Archive for July 2008

2 Monitors

My nice 19″ Neovo monitor broke a few months back. It sat in the dust for 3 months before I got it fixed. Why oh why did I wait so long?! Using only 1 monitor is like geeking with one hand tied behind your back.

Instructables Show and Tell, July 2008

Charlotte and I were there :-)

Many wonderful creations were discussed.

View the slideshow

Work with Marty Nemko

I caught this radio show a few weeks ago and now I’m listening via podcast a lot. Work with Marty Nemko is a really good program.

I very much enjoyed this show:

7/6 Mary Ruwart, Libertarian presidential candidate, who argues that Libertarianism is best for American employees. To hear or download the show, click HERE

Here is a local archive. You’re very welcome to listen!

Marty asks intelligent, supportive and critical questions of his guest.

Listen to more episodes of Work with Marty Nemko here. Or via NPR podcast here.

Outlaw Trans-fats and Only Outlaws will have Trans-fats

State ban on serving trans fat first in U.S.

California became the first state to outlaw trans fat in restaurants and food facilities Friday when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill banning the artery-clogging oils and shortenings.

The bill, by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia (Los Angeles County), had started heated debate in the Legislature. But many Bay Area restaurant owners say they don’t use trans fats, and others say complying with the new state law will not be burdensome.

I was going to make a T-Shirt that reads “Outlaw Trans-fats and Only Outlaws will have Trans-fats”. But reading into the issue further (IE, the second paragraph of the article) it’s more of an issue of closing the barn door after the horse has left. Or to be more gentle about it, codifying a trend in law.

This reminds me very much of what Mary Ruwart, Libertarian presidential candidate said about child labor laws. On 7-6-08 she spoke on Marty Nemko’s radio show about libertarian issues. She had said that child labor laws in the US followed on the coat-tails of trends at the end of the industrial revolution. The laws didn’t stop people from hiring child-workers. The trend of children not working in factories had already taken place.

Given the choice, people would rather not send their children to work in factories. After enough wealth had been generated, it stopped happening.

She talks about child labor law starts at 44 minutes, 10 seconds.

Here is the whole radio show (30 mb, 60 minutes), Work with Marty Nemko, July 6th, 2008.

Similarly, it’s (apparently) not difficult or more expensive to make non-trans-fat oils. Individuals, restaurants and manufacturers have already made the switch.

I said it before and I’ll say it again

Harumph!

Harumph!

Governor William J. Le Petomane: HOLY UNDERWEAR! People murdered? Innocent women and children blown to bits? We must do something to protect our phoney-baloney jobs people. Harumph! Harumph!
All of the governor’s lackeys but one chant along with him: Harumph! Harumph!
Governor: I didn’t get a harumph out of that guy.
Another lackey: Give the governer a harumph!
Lackey: Harumph!
Governor: You watch your ass.

How to sell items on Amazon.com

If you have lots of books to get rid of, Amazon.com can be a good way to sell them. Here are some tips. I’m making this list because I just went through another round of selling stuff and want to remember it for next time.

  • Find the book on Amazon via the ISBN number. It’s easy to find on the back right next to the bar code.
  • Say something nice in the listing like “ships from San Francisco”. If the book is under 13 oz, you can ship it USPS first class inexpensively and legitimately mention “fast shipping”.
  • Always make sure yours is the lowest price listing.
  • Offering “expedited” or “international” shipping is a bother and usually not worth the money.
  • Stamps.com is a bargain if you have a lot of items to ship in a month. They charge $15/month but you get to print the return address, address and postage all in one go, saving time. And you just have to copy and paste the address. Most importantly, the envelopes are then not “stamped” but “metered” and you can drop them in any USPS drop box no matter how heavy they are. USPS.com has/had a similar option on their website but it’s a pain to navigate (it’s the government, who’d have guessed!)
  • Use UPS labels, 2 labels per 8.5×11″ sheet. They are free (for shipping UPS items only of course) from ups.com. I usually use the second label on the page to seal the envelope.
  • Use 9×12″ manila envelopes. They are inexpensive and most books fit in them. Note that a padded mailer might cost $2.00 each while these cost $0.20 each. They also qualify as “envelopes” and not “packages” so they ship cheaper
  • Use USPS “Bound Printed Matter” or “Media Mail” rate.
  • Use a postal scale.
  • Amazon should have a “I shipped this item” checkbox next to your sold items but they don’t. I use the change in color of a visited-link to note when I ship.

Bush or Batman

Bush or Batman is the hottest new game in town. You have to guess whether the quote you are about to hear was said by George W. Bush or Batman as played by Adam West. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?

“Right here I have a series of 30 quotes that were either by set by George Bush as president of the United States or Batman in the 1960s TV show.

I’m going to ask you as many as I can in one minute. your job is to attribute them properly

Bush or Batman.

And if you can get half of them right, you win…”

Bush or Batman?

local version: