Archive for May, 2009

30
May
09

Panhandling in Cali

California is proof. When the money runs out, folks don’t want to cough up more. “Beyond Draconian” is the term being bandied about to describe the proposed cuts. Some 235,000 state workers will have to take a 5 percent pay cut. Of the state’s 279 state parks, 200 will be closed. Schwarzenegger’s plan to dismantle the Cal Grant program — considered one of the nation’s best programs to help poorer students cover full fees or tuition at public colleges — would make California the first US state to eliminate student financial aid while raising tuition. A massive plan to overhaul healthcare in state prisons will be scaled back. A Senate bill which would have created a state-run system to provide healthcare to every Californian has been scrapped. A CalWorks program providing medical, dental, and vision care to 90,000 children will be eliminated. Hundreds of new spending programs have been sidelined, and the local budgets of cities and counties have been raided to make ends meet. California loves it’s wonderful programs, but turned down 5 measures in a recent election to actually pay for them. Oops.

30
May
09

Broken Rule

I’ve had a computer or two in my hands for a *very* long time. Let’sjust  say that I still have a TRS80 Model II (with cassette drive) in a well-padded and sealed box in storage… I manage to make my computers last, though. I try to buy toward the top of the heap when it is time for a new one and take care of the thing. That has usually meant an outlay of $2,000-3,000. The uber geeks always said that the computer you want costs at leat $2,000. It would appear to be no longer true.

  • Intel Core2 Quad Q8200
  • 4G of RAM
  • 640G SATA Hard Drive
  • 512M Dual DVI Output GeForce Video Card (have my own flat panels)
  • 16X Optical Drive Burner (adding my own second)
  • Integrated 7.1 Audio (have my own speakers)

Under $700. I’m not too thrilled about having to use Vista64 to take true advantage of the Quad and the RAM…

29
May
09

It Just Happened

Good gosh…

26
May
09

Medical Treatment Frontiers

I cannot remember on which blog I saw the leader for this story. The gist of it is that hookworms and tapeworms may have some role in treating various diseases and conditions. I opened the home page for this little enterprise and got distracted by other things. Just came back to it and have spent a lot of time rummaging, being incredulous and generally grossed out. For $2,400 you can get dosed up with a couple of dozen hookworms:

The conditions that are actively being researched are Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Asthma, Allergies, Coeliac disease, Eczema, Multiple Sclerosis, and Psoriasis. There are theoretical reasons to believe that Atherosclerosis, Depression, Grave’s disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Sjorgen’s syndrome, Lupus, Migraine, Non-Ulcer Dyspepsia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasic Arthritis and Diabetes type I might respond.

Or how about a hungry tapeworm for $1300? The site says that it might be useful for weight loss therapy.

25
May
09

Gun Myths #4

Myth: Gun Shows are supermarkets for criminals.

Only 0.7% of convicts bought their firearms at gun shows. 39.2% obtained them from illegal street dealers (Bureau of Justice statistics “Firearms Use by Offenders”). Any bona fide dealer at a gun show is still required to use the National Instant Criminal Background check System (NICS) for every firearm sale. Yes, individuals can sell weapons to each other without the check… But the possession of a firearms by a convicted criminal is illegal and the “regular” sale of weapons is actually construed as being in the business as a dealer. Being a dealer without a licensing (meaning that you must use NICS) is illegal, too.

Net takeaway: If somebody wants to get a gun of commit a crime, they will. Again, a criminal does not obey laws.

24
May
09

Quit Your Day Job

Getting a job is easy… compared to quitting one. First, there is the connotation of the word quit. Nobody likes a quitter, right? Sometimes, it’s not a matter of your failure, but your inability to continue. Many people have asked me about how they should know when it’s time to part ways. To me, it’s something that you just know. Nevertheless, here’s the top ten list from About.com.

These are the top ten reasons why you might want to quit your current job. These are difficult, if not impossible, work problems to solve. You need to look out for your best interests. Your job consumes too many hours of too many days of your life for you to stay where you are if you’re miserable. No excuses, now. If these problems exist in your current job, make a plan, and quit your job.

  1. Your company is experiencing a downward spiral, losing customers, losing money, and rumors of possible closure, bankruptcy and failure prevail.
  2. Your relationship with your manager is damaged beyond repair. You have sought help to mend the relationship but you know it is too damaged for recovery. (Perhaps you were untrustworthy, missed work on too many days, or the manager acts like an untrustworthy jerk.) Whatever the reason, the relationship is irrecoverably damaged.
  3. Your life situation has changed. Perhaps you have married or had a baby, and the salary and benefits no longer support your life needs. You need to move on to better opportunities to support your family.
  4. Your values are at odds with the corporate culture. Perhaps your company is egalitarian and you believe in assigned parking spots for salaried employees. Your company does annual employee satisfaction surveys and you think these are a waste of time. Your company is hierarchical and you want to influence every aspect of your job. No matter where the clash is occurring, a lack of congruence with the corporate culture will destroy your attitude at work.
  5. You’ve stopped having fun and enjoying your job. No matter what changed, when you dread going to work in the morning, it’s time to quit your job.
  6. Your company is ethically challenged. Perhaps the managers lie to customers about the quality of the products or the day on which the product will ship. You become aware that the company is stealing information from competitors. Whatever the issue, don’t stay in an organization where your ethics are out of sync.
  7. For whatever reason, you have behaved in ways that are considered improper at work. You’ve missed too many days of work, slacked off on the job, failed to maintain needed skills, and / or just generally developed the reputation of a loser. That reputation, once earned, is unlikely to change; you might as well quit your job, while you have the opportunity.
  8. You’ve burned your bridges with your coworkers. Your group is not getting along in an environment that requires people to work together well. Again, at some point, the reasons don’t matter; start fresh in a new job and resolve to not let this situation happen again.
  9. Your stress level is so high at work that it is affecting your physical or mental health and your relationships with your friends and family. Watch for the signs of burnout and if they can’t be cured, move on. Read this article, Tips for Managing Stress and Change at Work for ideas about managing work stress.
  10. And the top ten reason to quit your job? You are unchallenged, need more responsibility, and seek opportunities that just don’t exist for you in your current organization. You’ve explored the current and potential options, and they are limited. It’s time to quit your job.
24
May
09

Cat Care Providers Know