Let’s Let the Letts Fix It

Our Governor  is a former Big Tech guy, and I am pretty certain the State IT Department  is a trial and a headache for him. He was successful in the private sector, but this is the public sector,  and things are somewhat different here.

For some reason, the State Unemployment Office, and only the State Unemployment Office,  is supported by an extremely old computer system for  which there is no IT support in the State. In fact, there is no support for the system or its programs in the entire US. The only people in the entire world who still know how to fix this system are in Latvia.

The Governor  is really upset about the millions of dollars the State is paying Latvians to keep the system  up and running. This has apparently been going on for years. He is proposing a huge item in this biennium’s budget (yes, the ND legislature only meets every two years) to replace the system. I would assume the legislature would go along with this, but you never know. It may cost less in the short-term to keep employing Latvians instead of a huge capital outlay right now.  We shall see how the upcoming legislative session turns out.

What country would you like to visit to repair things or teach people skills? What country would you like to hire repair people from, if it meant they would come to your house to make the repairs? What would you want them to fix?


43 thoughts on “Let’s Let the Letts Fix It”

      1. I’m not sue I understand. Are we our wishes?

        If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
        If turnips were watches, I’d wear one by my side.
        If “ifs” and “ands” were pots and pans,
        There’d be no work for tinkers’ hands.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I guess so….This is some thing my mother used to say and I’ve said all of my life but I’ve never actually dissected.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. i got to visit thailand to see a factory where the make pots. the hyatt hotel where i stayed was the nicest i have ever stayed at anywhere it was $100 per night i went to breakfast and saw the spa so i went in. the exercise equiptment was great and over in an adjacent area was the massage area. i love massage do i looked at the eu and found it to be a bit pricy . $150 an hour so i asked my host to look for a local shop . we found one down the road where the rate was better. $2 for a one hour foot massage and $6 for a one hour body massage . i got a one hour foot massage and it was so good i went back the next day to get the body massage and found there was nothing available for two hours so i asked if there was anything available while i waited. they said they had foot massage available so i took it . two hours of foot massage and one and a half hours of body massage 4 +9 was $13 plus a $7 to was a well spent $20

    i’ve thought many times about starting a foot massage business where i bring in 20 workers to offer foot massage on the skyway system in downtown mpls.
    $20 an hour booked with a workers 8 hour day would pay them a good wage to go back home with after a 6 month work visa test to see if they’ve enjoyed it and then send them back to bangkok to sign up for a return
    so visit thailand to get my body fixed ( i hear it’s the right place for getting dental implants too) and then bring back workers to live in a company dorm with a base of 20 workers in a rotation
    i have a meeting on friday about starting a business in french guiana in the boating business. selling and furnishing parts. the guy i’m meeting with is my auto mechanic and is very good at getting it done for a reasonable price at a time when everyone else is very expensive. i have an acquaintance who set up an it business in french guiana with programmers and coders who work for $20 an hour in a world where $150 an hour is common
    latvia is millions but if the replacement is hundreds of millions let latvia have rltheir piece of the pie. yearly trips to the latvian headquarters to be sure the ship runs smoothly would be good. maybe you could volunteer in retirement to visit twice a year to keep the wheels greased

    Liked by 5 people

  2. When we lived in Winnipeg, we rented a small house from Angela and Emilio, an Italian couple from Calabria who had immigrated to Canada in the 1970’s. They lived next door to the house we rented. Emilio was a ceramic tile installer who swore by Italian tile, and who did beautiful work. We were often invited to their home, which was replete with Italian tile on every available surface. I want to replace our current kitchen flooring (oak colored laminate) with ceramic tile, and add a tile back splash between the counter and the cupboards. I would welcome a team of Emilios from Calabria to do this.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. i did italian tile in a previous life and it’s wonderful
      home depot menards make it affordable
      you can find an installer. finding the guy with european sensibilities is almost impossible unless you write your ad that way

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    The Repair topic is appropriate to my life. Tuesday morning we awoke to the doorbell at 7:20 am. Our neighbor 2 floors down had water leaking through the ceiling. So did the neighbor right below us. The leak is /was in our condo. It has been 2 days of plumbers and restoration guys and homeowners insurance people. Now the insurance companies have to sort out payment.

    We are living with loud drying fans and dehumidifiers and uncertainty about who sent the emergency repair service and how does our insurance company assign emergency repair service. My anxiety is high.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh no, indeed. Unanticipated home repair costs are not quite in the category of gotcha medical costs, but are similar. A friend noticed some sewage was backing up into her basement. Ultimately, the problem turned out to be a damaged sewer line, and she learned she was on the hook for a $6,000 sewer line replacement. Good luck with the insurance company!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jacque’s story reminds me of something long ago. Just before Christmas in 1969 my erstwife and I were puzzled by water dripping from the ceiling to the middle of our bed. We spent Christmas Eve at my parents’ home. When we returned to our apartment we found the bed filled with chunks of plaster, pieces of lath and a lot of smelly water. Water had accumulated in the apartment above, finally causing a huge section of our ceiling to let go and drop on the bed. We used to believe we would have been injured by the falling debris had we slept at home, but I think the flow of water would likely have forced us to sleep somewhere else.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Makes me wonder, when you first discovered the water dripping into your bed, did you just leave for your parents’ house, or did you also alert the upstairs apartment or the building owner/maintenance of the problem?


      1. There was a guy responsible for maintenance. We told him about the dripping water. He kept trying to contact the upstairs renter, but that fellow had locked his apartment and left town for several days. He was someone from another culture who had no experience with American home maintenance issues. His radiator was spitting water, or that’s what we were told.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Three dilapidated old buildings sat on 4th St SE (which Dylan immortalized in a song) just yards north of I-35. When the highway department dug out the big trench for the freeway, the soil shifted, causing all sorts of mayhem in the old buildings. Doors no longer worked. Windows wouldn’t go up and down. What were once luxury apartments had been chopped up into many tiny apartments. The buildings were almost unlivable. They had two things going for them. They were near the U of MN, and they were dirt cheap. My monthly rent was $67, and even in that time that was incredibly cheap near the U. Every married couple should start life together in a place so disheveled it is comical; it makes for so many good stories. So . . . you are exactly right. “Student housing.”

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Our apartment had wall to wall windows on three sides. It was a converted porch on the second floor. We moved out in January so I do not know how cold it really got. But one night, with all the shades fully down, at the precise right moment three fire trucks went by with their sirens wailing and red lights flashing. I have not thought of that for 35 years or more.

          Liked by 3 people

  5. MN used to meet every other year or had a major session every other year and a minor one o opposite years. Major one set budget for two years. Minor one was supposed to be very short and could only address certain issues. Steve must remember this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are talking about the MN legislature, right? I worked there for one short session. The long sessions, as you remember, had to produce a budget. That was chaotic because the two political parties didn’t agree on anything. The short session was just supposed to mop up little issues.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. As time went along, the legislature faced more and more issues, and the issues became more complicated. Just to save money, they fiercely resisted going to a fulltime legislature, but the workload kept escalating.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Any nationality, as long as they know how to fix things. Like the rice cooker. Maybe a nice Japanese repairperson could fix that. But then again, maybe they’d just tell me it’s not that hard to cook rice without a rice cooker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Considering that the Japanese invented the rice cooker, I’d be willing to bet that you’d find one in most Japanese homes. I happen to think that cooking rice without one, isn’t difficult, but I can definitely see the benefits of using one. Considering how inexpensive they are, there are probably not that many rice cooker repair people around – of any nationality. You can buy a very good one for less than thirty bucks.


  7. Emilio’s Italian pride was affronted by our success with growing tomatoes, and he challenged us to tomato growing contests.


  8. Australia .
    In the 8th grade geography classs we were to pick a country to report on. I had originally selected Saudi Arabia but got no reply from their embassy about the nation. I’m not sure about the timing that led me to Australia.
    Now I want to learn about my budgies . Fix my aviary.

    Liked by 3 people

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