atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#3056: I feel better now!

I slept until 5, and had some food, and hung up laundry, and watched anime, and had more food, and finally got a f-ing shower. I'm not cranky any longer.

My laundry is turning into a giant pain. What I need to do is to figure out some way to store my clothes when I'm not wearing them. Legend has it that there are these things called dressers and closets which are designed to store clothing, but I am not prepared to abandon myself to myth and fantasy! I need a practical, real-world solution!

...until I manage to do something about making my closets properly accessible, and get the crap out of my dresser so I can put clothes in it, I'm hanging my shirts up downstairs, over the dryer. That will help keep things segregated enough that I should (usually) be able to find what I'm looking for. Getting the shirts hung up has helped a lot; I didn't realize I had so many f-ing shirts. And that's just the nice-looking ones. The work shirts are a whole 'nother problem.

I really need to get after that f-ing basement.

* * *

I was under the impression that the new debt ceiling for the US government was under $15 trillion. If we've hit the debt ceiling again, why aren't we hearing anything about it?

Oh. Quoth Wikipedia:
...the Budget Control Act of 2011, which immediately increased the debt ceiling to $14.694 trillion, required a vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment, and established several complex mechanisms to further increase the debt ceiling and reduce federal spending.

On September 8, 2011, one of the complex mechanisms to further increase the debt ceiling took place as the Senate defeated a resolution to block a $500 billion automatic increase. The Senate's action allowed the debt ceiling to increase to $15.194 trillion, as agreed upon in the Budget Control Act.[45] This was the third increase in the debt ceiling in 19 months, the fifth increase since President Obama took office, and the twelfth increase in 10 years. The August 2 Act also created the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction‎ for the purpose of developing a set of proposals by November 23, 2011, to reduce federal spending by $1.2 trillion. The Act requires both houses of Congress to convene an "up-or-down" vote on the proposals as a whole by December 23, 2011. The Joint Select Committee met for the first time on September 8, 2011.
So there we are: one of the "automatic" increases kicked in, allowing the debt to grow another $500 billion (or $0.5 trillion) solely through a lack of action by Congress.

Remember? Congress had to vote against the automatic raise; and of course none of them is about to do that, because none of them is interested in actually limiting spending to what the federal government receives in tax and other non-debt revenue.

...which is why the debt has quietly been increasing all this time, and which is why we blew right through the original extension to the debt ceiling.

Isn't it wonderful?

* * *

The run through the playlist included Hanasaku Iroha cour #2, with all-new OP and ED.

They suck.

The story is still good, but the new OP and ED are terrible. *sigh* Well, I expected there to be new ones; I didn't expect them to be crummy.

* * *

When I went to K-mart yesterday for cat litter I saw that they had "microfiber" sheet sets for $13, so I grabbed one.

The big problem I have with the sheets that I've got on hand comes from the fact that they're all old, and not made for these extra-thick modern mattresses. A typical mattress used to be about 6" thick, but my last mattress was closer to 9" and the present one is over 12" thick.

The knit sheets I bought while working at Target fit it fine, but they lack the durability of linen; they pilled up and died in pretty short order and not one of the fitted sheets lasted longer than six months. (Well, you get a big hairy guy laying on top of you for eight hours at a time for a couple weeks at a stretch, and you'd probably die pretty quickly, too. I know I would.)

Anyway, so I end up having to put the sheet back on the mattress every so often. These new sheets look like they'll fit fine; I ran 'em through the wash and will apply them to mattress before I go to bed tonight. I'll let you know what the "microfiber" bit is supposed to be about; they certainly didn't feel any softer than regular linen does but maybe there's some other aspect I won't notice until I'm laying on them.

Regardless, $13 for two sheets and two pillowcases is not a bad deal.

* * *

New nuclear reactor type could power the world for 72 years, accounting for increase in demand, USING HIGH-LEVEL NUCLEAR WASTE.

"High-level nuclear waste" meaning SPENT FUEL.

Look: when a conventional light-water reactor requires refueling, the fuel that's removed from it still has 97% of the U-235 in it that it had when it was brand new.

If you accept that a car has a usable lifetime of 100,000 miles, then what we do with nuclear fuel right now is about the same as buying a new car in Los Angeles, driving it across country to New York City, and then parking it forever. For your return trip to LA, you buy a new car and drive it across the country...to park it in LA. Then you buy yet another new car and drive it for 3,000 miles before doing the same thing with it. You'd drive it farther, but there's a gewgaw in the engine computer that reduces the car's performance severely after you've gone 3,000 miles, and the only way to reset it is to change the car's oil. But for the last 30 years oil changes have been illegal because people were worried about environmental contamination and the potential for malicious misuse of used oil.

That's right: you have to buy a new car every 3,000 miles because the oil needs changing.

As simple as it seems, you're not able to change the oil and keep using the car. The government made it illegal to change the oil in cars in 1979; even though the ban's now been lifted, there's no industrial infrastructure to support oil changes any longer, and there hasn't been for thirty years.

(You do have the option of shipping your cars overseas to have their oil changed there. Greenpeace will make such an operation a logistics nightmare if you try it, though.)

So what you end up with--if you like driving--is a huge mound of slightly-used cars that have plenty of miles left in them, but you can't drive them any longer. Soon you end up having a problem, and the very people who made oil changes illegal now point to the huge mound of slightly-used cars and say, "See? See? This is why we oppose cars! Look at all the waste they generate!"

If you suggest that allowing oil changes would alleviate the problem, these people go ballistic. You'd reduce the waste problem from stacks of 3,500-pound cars in perpetuity to gallons of used oil every few months--and in fact the used oil could itself be reprocessed and reused for other things.

Because they're not interested in anything but destroying the automobile industry, though, any thought of making it easier and more efficient to use automobiles is complete anathema to these people. They'll fight tooth and nail to prevent any solution to the problem that is not the total elimination of the auto industry. They aren't interested in solutions; they are interested in outcomes.

*

*sigh* And there I go, retooling the old "slightly used cars" analogy for spent nuclear fuel. But I keep coming back to it because it's such an apt metaphor. It very neatly showcases the stupidity of how we deal with spent nuclear fuel; and I notice that the self-same people who are die-hard against the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel are the biggest proponents of the recycling of everything else.

The hell of it is, though, that it really doesn't have to be like this. Nuclear power is clean, safe, and efficient when it is allowed to be so. The very people who scream the loudest about nuclear power are screaming with equal vigor over coal, gas, and oil power, man-made carbon dioxide, and global warming.

Electricity is an awesome form of energy. It can be controlled with the press of a button; an electric motor doesn't need to idle and consumes no energy when it's not energized. It can power anything you want powered.

The most inefficient use of electricity is its direct conversion to heat; otherwise it does everything very, very well.

Harnessing the atom is--should have been--the end of fossil fuel use for nearly everything. Oh, we'd still have jets burning kerosene and long-haul truckers using diesel fuel; but 99% of the economy would be electric if nuclear power had been able to flourish.

Oh well.

* * *

...I could write a frickin' book and still not say everything in my brain on that subject. But since I'd like to get in a little WoW tonight, I'm going to quit writin' and start hackin'!
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