Monday, 26 October 2015

10:20 – Work on packaging seeds continues. We got half a dozen species packaged yesterday, with more on the schedule for today. We’re sold out of the first batch, but continuing to take orders from readers at the discounted price. I’ll also have Barbara working this week on more science kits.

Among all the other tasks, I’m trying to get in some heads-down work on the prepping book. It’s progressing, although more slowly than I’d like.


33 thoughts on “Monday, 26 October 2015”

  1. Among all the other tasks, I’m trying to get in some heads-down work on the prepping book. It’s progressing, although more slowly than I’d like.

    My favorite comment on any project, but especially software projects, is that when you have reached the 80% complete point, you only have 80% of the project to complete the project. Works surprisingly well!

  2. I think it was Tracy Kidder, “Soul of a New Machine”, said the most important person on the team was the one who had to decide when to say, “It’s done, ship it.” You could be writing for a long time.

    You cover nixtamalization in the food growing section? How to make quicklime/potash?

  3. @Klide

    As to nixtamalization and potash production, yes, although it may be in volume 2.

  4. “…the most important person on the team was the one who had to decide when to say, “It’s done, ship it.””

    Which is what Dave Cutler and the Winblows NT dev team did, eventually, and full of holes and bugs. Let the customers find them and report and/or fix them. Cutler had previously developed VMS for DEC and last I knew, he was running the Azure thang for M$. Pieces of his code are undoubtedly still floating around in Windoze 10.

    Gorgeous fall day here; wife’s pay check, deposited this past Saturday AM, still not credited by our bank. But by Jeezum, expenditures she’s made since then have been deducted instantaneously.

  5. I will always remember that Spock line from Star Trek movie #2: “Kahn’s thinking seems to be two-dimensional”!!

    Since most of us will be purchasing RBT’s ” prepping” guide/book in eBook format, what does it matter if it’s totally “finished” and/or has some mistakes?

    We can always “update” it at any time and get the latest version for FREE, amirite?

    We could even pre-purchase it right now! Robert, are you listening?

    One thing I learned by watching his YouTube presentations about the way Andy Weir wrote his best-seller, “The Martian”, was that he posted it a chapter at a time as he finished it on his website about every month. As the critiques came in he fixed any problems that were found (frequently by experts in their fields).

    Now Robert may decide to have it ” mostly” finished before he makes it available. And extra stuff could be made available as “appendices” as they became available?

    By the way, I did see the movie version of “The Martian” (besides reading the book first) — and I thoroughly enjoyed both. I hope that he comes out with many sequels.

    This is the 21st century, and paradigms do shift. We just need to be paying attention to whatever’s happening with an open mind.

    My experience with Robert’s writing, is that his “first drafts” are often better than most people’s final published results!

  6. @lynn, Vilfredo Pareto is usually credited with the 80-20 notion, although he actually applied it to land ownership. Doesn’t make it any less true when applied to project management.

    @dave, if I had that experience with deposited checks, I would find another institution. I’ve had credit union accounts for decades. Don’t know if that makes the difference, but it works for me.

  7. Thanks, Mr. Jim B; I’ll bring it up again with Mrs. OFD but we’re kinda tied in six ways from Sunday with our current bank, a huge one based in O Kanada. Major bills paid through them, daughter’s account transfers, and Fed tax stuff. It would be a big project via paperwork, email, phone calls, in-person and online, I reckon.

  8. Shipping a product before it’s done is irresponsible. Not following up and fixing bugs is just as bad. Nothing is ever perfect, but letting problems go unfixed is a sign of apathy or lack of funding.

    My experience with software of all kinds has shown the gamut of imperfections, but commercial software is definitely more polished than noncommercial. This causes me great pain, because I really would like open source to succeed. So far, it shows touches of brilliance, but the imperfections get in the way too much.

  9. @dave, I feel your pain. I have two CU accounts, and would like to transfer some functions. It is just too much trouble. I’ll bet I would gain as many new problems as I would solve. Aren’t choices wunnerful?!

  10. We have both one major bank, Mine, and one credit union account,wife. We are both on both. The bank will only give a partial credit on a Saturday, the CU will often give full credit but still up to a limit when large. They did this at the CU on an insurance payout check which surprised me. This is because in spite of what may look like real time processing they all still use the ACH that moves everything around after hours. I hear that because of being able to scan and deposit check electronically some people try to deposit more than once. The one that really galls me however is checks drawn on the same bank deposited in a scanning ATM. You know damn well they but a hold on that money in the writers account then give you little or none of it until that night. CUs do tend to be more flexible. The real trick is to cash the check (if it’s the same bank) then deposit it. Stupid but they’re riding the float.

  11. “Stupid but they’re riding the float.”

    That’s what we figure; just us, is peanuts. Multiply us by millions and now we’re talking some real change. Wife’s employers seem to be doing this, too, even with just a couple of dozen employee/consultants. But they sit on the checks for weeks sometimes. With them we figure it’s simply incompetence, negligence, and not giving a shit, which is strange because these are the people who generate their revenue, pretty much ALL of it.

    What’s even more fun is we have Princess dunning us for her tuition, new apartment and “other expenses” while our major bills are slightly overdue and we’ll be getting dunned for them, too. OFD is not happy today. OFD will watch MNF and try to forget about this shit for a few hours.

  12. They did this at the CU on an insurance payout check which surprised me.

    Actually it is the insurance companies that demand the wait on available funds for insurance checks. Apparently there was too much fraud with insurance checks. I had an insurance check from my wreck that had a hold placed for 10 days at a credit union. I protested and was told the insurance industry demands the hold, not the CU.

    Stupid but they’re riding the float.

    At one time that was true but today float is generally less than a day and with the low interest rates the institutions don’t make much. I think it is more a matter of business as usual.

    The one that really galls me however is checks drawn on the same bank deposited in a scanning ATM.

    Checks are not secure. It would be trivially easy for me to make checks drawn on accounts. Granted when depositing into your own account the institution has a paper trail and the risk of fraud would be low. They know who you are. But there is the mindset, especially in the auditors, who demand such protection. Auditors from my experience as an IT manager at a CU, have to find something wrong otherwise they feel they are not doing their job. Many times a recommendation from an auditor is totally stupid but it is easier to comply than explain to the board why you are not following auditor recommendations.

    Wife’s employers seem to be doing this, too, even with just a couple of dozen employee/consultants

    I think that is more a cash flow issue and manipulating the books to keep things positive. Again, at 0.05% interest the earnings are not much.

  13. “I think that is more a cash flow issue and manipulating the books to keep things positive.”

    Thank you. I’ve been telling wife that they’re cooking their books, and she’s coming around on that. When they were struggling, wife and others took a large cut in pay “until revenues improve.” Well, that was seven years ago and revenues have increased by several orders of magnitude and they have national and international sites and recognition. Office drones who supposedly manage payroll and assignments come and go through a revolving door and all but one or two have been incompetent morons who clearly don’t give a shit about their revenue producers being paid.

    Wife has recently made the case to them that their pay cuts need to be restored, and has been repeatedly stonewalled, ignored and blown off. Others are scared to say anything for fear of being fired; “A hundred people are standing in line behind you for that job.”

    They don’t do direct deposit (except for office staff and the top matriarchy) and wife and her colleagues have to pay for their accommodations, rental cars and cabs, and meals, in advance and then wait weeks to be reimbursed. (the org pays for the plane flights). Wife has also made the mistake of requesting that they “expedite” some of the checks over the years and if anything they take even longer; she’s asked them to FedEx a few times, and once in a while they do. It’s hell trying to work out a monthly budget here and also keep the Feds off our backs, and I’m the point man.

  14. Ray, you’re being all reasonable ’n’ shit, which is entirely missing the point. We want to get OFD so riled up that he vapor locks and keels over, preferably in some comical fashion. Then his cat will calmly turn off the digital camera and send us the footage so we can put on subtitles and upload to YouTube. Mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money!

    I had to persuade OFD’s cat not to hurry the process along. I think the only really persuasive argument was that cats don’t have thumbs and thus cannot use the can opener to get at the moist and delicious canned cat food.

    (My last cat mostly ate dry food, but I’d give him half a can of something or other several times a week. One can was labelled “fish parts” or similar. It smelled like rotten fish entrails to me but apparently smelled like just-right fish entrails to him. I was barely able to finish opening the can, he was so desperate to get at it. The worst part? By law, all canned food sold in the US must be edible by humans, in case the label is destroyed. Um, yah, no thanks. I’d have to be mighty hungry to eat that fish stuff.)

  15. Our three cats (all three of them basically mine, because they love me like a god and I love them because they’re independent, clever, witty, smart, and aren’t a tenth of the hassle that the one dawg is) eat dry food, mostly, the occasional treat can of tuna, and the various rodents, birds and amphibians they catch trespassing on our fucking property. I have seen, however, those commercial cans of cat food and I would also have to be nearly dead from starvation before eating that shit, although I understand Inuit, Scandinavians and suchlike consider it a delicacy.

    That miles-teg guy down in Oz says that it still don’t smell as nice as Cankles’s underpants…

    “…get OFD so riled up that he vapor locks and keels over, preferably in some comical fashion.”

    Won’t happen. I’ve had the finest psychiatric treatment that the long-suffering taxpayers can provide. I’m calm as shit all the time now; nothing riles me. Don’t get mad, get even, is my new motto.

    “…his cat will calmly turn off the digital camera and send us the footage…”

    The fat ol’ mama cat might actually be able to do that; we’ve called her TechnoCat since she was a kitten; she really loves and seems to grok electronic devices. Knows how to turn the radio and tee-vee on and off and is constantly hanging around me in my office and fiddling with the computers, which she occasionally decides need rebooting, usually the remaining Windoze box, and who am I to say she’s wrong about that???

  16. ‘What’s even more fun is we have Princess dunning us for her tuition, new apartment and “other expenses”’

    (How old is she?)

    “Just Say No.”

  17. Ray wrote:

    “I think that is more a cash flow issue and manipulating the books to keep things positive. Again, at 0.05% interest the earnings are not much.”

    One of my pals was an accountant at an Adelaide firm that was skating on thin ice. When the airlines sent a monthly bill for, say, $26,512.00, he’d send a payment cheque for $2,651.20. When the airline complained he’d say there was a typo and (eventually) send a cheque for the balance.

    He left there soon after as he could see that the firm wasn’t long for this world.

  18. Ray, you’re being all reasonable ’n’ shit

    Well crap, there goes my image that I worked hard to sculpt. It is back into the rat hole for me, listening to Mandy on repeat track.

    We want to get OFD so riled up that he vapor locks and keels over

    That may be difficult as old OFD seems more level headed than myself.

    I will sort of be in his neck of the woods come tomorrow. Heading to Providence RI for four days for the organizations annual convention.

    By law, all canned food sold in the US must be edible by humans, in case the label is destroyed

    Another stash of food in case of a zombie attack. Don’t know if zombies are repelled by canned cat food the same as humans.

    which she occasionally decides need rebooting, usually the remaining Windoze box

    Linux will take a lot more training of your cat. When you cat can edit a config file I will be impressed.

  19. OFD wrote:

    Wife has recently made the case to them that their pay cuts need to be restored, and has been repeatedly stonewalled, ignored and blown off. Others are scared to say anything for fear of being fired; “A hundred people are standing in line behind you for that job.”

    Can she/they start their own corporation and deal directly with the clients?

  20. Mrs Clinton’s toyboy wrote:

    “We want to get OFD so riled up that he vapor locks and keels over, preferably in some comical fashion. Then his cat will calmly turn off the digital camera and send us the footage so we can put on subtitles and upload to YouTube. Mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money!”

    You forgot the part about the cat eating OFD over a period of several months…

  21. You forgot the part about the cat eating OFD over a period of several months…

    One can was labelled “fish parts” or similar. It smelled like rotten fish entrails to me

    I wonder which would taste better. Old Vet or Old Fish?

  22. “I wonder which would taste better. Old Vet or Old Fish?”

    Old Fish, of course. Old Vet is a nasty product. Got the triple-X and skull-and-crossbones on the package.

    “…Heading to Providence RI for four days…”

    Hometown of H.P. Lovecraft and Mrs. OFD’s first college year at Brown U. About 300 miles southeast of here and five hours of driving.

    “When your cat can edit a config file I will be impressed.”

    Hell, when I can edit a config file I’ll be impressed!

    “Can she/they start their own corporation and deal directly with the clients?”

    I’ve thought of that, as my lawyer ex-wife down in NJ did that when the senior partners at her firm wouldn’t move people up after years of slaving for them. She and a couple of the other women lawyers bailed and they run their own firm now in Fairfield, NJ. My current (and last) wife could probably do that, but it would be a tremendous hassle and it’s doubtful how many would bail with her, running scared as they are, and she’d probably get sued, and harassed by the Feds. She’s sixty now and wants to get out at some point and just work on her jewelry biz, but meanwhile I need to get us rockin’ with some revenue ASAP.

  23. I’ve had the finest psychiatric treatment that the long-suffering taxpayers can provide.

    Hey! Stop using my taxpayer funded pension for your taxpayer funded medical care. I have to pay taxes on my taxpayer funded pension, you know.

  24. “I have to pay taxes on my taxpayer funded pension, you know.”

    Yup, it’s just a big ol’ shell game. Move phony money around the board, that’s all. None of it’s real. And ain’t it great that they have us paying taxes on our pensions and disability payments? Pretty soon they’ll tax us on the tax payments we make to them, while the banksters have their mitts in our other pockets and CHARGE us for letting them take our money.

    Somebody tell me how this is different from a medieval/feudal kleptocracy?

  25. By law, all canned food sold in the US must be edible by humans, in case the label is destroyed

    Another stash of food in case of a zombie attack. Don’t know if zombies are repelled by canned cat food the same as humans.

    I have never heard of this law. Sounds … fishy.

    I’ll bet a month after the apocalypse, that canned car food will look good to you.

  26. I’ve never heard of it, either, but with canned pet food I’d have some concerns about prions and TSE.

  27. “I’ll bet a month after the apocalypse, that canned cat food will look good to you.”

    A side dish, to go along with the steaming long pig that’s roasting on the greased truck axle spit.

  28. “Hell, when I can edit a config file I’ll be impressed!”

    I have no trouble editing config files. Making them work – ah, there’s the rub.

  29. I have never heard of this law. Sounds … fishy.

    I can’t find reference to it. Either I misremembered (entirely possible) or the newspaper/web site/other unimpeachable source was wrong (entirely possible) or it was a proposed law or regulation which wasn’t enacted (entirely possible). Or else the NSA is editing the search results I’m getting, on account of they hate me (entirely possible).

    Also, I approve of puns and other dubious wordplay!

  30. PUNS! Ooooh.

    Groaners are the highest form of humor. Of course, opinions vary.

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