Wed. July 8, 2020 – lots of errands today

Hot and wet.  Possible storms.  Joy.

Tuesday was a bit cooler in the afternoon.  We almost got some rain in the morning, which should have increased the humidity but actually didn’t do too much.   Overcast helped keep the temps down.   The attic at my client’s house was only 96F and had a max high temp of 112F recorded.  Cool really.

I did go over to my client’s to chase internet and networking issues.  Found more lightning damage.  The Silicon Greybeard has shared some of his lightning strike travails on his blog.  Basically, everything in the house is suspect now that we’ve established that there was damage on some things.   I’ll be swapping out gear for the next year as it dies early and mysterious deaths.

Dinner was ribs from the freezer.  My wife did the honors while I was working.  Sides from the fridge, and pasta.  Not much long term storage, and no canned corn…

Today I’ve got to pick up a truck load of auction items.  Shopping for the wife’s list kinda got out of hand.  I ended up getting some stuff to resell, and some stuff for my various hobbies.  I took a gamble on one item I hope is a light bar for my truck.  Couldn’t quite make it out, but I wasn’t the only one bidding it up.  Hopefully the other guy was sure it was something desirable and not just following me 😉

The news hasn’t been screaming about cases this week, but they are still going up.  Deaths are up a bit, not enough for a trend but basically right on time.   Aesop has his hands full at his ER in Cali, and reports are that the ERs here in Texas are about full.  Florida is headed there too.

Economic impacts and real world effects are starting to hit locally.  Our city councilwoman told one of my neighbors that the city might have to hire contractors to catch up with heavy trash pickup.  They’re 2 weeks late this Friday.  She said too many city employees were out sick.   I’m seeing a lot more shuttered businesses this week too.  LOTS of empty storefronts in some parts of town, where I don’t expect to see them.  Even the Habitat for Humanity reStore on the north side of town  was closed down to “help keep everyone safe”.  And FFS people, update your website if you close your business.

Tomball Ford was running their $20K off list ad again, only this time they included Expedition, along with F series trucks.   Lots of lesser deals on other vehicles too.

If there are things you think you’ll need in the next year, you might want to start getting them while you can.  Maintenance parts, cleaning stuff, “just in case” like toilet rebuild kits, rake and shovel handles, etc. are all going to be in short supply if this keeps up.  I don’t see it getting better soon.  Think about how many batteries you’ll burn through if you have a community watch in your neighborhood running those little GMRS or FRS radios…   Start thinking about clothes too.  You probably have closets full, but do they fit?  Will they fit if you lose or gain weight?  Most of the clothes and cloth come from China and other far away shirtholes, as do most of the shoes and boots.

Anyway, the knock on effects of closing down our economy are starting.   The effects of our third world suppliers losing big chunks of their workers, either temporarily or permanently, are just starting to show up.

Time to stack it high…

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

65 thoughts on “Wed. July 8, 2020 – lots of errands today”


  1. I have noticed since we’ve been home this week that there aren’t daily stories about new record case counts in Texas and Florida like there were leading up to the holiday weekend.

    Then you haven’t tuned into CNN for more than five minutes…


  2. Then you haven’t tuned into CNN for more than five minutes

    CNN is mostly running racial injustice stories, white on black events, none the other way around. Oh there is one story of black on white crime but the black side lawyer is playing the race card victim angle.

  3. Well…don’t expect to be able to find any Lysol spray anytime soon…

    The name brand cleaning agents have been arbitraged for a while. The products aren’t toilet paper or hand sanitizer so they slip through the restrictions on EBay and Amazon.

    While the chemicals themselves will keep, increasingly, the bottles are not designed for the long haul, particularly the spray bottles. I’m guessing even the major players source those in China. I wouldn’t be surprised if, by the end of the year, HEB and Sam’s have signs up stating they won’t take returns like they do TP and paper towels.

    When we stopped in a small town in LA for gas, my wife noticed the Dollar General tucked in behind a few houses and half joked about checking for Formula 409.

  4. The news hasn’t been screaming about cases this week, but they are still going up. Deaths are up a bit, not enough for a trend but basically right on time. Aesop has his hands full at his ER in Cali, and reports are that the ERs here in Texas are about full. Florida is headed there too.

    Cases are being emphasized over deaths because the death counts are flattening and the cases will make for exciting press in a couple of weeks when the fallout from the holiday starts getting counted, just after the point where the TX US Senate nominee from the Dem side is free to start spending their CA campaign money pounding Cornyn.

    (My wife saw the first MJ Hegar ad last night and started shouting at the TV. I don’t know what was said, but “Doors” isn’t even working the abusive father angle right now.)

    Texas deaths per 100,000 are still extremely low compared to what has happened in NY, NJ, or even FL and AZ. That doesn’t fit the narrative.

    The stories that floated over the wire the last few days about certain Tampa ICUs being filled should be taken with a grain of salt. Some sources actually list the hospitals, and the buildings are among the oldest, smallest, and dumpiest facilities in the region.

    The name “Memorial Hospital of Tampa” sounds impressive, but go look at the building in Google Maps 3D. I’ve been in there several times accompanying my wife in the sketchy neighborhood.. Get admitted to that place with this cr*p, and your chances are not good.

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  5. Hey all, I got this from Frances regarding Barbara–

    Hey Nick.She is settled and ready to start a new chapter in getting better. Address is —

    Novant Health Rehabilitation Hospital.
    2475 Hillcrest Center Circle
    Room Number 137
    Winston-Salem, N.C. 27103

    Frances mentioned that Barbara has been doing adult coloring and that she likes doing the crossword puzzle. I’m sure a card would be appropriate too….

    n

  6. @alan, I don’t watch any tv anymore. Since I stopped traveling 9 years ago, I have avoided CNN like the poison it is. With the exception of monitoring their riot coverage during Ferguson for bias, and checking their major storm coverage for good photos (and finding none) I haven’t really seen them in that time. (except if someone links)

    I avoid almost all of the MSM outlets, except when I try to find local versions of stories on their web sites to compare and contrast, or to find the closest to a primary source to post links to.

    I still see way more trad media than I’d like thru my wife and other sources.

    n

  7. Did I step into a time machine this am? Why is this even a story
    ?

    Fears Covid is airborne grow as WHO acknowledges ‘evidence emerging’ that disease passes between people through infected droplets in the air

    The possibility of airborne transmission ‘cannot be ruled out’, WHO admits
    The agency had previously said the virus spreads primarily through droplets
    But there have been calls for the WHO to update its guidance
    Scientists wrote an open letter outlining the evidence the virus floated in the air
    A change in guidance could affect advice on wearing a mask or ventilation

    –Hasn’t this been the acknowledged truth since the beginning? Hence the CDC provider guidelines to use “Droplet precautions” and the ENTIRE point of the masks?

    WTF?

    n

  8. I’m certainly not an epidemiologist and I’ll readily acknowledge my ignorance on the subject, but I really feel that the WHO’s and CDC’s knowledge of the virus is really not at the level I expect it to be. It was very understandable 4 months ago, but considering every resource has been dumped into this thing for 4 months and still not be sure about really basic stuff like whether it’s airborne is very alarming. Hell, they can’t even give people a decent answer on whether being infected with it provides future immunity. How is that not known by now?


  9. How is that not known by now?

    Exactly. Stop the manic treating of all symptoms and get to sciencing. Masks, gloves, close stuff, open stuff, close again, reporting the “record all time high total deaths”, “record number of positives”, etc. Fear mongering to control the sheeple at it’s best.

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  10. But guys! There might be lasting consequences of having had the Chinese Flu! Organ damage! Reservoirs of the virus hidden in your body and waiting to burst out at any time! Possibly even genetic damage!

    c.f. practically every other viral disease known to man

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  11. Hasn’t this been the acknowledged truth since the beginning? Hence the CDC provider guidelines to use “Droplet precautions” and the ENTIRE point of the masks?

    I think, and let me re-emphasize my previous statement on my lack of being epidemiologist, that they’re two different things. The droplets isn’t true “airborne” it’s just bodily fluids traveling through the air and the only reason it can carry the virus is because the virus is living in those tiny droplets of fluids. True airborne is where the virus itself can travel through the air and survive long enough to infect someone without the need to be encapsulated in a micro droplet of saliva or mucus.

    Thank of a waterborne pathogen. If I dump a bucket of contaminated water on your head and you get infected with it, then is it airborne just because the water from the bucket traveled through the air?

  12. I’m certainly not an epidemiologist ……

    Neither am I. OTOH, in my career, I worked with Statitics and Probabilty in the context of determing Cause and Effect. All of which was in conformance with the Grand Method of Science. Consequently, I can accept nothing from the babbleheads quoted in the MSM and shown on TV, whether medical professionals or bureaucratic politicians.

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  13. Roger that, and gov’s Gruesome and Comocrap are emptying jails of convicted criminals so that they can infect the rest of us.

  14. So they are going to jail those who refuse to self-isolate. Will that double or triple the probability that they will die of KungFlu?

    That is a very sparsely-populated county. I doubt they anticipate actually arresting anyone.

    If they do arrest someone, the Sheriff will put them in the next cell over from Otis, who already recovered from the virus thanks in part to a regime of self medication.

  15. Rick, a week ago you said you’d leave the thumbs up/down widget in place for a while to see whether it was doing anything useful. (paraphrased)

    I’d say that it is useful, but not in the way intended. A lot of comments are getting a downvote, and the affected comments all come from the same general perspective.

    The thumbs down widget allows us to identify comments which annoy the snowflakes and the perpetually butthurt and suggests what we should say to annoy them further. Very useful.

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  16. I see that there is usually only “1 down vote”. Maybe Mr. Chuck Waggoner is popping in to liberate us.

  17. About the thumbs up/down: I think that the vote numbers are only useful if they get beyond single digits. Those with under 3 votes are statistically insignificant.

    IMHO. I am not a statistician. And there is no data that would support my opinion. Not that ‘no data’ stops some people from claiming to be experts.

    So, unless there is a general consensus that the comment voting should be removed, I’ll leave it here. Because I can.

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  18. Those with under 3 votes are statistically insignificant.

    Yes, in statistics there is a minimum required sample size.

  19. Well…don’t expect to be able to find any Lysol spray anytime soon…

    The name brand cleaning agents have been arbitraged for a while. The products aren’t toilet paper or hand sanitizer so they slip through the restrictions on EBay and Amazon.

    While the chemicals themselves will keep, increasingly, the bottles are not designed for the long haul, particularly the spray bottles. I’m guessing even the major players source those in China. I wouldn’t be surprised if, by the end of the year, HEB and Sam’s have signs up stating they won’t take returns like they do TP and paper towels.

    My son says that the current Meth shortages are due to the Meth Labs making hand sanitizer. Bigger profit margin.

    Watch out for the hand sanitizer with methanol in it. Methanol can be absorbed through your skin unlike ethanol.

  20. @alan, I don’t watch any tv anymore. Since I stopped traveling 9 years ago, I have avoided CNN like the poison it is. With the exception of monitoring their riot coverage during Ferguson for bias, and checking their major storm coverage for good photos (and finding none) I haven’t really seen them in that time. (except if someone links)

    I only watch Netflix and Hulu. I am binge watching “The Sarah Connor Chronicles”, “Homeland”, “iZombie”, and “Atypical” right now.

    I get my news from The Drudge Report still, even if they are “Orange Man Bad” now.
    http://drudgereport.com/

  21. Did I step into a time machine this am? Why is this even a story ?

    Fears Covid is airborne grow as WHO acknowledges ‘evidence emerging’ that disease passes between people through infected droplets in the air

    The possibility of airborne transmission ‘cannot be ruled out’, WHO admits
    The agency had previously said the virus spreads primarily through droplets
    But there have been calls for the WHO to update its guidance
    Scientists wrote an open letter outlining the evidence the virus floated in the air
    A change in guidance could affect advice on wearing a mask or ventilation

    –Hasn’t this been the acknowledged truth since the beginning? Hence the CDC provider guidelines to use “Droplet precautions” and the ENTIRE point of the masks?

    The WHO is so 1990s. That is why Trump is bailing out of the WHO in 2021.
    https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/07/07/888186158/trump-sets-date-to-end-who-membership-over-its-handling-of-virus

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  22. So they are going to jail those who refuse to self-isolate. Will that double or triple the probability that they will die of KungFlu?

    That is a very sparsely-populated county. I doubt they anticipate actually arresting anyone.

    If they do arrest someone, the Sheriff will put them in the next cell over from Otis, who already recovered from the virus thanks in part to a regime of self medication.

    So you are thinking that a 0.3% blood alcohol content can kill SARS-COV-2 ?

    Of course, that much alcohol in your body will probably kill you all over.

  23. I’ve had turkey bacon before.

    Turkey bacon is horrible.

  24. Turkey “bacon” isn’t bacon.

    Sort of how Chicago Deep Dish “pizza” isn’t pizza.

    That doesn’t mean they can’t be good. It just means they shouldn’t be called bacon and pizza, respectively.

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  25. Similar to how Democrats aren’t Americans. It doesn’t mean they can’t be good people … Well, actually, yes it does. Democrats in today’s United States are neither Americans nor good people.

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  26. Chicken Fajitas are not Fajitas. Call ’em “Chicken Style Fajitas” and I’ll quit being grumpy about it.

  27. The “Hach 145300 Total Hardness Test Kit, Model 5-B” finally arrived. It’s simple to use.
    Run some water to clear the pipes. Fill the small tube with water, pour into the larger bottle. Add a level scoop of the powder. It smells a bit of ammonia. Swirl to mix. And then you add drops of the liquid, swirl the bottle a bit after each drop, count the drops and when the solution turns from pink to blue, X number of drops is your water hardness.

    I’m going to have to try water from an outside faucet. The water was blue with just the powder.

    I’m sort of disappointed. I didn’t get much Mad Scientist action today.

  28. @Paul: assuming that your water supply is from a local utility, rather than a well, the local utility should be able to give you water hardness stats for your area. IIRC, they have to run all sorts of tests on the water they supply; hardness being one of them.

    If your intent is to determine the hardness after treatment by your water supply, the docs for the softener manufacture might help. And there may be a ‘hardness’ setting on your machine. If you can get hardness numbers from your local water utility (again, assuming not well water, but they might have that info also), then you should adjust the hardness setting on your conditioner, as explained here (and other places) https://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Water_Softener_Settings.php .

    Typical general information: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/factsheet/softening.html

  29. @dkreck: When it gets down below 90, I’ll meet you at Ethel’s Old Corral.

  30. I’m on a well. Pump is set about 180 feet down in a 200 feet deep well according to the former owner.

    A salesman showed up in 1995 or so trying to sell a water softener system. He tested the water, said it was 18 grains and that’s pretty hard. Having spent hours over the years since scraping the lime ring off in toilet bowls, I’m inclined to agree.

    My old softener and the new machine have electronic controls. They measure how much water is used. All you have to do is set the clock, tell it what time of night to regenerate, and your hardness. The water hardness, get your mind outta the gutter. 🙂 I tell the system 20…. my thinking is that the resin can hold just so much calcium before needing a brine flush, so make it happen a bit earlier. Salt is cheap.

    The new system seems to have a “reserve” setting of 200 gallons which I think is about the same as telling the old softener hardness is 20 when it’s actually 18 grains. Shrug. I’m just faking my way through this, I haven’t been to Water Softener Tech School.

    I’m having fun learning something new.

  31. @Rick Hellewell, to add a little more excitement and emotion to the page, how about adding laughing and crying emoji?

    And if y’all want we can get into an extended debate/discussion on the origination of the word emoji and what is the correct plural form (emoji or emojis) and while we are at it we can discuss y’all vs ya’ll.
    And yes, I have been known to major in the minor things of life. I feel cabin fever setting in.

    Squirrel!

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  32. Sometimes….I wonder.
    I have a whole house filter before the water softener. Seemed like a good idea. Not that I have ever noticed any sand or grit coming out of the faucets.

    So I buy them at Lowes. The few I’ve replaced have been on a time basis. Once a year or so. Haven’t been to Lowes in a while and what the heck, I just now thought to look on Amazon.


  33. and I’m watching auctions close that the wife put me up for. Household goods. Scored some good stuff for the daughter’s room, and hope to score some more.

    @nick,
    just curious, are these on-line or in-person auctions?

  34. @Paul: the best way to determine if there is grit in your water supply is to look in the toilet supply tank. If you see sand there, then a whole house filter might help. And sand indicates a need to flush the water heater yearly (or more, depending on amount of grit).

    If no grit, then water heater flush is not really needed. Unless you like doing that sort of thing.

    Grit – it’s True.

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  35. @alan, online auctions.

    I spent 1 1/2 hours doing my pickup today, then another 4 hours going thru it. I got burned on something I thought was worth money, but it turned out to be something that is not. And a couple of things were missing stuff, power supplies, all the screws, etc. Some items were unopened. I don’t usually do amazon returns but this particular auction company is SO BAD that you can make money doing it.

    They will take a pic of the corner of a box, no stickers, no printing, just a closeup of the corner. List it as ‘general merchandise’. How do you bid on that? NO idea how big the item is, or what it might be. The really insane thing, the box turns out to have a sticker on it that tells exactly what’s inside… but the auctioneer doesn’t think that’s worth a picture.

    With the stuff I should be able to resell, I should break even and get to keep all the stuff for the house. It’s like getting free homegoods. There is a little work involved and time, lots of time.

    n

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  36. “Is America Heading For Civil War? Of Course It Is…”
    https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/is-america-heading-for-civil-war-of-course-it-is_07072020

    “I fully realize that the third outcome is the most likely. War is probably inevitable. Why? Because collectivists and narcissists are never satisfied. They desire unlimited control over the lives of others and they will use any means to get that control no matter how destructive. Separating from them is only a stop-gap that allows us to take a superior position. Through peaceful migration, we set the pace of the conflict. Eventually, they will come after us, and there will be no doubt about our response then. There will be no way to spin the result in their favor, no way for them to play the victims.”

    Shoot a transformer, put a city dweller in the dark. Not sure about that.

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

  37. Why will Robinhood end at all ?

    There are lots of people to fleece out there.

    Read the article, particularly the section about the bulletproof glass installation at HQ.

    Most of their customers have probably never seen a real bear market or market-based interest rates.


  38. Read the article, particularly the section about the bulletproof glass installation at HQ.

    I’m sorry, the dude took out a ton of cash on his credit cards to play in the market. Then he took out two HELOC’s to play in the market more. I have zero sympathy for fools. That is Robinhood’s fault.

  39. I’m sorry, the dude took out a ton of cash on his credit cards to play in the market. Then he took out two HELOC’s to play in the market more. I have zero sympathy for fools. That is Robinhood’s fault.

    Strictly speaking, no, it isn’t Robinhood’s fault, but, like all Valley companies in the current bubble environment, when the monetary price tag is $0, the product is actually the user’s personal information. The goal is to keep the player enthused about the game so the same kind of psychologists are employed as those working for actual game companies.

  40. Productive day for me. Cleaned out half of the rain gutters on the one-story side. The other ones are on the 2nd story, and that’s too tall for this old dude.

    Then used a spray wash attached to the hose to clean off the back windows and the deck.

    Then set up the wife’s new computer. It’s a ‘refurbushed’ HP tower. Looks like they repainted the case, as the Windows authentication sticker was covered with black paint. But it came with a fresh and authentic Windows 10 installed, with no bloatware. Got a 24″ new LCD monitor to go with it.

    The keyboard is a bit strange looking. All the keys stick up individually, with no bezel around the keys, like the keys are mounted outside of the case. USB, not wireless. Looks like the cheapest keyboard the seller could find, but it works OK.

    Setup of the new system was easy. The usual Windows startup sequence. Disabled some of the data sharing things, and took OneDrive out of the startup loop. So far, works fine.

    And I spent some time in the 2nd pass through the new Old Western book. Still need to add some scenes to it, but this pass is making sure of the proper flow/sequence of the story.

    Partly cloudy this morning, but blue skies now this evening (7pm local). The usual cool weather – got up to 70F today, humidity about 80%, and very light breezes. Typical for this area. Sunset is at 9:11 pm, full dark at 9:50pm.


  41. The other ones are on the 2nd story, and that’s too tall for this old dude.

    1. Get a power washer with a long hose.
    2. Get a flying drone.
    3. Attach the power washer nozzle to the drone.
    4. Success!

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  42. I’m sorry, the dude took out a ton of cash on his credit cards to play in the market. Then he took out two HELOC’s to play in the market more. I have zero sympathy for fools. That is Robinhood’s fault.

    Strictly speaking, no, it isn’t Robinhood’s fault, but, like all Valley companies in the current bubble environment, when the monetary price tag is $0, the product is actually the user’s personal information. The goal is to keep the player enthused about the game so the same kind of psychologists are employed as those working for actual game companies.

    The stock market is not much different than a casino.

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  43. I’ve gradually taken over a lot of chores involving ladders for family and a few neighbors. Whether because of age, injuries, or medications, a number of them don’t feel comfortable going more than a couple steps up a stepladder, and then only if it’s a tall stepladder with plenty for them to hang on to. Meanwhile I, not that many years from 60 and with a bad knee and a bad eye, clamber up ladders like a demented monkey without a care in the world. Well, one care: I’m not exactly small and lightweight. If a ladder’s rated capacity is 250 pounds, that doesn’t leave much extra for my tools and materials. Not enough extra, most likely. Yes, I know the rated capacity leaves some leeway from the actual capacity, but the sag on a fully-extended ladder can be alarming at times.

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  44. @SteveF

    1. Get a power washer with a long hose.
    2. Get a flying drone.
    3. Attach the power washer nozzle to the drone.
    4. Success!

    Actually, the windows aren’t the problem. That Windex thing that attaches to the hose works OK for 2nd story windows.

    Problem is the gutters attached to the 2nd story area. Was thinking of some PVC pipe attached to a wet/dry vac to reach the 2nd floor gutters. But that might be a bit hard to handle. I only have a couple of leaf trees near the house, so not much leaf clutter. But there were a couple of spots in the gutters I cleaned today that had enough dirt for the weeds to start growing. That’s usually a good sign that it’s time to clean the gutters. All of them drain well enough, so low-priority to have someone clean them all.

    And I do have a power washer. But not the drone. Hmmm….but there are some HOA restrictions I’d have to think about. It would have to be a powerful drone to lift the hose with water that high. I’d probably get HOA violation complaints from the neighbors.

  45. @rick, they make a shepards hook shaped thing that goes on the hose to reach up and spray out high gutters…

    WRT robinhood, they have suspicious outages just exactly when you might want to do some urgent and instant trading… and don’t they make money by frontrunning their clients’ trades? Or funneling the trades thru brokers who pay for the privilege?

    My chiropractor is a young guy and was telling me how easy it is to make money in the market. Um, I’ve lived thru losing half or more of my money TWICE now when the market puked. NOT interested in having that happen again. If the hedge fund geniuses are packing it in, because they can’t make money, then it’s WAY past time for retail investors to get out.

    @stevef, I fell from an extension ladder into auditorium seats and broke a vertebra. I’ve been uncomfortable on ladders ever since. Installing the cable runs for my client last week was the first time I got up on an extension ladder at any height in years. It was a very sturdy and heavy fiberglas ladder, but I was moving REAL slowly and carefully at the top. 24ft up, and feeling every inch.

    Got the three lamps I bought for daughter’s new room put together. One had a plastic crack that I glued, and a missing power supply I was able to pull from a box in the garage. One was missing 2 screws and a psu, at 24v I’ll have to bring one home from my offsite storage. 12V lights the lamp up so I’m sure it works.

    https://www.amazon.com/Brightech-Eclipse-Floor-Lamp-Adjustable-Position/dp/B01KN2G7LK?tag=ttgnet-20

    https://www.amazon.com/Brightech-Twist-Contemporary-Brightness-Futuristic/dp/B07195DHJC?tag=ttgnet-20

    and one very similar to this, all in black…

    https://www.amazon.com/Brightech-Circle-Bedroom-Nightstand-Dimmable/dp/B01LDXSK2M?tag=ttgnet-20

    They look pretty cool against the purple walls. 🙂

    n

  46. Speaking of scanners earlier, someone just paid $137 for an old scanner you can get on ebay for <$50 at one of my favorite estate auctions. Crazy. There are plenty on ebay, and there's nothing special about this one.

    @alan, a couple of more thoughts about scanners… My main one, that is on pretty much all the time, is the Home Patrol. It sits beside my desk and I turn it up or down if I hear activity. I've also got an old all analog scanner sitting here for ham bands, and aircraft. Houston (and most places) has gone all digital/trunked/and unified across the whole state, so you need a modern scanner for most agencies. There's still plenty of activity on the analog bands though.

    I've got a trunk tracking scanner here too, but I only have a couple of agencies in it. you really need one radio per agency/talkgroup when things get interesting. During the last flood/hurricane before Harvey I was maxed out listening to 4 radios. I have a lot of practice too, having worn a radio in most of my careers, sometimes more than one at a time. In Vegas, I wore 3, one to the hotel, one to our team, and one headset to my stage crew. Carried a cell phone too.

    I have an old analog scanner that I leave running all the time in the garage. It has the local ham repeaters on it, so I can hear what the ham traffic sounds like. Early on, that gave me an idea which repeater I wanted to mainly listen to, and what was on it, what nets, at what time, etc. I switch to the NOAA weather channels to hear the local offshore forecast when I think about it too.

    Another option for monitoring, but it makes a lousy scanner, is a cheap radio dongle and a Software Defined Radio, like SDR# and the digital video dongle. I don't have it running on any of the PCs at my desk at the moment but it makes a nice complement to the radios.

    I just counted 12 radios on my desk, besides the Home Patrol, three ham band HTs, one hand held scanner (analog), one analog mobile scanner, one trunk tracker scanner, two HF all modes all bands transceivers, the quad band mobile I use for ham on 144 and 440, and two shortwave receivers… Only the Home Patrol is actually on at the moment.

    n

  47. Then set up the wife’s new computer. It’s a ‘refurbushed’ HP tower. Looks like they repainted the case, as the Windows authentication sticker was covered with black paint. But it came with a fresh and authentic Windows 10 installed, with no bloatware. Got a 24″ new LCD monitor to go with it.

    Microsoft has given very generous terms to the refurbishers to get Windows 10 on machines which used to run Windows 7. No bloat.

  48. WRT robinhood, they have suspicious outages just exactly when you might want to do some urgent and instant trading… and don’t they make money by frontrunning their clients’ trades? Or funneling the trades thru brokers who pay for the privilege?

    The article I linked has a good explanation of their business model.

  49. Another option for monitoring, but it makes a lousy scanner, is a cheap radio dongle and a Software Defined Radio, like SDR# and the digital video dongle. I don’t have it running on any of the PCs at my desk at the moment but it makes a nice complement to the radios

    The digital video dongle and a Raspberry Pi make a good combination for ADS-B monitoring of the air traffic control data. dump1090 has a built in web server and easy to compile/run.

  50. [snip] I’d probably get HOA violation complaints from the neighbors. [snip]

    Not if you loaned that set up to them for their gutters …

  51. Robinhood. Our latest intern kept talking about RH about a month ago. I advised him not to put much $$ in because of all the above reasons. Learn about the market with a $100 (Daughter #3 also is in RH. I told her more than a $100 and she gets cut out of the will). He said he had a good gut feeling about some stocks. I said *no* learn to invest properly or get a pro to advise him. Two weeks ago he lost $5,000 on RH and was in tears. Pretty much all his intern income for the year (he lived with us plus food and sundries, ended at the end of June).

    I use a pro. He made me $34K on Tesla alone in June. He has subscriptions to about a dozen investment advisors. Everything has a stop loss. I limit *options* to $15K. I’m not getting rich, but I haven’t put a dime in my IRA in twenty years but investing has made enough to keep me comfortable in A better nursing home if needed. I’ll start drawing it out at 70 as required. Between that, SS and my pension, I will be comfortable. Until the Barackalypse, that is.


  52. I use a pro

    This.

    I also use a professional advisor. He has kept me fairly protected although I have suffered some paper losses on paper over the course of 30 years, such losses being regained and then some. The advisor has moved me from moderately aggressive to fairly conservative as retirement time approached. Now some money has been moved into accounts that enjoy the gains, but have a minimum from which they can never go below. Basically my principle is protected. Accounts pays bonuses each year based on the stock market.

    My uncle thought he was a pro investor. He made almost no money and I think he lost. He gave me some shares of Enron, about $1000.00 worth. The shares had grown to be worth about $25K. He was constantly telling me to purchase more with my own money. I balked based on the advice of my advisor whom advocated selling the Enron stuff. I could not sell otherwise my uncle would have been ticked off. And we all know what happened to Enron. I still have the settlement check in an amount that was less than $0.10. Worth more as a souvenir than face value.

    Between SS, some small retirement money, VA money and money in investments I can live comfortably at my current lifestyle for dozens of years. But in a couple of years when I turn 70.5 I have to start pulling mandatory 4% from the funds. The tax hit from the withdrawals will be significant.

    I’ll start drawing it out at 70 as required

    There has been some talk about moving the mandatory distribution age to 72. If that happens I will delay the withdrawal.

    It is a crap shoot on spending the money over time, or trying to save for a medical disaster. What is left goes to the kid and do I really want to leave that much? If I go into assisted living the VA will contribute about $1200.00 a month to that cost, even for the spousal unit. Which is about 25% (or less) of the cost of assisted living. Nursing home the same way. Run out of money and Medicaid picks up the cost for a slum nursing home and VA money drops to $60.00 a month.

    Maybe I should just spend it all by the time I am 80. Then go on welfare and let someone else pay the bills. By that time I may too frail to give a rat’s backside to really care.

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