Wednesday, 8 February 2017

10:02 – It was 48F (9C) again when I took Colin out this morning. It’s to reach a high of 66F (19C) today, with colder temperatures and snow moving in this evening. Tomorrow the high is to be 34F (1C) and the low 18F (-8C).

A bit of excitement this morning. A couple of minutes after she left for the gym, my phone rang. It was Barbara. She was sitting up at the intersection of our road and US21, and said there’d been a minor accident. Her car wasn’t hit, but a guy trying to make the sharp turn off of US21 onto our road had almost hit her and then steered away from her and run down the stop sign.

She asked me to walk up to the corner. The other driver was an elderly guy with disabled veteran plates. He was unhurt and there was only minor damage to his car’s bumper and fender where it had hit the stop sign. Barbara had already called 911, so we stood around and waited for the cops to show up. While we were waiting, a guy driving a tractor with a hay fork came up our road and pulled over to make sure everyone was okay.

So we all stood around talking while we waited. It turns out the elderly guy served in Korea during the Korean War, and then in Viet Nam. He left Sparta at age 17 and finally got back when he was 38. I stuck around because I was concerned the shock of the incident might cause him to have a heart attack, but he seemed perfectly okay. He said there was no one we needed to call for him, and he didn’t even want to sit down.

As is the norm up here in Sparta among all us Deplorables, Barbara and I both thanked him for his service. So did the guy on the tractor when he showed up.

* * * * *

Barbara mentioned the other day that the next time she went down to Winston she could ask Al to take her to Sam’s Club. We were Sam’s members for a year back a couple years ago, but we ended up dropping that membership because we just weren’t using it often enough to make it worthwhile. Sam’s does carry some stuff that Costco doesn’t, and Frances and Al have often offered to take us  as their guests anytime we like.

So I was putting together a Sam’s Club list for Barbara. One of the things we use a lot that our Costco doesn’t carry is Campbell’s Cream of * soups. Between casseroles and skillet dinners, we probably go through 100 or more cans of this stuff a year. So I was going to add four or five 10-packs of the cream of mushroom and another two or three 10-packs of the cream of chicken. I may still do that, because canned soups are convenient. They require no preparation, and can be stacked in minimal space.

But it’s also easy enough to make cream of * soups from scratch, at the cost of a few minutes work and another dirty pan. The bulk of it is simply a standard white sauce, with whatever the name ingredient is added in relatively small amounts.

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or substitute 1 tsp of dry garlic flakes)
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced (or substitute 2 Tbsp of dry onion flakes)
  • 1/2 cup main ingredient, diced or chopped (mushrooms, chicken, celery, etc.; fresh or rehydrated)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup butter (or substitute 1 Tbsp of butter power in 2 oz. oil)
  • 1/4 cup flour (or substitute cornstarch or dried potato flakes)
  • 1 cup milk (fresh or reconstituted dry)
  • 3/4 cup broth or bouillon (chicken, beef, or vegetable)

Saute the garlic, onion and main ingredient (mushrooms, chicken, celery, broccoli, etc.) in the vegetable oil and set aside. Melt butter over medium heat, whisk in flour, and cook for two minutes. Add milk and broth, followed by the sauteed items. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring regularly, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper and use as you canned condensed cream soup in any recipe.

* * * * *

Until two or three years ago, Barbara refused to watch any TV series that we’d seen before, even if it had been 20 or 30 years since we’d watched it. Nowadays, because of the dearth of recent series worth watching, we’re mostly re-watching series that we really liked the first or even second time around.

Neither of us has any interest in watching zombies or serial killers or cartoons or progressive propaganda, which seem to make up the bulk of recent series. My strong preference is for peaceful series set in small towns or rural areas, stuff like Heartland, Everwood, Gilmore Girls (the original series, NOT the crappy four-episode follow-on that Netflix made), and even Jericho.

We’re just finishing up re-watching Lark Rise to Candleford, alternating with Jeeves and Wooster, so I pulled out the Everwood discs. I love watching Emily Vancamp as a 15-year-old cutie.

One thing I’ve noticed about the series I prefer is that with minor exceptions the young women main cast members keep their clothes on, not just in the series I watch, but period. You won’t find nude images, for example, of Heartland’s Amber Marshall or Everwood’s Emily Vancamp or Jericho’s Sprague Grayden. They simply turn down roles that require them to disrobe on camera.

68 thoughts on “Wednesday, 8 February 2017”

  1. I guess I can get disabled veteran plates here now, but no interest in doing so. I’m a high-functioning nut, so there!

    Thanks for the reminder on food storage; gotta get cracking on that ASAP, more canned goods, more staples, more wotta.

    I don’t care much for “…peaceful series set in small towns or rural areas…” They bore me rigid, as our Oz correspondent says.

    Gotta have some ack-shun and suspense and decently-written drama! There ain’t much out there and I noticed during the Super Bowl, a lot of the commercials were for current dumbass ack-shun and thriller-diller flicks with lotsa special effects. Again, not my cup o’ tea.

    I liked “Peaky Blinders” and a couple of other realistic and historically accurate series, and maybe one or two movies. But we really do spend more time listening to the radio and reading here. In the summer we sit out on the back porch doing it. Ya know, that two weeks of summer we get.

  2. I don’t care much for “…peaceful series set in small towns or rural areas…”

    I don’t care either way about that, but what offends me is attractive, young women keeping their clothes on. It’s just not right!

    (Except, of course, for my daughter when she gets a bit older. I foresee a burkha and a rabid guard bear in her future.)

  3. “They bore me rigid”

    The older I get, the more I realize that boring is a Good Thing.

    As the ancient Chinese curse has it, “May you live in interesting times.”

  4. “attractive, young women”

    Interesting decision, using that comma. I would have written “attractive young women” because “young women” should actually be a one-word noun, leaving attractive as the only adjectival modifier. I always preferred the German custom of combining words that should be together, although in this case they also use the space, “junge Frau”.

  5. Interesting note about that Chinese curse: it seems to be not Chinese. That’s not certain, of course; some sources may have been lost in the past century or two.

    There’s an ancient Chinese saying which may have been the source of the alleged curse: “Better to be a dog in peacetime than a human in wartime.”

    Chinese has a whole huge pile of aphorisms, thousands of them, usually called “four words” because most of them have been boiled down to four ideograms; some are eight for more complex ideas. They’re not usually grammatical and often don’t make any sense unless you see the explanation, and many are a boiled-down summary of something from Confucius or Lao Tsu or classic literature. The dog/human thing above would be a good example of such aphorisms except that it’s ten characters.

  6. Re commas, compound words, and such: generally agreed. I’d normally leave that comma out, but I’ve been doing some copy editing and was in a “rigidly correct grammar and punctuation per Da Rules” mode.

  7. “I always preferred the German custom of combining words that should be together, ”

    How about Spanish where they put the adjective after the noun such as: agua fria (cold water)?

  8. Spent part of last night, and a couple of hours this am cleaning microscope optics. Very satisfying, but not super remunerative. I guess I couldn’t sell it as it was, so every dime I get now is money I wouldn’t get if I hadn’t cleaned it…

    It’s amazing how lazy and/or uneducated some supposedly smart people are. The ‘scope and other optics I’m currently going thru came from a forensic science program at a local university. I’ve already cleaned 2 really nice objectives that were both marked “Bad” but were in fact just dirty. One’s a Zeiss, worth a couple hundred bux, and the other a Leica in the $100 range (used prices.) No idea what the school paid, but I bet it was more than that. A couple of minutes and a swipe with EO Optics Cleaner, and they’re good as new. You’d think some aspiring scientists, or at least their instructor, would recognize the problem and know how to fix it. Caring for your tools is part of every job.

    The B&L stereoscope needed a LOT more work. Every surface of every lens assembly needed to be cleaned. They all had a hazy film, and some had a dried ‘crackle’ film on them. That took time and disassembly, way more than a teacher would spend, but nothing difficult. The image now is bright and clear with excellent contrast, and great depth of field. It’s got about a 5 inch working volume, so it’s great for electronics repair. I’ll get between $25 and $50 an hour for my work when I sell it. That’s not bad money for sitting around, fiddling with it, while vids play in the background.

    I’ve got another B&L to do, but that can wait.

    In the mean time, more ebay listing stuff to do.

    nick

  9. Prepping wise, nothing but garden this week.

    Harvested another small broccoli head. That brings the total to TWO. They were delicious. It looks like for my garden, I want to buy the plants when they are in the store, but not expect them to grow thru the summer. Having them in the ground when the weather gets right means I get the timing right by default.

    I’ll probably harvest the rest of the radishes and replant that windowbox. The turnips are not really developing. The beets have finally started growing. I might pull the plug on the turnips and get something else in that box.

    The asparagus is sprouted. Little thin sprouts going directly to feathery ferns. I might have to rethink that. Shame because we eat a lot of asparagus. I’ve got a couple of strawberries on the plants. Turns out that strawberries are one of those things you really need a sh!tload of plants in the ground to get any meaningful harvest. I might try the side bed with just strawberries this year. It hasn’t been good for anything else except japanese eggplant, which we don’t really eat.

    It all goes back to the basics. If you think you’ll need or want to grow some food, you better get crackin’. It takes time and experimentation, and LEARNING. All of which are a lot easier and less critical when the grid is UP.

    nick

  10. nick, is that stereoscope a microscope with one stage but two eyepieces, or a microscope with two stages? If the latter, I’d be interested in it for Precious Princess Punk’s continuing education.

  11. nick, do you have specifications or a link for the B&L stereoscope, please? I am wondering if it might be something I could use for fiddly fine work on gun parts. Presbyopia has just kicked in. Nothing is wrong with my eyes, but my arms are definitely too short! However, a super-duper lab instrument might be just overkill where a simple illuminated angle-poise magnifying glass would do.

  12. “the other a Leica in the $100 range”

    Just in case you’re not aware, “Leica” and “Leitz” are different. The latter is German and world-class optics. The former is Leitz’s Chinese operation, so if what you have is labeled Leica rather than Leitz, the resale value will probably be quite low.

  13. The asparagus is sprouted. Little thin sprouts going directly to feathery ferns. I might have to rethink that. Shame because we eat a lot of asparagus.

    Don’t take garden advice from me. That said we have some family friends who grow asparagus. If I remember correctly, it’s a perennial vegetable. It starts off slow. Our friends have asparagus they planted years ago, and now they get tired of eating it every day before they harvest half the crop.

    Update: From some quick surfing, it appears the first asparagus harvest happens three years after planting. After that it will continue for 20 years…

  14. Gilmore Girls (the original series, NOT the crappy four-episode follow-on that Netflix made), and even Jericho.

    The wife and the daughter enjoyed the four episode Gilmore Girls and look forward to the new season that is apparently planned.

    Note to self, watch Jericho on Netflix !

  15. I guess I can get disabled veteran plates here now, but no interest in doing so. I’m a high-functioning nut, so there!

    Here in The Great State of Texas, disabled veterans don’t pay property taxes on their principal domicile. The father-in-law had two houses listed for several years until they figured him out, his domicile house and his excess property storage house. When they figured him out, he sold the excess property storage house. And the interesting thing was that they did not charge him back taxes.

  16. “Silicon Valley is right—our jobs are already disappearing”
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/silicon-valley-rightour-jobs-already-disappearing-andrew-yang

    “1. 83% of the jobs where people make less than $20 per hour will be subject to automation or replacement.
    2. Between 9% and 47% of jobs are in danger of being made irrelevant due to technological change, with the worst threats falling among the less educated.
    3. Between 2.2 and 3.1 million car, bus and truck driving jobs in the U.S. will be eliminated by the advent of self-driving vehicles.”

    Just another article confirming the death of jobs.

  17. And according to an article I just saw on the net, nearly 600 Wall Street traders have been replaced by 200 “computer engineers” and leaving just two actual traders. It’s all getting automated. I hope there is a SOC of cutting-edge people among those “computer engineers.”

    Wife is off to Kalifornia and should be arriving in the Bay Area around 5 PM Eastern time, 2 PM their time.

    We had freezing rain last night and then just rain and 42 degrees this morning and much of the snow is already gone. Then the temp will drop to 11 tonight, I guess.

  18. The wife and the daughter enjoyed the four episode Gilmore Girls and look forward to the new season that is apparently planned.

    We went on the Warner Bros. tour last summer, around the time the Netflix series wrapped production and the sets were still dressed for the “Winter” “Gilmore Girls” miniseries episode. The town square from “Dukes of Hazzard” doubles as Stars Hollow through the magic of different camera angles. Look closely the next time either show is on at your house.

    (95 degrees in Burbank and they were shooting “Winter”. Fun!)

    Interestingly, the tour guide didn’t talk about “Dukes of Hazzard” until he was sure that our group was snowflake-free, but once he realized we were all fine with the show’s name even being mentioned, he made sure to point out the sets still standing from the 70s series.

    And, yes, we had African Americans in our tour group, a couple around my age. They didn’t run screaming to the tour office to demand a refund. Strange but true.

  19. Neither of us has any interest in watching zombies or serial killers or cartoons or progressive propaganda, which seem to make up the bulk of recent series. My strong preference is for peaceful series set in small towns or rural areas, stuff like Heartland, Everwood, Gilmore Girls (the original series, NOT the crappy four-episode follow-on that Netflix made), and even Jericho.

    Have you seen “Corner Gas” out of Canada? It meets your criteria.

    I’d love to see NBC’s “Ed” on DVD or Netflix. Given that several of the stars are on huge shows these days, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened. “Ed” would also fit your criteria and inspired the creators of “Corner Gas”.

  20. Denis, the stereoscope is exactly like this one, only black — NOT my listing

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/BAUSCH-LOMB-SZ4-Microscope-Desk-Stand-15X-WF-Eyepieces-45X-Mag-B-L-372-/122324081056?hash=item1c7b1559a0:g:HLcAAOSwcLxYMi4r

    Look at ‘sold’ listings for actual reasonable prices.

    Yes, it would be good for working on small parts. I use mine (I have 2 others) for electronics, watches, and fixing the kids stuff.

    @steveF, check out the link for the style. I’ve also got some regular ‘microscopes’ that would be good for kids, cheap. I think the stereoscope is a great thing to get a kid motivated (my daughter was fascinated by the sheet ice that formed in a bucket last month, so we threw a piece under the stereoscope to look at it.) The advantage of the stereoscope is putting real life objects under it without needing a prepared slide. ZOOM is a great plus as you can show them the close up of the recognizable object, then zoom in farther to see the extreme detail.

    I’ve also got a couple binocular microscopes (two eyepieces, one objective at a time) including a nice college level Leica CME with an xy stage.

    I’ve also got a bunch of single eye grade school or high school microscopes. They are very cheap online. I was going to sell off the objective lenses as they are worth more than the complete scopes. Very similar to this listing – NOT my listing

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Swift-Instruments-Monocular-Student-Microscope-w-Mirror-3-Objectives-4X-10X-20X-/371834290421?hash=item56930d00f5:g:ojAAAOSwImRYcac8

    My plan with my kids is one stereoscope, one microscope. Separate from the scopes I use for my hobbies/work.

    n

    I can be reached at my last name at aol . com

  21. “Have you seen “Corner Gas” out of Canada?”

    Mrs. OFD told me about it several years ago, quite a while, actually, and while sorta droll, I was, as they say, bored rigid.

    So I guess a good rule of thumb is that if a series bores me rigid, Mr. and Mrs. RBT and others here will like it.

    Speaking of bored rigid, our vets group somehow got suckered into working with yet another “thought process” touchie-feelie book and creating our own little “tool chests” for stuff, so we can find ways to feel good about ourselves each day. I looked through it and was, of course, bored rigid again. I’ll go along to get along, I guess, if it somehow helps somebody else. I note also that there are plenty of references in the text to buying more stuff, like online and DVDs and actual F2F workshops and it’s like this far-flung enterprise now.

    Color me not-too-thrilled.

    The sun has come out and we have blue skies again.

  22. @rbt, the Leicas also seem to be made in india.

    I’ve had several different scopes thru here, including an inverted Zeiss Juvnal? which was probably both the weirdest and the most valuable.

    I always wondered about the similarity of the L names. I assumed 2 companies in the same city, one founded by a split with the other. I’ve found the Leica survey instruments to have very nice glass, and to be easy to use and innovative. I don’t think Leitz makes survey instruments anymore, I’ve only seen them as vintage.

    As far as it goes, the objective I have was selling between $75 and $150. It sold new for $315 retail.

    The zeiss was even more despite its chinese origin.

    n

  23. Only 82 and sunny here today, but not as nice as yesterday with a 69%RH. I really should be pulling more cable in the attic, but I’m waiting a couple of days. The weather liars say a cool front is moving in with lower temps at the end of the week. If I have even a chance of staying out of the hot attic I’ll take it.

    n

  24. AOL? Sounds kind of familiar. Didn’t they used to make drink coasters? Or was it shooting range targets? Something like that.

    re microscope, I’m looking for a two-stage scope, as suggested in RBT’s Forensics book. No hurry, as my daughter isn’t 10 yet and I’m accepting RBT’s judgment that his science kits are for older students. (In a couple years, though, we’ll go through all the books one after another. Plus whatever new books and kits he comes out with.) (That is known as a hint, RBT.)

    The stereoscope is tempting. Just need to take into account the slimness of my wallet.

  25. Two platforms to put things on, so you can look at two similar things, one with each eye.

  26. So, what law did they break? Is there an open carry law or not? What makes police so special that they’re allowed to fear for their lives but no one else is?

  27. Mrs. OFD told me about it several years ago, quite a while, actually, and while sorta droll, I was, as they say, bored rigid.

    So I guess a good rule of thumb is that if a series bores me rigid, Mr. and Mrs. RBT and others here will like it.

    As far as non-RBT material goes I’m looking forward to Starz’ “American Gods”.

    The producers have promised the Bilquis introduction scene will play out exactly as it does in the book. Needless to say, the series isn’t going to be something for the kiddies.

    If you really have a dark sense of humor, find a copy of “God Bless America”. Do *not* look at the director credit until after you’ve watched the flick.

  28. Yes, I’m afraid I do, in fact, have a dahk sense of hew-muh. I’ll look for it, thanks, Mr. Greg.

  29. Yeah, that was a good movie, although I couldn’t get Barbara to watch it.

  30. And in our local news, zero tolerance. What about the students he wanted to protect himself from?

    A Southridge High School ninth grader was expelled Wednesday after bringing two airsoft pistols to school.

    The ninth grader allegedly told two fellow students that he was going to bring a gun to school to protect himself from other students, Southridge High School Principal Molly Hamaker-Teals said in a letter to parents. The children reported the conversation to staff at 7:45 a.m.

    Administrators and a school resource officer took the student out of class and allegedly found the pistols hidden under his sweatshirt.

    Airsoft guns are generally designed to look and feel like real guns, but fire 6mm round pellets propelled by either springs or gas.

    The student was expelled, and taken into custody by police. Administrators can take up to 10 days to decide whether to pursue a longer suspension.

    Hamaker-Teals commended the students who reported their concerns, and said reports can be made to staff or law enforcement at any time.

    “We encourage parents to discuss with their children the seriousness of bringing weapons to school, and emphasize the urgency to report any threats as soon as they learn about them,” she said.

    Source: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/article131515734.html#storylink=cpy

  31. I’m working on an audit for the Texas Workforce Commission. They are funded mostly by the Feds to develop the “workforce” in Texas. They are looking at 2015 for us. We had one employee during that time in Texas, our daughter, who is the operations manager. Unbelievable what they want to look at. Plus, their manifesto is mainly to help employers in Texas. Working on a big ass bunch of paperwork for them doesn’t help me at all.

    Another gooberment agency that sucks rocks.

  32. Well, MrAtoz, should you happen to find yourself with a terminal disease, dying in a time, place, and manner of your choosing might make you feel better. I wonder if anything in your recent past might give you guidance in making that decision.

  33. [snip] Here in The Great State of Texas, disabled veterans don’t pay property taxes on their principal domicile. [snip]

    Also true here in Florida, which also extends that courtesy to ex-POWs.

  34. “What about the students he wanted to protect himself from?”

    Two words: Free pass.

    Two more words: State’s evidence.

    i.e., they dropped a dime on the felonious miscreant with the airsoft gats.

    “Another gooberment agency that sucks rocks.”

    An exercise for the truly diligent and heroic: find one that doesn’t.

    “…disabled veterans don’t pay property taxes on their principal domicile.”

    Thanks for the reminder; apparently some towns here in Vermont operate the same way; I need to look into this one now that I’m a disabled veteran.

    “…extends that courtesy to ex-POWs.”

    As far as I’m concerned, a presumption of disability might be made for ex-POWs. They are rarely treated decently, let alone well, and their time in captivity can range from mindless tedium and untreated medical conditions to sheerly horrific scenes from the darkest pits of Hell.

  35. I’m working on an audit for the Texas Workforce Commission. They are funded mostly by the Feds to develop the “workforce” in Texas. They are looking at 2015 for us. We had one employee during that time in Texas, our daughter, who is the operations manager. Unbelievable what they want to look at. Plus, their manifesto is mainly to help employers in Texas. Working on a big ass bunch of paperwork for them doesn’t help me at all.

    Huh, in 22 years my business has never been audited by the TWC. I send them a boatload of money though. Mostly after the first quarter since the unemployment tax in Texas is only on the first $9,000 of income. And yes, they are very pro-employer.

    Now, we have been audited by the state sales tax people twice. The second time, the guy had my accountant randomly pull customer files for an hour or so. Then he packed up and said that we were compliant.

  36. I got their letter at the end of the year, after my Mom passed away. It said they would arrive at my location on Jan 8 to discuss the audit. lol! I threw it in the “C Drawer”. Gee, they never showed in Vegas. I did email them to get things started. All they have to do is whisper in the Texas SoS’s ear and your corporate standing is pulled. That happened once to us through no fault of our own. We still had to go through hoops with the SoS to get reinstated. Pricks.

    As far as the TWC auditing *us*, like I said, we had one employee (still) in Texas in 2015. What a colossal waste of time. I should demand they fly to Vegas to get their paper.

  37. As far as the TWC auditing *us*, like I said, we had one employee (still) in Texas in 2015. What a colossal waste of time. I should demand they fly to Vegas to get their paper.

    Be glad it is not California. I almost had to physically throw their auditor out of my office. The moron even had the audacity to poke me in the chest.

  38. A NYS taxtard demanded a mid-day meeting when I was a single parent and bitched at me for the 3-y-o getting fidgety. Then he demanded my previous years’ tax papers but would not give me a receipt. Then threatened me with immediate arrest for refusing to hand them over. Oh, forgot to mention: refused to show any ID.

    Impressed with the tax dept? No, not so much.

  39. We’ve had Fed tax people threaten us with prison and they’ve already seized/frozen our bank accounts twice, a story told here before a few times.

    The state tax people simply turn accounts over to third party collection agencies.

    And the Fed student loan collectors will seize part of any SS payments, which is nice for somebody already between a rock and hard place for that income, or a student’s aging parents or grandparents. In my case they came after it nearly a quarter-century after the fact, so no “statute of limitations” with them. And I saw an interesting fact earlier today; student loan debt is now at a trillion dollars and it’s the Fed’s biggest “asset.”

    We don’t have many lamp posts out here in the sticks but plenty of trees and telephone and power crossbeams. Just sayin….

  40. Oh, forgot to mention: refused to show any ID.

    Call the cops and mention forced entry.

    Or, being SteveF, kill him and bury in a shallow grave behind OFD’s house.

  41. Reasonable suggestions, Lynn, but the meeting took place at the city unemployment office for some reason. Witnesses. (Including several who walked by the basically open table where he and I were talking, and got bitched at for violating confidentiality.) I didn’t refuse to let the derp look at my tax forms, by the way, simply refused to let him leave with my only copies. Especially when there was a working photocopier 15′ away, and more especially when the entire problem was on their side. Regardless, he didn’t get to keep the forms and was physically prevented from scooping them up without my permission.

  42. Yeah, that was a good movie, although I couldn’t get Barbara to watch it.

    I’m not sure if I’ve passed along the recommendation for “Safety Not Guaranteed”.

    Don’t Google too much about the flick or you will spoil the magic. It is, in my opinion, “Barbara safe”, however. Your clothed young female requirement is met with Aubrey Plaza.

  43. We don’t have many lamp posts out here in the sticks but plenty of trees and telephone and power crossbeams. Just sayin….

    I received a call on my cell from the “IRS” this afternoon. I thought that all of those scammers were shut down for a while. Don’t they have trees and telephone and power crossbeams in India?

    I was on campus so I couldn’t uncork the vitriol and political incorrectness like I do at home when I get a call from “IRS” or “Microsoft Windows”. I usually start with the question, “Did you have curry for lunch?” and go downhill from there if the other party stays on the phone. Blame seven years of unemployment or underemployment due in part to H1B labor.

  44. “Blame seven years of unemployment or underemployment due in part to H1B labor.”

    Coming up on most of four years for me. And don’t think I’m not bitter. Enraged? No. I save that for RINOs, tax collectors, and pedophiles.

    “I usually start with the question, “Did you have curry for lunch?””

    You could as lief ask that of many UK residents, who apparently use the word as a catch-all for lunch, supper, dinner, when they’re doing their own fast food thing. The smell of it maketh me to gag; tech support staff back in the old days at EDS would nuke that stuff in the kitchenettes and stink up the whole office park with it. Only relief was inside the frigid data center and locking the door against them. Giving them the finger and making gagging faces through the windows. The long narrow room that they all sat in was absolutely toxic through the night as the buggers slept on the floor in there.

    The good old days; when Russian guys would show up to fix some arcane hardware still sitting in there, and I’d pass the time with a Cambodian kid whose uncle had been either in the Cambodian royal forces or the Khmer Rouge, I was never sure which; he’d take the kid fishing with an AK47, so there’s a clue. Then we had a Chinese guy who’d come in part-time on weekends, and the first thing he’d do was wipe down all the working surfaces with alcohol tissues because one of the day guys was flamboyantly gay.

  45. Sounds like there’s a good chance that The Rump will require tossing existing
    pipe sections (for that damned pipeline) since some of the steel was imported
    from Turkey and China, to Arkansas, for example, for fabrication.
    The pipe sections are stacked up. Rump will probably require that that steel
    be melted down… or worse…

    We need a Prez who understands the realities of BUSINESS and practicality,
    not just bigotry and powerful prejudice and worse.

  46. We need a Prez who understands the realities of BUSINESS and practicality,
    not just bigotry and powerful prejudice and worse.

    Bigotry and prejudice against who?

  47. You’d think some aspiring scientists, or at least their instructor, would recognize the problem and know how to fix it.

    When I was an undergrad, all the COTS lab equipment was maintained by a trained staff. The voltmeters, oscilloscopes, etc. were tagged with the calibration date and the expiration date. They would come around and collect them for calibration. Same thing at NASA. My guess is that they have cut back on that to spend more money on administrators.

  48. I am wondering if it might be something I could use for fiddly fine work on gun parts.

    Get an Opti-Visor. It’s a flip up magnifier, works over glasses. I’ve had one for 40 years, I used it for painting military miniatures.

  49. “…I used it for painting military miniatures…”

    Wow, that’s still a thing, huh? My best friend in high school was heavy into that, especially the gaudy and flamboyant uniforms of the Napoleonic era. Back then the figures were made of pewter, IIRC, or some kind of white metal. I didn’t have the patience then, but probably would now.

  50. I know a couple people who do that. One’s involved in some kind of tabletop gaming with miniatures; might be WarHammer 40K. The other does it just for a hobby and for collecting. -shrug- De gustibus non est disputandum. (Which I found out just recently is not Latin for “Eat the stupid”. Color me surprised.)

  51. There is still a pretty robust military miniatures hobby. Right now, the Warhammer fantasy and SF minis are big, as is Flames of War for WW2. The minis haven’t been lead since 1993, as NY state porposed a ban on sale of lead minis as a health hazard to kids. This scared the industry, so they switched to pewter as a lawsuit defense.

    I did 25mm Napoleonics for a while, French and Bavarians, and 6mm WW2. 25mm is a nominal scale where a 6 ft tall human male is roughly 25mm tall. It’s also 1/72 scale. 6mm is 1/300th. I played some Ancients (Normans, Gauls, Republican Romans) and Flames of War (Germans) a few years ago, both in 15mm scale, That’s probably the most popular scale now in the US for historical minis – big enough to get some detail and relatively economic in price.

  52. Sweet!

    I never really picked up on that hobby but was impressed by what my buddy was doing; I was mainly into stamps and coins then, but left off all that stuff when I went to work for Uncle after high skool.

  53. Yeah, I’m no expert, either, and would defer, obviously, to Mr. ech; but they do look pretty good. More involved than I thought.

  54. One thing I do differently, after assembly, is to use some hot glue to put the mini on the top of a roofing nail. It gives me an easy handle to hold the mini with, rather than trying to grasp a large base. To keep them upright, I took some 1×2 lumber, cut it into 8 inch or so lengths and drilled holes a little bigger than the nails in rows down the lumber. I went all the way through rather than try to not punch through. I then glued a strip of cardboard from a 12 pack of sodas on the bottom. These make great stands to hold the minis while they are drying.

  55. “One thing I do differently, after assembly, is to use some hot glue to put the mini on the top of a roofing nail. ”

    That sounds like a great idea.
    n

    I once got some rubber “tin soldier” molds at a yard sale. I ended up giving them to our plastic and resin casting guy at work. Kinda wish I’d kept them.

  56. Wow, Mr. ech is pretty slick at that stuff.

    I’m trying to be half as slick with small gun parts, like, IIRC, our UK firearms guy. Awkward fingers and hands now at my advanced state of decrepitude and senescence.

    Meanwhile, next-younger brother advises me not to mess with reloading, ’cause of possible squib rounds and failures to extract, etc. I told him no one is more careful than me with guns and explosives; why I’m here above ground today!

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