Thur. July 12, 2018 – still busy, still hot

Almost 80 F at almost 8AM, my rule of tens says over 100F later this morning.

Unless we get rained on. Yesterday’s NOAA forecast had rain for the next two days. This is different from Tues. forecast that had us clear for those days. I wish this guy would get his stuff together. It was rock solid last year.

I’m out of the house all day today. Gotta make a buck or two. Speaking of which, I ran into another reseller who does a lot more networking than I do, and he says everyone is complaining that their ebay sales are down. Maybe it’s not just me. In any case, doing some other work for my last remaining client.

(and a previous employer might have a project that I’m a good fit for, and he’s called a couple of times this week. Might end up getting sucked back in….)

nick

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46 Responses to Thur. July 12, 2018 – still busy, still hot

  1. Greg Norton says:

    Speaking of which, I ran into another reseller who does a lot more networking than I do, and he says everyone is complaining that their ebay sales are down.

    I reactivated my Amazon seller account a few weeks ago to clear a “new in box” item. The SKU is fairly popular new, direct from Amazon, but I haven’t had any interest at a 40% discount. I have a five star rating.

    More anecdotal evidence of a slowing economy — I noticed last week that Sanibel had more empty storefronts despite a record season. The popular coffee bar/bakery which required police directing traffic out front 18 months ago was also gone.

    No, I don’t think the red tide or blue-green algae are factors.

  2. JimL says:

    77º and sunny. Hi supposed to get up to 81º. Good day.

    Last night #1 daughter decided that running with Dad would be okay. I talked her through slowing down, breathing, and not walking no matter what. She found what her limits are and how to work with them to keep going. The net effect was slower, but a lot more confidence that she can keep going when it’s tough. We’ll work on form and breathing going forward. We’ll run together whenever she wants.

    This morning I stuck my foot in my sneaker and couldn’t get it all the way in. Sock or something in the toe. Funny. I had just worn them an hour or so earlier. Stuck my hand in there & felt a small mammal. Took it outside the shake the mouse out & let it get away, but nothing came out. It was a small bat. Funny – must have been coming in to sleep at night and found my shoe on the enclosed porch. Cute little thing. I hope I didn’t hurt it. I put the shoe aside & told the kids to leave it alone for the day. Hopefully he’ll be okay & can go out & eat bugs tonight.

    Finally – cable modem died on me. Ran to WalMart to get an “approved” model for Spectrum. (I had a spare Motorola from 8+ years ago that wouldn’t do). Got it configured, and the tech mentioned that I could save $20/month and get 3 times the speed by switching from the TWC plan to the Spectrum plan. So will call today.

  3. Nick Flandrey says:

    Funny how they don’t proactively move you to the cheaper faster plan, almost like they want to keep milking the cow…

    n

  4. Chad says:

    Customer loyalty really doesn’t mean dick anymore. It’s all about signing up new customers or changing your mind when you call to disconnect (they call those people “retention specialists”). If you’ve been a faithful customer for 20 years and some new plan will save you money you’ll never know.

    There seems to be a growing number of people that just call their cable and cell phone providers every few months and say “This is costing me too much. If you can’t lower it I’m going to have to terminate service.” That’s the only way to make sure you continually have the best deal.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    Finally – cable modem died on me. Ran to WalMart to get an “approved” model for Spectrum. (I had a spare Motorola from 8+ years ago that wouldn’t do).

    If your cable modem is that old, an upgrade is in order even if you aren’t changing plans.

    The ~$60 (at Best Buy) Arris on TimeWarner/Spectrum’s approved list boosted us from 24 Mbps to 100 Mbps without any other changes. Registering the MAC was automatic just by opening a browser.

  6. ayj says:

    There seems to be a growing number …..

    dont feel alone, it is internationational way doing business, I do it every 6 months

  7. DadCooks says:

    Okay, folks, the DLPs have found the dirt that will disqualify Brett Kavanaugh (with a “K”, not a “C” as some DLPs use) from being a Supreme Court Justice or Dog Catcher for that matter: Via The Blaze

    “WaPo exposé discovers game-changing fact about Brett Kavanaugh: He bought some baseball tickets

    “A serious “investigative report” by the serious Washington Post on Thursday brought to light a shocking fact about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh: he bought some baseball tickets for his friends on his personal credit cards, then later paid off the debts when his friends reimbursed him.

    The report kicks off by stating Kavanaugh “incurred tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt buying baseball tickets over the past decade and at times reported liabilities that could have exceeded the value of his cash accounts and investment assets.”
    What was the debt?

    The information came from financial disclosures and information provided by the White House, according to the report.

    Kavanaugh reported in 2016 that he had “$60,000 and $200,000 in debt” from three credit cards and a loan. Each credit card had between “$15,000 and $50,000 in debt, and a Thrift Savings Plan loan was between $15,000 and $50,000.”

    Part of the debt is linked to Washington Nationals season tickets and tickets for baseball playoff games that Kavanaugh bought for himself and friends. Other costs were related to home improvements, White House spokesman Raj Shah told the Washington Post.

    Nationals season ticket packages can vary depending on their location in the stadium, the report notes. Seats near the dugout can sell for as much as $6,000 each for an 81-game season package.

    Kavanaugh’s friends reportedly reimbursed him for “their share of the baseball tickets,” and the judge has “since stopped purchasing the season tickets.”

    The report noted that Shah did not provide the friends’ names, nor additional details about the tickets.

    The information falls under the article’s headline: “Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh piled up credit card debt by purchasing Nationals tickets, White House says.”
    What did it conclude?

    The story goes on to state that filings show the ticket purchases were made at the end of 2016 and paid off early the next year. In 2017, the credit card debts and loan “were either paid off or fell below the reporting requirements,” according to the report.

    “He did not carry that kind of debt year over year,” Shah told the Washington Post.

    Next, the article examines Kavanaugh’s reportable assets of between $15,000 to $65,000. That, the Washington Post reports, puts him “at the bottom of the financial ranking of justices, most of whom list well over $1 million in assets.”

    Still, Kavanaugh “has assets of nearly $1 million between the equity in his home and his retirement account,” according to the report.

    Shah also told the Washington Post that the Kavanaughs have no debt beyond their home mortgage.

    Kavanaugh has also worked in the public sector and did not build his wealth through private practice, the report states.

    “Judge Kavanaugh is a brilliant jurist who has dedicated his life to public service,” Shah said.

    President Donald Trump announced Monday that Kavanaugh is the Supreme Court nominee for Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat.

    While it is anyone’s guess how Senators will react to these “shocking” revelations, at least one Republican senator mocked the report and gave it all the gravity it is due:

    Wow. This is quite the exposé. I look forward to sitting down with Brett Kavanaugh and asking him whether he earned any bonus points or miles. #JournalismIn2018 https://t.co/MlNvLzp8oB

    — Senator Thom Tillis (@SenThomTillis) July 12, 2018″

  8. JimL says:

    The ~$60 (at Best Buy) Arris on TimeWarner/Spectrum’s approved list boosted us from 24 Mbps to 100 Mbps without any other changes. Registering the MAC was automatic just by opening a browser.

    I got the Arris modem as well, though a little more expensive. It did NOT go through automatically, so I had to call. I did get the “register my modem” page, though. I suspect the Spectrum automatic didn’t work because I was still TWC. Just a guess.

    Yes, I know I should call periodically. My only (poor) excuse is that I absolutely despise talking to strangers on the telephone, and hate using it with friends. I still haven’t got the VA to call me back, and I hate leaving messages, so I call less frequently, which makes it worse…

  9. Greg Norton says:

    I got the Arris modem as well, though a little more expensive. It did NOT go through automatically, so I had to call. I did get the “register my modem” page, though. I suspect the Spectrum automatic didn’t work because I was still TWC. Just a guess.

    AT&T ran Gigafiber through my neighborhood a few years ago, and we are 800 yards or so from Google Fiber, just outside the city limits of Austin. Maybe Spectrum/TWC upped their game to compete. Imagine that.

  10. JimL says:

    Yep. The local ISP is running fiber to as many houses as it can – the criteria is that a certain percentage on the block (of certain density) must be willing to sign up. They cannot keep up.

    The response from Spectrum is to increase base speeds, lower prices, and offer up to 800 Mbps. I’m not going to complain about better service as a result of competition. I like competition.

  11. Clayton W. says:

    I just found out that AT&T will be running fiber through my neighborhood soon. We’ll see how Spectrum responds

  12. JLP says:

    Competition!? What a novel idea. Here in little Plainville we only have cable 1 provider, Comcast. They know it and charge accordingly.

    I complained once and they lowered the bill for a while then jacked it up again. I canceled all TV and phone and just went to internet only since I find all I want on streaming. That was OK for a while then that began to go up. I called and I was told that if I got the phone again my bill would go down. That is evil, but I did it to lower the bill. Now it has creeped up again and I was told that they will only lower it if I get the TV added back in for a 3 year deal. The first year is cheap, after that is goes up each year. I’m still exploring my options but I don’t seem to have too many.

  13. DadCooks says:

    Competition? There is no real competition in the cable business. Yes, there are a few areas where you do have 2 choices for a cable provider but they are few and far between. Saying that a cable provider that you do not have access to is driving your cable provider to provide better service is a fallacy. It is technology in the boxes on your end and in the providers head-end that are providing the biggest and most economical boost.

    People who do not live in a big metropolitan area are unlikely to see fiber put in to their home because the cost of installing the cable is just too high for the potential return. This also applies to many old neighborhoods. The fiber companies do not want to have to deal with all the crap people of planted or built in the right of ways. So like in my area fiber was only put in along city/public right-of-ways. New areas do get fiber IF the developer will pay for it which is stupid for the developer. The incremental cost for putting fiber in the trench they have to dig anyway is minuscule over the life of the project.

    @DadC is just rambling. Is anybody listening to the old guy sitting in the corner with his cup of coffee?

  14. lynn says:

    “Beto O’Rourke hauls in $10.4 million, more than double total for incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz”
    https://www.chron.com/news/politics/article/Beto-O-Rourke-hauls-in-10-4-million-more-than-13069385.php

    All of the liberals in Hollyweird are not going to turn Texas blue. At least not this year.

  15. lynn says:

    OK, I managed to perform a new stunt this morning. I was brushing my teeth, coughed, and somehow got toothpaste down the old windpipe. I am still burning and coughing. This sucks.

  16. lynn says:

    “Houston real estate market hits all-time high”
    https://www.chron.com/business/article/Houston-real-estate-market-his-all-time-high-13066683.php

    Not in my neighborhood. Even though only four homes out of 4,000 homes got water in them during Harvey, people are very wary of Greatwood in Sugar Land. Especially in my area where the levee is the highest (12 ft). There are many pictures circulating around of boats in Greatwood during and after Harvey.
    http://www.fbherald.com/free/hurricane-harvey-reveals-superheroes-in-greatwood/article_4ab44325-e203-5572-813f-c3f66fc646f5.html

  17. MrAtoz says:

    The Congressional hearings on the FBI douche is a lesson on “Rules For Radicals.” The Dumbocrats are using every dirty trick from that book to stonewall. I hope the sheeple pay attention and deliver what the Dumbo’s deserve in November. And that Commie chick is something else. I hope she wins and goes to the Hill. The old school Dumbo’s will marginalize her toot sweet. Just like Bernie.

  18. Greg Norton says:

    “Beto O’Rourke hauls in $10.4 million, more than double total for incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz”

    I don’t think the Dems are actually expecting to win wither the Senate seat or the Governor’s mansion in Texas. What I believe is taking place is a data mining operation on statewide races geared towards application in the 2020 Presidential campaign.

    They’re going to learn about two scenarios played for real in Texas:

    1) Governor – Facing a wildly popular incumbent (Trump) with a radical fringe-appeal candidate (Bernie, Fauxcahontas) sacrificial candidate to cleanse the party.

    2) Senate – Going after a less popular but still re-electable incumbent (again, Trump) with youth, energy, and lots of Hollywood money (Gavin Newsom).

  19. lynn says:

    1) Governor – Facing a wildly popular incumbent (Trump) with a radical fringe-appeal candidate (Bernie, Fauxcahontas) sacrificial candidate to cleanse the party.

    Himlery will be the dumbocrat’s candidate in 2020. She still controls the parties internals.

    Do it for the children !

  20. Greg Norton says:

    Himlery will be the dumbocrat’s candidate in 2020. She still controls the parties internals.

    They know they will lose that scenario in Texas in 2020.

    Instead of tackling a broad range of issues, Hillary will have one message, “Vote Justice. Vote The Ultimate Woman Scorned”.

    The Dems still have the data from the 2014 Governor’s race where their candidate had a single message based on gender. That doesn’t play well outside of Travis County … for now.

  21. paul says:

    There are two cable companies in this little town. Northland and Time Warner/Spectrum/whatever. Their rates must be awful because I see a ton of DirecTv and Dish dishes. Plus there is DSL from what was Verizon. And the wISP stuff.

    All I have is the wISP stuff. 5 down/ 1 up. Beats dial-up for sure. They advertise faster, my hardware can do 135mb on the installer’s magic laptop but their billing software can’t give me the 20mb speed they advertise. [shrug] Whatever, you don’t want an extra $20 a month from me?

    I would like to have cable TV and internet.

  22. Chad says:

    OK, I managed to perform a new stunt this morning. I was brushing my teeth, coughed, and somehow got toothpaste down the old windpipe. I am still burning and coughing. This sucks.

    I feel your pain. I had some acid reflux go down my windpipe a few weeks ago. Burnt for a couple of hours, I was hoarse for the entire day, and I had to clear my throat every few minutes.

  23. lynn says:

    All I have is the wISP stuff. 5 down/ 1 up. Beats dial-up for sure. They advertise faster, my hardware can do 135mb on the installer’s magic laptop but their billing software can’t give me the 20mb speed they advertise. [shrug] Whatever, you don’t want an extra $20 a month from me?

    I would like to have cable TV and internet.

    Plus you have OTA, over the air TV, right ?

  24. RickH says:

    On a different subject, I replaced all of my smoke alarms today. Smoke alarms don’t work well after 10 years, and I am in a 18-year-old house.

    You can remove a smoke alarm (twist CW or CCW) and there should be a manufacturer date on it. If it’s older than 10 years, then it will not be as effective. Even if you put in a new battery, or if it is wired to AC.

    So I grabbed 6 of these (four-pack plus two more singles , from the Home Depot online site, for a total cost of $78.

    I picked those because they come with the adapters needed for the most common brands (my existing ones were Firex, which was bought out by Kidde). Took about a week to get here.

    Installation quite easy. Get up on the ladder (carefully), twist off the old one, use my little power screwdriver to loosen the two screws holding the mounting plates, remove the old mounting plate.

    Grab the right power adapter from the package, clip it on, then attach the new mounting plate. (Use a permanent marker to put the date on the unit for reference.) Connect the power connector, feed the wires back into the hole, and twist on the new one (make sure it is positioned correctly if mounted on a wall). Pop in the 9v battery (included) (which is front-mounted for easy replacement), and test it. All done.

    Took under an hour to replace 6 of them in my house.

    Reasonable cost. You can get ‘lifetime’ (10-year battery) units, but they cost more. Best price I found was via Home Depot (Amazon and Lowe’s were higher. YMMV).

    A good idea to do. Doesn’t take long, and doesn’t cost much.

  25. DadCooks says:

    Good advice on the smoke detectors @RickH. Costco regularly runs sales on them, usually FirstAlert. Never saw that adapter trick, I’ll have to check that out. Our smoke detectors have several more years before I swap them out (have had 5 sets of smoke detectors in our 38+ years here).

  26. SteveF says:

    I was brushing my teeth, coughed, and somehow got toothpaste down the old windpipe. I am still burning and coughing. This sucks.

    Could be worse. You could have eaten a TidePod.

  27. lynn says:

    I was brushing my teeth, coughed, and somehow got toothpaste down the old windpipe. I am still burning and coughing. This sucks.

    Could be worse. You could have eaten a TidePod.

    No, I am moderately smarter than that. However, I did forget about gravity while brushing my teeth.

  28. SteveF says:

    I’m in favor of teens, twenty-somethings, and anyone else eating TidePods. And drinking bleach, huffing talcum powder, and getting drain cleaner enemas. If they’re that stinking stupid, the species does not need them.

  29. lynn says:

    “Trash piles up in US as China closes door to recycling”
    https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/trash-piles-us-china-closes-door-recycling-doc-17h4mx1

    Surprise, surprise, surprise ! Recyling has problems and is expensive. I’ve been telling the wife to not put plastic film in our recycle bin but she claims that they take it and ignores me. Nothing unusual there.

    Although I do maintain that our great-great-grandchildren will be mining our trash dumps for metals.

    Hat tip to:
    https://drudgereport.com/

  30. lynn says:

    I’m in favor of teens, twenty-somethings, and anyone else eating TidePods. And drinking bleach, huffing talcum powder, and getting drain cleaner enemas. If they’re that stinking stupid, the species does not need them.

    You forgot condom snorting. The wife saw a picture of a teen snorting a condom the other day and I got to explain condom snorting to her. She was not impressed.

  31. Nick Flandrey says:

    I bought 10yr smoke detectors to add outside the bedrooms, and on the kitchen side of the (usually closed at night) door to the private areas of the house. I got them on sale at costco. Put them in the rental house too.

    WRT cable, ATT finally got around to pulling fiber in my neighborhood, and comcast came in a blew thru with fiber too. Comcast is fiber to the pole, then the same coax to the house. I was switched over without even noticing. It only took comcast a couple of weeks to push all the fiber, and no time to light it up. ATT spent MONTHS and still isn’t lit. ATT just sent us letters describing their new fiber plan, and I’m probably gonna switch. We don’t watch cable anymore, and I’ve used IP phone for at least 10yrs. The prepper in me wants to have copper phone, but no way am I paying for it.

    In the rural areas south of Houston, there are wisp providers. One of our pool dads is hooking up a whole small town with wISP and I might go up to help.

    My customer out in the boonies with only ATT DSL and direcTV available is having the city move closer to him. The next development over got comcast cable/ip and ATT is pulling fiber to areas around him as they get developed. wISP would be a stop gap for him if available. I did two DSL lines for one of his neighbors, and that helped alot. The city is coming, but they’ve got a while to wait yet.

    n

  32. Nick Flandrey says:

    “Although I do maintain that our great-great-grandchildren will be mining our trash dumps for metals.”

    I’ve been saying this since high school!

    n

  33. lynn says:

    “Although I do maintain that our great-great-grandchildren will be mining our trash dumps for metals.”

    I’ve been saying this since high school!

    I probably stole it from you.

  34. lynn says:

    My customer out in the boonies with only ATT DSL and direcTV available is having the city move closer to him. The next development over got comcast cable/ip and ATT is pulling fiber to areas around him as they get developed. wISP would be a stop gap for him if available. I did two DSL lines for one of his neighbors, and that helped alot. The city is coming, but they’ve got a while to wait yet.

    My office property has AT&T fiber at the front of it. AT&T wants a three year contract at $1,000/month to put in a splitter and pull fiber 1,000 ft back to the main office building. So having AT&T fiber nearby is not necessarily cheap. We have two AT&T DSL 12/1 mbps lines at the office at $60/month each.

  35. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hey Lynn, active shooter somewhere in Houston, scanner didn’t say where. The surveillance guys were chatting about it.

    n

  36. lynn says:

    Hey Lynn, active shooter somewhere in Houston, scanner didn’t say where. The surveillance guys were chatting about it.

    In the city of bayous, there are eight millions souls. Several of them are full on crazy. Stay away from them. I am surprised that there are not more.

  37. Nick Flandrey says:

    Sounds like blacks shooting blacks, wearing red clothing, so probably gang related.

    n

  38. lynn says:

    I just heard two gun shots outside my office window. But nothing unusual here, I hear gun shots outside the office several times a week since we are in the country. And I just heard two more.

  39. lynn says:

    I talked to the Service Advisor this afternoon. I will get my 2005 Expedition back on Tuesday at the earliest. Replacing the a/c evaporator is a 10.5 hour job by the book and they are backed up something fierce with the summer temps and a shortage of technicians. Lovely.

    At least my rental car is only $45/day, a 2015 Ford Fiesta. I’ll swear this thing has at least ten gears as it is always shifting. But the a/c is nice and cold.

  40. Nick Flandrey says:

    ‘Fire in the hole!’ Watch the dramatic moment Cape Canaveral’s historic LC-17 launch towers are demolished to make way for lunar mining startup, Moon Express

    LUNAR MINING!!!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5947745/Watch-dramatic-moment-Cape-Canaverals-historic-LC-17-launch-towers-demolished.html

    n

  41. Greg Norton says:

    At least my rental car is only $45/day, a 2015 Ford Fiesta. I’ll swear this thing has at least ten gears as it is always shifting. But the a/c is nice and cold.

    Dual clutch six speed which is actually two three speed transmissions mated together and shifted with electronics. All the cars in that price range have funky transmissions since that’s the part of the lineup designed to help the manufacturer meet the 37 MPG targets.

    We’ve been shopping the low end for something that my son will drive eventually. Nothing made by the manufacturers is truly terrible anymore, but you still get what you pay for. Decent AC isn’t hard, however, so every car has it standard along with decent stereos.

    (Best Buy shut down CDs. I’m predicting car stereo installs are next. No point.)

    We had a 2018 Camry rental last week. Nice. Very nice. Of course, retail was $35,000 … for a Camry. If I was status conscious (I’m not), I could pay the same money for one of those stolen Chrysler designs which Mercedes is selling as their low end sedan and crossover. CLA 250?

    The Camry averaged 35.5 MPG all week, but low end acceleration was much mushier than the 18 year old version of the same drive train in my Solara. Trump vacated the CAFE order, but all the manufacturers still have to design like Gavin Newsom will win in 2020 or 2024 and install Elon Musk as his “car czar”.

  42. nick flandrey says:

    Car stereo won’t go away. There is the same demand for aftermarket no matter what.

    unless “urban” culture devalues the car, and a thumping stereo, they’re here for a while.

    n

  43. JimL says:

    There’s also the “value proposition” purchases. My F350 XL came with AM/FM only. No aux input, no CD, no bluetooth, no camera. My big thing was the backup camera, so I bought an aftermarket with a screen, aux input, bluetooth, and camera input. I only spent $60 (China special), but it was worth it to me.

    As long as manufacturers put cheapest radios in cars for the bottom of the market, I believe there will be an aftermarket for improvement.

  44. ITguy1998 says:

    At least my rental car is only $45/day, a 2015 Ford Fiesta. I’ll swear this thing has at least ten gears as it is always shifting. But the a/c is nice and cold.

    I had a fiesta rental when I was Boston earlier this year. It was a top trim level car – had a moon roof and gps. Fun little car and surprisingly roomy. Nothing like my ATS, but then, it’s not designed to be.

  45. Chad says:

    You can remove a smoke alarm (twist CW or CCW) and there should be a manufacturer date on it. If it’s older than 10 years, then it will not be as effective. Even if you put in a new battery, or if it is wired to AC.

    If you have combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors they may expire even sooner than that. IIRC, most carbon monoxide detectors are only good for about 5 years or so. Perhaps the technology’s longevity has improved.

  46. Miles_Teg says:

    Nick wrote:

    “Funny how they don’t proactively move you to the cheaper faster plan, almost like they want to keep milking the cow…”

    They also want to lock you in for another 12/24/36 months. “Yes sir, you can move to our better/cheaper plan, but you have to lock in to us for two years.”

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