Wednesday, 13 September 2017

08:56 – It was 51.7F (11C) when I took Colin out at 0700, clear and calm. We had a total of 1.8″ (4.5 cm) of rain and some stiff breezes from Irma’s remnants. If we hadn’t known there had been a hurricane, it would have just seemed like a normal couple of rainy days.

Barbara is off to the gym this morning, after which we’ll get back to building science kits. After an August that ran about 135% of last year’s August revenues, September is running about even with last September.


I’m seeing an increasing number of articles about former lefties who’ve “taken the red pill”. I never saw The Matrix, but I’m told that’s a pop cultural reference to progressives waking up to the ridiculousness of the progs and political correctness. IOW, people are starting to recognize that the emperor has no clothes, and saying so publicly. Let’s hope that trend continues and accelerates.

Someone forwarded me links to several articles about the growth in ham radio, which is on track to reach 750,000 licensed hams in the US this year. A lot of articles mention the 2007 elimination of the code requirement as a factor in the growth of ham radio, but most of them also point out the growth of the prepper movement as the major factor. I don’t have any real data to support my belief that most of the growth is in fact a result of preppers becoming licensed, but I do note that many of the preppers I hear from are either licensed or pursuing their licences.


I just read an article that says that about 900,000 homes and businesses in Georgia are without power, and they don’t know how long it’ll take to restore it. The real problem is that they don’t have the crews or trucks they need to do so. Power companies all over the US, particularly in the South and Southeast, sent trucks and crews to Texas to deal with the damage caused by Harvey, and then again to Florida to deal with Irma’s aftermath. The upshot is that there aren’t a lot of crews/trucks left to respond to Georgia. I don’t know for a fact, but I’d guess that our electric power company, Blue Ridge Electric, probably sent crews and trucks to Texas and Florida. I’d guess they probably have maybe one truck and crew left to deal with any local outages.

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92 Responses to Wednesday, 13 September 2017

  1. nick flandrey says:

    From what I see online and hear on the radio, the prepper movement and the availability of cheap chinese radios are the two biggest drivers.

    Many (like me) find they like it as a hobby and grow as a ham. I’m sure that a whole bunch just ‘check mark’ the box on their preps list and never light up a radio again.

    n

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I resemble that remark. After a nearly 50-year gap, I got my tech and general licenses back in July, but for the last couple of months I’ve been so busy with kit stuff that I’ve been OTA only once or twice.

  3. nick flandrey says:

    yep, no reason to every want to carry a gun, let alone at a party at a friends house—

    “Wrong party, wrong time: The eight Plano partygoers ‘shot dead when their friend’s estranged husband entered her home and opened fire on their Dallas Cowboys viewing event'”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4877912/PICTURED-Plano-NFL-fans-shot-dead-Cowboys-party.html

    /sarc

    n

  4. Greg Norton says:

    IOW, people are starting to recognize that the emperor has no clothes, and saying so publicly. Let’s hope that trend continues and accelerates.

    For Progs, “taking the red pill” will manifest as the Democrats waking up to the reality of Cankles/Bernie/Pelosi, ditching the Boomer domination of the party, and nominating Gavin Newsom for President in 2020.

    TX Democrats may start waking up next year when the scion of La Raza is finally revealed as a fraud during the Univision debate with Senator Cruz. The Castro brothers aren’t Boomers, but, similar to Doh-bama’s rise to power, they’ve been coddled by their mother and other members of the Democrat establishment their whole political lives.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    I just read an article that says that about 900,000 homes and businesses in Georgia are without power, and they don’t know how long it’ll take to restore it.

    Are the far northwestern Atlanta suburbs still TVA? That could be part of the problem.

    I’ve seen some pretty primitive areas of GA less than an hour from Atlanta. Heading north from Columbus, sections of that area of the state along either 27 or Alt 27 haven’t recovered fully from the Civil War much less the loss of the denim industry.

  6. nick flandrey says:

    Used to do a bunch of things at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, south of Atlanta. LOTS of rural poverty around there….

    n

    BTW sunny and 81F with 66%RH here today. Was 70 and 85% this am.

  7. Dave says:

    My wife’s sister and her family made it through Hurricane Irma. They lost power before the worst of the storm hit and are still without power so far as I know. It was their first hurricane, and I don’t think they were very prepared. I’m thinking when next I see them, my nephew will not be the only other prepper in the family.

    With regards to amateur radio, I think it’s a useful part of prepping, but not essential. The most useful thing I’ve found thus far is it’s the best way to find locals in a smaller town who are interested in disaster preparedness, but will never show up on an episode of Doomsday Preppers.

    That said I’m glad I have my General license, and think it will be useful to have for prepping. I could make do with GMRS or FMRS for comms if I had to. I’m interested in getting my Extra class license, but the reasons don’t have to do with prepping.

  8. Greg Norton says:

    Used to do a bunch of things at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, south of Atlanta. LOTS of rural poverty around there….

    I went to Historic Banning Mills for iPhone development training in 2008. The surrounding area seemed to have been frozen in time since the mill equipment left during the Civil War.

    On the trip out, I failed to heed the warnings of the bus driver regarding the food situation at the training facility, and when the meals at the resort got weird, the alternative in “town”, a two mile hike out of Snake Gorge, was a restaurant literally called “Eat”.

  9. SteveF says:

    For Progs, “taking the red pill” will manifest as the Democrats waking up to the reality of Cankles/Bernie/Pelosi, ditching the Boomer domination of the party, and nominating Gavin Newsom for President in 2020.

    “Doubling down on crazy didn’t work in 2016, so this time we’ll triple down!”

  10. Greg Norton says:

    My wife’s sister and her family made it through Hurricane Irma. They lost power before the worst of the storm hit and are still without power so far as I know.

    My sister-in-law in Orlando doesn’t trim the trees on her property so the inevitable happened during Irma — a big tree went through the roof of one of the bedrooms at her house.

    Forget prepping. Even with power restored, the woman is clueless about what to do next beyond waiting for the insurance company adjuster. I believe they did manage to get a tarp.

  11. nick flandrey says:

    ” the woman is clueless about what to do next beyond waiting for the insurance company adjuster. ”

    People been taking care of her since childhood?

    I think learning to live on your own, while still having structure and a safety net, is pretty much the only remaining reason for most kids to go away to college. You have to really commit to being on your own though, and most won’t.

    n

  12. SteveF says:

    And not texting or calling Mommy every ten minutes to find out how many minutes to set the washing machine for or what brand of pasta to buy is important, too. I think the pervasiveness of cell phones has contributed to the extended infantilization of our young alleged-adults.

  13. Greg Norton says:

    People been taking care of her since childhood?

    Yes, wife’s parents have always taken care of my sister-in-law, but, strangely, she survived a couple of years working as a stripper in Vegas without ending up dead … or worse.

    We never hear the Vegas stories, but pieces dribble out here and there. Apparently, a few C-list celebrities were regular clients.

    Doubling down on crazy didn’t work in 2016, so this time we’ll triple down!

    The Republicans should be concerned about Newsom running IMHO. By 2020, if Doh-bamacare remains in place with premiums high despite insurance company subsidies being restored, a lot of people are going to decide that they’d rather have full blown Socialism at least as far as healthcare goes. Newsom with a competent, young running mate would present an appealing package for voters, a rerun of 1992 but with less baggage attached to the candidate.

  14. lynn says:

    After an August that ran about 135% of last year’s August revenues, September is running about even with last September.

    We are about 99% of last years sales YTD on an accrual basis. If everyone paid us who owed us money, we would be fat, dumb, and happy. Mr. “we bring good things to life”, I am looking at you.

  15. lynn says:

    I don’t know for a fact, but I’d guess that our electric power company, Blue Ridge Electric, probably sent crews and trucks to Texas and Florida. I’d guess they probably have maybe one truck and crew left to deal with any local outages.

    And that bucket truck is probably up on blocks.

    I have heard that there are about 5,000 roving buckets trucks in the lower 48. They are constantly busy.

    EDIT: If I remember right, we had 300 bucket trucks at TXU when I was there in the 1980s. And we were the second largest non-governmental public utility in the USA then with two million meters.

  16. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “We are about 99% of last years sales YTD on an accrual basis.”

    Through August 31, we’re at 106.2% of the same period in 2016. Although we do take institutional PO’s, our sales are literally 99% cash.

  17. lynn says:

    By 2020, if Doh-bamacare remains in place with premiums high despite insurance company subsidies being restored, a lot of people are going to decide that they’d rather have full blown Socialism at least as far as healthcare goes.

    I am there already. After all, what could go wrong ? Just take Medicare from paying 25% of the bills to 100% of the bills. Should be easy-peasy, right ?

    Take that feddie credit card to the limit one more time !
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9-k8wcpV0Q

  18. lynn says:

    Through August 31, we’re at 106.2% of the same period in 2016. Although we do take institutional PO’s, our sales are literally 99% cash.

    Wow, I’ll bet that you have 10X the number of transactions that we do. We probably have 300 transactions per year.

    And congrats ! Hopefully we will join you on the plus side soon. We are working on a seven figure three year deal with one of our customers.

  19. nick flandrey says:

    My ebay sales collapsed to almost nothing. My rolling average of sales is currently 1/5th of my worst month. I’m listing big items this month hoping to get some numbers back up, but I’m not sure what happened.

    I think there are a lot of distractions world wide at the moment.

    Taking a one month break to go on vacation for 10 days didn’t help.

    n

  20. lynn says:

    yep, no reason to every want to carry a gun, let alone at a party at a friends house—

    “Wrong party, wrong time: The eight Plano partygoers ‘shot dead when their friend’s estranged husband entered her home and opened fire on their Dallas Cowboys viewing event’”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4877912/PICTURED-Plano-NFL-fans-shot-dead-Cowboys-party.html

    I am stunned. Hopefully her husband now has a personal demon assigned to him in the lower reaches of hell. And it looks like the wife survived ? I wonder if her husband had life insurance ? And no mention of kids.

  21. MrAtoz says:

    We never hear the Vegas stories, but pieces dribble out here and there. Apparently, a few C-list celebrities were regular clients.

    Calling Lamar Odom! Calling Lamar Odom! Your three stripper/whores and coke order is ready!

  22. Greg Norton says:

    Calling Lamar Odom! Calling Lamar Odom! Your three stripper/whores and coke order is ready!

    Think lower rent. I once caught a small piece of a story about one of the guys who later wrote “Good Burger”.

  23. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “My ebay sales collapsed to almost nothing. My rolling average of sales is currently 1/5th of my worst month. I’m listing big items this month hoping to get some numbers back up, but I’m not sure what happened.

    I think there are a lot of distractions world wide at the moment.”

    I’m sorry to hear that. Of course, from what I’ve heard, UPS/FedEx/USPS are still having big-time problems with shipments in or out of coastal Texas, so it might be just as well. At least you’re probably not losing sales to vendors who can ship immediately.

    I’ve noticed things are slow generally since Harvey. As you say, there are a lot of distractions. I’m not getting much email at all, even spam. Traffic and comments on this site are down noticeably. I had only 738 unique visitors and 3,056 page reads, which is well below what I’d expect on a weekday. I don’t think I’ve had even 100 c0mments so far this week. Maybe I’m just not writing anything worth commenting about.

  24. nick flandrey says:

    Well, I’m busy getting my closet built, and doing auction stuff. Also have both trucks with issues, so one is at the repair shop.

    I just spent the last 3 hours cleaning and inspecting some photography gear I bought so I can get pix and shelve it prior to listing it. I’ve got no room so I need to process it in and box it up.

    This would normally be when we were all doing After Action Reports and Lessons Learned posts. But for me anyway, it was a big nothing burger.

    Soon as I get ebay caught up, I’ll be getting radios back together and some gardening done. That should be good for at least a couple of comments.

    But yeah, real world getting in the way….

    n

  25. Nightraker says:

    FedEx dropped off 8 cans of Augason Farms Potato Slices. Oversize box with single layer of 7 cans, 8th swaddled in giant bubble wrap filler on top. 2 dented cans, but didn’t break the paper label.

  26. Dave Hardy says:

    “Your three stripper/whores and coke order is ready!”

    “coke” meaning the drink, amirite?

    I am trying to imagine how long I would live, whether in seconds, minutes, or whatever, messing around with three stripper/whores and lines of coke on a mirror or whatever. My haht is in pretty good shape, according to the docs, but I’m older now and why push it, nomesayn?

    I will say a prayer and/or light a joss stick in hopes that Mr, Nick will get back on track with stuff and that Mr. Lynn’s deadbeats will pay up and he gets his big deal with the new customer.

    Just got the official acceptance letter from the college Provost this morning; stipend should kick in retroactively by October 1 and the laptop/printer combination is enroute. Just need to get a student ID cahd and a pahking sticka. (I’m back on the MA accent as we had a member of the public at our Planning Commission meeting last night who grew up in the greatah Boston area. Has only lived up here for four years. I have twenty years in but never lost the accent.)

    Wife is enroute to Sodom-on-the-Bay and spending another several days with the kids and grandkids, who she now sees MUCH more often than when they lived up here in Vermont. Then a week’s gig in Sacramento again, followed by a week in Syracuse, NY.

    OFD is back on the outside and inside chores as best as I can manage them.

  27. Greg Norton says:

    I am there already. After all, what could go wrong ? Just take Medicare from paying 25% of the bills to 100% of the bills. Should be easy-peasy, right ?

    Medicare reimbursements are pathetic. The majority of current Medicare patients are on some kind of supplement plan, many as part of a paid pension. Just wait a decade.

  28. lynn says:

    Just need to get a student ID cahd and a pahking sticka.

    I hope that they give you a handicapped parking sticker. Or that you’ve got one of those blue rear-view mirror hangie tags. And use the cane ! It really hurts to fall on one of those concrete parking space bars (don’t ask me how I know).

  29. Dave Hardy says:

    OFD got a bit of increased knowledge the other night on how Medicaid has been working here in VT for mental health “clients.” Yes, we call them clients now instead of “patients.” The state evidently mandates a lotta stuff regardless of the Feds and it will be interesting in a couple more years to see how this all works or does not work in the existing system WRT to MY clients.

  30. SteveF says:

    Nick, I sent you email recently, to the address with 123 in it. I’m looking to buy something. Or rather, my wife is looking to buy something. Maybe that’ll help with your month-to-date numbers.

  31. Dave Hardy says:

    “I hope that they give you a handicapped parking sticker.”

    Yeah, I’ll look into that; I’ve been cowboying up and shambling/shuffling with the cane from the fah end of the lot on Monday nights because it’s chock-full. Kinda sucks; I suppose I should be just grabbing one of the HP spaces; I doubt anyone would kick, even w/o a sticker. The DMV here makes us jump through multiple hoops to get HP placards and/or license plates, so I won’t bother with all that chit.

    Yes, I take the cane with me in the cah anytime I go anywhere now. I manage OK more or less inside the house but otherwise I gotta have it in case I fall again away from anything that I can use to pull myself back up. Several falls already with zero damage, knock on wood. It’s pretty funny seeing a guy my size just tumbling to the ground, I imagine. No one’s seen yet.

  32. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “FedEx dropped off 8 cans of Augason Farms Potato Slices. Oversize box with single layer of 7 cans, 8th swaddled in giant bubble wrap filler on top. 2 dented cans, but didn’t break the paper label.”

    FedEx just delivered my eight cans of potato slices. No dents at all.

  33. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Congrats to OFD.

  34. Dave Hardy says:

    Thanks, Mr. RBT!

    VA case mangler sez that after jumping through all these early-first-semester hoops, the actual skool work will be easy. We’ll see.

    Kinda weird being a grad student again at 64, and probably not actually getting the MA until I’m 67. But other than the recent mobility/pain issues, I don’t feel that old. At least not mentally, which is another whole can of worms, of course. In fact, I may undergo some more personal counseling/therapy down there just to see how it’s done by someone outside the VA.

    I still plan to get another MA in Classics at Groovy UV, since it’s free of charge to peeps when they turn 65. Latin and Greek, while for my own curiosity, I’m also having a bit of fun with Egyptian hieroglphics and Etruscan. Could come in very handy later for sneakerNet commo via crypto methods.

    And new laptop enroute for delivery tomorrow; more curiosity as to which Winblows o.s. is on it and which Office. Regardless, I’m pulling the drive and installing a nice fast SSD with Linux, maybe Crossover for Linux, and the VPN.

  35. CowboySlim says:

    “Calling Lamar Odom! Calling Lamar Odom! Your three stripper/whores and coke order is ready!”

    Not knowing anything about him nor his recovery facility in So. Nevada, I did find a geocache nearby 10 years ago (06/01/2007):
    https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GCRVYT_valley-of-the-shadows?guid=6a5f527c-c8a4-4bd2-b638-60940d2df01c

    Visited a friend who retired in Amargosa Valley and the on my way for 4WD sightseeing and camping on the Arizona Strip.

  36. Greg Norton says:

    I still plan to get another MA in Classics at Groovy UV, since it’s free of charge to peeps when they turn 65. Latin and Greek, while for my own curiosity, I’m also having a bit of fun with Egyptian hieroglphics and Etruscan. Could come in very handy later for sneakerNet commo via crypto methods.

    Courses using Sipser’s “Theory of Computation” can be interesting with the right instructor. At a minimum, you will learn that Noam Chomsky was once a productive member of academia before he turned into a nut.

    There isn’t a lot of real world use for the knowledge beyond how regular expressions work, but, if you’re lucky, they will touch on the P = NP or P != NP debate.

    Shai Simonson at Stonehill is one of the best lecturers in the country for the subject. His video lectures saved me all three times (!) I had to take a class on that material for my Masters. How close are you to North Easton? I see he’s teaching Algorithms in the Spring. He taught “Algorithms” last spring.

    http://web.stonehill.edu/compsci/shai.htm

  37. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’ve actually thought about finishing up my MD despite my age.

  38. SteveF says:

    Noam Chomsky was once a productive member of academia

    Except for the part about all of his theories of linguistics turning out to be wrong. Not as bad as Stephen J Gould, as I don’t think Chomsky’s theories were ideologically motivated at first, but they both screwed up generations of students with their “scientific” nonsense.

  39. SteveF says:

    I’m thinking about getting a PhD. It doesn’t have to be a real one; mail-order will do. I just need an excuse to wear my “This man is a doctor. Please take off your clothes and do everything the nice doctor tells you.” shirt. If I’m getting older, I might as well be a dirty old man.

  40. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve actually thought about finishing up my MD despite my age.

    It is never too late, but my wife thought about quitting med school many times.

    Before she started, my wife received a lucrative offer from Chase Manhattan for a fairly high up position in their student loan division. At the time (25 years ago), few people in the country knew more about the student loan program mechanics than my spouse.

    Sigh. In retrospect, maybe we would have been better off … at least until the student loan program was effectively nationalized with Doh-bamacare. We had to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

  41. lynn says:

    I’m thinking about getting a PhD. It doesn’t have to be a real one; mail-order will do.

    That would be better than the 10% to 20% of PhDs out there who claim it but do not actually have a PhD.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_X._Cringely#Stanford

    I would SWAG that 50% of feddie employees who claim a PhD are lying.

  42. SteveF says:

    Yah, no fake, Lynn. I deal with fake degrees all the time, mostly at the BS and MS level, because government agencies like to go with lowest bidder for IT services, and in practice that means lots of Indians on H1-B, and in practice that means endless exaggeration, misrepresentation, and outright fraud.* Where it impacts me is that in practice it’s almost impossible for the managers to admit that the screwed up in approving Prani** for the team so the rest of the peons had to pick up the slack.

    I didn’t used to be prejudiced against Indian IT contractors, but damn if they didn’t work non-stop to change my mind.

    * And that’s just in terms of qualifications and experience. There’s also a major cultural mismatch between the typical Indian IT contractor and the typical American, in terms of being at work when your timesheet says you were, actually working when you are at work, and so on. Government employees are horrible when it comes to competence, work ethic, and honesty, but Indian contractors, or at least those in government offices, seem to be worse.

    ** Yes, I know what that means, and it’s not a name. It’s meant as a joke or as an insult, take your pick.

  43. lynn says:

    “As Hurricane Irma raged, thieves sledgehammered way into Little River businesses”
    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather/hurricane/article172862521.html

    You know, if a guy is walking around a neighborhood or a business during a hurricane with a sledgehammer, I’m gonna venture that he is up to no good.

    I wonder what the critical distance for shooting a guy with a sledgehammer is ? A knife is 21 ft IIRC.

  44. A few days ago, the Wranglerstar Youtube channel was mentioned as having been demonetized. I took a look at a few of his videos, and couldn’t see what a leftist would find to object to. On the other hand, here’s someone gleefully trying to get him demonetized for being a corporate shill:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbHtzIXZvIc#t=7m22s

  45. medium wave says:

    Except for the part about all of his theories of linguistics turning out to be wrong.

    The Chomsky hierarchy is still valid. But after Syntactic Structures, yeah, pretty much balderdash.

  46. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “what a leftist would find to object to”

    They’re conservative, devoutly religious, preppers, homesteaders, and are striving to become self-sufficient. Everything lefties fear and hate, all in one package.

  47. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “I’m thinking about getting a PhD. It doesn’t have to be a real one; mail-order will do”

    I have two of those; one in organic chemistry and one in biochemistry. But they were a lot cheaper back when I got mine.

  48. nick flandrey says:

    @steveF, saw the note, promptly forgot.

    Will reply there.

    n

  49. paul says:

    I’m not sure about this ’04 Freestar. It runs great and with just 41,000 miles it will be around for a while. Hopefully.

    The power locks are strange. Right now they are working. Next week? You can’t replace the lock relays. They are soldered in on the fuse panel. If you replace the panel you have to go to the dealer to have the thing programmed. They charge for the service. One comment I read said to get the part from a junkyard and make sure the vehicle has the push button entry… no dealer programming needed.

    Tailgate lock… I pulled the interior panel, everything looks good. A bit dusty. I Googled for a tailgate lock. Dang, I can buy a used and rusty looking lock on eBay for $45 and up.

    Yeah, it seems the locks rust. Why? Because the plastic thing for the license plate is sort of brittle and just snaps in. No screws. On a tailgate that gets slammed shut. Then it’s loose and rain gets in and the lock rusts and you have water soaked carpet. I’m not impressed. I read a comment from someone and after replacing the lock he siliconed around the license plate frame.

    That was today’s project.

    Mopar does some stupid stuff. Ford beats them with the tailgate thing on this van and soldered in relays.

    I replaced the AM/FM radio. Bought and installed the steering wheel controls for radio and cruise. Cruise was plug and play. Radio? Nice touch to leave out 14 inches of a wire in the wiring harness between the steering wheel and the back of the radio.

    Factory shop manuals are good.

    Most of the van’s quirks seem to be caused because it has spent most of its life sitting in a carport. 25,000 miles in 10 years just can’t be good.

  50. nick flandrey says:

    ” Nice touch to leave out 14 inches of a wire in the wiring harness between the steering wheel and the back of the radio.”

    Been looking for the controls for my Expy. The google says I need to buy a stripped steering wheel to get the 14in wire harness so the controls have somewhere to plug in.

    Haven’t done that, probably won’t.

    Bet they save $1 on the wire, but spend $100 maintaining two different SKUs…

    n

  51. SteveF says:

    Don’t be fooled by what they claim. SAE stands for Society of Asshole Engineers.

    And, yah, I know full well that it’s managers and marketing and “design engineers” who are responsible for most of the worst decisions. Don’t care.

  52. lynn says:

    And, yah, I know full well that it’s managers and marketing and “design engineers” who are responsible for most of the worst decisions. Don’t care.

    Accountants and their infernal cost projection spreadsheets are at fault in many bad designs. If there is a borderline option to save $0.01 per unit but will cut the reliability by 50%, the accountants will choose it every time.

    When the accountants take over a company from the engineers, run away ! See Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy.
    https://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/iron.html
    or
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Pournelle#Iron_Law_of_Bureaucracy

  53. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    See HP.

  54. lynn says:

    Been looking for the controls for my Expy. The google says I need to buy a stripped steering wheel to get the 14in wire harness so the controls have somewhere to plug in.

    Haven’t done that, probably won’t.

    Bet they save $1 on the wire, but spend $100 maintaining two different SKUs…

    The manufacturers are getting ready to change vehicle controls from wiring harnesses to an Ethernet data highway. I don’t want the first one …

    And about half of my steering wheel controls on my 2005 Expedition do not work properly anymore. They do random things now. Like the a/c fan up rocker switch will turn the temperature down. And the temperature up rocker switch will turn the a/c fan down. But the volume and cruise control rocker switches still work. And I only have 185K miles on it.

  55. pcb_duffer says:

    The vast majority of Georgia is the domain of Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company. Southern also provides power to much of Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida panhandle west of the Apalachicola River. They’ve got lots of crews, and I’m sure the ones that were in Texas are being recalled for the damage in Georgia & Alabama. They won’t be venturing into Florida for a while, certainly, but they’ll get things restored reasonably quickly. Meanwhile, lots of out of state crews are convoying down I-95 & I-75 into the Florida peninsula.
    http://outagemap.georgiapower.com/external/default.html

    I didn’t get any damage from Irma, unless you count fronds torn out of a large Washington palm. The rest of my family, scattered about the state, got it a little worse. My sister in Jax is without power or timeline for it being restored. They got ~3′ (1 meter) of water in the pseudo basement that serves as common storage for their four unit condominium. Beautiful Niece #1 has not power at her house, just a couple of blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, and again no timeline. Her business has power, so she can serve food, and her fiance is “worn to a frazzle” thanks to his Deputy Chief duties. The other two in state nieces are safe in Gainesville, but classes won’t start back until next week.

    RBT: I’m not sure you’d enjoy the original Matrix; too many overtly religious themes inside the computer based distopian outer shell. And I’d suggest GM as an earlier example of a company destroyed when the bean counters replaced the engineers.

    I got offered one of two Ph D seats reserved for my school’s graduates, but my dad was terminally ill so I came home and took over the family businesses.

  56. Greg Norton says:

    The Chomsky hierarchy is still valid. But after Syntactic Structures, yeah, pretty much balderdash.

    The CS legend is that Donald Knuth took “Syntactic Structures” on his honeymoon.

  57. Ray Thompson says:

    Currently in the city of sin. Had problems with the hotel in Atlanta. Drove down last night and spent the night close to the airport. Hotel TV, Internet and their phones are down due to issues with the hurricane. Comcast apparently suffered significant damage. Leaves and small limbs in a lot of places.

    Went to Waffle House for breakfast as the hotel breakfast sucked. The hotel cannot get supplies. Neither can Waffle House. Had a limited menu.

    No issues on the flight into Vegas except for some really rough air as we got within 100 miles. Damn hot here. 96. But it is a dry heat. Still damn hot. Staying off the strip at a cheap hotel. Every hotel charges a resort fee ranging from $15.00 to $50.00 per night. Let’s gouge the tourists. Although I suspect some of that fee is a thinly disguised tax by the city.

    Of tomorrow to Ely. Lots of straight road for miles, slight turn, more straight roads. I had forgotten how dry and barren this desert really is. Used to greenery and the brown is still ugly. I guess it is whatever you get used to. My brother loves the desert.

  58. nick flandrey says:

    It took me a while to find the beauty in the Sonoran Desert, but when I did, I fell in love. Didn’t get out of town at all when I lived in Vegas, work work work….

    You do get used to the dry heat, but then comes the monsoon season and it’s damp and hot.

    n

  59. H. Combs says:

    Am hearing reports of several deaths due to carbon monoxide. People running generators inside closed homes. Very sad but Darwin’s law is no respector of persons.

  60. Ray Thompson says:

    when I did, I fell in love

    You like what you get used to. My brother lives in Victorville, the high desert of CA. Loves it, except for it being CA. He likes to four wheel, ride dirt bikes, and generally create mayhem in the sand. Couple days of wind and all the tracks of his, and others, adventures are gone.

    He has solar panels on his house and two methods of cooling. The swamp cooler that runs most of the year and drops the temperature about 20 degrees. 100f outside and his house is 80f and actually comfortable. Big assed cooler that blows air through all the rooms. The trick is to leave a window in each room open a little bit. His other option is a standard compression A/C system that he does not use very often. Only when the humidity gets out of control.

    Some months he pays nothing, or gets a credit, for power as the roof mounted solar panels cover his needs and sends some power back to the grid. Lots of sun, strong sun, in the desert makes that possible.

    I like small towns, in the rolling hills. Traffic annoys me and Vegas is no different. Lots of traffic, lots of lights, big streets, several idiots that are obviously tourists. I may fit that description but don’t consider myself the idiot. Perhaps the other drivers view me differently.

    Bought a GoPro Hero 5 Sessions camera with a head mount. Will be using that while I am doing the train so will have some video along with photographs. Will post links when I get back to OZ and and have time to work on the pictures and videos.

    People running generators inside closed homes

    If they don’t someone will steal the generator. At least that is their thinking. They are too stupid to realize the results of that effort. As was stated, Darwin awards.

    And I see where Cankles wants to abolish the electoral college. She apparently does not understand that the US is a democratic republic of states, not a democracy. Without the electoral college three states, CA, NY, FL would basically rule the rest of the states.

    Another reason she should not be president. No basic understanding of the system. Bitch needs to die, a horrible death.

  61. Dave Hardy says:

    “See HP.”

    And DEC, Prime, Data General and EDS. We knew it was over when the Harvard MBA drones started showing up along with the Women-on-Business in their power suits and hatchet faces. The engineers got short shrift.

    WRT Victorville, CA; spent a week out there with some former AF Security Police buddies who’d gotten out and lived there. I can grok the attraction, nature-wise, and the beauty, but not the damn heat. We just hung out, smoked doobies, and drank wine, listened to the rock of the time, early ’73, as I was on my way to ‘Nam.

    “Another reason she should not be president.”

    I believe that particular nightmare has passed. But she will apparently never STFU, and neither will Larry, who really oughta be dead by now. When she does go, watch: they’ll have a gigantic state funeral and tens of millions will weep and gnash their teeth and rend their garments. Fucking cretins.

  62. RickH says:

    I’ve got a heavy duty plastic-coated cable connected to my garage door rails to protect my generator when I put it outside the garage during the few times I need to use it.

    But, I live in a neighborhood with high numbers of retirees. So, limited dastardly peeps around here to worry about.

  63. Dave Hardy says:

    If we get a generator to run outside, we’ll need a pad to put it on anyway, and I’ll install rings in the pad to chain it there, and also alarm it. Our immediate ‘hood is retirees but there’s a population of dirtbags nearby and further up the shore road. I’ve been to the latter place and it’s pretty grim; looks like an Appalachian ville from circa 1930.

    Mrs. OFD’s planes were late today, both of them, and I wonder if she’s been on a flight in the last six months that was NOT late or otherwise effed up. So she has arrived in Sodom-on-the-Bay and is now taking the BART out to the kiddos in the East Bay town of Brentwood. Won’t get there till midnight Eastern time, but of course only 21:00 there.

  64. Greg Norton says:

    See HP.

    The entire healthcare industry at this point.

  65. lynn says:

    Can I dream ? Or am I slated to just pay taxes for welfare for the dreamers ?

  66. Spook says:

    “You know, if a guy is walking around a neighborhood or a business during a hurricane with a sledgehammer, I’m gonna venture that he is up to no good.”

    I’m re-thinking my disaster plan that involved possibly carrying around a pry-bar or crowbar to try to rescue neighbors.

  67. nick flandrey says:

    haligan tool, and a pointy axe. you’ll look more official.

    n

  68. medium wave says:

    The CS legend is that Donald Knuth took “Syntactic Structures” on his honeymoon.

    Knuth mentions reading it then in the preface to Selected Papers on Computer Languages.

    He and the missus are still married, so he can’t have spent all his time reading! 🙂

  69. Dave Hardy says:

    “haligan tool, and a pointy axe. you’ll look more official.”

    If it comes to that, I’d also wear the typical-for-MY-area emergency services fluorescent-green jacket or vest while I was out be-bopping through the ‘hood.

    “Or am I slated to just pay taxes for welfare for the dreamers ?”

    Bingo. And you’ll shut up about it, too, and take your fleecing like a docile and obedient little lamb. Or else you’ll be rayciss, etc., etc., and a white supremacist Nazi.

  70. Spook says:

    “haligan tool, and a pointy axe. you’ll look more official.”

    I had looked at Halligan Bars: expensive.
    Maybe a Stanley FuBar, with some custom paint,
    maybe a cute name for it painted on?
    Scratches and such from actual work would add credibility
    (or further proof of guilt).

    Harbor Freight has a pointy fireman axe, and a smaller hatchet, pretty cheap.

    I have a short crowbar (currently a Stanley model) that I have used for lots of
    real work, possibly the same one for 50 years. Would not want it confiscated
    or called something criminal…
    So many tools are being declared weapons these days.

  71. Spook says:

    “If it comes to that, I’d also wear the typical-for-MY-area emergency services fluorescent-green jacket or vest while I was out be-bopping through the ‘hood.”

    High-visibility vest: check.
    Camo to swap for it: check!

    Edit:
    Don’t forget that you don’t have to cover up all the gray with fluorescent to be seen, but you do have to cover up all the fluorescent NOT to be seen.

  72. nick flandrey says:

    It’s a burglary tool if that’s all you’re carrying, but just part of your carpenter kit if you got the whole tool box with you.

    My GOOD kit includes a 3 ft bolt cutter, a hacksaw with the carbide rod saw installed, a big steel handled 24oz framing hammer, and a wonder bar. A cordless angle grinder with a cutoff wheel was in the kit too, but it eats batteries. If I thought I’d really need it, I’d add a corded grinder and my 1200w inverter and an extension cord.

    Remember to attack the weak link, ie, not the hardened hasp, but the soft chinesium latch the lock is thru… not the chain, but the eye bolt.

    A paint scraper, 5 in 1 tool, used as a push knife is cool too.

    http://www.vententersearch.com/pockets.htm

    everything on this guy’s site is interesting, particularly from the pov of using judiciously applied force to enter…

    n

  73. Spook says:

    Nice list!

    And that fireman’s pockets link has a lot of cheap fixes, best bets in a pinch! Wow. Need to spend some time there.

  74. Dave Hardy says:

    Yeah, nice link, Mr. Nick. Lots of ideas there.

    But gotta hit the ol’ sack about now; wife still on the BART and won’t get to kids’ house until around 02:00 this time. I’ll talk to her tomorrow night.

    Pax vobiscum….

  75. Gavin says:

    On the odd automotive problems with odd solutions, I’ve just had a ‘miraculous’ repair occur. I’ve been driving a ’06 GMC Sierra for about 2 1/2 years now with no defrost mode, because the HVAC wouldn’t cycle round. The local GMC dealer offered to troubleshoot the problem for the paltry sum of $1000, with guestimated repair costs of $600. Not in the budget, so I’ve had to plan start and heat times so that the interior is warm enough to keep the windows clear. Some days that’s a real trick at -40 up here in central Alberta.
    So about 3 weeks ago the truck was broken into, by prying off (and taking) the passenger door handle and lock cylinder. In an excess of caution, I decided to rekey the truck, which required a new ignition lock cylinder in addition to the door handle and door lock cylinder (cost ~$400), which required disconnecting the battery. After reconnecting the battery, the system blew nothing but hot air the first time I drove the truck. The SECOND time I drove the truck, it all worked. Heat, AC, defrost, all temperatures and modes now functional.
    To the best of anyone’s guesses, the controller had the wrong positions stored for the diverter actuators, and disconnecting the battery forced a complete reinitialization of the system.
    So the dirtbag that broke into my truck saved me about $1200 dollars in repair costs to get the HVAC working.

  76. brad says:

    @SteveF: The problem with India and IT is that there are so many different institutions with such an incredible span of quality. I’ve seen some really smart people, but I’ve also seen people with degrees in IT from Indian universities sign up for our program (to get a Western degree), and be overwhelmed by our first semester courses.

    Also: their working style is a poor fit for Western companies: An stereotypical Indian worker will do exactly what you tell them, nothing less, but also nothing more. If what you told them to do was stupid, they won’t talk back, they will just unquestioningly do whatever you said. When they get to the end of their explicit instructions, they just sort of run down and stop. Apparently, individual initiative is not allowed, so they have it trained out of them?

    I have known exceptions, but as a general rule working with them is utterly frustrating, unless you enjoy being a micromanager. At one shop where I did a bit of consulting, I remember the boss walking continuously from desk to desk, issuing instructions like “put that CD back in its case”. Really, that kind of level of micromanagement. Incredible.

  77. Greg Norton says:

    @SteveF: The problem with India and IT is that there are so many different institutions with such an incredible span of quality. I’ve seen some really smart people, but I’ve also seen people with degrees in IT from Indian universities sign up for our program (to get a Western degree), and be overwhelmed by our first semester courses.

    I’ve mentioned here before that my CS grad program at [mediocre Texas public university] was 98% Indian. We had to teach remedial C++ and general programming concepts, and many of the professors looked the other way on the cheating in order to keep the foreign tuition checks flowing.

    I remember one professor opening the semester *begging* the Indian students not to cheat in his class. “That is not part of the culture here in the US.”

    The prof promised ‘B’s to anyone who would simply show up.

  78. SteveF says:

    The dregs of the Indian IT graduates and workforce come to the US and Europe to be consultants, and those are the ones I’ve seen for the past decade or so.

    As for them carrying out the tasks they’re specifically told to do, that’s at best a “sometimes”. My experience is that they’ll do the least they can do which they can claim is compliance with the instructions, won’t do anything productive at all if they can get away with it, and they’ll spin excuses and promises for the future faster than a speeding bullet. Again, this is my experience with Indian IT consultants over the past ten years; however, it’s highly conformant with reports from others. Indian staff programmers and engineers are a mixed bag.

  79. SteveF says:

    many of the professors looked the other way on the cheating in order to keep the foreign tuition checks flowing

    grr

    Yah, seen that. It wasn’t with Indians, it was with Middle Easterners. One professor gave a bunch of 0s to the cheaters, then the students complained, then rumor has it that the professor was yelled at, then there were changes to the way tests were designed and administered, much more open-book.

  80. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    No surprise there. Competence is by no means the only virtue the progs have been attacking for decades.

  81. nick flandrey says:

    “Indian staff programmers and engineers are a mixed bag.”

    PEOPLE are a mixed bag.

    And that is one of the very fundamental things the progs get wrong, and leads to cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, every variation needs to be celebrated, held up to the light, and worshiped, but on the other, all people are at heart the same – needing improvement. Everyone in the group is identical in motivation, history, and desire, but most especially ABILITY. It’s a very industrial age, assembly line sort of belief. The only way every worker is exactly interchangeable on the line is if all of them are working at less than their individual capacity. Everyone’s performance is held down to the lowest common denominator. You see this in everything they do, once you know what to look for.

    And you see it fail spectacularly when you treat brain power workers as if they were interchangeable flesh robots on an assembly line. What you end up with is the lowest common denominator, typing out lines of characters (which may or may not do anything useful.) Even the metric “lines of code generated” is based on this idea, as if all code (intellectual output) was the same.

    n

  82. SteveF says:

    Everyone’s performance is held down to the lowest common denominator. You see this in everything they do, once you know what to look for.

    Like 1984, “Harrison Bergeron” is taken by some as an instruction manual.

  83. Jim Lang says:

    I gave up on teaching. I recall one student at graduation who thanked me for the “C” in Systems Analysis. He was getting his Associate’s degree. Funny thing is, he failed my class. His grade was something like 52%, and I was pretty lenient in grading.

    This guy was very good at following instructions and putting peg A into hole B. He’d have been a great press or mill operator, or even a crossing guard. For management, the key would be to instruct him to ask for help as soon as something unexpected happened, as he was unable to handle unexpected situations. I’d guesstimate his IQ to be between 65 and 85, though I could be wrong. Retarded is not an epithet here. He was just very slow.

    Seems his parents had deep pockets, and were paying cash for his tuition. They wanted him to be treated like everyone else instead of the reliable, dependable person he could have been. There’s now way he could succeed in IT.

    That’s not _why_ I stopped teaching, but it was a small part of it. Throw 500 such students at a wall & see how many collapse before they figure out there’s a door.

  84. brad says:

    @Greg: That’s pretty sad. Blatant cheating ought to be an automatic fail. Keeping crappy students just to rake in foreign tuition is a sad way to do business.

    I did have a Russian student who never grasped the system. He told me, in all seriousness, that his Russian instructors distributed the solutions before the exams. He couldn’t understand why we didn’t do that, because it might mean that people would fail. I don’t know really anything about Russian culture, but he seemed entirely serious – I don’t think he was joking.

    Thankfully, my school has always backed me when I fail students. Failing students is important, in the early-semester courses I teach, because someone who has chosen the wrong program of study needs to move on to something they are actually good at. Milking them for tuition money, even when they are clearly in the wrong program of study – that’s just evil.

  85. SteveF says:

    Milking them for tuition money, even when they are clearly in the wrong program of study – that’s just evil.

    If you insert “or when their program of study will not enhance their career prospects and they’re not rich enough for a life of idleness and personal improvement” you will have described 90% of “higher” “education” as evil. Sounds about right.

  86. Dave Hardy says:

    I will take Mr. SteveF’s 90% figure and apply that to the fact that 90% of college students don’t belong in college, period. It’s an extension of the publik skool babysitting racket, simply an exchange of babysitters for much higher rates.

    I’d close 90% of the colleges and universities and the ENTIRE publik skool system forthwith, given the power to do so.

  87. MrAtoz says:

    I’d close 90% of the colleges and universities and the ENTIRE publik skool system forthwith, given the power to do so.

    That would deprive me of 90% of my Obola/tRump bucks, so, request denied, sir!

  88. lynn says:

    “Or am I slated to just pay taxes for welfare for the dreamers ?”

    Bingo. And you’ll shut up about it, too, and take your fleecing like a docile and obedient little lamb. Or else you’ll be rayciss, etc., etc., and a white supremacist Nazi.

    Jawohl mein herr !

    My mother has recounted eating supper at her grandmother’s house south of Wharton several times. They would first say a prayer. Then they would chant, in German of course, “if you do not work, you shall not eat” and then eat. My great grandmother was born in Stuttgart and emigrated to the USA in 1900 or so.
    https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=91941204

  89. lynn says:

    And I see where Cankles wants to abolish the electoral college. She apparently does not understand that the US is a democratic republic of states, not a democracy. Without the electoral college three states, CA, NY, FL would basically rule the rest of the states.

    The US is a constitutional republic of states, not a democracy.

    Fixed that for you. Today, that is. Tomorrow, who knows.

    And my neighbor wants the presidential election to be popular vote election real bad. I’m not sure why he moved out to the suburbs if he want to vote like he is in the 3rd Ward that he grew up in and abhors.

  90. Dave Hardy says:

    Your neighbor might not like it so much if the popular vote becomes the winner for a mad-dog tyrant who really is more like Adolph than tRump supposedly is. Instead of, for, say, Commissar Bernie or Field Marshal Rodham or that blithering idiot shitbag Gavin Newsome out in Sodom-on-the-Bay.

  91. DadCooks says:

    On a side but related note the WA State Secretary of State just forwarded to respective county prosecutors 74 cases of voter fraud. This was not some deep or thorough check, just obvious findings from before tRump’s election integrity commission was set up. BTW, WA State is a 100% vote-by-mail state.

  92. OFD says:

    Voter fraud?

    Shocking.

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