Friday, October 31, 2008

Love ya too, man.

It wasn't until this year that I started using Wikipedia. I've found it to be an absolutely amazing source of answers to absolutely anything at all. I was watching a John Wayne war movie, popped open the laptop and looked up Naval rank insignia. The other day for some reason I found myself looking up heat-engines and learning about the Stirling engine.

Today I'm reading political articles and saw this picture of The One. Not being young, hip, or cool I found his hand gesture peculiar. Luckily Wiki has the answers.

Of course, if I were Italian I'd be offended.

Hillary for President?

Wow. . . I'm expecting a couple of days of a couple of riots here and there, but this ladies' scenario is like the worst-case ever. (The Perfect Coup).

Her theory is this;
Obama wins election day.
Obama is afterward proven unqualified to be President.
The electoral college is forced to chose Hillary as president based on: 1) a democrat win on election day, 2) Hillary's second place posting in the primary, and 3) Hillary having actually won the popular vote count of the primary. Biden is made Vice-President.
The House and Senate are forced to ratify it.
Riots by Obama supporters lead to serious general civil unrest.
Martial law is implemented.
The National Guard is not enough, the Military is called in.
The U.N. and Mexican and Canandian troops come in for assistance.
After a year of martial law . . . and so ends chapter one.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama supporters stance on the issues.

From an article about a Howard Stern staff member interviewing people.

Here are some questions to the first of three Obama supporters:

QUESTION: "Obama or McCain?" ANSWER: "Obama." QUESTION: "Now what don't you like about McCain?" ANSWER: "McCain seems to not know what he is doing right now." QUESTION: "Are you more for Obama because he is pro-life or because he thinks our troops should stay in Iraq and finish this war?" ANSER: "I think it's because ... finish the war." QUESTION: "How about as far as him being pro-life? Do you support him in that cause?" ANSWER: "Yeah, I do..." QUESTION: "And if he wins, do you have any problem with Sarah Palin being his V.P.?" ANSWER: "No, I wouldn't. Not at all."

Part of the next interview: QUESTION: "Obama or McCain?" ANSWER: "Obama." QUESTION: "Obama says he is anti-stem cell research. How do you feel about that?" ANSWER: "I wouldn't do that either. I am anti-stem cell research." QUESTION: "If Obama wins do you mind Sarah Palin as V.P." ANSWER: No... No, I don't."

And finally, part of the last interview. After saying that she is an Obama supporter: "Do you support Obama more because he is pro-life, or because he says our troops should stay in Iraq?" ANSWER: "I guess both." QUESTION: "And if Obama wins, do you have any trouble with Sarah Palin being his V.P.?" ANSWER: "Nope." QUESTION: "Do you think she will do a good job?" ANSWER: "Yes." QUESTION: "Are you glad he asked her to be V.P.?" ANSWER: "Yes."

I have no trouble with Sarah Palin being V.P. either.

Staying home Wednesday?

I've been reading a lot of news articles lately, it's been slow at work. It gives me the impression that this presidential race has people wound up tighter than they've ever been. The maniacal frenzy of Obama supporters leads me to believe we will probably have riots at least somewhere on Tuesday night / Wednesday morning. I also think the outcome of the race won't make any difference. A Democratic win gives them approval to act and a Republican win will be seen as being cheated and so as justification to act.

It makes me think of how much of our National Guard is overseas. I think we're going to need them over here. . .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Not a Math major . . .

In an article about students hiding out overseas to avoid student loans they find they can't afford, a guy named Chris left college with $160,000 in student loans. He thought the most he'd have to pay would be $600 a month. Turns out his student loan payment came to $2400. He eventually went overseas looking for better work and when it didn't pan out, he's staying overseas and avoiding the loan.

Being a little brighter than Chris in basic math I could only shake my head. What sort of loan terms does Chris' $600 payment actually fit? Here's the numbers:

If the interest rate is 4-1/2 percent or higher Chris can pay off his student loan in. . . well, never. $600 is interest only at this point, he could never pay off his loan.

At 4.0 percent he'd be paying for 55 years. Chris is how old?

3.5 % = 42 years (longer than any home mortgage).
3.0% = 36 years
2.5% = 32 years

Even at 1.0% interest Chris will have to spend 25 years paying off his college kegger days.

Chris by the way has that most lucrative of degrees. . . a Masters in Music.

Re-Education Camps coming?

A friend of mine at work and I were chatting about this and that the other day and he has what I find an incredible to believe idea. Let me see if I can get this right and if you can follow it as he intended. He believes that in order for a democratic society to make good and correct voting decisions that at least the majority of voters need to be intelligent. He believes that people should have to pass a test of minimal intelligence in order to be granted the right to vote. He qualifies this view by admitting that currently there is no way to truly measure intelligence as that all current methods are flawed by such varying things as the language they're based in and so on.

He is of course a liberal voting for the Messiah.

I occasionally have a fleeting idea, which I immediately dismiss upon further thinking, that those who pay no taxes have no right to vote. As a conservative I strongly believe in democracy and one person one vote. It should be noted however that we of the United States do discriminate for voting rights. Those under 18 years old are not allowed to vote, and serious (lawless) criminals are not allowed to vote. In addition non-citizens are not allowed to vote in our elections.

My amazement at my friend is; how a liberal who believes in socialism and the concept of the equality of all people in all things finds it just as easy to justify the discrimination of voting rights based on intelligence.

I wonder if his version of intelligence also includes agreement with his political and economic ideals and whether those that believe in capitalism and the belief that the only way for a nation to truly have a future is for people to have personal responsibility and support themselves will be found as having faulty sub-standard intelligence. Freedom minded Republicans . . . prepare to be hauled away to re-education camps to have your intelligence raised to a minimal socialist acceptable level.

Ted Kulongoski is nuts . . .

The latest global warming idiocy from our esteemed left-wing governor is a MANDATE to have
"net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for homes and buildings by 2030".

The left of course don't bother to explain how they propose to do this.

Well let's see. . . if the home were to use only electricity and you could somehow claim that all the electricity came from zero gas emission production methods then I suppose that might be a zero greenhouse gas emission home.

But what about . . . the hundreds of thousands of homes that use natural-gas for heating, or natural gas for cooking, or wood-stove owners, or people who occasionally have a fire in their fireplace or let's nit-pick it down to everyone who lights a candle. What about these homes? The only way for them to be "Net" zero is to produce energy. Not just conserve energy or use less or buy their energy from zero-emission sources, but to actually produce energy.

All new homes which choose natural gas will be mandated to also install and operate solar or wind energy production equipment. Also, this energy can not be used within the home that generates it. The amount of energy of the natural gas going into the property must be equaled by an equal amount of energy going off the property in order to come to a mathematical Net-Zero.

The natural gas and propane industry is going to have a cow . . .

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another Monday

I sometimes wish I had three day weekends, two just doesn't seem long enough. I've had three day weekends in the past, but at the expense of 10 or 12 hour work days. That didn't work as well because with 10 or 12 hour days you don't seem to get anything done in the evenings and your so exhausted by the long days that one of the weekend days is just to recovery. Four 8 hour days would be nice (with a 40 hour paycheck of course).

Well the badge opened the door this morning so I guess I'm employed for another week. I really must keep some motivation to actually do some work. After all they are still paying me even with the impending cloud of doom hanging and I really need to be laid-off not fired.

I've looked into what unemployment benefits would be and balanced out the accounts this weekend to get an idea of where things stand. It's not as gloomy as I first imagined. We should be fine for a number of months, just hope the economy is not as blasted to heck by this liberal mortgage mess as it sometimes appears.

Read a good one this morning; If Barack The Messiah is elected and manages to stay in office for the whole of one term, it will be the longest he's held a steady job.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kitchen actually making progress again.

This weekend I finally feel like I'm making some progress again on the kitchen. The only thing I did last weekend was get in a load of sheetrock from the lumber store. This weekend I finished hanging the sheetrock in the breakfast nook and both the east and north walls of the kitchen and even one piece on the west wall.

Here is a picture of the north wall being shimmed out to be flush with the stove pipe. I put another full sheet of plywood above the one in the picture. This will give mounting for the cabinets that go here.
Here's the same sheetrocked wall. You can just see the stove pipe underneath the clock.
The sheetrock lifter is used for more than just the ceiling.
Here's the original framing of the breakfast nook arch. This was covered with short pieces of lathe and plastered.
Here I've replaced the lathe with 1/4" plywood bent into place.
The sheetrocked breakfast nook.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"campaigns" happen

In an article on Palin's clothes:

Also on Thursday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a private watchdog group in Washington, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Palin, the Republican National Committee and several political operatives alleging that the purchase of clothing for Palin and her family violates Federal Election Campaign Act.

The law prohibits a candidate for federal office from converting campaign funds to personal use.

Does it bother you that "Federal Election Campaign Act Law" just coincidentally has an acronym of "FECAL".

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kitchen Layoff plans

It's beginning to look like I might be laid off. My first thought is of course how we're currently spending our savings on a kitchen remodel and if layed off how we're going to need that rainy day money.

We're already committed to the cabinets by contract so my thought is to continue the remodel with the exception of three major items which we've yet to purchase. These will be countertops, flooring, and sink (oh, and also light fixtures). I will go ahead and spend some minor money to get the rest of the project put together, things like; sheetrock finishing and painting, subfloor plywood, outlets and switches.

As a temporary finish I will do countertops out of melanime particle board, use our existing sink/faucet, and the ever so chic bare-bulb light fixtures. The floors will remain the new 1/4" plywood subfloor. I might paint it just to be able to wipe up the dog mud and still be able to glue flooring effectively when we do get to it.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

One on the things we contract workers at Atch.Pee.have been doing is watching the phone book. The HP online "people finder" phone listing includes office location, department, manager, and if your a "contingent worker" it not only says that but it says when your contract is due to expire. Generally this is set at 2 years from when you're hired. This week mine was changed from 4-27-2010 to 11-27-2008.

Makes me think longingly of just being the village sandwich-maker.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Disappearing Workers

A few weeks ago I noticed my HP cube-mate wasn't there Monday morning. I thought he took the day off, or was on vacation. A few days go by and we start asking around. No one knows anything. A couple of weeks go by and we're forced to assume he's been layed off.

Being contract workers we are not privy to any meetings or company info. We don't get two weeks notice or even a chance to tell our friends we won't be back. One of the funny aspects of this is that these people's desks/cubes are left just as they were, as if they simply went home for the day. The desks are piles of papers. Equipment is left in mid-experiment.

Yesterday Roger, across the aisle from me, didn't show up. We heard he'd been layed off. His cube looks completely untouched. The only indication is his white-board where he's crossed out his name and wrote a note:

"So long and thanks for all the fish! R.M."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kitchen marches slowly on.

Things are moving slowly on the kitchen remodel. I've had a pinched nerve in my neck/back for 6 weeks or so and just haven't felt up to a lot of work. Add to that a mild ulcer from job/financial stress and I've been moving rather slowly lately. Or it could be not having coffee in 4 weeks.. .

This weekend I finished some minor details but no sheet-rocking. I used up the sheetrock we had last weekend and haven't made the trip to the lumberyard with the trailer for more. Finished out the insulation of the exterior walls. Also finished the shimming of the wall with the chimney. The chimney has a 8" clay pipe sticking out of it for the original wood stove. Instead of trying to tear it out and re-mortar the brickwork I'm letting it be and extending the studs out to the point where the sheetrock will be flush with it and make for a flat surface. This will require 1-1/4" of material. I've shimmed the studs with 1/4 plywood then covered most of the wall with 1/2" plywood. Following this with 1/2" sheetrock will do it. The sheetrock will still have a hole cut in it for the pipe, but will fill in flush with joint compound. The 1/2" plywood will give something for the pantry cabinets to mount into without concern for where studs or the chimney are located.

The other work this weekend was scraping the exterior window sills. The paint on these is absolutely cracked and peeling. The wood is also cracked somewhat on 2 of the 3 and the third is not only severly cracked but has some rot. As Greg would say "where do you stop?". I not going to do a This-Old-House. I scrapped and sanded, then jammed nearly a full tube of caulk into all the cracks and joints, then painted with a good primer. The dry-rot area I filled with some wood-filler and then caulk. It's a pretty hokey repair, but I'm going for mostly-water-tight not structural soundness. I just had to draw the line somewhere. Shhhh... don't tell dad.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Super Corgi !

I'm usually not one for internet video stuff, but this video is incredible.

Palin and Obama has a report that Sarah Palin is 10th cousins with Princess Diana. Sarah is also 9th cousins, once removed from Franklin D. Roosevelt. The report goes on to say that Barack Obama is related to . . . Brad Pitt.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Who we're really voting for.

Gordon's post reminded me of something that's been mentioned once or twice around the work-place.

We're probably not voting for McCain or Obama, but rather Palin or Biden. Why? because regardless of who wins neither will probably serve out a complete term. One by natural causes and the other by un-natural cause (in a nation of 330 million there's probably at least one nut job who'll get pushed over his limit).

I'm voting for Palin myself and hoping McCain can hold off the heart attack for 2 years to allow Palin to run for two more terms.

I still don't get it . . .

Barack Hussein Obama

Barack ---- Hussein ---- Osama,

What were Democrats thinking? I realize it's just a name, just words, but really, in a game of popularity like politics the right look, the right sound, the right mannerisms make a lot of difference to voter's who don't have time or inclination to read up on issues. I mean think of what would be said if the Republicans had nominated a man named "William Adolph Bushe".

When the primaries started and the field was full of possibilities on both sides there were three people I seriously thought had no chance. 1) Hillary; in my opinion nobody would want to see Bill Clinton back in the White House in any way, shape, or role. To see him chasing interns in our nation's capitol again? I just couldn't see it. 2) McCain; he's already ran twice and didn't make it. Did Republicans really want to put forth a two time loser. . . again? 3) and finally Obama; it just hasn't been that long ago, and we're still fighting a war. I just couldn't see a name familiarity like Obama/Osama making it in American politics at this time. The three I thought had no chance made it to the top.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Friday there was a rumour of more layoffs to occur at HP this week. As a contract worker (read: second class citizen) I'm not privy to any meetings or announcements by the company. I don't mind being a contract worker, but in addition to being in a sinking ship company the stress is a little unsettling. Well at least my employee badge still opened the door this morning. It's probably would be good to get a new resume back on the internet job sites just in case.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Side note

A side note on the kitchen demolition.

When we took down the lathe and plaster from the walls (ceilings were left as is) we seperated the wood lathe from the plaster. The wood was taken to a recycle yard. The plaster was piled in the driveway. Beth then shoveled it into the trailer and took it to the dump.

I was just looking at the receipt from the dump and was astonished at the weight! Granted it may have gotton rained on a little, but this is only the plaster from the walls.

1,360 pounds!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Before and After

Multnomah County Animal Shelter rescue of a dachshund.
I can only assume the neglect was due to mental illness, otherwise someone needs to be flogged and put in stocks.

Wall Street Mental Health and Addiction

Last night the US Senate passed a bill to so call "rescue" Wall Street mortgage speculators from this so called "Crisis". I won't get into what I think of this mess itself, what I'm laughing at today is the Senate's Bill. Last night during my commute home I heard on the radio that the bill includes numerous pork barrel projects; millions of dollars to cut 6 minutes off the Portland to Seattle Amtrak run, money for rum (not kidding), and various other nonsense.

With the public eye on them closely I couldn't believe they were trying to pork barrel this bill. Today I looked up the Senate roll call vote on this bill to see whether our senators voted for it. What I cracked up over was what the bill is titled . . .

H.R. 1424 (Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007 )

Then the light bulb clicked and all the pieces fit together. A few days ago they said the Senate can't initiate a bill like this, that it has to come from the House. Well they didn't initiate a bill. They took this little pork barrel bill which started out in the House as a Mental Health proposal and amended it to include the $700 billlion wall street bailout. After all, with the the US economy staring at another Great Depression (so called), they couldn't very well ignore the protocol procedural rules of their little senatorial cliche. (REPOST amendment: Ok, it's not just procedural rules but the Constitution, but really was this the only bill lying around? )

Since the bill is now amended it goes back to the House. Personally I think both the Senate and the House could use a little mental health and pork-addiction treatment.