Tues. Aug. 27, 2019 – complain, complain, complain…

Maybe cooler in the morning, but probably hot enough by noon. I’m guessing anyway. It certainly got hot yesterday. [79F and 98%RH at 7am]

I did my auction pickup, and came home and cut the grass. That soaked me to the skin, despite my active cool vest. Took some time off to cool down. I like the chilled vest. When it’s heated up though, it’s done. Recharge time is supposed to be under 10 minutes in the freezer, but I usually just call it quits at that point. My passive vest fails more gracefully by simply drying out. Easy to tell if it’s got anything left or not. Easy to recharge. It doesn’t work well under a shirt though.

I managed to tweak something in my back loading up the truck, so I wasn’t really interested in UN-loading my truck anyway.

Then kids, dinner, wife, and youtube ate the rest of the night… there is never quite enough time.

So I should get busy doing today’s chores.

n

84 thoughts on “Tues. Aug. 27, 2019 – complain, complain, complain…”

  1. Don’t know if I’ll get to it but an article in Machine Design magazine has my dander up. “Fixing STEM’s Gender Gap”. Just curious, but why do we never get cover page articles about “Fixing Teaching’s Gender Gap” or “Fixing Nursing’s Gender Gap”?

    (Googling the first gets articles about gender PAY gap in nursing, and the second gets mostly STEM articles, with the rest being PAY gap.) There’s no hand wringing in western culture about there being not enough men in those fields, or a massive effort to increase the number of men, I think partly because they recognize that gains by men would come at the expense of women. They don’t see it working against men in STEM though.

    n

  2. So, tropical storm/hurricane headed toward Puerto Rico… people once again caught unprepared. Except this guy- “Some were still boarding up windows and buying food and water, but not Joannes Lamontagne, who lives in the island’s southwest region. He said by phone that everything at his hotel, Serenity Escape, was already protected.

    ‘I don’t wait until it’s announced,’ he said of the storm. ‘We’re always prepared no matter what.'” — good on ya!

    Nurses charged in deaths of patients from “heat” after hurricane Irma in FL…

    Dengue fever in FL.

    Where’s all the Zika hysteria this year?

    Time for an Ebola update too.

    n

  3. At least the article wasn’t titled “Fixing STEAM Gender Gap.” Get rid of the A, it doesn’t belong, Commies!

  4. WRT to “Gender” issues and political correctness, I had my 4 1/2 month old puppy “neutered” last week. Is it more PC to refer to the puppy as “degendered” instead of neutered or sterilized?

  5. @cowboy, NO!! How dare you use gender to refer to the pup’s missing sex organs? Xe should be referred to by z/s/her preferred pronoun… “dinner” since that is one word that always brings zim/him/her running and the sound of food in the bowl is unpronounceable….

    Unless he self identifies as a cat, in which case, calling to him is a waste of breath…as he’ll come when he d@mn well pleases.

    n

  6. “Fixing STEM’s Gender Gap”

    When I noted that I saw no men on the staff, the Principal at the Lewisburg MS Primary school (K – 3) proudly noted that even the janitorial staff were women, as if intentional gender discrimination was a good thing. The poor little boys there will have no role models, but I guess that’s OK because of Toxic Masculinity and all.

  7. Don’t know if I’ll get to it but an article in Machine Design magazine has my dander up. “Fixing STEM’s Gender Gap”. Just curious, but why do we never get cover page articles about “Fixing Teaching’s Gender Gap” or “Fixing Nursing’s Gender Gap”?

    I’ve noted here before that the problem in CS, as I see it, comes down to two things:

    1) Only about 10% of the population has the capability to do software development at a high level. Sorry. A genetic component is involved, but it isn’t tied to any particular demographic in my experience — black, white, male, female, young, old. 10%

    2) Most women capable of doing the work at a high level are too sensible to get into a career with such a short half life. Males are more likely to overlook that aspect of the field while young and impressionable — in other words, the “stupid” phase of their lives — in order to work with something “cool”.

  8. @harold, they even have a program at our school, WatchDOGS (dads of great students) with the stated goal of providing positive male role models in the school. F that. I’m already paying for almost everything related to some of these kids, I’m not gonna be their daddy too.

    My elementary school had 2 of six grades taught by men, custodial staff, and a principal that were male. PE teachers and music teachers too.

    My kid’s school does actually have some male teachers, but the overall program and vibe is feminine.

    n

  9. Watch the video. Wargame it in your head. Internalize the message. You need to constantly reevaluate whether your use of deadly force is justified. You also need a legal defense plan. And NEVER TALK TO THE COPS.

    That convenience store is on the edge of the “hood” in Clearwater. Picking a fight with the woman over her using the handicapped parking was asking for trouble in that part of town.

    Greenwood/MLK and Douglas south of Sunset Point have been a ghetto since I was a kid. Forty years plus. Things were so bad thirty years ago that the Phillies moved their Spring Training facilities out of the neighborhood.

    Things would have been ugly if the shooter had been acquitted, but given that the jury pool mostly draws from the same general neighborhood, “not guilty” wasn’t happening.

    If anything has changed since I was a kid, Clearwater now has more slums.

    UPDATE: Anything south of the convenience store, between Alt. 19 and Betty Ln, running to downtown, is a slum. Has been for a long time.

    https://goo.gl/maps/gJim8M8np3f2zR8X7

  10. In a surprise to absolutely no one….

    Video cameras outside Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell are ‘unusable’ and ‘too flawed’ to be used by investigators probing his death, officials reveal – in another security lapse from the troubled Manhattan prison

    Footage taken from a least one camera outside Jeffrey Epstein’s cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center has been deemed unusable
    Epstein hanged himself on August 10 in his cell while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges
    The FBI and Justice Department are investigating what happened in the lead up to the 66-year-old suicide death
    It is not yet clear if the problem with the video camera is an isolated issue or an ongoing problem at the facility
    The footage is just the latest in a series of apparent failures at the prison ”

    –ya know, even if the cams just showed outlines and shadow images, they’d still be useful. If they were on and recorded NOTHING it would still be useful.

    –to say that actual recorded footage is “unusable” begs the question, usable for what purpose?

    Rule of law is dead. Someone killed or allowed to be killed a witness in federal custody. Draw your own conclusions about where we’re headed 2, 5, 10 years from now.

    nick

  11. @Greg: You’ve captured part of it. I think there are two other aspects.

    – On average, guys tend to like working with “things”, whereas women prefer working with people. Many exceptions, of course, but there is an overall difference.

    – Guys tend to be more obsessive about their activities. I really wish the latest StackOverflow developer survey had broken hobby-programming out by gender, but they didn’t. I suspect there is a huge gender difference. In my experience, lots of guys program for a living, and then go home and program for fun. Women who do that? Not so many.

    In support of the second point: my wife programs at home, but only in support of other activities. For example, she wrote a semi-intelligent scheduler for her man-trailing courses, which are otherwise horribly complicated to plan. Whereas I solve ProjectEuler problems, just for the joy of programming, serving no useful purpose whatsoever.

  12. 2) Most women capable of doing the work at a high level are too sensible to get into a career with such a short half life. Males are more likely to overlook that aspect of the field while young and impressionable — in other words, the “stupid” phase of their lives — in order to work with something “cool”.

    I recollect a time when computer programming was considered arcane enough and computer programmers were rare enough that programming was considered a kind of priesthood serving the great machine god. Nowadays, anyone can be a “coder.”

    Still want to learn to code?

  13. Thunderbolt Motors here in Houston just offered me a rebuilt motor for my 2005 Expedition for $2,795. Plus $1,000 if I want them to install it. Plus sales tax of course. Three year warranty at 100,000 miles.
    https://www.tbolt.net/

    He said do something soon as it will fail soon and strand me on the side of the road. 2 to 3 weeks to get it installed.

  14. I recollect a time when computer programming was considered arcane enough and computer programmers were rare enough that programming was considered a kind of priesthood. Nowadays, anyone can be a “coder.”

    Anyone can learn syntax to get a program through a parser, but, as much as management tries to pretend otherwise, software development at a high level is more than coding, requiring some innate talent for the task as well as learned skills.

  15. I know that there is a point of throwing good money after bad, but $4k vs $30-50K if it solves the problem and gets you a few more years without problems seems like a good deal to me. BUT only if it gets you back to trouble free for at least 2 years.

    n

  16. He said do something soon as it will fail soon and strand me on the side of the road. 2 to 3 weeks to get it installed.

    How much do you like the car? New vehicles have upsides and downsides anymore.

    The forward camera embedded in the windshield of my Camry briefly failed the other night, disabling the collision avoidance, and I started to wonder how much that problem would cost to fix out of warranty.

    I’ll bet a windshield replacement isn’t something I can get done at Safelite.

  17. “Fixing the Stay-at-home Parent Gender Gap”

    “Fixing the Trophy Spouse Gender Gap”

    “Fixing the Roofer Gender Gap”

    “Fixing the Septic Tank Service Gender Gap”

  18. “Fixing the Stay-at-home Parent Gender Gap”

    I hated that gig. Sorry. I’m a cr*ppy parent.

  19. @Greg: You’re right, of course. One of the universities – a couple years back – put in the effort to have their final example for first-semester programming actually on a computer. Here’s a task, write a program, press this button to test it. You get feedback as to whether or not your program correctly solves the test cases (and, I think, which ones). You get points for correctly solved test cases. More test cases solved gave you better grades (some included things like execution time-limits, so your solution had to be efficient for maximum points).

    They were shocked how many students, with good grades on paper exams, received zero points on the live exam. Their programs may have compiled, but they didn’t work. At all.

    I would love to do that with my students. When you have a program scrawled on paper, you give points for the parts of the program that look correct. Yet it’s the overall concept that’s important, not the bits and pieces. That is difficult to really test for in a paper exam. Unfortunately, running secure exams online is a huge effort, and one that my school hasn’t seen fit to invest in.


  20. I recollect a time when computer programming was considered arcane enough and computer programmers were rare enough that programming was considered a kind of priesthood. Nowadays, anyone can be a “coder.”

    That was true back in the last century before cheap and plentiful memory made squeezing 4K of code in a 2K space a commonplace requirement. Back then we would pull crazy tricks like overwriting a few instruction in a loop to change the logic instead of writing a separate subroutine. I recall a session of the West Coast Computer Club in 76 or 77 when they demonstrated a full chess program in 1K of ROM for the 6502 processor. Not a smart chess program but it played by the rules.

  21. They were shocked how many students, with good grades on paper exams, received zero points on the live exam. Their programs may have compiled, but they didn’t work. At all.

    Part of our interview process is to have the candidate write a simple C/C++ program at a bare bones Linux system in an hour. Full web access is granted (we review the history), and standard Unix development tools available, including GDB. The program must compile.

    Last year, a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon’s famed robotics lab came in and blew away management in the interviews, but this is all he managed to crank out in our coding test in an hour:

    int main() { /*TBD*/ }

    (Ok, it compiled. I’ll concede that point.)

    Up until the moment of the code review, management was ready to extend an offer even though several of us had reservations about things we heard in the interviews.

    (His project at his then current job was five years late. He had worked there five years. Do the math.)

    I’d quit if we give in to HR’s constant requests to drop the live coding tests in the name of diversity. The Carnegie-Mellon guy was a white male, and our group has a fairly decent mix of race/sex/age even with the test.

  22. I recall a session of the West Coast Computer Club in 76 or 77 when they demonstrated a full chess program in 1K of ROM for the 6502 processor. Not a smart chess program but it played by the rules.

    I have a copy of Atari Age’s “Pac Man 4k” cartridge, a successful recent attempt to demonstrate that a playable “Pac Man” for the home was possible given the resource limitations of the Atari 2600 in 1981.

    What Atari produced was so cynical and half-a**ed that the developer asked for and received a 70 cent per copy royalty, knowing that his career was screwed. Of course, he’s much in demand now on the retro game circuit these days as a speaker, despite taking home $700k in early-80s money for a game that arguably helped hasten the demise of the industry in the early 80s.

    As is often said, the video game industry didn’t die in the 80s. It committed suicide.

  23. I watch The 8Bit Guy on youtube. He’s written a whole new game that runs on old 8bit hardware. He does a lot of old computer restoration, and produces nice histories of early home computing.

    Every episode features music written for and executing on 8bit platforms.

    I still occasionally play a John Cormak game that was a give away on a magazine disc, Dangerous Dave…. Last time I ran it it ran and played fine on fairly modern hardware.

    n

  24. I watch The 8Bit Guy on youtube. He’s written a whole new game that runs on old 8bit hardware. He does a lot of old computer restoration, and produces nice histories of early home computing.

    Atari 2600 programming is experiencing a bit of a resurgence in popularity right now thanks to the book “Racing the Beam”.

    8 bit computers have lagged a bit. Flash adapters exist to replace disk drives, but much of the software, including dev tools, was copy protected using insanely complicated schemes.

    The retro scene was huge in the Northwest and one of the few things I miss.

    Based on what I saw at the last Austin show, the retro scene around here is waning a bit.

  25. Every episode features music written for and executing on 8bit platforms.

    The Commodore 64’s SID chip is still popular for experimentation outside of that platform. The sound capability standard with every C64 was more advanced than what Atari and Apple offered with their machines out of the box.

  26. Anyone can learn syntax to get a program through a parser, but, as much as management tries to pretend otherwise, software development at a high level is more than coding, requiring some innate talent for the task as well as learned skills.

    It’s long been my contention that unless you’ve programmed in assembly you really don’t know programming at all. It’s the only way to get an accurate feel for what that beautiful high-level language becomes after it’s been through the compiler.

    Granted, my opinion was formed long before the hideously baroque x86 instruction set became the standard.

  27. Just finished moving about 8 sheets of OSB into my attic. I bought a pallet of offcuts so they were already ripped in half and thirds legthwise. Not only did I get all the sheets for the price of two, I don’t have to rip them to fit thru my attic hatch. They will be floor deck after I replace the insulation above my master bedroom. I want some sound absorbing fill. I spent the money on sound isolation for the walls, and now we hear the neighbor thru the ceiling 🙁

    It’s hot up there, and outside by the truck. Took way longer than it should with all the breaks to cool off.

    n

  28. It’s long been my contention that unless you’ve programmed in assembly you really don’t know programming at all. It’s the only way to get an accurate feel for what that beautiful high-level language becomes after it’s been through the compiler.

    Either assembly or low level C. With all the hardware performance tricks in use with most modern CPUs, ompilers are much better at assembly than humans these days so no one bothers teaching it to undergrads.

    Another one of our stock interview questions is to write strcpy() at a white board. Most people fail to make a completely accurate version so Part II of the question is to have them identify the problem (it is always the same) and correct the error.

    Part III is to talk about why even a properly working strcpy() is dangerous.

  29. I think 8Bit Guy is in Austin. I think he worked in support for Dell at one point.

    He dresses like he’s from Chicago.

    n

  30. this is all he managed to crank out in our coding test in an hour:

    int main() { /*TBD*/ }

    WHAT ??? Not even Hello World ?

    #include stdio.h

    int main()
    {
    printf(“Hello, World!”);
    }

  31. I think 8Bit Guy is in Austin. I think he worked in support for Dell at one point.

    He dresses like he’s from Chicago.

    Dell sent all those jobs overseas years ago. Round Rock is a lot of H1B labor now.

    As a popular craze, the retro game scene has waned a bit, but hardcore fans are everywhere.

    Collecting retro is easier in WA and OR because things left in an uninsulated garage/barn for a decade and forgotten tend to fare better than a lot of other places with bigger temperature extremes. As much as I loathed it, 50s and rain, advantageous to survival of old video games, computers, and pinball machines if properly covered, are pretty much the constants 10 months out of the year west of the Cascades.

    Also, hanks to Intel, HP, and Boeing being such dominant presences along I-5 for so long, WA and OR have the technical talent to bring the machines back to life.


  32. He dresses like he’s from Chicago.

    I left there 57 years ago, but I haven’t worn Levis in years.

  33. It’s long been my contention that unless you’ve programmed in assembly you really don’t know programming at all. It’s the only way to get an accurate feel for what that beautiful high-level language becomes after it’s been through the compiler.

    I first learned IBM 360 assembly & machine code. Then went to 8080, 6800, and 6502 in the mid 70s as personal computers came out. I always started with a simple bubble sort in any language. The last bit of machine level (not assembly) coding I did was in 1985 for a project that crammed 4 telecom circuits on an AT daughter board and did data capture and voice response using a TI speech synthesis chip. We could cram two boards, 8 lines, into a single PC AT because the PC cpu didn’t have to manage any time sensitive functions. The 6502s on the daughter boards did all the data collection and error correction, simply handing the data to the AT via shared memory spaces. We ran a Digital Research PL/I language master control program on the AT under Digital Research DR-DOS 6.x . I eventually converted the PL/I code to C because Digital Research dropped support but I did dearly love writing in PL/I.


  34. I first learned IBM 360 assembly & machine code.

    I started with IBM 1401 assembler and moved on to other assembly languages. Also a lot of high level languages including a couple of highly specialized languages (with compilers to machine code) that I developed. Favorite language was ALGOL and it’s derivatives used on the Burroughs large systems. Never did really learn any IBM 360 assembly as I worked mostly for the USAF and large commercial banks. I dabbled but nothing proficient or productive.

    Banks loved Burroughs because of the way the OS handled extremely time sensitive reader-sorters. It was also possible to multiply two 100 digit (not bits) numbers in a single instruction and get a 200 digit result accurate to the last digit using a single instruction. I think IBM started falling apart at 18 digits and had to use floating point instructions. Seems silly but when a bank is dealing with interest amounts that are down to an hour, long precision in the calculations was important.

    Best project was writing a language compiler for the language I developed using the B-6700 (ALGOL) and creating machine code for a different target platform with a completely different architecture. A one pass compiler at that with full conditional logic and branching, a math package, output package and some file handling. That was when programming was fun.

  35. Best project was writing a language compiler for the language I developed using the B-6700 (ALGOL) and creating machine code for a different target platform with a completely different architecture. A one pass compiler at that with full conditional logic and branching, a math package, output package and some file handling. That was when programming was fun.

    The more I ponder the principles of language design, and the techniques which put them into practice, the more is my amazement and admiration of ALGOL 60. Here is a language so far ahead of its time, that it was not only an improvement on its predecessors, but also on nearly all its successors.

    How did it happen that Algol 60 was an improvement on its successors?

  36. Another one of our stock interview questions is to write strcpy() at a white board. Most people fail to make a completely accurate version so Part II of the question is to have them identify the problem (it is always the same) and correct the error.

    Part III is to talk about why even a properly working strcpy() is dangerous.

    If they make it past Part III, ask them to define “slack bytes.”


  37. now we hear the neighbor thru the ceiling

    Ghostly!

    The minimum lot size in our neighborhood is 2.5 AC, so houses are spaced about 100 yd apart. It is also vewy qwiet, except during unusually high winds and occasional passing mil aircraft.

    The effect of going outside is similar to entering an anechoic chamber. My next door neighbor of over 40 years is nearly deaf, but still wonders which of us will die first. The house will probably be sold to someone whose hobby is making boilers 🙁

  38. Oops, I spelled it wrong, John Carmack.

    Which might explain why no one seems to have made the connection… he wrote Quake. and its successors.

    started with a little side scrolling platformer….. and it was FUN to play

    n

  39. He said do something soon as it will fail soon and strand me on the side of the road. 2 to 3 weeks to get it installed.

    How much do you like the car? New vehicles have upsides and downsides anymore.

    The forward camera embedded in the windshield of my Camry briefly failed the other night, disabling the collision avoidance, and I started to wonder how much that problem would cost to fix out of warranty.

    Fixing electronics is always dicey. Fixing electronics in the electronic hell known as a car is a nightmare.

    That said, I do want a backup camera real bad and my 2005 Expedition does not have one. I had my neighbors two boys, 6 and 8, run behind my truck last spring when I was backing down the driveway. I had no idea that they were there until I caught an image of one in my left outside mirror. I stopped and took a good look and saw the first one. But his brother was 50 ft behind him and I had already started backing up again by then. I was a lot closer to the sidewalk when he ran behind me also. Enough so that I stopped, got out, and went looking to see how many more were coming.

    I have bought a backup camera for my truck but it is a pain to install, especially the dashboard screen. So I have yet to install it.

    I need a new truck.

  40. If they make it past Part III, ask them to define “slack bytes.”

    That’s easy. That is the part of the doughnut you put back for later in the day.

    I need a new truck.

    There’s your answer. Quit oscillating between solutions and get a new truck. Either way you go you will regret the decision. Make the regret at least with a new truck.

  41. Granted, my opinion was formed long before the hideously baroque x86 instruction set became the standard.

    And @mediumwave wins the intertubes award for the most expressive sentence of the day for “hideously baroque” !

    I love it !

    I have written a small amount of x86 code in my day. Our first 80386 Fortran compiler had a problem with near and far jumps. On about 5 or 6 jumps in our code, it would use the 16 bit jump instruction when it was too short. So I had to generate the assembly language version from the Fortran code, convert the jumps from near to far, and compile the assembly directly to object files to build a release. Was fun ! Not !

  42. I still occasionally play a John Cormak game that was a give away on a magazine disc, Dangerous Dave…. Last time I ran it it ran and played fine on fairly modern hardware.

    I played his freeware Castle Wolfenstein excessively until the wife told me to stop. It was awesome.

  43. If they make it past Part III, ask them to define “slack bytes.”

    Or the third argument to main().

    The candidates have enough trouble with our standard interview questions.

    I do think asking about Design Patterns and expecting a meaningful response is a bit unfair. It isn’t a common subject at the undergrad level, and when companies spent a bunch of money sending people to training 15-20 years ago, who actually got the training was highly political.

    Our OO group at GTE p*ssed away a bunch of money on languages and training only to spend their days playing … “Quake”!

    Yes, I remember that game well.

  44. “Why the New York Times Is Unreformable and Must Die” by Ann Coulter
    https://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2019/08/21/why-the-new-york-times-is-unreformable-and-must-die-n2552031

    “Even before The New York Times launched its “All Slavery, All the Time” project, no one could accuse that paper of skimping on its race coverage, particularly stories about black males killed by white(ish) police officers.”

    “Here’s one you haven’t heard about. I happened upon it by sheer accident.”

    “Antwon Rose II was a 17-year-old boy shot by an East Pittsburgh police officer in June 2018 after he bolted from a jitney car that had been stopped by the officer. The Times published about a half-dozen stories on Antwon Rose — or as the Times calls him, “Antwon, who was unarmed.””

    “After the officer was acquitted on all charges in March of this year, the Times ran an article by Adeel Hassan on the verdict.”

    You know, it would seem to me that the officer has a case for libel. Or slander. I can never remember the difference.

  45. Dadgum it, I thought that we had a release candidate for our version 16.00 software last night. I started the benchmarks running at 10pm and went home. At noon today, the stupid benchmarks were still running (they should only take six hours or so).

    Arggggh !

    Question: How do you debug a 850,000 line Fortran program ?

    Answer: Carefully ! Dadgum minefields all over the place.


  46. And I want a fancy new 4×4 truck with leather seats. The cheapest one that I see is $50K + TTL.

    I don’t suppose you have a very rare and valuable blood type? A spare kidney? A liver you can sell for cheap?

  47. “Why the New York Times Is Unreformable and Must Die” by Ann Coulter
    https://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2019/08/21/why-the-new-york-times-is-unreformable-and-must-die-n2552031

    Alas, poor misunderstood Antwon!

    For most of July I received the NYT instead of the WSJ to which I subscribe. For lack of anything else to read while eating breakfast, I would page through the NYT, but I had to stop because reading it had the same effect on me that Kryptonite has on Superman.

    (I’d talk daily to the very pleasant young ladies in the WSJ’s Alabama call center and just as often they’d assure me that the problem was being addressed, but it wasn’t ’til I threatened to cancel my WSJ subscription that corrective action was actually taken.)

  48. The track for Dorian ends on my house. Sunday afternoon will be wet.

    Don’t make any bets this far out, but be prepared.

    When the cone used to cross Tampa, I would put gas in the car and check my canned foods. Florida has asinine “anti gouging” laws, passed since 2004/05 which have a lot of unintended consequences including essentials flat out not being available after storms.

    If you live in Orlando, the two stations near the airport which are allowed to gouge by law will most likely have gas, of course, but if you live anywhere else, it pays to plan ahead.

  49. When the cone used to cross Tampa, I would put gas in the car and check my canned foods. Florida has asinine “anti gouging” laws, passed since 2004/05 which have a lot of unintended consequences including essentials flat out not being available after storms.

    Are anti-gouging laws even constitutional ?

  50. Are anti-gouging laws even constitutional ?

    No one has tried a challenge yet. Texas has a version too from what I understand.

    The state did try to shut down the Orlando gas stations near the airport which routinely gouge tourists rushing to catch a flight, but the courts decided that ~$5/gallon was legal as long as the gouging was in effect every day and prices well-advertised.

  51. Plugs: “Racism is institutionalized … White Man’s problem.”

    Me: “Go fuck yourself.”

  52. Clayton, are you going to evacuate it it still looks like just a tropical storm when it gets to the Space Coast? My oldest niece lives in Indialantic. A tank of gas won’t get her here, but it will at least get her to her aunt in Jax.

  53. @lynn, new leather OEM takeoffs

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-15-19-Ford-F150-Leather-Seat-Covers-Crew-Cab-Black-New-Take-Off-Lariat-Truck/223536534376?fits=Year%3A2019%7CModel%3AF-150%7CMake%3AFord&hash=item340bd0d368:g:dOoAAOSwQj1c3Iy-

    $273

    Whatever you buy, within a month or two some take off covers will come up on ebay. A local shop can install them for you. If you want aftermarket, the shop will order and install them. I got 2014 takeoffs for my Expy 2008 for $400 on ebay, included the third row seat. I had to make 2 minor adjustments to clips to get them to fit.

    n

  54. @lynn, new leather OEM takeoffs

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-15-19-Ford-F150-Leather-Seat-Covers-Crew-Cab-Black-New-Take-Off-Lariat-Truck/223536534376?fits=Year%3A2019%7CModel%3AF-150%7CMake%3AFord&hash=item340bd0d368:g:dOoAAOSwQj1c3Iy-

    $273

    Whatever you buy, within a month or two some take off covers will come up on ebay. A local shop can install them for you. If you want aftermarket, the shop will order and install them. I got 2014 takeoffs for my Expy 2008 for $400 on ebay, included the third row seat. I had to make 2 minor adjustments to clips to get them to fit.

    Thanks ! I was thinking that somebody here had installed leather seat covers in their truck in the distant past.

    Did you do the install yourself ?

    I told the wife that I needed to spend $50K for a new truck. Her reply was “Ouch !” which is Lynn’s wife for “No !”.

  55. When the cone used to cross Tampa, I would put gas in the car and check my canned foods.

    I’ve got four 5 gallon gas cans (plastic) in the garage that I planned to fill when we had our next hurricane after Ike. I have yet to use them since our neighborhood flooded for 2.5 days after Harvey. But, we always had our electricity on. And I never bought a generator.

  56. I’m probably a racist, or at least I may be a descendant of one. My paternal grandfather came came here legally from Scotland. He was very grateful that my other grandparents were not Irish.

  57. @lynn, I put them on myself. It wasn’t hard, but had fiddly bits. The headrest covers were included in mine, but most of the listings I saw didn’t have them. It wouldn’t be a big deal if you are keeping the same colors. I actually did a tiny bit of damage to my headrest cover while stretching it. That was the physically hardest thing to do.

    Because I was using the wrong model year, there were a couple of minor changes to the way the clips under the seat were attached, but I made a piece of wire to adapt the clip. Still look good too.

    You will need hog rings and a hog ring pliers, but they are cheap and easy to get at Ace hardware. There are good youtube videos to show the basic steps.

    You want warm weather so the covers stretch and form easily, but not hot because you’re out working in the car.

    n

  58. Mentioned this before, but a domain name of RBT’s, family-prepping.com , is up for renewal.

    Barbara has no interest in it, so it’s available to anyone here that might want it. Otherwise, I’ll let it lapse.

    In the middle of a heat wave here opposite Mutiny Bay, WA. Temps got up to 83F today.

    Heh.

  59. Tomorrow I’ll rotate another 15 gallons of gas out of storage and into my truck. Then I’ll refill and treat the replacements.

    Time for our friends in Fla. to start their gennies, check gas levels, swap out propane tanks… Maybe top up fresh foods if the stores are normal.

    Who knows where the track will end up or the strength.

    n

  60. Maybe top up fresh foods if the stores are normal.

    Stores will be normal tonight. All bets are off after 5 PM tomorrow when the state will make evacuation decisions based on the NHC update and TV stations start smelling ratings.

    Who knows where the track will end up or the strength.

    The Navy always has the best forecast, but no one will have a really good idea until tomorrow night.

    https://nrlmry.navy.mil/TC.html

    The other useful site is Mike’s Weather Page. Even the TV weather guys in FL reference that site.

    https://spaghettimodels.com/

    I sweated storms for 30+ years in FL and this one would only have me slightly concerned. The eye looks like cr*p, and Hispaniola’s mountains do bad things to storms. Fingers crossed.


  61. It’s long been my contention that unless you’ve programmed in assembly you really don’t know programming at all. It’s the only way to get an accurate feel for what that beautiful high-level language becomes after it’s been through the compiler.

    I started with Z80 and got my first royalty checks in the UK equivalent of high school.

    I had a 6502 machine at home, wrote an assembler in basic, and used that to write an assembler in machine code. Then I used that to write a VERY crude multi-tasking system. I remember it had 4 screen regions independently outputting Hello World before crashing after a minute or so. Then the summer was over. Fun times.

    Nowadays, if I program at all, I use golang.

  62. ” I had no idea that they were there until I caught an image of one in my left outside mirror. I stopped and took a good look and saw the first one. But his brother was 50 ft behind him and I had already started backing up again by then. ”
    A similar incident some 40 years ago led me to always back into the driveway so there would be no question where things were when I drove out again. Also I keep a lot of equipment in the back of the vehicle and it is less of an attraction facing the garage.

  63. I battle with the kids to always walk around the front of the car when it’s parked so the driver can see them.

    Of course, when your safety standards mandate tiny little windows, and no one can see out of the back, then you have to mandate cameras, and distance sensors, and object alarms….

    I back into the driveway with my pickup. I drive away forward and loop around at the end of the street in my Expy. I back up as little as possible unless I have looked at the area I’m backing into as I drive up first.

    n

  64. Anti-gouging laws: A while back, there was an entry on CoyoteBlog on that subject. After a disaster, it’s a huge effort (and maybe even a risky effort) to get supplies into the area. Allowing higher prices encourages people to make the effort (and take the risk). Otherwise, why bother?

    High prices also have the beneficial effect of reducing unnecessary consumption. If drinking water gets expensive, people won’t use it to wash their socks.

    Plus, as one of the comments points out: if people know that prices will be high after a disaster, then maybe they will stock up on necessities ahead of time. Lots of “disasters” are predictable, like major storms, and there’s really no excuse for people being caught out.

    Of course, there are exceptions. That’s where government aid and/or charity kicks in.

    – – – – –

    “when your safety standards mandate tiny little windows”

    This. Definitely this.

    Fat posts make for tiny windows. Don’t forget the headrests all of the seats, sticking up into your line of sight. The side and rear visibility in many cars today is horrible. Even if you have a backup camera (which our car does not), it cannot entirely compensate for the lack of visibility around the vehicle.

    – – – – –

    Lastly, the new house we’re building, I have to vent. Our access is over our neighbors’ property. They must allow us to build a driveway across their property – this is an entry in the property register, and they knew this when they bought their land.

    Wanting to be good neighbors, we asked them where we could put the driveway. They picked the site. We had it surveyed and staked out, and went to look at it with them a few weeks ago. Everything was fine…or so we thought.

    So we submitted the plans to the town’s building commission. Yesterday, we received a absolutely furious email from them – they are totally pissed and have filed a formal protest with the building commission. We have no idea what set them off, this is really weird.

    It is also…short-sighted. They haven’t built their house yet, either. They are planning on a sewage hookup that will cross our property. Only…they don’t actually have the right to do that. There is no entry in the property register, so they need our permission. Their only alternative is to use a sewage hookup on a street above their property, meaning they would need an expensive system of pumps and backflow valves.

    I wonder when the penny will drop…

    The thing is: We don’t really want warfare with our future neighbors, but we genuinely don’t understand WTF is going on in their heads. It would be nice to figure it out and patch things up. We’ll have to think about it for a couple of days, before responding…

  65. Of course, when your safety standards mandate tiny little windows, and no one can see out of the back, then you have to mandate cameras, and distance sensors, and object alarms….

    The Law of Unintended Consequences keeps piling on with cars built for the American market. The irony is that vehicle fatalities have been inching upwards, not downwards, and all of the gadgets make both the vehicle and insurance coverage more expensive.

    If you think it is fun now, just wait. External airbags are coming, and big money is being spent here in Austin researching automated (note I did not say autonomous) vehicles at the GM research center and other facilities.

    I get emails all the time about working on automated (again, not autonomous) vehicle systems, but the job descriptions are obviously tailored towards H1B — cheap labor and they keep their mouths shut about what they see in the labs.

  66. I’ve got four 5 gallon gas cans (plastic) in the garage that I planned to fill when we had our next hurricane after Ike. I have yet to use them since our neighborhood flooded for 2.5 days after Harvey. But, we always had our electricity on. And I never bought a generator.

    Living in Tampa, I would fill the cars, but that was it. Pre anti-gouging laws, I once paid a ridiculous per gallon price to gas up after a storm to get to work, but market forces eventually worked their magic on that station — they were out of business within a year, many of us in the neighborhood never forgetting the prices and sight of the truck filling their tanks the morning before the storm.

    Florida didn’t need anti-gouging laws.

    The Labor Day Weekend “shortage” up and down I-35 after Harvey was an ridiculous Clear Channel stunt (which I’ll bet many of them regret after waiting in those lines) in coordination with the then new Gas Buddy app developers, but I now check the vehicles every time a storm might go anywhere near the north end of the Gulf.

    For about six months after Harvey, even the slightest Winter storm warning would mean a packed parking lot, stripped bread/water shelves, and gas lines at the local HEB.

    Like a gas truck can’t roll with ice on the roads. Puh-lease. Maybe in India.

    We have plans in San Antonio again Labor Day. I’m tempting fate, but, except for work, we’ve been stuck at home all summer, at the mercy of kid schedules and endless anime reruns.

    Yeah, we’re going to an anime show, but I get a trip to Shilo’s in San Antonio and the people watching at the show is excellent.

    “Princess Peach needs a better shave.”

    “The male ‘superheroes’ need underwear.”

    Last year, I even bought something. Unfortunately, the new “Star Blazers” reboot isn’t the same as when I was a kid and the new independent station in Tampa, run out of what was literally a barn on the east side of town, aired the early 70s Japanese imports out of desperation and without much attention from the local church types — who demanded “Star Trek” and “Bugs Bunny” edits of the other indy station.

    In the new “Star Blazers”, the starship’s chief engineer isn’t a drunk and the robot isn’t pervy. Sigh.

    I wonder what they would do to the original Big Kahuna of anime in the US, “Battle of the Planets”, but that one might get a free pass because if you watch closely, the enemy leader is either a drag queen (American dubbing) or a woman (Japanese soundtrack).


  67. even the slightest Winter storm warning would mean a packed parking lot, stripped bread/water shelves, and gas lines at the local

    That happens all the time here. The slightest indication from the news stations about a storm and the stores are packed with the milk and bread shelves stripped.

    The thing that irritates me is that the local news stations are in on this crap. The weather people, in their feeble minded attempt to trump other stations, generally predict the worst. This allows the station, in case the storm is bad, to advertise they were there with the most accurate forecast, team coverage, whatever. It is all a marketing ploy.

    These same stations always look for a local angle on any big disaster. Airline crash. They find someone who use to live in the area who knows someone that was on the plane. Earthquake somewhere, find someone that used to live in the area whose divorced partner lives in the area. Get them on the phone and ask stupid questions.

    Lot of the responses is “it looks like a war zone”. Really? How do they know? The closest they have come to a war zone is fighting over a TV on black Friday that is selling for $10.00 less than the normal price.

    But it makes for good tabloid TV. Keep the people scared and thus compliant. Ticks me off.

    We don’t really want warfare with our future neighbors

    You may already have. Let the building commission handle the neighbors. That is their job. As for the sewer line, block it, not your problem. If that line ever needs replaced your property is the one that will get damaged, not theirs.

    I fought Comcast over their lines running across my property. Power company had an easement, Comcast used their poles. But Comcast did not have an easement and the power company cannot sublet easements. Cost Comcast about $25K to have the lines moved. I had sent Comcast a letter giving Comcast 30 days to remove the lines otherwise I was paying someone to remove them, as in cut out the offending lines, and bill Comcast. All within the law and within my rights. Comcast fought back with stupid statements that were totally untrue and threats that if followed up would have them in trouble with the state. Comcast made the deadline by three days.

  68. I won’t evacuate for anything below a Cat 4. I am a good 10+ miles from the shore, relatively high (for Florida) and have good drainage. My house was built to the revised Miami-Dade county building code, and I confirmed it. I have plenty of supplies, except I need to fill the gas cans and exchange a propane tank, which is planned for today.

    Not my first rodeo. THIS is why I prep.

  69. “Let the building commission handle the neighbors. That is their job. As for the sewer line, block it, not your problem.”

    We’ll play conciliatory exactly once: So sorry, not for whatever they think we’ve done, but for the apparent communication problems. Suggest that we sit down face-to-face and sort it out. They can either bury the hatchet, sincerely, or we’ll do exactly as you suggest. They can’t stop us building the road, and their sewage situation is – as you say – not our problem.

    Their last message reminds me of the early days of email, when people forgot that they weren’t yelling at their computer, but at another person. That’s why we’re suggesting a personal meeting. They’re a professional couple roughly the same age as we are, building their future retirement home. We’ll be neighbors for a long time…

  70. That happens all the time here. The slightest indication from the news stations about a storm and the stores are packed with the milk and bread shelves stripped.

    Yes, but I kinda-sorta see the sense of buying in advance of a Winter storm in Tennessee.

    We get ice in Austin, but local annual snowfall is measured in fractions of an inch. Nothing a delivery truck can’t handle. I do pretty well in my Camry.

    The only people who have to sweat our worst Winter weather are the homeless … and Tesla owners.

  71. I won’t evacuate for anything below a Cat 4. I am a good 10+ miles from the shore, relatively high (for Florida) and have good drainage.

    My wife did pretty well through a couple of storms in Hollywood.

    Living inland in Tampa is no guarantee. What was the swamp between Tampa and Clearwater 40 years ago got drained and built up to minimum grade for houses. The Cat 1 evac zone extends well North from Old Tampa Bay, and most of the new developments on the Hillsborough/Pinellas county line are living on borrowed time.

    Many of the houses already have settlement issues from the cr*ppy fill.

    We lived in Brandon, on the other side of Tampa, 200 yards from the highest natural point in the county. I didn’t sweat anything below a Cat 3 because we kept our trees trimmed and lived in a house built properly in the late 80s.

  72. I’m relocating to Alabama from North Carolina. I just purchased a home on the south edge of Deatsville – about 15 miles (ten as the crow flies) north of Montgomery.

    I’ll be adding a workshop about 300 feet from the house. I want to share the house cable line (which provides internet access) with the shop. I’ll also want to install a CCTV security system which lets me see what’s happening around the shop when I’m in the house or what’s happening around the house when I’m in the shop.

    How should these be connected? Is WiFi good enough? Will WiFi reach that far? Is a buried conduit for cables necessary? I really don’t want any overhead lines.

    I’m going to have to run water and a gas line to the shop from the house. The electric service will be a new feed to a meter at the shop. Placing a cable conduit in that trench may not be that expensive.

    Thanks

  73. Hey Bob, if you are going to have a trench anyway, put a spare one inch conduit in there if possible. That will let you pull whatever you want later. Keep in mind that buried conduit is considered a ‘wet’ location and any cable in it should be rated for wet use.

    That said, I’d lay in a run of quad shield RG6 coax cable, and a couple of runs of cat6. You can probably get away with direct burial, depending on soil and rockiness. Or fill the conduit you’re putting in.

    Keep low voltage lines separated from high by a foot if possible, or use shielded low voltage.

    WRT the cams, I figure if you have to run power to them, you might as well run data too, ie. use PoE capable IP cameras. I’d put a PoE switch in the shop, with the local (mounted in or on the shop) cams connected to it, and networked back to the house and a second PoE switch at the house for the cams mounted on the house. Many ‘pro-sumer’ level NVRs have an integrated PoE switch to make it all as easy as plugging in analog cams used to be. So you can just use the NVR as the switch in the house. Most NVRs have an app, or a built in web server that you could access from the shop to see the displayed cam video. Set a cheap or used pc up in the shop just to display the NVR page….

    If you weren’t trenching from the house to the shop anyway, I’d make the link for data with ubiquiti Nanostation M2Locos. About $100 for a pair, run in “cable replacement mode”, to the network they look like nothing except a cable. Plug the shop one into a switch locally, and you have your house network out in the shop.

    WRT wifi, you can alternatively use the Nano as an access point, and point it at the shop to provide better coverage and range, but then you are limited to wifi for everything out there. If it doesn’t move around, I like to wire it rather than use wifi.

    So, if you have a trench, run a couple of cat cables and a coax in the trench, or at least an empty conduit. Use 1″ minimum to make your pull easier. The additional cost is negligible. If you just want the minimal effort, use the coax. You can get a MOCA adapter and run cable tv and ethernet over the same coax, killing two birds with one stone. Cat cable is cheap though, and an extra run is cheap insurance. I’ve never regretted pulling an extra.

    For cams and NVR I’ve had good luck and good value from Speco. http://www.specotech.com

    I like to buy them from B&H https://www.bhphotovideo.com/ where I get the ubiquiti gear too. Over $50 and shipping is free, no tax unless you are in NY… price is good too.

    n


  74. Yes, but I kinda-sorta see the sense of buying in advance of a Winter storm in Tennessee.

    We don’t get much snow. If we do it is generally gone within a day, two at the most. Same with most of TN with the exception of the Smoky Mountains and perhaps the plateau. Still does not last more than two or three days. It is all panic buying nourished by the media in their attempt to attract viewers.

    In the 32 years I have lived here we have had exactly one event that lasted four days. Thirteen inches of snow. Roads were cleared in a couple of days. I just stayed home. Bunch of billybobs in their jacked up 4WD vehicles ventured out. Many wound in the ditches as stopping is always an issue. They may be able to go in poor conditions but stopping is the same for everyone.

    Is a buried conduit for cables necessary?

    Never mind. What @nick said.

  75. Hey Bob, if you are going to have a trench anyway, put a spare one inch conduit in there if possible. That will let you pull whatever you want later. Keep in mind that buried conduit is considered a ‘wet’ location and any cable in it should be rated for wet use.

    The contractors around here add a spare four inch PVC line to all of the trenches that they build. I have a spare four inch PVC line between all three of my office and warehouse buildings. But, it was not put into the well house building for some reason.

  76. Subbing today, half day. Some of the rules have changed for the subs. Teachers used to be able call a sub directly. Teachers have their favorites. Not anymore. Must go into an online system and get a confirmation number. Teachers don’t like it, staff does not like it, subs do not like it. But some official at the district office likes and thus it becomes law. Never mind the fact that the official has never used the system, never talked with anyone that uses the system. District is probably paying money for the system and I suspect there were some, ahem, incentives given to someone.

    Already booked for four days in one week in September by the same teacher. She contacted me direct and will put the assignment into the system later. Thus gets who she wants.

    What I don’t like is that pay is based on the online system. Somehow the information on who subbed when is migrated to the payroll system. Thus I now have to keep accurate records along with the confirmation codes for the assignments.

  77. @Bob Sprowl

    I second the recommendation for conduit which gives you the option to easily pull multi-mode fiber (MMF) if you wish (ground-loops with copper can be annoying).

    .mg

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