Mon. Nov. 16, 2020 – just another manic Monday…

Warm and windy.  Humid.  Sunny.  That’s my hope anyway.

Well, something blew into town.  It went from 70F to 50F at midnight, and it’s currently 44F at 6AM.  Good thing I don’t get paid to be a weatherman.  Or if I did, it’s a good thing they don’t get paid to be right.

Spent yesterday doing cleanup and reorganization.  Found some stuff I lost.  I hate losing stuff.  I’ll have to email the guy and see if he still needs the thing I found.  When I finally sell something it’s a real bummer to cancel the sale because I can’t find the item…

Today I’m at home with daughter two.   My wife is in the office MWF this week.  Daughter one is at school.   That will give me a chance to do stuff here.  There is always a pile of stuff to do here.

Time to get cracking.  And stacking.

 

nick

 

*anyone think it’s NOT shifty as hell that the one voting machine company is controlled by Democrat insiders, and that the COB of the other is now on Biden’s transition team?  Just lucky for them I guess….

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

97 thoughts on “Mon. Nov. 16, 2020 – just another manic Monday…”

  1. *anyone think it’s NOT shifty as hell that the one voting machine company is controlled by Democrat insiders, and that the COB of the other is now on Biden’s transition team? Just lucky for them I guess….

    Here’s the thing. Trump. I’m jus’ sayin’.

    That’s the limit of what 95% of the public understands, even Republicans.

    We’re going to dodge a bullet in GA because the insider trading violation Kelly Loeffler committed is complicated. It works both ways.

    And, to borrow another common meme often heard in wealthy suburbs to excuse moral flexibility: They — Loeffler and her husband — worked hard for their money.

    Do a little digging into the background of former FL Governor now Senator Rick Scott. I have firsthand experience with that one, and not having enough moral flexibility in the situation is part of the reason my career on the Death Star ended after 10 years.

  2. @Nick – Linux Mint 19.3 may give my 2007 MacBook Pro a reprieve from the scrap heap for at least three more years. I can’t justify a $99 battery unless the machine runs at least one supported OS reliably.

    Something is weird about that machine and newer Ubuntu derivatives.

  3. I guess I should do an update on my NVR journey…

    After getting mint installed, and updated, and the NVR software installed, I loaded my config file, it found all my cameras and I was back in business. I updated my storage settings, to what I believed I needed and it has been super stable since then. I have not had one reboot, or “disconnected from the server” issue.

    The only issue I’ve had relates to the NVR software, “Agent”. It’s not clear exactly how to set the disk usage limits, and there isn’t a single check box for “overwrite disk when full”. I must have set the limit a bit too high, because I eventually noticed that the ‘record light’ wasn’t on for every camera view. I checked the console window and sure enough, there were’ failure to save file’ messages. I deleted a bunch of video and lowered my upper limit some more. We’ll see if it manages better this time. I don’t like the mostly silent way it failed to record. There were several cams that had more than one day of unrecorded video.

    I should have been checking to be sure my ‘new’ setup was really doing its job.

    Now I’m thinking about putting mint on my old HP Mini lappy. It’s intolerably slow on win7 doing anything online. I believe it was a crippled atom winXP machine to start with. Even the SSD only helps so much when what it really needs is more ram.

    n

  4. Really glad it’s NOT “coming right for us.”

    Hurricane Iota (CAT 4)– Atlantic
    National Watch Center
    Situation: (Advisory #12A as of 7:00 a.m. ET)
    ▪ 20 miles NE of Isla de Providencia, Colombia
    ▪ Moving W at 10 mph
    ▪ Maximum sustained winds 155 mph
    ▪ Hurricane-force winds extend 35 miles
    ▪ Tropical storm-force winds extend 150 miles
    ▪ Expected to bring potentially catastrophic winds, lifethreatening storm surge, and extreme rainfall impacts to
    Central America

  5. Now I’m thinking about putting mint on my old HP Mini lappy. It’s intolerably slow on win7 doing anything online. I believe it was a crippled atom winXP machine to start with. Even the SSD only helps so much when what it really needs is more ram.

    If Mint doesn’t cut it, try Fedora 33, especially if you’re dealing with 4 GB of RAM or less. Fedora is really trying hard to make low end hardware usable, and the latest release adds xRam in place of and/or supplementing more traditional swap.

    If you can live without the media codes, Fedora Silverblue is worth a look for a more secure alternative.

  6. Really glad it’s NOT “coming right for us.”

    Water in the Gulf is cold by hurricane season standards, but, as Tampa proved last week, a Cat 1 in the right spot can wreak a lot of havoc.

    Cedar Key at high tide was just the right location/time to put a lot of water into Tampa Bay and, thus, Downtown.

  7. Speaking of OS updates:

    While house cleaning yesterday, I started updating my Macs to macOS Big Sur. The Mac Book Pro went smooth and works great. Then onto the old Trash Can Mac. After reboot, my Drobo DAS won’t mount over Thunderbolt. I went to the Drobo forums and they are packed with theirs won’t mount either. Not even an email from Drobo, just a blog “Yeah, it worked up to RC2.” People are pissed. Drobo’s temporary fix is to connect via USB. It works for me, but freezes for some reason. Same with a lot of people. And some have Thunderbolt only Drobos, so they are SOL. Drobo says were working on it, OK! Still not one email of “Watch Out.” Not everybody has went do Big Sur and should know. Fortunately, I found this out before updating my Mac Mini. I have the media files on a Drobo Mini over Thunderbolt. It stays on Catalina for now.

  8. The only issue I’ve had relates to the NVR software, “Agent”. It’s not clear exactly how to set the disk usage limits, and there isn’t a single check box for “overwrite disk when full”. I must have set the limit a bit too high, because I eventually noticed that the ‘record light’ wasn’t on for every camera view. I checked the console window and sure enough, there were’ failure to save file’ messages. I deleted a bunch of video and lowered my upper limit some more. We’ll see if it manages better this time. I don’t like the mostly silent way it failed to record. There were several cams that had more than one day of unrecorded video.

    This is a little old school, but it sounds like you need a “cron” process to clean out the old video files stored before a certain date that are no longer relevant. Systemd has a newer mechanism, but I haven’t looked into that.

  9. While house cleaning yesterday, I started updating my Macs to macOS Big Sur. The Mac Book Pro went smooth and works great. Then onto the old Trash Can Mac. After reboot, my Drobo DAS won’t mount over Thunderbolt. I went to the Drobo forums and they are packed with theirs won’t mount either. Not even an email from Drobo, just a blog “Yeah, it worked up to RC2.” People are pissed. Drobo’s temporary fix is to connect via USB. It works for me, but freezes for some reason. Same with a lot of people. And some have Thunderbolt only Drobos, so they are SOL. Drobo says were working on it, OK! Still not one email of “Watch Out.” Not everybody has went do Big Sur and should know. Fortunately, I found this out before updating my Mac Mini. I have the media files on a Drobo Mini over Thunderbolt. It stays on Catalina for now.

    Always give Apple at least a point release before upgrading to a new macOS.

    The only machine in our house that is Big Sur upgrade eligible is my wife’s 2018 MacBook Pro. That’s the laptop she uses for VA televisits which require special security hardware so I’ll hold off as long as I can there.

    The new job sent me a loaner current Intel MacBook Pro, but I’m not touching an upgrade on that. My permanent machine will probably have Big Sur pre-installed. Supposedly, I’m getting a maxed-out I9.

    I don’t think Apple has yet to truly recover from having half of their CoreOS developers leave in 2012 following Steve Jobs death. I was in Bandley 3 (Google for the relevance) in June of that year, and the place was a ghost town. IIRC, Lion was in the works at the time.

    (Apple applied the hard sell in the interview, conducting the conversation in *the* conference room at *the* table where the Mac first powered on 29 years previously. I’ve also been in the room where the first Dell computer was bolted together.)

  10. The Camel is already spouting off on she gonna fix raayyyccism in the FUSA.

    LET THE RAYCISS HEALING BEGIN!

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  11. anyone think it’s NOT shifty as hell that the one voting machine company is controlled by Democrat insiders,

    A bunch of Republican insiders work there also.

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  12. Paper ballots. Hand counts. The people that handle the ballots don’t get writing implements. It’s the only way to do it.

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  13. Paper ballots. Hand counts.

    Hand counts are impossible for an election as complicated as the US ones. I had to vote on 20+ items – president, house, senate, state house, state senate, a bunch of county offices, 8 or so bond issues, etc.

    The electronic machines used in our county are auditable. They print a paper ballot with barcodes for each item voted on (candidate, yea or nay on bond issues, etc.). It also has plaintext of the votes. Votes are scanned as you turn them in and the ballot goes into a locked container.

    Verification should be easy. Look at the totals from a given box, hand count the ballots there. Do that for a random selection of boxes and you have audited the vote.

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  14. Good news on the vaccine front. The Modena vaccine is out of phase 3 and was more effective (94.5%) than the Pfizer. It doesn’t need cryo freezing, a normal refrigerator will do (30 days at fridge temps, 6 months at -4 F). They will have enough doses for 20 million people in December and 25-30 million/month after that. It is a 2 shot vaccine, spaced a month apart. About 10% of the subjects felt fatigue after dose 2 and 9% body aches. That’s similar to other vaccines. (I felt terrible the day after my second shingles vaccine dose this year.)

    The Johnson and Johnson vaccine should be out of trials next month, same as the Oxford/Astra-Zeneca one. The Russians started vaccinations on theirs without waiting for trials to finish….

    So, 40-50 million immunized per month starting as of next year from Pfizer and Modena.

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  15. The Camel is already spouting off on she gonna fix raayyyccism in the FUSA.

    LET THE RAYCISS HEALING BEGIN!

    She will start by grabbing all the gubs from the Trump supporters. Because gubs cause racism.


  16. Hand counts are impossible for an election as complicated as the US ones.

    Depends on how quickly you want the results.

    There are other safeguards. Voter ID is absolutely necessary. Mail-in ballots are open to fraud unless there is some way to guarantee the identity of the voter. Correct tally of votes in the box against votes in the machine – that one failed in (I think) Wisconsin in 2016, strangely the people on TV said it was no big deal that the voting machines had 20x the number of votes in the boxes in several audited precincts.

    Proper observation by all sides of the ballot boxes and handling of the votes. No unsupervised ballot boxes or ballots at any time.

    Full hand recount if the audits show any discrepancy between voting machine and ballots in the boxes.

    There are a lot of things that should be done to make the results accurate and trustworthy.

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  17. There are a lot of things that should be done to make the results accurate and trustworthy.

    And the dems fight every one of them.

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  18. If the ballot produces a barcode, you could have it tallied by scanners with simple software on a PC to verify that the barcode and text match. That would reduce the possibility of fraud also. I also think that voting machines and ballot counters should be open source with crypto signatures in the executables. That would also reduce fraud attempts at the count stage.

    Yeah, voter ID is a must. BUT, states need to make ID free and easy to get. A few states did try to reduce the number of places the free ID could be obtained after putting in voter ID laws, which is double plus ungood.

  19. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/deceased-taxpayers-filing-the-estate-income-tax-return-form-1041

    “The decedent and their estate are separate taxable entities. Before filing Form 1041, you will need to obtain a tax ID number for the estate. An estate’s tax ID number is called an “employer identification number,” or EIN, and comes in the format 12-345678X. You can apply online for this number. You can also apply by FAX or mail; see How to Apply for an EIN.”

    Oh lovely. The wife needs to get a tax id for her fathers estate as it is having income from his RMD on his IRA and his three rental properties. And she needs the tax ID before Dec 15 so she can make a tax payment for the estate.

    Lovely, just lovely.

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  20. If the ballot produces a barcode, you could have it tallied by scanners with simple software on a PC to verify that the barcode and text match. That would reduce the possibility of fraud also. I also think that voting machines and ballot counters should be open source with crypto signatures in the executables. That would also reduce fraud attempts at the count stage.

    All you have to do it make three stacks of votes. One stack for Trump, one stack for Biden, and one stack for other. Then count the number of votes in each stack.

    Don’t make it hard. Running PCs with scanner is not easy.

    Of course, if there are no paper ballots then that recount is hosed. We voted electronically in Fort Bend County until this year. No paper backup.

  21. “If the ballot produces a barcode, you could have it tallied by scanners with simple software on a PC to verify that the barcode and text match. That would reduce the possibility of fraud also. I also think that voting machines and ballot counters should be open source with crypto signatures in the executables. That would also reduce fraud attempts at the count stage.”
    https://www.infowars.com/posts/trump-lawyer-weve-identified-mathematically-the-exact-algorithm-theyve-used-to-steal-election/

    Apparently it was the Linear Transfer algorithm. Every time the number of votes for Trump hit a certain percentage of Biden’s votes, they transferred 6,000 votes from Trump to Biden.

    Why does the voting tabulation machine even have a Linear Transfer mode ? I see no reason to have this mode without flipping an election.

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

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  22. Oh lovely. The wife needs to get a tax id for her fathers estate as it is having income from his RMD on his IRA and his three rental properties. And she needs the tax ID before Dec 15 so she can make a tax payment for the estate.

    Lovely, just lovely.

    Just the goobermint making sure they “get their cut.” CAMEL/plugs gonna fix that by taking it all!. No need to get an EIN. 100% tax.

    LET THE IRS HEALING BEGIN!

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  23. The wife needs to get a tax id for her fathers estate as it is having income from his RMD on his IRA and his three rental properties.

    You can do it online in a few minutes. I did it for my mom’s estate.

    The estate tax forms are not intuitive. They make a 1040 look simple. Alas, TurboTax doesn’t do them. Depending on the income and such from the estate, it may be worth having an accountant do it. I did it for my mom and I screwed up a calculation somewhere and owed an extra $20. NBD. I sent a check.

    Also, if there was a beneficiary, the IRA is outside the estate.

  24. Hand counts are impossible for an election as complicated as the US ones.

    That is not accurate. I have watched hand counts from paper ballots and they are simple and foolproof, regardless of what the ballot looks like. All that is needed to make them easily workable with the high voting populations of today’s USA is to have smaller precincts and more polling places. Each polling place counts – under watch – and their results are rolled up to the next level where each counts – under watch. Easy peasy, and always accurate.

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  25. If the ballot produces a barcode, you could have it tallied by scanners with simple software on a PC to verify that the barcode and text match. That would reduce the possibility of fraud also. I also think that voting machines and ballot counters should be open source with crypto signatures in the executables. That would also reduce fraud attempts at the count stage.

    Yeah, voter ID is a must. BUT, states need to make ID free and easy to get. A few states did try to reduce the number of places the free ID could be obtained after putting in voter ID laws, which is double plus ungood.

    Agree with all of that.

    Unfortunately, the system is run by politicians.

  26. I believe Texas was one of the states that made it harder to get the Voter ID. Ironically, several/many Texas counties that are very hispanic and were traditionally D voters, voted heavily for Trump this time around.

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  27. Until recently no one WANTED auditable results. That’s the only explanation I can see that makes sense.

    Also, keep in mind, any technological solution needs to be supported for a long time, and needs to be as simple/minimal as possible.

    As far as I know, our local Harris County voting machines don’t print tallies or receipts.

    Hell, all you need do is print the receipt in a human readable form that is also machine readable, VOTE on the electronic machine but put the receipt into a locked box. If there is any challenge, or glitch, count the receipts. you get the early easy returns, plus verifiable recount.

    There are so many ways to increase the security that I’m pretty sure no one wanted to, or they would have.

    n

    (all schemes must have a verifiable and locked codebase.)


  28. I believe Texas was one of the states that made it harder to get the Voter ID. Ironically, several/many Texas counties that are very hispanic and were traditionally D voters, voted heavily for Trump this time around.

    Is that the same as just a State ID. Getting my TXDL was simple, but COVID rules makes you get an appointment.

    If you don’t get a State/DL ID for your residence State, you are an idiot.


  29. As far as I know, our local Harris County voting machines don’t print tallies or receipts.

    I think I posted this before. Bexar County, SA, voting machines print out a long paper ballot after you finish on the touch screen. You can review all your choices (you are an idiot if you don’t). Then you walk over to another machine and feed your ballot into it. I guess that is the counting machine. That is the weak point since you don’t know what is going on inside that machine. If there is malarky, that is where it takes place.

    C’MON, MAN! THIS ELECTION ISN’T RIGGED, ‘CUZ plugs WON!

  30. Yep, I have zero sympathy for anyone crying hardship over ID rules. It’s not difficult or time consuming, and you need an ID for almost every other part of daily life anyway. Unless you are confined, or bedridden, and the number of those cases are so small that alternative methods can be applied. I’d be shocked if you could get home health care without an ID, or be confined without ID.

    It is absolutely vital to the security and validity of the voting system that only one vote per citizen is counted, and that only eligible votes are counted.

    Yes there is history of disenfranchisement. SO WHAT. Show me some now, with cameras everywhere.

    Voting rights have been expanded over the last couple of hundred years. There should be enough of a barrier that you have to WANT to vote, and act intentionally. Showing an ID is the absolute minimum.

    n

  31. I know some of you like the emoji things for comments. That’s OK.

    And some of you **really** like to use the emoji things. Maybe you are bored.

    But overuse of them by any one reader seems to defeat the purpose of the emoji things.

    They are still there, though. But the latest update to that plugin from that plugin developer now limits the number of emojis that can be used by any one visitor.

    And, just like other things around here, updates are always installed.

    So, add an emoji to a comment. But you only get one, so choose wisely.

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  32. If you don’t get a State/DL ID for your residence State, you are an idiot.

    I imagine there are many thousands in TX without IDs, mostly people with some kind of disability. But, if you want to vote and (other than disability) can’t be bothered to get an ID, you probably shouldn’t be voting.

    I’ve had adults seriously tell me that because a few people can’t get IDs, no one should have to show an ID to vote. By that logic, the same applies to driving a car or getting beer, or flying, or a million other things that require ID.

  33. *anyone think it’s NOT shifty as hell that the one voting machine company is controlled by Democrat insiders, and that the COB of the other is now on Biden’s transition team? Just lucky for them I guess….

    Here’s the thing. Trump. I’m jus’ sayin’.

    That’s the limit of what 95% of the public understands, even Republicans.

    Three words. Orange Man Bad.

    Or, TDS.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump_derangement_syndrome

  34. If you don’t get a State/DL ID for your residence State, you are an idiot.

    I imagine there are many thousands in TX without IDs, mostly people with some kind of disability. But, if you want to vote and (other than disability) can’t be bothered to get an ID, you probably shouldn’t be voting.

    I’ve had adults seriously tell me that because a few people can’t get IDs, no one should have to show an ID to vote. By that logic, the same applies to driving a car or getting beer, or flying, or a million other things that require ID.

    My youngest brother does not have a Texas state id. They won’t give you one when there is a warrant out for your arrest. Instead, one of the state troopers standing around will transport you to the nearest City or County jail.


  35. Hell, all you need do is print the receipt in a human readable form that is also machine readable, VOTE on the electronic machine but put the receipt into a locked box. If there is any challenge, or glitch, count the receipts. you get the early easy returns, plus verifiable recount.

    That is how the machines in Fort Bend work. Except the machine that tallies and stores the votes is separate from the one where you fill out the ballot.

  36. The wife needs to get a tax id for her fathers estate as it is having income from his RMD on his IRA and his three rental properties.

    You can do it online in a few minutes. I did it for my mom’s estate.

    The estate tax forms are not intuitive. They make a 1040 look simple. Alas, TurboTax doesn’t do them. Depending on the income and such from the estate, it may be worth having an accountant do it. I did it for my mom and I screwed up a calculation somewhere and owed an extra $20. NBD. I sent a check.

    Also, if there was a beneficiary, the IRA is outside the estate.

    Were you declared her Executor of the Estate before you got the estate tax id ? The probate court is scheduled for the Executor of the Estate hearing in January. Then my wife can apply for the estate Tax ID according to the probate lawyer.

    BTW, I think that TurboTax will do the short year tax return that ends on the date that my father-in-law died. But I don’t know about the short year estate tax return from the date of his death to the end of the year.

  37. Hell, all you need do is print the receipt in a human readable form that is also machine readable, VOTE on the electronic machine but put the receipt into a locked box. If there is any challenge, or glitch, count the receipts. you get the early easy returns, plus verifiable recount.

    That is how the machines in Fort Bend work. Except the machine that tallies and stores the votes is separate from the one where you fill out the ballot.

    Yup, I used the new Fort Bend County voting machines twice this year (primary and final). You use a voting machine that fills out a paper ballot for you. Then you take the ballot to a vote tabulating machine and feed it in. Simple except I manged to screw it up on both the first time. My vision from one foot to four foot distance is not good at all so I could not see the slots to insert the ballot.

    Hey, when did you move to Fort Bend County ?

  38. Well, something blew into town. It went from 70F to 50F at midnight, and it’s currently 44F at 6AM. Good thing I don’t get paid to be a weatherman. Or if I did, it’s a good thing they don’t get paid to be right.

    I got my lazy butt out of bed at 10 am and it was 65 F in my bedroom. I did not turn on the heat last night so that was the actual temperature. My dog was snuggled up way too tightly for me also so she thought it was cold under the ceiling fan. The wife got up at 7 am as her normal.

  39. Is that the same as just a State ID. Getting my TXDL was simple, but COVID rules makes you get an appointment.

    If you don’t get a State/DL ID for your residence State, you are an idiot.

    Getting the appointment was tight for a while in Texas. At least, it was here in the Austin suburbs when my son needed to renew his permit.

    Out of roughly a dozen cars in the front parking lot at the DMV, four were from California.

    I’ve seen a surprising number of FL plates this year, and Texas has an FSU alumni plate.

    Walking out of Costco this weekend, I noticed a family of four all dressed in UF’s (Gainesville) colors. I’ll bet the kids both know how to do the “racist” gator chomp.

  40. Is that the same as just a State ID. Getting my TXDL was simple, but COVID rules makes you get an appointment.

    If you don’t get a State/DL ID for your residence State, you are an idiot.

    Getting the appointment was tight for a while in Texas. At least, it was here in the Austin suburbs when my son needed to renew his permit.

    The Texas DMV offices operate on the principal that there should be one hours worth of people in line at any given moment for the number of stations at the office. I have seen around 400 people in line at the Rosenberg super DMV office with 75 stations.

  41. Heh. Democrats and part-time Texans who want to pretend they live here when they really live somewhere else, hate Texas ID rules because, whether it is a Driver’s License or an ID… you have to put in your fingerprints. Thus, no pretending to be one person in one county and someone else in another. That’s not hard, except for people who don’t want to be recognized.

  42. My youngest brother does not have a Texas state id. They won’t give you one when there is a warrant out for your arrest. Instead, one of the state troopers standing around will transport you to the nearest City or County jail.

    I think we’ve just found the reason to not have voter id.

    What was the sarcasm tag?

  43. Is it risky at your place – or where you will be traveling?

    This map shows the risk level of attending an event, given the event size and location.

    You can reduce the risk that one case becomes many by wearing a mask, distancing, and gathering outdoors in smaller groups

    The risk level is the estimated chance (0-100%) that at least 1 COVID-19 positive individual will be present at an event in a county, given the size of the event.

    https://covid19risk.biosci.gatech.edu/ Note: the maps may take 10-30 seconds to load.

  44. Sarcasm tag is ‘sarcasm’, used like other tags.

    This is sarcasm. Starting and ending tags.

  45. My youngest brother does not have a Texas state id. They won’t give you one when there is a warrant out for your arrest. Instead, one of the state troopers standing around will transport you to the nearest City or County jail.

    I think we’ve just found the reason to not have voter id.

    What was the sarcasm tag?

    No sarcasm, it is the sad truth. My dad, my middle brother, and I have bailed him out of 20 ??? police departments in The Great State of Texas over the last 38 years. He is bipolar and cannot / will not control himself.

    If the speed limit sign says 35 mph, he will drive 50 mph in an unlicensed vehicle with a dime bag of pot under the driver seat. Although, at 55 he has really slowed down in the last five years as he is mostly blind now due to cataracts that he will not go get fixed. I am constantly amazed that he is still alive.

  46. The quarrels about the applicability of Benford’s algorithm and the complexity of hand-counting miss the point. The salient points are:

    – Electoral transparency is lacking in many locations.
    – Deliberate actions were taken in many locations to reduce transparency as a whole or specifically to some group of observers or auditors.
    – Vote fraud has occurred and likely is still occurring.
    – Laws or rules concerning balloting, counting, and auditing were changed immediately before or even after the election.
    – Laws or rules concerning balloting, counting, and auditing were flouted without consequence.
    – Known incidents of election fraud are highly positively correlated with lack of transparency.
    – Known incidents of election fraud are highly positively correlated with laws being flouted.
    – All substantiated claims of election fraud or of differential transparency work in the direction of giving votes to Democrats (in particular Biden) or taking votes away from Republicans (in particular Trump).
    – Attempts are made to shut down questioning of any of the above.

    The list above has a number of similarities with the claims and reporting and politicking about the coronavirus pandemic or the anthropogenic global warming crisis, though the comparisons are not exact. (The latter two claim to be science and make predictions, then have to shift the goalposts as reality repeatedly fails to conform to the predictions.)

    Apologists of many alleged political leanings and impressive-sounding credentials attempt to assure us helots that the photos were rigged, that the secretly recorded videos were fakes, that we didn’t see what we saw with our own eyes, that the numbers don’t mean what we think they do, that the statistical oddities is all foreseeable from the survey results known before the elections.

    Unaddressed is the fact that all of the oddities work to the benefit of the Democrats. I’d really like the apologists to explain that one.

    NOTE: Some of the above was addressed by comments that came in during the almost three hours it took me to write it. What’s this nonsense about having to work when I want to be surfing the internet?

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  47. The Camel is already spouting off on she gonna fix raayyyccism in the FUSA.

    Yuuup, totally rampant raayyyccism just two blocks south of my house. Building a new tract of single family homes, 3500 – 4000 sq ft, $1,700,000 and up.
    https://www.sheahomes.com/new-homes/california/orange-county/huntington-beach/parkside-estates/
    Walking my dog through there and hearing the construction workers chatter…..not one is a USA born English speaker. ¿Entiende?

  48. I love Eneloops. CowboySlim turned me onto those years ago.

    I am constantly amazed that he is still alive.

    How does that quote go? “God looks after fools and ___?”

    I want to say Mad Dogs and Englishmen, but that’s not right…


  49. I believe Texas was one of the states that made it harder to get the Voter ID.

    Since when does Texas have a Voter ID? News to me.

    You get a d/l or an ID card. I don’t recall getting my d/l as being anyway difficult.

    You need ID to buy beer or cash a check. If you are some how managing to get by without any ID card, good on ya… just don’t complain when you can’t vote.

  50. “Your Computer Isn’t Yours”
    https://sneak.berlin/20201112/your-computer-isnt-yours/

    “I’m speaking, of course, of the world that Richard Stallman predicted in 1997. The one Cory Doctorow also warned us about.”

    “On modern versions of macOS, you simply can’t power on your computer, launch a text editor or eBook reader, and write or read, without a log of your activity being transmitted and stored.”

    This is not cool.

  51. The Camel is already spouting off on she gonna fix raayyyccism in the FUSA.

    Yuuup, totally rampant raayyyccism just two blocks south of my house. Building a new tract of single family homes, 3500 – 4000 sq ft, $1,700,000 and up.
    https://www.sheahomes.com/new-homes/california/orange-county/huntington-beach/parkside-estates/
    Walking my dog through there and hearing the construction workers chatter…..not one is a USA born English speaker. ¿Entiende?

    Wow, you can buy those homes for $600K here in Fort Bend County. Of course they are $1,000,000+ over inside Houston by The Medical Center as process starts with buying a knock down house on a lot.

  52. “Hospital ransomware: Gangs are back to target healthcare”
    https://blog.malwarebytes.com/ransomware/2020/11/ransomware-gangs-target-hospitals/

    “With some countries and states deciding to go back in to lockdown due to the continued rise of reported COVID-19 infections—and several garnering record-high numbers compared to when almost every country initially went into lockdown—it seems horrible timing that hospital ransomware is back in the news.”

    “Early on in the coronavirus crisis, a promise was made by some ransomware gangs to leave hospitals alone. But cybercriminals behaving like criminals—whether we’re in the middle of a pandemic or not—isn’t something that we should be shocked about.”

    “In the last few months, we’ve seen rising hospital ransomware attacks.”

    “In late September, a chain of hospitals under the Universal Health Services (UHS), one of the largest healthcare providers in the United States, were hit with what appeared to be Ryuk ransomware. According to their official statement, they successfully provided patient care despite not being able to access their IT applications, largely because of back-up processes and offline documentation methods they already had in place. Thankfully, no patient and/or employee data were compromised during the attack.”

    Sigh. Makes one think about moving to Linux. Except almost all of the business software runs on Windows. Unless you want to roll your own software.

  53. Reported via Twitter:

    Biden says the ONLY way you should be allowed to have Thanksgiving is if everyone wears masks, stays socially distanced, tests negative on the day before, and keeps it to no more than five or ten.

    He says the 2021 holidays will be this way if we DON’T listen to him.

    Sounds like a threat to me.

    CAMEL/plugs LET THE HEALING AND THREATS BEGIN!

  54. It’s a day of healing:

    Rep. Ayanna Pressley says” Student debt cancellation is a racial justice issue.”

    Who knew so many POC were in student debt?

    CAMEL/plugs LET THE HEALING AND DEBT FORGIVENESS FOR BLACKS BEGIN!

  55. “On modern versions of macOS, you simply can’t power on your computer, launch a text editor or eBook reader, and write or read, without a log of your activity being transmitted and stored.”

    This is not cool.

    The modern MacBook Pro is a slick, albeit pricey and disposable, package.

    I believe the retail cost of the “loaner” from the new job is $4500.

    I’m not going to complain. The last job had HP junk laptops without USB-C, and the word from management was that we would have them for another three years at least.


  56. Need to replace some AAA NiMH batteries.

    Years ago I was a Maha fan, but I recently put Eneloops in some solar LED yard lights and am very impressed by how long they run – even with our short November days they were bright at 3:30am this morning.

    Much better than the original no-names that were in there.

  57. (Eneloops) Much better than the original no-names that were in there.

    I had same experience, and better than equivalent Eveready w/same MaH.

    “God looks after fools and drunkards” Okay I’ll buy it, but still doesn’t sound quite right. Might be the Alzheimer’s. 🙂

  58. There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America. — Otto von Bismarck

    I knew that children was in there also but I just could not remember the whole expression.

  59. @Lynn

    Hey, when did you move to Fort Bend County ?

    We moved to Cross Creek Ranch (Bonterra 55+ section) in February of last year. Our house in Meyerland sold 5 weeks or so later. I still have a bit of stuff in a storage unit in Meyerland that I need to finish sorting and liquidating. (I’ve sold about 1/3 of my wargame collection for about $1000 and have a bunch of rare stuff still to list.)

    Were you declared her Executor of the Estate before you got the estate tax id ? The probate court is scheduled for the Executor of the Estate hearing in January. Then my wife can apply for the estate Tax ID according to the probate lawyer.

    Yes, I was executor. Took a couple of weeks to get an attorney, a few weeks to get a court date, 15 minutes to get appointed, a week or so to get the letters testamentary. My brothers turned around the forms that they weren’t contesting my appointment quickly so we had those at the hearing. My mom had a good, solid Texas will that appointed me sole executor without bond and split everything 3 ways.

    IIRC, you do a tax return for your deceased father in law at the normal time, checking the box that they are deceased. The estate tax return can be done on a calendar year basis or on a fiscal year basis, IIRC. If the estate is complicated then a tax attorney that knows estates is probably a good idea. My mom’s was simple – some personal property, a bank account, a single investment account. She had sold her condo when she went into an assisted living center.


  60. Democrats and part-time Texans who want to pretend they live here when they really live somewhere else, hate Texas ID rules because, whether it is a Driver’s License or an ID… you have to put in your fingerprints.

    I’ve been fingerprinted by the feds at least 6 times for security clearance purposes, so they have them.

  61. I use the eneloops in my edc FLASHLIGHT. They last longer when “on” than NiMH or alkaline. I didn’t do any research, just bought them when costco had them on sale.

    They will self discharge if you let them sit long enough.

    n


  62. Wow, you can buy those homes for $600K here in Fort Bend County. Of course they are $1,000,000+ over inside Houston by The Medical Center as process starts with buying a knock down house on a lot.

    Well, I bought mine in Aug. 1967 as original owner for about $29,000. IIRC. Now, Zillow has it about at $950,000. What Confucious did not say: “What go up cannot go down”.

  63. And I am still wondering how the Dragon-2 cabin can hold up to 7 people for 24+ hours. Maybe there are two rows of seats, upper back to upper back ? And a potty ? Or a diaper, yuck.

    I don’t think the extra chairs are installed on this flight, but doing a search will bring up images of the interior configured for seven. That would be tight for anything but an emergency.

    No one talks about the toilet facilities, including SpaceX PR. IIRC, it is some kind of vacuum hose arrangement.

  64. Linux is no safe haven from ransomware:

    Slashdot: Cyberattackers Now Also Make Linux Versions of Their Ransomware

    Linux isn’t immune. In some ways it is more vulnerable because of the temptation to run everything as root/admin, especially among converted Windows developers.

    The browser capable of running code as root was the mistake Microsoft made with IE which required more than a decade to undo.

  65. In Cali you get finger printed by the bank and by the pawn shop.

    n

    Here I have to do a photo and electronic finger print to sell scrap to the scrap dealer. He adds a photo of the scale and the scrap.

  66. IIRC, you do a tax return for your deceased father in law at the normal time, checking the box that they are deceased. The estate tax return can be done on a calendar year basis or on a fiscal year basis, IIRC. If the estate is complicated then a tax attorney that knows estates is probably a good idea. My mom’s was simple – some personal property, a bank account, a single investment account. She had sold her condo when she went into an assisted living center.

    His life insurance and his IRA bypass his will that appoints the wife as executor without bond (important in Texas as you mentioned !) for her and her sister. So that leaves his house, his three rent houses, and his various stocks. The wife is getting the IRA and the life insurance distributed right now. We are still researching how to deny inheriting the two timeshares.

    We should have sold his house last year but, we just did not want to deal with it. And he was holding out hope against reality that he could return to it, even back in February he told me that he wanted to go home.

  67. We are still researching how to deny inheriting the two timeshares.

    I’ve heard both Dave Ramsey and, before him, Bruce Williams talk about “rejection of bequeathal” actions in court with regard to timeshares. It is possible, but the window is short.

  68. “Democrats 221 (-8) Republicans 209 (+9)”
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/live_results/2020/house/

    Look at that map. There is no freaking way that Trump lost the general election.

    BTW, only 220 of the 238 dum-bro-crats voted for Pelosi in the Jan 2019 speaker election. Do you think that she will even get 210 votes for speaker in Jan 2021 ?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Speaker_of_the_United_States_House_of_Representatives_election

  69. @lynn …. I think you assume that everyone votes a ‘straight ticket’. Or that most do. (Added: ‘straight ticket vote’ by voting for a single party, even if you have to do it manually.)

    But I think that in this election, there were many crossover votes, perhaps more than usual, especially at the presidential level. I think many voted for the ‘lesser of two evils’ as president, and the “lesser’s” party was different this time than the last presidential election.

    So, those crossover votes by ‘reds’ voting ‘blue’ for president, but ‘red’ for Senate/House, may be why there was less of a change in the balance in the House and Senate.

    That’s just my opinion, of course.

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  70. @lynn …. I think you assume that everyone votes a ‘straight ticket’. Or that most do.

    We can’t even vote a straight party ticket here in The Great State of Texas anymore. That went away in the 2018 general election. I have no idea how many states have straight party tickets anymore.

    BTW, there are still five house seats to be resolved.
    https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2020/november/republican-burgess-owens-defeats-utah-congressman-mcadams

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  71. BTW, only 220 of the 238 dum-bro-crats voted for Pelosi in the Jan 2019 speaker election. Do you think that she will even get 210 votes for speaker in Jan 2021 ?

    Pelosi handed out 18 hall passes to certain members facing tight reelection fights in 2020, allowing them to “vote their conscience”.

    Make no mistake, Pelosi could have *every* Dem vote for her, but she derives more power cutting deals for those passes.

  72. Linux is no safe haven from ransomware:
    Slashdot: Cyberattackers Now Also Make Linux Versions of Their Ransomware

    I hope the business world does not move to Linux. That would make it popular, and the bad guys would follow. One thing I like about desktop Linux is its unpopularity. Few bother with exploits because there is little to be gained. Every lock, encrypted item, and OS can be cracked; it is just a matter of diligence, but the prize has to be worth the work.

    OTOH, properly secured Windows can be secure enough, especially if behind enough of a firewall. Of course, all this takes knowledge and attention to detail. Of the few exploits I have read about, there were glaring omissions, mostly way out of date patches and social engineering. How can these people keep their jobs? Paging OFD!

  73. Regarding voting methods, go back to the mid 1800s and read about voting fraud. Paper ballots can be manipulated, and were. Maybe worse than today. Sorry, citations escape me, but I read about this decades ago. I doubt there is a foolproof system.

    I have always been a little interested in reading about the great swindles and frauds. Beyond the famous cases, there are many more that have been quietly perpetrated with no one being caught. It can be a good but risky living.

    My long deceased uncle worked major frauds for LAPD, and told me about some doozies. There are some very colorful characters, but he said the most successful ones kept a very low profile. Many made mistakes and were caught, but not all. It must be harder today, mostly because everything has a record. Using cash for everyday transactions is beginning to raise suspicions.

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  74. BTW, only 220 of the 238 dum-bro-crats voted for Pelosi in the Jan 2019 speaker election. Do you think that she will even get 210 votes for speaker in Jan 2021 ?

    Pelosi handed out 18 hall passes to certain members facing tight reelection fights in 2020, allowing them to “vote their conscience”.

    Make no mistake, Pelosi could have *every* Dem vote for her, but she derives more power cutting deals for those passes.

    Several dum-bro-crats have promised their voters that they will never vote for Pelosi. I am not sure how many of them have survived but I suspect that number is greater than zero. They nervously look at George H. W. Bush and remember what happened when he made a blatant promise to his voters and then broke it. It will cost Pelosi dearly for those votes.

  75. ” Using cash for everyday transactions is beginning to raise suspicions. ”

    –I’ve written a bunch about it here, search for “secondary economy” using the site tool that Rick has provided. There is a whole economy that I used to miss completely and that all changed when I left full time employment at BigCorp… I used to put everything I could on cards both for the miles and for the receipts. Receipts are like cash if they are reimbursable. It also made it much easier to track my spending.

    Then I started moving in a different world. Estate sales, garage sales, yard sales. Bodegas. Street vendors. All primarily cash businesses. I started carrying cash and using it. I started bargaining and asking politely for discounts. I was earning cash selling on craigslist or other local venues (like the hamfest swapmeet). There is a HUGE portion of the population that uses cash for everything. If you don’t shop in those places, or move in those circles, you’d never even notice. There are a ton of working poor that can’t afford bank and card fees. There are illegals, people who don’t have an address they can count on for 6 months, people with roommates they don’t trust. And that’s just the ‘everyday’ end of the spectrum. I’m sure there are criminals, drug dealers, scammers, etc who use LOTS of cash because that’s what they have and they can’t turn it into accounts. Mainly though, I see the small businesses that are cheating the tax man to get by, or “casual” businesses, like the perpetual yard sales, or the lady selling makeup and cleaning stuff out of her house.

    Lately I’m seeing a whole lot of new faces buying at the auctions I frequent. Many of them look like they’re buying for themselves, but lots of people are trying to start to resell too.

    Anyway, LOTS of cash business out there if you know where to look.

    n

  76. “We are very close to a civil war in the streets.”

    –there was a lot of liquid thrown on those people in the video. If someone throws liquid at me, I’m going to assume it’s acid, like the muslimes like to do, and react very violently. The insurgents in the streets have a long history of escalating their attacks once they habituate everyone to their current tactic. They throw water, so you can’t react because “it’s just water”, then it’s bodily fluid. Soon it will be gasoline or other flammables or acid.

    Also that guy’s girlfriend was not helping them escape the situation. Have a talk and a plan.

    n

  77. Scanner had a surveillance team watching a car. Suddenly a marked unit stops the car for having his lights off. The team is trying to get radio contact with the uniform cop to wave him off for some reason. Then he arrests the driver, which has them all bothered. They don’t want the guy arrested, but he’s carrying a pistol. So the uniform continues.

    Turns out, they were following the guy to put a GPS tracker on his vehicle. He’s probably high or drunk, felon in possession, bad enough guy to get his own surveillance team, and he’s driving around with no headlights on. Freaking genius.

    That’s not the first time I’ve heard a uniformed officer mess up their plans either. The good guys are out doing their jobs, stopping criminals, but it often interferes with the effort to get them on bigger charges. Keep that in mind. The goals of the PD may not be your goals. The surveillance team was going to let this guy continue driving around, maybe looking for someone to shoot, or maybe he just kills someone with his car on accident ‘cuz he’s a dumbass. Beat cop developed his probable cause and did his traffic stop. Got a dangerous criminal and an illegal gun off the street. Probably NOT gonna get a pat on the back for it. Think he’ll act the same way next time? What about after it happens again?

    n

  78. Caught part of our Assembly meeting tonight. Several testifiers pointed out to the Assembly they were backing people into the corner to the point where violence would be the only rational option left.

    The Assembly voted 6 to 3 to extend the emergency powers a sixth time. I would say unbelievable except that it was the only outcome I could imagine from this body.

    We finally got a petition for recall approved on one of them after I don’t know how many attempts. We’re getting jerked around at every turn and the rules keep changing.

    We took a break and took our 8 year old to see the 40th anniversary release of Flash Gordon. Wow that was fun. Not entirely age appropriate but such campy fun. The good guys win and the bad guy gets stabbed by a spaceship.

    We close on our new house tomorrow evening. It records Wednesday. Should have keys in hand and begin demo Thursday night.

    I’ve been watching Home Renovision on Youtube. Guy is out of Ottawa and does a great job of making the work look achievable for anyone. He has talked a lot about Schluter Kerdi products. I can’t get the board without a special order (darn) but the membrane is carried in town. It looks like a way to keep the work of tearing out and rebuilding the main bathroom to something I can tackle solo. Husband continues to recover from gall bladder surgery last month. He’s healing however he’s not going to be doing anything vigorous anytime soon.

    We did our final walk through tonight. The neighborhood moose left a trail across the backyard and a pile of poop. We will need to light up the backyard somehow. Moose will kill a dog foolish enough to harass them with one kick. Moose was across the street eating branches off the neighbors tree as we left. They’re cool creatures but can be a real nuisance in residential neighborhoods. They’re cranky and unpredictable and a little mean.

    The rabbit kits are two weeks old. Their eyes are open, they’re furry, and are at optimum cuteness. All 7 have survived. The doe is getting the hang of me bringing her the kits for nursing. She hops in right away, nurses them for three minutes, then hops out and heads to her feeder for her sunflower seed treat. It’s below 20 Fahrenheit so kits will stay in the garage a bit longer. I gave all the rabbits a nice chunk of straw to give a bit of comfort against the cold. Hens are cranky about the cold. Not winter hardy. Laying well, consistently 4 eggs a day. Rooster and two rabbits need to go to freezer camp. I’m considering the pros of dropping to four hens for winter space reasons at the new house, but six isn’t much more work than four and I like the cushion.

    It’ll be an emotional week as the reality of moving sets in.

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  79. And a philosophical diversion.

    Were our founders more courageous? Or did they accept mortality as a natural outcome of being human? Did they have less to lose or were they more willing to lose what they had, because they felt assured of a ‘something better’ after death?

    Are we fearful of death because that Christian foundation our founders had is broken or in many cases gone?

    We seem unhealthily fearful of dying. I certainly have no desire to die, however I can easily imagine scenarios where living would be worse than dying. I have a feeling my pragmatic view of death has become unusual. We are mortal. We -are- going to die. Hopefully from natural causes, hopefully a long time from now. But folks seem like craven mockeries of themselves to be so frightened of dying from Covid.

    I don’t get it.

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  80. But folks seem like craven mockeries of themselves to be so frightened of dying from Covid.

    Amen.

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  81. We fear the unknown.

    And we’re all heroes in our own stories. I have many times pictured dying saving a bus load of kids, or snatching a toddler out of the path of a train, but no one wants to die alone, choking on their lungs, from a disease. Nothing the least bit heroic about that.

    n

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