Friday, 6 January 2017

09:52 – The cold weather is moving in. We’re expecting 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) of snow over the next couple of days, with the low temperature Sunday evening to be 8F (-13C). And, as nearly always, a stiff breeze and gusty winds.

In accidental prepping this week, I doubled our PV solar capacity. Back in early November, I ordered a Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer. When we were de-cluttering the garage Tuesday, we finally opened that package, which was a box about 2×4 feet plus and a foot or so thick, weighing close to 90 pounds. Inside that outer box, we found two slip-fit thinner boxes, apparently identical, each of which obviously held two of the four solar panels. We opened one, and indeed found two solar panels and nothing else. I assumed, foolishly as it turned out, that the second internal box was identical to the first and that therefore we were missing the other components (charge controller, cables, connectors, etc.) that were supposed to come with the starter kit.

So Wednesday I called Amazon Business tech support and spoke to a very helpful woman named Diana. Based on shipping weights, she agreed with me that there must have been a second box, and couldn’t figure out what had happened to it. So she shipped me a replacement solar starter kit and said just to have UPS pick up the initial partial shipment. Amazon shipped it that day. Then yesterday as we continued cleaning up and organizing the garage, we opened the second internal box from the initial shipment, which (like the first box) looked large enough to contain only the two solar panels. But in fact it also included the rest of the components. placed against the back of one of the solar panels.

I talked to Barbara about it, and said that I’d intended to order a second kit this year, so why not just keep the second kit. She agreed, and I emailed Diana to confess my mistake and tell her just to charge our credit card for the replacement shipment as though it were a new order. That order is to arrive today, so we’ll now have 800W worth of PV solar panels, two Renogy Wanderer PWM charge controllers, and associated cabling and connectors.

The Wanderer charge controller supports four panels feeding a 12VDC battery bank, or eight feeding a 24VDC battery bank. I haven’t decided yet whether to configure it as a dual 12V system or a single 24V system. There are advantages either way, and of course I could if necessary reconfigure it on-the-fly.

But what really matters is that 400W of PV panels was marginal for our emergency needs, while 800W should more than suffice. Renogy claims that “ideal output” of the four-panel setup is 2,000 Wh/day, which obviously assumes five hours/day of full sunlight with a non-tracking mount. Taking into account cloudy days, losses in cabling and the inverter, and so on, it’s much safer to assume actual output at 1,200 Wh/day. With eight panels, that gives us 2.4 kWh/day, which will suffice to let us use our well pump normally, provide minimal LED lighting, communications, etc.


115 thoughts on “Friday, 6 January 2017”

  1. Honesty? There are many that would have just kept the extra equipment and not said a word. I find it heartening that there are people that are honest and own their mistakes and take steps to make it right.

    Thank you.

  2. See, I don’t understand that. If a vendor makes a mistake, I expect them to make it right. If I make a mistake, it’s only fair that I make it right. The “missing” stuff was maybe $70 worth. Are there really that many people out there who’d sacrifice their integrity for seventy lousy bucks? Would any of the regular participants on this blog do that? I don’t think so.

    The irony is that Amazon’s price on the kit I ordered back in early November was $649.99. They’ve since reduced the price to $616.57 and I assumed that they’d charge me the lower price for what amounted to a second, new order. But they’re trying to invoice me a second time for the $649.99 price, which I don’t think is fair.

  3. Is there a commonly available insecticide that will kill just about anything? I sometimes get bugs inside the house that seem impervious to repeated direct hits with normal supermarket-level Mortein.

  4. Potassium cyanide works on pretty much anything that uses oxygen, but I don’t know how commonly available it is in Oz.

  5. “Are there really that many people out there who’d sacrifice their integrity for seventy lousy bucks?”

    Yeah, or less. I was walking towards a guy at the mall once who was fishing around in his pocket for something. A $10 note fell from his pocket to the ground without him noticing, and I pointed to where the money had fallen. He picked it up and thanked me, and said “You’re a better man than I am. I would have picked it up myself and not said anything.”

    If I was dishonest I wouldn’t brag about it.

  6. “Potassium cyanide works on pretty much anything that uses oxygen, but I don’t know how commonly available it is in Oz.”

    Thanks, but people might think I was going to try to top myself.

  7. Hey, minor prepping success. My wife agreed to move some basic stocks from the pantry to the basement, after I suggested she buy some extra basics like flour and sugar. She wanted the space back in the pantry. Whereas I now have a first set of shelves in the basement, containing the bare beginnings of some food stocks. It’s a small start, but it is a start…

  8. My plumber (a guy whose kids were taught by my sister in primary/grade school) did some work here in April 2014, and didn’t send me a bill. I reminded him in May, he said he’d fix it up. Still no bill. Later in the year I had him around to do more stuff. I again reminded him of the missing bill. He said he’d get his accountant (the Mrs) onto it. Still no bill. A few months ago I had him around again and reminded him of the two lots of un-billed work from 2014. and described what he’d done. He said he’d check his diary. He sent a bill for the 2016 and April 2014 work but not for the second visit in 2014, at which time I decided to stop trying to pay him for the outstanding account.

    He’s a nice chap and does good work, but I’ve decided to stop trying to pay the outstanding bill.

    On the other hand, I often used the office phone to make local and interstate calls, but there’s no convienent way to pay for that.

  9. When I went to bed last night, local weather guessers were expecting a dusting to a maximum of one inch snow by the morning. Awoke to almost three inches and more falling. Working from home but then our Internet starts dropping out. WHY? We have Comcast internet and all utilities are buried in our neighborhood so we shouldn’t have outages …
    Unlike Memphis, north Mississippi didn’t treat the roads in advance, so it’s highway chaos on the big roads and taking your life in your hands on the neighborhood roads. But we will be back in the 60s by Monday so it won’t stay long.

  10. RBT: Most people ARE pretty honest. But SOME people are practiced liars who couldn’t tell the truth if they had to. And they are good at it too. I have a new co-worker who tells stories of his previous work that I know for a fact are fiction. When I politely called him out on one he insisted I was wrong. So now I feel I can’t trust anything he says … not easy working in that environment.

  11. Someone gave me an Raspberry Pi 2 for Christmas. My first thought was to use it to build a sun tracker for solar panels.

    Someone has already done it, it turns out: there’s a free solar almanac available out to 2050. No external sensors needed for tracking. I suppose they are there internally to read encoding rings, haven’t really dug into the project that far.

    Cost of the servos seems ridiculous though.

  12. Perhaps I’m naive, but I believe most people are pretty honest.

    Most people we know are honest, but we naturally choose not to associate with dishonest people. I once lived next to a guy who got robbed, and he thought he knew the person who robbed him. If I knew people like that, I’d forget to tell them when I moved.

    Over thirty years ago I moved from one bank to another. Foolishly, I did it in cash. I got to the new bank and found the teller at my former bank gave me too much money. I went back to that teller at my old bank and explained what happened and gave her the $100. I’d hope I would do the same thing today, but I’m not so sure.

  13. Regarding the postings yesterday about the possibility of global warming due to CO2 being a hoax, I would like to add this.

    Full page ad in the LA Times this AM touting the Chevy Volt as being “green car of the year”. Well, imagine John Denver driving Mountain Mama around on the back roads of West Virginia. Where does one think that WV electricity is produced other than a coal fired generating plant? Do they tell you that coal generated electricity to drive a car makes more CO2 than that generated by a car burning gasoline?

    Anybody interested why the hydrogen propelled cars are another, if not greater, fraud concerning global warming?

  14. Anybody interested why the hydrogen propelled cars are another, if not greater, fraud concerning global warming?

    Because water vapor is an even bigger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide? Because hydrogen is an energy storage medium not a fuel?

  15. I’m waiting for cars with roof mounted windmills. The faster you go the more clean renewable power you make.

  16. Actually, because hydrogen is not mined as is methane and oil. It is produced by two methods: electrolysis of water and a process called steam reforming.

    Electrolysis: Running electricity into a water solution producing oxygen and one anode and hydrogen at the other by using electrical energy to decompose the water. Now, this is the reverse of the car propulsion system; consequently, this is just going energy circles suffering inefficiencies at every opportunity. I might also note that steam reforming also requires methane combustion to heat the reactants up to reaction temperatures. How is this any more “green” than the sister car run off batteries?

    Steam Reforming: Generating H2 by this process: 2H2O + CH4 > 4H2 + CO2. Oh-oh, there is that global warming CO2 being generated again. Oh well, that does count because it is at a chemical processing plant instead of at the tail pipe of a green car.

  17. As far as I know. Hydrogen power cars require cryogenic fuel and/or 50K psi. Neither thing I want my mother to have to deal with. Free hydrogen is just too dangerous.

  18. Obvious case of mass suicide. I think the truck driver’s company should sue their estates to recover their costs for damage to their truck and so on. Anyone who does what those “protesters” did deserves to be run down.

  19. Regarding not paying for goods / services…

    I can recall three instances. In the first, a friend and I spent a nice afternoon in a bar. I got up to use the toilet and came back, as did he thereafter. Each of us assumed the other had settled the whole tab during our own respective absence, so we both walked out without either having paid. We didn’t realise our error until we got home, many miles away, whereupon we phoned the bar, apologised and posted a cheque for the tab plus a tip.
    In the second, I was out for dinner with friends. The food was good, but the service terribly slow. After asking (and waiting) three times for the bill and never receiving it, we unanimously decided to leave and let the waiter explain his error to his employer without the benefit of our assistance.
    On the third occasion, I ordered a set of tyres for my car. When I had them balanced and fitted, I asked to pay, and the owner told me he was too busy, but to call back in ten days. When I did call back, it was to discover that the tyre place had shut down. I suspect he sent me away deliberately by way of a parting gift to a long-time paying customer.

  20. As far as I know. Hydrogen power cars require cryogenic fuel and/or 50K psi.

    One of my customers used my software to model a pressurized hydrogen tank at 13,500 psia (931 bar). Caused all kinds of thermodynamic problems in our software which we had to fix and patch for him.

    Hydrogen wants to be free ! Do not park your hydrogen, CNG, or LNG vehicle in a closed area. Hydrogen embrittlement is real and very scary (the number of steel failure stories in the ultra high temperature (1,200 F) steam boiler industry are legion).

  21. At least five shot dead and more wounded at Fort Lauderdale Airport Terminal 2; I’m not gonna bother with links as even though the “suspect” is in “custody” “at this time” and “at this point in time” blah, blah, blah, no word on him or possible motive. I suspect if it was me or MrSteveF they’d have our pics and bios all over the net by now.

  22. At least five shot dead and more wounded at Fort Lauderdale Airport Terminal 2; I’m not gonna bother with links as even though the “suspect” is in “custody” “at this time” and “at this point in time” blah, blah, blah, no word on him or possible motive. I suspect if it was me or MrSteveF they’d have our pics and bios all over the net by now.

    City police departments in FL are often politicized, but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the Broward Sheriff (jurisdiction in this case). The area is also home to the current sitting Governor so FDLE is probably already there.

    Regardless of who is responsible, that is gonna hurt the cruise industry for a while. The season is just getting underway, and FLL is the primary airport for any cruise sailing from Fort Lauderdale.

  23. “…and FLL is the primary airport for any cruise sailing from Fort Lauderdale.”

    One of wife’s colleagues lives in Fort Lauderdale and is supposed to be flying outta there for Maryland this weekend, but we don’t know if it’s today or tomorrow.

    I recall, however, that the ISIS people had allegedly given out orders for all their “warriors” to get on the stick and attack crowds of defenseless people at airports, train stations, shopping malls, schools, churches, sporting events, etc. But so far I have not heard that they’ve claimed credit for this one yet.

    I’m suspicious because I can’t recall any similar events where lone Murkan nuts attacked airports, but I DO recall terrorists specifically going after terminals full of people as well as the aircraft.

  24. I’m suspicious because I can’t recall any similar events where lone Murkan nuts attacked airports, but I DO recall terrorists specifically going after terminals full of people as well as the aircraft.

    Sen. Bill Nelson’s office is throwing out the name Esteban Santiago. Nelson is a Dem hack, however, and I won’t believe it until I hear the same information from more credible sources.

  25. My wife’s good friend is at FLL, one of the ones running down the taxiways and tarmac. She sent MrsAtoz a text she was so scared because there was little response at first. At least one shooter in custody, still searching for another possible. What does the TSA do in a case like this? Do they have a hidden TSA SWAT team in the baggage area? Next up, all TSA pukes are armed.

  26. The Wanderer charge controller supports four panels feeding a 12VDC battery bank, or eight feeding a 24VDC battery bank.

    Given your choice of a 12 Volt inverter, I think you are probably stuck with a 12 Volt battery bank. You might want to think of returning the inverter you got for a 24 Volt one. The only problem is a 24 volt inverter is that there aren’t as many to choose from, and with less competition, you’re looking at a higher price.

  27. Next up, all TSA pukes are armed.

    Next up, all TSA pukes are armed with flyswatters.

    FTFY.

  28. I couldn’t remember if Nelson was a D or R so I looked up his Wikipedia page. It’s just been edited to say he’s been killed in the shooting.

  29. Would any of the regular participants on this blog do that? I don’t think so.

    Miles_Teg ordered one Love Ewe but received two. He was briefly tempted to return the extra, but the second girlfriend fell in his lap, so to speak, and he just couldn’t bring himself to send her back.

    I suspect if it was me or MrSteveF they’d have our pics and bios all over the net by now.

    -ahem- If I were to commit a terrorist act, there would be only the most tenuous of threads tying me to it, probably thinner than the threads connecting to totally innocent people.

    Though your point is taken, regarding all terrorists are equal, but some are more equal than others.

    Sen. Bill Nelson’s office is throwing out the name Esteban Santiago.

    The guy had a military ID by that name, but someone on the radio said it appeared to be someone else’s ID. I didn’t catch who said that, but it was a man talking in an officious tone.

  30. It’s just been edited to say he’s been killed in the shooting.

    Heh. The page history shows 14 edits, 6 of them reversions, in 20 minutes or so.

  31. “Do they have a hidden TSA SWAT team in the baggage area?”

    I don’t know who staffs it, but the construction plans for the new terminal at Houston Hobby airport show an “armory” right next to the dog storage area. It’s one unmarked door from the public areas…

    n

  32. Ok, anyone still think I’m nuts for carrying my gunshot blow out kit in my carryon bag?

    n

  33. Beware outsourcing your Network Authentication to a cloud provider.
    We embraced Microsoft Office 365, the whole enchilada, Outlook, Word, Exchange, Shrepoint, etc. We use a federated authentication server to link our AD to the MS 365 cloud. Now we are getting a DOS attack against some VIP accounts. The attack (coming from China) is targeting the MS 365 accounts because it’s easy. The credentials are email-address and password. Our VPN and wireless networks require Multi-Factor Authentication. Not Office 365. So some bad boy working at a sweat shop in Beijing is running a targeted attack on our VIPs accounts using publicly available email addresses and guessing the password. Our PW lockout is set to 7 tries and then the account is locked until the service desk resets. So the attacker gets 7 free tries at password guessing before locking out our VIPs. Microsoft tell us to implement Office 365 Multi-Factor Authentication. OK, sounded good, till they said we had to remove the bad password lockout for this to work. That means that anyone on our internal wired network can run a brute-force attack without hindrance. Not a security posture we encourage. MS say they are unable to block inbound IPs on the 365 gateways. So upper management is screaming for a solution and we have to tell them there is no good (easy, cheap, fast, transparent) fix. Sigh. I miss the days when we controlled our own permitter.

  34. My 2003 MS Office will not run on my W10 laptop, so I use LibreOffice here. It’s quite good but I do have trouble with the graphing/charting on their spreadsheet. Then Dropbox up to my W7 desktop to fix or update charts with 2003 MS Excel.

  35. It’s just been edited to say he’s been killed in the shooting.

    Fun with Wikipedia.

    No. Florida won’t be rid of Nelson that easily. He’s the last state-wide elected Democrat left in an otherwise “purple” state. He snuck into the Senate when Bob Graham retired. People thought they were voting for another moderate like Graham.

  36. My 2003 MS Office will not run on my W10 laptop

    I run Office 2003 without issue on many systems running W10 X64. I have the ISO and a static key that will activate the product without issue. The key is pretty much ignored by the activation stuff, never phones home, just works.

    If you need send me an email at rayt four three five (use the numbers Luke) [swirly character] comcast dot net. I can load the ISO to my website and give you the static key. I will not be home for 10 days so be patient.

    Heading to Florida. Was going to bivouac in Atlanta at a friend’s house. Had snow when I left OS this morning. Threat of snow in Atlanta. Traffic was already a disaster (may be the norm) so bugged out and will overnight in Columbus GA. Damn cold here but just on the edge of the storm so will miss the snow.

  37. LibreOffice may be a solution for some smaller companies that don’t have to meet government submission regulations worldwide. I can’t speak for the selection of Office or Office 365. I can speak to the Security Nightmare it has become. We have 14,000 people in offices in all by 5 countries in the world. We have to meed government requirements worldwide and some actually specify what version of MS Office the documents must be presented in. I use Linux and LibreOffice for all my personal computing but at work I have to use corporate standards. And I have to try and find a way to make it all secure.

  38. And I have to try and find a way to make it all secure.

    Check with my former corporate masters at that phone company with the Death Star logo. I spent slightly more than a decade working on their VPN service. They are experienced at provisioning very large corporate customers with a global presence.

  39. @HCombs – We have to meed government requirements worldwide and some actually specify what version of MS Office the documents must be presented in.

    Come the revolution they will be the first to swing from the lampposts.

    Usually anyplace I set up LO I set the default saves to MS formats. Stops most of the issues with the idiots (and the user often too). Our company is not that big but many of our customers are among the biggest. Setting LO to use MS format works 99% of the time. Use older MS format not MS (this is bullshit) XML.
    Biggest pia is getting documents with VB embedded (usually does nothing useful). You can’t do everything with Excel but try to convince some of these clowns. If the only tool you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail.

  40. I made a sort of transition from police work into IT thirty years ago, and have since run into a series of situations that seem remarkably similar: cops and security are viewed by “management” as necessary evils and financial overhead. In the IT world I’ve inhabited on and off since 1984, managers don’t wanna even hear about security; they most certainly hate paying for it, and if their operations get compromised, it’s the security person’s or staff’s fault. Never praised, always criticized, with impossible demands throughout.

    Now, supposedly, there is a “critical shortage” of IT security drones, and a full-speed effort to get more of them on board, as we now face “cyber war” scenarios that threaten command-and-control functions of all state and corporate entities. Not to mention supposed attacks, successful or not, on our political system’s communications and infrastructure.

    I tried on several occasions to make my managers aware of security threats and remedies for them and was condescended to and blown off every single time. And then they got hacked and cracked and whacked. My response now: eat shit and die, assholes.

    As for corporate IT standards for office suites and the like; M$ has been in bed with a willing State partner for a long time now, and on gummint and corporate systems they’re like the Borg. Pity the IT staff that has to cope with their succeeding iterations on all kinds of hardware and the ongoing security nightmare it’s always been. If by some quirk of fate I end up getting this Fed sub-sub-contractor drone job, I’ll be right back in the soup with M$ and Cisco infrastructure and working with an apparently large IT security staff down there (the final upstream boss would be the Department of Homeland Security). But I suspect they’ll find some other tiny imperfection in my 63 years of life on the planet and disqualify me for the gig, which is also fine by me. Just doing due diligence and this is probably my last shot at getting back into IT on a full-time basis.

  41. WRT MS Office:

    Have you folks considered WordPerfect Office? It has Office compatibility and at one time was standard with many gooberment contractors.

    I have used WordPerfect Office as my primary word processing and spreadsheet software forever, I cannot live without their “Reveal Codes” feature. When I was still employed by DOE Contractors that “Reveal Codes” uncovered many problems introduced by not-so-smart “secretaries”. I only use MS Office to verify that something I produced can be opened by others using MS Office.

  42. I loved WP when it was out and I was an early adopter and it was also in use by the state offices when I first arrived up here for that IT job with them nearly 20 years ago. But the higher-ups decreed that we had to move to M$ Office and thus it was done, and you should have heard the squalling from the secretaries and lawyers!

    I also liked the Reveal Codes feature, and I assume M$ had no way to really copy it in a workable format for their Office captives.

    Well, I’ve settled for some time now on Libre Office and it works OK for my purposes; wife has to have Excel and Word and PowerPoint, allegedly, so it’s on here working just dandy via Crossover.

    If I was running a small to medium company or whatever, I’d probably use them the same way; IIRC Crossover will work with corporate clients/infrastructures.

    https://www.codeweavers.com/products/crossover-linux

  43. I haven’t even started word in over a year, possibly longer. Might have used excel in the last year. Did use visio.

    I use word pad when I need to cut and paste something to print it, or to capture something off the web in text format. I usually zap it with “Pure Text” a handy little add on.

    When I’m thinking at the keyboard, I use a text editor like notepad or an extended version like notepad++ I usually outline when doing technical writing, and it works well in plain text.

    I’m exceedingly happy that I no longer have to put up with corporate BS like Sharepoint.

    nick

    BTW, IIRC there is a way to reveal codes in MS WORD, Jerry Pournelle insisted on it back in the day. Or I could be wrong.

  44. Back when there was competition and useful new features in word processors….

    Or Personal Information managers….

    It’s STILL a huge pain to print a single address label using MS product. I could do it in seconds with my PIM.

    n

  45. IIRC there is a way to reveal codes in MS WORD

    Note codes as WORD does not use codes. Use SHIFT-F1 when the cursor is located in some text and you will see why WORD is formatting the text in a particular fashion.

    One big mistake that people do using word processors is trying to make the word processor do something by telling the word processor how to do it. You must instead wrap your brain around the method of telling the word processor what you want done and let the word processor figure out how to accomplish the task. A subtle, but crucial difference.

    uncovered many problems introduced by not-so-smart “secretaries”

    No need to qualify something that is the norm. I worked with many a secretary, even using WP, the would use the software as a typewriter. Pressing return at the end of every line rather than a paragraph. I used to sneak into some documents after hours and change the margins by a tenth of an inch on long documents. Drove the secretaries bat shit crazy but gave them something to do for a week. Until I changed the margins back.

    Yeh, I was an evil SOB.

    It’s STILL a huge pain to print a single address label using MS product

    Get the Brother Label Printers. Wonderful product. Bought one for the office many years ago to try. Eventually purchased 10 more so everyone has one on their desk. Supplies are expensive but the labels are nice. You can do mail merges, single labels, postnet codes, custom formatting if you want. Highly recommended product.

  46. @Mr. Nick (and any interested others)

    For thinking at the keyboard or just splashing down some quick text that you can later move to a bigger word processor or whatever:

    https://focuswriter.en.softonic.com/

    More info on our latest POS musloid wannabe ISIS-useful idiot mental case:

    http://gatesofvienna.net/2017/01/jihad-at-the-ft-lauderdale-airport/

    But this “lone gunman” motif is getting kinda tiresome.

    As will the coming “copycat” capers that will make this look like a day at the beach.

  47. “”I have used WordPerfect Office as my primary word processing and spreadsheet software forever, I cannot live without their “Reveal Codes” feature. When I was still employed by DOE Contractors that “Reveal Codes” uncovered many problems introduced by not-so-smart “secretaries”. I only use MS Office to verify that something I produced can be opened by others using MS Office.””

    +1

    At least back when, when it mostly (only) mattered what was on paper in the bureaucratic context, WordPerfect worked great for me.
    When they called it “desktop publishing” the killer was (and still would be) Reveal Codes!

  48. “”When I’m thinking at the keyboard, I use a text editor like notepad or an extended version like notepad++ I usually outline when doing technical writing, and it works well in plain text.””

    I just send myself an email. Gotta keep all my thoughts available to Big Brother…

  49. “”As will the coming “copycat” capers that will make this look like a day at the beach.””

    Going with the current official analysis that this bad guy has some sort of mental problem (ya think?), what can be done, other than mind control, to deal with this?

    I fear that meanwhile the powers that be will try to eliminate the tools used for things like this, doing even more to remove tools from responsible users… at least until the powers that be get the mind control they want.

  50. They always seem to have some sort of mental problems, some interaction with “professional” psych people at some point during their (usually) young lives, and often ingestion of psychotropic prescription meds. With this particular subject, there has also apparently been some contact at whatever level with musloid agitprop.

    But again, this is only what we’re getting from the MSM and “official” channels. Maybe it’s all what they say it is so far; or maybe he’s been pre-programmed by a nefarious secret cabal in the Deep State for a Black Flag op to precipitate FUD and bring on martial law and more state surveillance and repression. At this point, what can we believe about anything or anybody anymore?

    All the more reason to focus our efforts locally and do what we can in our own AO’s and stay informed.

    What can be done WRT to lone nut mass murderers? Not much; this guy evidently didn’t flare up on anyone’s radar. Out of 330 million peeps here, we’re gonna see lone nuts acting out from time to time, like we already have. Should they upgrade the friggin’ security at airline terminals and baggage claims and bathrooms? Maybe. And quit hassling all the very non-profile citizens just trying to get from one place to another with the least possible trouble.

  51. I have a Dymo label printer. Works very well.

    WordPerfect was good. I forget when my copy quit working, I think when I went to XP. No big deal.

    My website is mostly just notepad. I don’t have a problem typing out the tags. I’m not at all interested in making my site “interactive”. By using notepad I don’t get all the crap something like Dreamweaver2 adds. Which makes the pages load faster.

    I use Web Album Generator for the pages of pictures of house projects. It doesn’t do exactly what I want but hey, it takes all of the original pictures, makes thumbnails and resizes what goes onto the site. The program is free. And quite good enough. Like anyone looks at that stuff anyway.

    If I want to make something print pretty with fonts and colors, WordPad or Write does everything I need. Type it out first in Thunderbird because there’s my spellcheck… paste it over…

    I’m grouchy. The forecast was for 36 today. Enough to thaw the critter water supplies… NOT. High today was 28. At 4PM for half an hour. It’s 9PM and outside temp is 22. Yesterday’s forecast said low of 27. Ha! How about 22 at 4PM this morning?

    Forecast is for 20 tonight. I’m gonna say 16 is more likely. But hey, it could be worse. It could be raining.

    Maybe not a big deal but I have critters. A longhorn that eats cubes from my hand. Eight emu…. and it is laying season. A few cats that I like, (they don’t hiss at me when I feed them) never mind they act like I must be Hitler and they are going to the gas chambers RIGHT NOW if one of the dogs trot up. It’s all fun, actually.

    The central air heat pump has run all day. Doing what it does while heating and defrosting the outside unit. It’s not dimming the lights when it kicks on. The transformer on the pole is not making throbbing sounds like it did when we had all electric heat.

    The new windows are great! NO drafts. Double hung, double pane, low E argon, and something else. Every option was an extra $75 or so on the deal, we are not doing this again so do it! A well spent $3800 for parts plus another grand for installation.

    Need to get the floor insulation fixed…. And more insulation in the attic.

  52. “this guy evidently didn’t flare up on anyone’s radar. ”

    except his employer, and the FBI, etc.

    So what’s the spin? Damaged and dangerous vet? Sudden jihadi syndrome? Genuine mental illness?

    I think we’ll see more of this, right here at home, either because of normal copy catting, or SJS lone wolf attacks.

    Impossible to prevent in a free society. You can only react swiftly and build resiliency.

    n

  53. Forecast here is for high 20s tonight. I bagged most of my citrus trees, and put a light bulb under the blanket. I didn’t have enough for the lime or peach. I’m hoping they’ll do ok. I covered the fence window boxes. Radishes are doing great so I hope they survive. Turnips are coming along too. Covered the collards even if it might not be needed.

    Currently 29F and falling slowly. It was 30F an hour ago. Wind is gusting, mixed, and brisk.

    I had sleet freezing on the windshield this morning on my way to Austin, and frozen shit on the side of the truck until I got back to Houston.

    Very glad we have central heat.

    n

  54. Mr. paul said…

    “”Type it out first in Thunderbird because there’s my spellcheck… paste it over…””

    Mostly what I do, too. I use email to self w/ T’bird for info to save.
    Ooops… Now Big Brother knows where to look…

  55. “The new windows are great! NO drafts.”

    Ditto here. What a huge difference. We replaced eight out of sixteen windows in 2015 and that cut down the drafts considerably; unknown how long the old windows have been in here; probably circa World War II. We’re gonna do the other four ground floor windows in the next few weeks, I hope, and the remaining four upstairs in the spring. With that all done, we can heat the entire house with our wood stove, and it’s “good enough” for that now.

    “…except his employer, and the FBI, etc.”

    In other words, nobody who coulda or woulda done anything about him. That guy in Florida was on the radar and yet there he was at that night club anyway. The bastards back on 9/11 should have lit up security radar six ways from Sunday. We can only ascribe it to one of two things: random incompetence or random malice aforethought.

    “So what’s the spin? Damaged and dangerous vet? Sudden jihadi syndrome? Genuine mental illness?”

    Take your pick. Or all three. What’s your agenda today? Gun control? Invading musloids? Tracking nutty veterans? (Uh-oh….)

    “I think we’ll see more of this, right here at home…”

    Agreed. And whatever it is will fit right into somebody’s neat agenda.

    “Impossible to prevent in a free society.”

    Tell that to the gun control morons.

  56. “Forecast here is for high 20s tonight.”

    R U chittin me?? In TX?? Wow. It’s the same here in northern Vermont.

    Yikes.

    I guess y’all down there and to your east are expecting a big snow event? They now name winter storms, too? This one is “Helena?”

    All we expect up here is a few flurries and rain showers this coming week. With temps in the high 30s by Tuesday. Tee shirt weather. Seriously.

  57. “”In other words, nobody who coulda or woulda done anything about him.””

    On the other hand, it will likely soon be too too easy to trash somebody you don’t like by claiming they are suspicious.

  58. “On the other hand, it will likely soon be too too easy to trash somebody you don’t like by claiming they are suspicious.”

    Yeah, like people who use Thunderbird email.

  59. “”Yeah, like people who use Thunderbird email.””

    Valid details would be appreciated.
    I don’t get any pro IT input other than that I’m doing it all wrong.

  60. So… do I really want a half dozen web-mail windows open at my ISP,
    and another six at Doof-mail ??
    Why not Thunderbird?

  61. Actually, reputable security peeps will tell you that Tbird is the way to go for email and to use Firefox with the relevant add-ons and plug-ins. And to get off Windows. For starters.

    You can do a lot more than that depending on how far you wanna go with it, obviously.

    And like others have said, no pooter is really secure unless it’s disconnected from the net, and I would add, in a secure room somewhere with multiple-factor authentication for access, etc., etc.

  62. Another option is a version of the ‘gray man’ theme; just do the basic security chit on your main desktop and any other “questionable” computer stuff including email and chat, on genuinely secure machines behind a VPN and all commo encrypted.

  63. “”Actually, reputable security peeps will tell you that Tbird is the way to go for email and to use Firefox with the relevant add-ons and plug-ins. And to get off Windows. For starters.””

    What is this “Windows” of which you speak?
    I think there was something like that on the Commodore 64…

    load *, 8, 1 ???

  64. If you ain’t on Windows you’ve made a good start right there, podner.

    Only Windows left here in this house is on wife’s laptop and the three Office apps running under Crossover on this Mint machine. Which is behind an offshore VPN. (right now I’m in Chicago, for example).

  65. “”And like others have said, no pooter is really secure unless it’s disconnected from the net, and I would add, in a secure room somewhere with multiple-factor authentication for access, etc., etc.””

    Trump is explaining all of this…
    He’s gonna be our new computer security expert…
    with help from the Russians, of course.

  66. “Trump is explaining all of this…
    He’s gonna be our new computer security expert…”

    Outstanding! Our worries are over!

  67. “”If you ain’t on Windows you’ve made a good start right there, podner.

    Only Windows left here in this house is on wife’s laptop and the three Office apps running under Crossover on this Mint machine. Which is behind an offshore VPN. (right now I’m in Chicago, for example).””

    Uh, no Microsoft touched by me since W98, except to rescue a friend or two.

    I did boot W7 (or was it before that) once, do the grab-yer-ankles stuff, and then I pulled the drive from the new PC… and saved it until I needed the drive. More recent PC never booted Windows… and so on…

    Mint only. Or on Chromebook now, Guest mode.

  68. Well there ya go.

    This box is Mint; a netbook also runs Mint and we use it as a backup for wife, but mainly for streaming radio stations to the living room through a decent speaker system.

    I have a desktop/server running CentOS 6.8 and Nethserver 6.8; another one on Ubuntu Studio 16.4; and a third running Qubes. Plus an HP Workstation 17″ laptop with OpenBSD.

    Any of these might also be running a virtualized Whonix and Tor plus offshore encrypted email.

    I don’t have anything to hide, really, but like playing with this stuff and making it harder for nosy bastards to spy on me. If they really want to, they can do so, but there’s fuck-all to find here.

  69. OFD…
    Different topic.

    I recently sadly was reminded of the pronunciation of metastasis.
    I kept trying to say it like meta stasis with those two years of Latin
    (and some Greek as a Biology major).

    So… I guess I was wrong.
    Pronounce these like…

    me tad ata (not meta data)

    me tam or pho sis (not meta morph…)

    Right?

  70. Reminder to self: restart Chromebook (Guest) more often…
    but it never has anything personal (other than that pesky IP address,
    and the email address that RBT demands)…

  71. Emphasis usually on the second syllable, but conflicting opinions sometimes on the Latin. All the peeps who spoke it originally are dead as doornails and became so long before recording instruments were invented.

    And you’ll hear peeps pronounce all this stuff “wrong” all the time.

  72. Listen to the usual med person pronunciation of metastasis.
    I say it’s all wrong.

    I know how to say Iulius Caesar with the hard C…

  73. Med people would be taught med stuff, not how to pronounce the Latin and Greek.

    You would be “correct” saying Caesar’s name that way, but most peeps would look at you funny, assuming they even know who he was in this day and age and rotten stinking “culture.”

  74. My point is not syllable accent, but about what’s the syllable divide.

    met a sta sis

    or

    me tas a sis ??

  75. “Do you say the sacred species Percina tanasi as
    “perch” or “perk” ??”

    I say it up here as “Snail Dahtuh” or “perch.” I’m mostly English.

  76. “” most peeps would look at you funny, assuming they even know who he was in this day””

    I was not a very good Latin student, but I did get an honorable mention on National Latin Exam (whatever), mostly because I could translate into useful English, not just direct translation. English to Latin was / is much more challenging.

  77. “…what’s the syllable divide.:

    “me tas a sis ??”

    Right there. “Correctly.”

  78. <..."mostly because I could translate into useful English, not just direct translation. English to Latin was / is much more challenging." And there we begin to enter a long dark tunnel into a whole new can of worms regarding translation… Do we translate directly, i.e., literally?? Or do we translate for the “sense” of it into our own language? Or both? But OFD’s old brain is tiring out now and I gotta head off to the Land of Nod so I can take care of my sick wife and do more chores and scut work here tomorrow… Pax vobiscum all you haters and bigots…

  79. Just got home from Bakersfield Condors outdoor hockey.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxLWd_RKNPevcXEtZTJtclJObFk/view?usp=sharing
    Something different. Reunion game with Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille as team captains. Not a serious game especially towards the end. Real league game tomorrow between the Ontario (Calif) Reign and Bakersfield Condors.
    50F but still felt chilly (glad I remembered the stadium cushions, those damn aluminum benches suck the heat right out your ass)

  80. “”I say it up here as “Snail Dahtuh” or “perch.” I’m mostly English.””

    Nekked Sand Darter is also deserving of some militant protection.

  81. “”Pax vobiscum all you haters and bigots…””

    Ain’t that pronounced pox wobiscum ??
    What kinda scum be wobi?

  82. “”“me tas a sis ??”

    Right there. “Correctly.”””

    Look up the roots. Meta & stasis… not me tas ta sis …

  83. “”And there we begin to enter a long dark tunnel into a whole new can of worms regarding translation…

    Do we translate directly, i.e., literally??

    Or do we translate for the “sense” of it into our own language?

    Or both?””

    Imagine the translation issues for the Cuban Missile Crisis or in movie “Fail Safe” or was that “Seven Days in May” or was it “Dr. Strangelove” …

    Of course The Donald and Vlad communicate perfectly.

  84. I am take to understand that you can still run C64, that someone wrote and IP stack for it, and you can get online and everything…

    For a while, LONG time ago, I had a lappy running QNX and some other RTOS.. guessing those would have a smaller attack surface.

    Temp is currently 28F, here in the great state of Texas, and the school says there was even a dusting of flurries today. Didn’t see it myself. It does snow down here occasionally. Dallas gets snow a bit more frequently. We had a long (week, 2 weeks?) run of sub freezing two winters ago, but nothing last winter.

    Hurrah for glowbull warmening. We’d be really cold with this mini-ice age if not for AGW.

    nick

  85. “”I am take to understand that you can still run C64, that someone wrote and IP stack for it, and you can get online and everything…””

    I was kidding, just recalling that C=64 & MS-DOS worked well, and Windows started to suck badly, so that my first successful Linux experience was so so uplifting…

  86. Come to think, I did get on line with the Commodore.
    Tired old brain can’t pick out any details of those days now.

    Oh, wait. Dial up BBS or such… Wish I had clear memories of those days.

  87. The two mile walk tonight was … brisk. It was 30 F when we left the house at 11pm. Had a 20 mph headwind as we walked due north for a 1/2 mile. I was wearing five shirts, my hoodie, and my 8 ft scarf.

    It is 24 F now and the wind is still coming out of the north at 17 mph. I drained the lawn sprinkler system before we went on the walk. Hopefully the backflow device wont crack this winter.

    “Forecast here is for high 20s tonight.”

    R U chittin me?? In TX?? Wow. It’s the same here in northern Vermont.

    It was 8 F here in Christmas of 1989. Now that was cold. Pipes breaking everywhere in peoples attics because they did not insulate attic pipes back then.

  88. I hate supervising employees. I gave an employee her new duties today along a raise. We talked about this a couple of times this week. She sent me an email back refusing the new duties along with some choice words. And copied my partners.

    Somebody may be walking the street Monday. I have yet to decide. I do not have a backup plan for replacing her. Yet.

  89. HCombs writes: “So some bad boy working at a sweat shop in Beijing is running a targeted attack on our VIPs accounts… MS say they are unable to block inbound IPs on the 365 gateways.”

    I run a couple of minor servers on AWS, and found out early that the first things you have to do is block most of Asia. As soon as a server comes up, it gets found and absolutely hammered with scripted attacks on all common ports. So I restrict all authentication tightly restricted by IP range.

    That MS doesn’t allow you to do this for Office-365, ideally at any level of AD-granularity you want, is astoundingly crappy design.

    LibreOffice is no solution, I see that in our organization as well. MS did good work in one respect: they made OOXML so overly complicated that no one is able to implement it properly. Which means that LibreOffice is just not sufficiently compatible.

    Adobe has accomplished the same thing with PDF. It used to be a document format. People are now filling PDF documents with scripts, which of course can only be properly understood by Adobe PDF products.

    That said, I needed to edit a (non-editable) PDF document the other day, and LibreOffice did a far better job of it than Adobe Acrobat. I didn’t even know LibreOffice could do that – I only tried it out of desperation…

    – – – – –

    @Lynn: I hear you about managing employees. That takes a different skill set, one which most of us techies don’t seem to have. Frankly, neither do most managers I’ve known.

    An old friend of mine and I were commiserating once, and he confessed something: On his side of the desk, out of sight of the employees, he had a kindergarten alphabet: “A-B-C-…”. This was to remind him to put everything in childishly simple terms, because employees seem able to misunderstand anything else…

    I don’t know your employee, but if you offered her a raise, it sounds like she has done well up to this point. I would suggest giving her a chance on Monday. Bring her in first thing, explain your perception of things, and let her talk. Sit back and listen. You may be surprised at what her understanding of the situation is. Once you know what her side of the story is, then you can decide how (or if) you want to go forward.

  90. I hate supervising employees. I gave an employee her new duties today along a raise. We talked about this a couple of times this week. She sent me an email back refusing the new duties along with some choice words. And copied my partners.

    Geesh. What were the new duties? Mucking stalls?

    Need an intern? I will fetch coffee, answer phones, etc., but I prefer to keep my skirts knee length at a minimum — don’t request any shorter.

  91. Once you know what her side of the story is, then you can decide how (or if) you want to go forward fire her.

    Disrespectful employees are not needed.

  92. I am take to understand that you can still run C64, that someone wrote and IP stack for it, and you can get online and everything…

    I can vouch for this product:

    http://www.retroswitch.com/products/flyer/

    If you are anywhere close to the Portland metro, this group meets once a month, and the club founder is one of the Flyer engineers.

    http://www.commodorecomputerclub.com/

    The meetings helped preserve my sanity during our sentence -er- tenure in Vantucky, and the club is one of the few things I miss about the Northwest.

  93. I missed my guess of 16 for the low. It was 14. Now, at 9PM, it is 19.
    Nice and sunny. No wet stuff this time.

    Off to water the critters.

  94. During my Officer Advanced Course at Fort Bliss, I still used my C64 with dual 5 1/4 floppy disks. I used the word processor published by Byte mag. You typed it in in hex, I think, and it was saved to the tape drive. I produced many docs with that WP and remember it fondly.

  95. RE: Editing a .PDF file. I’ve had good success using a product called PD Fill. I’m no wizard, and therefore haven’t tried the really complex things, but for the simple problems it’s worked quite well.
    https://www.pdfill.com/

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