Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Are :They Watching You?

One of the newest ploys comes in the form of road taxes. They would like to install a GPS system in every car. The goal they say is to tax people proportionately to the amount of driving they do and where they do it. They even are focusing on when they do it. Driving during heavy congestion could cost you more.
The basic plan says that those who use the congested roads should pay more for the pollution and congestion that their presence cause. The problem is that the GPS system doesn't end here. If it can report where you are and what you are doing during rush hour, what about all the other times of the day. There is no where on the planet that you can go that they won't know where you are or where you may be.

Is this the freedom that was granted us by our fore fathers?

Not only is the government looking for a new method of taxing us, but it is investing heavily in controlling us as well. They will know everywhere you have been and how fast or slow you got there. They can set rates and monitor your every motion. Popular streets could be great revenue builders and unpopular streets could also be great revenue builders. Looks like any street and the right mix of BS could be a revenue earner for the Government.

This system is a direct attack on freedom and a method to further rob the people of their hard earned money. A system focused on freedom would look totally different.

If you want to reduce congestion create incentives for employers to vary their start and stop times. Reducing your cooperate tax rate if your employees can work from home or come in on off peak hours will decrease congestion and distribute the flow over more hours of the day. The bulk of business hours are 7am to 6pm. Encouraging business to work off these hours with tax incentives would be a great start. Targeting start and stop times away from 7am to 9am would greatly reduce congestion and pollution.

These types of incentives would encourage the freedom of choice. The Big Brother effect would not be felt under this type of system. If someone is thinking about congestion taxing suggest creating incentives such as I outlined above. As long as they continue to embrace only one solution our freedoms are in jeopardy.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow is Falling

It is kinda strange having snow on the ground this time of year. Before you think I am crazy, I live in the northwest where a good deal of the winter is rain. We don't usually get any snow till late January.
I am not much of a snow fan. I lived in Colorado for a number of years and enjoyed a lot of snow. Maybe enjoy isn't the operative word here. Let's say I shoveled many driveways and dug out many homes. I got my fill of snow early. I have no interest in ever shoveling another flake of snow. I could move farther south, but I don't like the heat much either.
Here in the Western Regions of the Pacific Northwest we have lush tropical valleys with misty rains and lots of vegetation. We don't see the suns full glow more than a hundred days a year and we average only 4-5 days with measurable snow.
This year we have over an inch of snowfall before Christmas. It is very strange with Global Warming and all. With the way Al Gore has been talking, I shouldn't have even seen a flake this year. Yet here I am shoveling off the driveway and getting ready for another storm to come rolling in.

Merry Christmas Everyone. Looks like even I will have a white Christmas this year.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Have You Ever Hated a Toilet?

Since we moved in to this house, I have been unclogging toilets about 4-5 times a week. The routine was getting old and I was getting annoyed.
Finally, I came home one night and all the toilets were plugged (3). That was it. I said no more I don't care what it costs. You see, the toilets were made with a triangle drain hole rather than round. Every time you tried to plunge them the shit would jet out of the corners into the air and cover you and the whole bath room. They don’t make a triangle plunger. I checked. Having all three plugged after a 12 hour day that was really bad was more then I could handle. We spent that night reading reviews and looking at options. Christmas was only weeks away and this could destroy the budget.
Let me offer you a little hint on how to deal with a plugged toilet. Place the plunger in the bowl. Get out the saran wrap and cover over the bowl allowing only enough space for the handle to stick out. Make sure it is fully sealed all the way around the bowl. You can then plunge without slinging muck all over you and your bathroom. Simply peal it off and throw it away.
The next day the wife had the morning off so I took her to George Morlan Plumbing to pick out toilets. We found this wonderful guaranteed to flush Toto. They cost $300 each plus lid and ring and hose. Buying all three would net me a 30% discount. The total came to $910. I packed them into my magnum. I told the wife we could copy the receipt and give it to the kids for Christmas as a stocking stuffer. I got one of those looks.
I went to install them the next morning starting with the lower bathroom. I made quick work of taking the old one apart and hauling it out to the garage. I opened up the new box and brought the new one in. The wax rings were left in the garage so they were rock hard. I need them soft and pliable and a hot water bath would do the trick. I carefully cleaned the whole area so everything would be nice. Given what happen with the previous toilet, it needed scrubbing.
I put the wax ring on the toilet and went to put it in place. Some idiot had put the water valve in the wrong place. The water valve is supposed to be 4"-12" off left center the drain. Mine was dead center the drain and sticking out 3" from the wall. The toilet I have only has a 2" gap. It wasn't going to work. I had two options; I could try and find a different toilet or try to move the plumbing.
I called GMorlan and explained my problem. They had never had this problem before. 30years in business and I got to be the lucky one. They said they would talk amongst themselves and try to come up with a solution. They would call me back in 30 minutes. I don't know if you have ever done or been at a toilet install but this is usually a 1-2hr job. I started at 9:10a.
I loaded one of the unopened toilets into the car. I went back in and measured all the other toilets. The master was 2.5" off center. The main was 15" off center. I guess they were making up for the others. The main also had its drain in the wrong spot. I figured I could install the other 2 with minor adjustments but the down stairs was going to be a major problem.
I turned off the water to the bathroom and took apart the valve for the water to the toilet. I wonder if they make a sideways compression fit valve. That would get me down to 2".
GMorlan called back and said that toilets are made to sit much closer to the wall and all the toilets but one mounted closer than 3". They had one that at best they could tell would be exactly three inches. Could I alter the plumbing? I asked them about the sideways valve idea. They said they might have something I could use to extend it over. They install 1000’s of toilets and couldn't find anyone who has actually used one of these kits. They said it might be worth a try.
So off to GMorlan to look at my options. GMorlan is in 30 minutes away.
The only toilet that they had that might work was $500. The kit was $30. I asked to see the toilet so I could measure it myself. I got 3.125". Given my situation they said they would give me a big break on this toilet. After my sales guy had talked to everyone about my problem the manager said he would let me have the toilet at cost. I only needed to come up with an additional $71. I exchanged the toilets. It was going to be tight but I didn't think I needed the kit.
When I arrived back home it was 1:30p.
The toilet was one of those fancy skirted models that hide everything behind it. I had a custom install on my hands. New mountings and other considerations. It took me an hour to prep the install. Not like any I had done before. It fit perfectly. I had .125" extra when all was said and done. To my surprise it was a push button toilet. I really hadn’t looked at it. I was focused on the problem. Unfortunately the long rods for setting the button height were missing. It didn't flush. If I held the button down it would flush eventually.
I called Gmorlan back and emailed them the step in the instructions about the rods I don't have. They said they would mail them too me right away. My improve skills went into high gear. I had short rods. They were only a quarter inch to short..........
I dug out some #6 pan head screws. Drilled some holes in the rods and screwed in the screws until the stuck out a quarter inch. I replace the rods in the mechanism. Perfect flush every time. I did it. It was 4:10p. I had installed one toilet. It had only taken seven hours.
The others were a snap after that. I only had to go to the hardware store for an extension pipe. I had the rest done in 3 hours. What a day.
The true beauty of it all, whenever we flush it goes down. I have slam proof seats. They slowly put themselves down. I haven't plunged in over a week. I spent $1000 on toilets. I am much happier. Now what should I do about Christmas?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Clear Vision of the Economy

Thanks Fred.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

It Is All Up to Us Now

Across this nation people are starting to believe the liberal media. They are starting to believe conservative values are dead and liberal values are to be embraced.

It is high time conservatives stand up and demand representation. The media labeled GW as a conservative to further their cause. He is a centralist with a couple conservative leanings. His one world government focus, war policies and amnesty dreams with the media labeling him a conservative has done almost irreparable damage to our nation. Many conservatives have been questioning their positions. If GW is a conservative how can I.....

True conservatives and true conservative values clearly stand out. All we need is a few with the guts to run. We need to clearly define and hold fast to conservative values. The media is going to continue to peddle their anti-conservative agenda and we must counter it with person to person activism. When you clearly state what conservatives believe you will see a lot of head nodding. We haven’t lost our way only our voice.
If we want to take America back and restore family values and conservative thinking we are going to have to promote it. Sitting back and waiting for someone else to do the work isn’t going to cut it. All the modern forms of mass communication are pretty much owned by the liberals. You would be hard pressed to find a TV program that doesn’t promote liberal values or cut conservative ones. The news papers devote the bulk of their print to tearing down the family and the conservative value system. The Music Industry promotes violence, hate and personal pleasure. The only thing we got going is conservative radio and it is being attacked as I write. Half the churches in America are afraid to preach from the bible out of fear of government intrusion and lawsuits.
It is going to take individual efforts to restore America and return confidence back to conservative values. Start with the people you are around every day. The bandwagon approach is usually a good tool to open conversation and remove conflict. Go and read THE PLATFORM OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE and start incorporating it into your daily discussions. Start waking America to what unites us and begin restoring We The People.

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