Sun. Feb. 3, 2019 – not gonna be much rest

61F and overcast. Drizzle all night. I don’t think we totaled very much.

Before I went to be last night, I tuned around the shortwave bands. Lots of strong signals on the low bands. 5, 6, and 7Mhz usually have something to listen to, but last night they were coming in like local broadcast.

The kids’ “bushcraft” shelter is still standing. They had a lot of fun yesterday playing in it with their friends. I needed earplugs and aspirin 🙂 It LOOKS great, and introduces the idea. Check out joe robinet at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPBwJG1Z_eQ [added- this is just a recent video, click on his channel name for more relevant and better vids] for how it’s really done. Anyone with PA fantasies about living in the National Forest should watch a hundred hours of his channel. Heck, anyone writing a scene involving it should watch. And keep in mind, he’s in Canada, with much lower population density, and everyone hasn’t bugged out to the hills. Also, no dependents.

I scanned back through the last few posts and boy are they full of doom and gloom. I think it’s appropriate doom and gloom, but it is a lot. I’m going to try for a bit more balance this month. We’ll see if the world lets me.

Keep stacking though!

n

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43 Responses to Sun. Feb. 3, 2019 – not gonna be much rest

  1. Greg Norton says:

    And keep in mind, he’s in Canada, with much lower population density, and everyone hasn’t bugged out to the hills.

    I’m guessing Western Canada, Vancouver area?

    BC residents won’t head for the hills. They’ll caravan down I-5 looking for food.

    Again, I refer you to the Bellingham Costco’s milk cooler … Or the Portland Apple Store.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    I just meant the common prepper plan of bugging out to the Nat Forest. It’s a staple of PA novels too. Never seemed too practical to me.

    n

  3. Nick Flandrey says:

    Watching Joe, you get an idea of how much WORK all that bushcraft is. He burns an enormous amount of calories and the efficacy of the shelters are marginal much of the time. Also, he’s not exactly hidden, although he’s not trying to be. Anyone for miles around should be able to follow his smoke and cooking smells, and kill him for his stuff.

    n

  4. TV says:

    Hi Greg. Not western Canada. He mentions living or hanging-out in Windsor (which is right across the river from Detroit) so he is in southern / south-western Ontario. The forest he is in is typical for any area north of Toronto. I have gone cross-county skiing through this sort of woods near Barrie.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    I just meant the common prepper plan of bugging out to the Nat Forest. It’s a staple of PA novels too. Never seemed too practical to me.

    Back when I was in college, the weed growers controlled a big chunk of the Ocala National Forest in Florida. The “untamed wilderness” is often an illusion with the parks which have been around a while.

    Also, the staff and summer contract workers will know those places well since it is their job, and the contract workers who live on the road full time swap stories at their winter gatherings in warmer climates. Opsec is lousy long term.

    I’ve burst a couple of prepper bubbles about Western WA.

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    I used to work in the Kitchener/Waterloo/Guelph area, and I didn’t notice forest like this, mainly rolling hills and farms. Did I just not see it driving at night or while focused on getting to the airport?

    It looks like beautiful country in any case.

    n

  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    Weed and meth are endemic throughout Oklahoma’s parks too. Booby traps are commonplace.

    n

  8. Greg Norton says:

    Weed and meth are endemic throughout Oklahoma’s parks too. Booby traps are commonplace.

    In the Ocala Forest, gators supplement the booby traps for the growers security. It is The Swamp for real.

  9. JLP says:

    There is not a lot of forest to run away into in eastern Massachusetts. Even if a small fraction of the population tried it would fill up fast. The calories per acre are not that high. Practical survival for me means suburban bushcraft. As said here frequently “stack it high” and “keep you powder dry”.

    It has been an interesting week for me. On Tuesday I got laid off from my job of 11 years. Anyone with half a brain saw the the layoff train coming down the tracks so I’m not surprised. We just didn’t know exactly when the trigger was going to be pulled nor who and what projects where going to be hit. One third of the company let go. My department (R&D) got hit the hardest with a 75% reduction. There is a little bit of severance but I will have to start the job hunt in earnest very soon. Who wants to look for work in his 50s?

    Things do seem to come in waves, though. Tuesday night my dad fainted in his kitchen. Cut his left arm severely on the way down (on a drawer handle, I think). A very nasty wound that the urgent care place wouldn’t touch. So he went to the local hospital for a surgeon to tackle it. Enough blood lost and worry about why he fainted that he spent 2 nights in the hospital. He’s doing OK now. I took him to Lowe’s this morning so he can buy bird seed for his feeders.

    The old adage is that things “come in threes” so I’m waiting for the next challenge to hit me. The plan for today is an early dinner and then television. Some of the local lads are playing in a rather important sporting event tonight.

  10. Nick Flandrey says:

    @JLP, my condolences on your job loss. I separated voluntarily but it still took me 6 months or more to mentally get over it and stop thinking of the company as “us”. The distance in time helped to see how bad it really did get before I left. There was a good bit of battered wife syndrome in our department.

    I never did go back to full time work. I did consulting and service in my field, all close to home for a year or more, but the oil crunch put an end to that. I was very glad to have both a spouse with a good job, and the ebay sales to fall back on.

    At this point, I can’t imagine finding traditional full time work (52yo) nor would I particularly like to. I could definitely hustle more than I do though, and as my wife’s business is slowing, I will probably have to.

    Consider alternatives to traditional work. You could easily find yourself on the treadmill that OFD and others here have discovered, moving from one sinking ship to another.

    In any case, best of luck, and please share if any of your preps help you through this period. Or if they don’t, or if there are fails, or really basically anything you want to share.

    nick

  11. JLP says:

    Thanks Nick. Right now it just feels like I’m on vacation so it really hasn’t settled in to my psyche yet: I’m unemployed.

    Not married so no spousal income to fall back on (but also no children to support). The woman living with me is only working 1 or 2 days a week as temp fill-in. I did work for myself for a few years before this job. During that time I found out I was a far better scientist than business man. The constant hustle to find the next customer and the feast / famine living style got to me after a while. Still, I’ve learned a lot in the last 11 years and maybe it would be a good time to try again. Maybe team up with a couple of my laid off colleagues.

    Lot’s of things to think about.

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    Or call an acquaintance at a competitor… they will often be looking to scoop up talent that suddenly becomes available.

    n

  13. lynn says:

    61F and overcast. Drizzle all night. I don’t think we totaled very much.

    The swimming pool got about an inch of rain last night. Free water !

  14. lynn says:

    Little Oop: “sleeping with the dinosaurs”
    https://www.gocomics.com/alley-oop/2019/02/03

    Uh, no freaking way. Those things wake up hungry.

  15. Greg Norton says:

    Who wants to look for work in his 50s?

    It is possible to rebuild. I’m living proof at 50, but I don’t recommend letting too much time lapse before you’re working on finding another job.

    I worked on academia for a while. I knew it wasn’t for me, but classes and TA work filled the time on the resume and provided the opportunity to hit career day events at the school — how I found my first job at CGI in the rebuilding climb. Plus, I discovered what the undergrads were learning and where skills gaps were going to be in the industry. I’m currently in one of those gaps (C++) where I work.

    My current employer is obvious that they don’t look at me as the future as much as my 25 year-old female co-worker, but they need my skills and abilities to grind out an answer even when the problem is outside my area of expertise, something the young’n’s I work with don’t do.

  16. lynn says:

    It is possible to rebuild. I’m living proof at 50, but I don’t recommend letting too much time lapse before you’re working on finding another job.

    Yup, it is much easier to get a job if you already have a job. If you don’t have a job, take the first job that you can find. Much better to have a paycheck than unemployment. And you can always get a couple of hours off by one means or another to go interview.

  17. Greg Norton says:

    And you can always get a couple of hours off by one means or another to go interview.

    Unless you work in Belton for CGI. Interviews were always a whole day, even for an hour.

  18. Greg Norton says:

    Unless you work in Belton for CGI.

    And the guy who served notice after me at CGI got the brunt of management’s frustration that I snuck a downtown interview past them. He got walked out for stealing within an hour based on a $2 soda purchase they found at the bottom of a receipt submitted for a travel expense report.

  19. mediumwave says:

    I’m currently in one of those gaps (C++) where I work.

    You’re saying that the demand for C++ programmers exceeds the supply?

    Unsurprising, since the current generation seems to know bupkis about, y’know, actual computer architecture.

  20. lynn says:

    And the guy who served notice after me at CGI got the brunt of management’s frustration that I snuck a downtown interview past them. He got walked out for stealing within an hour based on a $2 soda purchase they found at the bottom of a receipt submitted for a travel expense report.

    Uh, can I amend my previous statement ?

    Yup, it is much easier to get a job if you already have a job. If you don’t have a job, take the first job that you can find, UNLESS THAT JOB IS AT CGI (whoever CGI is). Much better to have a paycheck than unemployment. And you can always get a couple of hours off by one means or another to go interview.

  21. Greg Norton says:

    UNLESS THAT JOB IS AT CGI (whoever CGI is)

    CGI botched the Doh-bamacare system, but I worked for the legacy AMS portion of the company, supplying collections software to banks and a large insurance carrier you would recognize instantly.

    I have no clue what possessed them to be so vindictive with the next person to serve notice. The guy was a real schmoozer to the point that I don’t think he fought the “stealing” termination with HR.

    Maybe that was the problem. IT is not a place where weenies survive.

  22. Greg Norton says:

    You’re saying that the demand for C++ programmers exceeds the supply?

    Unsurprising, since the current generation seems to know bupkis about, y’know, actual computer architecture.

    Yes, in financial services and other performance-critical areas, experienced C++ programmers are in short supply.

    If I had to put my finger on one factor affecting the number of young’n’s with the skill, it would be the elimination of Compilers from CS programs, even as an elective. In some programs, it was the only place where students had to come up to speed on C++ in order to get the work done and stay sane.

    At Washington State, at the end of my time there, Compilers was declared “too hard”. The professor who taught the course for years left in disgust not long afterwards.

  23. mediumwave says:

    At Washington State, at the end of my time there, Compilers was declared “too hard”.

    Good Lord. 🙁

    ADDED: As an aside, I never felt like I truly understood computers until I’d taken an assembly language course (DEC-10). I’m guessing that’s also “too hard.”

  24. lynn says:

    At Washington State, at the end of my time there, Compilers was declared “too hard”.

    Good Lord.

    ADDED: As an aside, I never felt like I truly understood computers until I’d taken an assembly language course (DEC-10). I’m guessing that’s also “too hard.”

    I assume that Washington State still has an accredited CS program ?

    I have to admit, taking an IBM 370 assembly language class at TAMU deepened my understanding of computers also. And then learning C coding in the 1980s really deepened that.

    BTW, Compilers are simple science. Compiler Optimization is a freaking art for people who think sideways.

  25. paul says:

    I’m not a programmer. I can muddle through a .bat file. CSS on my website is pretty much my limit. I can’t draw for feces, either. I mean, I can draw pictures of piles of feces…. but if you want a nice picture, forget it.

    I did go to SMU for the Network Technologies course in 97/98. Slept on a friend’s sofa for a few months. I made it. MCSE. Networking Essentials was the toughest class. But I passed every test on the first try, a couple with a perfect score.

    So, I know I’m not a dummy. Yeah, and going for a job with what past computer work history I had was a waste of time. Seems like being able to pull wire and build a PC from parts is not a “job skill”. Almost forty and the guy hiring is 23. Not gonna hire someone as old as his father.

    But I did it.

    Well. Darn it. I forget where I was going. I’m going to blame the cussing from the living room. There’s some football game on….

    All I wanted to see was Gladys Knight and maybe some of the Pips do the national anthem. Missed it. Half time was what? The guy looked decent but covered with tats.

    No idea what any of it sounds like. The TV is on mute.

  26. Greg Norton says:

    I assume that Washington State still has an accredited CS program ?

    To be precise, Washington State University Vancouver. Yup, still ABET accredited.

    The drive to increase diversity in CS has ABET looking the other way on a lot of things. Courses using the Sipser and CLRS textbooks used to be mandatory, but not anymore.

    WSUV CS is very female driven. The ACM chapter is ACM-W, and the program recently bent over backwards to make sure the second tenure ever granted in the department went to a woman.

    (Cough … complete nitwit … cough)

    @JLP – If you are conversant in Java and have a decent math background, we are looking for someone to fill a position in one of our advanced development projects, and the management is open to the developer working remote.

  27. paul says:

    And yet. I built my barn. Other than a couple of helping hands for the first couple of cross beams, all by myself. It’s 10×40. Designed to be 25×60. Uh, longer, mirrored, with a five foot aisle in the middle. But the emu market crashed.

    It’s still looking good. The roof doesn’t leak. A tree died and sort of destroyed the fence. Pulled up a corner post. I think I’m going to take the fence down and sort of “carport” the barn. Good place for tractors and the like out of the sun.

    I’m not a programmer. I can do other stuff. Electrical, simple plumbing, and the like.

  28. Nick Flandrey says:

    I was a STUDENT programmer, in the mid and late 80s, in pascal and basic, if that counts 😛

    I suppose I’ll have to learn enough to help the girls figure out that they don’t want to code for a living. Did I mention that I think this whole push to “learn to code” is a plot to drive down the cost of native coders by increasing supply, so they don’t need H1Bs after the rules change? They can’t be so dumb they don’t see the problems with H1Bs, no one likes midnight conference calls with the offshore team, and even a no talent local kid has got to be better than what you guys describe as the H1Bs’ abilities…

    Yes, understand it like you should understand money, carpentry, home care, cooking, etc, if for no other reason than knowing when to call in a pro, and if the pro seems competent. But, do you really want to be in an industry that is under so much pressure from low wage workers, and every kid who couldn’t think of anything better to do and bought the hype?

    Not me.

    n

  29. JimB says:

    Paul, what you described is more than many programmers can do. No offense to programmers.

    On another note, you said a few days ago that you were accustomed to Mopar quirks. Me too. My first car was a used 57 Plymouth. Been driving them, with a few exceptions, ever since. Trouble is, my newest one is a Daimler-Chrysler, and there are new quirks. Keeps me on my toes. Some day, I will probably have an FCA, whatever that is. (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.) I also have had air cooled VWs. More quirks. A Ford. Different quirks. A pro independent mechanic must know them all. I admire that, but ain’t no pro.

    Oh, I can also solder, braze, and weld. Not bragging, no, not me. Especially on this forum 😉

  30. Nick Flandrey says:

    Was out in the garage and heard some weird noises. Thought the chest freezer was not starting… the temp was still good, so I moved about 8 flip top crates worth of stuff out of the way. I was able to turn the thermostat and make it start up normally, so I’m not sure what click and buzz I was hearing.

    I’ll keep an eye on the temps for the next couple of days though. Losing the contents would suck.

    n

    (I’ve got a digital thermometer stuck to the wall with the “outdoor” probe down in the freezer. I don’t need to open it to see the internal temp. That was very handy during power outages. Also gives you a record of the high and low temps. )

  31. lynn says:

    “Origin” on youtube premium
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYiXt-Knr5QKMWm9DLFlV3Q
    and
    https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/origin/s01
    and
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_(TV_series)

    Freaking creepy ten episode series about a starship, the Origon, from Earth to Thea, a planet in the Alpha Centauri system. “The passengers wake up on board the Origin, abandoned in space. They search for other survivors, but find something else entirely.”

    Warning: high body count, each episode is about an hour

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Rotten Tomatoes: 69 / 79

  32. lynn says:

    “Impulse” season 1 on youtube premium
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgLQkRAZsFN6fhqxFyx8qhQ
    and
    https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/impulse/s01
    and
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impulse_(TV_series)

    I just discovered that Steven Gould’s most excellent _Impulse_ book, third in the _Jumper_ series, has been turned into a ten episode tv series on Youtube Premium.
    https://www.amazon.com/Impulse-Jumper-Novel-Steven-Gould/dp/0765366029/?tag=ttgnet-20

    The first three episodes are free, the other seven episodes require signing up for Youtube Premium at $11.99/month. I signed up, the first month is free.

    The _Impulse_ book is quite good, bordering on excellent. The tv series “Impulse” is quite good. So far, the only similarities between the two are that the main character is a teenage girl and that she can teleport. Everything else is totally different.

    Unfortunately, this is not first time event for Steven Gould. The same problem happened when his first book, _Jumper_, was turned into the movie “Jumper”. The main character was a teenage boy and he could teleport. Almost everything else is totally different except the name of his girlfriend.

    Please note that Youtube has already announced that a second ten episode series has been ordered for delivery in 2019.

    Warning: extreme foul language, a rape scene and resulting trauma, several deaths, marijuana usage

    My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Rotten Tomatoes rating: 100 / 88

  33. mediumwave says:

    Yes, understand it like you should understand money, carpentry, home care, cooking, etc, if for no other reason than knowing when to call in a pro, and if the pro seems competent. But, do you really want to be in an industry that is under so much pressure from low wage workers, and every kid who couldn’t think of anything better to do and bought the hype?

    Not me.

    +1000

    As fascinating as CS in general and programming in particular can be, unless you’re independently wealthy it’s best to learn only enough of it to be an asset to your REAL job, whatever that may be.

  34. lynn says:

    Yes, understand it like you should understand money, carpentry, home care, cooking, etc, if for no other reason than knowing when to call in a pro, and if the pro seems competent. But, do you really want to be in an industry that is under so much pressure from low wage workers, and every kid who couldn’t think of anything better to do and bought the hype?

    Not me.

    I am an engineer who develops and sells engineering software apps. Our number one competitor is everyday engineers using Microsoft Excel to model their particular issue using “rules of thumb”. I did it too, except I used Lotus 1-2-3, when I was a practicing engineer back in the 1980s.

  35. mediumwave says:

    If You HAVE TO Learn to Code.

    Some of the comments are especially telling.

  36. Greg Norton says:

    I suppose I’ll have to learn enough to help the girls figure out that they don’t want to code for a living. Did I mention that I think this whole push to “learn to code” is a plot to drive down the cost of native coders by increasing supply, so they don’t need H1Bs after the rules change? They can’t be so dumb they don’t see the problems with H1Bs, no one likes midnight conference calls with the offshore team, and even a no talent local kid has got to be better than what you guys describe as the H1Bs’ abilities…

    I’ve written before that I believe the appeal of the H1B is the indentured servitude aspect. Management has tried to break down tech jobs into “bolt turning” over the last 20 years, but that hasn’t been successful outside of .Net and Java Soap-based applications. The knowledge has to stick around.

  37. brad says:

    I learned carpentry. My carpentry stays in the basement, where it belongs, and we buy our furniture. That’s the level on which most people can learn to code.

    The “learn to code” idea is no danger to talented programmers. There just aren’t very many people who will ever be really good at it. And a good programmer is not twice as good as a bad programmer, no, a good programmer is orders of magnitude better. When you outsource, you get average programmers at best, and useless ones at worst.

    In my last job before turning into a teacher, I managed a small programming team for a couple of years. There was one guy whose productivity was actually negative, because the little he accomplished had to be fixed by my good programmers. Probably 65% of the work was handled by the top programmer on the team, 30% by the second best, and the remaining 5% by the other guys together.

    Younger son has finally started his first programming job. He has the potential to be one of the really good ones. But so much depends on having a good mentor, to show you the difference between goof-off school programming and the discipline required for real projects. I’m crossing all fingers and toes that he’s got a good boss.

  38. nick flandrey says:

    The one positive thing I could see coming out of the “learn to code” movement is reducing the nerd stigma, and identifying kids who might have actual talent for it so they can be brought along to success.

    Jerry Pournelle or RBT made the point that almost all advancement in society is the result of just a few extraordinary individuals, supported by another 10% or so of talented people, who count on a larger group of ordinary people to keep goods flowing and the lights on, and toilets flushing, who in turn have a much larger percentage of people below then who essentially just coast along on society’s efforts and provide a market for the surplus produced by the others.

    Finding the extraordinary ones should be the schools full time job.

    n

  39. brad says:

    “almost all advancement in society is the result of just a few extraordinary individuals, supported by another 10% or so of talented people, who count on a larger group of ordinary people to keep goods flowing and the lights on, and toilets flushing, who in turn have a much larger percentage of people below then who essentially just coast along”

    This is absolutely true. Of course, we all just coast along in most regards – even the most brilliant specialists (like RBT) are only productive in a narrow area.

    “Finding the extraordinary ones should be the schools full time job.”

    It certainly should be the emphasis. Programs for the genuinely talented are almost always underfunded, and anyway, the programs are full of students whose main qualification is that their mommy yelled at the school administration.

  40. JLP says:

    If you are conversant in Java…

    Although I have written programs in Java and several other languages, both for professional and personal projects, I don’t consider myself a programmer. I usually need the O’Reilly “Programming xxxx” book nearby for frequent reference.

    Like most people my age that had their first computer in the early 80s I taught myself BASIC. In college I took classes in Pascal and 8o88 assembly. Professionally I did a lot of Visual Basic programming to integrate older lab equipment to newer PCs through A/D converters. So, yeah I can program, but I am not a programmer.

    I’m a biochemist who specializes in ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays) and lyophilization (freeze drying). I’m in eastern Massachusetts. [to get my unemployment benefits I must search for work at least 3 times a week. This post counts.]

  41. dkreck says:

    I’ve expressed this here before so I’ll keep it short. I’ve coded and done all types of computer work for 40 years. I’ve rarely seen any women either interested or employed in the field. The few that were usually were better at trying to climb that ladder than skilled. That’s painting with a broad brush and I’m sure there are some good ones out there, just not that many. Same thing happens in engineering and some other field.
    The issue of course is certain groups trying to pretend there is no difference in the sexes. Call me whatever you want, I’m not a misogynist by any means, just noting the reality. Of course the claim is always that mean old men are holding them down.
    Many men aren’t anymore able to code. It takes a certain mindset and thinking process to work well. Nerdy types can do that but there is also the too nerdy types that can never put the whole thing together. I’ve seen my share of those too. Can you go into a business, help figure out their needs and put it into production. That’s a coder.

  42. lynn says:

    I’ve expressed this here before so I’ll keep it short. I’ve coded and done all types of computer work for 40 years. I’ve rarely seen any women either interested or employed in the field. The few that were usually were better at trying to climb that ladder than skilled. That’s painting with a broad brush and I’m sure there are some good ones out there, just not that many. Same thing happens in engineering and some other field.

    I’ve worked with three female programmers, all in C code, back in the 1990s. One was horrible who specialized in filing HR complaints about me being aggressive. She could not program her way out of a box, much less the maze of our environment.

    The second one was a supervisor of programmers who never wrote any code. But she did a good job leading her team to get their project done in a horribly chaotic environment (three platform changes in two years: VaxWindows -> Apollo Unix – Sun Unix).

    The third female was freaking amazing. She supervised her team and wrote code both. Good code. She helped me to deepen my understanding of pointers. She took criticism harshly unless you had a bulletproof case and then gracefully helped to fix the problem. I would work with her any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

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