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 30, 2018

Probably a Bad Day

I have a friend that was working a "turnaround" years ago. What's a turnaround? It's when a unit in a petrochemical facility is brought down for maintenance, or repair.

Turnarounds are expensive; very expensive. Beside the coordination, multiple units involved, and the loss of product, the enormous cost is almost mind boggling. The labor costs are extremely high, since the hours demanded are 7 day weeks, with 10 to 12 hour days. Sometimes, the cranes alone to remove components take weeks to assemble, and the hourly rates are 5 figure numbers. With all the additional equipment and materials involved, a few million dollars can disappear in a week.

My friend was working for one of the contractors at the end of the turnaround. At that point, all the pipes were back together, things were being checked, and the manways were buckled up. It was time to start the startup procedure, which required a head count before proceeding.

They were missing someone. Double checking revealed no error, so the large scale checking began. Hours were spent, but they still couldn't find the missing man. The next step required removing manways to see if the missing man was inside the unit. That's when what I consider a bad day became worse.

The missing man, since there are so many involved, figured out he could slip through a fence, go home, and spend the day doing what he wanted. He would slip back in before quitting time, and nobody was the wiser....until that evening. When he appeared, and the head count became accurate, it was obvious he was the "missing man".

The man was fired, which didn't really make much of a difference. For all practical purposes, he was useless, and the contractor found their supervision practices under the microscope. The plant manager would have to do a report, and I know that was not a pleasant thing to turn in.

So it was a bad day for all involved, but the unit was brought back on line. If it was like most of these units, the revenue paid for the turnaround in a short period of time.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

This I Did Not Know

A girls name, which is spelled Abcde, is a name I've never heard. A gate agent, who was probably amazed, took a picture of a boarding pass, and placed it on social media.  The mother was upset. The little girl will be upset in the future. I'm betting she changes her name, and probably doesn't spend too much time with Mom. One thing is for sure, if the little girl manages to learn to spell her name, she's learned a substantial amount of the alphabet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Waiting for the Result

The Russian collusion investigation is drawing to a close...or not. Muellor is steadily at work, which some call organized crime, since his track record includes using some shady people for evidence. There are even projections of the investigation lasting through 2020, which makes me wonder how Muellor can justify such a waste of taxpayer money.

With the new AG, there are many that feel he'll step in, make some drastic changes, and the investigation will end. I'll believe that, when I see it, but whatever happens, nothing will change the fact some people had their lives crushed by the monetary weight of the government. While they were bled dry financially, Muellor was steadily digging in the pockets of taxpayers to keep he job.

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Sympathy is Waning

The television is full of clips of the invaders trying to force their way across the U.S. border. The invaders, throwing rocks, were repelled by Border Patrol agents with tear gas. Of course, the narrative of how horrible this is, due to children being present, is being presented by many in the media.

This isn't the first time this happened. Invaders were repelled by the Obama Administration for the same reason. They even used tear gas. The difference now is that the media can't hide this fact, since the internet isn't completely controlled by those willing to remove the sovereignty of U.S. citizens for political gain.

I'm not seeing much sympathy. That, and there's anger at the parents bringing their children to what can only be described as a riot.  The supposed "refugees" are finding they're not only unwelcome in the United States, the Mexicans are angry at them for interrupting the normal crossings of the border, and causing damage to their economy.

Trump is threatening to shut down the border, which is withing his authority. If he does, he'll find the majority of voters behind his action, and the Mexican government will ramp up their efforts to either deport the invaders, or incarcerate them for their criminal behavior.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Knocking at the Door

If someone knocks at my door, I will examine them from a window, and decide whether I'll answer the door, or allow them in. If I don't want them in, the door will remain locked, and they will be asked to leave. If they don't, they become trespassers, and I will call the Sheriff. If they try to force the door, they will be stopped as they enter with a loaded gun. If they attempt to encroach further, deadly force will be used.

The description above is how most people in the United States react to a knock on the door. Some might not have a weapon, but will still notify authorities someone is attempting unauthorized access, and they need them to stop the invasion.

The border of the United States is the same. Access is by permission only. Attempting to forcibly enter is an invasion, and those involved are criminals.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Arriving at an Elevation

If there's a known elevation, anyone with rudimentary surveying experience can run a level loop, transfer the elevation, or derive another elevation. It's simple, the instrument required is inexpensively acquired, or rented. That's what starts my rant. 

Local bureaucrats/officials/thieves/collaborators require an elevation certificate for new construction, or the addition of other buildings on a property. Usually, a survey crew arrives, spends a few minutes calibrating their GPS equipment, places a nail in a power pole for new construction, and gives the person requiring the certificate a piece of paper to satisfy the paper crazy bureaucrats. The fee is hundreds of dollars, and the nails can be found within a few hundred feet in any given area. 

My problem is that these nails, which are filed with the paper crazies, have a known elevation, should be readily available to anyone that wants to use them, and the information used to build above the flood plain elevations. 

That's not how it works. A certificate is required for everyone, and a surveyor gets hundreds of dollars to perform work that should take less than an hour. Otherwise, it's a bonanza for the surveyors, the counties get a boatload of new filing fees, and the taxpayers are forced to pay for this extortion. 

Meanwhile, the insurance companies get their share of insurance money, since they can adjust their rates for different areas. They would never have had such information, unless a flood event happened, until now. They lower their exposure, which may not be exposure at all. They get more money, the money might not be justifiably required, and they laugh all the way to the bank. 

Of course, anything I happened to bring to satisfy an elevation certificate would be useless, since I'm not a license surveyor, although few surveyors actually perform their own surveyors. They have field parties, with known methods of acquiring the information, which they use to affix a stamp. They are not actually doing a survey, which means they too are misusing the power of government to line their pockets.  

My solution is that counties, if information is received which shows an elevations, should forego a special certificate. A notarized signature on a level loop should satisfy any required elevations. That, and the surveyor should be required to make available to anyone the coordinates, and the elevation for any temporary bench mark they place. Life is too expensive as it is, without adding more fees that only satisfy money grubbers, and their employees. 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

I have a lot to be thankful for. I think many do, and many forget the hardships of those fleeing religious persecution to find a place they could determine their own destiny. Their opportunity was presented, and they had to struggle to survive, but they did.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I've Got Me a Troll

I  was trolled. I glimpsed the hairy, ugly, gnarly thing as it wrote nasty things on my blog. I shooed it away with my delete button, but I know trolls don't like to be shooed away. I'll have to watch things over the holidays, and make sure it doesn't try to get the turkey.

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. 

Officials, Attorneys and Negligent Homicide

Criminal negligent homicide is a charge for neglecting important things, and someone dies due to the neglect, or reckless behavior. A good example is someone that neglects safety, drinks too much, and kills someone, when they drive into the opposite lane of traffic.

How can the people of California ignore this example of a criminal offense, and still allow their officials to use the power of their office to prevent the citizens from protecting themselves by removing hazards that contribute to out of control wildfires?

Personally, I think all involved with supposed environmental actions that cause death are criminally negligent, and should be charged. This includes the governor, and members of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court. They've been directly involved with the death of many, and the citizens of California should demand their prosecution.

It's The Modern Way

Email is the preferred way of business to now communicate. It's wonderful, since important documents are transferred almost immediately, and business isn't affected by long waits for document exchanging. There is a problem: email servers don't always play nice.

Too many times, I've sent something via email, with an attachment, and the recipient doesn't receive the documents. The reason? The email server rejected the email. Otherwise, the computer, thanks to the IT protocol, thinks it's dangerous, or spam, or the IT on staff thinks it's a good way to play with the heads of the usually thankless people he deals with with daily.

Is there a solution? Of course, but the usually thankless people probably don't have a clue, or know they'll have to attempt to not appear as condescending to the nerd that controls their existence. They haven't forgotten the ugly confrontation after they downloaded a virus, and the IT guy missed Thanksgiving to rid the server of the electronic puke scattered through the system

So, the modern way introduced things that are not only problematic, the solution may disappear, when the IT guy quits, and locks the server with a password with seventy billion possible combinations of numerals, with letters.

Ain't technology grand?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Things That Need Changing

Voting isn't complicated. That, and with the current system, it's easy to corrupt. The solution? No mail in ballots, unless active military. That, and no party line votes, or voting without identification. The most important thing: Anyone convicted of voter fraud, or election law violations are punished with a minimum five year sentence. That includes illegal aliens.

Monday, November 12, 2018


Local universities are offering a degree in process operations. Basically, it's a degree to run the multiple units in the local petrochemical facilities. From the number of conversations I've had, it appears there are thousands pursuing this degree, but I have the feeling the supply far exceeds the demand.

From my experience, this is one of those degrees pushed by the universities for revenue, and they are deceitful in how they present the degree. I might be wrong, but I don't see how there are that many positions to fill, since they are sought by many, the positions don't open often, except for attrition, and the constant improvements in automation eliminate the need for many.

Time will tell, but I think this is another one of those money making schemes for universities, and they really don't care about the final outcome. They get their money, those that pay for the degree are S.O.L. and there's really nothing they can do except chalk it up as a bad decision.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Catalogs, Perfume, and Flatulence

After going for the mail, the wife and I drove home, while she perused a catalog. As we drove, I noticed a scent, which I started to say something about, but didn't want to embarrass my wife.

My wife commented on the terrible perfume samples in the catalog, and held up one of scents for my opinion. It smelled like perfume, but as she held the catalog closer, I realized what I thought was some flatulence was the odor of the paper in the catalog.

I commented to my wife about my discovery, which embarrassed her a little anyway, since speaking of such things isn't her favorite topic.  She rolled the catalog up, and place it behind my seat. I responded by thanking for throwing it behind MY seat.

She laughed, I laughed, and we made our way home, where the offending catalog was placed in the proper container.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Maybe Some Five Card Draw

Sessions is gone. I think many wonder why it took so long, but the entire event could have been a well played game of poker.

From what I've seen, Trump isn't one to dilly dally about firing. Sessions was an exception, but Sessions might be his ace. Allowing him to stay, with his cooperation, could have been a good bluff, with results yet to be seen. Sessions could have been told of Trump's efforts to play good guy against bad guy, with the final result some important indictments and vindication of Sessions after the smoke clears.

I think Trump knew statistics showed the party in power to lose seats in Congress;especially the House. I think that's why he pushed hard for helping Senators, and maybe a good reason to keep Sessions. After all, a feckless House only makes the party in power look foolish, and with the Republicans in control of the Senate, the House can be made a large body of wasted salaries with the Democrats in charge. Anything that makes it to the floor will be voted against, and it's almost impossible to have a veto majority if something is vetoed by the President.

So, what's the advantage of Sessions to stay for so long? With a planned recusal, Sessions could stay in the background, and slowly collect a substantial amount of information on those using their power for sedition. Considering the evidence showing the arrogance of many in the government against Trump, those with an agenda against the President would not hide forever. Their arrogance would lead to revealing things they think they got away with.

So, what's the end game? Leverage. The Democrats are more than vulnerable, and a huge amount of criminal indictments against the seditionist bureaucrats will be a stain on the party. If some of the key politicians, and their staffs, are prosecuted, the party may find the public perception leans even further toward the Republican party.

If this is true, Trump has three aces: The Senate, the Supreme Court, and a Department of Justice wanting to clean up the mess made by the last administration. All three can accomplish huge steps toward removing the Democrats from power. Their feckless leadership in the House will only show incompetence, some members of the party may need to jump ship to prevent the end of the their career, and others may find their nefarious deeds are illegal.

Time will tell.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

We'll See

The Democrats will take over the house next year. That's not a good thing, since they've went to the ideology of darkness, and embrace Communism. They're out for blood, and will be ruthless in their effort to destroy the United States.

The Republican house has an opportunity to do some important things before the turnover, but with Ryan in charge, I have a feeling he'll continue to keep his tail tucked between his legs, and play nice with those willing to sacrifice liberty for government control.

Trump has the opportunity to either demand Sessions do his job, or fire him. That will lead the way for hiring a bulldog to go after those in the government ignoring laws. Whether that happens is soon to be seen, but I don't have a lot of faith in national justice. Too many reprobates have skated, and the common folks are constantly preyed upon by bureaucrats.

We'll see what happens, but if those in the capitol are paying attention, they'll know those that produce are now even more determined to gain control of their country again. Regardless of demands to "play nice", there won't be such a thing, and things will probably be very ugly.

I have to add that many of the embarrassingly ignorant that voted the Dems back in think this guarantees impeaching Trump. What they fail to realize is the House can't try the President, and the Senate (who has to try the President) is controlled by the Republicans. 

Maybe enough of the dumbass House member's head will explode to allow the Republicans to regain control of the House.  I hope so. It's the least they can do for their country. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Reality

Regardless of opinion, the large group of illegal aliens heading north will not be allowed into the U.S. as a group. Although it's been suggested they'll push their way in, most don't realize Trump can, and will, close the border down completely. This will cause severe economic problems along the border, and Mexico will find a huge problem of sending goods to the United States. People may complain, but when it comes right down to it, the President is responsible for national security, and I think he'll take his job seriously. If I had to guess, he's already talked with Mexican authorities, and expressed his intentions. The deployment of troops to the border is a good indication of what I predict.

So, what will happen? More than likely, Mexican authorities will clamp down on the caravans, people will become discouraged, most will wander away into Mexico, and those left will find many days of idle time wondering what to do next, while they live a crappy life south of the border. Mexico can't allow their economy to be used as a political football by U.S. politics, and I doubt they have much compassion for those causing them so many problems.

We'll see what happens, but the media will mostly lie, the Communist Democrats will cause problems, and the majority of U.S. taxpayers will be glad the mass of unwanted aliens are not allowed into the United States.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Leaden Skies

I  woke to leaden skies this morning. A steady light rain fell in the almost still air. What was drying ground slowly soaked the ample rain, and puddles soon appeared.

As I drank my coffee on the front porch, I noticed a lone hawk in the top of a tall tree. It's reddish color stood out against the gray sky; a warning to the numerous cardinals that soon disappeared. Before the hawk came, they numbered in the dozens; their colors brilliant against the dying grass.

We're supposed to have a cold front. According to the radar, it's soon to pass, but will be slow of clearing the coast. It will rain today, through this evening, and the skies might not clear until tomorrow night. After that, the clearing will be brief, and the damp, dreary weather of Fall will return for the remainder of the week.

This is a good day to do little to nothing. I might even sneak away for a nap. The rest is needed, and the peace of a lazy Sunday afternoon my prescription for health.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Telephone Fraud

For the last two weeks, I received local calls, which I didn't recognize, so I didn't answer. A voice mail was soon left, which I would delete.

Yesterday, the recorded message was alerting me to a problem with my credit card, and the request of pressing "1" to find out the details. I erased the voice mail, as usual, and then thought about what I needed to do.

I called the number on caller identification. A nice woman answered, who had no idea her number was being used by the telemarketer. This led me to some investigation into what is happening.

Apparently, caller id can be manipulated to use your own area code, the first three digits of you phone number, and the last four digits randomly picked. It looks like a local call, which usually leads to an answer, since it doesn't seem like a telemarketing call.

Within an hour, I had another call, with the same number, so I answered, waited for the "press 1" option, and soon had someone to talk to.

The voice on the other end was male, with a noticeably Indian, or Pakistani accent. I didn't wait for him to start his spill, and immediately asked "Who the $#%@ are you? He tried to go on, but I continued by telling him the were breaking the law, and wanted to speak to his supervisor. He tried to continue. I raised my voice and continued: "Who the $#%@ are you? He hung up.

I told my sister-in-law about it, and she explained she too had the same types of calls, and used up the telemarketer's time with inane questions, or ridiculous remarks. It sounded like fun, so I have a new strategy. It looks like I might have some fun with the telemarketers, and I need to see how long I can waste their time.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Fourteenth Amendment Nonsense

Section 1

"...All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

If someone pays attention, they realize foreign citizens are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Of course, they can be prosecuted for crimes, but the embassies for the citizens are safe havens, and they might even be allowed to leave under the protection of diplomatic immunity. 

What does this have to do with the 14th Amendment? Its the part about jurisdiction. Foreign citizens are not under U.S. jurisdiction, and even if their child is born here, they are still a foreign citizen just visiting. Therefore, they are not automatically a U.S. citizen. 

This is easy stuff. How anyone can think otherwise either indicates they're as dense as a box of rocks, or have an agenda to subvert the laws of the United States.