Wed. July 25, 2018 – more work to do

76F at 7am, forecast for hot and clear….

and I have more work to do. I made a start on it yesterday, but need to keep up the pace today. Unfortunately, I had other plans for today, involving stuff in other places, which will have to be done too. The piles, they are big, and the shovel, she is small.

n

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77 Responses to Wed. July 25, 2018 – more work to do

  1. Hcombs says:

    70f at 6:40 am (CDT) – clear with a few puffy clouds.
    Turned in our Xfinity cable equipment yesterday. Only Internet and over-the-air digital for video entertainment going forward.
    My firm is struggling with conflicting initiatives. They are in the midst of “Rightsizing” (IE: reduction in force, outsource, and moving departments to least-cost locations such as HR all going to Costa Rica) and “Process Transformation” (IE: Bringing IT into the 21st century with cloud and DevOps). The problem is, to accomplish Process Transformation requires additional expenditure on the front end that is forbidden by the Rightsizing initiative. Ha.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Catch-22 as a manual…

    n

  3. ITguy1998 says:

    So many things wrong in this article. If my company proclaimed that, I’d bring my own steak to every damn meeting. Rare.

    The bigger issue is employers trying to control their employee’s lives. I see it at my employer, but it’s in its infancy. They have a zero harm initiative. It originated in one of the divisions that does actual dangerous work. It’s been applied to all divisions now. So as office workers, we have signs plastered all over the place. there are signs by doors, letting us know to be mindful that an opening door could injure us. Signs by stairs to let us know stairs are dangerous trip hazards. And on and on. They have started sending out safety minders for other various things. Be safe on the 4th of July. Be safe when driving. We even have a safety brief at the start of every meeting. It involves some unlucky volunteer having to give a 2 minute presentation on some safety topic. Previous presentations have included how to drive safely in the rain. How to drive safely in snow. Common injuries around the house. Yes, it’s excruciating to sit through, but at least I’m being paid while I’m doing it.

  4. Hcombs says:

    New quakes off the Oregon coast …
    https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2018/07/43_earthquake_recorded_off_sou.html
    With the increased activity in the Ring Of Fire, this is worrysome. A tsunami up there would be devastating, not only to the area but to the entire American economy.

  5. Mark W says:

    ERCOT is forecasting today’s demand to be well into the reserves and possibly above. This should be interesting.

  6. Greg Norton says:

    HR all going to Costa Rica.

    That’s a new one to me.

    I worked for CGI for a while in one of their “On-Shore Delivery Centers”. Interesting concept, but I saw enough to realize that it wouldn’t work if the goal was simply to suppress employee salaries rather than offer improved quality of life to the workers.

  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    Re: safety culture…

    the rise of the safety culture is the antithesis of world domination and success. It’s another way to hobble the American machine (RoHS being another, globull warmening, etc).

    No, I don’t want to go back to the days when major projects were budgeted in lives lost.

    But, without risk, there is little reward. “Playing it safe” has its time and place.

    The current obsession with “safety” over all else will kill innovation and the culture that provided us with the successes of the past and the huge increase in prosperity we saw post-War.

    A major oil company has seen fit to post signs in the stairwells requiring people to hold the hand rail, and not carry anything- specifically coffee.

    “Officer safety” trumps all, including your right not to get shot by agents of the state while holding your phone in your hand, or trying to pull up your pants.

    Like the “quality triangle – good, fast, or cheap, pick any two” there is a safety/risk triangle. Not sure what the three legs are as I haven’t given it much thought, but maybe – innovation, growth, safety, pick any two….

    n

  8. Greg Norton says:

    With the increased activity in the Ring Of Fire, this is worrysome. A tsunami up there would be devastating, not only to the area but to the entire American economy.

    An earthquake in Seattle or Portland would be bad.

    The Winter weather is so grim on the OR and WA coasts that the places are not heavily populated year-round. Insurance companies would take a beating due to the vacation properties hit by a tsunami, however.

    During a late lunch at Norma’s Seaside Diner, I heard one of the owners explain the economics of the coast to a near-retirement age couple who were contemplating relocation out there and asked about the business opportunities. Of course, this was July so the weather was awesome.

  9. Greg Norton says:

    So many things wrong in this article. If my company proclaimed that, I’d bring my own steak to every damn meeting. Rare.

    Typical tech hypocrites. WeWork sponsors Southern Smoke BBQ festival in Houston.

    The travel reimbursement is the really tough part. Most of these hipster companies don’t provide corporate cards anymore, and the nitpicking of restaurant receipts will drag out the reimbursement process for the employees.

    WeWork is still privately held. Wait until the bubble pops and the hipsters watch old school property management execs from Regus or Highland pour into their offices with pink slips … and Jimmy John’s *meat* sandwiches.

  10. Nick Flandrey says:

    Progs. always trying to “improve” the workers.

    “Additionally, WeWork could save “over 15 million animals by 2023 by eliminating meat at our events.””

    And blindingly oblivious to reality. Those animals ONLY EXIST to provide food. They would never have been born if not to grace the table…

    I think you could translate this to “wework can SAVE over $300 million by not buying dinners for our employees and customers.”

    I also think that they’re a bit optimistic that they’ll still be around in 5 years while making business decisions for ideological reasons unrelated to the business.

    n

  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    “Most of these hipster companies don’t provide corporate cards anymore,”

    The BigCorp where I used to work NEVER provided corporate cards if they could avoid it. They much preferred financing the company’s operations on the short term credit of their employees. My first year there, I ran over $90K thru my personal Amex card.

    The only time they provided the field guys with cards was if the guy kicked up a stink or had bad credit.

    n

  12. DadCooks says:

    @Greg Norton said:
    “An earthquake in Seattle or Portland would be bad GOOD.”

    There, fixed it for you.

    Even better would be the first couple of hundred miles of both the West and East coasts sliding into the abyss. Of course, we would need volunteers to stand along the “new coasts” to shoot those who are trying to swim back to safety.

    Yes, @Dad is grumpy, as usual.

  13. Greg Norton says:

    Progs. always trying to “improve” the workers.

    Yet the same workers use Bird scooters around downtown instead of walking, and that’s ok.

    I read it as they don’t want anyone over 25 working there. Under 25 has alays been the malleable age. This past Christmas, the young’n’s I worked with at CGI went along with management turning down the VP’s offer of pizza for our holiday party on the premise that Papa John’s for 20 people was “too expensive”.

    (I think our affirmative action-hire manager’s real problem was Papa John’s, but I digress.)

    Fun. Fun. Fun … until the bubble pops. Remember fooseball tables sold at Costco for offices prior to the last bubble popping in the Financial Crisis?

  14. Hcombs says:

    HR all going to Costa Rica.

    Yes, we just moved the entire HR department (the jobs not the people) from Boston to Costa Rica. Our Help Desk recently went to Poland. We are an international company HQ in the UK with offices in almost every country (not Iran, Pakistan, or Kurdistan). Currently our IT department is based in Memphis TN but that may well change too.

  15. Greg Norton says:

    Currently our IT department is based in Memphis TN but that may well change too.

    If your company’s IT is all Microsoft-based, they’ve already signed the leases for office space in Hyderabad. The question is just “when” not “if” the announcement happens.

    One thing I learned in grad school is that the freshers (Indian speak for new grads) know how enough .Net to get through entry level interviews. Whether they really know how to code, regardless of language, is a separate issue.

  16. Greg Norton says:

    @Greg Norton said:
    “An earthquake in Seattle or Portland would be bad GOOD.”

    Sure, but my point was that a tsunami really wouldn’t impact the national economy much long term if the damage centered on the WA/OR coast south of, say, Forks.

    If anything, based on witnessing tourists climbing all over the debris that washed ashore from Japan in 2011, tsunami damage may even be a boon to tourism.

    The last time we went out to Newport, before we left in 2014, ODOT was trying to straighten Hwy 20 out to the coast from Corvallis, but Portland is still an hour drive up I-5 under *ideal* conditions. Newport isn’t going to be a Portland suburb anytime soon.

    Okay, if you like Tilamook cheese, you may be affected depending on type. The cheddar varieties they make at the old main plant might be in short supply for a while.

  17. lynn says:

    We even have a safety brief at the start of every meeting. It involves some unlucky volunteer having to give a 2 minute presentation on some safety topic. Previous presentations have included how to drive safely in the rain. How to drive safely in snow. Common injuries around the house. Yes, it’s excruciating to sit through, but at least I’m being paid while I’m doing it.

    While I was at TXU in 1988 or 1989, one of our safety presentations was a film on detecting testicular cancer. Yes, a video on a roll around tv with a vcr. The video consisted of a guy in a white lab coat and a naked guy. Yes, it was horrible.

  18. JimL says:

    Safety briefing, courtesy of Niven & Pournelle. (I believe Dr. Pournelle attributed this to Niven.)

    Do not throw feces at a man with a gun. Do not stand next to a man throwing feces at a man with a gun.

    Questions?

  19. lynn says:

    ERCOT is forecasting today’s demand to be well into the reserves and possibly above. This should be interesting.

    As near as I can tell, ERCOT’s generation capability is somewhere between 75,000 and 85,000 MW. The amount is variable due to the 17,000 MW of wind turbines. At the peak cooling time of 3 pm to 8 pm, the wind turbine capacity is somewhere between 3,500 MW to 7,500 MW, rising as the evening gets dark and the wind comes up. Both of these numbers are swags on my part (scientific wild assed guess).
    http://ercot.com/content/cdr/html/CURRENT_DAYCOP_HSL.html
    and
    http://www.ercot.com

    Another variable is the solar panels. Texas does not have the 20,000 MW of California’s solar power but we have somewhere around 5,000 MW. And that number is rising to 15,000 MW over the next two or three years. In fact, someone is building a 98 acre solar power farm about ten miles away from my house here in Fort Bend County. I am unsure what the capacity is.

    Today’s forecast is 70,000 MW. About 3,000 MW less than the new peak from last Thursday, 73,259 MW. But tomorrow’s load will pickup as the cool front wears off.
    https://www.texastribune.org/2018/07/20/texas-record-electric-demand/

    Note that the above article is suspect because the picture of Martin Lake Steam Electric Station says that it was closed in January. It was not. They closed Big Brown SES, Monticello SES, and Sandow SES in January, a total of 4,200 MW.

  20. jim~ says:

    You guys are all so pessimistic. I came across a tidbit of truly good news about our arsesiety today.

    https://people.com/tv/jerry-springer-show-ending/

    When I moved to Seattle I made sure my apartment was well above 100 feet above sea level because I knew about the Cascadia subduction zone and what might happen. And it will happen, and not a moment too soon. I used to live in San Francisco and it was crazy, Berkeley was crazier, but Seattle takes the cake.

    Interesting discussion about lies and lying. I’m going to have to think it over.
    On a somewhat related note, and also related to Seattle, is passive aggression. It absolutely drives me nuts when people say yes yes yes and actually mean no no no. Buck up and be a man: Ask for what you want and be willing to take “No” for an answer.

  21. Mark W says:

    ERCOT’s generation capability is somewhere between 75,000 and 85,000 MW

    Looks like they got some more capacity online. This morning, the forecast peak was above the reserve.

    Closing 4200 MW doesn’t seem smart without a replacement.

  22. lynn says:

    ERCOT’s generation capability is somewhere between 75,000 and 85,000 MW

    Looks like they got some more capacity online. This morning, the forecast peak was above the reserve.

    Closing 4200 MW doesn’t seem smart without a replacement.

    ERCOT performs a Dutch Auction every 15 minutes. The simple cycle gas turbines owners decide whether or not to start them daily based on the bidding. It is truly a free market system. All of the simple cycle gas turbines are shutdown each night. Some of the combined cycle gas turbines are shutdown also but that causes their steam systems to have problems.

    Yes, on the closing of 4,200 MW. We will find out at the middle of September when the summer weather breaks how good or bad the decision was. And one of the 600 MW Sandow units was only 10 years old. But, the lignite / coal units were losing $200 million per year (again SWAG on my part). They were selling power for free in the spring and fall nights and buying supplemental coal from Mr. Buffet (BNSF). Nobody can eat that kind of loss. And once they made the decision to shutdown BBSES, I’ll bet that the decisions to shutdown MOSES and SASES were easy then.

    ADD: BTW, the amount of wind power is extremely variable in the ERCOT system. I doubt that they can rely on much of it at all.

  23. Greg Norton says:

    Interesting discussion about lies and lying. I’m going to have to think it over.
    On a somewhat related note, and also related to Seattle, is passive aggression. It absolutely drives me nuts when people say yes yes yes and actually mean no no no. Buck up and be a man: Ask for what you want and be willing to take “No” for an answer.

    Definitely a Seattle thing. I had the most PA management of my entire career there. The boss never stopped talking to me like I rode a special ed bus to work every morning, even when I quit without notice following my second demotion during a double-secret probation period I never really understood.

    I had to bite my tongue from saying, “Geesh, buddy, show a *little* emotion. I just f-ed your business plan for this ‘spin’, ‘compromising the provenance of the synergy of the creative paradigm’ as your HR droid phrased it my interview”.

    Protocol droids.

  24. Nick Flandrey says:

    Sarah Hoyt has an interesting post today.

    https://accordingtohoyt.com/2018/07/25/build/

    Talks about some of the stuff we’ve been discussing at various times. She doesn’t bring high vs. low trust societies into it, but that is part of the issue. Also at play is the almost unique influence the “Protestant work ethic” had in America, and the fact that with a new nation, that was anti-government and pro-individual, your personal effort DID make a difference in your life, cv. ‘rags to riches’ stories.

    The idea that whatever wasn’t denied was allowed, is a part of it too (vs. the ‘anything that isn’t explicitly permitted is denied’ ethos.)

    These are some of the fundamental differences that non-Americans rarely understand and internalize.

    n

  25. Jenny says:

    Prior to them falling in the lake, what method did folks here use to inventory their bang sticks?
    Excel? Paper? Purchased database? Homemade? And if homemade, what fields were useful?

    @stevef
    The discovered science experiments were cleverly hidden by my deceptive child for the purpose of avoiding consequences. You gave me food for thought on your approach to children and lying. Certainly a more realistic approach than having the hubris to demand complete obedience and honesty. We kept her out of public school in part for the blind adherence to zero tolerance. How hypocritical if we were to enforce same at home.

    The spare room is largely empty. Tearing out the carpet tonight. Intend to lay laminate tomorrow night. Reload the room Friday night. Which isn’t ideal as kiddo returns home Friday afternoon and will be less than thrilled at getting booted off to grandparents so we can return her room to livable conditions (as her room is currently holding the contents of the spare room). Wish us luck. Room is only 100 sf but something always goes tits up on these projects.

  26. lynn says:

    Prior to them falling in the lake, what method did folks here use to inventory their bang sticks?
    Excel? Paper? Purchased database? Homemade? And if homemade, what fields were useful?

    The back corner of my mind ?

  27. lynn says:

    I had to bite my tongue from saying, “Geesh, buddy, show a *little* emotion. I just f-ed your business plan for this ‘spin’, ‘compromising the provenance of the synergy of the creative paradigm’ as your HR droid phrased it my interview”.

    So he was treating you like a Wally when in fact you were a Dilbert. Nice that.

  28. Nick Flandrey says:

    It’s not a real project unless you’ve gone back to the store three times. 🙂

    I’m sitting in the parking lot waiting to pick mine up. This day cramp has a very stiff penalty for late pickup. It works.

    May have the rental house rented today. That means my plan to get the last of my stuff out of there just changed. PROBABLY.

    Not enough days in the week.

    Been working in the driveway all day. I set up a canopy, started up the portacool, and am wearing a big hat and my cool vest. Still super hot.

    N

    Added, almost through the pallet. I.’ll finish breaking down this one, then I can condense down and make room for some of the stuff coming home from the rental.

  29. lynn says:

    I’m sitting in the parking lot waiting to pick mine up. This day cramp has a very stiff penalty for late pickup. It works.

    Ah, picking up the interns for the summer work, nice !

    BTW, how do you keep two trucks startable and drivable ? Do you drive each one at least once a week ?

  30. Greg Norton says:

    So he was treating you like a Wally when in fact you were a Dilbert. Nice that.

    Maybe I was too old for the West Coast.

    My big regret is that it cost me $100k and a huge chunk of my 40s to learn that lesson.

  31. Greg Norton says:

    Ah, picking up the interns for the summer work, nice !

    When I stopped for gas north of downtown the other day, I accidentally found the place in Austin where you pickup the drywall “interns” for the workday. I was the only person at the gas station who was there to actually buy gas!

  32. Nick Flandrey says:

    @jenny, I don’t keep track… and sometimes forget. That is if I had any.

    What would be useful is tracking which ones have a paper trail, and which not, including accessories. If I had any, that is.

    I did buy 6 magazines for a pistol I don’t own. I forgot which pocket pistol I have, since I rarely carry it. I remembered, but only after already buying the wrong mags.

    @lynn, I’ve never had any problem with the ranger starting, even if it sits for a long time. The expy always starts too. The only exception was when the battery died (aged out.) I usually drive the Expy if I have to get the kids (proper seats) or if I have a pickup that will fit, or if I’m working on cams etc. I drive the Ranger if I need the bed space, or only have one child and am doing a pickup, or need to carry dirty stuff.

    n

  33. Nick Flandrey says:

    While I’m sitting here, avoiding work, the cops are working at least 3 different stakeouts on 3 channels….

    n

  34. ech says:

    While I was at TXU in 1988 or 1989, one of our safety presentations was a film on detecting testicular cancer.

    There is a hilarious testicular cancer PSA by Deadpool on the DVD. A serious message done in a very funny manner.
    It’s on YouTube here.

  35. DadCooks says:

    @Jenny, I use “paper brains” (spiral pocket notepads and spiral steno books) for my “sensitive” data. I’ve been using “paper brains” for most of my 68 years so I have my own systems. I can make spreadsheets and databases with the best of them, but sometimes KISSS is best (Keep It Simple and Secure Stupid).

    I like to keep track of purchase information, cleaning, use (when, what, how, and performance), additions/modifications.

    The pocket spiral notebooks (each “device” has its own set) make it easy to record information while out in the field rather than relying on my memory when I get home.

  36. Greg Norton says:

    Prior to them falling in the lake, what method did folks here use to inventory their bang sticks?
    Excel? Paper? Purchased database? Homemade? And if homemade, what fields were useful?

    I keep paper notebooks, personal and professional, usually Top Flight quadrille 4×4 composition with stitched-in pages.

    I used to buy the notebooks at the corner grocery store, Publix (FL) and Fred Meyer (WA State), but HEB carries off brands which are “Hencho en Mexico” so I have to hit Hobby Lobby for the notebooks since moving to Texas.

    No pencils. Pen only.

  37. Spook says:

    The discussion of travel expense reimbursements reminds me of the time (some years back) when I turned in a meal claim of $3 for breakfast, $5 lunch, and $7 dinner, basically rounding off to best of my recollection… and my boss said that the big boss would find that suspicious, so I made it $5.27 breakfast, $7.94 lunch, and $13.53 dinner, and that flew just fine. Since the big boss was an engineer, I probably should have added a few more decimal places to make it look more “accurate” !

  38. lynn says:

    Since the big boss was an engineer, I probably should have added a few more decimal places to make it look more “accurate” !

    Hey, I resemble that !

  39. lynn says:

    I have got a lot of Whistling ducks outside my office window today. Mom and Dad and seven youngsters. The youngsters are about 2/3rds grown and can fly. They have been harvesting the north pond for a few days now. Beautiful birds.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistling_duck

    There is also a group of five Whistling ducks in the south pond. That pond is totally nasty looking with an algae covering. But, the algae does not seem to bother them.

  40. Spook says:

    ”” Since the big boss was an engineer, I probably should have added a few more decimal places to make it look more “accurate” !

    Hey, I resemble that ! ””

    If the shoe fits… call it a size 9.4954687695, more or less.

  41. Nick Flandrey says:

    Whew. Ended up breaking down two pallets. 4x4x4 cubes. Have to take a full pickup load to the scrapper tomorrow, and make a dump run for the stuff he won’t take.

    There was about $500 in stuff I sell on ebay too, so I’ve added that to my inventory.

    Still a bunch of stuff left on pallets, but these two were the ones I could most easily break down.

    Working for customer tomorrow, then pickup on friday, then rent house on weekend….

    no rest for the wicked.

    n

  42. Nick Flandrey says:

    @spook, iirc there are sort of ‘natural’ numbers for real things, and there is software now that flags stuff like you did…

    I used to submit claims for tips, especially when working in hotels or convention centers. I was told I needed a paper receipt. OK. I drew 10 empty boxes on a sheet of paper, and copied it. When I had tips, or other ‘no receipt’ claims, I’d write TIP, the amount, and the date in the square. Some projects ended up with several pages of those ‘receipts’ and I never had a problem getting reimbursed after that. (Tolls I did the same way.) I gave them what they asked for- a paper receipt.

    For other employers, I just carried a little book of receipts, like a mom and pop store might use, and filled them in for reimbursement.

    Note for the younger players, ALWAYS submit ‘to the penny’ accurate claims. It shows you are careful with the company’s money. The bean counters LOVE that.

    n

  43. lynn says:

    If the shoe fits… call it a size 9.4954687695, more or less.

    Wrong size, I am 11.750001.

    Using the approximations in the new math, 12.

  44. Nick Flandrey says:

    Using the new math- if you were a size 6 at 11 and a size 8 at 12 what size are you now at 54?

    Jamal and Tamarindo are comparing shoe size. Tamarindo wears a size 9 European, while Jamal wears a size 12 US youth. Given that Lynn is a cishet white male oppressor, why should he have shoes when so many don’t? Give 3 reasons he shouldn’t.

    For every 1 increase in shoe size, 27 acres of rainforest are destroyed. How many acres of rainforest has Lynn destroyed with his size 11 feet? A- 11, one per shoe size, B-12, one per shoe size counting from zero, C- All the rainforest, because he selfishly continues to live, D- 21, because you have to count the youth sizes, and adult sizes, but the youth sizes are proportionally smaller.

    I could go on…..

    n

  45. Spook says:

    It might not have been clear, but I submitted an honest claim.
    Receipts were not required. If I recall, I possibly even wrote down
    the amount in my notes, rounding off ( probably due to just leaving
    even dollar amounts to cover a tip, as in “keep the change.” ).
    Since my honest claim was rejected (at least at the lower supervisory
    level, with the explanation that the big boss would oppose it since it
    was honest), I tried the large lie, and that was considered legitimate.
    Since the extra time spent making up the larger numbers and putting
    them on the form was on the clock, it was win-win for me.
    Taught me an important lesson for dealing with idiot bosses, early on
    in one of my first “careers” …

  46. SteveF says:

    You gave me food for thought

    Not the kind that gets pushed in a corner and left to evolve into a science experiment, one might hope.

    Certainly a more realistic approach than having the hubris to demand complete obedience and honesty.

    -nod- One of the (many) ways in which I’m awesome is in my attempt to be realistic in viewing the world, especially humans — what are the likely short-term and long-term responses to some stimulus? What do I need to do to accomplish some long-term goal, given likely responses and perturbations? I don’t start with “Dr Spock says” or “the Bible says” or “every decent parent does this”. As much as I can, I base my estimates on empirical data and science rather than on holy writ, so-called common sense, or the scientific fad of the day.

    Hmmph. I started that off as a bit of self-aggrandizement or self-mocking humor, take your pick, but it turned serious. Dammit!

    Ask for what you want and be willing to take “No” for an answer.

    But… but… that’s confrontational! Much better to get away from the face-to-face as quietly and quickly as you can and then do what you have to do.

    When I listed some of the downsides to rigorous honesty the other day, I didn’t mention being tarred as confrontational. If the manager asks for my professional estimate of how long something is going to take, my answer isn’t going to change just because she pushes me to shorten the schedule. She can promise the customer whatever release date she likes — that’s part of the manager’s job — but the date and probable schedule slip is going to be on her head, not mine, no matter how much you push me to compromise just a little bit and it doesn’t matter if we slip, the important thing is getting the customer buy-in and for that we need everyone on the same team so I need to adjust my estimates.

  47. Spook says:

    I seem to recall seeing some sort of receipt generation software,
    which had to be more effective if you had a little thermal printer.
    Edit: Simple word processor and some font action would
    work pretty well, I bet.

    I just need to accept that I am, I hope, too old for this shit…
    though I guess I could have to deal with the IRS if I had enough
    income for it to matter.

  48. SteveF says:

    Here’s a math problem for ya: If an orchestra has 60 members and can perform a symphony in 45 minutes, how long would it take a 90-member orchestra to perform the same symphony?

  49. Spook says:

    For Bach it would take longer.
    For Beethoven it would be quicker.

  50. lynn says:

    “Police release new photo, video of suspect in slaying of Houston doctor”
    https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Police-release-new-photo-video-of-suspect-in-13098508.php#photo-15908554

    This really looks like a professional hit.

    BTW, the murdered doctor was a partner of my cardiologist.
    http://www.houstoncardiovascular.com/our-physicians/

  51. RickH says:

    No matter what song the orchestra plays, their very first piece is always called an ancient Chinese song called “Tu-ning” .

    I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

  52. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hope this guy gets the jab.

    https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Irsan-Trial-0726-13103662.php

    “Irsan opened his testimony with a meandering personal history of growing up in Jordan, coming to the United States in 1979 and marrying a Christian woman. The couple had four children.

    In the 1990s, he returned to Jordan as a 34-year-old and married a 14-year-old, and they had eight children. That wife, Shmou Ali Alrawabdeh, now 40, is charged with murder and testified against Irsan.”

    Religion of peace.

    n

  53. Nick Flandrey says:

    “Sounds like Offenbach..”

    “You stay offen my bark, and I’ll stay offen your bark…”

    said who??

    n

  54. MarkD says:

    re Prepping: Intending to buy a generator is no substitute for actually doing it. At least not when tornadoes rip through the area leaving thousands without power. Otherwise we were in decent shape, but the weather was good, we had propane for the grill and plenty of food and water, batteries, flashlights, one of those little jump box batteries that could charge my phone for weeks…

    The generator is on the way, another fan, and a smallish electric heater are on the list.

  55. lynn says:

    Hope this guy gets the jab.

    https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Irsan-Trial-0726-13103662.php

    “He said loved his 12 children and did everything he could to protect them.”

    ““I love them half to death,” Irsan told jurors as he stroked his salt-and-pepper beard. “I would do anything for them.””

    Including shooting their Christian husbands ?

    The dude looks and sounds guilty. I wonder what the jury thinks ?

  56. lynn says:

    The generator is on the way, another fan, and a smallish electric heater are on the list.

    My big question is how do you get enough fuel for the generator ?

    ADD: Wait, did this just happen ? Hopefully you and yours are ok.

  57. Nick Flandrey says:

    @MarkD, please share your first hand experiences, as that way we can all learn something from them.

    Are you and family all ok?

    How is the general situation?

    n

  58. Nick Flandrey says:

    Facebook’s market value plummets by $150 BILLION in just two hours after firm misses revenue targets and reveals slowest-ever growth in users in wake of privacy scandals and new GDPR rules

    Facebook shares plummeted 20% on after the firm reported weak Q2 results
    Mark Zuckerberg saw his net worth dive roughly $20 billion to $63.6 billion “

    Maybe people are realizing there is no there there….

  59. Jenny says:

    I hate mice. Unearthed the 6 or 8 rolls of underlayment we have leftover from reflooring in 2012. Mice have been living amongst the stacks. And peeing. And pooing. Feasting on the nearby Mountain House dehydrated food stash.

    I’m so grossed out. Kiddos science gone wrong pales by comparison. I swept up 3 bushels of moise turds.

    I hope one roll is salvageable. All I can smell is mouse urine, even away from them. Spouse will have to sniff check them to see if even one roll is safe to use.

    On the other hand, maybe this will be our only snag.

    Grr.

  60. Greg Norton says:

    Maybe people are realizing there is no there there….

    They have some interesting tech to salvage when the end finally comes.

    When my last Disney annual report arrived, I noticed that I didn’t have to vote against retaining Sheryl Sandberg on the board. She was already gone.

    A group of Disney shareholders wanted to make her CEO in a similar move to how Eisner got the job. Orlando will already spend the next 20 years undoing the damage from “Eisney”.

  61. Nick Flandrey says:

    He saved the company, but then went insane and almost lost it.

    n

  62. Greg Norton says:

    He saved the company, but then went insane and almost lost it.

    *Almost* lost it?

    Go take another look at Eisner-era buildings on the Orlando property the next time you are in Florida. We got the brunt of the ugly while Disneyland simply lost their parking lot.

  63. DadCooks says:

    @Jenny, I hope you were wearing at least an N95 mask and thoroughly showered after your mouse excrement cleanup. You have may/probably been exposed to Hantavirus. Please be vigilant for symptoms. Actual cases are more prevalent than the federal gooberment records will admit.

    Sorry to be pessimistic, but the lowly mouse is nothing to mess with. That goes for you too @Nick.

  64. Nick Flandrey says:

    Every time the Disney organization lets someone else play in their sandbox, you get the ugly or inappropriate.

    Look at the dark rides in Epcot, they suck rocks. Done by outside companies.

    Ditto the Swan and Dolphin… (which is what I’m guessing you mean.)

    The new DVC hotels are really nice and well designed (by contrast).

    n

  65. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yep, there is a nasty spread in rat urine too.

    hanta is only spread by deer mice, and they don’t like to live in most places, IIRC.

    Mask, gloves, and tyvek if it’s really nasty. You have all those things anyway, right??????? Then bleach solution, mixed with a bit of dish soap as a wetting agent.

    n

  66. Jenny says:

    Mouse decontamination – yep and yep.
    They’re NASTY. And disease carriers.

  67. Ray Thompson says:

    I hate mice.

    We trapped 21 mice in our house over the course of three weeks. First problem we have had. Apparently a family moved in. Trapped large adults and small juveniles. Yeh, I also hate mice.

  68. lynn says:

    I hate mice. Unearthed the 6 or 8 rolls of underlayment we have leftover from reflooring in 2012. Mice have been living amongst the stacks. And peeing. And pooing. Feasting on the nearby Mountain House dehydrated food stash.

    Sorry to hear that. Wow, that puts my four roof rat kills over the last five years to shame. They are nasty creatures !

    Also, my thoughts on keeping long term food storage is canned food only. Maybe those huge Augason pails but I don’t even like those. I really prefer #10 cans and regular canned food.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Augason-Farms-Quick-Rolled-Oats-Emergency-Food-Storage-10-Pound-Pail/22001479

  69. nick flandrey says:

    I still need to do a ‘lessons learned’ but I’d like to be sure I’m DONE first….

    n

  70. JimL says:

    Lessons learned in the middle would be instructive. Updating at the end would give us information on how the changes were affected by the situation.

    Battle plans never survive the first contact with the enemy, but overall strategy and changing patterns can be useful as well.

  71. paul says:

    Battle plans never survive the first contact with the enemy

    I watched “Tobago” on Amazon Prime last night and they used the same line. It was an interesting show, about half documentary and half movie.

  72. Greg Norton says:

    Ditto the Swan and Dolphin… (which is what I’m guessing you mean.)

    The Swan
    The Dolphin
    Animal Kingdom
    MGM Studios without working studios
    Poorly air-conditioned Winnie the Pooh ride
    Ellen’s Energy Adventure
    Stitch’s Great Escape
    “All Star” budget hotels
    Half-completed Pop Century eyesore
    Celebration
    Fort Wilderness cabins
    Removal of Fort Wilderness railroad
    Abandoned River Country
    Abandoned Discovery Island
    Downtown Disney/Disney Springs
    Bonnet Creek p*ssing match
    Post 90s Goodings (though, that’s finally about to go bye bye)

  73. nick flandrey says:

    Aw man….

    The Swan
    The Dolphin
    -eyesores but do rake in the sweet sweet convention money, which also feeds epcot, esp during Wine and Food

    Animal Kingdom
    -the combination of real and fake never made sense to me, and it’s a ‘half day’ park at best. They are working to fix that now though, starting with the Everest ride… (I’d complain more about the half-assed “county fair” area being a weak attempt to get something, anything there.

    MGM Studios without working studios
    – they HAD studios, which freaked out MGM as they weren’t supposed to be real., which is why it’s not “MGM” anymore. Many seasons of dog agility programs came out of the studios there. half day park.

    Poorly air-conditioned Winnie the Pooh ride
    -? It’s a modern version of the classic dark ride, air has always seemed fine to me

    Ellen’s Energy Adventure
    -it was a much needed upgrade when it was done and she surely felt very “Disney” and non-threatening…. until she came out… now that doesn’t seem like such a big deal. But yes, most of epcot needs serious updating. Almost all of those attractions were designed by other than Disney and it shows.

    Stitch’s Great Escape
    – hasty rebrand to take advantage of a surprise low budget hit. NOT A FAN. The alien encounter had nothing to do with Disney though, and it was SUPER CREEPY and completely missing the ‘sense of fun’ and ‘nod and wink’ of true Disney attractions.

    “All Star” budget hotels
    Half-completed Pop Century eyesore
    – they needed a down budget choice to capture more of the money that was going to off property operators. They improve every year.

    Celebration
    -people have always wanted to live at Disney World, now they can. Not aware of any issues with Celebration that you couldn’t predict by looking at any FL HOA and multiplying by 100…..

    Fort Wilderness cabins
    – LOVE the [idea of the] cabins, in every incarnation except the travel trailers. GREAT option for family reunion type trips. Some versions were teh suck, some have been great.

    Removal of Fort Wilderness railroad
    -yes this made NO sense. Stop operating, sure if the costs are too high, but Walt LOVED trains and it was a betrayal. Pulling up the rails was spiteful and unnecessary.

    Abandoned River Country
    -killed 3 people over the years. Couldn’t continue operating because of the bacteria in the lake. ALL swimming in the lake was banned. Not sure you can put this at Eisner’s feet.

    Abandoned Discovery Island
    -very expensive to operate, very few visitors (the one in Bay Lake, not Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, right?)

    Downtown Disney/Disney Springs
    -more holes in the money sieve. How to get money from locals without letting them into the parks? Great for gangbangers shooting up the place though. Some people gotta shop, so why not give them a place?

    Bonnet Creek p*ssing match
    – no idea, inside baseball? They own the township so how can there be an issue?

    Post 90s Goodings (though, that’s finally about to go bye bye)
    – no idea, off property

    I’d say the ESPN/ABC fiasco and the various overseas Disneylands were his worst moves. The licensing terms for the Disneylands were/are RAPACIOUS and should make money for the company hand over fist. Disney doesn’t actually operate those parks, and has no exposure or downside risk other than reputational.

    The Richard Petty Experience was a big expensive flop, and killed people.

    Go.com might have something worth the money there, but it seems just stubbornness to maintain it at this point.

    n

  74. Greg Norton says:

    The Richard Petty Experience was a big expensive flop, and killed people.

    I forgot about the racetrack. Richard Petty Experience was an attempt to recoup the expenses of building that facility.

    Disney literally could not supply enough alcohol to satisfy the Indycar and NASCAR racing fans in the first few events so the track quickly got a reputation for not being “fun”. I heard that directly from a honcho of a Indycar fan group in Tampa.

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