Jay Maynard

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Monday, 14 June 2010

0927 - Public employee thug assaults college student

As reported by the Big Government blog:

A left-wing thug assaulted a couple of college students whose only offense was to point a video camera at him while asking if he supported the Obama agenda.

The only difference from the usual is that this thug wasn't wearing a purple SEIU T-shirt. He was wearing a business suit. That's because he's Representative Bob Etheridge, D-NC. He had just left an event headlined by Nancy Pelosi.

It was a legitimate question, and one the public had a right to know the answer to. He was on a public street. A video camera is certainly not a deadly weapon - except, in this case, possibly to his career. He had no right, and no cause, to do what he did.

Imagine the reaction if, say, Michelle Bachmann had done that. Will we see this story in the MSM? Ha! They're not about to embarrass someone on the left if they can possibly help it.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] pissed off

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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

1824 - Buy my truck

I got the Bronco ready for sale. Check out the Craigslist listing.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] accomplished

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Monday, 7 June 2010

1123 - The Ford's going away...

Anyone who knows me much of any at all will know that I'm not a fan of the Ford Motor Company or its products. Hell, I'd have been happy to see them go into bankruptcy, instead of the other American auto manufacturers.

Even so, I've been driving a 1989 Bronco II for the past 3 months or so. I haven't been wild about it, but it has at least run well after I put some money into repairs. Everything on the truck works. Even so, it's just not a very good road vehicle. You feel every bump, every jolt. This makes a long drive less pleasant than it should be.

I finally got tired of that, and went out and bought a 1995 Chevrolet Blazer. This one's a 4x4, 4 door version. Looks ratty, has about the same miles on it as the Bronco (206K or so), but much more nicely equipped and quieter, with a somewhat softer, more stable ride. vakkotaur commented on the test drive that he wished we'd had that on the trip to Penguicon. I agree.

More repair bills are coming, but I think I can get it in the same kind of shape the Bronco is fairly inexpensively. The air conditioner didn't work, but two cans of R-134a fixed that. The rest is minor.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] blah

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Friday, 28 May 2010

1409 - Where have I been?

I've been:

  • Working for the Census Bureau. This takes up a lot more time than I would have thought.
  • Getting a new vehicle in shape, for fucking Ford product fine example of American automotive engineering values of "in shape". It's a 1989 Bronco II with 205K miles on it. Bleh. Its main redeeming virtue was that I could buy it for cheap; after sinking about $2K into it, all told, it seems to be mechanically sound. I'm hoping it lasts me a year.
  • Went to Frankfurt for the premiere of a new documentary I'm in. Short trip, but enjoyable. I wish I could have seen more of the place than I did, though.
  • Still fighting financial catastrophes from the Great Dempression.

No, I haven't dried up and blown away, no matter how much it may look like it.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] busy

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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

1724 - I'm Tired

Via sideband:

I'm Tired
by Robert A. Hall

I'm 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired. Very tired.

I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I'm tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I'm willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.

I'm tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe , the freedom of the press of China , the crime and violence of Mexico , the tolerance for Christian people of Iran , and the freedom of speech of Venezuela .

I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them to.

I'm tired of being told that "race doesn't matter" in the post-racial world of Obama, when it's all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.

I think it's very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.

I'm tired of a news media that thinks Bush's fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama's, at triple the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every line of Bush's military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn't vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.

I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America , while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's, and if you're greener than Gore, you're green enough.

I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don't think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I'm tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.

I'm tired of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers," especially the ones who aren't working, but are living on welfare or crime. What's next? Calling drug dealers, "Undocumented Pharmacists"? And, no, I'm not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it's been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I'm willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn't have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military.... Those are the citizens we need.

I'm tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here's the deal. I'll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we'll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I'm tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I'm tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois , where the "Illinois Combine" of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama's cabinet.

I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

Speaking of poor, I'm tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn't have that in 1970, but we didn't know we were "poor." The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate.

If you're tired, too, pass this along.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] tired

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Friday, 19 March 2010

1520 - I'm not fond of working on cars...

...but I can do it when necessary.

I put the brake booster in the Bronco this afternoon. Straightforward repair, and not too difficult. The hardest part was jockeying the old one out and the new one in. The mounting nuts weren't too far up under the dash, so it wasn't terrible.

The truck drives about as well as you'd expect a 21-year-old truck to drive. Now if the damned thing will just hold together until I can afford something decent...though my luck with Fords has been less than stellar.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] accomplished

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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

0830 - Landed a Census job

No, they didn't fix the screwing they gave me over the crew chief job, but I do have a Census job. I'll be a QA coordinator - which, in this case, means that I'll be sitting at libraries and grocery stores and such helping people fill out their forms correctly. 15 hours a week for 8 weeks, plus paid training Friday (and they'll pay mileage for the 200-mile round trip to the training site in a suburb of the Cities).

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] pleased

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Tuesday, 9 March 2010

1709 - Building 3.07

Oh boy. After 14 months, I get to build the official Hercules binary packages again, this time for version 3.07. It took me a while to remember the finicky details about building packages for all of the different versions and CPU architectures for OS X, and this time I documented the hell out of them so I won't have to spend time figuring out how to do it again.

Building the RPMs is straightforward, thankfully.

The release is tomorrow, although the Windows binaries won't be ready till this weekend.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] busy

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Thursday, 18 February 2010

1510 - Way to go, Apple.

QuickTime Player has had the ability to load a sequence of images and create a movie from them for years.

Until now, that is. They ripped that out of QuickTime Player X. Smooth move, Ex-Lax.

So I get to struggle with getting LAME and FFmpeg downloaded, built, and installed...

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] annoyed

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Thursday, 11 February 2010

1551 - M4GW strikes again!

The violinist shouldn't give up her day job, but the flamingos are back, so it's a wash...

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] giggly
current music: Minnesotans for Global Warming - Frozen Wasteland

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Monday, 8 February 2010

0857 - Ha ha only serious

My favorite Super Bowl ad...though I can't help feeling this is the way the enviro-wackos really want things to be.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] amused (or am I?)
current music: Cheap Trick - Green Police

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Sunday, 7 February 2010

2030 - Opening Pandora's music box

Eric Raymond blogged about trying out Pandora Music, a service that takes songs and artists you like and plays stuff not only from them but also stuff that it thinks you'll like based on the characteristics of the music. His tastes are quite eclectic. (And yes, I blatantly swiped the title from his post. Nyah.)

Mine aren't, but they do run mostly in one direction: what the music industry pigeonholes as "classic rock", with a definite leaning toward Southern rock. My iTunes library has a bunch of good stuff in it, but I decided to give it a try. I set up a station, called rather predictably Tron Guy Radio, and primed it with the stuff I like from my library.

Two of the first three songs it played at me are from artists I never heard of, but liked when I heard them; the third was a song I knew I liked. I think I'll keep this one.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] pleased
current music: Taxxi - I'm Leaving

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Thursday, 4 February 2010

1145 - Question of the day

How does a homeopath wash his equipment to prevent cross-contamination?

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] giggly

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1100 - Me and the Toyota recall

CNN's coverage of the Toyota recalls includes a story quoting several folks who submitted stories from the iReport website. Mine's one of them.

Those who've followed my writings know just what I think of Toyota and Ford, and those views haven't changed: I'm thoroughly happy with the Toyotas I've owned, and will continue buying them just as long as I can, unless something major changes.

The current problems don't qualify. to me, the test of a manufacturer is not whether things are right when the product is new. It's what the manufacturer does when the product goes wrong. Ford and Toyota are at opposite ends of that scale. That's why I'll buy Toyota again, and why I won't buy Ford again.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] pleased

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Sunday, 31 January 2010

0950 - A common peeve, but really now...

One sure way to get a rise out of a parliamentarian is to argue that a majority is "one more than half" or "50% plus one" or some such. (A majority is simply "more than half"; the reason that such attempts at precision are wrong is that they're off by one if the total number of votes is odd.) Even those who make that mistake will, nevertheless, see the problem with this headline, reported on criggo.com:

'We hate math', say 4 in 10 - a majority of Americans

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] amused

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Friday, 29 January 2010

1304 - CRAP!!!

Got a call on my cellphone while I was in the shower. Returned it a couple of hours later. It was the Census Bureau offering me a job...but they filled it in the time between when they called me and when I called back.

Crap crap crap. I could really have used that.

Update: They don't just talk to the first guy on the list. They start there. If they don't get them on the phone immediately, then they immediately call the second, and the third, and so on. If the job is filled before the first one called calls back, then the top guy on the list is SOL.

I missed out on a crew leader position because I was in the shower at the wrong time. That sucks.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] crappy

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

0932 - Aeron warranty service

My Aeron chair, that I bought new in 2006, had developed a few small holes in the seat. Since it's one piece of woven material, it started unraveling, and that was only getting worse. A bit of digging turned up Herman Miller's warranty policy, which said that i just needed to contact a service center, and they'd take care of it if the claim was approved.

I filed the claim on December 31. It was received on January 4 (holiday got in the way), approved on January 12, and I got the return box on the 13th. The chair was picked up on the 14th, arrived on the 18th (weekend again), and shipped back out, repaired, on the 19th. It'll arrive tomorrow.

The time could have been a bit shorter, though the holidays were the big issue. OTOH, I will only have been without it for a week, and that's a lot better than the 12 business days they cite.

I am impressed with Herman Miller's approach to warranty claims. They don't quibble over the little stuff. I would not have been surprised to be told that the chair would be fixed, but not under warranty. Instead, once the claim was in, it all happened with little effort. They sent me a suitable box to ship it in, and even an Allen wrench to take the back off (the instructions were not to ship it unless it specifically needed repair). It all was done at no cost to me. That's how warranty work should be handled.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] pleased

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Sunday, 17 January 2010

0932 - Sometimes, conservative columnists do get it wrong

The token conservative at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is Katherine Kersten. She's generally on target, but she bangs the anti-same-sex-marriage drum a little too much. In response to her latest column, I sent her the following email:

I am one of the conservative minority in Minnesota, and I read and support your writings whenever they appear in the Star-Tribune. In general, you're right on target. There's one issue where we part ways, though: same-sex marriage.

I understand your religious views on the subject. However, as the Supreme Court has ruled, marriage is a fundamental right of American citizens. To deny it to a substantial part of the population because of something they did not choose and cannot change is simply wrong, and a blot on America's banner as the land of liberty. It is exactly equivalent to telling a black man that he cannot marry a white woman.

Nobody is suggesting that a church be required to perform same-sex marriages it finds incompatible with its beliefs. We already have civil marriage as a recognized institution in this country. Churches would be free to believe as they wish - but they would not be free to impose their beliefs on others. To allow them to do so would lead, for example, to Muslims being able to impose Shari'a law on Christians. This is no different.

Calls for popular vote on the subject are misguided. Which of your civil rights would you subject to a vote of the public? Your right to speak freely? Your right to keep and bear arms? Your freedom from unreasonable search and seizure? All could well be in jeopardy if submitted to a popular vote. Why, then, should the right to marry be any different?

Finally, as to the objection that a same-sex marriage is bad because it does not provide for children: would you then prohibit a woman who has had a tubal ligation or a hysterectomy from marrying? Or a woman who is fertile, but simply refuses to have children? What about a man who has had a vasectomy? Is he out of luck too?

The fight against same-sex marriage by conservatives who love freedom in other matters discredits the movement and causes opposition to it by people who would otherwise support it. When conservatives realize that the cause of freedom must necessarily embrace those freedoms one finds personally objectionable but harmless to others, and stop fighting those who seek to advance the cause of freedom, they will be much better off in seeking to chart the course of our society.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] awake

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Thursday, 7 January 2010

0835 - America Rising

One word: Wow.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] impressed

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Tuesday, 5 January 2010

2009 - Got that done...

I went over to Worthington to take the census taker employment test. Whee.

The two ladies were surprised I drove 60 miles to take the test. They were surprised that there was no test in Fairmont. They went through the routine of how to take the test and what the job would involve, and then gave me the test.

They were surprised when I was done in 19 of the allotted 30 minutes, but I'd already checked my answers over, and they were all good, so I didn't see any point in waiting. They got another surprise. The test is one of those where you color in a circle to select your answer, and they use a punched-hole sheet answer key. The lady who first looked at it did a double take, made sure it was lined up right, then showed it to the other lady. I'd gotten all 28 questions right. They told me that mine was the first test they'd graded that had no wrong answers.

So now I'm back to waiting. They tell me that they'll call me if I'm selected. I'm pretty much expecting to be, since they select in order of test score (modified by veteran's preference), as long as language and work schedule needs are met. Since I told them I'd be available 7 days a week, that's not an issue.The job is temporary, and can end at any time due to lack of work, but it's still a paycheck.

The test itself wasn't hard, but it was extremely exacting. My advice for those looking to take it is to read the question and answers very carefully and pay close attention to the tiniest details.

location: 56031
current mood: [mood icon] accomplished

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