Wed. May 16, 2018 – copycat, or just raised awareness

70F and slightly less than dewy… sunny blue sky. Seems we had record heat, or nearly, yesterday. Sure felt like it.

Possible package bomb (notably not called a ‘mail bomb’ which was the phrase I grew up with) in SoCal with some serious capability. No other info except that it was intentional. Also capable.

So, two bombs in the Houston area, the previous dead guy with his string of bombs, now this one in Cali… I think the idea of a mail bomb is rising in the public consciousness, and there is clearly some accurate info out there somewhere (not the Anarchist’s Cookbook, which allegedly had purposeful mistakes to kill or maim would be bombers.)

https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/suspicious-package-indicators.pdf

Probably worth a glance, even if probability is low…

Oh yeah, our old friend Ebola is back…joy.

n

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72 Responses to Wed. May 16, 2018 – copycat, or just raised awareness

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    It looks like Seattle may get a lesson in the end of socialism, when you run out of other people’s money.

    Classic socialists, here’s a problem, let’s force someone ELSE to pay to fix it….

    Well, not so fast there schmucky.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-15/amazon-furious-after-seattle-passes-controversial-homelessness-tax

    “Amazon said in a statement. “While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here.””

    I’ll add, if he hits you before you are married, he’ll hit you after you get married. Once Seattle decided to tax, they’ll keep doing it, and doing it MORE. Get out now!

    n

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Update on Hawaii from FEMA:

    Note that bolded data point… County and state assets exhausted
    Real world input in long term disaster economics. This little disaster has EXHAUSTED county and state assets.

    Kīlauea Eruption – Hawai’i County, HI
    Situation
    On May 3, a lava flow broke to the surface in lower Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii. Twenty fissure vents have formed in and around the Leilani
    estates subdivision. Air quality in southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens has been rated “condition red” (immediate danger to health) for high levels
    of sulfur dioxide (400 to 500 ppm is considered dangerous for even short periods of exposure). HVO increased the Aviation Color Code to RED
    due to increased ash emission. Volcanic-tectonic seismicity continues.
    Impacts
    • Evacuations: Mandatory evacuations in effect for approximately 2k residents (900 homes)
    • Shelters: 2 shelters / 243 occupants (ARC Midnight Shelter Count, 5:54 a.m. EDT)
    • Injuries / Fatalities: 3 injuries / 0 fatalities
    • Damage: 36 structures (27 homes) impacted
    • Transportation:
    o Portions of Highway 130 and 132 and local roads closed due to cracks and lava flows
    o FAA Temporary Flight Restriction extended through May 26 (ash spewing up to 12,000 feet into the air)
    • 3 of 5 wells capped at Puna Geothermal Venture
    State / Local Response
    • HI EOC at Partial Activation (days only)
    • Governor declared a State of Emergency & activated HI National Guard
    County and state assets exhausted and EMAC has been activated for assistance from other states
    FEMA Response
    • Major Disaster Declaration FEMA-4366-DR-HI approved on May 11, 2018
    • FEMA Region IX RWC & Pacific Area Watch at Steady State; continue to monitor
    • FEMA Region IX LNO deployed to HI EMA EOC (O’ahu)
    • National IMAT East-1 & elements of National IMAT East-2 deployed to HI-EMA (Oahu)
    • Bothell MERS deployed to Honolulu
    • FEMA NWC continues to monitor

  3. CowboySlim says:

    I’m sure that the volcanic activity is increasing global warming. I’m going to start a gofundme for Gov. Moonbeam, Obamanous and AlGore to fly from Gaza Strip, after extinguishing tire fires, to Hawaii on last class airline tickets.

  4. JimL says:

    56º and fair in the county that voted for Trump 55-45, but is SCREAMING to replace the congress critter with a liberal. We’ll see how that goes.

    Primary elections yesterday had the expected turnout. The one really competitive city race (state rep) that I observed had just over 10% turnout at 3 pm. Others (with no exciting races) were around 5% at that time. County (where I live, but not where I assisted) had better turnout numbers. Total turnout was 22.34%.

    Interestingly enough, I voted for the candidates I thought would best represent my registered party (and my interests) in the next round. Exactly zero of them won their races. So the guy (or girl) I thought were poorer choices move on to the general election. We’ll see how that goes. I have a poor history of choosing the ultimate winner. So it goes.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    I’ll add, if he hits you before you are married, he’ll hit you after you get married. Once Seattle decided to tax, they’ll keep doing it, and doing it MORE. Get out now!

    And the WA State legislature just passed large property tax mandates to fund education in order to avoid a court imposed income tax (which I think will happen anyway).

    I’m not all that sympathetic to Amazon’s situation. The state just dug them a $4 billion tunnel under the city and replaced the floating bridge to Lake Union from Medina ($6 toll!) so AMZN employees could get into the office easier from points south and east, respectively.

    To paraphrase Lee Iacocca when he was shilling underpowered minivans to the masses, “If you can find a better politician, buy him/her.”

  6. Greg Norton says:

    Driving home yesterday, I noticed the HEB along I-35 north of downtown swapped out their gas price displays, moving “Unleaded” into what was the “Diesel” slot and “E85” into the vacated space left from shifting “Unleaded” down.

    Clever. They get to keep advertising $2.09 and $2.59, but you have to get real close to read the fuel grades.

    Everything is fine. Nothing to see here.

  7. Chad says:

    When I worked at a gas station our gas was whatever price the gas station across the street’s was. If they changed theirs we changed ours 5 minutes later. After speaking to others who used to work at gas stations that’s pretty common.

    I do wish they’d do away with that silly nine-tenths of a cent crap.

  8. Greg Norton says:

    When I worked at a gas station our gas was whatever price the gas station across the street’s was. If they changed theirs we changed ours 5 minutes later. After speaking to others who used to work at gas stations that’s pretty common.

    I believe HEB is getting ready for $3 diesel. With all the “super duty” trucks driven around here as office worker daily commuter vehicles, that’s going to be a shock, especially for the 84 month car loan crowd.

  9. Greg Norton says:

    I do wish they’d do away with that silly nine-tenths of a cent crap.

    When Diesel and Premium went above $5 gallon in WA State 5-6 years ago, that $4.999 for Regular stuck until prices pulled back. That is a huge psych barrier to breach, especially for grocery stores with loss leader gas stations in the parking lot.

  10. Chad says:

    With all the “super duty” trucks driven around here as office worker daily commuter vehicles

    I’ve always been amused by the diesel F-250/Ram 2500/Silverado 2500 white collar crowd. Maybe 10% of them have a legit reason for having that much truck.

  11. JimL says:

    I do wish they’d do away with that silly nine-tenths of a cent crap.

    Funny, that. The reason is that gasoline is taxed on the Dollars and Cents, but not on the mils. So that 9/10 of a cent (every gallon) is untaxed. Call it a penny per gallon, sell a million gallons, and see how many pennies add up. In this case, $90,000 is not taxed.

    It could be fixed legislatively by simply taxing the total amount of the sale and not the Dollars and Cents, but it probably won’t be. The sellers make almost as much on $2.999 as they do on $3.00, and people talk about gas being “Two Ninety-Nine”. To combat this, I always round up, but it’s a losing battle.

  12. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve always been amused by the diesel F-250/Ram 2500/Silverado 2500 white collar crowd. Maybe 10% of them have a legit reason for having that much truck.

    In WA State, my wife’s nurse pulled a horse trailer on weekends occasionally. When Diesel brushed $6 gallon, she bought a used Forrester (Official state car of WA/OR) for commuting but continued to make the $700 payments on a Ram which spent most of the month parked.

  13. DadCooks says:

    Enlighten me, diesels of recent generations all require something called Blue DEF that costs lots of dollars per gallon. When the cost of the Blue DEF is factored in is diesel really that much cheaper? Then factor in the cost of maintenance, which very few mechanics are really trained/qualified to perform.

    Gooberment has this nasty regular habit of taking something good and ruining it.

    I have a lot to say about Seattle and its “head tax” but I fear it would turn into a babbling rant. It’s not just the big businesses that don’t want it, but the small businesses too because they see the majority of their customers leaving when the big companies leave. I personally believe that Amazon will greatly decrease its presence in Seattle. Already several nearby cities are dangling carrots in front of Amazon.

    This past year the WA State Legislature got caught trying to pass several bills that would completely take away the rights of us Voters to have a say in anything to do with money in particular. Our local Representative was almost tarred and feathered when he had a Town Hall Meeting and was confronted with the ridiculous bills he was cosponsoring. The heat was so much that he saw the writing on the wall and has decided to “retire”.

  14. CowboySlim says:

    …. F-250/Ram 2500/Silverado 2500….

    I’m all in favor of new methodology for naming vehicles.
    How about: F-250/Rat 2500/Leaderado 2500?

  15. Nick Flandrey says:

    @jimL, thanks for that info, I suspected there was a reason beyond psychology or forcing a cashier to use the register (all the .99 prices in the store) and decrease fraud.

    I drive a big truck (Expy) because FYTW… sorta. Since F=MA, I’m just selfishly increasing my odds for survival in an accident. I don’t think it’s selfish, and I’m pretty sure my wife and kids don’t either, but I’m sure the little prius drivers do.

    Having more than one kid (there’s that selfishness again), and kids that have friends, being able to comfortably seat 7 is a real bonus.

    And anyway, I LIKE a big truck.

    n

    (I’ve also got a little truck, Ford Ranger, but if a two seater vehicle isn’t selfish, I don’t know what is…..)

  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    WRT diesel being cheaper, that was true until the states taxed the help out of diesel to put the cheap, sturdy imports out of business, and support GM and Chrysler, while crying “but the environment”. Diesel has been more expensive than gasoline for a long time.

    n

  17. Greg Norton says:

    Enlighten me, diesels of recent generations all require something called Blue DEF that costs lots of dollars per gallon. When the cost of the Blue DEF is factored in is diesel really that much cheaper? Then factor in the cost of maintenance, which very few mechanics are really trained/qualified to perform.

    I’d love someone to explain the science of DEF, especially as used in US cars. I have my doubts that it is effective when I divide the x volume of DEF required for each y volume of diesel fuel.

    I thought it was some kind of joke when I first saw the jugs appear at Buc-ee’s next to the gas pumps. My wife pointed to the display and asked, “What’s that?”

    “Horse pee … okay, “urea”. You must put it in your new diesel car every so many miles or the car won’t start.”

    “Are they kidding?”

    “Nope. The tank sits where the spare tire used to be.”

    “What if you have a flat tire?”

    “They include a can of Fix-o-flat. Progress.”

  18. JimL says:

    Blue DEF, injected into diesel exhaust, breaks NOx down to N2 and Water. It’s a specific concentration of Urea in deionized water. You couldn’t pee in the tank in a pinch – the electronics won’t work.

    One of the reasons older trucks are becoming as popular as older cars. Pre-smog cars & trucks are just easier to work on. A 1-wire diesel doesn’t even really need the 1 wire if you run a physical cable out to the injector pump. It’s a dream.

  19. JimL says:

    And to add: I’ve seen the papers describing the process. I’m not qualified to comment on how it CAN be effective. But the reduction in NOx is irrefutable.

    When I think about it, I think about catalytic converters when they came out. How could they be effective with such high-velocity exhaust? Yet they are.

  20. lynn says:

    “Repairs”
    https://xkcd.com/1994/

    In the light of yesterday’s fix, repair, or do without conversation, I will be replacing a builtin 2002 Maytag microwave very soon. The wife was heating some peanut butter (don’t ask) this morning when the microwave emitted a large SNAP and died. No time, no light, no nothing. I checked the breaker and it was ok. I figure at minimum the fusible link fried itself. But, there is usually a reason why the fusible link fries itself. And the gear on the rotating plate is stripped and rarely works. So, I figure time for a new microwave. I am thinking about this beastie:
    https://www.amazon.com/Frigidaire-FGMO205KB-Microwave-Preference-One-Touch/dp/B0029T6WP2/

  21. lynn says:

    It looks like Seattle may get a lesson in the end of socialism, when you run out of other people’s money.

    Classic socialists, here’s a problem, let’s force someone ELSE to pay to fix it….

    Well, not so fast there schmucky.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-15/amazon-furious-after-seattle-passes-controversial-homelessness-tax

    “Amazon said in a statement. “While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here.””

    I highly suspect that Amazon will be moving to Bastrop, Texas (outside Austin) soon. Center of the country, plenty of high tech workers, close to the Austin airport, plenty of land, and outside the crazies in Austin. Oh yeah, and no income tax.

    Jeff Bezos made Amazon work using the no tax model. He is willing to go to great lengths to continue that model.

  22. lynn says:

    Blue DEF, injected into diesel exhaust, breaks NOx down to N2 and Water. It’s a specific concentration of Urea in deionized water. You couldn’t pee in the tank in a pinch – the electronics won’t work.

    It is strictly a chemical reaction. The DEF fluid is 30% urea. Human pee is 10% ??? urea. Human pee is not enough urea to get the NOX reduction catalytic reaction to work properly.

    Not only do modern day diesels have NOX catalytic reducers that require DEF fluid, they also have soot burning systems that cause the engines to open the exhaust valves early when the soot catcher gets full. The still burning diesel mixture goes into the soot filter and burns the collected soot. Usually happens every 750 miles.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_particulate_filter

    I would pass on a modern diesel engine. Too complicated. The farmers and truckers are screaming as the various systems are adding $30K to the price of large tractors.

  23. lynn says:

    Diesel has been more expensive than gasoline for a long time.

    We, the USA, ship about three to five million gallons of diesel per day to Europe and Asia. It is steadily rising as cheap crude oil is produced in the USA. It will continue to rise over time. Europe has decided to run their future vehicles on electricity. I foresee issues.

    The world runs on distillate fuels, primarily diesel due to the cheap engines and high energy fuel. This will not change soon.

  24. lynn says:

    “Nope. The tank sits where the spare tire used to be.”

    “What if you have a flat tire?”

    “They include a can of Fix-o-flat. Progress.”

    My mother’s diesel Mercedes has the urea tank instead of the spare tire. I have encouraged my father to buy a spare tire but he relies on AAA. Last year, he blew a tire sidewall (4 inch nail) and had them tow his car to my office building. Where, yours truly replaced both rear tires, one at a time, when they went to Maine for August. My dad likes to run his tires down to where the car is driving on tread bars alone.

  25. Greg Norton says:

    I highly suspect that Amazon will be moving to Bastrop, Texas (outside Austin) soon. Center of the country, plenty of high tech workers, close to the Austin airport, plenty of land, and outside the crazies in Austin. Oh yeah, and no income tax.

    As the San Antonio talk station morning guys are fond of saying, “We need a wall in Texas … around Austin.”

    The other morning, the station reported that the activists who got mandatory paid sick leave passed in Austin are working to get the issue on the ballot in San Antonio this fall. The Legislature can’t take on the problem until 2019 so Abbott is working on a lawsuit based on an interpretation of Texas minimum wage caps.

    The main problem with development spreading to Bastrop is that the area floods easily due to Onion Creek and the (Texas) Colorado running through the area — I can’t remember a Memorial Day weekend when it hasn’t happened to some degree since we lived here.

    Maybe Amazon will buy Circuit of the Americas — lots of road capacity to move race fans in/out quickly, and the flooding probability is well known.

  26. IT_Pro says:

    When we remodeled our kitchen three years ago, we had a drawer microwave installed in the kitchen island. This one is similar, but I could not find the one we have in white anymore. Kind of unique, and allows materials to be easily stirred without removing the bowl from the microwave. Our appliances were white, which is becoming very hard to get. It seems as though everyone is into stainless now. By keeping our appliances white, I was able to retain our refrigerator and Bosch dishwasher.

  27. ITguy1998 says:

    Our old house had white appliances. When it was time for a new fridge, we got a black one. The goal was to make them all black eventually. A year later, we built a new house and moved. The fridge came with us. So now we have a black fridge with everything else stainless. It doesn’t bother me (or the wife) at all. It will get replaced when it dies and is no longer economical to repair.

    I’ve already fixed it once. The main board had a fault that would leave the interior light on. How do you know it actually turns off, you ask? Well, it does, and ours didn’t, because the plastic cover for the light housing was melting due to the heat. Picked up a new board on ebay for about $60 and 5 minutes to change it out. I didn’t bother changing the light cover. It only partially melted…

    I’ll ditch the fridge when the compressor goes.

  28. Chad says:

    I had read that Europe is drifting away from diesel because it’s not as environmentally friendly as they thought and so they’re removing many of the incentives they put out there to encourage people to buy diesel cars and manufacturers to make diesel versions of cars.

    You can play with the year slider on this graphic and see how the percentage of new cars that are diesel is decreasing:
    http://www.acea.be/statistics/tag/category/share-of-diesel-in-new-passenger-cars

  29. nick flandrey says:

    Circuit of the Americas is right there near where all the data warehouses are too, isn’t it? That gives Amazon a big fat pipe(s) to the internet…

    When I moved to Houston from SoCal, the biggest two advantages were being in central time zone so I could work both coasts without getting up too early, or staying too late; and the airport, giving me one hop access to pretty much everywhere in CONUS.

    n

  30. nick flandrey says:

    @ITguy, stainless fridges are usually just the black model with stainless door skins added on… at the lower end of the price spectrum anyway. You should search on your model number (sticker inside the fridge) and see if appliance parts dot com or any of the other sellers have your door skins. They might be very cheap if your fridge is older. Once you get the part number, don’t forget to search ebay. LOTS of older appliance parts on ebay.

    n

  31. IT_Pro says:

    I will miss diesel cars when I can no longer get one. I owned a ’78 Rabbit diesel that did deliver the 40 mpg city / 53 mpg highway that was promised. That had a stick and no air conditioning. I later had a 2007 Jetta diesel wagon that delivered about 45 mpg with a stick, but it did have air conditioning. I traded that one in for a 2015 Passat diesel last May when VW was finally able to sell the diesels it had sidelined several years back. I could not get a stick this time, but even with the automatic, I will get 50 -55 mpg on the highway and 42 – 45 locally. Now I also have to use the “AdBlue” DEF (diesel exhaust fluid), but only once in a year.

    During that whole time (1978 to present) diesel fuel price has either been the same or higher than gasoline, so no savings there. Just a lot better mileage without having to resort to a hybrid.

  32. JimL says:

    Funny how the diesel thing works out. Govt wants more diesel vehicles so they incentivize the production and use. When they want fewer diesel vehicles, they tax & incentivize their destruction.

    I would be much happier if they simply let the market sort it out.

    As it is, I drive a gasser because the taxes on diesel make the price/performance not work out. $5000 over the cost of a gasser is more than I would save on fuel in 5 years. Were I to drive more, or do heavier hauling than I do, the diesel would make better sense.

  33. Greg Norton says:

    When I moved to Houston from SoCal, the biggest two advantages were being in central time zone so I could work both coasts without getting up too early, or staying too late; and the airport, giving me one hop access to pretty much everywhere in CONUS.

    When you have people working 18 hour days like I did in the bad ol’ days at pre-Verizon GTE, someone is “in the office” for all but three hours in a 24 hour cycle M-F as long as you have teams on both coasts.

  34. nick flandrey says:

    We had offices in LA and outside Toronto in eastern time. It was convenient for my 10 hour day to split the difference. Of course that was only when home in my office. When traveling, having only an hour difference made the time change easier on my body too.

    n

  35. IT_Pro says:

    In a previous job, I had to have meetings to explain how aspects of our project was to be implemented with a team in India. Their day started between 12am and 1am East Coast time. I don’t know how many times I had to stay up really late because their company-provided bus was late. So it was never a short day. I was expected to also participate in a call when I arrived at the office as they completed their day around 9am East Coast time. And there was never any common sense or creativity in their work. If I did not explicitly list something like a “divide by 0” condition, it would be ignored or just fall through into the next code segment.

  36. Greg Norton says:

    Circuit of the Americas is right there near where all the data warehouses are too, isn’t it? That gives Amazon a big fat pipe(s) to the internet…

    Met Center, on the other side of the airport, is Class A space with Progressive, EarthLink, and GM as tenants (among others).

    I don’t see Amazon going to Austin due to the mass transit issue, however. They also want to be the “Big Kahuna” in the HQ2 city, and Austin doesn’t lack for those with Dell in Round Rock, Samsung east of town, and a surprisingly large Apple campus not far from my house.

    DC or Boston. Miami (Fort Lauderdale/Sunrise) as a dark horse for tax reasons, Latin America access, and because Bezos grew up there.

  37. Greg Norton says:

    Bird is working on ruining Austin too. I hate the scooter dweebs.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-jackson-bird-scooter-20180515-story.html

  38. Greg Norton says:

    In a previous job, I had to have meetings to explain how aspects of our project was to be implemented with a team in India. Their day started between 12am and 1am East Coast time. I don’t know how many times I had to stay up really late because their company-provided bus was late. So it was never a short day. I was expected to also participate in a call when I arrived at the office as they completed their day around 9am East Coast time. And there was never any common sense or creativity in their work. If I did not explicitly list something like a “divide by 0” condition, it would be ignored or just fall through into the next code segment.

    You don’t want to get me started. My grad program was, for the most part, an OPT diploma mill typical in CS departments at mediocre state schools as of late, and I nearly got kicked out when I went ballistic publicly on one individual who couldn’t understand the difference of the output of Word vs. a text editor.

    [ Cue “Sean Connery” on SNL Celebrity Jeopardy talking to Jimmy Fallon’s Robin Williams: “Boy, I think you are retarded.” ]

    Most of the students in classes with me were “stump” dumb but nearly all of them had experience working for Western tech giants back home, mostly in .Net or Java.

    Which reminds me — If any of you are interviewing a recent CS Masters grad from West Boonies State U, anything less than a 4.0 GPA means they did diddly squat, especially if pushing the 3.0 graduation minimum.

  39. nick flandrey says:

    Bird will only exist until their burn rate exceeds their ability to con suckers out of their money.

    The bike companies should look to China to see the future- huge mounds of abandoned bikeshare bikes and dozens of bankrupt companies. And that’s in a country that rides bikes.

    Electric scooters are more costly than bikes…

    n

  40. nick flandrey says:

    currently 105F in my driveway, where I’m working on my portacool. Only thing that makes it possible is my sun hat, cool vest, and the current 33%RH.

    Still, I have to take frequent breaks to cool my brain down.

    n

  41. lynn says:

    currently 105F in my driveway, where I’m working on my portacool. Only thing that makes it possible is my sun hat, cool vest, and the current 33%RH.

    We are showing 96 F real temperature out here in the sticks.
    https://www.wunderground.com/weather/us/tx/richmond/77469

    The wife is taking me to see Kenny Chesney at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in the Woodlands Thursday night. No air conditioning. It is supposed be 98 F tomorrow. I will not be wearing pants and boots. I will be wearing shorts and tennis shoes with a very light shirt.

    “Our official outlook for Summer, 2018 in Houston”
    https://spacecityweather.com/our-official-outlook-for-summer-2018-in-houston/

    “Long-time readers of this site will know that we don’t place a whole lot of confidence in seasonal forecasting. Trying to predict weather (note that’s “weather” not “climate”) conditions months in advance is not exactly an exact science.”

    My summer 2018 forecast for Houston is hot and humid with one or more cool fronts that will quickly dissipate. And mosquitoes. Lots of mosquitoes.

    And trying to predict climate is not an exact science either. Far from it.

  42. lynn says:

    BTW, I have a complaint with the Delta Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft that we rode from Helena, MT to Minneapolis to Houston. The aircraft center aisle is barely 6 foot 1 inch so I could walk it by scrunching down just a little bit, I am 6 foot 1 inch tall. But the back bathroom door is just 6 foot. And there is a metal track at the top which I nailed with my bare head walking into the bathroom. I am really surprised that I did not bleed as I was seeing stars for a few seconds.
    https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/airports-and-aircraft/Aircraft/canadair-crj-700-cg7.html

    Maybe I need to wear a hat on these planes. And the toilet area is about 5 foot 6 inches tall. That means one is leaning backwards while standing to take care of business. Not very comfortable. And no, I don’t sit down to pee as that does not work well with an enlarged prostate.

  43. Mark says:

    A comment on yesterday’s RAM price discussion. My observation as a consumer has been that RAM has a bathtub price curve. It starts out high when it’s first introduced, but decreases significantly as it becomes the mainstream choice, drops a little farther as it’s being replaced with a newer technology and companies are clearing stocks, then starts going up again as stocks are depleted and fewer manufacturers are still making it.

    This is for the new market. The used market is something altogether different. Also, the competition with flash memory for RAM manufacturing capacity (and possibly some collusion among manufacturers) has skewed the typical price curve with DDR4. It’s been climbing steadily during its mainstream phase and with no replacement technology in sight.

  44. Ray Thompson says:

    Damn illegal Mexican drivers in TX. Don’t care if they hit you as the worst that will happen is they get deported, back in two days, driving another vehicle, probably stolen. No insurance, no license, smashing into your vehicle is no big deal. Had several close calls in the Houston area.

    Currently in Merdian MS for the night. Thought I could make it home in one 12 hour shift. No going to happen. Getting old sucks. Five hours tomorrow and it should be done.

    Surface laptop has been crashing after the update to Windows 10 1803. Seems there is a problem with some SSD’s and Microsoft is aware of the issues. I am hoping the Surface Laptop is one of the devices affected and mine is not having real hardware issues. I have installed three firmware updates in the last four days. First two made no difference. System would run for hours, or less than an hour and crash with a blue screen. Just downloaded another firmware update and will see how that goes. Still under warranty so if this does not fix it is off to the MS store in Knoxville.

  45. Price fixing by gasoline stations isn’t something you have to have conspiracy theories about. It’s official: there’s a system of “price districts”, whereby the gasoline sellers all agree to sell gas at different prices in some areas than in others. They’ve even gotten courts to declare that this is completely legal.

  46. Greg Norton says:

    Surface laptop has been crashing after the update to Windows 10 1803. Seems there is a problem with some SSD’s and Microsoft is aware of the issues. I am hoping the Surface Laptop is one of the devices affected and mine is not having real hardware issues. I have installed three firmware updates in the last four days. First two made no difference. System would run for hours, or less than an hour and crash with a blue screen. Just downloaded another firmware update and will see how that goes. Still under warranty so if this does not fix it is off to the MS store in Knoxville.

    I’ve tried several new (well, new to me) laptops lately, and the April update is twitchy. The only way I’ve found to reliably install 1803 on a newish machine is to reset from the restore partition, configure without WiFi or other network connection, and install updates via the WSUS Offline Update I’ve mentioned here before.

  47. lynn says:

    Currently in Merdian MS for the night. Thought I could make it home in one 12 hour shift. No going to happen. Getting old sucks. Five hours tomorrow and it should be done.

    Hey, I forgot, which seat interior did you get in your F-150 ?
    1. cloth with fold down console
    2. cloth with permanent console
    3. leather with permanent console

    And do you still like it ?

  48. Greg Norton says:

    BTW, I have a complaint with the Delta Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft that we rode from Helena, MT to Minneapolis to Houston. The aircraft center aisle is barely 6 foot 1 inch so I could walk it by scrunching down just a little bit, I am 6 foot 1 inch tall. But the back bathroom door is just 6 foot. And there is a metal track at the top which I nailed with my bare head walking into the bathroom. I am really surprised that I did not bleed as I was seeing stars for a few seconds.

    I read somewhere recently that Boeing and one of the carriers are working on a new lavatory design which is half of the normal width. Of course, the purpose isn’t to add more lavatories but squeeze in an extra row of seats.

  49. lynn says:

    I read somewhere recently that Boeing and one of the carriers are working on a new lavatory design which is half of the normal width. Of course, the purpose isn’t to add more lavatories but squeeze in an extra row of seats.

    The imagination runs wild. Such as, a bucket secured to the floor behind a solid shower curtain with wet wipes for cleanup.

    On second thought, why a bucket ? A pipe to the outside would work also. Just don’t be sitting on it when you “flush”.

    On third thought, just issue everyone a pair of “Depends”. No bucket needed at all.

  50. Ray Thompson says:

    The only way I’ve found to reliably install 1803 on a newish machine is to reset from the restore partition

    Doing a clean install of W10 was the first thing I tried. Still had issues. Since then there have been one update to the 1803 version of W10 and two firmware updates to the Surface Laptop. I did install the network stuff as I needed to install Adobe Creative Cloud and that requires network access.

    Web search said drivers could be the problem. Nope, no bizarre drivers involved as the drivers are all provided by MS. I did get a couple of messages about unable to access drive C: before the crash thus making me suspect the SSD. Then I read an article in ARSTECHNICA where some SSD’s are having problems with the 1803 update and MS is not updating those systems. Maybe the Surface is one of those models.

    Hey, I forgot, which seat interior did you get in your F-150

    I got the brown leather with the permanent center console. Lot of storage space. Heated and cooled seats with 8-way power on the driver side, 6-way on the driver’s side. Heated rear seats. Came with the red color. Other colors all had black interior which my wife and I both loathe, at least for the 2014 models.

    Also the last version with all steel. I am not really sold on the aluminum version. It is lighter but strength has still not been proven to my satisfaction. Saw a demonstration where some chap was able to rip the sides off the bed exterior using only vice grips. Tear was was already started I am certain but being able to continue was disconcerting. Also very difficult to repair and not all body shops are equipped for the new technology.

  51. Greg Norton says:

    Web search said drivers could be the problem. Nope, no bizarre drivers involved as the drivers are all provided by MS.

    Let Intel’s Driver & Support Assistant scan the machine and see what pops up.

    I found two drivers from Intel for my new laptop which did not pop up in Lenovo’s update utility or Windows Update. Bluetooth and Ethernet.

  52. nick flandrey says:

    “‘We have a system that’s broken’: U.S. Army chaplain, 46, fights to stop his 24-year-old husband’s deportation to Honduras – where he hasn’t lived since he was seven

    Army chaplain Tim Brown, 46, seeks to keep his 24-year-old husband in the U.S.
    Immigration officials arrested Sergio Avila-Rodriguez May 10
    He could be deported to his home country of Honduras, where he hasn’t lived since he was seven years old”

    Yes, yes we freakin’ do. But immigration enforcement isn’t what I’m talking about…

    n

    (note that said husband is half his age- which would be a problem or at least cause for scandal not too long ago, and that husband has a conviction, and was picked up entering the country illegally.)

    n

  53. lynn says:

    Also the last version with all steel. I am not really sold on the aluminum version. It is lighter but strength has still not been proven to my satisfaction. Saw a demonstration where some chap was able to rip the sides off the bed exterior using only vice grips. Tear was was already started I am certain but being able to continue was disconcerting. Also very difficult to repair and not all body shops are equipped for the new technology.

    Yes, aluminum is very subject to crack propagation. Just don’t start the crack. I am reminded of the Aloha Airlines 737 that had a roof section rip off one day after 89,680 flight cycles.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloha_Airlines_Flight_243

  54. nick flandrey says:

    When I was still traveling, I would always look at the upper right corner of the entry door opening to see if it was cracked or how many layers of reinforcing patch they put on it. Sometimes the crew would spot me and give me a funny look.

    I googled for a reference today and found this —

    2015-13-05 – We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of fatigue cracks found in the upper corners of the forward entry door skin cutout. This AD requires repetitive inspections for cracking in the upper corners of the forward entry door skin cutout, and repair if necessary. Accomplishment of this repair or a preventive modification terminates the repetitive inspections. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the doorway upper corners, which could result in cabin depressurization.

    it’s on a page of really quite terrifying directives about cracks in the 737 line…..

    http://www.b737.org.uk/ads.htm

    There are a LOT of cracks.

    n

  55. brad says:

    “I had read that Europe is drifting away from diesel because it’s not as environmentally friendly as they thought”

    Not exactly; it’s the cheating scandals that have done it. Maybe the psychological effect is greater, because these were European – i.e. “local” – companies, and highly respected ones at that. At any rate, the previously good reputation of diesel autos has been pretty much destroyed. Which is a shame, because diesel is a fundamentally sound technology.

    “never any common sense or creativity in their work. If I did not explicitly list something like a “divide by 0” condition, it would be ignored…”

    That’s my experience with programmers from that part of the world as well. They are raised in an authoritarian environment, where you do exactly as instructed, nothing more and nothing less. Creativity and initiative are unwanted. In the West, we generally want people you can point at a problem and let loose. It’s a fundamentally different approach to work.

  56. JimL says:

    Big Guy here. I’m not a fan of the smaller seats. I wind up apologizing to the folks next to me for crowding them.

    I tend to dehydrate before a flight and haven’t used a lav on a plane in years. I’m not sorry. I’m likely to break something when we hit any kind of turbulence.

    @Nick – thanks for the nightmares about plane skin failure. Statistically, flying is the safest way to go. I remind myself when I absolutely MUST fly.

  57. brad says:

    I do the same: manage my liquid intake, so that I generally can avoid toilets in planes. Unless it’s a long flight, of course.

    Seat size is a serious problem. It’s great that flying has become so inexpensive, but increasing ticket prices and seat sizes by 50%? Seems like a no-brainer. I’m not particularly big – 5’11 and 165lbs – and I fill a seat completely. I would happily pay a higher ticket price for a bit more space in each direction.

  58. nick flandrey says:

    Yeah, I noticed the patch one day. Then I noticed it again. And again. And patches on top of patches. I’m no engineer, but I play one, and I’m aware that an inside corner like that is a crack magnet… so I looked. And reached up to touch.

    I also used to look at the nameplate and man’f date on entering. Got some looks for that too. Promised myself not to fly on anything more than 20 years old, and never had to.

    I’m not small, at 6ft and around 200 pounds. Add in bad knees, and a previously broken vertebrae and I’m pretty uncomfortable on any flight, let alone long ones.

    I also manage my fluids carefully to avoid needing the lav, but it doesn’t always work out.

    I’ve had my share of mishaps. Engine fire, run out of fuel, fluid spraying out of a wing, really bad storms, missed approaches, etc. It IS the safest method of travel (although I suspect elevators are actually safer) statistically, for the average flyer. I WAS NOT AVERAGE. Whatever assumptions are baked into the math, I was more like air crew than typical passenger. I’m guessing that it’s not the safest method of travel for air crew….

    n

  59. JimL says:

    6’2″ and close to 300 right now. In marathon shape, I was 230 and 12% body fat. My hips tend to snap into the seats – I am what they mean when they say “wide load”. Add in relatively long legs and I am “uncomfortable” in most airplanes.

  60. ayj says:

    Greg

    30 years of IT, IT went the way of accounting, do as instructed, creativity is not rewarded, and when you work in offshore is the way to do the things, unless you want to be fingerpointed and lose the contract.

    Yes, they are paid to do as instructed, no, they are not paid to be creative, remember, all the contracts have very specific clauses and penalties, and nobody wants to explain why the creative (sometimes it works, sometimes no) causes issues or downtime.

    So, if the customer wants to divide by zero, ok, when the issue arose, look ma, the customer requested that.

    This is good for the customer? no, but the legal and accounting doesnt care about that, they only looks for down time and put penalties and discounts.

    Our late Bob said and foresee this time ago, thats why, I guess, moved to chemistry out of IT and this class of work, and also said, study plumbing, whatever that cant me made overseas.

    Regards

  61. brad says:

    Generally, IT work is more enjoyable in small companies. Or, at least, the problems are different. The problem is that the IT budgets of the big companies are massively larger – small companies have no idea what IT costs, haven’t budgeted for it, and are often unwilling to pay for what they really need. However, when they finally come up with a budget, because things are going seriously wrong, they just need a solution, and creativity is more than welcome. Usually, this is because their infrastructure was put together either by (a) some old fart who learned FileMaker 30 years ago and hasn’t learned anything new since, or else (b) by the the neighbor’s kid’s ex-girlfriend’s second cousin. In either case, the system is dying and it contains really critical data in some obscure format that absolutely must be migrated.

  62. DadCooks says:

    @JimL said:
    I would be much happier if they simply let the market sort it out.

    There is no way the gooberment is going to let the Free Market System (FMS) work. The BIG problem with the FMS is the word “Free”. “Free” only applies when the gooberment is taking money from us Deplorables and gives it to the great unwashed (often literally) masses (or so they think they are).

    Everything, absolutely everything is gooberment regulated to absurdity these days. Even your medical care. The gooberment tells your doctor how he/she will diagnose and treat. This applies to any doctor or medical facility that is involved in any gooberment medical bureaucracy. When single payer is foisted upon us the gooberment will have perfected Hitler’s FInal Solution.

    WRT today’s discussions around airplanes: Simply put, I will under no circumstances (even in cargo in a coffin) fly in an airplane. I last flew about 20 years ago. My Wife last flew shortly after 9-11 (going to her Dad’s funeral) and was sexually assaulted (no milder way to put it) by the TSA. Our protests were ignored, even our Lawyer got nowhere. Planes ARE NOT safe, they are disease filled cesspools and the designs have no respect for the passengers. Passengers are just so much more freight.

    Sorry my rant is a day late. Hope some of you read it though.

  63. Greg Norton says:

    30 years of IT, IT went the way of accounting, do as instructed, creativity is not rewarded, and when you work in offshore is the way to do the things, unless you want to be fingerpointed and lose the contract.

    I know. I worked for CGI. It didn’t even last a year.

    CGI didn’t even trust domestic teams with “root” on my project. Every request, no matter how small, had to go to Bangalore.

  64. nick flandrey says:

    Write what you know, write every day.

    n

  65. DadCooks says:

    @nick, that link in the name of poster youtube.com is very suspicious and you might want to consider further investigation.

  66. ech says:

    I highly suspect that Amazon will be moving to Bastrop, Texas (outside Austin) soon. Center of the country, plenty of high tech workers, close to the Austin airport, plenty of land, and outside the crazies in Austin. Oh yeah, and no income tax.

    Not Bastrop. Too far from the airport. The area around the toll road East of Austin makes more sense. Cheap, flatish land, easy access to the airport.

  67. nick flandrey says:

    @dadC, yeah, I expect it is, but I was away from the management console….

    And it is in coherent english, with no obvious issues. Damm good for a spammer.

    n

    and gone!

  68. MrAtoz says:

    Simply put, I will under no circumstances (even in cargo in a coffin) fly in an airplane.

    Try various choppers for 20 years. Commercial flights suck ass, but I’m stuck doing it to help MrsAtoz cull all the goobermint bucks schools are spending. My real complaint about commercial is I’m not in the cockpit. I can’t sleep. Not that I slept flying UH-60’s, lol!

  69. MrAtoz says:

    Also, don’t fly to HI after ash is erupted 30,000 feet. Not good for engines.

  70. MrAtoz says:

    There is a great example of fake news and Progturdian spin going on right now. President tRump was asked about MS-13 gangs. He called them animals. The Lame Stream Media reports it as tRump saying “all” illegal aliens are animals. Progturds are using that as their Strawman. If people would only “read” the news to get the whole picture. But, alas, as Mr. OFD says: “The Commies took over without firing a shot.”

  71. lynn says:

    I highly suspect that Amazon will be moving to Bastrop, Texas (outside Austin) soon. Center of the country, plenty of high tech workers, close to the Austin airport, plenty of land, and outside the crazies in Austin. Oh yeah, and no income tax.

    Not Bastrop. Too far from the airport. The area around the toll road East of Austin makes more sense. Cheap, flatish land, easy access to the airport.

    Sorry, I really meant halfway between Bastrop and Austin where Austin could not reasonably annex the new Amazon complex.

    Actually a better place for Amazon might be south of Huntsville, TX. A nice state college for low wage workers and a large state college, TAMU, 50 miles away for even more qualified workers. And much less liberal area.

  72. Miles_Teg says:

    Greg Norton wrote:

    “CGI didn’t even trust domestic teams with “root” on my project. Every request, no matter how small, had to go to Bangalore.”

    Yeah, similar thing happened to me in 1999 when the government outsourced my department’s IT. I went from having the “Special Attribute” and being an Auditor to “SYS1” on our MVS mainframe to having nothing. So even though I knew how to fix problems I had to get someone else hidden behind the Evil Doers in Suits “help” desk to do it. Took ages.

    Yes, I detest politicians who forced it on us.

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