Sunday Funnies

Since I was whacked out of my skull post-surgery last Sunday and could barely remember my name, let alone my password, I got a couple extras.






I’m feeling rather better than I have in a few days. Hopefully back to 90% (-10% for the hand) by tomorrow and certification middle of next week.

More on the new ride and other news tomorrow.

Posted in Kewel! | Leave a comment

Had an idea

Of something to blog about.

But I lost it. Seriously.

I have a head cold so strong I’m debating on whether to even get out of bed. And I’m supposed to certify on SMAW Vertical on Friday. I haven’t had my ass whooped this bad in a decade.

In other news, something that looks similar to this has entered my life.


More on that later. Thanks for stopping by.

Posted in Life in the Atomic Age | 5 Comments

And you thought

The waiting line at the bank took all day to get through.

Imagine if it was at the Post Office

A Public Option for Banking

Trying to get basic banking services to cash Social Security and disability checks was a persistent source of anxiety for Patricia Geary, a 65-year-old Philadelphia resident. She receives her payments in paper form, but since she didn’t have a checking account, she had trouble figuring out how to convert them into usable form.

“It was so stressful,” she told me. “It put me in such a fragile and depressive state that I had to seek out professional help at times.”

Commercial banks have too many hidden fees and minimum balances that are too high to help her. The check-cashing places she relied on require large fees for her to get cash and even more fees to convert some of that cash into money orders to pay bills. Keeping her money entirely in cash made it hard to budget well and left her vulnerable to theft.

Luckily, a public option became available. Geary received a Direct Express debit card that loads her government pension and disability payments. The card has low fees and none of her old financial hassles. “It was so much more flexible and allowed me to be much better at budgeting,” she said. “It’s like I have a bank in my pocket.”

There has been great interest in the idea of postal banking ever since the inspector general of the U.S. Postal Service released a white paper in January that went viral after Elizabeth Warren endorsed the idea. According to the proposal, the USPS would offer financial services, including a debit card much like Direct Express, to cater to the nearly 68 million Americans with limited or no access to a formal banking account.

How delicate a flower must one be to need therapy because you can’t cash a check?

But more importantly, who doesn’t have “access” to banking?

I can’t see a need that isn’t being filled by banks and credit unions.

On a personal note, when I moved into my neighborhood back at the end of 2008, it had one of those “combined” mailboxes. The USPS decided that because of a couple of mail thefts from individual houses, my neighbors would be forced to give up their personal mailboxes and accept three large combo mailboxes spread throughout our neighborhood.

Well, back in November these combo boxes were broken into. The thieves took a $5 pry bar and bent the large door the mail carrier uses to fill the individual boxes back about four inches. They were only able to get to two of the boxes, but now everyone in the neighborhood has to go to the sorting depot because the USPS refuses to deliver any mail to the big box.

It is now almost March and the USPS still hasn’t fixed the big box. I call every week and let them know it hasn’t been fixed. The employees at the sorting depot are tired of having to come out from behind the locked door separating the 8ft x 8ft waiting area from the sorting area to help those requesting their mail and have become slightly snotty about it.

The door on the big box that was bent is 10 gauge steel. I offered to fabricate a new door using a half-sheet of 1/4in plate I have sitting around, but I got told no so many times I stopped offering, and if I just go ahead and make the repair, I’ll be a felon (I was told this in no uncertain terms the last time I offered).

Now imagine these folks have your entire income.

Posted in Dare To Be Stupid | 3 Comments

The Joys of Goverment Run Healthcare

Part #53129

Anger as hearing aids are rationed by the NHS: Hard of hearing patients given only one device to be worn on left OR right ear

The NHS has started to ration hearing aids for the deaf – with thousands of people being offered only one device when experts say they need two.

Specialists recommend that patients who are losing their hearing in both ears should be offered two aids, but some NHS authorities have started to offer just one to such people, in a cost-cutting exercise that saves a modest £90 per person.

The charity Action on Hearing Loss, formerly the RNID, has found four hospital trusts in England and two health boards in Wales now initially offer one aid.

There is so much bad news in the EuroZone these days. Maybe the NHS thinks they’re doing these folks a favor in helping them only hear half of it?

Posted in The Government is Not Your Friend | 2 Comments

They can keep her

She’ll fit right in.

Nancy Pelosi leads House delegation to Cuba

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi traveled with a congressional congregation to Cuba on Tuesday.

The trip is the first official House delegation to travel to the island nation since President Barack Obama announced late last year an easing of trade restrictions with the Castro regime.

“This delegation travels to Cuba in friendship and to build upon the announcement of U.S. normalization of relations and other initiatives announced by President Obama,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. “This delegation will work to advance the U.S.-Cuba relationship and build on the work done by many in the Congress over the years, especially with respect to agriculture and trade.”

The delegation includes Democratic Reps. Eliot Engel of New York, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Anna Eshoo of California, Nydia Velázquez of New York, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Steve Israel of New York and David Cicilline of Rhode Island. Engel is the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Hell, they can keep them all. It’d be safer for America.

Posted in Dare To Be Stupid, Useful Idiots | 2 Comments

Product Review

I have not been paid to give this review, nor do I expect to be. I just thought you all might like to know about it.

About a month ago, a woman pulled into the lane I was traveling in on the interstate. While I managed to avoid the vast majority of damage to the both of us, we did make contact. We exchanged information and went our separate ways that morning, but she’d later make up a story which blamed me for the accident and cause me about 10 days worth of strife having to deal with insurance companies and body shops and filling out reports.

In the comments to those posts some of y’all proposed that I get a dash camera. I had been thinking of doing that a few months before after watching the antics of my fellow commuters. After I found out about her lie, that settled it.

But which one to choose?

After a moderately exhaustive search, I decided on the Amacam AM-M80

amacam M80-1

It was the right size, the right price, and had the right features. I ordered it with the wife’s Prime account and got it two days later. I read the instruction sheet and installed it the next morning before leaving for school.

I only have two complaints about the item and the first one is the instruction sheet. It would be more useful as a kleenex. Only about 10% of the instructions you’ll need for it are actually on the page. For the full meal deal, you need to go to their website and download the ten page pdf file, so not that big of a problem.

That afternoon after coming home I did that and it has been smooth sailing ever since.

It accepts a 32gb microSD card and records around three hours of video in increments you can select. It can record more time if you turn the resolution down from 1080p. I have mine recording 5 minute increments and having it delete the oldest file when memory runs short. It also has a microphone to record sound, but I turn that off because I sing when I drive, and no one wants to hear that. Lastly, it has an impact sensor which tells the device to record a still image of the impact. Driving in my Jeep, I’m not sure how ideal that function actually is.

Essentially, once you set the features to your preferences and it’s internal battery charges, you can forget about it, except for the turning it on and off. It imprints the time and date on all images and video, so make sure to set those as well.

The 1.5″ view screen is big enough that you can see what is going on within the recording system but small enough to not distract you while driving. The number of features and your control of them is easy. The window attachment mechanism actually works, and most importantly of all, the video quality is excellent, even in the dark.

My second and only other complaint is that the power input slot location is on the top side of the camera. While this would be great if I were to hard wire it into my fuse panel and run the wire over the top of the windshield and down the A-pillar under the interior window trim, but for more casual use, this is not ideal. I will likely hard wire it into my truck, but I’m not up to doing that in the Jeep.

In conclusion, for $60 plus another $15 for a 32gb microSD card, it is a pretty sweet little package of CYA. I’ll soon be buying another one so that I don’t have to switch my current one between vehicles. I have yet to talk to my insurance company to see if I can get a discount for having a dash cam. I still haven’t decided if they need to know.

I would recommend this item to everyone else I know and like. And I have been.

Posted in Life in the Atomic Age | 7 Comments

And here I was

Thinking that mathematical equations and problems had only one right answer and everything else was incorrect. Now someone comes along to tell me that there is a problem with my theory.

Teachers Give Girls Better Grades on Math Tests When They Don’t Know They Are Girls

Beginning in 2002, the researchers studied three groups of Israeli students from sixth grade through the end of high school. The students were given two exams, one graded by outsiders who did not know their identities and another by teachers who knew their names.

In math, the girls outscored the boys in the exam graded anonymously, but the boys outscored the girls when graded by teachers who knew their names. The effect was not the same for tests on other subjects, like English and Hebrew. The researchers concluded that in math and science, the teachers overestimated the boys’ abilities and underestimated the girls’, and that this had long-term effects on students’ attitudes toward the subjects.

If 4+4=8 no matter where or when, then how do teachers score an exam differently if they know the gender of the student?

I’ve never seen a problem with an answer of “Patriarchy”, so I’m wondering how this would happen? Rolf, you got any idea?

Posted in Academia and Other Nonsense | 3 Comments

That’s Not How This is Supposed to Work

Someone needs to retake their civics classes.

Cities challenge St. Charles County’s red light camera ban

St. Peters, O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, and a councilman from O’Fallon are filing a lawsuit in attempt to block a ban on red light cameras in St. Charles County.

Voters approved the ban November 4, with 73 percent of those who went to polls supporting the measure. However, those suing maintain the county has overstepped its legal bounds.

“Seventy-three percent of the voters pass a ban on red light cameras so what these cities are doing are suing 73 percent of the voters in St. Charles County, within their own cities. They’re suing their own residents,” said St. Charles County Councilman Joe Brazil.

While I believe that counties shouldn’t be able to tell individual municipalities what they can and cannot do in every case, this was the will of the voters of the county. if the intentions of these city councils were honorable, they would ask for a vote in their individual jurisdictions.

But they’re not because they know what the answer will be.

Posted in Order of the imperial upraised middle finger., The Government is Not Your Friend | 1 Comment

So, not funny

Back on the 6th of this month I was welding in the overhead position and got a 7018 welding rod stuck pretty damn deep in the weldment. I tried wriggling it out, but that wasn’t working. I tried bending it severely from both the left and right side as well, with no improvement in the situation.

Then, instead of doing the smart thing and grabbing up my Lineman’s pliers to cut the rod off, I grabbed it with an upside down right hand and started yanking rather vigorously from side to side. It finally broke off as I shoved from the left, sending my hand up and into the 3/8″ steel plate table my weldment was attached to.

Yes, this is all a run-up to telling y’all I broke my hand at the base of the right metacarpal about 1/2″ from where it attaches to the right carpal bone.

This is only a small hindrance. It turns out that once you know the motions and how 7018 rod works it takes only a few days to train your other hand to make those motions. I’ve been welding with my left hand since the 9th and am doing well enough that I was going to test out on my vertical (3G) and overhead (4G) certifications this week. Until the new x-rays came through on Friday.

Apparently, the long piece of the carpal bone is popped up and won’t reattach. The Urgent Care folks didn’t bother with attempting to realign the bones, preferring to let the hand specialist I saw on Friday to do that. I’ve been in their splint since the 6th and that just kept it from moving from its current position. So now the specialist wants to realign the bones and then pin or screw them together. This will happen Wednesday afternoon.

As he was telling me about the how and what he stated that I wouldn’t be able to weld for at least six weeks. I chuckled and said that wasn’t going to happen. I explained about the time and money I have invested in this program and how I have exactly six weeks left to complete the program and about how I have been welding all that week with my left hand, using my right hand to grasp things while wearing a splint that immobilized my ring and pinky fingers with no pain. He tilted his head a bit, shook it and left it at that.

I go in on Tuesday for a pre-op physical and then Wednesday afternoon for some outpatient surgery.

This is going to suck. Obviously, I type even more slowly that I did before, so posting might sparse out even more than before. Also, I’ll be losing a day and a half of practice and I had a project going in the Fab Shop that was due to be delivered on Friday that won’t be.

Posted in Dare To Be Stupid | 4 Comments

It is not what they say

It is what they do

As Parents Get More Choice, San Francisco Schools Resegregate

Amazingly, since they cannot protest themselves, no protests will take place.

Posted in Useful Idiots | 1 Comment