Sat. Oct. 26, 2019 – getting closer to Halloween…

Cold and damp. [51F and 91%RH at 8am, with gusty wind]

Turned the t-stat to “heat” last night for the first time of the season. Temp in the house was a chilly 71F. At that point my hands get cold and hurt, and my nose gets cold. If my nose stays cold for any length of time, I get sick. I hate being sick. So I turned on the furnace. It was 53F and damp with gusting winds. The wind comes in through the 50 year old windows like they aren’t even there. (the ones I haven’t sealed with heat shrink window film anyway.) A window upgrade has been on my list for years, but the money never works out. And who knows, I might be moving next year.

Yup. Wife informed me that depending on how our middle school lottery goes, we might be moving to get to one of the schools she prefers. Le sigh. We both like this house and want to stay, but we bought it knowing it was not a ‘forever’ home. We figured it would last as long as our kids were in elementary school.

I may defer to her on issues like this, but I did take the opportunity to suggest moving OUT from the city if we were going to move… and I mentioned the article that said 8 of 10 people surveyed believed the US was heading for a Civil War. Her response was “who did they survey”? which is a good response, but irrelevant. It was front page news. Compare and contrast with ANYONE talking about civil war a year ago. When I pointed that out, her next sentence was “we’re not in a good place if there is a Civil War.” She may not be as ‘out’ as me, but she clearly has been thinking about some of the issues. Maybe I’ll be able to move further outside the metro area after all. I sure don’t want to move into the more restrictive areas that feed the “good” schools in our district. (She also doesn’t want to move because she wants to buy a ‘lake house’. Current focus is a log cabin style, on a one acre lakefront lot, in rural TX north of here. I want somewhere that isn’t Houston to retreat to if needed. I’d prefer west of here, but north works too.)

You don’t actually have to get too far out of Houston proper before it starts to get pretty rural, pretty quickly. I’ve thought for a long time that a town that is or was a county seat would be a good choice. Some downtown antique shops, a couple of B&Bs, more churches than bars…

Well, that’s all in the future anyway. Enough stuff to do to fill the present, without spending too much energy on that.

So, what if anything got done here prep-wise?

I bought some vegetable plants but didn’t get them in the ground yet. Bought a ‘garden weasel’ tool for the raised bed prep too. I guess I’ll see if it’s a gimmick or a tool. I’m going to try some ‘shake on’ fertilizer to.

Did some minor repair stuff around the house, have a long list of stuff waiting.

Wasted a bunch of time driving around, but saved a bunch of money on solid prep items in the auctions this week. Short week for doing anything, due to my volunteering at school, but hey, that’s the third short week in a row. It’s getting to be the new normal around here. (which isn’t good)

Picked up a bunch of parts and web gear. Ordered some other stuff that was cheap on sale. It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m sure I’ll feel better with it here.

My work on the rental house seems to have held up, touch wood…

But I didn’t really get much done to reduce the pile here this week. Still need to do some more of that. At least 2 or three pallets worth need to leave the driveway so my wife knows I’m making progress.

Piling up stuff is a prepper risk. Many of the commentors I’d read at another blog (since sold out) seemed like borderline hoarding. I consider it, and worry about it myself. I am not there, but I could be if I lowered my standards. Organizing the pile and USING it goes a long way to dispelling the hoarding image.

And with that, I’ve got stuff to do. So I better get to it.


Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

61 thoughts on “Sat. Oct. 26, 2019 – getting closer to Halloween…”

  1. Current focus is a log cabin style

    Check the maintenance costs for a log cabin style home. The exterior maintenance involves stripping the protective coating and reapplying. Friends had such a house, must be done every 10 years on the house they owned. Cost was over $25K to have it done. Without the coating insect damage and rot are a real problem. Perhaps the technology has improved in the last 20 years. But something to consider. Wife wanted such a house until she found out the cost.

  2. Thanks Ray! I’d never heard of that. It’s the unknown unknowns that get you.


  3. It’s heating up in Chile…

    — one of the captions manages to sneak in a bit of truth “Chile’s unrest is the latest in a flare-up of protests in South America and round the world – from Beirut to Barcelona – each with local triggers but also sharing underlying anger at social disparities and ruling elites”.

    –note to US journo scum- this is what crowd size pictures look like. If you say the crowds were small, or you say they were large, I don’t believe you without a good clear overhead shot.

    –also, this is not over a 4% increase in subway fare. You do not get a million people in the streets burning stuff over 15c. The feelings that were triggered by the latest straw on the camel’s back have been building for a while. Some people in the US should take note. Just because there haven’t been riots yet, doesn’t mean they aren’t coming tomorrow.

    –what effect do you think this sort of thing has on shipping? Food distribution? Access to the ER? Keep piling folks. You don’t want to go out in something like this.


  4. You don’t actually have to get too far out of Houston proper before it starts to get pretty rural, pretty quickly. I’ve thought for a long time that a town that is or was a county seat would be a good choice.

    In what direction?

    The last time we went to Houston earlier this Summer, I noted that TXDot is currently working on toll lanes to at least 10 miles beyond Katy, and Austin is spreading east down 71. Due West is pretty much done within the next 10 years, maybe less. If TXDot has plans to toll 71, forget it.

    My wife’s associate in Vantucky had an idiot Prog husband whose full time job is writing a “spirits blog”. Probably ANTIFA these days in Protland. He hailed from Cut-n-Shoot — seems like North has been done for a while because of the commuting NASA employees.

    (Yeah, I’m not kidding about his job. He is a “pro” alcoholic in the Hunter Thompson sense of the word — “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” My “It” moment in Vantucky was the realization that we indirectly supported his sorry a** continuing to have that gig, part of the reason we couldn’t afford a house.)

  5. Liberty, Sealy, LaGrange, Crockett, columbus, Refugio, Bastrop- basically head north from houston, north west, or west. Within an hour you are in small town USA.

    these areas might have issues of their own, but they are all “not houston”.


  6. Liberty, Sealy, LaGrange, Crockett, columbus, Refugio, Bastrop- basically head north from houston, north west, or west. Within an hour you are in small town USA.

    Bastrop isn’t Houston. Its Austin anymore, which is arguably worse.

    The next time you hit the Goodwill outlet in Austin, take 130 out to 71 and drive home through Bastrop and La Grange. You’ll see it. Dunno if Bastrop has urban campers yet.

    The only direction I haven’t seen growth exploding out of Austin is due north along 35 north of Georgetown and south of Temple. From what I understand, this is mostly because Salado and Jarrell won’t put sewer systems in their commercial districts … for now.

  7. Took a three day “glamping” trip to Cumberland Mountain State Park. Did not take a camera other than my iPhone 11 Pro. Amazing progress in camera technology in those little handheld devices.

    Here is a link to the pictures that I took while in the park. Another time sink for y’all.

  8. Jeff Duntemann (from the blogroll on the right) seems to nail this, in this older post about twitter.

    From a height, Twitter is an outrage amplifier. It starts with somebody posting something calculated to outrage a certain demographic. (Innocent posts sometimes trigger Twitter mobs, but they are uncommon.) Then begins a sort of emotional feedback loop: The outraged immediately retweet the reactions they’ve seen, so that their followers (who would not otherwise have seen the outrage tweet) get to see it. They retweet it to their followers, and so on, until millions of gasping outrage addicts are piling on without knowing anything at all about the original issue that caused the outrage.

    His fix is to kill the ‘retweet’.

    I personally don’t know why anyone who isn’t an agent provocateur would be on twitter, but I’m a curmudgeon. I do know that it has an effect, and that is often contrary to my ideas of a civil society.


  9. ” drive home through Bastrop and La Grange. You’ll see it.”

    This is my normal route…

    Get half a mile off 71 though, and you are back to miles of nothing.


  10. Took a three day “glamping” trip to Cumberland Mountain State Park. Did not take a camera other than my iPhone 11 Pro. Amazing progress in camera technology in those little handheld devices.

    The market doesn’t exist for simple point and shoot digital cameras in this country anymore. I’m not totally sure that is a good thing, but I’m not hip.

    If my wife asks for an 11 Pro to replace her current iPhone, I’m going to dig out my development tools and get into what is possible with the AR features. I’d love to know if the camera arrays are good enough yet to replace total stations at our install sites.

    Unlike the competition, our ORT solutions work, but they require a site survey accurate down to 5-10 cm resolution, which can be difficult to obtain in some places.

  11. The market doesn’t exist for simple point and shoot digital cameras in this country anymore.

    Agreed. And the camera you use is the one you have with you. Add in the video capability (with slow motion) and the current crop of phones are an amazing technological achievement.

    If it were not for my additional lenses, such as the wide aperture telephoto (heavy, bulky), the iPhone camera is an excellent choice. I have not taken just a few low light photos but from what I have seen the iPhone is is quite capable. The three cameras, which make quite good wide angle and moderate telephoto images. Impressive improvement over my prior iPhone 6S.

    I may photograph a football game using nothing but my iPhone. Other than looking like a dork, it would be an interesting experiment.

    If my wife asks for an 11 Pro to replace her current iPhone

    Get the iPhone 11 Pro version. Opting for the larger size device is a personal choice. My experience with the Pro version has made my decision to opt for that version a good decision. Worth the extra bucks.

  12. Get half a mile off 71 though, and you are back to miles of nothing.

    I’d still be wary. If it doesn’t flood every Spring, the growth will reach out there eventually.

    I usually avoid the group working with TxDOT since some of the hands-on installation people are jerks, but I’ll pay attention the next time someone talks about plans for 71 or 21.

  13. Why you might want to carry a reload…


    He might have been out of the fight, but he still had enough in him to walk 2 miles… even if he got a ride, he walked into the ER.


  14. The Kincade wildfire is within 5 miles of my (deceased) mom’s home in California. Evacuation notices for whole town issued this morning. High winds.

    The vineyards and Russian River could save the town when the winds drive the fire south.

    Family friends who lost their home two years ago, took time this morning to grab some photo albums and stuff from mom’s. It was kindly meant but I wish they hadn’t risked it. Place can burn to the ground – stuff simply isn’t worth it.

  15. From @Greg yesterday:

    95,155 miles for $15,613.00

    A lot of miles for six years, like they commuted into Houston from an exurb or it was someone’s work truck.

    If Ford has all the maintenance documented as taking place at dealerships, it would be worth a closer look. The dealer would definitely have access to the records.

    The Ford Expedition is a land yacht. My 2005 Expy has been to California three times, the Gran Canyon, Florida twice, Oklahoma about 14 times, and all over Texas innumerable times. Those 209,546 miles got put on mine going from state to state.

    That said, this used 2014 Expedition does not have Limited Slip on the rear axle. That means that it has only one wheel rear wheel drive. My 2005 Expy has Limited Slip which gives you two rear wheel drive and it is very hard to get it stuck. I got my previous 1999 Expy stuck three times over six years, once in the snow and twice in mud. I have only gotten my 2005 Expy stuck once, in the mud over both axles.

    I do figure that this used 2014 Expy has 60,000 miles left on it at least. $15,613 / 60,000 miles = 26 cents/mile for a capital cost. A new F-150 4×4 is $40,556. $40,556 / 150,000 miles = 27 cents/mile for a capital cost. And will not need significant maintenance (brakes, plugs, etc) for a significant time.

  16. A window upgrade has been on my list for years, but the money never works out. And who knows, I might be moving next year.

    I get the new triple pane windows for the new used house installed next week on the 30th and 31st. All 36 of them for $16,000. I will let you know how it goes. The three week purchase and install has turned into eight weeks. The big advantage is that the same company is making and installing the windows so I know where to go scream if there are problems. And there are always problems.

  17. “Opinion: How Wreck-It Donald broke the media” by Ruben Navarrette Jr.

    “People in the news business are paid to think critically, stay curious and be aware of their surroundings. Yet, these days, if the story is about President Donald Trump, many of my colleagues don’t think about being fair. Nor are they curious about how we got here. And they’re not all that self-aware about the mistakes they’re making.”

    Ruben is blatantly partisan but he does occasionally tell the truth.

  18. @Lynn — I didn’t know about this law in Texas. Did you get a history on the new old house?

    The law would never pass the Legislature in Florida. The peninsula is a swamp south of Gainesville, and the interior is where the last lucrative mass development opportunity exists.

    Yes. In Texas, you have to disclose two separate items about rising water. First, if you have had rising water on your property, and second, if you have had rising water in your house.

    Note: I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on the intertubes.

  19. “MARS: The Martian Autonomous Republic of Sol (The New Frontiers Series)” by Jack L Knapp

    Book number five of a six book space opera series. I read the well printed and bound POD (print on demand) trade paperback self published by the author. I am reading book six now. I have no idea if a book seven will be published as the author is working on two other series, an alternate universe series and an ESP series.

    Wow, great story series. An older engineer buys a bunch of Nikola Tesla’s journals in an old chest and spots a design for an “electric impeller” that was never built. He built a working version of the electric impeller after many restarts and has a electric propulsion device. The series is about the usage of the electric impellers to build space ships, a Moon base, a Mars base, and various peoples and countries trying to steal the design. And aliens.

    This book is specifically about New Frontiers, Inc. completing the move to Mars with hundreds of thousands of employees / settlers and their space ship manufacturing facilities. Earth has grown too over populated and too political. And the Flickers have established a colony on Mars also. And the Flickers are not quite as pacifistic as they seem to be.

    BTW, this is not the first time that a story has been written similar to this. Many stories have “magical” engines for space drives. A very similar book is John Varley’s most excellent _Red Thunder_ which uses the magical squeezer drive. The reason why I like these stories so much is that it is not just the new drive device, it is also the design and work to build the various containers around the new device. And the resulting societal changes from the revolutionary technological changes.

    My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (11 reviews)

  20. Those 209,546 miles got put on mine going from state to state.

    Yeah, but you knew the maintenance schedule and every single one of those miles.

    Oil changes are the most critical.

  21. I’ve thought for a long time that a town that is or was a county seat would be a good choice. Some downtown antique shops, a couple of B&Bs, more churches than bars

    Good choice. That perfectly describes the location of our retirement home. Small county seat, off the beaten path, old brick main street with lots of antique shops. Inconvenient for running to the shops or fast food but you can’t have everything. Very conservative population, lots of hunting and fishing nearby. Schools suck but we don’t have to worry about that and maybe we can make a difference.

  22. The market doesn’t exist for simple point and shoot digital cameras in this country anymore.

    This is a real surprise for me. I majored in photography in the early 70s. Studied under Ansell Addams and shot lots of medium and large format film. I miss Kodachrome. I miss the quiet time in the darkroom adjusting the enlarger and timing the exposure. Today I use full frame digital and photoshop but it’s just not the same.

  23. I de-cluttered the little deep freezer and the fridge’s freezer. Stuffed four bulging bags of stuff into the big deep freeze.

    I have TV dinners and pizzas in the little freezer. Somewhat sorted out now. The fridge freezer has some mystery fish and partial bags of biscuits, french fries, and hash browns. Both are cleared out enough to see what is in there.

    The various vac sealed steaks, roasts, chicken, etc. are now in the big freezer. They will keep for a long time. Meanwhile I need to work on the frozen meatballs and ravioli.

    There are a few bags of crunchy frozen veggies ready to toss out for the wild critters. The mystery fish may go to the trash. I’m at about zero skill cooking fish unless the box says Van de Camp or Mrs Paul and a cookie sheet is involved.

    It’s all good. I found a couple of pot roasts, a large package of beef trimmings the local HEB sells as stew meat, and several steaks.

    So we eat the store packaged stuff first. Unless we want a steak. The vac sealed stuff will last for years.

    Tonight is Turkey Noodle Soup. A 4 cup zip-loc box of turkey stock and a can of Keystone turkey. Yeah, and a couple of carrots because they are in the fridge. I’m not sure how much water to add to the stock until it thaws.

    Next little project is to de-clutter the medium deep freezer. I’m pretty sure that after 12+ years that I’m not going to tan those emu hides.

  24. Prepping for our move.
    Today we went through the pantry and selected everything we expected to use before the end of December. Threw out a big bag of spoilage and still have 8 big boxes of food to give to the food drive. Less to move and our new food storage will be 5 years more in date.
    We are keeping our boxes and buckets of LTS staples.

  25. I miss Kodachrome

    I do too. For well lighted, as in outdoors or powerful strobes, photography. Wonderful colors and resolution.

    I am now able to photograph at ISO 6400, f2.8, 1/500, 5fps without flash in local football stadiums. Unheard of 20 years ago unless B/W in a multi-million dollar spy satellite.

    Biggest problem I have is with stadium lights flickering. From correct exposure, to under exposed by two full stops with white balance from correct to a horrible orange/brown with little to no blue component. It’s horrible. I used manual exposure and fixed white balance. Still produces some images that are unusable the exposure is so poor.

    Yes, I miss Kodachrome but would not want to go back.

    An iPhone camera is smaller than a fingernail and can do what was impossible 20 years ago. Where will the future take us with imaging technology.

  26. The soup is coming along. Needs salt, maybe.

    Senior year of HS I had a photography class that was taught by a fellow student. No credit, just something to do. It was very interesting. Dark-room and chemicals, fun stuff. I sucked at having any kind of arty eye for taking pictures. Still do.

    Yeah. Second semester of senior year was just a goof off. Most of us had enough credits to graduate and so we didn’t care what the teachers said. I spent a lot of time in the library. Art class was fun. English 4 and English 5, well, she knew we were not interested. History taught by a coach? Never mind, I’m in the library reading history books and fixing the Xerox machine. Made straight A’s. 🙂

  27. “California Faces “Biggest Blackout Ever” As 2.5 Million PG&E Customers May Have No Power For Days”

    “Earlier this week we joked that with PG&E now scrambling to enforce intentional blackouts every time there are powerful winds for fears the bankrupt company’s aged infrastructure could cause a new fire, “every time the wind blows California will become Venezuela.””

    “Turns out it wasn’t a joke.”

    I just don’t know what to say. This is a mess.

  28. Our parents and grand parents built the infrastructure to last. So their kids coasted, did minimal fixes, and robbed the cookie jar. Leveraged buyouts? F the company, steal all their cash… Spin offs? Load them up with the parent’s debt, F the company, steal all their cash… Pot of money “just sitting there” in a pension fund? F the retirees, steal all their cash. Cheap money monetary policy? Load up on debt, buy back stock, improve EPS and trigger bonuses, F the stockholders and steal their cash.

    Our grandparents built good and strong, but it won’t last forever, and there is always something new to spend money on rather than maintenance…

    We’ve been slowly sliding into third world conditions, but suddenly things will accelerate, and people will notice. It’s like the illegals, they’re everywhere now, from Podunk Maine to Sunny southern Cali-forn-ia. When they double, people are going to look around and panic, but it will be too late.

    Anyone think we could build the hoover dam? Or the TVP?


  29. I was near, but never worked on, one of the early digital imaging arrays. It was a 1×3 pixel array, and was being developed as a target tracker. I never knew much detail, but a mechanical scanner was probably involved. It never went into production, because what it would have replaced, a 1 pixel non imaging sensor, was better. It took years before an imaging array and supporting hardware and software were sufficiently developed to replace that earlier sensor. We take a lot for granted today.

    I worked as a self taught photographer, 35mm exclusively. I shot, developed, proofed, and sometimes printed th0usands of B&W images for publication. It helped me pay for college. I shot color slides for my own enjoyment. I remember when Kodachrome II came out, and what a revolution it was over Kodachrome. Agfa also had some great film, but the Eastman system of film and processing was very consistent. A company I later worked for did product illustrative photography using 4×5 view cameras and Ektachrome film. They developed and printed in house, and produced stunning work.

    I got away from photography for years, but started watching digital photography’s progress. I remember the comparisons to film, but what got me to buy my first digital camera was the control I could get using editing software, especially correcting distortions. A view camera was finally practical!

    Ray is right. Our phones are now good enough for a large percentage of work. Bigger lenses and sensors will be here for a while. Just ask a wildlife or astronomy photographer, but the rest of us are fortunate indeed.

  30. Agfa also had some great film, but the Eastman system of film and processing was very consistent

    I would disagree on Agfa, it is/was junk.

    When I scanned my hundreds of slides into digital, then threw the slides away, I made an interesting observation. The Kodachrome slides were pristine to my eye. Colors still rich and appeared true. Ektachrome was a little bluer than normal. Agfachrome had all the colors gone except red, thus totally useless. All the transparencies were stored in cool dry conditions.

    The only film that was worse was Seattle Filmworks stuff. I dabbled for a bit with that film but was never really impressed. Anyway, the transparencies lived up to their name. There was nothing left but smudges, faint smudges. Stuff is truly junk.

    I can now do with Photoshop and Lightroom that 30 years ago would not have been possible with a $1 million darkroom. People can do stuff in their phone that would not have been possible with the same pricey darkroom. HPFM in my opinion.

    Biggest problem now is people keep all their pictures on their phone. When the phone breaks or is stolen all the images are lost. No archives like I did with negatives and transparencies.

  31. Ray is right.

    Can I show that to my wife?

    Sure. We all know that everything we read on the Interwebs is true.

  32. Ray, I just emailed you your certificate. I’d have put it up where others could see, but technical difficulties prevented.

  33. I used to shoot kodak slide film of my stage lighting work, IDK the name, but the fastest it got was 34? I had to push 2 stops in processing, and shoot faster to get any kind of sharpness in the low light conditions. It had to be stored in the fridge. I tried the fuji, but it looked terrible.

    They looked great last time I had them out…. better check.


  34. IDK the name, but the fastest it got was 34

    Kodachrome came in two speeds, 25 and (Kodachrome II) 64. Ektachrome started at around 64 and went up to 160. It was possible to push Ektachrome to 400 (if using Kodak) with special processing. Kodak charged a little extra for push processing. So I suspect you were using Ektachrome.

    I may be incorrect on the actual speeds as film used to be measured in ASA and changed to ISO somewhere along the way. Long time ago for me and those details fade. Your 34 may have been the ASA where the ISO was actually a higher number.

    Kodachrome could only be processed by special labs, Kodak being the best. When I lived in Hawaii there was a lab on the island. I could drop a roll off in the morning and pick up the processed transparencies that afternoon. When I lived in Virginia I used the lab in Baltimore MD. Used prepaid envelopes. Always had outstanding service from Kodak.

    Ektachrome could be processed by regular labs and even done at home. I had heard of some people pushing Ektachrome to 1600 but the results were quite grainy. For really low light Plus-X and Tri-X were used which were really fine B/W films which could also be push processed.

  35. What Nick said about infrastructure is mostly correct. I’ll add that the electrical grid was laid out when the US population was well under half of what it is now and when per capita electrical use was a fraction of what we now use. More lines and substations have been laid down, but the individual elements are pushed harder than they were. Medium-to-low voltage transformers, the kind you’ll see on the poles in neighborhoods, were designed to handle about 500% of expected usage, meaning that they’d be overloaded only in very unusual circumstances. Now the typical transformer and transmission line and substation are run at barely below their absolute capacity during the daily peaks, meaning that a failure in one element can quickly spread and take out a large section of the grid. Constant monitoring and computer-controlled adjustments mitigate this, but that means that there is a central point of failure, vulnerable to software errors or sabotage or some klutz spilling a mop bucket in just the wrong place.

    Much the same goes for the road network — it’s been greatly expanded and the roads are better and can sustain more traffic, but the number of people on the road has increased even faster than the population. And the water supply systems, and the sewage disposal and treatment systems, and most other elements of infrastructure. They weren’t intended for our current population.

  36. IIRC, I think it was 32, or 64, shot at 128 and pushed 2 stops. Been a long time, and I was just using a recipe my prof gave me. I got great looking shots if I knew the play and could pick my moments.

    Shoot 36, bracketing, and get 12 – 20 useable shots. Pay to process and mount them all. One show was so dark, the lab couldn’t figure out where to cut the strip and had to call me in.

    For prints, I used a color xerox machine that had a slide adapter. Those held up really well, they look just as rich today as they did when printed.


  37. @steveF, yep, you can see the patch antennas on most of the poles where the bigger step downs are, or the breakers/circuit openers are. They all phone home.


  38. and the grid was designed to cool off at night, during low usage times. Put a tesla in every garage and you never cool off the xformers.

    not good.


  39. Oh, right, I forgot to mention not only the intended cool-down period but the massive overall load on the grid if electric cars take off as desired by the ignorant and innumerate. Sure, having an additional load during the low periods will even out the “humps” in the demand curve, and that’s good for planning base production and keeping the most efficient units running steadily, but they’ll be bad in almost every other way.

  40. IIRC, I think it was 32, or 64, shot at 128 and pushed 2 stops

    If color it had to be Ektachrome as Kodachrome could not be pushed. If B/W then probably Pan-X as that was low speed and exceptional quality.

    A big list of still films; see Kodak. It will sort out all your recollections, if it is correct. 🙂

    It’s been a long day, I am STILL away from home, and that site is not very readable on my phone.

    Ray, Agfa slides might not last very long. I don’t think I have any around. I did a massive purge of old slides and negatives decades ago, probably the only stuff I have “deleted” that I am happy about. I tend to keep too much, and feel freed of a small burden.

    All my serious work was with Eastman Kodak products, no exceptions. I had the highest regard for their reliability, consistency, and quality, probably more than any company.

    I didn’t realize folks stored their photos only on their phones any more. It seems to me my phone just automagically copies my photos to my Google account by default. Or, maybe I set that up. Been a while. Photos are the only files I allow to be automatically copied to the cloud. Anything else has to be put there manually, if at all. Who am I kidding? So much is now “out there” that it is hard to be sure of much, and it is getting worse. I understand that my phone is a giant leak, but there is more all the time. I can’t go anywhere without being surveiled…

    Oops, just slipped back into my earlier funk, sorry. I often come here for a small slice of joy and civility. Am I desperate? Well, not really.

  42. >“California Faces “Biggest Blackout Ever”
    I’m still waiting for our power to drop out. Last time we were warned it might happen at 18:00, and it went down at 23:19. It was back on the next day about 18:30. I expect it will be about the same this time. The last one wasn’t much of a prepping exercise. In the morning I set up a generator and powered our refrigerators & freezers. That let us charge our phones & computers, too. We could use the internet by tethering through a phone. I have a single burner induction cooker that took care of all of our cooking needs. We could have survived without that. We were warned to be very conservative with water usage because the water company had limited generator capacity for their well pumps. We didn’t use much, and had several gallons stored. We didn’t notice any drop in water pressure.
    We have had longer outages of several days from storm damage in the past. The same use of a generator got us through those, too. In all cases, there has been gasoline available within a few miles of us. This isn’t like a widespread comprehensive outage.

  43. “74 Miles of Border Wall Completed, 158 More Under Construction”

    “Border Patrol officials say communities along the border are safer following the completion of 74 miles of improved border wall systems. Those systems include 30-foot bollard walls, new border-access roads, lighting, and electronic surveillance. Construction on an additional 158 miles is underway with 450 miles scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.”

    Took a while to get going and going strong now.

  44. Thanks for the update JimM, please continue to share your experiences…

    I’m off to bed. I hope I can sleep. There is something beeping in my house and I can’t find it. It isn’t regular, or loud. It sounds like a low battery beep, but I’ve checked the smoke detectors.

    I have some very sharply defined deficits in my hearing, and the high pitched beeps hit one or more, so I absolutely can’t tell what direction it’s coming from. I had this problem in my garage and never did figure out what was beeping.

    Thankfully, my wife will be home tomorrow and she should be able to find it.


    Getting old sucks. If I’d have known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.

  45. My dad worked as a chemist for Eastman Kodak, and later Eastman after is was spun off. I remember going with him when I was little to the employee recreation center. In the basement, they had fully outfitted dark rooms for the employees to use.

  46. Gonna hard to move to NZ when he is in federal prison for treason.

    Comey won’t go to prison. Maybe the subordinates will, but not the big fish.

    The mechanisms Hoover set up to protect himself from real sneaks like Johnson and Nixon probably endured.

    I’ve still never had anyone adequately explain why the Prog consensus is that New Zealand will endure the collapse of industrialized societies elsewhere. The place strikes me as being dependent on imports for a lifestyle beyond what the indigenous people enjoyed before Western Europeans arrived, medieval at best.

    Of course, maybe that’s what the Progs want, envisioning themselves as Lords of the realm. I’m not sure how well that will work out since the place also gives me the impression of having the long English tradition of disrespecting authority figures. The tech and entertainment CEOs don’t seem fond of real satire.

    Don’t give me Alec Baldwin as Trump. That’s not real satire.

    I’m envisioning “Anna and the Apocalypse” when the “disrespect for authoritah” surfaces.

    (*Great* flick, but you’ll have to work a bit to see it.)

  47. Maybe if we outsource it to the Chinese…

    We’ll see what comes out of the Tesla Shanghai factory. The US plant has enough quality control issues … which Toyota will eventually fix when they take back the building.

    Seriously, though, if there’s one thing I’ve learned with the Chinese relations over 30 years is that if you aren’t on top of things all the time, the corners start getting cut.

    And even though they’ll deny it to your face, they want the Western standards enforced. The pictures of the Thanksgiving dinner table in WA State the year after we bugged out of Vantucky were hilarious since we always brought the food everyone actually ate in previous years.

    I imagine the Tyson chicken nuggets were popular.

    Spare me the “Chinese don’t like turkey” spiel. They liked it well enough when my wife made the bird.

  48. My experiences in china with chinese building and engineering were that they will always cheat. Finishes are thin, underlying structure is mud and rubble, metals get substituted, hand work gets done where controlled processes are needed….

    For them it’s about the appearance of luxury, or correctness, and the underlying bits don’t matter. My chinese project manager said that chinese will never pay for quality, but instead for “bling”.


  49. chinese will never pay for quality, but instead for “bling”

    China’s a big place, with all types. However, this certainly fits a rather large part of the up-and-coming middle class. We see lots of Chinese tourists in Switzerland travelling in tight-knit groups. You must have your picture taken here, back in the bus, and here, back in the bus, and here. You must shop on *this* street for your authentic Swiss watch. You must take back this kind of chocolate. It’s all about showing that you have been to precisely those places, and done precisely those things that gain them status back home.

    That said, there are the occasional family groups or couples who travel on their own and go off the beaten track. It’s just not the stereotypical Chinese norm, and probably takes extra guts to do so.

  50. Our phones are now good enough for a large percentage of work.

    Still find my desktop easier to use for:
    Cut/paste (no mouse on my phone yet)
    Ad blocking
    Not accidentally click on links while scrolling on the web

  51. Not accidentally click on links while scrolling on the web ”

    –I actually do this fairly often. It happens when I press the center mouse button and “flick” toward the top of the screen in the “return to top” motion… sometimes if the timing and position are just right FF sees that as the “open link in new tab” gesture.


  52. Getting old sucks. If I’d have known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.

    No, you would not have.

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