Fri. Oct. 26, 2018 – is it over yet?

51F and not quite dripping this morning in Houston. Fall is here with winter on her heals.

Will the Saudi murder of a journalist be the trigger for the collapse? Lots of gloom in the financial markets worldwide and we’re headed into the weekend. I hope not, but charts of the last one show a similar series of down, recovery, down, recovery, big down days….

Suddenly Halloween is almost here, and I don’t feel ready. I’ve got more family travel coming up too that I’m totally unprepared for mentally. This rain has pushed and canceled so many things that running up against hard dates feels very awkward. And I feel like I missed out on something.

The rest of the year is going to be hectic.

Even if there isn’t a collapse.

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

42 thoughts on “Fri. Oct. 26, 2018 – is it over yet?”

  1. NOT male
    NOT in the US
    NOT a gun

    Horror in China as cleaver-wielding woman slashes children inside a kindergarten, leaving 14 pupils injured

    Suspect, 39, assaulted the pupils on the playground in Chongqing today
    She was tackled by the school’s staff and security guards at the scene
    All 14 are under hospital treatment and four are said to be seriously injured
    Attacker is under police control, but her motive remains unknown

  2. I thought that I was getting a bomb yesterday. I heard a UPS truck stop in front of my house and realized that I had no Amazonary on the way. Stepped out and driver apologized for stopping wrongly as it was for same number but next street over.

    I said: “Don’t feel bad, USPS leaves stuff for that residence hear from time to time.”

  3. 41º and cloudy in the land by the shallow lake. Looks like we’re clear for today, but not for tomorrow. We’ll see. I’m glad we’re not getting hit like Texas is. I hate to get that much water.

    Less than two weeks until the election and things are getting quiet. I’m not talking about the things in the news. I’m talking about my social media activity. It’s just SO much quieter this year than in the past. The few posts are very loud, very active, and very fast. They then disappear. It’s distinctly different than it has been in the past.

    I think the Dems realize right now that any thing that stirs folks up is more likely to stir up the silent conservatives & get them out to vote. Much of their “voter suppression” rhetoric bemoaned the idea that democrats were being suppressed. I suspect they’re hoping to suppress conservative votes right now. The hornets’ nest has been stirred. I think a LOT of folks are going to vote this year.

    Why? Because my yard sign polling tells me that the conservatives are much more likely to vote this year than the liberals. Numbers and placement mean a lot.

    In any event, 12 days.

  4. Had a package from Amazon delivered by a guy in regular clothes driving a Honda Civic. Weird. Sort of odd sized 6″x6″x30″. Maybe the mail truck was overloaded that day and they were using extra help.

  5. Had a package from Amazon delivered by a guy in regular clothes driving a Honda Civic. Weird. Sort of odd sized 6″x6″x30″. Maybe the mail truck was overloaded that day and they were using extra help.

    The Gig Economy in action.

    It will be interesting to watch the fallout if gas prices creep above $3.50 in Texas again.

    @Nick, I saw a hilarious billboard in Austin today which pretty much seals the fate of the Dem challenger for Governor. If I go get a pic, will you post it here?

  6. well, you can post a link, or if you need anonymizing email it to me.

    n

  7. City of Austin is still on a boil water alert after nearly a week.

    I don’t think it is a coincidence that the Mayor, Steve Adler, is suddenly running lots of reelection campaign commercials discussing how he supports Robert Francis, signs climate agreements with Europe, and opposes “The Trump Agenda”.

    How about a little clean water?

    I was all excited about working in the office today as opposed to our facility in Taylor where the sanitary conditions are disgusting. At least the toilets flush downtown.

  8. Had a package from Amazon delivered by a guy in regular clothes driving a Honda Civic. Weird. Sort of odd sized 6″x6″x30″. Maybe the mail truck was overloaded that day and they were using extra help.

    I get civvies delivering all the time in Vegas. Especially in the a.m. around 7am.

  9. Amazon uses a variety of delivery options.

    They use Neopost, which is FedEx to a local point then USPS for the “last mile”.

    They will use USPS and UPS directly.

    They have contractors driving white vans that may or may not have an Amazon logo on the side.

    And they use local contractors using their own vehicles.

    First time rasta fat boy was on my porch with loud music blaring from his phone, a broken down old 4 door coupe on the curb, and my package in his hand, was almost a ‘newsworthy’ event. I’ve since seen him dozens of times, although not lately. His car would sometimes be packed to the headliner with packages….

    n

  10. >”This Affordable Healthcare crap has really shafted everyone.”
    (from yesterday)

    True, but even if we hadn’t had the ACA, costs would still have gone up an unacceptable amount. The real problem is that we have employer controlled health insurance that is subsidized by the income tax system. The people getting health insurance from their employer have very little choice as to what they are offered (if they buy their own policy, it will be much more expensive because they have to pay with post-tax money). If we got rid of the government subsidy of health insurance premiums (I’m talking about the fact that the premiums are paid with pre-tax money), the system would slowly correct itself. The only good aspect of the ACA is that it addresses the pre-existing condition issue. The way it does that is probably not the best, but for health insurance to work well, that issue must be handled well. I believe that what would work is to classify levels of insurance coverage, and only allow people to increase their coverage by some modest percentage per year – maybe 10%. This would deter people from holding cheap policies while they are healthy, figuring that they will upgrade to a better policy if they get sick.

    In general, we need to get back to a system where health insurance only covers unusually expensive events, rather than paying for normal expenses that most people are subject to. That is, it should be health insurance, not health care. There is no advantage to adding the insurance company bureaucracy to simple medical issues that are not intrinsically expensive. Note that a major driving force for making employer provided health “insurance” cover simple health care items is that this is done with pre-tax money. Over the decades of my working career, health insurance has been expanded to cover more and more simple health care items.

    Once we reduce the involvement of insurance companies in our simple healthcare needs and let people pay doctors of their choice with their own money, market forces will recude the cost of medical care to reasonable levels.

    >”The anti-patient bias that was purposely put into Obama-No-Care is beyond comprehension. It’s all about a big payday for Big Medicine and Big Pharma.”

    This was already the case before the ACA. We had a bad system and made it worse. The solution involves more than undoing the ACA. We have to give the customers power over the providers by letting them make their own choices.

  11. I thought that I was getting a bomb yesterday. I heard a UPS truck stop in front of my house and realized that I had no Amazonary on the way. Stepped out and driver apologized for stopping wrongly as it was for same number, but next street over.

    I said: “Don’t feel bad, USPS leaves stuff for that residence here from time to time.”

  12. Employer provide health insurance was introduced during a period of .gov meddling in the free market system, during our first taste of socialism.

    Wage controls and a tight labor situation led to companies offering health insurance as a benefit that wasn’t limited by .gov regulations.

    there have been a variety of good proposals floated, but without a mandate from the people, nothing will happen. It’s crony capitalism at it’s finest (whenever two capitalists get together, they conspire to reduce competition.) The insurance companies were very involved in writing o-nanny care, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it doesn’t actually benefit consumers or providers.

    Oklahoma has at least one facility with menu pricing and cash payments, don’t recall the details.

    No price transparency, huge bureaucracy, and shifting of responsibility for payment to third parties would all have to be addressed in any reform. Tort reform too.

    n

  13. No price transparency, huge bureaucracy, and shifting of responsibility for payment to third parties would all have to be addressed in any reform. Tort reform too.

    Student loan assistance for medical students, and, if you don’t want the X-er doctors “shrugging” (as in “Atlas Shrugged”) with a decade or so left in their careers, some kind of compensation for the money they paid to Sallie Mae at 6% (average).

    Student loans were nationalized under Obamacare to make the bill revenue neutral so they could pass it without 67 votes in the Senate. As “Stretch” Pelosi said, “We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.”


  14. USPS leaves stuff for that residence hear from time to time

    I hered you the first time.

  15. First time rasta fat boy was on my porch with loud music blaring from his phone, a broken down old 4 door coupe on the curb, and my package in his hand, was almost a ‘newsworthy’ event. I’ve since seen him dozens of times, although not lately. His car would sometimes be packed to the headliner with packages….

    Just think — Amazon wants to give rasta fat boy the code to enter your house.

    I’m waiting for the first serial killer Amazon driver. I’m old enough to remember Ted Bundy in Florida, and, based on appearances alone, he was exactly what every parent wanted their daughter to bring home. Go look at the old trial pictures/footage.


  16. —-Wastewater treatment plants are typically built near waterways. The flooded facilities are being cleaned, repaired and returned to service. In the mean time, the populations are displaced and loads reduced, and the waste is simply being dumped. It happens. The downstream areas will recover with every subsequent rainfall. Harvey left MY waste water plant under 20ft of water. Our sewers continued to work fine (gravity fed, and I assume the flowing flood water acted as a siphon to pull waste thru the system), although the city asked us to reduce usage when possible, simply to limit the amount of waste dumped directly into the bayou. For the prepper, a bedside commode or camping bucket and toilet seat, coupled with plastic bags and kitty litter work well. More involved- have a backflow preventer installed on your sewer line (especially if your waste line requires a lift station), or figure out how to block your sewer (wrap padding around a 2×4 and stick it in your sewer clean out??)

    I’ll add that in hilly country, wastewater is likely pumped up the various slopes by “lift stations” that will likely fail (if only from lack of electricity, eventually, even if they have generators). If you are in a relative valley, that backflow preventer or something like that is going to be crucial for you. If you are on a relative hill, if you flush you are dumping on your downhill neighbors (or, slightly better, maybe, into whatever stream gets the overflow).
    Just think about what goes down hill…

  17. Heh…
    I didn’t even bother to read the original article.
    Nick, you wiped up the floor with that guy (I guess that’s a flood clean-up choice of phrasing).

  18. @Nick,

    Good response to an article that apparently had no research applied. I would venture to say that your response is at least an order of magnitude better than what was published and will hopefully better prepare the individuals that read the original.

  19. “The Attempt to Destroy Donald Trump Has Made Us Suspicious of Everything”
    https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2018/10/26/the-attempt-to-destroy-donald-trump-has-made-us-suspicious-of-everything/

    “Two weeks out a bunch of bombs start showing up in places that the media can then say that they are being received by “Trump targets”? I’m sorry. I didn’t fall off the turnip truck ever, and certainly not yesterday, and the world of October Surprises coupled with all the other realities I just exposed, and I think it only makes sense to be suspicious and demanding of proof for whatever we’re gonna be told.”

    Yup, I find the MAGABomber a little too crazy to believe also.

  20. I had a McRib once. It was a strange patty of “pork” molded to look like a small rack of ribs. Not a bad flavor… once you scrape off most of the BBQ sauce. The texture was cross between Spam and Vienna sausage.

    I’ll eat another, just not going out of my way to do so. 🙂

  21. Ok, finally. After all the rain and bridges being washed out, the Hospital Thing finally happened. After sitting and waiting a couple of hours because, what?, the hospital has one anesthesiologist and two ambulances pulled up with folks needed surgery “right now”. Which is ok.

    For the amount of customers, this hospital is waaay overbuilt. It’s about four years old. In the area I saw, which seems to a recovery area, there are several rooms and many “not rooms” defined by curtains. I spotted signs of two other patients in an area that can handle 30 or so…. I didn’t wander much.

    He left with a catheter. Double wall. Outer tube had 30 ml of water and held the tube in. I assume with a bulb like section in his bladder. The inner tube was urine into a bag. Red fading to pink urine as the day went on. How do I know? Because even though he seemed normal, he wasn’t. And sore. Guess who got to drain the bag a couple of times? Meh, just watery pee.

    The dogs were a trip, they knew he hurt. I think.

    This morning he cut the “drain port” for the water, that drained a tablespoon or so and the whole assembly fell out of him and into the toilet. So he says. I wasn’t there, not my job. Well, he seems very happy with the results and is drinking lots of water. And is very happy the tubing fell out and didn’t have to be pulled and twisted out.

    It was a day of “be there at 10am” and don’t eat. It turned into being “roto-rootered” a bit after 1pm and we were on the way home about 3:30pm. Amazing. Actually, they do the roto-rooter through the prostate now with a laser of some kind. Not the old way of actual blades and three days bleeding pee in the hospital.

    So, I’m off to go make something for supper. Last night was a sandwich. Breakfast was an english muffin with a fried egg on top.


  22. If we got rid of the government subsidy of health insurance premiums (I’m talking about the fact that the premiums are paid with pre-tax money), the system would slowly correct itself.

    The problem isn’t tax status. It’s a combination of inflation in the 80s and Baumol’s cost disease. If you want cheap health care, you need to get 1/6 of the economy to take pay cuts (mostly in hospitals) and renovate hospitals away from private rooms. Not gonna happen. Physicians and drug costs are less than 20% of health care costs combined.

  23. @lynn, the best part of that amazon link was the lumen comparison across the lantern types. That is great info.

    n

  24. It was a day of “be there at 10am” and don’t eat. It turned into being “roto-rootered” a bit after 1pm and we were on the way home about 3:30pm. Amazing. Actually, they do the roto-rooter through the prostate now with a laser of some kind. Not the old way of actual blades and three days bleeding pee in the hospital.

    A friend of mine at church had the rotorooter done a couple of months ago. He said that the first week post-surgery was no big deal. The second week was pure hell as the blood clots (scabs) came loose and passed on through.

  25. The problem isn’t tax status. It’s a combination of inflation in the 80s and Baumol’s cost disease. If you want cheap health care, you need to get 1/6 of the economy to take pay cuts (mostly in hospitals) and renovate hospitals away from private rooms. Not gonna happen. Physicians and drug costs are less than 20% of health care costs combined.

    The early 90s really did a number on medicine. After the wheezebag Harris Wofford won big in PA running on universal healthcare and the Clintstones were elected, everyone thought socialized medicine was inevitable and raised prices to make as much money as possible before the Feds lowered the boom.

    Once I graduated college and no longer qualified for my parents’ plans, I paid $42/mo. in 1991-92 for a catastrophic Blue Cross plan with a $3000 deductible. Emergencies only. Ok, fine. After the Clintons took office, the next renewal goosed the price to $350/mo for the exact same coverage. When I called to cancel, the woman at the customer service center literally told me, “Hillarycare is coming.”

  26. “Trump fears Florida wipeout”
    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/26/trump-florida-senate-2018-senate-governor-941802

    “The president is mounting an 11th-hour effort to head off high-profile losses for governor and Senate in his adopted home state.”

    I just cannot believe it. Florida is a battleground state !

    Rush was saying today that the DOJ will be filing federal embezzlement charges on Democrat Andrew Gillum fairly soon. I suspect that they will wait until after the midterms though. I wonder if he will have to give his acceptance speech in handcuffs ?

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

  27. I just cannot believe it. Florida is a battleground state !

    In FL, the establishment Republicans don’t care much for the candidates running for Senate and Governor.

    Jeb! still has huge influence and could have ended Bill Nelson a dozen years ago, but that would have meant giving up his ex-Playboy Bunny girlfriend.

  28. Hard drive in my computer died. Used for data storage. Not even recognized by the system. Swapped SATA ports, same issue. Drive is dead. Seagate 2TB drive. I have backups. Will replace with a Toshiba drive as Backblaze seems to have had good luck with their Toshiba drives. Will order from MicroCenter as the price is the same as Amazon. In the meantime I will use my Surface laptop.

  29. The dadgum coyotes were really yipping tonight when we walked our 1.3 miles at 11pm. They were right over the levee from us behind a row of houses, maybe 300 ft away. And since I lost all my guns in the Brazos River, I was not carrying. My dog is totally deaf now and could care less about their very loud yipping. Hopefully they were chasing a feral pig.

    Speaking of Lady, the wife made up a new mix for her that she absolutely loves. The wife bought a pound of ground turkey and a pound of ground beef (80% lean). She cooked them together and put it into a ziplock in the fridge. Now we just heat some of good old Uncle Ben’s brown rice in the microwave and add some beef/turkey mix. Gobble, gobble, gobble.

  30. Good for her and good for Lady. 2X score.

    dreamed about my dad, woke up sobbing.

    n

  31. Band conditions aren’t super but there is an amateur contest this weekend and the bands are alive with radio. I’m getting both coasts and overseas, Russia, australia…. on 80m.

    n

    add morocco and cayman islands, aruba and hawaii

    radio new zealand is booming in on 7.425

  32. “I just cannot believe it. Florida is a battleground state !”

    In FL, the establishment Republicans don’t care much for the candidates running for Senate and Governor.

    Thinking about it further, an indictment of Andrew Gillum would cement a bloodbath for the Dems in the FL Legislature in 2020. As a result, despite demographic trends pushing the state blue, the Republicans would deny the Democrats meaningful redistricting power in the state for a third decade in a row.

    Everone’s seat will be safe, and the FL House Speaker will get his state university campus and/or med school (pork project of choice for retiring Speakers as of late).

  33. MicroCenter has a 3TB Toshiba drive for $90.00. In-Store only. So I will wait until Thanksgiving when I visit my friend in Atlanta. Black Friday may even have a better deal.

    In the meantime I found a 1TB drive on the shelf (actually two of them). One is sufficient to restore my data files if I don’t restore some movies to the drive. Thus I will use that drive for my data files until I get the replacement.

    Installed that drive, clip-on drive rails and a couple of cables, about 30 seconds. Took more time to open the side panels on the case. New (replacement) drive was immediately recognized and the system would now boot properly. With the failed drive the BIOS boot process would hang on code EB (gotta love displays on the MB) which indicated a device problem. System would eventually complete the boot process but without the drive and all my documents and data.

    I have been using Acronis TrueImage for my backup program. Works very well, costs money, but does the job. Use it to backup my entire system including the boot drive. I am only restoring the files on the data drive as that is the only drive that failed. Takes awhile to restore as it using an external drive connected via USB 3.0. Will take about four hours.


  34. glad you had backups

    Learned my lesson the hard way many years ago. Lost lots of files that I really wanted to keep. Of course today those files are worthless. Algol, COBOL and Assembler files from my time in the USAF, COBOL files from several projects, articles I had written for magazines. No pictures as there was no digital, just transparencies and negatives. Basically stuff that could be lost without any consequences.

    Now, in addition to Acronis (which backs up weekly), I also about once every one or two months will copy the files to an external disk that I keep in a drawer. I really need to consider keeping that disk drive offsite but where becomes an issue. I really don’t want those files out of my control so leaving at a friends house or the church is not the best option.

    I am giving serious thought to signing up for Backblaze. $5.00 a month is only $60.00 a year. I used their services when I was working at Tau Beta Pi and it worked well. May consider them again just to get the files offsite. Critical files such as my financial files and tax records are kept in DropBox and OneDrive. I would just hate to lose all the pictures.


  35. I really need to consider keeping that disk drive offsite but where becomes an issue. I really don’t want those files out of my control so leaving at a friends house or the church is not the best option.

    I handle that by encrypting my backup media and then leaving them with others. On a Linux box that’s a piece of cake. Some Windows backup software supports that but IIRC all that I’d looked into used a proprietary format and I would never trust such a thing. I don’t know if that’s still the case. Worse come to worst, you could put everything into a .rar file with a password and save that; so far as I know RAR’s encryption is unbroken.

    Going another route, what about putting drives or DVDs in a safe deposit box?

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