Mon. April 15, 2019 – full day of driving

Probably cool and damp [weather station says 75F with 41%RH at 6am]. [actually 54F] Yesterday was beautiful by the afternoon. Clear and sunny with a cool breeze. Cold breeze in the shade. No rain forecast for the next two days. We’ll see about that…

Between softball practice, cleaning the house before the wife’s return, and other chores, I didn’t get much done.

Once the chicks were back in the nest, I had a chance to do a bit of garden and yard work. I got two beds weeded and topped up with soil. I got the blueberry bushes under the bird netting. Total crop is small, so I have to save every berry… we’ll see how it goes this year. I got the yard mowed.

I’ve got auction pickups in Austin, San Marcos, and San Antonio. I don’t think I’ll get to SA, but I’m going to try for San Marcos and Austin today. Which means getting on the road first thing in the morning, hence this gets written Sunday night.

Now I’m actually off to bed, but Monday morning, I’m driving to San Marcos….

I’ll check in when I get a chance.

n

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36 Responses to Mon. April 15, 2019 – full day of driving

  1. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve got auction pickups in Austin, San Marcos, and San Antonio. I don’t think I’ll get to SA, but I’m going to try for San Marcos and Austin today. Which means getting on the road first thing in the morning, hence this gets written Sunday night.

    This is Holy Week, the Mexican middle and upper class annual US outlet shopping holiday event. I35 will be a mess from the border to the Round Rock outlets.

    While you are in the area, take a look at the new cars with Mexican plates. They aren’t pursuing Lotus Eater fantasies of self-driving electric cars in Mexico and regulating everything else out of existence.

    In about 20 years, when we’re all riding in automated Trabant 2.0s, we’ll gaze across the border much like the East Germans did with Berlin and wonder where our decent cars went.

    The new Corolla reads the street signs and lets you know when you are speeding. Step-by-step. And Toyota is slow to adopt the cr*p — Subarus know when you aren’t looking at the road.

  2. JimL says:

    The new Corolla reads the street signs and lets you know when you are speeding. Step-by-step.

    Now, I read that and thought to myself “If they can trick a self-driving car to change lanes with nearly invisible dots on the road, can they do the same with speed limit signs?”

    It’s not that I’m trying to encourage such behavior. I am curious, however, how smart these cars really are.

  3. ech says:

    I am curious, however, how smart these cars really are.

    Google maps has been adding speed limits to their road maps. So, they just need to interrogate that. Also, road signs are likely easy to read – standardized shapes, colors, fonts, etc. mean you could do simple pattern matches rather than parsing like you need to do with street name signs, which aren’t standard – yet.

  4. dkreck says:

    Don’t forget all ‘official cars’ will be exempt from automatic safety control.

  5. JimL says:

    I use Waze on occasion and note that the speed limit is not always accurate. Some roads were NEVER the speed limit shown on Waze. This doesn’t give me great confidence in Google data.

    As for signs – the patterns are what I’m thinking about. 3 patches on a road to cause the road sensors to make a lane change. Granted that it was a sophisticated hack, but that’s the point. It was a hack of the way the car senses lanes. A hack that takes advantage of the way speed limits are sensed to get the car to 75 in a 55, for instance, might not be terribly difficult.

    Again – not that I’m looking for trouble. But until the hacks are addressed…

    Another thing – school zones. Even in my hometown – calling out school zones is not standardized. Some have an overhead light with the 15 mph speed limit called out. Some have signs (with funky start/end times) on the side of the road. Park a truck at the right place and nobody would know.

    And I’ve spent more time than I intended looking for trouble. You have a point – it’s getting better & more standardized all the time. Those problems will be solved.

  6. JimL says:

    And today is the Boston Marathon. A good friend of mine is running it for the 40th time today. He’s already started & is setting a good pace (for starting in a crowd like that). What an inspiration.

    6 years ago, he finished long before the bombing happened, but I worried then. As I worry now. But we (Americans) are made of sterner stuff. Nothing will keep us down.

  7. Greg Norton says:

    Now, I read that and thought to myself “If they can trick a self-driving car to change lanes with nearly invisible dots on the road, can they do the same with speed limit signs?”

    New Toyotas have Lane Departure Assist. It was the first thing I turned off in my car after an unpleasant experience driving home from the dealership.

    I have no idea as to what the car was unhappy about, but it shook the steering wheel as I made what I thought was a normal lane change on the freeway. Maybe I didn’t signal long enough in advance by the car’s standards.

  8. DadCooks says:

    I have a Niece running the Boston Marathon today, she is 43 and this is a Bucket List item for her. She has trained a lot to get an official invite. There is an App (of course) that allows you to follow your favorite runner(s). She is currently at mile 21.4 and “they” project her to finish at 11:21 a.m. PDT (the App knows what time zone I am in).

  9. JimL says:

    Very nice. Qualifying is tough. The local marathon brags about 44% qualification rate. Partly that’s the time of year – it’s one of the last that can qualify for Boston. A lot of potential Boston runners show up to get their times in.

    3:37 (or so) or better would be the time she’d need. That’s impressive.

    I used to dream about that. Not anymore. Love to run, but I don’t love crowds, so I’m happier with the smaller ones. Better.

    By the way – my friend’s finish time was 3:30:45. At 62 years old. Bastard. I couldn’t run that now, and I’m a good bit younger than him.

  10. MrAtoz says:

    Looks like tRump is doubling down on sending crimmigrants to sanctuary cities.

    THIS IS A BRILLIANT MOVE!

    tRump 2020! “I’m the immigration President”

  11. DadCooks says:

    My Niece, Rebekah, finished today’s Boston Marathon at 11:38 a.m. PDT in 03:46:59 with an average pace of o8:40 min/mi. WOW, it takes me that long to hobble and shuffle from one side of my house tot he other 😉

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hey guys, is Notre dame cathedral burning?

    N

  13. Spook says:

    I’d say it’s just about burnt out by now…

  14. Nick Flandrey says:

    10 churches vandalized across Paris this week.

    If this turns out to be Islamic terror….

    N

  15. Greg Norton says:

    If this turns out to be Islamic terror….

    Europe won’t care.

  16. JimL says:

    While everyone wonders about the property loss and the potential causes, really people are wondering if Quasimodo got out okay. Inquiring minds, and all that.

  17. Lynn says:

    One wonders how long that they will have to wait before starting the mosque on the site ?

  18. Nick Flandrey says:

    “Europe won’t care. ”

    –yup that’s what I am afraid of.

    Or it will be the worst mistake the muzzies have made.

    n

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    Made it home.

    No real traffic in Austin coming up 35, except normal looking construction traffic for a couple of miles. BTW, someone coded the dang thing poorly on the GIS database. My old GPS had me getting on and off the I 35N every couple of exits. I’m guessing lots of recent construction and moving of ramps based on what I saw.

    If they are counting on hordes of MX buyers to make their nut, it wasn’t happening today.

    I ended up doing a big loop, houston to san marcos via I 10 and SR 80 thru Luling, then up I 35N to Austin, then home on 290 to houston. Lots of driving. SH!T TONS of cops out on the roads today. I don’t think I’ve EVER seen that many in one day. Lots of people pulled over too.

    Dead animal count included a dozen raccoons, a couple of possums, one fox or very fluffy dog, an armadillo, and a turtle. Many unidentifiable smears too.

    No wrecks, but one guy did try to kill me. Slammed on the brakes and nosedived as he cut into my lane. Good thing I believe in strapping down my load. I should have Pitt Maneuvered him. In truth it was a very close thing.

    Off to get the kids,

    n

  20. Greg Norton says:

    One wonders how long that they will have to wait before starting the mosque on the site ?

    They built a mosque inside one of the new World Trade Center buildings IIRC.

  21. Greg Norton says:

    If they are counting on hordes of MX buyers to make their nut, it wasn’t happening today.

    Check the Round Rock outlet mall parking lot on Friday.

    No wrecks, but one guy did try to kill me. Slammed on the brakes and nosedived as he cut into my lane. Good thing I believe in strapping down my load. I should have Pitt Maneuvered him. In truth it was a very close thing.

    UT kid rear ended me last week. Probably on his phone and not paying attention. Austin doesn’t lack for a**hats who don’t care because they don’t ultimately pay the bills.

    Damage is minor to my 18 year old Solara, but I’m going to make sure to file the claim with the insurance company.

  22. Nick Flandrey says:

    “UT kid rear ended me last week”

    –there were a couple of instances of tailgating that almost resulted in accidents. If someone had been close when I slammed on the brakes, they’d have been in my truck bed for sure.

    I don’t understand tailgaters. That’s a no brainer bad thing.

    n

  23. Ray Thompson says:

    Damage is minor to my 18 year old Solara, but I’m going to make sure to file the claim with the insurance company.

    Insurance company will total the vehicle and offer you $500.00 as you turn over the title. You can buy back for salvage at $250.00 and with you get a salvage title. If you don’t like it the insurance company will tell you to get a lawyer. Which will cost more than the vehicle is worth. Get your insurance company involved. That is why you pay them. If you don’t agree with the settlement demand arbitration, as in stand your ground, firmly. Insurance companies make money by not paying and making settlements difficult.

  24. Nick Flandrey says:

    And for future reference, any minor bump like that get pix of the other guy’s car. It’s not unheard of for them to go and smash into a wall deliberately afterwards to inflate their claim.

    People suck.

    n

  25. Nick Flandrey says:

    another social media death

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6925413/Briar-Cliff-University-student-dies-fall-Arkansas-cliff.html

    they’ll probably close the point as a result, thus depriving the people who didn’t do anything wrong.

    n

  26. Nick Flandrey says:

    If you are an adult and left “outraged and shaking” because someone you don’t like MIGHT say something you don’t like, while being near you, you are the one with the problem and you should seek help.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6925269/Taylor-University-students-outraged-Mike-Pence-giving-commencement-speech.html

    “One Taylor graduate told Fox News that the school ‘should be ashamed … I am physically shaking … I feel personally attacked'”

    I’m ashamed to breathe the same air and live on the same planet as this privileged little snowflake. Ashamed that no one has kicked some sense into s/he zhe…..

    n

  27. Greg Norton says:

    And for future reference, any minor bump like that get pix of the other guy’s car. It’s not unheard of for them to go and smash into a wall deliberately afterwards to inflate their claim.

    Got pictures. Thank God for photostreams, GPS, and timestamps recording when/where.

  28. Greg Norton says:

    Insurance company will total the vehicle and offer you $500.00 as you turn over the title.

    The damage isn’t that significant. I just want the insurance company to know the kid is prone to this sort of thing.

    Asian. Reminds me of the West Coast in-laws. A few of the cousins are clueless like that. I’ve written before about the one cousin who, after the parents bought him an MBA at UW, got walked to the door before lunchtime on his first day at the Seattle company who bought into the lie.

  29. Nick Flandrey says:

    I am saddened by the loss of Notre Dame. It was a glorious testament to what man can achieve.

    It’s no consolation that most cathedrals ended in fire, and this particular one was spared the reaper for so long.

    n

  30. mediumwave says:

    Live: ‘Notre-Dame fire under control’, say Paris firefighters

    On a positive note, it appears that the destruction may not be total. Plus, as tragic as the fire is, it’s an opportunity to rebuild with less-combustible materials unknown to the original architects.

  31. Nick Flandrey says:

    They’ll still be working on it 100 years from now. The trade unions, the preservationists, the clerks, the regulators, and everyone else will want a piece, and a say.

    n

  32. mediumwave says:

    And your point is …? 🙂

  33. Nick Flandrey says:

    I guess the repair work itself will become an attraction, with a donate box in front….

    n

  34. ech says:

    They built a mosque inside one of the new World Trade Center buildings IIRC.

    Nope. There was a possible mosque a proposed for a site a few block from WTC, but it didn’t get build. There were objections raised, including some by imams that said it was inappropriate.

  35. brad says:

    It looks like Notre Dame will be restorable. Apparently, the stone vaults were specifically constructed with roof fires in mind – I didn’t realize this was such a common problem, but apparently it is. They are designed to survive having a burning roof collapse on them, and they specifically have drains to prevent fire-fighting water from accumulating and adding weight.

    So the roof is gone, and the central tower, but the stone vaults appear (first pics) to be mostly or entirely intact. Next question will be how much damage the water has done.

    At present, there’s no indication that this is anything but an unfortunate accident. They had just begun restoration on the central spire, and it seems likely that this was a construction accident: oily rag, electrical short, or some other ordinary stupidity. Nonetheless, the reaction from the Islamic community will be important. Notre Dame is a central icon for France: any reaction other than sincere sympathy would be…unfortunate for cultural relations.

  36. brad says:

    Here’s a drawing showing (in red) what parts of Notre Dame burned. Given the size of the building, it was a huge fire. But again, given the size of the building, it really was just the roof.

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