Thursday, 19 January 2017

By on January 19th, 2017 in Lori, personal, science kits, writing

11:01 – It was 34.4F (1.3C) when I took Colin out this morning. He decided to go off on a mole-hunting expedition. We have lots of moles in our yard. Maybe we should get an outdoor cat. I assume they eat moles.

Yesterday, MTD kit revenue exceeded 100% of January 2016 revenue. Of course, 1/16 revenue was only about 65% of 1/15 revenue, so we still have ways to go to match 1/15. But with 12 days left to do it, I suspect we’ll make it.

Yesterday, I asked Lori, our USPS carrier, if she was still prepping or if Trump’s win had allayed her concerns. She said she’d not done much prepping recently, but not because she thought Trump as president meant happy days were here again. She’s just been very busy with life. She works full-time for USPS, and has a second full-time job running her cattle ranch.

Months ago, we were talking about possible serious emergencies. Lori said she felt pretty well prepared for most things, but that what worried her was that she and her daughter, 18, were on their own in a house with no nearby neighbors. I told Lori that if things ever got untenable at her place, she and Casey were welcome over here. She said that she hoped they never needed to take us up on that offer, but it was comforting to know they could stay with us if it became necessary. And, of course, she said that if the situation were reversed Barbara and I were welcome to stay at her place for however long it was necessary.

Yesterday, I told Lori I was working on a draft of a PA novel and gave her a 30-second summary of the plot. I told her that I planned to use her and her daughter as significant characters, and that I’d need her knowledge of farming and a lot of other things that she knew and I didn’t. She said to call or email her any time, and that she didn’t mind being pestered.

I’ll strive for realism in the novel, assuming it turns out I can actually write fiction. Last night, I was reading Peter Lovesey’s latest Peter Diamond police procedural when I came across the kind of minor error that I want to avoid. The detectives believed there was critical evidence on a digital camera’s memory card, but it turned out that the card was unreadable because of water damage. I knew that was crap, because years ago I accidentally ran a USB memory stick through a full washer cycle and then dried it on high. When was putting away the clean clothes, I found the memory stick in my jeans’ pocket. I figured it was probably deader than King Tut, but it turned out to have survived the experience without losing even a byte of data. So, Lovesey’s assumption was a reasonable one, but still ans assumption, and one that turned out to be bogus. An avoidable error.

Similarly, Franklin Horton’s most recent book has an alcoholic character who’s reduced to drinking Lysol. Franklin describes in painful detail what happens when the character chugs a shot of the diluted Lysol, which got me to thinking. We didn’t have any lemon-flavored Lysol, so I couldn’t reproduce the scene exactly, but we do keep a spray bottle of the diluted original-flavored Lysol on the kitchen counter, so I poured a shot of it, swished it around my mouth, spit it out, and rinsed with several changes of water.

I emailed Franklin to tell him the results of my test. In short, the Lysol just had a distinct chemical taste. Not disgusting, but not something one would drink by choice. I’ve tasted OTC medications that were worse. I told Franklin that the immediate effects of drinking diluted Lysol would probably be less dramatic than chugging 80-proof liquor.

Franklin’s reply started, “Boy, you ARE a scientist.” He said he almost sprayed his coffee out through his nose. But that’s the level of accuracy I strive for, whether I’m writing non-fiction or fiction. Obviously, I won’t always get it right, but there’s no excuse for making avoidable errors.

66 Comments and discussion on "Thursday, 19 January 2017"

  1. nick flandrey says:

    Sometimes it’s the very little things.

    A friend wrote a scene featuring a fight in a cafeteria kitchen. The bad guy attacks with a “butcher knife”, when what was meant was a cleaver. I’ve seen people use butcher knife when they mean ‘chef’s knife’ too. I don’t think anyone can be 100% error free, but the little things catch the eye, and what is unimportant ‘armwaving’ to the author can be really offputting to the reader.

    So good luck trying to catch them all, but if you don’t, hopefully the story or characters will carry the reader thru. Just don’t have someone working the safety on a glock…..


  2. David Brown says:

    Uses of Lysol

    If memory serves, and it sometimes fails at my age, Lysol used to be sold in more concentrated form in a small, say 8oz., bottle, that came in a cardboard box. And I have a recollection that, among many uses on the box, it could be used in very diluted form for gargling, to help a sore throat or gum sore. Not sure if it ever worked.
    I do know that Dr. Bronner’s soap, among the many paragraphs of advice and folklore on the label, said it could be used for toothpaste. Having carried it on many backpacking trips with the Boy Scouts, I know this is a very bad idea, which no one will try a second time.

  3. pcb_duffer says:

    [snip] but it turned out that the card was unreadable because of water damage [snip]

    Maybe it had been wiped with the same cloth used on Hilary’s e-mail server. Okay, I had to say it, and good riddance to her, etc.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Lysol concentrate is still sold in the small bottles. We have three or four in stock. The contents of Lysol have changed over the years. Originally, it was an actual LYe SOLution. And it’s been recommended for many different uses over the years. I still have a PDF copy somewhere of a 1930’s (?) Lysol ad that recommended it for vaginal douching for both birth control and “freshness”. Geez.

  5. Dave says:

    Speaking of Hillary wiping her server with a cloth or something…

  6. Dave Hardy says:

    “I emailed Franklin to tell him the results of my test.”

    Pity the dedicated scientist/biographer who does a book on Kitty Dukakis; she’d strain shoe polish through a slice of white bread.

  7. lynn says:

    Looks like Trump is planing on cutting federal spending by 20% rapidly by getting the low hanging fruit. “Trump team prepares dramatic cuts”

    “The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations.”

    “The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.”

    “Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.”

    “The proposed cuts hew closely to a blueprint published last year by the conservative Heritage Foundation, a think tank that has helped staff the Trump transition.”

    They had me at cuts, BTW. One wonders if congress will go along, I doubt it.

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    As Lysander Spooner said, “Gradualism in theory is perpetualism in practice.”

    $10.5 trillion over TEN YEARS? How about cutting 50% of the federal budget per year until it gets down to a reasonable number, say no more than $1/year? Anything the federal government does should be done by unpaid volunteers. Anything volunteers won’t do, the federal government shouldn’t be doing anyway.

  9. Dave Hardy says:

    I agree with RBT: shut down the whole mess ASAP. They keep threatening gummint shutdowns and I just laugh; how is that a threat???

    Feds have absolutely sucked at defending and protecting this country’s sovereignty so tRump should just bellow “You’re fired!!!”

    Run minimal state gummints for disaster relief stuff with National Guard and even more minimal for neighborhood and town meetings.

    If you see someone running for any political office, shoot on sight; they’re de facto psychopaths.

  10. Dave Hardy says:

    We’re makin’ a list,
    Checkin’ it twice;
    Gonna find out,
    Who’s naughty and nice…
    Counter-strikes are coming..
    To town…

  11. brad says:

    Budget cuts – I’ll believe ’em when I see ’em. But I surely do hope he does this. There are many entire departments (Education) that not only have no purpose, but are actually counterproductive to their stated aims.

    Trump can thank Obama: Congress is not an issue. Executive orders to executive departments are now in vogue. “Dear department head, Fire all of your employees by next Tuesday. You are fired on Wednesday. Love, Donald.” The allocated money remains unspent. Is Congress really going to take him to court? And the population at large is unlikely to sympathize with out-of-work bureaucrats.

    For deeper cuts, he’s going to have to hit Defense, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. That’s going to be a whole lot harder, because those all impact large swaths of the population.

  12. MrAtoz says:

    For deeper cuts, he’s going to have to hit Defense, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

    DoD could save billions by simply withdrawing all our forces overseas. The “war in Iraq” cost countless billions simply because we stayed there to build Western Democracy. The “war” was over two weeks after it started. It was a fantastic training exercise. Thank Bush for keeping us there, costing lives and treasure, trying to make a mini US.

    We’re makin’ a list,

    Didn’t NY do the same thing?

    tRump 2020! “I’ll reduce the Federal Gooberment by 99%”

  13. Ray Thompson says:

    For deeper cuts, he’s going to have to hit Defense, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

    Two of those will hit me as I am on Medicare as I have no choice and will soon be drawing SS.

    Found out the other day that the wife can apply at age 62 even though her full retirement age is 66 years and two months. I was told initially by the SS office that she had to wait until 62 years and two months before she could apply. Last person I saw said that was not true, 62 years is the age you can apply regardless of your full retirement age. Sounds strangely familiar to the IRS where you get different answers depending on whom you ask the question.

    Wife will apply against my earnings as that will be a lot higher than hers ($1200 vs $750). She will then get about 75% of that amount because of the applying early before full retirement. The loss of $300 a month verses waiting until full retirement is not a big deal considering the 4 extra years she will draw the money (break even point is about 87 years old).

    I applied online, fairly simple process actually. Wife will have to go to the local SS office as there is no allowance for applying against the spouse earnings in the online system.

    I also want to get her on the system as quickly as possible because of the possibility of massive changes to the SS system. Will those changes affect those on the system? I think not. I also don’t think it will affect anyone above the age of 55 as SS figures into their retirement funding and retirement is too close to pull the rug out. People my son’s age will be significantly impacted. I suspect he will not be at full retirement age until 70 or more and the ability to apply early may be completely abolished.

    My wife is also on obuttwadcare with a subsidy. I am concerned about the changes that will happen going forward. Without obuttwadcare she would not be able to get insurance. But I have hashed that before and will not bore anyone any more. FLASHLIGHTS are more exciting.

    Speaking of which, I picked up one of these the other day.

    Not so much for the white light but for the flashing red light which is really bright. Will add that to the back of my bicycle to add to my visibility.

  14. Eugen (Romania) says:

    I participated tonight to a street protest. Basically the crooks in power are *trying* to push some decrees to pardon their own illegalities.

    Nice video from the little protest in Sibiu from tonight (with the old center):

    Parents brought their small childrens too. Temp was -7 C (19 F).

    Details in english about the context, in this article:

    FTA: “Ruling Social Democrat Party leader and parliament lower house speaker Liviu Dragnea is currently on trial in an abuse of power case. He is also serving a two-year suspended jail sentence in a vote rigging case.”

    That guy, Liviu Dragnea could not be made Prim-minister because of his conviction. It looks like he ordered his puppets in the government to push the pardon laws, while he is celebrating in SUA, at Trump inauguration. Apparently he was invited, but people say he bought his ticket. Now, he is putting pictures on Facebook with him meeting american officials. He even had a chance to speak with Trump.

    More protests will take place, with the biggests announced for Sunday.

  15. Dave Hardy says:

    I applied and started on SS at 62 and have been on it a year so fah; it’s a piddly amount ($1,200) a month but it’s saved our bacon several times already, thanks to wife’s erratic and random pay check schedule from her asswipe employers down in Mordor. (she checked them for laughs today on Glassdoor’s site and they get a 12% approval rating with bad reviews from their own employees down there; it’s a regular clusterfuck operation, raking in many tens of millions now, thanks to people like my wife, who they treat as though she just started with them and not seven years ago.)

    I get my own medical care with the VA, and so far, so good, mostly; if I get a disability rating approved, depending on the percentage, my wife may be able to get medical treatment with them, too. We shall see.

    Down the road, I hope Ray’s right, and that those of us already in the system don’t take any more hits. But otherwise I plan on doing some kind of work to bring in revenue here and wife will be winding down her full-time gig in the next few years; she’d like to drop to one week a month now, but our expenses and the kid still in college make this difficult. It was easier when I was working and had regular checks, obviously, but no one wants a guy in his friggin’ 60s who’s been out of full-time IT for over two years now.

    And here’s a related question: is it worthwhile and a good idea to sign up for and pay for life insurance for each of us? It would run us around $300/month with AARP.

    “Will add that to the back of my bicycle to add to my visibility.”

    What kinda bicycle are you riding, Mr. Ray?

  16. Dave Hardy says:

    “More protests will take place, with the biggests announced for Sunday.”

    @Mr. Eugen; Are you in any of the pictures or footage? Thanks for those links; nice clear videos and pics; looks like a nice little town there. Very orderly, minimal presence of police, I guess?

    We have a similar program here; people in high government positions commit serious crimes and are either never indicted, let alone prosecuted (Hillary Clinton) but if they are, they end up with minimal punishment, if any, or are simply pardoned outright. It’s different if you are low on the totem pole or you’re a whistleblower; then they throw the book at you.

  17. Dave Hardy says:

    Sorry, Joe; say, can I have the actual black light?

  18. Dave Hardy says:

    Left your Webley at home? Forgot to bring your Sykes-Fairbairn commando blade?

  19. Eugen (Romania) says:

    Yes, I appear in the video, for a tiny moment, with me in the crowd in the background, taken from profile. Police forces were minimal, and it was nice to have them with us, to intimidate possible (but unlikely) troublemakers.

  20. MrAtoz says:

    Left your Webley at home?

    “Hornet Spray” lol! I keep a can on me at all times!

  21. Eugen (Romania) says:

    “looks like a nice little town there”

    Yes, what you see in the pictures is the old medieval part of Sibiu, the city center. It’s a pedestrian area only. Sibiu’s population is about 150,000.

  22. Harold says:

    RE: Defense Cuts. Simply based on the tweets of the Pres. Elect. on the price of the F35, Lockheed has already promised to drop the price to under a $100 Million a copy. I don’t think that will be enough.

  23. DadCooks says:


    Pretty sneaky way to get FLASHLIGHT! in there @OFD 😉

    I was hoping for some suggestions that I was not already aware of, but a good reminder anyway. I am a particular fan of the hornet spray.

  24. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I generally have some .45 ACP hornet spray with me wherever I go.

  25. Eugen (Romania) says:

    “And my French girlfriend is doing swell”

    Fortunately, no, she’s not doing well:
    FTA: “The populist leader of the National Front had between 25 percent and 26 percent support”

    She’s an extremist and she would never get over 50 percent in the second round, so to become president. I doubt she will even get to the 2nd round.

  26. lynn says:

    TRUMP NUKE ALERT North Korea places long-range nuke missiles on mobile launchers as it threatens ‘nice surprise’ for Donald Trump inauguration

    You know, a real man would go ahead and nuke these guys for making these kinds of threats. Too bad Obola is just a snowflake.

    And yes, I am worried because I live in the southern USA where this madman’s missiles can supposedly reach.

  27. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Extremist? By any rational yardstick, Le Pen is moderate- to hard-left. Calling someone right-wing doesn’t make it so.

  28. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The missile is the easiest part. The warhead is harder, and the re-entry vehicle/terminal guidance hardest of all. I’m not sure the Norks could manage even the easiest part.

  29. Eugen (Romania) says:


    That’s so fake news. Even the article says:
    “In a statement, South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff said the reports could not be confirmed but said the military was monitoring the situation closely.

    However, according to news reports in South Korea two missiles have already been placed on mobile launchers.”

  30. lynn says:

    You know, we are still at war with the Norks. There is just a cease-fire from 1953.

    The missile is the easiest part. The warhead is harder, and the re-entry vehicle/terminal guidance hardest of all. I’m not sure the Norks could manage even the easiest part.

    I don’t care if the warhead only has used auto parts in it. If he can drop a missile anywhere in the southern USA then it is way past time to do something. He is demonstrably a psychotic and has the power to do anything in his country that he wants to do.

  31. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    As I said, the RV is the hardest part. Even if that little twerp could loft his load of auto parts over Texas, the package would disintegrate as it transited the exosphere. All you’d get is a nice meteor shower.

  32. lynn says:

    As I said, the RV is the hardest part. Even if that little twerp could loft his load of auto parts over Texas, the package would disintegrate as it transited the exosphere. All you’d get is a nice meteor shower.

    Are you 100% sure ? I’m not.

  33. Greg Norton says:

    Back when Clean Shower was still made by a privately held company out of Jacksonville, FL, I remember the inventor staging demonstrations of the safety of the product by pouring himself a glass and drinking it. I think the active ingredient is a byproduct of citrus juice processing.

    I’m not sure I would try it now that Clorox owns them. The spray smells different.

  34. Greg Norton says:

    And yes, I am worried because I live in the southern USA where this madman’s missiles can supposedly reach.

    I’m not going to sweat it, and I live closer to North Korea than you. The ChiComs have ballistic missile tech only because the Clintons looked the other way while Loral helped them develop the capability.

    Rocket science is … rocket science!

  35. DadCooks says:

    If you guys have not been watching the “Make America Great Again Welcome” Celebration on FNC you have missed seeing and hearing the soul in real Americans.

  36. Dave Hardy says:

    “Calling someone right-wing doesn’t make it so.”

    Pretty funny that Le Pen’s opponents are to the left of her.

    I won’t sweat the Norks too much, either; my big worries here are weather-related power outages for more than a few days, and local underclass denizens breaking in and stealing our chit. Also, a couple of times recently wife has taken the mutt out for a run on the Saint Albans Point, where there is a decent little park. But this time of year there’s rarely anyone else out there, and she’s had semi-close encounters with dirtbags in pickup trucks eyeballing her or stopped behind her car while she’s coming toward it with the dog. Next time I’m following her out there and just hanging in the vicinity; I’ve told her to take one of the guns but she won’t. But I sure as hell will.

  37. Dave Hardy says:

    “If you guys have not been watching…”

    Nope. The tee-vee won’t be on again until Sunday, for the NFL playoff games. I was gonna watch the “inauguration” circus tomorrow and I may get to see some of it, but otherwise will be occupied playing musical vehicles with wife and Princess at whichever border crossing so she can have a car to do a couple of concerts up there this weekend. She can be a super PITA, but damned if she didn’t pick up a banjo last week and learn how to play it since at performance level. That is just insane. And tell her she has to learn Japanese or Swahili in a couple of weeks and she will.

    I do, however, greatly pity any future husband. Speaking to you from the past, son, good luck and she’s all yours.

  38. Spook says:

    “” “Will add that to the back of my bicycle to add to my visibility.”

    What kinda bicycle are you riding, Mr. Ray? “”

    I’d recommend actual bicycle lights, even relatively cheapo stuff from Walmart or somewhere, for better mounting options and vibration resistance.
    Of course, bicyclists are invisible if seeing them causes any inconvenience for a motorist.

    And, yeah, tell us what you’re riding!

  39. lynn says:

    I’d recommend actual bicycle lights, even relatively cheapo stuff from Walmart or somewhere, for better mounting options and vibration resistance.
    Of course, bicyclists are invisible if seeing them causes any inconvenience for a motorist.

    I used to ride five miles for three nights per week for a couple of years with a couple of neighbor guys. We just had blinky red lights attached to our saddle backs. Cars were never a problem until the end of school. The kids would come by at 35 mph, scream at us, and throw their beer bottles at us. I rode a Specialized Hardrock mountain bike.

  40. lynn says:

    She can be a super PITA, but damned if she didn’t pick up a banjo last week and learn how to play it since at performance level. That is just insane. And tell her she has to learn Japanese or Swahili in a couple of weeks and she will.

    I do, however, greatly pity any future husband. Speaking to you from the past, son, good luck and she’s all yours.

    Homeboy, give thanks for your blessings. She just has to figure how to convert those God given talents to cash money. Please note that I don’t want to minimize how big a step that is though. I wish her the best ! And to get off the dole soon before it kills you.

    I don’t think that my 29 year old daughter will ever be independent unless her health drastically improves. The wife took her to a pain doc a couple of years ago and he refused, said that he would just turn her into a junkie. The daughter refused too, she is just trying to figure out how to live with the pain. So on bad days, she turns off her tv / laptop and just tries to exist with all of the lights turned off or down to minimum. Even on good days, she has the brightness on her tv turned down so far that I can barely see it. There is no light at the end of this tunnel as far as I can see.

  41. CowboySlim says:

    “Rocket science is … rocket science!”

    I’ll be the judge of that!

  42. CowboySlim says:

    Oh yeah…..Confucious say: “What go up…must come down”.

  43. MrAtoz says:

    Somebody that can pick up a language, or instrument, in a couple of weeks can certainly make a lot of money. Use your power for good, Princess, and pick up some bucks on the way.

  44. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Lynn, serious question. Has she tried marijuana?

  45. lynn says:

    Lynn, serious question. Has she tried marijuana?

    Not yet. Still illegal in Texas unless you are an epilectic. She is considering it though. She is on a LOT of drugs though, I am concerned about the interactions.

  46. paul says:

    Can’t you score a few joints or a dime bag from your landscaper soon to be ex-tenant?

    Yeah, dime bag. Dates me. Once upon a time it was a baggie 3 fingers deep, about a finger thick.

    And yes, I know of the “cops taking everything if you get busted” which is why I do not grow any. You would think with 26 acres…. ain’t worth losing the house though. Assuming some critter didn’t eat the stuff.

  47. lynn says:

    Can’t you score a few joints or a dime bag from your landscaper soon to be ex-tenant?

    He is 56 like me and a beer drinker. No marijuana.

    It is times like this that I wish that my brother-in-law was still alive. He always had a baggie. And he was a good friend. After all, he introduced me to his sister, my wife.

    We may have legalized marijuana in Texas soon. Or not, who knows that bunch of crazy people in Austin will do next ?

  48. Ray Thompson says:

    @Mr. Hardy:

    What kinda bicycle are you riding, Mr. Ray?

    The electric assist (you can set the level) makes it much easier to ride and get up some of the hills. 27 speeds (3 in front, 9 in back), hydraulic disc brakes, lights powered by alternator in front hub, etc. Wife also has one and we ride together. The additional light was to add blinking and a brighter light source for the back.

  49. lynn says:

    I got my replacement for the DOA 6 TB WD external USB drive yesterday from WD customer support. It says “Recertified in Vietnam”, whatever that means. I am performing a 3.0 TB LAN backup to it now.

  50. paul says:

    I’m cool with weed being legal. It doesn’t mean I can use the stuff. Depends on where you work.

    I like my beer anyway.

    I still have the bong from college. I don’t know who bought it but it ended up in my dorm room. I had an ok to sucks stereo, so, tunes, and I kept the bong clean. Free weed for me. 🙂

  51. Dave Hardy says:

    WRT to Princess and her talents re: music: Saw a clip of her playing the banjo and singing that wife got off FaceCrack yesterday and I had dollar signs in my head, believe me; she’s gorgeous and can sing and play anything. Now to get on the stick and make some dough for her poor ol’ mom so she can retire or make jewelry or whatever. I don’t care what happens to me.

    WRT to pot; my last time with that was 1989 with some younger night-shift colleagues from Digital Equipment Corporation at one of their apartments. Washed the smoke down with crappy Murkan lager and the pot sucked and that was it for me. I went to harder stuff. Much harder stuff. And it was all legal.

  52. Dave Hardy says:

    Back in the USSR, boys, that’s how lucky we are!

    Only it ain’t. It’s FUSA. Very nice. Soon, as I have said here before, they’ll start purging people from photographs, too. The Russians must be laughing their asses off at us.

  53. paul says:

    My fun project for the day was not as fun as expected.

    The plan was to move the computer desk from bedroom A to bedroom B. That went as expected after a few hours. To have room for the computer desk, I had to move the IKEA wardrobe from bedroom B to bedroom A. No big deal, right? Simple, get some feed sacks (they make ’em outta plastic now a days) under the legs of the wardrobe and slowly slide that heavy chunk o’ junk down the hallway.

    Yeah, that worked. To a point. Too big to get out of the room. Perhaps with three more people /we/ could have shoved it into the bedroom across the hall, shifted around and into the bathroom, and back it out of the bath so it is in the hallway. Kind of like parallel parking. Perhaps I could have removed some window screens and climbed in and out of each room. Tho, the bath doesn’t have a window.

    I had to take the sucker apart. My back hurts for some reason. Vitamin B(eer) isn’t working, so, a few aspirin before bed.

    You can’t pull the little nails that attach the fiber/particle board/cardboard back. So, just sort of carefully break it off. Then spend an hour pulling the nails. Great fun! Not!!!

    But, it’s done.

  54. lynn says:

    I’ve never smoked pot or eaten it. But in 1979, the guy next to me on the floor at a ZZ Top concert in the Summit lit up a cigar. Only it wasn’t a cigar, it was the biggest joint that I had ever seen (six inches long and an inch in diameter). He offered me a hit but I passed. However, after the concert I had a full non-contact high from his smoke.

    My brother-in-law used to smoke pot all the time. Didn’t bother me because he just got hungry. But then he starting making speed ? meth ? in our apartment oven and then he got paranoid. Real paranoid. The FBI is watching me and alien spaceships paranoid. Enough so that he took off back to Houston (we were in College Station at TAMU) and his parents (my future in-laws) put him in rehab to dry out. It took him a while to forgive me for telling his parents about the speed but he was really messed up. He went right back to pot after he got out after six weeks but he stayed away from the speed. I married his sister (my wife of 35 years) a couple of months later and he was one of my groomsmen. He was murdered three months after that.

  55. paul says:

    I had a pot brownie in ’79 or ’80. Uh, no more.

    All I know about “speed” is Mexican diet pills called captigons. Cheap…. More of a buzz that Dexatrim capsules.

    A few folks smashed them up and snorted them. Not me.

  56. paul says:

    I have two old lamps, one on each side of the bed. They are from a set of furniture that was bought in 1955 or so. To save wear on the switches, never mind drunkenly knocking the lamps off of the headboard, not that that has ever happened (struth!) I would like a touch dimmer that can control both. Not a 3 or 4 step dimmer. A tap for on bright or off. A touch and hold to dim up from off or dim down.

    I have a lamp I bought at Skaggs Alpha Beta that was $20 and I got it on clearance for $10. In 1983. It has a 25w bulb. So I know the tech is out there.

    I have the flat Phillips LED units in each. Ok for use on a dimmer.

    A touch pad for each side of the bed would be a nice bonus.

    My Amazon-foo is not working tonight. Any suggestions welcome.

  57. Ed says:

    Paul: Try “touch base light switch” as a search string. Lots of hits. I had one myself twenty years ago…

  58. nick flandrey says:

    Well, I spent the last 8 hours screaming at riot police, mixing it up with a mounted unit, and getting arrested for smoking in a public building…. all in the name of training our local constabulary for the upcoming Super Sports Ball global protest opportunity.

    I learned, very viscerally, that when the mounted line wants to move your loud and nasty ass out of the way, YOU WILL MOVE. Horse v. protester never ends with the horse losing, short of weapons being used.

    I also learned that these guys and gals are YOUNG. Really young. And unfortunately they look it, no matter what soft armor they have on.

    I also also learned that yelling invective for more than a few minutes is really hard work. My diaphragm aches.

    I’ll do it again next week too. And hope they aren’t ever needed.


  59. nick flandrey says:

    WRT to confession being good for the soul, after a late start, I got the ordinary stuff out of the way, then spent a long time where I had to be “clear-able” even if I never got an actual clearance. That puts a damper on things, even if I hadn’t already moved on.

    Haven’t even had a drink in 8 years and 11 days. (Which sounds more dire than it is, it is just easy to add up the days since my anniversary date.)


  60. Miles_Teg says:

    DH, you’re banned!

    Go and do some work!

  61. JimL says:

    Counting days is easy when it’s important.

    It’s been 16 years, 10 months, 14 days, 15 hours, 17 minutes since my last cigarette. Mark.

    Stayed out of bars ever since, though I occasionally go to meetings or have lunch in one. I just always smoked in bars.

  62. nick flandrey says:


    “Critics have raised concerns about legislating via decree rather than going through parliament,”

    This is at the heart of the issues in the US as well. Our government is set up for a balance (in theory) between the judicial, legislative, and executive branches. This is part of the foundation of all law here. Nearly ex-president Obama was fond of decrees (executive orders) when the legislature wouldn’t do what he wanted.

    Fortunately, what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander, and Trump can issue executive orders to cancel Obama’s orders. Whether he will or won’t, we’ll see shortly.

    Obama is also fond of criminals and shortening sentences, as he has now pardoned or ended the prison terms of more inmates than the previous 13 presidents combined (which subverts the authority and action of the Judicial branch). If history is a guide, most of those he let out of jail will quickly commit more crimes, and within 2 years, statistically almost all of them will be back in jail. That won’t be much consolation to the families of those they injure while they are out.


  63. nick flandrey says:

    Some resources

    Active shooter, info, response, etc -click on the links on the page for more resources. -click on the last link “conducting Security Assessments: A guide for Schools and Housed of Worship Webinar” –interesting overview of the intelligence process and ability. –effective distances of IEDs –general specific counter terrorism info, check out the “Method & Tactics” link at the top [editorial note, someone’s been hiring the cool kids for their web design. Not at all like a normal .gov site]


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