Monday, January 16, 2017

Thinking About Politics Again

It’s hard not to start thinking about politics considering what is going to happen in a week’s time. It’s even harder to believe that Trump is going to be president. This past weeks in all likelihood shows just how crazy a Trump presidency will be. All shorts of shit real and imagined hit the proverbial fan this week. This week also reinforced just how thin skinned Trump is. No criticism can go unanswered. No person is free of being belittled by him. You have to wonder how he’ll deal with foreign leaders. What will he do when he can’t get his way? In other words how does he respond when he looses.

There’s an interesting column in today’s Post by Jennifer Rubin (a conservative columnist that I rarely if ever agree with) It posits 10 questions that Rubin believes will determine Trump’s fate.

One in particular I find interesting: Can he be a mourner in chief?. It implies that Trump will have to have empathy will people. And I just can’t see it. Everything has to be about Trump. I cannot for the life of me see how he comforts people after a disaster or some terrible event like the Orlando shooting.

So there are some quick thoughts political for now. I stepped away from commenting because I got so disgusted with what has been happening over the last few years. Most of this has to do with the actions that Republicans have taken by putting party first above everything else.

Like repealing Obamacare but having no plan to replace it. Speaker Ryan says that by the end of 2017 they will come up with a plan. And this should be believed why because they’ve had five years to come up with a plan and have failed.

It will be interesting to see what plans if any they come up with for all the programs and policies they opposed under Obama. I think they are in for a rude awakening. It’s really easy to say no when there are no really consequences for it. But now they have to have ideas that can be made into plans and laws. I think they’ll have a hard time doing that. The replacement for the Affordable Care Act is a prime example. I think it will show just how hollow and empty the Republican Party really is.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Vice President Biden Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom

This is just so well deserved for Joe Biden to receive this.

Such an amazing person let alone a public service.

He has spent his life trying to make life better for average Americans.

The ceremony is incredible. It is obvious Biden had no idea this was going to happen. It is also equally obvious the heartfelt sentiment that comes from President Obama awarding this to his "brother."

Both of these incredible, intelligent, amazing, wonderful, thoughtful, kind and compassionate men will be missed.

I strongly recommend you watch the entire video. It's well worth it.

The Definitive Sign the Holidays are Over

The true and definitive sign that the holidays are over is when Christmas trees start to get thrown out. It is a very sad time to me. Here are a few examples.

Somehow it seems even sadder at night. You know they should have lights that twinkle in the branches but the lights are all gone now.

And this wreath seems the saddest of all. It would have been on a front door as a welcoming to all. Now it's in the gutter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My Computer is Old and Slow and I'm Ready to Smash It to Bits

I know that's not the right attitude to have but is exactly how I feel.

Essentially anything that I try on my computer I get the beach ball of death. On a Mac when the computer hangs up you get a small multi-color circle which I refer to as a beach ball. And when it stays on the screen for a long period of time (which is now an almost constant experience) I call it the beach ball of death.

If I'm doing just one thing and as long as it is extremely simple (like making a blog post), it will work fine. But attempt to do anything complicated and it grinds to a halt. I know what I need to do is get a new one. But right now that is not financially feasible.

There are times I get so frustrated waiting for it to work I literally yell at the thing. Then there are times that I have to walk away. I often say what I want to do is rip the cables off the damn thing. Take in outside and throw it on the sidewalk. Then take a hammer and smash it to bits. So when I get so made that I'm literally spitting at it because I've gotten so made at it, I step away. Because some day I might just get so mad I really do what I just described.

I'm hoping when the job situation settles down some and I get my income tax return a new computer will show up on my desk.

Until then I'll just be screaming and spitting at it and walking away before I smash the *&^%$#* to bits.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Animals at Zoolights

Some of the buildings were still open at the zoo when I arrived so I got to see a few animals. Also some were still outside as well.

The cold didn't have any impact on these guys.

Trying to get comfortable for bed.

This guy was having fun playing with the kids

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Getting the Retaining Walls Fixed

So much drama regarding this. Here’s the series of events that shows just how much of a mess this project is.

The leaning retaining walls.

First off there are five shared walls are involved in this project (I’m in a row house and share my walls with my neighbors). It started with the people to one side. We had the worst wall as in it really leaned. There were large cracks at both ends. Both sides were pulling away which was not a good thing. The other walls were in only slightly better shape. The thought was that it would be cheaper if more walls were involved. The idea of economies of scale.

The next step was to try and get bids on the walls. It was decided that the thing to do was to replace the walls not just patch them. I’d gotten some bids a few years back and tried to find the information. But of course I’d thrown the information out. I did come across the business cards that were left. One neighbor decided to take the lead on the project so I let her know about the information I had. We ended up getting a couple of quotes. One which seemed very high to all of us and one that seemed reasonable. The reasonable one was from someone the lead person knew. We decided to go with them.

And here’s how things went.

Signed a contract in July.

Made a payment in August.

Work started December 12.

December 13 the workers hit a gas line and ruptured it.

That more or less shows how well this project has gone.

The start of demolition of the walls

My feeling is that the regulations changed in the course of the project. I called to get some information from the DC government in July. The first thing I was asked was is this wall in the front or back of the house. I said the front. I was told I would have to call the Department of Transportation and talk to them about it. I’d made other calls about this and had never been asked this question.

But that was the least of our problems. The main problem is that person who’s been coordinating the project is piss poor at communicating what’s going on or responding to emails. The way we found out that work was starting on December 12 was when people showed up and started working. I’d asked when people would show up to start but never got an answer.

There was problems with the building permits. The thing is that each address has to have a building permit. Permits aren’t issued by the job but by address. One person’s permits were fine the others had problems. But of course work couldn’t start because in order for that to happen the other person would have to have a valid permit as well. Bottom line on the permits was the permitting department wanted more money for some reason.

The contractor said they were appealing this ruling. They further said they’d set up a conference call with all of us to talk about what was going on. They needed from us the best times to be contacted. We gave our best times for three straight weeks. There was never any conference call.

So you can see where my level of frustration comes from. That and the fact it took them so long to start means weather is now playing a big factor in when and if they are able to do work. As in it is going to snow Friday morning so there probably won

My hope is before spring the walls get done. But, from past experience on how long it's taken to get anything done, I won't be holding my breath.

Where the work is now.

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