Saturday, 8 December 2012

08:23 – Every time I think we’re going to run out of good stuff to watch on Netflix streaming, we find another new series or three. We’re now well into Rescue Me, which has first-rate writing. Barbara likes it, but finds it a bit intense, so she asked me to find something else to alternate with it. Yesterday, I came across Wild at Heart, a British series about a veterinarian and his family who relocate from Bristol to South Africa. We watched a couple of episodes of it last night, and Barbara gives it her seal of approval.

I’m still using the panic-level inventory method, but “panic level” varies by time of year. Back in the July through September crazy time, I started to get nervous if the finished goods inventory of chemistry kits fell below a couple dozen, and got seriously worried when it hit about 15. Of course, back then we were routinely shipping three to six chemistry kits a day. December is much slower, but as of this morning we’re down to four of the CK01A kits in stock. Four might last a week, but more likely it’s only a two or three days’ supply. Fortunately, we have everything we need to quickly assemble another half dozen, but after that the well runs dry. So one of our tasks this weekend is to put together another 60 each of the small parts bags and solids bags for the CK01 kits.


15:38 – Barbara and I just finished putting up six 6-foot 1×12 shelves in the inventory/work room, three on each side of the room. It’s amazing how much floor space we cleared. We store a lot of small components in shoebox-size plastic boxes. We put up the shelves with two feet of vertical separation, which allows stacking those boxes four high. There’s room for nine or ten per shelf horizontally, so all told we have room for 200+ of those boxes. Plus the room under the bottom shelves, where we’ll store stuff like cases of empty bottles and so on.

Until this morning, there were two dressers and two chests of drawers in that room. We moved one of the chests of drawers downstairs into the finished area today, and we’ll move one more of each tomorrow, leaving only the one dresser upon which I stack finished goods inventory ready to ship. We’ll also move a work table up from downstairs to use as a small assembly area. The main goal of all this was to do what was necessary so Barbara could have her kitchen table back permanently, which she will as of tomorrow.


15:51 – Okay, this is interesting in a perverse kind of way. Netflix has emailed me exactly twice to tell me that new seasons were available streaming for series that we’d been watching. The first time, it was Grey’s Anatomy, which I’d rated one star. Just a few minutes ago, they emailed me to say that season 7 of Bones was available. I’d rated Bones–you guessed it–one star. One star as in “Hated It”.

Actually, to be fair, I originally rated Bones three or four stars, but that was only for the first series or two. Even then, I found it annoying in some respects, particularly the imaginary science and occasional meaningless sciency jargon. That and the fact that they had each of their Ph.D. characters doing jobs that in reality would be distributed among several Ph.D.’s in different specialties, not to mention a bunch of technicians. But, okay, I can understand they have to do some bogus stuff to make the program flow and keep the cast size manageable. But as the seasons progressed, the science got more and more imaginary and the plots made less and less sense. So somewhere around series three I dropped my rating to one star. So, of course Netflix just had to tell me that there were new episodes available of a series I’d rated one star. Geez. What’s worse is that we’ll probably watch them. Double geez.

32 thoughts on “Saturday, 8 December 2012”

  1. According to CK01B, polypropylene tubes don’t exhibit a meniscus when water is placed in them because PP doesn’t attract water. Does that only happen with water, with other polar molecules, or everything? What about mercury?

  2. It has to do with the attraction of glass versus PP for different molecules. Glass shows a meniscus because the liquid is actually drawn to the glass, pulling it up the side of the tube. The lack of a meniscus with PP is evident with every polar molecule I’ve tried, but that’s only water and a few alcohols. I’m not sure about mercury.

  3. Greg,

    I created a toon named Hemet on the Oceanic Realm you said you play WOW on.

  4. Dave, still getting the hang of this game, I don’t like it nearly as much as City of Heroes/Villains. There’s no Super Speed, a power that let my characters in that game run really fast, or other decent travel powers. It’s really annoying just plodding along, taking forever to get anywhere.

    One of my toons on Skywall has just reached Level 10, so from now on every time she dies I have to worry about her armor being degraded. Just so much to learn, I’m not sure how to get degraded armor fixed.

    All my toon names (so far) start with “Ka”. On Saurfang I’ve got the following:

    Kabrin Level 8 Warrior
    Kadeborah Level 9 Priest
    Kamura Level 4 Mage
    Kaldene Level 2 Mage
    Karissena Level 8 Rogue
    Karthaga Level 6 Paladin

    I’m liking the ones with ranged attacks the best, I can attack a melee-only critter and get in 2-3 attacks before it can get me.

    Anyway, my characters on

  5. Miles_Teg says:

    …There’s no Super Speed, a power that let my characters in that game run really fast, or other decent travel powers. It’s really annoying just plodding along, taking forever to get anywhere.

    I have that trouble with my Garmin GPS. It has a simulation mode, but what good is that when it simulates the whole route at slower than real time driving? No options to skip or speed up. A totally useless function.

    I did figure out how to get the German language files on the thing, so it now speaks to me in a nice female German voice named Gretchen. No matter that I never met anyone named Gretchen while in Deutschland.

  6. Speaking of sex, ever notice how there is no word “actress” anymore? Females are now “actors”. I have noticed the same with “waitress” here and there. They are now “waiters”, eliminating the few possibilities Germans learning English had for finding out the sex of someone through an apparent fault in our language, that actually stated someone’s sex.

  7. Here’s another story of Fed energy money mismanagement. Building in Tipton, Indiana (between Indianapolis and Chicago), which was abandoned by Chrysler as a transmission factory back when the Germans were dumping Chrysler, and was then sold to a Colorado solar energy company, who was going to build solar panels there. Department of Energy gave the Colorado firm $400 million in loan guarantees. Now this article does not say how much of that loan money was lost, but the solar company went bankrupt (surprise, surprise) in July.

    http://indianaeconomicdigest.com/main.asp?SectionID=31&SubSectionID=299&ArticleID=67680

    But here’s the part that really irks me: Chrysler want to buy the building again, but wants tax abatement for doing so. So they make an application. The application is secret from the media and the public because “[t]here is proprietary information in the application”. Nothing—especially regarding taxation and/or possible abatement—should be secret in our nation, and if a company puts proprietary information in the application—tough luck. It was stupid of them to do so.

  8. Speaking of sex, ever notice how there is no word “actress” anymore? Females are now “actors”. I have noticed the same with “waitress” here and there. They are now “waiters”, eliminating the few possibilities Germans learning English had for finding out the sex of someone through an apparent fault in our language, that actually stated someone’s sex.

    I still use actress and waitress, as well as other now less-common ones like authoress, poetess, sculptress, aviatrix, and so on.

    I note that the Firefox spelling dictionary didn’t flag any of those words, so perhaps there’s still hope.

  9. Greg, when you get a toon to level 20 you can ride a horse or other mount. As you level, you can get faster mounts and flying mounts are available at level 60.

    I agree with your preference for character that do ranged damage. I started with a Rogue as my main toon, and switch to a mage. I now have my mage to level 90, and I debating which toon I will level next. Probably my hunter, because I enjoy that more than the rogue. I also like the new class, the monk, even though it does melee damage. That may be because I invested in all the bind on account gear I could find.

  10. Bob – If you can put up with Bones, you ought to give Fringe another try. The first 8-10 episodes are not as good as the rest of the series, but help set up the mysteries that drive the rest of the episodes. At it’s heart, it’s a show about family and forgiveness, and the science fantasy aspects are bonus material. John Noble is fantastic as Walter Bishop, really deserves an Emmy. He manages to take the whole “mad scientist” into new territory. And the two female leads are very easy on the eyes.

    One bit of unrealistic tech seen in every police procedural these days is about to come true. There will soon be machines that can do DNA screening in about 60-90 minutes. Not enough detail to confirm is someone is a match in court, but enough to rule someone out and allow the more accurate test to be done on a possible match. http://www.zygem.com/ for more.

  11. A few more things about WOW:

    1. Some vendors including any who sell weapons or armor will repair your gear. Click on the anvil icon below the gear they offer for sale.
    2. I’d recommend concentrating on one or two toons at first. Having a higher level toon can help you level the others.
    3. Find a guild with other players who have similar interests in game. I like WOW but there are some things I hate. I don’t have the reflexes for PVP. I play for fun, some people take it too seriously.

  12. “…They are now “waiters…”

    I been hearing them called and calling themselves “servers” for a very long time now. Not that Mrs. OFD and I have been out to eat at an actual restaurant in a long time, anyway, so what do I know.

    Just finished watching all six episodes of “Elizabeth R.” Glenda Jackson did a good job of Elizabeth I. Supporting actors and actresses not bad, either, for 1971. Robert Hardy played Leicester, one of my supposed ancestors. Started watching first episode of “Warehouse 13,” and may continue, dunno yet. Maybe not if the super-hyped actress CCH Pounder shows up too much. Took up way too much air time in “The Shield.”

  13. Hey OFD, I would watch “Firefly” before “Warehouse 13”. Way before. I’m telling you, you will have comfort Mrs. OFD at the end of “Serenity”.

    “Warehouse 13” went off the tracks fairly quickly. I’ve got the latest six episodes on my DVR and still thinking about it. I watch “Sliders” reruns before I watch new “Warehouse 13”. Then watch all seven seasons of “Buffy” and first two seasons of “Angel”.

  14. I try to use the term for occupations that people prefer, within reason. If an actress wants to be called an actor, I’ll probably do that. (But not the other way around.) But I do prefer to differentiate. I seem to recall Chuck saying that calling a German waitress of any age or marital status fraulein is just asking for trouble, and a long lecture.

  15. I don’t intend to PvP, I also don’t have the reflexes and I get far more lag here than Americans do. That’s why I never got into PvP in Co*.

    Thanks for the tip about repairing armor. And I think I’ll concentrate on one toon in each realm for the time being. I’m joining Level 25 guilds as offers come in, about 2/3 of my characters are in one. Trying just to learn the mechanics of the game rather than get to Level 90 in a hurry.

  16. OFD wrote:

    “I been hearing them called and calling themselves “servers” for a very long time now.”

    Waitstaff is another PC term used here.

    Just finished watching all six episodes of “Elizabeth R.” Glenda Jackson did a good job of Elizabeth I. Supporting actors and actresses not bad, either, for 1971. Robert Hardy played Leicester, one of my supposed ancestors. ”

    Your supposed ancestor was Hardy or Leicester?

  17. Bob – If you can put up with Bones, you ought to give Fringe another try. The first 8-10 episodes are not as good as the rest of the series, but help set up the mysteries that drive the rest of the episodes. At it’s heart, it’s a show about family and forgiveness, and the science fantasy aspects are bonus material. John Noble is fantastic as Walter Bishop, really deserves an Emmy. He manages to take the whole “mad scientist” into new territory. And the two female leads are very easy on the eyes.

    I had Fringe in my disc queue, but I don’t think it’s available streaming on Netflix. We haven’t watched it because Barbara really doesn’t like anything with an SF element. She tolerated Firefly/Serenity, but that’s about it. I’ll try again later to convince her to give it a try.

    One bit of unrealistic tech seen in every police procedural these days is about to come true. There will soon be machines that can do DNA screening in about 60-90 minutes. Not enough detail to confirm is someone is a match in court, but enough to rule someone out and allow the more accurate test to be done on a possible match. http://www.zygem.com/ for more.

    Yep, I was just reading about that the other day. A suitcase-size DNA analyzer designed for field use. That was one of the things that almost made me choke in a series one episode of Bones. They put two DNA samples in a desktop machine (labeled “DNA Analyzer”), pressed a button, and five seconds later the screen on the machine flashed “DNA MATCH!”. Geez.

  18. Hey OFD, I would watch “Firefly” before “Warehouse 13″. Way before. I’m telling you, you will have comfort Mrs. OFD at the end of “Serenity”.

    [snip]Then watch all seven seasons of “Buffy” and first two seasons of “Angel”.

    Concur.

  19. Noted. Thanks, guys; I thought the premise was a bit far-fetched, esp. after the shot where the new SS agents see the vast array of shit in the warehouse, all allegedly ‘supernatural’ objects or something. Mrs. OFD will also not care for SF stuff, so we’ll find something else while I figure out the streaming alternatives via Ubuntu and maybe VLC.

    “Your supposed ancestor was Hardy or Leicester?”

    Both. Not Robert Hardy, but Thomas was a distant relative, one of the family who stayed behind in England whereas my branches arrived in the early 17th-C in Maffachufetts and Virginia. Leicester was also supposedly an ancestor but on thin historical/circumstantial evidence; it would be through a couple of marriages in his family because his direct line died out upon the death of his and Lettice Knollys’s son. Lettice lived to a ripe old age, dying at 91 on Xmas Day, 1634.

    My dad used to tell us that most of our ancestors were farmers, soldiers, horse thieves and pirates. No doubt a few of them probably hanged. I am a proud scion of this line, of course.

  20. I’ve always claimed Julius Caesar as an ancestor. Who can argue that?

  21. Certainly within the realm of possibility, as he catted around all over Europe and what is now the UK during his time on the planet.

    But you and I are more likely descended from Vercingetorix, Alaric or Odoacer. Also Erik the Red and Leif. Fine group of guys.

  22. I’m sure you’re right. I have lots of Viking in my background. I’ve never gotten into genealogy. I did write this on my page back in January 2005:

    My mother’s mother was a Bradford who married a Fulkerson. I remember my grandmother telling me that [my mother] was descended from Governor Bradford of the Mayflower Colony on one side and on the other from Dirk Volkertson, a Norwegian who was one of the original settlers of the Dutch colony at New Amsterdam.

    So I started with them and worked forward, not realizing until later that that was exactly the opposite of the usual method of tracing a family tree. By the time Barbara arrived home, I’d traced the Volkertson/Fulkerson side of things from 17th-century New Amsterdam to 19th-century Western Pennsylvania. I’d also traced the family tree of Volkertson’s wife, a Vigne, down through the years to Thomas Alva Edison, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Roosevelt.

  23. Thanks for the tip about repairing armor. And I think I’ll concentrate on one toon in each realm for the time being. I’m joining Level 25 guilds as offers come in, about 2/3 of my characters are in one. Trying just to learn the mechanics of the game rather than get to Level 90 in a hurry.

    That sounds like a good plan. Keep in mind that all your toons on the same realm that are in the same faction (Alliance or Horde) can mail stuff back and forth, and also be in the same guild.

    My wife and I both play WOW, we’re in the same guild and are constantly trading stuff back and forth. My main character is a mage who is also a tailor. So he can make cloth armor and bags. All of my toons and my wife’s toons have bags my main character made. If I had any other cloth armor wearing toons, I could send them armor. My rogue has gear from the current expansion because my mage finds it and sends it to him instead of selling it. My rogue is a skinner/leatherworker, so I still play him to make armor for my hunter and my monk.

    The only way to move stuff across realms is to move a toon and all his or her posessions, and that costs $20 US. Our guild decided to move from a PVP realm to a normal realm, so I wound up spending $20 to move, and a month later Blizzard shifted the old realm from PVP to normal. So you might want to concentrate on one realm.

    One in game mechanic you may or may not have noticed yet, is that toons that are rested gain experience much faster. You can get rested by logging off in an inn or city.

    Also, if you know the email address for friends who play WOW, you can invite them to be Real ID friends, and you’ll get a message every time they log in to any of their toons on any realm. If you have any more WOW questions, I sent Kadeborah an ingame mail with my email address in it.

  24. “I’m sure you’re right.”

    “We don’t need to know you’re sure I’m right. We’ll ASSUME it.”

    Yeah, you ought to work back from Bradford and the Dutch and see what you might find; by the way, about forty-million Americans are descended from one or another of the Mayflower folks; I am as well descended from Governors Carver, Dudley, and Bradstreet, and the poet Anne Bradstreet. Also descended directly from passenger servant types on a couple of the Winthrop Fleet ships who settled right away in the Ipswich and Salisbury areas of Maffachufetts. Another family member who’d settled there eventually ended up among the small group of first European (English) settlers on Nantucket so I am also descended from multiple families on The Faraway Island, including Macy, Coffin, Folger, Starbuck, etc. Through the Nantucket Diaspora I am furthermore descended from Benjamin Franklin, and both Harrison Presidents. And several families in Virginia and the Carolinas.

    This gets me doodly nowadays, but man, I wouldn’t mind having a slice of just the interest from fortunes accumulated by the Macy, Starbuck and Folger families…

  25. The quote about being right above was taken from the Nick Nolte character, an arrogant prick Army major, in “The Thin Red Line.”

  26. I don’t plan on paying $20 to move a toon to a different server, I’d just create another one. My highest is Level 12 so none of them have much time invested in them.

    Boy, do I miss City of Heroes’ Super Speed travel power. It’s about 12x or so the speed of low level plodders in WoW.

    Thanks for mention where to go offline, I usually do that anyway, but didn’t know of the benefit. The guy I work with who was helping me learn WoW gave up partnering me when I missed one of his Skype calls. He’s a bit temperamental, the same thing happened a dozen times when we were playing City of Heroes. Learning with him was pretty stressful anyway.

  27. One question Dave, how does a Guild benefit by having me as a member? In City of Heroes the equivalent concept, the Supergroup, could earn a special currency called Prestige when its members did things to pay the monthly rent and expand and buy stuff to make the base better, but so far I’ve not seen how a Guild benefits from its members, except for having more people contactable for raids and such.

  28. One question Dave, how does a Guild benefit by having me as a member? In City of Heroes the equivalent concept, the Supergroup, could earn a special currency called Prestige when its members did things to pay the monthly rent and expand and buy stuff to make the base better, but so far I’ve not seen how a Guild benefits from its members, except for having more people contactable for raids and such.

    Every time you loot money, an amount equal to 5% of what you looted winds up in the guild bank. The amount you loot is not reduced, so the money just magically appears. If the guild is not level 25 yet, then the guild slowly moves toward level 25 as you gain XP.

    There are also guild achievements, some of which unlock new features and some of which have cash rewards. For example, the guild I’m in recently got an achievement for having someone at level 600 in every profession. This means that people with a certain status in the guild can go buy bind on account pants which will help them level a new toon. I doubt I was the first tailor or enchanter to make it to 600, but if I were, I would have contributed to that achievement.

  29. As an ArenaNet orphan, I’d have thought you’d be interested in a free-to-play MMO rather than go with WoW–one of the few remaining pay to play of note (EVE Online is the other). I recommend checking out Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) and Star Trek Online (STO) as good choices. This gets you away from companies that screwed users in the past (e.g. ArenaNet, SOE). That said, I bought Guild Wars 2, but haven’t had much time to play. Been playing Dungeons of Dredmor more than anything else of late.

    .mg

  30. ArenaNet came up with Guild Wars 2, and I’ve heard people saying not to boycott GW2 because ArenaNet is not NCSoft, but the latter manage it and could pull the plug on a moment’s notice. Same could happen to WoW, I suppose, but that’s not likely for a while. I’ve seen suggestions for various games, but I have D3 and Skyrim, uninstalled, so I may as well try them first.

    I’m still plenty mad at NCSoft. People have been talking about nukes on Monday, part of me would like to use a few on South Korea. Bastards.

    In WoW last night My Level 12 Warlock got herself into an area (running away from Bad Things) with critters in the 20s. They killed me instantly, I rezzed, went back to the corpse, they killed me instantly again. Happened about five times. In the end I asked a guildmate to come and rescue me. He brought a Level 90 toon, cleared the area, rezzed me and flew me to a near by city. Then I had to repair my armor. It’s very frustrating at the moment, but at least some of my toons are in decent guilds.

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