Thur. Oct. 15, 2020 – Home with the kids today

Cooler and mostly overcast.  Or raining.

Yesterday was fairly cool, and mostly overcast, but not unpleasant.  Even in the attic doing the last walkthrough with the roofer it was cool.

Knocked off a couple of little things, and did some meatspace relationship maintenance.  Today I’m home so I’ll be working my list.  If it’s cooler, it will make everything go that much easier.

I’d also like to get some more Halloween decor out, and get some of the house cleaned up.  I’m hoping that there won’t be any rain though as I also need to get my antennas back up.

I checked my gardens, and it’s been long enough I should be seeing sprouts if I’m going to get any.  I’m not seeing any.  So I’ll be replanting with a different seed packet.  It won’t take long but it’s another little thing on the list.

Mainly though, I need to get stuff out of the house.  That’s hardest because I’m relying on other people.  I may have to take some interim steps and move stuff twice, just to get it moving.


Meanwhile, out in the bigger world, it sure looks like Biden has a problem to address.    In a normal political cycle, he’d be toast at this point.  Certainly a republican would be falling on his sword and looking to ‘take more time with family’.   In the current bizarro world, I can’t even begin to make predictions other than ‘standard program of denial’ and ‘accuse the opposition of doing what they say I did.’

Every chop at the rule of law, every political prosecution, every new act of violence and I want MOAR!!!!!!11!!! .  More food, more guns, more ammo, more friends, more skills, and most of all, more time.

Work on what you can.  Keep stacking.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

48 thoughts on “Thur. Oct. 15, 2020 – Home with the kids today”

  1. COVID numbers are exploding here, and in a lot of European countries.

    But not deaths. And not hospitalizations

    COVID numbers only started to explode last week. Hospitalizations are just starting to tick up, and will be more dramatic in a week or so. Since we’re seeing younger folk infected, there will probably be somewhat fewer severe cases, and hopefully fewer deaths, but it’s still not going to be fun.

  2. Meanwhile, out in the bigger world, it sure looks like Biden has a problem to address. In a normal political cycle, he’d be toast at this point. Certainly a republican would be falling on his sword and looking to ‘take more time with family’. In the current bizarro world, I can’t even begin to make predictions other than ‘standard program of denial’ and ‘accuse the opposition of doing what they say I did.’

    The repair shop mishandled the laptop and broke the chain of custody on the evidence. Nothing on the hard drive is admissible as evidence for any criminal charges as a result. It is the meaning of the word “is” all over again.

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  3. Good luck Greg. Being out of work when you want to be working sucks.

    At least with my wife at the VA, I no longer subsidize my wife’s patients care and salaries of the staff and associate physicians out of my own pocket as I did when she was in private practice. Even unemployed/underemployed in Vantucky I had to write checks to cover shortfalls, including part of the malpractice tail premium required to permit our escape.

    Still, I worry about the VA once the Orange Man is gone. He has a laser like focus on fixing that place for whatever reason.

    I have learned my lesson about taking a job where even the initial phone screen with management results in hostility. We’ll see how the call goes today.

  4. @Greg: good luck, and stay positive – don’t let the last place sour you on the next…

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  5. “Nothing on the hard drive is admissible as evidence for any criminal charges as a result.”

    –doesn’t matter. It’s all probably cause for other warrants and searches, like of financials, and other email accounts. For the Feds and 3letter agencies, corroborating the emails is just a matter of subpoenaing the ISP or email provider. The flip side is true too, if Biden wants to claim they are forged for example, he can simply authorize the release from his ISP.

    Louis Rossmann, who runs a repair company, has an interesting fairly short youtube about this. Basically, it belongs to the repair shop after the customer abandons it, and so does whatever is on it, esp. in this case where the ‘hard drive’ is an intrinsic and inseparable part of the lappy.

    There are several weird aspects to the story. WTF would someone with the crackhead’s money try to get it fixed, and then not pay? Oh, right, crackhead. Why go to Giuliani instead of LEO? Well, maybe the shop owner thought the FBI were too corrupt after watching the news for a little while [and oh look, he did give it to the FBI, who didn’t do much with it]. Or maybe he was familiar with the story of Richard Jewel, or a dozen others.

    Lots of people are making a big deal out of the shop owner’s politics. Non-issue other that goes a bit toward motivation. HE wasn’t the one committing the crimes and then documenting them on the laptop….

    I expect the whole thing to be pushed aside soon. If I was tinfoil chapeau enamoured, I’d be waiting for a riot, mass shooting, or assassination attempt. Maybe the religion of peace blowing something up overseas….

    n

    I’m also starting to form an idea in my head that there are certain things that our LEO agencies simply aren’t set up to do. Their emphasis is on building a case that will stand up in court. They are unable to simply stop certain things. I want kids recovered from traffickers and kidnappers. I don’t care about 2 years of surveillance leading to arrests. I want corruption exposed and interrupted. No one gets prosecuted anyway, so moving slowly to build a case while the corruption continues doesn’t help. There are plenty of other areas where ‘building an airtight case’ is incompatible with ‘stopping the wrongdoing’.

    n

  6. A common sense and science based approach to handling the pandemic. Even the WHO is edging towards this position.
    https://gbdeclaration.org/

    I have heard one of the authors, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, interviewed on the Ricochet podcast over the last few months. Did you know that WHO estimates that 1+ million could die from food supply disruption in the third world? That 25% of US teenagers had suicidal thoughts in June (IIRC on the month)? Vaccination programs and TB programs in the third world have also been suspended.

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  7. It’s been a long while since things got so bad in the US that we moved past the initial “neighbors helping neighbors” phase and spiraled down into the “I will shoot you in the face and take every supply you have” phase.

    Talking to my bro-in-law, a former Marine, working in Wyoming, about prepping. He said he didn’t need to stock up, he just needed to know who was prepping because he has an AK and plenty of ammo to take what he wants. I thought he was kidding but he assured me he had the skills to take what he needs from the “idiots” who spend all their money preparing.

    I’ve heard similar stuff from others. That is, the only prepping item you need is a gun. If SHTF then you just go take what you need from other people.

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  8. Okay, _Tombstone _ is now in my queue. How I missed it is a mystery. Looks fun!

    I’m shocked you havem’t seen this yet. Tombstone is an excellent movie. Very re-watchable too. It came out about the same time as Kevin Costner’s Wyatt Earp which pales in comparison.

    I agree with MrAtoz. Val Kilmer’s portrayal of Doc Holiday was superb,

  9. It’s a variant of the “I’m coming to your house” response.

    Better bring some stuff with you, be someone I love dearly, or come armed and ready to commit murder….

    n

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  10. Interesting food for thought in this essay Bruce Schneier posted (but didn’t write.)

    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2020/10/covid-19-and-acedia.html

    In 2013, philosopher Samuel Scheffler explored a core assumption about death. We all assume that there will be a future world that survives our particular life, a world populated by people roughly like us, including some who are related to us or known to us. Though we rarely or acknowledge it, this presumed future world is the horizon towards which everything we do in the present is oriented.

    But what, Scheffler asked, if we lose that assumed future world — because, say, we are told that human life will end on a fixed date not far after our own death? Then the things we value would start to lose their value. Our sense of why things matter today is built on the presumption that they will continue to matter in the future, even when we ourselves are no longer around to value them.

    –I think the author is on to something.

    n

  11. A couple of thoughts on COVID. In particular, the virus is evolving. This comes as a surprise to no one, but it does have some implications:

    – COVID was new to our species, and therefore unadapted. Over time viruses mutate to be less dangerous. They spread more effectively from people walking around sick, than they do from corpses. As such, the virulence will decrease over the next few years.

    – COVID is the same type of virus as the common cold. There is no “herd immunity” for the cold. There is also no effective vaccination. There’s really no reason to suppose that COVID will be any different.

    On the economic front: There are genuine, cold-blooded arguments to be made for letting the virus run its course. Human life has a price – ask any insurance company. Example: If you price a life at $5 million, and COVID would kill 0.1% of the population, then the “life-cost” of COVID is $5000 per person. For the US, that’s about $1.5 trillion. Compare to the costs incurred from the shutdown.

    No one wants to think in those terms, but that is the sort of calculation government should be making behind closed doors. And perhaps is…

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  12. Our sense of why things matter today is built on the presumption that they will continue to matter in the future, even when we ourselves are no longer around to value them.

    Oooh, philosophy.

    Why do you carry one, from day to day? What is your purpose in life? I dunno about you guys, but it’s something I think about occasionally. Speaking for myself, I need to feel like there is some purpose to life. Not being religious, that purpose for me comes down to being a net positive benefit to society. That’s one of big the reasons I am a teacher: I can see the benefit I provide to my students, and know that they will go on to provide their own benefits to society.

    If we knew that human society would cease to exist in a week, or a month, or a year – knew this with certainty? Chaos. Rioting, looting, raping – a criminal orgy, because nothing would matter any more. Even the religious folk would join in.

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  13. I’m also starting to form an idea in my head that there are certain things that our LEO agencies simply aren’t set up to do. Their emphasis is on building a case that will stand up in court. They are unable to simply stop certain things. I want kids recovered from traffickers and kidnappers. I don’t care about 2 years of surveillance leading to arrests. I want corruption exposed and interrupted. No one gets prosecuted anyway, so moving slowly to build a case while the corruption continues doesn’t help. There are plenty of other areas where ‘building an airtight case’ is incompatible with ‘stopping the wrongdoing’.

    It is better to have the written constitutional protections in place instead of the law being whatever the Legislative body decides is approprate, as is the case in the UK.

    For about nine months in the US back in 2009, between Inauguration Day and the date upon which Uncle Ted assumed room temperature, the Congress and the President were in the hands of one party with the authority to do pretty much anything they wanted with a Fillibuster-proof majority, but, due to the interlocking mechanisms of law, precedent, and political concerns, all they got accomplished in that time was Porkulus. Even Obamacare had to be passed with Reconciliation due to bickering over political gimmies with an eye to 2010 pushing the vote in the Senate beyond the date when the underwear model took over Kennedy’s Senate seat.

    It is better that the law work slowly instead of too quickly or not at all. And a lot of enforcement gets left at the state/county/city level. If you are particularly displeased with the effectiveness or lack thereof with local law enforcement and courts, there are always alternatives.

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  14. It is better to have the written constitutional protections in place instead of the law being whatever the Legislative body decides is approprate, as is the case in the UK.

    Have you looked a California lately?

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  15. Example: If you price a life at $5 million, and COVID would kill 0.1% of the population, then the “life-cost” of COVID is $5000 per person. For the US, that’s about $1.5 trillion. Compare to the costs incurred from the shutdown.

    No one wants to think in those terms…

    I said that back in March. I still recommend reading Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

    “What if they threw a pandemic and nobody came?”

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  16. “It is better that the law work slowly instead of too quickly or not at all”

    –generally speaking I agree, and certainly the MAKING of new laws. But there are law ENFORCEMENT situations that are more akin to a structure fire. FIRST you stop the fire, then you look for causes.

    Our law enforcement is spectacularly bad at stopping the damage, especially once above a local level. Letting someone rape children while you build a case against them or hope to get someone “higher up” entrapped is disgusting.

    We see the same thing in anti-terror cases, anti-corruption cases, financial thefts, corporate malfeasance… the activity is ongoing, but LEO becomes aware of it. LEO then allows the activity to continue while building a case, often for years. EVERYONE in LEO loves a big case. I think for some types of crimes we need more of a fire fighting model.

    (See also the change in doctrine for active shooter response post Columbine, and how decades later Florida still managed to screw it up MORE THAN ONCE.)

    n


  17. Our law enforcement is spectacularly bad at stopping the damage, especially once above a local level. Letting someone rape children while you build a case against them or hope to get someone “higher up” entrapped is disgusting.

    Throw in the “War on Drugs”.

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  18. “It is better to have the written constitutional protections in place instead of the law being whatever the Legislative body decides is approprate, as is the case in the UK.”

    Have you looked a California lately?

    People in California made a choice with Newsom and the Assembly composition. Gray-out Davis was removed from office, why not the current Governor?

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  19. “It is better to have the written constitutional protections in place instead of the law being whatever the Legislative body decides is approprate, as is the case in the UK.”

    Have you looked a California lately?

    People in California made a choice with Newsom and the Assembly composition. Gray-out Davis was removed from office, why not the current Governor?

    I so wish. Unfortunately the dems keep changing rules to lock in their power, ie legal ballot harvesting, non-party primary elections with top two as winners.

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  20. I need to feel like there is some purpose to life. Not being religious, that purpose for me comes down to being a net positive benefit to society.

    Reminds me of this bit from Angel season 2, episode 16, “Epiphany”: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0512846/quotes/?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

    “If there’s no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.”
    and
    “Because, if there’s no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world.”

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  21. Mom died knowing it was coming. Stomach cancer diagnosis with 4-6 week estimate for death. Three weeks. But she was transformed into the shining beautiful human she was prior to alcoholism ruining her in those last three weeks. It was a great gift for her and all of those who loved her.
    —-
    I spotted a squirrel trying to get into our attic space this morning. 17 years in this house, first time I’ve witnessed. I will inspect and repair the eaves hardware cloth this weekend, and figure out how I’m going to kill the litter bugger and his family. I don’t think my preferred method of killing squirrels will be acceptable in town.
    Any suggestions?
    Squirrel isn’t particularly large, the lean wiry type. Size of a poorly fed domesticated rat.
    Poison is not a good option because of neighborhood cats, dogs, and my own animals.
    Any proven (legal / wise or not) methods you’d care to share?

  22. >”I’ve heard similar stuff from others. That is, the only prepping item you need is a gun. If SHTF then you just go take what you need from other people.”

    That isn’t a long term solution. Every meal will come with risk. Eventually, if they are not killed by an individual first, people will band together and kill them. Personal preparation is what is needed to bridge the time between the arrival of a crisis and the aftermath, where people reestablish a community. If it is known that you stole from and/or murdered people, you will not be accepted in the ensuing community.

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  23. Any proven (legal / wise or not) methods you’d care to share?

    I use a cage baited with peanut butter and dry dog food chunks. I put the cage in the normal route they use to get to the house. When I capture them I take them about 5 miles away and release them. Wife has a real aversion to killing the little tree rats. If you want, after they are in the cage, just put the cage in a barrel of water such that the entire trap is covered. I never knew mice (which wife has no trouble with me killing) could hold their breath for two minutes before expiring.


  24. COVID is the same type of virus as the common cold.

    Yes and no. There are some colds caused by Coronaviruses, about 15%. Most are rhinoviruses.

    There may be some cross-immunity in T-cells from common colds caused by some coronaviruses. The data are preliminary and the immune response has not been measured.

    While SARS-CoV-2 may change some, its structure is not like that of the flu, which does mutate rapidly. Flu has RNA segments that can be swapped around when 2 or more strains infect the same cell. That’s why the flu vaccine has variable protection. If they are wrong about which genotypes are out there, the shot is less effective.

  25. I bought my big rat sized snap traps for squirrels initially. The internet says add a string and tie the trap to something. My neighbor has good luck with the live traps. He says he relocates them but I don’t thing so…. he caught over 100 last season according to him.

    Don’t know what he uses as bait, but squirrels will eat anything that they can steal. If it’s freely available in the environment they don’t seem interested.

    n

  26. I spotted a squirrel trying to get into our attic space this morning. 17 years in this house, first time I’ve witnessed. I will inspect and repair the eaves hardware cloth this weekend, and figure out how I’m going to kill the litter bugger and his family. I don’t think my preferred method of killing squirrels will be acceptable in town.
    Any suggestions?
    Squirrel isn’t particularly large, the lean wiry type. Size of a poorly fed domesticated rat.
    Poison is not a good option because of neighborhood cats, dogs, and my own animals.
    Any proven (legal / wise or not) methods you’d care to share?

    I had a squirrel set up housekeeping in our attic one particularly cold winter in Florida.

    I took an old school spring rat trap, screwed it into the rafters as close as I could get to the critter’s lair, baited it with peanut butter, and waited. About 24 hours was all it took. BANG!

    The next morning, I crawled back into the attic *wearing gloves*, unscrewed the trap/dead animal combination from the rafter, bagged it, and tossed the mess in the trash. No blood that I saw. Very humane if you’re worried about that.

    It is very important to screw down the trap. I have a box of our late host’s favorite size decking screws. Without being screwed down, a squirrel is generally large enough to drag itself and the trap back to a hidden, inaccessible corner of the attic to die.

    If the squirrel doesn’t yet have access to the attic, specialized poisoned bait stations are available at the hardware store which are really hard to get into even for me. I have one near where I park my cars since I’ve had my Camry wires chewed twice in the last year. No problem lately, however, so I assume the bait has done the job along with the spray recommended by RickH and capsacin-embedded tape from Honda wrapped around the exposed areas.

    A dog, cat, or child would not be able to get into the bait station without help.

    You don’t want squirrels in your attic. Make sure to seal up the point of entry well and consult a pro if necessary.

    BTW, FlexPaste is a friggin mess, not like the commercial at all.


  27. I never knew mice (which wife has no trouble with me killing) could hold their breath for two minutes before expiring.

    Have a cat who likes to hunt, I’ve seen a lot of mice. Pretty amazing critters, all in all. My favorite was the one that stood up on its hind legs, to threaten the cat. She was not impressed, but it was a pretty amazing show nonetheless. Where we are now, it is apparently too dry for mice. In 10 months, I’ve only seen her bring home 3 mice. It used to be one or two a day.

    The latest tidbit on COVID. If you are going to take it seriously, as our country is supposed to be doing, then… You don’t work a trial week at a daycare center, and reveal (at the end of the week) that your boyfriend is home sick with COVID. Someone is not getting a job. And the center may well have to shut down for quarantine, depending on the woman’s test results. Some people are so dumb you wonder how they manage to breathe and walk upright at the same time.

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  28. The latest tidbit on COVID. If you are going to take it seriously, as our country is supposed to be doing, then… You don’t work a trial week at a daycare center, and reveal (at the end of the week) that your boyfriend is home sick with COVID. Someone is not getting a job. And the center may well have to shut down for quarantine, depending on the woman’s test results. Some people are so dumb you wonder how they manage to breathe and walk upright at the same time.

    Some variation of that story is driving most of the exposures in the US. My wife has yet to see a truly random exposure which cannot be explained among her patient base of US military veterans. Granted, it is a subset of the population, used to following orders (like STAY HOME!) and generally smarter than average, but I still doubt that random exposures at, say, Walmart are a huge portion of the cases and probably an even smaller percentage of deaths.

    A disturbing number of my wife’s patients who caught the virus, including her only death — 84 years old with lots of co-morbidities — had exposure through home health caregivers who still reported to work knowingly sick. The VA scans staff at the door and still sends people home daily.

    “Oh, I’m not sick.”

    [ 101 degrees on therm — 102+ body temp ]

    “Ok. I’m sick.”

    I joke to my wife that it is definitely a Chinese virus because the situation inspires people to act like my in-laws doing what I call “You Ain’t Got No Ice Cream”, from an old Eddie Murphy stand up routine. In Singapore, it is known as “Kiasu”, a kind of selfishness based on FOMO — Fear Of Missing Out.

    I don’t know how else to describe it in European terms beyond the behavior being a peculiar form of Schadenfreude.

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  29. I’ve mentioned it before, but a lot of parents (especially single parents) save up their sick days to use when their kids are home sick from school. Consequently, that means when they’re sick they always go to work anyway. Most can’t (or won’t) forfeit the pay when their sick days are used up.

    Then there’s that tiny percentage of people who think going to work even when they’re sick makes them some kind of hero and super employee. We all know the kind. The ones that walk around saying, “I haven’t taken a sick day in 10 years!” Congratulations, asshole. You’ve just been infecting everyone else instead.

  30. WRT mice:

    The small feral cat colony that we take care of has been very busy this week. So far, every day this week they have presented us with the well-mutilated carcass of a mouse or three. They bring the mouse remains to our patio door hoping we will see it and reward them with some cat treats. This is the most mice we have seen in many many years.


  31. They bring the mouse remains to our patio door hoping we will see it and reward them with some cat treats.

    The feral cats have established a functioning economy. Is there nothing cats can’t do?

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  32. If the Iranians reciprocate with the Vindmans, maybe they can help send the Kelly’s back into space.

    HARRIS/plugs 2020!

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  33. Of all of these, if you could only pick one, which one would you pick and why?

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/10/nasa-makes-a-significant-investment-in-on-orbit-spacecraft-refueling/
    NASA makes a significant investment in on-orbit spacecraft refueling

    • Eta Space of Merritt Island, Florida, $27 million. Small-scale flight demonstration of a complete cryogenic oxygen fluid management system. System will be the primary payload on a Rocket Lab Photon satellite and collect critical cryogenic fluid management data in orbit for nine months.
    • Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colorado, $89.7 million. In-space demonstration mission using liquid hydrogen to test more than a dozen cryogenic fluid management technologies, positioning them for infusion into future space systems.
    • SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, $53.2 million. Large-scale flight demonstration to transfer 10 metric tons of cryogenic propellant, specifically liquid oxygen, between tanks on a Starship vehicle.
    • United Launch Alliance (ULA) of Centennial, Colorado, $86.2 million. Demonstration of a smart propulsion cryogenic system, using liquid oxygen and hydrogen, on a Vulcan Centaur upper stage. The system will test precise tank-pressure control, tank-to-tank transfer, and multiweek propellant storage.

    Of all of them, the only one that seems enunciated clearly, is specific and seems to be moderately priced is the one by SpaceX…

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  34. I got asked to stand at a polling place and wave a sign for our Constable. I think I’ll do it if I can find the time.

    Never did anything like that before, but it’s going to be more important than ever to have friends…

    n

  35. this is the reason I don’t like early voting…

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8843557/More-14-million-Americans-voted.html

    Even if you can’t count the actual votes (and I believe some states DO count them early too) you can do traffic analysis. You can have operatives at polling places looking at the voters and combine their observations with numbers of historical votes and present votes. You could put together a pretty sophisticated model then of what the election results would be based on early voting, and then adjust either your legit ‘get out the vote’ campaign, or your fraudulent vote generating scheme.

    If you know that county x traditionally goes R, has 100K voters in most elections, has 200K voters on the rolls, and 90k have voted early, most coming in wearing Trump gear, driving up in cars with Trump flags, and loudly encouraging people in line to vote for Trump (some of which might be illegal depending on where you are), you can make some well informed guesses about outcome. Or if you have 20K registered voters and already have 21K votes, that tells you something too.

    So I don’t like it, the same way I didn’t like reporting while polls were still open.
    n

  36. Hey Rick, something is weird with page loads. The /journal page comes up with Monday the 12th, and clicking on today in the calender widget gets Monday too. I clicked on my last comment and got to the correct day…

    may be other weirdness too.

    I’m going to bed early

    n

  37. Went to see “Honest Thief” in Victoria, Texas with Dad and son today. Pretty good if you are a Liam Neeson fan like me even if was a bit formulaic.

    Staying in Port Lavaca for a few days to hang with mom and dad. I only got issued one set of parents and mine are fading so I try to spend some time with them.

    My wife says that she is now an orphan which I disagree with (quietly). But, she no longer has a parent to call or hang with so she uses mine. Mostly mom. Both of them enjoy each other very much as my wife is the daughter my mother never had. And my wife’s mother has been gone since 1993.

  38. Of all of these, if you could only pick one, which one would you pick and why?

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/10/nasa-makes-a-significant-investment-in-on-orbit-spacecraft-refueling/
    NASA makes a significant investment in on-orbit spacecraft refueling

    • Eta Space of Merritt Island, Florida, $27 million. Small-scale flight demonstration of a complete cryogenic oxygen fluid management system. System will be the primary payload on a Rocket Lab Photon satellite and collect critical cryogenic fluid management data in orbit for nine months.
    • Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colorado, $89.7 million. In-space demonstration mission using liquid hydrogen to test more than a dozen cryogenic fluid management technologies, positioning them for infusion into future space systems.
    • SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, $53.2 million. Large-scale flight demonstration to transfer 10 metric tons of cryogenic propellant, specifically liquid oxygen, between tanks on a Starship vehicle.
    • United Launch Alliance (ULA) of Centennial, Colorado, $86.2 million. Demonstration of a smart propulsion cryogenic system, using liquid oxygen and hydrogen, on a Vulcan Centaur upper stage. The system will test precise tank-pressure control, tank-to-tank transfer, and multiweek propellant storage.

    Of all of them, the only one that seems enunciated clearly, is specific and seems to be moderately priced is the one by SpaceX…

    All of them. Each of them is testing the unknown and thereby dangerous. We need to knows what works and what is dangerous.

    One must remember that SpaceX is a 4th generation space effort (Mercury, Apollo, Shuttle) and a lot of knowing what to and what not to do has been established by the school of hard knocks.

    The old rule of if you can’t be a success story then you will be cautionary tale applies here.

  39. I got asked to stand at a polling place and wave a sign for our Constable. I think I’ll do it if I can find the time.

    Never did anything like that before, but it’s going to be more important than ever to have friends…

    n

    I sent a donation to our Republican sheriff candidate in Fort Bend County after meeting him and talking for a while. He sent me a handwritten note thanking me. I am surprised that he remembered talking to me.

  40. I I spotted a squirrel trying to get into our attic space this morning. 17 years in this house, first time I’ve witnessed. I will inspect and repair the eaves hardware cloth this weekend, and figure out how I’m going to kill the litter bugger and his family. I don’t think my preferred method of killing squirrels will be acceptable in town.
    Any suggestions?
    Squirrel isn’t particularly large, the lean wiry type. Size of a poorly fed domesticated rat.
    Poison is not a good option because of neighborhood cats, dogs, and my own animals.
    Any proven (legal / wise or not) methods you’d care to share?

    Grandad’s strategy was a .22 single shot rifle and eating the squirrel for lunch. Tastes like chicken dark meat. Grandma could filet a squirrel in the kitchen sink in about 30 seconds flat. They both grew up eating squirrel on farms where it was welcome meat for the table. Plus, squirrels ate their electric wiring in the attic in 1955 or so and they had to rewire their house.

  41. I woke up this morning, and find a whole collection of odd events. Individually irrelevant, but all at the same time is…odd.

    This website comes up with the post from Monday. One of my usual tech websites is down, not even an error message, just “not found”. Our personal server is sending me error messages (I’m on the road and can’t check the details until tonight). Etc, etc.

    Probably all a strange coincidence, but it makes for a weird morning…

  42. Of all of them, the only one that seems enunciated clearly, is specific and seems to be moderately priced is the one by SpaceX…

    ULA is still the NASA preferred vendor. Lockheed Martin will get to wet their beak because of political concerns in Orlando and the long history of the Skunk Works.

    The Skunk Works ate the SSTO dream for at least two generations, but what’s a few billion between friends.

    SpaceX will get the job done again.

    I’ve not hear of Eta before, but I interviewed in the mid-90s for Shuttle work at Kennedy with ULA and got a run down of the financial structure from the management. The money for the program flowed through an arrangement involving a one person company run by a Native American that would be right at home in a Carl Hiaasen novel if it wasn’t so bizarre.

    Assume Eta is something similar.


  43. Of all of them, the only one that seems enunciated clearly, is specific and seems to be moderately priced is the one by SpaceX…

    They are all doing different things. The ETA and SpaceX demonstrations are for liquid oxygen, which is easier to work with. The LockMart and ULA demonstrations include liquid hydrogen, which is really, really hard to work with. SpaceX has no experience using liquid hydrogen. LockMart and ULA do.

    In addition, there have been hints that there are black programs that have some very high efficiency cryocoolers which would be needed for long-term liquid hydrogen storage in an orbital fuel depot or on a Mars mission. Who are the biggest black program contractors? LockMart and Boeing (they own ULA). Part of this may be a way to move tech out of the black world to civilian space.

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