Wednesday, 3 February 2016

14:12 – I’ve finished the urgent administrative stuff, and everything is submitted. We’ve both been working pretty much non-stop for what seems like forever, so we decided to pretty much take the day off. We did transfer 100 pounds of sugar to Costo PET nut jars and some 2-liter Coke bottles, along with 50 pounds of rice. This afternoon, we’ll repackage 100 pounds of flour, 25 pounds of cornmeal, and 25 pounds of oats to PET bottles, but that’ll be pretty much it for the day.

USPS belatedly discovered that they’d accidentally removed support for Regional Rate Boxes A and B from Click-N-Ship, but they finally got it restored and working. What’s interesting is that USPS never offered retail pricing for Regional Rate Boxes. You could take one to the post office, but they’d charge you postage according to weight and zone, just as if you’d used a regular box. That means there wasn’t any retail pricing for those boxes, so Click-N-Ship now charges Commercial Base Pricing for them, just as they always did. Since about 98% of our stuff ships in either a RRA or RRB box, that means I don’t need stamps.com any more. I’ll use up the postage I prepaid with them and then go back to using USPS Click-N-Ship. That means I’ll have to pay $18.75 to ship a Large Flat Rate Box with USPS rather than the $16.35 I pay Stamps.com, but we use so few Large FRBs that it doesn’t really matter. Not enough to come anywhere near the $16/month that Stamps.com charges, any way.

I just finished reading Ellisa Barr’s EMP YA PA novel Outage (Powerless Nation Book 1). Despite a few 1- and 2-star reviews, it’s a decent book. There are two sequels, and all three are available to read for free under Kindle Unlimited. I plan to read both sequels.

Now that Barbara has agreed that it’s better to re-watch good stuff that we last watched 20 or 30 years ago, so long that we’ve forgotten any details, we have Inspector Morse and Midsomer Murders back in our queue. We’ve watched half a dozen of the Morses and a couple of the Midsomers and remembered very little about any of them. Some of them, we don’t remember ever watching at all. Others are vaguely familiar, but that’s about it.


46 thoughts on “Wednesday, 3 February 2016”

  1. I re-watched all the seasons of “The Wire” recently, having missed a good dozen or more episodes anyway, originally. Now I’m watching three movies based on the lives of the infamous Kray brothers in London during the 1950s and 60s.

    Reading this week, besides online course materials and related stuff, has been Mary Beard’s history of Rome, which is all over the map in terms of her writing, a mix of academic and media-savvy breeziness, and wife and I are agreed that wassername who did the historical fiction on the Roman Republic and Empire characters did a better job. Just started the late Harrison Salisbury’s book on the siege of Leningrad, and that, combined with more reading of Selco’s stuff online, makes one imagine all sorts of similar stuff happening in the northern urban tier of this country. The difference being that here we have millions of peeps toting tens and hundreds of millions of firearms and a history of violent, independent cussedness.

    And we also have a military that could conceivably take over very quickly from a useless and hopelessly corrupt civilian government and by that point they’d get a great deal of public support for it. For a while.

    Overcast and raining here with wind gusts of 40-50 MPH and temps in the fotties.

  2. Yup. Just could not retrieve her name from what’s left of the memory banks here. Whereas Mary Beard is a tee-vee academic over in the UK and evidently in tune with the usual PC blather dating back to the Glorious Sixties.

    Here’s a quote: “I actually can’t understand what it would be to be a woman without being a feminist.”

    She also kinda thought/thinks in regard to 9/11 we had it coming, and is a big fan of opening the gates in the UK to zillions of barbarian scum invaders.

    I got the book as an Xmas gift from great-grandma here and it appears to be a recycling of Beard’s PhD thesis on Cicero.

  3. The online Maoist rag Salon is snarking today about how everyone now is obsessed with Trump; a quick look at their front page at the site shows they have ten out of thirty-six articles on him or about him or mentioning him. Meanwhile they burn for Bern, of course.

  4. So, what ways are Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan alike?
    1. Both graduated from college with a degree in economics.
    2. Both are actors.
    3. They both have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    4. They are both not lawyers.
    5. Both ran for President in the Republican party.
    6. Both are strong defense advocates.
    7. Both are very outspoken about their belief that the USA has better days coming.
    8. Both ran for President after their 60th birthdays.
    9. They were both Democrats and switched to the Republican party.
    10. Both are divorced and remarried with a total of five children each.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan

    Anything else?

  5. wassername who did the historical fiction on the Roman Republic and Empire characters did a better job.

    As RBT mentioned, Colleen McCullough. I think the last few books weren’t as good as the first. She also has a pro-Julius Caesar bias, where I’m not sure he was as noble as she paints.

    Went to a local production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar last week. The main roles were all played by women, with the minor roles filled by men. The cast was pretty good – a former cow-orker of mine played Decius Brutus and Octavian in her first stage role. She was OK. The women that played Brutus and Marc Antony were very, very good.

    Right now I finished a reading of The Lord of the Rings. Before that, The Rhesus Chart by Stross from the Laundry Files series, good but not as good as the others in the series. Now reading Harmony Black which I got from Kindle First last month – it’s about a FBI agent/witch assigned to a supernatural task force. Just started it during lunch.

  6. I share her bias, on Caesar, Cicero, Cato, and most of the other major players.

  7. “Anything else?”

    Both bull-chit artists with orange hair who talk a great line of chit and never served in the armed forces, not that that should be the be-all and end-all, of course. And Donald’s little wifey is a helluva lot cuter than either of Ronbo’s.

    “…She also has a pro-Julius Caesar bias, where I’m not sure he was as noble as she paints.”

    Egomaniac and genocidal butcher.

    “The main roles were all played by women, with the minor roles filled by men.”

    Yet another reason for me not to go to any of the plays anymore or watch the latest movie or tee-vee productions. Sorry, guess I’m just an old hidebound traditionalist who loathes and despises novelties and innovations for their own sake and worship of the Goddess Diversity. I’ve got the whole BBC series here and a few selected DVDs done by established great actors from the last hundred years.

    “Do we have to go through this cow thing again?”

    MrAtoz keeps saying that and I’ve been noticing the cows around here are getting kind of surly lately and menacing, even; they may have picked up the bad vibes from Lost Wages….

  8. Both bull-chit artists with orange hair who talk a great line of chit and never served in the armed forces, not that that should be the be-all and end-all, of course.

    Reagan was a second LT in the army during WWII. They had him making training films in Hollywood.

    And Donald’s little wifey is a helluva lot cuter than either of Ronbo’s.

    She’s not that little. I think she is six foot tall.

  9. “They had him making training films in Hollywood.”

    Yeah, I know. So he wasn’t armed and he wasn’t a force then; also dimed out his fellow actors repeatedly while in Hollyweird. It baffles me that so-called conservatives in this country still worship the ground he walked on; before that they were Nixon fanboys.

    But I’m strange; my idea of a good President was, of course, Grover Cleveland.

  10. And that is where thee and me differ; a pox on all their houses, a long string of war criminals, parasites and poltroons.

  11. I need to find a new trash dumpster service for my commercial property. I have an 8 cubic yard dumpster that gets serviced twice per week from Republic. Those turkeys just raised my monthly cost from $368 to $451. I’m afraid that I am going to just have to grin and bear it since no one else comes out here in Fort Bend County. Argh!

  12. It’s a mob controlled business, but I know I’ve seen some smaller companies, even out there in the sticks.

    nick

  13. “Print your own gun.”

    Yo, check out the goings-on with the Ghost Gunner project:

    https://ghostgunner.net/

    Get the unit, hook it up to a pooter, fire it up and let it run a while and you’ve got a nice little AR lower. Build to yer haht’s content.

    “It’s a mob controlled business…”

    But wait–I thought our government ended organized crime in this country!

    Punchline: they simply took it over themselves.

  14. “Scroll down to read his reaction.”

    Another hater.

    Reading his screed and the accompanying video upset me and caused my heart to skip a beat or two and I got hot flashes. I’m demanding the site be taken down and filing a suit accordingly.

  15. Used to read lilleks every day. His gallery of regrettable food is a classic.

    But yeah, see, it’s easy. Just avoid rousing the bear. If you get your arm eaten, you shouldn’t look so tasty.

    nick

  16. Santorum’s out. That’s good. Rand’s out. Not so good. He was one of the more sane contenders.

  17. Rand’s out. Not so good. He was one of the more sane contenders.

    This is not a sane year. The USA is fighting for our existence as a single Republic. Maybe 20% of the populace knows that.

  18. I adored lilleks. His Galkery of Regrettable Foods inspired a potluck at my workplace. It was hysterical and surprisingly edible. Librarians rock the potluck scene.

  19. I think the horrible color photo processing and color reproduction from that era contributes a great deal to the unappetizing look. A lot of the older recipes taste great. ‘Course, there was a lot of recipe development that featured someone’s product and a lot of those were a stretch.

    In any case, enough bridge mix and scotch probably made the dinner parties a bit more tolerable. And all those cigarettes before during and after dinner helped too…..

    nick

  20. My helpdesk guy reminds me of a script kiddie. He can do anything if he has explicit instructions, but he has no understanding of what he’s doing. He can shut down a database service in 3 seconds without realizing he selected the WRONG database. Doesn’t understand why I don’t let him do any of the high-risk maintenance.

    I’m taking the bad with the good, though. The things he does understand well he jumps right into and gets it done.

    And I remain ever watchful.

  21. I’ll add to the food discussion that “The Joy of Cooking” is my go-to cook book. I’m not a chef. Not a ‘foodie.’ I have worked in restaurant kitchens cooking food for a living. My wife, guests, and even occasionally the kids, like what I cook, when I do.

    Joy of Cooking is clearly written. It has extensive background chapters. It isn’t just a recipe book, it is an instruction manual for cooking. It’s also full of humor. And it covers the basics as well as ‘stretch goals.’ It even has a chapter on cooking wild game.

    And it doesn’t suffer from whatever the ‘fad de jour’ is. The recipes call for salt, fat, and whatever is required for success and good taste. The don’t continually poke you for your choices- ‘for richer flavor, use whole milk instead of lowfat’ they just say ‘use milk’.

    If you only occasionally cook, or never learned how, and only have room for one cookbook, this is the one.

    nick

  22. Yes, particularly the older editions. We have a couple copies. I think one is from the 60’s and the other from the 70’s.

  23. WRT to Rand is out – no, Rand is being pragmatic. He is facing a tough reelection campaign for his Senate seat. The longer he stayed in the Presidential race the more he was going to alienate his constituency in Kentucky.

    WRT to cooking – Nothing beats learning to cook at the heals of a grandmother. My Mother also believed that a Real Man knows how to cook, sew, and do laundry. So I was quite a catch 😉

    WRT to cookbooks – second only to my collection of history books is my collection of cookbooks. My cookbooks include a number of ancient cookbooks passed down to me by my Maternal Grandmother.

    If I could have only one cookbook though it would be Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. Mark has actually written a large number of good cookbooks, this is his page on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Bittman/e/B000APUJB0

    What I like about his books is they are real, no fancy pictures done by Food Stylists that in no way represent what your recipe will look like. Yes, we eat with our eyes first, but how often have you looked at the recipe in a book/magazine/newspaper only to be disappointed at the result.

    Yes, Cook’s Illustrated cookbooks are very good and I like how they “experiment” to get the best so you do not have to.

    If you would like to see an engineer’s slant on cooking go to http://www.cookingforengineers.com/

    Edit: How could I forget Julia Child. I got to meet her when she visited the PBS station in Chicago in the mid-1960s and have an autographed copy of the first printing of The Joy of Cooking. Her cookbooks have a dedicated shelf in my “library”.

  24. None of my family ever taught me to cook; I was on my own. My go-to cookbook for many years has been the late, great, James Beard’s “American Cookery.” I also watched the tee-vee series and have the DVDs of the late, great Julia Child, and also Jacques Pepin, and I am a big fan of the Cooks Illustrated empire’s magazines and books, also for many years.

    Good riddance to Rand and the other RINOs who all popped outta the circus clown car. Let’s get it on, Trump vs. Cankles or Sanders. And I don’t give a blind rat’s ass which sock puppet gets in; just wanna dig the show and munch on pretzels and swill them down with Moxie on the rocks. More and more indications that something’s gonna bust open this year but then again, I thought that last spring, and we’ve only had some nasty events here and there; I mean something HUGE.

  25. Well, my background is as an organic chemist, and I’ve never known an organic chemist who didn’t know how to cook. Cooking is, after all, just applied organic chemistry.

  26. I still think Trump is a sideshow. The thing about Cruz is that the other 534 members of the House and Senate all despise him, as does the GOP powers that be. Of the viable candidates, I’d rather see him elected than any of the others.

  27. IMHO, Cruz is starting to show how radical of an “evangelicalist” he is. Be very very wary. If you have not been “saved”, properly baptized, and know the secret handshake then you are pond scum.

    To ruffle some “radical evangelicalist” feathers, IMHO some sects are just like radical islamists, just shy of the stoning, head lopping, and burning. The “radical evangelicalists” want a theocracy.

    I do not make my micro-aggression statements lightly or without basis. My Sister’s first born son is a Pastor at a non-denominational evangelical church (he has a real Doctor of Divinity degree from a large well-known evangelical college) and practices/preaches Christian Evangelism as it is meant to be, IMHO. We have frequent theological discussions on our “private” Facebook pages and he has a quite mature perspective on the state of religion today. BTW, he was brought up as an Episcopalian.

  28. I still think Trump is a sideshow. The thing about Cruz is that the other 534 members of the House and Senate all despise him, as does the GOP powers that be. Of the viable candidates, I’d rather see him elected than any of the others.

    I will take Trump or Cruz. Both of them love the USA even though Cruz was not born here. And yes, our senior senator from Texas is a RINO in the making and hates Cruz also. A good sign.

  29. To ruffle some “radical evangelicalist” feathers, IMHO some sects are just like radical islamists, just shy of the stoning, head lopping, and burning. The “radical evangelicalists” want a theocracy.

    One of my church elders teaches a class on church history as to why we do not want a theocracy. He is extremely convincing and I have bought into it. My Sunday school class now has a former preacher, now high school history teacher, teaching about the growth of the church in the first millennium. He has told us several controversial items such as the early Christians used to steal the unwanted babies from the fields where the Roman women placed them and raise them as their own.

    My thoughts on church evangelism have really changed since I read “The Shack”. I prefer a disorganized church rather than an organized church.

  30. “Organic chemistry is, after all, just applied cooking with unpleasant smelling ingredients.”

    There, fixed that for you… 🙂

  31. “…some sects are just like radical islamists, just shy of the stoning, head lopping, and burning. The “radical evangelicalists” want a theocracy.”

    That is correct; I lump them in with the snake handlers and strychnine guzzlers, and I’d dance pretty good, too, if I was doing that chit to some kind of folksy music with peeps clapping and yelling. Some otherwise respectable, intelligent and well-known people are in a few of these cults; one in particular advocates capital punishment for homosexuals and adulterers—by stoning, natch, ’cause dat what it say in some OT texts. Cherry-picking Scripture to support one’s own inclinations and neuroses is a time-honored pasttime for centuries.

    “I will take Trump or Cruz. Both of them love the USA…”

    Oh no, they’ll take YOU, once they’re in power. And how do we know they “love the USA?” Because they say so? Obola says that, too. Do we believe HIM? No? Then what makes the other two clowns believable???

    “He has told us several controversial items such as the early Christians used to steal the unwanted babies from the fields where the Roman women placed them and raise them as their own.”

    Romans and some other ethnic groups used to dump off their unwanted babies, particularly if they were deformed in some way, and slavers would pick them up as free future slave labor. But Christians would do so as well and yes, raise them as their own; is something wrong with that??? And what’s any of that got to do with “an organized church?”

  32. Romans and some other ethnic groups used to dump off their unwanted babies, particularly if they were deformed in some way, and slavers would pick them up as free future slave labor. But Christians would do so as well and yes, raise them as their own; is something wrong with that??? And what’s any of that got to do with “an organized church?”

    I don’t know, getting old and losing my train of thought …

    I going to “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” and ran off the tracks on the way there.

    Today’s Christian church is horribly disorganized and I love it. If the USA turns into a theocracy, the first thing that they will do is organize the church. I am fairly sure that you won’t like it.

    Is Ted Cruz the incarnate of Nehemiah Scudder?

  33. “…getting old and losing my train of thought …”
    “and ran off the tracks on the way there.”

    I’m ten years older than you and NEVER lose my train of thought or run off the tracks! LOL.

    “I am fairly sure that you won’t like it.”

    It was all but a theocracy in name for much of our early Murkan history; the country, much as it galls some folks to hear it, was and substantially still is, a British Protestant nation. Calvinism runs as a deep vein all through it, too. You could count Roman Catholics on your fingers and toes for a long time here, more Jews than us, actually.

    For a slightly different SHTF perspective in fiction, take a look at James Howard Kunstler’s two novels of life in rural upstate NY (where he actually lives, across the lake from us and a ways south) after major disasters hit the world.

    “World Made By Hand,” and “The Witch of Hebron.” He wants us to buy them from independent booksellers but gives the Amazon links anyway. They’re well written page-turners, mes amis, and pretty realistic in my POV.

    http://kunstler.com/writings/books/

  34. I’m ten years older than you

    Seven. And the heart attack add ten years to your apparent age so I am older than you. 🙂

    It was all but a theocracy in name for much of our early Murkan history; the country, much as it galls some folks to hear it, was and substantially still is, a British Protestant nation. Calvinism runs as a deep vein all through it, too.

    So was most of the known world. Things change.

    You could count Roman Catholics on your fingers and toes for a long time here, more Jews than us, actually.

    Maryland?

    For a slightly different SHTF perspective in fiction, take a look at James Howard Kunstler’s two novels of life in rural upstate NY (where he actually lives, across the lake from us and a ways south) after major disasters hit the world.

    I have a real problem with the Peak Oilers. Not gonna happen as long as directional drilling and fracking are allowed. Period. We probably have 200 years of oil in the known reserves and 1,000 years of natural gas. So, anything that talks about peak oil gets on my nerves. I read the Joe Nobody books and somehow manage to overlook that because he writes about the best place in the world, Texas.

  35. My thoughts on church evangelism have really changed since I read “The Shack”.

    My thoughts on religion mainly come from Caddy Shack. The guy held up a golf club and got struck by lightning. That there is all you need to know.

  36. “That there is all you need to know.”

    There it is. Playing golf is a mortal sin and in direct violation of the Organized Church’s doctrine and dogma. That dude had it coming.

  37. Blasphemy! Cast him out forthwith! Into the Lake of Fire!

    (per Archbishop Jack Chick and the ghost of David Koresh)

Comments are closed.