been floating my boat lately:
"How fortunate for governments
that the people they administer don't think."
"Only two things are
infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the
but otherwise was a pretty difficult day.
Been swamped with
more work than we can handle and it's just impossible to help everyone
out. Lots of big jobs and now lots of little jobs are piling up. One of
the more annoying things is when we have a big job and the people hiring
us say it requires items 1-15...over the course of the next few weeks we
accomplish all 15 items and then, close to completion, or after completion,
they add items 16-20. It happens all the time and I don't know how to avoid
it. Since we have so much work going on it creates an issue because we're
supposed to be done with that job and moving onto the next one, but we
can't because we're kinda locked into the old job even though the original
scope has been completed. New and old customers alike don't understand
how to define the total scope up front and stick to it. Part of the problem
is that often there will be new decision makers entering the process as
the project progresses. It depends upon the project, but let's say for
a commercial or residential rental, the realtor or property manager will
say we want items 1-10 completed and as we are working on items 9 and 10
the leasing manager will stop by and she adds items 11 and 12. Then the
unit goes on the market and as more people come through (including the
business/individual who ends up renting the place), items 13-16 will get
added. So, a 10 item job turns into a 16 item job. Items 11-16 might be
a lot smaller and yet somehow more annoying than all the other previous
items, as well. This shit drives me nuts to no end. So inefficient.
Last week I told
the guys we'll work Memorial Day. Edwin told me at the night before that
his car isn't working so he can't work. So, the rest of the week I set
him up working with his brother so he could get a ride. He had all week
to get his car fixed and taken care of. He said he would work Saturday
so I told him where to go Saturday. Friday night at almost 10p he tells
me he can't work Saturday because his car is getting work done and someone
wants to buy it. I told him he should find another job. 3 years he's been
working for me, borrowing money from me all the time, ruining my tools,
losing materials, etc. and I just couldn't deal with it anymore. He's a
nice guy, but his work ethic is crap and he takes the job for granted so
I'm done working with him. Made me sad to do it, but I think it's been
a long time coming.
I've had to let
a few people go and it's never a fun thing to do, but it's just the nature
of business. It's amazing to me that showing up ready to work is so difficult
for so many people.
I talked to Jesus
about it and he told me he was upset with Edwin for not taking care of
his job. He told Edwin that he has a good job and should take care of it.
I don't want to toot my own horn, but I think I'm pretty easy to have as
a boss. I teach things as needed. I expect you to show up and work. I almost
never keep guys overtime and always pay if I do. I never make guys pay
for breaking shit or messing things up. I always keep them busy, even if
it means paying them to work on my house. I give no interest loans without
any issue. I gave Edwin budget advice and offered to go over his budget
line by line if he wanted (since he always had to borrow money). I do expect
people to show up as close to 100% of the time as possible. I do expect
people to stay busy (no standing around watching others work). I do expect
you to follow the directions I give (especially after the 10th time).
So, we're super
busy and we're down one man now. I also had Eli (Edwin's nephew) working
for us. I told him about two weeks ago that I had at least a month's worth
of work for him because he asked how much work I could give him. He doesn't
have a car so I planned on having him work with people who could give him
a ride, instead of plugging him in wherever it was most convenient for
me. Early on I said I would also be willing to lend him some money so that
he could get a car if that's something he wanted. A couple weeks later
he asked how much I would lend him and I asked if he had a car in mind.
He said no, but he was thinking $5-10k. I said maybe I could help with
$3k. "if you make $1k/week then it would take you 10 weeks just to pay
me back even if you didn't spend any money." He had been working with me
about 3 weeks at this time...I just don't get it. At any rate, the next
week we are working and he shows me that his phone is broken and he asks
where we will work tomorrow because he doesn't think his phone will be
working. I tell him which job we'll be at and I'll see you tomorrow. He
never shows up. Two weeks later he texts me from a different phone number
and asks if I have any work for him. I tell him no.
Two weeks ago I
had 2 guys more than I have today. Time to hire.
I just don't understand.
I remember working
at the library in college and there was a supervisor position open. A promotion
from my clerk job, it paid like $0.50/hr more or something and it meant
you were responsible for closing (iirc). I applied and had an interview
scheduled. I slept in and totally forgot about it. Got a call from my manager
and she asked what happened. I told her I forgot about it and was sorry...could
I reschedule? She said no. I felt bad. Stayed at the job and a while later
the position opened up again and so I got another bite at the apple. Applied,
scheduled interview, got the job the second time around. It was good that
she didn't let me reschedule the first time around. People don't learn
unless it's painful. Or, at least, pain teaches lessons quickest.
Speaking of painful
lessons...Did some kitchen demo taking out the tile floor in a kitchen
in a vacant home. Moved the appliances out of the room and into the adjacent
dining room. Turn off the valve for the ice maker line and the sink faucet.
Keeps dripping a bit so I cap the valve for the sink faucet, put the ice
maker hose in a bucket, and turn off the water at the main. Come back a
few days later and water is everywhere in the kitchen. Turn on the fan
and clean up the water. Open the hose bib and let water out. This time
the hose bib is left on so the extra water (which is apparently getting
by the main valve) can just leak out at the lowest point. Someone apparently
sees the hose bib dripping and closes it. Come back a few days alter and
water is everywhere in the kitchen again. This time I see that the adjacent
laminate flooring has soaked up some of the water and is damaged beyond
repair. Did it get damaged the first time and I didn't notice? No idea,
but the effect is the same.
I had the flooring
guy come by today and he says getting this flooring is a needle in a haystack.
Best option is to steal some from bedroom and put it in the dining room
and we'll redo the entire bedroom with best possible match. This will cost
me thousands. I turned off the local valves. I capped the valve. I put
the other line in a bucket. I turned off the water. The second time around
I even left the hose bibb on to let all the extra water go out...none of
this was sufficient and now I'll pay through the nose for it. Not worth
involving insurance (basically never is).
What should I have
done instead? Well, the first day when I left i was in a hurry to get to
the dump before they closed. I should have gone all the way back to the
jobsite (on a Saturday night) and replaced the valves or capped them more
thoroughly. I should have worked 75 hours that week instead of 72. I don't
know. It's a hard knock life I guess.
There's been some
buzz around the question "what is a woman?" There's a documentary out,
and when Ketanji Brown Jackson said she couldn't define a woman because
she wasn't a Biologist it kinda put some wind in the sails of the whole
issue. This is where people just can't get out of their own way. If the
Left would just answer the question like normal people then it wouldn't
be an issue. Instead, they insist on "being inclusive" (a good impulse)
and it is to their detriment when being inclusive means not being able
to answer a question that 99% of the world has no issue answering in a
Some return to
sanity from the extremes holding the two dominant political parties hostage
would be nice.
I was driving down
E. 12th street the other day and within about two minutes I came across
an absolute parade of shit that you would normally only see in a post-apocalyptic
film. First the usual stuff lined the streets - graffiti, burned out cars,
cars on bricks because all their wheels were stolen, cars with missing
engines, RVs being lived in by multiple people, RVs with makeshift plywood
walls on top of the actual roof in order to create a second floor, etc.
Then, as I drive down the wide 4 lane road there are 2 cars going in the
opposite direction that have stopped in the middle of the road to talk
to each other while blocking traffic. Then several seconds ahead there's
a head on collision where people are milling about and no emergency personnel
on site. Then another few blocks ahead and there's a shitty beat up truck
that has lost its load of cardboard in the middle of the street. I have
not embellished this at all. This was an actual drive I took down the street
the other day and it was a glorious window into the realities of modern
BTW, why are the
people who salvage cardboard for $ almost always asian?
Tried fixing the
drop down archive menu by reverting to and old copy and it didn't work.
works. Chrome and it doesn't. Must be another "upgrade."
The Uvalde shooting
has been in the news lately. When there's a bombing or terrorist attack
I've heard some Muslims secretly praying that it wasn't a Muslim guy. Well,
when it's a mass shooting I'm praying it isn't a white guy. It's just such
a dumb narrative, but that's where we are with all the race stuff these
The issue of guns
is obviously in the media cycle now and nothing is likely to happen even
though Democrats are in charge of the executive and both houses of Congress.
I'm not a staunch 2A guy and I've written plenty of times before about
my thoughts about the issue...basically I think guns are another tool and
they get maligned by people who have never even seen one, much less used
one. It's amazing how many reporters and anti-gun people admit that they
have panic attacks around guns. It's a piece of metal. I don't get the
overreaction, but whatever. Actually, I do. It's about ignorance. They
don't understand how it works or that it can be used for a variety of things
and so they freak out. I think people have the right to hunt for food or
sport. I think people have the right to protect themselves.
At any rate, I
think the laws need to reflect the seriousness of the power that comes
with having a gun. It should be difficult to acquire a gun. Also, if you're
serious about people dying from guns then you should be talking about handguns,
not long guns like the much maligned AR-15. Hand guns kill many more people
than long guns (I think it's like 9:1). Also, most gun homicides are not
mass shooting type events. They are gang related or drug related or domestic
dispute related. Basically, it's people who know each other who are taking
it to the ultimate level. I don't think that changing the gun laws will
do much to lower gun homicide. Oddly, criminals don't follow the law. There
are some interesting ideas around requiring insurance or going after gun
shops that sell to people who then use the gun in a crime. So, on the margin,
there are some things we can do to address the issue, but I'm not super
hopeful that any of it will be helpful.
Of the last 3 presidents,
I believe that Trump is the only one to have actually passed any gun restrictions.
So, if you care about gun control, perhaps you should applaud Trump. After
the Las Vegas mass shooting he passed a ban on bump stocks. I don't think
Obama or Biden did anything of substance.
Anyway, we need
fewer idiots with guns. I'd like to focus on the idiots part of the equation,
but I'm not opposed to working on the guns part of the equation at the
Other news is that
there's a shortage of baby formula. There are some people who don't even
try to breast feed and I find this absolutely baffling. But there are some
who don't produce enough or it's super painful or for a variety of other
reasons they need formula. So this is obviously a big deal and it's another
example of G(overnment) meddling and ruining the market. We effectively
have 4 producers of formula providing milk for the entire country. G effectively
shut down the biggest one (for justifiable reasons) and now we're fucked.
This is why having core principles that guide governance is so important.
One of those core principals has to be simple stuff like "don't put all
your eggs in one (or four) basket(s)." Honestly, if you just govern by
aphorisms you're probably 80% of the way there. Sometimes aphorisms conflict
and so you need some common sense, critical thinking, localized knowledge,
etc. to make a decision, but aphorisms are aphorisms for a reason. They
are collective knowledge passed down through the generations. This is a
de facto conservative principle, though conservatives don't do a good job
of communicating this fact.
If you dig into
this particular G fuck up you see that G restricted foreign competition
(for supposed safety reasons...safetyism fucks us again), they made it
onerous to enter into the market (again because of safety)...they highly
regulated every aspect of the production and distribution, and, via WIC,
they made it so that whatever producer won the WIC business on the state
level became the primary provider and thus gave that company got a near
monopoly. They effectively claimed they were doing it all to be as safe
as possible and reduced competition and increased barrier to entry in the
With all these
issues the particulars are interesting, but usually not all that unique
or important. The general is more important. Usually what happens when
you reduce competition is you have fewer firms competing over the same
number of consumers and the consumers pay the price. Either in higher prices
or inferior product. Often the reduction in competition comes as a result
of increased barrier to entry via increased regulation. There's a reason
FB/Meta wants regulation - not only does it put the ball out of their court,
it also raises the bar for entry so startups are less able to compete.
G claims they are doing this in our best interest, and they may even believe
their own rhetoric. Unfortunately the principle holds that if you decrease
competition, the people get screwed. If you put your eggs in fewer baskets,
the people get screwed. The important thing when it comes to monopolies
isn't if Google or Apple dominates the market, it's the ease with which
their excess profits can be competed away. Business is hard enough as it
is, but when G makes it even harder, capital allocators will just take
their money elsewhere and competition will wither. Allow and encourage
competition and the people win. Allow and encourage competition and monopolies
It's pretty hilarious
to me that there are a lot of atheist liberal people who claim there is
a God, but they don't realize they're making that argument. Let me rewind...The
contention is that AI will eventually get so powerful and realistic that
you could be in a simulation and not even realize it....basically the same
as The Matrix. These same people will then say that since this AI and computing
power is essentially inevitable that it means it's much more likely that
it's already happened and we are living in one of those simulations than
that we are actual real people living outside of a simulation. In other
words, 200 years from now computers and AI will be so advanced that any
16 year old will have access to a Sim City like engine that could create
an entire world. In this reality there will be thousands, or millions,
or billions of simulations running. The likelihood that we are living in
one of those simulations is much higher than that we are living in the
real life that we think.
All this is to
say that yes, there is intelligent design and there is a God. It's just
that intelligent design is some computer program and God is whatever kid
is running the game of this Sim world.
I think I've talked
about this many times before, but it seems fitting here. There's the horseshoe
theory of politics that posits that, on some issues, the left and the right
ends are actually closer together than the middle (imagine that they are
the ends of the horseshoe that almost meets at the bottom of the upside
down U). It's not a great way of explaining the political spectrum, but
it's a theory. I think there could be said to be a similar phenomenon with
intelligence. Sometimes people are so smart that they actually become pretty
close to being dumb. Fed Reserve chair people are a good example...they
actually thought that inflation would be transitory. The super geniuses
who think that MMT could actually work. Maybe the super geniuses who believe
we're living in a simulation, but also think it's crazy to believe in God
fit into that category as well. Sometimes you go so far around the world
that you end up right back where you started.
I continue to be
skeptical that Elon will actually buy Twitter. I honestly can't believe
it's gone as far as it has. Funny how the media gloms onto these things
and basically reports it as if it's a done deal. I never thought he would
just up and sell his Tesla stock to overpay for Twitter. Now he's trying
to wriggle out of it. Should be interesting to see how he gets out of the
deal, or if he's just leveraging for a better price.
Another thing I
never believed the media on was the war in Ukraine being a quickie. How
many times has the media said a war will be quick and then it takes years?
Everyone thinks/claims the war will be quick, but it's hardly ever the
case. War has its momentum and we're just slaves to it. Vietnam had a gravity
to it that just sucked us in more and more. Germany thought both the world
wars would be quick. US thought Iraq would be quick. If the adversary doesn't
want you there then it's going to be hell. My advice to invading armies
is to win quickly or retreat and take your lumps. It hardly ever works
out well for the invader if they try to occupy and outlast the host country.
Didn't work well for Germany in USSR. Didn't work well for USSR in Finland.
Didn't work well for USSR in Afghanistan. Didn't work well for US in Vietnam.
Doesn't matter how big your dick is - if they don't want you around, then
you'll be pulling out eventually. Ukrainians aren't a bunch of chumps.
Russia isn't going to have a good time there and this will drag on as long
as Russia wants to keep it up, because I don't see Ukraine giving in. The
media don't know shit because they're overeducated morons.
I did something
with the Java code and now my archive pull down isn't working. Going to
be a couple months before I can have the time to fix it. Blah.
Long day. 13 hours
working and driving. Back hurts.
We bit off a lot
and we're absolutely drowning in work. One guy taking a week off next week.
Another guy took a week off a couple weeks ago. Then the usual missed days
here and there because of immigration, family issues, etc. Missed days
aside, we just have too much work right now. Luckily I picked up some temporary
help - a nephew of two of my current guys. So, we're at 6 guys plus me
and still just treading water.
Truck is in the
shop at the worst possible time, but it was due for a couple things and
I don't have the time to do it myself so I'm hoping this new place can
take care of things before it leaves me stranded at an even worse time.
Edwin finally got
his papers...he's been a refugee from Guatemala for 3 years and he finally
got the papers. Long process. Good news for him. Now hopefully I can get
him to paint a room without destroying a paint brush or dripping everywhere...
Lots of things
happened in the last month or so...
Will Smith slapped
Chris Rock. At first I thought it was a publicity stunt/joke, but then
I saw the video and it appeared to be genuine. The people sticking up for
him are truly lost. I heard some defending him on the grounds that it was
great to see a man stand up for a black woman. I mean, we're really losing
our minds at this point. And just imagine reactions if the races were different.
God, we're living in such fraught and idiotic times. Depressing. That's
all the energy I have for that one right now.
Roe vs. Wade appears
to be going down. The leaking of the draft is a big deal and I think it
should lead to professional consequences (accountability being a top priority).
I don't know how much I buy that it is putting lives at risk or any of
that. I am pretty much a judicial realist at this point. I think that judges
essentially have an opinion and then rationalize towards that. In that
way I think they are as human as any of us, only more well-equiped to rationalize
things, seeing as they are all of greater intelligence than the average
person. I've joked before about...from 11/21/06: "i've also thought quite
a bit about the abortion issue lately. i think it comes down to this: when
do i believe life begins? well, i've looked back at my old ap biology textbook
and found a clear definition of life, a definition that includes all lifeforms.
comparing this with fetal progression charts i've come to the conclusion
that human life occurs 392 hours after conception. so, my stated opinion
is that abortion should be legal before this scientifically proven timeframe.
after this time we must consider the child a human being, and thus abortion
would be considered murder. i am a reasonable person, though. i understand
that the woman is also a human with her own will, needs, wants, and rights.
thus i have developed a secondary solution for the time frame between the
392 hour non-human window and birth. henceforth we shall treat these baby
humans as renters, and the women as landlords. thus, the government will
pay the women a small rent on behalf of the child during this window. this,
of course, will be worked off by the child at a later date. further, if
the woman wishes to abort her child past the 392 hour window she must give
her renter one month notice. this notice must be filed in duplicate to
HUD (the department of housing and urban development) as well as a new
agency which will be created to link vacant landlords with renters looking
for a place to live. in other words, potential surrogates with unwanted
babies. if, after one month, the renter has not found a new landlord, the
woman is allowed to evict the squatter at her discretion.
and with that post
i bury all thoughts of ever holding public office."
In all seriousness,
I think neither side is even remotely capable of steelmanning the other
side on this issue. It's amazing how these issues (abortion, gun rights,
etc.) turn off peoples' brains so thoroughly. If the pro-choice side had
adopted a more moderate stance (like that of many European nations) earlier
then maybe that would have softened opposition a bit. Instead they took
the same hard line as some 2A types take on guns. Of course each party
is beholden to the nuts at the extremes and I think it's to each parties
The things we can't
say anymore is just so strange. You can say that all lives are precious
and should be respected. However, if
you say that all lives matter you can get fired from your job. 10 years
ago such a thing would be impossible to imagine. To imagine a distinction
between "all lives are precious" and "all lives matter" and to imagine
the consequences for getting that distinction wrong would have been absurd.
It still is, we just accept it now.
Back to abortion...it's
funny to listen to both the left and right on this and see that each side
is employing the racism attack to demonize the other. The right says points
out that fact that the Planned Parenthood founder (Margaret Sanger) was
a eugenicist and they claim this means that abortion is about aborting
unfit babies, which would include black babies. Then the left will say
that white supremacists wanted to stop black babies from being born and
encouraged white women to "open their loins" and procreate to further the
race. I don't think any of them really care about the history of abortion.
I think one side wants and the other doesn't. From there they will find
whatever facts help their side or hurt the other and deploy those accordingly.
Some great 1-2
year stretches in movie/music history - Julie Andrews in Sound of Music
and Mary Poppins in back to back years. Black Sabbath first two albums
in 1970. Led Zeppelin I and II in 1969. Beatles with Help!, Rubber Soul,
Revolver in 1965-1966. Victor Fleming with Gone With The Wind and Wizard
of Oz in 1939.
Evolution is beautiful,
but not pretty.
Speaking of film
history...There was an antitrust case in 1948 (US vs. Paramount) that was
essentially about vertical integration. The film studios wanted to be able
to produce and distribute films as they desired. So, MGM would produce
a film and then release it in MGM theaters only. Fox did the same, etc.
This is why you might still see "Fox" theaters like the famous one in Westwood.
The US won the case and so you had theaters that were separated from the
film studios. MGM movies could play alongside Warner Brothers, etc. What's
funny about this is that it seems to have been completely forgotten. Netflix,
Apple, Amazon, etc. all do this today and I've literally never heard a
single person bring up this case or how it might be applied to the streaming
dispersion we see today.
& 2021 by me.
on here is my opinion, so don't sue me.