Fri. Jan. 15, 2021 – lots to say, brain running on empty

Cool and clear.  Sunny.  Should be nice.

My day today should involve pickups and drop offs that didn’t happen yesterday,  and some new ones.    I got some odd things and some good things this week.   In the odd but good overlap- packaged setup for a backup battery, charger/maintainer/ and sump pump…  I’ll just use the battery and maintainer.   Odd but useful, 50 pounds of Himalayan salt.   My wife prefers using it in the kitchen, and it was cheap.  Into a bucket you go!  I got a couple more battery chargers, and a nice big 13.8v power supply for my radios/ workbench, and another 12v tire inflater for the vehicles.   Since batteries and chargers are coming my way right now, I’ll keep stacking them.

I missed getting a load dropped off because I actually had an ebay sale that needed to pack and ship.   I took the opportunity to do some family pack and ship errands too.

I’ve got a lot of little things need doin’ today and this weekend too.  Putting together and stocking another two sections of FIFO can manager.  Putting stuff AWAY that’s been sitting out too long.  A grocery order would be prudent too.  No time for complete sentences!

My buddy tells me that most of the Home Depots should have their new garden seeds out and on the floor.   You might want to buy early this year.  Just sayin’.  Also any pesticides or treatments you need might end up in short supply, so you might want them too.  Rabbit wire/ hardware cloth was very hard to find locally this past year.  I’ve got a bunch now, but who would have thought that would run out?  Canning jars and lids are selling VERY well in the auctions, higher price than retail.  Hmm.  Maybe like ammo, people are laying in supplies wherever they find them?   Like guns and ammo if you shoot, if you can, you can never have enough jars…

I hope everyone is planning their garden, even if it is only salad greens in containers.  Get some practice.  And, some container gardening is good cover for much more extensive efforts in the back yard, where no one can see…

Short shrift today, because I’m really tired as I write this and my brain is slow.

Keep stacking.  You have holes in your preps.  Find them and fill them.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

124 thoughts on “Fri. Jan. 15, 2021 – lots to say, brain running on empty”

  1. You can buy a lot of automation at $15/manhour. Robots don’t play with their phone, etc, etc, etc. One robot is typically equal to 5 ? 10 ? 20 ? workers.

    Gonna be some serious unemployment in a year or two.

    When we left Vantucky, the minimum wage in that part of WA State was pushing $12 an hour. The effective adult unemployment rate was in the low 30s percentages as a result, and 1/4 of the households were on food stamps. That was almost seven years ago, before weed legalization really took hold and made the average IQ sink lower.

    Again, lunch at Wendy’s for four of us was a $60 splurge, and the dominant pizza chain was Papa Murphy’s, HQ-ed in town, since they can take food stamps … EBT cards … whatever they call it these days.

    Go to Vancouver, WA, USA if you want to see the future.

    If you need to let anyone go, do it now. I spent all day sitting on hold with TWC contractors and TWC itself, across four phone calls, trying to get someone to talk to about the appeal I filed on Oct. 29. It is a good thing I don’t need the money as much as I want to cause grief.

  2. WRT water for emergencies, I’m looking at getting a couple 300-gallon food grade IBC’s (nearly cubic poly tank on steel skid with heavy mesh sides, 5-in top bung, 3-in valve low on one side.). Used once examples can be had around here for $100-125. I plan on setting them up so I can fill from municipal water or switch to rainwater, and periodically pump them out and use the water to irrigate.

    @JimB
    Thanks again for the late night exposition on your building construction.

  3. Anyone seriously think they will all go home and the barriers and roadblocks will come down after the inauguration? It might open up a little, but this is what our nation’s capitol will look like for the foreseeable future.

    I assume my previous employer is moving forward with their contribution to MaaS (Mobility as a Service), developing the tech to toll/surveil surface streets in urban environments. The demo that led to my firing was a disaster because our group’s early-retired-on-the-job Wally failed to get the job done with regard to configuring the older tech. The new gear worked as intended.

    I’m not too worried about the near term — Wally still works there and the company lost $75 million US in 1H FY 20/21 — but, longer term is worrying.

    The upside of DC is that physical space is at a premium and the city will want the Guard out of there ASAP after the Inauguration, especially since most of the troops are from “flyover country” and not under the control of the Mayor.


  4. Anyone seriously think they will all go home and the barriers and roadblocks will come down after the inauguration?

    Current security in DC is nuts: If a government is so scared of domestic violence, they are probably doing something they shouldn’t. Here locally: The US embassy in Bern is a fortress, and the security is beyond nuts. If a government is so scared of international violence, they are probably doing something they shouldn’t.

    There’s no easy way to press a reset button and fix things.

  5. most of the troops are from “flyover country”

    How many unarmed citizens are going to get shot before the CO’s of guard units from flyover country either start declining to participate or have major unrest in the ranks?

    Or will it be that Anitifa starts sending them home blind from laser attacks? If soldiers aren’t deployed with IR blocking faceshields at a minimum it’s sheer negligence.


  6. 50 pounds of Himalayan salt

    Nobody ever preps enough salt. In case of long term power loss, fresh meat must either be canned, dehydrated, or preserved with salt.

    Canning jars and lids are selling VERY well in the auctions, higher price than retail.

    Stores in our rural area that normally carry canning supplies year round because people here actually can our foods… including during hunting season…. those stores have not had any “regular mouth” jar lids in stock since last April. Most of them still have wide mouth jar lids, but no regular ones.

    I shared much of my personal back-stock of unused lids and jars with friends in the summer when they were caught with a frantic canning situation, and I have not yet been able to replace it. I don’t plan to can this year so told them to just return the jars over time as they empty them, because that was just my unused stock, but I had expected to at least see lids back in the stores by now. I normally buy only Made in USA lids and jars.

  7. For those that are interested in a time sink here are some pictures from a local high school basketball game. Attendance restricted to immediate family, no more than four per family, no cheerleaders (thank goodness), masks mandatory, temperature checks before entry. Really weird not seeing a full gym which usually happens during home games.

    http://www.raymondthompsonphotography.com/OSHS/

    Usual poorly lit gym, digital noise is a real issue, very high ISO to get a decent shutter speed and still not good enough. Fluorescent tubes which have an odd color balance and do indeed flicker. Getting decent pictures is really a struggle.

  8. I normally buy only Made in USA lids and jars.

    Keep an eye on the quality. Newell-Rubbermaid currently owns the Ball home canning products, using the name under license.

    Ball itself now makes its money manufacturing spy satellites and other aerospace work.

    I know this because when we sold things on EBay to pay rent in Vantucky back in 2010, a Ball Aerospace exec bought my wife’s circa-1988 prom dress. He had it shipped to his office and told me to mark it “Fragile – car parts”.


  9. The wife just found out in Texas (maybe other states too) that you need to have the following statement in your will “no bond required” or something along those lines.

    That’s pretty common. It’s also why having an attorney from the state you live in do your will. Legal Zoom and the like can probably do “sweetheart” wills if the estate is simple.

    Texas is an “easy probate” state, so trusts and the like aren’t really needed.


  10. You can buy a lot of automation at $15/manhour. Robots don’t play with their phone, etc, etc, etc. One robot is typically equal to 5 ? 10 ? 20 ? workers.

    Gonna be some serious unemployment in a year or two.

    Agreed. There is a LOT of automation we could install where I work, but it’s just super expensive putting the ROI a little too far out for the decision makers’ tastes. However, every time minimum wage goes up that ROI gets closer and closer. Minimum wage here is $9/hour, but we have to pay about $13.50 to recruit and retain anyone or about 50% over minimum wage. Now, granted, the work our entry level staff does keeps them busy all day. They can’t lean against a counter playing on their phone and bullshitting with each other. We also monitor productivity and terminate anyone not maintaining a certain level. Finally, it’s some pretty mind numbingly monotonous shit. So, it stands to reason we’d have to pay more than the average shopping mall retailer. Right now that’s about 50% over minimum wage. So, with a $15 minimum wage we’d have to pay $22.50?! We’d automate certain positions so quick it would make your head spin.

  11. Right now that’s about 50% over minimum wage. So, with a $15 minimum wage we’d have to pay $22.50?! We’d automate certain positions so quick it would make your head spin.

    Some things are really hard to automate. As I’ve noted before, the $12 minimum wage in Vantucky forced a lot of restaurants to cut back on cleaning, particularly after hours deep cleans in back.

    The E Coli problem at Chipotle had a ground zero at one of their restaurants close to where we lived, not long after the WA State minimum wage had its annual boost.

    Federal minimum wage increases are a gift to the unions and short term goosing of payroll taxes. This time around, I’d also guess Florida and Texas have bullseyes on their respective tourism industries since neither state is locked down like California.

  12. Huh. Passed an electronic billboard on the morning commute for a FBI tip line referencing “Capitol Violence ” in this northern midwest city.

  13. Huh. Passed an electronic billboard on the morning commute for a FBI tip line referencing “Capitol Violence ” in this northern midwest city.

    I got an email this morning from a recruiting firm which included NSA openings in Alaska. What are they doing up there?

    When I graduated from college nearly 30 years ago, I submitted a resume on a lark. The response from the NSA was, “We discourage you from applying again.”

    After “Grosse Point Blank”, we joked that I probably didn’t have the “moral flexibility” required to work for the agency.

  14. I normally buy only Made in USA lids and jars

    .

    Keep an eye on the quality. Newell-Rubbermaid currently owns the Ball home canning products, using the name under license.

    Yes, I guess either Jardin changed its name, or Newell bought them out. I buy Ball or Kerr brand, both still made in USA as of last year, to use for important canning, ie meats. I sometimes use Walmart’s Made in USA version for canning jam and fruits, just to save a few pennies.

    Back when all lid manufacturers first took the BPA out of the sealing material, we started having a lot of trouble with seal failure while sitting in the pantry. The companies never admitted it was their flawed material, however a couple of years ago they introduced a new formula seal material that they market as capable of staying sealed at least 18 months. I talked about that in one of my videos, and I look for that on the package. Jars canned using those lids rarely fail in storage, so whatever they did fixed THEIR problem.

    The corporate sleazes are cutting corners everywhere they can, including using inferior metals and metal that is too thin, resulting in new problems, such as potential for lids to buckle, and almost immediate rusting of the rings (my vintage rings are still not rusted). Last year or year before, I replaced all my rings except the vintage ones and gave them all a spray of clear coat to try to help them last longer.


  15. I normally buy only Made in USA lids and jars

    I am not so picky with that stuff. I’m also okay with Made in the UK, Made in Germany, Made in Japan…. Mostly, I just don’t want it made in a country where I can’t drink the tap water. 🙂

  16. “NSA openings in Alaska. What are they doing up there? ”

    –monitoring russia? HAARP?

    n

    On second thought, you don’t need to actually be there to get the take from the sensors. Unless you’re the one running the sensors?

    n

  17. Couldn’t be any provacateurs in the group, right? It all ‘trump supporters’ based on the … well nothing really. Not until AFTER they’re id’d and their media outed.

    BLM activist who told CNN he entered the Capitol simply to document the siege is arrested after video footage reveals he shouted ‘it’s our house’ and ‘we got to get this s**t burned’

    John Earle Sullivan, 26, entered the Capitol Building during the siege last Wednesday
    The left-wing activist, who has previously participated in Black Lives Matter demonstrations, claimed he was simply documenting the event on his phone
    He was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN afterward, where it was implied that he was passively observing the situation as it unfolded
    However, Sullivan has now been arrested after video footage appeared to show him inciting rioters
    He is charged with knowingly entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and interfering with law enforcement
    Sullivan is already facing rioting and criminal mischief charges ‘stemming from a Black Lives Matter protest in Utah last year’, Rolling Stone reports

    ==where’s there’s one there’s more than one.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9149861/Left-wing-activist-arrested-relation-siege-Capitol-Building.html

    n

    funny too that the pic at the bottom of the page looks very much like any antifa riot, all black clothes, helmets and goggles, scruffy looking. Doesn’t look at all like a trump rally.

    and at the risk of repeating myself, how can you spot the fed? (or provocateur?) He’s the one urging you to do illegal sh!t.

  18. The character assassinations started almost immediately. Now we have this, which could be put down to just salaciousness if it weren’t for the one sentence…

    Dead MAGA rioter Ashli Babbitt and her Marine husband were in a THROUPLE with live-in 29-year-old bartender

    -snip-
    The 35-year-old former military officer and her husband met Kayla about a year ago, and decided to welcome her into their open marriage – which was itself only a few months old.

    The news may come as a surprise to traditional conservatives, who have been lauding Ashli on social media as a martyr to the right, but often frown upon relationships outside of a marriage.

    Now she’s just ‘dead MAGA rioter’.

    n

  19. Think this can’t happen to you:

    New Jersey Government Seizes $165,000 from Atilis Gym’s Bank Account — 100% of Gym’s Assets for ‘Crime’ of Remaining Open (VIDEO)

    O’Keefe Fires First Shot at Twitters Dorsey with New Release

    Biden: Next Week He’ll Give Transgenders ‘Access to Sports…and Locker Rooms in Accordance With Their Gender Identity’

    Leftist Thug Targets Roger Stone’s Handicapped Wife for Vicious Attack in Own Neighborhood

    Act, say, or even think the wrong thing and you will be deplatformed, cancelled, hounded and assaulted. Thanks to HARRIS/plugs, you will not have a gas vehicle or even own one, transgirls will dominate girls sports, your daughters will have to share bathrooms and showers with boys who ID as girls, your schools will be defunded, you won’t be able to fire anyone who is not WHITEY! from your biz, your taxes are going WAAAY up, etc. The news sites are full of these articles. The MSM praises all of this. Still think there won’t be bloodshed in our near future?

    As Mr. Brad pointed out, if your nation’s capitol is a fortress against it’s citizens, something wrong is going on. I pray for the FMOD on DC.


  20. I am not so picky with that stuff. I’m also okay with Made in the UK, Made in Germany, Made in Japan…. Mostly, I just don’t want it made in a country where I can’t drink the tap water

    LOL! Agreed! However, I have not seen any of the mason jar canning lids such as we use that are made in the UK, Germany, or Japan. If I could get them, I’d be happy to use them. There are, of course, the European style jars (Weck, etc) , but to switch to those would require a massive investment, not to mention that they are not officially recommended for home canning of non-acidic foods (ie meats, beans, etc) in the United States.

  21. WRT water for emergencies, I’m looking at getting a couple 300-gallon food grade IBC’s (nearly cubic poly tank on steel skid with heavy mesh sides, 5-in top bung, 3-in valve low on one side.). Used once examples can be had around here for $100-125.

    That’s a real deal. I would have to drive over the mountains to Bakersfield to see what I might find, but the price would be higher.

    Since I have a high ceiling in my shop, I have thought of a smallish column to generate gravity feed. Would still need a pump to fill it from bulk storage, though. The bulk could be in an underground concrete tank where it would be safe from earthquakes and maybe bad guys.

    Water is our biggest need here in the desert, and it would be hard to get in a grid down situation. The wells for our domestic water are 1000′ deep, and AFAIK the closest to the surface the water comes is at least 300′. At my location, even if I would drill a well, the water is brackish.

    Our domestic water is supplied by a private company, not municipal, and is of excellent quality. They also have generators to power the system, but long term, fuel would be an issue. We have successfully stored tap water for years with no issues. When bottled water became a thing, we just laughed. Remember that YouTube “commercial” where the kids joked about bottled water, and it never happening?

    Anyway, I need to address emergency water better.

    @JimB
    Thanks again for the late night exposition on your building construction.

    You’re welcome. I did that not to brag, but to inform. Sometimes I overlook obvious things, and figure others might also. I will add that having that building is really wonderful. Shoulda done it years ago. It is configured with two 18′ doors, so I can park four cars near the doors for live use. Four more could fit in front of the rear four. I actually have a picture of two pickups and a minivan lined up inside while we were working on the doors. Eventually, I will build a couple of rooms in one corner, and use the top of them or more storage. Haven’t decided how much more second story I will add, but more storage. We have too much stuff… doesn’t everyone? It’s just a matter of HOW much.

  22. How many State capitols are doing the same? It could be Wednesday, Bloody Wednesday.

    Texas will have DPS — Highway Patrol and Rangers — instead of the National Guard at the Capitol. Nothing will happen here.

  23. I have a 56×60’ engineered building that is just under 20’ high at the roof peak. One half of the roof is 4:12, and the other only slopes a couple feet over its 28’ span. The rafters are 16” TJIs, and the only obstruction inside is a 5” square steel column in the center. No roof trusses or attic, just clear space. The walls are 2×8 balloon framed, so continuous bottom to top. There is OSB sheathing inside and out, with a steel standing seam roof and steel siding. It is well insulated, and very quiet. It went through our 2019 7.1 earthquake with no damage.

    I have a 50 ft by 75 ft (3,750 ft2) steel office warehouse that I lease to two brothers on my commercial property. There is a two story 800 ft2 office with a kitchenette and shower inside, a 200 ft2 tool room and a 200 ft2 meeting room on top of it. It is 23 ft at the eaves and 30 ft at the peak with three 16 ft tall doors that slide open. The slide open doors are a pain because thieves try to push them to side so they have to be chained in place. No insulation. I am slowly replacing the 1,000 watt metal halide light fixtures with 200 watt LED light fixtures.
    https://www.winsim.com/inside_of_warehouse.jpg
    and
    https://www.winsim.com/ceiling_of_warehouse_1.jpg

    It is my long term goal to build up to ten more of these facilities on my 14 acre commercial property that I can rent out. But I have to put in a lot of infrastructure such as a 10,000 gallon water fire station with pumps and generators, water retention pond(s), etc. I already have 30 gpm water well and a 120 gallon tank and an 2,500 gallon aerobic septic system.

  24. Your tax dollars at work:

    Dems Introduce Bill To Ban Trump From Entering US Capitol Forever

    Think this can’t happen to you?

    Fulton County. AKA sorority sister. Biology pre-med but washed out. John Lewis’ seat until the day he died. Let me count the ‘tudes.

    For starters, Trump isn’t the right skin color. Nothing new.

  25. WRT water for emergencies, I’m looking at getting a couple 300-gallon food grade IBC’s (nearly cubic poly tank on steel skid with heavy mesh sides, 5-in top bung, 3-in valve low on one side.). Used once examples can be had around here for $100-125. I plan on setting them up so I can fill from municipal water or switch to rainwater, and periodically pump them out and use the water to irrigate.

    I’ve got two of these on my main road at the moment. Somebody dumped them there a month ago with about 30 or 40 gallons of oil in each one. We’ve been discussing how to get rid of these without spending a lot of money.

    1
  26. We’ve been discussing how to get rid of these without spending a lot of money.

    –call an oil recycler?

    n

  27. I’ve got two of these on my main road at the moment. Somebody dumped them there a month ago with about 30 or 40 gallons of oil in each one. We’ve been discussing how to get rid of these without spending a lot of money.

    Pflugerville has dead end streets where things simply get dumped.

    Too many toll roads slicing up the area.

  28. As Mr. Brad pointed out, if your nation’s capitol is a fortress against it’s citizens, something wrong is going on. I pray for the FMOD on DC.

    Exactly, but once it gets to this situation it is very hard to reverse it. Blown trust is hard to regain.

    I had a friend who was in DC during the Truman administration. He walked to work, and frequently saw Harry on his famous walks. They even conversed several times. I think there was no security detail, but could be wrong. Supposedly when he left office, Harry (and Bess, I think) drove themselves back to Independence. We have come a long way.

    And, we will never go that far back. It is sad. Just a few events can change things permanently. I have wondered what measures were taken after, say, the Lincoln assassination? It was probably the Kennedy assassination that had the most effect.

    After 9/11, we were back on airplanes for business travel as soon as we could, I think in a couple of weeks. The airports were deserted, and almost all restaurants and other shops were closed, but no waiting in lines. Several of us hoped very little would be done, but no. Here we are, 20 years later still saddled with a mega bureaucracy. Plausible deniability.

    Funny story. I stepped up to a gate at a small airport to check in, and was asked the usual question, “Has your carry-on been in your control since you entered the airport?” I answered, “No.” The agent’s eyes got big as she clearly had probably never had anyone answer No. She asked for details, and I said those people over there took it from me and opened it, motioning to the x-ray station and the officials there. They had alerted to something on the x-ray, and did a manual search. I was a seasoned traveler, and knew enough to not have anything that would get attention. I asked the agent what they had seen, and got a polite non-answer. The gate agent scolded me for raising a false alarm, but I explained that I was telling the truth. I don’t trust anybody when it is my skin.

  29. I’ve got two of these on my main road at the moment. Somebody dumped them there a month ago with about 30 or 40 gallons of oil in each one. We’ve been discussing how to get rid of these without spending a lot of money.

    I had three 55 gallon drums full of used oil, and contaminated from an EPA standpoint. I had intended to use it a fuel, but didn’t. When we built the new shop, I contracted with a service that came and sucked the oil into their truck. Don’t have the numbers handy, but it was about $100. I gave the drums to my contractor, so didn’t have to dispose of them.

    The company I used recycles oil for various uses, and does not have to dispose of it, which is the costly part.

  30. We’ve been discussing how to get rid of these without spending a lot of money.

    –call an oil recycler?

    n

    Maybe. Gonna be a pain as the two IBC containers are laying off to the side of my main road. I wll have to pay though. I hate paying for stuff I did not do. On Thanksgiving somebody threw their house trash in the trees next to my road, my neighbor’s property, not mine. A used turkey hung in the tree for several days before somebody or something took it down.

    1
  31. _Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change_ by S. M. Stirling
    https://www.amazon.com/Dies-Fire-S-M-Stirling/dp/0451460413/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number one of a fifteen book fantasy apocalyptic series. I read the well printed and well bound MMPB published by Penguin in 2004. This is my third or fourth rereading of this book. I have read most of the other books in the series except for the fifteenth and maybe the fourteenth as the series lost my interest.

    With a brilliant flash of light, both engines in Mike Havel’s Chieftain airplane died. And with that flash of light, the entire world changed. Internal combustion did not work, guns did not fire, light bulbs did not light, steam engines do not build up pressure. But, spears and swords still work along with bicycles and human power. And horse power, lots of horse power.

    My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (814 reviews)

  32. Got my first covid-19 jab today. No aches or extra appendages. I ask the nurse if I needed to wear a mask now. She said the mask is to protect others not you. I said but if I’m protected from covid, what is the mask protecting others from, not me? She said, it’s a good question but thats what we are told to say.

    2
  33. Question for the Hive Mind:

    I had an incoming Zon order I did’t need. I started a return and Zon said you don’t need to return the item since it hadn’t shipped, we’ll refund to your CC. Then the item arrived today. Zon still won’t let me return. Am I obligated to contact Zon and return it anyway? I plan on opening a dialog when I hit SA, anyway.

  34. Am I obligated to contact Zon and return it anyway?

    I would say no. But that depends on the value. More than $100.00, make another attempt by contacting them. Otherwise, just keep the item. You did due diligence thus far.

    I once received a shipment from Amazon that I did not order. My name was not on the package but it was my address. I contacted Amazon who had no record of the shipment. Even using their tracking number Amazon could not find the shipment. It was a toaster/oven so I just kept the item. We asked four of the neighbors if they were expecting a package, none were.

    Turned out it was a shipment for another person across the road and slightly down the road from us. His brother had shipped it unknown to the neighbor. Amazon replaced the shipment. By the time we were finally contacted we had given the item away. I don’t know how Amazon got my address and used that for the shipment.

    Bzzzzz, bzzzzz.

  35. I had an incoming Zon order I did’t need. I started a return and Zon said you don’t need to return the item since it hadn’t shipped, we’ll refund to your CC. Then the item arrived today. Zon still won’t let me return. Am I obligated to contact Zon and return it anyway? I plan on opening a dialog when I hit SA, anyway.

    Oh, Zon is Big River !

    Big River is shipping almost everything on next day basis if they can now. That way they can write the sale on the books. Another tribute to those bright young men and their amazing spreadsheets.


  36. That’s pretty common. It’s also why having an attorney from the state you live in do your will. Legal Zoom and the like can probably do “sweetheart” wills if the estate is simple.
    Texas is an “easy probate” state, so trusts and the like aren’t really needed.

    The only ‘concern’ with DIY estate planning is you aren’t around if things start to go awry, but that depends on your relationship with your heirs. All my 401k, IRA and brokerage accounts have designated beneficiaries, the house is in a trust and all bank accounts are titled TOD (transfer on death). If my attorney did his job correctly the value of my estate should be $zero and no need for probate. Anything that might have gotten missed goes to the trust through a ‘pour-over’ will. What’s made all this more palatable is having signed up for the group legal plan benefit offered by my company. At ~$10/month with few limits I’ve more than gotten my money’s worth so far. (And same as yesterday, still IANAL. Nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.)

  37. Received an unordered foldup aluminum smartphone stand along with an item I did order from Zon yesterday. Cute gadget that I probably would not have gone looking for. Didn’t know it existed. The serendipity factor of examining store shelves is only slightly helped with “others bought ” pix .

  38. I once ordered four SD cards from Newegg. They were for a camera. The ones that arrived had a slower data transfer rate spec that what I had ordered. Before opening them, I contacted Newegg (by phone in those days.) The nice agent said correct ones would be sent, and to keep what I had received. I offered to try one and call back, but the agent said it was their mistake, and they would correct it.

    When the new ones arrived, I tried both new and old, and could not tell the difference. Camera probably buffered writes. My win, but of course still their mistake.

    I haven’t ordered much from Newegg lately, but they don’t seem as price competitive as they once were. I would still consider them. For one thing, their customer reviews were once the best in the business, especially for complex things like motherboards and such. Also, their main fulfillment center is only 120 miles from me. I once received something I ordered that morning. Our UPS deliveries are late in the day, and all the planets must have been aligned.

  39. Right now that’s about 50% over minimum wage. So, with a $15 minimum wage we’d have to pay $22.50?! We’d automate certain positions so quick it would make your head spin.
    So the minimum wage doubles. Having been in business, which most of these congress critters have not, I know that if I have $3,000.00 to pay my employees per week, that number does not automatically double to $6,000.00 after the minimum wage doubles. The business owner will just have to lay off half of their staff in order to stay in business.
    These cretins have images in their heads of small business owners as swimming in vast hoards of cash, laughing as they live high on the hog while their employees wallow in abject poverty, like Scrooge McDuck jumping from a diving board into grain silos full of gold coins.

    “If only we had all that money, think of all the good we could do with it.”

  40. “Marine Corps. Rebukes Pelosi: “WE DON’T WORK FOR YOU!””
    https://foreignaffairsintelligencecouncil.wordpress.com/2021/01/14/marine-corps-rebukes-pelosi-we-dont-work-for-you/

    “General David H. Berger, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps., refused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request to use the Corps. to safeguard Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration from Trump supporters and insurrectionists.”

    Apparently, Pelosi has a special copy of the Constitution giving her special powers over the USA Military.

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

    1
  41. I note that Big Media is already talking about the vaccination plans and “successes” by Biden.

    He had transfer practice under Obola. Remember all the claims that it was Bush’s fault? I guess it works both ways.


  42. NYFC will be nothing but gang bangers and dopers before too long.

    Don’t regret leaving there for good about ten years ago. Unfortunately one son plus wife and #3 grandchild still in the area. Work on enticing him out of there every chance I get. #3 is ten months old but still haven’t been able to meet him in person yet 🙁

    1

  43. WE DON’T WORK FOR YOU!

    Good for the Commandant. OTOH, betcha whatever perks he has that Congress can take away, she will.

  44. “If only we had all that money, think of all the good we could do with it.”

    Well, I would do lots of good… to myself. 😉

  45. My dog died in my arms this afternoon. He went out and laid down in the sun, then collapsed on his way back in. He was a good boy.

    n

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  46. My dog died in my arms this afternoon. He went out and laid down in the sun, then collapsed on his way back in. He was a good boy.

    Sorry for your loss. That sucks. I spent the better part of an afternoon before Christmas thinking our cat had run off to hide so she could die “with honor”.

    A couple of weeks of hand feeding from a syringe pulled her back from the brink after she reappeared right around her usual feeding time, but I know I’ll have to accept the inevitable in the near future.

  47. “Worst Governor Ever! DeSantis announces 500,000 seniors have been vaccinated.”

    “And apparently no other states has come closer.”

    I note that Big Media is already talking about the vaccination plans and “successes” by Biden. Amazing for a blowhard who is not even in office yet.

    The media in Florida have yet to get over the meltdown of the Democrats in the state, starting with Andrew Gillum, who was supposed to be a shadow Governor ala Stacy Abrams, with a running commentary on the pandemic throughout 2020.

    Ironicallly, DeSantis wasn’t Publix first choice for Governor either. The company supported “Opie”, Adam Putnam, whom the Bush family among others helped groom for the office over nearly two decades.

    “Opie” was inevitable … until he suddenly wasn’t. I doubt he would have been much more than a speed bump for the media’s favorite candidate, however. The Dems went so hard for Gillum that they forgot and tossed aside the Graham family and the patriarch, former Governor Bob Graham, a state political legend.

    We’re still weighing a trip to FL in March. We will have to decide soon.

    For the uninitiated, Publix is roughly Florida’s HEB but with a lot more market share and political power. The chain is privately held by the employees and does everything with cash — no borrowed money.

    Publix used to be the odds-on favorite to end up with control of Whole Foods, but the management in Lakeland had a strike price way below what Amazon was willing to gamble.

  48. Lynn, thanks for the pictures. I had seen them before. I plan to put a couple of rooms inside my shop. If the rooms have 8′ ceilings, there will be almost 8′ above them, so I plan to put lightweight storage up there. Of course, the structure will have to be up to the job.

    I have lots of insulation, and an evaporative cooler that keeps the inside under 75F in summer using only about 500 watts when running. Comfy. I also have the entire south facing wall (60×16′) set up as an unglazed solar collector using the metal siding. It is not hooked up to the ductwork yet, but it should keep the place at whatever temperature I want, again using only about 500 watts. Now, without heat, the winter temperature is typically 60F. Coldest it has been is about 50F, and that is with outdoor lows at about 20F and highs about 50F. As I said, I am very happy. Sure beats working on cars outdoors. This new shop replaced an old garage that was big enough for two cars, a workbench, and some storage, but was full enough that I had to work on cars outside. Now, everything is inside. I can leave a project overnight without having to gather up everything so the packrats don’t carry them off. Never had that happen, but it can.

    Only thing I wish it had is a basement. Thought about that, but not practical. The house has one, but it doesn’t need floors strong enough to support cars.


  49. My dog died in my arms this afternoon. He went out and laid down in the sun, then collapsed on his way back in. He was a good boy.

    My condolences, Mr. Nick. My last dog died in my arms at the vet, here in Vegas. I cried like a baby. The vet is one of the best I’ve ever had and really comforted me.

  50. My dog died in my arms this afternoon.

    Sorry for your loss. They are true family members. Sounds like it was fast and without trauma, sparing you worse actions.


  51. Apparently, Pelosi has a special copy of the Constitution giving her special powers over the USA Military.

    She’s also got retired LTG Honoré coming in to review security. Quite the slap in the face of the current Guard Commander, Capitol Cops and Secret Service. Crone Stretch can’t be alongside Crone Ginsburg soon enough. What happens when he says the wrong thing, Stretch?


  52. These cretins have images in their heads of small business owners as swimming in vast hoards of cash, laughing as they live high on the hog while their employees wallow in abject poverty, like Scrooge McDuck jumping from a diving board into grain silos full of gold coins.

    Exactly what Shot Girl ™ and Komrad Bernie push to the sheeple. They won’t be happy till everybody lives in a hut, gets their soy rations, and watches the Novellas and Baby Yoda (if Netflix brings him back). Except them, of course. Mansions and coin to the elite.

    Equal Men Aren’t Free
    Free Men Aren’t Equal

  53. @MrAtoZ:

    EXPN FMOD?

    I understand FUSA, so I suspect this is similar.

    G.

  54. FMOD = Fiery Meteor Of Death. It’s used quite frequently, with variations, on the tubes.

  55. I used to admire Jake Tapper on CNN as an honest broker. He has now become one of the MSM dooshnozzles claiming tRump and supporters are scum. Bashing Vets and anybody who has supported tRump. We all have blood on our hands according to him. BLM riots? Riots at tRump’s inaug? Yawn. He’s right in there with Don “The Dumbest Man On TV” Lemon now. If he steps on a banana peel and breaks his neck? Yawn.


  56. He was a good boy.

    They’re /all/ the best dog ever. Every single one.

    Give the kids a hug… they lost a puppy, too.

  57. @MrAtoz:

    FMOD = Fiery Meteor Of Death.

    Not seen it. Thanks.

    Wasn’t sure you’d understand my EXPN.

    G.

  58. My dog died in my arms this afternoon. He went out and laid down in the sun, then collapsed on his way back in. He was a good boy.

    My condolences also. Even when expected, the end still comes as a shock. As Heinlein said, he’ll be waiting for you at the end of the rainbow bridge.

  59. Judiciary Committee Releases Transcripts of Interviews Conducted During Oversight of Crossfire Hurricane Investigation

    One of the biggest Dumbocrat lies ever. This fake dossier was used to “GET tRUMP” from day one.

    Here’s a summary of what Dumbos do when their lies are revealed. Cankles was involved in this. Can she be impeached?

    Enthusiasm,
    Disillusionment,
    Panic, hysteria and overtime,
    Hunt for the guilty,
    Punishment of the innocent, and
    Reward for the uninvolved.

  60. Am I crazy to think:

    If public schools won’t open for in person classes, I shouldn’t have to pay taxes to support them. I think if I didn’t have to support schools through taxes, I could have sent all my kids to private schools.

  61. Lynn, thanks for the pictures. I had seen them before. I plan to put a couple of rooms inside my shop. If the rooms have 8′ ceilings, there will be almost 8′ above them, so I plan to put lightweight storage up there. Of course, the structure will have to be up to the job.

    I did not build the office warehouse so I do not know how well it is built. It was built in 2004 and I bought it in 2011. On the east side above the first floor office, there is a 50 gallon electric water heater and the three ton a/c with electric heat so the floor is well braced to handle that load. Then there is about 200 ft2 of storage space over the office which everyone moons over.

    The warehouse was built to work on the previous owner’s three Caterpillar D9s while sitting on their 100+ wheel lowboy trailers. Very large bulldozers with a 14 ft wide by 8 ft tall blade. The slab is a foot thick of concrete in a single pour.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caterpillar_D9

  62. @Nick, so sorry to read of the passing of your dog. You made his last moments’ good ones. I am of the belief that we will all see our past pets when we too cross the Rainbow Bridge.

    Peace, No More Pain, Tranquility, Endless Joy

  63. I predict a massive push from Heels Up ™ HARRIS/plugs to ban encrypted messaging apps or allow goobermint backdoors. We all know that only *murderous rioters*, AKA tRump supporters and Conservatives, use these apps to plan *murderous riots*.

    4

  64. If public schools won’t open for in person classes, I shouldn’t have to pay taxes to support them.

    Dream on. The poor teachers and admin folks so threatened with death by ChinaFlu that “oh lawdy we can’t open the schools and actually pretend to do our jobs in person” still need to eat and pay rent. So pay them there property taxes and stfu already peon.

    Oh yeah, and vote Yes on that bond we want for things like new roofs and replacing worn out a/c units…. along with re-paving the parking lots and other stuff we should have budgeted for, and yeah…. we want a new football stadium, too.

    I don’t mind my property taxes other than what the school district takes.

  65. @Ray
    Thanks for the pics. Not done looking.
    Top row right: 12 and 22 could be twins. Cousins, maybe?

  66. Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

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  67. The wife just found out in Texas (maybe other states too) that you need to have the following statement in your will “no bond required” or something along those lines.

    That’s pretty common. It’s also why having an attorney from the state you live in do your will. Legal Zoom and the like can probably do “sweetheart” wills if the estate is simple.

    Texas is an “easy probate” state, so trusts and the like aren’t really needed.

    Depends. We have asked our son to care of our disabled daughter when we pass on. Our son is mandating that we create a trust for our disabled daughter with him as the trustee since she is not able to take of herself. Or leave her inheritance to him. I need to go visit my lawyer.

    The hearing for my wife to become executor of her father’s estate is currently scheduled for April 1, 2021. Her probate attorney filed the paperwork back in November. This is halting the disposal of several properties and account liquidation since she cannot do so until she is executor.


  68. 12 and 22 could be twins. Cousins, maybe?

    No twins that I am aware. But I don’t know everybody. Cousins is very possible as the family trees don’t branch much in this area.

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  69. @nick
    My dog died in my arms this afternoon. He went out and laid down in the sun, then collapsed on his way back in. He was a good boy.
    I’m sorry, sir. That it was a good death makes it no easier. They are our best friends and partners and each loss carries its own unique sweet pain. Nothing quite like it.

    I’ve found this quote comforting.
    “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”

    ~Unknown

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  70. @Nick

    Very sorry to hear of your loss.

    “Be really sure you are getting new or only used for food IBC containers. “

    Yup. The ones I was looking at were used once for components that went into animal feed.

    @Lynn
    Thanks for the photos and details on your building.

    @JimB
    “Exactly, but once it gets to this situation it is very hard to reverse it. Blown trust is hard to regain.”

    In 1950 PR separatists tried to assassinate Truman. He was living in Blair House while the WH was being renovated. Fascinating story. Doesn’t seem to have changed his outlook much.

  71. @Ray
    The question was based on that one photo, and one of the reasons I left the links open was so I could go back and look at other photos of those players to see if it holds up from other angles.

    My first Pentax is 50 years old. Jammed on the second roll when a tiny piece of Kodak film sprocket broke off. No problems since with the camera or Kodak. Both have been retired since digital went over 8MP, but there are many times that I frame a photo and wish I had a Takumar in front.

    I’d say you did a heckuva job under those conditions.

  72. Thank you to everyone for your kindness.

    It’s barely begun to hurt.

    n

  73. I’m not over 80, but still “You first”…

    “Serious Consequences” – Norway Sounds Alarm After 23 Die Following Pfizer Vaccine

    by Tyler Durden
    Friday, Jan 15, 2021 – 15:25

    Norway health authorities are reporting COVID-19 vaccine news of monumental importance at a moment the US is rushing to get an initial some 30 million doses into the arms of the elderly and those with chronic health conditions: sick patients over 80 are particularly at risk for devastating side effects.

    Thus for this vulnerable demographic which is currently first in line in North America, the “cure” could be worse than the disease. Bloomberg notes that it’s “the most cautious statement yet from a European health authority” regarding potential adverse vaccine health risks.

    “For those with the most severe frailty, even relatively mild vaccine side effects can have serious consequences,” the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said.


  74. “NRA Files For Bankruptcy, “Dumps” New York, Will Reincorporate In Texas”

    “You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.” Davy Crockett

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  75. I’m not over 80, but still “You first”…

    After an initial day of fatigue following the shot, my wife seems to be fine.

    That said, I’ll keep watching her.

  76. After the excellent experience we had with their estate when my parents passed, we chose a trust. Our attorney put it all together and we transferred everything we own to the trust. When we pass there’s no probate or hassle, our son just takes the paperwork to the bank and he controls everything.

  77. Nice photos, Ray, especially under difficult conditions. The players look good, and I hope their parents enjoy the pictures. You get good depth of field. I think I detect a zoom lens, but please share details.


  78. I’d say you did a heckuva job under those conditions.

    I am using ISO 6500, f4 (widest the 12-100, 24-200 full frame equivalent) will open, 1/320, fluorescent white balance. All image stabilization turned off as it does not work on moving objects. It is still a struggle with noise and motion. The lights do flicker and the ends of the court is not lit well.

    The camera can take 15 frames per second with the mechanical shutter, 60 frames per second using the digital shutter. 60 FPS is way to fast for my needs and blanks the viewfinder. Buffer empties fast using the newest XD card with extra pins. Really high speed.

  79. @drwilliams, I too have some Pentax equipment. I bought my first original Spotmatic body in 1966 with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. I later added a second body and a couple more lenses. Later some more. I chose this system because of the through the lens metering and the Praktica screw mount, which was the most popular interface at the time. It could meter anything that could be mounted. I did some macro photography using reversed 16mm movie camera lenses. Also, the pentaprism viewfinder was up there with the best. I still have all of this, and it still works.

    Since I already had some lenses, I added a K20D digital body around 2009. I also bought an 18-250 travel zoom and a Sigma 10-20 wide angle lens with it. The zoom is very versatile, and the wide zoom is a gem. The K20D is the first Pentax that used a CMOS sensor, and it was pretty good in its day. The camera is light, “weatherproof,” and handles well. I used it today. It is versatile, but challenging to get to perform in some conditions. I have an adapter that allows me to use old screw thread lenses. These work, but shorter focal lengths are not very sharp. Newer lenses designed for digital sensors are much better. I do have a cheap 400mm lens that works very well, but it is of limited use. Lesson learned. I have not decided what to do with my old film equipment. Literally no one wants it.

  80. Thanks, Ray. Photography just keeps getting more fun as the equipment gets better.


  81. Capitol security is already at an unprecedented level. Still, there are talks that advanced surveillance technology, such as facial recognition algorithms to identify extremists, could be deployed during the inauguration or perhaps in the future.

    –in order for facial recognition to work this way, you need to ALREADY have the database of faces and have them labeled “extremist”. I guess we’ll learn something on the 20th.

    The best outcome is a total ghost town.

    n

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  82. –in order for facial recognition to work this way, you need to ALREADY have the database of faces and have them labeled “extremist”. I guess we’ll learn something on the 20th.

    Or, if you are developing your DB, what better way than recording all of the *murderous rioters* (tRump supporters and Conservatives) that will *murderously riot* during the HeelsUp ™ HARRIS/plugs inaugrial.

  83. 26k to 30k troops in the capitol. Mounted machine guns. Who they gonna shoot with those machine guns??? US CITIZENS?

    Anyone got a link to better pix than the same ones DM has been running for 2 days?

    -repair troops, no medical
    -no food
    -intel gathering
    -lightweight armored vehicles, w/ heavy weapons
    -barracks somewhere? Where are the pix?
    -you know these guys are posting selfies and social media, anyone got links?

    jeezus what looks more like a coup now?

    n

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  84. BTW, did they move prematurely?

    -they are cutting off funding, comms, to the “opposition” ie. T supporters and right of center
    -wild accusations causing denunciations
    -calls to round up and prosecute politicians from the “opposition”
    – building up what military they can order w/out T’s consent
    -pelosi trying to order the Marines around?

    -capitol “occupation” at least partially staged and egged on by left/antifa EVEN IN THE MSM!

    their narrative is falling apart, they have to move even faster than planned.

    Just what are they planning to do that would get enough people off the couch that they need all that firepower?

    What’s going on at the state capitols and why don’t I see any pix of that?

    n


  85. 26k to 30k troops in the capitol. Mounted machine guns. Who they gonna shoot with those machine guns??? US CITIZENS?

    I wonder if plugs will even show up. HeelsUp ™ HARRIS will be in an undisclosed secure location with Willie Brown in case plugs croaks on the spot.

  86. -calls to round up and prosecute politicians from the “opposition”

    I fully expect T to be arrested after Biden is read in as prez.

  87. Lots of speculation elsewhere that plugging plugs would give them what they really want, especially with the right <- patsy

    something really ugly is taking shape in DC as we sit here.

    n

  88. Why would DC be of primary interest to *murderous rioters*? It might be a feint, with primary being harassing Tech CEO dooshnozzles, RINOS, and Dumbos wherever they might be hiding. If DC is primary, I doubt it is tRump *murderous rioters*, but really BLM and Antifa.

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  89. Thanks, Ray. Photography just keeps getting more fun as the equipment gets better.

    Yes, and it gets more complicated. The stuff my newest camera can accomplish is amazing. Merging images, pro shooting (will store a certain number of images when the button is half pressed, recording them and the stuff happening when the button is pressed). Along with the ability to take about 6K images on a single memory card, then switch to a second memory card.

    Sometimes I miss the days of two settings on the camera, speed and f-stop. ISO (ASA in those days) was set when the film was loaded and never changed until the film changed. Then it was focus and maybe zoom.

    When I did weddings with film I carried four cameras. Two used primarily, the other two for spares. I would be shooting with one while the wife was loading the other camera. Two flash units in case one broke. I actually had a flash short out on me and let out lots of magic smoke.

    Now I can do a wedding with one camera (although I carry a spare), never have to worry about timing the roll and count left so I did not run out during a critical moment. I can easily change the ISO, white balance, all on the same memory card. Little need for flash unless pointed away from the couple to get a little bounce light. Sometimes fill in the darkest environments. I don’t even have to focus anymore.

    The downside to all of this is that people buy a kit camera, put it in “P” mode and suddenly “I are photographer and will do your wedding for $100.00”. I refuse to compete with such scenarios and will not do a wedding for under $1,000.00. I once had a lady say I was too expensive and her friend would do the wedding for much less. I said “OK”. Two months later she came back with horrible pictures, bad framing, white balance all over the place, just really bad. She asked how much to fix the pictures and I said $1,000.00, same as doing the wedding. She walked away. And I was glad.

    What I do now is mostly for fun, the enjoyment. I do the sports pictures for the school and provide the images to a couple of local papers. The school pays me $500.00 a year, not nearly worth my time. But I do it for the kids.

    Three years ago the school annual was dedicated to the wife and I. A full page spread. Total surprise to us. Then I spy the following in the hallway of the school.

    http://www.raymondthompsonphotography.com/HomeTown.JPG

    Things such as the annual and the above image are what make it worthwhile and are worth than any amount of money.

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  90. This evening I got a call from my doctors office offering me the COVID vaccination. I’m 75 so I accepted. I am scheduled for it next Friday.

    Small progress on the shop. My neighbor agreed with my suggestion to remove two big pine trees on our property line before the shop is built. Something I’ll need top do next week.

  91. What is the best way to convert a 21 minute AVI file (448 MB ! ! ! !) to a way smaller MPEG4 file ?

    I am redoing our Youtube tutorial after ten years but want to add the MPEG4 file to our software distribution anyway if Youtube goes belly up. Or if they throw us off the platform.

    Man I am horrible at making a video. I used Camstudio on Windows to make my video. It worked great, I suck. Lots of repeated stuff and blanks in the video that are NOT in my script.

  92. @lynn … I use File Converter – an add-on to File Explorer on my Windows 10 system.

    Right-click a file, select from choices, click, done. Good product. I sent them some donation money.

    https://file-converter.org/

    1
  93. I am backing up my source code file server for the last time. I am going to take a baseball bat to my flaky source code file server next week. The only part that I intend to reuse is the WD 4 TB data hard drive. I hope. The piece of junk has crashed on me at least dozen times today !

  94. @Robert V Sproul

    I have mixed feelings about getting the vaccine (I am 69). I usually pass on the flu vaccine every year. Did take it in 2019. Didn’t in 2020.

    So, not sure I want to do it.

    Then there’s this story – just making the rounds in several places:

    Norwegian Medicines Agency said 13 autopsy reports suggested that common side effects might have contributed to severe reactions in frail, elderly people.

    https://www.ibtimes.sg/23-people-die-norway-after-taking-pfizer-vaccine-experts-warn-immunization-risks-54929

    Now, I am probably outside the ‘frail, elderly’ group, but …. still have mixed feelings about the Covid vaccine. I am not an ‘anti-vaxxer’. Just usually don’t get the flu vaccine. And usually don’t get the flu.

    I take multi-vitamins (Centrum Silver equivalent), Vitamin D-3 (5000 IU), full aspirin, and Metfornim to control Type 2 Diabetes (my A1C is hovering around 7, which pleases the doc). Some occasional afib – but managed with daily drugs. Heart doctor wanted me to go on , but monthly cost (my share) was $450, so I passed. I could stand to lose some weight, and walk more.

    But not sure about the Covid vaccine. That’s where I am at the moment.

  95. @JimB
    My dad did some newspaper photography in high school. The old adage is “f/8 and be there”. His version was “one over the ASA at f/8 and be there”. He was a big believer in shooting a lot of slides, putting the best in the slide carousel, and printing the very best. Some years later I read about the Kodachrome chemistry and its high stability compared to other films.

    “My” first camera was a Spotmatic II with 50mm f1.4 SMCT (Super Multi-Coated Takumar). Shooting close to the sun, the resistance to flare is incredible. 400-series Strobonar mounted on the hot shoe. I bought the 135mm and 28mm SMCT lenses and settled for an off-brand 70-210mm zoom due to budget. I never did catch up to the 85MM f1.8 that I wanted for portraits when I had the coin, and that lens has held its value better than almost anything else.

    Before I went to Europe in the mid-70’s I ordered over $100 in film from 47th St Photo in NYC. Almost all 36-exp Kodachrome with processing included, so I could get it developed as I shot it without having to pay Euro prices. I started the leader close and tight, and always got 37 exposures, with 38 about one time out of three.

    When the digitals came out I thought long and hard about those great lenses, but I just wasn’t doing much photography then, and passed. The new cameras with ultra-wide zoom ranges are pretty incredible, and I borrow one once in a while when the need arises, but the cell phone cameras are pretty awesome and not only “good enough” as Dr. Pournelle used to say, but always in pocket. Yesterday on AoS ONT WeirdDave post a shot taken with an iPhone 12. Pretty amazing. I used to have a steady hand and could shoot long exposures without a tripod, and I recall one shot in similar conditions where I pushed it too far and got reciprocity failure for the first time. Nowadays you’d just scan it into PS and apply a standard filter (I don’t need to look, I know someone has done it).

  96. I’m going to bed guys it’s been a long day and tomorrow has all of today stuffed in with normal saturday. My eyes feel like I’ve been scrubbing them with sandpaper and rinsing with Tabasco, and I miss my buddy something terrible.

    n

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  97. @Robert V Sproul

    I have mixed feelings about getting the vaccine (I am 69). I usually pass on the flu vaccine every year. Did take it in 2019. Didn’t in 2020.

    So, not sure I want to do it.

    Mom (79) and Dad (82) got the first Pfizer shot before the end of 2020. They were suppose to get the second shot today but I have not heard yet. Dad figures that at 82, he has more upside than downside with the vaccine. They want to go back to church every Sunday and not worry about the kids coughing ten rows behind them.

    At 60 with two comorbidities, I am leaning toward getting the vaccine even though I think I had the Covid back in February of 2020. My wife, a 15 year cancer survivor, is firmly against it.

  98. @lynn … I use File Converter – an add-on to File Explorer on my Windows 10 system.

    Right-click a file, select from choices, click, done. Good product. I sent them some donation money.

    https://file-converter.org/

    Huh, all I get is voice, no video. I’ll bet that the codec that I am using is non-standard.

    Huh again, the youtube upload worked. Along with all of my failures.

  99. Why is Billy Gates buying so much farm land? Is that where he is setting up his “dust cannons” to end GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL!

  100. @Nick
    Ok, so this is advice:

    You just lost a major part of your emotional support network during a time when you are most stressed out.
    You need to seriously plan some extra sleep over the next week or so.
    The includes power man naps or whatever you need to do. You are injured and your energy is compromised.

    I lost my once-in-a-lifetime friend only fifteen months ago. The wound is not longer hemorrhaging, but it ain’t healing yet. I know she is waiting for me across the bridge. In her true aspect: 300 pounds and ambidextrous with claw, sword, and axe, but one step back and one step left, to catch and stack when I pitch them.

  101. @Lynn
    Very sure I had the virus back in Feb, too. Spent three days as sick as I have been in 30 years. I thought that I would get an antibody test when the resources were available.

    In Dec I got it again, confirmed by two tests. Two days of Feb-lite. If Feb was a 4, this was a 2. Started feeling better and was no longer doubting what I had in Feb. Then it went for my lungs. Walked around the house just fine. Couldn’t suck in enough air to talk. Blood oximeter reading low. That lasted two weeks. Started gradually getting better. Finally started to get some energy reserves back. Still down ten pounds, and no muscle tone. I could probably pound one t-post into the ground, but not two, and 50-60 is a long ways off.

    When my number comes up, I’m taking the shot.

    One thing to consider is what happens if the two of you get exposed and both become ill. Not giving advice, just look at it from all angles.

  102. @MrLynn
    Handbrake is free and open source.. Has many pre-sets..
    https://handbrake.fr/

    @Nick
    Sorry about your canine companion. I’ve realised the older you get, the harder the hit.
    Take things gently…

  103. Ray, thanks for the descriptions, and the poster from the students. Of course you deserved that, but it is still a nice tribute.

    I wanted you to know a little about my background, so my praise of your work might be a little more relevant. You don’t need me to tell you that you have a good eye for photography and the technical skills to make it happen, but I do admire your work. Your basketball pictures are very good under poor conditions. I also have looked at your FB pictures, and they are to be admired.

    I worked as a pro photographer in the early 1960s. All was 35mm, and mostly black and white. I usually developed and proofed all my film. Others did the printing for publication. I started as a yearbook photographer when I was in college. Two others and I shot a total of 30k photos of everything except the group portraits, which were handled by a studio. I usually shot two to four rolls each day in my “spare” time. It was great experience, because it forced me to get things done I would never attempted on my own. It also didn’t pay well, and was grueling. At the same time, I hired on to a local magazine. All I did was mug shots for interview articles. Easiest job I ever had, and paid very well per hour. Too bad there wasn’t more work. Lesson.

    I learned picture taking, studio lighting, and darkroom work out of books, with some apprenticeship. It helped pay my way through school. It also gave me experience I would never have had on my own. That experience, plus my First Class FCC license, got me a job as a broadcast engineer, first at the university TV station, but then two summers at the local ABC owned station. That was my best job outside my career. Because of my experience, they auditioned me and put me on a studio camera on live TV. No room for errors, but the directors were topnotch, and the shows were repetitive, so it was quick to pick up. I did lots more at the station, but not pertinent here. Enjoyed every minute of it, and even considered switching careers about five years later.

    The only weddings I did were three or four for family members. I only did those on two conditions: a pro had to do the primary work, and I would just shoot additional pictures; and I turned the undeveloped film over to the couple. I would not get involved in printing. No charge. No guarantees. Yeah, a cop-out.

    Digital has renewed my interest. I still don’t print, but love to look at pictures on a big screen. Back in the film days, I mostly shot slides for my own pictures, and this is consistent with that. All fun and little work. I do a little post processing, but pretty minimalist. Shooting slides is a good discipline to reduce post processing.

    One company I worked for did excellent illustrative photography, and I got interested in that. I still do pictures for my own records and amusement. I also used to do varied landscapes, but lack the will to go in search of the “perfect” time and place. I once wanted to do artistic photography, mostly of architecture and still life, but back then very few galleries were interested in photography unless it was a famous photographer. Now, lots pf photos are seen in galleries, but I have lost interest.

    Art was one of the best fields I studied that helped my photography. Mostly, I have studied art books, but have known some very good artists, and have learned from them. They can do what a camera can’t, and vice versa. The technical part of photography, although a challenge itself, must be mastered until it is invisible to all except other photographers.

  104. @drwilliams, thanks for the description of your Pentax equipment. It is newer than my stuff. Those multicoatings are truly great.

    Also see my earlier post on my background. I didn’t intend to blow my own horn; just background for Ray.

    I hear you about cell phone pictures. I have a good phone, and it can take pretty good pictures. It is always with me, and sometimes I have to remember that. I have taken quilt pictures for my wife, for a guild newsletter, and it is good enough TM. One thing I miss is a real viewfinder. I find it distracting to look at the screen held away from my face, after decades of looking through an eye level viewfinder.

    My first digital camera was a Panasonic DMC-FZ10. This is a fixed 12x zoom lens with an electronic viewfinder. It was great in its day. Then I got my Pentax K20D, which has a pentaprism optical viewfinder. Neither one can do it all, but I find I like electronic viewfinders better. They might not be as high quality, but they can do things, such as focus peaking and gain-up under low light, that the best optical viewfinder can’t. They can also keep working when the picture is being taken. I have a new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II (what a long name!) that has an electronic viewfinder. I am still learning it, but it seems very good. There is still a place for a good camera, even though cell phones are getting better.

  105. @Lynn
    Thanks for the photos and details on your building.

    Here is the outside of the office warehouse taken from the cutoff road by the front pond. You can see those 16 foot slide open doors that the tenants have to chain to the foundation to keep the thieves from sliding the entire door structure to either side.
    https://www.winsim.com/media/8653_side.jpg

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