Thursday, February 25, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I finally broke down and had a few of my steel casement windows sent out to be restored. I've blogged before that I'd like to restore them myself, but with the winter here and a new job I figured I'd try out the professionals. There was serious rusting on the bottom of the window frames that mount in the building, so before I sent them out I sanded and treated with Rust-oleum heavy rust primer.
The company I'm working with is Metal Man Restoration in Mount Vernon, NY. They came and picked up and removed the windows- something I suggest having a professional do since they are heavy and we're on a high floor. If they fell they could do some serious damage to the building as well as to someone walking by.
Metal Man's process is to put the windows into a paint removing bath to strip them down to bare steel. Next step is to remove the glass panes and old glazing. From there they spray the window frames down with a metal paint, replace the glass, and put in linseed-oil-based black window glaze. This is allowed to dry and then they are remounted.
Below is a picture of the windows while they are drying after their paint job.
More to come when they are re-installed.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I just read a great article about Gary Gensler, chairman of the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) in Businessweek.
Gensler is an ex-Goldman Sachs partner and he's striving to make signficiant changes as to how derivatives are regulated. Tough changes.
The best quote from the article that sums up why we need more Gary Gensler's in government is this:
Over a private lunch at the Waldorf Astoria on Jan. 6, Gensler, 52, told executives from Credit Suisse (CS), Deutsche Bank (DB), Bank of New York Mellon (BK), and Goldman that while he once shared their goals—to boost revenues and their own bonuses—his responsibility now was to taxpayers, according to people familiar with the meeting. When one banker asked Gensler what he saw as the biggest obstacle to reform, he gestured toward his hosts and replied: "You."Why should the general public care about these complex financial products? Because they helped to make the financial melt down worse. These are products that trade in the shadows, that lack a real transparent marketplace, which means there are big profits and big risks being taken.
Of course in proper Congressional fashion the legislation has loopholes in it that will allow the shenangans to continue. Gensler knows how the game is played and is calling people out on what's reality and what's false.
During agency discussions about rules on how firms trade and account for their transactions, "We've had times when someone says, 'The banks tell us they can't do that,' " Chilton recounts. "And Gary says, 'That's crazy. I used to do it all the time.' "This blog post might make it sound like I'm anti-wealth, anti-profits. I am for wealth and profits, just not at the expense of the entire country.
It's fine to make a profit with you business, if you don't you go out of business. You go out of business maybe you wipe out your investors, you default on your loans, etc.
The difference with what we experienced on Wall Street was that they made profits, but when they went out of business they almost put the country out of business.
To put it another way, if you speed and drive recklessly on the highway you put yourself and drivers around you at risk. Most people who see that reckless driver coming will get out of the way, or they will avoid that road if it's filled with reckless drivers.
The entire country of drivers never saw that driver coming and weren't able to avoid that road. The driver wrecks and takes out all the drivers on the road.
Now your insurance preimiums just went up because it's a really bad wreck and that reckless driver didn't have insurance.
Monday, February 08, 2010
One of the great things about keeping bees is that it's relatively easy to test out new "things." Things being new equipment, new strains of bees, new bee keeping techniques. Measuring the results might be difficult, but it's fun either way. As it's almost time to get ready for the spring I figured it was a great time to sit down and come up with 2010 beekeeping list of key things to do.
1. Focus on hive yield vs hive growth: This year I've decided to keep my hive count essentially flat and focus on my honey yield. The last two years were embarrassingly low. Maybe it wasn't too bad last year as many of the experienced beekeepers in the LI club also had a terrible harvest. I'm at six hives right now, maybe I'll grow to 8, or maybe not. I'll need to make sure they have plenty of comb and are well-feed in the spring and monitor for small hive beetles (SHB) and the Varroa mite.
2. New hive configuration: I'm going to try setting up a hive with just medium supers, instead of two deeps. There are pros and cons, but many people rave about medium setups because they are easier to move around. A fully loaded deep hive body can weigh 90 lbs, while a medium is 60 lbs. It might not seem like a lot of weight but fill them with angry bees and place them at the most inopportune height for picking up and you'll feel my pain. Using three mediums instead of two deeps will give me the same storage capacity. Talking with Pete (master beekeeper) he loves that setup and finds them to have many advantages. I'll start this hive with a package of bees from Pete.
3. Try out ordering a NUC: I'm also ordering a Nuc to start a new hive or if I have a dead hive to restart it. A Nuc essentially gives you a 45 day head start on a package, but they get delivered later than a package of bees so you pick up a 21 day head start. We have an early nectar flow on Long Island thus it might work out better. A NUC comes with 4 frames of bees which only fit in a deep hive body.
4. Test out some Russian bees: Pete is making his Cannonball run to Georgia to pick up a van full of package bees. From Pete I'll pick up a four pound package of Italian bees with a Russian queen as well as, fingers crossed, two Russian queens to re-queen two of my hives. The two extra Russian queens will allow me to change over their ethnicity from Italian to Russian. He's also going to be setting up a bunch of his own hives which I'll help out with too. Diana will be on hand to shoot plenty of video for your viewing enjoyment. A great way to get even more practice while setting up ~ 30 hives ~ 120 lbs of bees.
5. Build some of my own bee equipment: I'm handy so why not build some bee equipment myself instead of buying everything. Top of my list is to design a hive top feeder that can hold a lot of syrup. 4 gallons would be ideal and be easy to lift off the hive or drain it as needed. More to come...
6. Feeding: I'm going to feed my bees early for a spring build up. I'm also going to plant plenty of clover and other bee food nearby to help provide a close forage.
More to come...
Thursday, February 04, 2010
I had the pleasure of attending the AdMeld Partner Forum today at the Time Warner Center. It was an Advertising.com reunion with current and past employee galore. Alums have scattered to the wind and they represented probably a dozen companies.