Fri. May 25, 2018 – what did you do this week?

72F with blue sky and puffy clouds. Forecast calls for thunderstorms. We’ll see. There was a storm forming and headed into the Gulf, just in time to wreck the opening weekend of summer. Our weather here in Houston is unpredictable in general, because of onshore flows from the Gulf, and in specific due to weird little microclimate areas. One area can get 2inches of rain, another can be dry. We’ll see.

This week I worked on getting my rent house back on the market, which is a prep as it’s an income stream. I also worked on getting some heat management so I could work outside and not swoon (portacool, big fan.) My fan motor might arrive today, and then I get to figure out how to mount it. It’s not a drop in replacement.

I have grapes on one of the vines, blueberries on some of the plants. The zukes are hanging in, but have been attacked by ants. I sprayed but then the rain came…. I’ll spray again. Meyer lemon bloomed and smelled fantastic for a week, so we’ll eventually get some lemons. Mint, basil, sage, and oregano are all doing very well. I’ve got so much dried basil I didn’t plant any this year, but it volunteered anyway. Tastes and smells right… The chives are so vigorous, I could used them as ground cover, or a garden border 😉 Don’t think I’m getting any more tomatoes, it’s too hot. Get some kind of garden going, even if it’s just herbs and salad….

I put away the 9 water containers I bought. They are going to the off-site location. I think I’ll move 2 of my 100L tanks there too, as soon as I make some room for them.

If you stored bleach last year, it’s time to refresh your stores. Use the old to clean your deck, driveway, or siding. Put some fresh away. Bleach is always handy and we’ve got ebola on the rise, and the always potential need for sterilizing water or stuff. It’s cheap insurance.

Hurricane season is coming. Time to go thru your stuff, change batteries, start storing more gasoline, think about that gennie purchase, etc. Or think of it as spring cleaning if you’re northern.

While ebola isn’t a threat to us at the moment, all it takes is one case on a plane to change that. The entire US medical system has about 20 beds available for treating something like Ebola. It was a very near miss last time. Think about what you need to have at home to isolate yourself for 45 days. Think about your work situation, child care, etc. in those same terms. Start taking steps. One thing I can guarantee, if it gets here in the immigrant community, it’s gonna blow up before it hits the hospitals.

Time to buy some ammo and get some shooting practice in too! If you haven’t gotten out all winter, time to dust off and touch up those perishable skills.

That’s what I’ve got for today,

nick

added- super busy weekend with a child birthday pool party, opening weekend at the pool, and Memorial day. Lots of scrambling starting today…

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41 Responses to Fri. May 25, 2018 – what did you do this week?

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    Aw, the poor widdle tings, they just need love and a new home…… doing the jobs Americans won’t do…

    “MS-13 gang member, 21, who entered the US by falsely claiming to be an ‘unaccompanied alien child’ is arrested after two months on the run for ‘shooting a man and setting fire to his body in Houston’

    The MS-13 gang is known for its violence, and deadly retributions in America
    Franklin Platero-Rodriguez was arrested in South Carolina,”

    Ebola people!

    “Priest is infected with Ebola in Congo after praying with a dying patient – as death toll rises to 31

    Priest working in diocese of Mbandaka, the area where the disease broke out
    He was tending to a patient who later died of the disease, has been quarantined “

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Attack definitively ended by armed civilian…

    Pistol-toting bystander shoots and kills gunman who opened fire on packed Oklahoma restaurant and injured mother, her daughter, 12, and another girl, 14, in terrifying birthday party mass shooting”

    and bombing attack in Canada-

    “Fifteen are injured – three critically – after a bomb attack on an Indian restaurant near Toronto, as police race to find two masked men filmed entering with a suspicious device then fleeing”

    (this isn’t that far from where the BigCorp I used to work for was headquartered, I’d drive past exits for Missasauga regularly, and also not far from where they wrapped up a jhihadi training camp about 10 years ago.)

    I’d call this a definite increase in the general level of ‘sportiness’ lately. Not a good sign.

    n

  3. Greg Norton says:

    Tampa needs another solid hurricane scare. I doubt this weekend’s storm will be the necessary event, however.

    http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/Editorial-Filling-Rocky-Point-lagoon-to-build-townhomes-is-an-empty-headed-idea_168510205

    I know the area — right behind Tampa’s IBM office. Things that make you say “hmmm”. Where is OFD when you need him? 🙂

  4. dkreck says:

    Oklahoma shooting. Doesn’t count. The gun can’t be blamed. The only one killed was the perp.

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    another school….

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5771707/One-injured-suspect-opens-fire-Indiana-middle-school-taken-custody.html

    “Hero science teacher ‘tackles student gunman to the floor’ after he opens fire in seventh grade classroom leaving girl, 13, and an adult critically injured

    The shooting happened at Noblesville West Middle School just before 9.06am
    The student gunman burst into the 7th grade science classroom and opened fire
    He was brought down by a heroic teacher but had injured a 13-year-old girl
    A second person – an adult – was also critically injured but it is not clear if it is the heroic teacher who stopped the shooting
    The suspect remains in custody but no details about his identity have been released ”

    n

  6. dkreck says:

    Unfortunately it seems copy-cat antics become the biggest cause and it just adds to the stupidity spewed by the anti-gun fanatics.

  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    I generally think this guy can be incredibly full of sh!t, but with this article I think he’s on to something, and we’re seeing it play out in school shootings, bombings, and terror attacks.

    http://senseofevents.blogspot.com/2018/05/school-shootings-increasingly-within.html

    He does quote Grossman, who’s On Killing, is increasingly discredited, and his other article about the lethality of the .223 and the AR platform is about as stinky as it gets, but this one is worth reading.

  8. Nick Flandrey says:

    A palate cleanser, with beautiful girls, and an UPRIGHT BASS DUET….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLnZ1NQm2uk

    n

  9. Greg Norton says:

    Premiering today on Netflix…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQlpjJ-hA0Q

    At least the Netflix execs piss away money in (mostly) entertaining ways.

    Believe it or not, Steve Martin has a gift with the banjo. My only gripe about seeing him live is that the concert venue killed the “King Tut” encore.

  10. Jenny says:

    @nick
    I’ll read your link when I’ve got some brain power.
    But request for clarification.

    Were you saying that Grossman’s “On Killing” is increasingly discredited?

    I’ve read a lot of Grossman’s work, though not recently, and my recollection was he backs up his assertions with some pretty good science.

    If he is being discredited I’d really like to read more about that. His stuff always made sense to me from a learning theory / psych perspective.

  11. paul says:

    I’ve used ten pounds of sugar in two months. Hummingbirds.

  12. lynn says:

    “Bossercise”
    http://dilbert.com/strip/2018-05-25

    I love Dogbert. When his tail is wagging, he is really going at it.

  13. RickH says:

    As I predicted, the GDPR trolls have emerged. Earlier than I expected, but here they are: https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/25/17393766/facebook-google-gdpr-lawsuit-max-schrems-europe

    Expect to see more of them, even for US-based sites. This place (and all the sites I manage) are covered, IMHO.

  14. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hi Jenny, there seems to be a lot of the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the shooting world that is being re-examined now that lots of people from outside the ‘gun culture’ are becoming regular shooters, with an emphasis on self defense.

    WRT Grossman, it has become evident that it’s not at all hard to kill people. Most of the world does it regularly, and with little thought, throughout history. Certainly the evidence is on the news every night, but the received wisdom is that you have to be conditioned and ‘broken down’ to take another life. I don’t have the links, but I’ve read in several places people challenging the ‘Holy Writ’ from Col. Grossman. Most people seem to only need ‘permission’ provided either by their surrounding culture, a badge, or some other authority, or training.

    Some other bits- you have to practice constantly to be a defensive shooter. CLEARLY not supported by the facts. Most defensive gun uses are not by highly trained and acculturated ‘shooters’. Kids have even done it. In fact, I can only recall one guy (I think it’s Greg E-something) who is a “gun guy” and trainer, who’s ever had a real encounter, and he ended up throwing coffee at his assailant rather than using his weapon. (outside of cops and soldiers).

    The derision/ disdain for anything other than the two handed square to target stance– when almost any defensive use caught on tape is one handed, point shooting mainly, and a surprising amount of the time involves a sort of ‘hopping’ motion, or bobbing up and down. The stance works well if you are a cop, soldier, and most tellingly, wearing BODY ARMOR. Otherwise it exposes more of your vitals to the target. How does a mom with babe in arms adopt a two handed stance? Or me, with my 9yo who wants to step in front of me to see what the problem is? I need a hand free to manage the kid.

    The ‘turn and walk away’ strategy… which was fine if your primary gun carrier is a single male, out alone, like the old days. ABSOLUTELY doesn’t work when you’re with your wife and kids, in a wheelchair, old and feeble, or trapped. A lot of the ‘baked in’ assumptions came out of a gun use culture that was overwhelmingly fit men, operating alone, (or guys who USED to be that, more likely.) Likewise the ‘shoot and move’ or ‘get off the X’. You really gonna leave your TODDLER on the ‘X’ while you move away?

    Or the idea that you can’t effectively work a slide release with your thumb, the way the gun was designed, because your fine motor skills vanish. WTF? You need fine motor skills to aim and pull the trigger, not to mention the mag release. NO ONE is teaching alternative mag releases because of a lack of motor ability, so why the slide release? Maybe because LEOs and soldiers are wearing gloves? IDK, but people are starting to wonder.

    Gun use and especially defensive gun use was a small and insular club, reinforced by insider magazines and training fads, but it’s opening up tremendously as more people choose to arm themselves regularly. In just a couple years, LTC or CHL holders in TX apparently went from 800K to 1.2M! That’s a lot of ‘fresh eyes’ looking at stuff.

    n

  15. lynn says:

    I replaced the resistor pack on my Expy, but it was not the issue. A new fan from an online retailer did the trick. There is a definitive test to see if it’s the resistor pack, look on youtube… I didn’t see it until after I’d ordered the resistors. Resold the pack on ebay for a slight loss.

    Neither is difficult to replace, they are under the dash, in the passenger footwell area.

    My 2005 Ford Expedition is the Eddie Bauer model that has dual air conditioning in the front, right and left. It also has a separate air conditioner in the back with another blower and evaporator. Both systems run off the single FIVE TON compressor on the engine.

    Anyway, the front system has “automatic temperature” controls for each side. It does not vary the fan speed (I think) but it does vary the amount of heat into the system. I thought it would be cool as the passenger side is always warmer in Ford trucks but it is really just a pain. I just always put it on the coldest temperature and vary the fan speed manually.

    Anyway, since the blower has about ten fan speeds, it requires a special resistor (expensive !). But from my reading, since the fan is always at max now, that indicates that the blower motor has a problem. If the blower does not operate at lower fan speeds, that indicates a resistor problem. So, I am going to try changing the blower motor first. They are available on Big River for $42 each.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LXBVMDE/

  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    FWIW, the same thing is happening in ham radio. LOTS of new hams who just want to be able to communicate by radio, and don’t have any interest in joining a club or adopting a culture. Pisses off the old hams, who just want people like them using their toys. Both ham radio and shooting used to/still do a lot of inwardly focused navel gazing, or dancing angel counting. Gun culture is widening as more ‘non-gun’ people carry, and I’ve seen ham radio widen too over the last couple of years. This is a ‘good thing ™’.

    n

  17. Nick Flandrey says:

    Steve Martin has been a great banjo player for a LONG time 🙂

    I was just wondering about him, thinking it was a while since I heard anything he’d been involved in. I can’t imaging the mess from exploding heads if he did any of his older comedy. “I was born a poor black child…”

    Of course, all the drug fueled stuff was only funny if you were also high on coke or were just astounded by the spectacle of it.

    I figured he took the money from the movies and retired.

    n

  18. paul says:

    The 2004 Freestar van has dual temp in the front with one fan control plus fan and temp controls for the back. All on one compressor. The driver side is warmer than the passenger side. A can of freon fixed that last summer. The other day the driver side was warmer.
    Almost time for another can of freon. It is 14 years old… with all of 45,000 miles.

  19. Greg Norton says:

    Of course, all the drug fueled stuff was only funny if you were also high on coke or were just astounded by the spectacle of it.

    I figured he took the money from the movies and retired.

    Nah. Much like Bill Murray, Steve Martin has been extremely picky about his projects for the last 20-25 years, more or less since Carson retired and Martin lost that outlet for experimentation.

  20. Nick Flandrey says:

    This is a bit worrisome–

    “Orwell’s Nightmare: Articles About Tommy Robinson’s Arrest Rapidly Scrubbed From the Internet”

    “Articles about the arrest and subsequent imprisonment of independent journalist and activist Tommy Robinson are being rapidly scrubbed from the internet after the British government put restrictions in place banning any reporting on the matter.”

    “Articles from the Daily Record, Birmingham Live, The Mirror, RT and even Breitbart News were all taken offline in the hours following his detention.

    Author and journalist Mike Cernovich and independent researcher and journalist Nick Monroe kept tabs on the disappearing articles.

    Monroe has also been archiving the deleted stories.”

    This guy has been reporting on the islamic child rape and prostitution scandals in the UK.

  21. Greg Norton says:

    This is a bit worrisome–

    “Orwell’s Nightmare: Articles About Tommy Robinson’s Arrest Rapidly Scrubbed From the Internet”

    The UK doesn’t have true press freedom. Canada doesn’t either. The governments can declare news blackouts about a particular subject, and all of the media outlets publishing within their borders must comply.

    Living in WA State, we were always cautioned to stop and dump newspapers in Bellingham before driving over the border.

  22. lynn says:

    The UK doesn’t have true press freedom. Canada doesn’t either. The governments can declare news blackouts about a particular subject, and all of the media outlets publishing within their borders must comply.

    The Official Secrets Act. And its modern day equivalent, The Anti-Terrorism Act.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_Secrets_Act
    and
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSMA-Notice

    This dude may never see the light of day again. If they declare him to be a terrorist, they can hold him without charging him until the Sun dies.

  23. lynn says:

    Weird, my blower fan speed control started working again in my 2005 Ford Expedition over lunch. Or at least, it went down to half speed. I love intermittent problems !

  24. DadCooks says:

    @lynn:
    I have had similar problems with fans in various vehicles, foreign and domestic. Eventually fixed by randomly replacing resistors and wires. The resistors became temperature sensitive, would work when cold and slowly slide to non-working as the temperature around them (or on the board) increased. Then I have found wires that in essence had cracks in them that “opened” with vibration/motion/temperature.

  25. paul says:

    Weird, my blower fan speed control started working again in my 2005 Ford Expedition over lunch.

    I’d pull the resistor block and clean the terminals.

    Then I have found wires that in essence had cracks in them that “opened” with vibration/motion/temperature.

    Sounds just like the power locks on the van. The driver’s door always works from the button on either door or the fob. Everything will lock the same way. UN-lock is hit or miss. Lately, miss. I would not care much about un-lock except the cheap so and so’s at Ford didn’t put a key lock in the tailgate…. where I have a cart load of groceries.

  26. lynn says:

    I put away the 9 water containers I bought. They are going to the off-site location. I think I’ll move 2 of my 100L tanks there too, as soon as I make some room for them.

    Can you live in your off-site location or is it just storage ? Can you walk to it ?

    You know, all of our bikes are stored at our bugout place. If I were smart, I would get the wife’s bike and my bike back to the house and get them fixed up. And then get a bike towable wagon.
    https://www.amazon.com/RuggedMade-Garden-Utility-Capacity-Removable/dp/B07D7LF4TB/

    If we cannot drive out of our neighborhood due to flooding, we might be able to bike out. Of course, I could easily rig the dog’s wagon for pulling with a bike.
    https://www.amazon.com/Mac-Sports-Collapsible-Folding-Outdoor/dp/B00BUUUIGK/

    I am going to try to move all of my emergency supplies to the bugout place this weekend. It is only four miles away from the house. It should only be a single trip, the folding seats in the Expedition give it an incredible amount of room.

  27. lynn says:

    Weird, my blower fan speed control started working again in my 2005 Ford Expedition over lunch.

    I’d pull the resistor block and clean the terminals.

    Good idea, I will try that. I may find a horrible mess though …

  28. Nick Flandrey says:

    It’s 10 miles toward the urban core to my secondary location, and a bad neighborhood . It’s meant to be a ‘storehouse’ for the stuff my wife won’t have in the house or garage…

    A resupply depot if you will. Also, not a target. We could live there if we had to, by throwing huge piles of stuff out into the parking lot….

    Other than divorce, I can’t see us doing it, unless the disaster was VERY local, like just my neighborhood. Even then, if the rent house was open (inner loop) that would be a possibility too.. I currently have >40 enterprise switches stacked in the garage at the rent house. I hope they sell quickly…

    n

  29. Nick Flandrey says:

    @paul, no key for a long time… my 08 expy doesn’t have a key in the hatch, my 03′ ranger does have a key on the passenger door though.

    I asked why Ford engineers why they couldn’t have an unlock all from the door key lock, and LO! some models did get that… turn key to right two times and everything unlocks.

    n

  30. paul says:

    I remember something that did the “turn the key to unlock twice” in the days before key fobs. I don’t remember what it was. Nothing I owned but I did get to drive it.

    The van has one keyhole. Are lock cylinders that expensive? Anyway, I never noticed the lack of keyholes until Mom moved here in May 2013. ’96 Dodge Stratus, ’92 Dodge P/U, ’00 Jeep Cherokee. For a _long_ time the Jeep was “the new car”.

    The new to me ’02 Dodge truck has a key on each side. Someone told me they were not made that way. ? How he knows this is not known. Maybe it’s a part of the SLT package. And yet, if not, “whoever” went through the trouble of having everything keyed alike.

  31. lynn says:

    It’s 10 miles toward the urban core to my secondary location, and a bad neighborhood . It’s meant to be a ‘storehouse’ for the stuff my wife won’t have in the house or garage…

    Gotcha. I figured it was a storage site. My bugout place has a second story where I am putting my preps. And showers. And a water well. But no beds, just camp cots. You can probably figure out where it is now.

    I currently have >40 enterprise switches stacked in the garage at the rent house. I hope they sell quickly…

    How long has it been since the rent house was rented ?

    Your rent house sounds like one of those old 1930s / 1940s houses inside I-610 that are just waiting to be knocked down so somebody can put a 3 story mini-mansion on the lot. My middle brother and his wife lived in those until they had kids. They used to be really cheap with window a/c units and practically falling down. I remember working on my brothers place with him as he was 100% responsible for the maintenance while he lived there.

  32. lynn says:

    My warehouse tenant is opening 20 more HOA pools this weekend for a total of 40 HOA pools. He supplies all labor: cleaning and life guard people, tools, chemicals, guard stands, etc, etc, etc. About ten of his people were working on rebuilding lifeguard stands in the warehouse last night until midnight while they were watching the Rockets on one of those big blowup projection TVs. He has 290 lifeguards at the moment, mostly teenagers. It is crazy. But the HOAs pay well and pay on time.

  33. lynn says:

    Man, I need an elevator for the bugout place. Pulling that dolly up the stairs with 80 lbs of stuff on it is murder on my back.

  34. Nick Flandrey says:

    “Your rent house sounds like one of those old 1930s / 1940s houses inside I-610 that are just waiting to be knocked down so somebody can put a 3 story mini-mansion on the lot.”

    It’s like you’re looking at it!

    Just a couple blocks inside 610, not quite Houston Heights… and no one’s made me an offer I couldn’t refuse yet. It’s not quite the cr@ppiest house on the block, but it will be.

    They just pulled another bungalow out last week and have started framing for the concrete pour….

    n

  35. Nick Flandrey says:

    We have a pool maintenance company (owned by one of our members) that we pay for the physical stuff. We have a lifeguard and management company (second year) because running teen work crews SUCKS. They’ll just not show up. And there’s a LOT of paperwork if you’re an employer… which we don’t want to be.

    I’d love some sweet sweet HOA money, but in our 50 plus years we’ve never gotten any. We are entirely member owned and financed.

    n

    (which means we’re always short of cash)

  36. lynn says:

    Good night ! I just did a quick price check on houses in the Heights. $490K for a knock down home ! I’ll wonder if it flooded too. My warehouse renter lives in the Heights. He got 5 ft of water in his house when the levee behind his house collapsed. He stripped his house to the studs, let it dry for a couple of months, resheetrocked, rewired, recabineted, etc and $100K later is back in his house.
    https://www.har.com/905-w-18th-street/sale_32632895

  37. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yeah, it sucks to be just across the street, so to speak, from HHeights, in Sunset Heights. ‘course, HHeights is/was? nominally dry, so there was no place to eat until sometime in the last couple of years. Now that I think of it, that must have changed [google says last year] because the place is overflowing with restaurants these days. We thought the new eateries would all be on our block, and we got a couple, but some big money must have moved into HH and got the laws changed.

    n

  38. lynn says:

    My mother took me to Harolds in the Heights in 1981 to get two sports jackets, ties, and pants when I started interviewing for a engineering job at TAMU in 1981. The building is now a restaurant of the same name.
    http://www.haroldsheights.com/

    It took me 38 ? 41 ? interviews to get one job offer. I thought I interviewed badly. I later found out that only one third of our graduating class of 265 Mechanical Engineers had job offers. 1982 through 1986 sucked getting an engineering job in Texas (the oil patch was busting again).

  39. Nick Flandrey says:

    Got the guy who bombed the church in Beaumont. Just crazy, is what it sounds like.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5773659/ATF-arrest-military-veteran-40-linking-explosive-devices.html

    n

    added- this is why I like this british tabloid, they always print the follow up to any story they run, even if it takes years.

  40. Greg Norton says:

    It took me 38 ? 41 ? interviews to get one job offer. I thought I interviewed badly. I later found out that only one third of our graduating class of 265 Mechanical Engineers had job offers. 1982 through 1986 sucked getting an engineering job in Texas (the oil patch was busting again).

    Try job hunting in 91-93 in Tampa after the Bush “peace dividend” killed the defense contractors in the area. The 4.0 GPA from my EE class was mowing lawns for the power company.

    Long term, I think Tampa is better off with a lot of those companies gone, but it sucked at the time.

    I’m alone among my friends in believing that MacDill needs to close and be repurposed for multi-modal shipping before the Cuba embargo finally falls. The end of the embargo will do more for Tampa’s economy than any overpriced DoD boondoggle ever did.

  41. Nick Flandrey says:

    I lived in Southern California during the “peace dividend” years. There was a LOT of defense and aerospace manufacturing in Cali, with all the associated jobs. Lots of .mil bases too.

    Those were tough times in SoCal. Lots of unemployment, closing facilities, run down bases, empty lots and vacant buildings.

    n

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