Coping: Wujo or “Big Data”

Here’s an interesting story to get the kinks out from between the ears this morning:

Dear Mr Ure,

I have been a long time reader.  Something odd happened today.  My house phone rang and I ignored it.  Then my cell phone rang.  The person asked for Valeria Brooks.  She said it was in response to a medical alert.

I have had my current home phone number for 5 years.  Valeria was the last person to have that number so I occasionally get calls for her.

Here is the odd thing.  Well, actually a couple of odd things.  I called the number back as it read on my cell phone.  A recorded message stated that the company had received my phone number when I answered an internet ad on my computer about job opportunities.  It had nothing to do with a medical alert.  I also never look for job opportunities.

My house phone is a land line and is hooked up to AT&T.  My internet is on a separate line from Fidelity.  (Yes, I know it is stupid to have 2 different providers.) There should be no way to get my home phone from my computer line.
My cell phone is only 6 months old.  There is no way that it could be connected to Valeria Brooks. 

Somehow, it is possible to call cell phones within a house if you know the house land line phone number.  I thought that this was really weird.
Thanks for listening.

Hell, this is exactly the kind of cluster-blank that is embedded in the government’s use of Big Data files.  So here’s how it likely worked:

    • An old primary data source said Valeria lived here.
    • New data files were imported, but the key field never updates the name change.
    • Now, as additional files have come in, the new information is subordinate to Valeria, not Eleanor.

    This, boys and girls is the fun part of Big Data – and it’s why you never want to fill out anything other than a name on your loyalty cards…never any birth date, social, number of people living at home, or anything like that.

    In fact, I would occasionally – just to make life interesting – make up letters (using old billing envelopes from the local utilities – and put some other person’s name on them and mail them to your home address.

    You see, at some point, government will realize after XXX bad Swat raids, or whatever, that their databases are high corrupted by this parent/child data file issue.

    Of course, the answer is simple:  You just take a good bill that goes to the home – like a water or power bill – an have the Post Office (which photographs everything) simply use optical character recognition (OCR) and write back as a parent to the master index of persons associated with YYY address.

    Since it is not presently illegal to mail yourself a “pretend” bill (which you can toss out any time you want, ergo no evidence) it might establish that Valeria still lives there and so when the great roundup comes, there would be some question about where you actually live.

    Helps to move around every five years, or so, too, which is why we keep kicking around moving back onto a boat and just pay transient moorage.

    Say, if there any law on how often you can change a boat name?  I mean if it’s not a documented boat, state registered only?  I know, don’t ask so many questions…

    Close Shaves / In Defense of Beards

    Not only did I weed-whack another field of facial hair yesterday, but I got a haircut as well, since my retired bro-in-law Panama does a better job of cutting hair that everything short of a $100 barber.  This morning I got some solid advice from one of out 1,321 Bills who read this site advising me that beards don’t necessarily make you look older:

    So geo, in regard your comments on Monday.  Beard makes you look older.  I strongly disagree.

    I started wearing a beard in about 1980.  Once I shaved it off about 1995 and the result was so horrible and made me look much older and more decrepit.  So I promptly grew it back, have had it ever since.
    Here is the deal.  You do know that the flesh under your chin and down toward your neck becomes slack or loose as you age.  It is a dead give away that a person is very old and worn out.  So, simple, cover that up by having a nice full beard. 

    Because I have followed a healthy diet and supplements and exercise since I was a child I look younger than my age,  (dad was a doc who believed in supplements even in the 40’s and good healthy simple food).  As a result of a career in Computers (Main Frames Guru I was) the stress turned my hair white at about 31 (adrenal exhaustion methinks).
    So, because the beard covers the loose flesh thing under my chin, people routinely think I am much younger than my actual age.  The other perk is that at Christmas all the little kids are totally sure that I am Santa.
    Something for you to ponder.

    I mean, there some simple “man” things you have not got a grip on yet.  You being 64, well I am 79 so your outranked.

    For shaving with a blade.  Especially since you will have a full beard with mustache.  I use those inexpensive plastic BIC shavers for sensitive skin.  Get a bag of them for less than 3 bucks usually.  Works great, each one lasts for maybe 6 or 8 shaves no prob. At least.
    So there you have it, and free advice too :-)”

    Probably the best note came from reader Chris who suggested shaving in the shower was best, with a mirror in there.  I’ve thought about that, but the kind of mirror that hangs off the shower head doesn’t work for me, since I put the shower head up extra high (it would work if I were 6’4” or so).  Besides, I am a huge fan of those flexible shower heads like the Delta Faucet 75700 Universal Showering Components 7-Setting Handshower, Chrome ($28, Amazon).

    The reason I like the hand shower head is you can use it for pressure washing any particularly difficult to reach areas.  I would hook up our electric pressure washer (similar to the AR Blue Clean AR383 1,900 PSI 1.5 GPM 14 Amp Electric Pressure Washer with Hose Reel) and use that, but I’d worry about electricity and water and me in the middle of it.  The hand-held shower head is great.

    From the Kids

    Oh-oh…the kids nailed me on my vaccine remarks and peanut allergies:


    The original study that seemed to link autism with vaccines was later found to be falsified evidence.  He lied.  Bad science.  

    Vaccines are not causing the allergy/autism epidemic.  I personally think it our exposure to toxic chemicals, the horrible terrible diet of average Westerners, and lack of germ exposure that is causing them.  Not vaccines.  

    Parents who don’t vaccinate their kids are baby killing nut jobs.  ‘Baby killing?’  Yes. Baby killing.  Whooping cough can be fatal to infants and currently Washington state currently has the highest infection and infant mortality rate from this bug since the 1940’s thanks to parents refusing to vaccinate their kids.  Cute little babies are dying because people like you link to bullshit articles of lies, like “Peanut allergy epidemic”  

    One of my stupid friends actually suggested on Facebook that she be given the option of sending her kids to a ‘vaccine-free’ school.  Because vaccines were so toxic and bad.  Are you kidding me?  One germ would kill 20% of the kids in that school in a few weeks time.  Vaccines might have some gnarly chemicals, but what is the alternative?  Letting kids get sick and die of measles and mumps like we did in the 1800’s?  

    I am pro-Vaccine.  I texted George to talk to you because right now, you are believing lies and promoting them on your website.  You are a threat to public health.  Please cease and desist. 

    My kids weren’t the only ones to spot the hole in my thinking.  Reader Dean offers this:

    George I read your short article on possible links between rates of autism and peanut allergies and you implied that you feel vaccines etc may be responsible, please look up a recent study by MIT on autism, the study found links between use of pesticides on our food supply, most specifically Round Up, it also found links to other problems like allergies, immuno deficiency etc. I noticed also the MSM is keeping this very important research paper quiet so as not to suppress Monsanto’s profits, yet another reeason to raise your own food or buy from your local organic farmer.

    OK, what was the other big environmental health thing that changed back there?  How about aspartame (thanks, Rumsfeld).  Is there a correlation there?  Here’s a 2012 PubMed listing suggesting the link is to formaldehyde derived from aspartame.  And a link between aspartame and migraines… and how about the paper “Systemic contact dermatitis of the eyelids caused by formaldehyde derived from aspartame?”

    OK, kids, vaccines work – I know that and no argument. 

    But if you really want to help solve a problem, how do we get PubMed to make the full texts available on anti-aspartame studies, most of which are done outside the US?

    On the good foods side, Douglas sends a note to mention coconut oil seems to be pretty good.

    Reader’s Writes: Who to Believe

    Say, here’s one with a none-too-friendly tone to it:

    I couldn’t help notice your expert article about the effects of ionizing radiation from the self-proclaimed expert on the biological effects of ionizing radiation. Here you have a screw- headed, glorified mechanical engineer, who probably got a certificate in nuclear engineering. Not health physics, not medicine, not radiation toxicology. He is expounding his expert knowledge on the biological effects of plutonium, strontium, and cesium en masse on large populations. Never mind a recent article in that liberal rag The Wall Street Journal, with information to the contrary.

    I have always felt that you have a a screw loose! This just cinches that conjecture.

    Maybe you and Art Robinson can get together. He could send you some radium salts to bath in. You could have Plutonium pellets on your Wheaties. How about having some Fukushima reactor water flown in and kept in cisterns, so you could drink it’s health effects. Just for you!

    I’m sure Tepco and the Japanese government would foot the bill to get it to ya.

    Well, actually, our “self proclaimed expert” isn’t self proclaimed, I asked him for input because he has actual expertise that I trust.  Moreover, I rely on instruments and data, not the fear mongering department.  I know that’s not popular but the truth is usually somewhere between the extremes.  While yes, some seafood is polluted from Fukushima, have you measured a banana lately?

    Hmmm…I guess I could go measure my banana come to think about it, lol.

    Around the Ranch:  Chicken Talk

    From reader Rafaela:

    Hi G,

    I too have had headaches trying to figure out how to protect my chickens and plants.

    I have not seen bobcat, raccoons, opossum, lynx, fox, coyote and cougar but hawks, neighbor’s dogs, rabbits, mice and rattlesnakes.

    To minimize de action of predators in my local area (Chihuahua desert in Deming NM), after a scary encounter with a rattlesnake inside the chicken coop an early morning (which I killed with a shovel of course after screaming like hell), that at that time was protected only with chicken wire around the perimeter of the runner, I got a ½” square plastic fencing material to wrap the perimeter of the coop and runner. In addition I wrapped the southwest walls with shade material for protection from the sun. For more protection from predators I built a 5’ fence (horse wire) around with a piece of 12” high of the same shade material to discourage the rabbits, mice and snakes from getting in.

    For the door, I keep it closed since I cut a “window” on the ½” plastic fence.

    Like your reader wrote, it took some a day or two to figure out how to get it. For those short of imagination we had to run after them, pick them up and through them inside.

    I thought about the electric wire too but desisted from the idea. Electrocuting my chickens is not in my agenda…

    So far, so good…

    Picture included.

    Have a happy farming!

    Great ideas!   Also thanks to reader Tracy, up the road from us a ways, who offered a starter kit in chickens (Banties) which I’ve got to think about.  Elaine keeps talking about moving to be closer to the kids and I keep looking at Fukushima and long-term weather trends.

    We’ve decided to get a market appraisal from a local real estate outfit, or two, and figure out the trade-offs.  But except for the 100-says of hell in the summertime, East Texas is about as good as it gets in terms of low operating costs (no state income tax, for example, proptery tax on 29 acres under $1,000 a year) assuming you don’t mind the occasional tornado, copperheads, cotton mouths, brown recluses, and such. 

    The trade off is enough deer to feed everyone, raccoons, squirrels and rabbits galore, no close neighbors, plenty of land, no code enforcement (no codes except the state ones) and honestly going back to a highly regulated close-quarters lifestyle would be hard to do.  Hangar rent is only $160/month.

    Hell, we’ve been talking about this for something like five years now  and besides, just my tools and ham radio gear would be a container’s worth.

    OK, Peoplenomics tomorrow and more here on the free side Thursday.

    Oh…couple of other items:  Go find me on Facebook and “like” the Peoplenomics page – I will hang out there, soon., 

    Also, I’m thinking about a $20/five months of Peoplenomics so everyone can be on the same page for this fall…A lot of people on low / fixed incomes have asked for a short term subscription for important social/economic turn points and that seems workable (or like more work) so let me know any thoughts on this.  I know times are tough and $20 is earlier to find than $40.  So $20 for five months is on the table…

    Write when you get rich….