Friday, 20 September 2013

By on September 20th, 2013 in Barbara, dogs, science kits

11:28 – Barbara gets back tomorrow. I can’t wait. Colin had the squirties yesterday and overnight, not to mention barfing up his dinner on the foyer rug, so I’m running on very little sleep.

Barbara called a few minutes ago. The tour bus had made a stop at a Cabellas, so Barbara was walking around the guns and ammunition section. Geez. The last time I bought a box of 100 .45 ACP ammunition at Wal*Mart, it was something like $29. She said Cabellas had the same box, but it’s now $78. She said she wasn’t comfortable buying ammunition, which was fine with me since I have no idea whether it’d even be legal to transport it interstate on a tour bus. She did say she could pick up a couple of shotguns, but I passed on that as well. I told her about Colin’s squirties problem, and of course she was very concerned. But it seems to have cleared up today, so I told her not to worry about it.

I’m working today on designing an earth science kit. Kit design is always an iterative process, adding stuff tentatively and then taking it out later when it turns out it’s not worth the cost because there are cheaper ways to accomplish the same thing. And the whole time I’m roughing out the lab manual, adding stuff here and removing stuff there.

18 Comments and discussion on "Friday, 20 September 2013"

  1. Ray Thompson says:

    Updated my iPad and iPhone to IOS 7. There are still a few things that Apple will need to change in the 7.1 update. However, what is totally amazing is the number of people who are bitching about the update. They fully knew what the update was going to look like, how it was going to operate as this information has been available for several weeks. Yet they still chose to update. Now they want to drop back to a prior version, 6.1.3. Idiots.

    There are some things about the interface I don’t like but I can live with it. There were things about 6.1.3 that I did not like but I learned to live with it. I don’t like a lot about W8, but I have learned to live with it when I have to use it. Times change, interfaces change.

  2. Lynn McGuire says:

    The last time I bought a box of 100 .45 ACP ammunition at Wal*Mart, it was something like $29. She said Cabellas had the same box, but it’s now $78

    There is a large number of new ammunition manufacturing coming on line so supplies are starting to increase. I am seeing a lot of very unusual brand names. Plenty of rifle ammo and lots of .45 / .40 ammo. Not much else. Academy still has .22 and 9 mm at two boxes per day when they have them.

  3. Lynn McGuire says:

    As I’ve said, I think the only way out of this mess is to implement a basic income.

    I’m afraid the alternative is revolution and chaos. And I think Hayek and Friedman would agree with me. I’m a hard-core capitalist, as were they, but the simple truth is that there are winners and losers under capitalism. A few big winners and a lot of losers.

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot even though I know that it will not happen. I have come up with a number of questions:
    1. who pays for health insurance?
    2. can children emancipate their parents and go on the dole early?
    3. will currently illegal drugs be decriminalized so people have something to do?
    4. will there be a marriage penalty?
    5. can legal immigrants get on the dole?
    6. can illegal immigrants get on the dole?
    7. will the dole be changed for high cost of living areas?

    I think that we will see a rising number of basic income farming prosecutions. That is the case where people are warehoused together and sign over their checks to their “caretakers”. We just had a case of this in Houston where a guy had a bunch of older guys on social security crammed into a house and signing their social security checks over to him. Their “caretaker” barely fed them and would not let them leave the home. The caretaker is awaiting trial on slavery? charges now.

    I have another prediction. The basic income program will cause major inflation. Bread and milk will be $5 within a year of the program start.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    1. Individuals or businesses, but it’ll be much, much cheaper without the bureaucracy currently in place to redistribute to poor people.

    2. No.
    3. Yes.
    4. No.
    5. No.
    6. No.
    7. No.

  5. MrAtoz says:

    13 shot in Chicago.

    Police: It was an “military” grade assault weapon. They should be banned. (like this was a legal weapon in Chitown)

    Obama, Sharpton, Jackson: zzzz zzzzz zzzzz Lot-o-black people shot. Who cares.,0,352520.story

  6. OFD says:

    Oh you can bet if it turns out to be a white guy who fired those shots all hell will break loose. But it ain’t. Gangbangers got hold of an AK-type rifle and it is truly amazing, I guess, that there are no fatalities. But we’re not talking about a super-accurate rifle, unless it’s been customized, and the average gangsta is not a marksman.

    Chicago and D.C. in one week, with arguably the toughest gun laws/restrictions in the country.

    One guess as to what the usual librul suspects will be screaming about.

  7. OFD says:

    “Updated my iPad and iPhone to IOS 7.”

    Second attempt at that for my iPhone; previous one “timed out.” Apparently takes hours to download?

    Barry is just trying to chump the union votes out there; his main concern is keeping his boss Putin happy right now and either getting a third term or moving the Mooch into that position, which is the same thing.

    And the Feebie director assures us that there was “no discernible pattern” in the D.C. shooter’s caper; oh? The guy parks his car in the deck across from the building and then walks over and right through “security” with a bag and goes up to the fourth floor. If he’s just a random nutball robot, why not start blasting people on the first floor? No, he goes into a bathroom, comes out with the Remington 870, a pump shotgun, and kills some folks there. Then he goes down to the third floor, shoots a guard and takes the guard’s handgun, I assume the usual 9 or 40 crunchenticker semi-auto. He continues shooting people at random now until, fifteen or so minutes later, he is finally engaged by superior firepower and dispatched to Hell. Why conceal the gun? Why the fourth floor? And: who were the victims??? No discernible pattern my ass.

  8. Chuck W says:

    Back from jail. They did not need the photo ID for me to get in—or out. I have done work in there several times. I guessed wrong yesterday; the case was DNA identification evidence at an armed robbery location, not a meth factory case.

    Meanwhile, my car has been in the shop since last week this time; it is a ’94 and parts are hard to come by. Dang car has stranded me twice this summer, and I think I am going to move on. I’m in a rental until next week. This one has a direct Aux input to the sound system. Listened to Klassik Radio in Berlin from the Smartphone patched into the Aux channel all the way home. Astounding sound and not a single interruption the whole way home, once it got going. I am using the Tune-in app on the Android, with Adblock—although Adblock does not work with the phone’s 3/4G data feeds, only with Wi-Fi.

    On the way over, I had the iPod plugged in, catching up on BBC podcasts. One was about cybersecurity. They interviewed an American legal expert, who said that the days of hiding yourself on the Internet using proxy servers, IP forwarding, and the like, are over. In a cyber attack on the US from China, even though those techniques were used, US teams were able to identify not only the exact building where the attack originated, but the floor of the building, which computer on the floor, and the person who initiated the attack. This was somehow confirmed in China, although he said the government officially denies the attack occurred. Nobody can be anonymous on the Internet anymore, so this guy said.

  9. Ray Thompson says:

    Second attempt at that for my iPhone; previous one “timed out.” Apparently takes hours to download?

    Took me about 1 hour including the download. Use iTunes on your computer to do the update. Takes less time as apparently iTunes uses different servers than when doing the update using WIFI on the phone. The iTunes servers were less swamped.

    I did my iPhone, one iPad and one iPad mini without difficulty. The advantage of using iTunes is that you can back up your phone before doing the upgrade.

  10. OFD says:

    “Nobody can be anonymous on the Internet anymore, so this guy said.”

    They would say that, even if, and especially if, it was not true. An American legal “expert” on the BBC. I wouldn’t put a whole lot of stock in that. At any given moment in the ongoing battle between black hats, gray hats and white hats, it is touch-and-go. At the moment he was speaking, perhaps he was correct.

    “Use iTunes on your computer to do the update.”

    I have been. I do all that kind of thing with the phone via the computer’s iTunes because our cell coverage here is so crappy. I restarted the download two hours ago and it’s now telling me “84 minutes remaining.” I imagine their servers are straining at the load. Apparently cell phone capability all along the lake shore is troublesome, and even more so where we live, due, they say, to a large pile of scrap metal at the town garage/yard about two-hundred yahds from our house.

    Temp has dropped from nearly 80 this afternoon to 60 right now. 36 more hours of summuh.

  11. SteveF says:

    If Chuck listened to the same podcast I did, the expert was Richard Clark.

    That podcast (or the one I listened to, at any rate) also had a bunch of other guys currently in the biz who, for instance, know darn well where the majority of attacks are coming from “but can’t say who it is”.

    The main thing I got from the program is that national-level resources are being brought to bear against corporations and even individuals, for both espionage (and monitoring in general) and for sabotage (or mischief in general). Even if I don’t believe everything Richard Clark says, and I don’t, the bottom line is that we’re being watched all the time and we need to be very, very careful if we don’t want everything we do to be scrutinized and held against us.

  12. Ray Thompson says:

    I restarted the download two hours ago and it’s now telling me “84 minutes remaining.”

    I did an iPad mini yesterday at about 13:00 and it only took 15 minutes to do the download and another 10 minutes to do the installation. Done through iTunes.

  13. Chuck W says:

    SteveF says:

    If Chuck listened to the same podcast I did, the expert was Richard Clark.

    Actually it was Mark Anderson, CEO of Forbes’ Strategic News Service, from this BBC Business Daily:

    Anderson has the reputation as making the most accurate predictions in computing and telecommunications on the planet. For some time now, he has noted that R&D is practically non-existent in today’s world. That’s a fact I have also pointed out here, which people refuse to believe. It started a good 10 years ago in the pharmaceutical industry, and that was recently confirmed in an interview by the CEO of Glaxo Smith Kline on the BBC , who said R&D provides such a small return on investment these days, that no drug company is doing the R&D necessary to protect society from the advancing short-term ills it is facing; drug companies only want to spend money on things like heart disease, which will get them years and years of income from people who use pills aimed at that, rather than developing vaccines for the latest flu bug which costs lots of money and will only produce revenue for a year or two. R&D is gone at Bell Labs, H-P, Intel, and just about every other place in every sector of the economy.

    Here’s a great quote by Anderson:

    There is a catastrophic difference between 300 million people driving a 1.7% GDP growth rate and 1.3 billion people driving a 7.0% GDP, and that difference is no longer explained by cheap labor.

    Anderson claims it is driven by theft, copying, and other illegal means that take place outside the US. Anybody notice crime is increasing here in the US? That was a subject of casual conversation between lawyers and the police chemist before the start of yesterday’s taping. It’s a lawless world and that is rubbing off even in the US.

  14. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Actually, crime rates in the US have been dropping noticeably for many years by every measure I’ve seen. And although as we all know correlation does not equal causation, it’s interesting to contemplate the Roe v. Wade decision versus decreasing crime rates.

  15. SteveF says:

    It depends on what you mean by “crime” and what you mean by “crime rate”.

    “Crimes” have been increasing because of the vast expansion of laws. Something as simple as copying a music CD has gone from a tort to a felony. And the population is increasing, so a steady crime rate will result in more crimes per year.

    Reporting of street-type crimes has increased and gone national. It doesn’t matter that the rate of muggings per thousand people per year has gone down, the perception is that it’s constant and it’s everywhere.

    Disclosure of wrongdoing by corporations and governments is certainly on the increase. I don’t know if the rate of wrongdoing is going up, but it’s more publicized. Many of us suspected that the TLAs were snooping on all electronic communications within the US but without Snowden et al we wouldn’t have known for sure and the public wouldn’t have suspected. And I’m willing to bet that the NSA committed billions of statutory crimes per year.

  16. SteveF says:

    I wasn’t able to find the podcast I listened to. It was on BBC Radio 3, 4, or 4 Extra and has probably been taken down. They archive some of their shows forever and some for only a week or a month.

    I’m sure that a lot of the PRC’s actual growth is driven by theft. I’ve experienced it myself. I’m not sure I believe that 7% figure, though. When some nation has a culture of lying, cheating, stealing, and taking every advantage you can and that nation also has a totalitarian government with its hooks in commerce, you have to expect just a bit of dishonesty in reporting the economic numbers. The banks, in particular, are horribly vulnerable, with only government action keeping them from cascade failure.

    The real pisser is that my statements, above, can be applied to the US government and economy almost as well. Bummer, that.

  17. Chuck W says:

    Well, I’m not sure how much crime statistics can be relied on—or even, as SteveF says, GDP numbers,—but it sure feels like there is more crime. My friend at Walmart says shoplifting is up significantly, but a good part of that comes from the self checkouts. They are putting in more and cutting the number of manned checkout lanes, even though they know that causes more shoplifting to slip by.

    Street crime numbers are up here in Indiana, and overcrowded jails are a problem. The policewoman yesterday said their workload is at a breaking point, and they will get no more bodies to help for the foreseeable future. NYC is also up. Plus, it is clear that everybody and their brother are out buying guns. My guess is that most people feel like there is more crime.

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