Fri. Jan. 3, 2020- sore, tired, and the year’s just getting started

Cold and wet.

Rained off and on most of yesterday.

I mostly laid around, and fought the nausea from the pain in my neck and shoulders.

Finally got the chiropractor. Got instant relief, but it doesn’t last. I’ll be going back today and tomorrow at least.

Grabbed dinner for the family at Five Guys Burgers. Yeah, it’s a tasty burger but $50 for me and the kids? Crazy. I can get 5 pounds of decent steak for that.

Won a couple of things at auction yesterday too. 2000w inverter for an RV for $200. That’s 1/3 of ebay for the same model. And it’s 2000w continuous. Won a couple of parts gubs. Brand no one wants, so I got them cheap enough to simply part out. Parts sell well on gunbroker though, which is a bit odd.

I got a couple of ebay listings done and turned my store back on. Sitting at the pc and typing aggravates my shoulder pain so I’m trying to avoid it.

Wife’s working again today so I’ve got taggalong kids whatever I do… their marathon Harry Plopper binge should be over later today.

And if that’s not a dog’s breakfast of a post I don’t know what is, go and sin no more.

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

50 thoughts on “Fri. Jan. 3, 2020- sore, tired, and the year’s just getting started”

  1. Grabbed dinner for the family at Five Guys Burgers. Yeah, it’s a tasty burger but $50 for me and the kids? Crazy. I can get 5 pounds of decent steak for that.

    Restaurants are goosing prices noticeably, but Five Guys has gone parabolic with their pricing as of late. It is our standard stop during the anime show we attend every year in Austin, and IIRC the standard double was $8 this weekend.

    Of course the people watching was awesome as usual during show weekend. The prices may have been upped to take advantage of the captive audience.

    It could be worse. With WA State minimum wage pushing $11 before we left, a trip to *Wendy’s* was nearly $60 for four of us. Wendy’s. There is a reason Papa Murphys HQ is in Vantucky.

    And the restaurants in WA still cut corners on cleanliness. The Chipotle E-coli fiasco ground zero was the outlet not far from us in Vantucky.

    We picked up sirloins this weekend for $5/lb at Sam’s. $30 for six pounds. That will be two stir fry dinners with leftovers minimum. Yeah, I was rolling the dice with Sam’s after the freezer burned pork roast fiasco Christmas Eve, but I don’t hesitate to bag the meat and take it back in the event of problems.


  2. Restaurants are goosing prices noticeably

    Here, too; it’s obvious even to me, who hardly patronizes restaurants. Only some of that is food price; grocery store prices have been creeping up, not leaping up.

  3. Yeah, Jack in the Box for me and the kids was $38. That does include shakes in both cases, and not eating off the dollar menu.

    KFC was over $50 but at least you get more than one meal out of it.

    I really don’t understand how poor people can eat fast food, unless they just eat the dollar menu.

    The only other patrons at 5guys were two young girls, probably college kids home for the holidays, and a young hispanic male who was dressed like an auto mechanic and was watching something loud on his phone the whole time.

    Not impressive for 6pm.

    n

  4. Thanks, @paulthemanc, I think I’ve found a favorite new blog. It’s refreshing to see someone thinking at that level. I only wish I were that smart 🙁

  5. Here, too; it’s obvious even to me, who hardly patronizes restaurants. Only some of that is food price; grocery store prices have been creeping up, not leaping up.

    Food is part of it. Labor costs, rents, and Wall Street demands for return on capital are a bigger factor.

    Until recently, restaurants were getting away with hiding price increases in beverages, especially alcohol, but people started getting wise, ordering takeout/delivery. The rise of private equity funded delivery services for restaurants which did not previously offer that capability to the snowflakes has made things worse. We really see the havoc the services wreak in Austin.

  6. Really John Cusak? YOU”RE smarter and better informed than the President of the United States of America?

    “Cusack tweeted: ‘Trump in full fascist 101 mode-,steal and lie – until there’s nothing left and start a war – He’s so idiotic he doesn’t know he just attacked Iran And that’s not like anywhere else.’ ”

    –I like Cusack’s movies, but he’s just another hollyweird turd who can’t see past the end of his eyelashes apparently.

    And whoever Rose McGowan is, she doesn’t seem to see the irony of begging an “evil evil man” not to kill you while apologizing for killing him.

    Rose McGowan tweeted an apology to Iran after an airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump killed one of the country’s top generals.

    The actress went on a rant on the social media platform on Friday morning, after the news of the death of Qassem Soleimani.

    ‘Dear #Iran, The USA has disrespected your country, your flag, your people. 52% of us humbly apologize,’ she wrote, along with a GIF of the Iranian flag.

    ‘We want peace with your nation. We are being held hostage by a terrorist regime. We do not know how to escape. Please do not kill us. #Soleimani.’

    –I can’t see any iranian or middleastern leader thinking much of the half dressed western attention whores tweeting about them…..

    n

  7. I had to look up both Cusak and McGowan. I thought hollywood only did good looking celebs?

  8. My wife is a coupon clipper. We sometimes patronize fast food places for convenience, and pay way less per person than mentioned above, but we are selective. We almost always drink free water at restaurants, by preference. Ironically, we have not noticed much price increase in SoCal, but to be fair this will happen.

    In our small town, prices have been stable. We are members of a Saturday night dinner group that rotates through a dozen nice restaurants. Variety, companionship, and reasonable cost. Cheap outing.

  9. I really don’t understand how poor people can eat fast food, unless they just eat the dollar menu.

    Papa Murphys can take the EBT cards, but the outlets around us are like ghost towns.

    Yeah, I definitely think we’re missing something going on unless they’re just burying those Popeye sandwiches on the credit cards.

    The “innovation” of the chains accepting debit/credit has fueled incredible growth in both their stock prices and obesity stats.

  10. And whoever Rose McGowan is, she doesn’t seem to see the irony of begging an “evil evil man” not to kill you while apologizing for killing him.

    Rose McGowan is one of the crusaders leading the charge against Harvey Weinstein in #MeToo.

    She’s also arguably the catalyst for the Robert Rodriguez career funk of the last decade.

    Rose McGowan is Shot Girl in 15-16 years, pushing 50, no longer able to get by on the vibe she exuded in her 20s, and getting paid through “work” on documentaries and ghost written memoirs.

  11. John Cusack’s movies have been cult favorites for years, moreso years ago than now. His sister Joan is pretty funny to.

    Grosse Pointe Blank and Better off Dead are two of his that come to mind…

    Rose, not so much.

    ===========================================================

    Congrats to our local constable’s deputies, they caught 2 burglars in the act due to an aware neighbor, in our subdivision. Sound of breaking glass led to a call. Call led to arrests.

    ===========================================================
    Water is still wet, news at 11.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7848499/More-people-leaving-New-York-state-US.html

    ===========================================================

    The key to happiness with women is finding one who isn’t crazy…..

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7846989/Rhode-Island-girl-18-new-fiance-23-charged-murdering-exs-mom.html

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7848847/Captain-America-actress-says-plans-represent-court-death-mom.html

    -the problem is they’re all crazy. [I know, don’t write letters.]

    Boys and girls, God put sharp teeth and distinctive markings on jungle predators as a warning. Facial tats and piercings serve the same function. Also, there’s a reason the eyes are considered a ‘window to the soul.’

    Use the brains God gave you.

    n

  12. Grosse Pointe Blank and Better off Dead are two of his that come to mind…

    From that era, “One Crazy Summer” and “Tapeheads” are also fun. Caveat emptor — the latter is an acquired taste.

    “Hot Tub Time Machine” and “High Fidelity” are the best of Cusack’s recent work IMHO, but the real breakout star of “High Fidelity” was Jack Black in his first flick.

    The curse of Black is that he will probably never find another part in a script that is as good as his character in “High Fidelity”. All of his talents were highlighted, including his singing ability.

    Rest assured, “High Fidelity” does not end like you will think for most of the running time.

  13. “What’s the value proposition here?”

    –founders and early money get paid, fete’d, and will move on to lucrative gigs on boards and startups. Note that they get paid out of the sucker money that comes in second… the businesses will never generate any net free cash.

    n

  14. From @Ed yesterday:

    @lynn: Browsing thru Four Short Links

    https://www.oreilly.com/radar/topics/four-short-links/

    over at O’Reilly and saw a link you might be find interesting. De-obfuscation: Saturn

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1909.01752

    Lovely. We encrypt our text strings nowadays. And other things.

    There is a open source binary decompiler that works fairly well that I am fairly is what my attackers use. The one that I somewhat remember is IDA.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_Disassembler

  15. A new year means a new backup external hard drive. Actually I buy a new external backup hard drive every six months and archive the oldest drive in the batch.

    I ran the external backup last Friday on the last WD 6 TB USB hard drive. Now all of the seven USB external hard drives for backing up our office LAN are WD 8 TB hard drives. I grabbed the new WD 8 TB USB last night, reformatted it to NTFS, and started the fresh LAN backup on it. Should be done by Monday or so for about a 4 TB backup.

  16. The curse of Black is that he will probably never find another part in a script that is as good as his character in “High Fidelity”. All of his talents were highlighted, including his singing ability.

    What, his supporting actor in “The Holiday” where he sang and played the piano was no good ?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holiday

  17. What’s the value proposition here? Continue to dump hundreds of millions of dollars to sustain losses until the nirvana of autonomous vehicles arrives?

    A combination of trying to be “first mover”, getting the service so right that the company dominates like Amazon and becomes a darling of Wall Street despite an 80 PE, and, failing that, “greater fool”, unloading the company to an IPO or another VC before the current bubble implodes. Like Bezos with Amazon, the VCs don’t give a darn about what they’re actually selling as long as there is some float to play with.

    Food prep has thin margins, but, as Darden learned with Red Lobster, there is an advantage to not having certain demographics inside your building, driving up your labor costs with cries of “More biscuits, waiter.”

    *Autonomous* vehicles are not going to happen for a long time, but the US fleet will be mostly amenable to *automation* under central control in ~ five years.

    At least three major players are here in town with automation projects — GM, Siemens, and someone else flying under the radar. I’ll get contacts from outside recruiters for the third party, and while the placement people won’t disclose the name, they do confirm that it isn’t one of the other two. I’ve never had a resume accepted for an interview with Company X.

    Might be Toyota. They’re already in San Antonio. OTOH, everyone in tech tries to justify putting a small office here to write off trips to SxSW and ACL.

    Based on resumes we’ve seen recently, Siemens project doesn’t seem to be going well.

  18. “California’s Fires Prove the American Dream Is Flammable”
    https://www.thenation.com/article/california-fires-urban-planning/

    “If we want to keep cities safe in the face of climate change, we need to seriously question the ideal of private homeownership.”

    What a whack job ! Just another example of how the Climate Disruptors want to take over the world and subject the rest of us to their whims and deep dark desires.

    Hat tip to:
    https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/own-a-home-youre-responsible-for-californias-wild-fires-27004/

  19. When and where I grew up, only blacks went to Red Lobster.

    My mom likes them for a change of pace. When I went with her, it was old folks and black families.

    Waiting for the chiropractor….music is late 70S rock, cheap trick, monkees, not the demo in the lobby pour the office, must be corporate.

    Weirdly goodwill has awesome music in theit stores. Someone puts together a track with almost all recognizable songs, but not trite or overexposed.

    N

  20. My Google guide review of a Fry’s store is my most liked and one of my most read reviews.

    I am nowhere near an influencer, but my reviews do have 23k views in aggregate. Which is a bit weird to me.

    N

  21. @Greg – what’s your differentiation between the two?

    *Autonomous* vehicles are not going to happen for a long time, but the US fleet will be mostly amenable to *automation* under central control in ~ five years.


  22. In our small town, prices have been stable. We are members of a Saturday night dinner group that rotates through a dozen nice restaurants. Variety, companionship, and reasonable cost. Cheap outing.

    I had dinner there a number of years ago, no complaints.


  23. What a whack job ! Just another example of how the Climate Disruptors want to take over the world and subject the rest of us to their whims and deep dark desires.

    You know what they say: “Don’t let a crisis to waste.” And: “If you don’t have one, create one.”

  24. @Greg – what’s your differentiation between the two?

    Autonomous would be a self driving car with all the smarts on board to essentially replace a human driver.

    Automated would be a car under the direction of a cental authority through a high speed comm link. The same authority controls all the cars on the road system around a city.

  25. When and where I grew up, only blacks went to Red Lobster.

    My mom likes them for a change of pace. When I went with her, it was old folks and black families.

    Things were a little different in Central Florida, where the chain originated from Gary’s Duck Inn, but the all-you-can eat crab legs and biscuits were killing Darden when they finally unloaded the brand. Both of those foods involve lots of manual labor both to prep and deliver. Not serving those menu items was not an option for Darden — let that decsion fall on someone else.


  26. Rose McGowan is Shot Girl in 15-16 years, pushing 50, no longer able to get by on the vibe she exuded in her 20s, and getting paid through “work” on documentaries and ghost written memoirs.

    McGowan is Lindsay Lohan 2.0. While Lohan is *banging* Arabs for a living, McGowan is the outrage queen. Neither is going to get Hollyweird fame again.

  27. I really don’t understand how poor people can eat fast food, unless they just eat the dollar menu.

    Papa Murphys can take the EBT cards, but the outlets around us are like ghost towns.

    Yeah, I definitely think we’re missing something going on unless they’re just burying those Popeye sandwiches on the credit cards.

    The “innovation” of the chains accepting debit/credit has fueled incredible growth in both their stock prices and obesity stats.

    When I was 22, a college graduate, married, and employed, it was incredibly hard to get a credit card. 38 years later, it is incredibly easy. And the credit card people price in their theft and bad debts and still make money.

    And the raw food / prepared food prices have doubled in the last ten years. But the cost of energy has dropped (I paid $2.02/gallon of gasoline on Dec 31) which is masking that cost of food rise.


  28. Automated would be a car under the direction of a cental authority through a high speed comm link. The same authority controls all the cars on the road system around a city.

    They call that BRT or light rail…seriously though, Uber needs autonomous to cover the ‘last mile’ delivery of a passenger or your pizza.

  29. Nick, ever buy anything from Monoprice? I have bought a few of their cables and adapters, and was pleased with their price/performance ratio.

    While I’m on the subject, did you ever buy anything from MilesTek? They are closer to you. I have looked at their web site for years, but never bought anything.

    I buy from Monoprice because they are close to me, but MilesTek might have better quality stuff for good prices.

    While I am on the subject, I noticed Trompeter Electronics on the MilesTek site. I once met Ed Trompeter, and will never forget him. I was working on a connector project and he came by to make a presentation and sniff out possible business. His business card said Ed Trompeter, Janitor, Trompeter Electronics. You might guess he was a character, and you would be right. He was also a sharp guy. I just Googled him, and found that he had an impressive coin collection. No surprise. Sadly, he passed away about 1992.

    Might not be back here until later tonight, so thanks in advance.

  30. @Greg – what’s your differentiation between the two?

    Autonomous would be a self driving car with all the smarts on board to essentially replace a human driver.

    Automated would be a car under the direction of a cental authority through a high speed comm link. The same authority controls all the cars on the road system around a city.

    Autonomous is the Johnny Cab in Schwarzenegger’s “Total Recall” movie from 1990.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWgrvNHjKkY
    and
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100802/

  31. My first credit card was a Sears Charge. Sure, they made extra from me on the interest. But…. the very first thing I bought was a portable record player. The fancy one …. stereo. I picked it up at the catalog store in Edinburg. They let me plug it in to see if it worked. I left the box there and used my belt as a neckstrap for the bicycle ride to the dorms at PanAm (aka Taco Tech). Hey, $70 was a lot of money to me at the time. It was a decent enough stereo until my little brother got a hold of it.

    He’s good at taking stuff apart. Back together is another thing. Lots of folks are like that. Lots of folks baffle me, too.

    After the dorms I needed furniture. I still have that dining room table. And the Oneida stainless silverware. The white telflon pots? A couple… dog dishes. The sheets are worn out and gone. The towels are relegated to “car towel” status.

    I liked Sears. The smell of the store… a mix of new clothes and furniture and popcorn.

  32. Grocery prices are weird.

    Everything is going up in price and the containers are getting smaller. The store brand bread that was 59¢ a few years ago was 89¢ the last time I looked, but it’s inedible. Stale the day you buy it. The bread that was decent a couple of years ago is $2.50+ a loaf and it tastes funny. Gummy.

    Yet eggs and milk stay about the same. So I suppose that means “no inflation”?

  33. Re monoprice.com. I’ve ordered from them several times. Short cat 6, hdmi, display port, and power cables. I’ve also ordered bulk cat 6 from them. Good prices and never a bad cable.

  34. Yet eggs and milk stay about the same. So I suppose that means “no inflation”?

    Milk consumption is dropping due to allergies and the population growing older. I’ve been allergic to milk for about 14 years now (one ounce of uncooked milk will make me heave about a dozen times over the next hour). So that is putting a downward pressure on the price. A lot of dairy farmers are borderline to going out of business. We use unsweetened soymilk now. And I love soynog.

    Eggs I have no idea. People eat a lot of chicken so there is a lot of eggs ? We buy 18 large eggs for $1.80 here.

  35. My first credit card was a Sears Charge. Sure, they made extra from me on the interest.

    Sears’ special credit card rules allowed them to repossess what you bought, even if you filed for bankruptcy, making younger shoppers less of a risk. Their card was the first experience with credit for a lot of people prior to a court changing the rules in the mid 90s.

  36. What, his supporting actor in “The Holiday” where he sang and played the piano was no good?

    Never saw it, but the film is in the same genre as “High Fidelity”, part of the quest.

    Before “High Fidelity”, Black was considered to be something of a risk in Hollywood. His character’s story arc mirrors real life in that all ends well after Cusack took a chance both on screen and in real life.

    “School of Rock” is very good, but a young Miranda Cosgrove steals the show.

  37. What, his supporting actor in “The Holiday” where he sang and played the piano was no good?

    Never saw it, but the film is in the same genre as “High Fidelity”, part of the quest.

    Dude, you need to see “The Holiday” and I need to see “High Fidelity”.

  38. My experience with monoprice branded stuff was generally good, it’s not high end or pro, but it’d generally better than consumer grade.

    I buy locally from alltex as they have a store on the way to my major customer. My dealer/enabler has dealer accounts at wave electronics. If I was buying a $6k projector, I’d have him order it thru wave and pick it up locally.

    B&H Photo is where I buy everything I can’t or won’t get locally or thru a genuine wholesale dealer. They have JUST started collecting state sales tax, so that savings goes away, but they still offer low prices and fast, free shipping over $50. Their prices used to be the highest in the business, now I think they’re among the best of the big name retailers. Most of what I’ve purchased from them drop ships from the factory or importer too. It helps when searching their website to have mfg part numbers or model numbers. you can find stuff searching that you might not find ‘drilling down.’

    No experience with the other name.

    n

  39. Sears credit was often the first and only card available to someone starting out. I used them for a long time and used to recommend them to kids looking to establish credit. They did repossess a 5 year old chop saw, that was only $200 new, even after making the guy come by 3 or four times. They were serious about coming for it.

    n

  40. *Autonomous* vehicles are not going to happen for a long time, but the US fleet will be mostly amenable to *automation* under central control in ~ five years.

    The low hanging fruit of autonomous vehicles has been reached. My brother drives an Audi Q8 SUV. He sets the cruise control at 35 mph in the morning when he gets on the main road to his office. The Q8 will stop at red lights automatically and start back up to 35 mph when the light turns green. He reads his email on his phone.

  41. “Watch the First Ten Minutes of Zombieland: Double Tap!”
    https://www.comingsoon.net/movies/trailers/1116862-watch-the-first-ten-minutes-of-zombieland-double-tap

    “In case you missed out on Zombieland: Double Tap in theaters, or watched it, loved it, but haven’t purchased a digital copy because you’re waiting for the DVD/Blu-ray/4K Ultra HD release on January 21, Sony Pictures has made the first ten minutes of the film available online for your viewing pleasure. You can check it out in the player below, or you can just buy the digital release, or wait for the aforementioned DVD/Blu-ray/4K Ultra HD release. It’s totally up to you!”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0A_l9Evm9U

    Now I want to see it on the big screen !


  42. Re monoprice.com. I’ve ordered from them several times. Short cat 6, hdmi, display port, and power cables. I’ve also ordered bulk cat 6 from them. Good prices and never a bad cable.

    Used to use them before it became more convenient to buy from ‘Big River’. Free next day (Prime) is nice when you thought you had just one more HDMI cable left on the shelf. No complaints so far with their Basics cables.

  43. Now I want to see it on the big screen !

    The first 10 minutes? Interesting, but the credits roll has the best part of the flick.

    Don’t walk out of the theater or turn off the video when the credits start. And stay until the very end.

    If you need something to watch this weekend, BBC’s new “Dracula” hits Netflix tomorrow night. If you have patience with the first 1/3, the rest is very cool.


  44. Don’t walk out of the theater or turn off the video when the credits start. And stay until the very end.

    For current movies the RunPee app tells you if there’s anything interesting during/after the credits.
    Besides being useful for…well…let’s just say it’s aptly named.

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