Tuesday, 18 August 2015

08:27 – I took Colin for his final walk about 9:15 last night. About 10:30, he ran to the front door and started barking like there was an intruder. I opened the door and looked out. I saw nothing by the light of the streetlights, so I flipped on the porch light. Barbara would have had a heart attack. There was a spider web covering the entire glass surface of the storm door, and in the middle of it at my eye level was a H. carolinensis (Carolina wolf spider). That’s a pretty large species, but with a 1.5″+ (4 cm) body, this one was big even for a wolf spider. So I closed the door, making a mental note to be careful in the morning when I took Colin out. I forgot to look, of course, and it wasn’t until I took Colin out for a full walk a few minutes ago that I realized that both spider and web were gone.

Only three more days until Barbara gets home. Colin and I had a chicken/pasta casserole for dinner last night, but different from the chicken/pasta casserole we had Sunday night. There wasn’t enough of that one left for a full dinner, so I made another with a different recipe. I combined the leftovers from both, which we’ll have tonight.

It seems we may have convinced long-time reader and commenter OFD to write his own PA novel series. I hope he follows through on it, because I’m looking forward to buying and reading the series. Many others are writing such series but the best of the newer writers–like Steve Konkoly and Angery American–are mediocre to acceptable writers at best. OFD can write, and he has the experience and knowledge to write a good novel series. Now he just needs to follow through on it.


86 thoughts on “Tuesday, 18 August 2015”

  1. I’ve only read two of Konkoly’s books: the pandemic one (I forget its name) and “Black Flagged.” Surprisingly, the latter was much better than the former. Crisply plotted, good characterization, and sharp dialog… but it was written before any of his prepper books. I wonder what caused the downhill slide?

  2. @paul,

    The problem seems to be that most prepper books are thinly disguised “how to” manuals. So they get much more specific than a novel written to entertain would be. This destroys the pacing and story development.

    nick

  3. @nick

    Yes, a lot of prepper fiction are thinly described “how to” manuals. Call me a newbie, but I am still at a point where I’m thinking that’s more of a feature than a bug.

  4. @Dave, that’s right, and a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.

    Just check it against your common sense, other sources, and places like here 🙂

    It’s only a problem if you think of them as novels first, manuals second.

    @RBT, have you graded them for their value as manuals? IE is there good advice there?

    nick

  5. Yeah, and so much of it is really bad advice. I may scream if I read one more PA novel that recommends the Big Berkey water filter, which’d be my absolute last choice. The thing is defective by design. It can pass (and has passed) unfiltered water into the supposedly safe receptacle. There apparently weren’t any engineers involved in designing the thing.

    The Sawyer Point ZeroTwo is a much better choice, and it costs less. If I’d bought a Berkey, I’d sell it on eBay.

    And all the detail, particularly about weapons, is distracting, not to mention unrealistic for about 99.9% of preppers. How many can afford multiple tricked out tactical rifles with Gen 3 night vision, at $5K+ per pop? A competent writer would write something like, “He grabbed his rifle …” or even “He grabbed his AR-15 …”. These guys go on for paragraphs or even literally pages about the exact make, model, barrel length, magazine brand and capacity, loading 28 rounds into a 30-round mag for reliability, and even (literally) the bullet weight and type of brass. Geez. If I wanted to read Guns and Ammo, I’d read Guns and Ammo. I want an entertaining, believable story with likable characters. That’s why people read novels, not to get a shopping list.

    I know why they do it. It’s a cheap, easy way to build word count and turn a 100 page novella into a 300 page novel. It’s contemptible.

  6. And this from Bruce Schneier’s Security newsletter.

    Anyone who reads Bracken will recognize some of this:

    Bizarre High-Tech Kidnapping

    This is a story of a very high-tech kidnapping:

    FBI court filings unsealed last week showed how Denise Huskins’
    kidnappers used anonymous remailers, image sharing sites, Tor,
    and other people’s Wi-Fi to communicate with the police and the
    media, scrupulously scrubbing meta data from photos before
    sending. They tried to use computer spyware and a DropCam to
    monitor the aftermath of the abduction and had a Parrot radio-controlled drone standing by to pick up the ransom by remote control.

    The story also demonstrates just how effective the FBI is tracing
    cell phone usage these days. They had a blocked call from the kidnappers to the victim’s cell phone. First they used a search warrant to AT&T to get the actual calling number. After learning that it was an AT&T prepaid Tracfone,
    they called AT&T to find out where the burner was bought, what the serial
    numbers were, and the location where the calls were made from.

    The FBI
    reached out to Tracfone, which was able to tell the agents that the phone
    was purchased from a Target store in Pleasant Hill on March 2 at 5:39 pm.
    Target provided the bureau with a surveillance-cam photo of the buyer: a
    white male with dark hair and medium build. AT&T turned over records
    showing the phone had been used within 650 feet of a cell site in South Lake Tahoe.

    The criminal complaint borders on surreal. Were it an episode of CSI:Cyber, you would never believe it.

    http://www.wired.com/2015/07/mare-island/

    Criminal
    complaint:
    http://www1.icsi.berkeley.edu/~nweaver/vallejo.pdf

    So much for ‘burner phones’.

    nick

  7. “OFD can write, and he has the experience and knowledge to write a good novel series. Now he just needs to follow through on it.”

    Thanks. In progress. Outline, characters, events, good to go.

    Won’t be recommending wotta filters or discussing intricate AR nomenclature.

    Looks like sunny, hot and humid here this week. If I wanted to live in Floriduh, I’d move there….etc.

  8. 83 deg and 77% RH here this morning, with heat index of 91. So MUCH cooler than the last couple of weeks.

    Maybe I can get some outdoor projects finished.

    nick

  9. “Thanks. In progress. Outline, characters, events, good to go.”

    I’d recommend that you use the people here as readers, but I understand if you don’t want to. Many (most) writers hate to have their early stuff seen by anyone, and most who say they want a critical read/comment actually just want to be told how good it is. But you know that.

    Also, your call, but I’d recommend that you limit the big picture stuff to background and instead concentrate on local effects, personal interactions, and drama. Make most of your main characters people whom your readers will cheer for to make it though. Don’t waste time doing character development on bad guys. Your readers don’t want to know them any more than any of us want to know underclass scum in real life.

    It’s very useful to have a character who’s a wizard, like Dan Forrester in Lucifer’s Hammer. This doesn’t need to be a major character, but someone you can pull out when you paint yourself into a corner, which is going to happen. A retired scientist/engineer is good to have in your tool kit.

    Focus on characterization, dialog, and day to day events as well as the inventiveness of ordinary people faced with an extraordinary situation.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing what you come up with. I’m tired of reading second- and third-stringers. Hell, a lot of these new PA authors would fail a try-out for water boy.

  10. “I’d recommend that you use the people here as readers, but I understand if you don’t want to.”

    Not a problem, and I’ve had uber-critical readers in the past looking at stuff I wrote, so I’m a big boy and can take a beating.

    “… limit the big picture stuff to background and instead concentrate on local effects, personal interactions, and drama.”

    Understood. I’m putting myself in the characters’ shoes; faced with sudden major crap effing up their lives. Ordinary schmuck Mundanes like us.

    “ONE IN TEN.”

    Yes. Ongoing. And by “ongoing” we mean to stay that it’s BEEN going on for a while now. Which means there are already millions of “anchor” kids here, with more millions to come. Yeah, it’s a big country, and continent, but realistically we can’t take in and support three or four billion Dreamers from the southern Hemisphere.

    Camp of the Saints writ large, here and in Europe. With no end in sight and no political will to take the right steps.

    Bear in mind this is the same government that thought it would work out great if we took in a bunch of Somalis and moved them entire to places like Lewiston, Maine, or Burlington, VT. Or accept a pile of Bosnian Serbs and site them in neighborhoods in Montpelier and Burlington adjacent to Bosnian Muslims. Brilliant, amirite?

  11. “Won’t be recommending wotta filters or discussing intricate AR nomenclature. ”

    Okay, but you gotta recommend flashlights. 😉

  12. Incidentally, this flies in the face of not writing a novel with lots of shopping lists, but as someone who makes income from writing, you can deduct research materials. Basically, anything you buy for research can be taken as an expense against revenue. So if you buy a can of Augason Farms or whatever, keep track of it and deduct it. “Research” can be interpreted pretty broadly, especially for this type of book.

  13. Okay, but you gotta recommend flashlights.

    You had to go there.

    Sign me up if you need beta readers, Mr. OFD. Plus, I’ll purchase stuff you write.

  14. File under “they really aren’t like us”

    “He didn’t do no wrong, he just shot a cop.”

    http://street-pharmacy.blogspot.com/

    nick

    Of course there are folks in the [yyyyyy] community who are looking for just this attitude. Wonder how they like it when it isn’t them doing it, and it’s not on their timetable?

  15. lol Here’s mini-Cankles demonstrating how she vacations like us derp-a-zoids.  Big Cankles is probably about to surface in the background with the rest of the average “pod”.

    Chelsea Clinton and husband Marc Mezvinsky embraced their Italian holiday as they snorkeled off the shore of Sardinia on Monday. 
    The couple joined a few friends, including billionaire Barry Diller and his wife, fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg, for a fun day out on the boat. They jumped into the water in an alcove, surrounded by scenic rocks and cliffs.

  16. “Sign me up if you need beta readers, Mr. OFD. Plus, I’ll purchase stuff you write.”

    Me too, obviously. Unfortunately, Amazon won’t allow a customer to buy an ebook twice from the same account, or I’d buy multiple copies every day for the first week or so to get OFD’s book off to a good start in the rankings.

  17. Anyone else notice the renewed focus on Chelsea in the media? Think it’s a way to get the Clinton name out there without having all the negative associations of her mom? In other words, the best they can do to support Hillarity given the circumstances?

    Or am I overthinking this? Because why else would anyone care what the pasty sponger does?

    nick

    and I’ll admit a fondness for that body type based on my experiences as a young man, but YIKES.

  18. There should be a picture of that young woman in the dictionary, next to the word “plain”.

  19. “Think it’s a way to get the Clinton name out there without having all the negative associations of her mom?”

    The only other choice would be Larry, and right away that’s a major problem; notice his utter lack of appearances on the Cankles tour? Last shot I saw of him was when he apparently linked up with Obola on the golf course recently and that was it.

    “… a fondness for that body type…”

    What body type is that, Smurf?

    Again, I riddle myself; why is it that all the decent-looking, hot, in fact, wimmenz are on the right-hand side of the so-called political spectrum? And the other side has pretty much got a lock on, at best, plain-Janes, the homely, and the downright fugly?

    “Diane von Furstenberg”

    A virtual shoe-in for any of the witch characters in the Grimm Brothers tales.

  20. @RBT

    If you just recommend the book in a blog post without telling us that OFD is the author, I’m sure several of us will buy copies. If I know the release date, I’ll put it on my calendar and try to remember to buy a copy the day it comes out. Of course I’ll be reviewing it after I finish reading it.

  21. “What body type is that, Smurf? ”

    Pale white, freckled, very slightly puffy. Reddish blonde hair….

    Just sayin’ baby ducks imprint, people too.

    And yup, that is one girl who never grew into her looks.

    nick

    (ain’t we all just neo-cromagnon brutes to comment about someone’s appearance? Whelp, it IS what we can see in pictures after all….)

  22. So much for ‘burner phones’.

    Burners have to be used carefully if you are calling anyone other than your confederates. Anyone with a modicum of tech knowledge knows that. If you have to call outside your group, it’s used only once (or for a very short period of time) and disposed of. And you have to be disguised when you buy it and pay cash. Another dodge is to get your hands on some SIM cards from overseas that have local calling capability and use them once and destroy.

  23. “Burners have to be used carefully if you are calling anyone other than your confederates.”

    And only use them AWAY from your home and workplace, some public space somewhere.

  24. Anyone else notice the renewed focus on Chelsea in the media? Think it’s a way to get the Clinton name out there without having all the negative associations of her mom? In other words, the best they can do to support Hillarity given the circumstances?

    Hey, have some respect! That is Princess Chelsea to you!

  25. “And only use them AWAY from your home and workplace, some public space somewhere.”

    Gonna be lots of cameras in places like that. Networked, running analysis software (I’ve posted the link before), watching for furtive behaviour. Archived for a long time. Sees you coming and going, then ‘they’ got your vehicle.

    Might have to watch a scene from a Robert Redford movie about a bird (or read the book) for ideas on that….

    nick

    a buttset and a can wrench might be a good idea for a go kit too. (or IIRC an 11mm deep socket)

  26. “Gonna be lots of cameras in places like that.”

    Gray Man disguise, do it quick but look normal, bail, and toss the burner.

    But I keep forgetting most places out there ain’t like Retroville up here, where “public” could mean in front of the general store over in Enosburg Falls or East FumBuck.

  27. Grey man or the opposite approach- give them something to focus on and they’ll miss the rest.

    Bank robbers with a clown nose, guy with a cane or noticeable hat, etc.

    I take that approach when carrying. I use a belt pouch from a multi-tool as a mag pouch. If they think they know what it is, they quit looking. Or wear a Hawaiian shirt so they focus on that, and don’t look further. Give them something that fits their mental picture and they won’t notice.

    Like carrying a rifle in a tennis racket bag. Sure it’s not a range bag, but how many adult males have you seen with a tennis bag? They will notice that, and probably not in a good way. But if you want to distract, carrying tennis rackets in the case is fine as they will fixate on that.

    I had a friend who routinely carried huge amounts of cash. He carried it in a grocery bag. He carried his lunch and papers in the shiny metal briefcase.

    Of course these tricks don’t work on cameras. Or software. Only people.

    nick

  28. And people viewing the scene through camera lenses and software.

    That dump I worked at for six weeks last year had cameras mounted all over their plant, inside and out, and routinely spied on employees working on the lines and even regularly examined archive footage. The cameras were connected in this cheap-ass place to an old Windows 7 machine they’d converted to a server for the purpose. Several of the lenses were cracked, broken or otherwise clouded but they wouldn’t spring for repairs/replacements. Like pulling teeth to get somebody a new laptop or desktop while they expected me/us to ransack old machines for parts.

    I suppose I could do the Hawaiian shirt caper with cool shades and let my hair down (elbow-length now) in the warm weather here and do the lumberjack deal in the winta. In the first case I’d drive the wife’s yellow Saab convertible with the top down. Second case, an old beat-up pickup truck, manual tranny, plenty of rust and mud.

  29. Re the burner phone: The one bit I find most shocking is that the store registered the serial number when the sold it, so that they could actually track it back to a particular purchaser. I wouldn’t have expected that.

    “Sign me up if you need beta readers, Mr. OFD. Plus, I’ll purchase stuff you write.”

    Ditto here. I do expect some classic references, or maybe for some characters to carry on in Old english…

  30. “I do expect some classic references, or maybe for some characters to carry on in Old english…”

    Any classical refs will be in the form of “Easter eggs” here and there, if I remember to stick them in, mainly for fun.

    As for Ye Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, my characters have zero clue that it exists or ever existed; the younger ones don’t think anything much happened before they were born, other than, of course, their great-grandpappy in Vietnam, Saint Martin Luther King, and the Goddess Diversity descending to earth.

  31. Well, technically the same is true of a US $100 bill. It and the Venezuelan fiat notes are both smaller than a table napkin, so of course they’re worth less if you mean “worth” in a real sense.

  32. I expect the protagonist to be recognizable to all of us who’ve been reading his comments for years…

  33. [snip] And only use them AWAY from your home and workplace, some public space somewhere. [snip]

    It would also help, if for example, you used them while in a beach town while dressed like every other idiot tourist. Or say in Daytona during Bike Week while wearing the expected costume, in Fenway Park while dressing & acting like all the other buffoons, etc.

  34. “…while in a beach town while dressed like every other idiot tourist. Or say in Daytona during Bike Week while wearing the expected costume, in Fenway Park while dressing & acting like all the other buffoons, etc.”

    There it is. In most parts of the country now, you’d wear the saggy baggies, 4XL tee, baseball hat at some cartoonish angle (is that some kinda statement?) and high-priced sneaks. Purple shades are cool, I guess. And don’t shave for a week or so. If female, pull your hair back in as tight a bun as you can, wear the tightest and clingiest and loudest outfit you can find, regardless of your size, and both genders should have multiple tatts, fully exposed.

    Around here I gotta look like the local yokel older farmer and factory types. Nevertheless, I swear I keep getting “made” as a cop. And I’ve been outta that line of “work” for nearly thirty years.

  35. “I expect the protagonist to be recognizable…”

    There is no one protagonist as yet; multiple, so fah. Composites of peeps I’ve known.

  36. “Nevertheless, I swear I keep getting “made” as a cop.”

    I used to get “made” as a cop pretty frequently, both by underclass scum and by cops, which is pretty strange considering that I’ve never been a cop.

    I think it has to do with stuff that people pick up on subliminally like posture, gait, eye movement and contact, situational awareness/readiness, etc.

  37. Indeed. Walk like a cop or combat soldier, even in dotage, and they “make” you.

    Well I just had to laugh…

    …”#BlackLivesMatter activist tells CNN that “all lives matter” is a “violent statement”

    From today’s Salon, the online Maoist rag. So now you can’t even say that. Without pissing off some radical SJW who wishes to become the New Revolutionary Dear Leader.

    How ’bout this one, futha-mucka? NO LIVES MATTER. We’re all just…dust in the wind. Free for all. How ’bout that? Read Hobbes much? State of Nature?

    Keep on pushing and that’s what you’re gonna get.

  38. “Immigration: Issue of the century”
    “Pat Buchanan: ‘Do we think the riots and racial wars will stop if more come?'”
    http://www.wnd.com/2015/08/immigration-issue-of-the-century/

    “And these refugees, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are not going to stop coming to Europe. For they are being driven across the Med by wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen, by the horrific conditions in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, by the Islamist terrorism of the Mideast and the abject poverty of the sub-Sahara.”

    “According to the U.N., Africa had 1.1 billion people by 2013, will double that to 2.4 billion by 2050, and double that to 4.2 billion by 2100.”

    Good night! Do these people have nothing better to do?

    Trump may be able to ride the immigration issue to the Presidency. We’ve definitely got too many coming in to assimilate in a reasonable amount of time. You should definitely be able to speak, read and write some English before coming here.

    Trump! Trump! Trump!

  39. Not only Trump! Trump! Trump! but he is apparently “amazing” in the sack according to the DM.

    Trump 2016! “Hump for Trump ™”

  40. Yo, Mr. Lynn, I done already posted dat link to Patrick’s article earlier here, I’m pretty sure. But it’s worth it to post it again just in case some peeps dint see it yet.

    As I said, we got us a huge landmass continent here, but we cannot, by any stretch of the wildest imagination, take in three or four billion Dreamers from the Southern Hemisphere.

    “You should definitely be able to speak, read and write some English before coming here.”

    Dat pony already done left the barn; no one expects them to do that, and meanwhile, for a quick and long-term example, the NYC public skools have over a hundred languages OK’d to use for students and ESL teachers. A hundred. That movement from decades ago about making English the Official Language here died and went to Hades and was never heard from again. No one cares. In fact, we’re expected to learn Spanish, at the very least. Also, Black English is A-OK. On a par with Shakespeare, Churchill and me.

    I still say the Repub nabobs are gonna find a way to dump the Trump. By hook or by crook. And if he runs third party, he’ll suck away enough votes to give Cankles a friggin’ landslide. Unless she self-destructs somehow before then. I see the Dem potentates keep floating Biden and Warren and that fanatic anti-gun guy down in Maryland.

    This is better than the freak show at the carnival!

  41. Yo, Mr. Lynn, I done already posted dat link to Patrick’s article earlier here, I’m pretty sure. But it’s worth it to post it again just in case some peeps dint see it yet.

    I thought so but I could not find it so I reposted. Sorry about that.

    “Does Europe have the toughness to seal its borders and send back the intruders? Or is Europe so morally paralyzed it has become what Jean Raspail mocked in “The Camp of the Saints”?”

    “The blazing issue in Britain and France is the thousands of Arab and African asylum seekers clustered about Calais to traverse the Eurotunnel to Dover. The Brits are on fire. Millions want out of the EU. They want to remain who they are.”

    I wonder if the Brits are going to torch the Chunnel? It is a magnificent engineering marvel. The wife and I watched several trains go in and out one day, just amazing.

  42. There is no one protagonist as yet; multiple, so fah. Composites of peeps I’ve known.

    Make sure ya’s gotsa LGBTabcxyz trans-Caitlyn character or Amazon won’t publish.

  43. “I thought so but I could not find it so I reposted. Sorry about that.”

    No problemo, hombre; it’s worth reposting. Patrick is a straight shooter and always has been. The main reason he’s hated.

    “Make sure ya’s gotsa LGBTabcxyz trans-Caitlyn character or Amazon won’t publish.”

    Good point. Note to self: Must. Include. Perverts. Does the character have to be portrayed in a favorable light? My guess is that during SHTF scenarios, peeps who make a huge deal outta being LGBTabcxyz, etc., will likely be making a mistake. We ain’t gonna have time for chit like that and coddling professional grievance whores and pimps. Shouts of “Black Lives Matter” and “Viva la Raza!” will likely fall by the wayside in most of the country.

    The big tragedy with that, of course, is that the MSM shills and carny barkers and gummint enablers won’t have much to do anymore.

  44. “Do you ever wonder if Caitlyn listened to Lou Reed’s awesome song one too many times?”

    That, and “Lola.”

  45. “You should definitely be able to speak, read and write some English before coming here.”

    Dat pony already done left the barn; no one expects them to do that, and meanwhile, for a quick and long-term example, the NYC public skools have over a hundred languages OK’d to use for students and ESL teachers. A hundred. That movement from decades ago about making English the Official Language here died and went to Hades and was never heard from again. No one cares.

    Trump cares.

  46. most who say they want a critical read/comment actually just want to be told how good it is.

    Jeeze, is that the truth. I haven’t figured out a reliable way to weed these thin-skinned prima donnas out before agreeing to edit their books, not without lots of false positives. The best I’ve been able to work out is to do a very small amount of the book, mark it up as best I can without concern for pwecious sensitive feeewings, and send it back to show how I work. If they pitch a hissy fit and argue about every comment, cancel the deal. I’m never going to get any money out of them anyway, so I won’t waste time on them or the pwecious gweat American novel.

    Unfortunately, Amazon won’t allow a customer to buy an ebook twice from the same account

    That hits me if I’ve downloaded a Kindle book for free and liked it. Even returning it and then attempting to buy it doesn’t work. (Or didn’t six months or so ago; they do update their site software from time to time.) The best I’ve been able to work out is to give a really good review and then buy other of the author’s books.

    Any classical refs will be in the form of “Easter eggs” here and there, if I remember to stick them in, mainly for fun.

    I approve! I sneak wordplay into most of my fiction, and a lot of my non-fiction.* Very seldom does anyone mention it, but it does happen and the comments are always approving.

    * Including writing a user manual as a series of sonnets, one per topic. Shakespearean form, not that pissy Italian form.

  47. In the book, Mr. OFD, there should be a very long discussion about flashlights. Pages and pages….

  48. “Trump cares.”

    Listen…what’s that sound…sounds like a train whistle…wooooo-wooooo….yep, a train is comin’ round the bend…what kinda train is it? Woooooo-woooooo….it’s the Clue Train!

    Trump is a billionaire politician. He PRETENDS to care. Like they all do.

    “…that pissy Italian form.”

    i.e., the Petrarchan sonnet, popularized by Sir Thomas Wyatt, among others, an on-again, off-again favorite of good ol’ Henry VIII.

    Anyone taking the time to read my junk: don’t worry for a nanosecond about hurting my pweshus feewings and me getting all pissy and weeping copious tears. Rip it up good. You got nothing to worry about, not even the fact that I’m a deranged PTSD combat vet killer and ex=cop and ex-drunk with a small arsenal and a short fuse…

  49. “…. there should be a very long discussion about flashlights. Pages and pages….”

    Sure. With an equal number of pages explicating medieval Norse and Celtic epic…with its sources…

  50. Cell phones have two unique ID signatures.

    One is the IMSI (international mobile subscriber identity – consider this to be an “account number” used for billing, subscription limits (no international roaming, the link to the mobile telephone number and for many other purposes). The IMSI is contained on the SIM and is transmitted to the serving network during call setup and at other times.

    The second is the IMEI, or international mobile equipment identifier. This is a serial number unique to the particular phone.

    During call setup, the IMEI is transmitted from the cell phone to the mobile network. The purpose of this is so that the operator may check the international data base for lost or stolen phones and refuse calls where the IMEI appears on the black list.

    So, swapping SIMs will give a different IMSI, but the IMEI will still provide a unique mobile phone ID to the network operator which, with suitable software, can cause all sorts of interesting things to happen.

    And, I’m simplifying things here as the IMSI is usually translated into a TMSI (temporary mobile subscriber identity) as a security measure to prevent revealing the true IMSI on those parts of call setup where encryption is not yet established.

  51. In the book, Mr. OFD, there should be a very long discussion about flashlights. Pages and pages….

    Can I review that part, please, please, pretty please.

  52. “Can I review that part, please, please, pretty please.”

    My characters didn’t stock up on batteries so their flashlights go kaput pretty quickly and then they’re back to candles and oil lamps. Like it was 1850 again or sumthin….

  53. Ooh! Steampunk prepper fiction! The preppers will be stocking up on coal oil and glass jars of preserves while the nay-sayers are sure their clockwork automata will keep running and everything will be great forever.

  54. Now there’s an ideer for an enterprising young writer…

    I am more given to the Current Time, however.

    As all the chit is about to splatter all over the landscape from the giant fans…

    Anyone else hearing anything about next month being some kind of huge event/catastrophe?

  55. Now THERE’s an idea that’s ‘high concept’. Wild Wild West Reboot?

    nick

  56. Yup, Septiembre is gonna be the death of us all. Or at least the financial Armageddon. Or race riots. Or something. Lots of bad stuff supposed to happen.

    nick

  57. “Lots of bad stuff supposed to happen.”

    Yah, I keep seeing innernet stories and links and reports that in late September some kinda big thing is gonna blow up. Not sure if financial or what. Or just more FUD from media and gummint and conspiracy nutters.

  58. All my sources say the market is going to nose dive. Plenty of opportunities to make money.

  59. Oh, wait…didn’t Snopes.com itself get snopsed at some point?

    I’m going with the comet; let’s call it: Obummer’s Hummer.

  60. [snip] According to the U.N., Africa had 1.1 billion people by 2013, will double that to 2.4 billion by 2050, and double that to 4.2 billion by 2100. [snip]

    It’s time to start airdropping packages of birth control pills. Pretty much everywhere they’ve been introduced (skews towards wealthier societies) the birth rates have dropped quite a bit.

  61. Gee, Mr. pcb-duffer, you must not have got the memo; we’re taking them all in. Mr. Lynn has volunteered to accept a few hundred; it’s why he’s building all them additions and putting in A-C. He’s a really nice guy.

    Also Mr. RBT is looking for large acreage in the NC mountains; he plans on putting together his own private army and has already begun laying in supplies accordingly.

  62. I’m going with the comet; let’s call it: Obummer’s Hummer.

    Or Trump’s Thump.

    just more FUD from media and gummint and conspiracy nutters

    That is the correct answer. The government wants to keep everyone scared. Scared people are more easily controlled, opinions swayed. Almost anytime things calm down the government will invent a new crisis.

  63. Gee, Mr. pcb-duffer, you must not have got the memo; we’re taking them all in. Mr. Lynn has volunteered to accept a few hundred; it’s why he’s building all them additions and putting in A-C. He’s a really nice guy.

    I can get quite a few just collecting the workers. However, my heartless HOA mandates that there can only be family plus one living in our home so I have to cast them all out.

  64. All my sources say the market is going to nose dive. Plenty of opportunities to make money.

    All the senior Wall Street traders come back from Martha’s Vineyard in September. They will reassess the markets at that time and drive them accordingly. They make money (transaction fees) going up or down so they do not care.

  65. [snip] According to the U.N., Africa had 1.1 billion people by 2013, will double that to 2.4 billion by 2050, and double that to 4.2 billion by 2100. [snip]

    It’s time to start airdropping packages of birth control pills. Pretty much everywhere they’ve been introduced (skews towards wealthier societies) the birth rates have dropped quite a bit.

    And condoms. And those insertable devices. And the shots. And everything else that you can think of. For some reason, I am reminded of locusts eating everything in their path.

  66. Pistol firing at 73k fps:

    I thought that was feet per second for a minute. That would be a one shot gun, bullet out the front and the gun embedded in your body shooting a 1 gram bullet.

  67. Heh. Reminds me of the (one) time I shot a derringer in .44 Magnum. Load derringer. Sight carefully (or as carefully as possible with that sight radius.) Move head/face from behind derringer. Pull trigger. Go pick up derringer 20 feet behind me.

  68. Reminds me of the (one) time I shot a derringer in .44 Magnum.

    I’ve seen one with two barrels. I wondered why the second bullet since you won’t get over the first bullet for a while? And the commonly open triggers freak me out. Looks like a good way to shoot oneself when it is in your pocket.

  69. Modern derringers have transfer bars and other safety features.

  70. Burners have to be used carefully if you are calling anyone other than your confederates. Anyone with a modicum of tech knowledge knows that. If you have to call outside your group, it’s used only once (or for a very short period of time) and disposed of. And you have to be disguised when you buy it and pay cash. Another dodge is to get your hands on some SIM cards from overseas that have local calling capability and use them once and destroy.

    We’re all on some list somewhere from some agency with a TLA name…

  71. Yah, it’s funny how the Feebies have thick files on regular Murkan citizens but can’t round up hadji sons of bitches in sleeper cells here and they didn’t stop those other bastards from taking flight lessons (no landing lesson needed) or the suicide missions on 9/11. But by jiminy, I bet they still have that file on ol’ Bob Thompson somewhere; wonder if there have been any updates.

    Let’s keep a real close eye on ol’ Bob Thompson.

    This is yet another example of the Low-Hanging Fruit Theory of Law Enforcement. It’s just too damn hard to find and catch REAL evildoers.

  72. I know the FBI has a file on me, as I’ve had a couple of security clearances over the years, and was in a “position of trust” as a NASA contractor. I’ve been fingerprinted for them at least 5 times, 10 cards each time.

    They had one on my grandmother, who was a professor at Central Michigan. She was a leader in the anti-Vietnam war movement there. Once when she was under surveillance, she took milk and cookies to the plainclothes cops/FBI watching her. My uncle, who after this time became a TV reporter, got her FBI file. The TL;DR was: harmless little old lady that is against war because she is a Quaker.

    They probably had a file on my late father-in-law. He was involved off and on in radical politics. At the end of his life he was active in one of the Communist parties, including a trip to the socialist paradise of North Korea. We didn’t know this until after his death, when going through his papers. (We had only seen him twice in the last 12-15 years of his life, and only spoken to him at one of those occasions. My wife broke off contact with him for good reasons.)

    I just wonder if the ChiComs got my NASA paperwork when they hacked OPM….

  73. @ech,

    yup, they probably got it.

    Ever been to the cave virtual reality system at Goddard? I believe it was down the hall from the backup mission control…Guy named DaveF in charge?

    nick

    added:

    NASA Flight Dynamics CAVE was official name…

  74. I bet they still have that file on ol’ Bob Thompson somewhere; wonder if there have been any updates.

    There has been at least one page added with the comment “SEE OFD FOLDER.”

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