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mudpuppy last won the day on January 3 2018

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About mudpuppy

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  • Birthday 11/18/1977

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  1. ^That sounds exactly like stories everyone I know who mountain bikes tells, and then says, "you should try it!" My favorite is my coworker that injured himself to the point where he was hospitalized with a kidney injury and still says I should get into it. No thanks.
  2. It's pretty much official that barring a miracle of Covid disappearing, we will be working from home at least until the end of this year. By the tone of the survey our CEO sent out yesterday they're considering at least some of us never returning to the office.
  3. I'm kind of the opposite of you all--the only battery powered tool I have is a drill. Corded tend to be more powerful and cheaper, and I'm a cheap ass.
  4. Hey, Michigan got the good part of that deal... U.P. vs. Toledo.
  5. I can confirm Michigan does, indeed, hate Ohio.
  6. Some buffets in Vegas are already open. Some are doing all-you-can-eat with a server bringing everything, but others you have to go get your food, though someone will serve it to you at the counter.
  7. I don't have a lot of answers on this stuff, but this question at least has numbers involved. In the dealings I've had with recruiting, our HR says the affirmative action targets want the employee population to mirror the general population. Which sounds fair at least on the surface. When we get into recruiting, though, we find engineering students don't make up the same percentages as the general population, so it becomes much more difficult to achieve those targets. I don't have the specific numbers for our company, but in general the US population is about 60% white alone, 18% hispanic, 13% black, 6% asian, which obviously has huge regional variations.
  8. That one was for real, this one is a fake spoof.
  9. I've been following the Vegas stuff like a hawk, and many reports are only 5% to 20% of people are wearing masks. Either way it doesn't sound like fun to me (despite my avatar, I'm not willing to risk infection for BJ.)
  10. I thought a lot about this during my 2.5-hour lawn mowing yesterday. I'll start by saying I think as a whole the country has come a long way in a relatively short time. My wife was shocked to learn my elementary school played "Song of the South" in class. We sang songs in school talking about putting down "injun" uprisings. I clearly remember my teacher explaining that "injun" was just another word for Indian when in reality it's pejorative. I remember my grandparents talking about the "coloreds" and using the N-word. Obviously none of this would be acceptable in open society, let alone in school, any more. Granted there is still plenty of overt racism out there and there probably always will be, but society is changing and recognizing it's out there and isn't acceptable. On the other hand obviously there is still a long way to go. I also remember my grandparents talking about how their parents were invited to KKK meetings and attended a couple but decided it wasn't for them. My grandparents seemed proud of that, but didn't draw a line from that to their own racism. I think we're in a similar situation when we say things like we don't see color. That is great, but it doesn't mean there isn't more that needs to change. My wife's grandfather said he didn't see what the problem was--that there is no color to him. Which knowing him I know he truly lives that. But at the same time he can walk down the street and not have to worry about being killed by a police officer or a group of vigilantes like in Brunswick, but a black man can't. (And I don't blame the police for that per se, but it's a real societal problem.) I don't pretend to have any answers, but my point is we should be proud that we've come a long way, but at the same time recognize we have a long ways to go yet. Turning to engineering specifically, I used to feel like my group was really diverse--we have, or have had, quite a few women and minorities--up to 50% of our group. But in the marathon lawn-mowing it started to dawn on me that all of the minorities I've worked with are foreign-born. We've had Africans, but no African-Americans. We have Asians, but no Asian-Americans, we've had middle-eastern people, but none born in the US. Which got to me thinking about why that is? I do a lot of recruiting for my company and when we go to universities we talk to lots of foreign students, but the American students are almost all white males, with a few white females in the mix. It's not for a lack of looking because we go to every diversity event we can find for engineering and still have a hard time coming up with a diverse candidate pool. Why is that? I don't know really, but suspect it is a combination of a lack of opportunity for minorities coupled with bad schools. But I can't pretend to know what it's really like growing up as a minority. I mirror what others said above, that in general in engineering if you have the skills to get the job done, you're accepted into the community. I give engineering an A for accepting diversity in that respect. But as far as actually being diverse, I think we're more like a D (but not for a lack of trying.)
  11. I would seriously consider filing in small claims court for this one. You signed up, they didn't deliver and now want to charge you a fee to use the credit? I don't think so. I wonder what the likelihood of them even showing up in court is? Probably nil, so you'd probably get a default judgement. Only takes the filing fee and some time to find out what happens.
  12. They didn't know what hit them.
  13. Heat pumps are pretty common down south. My wife had one in south Georgia, and my dad had one in southern Arizona. In their cases they're air to air heat pumps, so basically just like A/C in the summer, that reverses in the winter. My wife's would do fine for heat until it got down into the 20s outside, which is only a couple times a year down there. Then the backup heat kicks in (resistance heat strips, which use a huge amount of energy.) Since we're cheap we just opened the breaker to the heat strips and would suffer the cooler temperatures. They're becoming more popular up north too. My boss got central A/C installed a couple years ago and went with a heat pump since the added cost wasn't much. It runs in heat mode until the outside temperature drops below a set point (I think it's around 40 degrees or so) and below that the furnace kicks on. This gives the efficiency of the heat pump at milder temperatures but still able to keep up with the heating needs when it gets really cold. I have a georthermal heat pump. In concept it's the same as the air-air heat pumps except the heat sink/source is water instead of air. Mine is an open loop, so it pulls from the well and dumps it outside. Since the groundwater temperature doesn't change from season to season, it's a lot more efficient in the winter than an air-to-air. Supposedly it's around 300 to 400% efficient (e.g. for every BTU of electricity to run the compressor you move 3-4 BTU in/out of the house.) With the current price of electricity it's about the same cost as heating with propane, but back when propane was expensive the heat pump was much cheaper to run.
  14. We had strawberries in our garden that we originally planted 3 years ago. Wife wants more room in the garden, so we started a second 30x40' fenced plot to put berries and fruit trees in. Three years ago we originally planted about 20 strawberries, but ended up transplanting over 60 with all the clone plants from runners. Some aren't going to survive the transplant, but in a couple years we should have a really nice strawberry patch. Which I'm really excited about because home-grown strawberries are so much tastier than store-bought. My question is, do you have a plan for the runners? Strawberries seem to like to multiply like crazy.
  15. Before and after (I finished putting up the fence yesterday.
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