Fri. Nov. 22, 2019 – here comes the holidays…

warm-ish and damp. [71F and 99%RH]

Got a couple more things done yesterday, but still not cranking through them. Today I have to fix the dishwasher… again. Someone pushed the tray back in, when something was sticking out the bottom, and broke the spinning water spray thingy. So not a wear item or a failure, but damage. No one will cop to it, which could mean the cleaning people. In any case, the part was cheap and I think it’s only 2 screws holding it in place. The food on the plates has been in the warm and moist washer for 3 days though….

Another week has blazed by. Kids and wife are home next week, so I don’t know how much I’ll get done anyway. Can’t really afford to not keep plugging away at the pile. But I’ll be doing some cooking and probably some special shopping too. Once we get through Thanksgiving, it’s downhill to the end of the year. FFS, this one only started a couple of months ago… or so it seems.

That means that today is my last free day for more than a week. I better use it.

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

55 thoughts on “Fri. Nov. 22, 2019 – here comes the holidays…”

  1. Seriously? The “Starship” of cars.

    The only way that vehicle happens is if Trump loses his standoff with CA over CAFE or the Progs win the White House next year. 2021? 2022?

    Toyota San Antonio is breathing a sigh of relief. As for Dearborn, they’ve quaffed deep at the vat of EV Kool Aid with that bastardized “Mustang”, but the F150 is safe.

    https://www.tesla.com/cybertruck/design#battery

  2. Oh, did I mention my sickness has progressed to the ‘snot running out of my face’ stage?

    Joy.

    n


  3. Another article: https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/19/heliogen-solar-concentrator-breakthrough/

    Yes, I see it now; it’s an implementation of the 7th Law of Thermodynamics. Note that the devices on the ground perform the same function, reflection, as the glass devices on your bathroom walls above the washbowls that we call “mirrors”. However, to conceal the wastage of millions of tax dollars, they are renamed “heliostats” as on the facility that I worked on built at Daggett.

  4. That ugly “Starship” will sell like hotcakes to celibriturds. And, I agree, that is no f’ing truck.

  5. I saw a link to similar article earlier, the most disturbing part to me was that the blood flow reversed direction, or didn’t flow at all. That seems pretty significant….

    n

  6. this style of music is called electro swing, and it’s pretty impossible not to move while listening to it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5AOg8rTGHU

    The video is of a concert in Budapest.

    That’s a BIG audience. And very homogeneous. Shockingly so to my eyes. And full of fit young girls… If I was young, and tired of urban America, I might be looking at some really old Eastern European cities……..

    n


  7. blood flow reversed direction, or didn’t flow at all

    Erectile dysfunction. Comes with age. According to my friend.

  8. The video is of a concert in Budapest.

    That’s a BIG audience. And very homogeneous.

    The music industry in the US didn’t die … it committed suicide.

  9. Youtube replaced Napster.

    Europe faces the same problem, but they haven’t given up. With one exception, all of my new albums over the last few years originated in the UK.

  10. First frost up here in the California high desert. We had a couple of sub-freezing days a few weeks ago, but no humidity, so no frost then.

    The rain earlier in the week – Tuesday night through Wednesday night – gave us fog on Thursday morning and some actual rime on the tumbleweeds this morning.

    Prepping fail: I had some old water jugs laying around the garage and filled them…with the garden hose. I remembered about a week later that is was supposedly a no-no (evil chemicals in Chinese made hoses and all that). What is *really* a no-no is using a hose previously tasked to empty out the 80 gallon fish tank. Ugh. I know which jugs they were, about 20 of them, so I’ll just toss them.

  11. 2019 Ram update: Like Lynn I’m seeing remarkable mileage, about 18.5mpg for a mix of city and rural highway travel. Not much freeway, I’ve been busy working on the house and haven’t really stretched the trucks legs. A surprising amount of time is spent at zero mph – idling in traffic. (The truck doesn’t have the stop/start at idle that the F-150 has, for which I’m grateful, it has to be hard on the engine and electrical system.)

    The replacement cost of the trucks driver’s side mirror was $368, including parts, tax, and installation. Not bad.

    Now that it’s too cold to paint the house (and I’m 95% done) I’ll probably shop for a camper shell – I’ve a friend who wants to drive up the AlCan highway next year. Sounds like fun.

  12. From @Rick yesterday:

    Thinking of buying a new Highlander XL to replace my current one (2008, 220K miles). The current one still works, but we take some long trips (WA to CA, WA to UT) several times a year, so it’s time to get something newer.

    Looking to stay with the Highlander XL (we’ve had good luck with many Toyotas over the years). I am aware that there’s a new generation starting with the 2020, but thinking that the 2018/2019 might be ‘good enough’. The XL series is preferred for the 4WD and towing package (need that for the wife’s powered wheelchair rack). And the heated seats.

    We’ve bought several used Toyotas from Hertz Car Sales over the years, and all have been good and long-lasting. Used ones have mileage ranging from 13K to 40K. Would probably choose one with about 12-14K miles/model year.

    So, opinions (don’t be shy – heh) . … 2018, 2019, or go for a new 2020?

    I bought a new 2019 Highlander last Dec 30 for the wife. We got the LE (base) model with the V6 motor and 2WD. No other options. Paid $32K plus TTL (if I remember correctly). Has a lot of driver aids such as adaptive cruise control and emergency braking (I have experience both in the SUV). Big step up from the 2005 Honda Civic coupe the wife was driving (and we still own). The daughters wheelchair fits easily between the front and middle seats. Yes, it has clown seats for a third row that are just laying flat. Has more leg room in the middle seats than my 2005 Expedition.

    Highly recommended.

  13. (The truck doesn’t have the stop/start at idle that the F-150 has, for which I’m grateful, it has to be hard on the engine and electrical system.)

    The start – stop system on the F-150 uses a hydraulic pump in the transmission to restart the engine. It is weird, fast, and incredibly efficient. I don’t totally understand the system at all.

    And it only stops the engine while it is in drive. It does not stop the engine in Park, Reverse, or Neutral. Strange.

  14. Musk screwed up. That is not the new Tesla truck. It is the new Mars Rover.

    Looks vaguely Delorean-like. Why not get the license and build EV Deloreans?

    THAT would sell, even with a pathetic range. Though, the DMC-1 can’t be that heavy.

  15. From yesterday:

    There are ways that if you squint just right that may support that. You have to attribute a bunch of the military budget to fossil fuel costs – since we keep the oil shipments safe in the Persian Gulf. You have to add a carbon emissions price based on remediation costs for CO2 emissions and environmental damage.

    As I have said before, there is a lot of smoke and mirrors by both sides on the issue.

    Wow, what a stretch, but you are right. I would believe anything these days if politicians are involved.

    About a year ago, I tried to back out some of the government subsidies that go into various forms of electric power generation. I gave myself an hour, because this could be a lifetime project. (My life expectancy is waaay less than that. 🙂 ) Oh, and I had a slight head start from a couple of years earlier. When the bell rang, I had discovered something even more disconcerting: there are massive subsidies in practically everything. I gave up in disgust. I did something I rarely do: I deleted all my stuff on the subject. As a (small L) libertarian at heart, I was just appalled. Hell, as a raving lefty lunatic, I would be just as appalled.


  16. The start – stop system on the F-150 uses a hydraulic pump in the transmission

    Interesting. I had no idea, I’m pretty sure the sales gal said electric, but she was pretty clueless anyway.

    One of the more entertaining parts of demo drives was the blatant substitution of a “sweet young thing” for the initial salesman, after the initial pitch and before the demo drive. After the third time it happened friends began asking “any new additions to your harem?” when I’d return home.

  17. One of the more entertaining parts of demo drives was the blatant substitution of a “sweet young thing” for the initial salesman, after the initial pitch and before the demo drive. After the third time it happened friends began asking “any new additions to your harem?” when I’d return home.

    If you go to the delivery bay and they’re doing the Lexus commercial thing with the bow, take the time to look at everything underneath the bow. I missed that the dealer morons screwed in the front license plate holder incorrectly since streamers from the decoration covered it up.


  18. The start – stop system on the F-150 uses a hydraulic pump in the transmission

    The APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) in a Blackhawk starts via a hydraulic motor. An accumulator is charged via electric pump, or, if no power, you can hand jack 25 times to get enough pressure. The F-150 probably doesn’t have to be robust enough to start a small turbine engine, though. Thought you might want to know.

  19. The start – stop system on the F-150 uses a hydraulic pump in the transmission

    Interesting. I had no idea, I’m pretty sure the sales gal said electric, but she was pretty clueless anyway.

    Yup, the hydraulic pump in the transmission is electric powered. Not sure if it is 24 volt or 36 volt.

  20. Retirement is slightly less than a month away !!
    Moving to forever home is exactly a month away.
    Still so much to do and time is getting so short.
    The wife is feeling a bit better. She is able to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen again. And we now have a portable O2 concentrator so we don’t have to carry heavy O2 cylinders everywhere. Holiday week will be crammed with MUST DO stuff so I may not be able to post much but I will be reading.

  21. @hcombs – the portable O2 concentrator is a great thing. Suggest getting extra batteries, although they can be expensive. We’ve sometimes found them on eBay.

    We had a Invacare XP02, but it started to fail. Bought it new from someone that didn’t use it (it was factory sealed box). But since it wasn’t ‘officially’ bought, Invacare wouldn’t honor the guarantee. So it sits in the closet; we got a different brand (“OxyGo”) that has worked well.

    We have several extra batteries for it. Plus the dead unit that could be used for parts, I guess.

  22. @rick, there are some neat micro torch ideas online that use O2 concentrators. That’s why I bought one… projects, I got em.

    n

  23. From yesterday:

    When the camera fails, a big red icon lights on the dash of the car. Even the quickie inspection place I use to get my Solara’s sticker would balk at passing that, and forget selling used.

    Why? Is this a part of a “safety” inspection? If this is optional equipment, can’t it just be ignored? What next, will they require a radio so you can listen to commercials? Stoopid!

    A trucker once told me he was stopped for an inoperative trailer light; one of those little lights that are all over trailers, not tail or stop light. The trucker complained that the light was one of a whole bunch, and how could it matter? The stopping official told him if a the light fixture is present, it has to work, but it really wasn’t required since there was a whole row of them. The trucker said he removed the fixture on the spot and avoided the hassle of having the fix signed off. That was a long time ago, and most likely wouldn’t work in today’s super legalistic environment.

    Is it possible your red icon is in the same category: camera not required, but has to work if present. Any chance you could make the icon go away?

    For years, I thought California’s emissions inspection was invasive, and supposedly the strictest in the land. When I came here from Florida in 1972, Florida had a so called “safety” inspection. It was a joke that could easily be cheated; I see it was ended a long time ago.

    I guess I shouldn’t complain. Someone else here wrote that his car, with a leaking steering rack, would fail inspection. We don’t have that sort of nonsense here.

    Anyway, California’s emissions inspection (affectionately called a “smog check”) in my county is pretty simple: plug into the OBD II port, and the car tells the inspection computer it is OK. There is a visual inspection of emissions-related equipment, but that is increasingly irrelevant as more stuff is in software. For older cars with no OBD II diagnostic port, a simple two speed tailpipe sniff, plus an evaporative controls leak test. For cars made before 1975, no periodic inspections. The test can be a trial, or for record. If for record, the results are automatically transmitted to Sacramento, and the car’s registration can be renewed. Cheating is difficult, but not really necessary… except for some unusual situations.

  24. @hcombs: Congratulations on the upcoming, but remember: you will be as busy, or busier, than you were before retirement…

  25. @GregNorton: Yeah, I discovered that the dealer had put the temporary plates on with lag screws (not bolts) and had over torqued and stripped the holes. Essentially held on by luck and tightness of fit.

    I put real bolts on the new final plates when they arrived.

  26. Still fiddling with the iCloud downloads. Nightmare-ish.

    I was going to use the Finder interface, but I’m logged in as a different user to a developer account, and when I tried to log out it starts asking fun questions like “Shall I delete your keychain?” or “Shall I delete your passwords?” Gah. No, no.

    The web interface will not show a file name or date, or allow you to get it. Just thumbnails. You have to guess if it’s a file you want…

    If I download a single file at a time, it saves it with the correct name in /Downloads.

    If I try to download two or three at once, it puts them all in a zip folder in Downloads. Sometimes. About 75% of the time if fails silently: you have to check that it completed using Finder.

    Once I’ve everything saved I’ll turn off the cloud, far more trouble and danger than it is worth.

    —–

    OK, just ordered a SanDisk iPhone USB drive. And here I thought “Sneakernet” wasn’t a thing anymore.

  27. For years, I thought California’s emissions inspection was invasive, and supposedly the strictest in the land. When I came here from Florida in 1972, Florida had a so called “safety” inspection. It was a joke that could easily be cheated; I see it was ended a long time ago.

    Bob Graham signed the bill that ended inspections in 1979, one of his first acts as Governor.

    Some FL counties now have emissions checks, but those aren’t worth much. My 93 Probe and 01 Solara never generated enough to get the numbers on the printout above ‘0’.

  28. The start – stop system on the F-150 uses a hydraulic pump in the transmission

    Interesting. I had no idea, I’m pretty sure the sales gal said electric, but she was pretty clueless anyway.

    Yup, the hydraulic pump in the transmission is electric powered. Not sure if it is 24 volt or 36 volt.

    The Start – Stop system in the F-150 is 12 volt and a single battery for both the system and the rest of the vehicle. They put in a lithium battery instead of a lead acid battery. “Johnson Controls start-stop battery to boost Ford F-150 pickup’s MPG”
    http://archive.jsonline.com/blogs/business/288160941.html
    and “Johnson Controls, Toshiba team up on new start-stop automotive battery”
    http://archive.jsonline.com/business/johnson-controls-toshiba-team-up-on-new-stop-start-automotive-battery-b99422003z1-287855681.html/

    I thought the battery looked funny when I looked at it the other day. I wonder if I will ever have to replace it ? My goal for this truck is 10 years and 150,000 miles. I have never got more than five years out of a lead acid battery in Texas.

  29. The wife is feeling a bit better. She is able to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen again.

    Excellent ! The small things in life are awesome.

  30. The start – stop system on the F-150 uses a hydraulic pump in the transmission

    The APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) in a Blackhawk starts via a hydraulic motor. An accumulator is charged via electric pump, or, if no power, you can hand jack 25 times to get enough pressure. The F-150 probably doesn’t have to be robust enough to start a small turbine engine, though. Thought you might want to know.

    I used to start a 1,500 hp (1,250 kW) Fairbanks – Morse two stroke diesel with compressed air. You would get it up to 300 rpm then open the diesel fuel valve. And then spray diesel out the 12 inch exhaust pipe for a 50 ft radius. Much further if the wind was blowing.

    And yes, those big boys (we had two of them) ran at 300 rpm. 20 cylinders, two crankshafts each. The pistons were vertically opposed.


  31. The pistons were vertically opposed.

    Probably a two stroke engine, thus the spraying of fuel.

  32. @lynn, that shooting story is crazy. I’m sure it will make more sense as details emerge.

    Didn’t you have some violence last year about this time too?

    We’re noticing an increase in beggars and vagrants in our neighborhood’s surrounding areas lately too. Coming home from school tonight, I noticed 6-7 crowded into the bus stop. When a lady got off the bus, one of them got up and approached her and harassed her. She just walked on, and he went back to his seat. There were people drinking and what looked like a drug deal or sharing going on 30 feet away too. My wife doesn’t want to admit it, but in the process of considering middle school options I mentioned that if we were going to “fly” we needed to do it before the rest of the neighborhood did. She didn’t disagree. I really like this house, but I don’t want to be the last ones here if the area changes permanently.

    Side note, went to a middle school open house at the Wilchester IB* program. MASSIVE prog/SJW/female dominated program. Full implementation of SEL. Mandatory volunteering. Students will “learn their place in the global culture” and I’m guessing it isn’t “Yay! America First!” Not one male teacher in their ‘brag video’. No mention of the JrROTC program despite all the cadet kids in UNIFORM holding doors open and directing visitors. No kids in well equipped labs doing science, or STEM or robotics clubs featured, despite their team winning regional competitions. They did feature the dance team, and talked about the additional exploratory projects (and specifically mentioned learning about MAKEUP.) They mentioned that their program was “academically rigorous” several times, even though most of them tripped over the phrase and misspoke…. I was not impressed. Wife says I’m going to see the same thing at every school. I sure hope not. I have other things I’d like to spend money on than private school.

    n

    *International Baccalaureate

  33. 80m band sounds good tonight, and SW on 4.840 and 5.085 are loud and clear out of Tennessee. Cuba is pretty loud tonight too.

    n

  34. Lynn, something doesn’t add up, and those linked articles are confusing. Both are undated, but appear to be old.

    You said your F-150 uses a hydraulic motor to restart the engine. Your first link describes an AGM lead acid battery that restarts the engine.

    The second link describes a lithium battery, but says it will be introduced on a European car.

    That second article says the lithium battery will cost “hundreds” of dollars.

  35. @lynn, that shooting story is crazy. I’m sure it will make more sense as details emerge.

    Yes, I am thinking about loading my .308 BAR and keeping it at the front door. I only have a five round magazine but it will go through just about anything.

    BTW, who can shoot more than a five round mag through a .308 BAR ? Mine is so old that it does not have a recoil pad. Leaves my shoulder bruised.

  36. Car batteries. In 1993 I bought an Optima, which was made by Gylling Group in Colorado. Gylling is a Swedish company that acquired the factory and distribution rights from the Gates Rubber Company. Gates invented and first produced the battery, which was the first sealed lead acid battery. Versions were used on military aricraft.

    It cost about 1.5x a top brand flooded battery, and was of the spiral wound design. It lasted me 17 years in various cars. I still have it, but its capacity is very low. After I removed it from auto service, it developed a leak around one terminal, a common occurrence caused by age and heat cycling.

    Impressed, I replaced it with another Optima. This one was made in a new factory near the original, but now owned by Johnson Controls. That battery lasted only five years. It failed due to bad cell. The warranty was effectively expired.

    Next, I tried an Odyssey battery, made by Enersys in Pennsylvania. Enersys was the world’s largest lead acid battery manufacturer at the time. The battery’s design was similar to the highly regarded (and more expensive) Hawker, made in the UK. This battery has a flat plate design, but is also of the sealed AGM construction. It lasted about five years, and became weak from sulfation. I still have it. Contrary to some beliefs, AGM batteries usually can’t be recovered from sulfation.

    Lessons learned. AGM batteries need higher charging voltage for long life. Modern cars have computer controlled regulators, and are not adjustable. If you use an AGM battery, keep it fully charged with an external charger, especially in hot weather. Equalize it at least quarterly. I didn’t do that, and the early sulfation was the result. I am now back to flooded batteries.

    No lead acid auto battery is maintenance free. AGM designs have excellent performance when new, mostly due to their low internal impedance and rugged construction. They require care to maintain performance. Without care, they will last from 3-6 years in typical automotive service, about the same as a flooded battery. Their cost is much higher than flooded designs, probably due to lower production numbers, also due to marketing as a premium product.

    Lithium auto batteries are just becoming available, but cost a lot more. They will need maturation, and this will cost early adopters. Some hobbyists are already using them. Hobbyists.

  37. Lynn, something doesn’t add up, and those linked articles are confusing. Both are undated, but appear to be old.

    You said your F-150 uses a hydraulic motor to restart the engine. Your first link describes an AGM lead acid battery that restarts the engine.

    The second link describes a lithium battery, but says it will be introduced on a European car.

    That second article says the lithium battery will cost “hundreds” of dollars.

    OK, I am very confused. I thought that the lithium battery was in the F-150. I guess that I clicked on the wrong link.

    Somewhere else I read about the hydraulic pump in the ten speed auto for restarts. Found it ! “An integrated electric pump works with the standard Auto Start-Stop system for seamless restarts and improved driving efficiency.”
    https://www.greencarcongress.com/2016/05/20160503-f150.html

    You know, I had the impression that the hydraulic pump actually provided the restart. I change my mind, that sounds like it uses the electric starter to restart.

    BTW, the engine will restart if you take your foot off the brake, move the steering wheel, the a/c gets warm, or the engine is shifted from D to P, N, or R. I have no idea what happens when the battery is dying or dead.

    BTW2, those articles are older because the Ford start -stop technology is old. It has been used in F-150s since at least the 2016 model. Maybe earlier.

  38. Nick, you might look into religious schools rather than public or nonsectarian private schools. Even though I’m an atheist* I’m perfectly fine with The Brat being in her seventh year of Christian school. The distortions of history and science that they teach are more obvious and thus more easily countered than the distortions of the SJWs, and probably less damaging even if left uncountered.

    Homeschooling groups might also be an option, as you have a generally flexible schedule and already spend a lot of time volunteering at the school. I’ve looked into it but couldn’t make it work with our circumstances.

    Lynn, I have a .30-06 BAR (single fire only, 5-round box magazine; I wish I had a genuine BAR, full-auto with the big mags). Which I’ll probably never fire again. My right shoulder didn’t fully heal and it hurts rather a lot if I poke in one spot, right about where a rifle stock rests. I’d probably be rendered nonfunctional if the recoil of a heavy rifle hit it. And my left eye still isn’t exactly useful for things like aiming at targets smaller than the broad side of a barn. I probably oughta sell it but can’t quite bring myself to do it.

    * Not strictly true, it’s more that I haven’t met any gods greater than I am and so I decline to believe in them. Any god who wants my worship or even belief needs to introduce himself personally, as well as be greater than I.

  39. Side note, went to a middle school open house at the Wilchester IB* program. MASSIVE prog/SJW/female dominated program. Full implementation of SEL. Mandatory volunteering.

    The local ISD’s IB school is dominated by the Subcontinent from what I understand.

    I know the parents of that demographic pass around copies of the entrance exams to the gifted programs at the elementary and middle schools which feed the IB school. I’m of two minds on that: they’re cheating — folks from that part of the world cheat as easily as they breathe — but that’s prepping the kids for the open borders future where the whole world’s middle and upper-middle class offspring are here competing for whatever jobs are left in the parts of the world economy which the US still dominates because trust is necessary and everyone knows Americans generally don’t cheat!

  40. Nick, you might look into religious schools rather than public or nonsectarian private schools. Even though I’m an atheist* I’m perfectly fine with The Brat being in her seventh year of Christian school. The distortions of history and science that they teach are more obvious and thus more easily countered than the distortions of the SJWs, and probably less damaging even if left uncountered.

    In Texas, there are the Harmony schools which are Muslim … charter (?) schools. Definitely Muslim, but I’m unclear about finances. No SJWs there.

  41. The Harmony school I noticed looked like Somalia. Guess that explains why.

    It’s going to be an ongoing issue and because TX uses the Middle School system, she’ll be at a different school for Sixth Grade next year no matter what. We can still move her again after that before High School if needed.

    The other issue with the best of the public schools in our District is that they are in the middle of a VERY wealthy area. Multimillion dollar homes wealthy, when you can buy new for $400k nearby, and new for ~$200k if you accept a little less space/land/or amenities. The resulting Peyton Place/Santa Barbara/90210 vibe is brutal. Keeping up with the Jones is a full time blood sport for them. (and Homie don’t play that.)

    n

  42. Forced volunteering is not volunteering, just like forced insurance is not insurance.

    My son’s middle school had forced volunteering, which I had a problem with. There were even suggested charities, though you could choose any organization. My son chose to volunteer at the local humane society reading to the dogs. He enjoyed it, and it appeared as though the dogs enjoyed the company.

  43. Exactly, and if every high school kid has 150 hours of volunteering on their college application (‘cuz colleges used to give extra weight to that, when only a few extraordinary kids did it), then it isn’t a differentiator any longer. I would much rather see a kid who studied those extra hours, or ran a business on the side, or even hunted drug dealers for sport…..

    n

  44. well

    a) Thanks, I didnt know aboout this SanDisk iPhone USB drive, next buy
    b) In MKS department, I only had a smile about 1250 Kw, its pure MKS, jajajaja (I was unavoidable)

Comments are closed.