Mon. June 22, 2020 – I’d buy that for a dollar

Hot and humid, extra special humid, with a side of thunderstorm if the predictions are right.

It was hot and humid all day yesterday, with a real gully washer of a rain  in the middle of the day.  THAT didn’t help the humidity.  So I hid inside.

On Fathers’ Day I exercised my privilege and mostly sat around working on a puzzle and piddling around the house.   I had big plans, but mostly they involved stuff outdoors.  I’m still not feeling great and I took the day off.   Well, mostly off.

My wife discovered that I can get stuff cheap at auctions.  Who knew?  So she has me on a mission finding stuff for Daughter 1’s bedroom redo and other stuff too.   It actually takes quite a while to go through ~8 thousand + online auction lots, even if you’ve got practice.  I usually don’t do that in one sitting, but it was raining like he77 outside, and I didn’t feel like doing plumbing repairs or computer work.  And the puzzle was kicking my butt.

Other activities ate the rest of the day.  Kids did a scavenger hunt for me for my Dads’ Day gifts.  It was cute and a lot of fun.  Before bed we watched a movie, and before that we made brownies.  So I did actually do a bunch of stuff, just nothing to write a blog post about.  (*ahem*)

Special breakfast was waffles with bacon crumbles in them, and bacon on the side.

Dinner was baked turkey thighs.   They were on sale at HEB last week.  Sides were brusselsprouts and roasted potatoes.  All fresh.  My wife cooked it all with help from the girls.   Later Oldest and I made brownies from mix.  The mix was best by 2015.   It was delicious.  Half the pan is already gone.

Late last night I made a comment that I’m seeing way more trash on the street, more illegal dumping, more bums, and more encampments.  That is not a good sign.  That is social norms breaking down, economic impacts, and possibly a shift in attention from TPTB.   Areas that were near bad areas but doing ok, and areas that were marginal have definitely moved toward ‘bad’ in the last few months.  I’ve got a feeling it’s just the beginning.

So keep working on skills and knowledge, and keep stacking.

 

nick

 

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

81 thoughts on “Mon. June 22, 2020 – I’d buy that for a dollar”

  1. @greg, It was you that recommended Sky High wasn’t it?? Watched it tonight with the kids and really liked it. Good family movie, with plenty of funny lines. The soundtrack was like my personal playlist, only all done as covers.

    Yes, but others seconded the recommendation.

    Most Schooley/McCorkle (writers) material from the last 20 years is worth the time. They had a falling out with Disney for a while, sadly during what should have been a peak creative period with the company, but they’re back working for The Mouse on the “Big Hero 6” series.

    With the possible exception of the live action movie, “Kim Possible” is their creative high water mark to date, particularly “So The Drama”, the movie which was originally supposed to wrap the series.

    And, if you want a really fun overlooked family piece from the creative team, find “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins”. The end credits also feature a cover song, “Rocket Man”, from … well, I won’t spoil the surprise.

    I honestly think Disney lost their way buying Marvel and Lucasfilm.

  2. Late last night I made a comment that I’m seeing way more trash on the street, more illegal dumping, more bums, and more encampments. That is not a good sign. That is social norms breaking down, economic impacts, and possibly a shift in attention from TPTB. Areas that were near bad areas but doing ok, and areas that were marginal have definitely moved toward ‘bad’ in the last few months. I’ve got a feeling it’s just the beginning.

    I don’t know about Houston, but the Prog city governments in Austin and San Antonio have taken advantage of the leadership vacuum at the state level to pursue their own agendas, including Austin’s homeless new laws regarding camping. Someone is supplying the tents on Riverside Drive. I imagine the same is true in the other major cities in the state.

    I haven’t seen much of a change in illegal dumping since we moved to Austin. The nightmare maze of toll roads in and around Pflugerville has created very isolated streets and neighborhoods where dumping has been rampant for the better part of the last decade.

    Ironically, I imagine that the back roads around the proposed Tesla site straddling 130 not far from Pflugerville have some interesting accumulations of junk. The area is simultaneously convenient and isolated. The Legislature now mandates that the new toll roads have free access roads on the sides, hence the 183 rebuild mess, but the damage of 45 and 130 around the east side of the Austin Metro is done.

    Currently, the Progs are taking advantage of the Floyd circus to try and remove not only the APD Chief but the Williamson County Sheriff as well. I don’t think the Chief is long for his job, but voters in — imagine — Williamson County decide the Sheriff’s fate, much to the chagrin of Austin’s Mayor Adler and the “Karen” State Attorney in Travis County.


  3. I’m pretty sure chlorine will eat a metal stock tank. It ate the brass hose fittings on my set-up in Austin.

    How long did it take ?

    Noticed half way through the second year. Four years to failure.

  4. Chlorine is a strong oxidizer, and will attack most common metals. It causes stress corrosion cracking and pitting, leading to mechanical failure and leaks.

    Corrosion is a complex subject. IIRC, the chloride ion is involved in a high percentage of corrosion, bad because it is so abundant. It is especially dangerous because it attacks metals that are commonly believed to be corrosion resistant, such as some brasses, aluminum, and many “stainless” (corrosion resistant) alloys. Concentration and the presence of other chemicals, as well as water, are big factors. It also attacks a wide variety of polymers.

    Much of my life and part of my engineering career involved corrosion. It inflicts huge costs on our society.

  5. From my FEMA brief on Friday.

    Lifelines Impacts:
    Health and Medical
    • AZ: The White Mountain Apache Tribe reports over 1,300 cases
    in a population of 12,000 (10.8%); increasing testing capacity
    remains top priority and the Tribe is working with Indian Health
    Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs to identify / refine strategies
    • FL: Gainesville has 251 new cases over the past 7 days
    (+210%); 46% of all cases in the county are between 15-34 years
    of age; county is considering stricter social distancing guidelines
    Medical Care
    • NC: Three consecutive days of record high hospitalization rates;
    20% of hospital beds and 22% of intensive care unit beds
    available

    –NC is running out of bed space. Others are too.

    The bad weather across much of the country should slow things for a short while, but someone is going to have to make some decisions soon. In the absence of official guidance, individuals are going to be under more social pressure to conform, ie- go out unmasked and ungloved. This is how we get that next ‘wave’.

    n

  6. People apparently want to forget about COVID. I’m on my way into the city – looks like I will spend a day every two weeks or so physically in the office, and that day is tomorrow. I’m wearing a mask, and I have seen exactly one other person doing so.

    Also wearing a new set of ear buds. WF-1000XM3 if anyone is interested. Noise canceling, great sound quality, microphone works well. My only problem is that I apparently have tiny ear canals – even the smallest rubber dohickey barely fits.

  7. The bad weather across much of the country should slow things for a short while, but someone is going to have to make some decisions soon. In the absence of official guidance, individuals are going to be under more social pressure to conform, ie- go out unmasked and ungloved. This is how we get that next ‘wave’.

    Social pressure differs from place to place.

    Government credibility on this subject is gone. In general terms, what happens happens at this point. Officials had the chance to make sick people stay home, and they blew it with stories of asymptomatic carriers.

    H1N1 was 60 million infected. I’ve been consistent in stating that’s where we’re probably headed in terms of order of magnitude.

    After the 4th, the lid will be off. Everyone will have to decide for themselves how much risk to take day-to-day.

  8. COVID-19 “fatigue” is real. People are just ready to be done with it. The longer the pandemic drags on the more people will find it an acceptable risk. Sort of how suicide bombers haven’t stopped anyone in Israel from going to public places. At some point it just becomes the norm.

    CDC’s best estimates right now are that 65% of people are symptomatic. Of those, only 0.4% are fatal. Factor in the 35% that aren’t symptomatic and the fatality rate is even lower. Given the reality of the numbers just how long can you really expect the public to be panicked? It’s not like it’s some Hollywood pandemic movie where the fatality rate is 90% and people are keeling over in the streets bleeding from the eyes.

  9. The Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Information Gateway has released a white paper about the George the Felon rioting in MN, I’m quoting it entirely here because there is a lot of useful info and food for thought. Read it. Think thru how it applies to you if the same sorts of things come to your area.

    CIVIL UNREST DURING A
    PANDEMIC: NOTES FROM
    MINNEAPOLIS
    [[[snip- background on the GF video and goal of the paper]]]

    ASPR TRACIE grouped the
    challenges and considerations
    by category in the hopes
    that the information can help
    stakeholders with similar
    planning and response efforts.

    Emergency Management
    • Two hospital incident command structures (HICS) operated
    simultaneously—one to manage COVID-19 and the other managed the
    civil unrest response. Depth in each HICS position developed during
    the COVID response facilitated the transition of team members to the
    new HICS.
    • Daily regional COVID-19 calls temporarily became civil unrest calls.
    Plans to quickly ramp up emergency department (ED) and security staff
    and ensuring staff access to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC)
    were top priorities.
    • Highways leading into the city were closed to deter people from
    entering and to reduce the rapid movement of demonstrators, but this
    also impacted staff commuting to work.
    • Many staff used public transportation to report to work. When the
    system shut down, HCMC allowed staff to park in a designated lot
    for free.
    • HCMC provided staff food, drinks, and cots. Many staff stayed over
    the weekend and could take cots to the space of their choosing (while
    adhering to social distancing guidelines) or a conference room set
    aside for this purpose.
    • Continuous and accurate communication to staff was vital to ensure
    staff had the information needed to feel safe coming to work during
    this time.
    • The hospital was not damaged, but three offsite locations were. Staff
    watched via security cameras as these clinics were broken into; one
    sustained fre and water damage and may eventually be declared a
    total loss. As they watched protestors demolish and raid one pharmacy,
    the HCMC Security Operations Center dispatcher announced that the
    police were on their way over the intercom system. Staff called 911
    numerous times but could not get through (capacity could not keep up
    with call volume). The next day, staff secured the medication at multiple
    community pharmacies, agreed that life safety was the priority, and
    made the decision to keep security resources at HCMC’s main campus
    rather than at the community clinics knowing these clinics would be
    “soft targets” going into the weekend.
    • Regional coordination and communication among metropolitan
    hospitals was strong during the protests and subsequent riots. Past
    experience (e.g., with the Superbowl and Final Four) and relationships
    developed over the years, with emergency management fromother hospitals and representatives from other felds, proved to be
    very helpful. Communication was carried out via text message, as
    colleagues from local facilities let each other know where protestors
    were headed and shared other additional information.
    • A civil unrest “Coordination Room” was established for metro
    healthcare coalition partners on a shared virtual coordination platform
    called “MNTrac.”
    • The memorial for Mr. Floyd took place at North Central University.
    There were rumors circulating about various dignitaries planning to
    attend (along with thousands of attendees), and high temperatures
    were expected. Law enforcement, Hennepin Healthcare Security,
    and EMS were instructed to refrain from wearing identifying clothing
    and badges, but they worked the event. Because the chapel area
    was relatively small (and the service was invite-only), other attendees
    gathered on the street and on a soccer pitch directly across the street
    from HCMC. The hospital ordered 6,000 bottles of water to a station
    set up on campus in front of a banner illustrating support for the
    community. Staff also erected tents outside of the ED to treat people
    who had heat exhaustion and provide a place for their friends and
    loved ones to wait while they received treatment.

    Hospital/Emergency Department

    • Looting and fires contributed to patients reporting with multiple gunshot
    wounds, injuries from falls, and burns.
    • Rubber bullet wounds were very common and included soft tissue,
    skull fracture, and eye injuries. Issues associated with other riot control
    agents (e.g., pepper spray and tear gas) were not that common. There
    was also an increase in patients with stab wounds.
    • Admitted 27 patients to trauma service in less than 24 hours the
    second night of the unrest.
    • Intensive care unit (ICU) was full (primarily COVID-19 patients).
    Needed to “level load” and transfer multiple patients over the weekend
    to maintain capacity for trauma. This was done using a regional
    mechanism established for COVID-19.
    • Overall ED volume was steady throughout the weekend, with a high
    volume of trauma and patients delivered via emergency medical
    services (EMS). There were fewer walk-in patients.
    • People fleeing violence on the street sought refuge in two hospitals
    including a children’s hospital close to the major protest activity. This
    presented a security challenge; the National Guard eventually provided
    security at the hospital entryways to prevent this.
    • A truck driver who nearly ran over protestors on the freeway was
    removed from the truck, beaten, and taken to HCMC for treatment. The
    group of approximately 5,000 protesters originated at the football
    stadium (which is directly across the street from the hospital), then
    walked to the highway. After the incident, the crowd returned to the
    stadium. At the same time, someone announced on local television
    where the driver was taken, potentially endangering HCMC staff and
    the facility. The hospital’s public information offcer quickly issued a
    statement, indicating that the driver had been arrested and released
    into police custody, and additional crisis was averted.
    • The local healthcare coalition maintained communications with
    hospitals, collected security points of contact, and submitted National
    Guard-related requests to state emergency management.
    • Many surgeons and other on-call staff at multiple hospitals stayed in
    the hospital to ensure they would be available in case violence around
    the facility increased.
    • Rapid and accurate internal messaging was crucial because the
    situation changed so quickly. Bringing in the National Guard and
    implementing the curfew was helpful; when the curfew was announced,
    staff could choose alternate routes and plan for parking. Once offcials
    realized that some of the “bad actors” were waiting for sunset on the
    outskirts of town, the governor closed access to the highways and
    changed the curfew time on the fly. While this undoubtedly prevented
    criminal behavior, it caught some staff off guard. HCMC encouraged
    staff to report early, offering them sustenance and a place to rest.
    • Maintaining staff morale is important, particularly when multiple
    incidents occur simultaneously. HCMC has a “warm line” staff can
    call for behavioral health assistance. Social distancing has changed
    how some of this care is delivered. HCMC recently opened a wellness
    center in the library. To encourage self-care and communication,
    posters ask staff to share what they are using (e.g., movies or
    television shows) to get through this challenging time.

    EMS

    • The use of drones and lasers posed multiple problems for medical
    helicopters; patients had to be diverted from several hospitals for days,
    and night operations were curtailed into most of the metro hospitals.
    • At frst, EMS and fre personnel did not have adequate law enforcement
    protection; extracting injured protestors was challenging at times.
    Having the National Guard ride with them made a signifcant difference.
    • Access to care was challenged when all city transit was halted; EMS
    call volumes increased during the same period.
    • EMS ambulance strike teams (AST) helped evacuate patients in a
    behavioral health unit at a hospital located close to the demonstrations
    due to concerns about windows being broken and stress associated
    with being able to directly view civil unrest.
    • EMS ASTs were used on several occasions to cover primary response
    areas for stretched primary agencies.
    • Some protestors set fres and brought related tools to facilitate this
    crime. Many strategically relocated dumpsters and large residential
    garbage cans and set them on fre, creating fiery roadblocks that
    blocked EMS and fire response.
    • There was concern that criminal activities would target hospital
    infrastructure; the National Guard and other state law enforcement
    personnel were assigned to protect select infrastructure.
    • Pharmacies across the city and in adjacent suburban areas were
    looted, creating an access challenge for residents. Many pharmacies in
    the severely affected areas remained out of service for days.
    • A law enforcement coordination center that included EMS was
    established for the frst time; this was signifcantly different from
    traditional models.
    • A dedicated hailing talk group was set up on the radio system to
    facilitate EMS-law enforcement communication.
    • EMS personnel frequently wear body armor and were sometimes
    mistaken for law enforcement personnel. Better labeling of the back of
    the vests could help this in future events.

    COVID-19

    • Masks were handed out at protests. Most protestors wore masks but
    were tightly clustered for extended periods of time.
    • Many responders generally did not wear masks, including in the
    command center. All National Guard personnel were tested for COVID
    on demobilization.
    • The city plans to increase availability for COVID-19 testing, particularly
    in communities of color following the protests.
    • Healthcare facility access controls were already in place for COVID-19;
    many facilities implemented additional controls and occasionally
    sheltered in place.
    • Supplementing EMS personnel was more diffcult than usual due to
    staff off due to COVID-related quarantine


  10. My only problem is that I apparently have tiny ear canals – even the smallest rubber dohickey barely fits.

    I had the problem with the government issued foam earplugs in the USAF. After about 2 hours my ear canals were just sore. By the time I got done with a week long mission wearing earplugs for hours in flight I joked that my ear canals were bruised.

  11. Also, for your personal library, lots of useful and interesting info gathered in one place regarding “resources related to protecting community hospitals and providing care
    during civil unrest
    . ”

    The ASPR TRACIE Team reviewed existing resources and conducted a search online for
    relevant materials. Although not directly related to this technical assistance (TA) request, we
    would like to provide the requestor with three ASPR TRACIE Topic Collections for reference:
    Mass Gatherings/Special Events, Responder Safety and Health, and Workplace Violence. The
    Hospital Lockdown Resources TA response document also provides useful resources related to
    hospital lockdown procedures for various types of events. Section I includes links to planning
    resources and lessons learned. Section II includes links to articles that examine the medical
    effects and treatment strategies for exposure to riot control tools (e.g., pepper spray, tear gas, and
    rubber bullets). Section III includes a list of symptoms and treatment strategies for individuals
    exposed to tear gas or pepper spray.

    –read and then follow the links and read some more. This will likely be important to you or your community at some point in the future.

    n

  12. Also wearing a new set of ear buds. WF-1000XM3 if anyone is interested.

    Yes! I would be interested in your experience, especially longer term. I have used a variety of headphones, ear buds, canal phones, “cans”, and whatever else some call them. I will use the term “cans” here to address all kinds.

    I used to travel on airplanes moderately, and experimented with various types for noisy environments. I also work with air tools, and experiment with various types of hearing protection. Finally, I have done some audio work, and find good circumaural cans are essential to hear nuances, even in a quiet environment. Wearing any of these for more than a few hours also shows how comfortable they are. As for sound quality, that varies. I have a small collection, and they all sound different. Some are accurate, and some just sound nice. The ones that don’t collect dust.

    All that said, I have yet to try the bluetooth or NFC latest ones. My next phone will almost certainly omit the phone jack, and that will be missed. Cordless is nice, but that is just two more batteries to maintain, and I won’t be able to use some of my favorites. I have some devices I haven’t used in a decade or more, and without batteries they still work fine. A small hope is that some Samsung phones can pipe audio through the multi-connector. A friend has a new Note, and it came with an adapter to use standard corded cans; he hasn’t tried it yet. Sweet!

    I have no interest in talking over any of these. I just listen to music and videos, and don’t want to disturb others. I also want good sound.

    About ear canal size, I also have small canals. Many name brand devices have optional tips, and Sony probably does. Search for them. I have also found that some tips interchange between brands and models. An overlooked source are the cheap ones at dollar stores. Sometimes their tips are surprisingly good. Back before all this started, I made my own using foam hearing protectors. It can be done, but is sometimes tricky. There are many different types of foam protectors, and some are softer that others.

  13. I’m sitting at my desk because we are in a great mother of a storm. Heavy rain, lots of thunder and lightning. Local power blinked twice already. Water is backing up in the street. Any thoughts I had of working outside today are gone, daddy gone…

    My dog is shaking and very distressed. It’s weird because he doesn’t react to the thunder, and he’s never been bothered by loud noises, storms, or fireworks. Lately though storms make him shake and stress.

    n

  14. CDC’s best estimates right now are that 65% of people are symptomatic.

    What? I thought most cases were asymptomatic.

  15. We had dogs that were fine with noises until they got older. Not sure why. Thunder is rare here, but fireworks happen a few times a year. Never saw one of our cats bothered by noise.

  16. I have been using Sony’s active noise cancelling earbuds on planes since their first version, NC-100? They work well to reduce steady state noise, like engine noise on a plane, but aren’t effective against transients at all. They are def NOT hearing protection. I’ve never tried the BOSE Quiet Comfort as I preferred the earbuds for size reasons. It makes a huge difference in fatigue to block the engine noise on the plane.

    I have some active noise cancelling earmuff style hearing protectors for shooting, but I haven’t had a chance to try them out. I was skeptical at first about the tech involved and the cost was too high.

    Incidentally, if I’m on an indoor range and other people are shooting, I usually wear NC32 foam plugs, and earmuffs. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, and tinnitus is a b!tch.

    n

  17. Merkel’s goals are not your goals, and her reality isn’t based in reality.

    Looters chant ‘Allahu Akbar’ during Stuttgart’s worst ever riots that turned the city into ‘a battlefield’ – as police reveal those involved were ‘mainly young people with a migration background’

    Rioters attacked police with stones and bottles after a German teenager was arrested for a drugs offence
    12 foreign nationals and three Germans of ‘migrant background’ were arrested, police announced yesterday
    Angela Merkel today condemned the violence as ‘abhorrent’ and said rioters had ‘turned against their city’

    n

  18. I will wait for the total FUSA death count for 2020. Compare that to previous years for trends. I’m not discounting COVID, but total death counts will give insight into how “deaths by COVID” are counted.

  19. @nick
    Winters have been mild, fewer die of exposure than in the past. Anchorage has slowly but steadily turned more ‘blue’ with transplants. Villages are kicking out their addicts and trouble makers to Anchorage. And the city has been pouring money into the problem with predictable results.
    It’s infuriating.
    Tents encampments brazenly in place for days and weeks at a time on major roadways and along popular busy trails.
    It’s a train wreck.

    I blame unceasing illegal immigration crowding out the NON-working members of our society.

  20. COVID-19 “fatigue” is real. People are just ready to be done with it. The longer the pandemic drags on the more people will find it an acceptable risk. Sort of how suicide bombers haven’t stopped anyone in Israel from going to public places. At some point it just becomes the norm.

    CDC’s best estimates right now are that 65% of people are symptomatic. Of those, only 0.4% are fatal. Factor in the 35% that aren’t symptomatic and the fatality rate is even lower. Given the reality of the numbers just how long can you really expect the public to be panicked? It’s not like it’s some Hollywood pandemic movie where the fatality rate is 90% and people are keeling over in the streets bleeding from the eyes.

    CDC’s best estimates right now are that 65% of people are symptomatic.

    What? I thought most cases were asymptomatic.

    The asymptomatic case estimates are 35% CDC to 90% (meat packing plants testing).

    Covid Mary and Covid Jim are out there. Do not touch anyone.

  21. The asymptomatic case estimates are 35% CDC to 90% (meat packing plants testing).

    Low wage labor without sick leave time is never going to tell the truth.

    I have to wonder if the “surprising” finding that’s forthcoming is that asymptomatic cases are lower than the CDC’s numbers, justifying the need for a Federal sick leave policy similar to what Austin and San Antonio have forced onto businesses in the last few years with nary a peep from the Legislature.

  22. Villages are kicking out their addicts and trouble makers to Anchorage. And the city has been pouring money into the problem with predictable results.

    Use the money to buy them a plane ticket to Seattle and escort them to the airport. No doubt CHAZ/CHOP would be glad to have them.

  23. “Five places that should boom from the coming Covid migration”
    https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/five-places-that-should-boom-from-the-coming-covid-migration-28010/

    “Plenty of people have been miserably cooped up in shoebox-sized apartments for the past three months due to local lockdown restrictions. And now they’re finally realizing– ‘if I don’t need to go to the office anymore, I don’t need to be in this city anymore…’”

    “Plus they’re wisely thinking about the future.”

    “Sure, maybe medical researchers find the miracle drug to treat Covid-19. Or they develop a vaccine that Bill Gates will personally inject into each and every one of us at gunpoint.”

    Yup. Of course, Puerto Rico does have a slight hurricane problem and a severe dumbocrat mismanagement problem.

    Good article, just ignore his advertising.

  24. Black Lives Don’t Matter. Unless shot by a white person or a police officer.

    Go visit your sister-in-law sometime. Parts of that city might as well be on another planet from each other even though they are only a short train ride apart.

  25. In paying way too much attention to my impending 60th birthday, I ran into this somewhere (could have been here !):

    Age 0 to 20: childhood
    Age 20 to 40: young adult
    Age 40 to 60: middle age
    Age 60 to 80: elderhood
    Age 80+: geezerhood


  26. I don’t believe she has the authority.

    Neither does Andrew “Assface” Cuomo. Unless I’ve missed something big (possible), the executive orders he’s thrown out affect only members of the executive branch of the NYS government. Indirectly they affect businesses, in that bureaucrats can shut down businesses that don’t knuckle under, but there’s been no declaration of martial law and there’s been no law passed by the state legislature. Demands that private citizens keep distance, wear masks, etc have no legal standing.

  27. That looks like a nice lantern Lynn. The comments are “not bright”. I don’t see anything about it including a rechargeable battery pack.

    I have one similar in red. 10th Anniversary gift from HEB. A rechargeable pack was available but I’m not really interested. $20 buys a lot of D-cells.

    I would rather have d-cells anyway. When the lights go out a dead rechargeable pack is useless.

    I have three of this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DII7CTI?tag=ttgnet-20
    Streamlight 44931. Pretty nice.

    I have a fake version from Tractor Supply. No features beyond High and Lo. But, for $10 in the cheap tool bin, it’s nice enough.

    Edit to add: The Streamlight has a red led. Solid on or flashing. A few weeks ago Penny was doing whatever and woke me up. I squinted hard and put the light into red mode. It’s a press and hold function. Well, now the light is red. It cycles solid red / blinking red / off. I didn’t know that.

  28. Re: LED Lanterns:

    I have two of these:

    Enbrighten LED Camping Lantern, USB Charging, Battery Operated, 800 Lumens, Dimmable, 660 Hour Run Time, Hiking, Outdoors, Emergency, Storm, Hurricane, Blizzard, Gray, 40292 https://amzn.to/37UtYxO

    Puts out quite a bit of light in the house. Don’t go camping anymore, but would be good for that also. I may have gotten it at Costco or WalMart.

    I also have a handfull of cheap LED headband lights (and cap lights); you can find them at WalMart for $1 each in the camping area. They are good for task lighting and stumbling around the dark. I use them occasionally here during our infrequent blackouts (maybe 2x / year).

    And, the entire house has LED ‘can’ lights, with a 5000-7000W gas generator hooked up to my bypass panel. That powers 6 circuits: freezer, fridge, bedroom (where the oxy machine is), and Den (along with the LED TV and DirecTV). Total load with that running is about 2500W.

    And, of course, lots of FLASHLIGHTS. And the big battery packs from Costco as backup.

  29. I have one similar in red. 10th Anniversary gift from HEB. A rechargeable pack was available but I’m not really interested. $20 buys a lot of D-cells.

    I would rather have d-cells anyway. When the lights go out a dead rechargeable pack is useless.

    I have three of this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DII7CTI?tag=ttgnet-20
    Streamlight 44931. Pretty nice.

    I have all D-cell lanterns across the house. Supposedly eight of them but at least four are missing, probably still packed. I keep the batteries in them so I don’t have to look batteries at 3 am. But that does cause the lanterns to fail when the batteries fail and weep acid.

    And I have about 100 to 150 D-cell batteries in the Sam’s Club packages. About half of them are out of date but still look good, no weeping.

    And rechargeable does no good when in a four week outage due to a hurricane. No generator here, yet. Maybe some day.

  30. Are the Amazon brand batteries any good?

    Tractor Supply sells “Jobsmart” brand. The D’s seem ok, I’m not exactly impressed with the AA and AAA sizes. But they have yet to leak.

  31. “Wondering how C++ got this far? So does its creator”
    https://devclass.com/2020/06/18/cpp-creator-on-current-state-of-the-language/

    “Other than that, Stroustrup sees promise in areas such as unicode support, support for simple graphics and user interaction, new kinds of hardware, and “exploration of improved styles and implementations of error-handling”. Stability is vital in all of this and “requires a focus on compatibility as well as resisting the urge to try to radically improve C++ by adding a multitude of ‘perfect’ features to replace imperfect or unfashionable older ways of doing things”.”

    If only there was a nice user interface toolkit standard.

  32. I’ve got the streamlight in that size and a smaller one that takes c cells. I like them a lot. You can drop them and they bounce. The dozen of Ozark Trails low quality/cost similar lanterns from Costco and such are ok if you baby them. I’ve had to resolder wires in several after they were dropped or otherwise failed.

    So I keep the streamlight next to the bed, but the kids have the cheap ones in their rooms and camping trunks.

    I’ve got a couple of bigger ones, rayovac I think, with a remote. That’s handy in a prolonged outage. I just put it on the dresser and it lights the whole room. Turn it on and off with the remote.

    n

    n


  33. Chlorine is a strong oxidizer, and will attack most common metals

    I had a couple of brass/copper alloy valves in the plumbing system for my pool. When I removed the last valve it had been in the system for 40 years, constant water flow as it was in the discharge path to the pool. The valve still worked and closed properly. Apparently the chlorine had little to no effect on the valve.

  34. @paul, if they don’t leak now they will. I switched away from Duracel after they changed their formula and caused them to swell when they die. I can’t get them out of my FLASHLIGHTS. I’ve been using Kirkland, which never leaked for years. Well, they leak now too. At least the leaking makes a hard brittle substance which is easier to clean up. The old cells made the green-blue that would get gummy and rot the boards.

    n


  35. Donald Trump signs new immigration crackdown for rest of the year banning half a million new visas to ‘boost U.S. jobs’ in wake of coronavirus crisis

    Trump is signing new immigration restrictions which an official said are to help free up jobs for American workers
    He is freezing new visas being issued in a series of categories for the rest of the year, including the H-1B visas used by tech firms to bring in workers
    Also frozen are H-2B s used for hospitality and agricultural workers; J-1s used for exchange students; and L-1 s for multi-national firms’ managers
    Health care workers assisting with the coronavirus fight will continue to be spared from the green-card freeze, though their exemption will be narrower
    ‘President Trump is focused on getting Americans back to work as quickly as possible,’ a White House official said

    n

  36. Donald Trump signs new immigration crackdown for rest of the year banning half a million new visas to ‘boost U.S. jobs’ in wake of coronavirus crisis

    Trump is signing new immigration restrictions which an official said are to help free up jobs for American workers
    He is freezing new visas being issued in a series of categories for the rest of the year, including the H-1B visas used by tech firms to bring in workers
    Also frozen are H-2B s used for hospitality and agricultural workers; J-1s used for exchange students; and L-1 s for multi-national firms’ managers
    Health care workers assisting with the coronavirus fight will continue to be spared from the green-card freeze, though their exemption will be narrower
    ‘President Trump is focused on getting Americans back to work as quickly as possible,’ a White House official said

    20% unemployment.

    Hard days are coming.

    I wonder which dumbocrat judge will immediately invalidate Trump’s immigration ban. Probably the moron in Hawaii. That guy needs to be impeached.

  37. Cities fight over 1000 job businesses, offering up all the tax incentives and dropping their shorts for promises, while simply ‘restricting’ the visa programs results in half a million jobs.

    Sickening.

    n

  38. “Wondering how C++ got this far? So does its creator”

    If only there was a nice user interface toolkit standard.

    Qt is about as close as you will get on that one. Python embeds Tk, which is another possibility.

    Today’s announcement by Apple about ARM pretty much closes the door on the reemergence of the old Yellow Box tech which allowed applications compiled for Intel NeXT Step to run unmodified on top of Windows NT.

    That tech drove a lot of mischief through internal applications developed by quants on Wall Street in the mid-90s before Apple bought out NeXT. I think burying the tech was part of Microsoft’s deal with Apple for the 1997 bailout to keep Cupertino alive until it could get the iMac out the door, and Jobs didn’t see the point beyond using the capability in iTunes for Windows once the iPod was successful.

    (iTunes for Windows has some interesting DLLs in the binary directory.)

    Cross platform GUIs are pricey to develop, and standardization always runs into the obstacle of proprietary code and patents.

  39. Cities fight over 1000 job businesses, offering up all the tax incentives and dropping their shorts for promises, while simply ‘restricting’ the visa programs results in half a million jobs.

    500,000 jobs in theory. At wages which are only attractive if you are subsidized by family back in your home country to establish a toe hold in the US.

    CGI in Belton was built via various Federal, state, county, and city incentives to house 1000, but I think only 300-400 currently work in the center, split between the Federal and Commercial sides of the building, maintaining the illusion for customers that the software development has a significant US staff.

    Bzzzzt.

    Wages were really lousy there, too. I think I was paid Ok money for what I did, but I wasn’t trying to get a career off the ground from zero while scraping together cash for a house down payment and managing some kind of operable car situation for both myself and a spouse.

    The only way to view that building was as a stepping stone to something better, but the location and the on-site work rules dictated by the tax incentives made interviewing anywhere else an all-day vacation burning investment.


  40. Today’s announcement by Apple about ARM pretty much closes the door on the reemergence of the old Yellow Box tech which allowed applications compiled for Intel NeXT Step to run unmodified on top of Windows NT.

    I skimmed through the WWDC on YT. At the end, they announced macOS “Big Sur” and future Macs running on their own “Apple Silicon”. Then they demoed a Mac running Big Sur using the same chip in the iPad Pro. Pretty impressive. A new VM app, Rosetta 2, etc. Demoed iOS and iPadOS apps running on Big Sur as standard. That could be useful for some iOS only apps. Nothing about macOS running on iPad Pros. Cook probably won’t even consider that.

  41. Oh, yeah:

    An Apple Watch app to make sure you wash your hands long enough.

    Game over, Man, game over.


  42. I switched away from Duracel after they changed their formula and caused them to swell when they die

    I switched to lithium batteries. They don’t leak and have a very long shelf life. More expensive but so are some of my flashlights. The cheap lights get the Duracell, the expensive lights get lithium.

  43. Ok, stupid question time.

    How do nurseries like at Lowes or Home Depot or wherever keep the damn grasshoppers from eating everything?

    Something in the plant food they use? And how do I get some?

    Thanks to Wunderground, I lost most of my potted plants last October. Hey, forecast of 38F mid-October is normal….. a low of 24F, and crap. My Scheffelera (sp) that I bought at freaking WoolCo at LaPlaza Mall in McAllen for all of 59¢ in a little 2″ square pot with 3 leaves, in 1978, froze to death.

    So now I have a few pots of ti plants. One green, one variegated, the other two pots are trimmings just stuck into a pot of dirt and need re-potting.

    Ok. The freaking grasshoppers seem to be starting early this year.

    I just sprayed the plants with flying insect spray. HotShot? Tomorrow is going to be a big watering to flush out salts and whatever, then a few hands of new potting soil followed with a heavy feed of Miracle Grow. Let it all drain and soak and into the house.

    Stupid grasshoppers.

    Yeah, I know they have to eat. But still. Out in the middle of 40 acres and well, get off of my lawn.

  44. My scholarship has been awarded. Purple Ping Pong Ball Scholarship in the amount of $1,000.00. No academic requirement, only vocational school, money paid to the school the winner is attending. I have been informed of the winner. I know the girl, well I know most of the kids in school. Award was determined by staff at the school based on who would benefit the most. Which implies limited financial resources but with a young adult who is really trying. The winner, a female, will be attending a school to complete her LPN. A good use of the money that would be pissed away on FLASHLIGHTS.

  45. For the last couple of years “the project” has been to take some furniture down to Mom’s house in Edinburg. And check on the house. Stuff happens and well.

    Why take the furniture? It’s nothing fancy, just a dining room table I bought from Sears in 1978, that I really pissed off the sales jerk by not buying the crappy chairs that were part of the set. The same table that was flat packed and Sears said I wasn’t home to take delivery. Sheesh, it took an extra week… morons.

    The chairs I accumulated for the table and a couple of other things have become clutter.
    Why not dump it all at the local Goodwill? That’s easy to explain.

    The local Goodwill is full of junk. Smells dirty. One step from being tossed onto a burning pile of brush. My thinking is that if or when I get to sell Mom’s house, the furniture in the house is going to be worth more to the folks there, even at Goodwill prices, than to any random meth head white trash here.

    It’s not about the money.
    It’s about the whole “yeah, I got a set of dishes you can borrow, just give it back when done, ok?” And they toss it all into the trash.

    So the weather forecast is rain this coming weekend. So much for taking my truck. But. I loaded Preston’s entire dining room set (six chairs) into my ’78 Volare wagon and filled the cracks with a lot of stuff to take to the hospice place. I’m pretty sure the stupid Ford Freestar can hold more.

    The clutter is about to go away….

  46. Nothing about macOS running on iPad Pros. Cook probably won’t even consider that.

    For now, no. The iPad and the iPhone avoid Android problems by existing as walled gardens. Cook could never get away with that in a laptop form factor.

    IT wanted a laptop for Citrix and Office.

  47. @Ray
    Sir that is FANTASTIC news. Thank you for a beautiful glimmer of joy and a bit of hope in these miserable news days.

  48. “Wondering how C++ got this far? So does its creator”

    If only there was a nice user interface toolkit standard.

    Qt is about as close as you will get on that one. Python embeds Tk, which is another possibility.

    They closed Qt the other day. Tk is fairly primitive.

  49. Good work, Ray.

    But

    money that would be pissed away on FLASHLIGHTS

    Isn’t that phrase heresy? The implication that anything can be more valuable than more FLASHLIGHTS? Aren’t those words that should never be thought, let alone spoken or typed?


  50. Isn’t that phrase heresy? The implication that anything can be more valuable than more FLASHLIGHTS? Aren’t those words that should never be thought, let alone spoken or typed?

    It looks like he didn’t use strong on FLASHLIGHTS. Therefore, he didn’t mean it. Lying raycisss!

  51. They closed Qt the other day. Tk is fairly primitive.

    Closed in what way. Which GPL is it this week?

    They received a lot of press from the SpaceX launch. Maybe it went to someone’s head.

    Still, so many open source projects depend on Qt that closing it would be tough.

    We looked at Qt briefly when porting the IBM VPN to Linux 12 years ago, but, even open source, it was too encumbered in a legal sense for IBM’s tastes. Ultimately, we went with GTK as the GUI.

  52. Thank you for a beautiful glimmer of joy and a bit of hope in these miserable news days.

    I hope to be doing this yearly. It amounts to less than $100.00 a month. Lot of young adults can really benefit from a small boost. I will be darned if I want any more money going to liberal trash colleges. Trade/vocational school is where money should be going in my opinion. People that work with their hands, develop practical knowledge, become useful adults. A spoiled brat with a psychology degree is not useful and is a waste of oxygen, even when flipping burgers.

    Isn’t that phrase heresy? The implication that anything can be more valuable than more FLASHLIGHTS.

    Perhaps. Getting a young adult an education, a skilled and useful education, to become a useful member of society, ahem, I hate to say it, does indeed trump the needs of getting another FLASHLIGHT. Then again I may be getting senile in my old age.

    Lying raycisss!

    There you go, using my name again.


  53. does indeed trump the needs of getting another FLASHLIGHT

    Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! #triggered


  54. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! #triggered

    Go burn some stores, loot, jump on police cars. You’re entitled.

  55. It’s not just Sh!tcago,

    Weekend of bloodshed: Wave of gun violence sweeps America with at least 40 people killed in major US cities and Chicago is worst hit with 104 people shot – 14 fatally

    WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: Shootings have rocked several major U.S. cities
    Minneapolis, Seattle, NYC and Charlotte all mourned victims of gun violence
    At least 40 people – including a three-year-old boy in Chicago – were shot dead
    The harrowing killings comes at a moment of reckoning for American policing

    –guess those black lives don’t matter.

    –oh, and it isn’t GUN violence, it’s GANG violence, primarily among the 4% of the US population that commits 40% of the violent crimes. And no, their lives don’t matter, and the world would only be improved if they disappeared.

    n

  56. They closed Qt the other day. Tk is fairly primitive.

    Closed in what way. Which GPL is it this week?

    They changed their terms and conditions in Jan ? Feb ? so that you cannot distribute it anymore for free with a commercial application. So now you have to buy developer seats at $4k/year and distribution seats for something I cannot remember. Not cheap.


  57. So now you have to buy developer seats at $4k/year and distribution seats for something I cannot remember. Not cheap.

    Hey, I remember other products with similar terms. What was that one called? Oh, right, “OS/2”. Gee, I wonder how they’re doing these days.

  58. They changed their terms and conditions in Jan ? Feb ? so that you cannot distribute it anymore for free with a commercial application. So now you have to buy developer seats at $4k/year and distribution seats for something I cannot remember. Not cheap.

    Interesting. We distribute Qt with some installations for legacy manual tollbooth stations.

    IBM was concerned that would happen with Qt. Java really had them worried.

  59. Everyone thinks they’re special and can finally squeeze out some juice, which just motivates the users to find alternatives.

    n

  60. Ray, thanks for the tip on lithium primary cells, and their freedom from leakage. I have used a few, but they were the CR123 size. They pack quite a punch. Another leakage tip: a friend with lots of experience says he has never heard of NiMH cells leaking. That agrees with my more limited experience. Also, apparently Li-ion cells rarely leak. That’s good, because some of them contain pretty toxic materials. Since there are so many proprietary formulations, it is safest to treat all Li-ion cells as potentially toxic. Of course, they can run away or deflagrate, both of which can be very dangerous.

    As for alkaline cells, all brands of newer ones do seem to leak near end of life. I have even had some leak that were in their first year of life and had plenty of capacity left. The leakage products are alkaline, not acid. Corrosion can be severe, especially on aluminum. Cleanup is best started with a wipe down or immersion in white vinegar, followed by lots of rinsing and ideally neutralizing with a dilute baking soda solution followed by more rinsing, then drying. It is of course best to avoid corrosion.

    I switched to Eneloop NiMH rechargeables for many applications, and don’t use very many alkalines. I have had great service from Eneloops, although I read one review that said the new Energizer brand NiMH cells are slightly better and more available. I have abused several brands of these by high rate discharging, and they survive quite well. Just don’t overcharge them too much. They are inexpensive if replacement is needed. They seem to go forever, although their capacity decreases. Use the weaker ones for low drain uses.

    A few years ago, I finally added 18650 Li-ion cells to my uses. These seem to vary quite a bit. The really cheap ones don’t last very long, but the name brands and mid priced ones seem very good. Ordinary 18650s are sensitive to overcharging, and the unprotected ones are very sensitive to overload. Fortunately, charging is pretty simple. I don’t have any of the high drain types, but these can put out a lot of watts.

    As for charging during SHTF times, a small solar charger would be handy. I like devices that support removable cells, so I can swap in charged ones while recharging outside the device. External chargers are inexpensive and come in many types. All seem good if they are well made and reliable. Lacking a solar charger, cells can be charged from any car’s battery with the right adapter. Even an old worn out spare car battery can be useful in dire times. It can recharge lots of 18650s, although its own charging efficiency will be low.

  61. Nobody mentioned today’s post title… from Robocop, set in a Detroit that seems a bit tame by today’s standards, it was brought to mind by recent events.

    n


  62. Villages are kicking out their addicts and trouble makers to Anchorage.

    Barracks, showers, a regimented life. Give them a place to sleep and eat, make it safe. Provide the means to get themselves out of the situation (e.g., access to a computer, to send job applications). Don’t make it more than minimal. The regimentation is essential.

    If they don’t want that (and many homeless apparently do not), that’s on them. I hear Anchorage gets cold in the winter.

    In paying way too much attention to my impending 60th birthday

    So are we – both of us turn 60 this summer. Somehow, 60 seems like a big number, when it’s staring you in the face.

    If only there was a nice user interface toolkit standard.

    JavaFX is really, really good. And cross-platform, with very few problems.

    I don’t understand why it hasn’t become more popular. Maybe because it came so late in Java’s lifecycle?

    My scholarship has been awarded.

    @Ray: That’s a super idea you have – and nice that you know the girl, so you know the scholarship went where it will do some genuine good.

  63. Not to worry, Nick. I recognized the post title, just didn’t have anything to say about it.

  64. I slave away, rummaging around in the trash heap of memory, looking for a nugget of truth to fling against a wall and see what sticks….. sometimes anyway. Or put up the first thing that crosses my mind. And that can be pretty obscure or trivial…

    n

  65. Also recog’d Robocop. A classic. My ED-209 model didn’t survive to move to SA, into the trash.

  66. There was the title and then you wrote about auctions. It made sense to me.

    Raining this morning. No run-off yet.

  67. Usually the title relates to something in the post directly. Sometimes, it’s like cockney rhyming slang, twice removed. Occasionally a marginally relevant song lyric sneaks in. And sometimes I think I’m being clever and then forget to write about the subject in the title…..

    n

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