Sunday, January 31, 2010

What to do now?

I could get my supervisors card in about two weeks and then go for an auditor course the month after but I really need to get back to work. I'm sure Billy (BBC) likes those monthly checks we provide him from Social Security. Plus I'll have taxes coming up in April. Nothing like trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip.

Now for some energy tips:
1. Change your incandesant bulbs with CFLs you'll cut your lighting costs by 2/3rds.
2. Change your shower heads to low flow. The older low flow heads were bad and didn't work well. New ones can use as little as 1.5 gallons of water per minute saving both water and the energy used to heat it. Note: You may need to increase the temp. of your water heater a bit to compensate for the flow because when the flow is lowered there's a slight heat loss.
3. Put a timer on the water heater. Figure out what time of day you use the most water and set the timer to come on about an hour before then. Water heaters are one of the biggest energy users as they must be on 24/7. Don't forget the maintenance. Drain any sludge from the bottom of the tank once a year and check the pressure release valve. If your tank is old and the fittings are corroded consider replacing it as those maintenance items may not be able to be preformed. This will all be part of the weatherization program and I do think there's a ton of money to be saved.

More later until then keep your drums upright.

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's Friday and you know what that means

I'm back. Aced the class and the test. Things are pretty much as I left them and republicans are still assholes. And for those who disagree tough beans. Now over the course of the next few weeks I may be nice and pass on my newly gained wealth of knowledge and save you some big bucks. Until then I'll be busy putting my exploded head back together. Nothing like taking a three month class and cramming it into two weeks.

Update: almost forgot there were six more banks that went under on Friday. Two in Ga and one each in Mn, Fla, Wa, Ca.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

So much for the Super Bowl

I see the fix was in for New Orleans so once again I won't be watching that piece of crap.
So as I get ready for yet another week of classes be good and if not don't name it after me.

Until then keep your drums upright.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm back for a short

The usual Friday pussy. And you thought I'd forget. Back for a brief day or two until the rest of the course continues. Enough information to make your head explode. So far they've taken a very simple subject and made it more complex than rocket science. This would be right up Randal's alley. But then again I wouldn't want to go there I might get mugged. Now I need to sit down and rewrite my class notes as the instructor talked faster than an auctioneer on speed. Should I make it through this course without going stark raving mad it will be a true wonder.

And as for the angry pussy It's about how I feel after hearing the news today for the first time in five days. Geez you can't step out for a minute without the world going to hell.

Friday bank failures: (almost forgot) Five more banks hit the skids in Mo. Fla. N.M. Ore. and Wa.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Class? Class? Who says I have no class?

As I continue mop up operations, try to check out the play off games, and get laundry ready for my next round of classes you won't have me to kick around the next week or so. Oh I'll be out there and if I can get a wireless signal where I'm going I'll throw some snark your way (Geez they get better internet in the Ukrane than here in the U.S.). You know who I'm talking about Randal.

Until then keep your drums upright and your hoses leak free.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The battle continues - Dawn came

Before retiring I laid traps on the kitchen counter. A couple of shallow glasses of old forgotten cooking wine with a drop of dish soap. About fifty were floating face up. Still I wonder where they all came from. They had managed to regroup and begin a pre dawn offensive. There's nothing in this place that would provide a breeding ground. The morning battle raged for about an hour until the numbers dropped to just a few. The windows now look like a Gettysburg battlefield with fly corpses lining the sill. Sam Peckenpaugh would be envious. I'll wait a while as I have some errands to run but will be back later for an afternoon offensive and hopefully mop up operations later.

More news from the front later.

UPDATE: After a long late afternoon battle my side seems to have the upper hand. The traps worked like a charm and it now looks like their side is down to about a dozen special forces (quick little devils) and hard to see in the dark. Mop up operations tomorrow.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Friday pussie and other funnies

The first battle began a little after noon pacific time. Some of the first insurgents were spotted over the kitchen sink. Armed with a damp dishrag that towel snap approach from jr. high came in handy but it was no match for these little devils. First one then two then four then six. But they just kept coming and they seemed to be on to my method launching themselves to safety just as I was about to rear back with the death snap. Time to rethink my method or resort to new tactics. They had regrouped as well calling in reinforcments from where I didn't know. That's it. Time to clean out every possible hiding nest of these little nasties. First any fruit lying about that would draw these critters? Ah a banana on the counter quickly eaten. I'd cut off their supply lines. Next all the dishes from every corner rinsed out and in the dishwasher. Got to get rid of the peel and take all the garbage out. Cleaned out the fridge just as a precaution. No sign of the enemy there, good.
And now for a new tactic. Looking down at a stack of mail for the recycle a new plan was hatched. I realized that by using an envelope I could sneak up on the little bastards and easily squish them before they could make flight. The death toll rose. Ten, twenty, fifty, then 100. Just where had these vermin set up shop? I brought out the vacuum and worked over everything. At one point I even used the vac to suck up the devils until they developed some six sense of what I was doing and would take flight at the sight of the nozzle. So it was back to envelopes. The battle raged for hours. Hundreds of these fruit flies now have laid down their lives leaving their remains mostly on the windows and sliding door. It was getting dark so I had to call off the attack at least for the day. But I know that those remaining will regroup tomorrow and I'll give it one last push to eliminate this deadly menace.

And for the Friday bank failures: Three more banks hit the skids. One in Utah,Minn., and Ill.

And lastly I leave you with this: If your neighbor asked you for a glass of water would you deny him?

A quick history of Haiti

This is a quick history of Haiti in a nutshell and should give you an idea why things are so screwed up there.
France and Spain were at war on the island known as Hispaniola. When the conflict was settled the island was split with the Spanish gaining the east and the French the west. The Spanish were mining gold and forcing the locals into slave labor. They also imported slaves from Africa. The French had sugar cane and indigo production and much the same conditions on their side. The Spanish and French brought with them wonderful things like small pox that did a number on the locals who had no resistance. If that weren't bad enough the Catholic church was instituting their convert or die policy. You may remember it as the inquisition.
Fast forward just a bit and the gens de couleur or natives have and win a revolution, but only temporary. It was at this time around the time of the French revolution that slavery is abolished in the colony. Political winds quickly change and Napoleon sends troops to reestablish slavery. He sends 20,000 troops to reclaim the land. Yellow fever wipes out the French troops but the Haiti leader Toussaint L'Ouverture is kidnapped and taken to France where he dies in custody. The new native leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines finally defeats the French but as an agreement for the newly formed country must pay 150 million francs to French King Charles X as reparations for the loss of slave labor profits.
During the next 200 years Haiti faces 32 coups and many brutal dictators including Pappa Doc and his son Baby doc Dulviere from 1957 to 1987. Each leader seemed to take his turn raping the country and pushing its people further into poverty.

So when I hear some blather about how they brought it on themselves or other silly notion it irritates me. This country was nothing but a gold mining town much like in the old west. Only instead of using that money to build a state or in this case a country, all the money went overseas or to an elite class rich enough to have their own armies. This event is compared to Katrina but then again maybe this quake is an example of what America could become if we're not careful. And it will be a true test of our "civilized" society. We're lucky enough to be large enough that people in a city or state can move elsewhere. The people of Haiti have no where to go.
And as for Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh I think they need to go back and reread the book of Job.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh how times have changed

Used to be you could walk just about anywhere in most cities without being hassled. Now you wonder if you aren't taking your life in your own hands by stepping out at night. If gangs don't get you then some depressed laid off neighbor might be wanting to eliminate his family over a playstation or ipod argument. They say drinking and drug use is up and we all know what that leads to. Always thought that was interesting that if you go in for treatment the first thing they ask you is are you on any medication or have you been drinking? And when you tell them no they immediately put you on some medication. And now they're trying to decriminalize drug use here. I'm kind of on the fence with that. On the one hand what you do in your own home is your business, but knowing what people do if they are given an inch is the other issue. I hear the pot of today is far more potent than it was 20 or 30 years ago and can just picture an SUV with a driver with a joint in one hand and the cell phone texting in the other. Gee ma I told you I was a multitasker as he/she runs right into the utility pole or worse.

And now we are all suspects even without cause. It doesn't matter who you are or what you're doing because habeus corpus is no more especially in Britain. I don't think I could live in that country. Hear it's getting to the point that they have more CCTV cameras than people. I'd be tempted to put up a website with a rectal camera just to prove to the bobbies I had nothing to hide. "You suspect me officer?" "Well then let's forgo the search and you can check out my latest web pictures." "How do you like that mate?"
Ah yes the insanity of it all.

What to do about Haiti? You thought New Orleans was bad. But as the Coz always said there's always worse. So what to do?
Should they all just be evacuated and bulldoze what's left? Or use the country for military target practice.
There's nothing left there in the way of resources. They were just getting over a couple of hurricanes and now this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just when you thought it was safe to buy kids toys

Kids jewelry from China found to contain high levels of cadmium. I remember as a kid a lot of our toys were made of plastics and the cheap ones were made in Japan from tin but a friend had some of his dad's old toys made from solid lead. He had some trucks and soldiers that were well, heavy as lead. Painted with lead paint of course. Makes me wonder what kind of damage that did to kids back when I was growing up.
toxic toys

I need to look back and see what other toys I played with that would kill you today. I know there was asbestos in the clay we played with and of course the chemistry sets we played with without knowing what we were doing.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This one slipped under the radar

Horizon Bank became the first bank of 2010 to hit the skids. I'm noticing that they are waiting for the very last minute on Friday to make these announcements. I didn't catch this until late Saturday as it wasn't listed on the FDIC website on Friday.
I wouldn't be terribly upset about this if it hadn't been reported that big bank executives are getting millions in bonuses and have not changed their ways. They're still doing those shitty derivatives that got us into the mess in the first place. Congress is set to change things but in the bill that's (crawling) making it's way through the process there's a big loophole that makes it easy for them to continue their little party. They're doing the same crap that was done in the 80s with leveraged buy outs only now they're buying at fire sale prices when they were expected to loan money to business to get the economy going.

That said and knowing that congress isn't going to fix the problem it's time for us to stand up and do something. We can actually change things. If they won't listen to us and they won't listen to congress then it's time to hit them where it hurts. In the wallet! A program called Move Your Money has been set up to do just that. Type in your zip code and it will give a list of your local home town banks that have a B rating or better. These are the banks that are actually making loans based of solid standards.
move your

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday pussy

Just the last few days there's been three bodies discovered. One in a burned out car (that one they are pretty sure about) One floating in the water and a third by the side of the road. Gruesome times we live in.

Mora gets fired as Seahawk head coach. Can we dig up and reanimate Vince Lombardi?

85,000 more hit the unemployment line last month.

But to end on a good note the republicans continue to eat their own when today Michael Steele was basically told to shut up by the RNC. Me thinks he won't be around much longer as donations are down and some large donors have said they will close their wallets if Steele is still the head. Bye bye Mike.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Now that all the New Years wishes are out of the way and it's 7 days into the new year I'm not seeing much in the way of hope. I've scanned all the newspapers and business journals for possible prospects and I don't see even rumors of work. Unemployment for those on their last extention will run out at the end of next month with no jobs program in place. Everyone in DC is running around like a chicken with their head cut off worried about exploding underpants and getting paybacks to their insurance masters. All this while a whole bunch of Americans are worried whether they'll have any food or a place to live come March.

Looking around my neighborhood I'm seeing a whole bunch of moving vans and they aren't moving in that's for sure. One guy near me has had his place on the market for almost two years now. He lowered the price to below market value and still no takers. I guess the bankers are busy with their winter vacations spending all that bail out money we just gave them. Too busy to do mortgages but don't forget to sign up for our latest savings plan that pays squat in interest. Then we'll give you a debit card so we can hold your money hostage, cause overdrafts and hit you with fees. Or maybe you'd like to sign up for our newest credit cards where we just jacked up the rates that would make a loan shark blush.

Mom! Billy peed in the food dish again!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A few random things

Not much to post the last few days. I did skip the Friday pussy as I had posted several during the week. More to come later. I also usually post the bank failures on Friday but I guess due to the holiday there were none.

Once again we are reactive on security measures of airport security. I knew this was a sham when they put armed national guard at the airport after 911. No way they were going to open fire in a crowded airport. It was all for show. The real issue is that there are 500,000 people on the watch list with 4000 on the no fly list. Then I'm sure there are those that are on no list who would do us harm. Interesting to note that the security people in other countries aren't doing the full body scans. The people won't put up with it. If the airlines go too far people will just not bother to fly.

A nephew of mine was just sent to Afghanistan. He's a pilot. I wonder if he'll have to go toe to toe with the Taliban air force? I guess the biggest fear there is getting to the airport. I hear the road is not too safe.

I like it. A lawyer says he may sue Bank of America. They jacked his rate to 28% and lowered his debt limit meaning fees and penalties. He wants a jury trial. His contention is that the bank got a loan from the taxpayers at 1% and now want to squeeze him with a usery rate. Sound familiar? Have you checked your rate lately?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Back to the future

This time of year everybody focuses on the new year and the hopes and dreams of what's ahead. That got me to wondering where we might be in say 500 or 1000 years from now. That is of course if we make it that far and don't totally destroy the planet. So I wondered what was going on 1000 years ago. Much to my surprise many things were just getting started in the 11th century. Medicine was just beginning with the invention of the hypodermic needle. It was first used to remove cataracts. Oooh I'll bet that hurt like a bugger considering anesthesia had not come around until the 19th century. There was also advancements in metalurgy, geometry, astronomy (although they still thought the earth was at the center of our solar system). They may have dreamed about flying into space but it would not be until 1960s when the technology caught up to the dream.
Where are we now then? I think we're at the beginning of a new beginning. Medicine is just starting to see the work of much research into bioengineering, stem cell advances and nano drugs. Just saw a program the other night where researchers were growing body parts such as ears and heart valves. Then there's something they nick named "pixie dust" a solution that regrows tissue. That was something an Iraq war vet was very glad they came up with as they didn't need to amputate his leg. The newest aircraft in Boeing's line up the 787 is made from carbon fiber materials stronger than steel. But I think there will be far stranger things coming that we'll have a hard time wrapping our minds around at least by present standards.
What do I see for the immediate future? Pay close attention to water,energy, and food. Water prices will go up meaning washers will be designed to use only a few gallons. Toilets will use almost no water. A shower will be more of a mist than a shower. Eventually somebody will get smart enough to put your household electricity on a computer program that will shut off power to all appliances that sit there on standby wasting power. Window films will produce power during the day and illuminate your home when the sun goes down. There'll be a slow move away from oil consumption as the supply dwindles. That will lead the way for the cars that run on vegetable oil, air or electricity from renewable sources. Foods such as beef chicken pork and fish will be produced in factory labs with no waste. No bones or manure to deal with either.
Much of this is already in the pipeline of technology and we should be seeing some of this in the next few years.