Thur. Dec. 27, 2018 – un- Boxing day?

55F and drizzle. Or grey yuck.

Feeling much better after a night’s sleep. Slept in until 8am. Fed the kids cereal. Back hurts, but that is normal for a couple extra hours in bed, and a dreary cold and damp morning.

Only a couple more days left in this year. NOW it feels like it’s taking forever. Funny how subjective time is.

Now it’s time for me to start my day. (Nice segue huh?)

What’s on your minds at the close of the year?

n

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44 Responses to Thur. Dec. 27, 2018 – un- Boxing day?

  1. hcombs says:

    Very high winds this morning blew over most of our outside decorations. Time to retire them to the attic till next year. I got them as far as the front of the garage then ran out of steam. They will probably sit there another week till I get the energy to finish the job. Taking care of the wife is taking all my time at the moment. With the angina past and the stone gone, the is out of pain but out of energy too. I am taking care of everything and letting her rest. Good thing I don’t go back to work till Monday.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    A couple of mine were damaged by the wind. I have to wait until they’re dry before putting them away though. Sun came out and sky is blue at the moment, but we’re forecast to be on the edge of bad weather for a couple of days. I like leaving them up until at least a week after New Year’s Day. More if I get complaints from the HOA 🙂

    n

  3. MrAtoz says:

    Off to San Antonio in two weeks for one of our training sessions. Last year SA got a freeze and we had to delay a day. Hoping to get 50+ attendees bringing the sweet, sweet goobermint cash. So, final planning starts today.

  4. CowboySlim says:

    In the songs it’s: “…to San Antone…”

  5. ITGuy1998 says:

    Sigh…got reminded that we are almost out of dog food, so I’ll be stopping at Costco on the way home tonight. I usually try to resupply at 1 full bag left, but I guess I’ve been slacking. So I’ll buy 3 bags this trip to get me back to my once a month-ish schedule.

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    Did I mention that our district quietly, with no public discussion or advice, adopted SEL as a guiding policy?

    Apparently our teachers needed MORE stuff to do rather than teach…..

    I guess it might have a better outcome than the time they spend making bulletin board decorations…..

    n

    (if even ONE child learns the manners, selfcontrol, or politeness that they should have learned from their parent[s] it will be worth it! Right???)

  7. Greg Norton says:

    Off to San Antonio in two weeks for one of our training sessions. Last year SA got a freeze and we had to delay a day. Hoping to get 50+ attendees bringing the sweet, sweet goobermint cash. So, final planning starts today.

    No freezes, but 40s this weekend in San Antonio, some recovery Monday/Tuesday, and then back down again. Typical January.

    New Years weekend has been miserable every year we’ve been in Central Texas. Last year, we had snow in Austin and black ice in Belton.

    Fortunately you missed the ugly transition weather last night.

  8. JimL says:

    Bah! Humbug! If they don’t know how to treat each other like human beings, send them home until they can!

    45º and cloudy in the land by the lake. Nice day for a run, though it started out blustery. I went without gloves and worried for a little while. Then I realized that my hands were just fine – blood was flowing through them fine.

    Thinking of the new year – much of my stored water in cases of bottles. But bottles are not the “best” storage (environmentally). What other options are there? A case of water is terribly easy to rotate out. Easy to give a kid a bottle when he’s thirsty. Drums, on the other hand, are hard to move and hard to justify. And they’ll rust if made of steel. I don’t see a good alternative.

  9. JimL says:

    Next, the teachers will be expected to shake it for the boys, and help all of them wipe themselves.

  10. Greg Norton says:

    In the songs it’s: “…to San Antone…”

    Old Monkees. “What Am I Doing Hanging Around”

    We just saw Nez the weekend after Labor Day.

  11. nightraker says:

    Drums, on the other hand, are hard to move and hard to justify

    My California uncle had a 55 gallon blue plastic barrel full of water in his Bay area shed. Interestingly, the Kikomann sticker was still on it. That was a LOT of soy sauce. He also grabbed a couple liter bottles from his bank lobby per day where he liked to get morning coffee and a free paper that filled 1/2 the garage floor. There are modular plastic brick$ that stack nicely and hold a coupla gallons. I have a few Walmart 7 liter camper’s blue plastic “gas cans” that are better than nothing. And the unlikely wrench for fire hydrants.

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    @jimL, aquabrick, aquatainer, 30gal drums, camping equipment…..

    My personal experience is with aquatainers. They are a good size, and last very well if not exposed to sunlight. If in the sun, they will get brittle. The spouts are a consumable item and will embrittle and break. I replaced several with yard sale brass hose spigots.

    I’ve got 40L stainless tanks I got locally, but most people won’t have that luck.

    Lately I’ve realized that food safe 5 gal buckets ($4 at lowes) and lids (possibly with a pour spout) will work almost as well as aquatainers. the only downside is slightly less capacity, and that they are not square. You can’t really store the aquatainers on their sides anyway though.

    I have bulk storage as part of my rainwater collection- 2 55 gal drums, and a 120 gallon tank. That water will need to be treated and filtered, but it is good for sanitation too.

    Cased bottles have their place. They are great single serving sizes. They are easy to store. They are relatively easy to move. They look innocuous.

    n

  13. Nick Flandrey says:

    There won’t be any “boys” left. Only people with vaginas that identify as boy, people with bodies altered by soy and estrogen in their food with underdeveloped [traditionally male] genitalia, and people who don’t need a vagina to be girls….

  14. Nick Flandrey says:

    BTW, the US post office was playing games with shipping times this Christmas. They were quoting 7 to 10 days for First Class packages, and 5 days for Priority Mail.

    I just received a package, mailed 7 days ago, from an ebay seller who is 3.2 miles from my home. With sorting, it never should have even left the local POffice. 7 days.

    The only way that happens is if they intentionally delay those packages.

    bastards.

    n

  15. Greg Norton says:

    BTW, the US post office was playing games with shipping times this Christmas. They were quoting 7 to 10 days for First Class packages, and 5 days for Priority Mail.

    Maybe it was just you. 🙂

    Seriously, though, I sent two EBay sales out the 21st and 22nd, to Texas and IL, respectively, and both were at their destinations on Christmas Eve Not bad considering the volumes and a Sunday being in the mix.

    One item, ordered from Dillards on Christmas Eve as a belated gift, showed up Priority from Arkansas yesterday.

    Just about the only thing I’ve had arrive late through USPS is a Disney item purchased on the 20th. It may show up from their warehouse in TN today. Maybe.

    SmartPost is the real cr*p shoot. I received something shipped that way from Houston routed through Dallas and back down to Austin. About a week including two days outside Waco.

  16. dkreck says:

    HA! Local? No such thang.
    We no longer have local processing. If you mail something it goes 80 miles down I5 to Santa Clarita (north LA county), then it comes back. If you miss the outgoing truck add another day. Even if your carrier picks up your mail it may not get back to the po before the outbound truck leaves. They never look at it or send it out in different directions.

  17. lynn says:

    Wizard of Id: Christmas Eve airspace violation
    https://www.gocomics.com/wizardofid/2018/12/27

    How in the world did they get him ? Looks like a job for the EWA (Elves With Attitude).

  18. Ray Thompson says:

    With sorting, it never should have even left the local POffice

    Local offices do not sort mail, they only collect. That mail is then sent to a sorting facility somewhere. The only sorting the local post office does is incoming mail that is sorted by route, then the carrier for the route sorts for their route.

    Case in point is my water bill from the city. Local post office. Nope. The water bill has to be taken to Oak Ridge, who then sent the mail to Knoxville. Knoxville sorts and returns the mail to my town. Even when I pay my dentist who is local the mail goes from my mailbox all the way to Knoxville then back to my city post office.

    On my last trip to Europe I ordered train tickets from Deutsche Bahn on a Thursday evening my time (close to midnight in Germany). I had the tickets in my mailbox on Monday and the envelope did have a German postmark. I cannot mail my water bill and have it arrive in less than 4 days and we are both in the same city.

    And on a darker note I am going to deal with the VA on my hearing loss. I now have a statement from an ENT doctor that indicates my hearing loss is due to the time in the service. I also have a letter from my primary care physician stating the same. I fail to see how the VA can refuse with two statements from independent physicians, one an expert in the field, my claim for hearing loss. Neither are associated with the VA as was done with my last evaluation. Both doctors stated to me the damage is cumulative and can take years to manifest.

    The entire process is to get my disability upped by 10%, the maximum for hearing loss, and thus get the VA to pay for hearing aids. Probably won’t be the best available but they should be serviceable.

    I am firmly convinced that my hearing problems are due to time in those computer rooms. Hundreds of motors, loud fans, multiple impact printers (operated with the covers open), the card punches, and the card readers. All very loud to the point of having to yell at others to be heard. No option of hearing protection and no attempt at noise abatement other than suspended ceiling tiles. I figure the USAF is at least 50% responsible for my hearing loss.

  19. MrAtoz says:

    No option of hearing protection and no attempt at noise abatement other than suspended ceiling tiles. I figure the USAF is at least 50% responsible for my hearing loss.

    If hearing protection was not offered, you should get the full disability for loss. Being in Aviation, hearing protection was everywhere and an Article 15 offense if not used.

  20. lynn says:

    The entire process is to get my disability upped by 10%, the maximum for hearing loss, and thus get the VA to pay for hearing aids. Probably won’t be the best available but they should be serviceable.

    Has the VA upgraded from analog hearing aids to digital hearing aids yet ?

  21. Ray Thompson says:

    If hearing protection was not offered, you should get the full disability for loss.

    Maximum amount paid by the VA for hearing loss is a 10% rating. I am already at 20% and this hopefully will being me to 30%, 10% for hearing, 20% for back injury.

    Has the VA upgraded from analog hearing aids to digital hearing aids yet ?

    That I do not know. I have to get approved first. If I find the VA has not upgraded to the newer digital technology then I will purchase on my own. Apparently the new digital stuff is, what is the term, HPFM, or something like that.

    This Link seems to indicate the VA provides the latest technology.

    My ultimate goal is to get to a 50% disability rating from the VA. Get to the 50% and the VA will cover all my prescription medication at 100%, get me to about $960.00 a month (tax free). It will also provide spousal benefits if my spouse is still alive when I croak. Just going from 20% to 30% will be a jump of about $200.00 a month.

    I am firmly in the belief that my hearing problems were caused by the noise in the computer room. I have taken great care to protect my hearing by using foam ear plugs at sporting events and full ear cups when using the lawn mower. Any time I am facing a noisy environment I use hearing protection and have done so since I left the USAF.

  22. lynn says:

    Sigh, here we go again. We got at least three inches of rain last night, maybe five or six inches of rain. The number of power outages from 4pm on was in the double digits. Including three hours of power outage from 3am to 6am. That hosed all five of my UPSs at the house and the fifteen at the office (the same distribution line apparently).

    The Brazos came up three ft last night and is coming up 20+ feet over the next several days. But not the minor flood stage though.
    https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=HGX&gage=RMOT2

    You know, my experience is that when one gets a lot of minor events then one will get the real thing some day. Time to move away from the Brazos River.

  23. CowboySlim says:

    There won’t be any “boys” left. Only people with vaginas that identify as boy, people with bodies altered by soy and estrogen in their food with underdeveloped [traditionally male] genitalia, and people who don’t need a vagina to be girls….

    I’m waiting for Medicare to approve my transgendering surgery.

    CowgirlSlim

  24. lynn says:

    “The U.S.’s interest payments are about to skyrocket. Does it matter?”
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-national-debt-interest-costs-are-about-to-skyrocket-does-it-matter/

    No, the fact that the USA debt interest payments have more than doubled since 2015 does not matter.

    Until it does matter.

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

  25. Ray Thompson says:

    I’m waiting for Medicare to approve my transgendering surgery.

    CowgirlSlim

    You are limiting yourself. You need to more gender fluid. Something like CowGirlBoyRockPlantSlim. Expand your horizons.

  26. Greg Norton says:

    Until it does matter.

    At this point, the Fed has to keep buying the unsold T-bills. Even 6% on the 30 year, roughly what it was when I bought my first house, would crush the economy.

    It reminds me of the old Carlin routine, “What A Spot!”

  27. lynn says:

    At this point, the Fed has to keep buying the unsold T-bills. Even 6% on the 30 year, roughly what it was when I bought my first house, would crush the economy.

    The current Fed chairman says that they are selling their tbills also. So that implies that there is a market for tbills.
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-who-owns-a-record-2121-trillion-of-us-debt-2018-08-21

    And yes, the rising interest rates are starting to implode the economy. That is why I got serious and refinanced my commercial property with a 15 year fixed rate commercial loan at 5.48%. Made my first payment on Dec 15. They pulled the interest out of my savings account and the prinicpal as two separate withdrawals. Weird, but I do not care as they will total the same until my last payment in 2033.

  28. Nick Flandrey says:

    The hearing aids my dad got from the VA were almost useless for him. The ruling did get him a big tax break in Illinois though, and that is a consideration. Like Jerry Pournelle, dad ended up with Costco digital hearing aids. They were very effective, and he would start conversations for the first time in years. Obviously he paid for them himself. (the tax break might have covered the cost in one year, def in two.)

    The most damaging tolerable sounds are loud percussives and high speed motors (like circular saws.) I’ve noticed a drop off since I had my kids. The baby crying in my ear, and the kids squealing have def damaged me more. The scary part is the doc said any additional injury could cause a big and immediate loss. I’m super careful around tools, and the mower, but especially the leaf blower to always wear protection.

    Rock concerts, a stint in a steel mill, and years as a carpenter all took their toll.

    n

  29. Ray Thompson says:

    The hearing aids my dad got from the VA were almost useless for him.

    How long ago? Hopefully things have changed since then. I do have this underlying fear that I will be paying for my own hearing aids.

  30. Ray Thompson says:

    The most damaging tolerable sounds are loud percussives and high speed motors (like circular saws.)

    That describes a lot of the noise I experienced in the computer rooms. Large mainframes, lots of blower motor, air compressors (for the tape drives), high speed spinning drums in the impact printers, the motors driving the disk platters the size of a washing machine. Yep, a lot of noise.

    Convincing the VA has been the difficult part. I have been denied once. My fault as I really was not prepared to properly fight the VA. Now I have learned my lesson. My job is to provide reasonable doubt from the VA’s stance that the damage is not service related. Letters and statements from two independent doctors should do the job. Or the VA requires a sworn statement from the Pope in which case I am doomed.

  31. SteveF says:

    All sizes are beautiful, you bigots! Zir can be CowgirlKindaChunky if zir wants!

  32. dkreck says:

    On Jan 1 California will enacted all kinds of crazy laws
    https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-pol-ca-new-california-2019-laws/#nt=oft-Single%20Chain~Flex%20Feature~hp-centerpiece-chain~new-laws-705a~~1~yes-art~curated~curatedpage

    but the most foolish will be requiring the DMV to now offer three choices on gender. No real proof is needed, just your greatest wish.
    Male, Female or Non-binary. You can be any you choose, no proof or evidence needed. Maybe they should just remove gender all together. Why not allow people to specify any age they want?
    This on an official identification. Will it pass the ‘real id’ rules for flying? The DMV is expecting 55,000 people to make the change. Really? There are 40 million others here to consider a need to provide an ID that is meaningful.

  33. Nick Flandrey says:

    The one about counties being required to have the same CHL laws would be good anywhere but CA. In CA they’ll use it to limit them more.

    n

  34. pcb_duffer says:

    USPS: All mail sent from here is trucked ~ 100 miles, to the big city at one end of the state. There it’s sorted and shipped to the (hopefully) appropriate office; the upshot is that crosstown mail is 4 days. A few years ago I heard the counter clerk say that they can’t overnight packages to every address in the state. Finally, I mailed a package to my adorable little grand-niece, less than 250 miles away as the crow flies, on the evening of 12/17 (after the nightly truck had left). Every time I tried to track the package it told me that no information was available. When I talked to her on Christmas Day, she told me that she had received it, but it’s still frustrating.

    Hearing: My dad had one ear that was essentially deaf, a consequence of spending 18 months using a recoilless rifle against Chinese & North Korean tanks. He never bothered trying to get a hearing aid from Uncle Sam. I doubt it would have helped. He’s been dead nearly 28 years, and I still miss him. I hope he’s smiling at the notion of his daughter driving a Korean car, and having a grand-daughter who was born in China.

  35. Greg Norton says:

    The current Fed chairman says that they are selling their tbills also. So that implies that there is a market for tbills.

    T-bills are extremely liquid. I have no doubt they sell, but at what price.

    In a SHTF scenario, paying the interest on the bonds comes first, and the Treasury will set up physical redemption centers paying out cash if necessary. Interest even comes before paying military salaries.

    The Fed holds a lot of paper at effectively negative interest rates. Someone buying those lots will have to value the liquidity and safety enough to pay for the privilege.

  36. lynn says:

    The current Fed chairman says that they are selling their tbills also. So that implies that there is a market for tbills.

    T-bills are extremely liquid. I have no doubt they sell, but at what price.

    If you need to park some money (a billion or two) in a secure instrument, what else are you going to use ? British pound notes, no freaking way. Swiss notes – not available in quantity. German notes in euros, too unstable.

  37. Nick Flandrey says:

    Anyone else remember this shooting? I said at the time, Drug Related ™.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6530653/3-men-arrested-2017-mass-shooting-gender-reveal-party.html

    Why I read DailyMail, they always follow up on their stories.

    n

  38. mediumwave says:

    Anyone else remember this shooting? I said at the time, Drug Related ™.

    I remember.

    Nowadays “Drug Related” is the default option, or some variant of “stupid people doing things they should know are going to get them into trouble sooner or later.”|

  39. brad says:

    Re package delays: Never underestimate the chaos of the holidays. I have a DHL package, sent a week ago, that still hasn’t arrived. It was supposedly loaded on the final delivery truck yesterday morning. Since then? I attribute it to holiday craziness, which needs lots of temp personnel, who probably barely get trained before being thrown into the fray.

    – – – – –

    The Fed buying t-bills? This is basically just running the printing presses. Meaning: hold-on-to-your-hats inflation. I’m actually surprised the dollar has been holding its value so well since 2012. I’ll bet that there is lots of behind-the-scenes politics, trying to keep the value up.

  40. JimL says:

    Randall nails it in one:

    https://xkcd.com/2091/

  41. Greg Norton says:

    The Fed buying t-bills? This is basically just running the printing presses. Meaning: hold-on-to-your-hats inflation. I’m actually surprised the dollar has been holding its value so well since 2012. I’ll bet that there is lots of behind-the-scenes politics, trying to keep the value up.

    Go look at the charts for “M2” since 2009. Subtract year-to-year, and you’ll see a number closer to the real budget deficit minus whatever bonds the Treasury was able to sell at the auctions. The money supply only expands through Fed action.

  42. lynn says:

    The Fed buying t-bills? This is basically just running the printing presses. Meaning: hold-on-to-your-hats inflation. I’m actually surprised the dollar has been holding its value so well since 2012. I’ll bet that there is lots of behind-the-scenes politics, trying to keep the value up.

    Go look at the charts for “M2” since 2009. Subtract year-to-year, and you’ll see a number closer to the real budget deficit minus whatever bonds the Treasury was able to sell at the auctions. The money supply only expands through Fed action.

    Here is the calculated money supply growth:
    http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/money-supply-charts

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