Wed. Oct. 31, 2018 – Halloween!

76F and 80%RH make today much different from the last week. We’ll see what the day has in store. I REALLY hope it will stay dry until late tonight.

I like Halloween. I like dressing up the house. I like making the little beggars happy for a while. I like that it gives them a reason to dress up and play “lets pretend.” So much of kids lives today involves consuming someone else’s pretend, I like that they get the opportunity.

I don’t mind all the leftover candy either.

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

52 thoughts on “Wed. Oct. 31, 2018 – Halloween!”

  1. 64f and dry on the commute but forecast is for cold front and storms this evening. That’s why we saw the little goblins out and about last night. I really wasn’t prepared. But quickly donned my Pirate costume, left over from some long ago Ren Faire, and assumed the role of “The Haunted Pirate” ™. We had dressed the yard with hay bales topped by scare crows and skulls. I pulled little Addies plastic play house from the back porch and populated it with ghosts and ghouls. Then drug her dead Barbie Car out with a skeleton driver. I set up bluetooth controled floods to illuminate the whole scene and put a bluetooth speaker in the playhouse to create spooky music. We got several complements even from the older (teen) trick-or-treaters. We had around to 100 kids come by. Many van loads and a couple of hay ride trailers full too. Our area is known for generosity.

  2. 55º and just starting to rain. Littlest woke up this morning and wanted to see the moon. I stepped out & saw a brightening, but nothing else through the clouds. Sorry to disappoint my little one.

    I listen to NPR sometimes in the morning. More, lately, because of the election. I am often amused* by how they preface some of their editorializing with “the truth of the matter is”. Unbiased my fanny. Of course, I get the same thing when I listen to Fox News, so I can’t gripe too much.

    I very much prefer the sports networks. There is some bias (they’re all fans of one team or another), but they get the news out. (It’s hard to report “LA Rams beat the Packers” in a bad way.) Speaking of the Packers – how about that Kickoff return that killed the Pack? THAT’S the kind of editorializing I’m in favor of.

    * By Amused I mean “screaming my head off on the inside”.

  3. I expect exactly 0 kids tonight, but will be ready for 100. Leftovers, doncha know.

  4. 64f and dry on the commute but forecast is for cold front and storms this evening. That’s why we saw the little goblins out and about last night. I really wasn’t prepared. But quickly donned my Pirate costume, left over from some long ago Ren Faire, and assumed the role of “The Haunted Pirate” ™.

    Totally cool !


  5. Self-Driving Cars Still Can’t Handle Snow, Rain, or Heavy Weather

    Not a surprise if you have ever worked in mobile robotics. Sensor data interpretation is the hardest part of the problem. That said, as with most tech we tend to overestimate progress in the short term, underestimate in the long term.

  6. “Self-Driving Cars Still Can’t Handle Snow, Rain, or Heavy Weather”

    My new Toyota keeps wanting to turn on Lane Assist whenever it detects me doing something that would have it turning the wheel the opposite way if I had it active. For now, it only moves the center console menu to the activation screen for the “feature”.

    No thanks.

    I’m also not allowed to browse the albums on my USB at speed. Safety first! I do miss the CD player, and I’m going to look into getting a surplus rental Camry center console when the warranty is up.

  7. “‘Trump ain’t playin’: Video Shows Hundreds of Military Vehicles Being Shipped to Border”
    https://www.infowars.com/trump-aint-playin-video-shows-hundreds-of-military-vehicles-being-shipped-to-border/

    “Footage of train heading southbound reportedly captured in Arizona”

    One hopes that the caravan will turn around and go home. One also hopes that the soldiers are tough enough to do their jobs if the caravan tries to cross the border.

    No matter which way this plays out, the results are going to be sad.

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

  8. No matter which way this plays out, the results are going to be sad.

    Have to agree with that. I just can’t see our troops firing on unarmed civilians even if ordered to. In my opinion that’s an unlawful order. Tear gas, sure, water canon, OK, but not live, lethal rounds. That kind of optic would end the administration and I’m sure that’s what the left are hoping for. But our military are not stupid and won’t fall for that trap. Not sure what’s up but it won’t be a massacre.

  9. Well, returned the trailer. Picked up a 3d printer. Stopped at another auction seller, and picked up a table. Voted (it was busy, and steady, but there were machines open.) Picked up new sunglasses for upcoming trip. Picked up some new cheater glasses too.

    It’s been raining at various rates, and in all the various places I’ve been today. Mr. Lynn, the Brazos looks pretty high to me, crossing it in Rosenburg…..

    Currently the scanner says at least one of our schools is under a shelter in place order because of the possibility of tornadoes. Thunder in the distance. Pretty sure we’re not gonna get many trick or treaters, and I’m not gonna set up the last of my stuff… despite the sun trying to poke thru the clouds a couple of times.

    Pork shoulder is in the crock pot, and will be ready in 2 more hours. Smells great.

    Headed back out for a couple of last minute things…

    n

  10. End birthright for illegals, build the wall, tax the F out of remittances, meet the invaders with force if needed. NOTHING will look good, so do what needs doing.

    n

  11. It’s been raining at various rates, and in all the various places I’ve been today. Mr. Lynn, the Brazos looks pretty high to me, crossing it in Rosenburg…..

    Actually, the Brazos is down to 37 ft, it was up to 42 ft last week. Looks like it is headed up again.
    https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=HGX&gage=RMOT2

    The levee around our home is at 60 ft so we have a quite an amount of freeboard there. The office is at 61 ft without a levee.

  12. End birthright for illegals, build the wall, tax the F out of remittances, meet the invaders with force if needed. NOTHING will look good, so do what needs doing.

    Looks like Trump is headed down this road. He needs to start building his base for 2020 so all of these things are necessary.

    I’m not sure if he can tax the remittances without Congress’s permission. If not, then he has the boldness to do it. And my permission.

    My latest Mechanical Engineering magazine from ASME has decided to jump on Trump. The main article is how the tariffs are going to affect the USA economy. And a secondary article is about fighting global warning using carbon absorption (horribly expensive !).

  13. No matter which way this plays out, the results are going to be sad.

    Have to agree with that. I just can’t see our troops firing on unarmed civilians even if ordered to. In my opinion that’s an unlawful order. Tear gas, sure, water canon, OK, but not live, lethal rounds. That kind of optic would end the administration and I’m sure that’s what the left are hoping for. But our military are not stupid and won’t fall for that trap. Not sure what’s up but it won’t be a massacre.

    Detain the caravan people on the Mexican side with tanks as a backup ? I’m not sure that is going to work without a transportation home option.

    And if we have tanks on the border then we will use tanks on the border. Those tanks will be loaded with live rounds. Trump will not send them without ammo.

  14. NPR had an interesting piece this morning, with the host arguing with the designated spokesman over the notion of anchor babies. The whole time that the NPR flack was urging a broad view of the 14th Amendment language, the cranky libertarian in my head kept wanting to yell “Maybe you’d like to take a look at the 10th Amendment in the near future!” I know, it’s just a dream, but I can dream, can’t I?

  15. Bernie, et al, are screeching about “Healthcare For All.” Again, no plan on how to implement HFA or how to pay for it. Tax the rich! Raise biz taxes to 40%!!!!!

    Pelosi, who can barely put two words together, cackling about how “she will be Speaker, again.”

    No, US Troops won’t fire on the caravan. Yes, the Admin is done if one shot is fired. Possibly the end of the FUSA if two shots are fired. I expect a controlling force of MPs and grunts issued axe handles.

  16. @CowboySlim, you’d better head for the hills, “Los Angeles Must Pay Billions to Adapt—or Slip Into the Sea”
    https://www.wired.com/story/los-angeles-sea-level-rise/

    “Los Angeles derives much of its charm from its diversity, both of its people and its amenities—rolling hills here, lovely architecture there, a national forest to the north and legendary beaches to the west. But much of it is in trouble: Sea level rise is coming for Los Angeles County and its 74 miles of coast.”

    “According to a new report from the New York Academy of Sciences, it’ll take LA as much as $6.4 billion to fortify itself against an impending increase in coastal flooding, with moves such as nourishing its beaches with extra sand and elevating its ports. The tricky thing about sea level rise, however, is the uncertainty. Climate models are getting better at predicting how high seas will rise and how quickly, but no model can deliver guarantees. Maybe sea levels will rise by a foot by 2050. Or the water might end up rising 7 feet, but not for another 200 years.”

  17. Bernie, et al, are screeching about “Healthcare For All.” Again, no plan on how to implement HFA or how to pay for it. Tax the rich! Raise biz taxes to 40%!!!!!

    Robert Francis says all that we have to do to pay for HFA is to raise the business income tax by five points. Surely he is not wrong !

  18. I thought that, once land subsidence was taken into account, that sea levels had come up less than an inch in over a decade. Has some new (reputable) science come out, or are the panickers just pushing the same old lies?

  19. I thought that, once land subsidence was taken into account, that sea levels had come up less than an inch in over a decade. Has some new (reputable) science come out, or are the panickers just pushing the same old lies?

    Greenland, then Iceland, then Antarctica are going to melt over the next ten years. The oceans are going to rise 80 ft. Or maybe 200 ft, I forget.

  20. We’ll all have to get gene mod gills installed!!!!!!

    How do you even measure sea level definitively? At what point? with what onshore winds? What tides? How do you null out the waves? and gravity pulls the sea into a bowl in different places, deep enough to hide ships from the horizon, so what is the sea level there?

    n

  21. The oceans are going to rise 80 ft. Or maybe 200 ft, I forget.

    I ‘m about 1300 feet. Austin is at 489.

    Houston is at 80. Y’all might a problem… Perhaps move onto a houseboat. 🙂

  22. If I had the slightest belief that the oceans were going to rise any significant amount during my lifetime, I MIGHT consider that when looking for a home. But since I think it’s a fantasy, wrapped in an extortion scheme, I’ll be discounting it for now….

    n..

  23. I’m cleaning up my hard drive. I don’t need everything from the drive of the WfW box that was copied onto the W95, then Win98, then XP, then Win7 boxes.

    I don’t need five extra copies of stuff. I don’t need the little utilities that are not needed any more or simply will not run on Win7-64.

    48GB cleared out is a lot of clutter.

    Do I need an almost 6GB page file? I’ve never noticed the system ever paging, just by drive chatter. Eh, I have a 1TB drive. Maybe I don’t want to tweak too much.

    Tomorrow I’ll start copying to a 1TB external drive. Then I’ll try the Acronis TrueImage onto a 2TB external drive. And stuff will be tossed to the other two machines on the LAN.

  24. an extortion scheme

    Denier!!!! Burn the witch at the stake!!!!

    Of course it’s a scam.

  25. The oceans are going to rise 80 ft. Or maybe 200 ft, I forget.

    I ‘m about 1300 feet. Austin is at 489.

    Houston is at 80. Y’all might a problem… Perhaps move onto a houseboat.

    Have you ever seen what a hurricane does to a houseboat ?

    My house is at 72 ft above sea level with a 12 ft levee at 80 ft above sea level (my house is 4 ft above street).

    My office building and warehouse are at 81 ft above sea level.

    So, I will have waves crashing just at the house and office. Neat, ocean front property !

  26. an extortion scheme

    Denier!!!! Burn the witch at the stake!!!!

    Of course it’s a scam.

    Even if it were not a scam, there is nothing that we could do to stop it. Well, except for these solutions:
    1. put millions of reflective umbrellas in geostationary orbit around the Earth blocking the sunlight from reaching the stratosphere (hello Elon Musk !)
    2. kill off 99% of the human population over the next year or so
    3. ???

  27. I’m not sure if he can tax the remittances without Congress’s permission. If not, then he has the boldness to do it. And my permission.

    Trump will need WalMart’s permission to tax the remittances.

    Ever been in a WalMart in an agricultural area late on Friday afternoon?

  28. and? F walmart, if that’s what it takes.

    Do they do remittances? All I see are the check cashing places and one named Giro or Barro or something like that…

    n

  29. Rain eventually came, and drove off all the little beggars. Lots of tiny little beggars, very few older kids this year. The older ones didn’t want the chance of getting wet, I guess.

    And WET they got. One kid (the last one) made it from the car to my door, to the neighbor’s, and back to the car in heavy driving downpour, with an umbrella in one hand. Been raining since then. Gauge shows just over 3 inches. Lights are still on, so the water hasn’t found its way into my makeshift electrical distribution system for the decor yet… I’m sure it eventually will.

    And I’m off to bed. Got packing to do, and getting the house and yard ready for a trip tomorrow. Hope the rain stops.

    n

  30. We’ve gotten about five inches of rain today, pure SWAG. The front pond has expanded from its normal 0.5 acre to about 3 acres. Plus gained two foot of depth. The back pond has gained about a foot of depth.

    The swimming pool at the house is level with the decking and it was at least 4 inches down before the rain started.

  31. Do they do remittances? All I see are the check cashing places and one named Giro or Barro or something like that…

    WalMart is huge in the remittances transfer game. Their fees are lower than Western Union, and, IIRC, the transfer does not involve a fee if the recipient accepts a WalMart gift card for the transfer.

    WalMart has always been the political obstacle to taxing remittances. Given their IT capacity, the company probably knows more about the dollar amounts flowing south than any government agency.

    The situation isn’t as obvious in Austin as it was in WA State. I’ve noticed that the Fiesta supermarkets on I35 north and south of downtown are big remittance stores here.

  32. Trick-or-Treaters were odd this year.

    No one knocks or rings the doorbell?!?

    I spent the evening sitting at our kitchen counter, within audible distance of the door, but most of the groups coming up to the door simply turned around if I wasn’t standing in our foyer, visible through the front windows.

    All lights were on, and we didn’t have any scary decorations.

    Weird.

  33. We didn’t get nearly the numbers we get when the weather is nice. They were a little tentative. When we were kids, we’d bang on doors, yell at the top of our lungs, etc. But then we knew we weren’t invaders there on sufferance. I got a lot of “thank you sir”s from dads and moms last night.

    n


  34. kill off 99% of the human population over the next year or so

    At last you have come to wisdom!

  35. Sea level rise – according to all the actual data I’ve seen, it’s running around 3mm/year, just as it has been for thousands of years. Minor fluctuations, of course, and not nearly enough to match warmist panic-making. Lessee: 3mm/year = 30mm (1.2″) per decade, or 300mm (12″) per century. In many areas, this is irrelevant next to changes in the land itself.

    Of course, the earth may really be warming. If it is, and Greenland or Antarctica start large-scale melting, then sea level may increase more rapidly. As CoyoteBlog writes, the first thing we should have done, is invest in a good measurement system. We haven’t. Of all those $billions invested in climate research, really nothing has gone into weather stations. In fact, there are fewer now than there were in the 1980s, especially in remote-but-important regions like the Arctic.


  36. this is irrelevant next to changes in the land itself

    My first week on this job, a True Believer brought up Dread Climate Change, expected universal agreement and virtue signalling*, almost got it, and was upset that I was countering every one of his “everyone knows” points. He finally claimed that land in Florida was subsiding, but only in the middle of the state, not the coasts.

    Turns out that’s a lie, of course. Miami, for instance, is subsiding very rapidly due to pumping of the underground water. Probably not coincidentally, the monitor station near Miami was one of the early “signs” that the oceans are rising rapidly and will Doom Us All.

    * This company works in the healthcare field — I mainly do data science stuff on big data sets, but so far as I can tell I am the only person in the company who isn’t a ‘sensitive’, ‘caring’ person. Never mind that in practice I seem to do more to actually help people down on their luck than anyone here — in my view, buying someone a cart of groceries counts for more than running in a “breast cancer survivors awareness” 6k run — I don’t say “that’s so sad” when someone dies of stupid and I don’t mouth all the proper shibboleths, so they’re better people than I, just ask them.

  37. Subbing today, robotics , digital electronics, and principles of engineering. From the assignments given to me by the teacher, by the tools the students are using, a large part of those terms miss the mark.

    I have subbed for this teacher before when she was teaching math. She is not qualified to teach the above subjects and is having to learn as she goes. She was told to take these assignments or lose her job so I really can’t blame her. She is trying, probably doing the best she can.

    It is the first year she has done this so I may be being unfair and should give her a couple of years. It is not her fault but of the school and district administration to attempt to assign classroom instruction to someone without the training.

    Had to toss one kid. He threw a piece of paper and I immediately jumped down his throat and tossed him out of the class. The other students became immediately quiet. Good for them and good for me. It is a new group of students to me and I immediately set an example and my boundaries that will help in the future. I take no crap, no one violating the rules in a first group. Classes with kids I have had for a couple of years know my boundaries. I can be ruthless and will do so when necessary.

  38. Had to toss one kid. He threw a piece of paper and I immediately jumped down his throat and tossed him out of the class. The other students became immediately quiet. Good for them and good for me. It is a new group of students to me and I immediately set an example and my boundaries that will help in the future. I take no crap, no one violating the rules in a first group. Classes with kids I have had for a couple of years know my boundaries. I can be ruthless and will do so when necessary.

    Two points for Ray ! One for tossing the unruly kid and one for mentioning OFD’s favorite word, RUTHLESS !

    Everything that I have read and seen about school classes is that one unruly kid can ruin the teaching experience for the entire class. Good for you sir !

    And the sad thing is that the kids do not know that they are being blessed today.


  39. It is not her fault but of the school and district administration to attempt to assign classroom instruction to someone without the training.

    A friend of mine was a high school “Physical Science” teacher. It’s a class that covers a little chemistry, a little physics, some geology, etc. A survey course of science minus Biology. Mostly taken in 9th grade. He got told one year a couple of weeks before classes started that he’d be taking over Physics and AP Physics. He was taken aback, but the teacher that had been handling them retired. He’d never taken college physics. He just tried to stay a few weeks ahead of the kids. In a year or two he left to get his RN degree.


  40. He just tried to stay a few weeks ahead of the kids. In a year or two he left to get his RN degree

    I sort of get the impression for this teacher. I have been her favorite sub for the last couple of years and the one she calls first. I am one that makes the kids do the assignments the teacher assigns.

    I have also offered to help her in the second part of the year with the Arduino and robotics stuff. She has little knowledge of programming and electronics. Although wiring up an Arduino is not really difficult she does not understanding current limiting, LED polarity, debouncing switches, etc. Programming to her is just cut and paste without really knowing why.

    There is another teacher in the school that will doing robotics this year. She knows her limits and asked me for help. I will be assembling the Arduino kits for her as her soldering skills suck and the students are certainly not capable. I will also help with the coding and will be teaching a couple of classes on rudimentary coding stuff. Just enough to understand the concept to allow them to cut and paste.

    This was dumped on the former math teacher suddenly, as in a month before school started. Had the district done the switch at the end of the year she would not have accepted and found another job. When these new classes were assigned it was too late to find another teaching job.

    Of course I could be wrong and by the end of the year she may have progressed a lot, developed comprehension, learned from the mistakes, and actually enjoys teaching the class. I hope I am wrong and she does stay and develop the skills.


  41. one unruly kid can ruin the teaching experience for the entire class

    Yep. And I put a stop to it quickly. The other kids stood and sat with a stunned look on their face and utter silence. There were a couple of the tossed students friends that took notice (I have seen them before) and did not cause any problems. All it takes is one RUTHLESS action and problem solved.

    Same with cell phones. Told the kids if I see a cell phone it is going to the office. Well one class last year apparently did not believe me. I saw the phone and took it to the office. Word quickly spread that such action is what I did with cell phones. Subsequent classes have not been a problem when I give them the warning.

    Once it is established what will be tolerated, define the rules, and most importantly act upon the violation of the rules, no second chances, the problems seem to lessen.

  42. speaking of science-y things, just shoehorned my new 3d printer into my office. One side effect of the ongoing “clean my office” effort (5 weeks so far) is that it was even possible to roll it in.

    It’s an old version of this one-

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/STRATASYS-Uprint-PLUS-3D-Printer-w-extra-bases-and-spools-UNDER-1000-HRS-ABS/292430323800?hash=item441634a058:g:FFUAAOSwJq1ZaA~X:rk:7:pf:0

    came with the base and 2 spools of material. It was a bit damp from last night’s rain, so I won’t be firing it up today. I’ll give it a day inside to dry. That’s when I find out if it even works. If it doesn’t, I’ll part it out.

    I paid <$100 so even parts will make me money... I really hope it runs though. Came from a school, and was surplussed due to being "obsolete". Usually stuff like this goes to auction when the single teacher who knows anything at all about it leaves the school. As Mr Ray's school is gonna find out, a generation of training "educators" instead of training experts to teach, leaves a dearth of people with practical skills or domain specific knowledge. n


  43. a generation of training “educators” instead of training experts to teach, leaves a dearth of people with practical skills or domain specific knowledge

    – A good teacher can teach anything to anyone.
    – A good salesman can sell anything to anyone.
    – A good manager can manage any kind of worker in any kind of business.

    Either that’s a trio of heinous lies or good teachers, good salesmen, and good managers are rarer than invisible, zebra-striped llamas.


  44. A good manager can manage any kind of worker in any kind of business.

    This has been disproven over and over. The whole conglomerate craze of the 60s was based on this idea. You have to have reasonable domain knowledge of the people you are supervising or you won’t know when smoke is being blown up your ass by them.

  45. It’s an old version of this one

    The CGI office in Belton, TX is across from a Stratasys facility. Small world.

    I once got an email for a MechE intern position with them. I’m not sure how that happened, but, some days, I regret not giving them a resume.

  46. Yep. If you don’t understand the process/market/product, there is no way to reasonably know what to expect or to set realistic goals.

    A good teacher/manager/salesman can LEARN the new business, but they have to put in the work.

    I spent a lot of time with professional trainers, and sat thru a lot of ‘train the trainer’ sessions. Even with general industry knowledge, they really had to work to know the material. Teachers might be able to fool some of their kids and stay ahead, if the material is well written and well presented, and the teacher has some starting point close to the material. This is rarely the case though.

    n

  47. …As Mr Ray’s school is gonna find out, a generation of training “educators” instead of training experts to teach…

    Gawd, it’s been more than a generation. My parents, thankfully, put me into a private school. Before that, in my brief stint at public schools in the late 60’s and early 70’s, I found that I knew math and science better than most of the teachers. I’d listen for the first couple of minutes in a lesson, understand what they were saying, and then goof off while they repeated themselves endlessly. Which irritated the teachers, but I figured that was fair, since they irritated me.

    Want one possible contributing factor for girls staying out of STEM? How about seeing the (nearly all female) teachers in elementary school visibly disliking math and science?

    Anyway, in the private school I went to from 8th grade, the teachers all had masters’ degrees in their subjects. No one cared if they had teaching degrees, and most did not. I still vividly recall an event from the first or second week. I had been put in the “slow” math class. Guess my performance had been poor until then…gee…

    Anyhow, I made some offhand comment about an error in a proof the math teacher was writing on the board. He marched me out of his classroom – man, I thought I was already in trouble – and…deposited me in the advanced math class. Wow, that’s insight.

    After seeing those teachers, dunno, maybe that’s why I always wanted to teach. While I’m no “rock star”, I dare say I’m a good. And, no, a good teacher cannot teach anything to anyone. In my programming classes, I’ve seen the same ratios in incoming students for decades: Around 10% are really good, 30-40% are ok, and 50% are in the wrong place. The lower 50% – no, I cannot teach them to program. The worst of them are so out of their depth that they don’t even understand that they don’t understand.

    Once every few years, I find a rough gem in that lower 50%. Someone who initially appears to be hopeless will suddenly light up – bing – you can almost see the light bulb flashing over their head. I like to think that’s me “paying it forward” for that long-ago math teacher…

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