Monday, November 30, 2009

Generational Movie Quotes

How Health Care Providers Would Like Things To Be

Pay a bribe first, for decent care:

Pay a retainer (bribe), or no medicine for you:

These Are The Guys Who Wanted To Buy All Of Our Seaports...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Observations 26 NOV 2009

Back on the air.

95% moved (only what could not be moved, or was of little value remains). I'll be picking up the remains over the next month.

AT&T promised a delivery window of 0800 to 2000. The guy arrived at 1630. To his credit, he was a pro. Everything works, and well. New wiring was run for the DSL and phone.

The movers were excellent. 2 Guys And A Truck is highly recommended. They got the job done, and well.

A-1 Antenna will be installing the single vertical, and probably a 4228 next week (I already have 3 4221's). This new QTH (location for normal people) is 56 feet MSL lower than the Doghouse, surrounded by heavy trees, and there is an approximately 50 ft rise to the east, with two story apartment buildings atop the rise. Not so good for easterly propogation. To the west, south, southwest, and northwest, things might be better. It's almost an exact reversal of my previous reception characteristics.

My new Command Post is working out well. Necessity is the mother, etc. Everything is in reach. The un-needed is packed, and will remain so. Computer and radio will be together in the shack, as well as the working office. A new (monster) 1500 W UPS, and much superior electrical service, is a welcome change. So is the increase in water pressure, and quality of the water supply. The City Of St. Louis is corrupt, but has excellent water and sewage treatment. Ironic...

Max took some adjusting. He developed severe anxiety at first, but calmed when he was re-assured that he was not being abandoned in a foster home. Trips back and forth between the locations, and the presence of Gramma have aided immensely.

Mom has stood the strain rather well. I'm not the most patient of persons when a Major Operation Is In Progress. The US military programmed me well.

Now, the long winter of unpacking, shredding, and selling and disposing begins. I'm now within four blocks of my friends, and within 2 km of the big RF farm. So much for DX'ing, but a most welcome return to human companionship. Not to mention nine minutes closer to work. With both bus and Metro Link within walking distance. After the house and other associated expenses cease early next year, my cash flow nearly doubles. Car and other insurance goes down. Fuel expenses drop radically.

Multigenerational households were the norm before. I think they are returning. So will cities.

Friday, November 20, 2009

They Must Have Been Taking Advice From My Debate Opponents

Heckuva Job In Afghanistan!

Ending With A Whimper

ID Theft

Hmmmm. Might Be A Pattern Here....

Welcome to the brave new work world. Another reason why I left my discussion boards:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Observations Monday 16 Nov 2009

I've been wanting to make some observations for some time, but the operational tempo of my life has prevented it. There are some big changes occurring, and it seems spooky that big changes happen in my life generally in the fall, and close to one of the big birthday date years. I've been forced to take a series of long hard looks at the second half of my life, and what I want to do with it- and exterior circumstances have forced it. These changes also face this country, in many respects.

First, that Great American Dream of being a homeowner has made me more socially isolated than when I lived in an apartment, conserving capital for that great financial bonanza of home-ownership. (You can figure out what happened to that bonanza, and I had even, to my chagrin, predicted it). That is not a good thing, as one grows older and needs the support network.

I was camping out in my home, not living in it. The vast majority of my possessions that I had joyously unpacked, free of their storage tubs, went untouched. My friends did not visit, as I had moved into a small house that did not permit the gathering of a dozen geeks in one much for hosting.

Secondly, the utility and self-esteem that went along with the house went quickly, eaten by the time spent traveling to all the minor destinations of shopping, etc, lawn care (lawn Nazi's), and the continual hassle and financial drain of maintaining the structure. I did *not* automatically attract female attention by living in a very nice zipcode, my dog had to be driven to parks, to avoid annoying the neighbors who kept *their* pets as weapons, and the favorable location for radio and TV did not pay off in terms of long term satisfaction. Amateur radio is an expensive money and time sink, not to mention the need to climb my roof every time something new came along. Five figures to the left of the decimal point spent to listen to boasts of how great it was to not have teeth anymore...regardless of frequency band. TV DX'ing has gone to hell since the digital transition. The thrill is gone.

Third, financially, all I was doing was renting, paying higher utilities and other frictional costs, and getting a slight tax benefit for it. The recovery in home values will not be soon enough for me to monetize a gain (as I'm past fifty), and I can literally save faster than I can realize a gain from the house. The house will require lots of cosmetic work, as I kept it as a doghouse, literally. It would need to be refitted with handicapped features as well, if I planned to stay in it for life.

Fourth, time to face up to the fact that as a professional, my income would likely be stagnant until the economy recovers. These are supposed to be my peak earning years, and I'm screwed. White collar job, but functionally, a member of the working poor. Income impossible to raise, and increasing expenses to maintain the house. The only thing to do about cash flow is to cut expenses.

And I was dying faster in the house. So It Was Time To Get Out.

Hello, Rubbermaid tubs. Down came the antenna farm (most of it). Only needed one TV. Many old books got donated, thirty year old uniforms and clothes that did not fit went to Goodwill. Nearly forty years of paper records are in the process of being shredded. and so on.

It's like attending your own funeral. The smashing blow to the ego (YOU"RE A LOSER!!) was not made anymore pleasant by knowing that I was making the right financial and health choices.

Where I'm moving to, I can walk and bicycle to everything. One block to the Doggie Park. Max is happy, and the doggies are much friendlier. My utility and insurance costs go waaaay down. My car is now sheltered, not out in the open. My gut will go down, and I'll be eating a much healthier diet (cooked by me).

Here's where the Internet gets to laugh it's ass off.

My mom's arthritis, congestive heart failure, and scleroderma have made her mobility difficult. She is competent, not incontinent. It's just that walking and lifting are sheer pain. She can still drive, but entry and exit from her car is agony, and difficult.

She needs help. She's proud as hell. I'm the one she trusts with keys and money. I'm the one strong enough to lift her. She conspires with Max. And I wouldn't be able to face myself if I didn't try to help.

So, it's Mom's Basement.

I have a completely separate washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, bathroom, bedroom, and entrance/exit. Its a square nearly fifty feet on a side. Plus, I'm not likely to have sex ever again, sooooo...

Yes, at past fifty, I'm going back in The Basement. Enjoy the laugh.

The irony is, the country will soon be following me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

MO Speed Trap Rankings

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What Google Knows About You

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dealing With Extremism

NSA, Reading E-Mail

My Kind Of Vending Machine

Broadband Access And Balloons

More Droooones

GPS Woes

You Can't Eat Just One...

Google Vs. Librarians!,8599,1904495,00.html?cnn=yes

Bank Regulation Follies


American Exceptionalism

There Is No Recession

Rupert Vs. Google

European Space Telescope

Monday, November 2, 2009