Mon. Feb. 11, 2019 – short shrift today

66F and raining. NOAA forecast has been a bit more accurate the last couple of days. We’ll see if they get their mojo back.

I’ve got a mix of stuff to do today, and I think I’ll be driving a bit this morning, so I better get busy.

n

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78 Responses to Mon. Feb. 11, 2019 – short shrift today

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    I was going to post a bunch of links from zerohedge this am. Easier to just send you to their page

    https://www.zerohedge.com/

    n

  2. Ray Thompson says:

    God damn mother fucking asshole bastard insurance company.

    My wife had surgery on her back. Hospital needed $4K up front, we paid. Total bill about $9K. Surgeon’s bill was $4.5K. We had authorization from the insurance, doctor had it, hospital had it. It was issued January 8, surgery on January 23. Now the insurance company is saying the authorization was not effective until February 8 even though it was issued on January 8.

    Now the mother fucking insurance company is not paying any of the claim, zero. I am stuck with the full amount. None of what I have paid, or will have to pay, will apply to my out of pocket or my deductible.

    Why the hell do I even bother to have insurance if the assholes find a reason to not pay?

    Yeh, I am pissed.

  3. brad says:

    @Ray: that seriously sucks. What basis do they have for saying that? Why would they even care?

  4. Harold Combs says:

    60f and sprinkles in the Bluff City this AM.
    Took the great granddaughter to see LEGO MOVIE 2 on Sunday. She loved it from a 6 yr old perspective. I was surprised at how much humor was put in for us greybeards. It was a fun time for all.
    Our payroll Dept. got ADP to fix their DB so I could access my paystubs at last. Now we have the financing locked in and the inspection is scheduled for Wednesday. I must be looking forward to the move because I dreamed of living there last night. Lots of work to do before then. Once I get the wife moved I will stay behind to supervise the repairs to the existing house. I am torn behind selling it and taking, maybe, a $35,000 profit, or renting it and taking $9K a year plus keeping ownership. Looking at the numbers, renting makes sense after only 4 years and keeps generating income. I just need to find a good management agency.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    RIP. Eisner’s importance to Disney was overrated and Ron Miller underrated IMHO.

    Miller gave us “Midnight Madness”, but he also pulled off opening EPCOT successfully without legacy IP being utilized. C’mon, Disney fans, do you really prefer the current iteration of EPCOT? Test Track may have fit right in with the 80s version, but “Frozen”?

    Maybe “Tron” is debatable, but the IP is considered to be an important part of the upcoming 50th anniversary in Orlando, with a Tron roller coaster currently under construction behind Space Mountain.

    https://wdwnt.com/2019/02/ron-w-miller-former-disney-president-and-ceo-dead-at-85/

    I’ll also debate “Midnight Madness”. It was Michael J. Fox’s first US film appearance, kept Stephen Furst’s career alive after the disaster of “Delta House”, and put David Naughton into a career position for casting in “American Warewolf in London”. Plus, no “Midnight Madness”, no Eddie Deezen in “Wargames”.

  6. Greg Norton says:

    I was going to post a bunch of links from zerohedge this am. Easier to just send you to their page

    Rain tax. When we first moved to Vantucky, WA State had just ended a prohibition on rain barrels for collecting runoff from gutters on your house.

    Of course, that’s a minor nanny state antic compared to the current ban on new installations of wood-burning fireplaces in some counties, including Clark where we lived. As I’ve noted previously, Western WA State is not a place to prep.

    As for Krugman, he’ll be among the first against the wall when the SHTF.

  7. Ray Thompson says:

    Why would they even care?

    So the insurance company doesn’t have to pay anything. Any way to find a reason to not pay. Otherwise the insurance company would have to pay about $10,000.00 for the services. Plus my deductible would have been met forcing the insurance company to pay 80% of the rest of the medical expenses for the year.

    It’s a technicality. The surgeon had authorization to do the surgery. They know how to deal with the stuff.

    But apparently, buried deep within the authorization letter, 4 point type, is the effective date, last paragraph of a 388 page document. Yeh, I am being facetious but I am still royally pissed. I am going to be stuck with $14,000.00 in medical expenses that insurance should have covered.

  8. Nick Flandrey says:

    EPCOT was never what Walt wanted it to be, and indeed probably never could have been. That left it in bad shape when trying to expand or renovate, because NOTHING there had any real link to Disney or Disney IP.

    They went nuts with their ‘corporate sponsorship’ model, far past what they allowed in Dland and the MK. They made the mistake of allowing outside design firms to design and build dark rides for the countries- which suck balls because the IP sucks, and no one did dark rides like the Imagineers.

    EPCOT has always struggled with its identity, and the “Future” part aged VERY quickly. The park is huge, hot, and doesn’t (didn’t) have any real anchor attractions. The failure to attract more country pavilions hurt too.

    Several of the attractions are getting major makeovers, which will help. Food and Wine shows that smaller and more numerous ‘country’ areas work well. Frozen at least ties with Norway. The California Soarin’ attraction brings in the punters, finally. Mission Space has been neutered to the point where it is barely fun, and it was one of the most extreme experiences I’ve ever had in a park when it was new. GM Test Track was NEVER worth the extremely long wait. The preshow area has always been weak. The ride itself is meh, except for the final high speed circuit. (you do get an interesting look at backstage areas, including the tank trap rear gate to the park.)

    I’m coming to the realization that FastPass has essentially ruined the carefully crafted and curated experience of the parks. You no longer move thru the environments in the way they were designed, spend any time at all in the preshow areas (a vital part of the attractions), but instead end up rushing thru the park as quickly as possible to jump right on to a ride which takes less than a couple of minutes to experience, then off to the next ride. This leads to a disjointed experience, and the individual attractions, judged only as rides, will then disappoint compared to other parks’ rides.

    Of course the FastPass is a response to the ParkHopper and All Access passes. When you don’t have to make economic decisions about what to ride, you ride them all. The demand for a free good being infinite after all….. That led to loooonnnnggg wait times. I don’t have any numbers, but I’m betting they let more people into the parks than they used to, which increases wait times too. (handicap/scooter/obesity loading and unloading issues extend line waits too, which was not so much of an issue 20 years ago.

    I’m encouraged by all the new stuff they’re doing, but also concerned by WHAT IP they’ve chosen. Who cares about Avatar? It isn’t a timeless classic, there are no beloved characters, but they are devoting an enormous amount of money and effort, and the FUTURE to it. Star Wars, Muppets, Winnie the Pooh, those have all stood the test of time. So have Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, and Frozen looks like a good contender too. (forgot about toy story! they just got a whole new ‘land’.)

    Anyway, as a shareholder, DVC member, long time park visitor, and dad of two little kids, I wish them well because what they do is unique.

    n

  9. Nick Flandrey says:

    @ray, keep fighting it. They are trained to always reject if they can. If they keep rejecting it, go back the the providers. If you MUST pay for it, hammer them until they settle for only what the insurance covered portion would have been. THEY screwed up, they should have skin in the game too.

    n

  10. MrAtoz says:

    Sorry to hear about that Mr. Ray. The all caring ObuttwadCare apparently IS NOT. It is unbelievable they would not just say “no problem.” Obola strikes again, WHITEY!

  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    This headline

    Cambridge Economist Protests Brexit By Allowing Students To Sign Her Naked Body During Lecture

    Should read-

    Aging Moonbat Attention Whore recycles old idea, gets her t*ts out in public again

    Why do we not see naked men protesting various things? How did feminism, women’s rights, and the self empowerment movement get reduced to “use your body (not mind) to get attention”, and how is it “speaking truth to power” to give men exactly what their ‘little head’ would like– naked females??? Shake your naked “assets” at them, that’ll show ’em!

    The primary result of the hippy free love/feminist empowerment/”taking control of your sexuality” seems to be increasing the number of sexually available females to men and lesbians alike. So that seems to have worked out well for the men…

    n

    added- new billboard in Houston, says Burka is ‘modest’ dress….

  12. brad says:

    Well, you must agree agree that she has skin in the game. Seriously, while I may disagree with her position, she has certainly demonstrated her commitment. FWIW she’s not bad looking – just a normal 40-year old non-athletic body.

    @Nick: Why naked women and not naked men? Whatever the progs, SJWs and feminists want us to believe, there remains that fundamental difference in male vs. female sexuality. Men want to see naked women; it’s how our hind-brains evaluate potential mates. Women don’t mind eye candy, but it has a lot less significance for them.

    Reminds me of a discussion we had in the family a while back. Elder son referred to a study that wanted to evaluate the effect of porn on men, as opposed to men who never looked at porn. Only: the study had to be cancelled, because they couldn’t find enough men for the second group. Exact figures are hard to find, since people are…less than honest on surveys, but best estimates are than 95% or more of men look at porn, whereas somewhere between 40% and 50% of women do.

    Speaking of Burkas, by the way: Geneva has just passed a regulation prohibiting government employees from wearing even a headcloth, much less a burka. “No religious symbols”, separation of church and state. No Christian crosses or jewish skullcaps or whatever else. All good, hopefully this will soon become Swiss wide. Once the government starts, larger companies are likely to follow.

  13. Harold Combs says:

    nick – “how is it “speaking truth to power” to give men exactly what their ‘little head’ would like”

    EXACTLY – I’ve seen several things like this. Women marching topless or completely nude to protest something or the other with a “THAT WILL SHOW THEM” attitude. While they certainly will get attention I seriously doubt the attention will be for the cause and not the bare flesh. And I completely miss how showing me your tits will impress me of the correctness of your political arguments. Thinking logically, it would highlight the weakness of the argument that you have resort to such measures. But then, when do humans think logically. When I was 19 and going to college in the San Francisco Bay Area I was approached on a BART train by a beautiful young woman who chatted me up and then asked if I would accompany her to a “meeting” that evening because she didn’t want to go alone. I was highly motivated to go but had to work that evening and we exchanged numbers instead. I learned the next day that this was a common tactic of the Moonies group to rope in new converts with a honey trap. Happy to have missed that one.

  14. MrAtoz says:

    I remember the Moonies hitting you up at the airport. Especially young military recruits. I had fun taking stuff from them and then walking right to the trash can and dumping it.

  15. Greg Norton says:

    Frozen looks like a good contender too.

    Until they botch the sequel like Disney did with “Wreck It Ralph 2”.

    At least the changes to the Norway pavilion will be easy to reverse.

  16. DadCooks says:

    Snowmaggedon 2019 continues and is forecasted to continue into next week, yes next week with 3 to 4-inches of snow each day. All schools are closed today, and some non-essential businesses have also closed for the day. The mall closed yesterday and may not open today. Our city, Kennewick, hired construction companies to help with clearing the roads. Since late Sunday afternoon, the rumble and roar of heavy equipment filled the air most of the night. A road grader came through our area. Thorough, the road grader made four passes so it “scraped” from curb to curb. Tore up some asphalt and left every driveway with a 4-foot berm of very compacted snow littered with rock and asphalt, so I cannot use the BigAssSnowBlower (BASB).

    Speaking of the BASB, on an off chance I called the place where we bought the BASB (Farmers Exchange) to ask if they had any spare tires. Well, they were open, AND they would send someone out to install them. Within the hour a young man, who lives on a farm, arrived with the tires/wheels (mounted on rims and filled with a liquid that they use on farm equipment). He installed the new wheels and noticed that I had the spare carburetor out and asked if I would like him to install it. I said, sure! He installed the carburetor, started the BASB, adjusted everything. I was only charged for the two new wheels, nothing for their install or the carburetor install.

    I gave the kid a $20.00 tip.

    He is going to our local community college (Columbia Basin College, CBC) and taking courses in everything mechanical and metal. He already has his Certified Welder and Small Engine Repair Certificates. This semester he is taking metalworking, learning how to use a metal lathe and a CNC machine.

  17. Greg Norton says:

    You no longer move thru the environments in the way they were designed, spend any time at all in the preshow areas (a vital part of the attractions), but instead end up rushing thru the park as quickly as possible to jump right on to a ride which takes less than a couple of minutes to experience, then off to the next ride.

    Universal has approached the problem in a unique way with the Tonight Show ride/museum, but, sadly, we’re at almost two generations removed from anyone watching Carson nightly so most of the pre-show exhibits are lost on anyone under 50.

  18. lynn says:

    Speaking of the BASB, on an off chance I called the place where we bought the BASB (Farmers Exchange) to ask if they had any spare tires. Well, they were open, AND they would send someone out to install them. Within the hour a young man, who lives on a farm, arrived with the tires/wheels (mounted on rims and filled with a liquid that they use on farm equipment). He installed the new wheels and noticed that I had the spare carburetor out and asked if I would like him to install it. I said, sure! He installed the carburetor, started the BASB, adjusted everything. I was only charged for the two new wheels, nothing for their install or the carburetor install.

    Wow, what a blessing he was to you ! That again reaffirms my belief that the millennials are not all self centered as the far left politicians want us to believe.

  19. lynn says:

    “The New Green Deal Is Just Old White Elephants”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-11/new-green-deal-just-old-white-elephants

    The political cartoon alone is worth the visit.

  20. lynn says:

    From Sunday:

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

    I am totally unsure of the percentage but the natural gas usage in 2019 was forecasted to be 3 to 5% over 2018 in the lower 48. Instead, I am hearing 20% to 30% increases over 2018. The pipelines are all running over 100% full and the storage reservoirs are all being sucked down.

    The problem is that the usage of natural gas for electricity production has almost doubled in the last five years. Several of the natural gas pipelines have been converted to liquids (crude oil) due to the massive increase in crude oil production. There are many new natural gas pipelines in the works but regulatory inertia is slowing down the implementation. Especially along the eastern seaboard where Kinder-Morgan tried to build a 48 inch natural gas pipeline from Louisiana to New York state and was told that it was unnecessary because the state was implementing renewables for electricity production. Many of those renewables have failed in the extreme cold due to icing of the wind turbine blades and solar panels.

    People living in areas that are under-served will continue to be under-served by foolish regulators and ecoweenies running to clueless federal judges. I have no idea how to store a month or two month energy supply other than hydrocarbon liquids such as propane and butane. And you need a lot of space for those.

  21. lynn says:

    @ray, keep fighting it. They are trained to always reject if they can. If they keep rejecting it, go back the the providers. If you MUST pay for it, hammer them until they settle for only what the insurance covered portion would have been. THEY screwed up, they should have skin in the game too.

    I would only pay the amounts that you had expected to pay if the insurance company was paying their share. The providers will be in the middle of this too, they are on the hook more so than you.

    I would also file a complaint with your state insurance board.

  22. Greg Norton says:

    People living in areas that are under-served will continue to be under-served by foolish regulators and ecoweenies running to clueless federal judges.

    Don’t forget BRK-B.

    Warren Buffett/Berkshire lease/sell most of the train tank cars used in the US via a subsidiary of BNSF. They have a vested interest in preventing new oil pipelines from getting built.

    What I like about Warren is that he will explain his rackets in his annual report. The tank car scheme description goes back a few years, but it is laid out in one of his famed pieces of simple homespun wisdom … ghostwritten by Carol Loomis. Definitely during the Obama administration.

  23. Rick H says:

    #Snowmageddon report from my place (about 250 mile NE of @DadCook’s Kennewick):

    Only 1″ overnight here; light snow just started falling. Forecast for more through tomorrow. Lots of blue on the radar around my place.

    Schools closed today throughout east Jefferson County. Haven’t ventured out on the roads yet, but reports of slush and ice. Our residential street got plowed with two passes (my street is part of a ‘no outlet’* group of streets) with about 12″ of un-plowed and 16″ of berm. Garbage pick up cancelled for today. Not sure if mail will be delivered – didn’t get delivered Sat, although some Amazon packages came yesterday.

    Got an icicle growing on my back porch roof that’s approaching 5 feet in length. Cleared off the 12-14″ on my back deck yesterday, plus some cleanup of the driveway/front sidewalk.

    Power good since the brief outage Sat AM. Other areas have had problems. Ready for problems though. Still have enough eggs, milk and bread.

    * I live in an area of high concentration of retirees and other old folks. The sign at the subdivision entrance here says “No Outlet”. Don’t want to have a sign that says “Dead End”.

  24. lynn says:

    * I live in an area of high concentration of retirees and other old folks. The sign at the subdivision entrance here says “No Outlet”. Don’t want to have a sign that says “Dead End”.

    If you feel up to it, you might want to check on your elderly neighbors. Sometimes older people have trouble dealing with extreme conditions and just try to make it through without calling anyone for help.

  25. Greg Norton says:

    Wow, SSD prices are crashing. WD 500 GB SSD for $68.

    Same at Crucial. The 1 TB MX500 is about half of what I paid for one two years ago.

    The price difference for BX vs. MX was a lot wider just a few months ago. BX is the less reliable line, but I’ve never had a problem with my 480 GB.

    https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ssd?cm_re=us-top-nav-_-us-flyout-ssd-_-us-all-ssd

    I’m tempted by the 2TB for my Mac, but I keep my Win 8 partition on that laptop, accessible via VMware Fusion and reboot into Boot Camp. Window 10 wants two separate licenses for that capability.

    I just spent the better part of the weekend restoring the VMware Fusion ability to boot a VM from the partition with System Integrity enabled. As Dr. Pournelle was fond of noting, everything with Apple is either simple or nigh on impossible.

  26. paul says:

    I paid $70 for the 500 and $135 for the 1TB during the Friday of Color sale. At the time they were each $15 more a week before.

  27. JimL says:

    Enterprise drives, on the other hand.

    HPE 1.2 TB HDD – $350.
    HPE 0.8 TB SSD – $1700
    HPE 1.6 TB SSD – $2200

    One of the owners tells me he can get a 1 TB Drive for under $100. Makes me nuts. I cannot afford to hang the business on a $100 SSD. I don’t care how cheap they want to be. I simply won’t do it.

    Desktops? Any time they’ll spend the extra $50 I’m okay with it. Laptops? It’s the only way to go. Mission critical server? Nope. Not going to happen. That’s the one place we cannot go cheap.

  28. Greg Norton says:

    Desktops? Any time they’ll spend the extra $50 I’m okay with it. Laptops? It’s the only way to go. Mission critical server? Nope. Not going to happen. That’s the one place we cannot go cheap.

    I run SSDs in my Linux and Windows 10 laptops, but not my home server or primary desktop.

    I also experiment with SSHDs, but, again, those are either in our Macs with frequent Time Machine backups or the kids’ desktop.

  29. Rick H says:

    @lynn
    If you feel up to it, you might want to check on your elderly neighbors.

    Did so, didn’t want to brag. Helped clear the driveway of the 78 year old next door. And others in the neighborhood are doing the same.

    But always nice to be reminded of the need for service to neighbors.

    Thanks.

  30. dkreck says:

    The real beauty of these low costs drives is redundancy. Buy plenty and copy copy copy.
    Buy USB 3 to SATA adapters and make 500GB thumb drives (big thumb). These make nice clean units.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HJZJI84/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    More rugged than my old Free Agent drives. I have two and use them often. One WD and one Samsung.

  31. paul says:

    I think dkreck has a great idea.

    I have this adapter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0758RP5V8?tag=ttgnet-20

    There are simpler available but I want to be able to see what is on various IDE drives as I find them. When I buy a new/larger drive for a computer the old drive is put on a shelf for safe keeping. Which shelf? I don’t know, I expect to find a DOS 6 drive with WfW3.11 in the front bedroom closet under a pile of quilts. 🙂

  32. Greg Norton says:

    Anyway, as a shareholder, DVC member, long time park visitor, and dad of two little kids, I wish them well because what they do is unique.

    I noticed that the Disney proxy ballot hasn’t included Sheryl Sandberg for a couple of years. I always looked forward to voting against her retaining her board seat.

  33. Greg Norton says:

    I expect to find a DOS 6 drive with WfW3.11 in the front bedroom closet under a pile of quilts.

    Don’t laugh. Demo crews probably pull WfW 3.11 systems out of decommissioned Sears stores unless things changed dramatically in the last 10 years.

    I’m guessing that Sears network infrastructure hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. Anyone care to speculate about 30?

  34. lynn says:

    @nick, here you go: 4/3/3 one story 2,968 ft2 on five acres for $399.9K in Rosenberg, Texas.
    https://www.har.com/702-Tori-Road/sale_73978411

    Has a mother in law suite with kitchen and utility room. Built in 1979.

    8 ft ceilings, some vaulted. Has a well and septic tanks.

    No natural gas.

  35. paul says:

    Today was frustrating for Penny.

    The driveway announcer chimed and of course she wants out to BARK and perhaps to KILL.
    It was Rufino. He’s been buying the travel trailer since June or so.
    Next announcer chime was his son. They replaced a bad tire, son took another wheel that was discovered to have a bad valve stem to be repaired. More barking by Penny. Son came back.

    She’s pretty good at barking. Only a fool would break into this house.

    Then, they all left. A pick-up and a pick-up pulling the trailer to a new home. Finally, Penny was let out. More barking because “where are they” and “what is that truck?!” My truck but parked in a different place… so she peed by a tire.

    While Penny is being a Barkosaurus, Missy is just chilling.

    I spent a couple of hours raking leaves out of the boat shed. Re-arranged some junk. The generator in a lawn mower trailer covered with a plastic tub is in the shed. The truck is now under cover. Other than a few trailers and tractor implements, everything is in the shade.

    I need to clear out a lot of clutter slash junk. I need to level where I want to park the truck. Some stepping stones and and bit of gravel will fix that.

    Oh, and I put $1000 cash in my change jar today.

  36. nick flandrey says:

    All good preps!

    I picked up a 35 gallon water tank, needs cleaning and a lid. I’ll have about $42 into it, and it came with a 12v pump and a cart to move it. The online prices for similar are deceptively low, as they don’t include shipping, but even the least expensive costs 3x what I paid. It’s the mini-me version of the 125 gallon behind the garage.

    n

  37. lynn says:

    She’s pretty good at barking. Only a fool would break into this house.

    Good girl ! The first principal of the dog – human agreement is that they guard the front entrance of the cave.

  38. lynn says:

    I’m guessing that Sears network infrastructure hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. Anyone care to speculate about 30?

    So sad. They should have put the catalog business on the internet. Amazon would have never been built. And Sears had the money back in the 1990s. But they did not have the vision.

    It makes me wonder what we are missing in our business.

  39. nick flandrey says:

    We’re missing thinnet over coax….

    which I wouldn’t be surprised to see under the Sears checkout counter….

    n

  40. nick flandrey says:

    @lynn, nice property, but every surface in the house needs updating, baths and kitchen too….

    n

  41. Rick Hellewell says:

    @lynn .

    The pix of that house look like the ‘before’ pictures in just about any HGTV show.

    But, maybe a bargain for someone?

  42. lynn says:

    @lynn, nice property, but every surface in the house needs updating, baths and kitchen too….

    The pix of that house look like the ‘before’ pictures in just about any HGTV show.

    But, maybe a bargain for someone?

    The house is perfect for our needs. The mother-in-law suite is great place for our disabled daughter. Note that the entire house has 36 inch doors so easy to get a wheelchair around the place.

    Yes, two major problems that I see, five acres is a lot to mow but looks like they are only mowing three acres at most. Lots of fencing to weedeat though.

    And, a lot of deferred maintenance. That is wood on the outside of the house, not Hardie Plank. Shoot, it might even be that old paper mache wallboard crap that the fire ants love to tunnel into. And yes, everything in the house is circa 1976.

    Plenty of room to add a new master suite and man cave.

    The wife and I are debating about seeing it. The wife is betting that one of the couple died and the remaining spouse moved to assisted living.

    ADD: I just checked the Fort Bend County LIDAR map. The house is at 89 ft above sea level. That is excellent, 8 ft above my office property which was 11 ft above the peak of the Brazos River during Harvey.

  43. Greg Norton says:

    So sad. They should have put the catalog business on the internet. Amazon would have never been built. And Sears had the money back in the 1990s. But they did not have the vision.

    It makes me wonder what we are missing.

    Sears credit cards used to be separate from debt which could be discharged in Bankruptcy. That was the core of their power up until lawsuits forced a change in the mid-90s. No one can replicate that market position now.

    The advantage to the consumer? As long as you made your Sears card payments, in a pinch, you could replace major appliances, fix the car, and even buy a freezer full of meat.

  44. Greg Norton says:

    And, a lot of deferred maintenance. That is wood on the outside of the house, not Hardie Plank. Shoot, it might even be that old paper mache wallboard crap that the fire ants love to tunnel into. And yes, everything in the house is circa 1976.

    The upside of 1976 is that termite treatments of the soil still worked. My parents 100% wood frame house outside Tampa is still standing 43 years later thanks to better living through chemistry.

    The wife and I are debating about seeing it. The wife is betting that one of the couple died and the remaining spouse moved to assisted living.

    I bet the place is filled with wallpaper. 70s era windows are done at this point, no matter how advanced/expensive they were back in the day.

    Doesn’t hurt to take a look, though.

    Update: My parents house. 43 years — not bad considering it was the classic neglected divorce house (my parents) and a FL Housing Boom foreclosure (the next owners).

    And, yes, filled with wallpaper. As I’ve said before, my maternal unit is the mother in “I, Tonya”.

    https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/1436-normandy-lane-palm-harbor_rb/

  45. lynn says:

    And, yes, filled with wallpaper. As I’ve said before, my maternal unit is the mother in “I, Tonya”.

    Uh, I never saw “I, Tonya”. But, sounds … scary.

  46. Greg Norton says:

    Uh, I never saw “I, Tonya”. But, sounds … scary.

    Allison Janey deserved that Oscar. Her character is the typical 80s mother, born in 1940 +/- a couple of years.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQVJBu3NEi0

    Shudder. My mother is still alive, but we don’t speak, just like the Hardings.

    The glaring inaccuracies of “I, Tonya” are the locations — too nice since the movie shot in Atlanta instead of Portland. The characters are pure Vantucky/Portland, however.

  47. lynn says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQVJBu3NEi0

    Shudder. My mother is still alive, but we don’t speak, just like the Hardings.

    That mother is horrible !

    One of my son’s friends in middle school used to come home and sit at the kitchen table until he had his homework completed. His mother would stand there with a switch until he was completed. If he made a mistake … Yes, they were Asian.

  48. lynn says:

    I bet the place is filled with wallpaper. 70s era windows are done at this point, no matter how advanced/expensive they were back in the day.

    Hey, I saw three walls that did not have wallpaper on them in the pictures.

    I wonder if the wife would let me buy a 45 hp Kuboto with a 84 inch finishing mower and an air conditioned cab ?

  49. lynn says:

    Allison Janey deserved that Oscar.

    Oh yeah, the mom’s mom in “Mom”. She is a very good actor, mostly despicable.

  50. lynn says:

    “Green New Deal: A Democratic suicide note”
    https://www.wnd.com/2019/02/green-new-deal-a-democratic-suicide-note/

    “Pat Buchanan says AOC’s plan ‘reads like it was written by the college socialists club'”

    Pat, now don’t hold back, tell me how you really feel about it.

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

  51. Greg Norton says:

    Hey, I saw three walls that did not have wallpaper on them in the pictures.

    I haven’t looked, but I’m guessing carpeted master bath. *Shag* carpeting.

    Update: Oh, God, I nailed it about the carpet! The interior looks like the real inside of the “Dallas” house. We took the tour last year.

    In the mid 70s, every woman with a Southern Living subscription wanted that house. My mother also had a Yankee magazine subscription, hence the odd mix of New England and The Ol’ Plantation at my childhood home.

    Lots of work. May be worth it. The carpet and/or wallpaper in the baths have to go ASAP. I guarantee you’ll be spraying/brushing Killz everywhere once the raw surfaces are exposed.

  52. nick flandrey says:

    It’s not just the south, some years ago my sibling bought a nice big house in a far suburb… EVERY wall had wallpaper, and even some of the ceilings. They had papered over the oak paneling in the 2 story foyer/ stairway. It was heavy duty, very expensive paper, and put in by a real craftsman. Every light switch and outlet was perfectly matched to the wall, even the heating register grills were covered to match seamlessly. And it was HIDEOUS wallpaper. One room had a pattern that if you squinted was stripes on a 45 deg angle. You’d walk in and your head would literally spin as it followed the stripes… to the 4th wall that had a DIFFERENT pattern. And the ceiling had another. The house was built and decorated in the 80s but with a very 70s mindset.

    Family spent a LOT of time peeling wallpaper…

    n

  53. nick flandrey says:

    IIRC, the Sears card was a charge card vs a ‘credit’ card. Everything you bought with it, SEARS retained a security interest. The upside to this was that Sears would give just about anyone a charge card. It was great for establishing credit as a young person, or a new couple. I’ll admit, there were times when I was so short I ‘cash advanced’ my Sears card. (Buy a tool with the card and get a gift receipt, walk across the store and return it for cash.) Sears used to be the first place you’d go to buy stuff. Some of my early memories of my dad are going to Sears with him to get ‘bridge mix’ (candy) and seeing Teflon pans demonstrated for the first time. Of course I wanted to get one for my mom! I got her teflon pans for a number of birthdays and Christmases, what could be cooler than non-stick cookware? 10 year old me thought it was awesome! I never have been able to do the crepe trick though, non-stick or not.

    Sears is also one of those places that always had a particular and distinctive smell.

    n

  54. lynn says:

    I haven’t looked, but I’m guessing carpeted master bath. *Shag* carpeting.

    Update: Oh, God, I nailed it about the carpet! The interior looks like the real inside of the “Dallas” house. We took the tour last year.

    https://www.har.com/702-Tori-Road/sale_73978411

    Nah, that looks like those plastic linoleum squares to me. They are all over the house. They are hideous.

    I do note that the electrical outlets in the master bathroom are not GCFI.

  55. lynn says:

    Family spent a LOT of time peeling wallpaper…

    Never again.

  56. nick flandrey says:

    @brad, here’s another one for you to see about local media coverage…

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/02/sweden-bombing-crisis-continues-man-blows-himself-up-as-4-bombings-take-place-in-24-hours/

    Remember they have a hand grenade problem too.

    n

  57. nick flandrey says:

    We’re getting medium drizzle at the moment, and had the power blink, then go out completely for about one minute. 68F and raining. Spring is in the air!

    n

  58. Greg Norton says:

    Sears is also one of those places that always had a particular and distinctive smell.

    Publix is the same way in Florida due to the terrazzo floor maintenance chemicals. Ammonia and water buffing every Saturday night, wax stripping/replacement every six months.

    Anyone who says terrazzo is low maintenance didn’t work for Publix.

  59. brad says:

    @Nick: Nope, not a single article in the last week, on any of the major sites, about bombs and explosions in Sweden. I explicitly searched, to be sure I hadn’t missed anything. Truly a conspiracy of silence. Really, it’s shocking, how the media is still trying to hide the problems of mass immigration from barbaric cultures.

    I didn’t search for the “Gilet Jaunes” (yellow vests) in France, but there’s certainly nothing on any of the front pages. On the one hand, that’s surprising, since France is our direct neighbor. OTOH, France has been a political basket case for decades, so news of political upheaval there is nothing new. What makes this different is that it is so widespread and lasting so long. On the gripping hand, at this point nothing more is going to change – Macron is just waiting them out, figuring they’ll eventually get cold. If that doesn’t work, and the protests last into Spring, things could get sporty…

    At the moment, our international news is obsessed with the US:

    – Potential agreement about the US budget (this over, and over, and over again)
    – A “Swiss” woman wants to run for President (Amy Klobuchar)
    – Trump’s “fairy tale” wall
    – Trumps $100 million inauguration parties being investigated
    – Muslim Congresswoman pokes a wasps’ nest by criticizing Israel

    Otherwise, it’s scattered international news: Catalonia, Germany, Iran, Algeria, Iran, Venezuela. The only article saying anything at all about migration is the one about Germany, where Merkel’s successors within her party might, maybe, possibly support slightly more stringent immigration rules.

  60. brad says:

    @Ray: That’s a lot of automation you have! I’m hoping to do something homegrown, so that I can centralize control. At the same time, I want everything to remain usable without automation – there would be nothing stupider than having guests who can’t turn on a light, or having to say “sorry, can’t cook dinner until I reboot my house”.

    How is the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)? Does your wife appreciate or resent the technical stuff? Or just quietly ignore it?

  61. Ray Thompson says:

    Nah, that looks like those plastic linoleum squares to me. They are all over the house. They are hideous.

    Almost everything about that house screams “Rip me out, please”. There has to be at least $150K in remodeling to bring the house beyond looking like a double wide on steroids.

  62. Ray Thompson says:

    That’s a lot of automation you have! I’m hoping to do something homegrown, so that I can centralize control

    Actually it is fairly centralized as everything can be controlled by Amazon Alexa. I can either give voice commands or use the app on the phone or tablet. Each device can also be manually controlled if needed.

    I do like being able to say “Alexa, It’s bed time” which turns off the kitchen light, living room light and turns on the bedroom light. The major lights are on a schedule that is controlled by Alexa. At 5:30 PM several lights come on and at 11:30 PM several lights go off. This allows some level of apparent occupation while we are not at home and traveling.

    The garage door was done with automation because the old opener/closer had failed. The chain sprocket had worn and the chain would not stay on the sprocket. The new opener/closer is belt drive, which I highly recommend over chain drive. So much quieter. The automation was included because I wanted to be able to open or close the garage door from upstairs without having to run downstairs. I can also check the status of the garage door without having to look.

    It was interesting that the installer had no knowledge of how to make the automation work. He was just a mechanical installer and did a good job. He, or rather his assistant, found out that with the smart controller you have to watch polarity in the connection wires. Most of the intelligence is in the wired controller.

    How is the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)? Does your wife appreciate or resent the technical stuff? Or just quietly ignore it?

    At first the WAF was “not going to happen” or “why do we need that” only a little less subtle. Since the son bought most of the stuff as Christmas gifts she felt obligated to use the stuff. Over time she has gotten to where she uses the automation without issue. She sets alarms and timers with Alexa and does give commands for the lights. This last Thanksgiving on Black Friday she actually suggested a couple more Echo Dots to place in the house.

    Some of the stuff can be controlled by Apple Homekit using my Apple TV as the hub. But the interface on that is really clumsy, especially for automation. There is also no way to do your own custom commands to control scripts. Amazon and Alexa are far ahead. In my opinion Alexa wins hands down for controlling devices. And the majority of devices will work with Alexa.

    My biggest issue has been the need for controllers for each family of devices. I have three different controllers that have to be connected to the network. Two of them need to be wire connected, the other will work wireless. Some devices such as the WEMO plugs do not need a controller. The Amazon plug controllers also do not need a controller. The EcoBee thermostat does not need a controller.

    If I had to do it over I would look for devices that work with Alexa and require no controller as much as possible. Unfortunately that is not always possible. Security cameras are different as they require storage and I much prefer local storage access able from the WEB and thus will almost always require a controller. The Lutron light switches are really nice, highly recommended, but require a small controller. So you just deal with it.

    Working with Alexa is the most important aspect.

  63. Bob Sprowl says:

    Ray

    That’s a lot of automation you have!

    My daughter can’t get her Alexa to reliably control a single light. One of her neighbor’s children is named Alexa and the girl hates now hates her name. I suggested they rename “Alexa” as “Dumkof” or “Dofus” because it is so useless. It never responds to me and seldom responds to her sister.

    I couldn’t imagine allowing automation to control my house due to my daughter’s experience. They have several other controllers they were going to use but since the light comes on or goes off for no reason they can determine and because it often fails to respond to commands to turn the light on or off, they have given up on using it elsewhere.

    Her experience is similar to most others I’ve met. Your is the first of someone who is pleased and has found it to be useful.

  64. MrAtoz says:

    I use Alexa for lights control all the time. I changed it’s name to “computer” for that Star Trek feel. I have Prime so I stream reading and sleeping music all the time.

  65. Ray Thompson says:

    since the light comes on or goes off for no reason they can determine

    There may be a schedule setup in the app for which they are unaware. Such as on at dusk, off at sometime, or off at sunrise, etc. They may also have configured events in more than one controller. Problems are almost always in the configuration of the devices. Failure to respond may be because their WiFi signal is too weak.

  66. lynn says:

    Nah, that looks like those plastic linoleum squares to me. They are all over the house. They are hideous.

    Almost everything about that house screams “Rip me out, please”. There has to be at least $150K in remodeling to bring the house beyond looking like a double wide on steroids.

    Nah, just $148K.

    I just realized that if I bought the place and added a 1,000 ft2 master bedroom / game room to it, the county would probably require that I replace the septic leach system with a modern septic aerobic system. Just another expense.

  67. Rick Hellewell says:

    @lynn …. re the tractor purchase….perhaps the current owner of that house has one that they will include with the purchase, or sell to you.

    If you look at the house, take note of anything that you might want to get in addition to the house. Especially if it the seller is downsizing. Look in the garage for any tools/etc that might be needful if you get the house.

    When I bought my current house, I made a deal with the seller for some living (two chairs and a couch) and dining room furniture (table, chairs and hutch), and the stereo system that is connected to the built-in speakers for an extra $500. Plus we got the washer/dryer (older model, but still work). The seller (widow) was downsizing into a condo.

  68. paul says:

    I think it’s an interesting looking house. The septic tanks seem a bit on the small size. Maybe the write-up is wrong?

    The county doesn’t know what this house has… just that it has a septic system. They didn’t keep track in 1981. The septic guy says it looks like a 1000 gallon tank by the time it takes his truck to pump it out. My understanding is systems are sized by the number of bedrooms. Four bedroom house equals eight people.

    I didn’t get the floor plan sorted in my head. The enclosed back porch looks like an add on. I do like the garage. The kitchens are not bad, either.

  69. lynn says:

    I think it’s an interesting looking house. The septic tanks seem a bit on the small size. Maybe the write-up is wrong?

    The house has two septic tanks, probably each with a separate leach field. Very old school with plugging issues since there is not a pump. Most did not even have a permanent cover on the surface so you have to dig them out. I am guessing that the mother-in-law suite was added on as it has a separate septic tank.

    Nowadays, Fort Bend County requires a 1,500+ gallon three stage aerobic septic tank with a pump and two or more sprinklers. The septic tank must be maintained by a “registered septic tank professional” who comes by every four months and drops more chlorine tablets into the final stage. I have a 2,500 gallon aerobic septic tank at the office that I just had cleaned out in 2018.

    The enclosed back porch is definitely an add-on. So is the brick on the front of house according to the wife. One wonders if the foundation below the enclosed back porch is properly built for that kind of load. The wife says that we would merge the enclosed back porch and den together, removing the wall and windows separating them. The wife said that I could initially use the enclosed porch as a mancave and I said not without air conditioning.

  70. lynn says:

    I didn’t get the floor plan sorted in my head. The enclosed back porch looks like an add on. I do like the garage. The kitchens are not bad, either.

    https://www.har.com/702-Tori-Road/sale_73978411

    If you notice the front of the house, there are three entry doors. The left door is into the front hallway with an immediate right turn for the kitchen. The middle door heads into the breakfast area. The right door heads into the mother-in-law suite. The back door out of the breakfast area heads into the garage or the mother-in-law suite.

    I really like the garage a lot. But I think that those are 8 ft and 16 ft doors. I would love 10 ft and 18 ft doors. Both the wife and I are driving SUVs now and the 16 ft door on our present garage is tight.

  71. Rick Hellewell says:

    @Lynn

    I see a red sports car, and a riding lawnmower. Arrange for both to be included.

  72. lynn says:

    I see a red sports car, and a riding lawnmower. Arrange for both to be included.

    Heh. Is that a Corvette ? I thought it was a Potiac Soltice at first but changed my mind.

    I need an enclosed cab riding lawnmower for my allergies. A 33 hp diesel Kubota would be nice. Only $26K. Plus I need the 72 inch mower and the backhoe option (need to dig out the ditches at the office). Probably another $10K. Maybe $20K. And a rollbar for sure. I haven’t rolled a tractor yet but I sure have tried.
    https://tractorsinfo.com/kubota-b3350-tractors-price-specs-review/

  73. Ray Thompson says:

    I haven’t rolled a tractor yet but I sure have tried.

    I have, before they had cabs and roll bars. I was on the side of a steep hill. Made the mistake of lifting the bucket of the front end loader (I was 18 and still stupid). That changed the center of gravity and the tractor rolled. I jumped off the uphill side and watched. It rolled twice and landed upright on the wheels. The framing for the front end loader protected the tractor and there was no “apparent” damage.

    The damage showed later when I was mucking out the barn with years of manure, piss, straw and sawdust. Picking up a load with the bucket and the lower front support bolts broke, three of them. Had to crawl under the tractor in the manure, jack up the loader frame, and install new bolts. I was not a happy camper. The clothes were simply thrown away.

  74. lynn says:

    I have, before they had cabs and roll bars. I was on the side of a steep hill. Made the mistake of lifting the bucket of the front end loader (I was 18 and still stupid). That changed the center of gravity and the tractor rolled. I jumped off the uphill side and watched. It rolled twice and landed upright on the wheels. The framing for the front end loader protected the tractor and there was no “apparent” damage.

    My dad had a 25 hp Ford diesel with a 72 inch finishing mower for mowing his four acres. His house is 30 ft above Lavaca Bay but that slope down to the bay is almost 30%. You could pop a really nice wheelie on that slope if you were not careful. I’ll swear that mower kept me from going over backwards a time or two. We put a roll bar on it about a year after he got it. Plus changing the belt on that three bladed towed PTO mower was real fun, not !

  75. lynn says:

    The damage showed later when I was mucking out the barn with years of manure, piss, straw and sawdust. Picking up a load with the bucket and the lower front support bolts broke, three of them. Had to crawl under the tractor in the manure, jack up the loader frame, and install new bolts. I was not a happy camper. The clothes were simply thrown away.

    EWWWWWWW !

  76. Ray Thompson says:

    EWWWWWWW

    Yep, it was a really shitty job.

    Plus changing the belt on that three bladed towed PTO mower was real fun, not !

    I’ll trade you tasks in a heartbeat.

  77. nick flandrey says:

    Off-line and off site…. or it’s not real backup.

    n

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