Sun. Nov. 22, 2020 – Still in Houston, not going to FL

Cool and damp, occasional sun, breezes to make it all better.  That’s my plan, we’ll see if the sacrifices accomplished anything…

I think that Saturday was pretty much like that but to be honest, I was inside all day.  Didn’t feel well at all.  Sore throat was worse, some coughing, and the feeling of being ‘not right’ was stronger.  So I called our trip to FL officially off.  Wife and kids are disappointed but I don’t want anyone getting sick.  And given that I believe the pandemic to be a serious thing, traveling cross country seems to be wrong on its own merits.

I managed to sleep in, and then mostly just sit around all day with my brain and body in neutral.  I did do a little bit of work for my client, in that I took apart the dead amplifier and looked at it to see what I could see.  Dead power supply board is my diagnosis, cause of death?  I couldn’t find a smoking gun.   One swollen cap, bigger than my thumb, but the capacitance was still within range.  Didn’t put it on an ESR meter, so the internal resistance could be too high, but I suspect the real problem is in the control circuit.  It’s not cool to just have a physical power switch these days.  No, you have to have  a momentary that activates a latching circuit, etc.  Much harder for me to poke at and make work.  New amp is $350, used ‘as is’ on ebay they are $125, and there is one “parts” amp listed for $75 including shipping.  I could swap the power board from it.  I’ll ask the client what he wants to do but it’s not worth the cost of my time to spend any more effort on it.

I felt like I had to do something useful yesterday and it got the amp out of the foyer, as I can now add it to the pile of dead electronics with a clear conscience.

Went to bed early, slept late, and I’m planning on the same today.

Keep the faith, and keep stacking.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

72 thoughts on “Sun. Nov. 22, 2020 – Still in Houston, not going to FL”

  1. It’s not cool to just have a physical power switch these days. No, you have to have a momentary that activates a latching circuit

    Now that you mention it, it’s actually strange. Everything nowadays has a button you press, that clearly is not any sort of toggle. Why?

    Just recently, I turned on my grill thermometer, and somehow when I plugged in the sensor, it clearly crashed. Garbage on the screen, and would not turn off. Something was no longer listening to that button. Since it’s weatherproof, getting the batteries out involves a screwdriver, but that was the only way to reset it. Having a real power toggle would make more sense, and surely wouldn’t cost any more. So why all these touch-buttons?

    Our fancy oven in the new house is similar, but the buttons are weird: You press them, and nothing happens. They only trigger on release. So you press the “door open” button, and press harder, and… Only when you give up and take your finger away, does anything happen. Some damned engineer had a clever idea, and it’s stupid, because no other appliance I have ever seen works that way. And anyway: why can’t I just open the door manually? It is literally not possible.

    Oh, and get off my lawn.

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  2. This is me, being naive, but… I don’t understand how *any* of the zillions of regulations issued by bureaucrats should have any meaning at all. The legislature should not be able to delegate its duties to unelected bureaucrats.

    Cowardice. Case in point: Congress could have done something about CAFE years ago, but a vote either way would have had wingnuts out in force. Better to let the EPA take the blame and not be on record voting either way.

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  3. Greg

    yes, this Delphi

    why no more physical buttons? easy, remote control doesnt need that, regardless there is one or not

    have a nice Sunday

  4. Lack of simple on/off buttons drives me up a wall.

    My wife got me a new drip coffee maker to replace the one which just died. The old one had an on/off switch and no other controls or features, and it cost $15 and lasted almost ten years before the heater element burned out. The new one is chip controlled, “soft” buttons, lots of features, and probably won’t make it two years. And would have cost $120 except that my wife got a deal on it.

    I had an electric heater with an on-off switch and no other controls. Drew 900W, heated up the unheated bathroom in my old house, and lasted almost 30 years. (And still worked but my wife threw it away because it was old and the reflector surface was getting rusty.) The replacement is chip-controlled and has lots of features … and lasted fewer than ten hours before something died. We just got the free replacement and it has about two hours on it, but I’m not holding any great hope that it’ll last.

    The upstairs stove in the family house is older than I and almost as old as my mom. Works fine. No electronics, and the pilot lights create heat which is unwanted in Summer, but it works through thick and thin even when the power is out. (Which happens several times per Winter up there.) Likewise the old refrigerator, which is inefficient but works and has worked for many decades. Contrast with the range and fridge in my house. Ten years old, both chip-controlled, high-efficiency, and full of features. And the range died within a year and needed a replacement of the entire controller board, a service call which would have been $500 if not covered by warranty, and the soft-touch button unit is starting to wear out. The fridge has had several problems which in total would have cost more than the fridge if I hadn’t been able to fix them myself.

    Newer and “better” isn’t always better. Or, to modify one of Nick’s catch-phrases, the manufacturers’ goals are not our goals.

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  5. Greg

    yes, this Delphi

    why no more physical buttons? easy, remote control doesnt need that, regardless there is one or not

    have a nice Sunday

    Unfortunately for Borland, Delphi and its object-oriented flavor of Pascal never really caught on as a mainstream way to program Windows in the US. Visual Basic caught the attention of IT departments because a lot of companies had QuickBasic 4.5/QBasic internal applications from DOS days, which ported easily.

    In the DOS days, if you had to do anything with a serial port in a hurry, you used QuickBasic 4.5, and a lot of IT shops discovered that the serial interface with the right translation library allowed a PC to screen scrape and fill fields in mainframe applications via an … X.25 (?) … “pad” connection.

    ?

    Anyway, the usefulness of Visual Basic’s backwards compatility along with C and C++ being “Hot Skillz” for a time in the early 90s left Object Pascal out in the cold.

    Also, based on what I saw in IT shops in Corporate America over the last 25 years, I don’t discount the lack of a “goto” in Pascal where it is present in C. People still *love* their goto statements.

  6. Physical switches, agree. I still plug my desktop computers into power controls with physical switches. When they are OFF, I want them to STAY OFF!

    I caught one Linux box waking up from suspend to RAM a few years ago, and I spent a couple hours troubleshooting it. As far as I could tell, it woke up in response to a “magic packet” on the LAN. But, I didn’t want that behavior, so no more suspend to RAM for me, at least when the machine is unattended. Too bad, because I did want “wake on LAN”, but of course that didn’t work due to some network flakiness. Sigh. There are well-worn paths between the computers in our household.

    Now, I know that some Windows machines apparently can resume from suspend to disk (hibernate) if power is available to them. OFF is not OFF. No problem, except that I am working on configuring a notebook for my wife. Will she have to remove its battery at the end of each session? Probably not. Only M$ will likely wake it up, and I certainly trust them… where is that sarcasm format tag? 😉

  7. @SteveF, I have a similar coffee maker experience. I have a very old one that failed irreparably (really, Nick, but that is not the point here.) It stands on my scrap pile to have its beautiful neon lighted rocker switch salvaged for some hopeful use. Its action is wonderful; I wish I had a bag of them. The new pot has a soft pushbutton that works fine – for now. But, get this: pushing that clicks a RELAY inside! Yup. Features, including a clock that must be set just to make coffee. Fortunately, I discovered that I can push one of the buttons twice to “set” the clock and allow me to operate the thing manually. Of course, the clock is wrong, but I don’t look at it. I unplug the thing to clean it once in a blue moon, so this setting procedure has to be done occasionally.

    I really don’t want a coffee maker that can turn ON in the morning before I wake up. Making coffee is part of my routine, and I enjoy it. To each his own. 🙂

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  8. to modify one of Nick’s catch-phrases, the manufacturers’ goals are not our goals.

    This. The manufacturers, of course, want you to replace your appliances frequently. They have zero motivation to make stuff that lasts for decades.

    On top of that, too many people are attracted by useless gadgetry. Example: all the IoT stuff that won’t work unless it can call home. How many companies will still be running the necessary servers in 5 years? 10 years?

    Heck, I’ll bet a lot of those companies haven’t even thought about the problem. They may well suffer legal liability if they turn off their servers. Dunno about the US, but in Europe I expect that to be the case. Wanna bet the MBAs haven’t thought that far?

  9. “I really don’t want a coffee maker that can turn ON in the morning before I wake up”

    —no you really don’t. IDK what the stats are, but in the late 80s my firefighter father had a book about what caused fires. Failed coffee makers was a LEADING cause of house fires. My coffee maker is butt simple. One physical switch, a heating element. Last time I broke the pot, my wife searched and found a new in box maker the same as my old, on ebay. It was overpriced for what it is, but it makes my coffee the way I like and it is SIMPLE.

    This is the modern version.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Coffee-Simple-4-Cup-Maker/dp/B003W8JSH8/?tag=ttgnet-20

    It looks like a simple switch but has an LED so there is more to it than just the switch. Mine has a neon light. Note that if you search for “mr coffee maker” and sort by least to most cost, a 10 cup programmable is less than HALF the cost.

    At least you can get one. Demand must have increased as my wife had trouble finding something simple several years ago.

    nick

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  10. @ brad

    “Heck, I’ll bet a lot of those companies haven’t even thought about the problem. They may well suffer legal liability if they turn off their servers. Dunno about the US, but in Europe I expect that to be the case. Wanna bet the MBAs haven’t thought that far? ”

    — not their problem. They’ll already have cashed the checks and moved on.
    –this has already happened in the home security system and home automation market. There was a rash of “consolidation”, meaning LBOs and straight buy outs of startup and smaller IOT companies. ESPECIALLY in the DIY space. There is a lot of hardware on ebay that looks really nice but is nothing but doorstop because the online component no longer exists.

    ring doorbell is a potential example too- that video is ONLY accessible from their servers, and can go away any time. Nest as well. Google already ‘sunsetted’ one of the associated devices and services.

    n

  11. This chart is a bit worrisome.

    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/11/21/21/35916162-8972785-The_number_of_patients_hospitalized_with_COVID_19_in_the_United_-a-28_1605993265334.jpg

    MUCH harder to manipulate the number of hospitalizations than any of the other numbers, and remember that if you are sick enough to be hospitalized, your risk of death is much higher than just having it.

    What’s interesting is that they were screaming about running out of beds at 60K and yet we have 20K more beds occupied at the moment. My buddy in the system kept assuring me they were fine, and adding 20K cases seems to prove that out. NOW though, how much more capacity could there be? Hospitals don’t keep beds they can’t keep filled, so there is a real limit on the number of beds. Skilled caregivers is the upper limit on the number of patients you can care for TO THE SAME STANDARD OF CARE. You can always stack more in gyms and leave them alone….

    I also understand from articles that the new hospital cases are more spread out, it might be that 1000 new hospitals have 20 new cases… but those are the places least likely to have excess capacity.

    Given that we’ve seen increases after every holiday and major event this year, and we’re already a third again over the point that caused wailing and gnashing of teeth last time, OMFG, what will it look like in 2-3 weeks after the T-giving travel and gatherings get the cases up even more?

    And given that the press is convinced this will be BIDEN’s problem to deal with, compare and contrast the news coverage going forward. Don’t let them gaslight you.

    n

  12. Nice coffeemaker, Nick. I would put it in my notes, but we already have at least one (maybe two) others in reserve. My wife picked them up brand new in box from forgotten sources. Besides, if I want a real experience, I will dig out my French press. Takes a little more work, but makes coffee the way I like it. Also have an old simple electric espresso maker, which is probably heresy among espresso snobs, but it works fine and makes good enough espresso for me. Guests think it is fine, but we only have polite guests. 😉

    I have been retired for 18 years, but at my former employer, there were unofficial coffee messes all over. At some point, decades ago, there appeared an official, required, house supplied, all metal stand for a coffee pot. It was simple, but was designed to prevent fires, and it worked. There were stories of coffee makers doing horrible things with no spread. Fire is BAD.

    Remember percolators?! Still have a couple. Somewhere. That reminds me, when I was a kid, an aunt and uncle lived a few blocks away, and made excellent coffee with a vacuum drip appliance. They had five kids, so space for ’em. Because of the space, it was a family gathering place. We spent many evenings there having dinner, then playing board games, followed by dessert with fresh coffee. That coffee was drunk about 9 PM, and nobody I remember complained about not sleeping. We are becoming wimps.

  13. This chart is a bit worrisome.

    Thank you. Had you said concerning, I would have smacked you. How these useless, imprecise words become part of the common lexicon is beyond me, though I think that nasty word ‘impactful’ came about because folks didn’t know the difference between affect and effect.

    I kept a 1980s Mr Coffee Jr. alive by replacing just the rocker switch and regular descaling until I got French Press couple years ago. Wonder why the rocker switches seem to go?

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004XGBM3G/?tag=ttgnet-20

  14. I’ve got a spectrum of ways to make coffee. USGI during WWII so I consider it an essential prep.

    I’ve got the stove top espresso makers, stove top vintage percolators, french presses, drip machines, a camping thing you set on a mug and pour water thru, filters and support equipment for all of that, and a couple of blue enamel campfire coffee pots. I was able to buy the filters for the percolator in the grocery store in the Chicago suburb where my mom lived when I was home cleaning up the house for sale. They were on an endcap, which is valuable real estate in a grocery store, so they must have been selling.

    During Ike I just ran the gennie and made coffee and breakfast normally. When I broke my MrCoffee carafe, I used the stovetop espresso thing until my wife gave me the replacement. I’ve got ground coffee in the freezer, coffee in cans, and instant in with the freeze dried food.

    I like to have some coffee.

    n

  15. “Wonder why the rocker switches seem to go?”

    –the heater is a pretty big load, and the switch probably arcs. Either that or the plating wears off. Least likely is the plastic body degrades prematurely from the heat of the maker…

    n

    And yeah, I saved the heater and the switch from my old one.

  16. Not yet the distraction I expected–

    PICTURED: Smiling assassin who opened fire at a Sonic restaurant in Nebraska killing two people and wounding two others after a U-Haul truck exploded into flames in the drive-thru

    Police were called to a Sonic restaurant in Bellevue on Saturday following a report of a bomb inside a U-haul truck; it burst into flames in the drive-thru
    A gunman then opened fire, killing two people and wounding two others
    Roberto Carlos Silva, 23, was arrested at the scene, and he has now been charged with murder and arson
    Silva was detained at the restaurant earlier this week over alleged identity theft; the shooting and truck explosion may have been a revenge attack

  17. What’s interesting is that they were screaming about running out of beds at 60K and yet we have 20K more beds occupied at the moment. My buddy in the system kept assuring me they were fine, and adding 20K cases seems to prove that out. NOW though, how much more capacity could there be? Hospitals don’t keep beds they can’t keep filled, so there is a real limit on the number of beds. Skilled caregivers is the upper limit on the number of patients you can care for TO THE SAME STANDARD OF CARE. You can always stack more in gyms and leave them alone….

    The metric I don’t see much as of late is % of ICU beds occupied in particular areas. Hospitals and intensive care units in particular are licensed by states for 85% ICU bed occupancy under normal circumstances.

    Are gyms and convention centers actually being utilized for care right now? Where?

  18. Interesting … Our Great Granddaughter was sent home from school last week to quarantine because a classmate had come to school with Covid. Her parents had her tested Thursday, quick test, and she came back positive. So the whole family had the long test. Results came back today, only little Addie is positive, no one else in the family she interacts with constantly has the virus. Addie, at 7, has no symptoms at all and apperantly is not spreading the virus. For a bug as contagious as this I find it strange. But then many reports we are seeing from schools overseas seem to match. Transmission from child to adult seems to be more dificult. None of this make much sense but it sure has ruined her Thanksgiving.

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  19. “Are gyms and convention centers actually being utilized for care right now? Where? ”

    –not that I’ve seen, but there was a picture of a parking structure converted to a ward. I meant, “when they run out of skilled nursing and real beds”.

    If 1M people traveled this week, I’d expect to see a 100K to 150K pop in new cases right about Christmas time. In groups that kept working we have seen about a 10-15% infection rate. I think that going with that as an estimate seems about right.

    If you look at the pix from the Phoenix airport, it’s pretty crowded and there is a lot of poor hygiene and mask use on display.

    The pix from Ohare don’t look crowded to me, but then I’ve been there during T-giving and Xmas travel, and the week after 9-11, so I’ve seen both extremes with my own eyes. indeed, the story of crowded airports has been pushed completely off DM’s home page….

    n


  20. What’s interesting is that they were screaming about running out of beds at 60K and yet we have 20K more beds occupied at the moment.

    What I discovered is that number of beds available does not equal Total Beds – Occupied Beds. This is because, in our nearest hospital, they have sectioned off an entire floor for Covid patients with special ventilation systems and filters etc. So if the hospital has 200 beds and 50 are dedicated to Covid it only has 150 beds for non-covid patients no matter how many covid patients it has. Thus the hospital could be “at capacity” with 150 regular patients and only 10 covid leaving 40 unfilled but unusable beds.

  21. We have this about air travel–

    A passenger on an 18-hour flight to New Zealand infected at least four travellers with coronavirus despite testing negative for the virus before boarding, it has emerged.

    The case study, released by health chiefs in New Zealand, details how the passenger had tested negative for Covid-19 through a PCR test 48 hours before boarding the flight from Dubai in September.

    The traveller, from Switzerland, was contagious but pre-symptomatic while onboard the Boeing 777, the Washington Post reported.

    There were a total of seven cases linked to the flight, with at least four connected by DNA analysis to the passenger in question.

    It was added that of the seven infected people, five had tested negative 48 hours before the flight. They were all seated within four rows of each other.

    Dr Freedman previously questioned a campaign by coronavirus-stricken aviation giants to persuade the world it’s safe to fly.

    He declined to take part in a recent presentation by global airline body IATA with planemakers Airbus, Boeing and Embraer that cited his work.

    While he welcomed some industry findings as ‘encouraging’, Dr Freedman said a key assertion about the improbability of catching Covid-19 on planes was based on ‘bad math’.

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  22. It’s from the Peak Prosperity guys but it puts a name to the feeling…

    https://www.zerohedge.com/medical/welcome-interregnum

    and the word

    That’s “zozobra,” the peculiar form of anxiety that comes from being unable to settle into a single point of view, leaving you with questions like: Is it a lovely autumn day, or an alarming moment of converging historical catastrophes?

    Possibly a helpful way to frame what we’re going thru. Matches up with my idea that we’re in one of those periods where “everything changes” too, so beware confirmation bias….

    n

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  23. The pix from Ohare don’t look crowded to me, but then I’ve been there during T-giving and Xmas travel, and the week after 9-11, so I’ve seen both extremes with my own eyes. indeed, the story of crowded airports has been pushed completely off DM’s home page….

    I should have snapped a few pics of Buc-ee’s in Robertson, AL on the day after the 4th of July holiday. Easily, the store was at max capacity, no room for even normal distancing, and few masks in sight. I’m not into the hysteria beyond sensible precautions, but I waited in the car for my family.

    FOMO!

    The Daily Mail loved the pics of Orlando’s poorly designed TSA screening arrangement even pre-covid. For every one of those, there is a setup like the one Tampa has out at the “Spanx” airside, which moves people well enough that the airport has been able to offer limited dining passes for non-ticketed guests to patronize the Columbian Group restaurants at that set of gates.

    Portland TSA seemed to move people pretty well despite a concentrated approach like Orlando.

    Austin is somewhere in between, depending on the time of day. The new airport opened too small, probably residual from the Wright Act, so Austin-Bergstrom will become a perpetual construction project like SeaTac.


  24. Hot Tap is where you make a tap into an operating line. They do it with electric lines and natural gas lines. I also used the same term for the tapping into a fiber line since I did not know a term.

    I see. With fiber they just pick a free pair (or 4), cut the fibers and splice onto the cable to your office. The remainder of those fibers downstream is useless. Telcos typically use 96 (or 192 or 384) strand cable because the cable is cheap and the installation is expensive.

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  25. Hello group…
    Looking for two recommendations:
    1. Solar powered exterior floodlights (oh so much Chinese cr@p to wade through over at Big River, though the mangled English is occasionally amusing – this one from a hose I bought recently was worth sharing “This very light hose is the impeccable garden gift for your grandma or grandpa, without striking a blow.”)
    2. Good history of the Civil War (the 1860’s one, not the upcoming one).
    Thanks in advance.

  26. “I love this guy”
    https://gunfreezone.net/i-love-this-guy/

    “Walter G. Ehmer.”

    “Ehmer is the CEO of Waffle House.”

    “His compensation is $700,000 per year, for a company that makes on average $1.3 billion per year.”

    “When COVID forced closures, and the company shut down 20% of its locations and lost 70% of its revenue, he took a 50% pay cut to keep money in the business and people working.”

    “He gave a press conference where he said he wasn’t going to shut down any more locations because he doesn’t want to put any more people out of work.”

    Cool.

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  27. Hello group…
    Looking for two recommendations:
    1. Solar powered exterior floodlights (oh so much Chinese cr@p to wade through over at Big River, though the mangled English is occasionally amusing – this one from a hose I bought recently was worth sharing “This very light hose is the impeccable garden gift for your grandma or grandpa, without striking a blow.”)

    I am interested too. I have one that I bought eight years ago with about a one watt led, a solar charger, and a 6 watt hour battery. I need about ten watts to properly illuminate my 8 ft by 4 ft sign all night. You can see the flood light and the solar charger at:
    https://www.winsim.com/media/winsim_sign.jpg

  28. @alan, I think they are all china junk, so get one in your price range that provides the coverage and adjustability you need.

    you may have to go to the store and look at the “light cloud” display area in person because I’ve found the pix to be very deceiving, what looks sturdy is just shiny thin brittle plastic junk.

    n

  29. It’s not cool to just have a physical power switch these days. No, you have to have a momentary that activates a latching circuit, etc. Much harder for me to poke at and make work.

    Everything in my 2019 F-150 truck has a latching circuit. Everything. Everything has a momentary pause when I turn them on. Such as the turn signal. It is infuriating at times.

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  30. I think they are all china junk

    Beat me to it. I don’t know as it’s possible to buy a made-in-USA solar powered light. I don’t know as it’s possible even to buy made-in-USA components to make one yourself.

    As for a history of the civil war, if you can find one with details on the upcoming war, let me know. I’d be willing to pay pretty high for it.

  31. 2. Good history of the Civil War (the 1860’s one, not the upcoming one).

    IMNSHO, nothing beats this one:

    <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Narrative-Volumes-Fredericksburg/dp/B001GN70X0/ref=sr_1_2?crid=IMN0IX8GF0GJ&dchild=1&keywords=shelby+foote+civil+war+3+volume+set&qid=1606080335&s=books&sprefix=shelby+foote%2Caps%2C204&sr=1-2%5C%22%3E&tag=ttgnet-20
    Civil War a Narrative; 3 Volumes: Fort Sumter to Perryville; Fredericksburg to Meridian; Red River to Appomattox Paperback – Box set, January 1, 1986
    by Shelby Foote (Author)

  32. Heck, I’ll bet a lot of those companies haven’t even thought about the problem. They may well suffer legal liability if they turn off their servers. Dunno about the US, but in Europe I expect that to be the case. Wanna bet the MBAs haven’t thought that far?

    Those marvelous young men and ladies with their oh so beautiful spreadsheets with the magic numbers are fairly dangerous beyond the next year.


  33. https://www.winsim.com/media/winsim_sign.jpg

    There’s an electric meter “right there”. A bit of conduit to protect a run of Romex in a shallow trench should work.

    Not your meter? Figure the wattage you need times the price of electricity…. Heck, give ’em $10 a month and all you have to worry about is the light bulb burning out. 🙂

  34. https://www.winsim.com/media/winsim_sign.jpg

    There’s an electric meter “right there”. A bit of conduit to protect a run of Romex in a shallow trench should work.

    Not your meter? Figure the wattage you need times the price of electricity…. Heck, give ’em $10 a month and all you have to worry about is the light bulb burning out.

    Notice that there is not a connection to the pole transformer (also non-existent). The electric utility wants a couple of grand to hook it up. My frugality says that there is a cheaper way to do this.

    Huh, that picture has a connection in it in 2013 or 2014. There is not a connection any more.

  35. Everything in my 2019 F-150 truck has a latching circuit. Everything. Everything has a momentary pause when I turn them on. Such as the turn signal. It is infuriating at times.

    The only way to turn on the seat heat, or cooling, is via the touch screen.

    The exterior mirror defrost and rear window defrost is a series circuit. Push button to activate or use the screen. The computer checks the circuit for connectivity and a certain level of resistance before the computer will activate the circuit.

    The system quit working. Rear window defrost line(s) were open somewhere. Replaced the rear window, $550.00 part, $400.00 labor. Much of the rear seat and interior must be removed as the window is bolted into the cab. System worked for 9 months then quit again. Replaced the window again under warranty which is a two year warranty.

    I had it done at an independent shop. Cheaper than Ford. Since a Ford part was used Ford covers the cost of the part and pays the shop for the labor to replace a warranted part.

    The shop checked three other Ford F-150’s with the same window assembly. None of them worked. Thus a design problem in the wiring in the window frame.

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  36. The only way to turn on the seat heat, or cooling, is via the touch screen.

    Huh, my seat heat is a four position button for each front seat. Off, level I (warm), level II (hot), and level III (real hot). No seat cooling though.

  37. @greg, check this out. It’s a ready to buy version of an OOS project that does what you have mentioned several times.

    I forget the project’s name, but at least one group is trying to do a collaborative public effort to produce something similar to FlightAware but without the 15 minute delay.

    I pitched similar hardware as well as a server and database schema *eight years ago* as part of my rejected thesis concept to produce an authenticated ADS-B stream with commodity hardware. My faculty advisor was a clown; the Spring follwing our departure from Vantucky, the professor was essentially frog marched off campus at Spring Break for a reason no one will talk about.

    Right now, I’m waiting for the first spoofed ADS-B broadcast mischief. It has been well within the capability of someone willing to spend ~ $2000 dollars for nearly a decade.

  38. System worked for 9 months then quit again. Replaced the window again under warranty which is a two year warranty.

    Well that sucks. One wonders if it will fail again. Did the warranty clock start over ?

  39. https://www.winsim.com/media/winsim_sign.jpg

    BTW, the 1/1 gbps AT&T fiber line is buried in that ditch just 3 ft or 4 ft on the south side of that sign.

    AT&T is $150 billion in debt.

    AT&T is not going anywhere. Or their successor if needful.

    They are going to be $30 billion less in debt when they spin off DirecTV.

  40. Huh, my seat heat is a four position button for each front seat

    A single place on the touch screen for each function. One touch button for heat (off, low, medium, high) and a button for cooling (off, low, medium, high) and for each individual seat. Thus four touch places. Must be done from the touch screen. I can also change the color of the interior floor lighting under the dash, floor in the rear seat and in the cup holders, such lights being on all the time. Probably a way to turn them off but I have not found it. I generally ignore the light except for the cup holders which gets annoying. A rather stupid decision on the part of the designers.

    Did the warranty clock start over ?

    Nope, only counts from the original, as in paid, purchase and installation date. I suspect it will fail again within a couple of years. Some connection in the sliding portion of the window apparently fails. There is no way to access the wiring except to destroy the window.

    The driver side rear passenger heat seat is also not working. Requires new heating elements at a cost of about $400 for parts and labor. Somehow there is break in the heating element. Wife and I decided it is not worth the cost to repair as we rarely have anyone in the back seat.

  41. Yes Greg, Visual, I used to work in a pipeline co with people who splitted Modbus to test thru a serial port and avoid travelling 1000 km to check.
    But now, not managing people any more (yes I was a phb) maybe to not be bored I am gong to form a software farm, dont know yet, we are way to cheap here

  42. @ray, there are aftermarket seat heaters you could add, they are way cheaper.

    n


  43. @ray, there are aftermarket seat heaters you could add, they are way cheaper.

    Not by much. The biggest cost is the labor to replace the coil assembly. Seat has to be almost completely disassembled. Ford’s warranty on the part is much better than after market.

  44. They are going to be $30 billion less in debt when they spin off DirecTV.

    It won’t go for that much. They didn’t buy DirecTV to provide the service as much as use the company’s tech to replace the Uverse disaster.

    There has been a dark rumor floating around telecom for the last decade that the Uverse technology will be unloaded onto Frontier, the phone company dumping ground.

  45. Pandemics Are Over When The Public Decides They’re Over:

    In Colorado, reported cases and hospitalizations of Covid-19 patients are at higher levels than ever before. And yet politicians are worried that if they issue new stay-at-home orders, the public won’t obey them. For instance the Denver Post last week reported Colorado Democrats admitted the public isn’t listening very closely anymore:

    [State Senator Steve] Fenberg and many other state leaders are worried … about whether a stay-at-home order would even work this time around. People have grown accustomed to certain freedoms since the spring, and already there are some in the population resistant even to the least oppressive rules, such as wearing masks.

    “They don’t want to have restrictive orders that people just entirely ignore,” Fenberg said. “Once you cross that line, that seriously, then it really starts to unravel, when people completely check out from following the orders.”

    We’ll ignore the creepy framing of the issue around how citizens have lamentably “grown accustomed to certain freedoms” like being able to leave one’s home. But Fenberg is right to think the public is unlikely to be nearly as compliant this time around.

    2
  46. They are going to be $30 billion less in debt when they spin off DirecTV.

    It won’t go for that much. They didn’t buy DirecTV to provide the service as much as use the company’s tech to replace the Uverse disaster.

    There has been a dark rumor floating around telecom for the last decade that the Uverse technology will be unloaded onto Frontier, the phone company dumping ground.

    https://www.cordcuttersnews.com/att-is-raising-directv-prices-in-january-2021/

    I am so glad that I let DirecTV go last January.

  47. I turned to MeTv just as the turkeys were being dropped in the WKRP Thanksgiving episode. Classic. Oh the humanity!

    1
  48. I turned to MeTv just as the turkeys were being dropped in the WKRP Thanksgiving episode. Classic. Oh the humanity!

    That episode was based on an actual publicity stunt at the radio station where Hugh Wilson worked in Atlanta before he got into screenwriting.

    If you want to see the whole episode, the WKRP “Complete Series” Shout! Factory box set is worth the money. Turkeys Away. Fish Story. Phone Cops. Scum of the Earth. And a very nice bit of drama when Venus’ real past catches up with him, all in just the first season.

    Sadly, the DVD comnentary for “Turkeys Away” is on the earlier Season One set from Fox, but “Queen of the Forest” is back to its rightful place as the first rock song played on the series thanks to Shout! Factory’s efforts.


  49. Zero for 24 here so nothing to report. I have only heard of two of the authors and not read any of the authors.

    Likewise. I’ve heard of Hurley and Kowal and have heard them on a number of podcasts … which disinclined me to read any fiction they wrote. Don’t think I’ve even heard of any of the other authors.

    Check out TopWebFiction for a selection of highly-regarded fiction available online. Not much of it is to my taste and some of it is crap (because almost any rating system can be gamed) but it’s a starting point. And better than relying on the major publishers’ editors to pick out the good stuff for you.

  50. “The Best Science Fiction Books of 2020” by Dan Livingston
    https://best-sci-fi-books.com/the-best-science-fiction-books-of-2020/

    Zero for 24 here so nothing to report. I have only heard of two of the authors and not read any of the authors.

    Ditto, except that I’ve never even heard of any of the authors, much less read anything by them.

    Nowadays there are very few SF authors whose work I look forward to reading, and those are getting rather long in the tooth. 🙁

  51. The Matt Ruff might be worth the read, his Sewer Gas Electric was really good, iirc and pissed off a lot of people.

    Globull warmening
    Globull warmening
    wiminz w/out menz
    powerful wiminz
    tor insider
    another tor insider
    yet another tor insider
    humanz bad
    humanz bad
    monsters in the dark – oh they’re us

    Pass… maybe I’ll re-read the ringworld books.

    n

    (not in any particular order)

    1
  52. I noticed the Time rag cover while at HEB:

    46 *President* Plugs.

    I guess it is a foregone conclusion.

    LET THE HEELING BEGIN EL PRESIDENTE PLUGS!

    1
  53. I guess it is a foregone conclusion.”

    –they decided it over a year ago.

    n

    1
  54. If you guys don’t recognize any authors on the list, I won’t bother to look.

    I pretty much stick to dead tree authors like Weber, Ringo, Kratman, Taylor, Correia, Modesitt, Campbell (Hemry), Lee and Miller, and a few others mentioned previously.

    I know there’s a lot of sf ebooks on Amazon and probably some decent stuff in there, but filtering it out is not easy and about the third time I hit some 20-something that I’ve never heard of with a massive backlist of 500-page epics, I quit in disgust.

    So, any recomendations?

    1
  55. Alastair Reynolds is epic, can get very strange, but held my attention thru a couple of series and many freestanding novels.

    n

  56. I despise non mechanical switches that pervade even the simplest devices. We have a very old toaster oven I adore. It has a physical dial for doneness and a physical lever to turn it on / off. There’s another physical dial to change from toast to oven. It’s delightful and JustWorks.

    Tired out. Got a great deal done at the new place. Good news on the main floor bath. Water damage to walls is minimal and there is no need to take the entire thing down to studs. Subfloor is rotten which we expected. I uninstalled my first toilet, sink, and vanity, got the tub surround down to studs (with minimal aid for the heavy parts). We were all too pooped to safely tackle pulling out the tub tonight.

    The tub spout is obstinate. There is neither set screw, nor slot for set screw. I hesitate to force it off as I envision 50 year old pipe breaking in response to excessive force. I think a job for a pro.

    Not unexpectedly the water shut off valves (more than one with some ahem creativity involved) for the house are worn out and only moderately functional. I had already scheduled the plumber for Monday so will request he address the worn out valves.

    Bathroom in walkout basement is horrifying as we pull tile. Glad we had already planned on taking it to studs. Lots of water doing bad things over the years.

    Got probably 150 sf carpet, pad, and underlayment pulled and out. Our good friend who is heading up the reflooring thinks we will be laying oak by Friday. Another friend, who is a master electrician, spent several hours untangling a nasty bit of three way wiring done incorrectly and creatively modified over the years. It’s working now but not as a three way. I’m content with it as is however our electrician friend is taking it personally that some cack handed Neanderthal abused he house so badly. He will return tomorrow. I need to call tomorrow and get status of my LVP order for walk out basement.

    Moving along at a brisk pace. Friendly neighbor stopped by with a still warm loaf of homemade sourdough bread. I’ll bring her some eggs this week.

    Oh – the backyard sledding hill got duly celebrated by three merry children. They came in after a couple hours of play, rosy cheeked and happily worn out.

    1
  57. And I thought OFD might have made a recommendation on the subject but I can’t find anything. I fell down the rabbit hole reading the old voices…

    OFD hoping fervently that he’s still here and tuned in when either/both of the Clintons get their final reward… A comment from 2017 where RBT admonishes me that there is more to prepping than stacking stuff. (yes, he said ‘stacking’ twice in the sentence)

    n

  58. If you guys don’t recognize any authors on the list, I won’t bother to look.

    I pretty much stick to dead tree authors like Weber, Ringo, Kratman, Taylor, Correia, Modesitt, Campbell (Hemry), Lee and Miller, and a few others mentioned previously.

    I know there’s a lot of sf ebooks on Amazon and probably some decent stuff in there, but filtering it out is not easy and about the third time I hit some 20-something that I’ve never heard of with a massive backlist of 500-page epics, I quit in disgust.

    So, any recomendations?

    I have reviewed every book that I have read on Big River for the last 15 years. 90% of the 800+ books are SF.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/amzn1.account.AHV2C7F5C3SWNVJAYRZOU7ORTWYA/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Whoa, I am reviewer ranking #20,811 now. Brings to mind that old saying by W. C. Fields about any club that would let him in.

  59. I’m content with it as is however our electrician friend is taking it personally that some cack handed Neanderthal abused he house so badly.

    Note to self: never piss off Jenny, she types way better than myself.

  60. @Jenny: Wow, you guys are moving along fast with the house. Water shut-off valves: I swear, they never work right. It can’t be that they wear out – maybe it’s the opposite problem, that they are so rarely used?

    Sounds like you have good friends – that’s invaluable!

    the backyard sledding hill got duly celebrated

    Y’all already have that much snow? We’ve seen snow, but it all melted – we’ve had days of glorious sunshine. When this high pressure collapses, the snow likely won’t melt any more…

    – – – – –

    Me, I’ve been working on the really important stuff: brewing every week, to get our personal beer stocks back up where they should be. Beer is a lot better after aging a couple of months in the bottle…

    Also going to pick up half-a-cord of seasoned firewood this morning. We haven’t had a chance to build up our own stocks yet, but the local forestry service sells it for a reasonable price. Already cut and split – I’m lazy this year, too…


  61. So, any recomendations?

    Nathan Lowell has a series of books about an interstellar trader – start with “Quarter Share” and keep going from there.
    Sarah A. Hoyt has “Darkship Thieves” in SF, and books in several other genres, also. They’re good reading.
    Peter Grant has a few SF series – “Take the Star Road” starts one, and “War to the Knife” starts the other. They’re lightly interconnected. “The Stones of Silence” starts the third, and I don’t remember if it has any connections to the first two.
    Other authors I like in the e-book field, although not necessarily SF – Cedar Sanderson, Pam Uphoff, Celia Hayes, Dorothy Grant, Dave Freer. Check them out on Amazon and you’ll probably find something of interest.

  62. @lynn
    My mom and grandpa had a love of the English language, they shared that joy in words with me, and I’m doing my darnedest to share it with my daughter.

    @brad
    Snow – we’ve got perhaps a foot on the ground with fresh stuff yesterday morning. Typical for Anchorage is deep enough to shovel by Halloween, sticks thru mid-March / early April. In recent years we have been enduring significant freeze / thaw cycles which generate sheets of ice on virtually all walking / driving surfaces and is exceedingly unpleasant and dangerous. I miss the days where it dropped to the high teens or low twenties and stayed there all winter. Yeah, it was unpleasant, but you dressed for it and weren’t gong to blow a knee or crack your head with a slip n fall.

    Wood for heat. There’s a song we used to sing, the chorus had the recurring phrase “logs to burn”, and it went through the properties of several types of wood and their merits as a heat source. Cool song, wish I could remember it.

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