Mon. July 6, 2020 – turn down the suck…

Hot and humid.  Probably overcast with a chance of storms.    I guess we’ll see.

Yesterday was hot and humid.  Not as terrible as Saturday but still unpleasant in the garage and outdoors.  Wife and kids spent the whole day inside.  I did some outdoors stuff and worked in the garage.  I’m pretty much going to have to make time to put the A/C into the garage.  Otherwise, I won’t get much use during most of the year.  I will tell myself it’s better for my food storage too.

Projects.  I got ’em.

Did get some small progress done yesterday.  Found some more stuff for the auction.  Sold a speaker on ebay.  Bought a bunch of stuff in the housewares amazon returns auction.  Watching those bids took a lot of time in 15 minute slices.  Did some small cleanup in the garage.  Fixed a fan.  Read a few chapters of a book.  I was a  bit wiped out after Saturday.

Dinner was brats and fixin’s.   Brats were fresh from the last Costco supply drop, onions and potatoes from the one before that.  Corn and ice cream were from the HEB grocery drop.  I’ve said it before, but it’s a damn peculiar zombie apocalypse when you can have food delivered to your door.

Another peculiar thing was transitioning from “prepping” to “using”.   After a while, I realized I need to go back to buying stuff to replace stores as they are used.  I don’t NEED to get toilet paper right now, but if I don’t there will come a time when I’ve run out.  Hoping to resupply at some future date is not a prudent or practical plan.  So far, we’ve been mostly eating out of current shopping with additions from the long term stockpile.  I’d like to build up some extra protein storage, and adjust some of my long term canned food.  I’m heavy on canned corn, just as an example, and I’ve only used up one case so far.  It’s going to be more expensive to replace the stuff I’ve used, as I bought it only when it was on sale, and there are few sales at the moment.  I’ll call it ‘dollar cost averaging’ for food and stuff instead of investments.

On the plus side, being well prepared for something that was nowhere on my wife’s radar has built up a nice store of goodwill toward prepping and some of my more ‘out there’ preps.  Having the stuff and having it at hand has made a big difference.  When you hit on a long shot, some of your other long shots look a little more reasonable.  I’ve also gotten a nice bump in tolerance for auctions now that she’s figured out that I can buy the stuff SHE wants…  now, if I can get my sales up, I’ll be golden.

I’m going to advise accepting that this is the beginning of how things are going to be for a while, and that we’re probably not going back to “the way things were.”  The sooner you accept that as reality, and start adjusting to it, the better off you’ll be.   A lot of the lost jobs aren’t coming back anytime soon.  There is a glut of autos on the market, I’ve seen a local dealer using the dead mall parking lot as storage.  He hasn’t even bothered to fence it in.  I’m sure there are other areas of oversupply too.  Air travel capacity comes to mind.  Shopping malls.  Theaters.  Fitness centers.  Party rental places.  Foreign workers. *

Start focusing on the basics.  You’ll be ahead of the curve and the pack.

Keep stacking.

 

nick

 

*notice how quickly the furor over the H1B visas has died down?

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

78 thoughts on “Mon. July 6, 2020 – turn down the suck…”

  1. *notice how quickly the furor over the H1B visas has died down?

    They haven’t gone home either, and the Subcontinent hasn’t had travel restrictions like China.

    Wait until Diwali (sp?) this Fall.

    The visa lottery proceeded as normal in the Spring, pre-virus. My management applied for one visa according to an email we received, most likely covering a Chinese national in my group whose OPT visa ran out.

  2. There is a glut of autos on the market, I’ve seen a local dealer using the dead mall parking lot as storage.

    I saw a Ford EcoSport for the first time this weekend, a rental from the Fort Walton Beach airport. They must be stacking up at Ford’s import facility in Jacksonville.

    The EcoSport replaces the Focus and smaller cars in Ford’s US line. Made in India, with a 1.0 L 3-cylinder engine, you would think the gas mileage would be through the roof, but the car only manages 30-ish MPG highway. It isn’t hard to understand why they aren’t popular — my wife’s V6 Exploder averaged 26 on the trip.

    I also saw new Ranger rentals, however. Ruh-roh. Truck sales are supposed to save Ford. Last year’s rear wheel drive Exploder launch was a fiasco.

  3. There is a glut of autos on the market, I’ve seen a local dealer using the dead mall parking lot as storage.

    Plenty more dead malls are coming, particularly in areas where cars can be stored long term. This one hits really close because I always cite “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” when a young’n asks me about what an 80s mall was like.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm5GsAEHywE

    The nearly-dead mall near us has a lot of stored cars, mostly Dodge and Mitsubishi models which aren’t moving, but Austin does see occasional snow and freezing temperatures as well as marine air masses so the storage option is strictly temporary.

  4. We had one dark red wall in our living room. Looked good. A year ago when we decided to paint in prep for sale we redid most of the house in gray. Used a dark gray primer on the red wall and it knocked it out. Most ceilings were typical popcorn from the sixties, probably with asbestos, and had been spray painted before we bought it thirty years ago. Good way to seal off the asbestos. We had those redone in off white except for the living roon which we has recoated twenty years ago. That was fix cracks that had shown up an still looked good. Satin paint. Not my pref for walls but some people like including my wife. I find the shiney annoying but it does clean easier.
    New house is all flat taupe (fancy name for tan) with off-white ceilings. Almost a year here now and I like it.

  5. “We’ll take Texas.” Hilarious, especially considering they were at Stone Mountain GA.

    If Texas is what they want, why didn’t they try the demonstration at the San Jacinto Monument outside Houston? I’m sure an appearance this weekend would have been sufficiently sporty, especially if announced in advance.

    https://www.bizpacreview.com/2020/07/05/heavily-armed-black-militia-wants-us-to-give-them-texas-challenges-scared-a-rednecks-in-georgia-we-here-where-the-f-you-at-943000

  6. A new black nation? Texas – like the Mexicans will go for that. There are plenty of ‘Old’ ones on the other side of the Atlantic.


  7. A new black nation? Texas – like the Mexicans will go for that. There are plenty of ‘Old’ ones on the other side of the Atlantic.

    Exactly. I posted many times; there is no love lost between Hispanics and Blacks. Thanks to “La Raza”, Hispanizoidism is now a race.

  8. I think that every Black Lives Matter “peaceful protester” who’s convicted of a crime should be deported to someplace in Africa. Sure, it would be an act of war, sending them all of those useless knobs, but what’s Liberia going to do, let people with Ebola travel to the US?

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  9. A new black nation? Texas – like the Mexicans will go for that. There are plenty of ‘Old’ ones on the other side of the Atlantic.

    Please. It wouldn’t even pass the smell test in Travis County.

    Fulton County, GA is already 70+% African American. Doesn’t that qualify as suitable for a new nation? Landlocked, but that doesn’t stop Switzerland. The airport alone should generate plenty of revenue. What’s the status of the old Ford Taurus plant?

  10. I see one of the latest things employers are lamenting is the amount of unused vacation accruing for their employees. It creates one hell of a liability as paid time off is considered compensation and unused time off is payable to the employee upon termination. I’m not surprised it’s piling up. The last several months haven’t exactly been vacation friendly and the prudent move isn’t to spend money on vacationing in uncertain economic times. There’s also the fact that working from home doesn’t make you feel as disconnected from home and family and so you’re less likely to take time off to reconnect.

    I’d estimate my small team at work has probably saved up, on average, about 200 hours of paid time off per employee. Every once in a while they send out notices to the managers of people who have more than 100 hours and tell them to encourage their staff to take time off. There seems to be a disconnect between executive leadership encouraging a work/life balance and lower level management that sucks at creating an environment where their direct reports feel like they can take time off without projects or job security suffering.

    My wife’s work has unlimited paid time off. They’re more interested in what you get accomplished than bean counting vacation hours. Also, it conveniently saves them the liability of people having hundreds of hours of paid time off saved up.


  11. Exactly. I posted many times; there is no love lost between Hispanics and Blacks. Thanks to “La Raza”, Hispanizoidism is now a race.

    Referring to them as Hispanics may seem reasonable as most speak a locally derived version of Spanish.
    OTOH, the ulta-progs now prefer “Latinx”; however, I don’t think any of them speak Latin.

  12. I’m getting bitched at about my unused vacation time (more precisely, PTO). I ask the head of the department exactly when I’m supposed to take the time: I’m the only person in the world who can properly maintain the servers we use for producing daily and weekly reports for the customers, reports run daily, and the database and some other systems underlying the reports are fragile and I frequently need to delay the scheduled report jobs until the DB is in good shape. Besides that, people are constantly wanting updated code pushed, new reports put into the rota, and so on. So, given all that, what week would be a good time for me to be absent?

    The “only person in the world” bit is not by design. I’ve been trying to get anyone else in the company able and willing to shell in to the servers to check status, to edit crontab to modify the jobs schedule, to diagnose where the failure occurred if a customer’s report contains garbage, and so on. It’s an uphill battle even to get anyone to attend a training session on the data flow from DB to emailed report, and it’s proven impossible to get anyone to remember (or at least to acknowledge remembering) how to shell in to the server a week later. I’ve been promised a dedicated DevOps guy for the past eight months, so that I can get back to the analytics and infrastructure development work I’m supposed to be doing. Seven people have been hired into the department since February, all assigned to other teams. I’m beginning to suspect the department head has been lying to me. In other news, I’m looking for a new job.


  13. the ulta-progs now prefer “Latinx”

    The one time it came up and the “latinx” person was being an asshole about it, I referred to her* as a “European whose ancestors moved to Mexico he-she-demisexual nonbinary thing”, or something along those lines. She/he/zit wasn’t pleased.

    * Presenting as a woman, but I hesitate to assume its gender.

  14. Forced out? or clutching at straws to get out?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8486747/UPDATE-4-Boeing-communications-chief-resigns-decades-old-article-women-combat.html

    Boeing communications chief resigns over sexist article he wrote THREE DECADES ago opposing women’s service in the military

    Boeing’s SVP of Communications, Niel Golightly, has resigned from his position over a sexist article he authored
    The article, titled ‘No Right to Fight’ was published in December 1987 in the US Naval Institute magazine
    It argued woman should not serve in combat and could affect morale
    It is the fourth time the position has been vacated in three years

    –30 years and it was the party line at the time.

    n


  15. It argued woman should not serve in combat and could affect morale

    When I was on active duty, around 35 years ago, the line of bafflegab was being pushed that with extended and personalized training some women could meet the physical requirements needed of an infantryman or combat engineer. IIRC this involved an extra three weeks of basic training and greatly increased number of drill sergeants, meaning much greater cost to run a recruit through, and even at that only a quarter (?) of women in the pilot program managed to meet the minimum requirements to carry a rucksack, dig a hole, and repeat the next day.

    As for effects on morale, hasn’t that been adequately proved over the decades? The proposition that women have no adverse effect on combat units can be demonstrated only by cherry-picking your data and launching personal attacks at those who mention the mountain of ignored evidence.

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  16. Latinx – from all I hear Latinos and Latinas do not like it. Just the woke crowd.

  17. The latin derived languages are ‘gendered’ languages, and that drives the progs nuts.

    The ‘x’ is a replacement for the ‘a’ or ‘o’ denoting gender. It’s also a good indicator of mental illness.

    n

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  18. The proposition that women have no adverse effect on combat units can be demonstrated only by cherry-picking your data and launching personal attacks at those who mention the mountain of ignored evidence.

    Note the downvote on my comment, above. It’s a trivial and pathetic example, but an example it is.

    EDIT: Well, dang it, the -strong- tag doesn’t appear within a blockquote. I meant to highlight “and launching personal attacks”.

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  19. “ICON GONE Country star Charlie Daniels dead at 83 after suffering stroke”
    https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/1093709/country-star-charlie-daniels-dead-stroke/

    I hope that he is happy wherever he ended up. I suspect that the Devil might have him fiddling 24x7x365 if he ended up there.

    “Long Haired Country Boy”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs4y5si8DGs

    “I aint asken nobody for nothin, if i cant get it on my own….”

    “Charlie Daniels Uneasy Rider”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=952h-AJ3Bcg

    “He was sent down here to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.”

  20. Forced out? or clutching at straws to get out?

    Clutching at straws to get out. At some point in the past few days, I saw a story that the passenger 747 variant will get the axe this year. Would you want to be the exec responsible for communicating the company’s position on that one?

    Also, the Starliner will fly again uncrewed in the Fall at Boeing’s expense — $400 million. Another tough sell job would be explaining a failure after SpaceX brings their first crew home on half of the budget NASA gave Boeing to do the same thing.


  21. I hope that he is happy wherever he ended up. I suspect that the Devil might have him fiddling 24x7x365.

    Does 24x7x365 translate to 7 years?


  22. “ICON GONE Country star Charlie Daniels dead at 83 after suffering stroke”

    RIP A Common Sense Conservative.


  23. Note the downvote on my comment, above. It’s a trivial and pathetic example, but an example it is.

    I upvoted to cancel it out. Let’s start a thumb war on your comment!!!!

  24. One two three four, who wants a thumb war?

    RIP Charlie If he spent time in Georgia, he’s already done his time in heII.

    n

  25. RIP Charlie.

    I’m having Alexa play his songs today in fond remembrance.

  26. I hope that he is happy wherever he ended up. I suspect that the Devil might have him fiddling 24x7x365.

    Does 24x7x365 translate to 7 years?

    At least 7 years !

  27. I see one of the latest things employers are lamenting is the amount of unused vacation accruing for their employees. It creates one hell of a liability as paid time off is considered compensation and unused time off is payable to the employee upon termination. I’m not surprised it’s piling up. The last several months haven’t exactly been vacation friendly and the prudent move isn’t to spend money on vacationing in uncertain economic times. There’s also the fact that working from home doesn’t make you feel as disconnected from home and family and so you’re less likely to take time off to reconnect.

    I tell my people to use it or lose it. Yours truly included as I give myself and the office manager six weeks of vacation per year. Mom is turning 79 in a couple of weeks and I have already scheduled three days to go spend with her and dad at that time. We just hang out, watch tv, and yack about life. I’ve been hanging with them for well over 60 years now.

  28. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/disney-inks-first-look-deal-colin-kaepernick-1301948

    That’s it boys..I’m out. My wife and I are big Disney fans. They do a lot of things right. Well, maybe they used to do a lot of things right.

    One of big motivations for dumping cable was getting rid of the ESPN tax. Now, no more money for Disney. Period.

    I’ll miss Disney World, but I will survive. Let them survive on revenue from their new target market.

  29. One of big motivations for dumping cable was getting rid of the ESPN tax. Now, no more money for Disney. Period.

    I don’t believe ESPN will continue as part of The Mouse for much longer. The NFL TV contract is coming up for bid again soon, and management will have to decide which of its fetish properties it wants to unload, if any, to keep football.

    Keeping football would probably mean losing the 20th Century Fox film/TV library to a willing buyer. OTOH, selling ESPN for a (most likely) loss would mean a bloodbath of writedowns in the value of Disney at a time when they need to borrow money to stay alive.

    Decsions … decisions.

  30. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/disney-inks-first-look-deal-colin-kaepernick-1301948

    That’s it boys..I’m out. My wife and I are big Disney fans. They do a lot of things right. Well, maybe they used to do a lot of things right.

    One of big motivations for dumping cable was getting rid of the ESPN tax. Now, no more money for Disney. Period.

    I’ll miss Disney World, but I will survive. Let them survive on revenue from their new target market.

    Hope you are not a Netflix viewer. Netflix has been paying off the Obamas for quite a while now.
    https://www.netflix.com/title/81176188

    Me, I binge watched “Warrior Nun” on Netflix yesterday. So weird that I have been entranced.

  31. ESPN and to a lesser degree, ABC were never a good fit. Eisner had a personal hard on for owning a network, and he got one long after that was a smart thing to do.

    Disney has never been about reality. ESPN is. Therefore not a good fit. I think there could have been an argument made that it was an attempt to capture men, while keeping their women and children, if you think like that- that men are only interested in sports and vise versa. I can see the pitch from a limp-wristed pillow biter, “well, we’ll get dad in one room while we’ve got mom and the kids in the other….synergy!”

    I tend to think that would be retconning though. Eisner wanted it, so it happened.

    n

  32. @pecancorner
    wood swings
    That’s fun and satisfying. I hear what you’re saying regarding how long some of these projects take.

    Meatspace + right place + right time. Went for a walk with our next door neighbors to clear my head this morning. Around the corner and two doors down a local fence company was loading a bunch of chain link and related bits and pieces onto their truck. They’d just pulled out the 1960’s Sears chain link that went in when the neighborhood was built. “Hey – is that a 4′ fence? May I have it?”
    Truncated the walk. Carted home about 30′ of fabric, several terminal posts (cut off, too short to reinstall the fence, I’ll find something to do with them though), 50′ of top rail, 4 or 5 tension bars, a 5′ gate that I can repair with the extra top rail (one corner is corroded, not hard to replace the corroded parts), and a lot of connecting hardware.

    I have been planning on replacing the 2×4 light gauge wire that is the chicken run, but couldn’t bring myself to spend $150 on the low end parts available at Lowes / Home Depot. The 50 year old second hand fence is better quality and with a bit of fixing up will last for years. I’ll buy good quality line posts and use terminal posts I have left over from a different project. The $150 – $200 project just dropped to maybe $50 and will be a higher quality longer lasting fence when I’m done.

    Missed my walk but made out like a bandit. I was grinning ear to ear.


  33. Me, I binge watched “Warrior Nun” on Netflix yesterday. So weird that I have been entranced.

    Us, too. Loved it. Now watching The Order and kinda digging it, too.

    We’re also loving Star Girl on DC.

  34. Right before I went down to North Carolina a couple years ago, someone drove into one corner of my sister’s fence. This was a problem because she has two fast, energetic, ill-behaved dogs who could escape through the pulled-up part. She covered it over as best she could, then when I got there I helped replace the pipes and rehang the chainlink. It made for an annoying afternoon but not too bad.

    Four or five months later someone drove through another section of her fence, ripping it up real good. We picked up a bunch of long pipes and more hangers and such and fixed the blasted thing, including a fair bit of digging; it helped that I drive a van which is long enough to carry the pipes. It made for a very annoying full day’s work.

    A couple months after I moved back to New York, someone drove into her fence…

    Lotta drunks driving along her narrow, twisty road.

  35. @SteveF
    Would be tempting to buy extra long terminal posts, sink them extra deep in concrete, then fill the terminal posts with concrete, too. Maybe use 6′ spacing on the line posts (similarly treated) instead of 8′.
    Really annoying problem to have. Concrete is a pretty good solution.
    We’ve pounded the posts in for our fencing. Marshy land, concrete tends to lift in our neighborhood. I can tap the posts back down as needed. Top rail bends easily. The week after we installed our front yard chain link, my husband hopped over the corner bit. Bent the top rail. 15+ years I haven’t fixed it. It’ll only take 30 minutes I really ought to get it done.

  36. Disney has never been about reality. ESPN is.

    Disney is about acquiring fetish properties, entertainment people get very passionate about. Sports fit in there well, along with Marvel, Star Wars, 20th Century Fox’s catalog, theme parks, and the Disney “vault”.

    Paying for it all is the problem.

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  37. Hope you are not a Netflix viewer.

    Nope, not since the last season of Stranger Things was released. I’ve said I’ll sign up for a month when the next season comes out, but we’ll see. We can likely mooch of a friends subscription for a couple days.

  38. “We’ll take Texas.” Hilarious, especially considering they were at Stone Mountain GA.

    If Texas is what they want, why didn’t they try the demonstration at the San Jacinto Monument outside Houston? I’m sure an appearance this weekend would have been sufficiently sporty, especially if announced in advance.

    https://www.bizpacreview.com/2020/07/05/heavily-armed-black-militia-wants-us-to-give-them-texas-challenges-scared-a-rednecks-in-georgia-we-here-where-the-f-you-at-943000

    Can’t we all just get along ??? Snicker.

    Don’t come around here. My black neighbor across the street spends a lot of time working on his two acres. I doubt that he is willing for these people to come in and seize the neighborhood.

  39. Don’t come around here. My black neighbor across the street spends a lot of time working on his two acres. I doubt that he is willing for these people to come in and seize the neighborhood.

    Driving home from North Florida yesterday, we caught up on various podcasts, and I heard Dennis Miller opine that the Civil War 2 has been already fought with Progs winning by default. Miller’s thesis was that a proper response to the last 20 years would have resulted in something too ugly and damaging to the culture to contemplate so the right just backed down hoping that people would catch on to the crazy eventually.

    The militants in Georgia were putting on a show for the cameras, but if they were serious, they would have been at San Jacinto. Who knows, maybe they will be one day, but I doubt that will end with everyone retiring to the Monument Inn for yeast rolls and the catch of the day.

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  40. Me, I binge watched “Warrior Nun” on Netflix yesterday. So weird that I have been entranced.

    I just added that one to my watchlist yesterday.

    Now watching The Order and kinda digging it, too.

    I watched season one and enjoyed it. I see season two (or series two as Netlfix seems to like to call it) is out now.

    My daughter is really into the occult, paganism, mythology, witchcraft, and a lot of that stuff right now. So, her and I started watching Motherland: Fort Salem on Hulu. It’s fairly enjoyable and not too over the top misandrist.

    Netflix has churned out a LOT of sci-fi/fantasy content over the last 3 or 4 years. A lot of it is mediocre at best and some is just plain awful. There are a few gems there too.

  41. Now watching The Order and kinda digging it, too.

    I watched season one and enjoyed it. I see season two (or series two as Netlfix seems to like to call it) is out now.

    My daughter is really into the occult, paganism, mythology, witchcraft, and a lot of that stuff right now. So, her and I started watching Motherland: Fort Salem on Hulu. It’s fairly enjoyable and not too over the top misandrist.

    Netflix has churned out a LOT of sci-fi/fantasy content over the last 3 or 4 years. A lot of it is mediocre at best and some is just plain awful. There are a few gems there too.

    Season one of “The Order” was good. Season Two was weird.

    Netflix has the goal of being everything to everyone. They are succeeding at this, being 60% of the traffic on the internet still.

    Be sure to watch the Chinese sci-fi. It is weird and watchable also. “The Wandering Earth”.
    https://www.netflix.com/title/81067760

    And I will watch anything with Forest Whitaker in it, “How It Ends”.
    https://www.netflix.com/title/80167481

  42. Netflix has the goal of being everything to everyone. They are succeeding at this, being 60% of the traffic on the internet still.

    Being on Roku early and building on that experience was huge for them.

    “Friends” will be back on Netflix in the near future. My former corporate masters still don’t have a Roku app which makes me wonder who they bought to provide HBO Max streaming as it currently exists.

    AT&T Labs is a joke these days. Everyone competent left when the pole climbing class assignments started for the 2009 strike year, and then when the President of Labs sent out an apology email, Randall and Stankey fired him.

  43. OK, I am trying to understand this. The number of SARS-COV-2 infected is way up in the USA and the number of the deaths is way down, averaging 250/day in the USA over the last few days. One would think that the deaths in the USA would be trailing up by now.
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    This now looks a lot like the Swine Flu to me back in 2011. Nobody cared, everyone got it.

  44. “Amazon Prime Video Has the Most Shows, but Netflix Slays the Competition With Quality”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/amazon-prime-video-has-the-most-shows-but-netflix-slays-the-competition

    “When it comes to streaming originals, Netflix has most of the highest-rated TV show content, well ahead of the competition. But for licensed TV shows worth watching, go with Hulu.”

    “Netflix doesn’t have as many shows total as Prime Video, but it does have that astronomical number of originals, 674 in total. In just a few years, Netflix has created more multi-episode television than most networks have in the last few decades. It throws in 1,275 licensed shows on top. Consider how many of them have earned high ratings when you make a choice.”

  45. This now looks a lot like the Swine Flu to me back in 2011. Nobody cared, everyone got it.

    Wuxu Flu is definitely more serious than the Swine Flu in terms of individual impact.

    No one cared in Buc-ee’s on the Alabama-Florida border yesterday. It was so intense, I told my wife and kids that I would wait in the car for them to finish with their breakfast taco orders.

  46. Excellent ! And about time. And a rare 9-0 decision.

    If you cannot follow the direction that you agreed to do so, then you should quit the job and let the powers that be find somebody else who can be faithful.

    Faithless electors are pretty rare. The NPVIC is more concerning long term.

  47. @jenny, SCORE! And saved from the landfill….

    Took my package to UPS. Walked in, dropped it off, left. On the way home I cruised all the heavy trash piles in a couple of neighborhoods. I got a bunch of oak limbs for firewood, 4 milk crates, a couple of flower pots, and some window screen repair kits. The repair kits are great for keeping mosquitos out of the rain water barrels.

    I could have grabbed an Ikea dresser and several garden hoses. If you haven’t priced hose lately, you’d be surprised how expensive it it. I’ve got a box of end repair and splice stuff for hose that I picked up for pennies at yard and estate sales. I might go back for the hose, I can always use more on the rain barrels. I just didn’t feel like digging it out of the pile.

    I’m looking for pool skimmer poles, and steel poles to use as antenna supports. Freaking schedule 40 pipe is about $4/foot.

    n

  48. @Nick, those little chicken coops are cute – I guess they are the playhouses of this era, since they are too small to be much use to people who genuinely want to raise a few hens. There are quite a few regional people who’ve built a good business constructing a better, larger version of those. Of course the prices reflect that. Speaking of chickens, I am tending a little flock for the next few days. I’ve never looked after chickens before so that should be fun. I’ll get to collect eggs!

    And I’ve noticed the same thing you have about Amazon: all these different sellers of the exact same item that ships from Asia. I’ve also discovered an ugly secret behind Amazon’s reviews: the reviews are only for the product, not for the seller, and way too often don’t even apply to the actual product being sold “now”. On top of all that, the description of the item purchased is never archived, and if I click through to it from “my orders”, I can only see the current live version, which has several times been NOT what I purchased. It’s nearly impossible to locate the reviews of the seller, and even harder to actually leave a review for a seller. These days, we buy a lot more from Walmart dot com and other sites than from Amazon.

    @Jenny: some of our little grandchildren are coming for a visit soon, first time since the WuFlu outbreak, and they are finally big enough for regular swings so I wanted to have them ready. We’ll get to play croquet too!

    I saw the other day that your baby bunnies… excuse me, your Future Fricassees…. are weaned and thriving. That is a good milestone. So glad your doe is a good mother.

    Major congrats on the chain link haul! I hope you will treat yourself with a little of the savings. 🙂 You’re correct that the old stuff is far better quality than what can be bought today…. it is that way with so many things. Bummer about the posts: there should be a special place in purgatory for people who cut off metal posts instead of digging or pulling them up (And MAJOR Kudos to Nick who did just that recently and explained how he did it). A pro fence company should know better. There are several cut off posts in our yard that are a serious hazard. I lack the strength to dig them out myself so I have bricks and stepping stones over them.

    someone drove into her fence…
    Lotta drunks driving along her narrow, twisty road.

    @SteveF, does she live at the acme of a sharp curve? (Acme? Apogee? ) I can sympathize with her. When we lived on the coast, our road made a sharp curve. The neighbor whose house sat on that curve lost his fence about twice a year it seemed. Sometimes there’d be another wreck before he could get the first one fixed.


  49. It creates one hell of a liability as paid time off is considered compensation and unused time off is payable to the employee upon termination.

    The saved hours also appreciate if you get a raise, or depreciate if you get a pay cut. In California, at least, companies are required to set aside money to cover their PTO or vacation time obligations. The law is flawed, though, in that it does not also require the company to set aside money to cover the company’s payroll tax obligations for those hours. Thus when my company cut our hours during the recession, they also restricted how many hours of PTO we could use to make up for the lost time.

  50. Excellent ! And about time. And a rare 9-0 decision.

    If you cannot follow the direction that you agreed to do so, then you should quit the job and let the powers that be find somebody else who can be faithful.

    Faithless electors are pretty rare. The NPVIC is more concerning long term.

    Yup, they are nipping the faithless elector thing in the bud.

    What is NPVIC ?

    Ah, Google is my friend:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

    Uh, SCOTUS will strike that down too as a special case of the faithless elector.

  51. We can carry over 200 hours of PTO. This policy went into effect a few years ago. It used to be unlimited. I had one guy who had almost 500 hours accrued. He and a few other received a special exception which let them take 2 years to use the excess.

    I’m better at taking leave than I used to be. We have such a flexible work schedule though, I still don’t need to take as much as others. With teleworking, I have t felt the need for any time off. Wow, it being around people is pleasing to an introvert, who knew?

    I just checked, and I have 210 hours of PTO accrued. I’ll accrue another 2.5 weeks by the end of the year. If travel is still dicey later in the year, I’ll just take the month of December off instead of the last two weeks.

  52. If you cannot follow the direction that you agreed to do so, then you should quit the job and let the powers that be find somebody else who can be faithful.

    c.f. Police who report for their shift but then refuse to leave their patrol cars or the station house. Do your job or quit your job.

    What is NPVIC ?

    National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

    You know, you could have typed ‘npvic’ into a search engine and gotten your answer with fewer keystrokes than needed to type your question.

    EDIT: Never mind. You edited your comment to show you’d done what I suggested.

  53. My wife’s work has unlimited paid time off. They’re more interested in what you get accomplished than bean counting vacation hours. Also, it conveniently saves them the liability of people having hundreds of hours of paid time off saved up.

    I avoid jobs offering “unlimited” vacation. Around Austin, it is a sign of organizational immaturity IMHO.

    Anyone I know who was conscientious and working under that kind of leave policy generally got hosed, especially if they were male and didn’t fit any quotas.

  54. Uh, SCOTUS will strike that down too as a special case of the faithless elector.

    I don’t think it is that cut and dried. As the article indicates, the Constitution allows the state legislatures to decide how to allocate their electors, and Roberts seems determined to let voters live with their “foolish” choices.

  55. To keep cars from fences, use big rocks, or cast your own 8″ square guard posts. Make a simple wooden mold, put in some rebar or scrap steel, and fill with concrete. After they cure for a day or so, plant them about three feet deep, leaving the rest above ground to stop the cars. Cheap in small quantities.

    If you use steel pipe filled with concrete, it should be 3″ or larger for easy filling and durability.

    Our original host recommended some kind of hedge used in Europe to stop cavalry and trucks. Fine in some climates, but needs water and maintenance.

  56. Our original host recommended some kind of hedge used in Europe to stop cavalry and trucks. Fine in some climates, but needs water and maintenance.

    Trifoliate Orange. Flying Dragon cultivar.

    Not much will stop a semi, however, and even to stop a car or small truck, the hedge will need time to mature.


  57. Ah, Google is my friend:

    No, it is not. Unfortunately it is still the best and by a long shot.

  58. I just find it incredible that Bing gives priority to their (MS) social “support” responses over the official content of their documentation and support sites. How silly can you be?!

    And Duckduckgo using the same search repositories as MS is not much better than them.

    It has been years since this has been a key offering, it is an incredible source of information and by not being at least competent on that they leave it all to Google that monetizes it at their hearts content. Sigh.

  59. Car barriers: Railroad track, cut into 7′ lengths, 1/2 in the ground and 1/2 above ground. Paint them a bright color so no one has any excuses.

  60. Car barriers: Railroad track, cut into 7′ lengths, 1/2 in the ground and 1/2 above ground. Paint them a bright color so no one has any excuses.

    Semi’s, right? Nothing smaller.

    Out at our test facility, we have water filled barriers reinforced with steel rods across the body to protect the trailer which houses all of the computer equipment. I’ve personally seen it stop a UHaul.

    One of the drivers got a little careless with the rental truck one afternoon and slid into the barrier. The water reservoir portion didn’t move or crack open, but one of the steel reinforcing rods pierced the passenger area of the UHaul, clean through from the wheel well. Anyone riding there would have been dead.

  61. I’m copying some video files from my E drive to my C drive on the same machine. Win10, so it has the horrible file copy performance. I’ve got teracopy installed but even that is slow.

    Why should 65GB take 10 minutes to copy? It’s the same machine on the same SATA adapter.

    The first move took 20 minutes. The estimate was 2 HOURS. 250GB.

    I don’t really understand. It feels like this is crazy long though.

    n

  62. I’m copying some video files from my E drive to my C drive on the same machine. Win10, so it has the horrible file copy performance. I’ve got teracopy installed but even that is slow.

    Why should 65GB take 10 minutes to copy? It’s the same machine on the same SATA adapter.

    The first move took 20 minutes. The estimate was 2 HOURS. 250GB.

    I don’t really understand. It feels like this is crazy long though.

    Hard drives, not SSDs, right ?

    Small files, not large files, right ?

    Millions of files ?

    Think about how many bytes you are writing to a rotating disk. 65,000,000,000 bytes just for the data. And then there is the manipulations of the file system.

  63. Spinning iron. Hundreds of files, not small at all. 106 files, 65GB, over 15 minutes to move. Name brand drives although I can’t remember which.

    n


  64. Uh, SCOTUS will strike that down too as a special case of the faithless elector.
    I don’t think it is that cut and dried. As the article indicates, the Constitution allows the state legislatures to decide how to allocate their electors, and Roberts seems determined to let voters live with their “foolish” choices.

    There is a chance for that to be struck down as a treaty between states, which is prohibited by the constitution: “No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation”

  65. Holy shirt, something is going down. Every sheriff on the north side is racing toward a scene.. Shooter in an upper window?

    Still shooting, “get your helmets on”

    n

    Cranbrook Apartments, just north of I10, just west of I45, on Ella Blvd

    added, they’ve cleared out the surrounding apts, and are bringing in swat

    “the whole family tested positive for covid” — don’t know if that was the same channel or call but if so they’re warning the responders.

  66. and once SWAT was on scene, that was the end of the sheriff’s deputies’ radio chatter. No idea how it played out.

    Which is the frustration with scanner listening. On the other hand, you hear a lot of activity that misses the news completely, which is good for situational awareness. I recommend getting a good one, and just letting it run while you’re in the room.

    n

  67. Just a few random comments before lunch, and before I’m off to the (real) office for a day or so.

    It’s not just Bing that prioritized “social results” over official documentation. I have the feeling that Microsoft does a lot of SEO to achieve that. If they can get us answering each other’s questions, then they need fewer support workers.

    The search engines also need to be more time sensitive, especially for technical issues. It does me no good whatsoever to get an answer from 2013 for a problem in current software. For other things, time is less of a factor, but precisely for technical stuff, recent answers should be prioritized.

    The number of SARS-COV-2 infected is way up in the USA and the number of the deaths is way down

    It’s into the younger populations, where the fatality rate is very low. COVID is only really dangerous to the 60+ crowd. Once the retirement homes put serious restrictions into place, and the hospitals had isolation sorted, fewer older folk were infected. That was the initial rush of fatalities. Italy, for example, knew that nursing homes had some patient care abilities, so it initially placed some COVID patients temporarily in nursing homes. Which is why Italy was, initially, such a disaster zone.

    The question will be: what are the long-term prospects for the virus? If the younger population gets sick, recovers, and has no ill effects, they may create a degree of herd immunity for the older population. Or the virus may mutate, like the common cold and the flu, and any immunity will be transient.

    Possibly the most likely scenario: the deadly version of the virus may run its course, having killed off anyone vulnerable to it. Only less virulent mutations will stay around. This may also be contributing to the much lower mortality rates we are currently seeing.

    PTO

    My previous employer kept detailed track of this. My current employer, not at all. I kept records for the first 2-3 years, and eventually stopped.

    The result: I can take time off whenever I want, as long as the job gets done. It is certain that I don’t use up all of my vacation time. I always want to do a bit more course prep, add another couple of examples, update something that has gotten out-of-date, etc, etc…

    Now that our courses are moving partially or entirely online, I expect to spend most of the summer adapting the content. I don’t get the professors who think they can put a camera on a table, give a normal lecture to an empty room, and call it good. Different situation, different media: you have to totally re-think the way the course is taught.


  68. Railroad track, cut into 7′ lengths

    Hey Nick, any surplus plasma cutters in stock?

  69. Nope, they always bring good money. I’ve been half way trying to buy one for over a decade…

    Check out diamond wire saw on ebay… much quieter and more portable.

    n

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