Sat. Jan. 16, 2021 – Elephants. Dancing. Mice. Tucked away safe at home.

Cold and clear in Houston.

Yesterday started at 33F and didn’t get much past mid-60s at my house and despite the sunshine ended up being a nasty day for me.

My dog died. [deleted very sad paragraph] I spent the morning holding and petting him as much as he would tolerate, and after he spent a while laying in the sun and breeze, he collapsed and died in my arms hearing about what a good boy he was.  And he was a Good Boy.  That was about the best outcome we could possibly have hoped for given the aggressiveness of the cancer.  For now there is a giant hole in our lives the shape of an 18 pound chihuahua/dachshund mix.  Thank you all for your kindness and best wishes.


There are forces at work in the wider world that we can only get glimpses of- our awareness and perception is so limited that we are really like the blind men describing the elephant.  Our prejudices and hubris are not limited the same way.  The combination isn’t one that leads to much actual objective understanding when events are bigger than our immediate experience.

One blind man sees Jan. 6 in DC and thinks it’s an organized insurrection.  One sees a betrayal by a man he trusted.  One sees an opportunity to get his hate on and blame his enemy.  One sees the same old corrupted schemers playing out their own “Game of Thrones”.  Time will tell which man has seen with the clearest of mind’s eyes.

Right now, forces unknown but powerful are moving the blind men into position.   They are PICKING which blind men are there, and supplying the elephant.  Other forces are maneuvering to swap their OWN elephant in, or change out some of the blind men.  Still others are trying to put a hippo in place of the elephant, while yet others are busy proclaiming “There is no elephant, and blind men can’t see anything anyway!”

And yet.   After a hotly contested election, where the biggest players in the country, and possibly from all over the world, went head to head, and knife to back, we have a candidate no one wanted, with more issues than a news stand and more baggage than a third year student at Hogwarts, ready to take the oath   for what is arguably the most powerful office in the world.  And his people think they need 20-30,000 armed soldiers around him to keep him safe from — something.  And that they’ll need those soldiers “indefinitely”.

It looks like they are preparing to be besieged.

What could they possibly be planning to do that would provoke We The People to the kind of reaction that they are preparing for?

Or is it just theater, designed to convince people that they are being threatened and that anything they do is justified by the heinous nature of the threat?  You don’t think to include a field hospital if you know that it’s all for show and there isn’t a real threat to justify the defenses.*

Neither scenario, or any of a dozen more, bodes well for you and me.  The elephants are dancing  and there is absolutely NOTHING we can do to change the dance.   The mice are rightly worried about being turned into red jelly paste and should stay as far away from stompy feet as is possible.   And prudent mice should be prepping as hard and fast as possible to tuck into their safe little hidey holes and stay safe while the dance continues.  There may yet be a role for mice to play, other than floor lube, but you won’t be playing it if you are already toe jam… and you won’t be playing it if you are reduced to picking grains of wheat out of mounds of elephant dung.

Stack.  Stuff.  Friends.  Skills.  Mainly stuff, as something will be changing on the 20th.  Something big.  That’s not much time to build skills or networks.  So work on what you can.  Keep stacking.  Concentrate on what might be unobtainium in a few days.

 

nick

 

*two other considerations come to mind- TPTB are sociopaths and don’t  care that the soldiers will need medical attention.  TPTB have never seen war and don’t know that their soldiers will need medical attention.  Either is horrific in it’s own way.  And don’t forget, sometimes you need to “embrace the power of ‘and'”.

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

62 thoughts on “Sat. Jan. 16, 2021 – Elephants. Dancing. Mice. Tucked away safe at home.”

  1. @Nick: Condolences. Loosing a furry family member is always hard.

    I’m not looking forward to the 20th. Even though we’re not in the US anymore, obviously we follow events there. Whatever happens on the 20th won’t be good. Crazies on the right, or crazies on the left – someone will make things worse that they already are. Even if no one does, the press will make something up. And it will be fodder for even more leftist authoritarianism.

    Just today, I finished digging us out of the snow. More snow tomorrow, but not so very much. We’re on the sunny side of the valley – we sure could use a couple of sunny days to melt ice and slush and such.

    Not motivated to do much today. Sit around and eat too much, probably. Maybe read a book. Sometimes one just needs a lazy day.

  2. Some years later I read about the Kodachrome chemistry and its high stability compared to other films.

    I can vouch for that from experience. Years ago I scanned in all my slides to make the digital. Most of the slides were from 1970 through 1980. The Kodachrome 25 and 64 were still in outstanding condition. Colors vivid, strong, well balanced, just awesome. Ektachrome was still in excellent condition, not as good as Kodachrome, but close. A slight blue tint which was normal for Ektachrome. Fujichrome about the same. Agfachrome was unusable. All that was left was red. Every other color was completely gone. Then I looked at some Seattle Film Works transparencies. Not many of those as I tried the film on someone’s suggestion and was not happy. There was nothing left, not one hint of color. The stuff was completely transparent. I also scanned in some Kodacolor negatives and the software would do color reversal. That film was also in excellent condition. Kodak made superior film.

    cell phone cameras are pretty awesome

    Yes, they are really impressive. Both in terms of quality and performance. Low light performance has really improved. It is a camera that is always with a person, mine has three cameras, thus zoom through a fairly impressive range. The ability to take panoramas is impressive. Color balance is really good. All with a sensor where several would fit on a thumbnail.

    In the fall, first game of football of the season, I am going to photograph the entire first half of the game using nothing but my cell phone. It will be plenty bright. I am really curious how it would turn out.

    I salute you, sir.

    A simple bow will work just as well. A salute reminds me too much of my time in the military.

    my praise of your work might be a little more relevant

    Thank you sir. Coming from a person of your awesome background it means a lot.

    I do the TV broadcast for the church. Responsible for everything. Four camera set up, graphics generators, two of them, one for scriptures and song lyrics, the other for lower thirds. Switcher is controlled by it’s own M/E panel and also by a network connected computer. I can run the switcher from two network connections in the sanctuary if necessary.

    A daunting task to get good camera people that listen to instructions, pay attention, know how to frame, do smooth motion tracking. All volunteers so I get what I get. Then the people running the services will go off script, or changed something at the last minute, then wonder why I did not respond.

    I also see local news broadcasts. They miss camera shots, audio issues, and most annoying misspelled words on the lower thirds graphics. These people are professionals, getting paid more than I, yet do the same stupid mistakes. So sometimes I don’t feel so incompetent.

    The only reason that I was given the job when the other person left is that I was not afraid to push buttons and had some photography background. Since then I have to learn a lot about frame rates, standards conversions, chromakey, transitions, etc.

    I have a new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II (what a long name!) that has an electronic viewfinder.

    During the film days I owned an OM1, OM2 and a couple of OM4 cameras. All had the power grip which provided automatic winding. Really liked those cameras.

    I just purchased the OM-D E-M1 Mark III camera at the end of the year. B&H had it on sale. I have a lot of Olympus glass so it seemed like a logical choice. I still have the Mark I. The biggest issue with that camera is the viewfinder blanks during rapid shooting. Annoying for sports. The Mark III does not blank the viewfinder due to the better CPU processing power.

    The Mark III has electronic stabilization. Couple that with the 12-100 f4 PRO lens which also stabilization and it supposed to provide an addition 6 to 7 stops of handholding ability. I would give it maybe 3 to 4 which is still impressive.

    For sports I need to add the grip to the camera to get something that is better to hold. I also need the additional battery power. I use an older 4/3 lens with an adapter. That is 35-100 f2.8 (70-200 equivalent) over the entire zoom range. Heavy lens. During a football game I will generally exhaust the main battery and fall back to the battery in the grip.

    The technology in cell phones and cameras is nothing short of amazing.

    Need to stream a funeral today at the church. Some kid from high school took his own life. They are doing the funeral at the church as they need a large space. School district will not allow such an event. We also have streaming capabilities and people in overflow areas will be able to see the event on the screen.

    The kid was in band, sophomore and well liked, in scouts pursuing his eagle badge, well liked by his scouting friends, none of the markers for someone that would take their own life. No note, no reason. Fairly devastating for the parents and his friends.

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

    Install Handbrake.

    Handbrake.fr

    The default output formats cover a wide range of devices/quality.

    x264 files play without a hitch from USB thumb drives placed in the Samsung BluRay player in our Master Bedroom TV setup.

    x265 will give better quality for a given size.

    Conversion between file formats is very simple. DVD ripping with Handbrake is more complicated, but I’ve seen it work with “Frozen” — Disney movies push the limits of what is possible with a disk without losing the DVD consortium’s logo.

    FFmpeg is a more flexible tool, but it is command line driven. I lost six months to a year of playtime to mastering conversion of torrents to DVD using FFmpeg about 15 years ago.

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  4. The kid was in band, sophomore and well liked, in scouts pursuing his eagle badge, well liked by his scouting friends, none of the markers for someone that would take their own life. No note, no reason. Fairly devastating for the parents and his friends.

    Band programs can be a source of a lot of teen anxiety, depending on the director. I have mixed feelings about my son’s experience in the program at the local high school.

    The boosters are supposed to be a check on a director’s power, but the president of our band’s booster organization was pushing to get a kid into Stanford and essentially handed the director a blank check.

  5. What could they possibly be planning to do that would provoke We The People to the kind of reaction that they are preparing for?

    Kabuki. And it works both ways — only Trump can order the Guard deployments before 1/20.

  6. “only Trump can order the Guard deployments before 1/20.”

    –The states deploy the NG, and not the army, although the interface with DC and authority there is sketchy, was my understanding. People have looked at the deployment, and there are now units from everywhere, so good hostages or atrocity fodder. They have apparently started on a hospital unit, and the NBC units are starting to move too. Still no indication of where they’re going to house or feed all those troops when I went to bed.

    It’s a massive super spreader event at the minimum.

    n

    Wow, it’s completely gone from the main page of DM for me. Not a single pic or mention.

  7. “only Trump can order the Guard deployments before 1/20.”

    –The states deploy the NG, and not the army,

    I should have qualified “order the Guard deployments *into DC* before 1/20”.

    Again, space is at a premium in DC, and the Mayor is going to want the troops gone as soon as possible.

    My customer at the last job who owns the toll lanes into DC from the VA suburbs just sold 50% of the operation to a big overseas pension fund and started working on new lanes into the city from MD. A *lot* of pressure is going to start to be applied to get things back to normal as soon as possible.

  8. My customer at the last job who owns the toll lanes into DC from the VA suburbs just sold 50% of the operation to a big overseas pension fund and started working on new lanes into the city from MD. A *lot* of pressure is going to start to be applied to get things back to normal as soon as possible.

    And, yes, a private partnership owns the toll lanes on the Interstate freeways in Northern VA. It is a big club, and you aren’t in it.


  9. You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us. – Robert Louis Stevenson

    Had do the last trip to the vet twice in the last 3 years. Condolences.

  10. There is a poster (red background, a statue of liberty on it) going around on social media calling for armed protests at the state capitols on 1/20. There is reason to suspect it is a false flag operation. Gun rights groups are calling on members to STAY AWAY.

    Here’s a more detailed explanation.
    https://www.pagunblog.com/2021/01/14/warning-signs/

  11. @Nick, my condolences, also. Had to say goodbye to one about a year ago. Although my latest one (now sitting on my lap as I type) had been with us about 1/2 a year then, it was still tough. Well, maybe a little less.


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

    Install Handbrake.

    Handbrake.fr

    The default output formats cover a wide range of devices/quality

    I’ll second Handbrake. I’ve tried many free and trial/paid converters. Only Handbrake worked 100% of the time muxing. I occasionally get a TV torrent that only Handbrake can make work on Apple TV.

  13. There is a poster (red background, a statue of liberty on it) going around on social media calling for armed protests at the state capitols on 1/20. There is reason to suspect it is a false flag operation. Gun rights groups are calling on members to STAY AWAY.

    Catnip for the personality types on both sides who want *something* to happen.

    Texas DPS is in Austin, not the Guard. Highway Patrol and Rangers. Plus, APD is p*ssed off at one city councilwoman’s attempt to open an investigation as to which officers were in DC last week, even if they didn’t commit a crime or go near the riot.

    Even David Koresh knew better than to mess with The Rangers.

    Antifa and BLM should steer clear of APD for a while.


  14. –The states deploy the NG, and not the army, although the interface with DC and authority there is sketchy, was my understanding. People have looked at the deployment, and there are now units from everywhere, so good hostages or atrocity fodder. They have apparently started on a hospital unit, and the NBC units are starting to move too. Still no indication of where they’re going to house or feed all those troops when I went to bed.

    This is a coordination mess. Stretch wants us to think *she* ordered the Guard into the Capitol. There should be a written Operation Plan somewhere detailing the who, what, when, where of this operation. If there isn’t, well, that’s why bullets could fly into Citizens. Anybody see a mention anywhere of who is in command of the Guard troops in DC? DC isn’t a State, so who issued the order? The President has authority to call up the “President’s 100,000” military force at any time for any thing. Any mixture of Uniformed Services. The pictures of troops lounging on the floor of the Capitol would never happen under my command. That indicates the sloppy command and control of this operation. Pray there is no bloodshed.

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  15. 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 !

    I had my first Firecuda SSHD failure this weekend. Three years (?). All of the 2.5″ drives using the tech are in Mac laptops or my son’s Playstation 4. Not mission critical, but I should still keep an eye on the drives.

    SSHDs disappeared from the market really fast. I guess I know why now.

    I’m spending the weekend running down core dumps in another developer’s work. I’ve had the assignment since New Years, and got a bit of heat yesterday about the problems not being resolved as fast as management wanted. No yelling, but the heat contributed to my sense of unease about this place.

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  16. Nick, so very sorry about your dog. It is always hard. So very glad he has his last moments with you.

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  17. 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!

    Pre-Covid, BillG was widely believed to be the successor as figurehead Chairman at Berkshire among shareholders. In addition to paling around with Chairman Warren, Gates probably spent a lot of time around Howard Buffett, who believes the future is in agriculture and has sizable land holdings himself.

    Maybe we’ll get an answer in the BRK “Letter to Shareholders”. Good stuff is always buried in there if you read and interpret carefully.

  18. Home briefly during my errands.

    1030am on Saturday looked and felt like 6am. Champions/Champions Forest area north of Houston was a ghost town. SO MUCH empty retail. What is there was halal food and hair braiding shops. That might be what is driving ‘change’ in the area. Previously it was the kind of area that supports stores like “Nothing But Bundt Cake” and doggie spas, athleta, gymboree. It looks like it’s crashing hard.

    Lots of vacant and for lease commercial too. Still some building going on, but wow.

    Big loop today, Champions, IAH, Pasadena, League City, Dickenson, Downtown, and Memorial City. Headed back out to my secondary location to get a couple more hours in. Tomorrow, looks like spending the day looking at land.

    n

    Thank you for the condolences. As too many of you have also learned, they really do help.

  19. Jeez, DM was briefly getting more circumspect with their language, and then this–

    The close call comes just one week after the Capitol became the site of a violent siege that left five dead and as unprecedented levels of protection have been set up to prevent a future attack on inauguration day.

    -violent siege.

    n

    Added- contrast with caption from another article, same DM

    In the video Trump supporters in ‘Make America Great Again’ and ‘God Bless Trump’ hats are seen milling around and taking selfies with cops inside the Capitol as the officers calmly ask them to leave the premises.

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  20. Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal has compared the MAGA riot to the evolution of Al-Qaeda saying in both instances people followed a ‘powerful leader’ who ‘justified their violence’, as he warned America is headed for a homegrown insurgency

    –wow General, way to keep up with last month’s news. He thinks the right will be the insurgents, so he must think antifa/blm will be subsumed into the state…

    n

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  21. “Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal has compared the MAGA riot to the evolution of Al-Qaeda saying in both instances people followed a ‘powerful leader’ who ‘justified their violence’, as he warned America is headed for a homegrown insurgency”

    –wow General, way to keep up with last month’s news. He thinks the right will be the insurgents, so he must think antifa/blm will be subsumed into the state…

    Niedermeyer.

    Also, McChrystal is famous for dumping on Biden and other Dems behind closed doors. I guess he wants to be a CNN talking head now.

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  22. Took the MIL to get her covid jab early this morning. Her doctor made her appointment for her. The operation at the hospital was well organized and working smoothly. They could have handled twice the traffic, maybe they did later in the day. She received the Pfizer vaccine while I got the Moderna last week. Pfizer requires a second dose in 21 days while Moderna can wait for 30. No side effects for either of us. She’s 85 with back issues but still living alone on 80 rural acres. We are more concerned about her having a fall than getting covid as she only goes out once a week to pickup groceries and never has visitors.

  23. @Ray
    I’d forgotten about Seattle Film Works. Is that the outfit that was repurposing 35mm movie film? Sounds like their developing chemistry was off. (Right and wrong. Checked Wiki. They did use movie film. “Seattle FilmWorks also offered “prints and slides from the same roll”, using cinema print film to create slides from the original negatives. These slides fade quickly when not properly stored, and are generally of inferior quality when compared to standard E6 or K-14 processed slides. “)

    From the first time I heard about it, I wanted to tour the photographic film manufacturing plant in Ferrania, Italy. Never got the chance. It was the source of photographic film for K-Mart and dozens of private labels.

    I was told that the plant was totally dark. Anyone entering had to use IR goggles and an IR light source, unless the plant was shut down for maintenance.

    I knew someone that worked for Kodak in Rochester, but they were not in the film division, so no opportunity there, either. That ship has sailed.

  24. Interesting to see alarge percentage of photography veterans on this site.
    I loved photography in high-school and college. Had a Pentax Spotmatic II and Roliflex 2 1/4 square for my paying work and a Roli half frame and Minox spy camera for carrying. I studied under Ansel Adams in college and went on field trips up and down the California coast. Took some nice landscape photos but you couldn’t make a living that way till you were established. My paying work was mostly Industrial photography, manufacturing processes and the like. I also did company functions. That got me introduced to a lot of California political types in the late 60s. But then I fell in love, and my tiny photography business wouldn’t support a family so I chose my second love, computers, for a career. Perfect timing.
    Still really miss the long quiet evenings in the darkroom perfecting the print, dogging and burning the image on paper. Never mastered Photoshop or even Gimp, just use the bare functionality.
    I started using digital cameras in 1998 with a tiny Fuji and upgraded over the years. Honestly, I wish I hadn’t gone digital back then because all the photos of our world travels from 1998 – 2005 are low resolution, poor quality JPGs.
    I surely miss Kodachrome.

  25. Dad retired from Eastman chemical company, which was spun off from Kodak in the past. They had a huge employee recreation center. In the basement, they had dark rooms. I remember going with dad to develop film. I never caught the photography bug, but admire those who can capture really great images.

  26. @nick; sorry to hear about your loss, gives you time to reflect on why they are truly “man’s best friend”.


  27. 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.

    Or you’ll be paying $10 for your next Big Mac.


  28. I’d forgotten about Seattle Film Works. Is that the outfit that was repurposing 35mm movie film?

    Yes, it was. Supposedly the same film could be processed as transparencies or printed on paper. Some friends and I ordered about 20 rolls (discount at that quantity). Never liked the stuff as the colors were never as good as Kodak. Film apparently had no archival qualities from the 3 or 4 boxes of transparencies I still had.

    For Kodak I would buy the mailers and send the film off to Kodak labs to be processed. When I lived on Virginia I used the Baltimore lab. When I was in Hawaii I used the lab on the island. Was never dissatisfied in hundreds of rolls. Quality film, quality labs.

  29. Or you’ll be paying $10 for your next Big Mac.

    Gonna happen anyway. The base price of food is getting ready to double if the Solar Minimum gets much worse. Why do you think that the billionaires are buying the farmland?
    https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/bill-melinda-gates-top-us-farmland-owners-us

    We grow about 25% more food than we actually use on the planet (8 billion eaters, 10 billion people amount of food). I wonder what will happen if that excess food trends to zero? I am hoping that our growing CO2 in the atmosphere will save our crops.

  30. Plugsy McSpongeBrain is apparently releasing enough EOs, directives, bills to Congress (huh, thats what I read) and money on his first two days to solve every problem in the World. Good night if none of that is challenged or doesn’t get the votes. I might as well cash out my IRA and start spending it. There is not enough money in the FUSA to cover all of this. A path to Citizenship not only for DACA pukes, but every illegal already here. Caravans of crimmigrants are already inbound from Guatemala.

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  31. We grow about 25% more food than we actually use on the planet (8 billion eaters, 10 billion people amount of food). I wonder what will happen if that excess food trends to zero? I am hoping that our growing CO2 in the atmosphere will save our crops.

    Hello PRCs and soy rations.


  32. Plugsy McSpongeBrain is apparently releasing enough EOs, directives, bills to Congress

    My understanding is that executive orders only apply to government workers and the military. Plugsy cannot issue laws that apply to private citizens as the office he will hold is not part of the legislative branch. He also cannot introduce any legislation to congress.

    But, silly me, since when has the constitution and the structure of the government, balance of power, been of any concern to democrats.

    I notice that the closer the nation gets to inauguration the higher gas prices are climbing and the stock market getting lower. I expect by this time next year the stock market will have lost 40% of it’s value and gas will have climbed to over $4.00 a gallon. A BigMac will require a loan application for a family of four.

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  33. Or you’ll be paying $10 for your next Big Mac.

    I paid $5.50 for a Single, no fries, at the Wendy’s near the Austin-Bergstrom Airport.

    The same burger in Vancouver, WA was $7.29 with the minimum wage at $12/hr.

    When the minimum wage goes up to that extent, what suffers first is the cleanliness of the kitchen. The restaurant owners will try to hold the line for a while, but that leads to incidents like the E. Coli outbreak at Chipotle, centered in SW WA State.

  34. Nick: Sorry to hear about your loss. You were there for them, that’s a wonderful thing.

    I suspect there are more dogs in heaven than people.

  35. We grow about 25% more food than we actually use on the planet (8 billion eaters, 10 billion people amount of food). I wonder what will happen if that excess food trends to zero? I am hoping that our growing CO2 in the atmosphere will save our crops.

    Pop quiz — what percentage of the atmostphere is CO2?

    The answer will probably come as a surprise to many.

  36. I notice that the closer the nation gets to inauguration the higher gas prices are climbing and the stock market getting lower.

    About 3 to 4 million barrels per day of crude oil has been taken off the world market in the last 12 months which has caused the price of crude to rise by $10 per barrel. Several of the Eagle Ford (Texas) producers have gone bankrupt taking 2 million barrels per day out of production. And the Saudis have cut back significantly in the last 90 days. Maybe as much as 2 million barrels per day but no one really knows. I suspect that Ghawar is finally in significant decline. Or not, hard to tell.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghawar_Field

  37. Didn’t notice what gas was at costco, I think $1.89/gal.

    Costco lot was full and the overflow lot was half full. It was as full as I’ve ever seen it. My guess would be last minute stock up before the Inauguration. Or normal weekend, slightly heavy… I don’t go on weekends so I can’t be positive.

    Got my errands done. Signed a real estate agent deal so we are going to look at some property tomorrow. That should have me offline for most of the day.

    n


  38. My understanding is that executive orders only apply to government workers and the military.

    Correct. Actually, it’s even more restrictive than that: executive orders apply only to members of the executive branch of that level of government. Not to people who aren’t government employees, not to legislators or their staff, not to judges or their staff, not to members of the executive branch of a lower level of government.

    That is, that’s the black-letter law.

    The problem is that the police will enforce the application of executive orders against you. The health departments will close businesses on spurious grounds and the police will arrest anyone who protests and the government will reach in and steal the businesses’ bank accounts. Judges refuse to hear citizens’ suits protesting the executive orders.

    In the current times, the problem does not have a solution within the legal framework.

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  39. I shouldn’t lament the poor use of language in headlines of the DM but I still do.

    Exposure of evil: How a barbaric photograph of the moment a Jewish mother and two children were executed above a mass grave condemned two of the firing squad… and inspired a historian to tell their story

    Horrifying moment captured on camera as Jewish mother and children killed
    Historian Wendy Lower so appalled she set out to track down every last detail
    Her book ‘The Ravine’ details all she has managed to discover 80 years on

    –It’s not a ‘barbaric photograph’ it’s a barbaric ACT or the shooters are ‘barbaric’. The photo is just a photo.

    Stuck me right in the eye.

    n

    It’s important because it shifts the barbarism from the act or the people acting to an inanimate object.

    And FFS,

    Horrifying moment captured on camera

    NO it was captured on FILM –BY– a camera.

  40. Journalist wannabee has probably heard of film in some vague, proto-historical way.

  41. I shouldn’t lament the poor use of language in headlines of the DM but I still do.

    Credentialed not educated. Also, not all that intelligent to begin with.

  42. Was just reading on an Amazon seller forum about a new wave of book banning. Amazon decided that some books that have been listed on their site for years (and presumably sold) are no longer allowed. This results in the listings being taken down immediately, and the seller account gets a violation.

    Yet another example of why you do not put all your selling eggs in one basket.

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  43. Was just reading on an Amazon seller forum about a new wave of book banning.

    I have not seen any indication of that on a very active FB book author forum with plenty of knowledgeable independent Amazon authors.

    I’d need to see some authoritative info – or I’ll call this ‘tin-hat’.

  44. Was just reading on an Amazon seller forum about a new wave of book banning.

    Was just searching on Amazon for books on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and noting, not for the first time, how the quality of the web pages describing the books has deteriorated. In the past you could depend on finding the ISBN, publisher, date of publication, page count, etc., all grouped together in one convenient and predictable location.

    No more. Currently, you’re lucky to find the ISBN. 🙁

  45. Was just reading on an Amazon seller forum about a new wave of book banning. Amazon decided that some books that have been listed on their site for years (and presumably sold) are no longer allowed. This results in the listings being taken down immediately, and the seller account gets a violation.

    Yet another example of why you do not put all your selling eggs in one basket.

    As long as Matt Bracken’s books are available on Big River, then I suspect that Big River is not playing around with book banning. Yet.
    https://www.amazon.com/Enemies-Foreign-Domestic-Matthew-Bracken/dp/0972831010/?tag=ttgnet-20

    And yes, it is a good idea to get some multiple support for one’s products. Unfortunately, Big River does a very good job of supporting its authors with both e-books and print on demand services. I have written and self published five books over the years, it has been quite a work for me and my staff. I get them published now at http://www.lulu.com which does a lot of the work for us which we used to have to do ourselves.

  46. @medium wave

    I did a quick look on the Zon and found this book:

    Language, Thought, and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf
    by Benjamin Lee Whorf (Author), John B. Carroll (Introduction), Stuart Chase (Foreword)
    https://www.amazon.com/Language-Thought-Reality-Selected-Writings/dp/1614270724/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Sapir-Whorf&qid=1610856760&sr=8-1&tag=ttgnet-20

    … and the Product Details section shows:

    Product details

    Publisher : Martino Fine Books (June 15, 2011)
    Language: : English
    Paperback : 294 pages
    ISBN-10 : 1614270724
    ISBN-13 : 978-1614270720
    Item Weight : 15.3 ounces
    Dimensions : 6 x 0.66 x 9 inches

    Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #331 in Semantics (Books)
    #4,432 in Linguistics Reference
    #228,475 in Textbooks

    Customer Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars 25 ratings

  47. @medium wave

    I did a quick look on the Zon and found this book:

    Perhaps I’m just having a senior moment, but I can’t find the product details that you listed.

    Is there a direct link to those product details or a location on the page relative to another section on the page?

  48. @lynn

    I have 6 books on the Zon (all self-published). The latest one (“Rocky’s Treasure”, a Classic Western genre) has ebook and paperback versions.

    On the Zon, the ‘author cost’ for the paperback print-on-demand (not retail) is $3.95. (Retail price for the paperback is $10.95) My royalty (rate=60%) on the paperback via Zon is $2.31 . It is set for ‘expanded distribution’ – other booksellers and stores – at a royalty rate of 40% for $0.21.

    I set up the same paperback on Lulu, and the wholesale cost (“print cost”) is $6.76. Same content, page count, size, binding, etc. Selling at $10.95 on Lulu is royalty of $4.19. But shipping costs are higher.

    I got an ‘author copy’ of the book from Lulu, and the print quality/finish is the same as the Zon.

    The book is on the Zon here: https://www.bklnk.com/B08Q1RPZQD (this is a universal book link from my free BKLNK site, so you’ll be directed to the proper Zon country store for your location; and the redirect also includes my Zon affiliate code, which gets me another nickel or two).

  49. Correct. Actually, it’s even more restrictive than that: executive orders apply only to members of the executive branch of that level of government. Not to people who aren’t government employees, not to legislators or their staff, not to judges or their staff, not to members of the executive branch of a lower level of government.

    That is, that’s the black-letter law.

    The problem is that the police will enforce the application of executive orders against you. The health departments will close businesses on spurious grounds and the police will arrest anyone who protests and the government will reach in and steal the businesses’ bank accounts. Judges refuse to hear citizens’ suits protesting the executive orders.

    In the current times, the problem does not have a solution within the legal framework.

    Very much so, I am highly concerned that plugs will try to lock us down for a few weeks or a few months. And not just for covid but for global warming also. Although, the so-called “scientists” lied about the previous lockdown effect on air pollution.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/01/13/first-lockdowns-effect-on-air-pollution-was-overstated-our-study-reveals/

  50. @mediumwave

    I’ve always seen the Product Details for any book on Zon. It’s down below the ‘also-boughts’ and ‘sponsored’ books. This is on my laptop, but pretty sure I’d see it on my phone.

    I see it in Firefox and Chrome on my laptop.

  51. I’ve always seen the Product Details for any book on Zon. It’s down below the ‘also-boughts’ and ‘sponsored’ books.

    Which is where I USED to see the info, but no longer.

  52. @mediumwave

    Dunno why.

    On my laptop, appears with/without uBlock Origin active. Even see the Product Details section on my phone via the Amazon app.

  53. @RickH: Just yoyoed my browser and can now see the product details just fine.

    Perhaps the particular Zon server I was previously directed to contains a defective template for describing book info…? 😐

    Thanks for the assist.

  54. @lynn

    I have 6 books on the Zon (all self-published). The latest one (“Rocky’s Treasure”, a Classic Western genre) has ebook and paperback versions.

    On the Zon, the ‘author cost’ for the paperback print-on-demand (not retail) is $3.95. (Retail price for the paperback is $10.95) My royalty (rate=60%) on the paperback via Zon is $2.31 . It is set for ‘expanded distribution’ – other booksellers and stores – at a royalty rate of 40% for $0.21.

    I set up the same paperback on Lulu, and the wholesale cost (“print cost”) is $6.76. Same content, page count, size, binding, etc. Selling at $10.95 on Lulu is royalty of $4.19. But shipping costs are higher.

    I got an ‘author copy’ of the book from Lulu, and the print quality/finish is the same as the Zon.

    Yup, I totally agree about Big River. Big River’s first love is selling books and they do a great job of it. I use http://www.lulu.com for my books since they are software user manuals and I do not try to make money off them. In fact, I put the PDFs on my website and have hyperlinks for the printed manuals. A couple of my users have told me that they use the manuals to put themselves to sleep at night ! About 1,500 pages of engineering software details, yuck !
    https://www.winsim.com/doco.html

  55. We grow about 25% more food than we actually use on the planet (8 billion eaters, 10 billion people amount of food). I wonder what will happen if that excess food trends to zero? I am hoping that our growing CO2 in the atmosphere will save our crops.

    Hello PRCs and soy rations.

    “Thousands marching in migrant caravan to US demand Biden administration ‘honor its commitments'”
    https://www.theblaze.com/news/migrant-caravan-biden-immigration-policy

    “Videos show clashes between the caravan and border security officers”

    Here comes 8,000 illegals for plugs ! Maybe he will let them camp out on the back Whitehouse lawn where he can make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for them each day.

  56. @RickH
    “The account despite excellent metrics is now showing as At Risk with 3 Restricted Policy Violations because Amazon has without warning banned 3 titles for content. The first was a college classroom-intended paperback Mein Kampf with a foreword by a history professor about the content. This was not a leather bound coffee table Baby’s First Mein Kampf with a gilded swastika for the deranged parent. I posted about this banning on my social media and one of my friends who happens to be Jewish noted that he was assigned passages of Mein Kampf in Hebrew school, which makes perfect sense to me.

    Just now I’ve received an email that two books were banned the same day, two more strikes on my account. For over a year I’ve had a rarish early printing of The Turner Diaries for sale, a work of fiction (!) about a right wing militia insurgency in the US. I haven’t read it – believe it or not I don’t read every book I sell, impossible on top of undesirable – but I’ve known about it since the 90s, & the content seems similar to Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang (not yet banned, give it time) with adjustments for philosophy and targets. Banned at the same time was For My Legionnaires, the 1936 “Romanian Mein Kampf” which spurred on the Iron Guard in that country and is an important historical text for anyone studying Romanian history. Ironically the book was initially banned in Romania when first published, seeing as the government had a censorship board.”

    https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/t/amazons-book-banning-leading-to-multiple-restricted-policy-violations/770487?tag=ttgnet-20

    An Amazon search for “the turner diaries andrew macdonald” does not find such a book, although it helpfully provides “The Anarchist Cookbook” as an alternative. A quick perusal of the internet yields an ISBN-13 of 9781733648127 for a commonly available printing of the Turner diaries. Run an Amazon search and the result is “No results for 9781733648127.”

    For the life of me I’m not detecting a tin hat in that instance.

    Similar results for “For My Legionnaires”. Grabbing the ISBN from a 2019 printing carried by Barnes and Noble, I got
    “No results for 9781913176594.”

    Sn

    So, unless someone can provide a counterexample, my conclusion is they banned those titles.

    Perhaps the “knowledgeable independent Amazon authors” are not seeing anything–yet–because by definition they have to follow Amazon’s rules to get listed in the first place. Be interesting to do a quick survey and see where their work falls on the Pournelle Chart.

    I’m not familiar enough with MK to have enough information to identify the particular edition that the Amazon poster had a problem with. There are two editions that show up in an Amazon search, (followed conveniently by “The Communist Manifesto”), which does beg the question : Where are the other editions?”.

    Note that the first MK listed has a disclaimer from the Anti-Defamation League and proceeds go to Jewish causes. The description begins: “Mein Kampf is the angry diatribe of history’s most notorious anti-Semite”. Since anti-semitism has become not only popular but downright fashionable among the European and American left–including not only the BLM but the mainstream Democratic party and the closer-to-mainstream-every-day communist party–there is a certain amount of irony here.

    (It’s worth noting that Amazon’s high-handed behavior is not new, and the reason that I’ve never had nor will I ever have a Kindle is because Jeff Bezos and his minions are not fit to determine what I read. Indeed, based on recent behavior, none of them are fit to clean my cat’s kitty box.)

    I’ve had a number of listings taken down in the past year. Several were non-book items that Amazon decided could no longer be sold. Three were “probable pricing error” violations where Amazon decided that the price was too high. Two of those were volumes of a hardcover technical periodical priced at a princely $17.95. Another was an out-of-print reference book priced at $75, which was below the original issue price. In the first instance I tried to go through the appeals process, to no avail. I’ve not made that mistake again.

    My own examples I’m perfectly willing to ascribe to poor implementation of monkey-coded software. The above are different. QED.

    Some years ago an acquaintance with decades of bookselling chops listed a very nice first printing of Dick Gregory’s biography on eBay. It was taken down. Rather than appeal, he simply listed it elsewhere with a copy of the takedown letter for an appropriately higher price. It sold in a day, IIRC.

  57. @Lynn
    “Big River’s first love is selling books and they do a great job of it.”

    Back in the day the same could be said about Standard Oil and gasoline. They were so misunderstood.

  58. Sorry for your loss Nick – it is very hard. But worth the pain for all the joy they bring us.
    On another topic:

    Fairly devastating for the parents and his friends

    2021 is new but I hope this wins the “understatement of the year” award .

  59. Attended a funeral in Hixson, TN yesterday for my (deceased) brother’s brother-in-law. Uncle to four of my nephews. Got home last night very tried so I didn’t post.

    RE the comments on my upcoming Covid vaccination: I have been getting the Flu vaccination for several years. I am usually immune to most things since I played in the dirt and around a nasty auto repair shop as child. I have no ill effect from the flu shots or most vaccinations. Encountering Poison Ivy and Oak does not cause to me any problems but Sumac did this past Fall. I did have Tuberculous in Italy in 1982 but I fully recovered from that. I get sinus infections annually.

    RE Big River: I’m always looking for a Book Seller but a DuckDuckGO search did not yield any useful results. ???

    The shop will be an iron building 54′ wide by 36′ deep, 14′ tall in the front 16′ at the ridgeline and 10′ at the back. The left 18′ bay will have a vehicle lift, the center 18′ bay for projects and the right 18′ will have a 24′ deep clean room and bathroom (8’x8′) finished with wallboard, etc. Behind it will be 12′ (by 18′) woodshop. The entire building will be heated and air conditioned using four PTAC units – through the wall units like the ones in motels. Completed the water line layout. From the existing meter to the shop is about 375 feet since the shop is 265 feet from the street and the meter is 95 feet down the street from the shop driveway.

    The family that owned the house before me put up a 6′ tall a fence up that is not on the property line. It is 74 inches inside the line at the front and 12 inches inside the line at the back. No problem with moving it; my neighbor understands why I want to, but the posts are set in concrete so it is a major chore. A friend has a tractor with a post hole attachment so that will help

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