Monthly Archives: January 2006

No money

I had an interview last week with the head of the site, here at Chalon-Saint Marcel. The point was to ask for sponsorship from Areva: what door at la tour in Paris should I knock on for a donation?

To say the least the man didn't seem very optimistic and let me know so. Promised me an answer within next 2 weeks.

I got the answer today: No money. He talked about … various reasons, all of which didn't seem relevant. This is not a philanthropic business (I guess Subaru is), choices that were made (Tsunami: 100 000€, Pakistan ??,…) were done through organizations such as the Red cross (and just what is AidsLife/Cycle?), the idea of sponsoring is strongly bound to publicity and gaining audience, like they we did with a ship for America's cup 2-3 years ago.

Mentionning the latter was a major mistake and I fully exposed my appreciations of all his lame arguments.

Who did he think he was talking to?

At least now he knows I don't use my head to just put a hat on.

Result remains: no money, no donation… *sigh*

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Posted by on January 31, 2006 in Uncategorized


Saving in 2005 Worst Since 1933

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (AP) — Americans' personal savings rate dipped into negative territory in 2005 for the first time since the Great Depression as consumers depleted their savings to buy cars and other big-ticket items.

The Commerce Department reported Monday that the savings rate for last year was minus 0.5 percent, meaning Americans not only spent all their after-tax income but dipped into savings or borrowed more.

The savings rate has been negative for a full year only twice before — in 1932 and 1933 — when the country was struggling to cope with the Great Depression, a time of massive business failures and layoffs.

The Commerce report said consumer spending for December rose 0.9 percent, while incomes increased 0.4 percent.

A price gauge that excludes food and energy rose 0.1 percent in December, down from a 0.2 percent rise in November. This inflation index linked to consumer spending is closely watched by officials at the Federal Reserve.

The central bank will meet Tuesday and it is expected to increase interest rates a 14th consecutive time.

Many economists think those rate increases are drawing to a close, however, with perhaps another quarter-point increase at the March 28 meeting, because the central bank is starting to see the impact of the previous rate increases in a slowing economy.

For December, the savings rate fell to 0.7 percent, the largest one-month decline since a 3.4 percent drop in August.

The savings rate for 2004 was 1.8 percent.

December income increase was in line with Wall Street expectations. Income increased 0.4 percent in November and 0.6 percent in October.

The December 0.9 percent rise in spending was slightly above the expectation for a 0.8 percent increase and almost double the 0.5 percent increase in November.

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Posted by on January 31, 2006 in Uncategorized


EDF = Electricité De France

National post office may complain about me because I don't use its services anymore. I can't remember the last time I posted something… Yes I do now: it was for a yearly bill of the common parts I share with other owners in this building.

I could use paypal and pay via their e-mail, but I'm not sure they'd understand my … humour.

Other than that, I don't remember using the post office. I have stamps in my wallet but most of the time it is RC who regularly asks if I “… don't have any, pal?”.

EDF' s site seems to be down though… I'll pay some other time during the day.

The bill reads, “Origin of electricity: 83.4% nuclear, 8.1% renewable (among which 7.6% hydro), 3.8% gas, 3.1% coal, 1.3% fuel, 0.3% others (??).
Indicators of impact over environment are detailed on EDF's website
“, … which is still unavailable.

So will be my money

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Posted by on January 31, 2006 in Uncategorized


Post it board

I came across an interesting website the other day. It looks half done, still, but it caught my attention because of a similar idea I had developped for a board I later implemented on two sites.

Apparently the designer has only developped the similar apparence with Postits© whereas I focused on the use of vaguely looking yellow notes one can drag around after having written something.

Though my board is technically Ok I think it was wrong of me to ask visitors, potential 'posters', to write prior to seeing where the post would be located. He, the other one, Gavin, was right in that people click at first to generate a postit… no code to write anything though, yet (?).

Mmmm… ^_^

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Posted by on January 30, 2006 in Uncategorized


Weekend at Lyon

I&M invited me over to their place at Lyon for the weekend, well Saturday evening and part of today.

We actually didn't do much though I took lots of pictures plus shot a couple of videos. I'm currently dowloading them all, or trying to is more like it since this PC crashes after a couple of pictures… It's a miracle I managed to transfer my 300MB+ video last time though I suspect the problem might be managing multiple files not so much their sizes. I've given up for now; I'm half done though Scheiße!!

We spent some time in a garden (jardin jardinerie??) where I bought a crimson hyacinth. This is yet an attempt to make up for a real garden…

Incidently, I&M and I chatted about respective future plans. I is to have an interview in a clinic just 5mn away from their home. She's hoping to complete her part time job with what they're offering there though does not hold her breath for it.
Should none of my plans to leave Chalon work out, I may put this place for sale and find a bigger one, with a balcony this time.

There was a possibility to finally see BP again. It's been a good 10 years since we last saw each other. I felt kind of nervous because his myopathy can only have gotten worse since then and … well, he's in Lyon now, living not very far from I&M's.
I have absolutely no problem with handicapped people; I do though when people I've seen before have obviously been degrading healthwise…

I'd like to see him again though.

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Posted by on January 29, 2006 in Uncategorized



buon compleanno!!

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Posted by on January 28, 2006 in Uncategorized



Yesterday was a bit difficult, as usual, in that we had one situation then a second one, in my case, later in the day.

Every Friday, at around 9:30-10:00 we have a croissant party break. There are about 15 persons in the department and we're recorded on a spreadsheet with the date at which we are to bring croissants. My turn is May, 19th.
Many had anticipated that BC would forget but … prayed that some angel would strike him on his head and knock him dead gently remind him his turn. To no avail. BC counted on our department's secretary who happened to be off yesterday: No croissant…

That was a mistake to begin with and a sign that the day would be difficult…

What we do at Saint Marcel is basically mechanical assembly of elements for steam generators (SG), pressurizers, reactor vessels, all core systems of nuclear power generators. Assembling tens of tons of shells together induce mechanical tensions that need to be released at some points hence crucial steps: heat treatments in vast ovens. Since welded joints must undergo tests of all kind, some of which are destructive, coupons are to follow fabrication and be subjected to exact same conditions as elements they represent.

Simple enough. One of my the four SG my finnish contract counts was to be heat treated this weekend so I had to make sure that nothing would stop the 48 hours process: I spent most of my day chasing worksheets to waive hold points and check out cascading documents, each referring to yet others.

We're talking paper documents, so the chasing was a physical race in a workshop 4 times the size of a conventional cathedral.

It's so happened that one discrepancy had been detected in the morning… of course.

It was impacting the very first step of the whole chain… of course.

Yesterday happened to be budget day and many heads of departments were off, attending meetings, unreachable, … of course.

SOOooo by the time we could all gather in an office and discuss, suggest, analyse and agree upon what was to be done (which consisted in proceeding with fabrication and postpone the moment at which the problem would be solved), it was past 19:00, Friday evening…

Still, 'little' details like creating CAD drawings and at least a temporary reparation worksheet was to be made, and everybody at the methods department was long gone home. GF had no problem calling up someone back to get the job done. RA was appalled (it was her second such Friday). I could see CB on the verge of slapping GF's face. ^_^

I have no problem with exceptionnal long days at work: this is what pays my bills and allows me to live. But exceptions must remain such. I don't expect any thanking message from GF come Monday. This is what bothers me big time.

Add this to having been deprived of my Friday croissant ^_^

Later, as I was waiting for things to unfold and directions to be given, I gave BC a postit™ with the words: Oublié croissants. Lundi svp*. He happened to still be present and a discussion ensued. I stuck to my guns and turned down all his lame excuses. MV will finally buy them on his behalf.


*: forgot croissants. Monday please.

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Posted by on January 28, 2006 in Uncategorized