Tues. Jan. 29, 2019 – sometimes I’m an idiot

39F and wet this am. Got some heavy rain before I fell asleep, and had the power go out briefly.

And my office went dark. Main PC and NVR. Which means I’m an idiot. Because I have a UPS sitting under the desk, but I guess I never plugged the computers into it. Like I said, idiot.

WIFE’S computer stayed up. Network rack in attic stayed up. I went down. Which also meant that at least some updates got installed on the NVR when windows came back and did its thing. Gah.

“5000 troops to Columbia” — getting sportier. Or the manipulators are getting crafty. I guess we’ll know when they start calling up units.

World is going to hell in a handbasket, but I’ve still got to make the breakfast, so I’m off….

n

This entry was posted in Random Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Tues. Jan. 29, 2019 – sometimes I’m an idiot

  1. brad says:

    Cables… Maybe y’all have some thoughts here. We’re thinking about building a house later this year.

    The one thing certain in any house is that the plugs are in the wrong spot. If they’re in the right spot, they’ll be wrong after you rearrange the furniture. This is more exciting when one considers LAN cables, HDMI cables, etc..

    I would like to have the builders install a cable channel (raceway? wireway?) around the entire circumference of the living room and the office. Put all the cabling there, with the idea that moving plugs and laying new cables becomes easy.

    Given that we could build it into the house, it ought to be possible to find a product that can be built into the wall, and that looks nice. Though I’m having trouble finding such a product – everything big enough to install plugs on looks very industrial.

    Thoughts? Pros? Cons? Suggestions?

    Meanwhile, I gotta go shovel some snow. Glad we have some here in the flatlands of Switzerland – much better than the more usual rain. Meanwhile, I hear that the “massive snowfall” in the Alps is proof of AGW. In fact, it’s nothing at all unusual. I suppose if the reporters were born yesterday, maybe they’ve never seen actual snow…

  2. Greg Norton says:

    “5000 troops to Columbia” — getting sportier. Or the manipulators are getting crafty. I guess we’ll know when they start calling up units.

    Bolton is either an idiot (unlikely) or he wanted that notepad seen in Venezuela (more probable).

    Venezuela has been counting on a US invasion to bail them out for 20 years. Maduro wants to go out like Noriega not Khadaffy.

    Noriega even got to die in Panama.

  3. Greg Norton says:

    Given that we could build it into the house, it ought to be possible to find a product that can be built into the wall, and that looks nice. Though I’m having trouble finding such a product – everything big enough to install plugs on looks very industrial.

    I’m not sure about European construction, but in the US, I know friends have gone in during construction, with the interior studs still exposed, to run multiple Cat6 bundle drops to outlet boxes hidden behind sheetrock from a central wiring closet. They just cut holes into the wall and install faceplates later as the need arises.

    No need for inspection/electrician on that work, but, again, EU may be different. You may also want to toss in coax which readily adapts to carrying ethernet via MOCA adapters.

  4. brad says:

    The house we’re planning will mostly have wood-frame walls, but pre-built and dropped into place. So any electrical work is done at the factory. They’ll do whatever we want, but we have to be able to specify it, so that it can be installed when the wall units are built. The exception is the bottom story, which is half buried in a slope, and will be poured concrete.

    We had a tour of the factory. It’s actually a small place – maybe 20 workers – but amazing machinery. Everything can be custom-made, it’s all CAD/CAM driven. “Pre-fab” houses have come a long, long way.

    Anyhow, that’s part of the reason I’m thinking of having them put cable channels right into the walls, with movable plugs as part of the channel cover. I’m sure I’ve seen something like that, but I can’t remember where, and I haven’t found anything online yet…

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    There are raceway systems, including one that replaces your whole baseboard, iirc. I’m pretty sure that you would have to provide the code required minimum in a way that couldn’t be changed, if you were here. That means a receptacle every 6 feet, and on any wall bigger than 2 feet wide. Modern code calls for a lot of receptacles.

    I think you should just put power in at more than code minimum, with special attention to areas you think it might be needed later. (cabinet next to fireplace, above mantel of fireplace, wiring closet, under sink in bathroom (for hair tools). On bedroom walls, spaced so there is one on each side of the bed, per wall.

    If you want whole house audio and 5.1 in the main TV area, those should be prewired for speakers. A WAP in the attic can be powered by PoE… in fact a lot of stuff is PoE now.

    Think about cameras outside and prewire. Power in eves for Christmas lights?

    as for cable in place, I say pull cat to every room. Bedside, and OPPOSITE the bed. You can pull coax too, but I’m using less of that and just converting everything to cat… so everywhere you might want a tv or media center, or monitor for security cams, put at least a hardwired Enet port, cat for video, cat for sound, cat for future, and one quad shielded coax for satellite tv or cable.

    If the cable is in the wall, it’s fairly easy to move it left or right a couple of feet, or up and down. It’s hard to get to the room if there are weird ceilings, roof lines, and no basement or crawlspace.

    If you are dedicating an equipment closet, have the walls framed with 2×6 rather than 2×4 so you have more cavity to work with. Put in an exhaust fan too. If you have a floorplan without continuous attic (like a big cathedral ceiling in the middle of the house, DEFINITELY put in a wire chase that connects the two sides of the house.

    Make sure that any cable in the closet comes out of the wall! AT LEAST 6 feet, but 12 is better. F-ing drywallers will cut everything short and then you have to splice to get into any kind of termination. Better to have enough to get all the way into a rack.

    If contractors pull the cable or if you do, EVERY cable needs a unique identifier on each end. Ideally you map them when installing.

    n

    (I have a client who asked me to figure out why they have dead wall switches for lighting. Turns out, there is nothing behind the switch. The contractor prewired for speakers in the ceiling, but instead of putting a blank plate, put in switches. I was able to trace the signal wires back to the cabinet beside the fireplace, and up into the ceiling.) I have another client who pulled coax everywhere, and we don’t use any of it. almost a complete waste as we’re using cat to distribute video now.

  6. ITGuy1998 says:

    Zero snow and zero ice this morning. I slept in a little to make sure we didn’t get anything late. At least I won’t have to use any PTO, and my plan for getting more overtime while I have the time can continue.

  7. Greg Norton says:

    We had a tour of the factory. It’s actually a small place – maybe 20 workers – but amazing machinery. Everything can be custom-made, it’s all CAD/CAM driven. “Pre-fab” houses have come a long, long way.

    Prefab still isn’t a mainstream residential construction method in the this country.

    In the growth areas of the US, illegal alien labor is readily available in the parking lots of the home improvement stores in the mornings, even semi-skilled labor like tile work. Everything still gets done on site.

  8. Greg Norton says:

    I have another client who pulled coax everywhere, and we don’t use any of it. almost a complete waste as we’re using cat to distribute video now.

    I get decent performance out of a MOCA network built on top of unused coax segments at my house, 70-80 Mbps and my Adaptec adapters are 1.1 standard.

    You can run MOCA in parallel with the cable company coax services, but the techs told me not to do it with a splitter in the box on the side of the house since the cable company could decide to charge me for the extra drops. Fortunately, we have another point in the house where the coax converges where the first owners installed satellite TV connections.

  9. Nick Flandrey says:

    MOCA is great if you already have coax in the wall, and no cat… I’ve got a box full of the adapters from Directv. I grab them at yard sales and thrift stores for $1…

    No reason not to pull coax except cost. If you are putting the decoder box at the tv you need coax there. If you are bringing everything to one point and then switching and distributing from that closet, you don’t need the coax.

    I see cable and directv installs all the time where the tv installer just runs a direct line, since they don’t know anything about the pre-installed cabling, and don’t want to mess with it. They just nail it to the outside of the house and then drill into the wall to get to the room they need. Happens in commercial settings too.

    n

  10. Nick Flandrey says:

    The first photo here shows once again that the Vegas murders don’t make any sense. NO ONE, especially someone who “was into guns” would just scatter rifles around the room like that. They aren’t ‘made ready’ to use in his attack. they aren’t staged for a quick grab and go. It looks exactly like someone ‘scattered’ them around to make a big show of how many there were.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6643237/Anonymous-donor-gives-62-500-make-sure-Las-Vegas-shooters-Stephen-Paddocks-guns-destroyed.html

    n

    And the attorney is right, they are still evidence. If there is a mystery the LAST thing people should want is for physical evidence to be destroyed.

  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    @lynn, here it is, and with allies like her, you just know you’re gonna get it good….

    ‘Let’s eliminate all of that!’ Kamala Harris says America should ABOLISH private health insurance and ‘move on’ to government-run ‘Medicare for all’

    Sen. Harris jumped into the Democratic presidential primary race this weekend
    Openly advocated for ‘Medicare for all’ system in first Iowa town hall event
    Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez promote the idea, which is a single-payer scheme where government replaces private insurers
    ‘Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on,’ said Harris of the insurance companies

  12. Greg Norton says:

    And the attorney is right, they are still evidence. If there is a mystery the LAST thing people should want is for physical evidence to be destroyed.

    A mysterious “software exec”.

    The next downturn can’t come soon enough IMHO. The stupidity of the current cycle has vastly exceeded “Web 1.0”. The lotus eaters on the West Coast have delusions of god-hood.

  13. nick flandrey says:

    The International Public Safety Assn has this to say about bleeding control kits

    “Bleeding control kits need to be accessible in public places as determined by a local needs assessment. The equipment used in the bleeding control kits must be clinically effective as documented by valid scientific data. Bleeding control kits should be placed using the following guidelines:⠀

    • Next to all AEDs⠀
    • Recognizable visually or via a web application⠀
    • Secure and accessible to the public⠀
    • Able to be used within three minutes⠀

    Given that bleeding control kits are not always available, all law enforcement officers and concerned citizens need to begin carrying tourniquets and hemostatic dressings to prevent the next tragedy from occurring. ⠀”

    emph added

    n

  14. lynn says:

    “Episode 394 Scott Adams: Kamala Hires the Mole, Tom Brokaw, Border Security, Taliban”
    https://blog.dilbert.com/2019/01/28/episode-394-scott-adams-kamala-hires-the-mole-tom-brokaw-border-security-taliban/

    “President Trump is in the process of ending four wars
    NK and their nukes, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan”

    I am good with this.

    “AOC is going to be a very big deal in the future
    She’s smarter than you think, possibly super-smart
    She’s also a racist and race baiter
    AOC is a “Blue Trump””

    Uh oh, my thoughts also. We are all Venezuela now.

  15. Mike G. says:

    Electricians hate working with prefab homes because the panel connections frequently fail and so they prefer to splice in 4-square boxes. Given that, it’s best to treat all wiring the same you would with stick-built.

    Stuff that goes in walls/ceilings/floors go from large to small: HVAC, plumbing, electrical, low-voltage. Code says how/where the electrical goes, and low-voltage cable avoids electrical cable (e.g. at least 6″ away from outlets, crosses electrical cable at right angles, etc.). You’ll follow standard cabling practices anyway–home runs, pull-strings, use interior walls where possible, etc.

    In this house we pulled more cable than we needed but that was not really cost-effective. The next house we’ll work from a plan. Look at this article for some ideas,

    What I’ve learned from nearly three years of enterprise Wi-Fi at home

  16. lynn says:

    @lynn, here it is, and with allies like her, you just know you’re gonna get it good….

    ‘Let’s eliminate all of that!’ Kamala Harris says America should ABOLISH private health insurance and ‘move on’ to government-run ‘Medicare for all’

    I was good with Medicare for All ™ until I figured out the cost. The 1.45% employee and 1.45% employer tax on 100% of income will need to rise to 9% each. That is not going to happen so they will just “finance” the cost of Medicare for All.

    There are no simple solutions for anything. Especially when thousands of drug resistant disease carriers are pouring across the southern border every week.

  17. Greg Norton says:

    Uh oh, my thoughts also. We are all Venezuela now.

    Patience. BJ will drop the dime. I’m still surprised at how fast he did it to Kamala Harris.

    And someone will break the sugar daddy story. I don’t think that the people who made “Knock Down The House” just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

    Three months ago, would you have predicted the end of the “Jeff Bezos, Average Honda-Driving Guy” legend?

  18. lynn says:

    “What Is 5G?”
    https://www.pcmag.com/article/345387/what-is-5g

    “AT&T, Verizon, and other carriers will start to launch 5G networks this year. But what exactly is 5G, and how fast is it compared with 4G? Here are the facts we know so far.”

    There are no facts until 5G is up and running across the fruited plains.

  19. nick flandrey says:

    Turns out there is a bit more to the story of the trans/freak dad, non-custordial parent, who showed up at kid’s school [to kidnap her legally speaking, and whatever else he might have had in mind] who was then shot by PD…

    http://ninetymilesfromtyranny.blogspot.com/2019/01/watch-as-radical-antifa-member-shot-to.html

    “He belonged to an armed Antifa group we’ve covered, training “oppressed peoples” in armed self-defense. And now he’s no longer with us after drawing down on two Eugene, Oregon police officers who attempted to arrest him at a Eugene middle school there.”

    I think we might have been reading another tragic story of murder suicide by the estranged spouse had this not ended this way.

    n

  20. brad says:

    @Nick: Thanks for all the ideas! Cameras, hmmm, there’s a good point that I hadn’t though about. Pulling CAT – yes, but…not sure there’s a need for it everywhere, since wireless is getting better and better, and I certainly intend to have a good wireless system.

    Beyond a certain point, the spousal unit will object to the unsightliness of having plugs everywhere. Some of those links for baseboard raceways look really good – pretty much what I’m looking for. So one can do without too many plugs, because you can always move them, or add more later.

    @MikeG: I’m not quite sure how the wiring goes with the pre-built sections. My impression – which I need to verify – is that they run conduits, and the wires go into the conduits on-site. I’ve seen that article about the enterprise WLAN at home. Some of it makes sense – certainly isolating all the damned IOT devices, for the inevitable day that one of them gets hacked. Another VLAN for home automation, which I haven’t looked into seriously yet, but definitely will. Etc..

    – – – – –

    Medicare for all? I suppose the discussions are the same everywhere. Here, the current arguments are about specialized medicines for “rare” diseases. I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations, and the costs of around $100k per year per patient are entirely reasonable. But the health insurance doesn’t want to pay that kind of money, especially if the medication isn’t a cure, but just a “die more slowly” kind of drug.

    Of course, the people affected want the drugs covered – that’s entirely understandable. But someone has to pay, and that means everyone’s insurance rates go up. Which is a problem, because health insurance is already far too expensive for the average person.

    Personally, I think your basic health care – maybe in the US it’s “Medicare for all” – should cover serious stuff only: broken bones, pneumonia, heart attacks, cancer, etc.. No birth control, tattoo removal, beauty ops, wellness checks, acupuncture, or whatever. Set a cold, hard cost limit. Want optional treatments? Want treatments beyond that limit? Then you need private insurance, and the government should drop nearly all regulation in that market.

  21. nick flandrey says:

    We used to have what was termed “catastrophic coverage” which was the opposite. It only paid for serious injury and disease treatment. You paid for routine and minor issues. It was pretty cheap too, and you could pair it with a Health Savings Account, which was a protected and tax advantaged savings account that could ONLY be used for healthcare. We were happy with the coverage and costs.

    But obammy care eliminated that as an option. What replaced it, is essentially only coverage for major events anyway, but now with high monthly costs, and we pay for everything else ourselves, and we can’t choose NOT to buy it. (Because the deductible amount is so high, we never reach it, and we end up paying cash for all our routine medical care.) (Healthwise this is great because we’re not seriously ill, financially, it just shafts us for worse coverage than we had before.)

    n

  22. nick flandrey says:

    @brad, are you looking at building with SIPs? (Structural Insulated Panels)

    They’re pretty cool, but I don’t trust the adhesives…

    There was a show on HGTV that was entirely houses built with SIPs, maybe it’s on youtube…. it was possible to cut in channels for forgotten or mis-done electrical after the fact.

    n

  23. nick flandrey says:

    Regarding wireless vs wired networking, you still want wired. There is no reason for your tv, and all the stuff in the AV cabinet to be wireless. No reason for cams to be wireless. Very little reason to move video over wireless…

    Anything that is fixed in place and needs power anyway should be wired. Also, it isn’t accessible outside your home as wireless is, so smaller attack surface….

    n

  24. PaultheManc says:

    @Brad

    In the UK, Building Control Regulations for major refurbs and new builds do not permit outlets to be at lower than 450mm from the floor (max 1200mm). This is to assist with disability issues. I trust you know your own local regulations.

  25. Greg Norton says:

    There was a show on HGTV that was entirely houses built with SIPs, maybe it’s on youtube…. it was possible to cut in channels for forgotten or mis-done electrical after the fact.

    This Old House has experimented with SIPs going back to the early Steve Thomas era. About 10 years ago, they did a complete rebuild with prefab panels, the “Weston” house. The videos should be online in their archives.

    They may have done more since then. I’ll admit to not having watched much since Steve was fired.

  26. nick flandrey says:

    this old house went from hippies looking to learn and save some money, to lets watch contractors build my big mansion with all this free gear….

    It did people a great service by introducing the whole DIY movement, but eventually fell victim to its own success.

    Villa saw his role as “everyman” asking the dumb questions so the audience could learn something from the answers. Thomas [seemed to me] saw his role as lecturer and game show host. I stopped watching years ago, when they stopped showing how the work was done.

    n

    I like the Holmes on Homes series and spinoffs. Mike Holmes was a genuine guy at the beginning, but he let things slip too. It was disheartening to see him feature the work of his novice tile setter daughter, with CLEAR workmanship issues, and let it slide. He started featuring new and untested products too. Now, the show’s model almost required donations to fix problems, but he ended up shilling for companies and their shiny new thing, rather than showcasing what he KNEW to be good. Since he was all about doing the right thing, in the right way, with the RIGHT PRODUCTS, featuring new products, just because they were donated, was selling out.

  27. Greg Norton says:

    Personally, I think your basic health care – maybe in the US it’s “Medicare for all” – should cover serious stuff only: broken bones, pneumonia, heart attacks, cancer, etc.. No birth control, tattoo removal, beauty ops, wellness checks, acupuncture, or whatever. Set a cold, hard cost limit. Want optional treatments? Want treatments beyond that limit? Then you need private insurance, and the government should drop nearly all regulation in that market.

    You forgot sex change surgery.

    People in the US want much more than the basics. Most of my wife’s time in primary care since moving to Austin is spent playing “goalie” against people trying to score a fix — men wanting Aderal and women seeking Wellbutrin. And they never show up for the appointments on time.

  28. Greg Norton says:

    Turns out there is a bit more to the story of the trans/freak dad, non-custordial parent, who showed up at kid’s school [to kidnap her legally speaking, and whatever else he might have had in mind] who was then shot by PD…

    The valleys spreading out around Portland have always been a different planet.

    Cleaning out an old phone yesterday, I found pictures and videos from our early days out there. Comparing to later pictures and videos, it is obvious that Vantucky sucked all the happiness out of our lives as well as ruining my career and leaving us broke.

    I would suggest just ignoring the place, but now Portland may be the epicenter of the anti-vaxxer pandemic.

  29. Greg Norton says:

    We used to have what was termed “catastrophic coverage” which was the opposite. It only paid for serious injury and disease treatment. You paid for routine and minor issues. It was pretty cheap too, and you could pair it with a Health Savings Account, which was a protected and tax advantaged savings account that could ONLY be used for healthcare. We were happy with the coverage and costs.

    Those are still around, but they cost a *lot* more.

    My coverage at work has an HSA and a high deductible. True cost (what both sides pay combined) is $24,000/year plus the HSA deduction/matching according to my HR records.

  30. nick flandrey says:

    My wife has been the primary wage-earner for the last 7 years, so insurance was thru her employer. They are not a mega-corp. In fact they are a small business with about a dozen employees. Still, we were able to get affordable insurance that met our needs. Until ocommie care. I was very entertained when one of the manufacturers she works with, very lefty and based in a college town, who are anti-union but strongly Dem and big O supporters, had to explain to their rank and file why their insurance plan was being cut WAY back. They HAD a “cadillac” plan. If they kept it, they were going to have to pay income tax on the part that was better than what everyone else got, thus reducing their take home pay, or reduce the plan to match what everyone else gets. Mgmt picked “reduce the plan” rather than “reduce take home pay.”

    So the trees were all kept equal, with hatchet, axe, and saw……

    n

  31. nick flandrey says:

    Just paid my business personal property tax. A tax on stuff you already paid tax on when you bought it. Every year. With no depreciation.

    n

  32. nick flandrey says:

    How convenient– The FBI has closed the vegas murder case.

    https://apnews.com/00b90ac3e97a41c3b3c078855b32d75f

    includes a link to the FBI summary.

    n

  33. paul says:

    Health Insurance use to be simple. While in college, there was a Nurse’s office for students. Pretty much for aspirin and some nice words.
    In the mid-eighties, I didn’t have insurance. The couple of times I needed a Doc there were a few converted 7-11s. $40 and take your prescription to the drug store. GREAT fun in the Winter, such as it is in Austin, when your wheels are a bicycle. I managed to survive.

    The I got a job with the state. The pay wasn’t much better than U-Tote-M or CircleK but the hours were regular…. and no more pulling a double or triple because other folks didn’t feel like coming to work. The state had PruCare. For the first couple of years is was a $5 Co-pay and sit and wait for an hour the first time I used it.
    The screaming at work when the co-pay was bumped to $10 was almost music to my ears. I didn’t make any friends by noting the place is full of women bringing in a kids with a runny nose. By then the wait time was two plus hours…. and they seemed to pride themselves on how powerful the A/C system was. Pretty silly to need a sweater in Texas in July.
    With HEB I had Scott and White. They have an office on the Square. I gave up on them. The two times I went in 12 years their attitude seemed to be “don’t see and bones sticking out so why are you here, go away”.

    Now I have something. I get to go to the local Seton joint. Haven’t yet. But the monthly price went down from last year and the deductible went down enough perhaps making it useful. A $7000 deductible before they pay anything is not very useful.

  34. Greg Norton says:

    It did people a great service by introducing the whole DIY movement, but eventually fell victim to its own success.

    Isn’t that true of most old school PBS programs which originated in the 70s/80s?

    Or basic cable, starting with MTV?

    Comic book movies’ day of reckoning is coming.

    http://collider.com/black-panther-free-screenings/amp/

  35. paul says:

    Just paid my business personal property tax. A tax on stuff you already paid tax on when you bought it. Every year. With no depreciation.

    I had a small store in the early ’80’s and I don’t remember such a tax. Then again, I had less than 10 employees and that did affect matters.

    Still had to pay unemployment tax. I had a claim filed on me. With lots of “we are going to raise your rates and you may pay a penalty” noise. When I said, Yeah, he’s fired, what did he expect to happen after not showing for work for THREE weeks?

    Payroll was weekly. I gave them a copy of my bank statement. They dropped the matter.

    Fun times.

    Edit:
    Fun times until my “silent partner” decided I must be ripping him off because instead of taking a year or so to pay him back I did it in seven months. Fun times and money wasted on lawyers.

    Oh. It was an Adult Bookstore. Ever been to one? My store was different. We were to be the Joske’s (ok, slum a bit and be Dillards) of porno stores. In other words, CLEAN. It worked. Customers commented that the place was clean. Down on 6th street? Mr. Peepers? Jeeze, it smelled at the front door.

  36. lynn says:

    Just paid my business personal property tax. A tax on stuff you already paid tax on when you bought it. Every year. With no depreciation.

    We depreciate the you know what out of everything. Of course, the CAD (county appraisal district) uses their own schedule, usually 10 years for business equipment. And most of our stuff is old such as 40 year Steelcase desks and credenzas.

    Plus I paid an incredible amount of property tax for my office land and buildings. They want me to pay more. And the bank appraised the property in October at 1.5X what CAD has it on their books for so I ain’t saying nothing.

  37. nick flandrey says:

    Business personal property is one of the scammy-est taxes. You buy everything and pay sales tax on it (furniture, computers, tools and machines, fixtures, materials, supplies, work in progress and inventory….) then you have to pay BPP on it every year. On year my assessed value TRIPLED. I actually submitted a court claim to have it reduced. My argument was that even if it was all solid GOLD it wouldn’t have tripled in value in one year. I won. For one year. Then the higher value showed back up. Before April I have to submit MY version of the valuation. Since it’s all based on arm waving, guessing, and ‘what the market will bear’, my valuation should be just as accurate as theirs.

    But it’s all for the children (school district) so I should be happy to pay…. not.

    n

  38. dkreck says:

    I believe the taxman uses a very sophisticated formula based on turnips, force, and blood.

  39. nick flandrey says:

    As long as it’s a giant turnip….

    n

    or possibly a thingy shaped like a turnip…

  40. paul says:

    Re the 5 year clawback by medi whatever?

    I used a company in Cedar Park that knows how to handle this whole “put mom in the nursing home and then what?” process. Spend her down. Ok, I have my pre-paid funeral plan covered. All of her bills were zeroed.

    But one of the things they said was to “get Dad off of the deed and put yourself on”. Point being that when Mom dies, /I/ own the house.

    So, if /I/ own the house, how does medi whatever claw that?

    Ain’t much of a house. But compared to the other nearby houses, it’s very nice and the neighbors want to buy or rent it.

    When they built the house it was on a lot on used up by cotton fields. Pretty much nothing around. The mexicans have built and hauled in old houses. Dunno, cheaper than a doublewide?

    It’s not a bad neighborhood. It’s not one I want to live in… but I’m pretty happy out here in the middle of 26 acres.

  41. Ray Thompson says:

    So, if /I/ own the house, how does medi whatever claw that?

    Because the state looks back 5 years for any transfer of assets that the state considers a way to avoid paying for a nursing home. Transferring any asset from one person to another be it house, car, money, stocks, will be grabbed by the state.

    A lady at work whose child was in college had the tuition paid by her father. Her father developed a severe medical condition and had to go in a nursing home on Medicaid. The state demanded, and got, the $15K paid for tuition for the prior three years the grandchild was in college.

    A lawyer they contacted said it would cost $20K to fight the state. The person would win based on the lawyer’s experience but the cost would exceed the money “stolen” and then recovered. He also informed them the state knew that and thus have little fear taking amounts less than $20K.

    The state had also placed a lien on the spouse’s house. The spouse died six months later, the other spouse in the nursing home waited a year before expiring. When the lady in the office sold the house the state got their money before the taxes and the bank which also had a lien. There was no money left from the sale.

  42. lynn says:

    “A.F. Branco Cartoon – Maduro’s Daughter”
    https://comicallyincorrect.com/maduros-daughter/

    “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Has a lot of ideas that Dictator Maduro of Venezuela could endorse. it’s almost like they’re related. If Maduro Had a daughter. Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2019.”

    My thoughts exactly !

  43. CowboySlim says:

    Where’s Algore when we need him?
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/weather/

  44. lynn says:

    The state had also placed a lien on the spouse’s house. The spouse died six months later, the other spouse in the nursing home waited a year before expiring. When the lady in the office sold the house the state got their money before the taxes and the bank which also had a lien. There was no money left from the sale.

    @paul, sounds like you need to check if there is a lien on your mom’s house.

  45. Greg Norton says:

    Because the state looks back 5 years for any transfer of assets that the state considers a way to avoid paying for a nursing home. Transferring any asset from one person to another be it house, car, money, stocks, will be grabbed by the state.

    With my mother-in-law, the clawback works in our favor. It prevents the WA State relatives from scamming her into signing over her Kirkland rental house cheap because they know I’ll sick the State of Florida Medicaid on them.

  46. Rick H says:

    I’ve been working on Book Two of the Light Blink book. About 28K words so far.

    But I’ve been thinking about an audio version of the book. I can’t afford a professional reader for the book. Can’t even afford the $500+ that would be required if I wanted to read it myself. So have been looking at alternatives. A text to audio file converter would be great.

    I think I found one called “Balabolka“, which is free and uses the Microsoft Speech Engine. It will also create a WAV file that (I think) will work across OS’s.

    So, I took the Book One excerpt and made a WAV file out of it (about 10MB). I invite the folks here to try it out and let me know how it works for you (details are helpful).

    You’ll find the link to the WAV file on the Light Blink web site here: https://www.lightblink.com/index.php .

    Let me know what you think. I haven’t tried converting the whole book yet, so comments are helpful.

    Thanks.

  47. nick flandrey says:

    Just listened to a little bit. It’s not horrible. I haven’t tried the amazon kindle reader though, so I can’t offer a comparison. Does amazon charge extra to enable text to speech?

    The link opened in MS Media Player and started right up. I might like to be able to adjust the speed, so I’d probably look for a different player.

    I find it hard to pay attention to spoken word though, so I’m not your audience.

    n

    Oh, a murder is a group of crows. The google says ravens are a conspiracy…

    n

  48. nick flandrey says:

    @Rick, search for assistive reading software- there were several free converters that I found when I was looking for ways to help OFD.

    n

  49. Rick H says:

    @nick –

    Yes, there are assistive screen readers, but that’s what they are – they read the screen.

    I need something that will turn a text file into an audio file.

    Thanks for trying it out; I have just done a quick test. The software program I mentioned does have the ability to use different ‘voices’, if you download the MS text-to-speech voices.

    As for Amazon and Audible…all that I have seen indicates that you (the author) have to create the Audible file, then you can add it to the author’s book upload area. I haven’t found anything that indicates that Amazon will automatically create the audio file if you just purchase the ebook.

    And all the googles I have found so far indicate that you (the author) have to create the audio file yourself, or pay someone else to do it. Either way can get expensive. I’d have to sell a lot more books to pay for that conversion.

    Interesting about a group of ravens being a conspiracy….I had just found the crow/murder thing. Although the story does lean more towards conspiracy,maybe. A conspiracy to murder, perhaps. Have to see where Book Two leads me on that subject.

  50. lynn says:

    So, I took the Book One excerpt and made a WAV file out of it (about 10MB). I invite the folks here to try it out and let me know how it works for you (details are helpful).

    I found the voice to be a little bit weird. Not a monotone but not very expressive. I could probably get used to it but, a little weird.

  51. nick flandrey says:

    I’ve got the option on some of my kindles to turn on text to speech. That is something different than the audible ‘read aloud’ thing.

    I’ve often thought it would be fun to record a book. I’ve read so much to the kids in the last 9 years… I looked into doing reading books for the blind, but they wanted subject matter experts to read the books, and they were mostly textbooks. That ruled me out, although I think I could have done it. Easier to find proper pronunciation now with the googles and youtube then back in the late 80s.

    Some authors and some stories are easier to read aloud than others. Brandon Sanderson is REALLY hard to read out loud. Rould Dahl is easy, but long sentences are a challenge to the breath!

    I read one chapter a night out loud to the kids, with slight voice changed for characters. I don’t know how the audio books do it. I’ve never really listened to any. Old time radio dramas were very dramatic. I’ve listened to a fair amount of those. I think that style might be fun, but probably would sound strange to modern ears.

    n

  52. nick flandrey says:

    So if you read all the way to the bottom, these two interjected themselves into a situation that didn’t involve them. They were probably counting on their XX privilege to scold and ‘stand up for the downtrodden’ and not pay a price. Well, “thug” wasn’t impressed.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6645153/Thug-punches-two-women-ground-outside-LA-nightclub-row-hot-dogs-bystanders-cheer.html

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    n

  53. brad says:

    “women bringing in a kids with a runny nose”

    Elder son works in childcare. One of the kids in his center arrived late yesterday, because the mom had just taken the kid to the emergency room. For a bloody nose.

    Property tax…I agree, it sucks for ordinary mortals like us. But there is a problem, which I think property, wealth, and inheritance taxes do address, and that is the massive wealth accumulation by the elite. Look at the Kennedy clan, or the Bush family, or any the other wealthy, politically connected dynasties. Generations ago, someone earned a fortune. Since then, the whole clan has lived off of the wealth.

    I’m all for a person being able to keep what they earn. But the next generation, and all the ones after that need to earn their own way. So how do you limit accumulated wealth prevent dynasties? Taxes on property and inheritance seem like the right way to go. Of course, they find all the loopholes, but something basic
    like property tax is pretty hard to skate out of.

    @RickH: I used to record textbooks for the blind, back in the day. Reading Cobol programs is really exciting, ahem… It’s a lot of effort, takes a certain amount of training, and requires good recording equipment, so you’re right that it would be expensive. Afaik, The audience for audio books is pretty limited, compared to normal books – a few people listening in their cars, maybe a couple of visually impaired folk. Honestly, I wouldn’t bother.

  54. ITGuy1998 says:

    Property tax…I agree, it sucks for ordinary mortals like us. But there is a problem, which I think property, wealth, and inheritance taxes do address, and that is the massive wealth accumulation by the elite. Look at the Kennedy clan, or the Bush family, or any the other wealthy, politically connected dynasties. Generations ago, someone earned a fortune. Since then, the whole clan has lived off of the wealth.

    I’m all for a person being able to keep what they earn. But the next generation, and all the ones after that need to earn their own way. So how do you limit accumulated wealth prevent dynasties? Taxes on property and inheritance seem like the right way to go. Of course, they find all the loopholes, but something basic
    like property tax is pretty hard to skate out of.

    As much as I despise old money, an inheritance tax isn’t the right answer. The government already received it’s cut. It should never get another cut. The right solution is a combination of massive spending cutbacks at all levels, along with some sort of fair tax/national sales tax. We all know that will never happen.

  55. dkreck says:

    Eat the rich.

  56. Ray Thompson says:

    Eat the rich.

    Yeh, just imagine Pelosi or Cankles on your plate.

  57. JimL says:

    RE: audiobooks – I’m listening to the Harry Potter books now. I started when I tired of talk radio and found nothing to interest me on long drives. Audible has an attractive plan – 1 free book/month looks like.

    In any event, my phone connects to my bluetooth speaker in the kitchen (the Amazon Echo or Google thingy) or my radio in the truck. Make sure audio is working and I listen while I drive or clean the kitchen. It works well for me.

    I tried the text-to-speech deal with a couple of books. No. Simply not good enough. I’ll pay for the privilege. As it happens, the guy that reads the Potter books is darned good. Very entertaining. The other books I’ve listened to are just as good. “Number of the Beast” had 5 voices. Very well done.

    I find that the books I have a hard time reading (Foundation trilogy, for instance) are a lot more enjoyable when I listen to them read. The author’s style doesn’t hurt as much that way. And I’m lazy.

  58. JimL says:

    RE: Wealth accumulation: So GWB didn’t earn his money. What of it? He’s either going to conserve it (good) or waste it (good). It’s none of my business what he does with it.

    Taxes should encourage saving. If savings pass to the next generation, just as well. Eventually (3rd or 4th gen), some idiot is born that blows it all on caviar and Ferraris. Then it gets taxed & put back in circulation. I don’t see a problem with that.

    Power? Disrupt it. Trump is doing that now, to good effect. If he weren’t smart enough to maintain Daddy’s money, he couldn’t do what he’s doing. Taking that away from him when his father died would have done nothing productive.

  59. Mike G. says:

    @brad
    For SIP construction, the Romex is run in the panels and joined between panels by some sort of Molex connector. It is this the electricians have issue with and so they prefer to make splices with twists and wire nuts in a 4square junction box with cover (code). YMMV.

    Your SIP company may install chases in the panel; one at 16″ from the bottom for electrical, another at 10″ for low-voltage.

    Low-voltage conduit is typically flex-duct (orange, blue, whatever) but is usually overkill in residential construction but may be an option your SIPco offers. Probably the best value for structured cabling is a 24-port panel. There’s always MOCA and PoE if more is needed.

    .mg

  60. lynn says:

    I tried the text-to-speech deal with a couple of books. No. Simply not good enough. I’ll pay for the privilege. As it happens, the guy that reads the Potter books is darned good. Very entertaining. The other books I’ve listened to are just as good. “Number of the Beast” had 5 voices. Very well done.

    I totally agree. I have listened to several of the Jack Higgins and Tom Clancy, et al audio books in my truck while crossing the fruited plains. Those books are read by professional actors and are simply amazing in their presentations.
    https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Door-Sean-Dillon/dp/149154547X/?tag=ttgnet-20

  61. lynn says:

    I’m all for a person being able to keep what they earn. But the next generation, and all the ones after that need to earn their own way. So how do you limit accumulated wealth prevent dynasties? Taxes on property and inheritance seem like the right way to go. Of course, they find all the loopholes, but something basic
    like property tax is pretty hard to skate out of.

    Eh, no way. Usually any accumulated wealth is blown by the third generation. The fourth generation for sure.

  62. MrAtoz says:

    I totally agree. I have listened to several of the Jack Higgins and Tom Clancy, et al audio books in my truck while crossing the fruited plains. Those books are read by professional actors and are simply amazing in their presentations.

    As have I. I use Audible and usually get a significant discount on an audio book if I bought the ebook.

  63. lynn says:

    As have I. I use Audible and usually get a significant discount on an audio book if I bought the ebook.

    Are the Audible and Audio book CD the same performances ?

  64. MrAtoz says:

    I can’t answer that. I’ve only used Audible.

  65. lynn says:

    Are the Audible and Audio book CD the same performances ?

    Both the Audible and Audiobook CD appear to be the same reader for Jack Higgins’ “Dark Justice” book.
    https://www.audible.com/pd/Dark-Justice-Audiobook/B002V8N8SK
    and
    https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Justice-Sean-Dillon-Higgins/dp/1491543248/?tag=ttgnet-20

Comments are closed.