Republican Math

I heard today on my electric radio machine that there are Republicans who think that now that so many Democrats have lost their elections that President Obama will have to listen to them.

Interesting to me is the fact that most of the Democrats who lost were the ones who did the most to distance themselves from the President.

So that makes the Republican expectation this: Now that all the people who ran as far away from the President as they could lost, the President has to run away from his own positions too.

That doesn’t make sense to me. Actually, it doesn’t make sense at all. (This has not been an impediment to Republican thinking in the past, admittedly.)

I am hoping that the President will tell the Congressional Republicans that he’s standing behind his positions (and that a lot of the people who stuck with him still have their seats).

A little project at 215 Henrietta

A while ago, I looked in on the upstairs ‘walk in’ closet, and noted that the (crummy) coat-rack had collapsed. There on the floor was a bunch of garments that had been hung up in there, the fallen rack and shelf, and, under all that, another pile of half-forgotten crap from when we painted the upstairs rooms.

I immediately closed the closet door and began a several-month process of hoping that that mess would somehow sort itself out on its own. There was no real expectation that anything like that would occur, but for as long as I could avoid opening that closet door again, I would be fine. I doubt very much that I’m the person who invented this strategy, nor its last practitioner. And it even worked for a while.

Eventually (and, perhaps, inevitably), I found myself thinking “Oh, I could put these things in the closet”. I suddenly remembered the mess in the closet, and it seemed unlikely that I could forget it again. At that moment I happened to be wondering what I could do with my, er, extensive collection of short-sleeved shirts during the colder months, but it could have been anything. Oh, well, time to face the music.


I went to Menard’s and bought an 8′ hanger pole, an 8′ 12×1 pine board, and four brackets. I cleared out the mess, found some studs, did some cutting, drilling and screwing, and now the closet is OK again.

Most of the mess is still spread all over the house, but I’m working on that.

Between the new windows and the new furnace jet, the house heats up quick


The ‘inside temperature’ graphs seemed a little different lately.This graph shows that it takes about 10 minutes to heat the house up by 1° Fahrenheit.

That is an awful lot faster than last October. Perhaps three times as fast, actually.

Mister Bramlett, the furnace guy, replaced the oil nozzle on the furnace this year (on spec, he claimed), and I remembered to actually ask what our furnace’s flow-rate is: 0.65 gallons per hour.

That means that it costs us about 40¢ for that 10 minutes/1° of heat. Sweet.

First Lawn-Mowing of 2014

Lawn; mowed


Some notes on the chore:

  • The Allis-Chalmers 917 ran like a top. A very noisy top that needed some 10W-40 first, but, other than that, just like a top. The deck’s drive belt is probably ready for a replacement.
  • I took a big chunk of the cheap-ass dog fencing down before I started; I can now mow pretty much the entire lawn in one shot.
  • There is quite the lawn scar where the fence used to be (but it rained the next day, which’ll help there). Also: there was a lot of litter hidden in the over-grown base of the fence.
  • Once mowed, the litter went everywhere. I had to run the sweeper to clean it up.
  • The mulberry and the two apples needed quite a bit of pruning. The willow, though, seems to have learned its lesson. UPDATE: el sauce está muerta.
  • My phone fell out of my pocket near the willow (not that I noticed right away). Apple’s ‘find my phone’ feature got me headed in more-or-less the right direction, and Joanna helped by calling me (14 times in the end). The crazy part: I could hear it ringing when Joanna would call, but, being deaf in one ear, I couldn’t locate it. I had to play the ‘now it’s louder, now it’s quieter’ game for a while.

And, just like that, cricket is gone (from my DISH service)

There have been some changes lately in the ways the DISH satellite television service provides cricket to it’s subscribers.

It began when the IPL (“Indian Premier League”, a shoddy T20 tournament held in, usually, India) kicked off this year. Up until then, the DISH ‘cricket package’ included three channels: Willow, TEN and NEO for $19.95 a month. Once the IPL got going, NEO effectively disappeared by becoming a re-broadcaster of Willow (which had the IPL). So we were down to a cricket ‘package’ of two whole channels.

That was annoying, but, for one thing, DISH claimed that NEO would be back once IPL was over, and for another, NEO is a pretty terrible channel (even judging by the low standards of cricket channels; NEO actually sucks major donkey doodle).

The next change was that Willow became available in HD. I honestly cannot tell you when that happened exactly, because DISH is always, always terrible about letting you know when channels become available in HD. It may sound crazy, but DISH provides their HD offerings as a second version of the same channel — with the same number. And you have to go check for the new HD channels yourself, they don’t just replace the SD one when they become available.

I did manage to watch quite a bit of the recent England v New Zealand test series in HD, so that was nice. Better than nice, really; cricket seems almost made for HD.

I had actually been watching a lot of the TEN cricket channel during the IPL , what as they weren’t showing IPL (which I refuse to watch, thanks). But DISH has dropped the TEN cricket channel forever (as of today, I think). Just dropped it.

I called DISH (and ended up talking to someone in India, as it happened) to see about ditching the ‘cricket package’ ($19.95/month) and just adding Willow (HD) as a stand-alone. Why pay for three channels, but only get two (and one of them was only SD, on hiatus, maybe going away forever, and terrible)?

It turns out that Willow is not available as a stand-alone channel. Well, OK then. I told the nice, helpful phone rep to take the cricket ‘package’ off of my service. He obviously felt bad (even though he admitted that he was not a big cricket-watcher) and gave me HBO for half price for six months.

I hope DISH changes their setup and restores the original package, or at least offers Willow on its own, but until then I won’t be watching cricket on TV. That makes me sad.

I also hope that the person at DISH who decided that not enough people were watching TEN Cricket for DISH to bother carrying it anymore, but that DISH customers should, instead, pay the same amount for 1/3rd the number of channels, dies from a painful case of penis cancer. I hope he dies alone and forgotten with nothing to watch except Glenn Beck’s Blaze channel (in SD).