Tuesday, 13 January 2015

09:33 – I’m going to split today between kit stuff and working on the prepping book, which currently sits at 222 pages and just over 85,000 words. At a guess, it’s not quite halfway through the first draft. The target is 450 to 500 pages, but that could vary up or down.

At the moment, I’m writing about hunkering down (bugging in) versus evacuating (bugging out). Short take: you’re absolutely nuts to evacuate unless there’s absolutely, positively no alternative. Even if your home is in a less than ideal location, such as the suburbs, your chances are almost always better there than they would be on the road. All of your stuff is at home. You know the area. You know your neighbors. Your friends are probably near by, and perhaps your family. Your home is like a turtle’s shell. If you go out on the road, you’re much more vulnerable. You’re a naked turtle, surrounded by turtle-iverous predators. Of course, the ideal is for your home to be remote from more dangerous areas, like big cities and their suburbs.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared to evacuate if an emergency makes that your best option. Just be aware that you may well be jumping out of the proverbial frying pan.


28 thoughts on “Tuesday, 13 January 2015”

  1. Agreed on hunkering down at home. Which is what we’re doing, having made it this fah.

    Net, landline phone and tee-vee were kaput here yesterday from about 7 PM to at least 03:00 this morning; probably due to the wind and snow and ice we got, plus, judging from the scanner reports, an accident or accidents in the vicinity that must have damaged something. Comcast first said they would be up again by 9:30 PM then it was gonna be 01:30, etc. I’ll try to find out exactly what happened but am hoping this will not become a regular thing.

    Off to my last one-on-one with a counselor at the VA; she’s being promoted to working with homeless vets instead of guys like us, which is OK; a couple of the guys in my group also do volunteer work with them.

    Minus 3 today, with bright sun and blue skies and thankfully no wind.

  2. If anybody remembers Lily Tomlin’s Earnestine the operator, Earnestine is alive and well at Centurylink, our local landline phone company (what used to be called a Baby Bell). It took 4 calls taking almost two hours to set up new service yesterday. I called three times and was cut off while on hold with the first two calls. The third person I talked to insisted that the fastest service they could provide at our new home was 1.5 megabit service. I pointed out that the people we are buying from have 12 megabit service and gave him the phone number. He put me on hold and, after about 10 minutes, I was cut off again. I called back, found a supervisor who finally confirmed that 20 megabit service is available and took my order. Then he told me that they could not start service until January 21 because they have to send a technician to turn on the service to the home. After I pointed out that the service was already on at the home, he allowed that they should be able to turn on the service as soon as I receive the modem. Then, although we have had Centurylink (or its predecessors back to U.S. West) at our current address for 29 years, they needed to run a credit check. That came back as flagged because their records showed that, sometime in the past, somebody skipped out on a bill at the address. I pointed out that that wasn’t me and they finally processed the order. If Google fiber is ever available, I’ll switch. At this point I am so annoyed with Centurylink that I do not plan to get voice service, only data service. I’ll either port our current landline number to a mobile phone or set up with a VOIP provider. Unfortunately, Centurylink is the only choice. Comcast, available in most of Portland, does not serve the new place.

    The weather guessers say it’s supposed to get up to 50 and sunny here today. If OFD were here, he could go around in Speedos and a T-Shirt.
    Rick in Portland

  3. Mr. rick’s hassle with the phone company sounds almost exactly like what we had with Fairpoint here, but in our case it was WEEKS of daily phone calls and being cut off while on hold, etc., etc. They had/still have a strike going on and lots of mysterious service disruptions and damaged equipment over this time, including their 911 service out for six hours at one point.

    “…50 and sunny here today. If OFD were here, he could go around in Speedos and a T-Shirt.”

    Well, maybe not Speedos. No need to get the local female population all riled up. We won’t see the 50s for quite some time now, unless we get some really wacky weather again. Not likely from this point on.

  4. No need to get the local female population all riled up.

    Female of what species?

  5. In my case? Probably slugs, cockroaches, and Rattus Norvegicus.

    If I get lucky, that is.

  6. turtle-iverous

    I nominate this word for Word of the Day! I guess that this means “turtle eater” in the general sense. Plus the word scored zero direct hits on google.

  7. Re: turtle-iverous

    As a professional writer, I consider it my duty to invent new words as needed.

    It doesn’t always work out, though. An unfortunate typo in an email I sent to Mary Chervenak caused her to howl. I was claiming to be a vegetarian, just like her, except that I was an ovo-, lacto-, pisco, foulo-, meato-vegetarian. Ah, if only I hadn’t typed that “u” instead of “w” I intended.

  8. It is bitterly cold here in the Land of Sugar at 44 F. We are suppose to get back into the 60s by the weekend. And maybe no rain.

  9. I guess that Google is having trouble with that “don’t be evil” slogan of theirs. “Microsoft Slams Google for Spilling Beans on Windows 8.1 Bug”
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2475023,00.asp

    “Microsoft on Sunday criticized Google for disclosing a Windows 8.1 bug two days before it was scheduled to launch a fix.”

    “According to Google’s Project Zero real-time bug tracker, the search giant will publicize flaws 90 days after reporting them to the affected company.”

    “So when Redmond was warned on Oct. 13 about a Windows 8.1 bug, it asked Google to keep all details mum until Microsoft could deliver a fix on Jan. 13 as part of its regular Patch Tuesday.”

    “Instead, Google released details about the flaw—and the code needed to take advantage of the exploit—on Jan. 11.”

  10. Or we could all just avoid using Windows entirely. Could happen. Won’t.

    Back from the one-on-one; it appears that no, my one-on-one’s are not coming to an end after all. They’ll go for quite a while longer, as although we’ve gotten a lot done, “there is still some work to do.” Plus the groups continue, and plus it looks like I should probably file for disability, but I’m not looking forward to it and fear it may screw other plans up.

    So I’m makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice, along the lines of “How Did the War/s Fuck Up My Life.” Once I started free-associating with her, it got pretty easy. Mrs. OFD will love this, and she and my next-younger brother have offered to provide eye-witness testimony, if needed, the little darlings. I’m not happy with this, though. But they all say I deserve it and should get it. Fuck.

  11. I thought Windows was now a niche operating system. Linux or at least *ix kicked its ass. Between Linux, Unix, Android, Mac OS, etc. aren’t the vast majority of PC, smart phone, tablet, and e-reader screens out there now running some form of Unix?

  12. “2015 Will Be the Year When Nothing Happened”
    http://www.cringely.com/2015/01/12/2015-will-year-nothing-happened/

    “1 — Data security. It will get a lot worse before it gets better.”

    “2 — Entertainment.”

    “3 — Wearables.”

    2015 is so over now. I can hardly wait for 2016.

    Cheap oil is going to affect just about everything. People will stop worrying about efficiency and go back to their old wasteful ways. IT will probably be majorly affected by this also.

  13. An unfortunate typo in an email I sent to Mary Chervenak caused her to howl.

    I feel your pain. I like to use a lot of wordplay when I write, whether blog comments or fiction, anything from multilingual puns to humorous deliberate “typos”. Alas, actual typos get in the way of the humor. Proofreading catches most of them, but not all. It’s enough to drive one to drink. I don’t drink, but if I did, I’m sure this would drive me straight to it.

  14. Well, maybe not Speedos. No need to get the local female population all riled up.

    Yes, not Speedo. After all, they are an Australian innovation. Necessity is the mother of invention, and we need such. Freedom to move. Let it all hang out. Or at least package the package, present the present, and serve up the service. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And we have and we do. I mean, look at our outstanding (ahem!) citizens. Ian Thorpe, Daniel Kowalski, Mathew Mitcham, Mathew Helm, and so forth. Well, one way or another, maybe they in their Speedos do get the female population riled up. And some of the male population roiled up too.

  15. So fah as I know, they haven’t manufactured Speedos that would fit me. Like giving an elephant a Kleenex.

  16. “Majorly affected” ?
    That’s quite an impactful statement.

    Moving on… Bob, have you considered first aid in your prep book? I haven’t heard mention of normal saline or IV drip, but that seems to me to be pretty important. Blood volume and shock.
    I’m not suggesting one freeze-dry plasma, but…

    Sourdough is another thing to consider. I’ve been breadmaking lately, and them yeastie beasties are a weird lot. When the Fleischmann’s runs out, what you gonna do?

  17. IT is rapidly becoming the number one user of electricity in the USA. Data Centers were once mainframes with large disk farms in the past, now they are enormous server farms gathering more and more useless data:
    http://www.computerworld.com/article/2598562/data-center/data-centers-are-the-new-polluters.html
    and
    http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/data-centre/world-could-run-out-of-storage-capacity-within-2-years-warns-seagate-vp-1278040/1

    With cheaper oil and natural gas, companies will ignore the cost of running their data centers and not worry about efficiency is what I meant by “majorly affected”. I know, I know, bad English.

  18. Does not seem to entirely conform with the “grey man” security model. Would seem to be a basic breach of OPSEC.

  19. Agreed.

    I’m a fan of the grey man model. No gun stickers or cammie stuff on the vehicles, no obvious affinity with suchlike. Passing right now as an ordinary rural Vermont hippie/farmer type, and blending in, more or less.

    Of course we’re all “made,” anyway; ramblings on the net, emails, cell phone calls, etc. They have our number if and when we need to be picked up. Remember to always wear clean underwear and carry a toothbrush.

  20. Sourdough is another thing to consider. I’ve been breadmaking lately, and them yeastie beasties are a weird lot. When the Fleischmann’s runs out, what you gonna do?

    Flour + water = matzo – worked for Moses

  21. I thought Windows was now a niche operating system. Linux or at least *ix kicked its ass. Between Linux, Unix, Android, Mac OS, etc. aren’t the vast majority of PC, smart phone, tablet, and e-reader screens out there now running some form of Unix?

    I’d guess that most of the Fortune 100 are still running Windows as their desktop OS – still a big market for Micro$oft.

  22. Not only the Fortune 100 or 500 or 1,000, but also most small biz ops, from what I can see, plus local, state and Fed gummint. The VA up here has only recently gone to Windows 7 from XP, and probably still running Server 2003 or 2008 at most. Plus the usual Exchange/Outlook mess. Mention Linux and their eyes roll. Point out what Dr. Bob pointed out and it’s “so what?” They’re leery of Windows 8, though, LOL. Also from what I can see, most employees and staff have barely even heard of Linux. YMMV, of course.

    We only have two Windows machines here at home; the other half-dozen are all Linux or BSD. If Mrs. OFD didn’t need the actual PowerPoint and Excel, we’d dump Windows altogether.

  23. Yeah, Windows still rules the business IT market. Our school just did some weird update to their network security, and now Linux/Mac users have to go through some really odd contortions to get onto the network. Specifically, we have to unplug and replug our Cisco telephones. Bizarre.

    As near as I can figure (and I know zilch about Windows administration), this must be some sort of non-standard Windows-only authentication that Linux and Mac don’t know about. At a guess, the Cisco phones wouldn’t work either, but restarting them triggers some sort of exception long enough for them (and the Linux/Mac ‘puter) to get a DHCP address (the phones serve also as hubs on each desk – the PC plugs into the phone).

    Stupid setup, given how many people are running around without Windows. It turns out that I was the first to complain, only because everyone else is just using the (now very clogged) WLAN. Typical: corporate IT does what it wants without consulting us lowly workers…

  24. Businesses seem to absolutely insist on having Windows environments and then they just gotta have 100% uptime for their Exchange/Outlook platform and on TOP of that they throw on the phone and BYOD mix; it’s a support nightmare for overworked and understaffed IT drones. Nonstop all day, and if they could work ’em 7×24 they would.

    And yes, the PHB manglers who run corporate IT and the nabobs above that level routinely make huge decisions without consulting their drones or even informing them until the day it actually happens. Sorta like the army.

    I am so DONE with working for these ass-hats. Why I didn’t see a way out sooner and take the right action is a mystery.

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