Sat. Sept. 12, 2020 – almost half way through the month

Hopefully, low 80s?  Still gonna be humid though.  And it would be nice if the rain holds off.

Yesterday was raining off and  on all day.  I got a brief time to prune the citrus trees a bit, and harvest my cabbage.  ONE golf ball sized head.  The others were doing well, but I let them dry out and they all died.  I need the bed for fall planting so I pulled it.  It’s cute.  Like a giant brussels sprout.  Not gonna feed the kids though.

I also took a look at my IR flood for the front yard.  It’s not working.  I determined that the psu is good, and then the rain came.  I’ll poke at it some more soon.  The flood for my driveway is a cheap ebay chinese one, and it’s been slowly dying for a while.  Finally enough of the IR leds are out that I just get a black picture at night.  It lasted surprisingly long for what I paid compared to a “real” name brand flood.  Given where it is, I’ll probably replace it with another china part.

Last weekend (or was it 2 weekends ago?), I washed the chimney and discovered some of the mortar had eroded and a couple of bricks were deteriorated.  I called a chimney guy to look at it and he came by  during one of the breaks in the rain.  He’s going to fill the joints, re-do the top seal, and anchor the cap.  Then he’ll seal the brick and mortar.  Surprisingly affordable, quick, and I don’t have to get up on the roof to do any of it.   At some point, we’ll have them get started on the roof too.  There is always maintenance that needs doing on a house.

All the normal things need to be done too.

I probably ought to get to it.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

46 thoughts on “Sat. Sept. 12, 2020 – almost half way through the month”

  1. Our house has no chimney, per se. We have high-efficiency furnace and water heater which have PVC vents out the side of the house. The only pipes coming out the roof are for the kitchen and bathroom vents. There’s no caps on them, just bare PVC pointing straight up, so I wonder how they don’t get flooded or plugged when it rains or snows, but they work so I don’t worry much about it.

    I’ll be working a good chunk of the weekend, first on doing the exhaust and shocks on my van; the mechanic who I’d expected to do them flaked. I should be able to do it but it’ll be a pain because there isn’t quite enough room in the garage. With SUVs and minivans being so popular you’d think that houses built in the past fifteen years would be built with wider garages and especially garage doors, but at least the developer who put up our house and the fifty around it didn’t do so. Some of the houses have one big garage door and the wife’s big-ass SUV is parked in the garage and the husband’s regular car stays in the driveway. Houses with two, smaller garage doors usually have the minivan or SUV staying in the driving.

    Second, I’ll be doing day-job work, trying to get big amounts of data processed and loaded in between other big jobs on the database server. It’ll be tricky because the server has barely enough capacity to do the regular weekend jobs and be done by Monday morning. You’d think that more hardware could be thrown at the system, that being the major selling point of hosting servers on “the cloud”, but allegedly there are reasons that won’t help anything. Our vendor is not open with explanations for this, which makes me suspect there’s an architectural screwup which limits capacity, probably one of those things which seemed like a good idea at the time and which isn’t a limitation for most of their clients but is breaking things for us.

    The weekend’s work is especially annoying because I’ve already done it twice, kicking things off and monitoring them in weekday evenings and over the weekends, but they need to be redone because the company’s fair-haired boy takes multiple tries to get things right. But he can do no wrong, so company management tells me, from one side of their mouths, that I need to be a team player and get this done and they regret me having to work on the weekend but there’s a deadline and someone has to do it. Out of the other side of their mouths they’re preaching about work-life balance and noting that I have over a hundred hours of unused personal time. I’ve pointed out that I can’t take a week, nor even a day, off because not a day goes by that I’m not needed for maintaining jobs on the servers, installing new versions of report processes, sending out a special mailing to a client who needs something today rather than tomorrow, and so on. I’m the only one who can do any of that because, despite repeated promises, no one has been hired to do the Operations work and so I’m stuck needing to be on call ten hours by five days plus frequent evenings and weekends. I’m not working that entire time, so I can cook supper, make the kid do homework, and such, but it’s always over 45 hours in a week and often 55.

    Thirdly, I’m going to be looking for a new job or more likely contract, for reasons suggested above and more. I’ve been too busy to look for a job, thanks in part to being in effect a single parent of a teenager under house arrest, but school’s started, the kid’s physically going to school, and the mental and temporal stress should be reduced enough for me to put effort into other things.

  2. “Dallas Police Chief resigns after department criticized for stopping violent anarchists in the city”

    This crap is going on all over the place. The lady was a good cop and upheld the law. She will be replaced by a simpering fool who let the animals run wild.

    The lawsuits are starting to fly in the Amber Jean/Botham Jean situation, and that happened on Renee Hall’s watch in Dallas.

    Hall punted in that case, not wanting to involve the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department in an election year with the former (inept) Sheriff, Lupe Valdez, challenging an incumbent Governor. The Texas Rangers were immediately called in to investigate.

    I still believe that Dallas Police HQ is not 100% on what happened in the shooting. Something weird is going on in the agency. Amber Geiger got to keep her pension despite a prison sentence.

    The cities of Dallas and Houston are technically insolvent in part due to pension obligations in their respective police and fire departments. I would think that a cop shooting an unarmed civilian and being found criminally negligent would void the obligation in that individual’s case, but what do I know.

  3. Lots of shenanegins at the PD in Houston and Dallas.

    @steveF, good luck brother. That’s a bunch of stuff.

    n

  4. #SteveF

    I wonder how they don’t get flooded or plugged when it rains or snows,

    Vent caps are connected directly to the drains, so any water that gets into them goes into the sewer. Any snow would still have enough air movement to let the vents work, and the snow would get sucked into the drain if it got too deep.

    The only worry would be critters nesting in there. But not a big worry, I’d think.

  5. Lots of shenanegins at the PD in Houston and Dallas.

    We never buy houses within city limits.

    Austin has shenanigans too, but the region has the relief valve of Round Rock/Williamson County.

  6. Lots of shenanegins at the PD in Houston and Dallas.

    Last night on the local news, I saw a clip of Abbott proposing a bill for the Legislative session which would allow the recently annexed areas of Texas cities to secede if the municipal governments move to defund police.

    Good Lord, when did that man get a backbone? We’ll see if he follows through.

  7. Wonderful cool morning. Leaving the doors open to the patio. The wife is binge watching 9/11 documentaries. I find them far too depressing. Living through it once was more than enough.
    Today is the only day for a week without obligations to take someone somewhere for something. It’s my day off, or would be if I didn’t have a load of honey-do to catch up on. Since the wife is unable to do simple cleaning or laundry, I have a lot of catching up to do.
    Our front walk is still torn up. We decided in April to expand it and put a drain down the middle to eliminate puddling. Our handyman had his guys tear things up and start framing. Then he lost his crew, then he spent 3 weeks in quarantine, then he couldn’t get the right drain parts, then it rained, etc. etc. So we still have a muddy mess after 4 months and it’s now too wet to pour the concrete. Sigh.

  8. @harold, It’s been 9 years since I started my master bath/closet remodel. I’m really glad I didn’t tear out any of the fixtures. Of course that might have made the schedule a bit shorter if we had no second bath….

    n

    and it looks like our chimney work might happen today, the guy got an opening in his schedule. hooray, as I’m waiting for that to be done before hanging a camera and possibly an antenna on the chimney. fractal. my todo list is.

  9. But he can do no wrong, so company management tells me, from one side of their mouths, that I need to be a team player and get this done and they regret me having to work on the weekend but there’s a deadline and someone has to do it.

    I had a similar Teams conversation on Thursday with the 2nd and 3rd layers of management above me regarding my issues working with a developer who is my “superior” on paper, both in title and paycheck, but a definite subordinate in terms of skills, even compared to the new grads we hired pre-Covid.

    Maybe I should have put conversation in quotes. I use the term loosely. My wife said that, from her perspective sitting upstairs in our home office — I’ve been banished to our kitchen counter to work since the VA sent everyone home in April — my manager’s manager and I spent most of the time just yelling at each other about (his term) the “chip” on my shoulder.

    I have no idea as to why I was hired at this place beyond someone in the management chain sleeping with the contract recruiter and wanting to put some money in that person’s pocket.

    Here’s the really fun part — the contract recruiter works for Google now. I wonder who they slept with there.

  10. “FIRE BUGS BUSTED Four people arrested for INTENTIONALLY starting blazes on West Coast as wildfires ravage the region”
    https://www.the-sun.com/news/1461447/four-arrested-intentionally-starting-blazes-wildfires/

    “FOUR people have now been arrested on the West Coast for deliberately starting blazes as wildfires rage.”

    “Cops detained two men in Washington, man in Oregon and woman in California as the desperate battle to contain the fires continues.”

    So, many of the wildfires are being set by firebugs. Or Antifa. Why am I not surprised ?

    Hat tip to:
    https://thelibertydaily.com/

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  11. Another day (Saturday, 9/12/20) of Hazardous Air Quality (meters are pegged-out high). It was this way yesterday (Friday, 9/11/20) and is to remain Hazardous until Tuesday. Where we are at is called the Columbia Basin for a good reason, it receives all the bad weather and air from the Northwest and Southwest. It is so smokey that the sun is not visible and the automatic lights have turned on and 99.9% of people who are venturing out actually have the common sense to turn on their headlights.

    My wife is a severe asthmatic and is having a rough time even though I have 6 high-efficiency HEPA+ Ionic and UV air purifiers running full blast. My inside air quality monitor is reading “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” so she is wearing my precious limited supply true N95 masks and getting some relief.

    I sure feel for all those folks who have lost their homes, farms, livestock, and businesses. The real sad part is all these fires were started by human stupidity and inaction. Our forest and plains have not been properly maintained for decades thanks to the idiots who claim to love the earth. They haven’t a clue.

    When I was a Cub/Boy Scout, 1950s/1960s, we spent our summers maintaining forests. There was never a fire in any of our maintained forests, not for lack of idiots trying. But the enviroweenies said we were harming the environment and we were forced to stop. Guess what? Within 2-years forest fires became a common and destructive occurrence.

    As Buzz Lightyear said: “And there seems to be no sign of intelligent life anywhere.”


  12. Our forest and plains have not been properly maintained for decades thanks to the idiots who claim to love the earth. They haven’t a clue.

    Where I lived in Southern Oregon, 15 miles up East Evans Creek Road from Rogue River there was extensive logging. Many places with managed logging that 20 years later you could not tell had been logged. The logging companies cleaned up the logged ground, maintained the access roads, and otherwise kept their “crop” healthy.

    But the envirowhackos decided that was not good enough. Closed down all the logging in the area. Several years later there was a major fire that was extremely difficult to control. The logging roads that provided access were washed out and unusable. There was basically no access except by air or by foot, the latter being very arduous. The fire was huge and did extensive damage.

    When I lived in the area there was also a fire. Forest service had access to our water pump for water. There was road access to most of the area. The logging companies provided equipment and manpower for creating fire breaks. The fire was easily contained in a couple of days with minimal damage.

    The very land the whackoweenies are claiming to protect are actually doing extensive harm. Unmanaged forests are potential for extreme fire events.

    Now California and Oregon are reaping the benefits of misguided clueless clods that have destroyed an industry and effectively torched the land. Massive loss of property and I suspect several lives.

  13. When I think some of our contractors could have been better…

    I came across a question on reddit, from the US, whether it was normal for workers to pee *in* the house on the wooden subfloor. About 3/4 of the answers from builders were “hell, no”, but about 1/4 said “sure, happens all the time”.

    WTF? Who would do that, who would put up with It? That’s gonna stink forever…


  14. Why is stuff like this not racist?

    Check your racist privilege, you racist literallyhitler!

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  15. So, my car work is going about as well as expected, which is to say about as badly as possible.

    I got the old muffler and resonator off by cutting them off. As expected and no real problem, just a PITA.

    And now I can’t fit the new muffler in. It has the fore and aft curved pipes welded on, and I just can’t get the car high enough to make enough space between the rear axle and the underside of the body, and between the body and the ground, to turn the muffler-plus-pipes in such a way as to fit the aft pipe in.

    If I hadn’t cut the muffler off I could have driven up to my dad’s shop, with the bigger floor jack and jack stands, plenty of 6x6s for additional height, and lots of other things, plus my dad’s expertise. We could have figured something out. Without a muffler, I don’t think I’d be very popular if I were to drive up. Likely half-deaf by the time I got there, too.

    When my wife gets back I’ll take her car and the muffler-plus-pipes to the auto parts store to see if I can piece together a separate muffler and pipes so I can fit them in and then clamp them.

    In the meantime, if you hear cursing, it’s me. I’m downwind of most of you but I think my level of pique might just overcome wind and distance.

  16. Found a great map for Air Quality Index (AQI) here – Purple Air company: https://www2.purpleair.com/ . It will use your location to zoom into your area if you allow it.

    AQI here in my area – opposite Mutiny Bay, WA – is currently around 210. The map shows readings in Portland at 400+. There are places in OR and CA over 500.

    The Windy PM2.5 map shows current levels, and will also show projected levels. Big dark brown (bad stuff) all over the west coast, with plumes reaching into NV and ID and beyond forecast. See https://www.windy.com/-PM2-5-pm2p5?cams,pm2p5,44.112,-120.224,6 ; use the play button (lower left) to see projections.

    Not a good day to be outside around here, or anywhere on the west coast. The sky here is a light brown, sort smoky-fog looking. Not as red as the pix from SF and other areas earlier this week.

  17. If I hadn’t cut the muffler off I could have driven up to my dad’s shop, with the bigger floor jack and jack stands, plenty of 6x6s for additional height, and lots of other things, plus my dad’s expertise. We could have figured something out. Without a muffler, I don’t think I’d be very popular if I were to drive up. Likely half-deaf by the time I got there, too.

    That is what ear plugs and ear muffs are for. And you still have the catalytic converter(s). Those will drop the noise somewhat.


  18. “FIRE BUGS BUSTED Four people arrested for INTENTIONALLY starting blazes on West Coast as wildfires ravage the region”

    This is what Gavin Newsom calls Climate Change.


  19. Check your racist privilege, you racist literallyhitler!

    Thanks for the humbling reminder and correction on my attitude. I am humbly grateful.

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  20. Without a muffler, I don’t think I’d be very popular if I were to drive up

    Motorcycles do it all the time. Most annoying to be beside one without any mufflers blurping the throttle, then accelerating at close to max making a deafening sound that blasts even through closed windows. Jerks.

    1

  21. Jerks.

    One thing I’ve told all of my kids in many contexts is, “Don’t be that guy.” Don’t be the one driving in the middle lane at just below the speed limit. Don’t be the one who makes fart noises in class and makes the teacher mad and causes everyone to have to stay in the class room instead of going out for recess. Don’t be the team member who doesn’t do his share of the work.

    We live in a high-trust society and are enormously wealthier for it. High-trust societies are fragile and ours has been under attack for decades by people who hate Americans, America, and everything special about America. Don’t be that guy who knocks another brick out from the foundation.

  22. Making progress on my Honey-Do list.
    Wife’s crafting and misc tables cleaned off and two boxloads of crap destined for someplace in the already overflowing garage.
    Garage chest freezer is emptied in preparation to receive our 250 lbs of fresh beef Monday. To get that done required cleaning the kitchen freezer of junk we will never use, then packing it with stuff from the pantry freezer to make room for the stuff from the garage. I’m exhausted. But wait, there’s more. I’ve moved all the supplies from the pantry that can’t be harmed by cool, dampness of the bunker in preparation for rearranging the pantry to meet the wife’s requirements. I started taking stuff down to the bunker when wife threw a fit convinced I would fall and break a hip or something so now all that stuff is occupying the space in the garage where my car sat. Once she goes to sleep I will get it moved downstairs without complications. Since she’s become ill, she is worrying about my health constantly. I understand its because she’s become completely reliant on me but it can be a bother. I’m not feeble yet and aside from easily controlled diabetes, I don’t have any chronic issues. But I have learned I can’t complain about anything from a back pain to a sore throat without nagging I see a doctor immediately.
    Enough resting, the birds are whining that they have eaten all the free food in the bird feeder and are threatening to riot if I dont give them more. Glad I’m not in Portland.

  23. Why is stuff like this not racist? Had someone purchased 97 acres as a city safe for white people the news would be rampant with stories about whitey being racist along with chest thumping by Jesse and Al.

    The concept is hardly new. My wife’s family’s hometown of Centralia, WA was founded by a freed slave, partially as a response to not being able to live in Oregon, ironically a “whites only” state until 1926.

  24. Don’t be the team member who doesn’t do his share of the work.

    They used to serve a purpose as “low hanging fruit” for layoffs, but management regards all of their employees that way anymore.

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  25. @Nick, thanks for the offer, I will keep it in mind but my “limited” is really a rather good supply which I have always maintained due to my wife’s asthma. I also have plenty of handmade and “other” masks that are “COVID acceptable”.

    @RickH, the problem with all the states’ sites that report air quality is they mainly use private air monitor reporting and there is no standard for the monitors use or their mounting location. My area is a prime example. There is a person who has a monitor on the system but it is indoors and its readings never change. My monitor is not on the system, it is mounted beneath my weather station which is in a clear area of my yard on a 20-foot pole. It currently has an AQI of 480, max reading is 500 which it was when I posted earlier. Other reliable monitors in my area are currently ranging from 470 to 490.

  26. Somehow I am now scanning photos for my Father-in-laws funeral photo montage. How do I get myself into these things ?

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  27. How do I get myself into these things ?

    I know how it works with me.
    The wife says “Oh, my husband can do that and he’d be happy to”.

    1
  28. When I look at the AQI maps on that site, I can see the occasional yellow (moderate – 50) AQI number surrounded by a sea of dark purple (over 200 AQI).

    So I discount that yellow dot. Just like I discount a single downvote on a comment.

    The PurpleAir site shows all of their AQI monitors (they sell them). So, not just government locations. Private/commercial locations also have those monitors. I think of their AQI map similar to the WeatherUnderground map of private weather stations.

  29. How do I get myself into these things ?

    I know how it works with me.
    The wife says “Oh, my husband can do that and he’d be happy to”.

    Yup, that is the way it happens. Sometimes with tears and sometimes with foot stomping. And sometimes there is a reward.

    1
  30. Don’t be the team member who doesn’t do his share of the work.

    They used to serve a purpose as “low hanging fruit” for layoffs, but management regards all of their employees that way anymore.

    As an employer, cost is balanced against work ethic for layoffs. And how long it has been since that person pissed me off goes into the equation too. For me, it is an agonizing decision.

  31. RickH
    We, in Salem, are at 501 right now, we were off the scale on Tuesday. According to the site you indicated, however the ACQIN.org site is usually use says 198. The Tuesday reading was >750 at whatever site I was on, the worst it has been with heavy ash fall and couldn’t locate the sun.

  32. Holy cow that’s pretty bad air.

    When I was in China the normal air was so bad you can’t always find the sun, and I was surprised by my photos as my eye and brain compensated somewhat for the white monotony.

    You guys almost let me forget about the disaster hitting your part of the country. Don’t let me get so focused on hurricanes and unrest that I miss a disaster like the fires out your way.

    n

  33. Speaking of hurricanes, here we go again.

    Got two TS storms lined up to hit FL and the Gulf Coast.

    n


  34. When I was in China the normal air was so bad you can’t always find the sun

    Spent a couple of years in Hong Kong and when the smog blew in from southern China you couldn’t see from one building to another. The AQ gave my wife asthma which has caused her problems ever since.

  35. “REVEALED: George Floyd Swallowed Drugs During May 2019 Arrest and Admitted to Snorting Oxycodone Daily”
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/09/revealed-george-floyd-swallowed-drugs-may-2019-arrest-admitted-snorting-oxycodone-daily/

    You all know that I am against The War on Some Drugs ™. However, if you are high as a kite and die during an event, you must be held responsible for your own behavior. If you die due to drugs, it is your fault. Or if you have a stroke due to drugs, it is your fault. Don’t be charging a police officer with murder when you have enough Fentenyl in your body to kill three men.

    1
  36. “22-Year-Old Who Had His Arm Partially Blown Off After Pointing a Gun at 17-Year-Old Kyle Rittenhouse’s Head Cries Victim to CNN”
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/09/22-year-old-arm-partially-blown-off-pointing-pistol-17-year-old-kyle-rittenhouses-head-cries-victim-cnn/

    ““I was shot point blank with a .223 round from the shooter,” Grosskreutz said. “And I am now missing 90% of my bicep. This has not been easy emotionally, physically. I’m in constant pain, like excruciating pain that just doesn’t go away — both in my arm, in my heart.””

    “Grosskreutz told CNN that he is not a felon and that he has a license to carry his firearm.”

    Why is this guy walking the streets ? He ran up to a man defending himself with a gun in his hand and pointed the gun at him. There is some evidence that he fired ten shots at the man defending himself across the street.

    And if you have been convicted of other felonies, you do not have the right to carry a gun.


  37. Don’t be the one who makes fart noises in class and makes the teacher mad and causes everyone to have to stay in the class room instead of going out for recess

    Now he tells me.

    How do I get myself into these things ?

    Because you are considered a computer guru who can do anything dealing with computers.

  38. “27 Best Fantasy Books of the 21st Century” by Dan Livingston
    https://fantasybookworld.com/27-best-fantasy-books-of-the-21st-century/

    I have read the “Harry Potter” series and the “Storm Front” series only out of the 27.

    He needs to add the “Hounded” series
    https://www.amazon.com/Hounded-Druid-Chronicles-Kevin-Hearne/dp/0345522478/?tag=ttgnet-20
    and the “Alex Verus” series.
    https://www.amazon.com/Fated-Verus-Novel-Benedict-Jacka/dp/1937007294/?tag=ttgnet-20

  39. I liked the Alex Verus books and am eagerly waiting for the next one.

    China Meville was weird for weird sake. Like so many of the books from the time periods, they’re more like tone poems in that they mainly exist to evoke a mood. I will not be reading any more Mieville. Freaking bug headed girlfriend, FFS.

    I read Coraline when I was reading Gaiman. I’m not wasting any more time on him. His stuff never quite comes together for me and I find it frustrating to be SO CLOSE, without getting there.

    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell- read it. Have NO memory of it at all. None.

    If you like Sir Terry, you’ll likely enjoy any of his Discworld novels, not just the one listed, although the ones that all link together in that period with those characters are great.

    The rest I’ve never even heard of (except Potter of course, but you either do or don’t with potter)

    n

  40. As an employer, cost is balanced against work ethic for layoffs. And how long it has been since that person pissed me off goes into the equation too. For me, it is an agonizing decision.

    I’ve never been laid off. I was fired from my first professional job, but that was because the girl who recommended me for the gig stopped sleeping with the boss. I was gone in a week.

    My current management has been pissed at me since the first phone screen. This seems to be a running thread with every job I’ve held since leaving the Death Star — they need the high level skills but with the pliancy of someone younger and less experienced so they can get extraordinary amounts of work done from one person through bullying rather than adequate compensation.

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