Thur. Aug. 15, 2019 – first day of school

76F and 99%RH. Rain didn’t continue much past the initial downpour, but the cooler temps did.

First day of school. So exciting, so terrifying!

Most of their immediate classmates will be very familiar to them. The school does move kids between two homerooms to break up cliques and try to keep down the drama. They had 4 kids not return this year, and they have a few new kids in the ‘mainstream’ class. I’ll have to wait a bit to see what the actual enrollment numbers look like, but my guess is fewer than expected overall, especially among the migrants.

Oh, and the bus drivers are all over the scanner today. First day for them too.

Meanwhile, we’re watching to see if commies do what commies usually do in Hong Kong, what the markets will do today, and waiting to see if today is the day it all goes pear shaped. I certainly hope not, I’ve got more stacking to do.

Stay frosty today.

n

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31 Responses to Thur. Aug. 15, 2019 – first day of school

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    The collapse of civil society continues.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7357885/Active-shooter-holding-two-cops-hostage-inside-Philadelphia-home-shooting-SIX-officers.html

    “Philadelpia crowd TAUNTS police as six officers are shot and two held hostage by AK-47 gunman before he surrenders when SWAT team fires tear gas to end stand off”

    and in NYFC–

    https://gunfreezone.net/the-nypd-noodle-video-is-not-the-worst-part-of-this-story/

    And in DC–

    https://www.trevorloudon.com/2019/08/5-senators-threaten-the-supreme-court/

    This is not going to end well.

    n

  2. Ray Thompson says:

    Leaving Bryan today for Austin for a couple of visits. Then heading south to SA for the next four days.

    Ordered something from Fry’s so I could stop and pick up the item. Got a call from Fry’s saying they were cancelling the order as they could not find the item. When I leave Houston I may try the Fry’s on the south end of Houston.

  3. CowboySlim says:

    My local Fry’s is almost empty, customers and shelves, nowadays.

  4. Greg Norton says:

    Ordered something from Fry’s so I could stop and pick up the item. Got a call from Fry’s saying they were cancelling the order as they could not find the item. When I leave Houston I may try the Fry’s on the south end of Houston.

    The constant rumor about Fry’s is that they are on the edge of bankruptcy. No one knows for sure since the chain is privately held, but the current condition of the stores speaks volumes.

    Austin Fry’s is awful. The only thing I buy in there is Merridew’s laptop screen cleaners (iKlear and … Klean Screen …?), and the last time my wife stopped for a few bottles, they only had one on the shelf.

    Things might be better elsewhere, where the city still has serious tech manufacturers’ around, but HP and Dell at that end of Austin are all about H1B-driven software development anymore and Pfizer sold off their nearby assembly line a few years ago.

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    I used to regularly stop in Fry’s just to see what they had. Then they killed themselves.

    First, they had the weekly or monthly sales, conditioning people to only buy on sale days.

    Then they started putting open box items back on the shelf, and screwing customers when they ended up with a brick in the box instead of an Xbox.

    Then they devoted half the floor space to food and cheap trinkets.

    Finally, software and music sales moved online, which hollowed out their boxed sales.

    Microcenter dropped prices, expanded inventory, and invested in stores and had basically replaced Fry’s as my go to physical store.

    n

  6. Greg Norton says:

    I used to regularly stop in Fry’s just to see what they had. Then they killed themselves.

    Fry’s hasn’t been the same since they bought out Incredible Universe and closed the original Fry’s store in Sunnyvale.

    The old Fry’s was a one stop shop for the geek lifestyle in the late 90s — tools, parts, snacks, games, and porn. Plus, the original store benefited from having the Weird Stuff Warehouse just across the street and Computer Literacy (late, great tech bookstore) around the corner.

    BTW, contrary to popular belief, Computer Literacy was not done in by Amazon. They actually did quite well … until Barnes & Noble acquired the store and online presence (fatbrain.com) just to kill them off.

  7. Harold Combs says:

    The Fry’s store in Sunnyvale was the only one I ever visited.
    It was heaven for a electronics & computer geek in the late 80’s.
    I was a regular till we moved out of CA.

  8. mediumwave says:

    BTW, contrary to popular belief, Computer Literacy was not done in by Amazon. They actually did quite well … until Barnes & Noble acquired the store and online presence (fatbrain.com) just to kill them off.

    Nowadays the few current computer books that I still buy come mostly from Amazon, with the “classics” coming from Abebooks. To this day the bookmarks with which I mark my place in them and the other types of books I read are provided predominantly by Computer Literacy/Fatbrain and Zubal Books.

  9. Greg Norton says:

    Nowadays the few current computer books that I still buy come mostly from Amazon, with the “classics” coming from Abebooks. To this day the bookmarks with which I mark my place in them and the other types of books I read are provided predominantly by Computer Literacy/Fatbrain and Zubal Books.

    Computer Literacy carried a lot wider inventory than “Learn C in 30 Days”, and was more of a science/tech store than just a place to buy O’Reilly books (though, the complete O’Reilly catalog was there).

  10. nick flandrey says:

    San Diego had a nice technical book store that I used to frequent. There was a great technical bookstore in Hollywood that had far more than computer books. There are a lot of technical books for other fields after all…

    I was disappointed buy the technical bookstore in Houston. I don’t know if they are still open.

    I miss the bookstore experience. Finding things that were related by their physical closeness is intuitive and natural. Scanning the covers would reveal interesting stuff you didn’t even know that you didn’t know…

    n

  11. Greg Norton says:

    I miss the bookstore experience. Finding things that were related by their physical closeness is intuitive and natural. Scanning the covers would reveal interesting stuff you didn’t even know that you didn’t know…

    BookPeople in Austin is still a decent independent, but even that place has changed.

    The new owners of Barnes & Noble have promised to turn things around. Private equity, but they turned around a big chain in the UK.

  12. mediumwave says:

    Computer Literacy carried a lot wider inventory than “Learn C in 30 Days”, and was more of a science/tech store than just a place to buy O’Reilly books (though, the complete O’Reilly catalog was there).

    I learned C programming the old-fashioned way: With a keyboard in front of me and a copy of The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition next to it–a copy which, if memory serves, I bought in an actual bricks ‘n’ mortar bookstore shortly after it was published.

  13. paul says:

    The Fry’s in Austin is a sad place from 10 years ago. Lot’s of sparsely stocked shelving. The last time I was there, they had taken out a lot of shelving. Easier to walk around, I suppose. They didn’t have what I needed, either.

    When it was an Incredible Universe, oh, yeah, nice! While Fry’s disappoints, there is always lunch to be had. The Taco Cabana on the far edge of the parking lot is pretty good. For Carne Guisada and a Tecate.

    Yes, Taco Cabana has other things to eat. I don’t care. Carne Guisada EVERY time.

  14. Greg Norton says:

    I learned C programming the old-fashioned way: With a keyboard in front of me and a copy of The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition next to it–a copy which, if memory serves, I bought in an actual bricks ‘n’ mortar bookstore shortly after it was published.

    That’s a painful way to learn C. Kelley & Pohl used to be the academic standard. I have no clue what is preferred right now, but I used to point students towards “A Book on C” as a place to start.

    K&R. Could be worse … like trying to learn C++ from recent Stroustrup editions.

  15. lynn says:

    Texas had the electricity capacity curve and the electricity demand curve touch each other again today. And we are not even at 100 F today. The current cost for electricity in Texas is over $900/mwh. The average cost is around $30/mwh. The cost on Tueday was up to $9,000/mwh.
    http://ercot.com/

    At some point, ERCOT is going to lose control of the electrical grid in Texas. The grid will split into at least five regions. This has not happened since the 1950s.

    I suspected when ERCOT let all of the coal power plants shut down that this was going to happen. Whoever is running ERCOT (a state agency) is not competent. But they probably know how to make really pretty spreadsheets !

  16. Greg Norton says:

    The Fry’s in Austin is a sad place from 10 years ago. Lot’s of sparsely stocked shelving. The last time I was there, they had taken out a lot of shelving. Easier to walk around, I suppose. They didn’t have what I needed, either.

    The Fry brother who designs the store layouts is a published math nerd, and the placement of everything is supposedly done by a sophisticated formula which is a trade secret.

    Yeah. Right.

    Just don’t try to take pictures inside one of the stores. You have been warned. The staff believes the secrecy spiel.

    Hit Tanner Electronics in Dallas if you are an electronics hobbyist, especially old school breadboard-type projects.

    Try to go to Tanner on a day when the Dallas Maker Space around the corner has an open house or Hack-a-day event in the evening.

  17. mediumwave says:

    That’s a painful way to learn C.

    Oh, I dunno. Compared to learning FORTRAN II via punch cards on an IBM 1620, it was bliss. 😀

    K&R. Could be worse … like trying to learn C++ from recent Stroustrup editions.

    I have most of the various editions of Stroustrusp’s C++ books, and yeah, the latest isn’t something you’d want to curl up with in a comfy chair . There are easier ways to do object-oriented programming in vanilla C like, for example, C Interfaces and Implementations: Techniques for Creating Reusable Software.

    Added: Over the years I’ve sampled many, many PLs. Currently, my languages of choice for my hobby programming projects are C, Scheme, and Haskell.

  18. lynn says:

    I learned C programming the old-fashioned way: With a keyboard in front of me and a copy of The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition next to it–a copy which, if memory serves, I bought in an actual bricks ‘n’ mortar bookstore shortly after it was published.

    That’s a painful way to learn C. Kelley & Pohl used to be the academic standard. I have no clue what is preferred right now, but I used to point students towards “A Book on C” as a place to start.

    K&R. Could be worse … like trying to learn C++ from recent Stroustrup editions.

    That is how I learned C in 1987. But I may have used the original K&R C book. Plus a copy of Borland’s Turbo C for $49 if I remember correctly.

  19. Greg Norton says:

    Added: Over the years I’ve sampled many, many PLs. Currently, my languages of choice for my hobby programming projects are C, Scheme, and Haskell.

    For personal projects, I use Python when I want object abstraction or database (SQLite).

    Most other things get done in Tcl, especially when TCP is involved.

  20. lynn says:

    That’s a painful way to learn C.

    Oh, I dunno. Compared to learning FORTRAN II via punch cards on an IBM 1620, it was bliss.

    Ha ! I learned Fortran IV on a Univac 1108 using punch cards in 1975. And a CDC 6600 using punch cards. Then I learned that single precision at 36 bits on the Univac 1108 and 60 bits on the CDC 6600 were not the same thing.

  21. lynn says:

    _Relic_ by Alan Dean Foster
    https://www.amazon.com/Relic-Alan-Dean-Foster/dp/110196765X/?tag=ttgnet-20

    A singular space opera science fiction book, no prequel or sequel that I know of. I read the well printed and bound MMPB published by Del Rey. If there is a sequel written then I will purchase and read it.

    After 10,000+ years of peace and prosperity across hundreds of planets, oh who are we kidding, bickering and fighting across hundreds of planets, the human race managed to kill itself off with a deadly and undetectable man-made virus. Several other star fairing races came along and one of them found a human survivor. This is the story of Ruslan in his old age who was found by the Myssari who want to restore the human race.

    My rating: 5 out of 5 stars (was a 4 star until the last chapter)
    Amazon rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (99 reviews)

  22. lynn says:

    “President Trump Eyes a New Real-Estate Purchase: Greenland”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-eyes-a-new-real-estate-purchase-greenland-11565904223

    “In conversations with aides, the president has—with varying degrees of seriousness—floated the idea of the U.S. buying the autonomous Danish territory”

    My man lives large !

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

  23. nick flandrey says:

    Just as a public service announcement, no endorsement implied,

    Palmetto State Armory has

    S&W M&P Shield, 9mm, for only $249. That’s $100 off list. It is an excellent carry gun.

    AND

    1000 rnd boxes of American Eagle 556 PLUS 10 PMags to go with it, for $359 which is a good deal, but there is a $50 rebate bringing your cost to $309.99 Which is a great price.

    n

  24. CowboySlim says:

    Microcenter dropped prices, expanded inventory, and invested in stores and had basically replaced Fry’s as my go to physical store.

    n
    Have one nearby. A mite farther than Fry’s, but I’ll check it out. Haven’t been therte in years.

  25. nick flandrey says:

    Our nearby Microcenter used to cater to local IT staff grabbing something at lunch time, or on break. Prices were high and stock confined to IT staff type stuff. Now they have a dozen different 3d printers, a whole parts and kit “maker” department, home theatre, apple, hp, and other various featured areas. Prices are good too, esp. during sales.

    n

  26. nick flandrey says:

    Listening to the scanner, SWAT is busy tonight. Don’t know on what, the traffic is encrypted, but traffic analysis says- unusually busy.

    n

    oh, and we had some lightning and thunder, which resulted in losing power a couple of times for very short periods. Daughter jumped up, got her FLASHLIGHT and we continued reading bedtime stories…. [proud dad]

  27. Greg Norton says:

    This video is from January, but the situation at Fry’s hasn’t changed.

    Austin Fry’s pretty much looks like the Arizona store.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzNe1OO3n1s

  28. ech says:

    Microcenter has replaced Fry’s for me in Houston. Good selection, online inventory checks are accurate. Staff is OK.

    Fry’s is too damn big, stuff is hard to find, and they don’t stock that much any more.

  29. Greg Norton says:

    How many donated fans will end up on EBay or Amazon by the end of September?

    https://www.wbaltv.com/article/baltimore-teachers-union-asks-for-fan-donations/28691819

  30. mediumwave says:

    How many donated fans will end up on EBay or Amazon by the end of September?

    Funny, but just yesterday I was reminiscing with the cabbie taking me to the grocery about how back in our day (he’s 81, I’m 72) school didn’t start until after Labor Day. We simultaneously voiced the same reason why: NO AIR CONDITIONING!!!

    Maybe Ballamer could just start a month later? Naw, too simple.

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