Parrot Linux and Btrfs

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yogi
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by yogi »

When companies get as large as Motorola was, the chain of management comes in various flavors. The front line managers are the ones who we see and deal with every day on our job. The middle managers are those who they report to, and on rare occasion they will come into the trenches and see how the troops are doing. The upper managers are mythical people who have no understanding of the workingman concept. These folks are responsible for profits and profits only. Then, above all those managers is the executive management. While the executives don't have a clue about how the business is run, they do have the burden of answering to the stockholders. The numbers from upper management better be what is expected of them, or heads will go rolling. All those managers combined make up about half the people employed by the corporation. LOL Well, it seems that way even if it's not true. Truth is that the executive management is out of touch with the worker bees because they are only responsible for results. They have no concern over how the results are obtained. Thus, when the executive management makes a decision, they don't know how it will affect the lowest head on the totem pole, nor do they care. They hired other managers to work those things out. You might think people on the executive level of management aren't worth the millions of dollars they get in compensation, but they do have a lot of stress and are responsible for the performance of many many people. Personally I think they earn their salary. Plus, being paid so much keeps them honest. Right!?

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Kellemora
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by Kellemora »

Only because I was raised in the business world do I understand what upper-management goes through.
And a lot of it does not apply to family owned businesses where nearly everyone shares the load.

I worked in a business where there were no outside shareholders other than family members.
But they ran the place the same as you mentioned above.
Their board of four executives kept tabs on everything through the managers they hired for each department.
But as you said, had little to no knowledge of what was taking place down on the floor where the work was done.
The company had grown so much, those who originally started the company no longer had any idea how their product was actually made anymore. Technology changed and more or less left them behind in the dust. All they knew were dollars and dollars, hi hi.
I can relate to how they don't know, just by looking at my dad in our business.
Once the computers came in, his primary job was usurped by them "confounded computin' contraptions" hi hi.
Even so, he still knew the entire business, just like we all did.
Once a year the big shots of the company took a tour of their facilities to meet the department managers, supervisors, bosses, and a few of the employee's. I actually heard one who stopped to look at some humongous machine and ask what does this machine do to the two people running it. I guess it was a logical question since at that location he could not see the input or the output of that particular machine. The input side was in a different room, and the output side was ahead of yet other machines so you only had a small 2 or 3 foot space where you could observe the partially formed steel product before it went into the next machine.
When the company started, this operation was performed in several steps using and hand operated metal bending brake. Then later they added two more bending brakes. And over time an hydraulic powered rolling type of bending brake. Now the whole thing is computerized and roils of steel go at one end, and the first bends come out the other before going into another machine.

I got carried away and forgot about the other departments. From the top down they had separate accounting departments for accounts payable, account receivable, and an IT department. Their sales department was also broken up into different types of sales departments, including a contracts handling department. To supply everything they had a few different purchasing departments as well. Then you finally drop down a tier to the upper managers for the working end of the business. Just like you described above.

Something similar was happening with my Wonder Plants business, which is how I managed to get it stolen out from under me. I knew nothing about how our franchise stores were set up and run. Nor the division who made the fixtures that went into them. My attorney and his partner were handling the financial end of the business for me, and I more or less acted as a manager over the supervisors we had in the planting and growing area, plus I was responsible for purchasing the plants they were planting. The job of ordering the pots, liners, having the meters manufactured, and keeping the supply of growing media come in, was delegated to a purchasing manager, who's only job was to make sure what we were using was ordered and delivered without us running out of any product. This guy, although I was technically his boss, was always on my case because I'm the one who went out to make sure plants were coming in. Plus training the employees how to properly plant and care for each type of plant. Now I had supervisors who took care of much of that once I taught them about each plant.

I was away on what was supposed to be a two month long buying trip to Florida when those attorneys sold the place out from under me and took in several investors when we did not need investors at all for anything. The building was paid for and all the equipment in it. Inventory Items were usually paid along with the orders for them, or after the company shipped them to us.
Needless to say, and I talked about this before. It was a low blow to find suppliers not being paid, and then coming home to find the plant empty, except for the one working who kept the place clean for us.
I hate even thinking about how I let it all happen. And to compound the issue, my name was on nearly everything.
Fortunately, some of those contracts were signed using my computer signature without my authorization.
I'm just glad the FBI realized this and found I was not a part of the scam.
Even so, I still had a lot of lawsuits I had to defend in courts. Very costly also!
Water over the dam now!

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yogi
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by yogi »

The corporate management structure I talked about is standard throughout the world. There might be some laws of incorporation regarding the company board of directors, but the rest is pretty much ad hoc. A single person can handle only so much responsibility so that once the organization exceeds that limit a new layer of management needs to be installed. There are slightly different approaches to the same end, such as centralized or decentralized management, but the layers of responsibility still exist regardless of the philosophy behind them.

I don't want to dwell on sore spots but I must convey my sympathies to you regarding Wonder Plants. It's an inevitable fact of life that you must put your trust in somebody or something. You cannot take responsibility and control for all the activity in your life. When operating a business the complexities are too many for a single person.

I was talking to a couple farmers not too long ago. Both of them ran large farms in different states, and both of them inherited the land from their ancestors who were the original owners of the land. Also, both did not have single ownership but instead shared it with other siblings. The guys I talked to were the only ones interested in keeping the farm in the family. They not only wanted to preserve the family farm but they also both enjoyed the super hard work they had to do to keep it viable. As it turns out these two guys were about to lose the farm because they were being outvoted by the siblings and could not afford to buy them out. When the farms go, these two guys will be out of work. Of course they will have their share of the profits from the sale, but it won't be enough to buy another and it certainly won't be like running the family farm. So, it's not only shifty lawyers you need to look out for.

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Kellemora
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by Kellemora »

Yeppers, not much changes in how things must be done to work right.

The sad thing is, I checked out this attorney in many ways before I hired him. At one time he worked for Johnny Carson as his personal attorney. So I figured if he was not on the up and up, word would have got around.
The thing is, I don't really think he turned bad until he took on a partner who was a rotten apple and I was warned about the partner by a few of Ruth's family members. But as of himself, he had no powers in the company, but he did have big persuasive powers and was hired to get the franchise operations going.
I had my life savings into that company! Sad, very sad.

In a way, that is what happened with our family farm. It was a big agro-business, but was growing for many years under grandpa. He even donated the land he owned on the other side of Bopp Road to St. Clement Church and School, but to make it legal, charged them one dollar.
When he died, the boys got the land the business was on, and the business, the girls each got a house in the subdivision built on the land he sold for development, plus the proceeds of the sale of that land. Even so, they were still not happy with getting the lions share of the money.
The four brothers who got the business, one brother sued the company to buy back his portion of the company, and the lot he was given to build on. So that left three brothers owning everything, and one brother bought the other uncles lot to expand his yard.
If any of these three brothers died, grandpa's will then provided that the eldest son of each of them took over the business, but divided into the three major sections. I was supposed to get the flower shop, a cousin the retail greenhouses and another the growing greenhouses, but that son wanted no part of it. So the elder father bought out his share before any of the rest died. Long before any of them died though, an uncle built new greenhouse behind his house on the land he acquired from the other uncle for his son to establish his business. Then in 1984 they all decided to sell the place off and retire. So none of us kids got the section we were supposed to get. Plus I never got back the 35k I invested in the flower shop of my own money, since I knew I would be taking it over. So for the place to be sold was a surprise to me. But dad knew I had Wonder Plants now and probably wouldn't want it anyhow, and George had his new greenhouses and probably wouldn't want maintenance of the old greenhouses. He held on for a lot of years using his dad's money, but eventually went belly up himself. He was a grower not a businessman is why.

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yogi
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by yogi »

I happen to be an only child and always wanted to have a baby sister. I recall asking mom to get one for me, but she could not. She told me many years later that I "broke the mold" when I was born. I never found out exactly what that meant, but she claimed she could not have any more children and I accepted it. Just about every kid I knew had siblings and I always admired them. They would tell me about all the problems they had getting along with their brothers and sisters, but I knew it would be different in my case. Or, so I thought. And, there was the fact that I grew up in poverty. Mom and dad could not accumulate any wealth. When dad passed his total fortune was $80 in cash ($2 bills which I still have somewhere). Mom gave them to me. When mom passed there was a bank account with some SSA left overs in it. That was it from her. Nothing significant to inherit, and no siblings to share it with. So, I guess I was spoiled to not have any issues distributing and preserving the family fortune.

When I hear stories like yours and the ones from those farmers I mentioned, I am kind of glad no siblings exist in my family. Money always brings out the worst in people, or so it seems, especially when it comes to inheritance. That's why my wish is to die broke so that my two girls have nothing to fight over. Only problem is I don't know when I'll croak, and thus can't tell when to spend all my fortunes. It's just as well. I would not know what to spend it on anyway. I'd probably buy a lot of lottery tickets and win. Then die. That sounds about right for my kind of luck.

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Kellemora
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by Kellemora »

My dad and mom only had 85 thousand dollars as their share from the sale of the florist and greenhouses. And dad spent about 20k of that buy the accounts receivable thinking all their old customers would pay off their bills after they closed. I don't think he ever got more than 4 thousand back out of all the bills he mailed out to them, which was costly too.
After dad died, and his medical bills paid, mom had less than 10 grand left to live on.
This is one reason she sold her house and moved into a seniors apartment center complex.
It would have been much cheaper just to stay in her house, but she needed the money.
Near the end of her life, there wasn't much left, and sister and brother were helping her stay in the seniors center.
When she did die, it turns out she had an insurance policy that paid each of us kids 20k each.
I used this money to renovate our kitchen in the house here, after emptying my savings doing the bathroom remodel.

Not a relative, but someone Debi knew, won a million dollar jackpot in the TN lottery. Because of taxes, he only got like 600,000 of that. He died like three months later, and all his son got to keep was a tad over 300k taxes again on his inheritance.

I won a Ford Mustang once, and after I sold the car to pay the taxes, I then had to pay income tax on the proceeds of the sale. I ended up in the end with less than 600 dollars. I had to sell the car because I didn't have enough money to pay the winnings tax to accept it. And in this contest the prize was the car, without a cash alternative.
The laws on that change so often, when I won a large upright freezer, all the taxes due were included in the win. As long as I didn't sell it, I didn't have to worry about paying income tax so I kept it. Glad I did too as we needed it at the time.

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yogi
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by yogi »

When mom died the inheritance tax was such that nothing was due on estates valued less than $250,000. It might have been a lower limit; I really don't remember. All I know is that I did not have to pay any inheritance tax. The same thing happened when we moved here. This house was purchases for a lot less than what the old house sold for. We were liable for the tax on the profit, but that too had a limit. The profit had to be in excess of $125,000 if I recall correctly. We didn't profit anywhere near that much so that we did not have to pay the tax on the sale of real estate. I was wary about that because years ago the limit was not so high. But, we had a genuine Missouri tax consultant do our taxes that year and so far the feds have not come after us. LOL

The irony here is that mom was pretty much a collector of memorabilia, much in the same vein as you are. After she passed we held a garage sale and a lot of her things were the first to be purchased. We were supposed to add the income from the garage sale, less than $200, to our regular income and then pay the tax. So I paid nothing on the inheritance but had to pay for the small value items of hers that I sold.

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Kellemora
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by Kellemora »

One of the reasons I sold the properties I bought for renovation well below the FMV had to do with taxes aka capital gains.
Since I bought the houses at REO auctions, the price I paid for them was peanuts.
So, if I wanted to make 15k for my labor, I had to put 15k of materials into them, to maintain the balance necessary.
This meant I could mark the sale price of the house up from cost Plus materials, Plus labor.
So if I only paid 6,800 for the house, plus 30k, it made the sale price 36,800 even though it appraised at 52,900.
I would leave some things undone, such as installing trim, so I could have the owner earn some sweat equity on top of the equity he was already getting for free due to the low sale price. It also helped to them a B-paper loan easily. I had to show something like 12 to 14k deposit on the home.
Doing it the way I did, I only had to pay income tax on the 15k labor I earned, and with no profit over actual costs there were no capital gains taxes to pay. I earned my intended salary, and they got a good deal.
This worked great up until 9/11 and all the B-paper mortgages dried up instantly.
I had to go with conventional mortgages on the last two houses I sold, which meant I had to carry back a second, and ended up getting burned on both of them since the buyers ended up out of work, and the bank foreclosed on the houses.

As far as selling things at garage sales, most folks don't realize that if those items were inherited, you will owe 28% capital gains tax on the proceeds of the sale.
The exception is, if you had the items appraised and documented, then you have a basis.
Most garage sales are selling items below their original cost.
However, collectibles usually sell for much more and are subject to the 28% capital gains tax.

On another note: If you inherited a collectible, and did not have it appraised at the time you inherited it, and waited until you decided to sell it. You suddenly owe Income Tax on often the full appraisal amount, minus 2.8% per year of ownership since inheritance. You cannot deduct storage costs as a homeowner or owner. Only a business can deduct storage costs of an item, and only if they stored it for more than one year.

If your normal income tax is below 28%, you are often better just claiming the sale as income and not deal with capital gains at all. This is allowed in most cases of the sale of personal items, even left-overs you kept when you closed a business and retained some items for yourself.

I've had to go through all this several times in the past, and always paid my taxes to keep out of hot water.

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yogi
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by yogi »

Technically the things mom accumulated might be classified as collectables. But, they had very little market value and were borderline junk. LOL There is one necklace that would be an exception. It never occurred to me to have it appraised and I still have it safely tucked away. It will probably get passed on to one of the girls in the distant future because I have no intention of selling it. Anyway, I added the income from the garage sale to my regular income and paid taxes at the going rate. Capital gains tax is never assessed at the full value. There has been talk about eliminating it altogether, but I don't know if congress ever got around to doing that. I only run into capital gains when I sell stocks, and that is rare. The hardest part is determining the cost basis, but I have all the records for all the purchases so that I know exactly what that basis is. I could use estimates which would probably result in lower taxes, but since I have all the transactions documented I go off my records. It would be a huge hassle to change methods now.

I like the way you handled the real estate renovations. It certainly was a win-win for all parties involved. You could have earned a lot more than your salary if you wanted to deal with capital gains, but sometimes principle is more important than principal.

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Kellemora
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by Kellemora »

My biggest selling points were all new electric, supply, & waste plumbing. Always new secure doors, and most often all new thermal windows and new furnace/AC system. Once that was in, nearly any renovator would be glad to take over and do the drywall, carpeting, and painting, which is how I sold most of the houses.
I picked up a couple of houses super cheap because renovators who don't have the licenses to do the trades work pass them over all the time. The banks are then stuck with them so sell them at REO auctions. Which is the best way to buy a house, because it comes with zero encumbrances. The worst place to buy a house is on the courthouse steps, because all the encumbrances are still on those houses, and you could get burned really bad on them.

I doubt if the rules are the same today as they were back in the 1980's and '90s when I was doing these renovations.
But there was a major tax loophole wide open if you did not mark-up the price of materials used. Plus you could claim labor costs up to the full-price of the materials you used as well, including the retail sales taxes you paid on them.
This would keep you well under the price charged by the trades people, and at the same time eliminated the 28% tax on marked-up items, and capital gains on the sale.
The only thing even partly complicated was keeping tabs on all the receipts and which job those receipts applied to.
I may buy an entire case of pull-boxes and not need all of them on a job, so I had to divide out the unit cost and only charge for the number of items I used. However, I would need a new case for the next job, which was usually at a higher price, so I could use that higher price on the next job, but use up the older units at the new price without a problem.
But some things like panel boxes and meter basins, and the associated components, I only bought what I needed for a specific job.
On most of the items I used, I really didn't have to pay sales tax, since there were used in the salable item. But then I could end up owing Use Tax on items I may have used some for other purposes. Since I got it all back anyhow, I just paid the retail sales tax even when I was getting a contractor discount on the items.

If I knew I was selling a house to a renovator after I did the work they were not allowed to do. In a few cases I handled the sale much differently. For example: I buy a house that had a fire, and completely gut the house back to the studs, replace those that are burned, spray the entire inside of the house with odor killer coatings so there is no more smoke smell from the wood. There is a fixed amount allowable charge for this, which is much more than I would get based on my own hourly rate. So I would do all of this, add that allowable charge, then sell it to a renovator with an agreement that I will install the wiring and plumbing for them for a set price, much cheaper than they could get it done. At that point I'm working as a sub-contractor for them at a bit more than my normal rate, so I only have to pay income tax on my earnings from that job. I made more money doing it that way, with none of the other hassles from the city, hi hi. Or in reselling it after the work was done to another contractor to carry the rest of the work forward.
To be honest. The labor to install and finish drywall is much more than I could charge on the sale as materials matched labor. This is why I wanted to sell the house once it was up to code on everything but the finishing up of the project.
And sometimes I found a homeowner who wanted to buy it that way. Usually with the drywall up, but not the taping.
Finding buyers like that was always a win for me, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by yogi »

I'm thinking as a renovator you would need an advanced degree in tax accounting not to mention structural engineering. LOL It's easy to see how all of what you describe can be handled with the right computer software, but back when you were doing this work personal computers were not that far along yet. The few contractors I've talked to seem to have somebody else do the book work; generally a wife or girlfriend. A couple of the doctors I talked to as well abhor the business end of their practice and try not to get involved with it. It can all be frustrating beyond belief, but I also think the rewards of seeing a job well done have no price. Literally resurrecting a livable habitat out of the ashes approaches miracle status.

The outside wall in my basement didn't have any sheet rock on it. I hired a guy to put some up, but he was not very good at it. He did most of the work but I told him I'd finish it off. All I had to do was the taping, but that was a monstrous project. The edge of uncut plaster board is tapered to accommodation the joint compound and the taping over that. But, this guy did a lot of cutting and those tapers were not available in some highly visible spots. I played with it for more than a week but finally got the wall to look perfectly flat, or as flat as it could be at the joints. It takes a little foreknowledge about feathering and the like, which I did not have a lot of. The seams were nearly two feet wide after I was done, but the looked good. LOL Your approach was to do the easy work and let somebody else do all the time consuming detailed work. Smart move on your part.

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Kellemora
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by Kellemora »

A little late now, but there is a secret most don't know about, and even if they did, they wondered why the feathered paper edges rippled on them.
The closest tool I can use to describe what I had would be akin to a belt sander. The wheels of a belt sander are slightly convex to keep the belt tracking in the center of the wheels.
Now picture a similar tool with only one wheel in front, no sandpaper, the wheel is more convex and has small teeth like a hoof rasp. Think of the letter V but much shallower, more like a ) that is 3 inches wide.
The teeth near the center are coarse, and the teeth near the outer edge of the wheel are fine.
Behind this wheel between the motor and the front wheel is a coarse brush the also spins in the opposite direction to clean the rasp part of the wheel, and of course a dust vacuum so the dust does not get into the air.
THIS TOOL is what I had made for trimming butt joints. (I was considering having another hundred of these made to resell, but that's a different story.)
After the taping groove is cut, the fresh cut, namely the feathered paper is treated with white pigmented shellac that contains gypsum powder to make it truly like a matte finish. Shellac dries fast and keeps the paper from rippling when wet mud is applied. I rarely had to spread the mud more than a foot to a foot and a half wide, so that you could place a lamp in the corner and look down the wall and not see a single bulge like you do in most modern homes and offices these days.
BEFORE I had this tool made, I used to cut away the paper with a knife, then hand sand the sharp edges of the paper down. Had a contractor I was working with tell me I was crazy for doing that step, it will look horrible in a few months from cracks. Odd, I've seen some of my work after five to seven years and no cracks. Also no bulges like his work always showed.

I did have a Real Estate Tax Attorney, and a CPA, during my first two years in this business. They were expensive, but taught me how to save oodles of money on the purchase, and on the sale. And the CPA, once my books were set up by him, I could then take over the data entry without a problem. And that was way back in the Cougar Mountain Accounting software days, on 5-1/4 floppies yet, and on 286 computers, hi hi. I of course upgraded to 386 first, and then switched to Quickbooks since that is what the accountant had switched to. My version was considerably different than his though.
The Tax Attorney is who clued me in on buying rental properties with tenants in place, but buy them for the purpose of renovation, not as rental properties. What this means is, they were in my inventory as homes purchased for renovation, but unable to gain access due to a contract with a tenant. Any maintenance I had to do while the house was in inventory, raised the Basis of the house, so when I could eventually gain access for renovation purposes, my Basis would be considerably higher than my actual purchase price. Sale Price - Renovation Costs - Basis = Gains Taxable. All work performed as maintenance was an expense against Rental Income too.
Now if you can read between the lines, some maintenance performed were steps which would be needed during a renovation, but deductible as an expense, while at the same time increasing the Basis. Shady, but not illegal.

And here is something else where a person can pick up a couple of bucks extra.
It is not uncommon for a boss to send an employee to the store to pick up a box of nails, a saw blade, or an extra bucket of mud, or even a couple pieces of lumber.
The employee pays for these items out of his own pocket, takes the receipt to his boss and gets reimbursed for them.
The boss gets the receipt of course for his accounting bookwork.
However, the employee uses his personal credit card to make the payment, then pays it off using the money he got from his boss for his out of pocket expense.
This credit card at this particular store earns the cardholder 2% cash back. The employee just made an extra 7 bucks that day from the cash back amount on the 350 dollar purchase for his boss. Plus the boss probably gave him 5 bucks for the gas he used from petty cash or out of his own pocket if he didn't want to handle accounting for it.
And the employee was probably on the clock while running this errand too, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by yogi »

Once again the brilliance of your creativity shines brightly in the darkness of my ignorance. That tool for prepping butt joints is awesome. I'm sure you could have sold all 100 of them to ambitious renovators such as yourself. In my case I gouged out the joint with something like a screwdriver that I ran up and down the groove. Then I did a light sanding ... with my belt sander. It never occurred to me that I could use that belt sander for tapering, but that was more trouble than I wanted to go through anyway. The shellac treatment of the tape sounds interesting but I never had problems with ripples. I saw a guy taping once and he had a technique that I sort of followed. A blob of mud at the top was applied to hold the tape in place. Then holding the roll of tape taught he applied a coating of mud top to bottom, at which time he cut the tape. A quick going over with a trowel smoothed out any ripples, and if that didn't do it spraying some water on it first would make it look beautiful. Since I could not actually flatten out the joint, all I could do was make the mud patch wide to lessen the imperfections. Viewing it head on was perfect. The wall had waves to begin with due to the studs not being perfectly aligned. But this is the basement and not the grand ballroom. Some imperfection is allowed. :grin:

That trick with the credit card reminds me of something I did with one of my life insurance policies. After a number of years the policy had a cash value. I could simply have terminated the contract and taken the cash, which would not be the face value, but still. I also could borrow against that cash value. The interest rate the insurance company charged for such a loan was a couple percentage points lower than the going rate paid out by a standard savings account in a bank. So ... I borrowed all I could and put it in the bank account where the net gain was something like 2%. Of course the success of all this depends on the current interest rates and they did change over time. Eventually I paid off the insurance policy loan because I could no longer earn enough interest elsewhere to cover the cost of the loan. And, by the way, If I passed on while that loan was outstanding, the balance would be taken out of the face value payout. That still left a substantial amount of cash for my survivors.

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Kellemora
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by Kellemora »

I used to run a layer of mud down a joint, then put the tape over that, then more mud over that.
That's a slow hard way of doing it, but then later I bought a taping banjo. It basically looks like a banjo is why they call it that. The roll of tape goes in the round area, and a half-gallon of mud in the box end, and as you pull the tape through it applies the right amount of mud for good adhesion to the joint.
Here is one very close to the one I had, but mine was a different brand.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/ToolPro-Dry ... /301024379

I also borrowed from one of my life insurance policies, but it my case it was to buy some stock.
The stock did OK while I had it, and I was planning on selling it soon.
However, my ex-wife got the stock and the policy which she cashed out.
Then the stock went down, which I knew it would, hi hi.

All 5 of the policies I have now don't quite come up to 8 grand for my wife if she survives me.

I did do something I later found was a stupid move on my part.
I bought insurance on each of the kids to the tune of 1 million dollars each.
Found out later that if any of my kids did die, I would be looked at very closely, since my income status did not warrant such a high priced policy. The way it was sold to me was as an investment I could use for myself by borrowing from it or cashing it in any time I wanted. It is a good thing I cashed them in when I did, because I could not have afforded to keep them up only a few years later. I actually lost money in the process, hi hi.

You can laugh. My savings account only nets me about 1 dollar a month. All from the % I get from using my credit card. Once it gets up to 3k they will take 1k and buy a 2 year CD which has a higher interest rate. They also have 5 and 10 year CDs but with my health the way it is, even 2 years might be pushing it.

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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by yogi »

I guess I did a lot of home maintenance in my day, but never felt I was good at it. I acquired a lot of tools over the years and tons of left overs from various projects. Moving here motivated me to get rid of 90% of all that. They charge by the pound to move anything, even junk.

The bank account that was competing with the insurance loan is today paying less than .1% interest -- NOTE the point (.) in front of the number. This is a money market fund, and as we all know money is worthless these days. It was exceptionally valuable when I first established the account, but the times have changed. I have over $20k sitting there at the moment and it earned me something like $1.50 YTD. I don't think I'll make it to $2.00 by the end of the year, unfortunately. That large amount of cash is a disaster fund, and in our case the life insurance for my wife. We never bought life insurance for her after she cashed in the policies her parents bought for her.

After working a few years my wife climbed up the corporate ladder a step or two. She didn't want to go further although she could have. At that stage in her career she took out a million dollar policy because she had a few people working under her. She didn't want to suffer losses if any of her employees decided to sue her. She worked for an insurance company, but I don't think that gave her any breaks on the premiums. It wasn't that expensive anyway and we kept it for a few years after she retired. If it were life insurance, I'm sure there would be some questions asked upon her passing. But life insurance for that kind of payout isn't worth it to us.

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Kellemora
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by Kellemora »

Can I brag a tad? I never thought I was perfect, but in comparison to others, in most cases I was better than they were.
However, the fact I could do everything associated with a job is what got me into doing Predication Work for Realtors.
It wasn't long after that, when a Realtor needed work done in their own house, I was the one they always called first.
One crabby old lady who complained about everyone she ever called to do work for her, bragged about me to all of her other crabby old friends. Said I came in, performed the work, did work she didn't expect me to do, and left the room cleaner than she normally keeps it herself. That was one big feather in my cap that got me tons of more work to do.

I hear ya, banks pay nothing anymore, even CDs are very low interest. This is one reason I invested most of my money in properties, aka houses. Although due to 9/11 it all backfired on me, for many years I was in the gravy. Sad it all went to medical bills for the late wife though. I could sure use it now, hi hi.

When my late wife was raising her kids after her divorce, she stayed at the same job and turned down raises, just so she could still get child care help for a low price, and a few other things too.
After we were married, I convinced her to change jobs following three steps to ensure she landed the job I felt she would excel at the best. She took my advice and was earning more than I was on many months. Plus she had benefits up the wazoo. She was in line to become a department manager when she first fell ill. She hated not working and tried to go back which really messed up her benefits and insurance she could have maintained. But you had to let her do what she wanted to do. It wasn't long after that she ended up in the wheelchair. To stay happy she did volunteer telephone work to other shut-in's. After about 4 or 5 of them had passed on, they donated a lot of things in their house to her, most of which we could resell for a fair price. Things like furniture, framed oil paintings, tons of books, etc. Basically a lot of the things were things their children did not want, but still had value.

I had to carry the higher cost contractors insurance because of doing electrical work and painting. But I hunted around to find which insurance company offered the lowest priced contractor liability insurance policies, and it turned out it was State Auto, which was surprising to me. I chose to go with them, and because I never filed a claim or had a claim filed against me, starting on the 4th year, my price dropped about 10% then at the end of the 5th year it dropped again by another 10%. Doing it the way they did, it's not a full 20% off the original starting price. But I didn't expect the break since they were already the lowest priced that I found anyhow.
One thing very odd though was if I moved my two cars under their insurance, it would not make a difference on my commercial insurance. They are like two different companies in that regard.

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yogi
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by yogi »

In some ways insurance can be like a line of credit. You pay premiums periodically and in practice those premiums go into a pool to pay claims made by other policy holders. If you never make a claim, the insurance company is ahead of the game because that pool of money is actually invested into some interest bearing vehicle. Thus even if they pay you back all that you put in, they are ahead by the amount of interest they collect on your premiums. The most expensive time for the insurance company is that first year. If you make a claim during that time they are likely to be losing money because they are paying out more than you are giving them. As the years roll on the risk diminishes. About five years out they can see a trend and know by statistical analysis that you are paying way more than you will ever get back. Thus discounts are possible at that time. And yes, the statistics for automobile claims are nothing like the statistics for commercial business. The reserves are separate and they might just as well be two different companies.

Banks are closely regulated. The interest they pay on any of their accounts is tied to the mortgage rates they are allowed to charge by the Federal Reserve Board. In today's economy those rates are historically low. Some places are even considering going with negative interest. Almost all the income of a bank is derived from those mortgages and some of the hard cash they lend out comes from the CD''s people buy. Thus the CD's cannot pay more than the mortgage income. In fact they pay a lot less because of the administration costs. Most people think CD's are great because they are insured by FDIC, but bonds are just as safe and pay much better interest. Bonds, of course, are not insured so that it boils down to a matter of how much risk you are willing to take. Real estate used to be the preferred investment because the rate of return was higher than any bank account. While all that might be true, you are tying up huge sums of money that is not liquid. You had to sell your real estate to pay the doctor bills and that could take time to find the right buyer. CD's charge a big penalty if you withdraw before maturity, but they are more liquid than real estate. Bonds can be cashed in at any time and all the interest is already paid out to you annually. The money market fund I have is super liquid and is insured and earns interest ... sort of. Money Market funds are out of favor these days because of the low interest rates proliferating globally, but in my case the fund is a fair compromise and a safety net.

Of course past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Read my prospectus before you make any investments. :lol:


AND now for something completely different.

My daughters always ask what I want for Christmas. I seldom have a wish list so that they are often left to their own creativity. Most of the time they do an exceptionally good job at finding something unique and suited to my lifestyle. Well, I love popcorn for an afternoon snack - a cup and a half to be exact. So, the oldest gal took that info and got me some popcorn for Christmas. It's not the popcorn you or I would expect, however. These are actual ears of corn with dried kernels still in place. Put the cob in the bag provided, zap it with microwaves for a couple minutes, and voila! I never made popcorn this way before and it was amazing to see. Many of the popped kernels were still on the cob, and some were not popped yet. But the yield was a very large bowl that would have lasted nearly a week at the rate I eat it. It would have, too, if my wife didn't help me enjoy this unique gift.

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Kellemora
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by Kellemora »

Although it ended up backfiring on me. Folks asked why I got into buying houses, especially rental houses with all the headaches. One would think I learned my lesson after owning a small apartment complex.
Well, in the case of the 6 rental houses I bought all in a single day.
All of the tenants had been there at least 10 years already and did not plan on moving out anytime soon.
Most were up in years too, so would probably live there until they died. Which is what happened with two of them.
Old folks don't tear up the place, and most rarely change their routine, just eat and watch TV and like to be left alone.
Although the value of the houses increased every year, as did the taxes and utilities I paid, I still made good money from them. That is until 9/11 hit. Although I had paid them down quite a bit, I owed only about 20 to 25% on any one of them. But I needed to sell them FAST, so I told the realtor to sell them for what was owed on them plus closing costs, so the bottom line came out zero.
Technically this would give me a major loss for my income tax, however, I never had enough income over the next five years to take advantage of the loss, so that was like a double whammy.
Almost everything else I sold prior to 9/11 to pay for my late wife's medical bills. Which I've already talked about ad infinitum in past posts.

I've only owned a few U.S. Savings Bonds over the years. But did invest in a few of our City Bonds and they paid us back in full with what interest we earned, long before the expiration date, so we didn't end up making as much as we should have.

Popcorn is another product that has gone drastically downhill.
I kept a popcorn machine at the flower shop and bought the best commercial grade popcorn we could buy. It always popped large and with little to no husks or shells left on them.
Debi is the popcorn eater hear, and I got tired of her complaining, so bought her a commercial grade bad, which she canned in vacuum sealed mason jars to keep it fresh. It was no where near as good as what we had at the flower shop. But still better than what you could buy from the grocery stores.
Just across the river in West Illinois is where most of the popcorn was raised. What Jolly Time didn't own, Orville Redenbacher had contracted out for. But all the farmers sold to both since popcorn was graded. Unfortunately none of them raised commercial grades. All of the commercial grades come out of Nebraska. In fact, I think 90% of all popcorn comes out of Nebraska, hi hi.
The one I preferred, when it was good, was Black Jewel Popcorn, but not the stuff sold in stores, had to special order the commercial grade which is more than double the size of what you see in the plastic store bags.

I tried growing some of my own popcorn a couple of years, sad to say, it wasn't very good though. Husky as all get out.

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yogi
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by yogi »

I think you were doing the right thing at the right time with real estate. The illnesses you had to deal with plus the terror attack in New York are the kind of things nobody can predict. I've read your narratives about all of it and I can't think of anything I would have done different, except perhaps, and I can't say for sure, I might have filed for bankruptcy. Since my wife was involved with the insurance industry and financial analysis we did a lot of planning along those lines. Well, we talked a lot and agreed on strategy, but we didn't do anything special. We saved some cash and bought some insurance but relied a lot on things over which we had no control, such as profit sharing, pensions, and the SSA. Unless the economy fatally crashes or we need to deal with long term illnesses we should be OK for another 15-20 years. I think the economy might survive, but I do worry about illnesses yet to come.

I have this routine for eating that involves three main meals and three snacks. The main meals are a no brainer, but coming up with snacks that fit the criteria is another story. Popcorn is ideal in that it has a lot of volume to fill my belly with few carbs. 25 grams of carbs is what I allow for snacks and that isn't much. Two cookies, or an ounce or two of junk food hits the limit. I can do a cup and a half of popcorn before the carbs in there add up. I have to agree that commercial foods are not what they used to be, but with popcorn that doesn't really matter. The popped kernels are always doused with some flavoring and/or salt so that you can't really taste the basic corn. The husks are a nuisance but even the commercial corn must have them. That's just the way corn is built. The ratio might vary, but that's about it.

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Kellemora
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Re: Parrot Linux and Btrfs

Post by Kellemora »

I did try to set myself up for an easy retirement. But circumstances can thwart even the best made plans of mice and men.

Technically, I'm eating all day, hi hi. However, I really eat very little each day. I need to eat more since I'm losing too much weight again.
Nevertheless, my routine has not changed much in nearly a decade.
I used to not eat breakfast at all, until I had to start taking pills that say Take With Food.
They never said how much food though, hi hi.

As an aside: When I was growing up and in grade school, I made it super easy on my mom. I would eat the exact same lunch for an entire year, then switch the next year. The same sandwich and snack every day, and on Fridays, a can of tuna, since I was in Katholik Skewls.

Now: Breakfast consists of 2/3 of a sandwich, one slice of cheap wheat bread, Sandwich Spread, a touch, and a slice of cheese.
The reason I say only 2/3 of a sandwich is because I remove the crust one edge goes to my parrot, the rest goes to the outside birds. The cheese gets 1/3 torn off and divided among the pooches.
So it is one slice of bread with Sandwich Spread, and cheese, folded in half.
I eat half of that, take my pills, then eat the other half.
Soda is my drink to wash it all down.

Lunch is about the same, as above, except now I either have bologna, with ketchup, or ham n cheese with mayo. And normally a glass of tomato juice at lunch. Once again this is 2/3 of a sandwich, hi hi.

Dinner is the main meal. We eat at either 5 pm or 8:30 pm, depending on the frau's schedule. This meal always includes meat, vegies, often a salad, on occasion soup. Sometimes a full-bodied soup is dinner. We have pot roast at least twice a month, chicken about four times a month, burger meat prepared in different ways about eight times a month. In between it is catch as catch can and leftovers. I'm often quite contented sitting down with a bowl of Spaghetti Oh's, on days when the frau is tired from a long day at work.
She snacks a lot at work, so is often not hungry for a late dinner. Cereal and a sandwich can suffice then too. It is usually something like pulled pork she picked up, or perhaps she grabbed me a beef lo mein on the way home. One box of that will feed me for three days, skipping a day between each time I have it until gone.

SNACKS:
After I go to my office after breakfast, about one hour later, I have one other pill I have to take. I eat 1/2 of a Pecan Twirl, take the pill, and eat the other half of the pecan twirl. Maybe three times a week I might eat a single graham cracker or single oatmeal cookie. Maybe once a week I might eat 3 Peanut Butter Crackers in lieu of the above.
After lunch, I may have 4 to 6 Pringles, or the other 3 PB crackers if I opened a 6 pack at breakfast. If not I will have either a Hostess cupcake, Twinkie, or mini snack size candy bar around mid day.
On days when dinner is not until 8:30 pm, I will eat an oatmeal cookie or 4 to 6 more Pringles around 5 to 5:30 pm to tide me over until late dinner.

Both of my doctors have told me it is better to eat 6 to 8 small meals a day, rather than 2 or 3 large meals, especially since I'm a diabetic.

Sounds like you may have never had Commercial Gourmet Popcorn. It is nearly husk free. Still some of course, but the popped kernels are so large, it is a smaller amount in comparison. Trouble is, it is expensive to buy unless you get bulk packaged from a carnival supply house. Dierbergs used to sell large bags of the best popcorn money could buy for a very fair price. Every time we were back home for some reason, Debi would buy 4 to 6 bags to bring back down here with us.
So, if they still make it, the next time you are at Dierbergs, pick up a bag. The bags are like 3 feet tall, hi hi.

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