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
Went on another
hike today. It's becoming a bit of a weekend habit at this point and that's
pretty good overall. Nice to get outside and get some exercise. Also nice
to bond with the family. It's relaxing, but at the same time we're doing
something so I don't get all fidgety. Today we did 9 miles. That's 50 miles
total since we restarted our hikes the first week of July. Merritt really
doesn't like it when it's hot, but today it was nice and shaded the entire
way so she killed it. Zoe is hit or miss and today she wasn't loving it.
But both of them did it and I'm very proud of them. I've never been much
of a hiker so 9 miles when I was their age would have been unheard of.
But we've basically normalized it to the point that when they do complain
about long hikes they say they'd prefer to do "short hikes like 5 miles
A long standing
theme of this page has been how both sides of the political world seem
to hate each other so much that they can't even accept the basic humanity
of the other side or the possibility that their own side could be to blame
for anything of real substance. A lot of what I try to do here is to convince
the readers that liberals don't have a monopoly on the Truth or virtue.
There was a time when I implicitly felt this was the case and then I slowly
realized it wasn't. I was having a conversation the other day with a couple
liberal Democrats who believe all the usual party line stuff and I played
the devil's advocate. Of course this didn't go over very well and I was
mocked and chided for doing this. It just reinforced the belief I have
that if you don't follow the orthodoxy you will be ostracized. In this
case I wasn't even putting forth any really outlandish beliefs. I made
a few basic points 1. Democrats are corrupt and don't have a monopoly on
political virtue. 2. I don't see a proof of concept in any predominantly
Democrat-run places. 3. We can't malign 50% of the country and expect to
be a successful country. There were other minor points along the way like
when I pointed out Trump did well with the First Step Act or the bump stock
ban or I argued that Democrats don't seem to love the country and not loving
a place isn't exactly a good recipe for trying to make it better. But I
tried to stick to basically the 3 points outlined and it didn't go over
all that well.
This is basically
my experience when I try to have this type of discussion and it doesn't
bode well for things. If that's how that conversation goes with someone
you know and love/like then how's the same conversation going to go with
a stranger? If that's how it goes with the party of love and empathy and
acceptance and lawn
signs that read "in this house we believe: black lives matter, women's
rights are human rights, no human is illegal, science is real, love is
love, kindness is everything" then things aren't looking too good. Now
have that same conversation with a stranger online. Now have that same
conversation with a stranger online 240 characters at a time. We need to
shrink our communities and grow some empathy. When the party of love and
kindness is nominating Hillary Clinton and cheering when she's calling
many Republicans "deplorable" and all the -ists in the book then we're
not on the right track. When Joe Biden can't stick with the script and
decide if Republicans
are all horrible or not, then we're not on the right track. Neither
side seems to have values anymore. They simply use them as bludgeons.
Toilet line had
a clog yesterday. There are two main lines in the house serving two sides
of the house. One line serves two bathrooms. The other line serves the
kitchen, another bathroom and laundry room sink. The second one was clogged
and started backing up into the shower, so that was cool. First thing this
morning I got my water jetting system and pressure washer out to clear
the line. After she woke up, Merritt came outside to see what I was doing.
She quickly changed into her Meryl & Miller shirt and got to helping
me (without my asking). I showed her the cleanout and explained how it
works and what I thought was happening. It's a two way cleanout so that
means you can run a snake or jetter upstream or downstream. I ran water
downstream and there was no blockage (as expected). So we decided that
the blockage was upstream and ran the jetter that way. A few feet up the
line we hit a blockage and started seeing a lot of white water coming down
the line. She was holding the flashlight and I explained that all that
white water was toilet paper getting broken up and coming back down the
line. I broke through that and kept moving up the line until I thought
it was clear. I had her stay inside while I flushed the toilet and she
gave me the thumbs up that she could see water coming down the line. Ran
water through the shower and sink and it was all good. Then I flushed some
TP down the toilet and she saw that as well so I got another thumbs up.
Charge for this would normally be about $350, but Merritt and I took care
of it in about 45 minutes. After we were done with the hard work, she helped
wrap up the hose and take the tools back while I took the heavy stuff.
Satisfying all around. In this scenario she's at least as good a helper
as my two least skilled guys.
is usually thought of as a bad thing, but it isn't always. I may have written
about this before, but I was thinking about it again today. If the first
water heaters ever made lasted 100 years that would be nice in that you'd
never have to fork over $2000 for a leaky water heater on a Sunday, but
you'd also be more reluctant to replace a working water heater, even if
it was horribly inefficient. Same goes for all sorts of items that are
improved with time.
In a related topic,
there is the concept of engineering a thing to last as long as it needs
to last, but not much more. So, let's say you have a bottle of shampoo
that comes with a pump to dispense the shampoo. That pump needs to last
enough to pump out the 20 oz. (or whatever) of shampoo. If you design a
pump that lasts long enough to pump 2000 gallons of shampoo then you have
cost the company and the consumer extra money for no reason. You can question
the wisdom of dispensers with shampoo or the lack of easy refilling in
these cases, but that's another topic. At the Davis Co-op we had bulk item
dispensers so that you could refill your containers from home and that
was nice to a point, but also somewhat of a pain depending upon what you
were filling up and how much of those items you needed, etc. You could
envision a shampoo dispenser designed to dispense 2000 gallons, but then
they sold bags of shampoo that used less plastic and allowed you to fill
up your bottle every once in a while, for example. Less packaging is a
good thing, but the point remains that there are certain items for which
it makes no sense to overengineer due to the lifespan of the total product.
thought is in home construction. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat
with any number of projects. Tile, for whatever reason, gets a lot of debate
and there are a million products out there and I've looked into many of
them and I've looked into the TCNA and and NATC guidelines and read all
sorts of opinions and approaches on the best way to lay tile. But something
that doesn't get a lot of consideration in laying all this stuff out is
that people in many houses will be retiling their bathroom every 20-40
years....sometimes much less depending upon the homeowner, style, etc.
This is incredibly wasteful and I've written about that elsewhere. But
the issue is when designing your construction method should you be building
for something that won't ever be taken apart, or should you keep in mind
the next generation of builders who will have to deal with your install
in 20-40 years? Should you glue and screw everything like crazy or is there
an equally suitable construction method that also can be demolished without
great difficulty or reconstruction? So, if you could design a tile job
that allows you to just demo the tile and not go down to the studs, I would
prefer to do that. So, instead of putting thinset under your backerboard
when doing floor tile, you could just screw it down and that way the next
person behind you wouldn't need to spend hours taking off the subfloor
or scraping thinset off the old subfloor. Same goes for gluing down wood
flooring onto plywood, which is an absolute nightmare to demo.
In other words,
consider the intended lifespan and then engineer your solution with that
in mind. Kids shoes could be another example - no reason to build them
to last 10 years when they will outgrow them in a year anyway. Passing
down from generation to generation is an option, but less so when you're
averaging 2 kids per house instead of 6.
& 2021 by me.
on here is my opinion, so don't sue me.