Saturday, 20 May 2017

08:58 – It was 59F (15C) when I took Colin out at about 0640 this morning, sunny and calm. It’s already up to 76F. We did have thunder and lightning yesterday afternoon and overnight, but only about 0.2″ (0.5cm) of rain.

We filled bottles yesterday, including 142 bottles of starch indicator solution for chemistry kits. That presents an interesting problem, because starch solution is an ideal growth medium for molds, and the polyethylene bottles can’t be autoclaved or they’ll melt. Boiling the solution kills all of the microorganisms in it, but it doesn’t kill mold spores. Once the bottled solution cools, the mold spores germinate. We do add a small amount of thymol to the solution, which helps but isn’t a complete solution.

So we use a process invented in the 19th century by a scientist named Tyndal. That process, called Tyndallization, involves submerging the bottles in boiling water to kill all the live microorganisms (but not the mold spores). We then allow the bottles to sit for several days at room temperature, whereupon any spores present germinate into live mold organisms. When all the spores have had a chance to germinate, we again submerge the bottles in boiling water to kill the new live mold.

Back when Tyndal developed his process, autoclaves and home-size pressure cookers weren’t yet available. Pressure canning was done, but only on a commercial scale. Tyndallization was the only option for home- or lab-scale autoclaving. Interestingly, that process is still used today as an alternative to pressure canning or autoclaving to sterilize materials that won’t stand up to the temperatures used for those modern processes.

 

 

68 thoughts on “Saturday, 20 May 2017”

  1. 52 and sunny w/blue skies! Might go up another ten degrees. OFD is gonna kick ass outside in the yard today for a while.

    tRump is in the Middle East today and Melania ain’t wearing the usually “obligatory” hijab thing; we note that both Moochelle and Cankles couldn’t fucking wait to put that thing on. And for all intents and purposes, the latter has basically been wearing a Mao-style burkha for decades now.

    I hope he’s telling those thieving perverted scumbags that we’re closing our bases and removing all our troops posthaste. Yeah, I know; dream on.

  2. The US Army is looking at what to replace the M16/M4 with. They are looking at all kinds of sizes of ammo. To me, the interesting investigation is SOCOM’s look at polymer cartridges. They reduce weight, a big factor in combat. It also has ramifications in the logistics system, as lighter ammo will be cheaper to transport. The SOCOM guys are pretty good beta testers for the armed forces.

  3. tRump also didn’t bow to King Fukstik while Obola bowed and blew King Fukstik in the palace.

  4. “The US Army is looking at what to replace the M16/M4 with.”

    Whatever it is, I’m getting one. Just like the replacement pistol, the Sig-Sauer P320, only mine will be the V-TAC model. Leaving aside for the moment that as an American citizen of 400 years standing, they should simply provide me and other citizens with the rifle and pistol, the ammo, and the training as a matter of course, to defend the country against enemies foreign and domestic. Also, grenade launchers and machine guns. But we’ll table that discussion for later.

    “tRump also didn’t bow to King Fukstik while Obola bowed and blew King Fukstik in the palace.”

    If Obola had bowed any lower, he woulda been at zipper level but he couldn’t find the right fold in the dress. Note that they were obviously smirking at him while he did that, too. They insisted on Moochelle and Cankles wearing the hijabs, of course, but gee, wot a surprise that they didn’t for Melania, eh? I wonder if they would if Princess Ivanka goes over, the apostate daughter?

    “The SOCOM guys are pretty good beta testers for the armed forces.”

    I wanna be a beta tester, too! Practice in Mordor and Manhattan for a while…

  5. I’m fine with 5.56x45mm for squirrels and 7.62x51mm for everything else.

    I know the military has never been delighted with the limited effective range of the 5.56mm, and I’d guess they’ll go with something in the .25 class with a noticeably heavier boattail bullet. That’d take them from a standard rifle/carbine with a 200 to 300 meter effective range to something in the 300 to 450 meter class.

  6. WRT tRump’s Tour:
    All those foreign leaders will respect tRump far far more because he doesn’t bow and kowtow to them. He is acting like a Real Leader to be reckoned with and respected.

    From the deals now appearing in the non-MSM it is obvious tRump’s people have been at work.
    First example: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-20/aramco-to-sign-50-billion-in-deals-with-u-s-companies-today
    And more: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/05/20/donald-trump-signs-tremendous-deal-with-saudi-arabia/
    And this appears to just be the tip of the iceberg. Too bad the snowflakes and the liberals have no concept of how important and great this is for us.

  7. Agent Bozo Orange is now rumored to be picking ancient CT libturd Dem Joe Lieberman for Feebie Director.

    You can’t make this shit up.

    His picks just keep getting worse and worse. WTF is wrong with him? Is it all just a BFJ?

    Of course I’d either totally clean house at the FBI and CIA and NSA, or, if that wasn’t possible, shit-can them all and run our national security intel from the DOD branches with an overseeing group like the JCOS and equal to them. Needless, to say, Homeland Insecurity would be gone along with the TSA cretins. Use our existing troops and cops for this chit, which means closing bases and bringing troops home to do the gigs. And no more activating state national guards for foreign misadventures.

  8. Here I sit at the Sheraton Palo Alto in East Palo Alto. MrsAtoz is teaching parents at Ravenswood ISD. The Super of the District told us half the town are billionaires/millionaires, the other half low income to poverty. We drove from LA at 8:30p yesterday and got in at 1:30a (I’m not doing that again). One of the incoming streets is lined on one side with trailers, campers and old RV’s. Housing costs so much, that is all they can afford. Some billionaire land developer is trying to force a lot of the low income housing out by smoozing the mayor to get a rezoning. I pointed out that is the typical Libturdian: I loves me some Mex – NIMBY! She growled at me, so I through one of her sayings back at her: “The truth is ugly.”

  9. Here I sit at the Sheraton Palo Alto in East Palo Alto. MrsAtoz is teaching parents at Ravenswood ISD. The Super of the District told us half the town are billionaires/millionaires, the other half low income to poverty.

    East Palo Alto used to be “murder capital of the USA” IIRC. Now the area is so gentrified that the land cannot be ignored when Modesto is considered a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.

    We love/hate that area. My first born’s middle name is in honor of Zachary’s Pizza in Oakland — long story. I’d suggest a run on BART to the restaurant (one block north of Rockridge station), but I haven’t done the ride from Fremont to Oakland myself in 16 years.

    http://www.zacharys.com

  10. “@OFD – maybe it was a different trip but per DT’s twitter from Jan 29, 2015”

    I’m pretty sure I saw her wearing a head covering on a trip over there, but at this point in life, memory is a very funny thing. I know for sure I saw Field Marshal Rodham wearing one.

    “I pointed out that is the typical Libturdian: I loves me some Mex – NIMBY!”

    That NIMBY thing has been strong here in New England for many years. Back in ancient times, the “authorities” were gonna move a halfway house for recovering mental patients to a ritzy street in Cambridge, MA, but the local celebs and hoi-polloi living there put up a big stink. Around the same time, of course, was the busing mess in South Boston. Busing was A-OK for poor and working-class white and black kids and their families but again the rich and the celebs took their kids out and put ’em in private skools.

    Here in this AO we currently have various wind turbine and solar power site controversies, concerned with noise and visibility, and again, it’s upper-middle-class peeps who are all for alternative power…but….all together now…NIMBY.

    Got 2/3 of the yard mowed; now to finish it up.

    Wife is down at some arts thing still; I never got the word on exactly what it is and how long it’s supposed to run or when she’ll be back here; supposed to call “later.”

    OK, more justification for me going all over the greater AO to NRA classes, gun shows, auctions, estate sales, etc. It’s funny but the biggest and most numerous stuff is in MA and NY. Unless, of course, I wanna fly out to TX and various southern states. Which I don’t.

  11. Hey y’all….

    quick roll call (and role call)

    How many of us are 50+yo males, working only in so far as it supports our wives, who are the primary working breadwinner? This is looking like a trend to me, and not just here, but nationally.

    Nick = 50+ works from home on own little gig, but current income dwarfed by wife’s income.

    OFD?

    MrAtoz?

    RBT – had the stay at home job, but always chose that path right?

    Cowboy?

    n

  12. Both retired here. Living off SS and CalPers pensions.

    Wife spends much time scrapbooking. I do computer stuff all day, looking out the big windows towards Puget Sound (really enjoy that view).

    Today is ‘update the Raspberry PI’ day. About 150 updates to do. But the Webmin program is taking care of all of the work. (After I remembered the login credentials.)

    Was thinking of making the Pi into a ‘bridge’ (it’s a seldom-used media server now). There is one desktop upstairs that connects to the wireless network via an old Netgear WiFi extender. Still works, although it needs an occasional reset. Not sure the Pi-bridge would be worth the effort.

  13. Things are FUBAR at Hanford again:
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-20/everybodys-freaked-washington-nuclear-facility-admits-second-radiation-leak-workers-

    The correct fix will not be done, for the 37,000th time. Just more bloviating, pontificating, and buffoonery. The same that has been going on since the “creation” of the Hanford Site.

    These guys contaminated themselves when they did not follow proper procedures, but that will not hit the press and you did not hear it here.

  14. I turn 64 next month. Barbara is retired, although she now works part-time for our business. Neither of us draws any retirement or government money. I’ve always worked for myself, even when I had a full-time job. Our business supports us, but our needs are minimal.

  15. I turn 64 in July and I’m getting paltry SS and VA disability, which takes some of the pressure off Mrs. OFD, who has been working back-to-back week-long gigs a lot of the time since I was laid off at IBM four years ago. I’m ready and willing to work and had experience across platforms, the bulk of it being VMS and Linux, and could easily go another ten years but the jobs just aren’t there for us anymore. One brother is still working IT, primarily Windows; another one has been in real estate insurance for decades and my next-younger brother was canned after 32 years w/UNIX stuff.

    Whatever gummint checks I get combined with any part-time random gigs are of course dwarfed by wife’s earnings, but she goes through a lot for that money, and is getting burnt out. We paid into the SS system for decades and we know how I got my VA checks, but I suspect neither will last for the remainder of our lives, and I am not sure what we’re gonna be doing in our 70s and 80s, assuming we make it that far.

    As regards SS; that money was taken from us for decades w/o any input or permission from us and as far as I’m concerned, we’re getting it back now. While we also support a non-working class of tens of millions.

    Theoretically, if Mrs. OFD stopped working, we could manage on her SS and state retirement, and my two monthly checks. Meanwhile we have to come to a better arrangement with the Fed and state tax people for back taxes and current taxes. A tax lawyer is the next step this next month.

    Her checks and my checks, her jewelry biz and any other revenue I can generate will allow us to function pretty much OK here for the duration.

    A trend? When it became, first, necessary for both spouses in a marriage to work, in order to support a middle-class lifestyle in modern FUSA. Secondly, the big push to get women out of the home and into the work force and colleges and grad schools. Along with decades/generations of what Christina Hoff Sommers has called “the war on boys.” Which continues.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christina_Hoff_Sommers

    (I knew her in the 1980s at Clark University; always a cutie-pie)

    And men, mostly white working-class and middle-class men, have been, and are, being pushed out of the work force. As one result, there is a lot of building resentment and anger out here, somewhat expressed during last year’s election, and another large faction that is outraged we should be resentful and angry. They want us gone and/or dead, pretty much. As do the musloid swarms.

    But here’s the funny thing; we are still, by far, the majority in North Murka, and tens of millions of us are armed, with a large sprinkling of combat veterans, thanks to the endless wars. This is kind of unprecedented in history so far as I know.

    Shit, I’m just rambling here…back to work.

  16. Agent Bozo Orange is now rumored to be picking ancient CT libturd Dem Joe Lieberman for Feebie Director.

    You can’t make this shit up.

    His picks just keep getting worse and worse. WTF is wrong with him? Is it all just a BFJ?

    Is this coming from Trump himself, or is it coming from White House leakers, who hate Trump, mediated through the mass media, who hate Trump and pass along unfounded rumor and even make up lies themselves? It’s the latter, isn’t it? And you place even the tiniest credence in what the media says? Huh. Do you have any other peculiar infirmities?

    How many of us are 50+yo males, working only in so far as it supports our wives, who are the primary working breadwinner?

    My annual income is much higher than my wife’s, but when you consider the benefits she gets and the ludicrously fewer hours per year that she works, it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s paid more than I. As a taxpayer I resent the hell out of the sweetheart deals the government “worker” unions have gotten themselves.

  17. In other world nooz, tRump just got a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudi scumbags.

    Thanks a lot, Donald.

    How about another $100 billion for Israel, too; keep that pot simmering on boil for another lifetime or two.

  18. How about another $100 billion for Israel, too; keep that pot simmering on boil for another lifetime or two.

    We give Israel around $4 to $6 billion a year in weapons called foreign aid. Mostly F-16s. When we start giving them F-22s, that should be about 10 per year.

  19. What about F35s, too? They should have those. And why only $4-6 billion a year? Surely we can double or triple that for our wunnerful Israeli friends…

    “Do you have any other peculiar infirmities?”

    They are legion.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/18/us/politics/trump-fbi-director-lieberman.html?_r=0

    What about the New York Times, huh? Paper of Record and all that!

    They’re all just probably floating stuff for the rubes and bumpkins out here like me.

  20. 66 years old here. Drawing SS, a piddling little retirement, some VA benefits. Wife is also on SS as putting her on early was not much of a reduction vs waiting until full age. We both sub at the high school for a paltry sum but it is something to do. Hoping the VA steps up and increases the disability. Yeh, I am basically living on the government dole but a large chunk of that money is money that was taken from me over the years and I am getting it back.

    Just returned from a two day trip to Nashville to help the son with his kitchen and bath remodel. Spent two days demoing the kitchen and most of the bathroom. The walls in the kitchen were hardwood flooring, few knots, really good wood. Not salvageable because of a couple coats of paint and some type of thinset covering. Just tossed it all in the dumpster. Shame as it was really good wood when it was installed in 1979 and still looked good on the back side.

    Fixed a rotted stud in the wall behind the sink, crawled under the house multiple times to reinforce a soft spot in the floor. Framed in around the A/C return as the prior owner failed to do so. Lots of work removing cabinets using a reciprocating saw and removing big ass screws holding the cabinets to the wall.

    Lots of small cuts, a couple of big cuts with a lot of blood. Shirt has multiple blood stains now and I look like hell. Need to head to the Dr. Monday for a tetanus shot. Glad I don’t have to work like that for a living.

  21. “Here I sit at the Sheraton Palo Alto in East Palo Alto…….”

    I went to Palo Alto about 50 years ago, so I can’t remember what hotel. It was a meeting with some NASA folks at the NASA Ames facility at Moffett Field. At the time, I did not realize that it was your tax dollars at waste.

  22. @Ray — re the hardwood….wasn’t good enough to turn over and put the ‘backside’ on top? Maybe after a bit of sanding?

    Or maybe I watch too much “This Old House”…

  23. I don’t intend for Barbara or me to draw SS until 70 or whenever it is they stop penalizing us for having other income. Since they reduce the monthly check by $1 for every $2 I make over a certain amount, it’d end up being $0.

  24. Barbara wants ceramic tile in all the bathrooms.

  25. The wife and I are both 62 and retired. I’m doing some writing and just finished screenplay #2, and have both entered in some competitions to get some attention. When we were both working, she made about 3x what I did, as she was an anesthesiologist.

  26. Was thinking of making the Pi into a ‘bridge’ (it’s a seldom-used media server now). There is one desktop upstairs that connects to the wireless network via an old Netgear WiFi extender. Still works, although it needs an occasional reset. Not sure the Pi-bridge would be worth the effort.

    MOCA or power line adapters wouldn’t work to extend the network?

    A WRT54GL flashed with DD-WRT would give you a lot better bridge client for about the same cost as a Pi and a USB adapter.

  27. After nearly seven years of underemployment, I’m working again professionally starting the day after Memorial Day. The age discrimination is ugly in IT, but I can pass a drug screen and background check without a problem, something increasingly rare as tech states legalize weed.

    At 48, I am way too young to retire.

  28. but I can pass a drug screen and background check without a problem

    A “feature” of the modern workplace which pisses me off no end. The background check may be reasonable, depending on the type of data being worked with, but the drug check never made any sense. It’s not like a programmer is going to plow a forklift through a stack of 55 gal drums because his uppers wore off.

  29. ‘course he could do “rm *.* ” on the production machines…..

    But that’s not a function of drug use or not.

    I had to piss and bleed for every different company I did work for, except my actual employer. I had to sit thru all their mandatory safety sh!te too, even if I was just gonna poke my head above the ceiling, or stand on a ladder. Ever fill out a 3 page “HSSA” or “JSA” or “TSA” safety analysis just to move a server? Anyone insist you fill out a form saying you “inspected the ladder” before beginning work, without EVER telling you what you should be inspecting it FOR?

    Anyway, as I suspected, a whole bunch of us are underemployed and have spouses that are working hard. I’m seeing it in other places and other fields too. It’s definitely not just us. I talk to a lot of dads who, like me, are home with the kids while wife works full time. It’s not just the 50+, although that certainly seems to make things harder.

    I do wonder if that’s what the feminists thought they would get…

    n

  30. I do wonder if that’s what the feminists thought they would get…

    Some of the die hard hairy chested ones won’t be happy until all of the guys are gone.

    Uh oh, was that a microaggression or a macroaggression ?

  31. “At 48, I am way too young to retire.”

    I thought that at 60 and still think it at 64. I can work indefinitely with IT but I pretty much gave up on that idea, I guess. Four years, so far, of mostly unemployment.

    “I do wonder if that’s what the feminists thought they would get…”

    Well, they did the hollering, but I won’t blame the whole thing on them; it was a State enterprise, and supported in the publik skool systems and the corporate world and media. So now we have a bunch of us out of work and in my case, often feeling humiliated, depressed, resentful and angry, all counter-productive but yet there it is. My gripe is that I worked my ass off and kept learning as much as I could in that field (IT) so I would HAVE some job security, along with being told at IBM that due to security concerns and ITAR requirements, they could never swap us out for foreign workers. Then I saw the annual audit team roll in that last year and they were all ESL foreign workers, examining and inspecting our SECURITY there. Amazing.

    But fuck it; water over the bridge now. Working on other stuff and certainly keeping BUSY here at the house and yard, a new project every other day on TOP of the existing five pages of to-do stuff. Pressure always on, however, to bring in more revenue. And pay back taxes. None of the latter mine, incidentally. Mine got taken out automatically.

  32. How many of us are 50+yo males, working only in so far as it supports our wives, who are the primary working breadwinner?
    I’m 65 and have always been the primary bread winner in the family. Even when the wife was teaching at University she never made much. I am only still working to get company health care for my wife who has a variety of health issues. I am covered by my tribal health system so I would retire in a second if I didn’t have to see to her care. With her heart issues, arthritis, diabetes, etc. she couldn’t work any longer if she wanted.
    I lost the $500K+ stocks and options I had as a manager in MCI when they went bankrupt. So I have been building up some business in the last decade, buying houses for rentals, created a rental management company to manage my property and others, and the most profitable is the ATM business. My son runs the business while I still do IT Security for a UK firm. But the wife spends most of the day internet shopping so it goes out as fast as it comes in. That will all change when I retire.

  33. After working in IT since 1972, I am fed up with it. Partly it’s the horrible management at my current company, but I don’t have the desire any more. My manager keeps telling me that this or that IT course will enhance my employability after I retire but I don’t want to be paid to worry about anything cyber related in my retirement. I feel like the sailor who has had enough of the ocean and will walk inland with an oar on his shoulder until someone asks”what’s that?”.

  34. Gender studies, climate change, yada-yada, all just meaningless drivel and grist for the commie parade…nothing more like it than the old fable about the emperor’s new suit of clothes…

    “But the wife spends most of the day internet shopping so it goes out as fast as it comes in.”

    Sounds like my brother’s wife; he’s been mostly unemployed like me, for longer than me, and she had to go from three days a week to four days and then five days and never lets him forget it, while she spends nights and weekends shopping locally and online and planning all kinds of trips to Floriduh, while also barely lifting a finger at home. Meanwhile he does all the house and yard stuff, gets the kids off to school and jobs in the very early AM, cooks the meals, does the taxi service for everybody, etc., etc.

    WRT the IT job field; I’ve made my complaints and bitching about it known here several times and Mr. H. Combs has it about right; I’m still interested in it but not working for assholes anymore, slaving like a navvy 50-60 hours a week plus weekends and holidays and being on-call with a pager and then being fucking laid off anyway while my job goes to Slovakia or India.

    I’ve also taken an inordinate amount of time to realize that working for other people almost always sucks, and that most of the stress and hassle and unfairness I encountered in all my jobs stemmed from management.

  35. Well, my dog’s sag wagon is going well. She has decided that she likes to ride for the first mile of our daily walk and walk for the second mile. All I can figure is that she gets motivated knowing that home is close. For a 14 and half year old, she is doing well. The kids in our neighborhood think she is cute riding in the wagon with her tongue hanging out, the adults think that I am crazy and they laugh.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BUUUIGK/

  36. “… the adults think that I am crazy and they laugh.”

    Just like here. Hahaha.

    We’re getting to the point, like we did with our last golden retriever, that we gotta help hoist him into the cah.

    “… but germane to today’s discussion of fiftyish males…”

    As the article points out, men generally won’t try to get help; we think it’s a sign of weakness and demeaning, etc. Thus the 20+ veterans doing themselves every day and now more and more guys our age. I can attest, as I did already today, that being at home with no job when you could work and you wanna work and now your wife is doing it all and supporting your weak ass, is humiliating and degrading, when we’re brought up to believe it’s da manz job to do it all. And a lotta wives make it harder, in the many and various ways that they can.

    As the article also points out, you don’t need to be a doctor or shrink or licensed therapist to notice something might be amiss with somebody and to help them. And yeah, you could talk with them until you’re both blue in the face for months or years and then they still whack themselves. But you tried. All any of us can do.

    Maybe there’s some hope if we can get past, say, 50-55 or so, and start to make some progress at making ourselves useful in our own eyes, at least, we’ll be OK. But for too many guys, it’s thin ice every fucking day, and if there’s any kind of substance use/abuse involved, that ice develops cracks fast.

  37. Let’s see: 52 years old here, grew up working in the family (tourism related) businesses. I managed to acquire a BS in Management Information Systems (essentially, Management degree w/ CS Minor), then I took over the family businesses when my dad died, and ran things until 2002. I more or less managed to keep myself current in the off hours and off seasons, but wound up spending the better part of 15 years tending to a whole series of family crises, and many of my skill atrophied. Along the way, I also managed to lose a whole lot of money to said family troubles. (As an aside, one extra dollop of whipped cream on all that is you can’t write off losses on loans to family. Yay!)
    So now I find myself trying to find a job with a very thin resume; only two entries under Employment, and everyone who could actually verify any of that is dead. I could spend some $ to get current certifications, but I also lack any sort of Security Clearances, and the only decent jobs around here mandate them. And the various contractors doing the hiring are not going to spend the money to dig through the last 30+ years of my life to get me a TS clearance. I did see one ad that didn’t require any security clearance – if I managed to get current certificates, programming skills, and modern TLAs, they were paying just about what I would have made fresh out of school in the 1980s.
    No debt, thankfully, but right now no income, so I’ve managed to burn through almost all my savings, and no one seems willing to give me anything other than a menial type job. I do have hopes for an office position with a local fast food franchisee, and my inbox is full of semi-span from recruiting sites. The most promising interview I’ve had was about 6 weeks ago, after which I heard exactly nothing. It seems that the courtesy of a rejection phone call, e-mail, or actual letter no longer exists. Sigh.

  38. “It seems that the courtesy of a rejection phone call, e-mail, or actual letter no longer exists. Sigh.”

    ‘fraid so. Been there, done that, been doing that, kinda gave up doing it. Fed background check for an IT drone job dates back to October and I’ve heard nothing. I periodically check in with the recruiter as they’ve stopped rushing to contact me, despite my having completed a truckload of paperwork for them, plus fingerprint cards.

    Here it is almost June and I guess I’ll fire off another email tomorrow so they’ll get it Monday AM, asking WTF? Don’t really care anymore. If I got it, I’d be right back to long weeks, being on-call, busting ass day in, day out, for the same pay I got, roughly, when I was laid off four years ago from IBM.

    Other than that, there are only menial and help desk-level gigs here not worth the cost of the gas and time to get to them, or senior this and senior that requiring alphabet soups of IT acronyms and certifications and clearances. Which I would have had by now if I hadn’t been laid off. This has all pretty much exhausted my patience accordingly, but I’m in my early-mid 60s and I really dunno what to tell someone running into this shit in their 40s and 50s now.

    Best wishes on that score, pcb.

    And I just spent several hours trying to get a vm working on the CentOS 7.3 machine to no avail. I’ve lost patience and interest in that, too, and will manage OK without it, I guess. I did manage to get gnucash installed on it, though, and easier than I’d thought. Next step, no rush, is to hook it up to our bank. Which theoretically can be done; we shall see.

    Back to the outside stuff tomorrow and maybe I’ll find out where my wife is.

    Pax vobiscum, fratres; semper paratus; tempus fugit

  39. Chiming into the role-call late here: 56, both my wife and I work, but my income is higher. We had a try at running our own little software business for a few years, but we’re both serious introverts and neither of us was worth a damn at networking (the human kind) and interpersonal politics, both of which are essential for a software business wanting to ramp up its sales. After enough sleepless nights, worrying about how we were going to pay the bills, I went back to work full-time. It took years to dig ourselves out of our financial hole – should’ve gone back to work sooner, and we’d be a lot better off financially.

    Retirement: my wife will probably “retire” early, in the sense of not working much. She’s had it with being a manager, whereas I really enjoy teaching, and intend to keep going indefinitely – maybe shifting to part-time after 65, we’ll have to see – but I can’t imagine *not* teaching. Retirement savings here are looking a bit thin (see “financial hole” above), and a lot depends on selling our house when the kids move out, but we should be ok…

  40. I loved IT in the Eighties, I would have worked for nothing if I didn’t need the dough. Managerialism started to creep in around 1990, and by 2013 I was asked where I was going when I was on my way to the loo. I was writing about five lines of code a month towards the end. The sort of computer environment I loved (applications developer using Fortran and PL/1, systems programmer in a CDC NOS/BE (may peace and blessings be upon it) environment is gone now.) I don’t need the dough now (but more is always welcolme) so I just let go. A guy who’s been at the ATO for over 35 years is under investigation for helping his son rip off $150 million. Glad to be out of there.

    Just hit 59…

  41. Or maybe I watch too much “This Old House”…

    Yeh, you do. Beyond the time issue simply tearing out the old wood destroyed parts of the tongue and groove.

    I don’t intend for Barbara or me to draw SS until 70 or whenever it is they stop penalizing us for having other income.

    That would be your full retirement age. In my case it was 66. Since that is full retirement age you can make all you want with no penalties. Your age is probably 66.5. My advice is to get it when you are no longer penalized, full retirement age.

  42. Barbara’s and my (born 1953 and 1954, respectively) full retirement age is 66.0. My understanding is that if we start taking SS before we reach full retirement age, we get hit $1 for every $2 in earned income above some ridiculously low amount (something like $15,000). If we reach full retirement age, we get hit $1 for every $3 in earned income above some higher amount ($35,000?). If we get to a certain age, which I was thinking was 70, we can earn as much as we want without having deductions made from our SS checks. Is that not the case?

  43. “I loved IT in the Eighties, I would have worked for nothing if I didn’t need the dough. Managerialism started to creep in around 1990, and by 2013 I was asked where I was going when I was on my way to the loo.”

    I got into IT in 1984 and it was great until by five years later DEC was bringing in MBA types and losing the best engineers, and then after my grad skool fiascoes, back into IT in the mid- to late-90s at EDS, managerialism getting steadily worse, and then worst of all in state gummint up here. IBM was cool until the last few months, when the same sort of thing kicked in good and hard and we lost our jobs. (the evil matriarchy in state gummint had also timed my bathroom and lunch breaks while they took off for hours shopping for cookies and chocolates downtown.)

    At the present time, I really can’t see any upside or any possibility of a decent IT job working for decent people ever again. Miles and I and probably some others here had our little window back in the 1980s and it’s gone.

  44. The sooner you guys accept that the IT work is gone, the sooner you can move thru the steps of grieving and move on. I mean that seriously, and as the therapists used to say “from a place of love.” It’s gone, it’s not coming back. YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR WORK! One of the problems unemployed men have is that in the US we so often define ourselves by what we do for a living, that without the job, we no longer know who we are or what are place in society is. You need to find a new definition (or reawaken an old one) of who you are. “I’m a beginning writer.” “I’m a city councilman.” “I’m a retired IT drone, but I spend my time learning woodworking.” “I’m a sculptor working with found objects, I just do the handyman work to pay the bills.” Find an answer that you can live with, that moves away from the answer you don’t want to live with.

    After l left the full time employment, I was a “consultant.” I actually did some consulting, some drawings, project design review, and some service and support in my field. What surprised me was how long it took me to get over the job I’d left. How long I continued to say “we” when I meant ‘them’, how long it was before I didn’t think of the job every day…. Once past that, I was free to see how abusive the relationship was. When people asked me what I did, I said “I’m a consultant in the Oil and Gas industry.”

    Most of my work has been in the Oil and Gas sector, and when that started to slow, I did one design project for the Medical sector, hoping to pick up some work in a growing sector instead of one that was slowing. That didn’t work out for budget reasons.

    Instead, I picked up a few ‘side’ jobs that used my skills but in a different field (cameras and home automation). After a new, long and drawn out project that was unsatisfactory to all involved, it became clear that I needed to focus on family. Family was why I’d left the ‘good’ job in the first place, after all.

    Now when people ask what I do, I say “I buy and sell on ebay.” I don’t get strange looks as often as I used to. Sometimes I get asked business questions about it. When I do get a ‘look’, I usually follow up with “I used to work in Oil and Gas.” THAT gets the sympathetic and knowing look. Everyone here knows people or was personally affected by the troubles in Oil and Gas. About half the time I get a story about a late middle aged man (friend or relative) that also had trouble dealing, but now is transitioning to ‘dad’ or some other cottage industry at home.

    There are a LOT of us out there.

    It took a lot of time for me to realize that the sort of work I was doing has changed permanently, and for me to be comfortable with my new role. Part of what helped is that I can focus on the role of DAD. Sometimes I even say “I’m a stay at home dad” when asked what I do. Having started my family very late, I know that it’s different for you guys.

    The other thing that helped me is that my whole professional life, I’ve been in project work, in 3 different fields. I ALWAYS knew the job had a lifespan and a hard end date. I also always believed there would be a NEXT one, but I didn’t know what it would be, or who it would be with. 3 times, what I was doing and good at, slowed down and just stopped. 3 times I found a tangential area to move into, where I eventually excelled.

    I don’t know what the fourth will be, but I’m sure that eventually there will be a fourth career. Right now, it’s “dad.”

    If you are unhappy, look for the new definition of what you do and who you are that has a path forward. You got OUT of the grind. Even if it was involuntary, NOW you are OUT. If you can say “I retired from IT work” most people are going to say “wow, lucky you, you got out just in time. It really sucks right now.”

    The key is that there IS a path forward. It won’t be like it was before, but it NEVER IS.

    nick

    NB- substitute [your personal hell] for [IT drone] in any of the above.

  45. It takes some time, as you know.

    I retired from IT and am now doing some teaching, serving on the town planning commission and buying and selling machine guns and explosives. Wait…

    I used to work in IT but am now serving on the town’s planning commission, teaching a little, and exploring other opportunities…wait…

    I’ll figure it out; yeah, I know all that stuff is gone, as was cop work before that. Yet here I am, still be-bopping around with the “cop eye” and knowing I could do the gig again if I was in decent shape again. Or spending hours and hours like I did last night trying to get virtualization working on the CentOS 7.3 box to no avail, but hanging in anyway and trying all kinds of stuff. Except I’m less willing to keep on forever with this kinda thing now and will eventually call it a night (02:30) or a morning. Not important, screw it, I don’t need it. Yet still getting a wee frisson when “Red Hat” or “VMS” are even mentioned.

    Back to the yard stuff; anyone notice that you’ll lose a tool (because Someone Else borrowed it) and you can’t find it again so buy another one (hammer) and now, many moons later, you find you have three hammers.

    Or, a new project pops up (because Someone Else wanted it) and you find you gotta get at least one new tool for it. After many moons, you’ve run outta places to keep the tools in any kind of organized and ready state.

  46. If we reach full retirement age, we get hit $1 for every $3 in earned income above some higher amount ($35,000?)

    Once you reach full age, in your case 66, you can draw SS and still earn as much as you want with no penalty. You could earn a million dollars and still receive no deduction in your SS payments. There is really no benefit in waiting until 70. Doing the math you would have to live beyond 87 to reap the benefit of higher payments at age 70.

    Or, a new project pops up

    And you make 13 trips to the hardware store before you complete the project. In the process you have acquired a couple of new tools, some excess supplies that you will lose and have to buy again for the next project.

  47. I don’t miss work, the place was full of fear or being the next TARGET. The middle level boss told us to behave because he wouldn’t go into bat for us if we got into trouble because he had to safeguard his own position.

    What I really do miss is…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Heroes

  48. “…some excess supplies that you will lose and have to buy again for the next project.”

    Bingo. Had to order another bag of nuts and bolts to continue assembling firewood racks when I know I have the original bag around here someplace…

    “…the place was full of fear or being the next TARGET.”

    Bingo again, for state gummint, anyway, as both wife and I found out. And colleagues and staff whom we’d helped out a lot at various times then disappeared, except for a couple of admin drone women in my case, who knew what was being done to me. They felt bad for me but couldn’t do anything. Both left of their own accord soon after I did. At IBM we had 30 days notice to GTFO. Other guys had to train their replacements, and a poor bastard hired two years AFTER me was kept on and used as a slave to do the work of the six laid-off guys like me. He told me much later it was INSANE. Other guys had to train both Italians and Mexicans to do their IT network security stuff and then they were bounced out.

    At the six-week gig I had in 2014-15 for the manufacturing place, they gave us zero warning and had cut our last checks that morning. Escorted to the exits by HR skanks.

    And now back to firearms and explosives back yard chores and tasks.

  49. Dad is 66 (will be 67 in September) and “Mom” is 65 (will be 66 at the end of May). Both on SS as of 1 Jan 2017, but of course first checks did not arrive until the 4th Tuesday of February. You get your check based on your birth week and they pay you a month late, like the money is not your’s. Another SS gotcha is how they figure your age for benefits, at best you will lose 1 and often 2 months of benefit age. Don’t figure on retiring in your birth month, your retirement credits don’t accrue until the next month and there are other gotchas. Using the SS online calculators will not give you an accurate number and neither is your annual SS statement. When I challenged our monthly payments and brought up the annual SS statement I was reminded of the fine print, not all on the paper. SS said I could proceed with a challenge but our benefits would be greatly reduced while the “appeal” was in process. We talked to 3 lawyers who were sympathetic but basically said that as white anglo saxon citizens who had paid into the system we had a chance of slim to none.

    As a Registered Nurse who worked in ORs my Wife has always made more than me. From the beginning we agreed to live on the smallest paycheck. That allowed us to have two kids who had the benefit of a full-time mom until they started school. When she went back to work, I was able to rearrange my schedule so that the kids did not spend their school years in daycare and had Mom and Dad as tutors. Frugal life, but it worked.

    I was writing up a full detailed history of me, but it is too long. So you get the Reader’s Digest version: Been there, done that.

    Well, a little more:
    During my Naval “Career” I qualified on all watch stations under all conditions on the submarines I served on, that is until the Navy would not let us do that anymore.

    I have real working experience with all Nuclear Navy plant types and all commercial and government nuclear plant types. Since I did not have a degree I was classified as a Plant Engineer, which means I was an Engineer by actual demonstrated actions. In 1976 the DOE decided that people without a degree were not qualified to empty garbage cans. So all of us Plant Engineers were layed off and replaced with inexperienced just-out-of school degreed engineers, at 2 to 3 times the salary. That was catastrophic for Hanford and all other DOE sites. Work was set back decades and costs soared into the stratosphere.

    Dad is getting long again. So I’ll stop for now.

  50. “…as white anglo saxon citizens…”

    Well, jeez, that’s three or four strikes right there, kemosabe! Yes, OFD got screwed on the SS stuff, pretty much like you said. And if you wanna contest or appeal it, they’ll screw you even worse. Plus I’m getting $180 chopped out every month for a 25-year-old grad school loan. With no means of finding out, apparently, what the actual balance is. (I get funneled to a debt-collection company where information becomes even scarcer).

    “Dad is getting long again. So I’ll stop for now.”

    You did the best you could, Dad; and lots more than most, and sounds like you and Mom did saints’ work keeping the family going and the household economy on track, with sacrifices many Murkan derps are unwilling to pay. Hats off!

  51. Once again, thanks @OFD. You are a saint among men, you have survived more than your share of shit sandwiches and used your experiences and skills to help the guys in your Vets group. I admire the folks on this site, real down to earth “deplorables” 😉

  52. Ditto here; I get so many tips and intel from the guys here, now stretching over a few years, forget how many, but back before it was a WP site a ways, I’m guessing 2006-07?
    2010? A memory is a sad thing to mess with; like crystal-clear for 60 years ago but as through a glass, darkly, 60 seconds ago.

    Buncha hateful rayciss deplorables, destined for the knacker’s yard or worse. Like my vets group; wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Just read a couple of articles in the current Chronicles magazine; one on a guy attending an academic medieval conference in Michigan, IIRC, and the other on the University of Texas and its law skool, what a mess. Plus yet another piece on the Sewanee Review, a long-time literary journal at the University of the South. In short, w/o boring the audience here to tears, we’re fucked as far as literature and the teaching thereof in academia. The commies have completely taken over now.

    Interested in medieval stuff, Shakespeare, Malory, Chaucer, Dante, Milton? Wanna learn about epic poetry from Homer through Milton? 19th-C English and American novels? Read it on your own. Maybe find someone else to talk about it with you. I don’t have anybody like that anymore but IDGAF, really. I can manage on my own, but if someone else were to come along who could and would shoot the chit with me on any of this stuff, all the bettah.

    Yes, my share of shit sandwiches, often w/o the bread.

  53. Another SS gotcha is how they figure your age for benefits, at best you will lose 1 and often 2 months of benefit age

    Yep. I applied in December of 2016, two months before my birthday, as was recommended by the SS office. My payments did not start until April which which is for the March payment. I asked why I did not get any payment for February when I was actually eligible. Nope, the month you are eligible does not count.

    When my aunt died I had to give back the money she got paid for the month she died. Apparently the month you die you are not eligible for payments even though that last payment (always a month behind) was a for a month you were living. If you were living, you should be eligible. But not according to the SS office if you should up a die. Seems like they are shorting you a couple of months.

    One other tidbit of information. My wife is applying against my earnings as mine are substantially more. Since that is the case she is eligible to apply at 62 as long as I have started my benefits. Does not matter that here birth date makes her full eligibility date 66.5 instead of 66 like my birth date. Her benefits were reduced by 25% because of early application but the loss was not much. It was more important to start as soon as possible to get benefits.

    She gets paid on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, I get paid on the 3rd Wednesday each month. Our birth days are only 3 days apart but SS has it’s boundaries.

    Also your benefits are based on your top 35 years of earnings. My last year of earnings had not been posted to the SS yet when I applied and SS only showed $1,500 earned. When the full amount of my earnings had been posted, about 40 times as much it made no difference in my benefits. Seemed odd as it should have rolled off a really low earning years that I was in the USAF. But the SS calculation apparently takes a super computer to do the calculation with some bizarre formula that you cannot audit for correctness.

    We talked to 3 lawyers who were sympathetic but basically said that as white anglo saxon citizens who had paid into the system we had a chance of slim to none

    Same thing almost. When I challenged my earnings I was told fine, go ahead. The benefits would be put on hold and I would probably get paid less. It may take as much as two years before it was resolved. I was also told, incorrectly, that any missed benefit payments would not be retroactive. Payments would start when they started and not made up because my benefits had not yet started. I could lose two years worth of benefits. But the good news was I would get the higher rate as if I had waited to apply.

    I was able to rearrange my schedule so that the kids did not spend their school years in daycare and had Mom and Dad as tutors. Frugal life, but it worked

    We did the same sort of. Decided when my wife got pregnant that she would quit working and stay home to take care of the child. Get him through school, etc. It worked but as you said there were some lean times. Wife did sub at the school which allowed her to be home with the child. But it was not often and did not pay much. We got through it by missing out on a lot and severely restricting our extracurricular activities. Would not do it any other way.

    Yes, my share of shit sandwiches, often w/o the bread

    Extra chunky or smooth?

  54. My wife also got bit by the last year of employment wage calculation. She suffered a workplace injury in May 2016. She broke her shoulder, but the Labor & Industries (L&I) rules prevented proper diagnosis for 3 months. She spent 6 months receiving payments from L&I in lieu of wages. L&I wages do not count towards SS. Her 2016 credited wages ended up being 30% less than her previous year. The way SS averages past wages counts the most recent years count as a higher percentage than past years. It is not a true average. Long story short, this caused her to lose about $400/month in SS benefit.

    Basically “everyone*” who retires gets screwed in some way. There seems to be a narrow window from the time you receive your annual SS statement (2 to 3 months before your birthday) and your birthday, IF/UNLESS your birthday is during the first 5 months of the year. Confused? Sorry SS is not and don’t you forget it.

    * “everyone” means us folks who actually followed all the rules. Never contribute, then you get it all.

  55. Long story short, this caused her to lose about $400/month in SS benefit

    I was told by the SS office that this gets recalculated twice a year. After my SS wages were updated on their web site I went back into the office to inquire about adjusting my payments. Chap said it was automatic and there was nothing I needed to do. I asked if the adjustment was back dated. Oh no, of course not. Only payments going forward are affected. He said I should have informed them of the discrepancy when I filed. I told him I did and was told if I challenged the earnings my payments would be delayed. He just said I would have to wait as there was nothing he could do.

    this caused her to lose about $400/month in SS benefit

    Use the online calculator and see what kind of difference the change in earnings makes.

  56. Ain’t it nice how low-level bureaucrats are actually the buggers who run our lives and can make of them either tedium or misery but never anything in our favor?

  57. re bureaucrats, -shrug-. I’ve pushed the notion of zombie patriots before, and I have plans along those lines if something else doesn’t kill me first.

  58. I’ll be fascinated to see what, if anything, I collect from SS. I worked in the US long enough to qualify for benefits, and theoretically even having given up citizenship does not eliminate my eligibility. Strange as that sounds, but I suppose it’s due to various international treaties: you accrue benefits where you work.

    I’ll also be collecting some pittance from Germany. I suppose I should check in Scotland, seeing as I also worked there for a couple of years, but likely not long enough to matter. All in all, retirement will make for lots of fascinating paperwork…

    For SS: I would really like to get my account set up on their website, if only to prevent some fraudster from doing it. But this is the US: foreign countries don’t exist, so they don’t accept foreign addresses on the website.

    p.s. @SteveF: There are tens of millions of them, and they breed behind the kitchen cabinets. One zombie patriot can’t take down enough to make a difference.

  59. I’ll be fascinated to see what, if anything, I collect from SS. I worked in the US long enough to qualify for benefits, and theoretically even having given up citizenship does not eliminate my eligibility

    Good luck with that. You would have to deal with the SS system via snail mail and will accumulate massive delays. Many of them on purpose by the goons that work for SS. Other option is to make a visit to the states when you turn 66 and apply in person. As to theory on being qualified good luck finding a goon that understands the situation and the rules. SS is getting almost as complicated as the IRS.

    It also appears you will be automatically taxed 15% by the U.S. on any money you receive from social security.

    https://www.taxesforexpats.com/articles/retirement/can-i-collect-social-security-benefits-if-i-give-up-us-citizenship.html

    foreign countries don’t exist, so they don’t accept foreign addresses on the website

    Is there a mail forwarding service in the U.S. that will forward your mail to where you live? That way you could have a U.S. address for mail.

  60. I may have mentioned this site before as a place to get copies of your vital records:
    https://www.vitalchek.com/

    I have used it to get multiple copies of all the family’s records. In most cases the cost was reasonable and service fast, but some states make everything difficult. I recommend you get at least 2 more copies than you think you may ever need as in most cases multiple copies are cheaper per.

    Beware if you choose another site to do this. This site, VitalChek, is a facilitator to easily get the records from the state/place that maintains them. Some sites just provide “copies” but they do not come from the official/authorized source.

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