Tues. April 24, 2018 – another day another dollar….

56F, cool and sunny. Looks like it’s gonna be an awesome day to be outside.

[RBT always started with a weather report, and so I do, for continuity and as a measure of the passage of the seasons]

I’m committed to doing some work at our rec association today so I may/will be AFK most of the day.

[RBT usually updated what he was working on]

” Swedish Activist: “Everyone’s Afraid To Be Branded A Racist”

“I always say to my Christian friends, ‘What do you think, what will happen to you if Islam becomes dominant here?'” — Mona Walter.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-23/swedish-activist-everyones-afraid-be-branded-racist

[RBT often commented about a headline that caught his eye, esp. on prepping, decline of the west, muslim invasion, or terrorism.]

I could go on in this format, but I hope I’ve made a point. If not, here’s where I get out the whip and poor dead Trigger gets a beating…

====

Yesterday late in the thread bgrigg made a comment that I think opens up a couple of interesting points.

The first is ‘tone’. When I read it, I thought it was so over the top that it must be sarcasm and regretted that the internet hasn’t produced a widespread \\sarc tag or font. Upon re-reading I think it was sincere. Still seems out of proportion to me, but people are affected by things we don’t know about and in ways that don’t look rational from outside. I admit that I had to scroll back up to see what the joke was. I’m still not certain if it was the ‘ban white vans’ comment or my South Park ‘aaannnnd it’s Muslims’ meme.

If it was the van, well, after the mooslim mass murders in Europe, there were serious calls to ban white vans. Which is idiotic on its face, but our culture has been so degraded that people WILL NOT blame the actor (when it’s certain actors ie. muslims, blacks, illegal alien invaders) and so must blame the THING. For some of us in the gun rights blogosphere this is old hat, and we mock it reflexively. If it was the “rayciss” part of the comment, well, that triggers reflexive mocking now too. Far too many people have been screeching about racism in this country WHEN WE’D ELECTED A HALF BLACK BASTARD (literally- born to an unwed mother) TO THE MOST POWERFUL POSITION IN THE COUNTRY AND POSSIBLY THE WORLD. Pretty hard to cry about your lack of opportunity when someone who shares the supposed cause of your misfortune proves out the aphorism that anyone in this country can grow up to be President.

More likely that bgrigg was objecting to my South Park based meme though. All I can say about that is — it sure looks like sudden jhihadi syndrome from where I’m sitting. Attacks like this are nearly ALWAYS mooslim murder. To deny this is to deny reality. Even the Basque separatist ETA terrorists are apologizing these days. I mean, srsly, WHITE RENTAL VAN! Sidewalk in busy downtown! The only thing missing is him screaming Aloha Snackbar as the cops slam him to the pavement. Watching the video, I think he expected to be shot and killed by the cops, but forgot that he’s in Canada, not the US.

FWIW, there are plenty of examples of EXACTLY how RBT felt about pisslamic murderers to be found here, and I was hoping to make a point without the vitriol. Because frankly, I’m worn out. No, I don’t care much about the people in Toronto beyond the general loss of my fellow human beings who just wanted to live their lives. I feel anger at the murderer, and it is un-leavened by any sort of sympathy or understanding, especially if it turns out to be SJS. I am SADDENED but not SURPRISED that almost the first thing the Mayor of Toronto said was to reassure those listening that the city values its DIVERSITY. As noted above, there are certain people that you can NEVER blame for their actions, and the mayor is getting ready for the (inevitable) #Not all muslims statement…

====

And so we circle around back to ‘tone’. bgriggs says “This place has gone downhill fast.” THIS bothers and worries me.

JimL observes:

“I believe I have noticed a shift here. RBT set the tone and steadied the site. We followed Bob’s interests with his daily posts.

Nick sets a different tone. More prepping, more of what Nick does daily. There is also an almost daily summary of what’s going on in the world that supports the proposition that we should prep. Definitely more TEOTWAWKI than RBT’s posts. “

…which gave me pause…

because I don’t really want to change the tone! I re-read old RBT posts at random as a ‘gut check’ and I’ve tried to stay within the framework he established over the years. Of course, I read his posts and comments thru MY filters, and you all have different filters, so we probably do remember different things.

What I remember (and shapes my efforts here) is during the run up to the move to Sparta and after, Bob started focusing much more on prepping. Part of that was his work on the book, part was his planning for a different future after the move. Prepping is part of my life and provides a framework for much of what I do, and most of my previous contributions here were prepping related, so I’ve continued to emphasize prepping.

Bob would also comment almost daily on his work on the science kits, shipping, writing effort, or how sales were doing for the month/year. Since I also work from home, I’ve continued posting about my work, but of course I’m selling on ebay (and the bit of other work I do) and not making science kits so the content is different. I think it’s important that everyone have some alternative stream of income, and a ‘home based business’ provides that. Hence the ongoing coverage of my efforts, provided as encouragement toward everyone doing something to take control of their work life.

As I remember it, Bob was less likely to pull more than one ‘current event’ per day, or link to headlines. OFD was much more likely to do so in a comment. Since OFD is recovering (and I owe an update on Project OFD), and not commenting here, I’ve been more likely to put links in the actual post, although I am aware of it, and USUALLY will save the linkfest and political commentary for the comments (I think). And yeah, I know that I’m linking to a tabloid and doom pron. Over the last several years I’ve distilled my ‘daily reads’ down quite a bit. I’ve found that between the Daily Mail, zerohedge, and gateway pundit, almost everything will come up there. Each has its own editorial slant and obsessions, but together they provide a better ‘heads up’ to what is going on in the world than a dozen other sources. If I’ve double checked or looked for an alternative point of view, I try to link that so it’s not Daily Mail and “peachy posteriors” or “ample assets” all day long…………….

And then there is ‘home life’ for lack of a better term. I don’t have a [hyper]active border collie to provide ‘blog fodder’ so you guys are going to get more ‘family’ stuff from me. I DO have 2 young kids, who are very active and that probably gives my posts and comments a different ‘feel’ than pet anecdotes. WRT other interests, I only post here about a subset of my life. I DO have at least one other hobby that I don’t post about at all. I’m trying to not overshare (and perhaps ironically) or inject TOO much of my own personality!

So thank you bgriggs for giving me a chance to look at this. I don’t want the ‘tone’ to change much. I liked coming here before, and am trying mightily to keep this a place where everyone who wants to continue coming by will find something worth coming for.

===

ok, some ‘meta’ stuff….

I remember what seemed like years of Bob posting that ‘there probably won’t be much posting’ and then continuing to post at pretty much the same rate and level 🙂 At one point, I was even going to do a search and poke at him about it. I also remember all those long months when he and Barbara were dealing with aging parents. I kept coming back, despite the pain, because I know I’ll have to go thru that eventually, and having someone else scout the territory ahead is a great help.

Daily blogging is HARD. Doesn’t seem like it would be, but it is surprisingly difficult some days. On those days, just flipping on the lights, unlocking the door, and setting out a bowl of snacks is about all you can do. Grabbing a quick headline or a garden/prep update is the easy path. And some days it’s just “here’s an open thread” which is the equivalent of tossing the keys to the door to the first patron to show up as you head the other way.

It is probably inevitable that there is a change in ‘tone’ as more of me comes out. It feels very different now (to me, internally) than it did when I was just a ‘caretaker’ while Bob was sick. There is a stronger sense of responsibility with the ‘legacy’ than there was when Bob could come back and ‘set me straight.’ YOU guys will have to set me straight when needed.

Even more meta- watching the numbers, attendance here has stayed pretty constant. The graph of number of visitors is a pretty straight line, with the visits varying a bit. This is gratifying, and I take it as indication that I’m doing my job, and that people are still coming by and hanging out. Incidentally, it’s roughly 2x visitors to number of registered commenters, so we still get some lurkers (HI!) The top ten posts are separated by only a couple of hundred views, and span from 2013 to just a bit ago, with about half being since Bob got sick.

And even more meta- I’ve noticed a bit of a change in my ‘style’ with more word play, and even the occasional pun (which is NOT AT ALL like me!) Bob would be poking me for my fondness for commas, which is much in evidence in the post above.

And lastly, finally, and just a tiny bit defensively, I’ll give the last word to Bob. In June of 2016 he asked OFD and me if we would be interested in guest posting. I was flattered and a bit intimidated. He was very encouraging, and had this to say:

“Post away. Anything you wish: personal observations, links to news
sites, prepping information, ham radio stuff, advice about how to get
started scavenging at yard/estate sales, etc. In fact, you may want to
go back and pull out some of your earlier comments and turn them into
posts. It’s a lot easier to do that with admin access.

Looking forward to your and OFD’s first posts.”

nick

(yeah I miss him too)

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

105 thoughts on “Tues. April 24, 2018 – another day another dollar….”

  1. Let the dogs bark, the caravan moves on.

    Well , here is more proof that tRump is the worst President ever (via Drudge and other places):
    Unemployment is, Nationally, at a 17-year low.
    14 states hit record low unemployment.
    GDP is heading to a 15-year high..

    Sure, our National Debt is out of control, but the only way to stop it is for the Polutatitions to stop finding new ways of spending money and stop the automatic budget increases that happen every year. If that was to happen we would see an even greater GDP and essentially zero unemployment.

    Oops, functional zero unemployment cannot happen. That would require a drastic change in the work ethic and true functional education, neither of which has existed in the slightest sense for more than 50 years. Sure, a few of us are exceptions.

    Finally, and most important, @Nick, you are doing a great job dealing with the situation of this site. Sure, you are no RBT, but you have kept the spirit and the faith going and we all need to support each other. We are fortunate to have a diverse group and have managed to keep the trolls out.

    Let the dogs bark, the caravan moves on.

  2. 57º and cloudy in the city by the bay.

    @Nick,

    I wasn’t complaining or criticizing yesterday. You ARE different than RBT. Big deal. You’re maintaining the spirit of what Bob did. I almost said “worked so hard to create” and caught myself. For Bob, it was just what he did. Writers write.

    Lately, I’ve been reading John Riggs’ books. Reminds me a little of Heinlein’s style. It’s not, but it is close. Heinlein didn’t use as much innuendo, though, so not quite the same. Still enjoyable.

    The same idea applies here. You simply cannot maintain the tone Bob had. By the same token, RBT changed as he aged. The drop in posts about astronomy reflected a real change in his life. I expect the same kind of change in you. As your children grow, as your business changes, as the world progresses, your posts will change as well.

    Again – big deal. Observation, not judgment. And the numbers tell a very important truth: The folks that joined the community when RBT was with us are still here. Some will drift away, others will come, and this thing will evolve. But the basic flavor probably won’t change. Too many people remember RBT and will keep it that way.

  3. @JimL, didn’t take it as complaint, quoted you as a good and thoughtful response 🙂

    n

  4. The same idea applies here. You simply cannot maintain the tone Bob had. By the same token, RBT changed as he aged. The drop in posts about astronomy reflected a real change in his life.

    The loss of interest in astronomy here seemed really sudden and was a bit of a mystery until, at some point in the last year, RBT dropped that his vertigo had reached a point where he could no longer participate.

    Kids, if that happens to you, see a doctor. And, despite being married to one, I’m the last person who will go running off for a professional medical opinion … unless the limb is clearly detached.

  5. Just spent my morning scrolling thru previous posts….

    and I’d say roughly 30-40 comments on average posts. Sometimes less, and occasionally more. No obvious reasons either. I have a feeling it’s mainly if I’m at my desk (and a bunch of you are too) throughout the day that determines the number of comments.

    n

  6. I spent years trying to find a cause for vertigo. I was living in LA and it turned into one of the reasons I left. During the ‘poking and prodding’ stage, the Dr. looked at a CT and MRI of my head and mumbled ‘no problems with sinuses, well… no problems that everyone who lives in LA doesn’t have.’ Smog used to be MUCH worse in LA…

    Never did find a reason. I suspect it might be that the floaters in my eyes would swirl when I moved my head and that that would mess me up sometimes. One of the docs suggested that the muscles in my neck were squeezing the arteries when I turned my head, causing momentary interruption to blood flow. I’m also pretty sure there might have been some allergy related inner ear problem. I had really bad knees at the time too, and some research I read about suggested that that can cause balance issues as you are not getting good feedback from the damaged knees.

    In any case, it got better without treatment. I’m still extra careful on ladders though.

    n

  7. I’ve been lurking and sporadically posting here for 15+ years. RBTs interest in various things changed over the years. I can remember the focus of the majority of his posts shifting from PC hardware, to astronomy, to chemistry, and, finally, prepping (with day-to-day life and border collies always mixed in). I probably missed a few in that list. I sometimes wonder what his next focus would have been. I think he got a lot more politically outspoken in the last few years. It seemed to start around the time of the European economic crisis where he kept predicting the imminent economic collapse of the EU which never came to pass. At times I’ve been more interested in what’s being discussed here and at times I’ve been less interested. I sort of expect that though. After all, this was RBT’s Daynotes not Chad’s Daynotes.

    Nick can’t be RBT and shouldn’t try. Nick should focus on being Nick and use the tone and culture that RBT cultivated here over the years (decades) as a rough guideline. I think he’s done so admirably. If people thought RBT’s Daynotes weren’t going to change some after RBT’s passing then they’re high.

    It might help a little to have multiple authors. I have no idea which of the regulars would like to author the occasional post, but have more than one person sharing the burden of daily posts may make things feel more neutral, I’d nominate OFD in a heartbeat if he were able.

    That said, let me refresh a site suggestion from a while back…

    It would be nice if “regulars” could post images. I always wished RBT would turn that on. There’s been a lot of time where a photo or graph or whatnot would have saved a lot of typing. I think if you limit it to registered users who have been around awhile and restrict the size of and number of images per comment that there won’t be any abuse of it. I don’t know how granular WordPress permissions are.

  8. Meh, if bgrigg’s opinion is that the site now sucks and everyone is an asshole, that’s his right.

    My response to bgrigg? I’ll follow the classic guidance of “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    Keep at it guys…nothing wrong here.

  9. Thanks Chad,

    Jenny was approved (and recruited by RBT) as a guest poster. I’ve poked her a couple of times for posts, but it can be both intimidating and time consuming…

    I very much want to avoid an echo chamber, try to moderate my own views, and encourage others.

    WRT Jenny, is it sexist of me to want more of a female perspective? We are certainly different, and if there ISN”T a difference in perspective from gender/sex, there would certainly be one from personality and personal circumstance!

    Often I wonder/worry if this place is a bit too ‘grumpy old men.’

    I’ve also said it before, but it bears repeating, if you are one of the people or families that used to share updates and progress with Bob, you can still do so with me. Just email me at flandrey at aol com and I’ll post your story. (I have no idea who you are, or what your email is, so if you are interested, you’ve got to ping me.) I didn’t get any of Bob’s files, lists, email, or etc., I’m just blundering along….. with a BIG scoop of help from RickH.

    Rick has guest post login too, if he feels inspired …

    n

  10. I just wanted to chime in to say that I think Nick is doing a fabulous job and I continue to come to this place several times a day to read the posts and comments. I feel that the content has not changed that much since we lost RBT, although some of the technical topics are different. Being an IT professional for what seems like forever, I do find the comments interesting (especially the recent ones on SCO UNIX, which I used for a long time in the late 90s).

    My interests are evolving too. I have become more of a prepper, although with a focus to deal with shorter term problems, like power outages that we seem to experience more frequently than before.

    As I get closer to retirement, I too am considering some home-based business. I just haven’t figured that one out yet. I used to sell some stuff on eBay, but more to get rid of stuff that I did not have an interest in and did not want to store than to generate serious income.

    After the April storms we had in the Northeast, I am still cleaning up broken trees and limbs before the lawn starts to need care.

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  11. I’m not too worried about this being an echo chamber – of course it is. It’s no different from meatspace: people tend to socialize with others who share a similar perspective. I’m not seeing a problem, as long as we don’t forget that other groups hold other views.

    I’m not too worried about bgrigg. We all have bad days, and occasionally take more offense at something than we should. Perhaps he knew one of the victims, or had some other tie to the event that none of us knew about. As Nick did, I had to go search for what might have upset him. I think it was the “white van” comment, but it’s not clear, and (imho) he definitely overreacted.

    On the subject of site traffic, and speaking only for myself: It really varies day-to-day, depending on workload. Some days I don’t visit at all, others I’ll look in several times. Posting – meh – depends on whether I have something to say. Increasingly, I find myself taking Will Rogers’ advice: “never miss a good chance to shut up”. Yes, I am just as great a conversationalist online as in person 🙂

  12. I have noticed a bit of a change in the tone here but not too far from the RBT era. Mostly I see a lot less science talk. I might notice that more since I am a scientist myself. I still like to read what is said here even if it makes me groan. Nick, continue doing what you are doing. It’ll either work or it wont.

    To Bgrigg, I saw the comment in question as more sardonic than humorous. You are welcome to your opinion. If you think that I am an asshole, tell me. I can take it.

    Personally, I think that if you want to frequent this place you will need a quick wit and a thick skin.

  13. My white van “joke” was really my sarcastic view on how the liberal Canadian government responded. Like London’s knife/sharps ban. A joke would have been more like “I heard a guy in a white van made a 7-10 split in Canada.” I never said anything about the victims. Snowflakery can sneak up on you.

  14. “I always say to my Christian friends, ‘What do you think, what will happen to you if Islam becomes dominant here?’” — Mona Walter.”

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-23/swedish-activist-everyones-afraid-be-branded-racist

    This is what is going to happen in Europe. “Caliphate” by Tom Kratman
    https://www.amazon.com/Caliphate-Tom-Kratman/dp/1439133425/

    I see politicians in Europe and in many countries now pandering to the muslims.

  15. The scene where the daughter is mutilated was horrifying. But I think he’s pretty right on with the rest of the book. I’m not so sure about the US response in detail, we might be too far gone, but both OFD and RBT would probably take the opportunity to mention that we may be slow to anger, but our wrath is to be feared.

    n

  16. Lately, I’ve been reading John Riggs’ books. Reminds me a little of Heinlein’s style. It’s not, but it is close. Heinlein didn’t use as much innuendo, though, so not quite the same. Still enjoyable.

    URL ?

  17. There is a movie quote where the actor explains to another – “It’s british, and called humor. It’s a lot like wit, only less funny.”

    For some reason that came to mind last night.

    n

  18. Heinlein’s books often seemed to have a point where the character (a prude) ends up saying “F it, when in Rome…” and then jumping into some sex or sexual activity that is out of character for them. I was reading his lesser known stuff and it seemed like EVERY book.

    Funny how the authors of the day all thought swinging, plural marriage, and homosexuality were the future….

    n

  19. The scene where the daughter is mutilated was horrifying. But I think he’s pretty right on with the rest of the book. I’m not so sure about the US response in detail, we might be too far gone, but both OFD and RBT would probably take the opportunity to mention that we may be slow to anger, but our wrath is to be feared.

    I would venture that any country that hits 10% muslims by population is probably gone (SWAG). It will take a herculean (and genocidal) effort to recover from that level of invasion. Most of Europe has hit that mark or is very close to it. The USA is reputedly less than 1% muslims so we are a long ways away from there. But, the rest of a future muslim dominated world could easily declare war on the USA and send fleet after fleet of invaders. The first few fleets will be destroyed but at some point, they will get a beachhead.

  20. I see where Seattle wants to start charging larger companies a tax to help the homeless population. Amazon will get hit with about $20M a year.

    http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/24/news/economy/seattle-homeless-tax-amazon/index.html

    Some of these companies should just move out of Seattle, period. At $20M a year Amazon could pay for a new facility in Idaho in a couple of years and still have money left to pay for a couple of coffee machines.

    Starbucks would also get hit hard. But Starbucks has shown themselves to be a sweet spot for the homeless and people that want to loiter without paying. Starbucks got played, sucked it up hook, line, and sinker. As far as I am concerned Starbucks can stay and support the homeless.

    The fact is that many of the homeless choose to live that way. No responsibility, no sucking up to anyone, no need for government hassles, living where, and when they choose. Put them in those tiny houses being proposed and the places will soon be trashed with anything of value stolen, and the places empty.

    Seattle will then be left scratching their collective arses wondering where they went wrong. And that increased tax, well they’ll just keep that for good measure. Never let a good tax go undone. As for the businesses that left, Seattle will again wonder where they went wrong, offer tax breaks for a few years, then stick it to the businesses again.

    If I had a business or lived in Washington, Oregon or California I would seriously consider moving somewhere east of those liberal cesspools. Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and all points east until you get to the states along the east coast.

    Sorry Slim, I know you will not move and I understand your reasoning. I think you are the exception. Both my brothers are itching to get out quickly, or at least have threatened for several years. I think the wives are attached to their jobs but once those are done I suspect my two brothers will be among the hordes that are leaving.

  21. The folks that joined the community when RBT was with us are still here.

    10-4, I’ve been here for at least 16 years.

    WRT all the appreciation for Nick’s participation: Roger That!

  22. “Mostly I see a lot less science talk.” even with RBT that sort of fell off other than the occasional mention of some particular reagent or kit component. I don’t do any science-y stuff, and quit reading the science press when it got all AGW religious. So I’m afraid it’s up to the big brains in the group for that…

    n

  23. So I’m afraid it’s up to the big brains in the group for that

    Well that disqualifies myself.

  24. Lately, I’ve been reading John Riggs’ books.

    John Ringo?

    I saw the comment in question as more sardonic than humorous.

    Ditto. An attempt on the OP’s part to express his pain over the Toronto incident without inciting a flame war.

    @Nick: You’re doing fine. Keep up the good work!

  25. Some of these companies should just move out of Seattle, period. At $20M a year Amazon could pay for a new facility in Idaho in a couple of years and still have money left to pay for a couple of coffee machines.

    At enormous costs both in terms of direct financial outlay and claims for damage to properties downtown, the city, county, and state just finished digging Amazon a tunnel under the city to facilitate commuting for employees from points south into Lake Union, where their HQ sits. $20 million a year is a small price to pay for services like that.

  26. Heinlein wrote some good stuff, but he did have some weird sexual attitudes that regularly showed through. His novel “Friday” as a case in point.

    For “Heinlein like” writing, I’ve enjoyed the SF books from Peter Grant. I read his blog pretty regularly as well. His books tends to be a bit shallower than Heinlein, but very readable.

    Currently, I’m ecstatic to have discovered a whole series by David Weber that I didn’t know existed: the Safehold series. While there is a science fiction background, and I assume the sci-fi will resurface in the later books, it is mostly 17th/18th century technology. As always, the battle scenes are very well described. My only objection are the overt similarities to the Honor Harrington series: a plucky-but-small empire, unexpectedly powerful due to its merchant fleet, is combatting a massively superior enemy – sound familiar? It’s still a highly enjoyable read – I’ve been staying up far too late, reading “just one more chapter”.

    I’m less worried about Europe than y’all are. From a European perspective, America’s problems with blacks look worse: the current trend: anything that doesn’t go their way is racist – give in and grovel for forgiveness. This attitude causes racism in everyone else – it is the ultimate short-sighted, counterproductive tactic. The US has a lot more than 10% blacks, and the increasing friction isn’t looking good.

    As for muslims here – yes, there are problems. The silent majority really need to stomp on the trouble-making minority (just like blacks in the US), because it gives them all a bad reputation. But they don’t. Still, if we can stop further immigration we can recover: send the worst problem cases home, let the rest integrate over a couple of generations. That is the way the political winds are blowing, and we have to keep pushing, but I think we’ll be ok in the long run.

  27. If this is an echo chamber
    And you post complaints about it being an echo chamber
    Are you complaining about yourself?

    I miss most Bob’s commentary and observations on science and history. That is not a complaint, but a lament. That, and anytime OFD mentioned moxie and pretzels.

  28. At enormous costs both in terms of direct financial outlay and claims for damage to properties downtown, the city, county, and state just finished digging Amazon a tunnel under the city to facilitate commuting for employees from points south into Lake Union, where their HQ sits. $20 million a year is a small price to pay for services like that.

    These taxes tend to be doubling each year. $20 million this year, $40 million next year, $80 million the next year, etc …

    I was told last week by an Uber driver that Austin is spending $30 million on the homeless this year and the Mayor wants to spend $150 million on the homeless next year. Something about a massive housing project.

  29. the city, county, and state just finished digging Amazon a tunnel under the city to facilitate commuting

    I did not know that. I wonder if Amazon would have accepted that offer if they knew the city was going to put them on on the hook for $20 million a year. After about 5 years you are starting to exceed $100M in taxes paid to the city of Seattle. This is above and beyond what is charged for state and local taxes.

  30. Currently, I’m ecstatic to have discovered a whole series by David Weber that I didn’t know existed: the Safehold series. While there is a science fiction background, and I assume the sci-fi will resurface in the later books, it is mostly 17th/18th century technology. As always, the battle scenes are very well described. My only objection are the overt similarities to the Honor Harrington series: a plucky-but-small empire, unexpectedly powerful due to its merchant fleet, is combatting a massively superior enemy – sound familiar? It’s still a highly enjoyable read – I’ve been staying up far too late, reading “just one more chapter”.

    To me, the Safehold series is a retelling of the Dahak series. Self aware computer, genocidal alien race, the humans are on their last planet, etc.
    https://www.amazon.com/Mutineers-Moon-Dahak-David-Weber/dp/0671720856/

    BTW, there is a crossover between the Dahak, Honor, and Safehold series written by David Weber himself. Spoilers away !
    http://www.davidweber.net/essays

  31. “NY nixes natural gas pipeline expansion permit”
    http://www.pennenergy.com/articles/pennenergy/2018/04/oil-and-gas-ny-nixes-natural-gas-pipeline-expansion-permit.html

    “New York regulators have denied a permit for a pipeline expansion designed to increase natural gas deliveries to New York City.”

    “The Northeast Supply Enhancement project proposes to expand the Transco pipeline, which extends from Texas to the Northeast coast. It would include installation of 17 miles of 26-inch-diameter underwater pipeline from New Jersey to Queens.”

    I am becoming very concerned about the amount of over regulation of energy in various forms in the USA. For instance, natural gas is our number one abundant fuel in the USA and we need to supply many areas with more access to it (infrastructure). The cost of a pipeline project like this can easily run well over $10 million per mile and is an incredible investment by the companies involved. Especially in dense population areas like NYC.

    And, when that supply runs low, who gets blamed by the clueless media ? It is not the regulatory authorities, it is the energy industry. Everything in the USA is built on top of the energy industry. When that supply becomes constrained and the costs rise rapidly, the authorities need to be properly admonished. Instead, the authorities form committees and nothing happens until the next time.

  32. @Lynn,
    Into the Looking Glass by John Ringo. I think I got the bug from you when you offered another book review.

    Ringo and Travis Taylor seem to work together on the rest of that series.

    I’ve read some Peter Grant work. Liked it.

  33. Re: images in comments: this was brought up last year, and RBT wasn’t a fan, so we didn’t add it.

    But, there are ways to do this; as usual, there’s a plugin for everything. So it could be added if the ‘gang’ here wants it.

    Note that only images would be allowed, and there would be a size limit of the image size. There is no checking of the ‘security’ of the image, so it is possible that a ‘bad’ image might be uploaded – but that would be true of any site. The plugins I have looked at with this functionality would let any commenter upload an image.

    You can ‘link’ to an image with the ‘link’ button.

    So, the question is ; should we allow images in comments? Is it useful to the discussion? Or a distraction?

  34. Oops, functional zero unemployment cannot happen.

    Well, most economists think that unemployment of around 4% is full employment. At that point, the bulk of the unemployed are those who won’t get another job, or people between jobs. (If you quit a job and don’t start for two weeks at a new job, you are counted as unemployed for those two weeks.)

    The question is how many of the people that have dropped out of the job market and are not counted as unemployed will come back. Low unemployment should cause the labor participation rate, which is very low, to go back up. We’ll see.

  35. There’s a funny thing about getting riled up. When I was younger I was known for my temper. Things got broken, but I avoided hurting people.

    I learned to control that while in the service. Getting smoked by a DI helps a lot there. I maintain that I generally do keep my cool most of the time.

    Once, in AIT, one fellow decided to see how far he could push me. It did not end well for him.

    Since that time, I haven’t needed to prove myself. Big guys who generally don’t look for trouble tend to not have trouble.

    I fear that is where we are going now. Many are pushing. When the masses get tired of it, they’ll push back. It won’t be pretty.

  36. Sure, the blog has changed, but many of us are the same old duffers who’ve been around for a decade or more. I find myself missing RBT’s science and chemistry commentary the most. I used to email him the dumbest questions and usually got a concise, if not terse, reply which answered all. Never did ask him how to do an alkaloid shake-out though, and that sticks in my head for some reason.

    A lot of good brainz on here, so I propose a bit more Q & A among ourselves. Anything and everything! For example, Slim probably knows more about thermodynamics than any man in the country, so all things being equal, does a shiny tea kettle boil water faster than a black one?

    Images would be good idea. I still scratch my head trying to use the link button, though.

    I hope Bgrigg was having a bad day. We all have them. I used to have the nickname “Snippy” before I discovered Valium… 😉

  37. Often I wonder/worry if this place is a bit too ‘grumpy old men.’

    It totally is, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. But, yes, I too would like to see a bit more diversity (I hope that word doesn’t trigger an auto perma ban) in both age and sex (purposeful use of the word sex instead of gender). 🙂

  38. I don’t know… maybe Bgrigg was having a bad day.

    I looked at my site stats today. Added a few lines to htaccess to block various wp and wordpress directories. I don’t use the stuff, I don’t need to see the failed requests from “hackers”.

    I seem to /still/ have folks linking, no idea who, to (for example) emu.htm. I renamed everything to .html a couple/three years ago. I think I’ve found all of the bad internal links. I have plenty of failed request for a css files that is long gone. I’ll find that problem eventually.

    For the folks trying for “tubalar pasta” etc when the page is “Tubalar Pasta”, I suppose I can fix that somehow. I doubt that I will.

    Browser stats are a surprise. 45% Safari. But most folks are using Windows. Is Safari on Windows actually a thing? Why?

  39. Ringo and Travis Taylor seem to work together on the rest of that series.

    I’ve read some Peter Grant work. Liked it.

    Me too on Peter Grant. I have read everything John Ringo offers (and some multiple times, watch out for “Ghost” for the extreme sex). If you are looking for more RAH soundalikes, I would also try Sara Hoyt, Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, David Gerrold, Markos Kloos, Will McIntosh, John Scalzi (just stay away from his blog), Steven Gould, Jean Johnson, Dan Simmons, and Ben Bova.

    Wow, only two ladies in that list, I am sexist.

  40. @Lynn – yes, I’ve found most of those. Will McIntosh is new to me, as is David Gerrold. I’ll add them to my queue.

    I liked Scalzi’s blog. I don’t care for his politics, but his writing is pretty good. I enjoyed reading about how he planned his stories and how his career has developed. I haven’t read it in a while, though. It went away when I dumped a lot of the toxic elements in my life.

    (One of the reasons I stick around here – it’s not toxic. Maybe some of the chemicals are. The people can disagree and come off as friendly.)

  41. Browser stats are a surprise. 45% Safari. But most folks are using Windows. Is Safari on Windows actually a thing? Why?

    It may just be misidentifying other browsers as Safari. Chrome, Opera, and Safari are all Webkit/Webcore at their core (with some proprietary development forked off from the core here and there). Some browsers will purposely identify as the most popular incarnation of their rendering engine so sites with poorly written browser-specific code know how to handle them.

  42. One thing about Bob is that he had a T H I C K skin. I once said I’d have to beat him up with an iron bar to get a reaction from him. He agreed. Jerry Coyne, on the other hand, has the thinnest of thin skins. He’s always sulking and demanding apologies.

    I miss Bob and OFD.

  43. Some browsers will purposely identify as the most popular incarnation of their rendering engine so sites with poorly written browser-specific code know how to handle them.

    Ah, interesting. No worry about that on my site. I’m still using
    !DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN”
    “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”
    and Notepad to edit.

  44. Browser stats are a surprise. 45% Safari. But most folks are using Windows. Is Safari on Windows actually a thing? Why?

    Apple did distribute a version of Safari for Windows, from 2007 until ~2012.

    Initially, the iPhone was not stable enough for third party Objective C apps, and Steve Jobs intended to keep outside developers limited to web apps until the iPhone 3GS hit with more memory in mid-2009.

    Apple released Safari for Windows primarily as a development tool, but it gained some popularity as a Win32 WebKit browser until Chrome came along.

  45. Occasionally I’ve wished I could post images, but mainly I think it would be just clutter.

  46. I was told last week by an Uber driver that Austin is spending $30 million on the homeless this year and the Mayor wants to spend $150 million on the homeless next year. Something about a massive housing project.

    The only homeless big project I’m aware of is a “tiny house” village out near the toll road east of town, but I’ll admit that I stay out of Travis and its politics as much as possible.

    The village project held a benefit screening of “The Florida Project” last year, complete with a director Q&A. I weighed going since I’m a Florida near-native and Sean Baker is a filmmaker I greatly admire, but I didn’t want the guilt trip for a donation above the ticket cost.

    Getting the homeless out of downtown would have some benefit. Whether that is $100 million of benefit is above my pay grade, but the unofficial number I heard around the office is that we pay $3 million annually for parking in various garages with (some) security and 24/7 access.

    Going back 18 years in Tampa, I paid $120/month for a space in the garage at the hockey arena with only business hours access and practically zero security — I was more or less mugged walking to my car on my last day at GTE/Verizon. The ~ $1200/mo rumor-based number per employee is probably right for Austin these days.

    For reference, my garage spot is only a block from Stubbs.

  47. Another thing I miss about Bob is his quirkyness, like the time Barbara upbraided him about the condition of his socks…

    “Honey, there’s a hole in your sock.”

    “So?”

    Like Bob, I have socks, shirts, trousers and boots that are old enough to vote. I even have a suit bought in 1979. (Not worn since I got my “new” suit in 1995.)

  48. I did not know that. I wonder if Amazon would have accepted that offer if they knew the city was going to put them on on the hook for $20 million a year.

    I’m sure that the tunnel is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the various government entities do to keep Amazon happy in Seattle. I remember Downtown being a mess when I first went there 22 years ago — long enough in the past that the Egghead Software flagship scam -er- store was still in business when I needed a particular book on *Microsoft* Java.

    $20 million is pocket change to Bezos.

    Working at Coco/Unium in Downtown Seattle, I had a city-subsidized buss pass through my employer which cost $5/month. When I quit without notice one morning (long story, don’t judge until you’ve heard it) and had to pay the unsubsidized rate for the ride one-way out to my apartment in Issaquah, the ticket was $14.

    I’m sure, if nothing else, Amazon has a lot of employees who ride the bus.

  49. Ah, interesting. No worry about that on my site. I’m still using
    !DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN”
    “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”
    and Notepad to edit.

    I use HTML Tidy on all my web code after editing in vi. Tidy inserts the right DTD in the output on stdout and directs error messages to stderr.

  50. …..so all things being equal, does a shiny tea kettle boil water faster than a black one?

    Yes, the shiny one should be faster. I expect that the black one would radiate heat faster from its darker external surface that the shiny surface, which means that it take longer to absorb sufficient heat from the source (usually, a flame underneath).

    Later, the latest WRT to my favorite subject: the fraud of rooftop solar panels.

  51. @Miles_Teg
    AIT = “Advanced Individual Training”. Comes right after basic where they teach you a job skill. 11B is infantry. 12B is Engineer. 63B is Light Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic, which I was. I worked on everything from 5k Generators to 5T Tractor trailers. Usually in the woods or the sand. Where I learned my first real skill.

    AIT comes after basic, while you’re still compliant, and before other schools, where you learn to jump out of perfectly good airplanes and not die from it.

    And I haven’t bought a jacket for myself since my last permanent duty station (Berlin). Every other coat I have was given to me, or is old enough to run for the Senate.

  52. Re: using the ‘link’ and other buttons on comments:

    1) click where you want something to happen. Click the button. That will either put the beginning code (for bold and underline and quote). Then type away.When you want to get back to normal text, click the same button again. That puts the ending code.

    2) for the ‘link’ button, click where you want to put your link. Then click the link button. enter the link in the dialog box that will pop up. Click OK. Type the text that you want to appear as underlined. Click the link button again to ‘close’ it. Link is inserted like this one: here’s a link.

    3) For all buttons, you can highlight text that you want to bold/italic/link/quote, then click the button. That will do the action for the highlighted text.

    4) For links, you can just paste/type the link. Like this. https://www.ttgnet.com/journal . Remember to put a space character after the link so it gets converted when you save your comment (or post), or it will not get ‘linkified’.

  53. Ringo and Travis Taylor seem to work together on the rest of that series.

    I posted several days ago that the last “Looking Glass” book kind of sucked. I think Taylor was given free reign/rein/rain and the book was childish. I liked all the previous books and Taylor’s “Warp Speed.”

  54. I’ll take that as a negative endorsement of Taylor, then. I’m reading another of Ringo’s series (Troy Rising series) and am enjoying it very much.

    You fellas gave me a ride once. Not as much fun as the C130, though.

    Curiosity is killing me. Troop transport type bird or attack? Or both?

  55. Scout birds and troop (ash and trash). I loved flying solo in OH-58’s, but you can’t beat a UH-60 Black Hawk. Flubels Away!

  56. The ~ $1200/mo rumor-based number per employee is probably right for Austin these days.

    “They” are building a lot of small houses on this side of Burnet. Nice looking houses, 3br and 1 or 2 baths, 2 car garage or carport. Small yards and the houses are about 20 feet apart. I don’t know who “they” are. But…. many are rentals. Our question is “who the hell makes enough money to pay $1600 a month for rent plus utilities and minor nonsense like groceries?”.

    Yeah, maybe I want to go work there. Part-time, even.

    I mean, it’s nuts. Twelve+ years at HEB and I was bumping $16/hr x 40 hrs. week. Maxing the 401k and $50/week into savings at the credit union…. plus insurance and just what the heck are these taxes anyway, take home was about $320/week. So, yeah, about $8/hour… add in inflation… I had more cash in the mid-eighties when I made $5/hr.

    I can’t imagine stacking on car insurance, much less car payments.

  57. “They” are building a lot of small houses on this side of Burnet. Nice looking houses, 3br and 1 or 2 baths, 2 car garage or carport. Small yards and the houses are about 20 feet apart. I don’t know who “they” are. But…. many are rentals. Our question is “who the hell makes enough money to pay $1600 a month for rent plus utilities and minor nonsense like groceries?”.

    In Burnet?!? That’s a heckuva commute to Austin even taking 29 to the 183 toll road extension and variable pricing lanes planned for 183 down to Mopac.

    OTOH, Mopac variable toll hit $70 temporarily on Monday for Cesar Chavez to Parmer (Apple employees commuting from South Austin). $1600/mo is cheap in comparison if the hipsters only have to pay regular TxTag from Leander to 620.

    Someone has been moving a lot of dirt, building what looks like a freeway bridge over the railroad easement at the Inner Space Caverns exit from 35. I watched the project grow on my daily commute when I worked for CGI in Belton. Maybe a new toll road is coming … or, yes @Lynn, Amazon is prepping to build HQ2 in the old quarry. 🙂

    (On second thought, that idea isn’t crazy. Space, infrastructure, IKEA, and commuter rail potential to San Antonio. Hmmm. Ok — I’ll stop typing now.)

  58. Nick, you’re doing a great job and don’t let anyone tell you different. Unless there’s some truth to this life after death stuff and RBT sends a message from beyond.

    However, you lost any kudos you might have earned:

    WRT Jenny, is it sexist of me to want more of a female perspective?

    Did you just assume zir gender???? Check your privilege!

    Mostly I see a lot less science talk. I might notice that more since I am a scientist myself.

    Well, chime in, JLP! Most here are interested in sciency things even if we can’t contribute much. I, for example, am an engineer, which is a totally different mindset than a scientist even if there’s some overlap.

  59. OTOH, Mopac variable toll hit $70 temporarily on Monday for Cesar Chavez to Parmer (Apple employees commuting from South Austin). $1600/mo is cheap in comparison.

    Oh my ! My good friend lives between Smithville and Bastrop. His wife works for Apple Reimbursements and drives in daily. 51 miles each way.

  60. Lurker and occasional poster. I just wanted to throw my support behind Nick. This place could have shut down after Bob died, but instead Nick was willing to take over Bobs duties and keep things alive. What he’s doing takes a lot of time and energy and I for one am thankful that someone like him is willing to give up his time to make this thing work. This is a unique site with a great group of people and it would be sad to lose it.

  61. @nick, I’ve been meaning to tell you about this two acre property with 3,100 ft2 house with a 1,200 ft2 horse barn. 10310 Reading Road, Richmond, TX 77469 for $470K. Two horses allowed should you need something to occupy your spare time.
    https://www.har.com/10310-reading-road/sale_66995957

    The traffic is abysmal out here though. I’ve got a friend driving from about a 1/4 mile away from this house to downtown each day. His commute is 30 miles one way and he leaves the house at 615 am.

    I like this house even more but no barn. $898K for 7,711 ft2 on 1.2 acres with a 2,000 ft2 man cave XXXXXXXX pool house.
    https://www.har.com/1223-port-gibson-court/sale_72685485

  62. There appears to be a bgrigg on twitter who is in Toronto. Maybe one or two comments hit a little too close to home?
    Occasionally there some comments here that I don’t like and know would offend some of my close friends, but it’s easy enough skip over such comments and to treat them as just noise and the signal to noise ratio on here is very high.

    @Nick, you are doing a good job here.

  63. It is a heck of commute. Up at 4am to get to work by 7am. Er, there were three of us. So, in on 29 and and down 135 enough to catch Lamar to drop one off at Tomlison’s on Airport near I35, next is somewhere towards Creedmoor to an SBC depot that I forget exactly where, then I’d go the the TX-DOB on Lamar. Off at 4PM and sorta reverse the route. Hit a gas station out on 71 towards Marble Falls for a fill up and a beer. Into the sun both ways.

    No toll roads back then. No upper decking on 183/Research back then. No Reagan/ Parmer Land whatever running from I35 to 29…. and now almost a divided highway with cows on each side. Crazy.

    At least three hours a day in the car. For a couple of years. Then I said rude words and quit working for the state. And I had fencing to build and eggs to hatch. Someone retired. The kid went back to college.

    And the retiree? Er, he went into management instead of staying in the CO for a few years and doubled or so his retirement. He retired within a month or so of a couple of friends. They took their 70 grand payout. The stock market ate it. He took the a bit over $1000/month and hey, that was back in 1993. So, 35 years on and well, 35x12x1000 = $420,000. And counting…. I’m not a math whiz but I was pretty sure he was going to live more than 6 years…. and if he had the money in hand I knew it would be gone for a new pick-up truck. The two friends? They are working. 73, 75, just to make the bills.

  64. @Nick: I agree, good job, dude. Nice to keep this place going…it is a bit of work to do (and remember to do) a daily post. But it gets things started here.

    I come here several times a day to read all the comments. Don’t agree with all of them, but I just pass over those. I don’t take things personally.

    So, great job in keeping the site going. Unlike another site I used to go to daily, but it has died off due to lack of interest from surviving family. Nothing I can do about that; the site doesn’t belong to me, even though I run the back-end. Sad to see that commentary go, though. (You can guess which site I am thinking of…)

  65. I have to go feed the dogs.

    Missy and Penny are ok but Peyton or Payton or whatever, she answers to PayPay wants her food. My ONLY Boxer ever. Such a sweet dog and such a slobber slinger.

    She’s used to free feeding… but I can’t do that with Missy, her of hind tit and not quite the runt of her litter has food issues.

    Yeah, a 95# Lab under “mystery black dog the jumped the fence” with food issues. 🙂

    Penny is pretty much “whatever man”…. I know where the cats eat and the emu eat and there’s always a lizard to chomp. Maybe a bunny rabbit out there, too.

  66. (You can guess which site I am thinking of…)

    I don’t recall much commentary there. But I wasn’t looking for it, either. A different style….

  67. I don’t recall much commentary there. But I wasn’t looking for it, either. A different style….

    The commentary was all from the site content generator. And dadgum good commentary, sometimes on current events, sometimes on emails that people sent to him.

  68. But the Austin airport sucks ? Whoa, 14 million passengers last year.

    Yeah, ABI is a mess IMHO, especially considering its age, but, I’ll admit, my standards are high. I grew up flying in/out of Tampa International.

    At least the city has land to fix ABI. It will happen … eventually.

  69. @Nick, another voice saying that you’re doing a great job. Thanks for keeping this place going.

    Not that we all don’t miss RBT and OFD. Hopefully OFD will be back someday soon.

  70. Not that we all don’t miss RBT and OFD. Hopefully OFD will be back someday soon.

    May Xenu be merciful.

    (Looking forward to the day that gets a profane response from OFD)

  71. I just cannot get my mind around this new gender crap.

    Wait till social-emotional learning hits you in the face. That’s big in K-12 especially in CA. MrsAtoz makes big bucks teaching that.

    I listened to the pronunciation of “zir” on the wiki. lolololol! “zeeeeerrrrr”

  72. thanks guys for all the support.

    —-

    If bgriggs is in Toronto, I guess it was a bit of a raw nerve. No hard feelings, I hope he comes back. Sucks when it’s your town and your friends. Doesn’t quite matter or feel like reality until then for a lot of people. I’ve had the misfortune of being in the wrong place a number of times. NYC for 9-11 (8 miles from ground zero), LA for the Rodney King Riots (they tried to burn the shop I worked at in Hollyweird, and I could smell smoke and see flames from my front door. My roommate was hospitalized as the victim of racial violence- funny how it’s not a hate crime going that way), Houston for Katrina, Rita, Ike, Harvey, various and sundry earthquakes in Cali, and a long list of more personal SHTF moments.

    America in general had that wake up call with 9-11 and I remember quite well how some europeans had a sense of schadenfreude and a “now you’ll have to get used to it too” attitude. I vowed that we WOULDN’T have to ‘get used to it’ but we ARE getting used to it.

    wrt photos in comments, the consensus last time was, un-necessary, a distraction, etc. Maybe the mood has changed now that folks have had some time to think about it? I suggest more discussion with a default of not doing anything (kind of like Congress, oh I feel soiled….)

    I miss JEP’s site too. He had some really good sources and correspondents and an amazing mind.

    @lynn, that second house is gorgeous. Wife would never go for the commute though.

    I really enjoy re-reading the Troy Rising series, or as I think of it The Maple Syrup Wars. The one that is mostly Comet figuring out that Latins are different can drag in those places, but he NAILS the cultural differences.

    The Looking Glass book that is mostly the original hero being shat upon by the Navy was not my favorite.

    I enjoy re-reading the series about how the Renaissance Fair folks save the world after a collapse. It reminds me of the JEP story where SciFi fandom does much the same.

    For that matter, there is the Ringo book that takes place mostly at a Con….

    home from my volunteer work shift at our rec association. Now I have 2 pcs to rehab and figure out. I avoided doing the tech support on them for 2 years but now I’m bent over…

    meatspace takes TIME

    n

    and yeah, boxers are snot factories and to make it worse, nose bumpers too.

  73. I’ve had the misfortune of being in the wrong place a number of times.

    Jeeze Louise, stay the hell away from wherever I am. I’ll keep you updated regarding my itinerary.

  74. I think we all know the bgrigg we were talking about. I’ll assume he was having a bad day.

    I’ve been pissed enough at RBT a few times to delete him forever. Nuking Mecca was one such thing. I’m still not sure it wasn’t a bad idea.

    To everything there is a season, as OFD might quote. I used to send JEP a $20 bill on every 4th of July. Cash. lol. Who uses cash any more?

  75. @steveF, there are reasons for my prepping……..

    @MrAtoz, holy smokes, that SEL sounds sinister. It’s a giant prog project to improve mankind by subverting and extending the mission of education in pk-12… and it sounds like there are bucketfuls of money sloshing around to accomplish it.

    All that SEL cr@p USED to be the province of good parenting. And there is pretty good evidence that if you don’t have the right inputs before age 3 or 4, you are never gonna develop empathy and self control. FFS, the list of what they want to do can be flipped on its head and used to describe exactly what is missing from a certain ‘inner city’ or ‘urban’ culture.

    And look at their donors and partners…

    “school-based programs that successfully promote students’ self-control, relationship building, and problem solving, among other social and emotional skills. ”

    ” it seeks to inspire a movement of empathetic citizens who, with mutual respect and understanding, ultimately build an increasingly civil society.”

    “dedicated to catalyzing a transformation in global society, moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership.”

    There’s an awful lot of squishy-ness too:

    ” with a goal to develop and pilot measures for collecting data on mindfulness practices. …supports programs and best practices that cultivate authentic relationship skills in education, wellness, and the workplace through inner fitness and relational fitness”

    “supports the development of capacities in people — individually and collectively — to help create a caring and balanced world.”

    “promote real change in the field and create the next generation of engaged, passionate, creative thinkers who can achieve their greatest academic potential.”

    ” to influence the national conversation around the impact of health and wellness on children to develop policies that make health and wellness an essential component of the education system.”

    “focuses on youth-serving systems, seeking to make them work better on behalf of the most marginalized young people in our society”

    they go on like that, and want to DEVELOP ways to teach it and measure it….

    I wonder how Bill Gates would have scored on their empathy and teamwork tests? How about Steve Jobs? Tom Edison? Jonas Salk? Samuel Clemens?

    They also seem to have a focus on ACADEMIC achievement. Isn’t that a bit of missing the forest for the trees? Doing well in school is NOT the goal, it is merely a step on the path to being successful in LIFE and is completely contraindicated for changing the world.

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ll be watching for that now along with Common Core, and whatever the new ‘new math’ is.

    n

    https://casel.org/core-competencies/

    Social awareness

    The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
    Perspective-taking
    Empathy
    Appreciating diversity
    Respect for others

    Relationship skills

    The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.

    Communication
    Social engagement
    Relationship-building
    Teamwork

    Responsible decision-making

    The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.

    Identifying problems
    Analyzing situations
    Solving problems
    Evaluating
    Reflecting
    Ethical responsibility

  76. I’ve been pissed enough at RBT a few times to delete him forever. Nuking Mecca was one such thing. I’m still not sure it wasn’t a bad idea.

    There is hope ! The new 32 year old Crown Prince is really shaking things up. I saw an article where they have allowed movie theatres to reopen. Whoa ! There are women and men sitting together in the crowd ! And women are now allowed to drive, etc, etc, etc.
    https://www.essence.com/entertainment/black-panther-opens-saudi-arabia-cinemas

  77. Yeah, but then they revoked the license for a health club because a woman was seen working out in spandex….

    n

  78. I’m coming late to the party, (or early depending on your time zone).
    But I would agree that it would be a shame if this journal were to close. My thanks to Nick, RickH, Barbara and all the contributors that keep it interesting.
    Over the years the amount of knowledge from so many different sources has been amazing. Yes, I miss RBT quite a lot, but keeping this journal going makes me feel that he is still lurking.. 🙂 Similarly with OFD, Chuck, and others, they are missed also.
    Of course over the years there have been some things to which I did not agree, but the positive always outweighs the negative. So I hope bgriggs does return at some stage.
    I am a little cautious with regard to images. I would not like to see a screen full of memes or similar..

  79. @Nick

    I would submit that a good bit of what you listed in that last post is what I would call “parenting”. It’s what happens when two parents take the time to raise children to adults with a little social consciousness. If you think group-think is better at raising decent human beings, I think you’re doing it wrong.

    Something like “Don’t spit on people as you walk by” is easy. On the other hand, “Say ‘please’ and ‘Thank you'” is a little less obvious. Good parents are going to get more of that right.

    And it takes two (or more) to get it right. The male perspective complements the female perspective. Single-parent households and same-sex partnerships simply cannot get it right often enough for a healthy society.

    Of course, some get it right. And some traditional families fail. I’m talking statistics here. It’s the same idea as “seatbelts save lives”. Anyone can come up with counterexamples. The point is that statistically they do, and statistically a traditional family is better at producing good citizen than these alternative familial arrangements.

    Additionally, time spent with a variety of adults with similar values is even better. Go visit your grandparents. Spend a week at Aunt Sissy’s farm. A weekend with your cousin (and his parents) will be good for you.

    It’s early. I’m rambling.

  80. “Mayor wants to spend $150 million on the homeless next year. Something about a massive housing project”

    If you want more of something, subsidize it.

    I do think it is important for a city to have emergency services for people who have temporary problems. Someone gets thrown out of their apartment, maybe because they lost their job or whatever – it’s sensible to offer them a place to go. If they don’t have someplace, they can’t take care of themselves, and that will keep them from getting a new job and a new place of their own.

    But that’s the minority. The general homeless problem is different. Most of the homeless are incapable of living in a house or apartment. Why, exactly, varies: drug problems, mental health, whatever. Give them a place to live, and they will trash it, and be homeless again. I don’t know what you do with people in those situations, but just handing them a house key is certainly not the answer.

    Re images: I vote against – I prefer pure text. If someone wants to show something, they can embed a link. The readers can look at it, or not, by clicking the link.

    “I just cannot get my mind around this new gender crap.”

    It’s not something I’ve really directly encountered, but my answer would be simple: Someone’s sexual proclivities are their private issue. Of no interest to me, or anyone else. I have nothing against gay folks, but actually: I really don’t want to know who you have sex with. So why are you telling me? Same for the rest of the LGBT alphabet.

  81. Yep, SEL looks like the state (thru the schools) replacing the role of parent.

    What they are teaching has been known for years. Decorum. Politeness. Manners.

    Further, I don’t think you can teach empathy. The closest you can get is the sociopath who’s been trained to recognize cues and then chooses to respond appropriately. It’s empty of real caring though.

    And there is a heavy dose of prog social values. Not just tolerating, but now you must embrace diversity. The sample lesson that incorporates ‘helping a business learn about environmental sustainability’ is a nice example. WTF does a 5th grader have to say to a business owner with grandkids that age, and a staff full of scientists? Using the kids to do the dirty work is a typical ploy. Like the false ideal of the ‘noble savage’ this ‘wisdom of the children’ is a load of BS.

    n

  82. I’ve had the misfortune of being in the wrong place a number of times. NYC for 9-11 (8 miles from ground zero), LA for the Rodney King Riots (they tried to burn the shop I worked at in Hollyweird, and I could smell smoke and see flames from my front door. My roommate was hospitalized as the victim of racial violence- funny how it’s not a hate crime going that way), Houston for Katrina, Rita, Ike, Harvey, various and sundry earthquakes in Cali, and a long list of more personal SHTF moments.

    @nick,

    You should write a book about your experiences and how you have adapted your life to prevent/prepare because of those scenarios. I would love to have a finished copy of RBT’s book, but that isn’t going to happen. I think your stories could be even more interesting. It’s stuff that actually happened. Kind of like Ferfal’s book but in the United States.

  83. Well, chime in, JLP! Most here are interested in sciency things

    I will if it seems apropos and I am familiar enough with the subject.

    When people casually ask me what my job is and I reply “scientist” many say “wow, that must be exciting”. Those are people who watch a lot of TV. Real science can be pretty boring: I have never been asked by the government to help stop an evil world domination plot, never been in a gun battle with a super-spy, not even a single car chase.

    Most of my days are spent developing immunological test methods and lyophilization procedures. Some of the projects I’m on are interesting but in the end, it’s just a job.

  84. @dave, I’ve already written 10’s of thousands of words, but it’s scattered all over the web and in forum comments, etc.

    I probably have a wider reach that way than thru a book.

    WRT prepping books, I started going thru RBT’s PA novel and had to stop for a while. It’s so clearly him, Barbara, Colin and friends that it was painful to read. As some time passes, I’ll take it up again. A quick look says there is too much missing to ever do a book, but something might be shared.

    WRT RBT’s actual prepping book, I have only gone thru a chapter, which needed copy edits. It was written in chunks, and there is a lot of repetition. I expect the other chapters to be similar, but haven’t had time to go thru them. There will def be publishable material, although it probably won’t be the comprehensive volume he originally intended.

    n

  85. WRT prepping books, I started going thru RBT’s PA novel and had to stop for a while. It’s so clearly him, Barbara, Colin and friends that it was painful to read. As some time passes, I’ll take it up again. A quick look says there is too much missing to ever do a book, but something might be shared.

    The PA book was classic prepper porn. Gun battles, lots of special equipment, etc, etc, etc. Properly done, it might do well. Or not.

  86. I probably have a wider reach that way than thru a book.

    Yes, you probably have a wider reach doing what you have already done. It would be nice to have it all in one place though. It might be something I could persuade my wife to read to explain why we prep rather than have her think I’m prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse or something crazy.

  87. Re science: I think most professions are less exciting than people think. I am seriously considering getting back into AI research – which I last did more than 20 years ago. I’ve done a bit of reading, to catch up with what I’ve missed. It looks like “a bit” is all it’s going to take. With a few rare exceptions, research mostly moves along at a glacial pace. Small step by tiny step.

    My particular area of expertise is symbolic learning, meaning that the learned stuff is in a form that people can understand. It looks like almost nothing has happened in 20 years. I’m less hooked into neural networks, but as far as I can tell it’s the same there. The “advances” we’ve seen in AI have been mostly due to increased computing power, not so much due to improvements in the concepts.

    Anyhow, if I do actually get back into research, I’ll be happy to toss out the odd post here, for anyone who may be interested…

  88. I think it’s a lost cause. Bob was a big ‘ol racist, but he didn’t dwell on it the way you do. I find the “The world is on fire. Had Mac ‘n cheese with the grandbaby, what a cutie.” posts funny, but it’s not much to hang a community on. Also, Bob wasn’t a Trump booster.

  89. I think most professions are less exciting than people think.

    Agreed. That’s why one should change jobs every so often. I’m currently trying to become the Congressional Headsman. Not quite what you think. I’ll have an axe in one hand and a pre-signed Presidential pardon in the other, and I’ll go in and clean out the worst of the shit stains in Congress. It’ll no doubt be interesting and exciting and motivating at first, but after a while it’ll be just a job and I’ll just be trying to get a head.

  90. Gotta hand it to you, that would be a great weight loss plan, 10 pounds of ugly fat gone just like that…. people would sign up.

    n

    And WTF happened just above SteveF?

    n

  91. And WTF happened just above SteveF?

    I find that “beer”, “childhood brain damage”, and “trolling” suffice to explain such occurrences.

  92. If not for the use of “Bob” I’d have thought random text generator.

    n
    IP is 71.244.132.240 Baltimore MD some where… only post, bogus email

  93. What was RBT’s method of checking out new posters?

    I was under the impression that all new posters got put into a “moderated” bucket and checked out before their post was allowed to appear. I know it is a lot of work, but necessary for the integrity of the site.

  94. Here is something I could never say in public.

    Over my lifetime I have generally become less prejudiced. Positive experiences with people who are different make me less prejudiced. Negative experiences with people who are different than me do not have a positive effect.

    Having had people imply that I am racist and sexist for the last eight years because I think Ben Carson would be a better President than Barack Obama, or that Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina would make a better President than Hillary Clinton has not made me less prejudiced. Next thing I know, someone will call me antisemitic for thinking Alan Dershowitz would be a better President than Bernie Sanders.

    Just because I think Condoleezza Rice would be a better President than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton means I’m a racist and a sexist.

  95. Also, Bob wasn’t a Trump booster.

    True dat. RBT was anybody but Hillary. Anybody.

  96. True dat. RBT was anybody but Hillary. Anybody.

    I thought he was an anybody but Hillary or Bernie type myself…

  97. Hah, just plain Dave has over 200 approved comments. Vs troll’s ONE. however, I suspect that troll might have another name here and is commenting in the only way anon is possible. Still doesn’t make sense to me though. And the charge of ‘racist’ has no meaning or affect on me any more. ‘Nother year of abuse and I might EMBRACE it. During the sad puppies punch up over the Hugo awards, some troll charged Brad T with racism, not realizing that he’s happily married, with kids, to a black woman for (iirc) well over a decade. When that was pointed out to troll, he accused Brad T of using his wife as a shield against his innate and obvious racism. Didn’t marry her because he loves her, no, married a black woman BECAUSE he’s racist. . . The crazy runs deep in some places.

    No checking of commentors that I’m aware of, askismet for spam control with something like 94K comments stopped. Too many LINKS gets you automatic moderation. I try to look at the comment mods once a day but don’t always notice. Sometimes I have to get myself out of moderation because of links……..

    n

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