Category Archives: Rant

Papers, have your papers out and ready

Did I say “papers?” I meant “permits.”

I generally try to keep this blog as apolitical as possible … but “I’m angry as hell an not going to take it any more.” Below is but one example of a nationwide epidemic.

Armed Agents Raid Park, Destroy Food, Seize Food Carts — Over Improper Permitting

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/food-raid-armed-agents/

Excerpts below …

Government agents have again let their true colors shine, in a latest attempt to fight one of the most pernicious and brutal crimes embattling far too many communities across the nation — a lack of permit.

These fearless agents of the State, peace officers, not only seized the food supposedly so in need of a permit, they dumped punch into storm drains and confiscated coolers, tables, chairs, canned soda, and literally everything in the vendors’ possession — the entire raid, captured on Facebook Live video.

Ironically-monikered peace officers claimed without elaborating or providing specific details on the video they’d received complaints — but the outpouring of support from the public and church communities, as well as outrage over the raid, did not evince any complainants relieved to see the picnicking quashed.

From diligent street vendors offering tasty bites to kids’ offering family-recipe lemonade to parched passersby, one thing has been made abundantly clear — permitting is out of control.

Permits are the government’s way of bilking people of money under the petulant guise of public safety — but the truth about permitting is much simpler and infinitely less benign. 

‘You aren’t allowed to profit unless I get my cut,’ is what the State really says when Mexican food vendors, flood victims, little girls, and countless others receive fines and tickets — or have their possessions confiscated — due only to lack of permit.

That the Sacramento food vendors didn’t shirk legal responsibilities and had applied for the necessary permits when cops seized their wares again proves the issue has little to do with the permit, itself, and everything to do with an unreasonable government running roughshod on all of us.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

As it always has been …

It’s all about the Benjamins

Read the entire article at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/food-raid-armed-agents/


Falcon 9 Re-entry … How it survives

The video below does an excellent job of explaining exactly how the Falcon 9 survives re-entry

The heat of re-entry is due to the compression of the atmosphere ahead of the re-entering vehicle, NOT air friction. Think of a diesel engine that works by highly compressing the air in the cylinder above the ignition temperature of the diesel fuel which is then injected at maximum compression and temperature.

Credit XKCD

Prius 13 Update

Previously on Prius 13

    “I warned you not to stir the oxygen tanks,” my service writer replied.

    Houston, we have a problem.

    I noticed one of my warnings lights was on as I drove through the parking lot. No wait. ALL OF MY WARNING LIGHTS WERE ON. The main console was lit up like a Christmas tree. I pulled into a parking space and rebooted the car (aka turning it off and on). All of the warning lights stayed on and the primary notification window alternated between “CHECK PCS SYSTEM” and “CHECK HYBRID SYSTEM”.

    My Prius had gone Apollo 13 on me.

    With my luck, it’s the AE-35 Unit.

 It wasn’t the AE-35 Unit.

It was the Flux Capacitor … or the financial equivalent thereof.

 = = =

Thursday was a busy day at CatBeard Manor. The Mrs was back from the hospital but still wheelchair-bound. A plumber was out, reaming a decades-old clog from our plumbing to allow the upstairs toilet to flush without filling up the tub. A cable technician was out for the nth time troubleshooting my abysmal Internet performance. And finally, the first wave of physical therapy had arrived to evaluate the Mrs. So I was calling Toyota every hour or so trying to get an update on the Prius. No joy.

Late in the afternoon, after everyone had left my house, I decided to drive over to Toyota and talk in-person to my service writer. I drove the rental car to the front, parked, got out, and got a free cup of coffee in the lobby before stalking my service writer.

I walked up behind him and said “you’re a very difficult guy to get a hold of.”

“It’s been a goat rodeo here,” he replied.

“I came by to get some free coffee and while I was here decided to stop by and find out what was up with my Prius.”

I got a smile. “Let me go in the back and find out what’s going on.”

He was gone a long time.

When he came back he was carrying two sheets of paper. The first sheet of paper was a printout, the first line of which had HYBRID BATTERY with a bunch of Xs after it in various columns indicating various failed tests. The second sheet was blank save for handwritten numbers indicating cost of the part, tax, and labor. The total was $5600 or so.

$5600 Deep breath. Did I mention that I have been out of work since last February? I got laid off following my 15 year anniversary award with a major oil field services company. “Yeah I was afraid it would be this.” The discussion then went on to how I had read that the cost had come down and/or that individual battery cells could be replaced. Maybe, but not through Toyota. “Is there anyway this might be covered under warranty?” I asked. “Let’s find out,” he replies.

Typing ensues. Screens pop up on his monitor. He pulls out a little book and starts leafing through it. This goes on for what seems like an eternity. Then he reaches over to the sheet with $5600 handwritten on it, crumples it up with one hand, and tosses it in the trash. Now I am staring at a screen showing the warranty status of various subsystems for my car. Each them shows that it is out of warranty – EXCEPT for the HYBRID BATTERY. It is warranteed to 100,000 miles. My car has less than 100,000 miles on it.

“So,” I ask tentatively, “it’s under warranty?”

“Yes.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“I want to kiss you.”

“Let’s not.”

“Agreed.”

He had some more paperwork to do, so I walked over to get more free coffee. Then I went to the car rental desk and requested a printout of the contract on the car had I rented the day before. I intended to try to get Toyota to comp me for the rental car, since it was warranty work. When I got back to the service desk, my service writer was way ahead of me. “You have a rental car, yes? We’ll cover that.” He called over to rental desk and made it so.

As I left, I shot him a thumbs-up. “Free replacement battery pack. Free rental car. Free coffee. Can’t beat that.”

He smiled. “Especially the free coffee. It may not be good, but it’s free.”

Prius 13

“I warned you not to stir the oxygen tanks,” my service writer replied.

Houston, we have a problem.

It has not been a good week at CatBeard Manor. Last Thursday the Mrs lost feeling, then function in her left leg. It was effectively “dead”. It had been bothering her for a while prior to this. (MS? Leg? Spine? MS? Leg? Spine?) She immediately called her neurologist, but it rolled over to voicemail. I broke out the wheelchair which we use from time to time when the Mrs feels particularly exhausted. Feeling and function returned over the weekend. I put away the wheelchair and broke out the walker. By Sunday evening she was “free walking” once again, unaided.

On Monday her left leg began acting up again. That afternoon I was out running errands when she called to say that the neurologist had called. “Go directly to the ER to be admitted to hospital for tests. Do not pass GO! Do not collect $200.” It was after 4 PM. I went home and collected the Mrs, the wheelchair, and several bags of supplies. We knew the drill. By the time they put her in an “observation” room they had run X-rays and a CAT scan of her head to rule out stroke, blood tests, and ultra-sound of her leg to rule out a blood clot. It was 2 AM Tuesday when she got to her room. I went home exhausted and got little sleep.

On Tuesday afternoon they scheduled her for cranial, cervical, and lumbar MRI (head, neck, back). She finished these up at 5 PM. I stayed until 10 PM, then left for home. Unable to fall asleep, I had a second mostly sleepless night.

When I got to the hospital today (Wednesday), I got the diagnosis that she had torn ligaments in her back from previous falls and probable degenerative disk disease causing irritation of nerves to her leg (a visit to the neurosurgeon who worked on my back several years ago would likely be in our future). They were sending her home with instructions to rest and a home health physical therapist would be set up to visit. She was scheduled to be discharged late in the afternoon.

I decided to run out and get some lunch. It was just before 2 PM. I walked out to parking lot, got into our 2010 Prius, and drove off. I noticed one of my warnings lights was on as I drove through the parking lot. No wait. ALL OF MY WARNING LIGHTS WERE ON. The main console was lit up like a Christmas tree. I pulled into a parking space and rebooted the car (aka turning it off and on). All of the warning lights stayed on and the primary notification window alternated between “CHECK PCS SYSTEM” and “CHECK HYBRID SYSTEM”.

My Prius had gone Apollo 13 on me.

I drove straight to my nearby Toyota dealer, waited to get my favorite service writer and told him my Prius had gone Apollo 13. “I warned you not to stir the oxygen tanks,” he replied. They would not even be able to begin troubleshooting on it until tomorrow. With my luck, it’s the AE-35 Unit.

Anyway, I went over to the rental counter and while waiting I got a call from the Mrs informing me that she was being discharged. I arrived in time in the rental car to pick her up at front door (an aid brought her down in her wheelchair with all of our gear).

Tomorrow is another day.

Arrrggghhhh! (Internet)

Maybe it’s the Russians …

First Weggieboy (https://phainopepla95.com/2016/12/28/post-1255-argh-router-issues-this-time/) … now me.

Luckily my iPad has a cellular data connection or I could not post this. After noticing that webpages failed to load, I attempted a speed test. FAIL

So I unplugged my modem/router/wifi box and waited “long enough” then plugged it back in. Still no Internet access via WiFi.

Called my big name cable TV and internet service provider. “There is an outage in your area,” an automated voice announced. “Service is expected to be back … blah blah blah (whenever)”

OK Internet is back up BUT download speed is terrible. Call them back.

Now I am on hold with a human agent as they check my system (7:56 PM CST) …

There still appears to be “partial outage” in the network the will be corrected by 8:45 PM CST.

Now it is 8:49 PM. I unplugged my modem/router/wifi box and waited “long enough” then plugged it back in.

Download speed is about 25% of what it should be. Upload speed is normal.

Hair

Give me a head cat with hair … 

All of my cats have hair, a long top layer and an almost downy under layer. I don’t comb them enough. They can’t … be …combed enough. When I finally notice the matty mat mats it’s too late. Combing yields at least an extra cat full of hair, maybe more. Hillary and Pickles are forgiving. Patches not so much. They get shaved in the summer at the vet, but it is too cold to shave them in the winter. (As cold as we run the AC in the summer I even hate to shave them then.)

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t let them get as matted as some of the horror stories you see on the Internet, but a little matting goes a long way and takes a long time to get out.

I have a Roomba 980 and EVERY time it runs it fills up with hair. I could show you pictures, but just imagine a large cat without the actual cat. If you have long haired cats you know what I mean.

I mention this because I noticed that Hillary was getting just a little matted and when I had finished combing him out I had an extra cat and he didn’t look any skinnier.

ARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH

Rant for December 11

Comcast Internet tech came to house. Richard was very diligent. Comcast staff, not contractor. Spent much time monitoring signal. Identified spurious transmission errors. Determined that I was the only one of four on the “node” – good news. Bad news – the other three connections were “unterminated”. Richard terminated them. He also replaced the cable from the house to the node. Problems “appear” fixed.

Got email from Apple from AppStore Re: purchase of Burley Men at Sea

WTF????? – I didn’t buy this.

Hours on chat / phone / website to Apple. AppleID compromised. Got a refund. Changed my password.

Filed from http://www.ephesusgrill.com/ Katy TX
PS … I ordered a $40 bottle of Turkish wine with the intent of having some and bringing it home. Ha ha – I drank it all. Safely home now.