Sat. Aug. 31, 2019 – ‘It’s coming right for us…’

Mid-70s and humid, I’m guessing. Because I’m still in bed. Sleeping. [78F and 93%RH at 8:30am]

Time to get serious about preps if you are in Fla.

Better to be prepared, and just tweak it a bit when we go from “Eh, not very bad” to “OMG, OMFG, it’s coming right for us and we’re all gonna diiiiieeeeeeeeeee…..”.

I expect everyone here is pretty well prepped, but if you came in today from the googles, the info you are looking for is under the keywords on the right. There is a depth and breadth of prepping knowledge captured here, and much of it is in the comments, so don’t skip reading those on the appropriate days.

Hopefully, it will turn out to sea, but I wouldn’t hold my breath…

Anyone with specific help or lessons learned should chime in in the comments below.


52 thoughts on “Sat. Aug. 31, 2019 – ‘It’s coming right for us…’”

  1. 0. GET OUT!!! Earthquakes have no lead time, tornadoes very little. Hurricanes do. The woman who was Governor of Louisiana during Katrina, cursed be her name, died recently. She had the authority to commandeer every school bus in the state before the storm, move them to Nola, and help evacuate the city. She didn’t do so. There’s a whole lot to debate / argue over in what happened to that city, but the essential point is GET OUT! If you have any serious underlying medical condition, GET OUT! A lot of people here died later, because they went quite some time without their dialysis / cancer treatment / heart medicine / whatever. I left the day before the storm hit here, had not trouble doing so, and was fat, dumb, & happy, dry, comfortable, well fed, etc.
    1. Learn to live without a cell phone. The cell phone networks here died, and people were helpless. In particular, out of town recovery workers couldn’t navigate because they depend on a cell phone as a GPS device. And a huge number of people were livid that they couldn’t do all the silly things with their phones that they’ve come to depend on. You and your kids might have to go a few days without playing Pac Man, visiting The Face Book, et al. Oh, and when the telecoms are down, your credit card & ATM are down. A store which is open, but takes cash only, isn’t very helpful if you don’t have real money rather than the pretend kind.
    2. Have a couple of out of town contacts that you can get in touch with who will then spread the word. I went an hour west, to where the telecom was working, made three calls, and let the grapevine take care of the rest.
    3. Drinking water was amazingly available after a very short period, as was food. But don’t rely on the charities, have some stored for yourself. This has been discussed here many times. A couple of cases of Gatorade can be a lifesaver, too. During & after hard labor, alternating Gatorade with water can be very helpful. And don’t push it on your physical labor, unless you are used to it. After about four hours of clean up a day, I could feel my bad leg start to drag, and I was done. It doesn’t have to be done today.
    4. A small generator and a quantity of gasoline can also work wonders. Again, this is a common theme here. What many many people here needed last fall was the ability to power an electric chain saw or Sawzall, and to keep one cell phone charged. A fan is nice, refrigeration & cooking are nice, but many people were trapped in their houses because no one had any way to get them out. The Cajun Navy & Chain Saw Army were Godsends, but the demand far exceeded their supply.
    5. First aid, including your prescriptions, and for the women this includes tampons. We had no functioning hospitals here. Their ERs were depending on generator power, so they could stick up a minor cut or take Xrays. If you broke your leg, they put you in a ground ambulance and evacuated you two hours west. If you were having a heart attack, they tried to stabilize you, and evacuated you via helicopter. But damage to the telecom systems and roads make it very difficult to even get to the barely functioning ER.
    6. Boots, good socks, gloves, and goggles are not optional when doing repair / rescue / recovery.
    7. Have copies of all your important documents – identification, insurance policies, wills, lists of personal property, photos of your home and everything in it, and have them burned to a DVD and stored with a friend or family member who lives far away. My cousin in Dallas wasn’t affected in the least when the hurricane hit here last year.
    8. Finally, if at all possible, GET THE FUCK OUT!!!

  2. Learn to live without a cell phone.

    Get a real landline if you live in hurricane country.

    I *never* lost phone service in FL except when the cable company cut the wire to the house digging a new coax feed for the neighbors.

    Traditional copper is tightly regulated and protected from monitoring by law … for now. Even VOIP services from the phone company (FiOS, Uverse) are not the same.

    As I’ve said before, The camps will have WiFi and free streaming services. Disney+. HBO. Netflix. Watch all you want between shifts making batteries for Elon. Just don’t ask what’s *in* the batteries fueling the ride for the Cocktail Waitress’ Green Gestapo. You won’t like the answer. 🙂

    “He’s the real live Tony Stark!!!”

  3. We had no functioning hospitals here. Their ERs were depending on generator power, so they could stick up a minor cut or take Xrays. If you broke your leg, they put you in a ground ambulance and evacuated you two hours west. If you were having a heart attack, they tried to stabilize you, and evacuated you via helicopter. But damage to the telecom systems and roads make it very difficult to even get to the barely functioning ER.

    The moment AC goes out in those buildings and the mops stop moving, you won’t want to be anywhere near a hospital, especially with an open wound.

    You’d actually be better off in a Red Cross first aid tent. Or an Old Navy serving as a makeshift clinic.

    Superbugs don’t breed in Old Navy as a general rule.

    Even with systems at 100% in Vantucky, Kaiser outlets and the clinics run by my wife’s former employers were hot zones for the measles pandemic (yes, I know what that word means — the situation qualifies).

  4. I came back to town on Sunday 10/14. When I got home, to one of the lesser affected areas, I had electricity, which was wonderful. I got land line phone & CATV service back on 10/21, my provider was able to link subscribers in this part of the county to the system to our west. Stable internet service (part of the same package) didn’t show up for a few more days. I don’t off the top of my head remember when the cell phone came back to life, but it was quite some time. Almost all of the first responder agencies used the same cell phone network, and they were hamstrung for a very long time. It’s not a good idea to put all your eggs into one basket. It might cost a little more, but having the command staff on different systems might make life a little more functional in time of crisis.

  5. I keep an offline GPS app on my phone. It’s come in handy several times in remote areas when ATT craps out. I try to travel with my solar charger JIC.

  6. As Greg notes, both hospitals here were unsafe. Blown out windows = rainwater, potentially contaminated, running down the hallways. System wide power failure = open sewage on the floor of the lowest level. One of the two is officially re-opened, the other has about 20% of its beds available. I wouldn’t want to be hospitalized in either for the next several years. Infection control & mold are going to be a problem.

  7. As Greg notes, both hospitals here were unsafe. Blown out windows = rainwater, potentially contaminated, running down the hallways.

    The rainwater was fine … until it hit the hospital floor.

  8. @duffer, thanks for the reminder about the conditions in the hospitals. It’s not just that you can’t get there, or that the lines are long, it’s that they are dangerous in the best of times, and potentially deadly in the worst due to infection.


  9. I keep an offline GPS app on my phone. It’s come in handy several times in remote areas when ATT craps out. I try to travel with my solar charger JIC.

    HERE maps and OSMAnd can cache the entire country if you have a big enough SD card in your phone.

  10. In Hong Kong, the rioting continues, and they are using images of Pepe the Frog! Hail Kek!

    and TPTB are spraying the crowds with blue dye, probably to make them easier to round up later. Nothing at all sinister about that. The pics show protesters with lots of safety gear, including goggles and respirators.

    Something to think about.


  11. HERE maps and OSMAnd can cache the entire country if you have a big enough SD card in your phone.

    That little hole on the bottom of my iPhone is where the card goes, right?

  12. ”That little hole on the bottom of my iPhone is where the card goes, right?”

    Seriously… as an Android user, I was trying to suggest to a couple of iPhone owners how to transfer contacts lists or something like that, and they didn’t know anything about data cards. I didn’t dig into it, so I don’t know about Apple…
    Could somebody provide a summary?
    Most (older?) Androids have the slot inside, behind the battery cover, but what about an iPhone?
    Added: Android often can transfer a contacts file via Bluetooth; I knew that.

  13. Apple doesn’t have a card slot on their mobile devices. Everything is done via iCloud (net) or iTunes (direct or WiFi) or 3rd party apps.

    iOS/iPadOS 13 will have the ability to attach external drives to mobile devices. I’m sure some smart 3rd party apps will let you transfer data easily that way.

  14. ”That little hole on the bottom of my iPhone is where the card goes, right?”

    I think that’s where you pour in the water 😛

    Edit: WordPress now translates my perfectly fine old-fashioned ASCII symbols into an emoji? (That was colon-dash-P) I’m not sure that’s a positive feature…

  15. I think that’s where you pour in the water

    That’s probably what I would do if I ever were to own an iDevice. Seriously, I didn’t know that iDevices don’t support internal micro SD cards or even external devices. This would be a problem for me. I remember plugging SD cards (with an adapter) into my original Galaxy Note to back up photos while on trips. Then, I copied the photo files to other external SD cards. I had whatever max size micro SD card the Note would accept inside it.

    Later, with a Note 3, I even hooked up an external portable hard drive. The phone powered the drive just fine, although it did drain the battery faster than just the phone. There were even adapters that could inject power into the cord to the drive to charge the phone’s battery, but I never bought one. It didn’t take long to do the transfer, so the phone’s battery was fine.

    Why a hard drive? For one, it had a lot of capacity that would have cost quite a bit more if using flash cards (USB or SD.) The external drive was left over from when I used to carry a notebook computer on trips. I used it as a backup. Later, I substituted my phone, and skipped all the hassles of carrying a computer through airport security. I haven’t been out of the country or traveled by air in about six years, so things are probably different now. I would worry about carrying any kind of large capacity data storage device, a computer, or even a phone now. Not sure what I will do if I ever go on another trip. I would think copying a few hundred GB to the cloud overseas would be impractical.

    Oh, and I would use the cloud for some emergency data that I would not want to risk to the security snoopers. Yeah, the cloud is also risky, but I do use it for some things. Nothing is perfect.

  16. Muh prepping this week:

    From the Lipton site. Just the old basic, no “sautéed onions” or celery or other foo-foo stuff.

    Slow Cooker Pot Roast
    1 Tbsp. oil
    3 lbs. boneless beef pot roast (rump, chuck or round)
    4 carrots, sliced
    4 medium all-purpose potatoes (about 2 lbs.), cut into 1-inch pieces
    2 envelopes Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix
    3/4 cup water

    1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and brown roast.

    2. Arrange carrots and potatoes in slow cooker. Top with roast and set aside.

    3. Combine Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix with water in glass measuring cup. Add to skillet, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Add soup mixture to slow cooker. Cook covered on Low 8 to 10 hours or HIGH 4 to 6 hours. Remove roast and vegetables to serving platter.

    4. Thicken gravy, if desired, by combining additional 1/4 cup water with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until thickened.

    – –

    I scrubbed and peeled the carrots and potatoes. Browned the roast off in an old pan on the side burner of the grill. Bacon grease. Outside…. with smell and grease spatters. The veggies were in the crock, put the meat on top, poured the cup of water with soup mix into the pan… to heat it as much as to de-glaze. Poured that into the crock on the meat and knocked about a third of the dried onions off of the meat.

    It’s now outside. On the patio. So we don’t get tired of smelling it…. and hey, keep the heat out side. Smells drooliciously great.

    The dogs don’t care. Missy is “it’s too hot to go out unless my bladder is about to burst” or the driveway announcer goes off and Penny is all about chasing lizards.

    The prepping part? The mix was from HEB, not Lipton. The expire date was April 2014. The mix was in a plastic lined envelope. The paper was peeling off of the plastic liner. Each package had a spot as if the plastic had a hole… but by using the “wet finger taste test”, the stuff was fine.

  17. I was gifted an iPad a couple of years ago. His wife died and he thinks a flip phone is complicated.
    I wiped it and played for a couple of weeks…. and I didn’t see where it did anything better than my Kindle Fire. Other than having a larger screen, that is. And it’s HEAVY.

    I gave it away. She loves it.

    I have a burr under my saddle with Apple. I can’t count the times QuickTime PUKED a PC to the point that format c: /u was the only fix. No Apple stuff here, I’m not supporting it.

  18. One more….

    I installed Firefox on my phone. This site looks the same as on my PC. Same text, word wrap. I can’t read this site. The text is so small that by time I have zoomed in enough to read, I have to scroll from side to side. The text of ingredients on a tube of toothpaste is larger.

    There’s probably an about:config setting. I have not looked.

    Meanwhile, Chrome looks the same but starts with a slightly larger font and it wraps the text a bit.

    I’m going to figure this out or just give up and be tracked. [shrug]

  19. Active shooter situation in Odessa.
    And Midland? Two shooters? Two vehicles?
    USPS truck?

  20. I just put a 512 GB SD card in my late model Galaxy phone, replacing a ~125 GB model. 1 TB cards are available but $prohibitive$ IMO. Many devices that store to SD chips specify a max size that is bogus. Much larger drives will work just fine. I did have a micro voice recorder that would scan the SD card at boot, so larger wasn’t better for that toy. Otherwise, I’ve had good experiences ignoring the manufacturer’s suggested limit.

    Keeping an app’s attention on the SD card for data storage rarely survives an update cycle (I’m looking at you Kindle for Android app). My now older Samsung tablet complains Internal storage is running out, if I’m not paying attention. Moving the data again (!) to the card and then confirming it has really “moved” instead of “copy” is a PITA, but isn’t hard.

    Flash thumb drives with matching hardware ports (standard PC USB AND micro-USB or USB “C”) are available for not much and are usable in the phone’s charging port too.

  21. I’m running iPadOS 13 beta on my iPad Pro. I’ve connected various memory cards and drives without a problem, so the final cut will be major. Even my hardware encrypted flash drive worked.

    The next MacOS drops iTunes for three separate program. Hopefully even better sync on Macs. Windows gets stuck with the existing iTunes.

    The iPad Pros now all use USB C, it looks like iPhone 11 will follow suit. As usual, Apple will introduce innovative features that Android has had for years and claim they invented it. Lol! I won’t be upgrading my iPhone until next year sometime. The September Apple Event should introduce iPhone 11.

  22. Re: this site on smaller screens.

    A while back (before RBT passed), I mentioned to him that the site needed a better ‘responsive’ theme. Made a few suggestions, but he didn’t like any of them. Didn’t want to do any of the tweaking involved, and (although I asked) he didn’t let me change things either.

    These days, I believe there is more of a need to have a ‘responsive’ site, since many visitors use smaller screens to access things. The stats that are running here don’t differentiate between screen sizes, but does show browser usage. Can’t conclude anything about screen size from the existing stats.

    But, I’d recommend that it might be time for a new (responsive) theme here to allow non-desktop users (smaller screen sizes) to easily view the content here.

    I could change things to something similar to one of my WP sites: or the Chaos Manor Reviews site (but without the graphic).

    Both of those sites appear to look good on smaller screens (tested with the Ctrl+Shift+M function that emulates other devices).

    How do those sites look on smaller screens? Should we (I) change things here ? Or leave things alone? (Note that content or comments would not change, just how it looks on the screen.)

  23. Should we (I) change things here ? Or leave things alone?

    This site ain’t broke; there’s no need to “fix” it.

  24. I use FFox on my desktop, with 24″ monitors, and text set in windows at 120% and I STILL scroll zoom this (and almost every other) site to 170%. So I’m maybe not the best case.

    On my phone, I usually pinch zoom, and turn sideways. I zoom until the comments list is off the right side. I still have to squint a bit, but it’s better.

    I worry that the mobile reflowing breaks something else…


  25. Hit a couple of sales today. Bought 2 cases of ready to eat meals, 12 meals per, for $10 each. They are past their best by date (by a few years), so the included M&M snacks might be old tasting, but I bet all the freeze drieds are fine.

    I think they’ll be better than the cases of MREs I have which are older than that, by a decade.

    They went into my secondary location, which is “we’re in deep if we’re here, so any desperate measure is ok.”

    Also got a couple dozen irrigation syringes at a yard sale. Still in sterile packaging, and not out of date.

    Didn’t see many yard sales, but it is a holiday weekend.


  26. It’s not broke. It’s just me.

    Chrome and Firefox look “just alike”. It’s that FF doesn’t resize the text the way I want.

    Yes, leave the site alone. It looks fine on my Kindle. I’m going to blame all the problems on Oreo. Er, whatever it is called. Android


    Anyway. I just made the best pot roast any of y’all will ever taste. Just saying.

  27. Back on “topic” it bears repeating that the cone of _uncertainty_ for the _center_ of Hurricane Dorian remains over a lot of Florida, and plenty of Georgia and the Carolinas. This is a very bad storm which could even get worse. Even without landfall a long and wide swath of damage all along the coast, and a ways inland, is still quite likely.
    Most of the regulars here are plenty aware of all this. I hope anybody new to the prepping game is already heeding the long repeated advice in the sidebar topics.

  28. Oh, I have a 24″ monitor and I do not have Windows doing any kind of “going blind” with giant fonts thing.

    On some websites I have to zoom to 120 or 130 % This site is fine.

    On my PC.

    The whole reading this site on my phone is my problem. And I’ll just get over it. And stop being a whiny bitch.

  29. Any change to add ‘responsive-ness’ to this pace would only affect those that look at this place on displays smaller than desktop/notebook (with 15″ or bigger screens).

    Those with smaller devices (anywhere from phones to tablets) would be able to see the content without needing to scroll or pinch-zoom or turn things sideways or other contortions.

    The two sites that I mentioned look just fine on a desktop/laptop screen, but also look fine (and is readable) on smaller screens. The site would still have a clean, and non-cluttered look: a wide column for the content, and a narrower sidebar. (On phones/small tablets, the sidebar would be below the content.)

    But posts and comments (and the form for entering comments) would be much easier to see/view on smaller devices if there was a change to a more responsive theme.

    The current theme here is ‘Twenty-Ten’ which ought to tell you how old it is – and why it doesn’t look good on small screen devices.

  30. ” I just made the best pot roast any of y’all will ever taste. Just saying. ”

    Printed the recipe. Thanks, Mr. Paul.
    It’s not all that different from my old pressure cooker roast, but I bet
    the soup mix adds a lot of special goodness!
    Bet it’s easy to adapt to a dutch oven and wood coals, too…

  31. You guys need to trust Mr. Rick…
    Though of course he’s probably not
    smart enough to “put it back”
    if it doesn’t work. [GRIN]

  32. @spook ….

    Though of course he’s probably not
    smart enough to “put it back”
    if it doesn’t work.

    wanna bet ???

  33. I vote for leaving it as is. 45% of my viewing time is on a pc, 45% on my iPad, and 10% on an iPhone 6s. PC and iPad are perfectly fine. The iPhone text is small, but ALL text is. I personally like the style of the site.

  34. Went to go see “Blinded by the Light” with my 80 year old dad this afternoon. The movie was quite good. Started off slow and finished strong. The movie is about a muslim kid in England in the 1980s loving Bruce Springsteen’s music. The movie spends a lot of time showing his personal struggle trying to straddle the line between islam and being English. Other than the Glee scenes, I quite enjoyed the movie and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. Dad liked it lot too.

  35. BTW, when we got to to the movie theatre, an AMC 24 screen, they were telling people to go home. Saturday at 4pm. We had a microburst and they lost power and apparently with no power backup to their servers. All their servers were down (each screen has a server) and the ticket takers have a server. So, they let us in on Dad’s prebought tickets but said to get a refund from customer service. So Dad got two ticket passes worth any time usage.

    So we were looking for another theater and not finding much of interest. One of the ushers said that they had gotten the small screen servers (20 of them) back up. So we trooped down to our screen auditorium and the coming features started after a while. We got to see our movie after all. And Dad kept his passes.

    I cannot believe that a place so dependent on servers does not have UPSes. That is just crazy. And they never could get their ticket server up so they were turning people away when we left on Saturday, their prime sales day.

  36. Seriously, I seldom ‘surf’ with a phone, and I’m not a voting member here,
    but I do bet Rick can make the place more useful for phone users without
    the rest of us even noticing.
    Nick complained about problems with phone access, recently, as I recall.
    Of course, eventually the rug-rats with their tiny screens will take over…

  37. This week in our little software development shop was both frustrating and somewhat satisfying. I started the week with 6 of our 627 benchmarks failing to work properly. We practiced our own version of agile programming by usually two of us debugging a problem on my pc trying to understand what was was going on. Or maybe that is scrumming, I really have no idea. Last night at 11pm, I was down to just one failing benchmark. I started the benchmarks again and left for home. Hopefully nothing new popups in my fixes and I stay with just one problem benchmark.

    My software development experience is very different from @Greg. We just develop desktop Windows software, two thirds Fortran and one third C++, around 1.3 million lines of code. I am extending our thermodynamics methods from three phases of vapor, hydrocarbon liquid, and aqueous liquid to four phases by adding solids. With all of the cryogenic work going on nowadays (LNG, etc) , our customers needed it years ago. But, the interactions in our software have been difficult at best. It is all about the exceptions in our algorithms creating unique solution paths through the software. I call it navigating the plane of convergence through the hills of maximums and valleys of minimums. Sometimes the valley past the next hill is a better solution than the valley that you are in.

    No matter what, I still advise people to consider STEM careers and computer programming. I still love it, having worked in this since 1975. I practiced death marches for decades but I cannot do that anymore as I approach 60. I know plenty of people who do it though.

  38. WRT changes here,

    –if the user experience for desktop will remain the same (ie, you can’t tell there was a change by looking at it),
    –and the phone experience gets better,
    –and the change is both easy to do and easy to roll back if it breaks something,
    –and you want to undertake it,

    then I’m for giving it a try.

    My SOLE reason, is that when I’m traveling, I find myself working on the phone, which limits me somewhat. In particular, my MAIN issue with the way the site displays on the phone is that when making a comment, if it gets more than a couple of lines long, my “Post comment” button gets pushed down where I can’t see it, inside the comment box. If I forget and do that, I ‘cut’ most of the comment, until the box reappears, post the truncated comment, ‘Edit’ the comment, and ‘paste’ back what I cut.

    If that got fixed, I’d have no real reason to want any changes at all, as I just pinch zoom, or turn the phone sideways.

    I’ve adapted to the machine…


  39. As Spook says, this hurricane is currently no joke. The whole coast is going to get a good walloping, and the states north as well.

    And it’s worth reminding everyone that the “consensus” is just an average of different models, which is a BS way of doing it. Weather, especially extreme weather isn’t an average. No one really knows what the track will do, until it does it. The average of 10 wrong predictions is still a wrong prediction.


  40. WRT the shootings in Odessa/Midland, the reporting is very strange.

    Attempted traffic stop turns into a chase with the guy shooting at random, then they lose track of him and he hijacks a mail truck? Something isn’t right here. And there were a lot of bullets flying, with cops not known for their accuracy.

    There is a dearth of info about the shooter other than “white” being in all the headlines, I guess we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

    One thing I know for sure, the democrats tweeting lies is par for the course. And they are factual lies. “No other country” bullsh!t. “Epidemic of gun violence” bullsh!t. NOT supported by the FBI’s own statistics. (and if the stats are cooked, that’s biting them in the @ss now that they want crime to be up…)


  41. and in other news stories–

    “Terrifying moment high school football players run for cover as gunman shoots nine people at the final whistle of a game in Alabama

    Deangelo Parnell, 17, surrendered to police in Mobile, Alabama on Saturday
    He is charged with nine counts of attempted murder, according to authorities
    Parnell allegedly shot nine people at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Friday night
    Shooting took place after high school football game between LeFlore and Williamson
    Parnell is a student at LeFlore, according to Mobile police ”

    –police chief condems “foolishness” “‘We’re going to ask that the community help us by identifying those individuals that they know that bring this type of foolishness out to these type of events.'”


    Not the tool, but the guy holding it–

    “‘Afghan asylum seeker’ knifeman launches rampage at bus stop in Lyon and kills a 19-year-old man on his way to a music festival and hurts nine others before being arrested

    Attacker lunged at bystanders in bus stop outside metro station in Villeurbane
    Of those who were injured three are believed to have been seriously wounded
    A 19-year-old man on his way to a music festival was stabbed to death in attack
    Video online purported to show passersby restraining 33-year-old perpetrator ”

    –kitchen knife. when they aren’t available, then it’s battery acid or petrol


  42. Rick, this site AND your two examples look just fine to me. This is on Chromium on a Linux desktop and Chrome on my Android Note 3. I used to use FF on both, and it was fine, too. I can see the difference on the “responsive” sites, but it doesn’t matter to me. I have always liked this site.

    For Paul, buried in the settings of your mobile browser, probably somewhere in Accessibility, is a Text Size adjustment. Try that, it makes a difference, similar to zooming just the text on a desktop browser. Should end flipping from portrait to landscape, scrolling lines, and pinch zooming.

    And, your roast sounds good except for one thing: you didn’t invite me 🙂

  43. No matter what, I still advise people to consider STEM careers and computer programming. I still love it, having worked in this since 1975. I practiced death marches for decades but I cannot do that anymore as I approach 60. I know plenty of people who do it though.

    When people ask about their kids in STEM, I tell them to have the child aim towards studying a hard science which involves computers (of course, most sciences do anymore), and consider IT work only as a fallback.

    Despite “accreditation”, too many CS and engineering cirriculums are too watered down IMHO at the undergraduate level in the name of “diversity”, and CS Masters degree programs at many schools have turned into OPT diploma mills.

  44. My Twins are *about* seniors in their micro biology degrees. They just finished Organic Chem I and OC II. Tough courses, both with labs. Now in bio chem. Every class they go to seems to have less and less students. They use PCs in the labs regularly. They get to use the scanning electron microscope this semester.

  45. Lynn
    You made a company thru software, but I guess you begin as engineer, who discovered you could do money doing software for a niche with your basic skill (engineering).
    The opposite is not true, are you a CS who discovered thermodynamics? I guess no, so, IT was and is a tool, dont study that!

  46. I’d like to think that since networking and IT is infrastructure, eventually it will become like plumbing. You have companies with journeyman plumbers with a book learning knowledge base tempered with years of experience under the guidance of more senior staff. New installations get inspected for following code, which is just current best practice.

    Of course, then as now, there are a lot of handymen doing plumbing, and a lot of cheap immigrant labor doing the hard and dirty part of plumbing, and there are lots of people getting it wrong.

    A good plumber charges $150/hour and is WORTH it. The cheap guy charges $150 a visit.

    BTW, there is a shortage of good plumbers, and likely will be for some time.


    (I know, IT resists licensing and oversight requirements. Eventually it will happen because the field becomes mature.)

  47. Lots of people doing plumbing work that are unlicensed. As long as you pass inspection by code enforcement, there are situations where it is permitted to do your own work. The same for electrical work. And lots of work is done, mostly poorly, by people without training, experience, or licensing.

    Some areas of the country have a stronger tradition of licensing and stronger belief in the system by the customers and the tradesmen.

    No commercial projects are done by unlicensed plumbers. The WORK may be done by a guy with no training or certification, but the LICENSE HOLDER is held legally responsible for all the work done under his supervision.

    The license requirements are not onerous or particularly expensive. Most insurers require the contractor to be licensed for the work they are doing, as do guaranty bonding companies.

    There is nothing secret about networking or plumbing. They are standards based and well documented. There is no reason to treat internet and network infrastructure as if they were arcane magic any longer. It’s grunt work for laborers to be done under the supervision of more knowledgeable managers.

    The main difference that I can see is that you can’t “see” the network stuff with your eyes. Tools that allow you to see and verify that the work was done correctly will be needed to take that last step of moving networking into the mundane world of infrastructure- critical but largely invisible infrastructure.


  48. The opposite is not true, are you a CS who discovered thermodynamics? I guess no, so, IT was and is a tool, dont study that!

    I did that in reverse, took a real course in thermodynamics on my way to an engineering degree. Along the way, the youngest professor that I had made it an informal, 1 week task in learning Fortran then coding up a sample problem (1961).

    In my professional career I was always classified as an engineer and my assignments were primarily engineering. However, I was asked to create, develop and code engineering programs when it more convenient to have me do it. Without formal training, I had to teach myself CS as I went along. Needed to have the company library buy a Visual Basic for Applications book for me. Used the book to learn how to design, develop and code programs for Work, Excel and Access to produce program documents for our rocket launches (1996).

    WRT to Lynn’s business, as a Chemical Engineer, I have a strong concept of what he does.

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