the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Entrepreneurs Regulation

Posted by Jeff Id on April 10, 2015

Kenneth Fritsch noted in the comments section of the Entrepreneur’s Experience post the following poignant reality:

I would suspect that besides taxes, a more hidden expense for small businesses and businesses in general is the cost of regulations.

He would need a federal license to be more correct — probably.  In fact, I think the FDA or the ATF or perhaps the EPA has some regulation to say as much.  Hard to tell which division holds responsibility.  I do know that the FDA (food and drug administration) seems to regulate the import of plastic ultra-sonic welders.   At least I know that on two occasions (at the FDA request) I’ve filled out an FDA form with a statement written on it that the form is not required as there is no regulation.   Of course the “form” has no space for such statements so I just write it in the ‘address’ block.   On two other occasions, no form was required.   Basically it is paperwork with no readers, that regulators don’t even know whether it is needed, but sometimes must be used.

So today I received a new shock.  It just crossed my mind that perhaps I should explain that I’m a middle class progeny.  No big money in my history, the spoon in my mouth was stainless steel rather than silver.  Not that I’m complaining, money is horribly unimportant in case you haven’t learned that lesson, until you have none of it of course.   So the shock was not the 20 pages of new employee manual compliance law we received yesterday, it was a notification from our customer that we must now comply with affirmative action law.

—-

xxxxx Company is a federal contractor or subcontractor subject to the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), as amended, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Action of 1973, as amended (Section 503), and Executive Order 11246. As a federal contractor, xxxxx Company is obligated to take affirmative action to employee women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. xxxxx Company is also required to inform everyone with whom it conducts business that they may have the same obligations.

This notification does not imply that your organization has the same affirmative action obligations under VEVRAA, Section 503, and Executive Order 11246, as referenced above. Your obligation under those regulations is based on a number of factors, including size of workforce and dollar amount of subcontracts. However, we are required to notify you of your potential obligations as a subcontractor.

We appreciate your cooperation in our effort to fully comply with these Federal requirements.

—-

Just another day, another pile of regulations….

I called our HR manager and found out that he wasn’t aware that we subcontract to the government through our customers.  I didn’t know he didn’t know and didn’t know that he needed to know.  Whatever… On brief reading, if we sell X amount of goods, to the government as a subcontractor,  SUB being the operative word, we must comply with affirmative action law.   I have no actual idea what that means at this moment.   I do know that we have NO idea how many of our products end up on government vehicles vs private.   Our customers don’t tell us which goes where and to whom….   Why would they?

I have not one clue when we ACTUALLY crossed the dollar thresholds to be a fully regulated govt subcontractor, but from what I’ve read online, we crossed the threshold some time ago…  I really don’t know how we would ever figure out when that actually happened.   Hell, I don’t even know if we haven’t crossed the line for some obscure reason.  We will ask lawyers, and they will tell us.

Anyway … reading this from Wiki:

The Executive Order also required contractors with 51 or more employees and contracts of $50,000 or more to implement affirmative action plans to increase the participation of minorities and women in the workplace if a workforce analysis demonstrates their under-representation, meaning that there are fewer minorities and women than would be expected given the numbers of minorities and women qualified to hold the positions available. Federal regulations require affirmative action plans to include an equal opportunity policy statement, an analysis of the current work force, identification of under-represented areas, the establishment of reasonable, flexible goals and timetables for increasing employment opportunities, specific action-oriented programs to address problem areas, support for community action programs, and the establishment of an internal audit and reporting system.

As a conservative SOB with no care what you have for your “personal engagement equipment”, our company hires the best people we can find.  Naturally, being conservatives, we are over 70 percent women, who apparently are deemed minorities?  Dunno really…   Do we have to increase the number of men, perhaps we need some artificial tanner, or perhaps some whitener?  Hard to really tell.   I have no idea if we pay the ‘right’ ratio, no idea if we comply with whatever new regulation, but I do know that our lawyers will be telling us soon — for $450/hr. — plus our time — plus our managers time—- etc..

Maybe there is some exemption for us that I don’t know.  I don’t know because I posted it at the moment learned about it to share the experience with tAV readers.  Even not knowing is a cost to us, because we have to PAY $$ to find out.

It’s just another day too, nothing special—  ever heard of California prop 65?   We got this notice just recently:

Back in February we sent a letter by fax requesting that you review the items they provide to us and identify if any of them contain the chemicals listed by the California Prop 65 legislation. We have not received a response to date. Please take a moment to review the letter and listing of parts. If your parts do not contain any of the chemicals then you just need to list the part number and state none on the reply form. We need to finalize our listing so we can reduce our legal risk and update the packaging accordingly.

We are still trying to figure it out because we have 2800 part numbers with thousands of subcomponents and with 800 chemicals, it takes a huge amount of time to figure out.  Here’s the link:

http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/background/p65plain.html

Over 800 chemicals listed, which do you carry, which are exempt, how do you reply.  Lead has a dash though it but lead compounds don’t.  If you solder with lead, dashes are apparently exempt, but do you have the compounds in your product??  For Lead, you are also exempt if exposure is below a certain level, but exposure is in units of human absorption per day, yet the product lead percentage is in weight.  How can we actually know what absorption per day people would experience if the light is on the side of a truck? It doesn’t matter really because as a company we are guilty first anyway. Especially in California. Now we have replied to these requests many times, but the recent one above is pretty large terms of part qty and takes huge time.   If we blow disclosure, there are teams of lawyers ready to sue to make money based on imagined problems rather than actual ones.  What do you do?   You comply as best as you reasonably can …. but you really can’t.

Not that this cost individually would even scratch the surface of the taxes we pay.  Also not that that matters to most readers.   What we are experiencing at the very rare size private company we are, is immoral from a government and tax standpoint.     The system is designed to resist success for manufacturing in particular.  The tax and regulation load is so dramatic that I cannot find the words to explain.  All you need to do to see the truth is to look around at which country USED to be #1 in manufacturing, and now has so little manufacturing.  Of course, most of us simply look to what happened today, rather than what happened over time to the macro-economy.

Of course, liberals never listen, and I mean never, but it is good to vent anyway.   Better out than in, but as America’s economy continues to collapse, the sane voters ought to take note.

 

29 Responses to “Entrepreneurs Regulation”

  1. If anything Australia is worse but not much worse than the US. Let me explain how I can know this even though I have never visited Australia,

    I work as a consultant on infrastructure projects in developing countries usually financed by loans and grants from developed countries.

    With most companies in most countries, I merely sign a contract, get a plane ticket, pack my bags and go.

    Some companies require proof that I am in good enough health to do the job and have health and emergency repatriation insurance.

    But Australian companies and US companies have invented lots of additional hurdles to employment.

    1. Police report

    2. Medical report

    3. Declarations that I undertake to abide by certain norms and laws some of which I though were just normal civilized conduct. I declare not to engage in trafficking of ancient artifacts, or protected animals or molest children. etc. etc.

    Seems the only thing they do not worry about is offering me a contract that states I will be an independent contractor (like a plumber) but that requires I act in every way as an employee.

    The reason I mention this is that such an contract arrangement is contrary to the terms of their own prime contract that forbids them to subcontract.

    Such an agreement is not recognized by laws of their own country or state that define who is and who is not and employee.

    Such an arrangement is contrary to the rules of the International Labor Organization which sets standard for treatment of workers employed by UN agencies..

    Do I comply with all these requirements? Of course. I do. I must comply in order to work.

    The fact is that most of these things I do already merely because they are prudent behaviors. Or I avoid because they are unlawful or I regard as bad conduct.

    However, the longer I observe the way the world is going the more I see it turning into what Orwell depicted in his book 1984.

    Living in a modern “liberal” democracy is getting like conscription into the army.

    Alexis de Tocqueville predicted this would come to pass in America. In effect he saw the tendency of American democracy to become a “dictatorship of the majority”. And I cannot resist pointing out the closest Russian translation is Lenin’s sort of “Bolshevism”.

    Whenever I visit London I am also reminded of old movies about the rise of the Third Reich and how it was governed. The difference is that in those day, the Gestapo did not have electronic devices to do their job and instead went about checking identity papers and permits to board ships, trains, and aircraft. Now we have no-fly lists and never see our own gestapos.

    Except in Toronto for people of color. In Toronto, a police officer is authorized to stop anyone he sees as odd to ask intrusive personal questions, under a policy called “carding”.

    • page488 said

      “Except in Toronto for people of color. In Toronto, a police officer is authorized to stop anyone he sees as odd to ask intrusive personal questions, under a policy called “carding”.”

      Geez – From my experience, I think this is true. I’ve spent about six weeks in Canada over the years (1985 – 2005).

      When I was in Toronto in 2001 I went on a couple of dates with a very nice, well educated Indian man (from India, not First Nations). He had worked all over the Commonwealth, and he told me that Canada was the worst with respect to prejudice against people of color. He said all people with a little extra melanin in their skin were treated with suspicion by the Toronto authorities.

      Kind of sadly funny because all the white people I know in Toronto are ultra – liberal in their beliefs (but, obviously not in their practices!). Even the ultra – libs in Toronto refer to the Pakistani immigrants as “Pakis” and see them as the lowest of the low.

      You just never know what kind of prejudices people have, no matter what they say. The “white” people I know in Toronto associate only with their own kind and criticize everyone else, especially those of us from the southern US.

      Oh, the Indian man even told me that he was surprised that an “Anglo” would go out with him because of his “color.” I was shocked!

      I’m an Anglo from Alabama. Oddly enough, I got similar treatment from the white Canadians (friends, not the authorities) simply because of my place of birth. They assumed all sorts of weird things about the modern American South. They seemed to think we keep the “black” people in cages or something. I put up with their crap – there was nothing I could say, really – they’re going to cling to their beliefs no matter what evidence they’re shown to the contrary; it makes them feel superior to someone like me!

      I never told them about my dates with the Indian guy!

  2. jinghis said

    Why put up with it? Do an IPO, buy a sailboat and enjoy life. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

    Or if you can’t do that, get on disability for depression and travel to get over your depression.

    If our Masters like Valerie Jarret, Biden, et all want to take care of us, let them take care of us, executive orders are great.

    The problem as I am sure you are sensing, is that you are setting yourself up for a huge financial hit and probably committing a couple of felonies a day, who knows? You have a choice, you can either take a seat at the table or provide the dinner.

    Please, take a seat at the table. The sooner the system collapses the better, really.

    • Jeff Id said

      We live completely within the rules – at least to my knowledge. It is impossible to be perfect at it but we pay a lot of lawyers and accountants to keep us straight. I can’t tell my whole story yet for business reasons but perhaps you can tell yours. It sounds like you have reasonably cashed out and I would certainly be very interested.

      There are quite a few business owners who peruse and publish climate skeptic blogs. People who’s livelihood actually depends on doing something useful and correct.

      • jinghis said

        I built a couple of companies, construction, video games, aircraft engines and props, invested, etc. And in every single endeavor I had to learn how to deal with the corruption and develop ‘work arounds’, like all of my associates were private contractors. Ever dealt with the NLRB? Good luck, they make it up as they go, kind of like taking out or putting a couple of grand of cash in your bank account is illegal without reporting it. I only met a couple of inspectors who did not insist on a bribe.

        The video game company was wildly successful, until the lawsuits started flying. Ever notice that lawsuits seem to be the pastime of programming companies? Or the medical field? Lawyers go where the money is. It is almost impossible to protect your intellectual property.

        The aviation field was wonderful. There is a saying that the way to make a small fortune in airplanes is to start with a large one. It is true. Because the experimental field is ‘experimental’ the regulations weren’t too bad. A partner decided he wanted everything, so he took everything and sued me when I quit putting money in, duh. I didn’t take the lawsuit seriously, hired a cheap attorney to handle it, and lost, big time, even though the guy openly admitted in court that his lawsuit was fraudulent. The court system is just a big lottery.

        In investing, I was very good. The only losses I ever took were when it turned out the companies were cooking the books. Of course the government took their share of the winnings but never the losses. I learned how to win trading futures, consistently, kind of like how the HFT’s do it now, until the SEC shut me down. Apparently I had pissed off a trading company, who had connections, and the SEC wrote a special rule for me. They handed me and my attorneys two sealed envelopes, one with a fine and one with a larger fine and jail time on it if I didn’t pay the ‘penalty’ on the first envelope and chose to fight. I paid.

        The way to get ahead today I believe is to work for the government. Get a nice fat salary and retire with a huge pension after 25 years complete with a wonderful medical plan.

        Or go Galt like me, I live like a Sultan on a couple of grand a month. It isn’t about increasing your income it is all about eliminating unnecessary expenses. I have a boat that I don’t pay any taxes on. Anchorages are free in wonderful secluded beaches. Yeah I have to pay for communications, diesel and food, but I have no other expenses except maintenance. For five hundred a month, I am surrounded by beautiful, interesting people and living in paradise, life doesn’t get any better.

        I just kick myself when I look back at my life and the wasted time I spent ‘making money’. Yeah it takes a little, but not very much. Oh did I mention, that health problems go away too? Amazing really.

      • stan said

        I have no doubt you are likely responsible for felonies daily. http://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonies-Day-Target-Innocent/dp/1594035229

  3. Anonymous said

    Jeff,
    The hostility toward manufacturing is indeed pervasive. What my company does can be described as “light manufacturing”… we are not smelting lead or anything…. mostly circuit boards, precision metal parts fabrication, a bit of spray painting and the like. Our employees are mostly skilled workers and reasonably well paid. About 10 years ago we were in need of more space, and one of the options was to move operations from Louisiana to Florida. I did a brief investigation of what would be required: multiple environmental impact evaluations, public safety evaluation (police), fire hazard evaluations (fire department), evaluation of traffic impacts, noise impacts, estimates of overall ‘cost to the community’ for workers to be employed and live in the area… diluting the value of all existing public infrastructure (said costs being payable as a lump sum before starting operation!), and more. And all this for establishing a production facility with less than 15 employees in an existing ‘light industry’ zone, in an existing building. You could be turned down at any point in the process by any of the many entities involved, and fighting any disapproval would be too costly to even consider.

    The message was clear: we do not want new industrial companies here. Restaurants? Sure. Car dealers? Sure. Banks, lawyers, doctors? Of course. Just not manufacturing industry. Too dirty. Too unpleasant. Too noisy. Too dangerous. It is all NIMBY writ large. And some wonder why many buildings and most land zoned for light industry sits vacant.

    I think the hostility toward manufacturing is no more likely to change than opposition to nuclear power is going to disappear. We stayed where we were and added a building.

  4. Thomas Fox said

    We in the UK we are heading in the same direction as EU regulators continue to pile on ever increasing industrial production and distribution laws . It is as though they have the death wish for all wealth creators ?

  5. Okay, Jeff. I’m a liberal. I’m listening. Wow. I owned businesses in California and I didn’t have the same problems as you–in fact I thought you were exaggerating. But they were service businesses and I was just being smug.

    I guess some of what infuriates me the most is how easy it would be for a sane government to make it easy for you to comply. If they were using modern technology they could eliminate most of the legwork you are having to go through. That they have no interest in helping you help them is symptomatic of what I find most sad about the last forty years.

    Well, enough of sympathy. What can I do to help?

    • Jeff Id said

      I’m not sure how to answer your question. I haven’t exaggerated our situation though.

    • Gary said

      How can you help? For a start, stop promoting a political ideology that’s doing far more harm than good.

      • stan said

        Stop voting for the hate-filled liars and slanderers who are responsible for the regulatory nightmare and who desperately want to make it much worse.

      • stan said

        oops. that was meant to reply to Tom.

        • Hiya Stan. I think we all understood.🙂

          Still a liberal. Still voting Democratic. Still want to help.

          • stan said

            I’ve always wondered if there existed a level of corruption, dishonesty, and lawlessness in Democrat politicians so sleazy that it might actually waken some tiny, nascent notion of integrity in Democrat voters. The first 8 years of Clinton and the last 6 of Obama would indicate that there is not. And now we have the most extraordinary opportunity presented in Hillary’s quest to return with her serial rapist hubby to the White House.

            My prediction — the more shocking and disgusting the revelations of dishonesty, lawlessness, corruption and abuse involving the Clintons, the more excited Democrat voters will be to elect her.

            I miss America. I suspect the world may come to miss the USA even more.

          • Jeff Id said

            The corruption happens on both sides. The difference though is that Democrat politicians know very well that making extreme rules leaves opportunities for negotiation and they use it regularly. High taxes with negotiated solutions for big business are a favorite. Big business doesn’t mind either as they are on the receiving end. I haven’t fully investigated this but have heard that Warren Buffett has a personal stake in transporting oil by truck that the Keystone pipeline would otherwise move. He’s come out for the pipeline publicly but he sure was a big supporter of the guy who wasn’t.

            He even told what I consider lies in front of congress about his tax rates…. I wonder why?

            We have a liberal partner who is personally well off and has a smaller %, and he was more worried about a hedge fund manager paying too little taxes than us paying too much. This year probably stung a little though. We will see if his views change when we grow a little more and his true % tax increases.

            I am always curious how people respond when their world political views are consistently proven wrong. Observation vs model… model too often wins.

  6. j ferguson said

    Jeff,

    I’d wondered how long it would take for you to express yourself on this subject. When i got turned loose as an architect in 1968, the intrusiveness of regulation was pretty benign. Zoning could be a problem, but not to an impossible degree. I did a lot of municipal work in the beginning, mostly wastewater treatment plant buildings. These projects did not generally require permitting nor building department review, but I did had a go-round with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources about building an addition to Watertown’s WWTP in a wetland. The original plant had been there a long time, we were designing additions which would significantly improve the quality of the effluent and surprise surprise they needed to be downstream from the existing plant or pumps would be needed at significant first cost and operating expense. DNR could care less. I was told over several Linenkugels that the the people who worked for DNR saw their duty to be to prevent development – all development.

    As time went on it got steadily worse. I can remember 20 or so episodes where the application of the regulation du jour was so onerous that a retelling would challenge credulity.

    And that would be for the projects.

    The advent of continuing education was accompanied by the advent of licensing regulations that Architects would be continually educated. this meant acquiring CE credits sufficient to keep my licenses effective. I was licensed to practice (right word) in 10 states. Not all of them adopted the CE program at first but eventually they all did. Fortunately the requirements were coordinated among the states such that course credits were applicable everywhere.

    But what were these courses? Generally only available in subjects which I could have taught. So i got to pay real money to sit in a class and hear stuff i already knew – and bite my tongue for hours at a time. I hated it. This baloney requirement is one of the reasons that I let all my licenses lapse and will never ever do another architectural project.

    I like what i am doing, designing and building the smallest fixed wing autonomous aircraft i can – just starting – likely very long term project. And this is for me, only. not to be sold.

    And this is without getting to OSHA, the various building departments that wasted man-years of my time, the beauty boards who were able to stall my projects because they were within sight of a building having “significant cultural importance” (that could be anything they said it was, no statutory standard for “significant cultural importance”).

    Nor the guys that made me knurl the doorknobs on both sides of doors in an active railroad yard in Chicago so that blind and deaf people would be able to tell that there was a hazard on the other side of the door. I fought this one because no-one like that should have been anywhere near those doors, but it was that or not get a permit. I didn’t get points for asking how they’d handle the guy with two protheses.

    I’ll cut this off. too much froth on the keyboard.

    And to give Tom, the uncloseted liberal (who I hold in great esteem for bravery) who appears here from time to time some comfort, a lot of this nonsense traces back to Nixon – who I supported, I guess a bit unwittingly.

    • Jeff Id said

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. One of the things that Steve McIntyre talks about from time to time is the preponderance of computer programers who travel climate blogs. What I have also noticed is a high density of entrepreneurs and leaders.

      I hope you will share some photos of your prototypes. What sort of accelerometers are you using etc..I love the idea.

      • j ferguson said

        Hi Jeff,

        I’m just now finishing the shop setup – small cnc mill, today and tomorrow the pulsed mist coolant system, then try to get competent with the RC plane I’m learning on, then on to using it as a mule to do the autopilot and gps interface.

        I have to be able to do the RC because I think that even though project is to be autonomous, i still need to be able to make it come down if it wanders off. I’m also need to be able to toggle autopilot/RC as I come up to speed on control sensitivities. I flew for 14 years, but that has next to nothing to do with this other than teaching me the nomenclature.

        Project will initially be done with modules (readily available) and possibly an arduino (I have a lot of arduino experience) but then when i go smaller, I’m going to try to get down to the chip level. I’ve done a couple of SMD projects so can handle the size as long as my eyes hold out. I’d like to get down to 10 inch (or eight??) wingspan, but at this point have idea whether I can do it. but I’ll keep at it.

        I’m expecting to spend three or four years on this. I did something like it for the boat and got good experience fudging tilt compensated compass modules – really magnetometers with accelerometers on same board. And the amazing gps chip which quit outputting position if it didn’t move at a rate of at least a meter/second – it went to sleep in ten seconds if it didn’t and this was undocumented.. It took long time to sort out. it was made for use in cars and the idea was to stop jitter when the car was sitting there.

        You know, stuff like that.

        when I get down to details, I’ll send you an email. I have your address. And FWIW, a lot of the stuff I try doesn’t work …. at first.

        thanks for the interest.

        John

        • Jeff Id said

          John,

          What a fun story. I build stuff all the time too. Usually it is for work these days and a lot less fun than a plane. We make a two part fluid mixing system to assemble products. It was a challenge because part A is filled with aluminum silicate and part B is isocyanate. The silicate is sandpaper and erodes seals, the iso dissolves them. There are plenty of commercial materials available for liquid/slurry seals but nothing held up well. In the end we eliminated the seals and used tight tolerance hardened stainless steel and designed machines which directed the subsequent leaking into reservoirs. Basically we built machines which were intended to leak very slowly. The result is the most maintenance free two part electronic potting machines I’ve worked with.

          Getting there though was a slaughterhouse of machined components. I tried a dozen different designs with every kind of seal I could find before giving up and trying a no seal machine. I told my business partner, one more try and then we buy the very expensive commercial machines which require extensive maintenance. Now we have 9 operating every day with 4 more on order in the next few weeks. You would probably understand just how frustrating it can be when the mix ratio isn’t perfect and you don’t know why the material sometimes cures and sometimes doesn’t. Then the success when you finally solve it and it works perfectly.

          • j ferguson said

            Hi Jeff,
            I assume you went no-seal. Did you design it? and then have them built?

            It’s funny but when you get to be 72 like I am, you will remember parts of stories but not the whole thing. it drives me crazy. Somewhere in my past there was a mechanical assembly which had a problem part. My guess is it was automotive. It had this problem part which was the source of a lot of trouble but the manufacturer provided it so everyone used it. Somewhere I found out that it did nothing and the guys who understood the thing left it out when they rebuilt whatever it was – to no ill effect.

            I’m not adequately educated for a lot of the things I try to do. But in the end most of these projects end up successful although sometimes only because I’ve reduced my expectations to what i can make work. Over years spent doing things I didn’t understand I finally saw the pattern. Never give up, remember what you’ve tried (to keep out of loops) and don’t worry about how messy it is at first.

            Add to this the joy of being able to find other guys trying to do the same thing. they’re out there on the net. I was able to use insights from guys in NZ, OZ, France and Germany, and even Long Island, on one of my projects. It involved reading serial data-streams with 9 bit characters – what would otherwise have been the parity bit was part of the data. Guy in OZ had it knocked.

            I can imagine that you did the sames sorts of things I did when I was a kid. In my case it was building “computers” our of discarded telephone company relays. they made a lot of noise but didn’t do that much.

            I couldn’t find anyone who knew anything about this and there wasn’t anything in the library in the nw chicago suburb we lived in. Now, anything like that and I’d find the guy in South Korea who was into the same sort of thing.

            This is true of the autonomous airplane stuff. Other guys are working on these things and there is enough of a market for this sort of thing that you can buy auto-stabilizers and i expect all the modules to do what i want to do. Except that I want to get down to component level and as much as possible do the whole thing.

            one last story. we were going to move onto our boat in 2003 and in fact ended up living on it for 10 years. We needed a TV which would be satellite fed and we didn’t want too much stuff on board. so I bought a wide-screen samsung monitor, an aluminum server case, an asus mb, ati all-in-wonder card (built in tv receiver) and high end audigy sound card with neat front panel. was going to run it on XP. Computer was our TV and navigation computer plus internet connection (via Verizon).

            I couldn’t get it to work. there was a conflict in the drivers for the audigy and all-in wonder cards. i tried everything but no joy. Then I googled the MB and the two cards. I found a guy in Seoul RSK, who’d done the same thing but his worked. So I emailed him and got a reply sort of like “Hah, hah. Not obvious is it?” I begged him and he told me what to do. Buy a cheap vga card, install the sound card, then switch the graphic card to the all-in-wonder load its drivers and it will work. And it did.

            I have dozens of experiences like this. There was the guy in Roumania who knew how to fix bad Toshiba laptops at the board level. Resolder a surface mount voltage regulator. Toshiba hadn’t washed the boards enough and the acid flux ate this particular connection.

            Jeff we live in truly wonderful times. you can find out almost anything today.

            sorry to go on like this.

          • Jeff Id said

            Yes I did the design myself, consulting with my EE business partner who is no slouch🙂 But we went no seal and the things run much better than I ever expected. We needed a high precision machine shop to build the parts to a tolerance of +/- 0.00005″ and for those in Chicago, it is a good place to go.

            I doubt I will make it to 72. If I do, I’ll be sure to remember that I won’t remember and say ‘yup he was right!’

          • j ferguson said

            a tolerance of +/- 0.00005″ WOW!

          • Jeff Id said

            I know right! The pistons hold air when the bottom of the cylinders are plugged. Put a little oil on them and they hold it for a long time.

          • stevefitzpatrick said

            0.00005″? 1.27 microns? Two wavelengths of red light?
            Are you sure that isn’t 0.0005″? (Which is the best precision grind tolerance we have been able to find.)

        • Jeff Id said

          Actually, I don’t really believe they are as good as they claimed but the machining is top notch. Those tolerances can be achieved though. Being in optics, we’ve done diamond turning before. have you ever seen this http://www.iiviinfrared.com/pdfs/II-VI_dTurn2009-01a.pdf

  7. […] The Air VentNot that this cost individually would even scratch the surface of the taxes we pay. Also not that that matters to most readers. What we are experiencing at the very rare size private company we are, is immoral from a government and tax standpoint. The system is designed to resist success for manufacturing in particular. The tax and regulation load is so dramatic that I cannot find the words to explain. All you need to do to see the truth is to look around at which country USED to be #1 in manufacturing, and now has so little manufacturing. Of course, most of us simply look to what happened today, rather than what happened over time to the macro-economy.Read the whole thing. […]

  8. stan said

    http://www.mrctv.org/blog/well-observe-earth-day-when-epa-observes-law-small-business-federation-declares

    “We’ll observe Earth Day when the EPA observes the law,”

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