Fri. Aug. 10, 2018 – prepper fail!

Back in the swamp, I mean Tree City USA, I mean Bayou City, I mean… Houston. 80F at 8am.

So. Prepper fail.

Yep. I left my carry on bag at the house we were staying at. My airline ‘bug out bag’. My ‘get home bag’. I left it. Sitting on the bedroom floor. Didn’t realize until returning the rental car, and that was too late. I’ll get it UPS’d to me next week, but I was NAKED for my flight.

What didn’t I have?

No change of shirts and underwear
No ‘one day’ of meds
No reading glasses
No blow out kit
No boo boo kit
No first responder IDs (CERT, ham radio, Constable’s program)
No snacks or water bottle
No electronics- 2 kindles and a tablet
No chargers or batteries
No noise cancelling headphones
No shortwave radio or dual band ham radio
No backup money, $1000 in cash, 1 oz gold in coins, extra clean credit card
No loyalty cards
No toys for the kids (2x nintendo DS)
No rain jacket

Like I said, NAKED.

And I made it home fine. I was almost caught by irony as there was a hail storm in Houston that could have messed up my travel, exactly the sort of thing my bag is meant to make more tolerable. Imagine that I needed all that crap for once and didn’t have it because I’m an idiot. Fortunately it didn’t.

Home safe, but VERY weird to be on an airplane without the comfort and convenience stuff I’ve become accustom to.

Because I AM a prepper, I did have my ID, money, phone, and FLASHLIGHT. I always carry that on my person. Especially on a plane, you need that base level of stuff on you. DON’T put it in your bag. If you have to get off the plane in a hurry, you won’t be allowed to bring your bag. Then you’ll be sitting in a shelter area without your id, money, or phone.

LEARN from my stupidity! Double check. Even a seasoned traveler can have a lapse.

n

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105 Responses to Fri. Aug. 10, 2018 – prepper fail!

  1. Greg Norton says:

    Make sure it is a clean *credit* card. The rental car companies are starting to balk at Visa/MC debit without extensive background information on file ahead of time.

    I’d be careful about the cash/gold flying through areas with insolvent governments like Chicago … or Houston! I swear I remember the Supreme Court upholding asset forfeiture in the recent past, and I’ve seen the “STOP!” drills in action at the Portland Airport. Sooner or later, those won’t be drills and they will go national.

    I have a “Chumlee” silver coin in the laptop bag I carry. Ha ha ha, I’m a dopey tourist who went to Las Vegas.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    If you have a SHTF event, large scale or personal, at a certain level you have to just let go and realize that cash/vehicles/etc are tools. If I need to drive thru a store front and ‘wreck’ my truck to get away, I will. Same with cash. If there is some need that it will fill, use it. I read a long time ago in a novel, that if you get into a knife fight, you need to be willing to lose your left hand to survive. I treat most of my stuff as that ‘left hand’. In other words, in my mind, I’ve already made the transition from ‘this is cash I can spend’, ie- money, to ‘this is a tool that could save my life.’ It’s a mental trick, but once you flip that switch, it’s no longer something to covet, hold, or preserve. One way that it’s easier is that it ALWAYS stays in the bag. I never take it out, even at home. That helps to keep me from thinking of it as money.

    Asset forfeiture is a cancer on freedom, but I’d rather have money for them to seize than not.

    n

    (an oz of gold coin is a pretty small package, and doesn’t look like much when it’s in quarters and tenths.)

  3. JLP says:

    Curious as to just what is your airline bug out bag: duffle, backpack, messenger bag? How big? What brand? I’m looking for a new backpack and would like some recommendations.

  4. MrAtoz says:

    I use a 100% plastic money belt to hold cash. The belt goes in my carryon (always packed), then I put it on when traveling as my primary belt. I’ve never had to use it and would go into the b-room if I had to take some cash out. I only carry $200 in twenties, but it can carry more and not be noticeable. I have some 10th ounce gold coins I may add to the bag. Maybe a few silver.

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    @JLP, I decided to go stealth when I changed from carrying a computer case for work, to traveling as support staff for my family 🙂

    I have an old Targus laptop backpack/bookbag. It is from the era of 15″ and 15 pound laptops. Heavy duty, thick padded straps, good back padding, a ‘grab’ handle on top, and lots of pockets. It happens to be black. Loaded as above it weighs about 30-40 pounds.

    I specifically DIDN’T want anything at all “tactical” looking. No molle system, no logos.

    I went with a backpack style so I’d have both hands free to wrangle kids and other luggage.

    It’s worked well and the quality of those older Targus bags was outstanding, far stronger than the chinese import ‘tactical’ bags, and stealthy besides.

    n
    I see similar bags in great condition in thrift stores and Goodwill’s all the time.

  6. Greg Norton says:

    Curious as to just what is your airline bug out bag: duffle, backpack, messenger bag? How big? What brand? I’m looking for a new backpack and would like some recommendations.

    I’ve carried a Swiss Gear laptop bag from Sam’s for the last few years, but, on the last flight, I noticed the TSA had implemented the rule change which voided the bag’s “TSA friendly” features — the laptop still had to go through the scanner by itself leaving Austin.

    Flying home, Tampa had new scanners which didn’t require the laptop to leave the bag. YMMV.

  7. Ray Thompson says:

    And in other news…..

    I have been messing around with an Aduino board and some accessories. Bought a kit so I could learn to help the school. Last year they started working with such boards and the teacher was in over her head with most of the project. I helped teach the kids to solder, wire the boards, and the programming.

    I went into the school project cold. Stuff was donated to the school as part of a grant. I know some stuff about electronics so that was not a big issue. I know how to program but had never done Arduino stuff. Took a little bit to figure out the compiler organization. Once that was done it was not too bad.

    I decided to get my own kit to experiment. Biggest issue was installing the correct USB drivers. Once that was done I did the projects. Actually fairly impressive what a small board can accomplish without a lot of difficulty.

    Looking at the stuff that is available, modules, interfaces, etc. it obvious there are a lot of smart people with these projects. Lot of cool stuff.

    Anyway, I think I am better prepared when I will be asked to work with the school again this year. Should have a better result.

  8. Nick Flandrey says:

    Who knew? We have a national bulk cash smuggling center

    https://www.ice.gov/bulk-cash-smuggling-center

    n

  9. brad says:

    I suppose it’s always a compromise. I carry maybe 1kg extra stuff in my backpack (that I almost always have with me). Mostly a first aid kit, some tools, a multi-function knife (I’d say “Swiss Army, but they never really were), and of course a flashlight. Beyond that? I’m just not willing to carry 10kg of stuff around all the time – my pack is heavy enough with work stuff or whatever else I’m carrying for the purpose-of-the-day.

    FWIW life may be interesting here next year. The Swiss are insisting that European workers follow Swiss employment rules. In particular, that Swiss employers of European workers follow Swiss employment rules. This prevents migrant workers from Germany, or Portugal, or whereever from undercutting union contracts, or from working 80 hour weeks, or from not receiving unemployment insurance, or whatever.

    Sounds sensible, right? Work in Switzerland, follow Swiss law. But the EU doesn’t like that, and they insist that European workers only have to follow EU law. If Switzerland doesn’t agree, then they are threatening us with a whole range of – let’s be honest here – blackmail. Just as one example, the Swiss stock exchange will be disqualified from trading in European securities.

    Switzerland is gathering the courage to tell the EU to go stuff it. It used to be the case that the leftist parties were pro-EU, but now that the trade unions are under threat (it’s their members who would be undercut by immigrant labor), both the left and the right are unified. Only the centrist parties are still arguing for a deal. But if the EU goes full punitive, well…we are geographically embedded in their midst, and very dependent on the EU as an export market.

    Life may get interesting…

  10. Greg Norton says:

    Who knew? We have a national bulk cash smuggling center

    I got groped in Austin because I failed to take my wallet out of my pocket. IIRC the security threads on the new bills fluoresce serial numbers like toll tags, allowing the scanners to count the money. The body scanners must detect the fluorescence but are not able to count the cash … yet.

    Picking up a package at UPS in Georgetown’s newish depot last night, I noticed that the company had intense security procedures in place at the employee entrance — metal detectors, bag searches, cell phone prohibitions, and signs indicating a prohibition on going to the parking lot during shift hours.

  11. JLP says:

    My roommate wants the 5.11 Rush bag and she thinks I should get one too. It seems like a very good backpack and I haven’t taken it off my list as a possibility, but to me it just seems to scream “Look at me, I’m the tactical guy with all the gear!”. I always want to be the gray man.

    Currently I have a very plain High Sierra backpack used by almost everybody. Bought it on sale for $25 ~4 years and it is holding up OK. I want something with more pockets to organize. I spend too much time rummaging around in the main compartment to find stuff.

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    @jpl, my old bag has lots of small exterior compartments, and 3 big main compartments.

    I organize my stuff in Eagle Creek PackIt cubes, mainly half cubes and quarter cubes.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=eagle+creek+pack+it+cube+set%5C%22%3Eeagle&tag=ttgnet-20“” 1=”creek” 2=”PackIt” 3=”” 4=”a” rel=”nofollow”

    All my clothes and shoes go into them as well. They make searches of your stuff a non-issue, and if a bag bursts open, you are more likely to get your stuff back.

    n

  13. Nick Flandrey says:

    @brad, I don’t carry all that every day, only when traveling. I don’t normally take some of it either, but this trip I wanted to try some things out.

    I was in a rural area, next to Lake Michigan, so I wanted to see what shortwave sounded like. LOTS more signals, just with stock antenna! I’d love to string a long wire next time and tune around.

    I thought I’d spend some time with the dual band for the same reason as the shortwave, but didn’t. It’s not big, and gives a certain amount of comms backup.

    I brought the Nintendo DSs for the kids as heavy rain was forecast. Turns out we didn’t need them.

    Since the shooting in Ft Lauderdale airport, I’ve kept my blowout kit in my bag when traveling.

    I carry a Kindle paperwhite for outdoor (beach) use, and a Fire for indoor or when the battery runs out. I could get by with one.

    Took the samsung tablet and bluetooth keyboard for posting here, but was never able to connect on this trip. Something changed between March and now, and the Samsung hates it. (the cannot create secure connection failure).

    Lots of redundancy in that bag, and it was stupid heavy this trip. No excuse to leave it behind though!

    n

  14. Nick Flandrey says:

    From one of my newsletters…

    “Also, recent nerve agent exposures and thwarted ricin
    plots overseas show increased interest in these methods of attack.”

    So, the nerve agent was London, but where was the ricin plot?

    n

  15. lynn says:

    No change of shirts and underwear
    No ‘one day’ of meds
    No reading glasses
    No blow out kit
    No boo boo kit
    No first responder IDs (CERT, ham radio, Constable’s program)
    No snacks or water bottle
    No electronics- 2 kindles and a tablet
    No chargers or batteries
    No noise cancelling headphones
    No shortwave radio or dual band ham radio
    No backup money, $1000 in cash, 1 oz gold in coins, extra clean credit card
    No loyalty cards
    No toys for the kids (2x nintendo DS)
    No rain jacket

    What, no Uzi ?

    Oh wait, you were in Chicago, the place where only the criminals have guns.

  16. MrAtoz says:

    During our last trip to NC and VA, just about everybody on the plane and traveling had a tactical bag of some sort. I now have molle envy. I now think a tacticool looking backpack does not makes you stand out. My main backpack is non-tacticool, but I stuff a Maxpedition inside it when traveling. I use the Max as a day bag.

    Also, don’t leave home without your titanium spork! I have two in a form fitting plastic case that comes in handy all the time. Like when you get some ice cream at the hotel shop and it’s hard as a rock. Or when you order takeout and realize there are no utensils in the bag when you get to the hotel.

  17. lynn says:

    Breaking Cat News: “How to pet a cat”
    https://www.gocomics.com/breaking-cat-news/2018/08/10

    This has been a PSA. Later, we will go into more advanced topics about petting a growling cat. And how many pets can you pet a Siamese cat before they bite you ?

  18. lynn says:

    @SteveF, the unruly bunch at rec.arts. sf.written continues to assault me with suggestions for Selene. Here are two more.

    _The Wee Free Men (Tiffany Aching)_ by Terry Pratchett:
    https://www.amazon.com/Wee-Free-Men-Tiffany-Aching/dp/0062435264/?tag=ttgnet-20

    _The Book of Night with Moon_ by Diane Duane. Bummer, seems to be out of print. But somebody did suggest the “So you want to be a wizard” book that she wrote.
    https://www.amazon.com/Book-Night-Moon-Diane-Duane/dp/0446606332/?tag=ttgnet-20

  19. mediumwave says:

    Bummer, seems to be out of print.

    Out of print, but not unavailable.

  20. JLP says:

    Well if MOLLE on a backpack is becoming common I should rethink things. MOLLE does seem to be very versatile.

  21. jim~ says:

    I haven’t a clue what a molle bag is, but By God, I want a titanium spork!

    You need to watch out for the gold and silver coins. Last time I went to India I had a few Kruggers which got picked up upon entry. Oy! What a hassle. They’d enacted import duties, so I spent more than an hour getting them impounded, notarized, certified, etc. Would have taken even longer, but the Customs guys recognized me. Funniest part of the ordeal was waiting 15 minutes to find an officer to open the bank (this was about 1AM, their time) to get a receipt for the grand sum of 15 Rs (about 25 cents).

    I don’t have a “go bag” but I have a few tricks worth mentioning.

    1. Make photocopies of your passport and visas and place them everywhere. Inside your bags, outside pockets, everywhere.

    2. Print sticky address labels on Avery 5160 sheets; some with only name and address, others with phone and email. Stick those on aforementioned photocopies and keep them on your person. Saves a helluva lot of time when filling out paperwork.

    3. Staple the business card of the hotel you’ll be staying at to the back of your passport.

  22. jim~ says:

    @lynn

    _The Diamond Age_, Neal Stephenson. Female protagonist, and a good story as well.

  23. Harold Combs says:

    The Swiss have always had very tight employment rules. When I was managing EU/UK Server Support for MCI out of London in the late 90’s, we were not allowed to send the same engineer to our Swiss Offices more than twice in a single year. The Swiss were afraid I guess, that a tech spending too much time in country could apply for residency or something. It made it difficult to give our Swiss offices decent support.

  24. lynn says:

    “Jeff Bezos once said that in job interviews he told candidates of 3 ways to work — and that you have to do all 3 at Amazon”
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/jeff-bezos-once-said-job-162512831.html

    “Back in 1997, Bezos told shareholders that employees at other companies “can work long, hard, or smart, but at Amazon.com, you can’t choose two out of three.””

    This is foolish.

  25. nick flandrey says:

    Ahh, F me you guys are way too smart.

    From my local school board “Safety and Security Update”

    “Here’s what we’re already doing in SBISD:

    Emphasizing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and mental health supports”

    Looking back it was April of this year when MrAtoz first brought it up. After reading far too much of the mumbo jumbo, it looks like his Mrs. isn’t the only one making bank off that nonsense.

    n

  26. nick flandrey says:

    I loved the Diamond Age, but the stuff with the drummers is odd at best, and the female who is searching for the protagonist does end up working in a brothel…

    Classic Neal Stephenson always attempts to teach (in DA, crypto) and raise a ‘big question’ (in DA, how do you raise kids to succeed when YOUR success eliminates the hard work and struggle for them that made your success possible?)

    Finally got around to starting his collaboration on “D.O.D.O” and it’s a hoot. I’m about 80% thru it and enjoying it.

    n

  27. Greg Norton says:

    Finally got around to starting his collaboration on “D.O.D.O” and it’s a hoot. I’m about 80% thru it and enjoying it.

    I “borrowed” “D.O.D.O.” after vowing to never give Stephenson money again post the “Seveneves” horror. I’ll settle kharma with a Kindle purchase of the next book.

  28. nick flandrey says:

    I should mention that in the whole long email about the Safety and Security of our schools, not ONE mention of RESPONSE and MITIGATION of an attack.

    Why isn’t anyone pushing for a bleeding control kit in every classroom, in every fire extinguisher cabinet? Why isn’t anyone pushing for a giant size pepper spray in every teacher’s bag/extinguisher cabinet/classroom?

    They actually cite the National Response Framework (sorta) but they are stuck on phase one, prevention, and are doing NOTHING for the other phases.

    Jeez I don’t want to be the guy who has to stand up at the next board meeting and ask why.

    n

  29. nick flandrey says:

    Yeah, I’ve got a couple of full sets of his work, signed, and a limited numbered printing of the Baroque Cycle all tucked away, but Seveneves was a nasty mess.

    Reamde was less than it should have been too.

    Have you read the stuff he did with his uncle under a pen name?

    n

  30. Greg Norton says:

    Reamde was less than it should have been too.

    Have you read the stuff he did with his uncle under a pen name?

    Never read anything of his without the Stephenson name on it.

    I’ll give him a pass on “Reamde” since it was his first book written with a computer. He used Scrivener and it shows.

    The manuscript for “The Baroque Cycle” is a six foot stack of paper. It is in the collection of mPOP (or whatever the hell they call that museum in Seattle these days), and they put it out the floor under glass from time to time. Unfortunately, when we went during our sentence -er- tenure up there, the manuscript was not on display.

    I hauled “Seven Years in Tibet” to Florida on my Ye Olde Kindle (2nd gen). I’ve been working on that since “D.O.D.O.”

  31. lynn says:

    _The Diamond Age_, Neal Stephenson. Female protagonist, and a good story as well.

    https://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Age-Illustrated-Primer-Spectra/dp/0553380966/?tag=ttgnet-20

    $13.94 for a new trade paperback, no way ! And the kindle version, hawk and spit !, is $13.99. Of course, I won’t read a kindle for the life of me. I might have downloaded an extremely out of print novel as a PDF lately and then, printed and bound it myself for reading. Old school and proud of it ! Dead trees rule !

  32. Greg Norton says:

    “Back in 1997, Bezos told shareholders that employees at other companies “can work long, hard, or smart, but at Amazon.com, you can’t choose two out of three.””

    This is foolish.

    Over the course of 15 years, starting in 1999, I did multiple interviews with Amazon, including one site visit where they flew me to Seattle from Tampa. I think I’ve always been classified O-L-D in their HR system but given the interview to satisfy the H1B visa rules.

  33. lynn says:

    Nice, Google Mail (which is where I have my business domain aliased to), is now sending my Greg Abbott and Ted Cruz begging emails to my spam folder. Not good.

  34. lynn says:

    Over the course of 15 years, starting in 1999, I did multiple interviews with Amazon, including one site visit where they flew me to Seattle from Tampa. I think I’ve always been classified O-L-D in their HR system but given the interview to satisfy the H1B visa rules.

    Junior programmer is interviewing with Google next week. I haven’t the heart to tell him that at age 35, he is probably too old for them.

  35. lynn says:

    “Evidence of the Left’s March Toward Ending Elections”
    https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2018/08/09/evidence-of-the-lefts-march-toward-ending-elections/

    You know, it scares me how eerily right Rush usually is. And this one is a doozy.

  36. lynn says:

    I’m listening to Tom Petty’s song “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” on the radio right now. I just realized that we will never know what the true meaning of the song is. And, one of the top ten creepiest music video’s of all time.
    https://songmeanings.com/songs/view/10666/
    and
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aowSGxim_O8

  37. MrAtoz says:

    Looking back it was April of this year when MrAtoz first brought it up. After reading far too much of the mumbo jumbo, it looks like his Mrs. isn’t the only one making bank off that nonsense.

    Oh, yeah. Goobermint bucks. SEL is *the* number one door to vacuum up that sweet, sweet Title XX cash.

  38. Greg Norton says:

    Junior programmer is interviewing with Google next week. I haven’t the heart to tell him that at age 35, he is probably too old for them.

    It depends on the skillset Google requires and the location. Young and hip doesn’t do The Dalles … or C++.

    Play it cool. I got one of those Google calls at the beginning of July. Following up, I realized that they weren’t serious, but, until I hit the six month mark at the current job, neither am I, really.

    I got practice being the interviewee. The interviewer got to vent about the $6 toll on the new floating bridge across Lake Washington. Win-win.

  39. MrAtoz says:

    Libs and Chicongo in a nutshell cartoon:

    Chicongo

  40. lynn says:

    It depends on the skillset Google requires and the location. Young and hip doesn’t do The Dalles … or C++.

    He does C++, Fortran, Perl, Python, HTML, and several others. Perl is his favorite.

    So you don’t think it is about a job in Silicon Valley. Interesting.

  41. ech says:

    Of course, I won’t read a kindle for the life of me.

    I love mine. Lots of cheap/free books available. The Heinlein estate is offering about one a week for $1.99.

  42. lynn says:

    Of course, I won’t read a kindle for the life of me.

    I love mine. Lots of cheap/free books available. The Heinlein estate is offering about one a week for $1.99.

    I look at a screen 10 to 12 hours a day (two screens at office, a 27 inch widescreen and a 19 inch 4:3). The last thing that I want to do at night is look at another screen while I read in bed.

  43. CowboySlim says:

    I use a Samsung 7″ tab in preference to my 7″ Kindle to read in bed (but I don’t look at this screen all day).

    I buy a lot of the $0.99 Kindle books and also read, for free, ebooks from my municipal library.

  44. nightraker says:

    For molle, Maxpedition is the one to beat. Condor makes knockoffs. Vanguard or Vertx are worth a look, too. Maxpedition has come up with “covert” camera/diaper bags recently.

    I splurged on a Tumi Alpha Bravo backpack. Red Oxx in Montana made my carry on suitcase and they have a full line of Nylon goodies hat aren’t tacticool.

    REactor Tactical’s ASO duffle is a covert warbag to schlepp around gub stuff.

  45. Ray Thompson says:

    Just bought a Surface GO. Small version of my Surface Laptop. Small screen so not real useful for doing work. It is a consumption device, not a creation device. Seems to work well.

    Very small and light, as in really light. Will run MS Office applications without difficulty although I would not recommend a lot of that activity.

    Plan is to use it in the broadcast studio as an auxiliary switcher controller. Will be able to install the switching software, connect to the private wireless network (not exposed to the outside world) and run the switcher from the device.

    Needed to get a USB-C to USB-3 adapter so I could connect a thumb drive. Probably should get a USB-C/USB 3.0 thumb drive.

    Currently installing updates, firmware and Windows 10. I converted from Windows S to Windows 10 as I needed to install software that was not available in the store (switcher software).

    Damn shame MS charges over $100.00 for the keyboard/cover. Although Apple keyboards, at least an illuminated keyboard, is just as expensive. I would have liked just a plain cover with no keyboard.

  46. Nick Flandrey says:

    Can’t go much wrong with Tumi.

    That duffel is cool, but how do you keep the testosterone from staining whatever you put it down on???

    (sized for overhead air travel, all description is of gub stuff, as if you could carry that stuff on….)
    n

  47. SteveF says:

    Lynn: Thanks again

    jim~: Diamond Age is a good book, but not for a just-turned-eleven-year-old.

    Ray: It sounds like you’ve got it all worked out, but give a holler if you need help on Arduino stuff. Aside from what I learned in order to teach my then-8-y-o to program and wire the device, I had a tech writing gig (which I never got paid for, grr) developing and writing up lesson plans for Arduino hardware and software tricks and techniques. It wasn’t quite a cookbook, but close.

  48. Nick Flandrey says:

    “developing and writing up lesson plans for Arduino hardware and software tricks and techniques.”

    sweet. Maybe I need to get my uno out and get the IDE up on a newer lappy….

    (who am I kidding, unless the kids need me to, there is no time.)

    I did get a “hello world” blinky light sketch running. I think I bought a kit from adafruit with an ‘experimenter’s shield’ and a bag of parts.

    n

  49. Ray Thompson says:

    but give a holler if you need help on Arduino stuff

    Will do and thanks for the offer. Most of the issues at the school were physical assembly issues. The wanted to get it all stuffed in the enclosure without testing anything. Bad idea.

  50. lynn says:

    Well, that was exciting. I just killed an 18 inch cottonmouth (water moccasin) on the front porch of the office.

  51. Nick Flandrey says:

    Time for a snake gun!

    n

  52. lynn says:

    For molle, Maxpedition is the one to beat. Condor makes knockoffs. Vanguard or Vertx are worth a look, too. Maxpedition has come up with “covert” camera/diaper bags recently.

    I splurged on a Tumi Alpha Bravo backpack. Red Oxx in Montana made my carry on suitcase and they have a full line of Nylon goodies hat aren’t tacticool.

    Ya’ll are making me feel bad. I just use a backpack that I bought ten years ago at Walmart for $20. I have dragged it all over Europe, Montana, Florida, California, etc, etc, etc. Still works well and does not smell even though it has been wet more than once (going down the Missouri river in a 12 ft boat with three guys and frequent rainfall / snowfall / hailfall is tough on equipment).

  53. lynn says:

    Time for a snake gun!

    I used my landscaper tenant’s posthole digger. It was a little awkward.

  54. BillF says:

    I’m listening to Tom Petty’s song “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” on the radio right now.

    It would be cool to know what it is about but I don’t really care. It is such a great tune. The guitars, harmonies, groove – one of his best.

  55. lynn says:

    Just spent a while talking with my landscaper tenant. He wants to cut the knees off my 75 ft diameter live oak at the office this winter. The underneath of the tree is totally overgrown and snake infested. The tree looks like the Big Tree in Rockport, Texas that does not have any knees (a knee is a branch touching the ground).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Tree,_Rockport

    You can see the tree on Google Maps at:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@29.5359272,-95.6667227,167m/data=!3m1!1e3

    The tree is bigger than my warehouse which is 75 ft by 50 ft. It is a beautiful portion of the property and I sure do not want to kill it. There is a poo water sprinkler on either side of the tree so it is always well watered.

  56. Greg Norton says:

    It depends on the skillset Google requires and the location. Young and hip doesn’t do The Dalles … or C++.

    He does C++, Fortran, Perl, Python, HTML, and several others. Perl is his favorite.

    So you don’t think it is about a job in Silicon Valley. Interesting.

    Possibly.

    If it is The Valley, I guess he has to do it while he’s (relatively) young.

    Once the kids come along or kids get to be school age, he’ll be back in Texas. I wish I had a nickel for every Stevens Creek Honda license plate frame I see rolling around Austin.

    The interesting addition this silly season is Florida plates. I see as many of those as CA lately. School in Round Rock starts Thursday.

  57. lynn says:

    “Heart-stopping moment officer is shot by man pulled over for speeding”
    https://nypost.com/video/heart-stopping-moment-officer-is-shot-by-man-pulled-over-for-speeding/

    “There is no such thing as a routine traffic stop.”

  58. SteveF says:

    There is a poo water sprinkler

    Ewww…

  59. lynn says:

    Breaking Cat News: “How to pet a cat”
    https://www.gocomics.com/breaking-cat-news/2018/08/10

    This has been a PSA. Later, we will go into more advanced topics about petting a growling cat. And how many pets can you pet a Siamese cat before they bite you ?

    From elsewhere, “And remember Mark Twain’s remark: A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”

  60. SteveF says:

    Tom Petty’s song “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”

    It would be cool to know what it is about but I don’t really care.

    If you like the song, don’t watch the music video.

  61. lynn says:

    Once the kids come along or kids get to be school age, he’ll be back in Texas. I wish I had a nickel for every Stevens Creek Honda license plate frame I see rolling around Austin.

    He does not have a girlfriend even (that the wife and I know of). He saw way too many broken marriages in Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children and is very leery now. He has his house full of books and toys and is becoming a hermit. He did have a fiancee before the USMC but she ditched him when he joined the Marines.

    I have told him repeatedly that he is the only provider of our grandchildren since his sister is disabled. He vehemently disagrees with the concept. I had hoped to get grandchildren out of one of them but that seems to be going nowhere.

  62. lynn says:

    There is a poo water sprinkler

    Ewww…

    It is separated poo water. The poo stays in the main septic tank until it breaks up into little pieces due to bacteria in the aeration process.

    And that reminds me, I need to call the honey truck guy and get the main poo tank vacuumed. It has been five years and some months now since the last time.

  63. SteveF says:

    Huh. I’d figured “poo water sprinkler” was a typo and thought I was goofing on you about it.

  64. lynn says:

    Nope, I’ve got 2,500 gallons of poo out there between the office building and the warehouse. And hopefully it is all just in the first tank with the air blower on it. The second and third tanks are not suppose to have poo in them.

    If we build a house out here then I will be installing another 2,500 gallon aerobic poo tank. Plus another 2,500 gallon settling tank and a 2,500 gallon chlorination tank. And two more sprinklers and a pump.

    Lots of concrete tanks.

  65. lynn says:

    Well, just found out from my landscaper tenant that the 8 year old kid who drowned in an HOA pool back in June was guarded by his lifeguards. The kid had seizures and was not supposed to be at the pool. But the autopsy showed no water in the lungs so that means that the kid did not drown supposedly.

    “8-year-old boy dies after found underwater in Richmond pool”
    https://www.khou.com/article/news/local/neighborhood/8-year-old-boy-dies-after-found-underwater-in-richmond-pool/285-560962588

    Landscaper says that if he gets sued then the HOA will stand in front of him. And the neighbor who took the kid to the pool. Not good.

    ADD: Hopefully yours truly will not get dragged into this nightmare.

  66. lynn says:

    $20 at Walmart certainly works. Might be getting thicker materials and better padding, thread with the brands mentioned but I suspect engineering and then manufacturing all those compartments/flaps/zippers/velcro panels ups the cost some.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PfCv9ZeQ6g

    I wonder if my AR-15 comes apart like that guys ?

    And does he know that you should not display signs such as “There is nothing here that is worth your life”.

  67. nightraker says:

    I wonder if my AR-15 comes apart like that guys ?

    Only the very oldest Colt civilian models had a bit different pin system, so you are very probably good to go.

    I believe Sootch is in S. Carolina and detailed a burglary at his place some years back on his channel.

  68. Greg Norton says:

    The tree is bigger than my warehouse which is 75 ft by 50 ft. It is a beautiful portion of the property and I sure do not want to kill it. There is a poo water sprinkler on either side of the tree so it is always well watered.

    We have a big live oak in front of our house that doesn’t have any knees. If I had to guess, it adds $10k to the value of the house and knocks $50 a month off the AC bill.

    After we bought the house, the tree people out once to take care of it, but we couldn’t afford to have them back until this year. The root system runs underneath our driveway, and, apparently, not aerating the roots which are exposed has done some damage to the tree.

    Beautiful, but beauty has a price. Hopefully, we caught our tree’s problems in time.

  69. Greg Norton says:

    He does not have a girlfriend even (that the wife and I know of). He saw way too many broken marriages in Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children and is very leery now. He has his house full of books and toys and is becoming a hermit. He did have a fiancee before the USMC but she ditched him when he joined the Marines.

    Oh, I get it. Junior programmer.

    If I discussed my phone interviews with my boss, chances are I’d get shown the door by the end of the day. I’ve said before that they aren’t exactly thrilled with me but need the work done.

    If your Junior Programmer wants to look at something different for a while without going too far, I can put his resume in with management to see what happens. We have a lot of travel ahead this fall, installing systems in CA and the Northeast. The toll road business is a-boomin’, and the mess in Florida (no toll tags billed since June 1) trashed the reputation of the competition.

  70. lynn says:

    Junior programmer examined the Dawes List and found his great grandfather’s name on it. So he put Native American on his employment application. We think he and his sister are actually at least 1/8 Cherokee.

    He is trying for a software engineer job in Boulder, CO. He would like at least two years of Google on his resume.

  71. brad says:

    I’m tempted to sign up for Kindle Unlimited. My problem is mostly psychological: I like the idea of owning books, not just borrowing them.

    On the other hand, most books I only read once. The latest series by Peter Grant is a good example: the books were fine, I enjoyed reading them, but… They aren’t good enough that I will ever want read them again. So KU would have made sense.

    And on the gripping hand: $10/month, when a typical Kindle book costs maybe $4? I’m not sure I average 2-1/2 books a month. Right now, during the summer – yes. During the semester, when I’m teaching flat-out, no way.

    What do y’all think about Kindle Unlimited?

  72. SteveF says:

    Brad, my thoughts are much the same as yours — I want to own the things I use.

    Subscription services like KU, Netflix, and most music sources, are non-public libraries. If you want to pay $10/month to each for access to their content, that’s fine, but be aware that you’re forcing yourself into either $10-$50/month forever or a loss of access to content. The much-maligned “younger generation” seems to have no problem with signing up for monthly services, but I think that’s more because they don’t think things through than because they made a conscious decision that it’s a good deal.

    On the other hand, if you’re really going to read it only once, KU or equivalent might worth it. With the price of most novels, if you read 1.5/month you’re probably coming out ahead with KU. It’s not that expensive, and it could be worth using it for three months, keeping notes, and running the numbers.

    On the other other hand, there are public libraries, free to the users. (In the US, anyway. I don’t know if Switzerland has free-to-the-patron libraries.)

    On the other other other hand, most of the fiction I read is put up on the internet for free. Most authors appreciate tips but it’s not required. (I do send money to authors if I like their work. When I have money, anyway, which isn’t always the case.) The majority of what you come across will be crap, but that’s also the case with commercially published fiction, and the big big advantage of free and other indy writing is that the crap usually makes itself obvious within the first page. It’s not like tradpub fiction of the past 25 years, which will usually be decently edited but where the tough detective cries when he kills a bad guy because he has to show his sensitive side, or where the cast of characters has to meet a diversity checklist with not one of the chars on the “right” side being a straight, white, Christian man.

    http://topwebfiction.com/ has a list of good novel-length or longer works, with links to http://webfictionguide.com/ , which lets anyone list their work. Most of the works are in progress (with a sizable minority on WFG being abandoned) but it’s easy to find complete works.

    Finally, I might sign up for KU not for myself but for my daughter. For now the library and free novels supplemented by a few purchases keep her happy, but she reads really quickly and quite a few of the books recommended by Lynn and others are available on KU and it might be a good deal.

  73. brad says:

    Hi Steve, thanks for your thoughts. Yes, we have public libraries here, exactly the same concept as in the US. Only – no surprise – with the rise of digital media, almost nobody uses them. Their selection of fiction and such pretty much sucks, although the children’s books are ok. We signed up for a while when the kids were small, but it’s been years since we were in there.

    Of course, with Kindle Unlimited, one could always cheat: download the books, read them, remove the DRM and keep them. Removing DRM is not difficult, just tedious and irritating. I’ve done a bit, and at some point, I will certainly remove the DRM on all the Kindle books that I have bought (because imho DRM is incompatible with ownership). For KU, though, if I join, I’ll play by the rules – I don’t care to cheat authors out of their deserved income.

    Yah, diversity. It put me off reading SciFi for a solid decade. Idiots who think saying something is in the future makes it SciFi, who have zero clue about science or technology, and who shoehorn in all sorts of PC/SJW crap, even if it detracts from the story. Don’t remind me, gack 🙁

    Thankfully, the indie market has finally picked up the slack, and indie authors are slowly understanding that they really do need to hire professional editors and proofreaders. In Peter Grant’s last three novels, I think I only tripped over one typo (a missing space, iirc) – that’s pretty amazing for indie books.

  74. Ray Thompson says:

    Well, shucks. I have to return the Surface GO. Some software I need, VISIO 2013, will not install on the device. Some exception about the CPU. Probably some feature that is needed that the Surface GO CPU does not support.

    Shame. It is a nice little machine for data consumption. Yeh, I know, why would I need VISIO if I am going to consume data. The plan was to use the device to draw VISIO diagrams of the video wiring and use the diagrams for reference. I would draw the diagrams on my desktop but would use the Surface GO to make changes in the diagrams when changes were made in the studio.

    So I will return the device, keyboard, pen and USB-C to USB-3.0 adapter. Would have been nice to carry a full blown Windows PC of such a small size with me.

  75. SteveF says:

    Ray, before returning it look into open source alternatives to Visio. A quick search gave me several “The five best alternatives” lists. eg, https://blog.capterra.com/7-of-the-top-microsoft-visio-alternatives-for-project-managers/ There’s also Inkscape, which is an object-based drawing program — boxes, lines, and text objects rather than the sploop-ink-on-the-canvas kind of drawing program.

    Failing that, would it suit your needs to make the diagram in regular Visio on a “real” computer, save as PNG or PDF or whatever, and transfer to the portable computer?

  76. SteveF says:

    Hi Steve, thanks for your thoughts.

    I have many thoughts! I mean, sure, most of them revolve around genocide or multilingual puns, but the point is, I have thoughts!

  77. Nick Flandrey says:

    @Ray, MS has/had a small “viewer” version of Visio that had limited edit capability. It was free.

    And you might want to check out Costco. They have several surface machines on sale this month. Maybe a full size will be cheap enough??

    n

    Added- you would lose native file support, but autocad has a free viewer/markup app that could see your Visio if you exported them as a CAD format….

  78. MrAtoz says:

    I have many thoughts! I mean, sure, most of them revolve around genocide or multilingual puns, but the point is, I have thoughts!

    Don’t forget fart jokes!

  79. Nick Flandrey says:

    @steveF and Brad,

    when I was a kid, I was a voracious reader. NO WAY could I have afforded all that I read. Our local public library was well stocked with scifi and I read it all. Some I miss having in hard back, but most that I wanted I’ve replaced from thrift stores or used book stores.

    That is an option for you too. Thrift and used book stores have so much inventory it is spilling onto the floor in stacks. They are a dying breed, but there are still many used book stores here.

    I have been buying DVDs and bluray both of ‘out of print’ and of my favorites, and everything we missed in theatres for 15 years. At $1-3 each, I’m building out my library. We have netflix, apple tv, roku, and several others (including kodi- which I’m told can get you just about anything for free) but I LIKE owning my media. Netflix pulls stuff all the time. Disney is about to pull all their content from netflix.

    I have a bigger concern with the subscription stuff too. It’s WAY too easy to ‘retcon’ history if no one owns the source material. Or to ‘gaslight’ people. Or to ‘memory hole’ whole genre of artistic endeavor.

    When was the last time you heard “2LiveCrew” on the radio? Or any of the original rap artists who used samples and scratching? Reuse rights issues keep almost all of it off the air. Reaching further back, what would we know about earlier black music if not for surviving records? NONE of it got airplay (rental). Someone might thing Elvis invented that cr@p. Whether you like that music or not isn’t the issue. Without physical copies that survive the purge, no one will know or have a chance to like it.

    All that said, in the absence of a good recommendation, subscription type reading is the best way to find new authors you like. It’s less true for other media, as no one person has as much influence on the finished product.

    all have their place, but I’ll keep buying.

    n

  80. MrAtoz says:

    On Kindle Unlimited, I did the trial, but never tried side loading a book into Calibre. I know many books won’t sideload from a Kindle because of some “ghost” format. You have to download to PC, then add to Calibre to remove DRM. When I’ve done that with a purchased Kindle ebook, I still had to download to PC. Maybe I’m just not up to date on the latest Calibre. DRM was removed, though.

  81. Nick Flandrey says:

    Or buy from Baen Books, with no DRM and unlimited downloading in several formats….

    n

  82. MrAtoz says:

    In the heyday of Kickass Torrents, there were all kinds of “5,000 ebook” bundles of every genre you could think of. Some guy even posted a weekly update to a bunch of best seller lists. I think I download some just for kicks. I also got what I think is the complete text versions of the “Doc Savage” novels. I loved those as a kid.

  83. brad says:

    @Nick: I like Baen as well. Also, if anyone beside me reads German (whatever happened to Chuck?), Beam Books has good stuff.

    Not going to start buying physical books again – we threw away probably 2000 of the things last year. We are slowly but very seriously working on downsizing.

    Sent off another OFD postcard yesterday. Wish we would get some sort of feedback or update, as to what’s happening with him 🙁

  84. Nick Flandrey says:

    I tried to read Doc Savage, but the author is so gobsmacked by electricity, that every time they enter a room there is a description of turning on the lights.

    There’s a lesson there for anyone who is writing scifi, your book might last long past the details of your tech.

    I might try again, and just treat it as alternate history, or fantasy, but I’ve got several things que’d up first.

    n

  85. SteveF says:

    Sent off another OFD postcard yesterday. Wish we would get some sort of feedback or update, as to what’s happening with him

    I’m moving back North in a week, putting me only a three-hour drive from him. I’ll see if I can get up there some Saturday — depends on hospital rules, his condition, etc etc.

    I tried to read Doc Savage, but the author is so gobsmacked by electricity

    Authors — “Keith Robeson” was a pseudonym used by half a dozen authors. Surely the editor or editorial board or whatever had a bunch of guidelines for the authors, most likely including “wonder at the marvels of the new technological age”.

    que’d

    -ahem- What the hell was that? Aside from the atrocity of using an apostrophe to make a plural or past tense, you didn’t even get the base word right. Please remand yourself to a jail or a remedial English class.

  86. Nick Flandrey says:

    Spell check passed it! queued slipped my mind…

    n

    (and yes the apostrophe in common usage today is an abomination)

  87. ech says:

    My wife and I have KU. I read 5-6 books per month minimum on it, so it is a good deal. There are quite a few good series available with it (for one, all the Harry Potter books) and some real dreck.

    Another good service of Amazon, is Book Gorilla – a daily email with discounted and KU ebooks in it. I’ve snagged a bunch of classic sf, cookbooks, and more that is showing up for $1.99, including some Heinlein, Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, the Momofuku cookbook. Consider subscribing.

  88. Ray Thompson says:

    Ray, before returning it look into open source alternatives to Visio

    They all cost and my copy of Visio has been already been paid. Not going to add more cost.

    Turns out the problem is deeper than I though. The software I wanted to use to control the switcher also has problems. I had thought I could just use the copy of the broadcast connections as I save them in OneNote 2016 (which was working).

    I had visions of using the small Surface GO mounted on a custom bracket on a camera tripod to allow me to control the switcher. Surface GO connected wireless to the network, switcher connected to the network. Switcher is entirely controlled from network devices including the control deck. Using a laptop in the studio as a secondary controller so I thought I could do the same with the Surface GO. Thus I could operate a camera and do the switching. Would cut down the human requirement by one.

    Not to be. Apparently there is some instruction the software uses that is not available on the Surface GO processor or some other such madness. Office 2013 won’t install, the switcher software crashes. That was enough problems to cause me to return the device.

    Shame too. It was small, light, and seemed to really be a nice machine.

  89. Ray Thompson says:

    MS has/had a small “viewer” version of Visio that had limited edit capability

    I had hoped to modify using the Surface GO when I made changes in the connections rather than wait until I got home. The viewer did not allow the type of changes I would need.

    And you might want to check out Costco

    Just did. Nothing suits my needs. The other Surface devices are really too large to suit one of my intended purpose (see previous post).

  90. Rick H says:

    Regarding Kindle Unlimited: I’ve had it for several years. Have lots of time, and read lots of books. Maybe up to 10 per month. So KU is great for me.

    I usually use my old LG tablet for reading, but sometimes will read it on my LG phone. The Kindle app works everywhere, and my ‘bookmark’ position is shared across all devices. So if I stop reading on the tablet, I can pick up at the same spot on my phone.

    So I’m a fan of KU. I only look for KU books to read. Haven’t run out yet.

    Besides, KU is a benefit of Amazon Prime. And we’ve got that – there are boxes from the Big River coming just about every day – mostly scrapbook stuff for my wife. Including picture prints. The two-day delivery is great on everything we order.

  91. Nick Flandrey says:

    “KU is a benefit of Amazon Prime” ???

    I”ve got prime, but they keep offering me KU as an add on cost…

    n

  92. Rick H says:

    My Prime membership includes free shipping, video, audio (streaming), unlimited photo storage, 5% cash back on purchase on their card (which we pay off monthly), etc. I can share my Prime membership with household (two adults, four children), so wife and I have separate accounts under household, so I don’t get all the emails when she orders more scrapbook stuff.

    I got that info via Accounts, “Your Primer Memberhip” after logging in. My cost is $119/yr (up from $99/yr; my last renewal was $99 just before the price increase).

    I use KU exclusively for all my reading. Very rarely purchase/read printed books.

  93. SteveF says:

    Amazon Prime comes with “Prime Reading” which is not the same as KU.
    See https://www.amazon.com/amazonprime?_encoding=UTF8&ref=nav_prime_try_btn&tag=ttgnet-20 and click the “Read” image sorta near the top of the page.

  94. SteveF says:

    Nick, I just sent you email with a large attachment. Let me know if it got stripped or mangled. Not that any such thing would ever happen, of course, not in Dur Mostest Technically Avdancered Society Evah.

  95. MrAtoz says:

    Mr. SteveF, I’d like your “large” attachment. How come you never send me one?

  96. paul says:

    Mr. SteveF, I’d like your “large” attachment. How come you never send me one?

    I think this calls for a group “ewwww!”.

    But, I might be wrong.

  97. SteveF says:

    I think this calls for a group “ewwww!”.

    I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Mr. SteveF, I’d like your “large” attachment. How come you never send me one?

    It’s a children’s book. Nick has children of the appropriate age. You do not. Or if you do, you’d first best do some fast ’splainin’ to your wife, then I can send you a copy.

  98. MrAtoz says:

    When the kids start spouting some SJW crap, I usually call them nitwits, so a children’s book might be appropriate.

  99. SteveF says:

    Heh. Fine.

    This is a book intending to encourage a prepper mindset in eight-year-olds. I sent Nick a prerelease version. I’m waiting — still waiting — for the cover and a fix to one drawing from the artist, then I’ll put together the final version. I’ll collect email addresses of any Daynotes reader who wants a copy and send copies.

    But Nick gets first dibs, in part because he has kids the right age.

    -dopesmack- And I just realized that I should have put the file on DropBox and sent Nick a link and not had to get confirmation that he received the attached file. Derp. In my defense, it was Russian interference.

  100. Nick Flandrey says:

    checking now

  101. Nick Flandrey says:

    Downloaded, opened with kindle on the pc just fine.

    The very last page has a typo, transposed letters in like…..

    n

    added- came thru as 1.6M, and I think I’m good to 10M per email.

  102. SteveF says:

    The very last page has a typo, transposed letters in like

    ))*$^%)${@@!

    “Lieks” wouldn’t have gotten past spell check, so presumably I transposed the characters between spell check and generation of the output. Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.

  103. Nick Flandrey says:

    It’s always something.

    You could go muzzie and claim it was intentional because the only perfect thing is god….

    n

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