Tuesday, 25 June 2013

09:44 – Cops consider eyewitness identifications suspect, and particularly suspect if the man in question has a beard. Here’s a good example of why. When I saw the front page of the newspaper this morning, my first thought was, “Why is there a picture of my friend Paul Jones on the front page?” When I showed it to Barbara, she also thought it was Paul.

It’s not Paul, of course, but it sure looks like him. If I’d seen the picture without having the caption for context, it wouldn’t even have crossed my mind that it wasn’t Paul.


I just shipped a forensic science kit this morning, and realized that I’m down to only two remaining in stock. Urk. I’d been working on chemistry kits, but it’s time to build a batch of 30 more forensic science kits.


15:47 – I’m filling glycerol bottles. Very slowly. They’re 15 mL narrow-mouth bottles, the same ones we use by the thousands for other solutions. But glycerol is very viscous. So much so that it’s almost impossible to fill these bottles manually from a beaker or whatever, because the glycerol tends to form a bubble on the mouth of the bottle and then glop over down the side. The last time I filled glycerol bottles, I used my automatic dispenser pump, figuring things would go a lot faster. They didn’t, because it takes so long to fill and empty the dispenser for each bottle. With normal solutions, a quick upstroke fills the cavity and a quick downstroke pumps the liquid into the bottle. It takes maybe three or fours seconds total for each bottle, including handling. But glycerol is so viscous that the upstroke and downstroke take literally 20 seconds or more each.

So I had a cunning plan. Glycerol viscosity varies with temperature. At about 18C (chilly room temperature), glycerol freezes, so when I’m filling bottles at, say, 24C, the glycerol isn’t far above its freezing temperature and is still quite syrupy. But I had Barbara label 150 15 mL bottles for me anyway because I was convinced I had a solution for the problem. I was going to warm the glycerol up to 50 or 55C (hot tap water temperature), where I expected it to run almost like water. Alas, I must have read the temperature/viscosity chart wrong, because even at 50+C this glycerol is still quite thick. I think I’ll boost the water bath temperature up to maybe 60C and see if that helps. I don’t want to go much higher, both because I’m handling the bottles with bare hands and because I’m afraid that capping warm bottles will cause them to deform as the air within them cools and contracts.

I thought about changing to 30 mL narrow-mouth bottles for the next batch, even though I’d still fill them only to 15 mL. But then I had a better idea. I’m going to use 30 mL wide-mouth pharma packer bottles next time and fill them manually from a beaker. 15 mL of glycerol masses just under 19 g, so I’ll just eyeball the fill level and have Barbara sitting next to me with a scale. Anything at 19 g or more, she’ll just cap. Under 19 g, she’ll give it back to me to add more. That should be about as fast as using the dispenser to fill bottles with normal solutions.


I mentioned last week that I’d ordered a Cyber-Power desktop PC from Costco. It arrived today. I plan to get it set up this weekend for Frances and Al. The problem is, it runs Windows 8, which I’ve never even seen. The PC included a “free” download init key for Kaspersky Internet Security 2013, but I have no idea if I should install this or something else. Doesn’t Microsoft include its own security/AV package? Please, Windows Gurus, tell me what to do. Frances does pretty typical stuff with her PC: email (Thunderbird), web browsing (Firefox), Skype, and so on, so installing apps shouldn’t be a problem. But this is Windows 8 (rather than 8.1), which IIRC has a sucky interface, missing even the Start button. Is there an option to use the Windows 7 interface? What should I do? Help.

58 thoughts on “Tuesday, 25 June 2013”

  1. I was about to ask which of those guys looked like Paul to you, then realised that only one had a beard so that was the one. I saw that the other guy had a mustache and automatically assumed he had a beard as well. In my mind the two almost always go together.

  2. Yeah, the Paul look-alike is on the right. I just did a quick search and the only image of Paul I turned up (from almost ten years ago) is here:

    http://www.ttgnet.com/images/fancy-gap-20040320/paul-bonnie.jpg

    If I’d looked at the image in the paper more critically, I’d probably have concluded eventually that it wasn’t Paul. The other guy is built more like a wide receiver, while Paul is a bigger guy, more like a linebacker or a tight end.

  3. I wondered if I’d seen a photo of Paul. I’ve seen a few of Mary, and thought I might have seen a picture of both in their driveway with one of their humungous telescopes.

    To me Paul looks more like a physics or pure maths professor than an organic chemist.

  4. To me Paul looks more like a physics or pure maths professor than an organic chemist.

    Why the differentiation in looks?

  5. “Divided Supreme Court strikes down key voting rights provision”:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/25/court-past-voting-discrimination-no-longer-held/

    Finally! We citizens in the Great State of Texas have been held hostage by Obummer’s corrupt department of Justice long enough. They are holding up every voting realignment in the state for years at a time. If pressed, their standard answer is we are violating the Voter Rights Act.

    I live in the most diversified county in the United States, Fort Bend County, and they sued my county to force us to provide nine languages on ALL county and city level elections. The only language provided should be English, pure and simple.

  6. To me, the guy on the right looks like a guy who spends a lot more time on a bicycle than does the photo of Paul. It’s hard to keep that build while burning extraordinary calories.

  7. “I live in the most diversified county in the United States, Fort Bend County, and they sued my county to force us to provide nine languages on ALL county and city level elections. ”

    Ha. I live in probably one of the LEAST diversified counties in the U.S. and the usual suspects are worried about racism. There are about three African-Americans in the whole state, maybe a couple of hundred Hispanic folks we rarely if ever see, and otherwise the most exotic ethnic group are the Italian-Americans. Not too many of them, either. It’s vastly mostly English, French and Irish up here. The usual suspects want more “people of color” teaching in the skool system but in order to do that they’d have to import them from wherever and pay them enough money so they’d overlook the cold and snow and ice and isolation here, LOL.

    And as was to be expected, the usual suspects nationwide have gone from civil unions to gay marriage and now they’re pushing transgender modifications for toddlers and adolescents; it just gets more insane by the week and everyone just rolls with it in holy terror of being found guilty of discrimination or “hate speech.” Next up: public weddings between transgendered toddlers and alpaca llamas. (and just me bringing this up makes me guilty of hate speech.)

    I see also that O-Bummer has banned any public mention in his regime of any confluence between the hadji bastards and terrorism, as, to wit, his reaction to the Boston atrocity and the one in London. I guess merely banning the speech means it didn’t happen and/or it will go away or something.

  8. I had a post here but it was evidently full of “hate speech,” i.e. critical of the concept of diversity and other matters, and it disappeared. Odd.

  9. I dunno, I just expect chemists to be clean shaven.

    Eh? Of the first five chemists I thought of, Mary Chervenak is the only one who doesn’t have a beard.

  10. I agree with Lynn that English should be the only language on ANYTHING published by our government—federal or state. When we were in Germany, there was no other language that anything legal or governmental was printed in, but German. All business was conducted in German, and the bureaucrats would not even THINK of speaking to you in any language but German—even if they understood and could speak your language. It is WAY past time that should be the standard here. IMO, we don’t need any new laws mandating an official language, we just need to stop dealing in any language but English. And I can tell you that younger Hispanics I know, have no problem with that, and some have even suggested to me that our coddling of Spanish-speakers, is the main reason they DON’T learn English.

  11. You’re the only chemist (well, Paul too) I know who has a beard. Both my high school chemistry teachers, all my university chemistry teachers, all the other chemistry department staff I can remember were clean shaven.

  12. Sounds like you’re thinking about a time before beards became mainstream. Here’s another chemist friend of mine who’s bearded. His page now shows his beard as it changed over the years.

    http://pipeline.corante.com/

  13. Bob,

    As far as Windows 8, yes it has the new “Modern”/”Metro” interface. The best solution is “Start8” from Stardock for $4.99. You can boot to the desktop, get a normal Win 7 Start Panel, can shut down, restart and all from that panel. If you venture in to control panel you’re going to see the new interface, and probably another spot or two. Has a 30 day trial.

    Kaspersky is a pretty good AV package, probably better than the MS Security Essentials which I think is now part of Windows 8.

  14. Beards were mainstream when I lived in Minnesota during the late ’70’s. I was practically forced to grow one. After a full winter and summer with decent growth, I decided it was the most annoying, disgusting, dirty, unkempt thing a man can do to his body. And at my age, I would not even begin to grow one, for the same reason David Letterman won’t: the geezer factor.

  15. And as was to be expected, the usual suspects nationwide have gone from civil unions to gay marriage and now they’re pushing transgender modifications for toddlers and adolescents

    Toddlers? Not heard about that.

    As for intergender/trans adolescents, the typical treatment is to try to block the effects of their sex hormones during puberty, so they have a more neutral basis on which to make future decisions. I don’t see a problem with this — seeing as such “modifications” are what the adolescents in question want.

  16. re glycerol, would something like a pastry bag with a long, narrow spout work? Stick the nozzle in the bottle, squeeze and back out, move on to the next. Cleanup would be a complete horror, but maybe it would never have to be cleaned; just put it in a ziplock bag until next time. For that matter, you might be able to lash up something with a ziplock bag and a small funnel and just throw away the bag when done.

    re chemists and facial hair, you said that Mary doesn’t have a beard, but I notice an absence of assertions about her having a mustache.

  17. OFD, you should have made that “alpaca lamas” so you could have people hating on you for your religious bigotry on top of everything else.

  18. I still have yet to install Windows 8 on my office pc. I think that W8 includes Windows Defender but not Microsoft Security Essentials. Yup:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/windows-defender#1TC=t1

    OFD is running Windows 8 so maybe he knows more. I would not touch Kaspersky with a ten foot pole.

    I have heard that W8 users have the right to downgrade to W7 but I have no idea how to so if you do not have the disks.

  19. “…I don’t see a problem with this — seeing as such “modifications” are what the adolescents in question want.:

    Adolescents with whom I have been in very close contact off and on over the decades are so full of angst and internal mashing of gears, with brains not fully formed yet, that I find it incredible that anyone could not only advocate for hormone blockage and their euphemistic “upper body” and “lower body” modifications/surgery, but actively encourage and promote it. I feel the same way about piercing of body parts and tattoos at that age, and further, that it is wrong to lure young people at that age into military service, for the same reasons. These are permanent decisions being made that affect peoples’ lives forever, yet it’s all treated as though getting fitted for new shoes or a visit to the hairdresser now. I find it despicable, loathsome and patently insane.

    Toddlers have already been done this way, and the pressure continues for it. Sickening.

    And this regime and its enablers and the people who worship it will soon make the kind of comments I just made “hate speech” and will attempt to punish me for them. That’s already been going on over in Europe for a while now, and in O Kanada. And we have kids with water pistols being dragged out of school by armed robo-thugs, either for that or making a drawing of a cowboy with a gun, and suchlike. The insanity just goes on and on.

  20. re chemists and facial hair, you said that Mary doesn’t have a beard, but I notice an absence of assertions about her having a mustache.

    Oh, boy, I’m telling Mary. Are you ever in for the Fist of Death if you ever meet her.

    https://www.ttgnet.com/journal/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/fist-of-death.jpg

    As to the pastry filler idea, I don’t think it’d work. It’s basically what I have now with the automatic dispenser, except without the volume control. Basically, the problem is getting a thick syrup through a small hole. There’s just no way to do that quickly. Going to the 30 mL wide-mouth pharma packer bottles will solve the problem. The 15 mL bottles have a 15mm cap; the packers have a 28mm cap. Getting the stuff into a hole that’s nearly twice the diameter and four times the area shouldn’t be a problem.

  21. Get the shock paddles ready, Dave, because I’m going to agree with you.

    Adults have the right to decide things for themselves, but the age that constitutes “adult” might reasonably vary with the type of decision in question. As I’ve said, I think puberty is the natural demarc for people deciding to have sex. Call it 14 if not less. I think elective surgery that significantly changes the course of a person’s life should require more age and maturity. As to decisions that might have an extreme impact on one’s life, such as joining the military, I think a person should have to be at least 70 years old to make that decision.

  22. Oh Christ Jesus, I left the shock paddles out in the monsoon downpour we just had and they’re fried! Bob agrees with me on this! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord and pass the ammo, baby!

    Agreed on the age for military service; let the old bastards who pine for all these wars go do that gig themselves. Qui numquam Dulce bellum est.

    OK, if a kid is good to go for sex at 14 or 13, what then happens in regard to responsibility for STDs and pregnancies, for starters? Not to mention the brain developmental stage we’re talking about here. I sure as hell was ready to jam at 12 but my brain was a bucket of horny goat slime and should not have been qualified to make that particular decision. Later, as the slime hardened a bit, the recruiters got to me and told of wonders and marvels and it wasn’t until after I was long out that my brain may have been mature enough to reckon with the stuff I did and had done to me.

  23. “Obama Declares War On Coal, Embraces Pipeline”
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/brighammccown/2013/06/25/obamas-war-on-coal/

    “Coal is responsible for more than 760,000 American jobs, yet the Obama administration thinks a “war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” This action plan will close 288 coal plants across 32 states, a huge roadblock for repairing the American economy. Families across the US pay 11% less for electricity in states where more than half comes from coal. Even the Washington Post also conceded in a report this week that the president’s new climate plan will increase consumers’ electricity prices, which could not come at a worse time considering yesterday’s Bankrate.com report finding that three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.”

    Get ready, here it comes. The devil will be the details. Since this is the EPA, there will be many, many hoops to jump and many memos published in the federal register on Fridays at 6pm.

    And you cannot simply convert a coal burning power plant furnace to natural gas. First, many of these power plants are located in remote locations far away from pipelines. BTW, a large power plant can empty a 36 inch natural gas pipeline. Next, natural gas furnaces are 1/2 to 1/4 the size of a coal furnace since natural gas burns so much faster (and hotter, 3500 F versus 3000 F). That means that reducers and dampers using exotic materials will need to be installed in the furnace. It will be cheaper and more efficient to abandon the old coal units in place and build new combined cycle units (50% efficient versus 30% efficient).

    So, now we have “War on Drugs”, “War on Terrorism” and many other “War on something” that I cannot remember. Add “War on Coal” to that list.

  24. Oh man, I wish we would get a monsoon. The north pond is down by over two foot (maybe three foot) and the new gator has disappeared.

  25. Yep, now we have a War on Coal. Imbeciles. Or it’s being done with malice aforethought; Cui bono???

    And it’s “The War on SOME Drugs.” Booze is still legal and A-OK. Also nicotine and caffeine. And OTC dope and prescriptions ad infinitum.

    I’d send ya our monsoons if I could; we’ve had at least three a day, torrential downpours with huge lightning bolts and sheets of water on the roads, the skies black over the Lake and the pier underwater again. Past four days like this and the weather liars say the rest of this week likewise. Mrs. OFD sez Tampa area is about ten degrees warmer, i.e., high 90s, and humidity around 150%. This sorta weathuh ain’t for the likes of us; I’m moving to Labrador or Greenland.

  26. We had a torrential downpour here. It lasted just a couple minutes, but the timing was such that I was bringing Little Miss Short Stuff home when we passed a couple of the neighbor kids huddling (as if that would do any good) and running down the street barefoot and carrying a scooter. If it were just the teenager I’d have left her, but the 8 (?) year-old was there too. Long story short, I voluntarily allowed a teenage girl in my van. No problem; I can get it fumigated later.

    In the abstract I’ll accept that teenage girls are nubile and fertile and should be desirable on a purely instinctual level. In practice, teenage girls are the most annoying thing on the face of the planet, narrowly edging out teenage boys and pantry moths. The boys, at least, you can smack upside the head when they get too annoying, and the moths you can swat or catch on flypaper.

  27. SteveF said yesterday:
    Marcelo, would it be practical to bring your wife’s computer somewhere with a fast and uncapped internet connection? Maybe offer to bring pizza and beer if you can bring the computer to a friend’s house and leave it running overnight.

    I appreciate the offer but I think it would be impractical. There is the ongoing synchying that also takes place every time you log in so that a considerable amount of data would be transferred each time she connects. I will have to think about actually creating a local copy of the mails and removing them from the servers and how to deal with that when she is not at home. She is currently in Buenos Aires for three months doing research for her PhD and I’d better not touch that right now. 🙂

  28. Are you ever in for the Fist of Death if you ever meet her.

    It’s not out of the realm of possibility. One of my sisters lives near you (with “near you” from up here meaning “in the same state”) and I’ll probably be helping her with something in the not-too-distant future.

  29. Win8:
    I mentioned recently that I got rid of Avast on all home machines. I can add I would not touch Symantec or Kaspersky either. If you do not stray into the wilderness when surfing or click nilly-willy on ads. Win8 standard A/V should be more than enough. They have steadily been improving in this area. My understanding is that Windows defender is a combined Defender+MS Security Essentials. It provides real-time protection on virus and spyware issues as well as providing a virus scanner.
    The Apps are another kettle of fish. You get a Skype app that is clean and lean. So much so that you loose functionality. You can install Skype for Win8 desktop as well but I have not been able to reliably use that one so I live with basics on that front. Similar issues with Mail except that the live mail via browser does work on the desktop. The apps are new and I think somewhat hurried out-of-beta. I expect they will evolve over time and get the necesary improvements to make them more usable.
    A new UI will always require some time to adjust to the new interface. At some point you will get to understand that the traditional start icon/button is now a full very long screen. I got used to it reluctantly but quite fast. Instead of navigating dropdowns for any application you use the windows key and type 1 or more letters and get the relevant -and at times very irrelevant- applications listed in icon format. For Notepad it is Win-key and n and then click the Notepad icon. Instead of using the Win key to get the start screen you can also Mouse over the lower left corner and click the Start Window icon and then type which is quicker than mousing to the right and clicking the application icons. Not all programs have icons in the start screen. Notepad is not there for example. You can always pin things the toolbars and desktop and operate mostly from there and even expose the Desktop in icons within the taskbar.
    Win8.1 will be a free upgrade and it looks like they will be puting in a lot of work to get that right.

  30. Our son and I both have Win8 on our desktops and we probably boot to the desktop itself and use that most often still; however….I find myself going more often to the Start screen now and I’ve also pinned frequently used apps to the bottom tool bah.

    Meanwhile I’m gradually but more frequently using the Tor browser with all my bookmarks and several security add-ons active, including Better Privacy, DoNotTrackMe, MaskMe, HTTPS Everywhere, NoScript, and DuckDuckGo as the search engine.

  31. I have heard that W8 users have the right to downgrade to W7 but I have no idea how to so if you do not have the disks.

    I have heard that W8 users have the right to downgrade upgrade to W7 but I have no idea how to so if you do not have the disks.

    Fixed it for you.

  32. The ol’ Mickster made a funny today at the Verizon Center in Mordor:

    “”Mick Jagger zinger at Verizon Center: “I don’t think President Obama is here tonight… But I’m sure he’s listening in.”

    Apparently the mostly left-wing, hippie-dippie, bobos-in-paradise crowd booed. They love their Stalinoid master.

    Mick is 70 and bounces around like he’s ten; I saw him in the early 80s when he and the boys were recording some stuff out in a barn-studio in West Brookfield, MA; he was jogging all by himself at 05:00 on a deserted country road; I was on my way to my dumbass cop job and I waved and he waved back with a big smile. They later did a surprise concert at the now-long-defunct Sir Morgan’s Cove in Woostuh, MA. About 300 people got in to see them, including my then-partner who later went on to the BATF.

    Just another blast from the past, from OFD as the temperature plummets to 69 now and the breeze blows in from the Lake, natural a-c. Mrs. OFD reports that it is so bad in Tampa they can’t even go outside; she says thank God for AC. She and I have our ethnic heritage and DNA and all that from northwest Europe so this heat and humidity bullshit is not for us. We wouldn’t last five minutes in Sugarland, TX.

  33. On my recent purchase, they made it clear to me that it was either Win8 OR Win7—pick just 1. I am not aware of any upgrade available from 8 to 7, except to buy 7 for more money than they will charge for 8.

    If those for whom the computer is destined have smartphones, then the transition to Win8 will be easier, but—unless you have a touchscreen—I would avoid handing Win8 to anyone, and just purchase Win7 and install it.

    After comparing experiences, those of us on the radio project have completely decommissioned AVG and Avast, and now use MS Security Essentials, which is free. It uses FAR fewer resources. No intrusive dialogs and messages right when you are doing something intensive and important, like with AVG and Avast. I have no personal experience with Kaspersky, but have heard both good and bad, and that’s not good, IMO. Symantec is on my shit list, same as Quicken and Intuit having myself been burned very early when you had to phone in for virus definition updates, paying for the call yourself, and my paid-for version would not update. Symantec ignored my every contact (telephone and letter back in those days), including my request in writing for a refund, and I have never bought another product from them ever. That goes back to probably 1992. IMO, using a modem/router with NAT takes care of all the nasties except users opening email or something that starts a scripting malware fest. I have never had any kind of virus since NAT and switching from IE to Firefox. That’s 9 years now.

    As for desktops, I have never actually seen a desktop since Windows came up with the idea. My computer automatically boots into a couple programs, including Outlook and Pidgin, and I start programs from Quick Launch, not the desktop. I don’t even know what my desktop looks like as I’m a full-screen kind of a guy, having never had the need to switch to it—weirdly, the desktop is not an option in the taskbar, so you have to minimize every frigging window (usually 40 or more in my case) to see it. Why would I ever need something like that?

    My short excursion into Win8 ended quickly. I want menus and a logical hierarchy. If all that will not fit on my smartphone, that is one thing, but it damn well will fit on my laptop or desktop, and I am going to have it whatever it takes.

    From what I read, MS is not returning Win8 to old menus with addition of the Start button. Until it is clear what 8.1 changes, I do not trust a thing M$ says. Until Ballmer is out of there, the company is not trustworthy.

    Now the fact is that it is probably possible to arrange computer interfaces in several different, acceptable ways. But there is no damned good reason to adopt hierarchical menus, then change to an icon-driven system after nearly 20 years, dropping menu structures altogether. As the Germans say, “repetition is the key to productivity.” How would you like to have your car radio dial reversed so the high end is low and low end is high, or have charm icons put on the dial and you have to literally guess which one is what frequency or station? Next thing you know, we will be requiring all pregnancies to be from in vitro fertilization because Micro$oft says it’s better. No touching the, um, menus, or doing it the old way—just select the proper icon on the charms screen in the Doc’s office.

  34. We wouldn’t last five minutes in Sugarland, TX.

    That is “Sugar Land” to you, Yankee! Two words. Do not ask me why, I do not have a clue. We don’t even have the 150 year old sugar refinery anymore, they tore it down last year and are getting ready to build apartments in it’s place.

    And yes, me too on the heat and humidity. We hit 98 F today with 60% humidity. My two 3.5 ton A/C units at the office barely quit running. Pretty sure that we will have a $500 electric bill this month. Not bad though for a 5,300 ft2 building and 15 computers and 10 people going in and out all day.

    We are suppose to bounce off 100 F Saturday. May happen. We need rain. The Brazos river is just 30 foot wide and six inches deep. I’ve seen it a mile wide and 55 feet deep running 11 mph. Not since the 1990s though.

    BTW, all the water currently in the Brazos river is discharge from Sugar Land grey water treatment plants. Just what I want to wade in.

  35. It’s not the heat here that is so bad, it is the Houston-like humidity—95% at the moment with 78°. Best place to be in this neck of the woods is somewhere on the east side of Lake Michigan. Moderate everything all year long. Last summer it was no running joke, but absolute reality that Florider was cooler than Indianer.

  36. Chuck wrote:

    “Beards were mainstream when I lived in Minnesota during the late ’70′s. I was practically forced to grow one. After a full winter and summer with decent growth, I decided it was the most annoying, disgusting, dirty, unkempt thing a man can do to his body. And at my age, I would not even begin to grow one, for the same reason David Letterman won’t: the geezer factor.”

    Heresy!

    Beards are so very convenient. I can’t be bothered shaving in the morning, I always have a five o’clock shadow straight after, no matter how hard I try. I keep my beard to 1-3 cm in length, it looks very neat and tidy. One of my pals grows a beard for a while, then gets rid of it. I always think he looks better, younger and more dignified with a beard than without. My father grew a trim beard in the mid Seventies, when he was about 50. My sister and I both thought it looked great on him and made him look younger. At that age the facial skin isn’t in as good condition as it was in the 20s and beards can conceal that. I started growing a beard at about 19, one of my father’s pals told him (but not me!) that I should get rid of it. Well, I think trim beards look great so I didn’t do that. I don’t care for long beards.

  37. Spill something on a beard, and it’s sticky until your next shower. All those hair follicles increase the surface area that needs to be cleaned. Spill something on your face, and it wipes clean with nothing but a napkin.

  38. “The Brazos river is just 30 foot wide and six inches deep.”

    Not to rub it in but I was driving home into the village on the Bay here late this afternoon after the monsoon had hit, and the “brook” that flows from further uphill into the Bay was all over the backyard landscapes along the way, easily four or five feet wide and at least a foot deep and flowing fast. That was undoubtedly true of the other four brooks/streams that are part of the Bay watershed here and the Lake itself is noticeably up, with the remaining pier/wharf mostly underwater again. This immediate area is waterlogged and soggy at present; we could use a few days of steady sun for our tomatoes and peppers.

    Temp holding steady at 69 with ground fog.

  39. Chuck, you must have a different kind of facial hair to the rest of us. I rarely get anything in my beard, and when I do a splash of water fixes it.

  40. I’ll mostly agree with Miles.
    How much of your life is spent on shaving, buying cream/gel and razor blades compared to a trim every now and then?
    And it also helps in cold days.

  41. the desktop is not an option in the taskbar, so you have to minimize every frigging window

    Not true on Windows 7. On the right side of the task bar there is a small vertical bar. Click on that and all your windows minimize.

  42. Thanks everyone. I think I’ll just use Win8 stock with whatever they call their standard security package now. I’ll install FF with AdBlock Plus, Flashblock, and NoScript, which should keep the system pretty secure.

  43. Ya gotta clean them out all the time, and two shavers I’ve had stopped cutting after a few weeks. “You must have very tough whiskers”, said the saleperson, refusing to get involved. Of course, new blades were required, and they cost more than the shaver. Pass.

  44. I was busy hiking in the mountains yesterday so I only skimmed the comments. I’d take offense but, yeah, my “build” is not the same as the guy on the right (or the other, for that matter).

    And, alas, I’m not built like a linebacker. I’m built like a retired linebacker.

    As for not looking like an organic chemist but, rather, a physics or math professor – I had originally intended on physics but found myself working in a chemistry lab and loved it. Went from there. I think my temperment might be more along math or physics prof than chemist.

  45. Incidentally, I usually look more awake than the photo Bob posted. But, as it was taken 10 years and 25 pounds ago, I’ll let it ride.

  46. Yeah, well, in fairness I don’t remember when I shot that image. Or when Barbara shot it. It may have been soon after dawn after we’d been out observing all night.

  47. “As for not looking like an organic chemist but, rather, a physics or math professor – I had originally intended on physics but found myself working in a chemistry lab and loved it. Went from there. I think my temperment might be more along math or physics prof than chemist.”

    Well, chemistry is a minor sub-branch of physics, and physics is a minor sub-branch of mathematics, so you’re an honorary physicist and mathematician… 🙂

  48. I never clean my electric razor. Pop the top and let the day’s geezer gristle fall out; replace the cutter assembly once a year. That once a year is why P&G is trying to dump Braun shavers. Why they ever bought them in the first place is a mystery to me.

  49. Well, chemistry is a minor sub-branch of physics, and physics is a minor sub-branch of mathematics, so you’re an honorary physicist and mathematician…

    Funny, I think of all of the other sciences as sub-disciplines of chemistry.

  50. In the weird weather department,

    80°F and 80% humidity in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Why, it’s unnatural!

    .mg

  51. And here I was just re-watching “Bullitt” the other day. It looked downright comfortable there.

  52. When I was in the AF, I was stationed for a year and a half at the 666 Radar Squadron on top of Mt. Tam, West Peak. USAF Security Police, baby! I didn’t have to report in for the first week I was back from ‘Nam so spent in downtown SF, in the Tenderloin, at a hotel. Walked out to Golden Gate first day, had a Heineken’s Dark at some nice cafe on Fisherman’s Wharf and then a gay guy tried to pick me up, this was ’73. That was first and only time that ever happened. Liked SF because streets were laid out in normal and logical fashion, unlike crazy-ass Boston. Went up and down Lombard Street many times in my yellow AMC Rambler Rebel. Until I wrecked it on one of the mountain roads, drunk on my ass, and had to hike back up to the radar site in a driving rain just in time for my day shift. Hey, when you’re 18 you’re indestructible!

  53. On my recent purchase, they made it clear to me that it was either Win8 OR Win7—pick just 1. I am not aware of any upgrade available from 8 to 7, except to buy 7 for more money than they will charge for 8.

    Microsoft policy used to be that whatever version of Windows you had a license for you could get a license to run any earlier version instead. I never needed to do it, but I think the procedure involved contacting support. This could be really important with server licenses, or other expensive stuff like SQL Server; if you needed an old version you could buy the license for the newer one, and when done with using it for the old version still have a license worth something because it was for what was current.

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