Mon. Oct. 22, 2018 – another week begins

54F and less than saturated…. a chilly but good start.

Huh, made 3 sales overnight. I hope that is a trend. Too early to tell.

I didn’t mention it at the time, but there have been a couple of police officers shot and killed during ‘routine’ traffic stops. A few months ago that would have led to much speculation and pontification. There doesn’t seem to be much in the media about it, and little in the blogs. Hmmm.

The saudi thing continues to get weirder. The truth will out, there are too many people who do not like the house of saud and would like to see it fall or at least falter, esp. it’s current head.

Interesting times.


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54 Responses to Mon. Oct. 22, 2018 – another week begins

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hmmm, FEMA says Austin is under a boil water advisory…. Maybe Austin county?

    And a Cat4 coming out of the pacific and pushing across Mexico should be pushing into southern and eastern Texas by Thursday.

    Finally, this is NOAA’s long range winter forecast for the whole US

    Winter Outlook
    NOAA Climate Prediction Center winter outlook for December 2018 to
    February 2019:
    • Warmer than normal across much of northern and western U.S; No
    part favored for Below Average temperatures
    • Wetter than average across southern tier of U.S up to Mid-Atlantic;
    north FL and south GA have the greatest odds for above average
    • Drier than average in Northern Rockies and Plains, Great Lakes and
    northern Ohio Valley
    • Drought conditions likely to persist across Southwest, southern
    California, Great Basin, Central Rockies, Northern Plains and interior
    Pacific Northwest
    • Drought conditions likely to improve in AZ, NM and southern UT and
    CO, the coastal Pacific Northwest and the Central Plains

  2. MarkD says:

    I’m going with the Farmer’s Almanac. Colder than normal.

  3. JLP says:

    I’m in the lottery. To me it’s a risk / reward disparity comparison. The risk is extremely low, $2, well below my “pause before spending” threshold. The potential reward is extremely high even if is a low probability. Zero probability if I don’t play.

    Casinos are a different matter. The odds are better but the system is built around putting a lot of money through the mill. Way more than my “pause before spending.” Plus, I’ve only been to a casino twice in my life and I didn’t like it. Noise, flashing lights, desperate people. Not my kind of place.

    This year I splurged on a lottery season ticket since they are on sale at Christmas time. Drops the price / drawing down to ~$1.82.

    I don’t plan on winning but it is fun to dream.

  4. nick flandrey says:

    Since I’m planting root veg, I’m hoping for warmer than normal, but I can do without the wetter part.

    It makes it a lot easier to keep the citrus trees alive if it’s not below freezing for a couple of weeks too.


  5. nick flandrey says:

    Just remember, Vegas wasn’t built on winners.

    Vegas is a money sieve. It strains out the money of those that pass through it. And they keep making the holes smaller and smaller.


  6. DadCooks (Eric Comben) says:

    For Winter forecasts I go by the tails on our squirrels and their nut burying. They started getting very bushy and thick tails early so we will have a colder than normal Winter. They also started burying more nuts early so we will probably have more than normal snow. Normally we go through 5-pounds of peanuts every 2-weeks, it has been 5-pounds plus since late July (thank goodness for Costco). The squirrels have also been eating a lot of sunflower seeds from our ground bird feeders (many birds prefer a ground feeder so we get a wider variety of birds, our usual count is 73 species).

    Time to get the big-ass snowblower out of the shed and into the garage.

  7. Harold Combs says:

    RE: Casinos
    Many moons ago (mid 1980s) I worked for a mass merchandising company that was automating a new warehouse in Reno NV. I was sent to Reno for 2 months to set up the data communications link and install the automation software (based on Data Point distributed computing). I was put up in Harrah’s casino hotel for the duration. At that time, Reno hotels had little in-room entertainment specifically to get the customer down to the casino floor where the money was made. As I was putting in long hours it wasn’t a problem till weekends. About the only table game I knew was Black Jack as my mother had taught us kids at an early age. So on weekend evenings I would take $20 to the $1 Black Jack tables with these two simple rules. #1 If I lost all $20 I was done for the evening. #2. Anything I won above my original $20 investment would go in another pocket not back on the table. I could usualy make my $20 last a couple of hours and sometimes I even came out ahead. When I was done, I would usually wonder the casino floor people watching. Lots of interesting things to see in a busy casino. There were the hordes of little old Chinese ladies bussed up from San Francisco who sat at the slots, usually running 3 or 4 at a time, and don’t you DARE get near their machines. Then there were the high rollers who happily dropped $100K at a time on a Black Jack hand and tipped the dealer in $1000 dollar chips. Working late on the data links, I often didn’t get in till 2am, just in time to have dinner with the show girls coming off the last show. It’s amazing the difference makeup and lighting can make. The on stage beauties became regular women when they shed the sequins and feathers and sat down at the counter for a late supper. I also saw first hand how addictive gambling can be. Our company sent a VP out to check on the status of the warehouse project and I shepherded him around. He had never been to a casino before and spent every evening at the tables. When his week was up, I had to lend him cab fare to the airport as he had spent every dime he owned, maxed his credit cards, and pawned his watch for “Just one more chance to win it all back”. Very sad.

  8. ~jim says:


    This post is a couple days late. I had a good laugh of your description of making paneer. Your recipe is spot-on, but it seems to lack how to separate the curds and whey.

    A friend of mine emigrated from Lebanon and one day we got talking about the manufacturer of cheese, lebni (or lebneh) in particular. His mother had, or has, the most practical and ingenious method I have ever heard of. I hope you will get a laugh out of it!

    She would take a chair and turn it upside down. Then she would string either your cotton t-shirt or strands of cheesecloth (which, incidentally, is hard to find in quantity!) between the four legs and pour the curdled milk into the center with a bowl beneath.

    I have since improved upon this method by using nothing more than pantyhose!

    There is much talk about what to include with your DPK — Disaster Preparedness Kit. As I may have mentioned before, tampons, of the kind used for the monthly curse, can come in handy in a variety of ways; not the least of which is as a medical supply. Imagine a gunshot wound…

    Therefore, I humbly suggest one includes the several pair of pantyhose in the DPK.

    I will take a tip from your previous post, however. You are darned right that one should use unpasteurized milk! That has to explain why I’ve had such trouble in the past.


  9. nick flandrey says:

    I worked in Vegas on a show for a couple of months. Every night in the bar, usually until sun up. MIGHT have spent $40 total in video poker while sitting at the bar. BOUGHT my drinks rather than buy a roll of quarters. The drinks were much cheaper that way.

    Worked in a couple of other casinos doing short run shows. Lots to see at the roulette tables.

    Stayed in casinos during other work (tradeshows) in a variety of places.

    I think gambling towns are soul destroyers, for the players and the providers. I believe strongly they have a right to exist and ply their trade, but also that people shouldn’t actually patronize them, for their own good.

    I’ll add that there is MUCH manipulation going on, both subtle and overt, and I don’t like to be manipulated so it’s no surprise I don’t like those sorts of places.


  10. Ray Thompson says:

    I think gambling towns are soul destroyers

    They can be. I spent three days in Las Vegas as part of the train trip. Specifically wanted to see some shows and do a little sightseeing. My entire gambling on the trip was to play $1.00 in a slot machine, Wheel of Fortune I think. After that I was done. The shows were expensive but were awesome.

    This was my third third trip to Las Vegas. First was in 1970 before I was old enough to gamble. Got tossed from a couple of casinos. Second trip was my father’s funeral, he lived in Las Vegas and thus the funeral was there. Saw a couple of shows on that trip and spent a total of $30.00 playing BlackJack at a table with my brother.

  11. Greg Norton says:

    There were the hordes of little old Chinese ladies bussed up from San Francisco who sat at the slots, usually running 3 or 4 at a time, and don’t you DARE get near their machines.

    My mother-in-law! Except she lives in Orlando, and the Seminole casino in Tampa runs the bus.

    I think gambling towns are soul destroyers, for the players and the providers. I believe strongly they have a right to exist and ply their trade, but also that people shouldn’t actually patronize them, for their own good.

    In the 70s, after New Jersey allowed casinos, Jack Eckerd (as in Eckerd Drugs) worked with Disney to keep commercial casinos out of Florida. However, eventually, the Seminole Tribe expanded their Bingo halls in Tampa and Hollwood, FL to full gambling operations, and the state only receives revenues that the tribe deems appropriate, periodically renegotiated with the state.

    The Seminoles now work with Disney to keep commercial casinos out of FL.

  12. pcb_duffer says:

    ** News Flash **
    pcb_duffer now has an internet connection, along with a land line phone and cable television. Internet is not fully up, but it’s a start, and with a working phone I can now start working the phones for various storm related problems. I’ll try to post more when I get the opportunity. In the meantime the clean up at my house continues, as do the general repairs to the whole county.

  13. Nick Flandrey says:


    stay safe, and share whatever you can


  14. MrAtoz says:

    Excellent news, Sir!

  15. lynn says:

    xkcd, Barnard’s Star

    Definitely on a different time scale from us puny humans.

    More explanation:

  16. MarkD says:

    I’ve been to Las Vegas twice, and spent far more on shows and food than I ever did gambling. I may even have spent more on bottled water walking between hotels than I did gambling.

    (The smoking clears me out of the casinos instantly. I cannot stand the smell.)

  17. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve been to Las Vegas twice, and spent far more on shows and food than I ever did gambling. I may even have spent more on bottled water walking between hotels than I did gambling.

    The last time we went, Blue Man was new, and we saw them for $55 a ticket — cheap by Vegas show standards.

    Good show, but the tour with Venus Hum a few years later was amazing. Annette Strean’s voice on “I Feel Love” was a force of nature.

  18. Nick Flandrey says:

    have we reached peak stupidity yet?

    Wildlife worker suffers horror injuries after being bitten by a deadly puff adder he was trying to save in South Africa

    Rico Pentz, 34, was left with horrific injuries after the snake bite earlier this year
    He had been caring for a puff adder which was discovered after being run over
    As he reached into the predator’s cage it bit him and injected him with venom
    Doctors were forced to perform life-saving surgery to relieve horrific swelling”

    He nursed a deadly snake back to health, then reached into it’s cage….

    “As a trained snake expert, Rico was well aware that the puff adder is responsible for the most snakebite deaths in Africa – accounting for nearly 32,000 fatalities per year and thousands more disabilities.”

    And numbnuts SAVED ONE.


    hmmmm, I wonder who paid for his care? He was in ICU for a MONTH.

  19. DadCooks says:

    Well, the Wife and I got our seasoned citizen quad-valent high dose flu shots last Tuesday. Wife came down with muscle aches and cough on Thursday and today I have a full-blown fever, cough, upper respiratory congestion, painful runny eyes, and ache like I have been beaten. So I guess it’s working. I have a regularly scheduled doctor appointment on Wednesday, so we’ll see what he says.

    Good to hear that you are now reconnected with the world @pcb_duffer.

    I’m taking 2 aspirin and going to bed…

  20. lynn says:

    “Heartbreaking pictures show country star Luke Bryan’s mother returning to her rubble-strewn home in Mexico Beach after it was devastated by Hurricane Michael”

    Wow, those slider before and after pictures are incredible. I do believe that this was a Cat 4 hurricane.

  21. lynn says:

    The Brazos River is still coming up here in Fort Bend County. Not to flood levels here nor are they predicted.

    Our Levee management team had an emergency meeting on the evacuation plans for our 4,100 home subdivision last week. Coincidence ?


  22. lynn says:

    Real Clear Politics is now predicting the midterms as:
    1. Senate: 44 dem, 50 gop, 6 tossups
    2. House: 205 dem, 199 gop, 31 tossups
    3. Governor: 19 dem, 23 gop, 8 tossups

    I suspect that most of those tossups will go to the gop. I cannot believe that Florida is going to elect a dem governor and a dem senator. If so, Florida is not a battleground state state anymore.

  23. lynn says:

    “Donald Trump gets sweet revenge on Ted Cruz today in Texas”

    “Asked about his history of insults on Monday before the rally, Trump told reporters: “He’s not Lyin’ Ted anymore. He’s Beautiful Ted. I call him Texas Ted.””

    Yup. The speech from Conan the Barbarian movie comes to mind about subduing your enemies.

    Hat tip to:

  24. MrAtoz says:

    Netflix released Season 3 of Daredevil this weekend, so the Twins and I binged it. If you liked the first seasons, you’ll like this one. They added some background stories for some characters. Vincent D’Onofrio is brilliant as “Kingpin”. I imagine Emmys will come his way.

  25. MrAtoz says:

    Oh, yeah, Iron Fist and Luke Cage were cancelled. Rumor is “Heroes for Hire” may become a series. The comic books had IF and LC as part of HFH.

  26. Harold Combs says:

    I am getting free Flu shots at work on Wednesday.
    I’m prepared to take the rest of the week off because of illness.

  27. lynn says:

    The radio just said that downtown Houston is a traffic nightmare (more so than usual). There are apparently 100,000 people trying to get into the 19,000 seat Toyota center for the Trump rally for Ted Cruz.

    The Democrat voting booth in image #8 is hilarious.

  28. Clayton W. says:

    Re Michael: Someone pointed out a distinct lack of re-bar in the block walls. My house was built to the Miami-Dade standard in 2012. Re-bar from the slab to the roof and that hole in the block is filled with concrete. Hip roof, too. I won’t say it can’t be blown down, but any storm that does has to be a monster.

  29. BillF says:

    An engineering society I belong to has its winter conference in Vegas every few years. Attendance is very high – typically in the 50K range. We always wonder if the casinos notice a drop in revenue when that many people who understand math and probability show up.

    During one of those conferences, I had dinner with a co-worker and a vendor. The vendor happened to be a nice looking French woman with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. We started discussing versions of Excel and VB and suddenly stopped when one of us noted that “we are in Vegas talking about Excel – SAD”. It got a laugh but the situation repeated soon enough when we found ourselves talking about RPN calculators. Again, one of us stated: “we are having dinner in a famous Vegas casino guys – no more RPN talk!”

  30. JimL says:

    So you’re in Vegas. Cool. (was “big deal”. sounds snobbish). You [should] talk about the things that interest you.

    I absolutely HATE Las Vegas. Smells bad, feels like desperation, and nobody truly understands statistics. I go there every few years because of work. I do my absolute best to get out when I can and see the side that isn’t the strip. It’s just a simple run, but it’s something.

    When I do go, I talk about manufacturing, and how to make it better. I find REALLY interesting things to see and talk about. Better than any show or casino there.

    (edit – because the original sounded like a jerk. I am, but I don’t like to play one on the interwebs.)

  31. pcb_duffer says:

    A few thoughts this afternoon, as I’m tired of trying to get people on the phone.

    1. Communications, or lack thereof, can be a real problem. One aggravating factor can be putting all your eggs in one basket. For the sake of argument, let’s say there are four major cell phone companies; for the sake of convenience we’ll call them Iota, Kappa, Lambda, and Mu. Now let’s assume that the Sheriff’s Department supplies cell phones to the top 20% of its officers on the theory that they are never completely “off duty” and that they might have to be contacted 24/365. Fair enough, and the Department will probably contract that out to one company – buy in bulk and get the best rate, etc. But if Lambda Cellular goes down, the whole Department (along with all the civilian customers) are helpless. Anything as trivial as a neighborhood two man recon patrol, checking houses for people who are trapped / dead / etc, need to make sure they have a way to communicate back to base. Even cheap handheld walkie – talkies are better than non working cell phones.
    As I understand it, as soon as the storm was passed the power & tree crews were out, clearing downed trees from the power lines (and in this county alone the number of affected lines must have been staggering). But in their enthusiasem they wound up dropping freshely sawn trunks onto the communications lines that are strung below the power lines. This caused even more damage to those lines. I have a good photo showing this sort of thing, I just don’t have a way to share them publicly. I also have heard from some of the telco reps that a lot of underground lines got damaged when the trees & power lines went down.
    Also, a lot of outsiders seem to have a real hard time grasping the notion that “all communication is down”. I sent a status e-mail last Wednesday, when I went an hour west for errands and supplies. I asked people not to reply to that email, because of all the problems, but 1/3 of the people did! My employer, Mega Giant Defense Contractor Inc., seems to think that sending emails and telegraph messages to people without internet or cell phone service is a perfectly acceptable solution. They also don’t bother staffing the phone numbers that they publish for employees to contact them.

    2. First aid has been a real potential problem. There are exactly ZERO inpatient hospital beds available, and no one is exactly sure when the hospitals will be back to normal functioning. For now the two hospitals have working ERs, but if you need to be admitted you are being transported (by air, if dire enough) to a proper hospital. There have been quite a few doctors who opened up their offices to handle the strain of the more minor things – cuts, scrapes, dehydration from the heat, etc. But for a heart attack or a broken bone, it’s stablize & ship.

    3. I don’t know how many injuries there have been during the recovery, but I’ve seen my neighbors not wearing boots, eye protection, etc. I’ve also been reminded of my dad’s scolding me when I was a little kid – never transport a cutting tool with more than one hand. If your right hand is on the circular saw and your left one is stuffed into your back pocket, it’s a lot harder to maim yourself. And some of the old lessons are also worth repeating – wear two pairs of socks underneath your boots so as to prevent blisters. Have backups of gloves, boots, eye protection, etc. I broke my primary goggles on Monday 10/15 and had to use the secondary ones for three days. I also bought another pair of gloves after my main ones got ruined (I still have the backups.) And a personal brickbat to my health insurance carrier, Cigna. They wouldn’t pay for a prophlactic tetanus vaccination.

    4. If any of you ever go to someplace to help, learn, if at all possible, the local names for things. Just because your GPS calls a road “Apple Avenue” doesn’t mean that the locals don’t know it by the old name, “Zebra Boulevard”.

  32. Nick Flandrey says:

    I thought it was just a Texas thing to give directions by what’s not there. Ie, go down to where the ice house used to be, turn left and go past the old krogers….

  33. paul says:

    I ran Memtest86 for a couple of hours today. Yeah, I have errors. Their first recommendation is to pull the ram and blow out the dust. Tomorrow. Suddenly the box will be six at the end of January.

    I shopped at the online store named for fresh products that chickens lay. They have a 1gb Samsung for about 163. They also have a 1gb by Crucial for about 5$ less. So that’s my choice…. I’ve never had problems with any of their memory.

    I’ll look at Provantage tomorrow IF my stupid internet its up. Sheesh, 3pm and off. My radio is talking to the tower but the tower isn’t talking to upstream.

  34. Ray Thompson says:

    And hang a right 3.5 miles before the road dead ends.

  35. Ray Thompson says:

    Yeah, I have errors

    Contact enhancer such as Stabilant-22 or DeoxIT Gold will also help. I prefer Stabilant-22. More expensive but a little goes a very long ways. I have used it for almost 15 years when putting computers together.

  36. Rick H says:

    Stabilant was what Jerry always used and recommended.

    I remember pushing on RAM chips and hearing them click when they re-made contact with the contacts. Reinserting RAM banks might be a good task.

  37. Greg Norton says:

    I suspect that most of those tossups will go to the gop. I cannot believe that Florida is going to elect a dem governor and a dem senator. If so, Florida is not a battleground state state anymore.

    FL establishment Republicans don’t really like their own party’s candidates for Governor and Senate. I wouldn’t read too much into what happens there this year unless the numbers get close in one chamber of the Legislature (highly unlikely).

  38. MrAtoz says:

    For Apple users: Apple Car Play now supports Google Maps and Waze. I’ve been trying them out since I still travel frequently. Google Maps allows you to use satellite maps which might come in handy in an urban environment. Trips to Texas, Kali and Arkansas coming up. Need to get a list of Car Play Hertz cars.

  39. Greg Norton says:

    Hmmm, FEMA says Austin is under a boil water advisory…. Maybe Austin county?

    City of Austin had the boil water alert today.

    Most of the metro is inside Travis County, but the city limits extend to 800 yards from my front door, into Williamson County.

  40. paul says:

    I ordered the 1TB Crucial SSD. Same card as always…. declined. Oh, “live chat” and I’m #60 in line at 10 to 10PM.


    Provantage has a WD Blue 1TB but the price changed from info page to shopping cart. But if NewEgg is gonna be pissy about taking my money….

  41. lynn says:

    Provantage has a WD Blue 1TB but the price changed from info page to shopping cart. But if NewEgg is gonna be pissy about taking my money….

    I stopped using newegg a long time ago and started using only Amazon for a good reason …

  42. Jenny says:

    Nope – I included the bit about using a t-shirt to separate the curds. I had to go back and double-check after a “seriously I forgot that step?!?” moment. My directions could have been clearer, though. Rereading them they scan like a medieval recipe “do thou takest a goodly portion of milk of the finest milque cows. Jostle it not lest ye anger the binding spirits wherein…”

  43. James says:

    Is it just me, or has this place has gotten pretty negative lately. Lots of gloom and doom. Makes me sad. RBT want afraid of the negative, but it wasn’t his focus. I’m out…



  44. BillF says:

    I hear you Jrb. But change was inevitable with the passing of RBT. Hope you check in at least occasionally. I will continue to read this for now because it has been such a constant stop over the years.
    I am glad Nick has kept it going. But it has gotten more negative. That is why it is good to interact with a variety of people, real life preferred. I have some liberal friends and we respect each other and keep things civil. On line comments are not as valid or meaningfull to me. For example, the negative remark about my Vegas post today.
    But this site has never been very warm and happy…
    I would like it to be more tech orientated like when RBT was here but it is what it is (my wife hates that saying).

  45. Nick Flandrey says:

    @JRB, since RBT passed, it’s mostly ‘user generated content’ as the kool kids say…

    and those who comment most have been a bit gloomy, myself included.

    I’ve actually had the same thought last week, but I didn’t have any easy answer to what to do about it.

    I think we’re in a period of upheaval and change and that the world is going thru one of its periodic realignments. Usually this happens with a series of wars, pestilence, and famine, followed by massive population losses. 100’s of millions dead kind of losses. See WWI, WWII, great potato famine, russian purges, the influenza pandemic of the early 1900s, etc.

    It’s consistent with what Bob was prepping for, and he convinced me.

    It’s also a factor of daily blogging. The default/ easiest post when you’ve got nothing profound to say, is a quick scan of headlines. Since the news is gloomy, that tends toward gloomy too. I consider it my “throwing open the door, and tossing off a topic of discussion to the patrons as they enter”. Some days, NONE of the comments relate to my opener… and that feels really weird.

    It’s also a factor that this isn’t my personal blog. This limits what I’m willing to post in many ways. My dog isn’t Colin. My wife isn’t Barbara, and most tellingly, I’m not Bob– but it’s still his place. I do try to keep my personal politics to comments and not posts, and put anything I think will be really contentious in comments.

    There is also a personal emotional bias coming thru. We’ve lost Bob, Dave, (and I’ve lost a well loved uncle and my father), been thru a major disaster (Andrew), and more in the last couple of years. That’s gotta have an influence.

    In any case, please stick around and add YOUR voice to the discussion. Raise a topic that is important to you. I am not looking for an echo chamber. I miss the tech discussion, the science talk, and the astronomy too.


    added- I just checked the logs, and this looks like your first and only comment (at least with this name and email.) Nothing wrong with that, we have about a 10:1 ratio of unique visitors to registered commenters. But it’s particularly important for this to continue, that people actually participate in the ‘user generated comment’… so please stick around and join in.

  46. JimL says:

    I’ve contributed to the gloom as well. I’m sorry about the Vegas remark, and I’ve been thinking about that since I read the comments this morning.

    Do you realize how many THOUSANDS of people can gather in those convention centers? Is there anyplace on Earth that has that kind of capacity, gathered all in a few miles of space? It truly is a wonder. (I still don’t care much for Vegas, but I can marvel at what they’ve accomplished.)

  47. JimL says:

    On a related note, does anyone (besides me) know where the largest non-gaming conference center is? It’s in the states, and surprised me when I was informed about it.

  48. Roger Ritter says:

    I thought it was just a Texas thing to give directions by what’s not there. Ie, go down to where the ice house used to be, turn left and go past the old krogers….

    That’s also a New England thing – both giving directions by what’s no longer there, and the “turn right at the last light before the end of the road” thing. Signage in Massachusetts also was bad (I lived in MA and NH 1985 – 1995). Where a minor road crosses a major road, the major road will have signs identifying the minor road, but if you’re on the minor road there’s nothing to show what the major road is.

    Shortly after we moved there, we ran into another couple who’d moved up from Texas. We were commiserating about the poor signage, and they mentioned that they’d once commented about it to a local, who said that the basic attitude was “If you don’t know where you are, you don’t deserve to be there!”

    And as an aside to Harold Combs, I worked for Datapoint about the same time he was setting up that warehouse. I left in 1985 when I moved to New England.

  49. paul says:

    Well, that was fun. I tried “correcting” my CC info at NewEgg and still declined. Tried chat and no, I’m not waiting for the 98 folks in front of me. I tried to cancel the order. The button seems to work (changes color) but nothing happens.

    Hmm. I copied the URL and pasted into IE. It worked there. Eventually. It seems I have FF blocking popup windows. Reason for canceling? “Declined card” takes me to a page saying they are having server trouble. “Changed my mind” went right through.

    I went to Amazon and bought the WD Blue 1TB and 3.5 to 2.5 adapter. An aluminum adapter, not plastic. A few dollars more.

    Another gloomy day. High of 65F.

    Added: It will be interesting to see how transferring from the old 2TB drive to a 1TB drive goes. I really do not want to install from scratch.

  50. JimL says:

    When I went through that process, I wound up using the Ease-Us utilities for the copy, but some other open-source utility to move partitions around. With UEFI and 3 or 4 system partitions, it’s not as easy as it once was. The real PITB is if the swap file or hiberfile.sys is out where you want to shrink your extant partition for the move. I wound up doing that work by taking the drive offline & attached to another PC (USB adapter) to make the drive changes necessary.

  51. Ray Thompson says:

    Do you realize how many THOUSANDS of people can gather in those convention centers?

    Las Vegas can host several conventions of several thousand. The logistics of that must be enormous.

    I attended a convention in Anaheim CA at the Disneyland hotel. There was about 2,500 attendees. Meals were amazing. Sat down and the salad and water was already on the table, half a dozen glasses each setting and same amount of cutlery. About 10 minutes after everyone was seated the wait staff would sweep through and pour everyone wine or tea just taking a few minutes. Ten minutes later the salad was picked up and the drinks refreshed.

    Then the entree, took all of 10 minutes for everyone to have their food. Along with drinks being refreshed again. The food was hot and well prepared. The wait staff was even able to accommodate special dietary requirements. Wine, tea and water was refreshed during that time. About about 20 minutes the wait staff would sweep through again removing the dinner plates. Then would quickly start distributing dessert, taking less than 10 minutes. Good stuff from my memory.

    After about 15 minutes the wait staff would sweep through and pick up the dessert dishes, refresh the drinks, and pour coffee for those that wanted coffee. Then the wait staff would hang around during the after dinner show and refill drinks as necessary.

    The logistics in that kitchen would have been an enormous effort. The infrastructure to support the effort, the logistics of ordering and having the ingredients for the meals, the number of bottles of wine, the number of dishes and glasses, the washing and storing of all those items. It is mind boggling when you think about it.

    It will be interesting to see how transferring from the old 2TB drive to a 1TB drive goes

    Use a transfer program provided by the drive vendor or one of many available online. Don’t do a simple copy. The transfer programs can easily adjust all the necessary parameters when doing the duplication.

    I really do not want to install from scratch

    I would. Gets rid of a lot of the system rot and starts with a fresh system and correct drivers. Most important when switching from spinning discs to SSD. Takes more time for certain, especially reinstalling software. Most annoying is the stuff that phones home and says it has already been activated. I have found that most software vendors will reset the activation from a phone call but it is a hassle. Especially when they are only open working hours, generally in a time zone in which you don’t live.

    On a related note, does anyone (besides me) know where the largest non-gaming conference center is

    I think it is McCormick Place in Chicago. Second largest is in Orange County Florida. Las Vegas has the largest hotels in the US but they are gaming facilities. MGM Grand is at the top or close to the top for size. Having been there that place is huge and getting from the front to the back is a long walk. Made worse by the circuitous route you have to take through the gaming areas.

    I’ve contributed to the gloom as well

    Need a discussion about FLASHLIGHTS to, ahem, brighten things up.

  52. JimL says:

    Need a discussion about FLASHLIGHTS to, ahem, brighten things up.

    I had a bunch the other day. I scored an endurance event that started at 6:30 am (in the dark, and through the woods). I found a box of unused FLASHLIGHTS that needed only the little wafer removed to be useful. So I did, and the runners really appreciated them. To make them easy to find, I turned them on & pointed them into cases of bottled water. It lit the place up rather well.

    CHEAP, JUNK FLASHLIGHTS are better than no flashlights at all, and they worked quite well for these folks for the half-hour that they needed it.

  53. lynn says:

    Is it just me, or has this place has gotten pretty negative lately. Lots of gloom and doom. Makes me sad. RBT want afraid of the negative, but it wasn’t his focus. I’m out…



    Sorry to hear that. We are heading into Heinlein’s peak crazy years and the crazies are definitely impacting us.

  54. Jenny says:

    Crazy days indeed. Alaskan politics are always odd. Stevens was ousted with the help of the FBI and Begich a few years ago, then died about a year later in a plane crash. It is unlikely he would have died in a plane crash had he remained in office since he would have been nose to the grind stone doing the politics thing if he hadn’t been ousted.
    Now our governors race is in an uproar with the incumbent dropping out because his Lt. Gov. made an unspecified but apparently sexually inappropriate remark to a minor (16) at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention. The Lt. Gov. resigned over the unspecified remark, taking the Governor out of the race with him. Leaving behind Begich and the other guy. Begich and the incumbent probably would have split the liberal voters. With this upset it may be a tight race between the liberal and the not so liberal.

    A conspiracy theorist might ponder the presence of Begich in both upsets and wonder whether these upsets advantageous to Begich were orchestrated somehow.

    We are in Heinlein’s crazy years for sure, though I fear we haven’t peaked yet.

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