Wed. Jan. 2, 2019 – chauffeur today

51F and damp. Nothing new there. Did get nice for part of yesterday.

Kids have a birthday party to attend this am, so I’m in a rush to get ready and out the door.

n

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42 Responses to Wed. Jan. 2, 2019 – chauffeur today

  1. Harold Combs says:

    It’s 38f and wet in the Bluff City.
    All hands back to work today. Big changes in our team starting with moving us to new office spaces and eventually doubling our man power. Supposedly. We will see. This company has never had any appetite for IT Security so I will beleive it when I see it.

  2. Greg Norton says:

    @Nick — to answer a question which got lost in the shuffle a few days back:

    I like to buy the uncompressed audio of any album I purchase so I buy CDs.

    Most people think I’m wasting time/money, but I know I’m not alone noticing that music loses something in compression. When I worked in Seattle, the Fry’s in Rento demoed their high end audio systems with the uncompressed PCM audio track from the “Sting Live in Berlin” concert DVD. The store didn’t even carry the DVD when I inquired about buying a copy.

    When the warranty expires on my new Toyota, I’m going to look at the replacement audio modules available. I like the convenience of the USB, but I still miss CDs in the car.

    I also like to make sure I order the CDs from the artist directly if possible. Beyond the money issue, the last CD I ordered from Amazon arrived with a permanent bend in the polycarbonate — an engineering wonder but lousy playback.

  3. JimL says:

    30º and cloudy in the City by the Bay. It looks like no meaningful precipitation for at least the next week.

    In fact, the long-range forecast puts doubt on the possibility of a ski race on the 3rd weekend of the month. We’ll see. It has been canceled twice since I’ve been involved, and just barely squeezed in 2018. It was pretty much slush at the end of the race, and I had a terrible time with the RFID tags in the water.

    I, too, like uncompressed music. I ripped all of my CDs to loss-less files when I did rip them, and they’re all in storage against possible need. To be honest, though, I usually cannot tell the difference, and I don’t care to spend the time or money on great equipment to get the maximum from it. But space is cheap, so I store the full thing against possible need.

  4. Harold Combs says:

    RE: Compressed vs UnCompressed / Digital VS Analog

    I’ve had a bad high freq. hearing loss since an early age. I attribute it to lots of gunfire and home-made explosives. In any case I can’t tell the diference between Compressed vs UnCompressed or Digital VS Analog. I have audiophile friends who claim that digital reduces the dynamic range and “feel” of an album and only use tube (valve) amps and vinyl records. The expense is wasted on me. I compress the heck out of my audio files.

  5. CowboySlim says:

    I use compressed mp3 files on the CDs in my Jeep Grand Cherokee. With all-weather tires and wind noise at 45 mph (actual max speed on freeways here), I accept the losses in mp3 acuity.

    While walking around, I no longer have a portable CD player. I use mp3’s copied onto my watch and bluetooth ear buds. Sometimes a minor issue with the watch on my left wrist and the receiver on the right ear bud.

  6. JimL says:

    See, I can still hear the difference on a good system. I just don’t care that much about it. Good systems cost money that I’d rather spend on other things, and time that I don’t have to spend. Music is just background for me most of the time. When it’s something I really want, I can pay attention, but it’s not something I want that often.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    And, lol, Bishop Mittens first act as a Senator is to slam tRump. Wonder if he’s planning another run in 2020. “Hey, Obola did it, why not me!” I bet Mittens will be the first to sign on for Medicare For All.

  8. JimB says:

    Audio. I have done some minor audio work, but have rubbed elbows with some heavyweights that I admire a LOT. I still have decent hearing. As for compression, I also favor CDs. I have ripped to various formats, and agree most sound different. I can’t explain why some really compressed formats sound so good while others do not, but have heard enough to believe it. You picks your poison, but with cheap storage, even on phones, high compression is not needed. It is possible to carry a reasonably large collection on a humble phone, and some phones have good audio. Listening in a noisy environment, such as a car, kills most esoteric differences.

    I still have a good (good, not exceptional) audio system, but it fell into disuse, so is currently stored. I make do with a small system that sounds OK to me. If I want really good audio for affordable prices, I use various headphones and canal phones. I know some who can’t stand them, but I do fine. Some sound “confined,” but others are exceptional. Specs, though important, don’t accurately predict how they sound to me. Like Nick, I shop sales, and even have one yard sale pair that is amazing for a couple of bucks. Take that, Golden Ears!

    I also do almost all editing with headphones, so I can hear tiny details. Helps me. Also a fan of psychoacoustics, but in moderation. Much has been done in the last twenty years, but much more could be. Some of it can fix older recordings dramatically, some not so much.

    Where is Chuck from Tiny Town when we need him? Chuck, do you even lurk??

  9. Nick Flandrey says:

    MP3 is fine for my hearing most of the time. I have put in high quality systems, but not anything “audiophile.” I don’t see the point for most people in most environments. I like to own the media, so I like CDs but I actually listen to WAY more music after I ripped them to MP3. They are much more accessible as stored files. At some point I’ll re-rip everything to lossless, which is why I kept the CDs, but it’s not a priority. Even stuff I’m ripping today will be MP3.

    Most of the compression artifacts are audible as noise on cymbal crashes, or in some high octave female voices. The cymbals are the most noticeable for me, but again, in a noisy environment, with ears so damaged that I don’t hear in stereo at some frequencies, the convenience far out weighs the loss of quality.

    (storage is cheap NOW. bandwidth is cheap NOW. Neither was true in the past. in many places bandwidth is still not cheap.)

    Almost all new music for me comes from a youtube recommendation, or from some blogger’s Sunday morning feature. I only listen to the radio in the car, and most times, I’ll put on an XM station and listen to oldies instead (like the 80’s channel, or New Wave on 33).

    Kids today experience music in a totally different way than we did. They have the entire history of recorded music at their fingertips, and they access it non-linearly… almost no one listens to an album start to finish anymore. They mix eras and genres too, with something from the 60’s right after something from the 90’s. (or with kids, more likely they listen to those things as remixes or samples.)

    n

  10. Greg Norton says:

    And, lol, Bishop Mittens first act as a Senator is to slam tRump. Wonder if he’s planning another run in 2020. “Hey, Obola did it, why not me!” I bet Mittens will be the first to sign on for Medicare For All.

    Mittens bought into the positive press about the documentary covering his failed Presidential candidacy. He belives the Progs will vote for him how.

    Poor Mittens.

    UPDATE: Bishop is a thing in the LDS hierarchy?

  11. Greg Norton says:

    Almost all new music for me comes from a youtube recommendation, or from some blogger’s Sunday morning feature. I only listen to the radio in the car, and most times, I’ll put on an XM station and listen to oldies instead (like the 80’s channel, or New Wave on 33).

    Radio Caroline for me. That explains why most of my music purchases lately come from UK acts, but Caroline plays a bit of everything.

    One morning, while I was at work at the university, the Caroline DJ put an old Cheech and Chong sketch on the air, a bit about one of the guys being on trial for possession (this was the 70s). The humor was so low key and surreal that, at one point, the young’n working in the room with me asked, “Did you switch to Portland NPR talk?”

    40 years on, life imitates art … and the Northwest is a living Cheech & Chong sketch.

  12. Ray Thompson says:

    Bishop is a thing in the LDS hierarchy?

    Oh yeah. Works for free from what I remember. However he (women no allowed) has access to everyone’s donation and income records (for good Mormons). If you don’t give your 10% you will be called on the chopping block. There is also no accountability or membership access to how the money collected is spent.

    There is a lot of crap about that church that is odd beyond just their beliefs. However, the support they give to their members is something that a lot of churches could do well to try and replicate.

    When I was real young and my mother got divorced I seriously don’t think she would have made it without the help of the church and their members. I remember one time when we had to move from Wrightwood to Victorville, a not insignificant move. On moving day a lot of people showed up with boxes, vehicles, a couple of big trucks, moving equipment, etc. Everyone started packing, loading and within a couple of hours the old house was empty. Then the drive to the new house and within a couple of hours everything was unloaded and unpacked. There were even some people that showed up with food for everyone.

    I don’t know, and never will know, but I suspect there was a lot of stuff given to my mother by the church. Food, clothing, probably utility assistance, car repairs, etc.

    All was well until a couple of years later when my mother decided kids crimped her lifestyle and she abandoned me to live with my very abusive aunt and uncle.

  13. Greg Norton says:

    There is a lot of crap about that church that is odd beyond just their beliefs. However, the support they give to their members is something that a lot of churches could do well to try and replicate.

    The houses Progs seem to desire the most in my neighborhood are those closest to the LDS temple. Austin is the second “hip” metro where I’ve seen the pattern, Portland/Vantucky being the first.

  14. lynn says:

    “Tesla stock price crashes 10% on vehicle price cut, missed delivery estimates”
    https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/02/tesla-stock-price-crashes-10-on-vehicle-price-cut-missed-production-numbers/?yptr=yahoo

    “Tesla managed to increase the amount of vehicles it delivered during the last quarter, increasing the amount by 8 percent. In a letter to investors, the company said it delivered 13,500 Model S sedans, 14,050 Model X SUVs and 63,150 Model 3s. It was a record quarter for Tesla, but the numbers still fell short of what Wall Street expected, according to research firm, FactSet.”

    No wonder Ford and GM are getting out of the sedan business. The dregs that are left for them must be horribly unprofitable.

    I still think that Apple will be sniffing around Tesla soon.

  15. lynn says:

    And, lol, Bishop Mittens first act as a Senator is to slam tRump. Wonder if he’s planning another run in 2020. “Hey, Obola did it, why not me!” I bet Mittens will be the first to sign on for Medicare For All.

    There is going to be a lot of pushing and shoving by the repuglicans to be at the head of the Medicare for All ™ line. Mittens just does not have the gumption to use his elbows to be first in line. I predict Lindsey Graham to be first in line, unless he becomes our new Attorney General.

  16. lynn says:

    “Ann Coulter: Trump ‘Will Fold’ on Border Wall”
    https://www.mediaite.com/trump/ann-coulter-trump-will-fold-on-border-wall/

    I wonder if Ann Coulter has a lot of cats ?

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

  17. Greg Norton says:

    I predict Lindsey Graham to be first in line, unless he becomes our new Attorney General.

    Murkowski. She’ll grind that axe against conservatives until the Republicans of Alaska primary her out of that seat.

  18. Greg Norton says:

    No wonder Ford and GM are getting out of the sedan business. The dregs that are left for them must be horribly unprofitable.

    Toyota and Honda seem to do okay with sedans.

    Before the election, the Ford grapevine had rumors of putting a new Crown Vic into production and the possibility of another four door based on the Mustang platform, similar to the Lincoln LS from a decade ago. All those rumors have gone cold since now there isn’t any possibility of getting the House to vote to take CAFE standards away from the EPA, and a Prog win for President in 2020 will put the 54 MPG goal back on the books.

  19. lynn says:

    Brazos River level at Richmond
    https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=HGX&gage=RMOT2

    Here we go again with flooding of the Brazos River. Hopefully just minor flooding. I wonder if the HOA would let me build a levee around my house ?

  20. Nick Flandrey says:

    Driving today the Buffalo bayou looked pretty high….

    n

    I’m sure they all are up, we got a bunch of rain this am.

  21. Nick Flandrey says:

    Ah the joys of diversity–

    “Migrant gang ‘leave 12 people aged 13-42 injured after carrying out random attacks and hurling racist abuse’ in German city, prompting Interior Minister to call for deportations

    Four teenagers from Iran, Syria and Afghanistan ‘carried out random attacks’
    Violence broke out at 6.30pm on Saturday at train station in Amberg, Germany
    Witnesses claim a man was pushed down a flight of stairs, others were kicked and punched and one person was subjected to racist abuse”

    n

  22. Nick Flandrey says:

    But I thought Mexico didn’t have crime or criminals???//1111!!!

    Mayor of a Mexican town is assassinated just 90 MINUTES after being sworn into office”

    Boy that Harry Reid is sure classy–

    “‘Amoral and No Conscience’ Harry Reid Hits President Trump From His Death Bed

    Did I miss the announcement that Harry Reid was ill? or is this the first time they’re mentioning it? Didn’t he just “retire”?

    n

    added- funny that the article doesn’t mention WHY someone might shoot the mayor, or WHO might have ordered the murder….

  23. Nick Flandrey says:

    Ok, one task done (mostly).

    I got the OOMA Telo connected and provisioned. It was super easy once I called in to agree to a $10 reactivation fee for the used box I purchased. That brings my cost for the hardware to $30 iirc.

    I still have to move the box to my equipment rack, and port my numbers. I think I’ll sign up for the one year premier service, as you get one free port that way. I may just drop the other number as I only have it to list on business docs that are public record, and only have a fax plugged into it. I can add a new second number for free with the Premier plan (although this Telo doesn’t have a second phone jack….)

    You guys how have OOMA are all happy with it, right?

    n

  24. Nick Flandrey says:

    I guess I missed it- it was reported by the NYTimes in May of last year.

    ““His doctors caught the problem early during a routine screening, and his surgeons are confident that the surgery was a success and that the prognosis for his recovery is good,” Mr. Reid’s family said in a statement.

    A statement from the family of @SenatorReid pic.twitter.com/7RT7vTW9BM
    — Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) May 14, 2018

    –snip–

    A person close to the family says that the surgeon was optimistic after the procedure.

    –snip–

    Mr. Reid was first elected to the Senate in 1986 and became the Democratic leader in 2005. He suffered serious injuries in an exercise accident in 2015, and he did not seek re-election the next year.”

    –snip–

    Unlike other former congressional leaders, he steadfastly refused to cash in on his connections to become a lobbyist ”

    Ummmm, yeah. Of course the surgeons were optimistic. Nothing like hoping for the best….

    and about that “exercise” accident…. that was very peculiar at the time, coming as it did in the middle of a bunch of people having “accidents”. And then he changed his life soon after. Very strange.

    and he didn’t need to become a lobbyist at 80yo because he’d already enriched himself and his family while a senator.

    While I won’t wish anyone specific ills, I will say, “Good riddance to bad rubbish” when he finally takes his corrupt soul to hell.

    n

  25. Greg Norton says:

    I guess I missed it- it was reported by the NYTimes in May of last year.

    I’ll bet that the illness goes back a *lot* further.

    Something has been wrong with Stretch Pelosi for a while.

  26. Nick Flandrey says:

    The lizard is wearing out the skin suit….

    n

  27. lynn says:

    Something has been wrong with Stretch Pelosi for a while.

    I suspect that she has been taking experimental Alzheimer’s drugs for quite a while.

  28. Greg Norton says:

    I suspect that she has been taking experimental Alzheimer’s drugs for quite a while.

    Isn’t the current deal with Ocasio-Cortez & co. that she lets go of the gavel in four years?

    Just can’t let it go. Another pol with problems measuring up to a parent’s accomplishments.

  29. Nick Flandrey says:

    A couple of random food longevity points-

    Pure Protein Bars from costco DO NOT age well. They are edible but taste nasty and look nasty after about a year.

    The pre-cooked rice in microwaveable single serve cups are good at least a year past expiry.

    Smokehouse Almonds from costco get a little soft and the flavor starts to change after a year or two.

    n

  30. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’ve been watching rat shooting videos for the last 2 nights. Apparently that’s a thing in the UK… most of them are air rifles but one guy has a Ruger 10/22. He needs a license for the rifle, but not for the suppressor…

    Night vision cameras thru the scope….

    LOTS of dead rats.
    n

  31. nightraker says:

    Another food data point: Betty Crocker Family Size Brownie Mix with a best by date of 05/2012 came out fine following box directions with one exception. Firming up center of 13×9 pan took double the 25 minute anticipated baking time.

  32. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve been watching rat shooting videos for the last 2 nights. Apparently that’s a thing in the UK

    Its possums in FL, but you have to live outside of a city or HOA/CDD, among like-minded neighbors.

    If you live near a chicken coop, you have a possum problem, even if the birds belong to a neighbor. A 22 or a high powered pellet gun are a necessity if you have outdoor pets.

  33. lynn says:

    I’ve been watching rat shooting videos for the last 2 nights. Apparently that’s a thing in the UK… most of them are air rifles but one guy has a Ruger 10/22. He needs a license for the rifle, but not for the suppressor…

    Night vision cameras thru the scope….

    LOTS of dead rats.

    I would think that a pellet gun would be best. No worries of shooting through a house wall. One of my buddies uses a pump-up single shot pellet gun to shoot squirrels in his backyard (he hates them). He has a scope on it and is sighted in on his back fence.

  34. pcb_duffer says:

    Lynn, what was your total rainfall for the year? The greenskeeper at my golf club says that we got 100″ in 2018, a record by a long shot. The “official” tally is > 80″, but the exact number isn’t known because the instruments were broken during the hurricane. The AFB’s instruments all failed, too. One grain of NaCl, however, is that the records are kept at the airport, and the airport isn’t where it used to be – we opened a new one ~ 9 years ago.

  35. lynn says:

    Lynn, what was your total rainfall for the year? The greenskeeper at my golf club says that we got 100″ in 2018, a record by a long shot. The “official” tally is > 80″, but the exact number isn’t known because the instruments were broken during the hurricane. The AFB’s instruments all failed, too. One grain of NaCl, however, is that the records are kept at the airport, and the airport isn’t where it used to be – we opened a new one ~ 9 years ago.

    Weather Underground says 49.2 inches for 2018. I have no idea how good that number is.
    https://www.wunderground.com/history/monthly/us/tx/houston-hull/KSGR/date/2018-1

    Harvey was 2017. I imagine that there was more then since the total for the month of August 2017 was 29.6 inches.

  36. Nick Flandrey says:

    My gauge is showing 1.6 inches today. Seems like it should be more than that.

    The official gauge on the creek south of my house says 1.5 so we’re in pretty good agreement.

    n

  37. Greg Norton says:

    The upside of Congress being busy with impeachment is that they won’t have time for this nonsense.

    https://news.grabien.com/story-ocasio-cortezs-green-new-deal-radical-mandate-government-con

  38. Nick Flandrey says:

    When I look at the rain gauge data for the last year, my creek says 27, but several others in the area say 59, and the highest I see, on the east side of Houston say ~73 inches.

    Don’t know where the official gauge is, but houston has a variety of micro climates and rainfall varies widely.

    n

    https://www.harriscountyfws.org/

  39. nightraker says:

    The upside of Congress being busy with impeachment is that they won’t have time for this nonsense.

    To my way of thinking, the advantage of a partisanly divided government is that little gets done. The disadvantage is that if the already enacted motion is over a cliff, well…

    I wonder how many will notice that a government “shutdown” shows how little those furloughed actually do, or at least how little we miss whatever it is that those folks do.

  40. brad says:

    During a previous shutdown, I remember reading a piece on CoyoteBlog – the guy who has a private company that runs public parks. He was perfectly capable and willing to continue running those parks during a shutdown. Not only were no federal dollars being expended, running the parks would actually generate money. He was told to shut down anyway. More, the government actually spent money to have rangers erect barriers and ensure that no one could use the parks.

    If the government has to try, in order to make people notice the shutdown, then – clue bat – the missing functions really are unnecessary.

    OTOH, I hear that SNAP will be running out of money towards the end of January. That will be…exciting.

  41. Ray Thompson says:

    I wonder how many will notice that a government “shutdown” shows how little those furloughed actually do

    The government shuts down services that will get the most notice from the people. National parks, national monuments, etc. The really non-essential stuff, the stuff people will never notice, continues to get paid. Funding for really stupid studies get their money as shutting them down will not get noticed and in fact would be a good idea.

    If some of the social programs for the society leaches would get shut down there would really be an uproar. Some congressional critters would really be getting an earful. Enough so that it would jeopardize their jobs. That would be a good thing.

  42. Greg Norton says:

    OTOH, I hear that SNAP will be running out of money towards the end of January. That will be…exciting.

    No more Papa Murphy’s pizza.

    Not a big deal where I currently live, but back in Vantucky (naturally, where the HQ sits), the “restaurants” had lines out the door every night.

    Seriously, though, the moment the cards stop working, there will be trouble.

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