Sunday, 23 July 2017

09:15 – It was 72.5F (22.5C) when I took Colin out at 0645. More heads-down work on science kits today.

I’m very disappointed in the Netflix DVD service, which has become pretty much worthless. We were members for about a decade, ending in 2012. I kept a log of everything, including the date the shipped us a disc, when we received it, when we sent it back, when they received it, and when they shipped the replacement disc. Back then, Netflix operated seven days a week, and the USPS also worked with them every day of the week.

When Netflix got a disc back from us, they’d immediately ship the replacement disc, which would arrive the next day. We’d watch it and return it the following day. They’d receive it late that night or early the following morning, and immediately ship the replacement disc.

They no longer work that way. I signed up for the 2-discs-at-a-time plan at 0928 last Monday morning, the 17th, expecting them to ship the first two discs that afternoon. Instead, they didn’t ship them until 1350 the following day, Tuesday the 18th. We received them Wednesday morning, the 19th, watched them, and returned them Thursday morning the 20th. They emailed to acknowledge receipt at 1242 on Friday the 21st. I expected them to send the next two discs that afternoon, which we’d receive Saturday the 22nd. Nope. Not only didn’t they ship the replacement discs Friday afternoon, they STILL haven’t shipped them. So, assuming they get around to shipping them tomorrow, that means their cycle is about one set per week, or roughly 10 discs/month. At $12/month, that’s $1.20 per disc rental charge.

So I won’t be continuing the service once the free 30-day trial expires. In fact, I may just cancel it immediately. Until 2012, we had the 3-disc plan. It cost $15/month for 3 discs versus $12/month now for 2 discs. Looking at the 1,500 or so discs we rented over a decade, back then it was costing about $0.70/disc, so they’ve basically increased their prices by more than 70%.

I understand that Netflix would be operating at a loss without disc rental revenue. And they have only four million or so people on disc rental plans, a number that’s dropping fast. I don’t expect the service to last more than three or four more years before it loses critical mass. Oh, well. They just lost me.


Email from Kathy. They got a lot done Friday, working straight through. They got all of their bulk rice, oats, beans, and sugar packed in foil-laminate Mylar bags, sealed, labeled, and put on the shelves. More than a half a ton worth in total. They got partway through the flour and other bulk staples.

Mike got the second island shelf unit finished earlier in the week, and got all of the canned goods, herbs/spices, etc. moved onto the shelves, with the latest best-by dates toward the rear and bottom. Kathy was about 95% happy with how he’d done it, but made a few adjustments. She’s in charge of LTS food and cooking, so she needs things where she wants them and where she knows where they are.

Mike got the propane tank on order. It’s supposed to be installed and the lines run next week. They ended up with a 330-gallon tank like the one we have. Mike also ordered a propane space heater from the same company that’s installing the tank and lines. They didn’t carry cooktops. The propane gas cooktop is on order from Lowes, and is supposed to be delivered next week. Coincidentally, they ended up ordering exactly the same model we have other than color.

Mike got the upper and base cabinets and laminate countertop at the local building supply store, which delivered them. He’s installing those himself. Kathy talked with the Prepper Girls about pressure canning. She dithered about ordering a <$100 Presto pressure canner like the one we and several of the Prepper Girls use versus a $350 All-American unit. They talked it over and decided to order the All-American. She also has a bunch of canning jars on order with Walmart, as well as canning accessories.

She almost ordered a gross of wide-mouth reusable Tattler lids, but chickened out at the last moment. She (and several of the Prepper Girls) are concerned about them making good seals. Most reviewers give them glowing reviews, but more than a few report failures to seal, either during the canning process or weeks to months afterward. And some of those are people who have 20 or more years of canning experience.

So Kathy is debating with herself about ordering enough of those to match the number of canning jars she has, with a few spares, versus just ordering half a dozen one-use lids for each jar. The upside of the Tattler lids is that if she can get 10 uses from each, it’ll cost about half what it would to use reusable lids. The downside is that she’s afraid they might not work reliably.

Kathy also has a new Nesco dehydrator. She thought about buying an Excalibur, but decided the Nesco would do the same job at a third the price. So she picked up a Nesco on their shopping trip yesterday. They decided they didn’t need to make the 3-hour round trip run to Sam’s Club so instead they made the 90-minute round trip to the Walmart Super Center where they usually shop a couple times a month.

She decided to try out the dehydrator with some strawberries they picked up on the same trip. So after dinner yesterday she spent some time prepping and slicing the strawberries and loading up the trays to dry them overnight. One thing she hadn’t thought about is that their whole house now smells pleasantly of strawberries. She said she’d glad she didn’t decide to start by drying garlic. If she does stuff that smells bad, she plans to do it outside.

When they got up this morning, the strawberries were dry enough that they crumbled to powder. She made the mistake of letting Mike sample one, which he munched dry. He says they make a great snack. Kathy’s afraid she won’t have any left to store.

 

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83 Responses to Sunday, 23 July 2017

  1. Greg Norton says:

    I understand that Netflix would be operating at a loss without disc rental revenue. And they have only four million or so people on disc rental plans, a number that’s dropping fast. I don’t expect the service to last more than three or four more years before it loses critical mass. Oh, well. They just lost me.

    Netflix could make streaming profitable overnight by cracking down on sharing, but they would lose the additional eyeballs for building their original content, the reason Wall Street gives them a free pass right now.

    The convenience of the Redbox at the Circle K on the corner is really hard to beat for new DVD releases. The downside is selection and older releases, but that could be resolved easily enough with the automation technology applied to a larger footprint. I don’t doubt that Coinstar is working on that given the availability of empty retail square footage, even in Texas.

    Another alternative is DVD-R technology with the rentals watermarked to the customer, but publishers have always been against writing media at the retail level.

  2. nick flandrey says:

    “publishers have always been against writing media at the retail level.”

    I think that gets the understatement of the week award!

    You should see what hoops you have to go thru to touch the delivered stream in a cinema. Locks, interlocks, certifications, access control, and encryption are really just a start….

    n

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    And yet, all DRM is broken, and usually sooner than later. I was just reading something the other day about Netflix 4K streams showing up on torrent sites.

  4. Dave Hardy says:

    Not to worry; when the juice cuts out, many of us will be back to reading BOOKS. Those married to the pixels until death do them part will be SOOL.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    And yet, all DRM is broken, and usually sooner than later. I was just reading something the other day about Netflix 4K streams showing up on torrent sites.

    DVD encryption has been broken for a long time. That’s what you get when studio lawyers practice cryptography. DVD-R at the retail rental level could offer watermarking for individual discs and limit quality using the single layer format with which most consumer players are compatible.

    I’ve been meaning to look into the tech used to capture DRM-ed web streaming. I’m not as interested in pirating movies as I am in having a permanent copy of clips like this.

    http://www.king5.com/news/local/investigations/is-pot-distracting-state-from-policing-liquor-licenses_20160617064745277/246786819

    (The restaurant owner chased down in the video, Paul Huang, is my wife’s Uncle Paul. Yeah, he knows what he’s doing. Don’t let him fool you — the West Coast Chinese relatives have rackets, and I mean that in the full legal sense of the word.)

  6. Dave Hardy says:

    Why not yank the license? Or, failing police and local gummint intervention, perhaps a large fire?

    Anyone seen or seeing the new flick on the Dunkirk caper?

    https://tech.slashdot.org/story/17/07/22/1313204/nolans-cinematic-vision-in-dunkirk-is-hollywoods-best-defense-against-netflix

    Sounds great. But I note the usual suspects have been bleating and moaning about their lack of representation (correct me if I’m all wet on this, haha, get it? but isn’t the main story about British troops evacuating in the nick of time?), including the usual minorities and now the French.

    Jesus wept.

    Pretty soon movies will have to have casts looking like the Sgt. Pepper album cover, including women, minorities, dead people, and statues.

    Also STEM programs at all the universities. And combat roles in the armed forces and police departments and National Football League. Having trouble defeating Mother Nature? Why, simply double down on it, and double down on it again and again and again.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    Those married to the pixels until death do them part will be SOOL.

    Sniff.

    And I read Mooslim murder boy in MN was “rushed” through popo training. Gotta up the minority/Mooslim count ASAP.

  8. nick flandrey says:

    Well, since it’s only 90F with RH of 70% and we have more Tstorms coming, I just got done cutting the grass. The overcast helps.

    Then, since I had the safety glasses on and earplugs in anyway, I got out the angle grinder and wire wheel and cleaned up an nice old double bit axe head. I pick them up cheap when I see them. Sometimes I rehandle them and give them away, but usually I just stack them. 🙂 I pick up handles when I see them too as new handles are not cheap.

    At the moment, I’m sitting very still letting the sweat dry while a fan blows on me.

    Checked on the beds, onions still doing well. All radishes harvested. Collards still producing well. Tomato plants are alive and flowering, but I think they’re done for the year- it’s just too hot. Of the pole beans I planted late, only 2 have survived. They flowered so maybe…. The personal size watermelon vines have filled the bed and have lots of flowers but no fruit started. The acorn squash has one softball sized squash growing so far. Fruit trees are still doing what they were last week. Pecans have started nutting. Cukes are producing 14″ long, 3 inch across cukes. Tasty too. About one every 4 days with lots of flowers. It was the zukes that all died. Giving them something to grow UP on was a good idea. It keeps them off the dirt and up where I can see them.

    Still, if I had to eat out of the garden we’d be HUNGRY. It’s good to know I can get the melons, squash, and cukes. I’ll have to buy seeds to put away. I planted from pots this year.

    Peppers have been a disappointment this year. Usually I get a nice continuous supply of sweet peppers.

    well, gotta pick a cuke before my little GS heads off to camp.

    n

  9. Greg Norton says:

    Why not yank the license? Or, failing police and local gummint intervention, perhaps a large fire?

    I’ve long suspected that my wife’s extended family is tied into organized crime at the oldster level. Too many of their rackets involve large sums of cash.

    Also, the local and WA State-level officials are being somewhat disingenuous when talking about the “problem” presented by the Golden Dynasty, especially the Renton mayor. Under the recent liquor deregulation, featuring laws written by Costco’s lobbyists, each one of those liquor bottles behind the bar represent ~$20-30 in tax revenue *before* the Feds take their cut of the action.

    The bar was finally closed after two years of complaints by the neighbors, but Uncle Paul is patient. He’s had the restaurant’s liquor license pulled before.

  10. Dave Hardy says:

    All we got are artichokes and rhubarb so fah; tomatoes ain’t started fruiting yet but the bushes are tall and…bushy. In grow bags. Since no rain for several days, we gotta wotta them RUTHLESSLY and keep them wet. Flowers all doing well, including wild rose bushes and sunflowers.

    Ditto on us eating out of our garden; several days of artichokes, rhubarb, tomatoes and sunflower seeds ain’t gonna cut it for us two orcs and the animals.

    I wanna get the septic tank guys out by fall at the latest and I will be axing them sum questions, but mainly if it’s OK to put in more raised beds over that area where the most sunlight hits us. If so, we’d have room for a dozen more beds, at least, at 6′ by 4′.

    Plus enough space for a dozen more grow bags.

    That, plus organizing the cellar for more food and wotta storage, and wife has previously given me the green light for grow lights, probably cellar or attic. Would like to use a cellar corner or wall for some sort of root cellar config, too. Ideally we’d start a bunch of plants indoors weeks before our little growing season here, and also plant stuff that will still be around through the fall and into the winter.

    Still, looking down the road, we’d need to work with other folks in the ville here to arrange something along barter lines for meat, poultry and dairy products eventually.

    Wife would be pretty handy with craft/jewelry stuff and household labor, and I’d presumably be halfway decent at maintaining and repairing firearms and doing some reloading. Plus counseling stressed out peeps, ’cause they gon be a whole lot of that going on. Hitting the sauce and/or the dope is not gonna be a smart thing to do when everything is crumbling around us and we have a 7×24 threat matrix in our faces.

  11. Dave Hardy says:

    How is the disparity calculated? Are the women out more often than the men, as is the case here? For example, due to pregnancies, child-rearing, medical issues, etc.? In other words, do they work fewer months, weeks, days, hours than the men?

  12. nick flandrey says:

    “Talent” gets paid by their ability to attract an audience.

    “Talent” gets paid a rate negotiated by their agent, rep, or lawyer (if they are making more than ‘scale’ or the union rates set by negotiation.)

    If “talent” doesn’t think $XXk is enough, “talent” needs to reject the offer. Of course, producers are then free to approach someone else with an offer. Since “talent” is a buyer’s market (until you get to ‘above the line’ names), that means there isn’t much price support. There is ALWAYS some desperate ‘actor’ waiter who will do the job for the pay on offer and a chance to make more later.

    This is called “The Real World” and “an open market.”

    Stop accepting less, and rates will go up. (not gonna happen, see above endless supply)

    nick

  13. SteveF says:

    BBC “Woman’s Hour” loses half the potential audience just by its name. The presenters should be paid 50% less than the (male) presenters of sex-neutral shows, but they are in fact paid only 40% less. Simple math and logic tells us, therefore, that the presenters of “Woman’s Hour” are overpaid by 20%.

  14. Dave Hardy says:

    Ya know, I like the way Mr. SteveF thinks and calculates this chit.

    I APPROVE!

    Now imagine the BBC running “Men’s Hour.” The shrieking, outrage, and violent demonstrations that would ensue immediately….pussy hats galore…

    But more OFD’s speed:

    https://jakemcmillan.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/pussy-galore.jpg

  15. Dave Hardy says:

    Not the actual perps but the enablers!

    https://virginiafreemen.com/2017/07/23/enablers/

    Those are who we need to cull from the herd.

    In Germany, it would be Frau Commissar Merkel, who just destroyed her country. And those who enabled her rise to power.

    Here it might be Obummer or the Clinton Crime Family, but we want those who aided and abetted more than the perps themselves.

    And from the Bill Buppert blog today:

    http://zerogov.com/?p=5309

  16. nick flandrey says:

    Whew, spent some time spraying the back lawn, and all the fruit trees. Man it’s hot.

    Gonna cool off my brain….

    n

  17. SteveF says:

    The problem, OFD, is that we can get at the “antifa” thugs on the street or the diverse rioters following a ginned-up uproar over some excuse or the public school teacher explaining why she deserves a 20% pay raise. We can’t get at Obama or Holder or even Sharpton.

  18. Ray Thompson says:

    imagine the BBC running “Men’s Hour.”

    Or WET (BET or Black Entertainment Television), or NAAWP (NAACP), or Miss White America (Miss Black America), or Congressional White Caucus (Congressional Black Caucus), or National Society of White Engineers (National Society of Black Engineers). They all would considered racist, slammed by the media, protested and otherwise told how evil they are.

  19. Dave Hardy says:

    “We can’t get at Obama or Holder or even Sharpton.”

    Understood. I’m saying we need to get at the people who ENABLE scum like Obummer, Holder, the Clintons, or Sharpton. The various political and media power brokers behind the scenes. I encourage starting at the local levels by identifying and logging our judges, district attorneys, party bosses, town and city managers and staffs, etc. Make a list and check it twice; let’s find out who’s naughty or nice.

    “…. considered racist, slammed by the media, protested and otherwise told how evil they are.”

    Of course. We’re not an Officially Approved Grievance Group. Although many act like we should use the same tactics. I’m saying we outnumber everybody else by far and ought to start acting like THAT. Instead of lying supine like the Germans and English and pretending to enjoy it.

  20. nick flandrey says:

    Or bumper stickers for your local country music station that say “The RACE!” or a white power slogan….

    you know, like our local mexi-rock station has “La RAZA!”

    KTJM – La Raza 98.5 FM Port Arthur, TX – Listen Online – TuneIn
    tunein.com/radio/La-Raza-985-s35667/
    Listen online to La Raza 98.5 in Port Arthur, TX. LA RAZA PLAYS MORE MUSIC THAN ANY SPANISH STATION IN HOUSTON! Houston’s Regional Mexican …..

    ‘cuz THAT’S not racist….

    nick

    NB- http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/printgroupProfile.asp?grpid=153

    La RAZA:

    Largest Hispanic organization in the U.S.
    Lobbies for racial preferences, bilingual education, stricter hate crimes laws, mass immigration, and amnesty for illegal aliens
    Views America as a nation rife with white racism and discrimination
    Changed its name to “UnidosUS” in July 2017

    Nick- supports the ideas of Atzlan and the Reconquista….

  21. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The stupid and the losers have always depended on the fact the we winners are pretty nice people. It’s not wise for them to push any further, though. I’m not a particularly nice person, and I know a lot of other very patient people who aren’t, either.

  22. nick flandrey says:

    In a change of subject– over at Silicon Greybeard’s place there was some discussion of preps and prepping and wood gassification came up.

    NICE pdf from our servants over at FEMA–

    “Construction of a Simplified Wood Gas
    Generator for Fueling Internal Combustion
    Engines in a Petroleum Emergency”

    http://www.driveonwood.com/static/media/uploads/pdf/fema_plans.pdf

    –snip–
    Fuel gas, produced by the reduction of coal and peat, was used for heating as early as
    1840 in Europe and by 1884 had been adapted to fuel engines in England. Prior to 1940, gas
    generator units were a familiar, but not extensively utilized, technology. However, petroleum
    shortages during World War II led to widespread gas generator applications in the transportation
    industries of Western Europe. (Charcoal burning taxis, a related application, were still common
    in Korea as late as 1970.)

    –snip–

    In occupied Denmark
    during World War II, 95% of all mobile farm machinery, tractors, trucks, stationary engines, and
    fishing and ferry boats were powered by wood gas generator units. Even in neutral Sweden, 40%
    of all motor traffic operated on gas derived from wood or charcoal. All over Europe, Asia, and
    Australia, millions of gas generators were in operation between 1940 and 1946.

    –snip–

    I had no idea! Although one of the episodes of the BBC Wartime Farm series has them building and converting a wood gassification generator for a vehicle, I didn’t know it was so widespread. In fact, one of the things in Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon that made me think of it as an alternate history, rather than SciFi, was the mention of a taxi with a charcoal brazier in the trunk.

    I’ve started going thru the pdf and it does indeed look like it’s straightforward to build.

    nick

  23. paul says:

    Screw bilingual education!

    I had some of those classes and they sucked. American History mostly in Spanish was not a good time.

    LaJoya, TX high school had 600 kids when I graduated. They did PA announcements in Spanish. Not at all useful for me. My class of about 120 had about 12 “whites” but I’m including the Japanese girl and the one black in the entire school district.

    I was picking up the language and then everyone started in with “you have to know Spanish to get a job” and to stubborn me, that was a hell no moment. I’m in America, effing habla English. And who says I’m gonna live in the Rio Grande Valley any longer than it takes me to get the hell away?

    I took a Spanish class with the next door neighbor about 25 years ago. We were all going to Puerto Vallarto for a couple of weeks. Nice place. We stayed at the Hotel Marlin. Lots of locals. We ended up speaking our bad Spanish and the locals used their bad English. And everyone corrected everyone. Good times.

  24. lynn says:

    It is 97 F in Sugar Land today. The wife and I went to Target, Office Depot, and another Target looking for Glitter Crayons and Lipsmackers after lunch. Our church is sponsoring the elementary school over in Four Corners and the teachers gave us wish list which the ladies at church are signing up for.
    https://www.amazon.com/Crayola-16ct-Multi-Colored-Glitter-Crayons/dp/B009A54FVG

    The Four Corners area in Fort Bend County is rough, real rough. You can rent a 1975 single wide with two window A/C units over there for $400/month. And it is located right next to the trash dump for those exciting smells on a nice windless afternoon. And to top it off, open ditches for most excellent mosquito breeding. And, my personal favorite, septic holding tanks instead of aerobic septic systems.

    Have I mentioned that Target is the most disorganized store ever ? They had school supplies in three areas around the store.

  25. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    This forum is unusual in that not only do most readers know what RPN is, but at least half have probably used an RPN calculator.

  26. nick flandrey says:

    nick <– does indeed know what RPN is and has in fact used an RPN calculator. Admittedly, it was a LONG time ago, like 35+ years, but I still remember it. The calculator in question was 4 functions, white, with red LED display. Might have had %, but I don't think so.

    n

  27. SteveF says:

    HP-15C in my desk drawer. Use it not infrequently, when it’s more convenient than bringing up the calculator or spreadsheet on the computer. Have had it almost 30 years, and replaced the batteries only once. Taught my sons to use it when they were about 10, which reminds me that I should show my daughter how to use it.

    UPDATE: Just downloaded the owner’s manual and Advanced Functions Guide for the 15C. I might still have them around in a box, but have no idea where.

  28. ech says:

    My first calculator was an HP-45. Spent almost all my summer job money ($395 plus tax) to have it for freshman year at Rice in 1873. I just happened in to HP on the day it was announced, and made the second order of one in Houston – after Shell Oil had ordered 100 of them. I had the first one on campus and would get crowds around me if I used it in public. The mean and standard deviation functions came in handy for labs and tests. The battery died many years ago and the DC circuit went belly up about 6 years ago.,

  29. DadCooks says:

    WRT RPN calculators: thanks (no thanks) for resurrecting not so pleasant memories of using an HP something-or-other for doing calculations of Estimated Critical Position (ECP) for reactor startup and during battery charges on my submarines’. We used slide rules for quick and dirty close-enough-for-government-work whenever we could.

    Have I mentioned that Target is the most disorganized store ever ? They had school supplies in three areas around the store.

    That is actually a “marketing plan” (Marketing 101) to get you to have to go all around the store. It increases the chances you will see something you really don’t need and buy it.

  30. Ray Thompson says:

    have it for freshman year at Rice in 1873

    I suppose your are going to tell us you had a Flux Capacitor and 1.21 gigawatts available.

    I also purchased an HP-45 in 1975, have owned several HP calculators over the years, many of them programmable. Not that I really needed the HP-45, it was just cool. Only one I have left is an HP-27S that I use on occasion. That calculator is one of the few that HP produced that use algebraic rather than RPN.

    When I wrote the two compilers in the middle ’70’s all the math logic was done with a RPN stack emulator to do the calculations. Much easier to implement in code.

    I also had a Pulsar digital watch shortly after they came out. LED display, only displayed the time. But when the James Bond movie “Live and Let Die” came out I went to theater. In the opening sequence 007 activates his Pulsar watch and the audience goes “ooohhh”. So I activated my watch and held up my wrist. The audience clapped. Several people wanted to see it after the movie was over. How cool is it to have a 007 gadget!

  31. Greg Norton says:

    This forum is unusual in that not only do most readers know what RPN is, but at least half have probably used an RPN calculator.

    It is simultaneously fun and sad to sit in a modern CS classroom and watch the faculty try to explain postfix operations to a room full of students who have never touched an RPN calculator. Thirty years ago, the lecturer simply said “Like an HP calculator”, everyone got it, and the class moved on.

  32. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “freshman year at Rice in 1873”

    You win.

    I started with an HP35 in 1871, followed by an HP45 in 1874, and finally an HP12C in 1883 when I was in MBA school. The original batteries in the 12C still worked when I took the ham tests last month.

  33. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “HP35 in 1871”

    Typo. I meant 1872.

  34. Dave Hardy says:

    I never used a slide rule and have extremely limited experience with calculators. The only math I’ve ever used my life on the planet since grade skool has been simple effing arithmetic, and I have all its operations in my head almost as well as I do English grammar.

    Of course all this was prior to 1870 and I’ve seen no need for me to learn all that newfangled gimcrack stuff that came afterward.

  35. dkreck says:

    Next up on the ‘Old Timers Hour’ – Big and Little Endian

  36. SteveF says:

    When I wrote the two compilers in the middle ’70’s all the math logic was done with a RPN stack emulator to do the calculations. Much easier to implement in code.

    Yah. The compilers class I took in grad school was a snap in part because of my experience with my HP calculator.

  37. SteveF says:

    Big and Little Endian

    No, let’s leave discussion of the Kardashians’ fat asses to forums inhabited by stupid people.

  38. Miles_Teg says:

    “This forum is unusual in that not only do most readers know what RPN is, but at least half have probably used an RPN calculator.”

    Back in about 1998 a chemistry lab partner had a HP-65 (I think). I asked to borrow it and he said I wouldn’t know how to use it. Boy, talk about red rag to a bull…

  39. Miles_Teg says:

    In Year 11 in 1974 a HP salesperson came to our high school trying to sell calculators. Only one guy in our class bought one, he became very popular in physics lab classes. I don’t remember the model number but it had +-*/ and sqrt and that was all.

    I made do with log books until I got a Sharp calculator with all the functions in 1975. Loved it. I still have my slide rule and instruction manual from 1972, I must re-learn how to use it.

    In 1976 in first year uni some of the guys got HP-65s, they were about $650. I couldn’t imagine that much money.

  40. Dave Hardy says:

    “Plenty O’Toole RULES!”

    Oh my, yes, yes, YES!

    And there is hope after all for Miles_Teg….

    “…forums inhabited by stupid people.”

    Of which there are Legion.

    Luckily this recovering English major sap has learned a lot here and peeps have tolerated me. So fah.

    Kitchen cleanup ops have just about completed. Next up for me: the back porch, yard and bathroom/laundry area this week. Also hope to install a couple of deadbolt locks and some other security hardware. And a possible reconfig of this office space.

    While making a few calls, setting up appointments, doing the Planning Commission gig, and hanging out with psycho combat vets for a couple of hours. All in a week’s work.

  41. nick flandrey says:

    Got a couple more projects going or making progress.

    Finally cut the top off my last rain barrel, fitted the bulkhead and spigot, and placed it by the raised bed on the side of the house. Now all that’s left is running the pipe from the 10ft of gutter to the barrel. I decided to use pvc pipe instead of downspout for a neater appearance, as my neighbors kitchen window looks right at it. I put the gutter up, and set the blocks that raise the barrel some time ago.

    also put degreaser in my new stainless steel barrels. They’ll sit in the sun for a couple days. The olive oil is hard to get out of the seam, but whatever doesn’t come out will come out next year when I change the water. If I have to use it in between, I’ll filter the water in those 2 barrels.

    I feel like I got some stuff done today, although you wouldn’t see it if you looked (beyond the mown grass.)

    n

    Oh, and 104 with 50%RH in my driveway. Feels like 116F. Every F’ing degree of 116….

  42. Dave Hardy says:

    I know I could get used to that heat down there as I’ve done it before; takes a couple of weeks and probably losing about 30 pounds in sweat alone.

    But then again, why would I want to???

    If it hits 90 here it’s friggin’ sweltering and we suffer greatly. Except for our breeze off the bay, of course, which the poor sods a quarter-mile inland don’t have. But it rarely gets that hot. 70s this week, with occasional showers and t-storms, per usual. It’s been a very wet spring and summer and the lakes, ponds and streams are up above normal everywhere. Everything is GREEN.

    Summer is barely a month old now. But soon we’ll see leaves turning red up in the hills around here.

  43. Miles_Teg says:

    DH wrote:

    “And there is hope after all for Miles_Teg….”

    hahaha YES! And unlike our Vermont correspondent I have a degree in STEM as well as in History/Medieval Studies.

  44. SteveF says:

    There might be a bit of a misunderstanding, Miles_Teg. In the US, STEM stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math”. Your Australian STEM degree was in Stealthy and Tricky Ewe Mounting.

  45. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve labeled the horseback scene in this trailer “The Great Prog Hunt of 2018” (1:02 mark).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phFM3V_dors

    Science fiction is fun.

  46. Miles_Teg says:

    Maybe the Krauts will swap Merkel for her…

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-24/german-schoolgirl-who-joined-islamic-state-wants-to-return-home/8736724

    Geez… Her eyebrows are thicker than mine. Might appeal to SteveF when he’s away from his sheep… 🙂

  47. Spook says:

    What a rip-off! Michael Phelps versus Great White Shark!

    I thought it was gonna be a real race …

  48. Spook says:

    ”’This forum is unusual in that not only do most readers know what RPN is, but at least half have probably used an RPN calculator.”’

    Skew it a bit higher, since even I have used an RPN calculator, a little.
    I was good enough, back then, in Algebra, to get the point, I think… Just a matter of syntax, no real change in the logic.

  49. dkreck says:

    I’m for the shark. SharkWeek is big money and I’m sure Phelps made plenty.

    http://shermanslagoon.com/comics/july-23-2017/

  50. pcb_duffer says:

    I’ve still got my HP 41CV; it’s in the desk drawer right beside me as I type this. Alas, size N batteries aren’t easy to come by anymore. I always liked programming that thing.

  51. Miles_Teg says:

    Gated mooslem communities? Yes please! So long as they are never allowed out…

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-24/gated-muslim-communities-rising-popularity-in-indonesia/8736246

  52. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve still got my HP 41CV; it’s in the desk drawer right beside me as I type this. Alas, size N batteries aren’t easy to come by anymore. I always liked programming that thing.

    N cell? Try a drugstore or large grocery store with a big Duracell display.

    They aren’t hard to find.

  53. Greg Norton says:

    Gated mooslem communities? Yes please! So long as they are never allowed out…

    Yes. Good. Put them in one place and monitor who goes in/out. Much easier.

  54. Ray Thompson says:

    >i>size N batteries aren’t easy to come by anymore

    Batteries+ will probably have them.

  55. ech says:

    Yeah, I typoed. I started Rice in 1973.

    Sigh.

    My last calculator at work was a copy of Mathematica loaded onto my PC. Very, very nice.

  56. Dave Hardy says:

    I started Marin County, Kalifornia in 1973. Between multiple SEA deployments. Couldn’t get a date for some odd reason, not in the whole damn Bay area. Not even at bars or rock concerts.

    Off to Dreamland now; early day tomorrow and LOTS to do this week. LOTS.

    With a right leg that goes numb below the knee on the last few steps coming up the stairs now. Almost didn’t make it a few minutes ago. So gotta get another appointment with the primary care MD and find out what to do next.

    Pax vobiscum, fratres…

  57. H. Combs says:

    Dave – I lived in Mill Valley, Marin County, Kalifornia 1966 – 1989 with time outs in Oklahoma and Arkansas. It was hippie HQ in the early 70s and free love was not just a slogan. You could find anything in the Berkeley Barb. I know. I did.

  58. dkreck says:

    Phelps vs shark. I was hoping for a different outcome.
    http://shermanslagoon.com/comics/july-23-2017/

  59. lynn says:

    With a right leg that goes numb below the knee on the last few steps coming up the stairs now. Almost didn’t make it a few minutes ago.

    Dude, that sucks. Looking into it would be good.

    The wife is having problems with peripheral neuropathy on her entire right side now. It has been over 12 years since she had the right side mastectomy. They found an infected lymph node after the mastectomy and removed all the lymph nodes on her right side chest, side, and back. Then for tricks she had six months of horrible platinum based chemotherapy and 12 months of Herceptin for DNA modification. They took her down hard with almost zero white cell count twice delaying her next chemo treatment.

    She forgot to pick up the communion cup with her left hand this morning in church and used her non-feeling dominant right hand instead. She dropped the communion cup halfway up which hit the tray, bounced off the tray, hit her shirt and then landed in her pants. Grape juice everywhere. I’m just hoping that this does not get worse. Or get lymphedema. She has sworn that she will not take chemo again when it comes back.

  60. Dave says:

    When I was in college studying Electrical Engineering, I asked my mother for an HP RPN calculator. She got me an HP 10C, the cheapest model at the time. This was how I learned the first commandment of Engineering: Thou shalt specify everything in excruciating detail.

  61. nick flandrey says:

    @lynn, that sucks, I hope she is able to function for a long time yet.

    @dave, have you tried chiropractic care? It can’t hurt and might help. Nothing else seems to be particularly helpful. I get great relief from chiropractic. I know that there are some that are snake oil selling ambulance chasers, but I’ve been lucky I guess to only have good ones.

    n

  62. Miles_Teg says:

    DH wrote:

    “I started Marin County, Kalifornia in 1973. Between multiple SEA deployments. Couldn’t get a date for some odd reason, not in the whole damn Bay area. Not even at bars or rock concerts. ”

    Being gay might have helped.

  63. nick flandrey says:

    @the other dave,

    specifying everything. Hmm, somewhere I saw or read some discussion about a project specified for a customer in china. They needed a good solid but cheap base for the machine so they specified “CMU” and drew it on the plans.

    They got to china and discovered that no one there knew what a CMU was, and didn’t want to ask, so they machined the shape on the plans from steel. 4 times.

    Of course we know the CMU, or concrete masonry unit, more colloquially as the humble concrete block.

    There’s a bunch of cautionary tales in there somewhere 🙂

    nick

  64. lynn says:

    @dave, have you tried chiropractic care?

    I think that OFD still has some shrapnel in his neck courtesy of a VC grenade in the helicopter cabin. If so, the VA need to help him before any other care is tried. Things can be made worse by non-experts. But, the choice is his.

  65. lynn says:

    @lynn, that sucks, I hope she is able to function for a long time yet.

    Me too. Time will tell.

    One of my wife’s remaining aunts died last Wednesday at the age of 91. Drew had breast cancer at age 45 ? and age 65 ?. She survived by getting radical mastectomies. My wife is convinced that the breast cancer will come back in the other breast based on her aunt’s experience. We don’t know what the cause of death was other than her body was riddled with cancer according to the ER docs. Drew went to the ER three weeks ago with severe pain and they moved her to hospice the next day.

  66. Spook says:

    Check the recall on Bush’s Beans !

  67. Dave Hardy says:

    I hope and pray that Mrs. Lynn gets better fast and doesn’t have to suffer any more of that awful stuff; ditto for daughter, who has also suffered above and beyond. This is a lot of stress on Mr. Lynn, too, who has his own stuff going on.

    “It was hippie HQ in the early 70s and free love was not just a slogan. You could find anything in the Berkeley Barb. I know. I did.”

    Two major handicaps for me at the time: I was back from ‘Nam deployments and had the G.I. haircut. And: I was not only military, but military POLICE. And probably also looked slightly crazed and pissed off most of the time, and off-duty, I was probably also drunk.

    “Being gay might have helped.”

    No chit. I got picked up by a gay guy once in S.F. I was hiking across the city and had stopped to admire the view of the GG Bridge and Alcatraz and was heading back to my hotel. I’d gotten talking with this guy and he offered me a ride, so I jumped in. And then the conversation started to go downhill, i.e., his friends on the houseboat in Sausalito, and the various activities there, etc., etc., and how we should go over there and party, etc., and by then we were within a couple of blocks of the hotel so I thanked him for the ride and jumped out at the first stoplight. I was 19 and that was the last such attempt; gay guys know immediately I’m not anywhere in their universe but also not likely to hurt them in any way.

    WRT to my back and sciatica issues; yes, I still have bits of shrapnel floating around in my shoulder, back and legs, which can’t be a positive thing. So I’m calling to get another appointment with my primary care MD at the VA down in Burlap. I can’t risk taking a bad fall down a flight of stairs or falling on the ice in winter. We don’t need me to be incapacitated right now; too much to do and too much chit going on.

  68. SteveF says:

    I still have bits of shrapnel floating around in my shoulder, back and legs

    I’m lucky that way: no known bullets, fragments, or shrapnel in me, and the various pins and plates from childhood injuries have all been removed, years since. I’ve been shot twice* ** but the bullets just went on their merry way, and that one time we got shelled no one was hit. The vehicles took a few dings and some people were bleeding from the head from the pressure wave and I wouldn’t be surprised if some drawers needed to be changed, but no shell fragments went into people.

    * First time was a jealous husband who shot me high on the inner thigh, shooting from ambush. Presumably he wasn’t aiming for the thigh. I ran away, circled around, charged him, took away his rifle, and broke it over his skull.*** Then I asked his wife just what was going on, then beat the crap out of her. She’d been having an affair with another classmate, not me, and told her husband that I was the boyfriend to protect her real boyfriend. What a piece of crap.

    ** Second time was an attempted mugging, while I was more than a little drunk. One of the assholes got a couple shots off and hit me once in the chest, but it just bounced off a rib. Maybe it was just a lucky/unlucky near miss, but I prefer to think that my bones are so tough I’m practically bulletproof.

    *** By grabbing the rifle by the barrel and swinging it like a bat. Yes, very risky, as the muzzle almost certainly crossed my torso and might have been pointed right at me at the time of impact. In my defense, I was 17 and stupid.

  69. Dave Hardy says:

    You seem to have had your fun F2F mostly; mine was mostly from a distance. You know, the high-tech Air Force way. Typical method: instead of sending a tunnel rat guy down into the ground to chase VC or NVA, simply roll a drum of JP4 over there, tip it in the hole and then toss in a grenade. Mission Accomplished. Death From Above.

    Your guys are pinned down and surrounded and things look pretty shitty for them? Send in Puff. Every square inch around is hit with ordnance, buh-bye bad guys.

    Need a sniper taken out in a third-story window? Have Spooky drop by and lob a 105 through that window. Yes, a friggin’ artillery shell. (Green Berets on-site had whined about the sniper so the AF guys asked “What window ya want it in?”)

    Make it rain.

  70. Dave Hardy says:

    I’m in no shape to engage in F2F hijinks right now; a little girl could kick my ass.

    Waiting for a return call to get my primary care MD appointment; I need to get a full view of WTF is going on with my spine; are fragments of some kind floating around down in there now? Disk/s ruined? Nerve damage?

    And then take the next step/s.

    I got a lotta stuff to do here; can’t be limping and stumbling and tripping around; lost some weight, still taking the supplements and Gabapentin.

    When I was 17 I never thought that I’d be yakking about my medical chit with other old fogies in cyberspace half a century later.

  71. nick flandrey says:

    “with other old fogies in cyberspace half a century later.”

    Old people talk about their health and the weather. And grandkids.

    Never thought I’d live this long, so didn’t really take care. Had an epiphany at 26, realized I might live for a while, changed my life and started making plans.

    At 36, decided I didn’t like the way things were going and acted on the last of the un-realized plans– the ‘get married and start a family’ part.

    Decade and a half later, and that’s sorted. Now I’m a happy boy who is not trying to commit suicide by lifestyle. BUT all those scars and the damage lingers on…..

    n

  72. SteveF says:

    Ha. When I was 20 I had no real expectation of living past 30. I had risky hobbies (eg, hunting muggers) and had decided to shoot for Special Forces, which is also risky. I’d already had a kid (though she was later killed) so I’d carried out my family responsibility.

    Came as a massive surprise when I came to be 30 and was married and had to back off on the risky activities.

    Re your aches and pains and ails, best wishes. I have no advice for you, or at least no useful advice. (“Load up on hillbilly heroin and booze” does not constitute useful advice, one supposes.)

  73. Miles_Teg says:

    “** Second time was an attempted mugging…”

    Did you take care of him, sooner or later?

  74. SteveF says:

    “Them”, not him. I may have killed two of them — hit them hard in the throats. But after I was shot, which barely slowed me down, I took a deep knife cut in the deltoid muscle of one arm and that on top of the alcohol and the broken rib put me at too much of a disadvantage. I ran away from that fight. Checked the newspapers the next couple days but didn’t see anything, which is not really evidence in either direction.

  75. lynn says:

    Old people talk about their health and the weather. And grandkids.

    Ain’t got no grandkids and none on the horizon. I’ve asked XXXXXX begged and been told there is no ship.

    Met the very nice and pretty lady friend of a 36 year old kid XXX young man at church yesterday that the wife and I taught in Bible school way back when. He met the young lady while he was stocking shelves at Walmart on the weekend as a second job. She was born and raised in Iraq and left there ten years ago to go to Syria. She left Syria to go to Jordan. She left Jordan for Turkey and managed to get to the USA on refugee status. She has been here four years now and will get a green card next year. She works full time at Walmart, speaks very good English, and is not a muslim. I wish them well. He is an incredibly nice young man, 6’3″, around 160 lbs, a civil engineer, and is missing his lower right arm from birth. He did some programming work for me around 13 or 14 years ago and is now a registered flood engineer for Houston.

  76. Clayton W. says:

    4 semesters of Calculus and I have solved exactly 1 physics problem using it in about 20 years. Electrical Engineering just doesn’t seem to need it, except antennas.

  77. MrAtoz says:

    On a road trip to ElmPaso on a gig. Interesting thread.

    Started with slide rules in 8th grade and got a four banger RPN for college.

    My prayers for Mrs. Lynn and Senor OFD.

  78. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I did the Wake Forest University MBA Executive Program in 1983 – 85. There were about 30 or 35 of us in the class. At one point, I think in the Operations Research class, a professor mentioned calculus. Several people remarked that calculus was pretty much useless. I commented that I used it, if not literally daily, at least two or three times a week. One of the other students, Chris Burns, was a pilot with Piedmont Airlines, and commented that he also used it regularly. We were shouted down by everyone else in the class.

    Years later, I asked Paul and Mary, both Ph.D. organic chemists about it. They both said they hadn’t used calculus since undergrad. Oh, well. It’s simply so elegant that I find myself using it in routine daily life.

  79. nick flandrey says:

    Calculus, Diffeq, and Thermodynamics, the ‘weed out’ classes, are why I’m not an engineer today. I got weeded out. I just could not make sense of calculus as taught by an ESL grad student. It was just moving words on paper to me.

    Oh, and I liked drinking beer and chasing girls. Couldn’t do a lot of that and keep your grades up.

    n

  80. lynn says:

    Calculus, Diffeq, and Thermodynamics, the ‘weed out’ classes, are why I’m not an engineer today. I got weeded out. I just could not make sense of calculus as taught by an ESL grad student. It was just moving words on paper to me.

    Calculus: B, C, C
    DiffEQ: C
    Thermodynamics: B, A

    I had Dr. Hartfiel for Calculus and DiffEQ. He emigrated to the USA from Germany at some point in his early life. He would get excited about something in Calculus and would lapse into German. He would be going on and on in German and one of us 300 would go, “Professor ? Professor?”. He would turn around and say “Ja ?”. “Sir, we do not speak German”. “Oh”.
    http://www.math.tamu.edu/~joe.hartfiel/

    Oh, and I liked drinking beer and chasing girls. Couldn’t do a lot of that and keep your grades up.

    I tried that for a while at TAMU. While taking 19 hours per semester average. That did not go so well until I stopped drinking beer. I didn’t stop chasing girls until I got married my senior year.

    Playboy magazine ranked the top ten colleges for beer drinking while I was at TAMU. They refused to rank TAMU, saying that it was unfair to rank professionals with amateurs.

  81. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Sir, we do not speak German”.

    As chemistry majors in 1971, we didn’t have that option. Probably 75% of the literature was in German.

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