10 February 2013

Reebok Crosswalk has a near fatal flaw

If you have the Reebok Crosswalk and are aggravated by the excessively loud beeping, there is a fix! Found this with a web search. Yes, plagiarism, actually, this guys a genius.

"First, you have to have the treadmill plugged in. While holding down the Stop button, insert the key into the console and then release the Stop button. Now the lower display screen should display the following: upper left corner will show the number of hours that the treadmill has been operated, the lower right corner of the display will show the total number of miles (or kilometers) that the walking belt has moved, an "E" for English miles or an "M" for metric kilometers will appear in the upper right corner of the display. The lower left corner of the display will show the volume level. To change the volume level, press the incline increase button. Now just remove the key from the console to exit information mode! I hope that helps!"

It helps! Problem solved.

I have called Reebok customer service, they have told me there is no way to reduce the volume. Really? Well, there is a cure, and I no longer have to lock up the dog when I use the treadmill.  

15 January 2013

Form letter to all Oregon law makers and their responses

There have recently been a few shootings in well populated areas. These shootings have given rise to activists trying to destroy the constitution and demonize law abiding citizens. They want to strip the rights of innocent people that have followed the law.

Recently, I ran across a form letter with links to send it to Oregon lawmakers. Of course, now I can't find the link. I decided to send it to all of them.

The letter reads:

“Subject: Gun free schools? How about a gun free capitol?


Since the murders in Sandy Hook there has been a rush to enact new restrictions on law abiding gun owners. When Representative Dennis Richardson suggested allowing school employees (who we trust with our children) to have the tools to protect those children, he was ridiculed. One legislator called his plan "goofy," another said he did not think "adding guns to the equation" was the answer. If you agree with that assessment can you tell me when you plan to introduce legislation to remove the many armed men who protect you at the Capitol? Or are politicians more important than children? I look forward to your response. “

The responses started coming in rapidly. Interns must have gotten their new laptops and phones recently. Below are the responses I have received so far. Most I am happy to read, a few are from elected officials that need to be removed from office for failure to defend the constitution. I'll post more as they come in.

·        Thank you for your email and thoughts regarding possible upcoming gun legislation. I oppose any further restriction on possession of firearms and actually oppose many of those already in place, both at the State and Federal levels.

Best regards,

Sen. Doug Whitsett

·        Are you in my District?  If you are then you should know we’ve had law enforcement officers in many of our District’s schools exactly like Rep Richardson suggested.  Some of those funded by federal grants.  The Academy’s position is an active shooter will either flee or commit suicide upon sighting the first armed opposition.  If that means arming a teacher or other administrator if the District or LEA cannot afford an officer in the school then so be it.  Many States are moving this direction.

Sen. Brian J. Boquist

·        Nick,  I support our Second Amendments rights.

Rep. Bill Kennemer

·        Good Nick. Thank you for taking the time to write Rep. Roblan such a thoughtful email in response to the recent massacre of 26 people in a Connecticut school and responses relating to Rep. Richardson’s suggestions to said massacre.

Rep. Roblan agrees that Sandy Hook has led to a rush of judgment on both sides.  In recent days, the facts have revealed that the Connecticut shooter had no prior criminal record, was an honor student who stole the guns from a collector – his mother and was medicating with antipsychotic drug for his severe mental psychosis.  This is also true with regards to the shooters of the last several high profile shootings around the country. 

In the spirit of Bipartisanship – a model of co-governance that marked our historical last two sessions (Roblan/Hanna) - Senate-elect Roblan hopes to work closely with Rep. Richardson to find that nexus where legislators on both sides of the aisle can work together to find sensible solutions to keep our communities safe.

As for the questions you raised below, they are predicated on agreeing with an assessment that is related solely to stricter gun laws, but avoid the tougher questions relating to the mental health system and improved access to drug treatment programs.

Again Nick, thank you for your thoughtful email.  I will print a copy for Rep. Roblan’s review.  I’m sure you understand that  the issue of gun violence/regulation is a complex one, not easily resolved via email.

Rosie Shatkin
Legislative Policy Advisor
Sen. Elect Arne Roblan SD 5
(Coos, Newport, Tillamook)

·        Thank you for your email. 

I am opposed to any new restrictions on law abiding gun owners.  As both a retired cop w/ 31 years in law enforcement and a Democrat, I frequently remind my legislative colleagues that law abiding gun owners pose no threat to public safety.  I have opposed, and will continue to oppose, efforts to ban CHL holders from K-12 and higher educational campus, so called "assault weapon" bans, and any other unecessary restrictions on Oregonians' 2nd Amendment rights.


Rep. Jeff Barker

·        Thank you for taking the time to write Rep. Hanna with your concerns.  Much of the conversation around gun laws, post Sandy Hook, is among people who have never learned how to safely and properly handle a gun, let alone shoot one.  It’s unfortunate that so many of these folks rush to conclude that guns must be banned or otherwise restricted in order to achieve a safe environment for the public.  That’s akin to banning forks because of the obesity epidemic.

Rep. Hanna is both a responsible gun owner and an active support of our Constitutional rights to bear arms.  He does not plan to introduce or support any legislation that would restrict these rights for law-abiding citizens.


Ruth Miles, Legislative Assistant

Representative Bruce Hanna, 7th District

·        I have not and will not support any legislation that further erodes our God given, and Constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms.

I will be working with Rep. Richardson during the coming months to present a balanced, common sense approach to school safety.  I, like Rep. Richardson believe every Oregon school has employees who are ex-police and ex-military that already have some training and would volunteer for regular/continued training to be a  school protector.   Or, possibly retired police officers that would like to do some volunteer work or work part time for a small amount of money to patrol a school.  We believe these are possible options for consideration.   Additionally, we realize that we need to consider other factors like mental health, and access to weapons by mentally unstable people.

I recently talked to the chief law enforcement officer in one community that is developing a plan with business people and employees within a two block area of the local school to be trained and act as school protectors.  We can figure out how to keep our kids safer at school, and do it safely and cost effectively without banning guns and stripping law abiding citizens of their Constitutional rights.

The Clackamas Town Center incident shows the power of one trained citizen with a CHL.  Certainly, any plan needs to be well thought out but I believe we can develop a plan that allows local school districts and communities to keep their kids safe without the foolish thinking of disarming citizens.


Rep. John Huffman

·        Whoa!!  Perhaps a little research would prove beneficial before you fire off a letter like this-do your homework. Not only do I support Rep Richardson I fully and whole heartedly agree with his Concept.

Once you've done a little research you will likely find that I am a lifetime member of the NRA, co chairman of the oregon sportsman caucus and serve on the executive council for the National Legislative sportsman caucus.

Needless to say I fully support the second amendment and will defend it with my life-so what exactly was your concern.

Rep. Esquivel

·        Thanks for writing regarding gun violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is a tragic loss. I agree that we must be careful not to overreact and pass restrictive laws that will not solve the problem. I have read that Maricopa County in Arizona has enlisted volunteer deputes to guard schools as unpaid “posse” members. I have also heard of a school district in Texas that armed and trained teachers who voluntarily offer to guard their schools. These are promising moves, I believe. As a gun owner, I too value my Second Amendment rights and I will be careful to guard them.


Sen. Betsy Close

·        Thank you for your email about gun free schools.  I believe that individuals should have the right to purchase certain types of firearms for self defense.  I also believe that carry concealed permits should be an option for some people.  However, I do not agree that allowing school employees to bring concealed weapons to school is an effective deterrent against school shootings. 

The biggest problem I have with this plan has to do with how teachers store their firearms once they bring them to school.  If teachers choose to lock up their firearms in order to keep them away from their students, these weapons lose much of their value as a tool for protection.  However, if teachers do not keep their weapons under lock and key, they may be an effective deterrent but there is a danger that students will be able to access them.
Once again, thank you for your email.  Though we may disagree on this issue, please do not hesitate to contact me again with your ideas or concerns.
My best,
Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward MD

08 November 2011

I love emails like this

To All My Valued Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job.

What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country. Of course, as your employer, I am forbidden to tell you whom to vote for - it is against the law to discriminate based on political affiliation, race, creed, religion, etc.

Please vote for who you think will serve your interests the best. However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interest. First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story.

This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear.  Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside.  You saw my big home at last years Christmas party. I'm sure all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life. However, what you don't see is the back story.

I started this company 12 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living space was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business -- hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes.  Instead of hitting Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's.

My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business --- with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9 am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5 pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself.  I unfortunately do not have the freedom.  I eat, ****, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to me like a 1 day old baby.

You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden -- the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations... You never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made. Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail out all the people who didn't.

The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.  Yes, business ownership has its benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:

I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what?   I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes.  You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?

Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country. The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy. Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what?   Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart?   Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the mud of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine.

Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep. So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers.   You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem anymore. Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire.

You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship. 

While tax cuts to 95% of America sounds great on paper, don't forget the back story: If there is no job, there is no income to tax. A tax cut on zero dollars is zero. So, when you make decision to vote, ask yourself, who understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't?  Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of saving your job. While the media wants to tell you "It's the economy Stupid" I'm telling you it isn't.

If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the Constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me in the South Caribbean sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about.

Signed, Your boss,

02 May 2011

Obama says Osama is dead

So the exalted one says he has had Osama Bin Laden killed. Here's how I understand things as of right now:
About a week ago the US military attacked an estate that housed Osama and killed him. Tonight the results of the DNA identity was confirmed to be that of Osama Bin Laden. A few hours after the announcement another report came out stating Osama has been buried at sea.
It just doesn't feel right. So many reports of Osamas death have been printed from so many sources since 2001 and now we hear from Obama at a time when his popularity is very weak and he has announced he will be running for re-election. Great timing!
So the question is out there: Has Osama been dead all along and the announcement is intended as a boost to Obamas election bid? Or has it just happened and and the US dumped the body ASAP to keep other things secret. The body dump is just too soon. Why dump it just hours or less after the announcement? What's the point? No, I don't trust Obama. How can you trust a man that spent millions of dollars keeping his birth certificate private and then releases it with seemingly nothing out of the ordinary about it? He intentionally creates suspicion and then we are supposed to forget that?
Now Osama is dead and the body dumped? What is going on that needs so much misdirection?

21 April 2011

Ugly Drum Smoker

I have been wanting to build a smoker or BBQ for quite a long time but they seemed expensive. Bricks are permanent and I rent so that isn't gonna work well. I don't have a welder so making a 55 gallon barrel BBQ is kinda difficult and cutting one in half can be quite a chore. Not to mention getting the straight line.
Then I discovered the UDS. A 55 gallon drum that retains its shape and sits on its butt. No cutting! I searched the web for instructions and found The Q Joint and it includes pictures, instructions and a parts list. Pretty cheap to get going over all.
You don't have to go all out and you can buy cheap if you need to and improve later. You don't even have to paint it! But I strongly encourage you to burn out your barrel with high heat. The exterior paint will burn off and it will stink. The interior seal should burn off as well. Some guys go so far as to sand the interior down to bare metal. We'll see where I end up. I burned it pretty good and I dread having to stick my body inside that drum and sanding.

I got this drum for $15!

Picked up some materials from Lowes and my buddy and I started drilling and attaching parts

The red inside the barrel is the food safe coating and it has to be burned out

My Buddy Steve is a bit of a perfectionist Machinist and that's a good thing. I left for the weekend and came home to the barrel being painted and ready for assembly.

The biggest issue seems to be the fire basket. We tried a cable handle but that just let the basket fall upside down. So Steve went to town and build handles and a lift stick. Freaken sweet set up! We'll add a pan on the bottom of the legs to catch ash so we can avoid tipping the drum upside down to empty too often.

All said, we spent approximately $125 and that includes paint, barrel and bits and pieces. The build took about a week off and could be done in just a weekend if you don't spend too much time on the fine details. But details make it look damn good without looking like you spend a grand. It also helps to have a metal guy doing most of the work. without Steve this build wouldn't look quite so nice.
Also check out The BBQ Bug
There are hundreds of pages out there with info and pics. Read a few and make your own!

16 January 2011

Oregon gun laws

With all the recent rhetoric from those that fear guns I decided to do a little research about what my rights are as an Oregon resident. There are some very good sites out there that are informational and help keep us all legal. The problem is, the Constitution gives us the right to bear arms. Any law restricting that right flies in the face of the constitution. Many people may disagree with that blunt statement. But think about it. The 2nd amendment guarantees us the right. There was no exceptions or exemptions.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The above link has a "note" that goes a bit into discussion about the altering of the 2nd Amendment. I haven't read it all but what I did see, I'm not a fan.

Cornell University Law School has a little to say about it too.

But I live in Oregon and want to be sure I don't give anyone a reason to arrest me. Here are a few more links to read. Be legal. Carry Legal. Defend your right.


Oregon Gun Rights

04 December 2010

Dutch Brothers coffee

I love Dutch Brothers coffee stands. There are 2 in my town and they have great staff, great service and great coffee every single time I go there. I go there way too often.
This time of year you start seeing window painting on businesses. You see winter scenes, "holiday" decor. The DB I frequent also has window painting. It's Rudolf the red nosed reindeer with the word balloon saying "Happy Holidays!". I have issue with this. Rudolf is a Christmas character. If you are going to use Christmas characters, then say Merry Christmas!
This is kinda a thing with me. And I'm not silent about it. I tip more when someone says Merry Christmas. I go out of my way to say Merry Christmas when someone says happy holidays. So I wrote an email to the the DB headquarters via their website. I got the greatest response ever!

Thank you for your kind feedback. I am in complete agreement regarding Christmas! Happy Holidays just doesn't do it for me :)

I will pass your comment onto the owner of the Newberg location. He will love to hear it!

Merry Christmas,

I will continue to frequent DB and support them as much as they support our community.They made a mistake with the window, I hope they correct it. You can bet I will remind them often.