Thur. May 9, 2019 – quick post

77F and wet. Got some spotty and intermittent rain yesterday, but no big downpours.

According to the police chief, the city is bracing for a lot of rain this weekend.

Joy.

Had a lovely “graduation” ceremony last night, and got another certificate for my “I love me” wall. I’m not the collector that some are, one lady had 6 CPA programs under her belt. I definitely recommend doing it though.

I’m off to Austin for a pickup today, so light commenting.

n

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40 Responses to Thur. May 9, 2019 – quick post

  1. Harold Combs says:

    Sixty seven degrees and thunder storms in the Bluff City this morning.
    I have been lurking lately as the dramas in my life have been eating up most of my time and energy. Wife is not coming to grips well with her dialysis routine and is unusually grumpy. Nothing I ca do about that. I did hire a housekeeper to give us a weekly cleaning service as wife can’t do it any longer and I haven’t the time. Not to mention that as I age, I find that I simply don’t notice the extra dust on cupboard doors and baseboards.
    With the extra income from Social Security, I have started seriously building our cash savings to prepare for the inevitable rainy day. The Insurance Admin at the dialysis clinic tells us that because of the wife’s condition, she is eligible for Medicare six months early so we have scheduled a meeting with the Social Security folk to discuss what this means. This removes the last real barrier to my retiring if Medicare can cover her health costs I don’t need the company health insurance any longer. We will see.

  2. Ray Thompson says:

    This removes the last real barrier to my retiring if Medicare can cover her health costs

    Don’t hold your breath with the early Medicare. You will get denied, then you have to appeal, then get denied, then appeal again. At that point you may get approved. It may take a year or more.

    My wife was told the same thing when she had hip replacement surgery. Eighteen months later the final appeal was denied. Really pissed me off. Apparently if you would for Dollar General and “just happen” to lift a box incorrectly you can claim a back injury and get Medicare and SS for life when you are only 24 years old. Of course you also have to be the child of welfare leaches who taught you how to game the system.

    The point is be prepared for a battle. Or the Medicare folks may just decide that six months early is not worth the hassle to fight and will award the benefit. I am hoping you prevail easily.

  3. CowboySlim says:

    A 53 year old Nevada legislator passed away. Cause redacted. Where is Schumerosinadler when needed?

  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’ve got a guy trying to scam me on ebay, which has delayed my departure and soured my whole day. The pix he sent aren’t even of my shipment. Fukers.

    n

    Here’s some tips if you have a legit claim.

    Take and provide good clear pix that show the issue clearly (scammers won’t send pix or their pix won’t show the issue, because there isn’t an issue)
    Work within the established process (scammers never have ‘time’ to do what is asked)
    Allow time for the process to work (scammers are always pushing and escalating)
    Get your story straight (scammers’ stories change constantly)
    File the correct issues (scammers will claim damage but file ‘not received’)

    Fukers.

    bn

  5. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve got a guy trying to scam me on ebay, which has delayed my departure and soured my whole day. The pix he sent aren’t even of my shipment. Fukers.

    The new seller scam I’ve noticed is that they’ll sell flat-out garbage and fudge the shipping just a bit, say $2-3. When the buyer receives the defective and/or inaccurately-described item and requests a refund, the seller denies the credit at first but, when the deadline approaches for EBay to get involved with the dispute, quickly offers a partial refund of the purchase price, keeping the real shipping cost plus the overrun.

    It works with volume I guess.

    That Goodwill Outlet in Austin is close to the H1B ghetto associated with HP’s facility at the north end of town. I’ll bet you see a lot of the dopier relatives in there looking for scam fodder, making money hustling while the brother/sister/cousin has a visa to work a tech job in the country.

  6. Harold Combs says:

    Ray@ – My wife would get Medicare in December anyway so at best she would get it 6 month early. I am covered by my excellent tribal health care but she is very high maintenance and needs lots of support. Now I will have to start reviewing the supplements Part B, C, D, etc … I don’t trust any sales person to give me real advice.

  7. DadCooks says:

    @Harold, I too have, would, and will never trust a “salesperson” with regards to Medicare. I did and continue to use the following to research and compare:
    – Q1Medicare.com https://q1medicare.com/index.php
    – USAA (if you are a member, easy to join if any past military service)
    – AARP
    – AAA

    Q1Medicare and USAA have provided the best and clearest information.

    We use USAA for our Part B and SilverScript for our Part D (SilverScript has the largest/broadest formulary that meets our needs).

    If you start now, you should be able to gather enough information and make a decision by the time your Wife is eligible. You need to review your providers and coverage every 6-months as Medicare allows the “providers” to “revise” their plans and prices mid-year.

    Good luck and best wishes and prayers for your Wife.

    Make a decision and then make it right.

  8. pcb_duffer says:

    Harold Combs: I was a Medicare CSR until the hurricane hit. If you want the honest scoop, drop me a line here, we’ll exchange emails or phone numbers. Meanwhile, Medicare answers their phones 24/7, if you call on the weekends or after ~ 7PM Pacific you’ll get a much quicker response. CSR work is all contracted out, and the call center phone people don’t get paid commission, so they have no benefit to giving you bad advice.

  9. Harold Combs says:

    @Dadcooks & pcb_duffer
    I am looking for the straight scoop. Happy to exchange emails.

  10. JLP says:

    From yesterday: …surprisingly large minority of the student body is gluten free.

    I love gluten. It makes everything better. I have a suspicion that it is actually undetected gluten holding the universe together and not that dark matter nonsense.

  11. lynn says:

    Crankshaft: warm bodies at the library
    http://comicskingdom.com/crankshaft/2019-05-09

    Heh, the librarian is desperate.

  12. lynn says:

    Swan Eaters: losing your pet monster
    https://www.gocomics.com/swan-eaters/2019/05/08

    This is truly sad.

  13. lynn says:

    xkcd: Appendicitis
    https://www.xkcd.com/2147/

    The doctor had me at zapping my body with energy beams. Victory with the sword was over the top.

    Explained at:
    https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2147:_Appendicitis

  14. pcb_duffer says:

    Harold: Take the four character form of andrew, add an underscore and the first three characters of my user name here with a yahoo domain.

  15. lynn says:

    According to the police chief, the city is bracing for a lot of rain this weekend.

    Yeah, all of us in the 50 ? 100 ? 150 ? cities making up the Houston metroplex are bracing ourselves.

    My neighbors who got flooded are posting pictures of their homes on our private facebook page and asking for help in cleaning and ripping out stuff. I am trying to decide if my messed up autoimmune system could take it.

    I did verify that both of our bayou systems in Greatwood are drained now. I drove over the south bayou last night and visually verified that it is empty. I just drove past the north bayou feeder and it is empty also. Excellent work, LID 11 ! I just wanted to see for myself that the LID was doing everything that it could. Ronald Reagan said “Trust but verify” and it still works today.

  16. Greg Norton says:

    My neighbors who got flooded are posting pictures of their homes on our private facebook page and asking for help in cleaning and ripping out stuff. I am trying to decide if my messed up autoimmune system could take it.

    I’d avoid it if you have that kind of medical problem.

    Before we moved into our current house, I ripped up all the carpet areas with large stains and put Killz down on the bare floor. I felt sick for a while afterwards. The previous owners had quite a menagerie of pets in here, and I try not to think about what created the stains.

  17. paul says:

    More rain on the way. It’s thundering towards the West. Other than a few fat drops hitting the metal roof, it’s not here yet. Missy is not happy. Penny doesn’t care.

    Maybe it will rain slower than 1.5 inches in half an hour. Straight down, no wind. The road out is “trashed” but hey, “Green Acres is the place to be….”. (You are welcome.)

    Tomorrow’s high is 59F? In May? Crazy.

    I have yet to mow. Just as it dries enough, more rain. The native grass is going to seed. For grins, I sampled some of the seed. Tastes like sunflower kernels. Takes several to equal one sunflower kernel. You won’t be getting fat if all you have is grass flour for tortillas.

  18. lynn says:

    Does anyone have a recommendation on 27 inch PC height adjustable monitors ? I used to buy LG 27 inch with a height pivot but they apparently do not make these new except in 4K now. I used to buy this monitor but there are only used ones now.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IIJ2OPE/?tag=ttgnet-20

  19. Greg Norton says:

    The last monitor I bought was this one for my kids’ PC. A 27″ version used to be available.

    The monitor looked like cr*p at first, but I eventually played with the settings to the point that it looks decent. The screen sees a lot of use for both the PC and PS4 (via HDMI).

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824160177

    A lot of folks at work buy monitor stands out of their own pocket for the cheap displays the company provides. As long as a monitor has a VESA mount, the stands make a huge difference.

  20. MrAtoz says:

    I have two of these (variable height so it can be used in portrait):

    LG 4K UHD 27UD88-W 27″ LED-Lit Monitor with USB Type-C

    Mounted on:

    Mount-It! Dual Computer Monitor Mount Arm, LCD Monitor Stand for Desk, Clamp, Articulating Gas Spring Arms, Computer Monitors up to 32 Inches, VESA 75×75 100×100, 20 Lb Capacity Each Arm, Black

    Which gives me variable height and landscape/portrait on my sit/stand desk. They are connected to my “trash can” Mac via hdmi and to my Mac Book Pro via Thunderbolt 3.

    I got them on Amazon.

  21. JimB says:

    I made my won monitor stands. They are about 6″ high, and set behind the keyboard on a low desk. Works for me. Also provides room for more clutter, yea! You might try these.

    https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=5402

    https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=9435

    I have never bought these type of stands, but have bought cables and bulk from this source, and like them.

  22. JimB says:

    Well, Internet finally up here after nearly a week of waiting. Hope it lasts. Too many details to recount. Now catching up.

    Ray, that Fenix E30R FLASHLIGHT looks good. For those who don’t follow modern lights, 1600 lumens is the same output as a 100 watt incandescent bulb, in a very compact size that doesn’t get very hot. We truly have come a long way in just fifty years. Can;t wait for more!

    I made my own portable light back in 1977 using three D size Gates sealed AGM lead acid cells to power a 30 watt incandescent sealed beam auto spotlight bulb. Although the cells could put out a peak of 50 amps, impressive for the time, their capacity was about 2.5 Ahr. The run time of the light was only about 20 minutes continuous. It did light up a room very well, and the 5 degree beam gave it good throw to light up objects at reasonable distances. The most impressive thing was that the cells lasted about 20 years with good care and occasional use. I made some other lights that were better in some aspects, but that first one was a favorite. As an example, when incandescents were still popular, people used to feed them at slightly higher voltage than rated. The light output really goes up, and the life isn’t too bad-bulbs are cheap. Xenon short arc, and now LEDs have changed all that.

    I still have a soft spot for spotlights that can light up an object at, say, a half mile, a trivial distance here in the desert. Don’t really have anything impressive, though. If you look at Candlepower forums, you will find people using 100+ watt xenon short arc lights with 12″ or more reflectors. These can be impressive. Also, there are still some folks who have WWII search lights. These have around 60″ reflectors with about 20 kW carbon arc lights. There might even be more powerful lights in the hands of flashaholics. Not very portable, however.

    One thing I learned about life is that no matter how much one has, there is always someone else who has more. Lights are no exception. For a really big light, look up the Luxor light at Las Vegas. Wow.

  23. lynn says:

    I have two of these (variable height so it can be used in portrait):

    LG 4K UHD 27UD88-W 27″ LED-Lit Monitor with USB Type-C

    I was hoping to get a 2K monitor. We do not have any 4K PC equipment, yet. I am thinking about trying out a 2K Dell:
    https://www.amazon.com/P2717H-Screen-LED-Lit-Monitor-Black/dp/B01FGCJE3A

    Or a 2K ASUS:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FE6DNM2/

    Neither of them have DVI ports. I guess that I will have to use a DVI to HDMI adapter.

    The world is moving on and the hardware specs are changing yet again.

  24. JimB says:

    Do have a look at Viewsonic. I have had several, and have always liked them.

    However, Next time I would def look at Dell, and maybe even HP monitors.

  25. JimB says:

    For adapters, look at Monoprice. Theirs are good quality at cheap prices.

  26. lynn says:

    Here comes the Brazos River ! The prediction is now one inch below a major flood, 50 ft, for Sunday:
    https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=HGX&gage=RMOT2

    We had 55.2 ft on the river after Harvey. Our Levee head happened to mention on our FB group yesterday that even though our levee is good for 60 ft of river, he believes that the levee will fail at 58 ft. That is … discomforting.

    Time to move to high ground. This two story would be good for first story additions after I fill in the pool.
    https://www.har.com/1411-mulberry-farm-lane/sale_10921032

  27. lynn says:

    “April was another record month for illegal immigration”
    https://www.conservativereview.com/news/april-another-record-month-illegal-immigration/

    “According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), April set yet another record, with a total of 109,000 apprehensions at the southwest border.”

    Are you freaking kidding me ? Texas is going to look like Kalifornia in 3 or 5 years with all of these illegals running around.

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

  28. Nick Flandrey says:

    Already does.

    n

  29. Nick Flandrey says:

    Boy howdy it’s coming down now! Lightning is right on top of us too.

    Power blinked a couple times but stayed up. I hope there isn’t an issue because my gennie is down…

    n

  30. lynn says:

    Boy howdy it’s coming down now! Lightning is right on top of us too.

    Power blinked a couple times but stayed up. I hope there isn’t an issue because my gennie is down…

    Here is hoping that you do not get 17 inches like we did Tuesday. And do you have flood insurance ? $250K coverage for rising water damage for $482/year. That is a lot of peace of mind. A lot of my neighbors have suddenly changed their minds. I got ours the day after Harvey went through (took 30 days to activate).

    The office lost power for about 4 hours. The house flickered like crazy according to the wife. And I apparently lost half of the UPSes at the office.

    We had 20 fires in Fort Bend County due to lightening strikes also. Not good.

  31. Nick Flandrey says:

    Holy cow, we’ve got golf ball and bigger hail. Most are quarter sized.

    We’ve gotten 2.4 inches since it started 2 hours ago. One inch an hour we can handle easily.

    The hail is beating the cars up though.

    n

  32. JimB says:

    Hope the rain isn’t damaging. We are expecting 0.19″ over night, and then scattered TS for a couple days. Nothing compared to the Houston area, but significant for us.

    Our normal forecast is sunny with a slight chance of an earthquake 🙂

  33. Nick Flandrey says:

    Wow, more hail, some of it racquetball sized.

    and rain hasn’t quit either. we’re up to 4.83 inches.

    n

  34. Greg Norton says:

    The world is moving on and the hardware specs are changing yet again.

    HDMI is about copy protection and making the studios happy.

    The connector is more compact as the tradeoff.

    See what Apple puts on the next MacBook Pro due this Summer. That’s the future.

    I thought Lightning would take over by now, but I tried several docks with that interface recently, and they all sucked. Maybe Apple held the exclusive for too long.

  35. Nick Flandrey says:

    HDMI has all kinds of nonsense, is a physically terrible connector, and fails opaquely.

    The test equipment to look at the signal is horrifically expensive, and only really tells you what it’s doing on average. There is a lot of plug and pray when doing anything more involved than connecting a tv to a video source.

    n

  36. Nick Flandrey says:

    Now up to 5.4 inches by my rain gauge. The street drained a bit, it was over the curbs. It’s still coming down though.

    n

  37. Greg Norton says:

    The test equipment to look at the signal is horrifically expensive, and only really tells you what it’s doing on average. There is a lot of plug and pray when doing anything more involved than connecting a tv to a video source.

    HDMI is about lots of patents held by companies with Los Altos mailing addresses. If they made real hardware once, they’ve been out of the game a long time.

    I don’t think it accomplishes much with regard to piracy. I watched all of the last “Discovery” season without a problem.

  38. lynn says:

    Hey my fancy schmancy Logitech mechanical keyboard dried out and starting working again ! Sweet !

    Now I need to find out where the roof leak in the game room is at. I think that the sheetrock in the ceiling is going to have to be replaced though.

  39. Nick Flandrey says:

    5.6inches now, and Addicks reservoir has risen half a foot.

    still thunder and lightning, and I’m off to bed.

    Too much driving today has me beat again.

    n

    (and I’ve got San Antonio, galveston, and austin pickups coming up)

  40. Greg Norton says:

    Hey my fancy schmancy Logitech mechanical keyboard dried out and starting working again ! Sweet !

    I used to run my Model 70 keyboards through the dishwasher on the suggestion of Bob.

    My stash of Model 70 keyboards was one of the casualties of our moves. I now have a $10 Dell from EBay on my main machine and spend most of my time on laptops.

    Now that Apple is no longer trying to be Burberry, lets hope the new MacBook pro has a decent keyboard.

    Now I need to find out where the roof leak in the game room is at. I think that the sheetrock in the ceiling is going to have to be replaced though.

    You might get away with paint if the material isn’t sagging. I saw houses for sale in Round Rock where people still tried, but the water damage was beyond obvious.

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