Friday, 20 October 2017

09:26 – It was 45.1F (7C) when I took Colin out at 0645, partly cloudy and breezy.

Barbara leaves about 1400 today. She’s cleaning house this morning since she’ll be gone for 10 days and knows I won’t do much (any) cleaning while she’s gone. Then she has last-minute packing to do before she heads out.


The antibiotics seem to be working, albeit more gradually than I expected. In the past, a suitable antibiotic has generally stopped the infection symptoms dead in one day, perhaps two. This time, I saw some benefit after 24 hours in terms of decreased symptom severity and frequency, but it’s been more a gradual tapering off over the last four days than what I expected. I take the last azithromycin tablet at 1500 today. I have sufficient of the cefpodoxime for two doses per day through the weekend. If the symptoms come roaring back on Sunday evening, I may start myself on doxycycline or possibly Augmentin.

80 thoughts on “Friday, 20 October 2017”

  1. I won’t do much (any) cleaning while she’s gone

    There’s a simple truth that women fail to grasp: dirt has its natural level.

    Stop cleaning the house. (Exception for the kitchen, the table you eat at, and probably the bathroom.) The clutter will accumulate and the dust will build up. At some point it will stop getting worse. If you can live with the house as it now is, you can be free of cleaning forever. (With the exceptions noted above.)

  2. That’s always been my belief. The problem is that what guys define as “normal”, women define as “filth and squalor”.

  3. what guys define as “normal”, women define as “filth and squalor”.

    That sounds right. My wife has stopped complaining that I don’t see dirt, because it has become obvious that I really don’t, sometimes not even when she explicitly points it out.

    Oblivious R us

  4. Oblivious R us

    WRONG!

    Your vision and perception are perfect. Your wife, like practically all wives, is fixating on imaginary flaws. Your best path is to ignore her when she’s making up nonsense like that.

  5. I have noticed that as we have aged, neither of us “sees” much of the “dirt” any longer. Dusty baseboards or dust on cabinents or high shelves either doesn’t register or is simply ignored as bending down or climbing step laders become more dificult.
    We have a cleaning lady that comes once a week to get the bits we “can’t see”.

  6. Life is back to normal today, hopefully.

    One of my laptops and desktops caught the Microsoft Fall Creators Update Malware and lost all my data and installed programs.

    Macrium Reflect daily images on WD external drives saved me. iDrive continuous file backups brought everything up to the moment.

    If you are using Windows 10 you had better check all of your update settings. It looks like the first part of the Creators Malware changed my settings to automatically install and not ask permission so that it then could proceed to download the whole malevolent “update”.

    Vigilance and back-up, even if you don’t use Windows.

  7. One of my laptops and desktops caught the Microsoft Fall Creators Update Malware and lost all my data and installed programs.

    I have had no issues on three machines at the house. Desktop too almost two hours to update, Surface only took 20 minutes. Why the difference I don’t know. Have four more systems to update at the church.

    Had a firmware update to the Surface Laptop install last night with no issues.

  8. [snip] My wife has stopped complaining that I don’t see dirt, because it has become obvious that I really don’t, [snip]

    A few yeas before she died, my mother had cataract surgery on both eyes (separately) and had new lenses installed. Then she complained that she had to clean her apartment more often, because she could see the dirt more clearly.

  9. One of my laptops and desktops caught the Microsoft Fall Creators Update Malware and lost all my data and installed programs.

    I didn’t have a problem with the update, but I leave most of the Windows 10 settings “as is” on that machine, a T420 which used to be my “school” laptop.

  10. I had to re-install my laptop the other day – the biggest pain was getting all the same software back on it, with the same settings. I don’t bother backing up the system partition, because Linux makes even that pretty easy, a couple of hours including stuff that doesn’t come with Linux.

    I basically have no data stored on any of my computers. It’s all fetched from Dropbox, or mapped in from our NAS (if I’m at home), or sitting in a GIT repository (for development work). So getting the data back is just a matter of hooking back up to the sources. I really need to get away from Dropbox, though: it’s a great service, but as a European, I really don’t want my data on a US server. Someday I’ll set up an OwnCloud server, or something similar…

  11. I really don’t want my data on a US server.

    The US is pushing to have access to data from US companies with data stored on servers overseas. If they succeed I imagine many companies currently in the US will leave the US to protect their data and the data of their customers.

    Or place a data center on an old oil platform, such platform being located in international waters. Biggest problem would be getting a big enough data pipe.

  12. @Ray: Yep, obviously we’re following that. It’s typical – like the “long arm” statutes used by US courts. Jurisdiction? What’s that?

    Fortunately, European-based services are finally popping up, as people here become aware of the privacy problems from US companies. For example, for file sharing, lots of people now use WeTransfer.com, based in the Netherlands, which promises to keep European data on European servers. There’s a Swiss email provider (Proton Mail) – they started up with a couple of Cern employees looking for a way to keep their private email out of the US. Etc…

  13. people here become aware of the privacy problems from US companies

    Good for them. The US has no damn business with data stored on servers in other countries. Were such countries to demand access to data stored on US servers the US would go ballistic. Such demands are not a one way street. The US are just being overbearing assholes.

    I also think that if I live overseas, make all my money overseas, then the US has no right to tax the money. All that I would be responsible for would be paying SS premiums as that is a benefit that may be paid later. If I were to completely give up my US citizenship then all money that I paid into SS should be immediately refunded.

    But the US is a tax leach, will try and tax and extort any money they can from anyone they are able. Not much different than the states. Oregon did that to me even though I never spent a day in the state. All because of an address on my driver’s license even though I was registered to vote in another state. To Oregon that did not matter. Cost me several hundred dollars in interest and penalties.

  14. No worries, it’s The War on Some Terror. As successful as The War on Poverty, The War on Some Drugs, etc.

    You have a much better chance, by orders of magnitude, of getting blown away by a ‘roided costumed gummint thug or having a piano fall on yer head from ten stories up (real Boston Phoenix ad decades ago: “Death Wish Piano Movers.”)

    on edit: it’s not only the War on Some Terror, but also nearly bankrupt states and the Feds trying to rob our last dimes out here and around the world.

  15. Oregon did that to me even though I never spent a day in the state. All because of an address on my driver’s license even though I was registered to vote in another state. To Oregon that did not matter. Cost me several hundred dollars in interest and penalties.

    If you voted in WA, keep an eye on the Seattle income tax effort. If the city prevails in court, every like-minded municipal and county government in WA State will want their own income tax, and the bureaucrats won’t leave a single stone unturned in the effort to find money.

  16. roided costumed gummint thug or having a piano fall on yer head from ten stories up

    The day is still young.

    The US government is abusive. The crap they do to other countries, the demands they make on other countries would be met with extreme anger from other countries. Imagine if Germany demanded the information from every account in the US maintained by a German citizen. The government would be livid and refuse to comply. Yet the US government expects the same from other countries.

    The US is also the only country that taxes citizens overseas on their earnings overseas. Thus the person gets slapped twice. Filing such tax returns is a nightmare, designed to be complicated on purpose. Makes it easy to make a mistake and thus the US could arrest you for tax fraud based on a simple mistake.

    I talked with the IRS investigator on the phone about the IRS vehicle that ran a stoplight. The agent knew a whole lot about me from just an email address. They were able to call my home phone, knew my address and some other information. Thus they had looked up my tax information. I fear I am in for some very personal audits and intense scrutiny on my tax return. I would not put it beyond the tax people to purposely sabotage my return to make life difficult. Or at least delay my refund for some trumped up reason that would be impossible to contest.

  17. And CA taxes incomes of professional athletes that are incrementally earned for games in the state.

    Well, the pro football players from universities in other states (Notre Dame) are not taxed for games at USC home stadium.

  18. “… the bureaucrats won’t leave a single stone unturned in the effort to find money.”

    They persist in strangling the golden goose that lays the golden eggs. What do they think will happen after that?

    “I would not put it beyond the tax people to purposely sabotage my return to make life difficult. Or at least delay my refund for some trumped up reason that would be impossible to contest.”

    Nor would I. They are a “law” unto themselves and do whatever they please, no matter which National Administrator lives in the White House or which thieves and parasites are elected to Congress or appointed to the Supreme Court. At this point, I’m involuntarily playing the ‘long game’ with them; short of winning the lottery or making a mint at one of our occupations pretty soon, I don’t see much hope of us ever getting out from under them before we croak. We’ve only been paying interest and penalties and the principal just gets bigger. I’ll work a couple more angles and we’ll get a lawyer, but at this rate we’ll have agents knocking on our door in Hell. Or Purgatory. Or wherever. Speaking for myself, actually; saintly wife is going straight to Heaven. My destination remains in question.

  19. Safely arrived in San Diego last night. Staying at the Kona Kai on the bay paid for by the client. 70’s style hotel, $300/night, shitty bed (mattress slumps almost to the box), pay for *everything*, even bottled water in the room. MrsAtoz picked up an Evian bottle, saw $5, and put it down. I broke out the Survvior Pro .o1 micron pump and filled up our collapsible water bottles.

    MrsAtoz’s presentation in on “Social Justice.” lolololololol!!!!!!!

  20. Does the presentation, perchance, draw a comparison between social justice and social disease?

  21. “70’s style hotel, $300/night, shitty bed (mattress slumps almost to the box), pay for *everything*, even bottled water in the room.”

    Wife won’t stay in hotels anymore and she does a LOT of traveling around the country; does the AirB&B’s for half the cost in MUCH nicer accommodations. And meets pretty good regular ol’ Murkan peeps.

    “…a comparison between social justice and social disease?”

    “Social Justice” is almost always some kind of commie agitprop operation, and communism is, of course, a nasty and pernicious disease, often fatal.

  22. Yeah, they’re cutting their own throats now out of desperation; the Left is leaking at the seams and many millions more derps are now wise to them, or getting wise. They’ll do as much damage as possible before they go down, though, and like other countries around the world, they hide and sneak around and hang on for generations, like some kind of nasty and virulent pathogen.

  23. Hey DadCooks…

    Did the Soviets ever get a missile sub into Hudsons Bay? Would that have been easy/worthwhile?

  24. Today’s SJ sensitivity training is for Kalifornia schools, of course. Paid for by Moonbeam, Inc.

  25. “Did the Soviets ever get a missile sub into Hudsons Bay?”

    There’s one sitting out there in Saint Albans Bay right now; THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!

    Actually, one summah day several years ago, A. Solzhenitsyn’s grandkids were out there para-sailing with their mom, his daughter.

    “Burn it baby, burn it !”

    It’s all fake anyway. Fiat currency being printed like it’s Austria in the 1930s and of course all the zeros and ones in cyberspace somewhere. All phony.

    Hard goods are real; food, ammo, tools, gold, silver, etc. Skillz are real and knowledge is real.

    And have I mentioned that I can’t even stand to look at pictures of Ryan and McConnell anymore? Couple of smug, smarmy little RINO cocksuckers I’d love to put up against a firing squad wall.

  26. “Today’s SJ sensitivity training is for Kalifornia schools, of course.”

    One would have thought that they’d had all of that stuff they needed for the next century, but I guess one would have been mistaken. To YOUR benefit, young sir!

    OK, we know what she’s doing there; what’s your gig today?

  27. lol! I’m the burro. Haul books, press PowerPoint advance, play a movie. Use Square to charge books. Also brought laptop since quarterlies are due to various blood sucking tax agencies.

    Going to the “Fish Market” grub hole tonight on the pier.

  28. Going to the “Fish Market” grub hole tonight on the pier.

    What’s the status of Kansas City BBQ? They had a fire and rebuilt since the last time we went to San Diego.

  29. You get paid for that? Wow. I’m in the wrong biz. Yeah, mustn’t forget to shell out the shekels and the vigorish for the thieving parasitical bastards. I tell myself not to hate, but man…

    Is the “Fish Market” a one-off or a chain out there? We gave up on our long-time seafood grub hole recently, due to crappy cooking/serving, and have now moved to an actual seafood distributor, who also runs an out-front take-out and sit-down operation for stuff, like genuine fish-and-chips (man-sized chips, too) and a slew of other baskets and specialties. Stuff comes off the boats that morning, whatever day we’re there, and trucked from NYC or Maine or Boston.

  30. @Miles_Teg said:

    Hey DadCooks…
    Did the Soviets ever get a missile sub into Hudsons Bay? Would that have been easy/worthwhile?

    Hudson Bay? Maybe, and other places.
    easy/worthwhile? only “if” we let them and more worthwhile for us.

    “If” the Soviets ever got a missile sub into Hudson Bay I can guarantee that they filled their poopy suits as they left.

    There is a “chance” we have had submarines (fast attacks) in “sensitive” places. The plan would have been stealth in then a surprise for them and a fox and hounds chase out. The fox always won.

    However, today is a different story. We are nowhere near where we were in the 60s to 80s, up until after Reagan left office. What our submarines were capable of (stealth, speed, depth, “armament”) was for more than admitted. It was a good run while it lasted.

  31. ” It was a good run while it lasted.”

    So true on several levels for most of us here, from the 1950s and into the 1980s. Even considering the urban riot conflagrations and the Indochina Wars and the first wave of musloid terrorism against Western Christendom. Again.

    My childhood in small-town Maffachufetts was not entirely idyllic but I remember it fondly, as with the summers with one or the other set of grandparents down in New Bedford, Fairhaven and Cape Cod. I got back from the wars and tried to put them entirely out of mind but that chit was percolating all along and the street cop gigs probably didn’t really help much. I didn’t wake up to political realities until the 1980s, thanks mainly to the folks at Chronicles magazine and the Rockford Institute. And a chit-load of reading.

    Yes, it was a good run, but a civilizational anomaly, a short window of time, when we were doing OK, most of us, and riding high. Our parents and grandparents had won the world wars and Prosperity was writ large here. We ruled the world.

    We still think so, but we don’t.

  32. “Going to the “Fish Market” grub hole tonight on the pier.”

    I like Tia Juana Tilly’s just across the border.
    Lat: N 32°31.7570′
    Lon: W 117°02.1672′

    Well, on Revolucion just 1/2 block south of bus station.

  33. WRT to subs in Hudson Bay, we get Mexican boats off our coast with meth, coke and non-medical marijuana.

  34. “…we get Mexican boats off our coast with meth, coke and non-medical marijuana.”

    Wussup widdat? No Coasties patrolling there?

  35. “Today’s SJ sensitivity training is for Kalifornia schools, of course.”

    One would have thought that they’d had all of that stuff they needed for the next century, but I guess one would have been mistaken. To YOUR benefit, young sir!

    OK, we know what she’s doing there; what’s your gig today?

    MrAtoz is basking in her glow !

  36. And CA taxes incomes of professional athletes that are incrementally earned for games in the state.

    That’s pretty much true of all states with an income tax. If you go on TDY for a big company for too many days in one of those states you have to file taxes there.

    Did the Soviets ever get a missile sub into Hudsons Bay? Would that have been easy/worthwhile?

    The US got attack subs into the Sea of Okhotsk on a regular basis to get recordings of data and voice sent from Moscow to the Soviet Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok. See this for details. A boss of mine served on one of the boats mentioned and was freaked out by the many details in the stories in the book – they were subject of legends in the submarine service.

  37. “If you hire a witch hunter, they will find witches.”

    Correct. And Witch-Hunter Inquisitor Mueller and his little pal Comey are creatures of the Clinton-Obummer Crime Families.

  38. @ech said:

    A boss of mine served on one of the boats mentioned and was freaked out by the many details in the stories in the book – they were subject of legends in the submarine service.

    Truth is stranger than fiction.

    I used to think that the “crawler” in “Hunt For Red October” was creative writing. I found out it wasn’t.

  39. I used to think that the “crawler” in “Hunt For Red October” was creative writing. I found out it wasn’t.

    Tom Clancy said at one point that technology in the entire book was inspired by “friends” in the military. He only created the characters.

  40. “‘He can’t just go on TV and lie on me’: Congresswoman at center of fallen soldier row accuses John Kelly of being RACIST and lying about her behavior at the opening of an FBI building in her district”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5000710/Wilson-hits-John-Kelly-barrels-charge.html

    You know, I am the last person to criticize anyone else’s fashion choices but a black cowboy hat on a CNN interview, really ?

    And, you know, the minute any one of these people start screaming “racist”, I always take a harder look at them. This congresslady is just another typical dumbocrat. There is nothing racial going on here, just typical behavior from a dumbocrat who has been caught in a lie.

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

  41. “There’s talk of capping 401(k) contributions at $2,400 per year ”
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/theres-talk-of-capping-401k-contributions-at-2400-per-year-2017-10-20

    And here we go. Next it will be about the mandatory reinvesting your 401K and IRA in government tbills.

    EDITED: Don’t worry, Uncle Sammy will take care of you. You like MREs, don’t you ? We will have a special MRE for you, a daily ration quota.

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

  42. Hey, if the repuglicants are the stupid half of the war party then what are the dumbocrats ? They are even stupider.

  43. ThePeoplesCube isn’t responding; the error screen suggests they’re slashdotted. Regardless, I can guess that GWB is featured in a humorous put-down.

  44. I got on it twice OK; your chit is being blocked and recorded by The Authorities. You will be contacted soon pending a full investigation.

    Yes, Shrub is the butt of the joke again. A patently useless human being. And member of the Bush Crime Family. Sorta like Fredo.

  45. ” The USA is on fire and GWB wouldn’t even piss on it.”

    There it is.

    I don’t mean to say I told ya so, but I told ya so. All these people are criminal shitbag scum and mean us no good whatsoever. All we are to them is bottomless pockets and our children going to their endless wars for oil and the banksters. And that’s pretty much it. Whether it’s the Stupid Half or the Evil Half putatively controlling that white building on Penn Ave.

  46. Re: tapping Soviet communications cables. Quite a few of my friend’s dads were the divers who did the actual tapping. I hope Walker, et al, rot in hell.

    Re: Frederica Wilson. The cowboy hat is her signature, and she is know for very little else. Going back at least as far as her days in the Florida Legislature, she has been widely regarded as a buffoon. She is, of course, not the only elected politician of whom that is true.

  47. Re: Frederica Wilson. The cowboy hat is her signature, and she is know for very little else. Going back at least as far as her days in the Florida Legislature, she has been widely regarded as a buffoon. She is, of course, not the only elected politician of whom that is true.

    She must be Sheila Jackson Lee’s cousin.
    http://www.dumbocratquotes.com/viewbyperson.php?personid=40

    “Speaking on the House floor, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee claimed she was once a slave.”
    “I stand here as a freed slave because this Congress came together.”
    “Sheila Jackson Lee, February 13, 2013”

    “Speaking on the House floor, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee defended gang members committing crimes with guns.”
    “Don’t condemn the gangbangers, they’ve got guns that are trafficked, that are not enforced, that are straw purchased and they come into places even that have strong gun laws. Why? Because we don’t have sensible gun legislation.””
    “Sheila Jackson Lee, April 9, 2013 Audio and/or video clip available”

  48. We’re dealing with some mentally challenged children here, essentially, when it comes to some of these people. And lest somebody throw a “rayciss” bomb at me, the same sort of behavior is rife with the feminist and neo-feminist crowds. And none of them are ever wrong, you see, and theirs is the only bubble of reality that matters.

  49. And here we go. Next it will be about the mandatory reinvesting your 401K and IRA in government tbills.

    I’ve mentioned this name before, but Teresa Ghilarducci is the academic to watch in this area. She’s usually only invited to Capitol Hill when the Progs are in power, but it seems like anything goes with RINO Ryan.

    http://teresaghilarducci.org/

  50. Ryan and McConnell belong in front of firing squads.

    TG is yet another commie academic, no surprise, along with her organizations; well-known as such for decades. To the wall.

    And now, mes amis, bon soir.

    Et pax vobiscum

  51. Tool Brands:

    To Nick Flandrey and anyone else so inclined; what brands of tools, especially hand tools, do you prefer? Also, can you recommend a relatively “low-priced” electronic tool kit?

  52. what brands of tools, especially hand tools, do you prefer?

    Craftsman and Stanley are always good. Just about anything with big handles for large hands that do not grip so well anymore. I’ve had some of my Craftsman tools for over 40 years now which I used to rebuild multiple engines, etc.

  53. The big problem in the USA is that “the chickens are coming home to roost”. The majority of the baby boomers have hit 65 and are retiring in vast numbers each day. That is why the unemployment number is dropping, not more jobs, less workers.

    And less workers pay less income taxes. And less workers pay social security and medicare taxes. And more former workers are cascading onto Medicare and Social Security, causing their expenditures to rise dramatically. Ol’ algore had it totally wrong when he said that there was a social security lockbox.

  54. Walker…

    “When arrested for burglary, he was offered the option of jail or the military.”

    Why polute the military?

  55. re hand tools, buy the best you can afford. The quality — functionality and durability — go up with price, unlike most consumer goods where your extra money goes into “style” or someone else’s name on your item. That said, Lynn’s right that Craftsman and Stanley are probably the best value for the price.

    I don’t have a recommendation on an “electronic tool kit”, partly because I’m not sure what you mean. If you mean power tools, there’s a big difference between corded and cordless, between portable and fixed. And, unlike my observation on hand tools, there’s no relationship between price and money. Probably the best bet is to talk to people who use them all the time, like maybe the crew building a house, and see what they recommend.

    If, on the other hand, “electronic tool kit” means stuff for working on electronics, you’ll want a digital multimeter and a soldering iron. There are differences in styles of each, but if you’re just getting started you don’t have to worry about it; you’ll figure out what you need and like as you do projects. You’ll most likely want a very thin pair of needle-nosed pliers. A magnifying face shield unless you’re very nearsighted, in which case you don’t need one. There are USB and wifi widgets to turn your computer into an oscilloscope, which are cheap enough that you don’t need a solid justification to buy. (It was different 20 years ago, when you had to think long and hard before buying that $3000 scope, or even the $500 used one which didn’t quite do what you needed.)

  56. anyone else so inclined; what brands of tools, especially hand tools, do you prefer

    I would skip Craftsman. The quality has gone down from the original years ago. Used to have a lifetime warranty but not any more. Kobalt tools from Lowes are good quality. For power tools I avoid Stanley, B&D branded, etc. Generally not enough power and the quality is just consumer quality. For hand tools I go with DeWalt tools which is the pro division of B&D. Had a problem with a battery replacement, called DeWalt, they sent me two new batteries at no charge, returned the defective battery to the store. The impact driver is particularly useful as it will drive, and remove, screws that would be impossible by most other methods.

    I also have some air tools. Nailers are particular useful, brad nailers up to framing nailers. Makes putting wood structures together much easier. I also have some air powered impact wrenches which take a lot of the hassle of working with nuts and bolts much easier. A lot of mechanics today are skipping pneumatics entirely and going with electric powered impact wrenches and such. Problem is those are expensive. Might be handy for moving around in an auto repair facility but for home use air works just fine if you have a compressor.

    An air compressor is just one of those devices, that when you get one, you wished you had done so earlier. Consumer grade air powered tools are fairly at Harbor Freight and other such places. Not good enough to work on a diesel truck but good enough for home use. A 3/8 air ratchet will work for most jobs. Add in a small impact wrench, some blower nozzles, maybe a finish nailer and your things will be easier. Needed to bust up some tile in a shower for my son’s house. Purchased an air powered impact chisel for about $30.00. Made the job easier and probably cut the time to do the project by 2/3 and saved my arms.

    Get a good shop vacuum. Good for picking up a lot messes that ordinary vacuums will not handle. If doing sheet rock dust be sure to get a filter for the vacuum that is designed for sheet rock dust otherwise you will have dust everywhere.

    If working with electricity get a non-contact voltage tester. It will save your butt by allowing you to easily check circuits for voltage. Get the kind that has a light indicating the device power is on otherwise you cannot be certain if there is no power or the device is simply off and that circuit you thought was dead gives you a nice surprise (voice of experience). Also get a plug in circuit tester that indicates proper polarity and grounding and allows for GFCI testing.

    The list goes on and could involve a book. Buy good quality when you buy otherwise you will be buying twice, once with the cheap stuff and again with the good stuff. Good tools make all the difference in a project.

  57. Mr. Alvarez, I’m going to add my voice to the ones that say Craftsman hand tools are the best starting point. This is especially so if you have the time to check out garage sales, retirement sales, thrift shops, and the like. It’s a sad fact that many widows will sell their late husband’s carefully amassed collection for pennies on the dollar, so if you offer a fairer price everyone benefits. If you’re specifically looking at the types of tools used by electrical service people, Klein is the way to go. When I was doing electronics service work, there was one brand in particular, but the age monster has affected my brain & I’m drawing a blank. I’ve also got a set of Ryobi 18v battery powered tools that I’m quite happy with. Among the pieces which I have, and which all use a common battery, are: drill, hammer drill, circular saw, jig saw, flashlight, sawzall, caulk gun, weed eater, yard blower (a/k/a entropy machine). Not cheap, and get a couple of extra batteries / chargers. I also agree with Ray on the utility of a good shop vac, and of a good air compressor and a selection of tools to use with it. To make it really useful, get 100′ of good air line on a reel and a couple of shorter length working lines. I always put the male end of the quick disconnect on the outer end of the line, and plugged that directly into the compressor’s manifold. Then I’d tote the line to the work spot, and plug in the working line to the reel at that point. Also, a water / oil separator is a must if you’re going to use a compressor for painting.

  58. I joined late, but would second most of the above…

    Craftsman tools are still ok, and the sets can be nice for completeness sake. Be certain you are actually buying the versions with the lifetime warranty.

    Kobalt (Lowes brand) has been very good quality for hand tools (mechanics tools) as has Ridgid.

    I buy a lot of tools used, at estate and garage sales. You need to be careful of wear, mistreatment, and paying too much (esp. for Craftsman- around here, every hispanic wants Craftsman for his mechanic shop.) Really good USA made brands are often cheaper than Craftsman due to lesser name recognition (Proto, Indestro, Wizard)

    The biggest question is “What do you want to do?” Recommending a set of tools for a person wanting to do home remodeling as an owner, vs someone starting out working in the field is very different. The carpenter needs different tools from the electrician.

    In general, buying sets ON SALE can save you money, and get you completeness. The flip side is that sets have a LOT of filler tools and accessories that you will rarely use.

    Some brands are pretty good choices no matter what.

    For battery powered tools, DeWalt 20v Lithium tools are in the sweet spot and often go on sale. GET SPARE BATTERIES and at least one of your chargers should be a ‘quick charger’ for multiple voltages. Again, depending on your projects, a kit might make sense if on sale. A lot of DeWalt tools sell cheaper in kits than separately, and if buying more than one, it almost always makes sense to buy a kit for the extra batteries and charger. Get the impact driver screwgun, a drill/driver, and the circular saw to start.

    Looking in my dad’s tool box, and every estate sale I go to, I see the results of buying cheap. There just is no substitute for quality wrt battery powered tools. The cheap ones are underpowered and the batteries fail early and often.

    For PRO level tools, Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Bosch, Makita (for some stuff), or even more exotic, Fein, Metabo, Festool.

    I have never regretted buying the better tool, although some get used very rarely and didn’t make economic sense.

    Avoid Harbor Freight and the “Chicago XXX” brand. There are arguments for and against that could fill the interwebs, but if you are going to use the tool more than twice, buy better quality. Note that there are some tools that aren’t available in better quality, but also aren’t much more at a big box, like specialty plumbing tools. Basin wrench, shower wrench, faucet wrench, are examples.

    Avoid gimmicks and ‘multi-purpose’ tools. The only exception is if it’s in your field and you have the experience to decide it really is better. There is a reason they still make the Crescent Wrench (adjustable) while literally thousands of other designs have come and gone. Same with Channellok pliers. Or the Klein linemans pliers. Or ViceGrip.

    Let me know what you want to do, and I can make more specific recommendations.

    WRT electronics tools, much the same applies. What do you want to do? Most people don’t need a hot air rework station when they are getting started. A magnifying light, a small workholder (panavise), a Weller soldering iron and accessories, various pliers, wire strippers, jewelers screwdriver set, small and security fastener screwdriver tips, and a good work surface should be fine for starting. A digital multimeter is required. Bonus if it also does capacitance. I do 90% or more of my electronic repair with just a #2 screwdriver, a security and tiny screwdriver set, an OLD pencil soldering iron, and OLD bulb style solder remover, and a couple of pliers/cutters/hemostats. I rarely use an o-scope or even a multimeter beyond checking fuses and voltage.

    In terms of bigger tools that saved or made me the most money over the last couple of decades- my makita and then DeWalt screwgun; my powered chopsaw, my Hobart Handler 120 welding machine (and the grinders/saw/accy that go with it) and a good corded circular saw. Next level down was the pneumatic finish and nail guns and compressor (which I haven’t used in years, but NOTHING beats it for putting up trim.) Below that- drywall tools.

    Most homeowners should have a basic set of -screwdrivers, -wrenches, -pliers, -sockets, a good screwgun, hacksaw, handsaw, circular saw, drill, hammers, measuring tools, marking and layout tools (squares), a two foot and four foot level. Add drywall tools (mud holder, 4, 8, and 10″ taping knives) and a screen sander on a stick. An electronic stud finder. That will cover 90% of the “homeowner” maintenance and repair tasks. ADDED- and the bit and blades to go with them.

    In general, I buy exotic or special purpose tools when I see them super cheap. That way I have them if I need them. MOST people would do well just following the rule that ‘if you have to borrow it twice, you should buy it.’

    Keep in mind that there are lots of ways to rent tools. Auto parts stores will loan or rent specialist tools if you buy the parts there. Tool rental stores have pro versions of most power and air tools available, esp tools that aren’t used every day. Big demolition hammers, flooring install tools, and plumbing tools are all examples. I always look at the cost, and if two rentals (this project and next time) would pay for the tool, I buy instead. (this presumes that you can afford the outlay at this time, and that you have room to store it.)

    Get more specific, and I’ll try to get specific too 🙂

    nick

  59. For battery powered hand tools, Makita used to be the standard. My brother has several in his kit for doing set work.

    For dealing with electronics, it depends on what you want to do. If you are repairing stuff, there are kits like this one at MicroCenter.

    For doing Arduino and Pi projects, this one has the basics – needlenose, wire cutter, stripper, soldering equipment, some screwdrivers, etc. The digital multimeter may be iffy at that price, but good enough for doing basics.

  60. Tools make me think of Eastwood in “Grand Torino”. Paneling your shop space with peg board and rolling cart tool arrays is the eventual result of guyness. Having the proper tool makes some really nasty tasks/repairs if not easy, very tolerable. Quality brands with lifetime warranties are a good guide as discussed above. Also consider the (in)convenience of actually invoking such a warranty. Imagine my disappointment when I expensively discovered that Craftsman doesn’t lifetime warranty anything electric, duh. At least there was a Sears handy to gain that bit of education.

    OTOH, I once spent a winter slow season as the traveling repair dude for a few hundred apartments and used only an adjustable wrench and multi-bit screwdriver for 90+% of the requested work. (Had to bus commute to my work truck which was parked in an unsecure garage.) Carried and used a FLASHLIGHT and multitool even when not at work, too. Might have damaged some of the fasteners in the interest of expediency and gotten creative with immediately available objects, but the repairs got tediously done.

    Thinking through the problem may require a different set of tools. A drippy faucet with delaminating chrome screamed replacement when I was staying with an out of state and infirm relative. Changed my mind when I looked at the 40 year rusted water lines in the oh so tight vanity cabinet. A Delta washer set was $3 and 15 minutes to homeowner happiness.

    One of my best engineering professors wisely suggested problem solving could be done best by selecting for exactly 2 of “good, fast, cheap”. Whatever 2 you select, you won’t get the third.

  61. That’s the golden rule of production, good fast or cheap, pick any two….

    n

  62. I’ll be using my tools very soon. Last Thursday night, the 1 in by 4 in board in our master closet that the clothes bar and the 1 in by 12 in board hang on came loose from the wall. The master closet is 6.5 ft by 20 ft so that place is now a total mess. There were no central supports so I am going to add a 1 ft by 1 ft by 5 ft tall open cabinets in the middle of each side to provide support. I cannot believe that they had a 20 ft run of clothes bar without a non-wall support.

  63. Good, fast, cheap was the mantra back in the day for IT manglers justifiying whatever projects, hw or sw, to higher manglers. Can have two, maybe, but not all three, blah, blah, blah. So naturally the higher manglers all went for cheap and fast. And as a side note, if any of us mentioned “IT security” to any of them, they made like those infamous three monkeys. Not interested. Rather take the chance. “That’s what insurance is for.” And God forbid insurance companies MANDATING robust or even adequate security for these organizations.

    But don’t get me started.

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