Mon. Dec. 9, 2019 – more to do, speeding toward Christmas

Cool and damp. [68F and wet]

Well I did get some things done yesterday, but not what I wanted to. I even got up early. But between the return of the campers, and getting ready for the recital, there wasn’t much contiguous time to really get going.

Campers had a great weekend.

I’ll have to do better today. Of course, some time this week I have to get to College Station for an auction pickup.

And my volunteer day is Wednesday or Thursday. If Wed. I need to get a lesson and lab together for geology. We’ve got plenty of cool rocks and minerals, I’m just not sure how to get ‘hands on’ with them… probably sorting and identifying, like last year if I can’t figure out something more fun. I’m thinking of maybe identifying 3 white powders- salt, talc, sand/quartz, or maybe borax or calcium carbonate or chalk… I’ll have to do some looking online. Maybe react them with water, vinegar, touch them, etc. At least I have a day or two to figure something out.

In the wider world, more rumblings in the world’s economies. More banks cutting back, hedge funds shutting down or stopping people from withdrawing. More anti-government violence in Iran, France, Chile, Hong Kong, etc. Not much news from Venezuela, but I’m thinking things aren’t getting better or we’d be hearing about it.

Closer to home, more attacks on the second amendment, free speech, and privacy.

I’m telling ya, it’s getting worse. I do see people pushing back though. I see the 2A sanctuary city thing happening. I see people pushing back against pc and progtalk. I saw that a huge number of firearms were sold on Black Friday. Those are hopeful signs. Maybe it’s just getting started, or maybe it’s too little too late, but I guess we’ll see one way or the other. Plan for one, temper the plans with the other.

nick

24 thoughts on “Mon. Dec. 9, 2019 – more to do, speeding toward Christmas”

  1. re the geology lab, you can have the kids get the specific gravity of each of the powders. That should be less messy than reacting with different liquids, if mess is a concern.

    Assuming that kids will be doing the work and that the school or you has the equipment, you can have them wear protective goggles and gloves when doing the work. One thing I’ve found with having my daughter do chemistry labs is that she’s considerably thrown off when I make her gear up. We’ve done separation by filtration of sand and salt, for instance, both with and without the protective gear so that she could learn for herself what a difference it makes when you try to do any simple thing.

  2. Mess isn’t a huge concern, as long as the results are all basically food. Measuring very precisely, weighing, etc ends up taking a little bit too long in most of the classes (20-40 minutes depending on a number of factors), so I’m more focused on ‘things happening’ and things they can manipulate by hand. The class is called “Hands On” science and I have to keep reminding myself that. There are so many cool demos, but it’s not a demo class…. also I like to emphasize that science is everywhere and always a part of our lives, and not something separate and inaccessible.

    Part of the idea is basic definitions too.

    In a logical progression, we’d be doing simple machines, since we introduced force and work last time but their class work is more of a survey class so we skip around a bit to line up with whatever they’re doing once a month. I think we’re done with physics, unless the simple machines comes back before the end of the year. I love simple machines because they are everywhere around us and people (kids especially) don’t even see them as machines. It’s just a ramp, just a shovel, just a rope….

    n

  3. Just a PSA, friends don’t let friends shop at Cheaper than Dirt….

    CTD– winchester, 5.56 Nato, 1000 rd case, $335
    Natchez Shooter’s Supply, — federal, 5.56 Nato, 1000 rd case, $290

    and Natchez never price gouged on standard capacity mags….

    n

  4. Just a PSA, friends don’t let friends shop at Cheaper than Dirt….

    They opened and closed in less than a year in Austin back in 2010/11.

  5. We’ve got plenty of cool rocks and minerals, I’m just not sure how to get ‘hands on’ with them…

    Get some ore rocks and take a torch to them and see what metals bubble out. I always got a kick out of doing that with galena.

  6. Hah,

    What did California have before socialism? — Electricity

    Elizabeth Warren: “Only the government should have guns!”
    Me: “a REAL indian would know better than that…”

    A couple from my inbox.

    n

  7. “Natural gas venting and flaring increased in North Dakota and Texas in 2018”
    http://gasprocessingnews.com/news/natural-gas-venting-and-flaring-increased-in-north-dakota-and-texas-in-2018.aspx?id=2382671

    “The volume of U.S. natural gas that was reported as vented and flared reached its highest average annual level of 1.28 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Natural Gas Annual, which contains updated data about vented and flared natural gas. In 2018, the percentage of U.S. natural gas that was vented and flared increased to 1.25% of gross withdrawals, up from 0.84% the previous year. Two states, North Dakota and Texas, accounted for 1.1 Bcf/d, or 82% of the reported U.S. vented and flared natural gas.”

    Wow ! I used to work at a one million hp power plant that burned a half bcf/day when I was a junior engineer.

  8. Well, mom bought a new lappy, so I’ll be supporting that remotely…

    Meanwhile, I’ve been poking at this pc, and found that the pagefile was 765MB. Windows must have shrunk it when the drive filled up, and never expanded it back.

    I set it to 1Gb – 2GB and it is much snappier now. It’s almost like before.

    Of course the bastard D/L’d a ton of updates and virus and malware stuff which slowed it to a crawl as soon as I put it on my network.

    Seems better now.

    I guess Ive got a pc for the living room now.

    n

  9. Of course the bastard D/L’d a ton of updates and virus and malware stuff which slowed it to a crawl as soon as I put it on my network.

    Seems better now.

    I guess Ive got a pc for the living room now.

    If you don’t have anything important on the laptop, get a Windows 10 iso from Microsoft and install clean, totally wiping the disc. Nuke it from orbit — the only way to be sure.

    Most experienced users don’t need more anti-virus/malware than Microsoft Security Essentials.


  10. Nuke it from orbit — the only way to be sure.

    I used that line in a meeting today. Not one of the approximately fifteen people got it, a sad commentary of the people I work with. Rather, the people amidst whom I work.

  11. “Nuke it from orbit — the only way to be sure.”

    I used that line in a meeting today. Not one of the approximately fifteen people got it, a sad commentary of the people I work with. Rather, the people amidst whom I work.

    I’ve noted here before that I stopped describing working on the West Coast as “Logans Run” since no one under 45 got the reference, much less 30.

  12. “McEachin & Olson Lead Bipartisan Bill Introduced To Crack Down On Robocall Violators”
    https://olson.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/mceachin-olson-lead-bipartisan-bill-introduced-to-crack-down-on-robocall

    “I’m proud to say we took action in the Energy and Commerce Committee and last week Congress passed our legislation that included text from my bill the Locking Up Robocallers Act of 2019. This bill requires transparency so that all calls that are made are authentic (no more fake phone numbers) and arms the federal government with tools to make sure that the next call these criminals make is from a jail cell. The bill passed with a whopping bipartisan vote of 417-3. You can read my full press release here.”

    I wonder if this will get the international robocallers ?

  13. SteveF, my favorite English teacher used to correct us with a nod and a wink: “Never use a preposition to end a sentence with.” Not only did he get his point across, but I would bet most of his students have never forgotten that sentence.

    I hope he is riding his Harley in heaven!

  14. I think I heard something about a remake…

    Tech employment on the West Coast and Austin is “Logan’s Run”.

    Fifty years ago, bumping people off at 30 for the common good was far out thinking.

    Now? Not so far out any more.

  15. The cops were touting the Ring Neighborhood thing to our PIP meeting (Positive Interaction Program) and were even giving a Ring away as a door prize.

    I don’t like them because you can’t access the stream locally, you must use their app and the internet.

    The cam I’m using (which isn’t awesome) has a locally available stream, and isn’t tied to millions of other users.

    n

  16. SteveF, my favorite English teacher used to correct us with a nod and a wink: “Never use a preposition to end a sentence with.”

    Most TV bablers don’t know with which to end a sentence.

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