Tues. May 22, 2018 – beautiful day

71F but humid and wet, with sunny clear skies. I’m hoping for a nice day.

We’ll see if I get any work done today.

n

77 thoughts on “Tues. May 22, 2018 – beautiful day”

  1. 70f, overcast, and humid in Memphis.
    Meetings most of the day trying to sort out our new security partners.
    Looking forward to the long weekend already.

  2. 66º and cloudy. Rain was forecast all day, so I bussed it. 1 mile to the stop from the house, 1/2 mile from the stop to work. I got a little sprinkle on the first leg, but dry otherwise.

    The repair shop won’t be able to get to my truck until tomorrow or Thursday. Shop manager agrees that it sounds like the fuel pump, but reserves judgment. I can’t argue about that. As I said – when I don’t know, go to the guys that do.

    Which brings up a gripe about my 9-5. If I tell you that it’s not safe to run the business on 10-year-old hardware, you don’t get to gripe at me when it fails at 12 14 years old. Happens ‘way too frequently for my liking. Makes me come to places like this to gripe.

    New ERP package is now in the pipeline. I’ll be doing the hardware projections for the next 3 years next week. They always wonder why I project numbers that I do, but I’ve been right every time. It’s only when they argue with me and don’t spend the money when things blow up.

    For the record: I’m okay with 5-year-old hardware for enterprise-level things. I’m okay with well-built 10-year-old hardware that’s been refreshed and is not a mission-critical piece of hardware. That’s why I rotate-out hardware. The fact that it’s STILL RUNNING when I pull it out of service is a success, not a failure.

  3. My firm is quickly moving to AWS (cloud) to leave the issue of hardware maintenance and replacement to someone else. Yes, there is a learning curve, but it’s not that steep, and the advantages of being able to quickly scale up (or spin up new instances) to meet needs is wonderful.

  4. Gotta love the picture of a Starbucks on the top of Drudge. The homeless problem in Kalifornia is solved.

  5. Gotta love the picture of a Starbucks on the top of Drudge. The homeless problem in Kalifornia is solved.

    yuuup! The closest homeless to me hang out at the nearest Starbucks, but at its outdoor patio area. Regardless, I neither use that nor any other SB.

  6. Gotta love the picture of a Starbucks on the top of Drudge. The homeless problem in Kalifornia is solved.

    Sooner or later, the Starbucks institutional shareholders will revolt and demand action.

    The lefty ideals are good marketing in certain areas, but, when push comes to shove, the Progs I know live very conservative home lives and would avoid Starbucks catering to the modern urban outdoorsmen.

  7. @harold Good for you! A long time friend of mine is a technical honcho at AWS. She had a lot of experience in web based application design and network ops before she went to AWS, so she is someone that has been in the trenches. Also a pretty good amateur photographer.

  8. I just had a conversation with one of the owners. They want to use barcodes for data collection.

    Instead of buying hardware designed for the task and the scanning module from the vendor, he wants to buy OTS smartphones, put them in cases, and write an app to do the task. Data will sync when they bring the phones into the office. Cannot do it real-time over the wifi that we don’t have because they won’t let me install it.

    Yes, I’m whining now.

  9. The one problem with AWS that I see is that belt-tightening can be very difficult with cloud services. When my employer went tight after a single customer took over 50% of our work, all expenditures stopped. People were laid off. Bills were stretched by some number of days. Company squeaked by. I inherited 10-year-old machines because they could not be replaced.

    I spent my first 3 years bringing everything to current. (Well, almost everything.) If we got tight again, we have a 3-5 year cushion during which we could delay maintenance.

    On AWS we would simply be out of luck. No way to cut those costs without shutting the company down.

  10. Instead of buying hardware designed for the task and the scanning module from the vendor, he wants to buy OTS smartphones, put them in cases, and write an app to do the task. Data will sync when they bring the phones into the office. Cannot do it real-time over the wifi that we don’t have because they won’t let me install it.

    At the request of one of my wife’s cousins, I looked at what was involved to write an iPhone app to check lottery tickets by reading the bar code. Surprisingly, the bar code scanning was not the challenging part, with good off the shelf open source libraries available to read many of the common formats. iOS supports C++11 extremely well, and I’ve long suspected that is Apple’s “secret sauce” for their internal development.

    Still, writing an app isn’t to be undertaken lightly. If you’re management persists, insist on training and present them with a quote from The Big Nerd Ranch for all relevant development personnel to attend one of their “Boot Camp” classes, onsite or at one of their facilities in GA/CA.

  11. RE: AWS security & privacy …

    The AWS defaults are surprisingly good. I have two people on my Security team working with the infrstructure folks to establish a baseline. The AWS people are very easy to work with. Highly recomended. Like anything, you can follow best practice and do it right or not.

  12. I was HEAVILY involved in barcode data collection in the 80’s & 90’s. Made and lost a few million designing dedicated data collection systems. Then went into warehouse automation using barcodes. I haven’t worked with smartphones for this but wouldn’t expect the reliability and ruggedness of the purpose-built scanners. I’d say you are looking at lots of headaches trying to use lowest-cost consumer devices in that role.

  13. I was HEAVILY involved in barcode data collection in the 80’s & 90’s. Made and lost a few million designing dedicated data collection systems. Then went into warehouse automation using barcodes. I haven’t worked with smartphones for this but wouldn’t expect the reliability and ruggedness of the purpose-built scanners. I’d say you are looking at lots of headaches trying to use lowest-cost consumer devices in that role.

    Hopefully, Jim’s management balks at the training cost just to get the developers to the point where they can write the “Hello World” app.

    The problem you run into these days is that all it takes is one hyper-caffeinated Adderal-gulping Millennial CEO wannabe to get the ear of management and spin tales of all night coding sessions to do the job in house on the cheap. That situation is more or less why I don’t work for the Death Star anymore … and neither does my manager or the Millennial from whom he took the bad advice which ran our project into the ground.

    Mr. Adderal went on to be CTO of an insurance company in Florida and was fired before he could sell his house in Texas under the relocation agreement. Kharma catches up.

  14. Taking the Boy Scout Motto, “Be Prepared”, to a place it has never been before:
    Boy Scout World Jamboree leadership requires condoms ‘readily and easily accessible’ for event

    “Leadership of the Boy Scouts has mandated that condoms be “readily and easily accessible” for next year’s 24th World Scout Jamboree, which is scheduled to be held in the mountains of West Virginia from July 21 to Aug. 1, 2019.
    What are the details?

    According to an announcement on the event’s page, “For the first time, a world jamboree will be hosted by three national Scout organizations: Scouts Canada, Asociación de Scouts de México, and the Boy Scouts of America.”

    “These three distinct cultures will join together to host the world Scouting community in a celebration of cultural exchange, mutual understanding, peace, and friendship,” the statement adds.

    The theme for the 2019 Jamboree is called “Unlock a New World,” a concept that was conceived by the Scouts’ youth bid team, “known as the Dream Team,” according to the announcement.

    “This theme speaks to the new adventures, cultures, and friendships that will be shared by Scouts from around the world during the event,” the statement adds.
    And about the condoms?

    According to its 2016 handbook, the World Scout Committee is mandating that condoms be made readily available.

    A subsection on page 10 of the publication reads, “The Host [Organization] must ensure that condoms are readily and easily accessible for all participants and [International Service Team] at a number of locations on the site.”

    The directive adds, “When making this information available onsite, consideration shall be given to the various cultures and beliefs present.”

    According to Charisma News, “It appears the Jamboree guidelines were drafted after the 2015 World Jamboree in Japan in preparation for the 2019 event and were just recently released in an email.”
    What are others saying about this?

    John Stemberger, Florida Family Policy Council president and chairman of the board for the Christian scouting organization Trail Life USA, told Charisma News:

    In light of the mandatory condom policy, it is not clear how far down the rabbit hole the Boy Scouts will continue to fall. With the addition of condoms and alcohol, the World Jamboree is starting to sound more like a 1960s Woodstock festival rather than a campout that parents would want to send their children to! All of this should be deeply disturbing to the churches that are chartering Boy Scout Troops. These policies present a clear youth protection problem that the BSA absolutely refuses to recognize. The fact that they are requiring that condoms be “readily accessible” and are communicating this to everyone—including youth participants—shows that the BSA is both anticipating and facilitating sexual conduct between minors at this event. These policies are both outrageous and completely irresponsible.

    Anything else?

    The Scouts have found themselves under increasing fire from some over the years, after permitting openly gay scout leaders to lead packs to allowing girls to join the organization, prompting a name change from “Boy Scouts of America” to simply “Scouts BSA.”

    Most recently, the Mormon church severed ties with the Scouts after over a century of affiliation.”

  15. That is nuts. Since I’m not a scout, are they providing the condoms for boy/boy, man/boy, or boy/girl sex? Who goes to the big meetup?

    n

  16. My firm is quickly moving to AWS (cloud) to leave the issue of hardware maintenance and replacement to someone else. Yes, there is a learning curve, but it’s not that steep, and the advantages of being able to quickly scale up (or spin up new instances) to meet needs is wonderful.

    “Cloud Computing May Finally End the Productivity Paradox”
    https://www.cringely.com/2018/05/21/cloud-computing-may-finally-end-the-productivity-paradox/

    “One of the darkest secrets of Information Technology (IT) is called the Productivity Paradox. Google it and you’ll learn that for at least 40 years and study after study it has been the case that spending money on IT — any money — doesn’t increase organizational productivity. We don’t talk about this much as an industry because it’s the negative side of IT. Instead we speak in terms of Return on Investment (ROI), or Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). But there is finally some good news: Cloud computing actually increases productivity and we can prove it.”

    Probably. Maybe.

    Probably not.

    Aren’t you retiring soon ? Sounds like you will get out right before things hit the fan.

  17. The owner that want to write the app in-house is 72 years old.

    I remember seeing iPhones wrapped in special cases from Symbol doing checkout at the Apple Store within recent memory.

    Managers don’t like listening to X-ers anymore. We are old enough to have seen at least one round of wheel reinvention during our careers and no longer viewed as hip.

    I regret not reporting my manager to Death Star Telephone HR when, in one meeting of our entire group, he said, “We need more young developers with fresh ideas.”

  18. @nick said:
    “That is nuts. Since I’m not a scout, are they providing the condoms for boy/boy, man/boy, or boy/girl sex?”

    Whatever floats your boat; animal, vegetable, or mineral.

    “Who goes to the big meetup?”

    Whatever “scout” can afford it. Getting to the Jamboree is expensive and usually involves a lot of fund raising. It used to be a big deal and usually a once in a lifetime event. I cannot imagine what a fluster cuck it is going to be now, literally.

  19. Since I’m not a scout, are they providing the condoms for boy/boy, man/boy, or boy/girl sex?

    Yes, plus bestiality for the furry minded.

  20. Probably. Maybe.

    Probably not.

    We’re one serious security incident away from a loss of trust in “The Cloud”.

    My money is on a hacker group breaching GMail.

  21. Sooner or later, the Starbucks institutional shareholders will revolt and demand action.

    The lefty ideals are good marketing in certain areas, but, when push comes to shove, the Progs I know live very conservative home lives and would avoid Starbucks catering to the modern urban outdoorsmen.

    “Starbucks Says Drug Use, Sleeping Unacceptable as It Clarifies Guest Policy”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/starbucks-says-drug-use-sleeping-unacceptable-as-it-clarifies-guest-policy-1526918854

    “Company’s statement is second attempt to explain its new policy following complaints that it would turn cafes into homeless shelters and drug havens”

    Sounds like the franchisees pushed back. Hard.

  22. We’re one serious security incident away from a loss of trust in “The Cloud”.

    My money is on a hacker group breaching GMail.

    Gmail has been breached several times now. The 60 digit root password was passed to the Chinese government by the Chinese Google manager several years ago. The password was changed within one hour. Gmail has been compromised many times and used to send out spam floods. The spam floods are detected and shutdown very quickly.
    https://mashable.com/2018/04/22/google-gmail-spam-telus/#bsutZxQDxkqB

    Each time, Google seems to have detection mechanisms in place to prevent serious damage. Somebody is going to have to really think outside the box in order to get permanent control. And no, I don’t want to think about the NSA back doors (yes, there are many since Google has many clouds).

  23. For those of you in Texas, Publix is what HEB wants to be when they grow up.

    HEB is grown up. I am not sure what their corporate single goal is now since they have wounded Walmart. Amazon struck a grievous blow to Walmart and HEB hit Walmart in another place.

  24. HEB’s disaster response and true engagement with the community around them are second to none.

    I shop at an asian chain- 99 Ranch, HEB, and Costco. Each has things the others do not. The 99 Ranch is an ‘occasional’ stop when certain items need topping up.

    None of the other grocers offer me anything I need more than HEB, be it location, convenience, selection, or price. And I’ve NEVER seen a Randalls soup kitchen feeding disaster victims or first responders.

    n

  25. HEB is grown up. I am not sure what their corporate single goal is now since they have wounded Walmart. Amazon struck a grievous blow to Walmart and HEB hit Walmart in another place.

    I was kidding. HEB is more or less to Texas what Publix is to Florida/Georgia.

    I don’t think grocery stores can work long term without either being privately held or employee owned. The margins are too thin.

  26. None of the other grocers offer me anything I need more than HEB, be it location, convenience, selection, or price. And I’ve NEVER seen a Randalls soup kitchen feeding disaster victims or first responders.

    Visit a Safeway (Randall’s parent company) on the West Coast or anywhere else the grocery stores are unionized. Icky doesn’t begin to describe the situation.

    My wife and I used to joke that the stores in WA State put the “gross” in groceries. The only exceptions near us were Winco (employee-owned) and Trader Joes (non union). Fred Meyer (Kroger chain) was ok for a unionized store, but not great.

  27. I shop at an asian chain- 99 Ranch, HEB, and Costco. Each has things the others do not. The 99 Ranch is an ‘occasional’ stop when certain items need topping up.

    99 Ranch opened in Austin, but everything seems rushed with the store. I wonder if their real estate people went for “Location, location, location” over having enough space to do the store right.

  28. I lived in Cali for over a decade, both in the barrio and in beach communities. Before that I lived elsewhere, notably in Arizona, where I saw Alpha-Beta turn in to Abco, and shopped mostly at Safeway and Albertsons.

    I grew up with Jewel Company stores (killed by their unions.)

    I’m always amazed (negatively) when I have to go grocery shopping in Florida. Crazy high prices compared to here. Some nice stores, and many of the stores here are nice too, but a few stinkers too.

    It seems that Aldi wants to buy and convert a space at the edge of my subdivision and open a store in my neighborhood. I am seriously opposed to the idea. We have plenty of existing grocery stores, and I don’t want the traffic at my doorstep. Plus, even the wal*mart Neighborhood Grocery couldn’t make it here….

    In general, I like choice and competition, but there are natural limits.

    n

  29. If you haven’t been, check them out (99Ranch). The store here is a pale shadow of the magnificence that a Southern California store is, but it is still uniquely great. I don’t feel any rush at all. I just cruise every aisle at my pace…

    n

  30. WRT whether this is a nice day or not, it’s 95F in my driveway, and so damp standing water won’t dry.

    Now I’m hearing thunder in the not so distance….

    n

  31. Nice day? 61º when I went out at lunchtime. Worked up a decent sweat, but not grimy, nasty, soaking sweat. Cool enough to cool down.

    That’s the advantage of the northern climes. Winter is pretty cold but survivable. Summer is actually pleasant.

  32. “I was kidding”

    yep, and Lynn and I were both a teensy bit defensive 🙂

    I do love HEB as a store and I like and respect them as a company.

    It’s funny, one of my friends works for a giant chip manufacturer, not silicon, and he says “we don’t like HEB, they put our product on the bottom shelf and put theirs at eye level, grrrrr, snarl, ruff.” To which my wife replied “Too bad, we love them and what they do during disasters.” and that was the end of that discussion!

    n

  33. It’s funny, one of my friends works for a giant chip manufacturer, not silicon, and he says “we don’t like HEB, they put our product on the bottom shelf and put theirs at eye level, grrrrr, snarl, ruff.” To which my wife replied “Too bad, we love them and what they do during disasters.” and that was the end of that discussion!

    HEB’s version of Fritos is pretty good, but the Ruffles clone falls short — too greasy.

    I’ll bend over to get the Ruffles off the bottom shelf, but my wife doesn’t.

  34. I’m always amazed (negatively) when I have to go grocery shopping in Florida. Crazy high prices compared to here. Some nice stores, and many of the stores here are nice too, but a few stinkers too.

    You’re in Sarasota/Bradenton regularly, right? Yeah, the middle of the grocery business went away in Central Florida so you either have Publix or Walmart on that part of the coast. Publix HQ being in Lakeland, an hour away, doesn’t help.

    If your impression of grocery prices in FL is based on the Goodings at the east entrace to the Disney property, that store’s days are numbered. Within two years, a new freeway offramp for the Mouse is going right through their parking lot. Kharma finally caught up with the family after they stopped being respectable grocers 20 years ago.

  35. Now I’m hearing thunder in the not so distance….

    I’m sorry, it is all my fault. I put two inches of water in the swimming pool Saturday. And I ran the lawn sprinkler system on Saturday and Sunday both due to the large cracks appearing in my backyard. Sunday evening we got 1.5 inches of rain. Monday afternoon, we got another 3 inches of rain before the swimming pool overflowed (my rain gauge sucks as it is my swimming pool level).

  36. My firm is quickly moving to AWS (cloud) to leave the issue of hardware maintenance and replacement to someone else. Yes, there is a learning curve, but it’s not that steep, and the advantages of being able to quickly scale up (or spin up new instances) to meet needs is wonderful.

    I will move my seven websites to AWS when they support my 10,000+ lines of custom server side C++ code. It is my understanding now that AWS does not support custom compiled code, maybe as a security measure.

  37. Yeah, parents are in Sarasota in wintertime. That Goodings is familiar too, as are the stores for Sanibel.

    I’ve yet to find a cheap store in FL. And the tax on alcohol is nuts too.

    @lynn, you and my wife! She ran the sprinklers for the first time the day before the storm. Thought I would do it last week by washing the trucks, but I got away with that.

    n

  38. Yeah, parents are in Sarasota in wintertime. That Goodings is familiar too, as are the stores for Sanibel.

    Sanibel. Jerry’s and the Bailey family have a lock on that market. That isn’t going to change anytime soon. Even Jerry’s faced fierce opposition.

    CVS is on the island only because that store is a legacy Eckerd’s and, judging from the architecture, Jack Eckerd himself probably drove down and cut the deal with the city leadership.

  39. HEB’s version of Fritos is pretty good, but the Ruffles clone falls short — too greasy.

    Yup. But I’ll buy Frito’s anyway simply because the HEB version are short. Short means messy when you’re working on a can of bean dip. 🙂

    HEB’s bean dip is fine. I like it better than Frito’s version.

    I like HEB’s version of nacho cheese Doritos.

  40. On my way to local Ralphs/Kroger to pick up their store made (white/yellow corn) tortilla chips.

  41. Does Kroger still have instant apple juice? It was like Tang. I use to buy it at the Kroger in McAllen… oh, around 1980. Moved to Austin and no Kroger’s here.

  42. Don’t care for the HEB version of Lays. Tastes burned to me.

    Lays are the best pure chip out there after Jays, but you can’t get Jays outside of Chicagoland area….

    n

  43. I will move my seven websites to AWS when they support my 10,000+ lines of custom server side C++ code. It is my understanding now that AWS does not support custom compiled code, maybe as a security measure.

    Using Emscripten to compile the C++ to JavaScript won’t work?

    I wrote a proof-of-concept C to HHVM bytecode compiler last year for my semester project in Compilers. I keep hoping some clever Masters student will come along and write an LLVM backend targeting HHVM for their thesis. I already proved it was possible.

  44. I feel like there is probably a joke or snark in there somewhere, IDK, but IIRC, YMMV…

    n

  45. I feel like there is probably a joke or snark in there somewhere, IDK, but IIRC, YMMV…

    I’m lazy and I was burned twice on thesis work by an advisor whom the University eventually fired mid-semester a year after I left the program. On the second attempt at grad school, I made sure to only apply to programs with a comprehensive exam option.

  46. I will move my seven websites to AWS when they support my 10,000+ lines of custom server side C++ code. It is my understanding now that AWS does not support custom compiled code, maybe as a security measure.

    Using Emscripten to compile the C++ to JavaScript won’t work?

    I wrote a proof-of-concept C to HHVM bytecode compiler last year for my semester project in Compilers. I keep hoping some clever Masters student will come along and write an LLVM backend targeting HHVM for their thesis. I already proved it was possible.

    There is some extreme bit twiddling C code in there. Cryptographic stuff. And we just do not have the time.

  47. Does Kroger still have instant apple juice?

    None of the Krogers in N. Mississippi / Memphis have that.
    We do have one of the new SUPER Krogers selling appliances and clothing and like a mini-WalMart. But no instant apple juice.

  48. And – that’s why we have pros to do the things we aren’t qualified to do.

    The mechanic called – it’s a wiring problem, not a fuel pump problem. With the tow & labor about $450, which is what a new fuel pump assembly would have cost me, and been wrong.

    I like working with pros that know what they’re doing. And they promised Thursday, and it will be done tomorrow morning. 🙂

  49. As regards to prepping, I am in the middle of standing down at our home and putting more stuff into our bugout place. I just ordered our third camp cot for the bugout place which does not have any beds. In fact, my favorite camp cot just came back into availability at Big River (has not been available for several months):
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KH4CU42/

    I have dropped our house water storage from 125 cases of 24 bottle Ozarka 0.5L cases to 80 cases just by attrition. I suspect that I am going to drop down to 50 cases before resupplying. The bugout place has a water well and several dozen cases of Ozarka itself. Plus a Coleman camp stove, several propane bottles, and quite a bit of food.

    I have told the wife that any sign of major flooding, we are going to bugout. I have yet to impress this on the daughter as she is just not stable enough to handle the info. I have been learning several items about our 12 ft levee and none of them are positive. In fact, the engineering consensus is that our 12 ft levee might tip over if we get 9 to 10 ft of water on it as it is 3:1 width:height rather the Corps of Engineers recommended 5:1.

    The good news is that all eight levee pumps are back in service now, several of the pumps suffered damage while running all eight of them simultaneously for several days during Harvey. The piping was not even designed to run all eight pumps simultaneously so they had problems with paralleling, hot motors, etc, etc, etc. All to be fixed with upgrading each pump from 5,000 gpm to 12,000 gpm. Some day, promises, promises. The bad news is that FEMA and Sugar Land are in the middle of our levee business, not good. Meanwhile, our home values are dropping, especially as one get closer to the levee.

  50. @lynn, that sucks to hear.

    I’m glad you took the lesson to heart though. By the time you decide to leave, it’s too late.

    Or, leave EARLY and avoid the rush…

    My wife has started looking at properties south of I 10 again, even though they flooded. Some ‘bargains’ available, if you are looking for a scraped clean lot, backing onto a bayou, for $700k….. The draw of the schools is very strong.

    n

  51. Or, leave EARLY and avoid the rush…

    … avoid the rush of water swirling above your vehicle hood.

    My wife has started looking at properties south of I 10 again, even though they flooded. Some ‘bargains’ available, if you are looking for a scraped clean lot, backing onto a bayou, for $700k….. The draw of the schools is very strong.

    Do like my brother did in Meyerland. Start with knockdown house or a scraped clean lot. Build your house five ft higher than the street using a pier and beam foundation. You will have to argue, argue, argue with them but they will give in eventually. It took him a year and half to get a building permit from Houston.

    He spent $550K on the knockdown house on a corner. Then he spent $750K on a beautiful 6,000 ft2 Spanish looking two story house with a wraparound veranda. With an elevator because all bedrooms are UP. And a three car garage. And a sunken swimming pool that functions as a retention pond when the lot floods (that got him the building permit).

  52. @Nick – I’m tired of hauling my late father-in-law’s cheapie Rolex around the country. Who would you trust with an appraisal between Houston and Austin?

    Yes, I understand prepping and portable wealth, but the watch has a quartz movement.

  53. My wife has started looking at properties south of I 10 again, even though they flooded. Some ‘bargains’ available, if you are looking for a scraped clean lot, backing onto a bayou, for $700k….. The draw of the schools is very strong.

    Be careful, some of those areas got 8 ft of water in them. My partner who lives in Bunker Hill Village got nary a drop in his 1955 single story 2,000 ft2 ranch house on 0.5 acre.

  54. I have my dad’s Seiko 5. Had to take it to the local jeweler a few years ago because the trim around the day/date came loose. The folks at the shop seemed rather excited about the watch. It’s self winding.
    It sits on the desk under my monitor and I shake it a bit once in a while.

  55. Today started out pretty nice weather wise. Then it clouded up enough to look like a thunderstorm was on the way. Humid. But we had 2″ of rain a couple of days ago, so.

    The clouds cleared out and what the hell…. I don’t mind 88F and arm pit sweat running down my sides and crotch sweat down my legs. But freaking mosquitoes the size of house flies?

    I’m done outside for the day. 🙂 I *did* get a bit done with the push mower.

  56. I’m done outside for the day. I *did* get a bit done with the push mower.

    How many acres doooooo you have ?

  57. Be careful, some of those areas got 8 ft of water in them. My partner who lives in Bunker Hill Village got nary a drop in his 1955 single story 2,000 ft2 ranch house on 0.5 acre.

    Note: 1955. National Flood Insurance didn’t start until 1968.

  58. @greg, I like a guy in Houston who specializes in estate jewelry and watches. I’ll find his card and post it later. He did me a fair deal on a solid gold omega… and he’s got a little tiny storefront, with a watchmaker onsite, and very low overhead. Between Houston and Austin, I don’t have a clue.

    The Seiko 5 automatic, especially vintage is a desirable collector watch. Not hugely expensive, but a very well regarded movement. There are collectors who specialize in it.

    Wrt home lots, I’m not really interested in building on a flood lot… unless it’s 30,000 sqft or more….

    n

  59. Wrt home lots, I’m not really interested in building on a flood lot… unless it’s 30,000 sqft or more….

    Houston flood lots only flood every 14 XX 2 XX 1 year(s) or so. Lets see, the last four major floods are:
    1. Tropical Storm Allison (2001)
    2. The Memorial Day flood (2015)
    3. The tax day flood (2016)
    4. Hurricane Harvey, aka Tropical Storm Harvey (2017)

    Maybe we will get another 14 years without any major flooding. Maybe pigs will fly too.
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/harvey-why-is-houston-so-prone-to-major-flooding/

  60. Hey Greg, that Rolex is probably an “OysterQuartz” and is actually sought after by collectors. Several thousand to a bunch of thousands depending on model and metal….

    n

  61. Hey Greg, that Rolex is probably an “OysterQuartz” and is actually sought after by collectors. Several thousand to a bunch of thousands depending on model and metal….

    *If* the watch is the real deal. I have my doubts. My father-in-law was a “piece of work” as they say.

    His nurse girlfriend gave it to him as a gift … and plucked it off his dead hand after she participated in his final code at UT Southwestern’s heart transplant program. Long crazy story.

    If my employer moves us out to the Met Center, I’ll have to meet you for a lunchtime trip to the surplus store. I’ll share the story, but, fair warning, after you hear it, you’ll never let anyone you care about end up at Southwestern under the “care” of the nursing staff.

  62. A lot of fake watches here, even owed by solid guys. MANY guys in the O&G business got sent overseas, and picked up a “Rolex” in the bazaar. They’d bring it home and joke about their cheap “Rolex” (or other brand) knowing it was fake, but lots of family never got let in on the joke. Come the estate sale, descendant finds the unworn “rolex” and thinks he hit the jackpot. Won’t believe anyone that it’s fake, ‘cuz Uncle Joe wouldn’t have bought a fake…..

    I looked at one (modern) that the seller insisted was a replica (polite name for fairly well executed fake ) and I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. I’m not an expert on Rolexs, but I’ve watched the videos and know most of what to look for. This one had all the modern security devices, laser engraved crystal, etc. After the third time I asked why they thought it was fake, they withdrew it from the sale.

    The only way to tell is to open it up and look at the movement, or trust that a watch repairer or jeweler did. Most sellers are unwilling to let any fat fingered buyer open their precious watch. So that’s why I don’t buy or even covet Rolex watches…. too many fakes, and getting too hard to tell. (even the Pawn Stars guys got burned)

    You never know either. I went to a very high end estate sale last year. Guy was a judge and multi-millionaire. ALL his watches were ‘replicas’. Very nice replicas, all completely convincing when worn. Expensive too, considering they are knockoffs. The lady that runs the sales said he just didn’t want to spend the money on genuine….

    n

  63. You never know either. I went to a very high end estate sale last year. Guy was a judge and multi-millionaire. ALL his watches were ‘replicas’. Very nice replicas, all completely convincing when worn. Expensive too, considering they are knockoffs. The lady that runs the sales said he just didn’t want to spend the money on genuine….

    In Seattle, the term is a “tribute” watch.

    My daily wear watch is a Casio Edifice which I get asked about all the time. $100 at Sams. People are always surprised since they think it is an Omega.

    Definitely worth $100. Casio’s “10/10/10” Tough Solar.

    I looked across the street at the Driskill yesterday, and I swear I saw Rick Harrison walking into the hotel. I wonder what’s up with him in Austin. Ted Nugent later this week?

  64. My son was offered a genuine Rolex in Tijuana for $25.

    I had a fake Presidential in college which kept *great* time, much better than the Sieko I wore daily. If it hadn’t been such a flashy piece, I would have worn it all the time.

  65. Interesting discussions re AWS. I only use it on a small scale (a single server running 24/7, plus a couple of experimental servers I can fire up when I want to play). However, I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen.

    Lynn writes: “I will move my seven websites to AWS when they support my 10,000+ lines of custom server side C++ code. It is my understanding now that AWS does not support custom compiled code, maybe as a security measure.”

    I am not aware of any such restriction. It’s your machine, you can do whatever you want. Ok, there is a service agreement – for example, you can’t send millions of spam emails. I have put both custom PHP and custom Java code on the server side – I can’t see why C++ would be a problem.

    I’m told they are a bit more restrictive on their year’s free trial, for example, they shut down people who install cryptocurrency miners on free accounts. But you can mine on a paid account. It would be stupid, but you can do it.

  66. So far I havent found any limitations on what can be installed on an AWS EC2. I’m not working with C++ though.

    The US company I work for is into AWS in a big way. The downside is that tying the product I’m working on into AWS components (eg, kinesis) makes it more difficult to move it away from AWS in the future.
    The upside is that with automated deployment it’s possible to create a dozen EC2 hosts with load balancers, routing, security groups, etc, deploy all of the custom and third party software and automatically configure it in around an hour. Doing that with our own physical infrastructure previously took a *lot* longer and needed someone to be flown out to whichever country the datacenter was in.

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