Mon. Nov. 11, 2019 – Veteran’s Day in the US

Cold, damp, rain forecast. [wrong- 65F and 94%RH, practically balmy]

Yesterday was very nice by late afternoon. In fact, I was sweating while I used the GardenWeasel ™ on the raised beds. Added some soil, will try to get the plants in the ground today. Will also try getting more of my list done, but we’ll see.

Kids are in school. I thought we might have today off, since .gov is closed, but still not actually honoring vets I guess. I will and will make sure the kids know what today is about.

Daughter got home from her sleepover at about 830 last night, and went right to bed. Grumpy and tired is on the menu for today… and not just for her 🙂

And so another week begins, and we march closer to the end of the year.

Lots to do,

n

88 thoughts on “Mon. Nov. 11, 2019 – Veteran’s Day in the US”

  1. Overcast and 60f at 7am in the Bluff City.
    This will be the warmest of the day as a cold front rolls in bringing the possibility of light snow. I checked both cars yesterday to ensure they had anti-freeze and washer fluid that wouldn’t freeze. My brother in California reported a dangerous new regulation. His daughter was planning to drive to Tahoe to visit her sister and asked for wiper fluid that wouldn’t freeze so she could clear the slush off her windscreen once she got into the mountains. On HW 80 the semi trucks throw up lots of slush as they whiz by. The AutoZone guy in the Bay Area said that state regulations forbid them selling non-freeze washer fluid. He said only areas of the state that regularly get snow are allowed to sell it. So Gruesome Newsom has made it dangerous for people who live in the lower elevations to drive into the mountains. Smart.

  2. The AutoZone guy in the Bay Area said that state regulations forbid them selling non-freeze washer fluid. He said only areas of the state that regularly get snow are allowed to sell it. So Gruesome Newsom has made it dangerous for people who live in the lower elevations to drive into the mountains. Smart.

    It is long past the point that the sane people in California need to start pushing back against the Pajama Boys ruining the state. They are a minority, no matter how vocal.


  3. Shout out to all the veterans here. Thanks for your service.

    +1000!

    We will have several celebrations in our little comminity.


  4. It is long past the point that the sane people in California need to start pushing back against the Pajama Boys ruining the state. They are a minority, no matter how vocal.

    There are glimmers of hope, but who am I kidding? Read some of Victor Davis Hanson’s stuff. It isn’t all gloom and doom.

    Also, watch the trends. No state is immune to creeping federalism. I have known people who have moved away from here, only to come back in one to three years. The devil you know…

  5. hcombs, I feel for your niece. Wasn’t aware of that washer fluid thing.

    I have the luxury of avoiding almost all rain and snow. Rarely use wipers, and haven’t used washers in decades. Ironically, the reason for avoiding washers is to protect the wax which protects the paint. Some of those washer fluids are nasty. I drained, flushed, and dried the washer system on one of my nice cars, but then had to disconnect the low fluid sensor. These newer cars keep getting more complicated.

    To almost eliminate the need for wipers, I have used Rain-X, almost since it was invented by a friend of a military pilot who lost his life to a streaked aircraft windscreen. Stuff is amazing. There are newer “ceramic” coatings that claim to be better, but have not tried them. They have the claimed advantage of lasting longer, but I have a good supply of Rain-X, and apply it once a year. It also has the advantage of reducing the visual effect of small pits. Just be sure to clean the glass well before applying it. Glass cleaning is a whole ‘nother subject.


  6. As a 68 yo native Californian I see nothing good in our state government. They will regulate or tax everything they hate out of existance.

    And yet you stay. Me too. I came in ’72, and still think it is the best place I have lived. But then, I know people who like places I never could.

    The late OFD comes to mind. I remember him saying, in his own inimitable way, that it was 20F with a 50mph wind off the lake… keeps the riff-raff away. But then, he was of Viking descent, and enjoyed snowshoeing. See, a place for everyone!

  7. They have the claimed advantage of lasting longer, but I have a good supply of Rain-X, and apply it once a year. It also has the advantage of reducing the visual effect of small pits. Just be sure to clean the glass well before applying it. Glass cleaning is a whole ‘nother subject.

    I suspect RainX is part of the problem I have with the front camera related to the safety systems in my new Camry. The camera sits behind the rear view mirror in a box bonded to the windshield, and I’ve had intermittent failures of the hardware over the last few months for several minutes at a time.

    Just be aware if you have a similar system in a newer car. The cost of the part ($1200) makes me believe that they are doing infrared as well as visible light spectrum. License plates fluoresce really well in infrared.

  8. Just spent a couple of hours on my mom’s pc issues.

    Teamviewer wouldn’t start or run, wouldn’t uninstall, then miraculously started all by itself. Hard to know what’s going on when a single mouse click can have a 15 minute delay before acting. All sorts of race condition errors are happening I’m sure.

    Got skype to show me her desktop so at least I can see what’s happening and see what she’s doing.

    Teamviewer ACTS like it’s running but I can’t connect.

    So I had her start the Disk Cleanup process. We selected everything I could including restore points, updates, thumbnails, and windows Defender files… and now it’s running. Very slowly. But it should get faster as it progresses.

    What I’d like to know is WTF the geniuses in Redmond think they are doing? Mixed Reality? Xbox console? There’s a shitton of unnecessary crap running constantly. I need an OS that does what an OS should, manage the PC and peripherals. NOT push mixed reality, shared gaming, or any of the sh!t they’ve added. Cortana? Edge? Can’t get rid of either.

    N

  9. Greg Norton, newer car, ha ha. My newest is a 2006. Not much silly stuff.

    My wife sees stuff like “TV screens” in her friends’ new cars, and thinks that is neat, until I tell her she couldn’t actually watch TV on them while driving. 🙂

    Full disclosure, I will eventually get one of those newer snooper cars, if I don’t die first. Meanwhile, she also likes her ’68 Mustang. It has no screens of any kind. Puzzling.

  10. I suspect RainX is part of the problem I have with the front camera related to the safety systems in my new Camry. The camera sits behind the rear view mirror in a box bonded to the windshield, and I’ve had intermittent failures of the hardware over the last few months for several minutes at a time.

    The rear view camera system is a required federal safety system. I thought required federal safety systems had a much longer warranty, 150,000 miles ???

  11. The rear view camera system is a required federal safety system. I thought required federal safety systems had a much longer warranty, 150,000 miles ???

    Front camera isn’t mandatory. Neither is Lane Assist or Collision Avoidance. Normal warranty.

    When I called Toyota, the rep on the phone was annoyed that I knew the cost of the part.

    At least the component is separate still with Toyota. From what I understand, front camera is integrated into the windshield by some manufacturers, totally eliminating a $400 Safelite replacement in favor of a $2000 job at the dealer.


  12. From what I understand, front camera is integrated into the windshield by some manufacturers, totally eliminating a $400 Safelite replacement in favor of a $2000 job at the dealer.

    Choose a new car wisely. I had no idea, and I am starting to look for a newer used car. Another thing to add to my list of stuff that would kill a purchase. I already know what I might buy, but haven’t chosen the model year yet. If history is any guide, I will probably narrow it down to a small range of years, and then go from there.

    My biggest issue is that I will again try to buy from a private party, but that option is disappearing, unless the car is one of special interest, and this won’t be one of those. Too many people simply dump a car on a dealer, who in turn dumps it to an auction, unless it is one he can profit on. Many really good cars go to auction, but auctions can be daunting. I need to cultivate a trustworthy contact who goes to auctions and could find me what I want… as soon as I know what I want. Since I keep cars for a long time (our current daily driver is a 1997, purchased from a PP in 2000,) choosing wisely is, uh, wise.


  13. I suspect RainX is part of the problem I have with the front camera related to the safety systems in my new Camry. The camera sits behind the rear view mirror in a box bonded to the windshield, and I’ve had intermittent failures of the hardware over the last few months for several minutes at a time.

    Why not simply remove the Rain-X?

    Now we are getting into glass cleaning, but removing Rain-X is pretty easy, although I have never done that. Just use a strong petroleum solvent, such as lacquer thinner. You can check your work by testing to see if water wets the glass. If lacquer thinner doesn’t work, try ammonia. If that doesn’t work, some mild abrasive, such as Bon Ami or cerium oxide, followed by a strong detergent should. Yeah, you will have to experiment.

  14. Why not simply remove the Rain-X?

    I cleaned that section of the windshield with Windex. We’ll see what happens.

    It didn’t occur to me until last weekend that the RainX would be a factor.

  15. Nick, if you don’t do Windows updates on a regular basis, it will make your PC/laptop crawl for hours. I have that problem with my laptop if I don’t power it up every month or so.

  16. Choose a new car wisely.

    I have to have the rear window in my F-150 replaced. The mirror defrost and the rear window defrost will not come on. Diagnosed with a bad rear window. The contacts on the sliding part eventually quit working requiring replacing the entire window. The contacts are not accessible even with the window removed without destroying part of the window.

    The mirror defrost and rear window defrost are wired in series. If one quits, they both quit. What idiot at Ford decided that was a good design?

    The window is $583.00 and the labor to install is 5 hours. The entire back seat has to be removed along with a large chunk of the trim around the window. The windows is bolted behind the trim behind the rear seat. I am staring at a cost of over $1,100.00 to have defrost back and operational.

    I have used Rain-X, almost since it was invented by a friend of a military pilot

    I have also used Rain-X ever since I found it at Walmart. As you say, stuff is amazing at speeds above 35 mph (at least on my truck window). Needs air flowing to whisk the rain away. When traveling on the I-State, in speeds that are reasonable for conditions, I never have to use the wiper blades. I also use the stuff on the rear and side windows and the exterior mirrors.

    some mild abrasive, such as Bon Ami

    Bon Ami works great if you can find the stuff. It is such a fine abrasive that it will not cause any scratches on the glass. Works great for really cleaning a window down the glass.

    I suspect RainX is part of the problem I have with the front camera

    All Rain-X will do is cause the rain to form droplets. I think that may confuse the camera as there is some sort of edge, or contrast, detection. The droplets act like little lenses distorting what the camera sees and that confuses the software part of the system. But I did not stay at a Holiday Inn in the last several months so I am no expert.

  17. The rear view camera system is a required federal safety system. I thought required federal safety systems had a much longer warranty, 150,000 miles ???

    Front camera isn’t mandatory. Neither is Lane Assist or Collision Avoidance. Normal warranty.

    Ah, my backwards dyslexia is acting up today.

    I am not sure that my 2019 F-150 has an emergency braking system. Sounds like I may not want one yet.


  18. The droplets act like little lenses distorting what the camera sees and that confuses the software part of the system.

    Ah, never thought of that. New cars = complexities.

  19. All Rain-X will do is cause the rain to form droplets. I think that may confuse the camera as there is some sort of edge, or contrast, detection. The droplets act like little lenses distorting what the camera sees and that confuses the software part of the system. But I did not stay at a Holiday Inn in the last several months so I am no expert.

    The camera failures always happen during clear weather. I’ve seen it at four different times of day.

    The only environmental possibility we haven’t ruled out is heat. The problems didn’t start until Austin began hitting 100 every day.

    Naturally, Toyota isn’t going to budge until the camera fails totally.


  20. The camera failures always happen during clear weather.

    So much for my theory. I need to stay at a Holiday Inn real soon.

    problems didn’t start until Austin began hitting 100

    My GPS that sits on the dash will get wonky when the temperature soars. On my trip to San Antonio in August the unit quit on my twice and I had to move it into the shade to restore operation.


  21. I am staring at a cost of over $1,100.00 to have defrost back and operational.

    @Ray: Sell the F150 to JimB, he is pretty much frost free.

  22. Some day I should write down my idea of the ideal car. Trouble is, it doesn’t exist, and so would have to be built. Or, just collect some cars that, in the aggregate, have the features we want. C.F. Jay Leno. BTW, I read yesterday that Jay is worth an estimated 350 million dollars. A lot, for just an ordinary guy. And, he is. Some of us have met him, or at least studied him. He works hard, even in retirement, and is probably the most unusual guy in Hollywierd. He has also helped a lot of budding performers. My theory is he is one of those who never sleep. Wish I could do that.

    Jay is living the dream. Just watch any of his Jay Leno’s Garage videos. This is one of my favorites of those on cars (vs motorcycles):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qooCmc7h78
    and not just because I have a soft spot in my head for Mopars. Watch as Jay explains the irrationality of his enjoyment. That is honesty that I understand.


  23. @Ray: Sell the F150 to JimB, he is pretty much frost free.

    Thanks but no thanks. I already have a PU. I did have two for a while, and that was too much. I will probably keep my current one until I die. At the rate we are going, I am aging faster than it is. My former one is in the hands of a (slightly) younger guy, and it might outlast both of us.

    Oh, don’t worry too much about me. I know people who own cars that are older than they are. No big deal.

  24. Getting back to the ideal car, mine would have an engine with roller tappets and EFI. The automatic trans would be a wide range unit for calm highway cruising. Might want antilock brakes, but not a big deal. Have a car (’68 Imperial) with Chrysler Autotemp AC, and that is wonderful, so automatic temperature control with front and rear units would be great. Oh, wait, no, no. The car is getting too complicated… Have to rethink this already. Maybe two cars… That’s it! Or, maybe three… I give up!

    See what I mean. And, I didn’t even get to the rat rod, or the bucket T, or the road racer. No, can’t have everything I want in just one car.

    Notice how there isn’t much modern stuff in that short list? Hmm.

  25. BTW, I read yesterday that Jay is worth an estimated 350 million dollars. A lot, for just an ordinary guy.

    The legend is that Leno banked all of his Tonight Show salary and lived off of what he earned away from the show, doing gigs on the road and Vegas, on the theory that it kept his comedy instincts sharp.

    My theory is he is one of those who never sleep.

    As both Conan O’Brien and NBC learned the hard way.

    NBC still hasn’t recovered 10 o’clock from that disaster.

  26. Bon Ami is available at Big River, or was when I stocked up.

    The big advantages in the new to me ’18 Forester were the manual tranny and therefore no driver assist safety systems. In addition, I still have a real parking brake and a key ignition, although it is a chip.model. Hope it lasts the 15 years the old one did.

  27. @JimB: I tried RainX a couple of ties. It really is marvelous – at first. However, my experience was that you still need wipers sometimes. The wipers then put fine scratches into the RainX coating, and it starts to glare badly at night.

    I suppose re-applying frequently would fix that problem but I wasn’t willing to do that. I lived in Ohio at the time, and iirc I would have needed to apply it about every couple of weeks.

    I haven’t heard of the ceramic coatings you mention – those sound interesting…

    – – – – –

    @Nick: Agreed – Win10 is a mess. I especially love the way that you can clean it up – with lots of effort – and the next update puts all the crapware back. It’s great fun. And the privacy settings cannot be that bad by accident – and you cannot completely prevent “telemetry” from phoning home. It’s a mess.

    The only thing I still absolutely need windows for is Adobe Reader, because my employer uses the latest-and-greatest version to produce crappy forms. Which none of the other readers support. I do wonder how much did MS pay Adobe to discontinue Linux support? Anyway, I now have Adobe Reader running on Win7 in a VM that I boot when I need it.

    – – – – –

    New cars – we’re considering buying one in the next year or so. Essentially all new cars have built-in navigation systems. A couple of friends mentioned that they have to pay crazy prices for updates to the maps. I would have thought updates would be cheap – I mean, even for our old TomTom, it’s only $50/year. But our friends pay something like $1000 for an annual update.

    Is that normal? Is there a way around it? Seems totally nuts…

  28. Ah. Ideal Car. 🙂

    I want a ’57 Windsor. Add A/C of course. Drive-train? Well, my ’96 Stratus with the DOHC engine was pretty darn nice. Not quite enough engine though.

    I don’t want to mess with a 440… not interested in Chrysler 300 umphf. Although laying rubber across a four lane intersection IS a fun activity.

    I think a ’57 Windsor for the pretty-ness and the drive train of my ’02 Dodge truck would be really swell. Bigger engine and the computers and tranny are refined from the ’96 Stratus era.

    Then again….. a ’75 Cordoba with KY4 paint and rich Corinthian leather would be WAY up on the list. A ’74 Imperial, same color, would actually be a step up of course. 🙂 Same drive train as my truck.

    Well. I can dream.

    edit: The Cordoba would have to have front buckets and the slap-stick shifter. Because that’s what my ’75 had.


  29. Hey, CowboySlim, you ARE frost free!

    10-4, and I only go to Kennedy Meadows in the summer. However, we will probably go to Kernville in the next month, or two, but it is not that high.

  30. Getting back to the ideal car, mine would have an engine with roller tappets and EFI. The automatic trans would be a wide range unit for calm highway cruising. Might want antilock brakes, but not a big deal. Have a car (’68 Imperial) with Chrysler Autotemp AC, and that is wonderful, so automatic temperature control with front and rear units would be great. Oh, wait, no, no. The car is getting too complicated… Have to rethink this already. Maybe two cars… That’s it! Or, maybe three… I give up!

    Hey, I just figured out that gauge #4 in my 2019 F-150 4×4 is the automatic transmission temperature. Another feature of the Max Towing package along with the 36 gallon fuel tank (I just reached 1/2 tank after two weeks, a 3.55 rear axle (I’m betting that the front axle ratio is the same), and an electric locking rear axle (for those days you are tired of one wheel spinning).

    No more automatic temperature control like I had in the 2005 Expedition. It did not work very well as you could not separately control the fan speed from side to side, just the temperature. I would be freezing with the wife sitting in the passenger seat sweating.

    I wonder if the ten speed automatic would meet your need ? It is constantly shifting to get the engine rpm below 1,500 and jumps gears when it feels like it. I figured out how to turn the transmission gear indicator on in the dash. That thing has more options than a multiple ball pinball machine.

  31. New cars – we’re considering buying one in the next year or so. Essentially all new cars have built-in navigation systems. A couple of friends mentioned that they have to pay crazy prices for updates to the maps. I would have thought updates would be cheap – I mean, even for our old TomTom, it’s only $50/year. But our friends pay something like $1000 for an annual update.

    That navigation was a $750 option in my 2019 F-150. But then they gave a $500 rebate on the sticker so it was really only $250. And I am not paying more than $50/year for updates so that will probably fade over time.

  32. New cars – we’re considering buying one in the next year or so. Essentially all new cars have built-in navigation systems. A couple of friends mentioned that they have to pay crazy prices for updates to the maps. I would have thought updates would be cheap – I mean, even for our old TomTom, it’s only $50/year. But our friends pay something like $1000 for an annual update.

    Is that normal? Is there a way around it? Seems totally nuts…

    I don’t use the Toyota navigation system, but it is available.

    Beyond navigation, he manufacturers are increasingly using the map data to allow the car to know when you are exceeding the speed limit and display a warning. From what I understand, Volvo is going to go further and actively enforce the limits. No word on whether that will just be new cars going out the door or all recent models, but I think it telling that Austin Volvo just downsized their lot — no one but the Pajama Boy personality type will want those cars.

  33. Remembrance Day up here in the Great White North (and other locations in the Commonwealth). It is actually white out as we have the first snowfall of the season – maybe 5 inches of the white stuff and a brisk 23F (low tonight of around 16F). It’s almost like winter!!! Most of this will melt by the end of the week as the prediction is for a comfortable high of 35F Thursday and Friday. Needless to say, I am not planting anything in the garden here. What I do need to do is finish winterizing the roses, take in the garden hose, and dump the rainwater barrel but that will have to wait for the weekend.

    With the passing of my wife I am now in “executor mode”. It is not as simple as it should be. My wife named a beneficiary for a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP – similar to a 401(k) in the US) back in 1995 when she opened it: her ex-husband. Worthless financial advisers never reviewed the beneficiary with her even once in the last 15 years (or maybe never). What was she paying them a fee for? Fortunately, her “ex” is being very reasonable (the intent is to settle the bulk of the estate on his son) and so I don’t need to call in the lawyers.

    Trying to trace her other accounts now. A paperless world is a world with no obvious evidence of what accounts you have when you suddenly pass away. I said this before – if your affairs are separate from your spouse or you are on your own, write down a list of accounts and store it with your will. Your executor will be much happier.

    On the personal side, getting flashbacks of her illness – let’s call this a minor case of PTSD or maybe just part of normal grieving. Not sure which, but it is not fun. Flashbacks to her before her illness are less painful as they are reminders of happier times. Still makes me a bit of an emotional punching-bag. Everyone (family, fraternity, friends) have been very helpful and my employer has given me lots of space. Back to work last week and work is now ramping up, which will keep me out of the house and thinking about something else. Everyone I have spoken to in a similar situation has said it will get better but it will never go away. I look forward to better.

  34. Got the present house ready for the hard freeze forecast of 27 F Tuesday night by closing the valve to the lawn sprinkler system and draining the no backup valve loop this morning. This is a very early freeze for us as the average is December 3rd. But not the earliest.
    https://www.wunderground.com/forecast/us/tx/richmond?cm_ven=localwx_10day
    and
    https://spacecityweather.com/an-arctic-front-arrives-later-today-freeze-likely-tuesday-night/

    No lawn sprinkler system on the new used house. Yet. Wait, there are the septic aeration tank sprinklers. But those are way in the ground for that 1,500 gallon brown and black water system.

    Comment on Space City Weather:
    “Time to panic – Bring your pipes inside, wrap the elderly in foam, stock two weeks of rations, start your generators, cancel school for a week, and fill your cars with gas….. it’s going to be a brutal 30 degrees out there.”


  35. The rear view camera system is a required federal safety system.

    Since when? My newest car is a 2017 Hyundai Sonata I bought with 48,000 miles and it doesn’t have any cameras or a screen to display them on.

  36. Beyond navigation, he manufacturers are increasingly using the map data to allow the car to know when you are exceeding the speed limit and display a warning. From what I understand, Volvo is going to go further and actively enforce the limits. No word on whether that will just be new cars going out the door or all recent models, but I think it telling that Austin Volvo just downsized their lot — no one but the Pajama Boy personality type will want those cars.

    I’ve owned my last Volvo. You have to be able to get it started to even worry about speed limits. I used to park mine on a hill so I could pop the clutch to start it. Mine had severe battery and alternator problems. Either would die every 2 to 3 months.

  37. The rear view camera system is a required federal safety system.

    Since when? My newest car is a 2017 Hyundai Sonata I bought with 48,000 miles and it doesn’t have any cameras or a screen to display them on.

    Looks like it was May 1, 2018. Sounds like yours squeaked by before the requirement.
    https://abcnews.go.com/US/cars-us-now-required-backup-cameras/story?id=54854404

    ADD: I am really liking the backup camera with the 8 inch screen (backup, nav, radio, phone, about a million other functions) in the 2019 F-150. I got the XLT since the base XL model has a 4 inch screen which I count as worthless. I tested it out by trying to back into my Expedition and it started beeping at me when I got less than five ft away.

    Now I need somebody to test the emergency braking on.

  38. I don’t “get” the whole maps on a screen thing. Yes, it can be handy if you are looking for a shop and you don’t know that part of town. But I got stuff to do, like drive the car.

    We took the parents on a “One Lap of America” trip. Er, 1990? Pretty much every western state from New Mexico to the Dakotas and back home. A few, like 3, miles short of 7000 miles. We would stop at the rest areas and get a state map at each state.
    Our best map? A 1967 Esso map of the Interstate Highways. That plotted our course and the state maps filled in some detail.

  39. “Time to panic – Bring your pipes inside, wrap the elderly in foam, stock two weeks of rations, start your generators, cancel school for a week, and fill your cars with gas….. it’s going to be a brutal 30 degrees out there.”

    Two years ago, the HEB near my house had gas lines the night before the first hard freeze, and the shelves in the bread, eggs, and water areas were bare.

    At first, I thought people were shell shocked after the fake gas shortage Clear Channel created in Central Texas on Labor Day Weekend 2017, but then I remembered that we always have a bumper crop of transplants from California and The Subcontinent who have probably never seen a hard freeze before in their lives.


  40. they have to pay crazy prices for updates

    Updates for my F-150 are $149.00. I continue to use my Garmin with lifetime updates, for free. Ford’s navigation is inferior to Garmin with lane assist and junction view.

  41. I heard that today the Burnet HEB parking lot was full. Like park out at the gas station. Because Oh My God, We Are Gonna Die !!!!

    So yeah, buy eggs and milk and bread.

    Me? All set. Although I would feel better with both cans full of gas.

  42. Trying to trace her other accounts now. A paperless world is a world with no obvious evidence of what accounts you have when you suddenly pass away. I said this before – if your affairs are separate from your spouse or you are on your own, write down a list of accounts and store it with your will. Your executor will be much happier.

    Yes, the world is trying very hard to go paperless. And I cannot keep my passwords straight on the 60 suppliers websites that I deal with on my office computer, phone, and home computer. Two commercial properties and two homes.

    When I get a electronic bill, I immediately print it out and add it to the stack of notable crap for that year. Unless it is taxable or a tax deduction, then I add it to the tax stack.

  43. My wife set up accounts for the kids, some sort of Texas college fund. Add her retirement accounts, stock trader accounts, and the deep pockets savings accounts and I’m screwed. I don’t even know my own TDameritrade account or password. In theory, it’s all in Keypass. In practice the banks freak out every time you use a different computer, and insist on sending codes to phones. If she was killed in a car accident that destroyed her phone, I’d be locked out of those accounts even with the passwords.

    I should probably do something about that.

    n

    (and chase is the worst offender)

  44. My mom’s pc seems to have run disk cleanup to completion and rebooted. Teamviewer was running when she came back to it.

    It was snappy, even over the internet. So of course I let the update run….

    and now I can’t connect again. I’ll have to call mom and see what it says now.

    n

  45. Getting really gusty out there, with a temp drop of several degrees. I’ll have to cover all my citrus tomorrow I guess.

    n

    added- space city weather nailed the arrival of the front, within an hour, and it did have the light rain he forecast too. Haven’t seen 10-20 degree drop, but it is falling.


  46. Hey, I just figured out that gauge #4 in my 2019 F-150 4×4 is the automatic transmission temperature. Another feature of the Max Towing package along with the 36 gallon fuel tank (I just reached 1/2 tank after two weeks, a 3.55 rear axle (I’m betting that the front axle ratio is the same), and an electric locking rear axle (for those days you are tired of one wheel spinning).

    A true 4×4 has a two speed transfer case, otherwise it is an AWD.

  47. A true 4×4 has a two speed transfer case, otherwise it is an AWD.

    I have a knob on the dash with positions for 2H, 4H, and 4Low. I can shift between 2H and 4H at any speed. To get into 4Low I have to stop. I have not tried the rear axle locker yet.

    I do not miss the old days when you had to stop, jump out and turn the front axles on, get back in, and shift the manual case to 4Hi from 2Hi that had not been shifted in a year or five. And then forget to turn the front axles off for a year or two.

  48. Getting really gusty out there, with a temp drop of several degrees. I’ll have to cover all my citrus tomorrow I guess.

    We just went from 76 F to 56 F in a big gust of wind and now rain. Cold rain.

    The natural gas pipelines should be starting their ethylene glycol (EG) circulation systems now. Most of them have upgraded from methanol (MeOH) to EG when MeOH hit $10/gallon a few years ago. Yes, your natural gas will have a faint trace of EG in it. Don’t drink it. Or inhale it.


  49. I should probably do something about that.

    Please do. I am also executor for both my brother and my mother-in-law. I have already spoken to my brother about this and about giving him the same information about me. MIL needs to wait, as she is still grieving her only daughter. Write down the account details, put it in an envelope, seal and date it and place with your will. Anything you are uncomfortable sharing now will need to be shared if you pass. No one needs to know the details until then.

  50. “The Brave New World of Ample Oil”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11/10/__trashed-11/

    “The shift from a perceived world of oil scarcity to abundance has been brought about in an astonishingly short period of time by the advent of the “fracking” revolution in the US. This combines horizontal drilling and hydraulically-fracturing shale rock with high-pressure liquids to extract “unconventional” oil and gas. In the past decade, US crude oil production more than doubled. By mid-2019, US production was rated at over 12 million b/d, surpassing Russian and Saudi Arabian output as the world’s largest.”

    The amount of crude oil out there is nothing compared to the amount of natural gas here in the USA. From Jimmy Carter’s “we are running out of natural gas” in 1978 to the vast amounts of shut in wells due to no customers, we have a massive change.


  51. I want a ’57 Windsor.

    I assume you mean a Chrysler Windsor. My parents had a ’57 DeSoto Firedome four door sedan, and my first car was a used ’57 Plymouth Belvedere four door hardtop. All beautiful cars. Didn’t handle too well, but not bad for the era. The Chrysler and DeSoto had first generation hemis of various displacements and carburetors. They ran well. My Plymouth had the A engine, probably 301 cubic inches. All had pushbutton Torqueflites. My car was beautiful, but the engine was in poor condition. I drove it until it failed, about a year. Got me through high school. After that, I had a string of VW bugs, but that is another story.


  52. I wonder if the ten speed automatic would meet your need ? It is constantly shifting to get the engine rpm below 1,500 and jumps gears when it feels like it.

    Definitely not. I rented a Dodge Charger with the eight speed trans and a V6. It was great most of the time, but annoying on the highway. Tipping in to increase speed caused a long (half-second?) delay, presumably while several computers voted on what they thought I wanted. Then, the trans would downshift and the engine would rev, and we were off to a higher speed. It was smooth and controlled, but… inhibiting. I am used to the old school cars with engines that are already turning fast enough to not require downshifts. There is just immediate response. This is even true on my 2006, which has excellent transmission logic.

    I test drove a Chrysler Pacifica which has a ten speed. It was great in urban driving, but I never tested it on the freeway. Just a casual test drive, to get an idea. I didn’t like so much else about the car, especially the styling. It also has a poorly designed rotary knob shifter and no emergency brake. Really? No, not for me. They coulda’ had pushbuttons! Idiots. I will buy something older, but not “better” in the opinion of the writers who “test” cars. Call me set in my ways.

  53. Just took a look at the current temps on the http://www.windy.com site – here https://www.windy.com/-Temperature-temp?temp,43.005,-105.645,4 .

    Lots of ‘blue’ (cold temps) stretching down into the ‘heartland’ – basically anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains, all the way down into Mexico tomorrow. Everywhere except western WA, OR, CA, NV.

    And there’s a slider at the bottom for projected temps over the next 10 days. Interesting to look at.

    Here in just opposite Mutiny Bay WA, 40-55F all week, a bit of showers, but not much.

    Stay warm!

  54. Now down to 50F here in Houston, on the west side anyway. Mom’s pc is still updating, 90%. That’s a couple of HOURS of updating. Jebus.

    n

  55. Regarding paperless, I love it. I have local copies of everything, and can find anything I need going years back in seconds. Most of my paperless records are searchable. After all, the purpose of filing is retrieval.

    My wife, OTOH, loves paper, and keeps good records. I have to be careful, however, not to ask her to actually retrieve something. Occasionally it has taken her days to find it, and I forgot why I asked. Different methods for different folks.

    There is no one best system. Adopt whatever works for you, and keep it up. Test it regularly. And, don’t be afraid to change or even abandon something when it no longer fits your needs.

    The points about helping an executor in advance are well taken. I have been through that, with mixed results.

  56. TV, your flashbacks and other issues are normal, as far as I know. I’ve been through it. You are right, all this fades, but we never forget those we love and miss so sorely. We are human, and humans love.

  57. I wonder if the ten speed automatic would meet your need ? It is constantly shifting to get the engine rpm below 1,500 and jumps gears when it feels like it.

    Definitely not. I rented a Dodge Charger with the eight speed trans and a V6. It was great most of the time, but annoying on the highway. Tipping in to increase speed caused a long (half-second?) delay, presumably while several computers voted on what they thought I wanted. Then, the trans would downshift and the engine would rev, and we were off to a higher speed. It was smooth and controlled, but… inhibiting. I am used to the old school cars with engines that are already turning fast enough to not require downshifts. There is just immediate response. This is even true on my 2006, which has excellent transmission logic.

    Oh man, the ten speed tranny in the 2019 F-150 shifts smoothly and very quickly, no hesitation whatsoever. The two turbos makes that 3.5L V6 spin up fast (redline is 6500 rpm). 470 lb-fts of torque from 1500 to 6500 rpm. 375 hp. I am getting 16.4 mpg on the first tank so far which seems to be about a 600 mile range at 36 gallons. I am driving it like I stole it some of the time and using cruise control to keep from getting a ticket the rest of the time.

    In 2WD she will spin the rear tires if you floor it. In 4WD she takes off and runs.

    BTW, the automatic stop-start system is a little disconcerting at first and then it is ok. It will turn the engine off after you come to a complete stop about a second later if you leave the system in drive. When you take your foot off the brake, it will restart the engine. If the a/c system demands a/c then it restarts the engine early.

  58. I am getting 16.4 mpg on the first tank so far which seems to be about a 600 mile range at 36 gallons.

    I learned that the WalMart near my house has ethanol free gas. It made a difference when I tried some in my 2001 Solara, so I’m trying a tank in my newer car. Acceleration definitely seems better driving the 183 hell this morning and afternoon.

  59. @greg, more energy in your gas with less ethanol… your mileage will improve, your computer might compensate out all the performance gains.

    n

    added, you can do the math. Run a tank of E85, calculate miles/gallon and DOLLARS/gallon. then normal E15, then the full strength no ethanol. Unless your station is gouging because they can, dollars/gallon should all be similar, but MILES/gallon will be significantly different.

  60. @greg, more energy in your gas with less ethanol… your mileage will improve, your computer might compensate out all the performance gains.

    The 18 year old Toyota definitely ran better even if the acceleration was about the same. I’ll need a bit more time before I know for sure about mileage.

    I haven’t seen 15% ethanol in Austin. That would nuke a lot of vehicles more than 25 years old. I don’t think it would be all that great for my 2001 Solara. 10% ethanol has been rough on the car.


  61. I learned that the WalMart near my house has ethanol free gas.

    Some WaWa’s have ethanol-free gas, I guess for the boating market(?), at least the ones here in FL all seem to have it. I use it for my gennie.
    https://www.wawa.com/fuel

    To better serve our customers’ varying needs, all Wawa fuel stores carry three grades of gasoline, many stores carry diesel fuel, and some carry ethanol-free gasoline. Plus, we’ve added Tesla Superchargers at select locations. We plan to offer ethanol-free fuel and Tesla Superchargers at more stores in the future.


  62. Yes, the world is trying very hard to go paperless.

    I prefer paper – still not attuned to checking my Gmail for a ‘bill’. It does get annoying though how frequently I get prompted (sometimes even bribed – e.g. $5 statement credit or the like) to switch to paperless. I guess the savings add up for them but “no” month after month means “no”. I have noticed though that some places track how I pay (usually electronically) and have stopped sending reply envelopes with their monthly statements after some period of consistent non-mailed payments. My financial adviser recommends always staying with paper copies of all financial-type account statements.

  63. My financial adviser recommends always staying with paper copies of all financial-type account statements.

    Old school. I like them.


  64. Just be aware if you have a similar system in a newer car.

    My Subaru has front-facing cameras and don’t recall anything in the manual about Rain-X type products, but did finally dig up on one of the forums the template to print out that shows you the specific allowable area to affix a toll tag.

  65. My financial adviser recommends always staying with paper copies of all financial-type account statements.

    Yeppers. Still pay my bills by check, by mail.


  66. My biggest issue is that I will again try to buy from a private party, but that option is disappearing, unless the car is one of special interest, and this won’t be one of those. Too many people simply dump a car on a dealer, who in turn dumps it to an auction, unless it is one he can profit on.

    I’ve had luck buying used from a dealer that sells the same cars. Picked up a two year old Subaru that the dealer had sold and then taken back in on trade. Had about 12,000 miles on it (…driven only on Sundays to church…) and was in mint condition, and someone else took the initial depreciation hit.


  67. New cars – we’re considering buying one in the next year or so. Essentially all new cars have built-in navigation systems. A couple of friends mentioned that they have to pay crazy prices for updates to the maps. I would have thought updates would be cheap – I mean, even for our old TomTom, it’s only $50/year. But our friends pay something like $1000 for an annual update.
    Is that normal? Is there a way around it? Seems totally nuts…

    One thing I have found with the built-in nav systems is many are either based on Garmin or TomTom and you may be partial to one over the other. My Subaru is TomTom and I’m a ‘Garmin guy’ and wind up not using the built-in system all that much. Will usually use Google Maps or for long trips my stand-alone Garmin that has free lifetime map updates.

  68. I usually just use the google on the phone for in town trips, even if I know where I’m going, the real time traffic re-routing is a great feature. Voice entry for the address is a close second.

    On any long trip (more than 1 hour) I mount my old un-updated garmin nuvi AND the phone. The garmin has “recently found” for most places I’m going, so the entry is one or two button presses. There are roads that have moved enough that the garmin keeps prompting me to get off the frontage and onto the highway, when I’m already on the highway. It’s not annoying enough to bother about. Using the GPS and google wipes out my phone battery so I only do it for short trips, or I drag out the power cord right away. I can see the map better on the Nuvi than the phone, the countdown ETA is easier to see, and I change the zoom level to see my overall progress, while leaving the phone map zoomed in. Keeps me occupied….

    Current temp is 44F and still really gusty. I even brought my big flag in it’s blowing so hard.

    n

    added- I also usually display mph and altitude on my garmin. I run bigger tires on my pickup, so the speedo isn’t accurate. I like seeing my computed speed on the GPS.

  69. I’m really tired, and will spend the day with a bunch of hyper 3rd graders. I’m going to bed.

    n

  70. While I do “paperless,” I also download the monthly statement images supplied by almost all providers. I can print these if needed, but never have. My CPA has requested a year’s worth from one account, and I sent them electronically to his account through a secure link. He is also paperless.

    What does annoy me are the incessant reminders I get when logging into my account with some providers. They already know who I am, but are too lazy to check my options. Also annoyed by some who send occasional paper announcements, claiming my state requires notification in writing. Others post these for download, so both can’t be right.

    I have paper loving friends who complain they are charged $2 to $5 per month for mailed paper statements. I lack sympathy, but remind them it would be far cheaper to print their own. They are not amused.

  71. A couple years ago, I read that auto manufacturers would offer a way to display a phone’s screen on the car’s screen. From the above discussions, I don’t believe this will happen.

    I use Google Maps on my phone, but use voice directions so I can watch the road. I like this better than any display.

    Over the years, I have tried to get my wife to navigate, first with paper maps, now on her phone. This has been unsuccessful. She likes to crochet, and can’t be bothered. I could navigate with her driving, but she likes to crochet. 🙂

  72. Just to set the record straight, that Chrysler Pacifica has a nine speed trans. As Don Adams used to say, “Missed it by that much!”


  73. A couple years ago, I read that auto manufacturers would offer a way to display a phone’s screen on the car’s screen. From the above discussions, I don’t believe this will happen.

    It is here. Called Android Auto or Apple Car Play. Manufacturers are dinged if their infodeck , once called the “stereo” doesn’t feature those apps by car reviewers. Works pretty well to have Google Maps doing its thing on the bigger screen. Of course, Amazon is overrun with different ways to just mount the phone on the dash, too.


  74. It is here. Called Android Auto…

    Thanks. I thought that was just another gimmick. Will have to look it up.

    OTOH, I am sympathetic with the Italians who shun cup holders and radios. I like to drive most of the time. Easy, since I don’t commute. Most of my driving is for pleasure.


  75. Lots of ‘blue’ (cold temps) stretching down into the ‘heartland’ – basically anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains, all the way down into Mexico tomorrow. Everywhere except western WA, OR, CA, NV.

    Yes, our wx here in the upper Mojave desert has been delightful, and the long term forecast looks good. One of the best Falls in my 47 years here, knock on wood. Summer was also milder than usual. Averages do have a way of catching up, however.

  76. When buying anew car, I have yet to opt for the built in navigation. I used to use a Garmin, now I use my phone. Having said that, my used ATS came with navi, and I do use it. The screen is big, at the right level, and works well. Updates are expensive – $99 for a one time map upgrade. I don’t think I’ll be doing that.

  77. Google Maps on Car Play also allows Sat view if you need the detail. 84 degrees &3% humid in Grenada today.

  78. Thanks JimB. I know it will get better (for certain values of that word) and grieving is the price of loving. Your words much appreciated.


  79. Google Maps now shows speed traps and disabled vehicles. Nice addition.

    “Borrowed” from Waze, which Google owns.

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