Tues. Feb. 20, 2018. Out and about

Typing on my phone to get started today.   Playing taxi service….

 

Watched ice dancing last night, very graceful, surprisingly strong.

 

 

 

N

35 thoughts on “Tues. Feb. 20, 2018. Out and about”

  1. Grrr. One of our remote offices called in. Seems they can’t connect to the home office. Checked the VPN & get nothing. Pinged their firewall & get nothing. Helpdesk calls the cable company for support and is redirected to the “would you like to pay your bill” queue. Seems we’re a couple of months behind.

    Yes, you can refuse to pay late charges. You can let them pile up. Eventually, they’ll catch up to you. Or, in our case, catch up with us. “Would you like to pay your bill?”

    I don’t need stupid headaches like that.

  2. NASA has lost it. Actually, they lost it years ago – the Space Shuttle was also a project that should never have taken the form it did. NASA projects cost at least 10x what they should, often more, and even then are crippled by the political considerations forced on them by Congress.

    Best think y’all could do: close NASA, save 90% of the budget, and spend the remaining 1/10 on easily verifiable X-projects. Want a probe sent to Europa? X-prize. Want a human-inhabited base on the moon? X-prize.

    Oh, and relax or eliminate most of the regulations on private space flight – like the totally crazy safety standards, and the restrictions on launch sites.

  3. I am driving up to Norman, OK on Saturday, about a 460 mile drive from the Land of Sugar. I just checked the weather there. It is 29 F and snowing. What gives, the weather liars said it was supposed to be in the 60s F all week !

  4. ” What gives, the weather liars said it was supposed to be in the 60s F all week !”

    If the truth conflicts with AlGorrubbish, it cannot be stated.

  5. WRT to mailboxes, and who is responsible for damage/replacement … had a short conversation with my local mailperson, who said that the USPS is not responsible for community or individual mailbox repair/replacement. That is the responsibility of the individual homeowner (for individual mailboxes) or the community (for the ‘cluster’ mailboxes, or an apartment building mailbox).

    So the local HOA (if there is one), or the people that use that cluster mailbox, is the responsible party to repair/replace damaged mailboxes. They are not ‘owned’ by the USPS, but are ‘owned’ by the mailbox user(s).

  6. So the local HOA (if there is one), or the people that use that cluster mailbox, is the responsible party to repair/replace damaged mailboxes. They are not ‘owned’ by the USPS, but are ‘owned’ by the mailbox user(s).

    I’d dread having to get a neighborhood consensus on that kind of issue on our old street in Vantucky (Vancouver, WA). Way too many households would cop the attitude that the Americans will take care of the problem “… like they always do.”

  7. “Delingpole: NOAA Caught Adjusting Big Freeze out of Existence”
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/02/20/delingpole-noaa-caught-adjusting-big-freeze-out-of-existence/

    “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has yet again been caught exaggerating ‘global warming’ by fiddling with the raw temperature data.”

    “This time, that data concerns the recent record-breaking cold across the northeastern U.S. which NOAA is trying to erase from history.”

    “If you believe NOAA’s charts, there was nothing particularly unusual about this winter’s cold weather which caused sharks to freeze in the ocean and iguanas to drop out of trees.”

    I don’t believe anything the climate change liars say anymore. They have a political agenda and will do anything that they can to advance that agenda.

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

  8. So the local HOA (if there is one), or the people that use that cluster mailbox, is the responsible party to repair/replace damaged mailboxes. They are not ‘owned’ by the USPS, but are ‘owned’ by the mailbox user(s).

    I’d dread having to get a neighborhood consensus on that kind of issue on our old street in Vantucky (Vancouver, WA). Way too many households would cop the attitude that the Americans will take care of the problem “… like they always do.”

    Shoot, I cannot get that kind of consensus to improve the levee to keep the Brazos River from flooding my 4,000 home neighborhood. Nor to add more pumps to push the rain water out of our 2,000 acre bowl when the river is up and our bayou drains are flooded. The cost of $500 per home per year for twenty years, $40 million, is simply too much to protect our $1.4 billion in homes and infrastructure according to several of my neighbors.

  9. Did I mention that it was hot today? 80F with 80%RH. Feels sweaty out there.

    I’ve got all of the office and home air conditioners fired up. Cold to hot, cold to hot, hot to cold. It is enough to make a person sick.

  10. Did I mention that it was hot today? Set a record of 79 degrees. Took a day trip to Rock Island State Park to see the waterfalls. Impressive with all the rain. One set of waterfalls comes out of the rock wall well below the top of the hill. First time I have ever seen that in a waterfall.

    Got home and installed an Ecobee thermostat for my home heating and cooling system. It was a Christmas gift from my son. I also purchased four remote sensors to place in various rooms. Relatively easy to hook up. I needed to reroute the control wires in my heating and cooling system to get the 5 wire to 4 wire adapter in place. There was not enough room in the connection box so I moved everything to to the logic board box.

    Everything seems to work. Quite an intelligent thermostat system. Program multiple schedules (each day different if you want), set temperature anticipation where the thermostat calculates how long it will take to reach a certain temperature and starts the heating or cooling well enough in advance so the desired temperature is reached by the time indicated.

    The auxiliary sensors can sense someone in the room and thus the thermostat can be set to drop (heating) or increase (cooling) when someone is not at home. Arrive home, walk in the room, and the system will come on in the desired mode.

    I can lock the system with a pin so that no changes can be made without the pin. This will be nice when we are on vacation and someone is watching the house. No more messing with the thermostat by the person staying in our house while we are gone. One time we came home and found the thermostat set on 68, in the summer. Apparently they did this the entire three weeks we were gone. Massive electric bill. Ain’t gonna happen again.

    When I removed the old Honeywell thermostat I found one of the batteries (3xAAA) had leaked. Big mess with contacts coated. I would have needed to replace the thermostat in short order so the timing was good. The quality of AA and AAA batteries are terrible these days with leaks being more common than in the past.

    Anyway, for an intelligent thermostat the EcoBee is highly recommended. Leaps better than the Nest thermostat for the same price. If anyone is considering a smart thermostat the EcoBee should be your first choice.

  11. This “community” mailbox thing is a problem I don’t need now. The only cooperation and help I am getting is from our regular carrier. If there is any way I can get rid of this “community” crap and make everyone responsible for a mailbox on their property then that is what it will be.

  12. @DadCooks : it seems to me that you could put a standalone mailbox in front of your property for your use, assuming that there are no HOA restrictions to do that. Pretty sure that USPS would use that for your mail. There are USPS regulations regarding the type and height and placement of the mailbox, but those are pretty easy.

    Warmed up to 40F today here in my little corner of the Olympic Peninsula, after an overnight low of 21F. Most of the snow that fell Sunday (about 2 inches in my yard) is gone today (snow is unusual for my 170 foot elevation here on the Puget Sound; not impressive for some others of this group). But wife and I have enjoyed the view of the snow.

    All this cold weather (and my big windows on the east side of the house that provide my great view of the local harbor and Muntiny Bay) has my heating system working overtime. Unfortunately, it’s a heat pump system (common out here), with no backup heat, so my electric bill for this month will probably be around $320. I do have a propane fireplace, but it doesn’t put out much heat, so don’t use it (in fact, the big propane tank at the side of the house is empty). Flannel shirts and socks are my friends.

  13. “in fact, the big propane tank at the side of the house is empty”

    !! Prepper FAIL !!

    n

  14. @duffer

    funniest thing I’ve seen in weeks!

    We don’t need no stinkin’ thermostats. ~We~ have nice woolie sweaters and a down duvet, courtesy of some dumb American who tossed a beautiful sleeping bag out with the trash.

  15. and my big windows on the east side of the house that provide my great view of the local harbor and Muntiny Bay

    My aunt’s house sat on a hill overlooking Beckett Point and across the water of Discover Bay was highway 101 and Olympic National Park. Getting up in the morning was like looking at a highly detailed painting until you notice that ship in Discover Bay moved. I really hated to sell that place but could not afford to keep it. The sewer upgrade was $25K per lot and there were two lots involved.

  16. Last year I scored 3 or 4 really high end technical sleeping bags at an estate sale for barely any money, like $5 each iirc. Silly people, new isn’t best.

    n

  17. @nick – yeh, probably prepper fail about the empty big propane tank. But the propane fake fireplace doesn’t put out enough heat to warm the main room (ceiling is two stories high, with an open area to the 2nd floor rooms), even though it has a recirculating fan. That fireplace is the only thing hooked up to it; stove/oven is electric.

    So unless I re-do the kitchen ($$$), change out appliances ($$$), replace the fireplace ($$$), fill up the tank ($$$)…. I’ll get along with my 6K gas gennie and the bypass switch to keep the lights on.

    Besides, I live in a retirement area. There’s a lot of old people here who wouldn’t last in a SHTF scenario….and I am one of them.

  18. I’m not /as/ crabby today.

    Not so tired from cleaning a dead man’s house.

    I uninstalled most of the hp stuff on the laptop. Ran disc cleanup… that was 3gb of stuff. On a fresh install. Yes, including the service pack and updates backups. Defrag ran a long time. Installed Paint Shop Pro 7 and then the Lexmark drivers for the printer. Defrag again, shut it down and it’s off of the dining room table. It’s ready for something…… cloning the drive so I don’t have to wipe/reinstall again is on the to-do list.

    I cleaned on the “new” truck yesterday. Just plain water with a wash rag and an old toothbrush. It’s looking good as far as door panels and dash go. The stains on the carpet mostly wipe off with water. They guzzled black coffee and spilled plenty. There are a few spots that need more than plain water to clean. Windex? No Clorox Wipes (and thanks for the caution).

    The new dog is fitting in. Missy doesn’t care. Penny is all get off of MY sofa! Her Highness is just a bit jealous. :).

  19. @paul, when I cleaned up the cop car that is my daily driver, I first dry brushed any of the black marks, being very careful to see if they smeared (ie. be sure they aren’t greasy dirt). If not, and the brushing helped, I did more and vacuuming directly while agitating the mark.

    I followed that up with simple green in a very light mist, and blotting. Then if more was needed, more simple green brushed in, then blot. Keep blotting with white paper towels. When it was clean, clear water damp sponge to remove any soap. Keep at it until all the soap is rinsed away.

    If the mark smeared, I tried a variety of solvents, and blotting, starting with denatured alcohol, and moving up to mineral spirits, and even goof off.

    Give tough marks a clean, then step away for a bit to see if either it comes back, or fades more on its own. Some stuff just disappeared after the first attempt.

    WHITE paper towel, so your solvent doesn’t move the dye from the towel to the surface. Stiff short bristle scrub brush. Spray bottle. Go easy and slow, and ‘first do no harm’.

    They youtube says heavily soiled leather seats can be cleaned to like new with easy off oven cleaner. YMMV, but I had good luck with CLR for blood stains and rust both in leather seats and carpet.

    If a stain keeps coming back, it’s all the way thru the material, and you will have to remove the material and get to the back side and whatever is under it.

    Good seat covers are worth the money. Costco has a nice set if they fit your style seat, and the difference in look is amazing. Costco also has carpet protectors and floor mats.

    n

  20. And a little blast from the past– nothing. That’s what happened. 2 and a half years on.

    MrAtoz says:
    11 August 2015 at 21:05

    If I was found with Top Secret SCI information at home, I would be arrested and jailed. I had to sign an oath for life. Is this the end of Cankles? What happens next? I can’t wait for the next chapter! Squee! How will her Fugliness get out of this one?

    The FBI has seized a cache of Hillary Clinton emails after finding that at least two hyper-classified messages were allowed to pass through her insecure home server.
    MrAtoz says:
    11 August 2015 at 21:15

    This will be a good test of how Cankles is connected to the Powers that Be. That’s the danger of running your own server when you are the head of a gummint agency. No one is responsible other than Cankles. If she gets a bye, or gets to blame someone else, she can do anything she likes and will get the Dumbocrat nomination.

    n

    ADDED- although it’s possible that tossing A. Weiner into the pokey was part of the deal.

  21. Thermostat problems: https://xkcd.com/1912/

    And IMHO this might just be the funniest thing Munroe has ever published.

    My thermostat *crashed* the other night. I woke up to a blank touch screen and had to do a reboot at the breaker in the garage.

    Good thing it wasn’t freezing outside on Monday morning. I would have been in real trouble.

    The Nexia system has been nothing but a giant pain in the a**. I told the AC contractor I wanted replacement options when they come out to the house today.

  22. Bimetal strip and mercury never crashes.

    Yeah, I did replace the old mercury one with a basic programmable electronic but there is no wifi or any type of “connection” other than two wires to the boiler. I kept the old thermostat as an emergency backup. Plus you never know when you might need a drop or two of mercury.

  23. @Rick H said:

    @DadCooks : it seems to me that you could put a standalone mailbox in front of your property for your use, assuming that there are no HOA restrictions to do that. Pretty sure that USPS would use that for your mail. There are USPS regulations regarding the type and height and placement of the mailbox, but those are pretty easy.

    In just one of the design F-Ups of our neighborhood, and seems all others built after 1960, is that the side walks run right along the curb. So we cannot put up a mailbox at the curb. This no more parkways along the curb coincides with about the time that USPS “mandated” that there would no longer be individual mailboxes in residential areas. However that “mandate” has lost several court challenges for many reasons.

    I have been researching Postal Regulations (a comedy of conflicts and interpretations), City Codes, County Codes, and State Regulations. None support or help the other. And to top it all off the local Post Queen Who Rules Them All can interpret the hodgepodge of rules and regulations however she wants. She will not even tell us how we can go about getting our mail.

    The only saving grace for now is our local carrier is labeling us as “disabled immobile old persons” so she can continue to deliver our mail. Hopefully there will be a resolution before she gets countermanded.

    Life is a bitch, and then you die.

  24. Many boxes in my neighborhood are not at the curb but set back because of sidewalks, walls or other obstructions. The PO carrier must then stop, shut off the vehicle and walk up to the box to deliver. Any package that will not fit the box goes to the front door. No issues here (well until they get to my door and it’s open and the security screen is closed. Snuggs the wonder German Shepard greets them warmly. Scares the holy shit out of some of them.)

  25. Our mail arrives in the “security” (Hah!) lobby at a bank of mailboxes maintained by the property owner. I neglected to inform the PO that I was moving here back in 2005 and thereby eliminated a crap ton of catalogs and whatnot. Paying most bills online results in a trivial load with the exception of Amazon, (which won’t fit in the box anyhow) so much so that the usual deposit could be labeled the “daily garbage delivery”. I only check it a couple times a week.

    When an inebriated driver swerved 30 feet off the street and took out my Dad’s and neighbors boxes, he meticulously rebuilt a 4×4 redwood post and beam holder for the several oversize boxes obtained from Home Depot and got the neighbors to cough up the cost of materials. Being a craftsman, the posts were set in concrete, the galvanized boxes generously painted black and the address numbers uniformly and symmetrically applied. Some red reflectors and a new location 10 feet farther off the main drag gave some hope that a repeat would not occur.

    Stuff that won’t fit in the box has the driver putt putt the 100 yards up to the house and drop it on the porch.

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