Thur. July 11, 2019 – dentist appt this morning, yay! Said no one ever…

Well, I’m pretty sure it’s not 105F which is where my weather station is stuck this morning. Forecast calls for rain throughout the day, and temps as high as 99F. I guess we’ll see. It looks like the start of a normal day outside at the moment, not a T-storm. We never did get rain here despite the rumbles.

The whole family has appointments to get their fangs cleaned this morning, as Bob would say. Time is flying by.

Mom’s estate sale should be today. I hope it empties the house.

And later tonight I will be attending a continuing ed class with HPD on Human Trafficking. That should be heartbreaking and enraging by turns.

In between, kids back to the rock climbing gym, me back to cleanup and chores, and the world continues it’s swirl…


Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

37 thoughts on “Thur. July 11, 2019 – dentist appt this morning, yay! Said no one ever…”

  1. Lickers: among the enemies of civilization

    Executive summary: Food lickers = Well poisoners

    Though to be fair, perhaps the young PoC[1] who licked the container of Blue Bell ice cream has a valid excuse. She might be slightly deaf, and misheard “stick it to the man” as “lick it to the man.”

    [1] “Person of Color” What did you think I meant?

  2. WRT the above, heard similar about golden coral. Juvenile customer sampling from item to item with same spoon.

  3. fangs nice and shiny

    106F abd 547%RH in my driveway. I WAS gonna break down some scrap, but I don’t think so now. Unless the portacool is working extra well due to the lower humidity…


  4. What a strange house ! This house just came up for sale in my target area. But, the huge den makes the bedrooms small. And there is not two master suites as a 12 ft by 14 ft bedroom is not a master size.

    Indian or Middle Eastern. Guessing the latter from the artwork above the tub.

    Our master bedroom isn’t huge. An Indian family originally built the house, and all the necessary elements, structural and plumbing, are in place to turn the living/dining room into another, possibly larger, master suite.

    You haven’t seen weird until you’ve looked at some of the H1B housing developments popping up around Austin — big houses but incredibly dense development to the point that some houses share driveways.

    The garage/outbuilding really strikes me as strange. The Chinese relations in Vantucky had a detached separate garage like that, but they used it to store their cr*p, not cars.

    No pictures inside that structure.

  5. I like my dentist, and my kids look forward to visiting with “Dr. Bob”.

    in other nooz – what is the point of a fireplace in TEXAS?

  6. The garage/outbuilding really strikes me as strange. The Chinese relations in Vantucky had a detached separate garage like that, but they used it to store their cr*p, not cars.

    No pictures inside that structure.

    Yup, not a good sign. That means the structure is totally full of crap XXXX precious stuff.

    And who puts marble tile throughout a house ? That stuff is dangerous when wet.

  7. Everyone thinks they want a fireplace. It’s a check box item.

    That is a LOT of lights around the front door, and a LOT of marble tile…..

    Tiny bedrooms.


  8. further evidence of the collapse–

    “I think we’re in a crisis right now,” said Hils. “When you see young people, when you see youth acting out in such an incredibly lawless way, I mean, we’re knocking on the door of anarchy.”

    “CPD union president believes 14-year-old shooting victim appears in firearm-filled music video
    The video shows teenagers handling guns and acting out robberies in broad daylight
    CPD union president discusses gun violence
    By Ken Brown | July 10, 2019 at 8:43 PM EDT – Updated July 10 at 10:16 PM

    CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) – FOP President Sgt. Dan Hils believes a new music video that appears to have been shot in Cincinnati features a teen that was recently shot and killed in the city.”

  9. And who puts marble tile throughout a house ? That stuff is dangerous when wet.

    The house was probably staged, removing all the rugs … and burqas from the master closet.

    I know — micro aggression.

    All of the available rentals in my neighborhood went pretty quickly last week. People with kids who want to live in the school zone didn’t have a choice.

    My former landlord isn’t really great about taking care of his properties, and he had a house sitting available right around the corner until the very last minute. He still snagged a tenant, however.

    I’m not sure about Houston, but the boomerang real estate silly season in Austin will start in about a month. Places pulled from the market this summer will reappear, often with new realtors.

  10. who puts marble tile throughout a house ? That stuff is dangerous when wet.

    As I discovered the hard way. Our tiny row house in the UK had marble tile in the kitchen. One Sunday morning the kid spilled some water and didn’t wipe it up. I came in the kitchen and my feet slid out from under me like I was on literal ice. I grabbed the door frame on the way down. This kitchen like many in the UK had a door into the hall. As I fell, grasping the door frame, my hand was neatly sliced open by the lock striker plate. Blood EVERYWHERE !! I took a taxi to the nearest A&E (Emergency room) and waited 8 hours to be seen and get stitches. Never go to the A&E on a Sunday morning as they have a huge backlog of injuries from rowdy drunks the night before. Then had to take a taxi home as we didn’t own a car. Not my best day. So, yes, marble tile is dangerous.

  11. To me, a fireplace or stove is a source of supplemental heat, not ambience. I always wanted to build an outdoor hydronic “boiler” that would be capable of burning large pieces of wood and other waste fuel and transferring heat to the house. This can burn for 24 hours, is convenient to refuel, and keeps all the mess outside. Maybe some day.

  12. My favorite casino just redid the rooms with textured vinyl planks. That is what I want in my forever house. Non slip and they look like real wood and won’t rot. If the place goes up in flames, I’m sure the planks won’t contribute to GLOOOBALL WAAARMING!

  13. Everyone thinks they want a fireplace. It’s a check box item.

    Installing new wood burning fireplaces/stoves was banned in our county in WA State. Ironically, I don’t think any such restrictions exist where we live in Texas.

  14. I think CA only allows gas fireplaces in new construction, but not sure. Big deal, there is no gas to our properties.

    So many rules is just one reason we decided not to build across the street. Besides, we like our home 🙂

  15. Oh, and if we had gas, there would be no need for a fireplace or stove. Duh!

  16. I have a pellet stove. It vents through a 4″ pipe through the wall. Air intake is a 2″ silver flexy thing, like the stuff from the heat-shield to the air cleaner on old cars.

    Works great. A 40# bag of pellets will last almost 30 hours. About $6 a bag. Kind of pricey compared to buying firewood. But almost no ash to clean out and the house doesn’t smell smoky. That’s a plus.

    The big negative compared to the Earth Stove is that it needs electricity.

    I’m thinking of getting gas. I need to find out what the big propane tanks cost. And plumbing it to the house. I want to run the water heater…. er, forget that, venting will be a big pain. Easier/cheaper to put it in the pump house and run the hot water line an extra 40 feet. A cook stove. A small gas heater next to the wood stove…. the kind with the ceramic tiles. Not a huge amount of heat but better than nothing is the power goes out.

    Added: The house in Austin had a fireplace. You had to crack a window so it could draw. And then it made you freeze because all of the heat went up the chimney.

  17. I’m waiting for my class on human trafficking get started. should be horrifying and infuriating in turns we’ll see.


  18. @paul

    I had a wood pellet stove in my Sierra CA foothills (about 1k feet elevation) house. All electric house with a roof-mount heat pump.

    Really liked the pellet stove during winter for all the reasons you mentioned: no smoky smell, minimal ash to clean out, put out lots of heat. House was 15 years old, dual pane windows (but many leaked), foam wall insulation (that had shrunk), attic insulation. But it was good for winter, reduced my winter electric bill.

    Didn’t work during power outages (but those were minimal). I understand there are models now that have battery backup to keep it running during power outages. Or you can wire that circuit to the bypass panel and use the generator. Since only electrical needs are the fan and augur (to feed the pellets), not much wattage needed during power outage.

    My understanding is that pellet stoves are much more ‘allowable in most areas due to low smoke output (they are 90%+ efficient).

    Disadvantage is the pellets needed: about $5/bag, so you need a supply for winter. But we really liked ours in that house.

  19. Paul, we have two Heatform TM sealed fireplaces. They have glass doors and outside air for combustion. Their backs and tops are steel heat exchangers. They can put out a lot of heat with a big fire, but are much less efficient than a stove when using a small fire. They also require a lot of tending.

    I am considering installing a stove insert in the one we use most, but those are expensive, which defeats the idea of cheap heat. I might be able to install an outdoor boiler for about the same cost, and it would be better in every way.

    As for gas, our gas company is a pain to deal with, and their price to bring in service is high. Further, their residential fuel price seems too high to consider. I know folks who spend more on gas than we do on our setup. I obviously need to explore further options.

    We have solar space heat (40 years old, but still performing well) that provides about 80% of our needs. The rest is a combination of wood and central electric resistance heat. Before we do any of that, we will probably replace windows, which are 70% of our heat loss even though they are dual pane. We will also add rigid insulation and reskin the exterior and roof. Those need doing anyway. After all that, we may not need as much heat.

    BTW, we are in a high desert, with winters below freezing every night. Winter is when we get our storms, and it can be cold, wet, and overcast for a few days at a time. That’s when the solar heat needs help.

  20. My neighbors bought some fancy patio furniture. Tables, low and high. Chairs, low and high…. high like bar stools. It was nice furniture.

    A couple of the high chairs broke. The swivel under the seat on one, a leg on another. Cast metal of some kind. The stuff snapped. So they took them back as they were only about 8 months old. The guy said the only reason this stuff breaks is because drunks fall off of the chairs. Pretty bizarre. It’s the patio place on the northbound side of I-35. North of the Pflugerville exit where the cemetery is. North of the Wells Branch exit, also…. but not much farther.

    The same place sold wood stove pellets. Pure oak. We bought a dozen bags to get through the winter. They burned clean. Then the chair thing happened. We found the same brand of pellets in Waco, maybe Killeen. For less. Bought a ton. I’m down to 8 bags…. because the local lumberyard sells pellets now.

    The “fancy” brand, being pure oak, is just fine for the Traeger grill. $7 for 40 pounds vs $19.98 for a 20 pound bag branded “Traeger” at the grocery store. Pretty much a case of “no brain required”. Yeah, it’s “ugh, oak” and not mesquite. Or cherry or apple or whatever. Not that I know anyone who can tell the difference.

    The fancy brand also has tips on the back of the bag. About how the flame should look and what settings to change. The default settings on the stove sooted the glass in a couple of hours. Now I use the cheaper pellets from the local lumberyard and it takes a full 80 pounds of pellets to soot up enough that you can’t see any flame.

  21. Getting propane is on the “hmm, let’s look” list. If the power goes out, I can still cook in the house. And a smallish wall mount gas heater would be nice. Ugly, but when it’s 20F and no electricity, well.

    I have a heat pump. Thing is, it’s pretty much not doing much more than running the blower when it’s 20F outside. I have bumped that setting up. The default was something stupid like not using the backup heat until it was 10F. Yeah, 35F works much better.

    When it’s that cold the pellet stove is running….

  22. I’m waiting for my class on human trafficking get started. should be horrifying and infuriating in turns we’ll see.

    Wow. They offer classes on that? Be a Coyote in 30 days?

    No. I know. I’ll bet there are classes in Mexico. I remember the government used to publish a comic book How To on crossing the boreder.

  23. Paul, I know very little about pellet stoves, except from one friend who used his to heat an added large room that was only used occasionally. I saw it in operation and was impressed. It put out a lot of heat. His also was very noisy. So much that he would run it to heat the room in advance, and turn it off when he was in the room. He actually considered building a closet for it to isolate the noise. I would guess other models must be quieter.

    He also claimed it was expensive to operate, but I could never determine how much – too many variables. I would still consider one for the convenience. Thanks for the reminder. They are not common here.

    I don’t buy firewood. It is nice, but I can get by with scrap wood that is free for the hauling. It does take some ingenuity and connections. Also can sometimes get a friend to deliver for free instead of paying to drop a load at the dump. Imagine that.

  24. Paul, gotta go, but too bad you can’t use your heat pump to pull heat from ground water.

  25. I don’t buy firewood. It is nice, but I can get by with scrap wood that is free for the hauling. It does take some ingenuity and connections. Also can sometimes get a friend to deliver for free instead of paying to drop a load at the dump. Imagine that.

    Please ensure that wood is not treated for insects such as fence wood. But you know that.

  26. Please ensure that wood is not treated for insects such as fence wood. But you know that.

    Yup, but I have also burned some other nasty stuff, such as coal (NOT charcoal.) Most of the smoke goes up the flue. Most. One thing that has always bothered me is the tiny amount of smoke that escapes into the room, no matter how slowly I open the doors to add fuel. Some stoves do that, too. I will try hard to find one that doesn’t have that flaw.

    Fireplaces and stoves are dirty. May be a reason to consider a pellet stove, or gas heat.

  27. I am home and I was infuriated and horrified.

    Basically they are at the point narcotics was 40 years ago, busting the street level pimps and johns, while the higher ups go free.

    FWIW Houston leads the nation in investigations and prosecutions. I think we have 45 this year. 45. When they claim 300000 are victims of trafficking, and that it’s a 30B$ industry. Second only to narcotics, just above arms. Drugs, slaves, weapons. Same shit as the last couple of thousand years.

    Half the girls are 12 – 14.

    I don’t think I’m going to sleep well tonight.


  28. @nick
    That’s horrible.
    We’ve heard a lot of PSAs up here recently. Like it’s a funded ad campaign. Something about it strikes my cynical mind as not quite accurate but I don’t have an inside scoop or anything resembling facts.

    I would like to know more about the numbers and how they are derived, and how are the sex trafficking crimes quantified.

    If I lie to get you here, then put you at 17 years old to work in my nail salon, and grossly kiss you, is that sex trafficking? I have no idea. It sounds horribly unpleasant but it’s a whole different level of evil than snatching a 13 year old off the street, chaining her to the bed, and accepting cash for gang rapers.

    Both are reprehensible but one is burn in hell chop off your stuff bad.

  29. There are two different things, one being the sex trafficking, the other forced labor. They are really both forced labor, and are in fact slavery. Several of the PSA type videos they showed us made that point, “Human trafficking is modern slavery”.

    Human trafficking is not the same as human smuggling, which is a different crime. Smuggling involves crossing a border, and can BECOME trafficking (like when the coyotes decide you need to give them more money to ‘pay off your debt’, in addition to whatever you thought you’d already committed to.) That’s what was going on a few miles from my house in this story —

    The five are illegal aliens and are being held on ICE detainers…

    “Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.”

    The illegals swarming over the border are a plague on our society. They destroy lives, cost billions of dollars, and facilitate the worst crimes imaginable. The otherwise harmless provide a reservoir population for the more harmful to hide in, which is unacceptable to me.


  30. To answer your direct question, if you used fraud to get someone to come work for you, it’s trafficking without the kiss. If you then suggest to the person that they can repay you for you giving them a job by giving massages to customers for money, then that’s sex trafficking too. Then you suggest they can make more money giving hand jobs, but you keep most of it- more trafficking. Pimping = trafficking.

    The thing the detectives kept skating around was that for whatever reason many if not most of the girls would not leave. They kept talking about the mental manipulation, and the control and fear. Many identify as prostitutes and claim they work for the pimp, but “he loves me, really”. It’s a disturbing window into women, those women in particular, that had me in denial about some of the conclusions that leap to mind when confronted with that reality. But that is street level prostitution, which is where they spend most of their time working, as they are Vice cops at heart.

    We had a girl go missing from our local high school last year. Affluent parents, one of the best schools in the district. VERY MUCH looked like ‘boyfriend pimp’ sold her on to someone else. I don’t know if they got her back. News is full of stories of internet grooming and the kids leaving voluntarily, but under false pretenses. Then they get taken out of state, drugged up, and sold repeatedly.

    Like I said, I’m still up, and not in my bed sleeping.


  31. @nick
    I can imagine a lot of evil. My imagination is no match for reality.

    I’ll follow up on your links but not, I think, at bedtime.

    We finally got cooler weather and a teasing drizzle this morning. More rain is needed to quench the fires and reduce our burn risk. They’ve extinguished several dozen fires in Anchorage this week. Cook fires, etc, bad news and poor judgment.

    A friend died a few days ago. Cancer. He knew death was coming and made pretty thorough preparations. Nonetheless a lot left to close the book on his life. We are helping pack up and dispose of his modest remaining belongings. He was a good man and made a difference in the lives of those around him. He was conscious of his responsibility for end of life preps and did well. I’m glad we spent quite a lot of time together in his last year.

  32. That sounds like a pretty good epitaph. I’m sorry for your loss. n

  33. My pellet stove is an ancient Whittier Mk. 2 that came with the house. It works well enough to keep the major living areas of a small ranch style home warm – I rarely used the central heat last winter with overnight temps regularly in the teens/20s.

    It puts out on low/med about half the heat of a single burner Mr. Heater, I’d estimate. But it will run a half day or so on a small hopper. I’d guess the true heating costs to be on par with inexpensive propane from Costco (50% less than what the blood suckers at Suburban want).

    Downsides are the noise, low is tolerable, high is impossible, and dealing with the ash and de-sooting the glass every few days.

    Pluses are you aren’t heating unwanted areas, it’s pleasant to look at, pulls a minuscule amount of electricity, and the cats love it.

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