Sun. May 6, 2018 – tab clearing

Bright crisp day here in Houston, sunny and light clouds. Currently 76F with a tolerable 70%RH.

The NOAA national forecast has been a bit hit or miss lately. Maybe spring weather in the Gulf Region is harder than the rest of the year to predict. I found them to be right on for a long time, but it hasn’t been right lately.

Tab clearing.

There is more to this story. Got to be.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5692557/Criminal-gang-members-used-swarm-drones-obstruct-FBI-agents-hostage-raid.html

They know where the staging area is, and are set up to harass them. This suggests intel and planning. NOT something I really want to see in a street gang… ie. multinational insurgent army. Couple this with the 2 officers shot in Chicago, while sitting in their surveillance van, and a disturbing picture begins to emerge.

And wrt the use of drones, they also use them to deliver drugs and phones to prisoners.

Check out this drone, and it’s touted capability…. http://hitecnology.hitecrcd.com/drones

Now imagine a half pound of fentanyl dumped into a crowd from height…. there’s not enough Narcan in the city to respond to that.

=======================

The broader world is beginning to wake up to the issue. Don’t we feel smart for discussing it some time ago?

“Should self driving cars be programmed to sacrifice their passengers? New study calls for ‘urgent’ debate over the ethics of autonomous vehicles”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5692921/New-study-calls-urgent-debate-ethics-autonomous-vehicles.html

Note the use of standard tactics here, calls for debate. Form a committee. Talk and nonsense while the thing under debate becomes a fait accompli.

And that should give us something to talk about, if anything is needed!

nick

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27 Responses to Sun. May 6, 2018 – tab clearing

  1. JimL says:

    66º and sunny. It’s going to be another beautiful day south of the shallowest pool.

    Yesterday I had a first-time race do a better job than some long-established customers. They paid attention to other events and did the things they liked. I wish everyone were that organized.

    I had 5 yards of gravel delivered yesterday. 2 hours of spreading and it’s only half-done. The rest gets done today, as well as the first mowing of the season. Spring is here.

    Neighbor idiot decided to shoot his handgun at the end of the day. The handgun doesn’t bother me; the setup he used did. He put a target 25 yards out and shot at it. The backstop was his lawn, with woods behind that. There was not a lot of angle for deflection. If a round hits a flat stone, the ricochet could be dangerous. Now I know he’s armed and I know he’s dumb.

    In contrast, our shooting area is into a bank with a good 10 degrees of coverage behind it. 10 am to 6 pm this time of year – plenty of light and not many people sleeping. Kids are old enough that they need to know how to handle them.

    I used the neighbor as a training lesson. Eldest was able to figure out what could go wrong and where not to be when that happens. Today we’ll look over our setup and see what’s good and what needs to be changed.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    “I know he’s armed and I know he’s dumb. ”

    This is my default assumption….
    n

  3. Greg Norton says:

    Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law at work.

    SLS will fly once. Then what?

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/nationworld/ct-nasa-spacex-rocket-elon-musk-20180505-story.html

  4. CowboySlim says:

    SLS will fly once. Then what?

    Confucious say: “What go up, must come down.”

  5. Greg Norton says:

    Confucious say: “What go up, must come down.”

    The tower NASA currently has for SLS was a $300 million leftover from the single launch of Ares, but it leans and is considered structurally unsound. NASA received $400 million in the recent budget deal for an interim replacement tower for the SLS test flights, but that structure will be inadequate for the big rockets planned to go to Mars.

    Next time you go to FL, take the upgrade tour at Kennedy. It is an education in many ways, especially if you have a tour guide who doesn’t drink the Kool Aid.

  6. Greg Norton says:

    And wrt the use of drones, they also use them to deliver drugs and phones to prisoners.

    A blanket ban on drones would be unenforceable.

    We were at an open house event at Dallas Maker Space shortly after they built their laser cutter. One group got up and gave a presentation about building drones out of a single sheet of foam and $100 worth of motors/electronics.

    Sure, the DMS group had a laser cutter, but the same pattern could be cut out of the foam by hand if someone was motivated and patient.

  7. CowboySlim says:

    Next time you go to FL, take the upgrade tour at Kennedy.

    I went to FL, but not for Kennedy SC tours, for Delta II launches from CCAFS.

  8. SteveF says:

    Might as well try a blanket ban on guns. A reasonably handy man with a few tools and some scrap can make a good-enough single-shot in his garage, probably several per hour after doing a few. Someone with better skills and better tools can make a disguised weapon. Someone with a 3D printer can make an almost non-metallic firearm. Ban firearms? Good luck with that.

    Ammunition would be difficult for the DIYer, but there are billions of uncontrolled rounds in the US. And that’s the difference between the US and almost everywhere else. Brits, Germans, and Swedes have power tools and sections of steel pipe, but they don’t have ammo cans with a thousand rounds of 9mm. Sorry, guys, but you and your parents traded essential liberty for an illusion of security.

  9. DadCooks says:

    Gooberment knows best, especially in Californication (via Engadget)
    California to require solar panels on most new homes

    There’s no question that solar power is entering the mainstream, but California is about to give it a giant boost. The state’s Energy Commission is expected to approve new energy standards that would require solar panels on the roofs of nearly all new homes, condos and apartment buildings from 2020 onward. There will be exemptions for homes that either can’t fit solar panels or would be blocked by taller buildings or trees, but you’ll otherwise have to go green if your property is brand new.

    The plan doesn’t require that a home reach net-zero status (where the solar power completely offsets the energy consumed in a year). However, it does provide “compliance credits” for homebuilders who install storage batteries like Tesla’s Powerwall, letting them build smaller panel arrays knowing that excess energy will be available to use off-hours.

    The new standards are poised to hike construction costs by $25,000 to $30,000 (about half of which is directly due to solar), but the self-produced energy is estimated to save owners $50,000 to $60,000 in operating costs over the solar technology’s expected 25-year lifespan.

    I’ll leave it to @CowboySlim to fully explain the folly.

  10. JimB says:

    Solar mandate? I want a home nuclear reactor. Works at night. Could be cheap and safe. See pebble bed reactors.

  11. Ray Thompson says:

    I’ll leave it to @CowboySlim to fully explain the folly.

    Why? You think Slim is as stupid as the leaders in CA?

    My older brother has panels on his house, saves him a lot of money. However he still has to pay the CA utility company for electricity that has been generated from his panels. The rational is that he is using their equipment to distribute his generated power and therefore must pay for that privilege.

  12. lynn says:

    My older brother has panels on his house, saves him a lot of money. However he still has to pay the CA utility company for electricity that has been generated from his panels. The rational is that he is using their equipment to distribute his generated power and therefore must pay for that privilege.

    Unless he has a storage system, usually an electric battery, he is using the public utility as a storage system. He has to pay for that privilege.

    And if he goes off the grid, he will probably have to pay still. You know, for breathing.

  13. CowboySlim says:

    I’ll leave it to @CowboySlim to fully explain the folly.

    Roger that. If it truly saved you money, why would they have to legislate it? Why would you not buy it anyway?

    Furthermore, why do you have to buy what is installed on your roof. My electrical energy come from a generating station that burns CH4. But, I do not have to own any of the plant to buy that energy. By the same token, why can’t Solar One install on my roof, but retain ownership and I pay them for what goes through the meter (which I don’t own either). Nor do I own my CH4 meter.

    Now, off to buy some gasoline from a refinery of which I own no part thereof.

    Back next week on the fraud of the H2 powered vehicle. Well, in the meantime Lynn can tell you about steam reforming and CO2 production.

  14. DadCooks says:

    @Ray said:
    Why? You think Slim is as stupid as the leaders in CA?

    Certainly not, he has mentioned before the lies of solar power. Without massive gooberment assistance/subsidies it would be too expensive to manufacture and without the environmental bureaucraps looking the other way to ignore the environmental damage caused by the manufacture and disposal of solar (add: that’s why most of the stuff is made in China). And the life of the panels is nowhere near 25 years (the lose production capacity every year they are in use, essentially useless in just a few years). The same goes for the battery banks. That is just a start.

    Yes, self contained nuclear plant, home sized and community sized. The technology is already to go. Totally sealed units that if somebody is stupid enough to try and crack one open they would cook in minutes.

  15. Ray Thompson says:

    Certainly not, he has mentioned before the lies of solar power.

    I was being sarcastic. Emphasizing the lack of any real intelligence in CA leaders. Slim shirts(-r) more intelligence than exists in the CA legislature.

  16. Greg Norton says:

    By the same token, why can’t Solar One install on my roof, but retain ownership and I pay them for what goes through the meter (which I don’t own either).

    If you live in Texas, you’re behind Warren Buffett’s Oncor “moat”, peasant.

  17. Greg Norton says:

    Yes, self contained nuclear plant, home sized and community sized. The technology is already to go. Totally sealed units that if somebody is stupid enough to try and crack one open they would cook in minutes.

    Back in FL, about once every six months, someone would try to tap the amonia pipeline that ran not far our house. The end result was never pretty, but they would still try.

  18. dkreck says:

    Solar is heavily subsidized by tax dollars. And who do you think pays. Certainly not the guys living in 50 yo dumps. Oh and the tax assessor will up your value for having solar. Where’s that savings now?

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    Anyone think the roof underneath will last 25 years?

    solar panels on the roof create big headaches for fire fighters too.

    I get a call every couple of weeks pushing it, but my roof is shaded. when I tell them that they look on google earth…

    n

  20. paul says:

    Might as well try a blanket ban on guns. A reasonably handy man with a few tools and some scrap can make a good-enough single-shot in his garage, probably several per hour after doing a few.

    Pipe bombs made with PVC and a handful of nails, is, in theory, easy. Cheaper than buying pressure cookers for sure. Not Molotov easy, but perhaps safer to deploy. Perhaps a bit more subtle to use than toting a pressure cooker around. I’m just guessing. I haven’t Googled, I’m not that interested. Then again, just use sticks of dynamite. Light and throw like in the old cowboy movies.

    My entry alarm and (if it worked, gotta double check my wiring) gate opener sense metal. Iron. “Interference in the magnetic field”. Cars and trucks and lawn mowers and tractors. No critters. They may sense aluminum but I doubt it. I have a small sheet, larger than a shovel. Just need to experiment. If it doesn’t respond to sheet aluminum, instead of nails, strip aluminum wire out of the Romex sheath and chop it up into nail sized pieces. Or perhaps just use small rocks and no worries about metal detectors at all. Shrug.

    But I’m assuming the sensors detect iron. Which doesn’t explain folks finding gold and silver coins with metal detectors.
    Plus when walking the dogs a few months ago I set the announcer off. With a beer in one hand and four stainless steel pins in my leg. I’ve never set the gate opener off. So I’m probably full of bovine stuff about all of this.

    Time to start supper. And get a fresh beer. Hey, it’s Sunday. 🙂

  21. paul says:

    Anyone think the roof underneath will last 25 years?

    Well, my shingle roof was pushing 30. No leaks. A few hail dents. It was white/gray which I’m sure made a difference. Now I have a metal roof. Over my old roof.

    First step was 1x4s nailed to the roof. Then 3/4 inch foam board, ala Celotex, fitted between the 1x4s. Then the metal… off white color.

    I should be set for about a hundred years.

    Attic temps in the summer run about 15+ house temp. So, 80F in house, 95F in attic, and 105F outside.
    In the winter the attic is about 10F warmer than inside the house on a sunny day. I think I should add insulation…. at least lay fiberglass batts over the air ducts.

  22. Nick Flandrey says:

    quick garden update, the bush beans are now about 9″ to 12″ high, some of the sweet peas have sprouted, some have not.

    My grapevines, which actually set fruit, are under attack by the same caterpillars as last year. I noticed one or two leaves were lacy two days ago but I was too busy to spray… today, one vine is almost bare and the other is about 50% stripped of leaves. I hope my spraying will save the vines. I know they grow in the wild, so wtf is up with the caterpillars? They can strip a vine in a couple days, so how does anything survive in the wild?

    My zukes are flowering and about the size of 2 gallon buckets (the plants, not the fruit.)

    beats are coming in. I’ll have to replant the radishes and turnips…

    At my rent house, my wildflower mix actually sprouted. I don’t think the bed gets any direct sun at all, so we’ll see. Weeds are pretty hardy, so maybe they’ll make it.

    My basil self planted, and is growing in nicely. Mint came back too.

    Bougainvillea is sprouting, hooray. It looked like a bonsai due to previous freezing and a small pot stunting it. The freeze killed everything above the soil this time, so it’s nice to see it coming back.

    Get some garden in and start trying to grow stuff! The learning curve is steep.

    n

  23. Nick Flandrey says:

    WRT attic temps, last summer I was pulling some cable and the attic was 140F. WAY too hot to be safe.

    I’ll be in an attic next week or the week after. My proposal was accepted and I’ll be putting in some cams for a client. I’ve already prepped the client that my attic time will be limited by the heat. It’ll take whatever it takes to do safely. I’ll def be wearing my cool vest.

    n

  24. paul says:

    When I wrapped my air ducts, 10:30 am was the limit. I don’t know what the temp was but when your _shins_ are sweating and all you are wearing is a pair of shorts or just underwear (so the dangly bits aren’t in the fiberglass) , it’s time to get out.

    Wrap air ducts? Cheap shit. Like a dryer vent hose with an inch or so of fiberglass for insulation and covered with a gray plastic.

    The gray plastic fell apart like a plastic grocery bag in the sun. Maybe 18 years old when I found it. But this is in the attic. No UV involved. Many rolls later of heavy duty Reynolds Wrap later and the ducts are half assed insulated. Not much insulation to start with. So that’s why I want to cover the ducts with batts.

    My clue to the problem was when the A/C kicked on and the first thing was a big blast of hot air.

    I like my house. It’s a Jim Walter. It’s well built. But they only went to 90% done. And I’ve been fixing that 10% of eff-ups since 1993. Thank goodness the electric wiring was part of the 90%.

    🙂

  25. brad says:

    Attic insulation definitely pays for itself. If I had a US-constructed home, I think I would insulate both top and bottom. Prevent it from getting so hot – as Nick points out, you just can’t work in that kind of heat. Also put flooring down, so you don’t have to fret about accidentally punching through the ceiling. Of course, a lot depends on the clearance you have, and how the house is built, but insulation is cheap.

    The FBI and the “drone swarm” – frankly, it makes no sense. Drones spying out the FBI types in their hidey holes would be individually controlled. So if there is a “swarm” of drone, then there is a swarm of people. I don’t buy it. Likely there was a single drone, maybe two, but the FBI folk were mightily annoyed that their targets were actually that clever.

    I don’t buy that the drones were buzzing the FBI types either. If they were, they could be knocked down. More likely, they were just hovering, watching, and making the poor officers feel helpless.

    Like the Apple decryption story – they will use stories like this to push for restrictions on everyone. It’s more important to them to keep their jobs simple, than it is to preserve freedoms for the populace in general.

  26. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yeah, that drone story is missing something. I’ll guess that the well equipped cartels might be using drones. We know they have a couple of years experience using them to drop phones and other contraband into prisons. It’s possible they have upped their intel and countermeasures game, since there is allegedly a ‘army to cartel’ pipeline in the Latin countries and we are training their army. That makes it possible that they have been exposed to some high level doctrine…

    Interesting to think about in terms of Civil War 2.0 from a home grown insurgency too.

    My security trade magazines are all full of ‘drone threat’ articles and drone countermeasures and detection. The fentanyl scenario is a nightmare. Also one that is guaranteed to generate a VERY strong counter response.

    n

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