Sunday, 28 May 2017

08:26 – It was 59.1F (15C) when I took Colin out around 0630 this morning, bright and breezy. We had another half inch (1.27 cm) of rain overnight, with loud thunder. As usual, Colin was terrified, and tried to climb on top of Barbara and me in bed. No joke, given that he’s a 70-pound dog.

Barbara just left for her week-long trip down to the Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC for a crafts class. She returns next Saturday afternoon. Colin and I plan to have WW&P the whole time she’s gone, except that we haven’t located any WW yet.

Email overnight from Jen. They’re running a prepping exercise over the holiday weekend. She and her sister-in-law were baking yesterday when they started talking about baking powder: how much they have, how much they’ll need, and how long it keeps.

Among them, they have half a dozen medium cans of Rumford double-acting baking powder and two 60-ounce jars of Argo. That’s enough to do a lot of baking, since you normally use the stuff a teaspoon or tablespoon at a time. As to shelf life, baking powder is pretty stable as long as you keep it completely dry and at room temperature.

Baking powder comes in two forms. Both release carbon dioxide gas as bubbles that act as leavening. Double-acting, which almost all baking powder sold for home use is, releases some of its gas when it’s exposed to moisture and the rest of its gas when it’s exposed to high temperatures in the oven. Single-acting releases all of its gas when it’s exposed to moisture, and is used primarily by commercial bakers and cooks.

All baking powder is primarily sodium bicarbonate, baking soda. The difference between the two types is what type and how much of a dry acid powder is included. Single-acting includes sufficient water-activated dry acid, typically citric acid, to react completely with the baking soda present. Double-acting contains insufficient acid to completely react with the baking soda immediately, or a type of acid, such as sodium pyrophosphate, that requires heat to free all of its acidity.

You never actually NEED single-acting baking powder. You can substitute plain baking soda and some form or acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice or sour cream or powdered citric acid, in sufficient quantity to produce as much gas as necessary. You just need to make sure the oven is pre-heated and get the batter into a pan and into the oven before the gas bubbles can dissipate.

You never actually NEED double-acting baking powder, either. The main reason it exists is to make things easier for home bakers who might forget to preheat the oven. But again, you can easily make a  substitute for it simply by using excess baking soda. The insufficient acid present in your substitute causes it to emit gas bubbles when water is added to the dry ingredient mix; the excess baking soda releases additional gas during baking.

Jen already has several of those 12/13-pound bags of baking soda in her LTS pantry. They’re stable essentially forever at room temperature. I recommended that she also stock several gallons of distilled white vinegar so that she can make her own substitute. Assuming she also stocks lots of yeast, which she does, she’ll never be short of what she needs to bake whatever she wants to.

 

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58 Responses to Sunday, 28 May 2017

  1. SteveF says:

    Yeast can be grown (Cultured? Whatever the verb is.) if you have a sample of what you want. It’s easy, though you need to keep it clean to avoid contamination by bacteria or wild yeast. See any homebrewer’s guide for instructions. Probably a century-old cookbook would also have instructions.

    (I’d type up the steps here, but I’m running on a couple hours’ sleep and wouldn’t trust my recall.)

  2. Greg Norton says:

    In Costco yesterday, I noticed that they started carrying the Moto G5 Plus for $219. If LineageOS follows through on producing replacement OS images for the phone as part of their mainstream support, that phone will be worth considering for anyone who is reluctant to carry hardware which constantly sends tracking data back to Apple or Google.

    I have LineageOS and its predecessor CyanogenMod installed on several devices around the house, including a Moto E that strictly runs open source software. In addition to voiding the warranty, there are a few tradeoffs involved with swapping out the corporate OS on an Android phone, but it is possible.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Yeast can be grown”

    Yep. It’s easy. I’ve done it before just to make sure it worked as expected. When I was going to make up a yeast bread, I just noted the amount of water and sugar it called for. The day before, I boiled that amount of water (to make sure there were no wild microorganisms present) and added part or all of the sugar called for (if the recipe didn’t call for sugar, I just used a heaping teaspoon in a cup of water; the yeast would eat most of the sugar), with one tiny bit of instant yeast. I let it sit overnight and the next morning we used it to make the bread dough. The dough rose normally, and the bread came out fine.

    I’ve mentioned this to Jen, Brittany, Cassie, et alia.

  4. Greg Norton says:

    Yeast can be grown

    The last time we were in San Francisco, the local TV news aired a segment on the primary sourdough culture that the Boudin bakery has kept alive for over a century at the main bakery.

    Maintenance appeared fairly straightforward. Interestingly, the home for what is arguably the company’s most important corporate asset was a Rubbermaid Brute trash can.

  5. nick flandrey says:

    Someone here posted some links to wild yeast cultivation about 6 months ago…

    n

  6. nick flandrey says:

    At 11 am it’s 90F and 72%RH in my sunny driveway.

    Feels like of 102F. I think I’ll be wearing my cool vest today, as I woke feeling very hungover. That’s a sure sign my electrolytes were out of wack from dehydration yesterday. Couple of salt replacement tablets helped that.

    Extreme heat is as dangerous as extreme cold… and a real consideration postSHTF when manmade cooling might not be available. My experience with post hurricane recovery is that it is hot, humid, sweaty hard work. All of life will be that way if some scenarios.

    n

    (I’ll also point out the vast areas of the US were basically unpopulated until the advent of cheap dependable air conditioning. South Texas, Phoenix, Lost Wages,…..)

  7. Greg Norton says:

    I’ll also point out the vast areas of the US were basically unpopulated until the advent of cheap dependable air conditioning. South Texas, Phoenix, Lost Wages, …..

    It is possible to survive in the Southeast without air conditioning, as people did (albeit in much lower population densities) 100 years ago, but modern high speed communications infrastructure does not tolerate heat and humidity very well.

    I’ve said before I believe that, if someone wanted to establish an authoritarian regime in the modern-era US post SHTF, promises to provide food and shelter won’t be nearly as effective as promises to restore WiFi and cable.

    I haven’t given much thought to the Southern equivalent of the I-5 corridor between Portland and Seattle, but, having grown up in the region, I could see Tampa-Orlando-Daytona Beach being brought to heel pretty quickly.

  8. SteveF says:

    Someone here posted some links to wild yeast cultivation about 6 months ago…

    We’d successfully repressed the memory of reading about cultivating yeast infections. Thanks heaps for reminding us.

  9. OFD says:

    75 here and mostly sunny w/blue skies and a light breeze; dropping to low 60s tomorrow w/rain and t-storms into Tuesday.

    OFD will go WAY out on a limb and predict that if the Grid goes down in southern and western states, there will be mass die-offs in the summer heat w/no A-C. Yes, peeps survived a century ago w/o it, but they were tougher and more resourceful then, too. Today’s mollycoddled snowflakes and yer typical Murkan derp used to all the modern comforts will shut down pretty quickly in 95+ heat, and of course the old and the very young will go first. Those regions may well revert to 10-20% of the current population as one result; another problem will be how to get potable water out of a fast-dwindling aquifer or from anyplace at all.

    I’d also point out that in colonial settlement times, the southern colonies people dropped like flies thanks to heat, humidity and disease, while in Nova Anglia they often lived well into their 80s and 90s. You can always git warm but the reverse is mos def not the case.

  10. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Sparta has pretty moderate weather. It sometimes gets up to 90 here, but not often. And with 50 to 60 inches of annual rainfall, water isn’t going to be a problem here.

  11. nick flandrey says:

    Long term, grid down, the places to be are the places people lived successfully pre-grid.

    Abundant water, temperate climate, good soil.

    n

  12. SteveF says:

    OFD will go WAY out on a limb and predict that if the Grid goes down in southern and western states, there will be mass die-offs in the summer heat w/no A-C.

    SteveF further predicts that if such an event were to occur, there would be mass laughter from the North, not least from SteveF’s locale. SteveF remembers laughter from the South, including Texas, and mocking suggestions of moving to where people can survive the winter, some years back when there was a shortage of heating fuel in the North.

    Today’s mollycoddled snowflakes and yer typical Murkan derp used to all the modern comforts will shut down pretty quickly in 95+ heat

    To be fair, houses a century ago were designed for the climate, allowing airflow and placing the cooking area well away from the living area. Newer houses just brute-force any climate issues under the assumption that infinite electricity, natural gas, and water will be available.

  13. pcb_duffer says:

    This native Floridian would like to point out that given a SHTF scenario, the first winter or two in Minneapolis isn’t going to be a lot of fun, either. Even if you had enough sense to pack 20 people into a 3,000 square foot two floor house, keeping it warm when the outside temp is -20*F ain’t going to be easy.

  14. lynn says:

    SteveF remembers laughter from the South, including Texas, and mocking suggestions of moving to where people can survive the winter, some years back when there was a shortage of heating fuel in the North.

    “Turn on a light, freeze a yankee.”

  15. paul says:

    I have 3 smoke detectors in the house. A few days ago, one started the low battery chirp. Feeling industrious, I decided to change all of the batteries. Well actually, I actually had enough 9v batteries.

    Two of the detectors were dead. Maybe the hype to replace smoke detectors every 10 years is not hype? The dead were 11 years old. Their batteries are in the new detectors I picked up at Wal-Mart.

    $4.44 each Kidde brand. They have the blinking red light and if I heavily brown supper (usually in the oven) the test button will mute the siren for 8 minutes. Both features are upgrades from the old units.

    The detector that started all of this will be replaced on my next trip to Wal-Mart. I think it’s 15 years old.

  16. OFD says:

    “… the first winter or two in Minneapolis isn’t going to be a lot of fun, either…”

    True, dat. No, it won’t be fun in the colder northern regions of the continent. But far more people will survive. Outside the cities, anyway.

    Cutting, hauling and stacking firewood is not that much fun and pretty much kicks my ass very quickly, but I’ll be 64 in July and have back and sciatica issues. I can still do it but it takes me longer.

    Blankets, sleeping bags, comforters, and closing off unused rooms. Been there and done that over half a century and counting. As I said, you can always get warm, but you can’t always get cooled off. Once the A-C cuts out in the hotter areas of the country in mid-summer, a lot of folks are just gonna keel over. I’d put the death rate in the urban areas at 70-80% eventually.

    Wife has been to those areas repeatedly and tells me people won’t go outside, other than to run to the A-C cars and back into an A-C building in the summer months. I told her that it can be gotten used to fairly quickly; I did it several times going back and forth to TX and SEA a million years ago. Could do w/o A-C very easily. You just deal with it, like we deal with tons of snow and ice and wind gusts at 60 MPH.

  17. OFD says:

    “This news is so exciting it makes us want to eat a two-pound steak, bench-press 400 pounds, and deliver a punishing series of roundhouse kicks to Karl Marx’s corpse.”

    The week’s insanity:

    http://takimag.com/article/the_week_that_perished_may_28_2017

  18. paul says:

    I grew up without a/c. We didn’t have it in Hawaii or California. In Mobile, the folks had a window unit in their bedroom… dad worked nights at the Post Office. They bought a new house that had central air and it was really nice. Then they sold it (because we were going to move to Australia) and we moved for a dump duplex that had been Officer housing on the former Berkley AFB. Three blocks from the bay and no a/c other than a window unit in the folks bedroom.

    Then we moved to Texas. Ten acres near Mission. Sheesh, it was dryer than Mobile but hotter. No a/c.

    I can do without but it is really nice to have from mid-July to mid-September.

  19. OFD says:

    During my time in SEA, the officers had A-C in their trailers on the bases, and at one base the security police barracks had it, but by then I’d been moved to “special operations,” i.e., enlisted air crew gunner for my last six months working for Uncle.

    Simply got used to the heat, and it was fucking HOT there, with 90%+ humidity, venomous reptiles all over the place, and bugs galore. Not really the ideal habitat for big Anglo-Saxon-Celtic galoots, I can attest.

  20. Greg Norton says:

    Once the A-C cuts out in the hotter areas of the country in mid-summer, a lot of folks are just gonna keel over. I’d put the death rate in the urban areas at 70-80% eventually.

    Urban cores in The South are still fairly low density, and no one hangs out in those places outside of business hours Monday through Friday. I’m willing to bet that the overly AC-dependent people your wife met were not natives.

    The gasoline, propane, and heating oil pipelines get filled in TX and LA. Life in the East will quickly get bad if that infrastructure is disrupted. We already saw what happened with a small hiccup this winter.

    70-80% die-off would be everywhere within a year.

  21. nick flandrey says:

    I’m gonna go out and cut the grass wearing my cool vest. fReaking hot here.

    n

  22. H. Combs says:

    Visiting my son in Oklahoma and last night tornado tore through my neighborhood in Mississippi. The first I knew of it was when our next door neighbor called this morning to tell us. Power has been off since 11 pm and many homes damaged. Got my granddaughter to swing by this afternoon and she couldn’t see any damage to the house but big trees in the backyard are down. Luckily they fell away from the house. The power company says we will be without power for 3 days. Granddaughter fired up the generator and she will run it 8 hours a day till the power comes back. Glad we aren’t there to swelter in the no longer air-conditionined house.

  23. SteveF says:

    Should anyone tell Nick that paisley vests aren’t cool anymore?

  24. nick flandrey says:

    Hah, I’m so cool the neighbors don’t need air conditioning….

    n

  25. nick flandrey says:

    Current ‘feels like’ is 108F and with 68%RH there’s a lot of moisture in the air.

    I didn’t weigh it, but it feels like my vest lost about half it’s weight.

    I’m still a bit fatigued though. Think I’ll sit here for a while….

    n

  26. nick flandrey says:

    @h combs,

    very glad you weren’t there, and that your house appears fine.

    good reminder that you might not be there when SHTF…

    n

  27. nick flandrey says:

    I’ve been thinking about the article Eugen linked earlier. Some good food for thought there, no matter the actual events or the political overtones.

    First, think about whether you’d intervene. Large distraught man berating a couple of females in public. What is your honest reaction? Do you think you’d have spoken up? what if you knew the women?

    Would being armed change your answer to the first question?

    COULD you successfully defend yourself in that situation? Remember that it was 3 on 1 and STILL two ended up dead and the third in the hospital with a changed life.

    Did their intervention help? or did it make the situation worse? Will those kids grow up without a dad because he was stupid?

    We’ll have to wait for the video, which will NOT come out if it makes the ‘heroes’ look bad, but did the situation ever become ‘mutual combat’? Did the ‘heroes’ get physical or threatening with the instigator? Or in other words, did the instigator ever become legally justified in using force to defend himself? If he did, do you think he stands a chance in hell of defending himself in court? (Three on one is generally considered to be life threatening and would be a ‘disparity of force’ issue that justifies a lethal response.)

    Would any of your feelings be different if the instigator defended himself with his legally carried concealed pistol? (assuming he wasn’t a prohibited person/convicted felon.)

    Don’t convicts have a right to defend themselves from three attackers, same as you or me?

    If the video shows the three ‘heroes’ getting in the guy’s face, puffing up, crowding him, screaming at him, or even pushing him, will that change how you feel about this story?

    Something to be learned in every tragedy.

    nick

  28. SteveF says:

    Plenty of cool vests here. And a picture of what I can only assume is Nick, semi-reclining in his cool vest.

    re Nick’s comments on Eugen’s article, I likely would not have intervened. A guy shouting at a couple women is crass but not a threat. Besides, even if the guy were threatening the women, they can defend themselves. I’ve heard it since before I started school: women are just as good as men in every way, except where they’re better. They don’t need me. Furthermore, I have plenty of personal experience of the stupid pigs either getting it wrong or following some unannounced policy, and making to arrest the person who was legally in the clear. Fuck that. I’ll protect children openly. Any other action I take will be sub rosa one way or another.

  29. lynn says:

    I can do without but it is really nice to have from mid-July to mid-September.

    I can’t do without A/C and it is really nice to have from mid-January to mid-December.

    Fixed that for you.

  30. Ray Thompson says:

    Strong but short storm moved through here yesterday evening. Many people lost power, some still without 24 hours later. Mostly trees destroyed power lines, some blocked roads. I never lost power but had some siding ripped from the house. I have repaired the problems.

    Last weekend spent two days ripping out son’s kitchen and dining room down to the studs. What I am learning is that it is time to start considering hiring such work done. Getting old sucks. Lots of effort in a short time takes longer to recover.

    I do leave June 1 for Norway and Scotland. Primarily to attend a wedding but doing a few visits while in the area. Eight hours in an aluminum tube held up by more air molecules hitting the bottom of the wing than the top is just not enjoyable anymore. Purchased my seat assignments to get two seats close to the front and not in the middle. Also not near the shitter. Coming back I have opted for more legroom in front and in back. Having to purchase your preferred seats is a scam. But relative to the cost of the trip, especially on the long legs, is not a major expense relative to the benefit.

  31. nick flandrey says:

    @ray, the coach class on most euro carriers is better than coach on US carriers, and almost as good as business class, only with smaller seats. I save my points for upgrades on long flights. It’s a very efficient use of miles vs purely free flights, especially domestically. Business class on anything longer than 6 hours is pretty much a necessity for me as I have a cracked vertebrae and physically can’t sit without moving for that long. Add the risk of deep vein thrombosis and most big companies I worked with were happy to pay for business or at a minimum, buy ‘upgradeable’ tickets for more than the cheapest rate. Some were not and I made it clear that I just wouldn’t go… there are some things being debt free and having money in the bank enable you to do. They HATE it, and never forget, and will get back at you at their earliest opportunity, but you can win a battle here and there.

    I hope you enjoy the trip, Norway at least has a rugged beauty, and what I saw of scotland was very pretty in a desolate way 😉

    n

  32. Ray Thompson says:

    coach class on most euro carriers is better than coach on US carriers

    I am flying from Atlanta to Paris France on Air France, then from Paris to Oslo. On the return I am flying from Glasgow Scotland to Orlando on Virgin Atlantic, both codeshare with Delta airlines.

    Norway at least has a rugged beauty

    Wedding is in Oslo, a former exchange student. I will be photographing the wedding. Her fiance works for Scandic St. Olavs Plass hotel in Oslo and has us booked at employee rates, about $100USD a night which is good for Oslo. I have been to Norway two times before, once in late spring, once in late December. Both seasons were excellent with a lot of very pretty country.

    Train and bus tickets have been purchased. They would not take US credit cards and I had to use PayPal. According to their support people there was too much fraud from US credit cards from online orders.

    what I saw of scotland was very pretty

    A former exchange student is living there are we are going for a visit. She is actually visiting us now as she came over for a wedding of a friend. She has been here two weeks and leaves tomorrow.

    This will be my seventh trip to Europe so I am getting familiar with the flights. Have used Delta, US Airways (before they were American), Lufthansa and British Airways.

    British Airways had tiny seats and was really cramped. I will avoid them at all cost. Delta’s entertainment system sucked big time so was thankful I had an iPad with movies. Seats were the same as domestic. Lufthansa was OK, nothing special. Best I have had was US Airways.

    Business class on anything longer than 6 hours is pretty much a necessity

    Traveling on my own dime and cost is a major consideration. Thus coach with the rest of the low brows. One of my goals is to make at least one trip to Europe in 1st class but the cost of $6K a person is a major stumbling block. I ain’t that rich.

    First trip to Europe was in September 2011. Wife and I returned on September 8. A few days later and we would have been stuck in Germany. We could have stayed with the family we visited but that would have been a problem for them. Plus I would have missed work and been docked, or probably fired.

    The trip is easier now that we know what to expect. Have gotten fairly good at booking the flights and know most of the “gotcha’s” by now. Biggest hassle has been dealing with US immigration who treats their own citizens like criminal scum.

    Came back on one flight into Newark (the armpit of US airports) and was asked the usual dozen questions, where have you been, how long, who did you visit, etc. The last question was “Why are you returning”. I said “I live here”. The agent said “Don’t get smart with me”. I then asked “exactly how would you like me to answer?” He just grunted and said to continue. Asshole.

  33. SteveF says:

    what I saw of scotland

    What I’ve seen of Scotland is … an airbase. And not all of that. We weren’t allowed to wander.

    My Army Reserve unit was flying on an AF Reserve C130 for an exercise in Germany. We were six or eight hours late leaving Rome Air Force Base because of engine trouble, but they got it worked out and eventually we got in the air. Trouble developed over the Northern Atlantic, fractionally closer to Scotland than to Greenland so the plane limped its way to a not too rough landing. All of us troops were booted off the plane and we just sat around for 12 hours or so, then finally got back on the way to Germany. Most of that time was during the night but even in the daytime we couldn’t see much. Some hills in the distance, IIRC. As Scottish vacations go, it was pretty much a bust.

  34. CowboySlim says:

    I don’t have air conditioner of any type. About 70F today.

  35. Spook says:

    Allegedly, there are 150,000 without power in Memphis after last night’s storms. Potential outage for two weeks…
    It’s only being reported in the main stream news, so it must be Fake!

  36. Ray Thompson says:

    As Scottish vacations go, it was pretty much a bust

    I am hoping to do better.

  37. nick flandrey says:

    The sun coming up over Reykjavik from however many 10’s of thousands of feet up as we passed by, was one of those magic moments you try to find and savor when you travel for a living.

    A triple circular rainbow off the left wing while descending into IAH, was another.

    Few and far between, with lots of stink, hassle, and groping as the norm.

    I don’t miss it.
    n

  38. H. Combs says:

    I grew up in Oklahoma and thought 30 days over 100f in the summer was hot. Two years in Hong Kong taught me what HOT was, 10 months of 89f and 89% humidity was misery. The office buildings seem to overcompensate by running AC over time. I loved the climate in New Zealand, on the North Island we never needed AC and we only saw light frost the years we lived there. The worst decision I ever made was to not finish my application for permanent residency.

  39. OFD says:

    I have read Mr. SteveF’s comment on intervention in public disputes and:

    I APPROVE!

    “Getting old sucks. Lots of effort in a short time takes longer to recover.”

    Welcome to my world, daily here. Then I watch the neighbor kid mow the lawn in about 30 minutes. 20 bucks is worth it; saved me 90 minutes of effort and sweat and a sore back and legs. Which I got sore doing other scut work instead.

    Glad to hear Mr. H. Combs and his house are OK, and sorry about the trees. I love trees.

    Stupidly watched the annual PBS Memorial Day stuff tonight, followed by a preview of Resident National Genius Ken Burns and his pending series on the Vietnam War. Naturally they had sappy music and made sure to highlight the black and Hispanic troops from the last several wars. Not to take anything away from them, but shit, it was always mostly white boys, by FAR, orders of magnitude. Wife worried that I would be upset and have PTSD shit or something, but I’m just mildly annoyed by the usual PC and commie agitprop, per usual. And even on PBS they have commercials for themselves and upcoming programs.

    Then I switched, for laffs, to whatever channel was showing The Godfather, and damned if they didn’t have five minutes of commercials every ten minutes. Is that how it is nowadays on the tee-vee? Yikes. And those come on at twice the decibel level, too.

    Wife off to Delaware tomorrow and I have my work cut out for me in and out of the house over the next two weeks.

  40. nick flandrey says:

    “damned if they didn’t have five minutes of commercials every ten minutes. Is that how it is nowadays on the tee-vee? ”

    Sure seems that way, but the law used to be 22 minutes out of every half hour must be content. They count the ‘recap’ and the ‘coming up when we get back’ before and after commercial breaks as content. On most of the DIY type shows there was about 12-15 minutes of actual content per half hour.

    Even more annoying is the ‘bug’ (logo) and ‘lower third’ (graphic at bottom of screen) and now, they have animated crap flying in and out at the top too. You’re not even just watching the content during the 12 minutes, you’ve got all the moving crap flying in and out too pimping stuff you will never watch.

    Tivo will make the commercials skip-able, but there’s no getting away from the logos and pimping animations flying in and out.

    Netflix and dvd rental of a season will get rid of all that crap.

    And YES, that is how modern tv looks at least on the major channels.

    n

  41. OFD says:

    Well fuck all that, then; glad we quit watching that shit. I also noticed the ever-present station ID logos and flying animations constantly. Peeps must just get used to it and figure it’s worth it to watch all the exciting and scintillating entertainment and fake nooz, I guess.

    I watch some Netflix stuff on the pooter here, and we already have a pile of DVDs. Plus there are Tube vids galore on countless subjects.

    Off to the Land of Nod again…

    Pax vobiscum, fratres…

  42. nick flandrey says:

    We are currently getting clobbered by thunderstorms. I hope it all moves thru before tomorrow.

    WeatherUnderground is predicting Tstorms for the next five days, and the current radar has a line trained up to keep moving across Houston to the north east for a while.

    Wouldn’t take much to push the line north or south a bit so it goes right past us….

    I guess we’ll see.

    n

    (meanwhile, disconnect the antennas!)

  43. Ray Thompson says:

    lots of stink, hassle, and groping as the norm

    Yeh, I am no looking forward to the journey. The destination is great, the journey not so much. Almost every flight I get excessively scrutinized. Annoying indeed. May be worse this time as I will have a carry-on full of camera equipment, chargers, flashes, lenses, cables and brackets.

    Even more annoying is the ‘bug’ (logo) and ‘lower third’ (graphic at bottom of screen)

    We do lower third and bugs on my church broadcasts. Not really annoying as we don’t obscure important stuff. Used to identify people and the church along with the fact that we are live. Commercial TV stations have taken it to a whole new level. The cable channels seem to have found a way to make it especially annoying.

    What was once a 130 minute movie now takes 180 minutes on cable channels. That is an additional 50 minutes of commercials. Generally stuck in at with no regard to the flow in the movie.

    Even national shows such as The Today Show is really annoying. Starting at about 18 minutes past the hour there is no real content for the next 10 minutes at which time the local station gets their shot with their clueless announcers and control people that can never get the breaks timed correctly.

    One local station, WATE, is actually fun to watch because whomever produces the graphics will many times misspell words, will display the wrong graphics and otherwise make fools of themselves. I make mistakes in my productions but I am a rank amateur and don’t do it for a living. If I did TV for a living and made the mistakes shown on WATE I would fire myself.

  44. SteveF says:

    but I am a rank amateur and don’t do it for a living.

    What he said.

    I’ll often be criticized for criticizing the work performance of another, whether the presentation of a video or the organization of a conference or anything else. “If it’s so easy, why don’t you do it?” Well, maybe because I haven’t been trained to do the job and am not being paid very handsomely to do it? Just because I personally can’t paint a good portrait doesn’t mean I’m unable to recognize crap that someone else has done.

    (And sometimes I, a walk-in amateur, can do the job better than the professional. I wandered in to the bay of a car shop once to figure out what was taking them so long, and in about three seconds solved the problem that had stumped the factory-certified technician for an hour. And I took over running a meeting, got praise and thank yous from some of the participants, and later got screamed at for making the presenter look bad, which led to me being fired because I’m not big on putting up with temper tantrums.)

  45. Ray Thompson says:

    a walk-in amateur, can do the job better than the professional

    I did almost the same thing one time. Our HUGE UPS system at work was indicating a fault. Tech was sent from Atlanta, a four drive. Arrived about 10:00 in the morning. He started working. At 3:00 PM he still had not found the problem and my company is paying this guy $150 an hour.

    So I talked with him about the problem. He patiently showed me the schematic and showed where he was measuring the voltage on one of the transfer switches. It had 120V on the switch which he said was correct but the switch would still not transfer. I then looked at the schematic and followed the other end of the line from the switch. I noticed that it went to a ground. I asked the tech that if the one end of the line was to ground then why was there voltage present on the line. He gave me a dumb stare. Then fixed the connector that had opened up. This caused no electrical path for the tripping circuit and thus the failure. Don’t know why he missed that. He was looking for the trip voltage, which was present, but with no electrical path no current could flow.

    I’ll often be criticized for criticized the work performance of another

    I get that also. I am not trained having learned by screwing up. I still am learning and by association screwing up. But I don’t get paid as a job to do the production. It is not my career path. I do better than some of the “professionals”. Which is a sad commentary on the caliber of people that are trained by the colleges and universities.

  46. SteveF says:

    I never knowingly criticize the work of volunteers, unless their work hurts someone or destroys material. Partly that’s just common decency for someone who’s volunteering time and effort, and partly it’s because of how irritated I get when I’m bitched at after I’ve done something out of the extremely limited goodness of my heart.

  47. MrAtoz says:

    I stick to torrenting and Netflix. Torrenters clean out the garbage in the shows I watch. Thank you.

  48. MrAtoz says:

    Mr. Ray, make sure you tape your passcodes/passwords to all of your devices. We wouldn’t want you to end up in a French prison or Leavenworth upon your return.

  49. ech says:

    Maybe the hype to replace smoke detectors every 10 years is not hype?

    I would guess that after 10 years or so, sensitivity could go down due to dust and other contaminants building up in the detection chambers. If your old detectors are the type with a radioactive source, they may need to be taken to a local hazmat facility for disposal.

  50. SteveF says:

    they may need to be taken to a local hazmat facility for disposal

    The UN Headquarters isn’t exactly local, but it’s worth the trip to properly dispose of hazardous material that shouldn’t be anywhere near decent people.

  51. SteveF says:

    We wouldn’t want you to end up in a French prison

    Stop microaggressioning Mr Ray! Just because you wouldn’t want to end up in a French prison doesn’t mean he wouldn’t want to. Check your privilege!

  52. lynn says:

    What was once a 130 minute movie now takes 180 minutes on cable channels. That is an additional 50 minutes of commercials. Generally stuck in at with no regard to the flow in the movie.

    I have no problem with this. I believe in the open marketplace. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

    Plus, I watch most items after they have been saved on one of our two DirecTV DVRs so I skip through the commercials.

  53. Miles_Teg says:

    “Mr. Ray, make sure you tape your passcodes/passwords to all of your devices. We wouldn’t want you to end up in a French prison or Leavenworth upon your return.”

    And send me your bank account PINs so I can bail you out…

  54. Miles_Teg says:

    The SW of Scotland is lovely: Gatehouse of Fleet, Castle Douglass, etc. I could learn to live there, or in Edinburgh. The Highlands can be nice, but looks kinda barren.

    Norway’s a very lovely part of the world, I wouldn’t mind going back. Two of my male relatives have married Norwegian ladies. They look very… Norwegian.

  55. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Generally stuck in at with no regard to the flow in the movie.”

    They’ve been doing that forever. I think I’ve mentioned before that I remember watching the movie Kelly’s Heroes back probably in the 70’s. At one point, the Heroes are faced with a Tiger Tank sitting in front of the French bank that holds the stack of gold bars. Our Heroes walk up to the tank like old Western gunfighters. The hatch opens, and out pops the no-nonsense SS tank commander, who tells them he’s tasked with guarding that bank. The Heroes tell him what’s in the bank, and offer to share the loot. He closed the hatch and the tank turret rotates toward the bank door. The channel cuts away to a commercial. When they return you see the muzzle of the main gun belch flame and the bank door disintegrate. Geez, what a place to cut to a commercial.

  56. dkreck says:

    Just watched (Mon am) Kelley’s Heroes this am on TCM. No commercials. Won’t watch anything on AMC. They had Midway on but I only glanced a couple of times. You never get more than 5 min before a break.
    TCM now showing ‘Where Eagles Dare’ followed by ‘The Dirty Dozen’. TCM rules for a basic cable channel.
    Oh well I think it’s pool time then BBQ.

  57. MrAtoz says:

    MrsAtoz and I love TCM.

  58. OFD says:

    “I have no problem with this. I believe in the open marketplace. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”

    Roger that.

    Done.

    Over and out.

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