Sunday, March 31, 2019

Figured out how to export Audio from concert videos in Final Cut Pro

Tried half a dozen tricks in VLC and could not split out the audio from a final rendered clip of our latest band concert.  Would not give the full 13.5 minutes of audio.  So I read the fine manual.  In Final Cut Pro X, you can export a 'Master File' - and there's even options!

Just select your project in the project window.
Choose File - Share - Master file.
Choose your Audio options from the options in the Master File.
You'll end up with a big AIFF file, uncompressed.

With that, you can dump it into SoundCloud for embedding in blogs, sharing with others and so on:

So - that's how you get your Audio out of a project in Final Cut Pro X.

-- Will England

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Do Members of the US Congress Get Paid For Life?

tl;dr - No, elected officials do not get paid for life the day they retire. They are subject to the same Federal defined benefit system as all other federal employees.

A report on "Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress," prepared in November by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, outlines how pension benefits are calculated.

The key provision: no member of Congress is eligible for any pension unless he or she has served in Congress for at least five years. (Senators serve six-year terms; House members must seek reelection every two years.)

To collect, a congressman or senator must be age 62, or be at least age 50 with 20 years of service, or be any age with 25 years of service.

Under the most recent pension program, adopted in 1984, the size of a pension is based on the highest three years of a member's salary, the number of years of service and a multiplier, which is 1.7 percent for the first 20 years of service and 1.0 percent for subsequent years.

Here’s an example, using a typical 25-year rank-and-file member who retired this year. The pension would be the sum of two calculations. First, multiply $172,443 [the average salary over the last three years] times 20 years times 0.017. Then, multiply $172,443 times 5 years times 0.01 and add that number to the first calculation. The total: about $67,250 per year.

A three-term congressman (or one-term senator) who has now reached retirement age would be eligible for an annual pension of $17,588 for six years of work. That's generous, but not close to full pay.

Federal law prevents members of Congress from getting full-pay retirement when they leave office. The report says, "By law, the starting amount of a member's retirement annuity may not exceed 80 percent of his or her final salary."

Under the formula, it would take 67 years of service to hit that limit.

So the email saying that members of Congress can "receive full pay retirement after serving one term" is blatantly bogus. It's never full pay and the only one-term members who would be eligible for any pension would be senators.
And from the horses mouth:

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Three Rules

I quote to my kids quite often Rule 1, Rule 2 and occasionally Rule 3.  What are they?

Rule 1 - the Golden Rule.  Do unto others as you would have them do to you; corollary, love they neighbor as you love yourself.

Rule2: The Will Rogers rule:  "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all"

Rule 3: The Junkie rule -  "Never trust a junkie."  Corollary: Everyone's a junkie for something.  Food, attention, games, TV, drugs or alcohol. 

Thursday, March 07, 2019

My Certified Ironbutt Rides

I've gone and done a lot of riding.  A couple of the rides I stopped and got reciepts, start and end witnesses etc.  Three of em in particular.  They earned me the IronButt Association Number of 11,383. Only way to get a lower number would be to finish the Iron Butt Rally.

So, follows are the rides that I got certificates for from the Iron Butt Association:

Extreme Rides:

William England
Overland Park, KS
Honda ST1100 Not Stock - Russell Day Long Seat, Clearview XL screen, 6" Ron Major Dogbone Bar Risers. 
1,551 Miles in 24 Hours; KC to Winnipeg, CA and back. 

This one never got a write up, and I can't even find the couple of blurry photos I took of the "Welcome to Winnipeg" sign.  Not much to say - sit here, twist that, watch rainbows, run WFO on I29 in the dark of the night, get a half a cup of bad coffee at a gas station in Winnipeg, turn around ride home.

Will England
Overland Park, KS
Stock Honda CBR250R
1,030 Miles in state - Trip Report on the SS1K In-State ride
* * * Combined with Tour of Honor Sites - * * *

Normal Rides:

William England
Overland Park, KS
Honda VFR750, Stock.
1,078  -- Overland Park to Downtown Chicago and Back.
Had to get a Blues Fest T-Shirt for my wife at the time.  :-)