Fri. May 24, 2019 – finally Friday, or “Oh no, school’s out!”

75F with 97%RH this morning. Got a little overcast and smattering of drops yesterday, with a lot of gusty wind. Today should be similar. Hopefully the weather will hold through the long weekend.

I was dreaming that I had been stuck on the wrong side of town when the “event” came. Walking home. Small group of people, headed the same way, trying to beat the rush. Not really prepared. Somewhere we got camelbak bladders and were filling them when my alarm rang. I think I’m going to throw a camelbak into my car kit. Time to go through and refresh everything too.

For some reason, pistols are cheap right now. I recommend shopping for one if you have the funds… good stuff new for under $300 if you look around. Get some ammo too while you are at it.

AR500 Armor has been running various sales too, including discounts and BOGO on their popular entry level setup. If the trauma system isn’t working you need to avoid getting holes poked in your torso… not really a bad idea even if the system is up!

WIDTWIP [what I did this week in prepping, I think, as I couldn’t remember the exact words when I came back to the post.  No universal acronym for the idea…]   to follow in comments, after breakfast. Now I’ve got to get the kids off to school for the last time this spring. Summer is truly here.

n

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40 Responses to Fri. May 24, 2019 – finally Friday, or “Oh no, school’s out!”

  1. JimL says:

    I’m sorry – I can’t figure this one out. Even in context: WIDTWIP

  2. Greg Norton says:

    I was dreaming that I had been stuck on the wrong side of town when the “event” came. Walking home. Small group of people, headed the same way, trying to beat the rush. Not really prepared. Somewhere we got camelbak bladders and were filling them when my alarm rang. I think I’m going to throw a camelbak into my car kit. Time to go through and refresh everything too.

    Absent a nuclear exchange with China or Russia or a national media outlet doing something stupid like the Clear Channel-created “gas shortage” in San Antonio on Labor Day Weekend two years ago, the “event” won’t be as sudden as your dream.

    (Of course, we shouldn’t underestimate the stupidity of the media outlets or what kind of “packages” are archived and ready to roll in the CNN building in Atlanta.)

    I doubt even an EBT card cutoff would generate sudden riots until the poverty pimps and community organizers held Skype meetings and made Kinkos runs. And that would only be following the afternoon shift change at Starbucks.

    Lead times at Kinkos might be a problem like they were around Austin in late 2016/early 2017. The only store where I could get grad class materials bound during that time was the store closest to Dell HQ — nothing happening there. 🙂

  3. Nick Flandrey says:

    What did I do to prep this week?

    -bought another chainsaw
    -picked some blueberries. The bird net really is helping to make sure we get the fruit and not the birds. One of the 7 plants died over the winter, and half of another. The remainder are growing, if not exactly flourishing. Hopefully in a few years we’ll get more than a handful of fruit.
    -treated and pruned the citrus trees. Turns out that the orange DID have a couple of fruits started so “Hurray!” Still haven’t seen anything on the peach or grapefruit, but the apple saplings did flower.
    -cukes and zukes haven’t died yet. They set flowers and are starting to grow. One cuke is climbing the lattice. No sign of the carrots, I’m pretty sure it was already too hot for them to start up.
    -still getting sweet red peppers, and have a nice bunch of sweet banana peppers too, both on last year’s plants.
    -the grape vines seem to have survived the caterpillars so far, and have set some fruit. The bunches look a bit scrawny to me… we’ll see how they turn out.
    -tomato plants are growing but no fruit except for one solitary tomato. It’s gonna be too hot soon.

    I got a recommendation for an electrician to hook up the big gennie and transfer switch, so I need to call and get that set up.

    Bought some stuff from my friend’s store.

    Talked with the ham group about preparedness.

    Met a couple of my new neighbors, talked to them about hurricane prep and the CPA program. Also about our attempt/plan to take over our HOA board. They were receptive, even excited.

    Didn’t do any radio stuff, other than charging my two car batteries for local use.

    Bought all new wiper blades for the vehicles, haven’t put them on yet. Topped up the windshield fluid.

    Ebay sales are still dead, and I lost my fraud return case against my last buyer, but I sucked it up and cut my losses by making a deal. Really didn’t expect to lose. On the other hand, the stuff is off my shelves and I didn’t go negative, just lost my profit.

    My local auctions have moved a bunch of stuff, about 12 pallets so far (in terms of floor space, not necessarily cubic volume.)

    On a more personal front, Mom put her house up for sale. The realtor put a price on it that was several $10k’s more than my sisters expected. So far only a couple of showings and no real feedback from viewers. I grew up in the house and it’s always been the only “home” I knew. But I have a “home” now with MY family, and I’m surprised I don’t have stronger feelings about her selling it.

    So folks, only 7 days until the start of Hurricane Season, and we’ve already had one named storm in the Atlantic… flooding continues throughout the Midwest and mid South, with tornadoes and other storms killing people too. Even without ebola, measles, piggy flu, or other disease and pestilence, it’s looking like a challenging year ahead…

    Keep stacking. Keep learning. Keep talking with people.

    n

  4. Greg Norton says:

    Ebay sales are still dead, and I lost my fraud return case against my last buyer, but I sucked it up and cut my losses by making a deal. Really didn’t expect to lose. On the other hand, the stuff is off my shelves and I didn’t go negative, just lost my profit.

    Even if EBay decided in your favor, PayPal is now a separate organization with their own appeals process requiring a reestablishment of “truth” in that forum.

    I hate to admit it, but after losing an appeal to EBay with one seller over a technicality in how I worded the complaint, I refiled with PayPal using more correct language and won a refund. To be fair, I had a legitimate issue with the seller, and I never leave negative or even neutral feedback as long as I get my money back.

    EBay sellers are moving a lot of outright garbage from shuttered retailers and making money via shipping charges across volume as of late so the appeals seem to be drifting back in the buyers’ favor in order to squelch the activity.

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    This guy was doing the classic ‘returns swap’ to change my good items for his damaged items. He even posted a picture of “MY” shipment with the wrong box and clearly visible UPS labels. No way a human would have found in his favor but you don’t get human review, and there is no appeals process.

    He opened claims on ebay and paypal, and probably UPS too.

    No recourse, just the cost of doing business.

    n

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    this from my FEMA brief:

    Tornado – Jefferson City, MO – FINAL
    Situation:
    Several tornadoes touched down in and around Jefferson City, MO causing significant
    damage in a concentrated area. The largest was an EF-3 with estimated peak winds of 160
    mph in the southern portion of Jefferson City. This tornado was on the ground for over 19
    miles and produced a swath 1,500 yards wide at points.
    Impacts:
    • Community lifelines are stable; impacts did not degrade response capacity
    • Several structures damaged or destroyed: Mostly commercial buildings and Jefferson City
    High School
    • Shelters open: 3 / 23
    • Fatalities / Injuries: 3 / 10 (Golden City, MO: 3 / 1; Jefferson City, MO: 0 / 9)
    • Minimal power outages
    State/Local Response:
    • MO EOC: Full Activation
    • MO Governor declared a State of Emergency for potential flooding March 21
    • US&R: MO-TF1 has deactivated as a state asset
    FEMA Response:
    • FEMA Region VII:
    o RWC is monitoring and reporting as warranted
    o 1 LNO deployed to MO EOC
    • FEMA Headquarters:
    o FEMA NWC Steady State, monitoring 24/7

  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    and this:

    Flooding – Central U.S.
    Current Situation:
    Two primary areas of concern: Ongoing river flooding due to excessive rainfall, and
    downstream impacts from USACE-managed, scheduled reservoir releases in areas that are
    already at-risk
    Impacts/Potential Impacts:
    • The Keystone Dam releases (near Bixby, OK) expected to have minimal impacts on
    surrounding areas
    o Flooding may occur at river “pinch points” like Three Forks Harbor at Muskogee where
    the Arkansas, Verdigris and Grand Rivers coverage and at Van Buren, AR
    o Flood gauges show the river running at levels just below minor flood stage
    Transportation
    • Unknown damage and inundation of many roadways across OK; unconfirmed reports of
    rail lines underwater
    • MO: Multiple county and rural road closures, however, major roadways remain open. The
    Coast Guard has closed portions of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to all vessel traffic
    due to extremely high water levels and fast moving currents near St. Louis (St Louis).
    • KS: Multiple roadways have been closed throughout the state. Most of the closures are
    central and eastern regions of the state
    Safety & Security
    • Mandatory and voluntary evacuations for approx. 2k residents
    Food, Water & Sheltering
    • 12 (-2) shelters are open with 126 occupants (ESF-6 report as of 6:15 a.m. EDT)
    o OK: 7 / 94 (-18); KS: 2 (-1) / 9 (-7); MO: 3 / 23
    Energy (Power and Fuel)
    • Minimal customers without power in OK (Eagle-I report as of 5:30 p.m. EDT

  8. hcombs says:

    This afternoon I have to get a Uhaul trailer (12 ft box trailer) to haul the contents of my local storage unit down to my retirement home in Oklahoma. I am very nervous because I have little experience pulling trailers and all of it bad. I have to get the storage unit shuttered because I just can’t bear the cost any longer. There’s not that much there to keep aside from a bed and couch and about 15 boxes of stuff no one wants anymore. I will also be taking a bunch of prepper cases (big wheeled plastic sealed cases) that I had filled and have been taking up space. I figure put half of it down where we can have it as Bug-Out insurance. If there is room, I will add the small chest freezer. We have two and keep both filled jet hardly ever use them. My son, who is minding my retirement home, could use the extra meat.
    I also broke down and bought a Ruger MK IV .22 pistol. I have had a Mark III for a few years and LOVE it but it’s HELL to disassemble & clean. The last time I took it down I flat out couldn’t get it back together. It sat for months in the case and occasionally I would take a stab at it. I finally gave up and gave it to my neighbor the gunsmith to fix. It took him 6 hours to get it together, That’s when I bought the Mark IV, The Mark IV has a simple single button take down / reassembly I can do blindfolded.
    That’s all for this week.

  9. CowboySlim says:

    I just had a taste of freedom:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5COkfKywjJA

    “….just another word for nothing left to lose.”

    Gotta’ get to Ethel’s Old Corral:
    https://www.facebook.com/ethelsoldcorral/

  10. Greg Norton says:

    No way a human would have found in his favor but you don’t get human review, and there is no appeals process.

    It gets a human review, but the human is typically 13 time zones away, lives with parents or in an apartment, and lacks understanding about why someone would want to buy/sell capital tools. Even comprehension of why anyone would want a lawnmower or power saw is iffy.

    There is definitely a racket aspect to the picker culture which will probably see RICO at some point if there is a God. The local school system stopped selling electronics at the surplus sales after trying a limit of five laptops/PCs per person probably resulted in threats of violence.

    I was there the last morning they sold electronics. Lots of p*ssed off Paki and Indian men pacing outside on cell phones, frantically calling to find warm bodies to show up at the sale before, Heaven forbid, the neighborhood residents who actually support the school system take advantage of the deals on the surplus *as the sale is intended to do*.

    EBay has definitely ruined cult TV/movie fandom. Every convention is dominated by resellers with VIP passes getting merch signed anymore. Another RICO case waiting to happen.

  11. Rick Hellewell says:

    @hcombs – if you are worried about towing a trailer, why not get a box truck instead? You’d need transportation back, of course, but that might be easier.

    As for trailer towing, I am not an expert, but think that ‘slow and easy’ is the key. And wide turns.

  12. mediumwave says:

    Lauren Underwood Accuses DHS Of Intentionally Killing Migrant Children

    If Underwood, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, et al are the future of the Democrat party, then this country is in dire straits indeed.

  13. Greg Norton says:

    If Underwood, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, et al are the future of the Democrat party, then this country is in dire straits indeed.

    If they don’t bring home the pork projects, the freshman won’t survive the next election cycle. That’s the nature of The House. Underwood may survive one challenge depending on where she’s from in Illinois and the opponent’s race/gender, but sooner or later, the party will primary her with an opponent who understands pork better.

    In Florida, Alan Grayson was gone real fast despite being outspoken in advancing the Prog agenda, and our own walking corpose Republican here in Texas beat back a “girls stick together”-themed challenge from MJ Hegar by running a single commercial reminding the voters about the pork he brings home.

  14. Ray Thompson says:

    As for trailer towing, I am not an expert, but think that ‘slow and easy’ is the key. And wide turns.

    And most importantly keep your distance from the vehicle in front to allow plenty of time for braking. My last two trailers, one for a boat, and currently a travel trailer, all had/have brakes on the axles. The boat was hydraulic which was simple and effective but not suitable for a travel trailer. The travel trailer has electric brakes and that requires a brake controller in the towing vehicle. That also allows the trailer brakes to be applied independently of the vehicle brakes which is really handy when there are strong winds and the trailer exhibits some swaying.

  15. dkreck says:

    Gotta’ get to Ethel’s Old Corral:
    https://www.facebook.com/ethelsoldcorral/

    Just about a mile from me. In fact just drove by this morning.

    Y’all come…

  16. hcombs says:

    Picked up the trailer and loaded it at the Storage Facility with only minor damage to the trailer fender. It’s a dual axle 6×12 and surprise surprise, the fenders stick out about 8 inches each side further than my Suburban. So when I pulled into the facility the fender clipped one of the posts. No damage but sure put a fright on me. Pulling it isn’t bad and most of my trip will be on I40 but will need to find truck stops to gas up and eat as I don’t want to try and take this through a drive-through. Leaving first light tomorrow, fingers crossed.

    Update: Ray – Thanks for the advice. This Uhaul box trailer doesn’t have any active braking. My old Suburban has a towing package with active braking module but I never used it. I plan on taking it easy, no hurry, no fast stops or turns. It’s not heavily loaded, most of the boxes are full of clothes and such.

  17. JimL says:

    @hcombs – safe travels. I pull a similar trailer often. Cross-winds are the biggest problem and are usually not a problem. The bigger the tow vehicle the better, however. Suburban should be fine. You’re already used to crosswinds with the big box.

  18. JimL says:

    And finally – please Mr. Trump. No more foreign adventures. We don’t need them. Of course, you could be bluffing. You do it well. But this former soldier is praying for peace.

  19. nick flandrey says:

    Running around all day, finally home. Hit the grocery on the way home. spent $240 but saved ~$50. 50 on 300 is pretty good. Especially when $40 was for beef jerky and could have been deducted from the $300. I do use the beef jerky to help me stay awake when driving. It’s harder to fall asleep with food in your mouth…. That’s the only time I eat it.

    I’m def going to have to have a small engine repair day soon. I picked up a mini-generator and an other chainsaw…

    n

  20. lynn says:

    “The programmer who created Python isn’t interested in mentoring white guys”
    https://qz.com/1624252/pythons-creator-thinks-it-has-a-diversity-problem/

    Wow, what a jerk !

  21. nick flandrey says:

    So now it’s “often used by far-right groups.” 4chan for the win!

    Chicago high school spends $53k to reprint yearbooks after staff find photos of students making white nationalist hand gesture used by notorious extremists

    Oak Park and River Forest High School is reprinting its yearbooks after staff found 18 photos of students making an upside-down OK sign. The hand gesture is often used by far-right groups.”

  22. lynn says:

    “No, 5G Won’t Ruin Your Weather Forecasts”
    https://www.pcmag.com/commentary/368561/no-5g-wont-ruin-your-weather-forecasts

    “The FCC has gotten into a fight with NOAA about 5G disrupting weather forecasting nationwide. The result will likely save your weather forecasts, but it’ll weaken 5G coverage”

    Ruh roh.

  23. Rick Hellewell says:

    A local (University of Washington) weather guy has mentioned that issue (5G and weather forecasting) in his blog.

    https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2019/05/will-5g-undermine-weather-prediction.html

    I’ve found his information to be quite interesting. For instance, his latest post disagrees about the purported current ‘drought emergency’ in WA.

  24. mediumwave says:

    Wow, what a jerk !

    And that’s on top of having foisted a syntactically horrible programming language upon the world..

    Significant white space? Really, Guido? Nothing like bucking the tide of fifty years of programming language design!

    May Python die the slow, lingering death of Perl!

  25. Greg Norton says:

    Wow, what a jerk !

    Guido is 63 and wants to have sex with 20-somethings. I’m guessing female, but, in tech, you never know.

    Regardless, as the article noted, he’s stepped down from active leadership of Python. My suspicion is that it wasn’t 100% voluntary.

    Something happens to these guys when they move to the West Coast of the US from Europe. Oregon has definitely affected the Linux Benevolent Dictator.

  26. lynn says:

    I was dreaming that I had been stuck on the wrong side of town when the “event” came. Walking home. Small group of people, headed the same way, trying to beat the rush. Not really prepared. Somewhere we got camelbak bladders and were filling them when my alarm rang. I think I’m going to throw a camelbak into my car kit. Time to go through and refresh everything too.

    I always carry a 24 bottle 0.5L case of Ozarka water in the back of my truck (and in the wife’s SUV). Having a camelback handy might be a good way to carry all that water should things go really bad and have to transfer to foot.

  27. nick flandrey says:

    They are moving from cultures based on scarcity to a culture based on abundance or even super-abundance. That flips a switch and you realize your whole life up to that point was based on a lie or at best a half truth.

    Then they go nuts because their base understanding of how the world works is undermined.

    n

  28. lynn says:

    Absent a nuclear exchange with China or Russia or a national media outlet doing something stupid like the Clear Channel-created “gas shortage” in San Antonio on Labor Day Weekend two years ago, the “event” won’t be as sudden as your dream.

    “Going Home” by A. American
    https://www.amazon.com/Going-Home-Novel-Survivalist-American/dp/0142181277/?tag=ttgnet-20

    One of my favorite books leading to an ok ten book series. I have reread it several times.

  29. lynn says:

    This guy was doing the classic ‘returns swap’ to change my good items for his damaged items. He even posted a picture of “MY” shipment with the wrong box and clearly visible UPS labels. No way a human would have found in his favor but you don’t get human review, and there is no appeals process.

    Wow, so you have to have pictures of what you shipped and even that can be easily overruled.

    We are definitely moving to a low trust society.

  30. nick flandrey says:

    Yup, I have pix of the box, which was a cut down uhaul box, covered with very visible graphics. The pix he sent ebay of the ‘damaged box’ show a plain brown box from uline, with the dims clearly visible, and additional ‘heavy’ stickers. The UPS stickers are also visible, as is part of the address label. I use a pouch, not a stick on label, and the dims on my waybill don’t match the dims on the box in his picture. MY photos show me with the box, and a timestamp in the pix 15 minutes before my waybill receipt.

    Clear case of fraud, but paypal and ebay don’t care.

    n

  31. Greg Norton says:

    Clear case of fraud, but paypal and ebay don’t care.

    Not that it matters, but did you file a complaint about the buyer?

    I’ve had sellers threaten me with that so a process must exist.

    I think the complaints are a cumulative effect.

  32. Rick Hellewell says:

    Someone asked me to create a link to Robert’s old posts. They are still on this site, but there wasn’t any way to get to them unless you knew how to get to them. Not that there was a secret password. There just wasn’t a link, although I suspect that you could ask the googles/bings/ducks.

    So, for those of you paying attention, there is a new link up there on the menu bar. That will take you to a simple directory-type listing of all the years he wrote his “Daynotes”, from his start in 1998 until 2011, when he converted to WordPress (shortly after I got Jerry to convert to WordPress).

    Robert (and Jerry) used to do their sites in Front Page. A lot of hand-written pages.

    So, the old pages are there for those that need a new ‘time sink’. Maybe I should make a link for the very first WordPress pages he did.

    Although I should really continue work on Book Three of the “Light Blink” series. I’m at about 11K words at the moment.

    It’s hard to not look at the sales page on Amazon for the four books that are published and available (the two “Light Blink” books, the “Pre-Blink” prequel, and the older “Digital Choke” story). Marketing those takes a bit of time – been updating web sites and FaceBook pages to try to promote the books.

  33. Greg Norton says:

    We are definitely moving to a low trust society.

    More like we’re moving towards being the Subcontinent. When the middle class is less than 10% of a billion people, everyone has a hustle.

    Won’t be long at the current rate. The big movie theater in Pflugerville (bedroom community located between HP Enterprise and Dell) already runs Bollywood on half of their screens on the weekends.

  34. nick flandrey says:

    I don’t know about cinema, but the number of “frutas” shops and stands has increased quite a bit. These are basically icecream shops, but with a lot of homemade and additional toppings from fruit.

    When I’m out I rarely see whites in the stores or on the street. I’m seeing far more old hispanic ladies who don’t speak ANY ingles too.

    More head scarves and muslim men with sandals and hats everywhere too.
    – big mosque and school a few blocks away, with a store and halal grocery attached
    -“cultural center” two blocks away

    I met a couple of new couples on the street last night, so our neighborhood is still attracting white families but all the surrounding areas are not.

    n

  35. Greg Norton says:

    More head scarves and muslim men with sandals and hats everywhere too.
    – big mosque and school a few blocks away, with a store and halal grocery attached
    -“cultural center” two blocks away

    We had to laugh when we saw Samantha Brown’s PBS travel show take a camera inside Phoenecia in Downtown Houston and not get a single burqa.

    Similarly, they filmed at Hon Fest in Baltimore and didn’t get a single obvious drag queen.

    The camera guys are good. Mustn’t scare the PBS audience while showing the “real” Houston and Baltimore.

  36. CowboySlim says:

    May Python die the slow, lingering death of Perl!

    I have no opinion regarding those, never use them.

    OTOH, I was extremely proficient in Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications, the apps of Microsoft Office. Don’t worry I used them for Delta II launch vehicle pre-launch calculations, including the missions for GPS satellites. Does your car now get you to where you are going, I guess that I made no great mistakes?

  37. Greg Norton says:

    May Python die the slow, lingering death of Perl!

    Perl is a write-only language.

    Python was the up and coming language in academia for a while, but, recently, the trend is towards JavaScript, which is even worse syntax.

    I do a lot of work in Python lately simply because it is generally available wherever RPMs get installed. If I get something to work reasonably well and I get a positive Pylint score on the source code, I generally don’t have problems in production.

    Python is the “Good Enough” language. I like other languages better, but a lot of work gets done with it.

  38. Greg Norton says:

    OTOH, I was extremely proficient in Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications, the apps of Microsoft Office. Don’t worry I used them for Delta II launch vehicle pre-launch calculations, including the missions for GPS satellites. Does your car now get you to where you are going, I guess that I made no great mistakes?

    My long-standing concern is that somone used the VBA suite for cryptography. The random number generator at the heart of Visual C++ is still garbage, something I assume Gates himself cookbooked out of Knuth and is held as sacred (I can’t figure out why it is still there otherwise).

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