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Campus Chatter – September 20, 2012

September 20, 2012

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Campus Chatter – September 20, 2012

Today in history, greetings, and social banter here. (More)

The Great Prussian Uprising began today (1260). Also, Ferdinand Magellan set sail on his voyage to circumnavigate the globe (1519), Diego de Montemayor founded the city of Monterrey, Mexico (1596), Brazil’s War of the Ragamuffins broke out (1835), the American Association for the Advancement of Science was founded (1848), the Italian Unification was completed (1870), President Chester Arthur was inaugurated after the death of James Garfield (1881), the British Parliament passed the South Africa Act creating the Union of South Africa (1909), the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was launched (1967), Hurricane Irene became Hurricane Olivia after crossing Nicaragua into the Pacific (1971), Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in The Battle of the Sexes tennis match (1973), Australia introduced her capital gains tax (1985), and 125 people died in the Kolka-Karmadon rock-ice slide (2002). And the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy ended (2011).

Good morning! ::hugggggs::

67 Responses to “Campus Chatter – September 20, 2012”

  1. NCrissieB Says:

    Yesterday on Campus

    Morning FeatureNutshell: Why Romney’s 47% Remarks Matter
    Midday Matinee – addisnana with Blue Language
    Campus QuestionWas Chicago teacher’s strike a model for labor negotiations?
    Our EarthEasy Consumer Recycling of Technology

    Today on Campus

    Morning FeatureWhite House Burning, Part I: In Each Other We Trust
    Noontime News at noon
    Midday Matinee – triciawyse with Fursdai Furries
    Campus Question at 6pm ET
    Our Earth at 8pm ET – New Holographic Windows on Disease, Fertility and More

  2. winterbanyan Says:

    I awoke to see this headline this morning:

    GOP to Jobless Vets: Drop Dead

    Senate filibuster wrecked bipartisan legislation that would have helped about 20,000 vets find jobs. Coburn seems to think the debt is more important than the vets.

    I’m seething. We gotta throw these bums out.

    Hugggs, everyone.

    • Gardener Says:

      Oh but these wonderous flag-wrapped s.o.b.’s are the party of true patriots, doncha know?

      The TGOP antics shouldn’t be surprising to us anymore. The lack of response from our fellow citizens should be though…….

      Disgusting! Shameful! Un-American!

      • winterbanyan Says:

        I agree with all your epithets, Gardener. I’d like to add some stronger ones but we try to be family-friendly. The GOP, however, are not family-friendly. They need to slither back under their rocks. They revolt me beyond words.

    • trs Says:

      The bit about the debt is a red herring. The bill was completely paid for with new revenues. To show you how bad it was, there was a TGOP co-sponsor of the bill. A lot of his ideas were in it. He voted against the bill.

    • NCrissieB Says:

      ::mutter mutter mutter mutter mutter::

      No, I won’t translate, except to say the word “shameful” was in there somewhere.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  3. Norbrook Says:

    Good morning! It’s currently a very chilly 33 degrees and foggy here. It’s supposed to be nice, but at the moment it’s hard to tell. Yesterday was one of those days that makes you wonder why you said “yes” to being a supervisor. I sent my staff into town pick up supplies, including specifics that I wanted concrete. They returned with mortar. :cry: Which led to a discussion on the difference, and sending them back to get the right materials. My assistant was taking a vacation day, so I spent most of the day out working alone. Besides getting the fire ring site prepped, I also went ahead and just finished up several other projects. Today’s project list is “cast the damn fire ring” and “dig a few holes.” ;-)

    • winterbanyan Says:

      Digging a few holes ought to work off some frustration. :) I’ve made mistakes like that. Last year I came home with tile adhesive when I wanted grout. Darn containers were next to each other and looked the same. Grabbed and ran. Never wise.

      Maybe that’s what happened?

    • NCrissieB Says:

      Sounds like a busy, active day, Norbrook. Just the ticket to rinse out the stress of “actually by ‘concrete’ I meant … well … concrete.” On the other hand, I’m not surprised they didn’t know the difference. Most people don’t until someone explains it.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  4. winterbanyan Says:

    Had a scare a couple of days ago. Started seeing flashing in the peripheral vision of my left eye. I knew what this could mean and websearch confirmed it: possible retinal detachment. Since repairing a retinal detachment costs $25K, I figured I was going to just sit here and go blind.

    By the next morning, I was truly panicking so I called my cataract surgeon. After all, he’d been reasonable about the charge for my cataract surgery, he has retinal surgeons on staff and the facilities as well, maybe we could work something out.

    He wouldn’t even see me. “Go to TGH emergency room. They have to take care of the uninsured.”

    Well, walking through the door of an emergency room costs about $500 before you finish signing the papers and before you get any treatment or exam, and I don’t have that right now. No way was I going to do that unless I was certain it was medically necessary. Finally I got struck with inspiration and went to a local optometrist.

    Amazing, he didn’t ask if I had insurance, he didn’t ask if I could pay. He swept me right into his exam room, making other patients wait. I explained the situation, he shook his head when he heard the surgeon wouldn’t even see me, then did the exam.

    I’m glad to report I have a posterior vitreous detachment, a common thing as we get older, and even more common when you’ve had cataract surgery. I’m seeing the world through spider webs now (it’ll take about 4 weeks to settle and stop) but it’s not a disease process and needs no treatment. The relief was huge, and all because one man was more concerned about a patient than insurance.

    I paid for the exam, of course. I would have paid the damn surgeon for one, but he didn’t give me a chance.

    I am much relieved, but as my eldest son said, “There is something seriously wrong when you’re surrounded by doctors and you can’t go see one.”

    My partner remarked, “That thing about doctors being in it for money? Uh, yeah.”

    Well, one doctor wasn’t. He gave me peace of mind. Bless him.

    Good morning, and more hugggs.

    • Gardener Says:

      Mebbe bake that guy a pie?

      • winterbanyan Says:

        If I had ever baked a pie in my life, I would probably do so. I need to find another way to express my gratitude, although I was vociferous about it, even in the lobby where everyone could hear. :) Man, did I compliment his skill and professionalism and kindness. I’m supposed to return in a month for recheck. I’ll think of something by then.

        • Gardener Says:

          Mebbe a nice thank you note then, in the meantime???

          BTW, listened to NPR on the way back from my buddy’s place, they say new polling shows BHO up by 8%……. Dang!

          I’m thinking the 47% crapola has put the hurt on Willard……. ;-)

          • winterbanyan Says:

            Even my brother, who flip-flops a little, is so disgusted with Romney at this point it’s amazing. He tried to tell me the other day that he thinks inside Romney is a better person.

            I hit him with the 47% and who they were, and said, “I can’t read the man’s mind. I have to go by what he says and does.”

            My brother comes back with, “Just saying he might be a better person than he seems, but it’s obvious he’s being controlled, so eff him.”

            My thought… Um, nobody is controlling that man. If they were, he’d be doing a better job of talking the talk instead of blowing himself up.

            • Gardener Says:

              Wow! No (compost)! You’d imagine he’d have some campaign consultants to keep him from screwing up all the time……. ;-)

              • addisnana Says:

                This is now like slowing down at an accident and gawking. Mitt is a slo-mo train wreck.

                My fear is that he’s so bad and Obama has a nice lead that some lazy Democrats might decide their vote isn’t needed. If you don’t want four years of a train wreck we still need to GOTV.

                • trs Says:

                  Iriti has had a couple people at work come up to her and ask if they can vote and not vote for a Presidential candidate. These are people that would never vote for President Obama, no matter what. So, in that scenario, the President may not be gaining a vote, but Mittwit is losing votes steadily. However, you are right. We still need to keep up the GOTV effort.

                • winterbanyan Says:

                  Absolutely too early to sit on our laurels. You are so right, addisnana.

          • NCrissieB Says:

            Yesterday Nate Silver reported that President Obama’s lead is significantly stronger – 83% favorite leading by 4.1%, vs. 75% favorite leading by 2.9% – in polls that use live operators and include cell phone numbers. Silver also has Democrats a 79% favorite to retain the U.S. Senate (but with only a projected 52-48 majority).

            But let’s assume that 75% favorite number is correct for President Obama, making him a 3:1 favorite. In poker, that’s like holding two black Queens against the Ace and King of Hearts, when the flop was the Ten of Spades, Six of Diamonds, and Deuce of Clubs. In that situation, you would be a 3:1 favorite – and I’d much rather have the pair of Queens – but there are still two more cards to come and three Aces and three Kings that could leave you feeling sick.

            In the election, one of those “cards to come” is voter turnout, and we can improve our odds with energetic GOTV work. I’d rather be doing that work as a 3:1 favorite (for President Obama) and a 4:1 favorite (for the Senate) than as a 3:1 or 4:1 underdog. But we still need to do the work … or risk that sick, sinking feeling when that Ace or King turns up….

            Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • glendaw271 Says:

      I’m so glad that you’ve found out what it is, winterbanyan. And that you’ve found an optometrist who cares more for the patients than the money.

      • winterbanyan Says:

        Thanks, Glenda. The relief was so amazing I was practically dancing on air. But I was so impressed that this man didn’t even hesitate. It was a potential emergency and he dealt with it no questions asked.

        I’m definitely going to find a way to express my appreciation.

    • LI Mike Says:

      Winter…very sorry to hear about that saga. Hope your vision clears soon. Not to make you feel bad, but the safety net hospital I called employer for many years would have charged you based on income and family size. For a visit to one of our clinics the minimal fee was $7, the max fee…get this: $28.

      • winterbanyan Says:

        The closest we come to that is our local catholic hospital. They have a sliding scale depending on income, etc. But they don’t, according to my surgeon, have a opthalmologist on staff who can do such surgery. Only one hospital. I don’t know how they handle it, but maybe I’d better find out.

        Thanks for the info, Mike.

      • NCrissieB Says:

        I don’t know if we have a hospital like that around here, Mike. I wish we did. People should not go blind because they can’t afford insurance or to pay for retinal surgery out-of-pocket.

        Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • addisnana Says:

      What a relief for you with your eye! Maybe a “thank you” poster that he could hang in the lobby would be cool. As a writer I bet you could compose a wonderful tribute. Stories like this are both maddening (cataract surgeon) :roll: and so inspiring (good guy optometrist). :grin:

    • NCrissieB Says:

      Great news on what it isn’t, winterbanyan. I’m glad the optometrist took care of you, and share your frustration with the ophthalmologist who wouldn’t … especially as he’d done your cataract surgery.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  5. Gardener Says:

    Good morning!

    Found this gem of a sig line over at teh GOS. “In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.” H.L. Mencken

    Busy trimming trees by the woodpile yesterday. Pulled all the T-posts that hold the stacks in place, they need a re-do. Figuring to order a truckload of rock for that area and re-set the posts. Will give me a better working area. There are 2 woodpiles there, arranged so that, when both are full, you have a 90 degree angle and shelter from both the north and the west wind. Makes a nice spot for a bit of sunshine and a cup of coffee…..:)

    Did some cultivating in the garden. Right now we’re getting summer squash, green beans, ‘maters, peppers, and watermelon. The spinach, lettuce, and radish plants are small, but looking good. The brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower transplants are very healthy, seems like. Oh, and I tied the peas to their fence, they were going astray!

    The afternoon brought a visit from an former co-worker. She came for squash, and jumped at the chance for a sign to tout our S.A. candidate. She and her husband, like me, worked with his dad in the mine. She said that the local Republicans had erected a sign right opposite her place, and she wanted one to counter theirs. I fixed her up! We put up one of our big ones, a 4 X 6! Made her very happy, and me too!

    Have a decent day!

    Best, G

    • winterbanyan Says:

      Sounds like another great day, Gardener. And making that sunny spot out of the wind so you can enjoy coffee is important. I love it when the weather’s nice enough that I can sit outside and enjoy what I call “my cathedral.”

      Great news about your former co-worker and her sign. Hah! I love it!

    • NCrissieB Says:

      Thank you for your activism, Gardener, and so cool that you helped out your former colleague with that big huge sign. Are you and the candidate still canvassing or have you mostly covered the area already?

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • Gardener Says:

        We’ve completed my precinct and the precinct next door in the towns proper. The rural areas we didn’t do……… He has a mailing coming up though, and I am considering doing my precinct rural area closer to the election. There is a flurry of sign erection now, but as one wag at the Dems meeting said, “Signs don’t vote!”

  6. trs Says:

    Good morning. 43 outside, 65 inside – had to turn the heat on. I’ll have to remember to turn it on at night. Predicted high of 73 today.

    Iriti is trying to go back to work today. She’s still not 100%, but she wants to give it a shot. We’ll see how it goes.

    Bought a new toy yesterday – a water level. It’s used for leveling things out that are a distance from each other, and can be used for two points up to 100′ away from each other. I am going to use it to level the siding on the south (door openings) side of the garage. I figure it will also come in very useful when building the house, so it’s $30 well spent. Once I get the south side siding on, things will come to a halt until the digging/landscape work is done on the east side. I’m not siding the east side until that work is done. I need the ground dug away from the slab on that side, plus the digging itself could possibly do serious damage to any siding I put up there. Oh, and it turns out I have to order the gable vents – you can’t find any triangular gable vents in stock around here – it’s either square, rectangle, or octagon – none of which would look right on this garage.

    • Gardener Says:

      Water levels are handy for lots of projects. My buddy had one, and we used it quite a bit. I aspire to a tripod level, already have a rod for measuring. Don’t need a transit really, a level will do the trick!

      • trs Says:

        Kidlet got to learn how to use a transit yesterday in her carpentry class. I’ve never used one. I have thought about getting a laser level.

      • addisnana Says:

        If I was sent to the hardware or home improvement store to buy any of the items mentioned in your comment I would be at the mercy of the store personnel. I know what a level is, beyond that I am clueless. I do know that having the right tool is important.

        • trs Says:

          A water level is basically a hose with a sensor at one end. You set the sensor at your mark for where you are calling your level, and you take the other end of the hose to where you need to find your level. You then slowly move the hose up or down until the sensor at the other end beeps to tell you that you are level. You then make your mark where the top of the water is in the hose. You can do the same thing with two people and a hunk of tubing, but this way one person can do it by himself.

          • addisnana Says:

            Thank you for the explanation. I can see where a water level would be handy for hanging siding. I love walking through hardware or home improvement stores and thinking how very clever the inventors of the tools must be. I also wonder how people built things in “the old days” before some of these things were invented. If I had to find shelter I think I’d start looking for a cave rather than building a hut.

    • winterbanyan Says:

      This was for me a very informative description of what you’re doing, trs. I learn a little just from reading about your jobs. :)

      It never would have occurred to me that gable vents don’t come in a triangular shape, at least not handily. I see them all the time! Wow.

      Keep sharing. I love it.

      • trs Says:

        I’m pricing them online right now, and it’s appalling. A rectangular or square vent can be bought for $30-$40 right off the shelf. A triangle one is special order, and they are $150!! This is another one of those situations where I wish I had my shop set up. I could build one for probably $40 – out of cedar!

    • NCrissieB Says:

      Sounds as if you’re moving along smartly on the siding project, trs. Are you learning some cool new skills that will help when it’s time to build your house?

      I’m glad to hear iriti felt well enough to go to work today. Please give her our best. :)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • trs Says:

        I am learning some skills. This is the first time I’ve hung wood siding in over 30 years – the last time my father and I were hanging siding on the garage we built when I was in high school. That was Masonite siding – not a good idea, as it turns out. I was just a gofer and another set of hands then. I’m also learning my troubleshooting and improvisational carpentry skills have improved somewhere along the way.

  7. glendaw271 Says:

    Good morning, I think. Got up in the middle of the night to get the Older W to the airport for his early flight. Made the mistake of going back to sleep when I got home, and now I can hardly think straight. Maybe some more coffee will help.

  8. addisnana Says:

    Good morning. I am slowly waking up here. I had a nice chat yesterday with a camper who is a MN 06 Democrat. His line was “I’m from Jim Graves’ district, the sixth.” You may remember that the seat is currently held by Bachmann. I loved the idea of renaming it the “Graves district.” In spite of the fact that the district was redrawn as R+8 Bachmann and Graves are within the margin of error, tied right now. Maybe, hopefully people have had enough of her crazy compost.

    • NCrissieB Says:

      That’s great news on Jim Graves, addisnana. I hope he continues to build momentum and MN-06 returns to some semblance of normalcy. Decreasing the House Guano Factor would be a welcome change.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  9. trs Says:

    Hey, G – a question for you. On this garage project, I had to cut out two 4x4s for the garage door opening. There is still 4×4 embedded in the concrete. I want to remove them and put concrete in the holes. Any suggestions on getting out the posts? They’re treated lumber.

    • Gardener Says:

      Masonry chisel after sawing as close to the concrete as you can? Be careful not to drive in too far, and crack the concrete. I am guessing the 4 X 4 is vertical???

      • Gardener Says:

        I’d be tempted to fabricate a piece of steel to insert into the hole and bolt to the wall, then fill the remaining hole with concrete.

        I think!

      • trs Says:

        The 4×4 is vertical. I had to cut it because that’s where the garage door opening is. I sawed them flush to the concrete with my Sawzall. I just came up with another idea. Large spade bit on a drill. Drill down a couple inches or so (as deep as I reasonably can) in various spots, then attack what’s left with a chisel. Then I can put in the steel plate and fill on top of the steel. What do you think?

  10. winterbanyan Says:

    If you haven’t hit your paywall, don’t miss this Gail Collins column. It’s a riot

    Mitt’s Snake-Bit Season