This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Tossing Out Another Throwaway Post

The Government Accountability Office is an imp...
The Government Accountability Office is an important information-gathering agency for Congress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
         Some of my more often viewed and commented on posts are just odd entries that I put up merely for the sake of content with the expectation that few will notice and on which I expect little action in the comment section.   Strangely enough those throwaway posts seem to generate a good response.

       Today is a throwaway post so I'll test what I have stated in my introduction.  Today I'm filling up blog space so there will be something appearing for my avid fans who can never get enough of my posts.  Either that or I will be tossing out another annoying post for those who keep coming for unbeknownst reasons.

Update on Vinyl Liquidation

        In a post last November I asked "Should I Keep My Vinyl?" and got a lot of good advice from readers.  Finally last month I started boxing up albums in lots of 50 to offer on Craig's List.  So far I haven't sold any, but I've gotten a few inquiries.   I'm experimenting with this right now.   The unsorted mixed genre boxes of 50 albums are being offered for $100 per box--firm.  Maybe I'll negotiate for less somewhere down the road.  I'm in no huge hurry to see these albums go away.  At least now they're out of our bedroom closet and neatly in boxes stacked in my writing office.

        I've set aside a couple hundred albums that I especially like and broke out my turntable to start listening to them.   I haven't listened to some of these in nearly forty years!  The albums are in great condition and I'd forgotten how good some of this music is.  Memories have been flooding in and I've enjoyed hearing the old albums again.

        After listening to some of them I've been inspired to start putting up reviews on Amazon again.  I don't do very many reviews on my blogs, but I enjoy doing short reviews and Amazon is a good place to do it. You can find my Amazon reviews here.   Check out the most recent ones and you can see what I've listened to lately.  You can make me an offer if any of the albums sound good to you, but now I'm not sure I want to sell any of these albums that I've set aside.

          Do you ever put up reviews on Amazon?


How Affordable is the Affordable Care Act Website?

       There's enough debate about the whole Obamacare thing so I don't even want to go there.  But how about that glitchy website?  I've been hearing reports that this website cost the government (meaning us taxpayers) anywhere from $93 million to $634 million to develop.  What?  I've considered starting my own website and many you have done so already.  From what I've gathered a darn good website might cost several thousand dollars to put together.   A million dollars would probably put together a pretty incredible website.  But $93 mil or more?    Not surprising that our government has spent this much money on the website.

      This sounds pretty standard for our government that typically pays prices like $400 for a hammer, $600 for a toilet seat, or $3000 for a coffee maker.    All of these exorbitant payouts makes one wonder what the heck is going on with the government folks who are arranging these deals.   No wonder we are having financial difficulties if the government is always blowing money in these ways.

       What's more, according to the Washington Post the website project was partly built by Canadian consulting firm the CGI Group which was paid at least $88 million.  Not to show any disrespect to our dear friends in Canada I ask was there not a U.S. company that was capable of doing this work?   Additional millions in funds have been allotted for other aspects of building and maintaining this website.  In the end this website could end up costing up to two billion dollars according to some sources.  At those prices we should not only have a website with no glitches , but government representatives should appear as 3-D holograms in our living rooms to walk us through the sign up process.   The reported cost factors are utterly absurd.

        Read the whole article at the Washington Post to see how these costs break down.

        Do you have your own website that you have had built and paid for yourself?   How much did you spend?    Have you had a lot of glitches that you've had to deal with?

          That's enough for me to toss out there to you in one post.  I didn't want to think too much putting today's post together and then I ended up doing more thinking than I had planned.   Still this is basically a throw away post.  On Monday I'll have a question for you that will be more directly related to your blogging activity.   It will not be related to the content in this post, but it will be related to what I've done in this post and what all of us do in all of our posts.   Please be here on Monday to give me some input.

          Do you ever post throwaway bits that get more attention than you had expected?    When you don't particularly feel like posting on a specific topic do you ever just put random thoughts on your site?   Does randomness on other blogs entertain you, provoke thought, or annoy you?   

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  1. I don't have an Amazon account. I suppose I could put reviews on iTunes.
    Good to know Obamacare started wasting money right away.
    I don't post throwaway stuff, but I do post a lot of mini-topics.
    If randomness is the theme, I don't mind it, but when a blog sort of has a theme and it continues to wander away from that, it's difficult to follow.

  2. I'll post a random photo.

    My goal is to record all of our LPs this next year so we can get rid of them. They suck up a large chunk of one of our closets.

  3. Here are my thoughts about your vinyl collection: I know it is a bigger pain, but I would sell the records individually as opposed to big boxes. As a buyer, I am probably looking for ONE album. If someone buys something for you and then follows it up with an email asking if you got This,This, and This and you do. I would negotiate a price for the bundle. I think you will make more for your precious memories, I mean records, and the buyer will be happier.

    On the ACA Website: all I have heard are nightmare stories. People try to register and it can take up to a week (and often still no success). The insurance is sooo much higher than what anyone used to have and covers less. And I just read earlier today about someone being told that they didn't qualify for anything but Medicaid. And they knew that they DID NOT qualify for Medicaid. This is beyond ridiculous and totally par for the course.

    What someone has to ask at this point: If this system was designed to bring affordable coverage to EVERYONE it is an epic fail. It has cost a ton of money, people are paying more, the site is not remotely user-friendly, and it is not coming close to achieving the Advertised Goals. So, that says to me that there is another goal. If people get fined for not having health insurance (and they do), how better to increase the revenue by gaining more tax money? Make the site unusable, unaffordable, and unattractive. That way the people who used to have health insurance will just decide to do without and pay the darn fine. And the people who used to qualify for Medicaid (that this was supposed to help) will still have Medicaid. I mean, you can't bleed a dry stone. Obama has passed the equivalent of a Chicago Mob Style Protection Racket. Big Balls in The White House. And the sheep are so lost that they just don't know what to do. Pay the fine, I guess...

  4. Hubs converted a lot of his vinyl with our LP2CD, and we can hear what is on the rebound - vinyl. People are starting to like the 'real' sounds of old tech. Weird, but true.

    A blog can be terrific looking, but if no one is ever at that blog (responding), then it's just a page among many.

    Canadians have social medicine, and it works, but it takes public education and good administration for things to roll out smoothly. Since when has any govt program been smooth?? (USA or Canada)

  5. I enjoy the random posts. It is like a buffet.

    I thought your Government Accountability button above. Accountability (to me) isn't part of the mode of operation.

  6. I enjoy reading Throwaway posts or random thought posts.

    I know this is awful but I guess I have a little bit of what would you call it apathy? Towards the Government and all the overspending, as far as the glitches,well, that is normal, I mean it is a huge undertaking and I assume it will take time,plus it is a Government agency,guess that is my apathy again,or cynicism,not sure which term to use lol

  7. Alex - I like to find continuity even in randomness.

    L.Diane -- So I'm not the only one with LP's in the closet.

    Robin --I want to get rid of these albums as quickly as I can without giving them away. I know I'm not going to recoup my investment this way, but I don't want to mess with the liquidation. At the same time though I will consider individual sales if the buyer makes it worth my while. I may go to trying to sell individually later, but I need to balance my time to do that.
    Fortunately so far my wife's healthcare plan will still be in effect so we don't have to worry about the Obama plan. Not yet...

    DG-- I've been surprised to hear how good my vinyl sounds. I like hearing the retro technology, but since I don't really listen to it as a rule, how much music do I really need?
    A blog takes promotional effort to be successful, but a website should provide much more than any blog can. If I pay a lot of money to have a website constructed I should have very high expectations for a good return on my investment.
    Social medicine is idealistically good but it has to be superior to private medical plans if it is to serve as a replacement.

    Susan -- Sometimes at a buffet I don't enjoy the food because I eat to much and don't savor the individual items. I walk away feeling full, but not fully cognizant of everything I ate.
    Who needs to be accountable when what you do can be forced and enforced.


  8. Lucy -- Apathy and lack of knowledge is a big problem in our country. That's why politicians and corporations can get away with so much.


  9. I do review on Amazon and have been trying to get my ranking up. However, I have one thing working against me: I do objective, honest reviews, and people tend to not like those.

  10. Hey Lee! I still have some of my old LP's and I don't think I'll part with them. Back in the '70's I had every album the Beatles ever recorded on vinyl, all Japanese imports. I sold that collection in the mid 80's, but I kept my Sgt. Pepper picture disc, which remains unplayed.....I bought it sometime in the '70's.
    I love the random posts with wide ranging topics the best!

  11. Real smart having a super expensive government site done by a foreign company. Even in Jamaica there are ads requesting vinyl so maybe there is a comeback.

  12. I enjoy reading what anyone has taken the trouble to put on line. Obviously there are favourites but it's good to give those who have not got many followers a boost, After all we all started with none, many have more than others but that dosen't make less important,

    Have a good week-end.

  13. Andrew -- Do you review under your own name or another? I think my reviews are fair and honest. I probably am not as tough as you might be, but I do say what I think.

    Eve -- You certainly know random!

    Sheena-kay -- I think the market for vinyl is out there. I just have to find the right customers for what I have.

    Yvonne -- I like to give a chance to all who have taken the time to post, but when it gets too convoluted, confusing, or uninteresting then I might slip away without finishing the post.


  14. I am the queen of random thoughts on my blog--so yes. Random thoughts dance in my head and I take them out periodically and subject my readers to them. :)

  15. I really love the fact that your posts generally really are just you taking your opinions and "tossing them out" so to speak, love this post Lee. I've fortunately never owned my own website but my dad does and I know it's not easy, there sure is a lot of maintenance involved, it's tough to keep up with.

  16. It's under StrangePegs. I wanted to associate the reviews with the blog since I post them in both places.

  17. First, while it might be interesting to see what you might get for 100 bucks, I have neither the money to pay nor the time to listen. Or at least the ambition to fire up the turntable.

    Second, let us also remember this is a $600 M website that does not function properly, will not let you delete if you change your mind, and was made to "only handle 15,000". Stupid is as stupid does.

    Finally, anyone want random,just stop over anytime I do a Martin World News post like the one this week, featureing whale penises and naked English tourists!

  18. If only to vent for a second...I cannot even stomach talking about the Obamacare SNAFU. No surprise at all the government continues to waste more money than is imaginable. Sad no politicians can see that.

    I wish I had all the vinyl I bought years ago...but then I would probably being doing what you are doing with it...selling online.

  19. Teresa -- Yes, you can be random, but you do it well. You keep us interested and there is usually a good carry away thought.

    Yeamie-- A good website must be kept updated. Still I can see that work resulting in the costs that have been incurred. I'll bet your Dad doesn't put a million or more into his site.

    Andrew -- Thanks for reminding me about your Amazon handle. I didn't read all of them, but I skimmed through your reviews. We don't have too many in common. Yours seem to be generally longer than mine. I try to keep 'em pithy. You put a lot into yours. Well done.

    CW -- Some people are really into vinyl I suppose, like avid collectors of anything. And yes, your posts can really get random but I guess that's what you're shooting for, right?

    Chuck -- I can't see keeping stuff that I don't use. I may regret it if I get rid of it, but I'll deal with it. I think it's something that needs to be done if I can pull it off.


  20. Lee-

    I'm sure I said the same thing the last time you mentioned vinyl...but I cannot bring myself to sell mine.

    I used to have a web

    When the name came up for renewal, the rates seemed too high for something I did not spend a lot of time updating, so I let it go.

    Good luck selling you records, but I think you'll do better one at a time, or maybe smaller lots.

    You may want to try to build the lots around one or two collectible titles.


  21. I never realized how costly websites were, and you raised a great point about how senseless it was to hire a consulting firm outside of the U.S. I enjoy reading random posts as long as they're not too long-winded.


  22. Sometimes it's good to just literally toss something out there. It can break up monotony and get perspectives with some random comments that might spark something else.
    I would much rather put something random out than to just wait until I get truly inspired because otherwise it feels like I just might never get back to posting sometimes.

  23. Lee,

    First off, I like these "throwaway" posts. Maybe because this is an out-of-the-ordinary thing or because it's some rant. I've done it half a dozen times myself and usually end up getting more hits on that particular post than I ever thought I would. This is usually when I don't have time to think of something intelligent to post about so I'll rant about something, or tell of some incident that goes on around my house or in my life.

    Getting rid of your old records could be a hard thing to do and I'm not sure I would do the same, but of course I don't have that many. I would certainly never put them in a mixed box of 50 for $100, but of course they're your records. If you do want to sell them, I would break it down into smaller quantities to sell on Craig's list, if you want to get any inquiries fairly soon.

    Yes, I have an Amazon account and post on it frequently. Most of my reviews are for books, but there are a few other things on there.

    The money the government spends is so absurd it's no wonder this nation is broke. To tell the truth, I don't know if we'll ever dig out of the mess we're in - at least not in my lifetime. I think the old USA is going the way of ancient Rome - soon to be only a memory, or one for the history books, if they're still teaching history and there's anyone left to teach it to.

    Yes, don't we have intelligent people in the US to build a website? One that cost that much shouldn't have all the problems it has. Look how many people are on FB daily and it doesn't crash, etc. Obama must have owed a favor to the Canadian company is all I can figure, so they got the job and the boo-coo bucks so he can take another elaborate vacation somewhere when so many people are in poverty over here. It's shameful if you ask me. The only good thing about all the problems is that it delays me having to sign up because I won't give the government access to my bank account which, by the way, is on page 57 of that 2000+ page bill no one bothered to read before they passed it into law. I guess they'll have to find me to penalize me later.

    Sorry for that rant. The whole thing makes me mad.

    Yes, I do have a website that I put together myself and it cost me about $130 a year and never goes down. It would have probably been around $300-$500 to have someone else do it for me.



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