Sun. Dec. 27, 2020 – even fewer days left in the year

Cold in the morning, warming throughout the day.  Sunny and clear.  We all hope.  52F and breezy at midnight.

Saturday was a bit of a mixed bag, wrt to getting stuff done.  I had a guy I was supposed to meet to sell a 3d printer, but he stood me up.  Flakes.  Had to reschedule for Tuesday.  So I did some other small stuff around the house.   I took the package I couldn’t ship on the 24th to UPS.  I took a small item I sold on ebay to the USPS and dropped it in the box at the station.  That’s two sales in 3 days.  I hope things are picking up.

I did a little bit more yard work.  Poked around in the garage a bit, trying to fix a couple of minor things.  Put one of the new batteries on the smart charger to top it up.

After dinner played “Pit” with the kids.  The new hearing protectors came in handy for that…

Took two bins of pool stuff to storage.  Still need to take the pool itself out of the house, but won’t have anywhere to put it until I get rid of more stuff.

That is the plan for today.   Head over to the secondary location and get rid of stuff.   More cutting and trashing is in order.   I have to make room for my forklift before January.  And get stuff out of the house to keep my promise to my wife.  So I will be AFK for most of the afternoon.


In the course of my travels, I drove past our local mall.  Not particularly busy.  No lines of cars waiting to turn into the parking lot.  Not much going on at the strip/cluster development around our ‘big’ HEB, or the Lowes/BestBuy/costco development across the street.    Traffic was light too.  I don’t think there was much ‘day after Christmas’ shopping going on.  That doesn’t bode well for the economy.

The explosion in Nashville is very strange.  Disgruntled employee?  Proof of concept?  Opening shot?  We may never know, but we did learn that some of the infrastructure is a lot more vulnerable than one might expect.  You can work that info from at least two different perspectives…..  Several people have taken first pass looks at the event with what’s currently known.   If you can’t find them on your own, I’ll post some links later in the comments.

And you need to think about second and third order effects.   You might want some ham radio.  You might want a sat phone.  You might want to join with some local hams and get a mesh network up in your area.  You might want a cell that uses a different carrier’s network than your primary phone.  (I carried sprint and att when I was traveling for work both before and after 9-11, and my Skytel satellite pager.  On 9-11 in NYMetro area only Skytel worked.  I don’t have that level of redundancy anymore.  Might need to order the sim for my satphone.   We’ll see if this happens again.)   You might want something like goTenna to keep your family cells working as more than flashlights.

Alternate  comms and a disaster comms contact list should already be part of your plan.  Time to check through the plan again.

Been a while since the muzzies attacked something too…

And winter is happening in the north and northeast.

Lots of reasons to keep stacking.

nick

 

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

50 thoughts on “Sun. Dec. 27, 2020 – even fewer days left in the year”

  1. The explosion in Nashville is very strange. Disgruntled employee? Proof of concept? Opening shot? We may never know, but we did learn that some of the infrastructure is a lot more vulnerable than one might expect. You can work that info from at least two different perspectives….. Several people have taken first pass looks at the event with what’s currently known. If you can’t find them on your own, I’ll post some links later in the comments.

    Some AT&T labor contracts start to come up in 2021, but an RV packed with explosives is way beyond what the union thugs would consider doing to send a message. The techs know where to drive the railroad spikes into the fiber optic cables to wreak havoc without collateral damage, as they did to Cisco and other entities in South San Jose in 2009.

    The unions have been quiet at the Death Star ever since “CP09” broke them.


  2. The explosion in Nashville is very strange. Disgruntled employee? Proof of concept? Opening shot?

    Or maybe he just wanted to out with a bang.

  3. “The explosion in Nashville is very strange. Disgruntled employee? Proof of concept? Opening shot?”

    Or maybe he just wanted to out with a bang.

    Isolated nutter. Yeah.

    The AT&T building just had the best parking for the RV.

  4. The Nashville bombing is looking more and more like a lone nut suicide. He may have had a grudge or some fixation on ATT. The house they are searching had an RV that looks like the one that blew up parked next to it in Google street view pictures, and it is now gone. Neighbors said that it has only recently been moving around. He also had several other cars that are gone. (If I was the cops, I’d be looking for them. May have been sold.)

  5. He may have had a grudge or some fixation on ATT.

    Reminds me of Johnny Fever’s (WKRP) fixation on “phone cops.”

    One of my favorite series :))

  6. The Nashville bombing is looking more and more like a lone nut suicide. He may have had a grudge or some fixation on ATT. The house they are searching had an RV that looks like the one that blew up parked next to it in Google street view pictures, and it is now gone.

    One of the suppositions that I saw was that the lone bomber had many of the 20 lb propane tanks inside his RV. Apparently he parked the RV and then went and opened all of the tanks inside the RV. I have not seen a good explanation for the shaped charge nature of the exploision yet. Maybe a huge metal sheet inside the RV.

  7. “He may have had a grudge or some fixation on ATT.”

    Reminds me of Johnny Fever’s (WKRP) fixation on “phone cops.”

    Howard Hesseman had real DJ chops as one of the original album-oriented rock jocks in the 70s under the pseudonym Don Sturdy, but, with the “phone cops” bit, he proved he had the ability to do physical comedy at a very high level in the final moments of the first season..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTPzTG1Lx60

    Carpenters. Manilow. Anything. No doubt most of the couch portion was improvised.

    With a 9:30 PM Monday time slot that year, WKRP got away with a lot for 70s network TV.

  8. Wow, I guess I was tired. Just got up. Got up at 830 and went right back to sleep.

    Spent most of the morning dreaming of running Bill Gates’ personal archive and blackmail storage. Strange.

    Have to get moving. 74F and not too overcast.

    n

  9. With a 9:30 PM Monday time slot that year, WKRP got away with a lot for 70s network TV.

    All characters were well acted and well written. As a group, they worked very well together. And, yes, they took on some hot topics with aplomb. I am of course very biased.

    Mr AtoZ should note appearances by Ian Wolfe as Hirsch. He sure could steal a scene.

  10. Spent most of the morning dreaming of running Bill Gates’ personal archive and blackmail storage. Strange.

    Bill Gates has Macs and Time Capsule backup. The techs rotate the disks out nightly. 🙂

  11. Activists fought for YEARS to get the Boy Scouts of America to officially accept girls into their programs. The organization did, going so far as to change their name to Scouts BSA. 120K females joined.

    Now the Girl Scouts are whining about it, and it looks like it’s because they (BSA) have been more successful getting new members than GS.

    My experience of Boy Scouts ended before officially becoming a Boy scout. I was a Cub and a Webelo. My experience of GS is from my girls and wife being a troop leader. The GS shot themselves in the foot when they kept making their program ‘relevant’. It was never about tying knots or gluing macaroni to craft projects, it was always about being part of a group, learning to be a group member, and mastering difficult challenges. The GS have camp that is a week long Day Spa FFS. I don’t have issues with any group controlling who can be a member, or what those members do. I have a problem with a group that doesn’t meet the needs of its members and then complains and uses lawfare against an other group that DOES offer what the members want.

    Lots of girls wanted to do more than makeup classes. GS has been moving away from the Scouting aspects for years.

    n

    (leaving aside the damage that girls do to an all male organization when they are admitted)

  12. All characters were well acted and well written. As a group, they worked very well together. And, yes, they took on some hot topics with aplomb. I am of course very biased.

    With the exception of Gary Sandy, MTM and Hugh Wilson had a free hand to cast anyone they wanted on “WKRP” without network interference.

  13. Bill Gates has Macs…

    I remember the story of Gates remarking to Jobs that he probably made more profit from the sale of each Mac than than Apple did. Now, that’s saying something!

  14. …MTM and Hugh Wilson had a free hand to cast anyone they wanted on “WKRP” without network interference.

    Didn’t know that. Good programs (and many other things) often spring from one or a very small number of creative people. Big comittees usually water them down, and sometimes destroy them.

  15. I remember the story of Gates remarking to Jobs that he probably made more profit from the sale of each Mac than than Apple did. Now, that’s saying something!

    Friends who work at Apple concede that Microsoft had the best “classic” MacOS developers in the industry working on Office. OS X is more complicated because the big users of NeXT Step were Wall Street types in the early 90s.

    Microsoft Word never would have survived the Lotus Ami Pro onslaught in the early days of Windows 3.x if the Mac version hadn’t forced a ground up rewrite of the program to deal with the GUI. Excel similarly benefited from the Mac OS code base, but the spreadsheet competitors got to the party late.

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  16. Didn’t know that. Good programs (and many other things) often spring from one or a very small number of creative people. Big comittees usually water them down, and sometimes destroy them.

    Another piece of “WKRP” trivia — one lead actress was cast based on her resume, working up from bit parts and earning serious comedy cred with guest appearances on outlets like “Love American Style” in the early 70s. The other lead actress was cast largely for her fame from a magazine cover in the late 60s.

    Which lead actress was the magazine cover girl? Guess before you Google. You may be surprised at the answer.

  17. I don’t need the Googles. Jan Smithers did a great job with her smaller part. I have wondered if it was hard to work in the immense shadow of Loni Anderson. In perspective (and my bias,) both played brilliantly.

  18. Flixfling.com has some truly bizarre and esoteric films in their library. I tried watching _Confessions of a Young American Housewife_ as an object of historical curiosity but couldn’t finish it. And who knew about softcore nun porn in the 70s?

    Lots and lots of really old stuff in pictures you’ve never heard of but starring names you know: Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Gordon MaCrea.

    And my favorites, schlocky sci-fi B-movies like _Creature with the Atom Brain_. But there’s good stuff too, like George Pal’s _Conquest of Space_. I also saw Romero’ s _Day of the Dead_ for the 1st time, too. If democracy had ruled in that flick the scrappy heros would have been eaten for the good of society.

  19. Skip the ‘arrest’ parts and see this…
    “The algorithm was never designed for unheard-of levels of GOP non-participation. The algorithm will steal votes from the GOP, but there will be so few in heavily Democratic precincts that GOP vote totals will go negative,” the diagram states.
    “The fraud will be so obvious, SCOTUS can then invalidate the presidential election .”

    https://www.businessinsider.com/lin-wood-suggests-arresting-georgias-david-perdue-and-kelly-loeffler-2020-12

  20. Girls forcing their way into Boy Scouts: Stunning and brave. You go, girl!

    Boys forcing their way into girls’ sports: Y-you’re ruining it for everyone!

    3
  21. Girls forcing their way into male sports: courageous, progressive, awesome.

    Boys forcing their way into female sports: insane, perverted, intolerable.

    Equality works both ways. Be careful what is wished for.

  22. I might be a dummy but no matter what the repair joint said, I don’t think my truck has a blown head gasket “and that’s why you are losing coolant and we can replace the engine for $7700”.

    Get real. It’s a 2002 and for $7700 + tax and shop rags, you’d best be painting it and knocking out a couple of dents. Oh, and putting in leather seats.

    The current rebuilt engine has all of maybe 20K miles. Not _exactly_ sure since the I had to replace the instrument cluster. But, close.

    Truck came with upper and lower radiator hoses sitting in the back seat. I had them installed.

    After sitting for a few days, I went out today and connected the battery maintainer. Oil looks and smells good. Trans fluid same. The dirt under the truck is dry. Twisted off the radiator cap and it hissed.

    If the head gasket was bad and causing coolant loss, would the cooling system hold pressure?

    I think my problem was the lower radiator hose.

    Nice day today. End of December and just wearing shorts.

    2

  23. I might be a dummy but no matter what the repair joint said, I don’t think my truck has a blown head gasket

    Even if you’re a dummy a do-it-yourself compression test wouldn’t take that long or be very hard. Antifreeze also glows under UV, so you might even check for the hose leakage using a cheap UV FLASHLIGHT.

  24. @Paul
    Seems to me your oil would look like melted coffee ice cream and you would have no radiator pressure.

    1

  25. Mr AtoZ should note appearances by Ian Wolfe as Hirsch. He sure could steal a scene.

    The original! I got the handle while in the Army ‘cause I looked like a *young* MrAtoz.

  26. And $10,000 later, MrsAtoz has a new engine in her Caddy Battlewagon. Something blew inside and took out the engine.

    1
  27. Paul, thankfully I have no experience with blown head gaskets… yet. I do know they can be tricky. My 94 has the same emgine family, and heads will occasionally crack near the center exhaust valves, but supposedly only under severe use. I don’t know about block cracks, but probably rare.

    A leaking head gasket can be intermittent, depending on temperature, or catastrophic. Small leaks can respond to cooling system sealers. I can’t recommend any.

    You are NOT a dummy.

    If your leak comes back, it would be worth it to find a competent shop, with experience on your engine family. Meanwhile, do some googling. I don’t have time right now, but take a look at Allpar; sometimes they have good articles. I will try to find some info, but a rebuilt engine can have problems not common in factory engines, such as too much overbore. This shouldn’t happen, but…

    Good luck. Oh, $7700 is def gold plated. Shop elsewhere.


  28. I have not seen a good explanation for the shaped charge nature of the exploision yet.

    Who is saying it was a shaped charge? Google comes up empty.

  29. I have seen good analysis that says ‘fuel air’ mixture IE- propane and air. Lack of crater, huge fireball, big whomp, etc. Also very easy to do and consistent with an RV as the delivery vehicle.

    muzzies tried it in London, iirc, but didn’t get the air mixed in.
    n

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  30. This is the official FEMA daily report as of this am.

    Explosion – Nashville, TN
    Current Situation: Metropolitan Nashville PD reported a large explosion at 7:30 a.m. ET,
    Dec 25th in Nashville, TN (pop. 693k). Explosion is believed to have been intentionally
    detonated from an RV parked directly adjacent to the AT&T Regional Communications
    Switching Facility.
    Lifeline Impacts:
    Safety and Security:
    ▪ 41 (+1) buildings damaged and several water main breaks
    ▪ Mandatory Evacuations in effect; 10-block radius closed around the site
    Health and Medical:
    ▪ Three injuries; confirmed human remains (1) found on scene
    ▪ TN experiencing outages with their patient tracking system
    o COVID/Healthcare hotline down; website remains operational
    ▪ Life Flight air traffic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is fully operational
    Communications:
    ▪ AT&T experiencing service outages across TN, KY, OH, AL, GA, and LA; affecting 911
    systems, TV, phone, and internet customers
    o Portable cell sites established; FirstNet/Band 14 sites prioritized for 1st Responders
    ▪ AT&T repairing infrastructure damage within crime-scene, rerouting traffic
    ▪ Degraded comms at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    State/Local Preparations:
    ▪ TN Governor requested an Emergency Declaration
    ▪ TN EOC at Partial Activation (COVID-19); EOC has phone/internet issues
    ▪ Mayor declared a State of Civil Emergency; curfew imposed through 5:30 p.m. ET today
    ▪ Bomb/HAZMAT crews on scene; canine teams conducting sweeps
    National Watch Center
    FEMA / Federal Response:
    ▪ The FBI leads ATF and state partner investigation
    ▪ FAA issued temporary flight restriction of 1 mile around explosion site;
    designated as National Defense Airspace
    ▪ DHS NOC directed personnel accountability; all accounted for
    ▪ FEMA RIV RRCC is rostered; RWC is monitoring
    ▪ NRCC at Level III (COVID-19); NWC continues to monitor
    o Disaster Emergency Communications team in coordination with
    state counterparts

    n

  31. And $10,000 later, MrsAtoz has a new engine in her Caddy Battlewagon. Something blew inside and took out the engine.

    Geesh. How old was the vehicle?

  32. I had a sister that worked in a phone switching station as a tech back in the 70s. She always said it was the place to ride out “the big one” (we lived in california) … or WW3.

    Some interesting pics of the damage to the AT&T building compared to the mostly un-reinforced buildings much further away across the road here (ignore the whack-a-doodle NSA paranoia stuff):

    https://www.rightjournalism.com/photos-after-the-explosion-reveal-that-the-bombing-target-the-att-building-in-nashville-is-reinforced-nsa-style-building/

    The bomber parked on the street, 20’ from the building, rather than on the sidewalk next to the building. Worried about a parking ticket?

  33. “Buying COVID-19 vaccines from the Dark Web? No thanks!”
    https://blog.malwarebytes.com/scams/2020/12/buying-covid-19-vaccines-from-the-darkweb/

    “Even though we hope that this is an unnecessary warning, we do want to put it out there. As soon as there was talk about a vaccine being available against the COVID-19 virus there were vendors on the Dark Web offering Russian and Chinese COVID-19 vaccines for sale. Now that the UK has started its inoculation program, we’ve see the first offers of “tested COVID-19 vaccines” appearing online.”

    Surely no one would try doing this ? If you are lucky, it would be sterile saline. In all probability, it would be the nearest storm sewer.

    1

  34. Geesh. How old was the vehicle?

    Six years. Dealer replaced. We know a reputable shop, they wanted $7,500 for a rebuilt engine. No warranty. The dealer warranty is 100,000/3 years and is transferable. Caddy’s are expensive. Four days to get and replace the engine is outstanding.

  35. I had a sister that worked in a phone switching station as a tech back in the 70s. She always said it was the place to ride out “the big one” (we lived in california) … or WW3.

    In 2000 our German MCI switching and server farm was located in a WWII explosives storage warehouse in Nuremberg. Extremely well reinforced facility with lots of partitions and blast doors. However we put our Duch facility on the second floor of an Amsterdam office building. The facilities manager told me that it would be about 3 meters below sea level if the dykes were to fail. The French facility was on the 9th floor of La Defense in Paris and we had a failure due to flooding when the toilets on the floor above overflowed.

    A major internet facility, can’t recall who’s just now, is located in the one time Disney film storage vaults in downtown Kansas City. These vaults were built to safely store the old cellulose films and so were VERY sturdy and fire proof.

  36. Ah, frak me ! The WD Caviar Black 1 TB primary (dare I say master ?) drive in my home pc (windows 7 x64) experienced an upset today. Three very hard power off reboots and I am back up. I have 98,112 hours on the drive, is that excessive ?

    I am running a full HDTune scan on the drive right now. No problems so far.

    I do have a WD 500 GB SSD Blue drive sitting over here but I do not want to install it. Yet. Maybe I should.

    1
  37. Well, my son just told his aunt that it ain’t a family gathering until somebody cries. And I made her cry when she asked me where her husband was and I replied that I did not know. My BIL has Alzheimers and I did not know I was suppose to be watching him.


  38. However we put our Duch facility on the second floor of an Amsterdam office building. The facilities manager told me that it would be about 3 meters below sea level if the dykes were to fail.

    With that kind of flood depth not many people would be left to make calls. But those that were left alive would probably really really really want to get through…

  39. “330,000 Americans Die ‘With’ China Coronavirus – CDC says Number Who Died “From” Coronavirus Is Much Less, Around 6 Percent”
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/12/330000-americans-die-china-coronavirus-closer-20000-died-china-coronavirus/

    “But this reporting is questionable. We reported in August that the CDC admits that only 6% of all deaths in the US classified as Coronavirus deaths actually died from the China Coronavirus alone.”

    “Yes, this was from the CDC’s own reporting. So today it looks like less than 20,000 deaths in the US (330,000 x 6% = 19,800) over the past year have actually been due to the coronavirus only. The remainder of the deaths reported by the CDC include accidents, overdoses, suicides and those presumed to have had the coronavirus upon their death.”

  40. “But this reporting is questionable. We reported in August that the CDC admits that only 6% of all deaths in the US classified as Coronavirus deaths actually died from the China Coronavirus alone.

    “Yes, this was from the CDC’s own reporting. So today it looks like less than 20,000 deaths in the US (330,000 x 6% = 19,800) over the past year have actually been due to the coronavirus only. The remainder of the deaths reported by the CDC include accidents, overdoses, suicides and those presumed to have had the coronavirus upon their death.”

    –that’s terrifying. It means that 20K people with NO health issues, NO comorbidity, and good health were killed by wuflu. 20K deaths, people in the prime of their lives. In 8 months? That’s 25K annualized.

    n

    added- just out of curiosity, last year when granny was killed by the flu, where were all the articles dismissing it? How many of the ‘normal’ flu deaths that everyone keeps talking about were perfectly healthy people with none of the covid comorbidities? Was it half? Because if there were 40K ‘normal’ flu deaths, 20K would be half… bet it wasn’t.

    Go read aesop’s report from the ER at his hospital, or wait until tomorrow morning and read my link. Ask yourself “IS THIS NORMAL?” Is it NORMAL to run out of body bags? To have your whole hospital overrun with sick people? To have beds in the hallways and to fill up refrigerated trailers because your own morgue is full and the county and funeral homes can’t take the dead away fast enough? To start shifts with only 50% staffing? Is ANY of that NORMAL?

  41. @nick:

    Is ANY of that NORMAL?

    “But… muh Freedoms!”

    Well, I’ve got news for you, you can’t enjoy your freedoms if you’ve turned your toes up.

    G.


  42. “Yes, this was from the CDC’s own reporting. So today it looks like less than 20,000 deaths in the US (330,000 x 6% = 19,800) over the past year have actually been due to the coronavirus only. The remainder of the deaths reported by the CDC include accidents, overdoses, suicides and those presumed to have had the coronavirus upon their death.”

    Doing the math,

    (19,800 cases/ 365 days)/50states = 1 excess death, per state, per day, in 2020.


  43. But this reporting is questionable.

    As is just about every story on Gateway Pundit.

    In 2019, the US had 2,854,838 deaths reported. In 2020, there are 2,873,773 deaths reported from the week ending 2/1/2020 to the week ending 12/26/2020. Except the data from around the first of November to now are incomplete. The four weeks in January probably had, if 2019 data are comparable, 238,000 deaths minimum. That’s roughly 3,111,000 deaths for the year, with November and December very incomplete. So, what killed the excess 300,000+ people?

    Of the deaths in 2020, 295,679 had COVID on the death certificate. And that count is undoubtedly low, as early on there weren’t enough test kits to test every patient. In the week ending 4/11, there were 78,992 deaths reported, with 16,208 having a COVID diagnosis. The “expected” number of deaths that week was 56,000 and the threshold for excess deaths was 58,000. So, from 21k to 23k more people died than expected, but only 16k had COVID on the death certificate. And any handwaving about other causes of death being what “really” killed them is a willful misunderstanding of how deaths are recorded and reported. Everyone dies of heart failure at the end, but that’s not what may have caused a death.

    Yes, many of these people would have died in the next 6 months to a year if they were in nursing homes, but that doesn’t make their death any less important.

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  44. Starting to read mainstream reports that disinfecting surfaces against COVID is not as important as masking and hand-washing. A result of a better understanding of how COVID is transmitted to others.

    “Cootie Breath” is more important than “Cootie on Surfaces”. In fact, some disinfecting practices (spraying the air or surfaces) may have more health consequences than benefits.

    Several news sources are reporting the above conclusions.


  45. Starting to read mainstream reports that disinfecting surfaces against COVID is not as important as masking and hand-washing. A result of a better understanding of how COVID is transmitted to others.

    Atlantic Monthly wrote about this several months ago. Surface transmission is very, very unlikely. The experience early in South Korea in the call center is instructive. A number of the call center workers got sick, but nobody in the building got sick from buttons in the elevator, etc. One infectious disease specialist said that to match the virus concentrations that were used in a widely publicized study on how long SARS-CoV-2 lived on various surfaces, someone would need to cough on it 100 times.

    All the spraying, wiping, etc. is not needed and is a waste of money.

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