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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

February's Quake

Today was supposed to be an easy day of catching up on news, complaining about the latest stupidities at work, and mentioning the bunny rabbit we tracked this morning checking out each and every porch in the neighborhood until he got to ours, at which point he smelled Scrappy and fled to the woods.
Then I saw the news.
It seems God is developing a plan of one major killer earthquake a month this year, and February's hit last night at 3:34 am or thereabouts in Conception, Chile. At 8.8, it was aproximately 32 times stronger than the one that flattened Haiti. In other words, if this had hit in Haiti, we needn't have worried about rescue efforts. As I write, the death toll is 78, the quake hit the capitol of Santiago harder than the Haiti quake at 200 miles from the epicenter, and a 9 foot wave swept Robinson Crusoe Island, completely flooding the main village. Hawaii will sound Tsunami sirens in about 40 minutes. I watched some live stream from Chile tv, and much better built building and infrastructure than Haiti will ever have has been shattered.
Time to pray for Chile, RCI, Easter island (also in the wave's path) , and Hawaii.
Update: Wikipedia lists the Haiti quake as 4th deadliest all time, and this morning's Chile quake as 7th-strongest all time. All within 36 days.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Leftovers of this week

Here's this week's catch-up.
1. In the process of our usual waking-up on Saturday process, Scrappy was doing his thing- groaning, licking, giving me the "baby eye" (this is where he pushes the bridge of his nose against mine, so that the one eye I have that isn't blocked by his snout is staring into his one eye that isn't blocked by my cheek), and thus was completely oblivious as 2 deer sauntered out the parking lot and into the fence row. That brings deer sightings for the year up to five.
2. Our goofy car is in the shop. We found the battery dead Monday morning, and preferred auto believed it to be a lights-left-on issue, which would have been odd since it hadn't moved since Saturday afternoon. It turned out to be a rebellious door-ajar sensor, which in turn was leaving the dome and exterior rear-view lights on at random. After a Thursday in which they worked normal, then wouldn't go out, then went out, then stayed on even while the car was moving, then went out 2 miles later, then wouldn't come on at all, then went back to normal , all in a three hour period, we took it back to Preferred who gave us a weekend loaner. This was a Chrysler (!) Concorde that sounded like it might fly apart at any minute, but was actually the result of a gaily rolling air tank in the trunk. In fact, as I type, Preferred has just called to say it's ready to pick up.
3. That three hour period coincided with my trip to see Dr. Sowden on the results of my ultrasound, which I documented in all its amusing detail on the 28th. He said a) the graft went closed, which is why the techs couldn't figure out what was going on, b) that "if they would have called me, it would have been done in 5 minutes" rather than the 3 hours it took, and c) everything's fine, no more ultrasounds, no more Sowden. I am "just a normal guy with two veins in his leg instead of three."
4. We worked our first OT of the season Friday, 6 hours, till noon. Probably wouldn't have been necessary without all the accursed fabric issues we're having. We have a ton of fabrics on hold for issues, including 1 Amazon (the blue that can't decide what color to be that I wrote about previously) 2 J Penny (that we have either run out of or can't get a decent roll w/o defects) at least one for Target (which defects have caused us to set probably a dozen 100-yd rolls aside as unusable) 3 for Country Casual (in which the latest rolls to come in do not match the older ones that are alomst used up in either shade or weave), and one I was just told about yesterday that the swatch that is supposed to bethe right color, weave, etc., neither matches the first rolls that came in, which are pretty much already used, or the new ones that came in this week.
5. Anyone else feel the hockey world shake to its foundations Thursday night? Not only do the Invincible Russians get knocked off in an OT shootout by Slovakia, but the only thing that prevented the same thing from happening to the Invincible Canadians at the hands of Switzerland is the fact that Sidney Crosby cannot be stopped in shootouts. The USA goes from hoping for a bronze to contention for a gold in two easy steps.
6. Finally, this blog has a follower now! Hurray! Tanks and God bless you!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Today I woke up thinking about my health insurance. If Obama wants to fix something, work on this: When I was laid off, my insuarnce was stopped within 4 days. When I was called back, I was told my insurance would not kick in until 30 days after the beginning of my first calendar month back- the first of March, 45 days after I began paying on it again! If this doesn't tell you that the insurance 'business' is a racket like any other financial service, be they bank or broker, nothing will. Once a business has as its purpose the collecting, holding, and /or the investing of money, it is inevitably taken over by addiction to greed and the need to find any way possible to liberate you from your money without return to you. I began to think about what was said in the Bible about usurers and the like, and the path to hell anyone in charge of such businesses are taking. Unless you repent...
But is the greedy actions of a business enough to send one to hell? We have a tendancy to think that the good or evil of a man is the sum of his actions. Thus, Hitler is more evil than Joe Blow the atheist, and Mother Teresa is better than, say, Jim Bakker. But this is man's construct, not God's.
God is absolute in all things. He is not judging us on the basis of the sum of our actions. How does He judge?
1. God cannot be in the presence of sin. If you do not sin, you merit heaven, if you do, you merit hell.
2. We all sin. This is born out throughout the Bible. We all have some points at which we transgress the Law.
3. If we break the law in even one minor point, we have still broken the law. Do you get it? Absolutes.
4. The insurance company's dishonesty, Hitler's genocide, my failure to forgive the guy that's driving too slow in front of me, they are all different levels of breaking the law, but they are all breaking the law- and the consequences are the same.
5. The rub comes where God's love is absolute too. So absolute that He came into flesh and died to pay the price for all men- bankers, Hitler, and me- leaving it up to us to accept that sacrifice.
6. That means, faith in Christ is the dividing line between heaven and hell. Period. The Weight of our deeds has no bearing on our ultimate destination. If Hitler sincerly repents of his deeds and calls upon Christ before he dies, he goes to heaven. If Mother Teresa, with all her charity, does not call on Christ, she goes to hell. Absolutes.
7. Again for emphasis, the weight of our deeds has no bearing upon our ultimate destination. However, they will have an affect on our rewards/punishments in heaven/hell.
Will Mother Teresa have a better chunk of heaven than I will? Probably, but its the difference between a good neighborhood and a great one. Will Hitler have a worse spot in hell than Joe Blow the atheist? Depends, but neither one will enjoy Eternity.
So, here's my application: Jesus tells us to love our enemies; and we, with our human, weight-of-deeds perspective , ask how? The answer is right here: Without Christ in our personal equation, we are no better than they. And more to the point, we are no better off. Except for the absoluteness of God's love, we are all in the same boat.


Just a side note to keep track before I forget: the animal count is up to 2 bunnies and three deer.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The amazing adventures of Arden chapter one

At work, we are in the middle of a mess of a customer called Amazon. Now, the customer is not the mess here, but virtually everything else is.
When Laurie and I got called back in January, we basically- and me specifically- inherited this customer. We were working from an order sheet 5-6 pages along of 2-of-this orders. Amazon has two lines that they order- J cushions and A cushions. Tina and Vic had substantially gotten through the J's that they could, given that 1. many of the patterns were in the throes of being revised and 2. 6 fabrics had yet to arrive in-plant. Many of the patterns had to be adjusted because Amazon decided that they no longer wanted zippers in their cushions. Now, zippers require us to make two bands of the fabric to sew them to. Removing them means that the pattern has to be adjusted to lengthen the main band to take their place. The A patterns by and large were versions of the J cushions with slight differences. Many of them were still being designed, with samples awaiting aproval. With the story set up now, let me list what went wrong.
1. Several of the patterns that were adjuste either failed or failed properly to account for the removed zippers. Thus, when we made them the bands were too short.
2. Some patterns had a cut size only 1/2 inch wider than the finish size- requiring the sewwers to attempt to sew a 1/4 inch seam that could actually hold (which is nearly impossible). Thus I had to sort through the cut-sheets (basically the pattern blueprints) and pull the ones that offended. These were then given to the proper authorities, who lost them and kept asking us where they might have gone.
3. Sewers were not given their own copies, so each person doing the shell for the first time had to borrow our cut sheets, which only occasionally were returned and again we were supposed to know where they had went.
4.At least one cushion had a previously made cardboard template in the J style that was "the same as" a different A style, that, once cut, we found to be too long in both back pieces and too short in the front. Since there are upwards of a dozen fabrics for each style, thats a lot of trimming and recuts.
5. Say a typical cushion is 45 inches long. some of them are 28 inches or more wide, which with 54-55 inch wide fabric means many could not be laid up side by side. Most have bands which are the length of all four sides plus a smidge. Thus you have bands that varied between 2 1/2 and 6 inches wide and 70- 159 inches long. Multiply by a dozen fabrics and you get a lot of scrap.
6. One fabric had at least two 100-yd rolls in which the true color faded, splotched, or dissappeared altogether. Some was blatant and we caught it; some were WTF after they tried to sew it.
7.One fabric arrived two weeks after we came back and we had to go back down the list to "catch it up". It was a flimsy fabric that stretched in a mild breeze and several things had to be recut because of this.
8. Adjusted patterns now began to filter back to us. Some weren't quite right; others showed up without our being told, resulting in older fabrics being cut one way and late arrivers being cut another-sometimes in the course of a single day.
9.A month into things, three other late arrivers showed up. One was a blue that we discovered after the fact that ranged from a clear sky blue to a somewhat smoggy one- including one roll that changed in the course of laying up a single pattern. Another was a tan what varied from stiff to flimsy. The third was a maroon that seemed okay- until it was sewn. Then they found that it frayed too badly in sewing it made the needle holes too big to be accepted. Thus after all of these three and the other, flimsy, latecomer were cut sewn and packed and ready to go on the truck, they decided to reject the fabric and they all had to be pulled and quarrantined.
10. One set of styles were exact duplicates except one took a seat and a back, one took 2 seats and 2 backs, and one took 3 and 3. Problem, when the updated cut sheets were given, one of these sets had a band length 4 inches longer than the other two.
11. Two of the floral prints were directional- that is, there's a definate top and bottom. Of course, each one is going in the opposite direction of the other.
12.Oh, and when shipping date came and went and one color still hadn't arrived, it was cancelled from the order.
13. Finally, remember the pattern where the backs were shorter and the front longer? Well, the last thing we accomplished on this, I had to recut them because the bands were also messed up, and I ran out of one of the fabrics before I could finish it- even though "the System" says we had 20 yds left.
And that's but one customer, and the season is just beginning. I shoulda been an archaeologist.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another Sad Ending

Today we learned of another sad loss. Captain Phil Harris, the skipper of the Cornelia Marie featured on Discovery channel's Deadliest Catch, has died of a stroke at the age of 53. Phil was definately my favorite on the show, tough and compassionate in the same turn. To me he was the glue that held the show's differing dynamics together. He could be hard as nails, and yet laugh with the rest of them. Never was that better shown than last season when the Time Bandit crew replaced one of his crab pots with the derelict body of an old truck. Sig or Keith would have flew into a rage over "the waste of time" or "the chance of damaging my equipment. Phil laughed his ass off.
To realize how big the fan-admiration of this man is, discovery channel has a forum thread where you can post a condolence to the Harris family. The first post was today at 8 am and when I posted mine about 12 hours later the thread was 179 PAGES long. The forum and chat room on his official website crashed and is shut down.
Goodbye, captain. you were a damn good man and we lost you too soon. Ah, but you knew all those red bulls would get you sooner or later.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The snow, the (ball)park, and other things.

First of all, a hearty thank you and congrats to the New Orleans Saints who destroyed Peyton Manning and the Colts in last sunday's Super Bowl. Too bad for them that they couldn't figure out how open Dallas Clark was 90% of the game. Or that Reggie Wayne just hasn't been with it through most of the Playoffs. Also kudos to IU alums Courtney Roby and Tracy Porter for looking so damn good. I guess we know who the best Indiana team is now, huh? ( Say, don't the Saints have a Purdue QB just like the Colts do? ) I only wish Archie Manning would have been as influential in getting his first son to New Orleans as he was getting second son Eli to New York. Then the Colts could have spent the last 12 years dafting more Art Schlister wannabes like Curtis Painter.
That ranted, the KCAs hang on to take the Commissioner's cup. SVA held on to second, the Rangers end up third, Elks come in fourth, followed by the Beagles, B2s, Ducks, Angels, Rhinos, Clock BBQs, Buzz, and the T-Cubs. Overall, your humble author had 298 points, Laurie pulled into second with 288, KC snuck into third with 263, and Shenan slid into fourth with 256.
Finally, the latest in an off season full of retarded moves by the baseball team I'm stuck rooting for:

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Speedy outfielder Willy Taveras has been released by the Oakland Athletics, eight days after he was acquired from Cincinnati with infielder Adam Rosales for infielder Aaron Miles and a player to be named.

Taveras had been designated for assignment immediately following the Feb. 1 trade. The Athletics owe his $4 million salary in the final season of a $6.25 million, two-year contract that he signed with the Reds, but that would be reduced by the $400,000 minimum if he signs with another team.

Taveras hit .240 with one homer and 15 RBI for Cincinnati last season.

So, in essence we traded two guys for one guy and the right to pay someone $4,000,000 to do nothing this year. Of course, given Taveras' stats with the Redlegs, we didn't have to cut him to accomplish that.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Retarded (er, intelligence challenged) pc in England, case # 51,207

This story courtesy of the BBC:

Advert for 'reliable' worker 'rejected' by Jobcentre
A Hertfordshire recruitment agency boss says she was told she could not request "reliable and hard-working" applicants.

Devonwood Recruitment boss Nicole Mamo said the Jobcentre Plus in Thetford, Norfolk, told her such an advert could be "offensive" to unreliable people.

Ms Mamo said: "I started to laugh. I said: 'That's crazy'."

A Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson said the advert was worded as Ms Mamo requested online - but did not deny it differed in the Jobcentre.

Ms Mamo's company was advertising for a cleaning job at West Suffolk Hospital.

'Absolutely ridiculous'

She said that she told a Jobcentre worker that "hard-working and reliable" were essential words for the advert, but received the reply that those words could not be used as they "may discriminate against the unreliable".

"I'm trying to run a respected agency and can't uphold a good reputation with unreliable people", Ms Mamo said.

A spokesman for the Campaign Against Political Correctness said: "This is absolutely ridiculous. If they can't advertise for what they want then the system is broken."

The Equality and Human Rights Commission said that the advert as Ms Mamo worded it was in "no way" a breach of any discrimination law.

A spokesperson for the DWP said: "Reliability is important to employers, as it is for Jobcentre Plus - and we welcome ads seeking reliable applicants."

The DWP said it could not confirm whether advice not to use the word reliable had been offered.

Now I understand where my company gets it's new recruits. (Just kidding, Trish.)


The Pro Bowl update on the Commissioner's cup: with time running out, Chris Johnson saves the rumps of my KCAs once again. His late TD put the KCAs back on top after an early SVA rally that put them on top. The KCAs , with no Super Bowl participants, are final at 113 points. SVA pulls into 2nd with 107, the Beagles drop to 3rd with 98. They need Reggie Bush and Mike Bell (who hasn't played yet in cup games) to tally 16 points to pull an upset. The B2s moved back up to 4th with 95, but they are done. Also in 4th and with hope are the Elks, who scored an incredible 40 points last night to jump up from 11th; her hopes to move up hang on Joseph Addai. The Rangers climb to 6th at 89, the Ducks drop to 7th with 87. They each have two players left. The Rhinos and Angels each only managed 1 pro bowl point and each have one man left; they have 86 and 83 respectively. Buzz is 10th and done at 78, the Clock BBQs have 75 and two boys left, and the T-Cubs, despite actually scoring 11 last night end up last and done with 63.