Sunday, 16 February 2014

08:02 – Incredibly, USPS did not deliver mail on our block yesterday, despite the fact that the roads were clean and dry and that they delivered elsewhere in our neighborhood, both yesterday and Friday. I saw a mail truck two blocks down our street at about 4:00 p.m. yesterday, and assumed that they’d be getting to us soon. But no. I finally gave up at 9:00 p.m. and turned off the porch light. Barbara’s sister, who lives in a similar residential neighborhood across town, with similar street conditions, got delivery Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, as have others in our area. But we’ve been without service since Wednesday.

This catastrophic service failure is simply unacceptable. The postmaster responsible should be fired. I’m going to mail our congressman and the Postmaster General demanding that he be held accountable. On Thursday morning, we had about 6″ of snow on the ground. I halfway expected delivery that day–USPS delivery vehicles have chains–but I wasn’t really surprised when it didn’t happen. On Friday morning, things had improved, so I processed kit shipments as usual and had them waiting for pickup. I was expecting USPS to be running late, but I was shocked when they didn’t show up at all. Yesterday, the roads were clear and dry. Ordinary cars had no trouble on them. I was stunned when USPS didn’t show up. With Monday being a federal holiday, we’ll have to wait until Tuesday for mail service. Being without service for five days is simply unacceptable. Heads need to roll.


38 thoughts on “Sunday, 16 February 2014”

  1. Good luck finding the cog in that wheel, who will give you satisfaction. The only days we have been without delivery, were when it was actually snowing 6 inches or more during the day. That junk mail is soooo important, that it always makes it through the next day, though. Contacting a Congressman to get something done? Ever seen Zardoz? Congress types are the ones inside the protective transparent bubble. They will do something for their cronies, but the rest of us? Forget it! We’re outside the bubble.

  2. Is it just me who “feels” like the USA is slowing down right now? Business is really tapering off and several of my friends report that their business work is slowing down also. I do not know if it is just the severe winter or if businesses are pulling back due to all the new regulations, employee expenses, etc.

  3. It ain’t just you; the vaunted and ballyhooed “recovery” just ain’t happening, no matter how many restaurants are still mobbed on weekends and how many orders Amazon processes tonight. Yeah, the winter has kicked some ass, but the whole enchilada is starting to unravel and expose the moldy cheese and rotten meat inside…

    …besides the business and jobs slowdowns, the State is doing its absolute utmost to stifle small businesses and innovation in this country and make life hell for anyone who tries. Case in point is the ridiculous mail stoppage for Bob down there in NC; WTF? We get mail delivered here during blizzards. And the schools never close. Well, they would if somebody phoned in some kinda threat or a six-year-old brings his Toy Story character’s toy gun to the class.

  4. Wow, the site is almost inaccessible tonight.

    Oddly, we are not getting new business, but we are getting an increased load from our regular customers. We are kind of concerned about that, because we would like to diversify the customer list. Lawyers are notorious for moving firms, and a loss of just a couple customers would hit our bottom line pretty dramatically at the moment.

    First quarter is often historically low. When my dad worked in the insurance industry, he made extra efforts at what my mom called ‘stirring up’ business, starting in January, to make sure they always had a good January.

    Take it from me, good newsletters bring in business.

  5. It is truly amazing the progress that is being made in audio. At the rate improvements are being made there, I believe the laughing by people in video, caused by a TV cop show magnifying a license plate from a mile away and being able to read it perfectly, will eventually be replaced by awe as it one day proves possible.

    A Dutch guy named Hans has coded an audio plug-in called Stereo Tool. During the last couple years, it has matured incredibly. As one guy from my circle of broadcast friends says, “The sound coming out is actually better than the quality fed in.” That is no lie. It really does sound unbelievable, and more broadcasting types are discovering it. Over a hundred people joined a Facebook tech group 2 weeks ago, just because of a discussion by a guy building a computer box to house and use this software. It causes a big dilemma, because processing has always been done with a piece of hardware — sometimes costing as much as $40,000 (for just one piece of the overall puzzle), — however now this Netherlander charges in the low hundreds for a fully enabled version in Windows or Linux, BUT you have to put it on a dedicated computer yourself. This is making tech guys’ heads spin, because it is not just a matter of screwing it into a rack, and plugging it in; you more-or-less have to build the computer hardware yourself (or have someone do it for you), and few are used to doing that. The savings for this piece of software on a DIY box, is dramatic.

    How this is going to play out is going to be interesting, because several makers of very expensive audio equipment could be put out of business by this guy with a clearly equivalent product, but who is making it available in a DIY environment. The dedicated hardware makers use DSP-oriented equipment, so they are building something with a processor in it that runs dedicated software (usually in Windows), kind of like how a router is made and operated. Upgrading of the dedicated hardware is difficult, and usually, those makers abandon it after a few years, and you have to buy a whole new piece of equipment — just like you do with a router — if you want the latest developments. With Stereo Tool, you just upgrade the software when it comes out, and if the OS needs upgrading for some reason, that is easy enough to do, too.

    I have spent (some may term it “wasted”) the weekend fiddling, after upgrading to the latest version of Stereo Tool. Unfortunately, Hans has added and changed some things, and I now have too much bass. The presets are in a plain text file, but there are over 2,000 adjustments possible. It is not a matter of just turning down the bass. I have to locate where the excessive bass has come from, and take it down there. It is not that the bass sounds bad — it is sweet, tight and clear, but clearly overpowers the speech range, which I am trying to make prominent over everything else.

    If you want to test my setup, I will post the preset text file — probably on GitHub — when I get this figured out. The pro’s still use Winamp as their audio source for testing in the lab. I have always recommended Winamp or XMPlay, the latter which uses the excellent BASS audio engine and accommodates Winamp plug-ins.

  6. Does Ted Cruz have a chance in 2016? Looks like he is running:
    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/198482-cruz-to-get-heros-welcome-in-iowa-and-new-hampshire

    If Cruz or someone else like him were to come in and balance the Feddies over a four year period, would the country stand it? Could the country stand it?

    My wife has a theory that every federal election year economy sucks because everyone is holding their breath. Somedays, I agree with her. Too many businesses are pulling back right and being “careful”.

  7. Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, so I would think that disqualifies him right off the bat.

    Though as a Canuck, he would do a decent job!

  8. Hey Chuck, you might like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf53Pg2AkdY

    I was youtubing some Kinks and J. Geils tonight and up popped this great Golden Earring video, supposedly HD from 1973. I suspect that some one merged the record audio with the video because it is just too clean. Freaking awesome! And I had no idea that Golden Earring was a Dutch band.

  9. Ted Cruz’s mother is a USA citizen from Michigan. He is a citizen of the USA and qualified to be President. He is a lawyer which is the only black mark in my book so far.

  10. OK, I may have to abandon “The Walking Dead”. The show is getting even more darker and darker. When the moron governor showed up with the M60 tank and blew their prison home to bits, that just took the cake. Running through the walker infested woods at night after running out of ammo was horrible.

    I know that a common theme in books and shows is, “what worse can I do to these people”, but come on!

  11. @Chuck W: “…BUT you have to put it on a dedicated computer yourself.”

    Consider doing the build and selling it as an appliance. 🙂

  12. Lynn, the requirements are that you must be a natural-born citizen of the USA, or if foreign-born, both parents must be American citizens at the time of birth. Ted’s dad Rafael Cruz became an American citizen in 2005, considerably later than Ted’s birth in 1970. Not my rules, but those the ones you have to deal with.

    Now, if you could come up with a way for him to be declared as Acting President, there might be a loophole he could fit through. There is an amendment to attach the same eligibility of the POTUS to the Office of Acting President, but that provision may not be required as a Constitutional matter. But IMHO the Constitution has been diddled with enough, and needs to be restored to it’s previous glory, say just before Lincoln came along.

    The way I read it, Ted is SOL.

    He is, however, welcome to come back “home” and run for Prime Minister! We don’t care where you’re born.

  13. I sure hope Ted Cruz isn’t elected. He’s anti-gay and anti-abortion. We sure don’t need another religious right president.

  14. Why? We have an anti-gay, anti-abortion PM, and he hasn’t done anything to alter our laws or liberties. He even allowed a “free” vote (meaning the MPs didn’t have to vote the party line) on abortion knowing it would be defeated, just to shut everyone up.

    Oh wait. He’s Canadian, and isn’t interested in shoving his attitudes down the throats of others. Ted’s been in Texas for far too long.

  15. “Not my rules, but those the ones you have to deal with.”

    Our current President’s father was Kenyan.

  16. Nice article, Alan. I predict that the SOTUS will not touch the “natural born” issue with a ten foot pole. They will let it pass. They have WAY too much on their plate right now. SOTUS is working on gay marriage across the 57 XX 50 states right now and several gun issues. The license or open carry decision out of the nineth circus the other day is wild and definitely will be appealed to SOTUS.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-concealed-weapons-20140214,0,1930416.story#axzz2tbNutw1K

    I did not know that Ted Cruz was a solid Ivy Leaguer thus continuing the tradition that our best and brightest go to Ivy league schools.

    From listening and watching Ted Cruz, I would not say that he is anti anything. For instance, I am anti abortion but I do not think that abortions should be banned in the first half of pregnancy. Oh wait, Ted Cruz is very anti-Obamacare.

    Ted Cruz is much more of a Libertarian than a Republican. He is a big time Tea Partier which is very, very, very strong here in the Great State of Texas. Not near as much a Libertarian as Ron Paul but maybe more so than Rand Paul. I would not be surprised to see the 2016 Republican ticket with Ted Cruz and Rand Paul in some order on it.

  17. “Our current President’s father was Kenyan.”

    True dat, but Obama can at least produce a birth certificate that shows a US State as place of birth. Ted Cruz cannot.

    Perhaps you guys should just wad up what’s left of the Constitution and toss it over your shoulder. Nobody uses it properly anyway.

  18. True dat, but Obama can at least produce a birth certificate that shows a US State as place of birth. Ted Cruz cannot.

    So are children born in foreign countries of one or more USA citizens not natural born citizens? Does Ted Cruz need to go through a naturalization process here in the USA?

  19. Just ignore bgrigg on this topic. Cruz seems to be one of the few politicians who is trying to make actions fit words (one of the few non commie progressive pols, that is; a number of commies are up-front about what they’re trying to accomplish) and bgrigg is just trying to steal him so he can clean up Canada’s messes.

    I’m not keen on Cruz’s SoCon facet but can probably live with it. He can flap his jaws from the bully pulpit, but the nation as a whole is mostly moving away from SoCon positions. I’m more interested in his positions on the deficit, and on Leviathan in general. And it comes down to who he’s facing, both in the primaries and in the national election. Cruz vs Huckabee? No contest. Cruz vs Hillary Bitch Clinton? No contest. Cruz vs Paul? Much tougher decision, but either would be OK.

  20. As far as I’m concerned, anyone at least one of whose parents was a US citizen at the time of his birth is a “natural-born” US citizen. And I think Cruz is an idiot if he gives up his Canadian citizenship.

    As to Cruz being libertarian, not so’s you’d notice. From the Wikipedia article:

    Cruz is pro-life, with an exception only when a pregnancy endangers the mother’s life.[73][74] Cruz opposes same-sex marriage, stating that he instead supports marriage “between one man and one woman,”[75] but believes that the legality of same-sex marriage should be left to each state to decide.[76]

  21. “Perhaps you guys should just wad up what’s left of the Constitution and toss it over your shoulder.”

    That was done here a very long time ago, like I keep saying. As was the Bill of Rights.

    I couldn’t possibly care less about Cruz, the so-called Tea Party crowd or any of the latest and greatest Repub or “libertarian” saviors who will allegedly rescue the country, etc., etc. and if I don’t vote for one of them, or for anybody, then I should get it even better and harder than I’ve been getting it.

    “Our current President’s father was Kenyan.”

    His alleged father, in any case, a Communist. His probable real father, likewise. And his mother. All Communists. Who generally support the violent overthrow of any non-Communist government and who routinely use ‘free speech’ to advance their aims, and once in power, deny it to everyone else. Like Nazis. Like Muslims. All are our enemies.

    Mitt Romney isn’t gonna help us. Neither is Ted Cruz. Or whichever other professional political hack crawls out from under a rock and is then ballyhooed by the usual media suspects and their enablers on FaceCrack and Twitter.

    I’d rather see the Mooch or Barry or HILLARY! get in there, which stands a very good chance, by the way, since the Repub losers and hosebags are demographic toast and have nobody to blame but themselves. Then the process will be accelerated even further and we can get on with it, the sooner the better. First the cull and then the purge.

  22. “So are children born in foreign countries of one or more USA citizens not natural born citizens? Does Ted Cruz need to go through a naturalization process here in the USA?”

    McCain was vetted on this. I believe he was born in Panama?

  23. McCain was vetted on this. I believe he was born in Panama?

    Yes but of two USA citizen parents. Cruz is one USA citizen parent at the time (now two, his father was naturalized).

  24. First the cull and then the purge.

    Not gonna happen. But, you and I would not survive either, being gun owners. And Christians. I figure that type of regime will turn off the streetlights and use Christians as torches instead.

    Instead, there will the Second USA civil war. It will be long and very, very, very bloody. We will probably starve during it unless some fool gets a nuke or 100.

  25. I think only the nutters will challenge Cruz on his eligibility. As long as you have “one good parent” nobody will care.

  26. From listening and watching Ted Cruz, I would not say that he is anti anything.

    Just pro money and power (or power and money, depending on which gets you more of the other)…no different that 99.9% of all the current politicians.

  27. OFD hit it. The demographics for Republicans are shrinking. Latest Gallup info shows Dems gaining an upper hand even in states that voted against Nobama. If Repubs are going to make their stand on religion, they are going to lose. If there is any kind of war in the future, it is going to be fought over religious-related issues.

    Guns won’t be outlawed, but carrying and using them is going to be made super-damned difficult almost everywhere but in OFDland.

  28. Hi Chuck, sorry but I am going to listen to Rush on the 2014 election prognosis:
    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2014/02/13/2014_will_be_bigger_wave_than_2010

    “In national poll after national poll, a majority of Americans oppose everything Obama’s doing. A Fox News poll came out yesterday, and a huge number of people do not like Obama ignoring the Constitution. A huge percentage is very opposed to this lawless behavior of his. There’s another factor that is gonna lead to a wave election — I mean, massive Democrat defeats, massive Democrat losses in November.”

    “Another contributing factor is, there won’t be a Republican establishment candidate on the ballot to tick people off. There will not be a Republican establishment candidate anywhere that will keep conservative or Republican voters at home, like there will be in 2016 if the party nominates another goofball. If the party nominates another moderate, Northeastern liberal, you’re gonna have a bunch of Republicans sit home again like they did in 2012. ”

    It is a long time between now and November so just about anything can happen. But if you look at the number of DemoRats retiring, that is a cue.

    And yes, I think in 2016 that the DemoRats will go past Hillary, aka Brave Sir Robin!, and have a unanimous plea for Michelle to save them. It will be Michelle versus Ted in 2016, you heard it here first.

  29. I agree that, if the Republicans nominate yet another political insider, they will lose the elections. The problem is: I do believe that the leadership is so out of touch that they do not understand that. They will do exactly the same thing: determine whose turn it is amongst the insiders, nominate that person, and go down in flames.

  30. Guns won’t be outlawed, but carrying and using them is going to be made super-damned difficult almost everywhere but in OFDland.

    Near as I can tell, about 1 out of 4 people in the Great State of Texas are carrying on their person or vehicle. California is 1 out of 10. Maybe more. That is 25% of the USA population. Good luck in getting that to change.

  31. “It will be Michelle versus Ted in 2016, you heard it here first.”

    If so, then it will be President Mooch. She would also mop up the floor with The Heroine of Tripoli and Benghazi. Or anybody else, including her “husband.”

    Yes, there are a lotta guns out here. Half a billion to a billion, among 330-million peeps in a very large country. Good luck rounding them all up, door to door, and if the regime starts making bloody examples of us, they will see some blowback like they’ve never even imagined. The rest of the world would do well to grab a bucket of popcorn, a sixpack of real beer, light up a spliff and enjoy the show.

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