Tues. Nov. 19, 2019 – the wheel turns

cold-ish, and damp. [46F and 99%RH]

It was nice yesterday by the time the sun was up for a few hours. A bit chilly in shirtsleeves, but crystal clear blue sky and mild breezes.

I managed to get my new roof rack installed on my Expedition. Finally. Now I need to do a few little finishing touches. No idea why I needed a rack, but one came available that matched what I had in my mind, and now it’s installed. Sometimes I just follow my gut.

I had hoped that my small flurry of ebay sales was a harbinger of change. Not so much. The funny thing is, my craigslist items have not gotten so much as a spam response. My wife says I might have to set up a fb account and get into the local trading pages. I REALLY don’t want to do that. If I do, I’ll use a sanitized lappy just for that. F Zuckerpig.

I think I better start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner too. It’s coming soon. Turkeys are finally on sale at 68c/pound. I’m thinking of smoking one this year. It makes for a long day but a delicious result.

Life, keeps happening.

n

(and that’s a good thing)

23 thoughts on “Tues. Nov. 19, 2019 – the wheel turns”

  1. @Ray: I’ve done that (programmed machine code through the front panel), but only for fun. Some of us have strange ideas of “fun”…

    So, the future neighbors got all pissy again. We tried to be nice, tried to maintain a good relationship, but after their latest missive? We are so done with them. So we told them where they can stuff their sewage connection. They promptly replied that they don’t need our permission, and will build it across our land anyway.

    They may have a slight misunderstanding of the law. Yes, they can build a sewage connection without our permission, but they have (a) have to get a legal judgement stating that there is no other reasonable choice, and (b) they have to pay us a substantial fee as compensation. They don’t yet seem to realize either of these things. I do hope they consult a lawyer, or that their builder understands the rules.

    At the moment, I mostly feel bad for the township. They’re caught in the middle, between feuding parties, and – being so tiny – don’t know the rules very well themselves. I need to drop in, in a week or two, and apologize for causing them all the extra work that this is going to entail.

  2. Yikes Brad, that sounds like a can of worms. How much worse will it get if more of the social contract breaks down?

    I hope you can get it resolved before it grows to the point of poisoning wells, letting livestock out, or any of the other traditional ways scores got settled in the old days.

    n


  3. any of the other traditional ways scores got settled in the old days.

    When my grandfather sold property next to his it was surveyed and all was good. Then the current owners sold and it was surveyed again. There was an error in the original survey and it was discovered that my grandfather’s shop, his entire world at that point in his life, was 3 inches over the property line.

    My grandfather was 80+ and was not going to live long. We tried to get the new owners to agree to leave it as is until his property was sold, then tear down the building. Legal papers and such. Nope, new owners were adamant the building must be moved or torn down. The location was just used as a corral for horses. We had to have the building torn down. Six months later my grandfather went into a nursing home.

    In the meantime we would collect apples and let them ferment. Then place those apples right next to the fence on the property line. The neighbor’s horses would eat the apples and get staggering drunk. Neighbors complained and told them it was his property and that is where my grandfather was going to discard apples and had done so for years. If they did not like it move the fence or build another interior fence to keep the horses away.

    It was amusing watching horses staggering completely drunk. It was just as amusing watching pissed of neighbors.


  4. being so tiny – don’t know the rules very well themselves

    It’s their job to know the rules or to have someone on call who does.

  5. I don’t remember seeing any coverage of this at the time….

    “Houston woman who sent package bombs to Barack Obama and Texas governor only to be tracked down by cat hair in the envelopes is jailed for 10 years

    Julia Ann Poff pleaded guilty to mailing Barack Obama homemade explosives
    She sent package to Texas Gov Greg Abbott but it did not detonate when opened
    Director of Social Security, Carolyn Colvin, was also sent an improvised device
    Poff was jailed for 10 years after she admitted to posting the three packages
    FBI linked bomb parcels to the suspect after cat hair was found on the envelopes”

    “Cat hair found in the packages, along with a USB cable box, debit card purchases and Poff’s brand of cigarettes led them to her door. which she had last seen in August 2016 in their home’s garage”

    — I can’t figure out how cat hair could LEAD to her, but it could confirm it was her… but they can clearly search debit card records to find buyers of specific items. I’m sure they pulled the IMEI number from the cell phone and followed that too.

    n

  6. Re the recent comments on software, spaghetti code, machine code, etc. I was an early user of MS Word. First on the Mac, then on Windows (2.1, but irrelevant here.) I also had a copy of Word for DOS, but never used it; saw it in operation, and it looked pretty good. My word processing history goes further back, too, but irrelevant here. Suffice to say that I did some long, highly formatted text (no graphics) documents as part of a team, and we put any word processor to the test. I started my spreadsheet work with Excel for the Mac, later transitioning to Excel for Windows as soon as it became available. In between, I used Lotus 123 on DOS, so I have been around the block on spreadsheet apps. As MS Office became popular, I transitioned to it. Yes, those early versions were a bit crude and buggy, but we thought they were fantastic compared to earlier work with green eyeshade types and minicomputers.

    More lately, after retirement, I have gone through the Open Office and Libre Office stuff on Linux. My needs are now modest, but I still do spreadsheets, and who doesn’t do at least some word processing? At first, like the old days, I marveled at the fact that an open source project like Open Office could possibly do what MS Office does. It did, well except for macros, but that is another story.

    And that brings me to speed. LO (Libre Office) is very slow, even on a fast machine. I would estimate that for what I do, the spreadsheet is about 10% of the speed of Excel; don’t even need a stopwatch for that. Just opening a modest file can take many seconds. Once open, those files drag, making life seem tedious. Operating on the same file (both files have the same contents, but are in native formats for each app) in Excel feels snappy and satisfying. Curious, I went to the LO developer site. A volunteer dev answered a question about speed that matched my experience. He said that a newer version is almost 40% faster than the preceding version, and touted that as a big achievement. Maybe, but still slow, like improving a car from 30 to 20 seconds 0-60 mph in a world of 6 second cars. In either situation, I would trade up.

    And that is my point about the MS Office closed architecture. It doesn’t seem fast, until compared to an alternative. Yup, MS knows the ins and outs of the world they created. If I were to stay with just Linux, I would look into the German (not open or free) office product, whose name escapes me ATM. According to some reviews I have read, it is highly regarded for compatibility and, hopefully, speed. But so what, I already own XXX rent MS Office. Guess I have been absorbed by the Borg (is that a correct way to say that?) 🙂

  7. Brad, having a good neighbor is wonderful, but maybe not so high on one’s awareness until you have had a bad one. And not a great start to building a dream home. I wish you well.

  8. Regarding my statements on Linux, I really wish desktop Linux could attract more good apps. I will always have a soft spot in my head for Linux the OS. Will always have a Linux box available, because it is sooo good for some things. I would really like to have just one computer, but that won’t happen soon. Just like I have a lot of hammers.

  9. Guess I have been absorbed by the Borg (is that a correct way to say that?)

    s/absorbed/assimilated/

    There may be hope for you yet! 🙂

  10. Regarding my statements on Linux, I really wish desktop Linux could attract more good apps. I will always have a soft spot in my head for Linux the OS. Will always have a Linux box available, because it is sooo good for some things. I would really like to have just one computer, but that won’t happen soon. Just like I have a lot of hammers.

    I don’t travel with a laptop booted into Windows anymore, but, away from work, I really only need email and a browser.

  11. Re the programming discussion…

    Been binge-watching the original “Magnum PI” lately. Last night’s episode was about a $100K high-tech security system guarding the “Robin’s Nest”.

    They showed a screenshot of the system’s source code. Written in BASIC.

  12. @Nick: Definitely give FB a try. I despise the site as well, but a lot of people think that FB *is* the internet. It was one of the things that my wife refused to do with her business (which she closed last year), but I see that her successor immediately put a page up. It’s yet another thing to maintain, of course, and very different from eBay or anything else. But I’d give it a shot and see if it’s worth the extra time.

    Regarding our neighbors: Stepping back, this is really, really weird. Swiss are above all else polite. I have never in my life dealt with people like this – it’s like they are from a different planet. Even stranger: it seems to be only us they have a problem with. Mutual acquaintances (other neighbors) report no problems. It is just bizarre. Whatever the reason for it, though, we are all done being nice. We tried, and tried to make peace with them, but there comes a time that you’re being used as a doormat.

    @JimB: That’s unfortunately true. This is definitely taking a lot of the joy out of building a house. Not how we wanted to see things start, but…that’s what tall hedges are for, in the end.


  13. I don’t travel with a laptop booted into Windows anymore, but, away from work, I really only need email and a browser.

    I don’t travel with a laptop of any kind. I did back in 2006, but back then, there was no practical connectivity in the places I went. That box ran XP, and it worried me, but for a different reason. I worried that activation might interfere at a time when I couldn’t easily contact MS to fix the problem. I tried Ubuntu, but settled on Mepis. I liked that a lot, and almost everything worked well. I used that for a few years, until it essentially died. About 2009, I decided the laptop was too big and heavy for my needs, and transitioned my travel operations to a Windows phone (!) and after two years Android. I have never looked back. My Android phone does all I need, and is much more compact to carry. If I needed to carry a laptop, it would definitely not be Windows, although I might keep a means to run Windows if needed. With the old laptop, Linux failed me a few times, especially when connecting to networks. I had a dual boot with XP, and that bailed me out.

    Again, there is no one computer or OS that can do it all well for all people. The key word is well.

  14. Been binge-watching the original “Magnum PI” lately. Last night’s episode was about a $100K high-tech security system guarding the “Robin’s Nest”.

    They showed a screenshot of the system’s source code. Written in BASIC.

    I’ve posted before that the Terminator’s visual display features 6502 code scanned from AppleInsider magazine in the first flick.

    QuickBasic 4.5 would actually kinda-sorta make sense for anything interfacing to serial ports in the late 80s. Microsoft had the best DOS RS-232 interface code in QB.

    Before CBS essentially fired Donald Bellisario from his active role on “NCIS”, the writers used to sneak in “Magnum PI” and “Quantum Leap” references. They still do on the sly if you pay attention.

  15. They showed a screenshot of the system’s source code. Written in BASIC.

    I was watching an episode of NCIS. They hacked into a phone. Showed a picture of the “computer code”. It was the COBOL environment division. First is that COBOL compiles to code and the source is never available after the compile. Second is that COBOL would never be used on a phone. (For all of you that was redudant, you already knew). The technical advisers on these shows must really be clueless.

    But I guess if NCIS can determine a license plate, in the dark, from 100 yards away, with a B/W camera security camera, running 240×120 resolution, and reflected off the hubcab of a ’57 DeSoto, you maybe, could possibly run a COBOL “just in time” compiler on a cell phone.

  16. I have nice neighbors for all the abutting properties except one. He likes to be difficult for the sake of being difficult. He likes to say “no”. I assume it feeds some psychological need to feel important, even though he really isn’t.

    Example: One neighbor has an empty building on the property. It used to be a day care. They want to turn it into a rental unit and that will require a variance from the town. At the town planning meeting all of us abutters (except that guy) said “go ahead”. There are already a few rental structures in the neighborhood so it is not anything new. Plus it is always better to have an occupied, maintained structure than an unoccupied, neglected one. When asked for the reason for his objection he just said “I don’t like it”. He was outvoted so no biggie. He’s just a jerk.

  17. Something completely different.

    Some local yahoo who just announced he’s running for congress was mentioned in the local paper this morning. His position on guns: “mandatory assault-weapon buybacks, liability insurance for all weapons, repeal of all concealed-carry permits, universal background checks for all gun purchases, red flag laws and taking guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.”

    He doesn’t seem to have a good grasp of the difference between federal and state jurisdiction.


  18. But I guess if NCIS can determine a license plate, in the dark, from 100 yards away, with a B/W camera security camera, running 240×120 resolution, and reflected off the hubcab of a ’57 DeSoto, you maybe, could possibly run a COBOL “just in time” compiler on a cell phone.

    It is the magic of the ’57 DeSoto 😉

    My fav on just about any show is calling someone on a phone, cell or otherwise. Notice how, especially on a cell phone, the caller usually taps once or twice, pauses for a second, and then begins talking with the other end. Wow. OK, OK, artistic license, but I want that! I hate phones, especially those that connect to the endless dumb systems on the other end that want me to enter info before I can even talk to someone. Eventually, after only several minutes, a human answers, only to want the same information. Yecch. Fortunately, I don’t use the phone much any more. Email rocks.

  19. JimB’s comments about Word, Excel and associated macros brought back some nostalgia.

    Although my job classification was never “programmer”, I was tasked at various times to debug and repair code; and design, develop and create new code; all in Fortran.

    However, my last assignment was to set up automated, formal memo creation containing engineering results calculated in Excel and based on data recorded on previous missions. In so doing I had to learn how to code and implement MS VBA for Word, Excel and Access. I really enjoyed being the only one in the organization who knew how to do such at the end of the day.

  20. I admire anyone who has even a little proficiency in Fortran. As for VBA, my experience writing Excel macros predated VBA. I did buy a book on VBA, and know someone who used it extensively, but I never needed it. And, Libre Office doesn’t support it, something which is a nonstarter for my wife, because she is a volunteer, and routinely gets Excel files with VBA macros.

  21. Jebus Effing Crimony.

    “Modern family: Married transgender dad who was born female uses his own egg and donor sperm to conceive a son – who was then carried in his wife’s uterus for nine months “

    And …

    That is an important voting bloc. Don’t you understand?

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