Tues. Oct. 23, 2018 – out of office today

54F and raining this morning.

I wrote today’s post as a comment at the end of yesterday’s comments.

I’m volunteering with the science enrichment folks at the kids’ school today, so I’ll be AFK all morning.

n

added– as a check on “tone”, please spend a bit hitting the keywords on the right for some fairly recent ‘historical’ posts. Both Bob and I have been pretty haphazard with tags so they are nothing like complete, but there is a good range of info there. As always, some of the best info is in comments in response to the posts and OTHER comments. It’s what I do periodically, and what I spent far to much of yesterday morning doing.

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

62 thoughts on “Tues. Oct. 23, 2018 – out of office today”

  1. 46º and mostly cloudy on the North Coast. It’s supposed to rain today, but it’s not terrible, and nothing out of season.

    Eldest daughter broke her 5th metatarsal (pinkie-toe-side bone) on her foot getting off the bus yesterday. She was saying goodbye to one of her friends, and twisted & fell on the foot. Both her mother & I, independently, told her to stop saying goodby to her friends.

    We’re a good match.

    I’ve been thinking about putting in the snow fence I ordered online. In the winter our driveway drifts shut with the lake effect or just a good breeze & snow. I wind up getting 2-3 feet of snow in the driveway cut, and it’s a pain to clear. I’ve been thinking of snow fence for years, but never got it. This year, I needed new electric fence posts (for the timing business), so I searched & found a bundle that included the snow fence for an additional $15. Easy decision to buy. I’ll tie up a dozen or so posts (out of 50) and try out the snow fencing. Here’s hoping it works well.

  2. Hi to all the readers. Since Nick mentioned doing the science enrichment today I would like to put in a reminder to pass along the web site for the science kits to those of you who know someone who might be interested in ordering kits.
    https://www.thehomescientist.com

    Ben is doing a great job getting keeping the dream alive for Bob’s kit business. I am supporting him in his efforts as he and his family are working hard to make this a continued resource for teaching science to high school students.

  3. My neighborhood, Snoqualmie, in the foothills of the Cascades in Washington, has the potential to get a several feet of snow in the winter. Because of climate cycles, over the last twenty years I have only ever seen 10 to 16 inches in a single snowfall event and not even that in the last few years.

    About ten years ago there were several winters with moderate snowfall, fantastic winds, and the corresponding snow drifts. One winter I opened my front door to step up on a foot of snow, then walk across the street on a mostly level surface, a drift six feet above the road and otherwise impassable. The back yard and side street were bare.

    The next couple years the exact opposite happened. Front yard bare, back garage door blocked by six feet of snow.

    I assume the weather is unpredictable, so while the last few years have been warmer and wetter, I am prepared (I think, I hope, I don’t assume I am) for a more significant snow event or season.

    In the last ten years, the community has about doubled in size. Many of the neighbors I have talked to have never seen the heavy snowfalls in the area. I am sure most believe that global warming will forever preclude such a thing. The city is good at plowing the roads, which in this part of the state are all hills and curves. Fortunately, I work from home so I can kick back and enjoy the weather with my equivalent of moxie and pretzels – wine and home-baked bread.

  4. @Barbara
    I’ve got a homeschooling friend nearly convinced they need kits for their boys.

    I am grateful Ben was able to continue the Home Scientist and we try to drive potential customers his way. Our education system has big flaws when it comes to anything ‘hard’ (which these days seems to be anything requiring extended effort and concentration). The kits fill an important hole.

    You and RBT built A Good Thing.

  5. re science kits, yep, I plan to order the chemistry kit once things settle down a bit here. (The way things have been going, I think we’re looking at 30-40 years. -grimace-)

  6. JimL, no worries on the Vegas stuff. I don’t like the place either. The only times I have been there were to attend conferences. I did waste $40 in about 15 minutes when a co-worker talked me into playing craps. Felt stupid since I knew better.
    My comment yesterday was only intended to say that engineers and tech types don’t typically fit in well there.

    The show that happens every other year in conjunction with the society meeting I mentioned has outgrown every convention hall except Chicago, Orlando, Atlanta, and Vegas (so I have been told). So we go to Vegas on some cadence (at least until I retire).

  7. In yesterday’s post, there was a comment related to problems with entering new credit card information. I am finding, more and more, that I have to turn off all ad blocking on shopping and bill paying sites. They are full of pop-ups that follow ad-protocols and therefore blocked. Programmers have run amuck with making sites “flashy” and less truly functional. There is no need for this bandwidth and resource eating crap (apologies to the “sensitive” folks.

    Regarding the forums “negative” direction, I would classify it as more of a reality check. I used to be an Optimist (capitalized because I belonged to the Optimist Club), but as a person gets older the rose-colored glasses begin to fog.

    I want to leave the world a better place, but there are too many socialist-liberal-fascist-communist educated parasites on society. Sure, they have always been with us, and always will be, but admit it or not the history of the socialist-liberal-fascist-communist factions that we fought two world wars over and continue with a cold war are stronger and more widespread than ever.

    Add to that the resurgence of the mooslems (evil Muslims who take the Koran literally) bent on destroying (preferably by beheading) all the infidels.

    We must defend our borders, defend our language, and preserve our culture. Not the way we are doing it now though. Most of the population has no idea what our borders, language, and culture are, let alone understanding how the USofA came about. It is not about coming over here and taking the land and lives of the “savages”.

    I’m no OFD, but I hope some of you have the patience to read the above and contemplate.

    Preparedness, Vigilance, Peace, but be ready to defend Freedom (and Freedom is not a gooberment like we have now).

  8. Regarding snow fence; I have not checked into it, but I have spent a lot of time in Wyoming and N. Dakota. They place the fences quite a ways up wind. I would try for at least 50 feet between your driveway and the prevailing winter winds. The snow will typically pile up behind the fence as far as I have seen (but likely it depends on wind velocity (and snow characteristics – might be an interesting CFD problem).
    At any rate, it may not work as expected if it is too close to the driveway…

  9. Snow drifts: I was living in Cody WY, working in the oil patch back in the mid 80’s. I rented a ranch style house. One morning my kitchen window was packed with snow. I went out the front door – which faced into the wind that particular blizzard and the front yard was pretty clear. There was a drift up to the top of the roof, extending into the back yard. The house was drifted over!

    I remember a few times when we found our cars by looking for the antennas sticking out of the drifts – not fun if you are in a hurry…

    My wife grew up in N. Dakota and has pictures of her dad standing next to a power line pole. The top of it was at his knees the snow was drifted so high. That was out in the open country!

  10. Well, I hope the kids feel enriched. I’m home from my second session of “Hands On Science” (which I believe to be some sort of turnkey program.)

    We started last month with the “Measurement Olympics” and introduced measuring and metric system. There was a lot of jumping around and movement.

    This month was measurement- volume and density. The students are 4th graders. Like all science, but especially educational science there is WAY too much politics and editorializing in the program. I mostly bite my tongue, but do manage some jibes. There is HEAVY repetition of “in science we use the metric system because it’s easier and more universal, and the US is stubborn.” I get that it’s easier to convert units, and that they are mostly derived from fundamental realities. Sorta. But for pete’s sake, you can do science in imperial measure and WE DID, including putting men on the moon (THE ONLY COUNTRY TO DO SO) and splitting the atom.

    The villain this month was sugar in soda. There was actually an interesting demo involving density and cans of sugared soda vs. diet and sparkling water, and whether they will sink of float. (Sugared soda sinks, because of the additional 40g of sugar, all other things being equal.) But it couldn’t stop there, no. There had to be exhortations against drinking sugared soda, and that it would make you fat. Demonizing food instead of bad habits with food is counter productive and is really starting to bug me. THERE IS NO BAD FOOD. There is only FOOD.

    There are pedagogical issues too, and the occasional math error, but overall the kids get at least an intro to the ideas.

    n

    (one issue is that the section is Measurement, but the only thing we measured was mass (with a gram balance) and volume (by displacement.)) Volume of cubic shapes was calculated from measurements, and ALL of the density stuff was calculated not measured. There’s no framework about what the scientific method is, or how one does “science”. I try to point out to the kids and translate, all the places where we are actually “doing science” by making observations, hypothesis, testing, evaluating, etc and how we do it all the time IRL. For my troubles they want me to TEACH the sessions. Not gonna happen this year at least.

    Some of these kids are SO bright, and some are SOOOOO far behind. It’s painful.

  11. Jenny,

    A favor, if I might ask. You said that your daughter didn’t like Bob in my children’s story. The first mention of him was of him teasing Talia about being skinny, even before he appeared “on camera”. Do you think that might be why your daughter didn’t like hmi?

    I’m asking for my own professional development. Characters in an adult story can be initially presented negatively and the reader will be able to pick up that he’s changed or the first impression was misleading. Kids might not be sophisticated enough to pick that up and could have a lasting negative view of the character. If that’s the case, it’ll be something to avoid in any further childern’s stories I write. (Such as the one I’m currently writing, in fact.)

    Thanks.

  12. JimL, no worries on the Vegas stuff. I don’t like the place either. The only times I have been there were to attend conferences.

    After living in Vegas for nigh on 15 years I can say it is no different than anywhere else I’ve lived. It is what you make of it. I rarely visit “The Strip”, live outside of Loop 215 on the south, nice neighborhood. I rarely gamble except for “God’s Game”. Maybe I’m used to moving a lot and fitting in due to the Army. YMMV.

  13. Agree MrAtoz. I could live there (I only met I don’t like “The Strip” in particular). The climate is great other than the very hot days. But I am in the HVAC field so I know how to make hot days comfortable. When I was younger I worked in Bakersfield one summer doing oil patch wireline work. The trick was to keep a wet rag on your head when AC was not available – no problems with the dry heat as long as water is handy. I have been more miserable on high wet bulb days up here in the mid west than on hot days in the hot, dry west parts of the USA.

  14. I’ve been…not entirely happy with browsers lately. Chrome is an instrument of Google, IE/Edge (for Windows users) the same for MS. Firefox has made some strange decisions in the last several months. Brave is based on an older rendering engine, and there are some sites that it cannot seem to display.

    Long story, short: I recently read an article about the newest version of the Vivaldi browser. It’s apparently produced by the same people that make Opera, but supports Chrome extensions and is highly customizable. I installed it a couple of days ago, spent an hour or so looking through the options, and – so far, anyway – it looks really good.

    Some of the interesting options: You can put your tab list on any of the four sides; each tab can include thumbnails. You can also put tabs onto “web panels” that pop across the tab(s) being displayed – good for reference sites like dictionaries, that you just need briefly. You can also tile multiple tabs within the same window; I haven’t tried that yet, but there are times it would be really handy. I also have my bookmarks displayed on the left-side, as a “tree”, and I can just leave the group open that I am currently using.

    For extensions, I only use three: uBlock origin, Ghostery and No-Script Suite Lite. The N0-Script initially forbids any scripts, and you can then whitelist sites that need scripts, if and as you trust them. Also, just generally be sure to check your security settings: certainly disable 3rd party cookies, consider what else you may want to set.

    Might be worth a try, if anyone else is looking for a different browser.


  15. THERE IS NO BAD FOOD. There is only FOOD.

    You ever eaten at Taco Bell?

    After living in Vegas for nigh on 15 years I can say it is no different than anywhere else I’ve lived

    Indeed it is. My mother loved the desert, I hated it. My brother loved it as he like to four wheel and the places are abundant provided you take proper cautions. I like mountains, hills, green space.

    Currently at Old Mill Camp RV park for the next three nights. Cool fall weather, peaceful area, close to Cummins Falls State Park. Lots of trees, not crowded. Full connections; water, sewer, electrical. RV park only has 5 slots taken. $35.00 a night so not too bad.

    Wife and I are getting better at setting up the RV. Only took us 15 minutes to get all the connections, trailer unhooked, stabilizers deployed, (phasers armed), and everything ready to go.

    25 foot is as big as I would want to go towing with anything. Good size for two people especially with the large slideout. Smaller and you don’t have the separate bedroom which we both like. Need to modify one side of the bed to chop the bottom of the cabinet off. That will be a non-trivial project.

    Will go into town and get some heat treated wood. A requirement in this area to stop the spread of invasive insects. Campfire tonight while sitting under the stars. Will use a blow torch to start the fire because I am a wimp and don’t want to waste time.

    Movies on the iPad and I have an adapter to send HDMI to the TV. Will provide late night entertainment.

  16. Movies on the iPad and I have an adapter to send HDMI to the TV. Will provide late night entertainment.

    Yes, I use my iPad all the time for the Mrs and I to watch movies in the hotel. The last hotel had a “hotel only” branded TV (Sony) with a simple remote. TV had no controls on the side, but found a single button underneath that let me change the input with multiple presses.


  17. There is HEAVY repetition of “in science we use the metric system because it’s easier and more universal, and the US is stubborn.

    I’m not switching from the system that the Wright Brothers used until I think that I am smarter than they were.

    Also, did not a spacecraft mistakenly crash into a planet when NASA insisted on metric and one conversion was left out?

    YUUUP, and 20 years ago when I worked all the GPS and Iridium launches, only the US system was used. YUUUP, just like buying gas……the fuel load for the 1st stage was sent to the launch site folks in gallons!

    Well, back to aircraft, I verified cabin pressure regulators in terms of PSI. Anybody asphyxiated on Douglas DC-8 model 70?

  18. @CowbowSlim: Well, that spacecraft glitch was indeed due to a conversion error. The thing is: if the last holdouts against metric would convert, such problems would disappear.

    While I’m not in the US anymore, when I was there, I recall anyone science using metric measurements. Using US measurements for serious calculations is like doing math in Roman numerals: it’s possible, but it’s painful and error-prone.

    Maybe I’m just that bit younger? For everyday use, sure, people used inches and pints and pounds. However, I recall engineering and science (late 70’s through 90’s) being mostly metric.

  19. That’s right, and going through thousands of lines of computer code making us to metric conversions is just asking for mistakes. I do not see any advantage for us switching to metric, or none for EUs switching from metric. Switching just guarantees mistakes.

    Neither my aircraft nor my rocket calculations were hindered in accuracy or other by not using metric. I just didn’t have to worry about conversion mistakes.

  20. That’s right, DC.

    Time is where the metricians gave up:
    1 Year = 12 months
    1 month = 28, 29, 30, or 31 days

    or, 1 year = ~ 52 weeks
    1 week = 7 days

    or, 1 year = 365 days (well 3 out of 4)
    1 day = 24 hours
    1 hour = 60 minutes
    1 min = 60 sec

    Why did they quit? AlGore got ’em on global warming?

    How about this:
    1 Met year = 100 MetWeeks
    1 MetWeek = 10 MetDays
    1 MetDay = 10 MetHours
    1 MetHour = 100 MetMin
    100 MetMin = 32.48567439 nonMetSeconds?????

  21. Well…. this is all fun.

    The WD ssd “has shipped”. Eh, you know how that works with Amazon. So, to prep, I d/l the WD version of Acronis and their SSD management tool. I don’t burn many cd or dvd and and odds are I’m doing it wrong…. but the drive is saying “no disc”. It worked fine the other day to make a memtest86 disc.

    Ok, forget discs of silvery plastic. Use the never used 500 Gb Seagate usb3 external drive. That worked. Ok, let’s toss My Documents on there. Just 14 Gb. Which froze half way through.

    I finally got it copied but Win7 had a tantrum in the middle of the process and took great offense that I pulled the power cord after 20 minutes of Explorer saying “not responding”. It decided that even though I chose “normal” start up, it’s going to run chkdsk /r or something. I went out to feed the cats and see if the chickens might have laid an egg.

    I suspect everything would have acted the same way if I had tossed the files over the LAN to a folder on moa instead of to the external drive.

    Then I added my T-bird profile to the external drive.. Exported my FF bookmarks. Copied my Desktop folder.

    Yeah…. I’m on borrowed time.

    But this time I do have a bit of a back up that I think I can trust. The tape drive nonsense didn’t work at all. The $800 800Mb WD drive that vaporized itself certainly didn’t work.

    Cloudy almost all day. Perhaps half an hour of enough sun to make shadows. Time to feed Penny and Missy.

  22. Right you are CowboySlim. There are good reasons the metric system is not fully embraced in the USA. I worked at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center back in the 90’s. All the old test stands were designed and calibrated to IPS (not metric for the non tech people). They still used a lot of this equipment – no reason to tear it down to go metric. It is like replacing all the SAE bolts in an engine to metric. Yes you can but why would you. When I got out of grad school many years ago, I was very used to metric but I went to work for an American company and all our calculations are still IPS. Our drawings have been metric for many years but our calculations are not. I work with many university people so I still am metric savy but it is much easier for me to think in terms of F, PSIA, Lbm, Lbf, etc. But I am a child of the late 50’s. I like to buy my meat in lbs, liquid fuel in gallons, gaseous fuel in BTU or Mcf, if I was buying crude, I would pay per barrel (but that is a strange and specific unit – definitely not metric). I have gotten used to buying adult beverage mixtures in portions of liters however…

  23. Not to add to any negative gloom, but I’ve been considering the following depressing calculation…

    The population of the US is ~325 million. Of that 89 million are children, 58 million retired or ~150 million not productive economically. Ok, these are broad whacks, I’ve been to Walmart and McDonalds where seniors and teens do work, please bear with me.

    Amazing in itself, the labor participation rate is in the low 60%’s. So, of the 18-65YO working age folks of ~175 million there are only ~105 to 115 million actually employed.

    The last government employee census, Local, State, Federal, I’ve seen is ~20 million. While there are those who are actually doing something unarguably productive, ala garbage collection or ATC or imparting the 3 R’s, the proportion overall is relatively low. In addition, these bureaucrats supervise and fund an amazing number of nominally “private sector jobs” that are anything but actually economically productive.

    Let’s conservatively estimate, SWAG, another 20 million employed but indirectly paid by gov’t largess and less than optimally productive in a strictly economic sense. That leaves less than ~75 million who are really driving civilization here or looked at another way: each real productive person supports him/herself and 3.x others.

  24. Another metric comment. Pipe and tube sizes the world over are still mainly in English units. 1/2 inch for example. Now we call that 12.7. Clumsy and irritating.

  25. One more comment. Thankfully, we all still use base 60 to tell time (minutes and seconds anyway – and degrees of the compass). Think what a pain it would be if it was otherwise. Say NO to metric time!

  26. Wow, 18,000 people voted early yesterday in my county, Fort Bend County. I’ll bet that a lot more voted for Ted Cruz than Robert Francis. I am still interested in seeing how the ballot lists Robert Francis.

  27. I finally got it copied but Win7 had a tantrum in the middle of the process and took great offense that I pulled the power cord after 20 minutes of Explorer saying “not responding”. It decided that even though I chose “normal” start up, it’s going to run chkdsk /r or something. I went out to feed the cats and see if the chickens might have laid an egg.

    I suspect everything would have acted the same way if I had tossed the files over the LAN to a folder on moa instead of to the external drive.

    Then I added my T-bird profile to the external drive.. Exported my FF bookmarks. Copied my Desktop folder.

    Yeah…. I’m on borrowed time.

    Yes, you are. Good and multiple backups are a requirement, not an option. But I will bet that less than a quarter of PCs are backed regularly (minimum of weekly).

  28. I’ve tossed a few more folders onto the external drive and have had no problems. Just copied over “zoom zoom”.

    I don’t know what Win7 fixed that running chkdsk didn’t.

    I’m horrible at doing backups. Yeah, it’s a random event about every six months. But… all I’m going to lose is six months of stuff…

  29. Another metric comment. Pipe and tube sizes the world over are still mainly in English units. 1/2 inch for example. Now we call that 12.7. Clumsy and irritating.

    There are metric sizes for all of the larger pipes up to 48 inches equivalent. The metric and USA differential sizes have been a real nightmare for the large equipment manufacturers. Of course, there is always a transition manifold for all pipe sizes.

  30. A few comments to catch up, as my net connection seems okay at the moment:

    First, a clarification: I’ve lived in this county for 53 years (except going away to college); I’ve lived in my current home for 23 years.

    Second, power & telecom utility lines: As another poster noted, only in the last 40 years or so have they been placed underground in residential areas. It’s much much more expensive to do, and the utility company is mandated by the state to string the lines in the least expensive way. So if a developer wants them underground, the developer pays the upcharge. And the maintenance costs for underground utilities are also higher. There was a back & forth several years ago when the local power company was going to have to run new lines to the AFB. The general public didn’t want to see new pilings and high tension wires across the bay, but neither did they want to have to pay the very high cost of burying them under the bed. Topography & geology also play a part. The link below shows how Panama City is situated along the Gulf of Mexico & St. Andrew’s Bay; you can see just how close to sea level the whole town is.

    Third, the Immigration Horde: Many people have advocated the use of MOABs, but what’s wrong with the old fashioned profligate use of napalm? Of course, we’ll have to use these weapons after they actually invade. I don’t want us to be involved in another war, which dropping weapons in a foreign country by definition is. I do want us to defend the borders, ports, and sea lanes.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1532069,-85.7193085,10678m/data=!3m1!1e3

  31. There are metric sizes for all of the larger pipes up to 48 inches equivalent.

    Right Lynn, but the common stuff like you see in plumbing and air conditioning is still inch based mostly (world wide). There is a lot of infrastructure around the world to make 3/8″ and 5/16″ round tube coils for example. Although we are slowly moving to 7 and 5 mm (and smaller at some pace).

    I have not worked in the oil patch for many years but I bet it is still mainly inch based for down hole hardware. Too much history to make an easy/economical change.

    USA invented / perfected most of the oil patch and HVAC/modern plumbing technology for example. So you will see IPS for some time to come in my opinion. A function of installed infrastructure.

  32. Wow, 18,000 people voted early yesterday in my county, Fort Bend County. I’ll bet that a lot more voted for Ted Cruz than Robert Francis. I am still interested in seeing how the ballot lists Robert Francis.

    I’m sure you will see the B-word on the ballot, but I think the “Kennedy” meme is working better for him right now with older voters.

    MJ Hegar has gone back to positive “girls stick together” commercials now that early voting is underway. “I’m taking all of you to Congress with me.” “Go get them, MJ.”

  33. As a side note, it irritates me when some cultures (Asian mainly) act like they are the only ones that understand HVAC and try to teach us how it works. I work for one of the true founding companies of the technology so I tend to get sensitive… Rant Off…

    One of my co-workers walked out for about an hour today after being pushed too hard on a technical disagreement by someone born on the subcontinent.

    I’ve been pushed that far by the same individual within the last month, but I’ve used my “Quit Without Notice” card already in my career. I went home that night, got my resume updated, and started returning phone calls/emails. Life is way too short.

  34. I’m British and grew up with everyday things in the Imperial measurement system, and math and science in metric. I’m comfortable with both, although when I moved to Texas 20+ years ago, bushels mystified me.

    I find it easier to think in metric. I’m sure that’s because of the base 10 familiarity. Temperatures in Celsius just make sense, since Celsius relates to the real world better than Fahrenheit.

    It seems to me that the USA should just slowly convert – which I think is already happening. Modern US cars (Fords anyway) have metric bolts. Like BillF said, there is a lot of infrastructure based around 5/8 pipes, wire gauges, etc, that can’t just be converted overnight. That takes decades.

  35. I went home that night, got my resume updated, and started returning phone calls/emails.

    Good plan Greg – we need to pick our battles…

    By the way, I deleted that part you quoted (no problem with you quoting it) after I thought about it. Picking my battles… (or as Clint said: “a man has to know his limitations”).

    Not that I am scared to call BS when it is time to call BS. I am increasingly prone to do that as I get older. One of the benefits of age right?

  36. Even metric sockets use a 3/8 or 1/2 inch driver…..

    I know the brits still use 2×4 (well 4×2) for dimensional lumber (timber) in the building trades. They use kph but talk about total distance a car travels in miles on the odometer…

    heck look at the ton. Or should I say “metric ton” or “long ton”? even feet are different in about 13 or 14 different measurement systems that are all still in use in survey and construction work. Survey work has a whole different set of issues with different datum planes and a bushel of different systems all captured in legal documents. And chains and rods….

    Ounces for weight and volume, and troy ounces for precious metals….

    n

  37. Back from my HOA meeting. Votes for the new board members were submitted. A regular meeting was held too, which just reinforced the need for new blood as the old timers continued to obfuscate, delay, and arm wave. They’re spending our money, and don’t want to account for it, which has p!ssed people off. They fairly ooze condescension.

    I guess we’ll see if the upstarts win tomorrow. Nothing like being told how your representative democracy works, in the most patronizing tones, to anger the constituents….

    n

    local local local, meatspace!

  38. Right Nick. The history of units is fascinating up to, and including, current modern units. It is quite difficult to measure things. Including the global climate…

  39. Not that I am scared to call BS when it is time to call BS. I am increasingly prone to do that as I get older. One of the benefits of age right?

    You never know who reads this. Some companies pay people to troll employee’s social media and other browsing. The bigger the organization, the more likely it is that someone’s idiot nephew is on the payroll doing exactly that.


  40. a bushel of different systems

    ISWYDT

    Some companies pay people to troll employee’s social media and other browsing.

    Probably you mean “trawl”, but trolling is funnier so let’s stick with that.

  41. @Nick: You know the old saying – it’s not who votes, it’s who counts the votes. Who is in charge of counting the HOA votes?

    I really detest people like those you describe. Petty martinets with nothing better to do, who have taken over some local organization. The problem is: people who would do better generally have busy lives, and no time. Here’s hoping you get some new blood…

  42. Perhaps vs the modern version of trolling, which, like so much else, the MSM gets wrong… but isn’t a “trolling motor” for a boat the motor that lets you just gently tootle along with your line in the water hoping for a bite? Or in other words, sort of speculative fishing? In that case, trolling thru social media, hoping to hook something would be a good metaphor.

    A trawler drops huge nets and indiscriminately scoops up everything as it goes by, and dumps the “by catch” back… (or if chinese, calls it “white fish” and sells it.)

    n

  43. @brad, that is my concern. Supposedly a CPA firm will be doing the counting. Considering all the shady stuff our HOA appears to be doing, vote fraud isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Their best trick is that the BoD has an “Executive committee” and they are the only ones with real power. They meet in closed session, and make all the actual decisions, and they’ve been stuffing the committee for years.

    n

    edit– our HOA is the largest in the city of Houston, at almost 2000 homes, and their annual budget is 3/4 million USD.


  44. They’re spending our money, and don’t want to account for it

    File a complaint with the IRS. If they are tax exempt the IRS will take a very dim view of unaccounted expenditures.

  45. The cutest one so far was hiding $20K of LEGAL charges/law firm/retainer etc in “Office Expenses”. Like it was the cleaning lady….

    n

  46. That reminds me, I need to go to Home Depot and get some 4x2s (I love to mess with the clerks).

    But now I have a real dilemma. Should I get a short ton, a tonne (metric ton), or a long/imperial ton of mulch?

    An HOA with almost a million dollar budget!!! That for sure has got to be corrupt. And, yes, they need an IRS Audit. IIRC a person who sicks the IRS on some entity gets a “reward” percentage of the audit.

  47. I find it easier to think in metric. I’m sure that’s because of the base 10 familiarity. Temperatures in Celsius just make sense, since Celsius relates to the real world better than Fahrenheit.

    Fahrenheit relates to people better than Celsius, though. Zero degrees F is really cold, and 100 degrees F is really hot. Zero degrees C is merely cold, and 100 degrees C is dead!

  48. Roger R. jumped ahead of me on the Fahrenheit thing. It’s a human based temperature system and I’m a human so I like it.

    In the lab, °C and the metric system work well. Especially in biochemistry since almost everything is mostly water. The metric system and water are BFFs.

    I’m intimately familiar with two systems. My French colleagues only one, and boy, do they struggle with the US customary. Halves and doubles and dozens stymie them.

  49. However, I recall engineering and science (late 70’s through 90’s) being mostly metric.

    Depends on the field. In the real world, aerospace is generally not metric because many more aerospace-qualified parts are available in inches than in metric.

    As an aside, when getting my astronomy degree in the 70s, we used CGS rather than MKS like most other fields, despite the fact that most of what we dealt with was really big.


  50. Fahrenheit relates to people better than Celsius, though. Zero degrees F is really cold

    10F is really cold too. 0C is nice because that’s where where water freezes (yes, I know, but most people think of it that way) and frozen water is a problem in real life.

  51. Since both my wife and I can feel one degree F change in temperature in the house, I would find C to be too limited in range to adequately express the nuance of my local environment.

    n

    (yep, and we’ve compromised on a temp for the AC- too cool for her, too warm for me, and neither of us TOUCHES THE DAMMM TSTAT without getting permission first.)

    (so nope, no “smart” tstat for me, it’s locked at 76F year round)

  52. edit– our HOA is the largest in the city of Houston, at almost 2000 homes, and their annual budget is 3/4 million USD.

    Our HOA in Fort Bend County is 4,100 homes with a $3.7 million annual budget.
    http://www.mygreatwood.com/

  53. Since both my wife and I can feel one degree F change in temperature in the house, I would find C to be too limited in range to adequately express the nuance of my local environment.

    Yep. That and saying it’s 76 is easier than saying 24.4.

    I have a small 6″ fan sitting in this room on a previous generation tower cased computer. About 7 feet away. Darn thing will freeze me out of the room sometimes. Ah, this one:
    https://www.amazon.com/Lasko-Personal-2002W-Inches-White/dp/B000QR6VXW?tag=ttgnet-20

    Wow, the price is up $4 from when I bought the last two. I have one in the bath to stir the air, one in the bedroom, one in this room, and the 4th is somewhere…. in the EDC I think.

    Simple design. Quiet. Easy to take apart when needed for oiling. I haven’t needed to oil yet.

    I had a similar fan given to me by the next door neighbor. He used it at work and it stopped spinning. I took it apart, cleaned out the dust, and soaked the bearings with 3 in One oil. Yeah, I did have to oil the bearings every other year. But it ran many many hours in the bathroom for almost 30 years.

    Idjit on the bath remodel crew just sorta tossed it onto a pile of stuff and the blades shattered.

  54. Iv’e got half dozen of the small black vortex fans. Yep, they need to be unscrewed and oiled every year or two but they move a lot of air and are pretty quiet, when the bearings aren’t shrieking….

    Not BUILT to come apart, but they do.

    n

    https://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-HT-900-TurboForce-Circulator-Black/dp/B001R1RXUG/ref=pd_bxgy_201_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B001R1RXUG&pd_rd_r=e9153442-d7ea-11e8-b1e4-5f3ea650bb69&pd_rd_w=aqpvr&pd_rd_wg=BvOKQ&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=6725dbd6-9917-451d-beba-16af7874e407&pf_rd_r=K2994FRDS2FYZQS3MJ1S&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=K2994FRDS2FYZQS3MJ1S

    and now with that link, they know Mr Lynn and I are somehow linked….

  55. Looks like we got .62 inches of rain so far today. I think some areas are heavier. I saw a couple of hail stones bounce off my hood while driving the kids home from school…

    WRT the cost of the fans, averaged over a year or two, not a very good deal. Averaged over 10 or more years, they are pretty cheap. They do take maintaining in the form of opening the thing up and oiling the bearings and felt, but it’s not hard or frequent.

    n

  56. Just got a flash flood warning for the southeastern side of town all the way to the water…

    Doppler saw 3 inches fall on the area, and they are warning for flooding… that’s some pretty good tech right there.

    n

  57. I usually do, but I also then test the link in a virgin tab in another browser, and just didn’t have the time.

    n

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