Sat. Oct. 17, 2020 – non-prep hobby meets today…

Cooler and damp.

It was 58F when I went to bed last night, and it was about that cool most of the day.  Overcast and misty rain finally burned off late in the afternoon.

Most of what I picked up yesterday was household related.  Of the prepper stuff, the Dometic porta-jon was brand new in the box.  The RV inverter wasn’t.  It was the old 12v power supply module from whatever RV old boy updated later with the part that came in the box.  It looks intact and included a fused multi-circuit 12v distro panel.    It will make a great 12vdc power supply for my ham radios, whenever I get around to it.  Lemonade from lemons and all that…

I harvested an actual lemon from my lemon tree.  The other citrus is getting yellower every day.  I hope some is not woody and hard, but I’ll take a dozen fruits, even if they’re not great this year, and hope for better next year.  Planting trees is an act of faith that there will be a future.

No other visible sprouts, so I’ll try replanting with different seed packets.  My neighbor at my secondary location is getting a good fall garden, so it isn’t just a bad year in Houston, it’s me.  Try try again.  (And buy more canned food.)

Lots of articles out there about people bum rushing to rural housing, buying lots of guns and ammo, and stocking up.  The flip side is I’m seeing weird stuff in the amazon (and other store) returns auctions.   Most of the online and brick and mortar stores just take their returns and auction them off in bulk to wholesalers.  The wholesalers sometimes auction smaller bulk pallets, and sometimes auction individual lots.  That’s what I mean when I talk about ‘returns’ auctions.   Well, in the last couple of months, I’ve seen some interesting stuff.   Chicken coops (reviews were that they were too small.)  Chicken waterers.  Chicken nesting pads and nesting boxes (lots of people trying to grow chickens.)    Small animal nesting and bedding.   Farrier starter tool kits (several in this week’s auction.)  Farriers!  Moon cups (reusable menstrual supplies are a prepper staple.)  Solar panels.

Of course I’m seeing lots of other stuff that speaks of the lockdown, exercise equipment, bikes, and home reno bits and pieces, home decor too.

One puzzler is the TONS of child safety gates.  I mean TONS.  Every auction has dozens of lots.   And just general human debris, as summer ends a lot of yard tools are being returned.  Freaking thieves and returns fraud.  Tents and camping gear are being returned in bulk as well.

Firearms and ammo are showing up in the consignment and estate auctions.  Not much in the way of modern defensive arms, (except Hi-Point pistols- the modern ‘Saturday night special’.)  Most of what I’m seeing is single shot rifles, old single shot shotguns- unloved brown rifles in other words.  The ammo is usually sort of “cleaned out a drawer” quantities and a lot of non-defense calibers.  It all sells for high prices, and defensive ammo or modern defensive arms are bringing eye watering prices compared to a year ago.

Surprising me, there are a couple of campers/trailers in this week’s auction.  I figured people would hold on to them as a last resort living arrangement, but there must be folks who don’t expect to get to that point, who are looking to cash in on high demand.

On another note, I drove across all of Houston Friday, all the way to Baytown, and then up to IAH.  Today I’ll be going down to Dickenson and back up through Bellaire.  I crisscross Houston fairly regularly.  I’m seeing a LOT of empty commercial buildings.  I’m seeing a LOT of ‘For Lease’ signs.  I even saw two new ones a few blocks from my house.   The landslide has just started rumbling, a few pebbles are starting to roll down hill…  I’ve got a feeling that ‘we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.’  But not in a good way.

Keep stacking, and keep your eyes and mind open to opportunity.   There are always opportunities.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

50 thoughts on “Sat. Oct. 17, 2020 – non-prep hobby meets today…”

  1. Up early and off to the day long concealed carry class. Oklahoma is a constitutional carry state but I want to be able to carry when I travel outside the state. I had a Mississippi concealed carry license and it will be interesting to see how the training differs.
    In Mississippi I took a 9mm for the shooting part of the course and found 50 rounds a little punishing. Today I bring a Ruger. 22lr pistol that I know I can shoot all day comftorably.

  2. Well, in the last couple of months, I’ve seen some interesting stuff. Chicken coops (reviews were that they were too small.) Chicken waterers. Chicken nesting pads and nesting boxes (lots of people trying to grow chickens.)

    Prohibitions against chickens at home were lifted in several notable places over the last year. I wish I could remember where I saw the stories.

    After my experience with the Bat Guano neighbors, I would have remembered if the laws changed in Florida. People still want to believe CA-style real estate appreciation is possible in the state. Ten bagger!

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  3. Well, I took the advice of my nine year old. I set my alarm on ‘quiet’ and then slept thru it. That means I needed the sleep more than the meeting. And honestly, I’ve been coughing and had a sore throat this week. After my negative test, I’m pretty sure it’s seasonal allergies, but no reason to take a chance with a group of friends.

    n

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  4. just watched west wing 1 hour show, pretty interesting.

    “The West Wing” gets a little preachy, but it is solidly written/acted/directed. Find a way to watch “SportsNight”, the same writer, Aaron Sorkin, working to tell a story in 22 minutes (US commercial TV), is arguably sharper.

    “SportsNight” is not about sports. The “Thespis” episode is an emotional rollercoaster and among the best TV I’ve ever seen.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKfilzlEEY0

    Also good is the pilot for “Studio 60”, again from Sorkin. Sadly the series never fulfilled the promise of the first episode, but I own the DVD set for this scene. You *know* what Matthew Perry’s character told Sting, but you never see the conversation. Acting, writing … and one of the coolest sets ever built for TV — the series was supposed to be the “LA Law” of the 2010s but never had a “Harry Hamlin in a gorilla suit” moment like the older show that made people want to watch again.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el4d1TThZsU

    And finally, “The Social Network” arguably the reason Facebook ended up eating the world … and the commercial TV ad market in the US. Sorkin may have well written himself out of a job since it is an amazing script. The writing even made a retread like David Selby look good.

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

  5. NOT recommended.

    I have that one. Recommended by Scotty Kilmer. I haven’t had the opportunity to start something, but did attach to my Subie battery to watch it charge.

    Oops. This is where I get to walk back a statement made in haste, maybe like a politician, but with sincerity. I simply meant that I did not take the time to look at it, but just passed on something that exists. No value judgment. Actually, I like the concept, although some implementations might be immature. Go back and watch this:
    Project Farm, reviews from almost two years ago.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN8A2nIMUWA
    Same video I linked before. Still did not take the time to watch it, but IIRC the tests were revealing.

    One thing that has surprised me is how often some people need a jump for a flat battery. I have needed this about once every ten years, and it so far has always been caused by neglect on my part. Jumper cables are simple, and last almost forever compared to assist batteries. Now I jinxed it, and will probably have several dead battery problems. 🙂

    My advice about replacing a battery before it dies holds true. Just do it. Batteries are cheap compared to the potential problems caused by a dead one. When I lived in cccold country and needed to depend on my car, I would watch for Fall sales and buy a new battery every couple of years. Worked well for me. Back then, a battery cost about the same as ten gas fillups. Now, even with batteries becoming more expensive, they still cost just a small number of gas fillups. My rationalization. Use the old one for something useful. I’m sure folks here have many ideas.

    Also, all the fuss over batteries causing a no-start might not be warranted. In my rather limited experience, I have more trouble with tires. They seem to pick up stuff that causes them to go flat. It is harder to recharge a tire than a battery. I don’t look forward to the newer cars that don’t have spares at all.

  6. Speaking of TV shows, I’ve finally got around to watching Mad Men. It seems to be devolving into a daytime soap opera amd I’m wondering if there’s anything redeeming in the last two seasons. I’ve had my fill of 60’s nostalgia and the characters are becoming stale, if not irritating.

  7. farrier tools
    I had ponies as a kid. An old farmer taught me how to trim hooves so I could save the $40 every few months the farrier charged. It took attention, basic understanding of hoof structure, the ability to stand back and see how the leg was meeting the ground.
    Trimming wasn’t particularly difficult.

    I was a hero to our dogs when I brought home the parings. Oh yum dog heaven for fresh horse hoof.

    I did not shoe any of them. That’s a whole different kettle of fish and you can ruin a hoof (and horse) if you drive the nail wrong.

    I’ve still got my hoof nippers and rasp rattling around the garage. Someday perhaps I’ll have a horse again.

    ——-
    This is the most recent candidate.
    https://www.alaskarealestate.com/Search/Property/PropertyDetail.aspx?li=20-16085

    I am completely in love with it. Size, yard, mature delicious crab apple trees, lower crime neighborhood, in Anchorage (no commute), work that needs to be done is within my skill set, ticks all the boxes for me. Husband not so much – he likes aspects off but rattled off some points that are important to him where it fails. So we won’t get it. There’s likely to be a bidding war. In the 2 days it’s been listed a dozen families have been thru. It’s in better shape and significantly lower than anything remotely comparable.
    But it kicked our butts into doing the banking part so that’s good.

    It’s also in the district of the loathsome mealy mouthed left wing lesbian whack-a-doodle who was elevated last night to be our interim mayor, I think because a) woman; b) lesbian. I’ve heard nothing substantive out of her mouth though last night was all about singing her praises.
    Last nights and last Tuesday’s Assembly were high drama. Many fed up people and an Assembly that acts like it’s a game. They allowed 45 in the chambers to enforce physical distancing for our safety. They were forced into opening the Wilda Marston theater across the lobby to handle the overflow. I got there about 15 minutes after Assembly began, the chambers were ‘full’, and the WM – similarly sized – had well over 70. With no physical distancing to speak of. The hypocrisy is stunning. They split us off to control the camera optics and to reduce the number of glaring eyes in front of them. The city charter is unclearly written when it comes to special mayoral elections. It says to hold a special election in not less than 90 days. Our regular election is April, for a July changeover. So mealy mouth is likely to be in place until July.

    I’ll say it again, Anchorage has lost its ever loving mind. We are in such deep kimchi up here. I don’t know that we’re going to recover. We’ve debated leaving but where is better? And if Anchorage falls, it pulls the rest of Alaska with it.

  8. @jenny, that is the classic case of not being able to see past the surface finishes! What an ugly duckling, and how great the transition will be when someone goes thru it and changes every surface…..

    Barring structural issues, it looks like exactly the kind of place where you can quickly add equity by making cosmetic changes. LOTS of value 🙂

    I always mentally discount the flips that are all done up. Someone else took the easy equity, and they were motivated to do it cheaply and quickly- not a recipe for good work. I’d much rather see something like that house.

    n

  9. One thing that has surprised me is how often some people need a jump for a flat battery. I have needed this about once every ten years, and it so far has always been caused by neglect on my part. Jumper cables are simple, and last almost forever compared to assist batteries. Now I jinxed it, and will probably have several dead battery problems.

    Most batteries last about three years and that’s it in most areas of the US anymore. I never replaced a battery in Vantucky over four years, but within a couple of months of moving to Texas, the “every three year” schedule resumed, sometimes less if we had a hot summer extend into Fall like last year.

    The problem will only get worse with the poorly implemented Automatic Start Stop (think about that acronym) systems rushed into production on a lot of the new cars. My wife’s friend’s Honda, still under warranty, eats a battery every six months.

  10. Hive mind question. I have a wired electronic thermometer that will have to be replaced soon (it is wearing out after just a few decades of service.) I have experimented with wireless replacements, and don’t like the battery replacement, but I have temporarily given up on a wired thermometer, unless it is a project.

    I really want a device that stores the high and low temperature. I have been manually recording this for a long time, and could get along a while longer, however, my interest led me to various recording thermometers. Although there are some interesting ones, I did not find any that meet my needs. Most require Internet access and cloud storage, and while this brings some added functionality, I really don’t need that. Unless…

    I might want something that can store about 30 days of high-low temperature data that I could either access locally (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi,) or remotely. I don’t have any devices like Alexa, and don’t want one just for this function. There are a few that come close, but from reviews it looks like the products are immature.

    I also don’t want a weather station, although that is tempting. I don’t have much need for a rain gauge or wind speed.

    Finally, if such a device is cheap enough, I could use several more to monitor temperatures, like refrigerators. If that is feasible, I wouldn’t mind a full blown network with a dedicated hub for Internet access. Still would prefer wired sensors. These systems are mature in the commercial world, but can cost $$$.

  11. @nick
    To be fair to my husband he did see past the cosmetics. The slope down to the main part of the backyard was one point he brought up that I understand now but hadn’t realized previously was a criteria (level yard). There were other things that weren’t structural but were not surface either. I have a rosy view of how hard doing work like replacing flooring is, and when I get in over my head I swear and suck it up. We have a different approach to home improvement in that respect. He is far more skilled and craftsman like than I am, I’m more likely to git ‘er done. A good combination when we are pulling in harness.

    It’s going to be a real swan if the right family gets it. The real estate agent said she wasn’t going to let it go low ball to a flipper.

  12. We’ve debated leaving but where is better?

    Ah, there’s the rub. My theory is that most places are converging toward similarity. There are many forces and reasons, but we can see it happening. Some fiercely independent places are no longer, and the remaining few seem to be falling in line.

    I have carefully noted several friends who have made major moves, most for some of the reasons you state. Not one has found a place that lived up to their expectations fully, and some of these are very careful people. Even more caution is advised.

    Since you are comfortable (!) with cold, I have read a little about Wyoming and Montana, even less about Idaho. Just a suggestion.

  13. Build an Inexpensive Network of Web-Connected Temperature Sensors using Pi Zeros

    Each sensor ‘station’ (Pi Zero plus sensors) costs about $35, according to the article.

    Thanks anyway, but I forgot to mention that I did not want another project. Plug and play. I just glanced at this, but it does not compare favorably to a better design I found a couple of years ago. That one has a relatively expensive (~$100) controller, but the wired sensors are about $3 each. I would go with that, but it is a kit, and I really wanted to just buy something and plug it in.

  14. Got a fair bit of work done, prepping for winter. I was about halfway through moving a woodpile, took a shortcut with the wheelbarrow down a steep slope, and went tumbling.

    It was all kind of in slow motion, but the slope was steep enough that I couldn’t really do anything. Landed directly on my, um, sensitive parts on top of the wheelbarrow. I think I’ll finish tomorrow – and skip the shortcut…

    @Jenny: take your time, the right place will pop up. And keep pushing the assembly, maybe put up some candidates. Imagine kicking the pros out

  15. There are some wireless data logging sensors that connect to an app on your phone.

    Rick, thanks. The Elitech and one I found, Unibot, look good. I did some digging into those a few days ago, and they are of longer term interest. I will also look at the Tempo Disc, but it looks like one similar one I found that only has a 100 day rated battery life.

    I did order a wireless thermometer from ThermoPro, and it will be here Monday. It is simple, inexpensive, and a direct replacement for what I have. Eventually when I get something in the class you suggested, it will have other uses.

    That kit I mentioned uses OneWire (SP?) sensors, a misnomer because it is really two wires. Each digital sensor is very low priced, but they attach to a device that has all the smarts, and which is a network node. It meets all my needs, but is a kit by an individual, so its execution might not be great. Its long term support also might be unknown. I would hate to build a system around it.

    As a counter example, my current thermometer was made in Kansas by a small company almost forty years ago, and wasn’t cheap. When its calibration pots became noisy, and didn’t respond to the usual cleaning techniques, I called them and was told they would recondition the unit for a small fee. I reluctantly packed it and sent it to them. They replaced the whole guts, and it worked better than new. Now, the display is getting flaky, and I am ready to move on. I actually have one of their newer models that is battery powered (uses the same family of wired sensors,) but I have bigger eventual plans. I have been using some cheap wireless thermometers to try out my scheme. The ones you suggested might have a place in that scheme, thanks again.

  16. ThermoPro looks interesting.

    I have my doubts about wireless for silly things like deep freezers. I’d like to have a battery powered indoor/outdoor unit. Thin wire…. that can go into the freezer so I don’t have to open the freezer to check the temp.

    I have one. The wire is going into my attic. The High and Low buttons don’t work but I bought the thing in 1988 or so from Radio Shack and have no complaints.

  17. Same video [on portable jump start systems] I linked before. Still did not take the time to watch it, but IIRC the tests were revealing.

    TLDW: Just fast forward to the end to see the results. If there is something you want clarified, just watch a few minutes of the description of the test plan. The value of the part that shows the actual testing is mostly just to develop confidence that he is being diligent and careful.

  18. @brad
    Youch!
    Regarding candidates – yep, that’s one of the things it is heartening to see happening. Folks have been disturbed from their trusting slumber and are taking action. One of the FaceBook groups that arose from our predicament is doing an education series to get folks ramped up to run for office with support behind them, and other things that go far beyond ‘keyboard warrior’ nonsense.
    April 2021 is our mayoral election with some decent conservative candidates (as long as we don’t split the vote)
    April 2022 is the next Assembly election, and April 2023 for the other half of the Assembly, I think.

    It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

    Waiting and houses. We looked for two years before we found our current home, we had no urgency. The looming doom of the homeless shelter and what it’s predicted to do to our current home value introduces uncertainty and a sense of urgency. Jumping to the wrong house would be an enormous mistake. Husband says he wants to look at the house I love again today, trying to ensure he does not feel pressure or obligation to sacrifice his wants because he knows I love the house. That way lies decades of hate and discontent.

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  19. @Jenny: You’re a wise woman.

    FWIW we looked at the land we finally bought and walked away the first time. No place is perfect.

    On our second look, we realized that perfect is the enemy of good. Hope your hubby feels the same way…

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  20. thanks Greg

    yes I saw some of them, and I agree, those are pretty solid shows and in this specific case very good actors.
    I said interesting because I read here of your politics, landslide etc, and I was wondered how a side spend such amount of effort to campaign. I know that there is a lot of money on each side, but to generate a whole chapter of a tank like west wing is a major effort.

    Have fun and how are you going with your job search ? I decided that this job is my last one hopefully

  21. I said interesting because I read here of your politics, landslide etc, and I was wondered how a side spend such amount of effort to campaign. I know that there is a lot of money on each side, but to generate a whole chapter of a tank like west wing is a major effort.

    “The West Wing” is an idealized version of American politics, the way the writers believe the system should work. Getting to the truth about how our political system functions would require quality satire, but the US hasn’t seen that in a dozen years, easily, since the election of Obama in 2008.

    The last American movie that I really felt nailed the political situation at the time was Tim Robbins’ “Bob Roberts”. I had friends on both sides of the political divide walk out of that movie in disgust. Unfortunately, that was … 1993 (?) … and Tim Robbins paid a tremendous career price for being too truthful so no one has tried to get that close to real satire with a major film since then.

    Have fun and how are you going with your job search ? I decided that this job is my last one hopefully

    My job search continues. I have a long fourth interview with a company coming up this week, something I consider to be a good sign.

    I’m 52, white, and male which is a problem in the US tech industry, made worse by not currently having a job in hand. Heck, I had a problem at 42 when we moved to the Portland Metro 10 years ago.

    In retrospect, I never should have taken the last job. Yelling at the candidate during the interview process, even if done by proxy like my last management handled the situation through their recruiting agency, is not a sign of quality employment. The technical problems were intriguing.

    I stayed too long at AT&T Labs for the same reason. Plus, my resume says “AT&T Labs”, inventors of the cell phone, laser, and transistor. You might say that gets attention, even today, with the organization no longer as respected as it once was. People still remember.

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  22. Back from my errands.

    Picked up from one auction. Put my mask on, entered the tiny little stuffy office to pay.

    Guy- “you don’t need that on in here…”
    Me-” I’ve been coughing all week, and have a sore throat.”
    guy- ” —- maybe you should leave it on.”

    Not everyone wearing the mask is a sheep. Probably never occurred to him there might be good reason to be wearing one.

    n

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  23. @greg, ayj, — we’re living thru Wag the Dog, with DeNiro and Hoffman.

    Wag the Dog is a 1997 American political satire black comedy film produced and directed by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro.[1] The screenplay concerns a spin doctor and a Hollywood producer who fabricate a war in Albania to distract voters from a presidential sex scandal. The screenplay by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet was loosely adapted from Larry Beinhart’s 1993 novel American Hero.

    Wag the Dog was released one month before the outbreak of the Lewinsky scandal and the subsequent bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan by the Clinton administration in August 1998, which prompted the media to draw comparisons between the film and reality.[3] The comparison was also made in December 1998 when the administration initiated a bombing campaign of Iraq during Clinton’s impeachment trial over the Lewinsky scandal.[4] It was made again in the spring of 1999 when the administration intervened in the Kosovo War and initiated a bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, which coincidentally bordered Albania and contains ethnic Albanians.[5] The film grossed $64.3 million on a $15 million budget and was well received by critics, who praised the direction, performances, themes, and humor.

    –I especially see parallels with the merchandising of masks and other related devices (door opening hooks forex.)

    n

    –added – look at the big names involved. Wouldn’t get that now.

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  24. Professor Robert Francis at LBJ’s alma matter.

    https://abc13.com/beto-orourke-teaching-texas-state-politics-what-is-doing-now/7081505/

    Disclaimer: I did my CS Masters there after being burned by references at WSU who promised to help with my UT application but dropped the ball. Once I was in the program, I realized that I had no choice but to do whatever it took to pull the 4.0 because a 3.5 is real easy to get without cracking a book in the program. A 3.0 means the graduate student did nothing, but administration was too embarrassed to wash them out.

    It was all about the paper, but I learned TeX, Php, and Python as practical skills. I also finally got a crack at a Compilers class.

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  25. thanks Greg and Nick, yes, I worked at an american utility, my boss was a true boomer red neck so we already talked about this (well he talked, he was the local at C office).

    But, times go by and my country is tanking down, I guess we are going to survive because soybean needs people to work on, it si not oil like Vzla, so, time only.

    I am 62 so, if I go unemployed, wait until retirement, but as in all the world retirements are s*** so lets see. In my work management changed and I was demoted, but since money is the same, f** them, politics as usual

    well, saturday night bolster up


  26. In retrospect, I never should have taken the last job. Yelling at the candidate during the interview process, even if done by proxy like my last management handled the situation through their recruiting agency, is not a sign of quality employment. The technical problems were intriguing.

    That’s my experience, too: I’ve taken a couple jobs or contracts despite qualms about the company or the hiring process because the technical challenges intrigued me. I think that in every case it turned out to be a mistake.

    My advice: if you (abstract-engineer-you, not Greg-you) have a choice, don’t accept an offer if the managers or the hiring people or the paperwork give you an uneasy feeling, no matter what technical challenges they wave in front of your face. Given a choice, take a job which won’t leave you feeling screwed over every other day even if it’s comparatively boring. You can always find interesting challenges in open source projects, your own robotics projects, and so on. (This doesn’t apply if you need special resources like nuclear fuel or quantum computers.)

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  27. I also finally got a crack at a Compilers class.

    +1000

    Compilers are to a CS degree what Calculus is to one in Math: If you haven’t got the smarts to understand how a compiler works (and maybe build a simple one yourself) then you really should be pursuing another course of study.

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  28. Calculus is entry-level college math.
    A lot of non-STEM curricula include a watered-down calculus course as a proxy intelligence test.
    To paraphrase:
    If you haven’t got the smarts to understand calculus then you really should be pursuing another course of study.

  29. Since no one has mentioned it lately, it’s a big club and YOU AIN’T IN IT.

    He also counted Gloria Vanderbilt and Emilie Benes Brzezinski – the mother of MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski –

    –that would be the G Vanderbilt that was known as “mom” by CNN’s Anderson Cooper…

    n

    (from the caption on a photo in Daily Mail)

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  30. One thing that has surprised me is how often some people need a jump for a flat battery. I have needed this about once every ten years, and it so far has always been caused by neglect on my part. Jumper cables are simple, and last almost forever compared to assist batteries. Now I jinxed it, and will probably have several dead battery problems.

    Most batteries last about three years and that’s it in most areas of the US anymore. I never replaced a battery in Vantucky over four years, but within a couple of months of moving to Texas, the “every three year” schedule resumed, sometimes less if we had a hot summer extend into Fall like last year.

    Not my experience at all. I am in a cold country (southern Ontario, not really COLD like northern Canada or Alaska, but I was out today playing tennis in shorts in 55F weather and found that comfortable). Batteries last me 5-7 years and I track the age so I can have my regular mechanic (found a good one) do a battery check annually after it hits 4 years. Might be vehicle based: many of you sound like you have trucks. I drive a sedan. No fancy devises: I jsut keep a good set of jumper cables in the car. They get used mostly to give other folks a boost.


  31. Not my experience at all. … Might be vehicle based: many of you sound like you have trucks. I drive a sedan.

    Temperature-based, I think. A number of DN regulars are in Texas and southern California and that skews their thinking.

    (To the extent that people can think at all when their brains have been cooked like that. #AdirondackPrivilege)

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  32. Not my experience at all. … Might be vehicle based: many of you sound like you have trucks. I drive a sedan.

    Temperature-based, I think. A number of DN regulars are in Texas and southern California and that skews their thinking.

    (To the extent that people can think at all when their brains have been cooked like that. #AdirondackPrivilege)

    I need to give proper thought to geography and temperature. Maybe it is the need to run the vehicle A/C on high 9 months of the year that causes early battery failure. I read the temperature reports from Nick and I wonder why the heck he isn’t moving someplace temperate. Of course, there are other considerations than local climate. I also laughed (quietly – well I guess not quietly now) at the comment about down vests/jackets for the kids because it was getting cool in Houston. Clearly I don’t know bupkiss about heat and humidity, but Houston is not cool enough for down anything (unless you have the A/C set to “stun”).

  33. My advice: if you (abstract-engineer-you, not Greg-you) have a choice, don’t accept an offer if the managers or the hiring people or the paperwork give you an uneasy feeling, no matter what technical challenges they wave in front of your face. Given a choice, take a job which won’t leave you feeling screwed over every other day even if it’s comparatively boring. You can always find interesting challenges in open source projects, your own robotics projects, and so on. (This doesn’t apply if you need special resources like nuclear fuel or quantum computers.)

    Given your scenario and age and assuming you need the income, I would get a job. Full stop. Then, start looking for another if need be. Interesting things can always be done on the side and be funded.

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  34. @tv, the summer heat and humidity is balanced for me by several factors, some social, some economic.

    TX has no state income tax. When I lived in Cali (with the best weather in the USA) I paid ~9% of my Federal tax bill in taxes to the state of CA. That’s a big hit.

    Wife’s job is here.

    Very strong economy, went thru 2008 without much trouble.

    Cost o living is pretty good, especially compared to other places.

    You can find housing at any price you want to pay.

    Central location was very handy when I was traveling for work, one flight to pretty much anywhere.

    Central time zone makes it easier to support the whole country when I was doing that for work.

    Socially, TX is pretty free. Pretty strong liberty heritage, Gilmore TX has Come and Take It as their city motto and flag…

    Guns. Lots of guns.

    If I was churchy, this is a good place for it, pretty much any denomination you might want from Methodist to snake handlers, and a strong religious cultural component. Saying God Damn will still get you looks in most places, and maybe even scorn. Of course that can be a problem for some people.

    you can find the culture you want, somewhere in the state.

    High tech got it’s start here.

    Lots of money means lots of arts.

    So yeah, the weather sucks 6 months a year, but most places have issues like that, just not the heat… There are compensations. Gas being ~$1.60/ gallon being one…..

    n

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  35. NYFC has had issues with police and policing for years, if not for ever, but they aren’t gonna get better if this continues…

    New York Police Department has admitted that there is a ‘troubling trend’ in officers leaving the force, as budget cuts, anti-police feeling and tensions within the city and its politicians drive many to quit.

    This year, as of October 6, 2,385 officers have submitted their retirement papers, the NYPD told Fox News – an 87 per cent increase last year.

    In 2019, over the same period, 1,274 officers retired.

    Resignations were also up. The department said 372 NYPD officers have resigned this year – five more than last year.

    ‘The NYPD has seen a surge in the number of officers filing for retirement,’ a spokesperson said in an email to Fox News this week.

    ‘While the decision to retire is a personal one and can be attributed to a range of factors, it is a troubling trend that we are closely monitoring.’

    n

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  36. I miss OFD. He’d be apoplectic over stuff like this… Bill Mahar thinks being Catholic is the same as being insane.

    ‘Chuck Schumer said Democrats won’t make Barrett’s religion an issue, but they should because being nuts is relevant,’ Maher said in a monologue on HBO’s Real Time on Friday.

    –even though the Church is headed by the commie pope and has declining enrollment, it’s not a mental disease… and I don’t think the large percentage of people who identify as ‘religious’ would agree with.

    n

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  37. The loonie left would be comical if they weren’t so dangerous.

    First Trump’s covid was going to destroy his chance of re-election, if not strike him down for his sins and cleanse the US of his taint.

    Now he’s been faking it, presumably for sympathy.

    The View hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar think President Trump is lying about his COVID-19 diagnosis as they question his recovery speed

    The View hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar questioned if President Trump was lying about his COVID-19 diagnosis
    Goldberg pointed out Trump quick recovery time, while Behar called him a ‘liar’
    The View hosts also criticized the President for using Barron Trump’s bout with COVID-19 as justification for reopening all schools
    Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on October 2 and was treated at Walter Reed Medical Center
    Several of his inner circle tested positive for the virus, including Melania Trump, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and former Governor Chris Christie

    –I wish they’d make up their minds.

    n

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  38. Oh, I didn’t mention it at the time, but I guess we can reset the “Days since an islamic murderer attacked someone” counter to Zero.

    Refugee Islamist terrorist ‘had links to ISIS’ before beheading teacher in France for showing pupils Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

    French anti-terror prosecutor said Islamist terrorist asked pupils which teacher had shown Prophet cartoons
    Samuel Paty, 47, had received threats before he was stabbed and beheaded by Islamist Aboulakh Anzorov
    Muslim parents took offence at Mr Paty’s decision to show his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed
    Nine people have been arrested, including two parents who disapproved of showing of Prophet cartoons

    –at least they are calling him and it terrorism, and not ‘parisian’ or ‘french citizen’ or their usual nonsense. Maybe the zeitgeist is changing.

    n

    ‘[The attacker] is believed to be from a Chechen background,’ said an investigating source, referring to the Russian Federation republic.

    Thousands of battle-hardened Chechen refugees, including many devout Muslims, entered France in the early 2000s following two bloody wars against Russia.

    Around 30,000 Chechens in total escaped to France, many of them resettling in the suburbs of major cities such as Paris.

    France has seen occasional violence involving its Chechen community in recent months – in the Dijon region, the Mediterranean city of Nice, and the western town of Saint-Dizier – believed to be linked to local criminal activity.

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  39. @tv, the summer heat and humidity is balanced for me by several factors, some social, some economic.

    Hi Nick, the list that follows is not several, that’s whole pile of reasons and I am glad that all of those are what you want and make you like where you live. I expect we all have own reasons to like where we are, mostly. Not meaning to be critical of your (or anyone’s) choices at all, but I do look at your weather report every day and feel a frission of horror, or maybe it’s more of a sympathetic wave of heatstroke. I enjoy reading the posts and occasionally open my big yap… err large keyboard. Please keep doing what you do here, and if I haven’t said so before – Thank You for doing that.

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  40. @TV, the funny thing is, I’d been working in the Houston area for a couple of years off and on, a few weeks at a time, before moving here. I thought I understood what I was getting into with the heat. OH HELLS NOE!!11!!

    I lived in Phoenix for 4 years. I know heat. I grew up in Chicago. I thought I knew humidity. OH HELLS NOE!!11!!1

    This is the first year in many that I really didn’t need my cool vest or Portacool fan very much. I think I’m finally recovering from my heat injury several years ago. It’s still hot and humid. REALLY HOT and REALLY HUMID much of the time. Fall, winter and spring can be great, albeit short… I hope I convey the delight in those days as well 🙂

    n

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  41. @dcp
    The proximity to the airport and noise of the jets is a familiar sound to us. Our current home lies directly under their flight paths and we currently live perhaps two miles from the airport. Jet noise is familiar and we take it as the comforting sound of commerce and tourist dollars.

    We went to several open houses today, a ranch, a bouergois place, a blah house with a face eating dog next door. They were all listed for more than the 1965 ranch, all on smaller lots, but also requiring little to no work other than aesthetics. Then we returned to the 1965 ranch and walked the neighborhood. Talked to several very nice neighbors and wound up having a beer with a couple while our kids played. Excellent experience particularly for my husband.

    That experience flipped something and we are taking another deep walk thru with our woodworking, electrician, general dogsbody handyman friends plus family tomorrow. There will be six or seven of us crawling thru the place, several with professional level mad skills for house related stuff.

    Don’t know what decision we will make however feel confident at this point that it will be honestly made with no recriminations.

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  42. @TV, regarding car batteries, your observations are correct. Cold weather reduces their output and the engine has very high cranking needs. I don’t have my reference material handy, but at 0F, a battery’s cranking current output is something like half of what it is at 80F, and the engine needs something like three times the cranking power. You need a good battery to start a car in cold weather, and at -40 it is far worse.

    High temperatures accelerate the chemical degradation of a battery. The usual failure mode is sulfation, which essentially raises the internal resistance until the battery cannot put out enough current to crank the engine.

    Batteries are more complex than most people believe. They can be made for either cold or hot weather, but the ability is limited. It is not unusual to get five or more years of service in cold climates, but sometimes half that in hot ones. With care, it is possible to double the life of a battery, all else being equal.

    Being under the hood near the engine is a bad place to put a battery, but is still common. The battery can reach 180F under some conditions, and when this started in the 1970s, batteries were redesigned to avoid thermal runaway. This was good and increased life, but led to unpredictable end of life failures.

    Newer chemistries, such as lithium, are not yet suitable for automobiles with IC engines, but they are promising. Hybrids and automatic start stop need better batteries than are currently available. Economics drives everything in the auto world.

    I hope this adds some understanding. The humble lead acid battery has evolved over the last hundred years. It is still one of the most economical designs.

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  43. @Nick

    I must correct you, Pope isnt communist, is peronist, but this is near to impossible to explain to someone outside here.
    I remember I was once in Milano and our host despised him very strongly, I said, you doesnt know peronism.
    I remembered a discussion once, Huey Long is near maybe. Evita by Madonna is not true

    cheers

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  44. Thanks Ayj, it is always a good thing to hear from someone closer to the situation.

    Perhaps ‘socialist’ is a better term than communist, in the US, and from the perspective of a center right person, they are only a matter of degree.

    The Catholic church did not used to be so soft or left politically. I suppose that the market for catholicism is mostly now in countries with left/socialist governments and that it why the expression of the Pope’s beliefs are what they are.

    nick

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