Saturday, January 08, 2011

A Good Saturday I Think

Life Is What You Make Of It I Know...

I've been sort of stuck in a mental funk recently in spite of the happy stuff I've been writing here on the blog.  Attribute the situation to my multi-personality syndrome or whatever, but half of me has been elated and the other half has been going crazy worrying about stuff. 

Now at the end of this week a few things resolved themselves in a positive manner and I think that maybe I  can move forward.

I just checked outside and we're getting a nice little fluffy snow storm with about an inch or so on the ground so far this morning, and down here in the shop after stopping to take a nap and reset my synapses I just had a major breakthrough with a programming problem I've been having with a new type of PLC controller I'm working with.

I don't understand why so many nerds are such bad writers--particularly technical writing--technical things being what we do and all...but they are.  I just spent part of last week trying to understand something which was stupidly silly and easy but was not even in the "official" documentation and only casually mentioned in some other material I had received from a class I took a couple of years ago.

I'm not going to let that omission upset me and ruin my good mood yelling about wanting to wring some techno-idiot's neck...

...I'm just going to remain cool and calm and happy and have a good Saturday and get up and cook Pat and the Turbo Pup some eggs and keep on keeping on on an even keel.

Y'all have a LOVELY weekend, if you will...and stay warm...

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Phone's Starting To Ring

New Year Looking Profitable...

To my surprise I got a phone call this afternoon from a stranger asking for some pricing on our custom pneumatic valve rebuild services.

Better yet, they're interested in what we call a "Master Rebuild" which cost about three and one half times as much as a "Basic Rebuild," so the value of the Purchase Order piles up real fast when they send in six or eight valves for service.

Each machine typically requires 16 valves, and there's a few thousand of these old machines sprinkled around North America/Canada, and apparently word is getting out that we do a good job I guess.

I predict that our first real employee we hire will primarily spend his or her time re-building valves if things work out...who knows.

I rebuilt 84 of them from the fourth quarter of 2009 through the last shipment which went out of here by FedEX on New Years Eve, and there's a good but small living to be had by coming up to speed and doing two or three times that number here in 2011.

In other news, in spite of the winter weather outside my front and back doors, last week we had a new ultra-high efficiency TRANE heat pump system installed to replace the ancient, inefficient GE 1970's vintage unit and I'm able to run around both levels of the house without socks and a sweatshirt and be comfortable. 

I'm not in any way a nudist, but at the same time I hate wearing extra clothes unless I'm going to Church or the mall or other places in public.  It's the pirate/beach bum tendancies in me I guess, and this new TRANE unit quietly keeps all of the house at a comfortable level of temperature...hopefully at a cost of less than the $300 per month we were paying three or four months out of the year using the old unit.

This old 1963 vintage house is starting to be in better shape now than it was the day it was build because of our efforts over the past nearly 4 years.  A new roof and a coat of paint on the soffits and facias and window trim and it will be better than new I think.

If I was half it's age rather than being four years older than the old brick lady I'd tackle the roof myself, but my days of doing roofing ended with the 12' x 12' storage building I built for my dear Mother on the Farm back in the early 1990's.

I'm still considering doing the paint because the house is brick on four sides and the tallest part of the woodwork is only about 24 feet off of the ground. I guess I'll get a quote and if I can save $1,500 to $2,000 it's worth my while to climb up and down a ladder a few thousand times when the weather warms up this spring.

I really enjoy working on my cars and my houses and doing mechanical stuff on a "hands on" basis, it's just that like everyone else...the older I get the more fragile I become and saving a little money while risking spending the rest of my life in a neck brace is something I don't have to have anyone else remind me about.

OK, enough blogging for the moment...Until something I read or see on the TV or Internet pisses me off...

Regards Y'all... 

Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland

Old Age Yields Bad Attitude Toward Frozen Precipitation...

In spite of the forecast, we picked up somewhere between 3 and 4 inches of snow here in West Knoxtown again yesterday afternoon.

If things keep going as they are this winter will possibly set some new records for snowfall in this part of Eastern Tennessee.

Twenty five years ago I would have ran outside and come back in a hour later soaking wet because it was one of those juicy snows that comes down in "flakes" the size of potato chips. The trees and shrubbery and power lines all had steep stacks of fluffy ice standing on them all evening as a result.

Today, as things have developed, I've only experienced the event by peeking out a couple of windows and opening the door to the back yard deck to check how much things are melting.

I'm arguing with myself about missing the scenery with my camera because it really was a pretty kind of snow, but my back hurts and I have other stuff to do and etc., etc. etc...

so you'll probably just have to use your imagination to see the event here in your mind if you live south or East of here.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Years Cogitations...

Once True...Always True

(sorry for the re-runs for my regular readers, but I LOVE Sam Kinison...)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Hey IRS Idiots...Can I wait Until June 15th To File?

Just In Case You Haven't Noticed...

I challenge you to go online on the IRS website and find Corporate tax return forms for 2010.

Check into the 2010 personal tax forms for those of us that want to itemize our so-called "deductions."

Corporate forms which are due by March 15th...not April 15th...with a $89 per month penalty per shareholder per month if filed late...


are not available as of today--January 4th, 2010.

Idiot government...can't live with them...forced to not live without them.

If You Think This Can't Happen Here In the USA You're A Dumbass

And If You Are A Dumbass You Probably Will Vote YES When The Time comes...

European Nations Begin Seizing Private Pensions

People’s retirement savings are a convenient source of revenue for governments that don’t want to reduce spending or make privatizations. As most pension schemes in Europe are organised by the state, European ministers of finance have a facilitated access to the savings accumulated there, and it is only logical that they try to get a hold of this money for their own ends. In recent weeks I have noted five such attempts: Three situations concern private personal savings; two others refer to national funds.

The most striking example is Hungary, where last month the government made the citizens an offer they could not refuse. They could either remit their individual retirement savings to the state, or lose the right to the basic state pension (but still have an obligation to pay contributions for it). In this extortionate way, the government wants to gain control over $14bn of individual retirement savings.

The Bulgarian government has come up with a similar idea. $300m of private early retirement savings was supposed to be transferred to the state pension scheme. The government gave way after trade unions protested and finally only about 20% of the original plans were implemented.

In my opinion we're just a single generation away from the hoards of government edumicated idiots coming and striking at the walls of my home demanding whatever the imperial Federal Government of the By-God United States of 'merica hasn't managed to legislate out of my possession...

..if we don't act in this next one or two sessions of Congress...

Just like the recent riots in Greece and France show "government workers" and so-called "students" taking to the streets demanding retirement in middle age and "free college education."

This from people having spent half a lifetime sitting on their stupid asses with government promises of prosperity at the financial expense of the "rich" and "achievers" in their society, and others demanding an addition four to six years of "free" government supplied education after dropping out or wasting the resources spent getting them through the first twelve years of edificaton.

In Tennessee and Georgia and Alabama the High School drop out rate is somewhere between 50% and 60%, yet the "students" want more.

I say that there is a good chance that our Republic (not Democracy remember) will untimately fall due to "Wealth Envy"... plain and simple...

and that illness of human origin but promoted by governments and politicians through the ages is an evil, base, deadly sin just like murder and adultery in my book. 

Remember the Bible says:

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighobor's house or ass or wife (or Wife's Ass or Lexus or Power tools or 42' Sea Ray Cabin Cruiser)..."

It's just that simple...Dammit...

New Years Day = The "Lint Filter" Of Life?

The Sign Said"Clean Before Each Load"

Just in case you haven't figured it out from reading this blog, I'm not much on "New Years" resolutions.

You see, if you took all of the New Years resolutions I've broken over the past 5 plus decades, piled them up like cord firewood, and then proceeded to burn them in your fireplace, you'd probably be warm all winter--every single winter--for the next half century.

That said, there's still a few things which I think always change for the good every year if you just give life a little effort, and in my book you don't have to wait until New Year's Eve or New Years day to get the positive results.

Now digressing a bit (stay with me here...I have a point), I was just sitting here in front of the computer surrounded by PLC panel projects in my basement shop...Mission Control A.K.A. the International headquarters of PET...when the buzzer went off on our Clothes Dryer in the adjacent laundry area.
I walked over to change over another load of laundry when I had an epiphany I think.

See if you agree.

It occurred to me that it's better to think of New Year's Day not as the day to start filtering the proverbial lint--the bad stuff--out of our lives.

I think that it's a dryer lint do just a little bit every day, in every load of stuff life gives us...and then at the end of the run...

New Year's Day...

Clean your filter out like I'm doing, and then start over.

Incremental filtration, not tee totaling absolution...

It's much easier and practical..


I've Been Busy Ringing In The New Year

And Putting The Old Year In A File Cabinet Or The Trash Can...

I suppose that you've noticed that I've been pretty much invisible here on the Internet on and off for the past few weeks.

Don't worry, there's nothing wrong really (unlike a couple of previous near month long absences while I was preoccupied laying in a hospital bed with a half dozen tubes stuck into my body) other than, in addition to celebrating two holidays in 10 days,  I've just had to spend most of my time focused on closing out some old business files and getting new proposals put together.

I also installed a new Blue Ray Surround Sound home theater system which has resulted in a total loss of hearing a couple of times while watching reruns of Lord of the Rings and some other stuff I've missed in surround sound at home in the past.

eeEEEhhhHHHH...what did you say???

Then of course there is the arduous task of finishing the tax year and getting ready for moving forward into the year 2011.

In anticipation of possibly QUADRUPLING our business this year I went out and purchased a program called "Quickbooks" and spent most of a couple of days keying in everything I did last year in order to support tax returns and to get the accounting system up and running for the new year.

Let's just say this...


I also bought a giant new bookcase for my office and spent a bunch of time putting things into three ring binders, boxing stuff up in cardboard storage boxes, and stuffing things into empty spaces in the three file cabinets I look at every day.

I probably threw away 100 pounds of magazines and old mail and just miscellaneous paper crap which was laying in various piles in the floor or on my desktop threatening to fall over and suffocate me into a slow death.

 So any way, things have settled down a good deal now and there's a good possibility that with our US Congress coming back into session this week I'll have no other recourse but to start launching my opinions back out here onto the Internet here on this blog.

Until then...regards Y'all...