I’m feeling much better now.

July 27, 2010 on 8:34 pm | In Uncategorized | 28 Comments

The last couple of weeks I have been fighting bronchitis and I am just now beginning to feel normal again. I get bronchitis on a regular basis but this is the worst in years.

I have tried to keep working but 8 hour days have not been possible. Two hour days have been more common for me but I think I can give it 6 tomorrow.

Last Friday I got to take an eight hour course to become EPA lead certified. As of last April any contractor that works on a home built before 1978 must be certified by the EPA to do so. Of course this will drive the cost of our work up considerably.

The new procedures are basically pretty simple they will just add man hours to every job. I was interested in some of the background information the instructor gave us.

I was interested to find out that we knew in the 1890’s that lead was poisonous to humans but we allowed lead in paint and gasoline until the late 1970’s. Our government knew about the health hazards but allowed two industries to systematically poison every man, woman, and child in America.

Some of the health problems we have today because of the lead poisoning from the past are ADHD in kids and high blood pressure in adults. The instructor told us of a study that suggests the best indicator of what children will end up in the juvenile justice system is the level of lead in the blood stream.

Our government takes it’s sweet time banning lead and allows generations of Americans to be poisoned and now that they decide to clean up the mess they pass the cost on to people that had nothing to do with it. By the time I pay for my class and then pay to get my license and then buy the equipment I need to do the work I will have invested at least $1000.00. The homes built before 1978 that I paint will take at least twice as long to paint costing my customers a lot more money to paint their homes. The companies that continued to manufacture and sell lead based paints should have to cover these costs.

How did you celebrate the 4th?

July 5, 2010 on 1:31 pm | In Uncategorized | 29 Comments

The Fourth of July is the day that our nation was born. Like most people we take the day off and celebrate, but what is it that we are actually celebrating? For most people we are just celebrating a day off of work.

Typically I do not care about holidays and the 4th of July is no different. There have been more than a couple years that I have worked on the 4th. This year was a little different. My son is spending the summer with me and I thought we should do something different than going to the beach and watching fireworks. We went to the Kennedy Space Center and renewed our patriotism in a special way.

There are many reasons to dislike our government and complain about our country. Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of things we do right. Our countries space program is something we have done right. NASA has a large budget and in tough economic times it is easy to question the money we spend on space missions but when we take a look at the programs accomplishments I think it is money well spent. Like all tax dollars I am certain that some of the money NASA receives is mis-appropriated but that is another discussion that we can save ’til another day.

I did not expect to spend much time at KSC but I was amazed at how much there was to do and see. The bus tour took us to places I would have thought were off limits to tourists and we got to see some pretty amazing stuff. I have to admit I wanted to see even more but I doubt that I would pass the background check required to get that kind of a security clearance.

The largest exhibit was the Saturn V rocket, and by big I mean it was big. The Saturn V rocket is what sent men to the moon and to be able to see this up close is just awe inspiring. The technology we had was archaic by today’s standards and yet we found a way to travel farther and faster than anyone has ever gone and with pinpoint accuracy. With today’s technology we cannot even stop an oil well from spewing toxic crap into our oceans. Perhaps we were better off when we relied on human ingenuity. Failure was not an option back then, today it seems to be the norm.

I was a young child when we were sending men to the moon and some of my earliest memories are watching it on TV. Some days I think of how far we have advanced and some days I wonder why we seem to have gone backwards. Technology is a wonderful thing and it has given us things we never could have imagined when I was a child. Technology seems to have ruined one thing, the ability for humans to get along without it.

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