atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4565: Sure, Ed can fix anything!

A guy comes in today needing help, which is not all that unsual. What is unusual is that he spoke only Russian, and no English whatsoever. So who got the call to help him, because no one else could?

In order to communicate with him I fired up Googe Translate and typed what I wanted to say into the thing. I don't imagine it translated it into really proper grammatical Russian but it was enough for him to understand me. Biggest problem was me having to find the right yes/no questions to ask him.

End result, he bought a new WiFi hot spot, and I set it up for him, but it was pretty exhausting.

"Spasiba," I told him when everything was done, thus using up my entire supply of Russian.

"Thank you," he said as he left.


* * *

So, you think that jobs report that came out yesterday is pretty good news, do you?

Karl Denninger explains why it's just more government funny numbers.

And believe me, they're crap numbers. It turns out that only 44% of US adults are employed full time. And "full time" is defined as "working more than 30 hours per week".

Remember when a full time worker put in 40 hours a week? Remember that? That was before Obamacare redefined "full time" as 30 hours per week, back in the dark ages before the Democrats made sure everyone had access to affordable health care, and then the price of health insurance necessarily skyrocketed.

To make things even more entertaining, then, Gallup (which is the organization presenting this unpatriotic and counterproductive statistic) is defining a minimum wage job of 30+ hours per week as a "good" job, which is (as the writer of the post at ZeroHedge points out) is extremely generous. 30 hours a week at $7.25 is a gross paycheck of $218 a week, or $11,316 a year--a bit more than half the poverty line income.

It's therefore easy to infer that the number of American adults who are actually working middle-class jobs with good incomes is well below 44%, which is probably why the median income in America is so perilously low.

...not that a 40-hour week is any great shakes for a minimum wage earner; that's just $15k a year--2080 hours, 52 times 40, because you can't afford to take a vacation when you're earning minimum wage. But $15k is better than $11k.

Not that the elites in D.C. give a rip about any of that; as long as they keep their power and money, they couldn't care less about the plight of the common man.

* * *

This kind of crap has to be stopped. The IRS seized bank accounts of private citizens, without filing any criminal charges against them, because DRUGS!

The accounts were seized for what are referred to as "structuring violations". You see, when you deposit $10,000 in cash, the bank is required to report it to the federal government, because DRUGS MONIES!! The same goes for when you decide to buy something expensive with cash, like a house or a boat or something; the seller is required to report the large cash transaction to the feds, because of course only drug dealers pay cash for large purchases! Carrying around money like that, YOU MUST BE A DRUG KINGPIN!

The way around the reporting requirement is to deposit less than the threshold amount in your bank account. But of course if the feds see you depositing $9k one week, and $7.5k the next, and maybe $8k the week after, well--YOU MUST BE A DRUG KINGPIN THEREFORE THE MONIES ARE DRUGS MONIES and they can be seized under the stupid civil forfeiture laws foisted on us by the War On (some) Drugs.

It doesn't matter why you're moving money around like that; it doesn't matter if it's a perfectly prosaic reason (such as, for example, you run a grocery store, and every few days you deposit thousands in cash to keep your cash-on-hand at a reasonable level. The IRS considers your frequent sub-$10k deposits "structuring" and they will seize your bank account, because JOO R T3H DRUGZORZ! This actually happened.).

It's ridiculous, and it doesn't work; if civil forfeiture worked, the profitability of the drug trade would have declined. Instead it is more profitable than ever, and the occasional civil forfeiture by the drug dealers is simply chalked up to the cost of doing business. Meanwhile the collateral damage--people being wrongly beggared (or buggered?) by the government--is not worth whatever minor good the laws do in restraining the flow of illegal narcotics.

* * *

I watched a lot of YouTube last night, specifically the channel of 1puglife.

This started with me looking at a build video of some guy's sand rail--he paid $100 for the thing, sold the tires for $200, then reconditioned the wheels and put on $20 used tires. He put in an engine and transaxle, then did other jobs, and the three-part video was entertaining. (I was a bit jealous of the guy, being able to put a sand rail together for under $500.)

Anyway, so then I started looking at go kart videos, and then I found this one:

The action happens at about the one-minute mark, and I kept clicking back there and watching it again and laughing my ass off. And I laughed so much at this, I decided to check out the other videos in the channel, and it was funny enough that I kept clicking and clicking.

I notice that the guy never does any of that kind of stunt himself, but gets other people to do them.

The one that made me laugh hardest came near the end of a compilation, where a guy jumped that weird go kart over a refrigerator, and an airbag went off under the appliance, pushing it up into his flight path; when he landed, the...debris cloud...crushed the landing ramp.

Besides the raging stupidity on display, the guy has this unique way of talking, something (I think) affected for the YouTube videos--but then again, having engaged in more than my fair share of neologisms when I was a lad, I suppose he could routinely talk like that. In one video, he gets into his truck and discovers that his GPS windshield mount came loose and the thing is dangling from its power cord. "Oh, man! The sun melted off my nuclear son of a bitch!" I kept trying to get my brain around the way he'd repurposed words and phrases in English, and had only moderate success.

...with the result that today, when a guy presented his dead laptop and I discovered that it was completely nonfunctional, I had to resist the urge to tell him, "Sorry, buddy, but that son of a bitch is dickered. The power supply is totally cheeched."

* * *

Jeep has got bad vibration at speed. Culprit: ice frozen in the wheels. It's supposed to get up near forty tomorrow and Sunday, so hopefully the ice will melt.

* * *

I can't believe it's Friday.

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