Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

ACE - Master

Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

Wow!  That week flew by quickly.  We just returned home from a short trip down to the old home town....north off Wichita.  Just a visit with wife's relatives.  Poor lady.  Here AT&T DSL is awful.  Consistently the down speed was only .66 mbps.  Up speed was half that...at around .32 mbps.   Really awful.  Last year I went round and round with AT&T about their slow speed.  She is supposed to be getting 1.3 mbps.  They put new line in from the pole out at the street and it helped considerably.  But now it is back to it's old foot-dragging speed.  I did not have a chance to call it in.  I hope she does.

 

Snow here is nearly gone.  Just some remains from the huge piles where the crews bladed parking lots and dumped it in the corners.  It really warmed up here today....with a high o 70.8 degrees.

 

On our drive 200 miles into Kansas I was burning gasoline purchased here in Missouri where the corrupt legislature and executive branch has put laws into place mandating all gas stations MUST sell gasohol.....10% or more ethanol blended with gasoline.  Most cars take a big hit on mileage because alcohol has considerably fewer B.T.U.'s than gasoline.  In our case I was getting around 36 to 37 mpg on the trip out....Then....on the way home I stopped at a Flying "J" truck stop in Emporia, Kansas and they had alcohol free regular unleaded.  87 octane.  I put over 9 gallons in our 17 gallon tank and for the rest of our trip we got between 43.5 and 44 miles per gallon driving 70 mph.  We own a 2007 Camry hybrid so we expect good mileage.  But it is really irritating to have to see it drop so much when we buy the Missouri gas......just to make the farm organizations and the ethanol producers happy.  I'll bet a lot of palms got crossed when the state legislature was working on THAT bill.

 

Well....I'm tired.  Been a long day....Hope y'all have a wonderful week.
 Off to bed.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money. .......Margaret Thatcher
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 1 of 29 (1,304 Views)

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

I agree, ethanol does no one any favors as you have proven, it causes cars to get worse gas milage and there for having to buy more gas.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 2 of 29 (1,271 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

I wonder what kind of hold the corn industry has on the government. Almost every single thing you eat or use has a corn product in it. Not to mention that corn is also subsidized by our government and it makes it even cheaper to produce for farmers.  

 

There are easier ways to produce ethanol that produce better results with other plant products, but corn gets the nod. Making sugar cane isn't stressful to the environment, but HCFS is in everything because it's cheaper to make. 

 

In my opinion we as a country should lower the subsidy we give to corn farmers and encourage them to grow other crops.

-------

Resident Xbox ACE. Ask me almost anything about Xbox on U-Verse.

Xbox Gamertag: americangame
PSN: americangame
Steam:americangame
When friending me mention that you found me on the AT&T forums.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 3 of 29 (1,272 Views)
Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

Personally I'd hate to see the subsidizes to the small-time farmers around here for growing corn cut-off. Many of the acreages for these farms near me are under 1,000 acres or even less than 500. They try and rotate crops but only have about 3 options which includes corn, soybeans and winter wheat. Some will double-crop if they have the money for planting soybeans after the wheat is taken off near July. But this almost seems to be high-risk anymore with all the droughts/dry summers we've been having lately.

 

Costs to farmers for equipment, fuels, seed, fertilizer, herbicides/pesticides, feed if they have livestock, etc, have become so high unfortunately many of these area small farms are going under. A new combine costs as much as a new house anymore. And many of the farmers kids don't want to become farmers, or take over the farming operations as they grow up, because they've seen what kind of hard life their parents have gone through.

 

It doesn't help I'm not far from the urban sprawl from Columbus. I sure hate to see these small farms to turn into housing developments which they sure have over the past 25 years. The small towns I've grown up around have turned into mini-cities with big stores, strip-malls, more people/traffic and higher crime. Change is not good from what I've seen around here and I'll aways offer support to the area farmers.

 

Uniblurb3

If you get to thinking you're a person of influence, try ordering someone else's dog around.

Need help? Contact AT&T at 800-288-2020.
Message 4 of 29 (1,256 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

Well....I have a conflict because...even though I do not believe that ethanol from corn is the answer for fuel....I do identify with the smaller farm owners/operators because I have one.   240 acres in South Central Iowa.  As Uni commented....we rotate crops.  Used to be corn-soybeans-clover.  But now it is primarily corn and soybeans.  Soybeans put nitrogen back into the soil that the corn sucks out.  AND the beans are major source for many products.  Primarily our corn goes for feed for cattle.  But we have also sold it to plants which make corn syrup....and even vitamins and other health products for humans.  In the old, old days the cobs were useful for other "waste removal" tasks but we won't go further into that.  Not used for that anymore.Smiley Very Happy    The cost of production for the farmer just keeps climbing and climbing.  Like costs everywhere.  For years and years we sold corn for $2 to $3 dollars a bushel.  It's quite a bit better now.....but, by golly, it's about time the family farmer saw some good times.

 

Now....another problem is the price of farm land.  WOW!  Would you believe that choice land in Iowa is now valued as high as $10,000 per acre.  That is ridiculous.  The producer becomes land poor.  His return on investment is still rock bottom.  It used to be that the family farm would be passed down from parents to kids and then to grandkids....generation to generation.  But now the current administration in D.C. wants to blow the inheritance taxes way up.  Couple THAT with the skyrocketing values of farm land (which the typical farmer has no control over) and the kids cannot afford to inherit their family farm.  Have to sell the doggone place to pay the taxes.  The huge corporate farming operations and the land speculators are destroying the family farms. Now we are coping with climate change....either temporary or long term (no one knows for sure) and that is reducing production.  I agree with Uni.  Keep in mind....there is just one basic industry....necessary for life to exist on this old Earth.....and that is agriculture.  So it's kind of important to keep it healthy.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money. .......Margaret Thatcher
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 5 of 29 (1,246 Views)
Highlighted

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

I agree that corn should be used for food (people or animals) and not for the gas tank.  With it going to the gas tank it makes the cost of everything else go up.  Cattle farmers have to pay more for their food, which in turn drives the cost of beef up.  Gas prices go up causing everything else to go up to offset the cost of fuel for transportation.  Vicious cycle.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 6 of 29 (1,216 Views)
Expert

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

Corn should not be used for feeding cattle, either. Corn is not the natural diet of cattle, they're supposed to eat grass. When cattle eat corn regularly, it messes up the biochemistry of their digestive system, and causes the levels of E.Coli in their intestines to skyrocket.

The E.Coli then readily can contaminate the beef when the cattle are slaughtered and processed. Also, while the cattle are being raised, the ground water run-off from the cattle farm is highly contaminated with E.Coli, which will easily infect any adjacent farmland and their food crop, like spinach.

Corn subsidies are actually holding us back because they're drastically interfering with the economics of the free market. If the subsidies ended, then corn's cost would reflect what it actually costs to grow and process it. This, in turn, would cause the following:

1. Beef costs rise at first, but level out after farmers switch to grass feeding, and the E.Coli contamination incidents fall to nothing.
2. Gasoline costs go up at first until the market responds with vehicles that increase fuel efficiency. This also drives alternative energies and associated research.
3. Any food product using high-fructose corn syrup gets a significant price boost because real sugar has to be used instead, forcing food manufacturers to improve product taste in other ways without just adding sugar. The resulting calorie count of the food products goes down and the flavor goes up.

What amazes me is that the people who are always in favor of reducing government size/interference/influence are the same ones who refuse to allow the free market to take its course.
Message 7 of 29 (1,207 Views)

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277


SomeJoe7777 wrote:
Corn should not be used for feeding cattle, either. Corn is not the natural diet of cattle, they're supposed to eat grass. When cattle eat corn regularly, it messes up the biochemistry of their digestive system, and causes the levels of E.Coli in their intestines to skyrocket.

The E.Coli then readily can contaminate the beef when the cattle are slaughtered and processed. Also, while the cattle are being raised, the ground water run-off from the cattle farm is highly contaminated with E.Coli, which will easily infect any adjacent farmland and their food crop, like spinach.

Corn subsidies are actually holding us back because they're drastically interfering with the economics of the free market. If the subsidies ended, then corn's cost would reflect what it actually costs to grow and process it. This, in turn, would cause the following:

1. Beef costs rise at first, but level out after farmers switch to grass feeding, and the E.Coli contamination incidents fall to nothing.
2. Gasoline costs go up at first until the market responds with vehicles that increase fuel efficiency. This also drives alternative energies and associated research.
3. Any food product using high-fructose corn syrup gets a significant price boost because real sugar has to be used instead, forcing food manufacturers to improve product taste in other ways without just adding sugar. The resulting calorie count of the food products goes down and the flavor goes up.

What amazes me is that the people who are always in favor of reducing government size/interference/influence are the same ones who refuse to allow the free market to take its course.

 


Yup, nothin' wrong with allowing a free market to take it's course, but even a free market needs some control. After all it was our free market that invented CDOs.

 

Unfortunately, with the free market we currently have, when allowed to take it's course, invariably will leave tire tracks down the backs of the average American, while making the huge mega-corps even more powerful.

 

For a free market to take a natural and socially beneficial course, it's needs to be driven from the bottom, not the top.

 

 

 




__________________________________________________________
How can you be in two places at once, when your not anywhere at all?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I really want to become a procrastinator, but I keep putting it off.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are three kinds of people, those that can count, and those that can't.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature has made them." :Bertrand Russell

                              

Message 8 of 29 (1,195 Views)
Expert

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

Oh, don't get me wrong. There is most certainly a place for control and regulation. When it comes to health of people, safety of procedures or products, protection of the economic system, then absolutely we need rules/laws and enforcement of them.

But interfering in the preference of food ingredients by subsidizing corn is not one of those things.
Message 9 of 29 (1,191 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

Maybe a slow, staggered, decrease and elimination  of the subsidizes to potentially decrease the short term damage that would happen.

 

Another thought is that you only get subsidized for your crops up to a certain acreage. This would help out the smaller farmers while the big companies have to deal with working on smaller subsidizes.

 

Of course crackpot ideas like these will never happen but it's nice to dream.

-------

Resident Xbox ACE. Ask me almost anything about Xbox on U-Verse.

Xbox Gamertag: americangame
PSN: americangame
Steam:americangame
When friending me mention that you found me on the AT&T forums.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 10 of 29 (1,166 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

Oddly.....we always say that field corn (which we grow in Iowa) is all used for feeding livestock.  But when I was a kid I did not know what sweet corn was.  We ate the field corn and I still like the flavor.  It has to be picked early....before it dents....for human consumption.  When we lived in the Des Moines, IA area we would take our RV and spend quite a few weekends "down on the farm"....just to get away to the quiet and calm of the country.  In June, usually, I wander out into the field and pick a few big fat ears for my wife to boil up for us and our three sons.  Yummy.  For my part....typical sweet corn is rather tasteless compared to ordinary field corn.

 

It's been a busy week.  Bad news is that our A/C-heat pump has gone south.  The system is just over 10 yrs. old so we've decided to replace the whole thing....gas furnace....heat pump & A/C.  Whew....can you believe $5,000?   Now what did I do with that tin cup and package of pencils.  Need to stake out a new corner downtown.

 

THEN.....there's our U-verse service problem.  2 to 3 minute drop-outs.....intermittent....happening more and more often over the last few months.  SomeJoe's UV Realtime shows increasing numbers of uncorrected errors, etc.   So I called in.  1st time was unrewarding.  But this time I got a ticket for a home visit by a tech.  Really super nice tech showed up.  Boy he went through the whole system bit by bit.  Replaced balun and also the diplexer.  Then replaced all coax cable end connectors.  These steps seemed to reduce the problems he was seeing on his instruments.  Then we had a discussion about my having our dual-band wireless router connected to the "network" port on the DVR located in our living room.  He stated that this has been known to cause problems and that this port is not meant for this purpose.  Strange....since it is labeled "network".  Well....he moved our DVR to the computer room and connected it to the RG via Ethernet cable....then put the regular STB that was back there, out in the living room.  Everything seemed to be OK.  But just now....as I write this....we had another complete dropout of signal.  RG is not rebooting....all seems OK....just no TV at all....HD & SD.  OK....back to the phone.  Oh me.  Someone up there hates me.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money. .......Margaret Thatcher
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 11 of 29 (1,142 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

OK....the first tech just left a few minutes ago.  He's convinced the problem is outside on the line.  Just got call from line tech and he's on his way.  We're 1800 to 1900 ft. from the VRAD....so he may at it a while.  Wheeee.   I've been saying that I thought we had an intermittent problem on the line away from the house for a long time.  But the dummy customer's opinion carries very little weight.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money. .......Margaret Thatcher
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 12 of 29 (1,124 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

Line tech spent nearly an hour running tests......reported to me that he could find no problem with the line from the VRAD to our property.  Amazingly he also revealed that the tech who came to the house today was turned down by AT&T quality control when he asked to be able to bring a line tech into the picture.  But he went ahead and contacted one anyway.   So I guess only thing left is to replace the RG with a new one. Eh?  We'll see if we have anymore signal drops.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money. .......Margaret Thatcher
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 13 of 29 (1,107 Views)

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277

Hey Phil, is it just the TV you're losing, internet is good?

 

You said they swapped locations for a DVR and non-DVR STB, do you still have your "N" router plugged into an STB in your livingroom?

 

 

 




__________________________________________________________
How can you be in two places at once, when your not anywhere at all?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I really want to become a procrastinator, but I keep putting it off.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are three kinds of people, those that can count, and those that can't.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature has made them." :Bertrand Russell

 

 

                              

Message 14 of 29 (1,094 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #277


Computer-Joe wrote:

Hey Phil, is it just the TV you're losing, internet is good? No. We lose everything.....intermittently.....for short periods of time.....2 to 4 minutes.  Then it all comes back on its own.  Strange, huh?

 

You said they swapped locations for a DVR and non-DVR STB, do you still have your "N" router plugged into an STB in your livingroom? Yes.

 

So far this evening all is OK.  The Line Tech indicated he was recommending that the home tech come back and install CAT 5 from the NID to the RG.  I'm going to ask why they don't just move the RG to the garage and reinstall it on the inside wall just opposite the NID.  Then....use the coax from there to the DVR and two STBs in the house.  It would eliminate the long feed from the NID to the RG and all the coax would be downstream from it.  If we had a basement or crawl space I'd opt for CAT 5 rewire.  Alas.....our house has concrete slab flooring.

 

 

 




__________________________________________________________
How can you be in two places at once, when your not anywhere at all?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I really want to become a procrastinator, but I keep putting it off.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are three kinds of people, those that can count, and those that can't.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature has made them." :Bertrand Russell

 

 


 

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money. .......Margaret Thatcher
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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