atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#2332: "No problem" my [posterior].

Advice Goddess:
I've found that there seems to be an age cutoff in whether people are enraged by "No problem!" as a response to "Thank you." Generally, people over 50 seem to get really ticked off by it.
Well, I'm 43, and I get "really ticked off" when I say "thank you" and I get "no problem" back--at least, when I'm at a restaurant or a store and I'm talking to an employee thereof.

I always want to say, "I'm spending my money here; it better not be a 'problem'." My attitude is summed up nicely by a commentor:
...[I]t is more realistic to be put on notice that I am not welcome to a service or kind action. Usually I already know that I have not created a problem beyond requesting and paying for someone's service in a business establishment they do not own.
The people who say "You're thin skinned if 'no problem' bothers you!" are in fact missing the point: words mean things.

* * *

Meanwhile, the EPA continues to outlaw pesticides which would make a big difference. Yeah. We can't spray to kill poisonous spiders because some liberal will have a hissy fit. It's much better to expose young children to potentially deadly spider bites. After all, the spider is just doing what comes naturally, right?

Argh

* * *

BTW I saw a black widow for the first time last week when I went to cut the grass. There was one on the inside of the shedlet. It got away before I could squish it, damn it all.

* * *

Yes, there are too many damn laws, and lots of them are idiotic. The federal government has far too many ways to ruin your life.

* * *

Missing from this story is whether or not the guy who had the gun had legal right to carry. In defense of the site it's pro-life not pro-carry, but it'd be a useful piece of information: was the guy who brandished the gun legally allowed to carry one?

(The story actually cites two instances, and neither one mentions the carry laws of the state in question nor does it say whether or not the guys could legally carry. I'd like to know.)

What I do know is that brandishing a gun is a major-league no-no. Showing someone that you are carrying a gun is normally considered "brandishing".

You don't draw a gun you're not going to fire, and you don't fire a gun if you're not intent on wounding someone or something. That's just the way it is; and that's why just showing someone your concealed carry weapon (legal or not) is a big deal.

* * *

So my health insurance went up 20% in one quarter of 2010. It's probably going to rise another 12% next year.

That 20% rise hit on the last payment for 2010, so in all probability my very next payment will be 12% higher than that.

Thanks, Obama! Thanks, Democrats!

STOP HELPING

* * *

China controls 95% of the rare earth metals market.

Rare earth metals have some incredibly useful properties. Okay, like platinum, for instance: platinum is why you can recycle a catalytic convertor for $30-$90: there's about that much platinum in the ceramic material that actually converts pollutants to less-polluting compounds. It works because platinum is a whore, chemically speaking; the right platinum compounds will promote chemical reactions by temporarily combining with various chemicals and bringing them together to react. Then the products of the reaction float away, leaving the platinum compound unchanged. (Look up "catalyst" for a more thorough explanation.)

But platinum ain't the only one we find useful. Neodymium makes for super-strong magnets, and a lot of consumer electronics rely on them. The speaker in your iPhone, for example; made from an ordinary ferrous material, it would have to be 2-3-5-10 times the size.

Iridium, osmium, palladium, you name it--every one of them has properties which make them incredibly useful for all kinds of things.

Problem is, though, that mining and smelting rare earth metals is a pretty nasty business. Well, mining and smelting is dirty, anyway; even aluminum makes a mess. You can't have the metals without the mess; that's just how it is.

Here in the US, thanks to the EPA and the econazis and the NIMBYs, mining and processing anything that might make a mess is prohibitively expensive. (The federal government has ruled huge swaths of land to be "off limits" to any kind of mineral exploitation, which doesn't help.)

China, however, has no such regulation. The government runs everything and the citizens can't protest, so basically anyone with the right connections can do anything no matter how dirty it is. End result: China exploits its natural resources while everyone else is just sitting on theirs. And so China ends up controlling 95% of the active supply of rare earth metals: even if people in the US decide to exploit our resources, they still can't supply refined metal at anything like market price, because China can produce it so much cheaper.

* * *

Forget time-traveling nazis; now we have time-traveling TEA PARTIERS!

Yeah, the TEA parties caused the Kent State shooting in 1970.

By the way, I need to find that article again which discussed how certain leftists at the protest sparked the shootings by firing guns at the National Guardsmen who were there to keep order.

That's right: the National Guard was returning fire.

* * *

Boortz on the stupid "magazine major" (read: "useful idiot") who absorbed all the leftist crap spewed by her university professors and who is now dutifully spewing it out again.

* * *

More on Mondale critizing Obama for using teleprompters too much. Of course, by now we all know that Obama needs the teleprompter, that he cannot give a coherent speech without one. So Mondale's advice is going to go unused.

* * *

The United States fought an internecine war over states' rights. Do not expect this modern resurgence of interest in upholding the 10th Amendment to go unchallenged.

If there's a second revolution in the US (or civil war) expect it to come from the issue of states' rights versus an overweening federal government.

* * *

A lot of folks are talking about this: a guy in rural Tennesee slugged the fire chief after the fire department let his parents' house burn down.

At the core of the issue was the $75 annual fee rural residents must pay if they wish to be covered by the nearest fire department. The people whose house was allowed to burn to the ground had not paid this fee.

Homeowner: "I thought they'd come out and put it out, even if you hadn't paid your $75, but I was wrong."

Translation: "I'm not going to pay anyone any $6.25 per month just in case my house catches fire, but if it does, I'm going to expect them to put it out regardless."

Alternate translation: "Yeah, I'm a freeloader."

Midwest Chick: "It's called 'personal responsibility.'"

There will, of course, be a lawsuit over this. It's "unfair" that some people are protected when others aren't. It's "wrong" that the fire department can just let a house burn down.

No blame will be assigned to the idiots who couldn't be bothered to shell out six freaking bucks a month to pay for fire protection. Even though they're the ones who are at fault.

* * *

Last night (technically, this morning) I started dubbing To Aru Kagaku no Railgun to DVD.

I'd forgotten how good it is. The animation--damn. The story--damn. Kiyama sensei--damn. Especially in her "stripping woman" phase.

Hard to believe her breasts are smaller than Konori-senpai, who is still in high school. I mean dang:



In order: Mii Konori-senpai, Harumi Kiyama-sensei, Ruiko Saten (yay!), Mikoto Misaka, Kazaki Uiharu, Kuroko Shirai, Mitsuko KongouKomoe Tsukuyomi-sensei.

(Text translation:"<--big--------To Aru Kagaku no Railgun--------small-->")

Ruiko is about half of Kiyama-sensei's age, yet she's #3? Holy crap.

Yes this is important. What part of "otaku" do you still not get?

...the anime never makes plain just how old Tsukuyomi-sensei is. In To Aru Majutsu no Index we see her apartment, littered with beer cans and overflowing ashtrays, suggesting that she's easily over 20 years of age. Is she supposed to be a little person, or is she some kind of genetic "sport" which has led her to appear to be about 10 years old in perpetuity?

(No, don't tell me. Someday I hope to read the light novels behind all this.)

Anyway, I really like Kiyama-sensei.

* * *

...whatever movie Mom is watching features a car with a horn that plays "La Cucaracha", and it's reminded me of my filk song "Curry Taco".

See, I was watching some cooking show years ago--when I lived in Iowa--and it was about curry, and the guy on the show mentioned making "a curry taco". Mexican food has a bad enough reputation without adding curry to it.

Result:
A curry taco! A curry taco!
A curry taco for your gut!
A curry taco! A curry taco!
It's gonna shoot out of your butt!

A curry taco! A curry taco!
It's gonna cause you some distress
A curry taco! A curry taco!
The bathroom's gonna be a mess!

(bridge)

A curry taco! A curry taco!
Even though it's made of meat
A curry taco! A curry taco!
The reaction won't be neat!
It's completely juvenile and stupid, yes. But at the time, I laughed my ass off; and to this day it still makes me giggle from time to time.

In fact, that song lends itself to all sorts of new lyrics, most of which I come up with and forget as easily as breathing.

My Dad was not given to much creative expression, yet it's from him that I get this distressing tendency to sing songs like that, with impromptu lyrics.

The best one I ever heard him sing was a play on "76 Trombones", sung when he was experiencing some frustration over one project or another:
Sonofabitch Trombones led the big parade!
A hundred and ten bullshits fired the guns!
He was in a bad mood so I didn't dare laugh my ass off at the time, but it still makes me laugh when I think about it.

* * *

And Rockauto issued a credit for the core I sent to them last week. Whee!

I expected them to, even though I'd foolishly tried to disassemble and repair the thing myself. It's still rebuildable, anyway.

* * *

Next up, I need to get a wiring kit for the Jeep's trailer hitch. An actual hitch would not be going too far, either, considering that a receiver is useless without some kind of load-carrying device.

The problem with the hitch is pretty minor: how much of a drop do I need? I don't even know. 3" would probably be fine, but I don't want to buy one and find out I need more (or less) drop. If I'd kept the one from Dad's van it wouldn't be an issue, I suppose, but I wasn't thinking about a trailer hitch for the Jeep last year (when I cleaned it out prior to its donation to some charity) as anything other than a distant theoretical purchase. Besides, the van's receiver was a lot lower than the Jeep's is. (I think.)

I do still want to take the hitch off and clean it up a bit, and repaint it. Also, I want to slather the bolts with anti-seize.

If I could manage to get my sleep schedule slewed around maybe I might actually accomplish some of this nonsense. *sigh*

* * *

So now we're in the part of the year where:

a) We have the heat on
b) It's too cold to open a window
c) It's hot in my room.

In a month, or six weeks, I'm going to be freezing my ass off in here and wishing it was this warm. Once the daytime temperature consistently falls below about 40-ish, this room will turn into an icebox.

*sigh*

* * *

Of late I've been thinking about how to convert my parts washer to use a solvent that can actually, y'know, dissolve grease. Kerosene works very well for this.

Actually converting the thing to use a sump (instead of containing all the solvent inside the washer) won't be hard to manage. Sealing the hole in the side where the present pump is won't take much work, either. The real sticking point is the pump. What I need is a solvent-safe pump, preferably one that can be run off AC; but I have no idea where to buy one.

Then I had a thought: an automotive fuel pump is designed to pump flammable liquid safely. One for a big V8 should be able to move enough solvent to run a parts washer. The hard part is powering the thing.

Auto battery and a battery charger. Some wiring and a switch.

Hmm.

Excluding the fuel pump, everything else I need that I don't already have could be had from a hardware store for not a lot of money. The only part that would cost a lot would be the fuel pump itself; and if I'm careful I could probably find one that's both inexpensive and powerful enough to do the job.

(Heck, a little research and a trip to a boneyard....)

See, if you look up generic fuel pumps on-line you find that you could buy a whole new parts washer (one made to deal with solvent) for less than the price of a new fuel pump. And for the price of some of these damn things you could pay Safety-Kleen to service the solvent every month for a year on top of it!

What happened to the generic aftermarket replacement electric fuel pump? Once I needed one for the MGB (thought I needed one) so I went to Giant Auto and all they had was a $30 "vibrator" type.

...so finding a boneyard fuel pump which works may be my only option, and it's not an option I like. *sigh*

On the other hand: I seem to recall that we did, after all, replace the fuel pump in the MGB once. Those British-Leyland fuel pumps are weird (they have points) but they can be rebuilt pretty easily--in fact I resurrected the MGB's fuel pump in 2004 simply by following the rebuild procedure in the Haynes manual. If we do indeed have another pump for that car sitting around, I could use that one.

I'll have to look for it. And think some more about all this, because I don't know if I like having a 5-gallon can of kerosene sitting around.

(And what do I do with the stuff after it becomes too contaminated to use as a solvent?)

* * *

Dang, it's after 9 already. It was 5-ish just a few minutes ago....
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