Thur. Nov. 7, 2019 – aw, who am I kidding?

cool and damp. again. [62F and 99%RH]

Didn’t get to my ham club lunch yesterday. I was busy loading up the truck and taking stuff to the auction. I’ve got 5 short pallets in this auction, and you can’t tell where the stuff came from unless you know where to look.

On the other hand, I’ve had 3 ebay sales in the last 2 days. Maybe some stuff is finally breaking loose.

More of the same on my schedule for today. Clean, organize, list, and fix. Might be complicated if it rains. The FEMA never right weather map had us firmly in the middle of a big thunderstorm area. I guess we’ll see.

One of the goals in the cleanup/reorganize/massive selloff is to get some workbench space back in the garage. I’ve got a couple of new things to put together, and I need somewhere to do it. It would be nice to be able to actually work out there too, now that it’s cool enough to do so.

Baby steps. I’ll get there or die trying…

n

39 thoughts on “Thur. Nov. 7, 2019 – aw, who am I kidding?”

  1. 56f and rain here in the Bluff City. This is the high for the day as we will see a cold front moving in. Last week it was in the high 70s. Another very short Fall.
    I saw two serious accidents on the drive in this morning. Memphians just can’t drive on wet or icy roads.
    I am back at the office for a few hours today after working from home for the last three weeks to act as caretaker for my wife. So my manager and half the team are out on training and PTO. I need to get caught up on what’s been going on. However, with my retirement just over a month away, I don’t have a lot of energy for this.

  2. Speaking of eBay, some sellers are hungry. I put a watch on a couple of model train items yesterday (gifts for my Son) and this morning received emails from eBay (checked out, for real) saying the seller was offering a 10% discount. So I took them up on their offer.

    Very cold this morning, 26°F, and very heavy fog. Means the roads will be very slick so the poor folks that still have a commute will probably have a Real Jimmy Hendrix Experience getting to work.

  3. ebay will send the seller a note if there are watchers asking the seller to discount to make the sale. ebay takes care of the transaction and notes… but yes, to do so you need to want the sale.

    Weirdly I sold all four of an item I’ve had listed for a few months in two days. Two yesterday, and an additional two today. Very strange the way it works sometimes.

    n

  4. Speaking of eBay, some sellers are hungry. I put a watch on a couple of model train items yesterday (gifts for my Son) and this morning received emails from eBay (checked out, for real) saying the seller was offering a 10% discount. So I took them up on their offer.

    That is EBay’s new marketing mechanism. The moment you “watch” something, the seller receives an email suggesting the discount and a button to activate the process automatically.

    I have a laptop up now which has an “buy it now” price that is less than the recent upgrades (memory, WiFi card) are worth, but I still get rejections when I hit the button to extend the 10% discount offer. People don’t have mad money right now like they did even a year ago.

  5. Well, the weather liars got today right for Houston. Started as spotty drizzle, and now it’s full on raining.

    No working outside for me today. Glad I got the truckload done yesterday.

    Still, lots of ebay and cleaning my office can be done.

    n

  6. “People don’t have mad money right now like they did even a year ago.”

    –I have a collectible tin car on ebay, listed at $9.70 with free shipping. Someone offered me 6$ and didn’t buy when I countered at $8. I even explained that it would cost me $8 to ship! I’m not PAYING people to buy my crap! I only have it still listed because the work is already done, the listings don’t cost me anything, and some collector might really want it. (and every sale help my ranking, it started out listed for much more but went down every time I renewed the listing)

    This isn’t the first guy for whom a single dollar makes a difference, probably because he’s so math ‘challenged’ as to offer less than shipping cost.

    n

  7. This isn’t the first guy for whom a single dollar makes a difference, probably because he’s so math ‘challenged’ as to offer less than shipping cost.

    He might be overseas using EBay’s international shipping service. His shipping might be a lot more.

    I’m not sure how that works. I don’t authorize international buyers.

    My selling is down, but so is my buying. A lot of sellers are deliberately trying to move cr*p, and I end up returning a lot of my purchases, resorting to EBay and or PayPal arbitration when necessary.

    (Yes, PayPal’s arbitration is separate. Try it if you lose with EBay.)

  8. @nick flandrey said:

    This isn’t the first guy for whom a single dollar makes a difference, probably because he’s so math ‘challenged’ as to offer less than shipping cost.

    Have you tried pricing items without included shipping?

    IIRC, I have seen eBay listings for the exact same item in the past where one included shipping and one didn’t. No actual statistics but the few I watched the ones without included shipping sold first. Proving that “buyers” are often a few bricks short of a load.

  9. Sunny, 68f, windless. Sometimes the high desert is pleasant. And it’s supposed to be this way for the next week.
    I’ll probably finish the exterior house painting soon, wire brushed the remaining walls yesterday, tsp’d them, rinsed and letting dry today.
    Rams at the dealer getting the mirror fixed.

  10. “WALTER WILLIAMS: Disproportionalities: Whose fault?”
    https://www.meridianstar.com/opinion/columns/walter-williams-disproportionalities-whose-fault/article_92d94de7-521a-5fcc-8480-da2fa778e797.html

    “There’s an even greater domestic violation of the proportionality vision. Jews are less than 3% of the U.S. population but 35% of American Nobel Prize winners. Several questions come to mind. Does the disproportionately high number of Jewish winners explain why there are so few black or Hispanic Nobel Prize winners? Who’s to blame for ethnic disproportionality among Nobel Prize winners, and what can be done to promote social justice?”

    The only way that we can all be equal is for us all to have zero opportunities. Such as Venezuela.

    Hat tip to:
    Fort Bend Herald

  11. Got all 36 triple pane windows installed in the new used house yesterday. I am hoping that they got them sealed this morning before the monsoon occurred. I will be heading over there in a little while.

  12. “AOC: ‘Y’all, the billionaires are asking for a safe space'”
    https://finance.yahoo.com/video/yahoo-finance-live-nov-07-153405159.html

    “Warren’s plan hopes to enact a new annual tax of 2% on every dollar a household has above $50 million, which increases to 6% for households with more than $1 billion. She has stressed that the revenue generated for her wealth tax would go towards other federal programs, like Medicare for All and her plan to expand Social Security.”

    Oh my, the federal property tax is going to be progressive. And there are not enough billionaires for her free programs for illegal immigrants so the middle class will pay them. Building those PRCs (Public Residential Complexes) for the illegals to live in for free is expensive ! And running them will be even more. Each PRC will probably need a dozen wind farms feeding it electricity.

  13. IIRC, I have seen eBay listings for the exact same item in the past where one included shipping and one didn’t.

    I’ve seen this and from the same seller. I look at the total. If the item with “free” shipping totals more than paying for shipping, duh.

  14. “Warren’s plan hopes to enact a new annual tax of 2% on every dollar a household has above $50 million, which increases to 6% for households with more than $1 billion. She has stressed that the revenue generated for her wealth tax would go towards other federal programs, like Medicare for All and her plan to expand Social Security.”

    No one really likes Warren, even Dems.

    She won’t be the nominee.

  15. My google-fu is not working today.

    The other night I cooked spaghetti for supper. With a can of spag sauce. A few meatballs would have been nice.

    You can buy all kinds of stuff in cans. Why not meatballs? What do I find?

    Meatballs in tomato sauce. Meatballs in brown gravy. Many recipes for canning your own meatballs. Meatballs with spaghetti. Ravioli. Dog food with “meat” chunks. Meat alternative meal balls. Canned chicken. Spam. Potted meat.

    Meatballs in a broth? Not that I can find.

    I just want to try a can to see if they are better than the meatballs in a can of ChefBoyArdee. I can make my own tomato sauce or brown gravy.

    Maybe I’ll have better luck in a few days.

  16. Dude, ANYTHING including the dog food is likely to be better than the meatballs in Chefboyardee…..

    wrt ebay free shipping, according to ebay, listings with free shipping sell quicker than not. The search tool can sort from lowest to highest – including shipping. Don’t know how many buyers set that, or if they leave it at “preferred” or “most relevant”.

    Most of my buyers are domestic (although I’ve sold all over the world) so they should see the good price. Sometimes, it’s just easier for me to do the listing with free shipping, and not figure it all out in advance (low low cost and high price, where I don’t care about a buck or two if I have to eat the difference)

    I’ve been working in the garage, and one of the things I needed to fix so I could put it away was a big commercial grade fog machine I bought. I took it out this year and it didn’t work. They’re pretty simple, so I opened it up. Turns out the pump isn’t moving fluid properly. Google the part number and I get a bunch of fix it videos on youtube, because the pump is commonly used in espresso machines. The most common failure mode involves wear of a check valve ball. That seems to be my issue. Google says, amazon has the best price, $26, prime, and I’ll have it tomorrow. Sweet! The espresso parts place had it for $62. I wouldn’t be investing any money in that business….they’ve been disintermediated. (and the pump on ebay, labeled for the fogger is $90!) The new model of this fogger is $750 and they sell for $350 on ebay used. Worth spending $26 on a new pump!

    n

  17. Actually, the meatballs in Chefboyardee are better than the so-called meat chunks in Alpo.

    Hey, it was a cold winter day and I heated up a can to mix into his dry food. It smelled great. The gravy was tasty. Texture not so much. 🙂 Somewhat like not fully cooked biscuits. Needed salt and pepper.

    Cat food is right out for me, that stuff stinks. But I’m kind of iffy about seafood.

    Sounds like a win with the fog machine!


  18. Each PRC will probably need a dozen wind farms feeding it electricity.

    Don’t forget the near-by soy bean field for the “weekly rations.” Also, TV novellas.

  19. You can buy all kinds of stuff in cans. Why not meatballs? What do I find?

    IKEA’s meatballs are shipped frozen. I have no doubt that if it was possible to can meatballs without ending up with Chef Boyardee taste/texture, they would have done it.

  20. I have a side by side thing. It’s not four wheel drive. The engine is a 390CC Honda. I think.
    It has much more ground clearance than a golf cart. I bought it at Tractor Supply.

    From the first, the ignition switch has been flaky if you want to do something silly like run the headlights. Starting the engine and stopping the engine has never been a problem.

    It’s always been in the boat shed. Though it does get rained on when the storm is blowing from the North.

    Last month the battery died. Ok, it’s a year or so old there with another 6 months in the riding lawn mower. I put replaced the battery with the year old battery from the mower and guess what? Almost two weeks later a good battery is dead.

    Ok, I’ve played this stupid game before with my previous riding mower. But there, it was easy to disconnect a battery cable.

    I looked at the maker’s web site. $42 for a new switch. Er… ouch. But almost $15 for shipping. And plus tax. No, get real. A bit of bubble wrap and a Priority Mail envelope is maybe $7. Max.

    Amazon was worthless unless I wanted to pay even more. I did find a website selling the part for $40.xx and $8 shipping.

    It’ll be here in a few days. Maybe next week. No hurry, the side by side has rope start, also.

    The old battery? I’m going to put it on the charger. And put it in the lawn mower.

  21. I don’t want frozen meat balls. Because of “frozen” and frostbite.

    Canned and better than Chefboyardee’s in broth works. Maybe. I won’t know until I find them. It’s not a do or die thing.

    I read several recipes for canning meatballs. Oatmeal as a filler instead of breadcrumbs is a no. They fall apart. For firmer meatballs, bake them longer… 30 minutes instead of 20. Shrug. Ok. Cook the grease out. I understand the process.

    edit: I’ve heard the IKEA meatballs are good. But after a couple of hours in that rat maze all I want is OUT.

  22. “Court Allows Police Full Access to Online Genealogy Database”

    Does anyone really think that the high-throughput DNA testing labs are doing anything close to real forensic level work? Real forensic labs are supposed to have a high level of accountability: qualified and validated methods, extensive documented training, full calibration traceability, chain of custody controls, quality control and quality assurance oversight.

    I’m a scientist and some of what I work on gets injected into very sick people. We adhere to very high standards. High standards take time and money. The genealogy DNA labs are all about fast and cheap. Who cares if it’s not right? I do if the police are looking at it.

  23. edit: I’ve heard the IKEA meatballs are good. But after a couple of hours in that rat maze all I want is OUT.

    “Good” depends on who you talk to about the meatballs, but that company is obsessed with logistics and optimizing space in the stores.

  24. Re: yesterday’s discussion of school lunches. I’m 0x36, and I never attended a school whose food service could be described as anything more than “calories fit for human consumption”. I remember my high school lunches as costing $1.10 / day, my dad put a stack of $1 bills and a jar of dimes in one corner of the cabinet, and told me not to come looking for more if it ran out before the school year. The salad bar was actually pretty good, but that’s hard to foul up. The milk was refrigerated to a correct, safe temperature. The hot meals were tasteless at best, disgusting at worst, four days a week. Thursdays was the best fried chicken I’ve ever had, and the population of the lunchroom went way up that day, and the cornbread was good too.

  25. I remember pizza day in high school with fondness. It didn’t taste like the pizza I made, or we ordered in, but it had it’s own good taste. We had a hot line, with made in the school entree and sides. Salad bars weren’t really a thing back then for us, it was a big deal when restaurants added them.

    In junior high, we had pre-prepared hot lunches. I don’t remember having any opinion about them either way. I ate them.

    Between the interpretation of the federal guidelines, all the pseudo-science “nutritional” requirements (low salt, low fat for KIDS) based on bad science done with hypertensive and overweight adults, and seeing it as a place to save money so they can afford more “in service” training days at hotels, the kids get shafted. And our tax money gets wasted.

    n

  26. Actually, the meatballs in Chefboyardee are better than the so-called meat chunks in Alpo.

    Hey, it was a cold winter day and I heated up a can to mix into his dry food. It smelled great. The gravy was tasty. Texture not so much. Somewhat like not fully cooked biscuits. Needed salt and pepper.

    Dude, the first thing I said was I don’t want to know how you know that. But, you told us anyway.

    Oh well, store that info for grid down.

  27. Each PRC will probably need a dozen wind farms feeding it electricity.

    Don’t forget the near-by soy bean field for the “weekly rations.” Also, TV novellas.

    Mmmmm. BBQ sauce on the soy today. I think that I will skip the Lime sauce on the soy day.

    Can you imagine what a PRC unit will look like ? Furniture bolted into the floor. Bunkbeds. Steel toilets with integrated water fountains. Steel chairs bolted to each other to make a couch.

    I just don’t see how the tv is going to work beyond a week of people throwing cans of Alpo at them. Maybe built into the wall with a hard plastic shield.

  28. Last month the battery died. Ok, it’s a year or so old there with another 6 months in the riding lawn mower. I put replaced the battery with the year old battery from the mower and guess what? Almost two weeks later a good battery is dead.

    Ok, I’ve played this stupid game before with my previous riding mower. But there, it was easy to disconnect a battery cable.

    Get a trickle charger ? Or am I misunderstanding the problem ?
    https://www.amazon.com/BLACK-DECKER-BM3B-Automatic-Maintainer/dp/B0051D3MP6/?tag=ttgnet-20

  29. Re: yesterday’s discussion of school lunches. I’m 0x36, and I never attended a school whose food service could be described as anything more than “calories fit for human consumption”.

    Seriously, can you ask for more without driving the price way higher ?

    In 12th grade, I would buy a pair of canned cokes from the coke machine and my buddy would buy two apple pies from the goodies machine. We would swap to one of each and that was lunch. We had 25 minutes for lunch and the four lunch lines took 20+ minutes. Our high school had 6,500 nineth through twelfth graders with seven lunch periods in a school designed for 2,000 kids at most.

  30. Well, today was interesting. I drove up to the new used house to see the new windows and a garden hose was hanging from a tree, still running. I had to tiptoe through a big puddle to turn it off, now my socks are wet in my boots (boots are not waterproof contrary to popular opinion). The window guys had already finished and left.

    The guys had apparently cleaned their caulk guns in the kitchen sink since the metal sink was covered in caulk and the drain was full of caulk. I called the main window dude and communicated my unhappiness. He apologized and gave me a $200 credit. He wanted a picture of the kitchen sink but when I went back out to the kitchen, my wife had already cleaned it up. I did send him a picture of one of the master bath sinks where there was a big daub of caulk stuck in the drain. I cleaned that out with a paper towel. You just do not want caulk down your drains, especially with a septic tank.

    You know, if I go into somebody’s house to work on it, I would try to leave it as clean as it was when I got there. This current generation of workmen from the Honduras needs to be taught that we do have standards here in the USA. But I doubt that will happen.

  31. You know, if I go into somebody’s house to work on it, I would try to leave it as clean as it was when I got there. This current generation of workmen from the Honduras needs to be taught that we do have standards here in the USA. But I doubt that will happen.

    The flooring crew who re-tiled our upstairs bath a couple of years back tracked in something sticky/nasty on the bottom of their shoes which did a number on the carpet on our stairs. I didn’t catch it until they were gone.

    That reminds me — CSC Floors. The bathroom tile job was decent even if the crew trashed the stairs.


  32. I’ve heard the IKEA meatballs are good. But after a couple of hours in that rat maze all I want is OUT.

    I rather like the IKEA KÖTTBULLAR (revelations about their horseflesh content notwithstanding). The frozen Daim chocolate cake is pretty tasty too.

    Our local IKEA has the food department just inside the door, separate from the furniture part, such that one can buy food without having to enter the rat maze at all. The restaurant is also accessible without going via the main display area.

    On the rare occasion I want something from the actual store, I can usually get to it quickly by entering via the checkouts and going directly to the aisle in the self-service warehousing part, having previously looked up the rack number online.

  33. I like the food IKEA sells, both in the cafe and in the little carry out store. Both can be reached without entering the main store in Houston. There is something odd about the ownership/legality of the Houston store, like they are a franchise not a company store, but it doesn’t make a difference most of the time.

    I haven’t set foot inside the Houston store in a couple of years though. They posted anti gun signs, and went so far as to ask a uniformed cop to leave because he was carrying a gun. F THAT. I don’t need to give money to those who hate me and want me dead. I used to shop there at least a couple of times a month.

    The IKEA cafe in the store near Stavenger Norway was one of our lunch restaurants when I was there. Chinese in the mall, lamb in the IKEA, and a couple others that I can’t remember (including some of the weirdest pizza toppings I’ve ever seen) were our daily rotation for 3 weeks. IKEA almost felt like home cooking after all the local strangeness.

    n

  34. I like the food IKEA sells, both in the cafe and in the little carry out store. Both can be reached without entering the main store in Houston. There is something odd about the ownership/legality of the Houston store, like they are a franchise not a company store, but it doesn’t make a difference most of the time.

    Wasn’t Houston one of the first IKEA stores in the US? The company may have partnered with somebody domestic to learn the market.

  35. @Lynn,

    Can you imagine what a PRC unit will look like?

    That’s easy–‘terrafoam’ (starting in Chapter 4),
    Manna

    .mg

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