Thursday, 25 September 2014

08:31 – Barbara is due back late today, and I still have cleaning up to do.

The morning paper reports a train derailment in Rural Hall, a few miles from here. Three tanker cars derailed, but spilled only 50 to 100 gallons (200 to 400 liters) of diesel emission fluid, which apparently is used to clean diesel engines. Fortunately, the liquid is pretty benign. It’s a 32% aqueous solution of urea. Think very concentrated urine.

Autumn weather has definitely arrived. It’s been drizzling steadily for the last 24 hours. Our highs for the next week are to be in the mid- to upper-70’s (~25C) and our lows in the high 50’s (15C). With winter fast approaching, I did freeze tests overnight on the canned food that goes in our vehicle emergency kits. The Costco canned chicken, Spam, Chef Boyardee beef ravioli, Bush’s baked beans, and Pet condensed milk all froze solid without damaging the containers. So did the 3.4 liters of water in the gallon (3.8 L) Tropicana orange juice jug.


42 thoughts on “Thursday, 25 September 2014”

  1. Hey, Fred. Long time no hear. How are things in New Castle?

    I’d be interested to hear what you keep in your vehicle emergency kit. I’ll post mine as an Excel worksheet once it’s (semi) finalized.

  2. 3/4 ton dodge with cap, tentAlice pack with clothing changes, canteen, iodine crystals , firearm and ammo UV water treatment device , paracord , atax, swiss army knife, 8 inch heavy duty knife a few MRE and emergency coast guard rations aero rod tinder ice 00 steel wool cotton saturaacted with vasoline,3carabiniers and a few father odds n ends

  3. Oh best suggestion I can make is for folks to check out hoods woods and order their DVDs best advice and training possible great people made by Ron and Karen hood unfortunately Ron passed a couple years ago but the information is timeless

  4. 3 carabiniers ? The Prince of Wales guards?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3rd_Carabiniers

    8 inch heavy duty knife – I’m not sure that is legal to carry in your vehicle here in the Great State of Texas. I must admit my understanding of the Castle Doctrine in Texas is limited at best. Or maybe it is legal in your castle (home or car) but not on your person.

  5. Legal her or I would not have it, also I am licensed to carry concealed also as a first responder I can have and use things others may not

  6. Oblammy’s final act: I absolve Holder of everything. RAAAACIST!!!! White folk goin’ after him.

  7. I would not be surprised to see a massive wave of presidential pardons in the last few days of the current administration. I am sure there will be hundreds if not thousand for the IRS alone.

  8. 3/4 ton dodge with cap

    Gasoline or diesel? My parents think that bug out vehicles should be diesels since diesel is traditionally more available during hurricanes around here. It has been their experience that gasoline goes away quickly as all the cars are filled up but the same does not happen with diesel. In practice, I am not sure of this.

  9. I remember reading once that, depending on contents, cans develop microfractures when frozen and subsequently thawed, and the effect compounds with repeated temperature cycles.

  10. Gasoline or diesel?

    Lynn, your parents have a point. There are other points in their favour as well.
    If they need to vampire fuel from another vehicle, one which runs on diesel is more likely to have a sizeable amount – say a semi-trailer or another large pickup – whereas they may need to hit-up several Geo Metros and Mazda 2’s and so forth to get enough gasoline.
    There are also the simple points of diesel engines having greater efficiency than gasoline, producing greater torque than gasoline engines, and diesel fuel having greater energy density than gasoline. That’s even without the fact that gasoline is now being diluted with stuff that has an even lower energy density (ethanol), thus reducing your average bowser mpg even further compared to true gasoline. If you have a tankful of diesel fuel, it will go LOTS further than an equal-volume tank of gasoline.

    Diesel engines trade lesser horsepower for greater torque compared to gasoline. The fact is, most of us prefer to chug along at less than racetrack speeds, possibly lugging greater loads than we should. A diesel engine is better suited to most people’s driving habits than is a gasoline one, particularly in congested traffic at restricted speeds such as we’d be likely to be facing under conditions where the advantages of diesel fuel counted.

    There is also the faint possibility that being able to shove a few bottles of cooking oil into the tank to eke out the proper diesel fuel would also be of some value, particularly if you prepared in advance. You can also burn fuel oil if you can find it (Remember – buy lots of Pri-D). It’s not nearly as easy to make today’s gasoline engines stretch – pouring a few bottles of white lightning or Canadian rye into the tank just doesn’t work as well as it did back eighty years ago – as far as it can go, it’s already been done before the fuel got out of the refinery (to use the term “refine” loosely).

    Of course, against this you have to set the fact that the manufacturers and the government rip you off on initial purchase price for diesel engines, and tax and excise for diesel fuel.

  11. New 2015 Dodge diesel half-ton pickup crew cab 4×4, $49K:
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/08/2015-ram-diesel-tops-full-sized-pickup-ratings/index.htm

    That there is a lot of money for a vehicle. I paid $32K, discounted from the $40K sticker, for my Ford Expedition nine years ago and considered that to be a lot of money. Obviously I do not know what a lot of money is. And the dealers are reputedly not discounting the diesel pickup at all.

  12. They are expensive bought mine in o3, with all the extras ,rhino lining, undercoat ,cap, snow plow,scotch guard, options I have about 46k invested doubI will ever live long enough to need another nor could I afford one now to replace it today with all the same goodies would run about .still runs well I get 16.5 Mpg in town and about 23 or so highway. Have just under 98k miles on it motor should be good for 3x that if body holds up considering my age and health I will give up the ghost before the truck does

  13. What are people using for security on their PCs nowadays? The one month free (Norton?) is about to run out.

    On the other PCs I use the free products from M$.

  14. I just use MSE on our Windows machines. It’s “good enough”. The machines, of course, are behind a firewall. All of our machines have AdBlock, most have ghostery; those aren’t directly “security”, but they do prevent some stupid stuff from showing up in the browsers.

    The only problems we’ve had: One of my teenagers has now twice managed to download something that brought one of those “browser search bars” with it, which I had to go dig out by hand. But no security solution is proof against the user making poor decisions…

  15. My sister’s desktop is loaded with “search bars”, some of which I could dig out, one was so deeply dug in I couldn’t get rid of it. She blamed me for this, of course, when it was probably her, her younger daughter and/or two grand kids. I refuse to use that PC now, at least for anything involving a password.

    She’s said she’ll give it to me – it’s about eight years old and running XP. First thing I’ll do is format it and install Windows 7 Pro (thanks Ray).

  16. One of my teenagers has now twice managed to download something that brought one of those “browser search bars” with it, which I had to go dig out by hand. But no security solution is proof against the user making poor decisions…

    My mother did the same thing a few times.

  17. MSE, Adblock and most importantly not clicking on every link emailed to me or saying “yes” blindly when installing something has kept me virus free for years. The last two have worked for decades.

  18. MSE, AVG Free or occasionally Avast (and don’t ever click on “upgrade”, always use “update”), FireFox, AdBlock, NoScript, MalwareBytes and Spybot S&D (these two run manually only occasionally).
    The brains, such as they are, I came equipped with, and have developed since.
    And critically, I never run e-mail onboard, I always use a service with built-in virus check to maintain it and my browser to read it.

  19. Microsoft Security Essentials still gets high marks, but I use avast! Free, Malwarebytes, and Adblock Plus (Firefox is only browser I recommend) on all the computers that I maintain for my direct (4) and extended (20) family. None of them have ever been bit by a virus or malware (knock on wood).

  20. I just use MSE on our Windows machines. It’s “good enough”. The machines, of course, are behind a firewall.

    An IPv4 firewall and an IPv6 firewall? Or just IPv4?

    We are going to have to get serious about IPv6 firewalls in the very near future.

  21. What are people using for security on their PCs nowadays?

    Microsoft Security Essentials and Enhanced Migration Experience Toolkit. And avoid questionable sites. Also make your primary account a user account and not an administrator account. Cable router naturally so that you get a non-routable IP address. Malwarebytes is good. I got a lifetime license for $10.00 from Newegg sometime back.

    If you are on Comcast you can get Norton Security for free.

  22. @Lynn: I finally have IPv6-capable equipment everywhere, but IPv6 is still disabled. The firewall issues are a lot different, and I don’t have time just now to learn all I need to know. Hopefully next year.

    That said, IPv6 has been “just around the corner” for so long now that I have become skeptical that we will see it any time soon. IPv4 with carrier-grade NAT could last a long time…

  23. Yes, we are also IPv6 capable but I have blocked it all in my Peplink 30 WAN aggregator. I just do not understand all the repercussions of IPv6 at this time.

    I think that there will be a crisis in IPv4 in the next 24 months with a subsequent rollover to IPv6 in a hurry by most of the world. I would really like to see NAT in IPv6.

  24. What are people using for security on their PCs nowadays?

    Linux.

    Though I’m going to have to refresh my knowledge of Windows security; my wife will be getting a Windows laptop soon.

  25. Ditto: Linux. My single Windows computer no longer connects to the outside world and is used only for audio work.

  26. I’ve heard it said that the Bash problem will allow exploits of routers and Mac OSes based on Unix.

  27. Don’t know. I have never encountered a Linux router in the US, and that goes for all 3 I have had since returning to the US 4+ years ago. My current router, belonging to AT&T, has firmware upgraded remotely by AT&T themselves, but then it is not a Linux router, and thus will escape the Bash situation.

  28. Anti-virus: ESET NOD32 (not free, $20/yr (3 PC price)) – just works, no “upgrade” nags
    Anti-malware: Malwarebytes – definitely pay for the premium version with the ‘active’ protection
    Plus SpyBot for occasional scans and their start-up programs utility

  29. My understanding is that bash is used in full-up Linux versions, but not in routers and such. They tend to use busybox, or something else with a small footprint.

    Anyway, while there is some danger, it ought to be pretty limited – the hack does not give you any sort of privilege escalation, so even if you hack into a server, you only have whatever rights that particular shell instance has. If it’s part of a web-facing service, a competent administrator will have ensured that those are very limited rights.

    That’s not to say it’s harmless – once you are into a system, you may well be able to find a second hack to get root privileges. And there are also certainly poorly administered systems out there. But ShellShock seems to me less harmful than all the hype would have us believe, especially if it is fixed promptly…

    BTW, apparently anything based on Debian (which includes Ubuntu) apparently uses Dash by default, unless Bash is specifically requested. Which means that huge numbers of servers are probably ok, even with ShellShock.

  30. Windows Firewall, Malwarebytes, CC Cleaner and SonicWall at work. Also Barracuda anti-spam email appliance which seems to work so-so, in conjunction with Exchange 2007 and various iterations of Outlook, which is slowly driving me insane. Ditto my young helper guy.

    At home I’ve got Defender and Firewall as defaults on the Windows 8 machine along with the ISP-supplied router/firewall config, and I periodically run Malwarebytes and CC cleaner; neither Mrs. OFD nor myself are likely to download, on purpose, or accidentally, a bunch of garbage from the net here. For other security stuff, I may or may not use Tails, or run a Linux vm inside a Linux machine, like Whonix for exampe, and an offshore email service, with Tor being the default browser.

    For the little I’ve had to do so far on the Linux servers, it’s mostly vim stuff rather than bash. Back at IBM it was bash daily, if not hourly.

  31. Apparently, my Mint 17 uses Bash, as it just downloaded a priority update. So hopefully, I’m clean.

    I have never had a virus of any kind after getting broadband with a NAT router. No OS-based firewall at present — just the router’s. But I do run NoScript and Adblock. People are constantly referring to ads they see on the Internet and asking me if I have seen them. I never know what they are talking about, because I never see any.

  32. OFD, I’m a whiz at Outlook in all its iterations since OL98. Hell, I once had OL opening .pst files from a server. (Did that with QuickBooks, too — never again!)
    Wish I lived closer, might have made a perfect candidate for your helper position.

  33. You’d probably be better as my boss and mentor, at least with Outlook issues, Jim. We also have QuickBooks there, working off a Windows 7 machine set up as a server. We’re expected to solve all their little user issues, too, so right now Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013 probably eat up close to 40% of our work week lately. These all have to run off an Exchange 2007 server running on a Windows 2003 server across the internal 10-dot network and the 192.168 subnet in the other building. The Powers wonder why we can’t/don’t solve these things instantly, too, and get a tad bent outta shape. “Well, if you’re spending hours on this, why not just rebuild the whole machine from scratch?”

    “Because rebuilding the machine isn’t going to fix this, Boss. Furthermore, you haven’t even ordered the spare machines and licenses we can swap in and out for these problems that I asked you about three weeks ago, so we have nothing to swap in or out right now.”

    I told them we needed some more machines and licenses so we can “loan” a box/laptop to somebody while we try to fix their problem machine. They said, write up a proposal. I did, and nothing for a week. They said, write up a justification for it. I did, and nothing for another week. They said, cost it out, and have it in by Friday. I did, and I’ve still heard nothing.

    So I guess we just pull Windows 7 and Office 2010 licenses out of our asses and substitute PC’s and laptops from the sky.

    And if the new Logistics Manager can’t function in her job with customers, well, that’s our fault.

  34. Well, Dave, looks like you need to stock up on anything for which you can get an employee discount ASAP (particularly anything that goes boom). Also, get your feelers out for any other nearby employment – doesn’t look like you need to overtly search at this stage, just passively listen.

  35. I’ll probably be serving a six- to twelve-month sentence here, mainly ’cause it would look bad to bail so soon. At the same time I can use it to pad the resume with current Windoze experience on top of the recent RHEL stuff.

    I’d like to find something locally to where we live that pays around the same, while I transition into some other field in the meantime. So will be passively listening and watching and making contacts accordingly.

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