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Quote of the Day


College has been oversold. It has been oversold to students who end up dropping out or graduating with degrees that don’t help them very much in the job market. It also has been oversold to the taxpayers, who foot the bill for these subsidies.

Alex Tabarrok
College has been oversold
Marginal Revolution

My son, although just 14, seems fairly clear on what he wants to do as a grownup. He wants to run a small manufacturing concern that builds custom firearms and designs and builds firearms enhancement products (like better triggers).  To do this he will need to know machining, welding, CNC programming, plastic injection molding, as well as math and spreadsheet/analysis skills.  He will also need to design brochures, write business documents, magazine articles, negotiate and build relationships with vendors, customers, and employees, and know how to interpret a balance sheet/income statement.

There is no “college” degree for this.  So is it better for me to drop $40K (or more) on some college degree, or $10K getting training in these fields, and $30K on machinery to start the business, while arranging mentors on some of the business specific things?

Note that paying $40K for an extended adolescence, or letting him borrow for the same, isn’t part of the plan.

Quote of the Day

I am definitely too stupid to understand how corporations steal anything from me. Unless they’re receiving government subsidies, I’m not forced to buy anything they produce. Not like I’m forced to pay taxes. And it’s the government, not the corporations, that claims a monopoly on violence. Only the government can throw you in jail and call it “incarceration” instead of “kidnapping.” I’ve never seen a corporation claim the exclusive right to wage war, but that’s the government’s reason for getting out of bed in the morning.

Jim Goad
Taki’s Magazine

Anything I can’t say no to…whether government, a religion that doesn’t believe in free agency, or my wife… concerns me.

Review: Vlingo Android App


Short:  Pretty useful in quiet environments (out to eat, in office). Doesn’t handle background noise well when driving but can save pesky typing.

I recommend it.


I use my Android phone to talk, text, e-mail, navigate, and search Google for information about something that has come up in a conversation.

Vlingo does a very good job replacing typing in Google searches.  It also handled navigation searches pretty well.

Vlingo does a fair job starting texts and getting the wording right. But not good enough that I would send a text it generates without checking it.

And I wouldn’t let Vlingo anywhere near my e-mail, which I need to be accurate, typo and wrong word free.

I like that it has a one button launch (on my phone the searched button pressed long will launch Vlingo).

Examples that worked for me in a nice quiet environment were:

Today’s weather

weather in new york city

text devin thursday 1pm

launch  angry birds

get directions to Rowdy’s Range

google images christina hendrickson

text paula "how is your trip to NYC going?”

My results varied in a car. In my truck it worked similarly. While riding in a smaller car, with more road noise, it would get it close, but usually miss a word.

All in all, I find it pretty useful and worth installing. I recommend it.

OWS vs Tea Party


Two views on what “government should give”

Ace describes the difference pretty well:

As someone said, both groups don’t like crony capitalism, but OWS wants to keep the cronyism and ditch the capitalism. The Tea Party, the opposite.

That sums it up well.  I, too, don’t like the Wall Street shenanigans, but it only matters when I can’t say NO to it.  I can fire a Wall Street business, except when they are spending government money taken from me, given to them, in return for campaign support.

I really only worry about things I can’t say no too – government being the only large example.

100 + 10 = 99


Good synopsis of government math:

“Evidence illustrates that there is a persistent robust negative relationship between the level (and expansion of) government expenditures and the growth of GDP.  Our findings indicate that a 10% increase in government expenditures as a percent of GDP results in approximately a 1 percentage point reduction in GDP growth.”

Read the whole thing…


“Take this down, Siri, Remind me to buy Helena Flowers”.

So Alexis Madrigal talks to his iPhone 4S, the latest launched this weekend to a 4 million unit (in 2 days) success.

I hope it works that well.  The voice recognition on my Motorola Droid X certainly isn’t that smart. I try it, but it doesn’t recognize particularly well, and the interface to use it is awkward.

Siri came out of Nuance Communications which spun out of SRI back in the early 90’s.  I was in the speech recognition game back then and we all had high hopes that speech recognition would take off as something used by most people.  That hasn’t happened yet.

Perhaps Siri hearkens an age when it will. I’d love to just tell my phone to remember something – and have it work. 

I gave demos like this back in the early 90’s…. but I had a much bigger computer… it certainly didn’t fit in my hand.

BTW: Mashable likes it but says… “work in progress”.

24 Season 1


Amazon Prime Video has the 1st season of 24 streaming for free. I’ve had it on in the background as I did other stuff.  It is amazing how dated it seems. It seemed so “cool” back then.

And I forgot how much I hoped Jack Baur’s wife would get killed.  Boy is she irritating. By design? No idea. I don’t recall her in later seasons so I suspect the show’s producers concluded similarly.

Occupy Kabul

Spot on…

Right now, idealistic young Americans are gathered together to fight injustice and build a better world.

Sure, they’re a little dirty, and maybe some of their language is a bit rough, but they’ve left behind family and friends, as well as the creature comforts the rest of us take for granted, to make a stand for what they believe in.

It’s just too bad that today the mainstream media is focusing on the spoiled, incoherent clowns of Occupy Wall Street and ignoring our young fighting men and women.

Read the whole thing.

Orrin Hatch really wants me to like him



And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my plan to fool gullible Utahans again.

Orrin’s been a changed man since the Tea Party started. Why yesterday he even threw us gun enthusiasts a bone:

Recognizing the need to revamp outdated and restrictive gun laws, U.S Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have introduced the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act. The bill allows for the interstate sale of firearms and removes several antiquated and unnecessary restrictions imposed on interstate firearms transactions.

Well gosh Orrin…you’ve been a Senator what… 30 years? And now, when you face a strong primary challenge, you start to worry about the Constitution?

No thanks. Enjoy your retirement. 

Just pay to hire

Probably not worth $1 an hour to me.

RealClearMarkets ahs an interesting article advocating the ‘negative income tax’ as a way to make 30 million new jobs in 5 years.

Another summer, with job growth lagging population growth? That’s bad. A closer look at the long-term historical data reveals something far more disturbing. We’re 30 million jobs short of full employment. Can we put 30 million people to work in the next five years, and end this economic malaise? Yes, we can.

Basically, you set a minimum wage. But you don’t require employers to pay it. They work a deal with the employee, for, say, a $1 an hour, and the government picks up the difference to the minimum wage.

The author says this would be cheaper than the recent stimulus and would actually put people to work, breaking the chain of long term unemployment.  But I don’t tihnk it would be because the stimulus stops, this doesn’t. And wouldn’t. It amounts to a new government program, and they never stop.

The idea is interesting, but I have concerns.  For instance, what happens when the millions of people currently making $8 bucks an hour, now are fired and rehired for a $1 an hour?

And what do you do with long term people never worth $8 an hour?  Does this replace welfare?

Finally, It seems unlikely that somebody worth $1 an hour to me will miraculously be worth $3 or $4 an hour. People don’t change that fast.

So, keep the ideas coming, but I’ll pass on this one.

Irreconcilable opponents

When asked about Boehner playing golf with Obama,  Hank Williams Junior said this:

“That’d be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.”

I didn’t take the remark as Obama being Hitler. I took it as a round of golf won’t help bring  irreconcilable opponents together. 

I stopped watching Fox long ago. They are better than CNN, but that is like cold dog turds versus the fresh kind.  Oh… I’m sorry, am I calling Roger Ailes dog shit?  Nope you analogy fiends!

Hank Williams, who I consider the honey badger of country music, tried to explain what he meant, but eventually gave up because they don’t care.  

So he did what he does… he pulled his song from ESPN, and he wrote a new song:

You said it Hank!


Now all would be well served if people dumped Hitler analogies, except in the case of actual genocide.  So Williams was dumb in that way, but he wasn’t calling Obama Hitler, and if you think he was then we… your intellect is like Hitler to…. Oh never mind.

What can organized sports provide?

Advice to rip out your enemy’s heart!  And arrive with violence!

They won…

I don’t usually let politics guide my minute to minute thinking, but I couldn’t avoid thinking as I watched this that this coach probably voted for Obama (95% chance), who absolutely doesn’t want to hold his team (our country) to this standard.

Do speeches like this work?  On me, not at all. I wanted to win so badly that nothing coach would say would affect my effort.  I prefer soft spoken coaches that teach. I hope this coach is normally like that.

And of course in golf, tennis and shooting – the major sports in my life (other than baseball), such ranting and raving would be counterproductive to the quiet mental focus needed to avoid unforced errors that dictate who wins or loses.

H/T  Facebook friend

Actually… she’s part of the 49%

That actually pays taxes…


The odd thing is that she posts to a site wanting MORE government.  Could she be so crass as to want more government but not to pay for it?  Hmmm… maybe.

My suggestion… try marriage.  Maybe give  a shot….then all this is HIS problem. (-:

I left college with no debt and excellent job prospects in the worst recession since the depression (the one before this one).  Admittedly we had a President that actually liked the country, so maybe I did have an easier go of it.

Down with Corporations!




Except the ones that make my stuff…

Source: Facebook friend

How engineers tip


Source: Friend via internet

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