Fri. Sept. 25, 2020 – month and week are almost gone by

Cool and overcast.

Thursday was both cooler and overcast.  I did some cleanup in the driveway, which mostly involved dumping out water from any place it accumulated.  I’m pretty confident that we got slightly more than 12 inches over the last few days.  Three different containers had that much water in them.

I managed to get a bunch of little things done.  Mostly cleaning and organizing, but also ordering some stuff.  I ordered the weird N size batteries for one of my night vision devices, and moved that case out of the house into the garage for storage.  I ordered the switch for the drain cleaner machine I bought.  I have to clear our main kitchen drain line twice a year.  The machine will pay for itself in one year or less.  I’m hoping the current snake is a good size to work with my pipes.  I’ll see when I use it I guess.  One less thing to call a specialist for, or make the trip to the rental yard.

I received the power switch for my new mower, just in time to cut the grass this weekend.  Hope that goes in without difficulty.

The national security situation continues to fluctuate locally.  The rioters in STL went right to shooting and firebombs this time.    That’s an escalation.  Riots in other uninvolved cities too.

I never did hear what our local disturbance was about.  The coppers did chase the guy around my neighborhood, and the FB group says “low speed chase”.     The disturbance at the neighbor’s house a couple of nights ago seems to have been a domestic.  His girlfriend was the one in the squad car, and she hasn’t been back around since.

I did a bit more research on the possible lake house, and surrounding area, looked at some historical topo maps and current maps.  There is a 2 acre lot for $24k with lake ‘view’ that also caught my eye.  There are smaller lots for $9-14K 1/4 and 1/2 acre, unimproved, in the same area.  If there are lots still around this lake, there are probably lots around others not too far away.  You might be surprised if you go looking.  Better to have somewhere definite to go, if you have to go…

Speaking of my lake house stay, I had a couple of lessons learned to share.

–the matches I’ve been carrying in a tube in my Dopp kit for the last few years didn’t light.  They weren’t damp exactly, but they weren’t dry either.  I didn’t have a lighter due to air travel restrictions.  I DID have a bunch of fire starting stuff in my wife’s car in the ‘bail out kit’.   The commercial fire lighter sticks that look like square slim jim sausages work very well, even if they are years old.  I will be adding some of the big brick of lighters to all sorts of places, including my carry on bag.

–I have been carrying one of those cheap hotel corkscrews for years.  Used it for the first time last weekend.  It was pretty flimsy, but got the job done.  Happy wife, happy life…

–I like to carry my little shortwave radio on trips to the country.  I forgot it.   I was a tiny bit disappointing.

–one of the neighbors was a ham with a big antenna setup.  They aren’t subtle, if it ever turns out to be a liability.  If I needed help, I would consider a fellow ham before random strangers.  Conversely, I’d be willing to help if approached by another ham.

–I know NOTHING useful about fishing in Texas.  I need someone to help me go through all the fishing gear I’ve accumulated and help set me up for salt and fresh water fishing.  Some lessons would be useful too.  The kids have expressed interest in fishing, and I’d like to be able to encourage that.

–Modern kayaks are inexpensive and fun.  I looked at a map once and discovered that I could get from my folk’s house south of Chicago, all the way to Peoria IL and beyond by water… probably all the way to New Orleans although I didn’t map that.

–there are pipelines everywhere.  If you know what to look for while driving you will see the markers, and the cuts through the forest.  Pipeline rights of way might be an easier and less traveled path if you ever had to walk out, or ride a dirt bike, or atv.  Look for them if you think things might get that bad.

–I had no cell service at all in the rental house, except one room upstairs.  My wife has a wifi calling app so she barely noticed.  I don’t.  It was radio silence for me.  I don’t think I’ll be ebaying the cell booster I have sitting here at the house.

–I’ve been stacking stuff for a second home for a long time.  It would be nice to actually use it.  This lockdown has proven the wisdom of having stuff, and backups to the stuff, to me and to my wife (not that I needed convincing, but she’s always been skeptical past a certain point.)

Well, that’s it for now, I’ve got auction pickups and gardening and repairs to do.  Maybe I’ll get some of it done…

Meanwhile, keep improving your position, and keep stacking.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

63 thoughts on “Fri. Sept. 25, 2020 – month and week are almost gone by”

  1. I wish I could code. Recent results are proving me incompetent. I rewrote about a thousand lines of fortran to handle multiple events and the first pass through the 560+ benchmarks generated over a hundred error files. I fixed a couple of bugs and the second pass generated only a dozen error files. So much for the days I could rip off a few hundred working lines of code a day.

    I’m not buying it. You’re in the 10% whether you like it or not.

    I don’t code anymore. I play with XML config files.

    Legacy software going back 10-15 years like ours usually has a lot of XML because someone was inevitably padding their resume. Hot Skillz (TM)! If I had it to do over again, I never would have ventured down this career path because everything for two decades has been the non-10% overly-ambitious pursuing resume embellishments rather than getting real work done. I’ve always ended up on mop detail after the blowouts.

    It could be worse. The Java code for our product at CGI was expressed as XML which was compiled to Java and then interpreted by the JRE. Skillz!

    Our customer demo I was press ganged into in July was a complete failure with a p*ssed off customer. Management’s management and I don’t talk because it just ends up as yelling. I’m letting Senior twist in the hurricane force winds this week while I giggle at my laptop surfing Indeed.com at home because what’s the point? What are they going to do? Fire me?

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  2. @greg, there is a certain heady freedom in DILLIGAF…

    I would not survive in the current PC environment if I had to go to an office. The only reason I was able to stay at canadian BigCorp for 7 years is I worked in the field, not the office. And I was REALLY good at the job. When I left, I didn’t even get an exit interview.

    n

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  3. Create a new coding language. Call it THUG- –

    Fixed that for ya.

    I stand corrected.

    I wish I could code

    Pffft. Don’t sell yourself short. You are head and shoulders above me (at least years past when I was actively slinging code) and I considered myself in the top 10%. Maybe my opinion of myself back then is nothing but ego but the code worked well, worked fast, worked accurately, was easy to maintain, liberal comments, etc.

    thousand lines of fortran

    Well, there’s your problem. The fact that you can get things done in a language that is 60+ years old is impressive in itself. I also suspect there is not a lot of effort put into the language to make coding easier and provide debugging tools. Back when FORTRAN was created it was almost every man (person) for themselves. And good luck at reading core dumps.

    So much for the days I could rip off a few hundred working lines of code a day

    I generally felt good if I could produced 100 lines of working, competent code, a day when I was actively developing. Some days more, some days 3.5 lines of working code was an accomplishment. It is like writing (I used to do technical articles for a magazine). Sometimes things just flow, smoothly. Other days you can’t find the + sign on the keyboard.

    What are they going to do? Fire me?

    Based on some of your comments you should have been let go long ago. You must really be valuable and some skills and information that would be difficult to replace. When you do finally decide to cut loose (your choice or theirs) it would seem that you would be “sticking it to the man” in the process.

    I know that feeling. I did that to the bank when I left. MTech had taken over, working for them sucked, the project sucked and was doomed to failure, the manager of the project was a jerk. I really enjoyed the bank until the take over of IT by MTech September 1987. It was enjoyable to walk into the manager’s office and be told I was fired to instead inform the manager I quit.

    The conversion program to convert Burroughs teller terminals and the ATM system to talk with software running on IBM was a challenge. In fact was a very difficult challenge with lots of state tables, format conversions, screen reformatting, etc. When I left the person that took over failed and the entire project was scrapped. I like to think it was because of my abilities that were no longer available. May be my ego talking again but reports from workers that were left is that is was a disaster.

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  4. ” I like to think it was because of my abilities that were no longer available. ”

    –after I left, the company lost all of my clients within a few months. Within a year, they had essentially exited that line of business.

    And the VP in charge of our department didn’t think I should even be in the room when talking with clients. My boss knew better. The guy that brought me into the company knew better. The customers knew better. Funny, that VP is now the CEO, so what do I know?

    n

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  5. Based on some of your comments you should have been let go long ago. You must really be valuable and some skills and information that would be difficult to replace. When you do finally decide to cut loose (your choice or theirs) it would seem that you would be “sticking it to the man” in the process.

    Management where I currently work seems to have been p*ssed at me from Day One. Heck, the first phone screen. I have no idea as to why.

    At least my wife’s jugheaded cousin was politely walked to the door on the first day of his “real” job after his parents bought him a UW MBA and the management realized they had been snowed in the interview.

    Other than the absence of United Way extortion, it seems like a lot of workplaces have reverted to being living “Dilbert” cartoons from the late 90s. Maybe it is a sign of the decline.

  6. I would not survive in the current PC environment if I had to go to an office. The only reason I was able to stay at canadian BigCorp for 7 years is I worked in the field, not the office. And I was REALLY good at the job. When I left, I didn’t even get an exit interview.

    I asked for and received, grudgingly, an exit interview at CGI. I think they knew they had a problem with my direct member manager — my first informal review being my primary complaint — but they were reluctant to do anything about it because he was a token African American hire, ex-Army, ex-cop, 50-ish working on a third career and retirement nest egg based on ESOP of CGI stock at a discount.

    Excluding all other factors, firing ex-Army is especially tough in Belton, being so close to Fort Hood. I wouldn’t be surprised if CGI committed to specific veteran hiring numbers as part of the tax incentives package to put the office in that location. The division management had to be front and center at Fort Hood transitioning service events at least once a month. Heck, even Belton got a concession from CGI in that we weren’t allowed to work from home save for one day a week under special circumstances.

    Bet that’s out the window now.

  7. Any number of projects have fallen apart when I left. This is emphatically not because I kept secrets to myself. On the contrary, I’m good about documenting what I’m doing (and why — very important), system setup, and whatever else is needed to get a program built, deployed, and running. I do my best to make sure at least one other person knows everything necessary about everything I’m working on.

    It doesn’t do any good. Whether because of lack of talent, lack of conscientiousness, or lack of motivation, most developers just aren’t up to doing good work in a professional environment. The few who can do good work are often overloaded, covering for the simpletons and the slackers.


  8. I asked for and received, grudgingly, an exit interview at CGI

    I have never had an exit interview. Unless you count leaving the USAF which was mostly physical tests and a lot of paperwork. Only real comment I remember was when I got fired from the credit union. The CEO’s comment was “get the f*** out of my credit union”. Six months later he was told the same. The very things that I had railed against about the computer system vendor (and got me fired) were the same things for which the board terminated the CEO. But he got a much better severance package.

    I do my best to make sure at least one other person knows everything necessary about everything I’m working on

    I spent a year (not full time) fully documenting my code with liberal comments. I also prepared a couple of documents detailing how the system was setup and how to configure and how all the processes worked. Almost 100 pages of documentation, with pictures (screen captures) included. There was a six month overlap with my replacement. Even today he is still using the documentation and has thanked me many times for making his life easier.

    This was different than most projects I had worked. It was my code from the ground up. Put together over the years, modified over the years, tweaked over the years. The code, the applications, represented me and my efforts. I was going to do everything I could to make certain that the code worked after I left the organization. Five years later little has changed in the code and the applications.

    It was difficult from an emotional perspective turning over all that effort to another person. First time that had ever happened to me with code.

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  9. Shoot!

    That could have ended badly but didn’t.

    I lived in that apartment complex for a couple of years. Going in, the cops probably knew what was happening. It is the closest decent place to live for USF med students.

    https://www.tampabay.com/sports/lightning/2020/09/24/lightning-fans-screams-prompt-visit-from-police/

    After the humiliation of last year’s playoffs at the hands of the former coach, the Lightning fans are passionate.


  10. I would not survive in the current PC environment if I had to go to an office.

    Consider yourself lucky. It’s as bad as it’s ever been.

    My employer is severly left-leaning. Their big push is “reimagining the workplace.” If the workplace was so great (as they keep telling us), why does it need to be reimagined?

    Whether because of lack of talent, lack of conscientiousness, or lack of motivation, most developers just aren’t up to doing good work in a professional environment.

    Most PEOPLE.

    My direct boss doesn’t have enough to do. Retired Lt. Col. A kiss a$$. Always wants to be seen as the hero (he’s said this many times). I used to fight to get him to stay in his lane, but I’ve given up.

    It’s difficult to sit back and say screw it, if this is what the company wants, then this is what they get. I still struggle with it. As much as I have to deal with interference in my job, I still approach the core aspects like I always have – I own it and make sure everything works like it should. And when it comes down to it, all the interference is about trivial/small crap. My management chain has no idea what it takes to keep our networks humming, and this includes my boss. It must be scary to know that, when the cards are on the table, you are pretty useless.

    I am lucky though – my team, for the most part, are very good. Everyone works together and is able to work fairly independently. They don’t require managing, as my boss likes to try to do. This allows me to keep up with the technical work. I do know that this is my last management stint. Not only do I not want to go higher, I will eventually go back to purely technical.


  11. My management chain has no idea what it takes to keep our networks humming, and this includes my boss

    Do they really need to know the nitty gritty details? That is why they have staff. People like you.

    They don’t require managing, as my boss likes to try to do

    There is the problem. The boss should guide, make decisions appropriate for their level, decide an answer when there are conflicting answers, motivate workers, reward workers, and keep their paws out of the nitty gritty. Set a realistic goal and let the technical people achieve that goal.

    I will eventually go back to purely technical

    I discovered at the credit union that I sucked as a manager. I was technically oriented and had my hands too far into the details. I got annoyed at CU workers that would do stupid stuff on their computers and would rather do it myself then show them how to accomplish the task. I sucked working with vendors, doing budgets, doing reviews, etc. My staff of six liked working for me as I knew my stuff, not so much the others in the CU working with me. Part of the problem was the computer systems vendor and my battles with them. I was not a politician and said what I had to say. I had no issues calling an anal orifice exactly that in different words.

    I was happier after I got fired and went back to development, slinging code, computer maintenance, database maintenance, etc. The joy of computers was back in my life rather than the tragedy of dealing with other humans.


  12. Do they really need to know the nitty gritty details? That is why they have staff. People like you.

    You are correct, though with a clarification on my point. My boss isn’t paid to be a technical expert. He proclaims himself to be one, however. He has no respect for the work others do. I have been told by him many times either “I could do that” or ” I took a class on that (Online) and it’s easy to setup.”

    One example is how he took an online intro class on vmware and proclaimed he could set it up in our environment. An enterprise level setup. Sure, I believe you.

    Another example. He loved to exclaim his networking capabilities. He knows just enough to throw out some terms, but if he had to actually configure a route, let alone setup an entire netork, well, lets just say we would be back to sneaker nets.

    There is the problem. The boss should guide, make decisions appropriate for their level, decide an answer when there are conflicting answers, motivate workers, reward workers, and keep their paws out of the nitty gritty. Set a realistic goal and let the technical people achieve that goal.

    Another good point. I only dive into the techincal because we are short staffed. I keep my involvement to my defined areas, and leave the rest to the team. I let them do their thing and provide guideance when needed, or adjust priorities when called for.

    The really interesting thing about my boss is that he doesn’t interfere in my technical duties, I think deep down he knows better. He jumps in on my employees tasks, usually the lower level stuff. I know deep down it’s a confidence issue with him.

    I discovered at the credit union that I sucked as a manager. I was technically oriented and had my hands too far into the details.

    Managing people who are capable of working independently, and only need general guidance, is very rewarding. It really is a team effort at that point. Managing people who either don’t care, or need constant guidance, is trying.

    My real problem with managing, however, is the politics. I don’t give a crap. I just want to get the job done. I want to be cordial and professional. I don’t want to suck up to a specific group because they are buddie swith the VP, or another group because they have some sort of special privilege. I’m not interested in spending time with coworkers outside of work. I only play along just enough to not be noticed as a trouble maker. I know I won’t rise further, and I don’t care.

    One thing that has helped me recently is the moving of all meetings to Skype or MS Teams. I can sit thorugh all the BS meetings and have the mike AND speaker on mute. I just sat through a virtual coffee session this morning about mental health in the workplace. I was working on a test setup of a key management server for vmware at the same time…

  13. “Dirty” Harry Reid can’t keep his yap shut:

    2013

    Reid: Thanks to all of you who encouraged me to consider filibuster reform. It had to be done.
    McConnell: You’ll regret that sooner than you think.

    Fast forward to 2020

    Reid: Redumblicans are trying to force yet another nominee to the Supreme Court against the will of the American people.
    McConnell: Hold my beer!

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  14. Stretch Pelosi: “Justice was denied for Breonna Taylor and her family. Just think if it were your daughter, your sister, your cousin, your relative, your friend who was murdered by the police and the charging decision held no one accountable for her death.”

    Yeah, The Speaker of the House just accused the Louisville police of murder. Never mind the AG of the State speaking about exactly why a Grand Jury didn’t find a crime against Taylor. Throw some gasoline on the fire, dumb shit. Now calls to release the GJ transcript. How would you like to be one of the people on that GJ? The death threats and actual harm to them is coming.

    Of course, Stretch’s comments are in Congress, where you can lie, cheat, steal, etc., with impunity. Remember “Dirty” Harry Reid laughing in the face of a reporter about how he lied about Bishop Mittens taxes, etc. Politicians are generally scum. The FMOD can’t hit DC too soon.

  15. Something just occurred to me, and I’m appalled that it took me so long:

    I sure wish OFD were still with us so he could say that the Supreme Court is RUTHLESS.

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  16. Sam’s Club run today at lunch to the lower rent store of the two close to us.

    No shortage of dried beans there so I got another sack to top off our bin. We’ve gone through a lot since the last time I topped off the supply; pinto beans are just set the crock pot and go.

    Low Rent Sam’s also had Bush’s Baked Beans without a “Clearance” tag, but we’re full up in that part of the shelf

    Strangely, Campbells Cream of Mushroom was under a “Clearance” tag and isn’t at the other store. I’m not sure of the logic there unless a new can design is coming.

    Meat supplies are back to normal. My wife had a co-worker just return from a couple of weeks in Iowa, and he said people thought he was nuts for running around in a mask up there.

  17. re others taking over my projects, my experience differs from Ray’s. As stated above, I’m good about writing things down on paper or in team wikis and I turn them over to the project manager or my replacement. It doesn’t do any good. Sometimes someone will call me days or months later, asking where the project’s source code was or “what if I need to add a column to the vendors report?”. Worse, I’d find out months or years later that my program was thrown away because no one could find it/no one could maintain it/it was written badly. The first point was always covered in the documentation, the second should have been doable by a competent programmer, and the last I reject because I saw what was written to replace what I’d done. (In one case a multi-thousand-line C++ program, all in one file, with no classes, no comments, and no documentation. Impressive!)

    As a programmer I’m much better than most (and a so-so electrical engineer; not enough working experience to be better than so-so) but I try to make sure my professional code is maintainable by a competent programmer who’s willing to read the documents I write and the source comments and if needed the documentation for the environment, the libraries, and what-not. Apparently “competent” and “not a lazy-ass” is too high a bar. I’ll note in passing that my replacement was often not American and not a native speaker of English. This may have something to do with reluctance to read how-to instructions in English but doesn’t excuse it, nor does it excuse the managers who chose inept seat-fillers in order to save a dollar an hour.

  18. If you have a fig tree, and the figs are slow to start ripening, this comment from a thread at Maggie’s Farm (not a farming blog) sounds like it would be worth a try:

    Carefully place plastic sandwich bags over a few of the fruits and secure these with a clothes pin or zip tie “airtight.” Wait a few days. If the bagged fruits have ripened, you may remove the bags because you successfully tricked the plant hormones for the whole plant. Most of your fruits will now ripen. Otherwise pray. Either you had poor pollination or fickle plants and it’ll be too late fix. ~ commenter “chauncy”

    My fig trees that I planted last year did not bloom or fruit this year, despite being big old trees in 25 gallon pots from Womack Nursery. I’m guessing that like some other fruit trees and certain flowering shrubs, they are STILL going to have to be in the ground for 5 years before they produce. Nurseries should be required to label all plants as to how long it takes them to bloom or fruit after replanting them. Most will refuse to tell… they will cite “years of age” but moving the tree seems to re-set the “age” back to zero for many species.

    My wild Chili Pequin is fruiting late again this year. Those are a perennial pepper plant. Here, it dies back to ground in winter, but comes up again from roots every spring. Last year, by the time it set green peppers, we had a freeze before they ripened to red. This year, it has only just now started blooming. I want to get fresh seeds to start some new plants. Might be able to snip a branch and root it – I’ll have to research that. My oldest son wants one.


  19. others taking over my projects, my experience differs from Ray’s

    My replacement stated that if I had not been available for the six month overlap he would have quit after two weeks. It was not so much the code was complicated, it is just a large system. Tens of thousands of lines of code. ColdFusion code mixed in with HTML, CSS, SQL and JavaScript. Add in the need to understand SQL server, Windows server and Windows 10 it was a lot of general and specific knowledge.

    Working all these pieces together and knowing how they all worked is/was the difficult part. Knowing office applications was mandatory as the application created a complicated Excel spreadsheet to deliver to the users. It was also necessary to learn the business as it was a non-profit dependent entirely on donations.

  20. If you can get to Peoria, IL by water, you’re all set. The Illinois River flows right through Peoria, and flows down to the Mississippi just north of St. Louis. I’m not at all sure I’d want to kayak down the Mississippi, however.


  21. I’m not at all sure I’d want to kayak down the Mississippi, however.

    Seven miles from my house I can get on the Clinch River. From there I get to the Tennessee River then 800+ miles to to the Missouri River. Then to the Mississippi River.

    There is a group that runs the entire length of the Tennessee River from the headwaters at Douglas Lake to the terminus at the Missouri River on wave runners. Requires doing multiple locks through TVA dams, which is at no cost. Takes several days. A kayak might take a month, or more.

  22. BTW, got the switch installed on my mower, took only a few minutes. Cut the grass in the back yard. SWEET! The mower is at least a third lighter than my old one, is really quiet -I didn’t even wear plugs, an has bigger wheels in the back which makes it easier to maneuver. Seemed to have plenty of power and only used one light on the 5 light bar graph reserve meter.

    Did my auction pickups. Some shelving parts for my ongoing organization, a chinese copy of a russian gub, and some other small things. The FFL who did the transfer is a nice guy. We spent some time talking about flooding (he did) and bad times coming. He’s got a solar powered well, cattle, and lots of gubs. LOTS of gubs including class III. Very much a like minded individual.

    Dropped some stuff at my secondary location. I need to spend a bunch more time there.

    Need to get some dinner going.

    n


  23. My replacement stated that if I had not been available for the six month overlap

    Yah, that would do it.

    I’ve never had anywhere near that, either coming on to a project or handing off to someone else. Never more than two weeks, sometimes none at all. Sometimes it was a matter of a client wanting to cut project costs so they’re getting rid of me and putting in someone junior, sometimes it’s because the consulting company puts me on another project which is in trouble or which is more profitable, sometimes either I or the person before me got sacked on no notice.* Several times the person who’d been on the project left two weeks before the delivery date with it nowhere near ready to deliver.**

    * Somewhat related, if you join a team which has been in place for a while and the team lead or other starts talking shit about your predecessor and moreso if they talk shit about each of the three predecessors in the past two years, start looking for another contract. They’ll be talking shit about you before your chair is cold. There’s a nice little coterie of friends who can’t do the job, either because there aren’t enough of them or because they’re bozos, so they get in more people to carry some of the load, but they sabotage the outsiders and get rid of them.

    ** The first time, when I was still new to consulting, I was surprised that Keith didn’t postpone his new job for just two more weeks just so he could have the satisfaction of turning the project over, but he spun a good story about how he’d already postponed as long as he could and he’d lose the new job (in another city) if he delayed any more, and he was satisfied enough, knowing that he’d built the entire system and it worked, and all that was left for me to do was to fix a few bugs and finish the user documentation. I suppose it need not be said that the program didn’t work at all and wasn’t even a proof of concept and that the documentation was one hand-written page he wrote in the last hour of the one day of overlap as I took the project. After that I was more cynical when the outgoing guy said the job was 99% done and it should be easy for me to clean it up by the two-week deadline. I took the contracts, but I warned the project manager that I suspected that it would need a lot more than two weeks. Then, after a couple days of looking over the code and documentation, lo and behold, it was indeed a pile of crap. The PMs were not happy to hear it but only one blamed me.

  24. the Clinch River. From there I get to the Tennessee River then 800+ miles to to the Missouri River. Then to the Mississippi River.

    That doesn’t sound quite right. Isn’t the Mississippi R between the Tennessee and the Missouri? Or am I misunderstanding your point?


  25. That doesn’t sound quite right

    My bad. I meant the Ohio river in Paducah Kentucky. I saw Missouri and brain farted.


  26. Pregnant transgender man reveals he stopped his hormone therapy to conceive his husband’s baby and is now a ‘seahorse dad’ expecting their first child

    Because OF COURSE that’s what a REAL man would do. Become pregnant.

    :facepalm

    n

  27. “I don’t code anymore. I play with XML config files.”

    Yeek ! That is a nightmare.

    I have a side work project converting our synchronous FTP client with libcURL easy to asynchronous using libcURL multi. That’s my sanity preserver and “hot skillz” building.

    I don’t know if we can ever use the asynchronous code in production, however. Our own cameras have a terrible FTP server process for images, implemented in — gag — C# on the embedded Windows system, and the server tends to lose track of the directory hierarchy position of persisted FTP connections like libcURL provides out of a pool to improve performance.

  28. “Pregnant transgender man reveals he stopped his hormone therapy to conceive his husband’s baby and is now a ‘seahorse dad’ expecting their first child”

    Because OF COURSE that’s what a REAL man would do. Become pregnant.

    I thought JK Rowling got in trouble for saying something to the effect that an individual who menstruates is not a man.

    The male hormones work scary well on developing the secondary gender characteristics, particularly facial hair, on women. At Washington State, we had two coeds in the engineering department who went from pretty white girls to mini Grizzly Adams within a year of starting their transition.

    Still, the primary sexual characteristics don’t change without serious surgery.


  29. Still, the primary sexual characteristics don’t change without serious surgery.

    … at taxpayer expense. It’s a human right.


  30. This week I introduced 6 new legislative proposals to combat riot violence and protect communities in the Lone Star State.

    The Constitution permits “peaceable” protests, but it doesn’t provide the right to riot, rob, loot, set fires or physically harm anyone or any property.

    The proposals includes:

    1. Causing injury or destroying property in a riot:
    Felony offense and mandatory jail time.

    2. Striking a law enforcement officer during a riot: Felony offense and mandatory jail sentence of at least six month.

    3. Using lasers to target law enforcement officers: Felony offense and mandatory jail time.

    4. Blocking hospital entrances and exits by protestors or rioters: Felony offense and mandatory jail time.

    5. Using fireworks at protests and riots: Criminal offense and mandatory jail time.

    6. Abiding and abetting riots with funds or organizational assistance: Felony offense and mandatory jail time. This will also give the Office of the Attorney General power to pursue civil penalties against people and organizations.

    –things are different in Texas.

    n


  31. Still, the primary sexual characteristics don’t change without serious surgery.

    The primary sexual characteristics don’t change with surgery. You can remove the ones you were born with, but you can’t actually replace it with the other set of plumbing. All that is happening is very radical cosmetic surgery. Best you can do is look mostly like the other sex. I suppose for those with serious gender identification problems (and people like that do exist), it is the best that can be done.

    Agree with JK Rowling and will go further in another direction: Why in the world would female sports allow male transition to female athletes to participate, especially at the high-end / professional level? It is not fair to genetic females as those who transitioned gained all the testosterone benefits of puberty in terms of muscle mass. Now this is not my fight, first because I am not a competitive athlete (too old and not that good when I was younger), and because it is not a problem in male sports . I just don’t understand why governing bodies for female sports, or female athletes would allow it. At the recreational level in female sports (or male sports for that matter), fine.

  32. Wow, scanner has HPD taking down a serial armed robber, he just robbed the CVS store they’re watching. And they’ve been following him for a few days as I’ve heard their team chatter… score one for the good guys.

    n

    (Beechnut and Eldridge Parkway on ggl maps)


  33. I just don’t understand why governing bodies for female sports, or female athletes would allow it.

    Fear of very expensive lawsuits by the shims.

  34. “All the Chips Are on the Table Now” by Patrick J. Buchanan
    https://buchanan.org/blog/all-the-chips-are-on-the-table-now-142186

    ““As everyone knows, I made it clear that my first choice for the Supreme Court will make history as the first African American woman justice.””

    “So Joe Biden promised. Since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, however, Biden has refused to produce a list of Black female judges and scholars whom he would consider for the now-vacant seat.”

    “What is his problem?”

    Hiden’ Biden is waiting for a bribe to put people on his list.

  35. I just don’t understand why governing bodies for female sports, or female athletes would allow it.

    Fear of very expensive lawsuits by the shims.

    All of the women’s leagues are going to become a bunch of men wearing bras and panties and taping down their hoo-haws.

  36. Closed on the mortgage refi this evening. Went from a 30 year at 3.25% to 15 at 2.5%. No points and total closing costs were $1600. I’ll save over 30k in interest. I can’t believe how cheap it is to borrow money.

  37. Dudes! I love that youtube has rekindled my love of music. So much cool stuff I’ve missed, or never even knew about.

    Teen lesbian russian pop music. Who knew this was missing from my life? YOUTUBE that’s who!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mGBaXPlri8

    100MILLION views. Selling a million copies is PLATINUM record, btw….

    n

  38. “What is his problem?”

    Hiden’ Biden is waiting for a bribe to put people on his list.

    Stacey Abrams is not a joke and probably tops the list, but Biden at the top of the ticken is all about being a calming presence to suburban white female voters until after Nov. 3.

    If the campaign announced a real list of radical black women candidates for the Supreme Court, voters in swing districts in the DC suburbs and the tech hubs may realize they’re being played and all the fringe talk about reparations and wealth redistribution might just be for real.

    They worked hard for that house, Tonymobile, and German money pit grocery getter. *No one* is going to take those things away from them. But … Orange Man still bad.

    For now.

  39. “What is his problem?”

    Hiden’ Biden is waiting for a bribe to put people on his list.

    Stacey Abrams is not a joke and probably tops the list, but Biden at the top of the ticken is all about being a calming presence to suburban white female voters until after Nov. 3.

    Oh my goodness, she is a lawyer ! From Yale no less.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stacey_Abrams

    I listened to her speak about the election in Georgia for about five minutes one day. She spouted more lies and half-truths in that five minutes than Bill Clinton could in an hour.

  40. Closed on the mortgage refi this evening. Went from a 30 year at 3.25% to 15 at 2.5%. No points and total closing costs were $1600. I’ll save over 30k in interest. I can’t believe how cheap it is to borrow money.

    How did you get 2.5% on a 15 year refi ? The places that I am looking at are 3.0% on a 15 year refi.


  41. How did you get 2.5% on a 15 year refi ? The places that I am looking at are 3.0% on a 15 year refi.

    Lenderfi.com

    They were the lowest I found with no points. Most were at +/- 2.75 for no points.


  42. My Dad, my son, and I went to see “Infidel” yesterday in Victoria, TX at the Cinemark.

    I am sure that you are aware how lucky you are to be able to have both at this stage in your life.
    It is very nice to see that you do not take your blessings for granted.

    1
  43. @ITGuy1998
    Congratulations on the refinance and phenomenal rates. What a fabulous savings.

    A few days ago I wrote about a significantly damaged house on 2 acres in Anchorage that caught our eye. We spent about an hour there tonight.

    Hoo boy.

    Owner before last got old and for reasons (money? mental capacity?) let the roof leak for an unknown number of years. Current owner is a contractor we think, owns a sheet wall company, has put substantial effort and money into turning the place around. A portion of it is habitable. For some bizarre reason he chose to paint the exterior before turning his attention to more serious matters. It has a brand new septic. The well is “fine” (what’s that mean?). He started to replace the roof and stopped when he discovered the roof trusses are damaged. I think that find broke his spirit – his primary residence is in Wasilla and since he couldn’t fix it, or subdivide it (setbacks because of particular area killed that plan) he’s selling it.

    His estimate is another $100k and it’ll be done.

    The roof best guess is $30k and has a lot of bad planes and snow paths. As is it will always be prone to bad leaks.

    The property is glorious. Mature fruit trees. Nearly completely level. Truly in Anchorage and not propped up on a mountain. Nice neighborhood. Horse corral is usable. Barn nearly usable. Fence not in terrible shape. Has a dry now, seasonal creek across the short edge with good banks. Several piles of bear and moose scat. Feral bunnies greeted us (we found their overturned hutches).

    Several outbuildings need to be hauled away. Weird large objects Lurking under the grass. Would take a solid summer of concentrated effort to bring the back half of the property into good condition.

    The house is tragic. Even if you poured $200k into it with really good contractor, the house is poorly designed and will always have livability problems. It’s far larger than we want.

    I learned about 203(k) loans today. A standard 203(k) loan has a bunch of restrictions and rules however permits for financing the purchase, demo to the foundation, and rebuild of a home. Very interesting idea and seems to be in many ways better than what I know of construction or rehab loans.

    We are still thinking about tragedy hall. It would be razed and a modest ranch put on top of its existing foundation. We have architects in the family who would design something good for us. It’s a pipe dream and not something I see happening, but to dream is fun.

    I’d love to own this property, without the house. It would be a childhood dream realized in many ways.

    1
  44. @jenny, about half way thru I was thinking– raze the house, build cheaper than repair, and get something workable…

    Of course, two mortgages and the ongoing construction expense would be hard for anyone.

    @ITGuy1998, congrats indeed! that is a significant savings, and you can pay ahead for even more savings. Borrowing is a good strategy for when currency is inflating… you are paying back the loan with money that is worth less every day… it’s why the big bois do it, and why they want inflation in the first place.

    n

    1
  45. We are still thinking about tragedy hall. It would be razed and a modest ranch put on top of its existing foundation. We have architects in the family who would design something good for us. It’s a pipe dream and not something I see happening, but to dream is fun.

    I’d love to own this property, without the house. It would be a childhood dream realized in many ways.

    Could you ???
    1. buy Tragedy Hall
    2. put an RV or trailer on it to live in for a year to two years
    3. sell your present home
    4. move to the RV
    5. demo Tragedy Hall
    6. build your modest Ranch House

  46. My Dad, my son, and I went to see “Infidel” yesterday in Victoria, TX at the Cinemark.

    I am sure that you are aware how lucky you are to be able to have both at this stage in your life.
    It is very nice to see that you do not take your blessings for granted.

    Yup. After the movie, we drive over to Port Lavaca, grab some takeout, and eat supper with Mom. Then I head home about 9 to 10 pm, or spend a couple of days. My goal is to do this once a month.

    My parents are 82 (Dad) and 79. And both are getting frail. These days are not infinite. Shoot, at 60 I am no spring chicken either.

  47. thousand lines of fortran

    Well, there’s your problem. The fact that you can get things done in a language that is 60+ years old is impressive in itself. I also suspect there is not a lot of effort put into the language to make coding easier and provide debugging tools. Back when FORTRAN was created it was almost every man (person) for themselves. And good luck at reading core dumps.

    The calculation engine is 700,000 lines of Fortran and 20,000 lines of C++. No step for a stepper. Our user interface is only 450,000 lines of C++.

    And I fixed at one of my bugs (until the next patch) and actually fixed the other bug and am rerunning the benchmarks for analysis by my tech support / QA / training dude on Monday morning. I suspect that I will get to release a patch Monday afternoon for the screaming XXXXXX complaining XXXXXXX needful user. And another patch on Wednesday or Friday for another user or five. We never run out of patches.

    Our Fortran toolset is actually fairly decent. It is a 1995 compiler with a 2010 runtime library (I patched it only ten years ago to change some behavior) and a 2005 visual debugger. The debugger actually works and is the best of the toolset.
    http://openwatcom.org/

    Some day we will move to a 2020 Fortran integrated compiler, editor, and debugger. Maybe. The first port failed last year, maybe the second port will work if we throw our backs into it.
    http://simplyfortran.com/

  48. It’s a pipe dream and not something I see happening, but to dream is fun.

    It is fun to dream about building things !

    I dream about adding more office warehouses to my commercial property. I have enough room for at least ten more 2,500 ft2 to 6,250 ft2 buildings, separated into 1,250 ft2 rent-able spaces. At $100/ft2, that is a tremendous investment.

  49. @Cowboy Slim, this is for you ! “The Pure Evil of Hydrogen Hyping”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/09/24/the-pure-evil-of-hydrogen-hyping/

    “In their parable of the gasoline station, a mid-size filling station on a freeway sells 25 tons of fuel each day. This can be delivered by one 40 ton truck. But it would need 21 hydrogen trucks to deliver the same amount of energy to the station. About one in one hundred trucks on the road are gasoline or diesel tankers. For hydrogen distribution by road that would rise to 120 trucks on the road with 21 of these transporting hydrogen with one out of six truck accidents involving a hydrogen truck.”

    We will have 110% employment by moving to a hydrogen economy ! And then some.

    I had no idea that transporting hydrogen was that inefficient. I knew about the generation problems, and the article writer is not getting into the high maintenance of the hydrogen generator nor the ultra-pure water requirement for electrolysis.


  50. And 30 million acres of solar panels to provide electricity for the electrolysis.

    Which only work at night and during sunny days. I guess they could cover Nevada and Arizona with solar panels. And Barstow, no one would miss Barstow. Migrant workers will now be hired to clean dust off solar panels rather than pick crops.

  51. well, same thing applies to electric cars, I havent seen yet a paper like central generation plus transmission losses cost to outlet to customer/filling station vs carry your own fuel in terms of contamination and efficciency. Or local generation plus batteries

  52. @lynn
    …could you …
    Well, yes, we could and are considering all of those and in that sequence. The answer is yes, we could.
    The more difficult question / temptation is should we….
    My uncle in law nailed it. He pronounced Tragedy Hall ‘an insurmountable opportunity’.
    -laughter-

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