Aug 29, 2010 - Aging Baby Boomers, Blue Dog, Getting old and stuff    Comments Off

The pin is coming out tomorrow

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Another Triple Arthrodesis update

Last year my Orthropaedist mentioned that one of the pins he used to rebuild my foot was backing out. It’s like a little bump under the skin on the bridge of my foot, and it rubs on all my shoes. It’s coming out tomorrow, under local anesthesia. I’m either nuts or I’m some kind of a Saint. I’ll know better tomorrow.

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Aug 23, 2010 - Census 2010, Milwaukee, The Bier of Beer, Wisconsin    Comments Off

Census 2010 and unemployment compensation

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bread line

Hundreds of thousands of people are being laid off by the census bureau. Whether or not they qualify for  unemployment? It’s an alchemical art.

Even though federal employees are covered for unemployment insurance under the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees program and you don’t even have deductions taken out to pay for it, they are bound by the eligibility rules of the state they worked in.

In Wisconsin, where I worked for the census bureau from March til August, the rules are really arcane. Now pay close attention:

Benefit amounts and eligibility are based on the first four of the last five quarters prior to the start of your claim — unless you don’t have enough wages to qualify for a claim based on that formula, in which case, you use the ‘alternate base period‘ method. The alternate period is the four most recently completed calendar quarters prior to the start of your claim,  where your wages must be at least 35 times your weekly benefit rate AND your wages equal at least 4 times your weekly benefit rate outside the highest quarter.

Got it?

It took four phone calls with wait times of up to 40 minutes to determine that I need to reapply in October (when the next quarter begins) to have my last quarter (July and August) considered as part of the formula.

And as my passionately-right-wing Republican,  Fox-News-Network-loving Mom noted: “What are people supposed to do if they need that money to live?

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Living with your parents: Number 296.1

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babsWhy is my 84 year old dad watching “Funny Girl”?

. . . and why is People stuck in my head?

I don’t usually mind having a song stuck in my head, especially if it’s a song that I know all the words to. If I don’t know the words, it just skips in my internal soundtrack like an LP record without a penny on the arm. “People who need people are the loneliest . . . er, luckiest (?) people” — oh rats.

Mom’s out of town and Dad has the remote to himself — so WHY is he watching Barbra Streisand all alone in the living room?

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Aug 21, 2010 - Computer systems and security    Comments Off

Changing computer’s DSN really helps speed up your internet connection!

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It may seem daunting, but it wasn’t all that hard to do

a pcI have DIGG on my iGoogle homepage, and every once in a while something catches my eye there. Today it was Do you need a DNS upgrade?. The article was just an overview explaining what Domain Name Servers (DNS) are, and the GeekBoy comments could really make you crazy if you tried to parse every one — BUT I got enough info to speed up my computer’s internet response time fairly easily.

After chasing a few red herrings in the comments, ILLBEBACK actually offered something useful: a link to DNS Benchmark. This is a really free, well-crafted program written by Steve Gibson. The documentation is ultra-detailed, but the basic thing you need to do is download and run the program to find which DNS’s out there work best for your computer and location. Once you have them, change your TCP properties and you’re good to go.

Your mileage may vary, Google your particular configuration if you need to. I have a home network with both Windows 7 and XP wireless computers with an ATT 2wire420 modem/router.

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