Mon. June 10, 2019 – swim meet today

78F and pretty well saturated. Heck of a way to start the day. Yesterday stayed hot, and I stayed inside. It was legitimately over 100F in the shade and was still over 90F at midnight.

Swim meet tonight, so I’ll be busy all day getting ready for that, and most of the evening with the meet. Meatspace. Yeah. Meh. 🙂

I did find time to open a spigot on the rainwater barrel for the side garden yesterday. Didn’t find the time to CLOSE it…. I suppose the cukes and zukes will appreciate the 50 gallons of water…. and I can raise the barrel another half concrete block, as long as it’s empty. Most of my barrels are one one block high foundations, but going a bit higher will make it easier to water the raised beds. As it is, the spigot is a little lower than the beds.

We’ve had some drama in the neighborhood with a car on the street being burglarized early Saturday morning. A backpack full of ID documents was stolen. I spent some time reviewing footage, and discovered more weakness in my camera setup. I made some adjustments and hopefully I’ll be capturing more useful images. The cam with the best view of the car was triggered constantly by motion of the water in my wife’s water feature (fountain.) That meant too much recording, and the internal card had already recycled over the relevant times. The other cam wasn’t capturing movement in the street, and was triggering infrequently without enough pre-roll to get whatever caused the trigger. I also couldn’t D/L the footage from the cam. I ended up updating camera firmware to fix that problem (the cams have the best image recorded internally on SD card.) My iSpy NVR software needs tweeks too. That deserves a whole post as the latest update has been a POS. Long story short, check your preps. In the case of your security cams, review what’s getting recorded, and try to get it off for a police investigation or archiving.

An aside – HPD didn’t care at all that these folks lost all of their travel docs for their whole family. The Constable sent two units to investigate. That’s why we have a contract with the Constable’s office, and why I like them. The Deputy also said several other people had reported thefts from motor vehicles in our neighborhood the same night. Someone will have good video of the perps. In general, with school out for the summer, we are all seeing a seasonal rise in property crimes.

Now to wake the kraken and get them off to Invention Camp, so I can get some work done.

n

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43 Responses to Mon. June 10, 2019 – swim meet today

  1. Ray Thompson says:

    HPD didn’t care at all that these folks lost all of their travel docs

    If they are like most police departments they only really care when revenue is involved. Catching drug dealers and confiscating cash and vehicles. Our local chief of police drives a car that was a drug seizure. They also are Johnny on the spot when it comes to traffic violations. Speed traps, road blocks, etc.

  2. Greg Norton says:

    If they are like most police departments they only really care when revenue is involved.

    I’ve noted here before that the City of Houston is technically insolvent due to pension liabilities owed to, among others, the police force. Same with City of Dallas.

    The “booming” Texas economy has a lot of dirty secrets like that.

  3. nick flandrey says:

    Ah, but they are ALL under funded. So that’s just the baseline.

    I don’t think there is a city in the US that has properly funded their pension obligations. After all, uncle sugar will bail them out.

    n

  4. Ray Thompson says:

    After all, uncle sugar will bail them out.

    After all, the taxpayers will bail them out.

    Fixed it for you.

  5. brad says:

    Dunno about any bailouts – the obligations are way too high.

    That’s a feature here: the employer has to fund your pension as part of your salary each month, and the money is handled by a completely independent pension fund.

    Of course, some pension funds are then mismanaged – nothing is perfect…

  6. Ray Thompson says:

    Of course, some pension funds are then mismanaged – nothing is perfect…

    When I was working for National Bancshares Corporation Headquarters in San Antonio the organization was struggling because of a lot of loans to oil companies during the oil boom. Those loans were being defaulted, sometimes to the tune of $15M a month. The organization was going under.

    In an attempt to reduce expenses the entire IT department was outsourced to MTech. Everything was to be processed in Dallas with some staff staying in San Antonio. The project flopped after I left and the entire organization was absorbed, bought, liquidated, whatever with the federal government having to come to the rescue.

    When the IT department was outsourced there was a massive layoff a couple months after the event. Staff was cut by 50% or more. I survived but could see the handwriting on the wall. I knew the solution for connecting Burroughs teller machines and CRTs to an IBM system was not going to work because of fundamental differences that could not be overcome. I left before the big bomb.

    When we were transferred to MTech anyone with $3,500.00 or more in their retirement account was to get nothing. Anyone with less than that amount got paid. I had a lot more and figured I had just been shafted and would loose everything.

    Such was not the case. When I reached age 50 I got a letter from Bank of America asking what I wanted to do about my retirement account. I had never worked for Bank of America so was confused. I called the number and found out that the retirement accounts from NBC, along with other assets, had eventually wound up with BofA. I was stunned to find out I had money coming my way.

    I opted for the early accusation of a monthly retirement payment in the amount of $118.25 for the rest of my life. So I guess someone was doing a good job of managing the funds.

    My friend who worked for Allied Signal (they made auto safety restraints) was six months from retiring after working for them 29.5 years. His company was bought by Breed Technologies. The retirement funds were part of the assets as they were company contributions. The new company was under no obligation to honor the retirement plans, kept the money, and thus he wound up with nothing. So I guess someone was doing a very poor job of managing the funds.

  7. lynn says:

    xkcd: An Apple a Day
    https://www.xkcd.com/2161/

    Oh my goodness ! I had been wondering about this.

    Explained at:
    https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2161:_An_Apple_a_Day

  8. lynn says:

    My friend who worked for Allied Signal (they made auto safety restraints) was six months from retiring after working for them 29.5 years. His company was bought by Breed Technologies. The retirement funds were part of the assets as they were company contributions. The new company was under no obligation to honor the retirement plans, kept the money, and thus he wound up with nothing. So I guess someone was doing a very poor job of managing the funds.

    The entire domestic auto supply and auto manufacturing is in a total crash at the moment. The UAW is driving the entire industry to either close USA plants and offshore to Mexico / China or bankruptcy. Ford is in the process of moving their F-150 manufacturing to Mexico, maybe all of it. Once complete, I suspect that Ford is going to lock out the UAW. Forever. There are ten retirees for each active worker.
    https://www.epi.org/blog/by-saving-billions-in-retiree-health-and-pension-benefits-auto-bailouts-were-an-even-bigger-success-than-acknowledged/

  9. Ed says:

    It looks like Make magazine and Makerfaire are toast:

    https://m.slashdot.org/story/356790

    The website is still active, for now.

  10. lynn says:

    From @ayj yesterday:

    well getlemen thanks, my rant was about the refusal of MD to state a number, you, me, as technial people understand that if some says no more than xxxx mg Na/day alll will be able to sum and let a bit of margin to that, but, alas, the MD doesnt like to give numbers

    Of course I follow medical advice, no I went from 89 kg to 81 and walking 4 km/day, I have eco stress next month, it will tell something, BTW I never used more than a bit of salt, but, sedentary life and abundance of cheese/meat/ham take his toll

    Yes, I am salt reactive also. Anytime I have a heavy salt meal, my blood pressure is 10 to 20 points higher the next morning. And I never put salt on my food but, any prepared or restaurant food has much in it for you.

  11. MrAtoz says:

    It looks like Make magazine and Makerfaire are toast:

    https://m.slashdot.org/story/356790

    The website is still active, for now.

    Great. Just after I bought a digital package this year.

  12. lynn says:

    “The Catch-22 that broke the Internet”
    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/06/the-catch-22-that-broke-the-internet/

    “Google’s big outage also blocked access to the tools Google needed to fix it.”

    “Earlier this week, the Internet had a conniption. In broad patches around the globe, YouTube sputtered. Shopify stores shut down. Snapchat blinked out. And millions of people couldn’t access their Gmail accounts. The disruptions all stemmed from Google Cloud, which suffered a prolonged outage—an outage which also prevented Google engineers from pushing a fix. And so, for an entire afternoon and into the night, the Internet was stuck in a crippling ouroboros: Google couldn’t fix its cloud, because Google’s cloud was broken.”

    “The root cause of the outage, as Google explained this week, was fairly unremarkable. (And no, it wasn’t hackers.) At 2:45pm ET on Sunday, the company initiated what should have been a routine configuration change, a maintenance event intended for a few servers in one geographic region. When that happens, Google routinely reroutes jobs those servers are running to other machines, like customers switching lines at Target when a register closes. Or sometimes, importantly, it just pauses those jobs until the maintenance is over.”

    When shooting oneself in the foot, try to miss the big toe as that is darn near irreplaceable.

    Hat tip to:
    https://www.codeproject.com/script/Mailouts/View.aspx?mlid=14393&_z=1988477

  13. lynn says:

    “An odd week of lower June humidity ahead for Houston”
    https://spacecityweather.com/an-odd-week-of-lower-june-humidity-ahead-for-houston/

    “Yesterday was the hottest day of the year for Houston thus far, as IAH Airport officially checked in at 97°, besting the previous high for 2019 of 96° one week ago. The good news? We are done with that kind of heat for a little while. And we will also lose a good bit of our humidity this week too.”

    I would like the peak temperatures to be in the 60 F range. That is not going to happen.

    Last nights one mile walk at 1230am was 89 F and 90% humidity. And no moving air, just a foretaste of August.

  14. CowboySlim says:

    NASA is trying to get the band back together!

    Well, yes, they need to keep those thousands busy doing what they’ve been doing since the conclusion of the first moon program. Remember the success and benefits from the Skylab program?

  15. Greg Norton says:

    NASA is trying to get the band back together!

    They’re probably 10-15 years too late. The managers who drove Apollo have passed, and the grunt engineers are 70s minimum.

    A lot of things will have to be relearned. As Dr. Pournelle often said, NASA is a full employment act for space geeks.

  16. Greg Norton says:

    Well, yes, they need to keep those thousands busy doing what they’ve been doing since the conclusion of the first moon program. Remember the success and benefits from the Skylab program?

    We’re getting at least three launch towers for SLS plus all the modifications to the VAB. Who knows if the rocket will ever fly even once.

    When SLS is cancelled, the towers will have to be dismantled and all the assembly tooling stripped out of the VAB high bays not leased by Orbital. Figure a solid couple of years of work, an early retirement glidepath for NASA employees of my generation.

  17. lynn says:

    They’re probably 10-15 years too late. The managers who drove Apollo have passed, and the grunt engineers are 70s minimum.

    I would think that a lot of retired NASA engineers are at SpaceX and Blue Origin now since that is where the action is at.

  18. Greg Norton says:

    I would think that a lot of retired NASA engineers are at SpaceX and Blue Origin now since that is where the action is at.

    Some probably are, but anyone who worked on Apollo who wasn’t fresh out of school in the mid 60s is pushing 80. If NASA was serious about the Moon, the time to start rebuilding was 20 years ago when John Young and his rolodex were still in the building.

    I’m going to be almost 70 when Y2038 hits. God, I hope I’m not still pushing a keyboard when that happens.

  19. Greg Norton says:

    Remember the success and benefits from the Skylab program?

    The Skylab program was truncated in favor of Shuttle. Keeping people alive in Earth orbit for extended periods was useful knowledge to gain.

    The “model” Skylab in the Smithsonian is flight capable hardware, as are the three Saturn Vs NASA has on display at Kennedy, Johnson, and … Huntsville (?).

    Kennedy had the last Saturn IB flight capable stack, the rescue rocket for Skylab III, but they let it corrode in the salt air at the Visitor’s Center to the point that the IB on display is now mostly a mockup. The upside is that, unlike NASA, the vendor running KSC’s tourist attractions learned from the mistake and built the best Saturn V exhibit center of all three locations showing the hardware.

  20. CowboySlim says:

    The Skylab program was truncated in favor of Shuttle.

    What were the benefits derived from either, or were they both make-work frauds?

  21. lynn says:

    I’m going to be almost 70 when Y2038 hits. God, I hope I’m not still pushing a keyboard when that happens.

    I will be 77 at 03:14:07 on Tuesday, 19 January 2038. I sure do hope to still be pushing a keyboard then. You know, that is less than 19 years away.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2038_problem

    I figure that Social Security and Medicare will be good and broke by then. Of course, I figure that the entire USA federal government and the states to be broke by then. You know, that financial apocalypse is not going to solve itself by then either even when AOC nationalizes all of our IRAs and 401Ks.

  22. Greg Norton says:

    I will be 77 at 03:14:07 on Tuesday, 19 January 2038. I sure do hope to still be pushing a keyboard then. You know, that is less than 19 years away.

    Y2k was ugly in telecom. I have zero interest in a repeat.

    Y2038 will be uglier both in terms of management antics and the magnitude of the problem.

  23. Greg Norton says:

    You know, that financial apocalypse is not going to solve itself by then either even when AOC nationalizes all of our IRAs and 401Ks.

    The cocktail waitress turns 30 this year. The Prog power brokers might as well go home and have sex with their wives if they’re going that route.

  24. Greg Norton says:

    I was really hoping the next rev of the APU series would bring 15 W TDP parts. My home server runs a 35 W A6 9500E, but it sits in our guest room/home office.

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-ryzen-3-3200g-ryzen-5-3400g-specs-pricing,39619.html

  25. nick flandrey says:

    Finally home. The kids love swimming, but meets are really long and completely disrupt their sleep routine, which makes everyone miserable.

    At least the world managed to not blow up during today….

    n

  26. nick flandrey says:

    And nothing about this headline raises eyebrows???

    ” Supreme Court rejects case about gun silencers despite eight states insisting the Second Amendment protects people who use them

    The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to federal regulation of gun silencers Monday, just days after a gunman used one in a shooting rampage that killed 12 people in Virginia.

    n

    added= for anyone who doesn’t know why this is insanely unlikely, almost NO crime is committed with suppressors. None. Unless possibly it’s homemade. Lots of crime in the construction and owning of suppressors, not much in their use.

    and we know nothing about the shooter. He just pops up out of no where, for no reason, and uses a suppressor to kill people.

    Just before a Supreme Court challenge.

    The odds are INSANELY long that this is completely unrelated.

  27. brad says:

    What’s the big deal about silencers? In the end, it’s called “hearing protection”, and the surprising thing is that they aren’t just built into a lot of guns in the first place. For anyone who may have to shoot without taking the time to put on ear protection (read: police, military, hunters – basically anything but target shooting), silencers make a lot of sense.

    Are shooting victims safer, if the gun is noisy?

    Serious answer to my own question: I expect the abhorrence of silencers comes from television, where they are used mostly by spies and bad guys.

  28. nick flandrey says:

    @brad, you nailed it. Bad laws from bad movies and books. TV wasn’t very widespread but movies were.

    Like NYC and its knife laws, mainly inspired by West Side Story, iirc.

    n

  29. ITGuy1998 says:

    The “model” Skylab in the Smithsonian is flight capable hardware, as are the three Saturn Vs NASA has on display at Kennedy, Johnson, and … Huntsville (?).

    Yep, we have one, though it’s the test vehicle.

    I left there in 2007, but I remember sometime before then some engineers from Marshall came out a lot to look at the F1 engines as they were trying to learn what was forgotten.

  30. Greg Norton says:

    @brad, you nailed it. Bad laws from bad movies and books. TV wasn’t very widespread but movies were.

    Jerry Pournelle’s “Cultural Weapons of Mass Destruction”.

    I’ve stated before my opinion that the suburbs would have been better off without basic cable in the 80s. Making things worse, HBO was a $7/mo. addition to the ~ $25 (!) stardard package.

    And lest you think I lived on the fringe in Florida, our carrier was Vision Cable of Pinellas — a bleeding edge company which funded early Nickelodeon (check the credits of “You Can’t Do That on TV”) and created the Home Shopping Network.

  31. MrAtoz says:

    Serious answer to my own question: I expect the abhorrence of silencers comes from television, where they are used mostly by spies and bad guys.

    “John Wick” for example. Loved the movies, but *silencers* don’t go pfft!

    A *silencer* means you are an assassin who can sneak up and pfft! you in the head and no one will know. Geez.

  32. JimL says:

    What were the benefits derived from either, or were they both make-work frauds?

    I would submit that it did several things for us.
    * It kept us in the game. We wouldn’t have the facilities we have without some reason to maintain them. Blue Origin, SpaceX, etc. are benefiting from them.
    * We learned a lot about microgravity during that time. We’re benefitting from that today.
    * Plenty of other experiments were completed during the 100+ shuttle missions. Were they worthwhile? I suspect so.
    * We put a lot of LARGE cargo into orbit. Cargo that could not go any other way (or so I’m told.)
    * Great big brass ones – we had them. Nobody else did. I don’t mind being the biggest bloke on the block. We were, and we will be. I’m okay with that.

    Skylab? I simply don’t know enough to comment on it. Did we learn anything?

    I wish shuttle were still a thing. We got a lot out of it. But if BFR and BO get us back to the moon, I’ll be more than happy about it. I won’t get to the moon. But my children may. The shuttle was a key part of that.

  33. Nick Flandrey says:

    I think the biggest disservice to science/exploration/space that NASA did was to make it boring. People didn’t even watch the launches, the news rarely covered them, and except for the failures, many people aren’t even aware that we had a space program, or that it pretty much ended.

    n

    (I’m constantly running into people who have no idea that we have people in space right this minute.)

  34. Greg Norton says:

    We put a lot of LARGE cargo into orbit. Cargo that could not go any other way (or so I’m told.)

    Skylab was the repurposed upper stage of a Saturn V. It had a lot more interior room to start than the International Space Station did until construction really started rolling.

    I wish shuttle were still a thing. We got a lot out of it. But if BFR and BO get us back to the moon, I’ll be more than happy about it. I won’t get to the moon. But my children may. The shuttle was a key part of that.

    Shuttle was too many compromises to fulfill political agendas. Boeing learned a lot from the program, which it applied to the X-37B.

  35. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’m also reminded that we have a black project .mil shuttle flying, and what looks an awful lot like a manned .mil orbiting platform, according to rumor.

    n

  36. ech says:

    The Skylab program was truncated in favor of Shuttle.

    No, it ran its course. There were no more launch vehicles, as you pointed out. The Saturn production lines were shut down before Apollo 11.

    The Saturn Vs on display are a mix of flight hardware and test mockups.

  37. ech says:

    I’m also reminded that we have a black project .mil shuttle flying, and what looks an awful lot like a manned .mil orbiting platform, according to rumor.

    No manned .mil orbiting platform. The shuttle they have (X-37) might carry 1 person lying down inside it. The payload bay is 7 feet long and 4 in diameter.

  38. nick flandrey says:

    Interesting. n

  39. lynn says:

    No manned .mil orbiting platform. The shuttle they have (X-37) might carry 1 person lying down inside it. The payload bay is 7 feet long and 4 in diameter.

    Did you really mean 4 inch diameter payload ?

  40. Ken Mitchell says:

    Watering the veggies from your water barrels:

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018X2XT4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1&tag=ttgnet-20

    This small pump will do the job. I’ve been using this to transfer water between 5 100-gal rain barrels (two connected to the downspouts, and 3 more) and 150 “Tidy Cats” cat litter buckets. During the California rainy season, I can fill two barrels with 1/2 inch of rain, and then use the pump and a hose to transfer the water into the other barrels/buckets/containers, and then use the pump to water our roses and tomatoes.

  41. nick flandrey says:

    @ken, thanks for the link.

    I’ve been using gravity/siphon with a barrel near each bed, which is why I want to raise the barrels a bit more.

    I used a drill powered inline pump to empty the dishwasher when I was doing those repairs, but it would be awkward to use it on the rainbarrels.

    I also have a D cell powered ?bilge? pump that I’ve thought about using if I had to.

    Sometimes it’s just easier in the short run to use a watering can dipped into the barrel.

    I have been toying with the idea of plumbing everything in with a 12v pump… one more project on the list……

    n

  42. ech says:

    Did you really mean 4 inch diameter payload ?

    No, 4 feet in diameter.

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