Mar 16 2010
Feb 12 2010
So I’ve decided to start up my web-based information system project up again. It’s called Kirok and I started doing some pretty heavy work on it a few years ago as an exercise to learn LAMPhp, and got pretty far as getting a good security framework in place and the rudementary blogging logic. I got stuck in analysis paralysis on how to redline documents, and then I got all busy with the college thing so Kirok went the way of the Dodo.
Since I’m looking for a new job, it makes sense to showcase some analytical and programming skills on the web so companies can try-before-they buy. So Kirok lives! Only, this time, I’m going to do it using LAMPerl, so I’m starting over. I’m keeping my MySQL data tables thus far – but after examing them I’ve got the what was I thinking?! blues – so I’m taking it real slow.
I’ll be creating a new page here for the Kirok project until I get Kirok itself bootstraped, and then it will move over there. You can check it out at http://kirok.org.
Please ask me questions.
Jul 07 2009
While researching my previous post regarding how I can’t afford to live in New York, I came across this related article concerning how billionaire Tom Golisano was leaving New York to avoid paying the insane income taxes on the rich – the so-called “Millionaire’s Tax” which increased personal income taxes on those making $500K or more from 6.85% to 8.97% – a tax hike of 30%. While this exodus of the rich is no real surprise – the article has this tantilizing tidbit:
Working Families Party Executive Director Dan Cantor, who championed the tax hike, called Golisano’s move “selfish.”
Which is exactly what Obama said when he was criticized about his open policy for taxing the rich. In other words, if you work hard and innovate and make a lot of money then you are punished with higher taxes, and if you don’t like it, you are vilified as being “selfish.” However, if you don’t work, don’t create jobs (or even have a job,) and/or leach off the public teet, then you’re “underprivileged” and “deserving.” This is just the kind of person Obama speaks to in order to buy votes. Make no mistake, while Obama’s policies seem progressive (the more you have the more you pay) they are really regressive (the less you have the more you end up paying) because all those extra costs being heaped on the top will trickle down to the lowest.
Obama promised not to increase taxes on those making less than $250K a year. He can probably do that by increasing the costs of most everything else. When the punchline is that the government has more of your money, it makes no difference whether it was taken from you through higher taxes or higher fees, cost of living, energy costs, indirect costs from more regulation, corruption, and the list goes on and on.
And now, Al Franken the most liberal idiot to ever defile the airwaves has been sworn in today.
You all should be very, very, afraid.
Jun 27 2009
It seems fitting to quote the late great Jim Croce at this moment, as his ballad clearly states the New York is a fine place to visit but ‘he’s gotta get outta here.” And so must I.
The deal is, quite frankly, that I can’t afford to live here. The New York area is firmly a two-income market. Houses that are 100 years old and upwards of 1000 square feet regularly sell for $400K or more. There are local taxes, state taxes – that are sometimes layered if you work in New York but live in the “tri-state area.” Can you say AMT? I knew you could. Also there are just tons of job openings here – saying loud and clear that no one wants to come here. Predictably the meltdown on Wall Street caused a multi-BILLION dollar short-fall in tax revenue. And even when the financial district recovers, they can carry all the money they lost ahead for the next five years so that tax revenue isn’t coming back any time soon. Also predictably, all governments between the MTA and Albany are figuring out new thing to tax or levy fees to make it up. Everything from taxing health benefits, to reinstate the commuters’ tax, to charging a $.06 fee on those plastic bags from the grocery store. Certainly income and sales taxes will go up. The affluent are already saying ‘New York’s a great place to visit, but I’m tired of paying to live here.” And so it goes.
I do have to say that I love my job – the company is great. It’s great work, with great people, and great benefits. I know definitely that I’m a better programmer and engineer from the experience. The problem is a stark contrast to the quality of the job – I just can’t make enough money to live. Moving my family here would put me solidly on a treadmill, one that I would never recover from.
This part of the country is solidly subject to Elizabeth Warren’s theories detailed in The Two-Income Trap. That is, so many households here have both spouses working that the price of everything has increased to meet that household income, to the point where no one can afford any kind of lifestyle unless both spouses work. So if you want to have a traditional household where the father works and the mother stays home and actually raises the kids (as opposed to the school system) then you’re just plain SOL.
So I’m going back on the job market. I need to find a job in Texas – a place where I have family and things cost something sane.
So, If you’re looking for a top-notch C++ systems level programmer and you’re not in New York – give me a call. I’ve updated my resume and it’s available at the link to the right.
May 15 2009
I love my little crock pot. It has a 1-quart capacity and only one temperature. Lately I’ve been experimenting with various bean mixtures to get one I like. What I’ve found that it’s real hard to mess up beans in a crock pot. What I like to do is setup the mix below the night before, then I put it in the heating element when I leave for work in the morning. Since this crock pot only has one heat setting, I have it plugged into a lamp timer to turn on at 1:30 so it will have a good five hours to cook before I get home in the evening.
Crock Pot Bean Medley
1/4 cup Pinto Beans
1/4 cup Red Beans
1/4 cup Lentils
1/4 cup Black Beans
1 beef bullion cube
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups cold water
Wash the beans well in cold water. Drain. Add all ingredients to the crock pot along with 2 1/2 cups cold water. Cover and refrigerate over night. Cook for five hours or to desired tenderness.
Another easy recipe that I’ve managed to throw together a couple of times with great success is this beef stew. Again, it’s pretty darn hard to mess it up.
Crock Pot Beef Stew
1/2 lb cubed stew meat
1 medium carrot
1 medium potato
1 medium onion (white or yellow)
1 beef bullion cube
1 cup cold water
salt and pepper to taste
Wash and cube the vegitables into 1/2″ pieces. Add all ingrediants to the crock pot and give a little stir. Add 1 cup cold water. Cover and cook in crock pot for five hours or until potatoes are tender.
Mar 28 2009
I spent last weekend at the Robert McKee Story Seminar here in New York City. You may recall that I wanted to do this seminar in Los Angeles last September, but the offshoring bastards I worked for had other plans – in that they layed me off making the whole expense somewhat fiscally unwise, and even though I found new employment in good time, I had no paid days off to attend. An interesting note is that my original flight to L.A. was cancelled becauase of weather, which means I would have missed most of the first day of the seminar anyway.
Mar 28 2009
I must admit, I was nearly persuaded – he almost convinced me. But, as all snakes are, they reveal their true nature given enough time. In this case, time enough was about thirty seconds.
I work for a news agency, and as such I have access to all things news. As I twiddle bits for a living, I have the perk of being able to tune in on news conferences and Congressional hearings live or by tapping into a comprehensive video archive. I decided to do just that and listen to the Obama Internet Town Hall Meeting(tm) in which Obama seemingly took questions from the internet and answered them, with the telecast being streamed live over the internet. Now, understanding that all questions would be hand-picked for answering like the rigged game shows of yore, I didn’t expect much in they way of actual “voice of the people” because Obama would not be presented with any question that he wasn’t briefed, de-briefed, coached, de-coached, folded, stapled and mutilated to answer to the best of his agenda.
Feb 24 2009
What is being lost in all the noise surrounding the mortgage bust are the parties that I believe are truly responsible for the whole thing: real estate agents (realtor.) I make no bones about it, I have hired five realtors in my life and will never again, mostly because in my experience they did two – and only two – things:
1) They listed my house in the MLS database, and
2) Showed up at closing to collect their check.
Feb 23 2009
This shamelessly cribbed from here, but only because I couldn’t do a direct link. Full credit and thanks to David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. Professor of Economics University of Georgia for this gem:
Let’s help Obama out with a little tax lesson, if he can understand this – not sure if he will get it:
A Somewhat Different Version of an Old Story
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
[Editor’s Note: This means that 40% of the people pay no taxes at all, the next 10% pay 1% of all taxes, the next 10% pay 3%, the next 10% pay 7%, the next 10% pay 12%, the next 10% pay 18%, and the top 10% of the richest taxpayers pay 59% of all taxes.]
Feb 21 2009
I recently took in the feature Taken, mainly because it received an insane number of positive votes on IMBD, and I really like Liam Neeson. But since Neeson isn’t exactly the poster child for an action hero, I was interested to see how the claims that the movie “flies by” could be held up. So I went. Glad I did.
On the whole this is a revenge movie – daughter gets taken, dad gets her back. More than this is what I’ll dub a “Dad Flick” – cousin to the “chick flick” and the “guy movie”. In Taken, the dad does what every father secretly fantasizes about what he’d want to be able to do should such a circumstance occur: have the resources and ability to undo the harm, and kill everyone who had a hand in it. Neeson does this – killing quickly, efficiently, without remorse or consideration, and with extreme prejudice. My only complaint is that he kills too quickly – cleanly and professionally – yet it’s up close and personal. He kills at close range – even when using guns, with his targets knowing who he is and why they’re dying. I only hope that when this makes it to DVD that there’s a director’s cut where the targets suffer.