Friday, July 21, 2017


We keep getting unordered/unpaid for products from Amazon.  One was a depilatory made in China.  Would you put a chemical on your skin made in China?  Whoops, we confused the sarin and depilatory lines!

Solar Power Made Easy

This company sells a solar system that instead of requiring an electrician, you just plug the output of the inverter into an outlet.  I asked the following questions:

1. Will the power going into that circuit cross the breaker and feed other circuits?  YES.

2.  Will the 110VAC going in that outlet feed 220VAC devices on other circuits?  NO.  Ask for the 220VAC inverter, plug into a 220VAC outlet.

3. Will the 220VAC input into the 220VAC circuit cross over to the 110VAC circuits?  YES.

4. Does the grid-tie require an electrician to install?  YES.  The ones that just plug into an outlet are not grid-tie and do not.

The price is higher than more traditional solar systems, but it does seem to be entirely DIY.  I might hire my ex-Special Forces handyman to put the panels up.  They also sell backup/off-grid systems.  Amazon sells the more expensive systems only.

If the KKK Made This Claim, We Would All Laugh

Algebra is one of the biggest hurdles to getting a high school or college degree — particularly for students of color and first-generation undergrads.
It is also the single most failed course in community colleges across the country. So if you're not a STEM major (science, technology, engineering, math), why even study algebra?
That's the argument Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the California community college system, made today in an interview with NPR's Robert Siegel....
The second thing I'd say is yes, this is a civil rights issue, but this is also something that plagues all Americans — particularly low-income Americans. If you think about all the underemployed or unemployed Americans in this country who cannot connect to a job in this economy — which is unforgiving of those students who don't have a credential — the biggest barrier for them is this algebra requirement. It's what has kept them from achieving a credential.
Essentially, she is arguing that poor people and especially blacks aren't capable of learning algebra.  As a former Poor-American, I reject her claim completely.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

"I'm No Fool"--Jiminy Cricket

Our dishwasher's leaking became so severe last week that we had Cody's Appliance Repair come out and estimate repairs.  It was over $500; the tech said "Go buy a new one."  Which we did; it was cheaper (slightly, including install).  I find it frustrating that most stuff is not designed for inexpensive repair.  Some years ago insurers started pushing car makers to make it easier to repair collision damage.  GM followed the request by making taillight and headlight assemblies more discrete: no need to replace a huge expensive assembly if only a few parts were broken.  Dishwashers need similar redesign and easier access to parts to be replaced.

We are waiting for Home Depot to get our new Samsung dishwasher in, and so I am washing dishes by hand.  As I was reaching into the soapy water, I was suddenly reminded of some safety films from elementary school.  One was a reminder that reaching into an opaque sink and grabbing might well get the sharp edge of a knife.  Each segment ended with Disney character Jiminy Cricket singing, "I'm no fool.  No sirree!  I'm want to live to ninety-three!"  Anyone else remember these?  Did these go away once it was determined that such education might impair nuisance lawsuit filing?

I have labelled this as "history," as a reminder that I am now beginning to remember moderately ancient history.

Portfolio Counter Dow

The Dow dropped today.  Gnashing of teeth and tears right?  No, both my IRA and personal taxable Schwab accounts rose in value, fairly substantially.  Generally, bonds fell in value, but many of my stocks increased in value.  Keep in mind when looking at your portfolio:

1. Checking its value daily will drive you crazy.

2. Just because the Dow Industrials go up or down says nothing about your portfolio.

They Seem Weak on their Concept

California  has banned state-funded travel to states that aren't sufficiently LGBT friendly.  Virginia Postrel points that they missed some much more LGBT-unfriendly places:
California’s intolerance in the name of tolerance is also selective and ethnocentric. It applies only to U.S. destinations. For many LGBT people around the world, living under Texas or Kansas law would be a great liberation. Forget high-profile offenders like Russia. What about Turkey or Singapore? A consistent policy would even deny travel funds for Poland. If the community of scholars can span regimes as diverse as China, India, and Iran, surely it can make room for North Carolina.
Hat tip to Instapundit.

Of course Apple and many other SJW companies treated North Carolina as a pariah over transgender bathrooms, while continuing to do business in Muslim countries, because it is not about the LGBTs but disapproval of conservatives.

Improving Approval of Trump

Instapundit points out the headline is deceptive.  True but misleading:
In May, 82% of Trump voters said they’d vote for him again. In July, it’s 88%. His support has actually increased by 6%. A more accurate headline would be something like Trump’s Base Happier Than In May: Support Rises 6%.
Remember the job of the Democratic Party journalists is to deceive.  Always has been.  I just cannot remember when the level of intentional deception was so obvious.  I smell panic.