Sat. June 2, 2018 – even hotter than normal

Wow, 82F and 82%RH at 8am. I think today is gonna be hot 🙂

Get out and enjoy your weather, whether it’s heat, cold, rain, or drizzle. Get that garden going!

And take appropriate precautions for your area, I will be. And breaks. Lots of breaks. Holy cow, lots of breaks.

n

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25 Responses to Sat. June 2, 2018 – even hotter than normal

  1. Ray Thompson says:

    Busy today getting a lot done as I leave tomorrow for Europe. Driving to Atlanta for a direct flight to Frankfurt.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Wow Ray, I can’t even imagine what your ToDo list looks like today!

    Hope you get it all done. Looking forward to the AAR for first hand view of the conditions there.

    n

  3. Nick Flandrey says:

    The down side of living in the country-

    Currently listening to fire dispatch, mutual aid channel, outside Katy/Fulshear area. This is an area of several acre lots, small one story houses, and country lanes.

    Neighbors call in, “loud dogs barking, possibly hear smoke alarm in the background.”

    Dispatch sends the fire truck unit to check, since they were on a call nearby.

    Truck is there in a minute or two, looks thru the window and sees light smoke.

    Calls in, makes entry, declares a structure fire, 3 more engines get dispatched, with a standby medic unit.

    Immediately find 2 victims, calls for medic unit.

    Dispatch responds, Medic unit enroute, 30 minute ETA.

    Fire declared out in another minute or so.

    30 minutes is a LONG time to wait if you’ve been overcome by smoke inhalation… it’s a LONG time for an EMT to do CPR.

    n

  4. Ray Thompson says:

    Wow Ray, I can’t even imagine what your ToDo list looks like today!

    Actually not too bad. Been working on the list for several days. Have made the trip six times before so I am well acquainted with what has to be done. All that is really left is some packing. We know the rules for flying and baggage restrictions.

    Biggest issue is we take a lot of presents for the people we will be seeing. TSA thieves have taken a liking to some of the stuff in the past and it never arrives. With a direct flight from Atlanta there will be less baggage handling and thus a better chance of the stuff arriving. They seem to really like Victoria’s Secret hand lotion, which we always bring, and have stolen several bottles. You can’t take it on the plane and thus it has to be in the checked baggage.

    Other suitcase is clothes for both of use, packed to the max and close to the 50 pound limit. Carry-on for the wife and I consist of more clothes, toiletries and medicine. You are also allowed “a purse” so my camera bag counts as that and the laptop bag is pretty much ignored. Taking the Surface Laptop with me as I have to process some pictures. iPad with about a dozen movies is also in that bag.

    Camera bag consists of the minimum in camera stuff and the smaller camera. Also pack some charges, cables, and batteries in that bag. Also the noise cancelling headphones (Bose) which are highly recommended for any flight. The bag usually gets manually inspected and everything fondled and swabbed.

    Train tickets are purchased. Got to love the German Rail Pass. A bargain for foreign travelers. Any 7 days within a 30 day period, any train, anywhere in Germany, 1st class for two adults was about $709.00 with a nominal delivery fee. Got that way back in the first part of March. Just a sheet of security paper where you fill in the blanks.

    Passports checked and packed in the camera bag as that never leaves my sight and is difficult to open in case of any pick pockets. Passports have to have an expiration that is more than six months in the future and have to have two blank pages.

    Euros from the last trip also packed in the camera bag. Not much but is good for getting a snack or drink on the train from Frankfurt to Cologne, our first stop. Credit card companies notified of the journey otherwise the cards will not work. I try to use the credit card as much as possible for all the purchases. The two primary cards do not charge foreign transaction fees. Debit card will work in the ATM’s if I need to get spending cash.

    Phone SIM was ordered and received so I will have phone service in Germany and Croatia. All that needs to be done is to pay for the service and I will do that this evening. Simple matter to replace the SIM and now I have service in Germany. Needed for train schedules and to send messages to the people we are going to visit.

    Power adapters pulled and ready to be packed. Everything works on 110 or 220 so all I need are the plug adapters. I have four of them I will take with me. Even the wife’s hair dryer has a switch for the proper voltage.

    Leave early tomorrow for Atlanta where we will leave our vehicle at a friend’s house thus saving the $10.00 a day parking fee at the airport. Uber will be used to get a ride to the airport. Need to be at the airport at about 3:00 which is about two hours before our flight.

    Overnight flight as are all flights heading to Europe from the US. Little chance for sleep. Will stay up until about 11:00 PM local time then crash until about 8:00 AM in the morning. I have found that is the fastest way to adjust to the time change.

    House will be occupied while we are gone using a house sitter that we have used in the past. High school kids that have a driver’s license. Pay them $10.00 a day and they are happy. They get away from parents and make a little extra money. It has worked well for us except one time.

    Kid threw, according to local legend, “the party of the century”. We came home a day early and found 25 kids in the house. Every bed had been slept in, the stash of about a 100 bottles of soda was gone, pizza boxes, beer cans (underage drinking) and stuff everywhere, several condoms were found in various locations. I was livid, did not pay the kid, made him tell his father, and him and his friends clean it all up.

    We had made a trip to the mountains in two vehicles and wife got home about two hours before I arrived. Good thing. If it had been me I would have called the police and had them deal with the drinking and contacting all the parents.

    I think what happened is one friend showed up, who then called his friend, who then called more friends and things snowballed out of control. The guy did not have the guts to tell people to leave. His parents were livid and grounded him for several weeks and took away his car for part of that time. His father offered to reimburse for the stuff that was consumed but I declined.

    We now have security cameras outside and inside the house that I can access remotely. The video is stored and can be viewed at my leisure and any issues resolved by contacting some sources here locally.

    Not too worried this time though. We have used this girl several times in the past and she is quite reliable. Sometimes her mother or her boyfriend will come stay with her and that is OK with us.

    I severely limit my online posting while I am gone. I don’t really want people in the area to know I am gone. Everyone on here is so far away if you want to make the journey to come steal from my house then you need the stuff more than I need the stuff.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    Phone SIM was ordered and received so I will have phone service in Germany and Croatia. All that needs to be done is to pay for the service and I will do that this evening. Simple matter to replace the SIM and now I have service in Germany. Needed for train schedules and to send messages to the people we are going to visit.

    I wondered how that works in Europe. My son is going to Spain at the end of the month.

    I was going to get him a Republic Wireless account, install their WiFi Calling app (his phone is a Moto G5 Plus so it should be compatible) for US incoming/outgoing calls, and have him use hotel WiFi if he couldn’t find a deal on a SIM prepaid plan there.

  6. Greg Norton says:

    Biggest issue is we take a lot of presents for the people we will be seeing. TSA thieves have taken a liking to some of the stuff in the past and it never arrives. With a direct flight from Atlanta there will be less baggage handling and thus a better chance of the stuff arriving. They seem to really like Victoria’s Secret hand lotion, which we always bring, and have stolen several bottles. You can’t take it on the plane and thus it has to be in the checked baggage.

    I didn’t know that Atlanta TSA have sticky fingers. I know it is the case in Tampa and Orlando. Austin hasn’t burned us yet, but the airport is a constant construction pork barrel, without separate luggage screening buildings … for now.

    We try to remove tags from new clothing and take items out of packaging before flying out of either one of those mentioned FL airports. I guess there isn’t much you can do with hand cream.

    Regardless of airport, the TSA always takes a good look at my travel razor thinking it is valuable old school Braun (pre Gillette buyout), but the reality (Wahl) disappoints. The razor never arrives in its zippered compartment of the suitcase, however, so I have to hunt for where the TSA put it back in a hurry.

  7. Ray Thompson says:

    I wondered how that works in Europe. My son is going to Spain at the end of the month

    I order the SIM a couple of months in advance. Former exchange student sends it to me. Use to call, text, data in Europe. When I want to call back to the US I reinstall my US SIM, connect to WiFi and call back to the US via WiFi calling. My US provider thinks I am in the US and connects the calls.

    Cheaper than an international plan.

  8. brad says:

    Wow, Ray is very organized. Of course, he’s done this a zillion times before. @Greg: The normal thing to do, for those who are less organized, is to just buy a local pre-paid SIM card when you arrive. Or even just a cheap phone with pre-paid card, if you want to keep your normal phone number active.

    TSA and sticky fingers – geez, what an organization. Seems like there ought to be a way to nail them – pack with a registered and witnessed inventory list, when things don’t arrive, file a criminal complaint. I assume their work area is under video surveillance – if enough people did this, the petty thievery would stop. Of course, said “enough people” have to be willing to go through the hassle.

  9. Ray Thompson says:

    Wow, Ray is very organized

    I think anal is the word.

    I have actually already picked the trains and times I will be traveling and have them loaded in my calendar. I try to minimize the train changes and maximize the use of the ICE trains. The difference can be as much as hour. Our longest trip will be six hours, most are under two hours.

    TSA and sticky fingers – geez, what an organization

    I don’t know if our thefts occurred in the US or Europe. I would place money on the US. I also don’t know if it TSA or baggage handlers although little baggage is handled anymore as it automated. By checking at Atlanta, no plane changes, the bags will get routed by machinary from checking to a baggage container.

    When stuff goes missing you can file a complaint. But nothing is ever done. Unless you explicitly declare high value cargo the airlines really don’t care you lost your stuff. I have filed a complaint and received a form letter stating it was not their people. Take it up with the contracted airport workers management.

    It’s the petty thievary that is the problem. If the stuff is real expensive the workers know that video will be checked. The airlines don’t give a rats rearend for a $10.00 bottle o hand lotion. The workers know this and steal accordingly.

  10. SteveF says:

    it’s a LONG time for an EMT to do CPR.

    The one time I did CPR for real, on a guy who drowned, I did the breathing while someone else did the chest. I don’t know how long we did it. More than five minutes, probably less than ten. I could barely stand after the medics got there and took him away.

    Thirty minutes? I hope they had enough people to do CPR in rotation.

  11. Greg Norton says:

    TSA and sticky fingers – geez, what an organization. Seems like there ought to be a way to nail them – pack with a registered and witnessed inventory list, when things don’t arrive, file a criminal complaint

    The TSA did a big undercover investigation at Miami a few years ago, but the mischief is more common away from hubs where foreign flag carriers are restricted.

  12. Ray Thompson says:

    Checked in for the flight, boarding passes loaded in the phones, a physical copy printed. All I should have to do at the airport is check the bags and scan the passports. Also got TSA precheck so security will be much easier and faster. No removing shoes, belt or laptop out of the bag.

    The flight is overbooked. Check-in offered a bid of up to $500 gift card, not a voucher, for a different flight. I opted for the highest price as I can get to Germany later in the day. Offer of alternate flight will be made at the gate. I will consider up to 4 hours later arrival in Frankfurt. There were options of lower bids such bids considered first by Delta. Not that keen on a change but for $500 I will consider a small delay.

  13. Greg Norton says:

    The flight is overbooked. Check-in offered a bid of up to $500 gift card, not a voucher, for a different flight. I opted for the highest price as I can get to Germany later in the day. Offer of alternate flight will be made at the gate. I will consider up to 4 hours later arrival in Frankfurt. There were options of lower bids such bids considered first by Delta. Not that keen on a change but for $500 I will consider a small delay.

    That early evening flight out of Atlanta to Frankfurt is popular. I’ve had more than one geek tell me that it is the “Ambien Express” — pop the pill as the plane takes off and you wake up at the start of the day in Frankfurt, refreshed and ready to go without a lot of jet lag.

  14. Ray Thompson says:

    That early evening flight out of Atlanta to Frankfurt is popular

    Last year I traveled on Air France to Paris where I was to change plans to Oslo. Never again on Air France. Too many French people.

    Couple in front of reclined their seat immediately after takeoff before they were allowed, but hey, they were French. Kept their seats in that position the entire flight. I made certain that whenever I got up, which was often for their sake, I yanked on their seat and otherwise bumped it as much as I good. If they are in my space, tough, deal with the resulting consequences. I hope I woke them up, a lot.

    Coming back I am on KLM rather than Delta, KLM being a Delta partner. Never flown them before so we see how it goes.

    I have flown Delta, American, US Airways, Lufthansa, British Airways and Air France. Of them all US Airways was the best followed by Lufthansa, then Delta. American, British Airways and Air France all huddle together at the bottom. I have also flown some other airlines for short trips; Air Berlin, Iberia, IcelandAir; typical of short haul airlines. Crowded and of little value other than getting from one place to another.

    One of them, IcelandAir asked if we wanted a soft drink. Wife said yes and immediately opened the can offered. Naturally there was a fee of about $8.00 for the can of which she and I were unaware. Lesson learned. The smaller airlines are there to gouge you for whatever they can.

    pop the pill as the plane takes off

    Nope, nope, nope. Not going to take drugs as I try to avoid any drugs, even legal, if possible.

    Will watch some movies, perhaps some of the new Star Trek series that my son, ahem, downloaded for me. Will catch a couple of hours of sleep on the flight. Noise cancelling headphones are worth every penny in that regard. Make a couple of trips up and down the aisle and pass some gas while doing slow stroll, grab something to drink at the flight attendant station. Anything to pass the time.

  15. Nick Flandrey says:

    Good luck with your flight and trip Ray. It sounds like you’ve got it handled, and I hope everything goes to plan. I don’t want to read about you in the Daily News!

    nick

  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    I flew KLM to Europe and enjoyed it. BA to the middle east. United to ME, and China. Business class is the only choice for a long flight like that, imho…

    n

  17. H. Combs says:

    Best flight ever was Virgin Air London to Hong Kong business class. We had fantastic food, free massage, and aroma therapy. Malaysian Air 747 Hong Kong to Kota Kinabalu Borneo was good too.

  18. lynn says:

    Drove down to Victoria, TX yesterday to see “Solo: A Star Wars Story” with my 79 year old Dad. It was better than I expected but not as good as I hoped. 4.4 out of 5 stars.
    https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/solo_a_star_wars_story

    Afterwards we drove to their home in Port Lavaca and took Mom out to dinner at one of the twenty or so Mexican food joints in PL. Good times, good times.

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    Huh, prepper consultant.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5798241/How-preppers-plan-survive-grid-event-nations-power-supply-fails.html

    I made more than that per day as a field service technician for BigCorp….

    Of course I was never home. Came with a good health plan and retirement bennies though.

    I think he’s selling himself short.

    n

  20. Greg Norton says:

    Will watch some movies, perhaps some of the new Star Trek series that my son, ahem, downloaded for me.

    Michelle Yeoh is awesome in the new “Star Trek” series. She is the only reason we bothered with watching every hour.

    Just remember, in sci fi, no one is ever really dead.

  21. Greg Norton says:

    Drove down to Victoria, TX yesterday to see “Solo: A Star Wars Story” with my 79 year old Dad. It was better than I expected but not as good as I hoped. 4.4 out of 5 stars.

    I was happy with “Solo”. I watched the deeper/darker episodes of the “Rebels” animated series so I think I got more out of the movie than the fans who look down on Dave Feloni’s Lucasfilm efforts as being “for kids”.

    James Earl Jones and Frank Oz always show up for Feloni whenever he asks. Oz doesn’t even do his “Muppets” characters anymore.

    Also, Thandie Newton is amazing on “Westworld” so I couldn’t blame Ron Howard for squeezing her into “Solo” playing essentially the same character.

    If you haven’t seen it already, get the first season DVD set of “Westworld” and watch with your dad. Then find a way to watch the second season. Everyone is good on that show, but Ed Harris and Anthony Harris haven’t been that alive on screen in decades.

  22. SteveF says:

    Couple in front of reclined their seat immediately after takeoff before they were allowed, but hey, they were French. Kept their seats in that position the entire flight.

    Practice your bongo rhythms on the tops of their seats. Or the tops of their heads, totally not on purpose.

    Get a cup of water and fumble getting it to your tray. Oops, did that go in your face. I am so sorry!

    Say bad things about the French, French women, French men, Charles De Gaulle’s mother was a prostitute, Charles De Gaulle was a prostitute. Say it in English. My experience is that people who “Je ne parle English” or “No habla” or “Bu dong” when it’s convenient, understand English just fine when it comes to insults. And don’t worry about being attacked by insulted Frenchies. You have a swizzle stick, right? If you hold it threateningly, you can have the entire planeload surrendering to you.

  23. Greg Norton says:

    Nope, nope, nope. Not going to take drugs as I try to avoid any drugs, even legal, if possible.

    I don’t advocate Ambien for the flight, just passing along what I’ve heard about Atlanta-Frankfurt.

    Generally, I’m scared of anything beyond Tylenol. After my one dose of prescription cough syrup, for a legitimate reason, I told my wife, “Yeah, I understand why people get hooked on that stuff.”

    For long flights, I have an 2nd gen Kindle with a new-ish monster battery and a serious backlog of books. Even if we’re just going to Tampa, I make sure I have 24 hours worth of reading before every flight.

  24. SteveF says:

    After my one dose of prescription cough syrup, for a legitimate reason, I told my wife, “Yeah, I understand why people get hooked on that stuff.”

    Not me. I despise any kind of mental impairment and cannot comprehend why anyone would do that to themselves.

    (Well, I can. I can imagine that they’re pathetic losers and that they’re trying to escape the meaningless pathetic loserliness of their lives. What I meant was, I can’t think of any reason that would be polite to say to them.)

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