people were covered by the ADA. That number will increase significantly,” McGlothlen told Fox News. “Some people might even say that a majority of Americans are covered as disabled under the law.”

Although the new regulations cannot classify any condition as a disability per se, there is a list of maladies that will be viewed that way “in virtually all cases.” The list includes: autism, diabetes, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Overall, lawyers for employers say the regulations shift the burden of proof in disability claims.

They say that employers will now have to show why a worker doesn’t require special accommodations, rather than employees proving that the measures are merited.

“It’s going to be very difficult for employers to argue in just about any case that an employee is exaggerating their disability or that the person isn’t genuinely disabled,” McGlothlen said.
Barring congressional intervention, the new regulations will take effect May 24.

imageIsn’t this wonderful? Each of us has their own handicap that employers will have to allow for. Let’s hope that the EEOC quickly writes some new hiring rules as well, so those of us with these newly perceived disabilities can have a level playing field in the job market.

Personally, all I’m asking for is one of those blue tags for my car. Yeah, I want a disabled parking sticker. They hand them out like candy already anyway; it seems to me that just about every retired or nearly retired person in the state has one. As do the overweight, etc. Back in the long ago, when these things first appeared, retail parking lots would have 2 or 3 oversize spaces by the front door set up for them, and most of the time those spaces sat empty. Now the entire front row is all blue tags. I watch those customers and check out their cars when I go to the store. It’s actually very rare that I EVER see a car with hand controls, an actual “handi-van” (not the PC term sorry) or see those drivers using a walker or even a cane. The entire thing is bogus. I knew a kid in college - a big brawny football player - who went off to school with grandma’s car, specifically so he could use her blue tag and get the most convenient parking spots. And he was never called on it, not once.

I can’t wait until that same kind of widespread abuse that we all turn a blind eye to starts in the workplace. Because the real truth in most jobs is that these people, just like blacks, are held to a much lower performance standard. They are not criticized anywhere near as often, and are the last to be let go when layoff time comes around. For those of us not blessed with membership in the corporate insider’s club and a do-nothing upper middle management 6 figure income job, it’s the only kind of job security out there anymore.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/29/2011 at 07:28 AM   
Filed Under: • CULTURE IN DECLINEGovernmentwork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Thursday - March 03, 2011

the united states of europe … all will be equal … all have “rights.”

Just another example of the results encountered when a country allows foreigners to call the shots.  As members of the EU ... I don’t guess the Brits have a large say in the matter. Yet. But I do know public opinion more and more are voicing anger and frustration. 
As I understand things, much that the former govt. signed up to is still in force and for reasons I won’t pretend to understand, can’t be undone. 

So the bottom line I guess is, Welcome to the United States of Europe. Somewhat united.

Pretty far out for a country we’re told is near broke. AND ... as reported yesterday they are increasing aid to turd world countries. Like Somalia. Well at least I understand that last one as pirates are hard pressed to upgrade their fleet and so the money is welcome no doubt.

100,000 Eastern European migrants now free to claim full benefits in Britain worth tens of millions of pounds after EU ruling

Last updated at 4:24 PM on 3rd March 2011

As many as 100,000 migrants from Eastern Europe will be allowed to claim £250-a-week as Europe forces Britain to abolish its restrictions on benefits. 

In a move that could cost the British taxpayer tens of millions of pounds, migrants from the former Soviet bloc will be allowed jobseeker’s allowance, council tax benefit and housing benefit.

The law changes will come into effect within weeks as the European Union scraps restrictions imposed when eight states joined the EU in 2004, and it leaves Britain powerless to counter the move.

By my rough estimate that £250 works out to something like $400.00.

Only Britain, Ireland and Sweden permitted free access to workers from A8 countries in 2004. It is thought that many will now be attracted to Germany and Austria, which are geographically nearer.

‘We are in the process of delivering major reform to bring immigration down to the tens of thousands with the introduction of a new limit on economic migrants from outside the EU, alongside new proposals to reform other routes of entry, including students, families and marriage.’

The DWP said it had no choice but to remain in line with national and international obligations.

But the department insisted that protecting the benefit system from abuse was its ‘number one priority’.

A spokesman said: ‘No-one can just come into the UK and start claiming our benefits.

‘We have strict rules in place to protect the system from any abuse.

Let’s hope so, but. There’s always that darned ‘but’ included in things like this.  Meanwhile, there’s a host of “amnesty” types that can not be deported cos it might violate their rights. And most (it’s reported) are not working. Many believe none are.

This is a funny place.  Squatters can take over a million dollar property and can’t be removed easily cos they have ‘rights.’ AND ... they get legal aid paid for by guess who?  Right.  Meanwhile, the person who actually owns said property must shoulder the entire legal cost of removing the trash in human form. He hasn’t many rights at all.

Stay Tuned

source and related


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/03/2011 at 12:45 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsNews-Briefswork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Saturday - February 26, 2011

Government quota threat to firms that fail to appoint 25% female boards.

How appropriate in this case, the default color here is ‘red.’ Jeesh.

Is anyone here against women achieving success in business? Against being treated fairly? I guess I’m really asking if this kind of quota is really justified.
It seems arbitrary. Why not 30% or 25.7% Where does the commissar get his figures from?  And I think the lady with the reply to this has it right.  There will be ill feelings with regard to merit or gender.  I recall losing out on a job right after a serious push in affirmative action. It was more a trainees kind of thing although I had some slight training already.  It was at KFI in LA, many,many years ago. Thing was, the guy they hired never showed up on time, had no real interest and ... the station couldn’t sack him at the time. Once or 2wice he didn’t even show up for work at all.  I didn’t really mind too much at the time because I wasn’t planning a career as a studio engineer anyway. Not that I’d have turned it down. 

Is it okay to to use quotas to make up for or try and balance past acts that denied jobs to ppl? 

This guy thinks so and holds the club to batter business.

Government quota threat to firms that fail to appoint 25% female boards


British companies are facing the threat of compulsory female quotas if they fail to ensure a quarter of their board members are women by 2015.
The threat will be made by Lord Davies – the former trade minister appointed by Business Secretary Vince Cable to examine why many top firms have no female directors.
His conclusions will be unveiled today and are likely to infuriate many business leaders at a time when firms are struggling to survive.
Lord Davies is expected to tell companies that they are in the ‘last chance saloon’ when he demands that 20 per cent of board members of the top 350 FTSE companies should be women by 2013.
The target will move up to 25 per cent by 2015. His research found huge resistance to the idea of compulsory quotas, with just 11 per cent of firms backing them.
One idea is that the targets will initially be voluntary but companies will be expected to have to explain to ministers why they haven’t hit them.
City ‘superwoman’ Nicola Horlick yesterday heaped pressure on the Government by coming out in favour of quotas.
Miss Horlick, who has started her own fund management firm and has brought up six children, said there was ‘no choice’ but to push companies to that position.
She said: ‘Generally, I do not favour positive discrimination as I believe very strongly that people should be chosen on merit for any job.
‘However, our public companies show no desire to be more inclusive of women and so I see no choice other than to push them in that direction.

‘Having had four daughters, it really saddens me that there are still underlying prejudices against women.
‘I am not a feminist and, as I say, I believe in meritocracy, but sometimes you have to create rules initially in order to give certain sections of society a chance.’
Lord Davies, a former boss at Standard Chartered, said recently: ‘If companies don’t take a radical change in attitude, and hire more women at the top, then we will have to introduce quotas.’
He is expected to announce that shareholders and headhunters will be expected to abide by a new code of conduct to look for more women on their boards.
Chairmen will also be urged to be more ‘adventurous’ when appointing non-executive directors.

more at the source here



Take women on their merits, or not at all

By Cristina Odone

As I walked into the headquarters, I couldn’t resist a little smile: I’d made it. I was a member of the board. The Catholic Herald was hardly a global media empire, and I was not being paid six-figure sums to attend, and contribute to, the quarterly meetings. But I felt my status as a media professional had been confirmed: eight men and one woman felt I had something to offer their shareholders.

Imagine, though, if I were walking into those high-ceilinged rooms in the knowledge that I was filling a quota. Imagine if I knew I had been selected not because I had been a successful editor, knew a thing or two about advertising promotions, or even because I boasted a great contacts book; but because the company had to have a certain proportion of women on its board. I’d feel a token woman, not a successful one.

This is precisely what will happen to women if Lord Davies, the Government’s business adviser, has his way. The former trade minister wants to make it compulsory for boards to consist of 25 per cent women by 2015. Lord Davies’s proposal is bad for business and worse for women.

Instead of feeling that they have a contribution to make, women on the board will feel their accomplishment has merely been to tick a box. Instead of bursting with ideas, they will be terrified of being caught out: given that they have been chosen for their gender, not their ability, they’ll feel insecure about their professional qualifications. How can they prize their achievements when they are not sure that they were appointed on merit?



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/26/2011 at 05:20 AM   
Filed Under: • Politically Correct and the workplace •  
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calendar   Friday - February 04, 2011

been a few months since I had a man under me. whoops. ur fired.

Don’t know how much I’ll get in tonight postwise, but couldn’t let this one get away.

On the one hand it is quite funny and the lady exhibited a quick sense of humor.

The downside is ... some humorless pc idiot had her fired.

Upside .. an appeal court found in her favor so someone has a partial functioning brain.

Downside ... Well, it isn’t all over and this all started in 2006.

The really sad part of it all is, some years ago people would have realized that humor of this sort in very stressful situations is usually automatic and beneficial.
Who could possibly find fault with her comment, except for some uptight, pc self hating inadequate fool?  “Gross misconduct?” Jeesh. Some ppl.

Take a look.

Health worker sacked for making cheeky joke as she straddled naked patient was unfairly dismissed

Last updated at 12:14 PM on 4th February 2011

A nurse who cracked a saucy joke as she helped to restrain a patient having an epileptic fit was unfairly fired, the Appeal Court has ruled.

Laura Bowater, 34, quipped: ‘It’s been a few months since I have been in this position with a man underneath me’ as she straddled his naked body while doctors tried to give him an injection.

The trousers of the ‘extremely strong’ 31-year-old patient had been removed so doctors could inject his buttock and Ms Bowater sat on his ankles to control his flailing legs.

But the patient spun on to his back, exposing himself and kicking her forward so that she ended up astride him.

The senior staff nurse’s remark would have been considered ‘merely humorous’ by many people and did not warrant losing her job, the judges found.

Ms Bowater was on her way home from a 12-hour shift in the accident and emergency department at London’s Central Middlesex Hospital in July 2006 when she stopped to help staff.

A complaint was made six weeks later even though no-one suggested the unconscious patient could have heard what Ms Bowater said.

She was fired from her £25,000-a-year post for gross misconduct over the quip despite four years’ unblemished service.

A panel at Watford Employment Tribunal upheld her unfair dismissal claim but North West London Hospitals NHS Trust successfully challenged it at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Appeal Court judge Lord Justice Burnton has now overturned that decision but ruled that the nurse ‘contributed’ 25 per cent to her own dismissal.

The case will return to the original employment tribunal for Ms Bowater’s unfair dismissal payment to be decided.

Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire Nadine Dorries, a former nurse, had slammed the sacking, saying: ‘This is insane. Why has she lost her job? 

‘She made a joke as her way of having to deal with a stressful situation.

‘She perhaps could have been given some kind of warning. There are ways of dealing with it and sacking her was not the correct way.

‘It’s difficult enough trying to recruit and retain nurses at the moment.’

Ms Bowater refused to comment on the case.


How did the judge arrive at 25% her own fault?  Why not 50? Or 5?

Or none!

Lesson learned?  Keep your mouths shut, say nothing to anyone about anything. Voice no opinions, tell no jokes and utter no quips.
The goal?
A nice silent society.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/04/2011 at 11:11 AM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Friday - December 03, 2010


On the one hand I can see some dark humor here. Sort of. I’m hesitant tho.
On the other hand, what?  Why didn’t they think of checking the john? 

Isn’t that one of the first places to look?  Maybe not. 

Crack police lose dead officer in toilet

When a senior drugs officer with Britain’s ‘FBI’ went missing, his colleagues were baffled.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency, admired for its investigative skills and hi-tech crime-fighting abilities, marshalled its resources in the hunt. If only they had checked the toilets.

Two ‘extensive searches’ of the offices failed to turn up anything and, 16 hours after he was last seen, the officer’s colleagues called his wife and told her she should report him missing to local police.

He was eventually found at 4am the next day by a security guard on his regular rounds, who noticed the toilet cubicle door had been shut for a ‘considerable time’.

The guard then called Soca officers who kicked down the door and found their colleague dead on the toilet, just a few metres from his desk in the London offices of the agency.

The agency, which employs 4,200 staff and has 40 offices in Britain, refused to confirm when the officer was found dead earlier this year, but a source said he ‘vanished’ after going to the toilet at 12pm.

The source said his colleague, a team leader in charge of Soca’s Interpol drugs desk, was not found until the early hours the next day.

He added that Soca was ‘staffed by brand new, inexperienced staff who are keen to assist but who have little, if any, background experience in law enforcement work’.

A police source, who has worked in the Met for 15 years, told the magazine: ‘How these guys can be called Britain’s FBI when they can’t even find their own officer 50ft from his desk is an embarrassment.’



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/03/2010 at 09:36 AM   
Filed Under: • UKwork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Thursday - November 18, 2010

Good night

4 hours prep work last night, moving furniture and spackling, followed by 12 hours painting today. Very tired now.

Ok, more like 9 hours of cleaning, sanding, priming, and painting, then the rest of the time pulling off tape and putting the rooms back together and assorted cleaning up. Hell, I even fixed their vacuum cleaner for them. Then used it.

Damn people, save yourself some money. If you hire a painter, at least move the furniture first yourself. And then clean the damn walls. At least dust them. Because I work by the hour and you pay me the same no matter what I’m doing.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/18/2010 at 09:35 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Wednesday - November 17, 2010

I charge extra for bugs

I had a little window job this morning at one of the condos here. Getting the glass clean wasn’t so bad, although I am going to have to try to find a product that will easily dissolve nicotine. Nothing more fun than yellow-brown sticky windows. But at least I put a few lungs full of fresh air in the place by opening the windows. The wind here is blowing at almost gale strength today. That makes being up on a ladder a little dicey, but I managed.

No, what got me about this job were the stinkbugs. These condos use windows that are in sliding tracks. Her tracks were almost solid stinkbugs. Hundreds of them, half comatose, crawling slowly around. And setting off their PU alarms at the smallest provocation. You know, like a strip washer or a squeegee coming near them. Rank. So I scooped them all out and drowned the lot. This took some extra time, but I had nothing else to do. Well, until this evening, when I have to start a 2-3 day painting project in a small office. So I’ll be on night shift for a day or so perhaps, so they can have the office opening in the day time.

I charged the window customer an extra $10. Because of the bugs. I do her windows twice a year. She was at home the whole time I was working. I bet she smoked a whole pack of butts in the 4 hours I was there. It really reeks in there.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/17/2010 at 03:38 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Tuesday - November 09, 2010

eye candy of a different sort but the same.  mom and daughter & a broken english call center.


Mom here is 49, daughter is 19.  I think they both look pretty darn good. But then, my eyes are a lot older these days.

Apropos of nothin ... just had another one of those call center experiences.

Wanted to order an article of clothing on the phone in answer to an interesting add.  Had to hang up. Could not understand one freekin word the guy said.
India? Nope.

Those folks are I swear impossible to understand unless you grew up there or are tuned to the accent. Trust me, ain’t nothin at all like the romantic Hollywood
version of an accent.  I think since everyone discovered they had civil rights and employers had NONE, this is what we have to live with.
And no, I’m too damn tired to call back and be bothered. They lost a sale but hey, I think I’m better off buying in a regular store anyway. Even if I pay more. At least I can see what I’m buying and almost everyone speaks understandable English around here.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/09/2010 at 01:00 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeUKwork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Saturday - October 23, 2010

teacher is banned for being useless … no kidding.  read all about it …

Fine but what does this say about the morons who allowed him into the system to begin with? And he was in the job for 13 years?

This is an example of Labour throwing money at a problem and then saying, it has to work cos we gave it all this money.  Maybe if we throw more money at the education problem, it’ll get better. Right. 

Wanna bet somewhere down the line we’ll read about a race complaint?

The first teacher banned for life for being useless

By Sarah Harris and Arthur Marti

A teacher who is judged to be incapable of ever improving his work has become the first to be banned for life from the classroom due to incompetence.

Nisar Ahmed will never reach ‘requisite standards’ of teaching and cannot work in state schools again, a panel ruled.

The General Teaching Council for England found the 46-year-old guilty of serious professional incompetence and said there was a risk that pupils would be seriously disadvantaged if he was ever allowed to return to lessons.

Mr Ahmed was head of business studies at the John O’Gaunt Community Technology College in Hungerford, Berkshire, from September 2007 to January 2009.

He had taught for a total of 13 years at schools across the South-East.

His management of lessons was ‘invariably’ below standard, the GTC disciplinary panel was told.

The school, which has more than 450 pupils, aged 11 to 18, gave Mr Ahmed ‘extensive formal and informal’ support for more than a year but he failed to improve.

Just 13 teachers have been banned from the profession for fixed periods for incompetence since 2000.

Mr Ahmed is the first to receive a prohibition order without time limit.

the rest is here


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/23/2010 at 07:09 AM   
Filed Under: • EducationStoopid-Peoplework and the workplace •  
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calendar   Friday - October 15, 2010

My Day From Hell

Getting Screwed In Concrete

In which Drew finally learns to read the instructions and the fine print, and to actually accept what they say.

Today was the day to install that threshold for Mrs. G. What should have been an easy one hour job, a quick $50, turned into a day-long nightmare. And I lost money on the deal. Sadder but wiser.

The previous owners of her condo installed a floating laminate “wood” floor in the kitchen. Over concrete slab. She has carpet in the room next to it. Over concrete slab as well. The floor guys installed one of those thresholds that look like a comma in cross section. They used a cheap piece of crap that was wood-tone vinyl over pressboard. Masonite. Pressed cardboard, not even wood. First they tried gluing it on. That didn’t work. Wrong glue, or wrong approach. Then they tried using their air stapler to shoot a dozen wire staples to hold it down. That didnt’ work. Every single one of them bent up like spaghetti when they hit the concrete. So finally they just got 2 concrete screws and screwed the damn thing down. But they didn’t do a good job. They didn’t cover the screws, or countersink them, or anything. Ugly-ass screw heads sticking up. And she lived with that for 20 years, until the yucky pressboard started falling apart. I knew I could do better.

So, 2 trips to the hardware store later, and I had her a lovely bit of real oak that was nearly the color of her floor. And I had my countersink bits, a depth stop I made from a ply ripped from a bit of plywood, some concrete screws and the screw company’s own concrete drill bit.

And today, away I went. I measure twice, and cut the threshold to length. Perfect fit. Well, I had to trim one end in a little since the sides of the doorway weren’t parallel. But then it was perfect. I found the thickest part of the wood, and taped a perfectly straight line down the piece. Found the exact center, and found both spots exactly 1 3/4” in from each end. Drilled them all and countersunk them. Took my time so I didn’t even smoke the sawdust. Perfect. Laid the part in place ... and found out that the floor has a hump in it. Crap. Still, no biggy. 3 sturdy screws will hold it down, right? So now it was time to drill the hole in the concrete.

I hate concrete. I hate the builders who built these condos and were too cheap to put in actual subfloors over foundations or crawlspaces. No, these units were built over slabs poured right into the ground. Wonderful. And folks wonder why their floors are so cold in the winter.

So I put the long and skinny concrete bit in my drill, and away I went. And nothing much happened. Huh? So I pressed harder. And still nothing happened. Harder. And the only thing that happened was that the bit got really hot. Blued steel! I had smoked the damn thing.

So off to the hardware store. Again. 15 miles away.

“Oh, these don’t work as straight drill bits. See how it says “hammer drill bit” on the label? You have to set your hammer drill to hammer to use these bits.”

Um, I don’t own a hammer drill.

“Well, you could try a regular masonry bit, but even those work better with a hammer drill.”

Fine. And that’s when tool lust made it’s entrance. I could have bought a cheapo hammer drill for $59. It probably would have done the job. Mostly. Or maybe a demolition drill? Nah, they’re way too expensive. So I looked, and I learned, and I realized that at some point a hammer drill becomes a rotary hammer which eventually becomes a demolition drill, and the price goes up the whole time. And rotary hammers only take socketed bits; they don’t even have a drill chuck. So I “settled” on the 2nd priciest hammer drill, a Rigid. 1/2” chuck, pulls 9 amps. Holy cow. An 1100 watt drill. It was only $20 less than the Milwaukee, and it had a stronger motor and a lifetime warranty. So I bought it. $160 tool to drill the holes for 3 75¢ screws. Shit. But what can you do?

So then I picked up a 5/32” x 6” Bosch bit for $1 less than the “official” bit the screw company makes, figuring my heat-blued bit was a goner. Same size right? Wrong. The Bosch bit drilled the holes pretty well, but the screws didn’t quite fit. Seems like the “official” drill bit is merely nominally 5/32”. It’s actually a hair over. Secretly metric. And guess what happens when you try to drive concrete screws into holes that are just a smidgen too small? They don’t go. So you lean on them harder of course. And they still don’t go, but the heads tear up. Crap.

So I had to remove several screws that were halfway down their holes. Couldn’t do it with my regular screw driving drill. Couldn’t do it with pliers. Had to go home, get the full size pair of vise grips, come back, and clamp that mother down with both hands. That got the screws out, screaming all the way. The screws, not me. Although it was tempting.

Fine. Back to using the official drill bit. That opened up the holes just a tiny bit, and away I went. First screw went right in. Second screw went right in. Third screw went almost all the way in ... and then it sheared. Son of a dessicated camel! Crap. Hey, there’s a little bit of screw still in the wood. Maybe it will hold. It seems to be holding. Cool! Glue up the other 2 holes, get out the little bits of wooden dowel that fill the holes, pound them into place. Still holding. Glue and pound the last one into place. Sweet. Hey look, I’m all done! And it’s holding beautif ... poing! And that end pops up. Shutze no saco. Now I have to take the whole thing apart. After I just glued in the covers on. And the “one hour setting time” really means “dries in one minute or less”. Gotta drill them out. Sucks.

Ok, got them all out. This is becoming a real pain in the ass project. Grab the grips and turn that sheared screw out, since it sheared 1/4” above the concrete. Quarter turn at a time, then reclamp. Sheez. Ok, done. Finally. Fine. Redrill the hole, in case there was something down there. Threshold back in place. Screw another screw in ... and this one sheared too. Right at the concrete. No way in hell I can get it out. I am now totally effed. Damnation!! Sure, I can just put a cap on that hole and drill another one near by. That will work, but it will look like junk. And I don’t do ____-rig work. Shit. Double damnation. Half a day wasted already!!

So I went home, 2 blocks away. And made some coffee. And tried to get my head together. I’d done such lovely work, and everything had gone pretty well. Right to the end, when I was done in by a crappy screw. Two cups of coffee and a small Why ME tantrum later, it was time to go back to the hardware store. Get a new piece of threshold wood. And a tube of universal fast-set extra tacky ultra-glue construction adhesive. If I can’t screw it, I’ll glue it. Screw it!

15 miles, 5 traffic lights, and 8 speed bumps later I was back at the hardware store. Again. New piece of wood in hand.

“What, you’re doing another one?”

“No, the screw sheared off right at the concrete. I’m screwed, so I have to start all over and drill the holes somewhere else.”

“Those screws sheared? That never happens. Builders love these things, they never go wrong.”

“Well, good for them. They went wrong for me.”

“Here, try some medium length ones this time, and make sure you follow the directions. They should work. They always work.”

Fine. Drive half an hour back to her condo. At this point I’ve been at it for 6 hours. For a 1 hour job. I swear I’ve spent half the day just driving. Ok, I stopped for lunch. But it was a speed lunch. And I’ve spent nearly $40 more than anticipated, plus the cost of the new drill. But I’ll eat that one, since “I always wanted one”. I did? Ok, maybe. I guess so. It’s a helluva power tool, so fine.

Measure, cut, drill, countersink. That part of the job takes all of 10 minutes. I took the easy way out this time and decided on 2 screws, each 1/3 of the way in from the edges. Plus I knew it would be tempting fate trying to hit that old center hole exactly right with a new piece of wood. And those holes have bad ju-ju.  And I had that tube of wonderglop, so that ought to do it. Please God, let that do it.

Put the threshold it place. Perfect fit. Put the official drill bit back in the mighty hammer drill. Brrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaapp!  It’s a little spooky leaning my entire upper body onto a big drill with such a long skinny bit in it. I’m waiting for it to snap and send me face first into the floor, but it doesn’t. And it drills the holes real well, leaving a perfect anthill of concrete dust. Sweep that up, clean up the holes just to be safe. And then I remembered what the guys at the store said, so I read the fine print on the back of the little box of concrete screws:

1. Drill hole with your hammer drill, drilling 1/4” deeper than the screw will penetrate.
2. Drive screw into hole using your hammer drill.

Say what? Son of a gun. I have to screw them in, in hammer mode? That’s when it hit me: concrete screws really aren’t screws. They are dual groove spiral ring shank nails. They only look like screws. They have heads like screws. They only mostly behave like screws. But they’re really a special kind of nail. You have to sort of hammer them in while turning them. And that’s what a hammer drill is for. If you try to put them in using a hand screwdriver you’ll blow a blood vessel before they will turn. Put them in with a screwdriver bit in your regular power drill and they will probably shear. I found that out the hard way, twice. I should have listened at “once”, but I didn’t. But put them in with the hammer drill ... and fother mucker, the damn things go right in. Brrrrrapp! Tight. And they hold like little blue demons. Awesome. And no glue comes squirting out from underneath. Sweet.

So after a full day of very careful work, some messing about, one fatal screw-up and a bit of a panic attack, probably 100 miles of commuting to the hardware store, I read, accepted, and followed the instructions. Come on, who knew that screws came with instructions? Like, duh! So my second attempt at building and putting in a solid oak threshold took just over an hour. Like it should have the first time. And yeah, I used a big ass glob of construction adhesive underneath too. Probably not necessary, but that thing ain’t never ever gonna come loose. Evah! And it came out perfect. And everyone lived happily ever after. The end.

She gave me a $25 tip. Felt sorry for me, but appreciated my tenacity. So I have to write today off as a learning experience, and my net is out $120 for a potent power tool I now have to find uses for. Hey, I bet that puppy can stir up batches of thin-set concrete like damn! And I need a shower. And another beer.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/15/2010 at 06:16 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Wednesday - October 13, 2010

off work 8 years, demands long service and good conduct medal …

This might come under a heading we don’t have yet.
Well, if that don’t beat all.

Had I been here yesterday I would have posted this bit of lunacy. Least, I think it is. So I held on to it and am happy to share now. 
Here’s a case of, HUH?  She is out sick, she claims, has been for eight years. But she wants, among many other things,

An award for Long Service and a Good Conduct Medal

Couldn’t make that up. But here. Read the part of the story here and then the rest at the link.

Injured policewoman on sick leave for 8 years sues force ‘for not giving her holiday pay or long service medal’

By Daily Mail Reporter

A tribunal into a former police officer seeking damages from the force she worked for heard that some officers on sick leave hate the police so much they can never return.


Alison Doyle, who spent eight years on sick leave from Northumbria Police, claims she was never able to return to work after an attack on the beat.

She already had a painful back problem from a previous car crash when she made an arrest in October 2001 which turned violent. She claims the scuffle caused her existing injury to become unbearable and never returned to work, although she remained with the force.: ‘She could not even perform administration tasks because of her enmity towards the police force.’

Her long-running dispute that she deserved a medical pension reached the High Court in November 2005. Lawyers for the Northumbria Police Authority challenged the doctor’s assessment and argued that Miss Doyle’s problems did not amount to a permanent disability.

Mr Wirz said employees off work sick could foster hatred of the force which meant they were unable to return to work.

He added: ‘She could not even perform administration tasks because of her enmity towards the police force.’


I know we aren’t supposed to be judging books by their covers but.  Sometimes ya just can’t help it.  Looking at this dork I couldn’t help but wonder about the standards of the cops and thought perhaps if they’d not been forced to lower those standards to meet certain quotas .... yadda,yadda.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/13/2010 at 11:09 AM   
Filed Under: • CULTURE IN DECLINEUKwork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Monday - October 11, 2010

Never a Dull Moment

One thing I can say for being a handyman is that the work is never repetitive. Unlike the guys who work in factories, screwing the same 4 nuts to the same part 800 times a day, I never seem to do the same job twice. Well, except for cleaning windows. They’re all pretty much alike. Mostly.

Last night it was installing steel shelving and assembling a cabinet. Customer has one of those wall mounted pigeon hole racks used to keep thousands of paper folders in. Can I put one more of them up on the wall? Sure. I get there and find out that the racks are attached to each other with rivets. Rivets! So I had to drill them out and then figure out how to install new ones without the proper riveting tool. Answer, naturally, was a big old hammer. Then I had to put together one of those little wooden cabinets with drawers. Save money, put it together yourself! Great idea until the customer got overwhelmed by the fussy little parts and the two dozen pages of “insert tab A into slot B” instructions. So that was 90 minutes work for me and a couple hundred itsy bitsy little screws. Magnetic screwdriver bits are a blessing.

This morning it’s adjust a bi-fold door and replace a floor threshold. Oh fun. Nothing like lying down on the floor trying to work that finicky little adjusting bolt underneath. Followed by prying up a bunch of nails. And then getting paid to go shopping! Then later on I have to do the plumbing on a sink. Looks like the pop-up lever has worn out and it’s leaking, so I’ve got to put a new downpipe and lever in. Better find my little jar of plumber’s putty for that job.

Tomorrow? Who knows? Every time the phone rings it’s something new. Never a dull moment.

Update: two jobs down, mostly. Laminate flooring installers: I hate you all.

First, the bi-fold. It had popped off the mount. No big deal, 10 seconds to put it back on. Right? WRONG. The customer has been living for 20 years with a pair of bi-fold doors that would not close properly. And the right hand door was 3/4” lower than the left hand door. What is it with people that they will accept crap like this and just live with it?? So I fixed it ...

How To Adjust Bi-Fold Doors Properly: The $1 solution. Or the $1.50 solution if you’ve got the space.
Bi-fold doors are all pretty much the same. At the hinge end you’ve got a spring loaded plunger on the top that fits into a hole in an adjustable slider clamp that rides in the top track. At the bottom you’ve got some sort of socket mounted to the floor, and the door has a screw-in pin with some sort of collar on it. At the knob end of the door there is always a roller wheel on top that also rides in the top track. Installing a set of these doors is not hard, but adjusting them can be a right pain in the buttocks. They are fussy, and to make it look right you have to get both doors exactly the same.

So, here’s how to use that dollar. With the doors not yet mounted, use your long level to find where the bulges are in the side walls. Trust me, they are there. There is no such thing as a straight wall. Take a few inches of painter’s tape or masking tape and tape a quarter to the wall on the two highest bulges on each wall. 4 quarters = $1. Loosen the top adjustable slider clamp and slide it towards the middle of the track about a foot. Measure (A) the height of the opening from the floor to the bottom of the top track. Measure (B) the height of the door and (C) the height of the floor socket. A-B-C - 1/8” = D, the distance from the bottom of the door to the underside of the collar on the screw-in pin on the bottom of the door. Screw the pin in or out until you get that distance. Now comes the fun part. Fold the door panels mostly together and lift them up at an angle, like that Rosenberg photo of the Marines planting the flag on Iwo Jima. Insert the floor pin in it’s hole (if the floor pin socket rides in a track) or in the track (if you have the splined [grooved, looks like a pinion gear]) style floor pin. Slowly straighten the doors up towards vertical and get the top pin into the slider clamp. Now, with the outer panel in the half open position (about 45° relative to the top track) push the doors towards the wall until they contact the 2 quarters. Stop. Tighten the top sliding clamp. Push down on the roller wheel and maneuver the inner panel so that the roller snaps into the top track. Open the door fully and peel the two taped quarters off the wall. If you have the style that also has a slider clamp on the bottom pin socket then tighten that one now as well. You’re done. The quarters work as spacers, and give you the clearance you need so that the door doesn’t scrape the wall when you open an close it. That 1/8” of excess vertical distance can be adjusted out later if necessary. Repeat the process with the other door.

The other 50¢? Most bi-fold doors come in standard widths. Builders build to these widths, and they sometimes (ha!!!) take shortcuts. So sometimes the opening is a bit wider than necessary. Bi-fold doors do not have to contact each other to fit properly, but you want them to be pretty close to each other when closed. If you find that you’ve got a wider opening than the door minimally need, and that your two doors are closing and nearly hitting each other, then open one and tape a quarter to the top and bottom of the edge that the other door butts up against, and then adjust one of the doors over, top and bottom, so that it closes against the quarters on the other door. Tighten the clamps, remove the quarters. You now have clearance and the gap between the doors is even top to bottom.

Today I did not have clearance. These doors were a very tight fit to the walls. So I did the “quarters trick” with the thin blade of a wide drywall knife, and that gave me just enough room so that the doors now open and close without contacting the walls or each other. But damn, I couldn’t slide a dime between both doors when closed. But it is warm and humid today, so I’m guessing the wood is expanded, and a tight fit like that will only get bigger when the wood shrinks due to colder and drier weather. Good enough.

Oh, the one door being 3/4” lower than the other? Geex. Some whizbang decided that the door opening needed some fancy molding over the top to make it pretty. So they installed grooved molding horizontally over the opening, right down to the bottom of the track. Hides it real well, sure. And then they put those square wood rondel medallions on each end, centered on the height of the grooved molding. Which means that the end of the medallion hung down 1/2” lower. Below the edge of the track. DUH. So when Whizbang #2 installed the door, he mounted that side real low so that it cleared the medallion. DOUBLE DUH. I popped the medallion off the wall, raised it up a bit, then glued it back on. Then I adjusted that door up so that it just cleared the medallion and the track, and that fixed things so that the height difference between both doors when closed is less than 1/8” of a inch. Looks right, works right. Customer is very happy but pissed off at the guys who first installed the door and at herself for living with poorly hung doors for 20 years. “Everything’s fine now”, I told her, “they just needed a little love and attention.” And $50 in my pocket.

Oh yeah: my hating on laminate floor installers. You lazy bastards. You worthless twats. Every damn one of these things I run across is installed by drooling morons. Yes, I understand fully what a floating wood floor is and how they must be installed. You have to allow some edge room for the wood to expand seasonally. That’s why you take the baseboard molding off first and then measure and cut!!! ( and honestly, the less expensive laminate floors are just vinyl or veneer over pressboard, which doesn’t expand or contract for shit, so it can be cut to a tighter fit ) But oh no. Every last one of these rotters comes in, measures between the existing baseboard molding, then cuts the flooring a full inch less than that, both in length and width. Then they install the floor, hopefully over a membrane, and cover over the massive edge gaps with a giant ass strip of inch and a half quarter round. And they use the cheap crap too, which isn’t even wood. It’s wood tone vinyl over pressboard. So the customer ends up losing an inch and a half of room length and width because they now have two different kinds of baseboard molding. And it looks like total shite. Pull of the customer’s molding you lazy gits, put in the floor and then sell them some slightly thicker molding and install it and paint it. Use shoe molding if necessary. This quarter round “fix” is a kludge, not a solution.

I have to go shop for the replacement threshold now. The two I bought her were close, but not the best color match. And it looks like I’ll have to trim the flooring a little to get a best fit, and I’ll have to leverage the hardware store guy’s knowledge for some how to: the threshold installs over and between the end of the laminate floor and the carpet in the next room, but the subfloor for both rooms is all concrete from the same pour. That means there is no wood directly beneath the threshold. And that means I have to learn how I can nail the thing in to concrete. The old one gave the flooring guys fits. You can tell. First they tried to hold it on with glue. That didn’t work, duh. Then they tried to pin it on with a dozen brads from their air nailer. That didn’t work either; the underside of their POS pressboard threshold is littered with bent up brads that didn’t shoot into the concrete. Finally they just screwed the thing on with three massive black dual-thread concrete screws (aka backerboard screws). That held, but it looks like crap. There has to be a better way. And as part of my $75 for this job (plus parts), I’ll find it.

Off to the hardware store!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/11/2010 at 07:40 AM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Saturday - October 02, 2010

the eu court says, working fathers in Spain are entitled to take ‘breastfeeding leave.

You just know the world is a very mad place with stuff like this accepted as a matter of normal course. And of course as Spain is an EU member and the rocket scientists at the EU know all things .... well it just follows that what the EU says, Spain must follow.

I mentioned this the other day but didn’t post the story as other things got in the way ....

Remember when I thought I found the Moonbat Award for the whole year believing nothing could be dumber then Sense of humour failure: Council slaps ban on mother-in-law jokes for being ‘offensively sexist’
I was sure that took the prize.  Well not so fast there P.  This one might trump that earlier entry, although that one still deserves to be remembered as Moonbat stupid.  But take a look at this one.


Spanish fathers entitled to breastfeeding leave

Europe’s top court has declared that working fathers in Spain are entitled to take ‘breastfeeding leave’ everyday, even if the mother of the child is not employed.

By Barney Henderson

The new legislation means that both the mother and father are allowed to leave work for an hour during the day or reduce their working day by half an hour during the first nine months following the birth of a child.

The European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled on Thursday that the Spanish law caused an “unjustified discrimination on grounds of sex” because fathers do not have the same rights as mothers.

Fathers are currently only allowed to apply for breastfeeding leave if the mother is employed full time.
The Spanish man who challenged the law, Pedro Manuel Roca Alvarez, said his request to take breastfeeding leave from his job in Galicia was rejected because the mother of his child was self-employed.

The top court said such a refusal could have the effect of forcing self-employed mothers to limit their work because the father cannot share the burden.
Not giving dads the same right as mums in this case “is liable to ... keep men in a role subsidiary to that of women in relation to the exercise of their parental duties,” the court ruled.

Breastfeeding leave should now be considered as “time purely devoted to the child” in order to reconcile family life and work after maternity leave.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/02/2010 at 02:05 PM   
Filed Under: • CULTURE IN DECLINEDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsEUro-peonsInsanityStoopid-Peoplework and the workplace •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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