Apostrophes

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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Kellemora » 24 May 2013, 12:04

Hi Icey

Yes, we all do help out someone in need. Then we turn right around and do something quite the opposite.

I find life in the south considerably different than in the mid-west, and over time, people seem to fill all roles at one time or another.

We will carry a turtle across the road so it doesn't get run over, then chop the head off the snake following right behind him.

We will open the door for a little old lady, then complain when she is blocking the aisle.
We may stop long enough to help load her groceries in her car, after we just jumped ahead of someone else in line, because we were in a hurry.

We complain about the slow people driving in the passing lane, then make a turn or lane change without signaling our intent.

*

I love family histories. Love speaking to oldsters, well did love it, I'm an oldster now, hi hi.....
To see through their eyes is sometimes more than amazing, you wonder how they survived.

I often wonder if the wrong people get credit for some of the amazing inventions we've developed over the years.
I have several family stories, not just from my own family, where it is told that so n so, built this or that, to make his work easier, or added this to that so his employee's had it better and could get their work done faster.
Some of these things will appear in the historical parts of my novels.

After my aunt and uncle moved to Colorado, they made many friends, some of those friends were of Indian ancestry.
One family my uncle was a little more interested in than most, were pottery makers. They had relics of their ancestors.
Of particular interest was a large clay pot, with a lid with a cupped handle and a large clay ball that set on top of the handle.
This clay pot was for cooking of course, but it's sides were made much thicker than a normal cooking pot.
What made this pot so interesting was how the Indians used it.
Buffalo fat was placed around the rim on the top of the pot, the lid set in place and the round ball set on top of the lid.
This was the only way the Indians could cook Potatoes at their high altitude.
This potato cooking pot was just as it appears. A pressure cooker!

Yet the credit goes to a French Physicist in 1679. But the first patent issued for a Pressure Cooker was in 1938.

According to the LAW of obtaining a Patent, there can be NO prior art.
The very fact that the Colorado Indians used Pressure Cookers to cook potatoes is Prior Art, which should negate the 1938 patent, as having been proven that Prior Art existed before the patent issued.

How long before 1679 did the Indians use pressure cookers. Nobody knows for certain. However, no matter how many history books you read, you will never find credit given to an Indian for making and using a pressure cooker.

They had using them down pat. Exactly how much Buffalo fat was needed to form the seal, what size ball to use on top of the lid for added weight, and how thick to make the walls of the device so it didn't break under the pressure.

One thing that amazes me, is how did they ever figure out to make SOAP 6000 years ago?
If you look at what is needed and the many steps required to make soap, it boggles the mind.
Yet, in actuality, they only had to figure out WHY they could clean their clothes easier in a certain waterway.
Watching where the water came from, what it washed through first, and putting two and five together, they simply began perfecting the method a little at a time until it became a ritual method of making Soap.

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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Ice.Maiden » 24 May 2013, 14:52

Yes, you're right that we sometimes fail to do what we preach, and that our actions can sometimes be back-handed, but I think this's human nature. We can only try to better ourselves by staying respectful - a case of doing unto others as you'd have done to yourself - but we're all human. If someone's having a bad day, it can make them irritable, such as being forced to wait in a queue at a petrol station or tutting when some elderly person holds us up while we're shopping, but I seriously DO try not to become the "ogre" that I'm secretly complaining about!

I'd definitely save a turtle - but no, I wouldn't kill a snake that was chasing it, because sadly, that's nature. I don't like to kill any animal, and yet conversely, I can justify it for food. If we all just hunted for what we needed though, and not for sport or fun, nature'd take care of the stock and there'd be an ample supply.

Lovely story about the Indian cooking pots - pressure cookers. They'd have developed this knowledge over time, wouldn't they. It might've been by accident or trial and error at first, but wherever indigenous people live, they find ways of being able to survive, because they've had to.

North American Indians fascinate me. I abhor what was done to them, and what still IS being done to them, with regard to taking their land and forcing them to live in a way which was un-natural to them. Most of them are proud people, and they managed perfectly well, despite times of hardship - until the white man barged in and took over. They had skills which they handed down, but which're probably being lost due to the younger generations finding work in modern towns and so forth, and forfeiting the "old ways". What a tragic thing to happen, and I don't think anyone had the right to interfere with their culture and demand that they lived in a "certain way".

As for soap, I think that the idea evolved naturally. Plants such as dandelions and burdock have a soothing effect on skin. In Africa and Australia, there are stems and roots which the natives milk for their soap-like effect, and which they use to clean themselves with. Combine palm, coconut or other oils, and you'll get vegetable glycerine - the basis for making soap without any lye whatsoever, and without the need for a base soap which might be used today. I'd accredit these findings to women actually, as they'd want to find something for washing their clothes, themselves and their babies in, but it could be that the hunter-gatherers found tree and plant sap which they used for all manner of other things. If this turned out to clean or soften their skin, I think that over time, they'd find a way of harnessing and mixing various ingredients together until they had a semblance of something like soap. If it softened, lathered and cleaned, perhaps the process wasn't as difficult as we might imagine.

As you say, the source, type and properties of water'd get noticed over time as well, and I'm sure that they found it was better to wash clothes in running water than to scrub them in a stagnant puddle - if they ever did the latter - but as with anything else, it's only by discovering, trial and error that human beings find things which're going to make their lives easier.
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Kellemora » 25 May 2013, 09:40

People are not much different than animals.
For millions of years it has been only survival of the fittest.

Once man domesticated himself, in order to live in organized communities, they agreed to certain standards.
But not everyone in those communities agrees to those standards.
So laws were made to put a stop to those who still wanted to live by the survival of the fittest way of life.
They are called criminals! And suffer the consequences of their actions against other people.

But overall, has anything really gotten better? The rich still enslave the poor, only now it's done in an agreed legal fashion.
Are not the poly-Tick-ians and big business keeping the general populace like caged animals and most become like a rat in a maze, trapped beyond ever getting ahead?
Very few ever succeed in pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, so they remain in their daily rut for most of their lives.

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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Ice.Maiden » 27 May 2013, 08:21

Hmm, food for thought there.

Firstly, we ARE animals, but credit ourselves with having the upper hand because we can understand in a way which other animals can't - but I wonder if that DOES make us better? Animals are able to tap into senses which've long been forgotten by man. I think the only time we go back to that primeval level's during our "fight of flight" moments. It's a natural safety guard.

Survival of the fittest certainly ranks amongst inherited traits. We tend to see it as cruel when birds and animals kill their young, but nature makes it this way, so that the strong survive and continue to procreate.

I don't really see the rich enslaving the poor. It used to be done by force, of course, and still exists in some places, but over all, the rich provide a means of the poor earning money which they otherwise wouldnt've had. A poor man doesn't have to be trapped in a life of poverty if he uses the brain he was born with. Everyone had to start somewhere. Those rich ancestors and politicians weren't born like that originally, but they had the strength of character to better themselves - just look at Abraham Lincoln.

I refuse to kow-tow to anyone, and just go about my daily life trying to do the best I can. I've been lucky, but it doesn't mean that I don't feel sorry for those who're in dire straits, and I try to help where possible. The trappings of wealth don't move me. I prefer to live simply, although admit that I'm in a position which enables me to live stress-free and pretty well. Then again, it was drung into us all to do the best that we could. I knew exactly what I wanted from being a child, and this was always encouraged. No one can expect to sit on their backsides and have the finer things in life brought to their feet. You have to go out and make things happen, and some people are fortunate enough to have families who give them a head start, I suppose.

Many people hope to win the lottery. It's a dream which comes true for very few people, but a dream never-the-less. However, some of those who've won a fortune have no conception of the large amount of money they suddenly find themselves with, and so fritter it away on items which they see as status symbols. They refuse to take sound financial advice, and so don't seem to appreciate that if they just carry on spending, their money'll disappear very swiftly!

The only way to make money out of money, is to invest it - be it in a business of your own, or by buying shares in something that we all need and "can't do without", but you have to have some money in the first place. I know someone who swore that he'd be a millionaire by the time he was 40. Well not only did he do that, he ended up with SEVERAL million. It took him just 22 years, which he set in motion after being lucky enough to inherit some property. Two risky investments turned out well, and everything just spiralled from there. Within less than 8 years he'd made his first clear half million, and after that it rolled on quickly. He now owns property all over the place and has a thriving clothing business, but it cost him in terms of his personal life. Two marriages ended after a very short time. It's difficult to nurture a relationship when you're not around very often, but his current wife understands that, and has her own business to run.
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Kellemora » 27 May 2013, 11:28

Although I like to have enough money to be comfortable, I've never desired being rich.
I was raised around some very rich folks, and it seems they spend all of their waking moments trying to keep from losing it.
Their homes are immaculate, looks like show places, but when you look in the drawers, everything is empty, it's all for show.
Where are their personal affects?
They only have a select few items. I see no joy among most of them.

But it is true, everyone has the same ability to get ahead, but most don't strive hard enough to even do a little to better themselves.
I blame it on both the large (and now smaller) corporations as well as the school systems.
A school system today is designed to teach you how to behave in a work environment.
Some go on to teach you how to get a job, working for others.
And the corporations follow in suit by only hiring those who have a degree, even if it is not associated with the job they applied for.
Without that meaningless piece of paper, you can't get a job at very many places.

I had the advantage of being raised in a family owned business, and also being a part in larger corporations.
Nothing is taught in the schools that give one the mindset necessary to become the owner or the boss.
All they teach is how to work for someone else. It is almost all you hear preached at any college.
The goal of a student is to work toward getting a job for this company or that company.

Imagine how different society would be if they were taught to think for themselves.
To become successful businessmen or women. To hold the reigns and run the show.
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Ice.Maiden » 27 May 2013, 14:20

Hi Gary,

You've got it in one.

The more money people amass, the more of a headache it can become, and you're right - the thought of losing it petrifies them.

I grinned broadly where you spoke about those "show homes". I know exactly what you mean; modern but cold homes with no character or atmosphere, and yes, the times I've been invited to such places, yet you hardly get offered a cup of coffee! Very true.

When I moved here, I knew what I wanted to create. I wanted a home that was full of love and laughter, and filled with children. Sadly I could only have the two, but they're the best things I've ever produced, and I'd rather give everything away than lose them. My home's warm and welcoming, with dogs running everywhere and (in the early years) we were tripping over toys and bikes, but surely that just shows that a house's "lived in"?

I've said this before, but I can remember being invited to the home of one of my children's friends. His mother kept the place immaculate, but I sensed that it lacked something. I soon found out. There were rooms which the children weren't allowed to enter, and certainly no food or drinks could be taken into them. These rooms were so perfect as to be uncomfortable. If you sat back against a cushion and dented it, the woman rushed to pat it back up and asked you to sit elsewhere! Her lovely children wore permanently sour expressions. I've never seen their mother actually play with them or even have a good old laugh. It was always: "Don't do this, don't do that, go outside and play ..." accompanied by scowls and raised eyebrows. I don't think their mother's a happy woman. She seems neurotic and forever wanting to be seen in a certain light which she thinks makes her look in control, but I see another side to her. I see someone who's not as ease with herself or anyone else, and someone who puts on a show. I know we're all different, but I much prefer people who have flaws and who admit to them.

My house's clean, but can get untidy (especially where I am!). It's not the end of the world though, is it? You can tell the place's lived in, and there are signs of children wherever you go. Why would I want to hide that? I think though, that the best thing of all is feeling the good atmosphere when you walk in. A smell of coffee wafts up from the kitchen, even though it's rarely for myself. I bake, I cook, I have piles of paperwork on my table and desk. If one of the boys comes in, I leave off to chat to them and see what they want, and if they want to share something with me, I'm soon on their tails, doing whatever they want me to join in with. My husband's the same. He's a great father, and at the end of the day, so long as everyone's happy, that's what it's about.

As to hiring people who have a degree, you're right. Same over here, irrespective of the experience someone might've got. The reason that companies tend to do this, is because even if that employee hasn't done what's asked for in the job description, having a degree shows that he or she has aptitude. If they can study for, and get a good degree, it's considered that they wouldn't have much difficulty in picking up the jobs required.

I don't necessarily hold with that though. A person who gardens for us's getting on in years, but he's almost like one of the family now. What he doesn't know about gardening, animals and doing any odd job asked of him's not worth mentioning. He has no formal qualifications, but doesn't need them - because he's capable and does everything well. The same goes for other people we have here. If they'd been to university, would it make them better at what they do? I don't always think so. We look for hands-on people who're willing to be shown where necessary, and ones who're only too happy to've been offered a job. They're paid and treated well, and in turn, work hard. I treat them all as friends, and we show them our gratitude.

I know what you mean about schools and how they try and prepare the students for life after education. My childrens' school's very good at bringing out the best in everyone, but not all establishments are like that. They encourage the kids, and look at what they have a leaning towards. They also instil good manners and confidence into them. This's vital if a child's going to develop an air of independence. Most of them leave there with sensible heads on their shoulders, and do well. This's why we chose the place. We toured round several schools before finding one that ticked the right boxes, and fortunately, it's not too far from home. We visited a couple down south, and elsewhere. They were acceptable, but we knew by the friendly reception we received at this one, and by watching how mindful the students were, that along with offering the sort of teaching we were after, that this was going to be the one. Not everyone can send their children to schools of their choice, but I DO think that parents have an obligation to find the best they can, and if the kids are happy there, it counts for a lot.
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Kellemora » 28 May 2013, 10:40

Hi Icey

Guess I'll start by saying Ut Oh.....
We had several rooms in the home in which I was raised that were OFF LIMITS, except during certain occasions.
The main dining room and guest living room (except for my piano lessons), were strictly off limits to man and beast.
But we also had a Den and Crafts Room, besides each kid had their own room. Although my brother and I chose to share the same room, it had a secondary room as part of it that we had a fantastic train layout in.
Yeah, I know, silver plated, not quite a silver spoon.

I also knew a couple of families who's entire upstairs was off limits. Even the parents lived in the basement. Upstairs was only for company, and special company at that.

Personally, I never could see wasting all that valuable living space. So none of my homes ever had unused rooms.
Some did have dedicated purposes, but they were not off limits to the kids.

In our family business, having over 250 employee's, we occasionally got an applicant boasting of a high college degree in something. As far as we were concerned, that move them really far down on the list. Why? Because they probably wouldn't stay with us for long. Of those we did hire, some with degree's in the fields our business utilized. They still didn't know diddly squat about anything. We hired one fellow who earned his degree in horticulture, had three years experience working for a rose grower. The department manager told dad, if this guy has ever been inside of a greenhouse, he would eat his hat. He didn't know how to graft, didn't know how to water, didn't know how or when to cut roses, didn't know when to cut above or below the dog leg. The list of what he didn't know was a mile long. And he made one serious mistake after another. And the sad part, even after showing him how to do something, he still messed up big time. Our department manager tossed him out of the greenhouse. Now dad, who would never fire anyone, sent him to another department. He didn't handle that too well either, but at least could do some of the work right. However, it was the kind of work we hired kids to do, as it took no skill, just rote routine is all. Dad decided to call his previous employer to find out what this guy did there. ALL, without exception, were menial tasks, like filling buckets with water, carrying buckets to the wrapping room, sweeping the floor at night. He couldn't even count and wrap. So why did you keep him for three years? He's my wife's sisters kid!
Thankfully, he hated working out in the heat, and landed a job stocking shelves at a department store. He worked there for well over five years and apparently was liked by management. We still wonder why he took horticulture? Or what it is they taught him in skewl, as it did not apply at all to how a greenhouse operates.

Over the years, we have done much better, hiring someone who is looking to learn the trade. There are a few who think it would be neat to work in a greenhouse. Until they find out it it just lugging around dirty pots with a hybrid weed sticking out of them all day. But for the most part, those who wanted to learn did, and advanced appropriately in our business. We had no lay-offs, regardless of the fact most of our work was seasonal. And as I said once before, we had folks who came to work for us in their mid-teens, who were still working for us beyond their normal retirement years. Almost every employee was like family to us. Especially when they have been working for us longer than the generation now running the show, hi hi.....
I used to tease a couple of our employee's. "I wouldn't put up with that from management, you have more seniority than they do," hi hi..... We all got along great!
And that's the way business should be. One happy family.
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Ice.Maiden » 28 May 2013, 11:13

Hi Gary,

You're so right, and I think the way you ran your business was exactly as it should've been. We only ever lost one person. He had to be fired because he'd been stealing. We didn't get the police in - he suffered enough, because when he lost his job, his home went as well. I can only say that the man was an idiot to himself, because he had it quite easy and risked it all for two or three hundred pounds. He wasn't given a reference, and he'd have found it difficult to gain employment again, particularly in the locality, because everyone knows everyone else, sort of thing. He was given a chance to explain his actions, but lied. Even when faced with the evidence of his wrong-doing, he still wasn't man enough to admit what he'd done. Therefore he had to go, but apart from that once, everything's always run smoothly, and yes, I don't care what anyone says, you're right. If you look after people, they're going to be alright with you. When companies have a high turnover of staff, there's something very wrong, so treat everyone equally and pay them properly, and in the main, you DO have one big happy family.

Sad about the guy who couldn't do the greenhouse work properly. Seems to me that he hadn't actually done the jobs before which were required of him - hence he didn't know where to start - but if he was shown, and if he was in full command of his faculties, then dare I suggest he was one of those who preferred to get paid for doing very little? Ha ha ha. There are plenty around like that, and we'd all LIKE to have a job like that, but the fact is, they become a liability when you're paying them to sit around, and firms can't afford to do that unless it's a family business where you're basically doing the employee a favour and can afford to let them idle about. I've known people like that myself, but I'm not one of them. I've always been a busy bee, and think ahead to what needs doing. What do they say? Anticipate to accumulate? Well it's true isn't it? Then when you DO get some time to relax, you appreciate it more, but can sit back and survey the results of your hard work.

As to having rooms in the house that have to be kept pristine and child-free - LOOOL - I've never been in an environment like that, so our home's a home. We have plenty of rooms which can't all be utilized at once, but they ARE used, and if the children want to take their friends into them, or fancy a change of decor - well, they're free to go where they like; always have been, always will. They don't muck everywhere up, because they respect the fact that someone cleans and tidies them, but as I said earlier, when they were little, they had toys all over the place. I don't see any problem at all. They can easily be scooped up if you're expecting visitors, and it's not like they were constantly making every room look like a tip. You can imagine how it is when all my nieces and nephews pile over at Christmas! There's wrapping paper everywhere, and boxes and ribbons strewn all over, but that's part of the fun of it. When I hear children screaming with delight and playing happily, I know we're doing things right. It all gets moved - no big deal. I just have a lot of patience with kids I suppose.
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Kellemora » 29 May 2013, 11:52

I don't know about other family businesses, but in ours, family members were required to work harder and longer than any hired help, and we were never paid overtime. And also, the hired help were paid before the owners took their draw. Not the other way around the way it is today, where the CEO's drain a company dry and leave the employee's high and dry.

Up until I was two years old. Mom and Dad lived in a three room, very tiny house, with plank floors.
Then dad built a massive house, and took in two boarders to help defray some of his costs.
I only recall a single year, when our all-time-permanent boarder did not live with us.
She took a job advancement and moved. So we had a gal named June for one year.
Ro didn't like her new job and moved back home. When June moved out, she moved right back in.
So, she was just like one of the family, for most of my growing up years.
I was probably 14 or 15 when she married and moved out. Which was good really, because my sisters now each had their own room.
But, for all of my life, from age two forward, I've always lived in homes with guest living and dining rooms, that we never went into, except for special events and holidays when guests were present.

I lived in an apartment from age 19 through around age 24. An apartment was just way too small with kids, hi hi.....
I had an opportunity to move into a super large 18 room house. I divided part of the house, first to house another family for a short time, and then rented it to a pastor as his church office.
Just the utility bills on this house was killing me. It cost over 1200 bucks a month to heat the place in winter.
I managed to stay there for five years.
I was involved in a MultiLevelMarketing plan the latter couple of years there, and used the massive living room as a meeting room for my team. Having this big house helped considerable in progressing in the business.
This is also when I sold my hair spray formula and used that money to buy a new house, one I could afford to heat, hi hi.....

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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Ice.Maiden » 29 May 2013, 17:11

Hello Gary,

I really admire all the work you've done over the years.

I don't know so much about family businesses having to work harder than employees, but I think it's true to say that it's more constant - on-going, if you like. You're continuously thinking ahead to what needs to be done, and although you might not be getting your hands dirty yourself, without organisation and making sure that your supervisors or managers are doing their jobs as you want them doing, it can be a headache if anything goes wrong. My husband goes out early every day and oversees everything. Mostly, things run like clockwork, but it's not without an enormous amount of work back in the office, and - well, you understand what I'm saying. Deadlines have to be met, invoices have to tally up. If payments are slow to arrive, you simply try to shift your business elsewhere. I think as time goes on, it gets easier. If everything's going as it should, everyone simply continues to do what they're paid to do, and each person knows their own job well enough to get on with it, but yes, you're right, there's no overtime or set hours for the owners. However, each job/sale's geared towards profit, and if you don't keep the impetus up, as when you get a general slump, you have to find other ways of bringing in the cash. A lot of folk up here work together. Businesses go hand in hand, and you deal with folk you know; a favour for a favour without anything being said, kind of thing, as well as the business partnership side of it. It works, but probably works better between family-owned concerns.

A small example - we have a friend who's a master carpenter. He makes the most exquisitely-turned items, and supplied us with some beautiful wooden light-pull handles, which we not only have in our home, but which I boxed and gave away as Christmas presents. Those who received them were delighted. These items retail at around £20 - 25 each, but we were given about 3 dozen of them for nothing. When putting some new handrails and balustrades into properties, we contacted our friend, who supplied them and received a handsome profit, but of course, these beautifully-turned things were reflected in the price that the properties sold for. There's none of the: "Well you owe me so much", sort of attitude. It all evens out in the end, and I've requested quite a few things from his workshop, which've duly been delivered at no cost, so whenever this man's skills are required, we point others in his direction, and he has a decent business with constant work.

So you had an 18-roomed house eh? Great to clean!!! LOL!! That's the only problem with larger houses; lovely to live in, but maintenance's high. As you say, the fuel costs alone are astronomical. I don't look at ours, but know they're considerable! That's only a part of it isn't it? We have water charges, Council Tax, the gardening. It's actually cheaper to employ someone on a permanent basis, than it is to pay a company once a week or whatever, and it HAS to be on-going or you'd end up living in the depths of a jungle! : )
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Kellemora » 30 May 2013, 09:48

You've heard the story of the proverbial White Elephant.

I had to jump through hoops to be considered for renting that big monster of a house.
I thought I had it all figured out too. Rent the back lower half out to a family, run one of my businesses out of the garage, and another business from an upstairs room. Rather than the space I was renting for those operations.
By not renting a separate building for my machine shop, and an office for my other business, plus doing them all from home sounded great and money saving. Then taking in a family for the first floor north end of the house, which divided easily. I would be saving money. HA..... When those utility bills began rolling in, I never dreamed they would be so high. I was used to what it cost to live in a well insulated apartment. Not a drafty old mausoleum, hi hi.....

When I moved out, since I no longer had a work building and an office for my other business, I had to move my entire machine shop into the living room of my new house. Not exactly something a new wife is very amiable to, hi hi.....
I didn't do work in the living room, as I was looking to rent a building in that area. In the end, I sold off some of the machine shop equipment, but kept anything that had to do with sharpening tools, as I still had to keep my woodworking shop humming along. Made myself an office in the basement. But slowly weaned that business down to nothing, as I had other businesses I had started that was more lucrative, but short lived due to the declining technology that would soon be replaced with modern technology.
But then too, I often got bored with doing the same old thing, and my epilepsy often dictated when I had to change gears again also.

I could probably write a book, the life and times of Lil' Ole Me, hi hi..... But who would believe it!
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Ice.Maiden » 30 May 2013, 11:45

Try it! Truth's often stranger than fiction, and always good to read. I've even thought of doing that myself, and DO do, in the form of diary-writing, but I've done absolutely loads in my 34 years, and I sometimes sit back and wonder how I squashed it all in, but I did. It probably wouldn't interest anyone else, but boy, have I had an amazing and fun-filled life so far. I can't complain about anything.

Gosh yes, I understand re. the utility bills - which just get worse each year don't they? No joke, it costs a fortune to run this place, but I try to bury my head and let my dear OH see to it all. I don't want to know Gary, and luckily for me, I don't have to!! : )
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Kellemora » 31 May 2013, 11:26

My son knew I started on writing a Life-Bio and has been getting after me to work on it again.
I do have all of my surviving diary notes in one place, as well as some stories I remembered, mixed back in where they belong.
But to write it all in an interesting way. I would have to leave out the mundane, which often were the best of times.

I'm on a fixed pay utility system. We are charged the monthly charge, but we pay the same amount each month, and they average out the difference. I was over last year, so they lowered it, but the cost of utilities went up, so this year I was way behind, so my monthly payment has almost doubled.

But it is better than back home, where at the end of each year, you got a bill for the underage and had 15 days to pay up the difference. Here, they just adjust it to the next years bill, over or under.

I sent them 500 bucks extra once, when I noticed my account was way under, just to prevent a large monthly hike.
I read their bill wrong, I was actually over, not under. So the following year, my monthly bill was really low, hi hi.....

TTUL
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Ice.Maiden » 31 May 2013, 11:50

That's what i call a good piece of luck! :dance:
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Kellemora » 01 Jun 2013, 11:22

There are a lot of things I don't understand the reasons why they are done the way they are.
Perfectly good equipment, that was paid for in full from our taxes, sits idle, because of newer and more dangerous equipment that took its place, also out of our tax dollars.

I'm talking about our hydro electric dams and generators.

Some dams are built for flood control, but they never last long for that purpose, they let the lakes fill up and then use them as tourist attractions and to sell the land around them for much more than the land is worth.
In other words, they are no longer used for the purpose in which they were built.
And many are becoming so old, they pose a threat to everyone who lives below them. A few have broken already.

Flood control dams were designed and built to be maintained at 1/3rd pool.
Speculators who bought land at the full-pool line, hoping to make a fortune, applied enough pressure that the lake was eventually allowed to fill up.
Therefore it is no longer a means of flood control, and by maintaining it at full pool, the property that was once almost useless, due to it's distance from the water, now has the water lapping at the back porch. And knowing the water cannot go any higher, the land suddenly becomes worth billions.

What they should do, if they are not going to use it for flood control, as our taxes paid for, and the dam was not designed for holding at full pool indefinitely. They should drain it and return the property to good use. Of course now, the ecologists would complain because of the new life in the lakes. Well, what about the lives of the species that were relocated when the dam was built. They could once again return to their land.

Most of the TVA hydro electric dams are sitting idle, or very close to idle. They claim the free water spilling through the turbines costs more than storing spent fuel rods for 500 years. And of course, radiation poses no threat, ha ha ha.....
If they are not going to use these bought and paid for dams to generate electric, why are we paying to maintain the rapidly aging dams? Do they serve any useful purpose anymore, or just eat up a lot of money in maintenance.
Oh sure, the tourist traps will squawk big time, as will the boaters, and people who bought land around the full pool lakes.
Well you know something. The peoples lands they stole at bottom dollar to make these lakes squawked too! They didn't want to loose their lifelong homes and farms and friends and family, just to make a big bucket of water.

They could empty the lakes, tear down the dams, and sell all of that property and make it produce tax revenues, rather than as a major expense to keep an aging dam maintained. So what if the value of the overpriced ring of land around the lake goes down. It never benefitted those who owned the land originally, those who were forced off of it in the name of progress. Well, there is no more progress, only maintaining unused failing equipment. I say, use them or get rid of them!

TTUL
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Ice.Maiden » 01 Jun 2013, 14:07

I agree with you Gary. Those old idle dams are going to be dangerous one day - if they aren't already - so it's imperative that they're maintained, but they should be used for what they were first built for. I don't agree with nuclear power stations. As you say, the problem of storing spent rods's going to fall on our descendents one day. No one over here wants them buried near to where they live - and who can blame them? I think that man's created a monster, yet I'm fully aware of the so-called advantages of using nuclear fuel, despite me disagreeing with its common use.
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby kg » 01 Jun 2013, 16:34


I was reading the last couple of posts, and recalled the problem of (semi-) permanent storage of spent nuclear fuel rods. While the rods can (and are) processed to reclaim some of the fuel, "500 years" would be acceptable compared to actualities:

How long are old nuclear fuel rods dangerous?

Answer:
6,000,000 years is probably the clearest answer, in terms of how it is measured and what is meant by safe.

There are different standards to measure this. The best I have seen is a European criterion saying that radioactive waste is to be considered safe when it is no more dangerous, in terms of radiation, than naturally occurring uranium ore. (Of course, this begs the question of whether uranium ore is safe.)

Unfortunately we cannot look at that half life and use it, because that just means half is left. If we start with a ton of plutonium, at the end of the half life, we have half a ton.

The current view is of the US government seems to be that nuclear waste will be safe in a million years. I have not seen how this was determined.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_long_are_old_nuclear_fuel_rods_dangerous?feedback=1

Oh, our government thinks that nuclear waste will be safe in a million years, instead of six. What a relief! In the mean time, the dreaded results of a catastrophic breakdown in a storage facility continues to pour into the ocean from the Fukushima disaster. Thank goodness that radiation will only last for a million years! :roll:
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Ice.Maiden » 01 Jun 2013, 20:35

Hi Glenn, and thanks for that. I was going to mention Fukushima as an example of how things can go badly wrong. I'm sure that I read recently that there's been a leak at another Japanese plant as well. It's terrible, whatever.

In April. Dungeness nuclear plant in Kent was found to be leaking radioactive waste, which amounted to over 7 times the permissible "safety level". Inspectors said that it posed no threat of getting into the public water supply and testing of local water concluded that it hadn't been affected.

I really have to disagree with the "experts"! That radioactive water seeps into the ground and causes damage to plant life at the very least. We have open pools of collected radioactive water, which'd fed into lead-lined concrete "ponds" at the reactor sites. This's BOUND to get taken up into the air, and then come down again as contaminated rainwater. Just because no increased health problems've been noted, doesn't mean that they they won't be.

It all comes down to money again. People invest millions in these plants, but the "cheaper" electricity isn't passed on to the consumers, it just goes to make higher profits for the investors.

We're surrounded by water, and yet don't utilize hydro power. It's said to be too expensive to provide electricity across the country, but I'm sure that what they REALLY mean, is that if this was set up, with the sea providing constant "free" energy, the companies' profits'd drop, because they couldn't justify the huge increases in electricity prices. Their excuse at the moment, is that they're investing in nuclear power, so charges have to go up. The only people who want more nuclear power stations are the ones who have a vested interest in them, and they try to cajole the public into thinking it's the right way to go by saying it's cleaner and more efficient. It won't be if there's a huge meltdown at one of the reactors!

I'm comforted to know that the radiation from Japan'll "only" last for a million years. Meanwhile, the seas are being polluted, fish are dying and if anyone's still left on earth after that time, I can't imagine what a wonderful place it'll be. : (
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Kellemora » 02 Jun 2013, 14:13

Food for thought. What type of anti-missile defense is in place to prevent inbound warheads from pinpointing the nuclear power plants?
Seems to me, if someone did want to attack us, focusing on nuclear power plants would be their first prime target.

What the TVA claims about the hydroelectric plants not being able to put out enough power to supply the needs of the area they serve, technically doesn't hold water, pardon my pun.
Especially if you compare it to the data they claim about the power produced by a wind turbine.
The maintenance on wind turbines is exponentially higher than the maintenance of hydroelectric turbines.
And the one and only reason the "reports" show they are more cost effective, is they do not show the costs "MINUS" the government grants fueling the installation of these wind generators.
Just as our tax dollars went to build the dams and keep their maintenance up, whether used or not now.
The cost to install enough wind generators comes from the same source, our tax dollars.
At least a hydroelectric dam provides more opportunities to the public than a wind farm. Fishing, boating, skiing, etc.
What does a wind farm provide. A big Keep Out Sign and miles of chain link fence to be maintained.

WHY can't they use the same generators in hydroelectric dams that they use on windmills. Since they are claiming so much output power from each? They sure look a whole lot smaller than the generators connected to the water turbines.

The water is going over the dam, whether used to power the turbines or not.
It's not always a windy enough day to run wind turbines. And the speed of the wind varies, uncontrollable. Whereas the amount of water diverted through the generators of a water turbine is 100% controllable.

They were supposed to SELL the excess electric from our nuclear plant to keep OUR prices low.
Perhaps they have for a short time, but it is going up fast now.
Plus, added to those costs are the costs to maintain all the idle hydroelectric dams.
And we still have steam plants here too, because they are still producing electric cheaper than bringing it in from the nuclear plant. In other words, the numbers they feed us are just not adding up.

TTUL
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Re: Apostrophes

Postby Ice.Maiden » 02 Jun 2013, 18:42

Same over here in a way.

More and more massive (for us) wind turbines are being erected, and when villages are threatened with having one in their midst, rising 300 or so feet in close proximity to homes and farms, no one wants them. These turbines cause shadow flicker, they can upset someone wearing a pacemaker, they make a constant noise and the price of surrounding properties drops rapidly, because no one wants to live near the monstrosities.

Windmills, water mills - fine, but not these metal structures that rise above rural areas and just create a blot on the horizon. One was going to be erected on a sports field near to where a friend of mine lives, but the locals successfully campaigned against it - for now. The idea's fine, but I can guarantee that if they were successfully put up all over the place, that the cheap form of electricity wouldn't be passed on to the consumers at all.

You can keep nuclear stuff. I wish we didn't have any reactors here at all. Frankly, I think they pose a dreadful risk.
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