Tues. Jan. 23, 2018 – Visitation today, if you are in the area

By on January 23rd, 2018 in guest post - nick, Uncategorized

2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

115 Crossfield Ridge Ct
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27127

There will be no formal services.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to

Alleghany County Public Library

115 Atwood Street

Sparta, NC 28675.


Robert’s obituary can be found here:



62 Comments and discussion on "Tues. Jan. 23, 2018 – Visitation today, if you are in the area"

  1. Barbara says:

    Nick the address on funeral home website for the library was incorrect. The library has moved to 115 Atwood Street.

  2. DadCooks says:

    @nick, could you please put the link for Bob’s Obituary that was posted late Saturday in the opening post.


    Continuing prayers for Barbara, Colin, and OFD.

  3. Dave says:

    It seems a little strange, but never the less appropriate to tell this story now. For some time I have had gum disease. I read Ray’s story of getting a Phillips Sonicare toothbrush and having significant improvement in gum health. So seven years ago I bought a Philips Sonicare toothbrush, and my results haven’t been as dramatic as Ray’s. I recall after getting the toothbrush, Ray went back to every six month cleanings from every three months. I’m still getting cleanings every three months, but the dentist regularly tells me that my gums are as healthy as he’s ever seen.

    If that isn’t the weirdest and most mundane story about how hanging out here with RBT, Ray and the rest of you has changed my life, I don’t know what is. I thought about this story because I just had to order a new toothbrush.

  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    Well, poor dental health has probably killed more people in history than many other things, and nothing makes one quite as miserable as dental problems…

    But yeah, often it’s the little things that end up making a big difference.


  5. jim~ says:

    lol, I always refer to my dental cleanings as sessions with the “ultrasonic torture device”. Wonder where I heard that from?

  6. Terry Losansky says:

    Because of hanging out here….
    I now have many FLASHLIGHTS.

    I am guessing I am not the only one who can say that.

  7. jim~ says:

    Yeah, Chuck W hasn’t been heard from in ages.

    I wonder how Jasmine is getting along?

    Ditto on the flashlights, lol.

  8. Nick Flandrey says:

    And I’ve got literal buckets of food….

  9. Nick Flandrey says:

    And how many here think of it as “getting their fangs cleaned” ?


  10. Clayton W. says:

    Dave, Try adding a toothpaste with Stannous Flouride. It is supposed the be much better in fighting gum disease than toothpaste with Sodium Flouride. It may stain your teeth, however. I’d rather have grey teeth than no teeth, ymmv.

  11. DadCooks says:

    @nick, thanks for re-posting the obituary link.

    I would encourage people to go to the Tribute page here:

    There is no charge for leaving a Tribute or adding “Light a Candle” or “Leave a Symbol”.

  12. nick flandrey says:

    Here is exactly what I miss and don’t want to lose:


    Good reco, good discussion, shared info.

    Just a random day.


  13. Miles_Teg says:

    In 10 hours I go into hospital for a coronary angiograph. No symptoms, but heart attacks killed my father and three grandparents. I’m only slightly nervous, but I read a list of risks my cardiologist gave me. At the top was 1 in 1000 chance of heart attack. Yuck.

  14. MrAtoz says:

    Mr. Miles_Teg you have my best wishes for a clean bill of health.

    I remember, kiddingly, posting last year asking Bob if I could cut and paste all his “prepping” posts, make a little ebook and sell it on Big River. He said no problem with him. I could probably sell it because Bob’s posts were so clear.

  15. nick flandrey says:

    There’s a whole lot of much worse crap on amazon than Bob’s unedited posts. I even paid for one of them once, not realizing it would be a pamphlet and not a book.

    And I mean worse in every way. Worse production, worse spelling, worse content- bad information (when there is any information at all).

    Since Bob shifted his personal focus from pcs to prepping, he published a master’s class worth of material here.

    It’s funny. Looking back, I think that the shift away from pc hardware happened after he declared his MS independence. In that he was ahead of his time. No one much cares about hardware anymore, and few care specifically about PCs. We have pretty much made the shift from being interested in computers (as a separate thing) to actually just using them routinely and as a matter of course and convenience. The hardware and software has become truly “good enough” that Aunt Betty can not just fumble along, but easily get done the things she wants to do.

    In fact I get some humor out of job listings or articles (written by us older folks who have an older worldview) that suggest today’s youth have a knowledge of and facility with technology. They DON’T. They have a facility with some tools they picked up. Most of them couldn’t describe how the cellular telephone network works, or the difference between an “app” and a “computer program.” (none) They have NO idea about the underlying tech of the internet, networking, or any of the hardware considerations that most of us grew up considering every time we did or wanted to do something with a computer.

    Most of them don’t understand that “WiFi” is just a method for connecting to the network and onward to the internet, and not some magical universal “cloud” full of shiny things built for their amusement. Seriously. I get blank stares when I mention that their smartphone is a RADIO. (and not just one radio but at least half a dozen.) For them, ‘technology’ is just like picking up a pencil… and no one expects a pencil user to think about where the wood was sourced or how it got to a plant where it was processed, assembled, then distributed, sold, and eventually used to jot down a note. They just pick up a pencil, and write.

    Some of them go deeper than that, naturally, as some must have marveled at the tech needed to produce pencils and ball point pens (remember when they were a big deal? Seen an ad for the Rolling Writer, or a Bic lately?) Those are the kids who become app developers, programmers, and all the other technical fields we need to keep our society going. But for the vast majority, it’s just something they reach for, that does the job they want done, without any more thought or knowledge required than picking up a pencil. And that is probably not a bad thing, as long as there are still some that look deeper and learn more.


  16. Jenny says:

    Anyone else remember when Robert and Barbara spent a lot of time in astronomy?

    I’m trying to find his post when he describes identifying them naming a star for a parent that had passed away.

  17. DadCooks says:

    @Miles_Teg, best wishes and prayers for your procedure today.

    @nick, thanks for that blast from the past. This forum should be required reading, with a test to follow, for all who participate in any form of social media/discussion.

    The art of the discussion is no longer taught. Back in the day (when we had to walk to school up hill both ways in hip deep snow and 120-degree heat and bring a log for the wood stove and pee and poop in the outhouse with only the Sears catalog) there was discussions in all classes so we learned how discuss different subjects. Sure there is a basic form for discussion, and debate, but the subject drove the manner. We learned to distinguish between opinion, fact, and theory and when each was appropriate. Personal attacks were not tolerated (“your Mom wears combat boot”).

    One of my favorite phrases is “you have a right to your own opinion but not your own facts” (Daniel Patrick Moynihan ). While I disagreed with most of his liberal/progressive policies, that quote struck a cord. Too bad he, and today’s liberals/progressives, cannot follow its simple wisdom: No Fake Facts.

    I now leave you with this link to quotes of Patrick Henry:
    Heed them well.

  18. nick flandrey says:

    @jenny, yep there were a lot of astronomy posts. When I asked Bob about it (why did he stop) he said the vertigo made it too difficult to continue.


  19. JimL says:

    In fact, the archives here led me to a good source of telescopes for my children’s Christmas present, and the collective wisdom here (or a rep of said wisdom) helped me choose just the right one.

  20. CowboySlim says:

    “In 10 hours I go into hospital for a coronary angiograph.”

    I had my annual last week and came out OK.

  21. CowboySlim says:

    ” No one much cares about hardware anymore, and few care specifically about PCs.”

    Roger that, I made a stereo FM adapter 57 years ago from a Knight kit with a soldering gun. Then I really enjoyed assembling a desktop about 17 years ago from Bob’s BTTPPC. Yuuup, easier because all the components slid together without soldering.

    Yes, and when that gave up several years ago, I just bought an off-the-shelf desktop from Newegg.

  22. Eugen (Romania) says:

    Astronomy Hacks was so practical and useful that made me want to find more about the authors. That lead me to this board, in the fall of 2016. I was so amazed by the welcome I received here, that I’ve continued to participate in the discussions. The debates brought up the differences between our worlds, each having to deal with different classes of problems and cultures. I have learned a lot here! I’ve stopped reading the board during summer 2017, when I was away for a while, after which I moved to another apartment (also located in Sibiu). Always having the wish to come back here…

    The email from Nick was so unexpected. I didn’t knew about RBT’s health problems. It is so strange to read again his clear and documented comments (what Nick posted above) knowing that Robert is not present anymore… I think he lived a satisfying life, arranging it to his desires, which included helping a lot of other peoples, educating them. That’s a nice way to live!

    My thoughts goes to OFD, too. It seems that health problems keep him away from the board. He is a really warm guy with a big heart. I wish you well Mr. OFD!

    Thank you Nick and others for keeping Daynotes alive.

  23. Jenny says:

    I’d wondered where you’d gone. It’s good to ‘hear’ your voice and know you are well. I certainly enjoyed your input on discussions.

  24. Jenny says:

    Re: OFD
    If someone can remind me what town we thought OFDs rehab was going to be, perhaps I could call facilities in the area and see if I can learn anything.

    “Could you transfer my call to Dave Hardy’s room, please… Sure, I’m family…”

  25. lynn says:

    “I’ll wrap up by saying there’s a new Amazon Go Store where you just grab what you want and you get scanned and charged as you walk out. Hmmmmm….”

    The punch line is in the web comic.

    Hat tip to:

  26. CowboySlim says:


    The latest from OFD on Dec 28:

    “Being treated but it’s gonna be a long haul. Currently at UVM Med Center Neurology and probably being shipped down to a VA hospital in MA or NH soon.”

  27. Dave says:

    Regarding the now not so common ability to disagree without being disagreeable, I found several comments by Alan Dershowitz to have been refreshing. When asked about his former law student, Ted Cruz, running for President, he said very nice things. Dershowitz pointed out that the hardest part of teaching law is having to advocate for the legal argument that you disagree with. He further said that he never had to do that when Ted Cruz was in his class. He said that Ted Cruz was always polite, but always a brilliant debater. That made me think better of Dershowitz, who holds positions I frequently disagree with, but whom I still respect. He said he wanted Ted Cruz to be in the Senate forever. It’s a shame Dershowitz is so old, I’d love it if his state of residence would send him to the Senate. I would actually watch CSPAN if they carried debates between Dershowitz and Cruz.

  28. medium wave says:

    @CowboySlim: Have you tried contacting OFD in the last couple of days? He seems to respond to you.

  29. JimB says:

    Nick and others, thanks for all of your work at this critical time. Good to hear that this community will (I hope) continue. It is folks like you (and of course RBT and OFD) who kept it lively. I know it takes time, but it would be worth it to keep the gang together. I still miss the Hardware Guys BB, but then, as Cowboy Slim said, computers are now commodities.

  30. Greg Norton says:

    “I’ll wrap up by saying there’s a new Amazon Go Store where you just grab what you want and you get scanned and charged as you walk out. Hmmmmm….”

    Austin is getting an Amazon Books bricks-n-mortar store at some point in the near future.

    Date is still TBD. Job listings have been up for months, however.

  31. SteveF says:

    he said the vertigo made it too difficult to continue

    And when I suggested that RBT strap himself to a big tripod and just rotate himself to the proper orientation to use the telescope, he totally ignored my totally sensible suggestion.

  32. paul says:

    he totally ignored my totally sensible suggestion.

    Stubborn that way, eh?

  33. Ray Thompson says:

    Jeff and I are here. Good experience.

  34. CowboySlim says:

    “@CowboySlim: Have you tried contacting OFD in the last couple of days? He seems to respond to you.”

    OK, email to OFD on the way.

  35. lynn says:

    Jeff and I are here. Good experience.

    Excellent !

  36. lynn says:

    “Fake News and 2017 Near-Record Temperatures”

    ““Fake news” is the process of misleading the public through an inaccurate or incomplete depiction of reality, either deliberately or unintentionally. Often the fake news involves the use of statistics, particularly graphic illustrations of complex processes, as discussed in a February 2017 Forbes article. Such has long been the case with the issue of “global warming”, as, for example, in a January 2018 New York Times article, in which the following graph was presented, showing a 1.2 degree Celsius increase in annual global surface temperature data since a “base” period of 1880-1899. The chart is deceptive both for what it contains, what it hides, and what it excludes. Thus, the New York Times article is fake news.”

    That is some big error bars that you’ve got there.

    And the cherry on top is that the Navy’s brand new destroyer in stuck in ice in Montreal for the next couple of months.

    “A newly commissioned Navy warship will be wintering in Montreal after its journey to Florida was interrupted by cold and ice.”

  37. paul says:

    This year for dental I signed up with an outfit called Best*Life. Their site lists my dentist. Delta fails to list my town. Ok, got a bill, went to their site to pay and nothing. No confirmation e-mail, no error messages at the site.

    I received a second bill a few days ago. Now they want two months of payments. Oh, auto-fill in FX shows I entered the date as 2017-06-01. My bad, it was early December. Today I called and listened to 40 minutes of their cheerfully cheery recording about how much they care. Though not enough care showing to actually answer the phone. On the plus side, it wasn’t scratchy disco-ish music that one usually hears in a mid-80’s porno film.

    Wandered through, did a single payment for today. Did a recurring payment for Feb. 6. Confirmation e-mail? Error message? Of any kind? Nothing.

    Meanwhile, while on hold, I renewed This is True for 2 years via PayPal. Instant confirmation e-mail. So… don’t blame my mail server.

  38. Dave says:

    Jeff and I are here. Good experience.

    Thanks again for going.

  39. Greg Norton says:

    And the cherry on top is that the Navy’s brand new destroyer in stuck in ice in Montreal for the next couple of months.

    Looks like LCS. If you pay attention, “Cars 2” makes a really sly statement about that class of Navy ships.

    (That film gets more cr*p than it deserves IMHO.)

    Arleigh Burke class destroyers will be around for a while. I swear I remember reading that the Navy even put them back into production.

  40. Jenny says:

    Thanks – I’ll work on building a list of numbers and start calling later this week.

    @Ray & @ Jeff
    Thanks for representing us. Wish I could have gone but 4,000+ miles….

  41. SVJeff says:

    Ray and I left about 4:30. Barbara mentioned multiple times how much support she had received from people here and how much she appreciated everyone’s encouragement.

  42. SteveF says:

    Thanks for going, Ray and SVJeff.

    I drove my mother to NC Sunday. In theory I could have stayed a couple nights at my sister’s and gone to the service, but I didn’t get the news until I got back to New York. And don’t take this the wrong way, but I wasn’t going to turn around and drive back to NC.

  43. SVJeff says:

    don’t take this the wrong way, but I wasn’t going to turn around and drive back to NC

    Well, normally I would offer a strong defense of my home state at any implied slight offered by a resident of Yankee territory, but, since you’ve been a recent visitor, I’ll take the high road… 😉

  44. SteveF says:

    Not so much a slight against NC as an observation that it’s a 13-hour drive each way and I was tired when I got back home.

    (Actually, that’s not true. Probably 14 hours one way and 12 on the return. Bathroom breaks every 90 minutes the one way, every four hours the other.)

  45. lynn says:

    Ray and I left about 4:30. Barbara mentioned multiple times how much support she had received from people here and how much she appreciated everyone’s encouragement.

    @SVJeff, thanks for going !

  46. nick flandrey says:

    Yes, thank you. It makes me feel better knowing some actual physical people attended.


  47. MrAtoz says:

    My thanks also to Mr. Ray and Mr. SVJeff.

  48. Vince says:

    My thanks also to Mr. Ray and Mr. SVJeff. It makes me feel better knowing some actual physical people attended.

  49. DadCooks says:

    @Ray and @SVJeff, thanks for attending Robert’s Visitation.

  50. Ray Thompson says:

    Just got home after 5 hours of driving. Made pretty good time. I-40 through the mountains is the usual pain with so many trucks. Some steep grades, lot of sharp curves, with the return trip in the dark. Thankfully the truck has some pretty awesome lights.

    Had some concerns about the visit as I would not actually know anyone. When I arrived at the door (10 minutes early) Barbara answered and said “You must be Ray Thompson”. I guess she had 50/50 chance between me and SVJeff and I can tell you SVJeff just does not look a Ray.

    Actually got to Winston-Salem about 12:00. Went to Costco to get gas and purchase a few items and troll the sample food displays. Finally gave up and just decided to show up early.

    Had a good talk with Barbara, met her sister Francis and her sister’s husband Al. I knew about them. Several other people showed up that I did not know but all were supportive. Good visit with all. Expressed to Barbara that I was to relay others on the board condolences, as did SVJeff. I think it meant a lot.

    Barbara has a lot of stuff to accomplish. A few chemistry kits can still be assembled and shipped. But once the mixed chemicals run out Barbara will not be able to mix new chemicals. She is not certain what she will do about that, maybe solicit some local help if possible. Might just donate all the left over chemicals, flasks, containers, etc. to a local high school. Several guns need to be lost in the Brazos river. A lot of the stored food will be eliminated by donating a lot of the canned stuff. Repackaged stuff will have to be tossed. Also needs to get rid of the recently purchased solar panels and other solar stuff as she has no idea how to install.

    She is holding up well considering the circumstances. Glad I went for the visit and pleased that SVJeff also made his appearance.

  51. nick flandrey says:

    “A lot of the stored food will be eliminated by donating a lot of the canned stuff. Repackaged stuff will have to be tossed. ”

    Is she moving out of Sparta? Or just has more than she could ever eat?


  52. CowboySlim says:

    “My thanks also to Mr. Ray and Mr. SVJeff.”

    I concur emphatically!

  53. SVJeff says:

    Is she moving out of Sparta? Or just has more than she could ever eat?

    The canned chicken, beef, etc., are going to the local food bank. They can’t/won’t take the repackaged stuff (like flour), so the plan is for that to be gradually used by Barbara & her sister. She’s staying in Sparta – if I remember her words accurately, it was “It’s home now.”

    SteveF – understood. Just a feeble attempt at a little levity.

  54. Spook says:

    I recall that when Elvis died, I felt an urge for pilgrimage to Graceland…

    Of course, the best tribute for the departed is to carry on the important
    work, and spread the word (rock’n’roll, or prepping).
    And of course, many thanks to you guys who ran the miles for the
    visitation. You honored this whole community.

    I haven’t had much to say here, lately, but I try to keep up, and all you
    folks are important, and, sorta tacky, USEFUL for me.

    RBT did good. Hope it continues. Get back to ranting about FLASHLIGHTS!

    And, I feel pain for Barbara and for Colin. Best wishes. Get on with it!

  55. Eugen (Romania) says:

    “A lot of the stored food will be eliminated by donating a lot of the canned stuff. “

    Just a thought. Maybe you guys here, could buy some of that stuff. Could be a win-win, both for you who are low on LTS and Barbara… But, since you live so far away, for most of you it may not make sense..

    Chemicals too… (?)

  56. Spook says:

    Just some suggestions for Barbara:

    Don’t toss any carefully-packed food for the duration, assuming storage
    space is not an issue. Share with others as needed, of course. It might
    come to a point that this stuff is precious…
    Prepping for the entire neighborhood is not a bad thing, since a lot of
    the work is done (if you don’t need the space).

    I’m afraid that the lab chemicals will need some sort of expert re-purposing.
    Be very careful about outright disposal, which might be illegal in several
    ways, or expensive if done correctly.

  57. brad says:

    Been out of touch for a few days, pretty much flat in bed. Some sort of nasty virus. Today is the first day I’m at least up to reading a bit. Anyhow, I’m glad some representatives of Bob’s online friends made it to the visiting hours. That’s really nice.

    Ray writes: “I have also determined that it is imperative that someone else (my son in my case) have access to a repository of all my online accounts and passwords.”

    I currently have it set up like this: I use a password manager, and the password to the manager itself is written on a piece of paper, in the same location as our other important papers. Currently that is in the house – I keep meaning to move it to the safe deposit box, and will eventually really do so.

    As far as pets go, we’re happily mystified. We have two 15 year old dogs, one of whom is quite large: 80 pounds when he was in peak shape, now down to about 70. Two years ago, we said to ourselves: “nope, not surviving the winter”. Here he is, two years later, still happy and funny and playful. His legs are wobbly, he falls down a lot, but he just gets up again. We just have to help him go downstairs, and be careful where we go for walks. We’ve stopped making predictions – just enjoying him day-to-day.

  58. Miles_Teg says:

    My procedure went fine, a small amount of blockage but not nearly enough to put in a stent, let alone be thinking about bypasses. I’m dossing down at my sister’s place tonight. Can’t drive for 48 hours.

  59. nick flandrey says:

    Great news Miles! And I’m sure a big relief….

    Take care getting home.


  60. Miles_Teg says:

    My sis will drop me home (one Km away) at 8am in the morning. I’ll get the car on Friday.

  61. SteveF says:

    at 8am in the morning

    As contrasted with the 8am in the middle of the afternoon?

  62. DadCooks says:

    Glad your procedure went well for you @Miles_Teg. Enjoy your brief rest.

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