Wednesday, 4 October 2017

09:36 – It was 44.5F (7C) when I took Colin out at 0645, mostly clear.

We treat our deep pantry like a personal supermarket. Barbara even keeps a “shopping” list on the refrigerator to remind us what to bring up when we go downstairs. For example, the other day she was running out of vegetable oil in the kitchen, so we carried a gallon from the deep pantry upstairs.

For pantry items that we’ve reached “steady-state” on, as soon as we remove one from the deep pantry, I immediately add one to my Walmart shopping cart. Whether I actually order it or not depends on the current price.

For example, a month or so ago, I ordered eight one-gallon jugs of vegetable oil from Walmart at $4.77 each. When I looked this morning, they were $6.18 each, a 30% jump. Unfortunately, there’s nothing unusual about such radical price changes on Walmart and Amazon. In fact, 30% is actually pretty minor. Even so, I just added a gallon jug to my cart. I’ll wait until the price drops again before I order a replacement jug. If it drops a lot–I wouldn’t be surprised to see $3.50 at some point–I’ll order several while the price is very low.

Often the price changes are even more radical. For example, a month ago Walmart had Augason Farms #10 cans of potato slices priced at $4.99 each ($4.42 each with shipping discount). That was an excellent price, so I ordered eight cans. A day or so later, Walmart’s price on that product had quadrupled to about $19/can. As of this morning, it’s down to $9.98/can, which is exactly twice what I paid a month ago.

I think it’s all about a war between Walmart’s and Amazon’s pricing algorithms. Each often tries to price just a bit lower than the other on a particular product, and it ends up looping. For example, a few months ago, Walmart had #10 cans of Augason powdered eggs priced at $12.50/can. (Amazon, IIRC, was $12.99 at the same time.) I ordered only four cans because I didn’t really need any more. A day or two later when I checked prices, Walmart and Amazon were both back up to $37/can, which was three times what I’d paid. As of this morning, Walmart and Amazon are both (coincidentally…) at $34.75/can.

And it’s not just Augason products. For example, some months ago, I noticed that Walmart had 5-pound bags of their store-brand macaroni for $2.48/bag. Less than $0.50/pound was a good price, so I ordered 50 bags. (I would have ordered 100 bags, but I figured Barbara would give me a hard enough time about 50.) Within a day or so after I ordered, their price had jumped to $5.48/bag, a 121% increase, where it remains as of this morning.

The lesson here is that Walmart and Amazon prices can vary dramatically day-to-day and even hour-to-hour. So keep an eye on their prices for stuff you need and when you see a good/great price, take advantage of it. Don’t buy one or two units; buy 20 or 50 or 100, assuming you have use for that much.


Which brings me to something that really pisses me off. Affiliate links gone mad. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t trust prepping web sites that sell products, directly or via affiliate links. That calls into question their objectivity, to put it mildly.

The other day I came across a recent article on one of these sites that was recommending various canned meat products. One of those was Costco canned chicken. That’s fine. We have 50 or more cans of Costco chicken in our deep pantry, and it’s a good product. The problem was, instead of linking to the Costco site–where a six-pack costs $12, $2/can–the article linked to Amazon, which was selling a four-pack for $30, $7.50/can. Why? Because Amazon pays affiliates for linking to their outrageously overpriced product, while Costco does not.

Every other product link in that article went to an extremely high-priced version of a product. Instead of linking to Keystone Ground Beef for $6.28 for a 28-ounce can at Walmart, the article linked to the competing Yoder product at twice or more the price. But the worst of all was Sweet Sue canned whole chicken. At HEB, it sells for something like $5.50/can. The article instead linked to a third-party seller on Amazon, which was selling it for $51 per can. Give me a break. That goes beyond sleazy.

Again, the moral is Buyer Beware. Particularly when it comes to following product links on prepping websites.

68 thoughts on “Wednesday, 4 October 2017”

  1. It’s the ‘convenience’ tradeoff. Someone finds the convenience of the provided link worth it. Or the link generates NO revenue, and just clutters up the page.

    I’ve noticed that there is a whole mini-industry of people doing ‘regional arbitrage’ with certain food products. There are lots of regional brands, or brands with regional variations, and national brands with only regional distribution of their product. There are ebay and amazon sellers who capitalize on this, and charge really crazy prices to sell a product that someone may have a ‘jones’ for.

    The Sweet Sue canned chicken is a good example. Try finding ‘Scrapple’ or ‘Maypo’ hot breakfast cereal.

    I don’t know if the sellers are actually making any money at it, but if they do sell, they are filling a need….

    n

    (but you are correct that using your position of trust, as a trusted authority, to steer people toward sales that benefit you but not the buyer, is sleazy.)

  2. And I just noticed that Costco has a new feature on their website, called Costco Grocery. Free shipping with a $75 order; otherwise $3 shipping PER ITEM.

  3. The Sweet Sue canned whole chicken is an interesting example. I’d never heard of it until some months ago, when someone (possibly you) linked to it. I’d never heard of HEB, either, but I went over to their website and found they sold on-line.

    So I added $50 worth (I think that was 10 cans) to my cart, expecting that they’d have free shipping available for whatever minimum order amount. They didn’t. It was purely weight/distance based shipping costs, and they wanted another $50 in shipping. NFW.

    As it turns out, I’m glad I didn’t order the stuff. I’ve since read numerous reviews and articles about it, and the product is apparently pretty bad. One article said the “whole chicken” was the size of your fist (another said a Cornish hen), and several articles/reviews mentioned that it came out in a gelatinous mass and tasted terrible.

  4. re spinning metal hard drives, is there any consensus on which brand to go with? I’ve gotten lost in all the comments here and the reviews in various places. So far as I can tell, no drive manufacturer makes reliable drives. Presumably that’s not quite true.

    This is specifically for an internal drive for a laptop, 1-2TB, if that matters.

    TIA

  5. Incidentally, I probably don’t need to say this, but when I recommend and/or link to a product, it’s because I believe it’s a good product, and you’ll never find an affiliate link on my site because I don’t believe it’s honest to use them. I may be mistaken about something. In fact, I’m sure I’m mistaken about a lot of things. But since I started posting on the Internet more than 30 years ago, I’ve never attempted to profit at the expense of my readers.

  6. Free shipping with a $75 order; otherwise $3 shipping PER ITEM.

    $3 to ship the 40 lb bag of rice or 25 lb bag of beans?

    The new H-Mart near our house has been “Coming Soon” for almost a year. We used to buy our bulk rice from the Beaverton, OR store when we lived in Vantucky.

    If the H-Mart doesn’t open soon, we will have to make our semi-annual bulk rice run into Austin (shudder) proper.

  7. I just took a quick look at the products they offer in that program, and I didn’t notice any really heavy items.

  8. Well, I haven’t tasted it, but as to size, it has to fit in the can….

    The gelatinous mass is whatever it’s packed in, probably literal gelatin, or else it’s fat and water. Heat it up and it melts into liquid broth. I haven’t been able to find it locally at any of the HEB stores, even though they list it as available. I bought it for variety. I buy lots of stuff, esp imports, for variety. I also stack stuff I wouldn’t normally eat, but again, variety…esp if it is inexpensive.

    The Sweet Sue products I have eaten were all good, Chicken ala King, and chunked chicken.

    DAK ham has gelatin goo in the can, and doesn’t taste as good as spiral slice… but so what? It’s edible, and it’s in a can. Almost no meat is going to be as tasty from a can as fresh. Peas and green beans, carrots, asparagus, and anything else that is normally cooked from fresh won’t be as good from a can.

    Anyway, the only point I’m trying to make is that eating from cans is a compromise. Even though we do eat from our canned food, fresh is plentiful and cheap so that’s what we prefer and eat most of the time. Who wouldn’t?

    Canned food, even lima beans, will beat the hell out of NO food if it comes to that……..

    n

  9. “It’s the ‘convenience’ tradeoff. Someone finds the convenience of the provided link worth it. ”

    I think it’s less convenience and more ignorance.

    Vendors like Amazon, Walmart, and Costco also depend on ignorance. In a perfect free market with perfect transparency and full awareness on the part of customers, there’s a race to the bottom on pricing. Obfuscating pricing information is one of the few mechanisms vendors have left to allow them to charge more than the going rate.

    For example, all of the Costco Grocery items I looked at mentioned that they “may” also be available at your local warehouse. But the only pricing information they provide is the on-line Grocery price. They know who I am. I’m logged in. They know which warehouse is my local one. They know what that warehouse is currently charging for each item. Why not provide both prices? On-line Grocery price and Warehouse price. That way I could compare. If item X is $18.99 Grocery price and $12.99 Warehouse price, I can decide whether to order it on-line or just wait for our next Costco run. At times, it’ll be worth paying the higher on-line price; at other times, not. Why should Costco care? We need that information readily available.

  10. anything else that is normally cooked from fresh won’t be as good from a can.

    I was raised on Del Monte canned spinach. Now can’t stand the fresh stuff. It has to be canned or nothing.

  11. I was raised on Del Monte canned spinach. Now can’t stand the fresh stuff. It has to be canned or nothing.

    My brother and I blame crappy canned veggies for our childhood hate of all things vegetable. Now that we are adults we only eat fresh or frozen and we love our veggies. Mushy discolored crap in a can is no way to eat vegetables (or fruit). Of course, from a prepping perspective, canned is the way to go. However, for daily consumption I prefer fresh or frozen. I don’t how, for example, you eat a mushroom from a can and a fresh mushroom and tell they are at all similar.

  12. “At times, it’ll be worth paying the higher on-line price; at other times, not. Why should Costco care? We need that information readily available.”

    Agreed, but I suspect that most people are conditioned to instant gratification, and they know that, so it’s in their best interest to capture a transaction NOW while the customer is actively thinking about buying. If you price compare, you might delay the purchase, and then forget about it, or find it somewhere else, and they lose the sale.

    We are certainly different in our behavior from typical consumers.

    What I find distasteful is customized pricing based on their relationship to you that doesn’t maximize YOUR value. Again that is something they are not in business to do, but they tout the RELATIONSHIP as a benefit. It’s not a benefit if they use it to get more money from you.

    Amazon has been busted offering normal or higher prices but CALLING them sale prices, which is illegal and a different issue.

    I don’t have a problem with demand or surge pricing, or even “price gouging” in general, but I want the transparency too. “If you want this item RIGHT THIS F’ING MINUTE, we can ship from our Houston warehouse and prioritize your transaction, but it will cost you $10 extra, or you can get it at our normal price which assumes 2-4 day deliver from whichever warehouse works best for us….”

    I’m sure if you’re buying cough syrup in the middle of the night for the sick kid you can’t leave alone, and won’t bring the other 3 kids with you, you might want to pay $10 extra.

    On the other hand, if you just searched for “sick kid cough medicine” online, and amazon subsequently raises the price of the cough syrup they are offering ONLY TO YOU, and only because they know you have an especial need, that’s sleazy.

    n

  13. re spinning metal hard drives, is there any consensus on which brand to go with? I’ve gotten lost in all the comments here and the reviews in various places. So far as I can tell, no drive manufacturer makes reliable drives. Presumably that’s not quite true.

    This is specifically for an internal drive for a laptop, 1-2TB, if that matters.

    Western Digital is repackaging old Sandisk SSD drives in their Blue (efficient) series. Here is a WD Blue 1TB PC SSD – SATA 6 Gb/s 2.5 Inch Solid State Drive – WDS100T1B0A drive for $280:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXPENRR/

  14. re spinning metal hard drives, is there any consensus on which brand to go with? I’ve gotten lost in all the comments here and the reviews in various places. So far as I can tell, no drive manufacturer makes reliable drives.

    The only spinning metal hard drive I’ve purchased for a laptop recently was the 1 GB FireCuda SSHD in the MacBook Pro I use as a Windows 7 laptop.

    So far so good, but YMMV. Speed isn’t quite an SSD, but it is better than a typical laptop hard drive. Capacity is excellent for the price (I paid $69 at Newegg last year), and I don’t have to worry whether the OS supports the SSD with the “trim” operation.

    (Yes, the FireCuda is Seagate — hawk, spit — but I keep critical files backed up.)

    My other laptops have Crucial SSDs, m300 or mx300 series.

  15. I am just short of being completely anal OCD when it comes to price tracking. It pays off.

    Awhile ago I added an add-on to Firefox called Amazon Assistant (https://www.amazon.com/gp/BIT/).

    As I am shopping on the internet it is watching what I am looking at and presents a drop down if Amazon has the product. The interesting thing is that I know what I have seen or bought that item for on Amazon, but the last few months it has started price matching or beating what is the price if I had not been using the assistant.

    As I believe @RBT and/or others have mentioned before Amazon has some whacky pricing mechanism that varies with how you are shopping. I think that they have programmed in your habits, if you are a regular shopper you get presented prices based on your shopping savvy. Not a regular shopper is sometimes presented with a lower or teaser price.

    I also use these 2 Firefox add-ons to track pricing on Amazon:
    The Camelizer https://camelcamelcamel.com/
    Keepa https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/user/Keepa-com/

    They each have their pros and cons, but together they help greatly in speeding wisely and informed.

  16. So I was gonna go thru the derp in this article (by Michael Snyder NOT Tyler Durden- people gotta quit making that mistake at ZH)

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-04/16-unanswered-questions-about-las-vegas-shooting-mainstream-media-doesnt-want-talk-a

    But Aesop continues to poke at the inconsistencies in the Vegas story and takes down the article quite well.

    http://raconteurreport.blogspot.com/

    One good quote:

    “working through the timelines and physical layouts of the details of this shooting, his sketchy background, quiet rich guy no one thinks about personality, disappearing for months at a time, piles of money, overseas transfers of large sums of cash, multiple houses but all sparsely furnished, and on and on and on, keep pointing to a planned complex operation by operatives, not a random act by a lone individual with a screw loose. Certainly not a lackluster retired 64-y.o accountant.”

    Like I said before, rogue operative, and patsy.

    BTW, when I listened to the video during one of the strings of fire, I thought, “Isn’t that a belt fed?” [because of the more chunka-chunka sound] Which some are suggesting would explain what looks like a second shooter in some of the video, and explains the presence of the AK among all the ARs- provides a reason for the 7.62 from the MG.

    n

    (and once again, I’m compelled to reiterate that I’m fine, healthy, well balanced, and NOT AT ALL likely to find myself dead from any natural causes.)

  17. “Because Amazon pays affiliates for linking to their outrageously overpriced product, while Costco does not.”

    Is Amazon’s price ever better than Costco’s? Do you only buy from Amazon as a last resort?

  18. Seagate used to be (15 years ago) my automatic choice. I and others had had too many WD failures. Now I avoid Seagate like the plague and buy WD (or LaCie? externals). I don’t really keep up with this stuff any more. (I was a Quantum fan for a few years from 1997.)

  19. I just looked at docciss modems and amazon beat everyone.

    As part of the cord cutting push at our house, I finally replaced our ~22 Mbps Motorola DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem with an Arris SB6183. Totally painless swap out on Spectrum, and I’m getting 67 Mbps on a 100 Mbps line behind a splitter in the junction box.

    I’m looking forward to removing that splitter when the TV goes away.

  20. “Is Amazon’s price ever better than Costco’s? Do you only buy from Amazon as a last resort?”

    I’ve placed 120+ orders with Amazon in the last year, which is pretty typical for me. Some were because Amazon had the best price, others because they were the only one of my regular vendors who carried what I wanted. Orders ranged from $10 or so to $1,000+.

  21. I also got an Arris 6183, picked up at Walmart (price comparable to BigRiver), and was available at the local store.

    No problems, works fine. Getting 90-95MB download via test at http://www.fast.com . Similar results at http://www.speedtest.net .

    Wave Broadband had to replace the cable from house to street box, but that didn’t cost anything. Interior cables (box to wall where the modem is) tested fine.

  22. I also got an Arris 6183, picked up at Walmart (price comparable to BigRiver), and was available at the local store.

    @RickH – If you are on Comcast, keep your receipt in a safe place. Leaving WA State, the cable company tried to claim ownership of my Motorola DOCSIS 2.0 modem due to a snafu in their system.

    I said, “This is a really bad modem I bought in a hurry for $40. You wouldn’t distribute these to customers paying $5/mo rental.”

    “We have many of those out as rentals.”

  23. @Greg : I turned in my Wave-issued modem after the free year about 2 years ago. Rental has not been on the bill since then, so all is well.

    The Arris 6183 cost about $75, as I recall.

  24. Y’all are talking fresh or fresh canned(as in green) limas. I prefer the dried ones cooked slow with a ham hock. (onions, celery, carrots and some chicken broth. salt and pepper)

    Is fresh canned an oxymoron?

  25. I rarely look at bills like cable/internet. Did a couple of months ago and discovered Spectrum (was Brighthouse) charging me rental on the modem I own. They fixed it but told me the could only refund a couple of months. Crooks I tell you! Next Earthlink told me I wasn’t paying for my email that is included with my cable bill. Whose fault I can’t say but EL had to send it to a cable billing clerk that took 3 days to find I was indeed paying.
    Can’t trust any of them.

  26. My laptop needs to go in for repair. Although I do have full backups of my data files, what should I get to back up everything else?

    Assume that all OS/programs/data need to be restored because the visit to repair resulted in a ‘fresh’ OS install, and all the programs data was lost.

    What tool is best to backup everything, so I can restore everything? Or to restore programs on a new/fresh OS drive?

    Assume that I have an empty 2-5TB external drive I can use. Some have mentioned Acronis software.

    Recommendations?

  27. It’s not free anymore, but I’ve always been fond of
    https://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/index.htm
    the EaseUs products have saved me hours of headache & heartache.

    That won’t get you anything you have tied to your hardware, but it will get you a complete copy that you could (in a pinch) plug into the laptop & run. Useful for, for instance, if you have to deactivate an Adobe product before installing it back on the same laptop again.

  28. I’d get a drive that can go into the laptop and clone the laptop to it. Acronis works well as does Easus. I prefer to use a separate computer that I know is working well. USB adapters to SATA drives work just fine but get USB3

  29. Assuming I needed to send the computer in with a hard drive for it to be repaired, I’d pop the drive and connect it to one of those drive-to-USB thingies (there’s got to be a name, but danged if I can think of it) and make a copy onto a bare drive, then send the computer in with the copy.

  30. Right. What dkreck said.

    (Dang it, skunked by a few seconds. I gotta type faster. Or rather, cut the typo rate down to, say, one typo per keystroke.)

  31. What tool is best to backup everything, so I can restore everything? Assume that I have an empty 2-5TB external drive I can use. Some have mentioned Acronis software.

    I use Robocopy for all of our backups. No special backup file that nothing else can read. No compression of backed up files. No restoration of backed up files (performed manually). But I am backing up 15+ PCs to a single device.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robocopy

    Here is my backup.bat script:

    mkdir logs

    robocopy \gui1\c gui1_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logsgui1_c.txt /tee
    robocopy scc sc_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logssc_c.txt /tee
    robocopy scd sc_d /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logssc_d.txt /tee
    robocopy ksc ks_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logsks_c.txt /tee
    robocopy idc id_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logsid_c.txt /tee
    robocopy orc or_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logsor_c.txt /tee
    robocopy hic hi_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logshi_c.txt /tee
    robocopy txc tx_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logstx_c.txt /tee
    robocopy cac ca_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logsca_c.txt /tee
    robocopy ioc io_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logsio_c.txt /tee
    robocopy ndc nd_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logsnd_c.txt /tee
    robocopy coc co_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logsco_c.txt /tee
    robocopy sdc sd_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logssd_c.txt /tee
    robocopy wvc wv_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logswv_c.txt /tee
    robocopy mnc mn_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logsmn_c.txt /tee
    robocopy okc ok_c /s /e /v /r:0 /xj /log:logsok_c.txt /tee

    attrib -h -s gui1_c
    attrib -h -s sc_c
    attrib -h -s sc_d
    attrib -h -s ks_c
    attrib -h -s id_c
    attrib -h -s or_c
    attrib -h -s hi_c
    attrib -h -s tx_c
    attrib -h -s ca_c
    attrib -h -s io_c
    attrib -h -s nd_c
    attrib -h -s co_c
    attrib -h -s ok_c
    attrib -h -s sd_c
    attrib -h -s wv_c
    attrib -h -s mn_c

    date /t
    time /t

    echo “” > lasttime

    dir

    dir logs

  32. I use both EaseUS and Macrium products (paid versions), belt and suspenders (iDrive for cloud).

    I will never allow anyone other than myself to work on my computers/laptops/smart devices. You can be sure if you leave your drive in place it will be thoroughly scanned for your personal information.

    Computers/laptops/smart devices are disposable devices, if you can’t fix it destroy it.

  33. And here we may go again, “A hurricane may move into the Gulf this weekend”
    https://spacecityweather.com/a-hurricane-may-move-into-the-gulf-this-weekend/

    “This morning we touched upon the likelihood of a tropical system coming into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, and now that the National Hurricane Center has declared this a tropical depression there has been heightened focus on the system. As the depression is currently under low wind shear and over warm water (nearly 85 degrees), we can expect this to become Tropical Storm Nate soon. Before we discuss the track and intensity forecast for this storm, I want to be clear that at this time we really do not view this system as a significant threat to Texas.”

  34. Great minds……

    Yah, but I’m a knucklehead. Perhaps you should be concerned.

  35. Does Acronis let you clone a drive? Or just back it up? I’m not seeing the clone thing.

  36. Additional note: the laptop has a 256G SSD (for OS and programs), and a 1TB internal drive that contains all docs/data.

    I’ve got all the docs/data backed up, but want to copy installed program files/settings/etc to a backup location that can be easily restored to a new drive.

    I may make a second copy of the 1TB docs/data (just ordered a 2TB external USB 3 drive) and remove all docs/data before sending the system off to the ‘hospital’.

    One of the hinges on the laptop has failed, causing the case to separate a bit from the display and bottom section if not closed carefully. No problems with the operation of the system (using it right now). I’m hoping that a replacement case is all that is needed, or perhaps them moving the SSD and hard disk to a new case.

  37. On the Driveway Announcer project front, I just bought a “Dakota Alert Driveway Vehicle Detection Probe Alarm Duty Cycle Probe DCPA-2500” on eBay for $199.58.
    I had 37¢ in eBay Bucks. 🙂

    It uses a magnetic sensor you bury next to the driveway.

    Shopping around, prices range from what I paid to about $350 from the manufacturer. One site had an agreeable price but I couldn’t add to cart even with Adblock Plus turned off.

    Reviews are mostly good. With 2500 feet of range I’ll be able to install this way up the driveway and have the transmitter on the back side of a tree. Fifty feet of wire on the sensor is a big, big plus for making this stealthy.

    Mighty Mule has spotty reviews for their $70 product I can pick up at Tractor Supply. I’m good with that, most reviews are by grumpy people. That it has just ten feet of wire from sensor to transmitter is a deal breaker for me. 400 feet max range is do-able but simply not enough wire unless I plant a fence post next to the driveway. Which makes it too obvious…. might as well run an old fashioned rubber hose across the drive. However, it would work great for two of my neighbors. They can see their entrance gate from the house.

    More after I get this installed.

  38. Re cloning a hard drive: Clonezilla

    It is a Linux program and operating system combined. Download the ISO and install on a USB drive. It makes an exact duplicate of the drive. Have used it for years, just make sure you know which is your source drive and which the clone.

  39. Comparing cloning and transfer software:
    In my many many years of real world experience using both types for not only my computers and “customers/friends”, whenever I tried cloning things went wrong and I have had to use the transfer tool (used to use PCmover but now use Ease Todo PCTrans).

    With cloning you are getting both the good and bad that is on the source drive, drive errors and all. You only get the software/file problems with the transfer software.

    Save yourself some time and frustration and use transfer software.

  40. I’ve heard good things about Macrium Reflect. Never used it.

    I’ve a number of licences for Acronis, various versions. I got sick of the constant upgrades when Windows changed versions, for which I had to pay, the poor support (about one month included.)

  41. The family of Mr. Nick Flandry regretfuly announce his passing.

    Although outwardly calm, and claiming to be well balanced, Mr. Flannery took his own life, while alone at home. He shot himself six times on the left side with his Model 1911, 17 times in the front of his chest with his Glock, and six times in his right side with his Smith&Wesson. After falling to the floor he then finished himself off with a full magazine of deer slugs from his Remington shotgun to the back of his own head.

    Police say they do not suspect foul play, although the FBI has taken all his digital devices and media.

    Services are this Sunday, there will be no viewing.

  42. It’s like the FBI’s James Comey meme:

    “I don’t always choose not to prosecute criminal activity, but when I do, it’s because I read my suicide note in Hillary’s email.”

    Still hale and hearty, but thinking that a lot of speculation might not be particularly safe. Aesop gets way more links than I could….

    n

  43. Out of curiosity more than anything, I did some cursory research on bump stocks yesterday. None available at Midway USA or Brownell’s, but a vendor on GunBroker listed 500 on hand, shipped from OH for $179. Took another peek tonight, that vendor lists 9 left for $499 each. Other suppliers at GunBroker are similarly priced.

    I also see La Feinstein has a bill to ban ’em. Big surprise.

    ICU MrAtoz! 😉

  44. Better grab your “bump stocks” before Congress outlaws even thinking about them. The bill basically says you “you can’t fire faster than your finger can pull”. No tinkering of any kind. I wonder if they will pay to collect all the bumps out there already. Naw.

    I can’t even post about all the hot takes on the 2A and “silencers” put out by Libturdians and RINOS. I thought CongressPukes went through a class on the Constitution or sumpin’. Must be taught by Crone Ginsburg, know hater of the Bird Cage Liner of the FUSA.

    Edit: Hi Mr. Nightraker 🙂

  45. Well, if you can’t modify the gun some genius will figure how to modify the finger with some sort of glove reciprocator. Nothing like a ban to get creativity going.

    There is a shorty 12 gauge from Mossberg and Remington that manages to skirt the NFA. Not useful from on high as in Vegas, but worrisome that it will continue to be available.

    The hearing protection bill is dead and there is grumbling about the lack of digital tracing, like that would do anything good.

    Must we have another hurricane to divert the attention of the Feddies? Sheesh.

    And why did it take LVPD over an hour to descend on the turd?

  46. The bill basically says you “you can’t fire faster than your finger can pull”.

    I declare an ADA violation. People with Parkinson’s can shoot faster than anyone else, and that’s not fair.

  47. Lacking other data at hand, Mr. Ringo’s Theory is most reasonable. I note that well over 90% of mass shooters of recent decades are on or just finished SSRI’s (antidepressants). I’ve seen a report that the Vegas turd was on Valium, a barbiturate, but nothing else, yet.

  48. I’ll wait for the forensic accounting. The guy looks like an operative to me.

    n

    added- meaning that if his money all checks out, then it’s more likely his LIFE checks out and this isn’t an extension of a hidden life.

    If the money doesn’t check out, well, we might never know that anyway.

    Drug dealer, mule, shadow warrior, assassin, or transporter, his life looks like a cover story.

  49. Be advised:

    Shitbags tried to hack our bank accounts this past 24 hours; long story
    made short: somebody made test runs by withdrawing/transferring small
    amounts (less than a dollar) from our accounts (TD Bank) (to make sure
    they are active accounts) and then they tried for $1,000 and wife saw it
    (money being sent to a credit union out in Minnesota and someone
    applying for an AMEX card using our accounts). She called the bank’s
    fraud department and they’ve now frozen our accounts and she has to go
    in tomorrow and we need new ATM cards, new checkbooks, new account
    numbers, passwords, etc.

    The fraud peeps at the bank said they thought it could be related to the
    recent Equifax mess, where the CEO retired with $90 million, the top
    execs knew of the breach and did nothing (except sell their stock), and
    now they’re blaming a solitary IT drone who allegedly failed to apply a
    security patch, yeah, sure, classic.

    So a word to the wise; check all your accounts daily and consider
    freezing your credit ASAP.

  50. Shitbags tried to hack our bank accounts this past 24 hours;

    Geez! Sorry to hear that Mr. OFD. Maybe the IRS is trying to finish you off. As a reward, I see the Feds are giving Equifax a big juicy no bid contract with access to tons of personal banking stuff. There is no justice for these fuckers.

  51. So-called Dave, I don’t suppose your real name is Job? It never ends, it seems.

    Or you’re the greatest liar since John “memory seared — seared in me” Kerry. If that’s the case, can you tell us the one about coming under fire when you were walking off a plane? No, wait, that one might be a true story. OK, can you tell us a whopper about your subpoenaed documents being missing for years but oops they turned up in a box in the living room?

  52. Sure, give Equifax the IRS portfolio, makes sense, don’t it? WTF, over?

    WRT Job, Vinegar John, and Cankles stories; did not come under fire when walking off a plane but on my initial foray into SEA, the heat, humidity and stench nearly knocked me on my ass. It was like unto walking into a sauna where somebody had died a couple of weeks ago amidst a pile of garbage. Did come under fire when hopping out of choppers a couple of times, though; exciting!

    Documents missing for years here were lost in two flooded cellars back in Montpeculiar, including tons of pictures and my childhood stamp collections. I doubt any of that will ever turn up in our living room, and even if it did, we wouldn’t find it right away under the piles of laundry and other flotsam and jetsam.

    Wife was on top of the situation right away and called the bank immediately and spent hours on the phone with them; she’ll visit them tomorrow and start reconstructing our damn accounts with all new chit. Extremely annoying.

    I would like thirty minutes in a room with the perps and a crowbar and fully juiced car battery.

  53. @OFD: Wow, good for your wife to be on top of that so fast. Dunno if you care, but the bank can surely figure out how they were accessing the accounts.

    What I don’t get: There’s no information that Equifax (or any other company like that) should have, that should suffice to apply for credit, or really do anything. Name? public. SSN? public. Address? public. Sure, Equifax puts all this info in one convenient shopping basket, but none of it is proof of identity.

    What it really comes down to is lax security on the part of the banks. Which, of course, they foist off on the public, as if it’s somehow not their fault.

  54. Bank security. Some years ago I was acquainted with a bank IT security guy and somebody had tried repeatedly to bust into his bank. He said if he ever caught the fucker, he’d beat him to death with a hammer and laugh while he screamed.

    You’d think wouldn’t ya, that banks and other financial institutions would have Rock of Gibraltar security these days but apparently not.

    Off to the Land of Nod…Pax vobiscum, fratres…

  55. EaseUS To Do backup also has my nod as well. I still have systems with Vista and all the in-between Windows versions up to Windows 10. Having a single backup and restore utility across the board gives one less thing to worry or think about.

    There is another possible scenario that may require a different product. One of my laptops died and I did not want to go through re-installs or lengthy restore processes with dubious results because of difference in the hardware an required drivers. I wanted to use the surviving disk in a different laptop. For that scenario check out Paragon Adaptive Restore. It is fast and effective.

  56. So a word to the wise; check all your accounts daily and consider
    freezing your credit ASAP

    I check my accounts every day. Credit card accounts are set to send me a text message whenever any transaction is attempted. Chase VISA will generally not allow transactions from outside my area, such as the southeast. When I traveled to Las Vegas I had to inform them that I would be in that area to allow the card to work. Has always been that way for foreign travel but is now expanding to regions in the states.

    What it really comes down to is lax security on the part of the banks

    Actually I think most banks have quite good security. Certainly better than Equifax. Banks are much more regulated and get audited by multiple organizations and security is one of those items that is high on the list.

    withdrawing/transferring small amounts (less than a dollar) from our accounts (TD Bank) (to make sure they are active accounts) and then they tried for $1,000

    Those are ACH transactions which anyone can originate against your accounts. All they need is your account number. The bank number (ABA number) can be gotten from the WEB and many times the bank web site. It is public information.

    That is why checks are dangerous. I could send OFD a check for $1.00, he endorses on the back “For Deposit Only, 123456789”, signs it and goes on his way. When I get the digital image of the check I now have his account number, ABA is known, boom, I attempt the ACH transaction, or worse, I print multiple checks drawn on his account. Never, Never, Never write your account number on the check. Simply endorsing a check for deposit with “For Deposit Only” is all that is needed. You don’t even need to sign the check if you are depositing the entire amount in your account, which is the recommended option.

    Had my wife’s purse stolen which contained credit cards. This was on a Friday night at a football game when it was discovered. Immediately called the police, then the credit card companies. None of the cards had been used and were immediately blocked. New cards were ordered. VISA took 10 days to get me a new ATM card and credit card.

    Discover Card arrived on a FEDEX truck the next morning at 10:30 AM. Discover had overnighted a new card, Saturday delivery. About 12 hours for a new card to arrive. Well done Discover.

    I like the new feature on credit apps for phones where you can temporarily disable transactions on the cards. I have the apps on my phone and I keep all the cards disabled until I need to use them. Once I have done the transaction the cards are disabled again.

    Yeh, I am paranoid. There is a reason. I have been a victim twice. Credit Union and the credit companies resolved the issue so I was not out any money. Took a little bit of effort but not too bad.

    One other tip. Use your credit card, not your debit card for transactions. Especially at first time locations. Or if you use a debit card use it as a credit card. You have much more protection against fraud. And if you haven’t done so convert all your cards to be cards with chips.

  57. @OFD so sorry that that dark cloud is still following you around. Here’s hoping there is a ray of sunshine real soon.

    You admonition to watch your accounts daily is a good reminder for us all, even if you have alerts on your accounts. I check all our accounts at least twice daily, first thing in the morning and last thing at night (we get up at 0400 and usually go to bed by 2000).

    I got an email this morning from some African bank executive who needs my help transferring a few million dollars and some gold. The spelling and grammar was about the worst I have seen, typical. I’m too busy to reply.

  58. @Ray: That bit you write about checks is the best example of crappy security: your account is completely open to anyone, using only public information. You’re just used to it, but it’s a brain dead stupid system.

  59. your account is completely open to anyone, using only public information

    Actually my credit union uses a different account number on the checks from the real account number. Having the account number on the check does nothing to reveal my true account number. The real account number is looked up when the checks are processed. All that is possible against the account using the account number on the check is processing checks. ACH, ATM, any online activity requires the real account, not the account number on the check.

    My biggest beef against checks is when people, or companies, deposit the checks and put their account number on the back of the check. This allows me to send them a check and get their account number. Same issue arises if someone sends me a check, I have their account number. Using that I can produce checks drawn on their account. Happens all the time with people being sent checks for services and being asked to send some of the money back.

    With ACH, ATM, etc. you have REG-E in your favor. Banks have to prove you did the transaction when you dispute. They also have a small finite time to put the money back into your account while the financial institution investigates. With checks you have to prove you did not do the transaction and generally have to file a police report. The financial institution can take their sweet time before returning any money to your account.

    Checks have been around a long time, brain dead or not, and are not going away. At least they are truncating checks at the first point bank of presentation and just transferring the information electronically. No more getting your canceled checks in the mail.

    I have moved as much as I can to electronic processing. Problem is some places do not want electronic as it costs them a couple of percent of the transaction amount. Some places eat the cost or factor the processing fee into the cost of the product. Until that changes to zero cost for the merchant we will always have checks.

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