Mon. April 30, 2018 – jeez, April is gone….

Well, not quite but mostly.

61F and damp but forecast calls for warm and clear. Another beautiful day in Houston.

Lots of stuff going on in the world of man, and the freaking Yellowstone caldera is heating up. Wouldn’t that just be the icing on the cake if a tabloid with scare headlines was right and the super volcano is gonna blow? Dude, that blows.

My little one is in less pain today, but staying home from school to see the ortho.

Wife is staying home too, and she’s in a cleaning and throwing out mood… which is both dangerous to preps, and ends up pulling me off my list of todos.

Oh well, add it to the list………..

n

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49 Responses to Mon. April 30, 2018 – jeez, April is gone….

  1. Greg Norton says:

    Lots of stuff going on in the world of man, and the freaking Yellowstone caldera is heating up. Wouldn’t that just be the icing on the cake if a tabloid with scare headlines was right and the super volcano is gonna blow? Dude, that blows.

    The UK papers love that Yellowstone caldera story for some reason. With the recent uptick in geyser activity, the US papers are going along with it.

    If something is going on, the USGS knows. That is the most studied volcano on Earth. It would have leaked by now due to the sheer number of people involved.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Oh, forgot to mention, you wouldn’t believe how bad a single rotten frog in a bucket can smell…

    n

    (thought I had a rat in the soffit, very glad when I found the bucket)

  3. dkreck says:

    How desperate are things out there. Mom’s water heater went out Friday afternoon so Saturday with some help I changed it out. Put the old one in the alley and planned to call the city for a bulk item pickup on Monday. No need. Gone by Sunday afternoon. It did still have the copper flex pipes and brass safety valve but thankfully they took it all. Wonder what the scrap value actually is.

  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    Scrap prices have recovered somewhat but are still WAY down from the peak…

    We are supposed to have regular heavy trash pickup this week, first time since Harvey, so there is a HUGE amount of stuff out on the curbs.

    No metal or wire lasts long on the curb. I had some leftovers from my ‘pallet o fire extinguishers’ that were steel and out of date. Can’t sell them to my scrap guy without emptying the residual powder and punching a visible hole in the tank. Way too much work for a pound or two of steel at 4c/#.

    Put them on the curb and they were gone the next morning.

    Our local scrappers will cut the cords off any appliances put out, which p!sses me off. Most of the time the appliances (vacuums are very common) are easily fixed or still working, until the cord goes missing.

    n

  5. JimL says:

    49º and sunny today. I am beat up from the weekend, but isn’t that what Mondays are for? Recovery?

    Digging out of the SCO troubles. My first choice of host servers for VMWare workstation won’t do. Seems Server 2008 won’t take VMWare 14. But 2008R2 should be fine. So I’m digging up a server I had retired several years ago because it has all SATA drives and is just SLOW. It runs Server 2008R2, so it will do.

    And I’ve been notified that some of the scripts from the old machine are not running right yet. So more troubleshooting to do. I’m getting to the point that I can actually edit a file with vi and completely bork it up before completing it. Yay me!

    And you may keep my email address & other identifying information as long as you need to. I put it in there knowing that others can see it. This does not bother me, and I give this consent without coercion. Really. My very own free will.

  6. Bruce Friend says:

    So the Californication of Texas continues: UT to treat masculinity as a mental health problem. https://pjmedia.com/trending/university-of-texas-to-treat-masculinity-as-a-mental-health-issue/

    Such a waste.

  7. Greg Norton says:

    So the Californication of Texas continues: UT to treat masculinity as a mental health problem.

    The morning drive time hosts on the big San Antonio Clear Channel station will periodically expound on their belief that a wall should be built in Texas … around Travis County (Austin metro). They say that we have a pretty good idea as to what should be done with illegal immigrants from points south but not a clue about what to do with Travis “intellectuals”.

    Closer to home, my wife had to be a good citizen and fill in at Girl Scout camp this weekend after another mommy begged off, claiming she had to work both days. It turns out that the mommy actually had tickets to the Levitation Music Festival (???) in Austin, and she went with friends who were down from Hood River, Oregon, where the family (deatbeat mommy’s) used to live.

    I don’t miss the Northwest. Austin wants to be Portland — God only knows why.

  8. nick flandrey says:

    Just noticed that the container I use for sugar in the kitchen says it’s “Certified carbon free”. Reading the details, they pay someone to use their registered phrase, and do so because by generating some of their own energy (probably by burning byproducts) they ‘offset’ their use of fossil fuels.

    Bull!

    Isn’t sugar mostly carbon? Isn’t the plastic jar (that I have been reusing for years to save the sunk cost of its manufacture) made from hydroCARBONS?

    What do you think the likelihood is that their burning cane waste is soot free (carbon again)?

    I don’t know how the original jar of sugar (made from ‘sun sweetened’ sugar cane) ended up in my cupboard or when, but I’ll bet that by reusing that nice plastic jar with the plastic shaker or spoonful lid, I’ve done more to save the planet than them.

    Sheep. The shearing is now, the mutton comes later.

    n

  9. lynn says:

    “UPDATE: Heart Rocker Ann Wilson’s Husband Sentenced For Assaulting Sister Nancy’s Children”
    http://crimefeed.com/2017/04/heart-break-wilson-sisters-put-band-on-hold-after-anns-husband-assaults-nancys-children/

    Bummer, I only got to see Heart once about 5 or 6 years ago. They were awesome and I would pay to see them again in a heartbeat.

    And I am glad that Ann Wilson is too old to have children with this guy.

  10. mediumwave says:

    @jim~: A while back you commented on reading Wylie’s “A Generation of Vipers”. If you were actually able to finish the book, you’re a better man than me; I got about a third of the way through and had to give up because of the excessive bile and vitriol. I haven’t encountered that much anger since reading Twain and Mencken.

    Wylie should’ve stuck to fiction.

  11. paul says:

    Any suggestions for TV ears?

    The neighbor bought a pair of mystery brand a few months ago and really liked them. Wireless (radio) with 75 feet or so of range, stereo, balance control, tone controls on the base. They suddenly decided to randomly not charge. Sometimes, no charge, sometimes, no problems. When they do charge, he can use them all day. They are too old to return to Amazon and no longer available.

    He bought a pair of TV Ears brand and pretty much hates them. Infrared line of sight and monaural. If that’s not enough, the power/volume control is cheesy like a cheap transistor radio… and if goes from off to very faint to way way too loud. But they can be returned.

    I’ll have time to shop this afternoon. Thanks for any help.

  12. Greg Norton says:

    Bummer, I only got to see Heart once about 5 or 6 years ago. They were awesome and I would pay to see them again in a heartbeat.

    Nancy Wilson wrote the music for “Almost Famous” and coached the actors on how to act like rock stars. Recommended if you haven’t seen it.

    My last concert was Huey Lewis, after he returned from Portland exile to headline two nights at the zoo. We also saw Huey during the previous exile year at Maryhill.

  13. nick flandrey says:

    @paul,

    Got my dad Brookstone RF ones. They are all disposable in one sense. Little battery only has so many charge cycles. The cheaper ones probably don’t spend much if any money on charge regulation, which will eat up a battery. If the instructions say to remove the unit from the charger when charging is complete, you know it’s a cheap one.

    Also, depending on your setup, you may need adapters. Most come with a stereo mini plug. If you are using an amp, you will likely need to get into an rca pair. If a modern HDMI tv, you need to make sure your tv has an audio out, and see what connectors it has. Getting headphones to work, without killing the room audio (which is what we do for my dad, so mom can watch too, just at a reasonable level) may take some messing around.

    Sennheiser makes some too, and I’ve had good luck and bad luck with them. The infrared failed, the RF worked well.

    n

  14. lynn says:

    My last concert was Huey Lewis, after he returned from Portland exile to headline two nights at the zoo. We also saw Huey during the previous exile year at Maryhill.

    My last concert was last summer with Journey with the Filipino lead singer. Asia opened for them (with the original Ruggles keyboarder so they played “Video Killed the Radio Star”). It was a great concert. We also went with my parents as my mother loves Journey.

    About a month before that, my wife took me to see Joan Jett and the Blackhearts opening for Boston. Both bands were awesome.

    All here in Sugar Land at our new 6,400 seat indoor (air conditioned !) theater.
    http://www.smartfinancialcentre.com/

  15. lynn says:

    “Vancouver Gas Prices Nearing $8 A Gallon — The Highest In North America”
    http://dailycaller.com/2018/04/29/vancouver-gas-prices-nearing-8-a-gallon-the-highest-in-north-america/

    Yup, this is what the Global Warming crowd want for all of us. Both carbon taxes of $2/gallon of gasoline and short supplies due to lack of new gasoline infrastructure. These crazy people think that they can starve people off energy.

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

  16. mediumwave says:

    https://xkcd.com/1987/

    Hopefully, Python’s days are numbered.

  17. ITguy1998 says:

    My last concert was Jimmy Buffet in 2010 in Nashville. That was the year of the flood in Nashville. We were driving up and some roads were being closed. We didn’t know the status of downtown, but made the decision to keep on anyways. Our hotel was within walking distance of the arena. Turned out fine.

    The concert itself was average. In my opinion, Jimmy just lost a step, even then. I’ve seen him several times before, and he was much better. I do give him credit though. He came out and updated everyone on the rain and flooding, and said something like “It’s raining like hell out there, so everyone just stay here and lets party.”

  18. JLP says:

    We have had a set of Insignia wireless over the ear headphones for a little over a year now. I have never worn them but my roommate says they work fine. I checked them out at Best Buy (~$75) and bought them on Amazon (~$50).

    I have excellent hearing and she doesn’t. This caused all sorts of issues watching the TV until the headphones. I like to watch the TV with the volume set from 10 to 15. She usually wants it around 25 to 30.

    I have always hated loud noise. I’ve been to very few concerts in my day and always listened to music at just enough volume to hear it clearly. I’ve always used ear plugs or ear muffs whenever using power equipment. As a result I have made it into my 50s with the hearing of a person in their 20s.

  19. Greg Norton says:

    Yup, this is what the Global Warming crowd want for all of us. Both carbon taxes of $2/gallon of gasoline and short supplies due to lack of new gasoline infrastructure. These crazy people think that they can starve people off energy.

    Premium went well over $5 in WA State a few years ago during the big runup. I once paid $5.09 for regular, but that was only once.

    If it is $8/gallon now, imagine what will happen if oil goes to $150/bbl again.

  20. mediumwave says:

    Last concert: Jethro Tull at The Warehouse in New Orleans, early 70s.

    No, I don’t get out much. Why do you ask? 😉

  21. nick flandrey says:

    I’ve mentioned that I worked in the music industry (well, live events which is a subset). Going to a concert for me feels like going to work. Not something I enjoy, and with my hearing losses, it’s usually painful, even with plugs.

    Hearing loss is no joke kids, it hurts.

    The only Buffett concert I worked, he started on time (which sucked for the hundreds of fans still in traffic outside the venue), and the sound wasn’t great (stage was on a horse race track infield, a challenging environment.) I hustled over and started coiling and stacking cable afterward, and one of his crew came over and slowed me down. He said, “Hey man, it’s BUFFETT! Nobody works that hard.”

    The worst shows were The Eagles (Hell froze), and the Judds (at a little AAA ball park on the fourth of July.) Bonnie Raite was a close third. Everyone has bad days, and the tickets cost too much for me to take the chance anymore….

    n

  22. JimL says:

    And you get better sound for a lot longer from a CD or mp3.

    I have never understood the concert experience. Yes, you get to hear the music live. But you spend a LOT of money for a single experience. For a lot less, you can get all that music and experience as long and as often as you like. Make them nickels squeal.

  23. Chad says:

    The morning drive time hosts on the big San Antonio Clear Channel station will periodically expound on their belief that a wall should be built in Texas … around Travis County (Austin metro).

    Unfortunately, Austin is the new Seattle. The place is a magnet for ultra-lib crowds similar to those that flocked to Seattle in the 90s. It’s only going to get worse.

  24. paul says:

    Shopping around and it seems that “for hard of hearing” tacks on $40. So, hey do you want to stay with something like stethoscopes or how about headphones?

    More looking. Lots of choices. Oh wait. RCA WHP141B Headphones. $45. 900Mhz like an old cordless phone. Uses two AAA NiMh batteries or any AAAs. Decent reviews. And I have a set. They’ve been gathering dust for a couple of years.

    They seem comfortable. I have them on charge. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

    The only problem I can think of would be is if the TV’s line out level is too low. I think that can be set to vary with the volume control if needed. I’ll find out later.

    Still open to suggestions.

  25. JimL says:

    I would remind everyone that the Berlin wall – meant to keep people out – was largely unsuccessful. A wall around Austin would be about as effective as the Berlin wall.

    Now, if you were to build it like a rat trap, folks could get in. Eventually, when they start eating their own, you’ll be happy you did.

  26. paul says:

    Concerts….
    I saw Head East around 1979 on South Padre Island. All I remember is that it was WAY too loud.
    I saw Supertramp at the smallish square theater near the Drum. Seeing the Motels as the opener was a nice bonus. I think saw the Judds there, too.
    There’s been a few more. Willie and etc. at Jones Country over near Livingston was sort of fun. Freaking middle of summer and they had the water turned off. $5 beers or $2 bottled water.
    The best was Tina Turner. In the Drum.

    I admit to being weird. I wear earplugs when mowing or using the chainsaw. Always have. My hearing is ok when the cicadas are singing in my right ear.

  27. paul says:

    My hearing is ok when the cicadas are singing in my right ear.

    Typo. “ok except when”.

  28. jim~ says:

    @mediumwave
    Yes, _Generation of Vipers_ was salacious, and perhaps vituperous (if I can remember how to spell that!) but observant and witty as only the Brits can be.
    If you want a slyer version of Brit sci-fi, try any of John Wyndham’s works. They are a much more veiled social commentary.

  29. lynn says:

    I admit to being weird. I wear earplugs when mowing or using the chainsaw. Always have. My hearing is ok when the cicadas are singing in my right ear.

    My tinnitus is so bad today that I can almost hear a chainsaw in each ear.

  30. nick flandrey says:

    I wear my plugs for anything that involves engines or high speed motors or percussive sounds. The kids took a few db off with shrieking and crying when they were babies.

    Steel mill coil line, air tools, saws, shooting, rock and roll- they all took their toll. The steel mill was the worst though as it was prolonged and I was too stupid to wear plugs.

    The tinnitus is bad enough I can’t sleep without some white noise to cover it, and the losses perversely cause pain at those frequencies. Noisy restaurants with the clatter of dishes and cutlery are the worst.

    I’m training the kids to look at me when they talk, the wife is not as amenable.

    n

  31. nick flandrey says:

    And now to bed.

    See you all in the morning.

    n

  32. Ray Thompson says:

    The tinnitus is bad enough I can’t sleep without some white noise to cover it

    Yep, annoying it is. I have the same issue. But I believe that my issues were caused by hours in loud computer facilities with three or four high speed impact printers operating with open covers, 30+ tape drives, a couple of card readers and two card punches operating at sustained speed for hours. Add in the hundreds of fans and ear protection should have been mandatory.

    My time in those facilities was when I was in the USAF. Me and the VA are now fighting over the issue with the VA’s feet firmly planted in the FO (Puck Off(-P+F)) column. Next step is to go to a private hearing doctor and get a dissenting opinion from what the VA states.

  33. Bill F says:

    I lost my father last week so I am late to the shiny vs. black tea pot heating discussion last week (keeping the science alive in this excellent blog).

    Conductive and convective heat transfer scale by the temperature difference but radiative heat transfer scales by temperature difference to the 4th power.

    So, the radiation from the red hot burner will add more heat to the bottom of the pot than is lost from the warm (less than 100C) pot to the surroundings on a black versus shiny pot. I don’t want to do the math right now but am confident of this… (until someone provides an argument to prove the alternative 😉 ).

    My father was a heat transfer / space flight cryogenic tank engineer so it is good for me to talk heat transfer and remember him tonight…

    PS – I continue to vote for no pictures here – more than enough of that elsewhere and we can link as needed.

  34. Bill F says:

    Regarding hearing loss; I have always tried to wear hearing protection when shooting, running chain saws, hammer drills, Caterpillars, et al., but have spent many hours playing LOUD rock. My instrument of choice is typically a Marshall stack – 100 watts of tube power running into 2 cabinets of 4X12 speakers. I have an old Fender Super Reverb that is louder than a typical cranked stack believe it or not. The last 10 years or so I only use 1 4×12 cab with the 100 watt head – too much to load in and out – we have never been a band that has the luxury of roadies. I am pretty sure that the main thing that has punished my ears is cymbals. A big hit on a big cymbal a foot from your ear will get your attention. I am playing more and more acoustic music (unplugged) lately. Really notice the hearing loss in any situation where more than one person is talking.

    A friend of ours is an eye, ears, nose and throat doc. She runs into young dudes often with massive hearing loss that could have easily been prevented by ear protection. Sad, but who am I to talk. Like the great Rod Steward Faces song says: “I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger”.

    No matter what – I still love loud rock. When you can feel the bass drum moving your lungs. There is something about standing in front of a cranked amp and feeling it move your pant legs and feed back through the guitar that is not possible to experience without being there.

    Mediumwave, I would have loved to see Tull back in the 70’s!
    One show that stands out to me is terrible Ted Nugent in Denver in the 70’s. He had dozens of Fender amps and it was loud without being obnoxious if you know what I mean. The man put on a show. We saw BB King in the same facility a month of so later. Much different volume but of the same level of awesomeness.

    Saw Foghat in a very small bar in North Dakota back in the early 90s. Very amped up blues done by true craftsmen believe it or not… (did I say I dig loud music? The first James Gang album had “made loud to be played loud” in the liner notes – very fitting).

  35. Bill F says:

    Since I am still up – If Monster Magnet comes to your town and you like very well played heavy rock – check them out. We have seen them at small venues in Minneapolis and Chicago for very low ticket costs and had excellent experiences. Now days, I will normally only go out to hear jazz, blue grass, local musicians, etc.
    I refuse to deal with the big shows anymore… We did see Heart a couple of years ago – good show (it was a local small town thing).

  36. nick flandrey says:

    @BillF, I’m very sorry for your loss. It is the natural order of things, but it is still a heartrending process.

    n

  37. nick flandrey says:

    Hah, someone else who has seen Foghat! What a great ‘almost was’ band. Better than a one hit wonder, but never quite made the bigs….

    Some great songs too, Stone Blue, Sweet Home Chicago, Slow Ride….

    Was it Rod Stewart, or Bob Seger?

    n

  38. MrAtoz says:

    Sorry for your loss, Mr. BillF. I hope he was at peace.

    As to hearing loss, being a helicopter pilot, it was drilled early on to wear earplugs WITH a flight helmet. The helmet alone is rated to protect your hearing. The squishy FOAM plugs are my favorite.

  39. DadCooks says:

    @BillF, sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. Peace.

    WRT hearing, it’s a strange duck. I will forever hear the whine of high-speed turbines and the rush of high-pressure steam in my right ear, compliments of the U.S. Navy Submarine Service. White-noise is my friend at night. I wanted an idling 16-cylinder opposed cylinder diesel for my white-noise. But the Wife made me settle for a conventional sound, an air cleaner. It works.

    BTW, the VA won’t grant me anything for my hearing. They wore me down. Got tired traveling 90 miles each way, paperwork, poking and prodding, and dealing with idiots whose only experience with The Military Services was playing Grand Poohbah over us folks who really did serve.

  40. Nick Flandrey says:

    “I wanted an idling 16-cylinder opposed cylinder diesel for my white-noise.”

    DITTO and yes please! Man I sleep well with a big diesel rumbling away. My only shipboard cruise, I slept like a baby! I used to sleep on the bus when I was doing festivals. I’d sleep like the dead until we arrived and the driver switched to internal A/C and shut off the main diesel. That change would always wake me.

    Heck, I usually fall asleep in the MRI. Humming and banging away while I have my plugs in is restful…

    n

  41. Clayton W. says:

    Noise on the sub wasn’t bad, but it was constant. In fact I would wake out of a sound sleep whenever the fans would shut off. Documented significant hearing loss at 400Hz (power supplies) and above 13KHz. No disability as it is outside the range. I have tinnitus now, some 25 years later, but there is no way the VA will acknowledge it. So be it, I still don’t regret serving.

  42. nick flandrey says:

    Yeah, a lot of my losses are above 10k. I went to a specialist in LA when I was still working with musicians. I know lots of guys will mix monitors or front of house while being functionally deaf, but if I was going to do it, I thought I owed it to my artist and the audience that I know where my deficits were. That way, I could consciously know if I was correcting for a real problem, or just my own hearing issues.

    In ear monitors should save a generation of musicians’ hearing or at least preserve as much as possible. Sound pressure levels on stage now are MUCH lower than they used to be. It was kind of disconcerting the last time I stood in the wings watching a concert just how quiet it was onstage.

    n

  43. lynn says:

    The tinnitus is bad enough I can’t sleep without some white noise to cover it, and the losses perversely cause pain at those frequencies. Noisy restaurants with the clatter of dishes and cutlery are the worst.

    I take 7 mg/day of warfarin. That really cranks my tinnitus up. The choice is stroke with blood pools forming clots in my bum heart or high revving motors in my hearing. I choose the motors.

  44. brad says:

    @BillF: My sympathy for your loss. It’s never easy, losing a parent…

    As for hearing loss – I’ve almost always been very careful. With emphasis on the almost – lazy one time too many, so I have a really annoying “notch” in my hearing at about 4khz, with tinnitus filling in the blank. Tends to make female vocals sound a bit flat, unless I compensate with an equalizer (in which case, the music sounds tinny to anyone else). Probably also the reason I have increasing trouble understanding people speaking in a crowd.

  45. jim~ says:

    @BillF
    In other words, you’re saying that Black Pots Matter?

  46. Ray Thompson says:

    BTW, the VA won’t grant me anything for my hearing.

    The trick is to create doubt, a dissenting opinion. You go to a private ENT doctor and get a statement from the doctor stating your hearing loss is most likely caused by your time in the service. Don’t rely on the VA doctors as their job is make claims void, as in not pay anything.

    I am in the process of doing that now. My primary care physician will write me a letter as will the upcoming ENT specialist stating my tinnitus is the result of time in the computer rooms. Yes, I will have to pay full cost for the private visit as Medicare will not cover that type of visit.

    I know of a couple of other people that have tinnitus and have used their private doctors to dispute the VA findings and the VA has relented and given them 10%. My brother being one of those people.

    Thus it may be worth an attempt. Yes, the VA will wear you down but you also have to wear them down and go after them with other supporting documentation. The VA is not your friend in this case.

  47. DadCooks says:

    @Ray – that was the route I followed; my private doctor, 2 ENT doctors, and then the VA (several visits, 6 “doctors” quacks). Of course this was during the reign of Obuttwad. The problem now is that the refusal is in the records, as well as the declines of 3 appeals. For what I spent in doctors appointments, time, and travel I could have bought my hearing aids.

  48. Nick Flandrey says:

    ” I could have bought my hearing aids.”

    FWIW, you want to anyway. The digital costco ones are distinctly better than the VA provided ones.

    Jerry Pournelle wrote about his many times, and that got me to convince my father (korean war era army for a couple years, then steel mills for 40yrs) to try them. They were a night and day difference, and he began initiating conversations again after years of increasing isolation.

    If you have measurable losses, give costco a try. The exam is free, and they will let you try out a pair before purchase.

    I talked about my experiences with them previously.

    n

  49. DadCooks says:

    @Nick, Costco is the way I went. Jerry Pournelle’s experience helped me decide/convinced me.

    The hearing aid business is full of over-priced, over-promised, under-delivered, and shady dealing “providers”. Costco was a refreshing light in a sea of darkness.

    BTW, IMHO, Costco’s vision services cannot be beat. Both for really thorough eye exams and glasses. The whole family has used Costco vision care since 1987. Regarding the eye exams: for a Diabetic, like me, regular eye exams are crucial. The eye doctor has a fancy high-tech camera that takes a picture of my retina and there is a software program that analyses changes over time. That fancy camera caught floaters in my wife’s peripheral vision before she even noticed them.

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