Sat. Mar. 9, 2019 – busy day, of course

Writing this Friday night, and I’m guessing it will still be warm tomorrow (today.) Forecast calls for rain too.

Today I have my non-prepping monthly hobby meeting, to be cut short so I can attend a training class for Active Shooter response. The class is accredited and taught by an accredited deputy. Free, with a light lunch, courtesy of the same Constable’s office that did the CPA program I attended. This is the same training they provide to any group, church, or business in their service area, for free.

No kiddie sportsball this weekend, as we’re headed into Spring Break week. I’m not going anywhere this year. Well, we’ll go to the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show one day. I’m not gonna be risking my neck on the ski slope though.

So, early start and busy until mid afternoon. Try not to burn the place down while I’m away….


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

32 Responses to Sat. Mar. 9, 2019 – busy day, of course

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    And it is warm and damp. Yuck.

    Naturally, when I can get an extra half hour of sleep, the dog wakes me up even earlier than normal.


  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    What wonderful upstanding future citizens, coming to your town…

    “Mexican nightclub massacre: ’14 dead and seven injured’ after armed gang arrive in convoy of trucks then open fire on revellers at Salamanca venue

    Shooting took place last night in ‘La Playa’ club in the municipality of Salamanca
    The gunmen opened fire on customers and staff and disappeared in the chaos
    Area has been cordoned off as police hunt for gang, whose motive is unknown ”


  3. Jenny says:

    Friday night fun.
    Memory and hard drive upgrade for my Lenovo Ideapad 110-15ISK laptop.
    12 GB RAM
    480 GB solid state drive

    Lenovo says this laptop maxes out at 8 GB but it likes 12 GB just fine . The other 4 GB are soldered to the motherboard and virtually inaccessible. I was skeptical about running mismatched pairs (used to be a no no) but the laptop hasn’t objected.
    I’m downsizing from 1 TB but since I was only using 200 GB I think trading the traditional drive for a smaller SSD is good. Should improve battery life as well.

    I used a free tool, Macrium Reflect, to clone the existing hard drive to the new SSD. I had to resize some of the partitions however Macrium made that simple. Not like the bad old days of diskpart.

    I have to say this is one of the least user friendly chassis I’ve torn apart. You have to remove the keyboard to loosen a screw to detach the back panel. The internal cable that connects the battery is short, awkwardly placed, and has to snake through a bitty hole. Poor design.

    No leftover parts, a little trouble initially with the battery, all sorted. The battery cable gave me some troubles finagling back into place even with my tiny hands. My vision for close up work is crap I noticed. A magnifying glass and stronger direct light would have helped. Aging sucks but beats the alternative.

    The laptop is notably faster. I should get another year or three out of the machine, a well spent $100, I think.

  4. Greg Norton says:

    Friday night fun.
    Memory and hard drive upgrade for my Lenovo Ideapad 110-15ISK laptop.
    12 GB RAM
    480 GB solid state drive

    If you find that the 480 GB just isn’t enough, I have 1 TB Firecuda SSHDs in two laptops, including my main MacBook Pro. The hybrid drive is an interesting compromise.

    The issue with my MacBook was not wanting to use Apple’s new file system which allows multiple OS installs to share the same partition, required for SSDs on the recent revision levels. That seemed experimental to say the least.

    The other Firecuda is in the laptop I leave at Windows 7, and the OS is iffy about SSDs.

    Run the Prime95 memory torture test for a bit just to be sure about the RAM upgrade.

  5. lynn says:

    From yesterday’s Fort Bend Journal:

    “Ladies, you can tell a lot about a guy by how dogs relate to him. For instance, if the police K-9 is biting him, he may not be ideal.”

  6. lynn says:

    xkcd: “Light Pollution”

    “It’s so sad how almost no one alive today can remember seeing the galactic rainbow, the insanity nebula, or the skull and glowing eyes of the Destroyer of Sagittarius.”

    OK, number four panel is a little over the top.

    Explanation if you need one (even I got this one without help):

  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    Home from my class. Learned a few things. Reinforced some others. Touched base with some folks from class that I haven’t seen in a while.

    Got some ‘inside baseball’ on the security state in our school district.

    A couple hours well spent.

    While I was out, spouse and kids assembled the firepit “with cooking grill” and are eager to try cooking on it. Win!

    Some friends are coming over, so I get to be social for a while too. NO work getting done though.


    (It is hot, 82F in the driveway, and 75%RH with actual drops falling from the sky. Little drops, but still drops.)

  8. lynn says:

    Arlo and Janis: “spring forward”

    No, please no. How do we abandon this nonsense and get off the crazy wagon ?

  9. lynn says:

    Over The Hedge: “the problem with alien invasion movies”

    Yup. And I have never had strawberry rhubarb pie.

  10. lynn says:

    “SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Looks Just Like a Toasted Marshmallow After Fiery Re-Entry”

    Uh, reusable ?

  11. mediumwave says:

    Uh, reusable ?

    “Atmospheric entry at 17,000 mph is like a meteor & will vaporize steel,” Musk wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of the toasted Crew Dragon. “Burn marks below are on the cold side. Main heatshield [sic] on bottom.”

    Probably not.

  12. mediumwave says:

    For the Saturday afternoon reading pleasure of the commenters here:

    Carry On! A Diversion in .45 Cal

    Be sure to read the story within the story:

    Sunday Reminisces: Dinner and Guns at the Whorehouse with my Wife

  13. Marcelo says:

    I used a free tool, Macrium Reflect, to clone the existing hard drive to the new SSD.

    It is just great. One of my laptops died a couple(?) of years ago and I wanted to use all the installed software and data files without having to reinstall and copy. It used to be quite difficult and time consuming to do what I needed.
    I cloned the original drive so that whatever state the clone ended up in I would still have all the original to try again. I used Macrium Reflect and the process was simple and worked first time.
    Highly recommended.

  14. Greg Norton says:

    Uh, reusable ?

    The previous generation Dragons were reused. Shuttle, as Dr. Pournelle noted many times, had to be *rebuilt*.

    Sanity prevails in most of SpaceX’s management structure. Except for the Starship stunt, Gwynne Shotwell has kept a lid on Musk’s antics.

  15. Ray Thompson says:

    OK, number four panel is a little over the top.

    I can remember the sky looking like the third panel. I was living on the farm, very rural, 15 miles from town, closest neighbor was about 1/2 mile. It was possible to go to the bottom field away from the house and barnyard security light and look up see an amazing array of stars and gaseous cloud. Super quiet. You could hear a moth fart.

    However there was one location on the lower field, closer to the road where you could stand and hear a train every once in awhile. I have no idea where the train was as the closest tracks were 12 miles as the crow flies. That would be Rogue River. The other direction was Medford and some tracks through there. I don’t which one it was. The sound was able to reflect through the hills and mountains enough to concentrate the sound in that one spot. Move five feet in any direction and the sound disappeared. First time I heard it my aunt and uncle thought I was crazy, called me stupid and their other usual demeaning names. Then one time my uncle heard it with nary an apology.

  16. Ray Thompson says:

    Uh, reusable ?

    I used to think that all the heat generated was from friction. An engineer then reminded that while the majority of the heat was friction, some of the heat generated on reentry was from compressing a gas. The compressing of the atmosphere against the blunt side of the capsule apparently generates quite a bit of air pressure and thus heat.

  17. lynn says:

    “When Amazon Killed Bookstores” by Sarah Hoyt

    “Remember when Amazon killed bookstores? Cool story bro.”

    “Except for the fact that it is entirely fictional.”

    “I came across it most recently in a facebook group where someone informed me that in 1993 bookstores (chain and indie) in his area were doing perfectly well. This is fine and it was true in our area too, more or less. More less than more, if you looked closely because the seeds of destruction were already sown, but we didn’t know it/see it, unless our lifes revolved around reading and writing. Arguably mine did, but only arguably, since I had a small child and another on the way, so I had more things worrying me than the current novel, let alone than what I was currently reading.”

  18. Rick H says:

    Current HP laptop – 3 years old – is developing screen flashing when the top panels is moved. You have to get the screen in just the right spot for it to work. And the space bar is developing amnesia…or not paying attention.

    3-year extra warranty is expiring, and I use it daily – many hours, so time for a new one.

    Specs needed are 1TB + 512SSD, 17″ monitor (for old eyes), 12 GB RAM, Win10. Looked around, and best price/features is another HP Envy 17t, with 3-year warranty. Cost is about $1493 with tax/free delivery. Will arrive in about 15 days-ish. Oh, and PC-Mover software to move the apps – that worked excellent last time.

    The old system might replace the very old desktop that is just functioning as backup drives.

    Looked at other brands, but all around the same price for that feature set. Went to local Frys, and they have the usual empty holes in their stock, and prices weren’t much better.

    So hoping the old system keeps running until the new one arrives. Hard to keep writing Book 2 when the display is blank.

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    Well, I cooked a meal on this firepit tonight–

    It worked well. I’m not a big fan of the styling, but the roof should help keep water out of the pit, which should increase its lifespan.

    The swing out grill is nice and heavy duty. I burned mostly hardwood twigs and branches, cherry and pecan. With a bed of coals I got a nice heat. Pork chop cooked in about 20 minutes, vegetable skewers took a bit longer. I ended up doing the steak and kabobs on the propane grill because of room and timing issues.

    For the size wood I was using, the lowest grill selection seemed a bit high, but it worked fine.

    I’ll keep using it as a pit and as a cooker, and update as I go. so far I like it.


  20. Greg Norton says:

    “When Amazon Killed Bookstores” by Sarah Hoyt

    I’ve rarely used Amazon for their original product line. More often than not, the books arrive damaged, especially since we left Florida and started receiving shipments from the Las Vegas warehouse.

    One CS text I ordered from Amazon out of desperation arrived with a coffee ring on the title page. I’ve been exclusively ever since.

    Barnes and Noble and Borders snuffed out or acquired competitors and then committed suicide at the bricks-n-mortar level, counting on coffee sales to stay afloat while Bezos learned their cash float games selling … books. Imagine.

  21. Bob Sprowl says:

    I’m doing something wrong or I’m missing some fundamental piece of information.

    I’ve got an Amazon 2 generation Firestick that does nothing useful. I added Hulu, deleted it, then Sling and finally this week deleted Sling and added DirectvNow. I spent the whole evening and can’t get anything.

    I can get the local channels with the new weird antenna that looks like a cardboard square, but all I get with the Firestick, or Hulu or Sling or DirectvNow is their logos and some channel lists.

    I connect the Firestick. My ISP technician tells me he can see the Firestick. My LG TV sees the Firestick as I get a bunch of channel logos that go away when I unplug the Firestick. But none of the channel logos do anything useful. When I select a channel I often get asked to enter an ID, password, or activation code but I don’t have any keyboard on the Firestick or TV so that doesn’t happen. I usually just hit the back button or home key on the Firestick controller for lack of a keyboard.

    I’ve been fighting this since January 2018. I’ve looked at YouTube videos, searched for solutions on the net but they are misleading in that they often say “then enter your ID, etc.” How in the devil can you do that without a keyboard?

    Hulu, Sling and DirectvNow do not have telephone support and their support forums have been of no value.

  22. Nick Flandrey says:

    @bob, there should be an onscreen popup keyboard when you move the cursor to the field. .. If not, on some of them you plug a wired usb keyboard into the firestick, or plug a hub into the port and plug into that. Powered hub works best, iirc.

    I know several people here use them….


  23. Nick Flandrey says:

    I intend to sleep late Sunday, especially with the time change…

    we’ll see if the universe cooperates.


  24. lynn says:

    “Venezuela’s Guaido calls for massive protest as blackout drags on”

    The socialist utopia of Venezuela has been electrical grid down for three days now. This is our future when President AOC outlaws fossil fuels in 2025.

    Hat tip to:

  25. JimL says:

    Slept late. Wife tells me power was out for 3 hours. I slept right through it.

    Fire Stick? Chrome Stick? Others? Nope. The Roku stick JUST WORKS. Hardest part 10 years ago was creating the Roku account, that I haven’t touched since except to add new Rokus. at $40, I see no reason to go cheaper. YMMV, of course.

  26. brad says:

    Ah, y’all already had your time change. Coming here end of March. The EU looks finally set to at least allow member states to drop DST. Switzerland will follow suit if our neighbors do it. But, of course, 2021 at the earliest…

    Time zones are such ridiculous political footballs, with lots of historical baggage. I’m sure there’s a reason that Spain – which is directly south of the UK – has it’s local time an hour later. Or take Alaska and Hawaii – also directly north-south, but in different time zones. Must make sense to someone…

  27. Ray Thompson says:

    I see on the news that starting in 2021 it will be necessary for me to register to travel to Germany. Even though no VISA is required if the visit is less than 90 days. Cost is going to be about $8.00 and would be good for three years. I think this was in response to the US requiring registration to visit. I initially thought this was just the EU trying to track my movements but then realized they already know that based on my passport entries in their database.

    I really don’t have much of an issue with having to register and pay the fee. I do wonder how many people will be turned away upon arriving after the system is implemented. Could be a costly mistake for some travelers. I hope there is wide dissemination of the information before the 2021 go live date.

    Must make sense to someone…

    I have no idea who that would be. People are starting to get really annoyed about the time change. It was supposedly implemented during the war to save resources by giving more light in the evening. You know, when people actually went outside instead of camped in front of their TVs and game consoles.

    Some people want to keep the time change because making DST permanent would mean their precious little rug rats would have to wait for the school bus in the dark. Oh cry me a river. I would much rather have more daylight in the evening. Well I did when I worked. Now it is not so much an issue.

    When I lived on the farm I really hated the time change. The animals develop a schedule based on the sun coming up at certain times. I have yet to find a cow that can read a clock. Changing the animals feeding schedule and milking schedules does not do the animals any favors.

  28. JimL says:

    At this latitude, there is some argument for the time change.

    We experimented with no time change in the 70s. We wound up with grade school children (myself included) walking to school in the dark. They wound up starting school later in the winter months so we could walk to school when it’s light out. What DST does for us is allow us to start school at a consistent “time” and allow us to have reasonable daylight in the morning. Farther north they likely still start school in the dark anyway. Further south they may not have the same problem. Here (northern CONUS), it makes a positive difference.

    That’s not something that can’t be overcome. I would RATHER have no time change. But I can see the argument FOR the time change. It’s valid. We’ve been doing it for at least 50 years. Is there a POSITIVE net benefit to doing away with the change?

    edit: n.b – I posted that before I saw Ray’s post.

  29. Greg Norton says:

    At this latitude, there is some argument for the time change.

    Live on the West Coast above ~ 45 degrees parallel, and you will quickly understand the need for the time change.

  30. Greg Norton says:

    The socialist utopia of Venezuela has been electrical grid down for three days now. This is our future when President AOC outlaws fossil fuels in 2025.

    Ocasio-Cortez isn’t going to last that long. Whether or not a intrepid reporter is on the sugar daddy hunt, conservative groups and smaller media outlets are already running down the details of potential campaign finance violations.

    The people looking into the Knoxville story were on the San Antonio drive time talk show during my commute home the other day. Knoxville was the campaign’s registered HQ address.

  31. Greg Norton says:

    HBO premiered a new season of “Veep” here in Austin last night. That Julia-Louis Dreyfus sure does have a potty mouth.

  32. ech says:

    I think this was in response to the US requiring registration to visit.

    The US requires visas for citizens of 5 of the countries in the Schengen zone. This was to sort of level the playing field. It applies to 60 countries, including the US and Canada.

Comments are closed.