BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Friday - October 01, 2010

well talk about barking moonbats … as if things aren’t stupid enough … there aren’t enough bats

No kidding BMEWS readers.  If the powers that be in this country can find different ways to do themselves in, they will do so and happily wave as their ship sinks.

Keep in mind that not every Brit goes along with the lunacy.  I don’t believe most do.  Not the ones I speak to anyway.  So how does this stuff happen?  I’m at a total loss to explain it.  It’s way beyond pc gone amuck.

Imagine this guys ... you own a business and two ppl are sharing a gag or a comment.  Someone overhears what is being said AND ... they can charge harassment under a new law if they say it offends them.  And that’s the least of a law taking effect today, a law pushed thru by the previous govt. under that hag, Harriet Harperson. (Harman) I tell ya, they are getting flakier and flakier here.

However .... here is something even dumber.  Oh, you didn’t think things could get dumber? Well in Spain, men are to be allowed breast feeding time off.
You could not make this up.  Govts. are just plain stupid when it come to common sense and going overboard to ensure that all people and all things MUST be equal. 

Seems that since women are given an hour or so to tend baby, then husbands also must get equal time.  Just what they’re supposed to do during this time isn’t stated.  Maybe join wifey dear and watch? Oh yeah, they still get paid for the time off. I think it’s called Spanish Practice. Pay but no work.


Death of the office joke: Coalition enacts Harriet’s PC equality law which means ANYONE can sue for ANYTHING that offends them

By Daily Mail Reporter

New equality laws masterminded by Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman have come into force today, threatening to create a political correctness minefield for recession-hit businesses.

Under the Act, vegans, teetotallers and atheists are to be given the same protection against discrimination as religious groups while gipsies and travellers will get special favours because of the ‘many socio-economic disadvantages’ they face.

There is also a provision which extends protection from third party harassment, meaning employers have a responsibility to shield their staff, where possible, from abuse by customers.

This has led to fears that bosses could be sued for jokes or comments that staff overhear and find offensive - even if it is not directed at or about them.
The Act, which ministers claim will help stamp out pay discrimination, have been slammed by employer groups who claim it will cost £189million to implement.

firms will be banned from asking job applicants about their health, while new protections for disabled people will make it easier for staff who have taken a large number of sick days or who look after elderly relatives to win unfair dismissal cases.

The Act will also make is easier for staff to claim they were discriminated against because of disability because they no longer have to prove they were treated less favourably than a non-disabled colleague.

Tory and Lib Dem ministers are still arguing about whether to implement Miss Harman’s notorious plans to force local authorities to discriminate in favour of the poor in order to narrow income inequalities.

The plans were hailed as ‘socialism in a single clause’ when Miss Harman unveiled them last year.

READ ALL OF IT HERE

UPDATE ... I goofed in a way. What way?  Well ... it wasn’t the Spanish that enforced this law.  I read it wrong.

The mandate to enforce was done by ....The European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg

can anyone spell “sovereignty?” Anyone care anymore?


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/01/2010 at 02:10 PM   
Filed Under: • Politically Correct B.S.UKwork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Monday - September 27, 2010

tats and piercings, self mutilation?  some more thoughts on the subject.

Gee, had no idea when I posted that story with regard to the moonbat job hunting with a face full of studs, that it would engender so much interest and argument.  I haven’t changed my position on the subject and I don’t suspect any of you have either.  However, I found this today and thought it explained a bit and there are links at the site with tons more info if anyone is interested.  Meanwhile, I haven’t found any follow up on the story although she apparently has Facebook and Myspace accounts. 

Tattoos and Body Piercing: Adolescent Self-Expression or Self-Mutilation?

Understanding ourselves through pop culture.
by Lawrence Rubin and Michael Brody

Lawrence Rubin, psychologist and counseling professor, is co-author with psychiatrist Mike Brody of Messages: Self Help Through Popular Culture.

Dr. Michael Brody is a practicing child and adult psychiatrist and Chair of The Media Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Contemporary adolescent and young adult culture has embraced tattoing and body piercing, ostensibly as a form of self-expression. It seems that if not tattooed themselves, there are very few degrees of separation between any adolescent and someone in their life who bears a tattoo or is pierced somewhere on their body.  Sports stars, rock stars and movie and television icons are covered in images and piercings; but we expect that of them, for they are in the public eye.

When a recent news piece highlighted a young woman who received 56 star tattoos on her face after only requesting three, I was moved to ask the question as to whether this phenomenon, as well as multiple and multi-site tattoos and piercing is really just a socially sanctioned form of self-mutilation?!  I am, of course, driven to reflect deeply on this as I am after all, a psychologist and a tattooed one at that.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry released a statement in 1999 in which they listed tattooing and ‘excessive piercing’ along with picking, burning, head-banging and cutting as possible forms of self-injury.While this may seem somewhat of an alarmist conclusion to many, especially those who are tattoed and pierced, the AACAP is not the first on the block to reach this conclusion. In mainstream professional journals, including The Journal of Psychosomatic Research (2006, volume 6, issue 4), Adolescence (2002, volume 37, issue 147), The Journal of Adolescent Health (2005, volume 36, issue 4), Deviant Behavior (2009, volume 30, issue 6) and Pediatrics (2002, volume 109, issue 60), tattooing and body piercing have been associated with dangerous and sometimes lethal risk-taking behavior, eating disorders, self-loathing, substance abuse, depression and social alienation.

These findings and interpretations may well be valid, particularly for the samples upon which they are based. Certainly, we have all witnessed young people swathed in images, both benign (butterflies, roses and hearts) and horrific (skulls, demons and swastikas), and wondered “what the heck could they have been thinking...if they were thinking at all?!” And what about those who have gone to incredible lengths to virtually change their appearance by tattooing whiskers and cat’s eyes over their own, in addition to having their incisors sharpened. And then there are the real over-the-top instances where someone will surgically implant horns on their forehead, and permanently paint their faces to mirror those of demons?

Are these all instances of self mutilation, especially in the case of multiple or full-body art and piercings of everyting from nostrils, tongues, belly-buttons, earlobes and eyelids (favorites among teen girls) to nipples, genitals and everything in between.  All of these hurt, to a lesser or greater extent, depending on the place in the case of piercings and tats, and the amount of time the body is exposed to the unrelenting ink-bearing needles.  And I must admit, of the 4 tattoos I have received, they hurt! You would think; however, that a little tat here or a little ring or stud there can’t be compared side-to-side with repettitive self-inflicted razor wounds, beer chugging, street racing, and the myriad of other creative ways young people abuse themselves and flirt with danger, if not death?

Might there be alternate, less pathological explanantions for this tsunami of seeming self-desecration? At a most basic and benign level, perhaps tattooing and piercing are simply forms of self-expression, a means of marking ourselves in a society that fosters, both wittingly and unwittingly, anomie and anonymity.

Perhaps, as postmodernists might argue, this self-marking is a means of asserting mastery and control over our boides, and anchoring ourselves, quite lterally during a time of life when the only constant is change. Maybe it is not self-mutilation, but rather self enhancement and adornment, a means of saying “I am’ in a way that is heard...body bling!  And don’t forget the socio/anthropological possibility that tats and piercings may demonstrate loyalty, affiliation or be a ritualistic rite of passage. For some, it may simply be the rush of adrenaline that accompanies a self-chosen and self-controlled moment of physical pain.
You decide for yourself

imageimageimage

psychologytoday


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/27/2010 at 03:07 PM   
Filed Under: • UKwork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Tuesday - September 14, 2010

slavery is alive and well with some minorities. just ask doctor saeeda khan. yeah, doctor.

Can you imagine this?  And that creepy looking old bag is or was a doctor? Jeesh.  Of what?
I wonder if the dogs of the hellish left will now be demanding her head on tower gate.

No. Not hardly.  That’s reserved for white folks and conservatives.


Doctor kept ‘£10-a-month slave woman from Africa’ at her million dollar home

By Tom Kelly

A retired doctor held a slave in her suburban home for four years, a court was told yesterday.
Saeeda Khan, 68, is accused of making Mwanahanisi Mruke work up to 24 hours a day cleaning, cooking and gardening.

image

She fed her scraps of bread and made her sleep on a thin mattress on the kitchen floor with only a sheet for warmth, it was alleged.

Khan and her late husband, who was also a doctor, allegedly paid Miss Mruke just £10 a month – a low salary even in Tanzania, the African country they brought her to Britain from in 2006.
Miss Mruke, 46, had all her calls monitored and was not allowed to leave the £500,000 home in Harrow, North West London, without Khan, Westminster magistrates heard.
‘She lived in extremely poor conditions for a number of years,’ prosecutor Malachy Pakenham told the hearing.

Additional payments of £40 a month were meant to go to a bank in Tanzania to pay for Miss Mruke’s daughter’s education, but much of this was never received, the court heard.
Khan, a British citizen who has lived in the UK for 30 years, is believed to be the first person charged with modern slavery.
Scotland Yard detectives started investigating the case in February following a tip-off.
Officers from the Human Exploitation and Organised Crime Command, known as SCD9, were involved.

Khan did not have to sit in the dock during the ten-minute hearing because she suffers from arthritis and has recently had an operation on her knees.
She pleaded not guilty to a charge of arranging and facilitating the arrival of a foreign national with the intention of exploitation in the UK and elsewhere.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of ten years in jail.

Khan was bailed to appear before the court next month. Before she came to the UK, Miss Mruke worked in a hospital run by Khan’s late husband in Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania.

Khan is alleged to have kept her slave in her three-bedroom bungalow in Harrow which she shared with her 40-year-old son, who has mental health problems.
Khan’s daughter, who also has learning difficulties, lived in the property too but has since moved out.
Neighbours said Khan spent tens of thousands of pounds renovating the property when she moved in about a decade ago. Two cars, including a new Volvo estate, are usually seen parked in the driveway.

James Carpenter, who lives next door, said he often saw Miss Mruke going for walks with Khan’s son.  He said: ‘She would follow him up and down the street, normally about ten yards behind him.

‘She only spoke the East African language of Swahili, so we couldn’t communicate with her and she couldn’t really speak to anyone.  ‘Sometimes, we would wave and nod at her just to be polite. She would normally wave back.
‘She wore normal, western clothing. I had no reason to suspect anything untoward was going on.
‘But it’s a very quiet area and nobody round here really knows their neighbours very well.’
Slave trading has been outlawed in Britain since the 19th century.

SOURCE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/14/2010 at 04:43 PM   
Filed Under: • UKwork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Monday - August 30, 2010

Great Minds Think A Light?

While Peiper was starting his hoard of 75W incandescent bulbs, I was researching fluorescent upgrades. My state - yours too perhaps - has a rebate to businesses if they upgrade their old style tube lights to the newer high efficiency designs.

You can look up New Jersey’s Smart Start program, and you’ll see that the state will pay $10 per fixture to retrofit the modern gear. Gee, $10. Wow. But if you run a business, and have 300 fixtures in your office, that starts to add up quickly. Especially when it only costs you $20 plus labor to do the retrofit, and the actual labor only takes 15 minutes. High tech bulbs extra of course. But make the changeover and you can save more than 40% on your lighting bill. And that really adds up.

Most businesses, office and retail, have those 4 1 1/2” diameter 48” 40 watt bulb fluorescent fixtures in the dropped ceiling panels. Fluorescent lights run on high voltage, so they require a device called a ballast to raise the voltage. Ballasts last just about forever, and the bulbs are generally good for 5 years in theory. The old style ballasts are of the “magnetic” style which means they have lead heavy transformers inside. Used with the standard F40CW bulbs they throw that icky green, nearly seasick light in the 4100K color temperature range, with a terrible CRI (color rendering index) of 50-65. Which means everything looks awful under standard fluorescent light.

Some years back the light bulb companies came out with 32 and 34 watt “energy saver” bulbs for these fixtures, which helped companies save some money. Maybe. It turns out that the magnetic ballasts tend to overdrive these bulbs, so their lifespan is shortened some. And almost nothing is more “generic” than a 48” T12 bulb, which means people buy them based on price, and ignore the color temperature, the lifespan, and even the output lumens of the bulbs. Which allows a lot of cheap, dim, short life bulbs to be sold for a “great price”; you can get them as cheap as $1, although a decent bulb will usually cost $2.50.

These days ballasts are “electronic”. Instead of being the size and weight of a brick, today’s ballasts are thin and light. And today’s bulb is the slimmed down T8, which gives off just as much light as the old T12. But wait, there’s more! A modern electronic ballast only costs a couple dollars more than the old magnetic ones. And there are now very high efficiency T8 bulbs for sale that outlast the old F40CW by 2 to 1. And you can get them in a variety of color temperatures, right up to 5000K to 6500K, with CRIs of 80 to 90. That means the bulbs produce a very white light like daylight, and they don’t mess with colors much at all. Put together new ballasts and new bulbs in your old fixture, and you can save 30 - 45 percent on your office lighting bill. That adds up real fast.

One of the nicer ballasts is the Sylvania Quicktronic QTP4X32T8/UNV ISN-SC. At $19.49 it’s an instant start model, with a reasonably high 0.88 ballast factor, <10% THD, Class A EMI, and Class A sound. This means that it doesn't make noise, it doesn't give off radio waves that mess with your computer or radio, and it doesn't muddy up the electricity. Name brand company, American made product. Used along with 4 of Sylvania's Octron ECOLOGIC 800 XP 32 Watt 5000K bulbs, just under $5 each, you will get a brighter, whiter light with great color rendition, and a bulb that lasts twice as long, and use 36% less electricity. Use their 28 watt Octron bulb and save 45% on your electric bill, get the same amount of light you were getting using those 34w energy saver bulbs, the same double length bulb life, though it doesn't render colors quite as well as the 32w bulb.

Philips makes a similar bulb called the Alto II, that gives similar lumen, CRI, and energy saving performance, but doesn't last quite as long, for slightly less cost. Both bulbs are available in color temperatures from the warm incandescent yellow (3000K) to the bright white (5000K). I like the bright white. I have one of those OttLite reading lamps, and that's nearly where it runs at.

Oh, and 3 other really nice things about the latest generation of T8 bulbs:
a) they have very very little mercury inside, so little that many areas don't consider them toxic waste, and
b) the bulbs don't dim out over time. The old style F40 T12 bulbs would start out nice and bright, but dim down to 80% after just a couple weeks, then ride out their lives at about 60% light output, even though they were using just as much electricity as when new. These modern T8 bulbs maintain 95% of their light output from day 1 until they burn out. So you get a lot more light/time for your lightbulb dollar.
c) they fit in the same sockets as your old T12 bulbs, but since the bulb is only 2/3 as thick, getting bulbs in and out is much easier.

At a typical 4000 hour business year, with the lights turned on and off once a day, when electricity costs you 15¢ per kilowatt hour, retrofitting to the modern ballast and high tech bulb will save you about $40 per year in a standard 4 bulb fixture, which means the ROI on your parts cost is just about 1 year. Add in whatever rebate your state might be giving, subtract off the installation labor, and the ROI is about 2 years. That's not bad at all, because you've got another 8 years life left on those bulbs, and your people will be enjoying a nicer quality of light the whole time.

Other companies like Advance and Keystone make similar ballasts at similar prices. To get the most light from your bulbs, look for ballast that have a ballast factor of .85 of better. Low factor ballasts with a .70 - .75 ballast factor will save you even more money, but at the expense of luminosity. Which means they run the bulbs softly, and they don't make as much light.

image

graphics courtesy of Sylvania


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/30/2010 at 06:36 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Wednesday - August 25, 2010

Anecdotal ObamaCare?

I suppose it could have nothing whatsoever to do with ObamaCare…

As I delivered the mail to the Chevrolet (aka ObamaMotors) dealership on my route a large notice on the employee bulletin board caught my eye. It informed (and I don’t remember the exact wording) All Employees: Effective 9/1/2010 all employee dental plans are cancelled. It went on about contacting the HR office for details and options.

I thought it was an interestingly ominous notice.

Thatisall.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 08/25/2010 at 11:32 PM   
Filed Under: • Health-MedicineObama, The Onework and the workplace •  
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RETRACTION ?  IT MIGHT BE IN ORDER WITH LIMITED APOLOGIES FROM YOURS TRULY

Yesterday I went on a rant over something in our morning paper to do with grass cutting and Health and Safety.

I don’t take back what I said about the liberal left pinko bed wetting loony tunes who have ruined this country. I stand by that.

HOWEVER .....

The story I reacted to did not come from something like the Natl. Enquirer and it didn’t come from the Sun.  It came from the Telegraph.
In retrospect, I suppose I could have tried to call someone.  Never thought of it. And not being a journalist working for a paper, not much to guarantee anyone would talk to me anyway.  That said ....  This appeared in the letters column of that paper today.  But I didn’t see any retraction from the paper.
So here ..... 

It’s safe to cut the grass

SIR – In response to your report about grass-cutting at Carlisle Castle (August 24), I can confirm that there is no guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that prevents it.

Organisations, such as English Heritage, have a responsibility to look after the health and safety of their staff. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t mow lawns. The HSE has not issued any new guidance on mowers recently in this sector.

Three people died at work using mowing equipment last year, and a number of sit-on mowers turned over on steep slopes. The risks are real, but with appropriate management of those risks, for example using a different type of mower, activities can continue.

A straightforward, sensible risk assessment would quickly show where real dangers lie, and what can be done to address them.

Graeme Walker
Head of Agriculture, Health and Safety Executive
Bootle, Lancashire

SOURCE, LETTERS PAGE, THE TELEGRAPH


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/25/2010 at 08:07 AM   
Filed Under: • UKwork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Monday - August 09, 2010

Damn Global Warming

I am wiped out. Spent another day up on a ladder in the sweltering summer heat. Sure, I’m getting loads of fluids - I think I drank a bit more than a gallon today - and I’m avoiding getting sunburned, but damn. This NJ summer swelter is just wearing me down. Hot and hazy with high humidity and not a breath of air movement day after day after day. Rain? Nah. It’s in the forecast, but not much of it actually gets here. We’re on water restrictions, and it could be worse. An hour to the north of us and they’ve hardly had any rain all summer long.

But man. I’m going up the ladder with 3 rags. One for the squeegee, one for the window trim, one for my head. And I come down the ladder 15 minutes later with 2 of them saturated. I’m dreaming of fall. Cool days, dry winds, weak sun, rainy nights on the edge of cold. Yeah baby. I can’t wait.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/09/2010 at 11:07 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Tuesday - August 03, 2010

One thing leads to another

So I finished off the windows on that “cottage” and it’s outbuildings. Broke my butt and got the whole job done in 30 hours of labor. I told the property manager that the glazing on many of the windows was shot and that panes of glass would start falling out soon.

“So?”, she says. “Can you fix it?”

Why sure, yes I can.

“Good. Then get to work.”

There are about 65 windows in this place, almost all of them 6-8 panes of glass per sash. Two sashes per window ... that’s ... I dunno ... about 1000 panes of glass that need to be stripped, repointed, reglazed, primed, sills scraped and primed, then repainted. Looks like several weeks work to me.

So I guess I’d better go online and learn how to glaze windows.

I think it would have been smarter to have me fix the panes first then clean them, instead of other way ‘round, but I’ll take the work, thanks.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/03/2010 at 04:09 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Friday - July 30, 2010

task switching

No, I’m not cleaning windows today. I wanted to, and I should be. I put 11 hours in on the job yesterday and made great progress, but even coming home at 7:30 I got stuck in a traffic jam. You can’t win in NJ; rush hour lasts most of the day. And the car was on the very verge of boiling over, and now the radiator is done and dead. So today I’m putting the new one in, and I’ll do the rest of the windows tomorrow. I’ll do the parts swap but I won’t fill it yet, since I’m still waiting on Fed-Ex to get here with my new hoses. UPS got the radiator here days ago. Fed-Ex: union free but lame.

Too bad; today is nice and cool, dry with a bit of overcast. Maybe going to hit the low 80s this afternoon. Perfect window washing weather.



Update 1pm: Well that was easy. Taking my sweet time it took me barely an hour to take everything apart and get the radiator out. It figures: the car that almost never needs maintenance is easy to work on. I looked things up on one of the Saturn forums and found that when everyone’s radiator goes it breaks in exactly the same spot, a big crack in the top of the left tank. Design flaw I’d say. So I’m stopping for lunch and then I’ll put the new one in. Piece of cake, so far. I just wish the new hoses would show up. Though the 14 year old factory originals are still in fine shape, if needs must.

Update 5:30pm: All done. I tool several breaks in the heat of the afternoon, so it didn’t take all this time. But I did have to mess with it a little. The CSF brand aftermarket radiator was a 95% exact fit: the mounting pads for the A/C condenser are about 1/4” too far apart. So I had to make the condenser flange hole a little longer. Probably later models had a groove flange instead of a mounting hole; that allows for more adjustment. Anyway, all finished. No leaks, so leftover mystery parts, and I’m actually not even bleeding. Talk about just in time delivery: the Fed-Ex guy showed up just as I was finished getting the condenser mounted. I could not have used the new hoses one minute before he delivered them. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2010 at 01:24 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Thursday - July 29, 2010

Summer Fun

Doing windows in the summer sun and heat is no fun. I never knew how much I could sweat until today. Holy cow. I was soaked all day long. I should get a set of swimming goggles to wear to keep my eyes clear.

And this job gave birth to another job, 2 “cottages” (3000 sq ft) back in the woods and a garden house. So I’ll be busy for a solid week at least. Fine by me, though I’d like to find half a day in there to install my new radiator. Phah, just keep a few gallon jugs of water in the car. Make hay while the sun shines, or at least get the windows clean for cash. Fix the radiator later. And this is repeat business too, something I hope I’m finally starting to see after chugging away at this for 2+ years now.

So I’ll be away from the old blog pretty much. Maybe I can get a couple posts up in the evening. Sans links, but heck, these stories are everywhere.

I hear Arizona’s immigration law was shut down by a Clinton appointed in-the-pocket judge. That was expected; this one has to go to the Supremes. I hope AZ governor Brewer simply ignores the court until her appeals bubble up through the system. Like, what are they gonna do, bust her for smoking come and arrest all the AZ cops for carrying out a federal law? It’s high time the states started flipping off DC and their minions. And We the people should too. And it could all start with her. Far out. ( I heard last week Arizona had to take down all it’s traffic cams because nobody was paying the tickets mailed out that the cams generated. Seems AZ has this law that says tickets have to be hand delivered. Tens of thousands of tickets ignored by the people. Maybe it’s starting already. Fantastic. )

Looks like the libs are trying to throw Charlie Rangel under the bus, calling for his resignation. Greasy smarmy bastard has been living large and laughing about it for far too long. I hear he’s suddenly trying to cut a deal. No friggin way. Kick him out, bust him, perp walk him on international TV, investigate him inside out, make him pony up the full millions he owes in back taxes, then send his uppity ass to jail for 20 years. Then tell the rest of them they have 60 days to get their finances in order or they’ll get the same. And watch the billions come rolling in over night. The power brokers have been above the law for too damn long. It’s time for major payback. TV news says old yellow belly, John Freakin Kerry, is going to pay his home state the $500,000 luxury taxes on his expensive toy boat, “whether they’re owed or not”. And he did it without mentioning that he’d served in Vietnam, which means he’s running scared already. So, two done, more than 500 to go. Roaches scurrying when you turn on the spotlight.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/29/2010 at 01:35 AM   
Filed Under: • News-Briefswork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Tuesday - July 27, 2010

Two More Years

Busy busy today. Getting set up for tomorrow’s window job; I’m building a sort of easel to clean storm windows on. The house I’m doing has lots of them, the old flat kind in the raw aluminum mounts. What I’m going to build is a rack that attaches to the back of my 6 foot ladder, made out of a couple of L brackets, some adjustable shelf channel, and a 3 foot plastic flower planter. The shelf channel bolts to the L brackets and forms a non-intrusive shelf for the storm windows to rest on. The flower planter also bolts to the ladder, but below that. It gets a towel in it, and it’s function is to catch drips. Easy on, easy off if I make it with wing nuts, and the easel arrangement lets me wash those windows at a comfortable waist height. Trust me, cleaning storms across your knee while holding on with one hand sucks. And squatting down on the ground to do them is a back buster. Sure, I could buy a rig like this, for $300, or I could make my own for $10. Guess which one wins? You got it.



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But why “Two More Years”? Because I’m gluing two posts in one here. After an insanely long download, I found out that my good old PC does not have the processing power to properly play HD movies. I have the software to do it, and I’ve got a good monitor that can handle that resolution. But this PC is from 1999 and so is it’s graphics card. I get the picture on the screen just fine, but everything plays at 1/8 speed. And since I don’t have a Steve Austin slo-mo fixation, that’s not really good. So that got me looking around, and burned up a couple hours learning about where the PC market is today. And that’s the Mac market too you know, since they both use the same chips and architecture these days. And what I found out is phenomenal.

The current cutting edge CPU is the Core i7 970X from Intel. Holy cow. This is a 6 core monster that runs at 3.2Ghz with a 12MB L3 cache and built-in overclocking that can run it as fast as 4Ghz for short time periods. Assuming your software has parallelism built into it, each core can be split in half, so that it operates as if it had 12 CPUs. Insane. Even 6 CPUs is insane. And even though this chip just came out a couple months ago, the prices are dropping already and a little-brother chip (no overclocking) is now on the market. Performance-wise, this new chip is about unfrickin believable faster than my steadfast old 733Mhz Pentium III. The bus speed is more than 10 times faster on the latest motherboards, and the memory chips they can use is 6 times faster and more than 10 times larger. Hard drives? Phah, you’re stuck in the past. Samsung has a solid state drive out now. Half a flippin’ terabyte, and it’s on a single chip. Expensive? You betcha. But your software will load almost instantly:

The new 512GB SSD makes use of a 30 nanometer-class 32 gigabit chip that the company began producing last November. The toggle-mode DDR structure together with the SATA 3.0Gbps interface generates a maximum sequential read speed of 250 Megabyte per second (MBps) and a 220MBps sequential write speed, both of which provide three-fold the performance of a typical hard disk drive. At these speeds, two standard length DVD movies (approximately 4GB each) can be stored in just a minute.
...
Samsung also provides streamlined boot time and application access with this new SSD, showing an approximately nine-fold improvement in random performance over HDDs.

So even boot time is down to only a bit slower than “hit the On button”. Unreal. And the SSD uses almost no electricity, so it’s “green”. And no moving parts. Ought to last forever, but you can always pick up a 10,000rpm 1TB super ATA II regular HD as a Raid 1 backup for about $100. You do NOT want to know what I paid for a 32Mb Seagate ST-4096 hard drive in 1989. I’m not telling, but it was a full width, double height piglet that weighed 8 pounds. Today, that puny amount of storage might fit on the head of a pin. With enough room left over to land airplanes on probably.

So I indulged myself, and spent a little time over at Dell building out one of their ultimate PCs. With liquid cooling even. And they’ll build it with ultra fast RAM chips that have more capacity than the 32 bit architecture can address. Say what? That’s right, 32 bits worth of binary is only 3.2GB. You build your PC with 8 or even 16GB of RAM. Wasteful? No, because the extra memory can be addressed by the latest generation of video cards, I’m not sure how, and they’ll use it as a buffer or something. Dell “recommends” that I build a PC with more than one video card in it. I guess so I can use 2 or 3 monitors? Not sure how just one monitor can use 2 or more video cards at once. Whatever ... my dream box at Dell topped out at nearly $8000. Horry Clap. Which is why ...

I don’t want one of these PCs. Not now. This latest chip uses the Nehalem architecture which is due to be updated to the Sandy Bridges architecture in just a few months. That will increase efficiency and use less electricity, resulting in a considerable speed improvement. But wait, that’s not all!!! One major reason that the latest Core i7 chip is so fast is because Intel shrunk things down by a third. By which I mean that the latest and greatest i7 chip is built on a 32nm (freaking NANOMETERS!!!) scale, compared to the slightly older chips built on a 45nm scale. ( I think my first PC, a Dell 80286, was built to the nearest quarter inch). Now that they can do 32nm, the next step is 22nm. That’s the Sandy Bridge thingy, which will shrink to that size around the time Obama gets voted out of office in 2012. But like everything else in computer world, as soon as 22nm architecture manufacturing stabilizes, and improved version that takes advantage of that smaller scale will hit the market. That’s the Haswell architecture, itself slated for a 16nm upgrade about a year after that. The smaller the nm numbers get, the closer the microscopic parts are inside the computer chips, and the faster things run while using even less electricity.

So when the Haswell architecture starts phasing in sometime in 2012-2013, today’s insanely fast and expensive chipsets will be old hat, and found in the bargain bin at Kmart. And that’s when I’ll strike, even though the Haswell series of computers will have FMA, “fused multiply add”, an instruction simplification which will make every non-FMA machine a canoe anchor. It’s going to be that big of an improvement, seriously. Down at the very bottom of things, almost everything a computer does is binary math, followed by assignment. Do the math and the assignment at the same time, and you can cut the instruction set in half. Which doubles the effective speed of things, except for reading back and forth to the drives. Which will all be solid state by then, and 16 times faster than the latest solid state drives (and 32 times bigger), which are 3 times faster than the best mechanical drives you can buy, which are at least twice as fast as the ones you actually bought. Probably 20 times faster than my dear old 27Gb piggy wiggy HD on this system. So a cutting edge Haswell machine ought to be at least twice as fast, if not four times as fast, as the best machines money can buy right now. We are on the real verge, finally, of all-encompassing cheap computing power. Beam me up, Scotty!

Today’s cutting edge machines are about 60 times faster than my old tank, yet this old tank does everything I want eyeblink fast and I hardly ever have to wait for it other than the boot. But I would like to watch HD movies, which I can’t even do on my perfectly fine and sturdy old CRT 32” TV. It’s a decade old too. And it works fine, especially after I had it in to the shop a few months back for a minor fix and a full physical. The cable company called up today, trying to sell me some package deal. I think they are at the point where every package they offer will include HDTV, whether I use it or not. So I’m way behind the technology curve there too, but the newest TVs are so damn expensive, and they keep getting better every 6 months. I want today’s TV but at 1/5 the price. $3000 is just too damn much to spend on a TV if all that’s on is Idol. Blech.

So please, let this old warhorse make it through the next 2 years. Let it last longer than the Obama presidency. Then I can score an insanely hot PC for less cash than I paid for this thing back in 1999, even though that cash won’t be worth 1/10th as much.




Ok, break time’s over. Have to get down to the hardware store and get the parts for the easel thingy.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/27/2010 at 05:08 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Wednesday - July 14, 2010

stomped but working

We lost last night, 2-5. It was hard fought, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

Conditions were really strange the first game. I can’t really describe it, but the whole league had really bad scores that game. We did terribly, 3 of us throwing a 139 and me scrubbing the toilet with a 124. Our opponents didn’t fare much better, even though every one of them has a 200+ average - we had a 123 pin handicap. But the lanes just weren’t cooperating. We did a lot better in game 2, but to no avail. One guy on the other team threw 11 strikes. I got lucky and matched him for most of the game, throwing 8 myself, but leaving an open in the 5th, so my 211 came out far shy of his 275. So we got slaughtered in that one, even though our team total was well over 800 for that game. Game 3 saw a lot of splits and lots of weird splits all up and down the lanes. I took a straighter line and pulled a 170 something, while the guys on the other team didn’t adapt. So we pulled ahead a little, and held onto that lead even through their 8th frame surge. Woo hoo, we won a whole 2 points. But it was hard competition so that’s Ok.

Back to work again; I’ve got a 2-3 day window job. It’s going to be a challenge, since it’s raining today and might rain more tomorrow. That makes going up on a ladder a no-no, so I’ll be working inside. Hope her A/C is working well; doing windows in high humidity is difficult because nothing evaporates. That leads to a whole lot of wiping, which tends to leave streaks. See you in a couple of days.

Update: Rats! Customer called me up as I was loading up the Satrun. It’s pouring for the 2nd straight day at her place and her windows are all fogged. So let’s push the job back. And she has carpet cleaners and painters coming in next week, so let’s push it back further. Hey, that’s how it goes. I try not to let customers push me around, but I can’t control the weather. And it really does suck trying to do windows in the rain. Well, at least I got up nice and early, so maybe I’ll spend the day doing stuff around here. Or go bowling. Or something. I know, I can call Sears for the great Dishwasher Recall Event

Incidents/Injuries: Maytag has received 12 reports of dishwasher heating element failures that resulted in fires and dishwasher damage, including one report of extensive kitchen damage from a fire. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recall includes Maytag®, Amana®, Jenn-Air®, Admiral®, Magic Chef®, Performa by Maytag® and Crosley® brand dishwashers with plastic tubs and certain serial numbers. The affected dishwashers were manufactured with black, bisque, white, silver and stainless steel front panels. The brand name is printed on the front of the dishwasher. The model and serial numbers are printed on a label located inside the plastic tub on a tag near the left side of the door opening. Serial numbers will start or end with one of the following sequences.

SERIAL number STARTING with
NW39, NW40, NW41, NW42, NW43, NW44, NW45, NW46, NW47, NW48, NW49, NW50, NW51, NW52, NY01, NY02, NY03, NY04, NY05, NY06, NY07, NY08, NY09, NY10, NY11, NY12, NY13, NY14, NY15, NY16, NY17, NY18, NY19

OR SERIAL number ENDING with
JC, JE, JG, JJ, JL, JN, JP, JR, JT, JV, JX, LA, LC, LE, LG, LJ, LL, LN, LP, LR, LT, LV, LX, NA, NC, NE, NG, NJ, NL, NN, NP, NR

Sold at: Department and appliance stores and by homebuilders nationwide from February 2006 through April 2010 for between $250 and $900.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Maytag at (800) 544-5513 anytime, or visit the firm’s website at http://www.repair.maytag.com

It took us 5 years to wrangle a new dishwasher out of the landlord. And it’s a pretty decent model that works well and is fairly quiet. And it hasn’t set the condo on fire, not even once! But a recall is a recall, so you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

PS - 6 different “brands” of dishwasher listed are all actually the same company. So much for competition in the free market, what what?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/14/2010 at 10:29 AM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Bloggingwork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Thursday - July 01, 2010

Snip Snip

I will be spending today, and perhaps tomorrow, trimming hedges. How about that? I’ve got landscaping work, and I don’t even speak Spanish. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/01/2010 at 12:47 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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calendar   Tuesday - May 18, 2010

hard work and free beer

So I’m at the job sight today, going at it on that befouled apartment. And my customer calls me on the cell. “Can you fix screens?” Sure thing m’am, whatever you need. “Good, do those two that are torn up. Do you think you could install that cooktop and get the other one out?” No worries. It takes a while, but I know how to do it. “Great! How about closet door tracks? All those sliding doors are really wobbly.” Yes indeed, I can fix those too! And so on and so forth. Now that she knows I’m Handy Andy and not just Squeegee Guy I’ve got another 2 days work, maybe 3. $250 a day? I’ll take it. And then the words I love to hear: “And anything else you find that needs doing, do it if you can.” Oooh, I love this customer. Seriously, she’s the greatest. I’ve had at least a dozen major recommendations from her, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that that mansion I did a couple years ago is ready for another window cleaning. That’s big money, and she’s the property manager for that. I have 3 more jobs lined up from her for some point soon, so that’s really nice too. At least 2 solid week’s work.

So I got most of the windows done today. I would have got them all done but I stopped to clean out the gutters. She wanted it done, and I had the big ladder there today.  And I had to clean the screens. They were foul.

People, clean your window screens. Do you know that dirty screens block twice as much light as clean ones? The dirt just loves to build up on them. Once a year minimum. Twice a year is better. Just take them down to the backyard, get out a scrub brush and a bucket of soapy water and a hose. Wet ‘em, soap ‘em, scrub ‘em. Both sides! Then spray clean. Both sides! Leave them in the sun to dry, or go over them with another junk towel. NOT paper towels, toilet paper, or any kind of fuzzy cloth. Worn out old towels (we always called them dog towels when I was growing up, and used them for drying the dog) work the best. If you don’t have a backyard or a garden hose, you can do most of them in the tub, especially if you have one of those shower wand thingies on the hose. But be warned: lay down several junk towels in the bottom and on the sides of the tub, because the metal framing of the screen can scratch the enamel on your tub!! ESPECIALLY the old style, raw aluminum ones. Over the years, the outer surface turns into aluminum oxide, which is nasty, rough, and very hard. Duh, they make sandpaper out of it!

So as I’m talking to her on my cell, walking around the apartment, she wants me to check in the closets for the window A/C units. “Look in the closet in the back bedroom. Is there an air conditioner in there?” No ... but there is a 12 pack of Budweiser!! “Beer in the closet? Get rid of it!” Yes m’am, your wish is my command! “Not now wise guy, take it home with you!” Oh, Ok. Geexz.

So I worked till dark while the beer was chilling in the fridge that I brought back from the edge of death to immaculate, like new condition. Packed up the Satrun and took them all home. Gosh, I haven’t ad a Bud in ... 15 years? So I drank one with dinner. Um, there’s no beer in that beer. Foam, yeah. Alcohol, some. But taste? Let’s just say it’s a really light lager. Really light. And people pay just as much for a watered down light version??? So I finished a couple, and then opened a nice caramel brown Leinenkugel 1888 Bock. Mmmm, now that’s a regular beer. But it wasn’t free.

Odds ‘n ends on the schedule for tomorrow. Will try to get a condo customer to switch days so I can make some money, otherwise it’s a day off. Too much shiz to do until noon, then summer bowling league starts in the evening. No point driving an hour to do another day for this apartment job, then only stay 3 hours then have to drive back. But she’s glad to have me when I can get there. Like I said, this woman is my all time favorite customer. And she tips!!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/18/2010 at 12:08 AM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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