Sat. June 20, 2020 – another week gone

Slightly cooler, humid, might be some rain.

Yesterday we got rain almost everywhere I wasn’t.    I could see the cell moving across the north side of town as I drove around, but I never had any significant rain hit the truck.  It did rain here at the house according to my  wife,  so I won’t have to water the gardens.  Streets were dry by the time I got home though.

Juneteenth was a nothing burger.  I’ve lived here since ’03 and never was aware of any particular celebration even though it’s supposed to be a Houston thing.  I certainly never heard anything about it in all the years I’ve lived elsewhere.  The scanner had the cops following and keeping an eye on various groups throughout the day, but I didn’t hear about any violence.  I guess it could have gone a different way, and it did bring home the value of the scanner for at least a heads up, since I was completely unaware until I heard the first discussion about the gathering crowd.  I chose a different route for my errand and avoided any potential threats.

Today I’ve got a couple more things to pick up, and then I’m battening down the hatches again.   Too many stories of people who just HAD to go out and break the distancing rules, who are now getting sick.   I don’t feel super anyway, so I’m not risking it.  YMMV.  I am ADVOCATING that you all continue to isolate as much as possible.  I could be wrong and often am, but the downside risk is huge for this one.

Kids are at swim team practice with the wife this morning, and then (possibly) staying for some free swim.  I’m not the boss of her and I know she’ll TRY  to stay separated.  It will also let her take the tenor of the (female half of the) tribes.  Perhaps she’ll get home with renewed commitment to isolating.

It could happen.

Dinner was stewed chicken thighs, in the slow cooker with a sauce packet and veg.  I didn’t have what I usually put in, so I went with onion, turnip, beets, carrots, and apple.  It tasted great.  Just a bit of extra sweet to go with the savory of the spice packet.  Dessert was a cupcake.  Daughter baked cupcakes for our friends with covid, and another family we haven’t seen in  a while.  They dropped them off as a drive by act of kindness.

Some of you know from yesterday’s comments that Barbara is sick in the hospital, which is why she hasn’t posted this week.  Please see my post over at her site for what details we have.  I’ll be passing along whatever she or her sister Frances would like me to.  Please keep  her and those who love her in your prayers.

The one scenario/ contingency I can’t remember Bob ever discussing planning for was his absence.  Give it some consideration in your own situation and planning.

Keep planning, and stacking.

 

nick

 

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

38 thoughts on “Sat. June 20, 2020 – another week gone”

  1. Juneteenth was a nothing burger. I’ve lived here since ’03 and never was aware of any particular celebration even though it’s supposed to be a Houston thing. I certainly never heard anything about it in all the years I’ve lived elsewhere.

    I used to hear about Juneteenth in Tampa occasionally but nary a peep in Portland or Seattle.

    That reminds me — I did see that someone tried to establish an autonomous zone in The Pearl in Portland. That just isn’t happening. Maybe in Gresham … around a Plaid Pantry. 🙂

    https://www.rt.com/usa/492307-portland-police-autonomous-zone/

    Upper class white female voters live in The Pearl, and for all the other faults in that city, the police took care of business when it came time to clean house at the local “Occupy” autonomous zone.

    Plus, Oregon has a dark secret about residency restrictions for African Americans and other non-white groups which not many people know unless you live there for a while and happen to hear a snippet of history. Anyone care to Google?

  2. I am ADVOCATING that you all continue to isolate as much as possible. I could be wrong and often am, but the downside risk is huge for this one.

    The sick aren’t staying home with this one like they would be required to do so by law if they had TB. I still make a point with the authorities of getting out almost every night, but, most of the time, I stay in my car.

    Discussing Austin’s new restrictions and impact on our return to the office in our daily check in, my mentioning this immediately brought a retort from the native-born WA State transplant in our group, “That’s not something appropriate to talk about at work.”

    Why do they move here?

    VA patients are doing an exceptionally good job staying isolated according to my wife, but she had one pop up yesterday whose worthless Prog offspring brought it home from the protests in Austin.


  3. “That’s not something appropriate to talk about at work.”

    “OK, Karen.”

  4. In all of my years I have never heard of the Holliday Junteenth. And I grew up in the Land of Lincoln, (Illinois.)
    The left seems to be searching for any reason to be offended.

  5. “That’s not something appropriate to talk about at work.”

    OK, Karen.

    Austin. He’s also bitter that I verbally took him apart when he expressed interest in a “mentor” after being hired in March at the top of our paygrades.

    The only one qualified to mentor him was me. Sack up, Sunshine — I make a lot less money and managed to figure it out.

  6. In all of my years I have never heard of the Holliday Junteenth. And I grew up in the Land of Lincoln, (Illinois.)
    The left seems to be searching for any reason to be offended.

    It is a Southern thing.

    In the latest offense of the week UF is going to have to stop using the “Gator Bait” cheer. I had no idea about the history of the term, and, trust me, the only thing Florida students might be envisioning a gator eating while doing the cheer is that sacred Georgia bulldog mascot, “Uga”.

    Maybe the Progs have a point with imagined animal cruelty, but, racism, no.

  7. Cool and damp last night. Storms dropped temps from the high 80s into the 60s. We expect cooler than the normal 90f weather for the next week. Great news for my electricity bill.
    It’s still in the 60s this morning.
    The down side is that it delays my concrete work I’m having done in the front of the house. Replacing a gravel walk with concrete and building a raised flower bed. Contractors had torn out the gravel before the rain started so now it’s a mud pit, sigh.
    Just saw the story on the Blaze of the US federal attorney who’s refusing to leave even though Barr, his boss, has replaced him. What kind of crazy is in the water in DC?

  8. Just saw the story on the Blaze of the US federal attorney who’s refusing to leave even though Barr, his boss, has replaced him. What kind of crazy is in the water in DC?

    They think the Orange Man is done come January.

  9. I walked outside to get some eggs and bread from the garage fridge and it felt ‘cool’. I checked. It was 80F at 900. Currently 92F in my driveway.

    I guess it’s not going to be cooler today.

    n


  10. Just saw the story on the Blaze of the US federal attorney who’s refusing to leave

    Send FBI or federal Marshals to his office, physically remove him, and tell him he’ll be arrested and charged with trespass if he attempts to reenter the building.

    Do it today.

  11. So today there was to be a “Support the Blue” event here in Kennewick WA. However, due to a bunch of hate posting on unsocial media (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.), it has been canceled. Just goes to show you who the real bigots and haters are. People are allowed to post hate whitey and the police on unsocial media but you had better not say the slightest negative (truthful) thing about the “oppressed”.

    You know why things are relatively quiet in Seattle, all the rabble-rousers are over here polluting our air. The press has even been cowed so as not to report what is actually going on. Extra vigilance is required and it is best to go out in groups and be prepared.

  12. Yes, freedom !

    I’d go into the office a couple of times a week right now to take advantage of the quiet, but our germ-o-phobe Health & Safety officer issued a really draconian set of restrictions associated with being present in the office until the end of August. Violations will result in disciplinary processes which will be part of the employee’s file.

    The stated intent is to prevent lawsuits, but it cuts both ways — I can’t very well expect to be “safe” if I go to a customer’s site and they aren’t enforcing the same set of guidelines in their facility.

  13. “79 Netgear Routers Vulnerable to Serious Security Flaw”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/79-netgear-routers-vulnerable-to-serious-security-flaw

    “758 different firmware versions are vulnerable to a remote attack, and Netgear has yet to release security patches.”

    Thanks @RickH for pointing me to the TPLink AC1200. Works well and recommended. And no security flaws that I know of.
    https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-AC1200-Smart-WiFi-Router/dp/B07N1L5HX1/?tag=ttgnet-20

  14. _Maker Space (Rachel Peng) (Volume 2))_ by K. B. Spangler
    https://www.amazon.com/Maker-Space-Rachel-Peng-2/dp/0984737561/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number two of a four book murder mystery fantasy series. I read the well formatted and bound POD (print on demand) trade paperback. I have purchased the other two books in the series and plan to read those soon. Note that this book is part of the same universe as the excellent A Girl And Her Fed webcomic.
    https://agirlandherfed.com/

    This is the continuing story of the 350 surviving humans modified by the USA government into cyborgs. There are still many issues with them, not the least in that the computers in their heads burn 1,000 to 2,000 calories per day by themselves. The public is still nervous about them since they outed themselves in the past year.

    This may be a SPOILER. This story was inspired by the Boston Marathon bombing incident.

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (67 reviews)

  15. VA patients are doing an exceptionally good job staying isolated according to my wife, but she had one pop up yesterday whose worthless Prog offspring brought it home from the protests in Austin.

    What ! I thought that the protestors were magically safe from SARS-COV-2 !

  16. Just saw the story on the Blaze of the US federal attorney who’s refusing to leave

    Send FBI or federal Marshals to his office, physically remove him, and tell him he’ll be arrested and charged with trespass if he attempts to reenter the building.

    Do it today.

    Just another Obamaite Troll. They can be hard to dislodge from under a bridge.


  17. the computers in their heads burn 1,000 to 2,000 calories per day

    Do they have some way of getting rid of the heat? That’s enough to cook the organic brain, assuming the computer is supplementing rather than replacing the brain.

  18. “That reminds me — I did see that someone tried to establish an autonomous zone in The Pearl in Portland. That just isn’t happening. Maybe in Gresham … around a Plaid Pantry.”

    I read that the zone was in front of the mayor’s house. That will get you some response.

    The Pearl is the trendiest real estate in Portland. That just wasn’t going to happen regardless of where the Mayor lived.

    For all the city’s faults, Portland took care of business with the “Occupy” movement, and the central business district does not look like Austin’s homeless hoedown.

    BTW, the Mayor is not Kyle McLaughlin. Life imitates art, particularly “Portlandia” in that city, but they haven’t gone that far … yet.

  19. Thanks to Lynn for the Netgear router vulnerability tip. I have a Netgear DSL gateway supplied by my ISP, and just checked it for that vulnerability. It is OK. Seems there is a huge list of devices, and the one I have has a firmware version much newer than the one with the vulnerability. In my case, it was apparently fixed years ago, but it is always good to check.

    I did learn one thing, that I probably already knew. My ISP, Frontier DSL, says they push updates. I doubt they did that in my case, but I can’t tell. They also caution, as most ISPs do, to only do their updates, not ones from the hardware manufacturer. I learned that with an older gateway some years ago, that time from Verizon.

    This gateway is less than a year old, and it solved a knotty DSL line length problem I have had for many years. I have dumps of signal strength and other parameters to prove it. This is one of those rare times when I can thank my ISP. Since installing this new box, that problem went away. I would never have guessed it, because the phone support people said they wanted to give me a new box so they could support it better. They no longer had instructions for my old one. As Paul might say, “whatever.” Maybe they didn’t know what they were talking about, but it worked. I figured it couldn’t hurt, and older networking hardware does seem to fail in subtle ways, or is just superseded by better stuff. However, the newer flavors of DSL do not help folks who live too many wire feet from the central office.

    I always change the router’s name and passwords, plus anything I can, after I make sure everything works right as supplied. I wonder if that might prevent firmware updates? I also tend to use my own router behind the supplied one, but haven’t got around to that this time. The last time I did that, there were some quirks, and I don’t have the time to deal with those right now. Quirks? Yes, my old gateway router did not support bridge mode, so I had to create a DMZ for the inside router. Accomplishes the same thing, but is a workaround. Networking just makes my head hurt.

  20. The root problem with the Netgear vulnerability is people are allowing remote access to their routers. Turn off remote access (you should have never enabled it in the first place) and the problems do away.

  21. the computers in their heads burn 1,000 to 2,000 calories per day

    Do they have some way of getting rid of the heat? That’s enough to cook the organic brain, assuming the computer is supplementing rather than replacing the brain.

    Webcomic. Although she does mention that the cyborgs do not get cold.

    Wouldn’t the blood flow through the brain (at least 1 gpm remove the waste heat from the organic powered computer ?

  22. The root problem with the Netgear vulnerability is people are allowing remote access to their routers. Turn off remote access (you should have never enabled it in the first place) and the problems do away.

    I do not under the fascination with remote access for your routing and security equipment. Otherwise, one really needs 64 character passwords, etc.

  23. The root problem with the Netgear vulnerability is people are allowing remote access to their routers. Turn off remote access (you should have never enabled it in the first place) and the problems do away.

    I never allow remote access. I have also learned a few things by using DDWRT on a router designed for it. At first, it was a learning experience, but after I figured it out, it ran very well.

    One of my worries is accessing the Internet using Wi-Fi with my phone. In a single router configuration, the phone is connected to the LAN, behind the router. It has direct access to the computers on the LAN, and can spread malware to them. One way to mitigate this is to use two cascaded routers, with the LAN inside the inner router and the phone outside the inner router. I have experimented with cascaded routers, but had problems. At the time, I was having problems with Linux networking, and that might have introduced other problems. With a two router setup, one problem is the inability to conveniently access the computers on the LAN from the phone. I like to do that, so I went back to one router. It seems every solution introduces other problems.

    Dual routers are also handy to isolate computers from each other while both can see the Internet. I tried that to isolate Windows and Linux computers, and it worked fine. Many configurations are possible.

    We don’t have visitors who need to use our Wi-Fi, so I never looked into a “guest” setup. That might be useful; just treat the phone as a guest. Still can’t be access the computers behind the second router. Anybody have any suggestions?

  24. One of my worries is accessing the Internet using Wi-Fi with my phone. In a single router configuration, the phone is connected to the LAN, behind the router. It has direct access to the computers on the LAN, and can spread malware to them.

    If you are using a non-jailbroken iOS device, you should be fine surfing on the WiFi with the phone/pad. The advantage of Apple’s walled garden approach to binaries is that every app submitted to the store is carefully screened for any mischief, and every browser has to use the blessed Safari component for rendering and Javascript, even Firefox.

    Android with side-loading is a concern, but if you stick to the Google Play and trusted third party sites like FDroid, the potential for problems is very low.

    Worry more about your “smart” thermostat being on the WiFi. I caught our Nexia port scanning my home server one night, and it has been kept offline ever since. A thermostat!

  25. Greg, Android, no Apples. No IoTs. Very primitive here. I have always found what I want inside official Google Play Store or Linux repos. If I ever did risky stuff, it was with all other computers and devices physically disconnected or turned OFF.

    Still, The worst attitude is overconfidence. I have known some pretty competent compusec guys, back when their attitude was isolation. They probably can’t do that any more, and convenience is the enemy of safety.

  26. Port scanning. I have used Steve Gibson’s Shields Up for a long time. I have always found settings that made ALL my ports stealth. That said, I doubt it is very important.

    And, just mentioning Gibson will attract flames in a lot of places. Steve is OK, but I haven’t looked at his stuff for a long time. He is probably resting on his laurels.


  27. One way to mitigate this is to use two cascaded routers, with the LAN inside the inner router and the phone outside the inner router

    A better solution, in my opinion, is to have the mobile devices use the guest network if the router supports such. Most do support a guest network. That guest network never touches the main network. Dealing with two routers is too much of a hassle and adds to the cost. Unless the mobile devices need access to a printer on the network. And dual routers would defeat that capability.

    Android, no Apples. No IoTs. Very primitive here

    I have lights, thermostat, garage door and security cameras on the network. I have some automation with lights that come on at certain times and go off at certain times. Garage door is always closed on schedule at 9:00 PM so I don’t have to worry about closing the door. iPhone app will open the door as we get close to the house based on GPS coordinates. Thermostat is automated and runs several schedules modifying the temperature at various times of day.

    My son’s house is even more automated with TV control, door cameras, several lights, thermostats (two of them), both front and rear door locks. He does not have a web enable garage door opener.

    My router does not allow remote access and devices that can connect are restricted by the MAC address. Any foreign device will be unable to connect unless they clone the MAC address and know the complicated password. I don’t consider myself a prime target anyway.

  28. Ebay scans your ports too. Not cool.

    I just looked at my Network report while on the EBay site (F12, then reload the page, then look at the Network tab). There is no indication of scanning my 10.x.x.x network. It may be blocked by my router, but I don’t see it on my laptop.

    So, at least on my system, I call that report bogus.

  29. I move files between my phone and the computers on the network, so having the phone and the computers on the same subnet is convenient, but risky. I have thought that perhaps some sort of read only access might be a solution, but never found out how to do that. That might solve another problem: sometimes when I pull (copy) a file from my Linux computer to my phone, the source file on the computer loses its ownership, set to literally “none”. I have never solved that, and it is only intermittent. It is a nuisance for me, but a show stopper for my wife, who says she hates it.

    Overall, my experience with several Linux distros is that their (local area) networking is arcane to set up and flaky to keep working. Don’t know why. I had a friend who unfortunately passed away, who was an expert in these things. He gave me some pointers, but admitted that he didn’t like it either. When I was trying to solve this, all I could find was how to get Linux and Windows computers to coexist on the same LAN. I have all Linux, so that was not of much help. Never had any problems with Windows computers on their own LAN.

    Ray, you reminded me, and I did find my new router supports guest access. I might try that, but as you said I couldn’t get access to a computer on the LAN.

    Most of the time, I just want to get work done. Other times (not now,) I do like to tinker and learn things.

  30. @JimB, I was going to suggest using the Guest wifi for your phone if you don’t want access to your local network. The Guest wifi should be completely isolated from your internal network.

    I like having my phone inside, I can see my cams on it without exposing them to the web. Fing is also a useful tool, and I use a wifi tool on the phone to tshoot network connection issues too.

    n

  31. Fing is also a useful tool, and I use a wifi tool on the phone to tshoot network connection issues too.

    I like Fing and Wi-Fi Analyzer, but connections aren’t my problem. The SAMBA networking on Linux apparently is part of it. I have also tried the native Linux network utility, and it is worse. There is a reason why desktop Linux has not taken over. It is sad, because I like so much about it.

  32. Hey guys, just a quick update from Frances on Barbara’s condition…

    They have decided she has a staph infection in her back, that (possibly) also is manifesting in other places. They have a treatment plan, involving lots of antibiotics, and hopefully she’ll see some improvement soon.

    n

  33. Barbara’s condition
    That sounds awful, but better than cancer concerns or other serious health conditions. Thanks for the update. Will continue in our prayers for her well being.

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