Saturday, June 05, 2010

Alzheimers Induced Insanity?

Apparently I've Forgotten More Than Most People Ever Knew...

I'm embarrassed to report that in the past half month we've conducted two hysterical fire drills here at the Turbo Pup Compound on the Banks of the Mighty Tennessee River relating to things like missing debit/credit cards.

And as a grand finale...last night we spent a couple of hours searching for an entire wallet with Visa/MasterCard and ID and DNA samples and whatever.


I seem to have developed the annoying habit of spending time talking while checking over the itemized bill, and calculating tip amounts in my ever greying, ever balding head, so TWICE recently we've had to sheepishly go back 24-48 hours later to a restaurant/watering hole and say...

"did I leave my card here?"

Fortunately through sheer honesty and a bit of luck, being "regulars" people have held on to my plastic instead of going to Best Buy and taking home a new computer or a 2000" HD TV Surround Sound system.

Then last night after dragging one of Pat's cards around in my wallet since we were out of town in the Midwest, when I delivered it back to her she realized she couldn't find her little hard case "clam shell" wallet...something she tends to leave in the console of the old Chrysler 300 more often than not over my objections.

We looked high and low...

and low and high...

and by 6 PM we were convinced it was lost as we cancelled the bank debit card and took a belated minute to go out for cheap Mexican.

Obviously someone--possibly one of the people that came by on Thursday selling unwanted Pest Control and Driveway Asphalt Sealing Services--had taken liberties with our unlocked car doors and absconded with her stuff we thought.

Then we came home and after she continued damage control and cancelled a Corporate AmeX card and a couple of other things I, in the process of re-enacting the purported crime...


Dang it...

All I have to say here is IT SUCKS getting old, and it takes all I can do all day sometimes to keep my faculties focused enough to take a shower and find clean undergarments a couple of times a week.

When the Turbo Pup thinks that I smell too stinky to chill out with me on the sofa (and that's pretty stinky as everyone knows if you own a Hound Dog...particularly Dachshunds) then it's time to take a shower and start rummaging around looking for my ID and credit cards I guess.

Maybe I should buy Missy the Turbo Pup a new harness with a Velcro wallet and put her in charge of the checkbook and finances.

"Hey... what's this charge for $250 worth of Milkbones..."

Friday, June 04, 2010

Find Something Stupid In The News...

Then Start Your Own Blog This Morning

Sorry, but my head hurts from reading about the stupid crap going on in the world this morning.

I'm also physically tired from being up since 2 AM tearing down pneumatic valves.

I hope you'll excuse me if I take a few minutes off here on the blog because I'm worn out generally and don't feel like trying to explain stuff that should be simple.

Talk to Y'all later...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Bush Responsible For Hurricanes and Hemorrhoids

Now He's Responsible For Owl/Tipper Gore's Split???

I hate the lamestream media's use of "unnamed sources" and "person's not authorized to speak publicly" as primary sources in controversial--usually political--stories.

Call me dense or a "partisan hack" or whatever...BUT

In an effort to avoid veering too far off topic, I'll instead zero in on my REAL subject of this posting this morning.

That would be the recently announced "separation" of Owl and Tipper Gore.

Last night some idiot was quoted as saying that the split began with the 2000 electoral loss of Gore to Bush for the US Presidency.

All I have to say is...


Since when is it a new concept that the stress placed on a relationship--married or co-habitating or otherwise--by personal or professional or political aspirations and the associated resulting problems those situations cause in the bedroom or in common people's public/social life can have negative outcomes?

Speaking authoritatively, I, personally, ended a near ten year marriage back in the mid 1990's because my now ex-wife wanted a little mindless worker-bee husband with a 9 to 5 job and my old job was a eyed 8 AM to 7 PM effort five or six days a week, and then when I started my own company and we had to live with the realities and uncertainties of self employment cash flow she proceeded to lose her mind and make us both miserable in the process.

Needless to say I left the childless relationship after enduring a couple of years of hell, and today I can honestly say that I've never looked back.


I don't blame my ex employer or my now ex-business partner for the demise of my marriage.

I made a considered, conscious CHOICE in the situation, and in deciding I wanted to be independently self employed with the associated financial uncertainties rather than settling for a salary with the lovely "two week severance pay guarantee" and I don't mind admitting making that decision today.

And the idiots out there that insist on shifting blame from the responsible parties to other individuals and outside circumstances...avoiding responsibility for the outcomes of their decisions...will be the death of our culture, society, and Nation if we let them continue to drag us down this path.

Is it just ME?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Top College Degrees That Will Get You Hired

Following Up On My Earlier Rantings...

Here...go read this article discussing a survey of employment statistics based on college major if you're less than 35 years old and in the market to spend time and money going to college:

Degrees that will get you hired

(and it can't hurt if you're over 35 because you're never too old to keep learning.

Cameras, Cameras, Everywhere...

Stop Or I'll Shoot!!! (A Photo)

Isn't it amazingly convenient that, with virtually everyone from age 9 to age 99 carrying a cellphone with a camera function these days, that when stupid crap happens like a small flotilla of boats attempting to run through a INTERNATIONAL NAVAL BLOCKADE in the middle east, the two sides (sane, patriotic, income earning, self sufficient Americans versus barking moonbat tye-died, kumbaya singing, patchouli stinking, eco-friendly, tree hugging, Palestinian-loving, rocket launching "activists") can't get two minutes of decent video or a few clear still shots to tell us if the "activists" or the Israeli Navy Seals shot first?

And now rumor has it that a couple of more boats (at least one with a Irish flag) is headed the same direction...possibly facing the same consequences...right now.

I want the photo rights, because clearly events like this cause some kind of Palsy or Conniption Fits or other malady preventing any competent coverage of the proceedings.

Sort of like when four or five black Senators/Congressmen decided to not use the underground tunnel in Washington DC and instead waded through a crowd of "Teabaggers" Teaparty Protesters and then went on the news and said that people yelled "Nigger" at them dozens of times.

Yet there's not one single piece of video or audio recording the event.

So later this week when the UN is issuing statements and all of the pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel crowd is bitching and complaining about excessive force and the demise of a few more dead "civilian activists" remember my commentary here.

Somethings going down, bring your camera/camera phone...

(and then be prepared to live with "PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE.")


Government Induced Educational Inflation

Cheap Tuition Money Yields Cost Increases...

I know that I sometimes come across here on the blog as a pompous, egotistical, asshole.


It's not like I consciously try to be a public asshole/curmudgeon. Nor do I attempt to suppress the fact that I could be a closet opinion that someone who knows me in real life might hold (hint...and some if not many in real life hold similar opinions)...but...

In my efforts to write for public consumption on a regular basis--virtually every day on the calendar--it's been an interesting journey to learn to mix and match words in the English language together to form a cohesive "voice" and consistent "style" to my writing.

I think I've found that "voice"--asshole or not--and although it may never be commercially successful i.e. generate any substantial income, it is my voice none the less and I'm happy with it at the moment.

AT LEAST I DON'T WRITE MOST OF THE TIME IN ALL CAPITOL LETTERS, WHICH IS THE LITERARY EQUIVALENT OF YELLING, and which in reality more accurately reflects the content of whats going on in my neurons and synapses in my head most of the time.

Any way, getting back to this morning's topic...

Edumacation Education Inflation.

Or more accurately (as stated in my title), government induced Education cost inflation.

And as the primary exhibit in defense of my theory/thesis this morning, I give you this New York Times Story about a 26 year old girl that owes nearly ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS in loans and interest after spending part of the past nine years studying for a chemical injuneering degree an MBA a PHD in underwater basketweaving ...wait...


an "interdisciplinary degree in religious and women's studies."


Somebody tell me, what the heck do you expect to be able to do with a "degree" in "religious and women's studies"?

I thought that only men did things like "women's studies" (unless you add the lesbian, gay, transgendered angle to the story,) and some forms of "studying women" is against the law if you happen to get too close to said woman and she objects to your proximity...

but I digress...

Here's the bottom line people.

Colleges are prone to offer the opportunity for you to spend money studying CRAP that might be interesting to you, might sound cool on the "Jeopardy" TV show when you mention you're willing to waste spend your time and money pursuing the endeavor, and will help you pick up pasty skinned metrosexual men or snitty liberal chicks at cocktail parties in San Francisco or NYC, BUT...

these same so-called "degrees" will at the same time do nothing when it comes to getting you out of the business of flipping hamburgers or selling used cars for a living.

As an example, since "graduation" the NY Times' woman with the $100,000 degree in "religious and women's studies" has managed to:

She recently received a raise and now makes $22 an hour working for a photographer. It's the highest salary she's earned since graduating with an interdisciplinary degree in religious and women's studies. After taxes, she takes home about $2,300 a month. Rent runs $750, and the full monthly payments on her student loans would be about $700 if they weren't being deferred, which would not leave a lot left over.

And no, don't start bashing me because my subject is a woman. It could just as easily be some dude with a six figure loan balance that partied his way to a degree in Philosophy or Middle Eastern History or Political Science.

Nothing WRONG with those subjects mind you, but unless you're independently wealthy or good enough to get a job as a college researcher/professor your life is pretty much going to consist of holding down a couple of part time bartender/waiter jobs while mailing over half your income to the bank holding the student loan(s.)

And you know what I believe is the most damning thing about our current rush--culturally and politically--to make it easy for everyone to attend college?

Tuition inflation.

Think about it for a minute.

It's happening.

And it's gotten worse since the 1970's--in the time frame that government has started low interest loan programs with Sally Mae and even as a result of college State lottery funded scholarship programs in states like Georgia and Tennessee.

The reality is, when everyone has a college degree, a college degree will mean little or nothing.

Chew on that concept for a minute.

Further, with everyone competing for a seat in classrooms on a college campus, with a wallet full of government guaranteed cheap tuition money, what incentive is left for colleges to compete with each other and keep education costs down?

Heck, schools like Georgia Tech--places that historically maintained slow annual growth in enrollment and was only about 11,000 undergrads in the late 1970's and early 1980's, are EXPLODING as they see the infusion of "HOPE Scholarship" money (Lottery Dollars.)

They can't buy land and tear down old buildings fast enough. Last time I drove though campus last winter they had closed half the streets and were building parking decks on the campus perimeter and filling in the old parking lots with new buildings.

It's just that simple, ladies and gentlemen.

As long as the government throws money at college in one form or the other, a college education is going to become less and less valuable because everyone will have a sheepskin, but by default possessing a degree won't magically transform any given individual into a "rocket scientist" or even a good employee with good work skills and attendance habits.

And what pisses me off is that Obama and the Obamamaniacs are in the process of passing legislation to make YOU, and more importantly ME, pay for these bimbos to study important crap like "women's studies."

And then when things don't work out and $100K is ill spent, they want the government--the same government which made the ill conceived loans possible--to step forward and "bail them out" of their situation...

She may finally be earning enough to barely scrape by while still making the payments for the first time since she graduated, at least until interest rates rise and the payments on her loans with variable rates spiral up. And while her job requires her to work nights and weekends sometimes, she probably should find a flexible second job to try to bring in a few extra hundred dollars a month.

Ms. Munna understands this tough love, buck up, buckle-down advice. But she also badly wants to call a do-over on the last decade. "I don't want to spend the rest of my life slaving away to pay for an education I got for four years and would happily give back," she said. "It feels wrong to me."

Yeah...RIGHT...feels wrong to me also, "Ms." Munna.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

You're Crazy If You Buy Half The Stuff Politicians Say On TV

But By God They're Going To Make Sure You Pay For It...

OK, Ladies and's raining again here on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River this afternoon, I'm quite cranky, and...

It's ironic that just this morning I wrote a general missive about Federal Taxes and the IRS and my loathing for the organization and everyone that works for the giant, festering, puss smeared, blood sucking bureaucracy.

Then I came back from the Mail Box and had big surprise courtesy of the IRS.

I've somehow avoided having my head explode but that's still a distinct possibility here in the next 24 hours unless I somehow manage to lower my blood pressure.

Where's my really sharp knife and my jar of leeches?

Remember that new company..LOST money last year while getting started up?

I admit that I was late this winter/spring getting all of the seasonal government BS ax paper work filled out because I had to coordinate one company and two family's households' forms while trying to run a business and sit on the sofa blogging all day.

Then today I got this little love letter in the's a copy with my own personal revisions:

Can you believe this crap? Last time I did corporate stuff in the late 1990's there was little or no fine if you filed late and didn't owe the assholes in Washington DC anything.

Not so today apparently.

In reading the fine print attached to my government correspondence I noticed that if I commit the same sin next year--losing money in a business endeavor and not filing the forms on time saying I lost money--the exact same atrocity (not filing forms saying I don't owe any money on time) will cost me $195 per shareholder per month...equaling $780 for WHAT?

Doing nothing incorrectly?

What I want to know is, where is the money supposed to come from to pay a shithead government fine for the Felony act of filing a stupid stack of forms late, and in the process telling them (the aforementioned government shitheads) that we already didn't have any money...therefor we didn't owe any income tax on the corporation?

Does anyone know?

Short of going to Law School or getting an accounting degree and a CPA license, am I the only one that doesn't understand how trying to start a company and losing money in the process allows the government to come to my house and steal some of what money I have left over at the end of the year?

I think it would be best if I just stay here at home and spend my time cleaning my guns for the next couple of days...

Talk to Y'all later...

Stupid Government "Educator" Of The Day

The Thought Police Are Coming After Us...

So did you hear where some government educated moron currently employed out in Arizona in one of the aforementioned "Government (Public) Schools" suspended a Kindergartner for finding a knife on his way to school, picking it up, then leaving it on the side of the road off of school grounds?

What an idiot...and he runs a school?

I was pretty sure in my teen aged mind that some of the teachers they forced me to subject myself to back in the late 1960's and early/mid 1970's were stupid by any reasonable standard.

A couple of them were clinically insane and would be eating ADD/ADHD drugs in a bowl like cereal today.

And of course a few of them were just plain mean spirited and they used their position of government mandated authority to torture kids that didn't conform to the cookie cutter program they mindlessly purveyed.

Today if I were school aged I'd basically be forced to attend private reform school because of the silly crap I did, because most so called "educators" and the associated "administrators" don't know their own ass from a hole in the ground and can't make a logical decision if you held a gun to their head and threatened to blow their brains out if they failed to understand the difference between "thinking" about doing something and actually "doing" it (and of course I'll probably get a couple of comments from hyper-sensitive educators bitching because I wrote this rant...)

Tough tookies...Idiots...

Business Progress In Spite Of Holiday

Violating My Own Low Personal Standards...

Well, the bad news is that the Turbo Pup Pool apparently didn't survive storage last winter. It's developed a small air leak in the top "support ring" which appears to not be easy to find.

That's OK I guess, since a new pool without filter pump and cover costs a whole $54 on E-bay.

I'll probably take another crack at finding the air leak again today, then if I can't find and patch the offending orifice I'll just buy a new pool and have it shipped in this week if I get tired of squirting soapy water while kneeling in wet grass.

The good news on the professional front is that I managed to get off the sofa long enough to write a little PLC program code revision for the KC Bottle Sensor project and forwarded it to my customer in a E-mail just now.

They've finally got enough confidence in the prototype system to give it control of the production line--running at 16,000 bottles per hour--later this week and assuming everything goes as planned we have requests to build another couple of panels for other clients. I'll finally get paid to the point of breaking even on the hundreds of hours spent doing design and R&D to date, and maybe by the end of 2010 we'll actually be MAKING MONEY so I can write the IRS a nice check for 30% or 40% of my blood, sweat, and tears come April 15th.

This week's schedule includes getting four more rebuilt pneumatic valves out the door, in the process clearing the workbenches for another shipment of eight valves to come in the door later in the week.

My customer is super impressed with the performance they're getting out of our rebuilds, and told me that I now have all of their valve rebuild business in the Kansas City plant and they're talking to the corporate office about getting me on the vendor list for their other plants.

The coolest thing about our accomplishment is that we're beating another company that's been doing this sort of thing since 1979. We've got a better price and to date some of my rebuilds are lasting TWICE as long as the competition's product.

The only problem with making a product that lasts six months in rigorous service is that at some point we end up working ourselves out of new work for short periods of time.

Starting a company from scratch again only reminds me to be really pissed off when idiots on TV talk about "jobs" and "working families" and the government's role in creating income opportunities.

From my experience, the only thing government--local, state, and federal--has done for me since last October is take money from my savings account (since I haven't made any profit yet) in the form of "fees" and "licenses" while at the same time wasting my time filling out application forms and quarterly/annual reports and "returns."

How can you "return" something (cash) when nothing was "given" to you in the first place?

Like Ayn Rand writes in "Atlas Shrugged," if the government gets any more generous in their "income redistribution" efforts people like me are just going to go back on permanent vacation...

...sort of the "blood from a turnip" mentality I guess.

Is it just me?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Holiday Rain Yields Quality "Sofa Time"

Practicing Being A professional Time Waster...

Dang it...

Turns out that it "threatened" to rain on and off nearly all day yesterday.

One minute the sun was shining and the next minute there were dark clouds hanging on the horizon.

I think that it managed to actually rain for about a five minute period in the process, but just the threat made me pack up my tools and lay low...sitting on the carport swing dozing, then sitting on the front porch dozing while smoking a cigar and attempting to do the NY Times Crossword.

Did I mention sleeping on the sofa for a couple of hours mid-day after making ham and asparagus crepes for Brunch?

Any way, I basically did everything but sleep on the floor yesterday (because I ran out of time), and it looks like there's a very good possibility that today will be a good opportunity to provide a command performance of uselessness...because when I peeked outside just now it was raining, and the Internet and the weather channel says that we're in for more of the same all day today.

I feel sorry for people that work a regular 9 to 5 job and have crappy weather on the weekend or on Memorial day because I realize that they don't have the flexibility I have to just declare a holiday when ever I want and then proceed to sit around drinking and getting a sun tan.

I have the option of wasting time or doing "inside stuff" again today and then sitting around on the deck tomorrow or later this week if I want to, while still celebrating Memorial Day and thanking the many Veterans--alive and dead--that have served in our military and fought in wars past and present.

While wandering into Kroger on Saturday we bought a couple of Poppies from an old guy from the local American Legion wearing a WWII hat.

He thanked us for our contribution and outlined the local ceremonies to be held over the next couple of days, and handed me a little card with a poem written on it called "In Flanders Fields" written by a Canadian doctor, Lt. Col. John McCrae, while serving in the WWI battle of Ypres salient in 1915.

I remember as a kid going down to the town square in Ozark, Alabama with my Dad to get a hair cut at "the City Barber Shop" and buying a little artificial Poppy for a dime or a quarter back in the 1960's, and since then I've always wondered why people bought and sold poppies on memorial day.

Apparently it's because of the words in this poem:

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Here's hoping everyone has a good Memorial Day, regardless of the weather. Try to remember what the day is really all about I guess, and sunshine or rain be thankful for Men and Women willing to get shot at to protect our rights to do silly stuff like watching NASCAR races and cooking hot dogs on a charcoal grill.

You know?