Wed. May 20, 2020 – got some stuff to do

Hot again, rain possible. STORMS possible. We’ll see…

Yesterday was danged hot. 101F in the driveway. Hot in the garage. Hot in the yard.

Spent most of the day inside. Woke before my alarm, and was feeling awake and good, so I got up. Wasn’t completely over the neck thing. Had to be careful not to re-trigger it all day and night, but it is improving. This was the first day I woke up ready to go and early in a month or more. I’m hoping for more of the same going forward.

Cut my hair for the third time since the isolation began. I’m getting better at it. The clipper set has officially paid for itself now. Next cut will be free, but I intend to go back to my barber as soon as I can (without feeling squeamish.) He’s faster than me, better at it, and a friend in meatspace. All good reasons to get back to normal.

Speaking of normal, having disasters while you are in the middle of one is normal. People in Michigan, Tennessee, and even Chicago all found that out this week. Wuflu does complicate normal disaster response though. Don’t let your normal guard down just because we’re already in a slow motion disaster. Hurricane season is coming, to name just one hazard.

Child 1’s birthday is tomorrow. Presents are already here but will need wrapping, cake and dinner will need to be made, and some decorations will have to go up later tonight. Both girls have adapted to our current circumstances very well and I’m very proud of them. It’s been hard on them to have school just sort of taper off, and to not see any of their friends daily. We should be gearing up for swim team and other summer activities, as well as getting ready to transition to middle school. That’s gonna be weird for Oldest- her friends and classmates will all be going different directions next year,and they won’t have had a real chance to say goodbye and transition their friendships to different levels. The possibility that this disruption will be ongoing at the start of the new school year hardly bears thinking about, and yet, I don’t see a clear path to restarting school, so I’m thinking about it. That’s our job, isn’t it? Think about the future, make some choices, act on them.

Dinner was cheap prime steak from HEB, via Instacart… cheaper than stew meat for Pete’s sake. Delicious too. I will be watching the prices on prime meat. If it is in the counter too long, they appear to be marking it down dramatically. They’re not listing it as markdown or short time, but it was clear from the oxidation on some of the steaks that they were ready to be sold… If people can’t afford the good stuff, it sits around longer, then needs to be marked down. Hooray for me- I’ve made room in the freezer. It’ll be worth checking up on it online daily to score some more. The rest of the meal was some fresh but very low quality asparagus, leftover scalloped potatoes, and my wife made a corn relish/salad. Very tasty and refreshing. Dessert for me was a Klondike bar. Danged peculiar disaster when you can get fresh food and icecream delivered to your door.

Keep stacking, keep backfilling any gaps, and stay safe,

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

67 thoughts on “Wed. May 20, 2020 – got some stuff to do”

  1. It takes me about the same amount of time overall to go thru the website and fill my cart, and then wait for delivery, as it does to go to the store and walk the aisles myself.

    There’s no good reason (that I can think of) why a mostly-automated grocery warehouse couldn’t handle everything but produce, and maybe even that.

    All true, and I expect that COVID will cause (have caused) a permanent increase in the demand for online grocery shopping.

    That said, the online stores here screwed the pooch, in terms of meeting demand at the time – by the time their delivery systems were able to cope, the surge of demand was already dissipating. That’s a shame – a serious management failure.

    – – – – –

    I’m disappointed that no one responded to my assertion about Pelosi’s youthful good looks.

    I don’t question a person’s perception of beauty. Or I didn’t want to make fun of your serious vision problems.

    Reminds me of a pool party I attended once. Without my glasses, I’m pretty blind. From a distance, I saw this attractive woman. I wandered in her direction. Bad, bad idea: as I approached, the hard truth came into focus…

    I don’t think Pelosi has any mental problems. She’s just a cold-blooding, calculating politician of the worst sort. Principles be damned, it’s all about power.

    Speaking of evil, what’s happened to Hillary? Haven’t seen or heard anything from her in months.

  2. “Speaking of evil, what’s happened to Hillary? Haven’t seen or heard anything from her in months.”

    -Lizard is out looking for a new host and skinsuit is hanging in the closet?

    n

  3. From NBC News:

    Annie Glenn, the widow of astronaut and US Sen. John Glenn and a communication disorders advocate, has died of COVID-19 complications at age 100.

    Up the COVID Death Count by one. She was 100 for Heaven’s sake. Why even mention COVID. The US should count every infection the same as COVID. Imagine the common Flu death rate: “This guy had a heart attack, tested + for the Flu, so he *died* from the flu.” Every infection would be a pandemic.

    The MSM, including Drudge, report almost gleefully the COVID Death Count. The front of Drudge is about how churches have to re-close due to COVID. It almost seems like something sinister is going on.

    I have to check the Texas DPS and DMV sites daily to see if they are open. I won’t be able to vote here if I can’t become a resident. I’ll have to get an absentee ballot from Kneevada. I wonder if all those goobermint employees are still getting a paycheck DOING NOTHING!


  4. I wonder if all those goobermint employees are still getting a paycheck DOING NOTHING!

    You really have to ask? /sarcasm


  5. I wonder if all those goobermint employees are still getting a paycheck DOING NOTHING!

    Depends. I grew up in a factory town, and was very aware of the difference between hourly and salaried employees.


  6. The US should count every infection the same as COVID.

    Not only count but react. “We have to keep businesses closed until we’re not seeing any more influenza infections.”

    Or how about this one: “There will be a moratorium on blood transfusions, organ transplants, and gay marriage until HIV has been eliminated.”

  7. -Lizard is out looking for a new host and skinsuit is hanging in the closet?

    Please. That recent “leak” of the “Larry King Live” show from the mid 90s had the Clintons’ fingerprints all over it.

    The Clintons probably have contacts inside the CNN Center going back to its original incarnation as Sid and Marty Kroft’s indoor amusement park — fitting that they came up recently.

    (Yes, strange but true. Who do you think built that escalator? Ted Turner isn’t that crazy.)

    Plugs and the cabal behind him have no choice but to continue lest they all end up wearing orange suits courtesy of Bill Barr. Obama had no choice but to join the cabal this weekend.


  8. CNN Center going back to its original incarnation as Sid and Marty Kroft’s indoor amusement park

    I didn’t know that. I’ve used the building’s food court for lunch quite a few times while working at the data center on Marietta St. It was always kind of a foreboding place to me, with all the socialists working above.

  9. I didn’t know that. I’ve used the building’s food court for lunch quite a few times while working at the data center on Marietta St. It was always kind of a foreboding place to me, with all the socialists working above.

    Plus Ted and Jane used to live in the penthouse before Turner Broadcasting sold out to TimeWarner 20 years ago.

    Before he really went around the bend with dementia, Ted Turner frequently lamented selling. According to people I’ve met who worked there, Ted used to wander the building at night in his bathrobe in the 90s, keeping an eye on his empire.

    The area around the Omni Center (original name) used to be a bad part of Atlanta — well, worse than it is now — in the 70s, and that was all redeveloped as a big public/private partnership which included the Krofts. The amusement park didn’t last long, but some would say that the upper floors of the atrium are still a drug-fueled fantasyland. 🙂

    I never got around to seeing the CNN Center whenever I went to Midtown working for the Death Star after the merger with BellSouth. Most of 2009 was spent bracing for the planned CWA strike on Labor Day that didn’t happen.

  10. It’s an ok area in the daytime. People watching you on every street corner though. I was always careful scary after dark, even though I never had any actual issues.

    I always used the Peachtree Marta station. That place has a LONG escalator ride up to street level.

  11. It’s an ok area in the daytime. People watching you on every street corner though. I was always careful scary after dark, even though I never had any actual issues.

    I always used the Peachtree Marta station. That place has a LONG escalator ride up to street level.

    I know “The Look” you get in Atlanta. I got an extra special version of it when I asked for a refund of my deposit on the Marta card at the airport station near the end of what I presumed would be my last trip up there for a while. “That ain’t no deposit. (insert The Look)”

    “Sign says ‘Deposit’.”

    “(insert The Look … maximum overdrive)”

    The Death Star was in Midtown, across the freeway from GA Tech. I never went anywhere after dark except straight out the back door of the Georgian Terrace, over to Publix, and back. The Terrace had failed condo conversions which the company rented cheap, complete with kitchens, so I pretty much ate like I did at home on my per diem.

  12. What I am not tracking is, why two pools?

    Eight feet across by almost two feet deep. Two air mattress at a time don’t fit.

    Oh, and for me, Home Delivery is not an option. Sucks to be me living a mile from the paved road in the middle of 25 acres and not having to wear clothes. Poor me.

    No, no, no. TMI, TMI, TMI !!!

    Well, pockets are handy to have, so, yeah, shorts at least. But I have the option of no clothes.

    It hit 101F yesterday. Today has some breeze so maybe not as hot.

  13. “More than 5 million Americans will be infected with coronavirus and 290,000 will die by the end of July if social distancing isn’t adhered to, according to COVID-19 model”
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8340325/5million-Americans-infected-COVID-19-July-model-shows.html

    “Forecast from University Of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School model predicts COVID-19 cases will reach 5.4 million and death toll could be 290,000 by July 24”

    “Currently, there are more than 1.5 million cases and over 92,000 deaths across the United States”

    We are all going to die !

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

  14. Cut my hair for the third time since the isolation began. I’m getting better at it. The clipper set has officially paid for itself now. Next cut will be free, but I intend to go back to my barber as soon as I can (without feeling squeamish.) He’s faster than me, better at it, and a friend in meatspace. All good reasons to get back to normal.

    I went back to my Supercuts yesterday. She had a mask, I had a mask. She did a great job on my hair (what hair I have !) at a number one setting on the clippers. The bill was $14 (Tuesday special !) and I gave her a $6 tip. No more reverse mohawk !


  15. “More than 5 million Americans will be infected with coronavirus and 290,000 will die by the end of July if social distancing isn’t adhered to, according to COVID-19 model”

    I’m surprised any of us are still alive!

    Really, 5 million? There are already way more infected than 5M. Haven’t there been several random testing surveys that found a minimum of 5% already had it? 5% of 330M is 16.5M.

    And the reminder to maintain social distance when there’s no evidence it works (which is the phrase they use to discount everything Trump says). How do you even build a model to account for something that might not work (but also might work)? Call James Hansen?

    This came from a university. Sigh.

  16. I had no idea that Mount St. Helens dropped 1,300 ft in elevation when it blew 40 years ago. This is your science fact of the day.

    I have the 1 m resolution digital topographic maps of the mountain pre and post-explosion, part of a set of test files I used for a Graphics class semester project in grad school in WA State. Kinda interesting to play with, scaling and rotating in three dimensions. Even without the shading turned on, you can see a scary cubic meter amount of earth was moved very quickly.

    I lent my map reading/grid drawing component to another student who was proposing to render the mountain in Chromadepth for 3D visualization with the requisite glasses — potentially a very cool project which someone might have found useful over in the Geology Department. Sadly, however, he failed to get his shader code working properly before the end of the semester, and all he had at the end was my code *sans attribution* drawing a wire frame grid and an Incomplete grade. Upper-class twit of the year, Subcontinent regionals.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1FfrnOXGHg

    No word if his father used him as a wastepaper basket back home. Of course the University kept him enrolled.

  17. And the reminder to maintain social distance when there’s no evidence it works (which is the phrase they use to discount everything Trump says). How do you even build a model to account for something that might not work (but also might work)? Call James Hansen?

    Making everyone wear a mask and social distance from each other is to avoid stigmatizing the sick. God forbid we require those testing positive and infectious to stay home … like we do for TB.


  18. I went back to my Supercuts yesterday. She had a mask, I had a mask. She did a great job on my hair (what hair I have !) at a number one setting on the clippers. The bill was $14 (Tuesday special !) and I gave her a $6 tip. No more reverse mohawk !

    You obviously didn’t *social distance* therefore you have COVID and will be a +1 to the count when you croak in about 40 years.

  19. Well, what a way to have the morning sucked up.

    Neighbor across the street had their car burglarized last night. Knowing I’ve got cams, they sent the Constable’s Deputy to knock my door this AM. “Sure I’ll look at a couple of hours of video footage, when did it happen? Around 3 o the clock?”

    Finally found the break in at 4:40 AM. The video my NVR saves is slightly degraded quality, so I went to the SD card on the cams…. and that takes us back to mid summer last year. I can’t figure out how to actually get the video off the camera. It SAYS it’s downloading. It shows a progress bar. It even lets me choose where I want it to save. But the video never plays, and I can’t find it where I told it to put it. Last year I spent some hours trying to figure it out, and gave up.

    THIS YEAR I’M GONNA GET IT.

    Well. Backstory. I have to use IE with the cams. Freaking chinese love IE and active x and java. Even though the cams are likely running linux, with an efat or ext whatever file system, if not FAT32. In any case, you need IE to do anything with most cams besides see the video. You also may need to run as Admin, in compatibility mode, with all kinds of active x and java permissions (which really don’t give permission, as if java don’t like your settings, it will ignore them and block the content for your own good, you LUSER.)

    I try changing the D/L target directory. It looks good but again, nothing. I figured out at some point, that the camera was creating a directory structure in the folder I targeted, but again, it wasn’t there or was there but was empty when looked at with File Explorer.

    Before climbing up onto the roof and physically pulling the card (which is what I think I did last time) I tried ONE MORE TIME. This time, I copied a 28 minute video and I looked at Resource Monitor to see what was writing to the disk and WHERE.

    I found the SOB. 18 layers deep. Buried in> ThisPC, OS(C),Users, myname, appdata, Local, Microsoft, windows, INetcache, Virtualized, C, Users, myname, Downloads, [the camera created dir structure, 4 more layers], file.avi

    Keeping in mind, the camera shows it is saving to “Downloads”.

    So WTF put it in some virtualized folder structure, and WHY? And, OK, it’s windows, but NOT A PEEP from anything that it wasn’t ACTUALLY saving in Downloads? Is this some sort of security feature in IE? Bad programming on the camera firmware creator’s part? Windows security nonsense? And how does that freaking path not break with too many characters?

    That’s four hours of my life I won’t get back, but at least I learned some things. I also put a shortcut on my desktop to that 22 times bedamned folder.

    n

  20. IIRC, if they’re not N95 masks then they’re only moderately effective (yes, I know, that’s better than nothing.. blah, blah blah…). I applaud the efforts of people to sew their own during the shortages, but the majority of these home-sewn masks I’ve seen are horribly fitted. Most with serious gaps around the nose. Honestly, many of them could be fixed if the elastic going around the ears was more snug. It’s all for appearances. Restaurant and retail employees wear them and you gives you appearance of shopping or dining in a clean and sterile environment. It’s just like them sanitizing shopping carts between every customer and sanitizing the register’s conveyor belt between every customer. It’s purely for appearance. Nobody is sanitizing the door handles. Nobody is sanitizing the merch on the shelves people pick up, examine, and then set back down. Nobody is sanitizing the credit card kiosk at the register almost every customer touches. The whole thing is so absurd.

  21. All those are good reasons to use Instacart. I don’t wipe the actual groceries, but I know people who are wiping them. I’ve NEVER liked touching the pen or PIN pad at the store, I sure don’t like it now.

    What I can let sit for a while, I let sit, in the strong TX sun if possible.

    I am still spraying all my mail and packages.

    n

  22. Funny thing about N95 masks, the better ones have an exhaust valve that just dumps your infected breath out the front. A surgical mask actually catches more damp spittle than the N95 with the valve. After all, the N95 is designed to protect the wearer.

    The surgical mask is designed primarily to protect AGAINST the wearer infecting someone.

    So neither mask alone is perfect in a pandemic with unknown infecteds…

    n


  23. Well, pockets are handy to have, so, yeah, shorts at least. But I have the option of no clothes.

    I have a couple photographer’s/fisherman’s vests with a couple dozen pockets each. I can go pants-free and still carry all the stuff I need.


  24. So neither mask alone is perfect in a pandemic with unknown infecteds…

    For the current situation, a piece of 8-1/2×11 paper taped or tied over your face will have approximately the same effect.

    And the paper is better because you can write messages like “Cuomo Craves Catamites” and “Fashion Fascist Statement”.

  25. Neighbor across the street had their car burglarized last night. Knowing I’ve got cams, they sent the Constable’s Deputy to knock my door this AM.

    This is a HUGE problem in the suburbs and semi-rural areas. Especially if your housing development is close to a highway or interstate where thieves from crappy urban areas can zip out to and back again. It’s called car hopping and 3 to 4 AM seems to be the favored time (victims who are night owls are usually asleep by then and victims who are early risers aren’t up just yet). They rapidly go from house to house seeing if cars parked in the driveway or on the street have unlocked doors (or the occasional garage door that gets left up overnight). Even if you catch them in the act they take off sprinting and hopping fences (the benefits of youth). Police are usually pretty lazy about it. They’ll take a report and give you a copy so you can make an insurance claim, but no detective is putting any time into solving it and they sure as hell aren’t going to dust for prints. Most people’s security cameras and video doorbells usually capture unhelpful information (young white/brown/black male in hoodie walking from driveway to driveway without enough face detail to be helpful, their vehicle is nowhere to be seen, and if their vehicle is on camera then the license plates are missing or stolen).

  26. @Nick;

    Most of the multiple layers deep is M$ Virtual File Sysytem, designed to prevent programs using their install directory by default. There are supposed to be standardised locations for accessing such things, akin to Linux symbolic links, but it often doesn’t work at all well. I mind trying to find the .psd files created by Outlook Express (hawk, spit!) and not succeeding until I used Treesize Free to scan the entire disk, and found them 5 or 6 levels deep, inside a hidden directory. I also remember commenting, “What cretin designed that?” when I found it. Add in that the IE cache is similarly obfuscated for extra fun.

    The denizens of the Middle Kingdom are probably insisting on IE, since they need the ActiveX functionality, and IE was reliably available on almost all Window$ boxen. No others need apply. What will happen now that IE is deprecated, deponent sayeth not.

    G.

  27. Well. Backstory. I have to use IE with the cams. Freaking chinese love IE and active x and java. Even though the cams are likely running linux, with an efat or ext whatever file system, if not FAT32.

    Our interally-produced cameras run embedded Windows. Multimedia still has way too many patents generating royalty checks for PO boxes in Los Gatos and Los Altos, and Windows is the most convenient closed-source platform to target with drivers and interface modules using COM/ActiveX. Hook a USB camera to an embedded x86 board and go. 32 bit Atom boards consume less than 5W Idle.

    Plus, IIRC, efat is also still protected by some kind of patent held by Microsoft and there is a file size limitation with the other non-NTFS formats. Take it with a grain of salt this week when you see the Microsoft executives spouting Mea Culpas under orders from WaggEd about being wrong with regard to Linux ahead of their Build developer conference.


  28. I have a couple photographer’s/fisherman’s vests with a couple dozen pockets each. I can go pants-free and still carry all the stuff I need.

    A mesh vest so I don’t have tan lines…. that can work.

  29. @paul, the mesh will just make you look like you’ve got hives….

    n

  30. And the culprits, 3 slightly built brown males, or possibly 2 and one small female. All with hoodies.

    One of the downsides of cams, especially in dim light, is if you keep moving, it’s very hard to get a usable face shot. Moving quickly will get you thru the image too fast for the motion to be recorded as anything more than a blur, if that. I’ve got one cam I’ll be adjusting the settings for, as the three walked right past it and didn’t get recorded.

    Every time I have to USE the images, I learn more about the settings and what I got wrong or right with the cams.

    n

  31. I signed up for SS, saved the PDF, received my letter and booklet in the mail. All good so far.
    Today I looked at the PDF with more than just skimming and rats. Somehow the bank account number is wrong. Routing number is ok.

    So, set up a “my Social Security” account and all I get is “invalid SS number”. Tried to recover the account. Everything. Nothing worked. I called. After almost 20 minutes on hold, the guy was very helpful.

    What they do is verify your info against one of the Credit raters, like Experian. My stuff doesn’t match. SS uses First name, MI, Last name.

    I don’t use my first name. That was my Dad’s name.

    To set up a my Social Security account I wiil have to go to the office in Georgetown for a security code. Sounds like a “not fun” time. But that’s shutdown because of Kung-flu. So, who knows when?

    He fixed my account number. I know I typed in the entire number. Why the 37 prefix was dropped is a mystery. The account number changed while the back was still called Chase Bank. Way back in 1983 or so… the number has been 37 xxxxxxx ever since.

    But I think I’m set.

  32. Take it with a grain of salt this week when you see the Microsoft executives spouting Mea Culpas under orders from WaggEd about being wrong with regard to Linux ahead of their Build developer conference.

    Are you talking about this ? “Microsoft is bringing Linux GUI apps to Windows 10” “Linux on Windows 10 gets a big boost and GPU acceleration”
    https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/19/21263377/microsoft-windows-10-linux-gui-apps-gpu-acceleration-wsl-features

    I just don’t see X11 apps running casually on any variant of Windows. X11 is a strange beastie IIRC (I have not written an X11 app since 1992).


  33. then ship with no bugs

    I guess you don’t remember MacOS crashing thrice a day.

    Funny thing: the crashes were never mentioned in the Apple Fanboi magazines, but after FreeBSD-based OS X came out and was unmissably less crashy than Apple’s home-grown, the magazines enthused over how much more stable the new OS was, not like those bad old days of last month when it crashed all the time.

  34. I guess you don’t remember MacOS crashing thrice a day.

    I don’t think that I have ever used a Mac.

  35. @nick – curious about your deeply hidden file … did you see it in the “quick access” of File Explorer?

  36. IE again. I have no particular issue with it, but DO HATE it when I buy an auto service manual that can only be accessed using IE. I want to put that manual on my Android phone or maybe some day on a cheap tablet I would risk in a shop environment, but the cretins who published the manual made it require IE. They don’t care what happens when IE goes away, replaced by Edge. XXXXX No, they just don’t care. More accurate.

    While we are at it, my wife and I subscribe to a few magazines, and would love to have them in some digital format for easy storage and access. So far, all I have seen risks losing access to the material eventually, when the critical piece of software becomes obsolete or deprecated.

    I was given a gift of the highly rated National Geographic 100 year collection, or whatever it is named. Of course, that was just after we abandoned Windows for Linux. I wrote a respectful email to their tech department, requesting instructions for how to use the blasted DVDs on Linux. No surprise, no answer. With this kind of trouble, no wonder desktop Linux never got a significant market share. Shoulda learned from the OS/2 experience: died for lack of software.

  37. @lynn wrote yesterday

    If I were a suspicious man, I would say that somebody went in the church with SARS-COV-2 in an aerosol bottle right before the service and sprayed it into the air. If that stuff was that prevalent, we would have 100,000 people infected here in Fort Bend County just from going to Walmart, Costco, and HEB.

    It is the singing. It’s really good at spreading droplets.

  38. I just don’t see X11 apps running casually on any variant of Windows. X11 is a strange beastie IIRC (I have not written an X11 app since 1992).

    Linux is moving towards the replacement for X11, Wayland, which itself requires an emulation layer to run legacy apps. Microsoft probably has an accelerated emulation in the works. More bloat for WSL.

    Lots of Motif apps are still out there in regular use on X11 desktops, and most Git-based Unix shops depend on gitk to untangle seriously messed up repositories from time to time.

    X11 has its pluses and minuses, but a big plus is the capability to tunnel over SSH to draw the GUI on a remote machine with reasonable performance.


  39. IIRC, if they’re not N95 masks then they’re only moderately effective

    True. Effectiveness at filtering inbound particles is about 30-70% of an N95, depending on the material.

    However, as my wife pointed out, a surgical mask isn’t to protect the wearer, it protects the patient. Even an ill fitting one can stop a lot of droplets from an asymptomatic carrier. That’s the reason to wear a mask.

    As for contact spread, it’s much, much less effective than air droplets. For one, you have to get the virus from your hands into a mucus membrane. I take a paper towel sprayed with Lysol with me to the store to place over the cart handle and to use for touching any door handles, the PIN pad, etc. I “isolate” some of the goods I buy for a day or two, wash produce like apples or melons with soap, same for canned goods. Paper goods are safe after 24 hours. Other produce is cooked, so I just wash after I prep it.

  40. @SteveF
    The best first line of any novel:

    “It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.”

    (Good book, too!)

  41. True dat. Ship and ship often. Hopefully with less bugs and more features. Unless you are Steve Jobs, then ship with very few bugs and very few features.

    Steve Jobs didn’t want to ship XCode with iOS support for compiled iPhone applications. Until the iPhone 3G, the phones really didn’t have enough memory to accommodate the way most developers use C/C++, and even now there are a lot of unstable apps out there.

  42. @lynn wrote yesterday

    If I were a suspicious man, I would say that somebody went in the church with SARS-COV-2 in an aerosol bottle right before the service and sprayed it into the air. If that stuff was that prevalent, we would have 100,000 people infected here in Fort Bend County just from going to Walmart, Costco, and HEB.

    It is the singing. It’s really good at spreading droplets.

    And I firmly believe in Real Men Sing Real Loud.

    Maybe everyone should wear a mask to church for the next two years. I have gotten over the feeling now that we are all gearing up to rob the 4:15 stagecoach when in a group of masked people.

  43. @SteveF
    The best first line of any novel:

    “It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.”

    (Good book, too!)

    Nice try. The best first line of any novel is “It was time to whip the god.” in “The God Engines” by John Scalzi.
    https://www.amazon.com/God-Engines-John-Scalzi-ebook/dp/B003RCJNXI/?tag=ttgnet-20

    And the second paragraph is still very controversial in its meaning.

    “Captain Ean Tephe entered the god chamber, small lacquered, filigreed chest in hand. He found blood on the deck, an acolyte spurting one and lying shivering on the other, and the god prostrate in its iron circle, its chains shortened into the circle floor. The healer Omll muttered over the acolyte. The god giggled into the iron its mouth was mashed into and flicked its tongue over red lips. A priest stood over the god, just outside the circle. Two other acolytes stood against the wall of the chamber, terrified.”

  44. Rick, that’s a winner. Thanks.

    I can’t honestly use the suggestion I made to Lynn a few days ago, about stating that one has a medical condition which forbids the wearing of a mask, because I don’t SFAIK have any such condition.

    I’ll have to look up to local statutes forbidding the wearing of masks and have the numbers on tap.

  45. I went back to my Supercuts yesterday. She had a mask, I had a mask. She did a great job on my hair (what hair I have !) at a number one setting on the clippers. The bill was $14 (Tuesday special !) and I gave her a $6 tip. No more reverse mohawk !

    You obviously didn’t *social distance* therefore you have COVID and will be a +1 to the count when you croak in about 40 years.

    Heh. I still think that I had the SARS-COV-2 back in February after I went to the engineering conference. I remembered last night that I lost my sense of taste, dropping 8 lbs over 5 days. I told that to the wife and she poo-pooed it, saying that everyone who gets a cold loses their sense of taste.

    I will be shockingly surprised to make 40 more years. I am hoping for 10.

    The wife is getting a close look at what a 62 year old widow looks like. Her BFF’s husband died in February at 68. Heart attack during esophageal cancer surgery at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Her oldest daughter lives fairly close to her with three kids. Her middle daughter just moved back to OK with her three kids and 12 dogs. And her youngest daughter lives in California. And her parents in their 80s live just ten miles away and come over almost daily. Despite all that support, she is really missing her husband of 30+ years terribly.

  46. Captain Ean Tephe entered the god chamber, small lacquered, filigreed chest in hand. He found blood on the deck…

    Uh-huh. Right up there with “It was a dark and stormy night…” 🙂


  47. Unless you are Steve Jobs, then ship with very few bugs and very few features.

    And for a platform in which all hardware and hardware combinations are a known entity. How many tries to stabilize the latest iPhone software release?

  48. I am not sure this is the best one liner at the start but the paragraphs that follow and all the subsequent paragraphs, chapters and books are just great.

    IT WAS NIGHT AGAIN. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.

    Patrick Rothfuss – The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicles

  49. @rick, nothing in my Recent Places.

    n

    I don’t know if it was IE put it there, or some slanty eyed hacker forgot and left dev code in place, or they broke something so win8.2 couldn’t move it to where it was supposed to be after it D/L’d, or some combination of those things. I’ve got a work around that works.

    There are other issues with the cam firmware too, like a timeline that is off by one hour from the actual recordings. I think the display/timeline/slider is the thing with the ‘off by 1’ error, but it could be deeper than that. The only time it’s an issue is using the inbuilt video clipping tool to extract and D/L only part of a recording. And I figured out that I can just pick the times plus an hour….

    Software is mostly garbage and I’m surprised when any of it works.

    n
    (and I’m the guy who once blue screened our company ‘gold master’ release candidate by right clicking in a blank spot on the UI…. and that was the last time they let us field guys test anything….)

  50. And for a platform in which all hardware and hardware combinations are a known entity. How many tries to stabilize the latest iPhone software release?

    iPhone/iOS 5 was where things started being stable. The burden for memory management in the Cocoa UI shifted to the compiler with Automatic Reference Counting (ARC), and if you were careful with your model code, listened for the “low memory” message from the OS, and acted accordingly, writing a complicated app became possible. C++11 support from the compiler helped too.

    I once put Valgrind on the iOS 3 emulator, and the tool flipped out over all the memory leaks in the resident code. Apple needed iOS 5 as badly as the rest of the development community, but iOS 5 had to wait until the iPhone 3GS and 4 provided sufficient memory.


  51. Helen of Troy awakes just before dawn to the sound of air raid sirens.

    Olympos, Dan Simmons

  52. I started a story with (from memory):

    I woke up.

    That was a surprise, as I was sure I was a goner. The last thing I remembered seeing was my wife, staring in wonder and the marvel that was her backside. Mostly I was wondering how she was going to fit her backside through the doorway at the top of the stairs.

    Then she slipped.


  53. and that was the last time they let us field guys test anything….

    That mindset has annoyed me since I started my post-military career and it’s grown well past annoyance in the decades since.

    – Documents need a technical review before being delivered to the client. Solution: give it to the laziest engineer — “engineer”, hired for diversity points rather than ability — who’ll rubber-stamp it rather than review it and point out the problems. (The first few documents I reviewed after being hired, I pointed out problems, anything from typos to math errors resulting in a misleading graph. I didn’t make any friends, doing that.)

    – Software projects which keep a few QA people on the team. The QA people know who’s paying them, and don’t look too hard for problems when the deadline is near.

    Bah. It’s almost enough to make you think that most people don’t care about doing quality work and just want to put in the minimum time and effort in order to get paid.


  54. I don’t think that I have ever used a Mac.

    In 45 years of IT I NEVER used a Mac. Not even an Apple I or II.

  55. – Software projects which keep a few QA people on the team. The QA people know who’s paying them, and don’t look too hard for problems when the deadline is near

    QA is a dead end in most software development organizations and, increasingly, an over-40 ghetto.

  56. I’d always do a document review when I started a new project. Usually I was looking for a simple list of deliverables, and a drop dead date. I’m pretty sure I was the only one in the company to proofread some of the contracts. Cut and paste errors, grammar, spelling, typos, you name it and I saw it. I mean, FFS, if it feels like you are reading the same paragraph a second time in a row, LOOK and see if you are…

    n

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