Sat. May 12, 2018 – good morning!

75Fand damp this am, with possible rain in the forecast.

I’ll be working on my rent house (a peculiar phrase, but widely used here in TX,) and doing other home stuff today. No rest for the wicked…

If anyone is serious about self-serve medical education for grid down (or any other disaster), Aesop over at has been doing his best to educate us on how to help, without killing anyone. Highly recommended, and very serious. (occasional bad language alert)


Author: Nick Flandrey

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

22 thoughts on “Sat. May 12, 2018 – good morning!”

  1. Sunny and the temp is supposed to get up to 90 today in N. Alabama.

    Boy has a soccer game at 12:30….lots of sunscreen…

    I dug up a half-dead fountain grass plant yesterday. What a workout. It was big enough that dividing it was almost impossible. Removing it was almost impossible as well, but I won the battle. I did get an idea from YouTube, after I’m done, of course, to use a reciprocating saw to aid in cutting the plant up. Genius. Wish I had thought to search before, but I’ll file that nugget away for next time. Now to actually remember that info is another story.

  2. 44º and rain on the island that wants to be, and I’ve been out in it for the past 4+ hours. It’s okay – I’m used to that kind of thing. I’m just glad that tomorrow’s event will supposedly feature better weather, as I have electronics to set up tomorrow.

    The event today was put on to support a Women’s support organization. One of the original organizers of the event tells the story of how she came to this country as a teenager and found herself pregnant & unwed in a strange country. When she went to look for an abortion, she wound up at this care center where they offered her every option they could come up with, but would not help her get an abortion. She gave birth to a fine young man who just graduated high school and is in the national honor society.

    I am involved in 3 such events every year – put on by people who want to do good things for people and are openly opposed to abortion. They’ll help with ANYTHING else, up to and including adoption.

    Anecdotal evidence of the following observation: People that want to do something distasteful fall back on government coercion to get funding. Others that just want to help people without doing those distasteful things will go to great lengths to reduce (or eliminate) their dependence on handouts.

    I don’t (generally) make my views public. Looking at my business, home, vehicle, website, etc., you would have to look pretty hard to find my lean. I do that on purpose.

    Nonetheless, an abortion provider or supporter has never approached me about putting on an event. In fact, I don’t know of ANY fundraisers put on by such organizations.

    Perhaps I’m cynical.

  3. “Why on earth didn’t the mail carrier question the tubs of UPS mail?!?”

    Not his job to wonder why, only to deliver….

    Ballsy indeed!


  4. @nick, I sent a second message as the first may not have included my location. The second should have it.

  5. @JimL
    An interesting disclosure on your part, and demonstrates a rare principle that I (and most others on here) will endorse: tolerate even the intolerant. I heartily approve of abortion, but will defend to the death your right to disapprove of it.

    “Why can’t we all get along?” Indeed.

  6. Why on earth didn’t the mail carrier question the tubs of UPS mail?!?
    And surely someone at UPS should have noticed a precipitous drop in received mail?

    Situations like that make me question the integrity of “Vote by Mail” in WA and OR.

    I know Perkins Coie had the paralegals burning the midnight oil in Portland in the October before the election in 2012. Fabricating a mail truck load of ballots vs. a car trunk load is just a matter of scale.

  7. WRT vote by mail in WA.
    Yes, you are right to be concerned but no more so than any other voting method. The ballots seem to be getting to the addressed person. The weak link is when the ballots are mailed in, many opportunities to go astray. We always take our ballots and deposit them at the County Office so there is no middle-person.

    There is a move afoot to make the return ballots postage free. You see it is unfair to request people use the USPS and not provide them a stamp. The old “poll tax” argument.

    WRT the USPS in general:
    Like so many things the quality and competence of the employees is highly variable with, IMHO, a minority being really qualified to do the job. We are very fortunate to have a 30+ year extremely competent carrier. The only problem is that on her days off the replacements cannot find their butts with both hands, let alone get a mail piece in the correct mailbox.

    BTW, the dumbocrats have now nationally almost perfected the vote fraud methods that became the hallmark of Chicago elections a century ago. There is always a trunk-load of ballots that appear when the vote is not going right. Hillary (a Chicago suburb native) almost got the machine to work perfectly. I doubt they will fail the next time with that pesky Electoral “College”.

  8. Light cloudiness and slight wind, with temps in the mid-70’s in my corner of WA across from Mutiny Bay.

    Spent some time yesterday and today moving a web site from one hosting place to another. Learned a few tricks that will help with moving this place (and Barbara’s) to my hosting place later this year.

    Turns out that moving a WP site is pretty easy. And, there are ways to move email accounts and fowarders from one place to another. That saved a bunch of time. The process involves a bunch of file transfers from old place to local computer to new place; that involves waiting for file transfers to finish. Copying files is better overall than backup/restore, since it involves different hosting places.

    But Huzzah! for me for figuring it out — with the help of the googles. And I have documented the basic process so I can do it again. (I always say ‘I have a good memory, it’s just short’.)

  9. WRT vote by mail in WA.
    Yes, you are right to be concerned but no more so than any other voting method. The ballots seem to be getting to the addressed person. The weak link is when the ballots are mailed in, many opportunities to go astray. We always take our ballots and deposit them at the County Office so there is no middle-person.

    I see a lot more stories lately about a large quantity of mail involved with some kind of mishap. I think a process is at play to numb the public about that kind of incident ahead of vote-by-mail spreading to other states.

    Dr. Pournelle always used to point out that 1-2 % of the vote could be manipulated due to fraud perpetrated at individual precinct level (“car trunk” ballots). He said the trick was to win the election with enough support to overcome the fraud.

  10. We saw some in the returns of the last election. IIRC there were some trad Dem counties that waited until all the Rep counties were in before reporting. Gotta be sure your number is big enough…..

    Spent the afternoon powerwashing the front of the house and the furniture that sits out front. It was not high on my list, but was on the list. The morning was lost waiting for Fedex freight. I like the costco power washer that was on sale this month. Burns gas like a mother though. Super powerful compared to my old electric. You can always pull back or put a wider (less powerful) tip in, but if you don’t have enough power, you are stuck. Maybe I’ll avoid the nastygram from the HOA now that the black staining and the green mold has been removed.

    Giving the garden beds a super deep watering. I basically leave the hose dripping and just put it in the middle of the bed until water leaks out from the bottom of the bed. Otherwise, the MiracleGro potting soil stops all the water in the first half inch of soil. Stuff is miserable, and I still have enough in the beds to interfere with the watering. Lesson learned. NO MiracleGro.


  11. Aaannnnddddd…… it’s muslims.

    ISIS knifeman ‘shouting Allahu Akbar’ kills one and leaves four injured in stabbing rampage in Paris before being shot dead by police as Macron says ‘France has once again paid the price of blood’

    Armed police swooped on Paris as a suspected terrorist rampaged through the city shouting ‘Allah Akbar’
    Assailant, described as a man in his 20s, slashed at the throats of innocent bystanders in the Opera district
    He killed one man, aged 29, after stabbing him close to the city’s historic Opera House yesterday afternoon
    Four others were injured as the killer, who ISIS have claimed was one of their ‘soldiers’, was targeted by police
    Armed officers were able stop the attack by shooting the man dead as emergency services were scrambled
    Bloodbath follows a series of jihadist attacks in France where nearly 250 have been killed since early 2015

    Guess we can reset the ‘Days since a muslim terror attack’ sign, again.


  12. Busy day. “Ladies Breakfast” at church, cooked and hosted by the gentlemen. Plenty of bacon and hordes of syruped up children running about. A friends kiddo turned 6 so more sugared up children running about (also at church several hours later). There was a bouncy castle to everyone’s delight.

    Dug up the lilac that died mysteriously last year. It had been “failing to thrive” for the last 8 or 10 years. I kept threatening to dig it up and replace it but couldn’t quite bring myself to put it out of my misery. Perhaps it heard my muttered imprecations and it’s feelings were so badly damaged it died. Don’t know. Dug it up and hauled it out. Replaced it with a honey crisp apple on Zone 3 semi dwarf rootstock. I am not confident it will thrive but willing to try. Costco tree so the price was good. The Liberty tree, in whip form, I planted last year was dead dead dead. Dug it up too, and planted the zone 3 pear, also from Costco. Don’t know that our growing season is long enough for a pear, and not sure how the pollination is going to work out. Fills an empty spot in the yard and that suffices.

    Holding your expectations low may be the key to happiness. I will be content if it grows and provides annual blossoms. Any fruit will be a bonus.

    6 year old used the word “symmetrical” correctly and unprompted in a sentence earlier today. Pretty happy about her vocabulary.

  13. Sounds great! Actually pretty close to perfect day! throw in a kid’s ball game and a visit to Dairy Queen after, and you can put a check mark next to “perfect day.”

    And I’m falling asleep in my office chair, so I’m headed to bed…

  14. Went yesterday to buy ourselves a treat, with part of the money that came from closing down my wife’s business. It’s basically an open fire in a metal container with a rim – and you cook on the rim. I’m not much into art, but the shape is very pleasing, and the things look really nice. The kids think we are nuts to spend that much money on a weird grill. 220kg of steel being delivered in about 3 weeks. By then, I need to have re-arranged the granite paving in our seating area, to make a space for it.

  15. We saw some in the returns of the last election. IIRC there were some trad Dem counties that waited until all the Rep counties were in before reporting. Gotta be sure your number is big enough…..

    For now, margins are big enough in Texas statewide races that the outcome is not easily manipulated by fraud. Florida has been vulnerable since the 1988 Senate race was decided by less than a few hundred votes, establishing the “hanging chad” precendent that came back to haunt the state in 2000.

    @Lynn is probably right and Ted Cruz will coast to reelection, but watch the margin of victory. My guess is that the Dems are deliberately not running one of the Castro brothers in order to data mine the BETO loss for a workable statewide strategy to push elections closer, similar to FL margins. The party definitely learned from “Stand With Wendy” debacle.

  16. Yesterday I helped my sister make a couple of dump runs. There was a dead and decaying shed when she bought the property, and yesterday it went to its final resting place. It ended up being a couple loads in my van and one in her old Passport (a small SUV), coming to a ton or so if the dump’s vehicle scale is to be trusted. I did most of the work, as everyone else she’d called kind of didn’t show up, didn’t return calls, or whatever. This matches my experience: “good friends” who are close enough to ask for help but never seem to find it convenient when you need a hand. (For the record, she’d first tried to hire a crew to break it down and haul it away, but they wanted ridiculous rates, like $50/hr per person for unskilled labor and several hundred dollars for the disposal fee. In point of fact, the dump charged $42 for the three vehicle loads.)

    Anyway, that took only about five hours of my day, including driving, but I was pretty tired afterward. It didn’t help that we went up into her attic for a while to discuss improved ventilation and cooling ideas. From the description of that bit of work you might deduce that she was concerned about how hot it gets up there. And with good reason! It wasn’t as hot as a sauna, but I think we each sweated out a quart in the ten minutes we were up there.

    Got groceries, got home, got a ham into the oven, and then passed out. Woke up just in time to take the ham out of the oven, so it could have been worse. And now I have six or seven pounds of ham in the fridge, so things could be a lot worse.

  17. @brad, that is a beast! If you move, that will need to go with you.

    “Every vantage point brings a new perspective.” I love the hyperbole of statements like this, given that it is a symmetrical object. You aren’t buying a grill, you are buying a lifestyle!

    Let us know how it cooks!


  18. We’re told it’s about 45 minutes to cooking temperature. Another name for it might be a wood-eating-machine – it’s surely not an efficient way to cook. But then, the whole point is sort of the grown up “campfire” – sitting around the fire with a nice glass of wine, everyone cooking their own stuff.

    Talking to the guy who makes them, he says this is his busy season (Spring, early Summer), but it’s not when they wind up getting used. They put out a *lot* of heat, and he says people use them a lot more in cold weather than in warm. Given our cold, gray winders, that’s actually what we’re hoping for – because it’s otherwise easy to never go out into the garden for six months of the year.

  19. It’s a beautiful object, and gathering around a fire, especially to cook, is a powerful activity.

    You’ll have to re-decorate your whole garden though! It’s always the case that bringing in new furniture makes all your old stuff look shabby!


  20. gathering around a fire, especially to cook, is a powerful activity

    I think it’s in our genes, literally. Humans have been using fire for hundreds of thousands of years. Long enough that it has become encoded; a strong desire to be near a fire is a survival advantage. Kids like to play with fire. That is no different from a kitten chasing a bit string.

Comments are closed.