JohnRgt

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Everything posted by JohnRgt

  1. Physical expression of anger

    You've taseted the various spirits and mixed drinks you make from them? No wonder you're so good. Im all my years in the food industry, the number three compalint I hear Re bartenders is that they should taste what they use and mix. (#2, "he gives away too many buy-backs"; #1, "I think he's stealing") Congratulations on your rapid advancement, Thoyd.
  2. The man in charge of Israel's defense

    Cox & Forkum couldn't have done any better!
  3. Really Hot Motorcycles

    Love the Shelby!!! JohnRGT
  4. Response To Charges Against THE FORUM

    But no one has said that forums can substitute for books -- in any context. Further, the people involved in this situation are hardly "starters." JohnRGT
  5. Will the War with Iran Finally Begin?

    It's interesting that this alleged warrior felt the need to lie about his involvement in the Embassy seizure when he became "President." JohnRGT
  6. Will the War with Iran Finally Begin?

    Everyone is worried about an Iranian nuke. I think we'd be lucky if all we were up against was the possibility of a mushroom cloud rising over NYC and/or another major US city. Nukes “enjoy” a huge amount of clout. I think that that’s mostly because building one requires immense knowledge, expertise and a willingness to defy the spirit of nonproliferation agreements. What worries me far more than a nuke going off on US soil is a well though out biological attack. Discreetly releasing a lethal virus that can go human to human at a few mall and airports could kill tens of millions of Americans, shutting down the nation for months. Even if the US were to respond by wiping the Middle East off the map by unleashing a few ballistic subs, we’d be offline for a very long time. JohnRGT
  7. Smear job on the AEI -- Climate change fear run amok

    When will the mainstream press make an issue of who is funding the Doom-N-Gloom "scientists"? JohnRGT
  8. Happy 2nd Birthday to THE FORUM

    Thnak you Speichers!!! JohnRGT
  9. You know that freedom is spreading....

    On 9/22/06, Hungary honored Reagan by errecting a bust in Budapest's City Park. (Last I had heard, this was to be a full statue. Either way, this is a wonderful gesture.) Also, on 9/16/06, Budhapest celebrated the 100th Annivesary of the George Washington statue in the same park. JohnRGT
  10. Coffee Buttercream Recipe

    For those who would like to serve something a bit unusual to your Valentine, consider this Coffee Buttercream . I'll probably serve it with dipping size pieces of white, milk and dark chocoaltes, and a side of barely warm praline cake on the side (working on that recipe...) JohnRGT
  11. I just reread Joss' post. I never said that anyone should over invest in a property's maintenance, so I'm not sure where 1 came from. The repairs I was responsible for weren't small issues -- I was dealing with serious foundation and retaining wall repairs/rebuilding. Certainly the industry has specific expectations for a given structure, and if inspectors traditionally "pass" a structure with flaws that would give pause to an astute buyer, there's probably little reason to go all out on the maintenance of a flipper -- especially if reputatble realtors concur Re one's market predictions. But my issue all through this thread has been that even when the owner wanted and was willing to pay for a longterm approach, it was impossible to get contractors with reasonable reputations to snap out of their pragmatic mindset. Worse, once I got through that armor, many simply refused to undertake the job. JohnRGT
  12. Hi, ElizabethLee -- Thanks for the support. As part of my preparation for the project, I plan to refurbish a couple of junkyard body pannels in order to fine tune my technique. Drying is certainly tricky, but the entire process is a series of intricate steps -- compromise on any one step, and the whole job is ruined. The car's galvanizing is in good shape, and except for a few spots on the spoilers, I haven't found any rot or rust. All I'll be doing is sanding down to the prime coat, sanding it smooth, re-priming, smoothing out again, and spraying on as many layers of wet-sanded paint as my time and budget allow. A good sealing, either a pro or me, and I should be good. I've always found working on cars to be relaxing and fun, so, I'm going for it within the next 18 months or so. JohnRGT
  13. On 1: I'd say that having a pair of housing inspectors look the problem over would give one a feel for what potential buyers would hear. (IN my experience, inspectors charge a lot for written appraisals, but charge only a fraction of their standard rate for a verbal walk-through, or to give an opinion on a specific problem.) Also, the few highly regarded contractors I talked to did ask about the owner's intent before they started suggesting solutions. I'd also talk to a couple of realtors about the state of the market, and what they think about the impact a given repair approach would have on the price of the property. On 2: Given the amount of money involved, how much can be compromised irrationally or done wrong, and how integrated a house's various systems are, one needs to have some understanding of the related trades. Peart Re the Internet: "I can hold the Universe in a grain of sand." Once one has a basic understanding of things, one can then start looking through references from like-minded home owners (their must be at least two or three in any town ), talk to a number of contractors, etc. All I know about construction I've learned on my own. While it's not a large knowledge base, it was enough to have the aforementioned contractor ask me if I were ever in the trades. Sure, all this research adds up to a huge imposition: one should be able to hire a professional with good references, haggle out a price, and expect reasonably smooth sailing form then on. Present-day culture, however, doesn't seem to allow for that. Related example: I got so fed up with the lies and shortcuts of auto mechanics that I've done my own repairs for years. I've always liked working on cars and have always held on to them for a very long time. $60-$100 for a given car's shop manual allows me to execute any repair I care to buy the tools for (these manuals walk you through almost every possible repair.) I'm now so sure of my abilities that I plan to paint my uber-complicated shaped car myself. I'd love to be able to just drop the my car off and get a good paint job, but the few shops that enjoy top-notch reputations want at least $4K to do the job right; I'd rather do it myself, getting some practice at a skill I'd love to have. I hope this helps. JohnRGT
  14. "Succesfull" should read "successful". JohnRGT
  15. Over the weekend I had a brief conversation with a succesfull NYMetro contractor. In his opinion, the reason behind both the Band-Aid approach to repairing crucial structures like retaining walls, and the schedule issues everyone complains about, is the inability of customers to look at things mid- to long-term. He claimed that if he could raise his prices by 10% on large jobs and 15% on small ones, his customers would enjoy the build quality of his house – and he could deliver on time. He offered one related warning: Unless you have solid reason to believe that a given contractor only thinks long-term, don't believe anything he says Re completion date, the quality of the workmanship and materials, or, most important, that the solution he's advocating is anything more than a Band-Aid. Once again, the market generates the "traditions" it deserves. JohnRGT
  16. The Super Bowl

    Finally!! Pitchers and catchers report in ~ 10 days! JohnRGT
  17. Why I Love Australia

    A few weeks ago I read that Australia was the only Western nation that has refused to allow the Saudis to open one of those indoctrination mosques. JohnRGT
  18. GM vs Microsoft

    I'd settle for a GM vehicle that was as durable as a Toyota, or one that as fun and clever as a Honda. JohnRGT
  19. Alcoholic mixed drinks

    In summer, I make a rather tart lemon-lime-ade and serve it over crushed ice with a decent shot of Knob Creek bourbon. (Other bourbons are too sweet for me.) Add one BoSox @ Yankees game. JohnRGT
  20. Doesn't he consider mankind to be The virus? JohnRGT
  21. Thank you all for the information. No, Ray, your paragraphs weren't too late. JohnRGT
  22. I've been putting either vodka, rum, bourbon or brandy in my freshly squeezed OJ for three days now....oops! (Just kidding. I don't enjoy the taste of alcohol much and actually hate the buzz.) Thank you all for your replies and wishes. BTW: I'm up to the part where Dagny offers to talk to Dr Stadler on Rearden's behalf, ~ pg 375. This is reading #4. JohnRGT
  23. Chinese anti-satellite test

    Again, I'm not sure we can assume that they would act on Taiwan if they could, that we know what they're up to, or why they haven't "annexed" Taiwan as yet. If Steyn and others are right, China would be looking at Siberian zones -- not the European side of Russia. As stated above, it's not at all clear that Siberia can be defended conventionally. (It is interesting that Russia has agreed to sell a lot of her oil to China, ignoring better offers from Japan. I love when bullies appease each other.) In addition: We've had a continuous stream of reports since the collapse of the USSR that their conventional forces were overrated all through the Cold War, and are currently in a virtual state of ruin. Their nuclear abilities were also vastly overstated. (One telling fact: When land systems were inspected in the 1990s, few of the inspected silos could open their hatches, let alone launch the decayed missile that was in there.) Last, we've also heard that Russia is now spending a vast % of their military budget on nuclear weapons because they have no interest in either drafting the required number of service-aged Russians, or going broke creating and maintaining a conventional force. JohnRGT
  24. Chinese anti-satellite test

    I don't agree with this statement on two counts: 1) Being able to take out infrastructure like satellites is an asymmetric advantage. 2) I don't think this was a test. I'd bet that they'd test on their own equipment as discreetly as possible, unveiling that ability only when it had reached a threatening mass. To me, the "test" sounds like a warning: "We can, or will soon be able to, disable your satellites at will." (I have no feel for what that means to the Pentagon. I'd like to think that we're a step ahead of everyone, but I wouldn't be surprised if we're not.) We've fallen for overstatements of our enemies' capabilities in the past, but I don't see the Chinese as anywhere near as inept or phony as the USSR -- they won't be pounding shoes on tables. They will only be kept in line by shows of ability and determination, and we haven't given them reason to think we have much of either. Qs for Oakes, or anyone who cares to reply: 1) Do you doubt that the Chinese have the capacity to ascertain and target our weak points? 2) Do you think that it takes a lot to disable crucial infrastructure, when said infrastructure wasn't designed with this sort of warfare in mind? (Let's face it: our pragmatism is a huge weakness.) JohnRGT
  25. Chinese anti-satellite test

    Mark Steyn has suggested that China may be looking to expand northward (Siberia is packed with unused natural resources.) Not to make a source of him, but Tom Clancy had (has?) similar thoughts. (One of his novels dealt with this scenario. US Navy to the rescue.) This isn't as nutty as it sounds: -- Russia has very limited conventional military capacities. -- There's almost no transportation infrastructure in Siberia (2 rail lines and no through highway, if I'm remembering Clancy's claims correctly.) Russia is fully aware of her inability to respond to a Chinese attack via conventional means, which is why she's investing a huge portion of her military budget on updating (read, building) her nuclear capabilities. (It is said that promises to exercise the nuclear option if any nation invades Russia are meant for China.) Last: As I understand it, that ever-increasing Chinese military budget is mostly being spent on asymmetric warfare systems. If the New Orleans fiasco is indicative of our preparedness and ability to adjust, we could be in for one heck of a ride. JohnRGT