Mon. May 6, 2019 – early post

Probably warm and damp. [64F and 99%RH]

Wife is traveling for business, so I’ve got to get the kids to school for a couple of days.  That means very tight mornings, hence this is going up the night before.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for commercial aviation and the passengers and crews.  500 days without an accident doesn’t mean you won’t have one tomorrow.  A whole bunch are happening close together, and it could just be that uneven distribution of accidents through time.  Like flooding or major storms.  Or who knows, someone may have it in for Boeing and threw in the russian one to keep people off the trail…  That’s the problem with conspiracy theories, they tend to pop up everywhere once you start looking at the world that way.

It doesn’t help that we often find out that the conspiracy theory was correct.

After dropping off the kids, I’ve got a couple of auction pickups and I need to process in all the stuff I bought the last couple of weeks.  Unfortunately for my pocketbook, much of it was bought for personal reasons.  I usually try to buy enough in the same auction to pay for my personal purchases, if not make money, but it didn’t work out that way this week.  On the other hand, I stocked up on items I use for half or less than I’d normally pay.  It feels a bit like getting high on my own supply however much it makes sense.

 

And with that, I’m off….  talk amongst yourselves.

 

n

 

added- no word yet from dadcooks.

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47 Responses to Mon. May 6, 2019 – early post

  1. ITGuy1998 says:

    I stumbled across this review of The Last Jedi this morning. Jeez, how far up Disney’s keister is this guy?

  2. Greg Norton says:

    I stumbled across this review of The Last Jedi this morning. Jeez, how far up Disney’s keister is this guy?

    Smells like a payoff.

    I remember Roger Ebert being way too kind to the prequels, but I figured he was trying to get out of the Fox dog house which, among other things, his residence within resulted in “Siskel & Ebert” being scheduled at 5 AM on Sunday mornings in Tampa.

  3. Bruce Friend says:

    Anyone have experience with home automation solutions? What would you recommend, if you were starting completely from scratch?

    No practical experience, yet. I have been nosing around this for a couple of years and have been playing with HASS.IO. From what I have seen most control of lights and things like that are based on flashing TASMOTA or ESPHOME onto the devices. Most seem to be based on ESP8266 chips. This removes the proprietary stuff that comes installed and have user configurable firmware.

    One thing that I have noticed is that this stuff is evolving fast. It is hard to keep up with what is new and therefore what is not ready for prime time.

    I have not decided whether to go with OpenHAB or with HomeAssistant as of yet. Of course it’s not like I’m stuck with a lot of useless stuff if I decide to change later as they both support the same protocols. Just means setting up the stuff under the other system. Some work but not the end of the world.

    There are a number of forums, boards, etc where home automation enthusiasts hang out. In my experience, most seem to be focused on one hub service or another. e.g. OpenHAB, HASS.IO, etc. You may find that there are some that cater to Zigbee as well.

    FWIW, I plan to either use Sonoffs, Shellys, and NodeMCUs for most of my automation. Build it myself and use/modify code from others. There is a lot of it out there and much of it doesn’t need modification beyond changes for your setup.

    Also, if you get beyond playing with a couple of devices, I really suggest that you need to have all of this on a separate VLAN on your network and limit the access to it.

    Good YouTube Channels are:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/SuperHouseTV
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2gyzKcHbYfqoXA5xbyGXtQ
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7G4tLa4Kt6A9e3hJ-HO8ng

    The first one uses OpenHAB. I like his run wire whenever possible approach as it makes sense to me. Then again, I’m old fashioned.

    The other 2 use HASS.IO and Dr. Zzzs has a Facebook group as well.

    Have fun and document the heck out of it so someone else can fix it if you get hit by the proverbial bus.

  4. Harold Combs says:

    RE: home automation solutions

    My only advice is to ensure that all critical systems have a manual control (switch) to ensure that when the network fails you can still perform critical functions.

    For myself, in moving to my retirement home I don’t plan on any home automation, just call me old fashioned.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    My only advice is to ensure that all critical systems have a manual control (switch) to ensure that when the network fails you can still perform critical functions.

    I’ve beat the dead equine here about Nexia sufficiently. Our thermostat has hard crashed several times, once on a very cold day when we woke up to 58 in the house.

    Backup controls are important.

    My wife’s Exploder was vandalized in our driveway a couple of weeks ago. Someone tried to take the keyless entry entry pads off the doors, but only succeeded on the passenger side since (suprise) that door doesn’t have an actual pad.

    The end result is that, due to damage to the pad on the driver’s side the electrical system is now screwed to the point that the liftgate won’t open. We had to dig in the manual to find the mechanical release.

    That car is not long for our house after the last payment next year.

  6. nick flandrey says:

    I have our lighting on controls. It eliminated having to touch about 13 switches for the kitchen and bath. One button as I pass by and the whole public side of the house goes into night mode. One button as I pass by and the whole public side wakes up in the morning…

    I have a very manual tstat.

    Everything else is manual too, except the sprinklers which run on their own box.

    n

  7. nick flandrey says:

    Just got his reply and Dadcooks is fine, just lurking.

    I am very glad to hear it.

    n

  8. Greg Norton says:

    I have a very manual tstat.

    When we replace our upstairs, I will insist on a system where I have the option of a $10 thermostat. Not that I want to ditch the Honeywell programmable currently running the system without a problem, but I want the option.

  9. mediumwave says:

    For myself, in moving to my retirement home I don’t plan on any home automation, just call me old fashioned.

    Nothing’s automated here; I like to retain the illusion of being in control.

    Feel free to call me a grumpy old fart. 🙂

  10. lynn says:

    I stumbled across this review of The Last Jedi this morning. Jeez, how far up Disney’s keister is this guy?

    I liked “The Last Jedi”. But the bombers were stupid.

    I rewatched “Solo” over the weekend on Netflix. Not awesome but very good. And definitely enjoyable. I did not get why he gave all of the very explosive material to the kids though.

    So far, the new Star Wars movies have been much better than SW 1, 2, and 3. Those movies were all about selling action figures and plush toys.

  11. lynn says:

    For myself, in moving to my retirement home I don’t plan on any home automation, just call me old fashioned.

    Nothing’s automated here; I like to retain the illusion of being in control.

    Feel free to call me a grumpy old fart.

    Me too.

  12. lynn says:

    Just got his reply and Dadcooks is fine, just lurking.

    I am very glad to hear it.

    Very good. I would like to hear how his wife is doing.

  13. lynn says:

    And the Brazos River just keeps on coming up. The forecast is to the base of our 12 ft tall leading levee. Nothing to worry about. Except future watershed events.
    https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=HGX&gage=RMOT2

  14. lynn says:

    My wife’s Exploder was vandalized in our driveway a couple of weeks ago. Someone tried to take the keyless entry entry pads off the doors, but only succeeded on the passenger side since (suprise) that door doesn’t have an actual pad.

    The end result is that, due to damage to the pad on the driver’s side the electrical system is now screwed to the point that the liftgate won’t open. We had to dig in the manual to find the mechanical release.

    That car is not long for our house after the last payment next year.

    Wow, that sucks ! I really like parking my vehicles in the garage for that reason. I am sorry that you do not like her Ford Exploder (Explorer).

    I can note that we are really impressed with the Toyota Highlander that I bought the wife for Christmas. She has about 3,000 miles on it with the only problem being that she backed over the trash can in the driveway. Our Toyota dealer fixed the rear bumper skirt for free (just a few pushin snaps needed to be replaced). We got the base model with the hotrod V6 motor for $31K plus TTL if I remember correctly.

  15. Greg Norton says:

    Wow, that sucks ! I really like parking my vehicles in the garage for that reason.

    Usually the Exploder is in the garage. My wife left it out since she was home only briefly.

    We’ve had a lot more problems in the neighborhood since the ranch next door was developed for H1B housing and contractors paved a direct route to our community from the 183 corridor.

  16. Greg Norton says:

    Our Toyota dealer fixed the rear bumper skirt for free (just a few pushin snaps needed to be replaced). We got the base model with the hotrod V6 motor for $31K plus TTL if I remember correctly.

    The pushpin snaps on the mudflap kit for my 2018 Camry are not nearly long enough for the task. I’ve been meaning to stop by the auto parts store to look at something better. The mudflap kit came from Toyota, not aftermarket.

    My wife had a 4Runner before the Exploder. We’ll go back to that model when the time comes.

    Ford has been buying back Exploders in an effort to sweep the carbon monoxide problems under the rug. I need to get a monitor for my wife’s car to see if we have the issue. We got hosed on that deal through Costco (another expired equine I won’t beat), and I’d love to get out of it with the down payment for another car.

    The Exploder was one of the typical brain farts at our house. Like “Lets move to Portland and stay for four years”, but on a smaller scale.

    I don’t have money to contribute to brain farts anymore so they simply don’t happen on a large scale. Despite the income disparity, if I don’t write a check out of my investment accounts, it doesn’t happen. Divorce literally would be cheaper.

  17. lynn says:

    And did I miss the last posting from SteveF ? He has been around here infrequently lately.

  18. lynn says:

    Wow, that sucks ! I really like parking my vehicles in the garage for that reason.

    Usually the Exploder is in the garage. My wife left it out since she was home only briefly.

    We’ve had a lot more problems in the neighborhood since the ranch next door was developed for H1B housing and contractors paved a direct route to our community from the 183 corridor.

    Wow ! It may be time to move, this could be the first of many incidents.

  19. Ray Thompson says:

    Just got back from the kidney doctor. Fred and Wilma have not been discharged. Thus I return tomorrow for a CT scan with dye to further locate the stones. Following that appointment I am off to the hospital for pre-surgery testing. Surgery is scheduled for the 13th of this month. Doctor will insert a tube through my penis, through the bladder, and into the ducts from the kidney to the bladder. He will then zap with a laser or manually extract. A stint will be installed after the surgery.

    Of course this will all be done under full anesthesia and in any such procedure there is always risk, though minor. I am not thrilled about the prospect even though it is outpatient procedure.

    A friend in San Antonio went in for a minor surgery and had a stroke. He has been in skilled nursing for the last two months trying to regain use of his arms and learning to speak. Yeh, that rests heavily on my mind.

    It will be interesting to see how Medicare pays and then the supplement is supposed to cover the rest. I suspect that supplemental premium will began to look like a bargain. ER visit, urologist visit, follow up visit, CT scan tomorrow, surgery a week later, then followup from that procedure. I expect bills will top $30K for all of this. People without insurance are doomed and for many would put them in bankruptcy and poverty.

  20. lynn says:

    Doctor will insert a tube through my penis, through the bladder, and into the ducts from the kidney to the bladder.

    TMI ! ! ! !

    People without insurance are doomed and for many would put them in bankruptcy and poverty.

    Or, a lot of them will just ignore the problem until it kills them or drives them to the ER. Or, a lot of cheap rotgut whisky.

    Good luck !

  21. Greg Norton says:

    Wow ! It may be time to move, this could be the first of many incidents.

    Five years until the second child finishes high school.

  22. lynn says:

    Wow ! It may be time to move, this could be the first of many incidents.

    Five years until the second child finishes high school.

    My son’s house is in a small blue collar community next to a Section 8 apartment complex inside Houston. One fine day about 4 or 5 years ago, someone tagged (spray painted) gang colors on their neighborhood monument. Reputedly three of his neighbors, a police officer and two fire fighters, went over to the apartment complex and found out who the miscreant was. His neighbors apparently gave him up easily (I suspect that he had preyed on them also). They proceeded to educate him with their fists about destroying another man’s property. They promised a second beating the next day if their neighborhood monument was not repainted within 24 hours. It was.

    BTW, I was thinking about you moving out another five miles or so. Well away from the H1B houses, whatever the crap that is.

  23. nick flandrey says:

    I have an infection to go with my stones, so I’m on Cipro at the moment… I’m hoping we can resolve this without a CT scan, and any follow up treatment.

    n

  24. lynn says:

    ” Some 700 rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip since the security situation escalated over the weekend.”
    https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Hundreds-of-Gaza-rockets-rain-down-on-Israel-continuous-coverage-588811

    “The Iron Dome intercepted 173 rockets, according to Channel 12.
    Four people have been confirmed dead and several more are in critical condition. Dozens have been wounded.”

    Here we go again. I predict that the UN will not be happy with Israel’s solution to the problem. I also predict that the solution will be temporary.

    If this happened in the USA, we would send several battalions of US Marines for a visit to the infractor.

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

  25. nick flandrey says:

    Shout out to whoever here recommended Hard Case, a John Harding book. I’m enjoying it way too much. Classic men’s action, with surprisingly subtle sex (ie. mostly all off stage.)

    A fun read, if you like the genre.

    n

  26. JimB says:

    Good to hear DadCooks is OK.

  27. JimB says:

    They proceeded to educate him with their fists about destroying another man’s property.

    Reminds me about when I was in college. OK, the stone age. This was in Detroit, and a moderately good neighborhood, but some bad guys repeatedly robbed students. Various police organizations threw up their hands. Students (not me, but I always tried to avoid trouble, even then) got together and watched the campus. One evening, they caught three bad guys in the act. They applied the “board of education,” putting two of them in the hospital for a couple of days. No further trouble after the word got out. “Why didn’t you say so?!”​

    I can’t imagine that working today. First off, the students would have been hunted down and prosecuted, probably serving serious sentences. Ah, the good ole days.

  28. lynn says:

    “Introducing the Space City Weather Flood Scale”
    https://spacecityweather.com/introducing-the-space-city-weather-flood-scale/

    Here is my lame attempt at the flooding stages:
    Stage 1: Don’t drive into flooded areas !
    Stage 2: Yes, it is simultaneously monsooning in Sugar Land and setting a new high temperature record in the Woodlands
    Stage 3: Stop driving into flooded areas !
    Stage 4: All five bayous and three rivers in Houston are out of their tertiary banks
    Stage 5: You should have left for the Rockies three days ago

    “So why are we introducing this scale now? Because we anticipate needing it for the coming Thursday through Saturday period. Absent a major change in the forecast models, we’ll begin to use the flood scale beginning in Tuesday morning’s post. For what its worth, our overall thinking hasn’t changed, we continue to see the potential for 3 to 10 inches of rain through Sunday morning for the Houston region.”

    Oh my, here we go again.

  29. JimL says:

    I can’t imagine that working today. First off, the students would have been hunted down and prosecuted, probably serving serious sentences. Ah, the good ole days.

    Depends. If the students could avoid the temptations of social media and keep their mouths shut, they could get away with it. Often, the temptation to brag brings down as many good guys as bad guys. When you do something good, keeping your mouth shut is more rewarding than bragging about it.

  30. Greg Norton says:

    Oh my, here we go again.

    Houston seems to flood every May. At least since we moved to Texas.

    The hipster areas south of Downtown Austin get hammered too.

  31. paul says:

    Houston seems to flood every May.

    Shoal Creek in Austin is due. Best I recall, the last big flood covered Lamar from about 10th to the river.

  32. lynn says:

    Oh my, here we go again.

    Houston seems to flood every May. At least since we moved to Texas.

    I’ve seen floods in Houston every month of the year. It is a natural thing. There is a guy who has documented the major floods of the Brazos River back to 1899:
    http://lifeonthebrazosriver.com/Floods.htm

    The big problem in Houston is that the entire nine county area needs to develop 1,000 year flood retaining ponds. Until recently, only 100 year flood retaining ponds were required. And even the amount of water for a 100 year flood has changed from 9 ??? inches of rain to 14 ??? inches of rain. So we need to build a lot of new parks that double as water retention ponds.

  33. Greg Norton says:

    Bad weather the first week in May in Tampa always makes people my age and older nervous.

    https://www.tampabay.com/hillsborough/he-represented-the-captain-who-hit-the-sunshine-skyway-now-steve-yerrid-is-making-a-film-20190503/

    The money shot of the disaster. The driver went back for the golf clubs, of course.

    https://www.tampabay.com/photos/2018/05/09/the-sunshine-skyway-bridge-plunged-into-tampa-bay-38-years-ago/

  34. JimB says:

    If the students could avoid the temptations of social media and keep their mouths shut, they could get away with it.

    Oh yes. Back in the hills and hollers, an old saying is “Shoot, shovel, shut up!”
    -or-
    Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

  35. JimB says:

    Re home automation, when we built our house in 1978, I put in a Touch-plate system. For those who have never heard of it, it was one of three (GE and Bryant were the others) relay control lighting systems available at the time, and is still around. Back then, it was well worth the slight extra cost to gain its capabilities. It uses ratchet-cam relays to feed the 120V lights. The relays are in a panel, with a feed to each light or switched outlet. The panel also has a DC power supply with a capacitor that charges up to about 30VDC. There are simple single pole normally open pushbutton switches (hence the term touch-plate) that toggle a relay to turn the circuit alternately ON or OFF. Because of this, the low voltage control wiring is simple, and many switches can control one circuit. This capacitive discharge scheme allows 18 gauge wire up to 500 feet long to operate each relay. All low voltage control wiring can be put in plaster rings, so no regular boxes are needed. No power is drawn except during switching, and the relays serve as a mechanical memory during power outages. Our system has been trouble-free for over 40 years, and is a joy to use. I designed the house so I can easily modify wiring if needed, to me the only practical use of the term “future proofing.”

    There are two downsides. The first, no dimming, was not important to me at the time, because dimming incandescent lights (remember those?) is extremely inefficient. I have one dimming circuit, a bank of fluorescent lights that provide diffuse general light in our living room. The TP relay turns them ON and OFF, and a solid state dimmer controls the light level. Fluorescent tubes are actually fairly efficient when dimmed, but of course nowadays LEDs are better. The other downside is that it is hard but not impossible to interface this system with any modern home automation system. OTOH, I have commercial garage door openers in the new garage. These don’t support lights, so I simply used another receiver channel to provide a momentary relay contact closure to the relay that controls the lights using an unused button on the four button remote control. Simple.

    I have been watching the Touch-plate retrofit offerings, but they are expensive and maybe not so great for my needs. I might do some renovation and maybe even an addition, so I would consider something else for that. TP offers DMX controlled systems, but I don’t think I want that amount of complexity. I might just augment my system as needed using third party parts. Like Bruce Friend, I am old school, and like things that work reliably.

    Any suggestions gratefully considered.

  36. lynn says:

    Well, today was tough on my mother but I feel that she will be able to move forward. She will be in the hospital for five weeks tomorrow. The doctors did remove the hip implant today and put in a spacer with antibotics molded in it. They fully cleaned out the incision and are comfortable that the infection is gone from there. Mom will be able to continue rehab with both standing and walking with the spacer. The spacer will be replaced with a new hip implant in 3 to 6 months or when Mom is ready. Mom will also have six weeks of iv antibiotics and spend another 4+ weeks in skilled nursing as she heals from the sepsis infection.

    The leg nerve is the unknown area as he cannot tell how much is damaged. The nerve is regenerating at one mm/day or an inch/month. If the entire leg nerve is dead then it will take three years to regenerate. But he does not think that the leg nerve is dead.

    The ortho doctor met with us for an hour yesterday. He has performed 12,000 hip and knee surgeries. He is the go to guy for Methodist hospital in the med center and has fixed many other doctor’s disasters. My mother researched him and was comfortable with his reputation as he has fixed a friend of her’s hip implant from Port Lavaca. He told us that he has one infection per year and one nerve problem per five years. He is totally dismayed that my mother has had trouble with both.

  37. nick flandrey says:

    Boy, I hope that this does the trick for her and that she makes a strong recovery. It’s a good thing to have found the problem and begin addressing it.

    n

  38. nick flandrey says:


    ‘Stockpile coins and banknotes’: Sweden tells its citizens to squirrel away hard cash under their beds in case of a cyber attack

    Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency has issued guidance to every household
    It tells residents to stockpile ‘cash in small denominations’ for emergencies
    It fears computer networks could be disrupted by terrorism or cyber-warfare
    The government recommends that each citizen keep cash under their bed”

    –someplace other than under the bed might be better…

    n

  39. dkreck says:

    Took my mom to ortho doc today for 2 month follow up. Her’s has gone very well. Moves without any problems but does use a walker mostly to stay steady. Doc says probably should do so the rest of her life. She turns 92 in a week. Unfortunately her quality of life is rather poor. Cardiac issues, poor hearing and maybe just a bad attitude. She was healthy and very independent until this started 2 years ago.

    Ray, your tales worry me. My KS are unknown right now. New CAT scan on Thursday and some blood work. Fortunately no new attacks since the first two on the first day. Also I’m due to find out what they think of the adrenal gland tumor. Of course hoping it’s benign. Good luck to you and me. Your mom too Lynn. Hell to get old.

  40. Ray Thompson says:

    The CT scan does not worry me and there are no concerns. The procedure to remove the stones is somewhat concerning for the after effects. Wife had it done and was quite sore after the procedure requiring morphine. Apparently a lot of organ manipulation that really makes for a painful recovery. The first five hours after the procedure she was in real pain and on morphine, two doses. Hospital broke one and of course charged me for the third vial they broke. Had a little discussion about that with the hospital. I don’t pay for their mistakes.

    Biggest concern the doctor has is the stones blocking the kidney duct and becoming septic. He wants to get the stones as soon as possible.

    I have only had two attacks, one really bad. Required the consumption of three oxycodene pills which stopped the pain and allowed me to sleep.

    TMI ! ! ! !

    Sorry about that. I figured most were adults. Next time I will say “WILLY” instead of PENIS. When dealing with medical crap modesty pretty much goes out the window.

    And on another front, I see where Chrome now has a dark mode by default.

  41. lynn says:

    TMI ! ! ! !

    Sorry about that. I figured most were adults.

    I was taunting you. I have seen this before, it was horrible. My dad had bladder cancer 8 ??? years ago. When I went to check on him, they were running a chemo solution through his penis, in and out using a pump. For two days ! He did have a blanket over him but I could see where the two lines were leading.

  42. lynn says:

    Good luck to you and me. Your mom too Lynn. Hell to get old.

    Thanks and good luck to you also. This is horrible and my brother just called me to tell me that mom is having hysterics again. The previous time was horrible, 4 hours of hell in which she begged me to kill her over and over again. My dad is spending the night, I may be running down there in a while to send him to my brothers house so he can get some rest.

    My mother’s goal in this was to stay out of a wheelchair. I don’t think that this was worth it.

  43. lynn says:

    Ok my Dad says that Mom has gone to sleep so I am not going up tonight. What a nightmare !

  44. Greg Norton says:

    Mom will also have six weeks of iv antibiotics and spend another 4+ weeks in skilled nursing as she heals from the sepsis infection.

    My wife’s uncle had both knees replaced, and, at the time, I thought he had really cr*ppy insurance when they sent him home after 48 hours.

    In retrospect, the early release to his home was probably for the best. We visited a few days later, and, when my wife looked at his incisions, she said both knees were really clean, no oozing/swelling/bleeding. The only hints of the surgery were the stitches.

    I hope things work out for the best with your mom. Try to get her out as soon as the doctors believe safe.

  45. Ray Thompson says:

    I was taunting you.

    Yes, I know. I just wanted the chance to say WILLY instead of PENIS. Thanks for the opportunity.

  46. Ray Thompson says:

    In retrospect, the early release to his home was probably for the best.

    Hospitals are full of sick people, some with horribly infectious diseases. Lots of bad bugs running around hiding in corners that don’t get cleaned well just waiting for the chance to pounce on an unsuspecting victim.

    I don’t think that this was worth it.

    I know sort of from where you speak. My aunt never wanted to be a vegetable in a nursing but spent 4.5 years in that condition. Your mom’s situation is much worse and I am not trying to diminish the issue. Good luck to you in what will be some very trying days/weeks/months ahead.

  47. MrAtoz says:

    My best for your Mom, Mr. Lynn. It is going to be a trying time. Only the family will get her through this. The four and a half years my Mom lived with me were trying as her health went down hill. She wouldn’t have made it six months without family.

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