Sat. June 13, 2020 -Friday the 13th falls on a Saturday this month

Warm moving to hot, decent moving to ‘too humid to breathe’.

Yesterday was a bit cooler than average and a bit drier too.  The shade with a breeze was quite comfortable.

Swim team eats up my mornings.  Falling asleep at my desk after lunch ate my afternoon.  I got very little done besides two loads of laundry and making dinner.

Dinner was lamb roast with potatoes, onion, carrots, garlic, and rosemary in the dish.  A shelf stable loaf of sourdough went in the oven too, since it was on…  I cooked the whole 4 pound roast and was grateful that it hadn’t spoiled with my refrigerator issue.  Chicken and milk did spoil, and I figured it out after the garbage pickup, so my trash is going to be horrific this week…

My non-prepping hobby club will be meeting today.  Normally we meet in a conference room or break room at one of the member’s manufacturing facility.  It’s pretty cramped.  Today the meeting will be in the big community room of a local church.  I’ve thought long and hard about it, and I’ve decided not to go.  I miss the guys and have stuff for show and tell, but I’ve been coughing for 3 days, and even if there is more room and a high ceiling, it’s still an enclosed space.  If I’m avoiding the grocery store, I can’t justify attending my club meeting.  Especially with cases trending up in town and almost every other member being older than me to boot.

I’m going to do my auction pickups and then start pulling back on that again.  I need to narrow my focus back down.  I’d hoped that I was wrong about  wuflu part 2, but it doesn’t look that way.  On top of that, people are working pretty hard at getting CivilWarII started.  More like Civil War, the low intensity conflict version ™ probably, but still gonna suck.

I’ve seen more references to Qanon and the term ‘boogaloo’*  in the press in the last week than, well, ever.  Internet talk is spilling over into Real Life.  From their point of view, you have to familiarize people with the ideas before you can use those ideas to condemn individuals and groups.  That’s beginning.  Divemedic posted some material for thought, namely the US policy analysis and instruction books for insurgency.  He’s raised some convincing points about where we are along that path.   I’ll link in comments because he’s also beginning to sterilize his online presence and I generally try to avoid external links in the post of the day, so they don’t break later.

Things will likely get worse before better.  Plan for it.  Keep stacking.

 

nick

 

*not the racial slur, the same idea as “spicy time” or “when things get ‘sporty'”.

 

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

43 thoughts on “Sat. June 13, 2020 -Friday the 13th falls on a Saturday this month”

  1. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8415115/White-woman-accused-setting-five-cars-fire-George-Floyd-protests-arrested.html

    Wow, they weren’t kidding about having pictures of her. And it was the ATF who arrested her. The ATF don’t arrest people unless they are absolutely sure of a conviction.

    A member of Antifa ?

    Trust fund baby ?

    Trust fund baby. Hyper indulgent parents at a minimum. And drugs. Drugs are bad, m’kay?

    Origins in Texas?!? Wouldn’t be Cut-n-Shoot by any chance?

    The Prog husband of my wife’s trust fund baby associate in Vantucky hailed from Cut-n-Shoot. Despite deep roots in and near the Houston area, the couple ended up in Portland because the husband did something stinky running for office in Fredericksburg about 10 years ago.

    I figure he’s Antifa in Portland these days. They were in Fredericksburg only a few months on the hospital’s dime before the wife started looking for a job on the West Coast. Trust fund. No honor.

  2. Trust fund baby ?

    Sounds like she has been troublesome for a while: hitchhiking around the country, falling off the radar at one point and being reported missing.

  3. Today is not a good day. The HVAC system has died. The blower will not operate. The compressor attempts to start then shuts down. I suspect because the blower is not operating. Either the motor has died, the starting capacitor has died (I don’t suspect that as no attempt to start is noticed), or the control board has died. The two main causes are going to be expensive to repair.

    The power company is suspect. They are replacing poles, transformers and lines on my street. Yesterday the power company shut down the power to do some more work on the pole that serves my house. It took three tries to get the fuse reinserted. I think those first two attempts, creating a surge, has done something to the control board for the system. The coincidence of the failure at the same time as the power company screwup is really suspicious. Of course the power company denies any responsibility.

    I don’t know if I can get anyone out today to look at the system. If it is just the motor I will have that replaced, probably $600.00, or more, including labor. If the problem is the control board then I am looking at $1,500.00 or more, if they could even get the part. In the case of the control board I will just have the system replaced as it is 15 years old. Just what I needed. Another $6K or so down the bucket. Of course that means the replacement would not occur until Monday or Tuesday. May sleep in the RV as it has working A/C.

  4. WRT murders in Chicago during the ’50s, far fewer than ’80s and nowadays , but mostly Al Capone follower, Mafia types.

  5. I don’t know if I can get anyone out today to look at the system. If it is just the motor I will have that replaced, probably $600.00, or more, including labor. If the problem is the control board then I am looking at $1,500.00 or more, if they could even get the part. In the case of the control board I will just have the system replaced as it is 15 years old. Just what I needed. Another $6K or so down the bucket. Of course that means the replacement would not occur until Monday or Tuesday. May sleep in the RV as it has working A/C.

    That sucks, Ray.

    If the problem is the control board, generics are readily available for a system that old, especially if it is simply single stage heating/cooling. I just spent $600 in the Fall when the weather first turned cold in Austin (it happens), replacing the furnace igniter and control board on my 25 year-old Trane upstairs unit after the heat failed one morning.

    That repair came with an offer from the company to use the entire repair amount as a credit towards a new unit in six months if I felt I really wanted to upgrade to new, but I’ve decided to leave things alone.

    Wholesale costs on the generic control boards are ~ $275 if you know someone who can do the work competently. If it is the control board …

  6. @ray, I second the generic control board idea. I used one myself. Of course you can’t get it today… but maybe the service guy will have one on the truck.

    It sucks when it happens and it is almost never at a convenient time. You DO have backup in proper prepper fashion though.

    Lot of AC issues for people here this year…. more than previous years.

    n

  7. Last time about twenty years ago I bought a control board at the supply house. Easy to change myself. It was in fact a Honeywell. The old one was clearly burnt but no dammage to connected wiring. Last 1/2 hp blower moter was $180 about 2 years ago. Though part there is getting the cap right so it blows and doesn’t suck.

  8. I am using a local company, not a chain, to come look at the system. They are the same company that installed the system. It is a single stage system, Carrier, scroll compressor, Puron, etc. Latest and greatest at the time.

    I did need the forced air blower for the heating unit replaced at the five year mark. Plastic squirrel cage blower that flew apart. Repair guy made a modification and replaced with a metal squirrel cage on the existing motor. The heater/heat exchanger is basically an air fed blowtorch.

    It is a pack unit. Everything is contained outside in the unit. Heating, cooling, fans, are all outside the house. Fairly common in this area where there is space to run duct work under the house. In my case the ducts run in the ceiling of the basement and thus under the main floor. Such systems tend to be a little more reliable and less prone to leaks as everything is sealed at the factory.

    I will not spend a lot of money on repairing the unit, especially being 15 years old. Newer systems are more efficient and quieter.

  9. Lot of AC issues for people here this year…. more than previous years.

    R22 went totally unobtainium in this country this year. Some service companies will still have stocks for a while, but the cost is going exponential which will force many homeowners into replacement projects.

    Plus, new systems are a lot more complex with variable speed components and proprietary thermostats, and more people are home these days.

  10. I’m going to do my auction pickups and then start pulling back on that again. I need to narrow my focus back down.

    I’ve received a lot more nastygrams from EBay lately informing me of my status as an “abusive buyer”. The pendulum has swung back to protecting sellers for now, and it discourages me from taking a chance on anything. EBay isn’t threatening my ability to *buy* anything, only my ability to return outright junk.

    As of late, I’m amazed at the things sellers will put into a Priority Mail box with a straight face and roll the dice that the buyer isn’t paying attention. My last refund wasn’t even challenged, included the shipping, and the seller didn’t want the disposal problem so no return address arrived with the refund email.

    I’ve *never* lost a challenge, even if I’ve had to ask PayPal to step in when EBay’s Freshers rejected my claims and appeals.

  11. hmm, seems that if one succeeds others will try…

    Crackdown on autonomous zones: Tennessee governor says he won’t tolerate protester camp in Nashville as North Carolina cops tear down barricades – but Seattle police union says city is near ‘lawlessness’

    The movement to create police-free ‘autonomous zones’ protected by barricades spread on Friday
    Protesters in Nashville on Friday night attempted to set up their own ‘autonomous zone’ there
    Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, a Republican, issued a strong warning that it ‘will not be tolerated’
    Police in Asheville, North Carolina ripped down barricades of an attempted autonomous zone
    In Seattle, the ‘CHAZ’ continues to thrive as protesters occupy six blocks of the city
    Police there abandoned a precinct and are having trouble responding to crimes in progress
    Boss of police union says Seattle is now on the verge of becoming a ‘lawless state’

    n


  12. I think those first two attempts, creating a surge, has done something to the control board for the system.

    Is there a fuse on the board you can check? When our A/C went out in Vegas after the mains came back on, the repairman talked me through checking if the fuse had blown, said it was common. There was a view port on the side of the unit with an LED. If you can’t see the LED glowing, something is wrong on the board. I pulled the cover and replaced the fuse. A/C restarted after that. No charge.

  13. hmm, seems that if one succeeds others will try…

    “Crackdown on autonomous zones: Tennessee governor says he won’t tolerate protester camp in Nashville as North Carolina cops tear down barricades – but Seattle police union says city is near ‘lawlessness’”

    I’m still predicting Seattle police will take care of business tonight/tomorrow morning. If they don’t, then, yes, protestors in other places will try it.

    Austin already has camps in the medians on Riverside between SR 71 and I35. There is also an underground “city” dug beneath US183 not far from the intersection with I35 — that’s where the squeegee bums servicing the I35 SB->US183 SB ramps live.

    Still, Capitol Hill in Seattle is prime real estate, depending on your point of view.

  14. I was watching it Friday out of curiosity. Buying it? No thanks.

    Apparently, it was huge with Robinhood traders. I use Robinhood for my play account, but that’s it.

    Just be careful what bank account you link to Robinhood. That’s not going to end well.


  15. Just be careful what bank account you link to Robinhood. That’s not going to end well.

    Why?

  16. “Just be careful what bank account you link to Robinhood. That’s not going to end well.”

    Why?

    Beyond making money playing games with routing orders, Robinhood has famously experienced outages and security lapses.

    Play money. Keep real money elsewhere.

  17. A/C is working for now. Bad capacitor on the main blower. Condenser fan is not spinning as freely as it should and needs replaced. Repair guy will return Monday or Tuesday with a new motor. Will send a bill when all repairs are completed. Advantage of a small town using a local company. Repair person knows me from sports pictures from the high school. Has a relative that participates so sees the pictures.

  18. MEATSPACE! that’s pretty good news Ray, compared to what it could have been.

    n

  19. Several years ago we needed the main drain in the house replaced. Only day the plumber could do it was a day we were gone. So we gave him the garage code. He sent us a bill a few days later. A/C guy will replace the condenser motor while we are gone. Does not need access to the house. Will send a bill in the mail in a few days.

    Good system but don’t ever stiff anyone on either side of the transaction. News travels fast in that situation. Trust lost cannot be regained.

  20. From FEMA

    Lifelines Impacts:
    Health and Medical
    • WA: Yakima County accounts for 3% of the state’s population but 46% of the
    cases over the past week; 50% of the confirmed cases are under 40 years
    old; county is in Phase 1 re-opening
    • TX: Hospitalizations have increased 42% statewide since Memorial Day
    Transportation
    • The European Commission has extended restrictions on non-essential travel
    from outside the EU until June 30; will allow entry on a country-by-country
    basis beginning in early July

    –TX up 42%

    shhheeeet.

    n

  21. ISTR a while back Paul tried to fix a DirecTV remote control. I have had trouble over the years with the key contacts on two of ours wearing out, and replaced them by ordering from DTV. The price was not too exorbitant, and I was happy. Recently, two of our three got really bad. I mentioned this to a friend, who suggested ordering from Amazon. Long story short, I ordered from one of the vendors, fulfilled by Amazon, and had my shipment in just two days, courtesy of a complimentary Prime membership from our land line company, Frontier. Hey, maybe that’s one reason why Frontier is bankrupt. Anyway, I got five brand new controls for about $26 to my mailbox, batteries included. They are the latest version of the “white” remote controls, with both RF and IR transmitters. They look exactly like the ones I have received from DTV for about $15 each.

    The only hassle was determining if they would work with our older DVRs. DTV is pretty sketchy about compatibility lists and programming instructions. I decided to roll the dice, since there was a free return option from the vendor. They work fine. One trick is to look at the numerous sites OTHER THAN DTV for programming instructions. In our case, I have both DVRs in the same room, connected to the same TV, and getting the DVRs to act independently was tricky. There is a simple way, but DTV’s phone support over the years could not understand why I had two DVRs in the same room. They always suggested putting the DVRs in different rooms, and claimed that was the only way.

    I guess part of the challenge was for older remote controls. These new ones seem to be smarter, and took only seconds to program, once I knew the tricks. I am happy. Oh, and I do like the classic “white” controls; they are laid out better than the very few others I have tried. The one supplied by my aunt’s cable company is especially poorly laid out, although it has great range.

    Curious if Nick has any comments, especially on some of the third party fancy do it all controls. I took a look at them some years ago, but my wife didn’t like any of them. I didn’t either. As a compromise, I tried using my phone’s IR feature and an app, but didn’t like its horrible (to me) interface. I have used it to turn down the volume of TVs in airports and restaurants, however. Just have to be discreet.


  22. –TX up 42%

    Saw on the business news yesterday a comparison between the increase in tests performed and new cases, and the increases in all states except Arizona tracked testing. Test more: get more positive results. Notably absent is the data from the six or eight states that didn’t do lockdowns. I have been too busy XXXX lazy to look them up on World-O-Meter (sp?)

  23. For years I used a Logitech Harmony programmable, the one based on “Tasks” not components.

    Once you get it set up it works beautifully. They keep making the screen bigger so it’s easier to see, which is a plus. It’s a bit fiddly to get set up, especially if some of your components are older.

    For customers, I have a programmer, and we put in Crestron control systems. WAY more than a remote.

    Currently at home my samsung tv saw and controls my sony AV receiver, and bluray player. It just sorta set itself up once everything was connected. Since we mostly watch tivo as a netflix box, I’ve got the tv remote and the tivo remote on the table. Turn it all on with the tivo remote, but if I have to do anything with the tv that remote is sitting there. We willuse the remote for the bluray too. I’m sure it could all be configured to work with the tv remote and whatever it does thru HDMI cables to control all the rest, but ‘the carpenter’s house is never finished, and the shoemaker’s kids go barefoot…..’.

    The simplest solution with all new gear is buy it all from the same brand, connect it with HDMI, and your new tv will probably control it all from one remote.

    n

  24. @JimB, look at hospitalizations. That number is not subject to the testing increases result in case increases effects.

    TX hospitalizations are way up. Hospitalizations are tracked by mandatory reporting under disease surveillance requirements to CDC so there’s probably less jiggery pokery going on with that number.

    n

  25. Just spent a few minutes on Worldometer. They don’t have hospitalizations, but I just read Nick’s post. I agree with Nick, there are many ways to slice the data. I wanted to look at several states that didn’t have details on Worldometer, especially those that didn’t lock down, but they didn’t have detail pages, so I gave up. Texas is up, but not as bad as Florida. The reasons escape me. Probably most of the differences can be attributed to the time displacements of the similar curves.

    I tend to look at deaths, but agree that is a lagging indicator. I also looked at some of the details for California by county, and could not make much sense. Our county has a detailed site that drills down to zip code. My little valley, with 36k people, has a total of 11 cases and zero deaths. For that, we closed down the hospital, which has the only operating rooms in the area. I wonder if any accident victims died because of that.

    I agree that we are not safe yet. We also know too little. I have a few friends who only look at the MSM, and a few others who mine for real news. Some of us share our findings. What a world of difference. While the best advice is still to not get this disease, the effects vary a lot. There is a team of docs in the San Fernando Valley who have had a lot of success treating early cases. Their approach is complicated, and definitely not one size fits all. I don’t see this being shouted from the rooftops, but the information is there for the reading.

    Another rapid response finding is that serum vitamin D levels strongly affect whether individuals will catch the virus, something like a 70x difference. This could be one of the strongest defenses against the virus, yet no rooftop shouting. Peer reviewed study? Of course not, yet. By the time that is accomplished, the pandemic will be over.

  26. Re Harmony remote control, I looked at it, and it looked promising, but my wife disagreed. Our setup is simple, and we do fine with out DTV white controls for everyday use. I keep hoping for a big change for TV, but that will have to wait until we get broadband. Then, TV will get even more complicated.

    There is very little I watch, but my wife likes it on while she is working on crafts. Mostly, it is noise. She has started watching stuff on YouTube and other sites, and agrees with me that it is better than most TV programs. Both of us feel that the TV industry has abandoned us, but she is not willing to give up yet.

  27. Re: Vitamin D supplements.

    Was reading some of Jeff Dunteman (or maybe John Scalzi) blog a while back, who mentioned a report that Vitamin D supplements can help with immune capabilities. So ordered two bottles of “NOW Supplements, Vitamin D-3 5,000 IU, High Potency, Structural Support*, 240 Softgels ” https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0032BH76O?tag=ttgnet-20 at a cost of $9.92 each (now $14.53 !). Dose is one gelcap every two days. Been taking it for a couple of weeks.

    Was at the doc this week for my annual diabetes checkup. We talked about Vitamin D supplements, and said that it could be useful – people up here in WA are probably somewhat deficient. He ordered a Vitamin D check of blood (as long as they were doing the other test). Results came in :

    Vitamin D, 25 Hydroxy 36 ng/mL 30 to 100 ng/mL30 – 100 ng/mL
    Reference Range recommendations for 25(OH)D levels are:

    Vitamin D Status Range
    Deficiency < 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L) Insufficiency 20-30 ng/mL (50-75 nmol/L) Sufficiency 30-100 ng/mL (75-250 nmol/L) Toxicity > 100 ng/mL (250 nmol/L)

    So, I am in the “Sufficiency” range. Pretty sure that’s a result of the supplement (I also take a general multivitamin). I usually stay inside, so no direct sunlight (although my usual spot during the day is in the living room that has large east-facing windows).

    YMMV, of course.

  28. • TX: Hospitalizations have increased 42% statewide since Memorial Day
    Transportation

    Fort Bend County, at least 820,000 people, has 24 people in the hospital with SARS-COV-2. Not a big deal, the hospital down the way on Highway 6 has over 1,000 beds. There are 10 or 12 more hospitals in the county.

  29. “Fort Bend County, at least 820,000 people, has 24 people in the hospital with SARS-COV-2. ”

    –how many ICU beds are available for new patients?

    Normal occupancy rates for an ICU are ~ 70%.

  30. Well, my garage fridge wasn’t getting cold enough so I had to dig in a bit more. Found some frozen shut ducts. Hard ice. Chipped away, cleaned up, and getting coooollllddd.

    So hit the Instacart to buy some replacements.

    Showing 2 hour delivery, I guess we’ll see if it happens this time. I’m ordering from HEB and not costco, so it shouldn’t be a madhouse.

    n

  31. Well, my garage fridge wasn’t getting cold enough so I had to dig in a bit more. Found some frozen shut ducts. Hard ice. Chipped away, cleaned up, and getting coooollllddd.

    Make sure the drain line is actually draining to the pan under the fridge or you’ll be right back where you started in a few days, with hard ice clogging the ducts.

    I need to do a total defrost of my cheap refrigerator, but we’ve been keeping the freezer compartment full and will continue to do so for a while.

  32. Funny that, the drain line has never worked. The water comes down thru the air duct, and I have a tray to collect it in the fridge. Poor design has the top of the hole freeze…

    I don’t actually want a tray full of water in the garage, as it will attract rats and vermin, so I’m willing to keep an eye on the tray and empty it before it overflows.

    I took the ice maker out of the freezer too. It’s not hooked up anyway and now I’ll get that space back.

    n

  33. The dirtbags are emboldened to push back, so we’ll see this as SOP from now on. It’s why they were taught not to listen to “I can’t breathe”. If you have air to talk, you are breathing, so assume it’s a BS complaint. Ignore that most people will say that when they are having TROUBLE breathing, because people have used it to push back against the cop arresting them.

    The dirtbags will be pushing with all their might until they keep getting dead and no one gets paid. Because we’ve set up a system where all your sins get washed away and your family gets all the good stuff if you push back successfully.

    Feed the bears, get more bears.

    n

  34. Feed the bears, get more bears.

    Uh, since they burned their Wendy’s to the ground, there won’t be much feeding the bears there anymore. And the chance of that Wendy’s getting rebuilt is slim and none. And I suspect that people will closing their stores and restaurants in the area.

    BTW, when you have a commercial property, the standard commercial insurance does not cover terrorism. So, if your commercial property is damaged by terrorism, you ain’t covered unless you get the optional terrorism insurance. I sure don’t have it on my commercial property as it is another thousand bucks a year. Guess what I am thinking that I will buy when my insurance comes up in December.

  35. Uh, since they burned their Wendy’s to the ground, there won’t be much feeding the bears there anymore. And the chance of that Wendy’s getting rebuilt is slim and none. And I suspect that people will closing their stores and restaurants in the area.

    That area has been grim for a long time. No lack of “package” stores, but not a lot of restaurants.

    “Zombieland” filmed just down the freeway in Hapeville.

  36. Ah, the eternal efficiency of the military. For whatever reason, I apparently still have a login to the AF personnel system, or at least I am still on their mailing list. They just sent out an email that the URL has changed. And the new URL? Has an invalid SSL certificate. Good job, guys. Basic site admin 101, failed.

    Some blacks get it. If you haven’t seen it, this is an excellent article about the real issues blacks face. Written by a black UC Berkeley professor, who doesn’t dare reveal his/her own name for fear of being fired. Particularly telling is the point that black immigrants from Africa outperform black Americans.

    In the new house, they plastered the downstairs ceiling on Wednesday (ceilings in the upper floors are wood). What an incredible pile of humidity! I’ve been airing the place out every day since, but closing it up in the evening due to stormy overnight weather. Went in this morning to open some windows, and it’s still so humid that my glasses fogged up when I walked in. Just from ceiling plaster? Crazy!

    COVID: People were so relieved to have restrictions lifted that they’re pretending life is back to normal. Very few people are paying any attention to social distancing, very few masks. What a surprise: infection rates are ticking up everywhere. Plus, some countries that we all knew were in trouble are finally admitting it – India, for example.

    Off to our lawyer’s office tomorrow, to talk about the crazy neighbors.

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