Sunday, February 28, 2010

An article from our friends to the north

Caught this one from our friends at the galloping beaver. Who says Canadians don't have a sense of humor?

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS' pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

By the way, UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever had an accident.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last...........

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Friday pussy

Okay I know you're buried under snow back east and we're in the 50s here. Now let the kitty back in he's freezing out there.

Odd thought came to me the other day. With all the text messaging on phones and email and all I just wondered what our language will be in say 20 years. With lol and wtf becoming common place and hundreds of acronyms and abbreviations working their way into main stream communications it makes me wonder if word derivations will be lost down some linguistic rat hole to be lost forever. And as the compression continues whether words will disolve down to two or three letters and numbers. Or even worse, just drop the letters and go with numbers.

That reminds me of a joke I heard as a kid:
A new guy was just starting a prison term at a local prison. Sitting in his cell late one night he noticed that several of the other prisoners were shouting out numbers. Taking turns one prisoner would yell out 37! And the other long termers would howl with laughter. Curious the new guy got the attention of the cell next to his. "What's going on?" the new guy said. "Oh they're just telling jokes" said the guy in the next cell. "They've been here so long they know the jokes so well they gave them numbers. "Hey can I try it?" said the new guy. "Sure give it a shot." With that the new guy yell out 47! Dead silence. Again he yells out 47! Nothing total quiet. The new guy asks "what's going on here? The guy in the next cell says "You didn't tell it right."

Update: Almost forgot again two more bank failures for the week one in Nevada and one in Tacoma Washington. And I hear some 702 banks are at risk of failure.

Republicans screwing over the unemployed

If your unemployment runs out this weekend you're on your own. The senate failed to pass an extention on unemployment today with one republican senator blocking the bill. If you live in Kentucky and your unemployment ran out email phone or snail mail senator Bunning and ask him if you can take up residence at his place. He won't mind having a couple thousand people sleeping on his couch. At issue was where to find the money to pay for the extention. Hummm... seems there's a couple hundred billion left over from the TARP program. And they didn't have a problem funding an illegal war with borrowed money.
Oh and one more thing. In that bill was an extention for providing TV service for rural areas. So if your in a rural area with satellite service sorry no TV for you. Them's fightin words for sure!
Of course he doesn't give a shit about people he's not running again. Nothing like setting the place on fire before you leave.
No TV for you!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Watch out for the nastys

In taking my haz mat recertification the other week I was reminded of what we can run into when doing other construction work. We do after all have to do demolition work many times to get to the bad stuff. We sometimes forget what things are made of when we're taking them apart. This was never a problem 50 or 60 years ago because nobody thought about it until workers started dying from exposures. So here's a little list (hope it doesn't get too long) for you viewing pleasure of the things you may encounter while doing a weatherization or remodel project.

Asbestos - was used in popcorn ceiling textures, drywall mud, drywall, window glazing, flooring such as tiles and sheets, glues and mastics for flooring and covebase, furnace joint tape, gaskets, pipe insulation, and paints. Exposures can cause cancers and mesothelioma.

Lead - was used in paints, roof flashing, and old plumbing. Exposures can cause headaches central nervous system damage and brain damage especially in children.

Arsenic - It was a common practice back in the 20s and beyond to mix a 100lb. bag of arsenic into the soil under a house to prevent insects and rodents from taking up residence. Exposures cause central nervous system damage.

Formaldehyde - found in most pressboard, carpeting, and insulation when it's new. It has to be given time to outgas after installation. Exposures cause headaches, nausea and breathing problems.

VOCs - are volatile organic compounds found in paints, glues and mastics. They are only dangerous when being applied and outgasing or evaporating. Exposures can cause headaches, nausea

Molds - There are eight main varieties of toxic mold found where moisture is present. Molds love drywall because of the paper backing (a food source) but can live on any surface. Exposures can cause headaches, breathing problems, bleeding from the nose eyes and ears.

Insects rodents and other vermin - spiders rats and raccoons can take up residence in a crawl space or attic. Exposures: spiders bite, rodents carry disease and pigeon poop carries all sorts of nastys.

Concrete dust - When sawing grinding or breaking up concrete the dust contains silica that's very damaging to your lungs when it get airborne.

There's a bunch of other nastys but they're not as common as the ones above. So when your doing a remodel or weatherization project take a minute and think about what might things are made of and what might bite you.

And as always keep your drums upright.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I think we're all Nuckin Futs

I'm sure everybody's seen the girl in our Seattle bus tunnel get stomped before the never blinking eye of the TV camera. When I first saw it, her laying there and guards standing by I thought to myself there must be more to this story than meets the eye. And sure enough my gut instincts were right. As horrible as the scene was it didn't tell the rest of the story. That the victim being throttled had in fact done the very same thing to an unknown woman just a few weeks before (pulled her hair out, stomped on her head and stole her purse). And was caught shoplifting and assulted the store guard a few weeks before that. Then there's the issue of the guards who stood by passively and seemed to do nothing. I seem to recall some footage of a black gangster standing in the middle of the street emptying his gun at who we couldn't tell. Then there have been the drive by shootings and the mall shootings and the cops shot dead at a coffee shop. So sorry if I don't quite feel the empathy for the victim in this case but to be an unarmed guard these days with no gun and no martial arts training is futs.
Last night a guy gets shot at another transit stop. My guess is a drive by but we'll see if they catch the perps what that one is about. Add to that a stand off at an apartment in North Seattle and it makes me think that I'd never want to be a police officer in this area and we're supposed to be one of the safer cities. Think I'll stick with hazardous waste. At least it's predictable.

And update: a guy gets stabbed in the back in the Fremont area. Then there's been a gang of ruffians running around beating up people. Add to that several murder suicides and this area is getting down right dangerous.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This shows promise

This is a bloombox. No not a boombox. Those went out in the 90s. The bloombox is new type of fuel cell capable of providing all the power for your home. I had looked up fuel cells some years ago when they were in development. I thought they might have had promise until I got to see one in action at a fair from Ballard power systems. The 1000 watt unit at a price of $5000 would not fit the bill for most homeowners. The fact that they run on hydrogen didn't help either. You can't run down to your local hardware store for a tank.
The bloombox runs on natural gas and as a plus produces hydrogen as a byproduct. It can also be run on other gases like methane another plus. Now if they can collect the hydrogen and run that through another fuel cell the byproduct of that is water. So without burning any fuels you get electricity to power your home or car and you could get water. As an added bonus this would decentralize our power grid. Units could be installed at substations eliminating the need for more ugly and dangerous high power transmission lines. They believe they can get the price down to $3000.

More info: Bloombox

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Friday pussy and other items

This headline caught my eye:
Consumer prices excluding food and energy fall
Isn't that much like saying the patient is doing well if you exclude the fact that he's not breathing and has no heartbeat?

Dinners - You want to keep the baddies out of you house? Go down to a second hand store and pick up the following items:
1. The largest and cheapest pair of workboots you can find.
2. The largest dog collar you can find.
3. A length of large heavy chain.
Leave these items near the front door with a note that reads: Honey I think Pluto got loose again.
(hat tip to Dana of Life is good)

Update: Oops I forgot the bank failures. This week it was four more banks hitting the skids. And one I missed from Feb. 5. Sad to report you aint't seen nothing yet. Wait till the option loans come due later this year. Hummmm is it time to put my money in the mattress now?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Keeping out the...cold?

As I mentioned before I took a weatherization course and thought I'd share some of the gray matter goodness. I know it's almost 60 degrees here so now is a good time to do these jobs.
There's so many things a homeowner can do to cut heating and energy usage. You may have heard of a lot of them in public service announcements from your electric or gas company but there is so much more that can be done that with not much money can save you a ton of money. And who doesn't like to save money in this economy. Okay I know the only one using less energy than Billy is a hermit living in a cave so he doesn't count. But for the rest of us it's a different story.

Windows and doors - These are one of the biggest sources of heat loss. A 1/4 inch gap around a window or door is like having a four inch square hole in the wall leaking your heat and money to heat the city where you live. With a $4 tube of caulk you can easily do two or three windows with some left over. If the gap is larger use spray foam first then caulk over it. A can of foam is about $5 most places. And a good piece of advice is to have all the areas you plan to foam ready for foam before you start. Foam will harden in the tube after a certain time and they don't sell extra tubes. There's also the areas under the sink where the pipes go through the wall that usually aren't sealed. The pipe behind the washer or any pipe that goes through a wall to the outside.
Then there's the question of which caulk to use. Simple - do you plan to paint over where you just caulked? Yes - laytex or painters caulk is what you want. No - silicone which will not accept paint.
The trick to using caulk is to cut the tube end at a 45 degree angle, draw the gun towards you in a smooth even pace. Using a cup of warm water wet your finger and smooth out the caulk working it into the gap. Wipe off any excess on a rag. Oh and don't seal the small slots at the bottom of the frame. They're weep holes to let condensation escape.
With foam there are two basic types - open cell and closed cell. Open cell foam comes in those spray cans with the tube. You shake well and spray. Yes there are light medium and heavy types in the spray can and some non expanding (which is used around windows because it doesn't expand causing the window frame to warp). Closed cell foams come in two tank units that flow through long hoses and mix at the tip. They're used for large jobs. Closed cell foams are also better insulators because no air gets through the material after it has set. The draw backs with closed cell is that they are expensive and must be used up in six months. A unit can cost $150 or more so unless you have large areas they're not worth the price.
So that's today's installment on saving money tips of weatherization. More later.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another bag of nuts and bolts

The kitteh in the post below reminds me of a night we were having cheezburgers. Somebody left their plate on the coffee table and went to the bathroom. I got up to go to the kitchen for some condiments. On my return I peered down at the plate to see a burger sans the meat. Looking around I see kitteh sitting in the corner licking her chops. :-)

With steel blades flashing and costumes a glitter with more sequins than a Liberace outfit mens skating took to the ice. Is it me or is this getting down right creepy? Then there's the two man luge. Who the hell thought of that one? Only time I'd consider that is if someone were removing me severely injured from a battlefield. Can you say tres gay?

Barrack Obama may finally be growing a pair. Frustrated by the lack of progress in congress he may resort to executive orders. Good on him just wonder what took him so long. He's bent over backwards for the other side of the isle and when they got everything they wanted they still voted against all the bills.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Now I got too much class

So I'm going to yet another recertification class only to find out that the class I just took a few weeks ago requires two more certification classes. And to top it off they haven't got approval from the EPA yet for the two classes I need so they aren't even on the schedule. This is getting rediculous. After taking the weatherization course and acing it I now need a lead abatement and lead renovation class. All I can say is they better pay journeyman wages for all this training or these cards will not be renewed. I have a wallet with all these cards and it's getting to look like Bill Gates' wallet. Sheesh!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

We're all just clowns on this bus

Justin over at Pygalgia came up with This little post that I thought was very good. I'd like to take and run with it.

Sometime just after WWII when the war had ended the troops had come home and the U.S. was just starting to come out of the period of rationing and sacrifice some clown on Madison Ave. thought it would be a neat idea to get all the other clowns to buy a whole lot of stuff they didn't need. So they got their clowns in gray flannel suits on it. Now daddy clown just had to have the latest oversized clown car with the deluxe clown chrome bumpers. Mommy clown just had to have the latest designer clown dress that cost ten times what a regular one cost because it had a clown designers name on it. Then there was the clown cereal that was filled with sawdust at the bottom because clowns didn't bother to check because hey they saw it on clown TV so it must be good. The TV clowns wouldn't lie would they?
Then the clowns on Wall Street got with the clowns in Washington and had them drop all the clown rules so the Wall Street clowns could rip off the clowns on Main Street by selling them worthless clown paper. When the clowns on Main Street started running out of money the Wall Street clowns got with the banker clowns so the Main Street clowns could make sub prime clown loans and keep the three ring circus going. But somewhere along the line the clowns overseas got smart, took off their clown face paint and wanted their money back. That's when the clown pyramid collapsed. And you'd think that would have been the end of it until the Wall Street clowns got with the Washington clowns and got a clown bail out. The circus was too big to fail they said. So they got their clown bail out but the clown money on Main Street was gone. Did the Wall Street clowns help out the Main Street clowns? Nope they kept the clown bail out for themselves and now they're busy trying to squeeze the last dime out of the Main Street clowns. So far they've managed to steal the clown savings and clown retirements and when that wasn't enough they had the Main Street clowns refinance their houses so the circus could carry on. And now they're even taking the clown homes because there's nothing left to take. The Wall Street clowns took your retirement, the banker clowns took your savings and your house and the Washington clowns will send you a bill for the mess they and the Wall Street clowns created. And we're just clowns without a pot to pee in because we fell for all the clown tricks.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New blog

I guess we are all interelated in the blog world. What's that about six degrees of seperation? Anyhoo I stumbled on another fine blog while tripping through the net and Four Dinners blog. Speaking of which congrats to Dinners who just past his test to become a driving instructor. Now just why somebody would want to do that as a profession is beyond me. Far easier to face sudden death wearing a moon suit and respirator than to wonder if 16 year old Suzzie will actually stop before the 18 wheeler ends your life. Just hope they have those duel controls in the drivers ed car mate.
But then there I go getting side tracked and I'm not even on a cell phone. The blog I'll be putting in the sidebar is MadMikesAmerica with a plethora (sic) of writers. Now how could I hope to compete with that. But the thing I like about the blog is that several writers (bloggers) that I've followed seemed to have come to a focal point at Mikes in cyberspace.

Mad Mikes America

And leave the wolves alone. They never did anything to you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Time for the Friday pussy

Let's face it cats are cool and don't take crap from anyone. Maybe we could replace some of these obstructionist republicans with some of our feline friends. After all they lead and we do their bidding.

The senate no jobs bill

Went and read the no jobs bill being proposed. Nothing like putting the fox in charge of guarding the chicken coop. The bill does little more than give business and the rich more tax breaks. Gee I thought we voted the republicans out the last election and yet here they are riding rough shot over legislation. Seems once again the spineless balless Dems are caving again. Here's the short version of what the bill does and make note that the money for business is borrowed while money for jobs was already in the general fund. So like some Abbott and Costello bit we get the money that was already there for our benefit while business borrows from us a couple of times. Like saying here's your $10 now loan me $30 and we'll call it even.

The bill gives business a tax break of up to 6.5% of the FICA tax (up to $125K or earnings). In addition they get $1000 for each worker they hire who stays 52 weeks. Add to that they get to write off up to $250,000 for equipment they buy this year without having to depreciate it over several years which is standard.
The problem As we know three quarters of the American economy is based on consumer spending therefore there's no motivating factor for business to spend money or hire anyone if there's no demand for products. As Billy might say we'd need more empire builders out there spending. But if people aren't working they aren't going to spend and those that are are afraid they'll be the next ones to hit the unemployment line. Business doesn't expand or even try to expand unless they know for sure they'll have a good cash flow and even then it's usually after the fact. As in oh my god we've got too many customers we'll need to hire more people.
That was the $30 part of the joke now for the $10 part. The jobs they say they'll be creating are part of the Highway Trust Fund. The fund ran out of money at the end of the year. But stop to consider that this is money that comes from gas taxes and was already in the general fund and was scheduled to be put in the fund anyway. Sooo. nothing like giving you something you already had and making it look like a gift.
Sorry guys I'm not that stupid and I don't buy it.

Anyhoo until later keep your drums upright. And remember when somebody tells you they have a "free" gift for you it's usually not.

Update Update: I forgot in my hasty reading of the bill (yes I'm one of those geeks that actually reads the whole thing) our wonderfully honest senators decided to go after all that cash corporations have been storing in offshore accounts hiding it from the taxman. So what are they going to do with all that loot? Create jobs? Guess again. They're going to give most of it back to the companies in the form of tax breaks and hiring incentives. Nothing like robbing a bank and when you get caught you get to keep the money eh?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I got nothing

Not much to post the last few days. Seems the more things change the more they stay the same.
The health care "restart" is just more of the same. Republicans say they have a plan the GOP plan which if they had bothered to even read the bill they just turned down had all of the elements that they had been screaming about for the last six months. Like a bunch of two year olds who when mommy finally gives in and gives the little brat the toy he wanted then proceeds to continue his crying jag wanting something else and when she gives him that he doesn't want that either. Time to slap the little brats in the ass and make them stand in the corner while mommy does the real business. And when these hypocrites come up for reelection it's time to show them the door because they have done absolutely nothing good for this country all while collecting a nice paycheck and benefits. Think of this for a minute. If you're working and you don't have health care yet your expected to pay tax dollars are going to pay for a bunch of guys health care that are preventing you from having it what's wrong with that picture?
Now these clowns are talking about offering up a bill to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid and try to privatize Social Security something the former head of that administration said was stupid. So not only do they want to kill grandma they want to make sure Wall Street gets what little money she has left.

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's that time of week

This is about how I feel at present. Nothing happening around here. More classes in a week or two. Jeez I have so many certifications now I'll be spending half the time working and half the time doing recerts. I swear you need to be certified to wipe your butt in this state.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Well it's about frikin time

The ex-CEO of Bank of America is facing civil charges for the lies and cover up of the Merril Lynch deal. And I hope they can take Jamie Dimon (Chase CEO) with him. In fact round up all the greedy bastards and give them a cell next to Madoff's. Make's you wonder who'd be the b&%ch in that crowd.

I'm too important to prosecute...not

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Today was Candelmas Day

No you don't have to give presents or anything like that. It just means that there are other critters who might or might not see their shadow and crawl back in their lairs for the rest of the winter. This all depends on what country you may be living in at present. It might be a bear or woodchuck or badger but you get the idea. Which reminds me the beavers should be back soon but since there's more photos of pussies I just might stick with them. I think we'll have a short winter this year, El Nino you know. The dogwood out front has been in bloom for a couple of weeks now and the bulbs are throwing up shoots in the last few days.

That not shadow