Saturday, November 21, 2020

Parents and mis-information

 You have to trust the source. Take for instance my daughter. She doesn't trust me to teach her math. Now she asserts and is backed by others that teaching is something not everyone can do. I have to agree with some qualification.

While organizational skills, lesson planning and a working syllabus are necessary to teach a course; it is unnecessary to explain a single concept or problem. From years as a math tutor I can say that in order to explain a concept one must thoroughly understand it.

What is often missed on the (her) part of the student is that work is required. I asserted to her that you would not expect a carpenter, mason or any other tradesman to work without a tape measure. So why then say to me "I do not like graphing." Graph 2 points and define the line. The solution to where two lines meet is often as easy to solve graphically as any other method. (Yes, I did assume they were in the same plane.) Parabolas, ellipses, circles... it matters not we can represent them and solve most questions (probably enough of them to at least pass) just graphing these things.

And it is so easy when you get to set the parameters. If I let x=0 and solve for y; then reverse that usually that yields at least 3 graph points. A couple more easy ones and usually done. 

Trust me the work will pay off. It pays to dig a bit and verify especially these days. Years ago in a #Gentoo-chat channel someone commented that we were gaining so much information we would have trouble storing it at the current rate of expansion. My response was that we should be more worried about what we 'know' that is just flat ass wrong.

Recent events point this out to me very well as my own Mom who watches all the religious broadcasts faithfully swears to me 6 weeks before the presidential election that Biden will end Social Security. This while Trump makes the moves toward destabilizing the SSA. *SMDH*

 Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Is Calculus a waste of time?

To be fair about this let us give it a bit of context first. Since it was a conversation now several months old this perhaps could tell you how much it disturbed me.

The statement was "If you are an English major and literature your intended field; Calculus is a waste of time better spent on other subjects. If you never will use it no point in taking it."

From Which college-majors-need-calculus? via ( 
you can add psychology and economics to the list that require it. It helps you to differentiate between science and bullshit.  If you want an MBA you need it too.

I don't recall using it on the job; but can say it helped learning to take larger problems and break them down in to smaller ones that can then be dealt with. It has helped me to impose order on the chaos (well some order). It gave me confidence and I get where if you could not do it would deprive you of yours.

Hard to ignore the future when you have studied time as a variable. Chess anyone? How many moves ahead can you see? If we were just going to do the easy things, would we learn to solve a Rubiks cube?

If we avoid the difficult does that lead us to a better life? Or perhaps ignorance truly is bliss.

Monday, April 27, 2020

8+ years later

Opened this today and it has been almost a decade now since I last wrote. Life exerts its many pressures and things like a blog become incidental and unimportant.

 I moved on from Gentoo in the end I don't trust myself enough to know all the ins and outs of system setup and configuration and have moved to Debian.

What is more with Windows 10 support of the Linux command prompt I have been waiting for a tighter bash integration :) A lot could be won with a default bashrc that made use of the windows $PATH but then it is never really that simple and as usual the makers of the OS don't trust us not to screw it up. With good reason!

 Many things have changed thru the years. As my daughter grew I came to see some of my own responses to stimuli and modified them because of it. Feedback loop!

 I have been in cardiac rehabilitation twice now. Lost 40 pounds and when the weather permits a walk at least everyday. No more service trucks and 14-16 hour days in the heat of the summer on rooftops. No more dragging a torch and tanks to the roof. If you do this work guys make damn sure the exhaust fans work before you begin in an enclosed space. You don't want to have to change that fan motor with the racks leaking and it will scar your lungs o burn that torch and breathe that gas.

 We moved 1100 miles to Michigan to be closer to my wife's family due to health mostly. A friend I helped build a system for back in 2000 sent me a used rx580 and I bought a game and have been in it a lot since the pandemic thing.

 In 1993 I solved a problem and the company I worked for was bought out by Pilgrims Pride and is now the largest poultry processor in the US. And yes it is in some part due to the change in process I initiated back then. It eliminated almost entirely the loss of giblets during processing. There were of course several people involved and USDA approval was required so there is a record of the change for sure since the change added two more people to the eviscerating line. That is not all of it of course. Obviously I had already won my supervisor over and he took the idea to USDA after consulting with the brass.

 Now thing is I signed an NDA back when I first started with that company in 1990. I am sure that expired. I was actually let go a year or so later for being late one minute. (technically true) The change not only eliminates the loss of product it lowers the energy cost of processing and the load on the compressors and chillers saving money on energy and equipment replacement. The chillers were flooded type and the system required re-balancing at the hand valves (R-717)

Edit: Company- Gold Kist Poultry Live Oak, Florida Maintenance- Super Ray Mygrant(sp?) The change was to use chilled water(32 to 40 degrees F- the lower the better) when sending the product on to the diaphragm pumps and to the giblet chillers instead of tap water and separators; then adding chilled water at the red water chillers. Separators clogged and sent hot water to the chillers too often and the product had already passed inspection. An FOIA from the USDA should get the rest.

It would be nice if I got to profit a little from all that. It has yet to happen but then no other poultry processor has implemented this change as far as I can tell. In any case there is too much energy savings and waste to continue as that was done before.