Sun. Feb. 10 2019 – not much rest…

51F and damp, with grey skies. Better than raining or cold.

Wife mentioned visiting the Eiffel tower yesterday, and I countered with “Paris is still burning, and right there on the Champs de Elysee.” She replied “Oh, the Facebook says that is no big deal and it isn’t really.”

Which is interesting in light of this–

‘cuz that sure looks like a lot of dangerous rioting to me, and you can clearly see the Arc in the background of many shots….

So if my wife, who does read other sources, including DailyMail, can gloss right over that, what do the other mostly NPC-types think? Or is the alt-media being manipulated? My personal vote is the FB is the one most slanting coverage, because the alt-media is reporting tweet pics, and photos from “ordinary people”, but how do we KNOW? The tweets can be by manipulators too.

This is the central problem in ‘mediated’ experiences, whether it’s a future experienced through AI and augmented reality, or simply distant events experienced through the lens of competing propaganda machines– who do you trust?


–see also

[which doesn’t even SOUND genuine, but when I see pix of Venezuelans in the streets, they are still FAT. Starving people aren’t FAT.]

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27 Responses to Sun. Feb. 10 2019 – not much rest…

  1. Greg Norton says:

    which doesn’t even SOUND genuine, but when I see pix of Venezuelans in the streets, they are still FAT. Starving people aren’t FAT

    US intervention is a bad idea, but that seems to be what everyone wants down there, including Maduro. Chavez died waiting for the Iowa to sail into 16-inch gun range of Caracas.

    Again, I think Maduro wants to be the modern day Manuel Noriega, right down to the drama of him holed up in an embassy, bombarded by heavy metal music, negotiating terms via satellite phone with the CentCom REMFs who just want to get it over with and head back to their golf, steaks at Berns, and kinky sex with Muslim Brotherhood sleeper agents in South Tampa. Noriega even got to die *in Panama* eventually under a humanitarian arrangement after his cancer went terminal.

    So we return the oligarchs to power, they run things from their Miami Beach condos, and not much changes except the oil starts flowing at gunpoint, muscle provided by US Marines. Then what? Chavez rose to power for a reason.

  2. DadCooks says:

    2019 Snowmageddon, Central and Southeast WA State
    Yesterday we got 8-inches of additional snow, and blowing winds created some big snow drifts. 12-inches of new snow overnight. The roads from Wenatchee WA to Hermiston OR are impassable, and people are being told to stay home today and probably tomorrow. The State, Counties, and Cities are all running around in a cluster-fuck. They have gotten rid of more than 50% of the snow removal equipment they had a decade ago, and there are no reserves of road grit or de-icer.

    We have not had this much snow in a long time, and now my BigAssSnowBlower has decided it has had enough, won’t start, and one tire has split. I’ve got a spare carburetor somewhere, but I’ll have to MacGuyver the tire with some cold temperature silicon sealant and cold temperature ducktape.

    Knock on wood: our electric grid is holding up well, but the Natural Gas Company is telling its customers to prepare for an outage.

  3. Nick Flandrey says:

    An NG outage? that’s crazy. i wonder if it is the pumps that the epa mandated change from NG powered to electricity?


  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    @dadcooks, fill the tire with spray foam? It’ll be a b!tch to get it off the rim later, but it should give you enough tire to get thru the storm. Maybe spray silicone or baking spray inside first to help with the eventual removal? I don’t expect any goo to be strong enough… mustie1 tried something similar with FlexSeal on old dry rotted tires (on youtube) but it just doesn’t hold….


  5. Rick H says:

    @SteveF –

    Glad to hear that your daughter liked the “Light Blink” book. Reviews on Amazon are very helpful.

    If you want to send me editor-type thoughts, you can do it via the comment form on the Light Blink site ( ). Although I made several passes through the book before releasing it, I suspect there are some things I missed. A difficult issue I had with the story is the ‘world-building’ thing; making it consistent and believable.

    As for @Snowmageddan here in WA, my little corner of the Olympic Peninsula got about 12 inches overall. Spent some time yesterday clearing the driveway (well, half of it is all that I need to do) and front sidewalk. Also helped one neighbor (he is 87) with his, clearing a path for his car to get out.

    The county did plow the roads here in my subdivision, although that made the usual berm of 18″ that needed to be clear. Of course, some neighbors are complaining about the berm in front of their driveway. Noticed there are several in our little subdivision that still need driveways cleared.

    More storms predicted for tonight/tomorrow, then Mon-Wed, and the long-range forecast has indications of more storms. Temps around here are 20-35F, so it will take a bit for the snow to go away.

    But the house is warm, the generator is ready (3-hour power outage yesterday morning), and food stocks are OK for the two of us.

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    “But the house is warm, the generator is ready (3-hour power outage yesterday morning), and food stocks are OK for the two of us. ”

    –winning ! !


  7. DadCooks says:

    @Nick, thanks for the suggestions, you get the MacGuyver Award for today. I’ve got all the items you mentioned, and much more. I’ve got several cans of tire sealant I may use. I’ve been searching Google and YouTube, no shortage of ideas. Now to make a decision, and then make it right.

    The snowplows have not been in our area, even though we are just off a Priority 1 road (for emergency vehicles). When they do plow, I expect a huge compacted ice-chunk filled berm. I have nowhere to go so I’ll let the uninformed ruin the front-ends of their cars as they try to ram their way through.

  8. TV says:

    Are things peaceful and quiet in Paris? Probably not. Is it a major problem? Probably not. (How much of Paris is NOT burning? No one reports on the dog that didn’t bark). I spent a week in Chicago a couple of summers ago. Lots of news about the high crime and murder rate. But, I’m a tourist. Stayed in a hotel downtown, went to a Cubs game, shopped in the ritzy district (golden mile? Michigan Avenue? – I forget). Architecture tour and river cruise during the day and out to bars and restaurants at night. No problems. Didn’t go where the problems were happening in Chicago. Now with Paris, the protests are in or near the “ritzy” areas, but no one is being murdered. Yeah, cars are being burned but that seems to be a French thing at protests, and they love their protests. I would not be nervous visiting Paris now. That might be imprudent, but I think you are looking at a very low risk for trouble.

  9. Rick H says:

    An additional note about the Snowpocalypse here in Olympic Peninsula WA

    … last night we had french toast for dinner …

  10. Nick Flandrey says:

    Thanks TV for the perspective.

    I grew up in the Chicago area, and reported here about my trip last fall, where I did many of the same things you did.

    I’ll note that it’s common for snatch and grab robbery (cell phones esp.) along the shopping district, The Magnificent Mile, but moreso at night.

    Pretty much all of the tourist things are fine during the day. Nightclubs, etc, should be fine if you stick with name brands and well known places, and take taxis to move around. The problem with not going to “places where that happens” is that they are often on the edge or in between places you want to go, and it’s not often obvious. That said, Chicago’s violent crime is MOSTLY confined to black on black, gang related violence. Both of my siblings lived in the city, and one still does. She goes out and does ordinary things, but when pushed on it will admit that there is a long list of things and places that she avoids because “don’t be fucking stupid, no one does that.” Of course most of us won’t be privy to her list.

    Riots and protests are an ugly thing. I was living in LA and working in Hollywood during the Rodney King riots. While I personally avoided harm, my roommate was hospitalized by his racially motivated attackers, and many people I know had property losses. The aftermath was surreal. I guess that colors my perception of burning and looting mobs. If the paris rioters are actually poseurs, making a big show without any real lasting harm, well, that would be a surprise to me, but as you say, they are very practiced at it. I’ve said before that we’ll know it is real when they start using gasoline on the cops or the crowds.

    The website says the Eiffel tower is open for tours, so I guess it’s fine- at least during the day on weekdays….

    Still, I’m not going to willingly take my family into a city that is currently having violent demonstrations, be it LA, or Paris.

    Thanks again for the other perspective.



    The part about the cops simply not responding or recording crime ties in with lots of other reporting, that due to racial issues, and social justice requirements, many cops have just stopped policing.

  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    AAAHHHH Rick, you’re a French Toast prepper! Say it ain’t so!


  12. Greg Norton says:

    The State, Counties, and Cities are all running around in a cluster-fuck. They have gotten rid of more than 50% of the snow removal equipment they had a decade ago, and there are no reserves of road grit or de-icer.

    I never saw any of Clark County’s snow removal equipment actually *on the road* around Vantucky. WaDOT sprayed the “blue stuff” (don’t call it salt) on 14 as far out as Washougal, but the surface roads were always buried, even around HP.

    In theory, the county had trucks. During our sentence -er- tenure, Fox 7 sent Sophie Song out to cover snowstorm prep at the depot every couple of years, and, indeed, she stood in front of some kind of heavy equipment, yakking away with the anchors in the studio.

  13. brad says:

    I find it fascinating that I’m hearing about the “gilets jaunes” in Paris from this site. Paris isn’t far from here, but it hasn’t made the news in at least a month.

    So it’s always the question: is it a non-issue being exaggerated in the US? Or a conspiracy of silence in Europe?

  14. paul says:

    I ran across a site today, just following links from the group of blogish site I visit almost everyday, and it said the BBC was under some kind of Gov order or was using their own rules called Plan D. I think that was the name. I can’t find the site and I seem to be too stupid to find it in Firefox’s history.

    The gist is that the BBC is actively suppressing stories and have a flowchart of sorts (and with prepared “news” ready to issue) depending on what happens. Suppressing the “fun” in France is on the list along with story lines involving snackbar events.

    I’ll try to find it the site tomorrow. It didn’t read like a site that wears a too tight tinfoil hat.

  15. Nick Flandrey says:

    People getting their hands blown off is pretty serious. If someone lost a hand in an industrial accident, it would shut down the facility for the investigation, and possibly bankrupt the company. This is the SECOND person to have a hand blown off at the ‘demonstrations’. You’d think that they would have learned not to touch the grenades after the first one…

    No way the pix are faked, so the demos must be actually happening. Size and impact can be faked, viz Hillarrity’s campaign rallys, but the reporting was 80k cops put on duty… that’s a lot of cops. Surely someone would say ” man, I dont’ see 80k…”


  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’ll add that the US doesn’t have any of the crowd/riot suppression vehicles I see in pix of EU riots, the armored fire truck looking things, with the big nozzles on them and covered windscreens…… Since TPTB spent the money on the vehicles, riot suppression must be both common, and needed. Yet as you say, where’s the coverage?


  17. Greg Norton says:

    “Uh, Willie, this is … Willie. Ha ha ha. Anyway, listen, what you did for Hillary a couple of weeks ago was great, but I need you to hammer Kamala again. This will be the last time I swear. But stay rested, buddy, we’ll need you to burn Gavin this Spring ahead of our announcement that the cavalry is riding to the rescue of the party.”

    “What? Beto? Oh, I got a whole bag of dimes ready to drop on that boy, soon as he announces. If he announces. His daddy worked for Jesse Jackson back in the day, and we pulled that family’s FBI files on the off chance we’d get primaried from the center in 96 by Gary Hart.”

    “Ha, yeah. If any of that is true, then ol’ Atwater did us all a favor. God bless, Lee. He’s playin’ in heaven with Jimmy Hendrix and John Lennon. Poor ol’ Gary Hart must’ve been goin crazy by the end of the 90s. Cr*p, can you imagine how batsh*t he is watching Trump twenty years after what I got away with? Monkey Business! That kind of thing was a slow afternoon at the Mansion for me in Little Rock, just one woman sittin’ on my lap.”

  18. Rick H says:


    AAAHHHH Rick, you’re a French Toast prepper! Say it ain’t so!

    Just a coincidence. We have more than just eggs, milk, and bread.

    We have FLASHLIGHTS!

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    that’s ok then…



  20. CowboySlim says:

    Over and out for the day. I will not celebrate tomorrow because I want this holiday to end as Kankles or OAC might be the next president and attempt to imitate Maduro.

  21. MrAtoz says:

    $17 is too much.

  22. Nick Flandrey says:

    Well, just spent a few hours trouble shooting the psu for a piece of radio test gear. Didn’t make much progress. It’s worth trying as ‘working’ would add $500-1k to the price on ebay. nothing obvious wrong with the supply, it just isn’t outputting any voltage at all. This suggests the problem is near the beginning. I’ll try again tomorrow.

    Now I’m headed to bed.

    BTW, it’s Girl Scout Cookie time, keep your eyes open for cookie booths, and support your local troop!


  23. brad says:

    I always find it difficult to get started in a completely new area… I’m looking at home automation from a DIY perspective, in particular the OpenHAB protocol (for the overall control), and then ZigBee for individual things like plugs, switches and sensors.

    Really, that’s two different topics. OpenHAB provides a framework for talking to all kinds of things. One of those things is a ZigBee network (for which one needs a bridge from the Ethernet world into the ZigBee world). I think I’ve found such a bridge: The various models of Digi X2E. I’m planning to order the Digi X2E-Z3C-W1-W

    Fine so far – well, assuming I can figure out the bridge. Where I’m currently struggling, is figuring out what I need to get started in the ZigBee world. I can just order a couple of random switches and plugs, and kind of hope that I’ll be able to talk to them. But I really don’t know – will that work? There are lots of “tutorials” out there, but they all seem to start from a knowledge base I just don’t have. Some say ZigBee is Zigbee, others imply that the normal and PRO versions are incompatible, others refer to the new ZigBee 3 standard, which is apparently not backwards compatible, etc, etc.

    Has anyone here had experience in this area? If so, any suggestions how to get started from zero?

  24. nick flandrey says:

    You’re already doing what I’d do.

    I will say that knowing what you want to accomplish is the first goal. WHICH lights do you want to control? Unlock doors? Open the garage? Control or monitor temps….

    Most of my clients want to monitor temps while they are away. Turn on some lights to simulate occupancy, make sure the garage door is closed and that’s it. Many don’t even bother with the lights, and use the cams to check the garage door.

    What do you want to monitor, what do you want to control?

    Lighting is very handy and we’ve had one button control of half the house for years. Very nice to go to bed and hit one button.

    I’ve used commercial product so I don’t know anything about zigbee.


  25. Greg Norton says:

    Has anyone here had experience in this area? If so, any suggestions how to get started from zero?

    I’ve written before about the problems I’ve had with our new Nexia thermostat, installed with the last downstairs AC system overhaul. The only way to keep that unit from doing all kinds of crazy things to my WiFi, including probing ports on my home network (!), is to keep the “smart” features unconfigured.

    When I get motivated, the replacement will be a Honeywell RedLink system. That has an Internet interface which is optional, but I want as “dumb” a system as possible on something critical like AC, especially in Winter.

  26. Ray Thompson says:

    Has anyone here had experience in this area?

    I have an Ecobee thermostat, my son has two of them. It works well and I can control the thermostat from anywhere. Primarily got it to stop people changing the settings when they stay in our home while the wife and I travel and have to leave the dog at home. Changes are locked with a PIN code. The thermostat also has multiple remote sensors, in my case 5, scattered throughout the house. Biggest problem I have had is the recording of data as Ecobee’s servers are having problems. Not a big deal as it is only operational history.

    The thermostat also detects human activity and if none is detected for a length of time will adjust the settings on the thermostat (higher in summer, lower in winter). When I get about one hour from home I get on the app and inform the thermostat to put the temperature back to normal.

    I also have a couple of WEMO outlet controllers and one Amazon outlet controller. Given a choice between the two I would choose the Amazon over the WEMO. They all work it is just that Amazon is much easier to connect to the app on the phone.

    I also have a couple of automated switches by Lutron. They do require a controller. Easy integration into Amazon Alexa and works well.

    I just replaced my garage door opener as the chain drive socket wore out. I went with a belt drive and automation. I can open and close the garage door from Alexa and also determine the status of the door. With the opener app on the phone the door will open when I get close, but I have that disabled as I can control within the vehicle.

    I have schedules set up to turn the lights on a schedule or voice command. I have four Echo Dots in the house and voice commands can turn on, or off, all the lights, or change the thermostat.

    I also have five Arlo security cameras which also require a hub. It is easy to access any of the security cameras from the app. I don’t have an Amazon TV device but my son does and he can view the cameras on his TV. He also controls his TV from Alexa.

    Other than having multiple controllers there are no issues operationally for the devices. I like being able to tell Alexa to “Start my day” and have the lights come on. You can have your own custom phrases to do tasks. You can also set schedules. I really like the Amazon environment. It is easy to set up, the app is easy to configure, and it recognizes devices that are not from Amazon. It just works.

    Biggest item I have for security are lights, motion activated, lots of them. I have eight of them. One set on each corner of the house, one on the mower shed, one over the garage, two of them in the RV canopy.

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