Sat. Dec. 5, 2020 – it all depends on the weather

And it will probably be cold, and damp again today, but maybe the rain will hold off.

It was cold-ish yesterday and certainly damp.   I put on a fleece jacket and I was sweating inside buildings and cold outside.

Someone asked a while back if I was still hitting the Goodwill stores.  No, not really.  I haven’t hit a thrift store in months.  I AM still hitting the Goodwill outlet.  I mask up, N95, and glove up, and maintain a distance from people.  I am hyper aware of what I touch and change gloves as needed.  I use the clorox wipes before getting back in the car too.  I’ve grabbed some great stuff lately, and it will mostly be going to the auction on Monday.   You can’t really beat a men’s Kenneth Cole leather jacket for $3.  Especially one that’s in perfect condition.  Or a lady’s wool trenchcoat from the mid 80s that still brings $85 on ebay.  Or 70 pounds of vinyl LPs that have been averaging 8-12$ apiece on ebay.  I’ll send them to my local auction,  and get a whole lot less, but won’t have to deal with shipping or returns.

The outlet gets the weirdest things.  I’ve found a low power ham radio transceiver kit, arduinos, gun parts, glock 43 magazine extensions- NIB, and today I found a milsurp cold weather sleep system and a watch battery change tool kit.  Not expensive, but exactly what I needed.  I could have a complete set of the Harvard Classics of literature.  I’ve grabbed all the ones I thought I’d personally like.  Some of the editions bring $10+ per volume…  One day I found a gun guy’s library.  A bunch of Paladin Press sort of books, and coffee table gun history books too.  “Modifying your MAC-10” kinds of things….  The funniest thing for me, I can find great stuff AFTER the locusts have gone through the bins.  They’ll fight over 25c t shirts and leave an ORVIS jacket, new with tags (headed to ebay or the auction this week).

My best estate auction score this week was probably a Western Mountaineering down sleeping bag for $4.  Even counting the half bottle of down tech washing soap, that is a stunning value for what was a $400+ bag new.  The kids and my wife have used the heck out of the expensive USA made down bags I got at an estate sale 2? years ago for $5.  There are certain things that people just don’t seem to recognize the value.  That’s where I come in 🙂

And some people do weird things too.  I grabbed a couple of fishing poles yesterday, one complete, with the last loop missing, one just the lower half.  I didn’t find the top half so I put it back in a bin, and the other one, I’ll just clip 1 inch and the existing loop will be the end one now.  🙂   Later I noticed a couple of young ladies standing to the side with a dozen poles.   They were looking up the poles on their phones.  They spent a while doing it too.  Obviously not experienced resellers.  The poles weigh less than a pound.  So they will cost $1.20 each.  BUY EVERY ONE.  There isn’t a new fishing pole with a reel for less than $20 anywhere.   These poles were new, still in plastic.  Grab them and GO!

The other customers are all masked, some even wearing them correctly.  Staff wears masks correctly.  As a side benefit, no one out in public is sneezing or coughing.  No runny noses either.

Today I’ll be going through stuff getting more ready for the new auctioneer.  And if the weather is good, I’ll finally get some Christmas decor up.  But that will be after sleeping in.

And then I’ll do my grocery order, and stack some more.  Because everything is changing, and we don’t know who will come out the other side.  If we’re distracted and weakened by a civil war, declared or not, someone else will have a chance to rise.  It might take a generation to recover.  Maybe more.  Gonna be hard times if that happens.  Think about that for a while.

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.

32 thoughts on “Sat. Dec. 5, 2020 – it all depends on the weather”


  1. BS&T is one of the two most popular mass transport texts of the last half-century.

    I greatly appreciate engineering but have no knowledge of the science behind it except rudimentary physics. So when I looked at the Wikipedia article on this I laughed and felt like an ant trying to climb Everest. My hat’s off to you guys because I have no idea of what any of that shït means but I’m glad someone does!

  2. Just purchased The Lord of the Rings trilogy extended edition in 4K on iTunes. Amazing what the theatrical release left out. Also amazing quality. Although I did see the 3D version in the theatre. Almost 12 hours for the three films.


  3. Just purchased The Lord of the Rings trilogy extended edition in 4K on iTunes.

    I have the blu ray extended editions. The extra content adds a lot to the story. Highly recommended if anyone hasn’t seen them,

  4. Just purchased The Lord of the Rings trilogy extended edition in 4K on iTunes. Amazing what the theatrical release left out. Also amazing quality. Although I did see the 3D version in the theatre. Almost 12 hours for the three films.

    With “Lord of the Rings”, WETA had a contract with Warner Bros. to produce three films of very specific length for theatrical release.

  5. Heads down working during the day (which included watching a moose in the backyard browsing during a work Zoom meeting!), renovating the house at night. Significant progress, predictably behind schedule. Couple detours from planned work. Flooring install has been problematic, friend has missed a cumulative five days now and we’ve had a conversation about that. See if it changes. In his defense he hasn’t done physical work since March, busy couch potatoing, and suffers from sinus migraines. I don’t think he’s BS’ing me. We discussed if he’d like to bow out of the job, meeting deadlines, etc. I have a plan B and C.

    Main bath is slowly coming along. I loathe thin set mortar. I have to redo the Kerdi band along the tub flange as it’s uneven and the significant bumps will screw up my tile install. There are mechanical skills here I haven’t developed however practice makes perfect. I’ll undo a 5’ length, get my crapamateur job off that part of the wall, and try again.

    Water always wins so I gotta get it right if I don’t want to flush thousands of dollars in new bathroom work down the proverbial toilet.

    I installed a couple of Good Earth brand 12” x 48” by 1” deep LED lighting panels in the downstairs family room. Much improved over the bare bulbs in porcelain sockets. I’ve got two more to install in the laundry room. Easy install, comes with a couple leashes fastening light to junction box to give you that third hand one often needs when installing overhead lights. I’ve installed maybe couple dozen light fixtures and electrical outlets over the years so not a lot of experience but enough to feel confident tackling it. Enough to recognize when I need a pro. I’ve got a hall light that has a loose socket. Climbed up to tackle it, has wire rubbed bare. Don’t know how far the damage goes so that’s disabled until my professional electrician friend has some time.

    A variety of notables have died recently, to much lamentation of the masses.

    I am sad to learn that Walter Williams has died. He was 84. He was one of my favorite essayists. He was a gifted thinker and had a way of articulating the responsibilities of liberty that was profound.
    Whenever I read his work I came away with a great deal to ponder.

    His writing was smart, often funny, carried a note of hope.

    He was unique.

    https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/future-prospects-for-economic-liberty/

  6. My wife’s car pool parks at a new-ish Goodwill on FM620 not far from the outlet, Robinson Ranch, which sits right in front of the entrance to a fancy lad gated development of large homes. The intake dock always seems to have quality items, but I don’t know how much of that remains in the store. We also have a big picker culture operating in the area.

    I’ve seen Robert Rodriguez in the nearby HEB twice, once with an almost-unrecognizable Kevin Smith in tow.


  7. Just purchased The Lord of the Rings trilogy extended edition in 4K on iTunes. Amazing what the theatrical release left out.

    I have the extended edition on DVD… I think I bought every edition as it came out. That was the last movie we went to see in the theaters. Good reminder, it will be a nice time binge on these chilly days and cold evenings!

    Funny story about that theater viewing. We went to a late afternoon showing, and were first in the theater. We sat square in the geographical center. The first dozen or more people who came in, sat right next to us! Immediately behind or next row up immediately in front of us. On our row, leaving a couple of seats between, first on one side, then the next.

    There were at least 15 or 20 people huddled around us before the first couple dared to select seats in an outside wing. That somehow seemed to break the spell, and from then on, people sat randomly.

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  8. We sat square in the geographical center.

    In theory that is the sweet spot for the best sound. Though in reality, the volume is usually cranked up so much I don’t think it matters.

    Before the Covid times, when we actually went to the movies, the only seats I’ll sit in are the back row, either far left or far right side. That keeps me from having anyone behind me or beside me. It cuts down, just a little, on having to listen to all the rude people while I’m trying to watch the movie.

    Honestly, I don’t miss the theaters one bit. A nice big screen at home, good surround sound system, and I can pause for bathroom breaks. Oh, and no rude people. I also don’t need the social aspect of going out. I guess I should go ahead and say “get off my lawn” and be done with it…

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  9. I have the extended edition on DVD

    Likewise. Three boxes with four disks each.

    That was the last movie we went to see in the theaters.

    The last several movies I went to see were solely because my sons and several friends wanted to watch R-rated movies. The theaters had changed their policies on under-17s (or maybe under-18s) seeing them. It had been that a parent could go up to the ticket booth and say that these six kids have their parents’ permission to see this movie, and then the parent could go off for a couple hours. Then it changed to a parent saying it was OK but an over-18 having to stay with the group. The new policy was that the parent had to go in and stay with the group. Presumably there was a good reason, not just jerkishness, for the policy, but it was mighty annoying for me. And it was always me because all the other parents of this group always had a good excuse for why they couldn’t go. Eventually the occasional theater night was replaced by semi-regular Blockbuster night in one of the families’ family rooms and to hell with the theaters and their falling profits.

    Honestly, I don’t miss the theaters one bit. … I also don’t need the social aspect of going out.

    Likewise, and add that I’ve disliked almost all of the last dozen or so movies I’ve seen which were made in the past decade. I see no reason to voluntarily take in more SJW crap, the action scenes were directed someone who’s never been in a gunfight or even a serious street fight, and the reveal of the mystery/suspense movies was either obvious from about two minutes in or just came out of nowhere. Even setting aside the anti-Americanism of most in Hollywood, I see no reason to give them my money.

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  10. Oh, and no rude people

    Except for yourself. 🙂 If you can deal with that, no problem.

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  11. Except for yourself. If you can deal with that, no problem.

    The struggle is real…

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  12. This. From Mike Rowe. Video here: https://twitter.com/aginnt/status/1335012215821381634

    Mike Rowe’s words:

    Enough already.

    This woman is right to be angry. She’s right to be scared. And she’s right to be protesting. Please watch this short video and share it. Or, just keep reading, and I’ll tell you what it contains.

    The woman in the video has been deemed “non-essential,” because her business has been deemed, “unsafe” by the Mayor of Los Angeles. Like every other restaurant owner, she is shut down. Even after spending a small fortune to build an outdoor space, and following all the government guidelines, she is once again out of business. And yet, right next door to her restaurant – in the parking lot not fifty feet from her own outdoor patio – a movie company has been allowed to set up a massive catering operation, in order to feed the enormous cast and crew of whatever film is being made.

    Full disclosure, I’ve been working since March, because I am among those who have been deemed “essential” by the state. Why? Beats me. I can only tell you that I’ve been flying all over the country filming commercials, making TV shows, and even giving a few socially distanced speeches. I’ve followed all the safety protocols, and in no instance did I ever feel uncomfortable with the risk I had assumed. In fact, I’m flying again next week to film another project, and while the production won’t leave a footprint as large as a movie set, the crew and I will be dining outdoors in the same basic conditions you see in this video. Point being, I’ve been able to keep my people employed, so I suppose I should be grateful to the Governor of California and the Mayor of Los Angeles for allowing me to do so. But I do not feel grateful to them. I feel angry. I feel angry because of what’s happening to this woman.

    Friends of this page know that I’ve been writing and talking about the business of “essentiality” since March, mostly because people ask me about it every single day. Dirty Jobs was, and still is, the “granddaddy of essential working shows,” so people assume I’ll have nice things to say about America’s essential workers. And of course, I do. But I have also warned from the very beginning of these devastating lockdowns, that ALL workers are essential to someone – even if only to their families or to themselves. And I have looked with deep suspicion upon the logic that allows our leaders to determine, in their sole discretion, who is essential, and who is not. Especially by those officials who tell us that “our safety is their responsibility.” I still remember Governor’s Cuomo’s incredible statement months ago.

    “Any measure is justified,” he said, “if it can save a single life.”

    As I argued over the summer, if saving lives was really his top priority, he’d lower the speed limit to ten miles an hour and outlaw left turns. And if “flattening the curve” was really the goal of the lockdowns – as he and so many others assured us for months – then we’d only lockdown when the hospitals were overwhelmed. But the Governor not only said what he said, he repeated it – over and over again. “Any measure is justified, if it can save a single life.”

    How in the world did we get to a point where we allowed the prospect of a single to death to paralyze a country of 330 million people? When did “staying alive for as long as possible,” become more important than the freedom to assume our own risk? And how can anyone expect the woman in this video to obey her elected officials – officials who brazenly violate their own rules and regulations? Gavin Newsome caught dining at the French Laundry is not a small thing. Neither is Nancy Pelosi, caught mask-less in a salon closed to the public, or the mayors of San Francisco and Chicago, all caught red-handed violating their own edicts? These are ENORMOUS things. Not just because their actions reveal their hypocrisy – which is truly rank – but because their actions show us in undeniable living color, that THEY ARE NOT AFRAID.

    Which begs the obvious question, why are we?

    Or more to the point, why do they want us to be?

    I’ll say again what I said in March. We are not, at base, a “Safety First” nation. For short periods of time, we might choose to put our safety above our liberty, but not for long. Especially when our leaders peddle policies with no rhyme, no reason, and no sense of fairness. If I can follow sensible protocols in the course of filming a TV show, shouldn’t the woman in this video be allowed to follow the same protocols while serving her customers?
    If someone in charge doesn’t address the fundamental inequity unfolding in her parking lot, I’m afraid the pushback is going to make the protests we saw this summer look like a parade. I think we’re going to see a level of unparalleled civil disobedience. Because in the end, it’s easy to forgive our leaders, when their mistakes are born of ignorance and stupidity. But it’s nearly impossible to overlook the proclamations of a hypocrite or deny what we can all see with our own eyes. The evidence demands a verdict.

    Watch the video again.

    And pass it on.

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  13. This. From Mike Rowe. Video here: https://twitter.com/aginnt/status/1335012215821381634

    Mike Rowe’s words:

    Enough already.

    This woman is right to be angry. She’s right to be scared. And she’s right to be protesting. Please watch this short video and share it. Or, just keep reading, and I’ll tell you what it contains.

    This is why we are heading to a civil insurrection. Which may move to a civil war.

  14. I got busy and didn’t get back to respond to comments on Thursday night regarding Canada and health care. Mind that my comments are for Ontario only. Each of the provinces runs their own system providing the bulk of the funding (about 20% from the federal government). Ontario is populous, and richer than most other provinces so can afford more for a lesser individual tax burden. Newfoundland (St. John’s as capital) has relatively few people and is quite a bit less wealthy, so their tax burden is well above mine and they still can’t afford a similar level of care even with additional funding from the federal government. But I digress.

    What I saw seemed to work pretty well for ordinary things. For anything requiring imaging or specialized treatment, all I every heard was about the waits and delays.

    It is often the case that if it is not urgent, there will be a wait. In hospital, as quick as you like but if you were admitted, then it’s urgent.

    I’ll say that because of the profit motive, if I need imaging I can get it within hours, or worst case a couple of days. Our system has an over-abundance of CT, MRI, digital xray, and all the add ons like contrast media… if you don’t like the traditional machines, there are even open plan or stand up machines and facilities that advertise them with billboards. Our small animal vets have MRI machines.

    If as a referral from your GP, you are going to a clinic for ultrasound or xray, that’s usually within a day or two. CAT or MRI – hospital only – and you will be in line behind those admitted and urgent. All of that is at no charge. It is a common complaint: Why not let a private company in to provide those services for a direct fee to the patient? Not allowed so far. Since I am near the US border and have funds available, if I needed something like that and was told to wait, I would be in a clinic in Buffalo the next day getting it done on my own dime. Using your own funds to jump the line in Canada is illegal, and considered in poor form: wait your turn please. We of course want more of these facilities but then also don’t want to pay higher taxes for higher availability. (Illogical cause nothing is free (TANSTAAFL), but that’s people for you.)

    There is a lab for any test I can pay for in pretty much every strip mall around here. If a Dr writes a prescription, my insurance will pay for it. If I want to know if Junior is really mine, or on drugs, or eating lead chips, I can find out in a couple of days.

    Lab tests ordered by your GP are also covered. Not sure about drug tests or DNA tests for paternity. Private insurance, from an employer group plan, covers the gaps: vision care and glasses, dental care, upgrade from ward to private hospital room. Prescriptions ordered outside of the hospital (drugs in hospital covered by the government). Drugs here are generally less expensive anyway and fewer are on prescription. (E.g.: Allegra for my allergies is non-prescription at $20 for 30 pills. I have heard something quite different – prescription and several dollars per pill – in at least some parts of the US).

    How it gets paid for is different for everyone and changed somewhat with obbamma(no)care. Most medium and large employers offer some type of group plan of private insurance that they often subsidize…

    Beyond different companies offering different levels of benefits to fill the “gaps” (or paying for that out of pocket) my health care is covered by my taxes As I said, for something considered non-urgent the wait can be long. Hip replacement – sometimes years. Urgent, as in life threatening, care is immediate and top quality. Reducing the waiting line for hip replacement means putting more or new resources to that procedure so others wait longer or taxes go up.

    I had a long discussion with a young carpenter in St Johns about ‘free’ care. I pointed out his care wasn’t ‘free’, he paid for it with taxes on his income. LARGE taxes. For care he really wasn’t using. But old guys like the contractor with cancer used a lot of. When he figured out how much tax he paid annually, and then I told him how much I paid, I pointed out that I had enough extra to pay for my insurance (cost based mostly on my risk, ie. low as I was younger and in good health) and put the remainder into savings. He got quite angry about it.

    I mentioned poorer provinces before: your young carpenter comes from one of those. My federal taxes are used partially to pay for his health care – equalization payments to poorer provinces so they can provide a comparable level of service. Comparable, but not identical, and his tax burden is quite higher. As for services he dos not use I have 2 comments: 1) He is not allowed to “free ride”. If he falls off a ladder and injures his spine, he will suddenly think the coverage is great. 2) Yes, older people use more health care. His parents are older people too.

    I do IT work for insurance companies. I will cynically say they are driven to try to sell coverage only to people that don’t need it, if they can get away with it. Finally, if that carpenter has a heart attack in his 40s he can switch jobs without losing any coverage due to pre-existing conditions, because we don’t have private companies selling health “insurance”, it is a government funded program. It is universal. It costs about 11% of GDP (70% of that tax dollars). US has higher availability (not waiting for that hip replacement) if you are insured but the US spends about 17% of GDP for and have more people without coverage than live in Canada (last I looked, Obamacare may have changed that a bit). How we each got to the systems each country has is based on a whole bunch of contingencies and choices. As noted, neither are perfect.


  15. I could have a complete set of the Harvard Classics of literature.

    Available on Kindle for $1.99 right now. I got one despite having a complete set in hardback.


  16. I’ve seen Robert Rodriguez in the nearby HEB twice, once with an almost-unrecognizable Kevin Smith in tow.

    RR is a pretty nice guy. My youngest brother has done nearly all his films since Spy Kids. He directed yesterday’s episode of The Mandalorian and may have one more in the can. Maybe he’ll get to play in the Star Wars universe…..

  17. RR is a pretty nice guy. My youngest brother has done nearly all his films since Spy Kids. He directed yesterday’s episode of The Mandalorian and may have one more in the can. Maybe he’ll get to play in the Star Wars universe…..

    Interesting. If what I’ve heard is true, the reintroduction of [spoiler omitted] to the “Star Wars” universe would have required the right touch, especially with a fight sequence involved.

    The urban legend is that Rodriguez directed “The Wolf” segment of “Pulp Fiction”, one of the most sublime pieces of film in existence IMHO.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMRap8SjQ-I

    Jonathan Frakes was back directing on “Discovery” this week. I’d love to see him working for Filoni and Favreau on an episode or two of “The Mandalorian”.

    I’m not a regular viewer. I watched last week to see Rosario Dawson and got Michael Biehn as a bonus. Reese!

    I’ll also make a point of watching to see a certain blue-skinned Admiral.

  18. I’ve never understood the love for the reintroduced character.

    I’ll also make a point of watching to see a certain blue-skinned Admiral.

    I am almost fanboy excited for that.

  19. I’ve never understood the love for the reintroduced character.

    I knew Rosario Dawson would be fun. The character was irrelevant to me as are Dawson’s politics.

  20. Did my errands. got home late. If you sleep til noon, and then spend until 3 doing a pickup, and stop to shop on your way home, it fills your day.

    I really hope there isn’t rain tomorrow as I will need the whole day to get caught back up to my normal level of ‘behind’. I do have a bunch more stuff to send to auction on Monday so that’s a plus.

    Pizza for dinner, live action Mulan for the kids before bed. I’m doing other things.

    n

  21. “Climate Report: $100-150 Trillion over 30 Years to Fix Global Warming”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/12/05/climate-activists-100-150-trillion-over-30-years-to-fix-global-warming/

    “The report is available here.”
    https://www.gfma.org/gfma-and-bcg-publish-report-on-climate-finance-markets-and-the-real-economy/

    “To put this fun new number into perspective, if you spent $130 million every day since the death of Jesus Christ, just about now you would be approaching $100 trillion.”

    “More than $14,000 for every man woman and child on Earth.”

    “You know what, thanks but no thanks. I think I prefer the global warming.”

    Me too. And the Chinese are building about a thousand coal power plants at the moment. There are hundreds of other coal power plants under construction across the world today in India, Japan, etc.


  22. And the Chinese are building about a thousand coal power plants at the moment.

    Interesting how Greta etc aren’t talking down to China, like she does to the West.

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