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The Date, Workin’, I want my two dollas

The Date

Well, never got back on here and wrote how my first date in ages went.  Well, it went ok – had a nice lunch, chatted for quite a while, and generally just went ok.

Haven’t heard from her since 🙂  Seriously!  So I guess it didn’t got THAT good 😉

I’ve talked to a couple of other gals too online, but, honestly I’m already starting to hit that “fed up with it all” point.  I mean, shit, what’s the use anyway? 

Workin’

Ok, this is getting silly again.  I’m about 1/2 done with an MMI package for one of Dad’s projects which is due at the end of the year (not for startup, but, to be sent to another company to integrate into thier package.)  There are multiple contractors working on a single system (two 48′ long by 12′ tall drum dryers with burner systems attached, envoronmental controls, etc – big ass job), and one of ’em calls Dad up and asks if he can get someone to do the MMI for that.  Sure, of course he can.  Yeah, so I’ve got another one now.  Due by the end of the year.

Monday I walk in and Dad is looking a bit agrivated.  I ask him what’s up, and he tells me “So and so called, wanting me to do more work.  Just what I fucking needed.”  I laughed, and raised my hand in the traditional “Ooohooh me me! Pick me!” fashion.  He says “Good – because I already sold the job for you.  It’s due January 15th.” 

Ah, fuck.  Today is the 19th, and before a month has passed, I’ll have to have completed three complete MMI packages in RS View Studio.  In less than a month. 

Did I mention I have less than a month to get it done?

This is on top of some work for Kenosha (I’ll get into them in a moment), and a secret project I’ve been working on for quite a while now in the evenings (it’s what interferes with my WoW time 😉

Hrm.  Oh, and I’ve got a website meeting on the 12th of January to move onto the next stage of it.

Looks like I may be broke now, but, I’ll be starting the next year with a bang!

I WANT MY TWO DOLLAS!

Yep, still broke.  Talked to Dominic AGAIN today, and the problem was found.  He’s talked to corporate a couple of times, and they keep telling him there’s no invoices on hold or delayed payments, etc.  So there’s no problem.  Aparently I’m not the only one who didn’t get paid from some invoices, and he dug deeper and found that corporate doesn’t have the invoices (even if he has a fax transmission confirmation).  SO – that should finally have everything they need to pay me.  He says as early as tomorrow, as late as the middle of next week.

Well, guess what?  Next week is Christmas.  I know how this shit works – if I don’t see the money by Monday, I’ll be lucky to see it before New Years. 

Damn it.

Meanwhile I’m basically living on $20 / day to put gas in the car (on the days I’m working), soda, and a pack of smokes.  It’s a 50 mile round trip to work, and my car is doing REALLY bad things at the moment (feels like it’s running on 3 cylnders – pulled the plugs today, and #4 was wet with gas.  Bad points, stuck open injector, or something – Dad and I are working it though one step at a time.)  Unluckly I don’t work EVERY day, so whatever is left over has to be closely guarded – I used it for rice & meat yesterday, and a bottle of injector cleaner today.  Yeah…. gotta love broke 🙂

Just gotta hold on a little longer – then it all breaks loose and I can pay off another batch of bills, get caught up with current bills, etc.

My goal before the end of February is to try and have between 4 to 6 months of living on my own expenses tucked away under my matress (figuratively) and still make payments.  Now, if every month was like this, that would be an easy goal.  Every month isn’t like this though.  I need better consistency.  I only have to work 60 hours in a month to meet my income goals for both living and bill payment (heheh – and working for Dad doesn’t count.  I give him my services at a DEEP discount.  That’s 60 hours a month at $55 / hour normal contracting rate.)  But so far, it’s been way too “feast or famine” with this – and well, probably always will be. 

I’ve been considering some interesting tactics to hide my money from me in plain site in useful ways.  I don’t like the idea of having, say, 6 months worth of cash laying around or setting in the bank account.  It’s easily spendable.  That’s the most major problem.  Plus cash in the bank… doesn’t really do much for you.  Yes, you can draw some interest from it, but it’s not very leverageable.

CD’s on the other hand, are not spendable.  I can litterally set up a group of CD’s that range from 30 days to 6 months, each with that month’s budget in it.  I can’t get at it, and it draws interest (and, the farther out I plan and make CD’s for, the better the interest.)  One of the interesting side benefits of CD’s – they are instant collateral with the bank you take the CD out with.  Need to advertise for a month?  Take a loan out againt the farthest out CD’s (don’t pick on the near term CD’s), and while you’re paying interest on the loan, the CD’s are offsetting a small portion of the interest as they mature.  It makes your money less spendable directly, but, more nimble in other respects.  Kinda cool.

(and yes, there are lots of “odd things” about 30 day CD’s.  Some places only offer them for amounts starting at $20,000.  Some only require $1,000, but require automatic renewal.  60 day and higher things get a little more “normal” again 🙂

Not sure yet if that’s how I’m gonna do things, but, it sounds like a hell of a lot better plan than just leaving it in the bank or under my air matress 🙂

But the key point to all of this – actually GETTING my money.  Soon, I hope, so I can have a Christmas, and pass money on to those that I owe so they can have a bit better of a Christmas 🙂

Damn… every time I look at my receivables, I can’t help but smile just a bit, knowing “Damn…. that’s good money!”

Ahh, The Future

It’s no secret that I want 10 to 20 acres to live on, a big ass house (a castle to be specific), a massive garden, and enough power source that I don’t have to pay for electricity.  I’ve been planning that dream for years and years now.  Hell, part of the castle design concept is done (mainly thanks to Heather, who found about the most kick ass German castle that became the conceptual foundation for it.)

But that last portion of the dream is a bit elusive – power.  To truely have what I want requires a couple of technologies mature a bit:

1)  Solar, in it’s current state, sucks.  Too little power for too much cost.  There’s been a lot of concepts that are cool, but no one manufacturing them.  AH! But no more!  Nanosolar is now begining manufacturing.  Instead of improving efficency (which is the direction everyone has been going) they went after the manufacturing process it’s self – they basically print solar panels on an aluminum backing.  About13% efficency – not great.  But at less than $1 / watt.  That’s below the nessisary breakover point where Solar Power is a “Statement about being green” to “More cost effective than being connected to the power grid.”  Now we’re talkin’ in the area I want to see 🙂  Plus, if I’m building a big ass building someday, I gotta have something to power my Tesla Roadster (DDDDDDRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOLLLLLL.  It’s all electric.  0 – 60 in 4 seconds without making a noise.  But don’t think of it as a standard sports car – the acceleration curve on electric motors are totally different.  So much more powerful, in fact, that the initial run of Tesla’s are breaking thier transmissions – car transmissions aren’t designed for a flat torque curve!)

2)  Batteries suck.  Too inefficent, which means when you don’t have sunlight, you have to go to all sorts of extremes to friggin’ keep the lights on.  Which means you’ve got to do strange things like bury a flywheel in the back yard to do electrical < --> mechanical energy conversion and storage.  Ug.  However, finally looks like someone came up with a truely useable solution.  But this may end up being the same thing as usual – looks good on paper, but no one ever gets past the first full scale mock ups.  Someone has to come up with a great scalable solution to the problem.

3)  Now, ideally I’d want something that you didn’t have to screw with for a generation or two.  No, I’m not kidding.  I don’t like wind power because of the high mainteance level that NO ONE EVER MENTIONS!  Solar is better, but cells have to be replaced between 7 to 10 years. 

In the back of my head I’ve always wondered why the hell no one has a kick ass small nuclear reactor.  Seriously.  There’s very little complicated about a nuclear reactor until you scale it up to MegaWatt power delivery (then it gets damned complicated fast.  And yes, I know how a reactor works, and why it’s complicated when scaled up – my missunderstanding is in small reactors 🙂  Back in the late 40’s they were dreaming up those ideas (Ford even had the Nucleon car based on the concept of a small reactor, but, reactors small enough never materialized.) OK, so, it’s kind of in that dream area like “The Flying Car” which never quite seems to materialize.  However, rumor has it Toshiba is working on a micro reactor for apartment buildings, small neighborhoods, etc.  Hmmm – 40 years between replacements?  Not bad.  And you could sell part of the power back to the power company 🙂  (This is on top of Toshiba already doing a 40 – 50 MW generation system for small remote areas like Alaska.)

And I can’t find a link to it, but, a US company is working on “Community Reactors” – basically a small self contained automated reactor sank into the ground (something in common with all of the small reactor designs) that can be sold to small towns to make the communities more self sufficent. 

We can power a space probe for years and years on an RTG (Radioactive generation, but not a nuclear reactor), and we’ve used RTG’s in pace makers (discontinued – not because they were directly a danger to the user, but, there were situations that could make ’em dangerous) and yet we’re just now getting around to looking at what we can do with nuclear power to make ourselves more independent. Grrr.

This all definitely falls into my “Long Term Davis’s Dream Life” where I live all self contained in my little castle out in the middle of nowhere, with my fresh veggies and fruits, and can tell the rest of the world to go fuck it’s self, my lights are on and I’ve got food for the next 20 years 😉

But it really does – while I can’t imagine purchasing a micro reactor to power a house (or, well, a castle 🙂 cheap solar and good power storage does fit my ideal life.  Basically, everything paid for, no bills, and I can continue to pursue my goals of having a TShirt (IE – the one that says “Been there, done that”) for each of my areas of interest.

“Warning:  Objects In The Future May Be Closer Than They Appear.”
(Damn I like that – I may have to print me up a shirt with that on it 🙂

Now, considering I’m broke, it’s foolish I suppose to be looking so far flung as my piece o’ land, a house, and complete independance.  It’s really not THAT far away, and I’m keeping my eye on my goals in life.  Independence.  Self Sufficency.  Blending a bit of the old country boy with the techno-geek.  Then I can move on to the next set of goals in life.

Oh, and when it comes to goals – I’ll post some pictures of my project I’ve been secretly working on in my next post.  It wasn’t secret because I didn’t want anyone to know as much as it started as sort of a research project to see if the concept was workable, then eventually turned into “how should it work, and what does it look like?”, and finally it’s turning into an actual product for Mac and PC.  It’s close to done, close enough that I’ll take some screenshots and all that good stuff for my next post – the MMO players will appreciate the concept behind it 🙂

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