Wed. Sept. 26, 2018 – still raining

Woke to the sound of rain…

Currently 76F and light drizzle. Forecast calls for more. I hope we get a break as I have a riding mower to sell today.

More work, more listings, more cleanup.

I will say that I can see progress in areas, but it’s still just moving stuff around. The real change will come when some of this stuff leaves the house.

Time to get a gennie install company out here to look at connecting the gennie and transfer switch…

And I’m going ahead with some of the security upgrades. Even if these two guys weren’t doing home invasions, it was a wake up call for the wife and neighbors.

Better get going…

n

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50 Responses to Wed. Sept. 26, 2018 – still raining

  1. Harold Combs says:

    74f at the start of the commute this morning and it’s the high of the day. Expected to be in the mid 60s by afternoon. Fall is on its way – fingers crossed.
    We had a young man suicide by gun in our neighborhood yesterday. Reports were he was heavily into heroin. We didn’t know him but three girls / women we did know died by / because of heroin in the last year. Between heroin and meth, kids are killing themselves and they know better. I grew up in the 60’s in San Francisco Bay Area, I knew plenty of pot heads but no one on hard drugs. What’s going on?

  2. JimL says:

    72º and light rain / cloudy on the north coast. I’m planning to get a good run in at lunchtime. I won’t be soaked with sweat when I’m done.

    I read about the culture clashes in places where culture just doesn’t belong and I weep. Really? The Linux Kernel? Do you want to screw the pooch on the system that keeps the frickin Internet running? Really?

    If people are working from home, how can you possibly know if they are gay or straight? Black or white? Male or female? And who cares? If the kernel is good, it’s good. The rest just doesn’t matter.

  3. JimL says:

    Hah! From the Lulz link:

    Anonymous

    Do you have a plugin that replaces every gently caress word with “gently caress”?
    September 25, 2018 Reply

    Editor Editor

    function comments_actions($comment)
    {
    $comment = str_ireplace(“fuok”, “gently caress”, $comment); // change o to c

    return $comment;
    }
    add_action(‘comment_text’, ‘comments_actions’, 1);

  4. JimL says:

    There is a LOT of “gentle caress” in them there comments.

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    I was once given very good advice by a faculty advisor, back before all this pc and SJW fainting couch nonsense.

    He said “you can either go to NYC and work in theatre, or you can go to LA and work in film. I advise you to go to LA, because in film, NO ONE CARES IF YOU’RE AN A$$HOLE, AS LONG AS YOU GET THE JOB DONE.”

    He captured both MY personality and the zeitgeist of the two cities.

    Sadly, actual performance is no longer valued as much as toeing the political line. We’ve gone from an individualist meritocracy to a collectivist mutual support group. I don’t think it happened by accident either.

    Look at trade unions, look at socialist and progressives. They all want to hold down the high achiever because they know that they can’t really compete on merit.

    n

  6. Harold Combs says:

    … culture clashes in places where culture just doesn’t belong …

    I am seeing SJW taking over MATH and ENGENERING courses where the ONLY thing that matters is getting the right answer. But SJW rules say that the process is more important than the outcome. So the task of SIEM schools will be turned from graduating competent scientists and engineers to creating FAIRNESS in the scientific and engineering workspaces ensuring that all genders, colors, and faiths are equally represented even if the quality suffers. This was the stuff of satirical fiction not too long ago but now it’s becoming reality. So when the bridge fails or the plane crashes it’s all OK because the people who designed and created it were the RIGHT color and gender.

  7. Harold Combs says:

    Look at trade unions, look at socialist and progressives. They all want to hold down the high achiever because they know that they can’t really compete on merit.

    This brings up a story I have told before. When managing MCI Server Support in the UK in the last part of the last century, we were invited to tour a new plant in Scotland building the DL-380 servers. After a nice tour of the brand new facility the manager was explaining that to ensure quality, each workstation in the production process had just 3 tasks to perform in 5 minutes before moving the server on to the next workstation. I naively asked him what if a worker could perform his 3 tasks in less time or do 5 tasks in 5 minutes? I was wondering if the worker would get some bonus or gold star. The plan manger turned on me and in a voice that seemed filled with menace announced “There is no place in this plant for excellence!” And it turned out he was absolutely right. The first shipment of DL-380s we received from that plant had over 50% DOA.

  8. MrAtoz says:

    Avenatti names new Kavanaugh accuser who says K was a mean drunk and participated in gang rapes in college. No corroboration, but she says she “knows” people.

    Grasshole should hold a vote today. Obola will be next: “he booty humped me in college, but I liked it.” How come these “victims” have no evidence at all? Somebody is pumping boat loads of cash into these allegations.

  9. Mark says:

    Tempted as I am to blast HP for the DL580/585 G7 NetXen Network Interface fiasco, I’ll refrain. They are almost reliable after several firmware updates.

    I’ll never buy anything without a real Intel NIC, but somebody, somewhere is going to save a few dollars, and they are welcome.

  10. MrAtoz says:

    I am seeing SJW taking over MATH and ENGENERING courses where the ONLY thing that matters is getting the right answer.

    When I got my MS in Maths at CSM, we had a choice. Take the “actually go out in the biz world and apply what you learned, or, go back to the Army for the summer session.” Nobody went back to the Army. You applied real world ORSA to help a biz. If they said “wow you really helped” you got an A. If not, you got a B (participation award!) I got an A. Point is, back then you applied what was learned to solve problems. I learned fast the “right answer” usually was “go out of business.”

  11. Greg Norton says:

    I am seeing SJW taking over MATH and ENGENERING courses where the ONLY thing that matters is getting the right answer. But SJW rules say that the process is more important than the outcome. So the task of SIEM schools will be turned from graduating competent scientists and engineers to creating FAIRNESS in the scientific and engineering workspaces ensuring that all genders, colors, and faiths are equally represented even if the quality suffers.

    During my time in grad school in Vantucky, the CS program graduated a single mother of six with high honors as a special project. I can kinda-sorta understand shepherding her through the program, but high honors?!?

    No, I don’t think she was “high honors” material. I never saw it in the code or classwork I graded. Whenever I handed her a mediocre grade, it was quickly corrected by faculty.

    Coming soon to a CS program near you. It was bad enough that my Masters program in Texas was essentially an OPT diploma mill, but international tuition was $10,000 extra per student per year — I understand the department’s motivation there regardless of the ethics.

  12. lynn says:

    Time to get a gennie install company out here to look at connecting the gennie and transfer switch…

    I would appreciate knowing what had to be done and how much the cost was if you do not mind.

  13. lynn says:

    I read about the culture clashes in places where culture just doesn’t belong and I weep. Really? The Linux Kernel? Do you want to screw the pooch on the system that keeps the frickin Internet running? Really?

    If people are working from home, how can you possibly know if they are gay or straight? Black or white? Male or female? And who cares? If the kernel is good, it’s good. The rest just doesn’t matter.

    The scary thing is that the SJW’s see the Linux Foundation as a place to loot and spread their message from. There are significant dollars flowing into the Linux Foundation and they have booted the founder out. They are now booting out the founder’s disciples such as Ted T’so.

    This is just another application of Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

    Oh yes, and some people claim that this is not happening. “Linus Torvalds and Linux Code of Conduct: 7 myths debunked”. “No, protesting programmers are not removing code from Linux; there are no purges of politically incorrect Linux kernel developers. And Linus Torvalds is coming back.”
    https://www.zdnet.com/article/linus-torvalds-and-linux-code-of-conduct-myths/

    The purge of the Linux kernel developers will continue. SJWs are amazing good at the shell game. Nerds are not.

  14. lynn says:

    Arlo and Janis: Pluto is a planet !
    https://www.gocomics.com/arloandjanis/2018/09/25

    Heh !

  15. nick flandrey says:

    And in the “No shite Sherlock” spirit we have this–

    Kolanovic: There Is A “Profound” Danger To The Dollar’s Reserve Status

    As if this was something NEW. So, setting up oil trades in rubles and yuan- nothing to see here; building an alternative to the SWIFT network- nothing to see here; all those countries repatriating their gold- nothing to see here; but some analyst wakes up yesterday with a bug up his @$$ and suddenly people are going to pay attention??

    Madness.

    n

  16. nick flandrey says:

    And as long as we’re sharing jokes to lighten the mood, this one came in the monthly newsletter from one of my vendors:

    While walking down the street one day a US senator is hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. “Welcome to heaven,” says St. Peter. “Before
    you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.”

    “No problem, just let me in,” says the man.

    “Well, I’d like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we’ll do is have you spend one day in hell and one day in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.”

    “Really, I’ve made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,” says the senator.

    “I’m sorry, but we have our rules.”

    And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open, and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar, and champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises…

    The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

    “Now it’s time to visit heaven.” So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

    “Well, then, you’ve spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.”

    The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: “Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.”

    So, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

    Now the doors of the elevator open and he’s in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.

    “I don’t understand,” stammers the senator. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there’s just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?”

    The devil looks at him, smiles and says, “Yesterday we were campaigning…… Today you voted.”

  17. lynn says:

    “Office 2019 vs. Office 365: What’s Really Happening”
    https://www.thurrott.com/cloud/office-365/176224/office-2019-vs-office-365-whats-really-happening

    “Microsoft’s release of Office 2019 this week has triggered a bit of confusion in the user community. Your questions are understandable, as this release marks an important change in the way that Microsoft makes and sells its office productivity solutions.”

    “And if this release is confusing to you, take heart: It’s confusing to just about everyone, myself included. So I spoke with Microsoft corporate vice president Jared Spataro at the software giant’s Ignite 2018 conference. And he neatly cleared up the confusion.”

    “Office 2019 is the latest version of Microsoft’s standalone Office productivity suite. It’s what the firm now calls the “perpetual” version of Office, or what old-timers like myself might still call “on-premises.” And that’s for good reason: As Spataro told me, Office 2019 doesn’t offer any of the cloud-connected features that Office 365 subscribers would see using the exact same apps. Thus, it is, in fact, a subset of Microsoft Office compared to the versions of the suite—or, the applications—that Office 365 subscribers see.”

    Interesting. And scary. I don’t want my spreadsheets to live in the cloud. If that was the case, I would move to Google Docs. Or whatever they call it this week.

  18. JimL says:

    It’s not that the docs live in the cloud. That only happens when you want it to. The real sweet part of 365 is the perpetual updates. My 365 users are always up to date. There are no file incompatibilities. 2010, 2013, and 2016 users, on the other hand, have to worry about what version of the file they’re getting. It’s the back-compatibility that’s an issue. If the creator uses Excel 2016, the 2010 and 2013 users may not be able to open the file, or won’t be able to do everything the 2016 user does.

    As for the cloud-connected part of it – I use OneDrive extensively for moving files between machines. It’s a sweet package that works better than Google Drive or Dropbox. And it respects metered networks. I have a couple of senior managers (owners) that simply don’t understand cloud-connected stuff. But I set them up with OneDrive and pointed OneNote at it, and Robert’s a Parent’s sibling. I don’t have sync problems with them anymore.

    The collaboration tools in 365 are pretty cool, but I don’t take advantage of them. Not my bag. But others here do, and I’m glad we can.

    In 3 more years, I’ll have all but the long-term instrument machines migrated to 365, and the net cost will be close (around 10% more) to the cost of on-prem office, due to the fact that my users that access multiple machines will be using only one seat of 365 instead of multiple seats of on-prem.

  19. SteveF says:

    LibreOffice, my good fellow. If you don’t want the “connected” features of the full-blown MS Office, LO is actually better. And free, with both capital and small F. The only reason to use stand-alone MS Office is inertia, both people and documents.

  20. nick flandrey says:

    And outside of specific analysts, very few people use the features of excel that aren’t compatible.

    Honestly, I use wordpad or notebook most of the time, and only use word when I have to include a bunch of pix. But then I’m not at Bigcorp anymore. On the other hand, that also means I don’t have to use SHAREPOINT!!!!!! Or Outlook.

    I blame MS for the file compatibility issues and reject them for not solving that years ago.

    n

    (my kids are using google docs thru school. they will grow up using that, and not think anything of it.)

  21. nick flandrey says:

    ” all but the long-term instrument machines”

    for machines that are essentially HMI for a tool, why wouldn’t you move to linux? Then you only have the pain once…

    n

  22. lynn says:

    “IPv6 Is A Failure – Time To Move On”
    https://www.i-programmer.info/news/81-web-general/12160-ipv6-is-a-failure-time-to-move-on.html

    Um, no it is not. But, the transition is going to take about a century.

  23. JimL says:

    I would move to Linux if that were an option. It’s not. Our software (ERP and LIMS) are Windows-only products. The HMI software is Windows only. (Some is Windows NT only – don’t ask). Some software is SCO only (I’ve talked about that headache before.) Linux simply doesn’t fit into the mix except for some in-house web stuff, and even that is moving to IIS.

    Frankly, I’ve been doing windows for so long, with brief forays into other realms, that I don’t feel any drive to push the envelope anymore. Keep the stuff running. Keep it as secure as I can. Stand and fight when one of the owners wants to do something dangerous. Argue for new tech that we really do need.

    And that just wears me out. I’m not looking for new challenges in the old hole.

    Come to think of it, it’s getting close to time to move on. I’m tired of this playground.

  24. dkreck says:

    Yes, IPv4 is exhausted – except the big boys are sitting on many of them. Deathstar just gave us 32 on our new fiber line. I need two. The 8 block I had before is plenty for us.

  25. Greg Norton says:

    The scary thing is that the SJW’s see the Linux Foundation as a place to loot and spread their message from. There are significant dollars flowing into the Linux Foundation and they have booted the founder out. They are now booting out the founder’s disciples such as Ted T’so.

    This is just another application of Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

    Oregon State University is involved with the Linux Foundation. The Iron Law works an order of magnitude faster in WA State and Oregon.

  26. JimL says:

    I have Libre office on two of my laptops, and I’m subscribed to Google Docs. I’m not terribly fond of either of them, but they do work. I very much prefer the MS ecosystem. Everything pretty much just works, without weird incompatibilities that I find in the other platforms.

    Most of the files I receive from customers are MS office formats, so my bias runs that way. When I receive some other format, I wind up opening the other program and working from there. I would be happier working with just one platform, though.

  27. Greg Norton says:

    LibreOffice, my good fellow. If you don’t want the “connected” features of the full-blown MS Office, LO is actually better. And free, with both capital and small F. The only reason to use stand-alone MS Office is inertia, both people and documents.

    I’ve used LibreOffice for a long time, but I’m hesitant to depend on it completely. The Word import only just became decent enough to handle my resume, crafted on a real copy of Word 6.0 many years ago.

  28. nick flandrey says:

    Resume’??? If it’s not machine readable, it wouldn’t get past the filters, or so I’m led to believe.

    ===========================================
    So this judge k thing is getting even more insane.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-26/kavanaugh-accuser-slammed-not-reporting-gang-rape-parties-she-attended-adult

    This latest accuser didn’t even bother to do the math, or think thru the implications of what she’s saying….

    The mania keeps spreading. We’re looking at another McMartin daycare mania.

    But “believe all woman” ‘cuz they’d NEVER lie or be mistaken…. * duke lacrosse * * cough * *every cuckold ever* *cough* *whole volumes of greek drama* *cough *

    In fact, we’d better throw out one of the founding principles of our approach to law, the presumption of innocence.

    madness

    n

  29. Greg Norton says:

    Resume’??? If it’s not machine readable, it wouldn’t get past the filters, or so I’m led to believe.

    My resume never makes it past the O.L.D. discriminator. Otherwise, the text imports fine.

  30. lynn says:

    PSA from the City of Sugar Land on http://www.nextdoor.com :

    Are you financially prepared for a disaster?

    Americans at all income levels can experience the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. It is important to have small bills on hand because ATMs and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.

    Also, remember a disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, significant way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. For more information about being financially prepared, check out
    http://www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness

  31. lynn says:

    My resume never makes it past the O.L.D. discriminator.

    Ok, I chuckled on that. I hate to think what they would do seeing my resume. I am 58, been writing software for 43 years. Definitely O.L.D. I can definitely write Fortran in any language. Except Cobol, I have to draw the line somewhere. And that line includes Perl also.

    A Google recruiter called me over a decade ago and asked if I would like to interview with them on a position getting Google Docs to work. I told her, “Ma’am, I am 45 and the CEO of my own company”. I could hear her swallow hard. I have a feeling that 45 was too old for that position and she had not ascertained my age first.

  32. Greg Norton says:

    I have a feeling that 45 was too old for that position and she had not ascertained my age first.

    I was just shy of 45 in Vantucky when I had an HP manager give me an off the record read that my resume was “too long”.

    Prior to the current gig coming up, I was going to call it a career when I hit a year with CGI in May.

  33. paul says:

    3.5 hours and a full tank of gas later, I’m half way through. The grass grew a lot in the last week.

    More tomorrow weather permitting.

  34. lynn says:

    3.5 hours and a full tank of gas later, I’m half way through. The grass grew a lot in the last week.

    What kind of tractor are you rocking there ?

  35. paul says:

    It’s a 42″ rider from Tractor Supply. About 10 or 15 years old. It replaced a 40″ Murray that I flat wore out…. handy for the first few circles around the yard just to fog the skeeters. The “new” mower has a Briggs and Stratton 14 or 16 HP. Overhead valves and has an oil filter. I replaced the deck belt last year. No fun. I also bought the belts that go from the engine to the transmission and they are safely in a closet. Changing them looked like a “I’ll just buy a new lawnmower first” kind of job.

    The Yanmar has a 5 foot wide shredder but by time you mess with getting around trees, it’s too big to use around the house. Not a fan of driving something that heavy over the lateral field, never mind the tractor tire prints.

    I have a couple of patches of St. Augustine that are nice to mow. The rest is native, like what grows on the side of the highway. It’s green when we have rain and doesn’t have stickers. Good enough.

    Oh. Just eyeballing it here. It’s about 200 feet from the side of the house to the EDC. From the parking lot to the bird pen fence is at least 120 feet average. Call it 120 x 200 with trees and the pump house and the feed shed mixed in. From the back of the house about 180 feet to the back fence and about 100 to the side fence. I’ll leave out the other side of the house and around the parking lot and 900 feet up the driveway to the gate and around the boat shed. Yes, I actually measured the driveway and had a marked every 100 feet. Because.

    It’s ridiculous, I know.

  36. CowboySlim says:

    I’m an expert in MSFT Visual Basic for Applications. As such, I have, but won’t use LibreOffice for such.

    Many years ago, at the behest of RBT, I tried the Linux (Ubuntu or such), but I found myself in the Terminal Phase of the Industrial Revolution. That is, I ended up working for the machine instead of the machine working for me.

    OK, don’t go after my ignorance as some have done on the geocaching.com forum. Everybody nowadays has their GPSrs working for them, OK. Well, several decades ago, I used MSFT apps, Word, Access and Excel to get the launch data that we calculated for the GPS launches to the team at VAFB. I am quite pleased that none of the data included was wrong.

    All rockets made the designated orbits and all the satellites worked well. Outside of that, my incompetence was overtaken by good luck.

  37. lynn says:

    “When Every Boy Is Guilty, Every Girl Becomes a Monster” by Sarah Hoyt
    https://pjmedia.com/trending/when-every-boy-is-guilty-every-girl-becomes-a-monster/

    “But this nonsense with the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — which, by the way, not only doesn’t rise to “credible,” but is barely past the level of “inane ramblings of crazy woman on the corner” — is being given credibility and the Senate is bending over backward to give that crazy woman the chance to ramble at them. Any way she wants to.”

    “Which is a symptom of deeper corruption.”

    “This is the way civilization ends, not with a bang but with a “he touched me, decades ago, at a party occurring in a place and time I can’t recall.” And all of society plays along, treats this as credible.”

  38. Ray Thompson says:

    Full spinal MRI tomorrow at the VA at the facility in Murfreesboro. I hate those things. I have had my neck done, took 20 minutes. This is full spinal and may take an hour. It will be all I can do to keep from panicking.

  39. mediumwave says:

    Ex-boyfriend filed restraining order against third Kavanaugh accuser

    Scraping the bottom of the barrel, they are.*

    * Not saying the Baizuo can’t act any more disgracefully than they already have, just that they’re going to have to work extremely hard to do so.

  40. ech says:

    Look at trade unions, look at socialist and progressives. They all want to hold down the high achiever because they know that they can’t really compete on merit.

    There are some unions where the members can compete on merit. Many of the film unions are that way. My brother is in IATSE, the union for stagehands in theatre and set people in films. They provide a health plan, life insurance, 401(k), and the like. He can work on union or non-union films. In either case, they make deductions for benefits. If it’s union, it doesn’t come out of his pay, which has to meet the union minimum. If it is non-union, it is deducted. He makes a lot more than the minimum for his local, because he is in demand.

  41. dkreck says:

    Sure there are some unions that are okay. Trade unions in particular come to mind. Then there is the UAW or worse a racist UFW. By far however are the government unions. Patronage to support the democrats for highly inflated pay for bullshit jobs to give money to more useless welfare cases for more votes. Now lets talk teacher unions in public schools.

  42. nick flandrey says:

    His local might work that way, or maybe the IA has changed since I worked in Hollyweird, but in LA they are closed shops. You don’t get to join unless asked, and sometimes you get “asked” under threat of violence. My guys joined on an out of town movie of the week when the union organized the shoot. They never made back their $3 grand initiation fee, and never worked on another project. Working conditions improved slightly but one of them still got electrocuted and hospitalized. When I was there, you couldn’t take non-union gigs without permission, and they’d use you to try to unionize the gig (which the guy who hired you hates, so that’s the end of that relationship.)

    122 in San Diego took a new member about every 5 years. Until then you worked “overhire” and weren’t a real brother, but still paid in. One day, after not seeing the Business Agent’s brother all day, a search was organized. Found him passed out in the toilet with a needle hanging out of his arm. He startled and tried to start his work day…8 hours too late. Still kept showing up on work calls. Probably got paid for the day. I tested so high on their ‘entrance test’ the BA accused me of cheating. I hope I did well, my DEGREE is in theatre production and I had 10 years of work experience at that point.

    My WIFE was card carrying for years until finally cashing out her “Health and Welfare” fund when she acknowledged she never wanted to do that kind of work again.

    I’ve worked with Local 1, 2, 5, 33, 44, 51, 122, and everyone in between. I was asked to be a charter member of a new local in Phoenix (and declined, a really bonehead move.) I toured for most of a decade, and we used IA labor in most places.

    So yeah, I agree that there still are industries where unions play a real role in worker training and safety, and entertainment is one of them. Everyone benefited from the IA contract, as we would often work for slightly reduced versions of their terms.

    However, I could and did make far more as a freelancer than I could have as a union guy, and the option to join was not there in most cases anyway.

    MOST of the time, the unions exist to pay their fat cats, and protect the lazy and incompetent, while penalizing those who could do better on their own.

    Ask your brother to look in the IA magazine and see if the $20+ million they give to democrats was dues well spent. I was SHOCKED by how much money they gave to dems during the Obama years. I was shocked by the totals, and by the fact they had it to give. They were always crying poor when I was working, and I never thought of them as a large union.

    n

  43. Rick H says:

    Regarding generators and transfer switches: I installed my transfer switch all by myself; there were no giant sparks or anything deadly during the process.

    I bought this one from Reliance Controls: http://www.reliancecontrols.com/ProductDetail.aspx?306CRK after an email exchange with their tech support guys. Great product; they have a nice video on how to install it without needing an electrician.

    You just have to identify the circuits you want to put on the transfer switch. Turn off the main power, disconnect that circuit from the panel breaker, connect to the appropriate wires on the transfer switch, repeat for the other circuits. The video was very helpful to do it the right way.

    They have lots of different models; suggest an email to them to get help to match the proper transfer switch to your gennie install. I did have to get a longer gennie-to-transfer-switch cord – I discovered the 10 foot one was too short during the first test.

    But, was able to install myself. Went really slow, so spent a couple of hours on it to make sure I did it right.

    I can recommend the Reliance devices – and their email support . They helped me get the right one for my needs. And their prices were just as good as the local big box store…or Big River, so I bought from them direct.

    I saved about $250 in labor costs doing it myself.

  44. lynn says:

    About 1/3rd of the blue collar guys at TXU were union when I worked there. I worked with both IBEW (international brotherhood of electrical workers) and UMW (united mine workers). All good guys and highly competent.

    I was working at one of our plants in Jacksonville, Texas in 1986 with my toolbelt on full of wiring tools for our equipment. Three guys grabbed me behind the lab building when I was walking back there. The two 5’6″ guys did not bother me (I was 6’1″ and 240 lbs then) but the 6’4″ guy was worrisome. They demanded to know if I was replacing them at the plant. I said hell no, see my white hat ! I told them I was on the vice presidents engineering staff working on testing #2 to find out why the steam turbine was having problems IIRC. They said ok, shook my hand, and said welcome to Stryker Creek SES.

    I almost got to work on the operations crew at the Fairfield coal plants when the union was planning on going out on strike in 1988. They were lining up helicopters to bring us all in to the coal plants since the company cars lost a lot of windshields and side windows in the 1976 strike. My boss was the maintenance superintendent at the Fairfield plant then and got a baseball bat through the windshield one morning. He was back working with those guys in a couple of weeks with nothing said. But, there was a last minute settlement and we got a new IBEW contract. We engineers always liked to get a new union contract since we got the pay raises and new benefits also. Senior management was all Aggies and they felt that everyone should have the same benefits, union or not.

    I would have preferred to drive one of the coal trucks from the mine to the plant but those guys weren’t going out on strike. Those trucks were diesel-electrics with a 450 hp motor in the front and a 350 hp motor in the rear. They carried 100 tons of coal and had a top speed of about 20 mph. Only four wheels that were about 12 ft in diameter and four ft across.

    One important item was that TXU controlled the company pension plan instead of letting the unions take control of it. That way the pension plan was always 100% funded and no shenanigans. Before TXU went bankrupt in 2014 ???, they transferred the pension plan to Fidelity with $4 billion in cash and stocks.

  45. Greg Norton says:

    I was SHOCKED by how much money they gave to dems during the Obama years. I was shocked by the totals, and by the fact they had it to give. They were always crying poor when I was working, and I never thought of them as a large union.

    This is a strike year at AT&T, but the unions haven’t been the same since the 2009 negotiations when, a few weeks out from a planned nationwide strike, one of the rank and file went on ABC to show off $80,000 worth of sex change surgery. A full hour!

    The producers tried to help the subject with a plausible explanation for the surgery money (cashed out 401k) and, at one point, showing her washing the wife’s Saturn. However, ultimately, ABC couldn’t hide the Mercedes SUV, house with acreage — expensive even in Cleveland — or the fact that the wife didn’t work.

    Of course the union drove that person out of the company, but the damage was done with the truths revealed.

  46. Greg Norton says:

    I almost got to work on the operations crew at the Fairfield coal plants when the union was planning on going out on strike in 1988.

    I spent 300 hours on Death Star strike training in 2008/2009. Initially, my a**hat boss had me assigned to splice overhead wires in a bucket truck during sleet season in CT, but once my wife intervened with a medical exemption, the company reassigned me to a call center in Van Nuys, much to management’s chagrin.

    2009 was the first year Labs employees were declared eligible for strike duty. Ever since then, Ken Rosen, a Labs employee and the author of the standard Discrete Math text, releases a new edition of his book in contract negotiation years. He has his exit plan

    The company keeps Rosen on the payroll as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, the highest non-manager rank possible at Labs, even though, as his book’s bio indicates, his last great contribution to society was material for the original Spaceship Earth presentation at EPCOT.

    Some days, I see where the union is coming from, especially with regard to health benefits in legacy SNET in CT.

  47. Greg Norton says:

    @Nick — [ Company who must not be named ] made the T440 my disposal problem, after much back and forth and the intervention of Amex for a credit.

    I made a good faith effort to return the laptop regardless of the credit, part of an attempt to get my account reactivated for warranty record access. However, something tells me that the appeal fell on deaf ears.

    I’m probably banned for life from their site. I don’t think that will be a major problem given how their business seems to be going right now, but I’ll wait and see what the enclosed letter says when the laptop returns from CA.

    [ Nameless company ] hasn’t been the same since the Chinese buyout.

  48. Nick Flandrey says:

    “buyout” ??? They couldn’t WAIT to get rid of the physical stuff. More of a fire sale than a buyout, no?

    Turns out it is harder to monetize core competencies than they thought, esp. when trying to sell 20-something-barely-literate-recent-college-grads as “expert” consultants.

    At least they never had a scandal like Anderson/ adventure/ whoever they are now.

    Why anyone would pay for the analysis of some wet behind the ears punk is beyond me…

    n

  49. Greg Norton says:

    “buyout” ??? They couldn’t WAIT to get rid of the physical stuff. More of a fire sale than a buyout, no?

    I’m referring to that company with the name that begins with NeW and ends with eGg. They haven’t been the same since the US ownership sold out. They sold me the used T440.

    At least they never had a scandal like Anderson/ adventure/ whoever they are now.

    Andersen Accounting got the corporate death penalty.

    Andersen Consulting became Accenture, offshored to Bermuda, and serves as one of the primary outsourcers for US IT work, particularly for banks.

  50. Nick Flandrey says:

    Ah, thought you meant the Brand of the lappy, the company that ‘invented’ the pc….

    n

    ADDED= and sold the hardware side to the chinese

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