Sun. Sept. 1, 2019 – yikes, we’re headed for fall

Cool and humid, I’m guessing.  [90F in the shade, 100F in the driveway at noon.]

It did get hot yesterday, but locally spotty rain and high winds kept temps down.  It was relatively cool at my secondary location, which gave me a chance to work on restacking stuff that needed restacking.

I found a package of Kirkland AAA batteries, labeled “good til 2023” that all burst and grew big mounds of gunk by their ends.  That will be going back to Costco.  I’m keeping rough track of my spoilage as I go through the stuff I put up in 2014 during Ebola 1.  So far, it’s the batteries and two cases of UHT milk.  The milk is a fairly short lived product, not suited to long term storage.  $36 gone so far.  I put it up for fairly immediate use, and because of the kids, but I haven’t put any milk in long or even medium term storage in a couple years.  I do still have some liter boxes, but they are really only backup for cereal if I miss a trip to the grocery store.  I’ve got Nido powder on the shelf for long term.

I’ve shifted away from the Nestle’ canned “medium table cream” too.  It will turn to a block of cheese-like substance in the can if it sits too long.  I have been stocking powdered cream instead.

I suppose I should count the case of instant mashed potatoes too, since they died in the garage storage.

Maybe I’ll try a carton of hash browns this morning… they are from the same period and are probably high in fat.  High fat items seem to fare the worst.

The prepper bible says ‘store what you eat, eat from your stores’ and that will help you rotate your food.  I’ve known from the beginning that there were items I stored that we do not normally eat, or that we eat in much too small a quantity to ever keep up with the rotation.  Most of those items are shelf stable meals (which are generally horrible tasting) in my ‘medium term’ stores, or bulk items like rice and flour, salt and sugar.  The shelf stable meals aren’t cheap, but they do go on sale.  The flour and rice are  so cheap I don’t mind replacing them (although the totals will add up.)  Salt and sugar don’t go bad if vermin are kept out.

My storage conditions are far from ideal, but having food and getting some spoilage is much preferred to not having food that doesn’t spoil.  So I deal with it and accept that there will be losses.

What isn’t good form is losing track of it.  I’ve got a lot of improperly stored panic buys at my secondary location.  Ebola spooked the heck out of me last time around so I was just throwing food into storage.  I’ll be going through it as I dig it out over the next few weeks.

I’ll be sharing the results so all y’all can benefit too.

And now, I better go cook some breakfast.

 

n

 

43 thoughts on “Sun. Sept. 1, 2019 – yikes, we’re headed for fall”

  1. People watching at the San Antonio anime show yesterday, I noted that one of the regular show vendors, a small company who sells kimonos, had a dramatically smaller presence this year. Apparently, bad PR from a competitor had an impact. The Interwebs have a huge downside when running a small business.

    https://www.tangerinemountain.com/

    We’ve bought things from them at shows over the years and never had a problem, even the $30 “mystery bag” kimono (really nice wool blend).

    UPDATE: Network problems at the hotel this morning. The number of nerds here this weekend has overwhelmed the cell and WiFi networks. The camps’ free streaming/WiFi will need much better infrastructure than even a Hyatt or Hilton.

  2. Wow, it is September. The year is going fast.

    Just looked at the at&t dsl bill for the house. We used 521 GB last month. That is a lot of tortured electrons.

    I am planning on getting a cable Internet at the new used house. Who knows what will happen.

  3. This is long but well worth the read, as it summarizes and codifies many ideas people here will identify with.

    “But today’s wars of ideas are not random – they are consistently being fought in a new and particular direction. And that direction has a purpose that is vast. The purpose – unwitting in some people, deliberate in others – is nothing less than to embed a new religion into our societies.”

    Not a “new” religion–Marxism.

  4. From @ayj yesterday:

    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!

    I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1982. I have been a licensed Professional Engineer in The Great State of Texas since 1989.

    I have taken a course in computer programming in my life. I took CS 204 (or 304, I do not remember), IBM 370 Assembly Language Programming at TAMU in 1980. I did take a advanced placement course for Fortran in 1978 at TAMU and got credit for both Fortran courses they taught.

    My dad and another prof started ChemShare Corp in 1969, an engineering firm selling chemical process simulation software. I started working with one of his Ph.D. Chemical Engineers in 1975, I would keypunch his Fortran subroutines, get them to compile, and hand him the cards. I already knew him as he lived with us in my bedroom while I slept on the living room couch for a couple of years. He was one of my dad’s grad students at OU in the 1960s. I started adding my own code to the software in 1977, still a senior in high school.

    I am hoping to extend my career another 10 years to age 70. A lot depends on what happens to our business and what happens in the marketplace. And, my ability to write more features into our software and manage the business.

  5. There is something very screwy with the coverage of the murders in Odessa.

    The headlines and articles are all assuming that this was a planned attack, with a goal. Not naming the dead guy is stinky too.

    All the reported evidence points to a criminal in possession, and a traffic stop gone wrong, leading to going out in a blaze of glory…

    I’ll add, with NO evidence that this is the case, that the drug agencies here in Houston almost always use uniformed officers, under the pretext of a routine traffic stop, to pull over and arrest people they’ve been surveilling. I’m starting to get the feeling of a bust gone wrong here, not a mass killing averted by law enforcement.

    I also want to know, how many shots did the cops fire? That blue pickup with a dozen holes in the window? How does “firing indiscriminately” jibe with a tight group in a window?

    And why evacuate the theater, when you have a shooter and a crime scene right outside the front doors?

    n

  6. Does anyone have a suggestion on an inexpensive police scanner? Here in the Antelope Valley it looks like the sheriffs use frequencies at about 483 MHz.

    In this rural area we don’t actually get a lot of crime, but when we do hear sirens or see choppers it would be nice to have a way of finding out what might be going on. There’s a prison nearby and an occasional Escapee.

  7. @nick@17:07

    It wouldn’t surprise me if most, or all, of the deaths and injuries came from the police agencies, like Waco II.

  8. I watched an interesting video on the “Trump tweeted a classified photo” story… Look up Scott Manley on the tube. He says the size of the spy satellite mirror is known, which dictates the resolution, about double what is visible in Trump’s photo.

    Secondly, it’s clearly a cell phone camera image with bending near the corners. If you look carefully at the top left there’s a black box with straight edges.

    The picture Trump tweeted had the resolution lowered, and AFTER it was taken, a black box was added to hide something. The photo was not Trump randomly exposing classified information, it was done deliberately.

  9. From @CowboySlim yesterday:

    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).

    I took two courses in Mechanical Engineering thermo and one course in Chemical Engineering thermo at TAMU. Plus a few more senior electives in Heat Transfer, HVAC, CFD, and Piping. I learned a lot more from great engineers and figuring out broken plants.

  10. I am hoping to extend my career another 10 years to age 70. A lot depends on what happens to our business and what happens in the marketplace. And, my ability to write more features into our software and manage the business.

    When I got out of grad school at 48 and ended up at CGI, I told my wife that I would give it a year and then hang it up if nothing better came along. I didn’t want to turn 50 with my career prospects limited to filling a quota in places like the “Onshore Center of Excellence”.

    Something *marginally* better came along, but I’ve become acutely aware of the passage of time as of late, with friends and family dying from things other than accidents or stupidity (drugs, alcohol), and I don’t see wanting to put up with music major management beyond the point where we get our youngest out of high school in five years.

    70. God no. That would be Y2038, the next “Y2k” problem. No thanks. Even reasonable managers turned into a**hats in 1999, and we ended up with offshoring and H1B. Who knows where the labor for, arguably, a much bigger problem will come from, but I’m not under any delusions that I’ll cash bigger paychecks.

  11. 70. God no. That would be Y2038, the next “Y2k” problem. No thanks.

    Hey, that will be right when the financial apocalypse in the USA will be happening with 100% inflation per year. Social Security ain’t going to cut it then.

    But, I will be 78 in 2038 and just five years away from the oldest man known to live with a single coronary artery, 83. Since I doubt that I will make it to even 78, you will be on your own to fix the 2038 crashes !

  12. Not much luck with the text size of this site on my phone. Google (surprise!) is not helpful. Poking around at Mozilla is just poking around. Sure, I already know how to ctrl + to enlarge text on a web page. On my PC. No need to mess with about:config. A ctrl key on my phone is …. where?

    I’ve looked at various Accessibility settings but I don’t want all of the text and icons on the phone super-sized.

    Not a big deal. Chrome displays larger text and word wraps so site layout is not trashed. Firefox? Maybe in a few months. Maybe this is all an android 8 “feature”. Or an LG feature. Or a Verizon feature. I have an app called “Raindar”. It’s just the radar from somewhere to show rain. The fonts in it, on this phone, are at maybe 4 points for Burnet. Austin and SA about twice that. Zooming in doesn’t stick. If I wanted to know about rain in Corpus Christi I would zoom out. Ditto for the DFW metro area. Grump grump grump. 🙂

    As for being spied on, I’m sure Google has that baked into the OS. But, make it a tiny bit harder for them by not using Chrome, you know?

    Also. This new phone lets me tether. So when my ISP pukes, I can still use my PC. If I’m not home and remember to take the Kindle, I can hotspot.

    I walked by the fridge this afternoon with a fork. Stabbed a chunk of pot roast. Cold from the fridge and needs a little salt. But sometimes I’m salt hungry.

    A storm rumbled through this morning. I didn’t know about it until Missy hopped onto the bed. It’s hard to not notice a 95 pound dog that wants to cuddle because of the scary thunder.
    Penny? “Whatever. Pet me.”

    Almost an inch of rain. Enough to make the yard look sort of green this afternoon.

  13. Interesting. Looks like Rick is playing.

    Yep. On my PC running Waterfox there is now a dark border around the page and there’s no longer a margin on the left of the content. Different but tolerable.

  14. Rick certainly has been playing, the site looks completely different.

    Gotta get the keyword links and the recent comments back on the page. I know I’m not the only one who refreshes and looks at the recent comments to see what’s new.

    n

  15. @nick:

    Keyword links and comments are on the page. If you are on a bigger screen, they will be on the right sidebar. If your screen is smaller, then they are pushed down below the posts or comments.

    Typical way that responsive design does things….the content (the posts/comments) is important, so they have priority over the sidebar stuff.

  16. @ed, regarding scanners, it depends on your area and if your agencies of interest have moved to digital (P25).

    If they are still analog, any cheap older scanner will work, but some are MUCH easier to use. If they are trunking, you need a trunk tracker scanner.

    It’s not cheap, and it is getting long in the tooth, but nothing is easier than the Uniden Home Patrol II. I love mine for digital and analog. I have a nice discone antenna and I can hear lots. The key is that it has a built in library. you tell it where you are, and it will load up all the local stuff, and it has alpha tags so you know who you are listening to.

    The pure analog, but trunk tracking, and built in library handheld that I started with is the Grecom PSR-700 EZ scan SD. The PSR-800 is available used on ebay for between 150-250.

    RadioReference.com has tons of in depth info, and is the database the other radio manfs use to update their frequency lists. There are ways to use their scanlists in other radios, but they start getting complicated. Check there to see what’s in use in your area. You might be able to get by with a used analog scanner.

    http://www.scannermaster.com seems to be a decent place to buy new, and they offer a programming service for scanners that don’t have built in libraries.

    I still have a couple of analog scanners running. They are fine for ham bands, most areas only have one or two active repeaters and that is easy enough to program in by hand. They cover air, marine, frs and gmrs, and the business (Color Dot) frequencies just fine. Plenty of other services still use analog and non-trunked freqs too.

    Hope that helps!

    n

  17. Lynn et altri

    I do not believe that IT and more specifically building software are worthless things, far from it, but I learnt (guess) that everything that could be automated is going to be automated, as example, frameworks, as cycles are cheap.
    Good? Bad? who knows but is the same as plumbing as Nick said, 50 years ago a plumber was professional people who earned a live form him and his famuly on a one people job for 4 or 5, now? nope DIY finished everything and prebuilt Mc Mansions finished it.

    Surely there is job to fix things, but ot to build as60 years ago, IT is going to be this, and, worst, you could not do offshore fixing plumbing, IT?

    And the last paragraph is crucial, well since 90s I am/was low end manager, so, the complete reengineering and C suites left me out, and I know if I was plumber, I was in better position.

    well stop the rant

  18. “The photo was not Trump randomly exposing classified information, it was done deliberately. ”

    –I don’t know why people think he’s an idiot. Like the Bushes were idiots. How is it comforting to think the President is a dribbling moron?

    — how many idiots become billionaires? I don’t care who staked him, or how many times he used the bankruptcy laws, no one gives money like that to a moron.

    –whatever his other problems are, lack of intellect isn’t one of them.

    n


  19. — how many idiots become billionaires? I don’t care who staked him, or how many times he used the bankruptcy laws, no one gives money like that to a moron.

    –whatever his other problems are, lack of intellect isn’t one of them.

    @nick, but don’t you know Trump is just the front man! I know a guy who completely believes Trump either just got lucky turning 10 million into billions, or is the front man for the real Nazis. Rationality has left the planet.

    @Rick, it looks good on desktop and Brave (chromium) on Android.

  20. Hey rick, where do the icon/avatars come from in this theme? how do I get a pic to use there?

    n

  21. @nick

    Avatars for users are in your profile. If you are logged in, you should see the black admin bar on the top, and on the top right a “Welcome, “. Click there and “Edit Your Profile”.

    Or, as an Admin, you can go into the users list and edit your user and add you avatar.

    Ah, I see that “Gavatar” is used for your avatar (see https://en.gravatar.com/ ). You have to log in with your WordPress.com user account (different from the one here) and go from there.

  22. But, I will be 78 in 2038 and just five years away from the oldest man known to live with a single coronary artery, 83. Since I doubt that I will make it to even 78, you will be on your own to fix the 2038 crashes !

    They’ll fix you up with a lab-grown heart. It will be “all hands on deck” for Y2038.

    Just stay out of UT Southwestern’s transplant program. The doctors are scared of the nursing staff. Of course, one of the nurses killed my father-in-law (long story) so maybe there is a good reason for them to be scared.

    I’m on mini strike again this weekend. My work laptop is off until Tuesday morning. We were supposed to be done as of yesterday, but that wasn’t going to happen regardless of whether I worked all weekend or not.

  23. @Greg:

    70. God no. That would be Y2038, the next “Y2k” problem. No thanks. Even reasonable managers turned into a**hats in 1999, and we ended up with offshoring and H1B. Who knows where the labor for, arguably, a much bigger problem will come from, but I’m not under any delusions that I’ll cash bigger paychecks.

    Jordan Peterson: What Kind of Job Fits You?

    “If you go into a job and you’re not smart enough for that job, you’re going to have one bloody miserable time.”

    ISTM that it’s also true if you’re too smart for the job.

    You’ve got another fifteen (?) years of productive work life ahead of you. Do you really want to spend it playing second fiddle to idiots?

  24. @rick, I don’t know anything about gravatar, other than it’s a cross site comment thing, somehow like disqus is a comment platform. Don’t know how it’s providing (or not providing) an avatar….

    The site is looking pretty much like it was, but the avatar thing means a quarter of the page on the left side of the main post text is empty. At least in FF. That means that for the post section, there is less screen width available than before, and the post turns into a narrow column down the center of the screen.

    When you get down to comments, the text starts at the left edge.

    Since there are a limited number of actual posters here (you, me, and Jenny) I don’t think we really need the avatar on the left of the main post.

    n

  25. I looked at the gravatar link, and I don’t think I have a wordpress account for nick flandrey… unless my site admin here counts? I’ve got a couple of old blogger sites I don’t update, whatever links to my youtube stuff, and my home/family site which may be wp, but I certainly won’t be linking that persona and this one…

    So I guess I’ll still be a shadow.

    n

  26. Oh, one weird thing the new theme does, when you type past the bottom of your screen in this comment box, it doesn’t automatically scroll down to show the lines. In other words, if the bottom of the comment box isn’t on screen (for me) I can type past the bottom of my visible window, without the window scrolling up. Normally, if you move the cursor past the bottom of your visible window, it scrolls so you can still see the cursor.

    I have to move the mouse out of the comment box and scroll wheel to get the last line of text and the bottom of the comment box to display.

    Not a big deal, but different or I wouldn’t be tripping on it every time.

    n

  27. @nick:

    I just enabled the ‘2016’ theme, one of the standard with WP. Did tweak it a bit to get rid of the black border. And to add the red highlight of visited comment links.

    As for the comment box, if I go past the default box size, then things scroll as I type.

    The ‘gravitar’ column area holds the post author and date and categories, so would have to take a bit of work to get that to be different. Can’t fix it with CSS (easily).

    The white space for the gavitar column area goes away on smaller screens.

  28. It was interesting to see the post author, and the tags, but it makes for a column of whitespace when one of the chief reasons for a change was to make the post text easier to read…

    I see that at some window widths it goes away and the post text starts on the left edge.

    I’ll have a chance to do some reading and commenting from my phone tomorrow, wife decided we’ll be going to the beach. On labor day. with 10 thousand other people. an hour and a half from home. Not my idea of fun.

    n

  29. Hey Rick, where did my login option go? It was at the bottom of the list on the right…

    n

  30. @nick:

    The main reason for the change (in my mind) was to add some responsiveness so that it could be read on a smaller screen without any zooming or scrolling or pinching or whatnot.

    The width of the text (content) area is very similar to the prior theme. And the new theme has some CSS ‘media queries’ to rearrange things (or remove things) for smaller screens….one of the big advantages of a well-designed responsive theme.

    I think the text is a bit easier to see (different font, I think). On my 17″ laptop screen, the content width is about the same as before.

    As for your login links, I’m not a big fan of advertising the login URL, although anyone with any tiny bit of knowledge about WP knows what it is. Just add ‘/wp-admin’ to the journal URL, and you’ll be OK.

    Have fun at the beach tomorrow with 10K of your closest friends…

  31. Thanks Rick, scheduled tomorrow’s post.

    If that avatar thing wasn’t there, I would think everything was pretty much the same but better…. and oddly, I haven’t had the really long reload times today, or yesterday either iirc.

    n

  32. You’ve got another fifteen (?) years of productive work life ahead of you. Do you really want to spend it playing second fiddle to idiots?

    I made two fundamental mistakes with my career:

    1. Moved to WA State without a job in hand at 42. Can you say “age discrimination”?

    2. Assumed that if (1) didn’t work out, my wife was finally out of the stage in her life where she was too trusting/naive to make real money in medicine. Bzzzt. The WA clinic robbed us blind.

  33. I made two fundamental mistakes with my career: …

    And you’re still young enough to make a successful career change. Just don’t get stuck with the idea that it has to be primarily IT-related.

    I had an opportunity at age 51 to get out of programming and I muffed it. Don’t you make the same mistake!

  34. Re: Scanner Radios

    Scannermaster.com is a good place to start shopping.

    Uniden seems to make the best and have a range of models to fit every budget. The lesser priced models, while capable require more than a bit of radio knowledge and programming patience/skill. The HomePatrol II, while not inexpensive (~$450) makes listening to local services EASY. It uses the radioreference.com database of freqs via a USB connected PC and trunking systems by zipcode, optionally GPS, or text entry.

    OTOH, my local metro cops went to a proprietary encryption system a few years back and are un-hearable. Just recently, the county sheriff’s dispatch (responsible for freeways) vanished too.

    Today, I’d look at radioreference for my location and see what trunking systems are in use for the services I’d like to hear and compare with what the radio can decode.

    I do most of my listening in the car, hooking up the radio every time I get in. A lot of what there is to hear is trivia from traffic stops, shift change minutia and phonetic spelling of violater names and license plates. Learning 10 codes (10-4!) is very useful. Occasionally BOLO’s or other interesting specifics are among the chaff.

    Re: the new theme. Found the previous/next links at the bottom instead of the top of the page, no huhu. Didn’t see a comment box at all for Nick’s tomorrow post via the calendar link. Chrome on Win10. Probably user error.

    EDIT: There are scanner apps for Android phones (probably Apple as well) that might be the least expensive means if, IMO, slightly perverse internet magic.


  35. He says the size of the spy satellite mirror is known, which dictates the resolution, about double what is visible in Trump’s photo.

    If you assume that the mirror is the same diameter as the Hubble (which is the largest you can get in the shuttle payload bay and at one time spy sats were going to be launched by the shuttle), math shows that for the estimated orbital altitude, you get 4 inch max resolution. Which will be degraded by atmosphere, dust, and looking in any direction but straight down.

    That photo could well have been from a spy sat or from an aircraft (drone, U-2, SR-71, etc.).

    And, since Trump is head of the executive branch, he can declassify anything he wants to.


  36. If you assume that the mirror is the same diameter as the Hubble (which is the largest you can get in the shuttle payload bay and at one time spy sats were going to be launched by the shuttle), math shows that for the estimated orbital altitude, you get 4 inch max resolution. Which will be degraded by atmosphere, dust, and looking in any direction but straight down.

    I believe the video said this image looks like 10cm, approx 4 inches, but the spy satellites could get down to 5cm . He agrees on the 2.4m hubble mirror idea. The photo has definitely been edited.

    The BBC had a pointless article titled “Did Trump just tweet a classified photo?” which didn’t discuss the question.

  37. @nick & nightraker:
    Thanks for the info and links, I’ll look it.

    P.s. I like the new layout, easier to read on the phone.

    And it’s nice that the email dialogue field no longer auto-capitalizes.

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