Fri. Sept. 6, 2019 – you are not alone…

Cooler, but humid.  [75F and 96%RH]  End of summer weather in Houston. Super hot by late afternoon though, hit 109F in my driveway yesterday.

Dorian continues to wreak havoc and destruction as it heads up the coast. The pictures out of the Bahamas are of devastation. 70K displaced people is a LOT for that area.

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As it turns out, FEMA tracks preparedness in the general population, and it has been increasing.

This graphic summarizes the 2018 survey results compared to 2017.

 

“Estimates from the 2018 NHS suggest that an increasing percentage of the American public are actively preparing for disasters.

57% percent have taken three or more basic actions to prepare. That’s eleven percentage points higher than last year’s estimate.
94% percent have taken at least one action to prepare.
67% percent of adults have set aside some money for an emergency, although most have set aside less than $500.
When focusing on areas at higher risk of certain disasters, residents in areas at risk for hurricanes are most likely to have taken preparedness actions.”

You can read the story yourself at https://community.fema.gov/story/FEMA-Releases-2018-National-Household-Survey-Results-on-Individual-and-Community-Preparedness?lang=en_US

Prepping is going mainstream. There may be hope yet.

n

50 thoughts on “Fri. Sept. 6, 2019 – you are not alone…”

  1. Ok, that may be a bit of an over-exaggeration. Certainly not mainstream, but also not the fringe activity it was.

    I see it as another brick in the wall as society collapses. People are realizing that the institutions they previously had faith in are failing, or have failed, or never were useful in the first place.

    n

  2. Nick: Great information. Thanks.
    At the moment I am anti-prepping, drawing down my stored supplies, in preparation for my move in December. I am looking forward to re-prepping once we get to our forever home and will be making changes I never did to this temporary house.

  3. Took my wife for her post-op exam with the vascular surgeon. While the surgery was “successful” his changes had reduced blood flow to her right hand and she is loosing feeling in it. So … sigh … they are scheduling another surgery to open her up from elbow to shoulder to resize and realign the veins for use in dialysis. The surgeon noted that if they tried to use her current veins it would likely rupture resulting in, and I quote, “quite a mess and significant risk to continued health”. We have to get this sorted before we loose Cigna insurance at the end of the year. We are not happy campers.

  4. @ harold, that is not happy news. I hope you guys can get a successful outcome soon. I’m sure the uncertainty isn’t helping.

    n


  5. We have to get this sorted before we loose Cigna insurance at the end of the year.

    Good luck in you and your wife’s medical adventures.

    My wife required back surgery. We knew this in August of 2018. But insurance refused to authorize the surgery until my wife went through multiple physical therapy sessions and multiple tests. We had already met the deductible for the year and were very close to reaching the maximum out of pocket.

    What the insurance company did was force the delay in the procedure. Thus in January of 2019 the procedure was authorized. Guess what? A new deductible and maximum out of pocket year. This effectively allowed the insurance company off the hook for about $8,000.00 which came out of my pocket.

    It was intentional on the part of the insurance company and not “procedure”. The delays, therapy, tests, etc. were all designed as a delay tactic to force the procedure into another calendar year. Even the doctor was not happy and said basically the same thing. He had seen this done multiple times by insurance companies. Spread the procedure out over as many deductible years as possible. And in some cases hoping the patient will expire.

    Bitter, yes. Pissed yes.


  6. I see it as another brick in the wall as society collapses. People are realizing that the institutions they previously had faith in are failing, or have failed, or never were useful in the first place.

    Puerto Rico, anyone? They still blame tRump for not doing enough even though it is now evident their goobermint did nothing. They just went through 3 goobernators in a week for corruption. There is no doubt their goobermint milked every penny from the peeps. No backup infrastructure maintenance and no money. That’s the first thing I throw in their face when whining about the “tRump took all the FEMA money for PR to build the wall…” Geez, how do you make a logical argument with these people. I mostly keep my yap shut since they are feeding me at their abodes in FL.

  7. Thoughts on resources to gain a modest amount of knowledge about C#?

    Environment uses C#, .NET, on SQL 2008 backend. Would primarily need to be able to understand at a novice level what C# is doing, not necessarily program in it. That would be a whole different kettle of fish.

    I’ve got experience in power shell, python, Java, JavaScript, and VBA (please no mocking was a long time ago) as my foundation. I’ve done DotNetNuke installs and am solid on SQL and queries.

  8. Thoughts on resources to gain a modest amount of knowledge about C#?

    Codecademy has a free course on C#. I just checked.

    C# is heavily influenced by Java. I’ve always looked at .Net as being an evolved version of Microsoft’s Java runtime which allowed ActiveX/OLE objects to interact with user code seamlessly.

    When Microsoft had to deprecate their own Java 20 years ago, they rented a limo, drove into the parking lot of Borland HQ in Scotts Valley, and took the languages development team to lunch. The rest is history.

    The dirty secret of iPhone apps is that the back end is often C#/.Net REST since Windows and SQL 2008 are a lot more predictable than Java on Linux talking to Oracle. The big downside is the performance of the back end is often lacking, partially because of the platform and partially because a lot of the work gets outsourced overseas, done by what passes in India as an “engineer”.

    IronPython is a Dot Net implementation of Python which worked extremely well while it was still actively supported. I think support is currently lacking, however.

  9. Rick,

    Thanks for your efforts on this site. I just looked at it on my desktop, and it is very close to what was before you started. (Yeah, I know, but some of the improvements are subtle.) I particularly like NOT using the gray highlighted quote box.

    Also looked at it on my phone. After some playing, I chose the “Desktop Site” option, which is just as you might expect. This might be a feature tied to my Note 3 phone, but I use it often because I don’t like some sites’ mobile look. In this case, I didn’t like having right hand column stuff at the bottom. I like scrolling quickly to get to the end of the comments, and with all the stuff below it takes looking to find that instead of just fast scrolling.

    Good enough. As Ray said a while ago, this site is about content!

    Oh, I guess I should mention that blasted Jump to the Top arrow. I am learning to avoid it on my phone, but it can be really disorienting if I hit it accidentally. I guess the majority like it, so it must stay, but I wish it would appear only when at the bottom of the page. BTW, on a desktop, I don’t use a pointing device (mouse, trackpad, etc.) much. Why, when there are perfectly good navigation (Home, End, Page up, Page Down, cursor, etc.) keys that make it so much easier?! I am certain many folks here have used or maybe still use systems that don’t support a pointing device. Comments for discussion?

  10. “He Went Shooting With His Mom. Now He Can’t Return To School.”
    https://bearingarms.com/cam-e/2019/08/29/went-shooting-mom-now-cant-return-school/

    “A Colorado teen has been told he cannot return to school until authorities hold a “threat assessment hearing” after he went target shooting with his mother. Nate Evans, a junior at Loveland High School in Loveland, Colorado actually got a visit from police after he posted video of his plinking with his mom Justine according to the Colorado 2nd Amendment group Rally For Our Rights.”

    Do not tell anyone what you are doing with regard to guns. You too can be a victim of “see something, say something”.

    Hat tip to:
    https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/its-now-incendiary-to-say-there-are-two-genders-25542/

  11. I have noticed that visited links, like to Duntemann’s site do not change color. AKA visited links. Not a big deal.

    I uninstalled FF on my phone. Chrome seems to display differently. I have no idea. I suppose I goofed a font setting somewhere. Well, the dang phone is tracking me, the browser might as well join the party.

    I found a setting where I can block a number. And I found where that is stored. Much easier than having 45+ numbers in a contact named Spam.

  12. @JimB

    – the ‘quote’ (blockquote) text is highlighted with a grayish background (lighter gray), with a little green vertical bar. I wanted the blockquoted text to stand out from regular text, but didn’t want the gray to be too ‘loud’.

    Like this: still visible, but not ‘intrusive’ to the rest of the content. Visually, you can tell that it’s not the main ‘content’ of the comment or text.

    – the ‘go to top’ arrow was originally placed there to give me a quick way to scroll to the top of the page so I could quickly click on the link for the next day if I was still going through the previous day’s comments. But that next/prev day link is no longer at the top of the page, but underneath the comment box, so I don’t use it as much. (Still working on getting the next/prev day’s links at the top also.)

    The arrow doesn’t appear until you scroll down on the page, but it’s a quick way to get to the top of the page. It’s supposed to stay out of the way otherwise – although maybe not as much on a smaller screen.

    – the color of a link when ‘visited’ is set to red only on the ‘latest comments’ area. That’s to help people see where there are new comments since their last visit. Other links do not have a separate color when visited because they would be ‘distractive’ (IMHO). Links such as those for other sites would *always* be another color once you visited that site. So not much advantage there. But showing comments as ‘visited’ is useful when you come back to the site and there are new comments to read. And the comments here are a big part of the appeal of this site.

    – having the right sidebar move to the bottom underneath content (the main section) on smaller screens is required, I think – and very common on many sites. The main content area is the main focus of the page – and the visitor’s attention. That content is why people are on the site. So that gets priority on smaller screens. The sidebar content is useful, but not the main focus.

    If the sidebar was left on the side on smaller screens, then the main content would be *really* skinny on some screens – maybe only 2-4 words per line. And that would be very hard to read, I think. So, since the main content is the most important part, it gets the priority of display on smaller screens. The sidebar, while containing useful information, gets pushed down below the important main content on smaller screens.

    The overall intent of the new theme – and the subsequent tweaks – was to not have a big change in the look of the site. But to allow for those that visit with smaller screens to be able to read things without left-right scrolling or zooming, etc.

    I welcome any suggestions for making the site better and easier to use for all.


  13. Do not tell anyone what you are doing with regard to guns. You too can be a victim of “see something, say something

    Exactly. Don’t post your shit to social media. It’s OK here. Dr. Bob called this place “unsocial media.”


  14. I uninstalled FF on my phone. Chrome seems to display differently. I have no idea. I suppose I goofed a font setting somewhere. Well, the dang phone is tracking me, the browser might as well join the party.

    Try Brave on your phone. I like it and it blocks many tracking cookies. Desktop Brave has “Private with Tor” tabs, in which .onion URLs actually work!

  15. I have a stupid question.

    My TV remotes get “intermittent” in that buttons stop working. I can pull the remotes apart and clean the contacts with rubbing alcohol.

    With my 19″ $700 Mitsubishi, the remote was made of metal and each button was separate. So, yes, “stuff” got in there. The current remotes have all of the buttons on a sheet of something. Some kind of plastic. It seems silicone rubber wouldn’t be making the contacts “oily”. But the oily stuff interferes with the carbon (?) in the buttons making contact on the circuit board.

    Maybe clean with something other than alcohol?

    Or just buy new remotes. It’s a Vizio VUR8. Very lame on the Universal function.

  16. @Greg
    Codecademy
    Thanks. I like site, thought they’d probably be a good source but wasn’t sure. I enjoy the history lessons and backstories that you share. Absolutely fascinating.
    I’ll take a crack at it this weekend. My semester with three classes just began so it’s going to be an intense 8 weeks. The instructor for the Operating Systems class posted that C++ is a required skill. I’m going to grunt it out for a couple weeks and see how true that is. If I don’t have to actually CODE in C++ I suspect I can make it thru the material. Otherwise I’ll drop and take a C++ class too. Wahoo!

    @CowboySlim
    The FaceBook link for Stu Nichols declares itself unavailable, logged into FB or not.

  17. I don’t know what to say here. These people claiming 40 ? 70 ? genders do not make any sense.

    Ted O’Baxter cited a book in a recent podcast that argues anyone opposed to anything in the left’s agenda is a racist. I imagine that similar books are in the works for all the snowflake taxonomy.

    One will eventually come along that claims my dislike of Tesla and opposition to an Apple buyout is because I’m trans-phobic.

  18. just buy new remotes

    Just buy a new remote. They are cheap. I have Comcast as a provider and I walk into their local office every 6 months and ask for a new remote. They give it to me with new batteries for no charge. I then program the remote for the TV and life is good. I think I have about 8 or 9 Comcast remotes sitting around. I actually have two in the living room so the wife and I don’t have to share.

  19. Thoughts on resources to gain a modest amount of knowledge about C#?

    Environment uses C#, .NET, on SQL 2008 backend. Would primarily need to be able to understand at a novice level what C# is doing, not necessarily program in it.

    C# rapidly became the darling of the .NET development world. I’d say it accounts for the overwhelming majority of jobs coding in .NET. There’s LOTS of resources out there. Heck, you can google up just about any coding solution you want. Just run a search for things like “How to write to a text file in C#” and you’ll get 1000 examples. If you’re familiar with Java or any C-based syntax it’s fairly readable. StackOverflow.com Q&A is extremely helpful.

    You may want to upgrade that SQL Server 2008 backend. I believe SQL Server 2008 end-of-life was July 2019.

    I don’t know what to say here. These people claiming 40 ? 70 ? genders do not make any sense.

    Gender is a social construct and as such is, and always has been, a spectrum. As a spectrum there are infinite variations. We just used to equate gender with sex and assume it too was binary. I’m fine with gender being on a spectrum. I really don’t care which pronouns you prefer. If it annoys me or I find myself frequently forgetting which to use, then I’ll just use their name instead of their chosen pronoun.

    To avoid the arguments I try to use “sex” instead of “gender” and say “male/female” instead of “man/woman.” Sex is biological. You have XX or XY chromosomes. It’s not really open for debate.

  20. Whew, it got hot. Up to 105F in my driveway.

    Just got back from my costco run.

    Spiral sliced ham is $2.29/pound. That’s pretty good. Ground hamburger in bulk was 2.89/pound so I bought ten pounds. Any time it gets below $3 I’ll stock up.

    Pork shoulder roast was $1.99 which is double HEB when it’s on sale. All the other beef and pork looked about normal or a bit low for costco. It still isn’t as good as HEB so I didn’t buy any. Bulk pack eggs, $3 for 24ct, HEB has them at 2.28 for 36ct so I’ll stick with HEB.

    They have added a new variety pack of Mountain House Freeze drieds. $60 for 16 servings, vs $50 for 12. A couple of the servings are BS, granola and berries, so the per meal isn’t easy to figure out. The new box has completely different entrees from the old. The instant packs of starbucks coffee were also on sale 1/3 off, so I got some. I usually add coffee, koolaid, and instant oatmeal to each Mountain house box, to fill out the meals a bit. Then I reseal the box, label it with X meals for X days, and put it on the shelf. I think of the cases of MH as ‘bug out food’ as it’s light, varied, easy to prepare, and already packed well.

    I was up late, didn’t sleep well, and spent three days working in the sun and heat. I’m wiped out. Given my ‘druthers, I’d be asleep on the couch right now. That’s not gonna happen though.

    n

  21. I just found out that HEB is doing 10% off of HEB brand through the 10th. Tuesday.

    Does not apply to Central Market or Hill Country Fare. Just HEB brand.

    10% is 10%. Might top off the pantry….

  22. Major League Soccer Declares Betsy Ross Flag a ‘Symbol of Hate’”

    That’s despite it flying at Obammy’s Inauguration, where a poem was read, that ended with the line “and white must do what’s right” which was CLEARLY racist and was spoken by an avowed racist.

    “Just how long can this stupidity continue?”

    –until the shooting starts

    n

  23. @Jenny:

    That FB reference is not me, last name spelled differently. Next time we meet, I’ll bring my passport.

  24. Amazon has an “Emergency Prep” page with lists and example items.
    Don’t have to buy there, but it has some pretty good ideas to motivate and provoke.
    This is an especially good start for newbies, I guess…

  25. @lynn, the kid with the range day has returned to school, AFTER his hearing, which should have never taken place. They school has warned him not to post anything like that (sounds like prior restraint) and that [because of their actions and over-reaction] his classmates might treat him differently.

    Oh, and the school admitted that their snitch line is often misused.

    n

  26. Oh, and the school admitted that their snitch line is often misused.

    Um. Burner phones or pay phone or just borrow a phone and give “tips” on various cop and polytick persons…. Go for the entire Red Flag thing you lib commie folks.

    It’ll be interesting. Not as intended, but still, “sparky”. They are not gonna like it when all the PC crap comes back to them.

  27. “He Went Shooting With His Mom. Now He Can’t Return To School.”

    He’s a Junior. If this had been pulled on me when I was a Junior I would right then have been done with High School.

    And you know what? No job I’ve applied asked for a copy of my diploma.

    Hell, Senior year was a total waste of time. English 5 because “college bound” like /I/ was asked. The rest was filler. I spent most of my time making busy in the Library. Dicking with the Xerox machine was orders of more interest than a random history class taught by a Coach who “just” spoke English. Sorta. The Principal was cool. He jumped on my ass and was then pretty much like “whatever, go a couple of times a week and do the homework”.

    Senior year was actually fun. I didn’t care if I passed or failed. I’m going to get a diploma either way.

    And yeah, did some college and yeah, scored an A+ in Freshman English 101. Ditto for English 102. Nice teacher, boring class full of mouth breathers. One book, some Willa Cather thing, “it’s hard to read”. Er, I read “My Antonia” in 6th grade.

    Let’s pass on how “Grapes of Wrath” messed with them. “High Literature”. I read that in 7th grade for fun.

  28. Cowboy Slim, I am not on Facebook. All I get is a prompt to log in.

    If it involves a trip, no. I am going to be home for a while.

  29. Looks like greg is right again!

    My employer had IWG (Regus) space earlier this year and it sucked. And IWG is supposed to be the experienced player according to the article.

    Even $20 billion is too high for the IPO, but a lot of VCs holding similar situations don’t want WeWork to bring down the whole mess, even if it is not really a tech company. If they’re listing on the NYSE, the specialist is going to be busy.

  30. On the subject of tech unicorns, I had an Impossible Whopper today out of curiosity.

    Tasted like a Boca Burger with “Burger King” flavor, probably from the clever chemists at IFF who doctor most processed foods. The Whopper needs more flavor doctoring.

    If you invest, use what Dr. Pournelle called your “beer money”.

    I ate a *lot* of Boca Burgers at my crash pad in Seattle. I bought them in bulk at Costco and the individually wrapped patties kept well in the freezer. I know the taste well. The Impossible Whopper has the same after effect. Soy is impossible to mask effectively.

  31. I’ve had a free Regus membership for 6? 8? years and never used it. I thought I might after I quit working for BigCorp and went into consulting, but I never needed neutral ground for a meeting.

    There sure is a LOT of Regus here in Houston…

    n

  32. There sure is a LOT of Regus here in Houston…

    I don’t know about Houston, but co-working space in Austin seems to be about companies having just enough of a presence to justify the write off for execs wanting to partake in the Bacchanalia on 6th Street.

    I was approached by [big High-frequency Trading] firm about a possible job with them around this time last year, but, beyond the ethical issues, I passed on the interview because their only current presence in Austin is WeWork space downtown.

    We extended an offer this week to a guy working for another HFT firm whose Austin presence was similar in scope.


  33. Can you tell me what this is

    https://www.lndinc.com/products/geiger-mueller-tubes/71210/

    What it’s used for, and what I might do with 16 of them?

    I understand it’s some sort of radiation detector, but not what sort, and where or why you’d use it.

    They are mounted on a carrier board, and daughterboarded with what is probably a microcomputer…

    It’s a tube for a Geiger counter — the usual sort of radiation detector that emits a click each time a radioactive particle hits. They’re worth selling on ebay. The “energy compensated” bit means that they have a bit of shielding incorporated in them so that more energetic particles are more likely to produce a click, so that counting clicks gives you something of an energy count, not just purely a particle count.

    The circuit boards may also be useful to the sort of person that would buy a tube, though it’s easy to get modern electronics for that.

  34. @norman, thanks!

    “The “energy compensated” bit means that they have a bit of shielding incorporated in them so that more energetic particles are more likely to produce a click, so that counting clicks gives you something of an energy count”

    That’s one of the things I couldn’t quite get. All the googles seemed to be aimed at people who already know what to do with the thing.

    I got them as a pallet of “monitoring equipment” -what was being monitored was unspecified. There is at least one other sensor module, a VPN switch, power supply and some comms, all in custom metal boxes with proprietary multiconductor connectors and a card cage. I’m pretty sure each full package was many thousands of dollars. The whole build and design is only one small step below .mil or aerospace level of fit and finish.

    n

  35. Dad and I went to go see Mark Knopfler tonight with 7,000 new friends at the Sugar Land auditorium (air conditioned !). Pretty doggone good guitar player for a 70 year old guy. And his eleven band members played 49 instruments including the Celtic Bass Drum, flute, saxophone, bagpipes, and piccolo. Very bluesey music. He did play a couple of Dire Straights songs including “Money for Nothing” but not “Sultans of Swing” which is my favorite of theirs.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Knopfler
    and
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAD6Obi7Cag
    and
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pa9x9fZBtY

    And yes, he still mumbles into the microphone.

  36. He did play a couple of Dire Straights songs including “Money for Nothing” but not “Sultans of Swing” which is my favorite of theirs.

    Much like Huey Lewis and “The Power of Love” and Dave Grohl with “Everlong”, Knopfler has to perform “Money For Nothing” every night for the rest of his life or the fans will flip at the concerts.

    It wasn’t covered in “Bohemian Rhapsody”, but, IIRC, Freddy Mercury and Queen had to follow Knopfler and Sting becoming rock gods at Live Aid with that song. The pair already had the two biggest albums of the Summer that year and were already legends. Deification happens at the 2:10 mark.

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

    Don’t be fooled — Sting is a perfectionist. The casual bit is an act.


  37. Social apps and guns do not mix in this enlightened age. Word of warning to the wise.

    Apple will probably give in. “Well, we promised to protect users data, but Apple apps only, so arrest those WHITEY! Supremest MoFo’s.”

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