Tuesday, October 30, 2007

February 17, 2009, analog television becomes a thing of the past. Are you ready?

the Oregonian

By government decree, February 17 2009, millions of analog television sets without a converter box will go dark, to be replaced by digital.

Federal officials estimate that 45 million (20%) of the households in the US, get their TV signals over the air. Others receive their signals via cable or satellite service. this translates to roughly seventy three million TVs that will have to be converted or retired.

"If TVs suddenly go dark, millions of viewers will be looking for someone to blame. "You will have a disaster on Feb. 18, 2009, and people will be screaming -- not at you but at us," Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, told government officials Oct. 17."

Beginning January 1, 2008, the national telecommunications and information administration, an arm of the Commerce Department will begin accepting applications for $40 coupons that can be used to defray the cost of conversion boxes, which will cost anywhere between $50 and $70.

"The last thing we want is some sort of pitchfork rebellion with viewers storming down Pennsylvania Avenue looking for revenge," said Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, a trade group whose core membership provides over-the-air TV."

TV manufacturers since March have been required to equip all new sets with digital tuners and retailers are required to attach "consumer alert" to unsold analog TVs. The FCC has already sent hundreds of warning letters to retailers that have failed to display the disclosure clearly.

Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department are the two federal agencies principally responsible for the switch.

that is all good and well that they are willing to give us coupons to defer the price of the digital converters, but not everybody has the money to buy a converter, or for that matter even, want to mess with a converter.

To my understanding, what they're not saying in the article, is that the whole reasoning for converting from analog to digital, is that it uses a narrower bandwidth and more frequencies can be sold.

We will see how "smooth" the conversion will go when millions of people do not switch to digital and advertisers start losing money.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The kicker... would you prefer it as a check or as a credit on your taxes?

Oregonian --
The kicker refund check which is scheduled to go out in early December, will cost the state of Oregon an estimated $2 million in borrowing costs and an estimated $1 million to print and mail the check's.
"I think we need to understand is sending out this kicker as a Christmas present is costing us a lot of money," says Senator Ginny Burdick who chairs the Senate's interim financing revenue committee.

The idea of a credit instead of cash is part of Ted "tax and gouge me" Kulongoski's 30 member tax reform task force discussion before the 2009 legislative session.

They are always trying to find a way to keep our money aren't they?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

" sanctuary cities would lose discretionary federal grants, as would colleges and universities that allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition."


Republican candidate Fred Thompson said Tuesday that the government should yank federal dollars from cities and states that don't report illegal immigrants and challenged presidential rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney by criticizing "Sanctuary City's" that bar city workers from reporting suspected illegal immigrants.

Thompson feels that money should not be provided to illegal immigrants and that his rivals are soft on illegal immigration because Giuliani, as New York mayor, sued the federal government to keep his city's sanctuary policy, and that Romney as Massachusetts Governor had also tolerated sanctuary cities.

" The immigration issue is important to many conservatives who influence Republican primaries. Some argue that illegal immigrants are straining schools and hospitals and taking jobs from U.S. citizens.

Thompson chose to announce his plan in Collier County, which has vast tomato farms that hire thousands of immigrants and last year was part of a two-county sweep that saw 163 illegal immigrants arrested in one weekend.

Thompson's campaign said 22 percent of the county's crime is committed by illegal immigrants. "

"Taxpayer money should not be provided to the illegal immigrants," Thompson commented in a roundtable discussion.
" Thompson said to Collier County, Fla., sheriff Don Hunter, "You've clearly been swamped with a particular kind of problem because the federal government, in large part, has let you down and has not done their part. "

Under Thompson's plan, sanctuary cities would lose discretionary federal grants, as would colleges and universities that allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition and has called for stronger laws forcing employers to verify that workers aren't illegal immigrants.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm back!

I have Internet service!!!

Not high-speed, but faster than dial-up.

It will take a day or two to get caught up on what is going on around the area, however I expect to resume blogging on Wednesday.

By the way, I'm looking into satellite Internet. Has anybody had any experience with satellite?

I look forward to blogging again and thank you all for your patience.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My dear readers,

Well, I'm still searching for some sort of semi-reliable Internet access. I've tried resorting to dial-up which works sporadically and I can only maintain communications for about five minutes if I'm lucky. I signed up for Verizon wireless Internet, which they assured me that they cover 90% of the United States and that my area should be covered. While as luck would have it, I am in the 10% that is not covered. AT&T, which is currently advertising that "the Internet can't hide anymore", has found a place to hide here. So my quest continues...

As I said in my previous post, there has been some good things and some bad things that have happened since I quit my job.

The plan... was that I moved in with my best friend who recently moved to North Dakota about a month before me, obtain my CDL, and start driving trucks for three dollars an hour more than I'm currently making.

I bought my friend a train ticket so that she could come down and help me work on the house and then take two vehicles back to North Dakota. On the day that we were getting ready to leave, her and my sister got into a fight which started a chain of events that cost me my best friend.

Shortly after arriving in North Dakota, I find that North Dakota has a residency requirement of 90 days before I can get a North Dakota driver's license or CDL and that you have to prove with a utility bill or some other official documents. A handwritten rent receipt is not acceptable proof.

Fortunately for me, in the meantime, my ex-best friend's friend is allowing me to stay with him until I get my CDL and get a job, in exchange, I have been helping him work on his trucks (he owns a trucking company) and help him around the farm.

I've also been restoring a 1987 Freightliner as part of my training.

Well, like the saying goes, "best laid plans..."

My home, and my family are still in Eugene.

I left my job on good terms, and although my company does not "backfill", my supervisor sent me several listings of jobs that I am eligible to apply for (assuming I can get to the Internet).

There are job opportunities here. So the dilemma is to stay here and take advantage of the opportunities or go back home and HOPE that I can find work before my reserves are totally expired.

Should I decide to stay to work, my heart and home are still in Eugene, and as soon as I can get reliable Internet service, I will resume the blog on a daily basis again. (They're not getting rid of me that easily)

So, keep checking back, and again, thank you for all your well wishes and support.