Tues. June 25, 2019 – safely in the Chicago area

A bit cool and damp by my standards…hoping for a sunny day.

Lot of driving in the past two days. Spent Monday dodging thunderstorms and missed most of them. Not much traffic on the interstates. Fewer trucks than last time, and that’s a bit worrying. The drive up Illinois from tip to (almost tip) was interesting in that most of the road was in ok to poor condition, but some counties had done a good job of repair. You can clearly see the difference in maintenance as you go, with some bridges freshly painted, and some held together with rust and hope…some fresh paving and some with lots of potholes and only oil and chip seal for repairs. Some counties didn’t even bother with chip seal…

And the rest areas in Illinois are the worst on the trip. No amenities and poor maintenance at most. Arkansas and Missouri have nice facilities with staffed visitor centers….

Lots of standing water in fields and flooded areas. The flooding and impact on crops is real. I don’t know the extent of it, but there is no point in denying that there are large areas too wet to farm.

More from the Windy City as I take breaks from the cleanup,

nick

47 thoughts on “Tues. June 25, 2019 – safely in the Chicago area”

  1. Checked in at BNA. Lot of automation in the process if you have a boarding pass on the phone. Regardless print a boarding pass for backup. TSA was actually friendly when I presented the wrong boarding pass on my phone. My mistake. Lot of clueless people that are easily separated from the frequent business travelers. Airline travel still sucks. Several large, as in huge, people on my flight. Wife and I have window and center. Hoping one of the two-seat hippos don’t claim the aisle seat. When you have to lube your thighs to get down the aisle you should have to purchase two tickets for cargo class.

  2. I’m one of those larger people. Even at training weight (225), I’m big & wide. I’m a bit more than that now, but it’s gut, not sideways.

    Even so, my hips have never fit between the armrests. I would GLADLY pay the upgrade to business class if I could, but rarely am I on an airline that provides one. When I book, I generally opt for last row center, over the wings, or an aisle seat (in that order) to be the least inconvenience possible.

    I have tried buying two seats. They won’t sell them to me. If they did, they’d wind up sticking one of the overbooks in the other seat anyway because, while I’m wide, I’m not two-seats wide. Sucks dead bunnies.

  3. Fewer trucks than last time, and that’s a bit worrying.

    Trucking volume has imploded. Dig around for the stories.

    You can clearly see the difference in maintenance as you go, with some bridges freshly painted, and some held together with rust and hope…some fresh paving and some with lots of potholes and only oil and chip seal for repairs. Some counties didn’t even bother with chip seal…

    Contrary to popular belief, the Federal Government is not responsible for maintenance of bridges away from the Interstate system and US highways. Illinois is beyond broke and waiting for the Feds to chip in for repairs. “Infrastructure spending” is a bad funding dependency which didn’t start until the 80s when Reagan needed to get things done in Congress.

    The roads weren’t in bad shape when I drove through IL twice in 2010, but that was fresh off Porkulus spending.

    If you go into the city core, make sure to install the ticketing app for the trains on your phone. The further away you are from The Loop, the more of a cr*p shoot it is that either a ticketing agent or working vending machine will be found in any given station.

    In March, the *science museum* station in Obama’s neighborhood didn’t have any way of buying tickets if you lacked the phone app.

    BTW, CityPass is a great deal if you have kids to entertain.

  4. Checked in at BNA. Lot of automation in the process if you have a boarding pass on the phone. Regardless print a boarding pass for backup.

    I always print a boarding pass when checking luggage. I don’t doubt that the airlines can cancel the pass on the phone app if they run out of volunteers on an overbooked flight.

  5. Our trip earlier this month was our first time using an app for boarding passes. Like others, I had copies printed out before we left for the airport. I also had printouts of all the hotel reservations, ballgame tickets, etc. Belt and suspenders…

  6. Another thing I noticed on the drive was that almost every exit with food had a mexican restaurant listed. I was the only white guy in the restaurant outside of little rock. The invasion is complete.

    n

  7. Checked in at BNA. Lot of automation in the process if you have a boarding pass on the phone. Regardless print a boarding pass for backup.

    I always print a boarding pass when checking luggage. I don’t doubt that the airlines can cancel the pass on the phone app if they run out of volunteers on an overbooked flight.

    Yes, I *always* print a paper pass for backup. As soon as I get the mobile pass link, I put that in Apple Wallet, which has offline access. MrsAtoz found out the hard way by just using the mobile pass link. The jetway entrance was in a shitty service area and she had to go back to the desk to get a pass. I just walked on using the Wallet pass.

    * EDIT you can get a paper pass at checkin or the gate desk anytime.


  8. As soon as I get the mobile pass link, I put that in Apple Wallet, which has offline access. MrsAtoz found out the hard way by just using the mobile pass link. The jetway entrance was in a shitty service area and she had to go back to the desk to get a pass. I just walked on using the Wallet pass.

    A little trick I learned from race registration was to screenshot the QR codes for such things, then just swipe the pictures to get at them. Works great for boarding passes, too.

  9. A little trick I learned from race registration was to screenshot the QR codes for such things, then just swipe the pictures to get at them. Works great for boarding passes, too.

    That is a great idea! I will try it.

  10. * EDIT you can get a paper pass at checkin or the gate desk anytime.

    I wouldn’t depend on getting a boarding pass at the gate easily for an overbooked flight.

    Unlike the other junior programmer, I don’t get officially recorded comp time so, if I’m travelling for my tight fisted management, I’m the guy they’ll have to drag off of the plane if I’m headed home.

    Personal travel? It depends.

  11. clearing off dad’s work bench. Lots of little things and memories. Lots of sawdust.

    zerohedge is full of doom today, and if people really are pushing up the price of gold with high demand, then maybe they are right…

    n

  12. From @ech yesterday:

    We put in a Bosch after Harvey. Get the quiet one with the 3rd rack. That rack makes cleaning and putting away the silverware and like a snap. Well worth it.

    I bought the Bosch 300 seres dishwasher at Best Buy. They are bringing the new one tomorrow, will install it, and cart away the old one for $20. Cheap ! I bought the forward controls instead of the top controls, I may regret that. And yes, it does have the third rack.
    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/bosch-300-series-24-recessed-handle-dishwasher-with-stainless-steel-tub-black/5710312.p

    I tried to get the wife engaged to see what she really wants but, she is not interested in the slightest even though she washes 90% of the loads. And, since I am getting serious about buying a lot and building a home, we will be living here only another year or so.

  13. zerohedge is full of doom today, and if people really are pushing up the price of gold with high demand, then maybe they are right…

    My former landlord still hasn’t rented his property around the corner from my current house. Past this week, closings are hard to get done in time for school so rentals get really popular, especially 4-5 bedrooms like that house. We’re about 10 minutes from Apple, closer to their new campus location.

    Of course, the landlord can be a slumlord depending on the property. Here’s the photo-documented condition of the house we rented five years ago. I was pretty thorough with the pics having lost half of our WA State rental deposit. $1950/mo. back then.

    https://goo.gl/photos/wRWaU8DSgdhQTBVe8

    All of the deposit came back once the landlord saw my pics of “before” and compared to his of “after”.

    Yes, that vent above the breakfast nook leaks like a sieve. Sadly, it isn’t hard to find images of the house online from 10-15 years ago which show it in original cared-for condition.

  14. From @nick yesterday:

    Unfortunately, she gets car sick. Filled a bag immediately after the disc concluded. Blames sitting there listening for the sick…(although she was fine yesterday) I blame the 2 pints of mango yogurt smoothie, and not enough time for the dramamine to kick in. But mainly the smoothie.

    @nick is so lucky, not ! At least you were prepared with a sickness bag or five.

    Hopefully she will grow out of it.

  15. Lot of driving in the past two days. Spent Monday dodging thunderstorms and missed most of them. Not much traffic on the interstates. Fewer trucks than last time, and that’s a bit worrying.

    I am seeing an enormous amount of fully rebuilt older 18+ wheeler trucks on the road. No emissions equipment ! I am hearing that the emissions equipment on the new trucks has to be fully replaced every 100,000 miles or so. Expensive and a lot of downtime. So much for the law requiring the EPA to only require emissions equipment that can last the life of the vehicle. Cars and civilian trucks are rated at 150,000 miles, 18+ wheeler trucks are rated at 500,000 miles.

  16. “CARBON CAPTURE: Big Oil looks to CCS, but will it really help the climate?”
    https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060626447

    These people are freaking nuts. The equipment is horribly problematic, difficult to get going, expensive to run, and high maintenance.

    And of course, the real nirvana for these utopians is the production of gasoline from CO2 in the air. I am hearing $10/gallon of gasoline from CO2 in the air if they can get the equipment to even work on consistent basis. To even build and operate the equipment requires a bunch of Chemical Engineer doctoral candidates. Just wait until the EPA under an AOC administration mandates the generation of gasoline “from the air”. I can hear the squealing of the greenies now.

    Your tax dollars at work for an imaginary problem.

  17. Just get the food out of the current gasoline and see mpg increase 10%…

    n

  18. Wow, the end of June out here in the swamp known as Houston and it is 75 F outside and lightly raining. The wind is actually a little cool.

    84 inside the trailer at our Taylor facility. Summer hasn’t forgotten Texas.

    I just got a clean bill of health on the hand that had the E Coli infection from this place. I’m a glutton for punishment.

  19. Just get the food out of the current gasoline and see mpg increase 10%…

    Corn lobby will never let that happen. Drive up from Kansas City to Omaha, and you’ll see the reason along the river around midway. That plant was built to be there a long time.

    Plus the ethanol takes old cars off the road sooner. The better to automate traffic.

  20. I just got a clean bill of health on the hand that had the E Coli infection from this place. I’m a glutton for punishment.

    At least you are making the big bucks.


  21. To even build and operate the equipment requires a bunch of Chemical Engineer doctoral candidates.

    Leaves me out. My degree in Chem Engr was only BS, would have needed MS to be a doctoral candidate.

    OTOH, I do see fraud in the green new deals. Our tax dollars at waste.

  22. BTW, SQL maintenance on the hosting place today, from about 4pm-7pm PDT. Site will probably be weird during that time. No worries.

    If the site is not working, go out and buy a new FLASHLIGHT ! The days are getting shorter from here (at least, above the equator).

  23. Seems plenty hot this afternoon in Chicagoland. Cool in the basement though. It was chilly and damp when I got up.

    Not gonna be as much corn this fall as most, if the swampy fields I drove past are any indicator.

    Off to get pizza, one of my favorite places.

    n

  24. Leaves me out. My degree in Chem Engr was only BS, would have needed MS to be a doctoral candidate.

    OTOH, I do see fraud in the green new deals. Our tax dollars at waste.

    Both of my partners got their PhDs in Chemical Engineering without getting an MS. One from Princeton (my dad) and one from Rice. And my two employees with PhDs in Chemical Engineering got theirs without an MS. One from Alabama and one from Clemson. Lots of trash talking in the office come Fall college football, especially since I got my BS from TAMU.

    I am beginning to think that half of the federal budget is fraud. Come the federal financial apocalypse, maybe that will get sorted out. Or not.


  25. screenshot the QR codes for such things

    Been doing that from the start. Getting pass in the wallet, the screen shotting the wallet. Thus three locations, the app, wallet and photos.

    Arrived in Portland without issue. Like the Delta app as it notifies you of baggage location when loaded on the plane and at baggage claim. Even has a GPS location of the luggage.

    Portland traffic sucks. We got into Portland about 12:05 and were driving at 1:30. Lots of stop and go traffic and clods that wait until the last second when their lane ends to cut in, tail gate thinking that will make traffic in front of you go faster, etc. Rush hour must be gridlock hell.

    On the road to Rockaway Beach one chap started getting close, backing off, swerving to get me to move over on a winding road. He finally found a place to pass and then cut me off when he changed lanes back into the travel lane, then sped off. I caught up with him about 15 miles later stuck behind a long line of traffic, doing the same to the driver in front of him, whom their self were about 10th in line from the slowest vehicle, which was doing the speed limit. He turned off, took a “shortcut” and I passed as he was stopped at the light at the intersection where the shortcut rejoined the main highway.

    The roads in Portland and surrounding areas are noisy and rough. As in the surface is rough asphalt. From all the salt and studded tires that really wears the asphalt surface. Or the area is using a coarser grade of asphalt for better traction in the winter. Regardless the result is a very noisy ride, a constant roar. Not pleasant at all after being used to roads in TN.

  26. Leaves me out. My degree in Chem Engr was only BS, would have needed MS to be a doctoral candidate.

    The recommended route is to have a Masters with a thesis based on quality research work, but it isn’t strictly necessary for a Doctorate. OTOH, so many STEM undergraduate programs have been watered down so severely in the last 30 years that a Bachelors in a given field is no guarantee that the student has sufficient background to do graduate research work.

    It all depends on the student and the undergrad program. My rule of thumb about CS is that any Bachelors student who graduates not familiar with the references “CLRS” or “Sipser” needs to find a quality Masters program which teaches rigorous classes from those texts.

  27. My rule of thumb about CS is that any Bachelors student who graduates not familiar with the references “CLRS” or “Sipser” needs to find a quality Masters program which teaches rigorous classes from those texts.

    Those two terms are greek to me. Hmm, interesting upon googleing them.

    ADD: Of course, I’ve got one of those plain old mechanical engineering degrees. No CS degree here.

  28. The roads in Portland and surrounding areas are noisy and rough. As in the surface is rough asphalt. From all the salt and studded tires that really wears the asphalt surface. Or the area is using a coarser grade of asphalt for better traction in the winter. Regardless the result is a very noisy ride, a constant roar. Not pleasant at all after being used to roads in TN.

    Coarser asphalt. No one has studded tires anymore, and ODOT rolling the salt trucks was rare when we lived there even during awful winter weather.

    The Sunset Highway simply turned into a parking lot during the last bad winter storm in Portland in Dec. 2016. Google around.

    Enjoy Rockaway Beach. Don’t forget the steam train.

    https://oregoncoastscenic.org/schedule/

    (Don’t expect much at the Garibaldi stop. Look — DQ!)

    And “squeaky cheese” at Tillamook.

    https://www.tillamook.com/creamery.html

  29. Those two terms are greek to me. Hmm, interesting upon googleing them.

    ADD: Of course, I’ve got one of those plain old mechanical engineering degrees. No CS degree here.

    I meant to say any CS student *interested in a PhD* who hadn’t seen the material needed to hit a Masters program.

    ABET will certify CS undergrad programs without mandatory classes based on those books, but a quality program will require exposure to the texts.

    Quality programs are getting harder to find, however.

  30. Don’t forget the steam train.

    Already saw it traveling. Apparently it goes forward north up the coast, then reverses (operates in reverse) going back down the coast. It is hard to get impressed with a steam train trip after one has actually operated a steam locomotive. The track follows the road anyway so not much new to see.

    Today is basically just an arrival day after traveling from Nashville. Internal clocks are still three hours ahead. Nashville was only for one night and is not enough to reset the clock. Forcing myself to stay awake until sunset at 9:09 PM so I can take some sunset pictures on the beach.

    No one has studded tires anymore

    I did not think studs were allowed anymore but was not certain. Something has left shallow ruts in the roads in the Seattle area where the cement has been worn done in the place where the tires would be located.

    Coarser asphalt

    That was the first thought that came to mind. It certainly does make the roads very noisy, even in a car that is supposed to be quiet.

    Tomorrow we take a leisurely journey down the coast. Lots of time to spend until we get to Newport. May do the dune buggies tomorrow or maybe the following day. Depends on how many places we stop. The dune buggies are a lot of fun.

    We did stop at the Tillamook Creamery for some ice cream. Nice little display of them actively making and packaging cheese plus a sample of their cheese. All at no cost. The place was mobbed when we went by so went on to Rockaway and returned later. No so crowded. And I can report the ice cream was excellent.

  31. from yesterday, re: get home bags
    Latex gloves were mentioned, and they are indeed a good thing. Put a dozen of them in a small ziplock bag & they’ll keep. Then get a basic pair of mechanic’s gloves, your hands will thank you for not abusing them. A spare shirt, it doesn’t even really have to be clean. Its purpose is to be a sacrificial lamb to keep your other shirt from getting ruined. Spare socks. And in the vehicle, not only jumper cables (with a diagram for people who don’t know how to use them) but a tow chain.


  32. not only jumper cables (with a diagram for people who don’t know how to use them)

    I would never use my vehicle to jump another vehicle. Problems in the jumpee vehicle can destroy a computer in the jumper vehicle. Too many sensitive electronics. I don’t want to transfer someone’s problems to my vehicle.

    tow chain

    I would advocate a tow strap rather than a chain. Easier to use. A tow strap has some give and will not break as easily as a chain. Also less weight to carry for the same amount of towing capacity.

  33. And in the vehicle, not only jumper cables (with a diagram for people who don’t know how to use them) but a tow chain.

    I would advocate a tow strap rather than a chain. Easier to use. A tow strap has some give and will not break as easily as a chain. Also less weight to carry for the same amount of towing capacity.

    I carry a jump battery, a set of jump cables, and a 50 ft tow strap in my truck. And a 24 bottle case of Ozarka 0.5 L water. And a few rolls of toilet paper. And a backpack if I have to walk home. The backpack has a water filter in it. And maybe a breakdown Ruger 10-22 rifle with a couple of 30 round mags.

    I am also carrying a lot of tools in the truck since I am TOO LAZY to unload the truck since my last warehouse light fixture work day.

  34. I’ve only ever used my strap to tow my sibling home from Mexico, and that was the day I bought it. Still in my truck though. I’ve gone thru at least 6 fire extinguishers though.

    Good gloves should be a staple in everyone’s kit. I really like the spandex and rubber ones in a 10 pack from costco for everyday sorts of things. They fit very snugly, provide medium protection, but are super light and sticky for fine tasks. They are a bit like lightweight ‘tactical’ gloves, and one tenth the cost. I’ve got an oversized pair of heavy canvas and leather gloves in the outside pocket of my trauma bag for breaking windows or hot door handles. BIG so you can get them on and off in a hurry.

    I’ve also got a neon vest and hat in my truck kit. Lots of places a guy in a safety vest can easily walk into as well as being good for road safety…

    And I carry 3 old fashioned road flares. Never know when you’ll REALLY need to set something on fire 🙂 (and a year or so ago, I actually used them at an accident scene. WAY more official looking to have actual flares, I closed a lane just before the curve that hid the accident, which was lots more efficient for traffic flow than just letting them discover the wreck. For some reason, people don’t like to drive over burning flares.)

    prepping lesson for the day– you can still get percolator filters in the grocery store outside Chicago. I’ve got several different percolator coffee makers in my preps, but didn’t know you can still get the filters. Apparently there are enough people still using perc coffee makers here that they have them featured on an end cap. So I bought 5 or 6oo. At $1.50/100 I thought I might as well stock up. I’ll see how well they work tomorrow, as mom only has a percolator left out of storage.

    n

  35. Hmm, didn’t know there are percolator filters. Last I used a perc was many decades ago. I even used a screen filter on a drip pot for years. Kinda messy to clean, but more flavor. French press is IMHO slightly better, but still more hassle.

    Uh-oh this might be almost as contentious a topic as FLASHLIGHTS! I mean no harm, but do likes me mud, er, coffee. Has to have body :-p

  36. I like my coffee so I can’t see the bottom of the cup. Clear, but DARK. The perc this morning did a decent job, better than watery hotel coffee and only a couple of grounds. Should be even better when the grounds aren’t Foldgers in a plastic can, and there is an additional paper filter. I’m old enough to remember when you could buy coffee in little filter ‘rings’ like coffee grounds ‘donuts’ to go in the percolator. I was surprised that it tasted as good as it did.

    People did drink it made that way for decades…

    But here’s a question for the hive mind. Anyone have a guide to getting a running snapshot of this machine? Like a snapshot of the current install, that would run in a VM? This machine is the only way we have access to some of my dad’s accounts, thru his auto log ons… I’d like to have a VM that I could run so that when this
    AMD athlon II x2 running win7 finally chokes we don’t lose that easy access.

    n

  37. My rule of thumb about CS is that any Bachelors student who graduates not familiar with the references “CLRS” or “Sipser” needs to find a quality Masters program which teaches rigorous classes from those texts.

    No “SICP”–or is that too old-school? 🙂

  38. Auto log ons. Don’t the URLS and passwords reside with the browser? I know FF and Chrome allow exporting that data to a file. Worked for me, or perhaps I am missing something.

  39. Tomorrow we take a leisurely journey down the coast. Lots of time to spend until we get to Newport.

    Try to take the tour at Rogue’s main brewery in Newport if you haven’t done so already. The food is decent at the restaurant, and the whole thing is kid friendly.

    We aren’t big drinkers. I get a mug of root beer at the restaurant. Rogue has a cool facility with a “DIY” feel, and that’s the appeal.

    I don’t know how far down you are planning to drive, but the restoration of the lighthouse at Haceta Head is an impressive piece of work.

    We did stop at the Tillamook Creamery for some ice cream. Nice little display of them actively making and packaging cheese plus a sample of their cheese. All at no cost. The place was mobbed when we went by so went on to Rockaway and returned later. No so crowded. And I can report the ice cream was excellent.

    The last time we stopped in Tillamook, I heard one clerk say that they had 9,000 through for the day. If you have kids, it is a mandatory stop every time.

  40. But here’s a question for the hive mind. Anyone have a guide to getting a running snapshot of this machine? Like a snapshot of the current install, that would run in a VM? This machine is the only way we have access to some of my dad’s accounts, thru his auto log ons… I’d like to have a VM that I could run so that when this
    AMD athlon II x2 running win7 finally chokes we don’t lose that easy access.

    Something I have a bit of experience in. Disk2VHD(.exe).
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/disk2vhd
    I’ve used it to virtualize a couple of Windows servers I couldn’t afford to lose, as well as a couple of PCs we didn’t _want_ to lose, but were not critical.

    Assumption: you’re on a Windows machine.

    If you want SCO, I have notes somewhere on my nightmare with that.

    Edit: Of course my assumption was correct. You said so.

  41. Thanks JimL, that is exactly what I was looking for.

    I’ll export the FFox data too, but it’s not just FFox that we want to capture.

    And I’ve got another project far down the list that needs the same treatment eventually, so by then I’ll have done it once, I hope.

    n


  42. I don’t know how far down you are planning to drive

    All the way down to Northern CA. From there we journey back into Oregon, Rogue River on Friday for the Rooster Crow festivities and the class reunion.

  43. No “SICP”–or is that too old-school?

    Still an awesome book, but, sadly, Lisp/Scheme is not one of the “hot skillz” in demand outside academia. Even MIT bowed to pressure and replaced 6.001 with 6.0001 based on Python, but the old school cirriculum is available as a fast elective.

    Most of the examples from CLRS translate to Python fairly readily. Sipser is language agnostic.

  44. But here’s a question for the hive mind. Anyone have a guide to getting a running snapshot of this machine? Like a snapshot of the current install, that would run in a VM? This machine is the only way we have access to some of my dad’s accounts, thru his auto log ons… I’d like to have a VM that I could run so that when this
    AMD athlon II x2 running win7 finally chokes we don’t lose that easy access.

    Another option for this from VMware.

    You can also get a free version of vmware to run it.

    I’ve converted many physical machines to virtual. In production environments. Most of the time it just works. I think the only one that didn’t was a SharePoint server, and I blame SharePoint. Nasty product.

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