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Joe’s Blog » Life in General

Archive for the 'Life in General' Category

The National Debt


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Our current national debt is projected to be $13.8 Trillion by the end of 2010.Here’s how it breaks down in our nation’s history:

  1. 1792 to 2000 = 5.7 Trillion —– this is how much debt we incurred building the nation, winning two world wars, walking the moon, defeating communism, etc.
  2. 2000 to 2008 = 4.3 Trillion —– this is what we paid for (imho) Bush’s overreaction to 911, his wars and his increases in domestic spending needed to butter people up so they would support his wars.
  3. 2009 to 2010 = 3.8 Trillion —- yes, Obama in two years has almost matched what Bush did in eight in terms of fiscal irresponsibility.
  4. Another note, since (ok, this is a cheap shot, but can’t resist) the Democrats took over congress in 2006, our national debt has increased by 5.3 trillion. Yes, those idiots nearly matched our entire debt building for between 1792 and 2000, and (imho) accomplished NOTHING GOOD with it.
  5. Also, since 2000 we have increased our total national debt over 2.5 fold!!!! 

Play with the numbers yourself here:  http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/downchart_gs.php?year=1792_2010&view=1&expand=&units=b&fy=fy11&chart=H0-fed&bar=0&stack=1&size=m&title=US%20Federal%20Debt%20As%20Percent%20Of%20GDP&state=US&color=c&local=s

A New Hobby?


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I’m trying to do a build-it-yourself desktop.  I’ve got the components, and now just have to build the case (or cry uncle and buy a case) and get things going.   My goal was to have all the pieces cost less than $500, and I managed it with a little to spare.  I’ll list my components for the computer-o-philes who might stumble by.  I’ll start with Windows XP (got a copy for $25 on the way), but my set-up is OK for Windows 7 64 bit when I decide to take the plunge.Here’s what I had to buy:

 Processor:  I picked last year’s quad-core from AMD, the Phenom x4  9850 — it’s 2.5 GHz.  I actually looked up performance benchmarks, and this was better than the Core 2 Duo’s by Intel.  Not as slick as the i7 or Intel Quads, but not nearly as expensive, either.

Motherboard:  This is apparently the key to the whole thing.  You of course have to get one that is compatible to the processor socket set.  Mine has an integrated LAN card and sound card (8-channel).  I also have six built-in USB ports plus the other usuals.Memory:  I got 4 GB RAM (2 x 2 GB) on sale.  Turns out that with Windows XP I’ll only be able to access >3 GB due to address limitations, but this be enough and set me up to get Windows 7 when I decide to.Video Card:  I chose an NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 “low profile” card with 1 GB internal memory.  According to benchmarks, it is five time better than the graphics card I’m currently using in terms of performance.Discs:  I’ll have a CD/DVD Burner and a 500 GB Hard drive.I also had to get a power supply and a CPU fan.   I already have a wireless network adapter card.

I’ll let you know how things work out.  I want to make a custom-case that fits on the back of my monitor, so I have a home-made all-in-one, but we’ll see if I stick to that or not.   I’m anxious to have a fast machine that actually meets recommendations for my games and can do all my work-stuff, but will also be portable (I got everything low profile so I can make a case only 2 - 3 inches thick).  This will be a great machine for under $500 if I can pull it off.

Working at Home Pitfalls


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OK, this morning I’m paying bills - I do the books for my wife’s vet clinic.  Checks come three per page, so if you print three at a time it’s easy.  However, we have eight people who get paychecks, so I had one left over.  So I set up a page with one check taped to the top, and then a sheet of three checks, and pay four bills.  My son and daughter are upstairs eating breakfast, but are making noise.  I click to print the checks and get the next window, but Will is hollering that “I’m done, I’m done”.  I had to go upstairs and settle things.  When I got back downstairs, I had lost my place.  I was in fact at the critical point where I tell Quickbooks that my first page only has one check on it, but I forgot this and just hit the print button.  So only two of my four checks print properly, and I have 2/3rds of a sheet left over.  So I tape this partial sheet on a piece of printer paper and try again.  I just keep getting paper jams, till the printer finally eats the two checks.   So now I decide to pay another bill so I have three checks to print, and can just feed in a sheet of three.  Unfortunately, the old print job is still in the print buffer, so it prints wrong.  I had to do it again.   So a process that would have taken two mouse clicks to finish had I not been interrupted took 45 minutes of hair-pulling.  I can see why working at home is discouraged sometimes.

No matter how bad your valentine’s day was …


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… it could have been worse.A man is planning to propose to his girlfriend on valentines day, but a few days before finds out that she’s been cheating on him.  He gets the truth out, with the help of two unscrupulous radio DJs.

If you’re the “stop atthe car wreck” kind of person, check this out.  It’s about 15 minutes, but unbelievably cruel (and oddly funny, if you don’t mind a big helping of ‘cruel’ with your “funny”).

http://media.1057thepoint.com/Podcasts/1526/ChrisAndAshley.mp3

AAHA - halloween time


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The “AAHA” refers to Companion Pet Care, which just passed it’s AAHA re certification inspection with flying colors.  Yay, and thanks to all!

Here’s the first 10/31 pic, with the kiddies posing in front of the jack-o-lanters I helped them make.  Anna’s is a monkey, Will’s is supposed to be a doggie, but I got tired.  We’re supposed to go trick or treating this afternoon.

Pumkins

Early Halloween


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The kiddies had a Halloween party at school today.  It involved a “haunted hallway”, snacks, crafts, games, and a magic show.  Will was spiderman and Anna was, of course, a monkey.  Here are a few pics; one with daddy as a banana, one (sorry it’s in B/W) with Anna’s preschool, one with Will’s kindergarten teacher, and one with them doing crafts.

Anna, Will, BabaAnna and Will with Preschool teacherWill and his K-garden teachercraft table

It’s raining cats and dogs here, and Billie is on call again.  I’m getting back to doing the bookkeeping for the clinic; I did quarterly taxes last week, and worked up a 2010 budget.  It really keeps me busy.

Here’s one with just Anna.hwf5.jpg

Bye for now.

Will Swimming


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Hi.  I think I referred earlier to Will swimming at Shea’s birthday party, swallowing water and then falling asleep on his little raft.  I’m finally getting some pics up just to let you know that it wasn’t totally miserable for him.  Sorry for the poor quality - I don’t know what was set wrong with my camera.

Will in the pool, part 1Will in the pool, part 2Will in the pool, part 3Will’s friend

And for an off - topic note, here’s my Facebook profile pic, a bit of political humor, and an excuse for heterosexual males to watch Olympic figure skating.

kitten.jpg

cheatcards1.gif

Sasha

Goooooaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllll


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Ok, in what has been a traumatic week, with Renee leaving, Eileen having complications after delivering her new daughter (my niece) - I hear from Jon she’s OK now - and me having two lectures on a business trip to deal with (turned out great, but there was some drama involved beforehand), it seems odd to post about youth soccer, but that’s what parents do.

Will has been taking a soccer skills class on Saturday mornings (heaven forbid anyone should sleep in) and today was the culmination, a GAME.  At first, Will didn’t really know what to do - they started him on defense and he was just standing there.  When I told him to go get the ball he ran forward and picked it up with his hands.  He did that one more time and then we finally it into his head that he had to kick the ball forward.  Oddly, things kicked in after that; he  was moved to wing and he did a good job of dribbling and kicking.  He was smiling and was all over the pitch.  I was meantime trying to deal with Anna - who was cold and letting me know about it.  I put my jacket over hers and that helped for a while; it was rainy and ugly out.  OF course - you know this is coming - as we retreated to a nearby dugout to warm Anna up, Will had his big moment.  He dribbled in front of the goal and then kicked it in.  I barely saw it, but Will had scored a goal.  Yeah.  He had fun, and now we’re home.  He doesn’t yet get the team idea (once he started going after the ball, he would take it from his teammates as well as from opponents) but not bad for a four year old.  He was mixed in with first and second graders, and I swear one kid was actually TWICE as tall as he was.

Ithaca Science Center


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While in Ithaca, I took the kids to the Science Center.  The center has alot of exhibits that the kids can interact with, like building a dam or rolling pennies down a parabolic incline.  It is basically a glorified playground for them, and there is an enclosed outdoor area with climbing ropes.  They had a good time.  Here are some pics.

sc11.jpg  At the Entrance

sc31.jpg Anna on a triceratops head

sc2.jpg Will and Anna dancing in the mirror exhibit

sc5.jpg  Anna and Will building a dam with some other kids

sc42.jpg  Monkeys having fun

Ithaca Trip


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Billie had a veterinary education meeting in Ithaca NY this weekend, and she dragged the whole family along for the fun.  Here are some pics of us hanging out at Ithaca Commons (downtown shopping) Sunday afternoon.

The first pic - mama walking down the street with her kids - is so they have proof that their mother was actually with them during their childhood.  In the second picture, Anna looks a little concern but was actually quite happy at that particular moment.  The picture of Will is in front of an abandoned store that, back in the day, was Elan, Renee’s art prints and custom framing shop.

Mama and the kids Mama and Anna Will at the Storefront