Mon. Dec. 16, 2019 – about a week to go, not ready!

Warm and wet. [72F and 99%RH]

Finally did get some lights up yesterday. I had no problem with the stuff going back into the same place as last year. I put some of the moving effects in different places this year and I’ve got a couple more things to do today. I have changed the display nightly in the past, but I’ll just be adding to mine this year.

There is a bunch of discussion around the blogs about Virginia, gun grabbers, and the shot (to be) heard round the world. People are making a good case for it happening soon. Since history is rarely that neat, I’m gonna say that it won’t be there. Could be though. Pay attention, and keep stacking. Priority to defensive tools.

I don’t like the idea of being away from home for a week, but at least it’s not the east coast this time. I intend to rotate and supplement the basic food and gear stockpile I have started there. There are worse places to be stuck if the balloon goes up than small town Michigan, while waiting to see how things shake out. Worst case, we can drive home from there.

Closer to home, I added to the cans stored here. I bought a ton of cold weather preps this week at auction and some minor medical stuff that doesn’t usually come up for sale. Some bits and pieces of add on gear and parts for defensive tools fell into the box too.

Dinner tonight was rotating a beef roast out of the freezer, roasted new potatoes, canned peas (which I prefer to almost any other peas), and shelf stable bread. Dessert was mini pumpkin pies, tiny crusts from the fridge, filling and condensed milk from storage cans, whipped cream fresh from the store. Bits and pieces, bits and pieces. Tried some canned kale at dinner last week. Shop the ethnic aisle for some variety in your stored food. It wasn’t terrible, but a little bland. Nothing bacon wouldn’t fix…

Busy week ahead. Wed. I have my fourth grade science class. Thur. and Friday are half days at school and we travel Friday after school. I’ve got to get back out to my customer’s house during the week too. What did Jerry say? It’s a great life if you don’t falter….

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

38 thoughts on “Mon. Dec. 16, 2019 – about a week to go, not ready!”

  1. There is a bunch of discussion around the blogs about Virginia, gun grabbers, and the shot (to be) heard round the world. People are making a good case for it happening soon.

    In the last few weeks, VADOT has suddenly found religion about law enforcement signals installed on our project in DC, with the State Patrol requesting last minute timing changes and making the indicators more discreet.

    The suburbs around DC and running along the coast down to Virginia Beach are filled with the kind of human locusts discussed in that article about Texas posted the other day. My sister and her husband live on the coast, and my brother-in-law is the poster child for that kind of opportunist — they’ll relocate wherever the money is concentrated, drain it dry, and move on.

    They drained my mother first, learning the game. Not that I care.

  2. I’ve done my last late-afternoon-road-trip-after-the-boy-is-out-of-school. The wife and I took off last Friday, and we picked our son up from school and headed straight from there to my parents for the weekend. We started in north AL around 4 PM. My parents live in northeast TN (tri cities area) and the quickest way to get there is through Chattanooga. Traffic there sucks dead bunnies. I decided to go a different way…

    We took Hwy 28 to 127, which would take us to Crossville. From there, we would take I40 East and proceed as normal through Knoxville. Well, my wife was insistent that her gps told her to take 68 and not proceed to Crossville. This is one of those damned if you do and damned if you don’t scenarios. So I followed her directions. Looking back it would have been ok except for one minor point. To get to the interstate quickly, you have to turn onto another road. It’s marked on the map, but in reality, it’s Bob’s road (obscure Twister reference there…) and there was no way in heck I was going to go down it. So we ended up following 68 all the way to 27, and then finally ended up at I40. Added an extra hour to the trip, not to mention a few swear words being uttered. Oh, and was dark, raining, and some serious fog in places. We got in a little before 11. I’m too old for that anymore.

    In spite of the adventure, I will take the route again, as I now know where to go. I would much rather drive on a state highway than navigate I24 through Chattanooga (heading East, I never have issues driving back home heading West.)

    We left for home early Sunday morning. We hit Knoxville around 9 A.M. Waze was saying the interstate was completely blocked, as were the road signs. We took the UT exit, and looped around the blockage by driving down Cumberland Ave through UT. the wife was telling me waze wanted us to go a different way. Since I know the area, I overruled her suggestion. We got back on the interstate just West of the issue. Apparently a truck carrying potentially hazardous waste crashed and damaged the overhead sign structure. They were working on taking it down as we went by.


  3. We took Hwy 28 to 127, which would take us to Crossville

    Living in the area I know the better routes. I24/I75 in Chattanooga is generally a mess, as is I75 from Chattanooga to Knoxville then you encounter I40/I75 joining for a real mess.

    When I go to Atlanta I travel highway 27 through Harriman. For you it would be easily accomplished to continue on and get to I75 past the mess in Knoxville. Highway 27 is a 4 lane highway for most of the way, little traffic. Several small towns must be passed through. Sale Creek, Dayton, Spring City, Rockwood, Harriman, Oliver Springs, Oak Ridge. Spring City is a massive speed trap with a section about 4 miles long, straight, 4 lanes, no side streets, 40 mph limit. Several friends have been trapped in that area.

    There are ways around Chattanooga traffic. But requires local knowledge and ignoring the GPS.

  4. Comcast no longer charges for the number of drops, splits in the line. Comcast charges by the adapter for TV, activation for internet modems. It is also possible to have two modems on an account, one for data, one for voice.

    Comcast will generally only do the wiring to the demarcation point. Generally just inside the dwelling. Comcast did install an amplifier for my install as I had 5 drops plus the modem. No charge for that. Comcast will charge to mess with the inside wiring.

    Best bet is to hook the modem to the line as possible, generally the first split. See if the signals are OK. If the drop to the house is bad Comcast will replace that at no charge. I have had mine replaced twice as the weather is rough on cable. Every time I have had problems it has been Comcast, outside line, or bad amplifier. When they first installed the amp the wrong power supply was used and was barely providing enough current. Subsequent visit when I had problems the tech replaced with the proper power supply and my issues went away.

    The cable modem should be off the first splitter, hopefully a two way. TV’s can then split off the other split. Have Comcast install an amplifier if needed, they will be able to check signal levels to see if an amp is needed.

    Be nice to the tech, offer him/her a soft drink (no beer), treat them nice, and they will generally do good work. The techs are no evil, want to do a good job, and are generally proud of the work. A marked change from 10 years ago when a tech stood on the wooden arm of one of my couches with his work boots on to reach a cable. Such tech promptly told to get out of my house immediately.

  5. Comcast no longer charges for the number of drops, splits in the line. Comcast charges by the adapter for TV, activation for internet modems. It is also possible to have two modems on an account, one for data, one for voice.

    Time Warner/Spectrum in Austin still bills for each drop even though none of the services work without blessed (billed) hardware. I run a MOCA network between three of the unused cable company drops, and the last time the tech was out, he warned me to separate the cable TV/Internet coax from the MOCA since they occasionally audit.

  6. I have been using the google maps for driving directions a lot. I use it even when I know where I’m going because of the real time traffic and the re-routing around problems.

    Because I’m me, and I think I have local knowledge that the google can’t POSSIBLY match, I sometimes (usually) try to beat their route time if it’s long or I think I know an alternate that would be faster.

    I have managed to get within 5 minutes of their time. I have not beaten it. This despite projecting into the future, knowing that their route takes me thru historical backups at a given time. (they must consider this already) This despite driving faster than posted thru abandoned residential and industrial areas. This despite believing that google will not route you AWAY from your goal, even if it’s faster (it’s not ever faster.)

    I’ve been playing the game for months now. I’m lucky to match their time.

    I believe that I do in fact get thru or around some specific backups better than their estimate, but it’s the driving that comes after or before that then uses up any savings.

    The only benefit to my game, and it’s not insignificant to me, is that I pick alternates that keep me moving rather than sitting in stop and go traffic. Also, playing the game keeps me engaged and actively thinking while I drive. Since I get sleepy when driving, this is a good thing. (I have a CO monitor in the truck- it’s a combination of carbs making me sleepy, and conditioned response to white noise making me sleepy, not being slowly poisoned. I’ve had a mechanic inspect the exhaust system too. I really don’t want to be a Ford victim.)

    I don’t find the Waze “there’s a speed trap ahead” warnings to be useful. I don’t typically speed enough to worry about it, and they don’t seem to adjust the reported location to take in the lag of using the app. In other words, you are on top of the cop before you get the warning. The “there’s a slowdown ahead” warnings also come too late. I’m usually well into a slowdown before I get the warning.

    n

  7. I’ve been using Apple Maps lately. Maps has come a long way since it’s sucky start. Google still rules, IMHO, but I like the Apple Garden integration. Especially with Car Play in my Subie. I’ve played with Google with Sat maps on. Cool and helpful in urban areas.

  8. I read Dumbocrat Senators lead by Dummkopf Schumer are wanting to call witnesses when the travesty called impeachment arrives. McConnell should have a vote the first day to dismiss calling it the piece of shit it is and making a speech to the public. Suck it Dumbo’s!

  9. McConnell should have a vote the first day to dismiss calling it the piece of shit it is and making a speech to the public.

    Dismissal won’t happen right away. Impeachment presents an opportunity for the Republicans to cut deals with Trump for pork or something more personal.

    Remember John Glenn’s Shuttle trip conveniently approved after Clinton’s acquittal? In Florida, we got Corps. of Engineers signoff on a questionable site for a new state university thanks to Bob Graham’s deal.

    Think “Little Marco” doesn’t want something for the 2016 humiliation? Ted Cruz?

    And hearings will tie up the Dem Senators who are still running for President.

    The Senate will put on a show for a while. A lot of Republican Senators don’t like Trump any more than the Dems. They’ll all want something. Maybe we’ll get another “war”.

  10. Hm, big rolling thunder to the west, and now hard rain. Still brightly lit out there, with only a thin cloud cover. I was hoping the rain would miss us.

    n

  11. Subbing again today, probably the last time this calendar year. Tests start tomorrow and subs are not allowed during tests. I guess we are not qualified to give tests. Friday is the last day for the calendar year. Thus far this year the wife and I have made $3K subbing, not exactly anything to write home about.

    Truth be known if I wanted to include the other schools in the county, plus schools in an adjoining couny, I could sub every day of year (excluding testing days). I really don’t want do the driving plus deal with the other schools.

    There is an online system that teachers are being forced to use to request subs. OS high teachers have always contacted the wife and I directly as certain teachers have subs they like. Using the online system makes it difficult to get a favorite sub. Apparently some subs, who are lousy, were complaining about favoritism. Well, duh, that is why the teachers contact us directly. Now we (teacher, wife and I) are learning to play the game and game the system. Same result, just more annoying. Teachers now contact us, say they need a sub, put it in the system, wife and I respond immediately before others have a chance. If we miss, teacher withdraws the request and we try again.

    Teacher I am subbing for today is here. She is showing people from other schools what had to happen to get STEAM certified by the state. A group of about 30 people all looking at the program. I suspect there is probably federal money involved. I do know this teacher has been able to get significant grants from Lowe’s, Home Depot, HP and a few other companies for money and products. The 3D printers were free along with access to some design software. A lot of money was spent on useless stuff in my opinion. Kobalt tool chests, 10 of them, big ones, DeWalt drills and drivers, 10 high end voltmeters, etc. Surprisingly no real test equipment such as cheap scopes to use with the robotics which in my opinion would be necessary to check signals to actuators and from sensors.

    Ah well, she got the money, spent it. I guess that is what you do with grant money.

  12. Ah well, she got the money, spent it. I guess that is what you do with grant money.

    Hopefully, all the equipment is at the school and not at the teacher’s house … or on EBay.

    Cheap USB scopes for low clock speeds, enough to diagnose through-hole logic, are readily available on EBay and other places.

  13. all the equipment is at the school

    It is, of that I have no doubt. I have seen the equipment. I also know the teacher and her integrity is top notch.

    I also suspect that some of the stuff may have been donated by Lowe’s so Lowe’s can get a small tax write-off for excess inventory. I question why the art class needs a 50 pound vise.

    Cheap USB scopes for low clock speeds

    Yes, I built two of them for the school. Stand-alone devices no USB required. The devices are quite suitable to see if a signal is present on a data line to a servo or other such device. Any of the output of the little small arduinos could probably be probed with those little scopes. I use one at the church to see if there is signal on the SDI line, such signal not being readable but just an indication that something is present. Not too shabby for something that is less than $30.00, with a probe. Not terribly fast, lot of noise in the display signal but more than good enough for mine and the school’s needs.

  14. More bullshit from Obola:

    Barack Obama says women are ‘indisputably better’ than men and if every country had a female leader there would be ‘significant improvement in living standards and outcomes.

    A blatant plug for Moochles run?

  15. Not terribly fast, lot of noise in the display signal but more than good enough for mine and the school’s needs.

    One of my last assignments as a grad student for the university was disabling the CS department’s digital logic lab once it was clear we weren’t teaching the class moving forward. I hope the NI prototyping boards went to a place where they would be appreciated, like a high school, but my guess is that they were simply trashed.

  16. FWIW I made creamed turkey for dinner a couple of nights ago with turkey I pressure canned 5 years ago, stored mostly in a seasonally warm garage, and it was fine.

  17. There is a bunch of discussion around the blogs about Virginia, gun grabbers, and the shot (to be) heard round the world. People are making a good case for it happening soon.

    In the last few weeks, VADOT has suddenly found religion about law enforcement signals installed on our project in DC, with the State Patrol requesting last minute timing changes and making the indicators more discreet.

    I’m sorry but I do not understand what you are talking about ?

  18. “Boeing will halt production of troubled 737 Max airplane”
    https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/16/21025081/boeing-737-max-production-halt-stop-crash-faa-airplane

    “Boeing will suspend production of the 737 Max — the airplane involved in two fatal crashes that took the lives of 346 people — in January, the company announced Monday. The news was first reported by the The Wall Street Journal and CNBC.”

    “It’s unclear how long the production halt will last, and Boeing says it doesn’t expect the halt to result in layoffs or furloughs. The company has been making about 40 aircraft per month following the 737 Max’s worldwide grounding in March, and has around 400 airplanes in storage. Boeing says it would rather “prioritize the delivery of stored aircraft and temporarily suspend production on the 737 program” in order to maintain “long-term production system and supply chain health.””

    They can save the plane by pulling the new engines and replacing them with the old under wing engines that burn 6% more fuel.

  19. “In the last few weeks, VADOT has suddenly found religion about law enforcement signals installed on our project in DC, with the State Patrol requesting last minute timing changes and making the indicators more discreet.”

    I’m sorry but I do not understand what you are talking about ?

    I work on the new “Lexus lanes” on 395 between DC and the VA suburbs. The State of VA suddenly became real interested in what we call “Vehicles Of Interest” in the last few weeks. When a VOI traverses a plaza, our system signals law enforcement down the road using a pattern of lights.

  20. I just cannot imagine Southwest Airlines without the 737.

    They’ll use the A220 just like all the other airlines will if Boeing doesn’t fix the 737.

    No big deal. In the meantime, other less fuel-efficient options sit out in the desert, including DC9 class jets run by AirTran before Southwest forced them out of the fleet after the merger. Management will have to get creative. LUV didn’t get where it is by playing things safe.

    Delta will be the interesting situation to watch. They have a *lot* of 757s which need replacement over the next decade, and Boeing has zip in the pipeline.

  21. I work on the new “Lexus lanes” on 395 between DC and the VA suburbs. The State of VA suddenly became real interested in what we call “Vehicles Of Interest” in the last few weeks. When a VOI traverses a plaza, our system signals law enforcement down the road using a pattern of lights.

    Gotcha, I understand now.

  22. I just cannot imagine Southwest Airlines without the 737.

    They’ll use the A220 just like all the other airlines if Boeing doesn’t fix the 737.

    No big deal.

    “And airlines have little choice but to eat the costs. They can’t buy Airbus’ competing airplane, the A320neo, because it has over 5,000 backorders; an order placed today won’t arrive for three years. And it can be prohibitively expensive to lease their way out, with short-term lease rates for 737s increasing by 40 percent since the groundings. Carriers with mixed fleets can at least make do with a motley collection of older airplanes. But this isn’t an option for most low-cost carriers.”

  23. from Obola:

    Barack Obama says women are ‘indisputably better’ than men and if every country had a female leader there would be ‘significant improvement in living standards and outcomes.

    A blatant plug for Moochles run?

    Nah, Hillary.

    Obola needs Hillary in office to pardon him when Comey and Brennan give him up as they were “just following orders” when they are prosecuted for lying to the FISA court.

  24. Delta will be the interesting situation to watch. They have a *lot* of 757s which need replacement over the next decade, and Boeing has zip in the pipeline.

    Boeing should take those 737 Lean Burn Min Fuel engines off the 737 MAXes and make a 757 MAX.

  25. “Feral Pigs Roam the South. Now Even Northern States Aren’t Safe.”
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/feral-pigs-roam-the-south-now-even-northern-states-arent-safe/ar-BBY3kGw

    “HELENA, Mont. — Ranchers and government officials here are keeping watch on an enemy army gathering to the north, along the border with Canada. The invaders are big, testy, tenacious — and they’ll eat absolutely anything.”

    “Feral pigs are widely considered to be the most destructive invasive species in the United States. They can do remarkable damage to the ecosystem, wrecking crops and hunting animals like birds and amphibians to near extinction.”

    “They have wrecked military planes on runways. And although attacks on people are extremely rare, in November feral hogs killed a woman in Texas who was arriving for work in the early morning hours.”

    Two F-16s have crashed hitting feral pigs on runways ? Who knew ?

    The pigs are all over Texas. One of my friends asked me today if he can put game cameras on my 14 acre property and bow hunt the pigs. I said sure.

    Hat tip to:
    https://drudgereport.com/


  26. The pigs are all over Texas

    Such pigs can be shot anytime, for any reason, in any quantity, even for sport. At least in TN and I suspect elsewhere.

  27. “Boeing will halt production of troubled 737 Max airplane”
    https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/16/21025081/boeing-737-max-production-halt-stop-crash-faa-airplane

    Eco madness may be reason for disastrous Boeing 737 MAX safety issues :

    No one has said it explicitly yet, but this relentless pressure to reduce emissions appears to have been a significant factor in the disastrous safety failures of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which resulted in two fatal crashes in the past year, claiming 346 lives.

    The warning from Boeing’s catastrophes is that climate ideology can have fatal consequences.

  28. No limit or permit needed for feral hogs in TX. Rules about discharging a firearm in a populated area do apply.

    Boeing is in trouble.

    Anyone who hitched themselves to their star is going to be in trouble too, at least in the short run.

    I’m going to bed. I switched the t-stat to “heat” and it’s time to cuddle up.

    n


  29. The original FB post said “over 60,000 gallons” of mercury

    Here locally DOE has acknowledged a massive mercury spill. I have heard 3,000 gallons which is about 170 tons of the substance.

    Link to the story. Lot of toxic stuff around the plants because of DOE and stupid union employees where performance is measured by lowest performing individual.

  30. They can’t buy Airbus’ competing airplane, the A320neo, because it has over 5,000 backorders; an order placed today won’t arrive for three years.

    The A220 is different and slightly smaller than the A320. Airbus builds those joinly with Bombardier in what would have been the tanker factory in Mobile had Boeing not ultimately prevailed in their temper tantrum.

    The A220-300 would work well for Southwest’s needs. The only question is how quickly Airbus can ramp up Mobile.

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