Thur. May 23, 2019 – it’s getting weird out there

79F and 91%RH. Yesterday was partly cloudy with a smattering of drops. Another win for openweathermap.com It seems to be good for my area at least.

There are so many things going on that it’s hard to even chronicle them.

People are getting weird though. According to my gun store friends, they are getting more ‘determined’ people, who they might not have seen before, who know what they want and are intent on getting it. Ammo seems very popular too, and they are ordering extra to cover the demand (in bulk packaging too.)

I’ve seen two guys in my neighborhood out walking or jogging (clearly exercising) while wearing extra gear. One guy was wearing his plate carrier (and was with his female companion) and the other was wearing a rucksack in OD green. They are clearly doing extra conditioning (as several online forums suggest.) Usually our joggers are wearing 3 ounces of lightweight fabric and a sheen of sweat…

Several new gun ranges have opened on my side of town.

Mountain House is back in the Costco here. New variety pack, marketed as “Adventure Food.” I buy the multipacks when I have space in the budget and the cart. I add instant drinks, desserts, and more instant oatmeal to each box, then stack them. It’s coming up on hurricane season so it makes sense to stock it to Costco.

Costco also has inverter gennies on big discounts here. Over $100 off.

I better get cooking breakfast, more later….

n

51 thoughts on “Thur. May 23, 2019 – it’s getting weird out there”

  1. Some other quick price checks,

    Costco spiral sliced ham, 1.89/pound which is at near historical low for the last several years

    smoked salmon is the same as usual

    king crab legs, $23/pound

    I don’t eat much in restaurants anymore, but since joining the ham lunch group, I’ve been going out about every week. Lunch yesterday was 2 tacos, side of guac and an iced tea and it was $23 before the tip. yikes. I don’t know if the guy who picks the places picks quiet places on purpose, but I haven’t been to one yet that had all the tables filled at lunch time. I remember lunch being a busy time for restaurants…

    n

  2. disaster in Missouri

    “Late Wednesday night, a tornado ripped across Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri. The storm, described as a “direct hit” to the capital city, left dozens trapped and injured. What the National Weather Service described as a “violent tornado” landed nearly eight years to the day that another deadly storm leveled Joplin, Missouri. More tornadoes, thunderstorms and flash floods are expected for a large swath of the Midwest between Oklahoma and Illinois.”

    No matter where you are there’s a reason to prep.

    n

  3. I don’t eat much in restaurants anymore, but since joining the ham lunch group, I’ve been going out about every week. Lunch yesterday was 2 tacos, side of guac and an iced tea and it was $23 before the tip. yikes. I don’t know if the guy who picks the places picks quiet places on purpose, but I haven’t been to one yet that had all the tables filled at lunch time. I remember lunch being a busy time for restaurants…

    Did Houston pass mandatory paid sick leave like Austin and San Antonio?

    Abbott and the Legislature decided to fight Ann Richards ghost rather than push a bill to squelch the sick leave, arguably a backdoor increase in the minimum wage.

  4. Last week I opened up raisins, dates, and prunes with “best by” dates in 2016 and 2017. Packages were intact and contents seemed fresh. Eating them for a week and I have had no ill effects. I also opened up a 5lb bag of flour that I vacuum packed in 2016. No bugs, degradation, or odor noted. It made some delicious dinners rolls the other day.

    On another subject, I’m still unemployed. I had an intense interview Tuesday (4 hours, 5 people, 2 sites). It is definitely a job I can do and I’m sure they noticed that. But I’m still not sure if it is the right company for me. It is a startup in Cambridge, MA which means a lousy commute and probably high pressure to move forward quickly. Twice I was asked “how well do you work under pressure?”. Well, they have other candidates to interview so I have a little time to think about this.

  5. “how well do you work under pressure?”

    –sounds like “how much unpaid overtime will you do?” to me.

    added- also “we’re under-resourced” and “we can’t manage the project well.”

    n

  6. I’m thinking the same as Nick.

    My current position – “how well do you handle conflict?”. Means the owners are fighting all the time. Rubs off. Miserable at times. Like now.

    I can’t speak for you, but for me, I’ll pass next time. And there will be a next time.

  7. added- also “we’re under-resourced” and “we can’t manage the project well.”

    That is most IT work these days. A Scrum Master on the payroll, like my wife’s friend the English major, is always a bad sign.

    My management is putting up with unbelievable antics from customers. On my current project, it is pretty obvious we are being reverse engineered, but what do I know as “junior” developer?

    Fortunately, the customer likes to work with CGI on other projects, and I know first hand those chuckleheads couldn’t put together a system like ours, even the legacy AMS people we used to compete with for jobs when I worked at GTE.

    One state just wholesale fired one of our competitors from all of their roads, a name you would recognize in a heartbeat and would not believe is incompetence on a “need to be fitted for drool cup” level. The good/bad is that they hired us under an extreme replacement timetable which may violate the laws of physics.

  8. The company is definitely under-resourced. It is a start-up with a novel technology and they just received a big chunk of venture capital money. Much of that will be used to hire people (like me) who can get them to the next milestone and next round of funding.

    It is a young company; the lab is full of people right out of school and all the people who interviewed me, except one (the venture capital guy, I guess ~60), where at least a dozen years my junior. There are positives: exciting technology, a step forward in my career, good money, potential stock options. There are negatives: lousy commute, possible long hours, the technology might not work as expected and the company evaporates.

    I need to talk with some of my trusted advisers and do some think deep thinking.

    Plan B, win the lottery hasn’t been working out….

  9. Lunch yesterday was 2 tacos, side of guac and an iced tea and it was $23 before the tip.

    A McNuggets combo–10 (?) nuggets, fries, and a drink–will set you back north of eight bucks nowadays.

  10. What is a tablet “power user”? and why would you even mention one in a review of a <$70 device?

    Is an artist now a "pencil power user"? A binge watching couch potato is a "media consumption power user"?

    WTF does a reviewer expect from a walmart branded ANYTHING?

    There are a crapton of cheap tablets out there, with sticky screens, laggy interfaces, and insensitive touch sensors. The amazon tablets blow them out of the water with slick glass, responsive gui, etc. A samsung galaxy tab E is only $94 at walmart anyway… and I can pretty much guarantee it is better than anything walmart will job out and rebrand.

    n

  11. I’m in work avoidance mode. I really don’t want to get up into an attic and pull cat cable today….

    n

  12. Questionable Content: Clownboy
    https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=4009

    Oh no. Incompatible charging ports is a serious problem in the mobile device user space.

    However, hooking up with robots who are also on probation is also problematic. That way does not bode well for the human race long term existence.

    It would be nice if Clownboy (Sven) could buy May a new battery now.

    WARNING: The previous panel might be NSFW in some jurisdictions. And May has a potty mouth.

  13. I’m in work avoidance mode. I really don’t want to get up into an attic and pull cat cable today….

    I have been in work avoidance mode all of this year. I hope that it does not stretch into the next decade.

  14. A McNuggets combo–10 (?) nuggets, fries, and a drink–will set you back north of eight bucks nowadays.

    I tasted a McNugget a couple of decades ago. Never again. But their Quarter Pounder with Cheese is still awesome to my taste buds. And the Sausage Biscuit with Egg.

  15. Whoa ! My 150 LED outside light fixture is back for sale at Big River. Wild.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077ZK6Q26/?tag=ttgnet-20

    I am glad that I did not buy more at Ebay yesterday. I still need to confirm that I can put these in place of my eleven 230 volt light fixtures in the warehouse. I am not sure how the old 230 volt fixtures are wired (single power wire or double power wire as they are switched at the front door). This fixture says that it can take up to 277 volts but, the proof is in the installation and subsequent test.

  16. I am a little pro for the merger.

    I’d hate to see another wireless carrier disappear, especially the other CDMA provider in the US. T-Mobile just wants the bandwidth. Landline already went to telecom’s dumping ground, Frontier.

    And AT&T and T-Mobile may try a merger again down the road. Many younger T-Mobile employees around Seattle were eager for the severance buyout to apply towards houses.

  17. There are a crapton of cheap tablets out there, with sticky screens, laggy interfaces, and insensitive touch sensors. The amazon tablets blow them out of the water with slick glass, responsive gui, etc. A samsung galaxy tab E is only $94 at walmart anyway… and I can pretty much guarantee it is better than anything walmart will job out and rebrand.

    The Diapers.com people are on a mission from God. 🙂

    I don’t see Amazon being hurt by any competitor for now. Not as long as they have AWS cash flows. I think we’ve seen “Peak Amazon”, but they will eventually make stupid mistakes which compound over time.

    I’m old enough to have seen Sears, KMart, and Walmart each become retailers big enough to generate antitrust concerns. Two of those are effectively gone.

    Hopefully Walmart left the tablets unlocked enough to install replacement versions of Android.

  18. I’m testing a technique to stop spam comments that are posted via a CURL directly to the comment code. (A common technique of comment spammers. They bypass the comment form and post directly to the comment ‘engine’.)

    It shouldn’t affect regular commenters here, but may reduce the number of spam comments that are caught by Akismet (and are stored in the database).

    Sen me an email directly rhellewell at gmail dot com if you have any issues with adding comments after this one.

    Thanks.

  19. When we bought the tractor they sent a payment coupon book. They wanted $251.09 / month for 60 months. I sent 252.00 for the first payment. Then set up bill pay to send 255.00 a month for 58 months.
    They sent a letter in January saying the principal balance is 1289.10. Nice! Five more payments at 255.00 makes the balance 14.10. I just called for a pay off balance. No balance due, it’s paid in full and I’ll get a letter saying so in about a week.

    I was hoping for a bit of a refund to put towards a new battery. The lady on the phone was still laughing when the call ended. 🙂 As it is, by paying an extra 3.91 x 58 months (226.78), I saved making one full payment of 251.09. Seems “off” to me to have saved all of 24.31 just be paid off one month early.

    Oh, yeah, plus the first month’s extra 91¢. So, 25.22. Spread over five years.

    I have owner manuals for stuff that is long gone. I have receipts for stuff long gone. I have the owner’s manual for the tractor. Any loan papers? Someplace _so safe_ that I can’t find them.

    Well, it’s paid for and that leaves extra for gubs and FLASHLIGHTS and stocking food in the pantry.

  20. “Late Wednesday night, a tornado ripped across Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri. The storm, described as a “direct hit” to the capital city, left dozens trapped and injured. What the National Weather Service described as a “violent tornado” landed nearly eight years to the day that another deadly storm leveled Joplin, Missouri. More tornadoes, thunderstorms and flash floods are expected for a large swath of the Midwest between Oklahoma and Illinois.”

    No matter where you are there’s a reason to prep.

    I would really like to have a Safe Room in my house. However, they are no good against someone who really wants you. My former USMC son watched the Iraqi army torch a house in Iraq to get the people out of the Safe Room. They came right out when they found out the house was on fire.

  21. The good/bad is that they hired us under an extreme replacement timetable which may violate the laws of physics.

    Death March time !

  22. “Apple and Amazon cut a deal that upended the Mac resale market”
    https://www.osnews.com/story/130047/apple-and-amazon-cut-a-deal-that-upended-the-mac-resale-market/

    “Apple made a special deal with Amazon to basically exterminate all third party repair services and used Apple product sellers that aren’t specifically approved by Apple. The result is a sharp increase in pricing on used Apple products sold on Amazon – exactly what Apple wants, of course – and smaller, non-Apple approved resellers are dying off.”

    Um, antitrust and collusion ?

  23. Um, antitrust and collusion ?

    Amazon resellers would be the last place I’d go if I wanted a refurb MacBook.

  24. “The good/bad is that they hired us under an extreme replacement timetable which may violate the laws of physics.”

    Death March time !

    Management pushed back for now since raises were underwhelming, and they’re still trying to figure out who is now actively looking.

    Me? They probably don’t care, but the project in question belongs to my 25 year-old co-worker who management sees as the future.

    If I had to guess, I’d say she’s not looking. With her age, gender, bank experience and a CS degree from TAMU, she’d already be gone, off on the partnership track at Accenture, PWC or, God forbid, CGI.


  25. Amazon resellers would be the last place I’d go if I wanted a refurb MacBook.

    I don’t know from Apple, the 30% price premium always stopped me, although I have MacWorld #1 circa 1984 around here somewhere.

    Did buy an Amazon reseller refurbished CF-53 ToughBook to replace my squeeky fan 3 year old HP CostCo special. It is the 2nd one though, as the first was running 180+ F out of the box. Came with 16 gigs and a 1 Tb SSD. Different rebuilder this time.

  26. I don’t know from Apple, the 30% price premium always stopped me, although I have MacWorld #1 circa 1984 around here somewhere.

    I’d trust OWC if I wanted a refurb MacBook, but I wouldn’t buy anything newer than a “101” MacBook Pro 13, the last one Apple made with a DVD-RW drive.

  27. Watch a few hours of Louis Rossman fixing mac crap, especially any that are labeled as rants. They fail pretty predictably due to poor design choices. All of the models seem to have at least a couple poor choices, and failure modes. It’s stunning what will kill a macbook, one capacitor, one trace, one bit of corrosion in the wrong place… and what’s with all the liquid damage? WTH are macbook users doing?

    n

  28. Watch a few hours of Louis Rossman fixing mac crap, especially any that are labeled as rants. They fail pretty predictably due to poor design choices. All of the models seem to have at least a couple poor choices, and failure modes. It’s stunning what will kill a macbook, one capacitor, one trace, one bit of corrosion in the wrong place… and what’s with all the liquid damage? WTH are macbook users doing?

    I wondered the same thing when I saw some of the Macs brought in for service in the Michigan Avenue store in Chicago. Scorch marks?!?

    My 12 year-old MacBook Pro is a real lemon running any Mac OS X newer than Snow Leopard. It used to be my Windows 7 machine, but now I use it to run Pop! OS Linux as a test.

  29. Really ? A person with measles would fly commercially ?

    Yes. The Vantucky outbreak escalated to a pandemic when a family flew to Hawaii with two sick children. Once in Hawaii and safely ensconced in the resort, the kids were quarantined.

    What was the resort going to do? Send them home on the next plane back to PDX?

    People are narcissists in general. The exception is consideration for others.


  30. what’s with all the liquid damage?

    If you are talking about Apple’s water indicators those are basically worthless. High humidity will turn the indicators positive and Apple will claim water damage. Apple tried to pull that stunt with my phone when I went to Apple to replace the battery. Claimed water damage on a phone had never been in the water, not even on a sink counter. Phone was very well taken care of for it’s life. Me and a manager had a little come to Jesus meeting.

    Many people have had the same experience when dealing with Apple’s water indicators. The sensor detect moisture in the air. A real scam on Apple’s part where no direct moisture contact will trip the indicator.

  31. “Lillevilla Allwood Cabin Kit Getaway (Getaway Cabin kit)”
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NAR617Y/?tag=ttgnet-20

    I wonder if Big River sells chamber pots ? I can just see me waking up at 5 am to climb down that narrow ladder to get to the outhouse.

    Somebody asked where the bathroom was in the questions. Ha ha ha !

    Hat tip to:
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-is-selling-entire-houses-for-less-than-20000-with-free-shipping-2019-05-22?mod=MW_story_top_stories

  32. ” Sen me an email directly r……..l at gmail dot com if you have any issues with adding comments after this one. ”

    Here’s a test.

    Edit: Which seems to have worked ok.

  33. @ray, some of his laptop motherboards look like they were in a bukkake film. If you don’t already know that word, don’t look it up.

    Apple didn’t put any conformal coating on their boards, and on some, they have a JTAG connector right near an edge vent. That’s bad because the JTAG has direct lines into the heart of the machine. They put high voltage pins right next to others with no guard pins in between. They have unfixed some problems that got fixed in subsequent boards, as if they just forgot why they made the design change…. The amount of actual corrosion on some of the boards is astounding.

    In comparison, I’ve scrapped out a lot of gear, and I never see corrosion on the boards.

    n

  34. ”Just ten miles away from my office where I have killed several snakes.”

    I don’t think I have ever killed a snake…

    My Lakota name is “Dances With Snakes (Usually Jumping Back)” …

  35. Washington state man is really giving Florida man a run for his money.

    Florida man doesn’t have access to legal weed … yet.

    Co-founder of one of the state’s largest law firms is working on it.

    (I wish I was making that up)

  36. I don’t understand the desire to smoke weed. I have in the distant past, and other things, but I really have no desire, and don’t know what it would take to develop the desire… I’m pretty sure the “war on (some) drugs” is net negative for the US, especially in a rights and civil liberties sense.

    Also pretty sure that only big.gov benefits from a stoned population.

    n

  37. ”’ “Lillevilla Allwood Cabin Kit Getaway (Getaway Cabin kit)” ”’

    I looked at several of these kits, not too seriously.
    They don’t save much labor, apparently, versus simple “stick”
    2×4 construction… but I guess the cosmetics are nice.

    What would it take to build a simple “cabin” and “outhouse”
    for a getaway location? How much money do you want to
    waste?

  38. Well, this really stinks. The sewer lift station behind my house is pumping raw sewage out into the street. Which is going into the storm sewer and eventually into the Brazos River. The outflow pipe is about 4 ft in diameter. So, it is flowing a 100 gpm or so. Smells bad ! And the embedded toilet paper is the topping on the flow.

    I’ve called the city and they are sending a couple of guys out even though it is midnight. Nasty, nasty, nasty !

  39. Also pretty sure that only big.gov benefits from a stoned population.

    Don’t forget the munchies-industrial complex! 😉

  40. This is what the 17 inches of rain over 3 to 4 hours on May 7, 2019 was like in Kingwood which is about 30 miles away from my home in Sugar Land. Both in the Houston metropolitan area.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgbQHhFJS5E

    Her email has the following notes in it (I cannot find this on her website):

    “Intense storms dumped over 10 inches of rain in our town and some of the SAME PEOPLE were stranded yet again, many in their cars for up to 7 hours!! Dozens left their cars in ditches and, in some cases, in the middle of the road and walked home.”

    “One woman was begging for help because her 2 young kids were stranded at their elementary school, and the school bus couldn’t drive them home due to flooded roads. Another woman asked for tips for going to the bathroom inside her car because she had been stuck on the 494 for hours and was dying to go!!”

    “I look at these scenes and shake my head, just as some of you are doing, but I, too, have found myself unprepared at times, and it’s a terrible feeling to feel helpless and vulnerable.”

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

  41. ”’ “Lillevilla Allwood Cabin Kit Getaway (Getaway Cabin kit)” ”’

    I looked at several of these kits, not too seriously.
    They don’t save much labor, apparently, versus simple “stick”
    2×4 construction… but I guess the cosmetics are nice.

    What would it take to build a simple “cabin” and “outhouse”
    for a getaway location? How much money do you want to
    waste?

    I guess that the point that I was trying to make is that Amazon has become Sears of 100 years ago. Sears back in the early 1900s would ships you an entire house for you to assemble. Sears shipped so many homes that the type of house became known as a “Craftsman”.

    So is Amazon peaking now ? If so, who will take over their #1 retail spot ?

  42. I guess that the point that I was trying to make is that Amazon has become Sears of 100 years ago. Sears back in the early 1900s would ships you an entire house for you to assemble. Sears shipped so many homes that the type of house became known as a “Craftsman”.

    The house in the original “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is an example of a Craftsman. It is one of two which survived in the Austin area.

  43. So is Amazon peaking now ? If so, who will take over their #1 retail spot ?

    It may not be possible anymore for an organization to be that large and profitable just on the basis of retail sales. Take away AWS, and Amazon would have to be much leaner … and meaner … to be profitable enough to justify the stock price.

    A *lot* of traditional retail expertise has been lost in the bankruptcies of big retailers over the last decade as private equity cashed out the knowledge equity of struggling chains. I just saw a story in a Florida paper about private equity going after Chicos in the middle of that company’s struggles — this cr*p really needs to stop before all that is left is Amazon.

    My wife received tights the other day from Kohls’ online site, and they had the b*lls to send obvious store returns in taped together packaging. Sure, we can probably get a complete refund … for now … but it is an example of what happens when a business is actually expected to make money selling the core product. Kohl’s has no choice but to try it and see if we complain. As of late, Amazon flushes their returns selling them in bulk to resellers.

  44. A stoned population? I guess you are forgetting ‘bread and circuses’. (an older friend of mine used to say that nowadays it’s beer and football)

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