Friday, 25 January 2013

07:32 – The weather forecasters say we have a 70% chance of a blizzard today. Snow, sleet, and freezing rain, with accumulations expected to reach a quarter to half an inch (6.35 to 12.7 mm), mostly ice. It’s to start coming down this afternoon and continue through the evening. Schools are letting out early. The high today is to be below freezing, so tomorrow morning is likely to be a mess. At least the brine trucks have been out. They worked all day yesterday. The streets in our neighborhood and presumably the rest of the city are all covered with parallel white streaks of salt.

I’ve been organizing and counting our raw materials inventory for the science kits. As of now, we have most of what we need for another 150 or so kits. With finished-goods inventory we already have on hand, that should be enough to carry us through April or so. I’ll place some small orders soon to fill out the inventory and maybe boost it to 200 kits’ worth, and wait until closer to summer to place the larger orders to prepare for the autumn rush.


28 thoughts on “Friday, 25 January 2013”

  1. Responding to our hosts comments about streaming TV, Netflix and Roku adapters, I would like to mention the Mobile High-Definition Link that I have been trying out:
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10833&cs_id=1083314&p_id=8675&seq=1&format=2
    It looked like something that I could have when the grandkids stay over night which keeps us out of Blockbuster (which may be gone soon anyway). It looks like one time rentals are about the same price, $3.99, but last trip to BB they nailed me for $15 in confections. Now with the $10 gizmo, I’m ahead with the first movie.
    Need to keep connected to 5VDC USB source as phone battery will not last a 2 hour movie.
    Works fine with my Samsung Galaxy SII Skyrocket, SGH-i727 (Android) smartphone.
    There are several models for other phones, search on “mhl.”
    Also works as a DVD player, but not quite straightaway. Cannot play *.vob files transferred to it (or I haven’t got that yet), I convert to *.mp4 and then transfer to device.

  2. Here in California’s High Desert we’re also experiencing a storm, o.o3″ of rain yesterday, and o.o3″ today *already*. I expect the schools will be closing and an evacuation order given if this deluge keeps up for a third day….

  3. I expect she has a bit more in her accounts than I do 🙂

    Her motivations are likely the same, though: banks not wanting to deal with the American FATCA hassle.

  4. Heading for 80 F here today in the Land of Sugar. Was 81 F yesterday. We’ve got the air conditioners fired up and going.

  5. “…a 70% chance of a blizzard today. Snow, sleet, and freezing rain, with accumulations expected to reach a quarter to half an inch…”

    You’ve really got to be joking here. Who defines “blizzard” down there? Gosh. A blizzard up here would be Apocalypse in the Carolinas, I reckon. People here swan about nekkid in a half-inch of sleet and rain. A blizzard is like what our Russian friends are having right now. (and they should be our friends, as should the Persians; our government and media are so effed-up it beggars belief)

    Tina’s still hot, and her new residence in Switzerland is a no-brainer for her. A German “companion” and she knows German and she loves it there. I love ya, Tina!

    Other nice expatriate locations are San Marino, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Costa Rica and Chile, or so I am given to understand.

    OFD will stick it out in his homeland and let the chips fall where they may.

  6. Well, we had our blizzard earlier than expected. The walk was white when I took Colin out around 0900. Then when I took him again at noon, all the white stuff had disappeared even though it’s never gotten over 25F today. That’s okay. We’re expecting another blizzard this afternoon from 1400 to 1700, with maybe two inches of snow.

  7. You’ve really got to be joking here. Who defines “blizzard” down there?

    I suspect that Bob is just restating what the local weather wizards are telling the low information voters in his area.

  8. Nobody has even used that word up here in ages. A real blizzard on the order of what the Russians are getting would be interesting. But we’ve had them before, just not in recent years.

    It is allegedly 20 above here right now, with the sun and blue sky, and no wind. T-shirt weather. It will turn sharply colder tonight and even colder than that Saturday night into Sunday, probably well below zero again. Then the weather liars say 30 on Monday and maybe 40 on Tuesday, when even OFD will be swanning about nekkid and scaring the wimmen.

  9. We sometimes go entire winters without a trace of snow, so enough snow to make the ground white qualifies as a blizzard down here.

    Barbara just called to say she left work early. Almost no one was still there. She’s driving the Trooper and in 4WD, but the roads are pretty bad from what the UPS guy told me an hour or so ago. Just a coat of ice.

  10. Yes, ice on the roads up here is also the greater hazard, esp. that known as “black ice,” which you can’t really see, esp. at night. You find out it’s there by spinning round 360 degrees or sliding inexorably off into a very deep and icy and dark ravine.

    Nothing ever gets cancelled up here, though; skools, stores, whatever, all open.

  11. A series that may be of interest to Our Good Host and the readers: Once Upon A Time. My daughter and her friends (in their mid-20s) are big fans and we started watching, and like it.

    The setup is that there was a land where storybook characters and fairy tale creatures lived. The Evil Queen, upset at Snow White’s wedding, cast a curse and transported all of them to a small town in Maine, with them not knowing who or what they are. They have been there for over 20 years, not able to leave, not really aging. There is a way for the curse to be broken, and the wheels of that are set in train in the first episode.

    Subsequent episodes tend to follow the pattern of using one of the storybook characters (Grumpy the Dwarf, Red Riding Hood, etc.) having a plot thread in Maine and also telling some of their back story in storybook land. Since ABC is the producer, they have access to all of Disney’s IP, so there are Easter eggs scattered in the background and characters from Disney films are in the town.

    It’s very well written. One of the producers and writers is Jane Espenson, who has worked on Buffy, Torchwood, Firefly, Game of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica, etc. It’s now in season 2, available on HuluPlus; season 1 available also on Netflix.

  12. Ditto.

    Our local Walmarts only sell shotguns, airguns, and some ammo. Ridiculous. I have a good mind to write the BOD and the local managers and ask them WTF is wrong with them. I would also volunteer to set a local operation up with local dealers and man the counters myself part-time a few nights a week. What a blast!

  13. The local Wallyworld had a decent selection of ammo at good prices, last I looked, but I’ve never been able to buy any. It’s locked behind glass doors, reasonably enough, and not once has anyone on the floor been able to find “the guy with the key”. I can only conclude that the boxes are empty and “the guy with the key” doesn’t want anyone to find out.

  14. Interesting. I’d ask to speak with that store’s manager and ask him or her WTF.

    They have the ground broken here in town (actually on the town line between St. Albans and Swanton) for one of their superstores and another superstore slated for Derby, VT, which straddles the Quebec border. Once they’re up and running I’ll be checking them out accordingly. Meanwhile we have several regular ol’ gun dealer shops here in this area and several more a little further south.

    I note also in passing that their HQ in Arkansas is looking for SUSE Linux sys admins.

  15. There is apparently one Walmart in the greater Indianapolis area that allegedly sells AR-15 style rifles. I’d run out and look at one, if only they had one in stock. Also they allegedly sell ammo for it, but again they don’t have any in stock.

    I know AR-15s are selling out all over the place. Why doesn’t Wal Mart discreetly suggest to its suppliers that they should be working 24 hours a day 7 days a week to keep stock on their shelves.

  16. I find it ironic that .223/5.56 AR-type rifles are selling in this country like hotcakes and the stores and manufacturers can’t keep them in stock. I hated the things when they got dumped on us in SEA a million years ago and still do; my happy day came when they stuck me with the M60, which I carried for most of two tours.

    The AK was more reliable, could take a licking and keep on ticking, and much better knock-down power. Shitty accuracy, though, unless you modded it real good, and that’s still true. We have a company making them and importing knockoffs just down the road here.

  17. “Then the weather liars say 30 on Monday and maybe 40 on Tuesday, when even OFD will be swanning about nekkid and scaring the wimmen”

    Travel tip: Avoid St Albans, VT.

  18. The Swiss do like to think that the Nazis were a bit scared of them. The truth is probably more prosaic: Having a neutral country nearby was useful. Switzerland provided conduits of communication, not only with the other side, but also with other countries that were uninvolved, and did not want to be seen taking sides.

  19. Okay, does anyone here know about a blogger called Greg Laden? It’s late and I’m tired so I can’t figure out if he’s serious, and if so, about what.

  20. The Swiss do like to think that the Nazis were a bit scared of them. The truth is probably more prosaic: Having a neutral country nearby was useful. Switzerland provided conduits of communication, not only with the other side, but also with other countries that were uninvolved, and did not want to be seen taking sides.

    That’s certainly the way it worked out, but it was military considerations that led Hitler to decide against invading Switzerland. I remember reading a detailed commentary about this, written by a German general who was in a position to know. Apparently, Hitler intended to invade and occupy Switzerland, but changed his mind when he read what the OKW had to say about how many divisions and how much materiel he’d lose invading and how many divisions would be tied down occupying Switzerland. Hitler reluctantly decided that invasion/occupation would be much too costly for any small return he’d get.

  21. Okay, does anyone here know about a blogger called Greg Laden? It’s late and I’m tired so I can’t figure out if he’s serious, and if so, about what.

    Yeah, I know Greg. He’s serious, apparently. He’s far left even relative to most other science bloggers. He makes Jerry Coyne look mainstream.

  22. I read a few of his posts, including one about Abbie Smith that I frankly didn’t understand. I wondered if there were two Greg Ladens, or if one was an imposter taking the piss out of the real Greg Laden.

  23. The past, the present, and future walk into a bar.
    It was tense.

    I have this recurring dream where sometimes I’m a wigwam and sometimes I’m a teepee. I think I’m too tense.

  24. I suspect it’s the real one. Greg is far left, as I said. He literally believes Obama is a conservative.

    I don’t read his blog. Most of the liberal science bloggers–including Myers, Coyne, and Smith–write sometimes about politics but when they write about science they keep it pretty pure. Laden, on the other hand, lets his politics strongly affect most of what he writes.

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