In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Press Credentials and Other BS

A judge issued a temporary injunction giving Jim Acosta access to press conferences. Trump pulled them, so he went to court. The media might think this is a good idea, but if I was Trump, I wouldn't have any more press conferences, and issue only what I wanted with printed releases. That, and constant tweets telling them they're not only fools, they're ignorant fools.

A Rant

Healthcare is as important as food, yet many people can't afford healthcare, and it doesn't seem to matter to most politicians. After all, too many receive free healthcare, as well as many others that receive their money from taxpayers.

Of course, too many politicians would find the best solution is having the government take over all of healthcare, and never realize that's as ridiculous as suggesting the government take over all food. Government entities can't even balance their checkbooks, and spend more than they have. Thinking they could offer anything more than bowls of mush is insanity. Thinking they would not keep the best for themselves, and expect the peons to accept less, is also insanity. Any political structure has a corrupting influence on any participant, and evil is introduced to the newcomers to the vocation.

It's not uncommon for people to spend more on healthcare insurance than they do for food, and even mortgages. That's absurd, and it doesn't take much intelligence to know there something rotten in the healthcare industry. There is. Government intervention, greed, and corruption.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

How Do They Get Away With Their Actions?

This book review is interesting. It elaborates on how some tech giants avoided laws, and did so with impunity.  The Federal Trade Commission has a brief explanation of these laws on their web site. 

I remember when AT&T was broken up, due to the monopoly it held. Competition was crushed with impunity, and the final result was an action to stop its march to complete control of the industry.

I've seen attempts of a monopoly at the local level. One supplier moved into the area of a competitor, started selling the same product below cost, and the ultimate result was losing a suit to the tune of millions.

Monopolies have a hard time existing, when consumers are aware of the players, and understand they can ultimately be forced to pay exorbitant prices due to the lack of competition. Time will tell on how these current tech giants fare a possible storm, but I have the feeling many are becoming aware of their predatory nature. Over time, the companies will either split up, or find they've lost a battle in the war of ethics.  Losing that battle can cost billions, and create a consumer unwilling to use their services.

Repairing the Washer and Dryer

Years ago (somewhere around 30 years), my house was struck by lightning. The final toll was a pressure regulator on a propane tank (where the lightning found its way into the house), two appliance cords, a high temperature pilot, a door switch, a microwave, and a circuit breaker.

The damage was something to see, since it was far from what I expected. The path of the lightning, which took milliseconds, was into the propane tank, through the ground, into the dryer, from the drier to the wall plug, into the washer, to the circuit breaker, and finally across the air, into the water heater. It was apparent the paths to ground changed, when the appliance cords were shredded, the circuit breaker blew apart, and the final ground was the grounding circuit of the water heater. My ex-wife, who was home, said it was a terrifying thing to experience.

After my ex-wife wife called, and I arrived home, the first thing I noticed was a hiss from the propane tank. Inspection revealed a regulator leaking at the threaded connections. The heat of the lightning must have melted the threads. I turned off the regulator and entered the house. A quick inspection revealed the damage in the utility room.

The cords for the washer and dryer were shredded, although not burned. The water heater had a burn on the side, as though someone tried to strike an arc with a welding rod. The microwave was not on, and I went outside to inspect the breaker box.

What was left of the breaker was hanging in pieces. I started a mental list for things needing replacing, and went back into the utility room.

I pulled the washer and dryer from the wall. Removing the appliance cords was easy, so I went to town for the cords, the breaker,  a pressure regulator, and crossed my fingers.

The regulator was an easy fix. So were the breaker and appliance cords. Turning the breaker back on didn't cause a trip, so I knew either the circuit was completely open, or things weren't as bad as I envisioned.

The washer started right up, and appeared to be working correctly. The dryer didn't, so it was time to take it apart.

After examining the dryer, the only thing I could find was the high temperature pilot in the plenum was open. That, and the door switch didn't have continuity. It was time for a trip to the appliance parts store, which had what I needed.

After I finally had the replacement parts back on, I reattached the propane fitting, and pushed the start. It worked, the burner lit, and after a few minutes, I knew it was good.

The microwave was the last project. Opening it up revealed a burn mark in the circuit board. Since such things cost more than a new appliance, the microwave was tossed, and a new one replace it on the counter.

I called my insurance agent. After a few minutes of conversation, we agreed the sum of around two hundred dollars for repairs was much lower than my deductible. So, there was no claim, and life went on.

I eventually sold the washer and dryer for $100 at a garage sale. They worked, even after over twenty years of service. The replacement dryer was electric. After seeing how lightning can travel through a propane line, I decided propane had to go. I had only used the propane for the dryer, and everything else was electric.

Both washer, and dryer, were old school. There were no electronics, the timer were manual, and the mechanics simple. I doubt a similar incident would yield the same results today. With all the electronic horse crap installed, the only repair would probably be replacement.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This Bothered Me All Day

A few months ago, my brother had a colonoscopy, and cancer was found. The initial diagnosis depended on the depth of the cancer, and it was diagnosed as stage 3. Chemotherapy followed, and after speaking to my brother a few weeks ago, he had another round to take, and more tests to follow.

I hadn't spoke with my brother over the last two weeks. Through relatives, I found out my brother is now stage four, and his liver is now affected. The plan is a huge dose of a chemotherapy cocktail, and radiation. If this doesn't work, there are no other options.

This is not easy. This is something I never expected, and created a fear of not only losing my brother, but of him suffering. I thought it would be easier, since I've already lost two brothers, but it's not. His time may be very short, and I still have decades of visiting to do. He planned on moving back to our neck of the woods after retirement, and be closer to his family.

Anyway, this has bothered me all day, and I have a feeling it will bother me for a long time.