Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blaa Blaa Blaa

This Ain't No Party...This Ain't No Disco...This Ain't No Fooling Around

I saw the President talk (I thought Nancy Pelosi was going to hit her head on the ceiling jumping around clapping.)

I heard the Governor of Louisiana speak (where was his audience applause.)

Can you guess who I agree with?

Can you see beyond the end of your nose?

Can you accept the responsibility for filling your own wallet without a stimulus check?

Then you, like me, should be extremely concerned about the BS happening in our government today.

How in the hell can anyone look me in the eye and honestly tell me that because I elect to work 12 hours a day for something above minimum wage that my "fair share" is near 50% of what I earn?

They can't...but the Democrats are going to do it any way.

They just know that I won't starve to death when they steal that much of MY MONEY and for the time being I won't quit working because what I have left over when the robbers leave the building is still worth the effort and better than the alternative.

I hope they choke on my tax dollars spent outside the military and the other things outlined in the Constitution that the federal government should be providing.

That will be all, for now...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Home Again...Home Again...Jiggity Jog

I'm Busy, Busy, Busy

I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad right now, but the good news is that just two months after loosing my day job I find myself up to my eyeballs in work.

Paying work.

I came home yesterday afternoon with two new avenues of investigation to pursue, and each is a unique undertaking which I came up with on my own which the attorney's liked when I presented the concepts to them.

Forget "Genius" ...I'm bordering on "SUPER Genius" in the words of Wyle E. Coyote.

I'm not gonna brag and hand out the numbers, but let's just say I've been able to get myself a raise in hourly rate that more than doubles what I was making working for someone elses company.

That's the beauty of working for yourself.

In spite of facing the risk of going broke each and every day (been the tee shirt), by being "self-employed" you also enjoy the benefit of having the owner (that would be me) decide that the president (that would be me) needs a raise...then all you have to do is go out and sell yourself to someone willing to pay the amount you're asking for...except instead of having some sort of imaginary "guarantee" of employment you only have the opportunity of billing your customer(s) for the amounts agreed on with each contract or opportunity.

(then of course you have to write an invoice and actually get PAID to make any money, and working for yourself often involves waiting at least 30 days for you "paycheck" after your finish your work.)

Most people don't realize that the same thing is true when you take a salary or hourly wage and the company pays the other half of your FICA/FUTA/SSI and your workman's comp and health insurance and any other benefits you enjoy.

If you're grossing $50K a year the owner has to be able to sell you or whatever it is you do or produce for at LEAST $75K annually (sometimes nearly $100K) or the mean old under taxed rich bastard (the owner) can't afford to have your silly butt in his building in the first place.

That's what kills me when the sniveling tree hugging booger eating liberals and their friends the union thugs start crying and bitching and complaining about employment practices at Wal Mart.

If you're paying attention you would understand that when Wal Mart's hiring they have something like fifty people per position apply, and in spite of having a good number of part time positions with limited benefits they generally have a happy workforce making about $10 per hour on average with at least some contribution toward health benefits and paid leave off for vacation and having babies and stuff.

This means that the average worker costs Wal Mart about $35,000 to $40,000 per year in total, and with those labor expenses they're still able to sell you a toaster for $12 or a set of tires for $225.

Can you imagine what the cost of those same home appliances and rubber doughnuts would be if the unions are allowed to step in with the proposed "card check" voting which eliminates secrete ballots on unionization?

When "Vito" and "the Moose" get through intimidating a bunch of middle aged women, twenty something pimple faced boys, and senior citizen greeters into checking the "yes" box on their Card I guarantee Wal Mart prices will go up at least 20% if not more, and in spite of the higher wages won't those same employees just basically give back their raises to the company if they also SHOP at Wal Mart?

And what about the "working poor" and all the "Working Families" out there that aren't employed by Wal Mart?

They're not getting a raise...they're just paying more for Onions and Meat and AAA batteries for their kids video games, so the net benefit to the unions (in the rebound of members and associated increase in what they're really after-billions in union dues) would simply be spread out across the balance of the population in the form of increased costs...more or less the same as a net tax increase in the form of decreased purchasing power. any waaayyy

Back to my position, so now I've gone from spinning my wheels with nothing productive to do all day to having to bust my butt over the next 7 days to get product and answers out the door, then taking the laptop computer with me on our ten day "epic southern sojurn" along with a milk crate full of files and books on what is rapidly turning into a "working vacation."

That's OK with me I guess. I did it for ten years back in the 1990's and I can do it again today until it stops paying well or ceases to be fun.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm Off To See Be The Wizard-Part II

I'm Looking For My Brain...

Greetings this morning from "the strip" in so-called "beautiful" downtown Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We drove into town in the middle of a little half day long snow storm that dumped a few inches on the grass and trees and made the countryside not covered in concrete sort of pretty

Man have they ever screwed this place up since I was last here in the early 1970's.

You can hardly see the mountains and countryside for the "Ripleys Museum" and the giant dinner show theaters which line what was once a two lane country road that's now a five lane highway.

I was pretty sure I hadn't lost anything here from reading about the place but Pat's wanted to come up and stay since we moved to this side of Tennessee and I took a chance arriving on a Sunday on our way to the latest chapter in my Forensic injuneering adventures which begin again late tomorrow morning about an hour further east from here.

I'm sure the place is fine if you have a mini van full of kids or you never get out much and like amusement parks and this sort of entertainment, but just like going to the mall Christmas week I'd rather have brain surgery or a case of hemorrhoids than spend my time and money coming somewhere like this on a holiday weekend.

There was literally a five mile long bumper to bumper traffic jam leaving town at noon today (we were going into town--not out)as we arrived.

The place was a ghost town by 3 PM when we wandered out to do some shopping at the outlet mall, then out for dinner and some drinks later in the evening.

I guess I'm just getting old or something, but at least I managed to show Pat what the place entailed and she might be back shopping again, but I'd rather stay home and re-roof the house or clean out the attic myself.

Time now to read some of the four inch thick file on this project and refresh my memory before visiting the scene of the accident.

Y'all have a nice week.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday President Washington

I Know You're Turning Over In Your Grave...

(And I wouldn't blame you if you arose up out of the ground and asked to have your face taken off of our soon to be value-less Money either...)

America After Obama's First Term

Country "Infrastructure" Going Backwards...

Today's topic which has my head spinning around at orbital rotational velocity has to do with my current foray into "Green Energy"...or more specifically the implementation thereof.

You may remember that the company that hired me and drug me up here to Knoxville (it snowed again last night) with a salary from our warm Little Island on the Georgia coast last May was involved primarily in the design of facilities that used or processed Coal.

Coal fired power plant engineering and Coal Coking facilities for steel mills were 90% of our business.

Things were already slowing down through the summer with the economy stagnation, but then Candidate Obama let it slip that it was his intention to bankrupt the Coal industry and any companies attempting to develop new Coal fired electrical generating plants.

That caused the feces to impact the rotating impeller (i.e. "the shit hit the fan" for those of you that went to college at UGA or Tennessee)and ten of twelve employees were asked to depart the office and not come back the Friday before Christmas.

I offer a hearty thanks to all the *%#@! tree hugging Greenie Weenie Democrats Liberals

Any way, I've spent most of the month of February when I wasn't playing Forensic engineer doing the groundwork for two proposals for so called "Green Energy" developments here in the southeast.

One project involves natural gas fired co generation of electricity and possibly steam for sale to an industrial park and the local electric utility. I already pretty much know all the fundamental technical details associated with that project although the B.S. factor associated with permitting the thing with the local, state, and federal government is still a bit of a daunting mystery.

For your reference in your quest of $1.00 gasoline and $50 per month electric bills, I'd say at this point that probably at least ONE THIRD of the cost of your electricity delivered to your house to heat your coffee and microwave your Eggo in the morning is due to Government induced Crappola relating to paperwork and the associated engineering it takes to overcome the restrictions the EPA and the tree huggers have placed on our industry.

So just pay your electric bill and shut up...don't come crying to me about having to cut back on things like food and new tires for the SUV (and realize that something like 40% of the cost of your gasoline is state and federal taxes--not profits for "EVIL" oil companies. )

That said, let me tell you what I've learned this past week relating to one of the other favorite "Green Energy Technologies"...


FIRST of all, the cost of "free" wind energy, or more specifically the state of the art wind turbines and electrical connections needed to get the "free" energy into the electrical grid, would be prohibitive without government subsidies.

In some places they're herding people together by conducting campaigns where people sign up to pay an additional 1.5 cents per KWH on their electric bill so they can reduce their "carbon footprint."

Even with the premium charge, it still many times makes the technology at best a break even endeavor for investors--but I guess breaking even is better than losing your ass in the stock market as the President and the US Congress continue to "Stimulate" the economy with other peoples' money.

The other thing about "free" green wind energy technology is that you can't just toss up a utility or industrial/commercial scale wind turbine just anywhere and throw the switch, cut your power wires to the utility, and go watch TV for "free."

Noooooooo Sirrrrr

There's only a small percentage of the land mass of the country that has wind blowing hard enough over enough hours to make building a "wind farm" viable.

Then there's the limitations the same aforementioned tree hugger greenie weenie's place on their beloved "green energy" windmills.

The same people which object to offshore oil and gas drilling because they worry about "oil spills" ruining the environment also lead the battle against expanding the available areas here in the US where there's adequate wind over shallow water in places like the Great lakes and along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf shorelines because people in the penthouse condos don't want to have their view spoiled by their beloved "green technology."

Senator Ted "Jabba the Hut" Kennedy (former swimming coach) of Massachusetts falls into that category with his objections to permits for a wind farm in sight of his family compound in New England.

The thing that really blew my mind was the contents of a paper produced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service--again driven by the sniveling booger eating Earth Day ecologists--all 57 pages worth of guidelines entitled "...Avoiding and Minimizing Wildlife Impacts from Wind Turbines."

If you listen to these bureaucrats, they basically don't wind turbines located where they could disturbe Prairie Dogs, Raptors, and migrating birds.

Funny thing, but if you look at the map of logical areas where "green" wind energy could be "farmed" or "harvested", this requirement eliminates virtually every area with better than average wind because a Goose or a Hawk might fly into the rotating blades of a turbine or the hum of the generator might make the Prairie Dogs change their mating habits or start living in the top of trees or something.

I thought farmers were shooting Prairie Dogs because their horses and cattle were breaking their legs stepping in holes?

And in the mountains here in Appalachia where there's good winds they're worrying about BAT's --rats with wings-- being affected.

Screw the bats...I want a 500 foot tall wind turbine on my roof and I'm never paying TVA another dime again if I could finance the project.

My industrial utility project could be a problem because it's on the Florida gulf coast so not only do I have to beat the Condo owners and developers, but I've got the Gulf on one side and the inter coastal on the other and the place is eat up with Sea Gulls and Owls and Hawks and God knows what else flying around and here's the kicker that will further raise the cost of the project.

If I can get past the Corps of Engineers and the Federal and State EPA's, and IF I can get the local government on board, and IF I can survive the public commentary period, and IF I can negotiate an acceptable power purchase agreement with the local electrical utility...THEN I might have to pay to have an "Avian and Wildlife Impact Study" conducted over a one to THREE year period of time in order to dig a hole and pour a concrete footing and string a single electrical wire.

Can you understand this bullshit?

Why in the world would anyone but the most zealous wild eyed fanatic even bother with doing business under those restrictions?

My grandfather ordered a 40' prefab farm windmill to pump water on his hand dug shallow well in the 1940's from Sears and Roebook, and when the truck showed up he and my uncles bolted that sucker together and stood it up in the air (without OSHA approved hardhats, safety glasses, and anti-fall harnesses.)

In less than a week they were pumping water for the house and the chickens,cows and a couple of dogs hanging around the property.

Under today's rules they'd have died of thirst and my Mother would just now be getting the permit in the mail this week--all two hundred and thirteen pages worth.

Am I wrong here?

Isn't there something totally screwed up with this whole "Green Energy" concept?

It doesn't work as a money making enterprise, thus it has to be government subsidized for anyone to afford or otherwise want to use it.

Just like everything else the government gets involved with the costs are greater than the benefits so they have to outlaw or tax the other profitable means of product delivery in order to get people to accept their alternative.

Then they proceed to legislate and regulate their endeavor into a corner where there is a SHORTAGE of the product they're producing and they come back to the consumer and demand more money and a change in lifestyle and usage in order to accommodate the results they get out of their inane, feckless process.

Just remember these concepts the next time you're sitting around the breakfast table and your government educated kid or your sniveling booger eating tree hugging eco friendly liberal neighbor starts talking about "man made global warming" and "green energy."

You want Green Energy?

Then you better get your wallet out because the main source of the "Green" in "Green Energy" is going to be YOUR MONEY.

and while you're at it, realize that you're probably going to be dressed like this while you're sitting around your crumbling house in the dark waiting out the latest "rolling electrical brownout."