Tues. Feb. 11, 2020 – so much to do

Warmish and wet. [not so much, front moved in, 50F and dripping this am]

Had overcast all day but didn’t get any rain until after 9pm, and it didn’t last long.

Spent the afternoon running around doing pickups and drop offs. So much stuff to do normally, and I’m also trying to step up my preps.

I’m going to try to fit in a Costco run today with all the other stuff going on.

I’ve been a bit casual checking my email lately. I’ve got my reader open to my sales addy, hoping to see orders coming in… so I was very pleasantly surprised to see a note from Barbara.

It was in regard to our discussion of Bob’s works in progress. She didn’t want to pursue the fiction book, and had this to say–

The best prepping insights from Bob are what he posted on the site.

All of his previous science and computer books are now pretty much out of date. Those that are still in print can be found on the O’Reilly site.

I want to thank you, Rick, and all of the readers on Daynotes for keeping his ideas and memories alive.

Barbara

I’m sure I speak for all of us saying “Thank You” to Barbara for supporting our continued efforts here. It’s a unique place on the web, due to Bob and the readers he attracted. It’s been a daily part of my life, and I’d miss it enormously.

Now, off to work. Go forth and prep, because it’s bad, and it will be getting worse.

nick

70 thoughts on “Tues. Feb. 11, 2020 – so much to do”

  1. Ummm, it’s a wonder there isn’t a constant drumbeat of plague coming from Hong Kong with nuggets like this (consider that WuFlu is thought to be present in feces)–

    “The survey of Kwai Chung residents found 42.6 per cent lived in flats subdivided into three units, and 60 per cent of them were concerned about the sewage system spreading the disease. The average income of survey participants was HK$11,097, and more than half were households of three to four people.”

    “A volunteer plumber who only wished to be known as Chan said many of the homes he had worked on only had straight pipes, which meant there was often a bad smell in the flats and a backflow of dirty water between the kitchen and toilets.”

    –“backflow” of “dirty” water… Ok, now the fear that it can spread through “pipes” makes a bit more sense. What they really mean is that it can spread through exposure to infected FECES.

    n


  2. consider that WuFlu is thought to be present in feces

    I am not real concerned about the spread of the disease in the U.S. China is a third world shirt(-r)hole with sanitation about 17.2 slots down on the importance chart. Infested living conditions, complete dumps, crowded, little to no running water, crapping in the trenches on the side of the road. Yeh, that is a real role model for the spread of any disease. If numbers were truly told out of China there are tens of thousands of deaths each year from trivial diseases. I would wager than the numbers from just flu deaths would be in the tens of thousands each year. In many of the those little dumps of villages people just die, death never recorded, cause never recorded as there is no medical care in those places. No one notices or even cares.

    That’s why I am still wondering why China, and the world, is making such a big deal about the coronavirus. Something is different, very different. Which leads me to believe that China has done something, created something, that got loose accidentally. Something that China cannot control and is thus looking for help.

    I don’t fully agree with Nick’s assessment and alarmism. Maybe I am older and at this point in my life have seen too much of stuff like this. Radiation scares of the ’50’s, polio, smallpox etc. Riding in the back of a pickup sitting on the wheel well and surviving, driving at 60 mph on the muddy shoulder of I-10 at night has maybe tainted my opinion. I am close enough to the terminal age in my family dying of something is just the way it is. Maybe I am completely wrong, Nick is spot on.

  3. So, for me, the (un)civil election-year war has started, again.

    My sister (who lives in Iowa) and her daughter (who lives in Sacramento CA) have been flaming me with how treasonous Trump is and how “holy” and “righteous” Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, et. al. are. I have been going through this every election year since Barry Hussein OhButtWad-Soetoro ran for President. They have turned into card-carrying Socialists while enjoying the fruits of low unemployment, removal of bad laws (have a long way to go), and lower taxes.

    My sister’s husband just hides his head all day at the golf course, every day, rain/snow or shine. Yes, even in the Iowa cold and snow. There’s always the Club House and 37 big-screen TVs playing sports.

    How is WahuFlu affecting here? Well, the hospitals are suddenly missing all face masks and are paying dearly for more. They have even had to resort using the old cotton style and sterilizing them between use. My wife even got a call from her old hospital yesterday because no one there remembered (or had any experience like her) sterilizing cotton face masks.

    I am living my life as normal as I can and living each of my remaining days to their fullest. Life is too short to act like it is futile. You do what you can do. Make decisions and then make them right.

    Fair winds and following seas.

    Add: Those who shout the loudest do not always win the game.

  4. How is WahuFlu affecting here? Well, the hospitals are suddenly missing all face masks and are paying dearly for more. They have even had to resort using the old cotton style and sterilizing them between use. My wife even got a call from her old hospital yesterday because no one there remembered (or had any experience like her) sterilizing cotton face masks.

    If it gets to Vancouver, it will end up in Tricities. As boneheaded as the staff tends to be at my wife’s former employer, her office in Washougal treated patients who drove in from as far away as Goldendale since the available alternative left a lot to be desired.

    Despite advance warnings, the same Washougal office was a measles hot zone last year. Valentines Day morning. If there was any question in my wife’s mind whether getting out was a good idea, that morning resolved the debate.

    PDX is a decent hub for Asia, and Vancouver has a lot of extreme long distance commuters taking advantage of the tax situation.


  5. I am not real concerned about the spread of the disease in the U.S. China is a third world shirt(-r)hole with sanitation about 17.2 slots down on the importance chart. Infested living conditions, complete dumps, crowded, little to no running water, crapping in the trenches on the side of the road.

    This is true, but you are RAYCISSS for pointing it out. LOL! American Commies and ProgLibTurds in general want you to believe China is the future. Everyone lives in mega-mansions, all they can eat, all the toys they want, etc. Then entire cities are *locked down*. A stone’s throw away in Korea, troops still have to get Hep C inoculations because rice patties are the farmers toilet. I imagine it is the same in China in small farm communities. I guess I’m RAYCISSS, too.

  6. @ray, you aren’t the only one 🙂 Rick has shared his thoughts on the subject too, which I encourage everyone to do. I don’t want to be the loudest voice in an echo chamber.

    The people here are smart, experienced, and savvy.

    What I see with the Sweet and Sour Sicken is different than anything we’ve seen before. We see chinese leadership absolutely panicked and/or overreacting, based on what we think we know… but since they are in a position to know FAR BETTER than us, I’m inclined to believe that their reactions might be completely appropriate- at least from a murdering totalitarian commie point of view.

    We see video of people being locked into their homes by official edict. We see them ACTUALLY physically locked in. We see whole buildings with their entry gates being welded shut, and with vehicles parked in front of doorways.

    We see massive spraying efforts. We see roadblocks and people being grabbed on the street. We’re beginning to see armed enforcers in PPEs on the streets. There are many videos showing stacks of body bags and vans full of dead people. The body language of the crews handling them show they are VERY familiar with the task. (and if this was normal for china, people wouldn’t be recording and posting it. Remember too that there are real risks posting stuff the .gov doesn’t like, and technological challenges- both of which limit what gets out.)

    China’s .gov has deployed their two plague hospitals, and converted numerous other spaces to house the sick. Some might say “warehouse” the sick.

    They appear to be burning so many bodies the effects are visible from SPACE.

    China clearly has a problem internally. This is in addition to the piggy ebola, bird flu, and their normal everyday plagues.

    They have destroyed their economy in an attempt to get control of whatever is really happening there.

    None of these things are indicative of a “normal” outbreak of flu. Whatever this is it has very serious consequences for the chinese.

    Now, even if the disease itself doesn’t cause a problem for the first world, so sure of our superior hygiene and medicine, the vast majority of the world’s population lives in conditions very similar to china. India. Africa. Central and South America. San Francisco and Detroit. Miami. Favelas and shack cities the world over are ripe for whatever is in china, including in all of our major and many of our minor cities as well which have been turned into blocks and blocks of squatter camps and homeless cesspits.

    The link to the travel map of chinese should show convincingly that the world is at risk from whatever is loose in China.

    BUT, even putting aside any MEDICAL impact on the US and the western world, china’s cratering economy and industry will have a HUGE impact on us. We have allowed and encouraged our manufacturers to stop making things here, and rely on China instead. We encouraged through financial incentives things like ‘lean’ and ‘JIT’ for what factories still exist here. We’ve squeezed all the “excess” (read- “redundancy”) out of the system and spread out all the bits and pieces so that people talk about the “global supply chain” for just about any product, including most of the food in the supermarket. The one characteristic of a chain is that if you break the weakest link the whole of the chain is broken too.

    For years our financial system has been manipulated and inflated on a grand scale. Very few people DON’T think we’re in a bubble economy. Very few people really understand how the financialization of almost everything in our lives changes the basic rules of the game. Even if you believe you are out of the market and safe from financial collapse and manipulation, it’s really unlikely that you are. If you interact with the world you live in, you are exposed to problems in the financial sector.

    When there is a sufficient shock to the system, it will rearrange itself. Usually, that process is devastating for most of the players.

    Prepping is about minimizing the devastation to you and your loved ones, when it comes.

    I’m not doing anything irrevocable, but I’m treating this similarly to the chinese .gov- without all the imprisonment….

    n


  7. We’ve known the system was due for replacement for years but have been getting by. Deferred maintenance – I’ve got it.

    And you claim to be a prepper?! Shame!!111!!
    😛

    OK, that was way too harsh. Sorry, but just a small point. I certainly have my share of deferred maintenance, and using that term makes it sound sooo ‘in control.’

    Now, something positive. In your estate and other shopping, haven’t you ever found a bulk tank of R22? Grab it! Don’t know if your HVAC tech would use it, but ISTR you saying you did that kind of work on one of your rent houses a while back.

    Just pointing out the obvious. Don’t mean to start a firestorm. 🙂

  8. Now, something positive. In your estate and other shopping, haven’t you ever found a bulk tank of R22? Grab it! Don’t know if your HVAC tech would use it, but ISTR you saying you did that kind of work on one of your rent houses a while back.

    According to the tech we had in last week, a replacement refrigerant exists for R22, but it isn’t as efficient. Your AC power consumption will be ~ 25% higher.

    As I noted yesterday, the contractors seem to have an incentive from someone to push the insanely high SEER rating systems which require the manufacturers’ proprietary WiFi-enabled thermostats. You can get alternatives, but that’s not what the dealers want to sell.

    My guess is Oncor is behind the push. They know the Texas grid is maxed, and they eventually want to be able to control the temperature inside houses in the Summer. Strictly voluntary, of course … at first.

  9. “haven’t you ever found a bulk tank of R22?”

    –um if I did, and I ain’t sayin’ yea or nay, it’s a felony to sell without a proper license… and would take a long time to sell, without an ad, sorta ‘under the table’, so to speak, hypothetically of course…..

    –you’d be amazed what some people will ‘put by’ in a garage or shed, especially if told they can’t…. I see more brown bottles of poison than you can shake a stick at.

    n

  10. The LibTurds keep rolling out Carville. He now says the only thing between us and the *abyss* is the DumboCrats. It’s the end of times. If tRump gets re-elected, it’s the end of the FUSA. The Dumbo nominee needs to be able to speak in Black churches to get them to vote against tRump. I think the online social media revolution since Obuttwad has killed this line of thinking. Blacks are getting a taste of free market thinking. Whoever the Dumbo nominee is, they will be promising free rides Virgin Galactic to get their vote. Two iPhones! Two Teslas with superchargers! It is going to be ridiculous.

  11. at 13% of the population, and not all of them of voting age, I don’t understand the outsized role of blacks in electioneering.

    n

    added- there are almost as many asians and no one is stumping for their vote on a national level.

  12. Update on yesterday:

    Jobs: I wish I had the luxury of turning one down. I don’t know what’s going on other than maybe my age any maybe not having the right certs. I’m working on the new CCNP now, which will help in the future.

    Android WiFi: Google will turn on WiFi occasionally to determine your location, even if you have WiFiand location turned off. My phone has 2 suspicious options. One reads “WiFi will turn back on near high-quality saved networks” How does it know there’s a high quality network if it wasn’t scanning in the background? I think the main one is “Scanning always available” description “Allow location services or other apps to scan for networks when WiFi is off”. Turn both off. These are under WiFi Preferences.

  13. at 13% of the population, and not all of them of voting age, I don’t understand the outsized role of blacks in electioneering.

    Right now, it is about South Carolina. Saturday election and the winner there will have momentum for Super Tuesday. The older African American church-going women have a lot of clout in that primary on the Dem side.


  14. you are RAYCISSS for pointing it out. LOL!

    Indeed I am. If the shoe fits, wear it.

    I don’t want to be the loudest voice in an echo chamber.

    Different points of view are always good. Allows me to get input beyond my boundaries and other opinions for consideration. Unlike many liberals I don’t consider a different opinion to be worthless. Just the opposite. Other opinions, views, ideas, etc, even those ideas conflict with mine, are worth just as much and are valuable.

    We see chinese leadership absolutely panicked and/or overreacting

    I think Chinese leadership is panicking because they don’t want the world to know what truly happened. My pea sized brain thinks it was a biological experiment gone bad. If China is caught with biological experiments, or even chemical weapons, the civilized world would be truly angry.

    I’m not doing anything irrevocable

    True. I do remember a lot of people that bought generators and stockpiles of supplies for Y2K. One of the biggest scams pulled on people in modern history. I have to fully admit that I profited off of Y2K. I basically supported a couple of companies that were convinced the Y2K event was going to be lethal to their business if not fixed. I told them otherwise but was quickly shamed. So I did what they wanted, even more, billed them lots of hours. What I was doing felt like stealing but was blessed by management in the company.

    I spoke at a couple of facilities during the Y2K fear mongering. I was the voice of “it will be no big deal” and was soundly shamed. People were afraid their cars would not work as the cars had a computer. When presented with that argument I would simply ask “Name one time you input a date into your car?” Usually met with utter silence.

    All the “traffic lights will malfunction”, “ATM’s won’t work”, “mortgages now being 80 years past due”, etc. None of that happened, none, zero. I only know of a couple of cases where Y2K was an issue and the fix was trivial. Sorting of the time stamp in a log file or something of that nature.

    I think all these scare tactics by the government and others has hardened me against such predictions. One day I may be wrong I am certain. This fear mongering is everywhere. Watch a local news when a storm is approaching. Shelters opened, we’re all going to die, don’t leave the house, panic the children with drills in schools, etc. I have been through all of that with no undue effects.

    I am of the opinion that our government, and others, want a frightened population. Such people are easier to control, to get the people to do the government bidding. And mostly to think the government is “Johnny on the spot” protecting everyone. Civil servants who do nothing important now feel they are saving the world. The “Mighty Mouse (here I come to save the day) Syndrome” amplified on a large scale.

  15. @ray, I bought a gennie for y2k, it served me well during hurricane Rita. I was concerned about terror attacks on the day, not tech failures. We know they thwarted at least 2…

    Wrt actual y2k problems, there were some legit issues, some government checks either didn’t issue or issued with the wrong date. Indiana had problems with their drivers licenses… Nothing world ending, but maybe that’s because off all the remediation?

  16. That’s why I am still wondering why China, and the world, is making such a big deal about the coronavirus. Something is different, very different. Which leads me to believe that China has done something, created something, that got loose accidentally. Something that China cannot control and is thus looking for help.

    At one point, a researcher was screaming that the wuflu has Cobra and Krait DNA in it. Now I cannot find the article. I do not believe that DNA could get into the wuflu (snake flu) naturally.

  17. Now, off to work. Go forth and prep, because it’s bad, and it will be getting worse.

    Huh, the little bar with the text control icons is missing.

    Now that we are in the new used house, I need to build our water and canned stores back up. I had run them down since I did not want to pay four men and two bobtails $260/hour to move them. HEB, lookout !

    And I need a generator. Natural gas powered would be nice. And the garage and the natural gas meter are on different sides of the house of course.

    I also had our internet router box UPS turn itself off this morning. I have lost FOUR UPS’s in the last six months between the house and the office. I really just need something that will supply power during a five second *blip* instead of these difficult to get rid of $125 Cyberpower 20 lb UPS boxes.

  18. “Hard Drive Stats for 2019”
    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-stats-for-2019/

    “As of December 31, 2019, Backblaze had 124,956 spinning hard drives. Of that number, there were 2,229 boot drives and 122,658 data drives. This review looks at the hard drive failure rates for the data drive models in operation in our data centers. In addition, we’ll take a look at how our 12 and 14 TB drives are doing and get a look at the new 16 TB drives we started using in Q4. Along the way we’ll share observations and insights on the data presented and we look forward to you doing the same in the comments.”

    That is a lot of hard drives !

    Uh oh, the Seagate 12 TB hard drives are failing. Of course, Backblaze is a harsh environment with warm cases and 64 hard drives in a case (imagine the vibration and electrical noise !) so their failure rate may be exaggerated. Or not.

  19. re: the buttons up there on top of the comment form —

    The plugin that allows for editing comments had an update, and that borked the plugin that added the buttons.

    Actually, two parts to the comment editor. The basic part, and an ‘add features’ plugin that adds additional features to the comment editor. The ‘add features’ thing borked the buttons up top.

    So I disabled the comment editor ‘add features’ thing. You can still edit comments, just not all of the fancy stuff (which is not a big deal, IMHO).

  20. re: the buttons up there on top of the comment form —

    The plugin that allows for editing comments had an update, and that borked the plugin that added the buttons.

    Actually, two parts to the comment editor. The basic part, and an ‘add features’ plugin that adds additional features to the comment editor. The ‘add features’ thing borked the buttons up top.

    So I disabled the comment editor ‘add features’ thing. You can still edit comments, just not all of the fancy stuff (which is not a big deal, IMHO).

    Thanks !


  21. Nothing world ending, but maybe that’s because off all the remediation?

    Maybe. In some cases for certain. I know that nothing I worked would have failed come Y2K. Some dates may have appeared odd in reports, some files sorted in an order unexpected, but still sorted. Nothing was going to fail to the point of taking down a business. As you state, maybe remediation helped, but certainly awareness did.

    It was just some of the stuff was totally stupid. As in cars not starting, fuel pumps not working, traffic going all green at once, factory robots failing, trains derailing, etc. Anything with a computer was going to die come Y2K was a lot of the consensus among the population unless something was done. People just did not understand the difference between a process control computer and a general data computer.

    At the credit union when I was the IT manager (before I thankfully fired) the hoops I had to jump through were extensive. Even though the code had been validated Y2K compliant by the vendor, whom I had no reason to doubt, that was not enough for the clueless auditors. The CU had to purchase an entirely separate computer system, run every possible scenario, month end, quarter end, year end, IRS reporting, set up a system so the tellers could come in on Saturday and run transactions. Network routers had to be certified even though they had no date but had a “computer”. Hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to prove what had already been certified by the vendor.

    The panic carried over to Q Systems where I went after leaving being thrown out of the credit union. Spoke at several organizations in the area about Y2K. People were genuinely scared. Most had been talked into turning their computers off at 11:50 PM and not turn them on until 06:00 AM. Don’t be online at midnight. Check your TV’s and toasters the next morning. Or as put forth by many sellers of products, buy a new Y2K compliant TV.

  22. “Trump stirs pardon speculation with condemnation of DOJ’s Roger Stone treatment”
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-stirs-pardon-speculation-with-condemnation-of-dojs-roger-stone-treatment

    Roger Stone is an idiot and a jerk. That does not mean that he should spend a single day in a federal jail for process crimes, much less EIGHT YEARS. Shoot, ask me something on subsequent days, you will probably get two stories. And I am only 59, he is 67.

    Never, ever, ever, ever speak to a law enforcement officer without a lawyer present. Especially a federal officer, they are the worst. Scream out “I PLEAD THE FIFTH” and “GET ME A LAWYER”.

    I am giving a deposition tomorrow for the husband of a former employee who are getting divorced. I have nothing to do with this. I don’t even know the husband and the former employee quit when she married him. She said that I fired her but the Texas Workforce Commission agreed with me that she quit when she refused to show up for work and refused to give her unemployment. I have 20 hours in the deposition so far and my office manager has 40 hours. My accountant has 10 hours. I don’t even want to know what the company lawyer has in hours as he filed a 17 page motion on our behalf yesterday. This is not right.

  23. I also had our internet router box UPS turn itself off this morning. I have lost FOUR UPS’s in the last six months between the house and the office. I really just need something that will supply power during a five second *blip* instead of these difficult to get rid of $125 Cyberpower 20 lb UPS boxes.

    APC has (had?) a little UPS box with just enough capacity for a cable modem, router, and a switch, perfect for stashing at the location where the cable line enters the house. You’ll have to check online, however, since they’ve disappeared from stores for some reason.

    I had problems at our house with Spectrum/TimeWarner until I put in a UPS. The cable modems do not tolerate blips in power very well, and the blips get worse every year in the Summer as ERCOT sets new records.

  24. Roger Stone is an idiot and a jerk. That does not mean that he should spend a single day in a federal jail for process crimes, much less EIGHT YEARS. Shoot, ask me something on subsequent days, you will probably get two stories. And I am only 59, he is 67.

    The pardon is coming. Barr knows to let the process play out so the charges don’t resurface later.


  25. difficult to get rid of $125 Cyberpower 20 lb UPS boxes.

    What’s difficult? Just drop it in your big green or blue roll around trashcan dumpster. The guys on the truck don’t care….

    I replaced the batteries in my Cyberpower several months ago. Their application says I have 51 minutes at 58 watts load. I bought the batteries at the feed store for about $14 each. Same at Tractor Supply for gate openers go for $35 each.

    A 24″ KDS LCD monitor, a Gateway i5, a switch, an Ubiquiti UniFi, and an Ubiquiti NanoBeam. Maybe the scanner power supply. Not that Epson could be bothered to make a Win7 driver. So it has collected dust for about six years. I need to toss it. But it’s not perfectly flat so I can’t create a pile of “important stuff” there.

    Anyway. I know a UPS wears out. I have four, all plugged into Tripp Lite surge suppressors. It works for me.

  26. What’s difficult? Just drop it in your big green or blue roll around trashcan dumpster. The guys on the truck don’t care….

    Illegal to throw away with the lead acid batteries in them ?

    I replaced the batteries in my Cyberpower several months ago. Their application says I have 51 minutes at 58 watts load. I bought the batteries at the feed store for about $14 each. Same at Tractor Supply for gate openers go for $35 each.

    I’ve been buying this model lately. But Tractor Supply has new batteries ???
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QZ3UG0/?tag=ttgnet-20

  27. Currently in Conroe TX (north of Houston) for the night. Visiting a nephew of the wife and his spouse. Finally got the mud off from the bottom of the passenger side of the vehicle. Stopped at a car wash and had it cleaned. Sizable amount of mud that had to be cleaned off.

    Tomorrow we head south to visit the ex-wife of the father-in-law, down in the Mr. Lynn area. Then a little west to visit the niece of the wife and her husband. Thursday we go to San Antonio for three days to deal with mother-in-law.

    I really don’t enjoy these trips that much as it is all the wife’s family. Good people, but just boring and a lot of traveling. I don’t even enjoy visiting my surviving family members. Maybe could distill that down to I really don’t enjoy visiting people. It is inconvenient for me and for them. I never feel comfortable. Plus the wife usually offers to take them out to dinner and I wind up paying the bill. They tend to pick expensive places and pick expensive items. The “rich” uncle is paying, who cares. Dinner for four $120.00, ugh.

  28. @greg – small AP UPS

    Like this one? https://amzn.to/2SFhSRY “APC UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector with USB Charger, 600VA Uninterruptible Power Supply (BE600M1) ” size: 10.79 x 4.13 x 5.47 in


  29. Illegal to throw away with the lead acid batteries in them ?
    I’ve been buying this model lately. But Tractor Supply has new batteries ???
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QZ3UG0/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Remove the batteries. Take them to NAPA or somewhere similar. On Sunday when they are closed if they want to charge a fee to take them.

    That’s a nice model, I’m a model down. Just a couple of buttons, no display.
    Anyway, 12v 7amp batteries. About 2.5 x 4 x 6 inches. Sealed, spade terminals.

  30. I’m not trying to shill for Provantage. I just think they sell good stuff and w/o a lot of BS involved.

    Last time I looked, the hated by some Newegg was not bad but Provantage had better /overall/ prices when shipping is factored in.


  31. The “rich” uncle is paying, who cares. Dinner for four $120.00, ugh.

    My niece pulled that stunt on me. Once. Five folks at Applebee’s or the ilk. And Sisters were insulted when I suggested they leave the tip. Yah, no, never again.

    But me? In San Antonio? Alamo something… has a tortilla machine you can watch. Or almost any little hole in the wall where Grandmama is in the kitchen and the eating area is the dining room and living room of an old house.
    Or, heck, Taco Cabana always works.

  32. Day notes

    It’s a unique place on the web, due to Bob and the readers he attracted. It’s been a daily part of my life, and I’d miss it enormously.

    Double ditto. I have learned so much from Robert and all of you contributors over the years reading this site. It’s the first place I go every morning and the last page I check at night. I’ve come to feel you all as friends with valuable insights and life lessons. At 67 I still love to learn.

  33. Taco Cabana is not what it used to be 30 years ago. I used to frequent Teco Melina in downtown San Antonio when I was working for Burroughs. Good food, cheap, and quick. All good qualities for the lunch crowd.

    I have stopped at Whataburger on this trip for a Dr. Pepper milkshake.

    A hole in the wall mexican eatery with five or six tables are generally good. I have not eaten Church’s fried chicken in a while because chicken is chicken.


  34. Ummm, it’s a wonder there isn’t a constant drumbeat of plague coming from Hong Kong

    Our New Zealand friends who recently moved back to Hong Kong haven’t posted anything on the WuFlu. Come to think of it, they haven’t posted anything in a week. They dont live in the crowded high rises but in a nice flat on Lantau island, a popular spot for expats and rising h Chinese.


  35. Or, heck, Taco Cabana always works.

    Yup, good stuff. The wife hates it though as it is spicy.

    Dunno about spicy. I always get the Carne Guisada plate and a Tecate.

    Yeah, basically beef stew minus the carrots and potatoes in a tortilla.

  36. Did RBT attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute?

    No Bob attended Grove City College.


  37. Wrt actual y2k problems, there were some legit issues, some government checks either didn’t issue or issued with the wrong date. Indiana had problems with their drivers licenses… Nothing world ending, but maybe that’s because off all the remediation?and

    A good friend made a small fortune consulting for British Airways in 1999 discovering and remediating issues. He never uncovered anything that would put a plane at risk but routing and logistics software needed fixing because a flight might take off at 23:00 year 99 and land on 24:30 year 00. This freaked out the scheduling algorithms.
    A MCI we ran testing and discovered the only systems affected were reporting and billing systems, easily corrected. As 1/1/2000 rolled around the world we monitored systems first in Australia, then India, and by the time it hit midnight in London, we were confident enough to leave the bunker and go up on the roof to enjoy the fireworks over the Thames.

  38. Here are three little UPS boxes. Might be just right for a cable modem and a router or two and a DirecTv box. Not huge on run time at full load. But you won’t be using the full load. Just about right for power blinks.
    Uh, just pick your favorite brand or toss a dart.

    I am going to see if I can replace the battery in that UPS in the den. I keep on forgetting that one can replace the batteries in a UPS. Of course, I have had UPSs get their brains scrambled so bad that they won’t turn on also.

    If the 2008 Sony Bravia LCD gets blipped then it takes 30 seconds to reboot. The Comcast modem takes about 2 minutes. The TPLink wifi and hub takes about 10 seconds. So, I want the 300 watt LCD on the UPS. Total load is probably 500 or 600 watts.

  39. Like this one? https://amzn.to/2SFhSRY “APC UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector with USB Charger, 600VA Uninterruptible Power Supply (BE600M1) ” size: 10.79 x 4.13 x 5.47 in

    Yes, but mine is even smaller, with about half the plugs.

  40. @lynn, I use and recommend APC. They aren’t the cheapest but they work. I’ve had several do their job and stop surges and spikes out at my client’s house in Hempstead. Lightning is brutal out there. Protected the rack from sags, spikes, and kept everything up long enough for the generator to start up.

    I always try to replace the batteries at least once. It’s easy and straightforward. Put the old ones on your curb for the can miners (scrappers), or use APC’s exchange program. Often they will give you a new unit for the price of their (branded and marked up) batteries…. Any UPS that takes a lightning hit or big surge should be replaced.

    n

    (I have many UPSs here that were surplussed but just needed new batteries. I sourced the batteries locally to save money, and recycled the old for a nice rebate.)

  41. I went to RPI, so perhaps you mixed up me and RBT. I’m not quite sure what confusion of facts, memories, and hallucinations could lead you to confuse us, as he was a pipe smoker and had hair, neither of which describes me.

  42. But me? In San Antonio? Alamo something… has a tortilla machine you can watch. Or almost any little hole in the wall where Grandmama is in the kitchen and the eating area is the dining room and living room of an old house.
    Or, heck, Taco Cabana always works.

    It kills me to go to San Antonio and not hit Schilo’s at least once. Be sure to get the cheesecake.

  43. Safe travels Ray, wave as you go by! I 10 and Beltway on the west side….

    My favorite tortilla was hand rolled, in Old Town San Diego. They had the multilayered machine too, but the old abuelas sitting around making them by hand was the best.

    I can’t remember the name of the place and nothing on the web rings a bell either.

    “mexican” in that part of Cali means “Baja California” style. Fresh, lime, no orange sauce or ground meat, lots of seafood choices, so tasty.

    n

  44. My favorite tortilla was hand rolled, in Old Town San Diego. They had the multilayered machine too, but the old abuelas sitting around making them by hand was the best.

    I can’t remember the name of the place and nothing on the web rings a bell either.

    The Old Town Mexican Cafe. We ate at all of the big places in Old Town when we went to San Diego ~ 18 years ago, and I think we hit that place twice to try the specials on separate nights.

    Horton Plaza wasn’t a dead mall when we visited — a long time ago.

    Closer to home, Chuy’s has pretty good handmade tortillas. The Round Rock location on I35 has the griddle running in full view of the dining room.

    Kroger on Galveston also does a really good job, but they have a machine.

  45. “Wuhan-400 Coronavirus – 1981 Novel Predicts Virus Origin”
    https://greatgameindia.com/wuhan-400-coronavirus-1981-novel-predicts-virus-origin/

    “In a bizarre coincidence, a 1981 fictional novel The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz predicts a Coronavirus like outbreak and its origin. The book talks about how the virus called Wuhan-400, was developed in military labs around the Chinese city of Wuhan from where it got its name. The top secret information of the Biological weapons Program is later acquired by US intelligence from a Chinese defector. The American military is ultimately successful in creating a vaccine which the Chinese could not.”
    https://www.amazon.com/Eyes-Darkness-Thriller-Dean-Koontz/dp/0425224864/?tag=ttgnet-20

  46. Did RBT attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute?

    No Bob attended Grove City College.

    Thanks for the reply, Barbara.

    I asked because RPI has gone woke and I misremembered Bob having studied there.

    I went to RPI, so perhaps you mixed up me and RBT. I’m not quite sure what confusion of facts, memories, and hallucinations could lead you to confuse us, as he was a pipe smoker and had hair, neither of which describes me.

    You might want to think twice before responding to any alumni fundraising appeals.

  47. RPI gets nothing from me. The value of their (now very expensive) education has dropped to the point that it’s not worth going there for an engineering degree. RPI was the #3 engineering school in the US when I was researching what college to go to, around #5 when I was there, and now struggles to stay in the top 50. Shirley Anne Jackson is the highest-paid college pres in the US and is largely responsible for the decline in academics, shift of student demographics, and neglect of the historic campus buildings.

  48. I feel the same way about Arizona State. They are dead to me, as they hate me and people like me.

    n

  49. OK, my conspiracy theory son has brought me up on the latest WuFlu rumors.

    First rumor, WuFlu is targeted to Asian men. It looks for certain protein markers in your lungs and attacks those.

    Second rumor, the level of attack is Asian men, Asian women, western American Indians, white men, white women, black men, black women. The WuFlu will act like a regular flu in white people and black people will probably not get it at all. The further away you get from being an Asian male, the less likely it is to attack you.

    Third rumor, the Chinese government expects a death toll of 200 to 400 million in China. Mostly men. Yes, this was planned in order to cull the population of too many men.

    Welcome to the biowar century. This could be the first of many bioweapons.

    BTW, here is the current estimated population of China. 1.4 billion. Expected to peak in 2030 and fall rapidly to 1.1 billion in 2100 due to the one child policy. Looks like they want to get to 2100 now.
    https://www.populationpyramid.net/china/2020/

  50. Barbara, good to hear from you on this site. Others have already said kind words, but I will add that we all miss Bob, but still hang out for the company. And, some company it is!

    Regarding Y2K, I didn’t have any effects at all. The first things I tested were my hammers and various anvils. Sure enough, not a single failure. Got bored, and didn’t test all of them however, even to this day. I am taking the risk. Seriously… I agree that Y2K was overblown. I especially like Ray’s question about entering the date into the device. Didn’t stop some of the worry warts, however. Some worried that there was an embedded clock with a battery. Technically possible, but why does a “toaster” need to know the date? Puhleeze.

    Where I worked, some wiser people decided to leave all the noncritical stuff alone until after the magic day. We saved a bundle right there. Most critical systems were tested, and very few had a problem. I don’t remember anything found after the magic day that couldn’t be easily corrected.

    Oh, I probably offered to buy some items really cheap. No takers. Rats!

  51. I always try to replace the batteries at least once. It’s easy and straightforward. Put the old ones on your curb for the can miners (scrappers), or use APC’s exchange program. Often they will give you a new unit for the price of their (branded and marked up) batteries…. Any UPS that takes a lightning hit or big surge should be replaced.

    We don’t have a curb at the new used house. Nor do we have streetlights or sidewalks. We just have a two lane country road that is maybe 16 ft wide. And we have six foot deep ditches which the trash guys threw our trash can into yesterday. They left several of my neighbors trash cans in the middle of the road, I don’t know which is worse.

  52. @mediumwave, that video is by turns horrifying and hilarious. Contractors are the same all over the world, as are government toadies.

    Doing the math on those numbers is the horrifying part.

    n

  53. JimB, anvils?? Plural?

    I’ve always wanted to set up a forge and blacksmith shop…. anvils are just too damn expensive.

    n

  54. Well, not a blacksmith’s anvil, although I do want one some day. I do various metal work, and have some heavy pieces of steel I use as anvils. For my use, a rectangular piece is much more useful than a horn. For sheet metal work, I use dollies, which as you probably know, are small hand held pieces of steel. I also have a six foot piece of rail, but have never used it. Rail anvils are less useful than many people think. All depends on what you need to do.

    Here’s an idea. Weld up a sturdy stand, or use a big can. Fill it with high strength (high cement content with low water content) concrete. Before the concrete sets, embed a piece of one inch thick steel in the top. Let cure for a month. Now, you have a sturdy top for light pounding. Set some shapes of scrap steel tailored to your needs on top. Voila! you have a useful anvil. Adapt the design to your needs. Concrete is cheap; steel costs more. Improvise. Come up with your own design.

    Don’t forget that some striking (pounding) surfaces are better on a pad that soaks up some of the energy. A pad can be soft like various foams or hard like oak. Anything softer than aluminum can be a pad. Sometimes you work ON a pad, such as a sandbag covered with leather. The variations are nearly endless.

    You get around. I watch for pieces of steel and aluminum that I can use for shaping metal. Over the years it adds up. Oh, and it helps to have friends who have shops. Raid their scrap bins. Do something in return.

    Oh, I also have a friend who collected anvils, but I doubt he would sell any. They are collectibles. I only have one friend who collects anvils. Vises are another story. 🙂

  55. Watched a little of Torbjorn Ahman. Interesting. Will watch some more. He has a BIG anvil. Notice the striking surface next to it. In the video I watched, the angle prevented me seeing the base, but I will look some more. First class.

    I don’t do blacksmithing in the traditional sense. I mostly make tools and fixtures as needed. These are NOT works of art; just good enough to get the job done. I had relatives who were skilled in wood and metal of various sorts, but my field was production. I just need to get stuff done. I wish I had the dedication to do some of it prettier.

  56. My wife found this on TV:
    http://www.craftsmanslegacy.com/
    Eric Gorges showcases a huge variety of crafts. He has his own skills, but never lets that get in the way of showing off the skills and talents of the people he visits. He does try his hand when invited, and is very good. My favorite was one where he brought someone into his shop and had her shape sheet metal into a partially finished motorcycle fender. It was obvious he has done this lots of times.

    Getting late.

  57. I always pick up and keep interesting bits of metal and cutoffs…. But I don’t have room in my shop to actually do any work. That’s part of what I’m working on clearing out all the auction/surplus accumulation.

    When I worked in scene shops in Hollyweird, the metal shops always had whatever I needed, and lots of leftover bits for “gee jobs”. That was what one of my bosses called them. He’d walk the floor, find you working on something he didn’t recognize and ask what it was. The answer was usually, “Well, gee Bob, I’m just doing this little thing …. ” We had a SCA guy make a full suit of armor on his lunch hour and breaks, along with all the wooden stuff you’d need for a camp of the time period. Lots of weird and wonderful scrap in a scenic shop.

    n

  58. @Lynn re UPS – I know you’re looking for a smaller unit, and I have a couple of those covering the TV/stereo and the Modem/router but I’ve also got a Smart 1250XL from TrippLite with an auxiliary battery pack that’s in the vicinity of 10 years old and still going. I don’t like having to stop work for power interrupts. A number years ago PG&E was changing out our transformer at the end of the block and I kept a dual Xeon workstation and 27″ graphics CRT going for more than 2 hours actively using AutoCAD and a couple of other programs without a problem. I did have to change out the batteries about three years ago. Highly recommended. My previous unit that failed after many years was replaced by TrpipLite for half price without question even though it was a significant upgrade, I don’t know if they still do that. Highly recommended.

  59. I think the one child Chinese policy was lifted a year or two ago. The percentage of girls was going down too fast…

  60. OK, my conspiracy theory son has brought me up on the latest WuFlu rumors.

    I’m more inclined to believe that someone or multiple someones either ate or had sex with the wrong animal. More likely the former, but you never know.

    (I don’t remember the film, but the old 80s flick line is, “He’s Trisexual. He’ll try anything.” Maybe it was “Cheech and Chong”.)

    It seems like the Chinese male will eat almost anything if you tell him it will increase sexual potency.

    Ok, most males will, to be fair, but Western markets are more limited in their exotic meat selection

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