Sun. Aug. 25, 2019 – sleeping in

Hot and sticky, most likely.  It got hot yesterday, even though it started a bit cooler than normal.  Sunny too, eventually.

I’m sleeping in.  I’ve had too many days in a row of early mornings.   I’ll wait for kids, back or bladder to get me up.

In the mean time, surely someone had done some actual prepping?  (besides Paul?)

n

37 thoughts on “Sun. Aug. 25, 2019 – sleeping in”

  1. The wife’s small garden is doing well. We thought the green beans were done for the year, but are flowering again, so we will see. The big tomato plants are producing nicely, and the cherry tomato plants are doing exceptionally well. I will find some full size cages for next year, as the really want to go up. The cutting flowers are about done, and we have harvested squire a few gourds.

    Sometime soon, I’ll build another raised bed. Also might go ahead and do a compost bin.

    Our gas meter was finally installed a few weeks ago. They were able to bore under the yard, so only a few spots of Bermuda to fix. They did have to take out part of the sidewalk, but they fixed that too. After they were done , I prepped the bare spots a little before they came out to put sod down. It been a couple weeks, and it’s greened up, taken root, and starting to fill in nicely. It won’t be completely right until next summer, as it’s too late in the year.

    The fireplace will be the first thing converted to gas. I need to get some logs (existing are propane) and get someone to connect everything. Eventually, we will also have an outdoor grill on gas, but that has to wait on a patio extension. A few years down the road, I may convert to a gas cooktop, though the wife says she doesn’t want one. She’s the cook, so if I don’t have to spend money, I’m not going to complain.

  2. Up. Bladder and back, and unpleasant dreams. My volunteer work on the convention brought back all the bad parts of doing shows. My dreams this morning were all about work that I left behind years ago. Stress and anxiety. Not fun.

    It’s a bit overcast and cool this morning. Weather station says 83F. Could it be that we are actually past the hottest part of the year? Still humid though, at 94%RH.

    n

  3. The Post? Kinda suspicious. Laying the ground work for … something.

    The current Governor of Arizona is a former employee of Cindy McCain’s family’s beer distribution business. The concern was very real that Mrs. McCain was going to end up with the Senate seat, as “the old man” requested before he died.

    Of course “thumbs down” pretty much eliminated that possibility. The Governor knew he would have been recalled.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/goodbye-old-man-how-a-mccain-came-home-from-war-to-mourn-his-famous-father/2019/08/23/9c7e1b8a-bea4-11e9-a5c6-1e74f7ec4a93_story.html?noredirect=on

  4. At the Marriot Royal Palms by Kissimmee, FL, for work. Most people think “Oh, the glamorous travel you go on…” In late, work next day, leave that night or work so long leave the second day. There is no time to do shit. We are taking three days in Ft. Lauderdale with a friend who has a condo by the beach. Then back to Vegas awaiting the next trip. 30 days on the road. I’m super jet lagged.

  5. This is certainly one of the puffiest pieces I’ve had the misfortune of reading in a while…

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7388865/Elizabeth-Warrens-rise-started-looking-bottom.html

    I only made it half way, and only as blogfodder.

    Pic of her with the weird Kennedy smile and lip? Check!
    Namedrop a Kennedy? Check!
    Hard luck story about upbringing? Check.
    Champion of the poor and middle class, while getting rich herself? Check.
    Completely oblivious to the immigration and ‘nu society’ democratic policies that caused that hollowing out of the middle class? Check.

    Took most of her life to figure out that a law designed to help those who have suffered a catastrophic misfortune gets used by people who have suffered a misfortune…

    And SEVENTY years old. Freaking heII.

    n

  6. ” “Oh, the glamorous travel you go on…”

    –no kidding. “Oh it must be great eating in restaurants every day” (in 500 to 700 meals a year, I used to get food poisoned 5 times on average.)

    –“Oh, you get to see some great places!” (yeah, if you consider convention centers, hotel ballrooms, airports and hotel bars great places.)

    –“but you get all those free airline miles” (yeah, and I’m away from my home and family 100-250 days a year, some years taking 90 flights, or traveling over 90,000 miles by air, which exposes you to LOTS more rolls of the dice with air travel, and LOTS more radiation than an annual chest Xray.) [I’ve been on planes with engine fires, leaking hydraulics, one that ran so short of fuel we landed at a tiny airport 5 minutes from our destination, several times had someone or something on our runway during landing necessitating a go around, storms so bad people bounced off the ceiling and the pilots couldn’t find the airport, and a variety of other calamities.]

    — “oh but you get to meet such interesting people” (yeah, like the flight where the woman in the sari had a 2 inch stripe of feces all the way down the back of her sari, or consider that you have to be NICE to the client, even if they’re dirty sh!tbags you wouldn’t spend 2 seconds around if you were free to leave.)

    –and never mind the hours of lifetime lost to waiting at airports, for security to grope you, for planes that never come, or riding in cabs with lunatics who think of driving as a contact sport. Nothing like having a respiratory infection so bad you can’t breath while 2000 miles away from home and bed, wondering if anyone will find your body if you die; or the constant illnesses from all the disease bags around you.

    –The inability to have normal relationships with people because you are gone so much, and your life is an endless stream of Groundhog Day, so that weeks seem like days and months seem like weeks to you… everyone ELSE’S life is lived day to day, but your skip across it like a stone on a pond.

    –that moment when you realize you are more comfortable in an anonymous hotel bar surrounded by strangers with the same lifestyle, than at home surrounded by your friends.

    Constant travel is alienating. Even if you don’t believe in spirit or chi, you become ‘rootless’ in a very real sense, cut off from society and the world around you, drifting without a sense of connection to your surroundings or the land under your feet.

    Nope, I don’t miss it.

    n

  7. At the Marriot Royal Palms by Kissimmee, FL, for work.

    Really nice Publix around the corner from there. Stay out of Goodings unless you want to pay 2x normal for anything.

    The justice is that Goodings isn’t long for this world. They were once *the* supermarket in Orlando but the family sold everything except the tourist-fleecing store about 25 years ago.

    I know really good Indian on I-drive, but I’m hesitant to recommend it since the exterior and surroundings are rough.

    If you’re up for the adventure, New Punjab. Look for it behind the O’Shucks bar in the same strip mall.

    (We call the bar something else at our house — memorable, though.)

  8. We are taking three days in Ft. Lauderdale with a friend who has a condo by the beach.

    Little Havana. Versailes or La Carreta.

  9. Back home. Almost 3K miles of driving. It will be good to sleep in my own bed tonight.

  10. re the glamour of the traveling lifestyle: yep, what MrAtoz and Nick said. My time in the military pretty well cured me of that desire, and I didn’t even have any serious relationships at the time and so didn’t have that added stress. (I started to say that the constant travel was unrelated to the lack of girlfriend beyond occasional hookups, but then I realized that as soon as I was done with all that and moved back to where I grew up, I got a serious girlfriend within months and was married within a couple years.)

  11. When you are 64 and 65, you don’t give a shit about going out while on biz travel. Our travel almost always covers multiple time zones with late arrivals and early work the next day. In the last 30 days we’ve gone coast to coast two and a half times, and everywhere in between. We work mainly with Hispanic peeps and they want to party every night. Screw that. We’re spending three days by the coast and I’ll eat, sleep and shit. Not spending all day at the beach, going to the Keys or partying every night at the swinging clubs in Little Havana. I’ll do that when on vacay.

  12. Re: Handicapped parking. The only place I’ve seen parking for any Vet is at Home Depot. Cretins park there anyway.

    A couple months ago at the local grocery, I saw a high top van pull in with a power chair the size of a golf cart on the back. The woman that got in it was so fat it almost tipped over. I think she left hoof prints in the asphalt. I’m sure Medicare covered it all.

  13. The gun club I occasionally visit has preferred parking for Purple Heart recipients and combat vets.

    Our Kroger has parking for preggos, and HEB has preggers and post-pregnancy with rug rats parking spaces. I don’t think my wife ever used either, since I do the grocery shopping.

    My daughter has reserved parking for unicorns in her bedroom, but that’s really a unicorn trap- if ever one does enter, there is no way on this earth that my daughter would let it leave 🙂

    n

  14. An essay which touches on some subjects which come up here: Handicapped Parking

    The really annoying trend which I see more of every day here in Austin is EV-only parking set aside for the special children.

    I can see the point if there are chargers available in the spots and the physical location has to be close to the building for the electrical work, but, increasingly, the spaces are just standard issue parking. I’m not a party member.

    We had multiple EV spaces in our old building downtown, but the garage only had one charger. The last day with highs below 40 in Austin was a puckered sphincter moment for the Tesla owners when the charging space was occupied all morning by someone who wasn’t on their WhatsApp group chat.

    Riding up in the elevator that morning, one guy (Silvercar employee IIRC) said to me, “I don’t have charge to get home in this weather.”

    I responded, “I don’t have an EV. I walk four blocks from my parking next to AHC (homeless services). I got a quarter tank. I’m not worried.”

  15. From @greg yesterday:

    It turns out that my 2001 Solara needs $800 worth of struts to solve the front end noise problem but is otherwise running fine. I may have to consider that … and shop around.

    I’ve got your $800 and will see you $2,500 for a new set of timing chains for my 2005 Ford Expedition with 210K miles that is maybe worth $3,000. My options are $4,900 for a used engine or $8,000 for a new long block. Or just drive until one of the timing chains fails (my current plan).

    It drives ok below 3,000 rpm. Above 3,000 rpm, it makes a weird wining noise and accelerates really slowly. Just the knowledge that a chain is going to break soon and strand my butt on the side of the road is a little unnerving. Oh well, Uber.

  16. The NAPA in Marble Falls is a little place. Maybe a U-Tote-M in the past. It has the required right in front of the entrance handicap spot.

    And a wheelchair ramp. A steep ramp and not very wide but probably great for delivery folks and using a hand truck to haul batteries in and out.

    The funny part is the entrance door is all of 30 inches wide. Maybe 32. Swings out.

    So here you are, in a chair, up a steep and narrow ramp to grab the door handle that is at head height so you can pull the door open while backing halfway down the ramp. Then managing to block the door open while trying to wheel up the ramp and through the door.

    Um. May qualify as ADA technically.

  17. Hey, does ordering my 36 windows for the new used house last friday count as prepping ? I ordered the triple pane windows with the argon fill between the outer two panes for energy efficiency. There is a piece of laminate (plastic) between the inner two panes for sound deadening with an STC rating of 35. I suspect that 35 STC is a fancy way of saying 35 db drop across the window panes. A total of $16,300 installed. Not bad and the manufacturer both builds and installs the windows for a total lifetime warranty. My smallest window is 2 ft wide by 4 ft tall and the largest is 6 ft wide by 6 ft tall.
    http://valuewindowsdoors.com/series/gs-series-windows/

    The regular double pane windows were $11,600 installed so the triple pane and sound deadening was about 40% more. Well worth it with the railroad tracks just four blocks away.

  18. I’ve got your $800 and will see you $2,500 for a new set of timing chains for my 2005 Ford Expedition with 210K miles that is maybe worth $3,000. My options are $4,900 for a used engine or $8,000 for a new long block. Or just drive until one of the timing chains fails (my current plan).

    Late 90s Camry engine tech. I figure I have another 100,000 miles in that drivetrain.

    The Camry itself, made in KY, had upgraded to a new generation Toyota platform prior to 2001, but the Solara, manufactured in Canada, wasn’t updated for another year or two IIRC.

    You might do better shopping around the timing chain replacement in rural areas away from the dealers. Repairs were still intended to be fairly easy/cheap with that generation of F150 and, by extension, Expedition.

    I still see mid-late 90s Ford trucks on the roads out in the Hill Country. Twenty year old F150s look like mid size trucks today. The Ranger size truck of that era doesn’t even exist anymore.

  19. You might do better shopping around the timing chain replacement in rural areas away from the dealers. Repairs were still intended to be fairly easy/cheap with that generation of F150 and, by extension, Expedition.

    Timing chains, three of them. And that price is at my rural auto repair shop who replaced two of my fuel injectors last week. I hate to think what the dealer would charge.

  20. Other than buying a 10 pack of Ivory soap, 3oz size because that slivers away instead of breaking in two like the 4oz…. I filled the truck with gas. Oh. And some papertowels. $4 coupon off a $5.50 pack off Scott.

    Replaced the kitchen faucet. I guess that counts. The old faucet was pretty leaky, even under the sink. Yeah, 20 + years is good enough.

  21. Just finished up with family game night.

    We played “Ticket to Ride” which is a board game where you try to build train routes between cities. There is enough luck to keep the young ones in the game, and enough strategy to keep the parents occupied. I really like it and look forward to playing. The beginning can be slow while players are building out their hands and their strategy, and then there is a pretty quick finish where plans can be smashed to pieces.

    I also like “Sequence” which is a card game and a board game, played with marker on the board. Luck and paying attention both help.

    It’s late to do stories in bed, but I hate missing a night. We finished ‘Call of the Wild” with my 10yo two nights ago. The first two chapters were really rough, and she didn’t want to continue, but in the end she loved the book and was glad she stuck it out. Old boy writes some brutal action, and some REALLY long sentences…

    Little one and I have started the second Little House book. She loved the Little House in the Big Wood, and wishes they’d stayed in Wisconsin.

    My wife and I alternate, and each have our own books with each kid. In the beginning we just alternated chapters but that left US missing out on every other chapter. Now we just alternate kids, and the kids keep track from day to day of the progress in each book.

    Works, and I love it.

    n

  22. You might do better shopping around the timing chain replacement in rural areas away from the dealers. Repairs were still intended to be fairly easy/cheap with that generation of F150 and, by extension, Expedition.

    Timing chains, three of them. And that price is at my rural auto repair shop who replaced two of my fuel injectors last week. I hate to think what the dealer would charge.

    I now know why the performance on my Expy sucks above 3,000 rpm. “Seven Common Problems With the Ford 5.4 Triton Engine”
    https://autowise.com/common-problems-ford-5-4-triton-engine/

    I just realized that my 5.4L V8 has variable valve timing. That means that the default valve timing is short for low rpms. The engine automatically lengthens the valve timing as the rpm increases (I have the three valve motor). However, the valve timing changing mechanism (the cam phaser) has failed. And the valve timing chain tensioners are failing.
    https://www.amazon.com/Ford-Camshaft-Drive-Phaser-Repair/dp/B00E2UMX40/

    So, the big question is, do I spend the $2,500 on a valve timing kit and installation ? The transmission is good, the fuel injectors are good, the spark plugs are good, the ignition coils are good, the radio is good, the electronics are getting dodgy (the steering wheel buttons are the worst). And who knows how the bearings and piston rings are ?

    Dave Ramsey would say fix the truck and drive it for another year or five.

  23. We played “Ticket to Ride” which is a board game where you try to build train routes between cities. There is enough luck to keep the young ones in the game, and enough strategy to keep the parents occupied. I really like it and look forward to playing. The beginning can be slow while players are building out their hands and their strategy, and then there is a pretty quick finish where plans can be smashed to pieces.

    Your girls sound old enough for Risk.
    https://www.amazon.com/Hasbro-B7404-Risk-Game/dp/B01ALHAIWG/?tag=ttgnet-20

  24. It’s late to do stories in bed, but I hate missing a night. We finished ‘Call of the Wild” with my 10yo two nights ago. The first two chapters were really rough, and she didn’t want to continue, but in the end she loved the book and was glad she stuck it out. Old boy writes some brutal action, and some REALLY long sentences…

    Little one and I have started the second Little House book. She loved the Little House in the Big Wood, and wishes they’d stayed in Wisconsin.

    Great prepping books !

  25. Wife loved playing Risk with her dad. I hated it the time or two I tried it as a kid.

    I might have to try it again.

    n

  26. Mixed traffic causes problems. Scooters don’t belong on the streets, of course, but they don’t belong on sidewalks either.

    E-bikes are a problem, too – the faster ones cause a huge speed differential within bicycle lanes. I’m peddling along at 15mph, and some granny whips past me going 30mph+. That’s not a bicycle, it’s more like an electric motorcycle. Worse, often as not, granny is in the bicycle lane on the wrong side of the street, so she’s coming at me head-on.

    The mountain paths are also a serious problem here: electric mountain bikes have made them more accessible to more people. There are now too many mountain bikers, so they refuse to stick to the bike trails and ride on the hiking trails. Aside from the nuisance this causes for hikers, foot trails are not built for bicycle traffic, and the bikes are causing serious erosion on the paths.

    House clean-up continues. I thought I had gotten rid of my USAF uniforms years ago, but I found them lurking in the back of a closet. Even still had the mess dress. Still a surprising lot of emotional attachment, but it would have been stupid to keep them and move them to the new house. Out they went, I just kept my last pair of rank insignia, and tossed those in with my watches and rings and such…

    I also came across a forged set of orders sending me to Iraq. Little birthday present, presented to me by a good friend in a surprisingly convincing fashion at the time. In a dimly lit restaurant (birthday dinner), so it took me a couple of minutes to recognize the forgery.

  27. So, the big question is, do I spend the $2,500 on a valve timing kit and installation ? The transmission is good, the fuel injectors are good, the spark plugs are good, the ignition coils are good, the radio is good, the electronics are getting dodgy (the steering wheel buttons are the worst). And who knows how the bearings and piston rings are ?

    Dave Ramsey would say fix the truck and drive it for another year or five.

    I’d roll the dice on the timing belt through the closing of your house. Being a solid citizen, I speak from experience that the mortgage broker will give you the financial equivalent of a rectal probe. I even had to submit the records for the checking/Paypal account I use for EBay sales, and some of my clients are sensitive about privacy … like the male exec at the spy satellite company who bought my wife’s prom dress.

    My liberal friends who bought with 3% down? Fogged a mirror. Of course, their deal probably has all kinds of hidden gotchas that even they’re not aware even exist. Just sign — they’ll make the numbers equal to rent.

    If you can wait that long and Trump loses next year, the auto industry will ask for another Cash For Clunkers in 2021, citing the uncertainty they are currently experiencing as the White House and CA continue to be at odds about enforcing 54 MPG CAFE. It amazes me that the auto industry actually *wants* the tougher MPG guidelines so they can push the high end “all in one” leasing deals they’ve been testing.

    Dave Ramsey is still on the air? I don’t keep up. I have my doubts that Dave ever drove a beater as an adult, even when he went “broke”. Not the personality type.

    Ramsey isn’t Cramer and offers a lot of advice that makes sense, but take whatever he has to say about investment return potential and lifestyle with a grain of salt. They’re entertainers first and have to keep an eye on the ratings books, especially in the current advertising environment.

    (Yes, I listened to Ramsey and know his spiel about doing God’s work. The worst a**hole I ever worked with/for in the industry was also the biggest “church” type I ever met, to the point that he did missionary work for the better part of a decade, driven by ego. Ramsey strikes me as being the same.)

    Neal Boortz called it a career on Friday, ending his daily commentaries in frustration. We’ll see if he can stay away. He’s way too competititive.


  28. Dave Ramsey would say fix the truck and drive it for another year or five.

    I think some of his advice is bad. Such as buying used vehicles. Makes sense if you don’t keep them long. I buy new and keep for 15 years. That initial depreciation is thus spread over many years. I also don’t inherit other’s problems. I also think his advice about paying off mortgage is bad. It is a secured loan and is good debt. Mortgages should only be paid off when you get to be 50 and above. Just my opinion.

  29. I tend to like new cars as well. I don’t keep them 15 years, but usually at least 7. I look at it this way – it’s a toaster. An appliance. I don’t buy it as an investment, it’s a tool to get me around. I don’t go stupid and buy something I can’t afford. I try to get the best deal I can. I will buy used too, if it’s the right car and a deal.

    I used to listen to Ramsey quite a bit when I was consulting and out and about during the day. Now, only occasionally. He has some good points, and if you consider the targets of his advice, it kind of makes sense. I have credit cars, and use them to my advantage. I stopped paying extra on the mortgage several years ago, and instead diverted that money to retirement accounts. I’ll pay off the mortgage before retirement.

    When we bought our current house in 2010, I had one car loan. I was pre-approved by the lender. I decided to go ahead and pay off the car loan before I bought the house. My credit rating went down a few points because of that. It really should be called a debt rating.

    As for the Expedition…I’d get another vehicle. It served you well, and if you had the time and/or desire to fix it yourself, it could continue to do so. As long as I am able, I won’t have a daily driver that has continual issues. Other cars, sure, but not my primary transportation.

  30. @lynn, planetford was running their ads with huge discounts on F150 and $12k off list on Ranger….

    I’m all about fixing and extending, and minimizing outflows, but at some point, you do have to either change how you use the vehicle or change the vehicle.
    That said, I’m not up for a $40k vehicle atm, no matter how much I might want one.
    n

  31. I’m all about fixing and extending, and minimizing outflows, but at some point, you do have to either change how you use the vehicle or change the vehicle.
    That said, I’m not up for a $40k vehicle atm, no matter how much I might want one.

    $40k is the bait-n-switch price. $50k is more typical.

    The rebate is attached to a 8-9% 72 month Ford Credit loan. Now, as the “owner” of the vehicle, you are free to go find other financing *after* the deal closes, but you’re walking out the door of the dealership with a payment that would be a mortgage for a lot of people 20 years ago.

    A co-worker just bought an F150 with the five figure rebate deal.

    This won’t end well.

  32. When I bought my F-150 new I took the Ford loan to get the extra money off the vehicle. Twenty days later I paid off the Ford loan. Now Ford credit will take away the rebate if the loan is paid off before 90 days. The payment on my truck was $724.00 for 60 months. More than my last mortgage. No thanks.

  33. When I bought my F-150 new I took the Ford loan to get the extra money off the vehicle. Twenty days later I paid off the Ford loan. Now Ford credit will take away the rebate if the loan is paid off before 90 days. The payment on my truck was $724.00 for 60 months. More than my last mortgage. No thanks.

    90 days means a couple thousand miles of depreciation minimum for most people, making the vehicle more risky for any third party financing.


  34. 90 days means a couple thousand miles of depreciation minimum for most people, making the vehicle more risky for any third party financing.

    My local credit union will finance a used vehicle that is up to two years old at the same rate as new car financing. Did not matter to me as I paid off the loan to Ford Credit as soon as I got the insurance settlement.

    In 2016 when I bought the Highlander I had a loan that I intended to keep for just one year. One of the other local credit unions offered $250.00 to transfer an existing loan. I had one month left on my time frame to pay off the other loan. So I did the switch. Paid off the other credit union in one month and pocketed $250.00. The credit union was not happy, not my problem.

    Dave Ramsey is dead set against credit cards, and rightly so as they can lead to expensive unsecured debt. Credit cards are useful for online, travel, etc. As long as the bill is paid in full each month I see no issue with credit cards. I take advantage of any rebates and other offers when I can.

    I opened a USAA credit card. Spend $500.00 in three months and get $150.00 rebate. I did just that, got the rebate, never paid a dime of interest, and have not used the card since. Same thing with Bank of America, same offer. If they want to give away money, fine with me. I will be closing both cards at the end of the year.

    I use the Costco card the most and generally accumulate $700 to $800 in rebates every year. Just the 4% back on gas is about eight to nine cents a gallon at today’s prices. The 3% back on travel really helps on my European tickets.

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