Thur. Oct. 3, 2019 – nothing to see here

mid 70s still, and damp [74F, 99%RH at 6am]

Yesterday was sunny and a bit cooler, but so humid. Even just unloading stuff from my pickup slowly and carefully in the driveway in the shade left me soaked in sweat.

Did my ham group lunch meeting. Had some interesting chats. The group is definitely a bit right leaning.

Need to spend part of today getting ready for our weekend trip. I have no desire to go, but 50th wedding anniversaries don’t come every year and family is family. It’s an expensive trip, but thankfully short.

—————————————————————–

Ol’ commie Bernie can play down his medical issue, but it sounds like a duck, walks like a duck and it’s a F’ing duck. Heart attack should be the end of his presidential aspirations.

Ol’ murderin’ Hilarity is about to throw in her hat, and that should be interesting to see. Cat fight at 11!

None of it’s good for us common folk. The elephants are dancing and us mice better look lively or we’ll be looking deathly soon enough.

I guess I better get crackin’.

n

59 thoughts on “Thur. Oct. 3, 2019 – nothing to see here”

  1. I arrived home yesterday to a smoke alarm going off. It was the one in the bedroom. No fire, but water was dripping from it, along with 5 other spots in the ceiling, including the ceiling fan. So, turn off the breakers to the room, then cut off the water. I’m on a slab, with all water under the house except for the outside hose bibs – they ran those above for some reason. I went in the attic and had my son turn on the water, and easily found the leak. It was bigger than a pin hole, but not a tear. The damn pex just failed. Very weird. This is the sample line I had freeze in the wall a couple winter ago. I just cut the line behind the elk and put a shark byte end cap on it. I’m seriously considering just finding where the line branches off From and capping it back there. Screw having water above the ceiling….

    So at the very least, a new fan, smoke detector, drywall on the ceiling, carpet, and a mattress. I called Servpro, so hopefully a one stop shop. I bet just the drying equipment will blow past my deductible.

    I could have been a lot worse. If the hose had truly ruptured, the entire house would have flooded. At least the damage is confined to one room, with possible some ceiling damage on adjacent rooms – will know that when they get up there and look. Home ownership is grand.

  2. Man, that’s a bummer, but at least you caught it before it got worse. 1/2″ of water will destroy all your floorcoverings….

    n

  3. @rick, site is super slow for me today. Yesterday had some slow to reload moments, but today is glacial.

    n

  4. Who runs water through the attic?

    Saw it a lot in Florida. Old neighborhoods in Orlando, but copper. Pex is new.

    My in-laws “cold” water kitchen tap would run almost as warm as “hot” in July and August. The lines went through the attic.

  5. Who runs water through the attic?

    Pretty common in places where freezing is rare, especially because the pipes are against the ceiling and insulated. Try dealing with leaks under a slab. Bring on the jackhammers.

    The fix must be in – this posted fast.

  6. We run water, gas, electric, and hvac in the attic. Slab for sewer only.

    Iron pipes!

    My friend has had his pex eaten by mice 3 times. F that. Copper or cpvc for me when we repipe.

    n

  7. Trying to buy a printer for my mom. HP’s site is so slick it’s useless. And it seems their latest scam is ink subscriptions. Some reviews say they will disable your printer when your sub runs out, even if you have ink left. Their low end all in one prints a couple dozen pages on the installed ink, that’s all. No usb cable in the box either. jeez. So mom’s getting a canon, even if nothing works unless both ink carts are in place and have ink left. Even the scanner doesn’t work. F ing extortionists.

    For what she’s doing, all she needs is a low end printer, that supports airprint…

    n

  8. Some reviews say they will disable your printer when your sub runs out, even if you have ink left

    I’ve seen that happen with our HP 8620. The scanner wouldn’t work until I replaced the black ink at a minimum.

    Our workhorse printer is an old HP 4000N purchased surplus from the school system and connected via Ethernet (10BaseT!) to my main router. $120 per cartridge, but we go through cartridges about 1 every four years.

  9. Some reviews say they will disable your printer when your sub runs out, even if you have ink left

    I’ve seen that happen with our HP 8620. The scanner wouldn’t work until I replaced the black ink at a minimum.

    Our workhorse printer is an old HP 4000N purchased surplus from the school system and connected via Ethernet (10BaseT!) to my main router. $120 per cartridge, but we go through cartridges at a rate of one every four years. Not Airprint, but it does have HP JetDirect.

    HP Inkjet printer design work was happening in Vantucky (Vancouver, WA) until around the time we moved to Texas (2014), but one of the reasons we got kicked out of our rental was our landlord’s interest in taking advantage of the opportunity presented by HP bringing in L1 visa holders to learn printer engineering and take it back to Singapore.

    To make one Singapore wife happy, HP gave my landlord money to renovate the kitchen in one of his rentals as well as replacing the fence in the backyard. He wanted to sell our place outright, however.

  10. WRT HP printers: I have used HP printers since the dawn of time but my current one will be the end of the line due to the ink subscription model they are going to. Like so many companies HP is just catering to today’s clueless and lazy generations. Too many can’t be bothered with simple maintenance and no way are they going to repair anything. It doesn’t help that everything is sealed shut. Welcome to the Disposable Society that wants recycling (yet doesn’t do it themselves) and whines about Climate Change (yet does not understand, anything).

    Speaking of recycling, a few weeks ago the Garbage Person who does the recycling run came by with a normal garbage truck instead of the special truck with segregated bins for metal, glass, plastic, and newspaper (we don’t have to pay extra for recycling as many municipalities do; yes, I know, it is built into our garbage bill). I asked him if his truck was broken, he said: “no, the recycling plants are not accepting any more material, they cannot find a buyer for the recycled material”. So be as do-gooder as you want, supply and true demand will out. We are still dutifully putting out our recycling bins and there is still a separate “recycling” run but it is all put into a normal garbage truck to be hauled to a landfill in Oregon (oops, that is supposed to be a secret).

    So now I’ll insert my rant that all this garbage should be turned into electricity in its city of origin. No more polluting trucks running trips of hundreds of miles to dump and create hazards for the future (and now too). Those trucks produce more pollutants than a garbage burning incinerator would, not to mention the millions of tons of energy that are now being buried.

    Bioenergy, Waste-To-Energy, should be happening everywhere now. It’s not rocket science (sorry @Slim). Like Nuclear Energy the systems are already here. It just takes some cojones to get it done.

  11. After talking to mom, she needs more prints than I thought. So I upped the game to an HP all in one for $79. I declined the subscription plan. The carts are #65 which is widely available. She’s going to be treasurer for a club and will be doing multi page prints, for distribution to members at meetings. This one says it supports airprint (a requirement for mom’s personal printing needs), and includes a usb cable.

    I added a powered usb hub because the tiny pc already has it’s limited number of ports full. She needs to be able to plug in a usb stick.

    I’m dreading trying to get it all set up and configured remotely, and want to printer hardwired to make it easier.

    Still gonna be a pain trying to talk her thru the wifi setup for airprint.

    And a pox on MS for their constant changes to skype. NO I DON’T want to sign in with my MS identity, nor do I want to set up a MS account. This tripped up my dad a year and a half ago, and now mom.

    They want us all using RealID verifiable names online, and that is just STUPID and will lead to stalkers and swatting deaths. Leave the freaking log ins alone MS.

    n

  12. I’m dreading trying to get it all set up and configured remotely, and want to printer hardwired to make it easier.

    Our 8620 is about five years old (about time for an unreplaceable plastic gear speced by an intern to crack), and once we put it on the WiFi, Windows 10 and newer Mac OS X automatically detect and install the printer features from their respective printer config pages — Bonjour … Airprint … something magic.

  13. I recently replaced my HP6600 with an HP6968. The old one quit picking up paper. We don’t print much. The old one was about 4 years old.
    My only real irritation is having to use different cartridges. I’m not aware of mandatory ink subscriptions but they do push hard. I’ve just used wireless on the connections of both. Never an issue.
    I spite of their tactics I still prefer HP.

    and slowness is still the norm today even with a short respite. and an edit repost went fast.

  14. Re: site slowness – just optimized the databases. But very intermittant slowdown. Possibly caused by others sites on the shared server that this place lives on. Only way to fix that is to spend more $$ on a dedicated server at the host. Don’t think that is needed, since Barbara is paying for this place.

    Re: printers – we got the Canon 6620 laser printer (have two). Nice printer. 3rd-party toner cartridges available through the Zon. Wireless printing. Has app to print from phone (Android). Just works.

  15. I went with the
    HP DeskJet 3755

    I love/hate HP printers, but they are mostly reliable and will run with a minimum of intrusive sh!t. They will TRY to use all the nasty additional stuff, but usually it’s not actually necessary. We’ll see on this one.

    n

  16. One in 8 Oregonians high on meth? Every person in Portland?

    Not surprising. That figure might be a bit low, but the big drug is heroin according to my wife.

    The smuggling ring doesn’t cover all the meth cooking happening up I-5 in WA State between Portland and Olympia. Something had to replace the vacuum left by the timber industry shutdown, and not everyone can work for the government entities (the other growth industry in the area).

    I’ve noted before that when you watch “Cops”, listen for the radio call in the opening credits to “132nd and Bush”, a notorious drug corner in Portland.

  17. I went with the
    HP DeskJet 3755

    I love/hate HP printers, but they are mostly reliable and will run with a minimum of intrusive sh!t. They will TRY to use all the nasty additional stuff, but usually it’s not actually necessary. We’ll see on this one.

    I will never buy another inkjet. I seem to always get the paper wet and then the ink runs everywhere. I have been buying laserjets for the home and office for decades now. They work well and last forever, especially the medium weight series.

    I do have a Canon C size (17 inch by 22 inch) inkjet printer because once in a blue moon I want to print something big. It was $500 and the laserjet version was $5,000.

  18. My friend has had his pex eaten by mice 3 times. F that. Copper or cpvc for me when we repipe.

    All of the contractors want to use pex now since it is so easy to run and install. The mice / rat chewing thing is a big downside. On the other hand, pex can freeze many times without damage.

  19. Re Printers: I bought a Brother Color Laser, duplexing, networked, for $130.00 on black Friday about six years ago. Could not pass it up. Color is good, cartridges are expensive. To re-tone the entire printer requires about $280.00 in cartridges. Fortunately you can replace one at a time. In the six years I have had to replace one cartridge about two years ago.

    I do have an inkjet printer the wife uses, Canon MX series, with scanner. She does not print much. If she has a lot she just prints to the laser printer. The ink costs ($85 for all four cartridges at Costc) more than the printer. I bought it from HSN for $49.00 and it came with a full set of ink cartridges. Next time the printer is on sale at HSN I may pick up another printer just for the ink and toss the printer.

  20. Interesting letter in the mail from BCBST, my wife’s health insurance under ACA.

    Apparently if the insurance company does not pay 80% of the received premiums then the difference must be rebated back to the insured. No more than 20% must be paid for administrative costs. BCBST only received $1,019,515,867.00 in premiums but only spent 77.9% of that amount for healthcare. Thus 2.1% of the premiums my wife has paid must be returned or applied to upcoming premium payment. So I get a check for $300.00. Why not apply to the upcoming premium? Seems odd.

    I also wonder if I have to report this as income, or if the paperwork I receive from BCBST will reflect this change? And how is that going to affect my taxes. Probably raise my taxes by $400.00 so I wind up being $100.00 poorer. IRS has to suck the money somehow.

    And something else BCBST did was make the envelope look like junk mail. As in something people will toss. I wonder how much BCBST gets to keep from people that throw away the check. Perhaps that is why the amount is not applied to premiums.

    Went to the doctor today for my semi-annual examination. Got a flu shot, apparently the more potent version for older folks. I have had the Prevnar-13 pneumonia immunization several years ago. There is also an older version of the pneumonia immunization that protects against a different strain. Old folks are recommended to get this additional immunization. So an injection in both arms, three vials of blood, and an urine sample.

    Getting old sucks.

  21. I’ve been using HP lasers for years, now. I have an Epson Workforce WF100 for travel, but hardly use it.

  22. Like Ray I have found the Brother laser printers to be almost bulletproof. After two black and white units I sprang for a color duplex wireless unit – and after a year and a half it is still going strong.
    Non commercial HP are generally junk.

  23. Next time the printer is on sale at HSN I may pick up another printer just for the ink and toss the printer.

    In some places, disposing of the printer properly might be more expensive than paying the premium for the replacement ink.

  24. Oh, I agree that the cheap consumer printers are completely disposable and only exist to sell ink. The HP small business ones are good for home use, especially in an all in one format.

    I have a color laser, and a b/w laser in my office. We USED to have the HP 6500 series all in one for photo printing and scanning and copying, but wife got rid of it in a fit of cleaning. It was making bad noises, but still printed. I don’t even have the color laser on the network or plugged in most of the time. We just don’t need color that often. The B/W is within arms reach and I use it every day.

    Mom just needs to print from quicken and the occasional boarding pass. Laser would be overkill at any price, and she wants the copy machine function too.

    n

  25. Anything with the least bit of metal in it will vanish from the curb overnight….

    n

  26. Anything with the least bit of metal in it will vanish from the curb overnight….

    HP consumer products are mostly plastic anymore. I’ve trashed two all-in-ones over the last decade after a plastic gear broke somewhere in the mechanism.

    When the inkjet products were still designed in Vancouver, WA, a new MechE out of WSUV or Portland State would get responsibility for sourcing a dozen parts or so and receive a big gold star for saving the company money while meeting the minimum standards for performance and durability.

    Even though they recruited MechEs for the most part, I attended the HP ASME/IEEE events on campus when I was in grad school at WSUV. It was educational if nothing else.

    The CS department had an ACM-Women chapter but nothing for Y chromosomes.

  27. Interesting letter in the mail from BCBST, my wife’s health insurance under ACA.

    Apparently if the insurance company does not pay 80% of the received premiums then the difference must be rebated back to the insured. No more than 20% must be paid for administrative costs. BCBST only received $1,019,515,867.00 in premiums but only spent 77.9% of that amount for healthcare. Thus 2.1% of the premiums my wife has paid must be returned or applied to upcoming premium payment. So I get a check for $300.00. Why not apply to the upcoming premium? Seems odd.

    On Dec 1, 2019, BCBSTX is raising our Silver PPO group plan cost by 8%. They are also lowering our coinsurance from 80% to 60% for in network. For out of network, they are setting the maximum copays to infinity, having already set the coinsurance to 60% of “reasonable and customary” a year or two ago. I’m sure that there are a few more gotchas hidden in the new terms and conditions.

    This is not insurance for daily medical needs anymore, this is insurance for high limits. I buy it for 14 people and pay almost $8,000/month.

  28. My ancient (for computer equipment, circa 1995) HP LaserJet 5MP finally gave up the ghost early this year. I replaced it with nice, fast Brother 6220. I also have a Brother 845 hydra machine. Both work just fine with my various Linux boxes in the house.
    IT Guy: I work for the Servpro franchise here. If they know what they are doing, they’ll get the mitigation done fairly quickly. As you note, the daily rental of machines isn’t cheap, and things like the daily monitoring of equipment & moisture levels can also add up. Our franchise also has a reconstruction division, so we’ll replace / repaint / retexture as necessary. I don’t know if your franchise does, but ask.

  29. I’ve had a few HP DeskJets. No problems at all other than the ink drying out. I bought a Xerox color laser. After a near miss from nearby lighting (as in, it would not turn on for a couple of weeks) it started with the “start printing after feed half of the sheet and then complain it is out of paper”.

    What the heck. $175 and seven years. Time to shop.

    I found a Lexmark CX410dte at Provantage. It scans, it faxes, it copies, and in color, with duplex. $175 + shipping. Ok, $227. There was a rebate and I think they screwed up the price. I’m not going to complain about $600 off of list.

    Why Lexmark? That’s what HEB uses. The only printer I saw screw up in 12 years was the Shelf Edge printer. But they used it to print a few reams of coupons a week and most of the sticky price tags on the shelves. Seemed solid enough to me.

    I hear Brother is good. That’s all I know.


  30. I found a Lexmark CX410dte at Provantage. It scans, it faxes, it copies, and in color, with duplex. $175 + shipping.

    You got an awesome deal. Lexmark printers are workhorses. We used them at the credit union after some of the HP’s broke down. Plastic parts would break, generally easy to replace, but expensive to purchase. Never had a problem with the Lexmarks’s. Only HP left was the printer for the mainframe and it was rock solid.

    Biggest, and fastest, printer I have ever personally used was a Zerox 9700. Printed from a big B-4900 mainframe. Two pages a second, both sides. Bank bought paper by the semi truck full at least once a month. Imaging belt was $15,000 to replace. Bank had two of those printers.

  31. @pcb_duffer – thanks! Great experience with Servpro today. I received two calls before they showed up, and they were on time. I had them pull the carpet, so they did that, pulled the wet insulation and ceiling Sheetrock, and setup the fans. The original estimate was to pull the fans in Sunday, but they now think it will be dry Saturday morning. The flooding was very localized. Have an appointment for them to come back Sat morning and check things out. Once again, very happy with them – well worth the money.

    They don’t do construction, so I need to get the drywall replacement handled. I found a contractor on homeadviser, called and setup an appointment for Monday. The contractor called and changed to Friday. So it looks positive. Let’s see if he actually shows up for the estimate…

  32. Discover Card is changing their mailing address. They tell you to update the address your bank uses. Why the change? Oh, I dunno…. to nail the folks not paying attention with a late fee? $39 times a few million customers can add up.

    I logged into Mom’s Bank of America account. Nothing to do there… “this vendor tells us when their address changes”. Ok. I hope they don’t drown when it rains.

    Logged into Frost. And changed the address. Easy.

    I suppose it’s all a matter of how big the bank. I’m sticking with Frost for my stuff.

    Still waiting on the property tax bills. I just want to get it done and forgotten.
    It’s interesting how dropping DirecTv @ $140/month plus $255/month for the tractor and just having a $50 bill for Sling adds up. $350 not spent each month adds up.

    I dumped Straight Talk. That was $55. They want to go to voice over wi-fi so I would have to buy a new phone. Their nicest phone was ~$125 and not an upgrade from my old phone. Yeah, ok, but no. 25Gb data is useless if I can’t tether or hotspot.
    I bought a very nice LG V20 on eBay for $110 and put it on a Verizon plan that gives 6Gb data and I can tether. For $38 with taxes.

    Just squeezing that buffalo nickle to bellow over here. 🙂

  33. You got an awesome deal.

    I somewhat kicked myself for not buying two. Sell one on eBay for enough to pay for the one I have.

    Two pages a second, both sides.

    Oh….. I want to see that run!

  34. Two pages a second, both sides.

    Oh….. I want to see that run!

    Use hearing protection, the printer I saw that fast sounded like a chainsaw at full rev.

  35. Use hearing protection, the printer I saw that fast sounded like a chainsaw at full rev.

    Perhaps foam plugs in and ear muffs over. And keep your mouth closed.

  36. My dog starts to whine at 1030pm outside my office. He knows it’s bed time.

    Even the goldfish and the betas learn to come to the top in the corner at dinner time….

    n


  37. I had to go read the explanation to understand the entire comic:

    The pun on currying/carrying went right over my head.

    I never was much of a sports fan. 😉

  38. Way more depth than I thought, and still of no interest to me. Sportsball, that is.

    n

  39. “Getting old sucks.” All in all I still prefer getting older to the alternative.

  40. @lynn, the shape and thickness of the seat will add a surprising amount in ‘feel’ for how high the bowl is. If it’s too high, look for a thinner seat. Worked for me.

    n

  41. I have decided to replace three of the toilets at the new used house before we move in

    After the American Home Shield plumber put a hairline crack down the center of the toilet in our master, the good plumber who came out to fix the situation properly installed a lo-flow Toto with a ceramic design that … actually works!

    The downside is that we ended up spending about a grand for diagnosis of the crack (quite a trick to find) and complete replacement job. Zero problems since, however.

  42. The ~$300 toto works. Clears the bowl every time. Stays clean. Doesn’t clog.

    The AS is comparable from what I’ve heard.

    Kohler is a clog factory.

    n


  43. My dog starts to whine at 1030pm outside my office. He knows it’s bed time.

    Beats the 5:30 am wake up for breakfast I often get get from out 100lb GS.

  44. The ~$300 toto works. Clears the bowl every time. Stays clean. Doesn’t clog.

    The AS is comparable from what I’ve heard.

    Kohler is a clog factory.

    I have a five year old Kohler in the back bathroom. Works well but gets hard to get rid of stains.

  45. Re: site slowness – just optimized the databases. But very intermittant slowdown. Possibly caused by others sites on the shared server that this place lives on. Only way to fix that is to spend more $$ on a dedicated server at the host. Don’t think that is needed, since Barbara is paying for this place.

    Thanks Rick !

  46. @lynn, the shape and thickness of the seat will add a surprising amount in ‘feel’ for how high the bowl is. If it’s too high, look for a thinner seat. Worked for me.

    I have a 34 inch inseam. The wife has a 24 inch inseam. Those two are almost incompatible.

    We have a two year old Toto toilet with a 27 inch height in the middle bathroom. I like it. The wife’s feet hang free. Not good. “when mama’s unhappy, everyone is unhappy”.

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