Tues. Jan. 21, 2020 – back at it

Cold and wet.

It stayed pretty cool yesterday. Clear and sunny though, which was nice.

The Virginia buffalo jump turned out ok after all. Thank God. And some of the coverage at least was fairer than I expected. The contrast to antifa and BLM rallies was striking. Physical fitness is also clearly not a priority for either the demonstrators or the cops standing by. I hope they have beans as well as bullets stacked up.

Spent some time talking to my dentist yesterday about liberty issues, and hobby gardening. Meatspace!

I’ve got some auction pickups today. I know I said I was gonna cut back, but I also believe you have to buy it when you see it. All useful and needful things.

My science class is tomorrow and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be covering. I need to get that sorted out today too.

And all the usual things need doing this week, including grocery shopping… The week seems two days shorter whenever I lose a Monday. So sad.

So I’m off to get started.

n

56 thoughts on “Tues. Jan. 21, 2020 – back at it”

  1. Before I start my day, a couple of links.

    https://digital.militaryaerospace.com/militaryaerospace/201911/MobilePagedReplica.action?pm=2&folio=14#pg16

    “The New Era of high power electromagnetic weapons” – really nice article about where we are going and (somewhat inadvertently) where we are with directed energy weapons. Interestingly, no mentions of what the power sources are. 100KW lasers don’t run on 12v batteries.

    There are a couple of short articles in the Photonics Spectra magazine that caught my eye too, but they won’t let me link to them. New advances in holography, understanding light, and free space optical communication will be changing things in our background world soon.

    You all know my theory of economics, that no matter what “they” say, the health of US business is reflected in how fat or skinny industry trade magazines are. Well, after a short period of getting fatter, the ones I get are getting thinner again. One of my more general construction mags is heralding the possibility of a coming downturn, which is a big change from a couple of months ago when they were all excited about the upswing.

    In general, businesses don’t like uncertainty, and we’re in an election year FILLED with uncertainty. The divisions in our social framework are becoming more pronounced too. Not good signs.

    n

  2. I got a laugh from Nick being both post author and first to comment*. Talking to ones-self is at least a decent guarantee of an intelligent conversation!

    From yesterday, thanks and regards to absent friends, and best wishes to friends present and contributing.

    * I was originally looking for a noun there, but got stuck, so I wrote “to comment” instead: is it “commentor” or “commenter”? I think “commentator” is not apposite.

  3. @denis, I’ve settled on “commentor” as neither version is recognized by my spell check, but it seems to better match other english usage then “commenter”. the “-tator” usage seems awkward to my ear.

    WRT being “First!111!!”, I usually try to keep links out of the post to avoid linkrot over time. I’ll also do it to separate a purely emotional thought from an “official” post (especially if that emotional thought will be controversial). And sometimes I just do it because I forgot something I meant to say when I wrote the post…

    Then sometimes, I do talk to myself!

    Everyone must be busy with work, after the day off, commenting is light 🙂

    n

  4. “Day off”? What is this “day off” of which you speak? What do you think I am, a government “work”er?

    Busy, as usual. I can find minutes throughout the day to check a couple websites and maybe to read an article or two, though it’ll usually take several periods while I’m waiting for database queries to run or whatever. Before and after work I’m almost always busy with effectively single-parenting.

  5. Ok, the business scam of the 2020s is going to be fake invoices. Yesterday, my office administrator got two emails from a company claiming to now represent our third largest customer who is undergoing a divorce at the moment. A business divorce where they are shedding a division of about 10,000 employees. So, the office admin emailed our users at the customer who said, “what ?”. Fake !

    And I got an email this morning from somebody claiming business advice services for $1,763. Fake !

  6. “Tesla: ‘Unintended Acceleration’ Petition Is False”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/tesla-unintended-acceleration-petition-is-false

    “Tesla is currently facing the threat of 500,000 of its vehicles being recalled based on a petition the company claims is “completely false.””

    “Last week, Reuters reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) decided to review a petition requesting it formally investigates unintended acceleration reports for Tesla vehicles. Although such a review could result in half a million vehicles being recalled, Tesla has responded by stating not only that the claims are false, but that the petition was brought by a Tesla stock short-seller.”

    Wow ! That sounds actionable (lawsuit time !) by Tesla.

  7. “Backatcha: Thunberg returns Trump’s climate jibe”
    https://apnews.com/7a1def0638f8a51f1cd3a6299b903c58

    “DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Greta Thunberg isn’t easily intimidated.”

    “The 17-year-old Swedish activist wasted little time on Tuesday to push back against U.S. President Donald Trump’s description of climate campaigners as “the perennial prophets of doom” who predict the “apocalypse.””

    Are Greta Doomberg and Michael Doomberg related ?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bloomberg

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


  8. Ah, vacuums. As a building manager I became more than experienced with ’em. I speculate that it was the last awkwardly shaped item for residents moving out and therefore frequently abandoned. I’d change the belt, clean ’em out and use ’em till they crapped out again.

    Yes. My wife and I volunteer for various organizations, and sometimes come across an upright vacuum. Far fewer than you. These are probably donated by people who gave up on them. Most of the time, I simply cleaned filters and decrudded hoses, and, voila! They came back to life. Apparently people know how to empty the canister or change the bag, and that’s it. They don’t realize these things need simple attention. Oh, and I have never bought any parts, not even a belt. One vac was nearly new, and maybe never emptied. Reminds me of the rich guy who traded his car when the ash tray got full. 🙂

  9. “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to announce this afternoon that the first case of Wuhan coronavirus has been reported in the United States, in Washington state, a federal source outside the CDC tells CNN.”

    At least it is Everett, WA and not Vantucky.

    If a case pops in Vantucky, count on many cases following. The Measles outbreak ended up meeting the definition of “pandemic”.

  10. Wow ! That sounds actionable (lawsuit time !) by Tesla.

    The whole thing smells like more Stark Industries PR.

    TSLA reports earnings a week from tomorrow.


  11. “Backatcha: Thunberg returns Trump’s climate jibe”

    I don’t think one kid I’ve met, including my own, give a shit about Turdberg. Mini-pun intended. I don’t see rallies in Vegas about Climate Ejaculation. I doubt Turdberg knows much about the *science* behind Climate Ejaculators. She’s a manipulated parrot. Greta want a cracker? Awk.

  12. Re: fake invoices – these are not new, you’re just ‘lucky’ to get them now. They are often precursors to ransomware infections or financial fraud (unauthorized payments). Your staff needs to be aware of the possibility of those, and be very careful about answering those emails, or even opening the attached files.

    The attached files are often executables that will burrow into your network, and perhaps install ransomware. And you don’t want that.

    I got this from the “Internet Storm Center” today (good source for infosec):

    Enterprise management should immediately take steps to resist and mitigate “ransomware” and “wiper” attacks. Use strong authentication, system-to-system and application-to-application isolation, and at least 3 copies of mission critical applications and data, on at least 2 different media, with at least 1 copy off site. If one cannot mitigate attacks within hours to days, the life of the enterprise is at risk.

    Backups are just as important as FLASHLIGHTS – a company without a good backup strategy is like a FLASHLIGHT without batteries when it’s dark.

    As for site speed – I’ve noticed that lately. Just got back from a 3-week trip to CA – where spousal unit and I, along with the other mother-in-law, watched 5 kids (8 and under, including the 9-month twins) while the parental units went to Disney world. All survived – without any visible injuries.

    Plus, a 100th Birthday Bash for my mother. Had a great visit with about 135 progeny. Mother is still fully functional – mind and body – and can remember each of the progeny’s names. (I can’t do that.) She sends everyone a birthday card each year. Fun bash!

    Will be looking into the site speed as I catch up.

    And, I offer nice thoughts for our late host – and appreciation for current host and all the commenters.

  13. She’s a manipulated parrot. Greta want a cracker? Awk.

    The intent with the Swedish Girl is to make her a martyr for the cause.

    As soon as someone puts a bullet in that child, it will be Game Over for any opposing point of view.

    The “Children of the Corn” speaking cadence is deliberately coached, IMHO, designed to irritate the right mindset.

    Please don’t lecture me about Autism. Go back and watch the 80s flick. Deliberate. Scolding the observant about the child having an affliction is another desired reaction.


  14. Reminds me of the rich guy who traded his car when the ash tray got full.

    A funny picture! 🙂

    The extremely vast majority of folks moving to new housing did so in good order. Other less happy situations might result in moving “exhaustion”. We called that shopping in the “empty” apartment store. Folks will abandon an amazing variety of goods when the vehicle is full and a deadline is nigh.

    Even worse were the formal evictions involving the sheriff. In this city, that is those deputies full time occupation. They arrive with a moving company van. The movers only trouble themselves to pack up and take the “good” stuff to hold for ransom at their warehouse. The rest would be my responsibility to dispose of and then make the place ready for a new resident . Now keep in mind that there is ample warning (weeks!) that the sheriff is coming and a huge on door notice from that personage when 2 days away. Always seemed to be a total shock and surprise at the actual event though.

    Most abandoned vac’s came about from the last cleaning effort and not wanting to sully the fragile, precious items in the last carload or because they’d burnt the belt in that final push.

  15. Most abandoned vac’s came about from the last cleaning effort and not wanting to sully the fragile, precious items in the last carload or because they’d burnt the belt in that final push.

    Our vacuum died after my wife lent it to a co-worker cleaning out her apartment as part of a final push ahead of eviction. I replaced the belt and tried to clean it out the best that I could, but I got a contact high from pulling out endless amounts of hair which smelled strongly of weed. In the end, the vacuum needed a new motor.

  16. I never successfully evicted a deadbeat tenant, thanks to New York’s tenant-friendly laws and a couple city judges who were more than happy to grant a stay or restraining order or whatever if the tenant whined that she was a poor, single mother who had nowhere else to go wah-wah-wah. The only way I managed to get rid of them was that the utility company was able to cut off their service after a few months. One might conclude, as I do, that the power company was not subject to freely-granted restraining orders because they have more lobbyists than I did. Amusingly enough (and you may detect some sarcasm here), not only was I being forced to provide housing to a deadbeat but I was forced to pay taxes to fund, among other things, shelters for single mothers and utilities assistance for the impoverished.

    In case I’ve forgotten to mention it recently, I hate New York.

  17. Even worse were the formal evictions involving the sheriff. In this city, that is those deputies full time occupation. They arrive with a moving company van. The movers only trouble themselves to pack up and take the “good” stuff to hold for ransom at their warehouse. The rest would be my responsibility to dispose of and then make the place ready for a new resident . Now keep in mind that there is ample warning (weeks!) that the sheriff is coming and a huge on door notice from that personage when 2 days away. Always seemed to be a total shock and surprise at the actual event though.

    I had a blast once when my business was sharing an office space with a couple of other businesses. One day the sheriff’s deputy showed up with a seizure notice for one of the other businesses assets and a dozen movers. I spent the entire day running around the place telling the movers to put that back where they found it. The mover guys would just grab anything and never looked at labels. And one of my partners had a heart attack in the middle of the process. I had no idea but he looked bad and I told him to go home. Luckily he drove himself to the ER by his house.

    Note: my 83 year old partner is having open heart surgery next week or so. They are fixing a 5 cm aneurysm, replacing a valve, and performing a bypass. I hope that he survives it but he has good spirits about it.

  18. Getting evicted is relatively difficult in this state. The tenant can shine the landlord on for a month’s rent or make a partial payment to show effort. But if the money isn’t 100% cured by the 2nd rent due date, it is best to begin the formal procedure.

    That involves a $150 fee to get a court date probably 3 weeks out. Before that day or even at the courthouse, if they pay up all arrears and the court fee, we might try again, otherwise…. After court, the Writ of Eviction is good for 30 days, and a 3rd rent is probably due and most likely unpaid. The landlord will wait maybe 10 days or so in the hope the tenant will get out on his own but then…. The sheriff wants a $140 fee to do his thing and the moving company wants $500 up front, too. And these prices are from the turn of the century.

    Once the tenant is finally out another month will go by cleaning, repairing and finding the next resident. Probably a loss of 4 months rent minimum plus the mentioned expenses. The security deposit of 1 month’s rent is a drop in the bucket. Back to court to get a monetary judgement for the enumerated losses and close the file.

    In this market, rentals trickle start in April and reach a crescendo on Sept 1. From then until the next April, the vanishingly few available prospects tend to have a story you’d really rather not know.

  19. In case I’ve forgotten to mention it recently, I hate New York.

    Join everyone else working in upper New York State and move to Texas !

    Except my wife’s first cousin outside Chenango Falls, she runs her nuclear engineering business out of her dad’s year 1900 built house at 5,000 ft elevation. She loves having snow on the ground from October to May.

  20. In this state, free market rentals are all about the money. Get behind and it is a slam dunk to get the court to boot the tenant.

    OTOH, if there is a government subsidy for the rent involved, it is practically impossible to get a formal Writ. Best I’ve seen is a negotiation, in the Judge’s Chamber, not in open court, for the tenant to move herself in 60 days. That was a case where her not on the lease boyfriend was running a drive up drug dealership out the apartment window. Hey! Free enterprise!


  21. The intent with the Swedish Girl is to make her a martyr for the cause.

    At which university did she pass a course in Thermodynamics? Is she also educated in Statistics & Probability?

  22. Of course I’m an expert in those and other related areas; after all, I am 25% Swedish!

  23. Note to self: If ever I am President, do not confide in my attorney since attorney – client privilege apparently does not count in impeachment trials.

    Impeachment is a political act, not a legal proceeding.

    What the Dems really want is material to use in the campaign, specifically all the sealed evidence which Mueller collected over the course of more than two years. Since the investigation was a legal proceeding, obtaining the work will most likely require convincing Roberts to accept the petition in the Supreme Court, and he’s the real audience for the Prog arguments.


  24. Join everyone else working in upper New York State and move to Texas !

    I’ve left NY twice in the past 11 years, but had to come back each time because my wife isn’t going anywhere and we have kids. (Well, only one kid now, but whatever.) And I’m one of those old-fashioned fathers who think the kids are best off with both parents in all but extreme problem cases.

    Five and a half more years. I can deal with it. I don’t make any assertions regarding the life expectancy of muggers within 200 miles if the pressure gets to me.

  25. If you liked “bail reform”, you’re gonna love “security deposit reform.”

    Rented lately?

    I lost half of a $1500 security deposit on our rental in WA State because the first-time landlord rolled the dice that we wouldn’t spend the equivalent amount on a plane ticket and hotel room to challenge them in the arbitration process. The “damage” consisted of water spots on the faux marble tile backsplash behind the sink and minor stains on the faux wood floor on the kitchen in front of the cooktop.

    Never again with an first time landlord and/or a divorced woman’s settlement house. Completely forgotten was me rebuilding the master closet fixture install done without drywall anchors and spending $7000 over four years on their preferred lawn person which allowed them to sell the house within 20 days of us moving out.


  26. Since Tesla doesn’t have dealers, to where would they “recall” cars?
    https://www.tesla.com/findus/list/services/United%20States

    Not very many places. Some whole states have only one or two. The nearest one to me is 120 miles. Reminds me of a friend who thought about buying a Nissan Leaf until he found out he couldn’t drive it home because its range was too short. He would have had to have it transported. Some day, electric cars will be practical, probably accelerated by government mandates.

  27. Since Tesla doesn’t have dealers, to where would they “recall” cars?
    https://www.tesla.com/findus/list/services/United%20States

    Not very many places. Some whole states have only one or two. The nearest one to me is 120 miles. Reminds me of a friend who thought about buying a Nissan Leaf until he found out he couldn’t drive it home because its range was too short. He would have had to have it transported. Some day, electric cars will be practical, probably accelerated by government mandates.

    They ought to supply a small trailer with a 10 gallon tank and a diesel generator on it for the pure electrics. A 50 kw generator ought to be an awesome range extender.

    Make that 20 gallons.

  28. Not very many places. Some whole states have only one or two. The nearest one to me is 120 miles. Reminds me of a friend who thought about buying a Nissan Leaf until he found out he couldn’t drive it home because its range was too short. He would have had to have it transported. Some day, electric cars will be practical, probably accelerated by government mandates.

    A government mandate will never produce a practical EV. Absent a technological miracle in the next few years, all 54 MPG CAFE and congestion pricing of surface streets (tolls — coming soon!) will accomplish is ending private ownership of cars for most people, the real Prog goal.

    As for Nissan, they are circling the drain trying to make the $30k Leaf work when the IC equivalent, the Versa, itself has to be discounted into the $13-14k range in order to move off of dealer lots. Of course, the Versa can move off the lot under its own power because, despite its bloated weight and underpowered engine, it can still go 300 miles or so between fill ups.

  29. As for Nissan, they are circling the drain trying to make the $30k Leaf work when the IC equivalent, the Versa, itself has to be discounted into the $13-14k range in order to move off of dealer lots. Of course, the Versa can move off the lot under its own power because, despite its bloated weight and underpowered engine, it can still go 300 miles or so between fill ups.

    My new 2019 F-150 4×4, with its 36 gallon tank, can go 600 miles between fill ups. While not towing which I have yet to do.

    I have 2,800 miles on it now. It gets about 16 mpg in town, 28 mpg at 60 mph, and 20 mpg at 80 mph. I course I drove like I stole it. Especially since that 3.5L V6 biturbo makes 375 hp and I love to wind it up.

  30. They ought to supply a small trailer with a 10 gallon tank and a diesel generator on it for the pure electrics. A 50 kw generator ought to be an awesome range extender.

    Ironically, the diesel generator wouldn’t need the horse pee.

  31. Well, I figured out what I’ll be doing for class tomorrow- The Changing Landscape- Erosion…….

    I figured out some hands on stuff we could do with water and blown air, and grass, dirt, and sand. I can then talk about man-caused changes like the Dust Bowl, and desert-ification brought on by overgrazing…. and maybe slide in a couple of things for them to think about regarding “climate change”. (the slab of grass will resist most of the elements but the others should change dramatically) My only problem was getting the sod. No one sells it this time of year. I ended up digging up several chunks from the roadside.

    Now to get the power point together….

    n

  32. Lynn and Greg, both of you make good points. Sometimes friends ask me for car buying recommendations. Often, they want to “save” money. I always tell them that buying a car “costs” money. If they want to get by with the lowest possible cost, first determine their needs. Analyze everything. For example, we live in a small town. A small, cheap, local only car could be appropriate. Lots of people go on trips, which can be just 100 miles or much more. For that, a comfortable car is appropriate. If the trips are infrequent, renting might be cost effective. And so on.

    When I suggest buying a nice car a few years old, most people realize they never considered that. I ask them if they would consider a used house. Almost all live in such.

    The guy who wanted the Leaf wanted to save money, but also he thought an electric car would be better for the environment. He is an engineer. No comment. On saving money, I suggested a brand new car of any type would not save money over a nice used car. There is a pattern here. Few people buy cars to get by with the lowest practical cost. Fine, but admit it. Have fun. Just don’t think you are saving money.


  33. They ought to supply a small trailer with a 10 gallon tank and a diesel generator on it for the pure electrics. A 50 kw generator ought to be an awesome range extender.

    And, it just might get by those pesky emissions regulations. Even more awesome.

    There is a nicely done small Japanese pickup adapted to electric in our town. It is incredibly simple: uses two traction motors on the bed connected to the rear wheels. The owner could put that gennie in the bed when he wants to go on a trip. Comfort and economy for two. Oh, wait, it isn’t air conditioned. Hillbilly AC through the rear window!

    I have thought about doing some sort of electric car project, or even a small car converted to a smaller engine, similar in concept to the Honda 600. Then I realized I no longer have to commute six whole miles to work. Don’t even have to work. Silly me.

  34. I used to drive less than 6000 miles a year on my own vehicle. I don’t care at all about mileage.

    They make an electric car with a generator, called a hybrid….

    The amount of energy, poorly contained, in the LiON batteries is terrifying.

    n


  35. They make an electric car with a generator, called a hybrid….

    I thought of that, but hybrids need emissions inspections in CA. Electrics don’t. Neither do older cars.

    OK, none of this nonsense is practical; just having fun with it. Get an older car. Maintain it well with some of the money saved over a new one. Let the first owner eat the depreciation. Enjoy it.

    I drive my pickup less than 2k miles per year, way less; one year was just over 1k. We drive all our vehicles a total of less than 10k per year. Happy about that.


  36. Let the first owner eat the depreciation. Enjoy it.

    Just don’t keep it too long. Nearing end of life, particularly with modern cars, is not fun. I get attached to some cars, and have a really hard time letting go.


  37. It gets about 16 mpg in town, 28 mpg at 60 mph, and 20 mpg at 80 mph

    Your mileage is better than mine on the highway. Best I get is about 20 mpg at 70 mph. Town is about 16, same as yours. I don’t drive at 80 due to our speed limits not being what Texas enjoys. I only have a 26 gallon tank and can go 450 miles between fill ups. I generally never let the tank get below 1/4 and have yet to see the low fuel light activate.

    I can tell you that the oil pressure gauge is an “idiot” gauge. Basically replaces a light. Shows pressure, same as a light, same position all the time. Ford did that because people were complaining about low oil pressure at idle. The other gauges are working gauges. I also have a temperature gauge for the transmission as I have the towing package with built-in trailer controller.


  38. I can tell you that the oil pressure gauge is an “idiot” gauge. Basically replaces a light. Shows pressure, same as a light, same position all the time. Ford did that because people were complaining about low oil pressure at idle.

    The temperature gauge in my Chrysler minivan is the same. Except for when the engine is cold and when the engine is overheating (eg, front fan died and I’m stuck in traffic) the temp needle is always in the same position. The soccer moms whined about the gauge going up and down so the computer was changed to take the worries out of their little heads.

  39. They make an electric car with a generator, called a hybrid….

    A good chunk of the population can still afford hybrids, and, absent a successful automation project, you control things like when you leave for work. Plus, for now, $20 cash will get you a few hundred miles of range anonymously.

    Hybrids don’t work with the Prog goals.

    I used to think car automation, all vehicles under control of a central system, was within reach in a few years, but we have a new hire with Fancy Lad U degree who is a refugee from one of the projects based here in town. Things obviously aren’t going well for that company at a minimum, and the name would make you think they were an industry leader in the tech.

  40. Fake invoices, what fun. There are several know scams here, that happen to every business. For example, a business is required to be listed in the central Swiss business register. There are a number of companies that send out invoices designed to look *almost* like the official invoice. Paying it, of course, gets you listed in their version of the business registry, which no one cares about.

    Fake invoicing is an old scam, but I expect they make way too much money, because harried administrative personnel can easily make a mistake. If the scammers are careful, it’s not necessarily even illegal. I mean, you *do* get whatever services they are “selling” – those just happen to be services that you neither need nor want.

    – – – – –

    Greta Thunberg. In a way, I feel sorry for her. She’s only 17, and she is being mercilessly used by her activist father and whatever organizations are funding her trips. Also: It’s utterly ridiculous for anyone to have invited her to the WEF. Again, she’s just a 17, and has nothing material to contribute.

    – – – – –

    Cars… My wife is itching to get a new car. Ours is 8 or 9 years old, but doing just fine. No need to replace it, so I keep putting her off.

    One think that is tempting: There are a couple of companies around that do leasing, with all insurance and maintenance included, for a surprisingly reasonable price. We might consider something like that, especially if we could lease a 1-2 year old car that has already had it’s big depreciation reckoned in.


  41. And I’m one of those old-fashioned fathers who think the kids are best off with both parents in all but extreme problem cases.

    You are a good father. ‘Nuff said.

  42. Your best deal is usually to finance a slightly used car through a credit union. I’ve leased and financed new or bought used financed or cash. Of course cash is best if you got it at the time. One new truck I leased for three years then they offered a one year buyout. Pretty good deal and I took it. Too bad I really didn’t much like that truck (Ranger midsize 83).

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