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Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Blogging will be exceedingly limited until I can replace the cable modem.

I thought I had seen everything, but that good ol' boy started smoking. The dog alerted me, and I ignored her at first. In fact, I told her firmly to go away and stop bothering me because I was working on a regulatory policy in a fit of unhappy concentration.

The pooch persisted (understandably), and once I realized she had a point, I yanked the power out. It had been plugged into a power supply unit, so then I pulled the power cord from the power outlet.

I did not notice until I had tested the outlet, checked the fuse box, the power supply unit, and everything else plugged into the power supply unit (all of which was okay), that the power supply to the cable modem had, um, partially melted. Which is a new one on me.

I am going to discard the power supply unit as a precautionary measure, but I think Chinese manufacturing standards of excellence have struck again. Or perhaps it is a feature? The Chinese believe in maintaining a firm control over the internet, and I had been writing a lot about Chinese inflation recently.

The worst of was that I had to apologize to the dog, who spent hours wafting around with an insufferable air of injured virtue. Any day that you have to apologize to your dog because she is smarter than you, it is a bad day. Especially if the dog in question is a bulldog, because they tend to dwell on things.

She has now settled into a state of alert smugness alternating with compassionate solicitiousness that is hard to bear stoically. If I am in a different room, she keeps coming and checking on me, presumably to verify that I haven't set myself on fire. She showed up in the kitchen looking alarmed when I cooked dinner. It will be a long time before I can live this down.

Ummm, I've heard of burning up the wires with a conversation, but I think you took it a bit far.

Alternate take: Back in my day, power supplies were the size of a brick and we put our drinks on them to keep 'em cold! Not like these undersized, underweight hot-plates they use now. And get off my lawn!
That gave me a good chuckle. Thanks.
"...an insufferable air of injured virtue."

I can just picture it. Thanks for the great writing!
If you have time take a look at this link.

Honestly, I come here for the econ. But every so often you have a post like this, and I get my RDA of charming, too.

Women, I think, get the subtleties of animal emotion much better than men. It's probably because girls are overall better at spotting the little clues. James Lileks is an exception.
Fortunately, my dog Loretta is much more forgiving. Take her for a ride in the car and get her a hamburger at those little windows where they hand out food and she'll put up with anything.

My favorite tech support story is a guy that called me because his computer was smoking. "My friends say I should turn it off. What do you think?" I told him to turn it off. Seemed pretty self-evident to me.
"Any day that you have to apologize to your dog because she is smarter than you, it is a bad day."

Sigh... I know the feeling. And I get no credit for cleaning drool off the walls, putting up with him ignoring me when I tell him to do something, how he'll give me the dirtiest of looks when his flatulence makes both our eyes water!
"Any day that you have to apologize to your dog because she is smarter than you, it is a bad day."

Indeed, as dogs are pretty dumb. Cats on the other hand we all know are preternatural in intelligence.
There is nothing like a good dog.

Is this the same bulldog that followed the Chief around, looking worried, when he wouldn't admit to anything being wrong?

Between the snakes, the wolf-spider, the mole, and the various canines - quite the menagerie you have there!

Great writing, too - really brings it all to life!
Bob - yup. Dogs very definitely have their uses.

I sometimes kid about this, but in essence it is true - the south is so skeptical about Islam because in their view, any religion that is deathly afraid of sex and women, beer and a good dog MUST have come from the devil.
GYC - I have never known a cat that didn't believe it was a genius, anyway.
CryingBulldog - Bulldogs INVENTED passive-aggressiveness.

No one ever mentions the flatulence problem. At times I feel like writing Al Gore about it. I suspect that bulldogs can fart at will, and do so as a political protest against the sins of the governing class.

Teri - well, she is a bulldog, so her diet is strictly controlled. No fast food for her, no matter how many agonized sighs she emits when she scents a McDonald's. And then, there's the flatulence problem....
Spork - in a lot of ways I agree with your link.

Part of the problem with our business taxation is that a lot of smaller businesses pay much higher taxes than larger businesses with higher profit margins. They do all sorts of things to cut down their tax bill. Overall a lot of it is probably economically unproductive.

I think a lower tax rate and a much flatter system, combined with eliminating many of the stupid tax breaks would produce far more corporate taxes overall plus more investment. The flatter, lower tax regimes of the developing European countries certainly worked that way! We give companies big incentives to waste money.

I do want to comment that percent of GDP measures aren't always the best way to compare countries. If you look at where incomes go in the US, personal incomes are much higher than in many of those other countries. Consumption is a bigger proportion of GDP, so of course business taxation is lower.
Neil - much of the electronics we are importing from China are ridiculously bad.

If you test the actual units sold, they don't even meet UL standards. Of course, the units originally provided for testing and certification did, but as any company knows, the initial units coming from a lot of Asian companies have little to do with the production runs.

It's partly a design problem, too, IMO. Designers have pushed so hard to remove iron and copper from power supplies that the manufacturing tolerances required for reliability are...optimistic. At least when you're out-sourcing the manufacturing to someone who doesn't understand the design. The price paid is the occasional catastrophic failure, but hey, it's China's fault, right?
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