Category Archives: Personal

Spitzer about to move on; downloads Ludacris’ ho map

Map of area codes in which Ludacris claimed to have hos. Might be useful when Spitzer plans where to land next.

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Filed under economics, entertainment, Hillary Clinton:what does she stand for?, Personal, public corruption, Wordpress Political Blogs

Hospital corners: no, it’s not tucking in the whole side

OTLS! is impressed by the apparent widespread disagreement about how to make a bed.  And since Google doesn’t distinguish between right and wrong, OTLS! feels compelled to add its substantial weight to the correct way of putting on the top sheet/blankets.

The top sheet is not fitted, it’s “flat.” PATTERN FACES DOWN, toward the pattern of the fitted sheet. The sheet and the blanket are tucked in together. You need about 15  inches hanging over the end of the bed.

Tuck in sheet/blanket at the end of the bed, all the way across.

Now, the sides: hospital corners. It’s easy.

First, grasp the edge of the sheet/blankets at the end of the bed, in other words, about a foot and a half from the true corner of the sheet/blankets. Lift this point out to the side, forming what looks like an extension of the width of the bed. Now just swing that point toward the head of the bed, folding the sheet/blankets along the side of the bed, and hold it there, against the top edge of the mattress, for a moment, while you tuck in whatever hangs below the bottom of the mattress. Then allow the point you’ve been holding to fall down, forming a graceful straight fall at the corner of the bed.

Do the other end corner the same way and you’re done except for the smoothing, etc.

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Pet food, yogurt makers, and China: you get what you pay for.

You know the story on pet food and melamine. Last week I tossed a yogurt maker that just quit working. Made in China. Today I happened to see these comments at dKos:

 

The real problem wasn’t the American pet-food companies, but the Chinese food manufacturers that deliberately tainted the food.

This is only the second time I’ve seen those allegations, the other was on NPR. Not a single MSM source so far (that I’ve seen) has mentioned it.

I’ve dealt with Chinese companies in manufacturing, and THEY ALWAYS GIVE GREAT PROTOTYPES AND FIRST-RUN PRODUCTS, THEN THEY TURN TO CRAP.

This is how they do business. I say we ban all imported Chinese food products that aren’t inspected before they enter the country. If they don’t like it, fuck them, and I really mean that. Kill their economy if they can’t respect our food supply.

everyone i know of in business says the same thing

prototypes == perfect

long term production === crap.

you have to ride their asses continuously to keep quality up. they take any short cut they can. what we consider lying is their normal way of doing business

GET OUT OF CHINA NOW.

And of course there are other reasons not to buy Chinese goods: our balance of payment is way out of whack, and the Chinese are doing a lot of damage to the environment.

 

 

 

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Filed under dogs, economics, food/drink, Personal

The US and Iran: Elliot Abrams’ sandbox: Gates’ tour doesn’t include Saudis

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is on his way to the Middle East to try and whip up some support for Bush’s flailings. In the typical fashion of Bush’s minions, a meaningless nod is given toward the Palestinian question:

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process was also to figure high on the agenda, a senior Defence Department official said on condition of anonymity ahead of the meeting.

Jordan is not exactly thrilled:

King Abdullah said in an interview with AFP that Israel must end its occupation of Arab land if it wants to “co-exist” with the world’s Muslims.

There seems to be a hole in the itinerary:

Gates, who held talks with Jordan’s armed forces chief, General Khalid Al Sarayreh, is expected to travel on to Egypt and Israel, reinforcing US support for its allies in the region.

Obviously, the Saudis have refused to meet with him. King Abdullah has always been opposed to the Iraq adventure. Having given Cheney an earful, and snubbed Bush (not to mention their obvious disdain for the US Secretary of State), it is not surprising that the Saudis would not deign to meet with war-maker Gates, who is not on the policy-making level.

What are the Saudis upset about? It is strange to the nth power that the American public has no clue about this. George W. Bush has from day one engaged in a Middle East policy which is destroying the region. His policy towards Israel and the Palestinian question has been totally one-sided, and the problem is now much worse than before. The plight of the Palestinian people verges on apartheid and starvation. The Iraq adventure is appalling; the Sunni middle class there is evaporating. And Bush refuses to engage Iran in any sort of meaningful dialog.

The Saudis are the only people on earth, that I know of, outside of bloggers, who have the guts to stand up to Bush’s pack of mouthbreathing fools. There is nothing else admirable about the Saudi royal family, other than the fact that they don’t attack others, being content to keep their degenerate behaviors within their own borders.

Well, I’ll take what I can get; but t’s a sorry state of affairs when the King of Saudi Arabia is the only sane voice.

I hope there is at least one reporter with enough of a brain to press Gates on why he isn’t visiting Riyadh.

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Filed under Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Personal, Politics

Mortgage crisis simplified

I thought I’d take a crack at the burgeoning mortgage crisis:

Here are a couple of links.

There are (based on risk) three classes of mortgages:

prime: good credit, good income; substantial down payment; at present these are only 60% of all new mortgages. The default rate is very low.

subprime: 20% of all new mortgages; some are based just on verbal statements of income, some with no money down, and initial “mortgage” payments which are basically interest only (or less).

alt-A: 20% of new mortgages; the risk is in between prime and subprime.

Many mortgages are adjustable rate: for the first 3-4 years they have very low payments, but then the payments balloon up. The average increase is 1500 per month. Some people can afford the increase, but will have to decrease their “consumer spending.” Bad for the economy. Many people can’t make those payments. In the past, with housing prices going up, they could refinance ie use the increased value to get a bigger loan, pay off the original mortgage, and start over again with the stakes even bigger than before, but with, again, low payments for several years.

However, refinancing is not gonna be possible for many of these people, because lending requirements are getting stricter, and the value of the home may actually have gone down. Real wages adjusted for inflation have not risen at all in the last 5 years. Savings have dried up. These people are going to default, and in a couple of years this maybe 5-10% of all mortgages. Back in the day, it was only 1%.

What will happen to these houses? They will be sold at bargain prices, because unlike many homesellers who occupy the house until it is sold, banks are not using the property; the asset sits there unused and usually deteriorating. This forces down home prices generally, and thus tends to make it harder for other marginal owners to refinance. So the cycle is self reinforcing.

Now, this cycle will go on for at least five more years, because we are just getting into the reset date for loans made 5 years ago when all this started; and each year the number of alt A and subprime loans increased. ie in 2003 there were more than in 2002.

To restate: the news is gonna get worse for the next 4 or 5 years. Each year there will likely be more defaults than the year before.

So the housing market is not gonna stabilize for at least five years, and the average home price is gonna drop a total of probably 20 percent. In some areas more, in some areas less. In Detroit, some homes are already selling at auction for less than the price of a new car.

Now, there are new homebuyers who qualify for prime rates who will suck up these homes, no question. But new homebuilding will fall to very low levels. This means that the construction trades will be wiped out, that large numbers of construction workers will be wandering around with nothing to do; American big truck manufacturers, yes Ford and GM, who cater to the construction trades are gonna go under, parts manufacturers and suppliers will be hurting, the economies of many midwestern states will go further into the dumpster. This will make for more defaults, etc.

Wages will fall, because of the number of unemployed workers, and thus consumer spending will fall farther. That is really the driving force in our economy, and at that point things get really touchy.

If foreign investors lose confidence in our mortgages and our economy, then they will stop accepting dollars and put their money elsewhere. This is already beginning to happen. If there is a real flight from the dollar, then America is really going to be in trouble.

Now, there are corrective steps that can be taken, but without bipartisan cooperation, they won’t happen, because neither party wants to take the blame for the belt-tightening that is required. For example, balancing the budget will be important in retaining investor confidence. That means raising taxes. Will that happen? Foreign investors would like higher interest rates, but that might further depress the economy. The cowardly thing to do is just print more money, causing inflation, which robs us all, but especially the old.

The easy times are over, people, and there are hard times ahead. It didn’t have to be this way. But America has been sold a bill of goods over the last 6 years, with easy credit, tax cuts, irresponsible spending and a war on top of it all. America and it’s citizens are deeply in debt. It’s time to pay up.

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Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Personal, Politics

Obesity and soft drinks: Industry-funded studies find no connection. Well, duh.

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image of soft drink on soft fat
From Integrity in Science:

Nutrition Review Questions Soda-Obesity Link . . .

Can you artificially sweeten the scientific literature? The latest American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (subscription required), in a review questioning the link between consuming sugar-sweetened drinks and rising obesity rates, failed to reveal the two authors’ financial ties to the beverage industry. Although the journal disclosed that the review was paid for by the American Beverage Association, whose member companies include Coca-Cola and Pepsi, authors Adam Drewnowski of the University of Washington and France Bellisle of the Institut National de Recherché Agronomique in France reported that they had no other conflicts of interest.

However, the Associated Press reported last year that Drewnowski owns stock in beverage companies and much of his prior research has been financed by the beverage industry. Last month, the Seattle Times reported that a University of Washington study led by Drewnowski on high-fructose corn syrup was financed by the Corn Refiners Association and American Beverage Institute. Bellisle, meanwhile, sits on an advisory board for McDonald’s, which sells large amounts of Coca-Cola products.

The review suggested that weight gain associated with drinking sweetened beverages may be due to other factors since studies have shown that consuming sugar-containing liquids in lieu of regular meals can lead to “significant and sustained weight loss.” However, those studies involved nutrient-fortified meal-replacement beverages, not soft drinks.

. . . While Report Says Industry Soda Studies Underplay Health Problems

A new Yale University report found that studies funded by industry are much less likely to show detrimental effects from soft drinks than studies that did not receive industry funding. The article analyzed 88 studies identified through databases such as MEDLINE, PsycINFO and Web of Science. “Studies funded by the food industry simply did not find the degree of negative health effects from soft drinks that independent scholars discovered,” Kelly D. Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale, said in a statement. Brownell co-authored the study, which will appear in the April issue of the American Journal of Public Health, with fellow Yale researchers Lenny Vartanian and Marlene Schwartz.

Obesity is not something to laugh off, a lifestyle choice, or “beautiful”. It’s a serious killer and disabler, and its monetary cost alone makes it something we HAVE to deal with. Check this out.

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Filed under food/drink, healthcare, Personal, Think tanks

Speaking of big boobs, the guys buying this beer definitely qualify.

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EUROPEAN men are flocking to Bulgaria to buy “breast-boosting beer” after the country’s accession to the EU has meant that customs duties on the tipple have been abolished.
The millet-based ale called Boza allegedly makes women’s breasts bigger, but was previously expensive.
Now thousands of tourists are travelling to the Bulgarian border town of Ruse to buy Boza for their wives and partners.

Somehow I don’t think this is gonna go over too well at home. Am I wrong?
(and no, it doesn’t work; trust me) (unless a woman gets pregnant as a result of getting drunk)

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Filed under food/drink, Humor, Personal