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Topics - rong

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Apple Talk / Tell me about your job
« on: January 26, 2014, 01:30:32 pm »
inspired by the do what you love thread and one of my favorite books Gig: Americans talk about their jobs

Tell me what you do for a living.  What do you like about it?  What do you not like about it?

I am an industrial electrician at an OSB mill.  I really like the troubleshooting and hands on element - I enjoy working with tools and solving problems.  I do some PLC programming and that - believe it or not - allows for some creativity.  It's really neat to see some equipment you installed come to life.  I recently installed some equipment and wrote a program to monitor and control our peak electrical demand and it has been saving us $50k+ per year.

I have a lot of freedom in my daily schedule - as long as I get my work list done and answer calls, I am meeting my job requirements.  So, when everything is running smoothly, I have a lot of free time.  We have a decent machine shop here and I have been learning how to weld and do metal fabrication.

The cons are that most people in the mill are not educated beyond highschool and most conversations with coworkers all revolve around a)people that I don't know b)hunting and/or fishing.

Another con is that most places in the mill are very loud, dirty, and hot.  Also, if it's 25 below outside and that level senor on top of the dry fuel silo fails (again  :argh!:), I have to go up there and fix it.  Luckily that doesn't happen too often.  There are multitudes of ways to die a horrible death here, but jobs that cannot be done safely do not have to be done.

The key to survival at this place is to realize that if management wants your opinion, they will give it to you.  If you can cope with that, then this is a great place to work.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / weird money idea
« on: January 20, 2014, 01:36:19 pm »
Hi everybody.  On my way home from midnight shift I had a strange money idea. 

Wouldn't it be handy if there were notes or coins with negative value?

That way, if you wanted to buy something that was $4, but you didn't have 4 $1's and the seller didn't have any $1's, you could pay with a $5 bill and a -$1 bill.

Stores that accumulated lots of "negative" money could sell things by allowing the buyer to - instead of paying in positive cash - take on the negative cash in the amount of the value of the item.  i.e. I'll take this $35 CD player and 35 -$1 bills.

In some ways, it's a lot like going into debt.

I don't see a way, however, to resolve the problem of people just collecting massive amounts of negative bills.

anyhow - weird idea - thought i'd share.

Apple Talk / I, Robot
« on: December 20, 2013, 07:09:07 am »
So, I finally saw the movie I, Robot

I thought it was a pretty good flick.  Not, that great, though because during the movie my mind began to wander.  That happens a lot during movies. 

Anyhow, I began to wonder about what would happen to the economy and how things would be different if there were an abundance of able bodied robots to perform all of our duties for us.  If every job could be done by robots (including the manufacturing of robots) - what would drive the economy?  do robots necessitate socialism?  government entitlements?  would it further separate the classes?  are we approaching something similar already due to the fact that so many processes are now automated?

Since there's no such thing as an original thought, it occurred to me that there must already exist some very good writing on this subject.

I figure some study of cultures where slavery was practiced would also be a fairly good indicator - early america, ancient egypt, etc.  It would be nice to think that robots mean we will all live like egyptian royalty. 

I suppose scarcity of resources will always come into play. . .

Can anyone point me to some good reading on this subject?  I'm not looking to to research a graduate thesis or anything - just some leisurely reading to feed my pondering. 

Thanks in advance.

Apple Talk / have you ever invented a word?
« on: October 28, 2013, 11:59:26 pm »
Well, have you?

Share it here.

I just came up with 'erogenius' and I'm rather proud of myself.

Apple Talk / bob.dobbs
« on: April 26, 2012, 05:24:11 am »
does anyone here own

i am working on a caper and that address is taken

Apple Talk / unions
« on: March 27, 2012, 10:44:54 pm »
I am the son of a union electrician.

I work in a non-union electric shop in a mill under less than favorable conditions.

A recent turn of events has me considering the pros and cons of attempting to unionized.

I was raised to believe unions are responsible for protecting deadbeat workers and the downfall of the 'merican auto industry.

However, it occurs to me that American CEOs are the true causes of industrial downfall.

Hopefully, this is the thread where hopefully folks voice their opinions on labor unions and hopefully I will achieve deeper insight as to how to proceed with options that are available to me.

Apple Talk / just wondering
« on: March 22, 2012, 08:46:29 pm »
It appears my last couple posts have disappeared.

Have I gone mad?

Does my internets skillz need learnin?

Are mods looking out for my (or others) better interests?

Just wondering

Apple Talk / dear navkat
« on: March 05, 2012, 10:41:25 pm »
I fucking love motorcycles.  I heard you were interested in motorcycles, too.

Please don't buy a cruiser.  They aren't really very comfortable and utilize ancient technology.  I strongly encourage you to consider a dual sport motorcycle - they may not be pretty, but they'll get you there just as good, they're cheap, and easy to maintain.

Also - I recommend reading "proficient motorcycling" by David Hough

Apple Talk / Abject Failure
« on: February 16, 2012, 02:37:41 am »
sorry if this is off context, but i'm interested in the topic of this thread, but not interested enough to read all 38 pages of it.

that said -

i often like to say i'm racist against the dutch.  mainly to make a point that skin color is arbitrary and that racism should stem from nation of origin.  i also like to claim i'm racist against finlanders - because, where i live, theres a fuckload of them.

i think it's a shame that racism seems to overshadow any acknowledgement of differences in race. 

if i wanted to start a rape a pillage company, i'd hire norwegians.  does that make me racist?

i don't understand how we, as a species, can laud the westminster dog show, but when it comes to our own species, we wholeheartedly, blindly insist that WE ARE ALL THE SAME

maybe i am missing the point - and i think it's unfortunate, that - in america, at least, racism has been "newspeaked" into blacks vs whites.  ii find it odd to live in a country where pride in one's heritage is acceptable, but acknowledging differences in descendants is frowned upon.

Apple Talk / dear roger, let's talk work
« on: February 09, 2012, 09:45:22 pm »
From what I can gather, you are the equivalent of my boss's boss.

A couple weeks ago I was sent home for being insubordinate.

The day prior I replaced a non-critical sensor that failed because it was fucking cold outside.  My boss wouldn't let me take the 12 mile round trip to get proper gear from home to work in -25 F wind chill, so I did the job in my work clothes and light jacket.

Guess what? It was fucking cold again and the new sensor failed that night.

My boss told me to put the original, failed, sensor back up on the 30' silo (it was 10 degrees colder that day) and I told him no.

I got sent home for being insubordinate.

Was I out of line?

Apple Talk / car talk thread
« on: December 26, 2011, 08:13:56 pm »
this is the thread to share your car problems and fixes.  ask for advice maybe?  (i heard someone's Van is down)

here is the story of my truck:

it's a 1988 chevy silverado.  well, technically, most of a 1988 chevy silverado.  the saint paul road commission did me no favors with their incessant salting.

i don't drive it much as it seems to break down every time i fill the gas tank.

but a few weeks ago, on midnights, i drove it to work to pick up some nice wooden boxes left over from a huge maintenance project. 
they had decent plywood on them and i think maybe one of them will become a nice toy box for the kid.

anyhow, it got down to about 5 degrees or so that night and come morning i go to start it up and *click*

i figured the battery was shot but after 20 minutes with jumper cables hooked up i figured it might be something else. 

got a coworker to turn the key while i whacked on the starter with a hammer and got the bitch started.

i made it home and resigned myself to park it until nicer weather (read: july).  that is, until my father in-law got me a new starter as an early christmas present.

so, last weekend i started a fire in the garage and proceeded to spend several hours cussing and eating dirt and rust and finally managed to wrestle the new starter in.

after i deemed that the new starter was worthy, i decided to fix the driver's side door.  the inside handle didn't work, so you had to roll down the window and open it from the outside.

thing is, the driver's side window wasn't behaving so i was being forced to exit via the passenger side door. (that window doesn't roll down either)

in the process of fixing the door handle, i ended up getting my window all out of the track and spent a couple more  hours cussing at the door until i finally got everything back together
with a properly functioning window.  shut the door for a test-open and WTF? neither handle works now.  fuck - the bitch is locked!  naturally, i immediately proceed to break the key off in the lock.

luckily i was able to get it unlocked and enjoy a properly (by my standards) functioning driver's side door.

i decided to go get some victory beer and drop off the old starter so my father in-law can get the credit for the core charge.
(he bought it from the local "small town mechanic that works out of his garage, does really good work at reasonable rates and is an all around super nice guy" - i call him bob)

i dropped off the starter, picked up a 12 pack and headed for home.

about 2 miles down the road - KABOOM!!!!! - the loudest backfire i've ever heard in my life.  did you know a backfire can blow your muffler wide open?  neither did i.

truck would turn over, but wouldn't start.  checked the oil and checked (hoped for) a plugged air filter.  oil was good.  air filter was clean.

luckily i was only 1/4 mile from my in-laws.  called my father in law and he towed me back to bob's.

bob said he'd take a look at it the next day.  i got a ride home and drowned my sorrows. 

the next day, i got the good news from bob: he said the wire from the ignition coil was rusted to shit, so he replaced that and gave me a new distributor cap - free of charge.

he also fixed my back brakes (did i mention that i had no back brakes?), so i was out the door for $50.  not too shabby.

i got the truck home and backed up to the wood shed to load up my garage firewood supply and the truck stalls on me.  won't start.  FUCK

i called bob and he figured it was the ignition module, he said he had one i could have.  i went and got it and he gave me a new distributor and ignition coil, too.

i went home and pulled the distributor cap off and disconnected the pick up coil from the ignition module.  and by disconnected, i mean i pulled on the plug and it fell apart in my fingers.

guess we're replacing the whole distributor.  with the help of a friend with a 9/16" crow's foot wrench and and a board placed across the fenders (trying to reach that distributor is a
real bitch for anyone under 8' tall) the new distributor went in pretty easy.  and all seems well.

working skeleton crew at the plant yesterday, so i got the muffler all welded back together yesterday.

best christmas ever.

Apple Talk / it's like this
« on: December 23, 2011, 07:26:20 pm »

please post images or gifs that "sum it all up" for you

Apple Talk / jesus cult
« on: November 09, 2011, 10:04:34 pm »
Hey PD,

I have an all-joking-aside serious matter that I could use some intelligent and unbiased input with.

I find myself in a situation where I'm strongly compelled to intervene on matters that are quite possibly none of my fucking business.

so, here's the story:

my wife's cousin, while in high school started going to this coffee shop called "he brews" (get it?).  at first the family (you should understand that this is a small town where "family" means extended family and not just mom and dad) thought this was cool because she was meeting and hanging out with christian kids instead of the pot head sons and daughters of alcoholics that she went to school with.  and, to her credit, she managed to graduate without getting pregnant.

she then graduated high school (barely) and went to college for, I believe, 1 year before dropping out and getting married and is now pregnant - due in April.  All of this would be great and I'd be really happy for everyone except for the jesus cult part of the story mentioned in the subject.

from what i can gather, there is a church near the coffeeshop run by the calvary ministries which, in it of itself isn't too bad.  they're very much into proselytizing, but pretty much harmless.

to complicate things, there is another group called Tribe of Judah .  I believe the owner of the "he brews" coffee shop is their leader and they all attend the cavalry chapel church.  they live in some sort of hippy compound in tents and stuff.

I didn't really have a problem with any of this, and - in fact have been kind of amused by my wife's family's reaction to being confronted with this extreme sort of christianity.  they were down right mad when they busted ass putting together a nice engagement party (cooking food, setting up tents, etc) only to have the groom's family hold a prayer to thank god for providing everything.  they were like - fuck you - we set this up.  we cooked all this food while you were playing frisbee.

what I do have a problem with is that she is pregnant.  they are living in an ancient, dilapidated house that someone gave them.  they haven't figured out what they are going to do for heat, but since neither one of them have jobs, they will probably try to burn wood.  the husband lost his drivers license (nobody knows why) years ago and is praying for the money he needs to cover his court costs to get it back.  they are praying for a new alternator for their car.  by praying, i mean - that is how they expect to get their car fixed - by praying for it.  also, did i mention she is pregnant and not seeking any sort of prenatal care?  they plan to do a home birth.  they say they have prayed about it and are comfortable with god's plan for them and their unborn child.

i wouldn't give 2 shits about this, and would actually be kind of amused by it all if there wasn't a pregnancy and birth involved.  in my mind, they are needlessly risking 2 lives. 


Apple Talk / I AM THE 110%!!!!!!!!!!
« on: November 01, 2011, 10:21:14 pm »

« on: October 26, 2011, 11:51:37 am »


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