kengr: (Default)
There are a number of majorly screwed up things that could be "fixed" by what amount to simple changes in accounting rules/practices.

First, deferred maintenance on anything should not by considered as a cost saving measure. Instead it should be treated like what it *is*, namely a liability. It should be carried on the books as a liability amounting to the *actual* cost of needed maintenance (ie not what they'd like to spend, but what *needs* to be spent) plus 10% or the actual st plus the actual cost of the extra maintenance that will be needed because of the postponement, whichever is *greater*.

This is to make it *painfully* clear that deferring maintenance is a really *bad* idea.

Second, pensions are to be "fully funded". That is to say, they get treated like you are setting up an annuity. So if the company goes bankrupt, the pensions will still get paid. Likewise,the company does *not* get to change the rules for existing employees without their permission. So suddenly rolling back pensions to save money.

Pensions should be treated like a contract. No unilateral changes. And no borrowing from the pension funds by the company (or government! I'm looking at you Congress)

Third, waste disposal costs not merely for manufacturing products, but for disposing of them after the wear out or are obsolete are to be born by the company, *not* the consumer.

This won't end "planned obsolesence" and the "new model every year" BS, but it'll at least reduce it. And help deal with disposing or the resulting "trash".
kengr: (Default)
In nine days this will apply to me...

I'll be hiding from the National Make Fun of Singles Day "festivities".

Silly idea

Jan. 30th, 2019 03:49 pm
kengr: (Brain)
Some time ago I came up with various ideas for creating a "nation" with advanced tech, and whose population had a *large percentage of fans. Various scenarios, including the usual "found concealed alien ship" trope.

a few months ago, I came across a collection of national anthems online and got to thinking about what they might choose.

Then it hit me. The *perfect* music

And, of course, the military would use this

Unofficially they might prefer this

ps. there's a filk to the tune of the Imperial March. It starts out:
Darth Vader's mother wears army boots...


Jan. 10th, 2019 12:09 am
kengr: (Default)
An idea that I had many years ago and have refined somewhat since.

"Modular" bookcases. I'm thinking something along the lines of 2' by 3'. They have a slot in the sides on the front, so you could slide a sheet of plywood/masonite/plexiglass in to keep the books from falling out while moving them.

Slot would be angled so you could slide the sheet in/out while the modules were assembled. With plexiglass or the like, that'd be a way to reduce dust, and keep books from getting messed with by small kids, but still see them to search for a book.

Size is intended so that you can just slide the sheet in and pick up the module without it being horribly heavy. Being books they are gonna be heavy regardless.

The original concept had them just stacking and maybe having keyed post/hole bits to hold them together. I've reconsidered that and they'd probably need a "frame" to attach to. This should be something that can be easily broken down *and* be capable of being fasten tto a wall (earthquakes and the like, y'know?).

Probably need at least to kinds of modules. One for standard paperbacks, and another for trade paperback and small hardcovers. Large hardcovers and "coffe table" books are a pain to deal with regardless. *sigh*

For those of use with *lots* of books, these would make life so much easier.

Oh yeah, another advantage of the "frame" would be that you could swap in/out modules without having to deal with the other modules.

This would be good for those of us who don't have room for all our books. Grab a module with stuff you've read thru recently . Go to the storage locker, grab a module with stuff you haven't read for a while and swap them.

Logo needed

Jan. 9th, 2019 07:41 am
kengr: (Default)
Anybody have any suggestions for a logo for a (fictional) organization That mostly goes by ERS (it's an in joke, stands for Eternal Revenue Service).

They are a sort of "direct charity". Things like handing someone a debit card with money on it and more deposited on a regular schedule.
kengr: (Default)
If you were homeless, what would you need to at least make life bearable? And would it make a difference if you were the sort who doesn't do well with other people?

So far I've come up with the following:

1. A dependable income. Not necessarily a job, but a source of money you can *rely* on.

2. someplace *safe* to take shelter and keep your stuff. It doesn't necessarily need to be heated, but at least warm enough that you won't get hypothermia trying to sleep there given warm clothes and blankets. (50 degrees?) Also needs to be secure if you are away for a while (jail, hospital, whatever)

3. some sort of medical "coverage". a way to be able to go see someone when you are sick and *not* have outrageous bills to pay afterwards.

I hesitated about that last one, but anything short of a *large* income (upper middle class or higher) just won't let you deal with the bills if something bad happens.

Anything else folks can think of? Mind you, I'm thinking of stuff that'd be "necessary" not stuff that'd be "nice" to have.

I can't say much more without giving away too much about the story idea :-)
kengr: (Default)
The instructions for extracting saltpeter in Pryotechnica (a medieval manuscript) describe how to extract saltpeter.

You mix pee, manure and wood ashes in a barrel. Heat it well over a fire and stir. After it's been cooked long enough, you transfer it into another barrel that has a perforated bottom. You pour hot water into the top and collect the liquid that comes out the bottom. That gets boiled to to produce the crude saltpeter cyrstals.

But that's not the sucky part of the job. It's this last bit. You are to pour water into the perforated barrel until the runoff no longer tastes bitter *to your apprentice*. Yes, the manuscript specifies that the apprentice is the one who gets to taste the runoff...

Other not fun jobs back then. Harem guard. . And male soprano singer in a choir (both have the same minor surgical procedure required)

On yeah, it wasn't until a little over 100 years ago that the Church outlawed the making of castrati,
kengr: (Default)
Hopefully one of you is an electronics wizard.

I need a circuit design. *hopefully* it's a fairly simple job. Once I've got the design, I can build it myself.

Ok, hopefully you've seen the ever-popular-with-geeks binary clocks. They have rows of LEDs the tell the time in BCD or even "true binary".

What I want to build is a *trinary* clock. It'd use the Red/green LEDs. The ones that are red if the current flows one way, and green if it flows the other way (and a sort of orange if the flow is changing directions really fast).

The trinary states would (obviously) be:
0 = off
1 = red
2 = green

And the display would be "trinary coded decimal" (Perhaps with true trinary as an option.)

So the values would be (turned sideways) with X for off,. R for red, and G for green

0 = XXX
1 = XXR
2 = XXG
3 = XRX
4 = XRR
5 = XRG
6 = XGX
7 = XGR
8 = XGG
9 = RXX

So the display for the TCD version would look like this: (underlines are just to get things to line up right)


For the true trinary, we need the numbers up to 59

10 = XRXR
11 = XRXG
12 = XRRX
13 = XRRR
14 = XRRG
15 = XRGX
16 = XRGR
17 = XRGG
18 = XGXX
19 = XGXR
20 = XGXG
21 = XGRX
22 = XGRR
23 = XGRG
24 = XGGX
25 = XGGR
26 = XGGG
27 = RXXX
28 = RXXR
29 = RXXG
30 = RXRX
31 = RXRR
32 = RXRG
33 = RXGX
34 = RXGR
35 = RXGG
36 = RRXX
37 = RRXR
38 = RRXG
39 = RRRX
40 = RRRR
41 = RRRG
42 = RRGX
43 = RRGR
44 = RRGG
45 = RGXX
46 = RGXR
47 = RGXG
48 = RGRX
49 = RGRR
50 = RGRG
51 = RGGX
52 = RGGR
53 = RGGG
54 = GXXX
55 = GXXR
56 = GXXG
57 = GXRX
58 = GXRR
59 = GXRG
60 = GXGX
61 = GXGR
62 = GXGG
63 = GRXX
64 = GRXR
65 = GRXG
66 = GRRX
67 = GRRR
68 = GRRG
69 = GRGX
70 = GRGR
71 = GRGG
72 = GGXX
73 = GGXR
74 = GGXG
75 = GGRX
76 = GGRR
77 = GGRG
78 = GGGX
79 = GGGR
80 = GGGG

So the true trinary display would look like this:


Dec. 31st, 2018 07:01 pm
kengr: (Brain)
Remember that TV I found a month or so back? It powered on ok, but I couldn't navigate the menus using the buttons on the side of the set. And there was something odd about parts of the screen. I suspected some water had gotten in between the display and the fresnel lens that all of these type TVs have.

I ordered a remote for it (it was only $6.99 with free shipping). The remote showed up today and I put batteries in it and tried it out. The set works fine. In fact the screen oddness was gone too, so it *was* water.

So I now have a 32" LCD tv/monitor to use as a spare or the like. Go me.

Still need to get some sort of stand or mount. But now that I know it works, I can budget for that.
kengr: (Default)
So I set up the crockpot with the chicken for tomorrow. a whole chicken and a couple of thighs (I threw the thighs in because they were bone in and all the other chicken in the freezer was boneless).

So I'm congratulating myself on this and planning the rest of the stuff for tomorrow (stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy green beans, etc) as I check my blood sugar. It's only as I'm injecting myself that I realized I'd slipped up.

I was supposed to inject 4 units of insulin-R. Instead I injected 8. Big oops. So I made myself a PB & J sandwich with the very much *not* sugar-free mint jelly. (BTW, PB&J on rye is downright *odd* :-)

I'll just have to wait longer before doing my fasting levels in the morning.

Anyway, the chicken will do instead of a turkey, and the various fixings will be easy to make. and since it's only me, I'll have leftovers for a while. Chicken sandwiches aren't as good as turkey sandwiches, but they are good enough. :-)


Dec. 19th, 2018 10:05 am
kengr: (Default)
While talking about a number of things with [personal profile] alatefeline last night a couple of things came up.

One was unconscious assumptions. The other was the old canard "it takes two to make a fight".

While reading this article, the two ideas bashed together in my head.

The problem with "it takes two to fight" is the horribly inaccurate assumption it makes about "male" interactions in childhood. Namely that the choice is "fight"/"don't fight".

In reality, the choice is "get beat up"/"try to protect yourself". so it's actually unconscious gaslighting.

I mentioned "male" above because in my experience, it's always the female authority figures spouting this nonsensical piece of "wisdom". I suspect that is because of the differences in "male" and "female" socialization. Boys are expected to have fights. girls are "trained" to attack in less physical ways.

Though come to think of it, "it takes to to have a fight" *should* be equally applicable (and wrong) to the social sniping among girls, which can get *really* nasty by high school.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me" is another horrible example of gaslighting kids and is another bit of "wisdom" that should be stomped on *hard*.

Name calling can do *more* damage than physical assault, Bruises, even broken bones heal a lot faster than the emotional damage those "harmless" words can inflict.

I know I'm far from the only person to have PTSD from *emotional* abuse.
kengr: (Default)
A couple of oldies to repost for your enjoyment.

ps. Ysabet? Do you think that Christmas "bush" would fit into Terramagne?
kengr: (hyperdice)
Dec 14, 1972. At 2:54 pm PST, the last humans departed from the lunar surface.
kengr: (Default)
This little exchange popped into my head yesterday. Not sure if I'll ever use it, so I'm throwing it out here in case anyone else wants to use it.

Guy (shocked) to T-girl: "You've got a dick!"
T-girl: "And you *are* a dick. We've all got our problems."
kengr: (Default)
A reply to someone's comment elsewhere reminded me of some decidedly *odd* seasonal music.

O Little Town of Bethlehem
Two more versions:

I Am Santa Claus

Jingle Bells(?) in Klingon

Tom Smith's O Yog Sothoth
Tom Smith's Ultimate Ultimate Christmas

Snoopy's Christmas by The royal Guardsmen
(this sort of echos the 1914 Christmas truce

This one's not demented, just sad:
Santa Never Made It Into Darwin by Bill & Boyd

So's this: Mom & Daddy, Please Don't Steal for Me This Christmas

A couple I can't find online but worth mentioning:
Rudolph's Mitzvah
The Star Wars Holiday Special (shown only once: November 17, 1978. Lucas never let it be seen again, but lots of bootlegs exist)
kengr: (Default)
I finally got around to checking for this year's Garritan Community Christmas album Sunday. Got it download and gave a quick listen. Then I moved it to the appropriate slot in the holdiday music directory.

This year I'm trying something different. I've imported the "Christmas" subdirectory into Media Monkey, and I'm trying to build a playlist from it.

The raw import data shows why I rarely noticed the "list" (mostly manual switching between directories) repeating itself. Individual songs that occurred in more than one album, yes. The list as a whole no,

Why? Try this on for size: over 1700 song, with a combined play time of more than 90 hours! That's over 12 gig of files.

I don't mind the list being that long. In fact being that long is handy for avoiding getting boring. :-)

My portable bluetooth beakers will play music (MP3 and WAV files only, so not all of the above will play on them) directly off a microSD card. So when I get things weeded out and arranged a bit, I can copy things to the card, and then just stick it in the speaker. Instant background music for the holiday season. And easy to store the rest of the time.

It's a bonus that the speaker remembers where it was when you paused it and resumes.

But some weeding is *definitely* needed. I'm only 50 songs in and I've heard the "nine inch noels" parody twice.
kengr: (Default)
On the bus today, I was watching for my stop, and so I saw this young lady get on. While she was fumbling for enough change to pay her fare, I couldn't help but notice her first name blazoned across the back of the hoodie she was wearing (later, when she turned to walk down the aisle, I saw that the hoodie was for her high school swim team. Go her!)

As soon as I saw the name, I winced inside. Why? Her name is Alexa.

Knowing teenagers, I'm sure she's had to put up with more than a few stupid jokes.

And it's not as if her parents could have foreseen that her name would be a problem. And I'm sure the engineers tried to pick a less common name.

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