They want it now. It seems that many in my generation think that good things happen overnight. That overnight you will find yourself rich and without cares. The problem is it never happens overnight. It happens after years of toiling and working that eventually you start to reap the fruits of your labor.
It can be viewed like a garden. You till the soil, plant the seeds, continue weeding, and caring for the garden so 4 –5 months later you can start bringing in the harvest of your labors. It does not happen overnight, it does not happen right now, it happens after endless tireless work.
I got one shirt design done this weekend, I have a couple more on the burner that I’m doing the graphic design on. If I make ANYTHING in the next 6 months I’ll be amazed. The goal is a year from now as I build up products people might find interesting that I can sell them something. Not to mention there’s a whole separate branch that I’m eventually going to spin this into. But that’s for another time after I have stuff available for show.
Bottom line is the American Dream is under fire because lazy bums are asking the government to steal the rewards from those who worked to achieve it. I worked my ass off through school, am paying down debts as fast as I can, and I know I have no one to blame for those decisions but myself. Get off your ass and go find a job.
JayG posted a meme this morning that I’ll hop on board with mainly because… well you might notice.
So here’s the meme. Long answers or short.
1. What was your first car? Model, year, color, condition?
2. What adventures did you have in it, good or bad?
3. What happened to it, what’s the end of the story?
So my first car was a 1994 Chrysler LeBaron my parents bought used in 1996. It looked very much like this.
Those became my primary wheels in 2002 once I finally started driving. I was late to the party since I had no reason to drive anywhere prior, second my parents used my drivers license as leverage to speed me up in getting my Eagle Scout, it didn’t work. I finally bothered to give a crap and get my license so I could go visit the future Minutewoman while she was home on break. The interior was in quite decent shape, though the paint was flaking off by the time I got it.
I had a couple interesting road trips in it. Mainly between the Seattle area and the Palouse where I now reside. The most memorable was a trip where I told the future wife I had to go help my mom with some stuff and I’d be on IM later that night. I then drove the 5 and a half hours and knocked on her dorm room door with roses while wearing a tuxedo. This car was also the source of a personal record for the Pullman Seattle run.
One night on the cross state strip I found a dead deer in the middle of my lane on highway 26. I shaved it’s belly after straddling it. It sprayed entrails all over the firewall and engine block. It stunk to high heaven for about 2 months until the rest of it burned off.
I had a lot of fun in that car and loved it cause it always treated me well. I traded her in because she was starting to burn oil and maintenance bills were increasing expensive. We replaced her with the 2003 Explorer Sport in 2007.
These officers arrested an individual for smoking pot and then did it themselves while the tax payer was footing the bill. The war on nouns only serves to provide a reason to further expand government and law enforcement agencies. It does nothing to protect the public in general. Actually it does quite the opposite by making the general public possible victims of an ill conceived or poorly execute no knock warrant.
The actions of these officers do nothing but to further illustrate at prove why every last war on nouns should disappear. Whether it be guns, drugs, poverty, or any other “nobel” cause. It does nothing but make victims out of what would otherwise be victimless crimes, or perpetuate their condition. It also creates a separate elitist class where the laws do not apply.
Last night was not one of my best nights. Mainly it was compounded by one very sad annoying fact. A woman who loved animals wouldn’t just take the hint to drive on and leave. It would have eased and prevented an extra 40 minutes of suffering.
Let me start at the beginning, on my way home I rounded a bend on the highway and at the top of a hill there was a car on the side of the road with it’s 4 ways on. At the last minute I saw the yearling lying in the middle of the road and swerved to avoid it. I immediately pulled in in front of the car, grabbed flares out of the tool box lighting them up. Some how in the process I burnt a shirt lighting them.
While laying out flares for the deer it became quite clear to me how the night was going to end. Broken spine, blood dripping from it’s snout and mouth. The deer was trying to stand up but it’s rear legs wouldn’t move. It was a bad situation for the deer.
I told the woman driver to go ahead and go home and I’ll take care of calling it in and reporting it. She insisted on sticking around. So the option of just dispatching the deer and moving it off the road is now out since I’ve got a witness who won’t be supportive. I call Whitcom, inform them of the location and what’s happened, they attempt to connect me with WSP. Every time they transfer the call, the call was lost. I call Whitcom back, inform them the call was lost, and ask for the number for the WSP office handling the incident. They tell me not to worry about it and just stay away from the deer. I tell them again the deer is in the highway, alive, attempting to move, and needs to be dispatched. He tells me to just wait for the officer.
I now begin the wait in the cold, the deer is obviously in a lot of pain and attempting to pull itself off the road whenever a semi rolls by. It eventually pulls itself off the road and rolls down the embankment. Wailing as it tumbles over. Now that it’s off the road I kick the flares off the road. The woman gets out of her car to ask what happened. I tell her and suggest that she just go home. She suggests that WSU could take the deer, I know that will never happen.
A firefighter rolls up on his way home. He calls in and gets authorization from State Patrol to dispatch the deer. At this point he comes back with his revolver and the woman decides now is the time to leave. One of us got authorization from the state for what needed to have been done 35 minutes earlier. He fires one shot hitting the deer in the head.
About 45 seconds later the WSP officer arrives. The firefighter informs him he just dispatched the deer. The cop is elated because he won’t have paperwork for discharging his service arm. At about this point the deer starts groaning again and thrashing. Now often animals will go into the death throws but this wasn’t just the twitch of the nervous system shutting down. The firefighter had already put his weapon back in his vehicle. The officer said, “I’ll go grab the shotgun.” Without missing a beat I said, “Would you like me to save you the paperwork?” His response was, “That would be great. Need a flashlight?”
I walk down with my tac-lite and pull my XD. I plug two at the base of it’s brain stem with the second making a obvious entrance wound. Immediately it falls dead silent and only one leg continues to have a minor twitch. At this point it’s been about 40 minutes since I arrived on the scene. The deer has been removed from any pain that it did have and the whole way home I was nothing but pissed off because it took 40 minutes to get me permission from the state to do what was ethically best for the deer.
Had the woman left I would have just dropped the deer and pulled it off the road into the ditch. From talking to the officer after, had the dispatcher given me the number I would have been authorized to dispatch the animal.
Thanks to this whole mess, I now have the Colfax State Patrol number in my wallet. This is by no means how I wanted to end up shooting my first deer. Doubly so since I got to listen to it suffer for 40 minutes. 40 minutes of suffering for the animal so someone could feel like they’re being a good Samaritan trying to save it.
Blogging might be a bit light today and tomorrow. I really wish I had just killed that deer on the spot.
I spent most of yesterday out in the garage cleaning out and putting stuff away that had accumulated there over summer. Now that it’s cleaned up it can continue use as my make shift shop. Getting space back was aided by switching the tractor back to winter mode with the snow blower. It is now sitting primed at the entrance to the garage awaiting the first real snow fall.
I have a small chicken and the egg problem with my shop. It’s currently storing a lot of stuff such as camping equipment, Christmas decorations, dive equipment, other tools and miscellaneous stuff. It’s taking up a good chunk of the floor space and there’s no room for my tools. The ceilings are high enough I can put up loft storage to store all of it but there’s no room for the tools to build it currently.
So I at least got the standby shop into a condition I can begin working again. The goal is to finish up storage location A and move out all the stuff destined for the first location. I have one problem left to be solved in the first storage system design. I think I have it solved but I need to do some math to verify it will hold the weight. Then next will be ammo storage racks and doing some rearranging in the shop. Followed by some high shelves in the house to finish unpacking knickknacks and family memorabilia. I will post pictures and details as I progress through the projects.
Lastly will be two custom workbenches. One will be for the express purpose of reloading and firearm maintenance. This will be unique because it will be fully seal-able to keep wood dust and other shop dirt out of the work area and drawers. The second will be my main workbench and will have built in storage for some of my more awkward tools.
At this point I should be able to move my tools and then I can start building the rest of the material to finish up the shop, such as a planer stand, and a permanent router table.
I do want to get the shop finished up because I there is some stuff I would like to start making to sell. Not to mention I have some other ideas of stuff I can make and sell.
Speaking of which I made a simple shirt yesterday as well for AepilotJim that I just noticed I put in the wrong store. It should be up here in the near future with a much wider selection than just t-shirts. If you want to know what the shirt is, you can either listen to last Friday’s VC or wait for it appear in the store.
See instead of bitching about life and how it’s unfair I continue to work my ass off in one form or another. Hell I spent time doing a bunch of work that I’m sure those who wasted time on useless degrees would never bother doing. Doubly so since I didn’t even get paid for it, I did it to help some friends. Thing is they probably could have offered to help for compensation and it would have been accepted. Shoving insulation into walls suck but someone’s got to do it. Running conduit and wiring has to be done by someone. Taking care of all the plumbing has to be done by someone. Notice a pattern here? Next time actually get an education in something useful and in demand.
It seems that particular parts of humanity wish to surrender their place on the top of the food chain and force that decision upon others. Every week there is a new article showing how bad this situation is getting. Lets start off at the beginning and work our way up to the idiocy which indicates how how we are ensuring our own destruction.
Starting off there is the wolf issue that has been created by a bunch of tree huggers that don’t have to live with the problem. The wolf is endangered I hear you cry. Well when you introduce a predator into an area with 0 other predators you end up with a serious problem. Doubly so when that predator is a non-native species. They start decimating herds of animals that aren’t used to the new predator, and nothing kills the new predator. They multiply like rabbits, meaning they need more food to survive, further destroying the local herds of elk and deer.
Even with numerous incidents like this going on, you have people and groups who live well outside the area that don’t have to deal with the problem saying the wolves shouldn’t be hunted. It took multiple federal law suits to finally get the ban on hunting lifted. The scariest thing about all this though isn’t the effect on live stock, it’s the view that the predator begins to take towards humans. They no longer view us as a threat. Don’t believe me, here’s an incident out of Alaska.
Think about that for a second. The animals have been left alone to the point where they are acting predatory to humans. Instead of actually really doing something about the problem, their solution is to hire a bunch of dog catchers at the cost of a half million. Arming your current catchers to immediately remove them from the population can help solve the problem. If the dogs react in fear to humans even if they’re wild the threat is diminished. For those who say, arm them with what. You can use an air gun, if they can take a hog they can take a dog. No serious threat to the public by over penetration either.
The problem is when we let animals view us no longer as a predator, they naturally see us as prey. Our culture as well as our laws are forcing more people to surrender their status.
In other areas we have people being terrorized by, wait for it, wild turkeys!
They don’t see us as a predator anymore. When you run away, that ingrains that belief that you are weaker further in their brain. If you’re not willing to fight for your position on the top, or cannot fight and maintain it, you are not the king predator anymore.
I hate putting all that in here but it just makes the point of how dumb these people are. They recommend beating the mountain lion with a stick, which is ok if you’re unprepared (which you shouldn’t be). Clayton goes on to prove why beating a cougar with a stick shouldn’t be a your first line option.
That’s what bugs me. Just like the anti rights people, these other groups seem intent on making people be prey, whether it be for two legged or four legged predators. They want to make the decision regarding self defense for everyone else. Concern is given for the predator completely ignoring the prey.
Which brings us to the biggest piece of idiocy I have seen in a long time.
Mice are like rabbits. No matter how hard you try you can’t kill them all. Not only that, you’re effort here to save the mice is for what? Do you want to help spread Bubonic Plague and all the other diseases that rats spread. Seriously, what in the hell is the problem with killing varmints and vermin that are a detriment to the public health? Not to mention the damage that they can do.
Seriously the only upside of this is if there was a plague outbreak that wiped out DC to destroy the idiots that passed this dumb ass legislation to begin with. I know that won’t happen though and it’s doubly annoying since you’ve also got legislation that is preventing the use of effective pesticides. Just like a ‘yote, the only good mouse is a dead mouse.
So here we have our government joining with a bunch of tree huggers that are throwing rational logical thought out the window. We have a group of people forcing their morality on others despite the injury and detriment it can have on others. We have the government aiding in creating victims of 4 legged predators as well as diseases from varmints and vermin. The worry about extinction to me falls short of killing people.
If you think that people should die instead of the predators, my only request is you do it first. Leaders lead by example and if you think someone shouldn’t be allowed to carry a firearm to fend of a wild animal, you need to live in that area and suffer the effects of living there. If you want to tell someone they can’t kill the mice infesting their house, you need to live in the mouse infested house. No one has any business forcing their morality on another.
I am not going to play dead for any predator. Two or four legged and I’m not going to walk around unarmed to make some hippie feel like he’s saving the environment.
Many people when they need more outlets grab a power strip. They don’t really consider what the load is they’re running off the strip as a whole. Many will do the worst thing in the world and cascade power strips for more outlets, or plug a very large current item into the power strip. There’s a couple things going on that make ignoring these factors a bad idea. The biggest is that this is the result.
According to fire investigators, a power strip started the fire, which caused an estimated $250,000 in damage. Multiple computers and a space heater had been plugged into the strip, but what role that played remains uncertain.
I’m going to explain now exactly why cascading power strips, and ignoring load concerns is a bad idea and results in the above. First read this article on an introduction on basic electronics. In doing this I’m also going to explain why you never replace a circuit breaker or fuse with anything but a matching value.
Power Losses A Quick Reminder:
Did you see the section involving wire diameter, length, and overall resistance? There’s a minimum wire gauge for carrying different loads of current. The reason being is power losses over the wire. Remember the equation, I2R. This can be used to determine power lost over the wire is dissipated in the form of heat. Lets start off with a simple example.
A Base Load Example:
Residential building codes state that for a 12 gauge wire the maximum current load is 20 amp breaker. We have a computer using a 650W power supply and two LCD displays (~75W). These three are plugged into a single 14 gauge surge protector plugged into an outlet on the 20 amp circuit. Now while that 650W supply may not be operation at full load, we will assume it is for calculation purposes.
Circuit breakers are rated to carry 80% of their rated nominal load continuously. This means that our breaker can supply 16 amps continuously to our load distribution the power strip. This works out to be 1760W = (20*0.8)A*110V that the circuit can supply. Though the surge protector can only safely deliver 1320W = (15*0.8)A*110V due to it only having 14AWG wiring. Most power strips will have a safety breaker that will enforce this limit, however they can fail and on cheap strips they may not even work. Currently our load is only 800W so we are well within the safe range.
How Easy It is To Cross the Threshold:
Now lets say we want to add a space heater since the wife is cold. If we add the 800W oil heater to out power strip with our computer. This moves the load on the power strip up to 1600W. This is beyond the 14 AWG capacity of 1320W. This will cause the temperature of the wires to go beyond their rated values. This can be a serious problem if the power strip is located in an area where heat cannot dissipate. The addition of the power strip also adds extra length increasing your overall I2R losses. This is why you don’t want to put a large load such as a heater on an extension cord. If you do, make sure it is a heavy grade extension cord. The safest method is to plug it directly into a wall outlet. This will still be below the 20A continuous rating, prevents the extra I2R loss from the extra length, and doesn’t overload the the smaller power strip.
So What About Cascading Them:
Now so far we’ve only been really talking about a single power strip, what happens when you cascade them? This is where another lesser known problem rears it’s head. The majority of heating in house hold power distribution circuits are at junctions. Where wires are tied together, plugs and outlets, and screw terminals. This is because the resistance in the joint higher than the surrounding materials. Again, I2R comes in to play with the larger resistance at the joint. That power goes somewhere and it is released as more heat into the system. So adding extra power strips increases the resistance in the line and increases the overall power losses.
So What About Circuit Breakers:
Now how does that apply to circuit breakers though. Say instead of a 12 AWG circuit with a 20A breaker it’s a 14 AWG circuit with a 15A breaker. It keeps tripping and you think it’s faulty. All you have in your chest to replace it is a 20A breaker. You have now allowed a much larger current to flow across the circuit that it is safely rated for. You have upped the trip limit from 12A to 16A, thus your I2R loss is going to increase. That increase of 4 amps increases the power dissipation required of the wire by 1.7x. Again that power is dissipated in the form of heat, in your walls, that retain heat, some packed with insulation. You have turned your house wiring into a toaster element, not a good idea.
So there’s a rough idea of
Why you don’t cascade power strips.
Why you plug high power appliances into the wall, or use a large gauge extension cord with a single outlet.
Why you don’t swap a smaller breaker for a larger one.
The physics behind what cause the fire above.
So please, don’t cascade power strips, don’t swap breakers, and think about your loading if your strips getting full. It’s simple and easy. As always if you have questions feel free to ask.
*Sometimes I feel like a doctor with the burden of knowledge when it comes to electronics now. Growing up I wouldn’t have hesitated to cascade power strips, now I avoid it at all costs.
I actually began writing this a year ago as some other issues illustrated at the beginning were seen. It was my hope that it would never actually have to go up. Meaning if you’re reading this, well shit happens. I started writing this up as I became more and more disgruntled at my place of employment. As stated in the disclaimer, I will not name names. Suffice it to say I was passed up for promotion when I really shouldn’t have been, didn’t get a clear-cut answer as why, all the while I had volunteered into an interesting project that I thought would give me some awesome opportunity. Which at this point I now realize I was suckered in.
It was an awesome opportunity, I learned a lot, and I was basically doing the job of a Lead Software Engineer while only being an Associate Software Engineer. When I shifted from one group to another I expected at my next review to be promoted. When it didn’t come I was very upset and honestly I probably wasn’t as confrontational as I should have been. There were many reasons for that, the biggest was that at the time I neededmy job. The wife was unemployed and I just said screw it, deal with it unless you really luck into something or you really get burned. My former boss expressed his concern to me as he was also a mentor for an internal development program as he expected me to advance. The goal I was given to advance was to complete said development program. Here’s where things get confusing. On more than one occasion I had to cancel training at my managers request to continue spending time on the project. Remember, lone wolf engineer trying to understand a product designed by a larger group. As time went on I got some awesome fire support from people quite familiar with the project. To them I am thankful, but it still took a massive amount of time between design, modeling, specifications, working with support on other parts of the architecture, and then I was the guy stitching it all together.
So, when I got passed up this time around, things became, well quite personalWhen I first wrote the beginning of this post a writing this post I didn’t get passed up for promotion and I thought this post was just going to die. Back in May (2012 my mentor (former boss) started talking about promotion again. It was at that time I started also thinking about “plan b”. What am I going to do if I get burned again. I had the option of switching to a different group within the company but that would have landed a new problem. Odds are I would still miss promotion because the new boss wouldn’t be familiar with my skill set and abilities. This happened to a buddy of mine when he moved down the hill before. Even then an internal switch isn’t a full option because I was one of the few people they could get to work on this project. They could just keep me on this project until it’s completed. Why would I work on this project at all? Well Bob Lee Swagger said it like this:
I’m still enough of a sucker,you press that patriot button, I’ll sit up in my chair and say,”Which way you want me to go, boss?”
They came to me with the perfect storm of a project. I did learn a lot, and over all I think it was beneficial in a lot of ways. At the same time though for the year and a half prior with my previous boss, he and another coworker gave me a awesome set of precision tools. The tools for the most part were useless on this project since it was a modification to an existing platform that started while I was in high school. At this point I feel like that particular tool set has become quite dull from not really being able to be extensively used. I tried to work on pet projects when I could to keep it sharp but that only goes so far.
After I started writing this post they did finally promote me and I got a decent raise. Then about 4 weeks ago (at the time of my updating this part of the post) I was involved in an email exchange. The email exchange left a very sour taste in my mouth. Ask me about it in person some time, I’m not going to quote it on the blog. I had already started a pretty good cynical streak as I noticed things weren’t exactly adding up and attitudes internally were much like this. That’s the root of that email chain.
After the email exchange I went to chat with a family friend for advice. That discussion basically clued me in that my run with the previous employer was coming to an end and it honestly probably isn’t salvageable.
Again, chat with me in person some time. I love the people I work with, even my immediate manager. Moving up the chain though and seeing what was happening in other groups it was obvious that the company values had become lost.
I spent a lot of time at that point starting to job hunt, talking with the wife, and trying to find options. Why did I want options? I needed a plan because I was starting to apply pressure and at 40 lbs, something like this was going to happen and I knew it.
Even though I wasn’t in an aircraft, things were going to go into a radical shift. No matter what, the odds were we were going to have to move if I pulled down the curtain. We bought our house, planning on being here at least 8 years for full vesting. No plan survives first contact with the enemy and well things are going south.
I’m loosing altitude and airspeed and I’m running out of options. The last thing I really want to do is fully auger in and I know I could continue to limp it along almost indefinitely but that wouldn’t be enjoyable for me. I needed to have a plan on how to minimize the trauma before I ejected. I needed to ensure the following:
If it was just me, I probably would have ejected a while ago. The thing is, my wife was going to be involved in this ejection. My choices would affect her employment, her happiness if I started working away from home, she is in the cockpit with me and that matters. Delaying ejection however is bad, especially since it can continue to affect my career into the future.
It has become clear for example that I should have ejected a year ago as the first clues appeared. My delay in doing so has increased a gap. Let me explain:
For the past two years I’ve been on a project whose design, software, and principal hardware dates back to when I was in high school. To be clear, that’s when the product was released, I was in middle school when many of the design decisions were made. 14 years folks, how much has changed in the tech industry in 14 years?
Yeah, I did not gain any skills with modern tools, methods, or solutions working on this project. Then to make matters worse, I haven’t touched a single line of code (for my employer, I’ve been coding on my own) for over 8 months. Instead I’ve been writing policies, work instructions, and procedures. As I was working on these items for the project it became obvious that whoever was in this position, my self or someone else, would be doing nothing more than paperwork and traffic management for the next 3 years on this project.
Can you say a great way to kill your career?
Overall it has left me feeling unappreciated like that also means I’m probably underpaid. Being underpaid accumulates and actually is bad. May work great for the company to “save money” but kills morale and ultimately just pisses people off. In hindsight I have delayed in ejection for a lot longer than I should have, I think mainly because of the raise they gave me a year ago with my promotion. It wasn’t enough to cover the pay gap at that time, and actually at this point the gap has gotten worse because of how far behind I was before they gave me the raise.
So if you’re reading this, it means I’ve finally decided to pull down the face curtain and hold on for the ride. I’ve adjusted my ejection vector to give me the best chance of coming out on top as quickly as possible. Pulling the face curtain means I’m saying goodbye to the Palouse and on to a new pasture. It makes me sad because I do love it up here, I have a lot of friends and a solid network of people I can ask for help.
I don’t know what’s going to happen in the upcoming months, I’m not entirely sure how rough the landing is going to be. We will survive, life may be rough, but in the long run I think we will come out on top. I am working to get in with another local company and ultimately my goal over the next couple years is to fire up a start-up for a project idea I have. I’m going to execute as much as I can on the side so hopefully I can get the start-ups running without a lot of pain.
*I would kick off a start-up now and make it all happen but I do not have the capital to do so. Further while I’m confident and feel that the reward will be high, there is always risk and given my family I can’t just jump in both feet first. (Oh how I wish I could. As my dad would say, family is nothing more than a hostage. You may love them to death, but they’re the biggest factor that often will restrain people from taking risk.