Sunday, 11 October 2015

By on October 11th, 2015 in personal

08:34 – The Internet seems to be going into hibernation. Site visits here are way down–fewer than 600 yesterday–as are comments. I’m getting very little email. Even the email and comment spammers seem to be on vacation. And it’s not just me. The sites I visit regularly seem to be getting a lot less comment traffic, as do the mailing lists I subscribe to and follow on the web. Where did everybody go?

We’re continuing to watch Little House on the Prairie. The writing is corny and one can see the plot twists coming a mile away, but it’s still better than most of the current junk on TV. The thing I like best about it is the focus on self-reliance. When there’s a problem, people simply buckle down and get it fixed. There’s no government there to step in and “fix” things. Kids aren’t smart asses and don’t sass their parents. Actions have consequences. There aren’t any EBTs. If you don’t work, you don’t eat.

Barbara is cleaning house this morning. This afternoon, we’ll work on science kit stuff and seed kit stuff.

25 Comments and discussion on "Sunday, 11 October 2015"

  1. Al says:

    I’m always amazed at the difference in activity between the weekdays and weekends. It looks like most people do their Internet browsing while at work.

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, weekends have been slow since I started my journal almost 20 years ago. Actually, almost 30 years ago, if you count BBS days. At its peak, my BBS had seven incoming phone lines.

  3. nick says:

    Could be that everyone is prepping fast and furious. Or the changing weather might have them doing more work away from the pc. Or burnout…

    I’ve noticed it too, all across the spectrum, not just here.

    I’ve been busy with chores, and other things, before that I was sick. Maybe there is a cold or flu bug going around.

    It is eerie.

    Re: Little House, the books are (as usual) LOTS better than the show. We’re almost finished reading the series for the second time with my little girls. While short on specifics (they aren’t an instruction manual) the sorts of things that take up the day, the hardship, the hard work, and the VERY limited resources all are worth reading about.


  4. OFD says:

    OFD thinks you’re all right; weekends are for everything a family/household couldn’t get done during the week due to skool, work, etc., plus whatever fun stuff, like watching more tee-vee and going to movies….oh wait….streaming movies and tee-vee shows. Also, up here, high skool sports are HUGE, and take up pretty much the entire second section of the local noozpaper.

    Of course, those of us who are retired, laid off, unemployed, whatever, are around all week, though I could very easily, and have done, find enough stuff to do around here to fill 40 hours whether I’m also working or not. What was that bromide from years ago? “Work expands to fill the time allotted to it?”

    “At its peak, my BBS had seven incoming phone lines.”

    You don’t say; tell us about it. Why would you be running a BBS back then? I was always dialing in to the Boston Computer Society’s and DEC’s BBS boards in the mid- to late-eighties….

  5. rick says:

    I ran a Fidonet BBS for several years during the ’80’s and early ’90’s. Anybody remember Echomail?

    Rick in Portland

  6. MrAtoz says:

    Southwest Airlines scheduling system was down nation-wide this morning. MrsAtoz is stuck at McCarran and is on her third flight standby trying to get to PA. Instead of the TSA, cops and brown-shirts (who direct traffic) helping control several thousand SWA customers, they just let them stand in line, closed all but one of the entrances and put out zero information until you reached the counter. The line went down the entire terminal and looped back. Cluster f*ck to say the least.

    I hope it was a hacker and Obuttwad learned a lesson. Instead of “droning” ragheads in the sandbox who multiply like roaches, starting dropping missiles on hackers, spammers, etc. until I get zero spam in my inbox.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    Ah, Fartinacan’s “Million Man March” (actually thousands). What a missed opportunity to M.O.A.B. Washington, DC.

  8. OFD says:

    “…dropping missiles on hackers, spammers, etc. until I get zero spam in my inbox.”

    Drone Hellfires if we can catch them in the open or know for certain they’re alone in their musty basement hidey-holes. Otherwise, surgical strikes by Seal and Delta operators. Or put the local PD SWAT operators to work and take them off harassing organic gardeners and peeps with overdue library books.

    “…they just let them stand in line, closed all but one of the entrances and put out zero information until you reached the counter. The line went down the entire terminal and looped back.”

    Apparently SOP for the airports; inconvenience and make miserable as many ordinary schmucks as possible and tell them nothing. Then herd them like cattle into their “security” chutes and march them into the airborne buses for transport. I hadn’t flown anywhere in twenty years and then we did that trip down to NJ and PA in July and I am in no hurry to repeat the exercise.

    “I ran a Fidonet BBS…”

    I remember, ancient that I am, both Fidonet and Echomail. DEC ran something called EasyNET, an internal BBS; I could log in at work or from home, back in ’87-’89, using my DEC Rainbow in terminal mode.

  9. nick says:

    Pretty sure I met Ward Christensen, and saw his original BBS running in his basement. I remember he had a model railroad layout too.

    I grew up in the southern suburbs of Chicago, and would have met him thru a computer users group. A friend and I both had Trash80s, and were in junior high school.

    If it wasn’t Ward, I don’t know who else would have been running a BBS in their basement at that time and place…..


  10. OFD says:

    “I remember he had a model railroad layout too.”

    MIT in Cambridge had a bunch of guys running a very complex model railroad layout back around that time, which morphed into a bunch of guys getting into early IT stuff and then the big Route 128 (“America’s Technology Highway’) expansion, with Polaroid, EDS, DEC, Data General, Prime Computer, Bose out in Framingham, etc. Dovetailing with the older corporate defense contractors like Raytheon.

  11. Sam Olson says:


    Parkinson’s law
    (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    Parkinson’s law is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”, and the title of a book which made it well-known.

    Articulated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson as part of the first sentence of a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955,[1][2] it was reprinted with other essays in the book Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress (London, John Murray, 1958). He derived the dictum from his extensive experience in the British Civil Service.

    [1] Parkinson, Cyril Northcote (November 19, 1955). “Parkinson’s Law”. The Economist.

    [2] Fowler, Elizabeth M (May 5, 1957). “It’s a ‘Law’ now: Payrolls grow”. The New York Times.

  12. nick says:

    Wow, no wonder it’s so hot in my garage attic, it’s 95 with 42%RH. It feels much cooler than that in the shade.

    Gonna be alternating between outdoor work and sitting in the office cooling down today.

    Didn’t get much at sales this weekend.

    Got an ezup frame for $5 missing the fabric. Will be sourcing that this week. Frame is like new condition.

    Got a garden hoe for $5, it is the traditional shape and very heavy weight. I use a stirrup hoe most of the time, but in the root bound bed, I need something that will chop.

    Some Proto wrenches for the collection, $5 each, bigger than 1″. That was too good a price to pass up, even if I have dups. BTW, if you are building a hand tool collection, you should have at least 2 wrenches in every size, so you can hold the bolt and the nut. Old American industrial brands are often VERY cheap compared to Craftsman or Snap On, and at least as good quality, if not better– Wizard, Proto, Indestro, VLCHEK, Husky (old US made), Barcolo, and others. For modern tools, Proto, Blackhawk, Blue Point are all good industrial brands. If buying new, you really can’t go wrong with Craftsman, especially kits when sold near Father’s Day.

    Got a couple of good references, a Metal Working textbook, and “101 Uses for your Propane torch”, a buck each.

    I had to pass on an antique but usable condition blacksmith’s forge. The forge and blower were both in OK shape with the forge having some heavy rust. It was priced right at $125 but I just don’t have the space. That more than anything tells me to focus on getting rid of some stuff, if I have to pass on a serious checklist item, that I’ve been looking for for a long time, because I don’t have a place to put it. (They also had a blacksmith’s vise at $125. No anvil.)

    Well, I’ve stopped sweating so it must be time to go back to work.


  13. SteveF says:

    What’s a proto-wench? A pre-teen girl? Who’d be selling them for $5, and who in his right mind would buy them at any price?

  14. nick says:

    Whew, I’m almost done turning over the back bed, and adding the steer manure compost. Had to take a break. The roots formed a mat 8-10 inches thick, about 2 inches below the surface. A solid mat. I was able to get the mattox under it and roll it up before breaking it into chunks and beating the little bit of soil out of it.

    I’m alternating that with much lighter work painting the new shelves for the garage storage. I know, I’m making work for myself. It doesn’t take long to paint them, it only delays me installing them. It all looks much nicer with every sort of mis-matched shelf and cabinet all painted the same color. And I might end up with my office in the garage if things keep going the way they are 😉 so it might as well look nice.

    The other projects on the optimistic list for this long weekend, discone antenna install, 1000w 2 meter antenna install, “window boxes” for veg on the driveway fence, and turnover, amend, and plant the other beds.

    We’ll see how it goes. High hopes, low confidence!


  15. DadCooks says:

    @nick – I lived in Park Forest from 1953 to 1960. Park Forest was quite an experiment, but I won’t boar you folks with my old man ramblings, you can look at a fairly accurate wiki at,_Illinois.

    At that time my Dad worked on the North side of Chicago and didn’t like the schools in Park Forest or the long commute. I remember spending practically every weekend looking at homes in the Northern suburbs. My folks finally built a home in Morton Grove (often referred to as Mortgage Grove) because of the quality of the school system (Maine Township). As luck would have it, a couple of years after we moved North my Dad’s job moved South so there went the short commute. We stayed there until 1969 when my younger sister graduated from high school, the good school system having done it’s job so it was time for my folks to move on.

    I always like and look forward to @nick’s weekly yard/estate sale adventures.

  16. lynn says:

    The Internet seems to be going into hibernation. Site visits here are way down–fewer than 600 yesterday–as are comments. I’m getting very little email. Even the email and comment spammers seem to be on vacation. And it’s not just me. The sites I visit regularly seem to be getting a lot less comment traffic, as do the mailing lists I subscribe to and follow on the web. Where did everybody go?

    Wow, I have never seen anyone complain about a lack of spam. I too am noting a lesser amount of spam, I rejoice!

    Here is my theory what is going on here in the USA. People are scared of losing their jobs. Between the upstream oil and gas market losing one million jobs (my swag) in the last twelve months, and the increasing automation of jobs, we are dropping the economy into a lower gear. BTW, those one million upstream jobs were $50K to $125k/year, solid middle class jobs. That hurts.

    People are getting much more conservative in their spending and doing more at home rather than buying stuff and services on credit. They are too busy to surf the web and play around with the toys. I also note that the talk of raising the interest rates by just a quarter point have gone away. The bankers know that the economy is slowing and are adjusting accordingly. I even got a $35K two year personal loan the other day at 5.6%, amazing.

    And, we are going into an election year, always a down year on the fiances. People are getting worried about what this crazy person in the White House will do for his final act. And, what the new administration in the White House will gift to us.

  17. SteveF says:

    We’ve been in a depression for seven years or so. (In fact, a column over on ZeroHedge argues it’s been since 1971, when real wages started dropping.) People didn’t notice for a while partly because we’re so rich, partly because of unsustainably low interest rates, and partly because of systemic lies from the government(s) and the lickspittle media. The lies have gotten so desperate, though, that it’s finally obvious to everyone but fools that all is not rosy in the US.

  18. OFD says:

    I agree with the ZeroHedge analysis; the shit has already long since hit the fan; we’re just waiting for the shooting to start.

    My dad took care of a wife, five kids and a house and car on $13k a year back then. Good luck with that now, even adjusting the dollar.

    It’s not rocket science to look around and see what the real situation is here. The Empire is crumbling, slowly now, but might pick up speed in the next few weeks, months, years, who knows? A “perfect storm” of events could tip us all right over into the manure pile.

  19. nick says:

    Did you see the zerohedge article on sub-prime car loans? That’s terrifying.

    Well, I got the bed turned over, all the roots out, the landscape fabric under it all, and the manure compost mixed in. Watered it down, and tomorrow some plants and seeds will go in.

    Got the shelves painted. Got the first set in place, and loosely screwed together. I’m setting the shelves at a little more than 14″ spacing which makes it easy to get a flip top storage crate in and out. Two will fit on each shelf. Alternatively, the cardboard trays produce comes in at Costco fit 2 to a shelf too. That makes it easy to slide the bottom shelf contents in and out. No more lost stuff at the back. And it helps to contain the loose stacks of stuff.

    In the mean time, worked on a couple of coleman lanterns. I have 12 at the house currently, mix of propane, coleman fuel, and dual fuel (gasoline.) I have both one and two mantle lanterns. I put new mantles on a couple, replaced a cap, and replaced a pump. I have 2 that have some sort of jam in the gas line, and will need more work some other time. I’ve got plenty that work, the repairs can wait. [I needed to get them down from their hooks to put in the shelves, so a couple got repaired 😉 ]

    Story time,


  20. SteveF says:

    Of possible interest to some here: Making It All Up: The behavioral sciences scandal. It’s largely a general audience recap of the (lack of) Replicability Project that finished up a little while ago, but contains interesting responses from some of the researchers who wrote the original studies — studies which, I should point out, failed of replication, usually several times. As you might guess, the responses tend toward the character assassination side of the discourse spectrum.

    The article’s money quote is distributed in various forms throughout: these soft sciences are not a real science. For example:

    Surveys have shown that published studies in social psychology are five times more likely to show positive results​—​to confirm the experimenters’ hypothesis​—​than studies in the real sciences.

  21. OFD says:

    I’m voting for Fred:

    “Having recognized that the country is calling on me to restore order and common sense, and that my election as dictator is the last hope of Western Civilization, I hereby throw my sombrero into the ring. Below is a compact summary of the wise and forward-looking policies which will characterize my reign. Interposed are thrilling slogans that will throw you into an electoral frenzy.”

  22. lynn says:

    “In face of high costs, why not offer Medicare to all Americans?”

    “Medicare is the single biggest spender of health care in the U.S., paying out $585.7 billion of the $2.9 trillion spent on health care in 2013, the last year data is available. Add in Medicaid and other federal programs, and the government pays 60 percent of the health care bills in the nation.”

    I fully expect President Trump to rescind Obamacare and replace it with his new “Medicare for All Citizens” within the first three months in office.

    Yup. Next topic, @Bob will like this one, why not open social security to all Americans? Instead of just recent immigrants, “Cubans retire to Florida – with help from U.S. taxpayers”:

  23. lynn says:

    “Cocks not glocks: Dildos to replace guns at UT-Austin campus carry protest”

    College has really changed a lot since I attended Texas A&M in the 1970s.

  24. brad says:

    Um…who would buy a used car, using a loan at 19%, financed over 6-7 years? That’s when you buy a junker and make do. Equally crazy: 90% apparently take the dealer financing through GMAC. GMAC is such a ripoff joint that they had to rename themselves – what’s the new name? Ah, just found it on Google: “Ally”. Cynical name, that.

    Re comment traffic, dunno about anyone else, but I am just buried in work right now. Another 3-4 weeks till I see the light of day.

  25. Denis says:

    Not internet hibernation – hunting season!! No time for frivolities like internet. Dinner is out there running around, and has to make its way to the freezer. 🙂

Comments are closed.