Wed. Dec. 18, 2019 – only a few days left.

Cold and damp this am.

We were threatened with freezing, but I don’t know if we got there. Still haven’t changed the batteries in my weather station, and when it’s cold or cloudy too long, they don’t have enough umph.

Today is my volunteer day at school for the morning, followed with my ham group lunch. I’m going this week as it’s the last I can make before Christmas, and it’s near me and at a favorite restaurant….

Then ebay shipping, haircut?, and decor… followed by packing and wrapping gifts both to take with and to leave here under the tree. I’m not even sure what all I have stacked in the closet. Gonna be down to the wire………

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

44 thoughts on “Wed. Dec. 18, 2019 – only a few days left.”


  1. when it’s cold or cloudy too long, they don’t have enough umph.

    Use Lithium AA batteries. Work better in the cold and provide more current.

  2. From yesterday, @Brad and @Roger:

    @Brad, since you ask, private people can own tanks in the US. In fact, here’s a link to a business based on driving and shooting tanks and cannons: https://www.drivetanks.com

    @Roger: Wow. I thought that was a rhetorical question.

    For your amusement and edification, “The Complete Story of the River Oaks Tank”
    https://www.texasmonthly.com/the-daily-post/complete-story-river-oaks-tank/

    “The tactical withdrawal of Tony Buzbee’s World War II-era Sherman M4A4 tank earlier this month brought the month-long Battle of River Oaks Boulevard to a close.”

    “After Buzbee—a trial lawyer, Marine veteran, and proud Aggie alum (and current A&M regent)—parked the fully operational tank on the street in front of his home on Houston’s swankiest residential thoroughfare last month, the unlikely sight brought joy to hundreds of gawkers. History buffs and children thrilled at the sight of “Cheyenne,” the tank’s name as painted on the side by its previous owner, often stopping their cars to get out and pose for pictures.”

    I doubt that the 75 mm gun is operational. And, getting ammo for it might be difficult.

  3. “Secret FISA court issues highly unusual public rebuke of FBI for mistakes”
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/secret-fisa-court-issues-highly-unusual-rebuke-fbi-mistakes-n1103451

    “The criticism comes after a report by the DOJ inspector general that found “so many basic and fundamental errors.””

    We knew this was coming. I just wonder if the FISA court is going to hold Comey and Rosenstein accountable.

    We need accountability from the FBI and CIA.

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

  4. When my brother managed the Army Museum at Ft. Leonard Wood Missouri, he had contact with several civilian armor clubs to put on exhibitions. A RICH friend in Marin County California collected WWII & Cold War era Armor from the US, UK, and Soviet Union. He spent millions restoring them. Most have the main guns disabled or set to fire simulated ammo but there is a range in Nevada where tank and mobile artillery aficionados can do live fire fun. Getting the ammo is hard but not impossible.

    Americans can and do own bombers, fighter jets, gun boats, etc. I know people with field artillery and mortars. How often do you see these used in crimes …. never.

  5. Echo EK:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m42XyKGYlUM

    Heh. Hope I don’t tread on any tender toes… I have relatives who NEED this, but I have no way of contacting them.

    And, lest anyone be offended, I remember a few decades ago when we were told not to tell ethnic jokes while at the work site. I knew some really great jokes, too good to forget. So, I simply made the jokes about Yankees. My boss (a frustrated former teller of ethnic jokes) thought it was genius. He was easily impressed.

  6. The USA dollar is still the currency of reserve in the world. Pray that does not change and all of those paper bills come flooding back into the USA.

    The physical paper dollars, probably not, but the electronic dollars will return when the Progs retake the White House and open the borders. Lots of people will move here, and they won’t all be drywall hangers.

    I saw a small example of what will happen the year we left WA State. HP started spraying a bunch of money around town to find housing for the foreign engineers they brought in to learn printer manufacturing at what was left of their campus in Vantucky. Our landlords essentially kicked us out of our rental house to chase that cash after getting a new kitchen and fence installed at another one of their rentals on HP’s dime.

    There are places in the US where everyone in the *world* would like to live given a chance, whether it be for employment reasons or perceived lifestyle. Austin has the bullseye right now, unfortunately.

  7. And, lest anyone be offended, I remember a few decades ago when we were told not to tell ethnic jokes while at the work site. I knew some really great jokes, too good to forget. So, I simply made the jokes about Yankees. My boss (a frustrated former teller of ethnic jokes) thought it was genius. He was easily impressed.

    I’m a “redneck” who isn’t offended, but the inter-regional animosity in the US, a lot of which is fueled by the mass media, is why I think door-to-door gun grabs will be done by extra-territorial city cops.

    My theory may be tested soon. I don’t believe Governor KKKlansman in VA will resort to the National Guard or even have to go very far to recruit raiding parties if it came to that in VA. Baltimore city cops would probably line up to go raid houses in increasingly sporty places west of Roanoke, “hick” towns, for the right money … or to keep their pensions.

  8. Well, I got some kids edumacated….

    It was fun. OF COURSE I had problems with my powerpoint. I didn’t rename the files to start with sequential numbers, and the projector has an F’d up sorting system. So they were out of order, which made the first session harder than it needed to be. All the subsequent sessions went better.

    I thought that my file names were fine after the last session, but I guess not. Lesson learned. The projector thinks slide1.png should be followed by slide11.png, and various other fukcery based on not understanding double digit numbers in file names. WTF are they using for an OS?

    Ham lunch was only me and 3 others, but we had a good time. And I stopped at the Thrift store and picked up some vintage star wars toys, all half off. Busy as hell in there for 50% off everything day.

    Now to get my shipping out and a haircut.

    n


  9. There are places in the US where everyone in the *world* would like to live given a chance

    Don’t exaggerate. I doubt more than two thirds of the world’s population would up stakes and move here even if offered a free ticket.

    [Alexa EK]

    Heh. I’m a hillbilly and I approve this message.

    Secret FISA court issues highly unusual public rebuke of FBI for mistakes

    Unless the FISA judges demand that certain FBI employees come before them and show cause why they should not be jailed, it’s all a sham.

  10. Secret FISA court issues highly unusual public rebuke of FBI for mistakes

    Unless the FISA judges demand that certain FBI employees come before them and show cause why they should not be jailed, it’s all a sham.

    Yup, my thoughts exactly. Comey and Rosenstein should be in federal court today (they signed the four FISA request for warrants on Carter Page who it turns out is a CIA operative).
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/ex-trump-campaign-aide-carter-page-notches-victory-after-inspector-general-hammers-fbi-for-surveillance-missteps/2019/12/14/6daac5f2-1dda-11ea-b4c1-fd0d91b60d9e_story.html


  11. Women have been trading sex for [any number of things]

    I’ve used this quirk of human nature in a few stories, and have received criticism for mentioning it. Well, gee, pardon me for writing about things I’ve seen with my own two eyes.

  12. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7803909/Girls-young-11-traded-food-Haiti-peacekeepers-fathered-hundreds-babies.html

    Are you surprised ? Women have been trading sex for food since the beginning of time. Or diamonds. Or gold. Or a house. Or, cold hard cash.

    I forgot the other corollary of course. Men have been asking women for sex since the beginning of time. I am simply amazed that so-called educated communities have made sex for cash illegal prostitution). But sex for a nice meal and drinks is ok. Go figure.

    You can try to legislate morality but the end result is usually a disaster.

  13. I thought that my file names were fine after the last session, but I guess not. Lesson learned. The projector thinks slide1.png should be followed by slide11.png, and various other fukcery based on not understanding double digit numbers in file names. WTF are they using for an OS?

    I have learned the hard way to add zeros in file names incorporating linear numbers that I expect to appear in a computer in numeric order. For instance, our PMR (program modification request) system has about 8,000 PMRs in it. The files are des0001.txt, des0002.txt, …

    I dont know what we are going to do when we hit 10,000 PMRs.

  14. @lynn,

    Further to Rick’s comment about batch files, if you want a graphical (point-and-click) try Lupas Rename, from http://rename.lupasfreeware.org/, which Just Works, despite the current V5.0 release being 14 years old. I use it myself.

    Geoff

  15. Sorry, should have commented that Lupas Rename excels at filename (or extension) jiggery-pokery, such as sequential renumbering, inserting of arbitrary characters at a given location in a filename, and similar magic. It will do such things a renaming, per your example, res0001 to res00001 in one operation, and the renames can be arbitrarily complex – cut off the last 3 characters, and then add a different 3 characters as a prefix, while simultaneously fiddling with the extension, is something I’ve used it to do.

    There seems to be no limit on how many files you can do this to in one hit. I’ve done 365 at a time (a year’s worth of one file a day)

    Geoff

  16. And I didn’t comment on this sign of the end times, but maybe it’s fixed–

    She still thought it was a good idea when she did it.

    Seattle. The city proper, not the suburbs.


  17. I am running an ethernet over power system at the old house right now. I may just move it to the new used house with the $50 TPlink wifi router.

    If it works why leave it at the soon to be old house?

    A Ubiquiti Unfi AP will work well. You can have a few “talking” to each other so it’s just one AP as far as phones and stuff know. But this is an upgrade to do after you move.

  18. Does anyone know if the old powertoy, open command window here, still works? I used to navigate to a folder, then right click and select that powertoy, and then REN files. It’s too difficult to drill down to the correct folder outside a gui these days….

    n

  19. Here’s an interesting article:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/hh475812.aspx
    Note that it is old (my original copy was dated in 2011, but this link redirects to 2016-ish.)

    But wait! That is just Windows Explorer. I use other file managers, plus the command line. That complicates matters, trust me. Maybe the safest scheme is to use ISO9660 (I think, no time to look that up,) which mandates only alphabetic characters and numbers in an 8.3 format. Wait, NO! That was the original CD file naming convention. Forget it…

    See, this can be more complicated than you might think. For the simple case of sequential numbers, using leading zeros is probably the best method. Don’t forget to avoid punctuation of all kinds. Oh, darn, there I go again.

    Best advice is to test, test, test. I once had a list of file names I made up to throw at different systems. It was revealing, but didn’t give me hope of anything that could be universal.

    Don’t even get me started on time and date stamps, and what they do across file systems. 😛

  20. Added, there are many file “systems,” as Nick found. I once tried to put slide shows on DVDs (actually CDs to be played on DVD players,) and was frustrated no end. Half of my remote audiences reported that the slides were out of order. After attempting some tests, I gave up.

  21. Standards.
    https://xkcd.com/927/

    Another illustration of the above conundrum is a quote from Connie Morella, former congresswoman and former ambassador to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. She spoke at an ANSI’s World Standards Day awards dinner in 2006, when she received ANSI’s Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award. During her speech she said, “Standards are like toothbrushes. Everybody wants one but nobody wants to use anybody else’s.”

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Andrew_S._Tanenbaum
    And finally, my favorite. I have used it more than once in presentations.
    “The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from.”
    Andrew Stuart “Andy” Tanenbaum (born 1944) is an American computer scientist living in the Netherlands. He is best known as the author of Minix, a free Unix-like operating system for teaching purposes, and for his computer science textbooks.

    Couldn’t resist. :-))

  22. @lynn

    I dont know what we are going to do when we hit 10,000 PMRs.

    Here’s a batch file for you (from https://superuser.com/questions/1395724/batch-inserting-characters-in-file-names-using-ren-in-windows ) to adjust to your needs.

    Thanks !

    I do have a C Shell script to do that. I had to change des1.txt to des0001.txt when I ported our PMR system from the RS/6000 to our Unix toolbox on the pc. I have way deeper problems than that though. All of the C Shell scripts expect three digit type (des, chm, win, etc) and four numbers for the names of the pmr files. The system has 30,000 or 40,000 files in it at the moment.

  23. Added, there are many file “systems,” as Nick found. I once tried to put slide shows on DVDs (actually CDs to be played on DVD players,) and was frustrated no end. Half of my remote audiences reported that the slides were out of order. After attempting some tests, I gave up.

    If you want a slide show that will play on *any* DVD player, the authoring gets a little complicated since it has to be done to the generic standards.

    Ffmpeg and DVDAuthor freeware will get the job done, but I’m sure Roxio has tools in their authoring packages.


  24. If you want a slide show that will play on *any* DVD player, the authoring gets a little complicated since it has to be done to the generic standards.

    Ffmpeg and DVDAuthor freeware will get the job done, but I’m sure Roxio has tools in their authoring packages.

    Yup, but thanks. I did discover these a while ago, but the need has gone away. As you say, the proper way is to author a real DVD.

    Trivia: remember that the DVD was intended to correct the proliferation of “standards” on the CD. I don’t recall, but there were many CD formats. The original DVD, as our former host knew well, started out well, but then the warring “standards” took over, not the least of which was the war between the DVD+ and DVD-. The original DVD-, IIRC, was well thought out, but the standards body was slow to accommodate the needs of the industry, so the industry turned to DVD+ for all except mass pressed discs. DVD+ in our household was far superior to DVD-, except that if someone else didn’t have a DVD+ player all compatibility could be lost.

    I seldom use DVDs any more, mostly because I don’t need them, but also because of all the trouble I had with them. I still don’t like to play a Hollywierd disc on a player connected to a TV, because of all the mandated warnings, etc., that can’t be skipped. If I wanted to watch many, I would first rip them to a media server connected to the TV. At least when I play one on my computer, I am in control.

  25. I always found Cliff to be offputting for some reason.

    My first pass at the numbered files problem had me doing 3 different # systems and I was going to figure out which one actually worked. The first one I chose worked, but then I couldn’t tell which series it was… and I forgot to make a note. It’ll be another 30-45 days before it’s an issue again.

    I used to REN image files from my camera img002.jpg and insert my initials before uploading to our corporate sharepoint for each project. OpenCMDPromptHere made that easy. I think it broke about the time MS came up with the dumb ‘Libraries” and “homegroup” ideas. Nothing as dumb as a file system that HID where the files actually were.

    n

  26. The descent into madness continues.

    The charges made are NOT impeachable. I guess we see clearly how little the actual law matters. Well, you reap what you sow.

    n

  27. I always found Cliff to be offputting for some reason.

    He seems very … fidgety. It would probably be somewhat wearing to be in his presence for very long. 🙁

  28. I always found Cliff to be offputting for some reason.

    After “Cuckoo’s Egg”, before he got into Klein Bottles, Stoll toured the country speaking out against technology spending in education and promoting his book on the topic.

  29. The descent into madness continues.

    The Dems are now talking that they will withhold the Articles so that the Senate can’t proceed with a trial and give Trump a fast acquittal. It also means that the Senators still running for President can campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire in January instead of being in DC for a trial.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/some-house-democrats-push-pelosi-to-withhold-impeachment-articles-delaying-senate-trial/ar-BBY8MUq

    Tulsi Gabbard voted “present”. Interesting.

    https://www.staradvertiser.com/2019/12/18/breaking-news/tulsi-gabbard-releases-statement-on-voting-present-for-trump-impeachment/

  30. @Lynn: That’s pretty normal, I think. Since filenames start with letters, the whole name is then sorted alphabetically. It would be odd (to me, anyway) to take a filename apart and treat digits differently from the rest of the characters. Are there operating systems that do that?

    Incredibly windy here – even the dog didn’t want to go out. What we call a “foehn” storm, where winds are coming up from the south, also makeing the weather unusually warm.

    The impeachment? I’m running out of popcorn. It will indeed be interesting to see what happens in the 2020 elections. It *ought* to be the case that a lot of Democratic nitwits are voted out.

    It will also be funny to watch what happens in the Senate. Will all the Senators show up for the vote? I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few chicken out, and are absent on the day. Specifically the RINO Senators. Which could lead to an unpleasant result…

  31. It will also be funny to watch what happens in the Senate. Will all the Senators show up for the vote? I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few chicken out, and are absent on the day. Specifically the RINO Senators. Which could lead to an unpleasant result…

    The Constitution requires 2/3 of the Senate to vote for Impeachment. I believe that means 67 votes “yes”, no quorum.

    Most of the Republican Senators are going to cut deals of some kind with Trump in the next few weeks, starting with “Little Marco” and Ted Cruz.

    Another state university for Florida? “Little Marco” loves playing professor when he isn’t in DC.

    As for Cruz, he is still young and could run for President again, but, having clerked for Renquist, he must have his eye on that Payola seat on the Supreme Court if not, eventually, the top job.

  32. @Greg: IIRC, the Constitution requires 2/3 of the Senators present to vote for conviction. I think the required quorum is 51, so theoretically 49 Senators could stay home that day.

    I expect a lot of the RINOs are feeling the pressure from the MSM and their progressive consituents – and won’t want to actually take a side. Doing so would require having a spine. Which is why I suspect that some will chicken out and stay home.

    What’s the deal with Pelosi delaying transferring the case to the Senate? How long can she drag this out? Obviously, she would prefer to have this still hanging over Trump during prime election season – whereas he would like to be exonerated so that he can campaign freely.


  33. Wow. Cliff Stoll is nearly 70.

    The “Nova” from ~ 1990 documenting the events in “The Cuckoo’s Egg” and starring all of the principals as themselves is fun as well as educational.

    When I was in my sooper-secret milspec assignment, we all had to watch the documentary. Then a followup lecture with Stoll sitting crosslegged on a desk. Brilliance on the edge of madness was my first thought. I almost bought one of his Klein bottles.

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