Having my cable turned off on Monday…. So I’ll be a week without TV, but I won’t have to worry about how the billing cycle will roll.

Talked to Francesco today about how the place was coming along…asking when a good time would be to take a look at the place all cleaned up and tiled.

He said Monday, and casually dropped a rate $40 more a month than had been previously mentioned as the high-end offer. I balked, and said that was too much… and he relented by $15. Still kind of annoying to me, but my brother warned me that he liked to try to squeeze as many dollars out of a person as possible.

Even so, $25 more a month for adding a coat of paint, replacing the A/C unit, and laying tile…it comes to $50 more than I’m paying now, minus $40 for free cable… so the final damages (if these are the *final* damages) is $10 more a month. I can afford the additional $2.50 a week. if I wanted to get really creative, accounting-wise… $2.50 is an all-day bus pass…and since I could visit my brother in 15 steps, I’ll save that travel fare, and the 45 minute bus trip each way.

My only financial concern is travel to and from work during more inclement weather. I don’t foresee it being too troublesome.

update – Talked to the brother, and he said that if I give the guy first and last in cash at the previously mentioned rate, the dollar signs in his eyes will probably override his uppage at all, keeping it at the previously mentioned price.

in other news –

The parent company installed a new time clock in the warehouse next door…and it looks like *everyone*, salaried or not is going to have to use it. I think that’s a result of a few recent complaints about people on salary not putting in a full 8 hours a day… I know that a number of folks were grousing about the Finn in particular. That’s going to backfire, though, as soon as they notice how many hours Kev puts in (a minimum of 10, usually closer to 12 a day)… There’s some law about documented overtime having to be reimbursed for even salaried employees. This is another instance of one
bad apple wrecking it for everyone else. Instead of disciplining the person with “no proof”, they now sacrifice the comfort of all involved by adding an evidence gathering device.

Now it’s up to me to decide if I want to do any work “away from work” as it were… I don’t know how they’ll take into account programming done from the home front. I probably won’t, unless it directly benefits me in some way. Instead, I’ll probably do a little more looking for side contract work.

As for me, they’ll notice that I put in exactly 8 hours of work in a day… I tend to arrive on time or a smidge early (Within 15 minutes) and that I blow out of here on a similar schedule…I just dislike having to play the game. The time clock means that an additional portion of my otherwise productive time will be spent dealing with micromanaged decisions. Such is the way of the office worker in the ’00s, I suppose.

I’m guessing that the salaried sign in / out will become fairly permanent, even if they get rid of the troublesome employee(s) with it… another procedure in place, simpler to obey than to question. I guess the honor system has no place when there’s a suspected “time-thief” is in our midst.

Today we’re going to introduce you to the concept of Too Much Information.

Birds urinate, it’s just that their urine is semisolid rather than liquid.

Birds excrete their nitrogenous wastes, derived mostly from the breakdown of proteins, in the form of uric acid rather than urea as mammals do. Unlike urea, uric acid is almost insoluble in water, and is excreted in the form of crystals that form a semisolid white paste. Not needing to store liquid wastes, birds lack a bladder. Instead urine passes from the ureters into the cloaca, a common chamber for the passage of digestive and urinary wastes, as well as for reproductive products. A bird dropping usually contains both white uric acid crystals, and a concentrated mass of digestive wastes such as insect cuticle or seeds. Most aquatic vertebrates excrete nitrogenous wastes in the form of ammonia, which is highly toxic but very soluble and easily gotten rid of if water is in ample supply. Uric acid excretion may have first developed in the first vertebrates to evolve shelled, fully terrestrial eggs. Such eggs must retain the waste products produced by embryonic metabolism within the shell until hatching. Toxic, soluble ammonia would soon poison a developing embryo, while non-toxic, insoluble uric acid can simply be stored inside the shell as long as necessary. In developing live birth, mammals may have switched to back to a more soluble compound, urea, so that embryonic waste products could be diffused into the blood stream of the mother and thus excreted.

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