Wed. April 24, 2019 – relatively few things on my calendar

60F and damp this morning. Yesterday was overcast and had occasional sprinkles. I am pretty sure I could see storm cells in the distance so someone might have gotten serious rain…

Wife is safely home. And I’m happier. I don’t like to have the family split.

Plenty to do today even if my calendar is relatively clear, but most of the stuff is here at home. I have some ebay stuff to catch up on, and auctions to follow, and my ham radio lunch, with picking up the kids and sportsball following… so some stuff still…

CPA class was interesting, and I’ll comment more about that below.

Now I’ve got to get some breakfast cooking.

n

32 thoughts on “Wed. April 24, 2019 – relatively few things on my calendar”

  1. The stone has not moved as far as I can tell. No pain at this point because of no movement. Urologist tomorrow to see next course of action. Lithotripsy may be the the recommended procedure. That requires anesthesia as the system is quite abusive to the body and painful. Concern is blocking the kidney duct which can lead to some really serious infections.

  2. Ray, the doctor at the ER put me on a week of antibiotics, just in case. The urologist told me the real danger is if flow is actually blocked for too long permanent kidney damage can occur. I really won’t know more until the middle of May. Good luck.

  3. Last night was our visit with the HPD Air Support unit. This unofficial site has a good summary- http://www.policehelicopterpilot.com/houston-police-air-support-div

    They have since downsized to 3 of the trainers, 8 of the blue 4 seaters (MD500), and one BIG helo. The big one does water rescue, has a fire bucket, and can reach Louisiana and Missouri if needed. They are selling the 182 and might replace it.

    They don’t have the budget to just have one of the “Fox” aircraft up all the time, so they respond to calls as needed. They’ve got a couple of 2 man teams on duty normally and do 2 ten hour shifts a day. The workhorse MD500 is configured in several ways, including minimally for SWAT, and they choose an aircraft for the specific mission.

    What was shocking to many of us is that 85% of the current division had NO prior aviation experience. They are ALL patrol officers first, then get into Air, and eventually are trained as pilots. ALL of their training is in house, and from the ranks. NO outside hiring at all. The city provides full time mechanics who are not sworn officers, and they do all of their inspection and maintenance themselves. They’ve been doing it that way since the beginning in ’74 and like it.

    Their primary mission is support of the patrol officers, although they do Homeland Security missions over critical infrastructure and Port Ops, dignitary show and tell, search, public awareness, and other stuff too. I think they see themselves mainly as patrol officers who ride in helos.

    Based on their linger times, and a conversation with one of the SGTs, the “Clint” who I hear on the radio doing drug surveillance works for another agency and flies in a fixed wing. Apparently we have DEA and others doing ‘high altitude’ surveillance over Houston all the time.

    Once again, I can’t recommend it highly enough, if there is a CPA, ride along, or other citizen engagement program in your area, SIGN UP! You’ll learn a lot about a critical part of our civilization.

    n

    added- they passed around structural parts from the tail boom that had bullet holes in them. They took 5 rounds from an AR during the Memorial Day active shooter event of a couple years ago (I’ve written about previously.) That wasn’t the first or only time someone has poked holes in them, but no humans hit yet. They also get lit up with lasers all the time. Last time was a group of 11 yo kids lighting up airplanes landing at Hobby, who when they went to investigate lit up the HPD chopper. HPD vectored in patrol and that’s how they know it was 11yos… Due to the shape of their windshield, the laser causes the whole thing to glow and effectively blinds them…)


  4. Now Elon, about that zero emission car…..

    The whole thing about solar energy and electric cars is a total lie and fraud.

    Neighbor of mine has electric car that has a sticker “Zero Emissions”. Well, our nearest electrical generating plant burns CH4. IIRC, that combustion results in CO2.

    Where did Obama, AOCortez and the other fumblecrats get their BSChemEng degrees?

  5. Now Elon, about that zero emission car…..

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/04/24/tesla-carbon-dioxide-mercedes/

    What I like about electric cars is that they run off grid electricity generated by natural gas instead of gasoline or diesel. When times get tough (and they are coming), we can sell the gasoline and diesel for hard currency. You know, Swiss Franks, etc…

    Wait, there is no other good hard currency out there except USA Dollars and Swiss Franks. Oh man, the planet is so screwed. A financial apocalypse is coming …

  6. “T-Mobile: Millimeter-Wave 5G Will ‘Never Materially Scale’ Outside Dense Urban Areas”
    https://www.extremetech.com/mobile/290069-t-mobile-millimeter-wave-5g-will-never-materially-scale-outside-dense-urban-areas

    “The 5G hype-cycle is spinning so fast these days, you can barely see the spokes. None of the cellular providers are blameless when it comes to spinning it, but T-Mobile seems more willing than the others to admit the truth around 5G: Namely, it’s never going to scale very well outside dense urban environments.”

    Yup, I have been wondering about that. Rural radio internet users are going to have to wait for SpaceX’s Starlink which seems to be moving slowly.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlink_(satellite_constellation)

  7. I like the electric motor for the power curve. I like the electric motor for the torque. I like electric because I don’t have to run a bunch of tiny explosions 3′ in front of me while I drive. I like that we don’t HAVE to have that motor, shaped that way, in that place anymore. Interesting design decisions are in our future with electric cars.

    I don’t like electric because I’m trading a 30-gallon fuel tank that, if ruptured, could be a fire hazard for a battery pack that, if ruptured, will melt the car. I don’t like the current cost curve. I don’t like that I can’t get in a car and drive to Philly on a whim, with 15-minute refueling stops along the way as needed.

    And you’re right about fossil fuels. We were smart to keep using fuel from others. We still would be. We should import every bit we can, while we can. Use up THEIR resources before we use up our own.

    Yes, I’m a little selfish that way.

  8. And when they use up theirs they can come here and we will share ours. It will be our strength.

  9. What I like about electric cars is that they run off grid electricity generated by natural gas instead of gasoline or diesel. When times get tough (and they are coming), we can sell the gasoline and diesel for hard currency. You know, Swiss Franks, etc…

    LPG cars would be easier/saner if we’re exploring that line of reasoning.

    GTE used to have a fleet of vans running on LPG when I worked there. I don’t recall any spontaneous explosions.

  10. Rural radio internet users

    I changed my ISP a bit over a month ago. From one that offers up to 25Mb… but not on the local tower. Some tower in Colorado or outside of Boston, sure. I had the 5Mb plan. They over-sold the heck out of it and yippee, enjoy your 2Mb that drops dead frequently and being blamed that your router is at fault.

    The new ISP is local. Not perfect. A couple of smart bubbas and I know where their office is located. I’m on their base plan. 25Mb down, 5Mb up and quite often I see 30+ down and 8 up. $65 a month. Total. No added taxes or “Carrier Recovery Fee” BS. Very much worth an extra $8.15 a month.

    They have plans up to 200Mb.

    Which reminds me, set up auto pay and save $5/month….

  11. GTE used to have a fleet of vans running on LPG when I worked there. I don’t recall any spontaneous explosions.

    There were. Don’t park them in an enclosed area either. Same for the CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles, one of the airport carpark buses just burned to the ground.

  12. one of the airport carpark buses just burned to the ground

    Shame on you for assuming its gender since it identified as a Tesla. 🙂

  13. LPG is great for forklifts. Not so sure about my truck. @Paul has a good point as well.

    Thing is, we have the infrastructure in place for gasoline & diesel to make them viable for just about anything we want to do. We do NOT have the infrastructure in place for any of these other technologies. I’m not opposed to it, but I know the devil I’m dealing with when I drive an ICE vehicle.

    Still selfish. I want to burn their fuel and keep the rest for ourselves. (No sharing!)

  14. LPG is great for forklifts. Not so sure about my truck. @Paul has a good point as well.

    Thing is, we have the infrastructure in place for gasoline & diesel to make them viable for just about anything we want to do. We do NOT have the infrastructure in place for any of these other technologies. I’m not opposed to it, but I know the devil I’m dealing with when I drive an ICE vehicle.

    We are adding LPG, CNG, and Electric fueling infrastructures to the USA. In fact, I have a CNG station less than 10 miles away from my house. I have an Electric Supercharger less than five miles away from my house. I welcome the diversity !

    I am seeing LPG on a lot of the mowing services nowadays also.

  15. We were smart to keep using fuel from others. We still would be. We should import every bit we can, while we can. Use up THEIR resources before we use up our own.

    Hear, hear!

  16. Years ago, late ’80’s perhaps, I had a friend with a job at a little company that gutted the drive train from Dodge Omnis / Plymouth Horizons and installed an electric motor or two. Pretty much ruined the back seat because that’s where they put the batteries.

    Zippy. Fun to drive. But no A/C. In Texas. Or a heater in the winter. Kind of a super-duper golf cart.

  17. Sad news. Hopefully, CERN continues to provide the related devtools packages which offer more current compilers for RHEL/CentOS platforms then the default GCC version from the same point release of RHEL.

    With RHEL 6, having devtools-7 available makes a huge performance impact in compiled binaries while maintaining compatibility.

    https://betanews.com/2019/04/24/scientific-linux-dead/

    Scientific Linux was usually also out of the gate first with major release numbers, beating CentOS by several months with version 6 IIRC. That may not have sat well with the new RHEL owners … who also effectively own CentOS.

    “Nice little lab you kids have here. It would be a shame if something happened to it…”

  18. In Lawrence Sanders 1975 novel “The Tomorrow File” one of the background issues is that peak oil peaked, and oil was too valuable as feedstock for the chemicals and fertilizers to be burned for transportation.

    The book was prescient in many ways, but that one still hasn’t come to pass.

    n

  19. “Still selfish. I want to burn their fuel and keep the rest for ourselves. (No sharing!)”

    I think we did this. SA numbers for their reserves were lower than lots of people expected… even without peak oil, there will never be enough for the third world to use at the same rate as the first world has been going.

    n

  20. And you’re right about fossil fuels. We were smart to keep using fuel from others. We still would be. We should import every bit we can, while we can. Use up THEIR resources before we use up our own.

    They are using up their resources. The super giant oil fields in China, Siberia, Netherlands, and the North Sea are running dry now. The super super giant in Saudi Arabia is 2/3rds off its peak production and I suspect declining rapidly as it converts to salt water. Saudi Arabia is living off its other two super giants now.

  21. In Lawrence Sanders 1975 novel “The Tomorrow File” one of the background issues is that peak oil peaked, and oil was too valuable as feedstock for the chemicals and fertilizers to be burned for transportation.

    We have converted the chemical plants in the USA and most of the foreign areas from using crude oil feedstocks to using natural gas feedstocks. Since plastic is a function of polyethylene, that was a natural anyway. Fertilizer too.

  22. “Range Report I: Ruger PC9 Carbine”
    https://raconteurreport.blogspot.com/2019/04/range-report-i-ruger-pc9-carbine.html

    “The Good:
    Ruger. I.e. built like Russian tank.
    It feels solid, sturdy, and compact.
    6# 13oz stock, and mine was about 8 pounds as tested, with scope and sling.
    Points well.
    Aperture ring rear and protected front blade iron sights, on barrel assembly, adjustable for windage and elevation.
    Picatinny top rail built into receiver.
    Comes with multiple stock spacers to adjust length of pull.
    Breaks into two pieces for compact storage.
    (With weapon unloaded, draw bolt slightly back, pull up on takedown plunger, rotate 1/8th turn counterclockwise, then slide barrel assy. out of receiver. That fast and easy.)
    Charging handle and mag release are ambidextrous.
    Ruger OEM mag well swaps out with one that takes Glock 17/19/26 mags.
    Threaded 1/2-28 muzzle w/thread protector, for flash hiders, and/or SHHH! cans, if you’ve got the federal tax stamp.”

    Me like rifles that one can throw in a backpack and use 9mm Glock magazines. And takes a cheap XXXXX frugal $40 scope from Wallyworld.

    That reminds me, I need to shoot the .357 mag Henry that I got last year. I have yet to play with that beauty. In fact, I would like to mount the Henry above the fireplace as that polished brass and man sized lever action are true works of art. The wife might have an opinion on that.
    https://www.henryusa.com/rifles/henry-big-boy-carbine/

  23. Me like rifles that one can throw in a backpack and use 9mm Glock magazines.

    Ah, since my Glock is .40S&W, I’d like a version in that size. No particular reason beyond having a can full of bullets and a few more boxes scattered about.

    Hey, my Glock scares me. No actual “off switch”. Yeah, I know… the safety is in the trigger… but I’m the kind of idiot that grabs Cuisinart food processor blades when dropped and HEY, finger tip bones are bumpy!!!! Who knew?

  24. Ah, since my Glock is .40S&W, I’d like a version in that size. No particular reason beyond having a can full of bullets and a few more boxes scattered about.

    Hey, my Glock scares me. No actual “off switch”. Yeah, I know… the safety is in the trigger… but I’m the kind of idiot that grabs Cuisinart food processor blades when dropped and HEY, finger tip bones are bumpy!!!! Who knew?

    You my friend, are a lucky man ! Ruger makes PC9 in .40 S&W also. Man, that is a scary looking gun “snicker”.
    https://ruger.com/products/pcCarbine/specSheets/19109.html

    And keep your finger off the trigger ! At least that is what the range instructors kept on yelling at me. The senior range instructor just looked disappointed when I put one over the berm while he was watching me.

    And I gave my Glock 23 to my son a few years ago for his birthday. I must admit that the lack of a safety is a little unnerving. Of course, none of my revolvers have a safety.

  25. The S&W M&P line can function identically to the glock, or you can engage the optional external safety. My shield has the safety which I engage before handing the holstered gun to anyone (armorer) or when I’m in the bouncy house with the kids.

    The full size version has the same option. They are well built and good shooting alternatives to the glocks. I might get the full size 9 instead of a g17 because I don’t care for the new grip patterns on the g17.

    Other than the LC9 which I didn’t like anyway, none of my pistols have ever had external manual safeties. It’s just one more thing to get wrong under pressure.

    n

  26. Got a bit of rain spattering down, with some thunder and lightning. No real rain to speak of though.

    I forgot that with my wife’s job change, our insurance would change too. Have to pick a new plan that might give us some value, but probably will be a dead expense. Freaking plans are intentionally opaque.

    n

  27. I am hanging with Mom at Methodist hospital. They just now moved her to skilled nursing so she can continue to heal. Dad went to my brother’s house at 10pm, he had been here since 8 am. For an 80 year old guy, he still has plenty of energy. Me, I am exhausted.

    Mom can not feel her left leg toes nor move them yet. We are hoping that the leg nerve will grow back and soon. Mom’s original surgery was three weeks ago yesterday. The second surgery was two weeks ago.

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