Wednesday, 12 February 2014

07:51 – Colin turns three years old today. Barbara has a new chew toy for him and he’ll get lots of human food for dinner, but other than that we don’t make a big deal about birthdays.

The lead article on the front page of the paper this morning featured one of victims whom Forsyth Hospital accidentally exposed to CJD. She’s 27 years old and has a 2-year-old child. When the hospital called, she thought they were calling to tell her she’d left her slippers there. Geez. And the ambulance chasers are already at it. Barbara noticed an ad from a local law firm soliciting business from those who’d been exposed to CJD. I liked it a lot better when attorneys were not allowed to advertise because it was unprofessional and unethical to do so. It still is, but now they’re allowed to do it.

The forecasters say we’re going to get nailed today and tomorrow with a major winter storm. They’re expecting 6 to 10″ (15 to 25 cm) of snow, a tenth of an inch (2.5 mm) of ice, and stiff winds. For around here, that qualifies as a blizzard. The snow is supposed to start falling around noon and become heavy this evening and into tomorrow. Local schools are closed, and many businesses will close early.

The problem is that they’re not sure of the mix. If we get 10 inches of snow and a tenth inch of ice, there won’t be too many problems with power outages. If the mix skews more toward an ice storm, we could have widespread power outages. Oh, well. We have a generator and natural gas logs, so we’ll manage regardless.


33 thoughts on “Wednesday, 12 February 2014”

  1. an ad from a local law firm soliciting business from those who’d been exposed to CJD

    Just as I stated. The bottom feeders are lining up.

  2. “The problem is that they’re not sure of the mix. If we get 10 inches of snow and a tenth inch of ice, there won’t be too many problems with power outages. If the mix skews more toward an ice storm, we could have widespread power outages. Oh, well. We have a generator and natural gas logs, so we’ll manage regardless.”

    Why can’t AlGore go on a skiing vacation and allow some global warming?

  3. The Sun is out here in the Land of Sugar! 39 F and rising! Back to 34 F tonight. and none of that solid stuff falling from the sky but we have gotten 2 to 3 inches of rain since Sunday.

    The Houston Chronicle staff writer who tries to predict the weather says that this is one of the coldest winters in over 100 years in the Houston area. Definitely in the bottom ten and maybe in the bottom five. And it ain’t over yet!

    I am driving up to Dallas next week (300 miles each way) and Norman, OK the following weekend (450 miles each way). I am beginning to get a little worried about potential ice in the Davis mountains XXXXX hills.

    And we are supposed to be 70 F by Saturday.

  4. The weather liars here tell us to expect three to six inches tomorrow night into Friday and that’s it. BFD.

    21 now, sunny with blue skies and no wind.

    A “first-round” phone interview of 30 minutes coming up early next week for the RHEL/CentOS gig; light a joss stick if ya got one.

    Mrs. OFD off to TX on Sunday for two weeks straight.

  5. http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/02/10/some-western-md-residents-want-to-form-their-own-state/

    “Maryland isn’t the only state where frustrated citizens want to break away. It’s happening in Colorado, California, Arizona and Michigan.”

    Is it just me or does the amount of states wanting to split in the USA increasing? Maybe this is how we get to Obama’s 57 states instead of annexing Canada.

    A “first-round” phone interview of 30 minutes coming up early next week for the RHEL/CentOS gig; light a joss stick if ya got one.

    Congrats! Not into joss sticks but hope you get the job.

  6. Yup, there is a growing swell of interest in many states now to get out from under the Fed Leviathan, but the Fed Leviathan is not about to let them go; there is precedent here for how badly they take such interest. Not gonna happen until they run outta money to pay the troops and cops.

    Hey, joss sticks, praying the Rosary, studying entrails, human sacrifices, whatever it takes; baby needs new shoes! (to add to the growing Honorary Imelda Marcos Collection here….)

  7. Go, Dave, go! We’re all pulling for you.

    Been there on the Imelda Marcos scene. My spouse entered Germany with 2 pairs of shoes—good and everyday—and when we moved to the East 3 years later, had over 80 pairs.

  8. I’m not into joss sticks either. I’d give a worthless bureaucrat a swift kick, but worthless bureaucrats are so common and so useless that I’m not sure that kicking them counts as an offering.

  9. OFD wrote:

    “A “first-round” phone interview of 30 minutes coming up early next week for the RHEL/CentOS gig; light a joss stick if ya got one.”

    No joss sticks here, but I’ll sacrifice a cat for you… 🙂

  10. Chuck wrote:

    “My spouse entered Germany with 2 pairs of shoes—good and everyday—and when we moved to the East 3 years later, had over 80 pairs.”

    Geez Chuck, why do women need that many?

  11. Hey, joss sticks, praying the Rosary, studying entrails, human sacrifices, whatever it takes; baby needs new shoes!

    Good luck, OFD! I’ll see if I can persuade my Catholic housemate to clink a few beads for you. 😛

  12. And, of course, I seldom wore shoes anywhere—except to work.

    Hey, they sounds like TN. Where the women are also barefoot and pregnant. Even some jobs shoes are not considered a requirement.

  13. Thanks much, guys! I will be prepping this weekend for the phone yak.

    22 here right now and the wind has picked up quite a bit from the south, i.e., the main body of the lake. Snow enroute by tomorrow night; Mrs. OFD just came back from walking the mutt and even she was outta breath from the wind; just jumped into her flannel jammies I got her for Xmas.

  14. Another day of jetstream forecast shows the move north next week is a resumption of the back-and-forth tail wagging we had prior to Xmas, with cold coming and going after next week’s warmup. Looks like Lynn will be spared though, as the dip south starting next Tuesday will not be as deep as this week’s. Also, with the sun’s arc rising, general warming will be taking place.

    From what I can see of the maps, it looks like our host has been directly hit by the ice storm with the switch to snow happening right now. Does not look like it will last long, though. Appears to be a pretty quick moving storm.

    Women and shoes—I have no idea what that is about. Out of 80 pairs, she only focused on 2 or 3 that she wore regularly at any one period of time. I bet there were a couple dozen that were only worn once or twice. Oh, well. I’m sure my habits were at least as strange as hers.

    Interesting analysis in The Economist about the upcoming Hobby Lobby suit over the ACA. One possible option, says the author, is for the SCOTUS to come up with a decision that scuttles the ACA altogether. Not the most likely outcome, though, he indicates.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/02/how-the-case-of-an-amish-farmer-could-doom-hobby-lobby-in-court/283783/

  15. We have about six inches of snow on the ground right now, and it’s shifted over to “wintry mix”, which I guess means sleet and freezing rain. More snow expected this afternoon. Winston-Salem is pretty much shut down for now. The main roads have been plowed and salted, but the secondary roads and residential streets are not passable for anything other than 4WD. The authorities are pleading with people to stay home, because what traffic is on the roads is making things difficult for the plows.

  16. Yah but they just gotta get out and get their bread and milk before the Apocalypse PLUS the ciggies and six-packs of shitty Murkan lager and the rental DVDs. Have a haht, Bob.

  17. I grew up driving on this stuff for four or five months a year. Barbara went to college up in the mountains, so she has at least some experience driving on it. But most drivers around here have next to none, since we get a decent snow maybe every two or three years. Dirty Harry’s admonition really applies here: A man’s got to know his limitations. Few around here do.

    And many of them seem to believe that 4WD is some kind of magic bullet. Even Barbara seems to believe that. I keep telling her that there’s a reason why the US Army spends all that money on tank retrievers. Even an M1 Abrams main battle tank can get stuck.

    Of course, experience does count for a lot. I remember a guy who used to write under a pseudonym for Mel Tappan’s newsletter. He tells the story on himself about driving in the back country in his new tricked-out 4X4, hitting a low spot on the dirt road that had turned into several inches of mud, and ending up stuck. His winch cable wasn’t long enough to reach the nearest tree, so he was getting ready to dig a hole in the mud to bury a deadman when a middle-aged lady came along, driving a 2WD pickup truck with nearly bald tires. She pulled down into the mud with him, tossed him a rope, and *pulled* him out. He said he’d never been so embarrassed in his life.

  18. We’ve seen 4X operators in SUVs flying along the roads and the interstate during nearly zero visibility, snow falling sideways, plus wind and fog and spray. Road surface treacherous. They not only don’t slow down; they speed up. And invariably we see them overturned in the media or down into a ravine somewhere.

    About to retrieve my ’96 Ram 2500 from the shop; they replaced some filters and fluids and tell me the 4X may be hosed or some other chit is wrong with the front end. I may take it off the road for a while and look into another truck for us anyway. Shovel more money into the old one as time and finances allow, as it otherwise runs like a top.

  19. And many of them seem to believe that 4WD is some kind of magic bullet. Even Barbara seems to believe that. I keep telling her that there’s a reason why the US Army spends all that money on tank retrievers. Even an M1 Abrams main battle tank can get stuck.

    The first time my former USMC son was in Iraq, he watched a moron drive a humvee into a wet area by the Euphrates river. Turned out to be quicksand when he sunk three feet down. Another moron drove another humvee out there to pull him out. Same story. Then another moron drove a 7.5 ton truck with 10 wheel drive out there. They all watched it sink. Then someone went and got a tank retriever with it’s 300? 400? 500? foot steel cable. That worked!

  20. Does anyone rent DVDs anymore?

    Yes, I do. About 5 a month. I get them for $2.50 for a two day rental which is markedly cheaper than getting the movie from iTunes or other streaming services. Netflix sucks so that is not an option for current movies. Hulu Plus is about the same category. I have software that I rip the DVD’s (Blu-ray included) to my computer. I can then load them on my iPad and stream them to my Apple TV when I want. Multiple times beyond the normal rental time frame.

    My DVD rental store is closing so I have to pursue another option. My son can get just about any movie I want. So rather than support the movie producers I will now steal the movies as it is much more convenient than trying to stream. I did not mind paying, but with the latest closure, fuck ’em.

  21. And many of them seem to believe that 4WD is some kind of magic bullet.

    What those loons fail to understand is that they have 4 wheel brakes and contact surface points with the road same as any other vehicle. They may be able to go when others are unable. But not being able to go has failed to cause any crashes. Not being able to stop is what causes the crashes and my 2WD has the same stopping ability as any 4WD.

  22. Yep, as my brother (a part-time racing instructor who is also an engineer and builds his own race cars) says, 4WD gets you going. It doesn’t get you stopping.

    I don’t quite agree with OFD about fast SUV drivers invariably winding up in a ditch, but I do strongly agree that in slippery conditions a very high fraction of stuck, overturned, or wrecked cars are SUVs. High center of gravity, poor weight distribution, usually poor steering setup, usually tires designed to smooth the ride on good pavement, feeling of superiority from having 4WD, and a disproportionate share of idiot drivers… Well, what would you expect?

  23. I have to admit that I would like to have all my DVDs and Blurays available to my TV on an instantaneous basis. I am getting rather lazy in my old age and would like to have those available at the click of my remote. I can usually find something inane to watch on DirecTV so I rarely watch DVDs and Blurays.

    In fact, I have been using the VOD facility in DirecTV to watch stuff that I missed. Last night, I downloaded three episodes of “Mom” and watched that with the wife. The only problem with the VOD on DirecTV is that most of the downloads are SD and cannot be forewarded (you must watch the stupid commercials). If DirecTV added a big library like NetFlix to their VOD, I would be in hog heaven. Or, I could get a Roku HD box (see lazy note above).

  24. Building a useful library takes time and effort. Ray must have been working on this for some time now. Start now and don’t look back, because it will take a while before you have enough material that you will not be watching something you just saw a few weeks back.

    Back before we moved to Germany, the kids and I set up an interconnect using Justin Frankel’s WASTE program (Frankel coded Winamp among other things). It allowed us to connect to each others’ music libraries across the Internet with an encrypted connection. The kids were in school at the time and were ripping/and or sharing all their friends’ CD’s, so we had a pretty huge collection going. Both kids moved to Macs, and WASTE does not work on it (or did not back then), so that whole connection fell apart, but I see no reason why people could not use it for movies.

    I am ripping the radio project’s CD library again, for several reasons. It is a massive undertaking and will be years before it is finished. Everyone else backed out of this effort, so I am currently alone in doing it. I average about 2 CD’s a day, but it is not a quick and dirty job this time. I am cleaning up ins and outs using a WAVE editor, as there are a LOT of bad starts and ends to music tracks on CD’s, and we need it clean for broadcast. Also, the composer info has to be added, as we are expecting that information will have to be reported either for broadcast or streaming, or both, in the not too distant future.

  25. I am ripping the radio project’s CD library again, for several reasons. It is a massive undertaking and will be years before it is finished.

    I ripped all my CD’s, about 300, in about a week. I used iTunes and could do about 6 an hour, took less than 5 minutes a CD. I could rip them to WAVE, MP3, AAC or whatever format I wanted. iTunes also accessed the CD database to get track titles. Granted my needs are much different than yours and I made no effort to mess with the start and stop times all of them except a Simon and Garfunkel CD seemed to be OK.

  26. I confess, I gave up ripping our CDs. We have lots of older CDs, classical and rock, produced before ripping was really even a concept. The amount of screwed up information is just astounding. Artist: Wolfgang Mozart, no it’s the Royal Philharmonic, no it’s Mozart Wolfgang, no it’s the name of the stinking conductor. Plus typos, plus ALL CAPS, plus – you name it, if it can be screwed up, it is.

    I haven’t got the patience to sort it out, but otherwise you can’t organize your collection. In the end, I just use the CDs and CDs, and buy other stuff online…

  27. I ripped all my CDs, and didn’t bother trying to clean up the information. I just hit shuffle and listen. If I don’t like what is playing at the time, I hit next.

  28. I ripped all our CD’s years ago. Originally I did them as WAV, but then I decided that 256 Kb/s VBR MP3’s were more than good enough. Barbara still has shelves full of the original CD’s if we ever need them, but I don’t expect to.

  29. Hey, they sounds like TN. Where the women are also barefoot and pregnant.

    I may not be the most clued in guy on the planet, but even I am not dumb enough to try to force a pregnant woman into shoes.

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