Web Site: http://nemasket.net
Posts by bumpkin:
- Stocks are the most risky and T-bills are the safest. A stock is basically a piece of a company. You earn money when their stock increases in value or when the company earns money and gives you a share of it – a dividend. In a typical investment account, any gains are used to purchase more shares of the fund.
- Bonds are money that is lent to companies and municipal governments. They are considered relatively safe.
- T-bills or treasury bills, treasury bonds, and treasury notes are all money that is lent to the federal government and pay interest. They are considered safe but don’t pay a heck of a lot of interest.
Basically Town Meeting would happen exactly the way it does not – with all the pathos, debate, bloviating, an occasional wisdom – except when it came time to actually vote. That would become a private and instant affair with secure handheld voting pads.
I’ve been thinking about this for several months and am now in favor of it until some major downsides surface.
The Wichita phenom
I’ve also had an unrelated epiphany.
Wichita Lineman is one of the greatest songs ever written. Curse my old man for injecting Hee Haw and the Glen Campbell Show into my unwilling pre-pubescent cranium. The song was a big hit for Campbell and loads of others who followed his lead. But don’t take my word for it. Wikipedia described it this way:
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” ranked “Wichita Lineman” at #192. It has been referred to as “the first existential country song”; Music journalist Stuart Maconie called it “the greatest pop song ever composed”; and the BBC referred to it as “one of those rare songs that seems somehow to exist in a world of its own – not just timeless but ultimately outside of modern music”.
Here’s a version I found on YouTube at random. Note that Campbell is singing and playing the guitar live and had a pre-recorded background track that has all the orchestration, bass, and the whole rest of the band. Check out the “finish” riff at about 2:06. Just a great song.
If you read my last column, you know I’m excited by a new technology – LENR – that has the potential to provide virtually limitless clean energy. We are currently in the “waiting for irrefutable proof” stage of this technology but I have seen enough that I’m very hopeful. The column also pegged Defkalion(aka DGTG) as the LENR company to watch.
I found this little blurb of an interview with prominent physicist Professor Yeong E. Kim. Kim has had a long interest in LENR and has produced some theories on the mechanisms behind this technology. This part of the interview caught my eye – it concerned Defkalion
Q5: Recently some non-conformist newcomers, as for example Defkalion Green Technologies Global (DGTG) came with the idea that actually what we call LENR is something much more complex than we have thought and the solution is to radically re-design the components – hydrogen, metal, reaction vessel and environment to make it productive and controllable. What do you think about this New Wave idea? New paradigm?
Recently, I had an opportunity to observe experimental runs of DGTG’s R-5 reactor carried out by their group of scientists in Vancouver. The results were positive. More importantly the results are reproducible, since there had been many positive runs with other observers so far in addition to my observation. This is very significant historically since we have now a device which yields reproducible results for the first time. It is a break-through which we have been waiting for.
The break-through is accomplished by new comers, new breed of scientists and engineers lead by a mathematician who became an excellent scientist. This is a new wave and new paradigm change.
Q6: Prediction is an intellectual activity superior even to wisdom. Please tell my readers what are your predictions for the future of the field! Are you looking to the present and then great chances are you are pessimist, or do you have the vision of a bright future?
Recently I became very optimist. At Vancouver I witnessed a protocoled successful test with results leaving no doubt about plenty of heat in excess and good control of the device. I am an optimist regarding the principles, but also for discovering and or creating the details which I plan to work on very hard in collaboration with my DGTG friends.
GOP senate candidate Gabriel Gomez is running way behind Markey and is going to get his clock cleaned. Let’s just get that out of the way. He will lose for the same reason that Scott Brown and Mitt Romney lost: The GOP brand is currently defined by fringe right-wingers who identify them selves as members of the TeaParty. These people are active politically and are a real force – particularly in local and state elections. They have boots on the ground and do a good job winning non-National elections. They have enough clout to force candidates to run on a far right platform that does not play with the general population.
Gomez can be (or pretend to be) as moderate as he wants. MA voters will not send a Republican senator to Washington because the national party has proven to be unreasonable and obstructionist due to the influence of its far right elements. It’s just that simple. It’s why Brown lost and it’s why Mitt lost.
The GOP has been soul searching in the wake of losing to Obama – a loss that was shocking given the economic climate. The GOP’s own report found fundamental problems with the GOP’s image in the eyes of young voters, minority voters, immigrant voters, women voters, gay voters, etc. It probably would have been simpler to say non-old-white-guy voters.
As bad as that report was, a new survey of young people by college-age Republicans shows that the next generation is not buying the company line:
In January, the CNRC asked identified “winnable” young people who had voted for Obama, the words that came to mind when hearing the words “Republican Party.” Four of the most common responses: “closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.” Democrats, by contrast, were “tolerant,” “diverse,” and “open-minded.”
A big part of the perception problem comes from the sort of fringe right candidates that are being propelled into national elections and then start saying moronic things about “legitmate rape” and magic vaginas that can “shut that whole thing down” by repelling rapist sperm. And then you have people like Michelle Bachmann talking about autism being caused by vaccines. There are the vast number of climate deniers who actually believe that there is reasonable scientific doubt about human’s role in global warming. That’s not to mention the general anti-science mojo that pervades the far right. Consider the recent report that showed women breadwinners making up a large portion of household income. The Fox News numbskulls tried to pin the downfall of America on women who are working. This is the sort of thing that drives people away in droves.
A lot of GOP voices are convinced that the party’s problems really are just a matter of perception. They refuse to recognize that in addition to their image, the real problem is that most of their positions are out of step with the mainstream. They continue to focus on wedge issues like abortion, gay rights, and voting down Obamacare 15 times a week instead of focusing on their small government and personal responsibility philosophy.
So move along folks. Gabriel Gomez and a whole bunch of national GOP candidates will continue to lose until the party is not only perceived as more moderate – but actually IS more moderate.Aimee Mann’s song of a similar title – I’m feeling weighted down with digital chains.
I’m currently trying to combine files from my laptop, desktop, and old copies of both into something coherent. I think one of the biggest problems with computers today is storage. The computers are generally fast enough to do the majority of tasks that mere mortals would do. CPU’s got faster and faster every year and after the raw speed increases slowed or stopped we were able to keep the gains going with more cores and some parallelization tricks.
What has not kept pace in the computing world is storage. Keep in mind now that I’m talking about the storage that is affordable for the basic home user – not that the high end stuff is all that great either. Mechanical drives have not improved that much in terms of speed over the years. Sure the sizes have increased dramatically but not the raw speed of getting data from A to B. As if they weren’t slow enough, now we have these honking big drives that plug into the piss-poor slow-as-shit USB connectors. Yes, yes, I know that USB 3.0 is better and faster – but still slow. We have solid state drives that are getting better but they are still kind of pricey. As video, audio, and pictures become more and more ubiquitous, the pain of slow storage increases.
So I’m dragging around my digital chains, schlepping data to and fro from my external molasses drives – but happily listening to some good music.
My general financials
I am not wealthy. Not even close to it. I have a home that is probably below average in value for this town. It’s 100 years old and nothing fancy. For a large chunk of my working life I earned a salary that was on the low side until probably 15 years ago. I would say I make significantly more than the average income for this area but it is not a salary that involves vacation homes, sail boats, BMW’s, or anything that most people would consider fancy.
I am lucky to have a home and some money put aside for retirement. Some of the “luck” came from not buying things I wanted. I’d love a bigger house on a better street. I’d love a big honking truck. Hell, I’d love to have an kick ass tablet. When Marese and I bought this house, Marese sat on a plank suspended between two milk crates for the first year we lived here when we watched TV. We could have bought a bigger house, nicer cars, and more stuff but we didn’t want to accumulate debt. We never took second mortgages, never took home-equity loans, never ran up credit card debt, and never spent money that we didn’t have. Those years of frugal living and the pure dumb luck of having decent employment have put us in a place that I consider to be pretty good from a financial perspective considering our income. We worked hard to get where we are – but even the best plans can be laid waste with bad luck.
The smart thing I did
In the very beginning of my post-college working life I did something smart. I stared contributing to the 401K plan offered by my company. My father was not a wealthy man but he impressed on me the importance of retirement savings. Throughout the years the money has grown and there is some other money around that has really not been working for us. There were many times when I needed the money that was earmarked for retirement. I didn’t touch it – even when my wife was sitting on a plank suspended between milk crates.
The dumb thing I did
Probably 15 years ago we got involved with a professional financial company you have heard of but which I will not name. The money we had there had horrible performance. I can say “horrible” because I have my 401K plan to compare it to. One of the “benefits” of investment companies is that they come with advisors who are supposed to tell you what to invest in to achieve your goals. I studiously avoided learning anything about investing – even though I thought a lot about it. I was busy at work and figured I was paying these guys to take care of it for me. When I pay a guy to fix the flux capacitor in my car – I don’t need to know anything about said capacitor. I was wrong about that and I don’t even want to think about how much money we failed to earn by letting experts manage what little money we had without paying attention. That was my fault.
If smart works – go with it
So more than a year ago I decided to consolidate the various small pots of money into accounts at T. Rowe Price(TRP). My 401K had proven performance at TRP over a span of more the 20 years and I was comfortable with the company. This is NOT a commercial for TRP. Any professional investment company would probably work just as well. I am in TRP because my company 401K is there and I have a comfort level with them. They would not be the right choice for many people.
One of the things about TRP is that you don’t have a guy(or gal) assigned to you. It is up to you to decide where to put the money and when to readjust your investments. Many of the other companies have an account manager who is supposed to be looking after your money for you. Since I decided to go to TRP, I have spent significant time learning about the various offerings. I have learned a few things and want to share it with you. If you benefit from what I have learned all the better. If you take my advice to heart and lose your life savings don’t tell me about it. I am going to tell you what I have learned but understand that I am not, not, not educated in investing in any way shape or form. I am not advising you to do what I am doing.
Investment terms for dummies
Some of this may not be a hundred percent correct, but conceptually I think it’s sound. When you invest, your investment is ranked from safe to risky, and the amount of interest you earn varies significantly with the type of investment. There are generally three types of investments – stocks, bonds, T-bills.
So the risky scale generally runs Stocks->Bonds->T-Bills with stocks being the most risky. Generally speaking, the riskier the investment, the greater its potential for earning higher returns.
Investing for dummies
So if you put your money in a bank, it is very very safe. The average savings account pays less than 1% interest. Since inflation is generally about 3%, your money is losing more than 2% of its buying power every year. A bank is a fine place to keep money for short term needs but a terrible place for the long term. After banks, the safest investments will pay around 3% – just barely keeping pace with inflation. An investment that is heavy with stock and risk can earn significantly more than inflation. My 401K for example has averaged 10% over the last 25 years.
Of course you can open up a brokerage account and pick and choose each and every stock you want. That would be stupid unless you have unlimited time and expertise. Most people hook up with a financial company and purchase “funds”. Mutual Funds and related investment vehicles consist of a mix of stock, bonds, and t-bills from numerous sources. The individual stocks and things that make up the fund are chosen by a professional fund manager. Funds come in many different flavors and risk profiles. Some might invest in telecom, health companies, foreign markets, green technology. When looking at a fund, you can look at it’s historical performance. Often there will be a rating system that tells you where it lives on the risk spectrum (low to high) and how it’s performance(interest) compared to other funds of its kind. Funds offered through T-Rowe also offer a star-based rating from Morningstar.
That’s it: I have no clue about the details of any fund but feel comfortable picking them based on these simple factors – historic performance, risk, comparative performance, and Morningstar rating. Simple.
The Bumpkin plan
I have a high tolerance for investment risk. My inner math geek tells me that historically, stocks will outperform every other investment vehicle. During the big downturn several years back, my 401K lost 30 or 40% of its value. It got so bad that I stopped looking at the quarterly statement. Over the last few years, it has come roaring back and then some. Since 1928 (the year before the great depression) stocks have averaged over 9% return. T-bills – the safest – have averaged 3.6% in that time, and T-Bonds have averaged just over 5%. Factor in inflation, and it is safe to say that your money will not grow significantly in any investment vehicle other than stocks.
So bumpkins says – stocks or nothing.
The stock universe
With TRP, there are dozens of different funds to choose from. Here are a few of the flavors:
|Large/Mid/Small Cap||Companies that have small to large market capitalization. In other words big, small, or medium sized companies.|
|Emerging markets||Largely overseas investments in markets that the fund manager thinks have potential for growth|
|Health/Science||Companies that are involved in medical field, drugs, etc|
|Media/Telecom||Stuff like cable/internet companies, networks, probably wireless phone stuff, networking|
|Growth||There are small-cap growth stocks, mid-cap value stocks, and various flavors that meet different investment needs. Some are considered stable with predicable returns, and others are considered more risky with more potential for growth.|
|Retirement-2025||For people that don’t’ want to think too much, TRP offers these funds named after a specific retirement date. The mix of stocks and bonds changes every year so that by the time you retire it is invested pretty conservatively.|
|More||There are hundreds of other funds out there. To my way of thinking these ones give you the idea of what’s out there.|
So basically – I pick funds that I like, that have historically good performance, and have high Morningstar ratings. I shied away from foreign markets because I don’t trust them at this time. Historically, large-cap companies do very well but I don’t trust them going forward. Regardless – I picked funds that have a good track record and a good rating. I personally lean toward mid-cap but have a good mix of small-cap and even some large-cap. I have a fund that focuses on health/science and one that focuses on media/telecom. So within the rather risky stock universe I am pretty diversified. However, in traditional investing, “diversified” really means a mix of stocks, bonds, and t-bills.
Pulling it all together
Traditional investment strategy tells you to be heavy on stock when you are young and progressively get more conservative(i.e. fewer stocks) as you near retirement to lessen your risk exposure. Following the traditional strategy, when you retire your money will basically stop growing and you will draw it down little by little until it is mostly gone by the time you die 20-30 years later.
I don’t like this. More than that I think it is dead wrong.
I am planning on investing aggressively all the way through retirement. So let’s say I retire in 2025 with X dollars and I am invested in aggressive stock-heavy funds. On that very same day, we have a crash that wipes out 40% of my savings. If I’ve invested right, I still have quite a bit and I can ride out a few years with social security and other savings without dipping into my principle very much. By the time the market recovers, market history tells me that I will have more money – a lot more – than the guy who retired on the same day and had his money in conservative funds. And so it will go throughout the rest of my life. When I run the numbers, my principle will never be touched, continue to grow, and fund my retirement in perpetuity.
That’s my plan. I like it. I’m comfortable with it. And I’m going with it. I have the stomach to ride out the ups and downs of the stock market – including the bad times when stock brokers are jumping out of windows. I can watch my life savings take a 40% hit and wait several years or even more until it recovers.
So my plan is to roll my own and invest aggressively. This is definitely not the strategy for everyone. On top of pure investments you have to think about life insurance, maybe insurance to cover nursing home costs when you are old, college costs, and on an on. Most people should get an investment advisor to help craft a plan and tweak it as things change.
So about a year ago, I started talking to Suzanne Dube. You might know her from local stuff – she is currently in FinCom and has been on some other town boards. She is a financial advisor type and we got to talking. Right off the bat, I told her that I had settled on consolidating all my money in TRP. We’ve met a number of times in the last year. She never pressured me to alter that strategy to invest with her. She looked at my financials and ran the numbers so I could see what retirement looked like. She also made me aware of some of the estate planning stuff I hadn’t thought of and I ended up buying some life insurance from her. The poor woman got precious little business out of me because I had already committed to a strategy before we started talking. All I can tell you is that I know Suzanne, I like her, and found her to be very good to deal with – and let me tell you – I am a major pain in the ass as a customer. I have never invested any money with her but I probably would give her a try if I wasn’t already settled on my plan.
In recognition for the help and advice I got from her, I am sharing her contact information. She did not ask me to do so and I am receiving nothing in return. If you don’t have a plan, you should talk to someone.
Suzanne Dube Insurance & Financial Advisory Services
Two Adams Place, Suite 110
Braintree, MA 02184
Tonight I attended a regional CPC meeting that included members of four different area CPC’s. It went very well and I’m hopeful that it will produce benefit for our respective towns, our region, and thereby the state of Massachusetts.
The Community Preservation Act is a state law that may be voluntarily adopted by cities and towns. If adopted, a small surcharge on property taxes goes into a local CPA fund. That fund is matched at some level by the state and can only be spent on certain things: Preservation of open space and historic assets as well as the creation of recreational assets and community housing.
The fund is manged by a local CPC – Community Preservation Committee to review funding applications and recommend projects for the legislative body to vote on.
I am a member of Middleboro’s CPC and before we adopted CPA I was a vocal advocate of it. After being appointed to the CPC, I attended meetings of the Bridgewater CPC and Plympton CPC. These committes and their chairmen – Marilee Kenney Hunt(Bridgewater) and Mark Russo(Plympton) were really supportive and really made me feel welcome at their meetings. I started a dialog with Marilee that led to the idea of a meeting of regional CPC’s. We agreed that meeting in person would allow the groups to network, develop relationships, share expertise, help avoid pitfalls, and perhaps to collaborate on regional projects. Marilee is the real deal and is the sort of person that can talk the talk but more importantly can walk the walk.
Regional meeting notes
The meeting took place at the Bridgewater Senior Center and included members from four different CPC’s – Bridgewater, Middleboro, Plympton, West Bridgewater. Special thanks to my associates from the Middleboro CPC who took time out of their lives to attend. Bridgewater CPA planner Jennifer Goldson had a loose agenda and facilitated the meeting. We started off with a brief statement from Marilee about the goals. Each attendee introduced themselves and talked a little about CPA in their own towns. Each CPC chose a representative to talk about the projects they had done or had planned. After that we talked about any ideas for regional projects. After that we had a general “was this worth it and do you want to do it again” discussion. There was wide agreement to continue meeting at roughly 4 month intervals.
A river runs through it
When the time came to talk about regional projects, I brought up the idea of building a pedestrian bridge over the Taunton River at Auburn street to connect the conservation land on the Bridgewater side with the conservation land on the Middleboro side. The response was very enthusiastic – not just about this project but also about the river as a binding thread that runs through several communities. Ted Eayres – who is also a member of the Middleboro CPC – raised the very germane point that preservation projects done on one side of the river, or other town border for that matter, might very well require action on the other side. As far as a theoretical Auburn Street pedestrian bridge – at least one person there who seemed to be familiar with this sort of project didn’t think it would be overly difficult to do from a regulatory perspective. Connecting the Great River Preserve(Bridgewater) with the Taunton River Wildlife Management Area(Middleboro) would be a very unique recreational asset and might bring visibility to the preservation needed on the Taunton and Nemasket rivers. Will it ever happen? I have no idea. If it ever happens it won’t be me running it. The important thing is *not* this particular project – but rather the idea of people from area towns working together and sharing their strengths to do good for the region generally.
After the meeting
So after the official meeting ended, people milled around and talked. “Milling” and “talking” might not sound like a big deal – but to me it is the whole point: Meeting, creating relationships, talking, learning, sharing information. I see these meetings not really as something that is going to change the world by themselves, but rather as a way to get to know other people who are working on the same thing. I spoke at length to a guy that had vast expertise in looking up deeds. I don’t have any need for that today – but maybe someday I will. There were people who had done all sorts of projects that required all sorts of expertise and involved all sorts of pitfalls. This is valuable stuff.
The idea a regional CPC is really nothing new – many professional groups routinely have conferencew where people network and share expertise.
It was great.
Job Fair, ELKS on High St, 10-2 Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Midd on Move and Plymouth Career Center. Please, let your world know. over 50 companies with over 50 jobs. People should bring plenty of resumes and plan to do some networking even if the job they are looking for is not there.
PSA – Middleboro Mess Movers – 9AM 5/18/2013 – Middleboro Town Hall
Apologies be not posting much recently. There have been a number of things demanding my time. Thanks for sticking with me.
This week’s column
- May 1, 2013 – Five-year-old shoots and kills his two-year-old sister with his f*cking starter rifle
- May 7, 2013 – Five-year-old shoots his seven-year-old brother
- May 9, 2013 – Two-year-old fatally shoots himself
- May 8, 2013 – Three-year-old fatally shoots himself
- May 13, 2013 – Six-year-old accidentally shoots himself(non fatal)
- May 13, 2013 – Eight-year-old shoots and kills five-year-old
- May 14, 2013 – Four year old shoots and kills 6 year old playmate
The Middleborough Mess Movers are picking up trash this Saturday, May 18th. Mark your calendars to meet us at 9:00 at the town hall parking lot. Let’s get some of this trash off the road and I hope we have more than the 3 of us from last month! Thanks for caring. Those that can’t show up, maybe clean up your neighborhood instead. -Melissa Guimont
WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?
Mike single-handedly turned a completely corrupt, secretive, and dysfunctional G&E Commission into a transparent accessible group AND set in motion the things that caused a major reduction in our rates.
No particular offense to the other candidates – but at least one of them was willfully ignorant of what was going on around him and the other should have been your NUMBER TWO vote AFTER Mike Solimini.
Normally I don’t get too worked up about elections – but this one showed inexplicable dumbassery from voters.
Reading into the election results it is apparent that the voters of Middleboro want more secrecy, blatant violations of open meeting law, and higher gas/electric rates.
Voters of Middleboro: You really effed up.
I am completely and utterly shocked by the embezzlement allegations against former Middleboro PTA president you know who. If someone had suggested to me that SE was involved in something like this I would have told them that they were crazy and to shut the hell up before I punched them in the face. I do not know the treasurer who is also implicated in the alleged theft of $30k.
I have loads of respect for SE and will be withholding judgement until all the facts are known. SE’s facebook presence has disappeared along with her blog. I’m not going to contribute to the permanent google-ization of her name regardless of the outcome – and PARTICULARLY until the full story is known.
Today (Apr 30) is the day to vote in local Middleboro elections and the Senate primary.
There are contested races for the Board of Selectman, the MG&E Commission, and I think the Housing Authority.
TOWN OF MIDDLEBOROUGH POLLING LOCATIONS
PRECINCT 1 – OAK POINT CLUB HOUSE, 202 OAK POINT DRIVE
PRECINCTS 2, 4, 6 – MIDDLEBORO HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASIUM, 71 EAST GR0VE STREET (RTE 28)
PRECINCT 3 – SOUTH MIDDLEBOROUGH FIRE STATION, 566 WAREHAM STREET (RTE 28)
PRECINCT 5 – MIDDLEBOROUGH COUNCIL ON AGING, 558 PLYMOUTH STREET
We got a last minute gig this Thursday April 25th at the Boston Tavern in Middleboro. We’ll start at 8:30 PM.
This place is beautiful – wide open, airy, and has a great atmosphere. We might even be the first band to play there. It was formerly the Riverside, Tuscan House, and Chianti’s.
Check out the Facebook event page. If you have any interest, “join/accept” the event and then invite your friends.
Hope to see you there.
The Boston Tavern is on Rt 28 in Middleboro – 58 E Grove St, Middleboro, MA 02346.
Last July, I wrote a couple of articles about flip teaching. One was a general introduction to the concept and the other was a specific example of flip teaching using Khan Academy. A couple of months ago I contacted Nichols Middle School Principal Geoghegan about the idea.
Unknown to me, and probably unrelated to my columns/discussions with the school, one of the Middleboro High School math teachers has been expermenting with flip teaching after hearing about it in a seminar last summer. Here are some select quotes from the article:
“This past summer I took a professional development course and one of the facilitators of this course talked about the flipped classroom and it really appealed to me the way she described it and I thought ‘gee I want to look into this and maybe in the fall I can try this with my honors geometry class,” said Ms. Miles. “So I tried it in the fall and basically in a traditional class students typically learn new things in school and they practice the concepts at home. In the flipped class what they do is they learn the concepts at home and they practice them at school the next day.”
For instance tonight my students are reading 2 sections from the textbook that I have not taught them yet. They’ll complete a few lesson practice problems and I always have optional assignments for students who wish to dig in a little bit deeper”¦,” Ms. Miles said. “In class tomorrow I will check in with students individually to make sure they felt okay about the homework. I’ll assign each problem solving group in my class “¦ a problem to present and while they are presented I am insuring that the most important content was understood and I do that through questioning techniques and discourse. Then I activate the lesson by maybe a piece of technology, maybe a brief video, maybe by just holding up an object. Then I demonstrate some problems myself because students have made it clear that they do want to watch me solve some problems and then groups will explore the content through hands-on learning and then we’ll pose some more challenging problems that they have support to solve and at the end of class they’ll demonstrate that they’ve learned the content through exit slips and “¦ assessments.”
School committee members along with Superintendent Dr. Roseli Weiss praised Ms. Miles’ efforts and willingness to try something new in her class.
“I’ve read about this and heard about it but just reading and hearing about it you really don’t get it,” said school committee member Brian Giovanoni. “(Angela), you’re learning something more and you carried it to another classroom, self-quizzing yourself in biology. That’s fantastic and it’s a new way of learning “¦ and when you’re getting out of high school and going to college you’re doing it anyway so I think it’s a great program and I’d like to see more of this.”
“As a superintendent of schools, what you’re doing with the flipped classroom is marvelous,” said Superintendent Dr. Weiss. “You’re giving them the online experience but you also have the other part which is facilitator and I agree with our students that when you learn on your own and pace yourself you understand who you are as learners so when you go into the classroom the teacher as a facilitator has a much stronger student in front of them. You are also talking about data and assessment and that is just what we want to hear”¦”
Ms. Miles informed the committee that next year will bring the flipped classroom model to more of her classes as this year was a test-run only on honors geometry sections.
Even though this song isn’t really about running it’s the best I can do on the day after the Boston Marathon bombing. It also fits in nicely with my column for this week and the idea that normalcy and volunteerism are good remedies for insanities like the bombing. Here is the direct link in case you can’t view the embbed video for some reason.
This is from the first gig Rob and I played together. Enjoy.
Have a normal day.
The tribe knows this. Their hapless leadership have run up millions of dollars in debt for a project that was always a real longshot. As the end nears, tribal chairman Cedric Cromwell has become ever more shrill, threatening, and desperate as this video shows. It is video Hail Mary pass shot in a pseudo-news style that is rather hilarious when you know the back story.
The video is included in a last ditch plea for people to contact the gaming commission to shill for a tribal casino. The page advises supporters to
Send an email today to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Region C” in the subject line. Comments must be received no later than Tuesday, April 16, at 5:00 pm.
I would urge any of you who have an interest in this to send your own email with “Open up Region C to commercial bidding” in the subject line.Hail Mary pass – the video
I’m still following LENR – a technology that claims to produce large amounts of energy cheaply with no greenhouse gases or waste of any kind – a totally clean technology. This energy could be used to heat houses, create electricity, power spaceships – anything.
Just a couple of problems:
- No one has yet demonstrated a commercially viable device that has undergone irrefutable 3rd party verification. Not that there hasn’t been verification – just not bullet proof validation that would satisfy skeptics.
- The physics that explain it are not well understood or universally accepted by physicists. A simple device *is* used by MIT Professor Hagelstein for a class he teaches on cold fusion. Most high energy physicists claim that LENR is impossible. It should be noted that these same people stand to lose millions or even billions in funding for high-energy fusion reactors that so far have not created enough excess energy to power a TV remote.
I believe this technology is real and that full proof and validation is imminent – possibly within days, weeks, months, or a year. Call me a hopeful believer who won’t spend a penny on on this technology until there is a proven product.
There are a number of companies that claim to have LENR products in the pipeline. One of them is Defkalion – who have been very quiet for the last year or so. They claim to have a nickel-hydrogen technology similar to Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat. Rossi it seems has made his advances by trial, error, and experimentation. Defkalion claims that they have full understanding of the physics and so are able to exert much greater control over their device. This post on PESN is very intriguing if you have interest. The post teaser says:
Defkalion is tackling around 20 major applications of their LENR reactor through contracts with several licensees, including some major players. Price point expected to be around 1/10 of what we presently pay for power. First product expected by second quarter 2014. Public reactor demo expected for NI Week in August.
I hope so.
Since the Mashpee Wampanoag came to Middleboro in 2007, many of us have continued to follow the story. Some friends of mine have become essentially experts in indian law. They found some documents that prove that the Mashpee were never under federal jurisdiction and so are bound to the Supreme Court decision barring them from getting land taken into trust(sovereign indian land) by the Secretary of the Interior. Mr. Pacheco etal – please read this carefully. Failure to do so will cause you to continue to shortchange the people of region C even more than your epic inability to listen already has.
Short history lesson: The Mashpee Wampanoag came to Middleboro and signed a deal to build a casino. Pacheco – Patrick – you guys were total no-shows and left us hanging while my town tore itself apart needlessly. Shortly after, chairman Glenn Marshall resigned in disgrace. The next chairman Shawn Hendricks didn’t last long. In February of 2009 the Supreme Court ruled that tribes recognized after 1934 could not have land taken into trust by the Secretary of the Interior. Land into trust means sovereign indian land that gives the tribes special rights to gambling. The tribe was taken over by Cedric Cromwell – a person who, according to Reelwamps, is driving the tribe into financial ruin by borrowing heavily from foreign investors who are apparently stupid. The Mashpee Wampanoag abandoned their agreement with Middleboro and went reservation/casino shopping and finally settled in East Taunton. For almost the last year they have had a woefully incomplete land into trust application in with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This ridiculous application is the punchline to the joke that is the idea of a Mashpee Wampanoag casino.
Meanwhile, Cromwell keeps telling everybody that their casino is inevitable and that it is proceeding according to plan – a plan that has shovels in the ground in a year. In Middleboro we’re still waiting for the shovels that were supposed to break ground more than 5 years ago. Us veterans of the the Mashpee’s proposed Middleboro casino have been telling everyone since early 2009 that the Mashpee could not get land into trust and therefore could not get a casino. Meanwhile people like Marc Pacheco, Deval Patrick, and most of the media dutifully regurgitated the total bullshit fed to them by the tribe and their lobbyists going so far as to write a completely needless preference for the Mashpee Wampanoag into the legislation that legalized casino gambling in Massachusetts.
Throughout the years all this has been going on, these political geniuses have been told numerous times and by numerous people that they are wasting time screwing around with the Mashpee Wampanoag because … repeat after me Mr. Pacheco: THE TRIBE CAN’T GET LAND INTO TRUST AND THEREFORE … PAY ATTENTION NOW … THEY CAN’T BUILD A TRIBAL CASINO. Now please – Mr. Patrick, Mr. Pacheco, Massachusetts Gambling Commission – carefully reread the last couple of paragraphs until you understand what I’m saying. Now Marc .. the first step is admitting that you’ve been totally wrong on this issue. That’s what you have to do … because …. you’ve been totally wrong on this issue. Not just wrong – but epically wrong. Consistently wrong. Stubbornly and steadfastly wrong. The sort of wrong that other wrong things aspire to …. in admiration of your wrongness.
Now here comes the real important part:
I get that you don’t believe what me and others have been telling you for years. Boy do I get it. Cromwell and his buddies have been telling you not to worry about that pesky Carcier v. Salazar decision. Cromwell and his paid lobbyists are telling you that the tribe was under federal jurisdiction.
Here comes the bombshell.
Please take a look at this letter that was submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs asking them to reject the Mashpee’s application for trust land in East Taunton – or anywhere else for that matter. It references their own letters, several of them in fact, that state emphatically, clearly, unequivocally … and repeatedly that the Mashpee Wampanoag were NOT UNDER FEDERAL JURISDICTION prior to 1934. Were not. Understand that I am not just giving my interpretation – this evidence actually uses the words “not under federal jurisdiction”. Snap. Slam. Dunk. Done.
Please forgive me if I repeat all this so much that even a moron could understand it …. history has shown me that morons apparently cannot understand this.
- The Mashpee Wampanoag were NOT under federal jurisdiction prior to 1934.
- Carcier v Salazar states that the SOI CANNOT take land into trust for tribes who were not under federal jurisdiction in 1934
- There is ZERO … again ZERO appetite in Congress for the Carcieri fix. If a fix comes it will likely be more restrictive and totally eliminate the sort of reservation shopping the tribe is lamely attempting to engage in.
- Even if a Carcieri fix comes – there is a fundamental problem that cannot be overcome. Other case(Hawaii) law suggests that the federal government cannot take over land that is currently ceded to the state. Since there is no federal land in the original 13 colonies – there is no way to create sovereign indian land.
- You are totally wasting time and effort by holding up the Region C license in the hope that the Mashpee are going to get trust land.
This is not new information – sure these documents that my awesome and informed friends have uncovered are new – but they are just the hardcopy proof of everything that we’ve been telling you for years.
IT IS TIME TO LISTEN. I can hook you up with some amazing people who – unlike you – have spent YEARS studying this issue. And here is the real shocker: The tribe and paid lobbyists who stand to benefit from a Mashpee Wampanoag casino have been feeding you bad information to keep their chances alive. I know that sounds unbelievable but it’s true.
Now please do me the favor of waking the f*** up – even if it is six years too late.
I would ask you to excuse my harsh language and understand that me and my friends have gone through living hell for almost six years while you numbskulls in the state house couldn’t bother your a**** to learn anything – or even read the information that was chewed up and regurgitated for easy digestion.
This place has a great pub atmosphere and (I think) over 100 beers on the menu.
Checkin at the Facebook Event Page.
In addition to the regular important work they do – the Middleboro Finance Committee will be meeting FinCom Agenda 3-19-2013.
With a proposed price tag of $13M, the new police station should be of interest to all.
Bumpkin Jr’s team won the championship in the Middleboro church league last week. Mrs. Bumpkin sponsored the team – Mary Barry Massage Therapy.
I forget the final score – something like 54 to 4something – not sure. All the kids and Coach Dave Ward did a great job and had a fun season.
I’ve posted videos of the game to YouTube
At the last two Middleboro Board of Selectman’s meeting – the town clerk presented the BOS with the option to combine the spring town election and the special primary election that is being held this April to fill the seat vacated by Senator Kerry when he accepted the job of Secretary of State.
Here are the applicable videos
Simply put – the way I see it, we have Republicans pushing their agenda on the town. At 57 minutes into the meeting, Selectman Rullo calls out the lame objections for what they are – partisan nonsense.
That’s what I see. What do you see?Google Chromebook Pixel. It is running around $1300 to $1450 – or in other words – a crapload. It has possibly the highest resolution laptop display on the market. It has impeccable design and top notch hardware. That said, on its face, the Pixel doesn’t make sense.
I love Chrome OS – for certain devices like small/cheap laptops and I think it makes a lot more sense than a tablet in many situations. My ChromeBook cost $299. It is light, fast, and has a keyboard. It’s a great device. But would I want to part with $1400 for the Cadillac version …. Nope.
ChromeOS is almost totally dependent on being connected to the Internet to run cloud-based applications – basically anything you can run in a web browser. Unlike previous Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung, it has a touch screen — for an operating system that is not particularly designed for touch. For the cost, one would be hard-pressed to justify a ChromeBook compared to another high-end laptop running a more general purpose operating system such as Linux, MacOS, or even Windows.
So what is Google thinking?
There is only one thing that makes sense to me: That the rumors of a merging of ChromeOS and Android are true and coming within a year. That makes the Pixel an expensive touch gadget that will certainly be bought in significant quantity by cash-enabled geeks and early adopters. That will give Google a chance to put the hardware through it’s paces in the real world, find the weak spots, and then roll out the big merge. ChromeDroid – my name for this theoretical merging – now makes sense on the Pixel. It has a universe of touch-enabled applications that can be used offline. Overnight Google has a mature and stable OS that has some feature parity with the big three (Windows, MacOS, Linux). It can be scaled up or down to run on small devices like phones, medium devices like tablets, or big honking desktops and high-end laptops.
We shall see.
The ChromeBooks that one can buy for much less than $500 make a lot of sense. I see them being a major player in schools due to their almost zero admin overhead and centralized management abilities. You turn them on, they update themselves if needed, and they work. No muss, no fuss, no viruses, and no pain.
I just picked up a new router – the networking kind …. not the woodworking kind.
I’ve been using the venerable LinkSys WRT54G and it worked just fine for many a year. In the last few weeks the wireless network speeds have been spotty – often requiring a power cycle of the router. I figured it was time.
My first thought was that I should be able to get a decent router for $50 or $60 bucks … and I suppose you can. After looking at reviews I decided I needed a relatively good router – not just something decent. Most of our television viewing is coming via the Internet. The kids do a lot of gaming. We have the usual assortment of wireless gadgets – laptops and such. In pretty short order I selected the Asus RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router. I have to tell you I’m really pleased with it.
My old LinkSys was an 802.11 b/g router. For whatever reason, I seemed to get about 4 or 5 Mbps on my wireless laptop. I’m getting a solid 35 Mbps with my new router. It has 10/100/1000 ethernet – which is pretty standard stuff these days. It also has 2 USB connectors that allow you to hook certain printers and USB drives to it. The USB drives can be shared via SMB(windows) or FTP. It has a builtin DLNA server – which means you could share the digital content on your drives with other devices. Typically “digital content” means photos, videos, and music. The Asus has a ton more features including a VPN server. But most of all it’s fast. The interface is very intuitive – much better than the fairly clumsy yet functional interface on the WRTG.
I’m still on day one with the new router – but I really like what I see so far.
Someone suggested a column with this top:
MA meal breaks. MGL 149 requires employees to get a lunch break if they work more than 6 hours per day. Pretty simple right?
However, many employees violate this law, by requiring an employee to perform part of their job responsibilities during their lunch. This law states “if unpaid, this time is the employees free time”. If the employee is required to do any part of their job during lunch, this would not be an unpaid lunch. If the employee is restricted from leaving the property by the employer this would need to be a paid lunch.
I’ve been working since I was 15 years old (not counting paper routes and cutting grass). In those 35 years I’ve only worked at four different companies. Of those four I’ve been working at one of them for almost 29 years. Yes 29.
Back when I was a bundle boy at Capital Supermarket, the manager would occasionally give you guff about taking a break if you had a short shift or if it was really busy. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, he told me once that I couldn’t take a break and I took one anyway which led to some hot water for me. Other than those minor incidents, I’ve never had an employer pressure me to skip lunch or breaks and/or expect me to work during breaks.
I’d be interested in your experiences and whether or not you think this problem is pervasive in the workplace.