Wednesday, 19 July 2017

08:45 – It was 68F (20C) when I took Colin out at 0700, sunny and clear.

I got a bunch of solutions made up yesterday for science kits. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be labeling and filling bottles–thousands of them–making up chemical bags, small parts bags and other subassemblies, and building finished kits. As usual this time of year, we’ll be hard-pressed finding places to stack the finished goods inventory.

Email overnight from long-time reader Paul Robichaux, with the subject line “You knew it all along I guess”, and a link to this article about the myth of drug expiration dates.

Yeah, I knew it all along, or at least back to the 70’s, when I did activity tests on long-expired antibiotics, many of them dating back 25 years or more, and found that all were at least 75% as potent as they’d been originally and in most cases close to 100%. And these had been stored at room temperature and in some cases without any climate control in barns and so forth. Most of them were agricultural antibiotics, including penicillin, tetracycline, erythromycin, and so on, although some were capsules or tablets intended for human use. Obviously, I could do no safety testing, but there was no reason to believe any of the drugs had degraded at all, let alone become unsafe.

I store our own stocks of antibiotics and other drugs in the freezer, which should quadruple or even octuple their real shelf-lives. In other words, they should be as good literally 100 years from now as they are today.


Red flag to a bull. I spotted this article yesterday, which claims that there are two correct solutions to this math puzzle, but only one in a thousand people will figure out both solutions. I assumed it’d take me about 15 seconds to get both. I was wrong. It took me 22 seconds. The problem was, there are not just two correct answers, but at least three. I say at least, because after getting three correct answers in 22 seconds, I stopped working on it. There are likely more correct answers, depending on how deeply you want to look for patterns.

Interestingly, I came up with the third solution–the one they don’t know about–first, the “difficult” solution second, and their “easy” solution third. (Hint: those solutions are, in that order, 52, 96, and 40.)


More email from Kathy. She works a normal year-round job, but as a teacher Mike gets summers off. After he finishes the second shelf-island, he intended to go to work on repackaging. Kathy asked him not to do that, because (a) she thinks it’ll go better with two people working on it–and she’s right about that, as we know from experience–and (b) she wants the experience of repackaging. She didn’t say so, but my guess is that (c) as would be many wives, she’s afraid he’ll somehow screw it up, or make a big mess, or something.

So they’ve agreed that he’ll instead devote time this week to getting all of the canned/bottled supplies unpacked and arranged on the shelves with the latest best-by dates toward the back, and those shelves labeled with sections for canned meats, soups, sauces, condiments, vegetables, fruits, cooking/baking essentials, herbs/spices, etc. etc. Mike intentionally left a fair amount of space on the island shelving units between the top shelves and the ceiling. He used 6-foot vertical posts, so they have a top shelf on each unit that’s about two feet from the ceiling. That space will be devoted to toilet paper, paper towels, and similar light but bulky items.

As it turns out, Mike isn’t yet finished building stuff in the basement. Kathy is now exchanging email with Jen, Brittany, Cassie, Jessica, Lisa, et alia. To make a long story short, to Mike’s surprise Kathy has decided she’s going to learn to pressure-can. She told him she wanted a heavy-duty built-in table on the wall next to the basement sink, on the other side of the washer-drier. Mike pointed out that she’d never pressure-canned anything in her life, but she pointed out that she now knew lots of women who did, and anyway she’s signed up for a pressure-canning course at the local ag extension office.

Mike pointed out that there’s no range/cooktop in the basement. No problem, Kathy said. She’d use a hot plate or two. That ain’t gonna work, Mike pointed out. You’ll need 220/240VAC to get enough watts/BTU’s to do pressure canning. So we’ll install a second-hand or inexpensive new electric cooktop, Kathy suggested. No room in the breaker panel for another 220/240VAC breaker, says Mike.

Not one to be beaten–something she has in common with Jen and the rest–Kathy then announced that in that case even though it’d cost more she wanted to install a propane cooktop and a large propane tank. That would not only be an excellent solution for pressure-canning, but would give them a completely off-grid solution for cooking and baking. Having been married for quite a few years, Mike knew he was beaten. So he suggested that rather than have him cobble together a working surface that he visit the local building supply store and pick up two or three inexpensive base cabinets, maybe a couple of upper cabinets, a laminate countertop, and a propane-capable gas cook top.

He’ll also call the local propane supplier and order a large propane tank to be installed as soon as possible, with lines run for the cooktop, a space heater, and one terminating near the rear basement door for a tri-fuel generator that they don’t have yet. In consultation with the Prepper Girls, Kathy will take care of ordering a pressure canner and canning supplies, jars, lids, etc. She also asked Mike about buying a dehydrator. As any husband who’s not a complete newbie would in that situation, he replied, “Why not?”

Kathy also mentioned something interesting that she hadn’t told me before. She gets three weeks of vacation, which she normally takes as one week over Christmas and two weeks in the summer, when they normally go on a vacation trip. This year, they decided to skip the vacation trip and devote the significant money that would have cost them to buying LTS food and other prepping supplies. They also cut way back on their monthly cable TV bill and signed up for Netflix streaming to replace the big cable TV package. The upshot is that they’ll be spending more than $100/month less on TV, all of which goes to buying prepping supplies. They have a couple of financially major projects in mind–including a small off-grid solar setup–and need to do a bunch of filling out on various categories including medical supplies, ammunition and perhaps another couple of gubs.

They’re both happy with their new, less expensive entertainment options. They already had Prime streaming, and with Netflix streaming added they are in great shape for stuff to watch. Mike is suffering sports withdrawal, but says he’ll get over it. No word from their kids.

84 thoughts on “Wednesday, 19 July 2017”

  1. Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention. Three or four weeks ago, theprepperjournal.com site went wonky. All of their regular article authors, including site owner Pat Henry, apparently stopped writing articles. Eventually, they started running some articles, but all by one guy posting as Wild Bill.

    So yesterday, I finally posted a comment asking where everyone had gone. Wild Bill is apparently a guy named Bill Terwillegar, who replied that Pat Henry had, as I suspected, sold the site, and that he hoped those other authors would continue contributing articles. Pat Henry was always worth reading, but I particularly miss Rebecca Ann Parris.

  2. They’re both happy with their new, less expensive entertainment options. They already had Prime streaming, and with Netflix streaming added they are in great shape for stuff to watch. Mike is suffering sports withdrawal, but says he’ll get over it. No word from their kids.

    How close are Mike and Kathy to a medium-large city’s broadcast TV antenna farm? Any mountains in the way? The broadcast networks still get the major sports events along with local teams, and the upside of HDTV is you either get the channel clearly or you don’t.

    I get the rated distance out of AntennasDirect’s ClearStream antennas mounting them in the attic, and the customer service people are honest as well as very knowledgeable. If they are within 50 miles or so of an antenna farm without obstacles, Mike should give the company a call to discuss his options.

    With the theme park and movie divisions minting money, I doubt Disney is going to keep tolerating the red ink pouring out of ESPN whether or not they find a buyer. The sports channels will be among the first casualties once the cable providers go “al a carte” — the only way Comcast, Time Warner, etc. will survive other than as raw Internet providers.

  3. They’re in far SW Virginia, pretty far from any major cities, and they’re in the mountains. I doubt they could get any channels OTA. Bonnie, our late next-door neighbor, had a traditional pole-mounted TV antenna, and she was able to get some of the Triad TV stations (the ones whose antennas are on Sauratown Mountain down near Mt. Airy), but we sit on top of the mountain at 3,000+ feet elevation with a pretty clear LOS to Sauratown Mountain. People around here who don’t sit up on the mountain can’t get any OTA TV.

  4. ESPN has sports? Since long before I quit drinking, and sometime after college, I haven’t seen a single thing anywhere on ESPN or ESPN2, other than college cheerleading competitions (and HOURS of guys sitting behind a glass desk talking about other guys as if they were lovers). Those being scheduled just long enough after bar closing time, that the target audience gets home and cracks a nightcap….

    n

  5. Woke up to very unhappy pooch today.

    Went to vet yesterday for worm treatment, due to fleas, which we’ve been treating for 3 weeks. Got 2 vaccinations too, as we’ll be boarding him next month.

    Last night, 2 nice piles of puke on the carpet. This morning, what used to be called ‘ the bloody flux.’

    Looks like blood mixed in in any case.

    Damn.

    n

  6. ESPN has sports? Since long before I quit drinking, and sometime after college, I haven’t seen a single thing anywhere on ESPN or ESPN2, other than college cheerleading competitions

    ESPN has to justify that $9/month (at least where I live) chunk of the cable bill to a general audience. At least they aren’t running reality shows about tattoos … yet.

    (and HOURS of guys sitting behind a glass desk talking about other guys as if they were lovers)

    ESPN fired Trent Dilfer. (Okay, easy shot from a near-native to Tampa Bay, but it was a happy day for me.)

  7. ESPN is screwed. Their subscriber base is plummeting as more and more people cut the cord, AND they still have multi-year multi-billion dollar commitments to sporting leagues. I see bankruptcy in their not-too-distant future. As to the sporting leagues that will be left holding empty bags, it couldn’t happen to more deserving people.

  8. I can’t even summon up crocodile tears for ESPN, their owner, or the pro sports leagues. All I can manage is laughing until tears come to my eyes.

  9. @Mr. nick; hope your dawg is gonna be OK; could he possibly have gotten into something bad that he ate, also?

    And good riddance to ESPN, when the day comes.

    I’ve decided I will hang onto my addiction to the NFL broadcasts until Tom Brady finally retires, probably around the same time Belichick does. After that, I’ll only go to meatspace Triple-A baseball games down in Burlap/Colchester once in a while. Six bucks and a bus ride from and back to the water tower parking lot at UVM.

    Meanwhile we up here will take an interest in what happens with Comcast/Xfinity; we’d just as soon cut the cable tee-vee immediately and only pay for landline phone and internet. We’ve got the Roku, Netflix, AMZ streaming, etc. and rarely watch any of it anyway, plus the hundred or so DVDs.

  10. As to the sporting leagues that will be left holding empty bags, it couldn’t happen to more deserving people.

    The new stadiums in Dallas and Houston have a lot more tractor pulls in their future.

  11. Hey, don’t forget pro wrestling and demolition derbies!

    Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

  12. Going to motor home demolition derby at OC Fairgrounds in a couple of weeks.

    Watching Tour De France on NBCSN right now.

    Better yet GLOW is coming back ….. Netflix?

  13. Hey, don’t forget pro wrestling and demolition derbies!

    Pro Wrestling will go to the NBA arenas after that league goes Tango Uniform. More intimate and appropriate given the current level of drama in the NBA.

    I’m old enough to remember that the Tampa PBS affiliate, WEDU, built their endowment and facilities renting out the studios to Florida Championship Wrestling, a forerunner of the WWF/WWE/GLOW, back in the 70s and 80s.

  14. Bread and circuses!

    Some things never change.

    While the senators and consuls work their nefarious mischief behind the scenes, cutting deals, plotting, conspiring….

  15. ESPN is screwed. Their subscriber base is plummeting as more and more people cut the cord, AND they still have multi-year multi-billion dollar commitments to sporting leagues. I see bankruptcy in their not-too-distant future. As to the sporting leagues that will be left holding empty bags, it couldn’t happen to more deserving people.

    ESPN will be a bankruptcy reorganization if this happens. The bankruptcy judge (very powerful, higher than federal district judges) will renegotiate the agreements themselves. The agreements will not be walked away from. If the organization tries to not follow the bankruptcy judge’s decision then they will be dragged into the bankruptcy themselves.

    The new stadiums in Dallas and Houston have a lot more tractor pulls in their future.

    The Houston stadium is 13 years old and the Dallas stadium, Jerry’s world, is 8 years old. Not new. Both are used a lot with many racing and pull events already. The Houston stadium is half ??? owned by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
    http://twistedsifter.com/2009/09/new-dallas-cowboys-stadium/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NRG_Stadium

    Organized team sports will not go away. The overkill bidding by ESPN will go away.

    BTW, the NFL is a limited partnership with 32 members. The city of New York is trying to get this changed so the NFL will pay taxes on ALL teams to NYC. Not gonna happen.

  16. The Houston stadium is half ??? owned by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

    Fair enough. The NFL is bullshit already.

    The city of New York is trying to get this changed

    Of course. The city’s broke and beyond broke. You’re a fascist baby-killer if you suggest cutting the rate the spending is going up, but tax increases are always under discussion.

  17. When my brother graduated from college in 1977, he immediately got a job at a technical director at WGHP/Channel 8 in High Point, NC. At that time, they still had local studio wrestling events, and the station sent out a crew to shoot video. My brother was buddies with the cameraman, who had a nice little sideline betting on the outcomes of the matches, which of course were already known to him.

  18. “ESPN will be a bankruptcy reorganization if this happens.”

    I’m betting on a Chapter 7 liquidation.

  19. ESPN will be a bankruptcy reorganization if this happens

    Bankruptcy won’t happen anytime soon. ESPN is a subsidiary of Disney, and the new “Star Wars” movie ticket sales will make this year’s TV division losses a rounding error.

    I didn’t delve into the annual report too deeply when it arrived a few months back. I know from past reports that the Mouse derives a lot of intangibles from ESPN in the opinion of management, and they’ll accept the situation for a while. Shareholders will probably have to push the divestiture like they did with the last two major CEO changes ousting Ron Miller (Disney’s son-in-law) in the early 80s and Michael Eisner about 10 years ago.

  20. NFL will pay taxes on ALL teams to NYC

    The players have to pay state taxes in any state they play where their are income taxes. The income the player earned for the that game is considered income according to the states. Thus if a player earns $1 million and plays 10 games, each state where the player played considers $100K of that for tax purposes.

    I can imagine that the filing of income taxes at the end of the year is a nightmare. Especially true for baseball and basketball players that play dozens of games in different venues each year.

    Win the Super Bowl and the extra money paid for winnings is taxed by the state.

    It is all a massive tax grab by the states stealing money from people whenever and any way the state can grab it. I fought Oregon over money I did not even earn in the state but the state ruled I had to pay taxes because the state thought I was a resident. Even though I had not set foot in the state for the entire year.

  21. “My brother was buddies with the cameraman…”

    Did your bro get rich too?

  22. Everyone is supposed to pay state income taxes on any income earned in that state. MrsAtoz, MrsOFD, they’re gonna be looking at you!

    Touring pro’s deal with this too, esp the ones covered by union agreements. Fortunately, the union files all the taxes (or the venue does on behalf, depends how they are getting paid) but it’s up to the individual to file in each state for any refunds due. Usually ordinary people will get refunds as their income was low. Sportsball performers getting the huge salaries? Not so much. Most people coast thru the requirement because they are essentially anymouse. Not the ‘heros of the gridiron.’

    n

  23. BTW, F’ing around doing housework because it’s 105F and 46%RH in my driveway. Feels like of 119F! It’s so hot the airconditioner can’t quite keep up. (This happens a couple weeks out of the year. No reason to upsize the AC unit.)

    Just taking the trash out is taxing.

    n

  24. Everyone is supposed to pay state income taxes on any income earned in that state.

    Which gets amusing when a NY player gets taxed on his full annual income in NYS, and NJ also claims taxes due on the income because their practice field is in that state. And Michigan claims tax on part of the income because one game was played there, and ditto Oregon.

    Something similar was tried in the 1990s or early 2000s. A consultant would live in NYS, his employer was officially in NJ, and he spent 80% of his time on the road, spending a couple weeks at a time at client sites all over the country. I think the cases went to federal court, though they may have been settled before getting to the court. All I remember is that no one was satisfied with the results. (The people and cases I’m familiar with were all computer/IT consultants, like IBM employees. Probably the same money grab was tried against other traveling consultants, but I didn’t follow it closely enough to remember.)

  25. As a traveling consultant, I was expected to pay in every state. Like you are expected to pay that state’s sales tax if you buy something online from that state….

    But almost no one does, and those who do are only the ones high enough profile and pay to make it worth threatening or chasing.

    The situation when I was working in Canadia, paid by the parent company in Cali, and living in TX (no state income tax), was very complicated. It got simplified by my employer and I was happy with the solution. All I’m gonna say about that.

    n

  26. “Everyone is supposed to pay state income taxes on any income earned in that state. MrsAtoz, MrsOFD, they’re gonna be looking at you!”

    So if they earn income in NJ, NH, ID, TX, and whatever other states in any given year, they’re supposed to pay state income taxes to those states?? And then pay it again in their home state, too???

    I just spent an hour on hold with the IRS to zero avail concerning yet another threatening (property seizure) certified letter and haven’t been able to reach another human bean at all today. Rinse and repeat with the VA concerning the verification of my appointment tomorrow down in White River Junction (two hours each way); left vm’s twice and no response yet. Told wife “And they wonder why we’re all so bitter and pissed off all the time.” But that is as nothing compared to dealing with the IRS, of course.

    And the only info one gets while waiting on hold is the myriad of ways we can pay money to them.

  27. I wonder if states have considered taxing commercial airline pilots and crew because they flew over a state. Could be a big revenue stream for the states. After all the crew did earn money while in that state.

    I seem to remember one time, very early 70’s, where a flight I was on flew over Utah. The crew had to stop serving alcohol because the rules of the state did not allow alcohol to be served from small containers. Once the flight was no longer over Utah drinks were again being served. Or maybe my brain has melted.

  28. Your brain probably has melted but that in no way detracts from your accurate historical recollection of the utter madness which suffuses this nation concerning financial matters.

    Rest assured that the brigands, pirates and other criminal shitbags who rule us will find ways to sweat water from stone and blood from turnips in every conceivable effort to wring every last fummamuckin dime out of us until, and after, we finally croak.

  29. And the only info one gets while waiting on hold is the myriad of ways we can pay money to them

    Indeed. The three page letter I got from the IRS where they were going to seize my property for a debt that was not mine was the same way. Lots of information about what to do and who to contact to satisfy the debt. Last paragraph on the last page had information about what to do if you disagree. Piss on that. I hustled to the IRS office and dealt with the dim witted bastards there. Who told me they could do nothing unless I wrote a letter to the IRS. So I got some blank paper, sat in the IRS office, and wrote the letter by hand. Gave it to them and demanded they stop the seizure. All the local office would do is put a note on my account.

    I still had to send a letter to the IRS, registered, return receipt, demanding a stop as they had my property associated with the wrong individual. I also demanded a letter indicating the IRS send me documentation they were incorrect and my property would not be seized. Shit in one hand and ask for an apology or correction from the IRS. See which hand fills up with anything.

  30. fummamuckin dime out of us until, and after, we finally croak

    Even after you are dead the IRS will still go after somebody. I did not file a return the year my aunt died as I really did not care about the taxes. She had nothing, owed nothing, and would get nothing from the IRS. I did have POA from the IRS and had been filing for the prior 10 years.

    Lo and behold I got a nasty gram from the IRS three years later for failing to file a return. I did not know it was my responsibility to file. I thought POA gave me the ability to file, but not the requirement. There was no executor on the estate as there was no estate. Even SS would not pay the death benefit as she was on Medicaid.

    So I filed the return. Amount owed $0, refund $0. But still had to deal with the paperwork. I still am not really certain if I was required to file her return or if I could have told the IRS to piss off. My thinking was that if I told the IRS to piss off the next 7.8 years would be hell dealing with the IRS. Missed refunds, lost documents, fine tooth audits. Revenge by the IRS was a major consideration. So I just complied like a good little slave and did the deed.

  31. We’re incorporated (C) and Kalifornia withholds when they think of it. Many Kalifornia schools just pay without withholding. Too bad, I’m not saying anything. No other State has ever withheld. The only State we’ve had a real problem with is New Mexico. We worked for the State itself once and were required to register with them. Now I have to file a report every six months if we work there or not under a small penalty. They are a gross receipts State and tell you upfront to work in taxes with any entity you work with in NM. Illinois and Pennsylvania regularly send me “pay your employee taxes” notices. We haven’t had employees in those States for ten years. I tried several times to cancel that shit, but have just been ignored, so I ignore them.

    We are Inc’d in Texas and they want a Sales & Use Tax report/$$ every year. The only thing taxable are our books sold to Joe Citizen. Breaking out the tax to State, County, City, MTA, Special sucks rocks. Selling twenty books to twenty different locations could cost pennies in tax, but hours of work on my part.

    In summary, gooberment sucks rocks and wants to take your hard earned cash to fuel useless progressive nonsense. Even Texas.

  32. I have long been seething with rage and can well imagine millions of others feeling the same. Especially when we see the top dawgs skating on their taxes all the time. Meanwhile they come after us with hammer and tongs.

    I keep yakking about a lawyer but it never happens and the checks just get swallowed up almost immediately by bills and taxes anyway. I think I’m just gonna commandeer the next check and put it on a tax lawyer’s desk and ask for help ASAP. I’m sick of being the point man for someone else’s taxes and getting not only no pay for it but a lot of aggravation and frustration.

    And here I am, with shit in each hand and up to my neck in it.

  33. No shit.

    Only get very short breaks around here.

    And I thought there was a pony in here somewhere….

  34. “they’re supposed to pay state income taxes to those states?? ”

    Your income in your home state is reduced by the amounts you earned in the other states. In other words, you are only taxed on the income once, but theoretically owe the tax only in the states where you earned the money. (If you live in a high tax state, and work in low tax states, this might actually be in your favor.)

    IIRC, and IANAL, and YMMV

    nick

    ADDED– “I wonder if states have considered taxing commercial airline pilots and crew because they flew over a state.” I wouldn’t be surprised. There are a metric crapton of regulations. I am pretty sure the states tax railroad employees as they work in their states, on their way thru. Again, metric crapton of regs and work rules. Pretty sure I read an article about Amtrak and conductors….

    Been 10+ yrs since I had my accountant deal with it, and 15+ since my wife dealt with it. Wife filed in a dozen states for refunds (union touring work.)

  35. NFL will pay taxes on ALL teams to NYC

    The players have to pay state taxes in any state they play where their are income taxes. The income the player earned for the that game is considered income according to the states. Thus if a player earns $1 million and plays 10 games, each state where the player played considers $100K of that for tax purposes.

    I was talking about the NFL itself. The NFL is a $30 billion/year partnership based in NYC. But only the NYC teams pay taxes to NYC as the partnership is a pass-through. If I was them, I would move it to Texas to at least stop the threats from NYC.

  36. A google finds this:

    “Because many states tax the compensation of nonresidents who are employed within their state, employees whose jobs require them to work in several states may face multiple state tax liabilities and filing requirements. Although each state only imposes a tax on the portion of the employee’s compensation that is earned in that taxing state, the multiple filing requirements can be burdensome for the employee. ”

    In a doc explaining that due to changes in Federal law, Mass can no longer tax SOME railroad and other common carriers unless they are Mass residents. Nothing in the law about consultants…..

    n

  37. I keep yakking about a lawyer but it never happens and the checks just get swallowed up almost immediately by bills and taxes anyway. I think I’m just gonna commandeer the next check and put it on a tax lawyer’s desk and ask for help ASAP. I’m sick of being the point man for someone else’s taxes and getting not only no pay for it but a lot of aggravation and frustration.

    Is Vermont not a community property state ? In Texas, each spouse is singly liable for all debts of the marriage. So if my wife made a million dollars and does not pay, then I can be liable for the entire amount.

  38. States will take whatever they want to.

    A year or so ago, I turned down a large bulk order for science kits from a large California public school system. They’d sent me a purchase order with the correct unit price for each kit and the correct extended prices and total, but they’d then deducted California sales tax from the total amount of the PO.

    I told the purchasing agent that our prices were net and that we had no business nexus in California, so there was no way we were paying sales tax to California. I also pointed out that their public school system was a governmental entity, so it should be tax-exempt, so why were they withholding sales tax anyway?

    She wouldn’t budge, and also insisted that I fill out a 10 or 15 page form for the California state sales tax authority. I basically told her to fuck off, that we didn’t need her business on those terms, but that if she wanted to order kits using Paypal to pay us up-front we’d be happy to ship them to her. I never heard from her again, which is fine by me. I don’t need that shit.

  39. “and also insisted that I fill out a 10 or 15 page form for the California state sales tax authority”

    Yep, I’ve filled out that or a similar form after providing services for my employer outside of my employment. They registered me as a contractor. Had to tell them about my employees’ races, sexes, etc, promise I was being good, disavow bad things, all in the name of EEOC, and the other state mandates and nonsense.

    n

  40. Just wait until the feddies bite the big one (financial collapse). The States will be screaming when the federal teat runs dry. I fully expect half of the States to die then also.

  41. Your income in your home state is reduced by the amounts you earned in the other states.

    That’s the theory. I know from personal experience and from talking with others that it doesn’t always work out that way and that you’ll receive garnishments and other harassment and have to prove that you don’t owe them.

  42. Last year my three ATMs in Eureka Springs Arkansas made a profit of only $277. Arkansas demanded we pay $136 in taxes and another $50 quarterly for 2017 taxes. Sorry, I’m pulling those ATMs, I don’t need that hassle.

    Running those ATMs is very expensive as we have to hire out all service and loading. And Eureka Springs only does well in the summer, nothing in the winter.

  43. I was hoping that Eureka Springs would be a hot location. Didn’t work out. That’s the nice thing about ATMs, if you have a crap location you can just move to a better one. Our contract with the Seminole Nation in OK will require more machines soon anyway. Those systems in Indian owned convenience stores associated with casinos have been great.

  44. TV wise, we are not missing DirecTV very much other than ID channel. With an antenna the local channels actually have a /better/ picture than on DirecTV. 24-1 and the other Austin stations are crystal clear, almost Blueray. Except for 36. 36 is garbled sound only during the day. Morning? Evening? Great. Mid-afternoon? Nope. No sub channels are as nice as on DirecTV…. like 24-2 and 36-3. But they weren’t on DirecTV anyway.

    The Roku Premiere works pretty well. Lots of free stuff to watch. I’m good with having commercials as they give a pee break. Once Roku buffers up the picture is solid 99% of the time.

    Amazon Prime if you have it, has plenty of stuff “free” to watch. Haven’t messed with NetFlix yet. Plus I have about 300 LaserDiscs and maybe 30 feet of DVDs to watch. Hard to tell… there’s my stacks in one corner, Mom’s stacks in another corner, stuff we have watched next to the Lexmark and a small stack of bad discs/crap we will never watch again in another spot. Plus what is on the shelves. Just in DVDs at a disc a night we have more than a year of un-watched movies to watch.

    That $142 a month to DirecTV is going to be handy for stocking the pantry. 🙂 And for a few DVDs from the $5 bin at the grocery store once in a while.

    I cancelled DirecTV almost a month ago. I dropped Mom’s receiver after she moved to the nursing home and they sent an envelope for that access card 4 days later. So far, for me, nothing. My on-line login has been cancelled. Nice touch…

  45. Last year my three ATMs in Eureka Springs Arkansas made a profit of only $277. Arkansas demanded we pay $136 in taxes and another $50 quarterly for 2017 taxes.

    Seeing as how my brother lives at least eight miles out from Hope, on a not very dense road (think 10 and 20 acre plots) and has Fiber to the pole in his yard… hell, someone is paying for that.

    Thank You Suh for contributing to my brother’s fiber connection to the ‘net.

    I will stay in Texas w/o fiber to the pole. (Come on. PEC, ya got the ROW! Coax at least!)

  46. Seeing as how my brother lives at least eight miles out from Hope, on a not very dense road (think 10 and 20 acre plots) and has Fiber to the pole in his yard… hell, someone is paying for that.

    Isn’t plastic fiber cheaper than four ??? pair copper cable nowadays ?

    I am not sure how often fiber repeaters are needed though (must have power). AT&T has said that they are going to rip the copper out of our neighborhood and replace it with fiber in less than a year. They just pulled all new fiber to each one of the neighborhood distribution boxes.

  47. “Why universal basic income is gaining support, critics”
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/aboutsfgate/article/Why-universal-basic-income-is-gaining-support-11290211.php

    Note the location of the newspaper.

    Heck, why not ? After all, the feddies will just issue tbills for the payments. And why pay taxes unless you make a million ? Just issue more tbills.

    $12,000/year * 330 million documented and undocumented = $3.96 trillion/year

    After all, shouldn’t the undocumented get universal income too ? It is not their fault that the line to immigrate legally to the USA was moving too slow. Or they had too many crimes to get a visa. Or …

  48. In theory I like UBI. If nothing else, it will (or should; nothing is guaranteed with goddamn bureaucrats) reduce the government “work”force by a large amount.

    But Lynn’s right: the numbers don’t work out. Not yet, anyway. Even limiting the income to US citizens, or to US citizens over 18, the numbers don’t work out.

    So here are your marching orders, everyone: go out and kill a bunch of useless parasites who’d be sucking up UBI dollars and not producing anything. Government parasites, current welfare bums, SJWs, whatever. If the productive go out and kill a dozen or a hundred parasites each, we can probably make UBI work. Or, hell, if we manage to cull the herd that much, we may no longer need a UBI.

  49. “I fully expect half of the States to die then also.”

    Oh, at least. Including this one here. I will laugh like a hyena as the “cities” and college towns go belly-up. Along with large sections of the Clinton Archipelago.

    And what can’t go on, simply won’t:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449594/fifth-american-war-blue-state-vs-red-elites-vs-populists-egalitarianism-vs-liberty

    Kinda long but worth reading as a compendium of all the chit that is wrong with this country now.

  50. I am not sure how often fiber repeaters are needed though (must have power). AT&T has said that they are going to rip the copper out of our neighborhood and replace it with fiber in less than a year. They just pulled all new fiber to each one of the neighborhood distribution boxes.

    As an old school phone company guy, I’d rather have copper line for voice phone. It has nothing to do with the tech and everything to do with the state regulation of the service quality.

    Next year is a strike year at AT&T. Hopefully they’re done digging in your neighborhood before legacy SW Bell comes up for renegotiation. The company broke the union in 2009, but that was three contract cycles ago. The interns in Dallas are probably working out the scab assignments even as I type this.

  51. [snip] The players have to pay state taxes in any state they play where their are income taxes. … I can imagine that the filing of income taxes at the end of the year is a nightmare. [snip]
    Those players are also liable for city income taxes, in those places that have them. I’m told that there are a select group of CPA firms, associated with the large sports agency firms, that handle almost all the tax returns for pro & ex-pro athletes. Of course, if those gals & guys have any sense, their tax situation gets even more complicated as they invest their earnings, and considering off the field earnings. Professional golfers are also subject to all this. There’s a very good reason why so many of them choose to live in Texas & Florida. The can shield much of their endorsement and investment incomes from state income taxes. And of course they have high travel expenses, caddies to pay, etc.

    [snip] I did not file a return the year my aunt died as I really did not care about the taxes. [snip]
    My mother died some years ago, right at Thanksgiving. Having done some estate planning, all her accounts had my name on them, and were set to transfer on death (TOD). So, in early December, I went bopping around town with a copy of the death certificate and probate order, making sure all the accounts had my Social Security number on them, and consolidating them down to one bank. (My two sisters & I were going to split everything, but I knew it would be into the next year before all the Ts were dotted and the Is were crossed.) And I dutifully filed her 1040 for the year she died, signing as Personal Representative of the Estate. Then, sometime that next year, the bank where her accounts were held failed, and the FDIC sold it to an out of state concern. Somehow, in all that nonsense, the accounts got reset to her SS#, which I only found out the next February when I got a 1099 for the $120 in interest it had accrued. My CPA suggested claiming the interest for that year, and including a letter of explanation when I filed my 1040 that year. Thankfully the IRS was very understanding and accepted it all.

    [snip] I wonder if states have considered taxing commercial airline pilots and crew because they flew over a state. [snip]
    Not too long ago, California was trying to tax companies for the capital equipment value of their satellites in orbit. Naturally, those are very expensive pieces of equipment, and many of the companies that own them are based in California. I don’t know how it all turned out, but I seriously doubt that the notion of dropping the whole idea as simply stupid occurred to any of the taxing authorities.

    [snip] Had to tell them about my employees’ races, sexes, etc, … [snip]
    Quite some years ago, the State of Florida sent me a form, wanting to know the race of all my employees. I filled out the form by saying that all my employees were members of the human race, signed it, and mailed it back in. They were not amused. I persisted by saying that white, black, etc, were not races, but rather skin conditions, and that I wasn’t going to comply with any Nuremberg laws.

  52. As an old school phone company guy, I’d rather have copper line for voice phone. It has nothing to do with the tech and everything to do with the state regulation of the service quality.

    Sorry dude, you are not preaching to the choir here. I prefer fiber as DSL has played out (our AT&T DSL at the house is 28/2 mbps). And, everything can be run over fiber. Our backup phone line at the house is a Basic Talk VOIP line for $12/month. It is not great sound quality but it works fine. State regulation has gone by the wayside with all of the competition.
    https://www.amazon.com/BasicTalk-HT701-Phone-Service-Month/dp/B00E1U2UBC/

  53. And I dutifully filed her 1040 for the year she died, signing as Personal Representative of the Estate. Then, sometime that next year, the bank where her accounts were held failed, and the FDIC sold it to an out of state concern. Somehow, in all that nonsense, the accounts got reset to her SS#, which I only found out the next February when I got a 1099 for the $120 in interest it had accrued. My CPA suggested claiming the interest for that year, and including a letter of explanation when I filed my 1040 that year. Thankfully the IRS was very understanding and accepted it all.

    Sounds like it would be a good idea to clean those bank accounts out ASAP.

  54. [snip] Had to tell them about my employees’ races, sexes, etc, … [snip]
    Quite some years ago, the State of Florida sent me a form, wanting to know the race of all my employees. I filled out the form by saying that all my employees were members of the human race, signed it, and mailed it back in. They were not amused. I persisted by saying that white, black, etc, were not races, but rather skin conditions, and that I wasn’t going to comply with any Nuremberg laws.

    Ever since my wife found out that she is 1/4 Cherokee through her mother, she checks “other” on all those forms. And her dad is now saying, in his lucid moments, that there was the rumor of an Iroquois ??? Shawnee ??? in his background. Of course, her dad also claims to be a descendant of Alexander Hamilton.

  55. I imagine mixed blood was not something you spent a lot of time talking about, until you get to the point where it just doesn’t matter anymore.

    as I’ve mentioned previously I’ve probably got 1/32 to 1/64th but not enough for any of that sweet sweet casino money.

    never occurred to me to check the other box.

    N

  56. “I imagine mixed blood was not something you spent a lot of time talking about, until you get to the point where it just doesn’t matter anymore.”

    Roger that, I was born in the 1st half of the 20th century as 25% Scottish and 50% English and it just doesn’t matter anymore.

  57. I’d have to have a bunch of boxes: Angle, Saxon, Jute, Pict, Briton, Scotti, Norse, Algonquian….eat that you fuckin’ diversity whores!

    Overcast, no breeze now.

    Drive to get our National Park passes was a bust; peeps were showing up in droves, apparently, and they ran out, so they took our names and number and said more were due in next week. We shall see. Hope they’re not gonna hang onto them until the price goes to $80 next month.

    And I gotta be up at the Ass-Crack of Dawn to drive two hours to White River Junction for my 10 AM appointment with the voc rehab guy. And two hours back up. I’ll listen to Little Steven’s Underground Garage on the SiriusXM and run through all the chit I gotta do or plan to in my head, per usual. I do that at night when I hit the sack and I get through about five things and then I conk out.

  58. “…her dad also claims to be a descendant of Alexander Hamilton.”

    Mos def a descendant of Plymouth Colony governors Carver, Dudley and Bradstreet, and the poet Ann Bradstreet. Also Benjamin Franklin. I have all the paperwork. BFD. Mighta been a BFD even half a century ago; now very few even know who the fuck any of those people were; Franklin only ’cause of the $100 bill and Hamilton because of the money and the freakish Broadway musical and rave reviews in all of the MSM, despite what a shit he was.

  59. Eh, whatever my ancestors left behind, they LEFT BEHIND. Grampa never even told us his real name.

    On my mom’s hillbilly side, she claims DAR but no paperwork that I know of…

    “Don’t call us ‘hillbillys’!”

    n

  60. I checked “White” for MrsAtoz, so she got mad at me. Hispanic isn’t a Race I told her. I was told I should have checked “Other” ’cause I’m a big dummy.

    Viva La Raza!

  61. So the racial statistics coming out of the USA census are totally worthless. I’ve always wondered about those.

  62. Yeah that whole section of the statue was messed up. No Bowie knife in TX? WTF?

    Probably racism regarding mexicans, like gun control laws…

    Anyway, about time to take some stupid laws off the books. This ain’t West Side Story fer peter’s sake.

    n

  63. And God bless the great Lone Star State!

    The progs have been apoplectic since before the current special legislative session started in Austin, especially the new Socialist mayor in San Antonio.

    We get quite a few of the San Antonio radio stations in Austin. The news/talk station signal is strong all the way up to Temple and beyond.

    Lynn — I noticed that Cruz picked up an (R) challenger from your part of Texas. Is this a guy making a name for himself or is he serious about taking the nomination?

  64. Sorry dude, you are not preaching to the choir here. I prefer fiber as DSL has played out (our AT&T DSL at the house is 28/2 mbps).

    I pay $40/mo to keep a straight copper voice line, no VoIP, plus long distance. I have cable modem for Internet, but I don’t trust TimeWarner/Spectrum for voice.

    The Death Star put me on a special internal “do not call *ever*” list for Uverse and/or DSL shortly after we moved to Texas. That probably applies to Fiber as well. They’re scared of me since I had rep training for scab duty on 2009, and I know the scripts they read from as well as the commission structure to upsell to wireless and DSL. Thankfully, DirecTV was after my time. I don’t have the moral flexibility to upsell from a phone line install to deploying satellite TV at a household that could barely afford the voice service.

  65. [snip] Sounds like it would be a good idea to clean those bank accounts out ASAP. [snip]

    Yeah, I closed the last of those accounts in say May of that year (I could look it up, but it’s not important.) But as I said, some time during that calendar year the original bank failed, and the successor bank, for reasons unbeknown to me, switched the social security number back to mom’s when they sent out the 1099. I have statements from when the account was active showing my SS#. Mostly, I’m just glad it didn’t turn into a big hassle for me. Getting her car titled in my name was a real PITA – the folks at the tax collector’s office gave me bad info, and one sister lives 300 miles away.

  66. wow, of the top 25 sites most visited by women, I didn’t recognize a single one. Of the top 25 for men, ONE. And the top 25 for millenials, 3.

    Never gone to any but dilbert

    of the top 25 for seniors, I recognized 5, been to 2 (on purpose. someone might have linked but I don’t remember)

    for parents, only one, because it was telemundo and I recognize the name of the spanish language network.

    zerohedge is #17 for wealthiest visitors, and I recognize one or two others.

    and I recognized several on the most educated list but I don’t visit any.

    It’s a big web, and I don’t see most of it…

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-19/ranking-most-popular-websites-demographic

    n

  67. “No Bowie knife in TX? WTF?”

    I know, huh? I saw that and laughed. WTF is wrong with people like that? I bet they don’t even know who the fuck he was. Like banning beans or chowdah in Boston.

    The 25 websites lists (of sites I know and/or have gone to)

    Women: 0

    Men: 1 (Dilbert, a few times)

    Millennials: 0

    Old fucks: 0

    Parents: 0

    Rich fucks: 3 (Drudge, zerohedge, Dilbert)

    Smart fucks: 1 (Dilbert again, gee whiz)

    I guess we can conclude from this that Scott Adams has a pretty big audience)

  68. “It’s a big web, and I don’t see most of it…”

    True dat. Followed your link and only recognized itsy bitsy bits of the sites mentioned. I recall reading around the turn of the century that most folks follow only 30-40 websites on a regular basis. Of course, it’s a /different/ set of sites for the gazillion users…

    WRT to my own favorite prepper, libertarian, firearm, permabears, gadgetry and shopping sites for same, none make the cut. I do remind myself that the self reinforcing nature of my own favorites brings its own kind of bias.

  69. None of mine made the cut, either. I don’t even follow Drudge or zerohedge or Dilbert on a regular basis. Too much other solid info and intel elsewhere, and I deduce from the lists that my late aunt Elinor was dead on target when she told me: “98% of the American people are stupid, David.”

    She was a hot ticket and died way too young (50s, back in the 1980s). Lived at home with her parents and her room had floor-to-ceiling classical records and she played the music from a lot of them on the piano downstairs, esp. Chopin. Commuted via bus every day to and from Boston for her gummint CPA gig. From New Bedford.

    Well, ladies and germs, OFD is off to the Land of Nod; long day tomorrow; Pax vobiscum…

  70. Funny too how very little overlap there is in between the groups. No wonder there’s polarization of thought.

    Nope, still don’t have the doorbell working. I did make some very small progress on setup of the machine I’ll be migrating the NVR and camera monitoring to. Ended up spending today cleaning and doing other stuff, like visit to the vet to pick up meds…. and household chores.

    When I get stressed, I tend to clean, esp if also talking on the phone. Got a call that my dad was hospitalized this afternoon for what turns out to be an infection and pneumonia. He’s responded very well to 5 bags of saline and a central line full of the good stuff. As you can imagine, that all led to some stressful phone calls with my family there. So the garden got weeded, clothes got folded, and dishes were washed. (storm blew in and covered the sun and dropped temps so I could go outside) Some actual vacuuming happened.

    All in all, not a productive day, but some sh!t did get done and dad is much better.

    Sometime in the next decade I’ll get “the call” but thankfully not today, and probably not tomorrow, with likelihood decreasing after that. For which I’m truly thankful.

    Tired and headed to bed.

    nick

    add- wonder where we’d rank on highly intelligent, successful and motivated, predominantly grumpy old white men, blog audiences?

  71. It was revealed today that John McCain has brain cancer. Explains a lot. Not forgivable, but explanatory.

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/07/thierry-meyssan/billions-arms-syria/

    That “covert” arms program seems to be rife with corrupt enrichments for a few, too. I recall when ISIS had it’s first successes in Iraq and the pix showed the cannon fodder carrying new looking AK’s. Thought at the time that they had to have some $$ off the grid backers. Still show my own naivete that this kind of multi-year thing is reported as straight news and will be forgotten in a fortnight. Probably just morph into a new Iran / Contra kind of arrangement.

    This kind of nefariousness is likely to send Mr. OFD down to the basement to whetstone his knives for the day when corruption kills legitimacy and it’s torch and pitchfork time.

  72. It was revealed today that John McCain has brain cancer. Explains a lot. Not forgivable, but explanatory.

    I don’t think the tumor or even the POW experience have anything to do with McCain being a nut. He’s a pretty typical of the REMF types who lived around me in Tampa and worked in one of the MacDill commands. You can see it in the eyes.

  73. Getting her car titled in my name was a real PITA

    When my mother died it was unexpected. Myself and my two brothers had to resolve her limited estate, most of the effort falling on my older brother. Cleaned out the apartment where she lived, got rid of a bunch of stuff, closed the bank account, etc.

    I called Discover Card and told them she was dead and to close the account. Discover asked who was going to pay the balance. I said I don’t know. Discover said they would not close the account until the balance was paid. If the balance was not paid Discover said they would take her to collections (WTF?, she’s dead). I said I don’t care. If Discover did not want to close the account I would toss the card in a known location of less than desireables and make certain the card was found. What happens is not my problem. Discover closed the account.

    We also had to deal with her car. Older brother was going to sell the car but needed the title in his name. No problem. I signed the title and dated it before her date of death. He got the car in his name with no issues. CA DMV never checked anything.

  74. I don’t think the tumor or even the POW experience have anything to do with McCain being a nut. He’s a pretty typical of the REMF types who lived around me in Tampa and worked in one of the MacDill commands. You can see it in the eyes.

    John McCain was my uncle’s squadron commander on the USS Enterprise back in the 1960s. They both flew the A-4 fighter-bomber on missions over Hanoi back when bombing Hanoi was still allowed. Unfortunately, my uncle’s wing-man and John McCain were shot down during that tour on separate occasions. Both lived through the crash into the harbor and both went to the Hanoi Hilton. I have never had enough courage to ask my uncle if his wing-man made it out. I remember him wearing the POW-MIA bracelet for a long time. I do not think of John McCain as a REMF. But, my uncle hated his guts even though McCain promoted him to LSO (landing signal officer – the pilot who stands on the rear of the carrier and tell landing pilots too high / too low).

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