Thur. Jan. 21, 2021 – 012121 – yep, easily amused

Cool and damp, may be even damper later in the day.

Yesterday was pretty nice for mid-winter high with 60s and low 70s.  Overcast all day, but shorts and t-shirt weather for me.  I got a couple of things around the house cleaned up.  Finally got the last of the Christmas decor down and most of it put away.

Because I was at home in the afternoon, I cooked a lamb roast.   It’s a great example of saving money with a freezer, vac sealer, and buying in bulk.  I like lamb.  If you haven’t had it since you were a child, it’s different than it was.  Most of the ‘lamb’ taste, the mutton/gamey flavor is gone because of the farmers growing a different breed.   We enjoy it rare to medium rare.   Anyway, I buy the bigger roast and cut it in half.  Vac seal and freeze the resulting 2-3 pound roasts, and you’ve got a roast that is perfectly sized for two adults with leftovers, or a family like mine.  It doesn’t take forever to roast at that size either.    You can get a much better grade of meat in lamb roast for the same money, than you typically can for a beef roast.  Better living for less….

I buy hamburger in a bulk pack and repack it as 1 1/3 pound slabs.  I press it into a shallow square plastic food saver package then vac seal that shape so it will stack better in the freezer.  I used to do 1 pound packs but the kids are growing.

I buy pork roasts in the 10 pound tube, and slice into center cut pork chops any thickness I like.  I also cut a couple of 2-3 pound roasts out of the whole.  All get vac sealed and frozen.   The 10 pound pack is cheaper than smaller roasts, or pre-cut chops.  I usually season the chops in the vac bag with garlic salt and chinese oyster sauce.  The family LOVES the sweet brown sauce on pork and I don’t have to make a mess at cooking time, or worry about marinading it ahead of time.  Another win!

Beef ribeye roasts get the same treatment as the pork roast, some steaks, some of the best beef roast ever.  I season the steaks before vac bagging with Adkins seasoning.  It’s a nice mix of garlic, citrus-y something, and black pepper.   It’s a lot like Penzey’s Chicago Steak seasoning, without all the hate for conservatives.

Bacon in the bulk pack is 24c/lb.  It’s double that in smaller packaging.  I re-pack it in 3/4 lb blocks which is just a bit more than we need for breakfast.    It rarely lasts until lunch.  Vac seal and freeze into one meal portions…

I should note that I’m not Rockefeller.   The vac seal and freeze routine means the meat lasts as long as it’s frozen, so I only buy the stuff on sale.  I buy a BUNCH when the price is right and store it for later.  There are significant savings to be had if you shop this way.   There are shopping trips where I might not even buy any meat if it’s not on sale, because I have some at home in the freezer.

Another thing I do is freeze the leftovers from holiday meals.   I do the same “shape them into a flat block” trick of pressing them into a plastic storage container before freezing.   It’s easy to gauge the number of portions when it’s time to eat, just look at the bag.

If you want to vac seal something wet or squishy, put it in the plastic container and freeze it first, then take it out of the container and vac seal the block of soup, or chili, or whatever.

You can vac seal and freeze partially prepare foods too.   I like to sear the meat before using the slow cooker to make stew or pot roast or carnitas.  I don’t like the smell in the house (and I didn’t have a working exhaust fan) so if I’m going to get out the cast iron and make the mess, I like to do at least 2 or 3 meals worth.   After searing,  I put the meat and juices into vac sealed bags and freeze them.  The next time I want stew or pot roast, or pork carnitas, I defrost the meat and put it right into the cooker, no muss, no fuss.

I’m sure there are plenty of other people out there that have written or ‘tubed about the vac sealer more eloquently and more completely than I have, but these ideas should get you started if you are holding out.  I consider the vac sealer to be essential, so I have my daily driver, then another spare of a similar type, then two more  spares of the ‘seal a meal’ manual type.  I just picked up another one from goodwill this week to have on the shelf.  You’ll find uses for it, if you have one.

So that’s some ideas for stacking, get to it.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

64 thoughts on “Thur. Jan. 21, 2021 – 012121 – yep, easily amused”

  1. grabbing a $20 bill. I think back to my younger military days and the things I’ve seen strippers do with bills

    They must have liked you as you paid them better than most. For me, I never did find a coin slot to put my quarter. At least not a place that I wanted to touch.

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  2. “The first rule of monitoring in an organization is don’t talk about monitoring.”

    Back in the 90s at MCI it was just the opposite. You had to explicitly log on to the proxy server to get an external connection. The login included a notice that by doing so your traffic was monitored and logs would be made available to your management. The thought was that telling people we were watching would discourage naughty behavior. Can’t say it worked all that well. One day the police showed up with an order for a developers logs and took him into custody for child porn.

    Announcing monitoring creates a liability since all it takes for a lawsuit is the wrong person walking by an open office door with an “apppropriate use” policy violation on the screen. IT has a really hard time policing C-suite execs so a lot of things slide these days unless the activites go way beyond reasonable.

    If you work for a large company and have a laptop issued by the organization, whether or not they tell you, assume everything you do with the device online is monitored, even “private” SSL web traffic.

    I’m not sure what the numbers are lately, but child porn was the biggest cybersecurity problem in the military a decade ago.


  3. If you work for a large company and have a laptop issued by the organization, whether or not they tell you, assume everything you do with the device online is monitored, even “private” SSL web traffic.

    Fortunately, my organization has nothing against me installing Linux on the laptop they provide. So I’m reasonably certain that no monitoring is happening.

    That said: You have to be pretty stupid to do something…untoward…on a piece of business equipment. If you want to surf pr0n, use a private device. There are enough stories of dingbats giving presentations, or sharing their screen, and others seeing what browser tabs they have open. Or what screen saver pic they are using, or whatever.

  4. Fortunately, my organization has nothing against me installing Linux on the laptop they provide. So I’m reasonably certain that no monitoring is happening.

    That said: You have to be pretty stupid to do something…untoward…on a piece of business equipment.

    Or a C-suite exec.

    Newish Intel and AMD laptops have embedded “management engine” components inside the CPUs, enabled by the manufacturers supplying corporate drone systems to mid- to large-sized companies. Depending on how much money an organization wants to spend, IT can have on-demand access of the complete details of what is taking place on the company property, regardless of the OS installed.

    The management engines cannot be disabled, even from the BIOS level, and have their own embedded OS, hardware access, and direct taps at the wire level on the various network connections to “phone home” at will if activated remotely. Most organizations are not going to bother with the expense, however, and leave it at installing something like Blue Coat with BIOS restrictions on alternative OS installs.

    The risk with the management engines is that one day, they will be hacked, most likely with information provided by insiders. AMD claims they are looking at getting rid of the capability, but they’re desperate to make inroads with corporate IT shops, where Intel still rules on laptops, so I doubt the situation will change in the next few years.


  5. I don’t like the smell in the house (and I didn’t have a working exhaust fan) so if I’m going to get out the cast iron and make the mess, I like to do at least 2 or 3 meals worth.

    Good idea. I use the side burner on the gas grill to keep the smell out of the house.

    I bought a few bags of HEB’s frozen heat and eat meatballs the other day. Meant to get the Italian. Opps, “Homestyle”. Ok, and once home, what the heck, “1/2 ounce each”. It was a messed up shopping trip.

    I divided into meal size bags and vac sealed. Ended with 16 packages in the freezer. I dare them to freezer burn. The original packaging leaks air.

  6. Wendy DeWitt, a long term food storage presenter, also advocates vac sealing dry goods in mason jars to greatly extend shelf life. Chocolate chips is the item I remember from the presentation, but there were many others. Costco sells the vac bags in quantity for a good price. The presentation also advocates for the All American canner and Solar Ovens.

    https://youtu.be/hYFFc_MTyTY

    Worth a look. Vac sealing is about 22 minutes in.


  7. If you work for a large company and have a laptop issued by the organization, whether or not they tell you, assume everything you do with the device online is monitored, even “private” SSL web traffic.

    This tends to be something they keep in their back pocket until they’re looking for an excuse to fire you. I spoke with our network guys and made a joke about how they probably get a ton of notices from me for trying to visit blocked websites (anything categorized gun, hunting/fishing, alcohol, or tobacco is blocked in addition to the obvious stuff like hate and porn sites plus an odd category called “questionable”). He said they don’t even look at them. They’re flooded with them all day every day. However, it’s all logged.


  8. Last night I started a Kindle thriller by Steve French, “Deadly Games”, and discovered I did not care for it. Stopped but added it to my list of books read (or attempted) with a grade of “F” which means I started but did not finish it.

    You can return Kindle books – I did it for the first time last week. I had purchased “Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse” by James Wesley Rawles (third book in a sort of series, the first was “Patriots”). After two chapters I was done. His penchant for religion doesn’t bother me, but this book was over the top. I thought, what the heck, and applied for a refund. It was instant, and the book was removed from my library. I’m sure the process is abused, but I’m only going to use it if something is just really awful.

    My first job was an afternoon paper route.

    Mine was as well. I got the route in 7th grade, I think – definitely middle school. I had around 50 houses. Wednesdays and Sundays sucjed, since those papers were huge. A stack of papers wrapped in plastic were dumpoed at a corner. I unwrapped them, put them in my cloth carrier, and went to work. Sundays and some Wednesdays I had to do in two batches, since I couldn’t carry them all at once. Sometimes my Mom helped me on Sundays and drove me around.

    That whole business was a racket. I was responsible for collections. I had to pay the newspaper every other week ( I think) the money owed them. Any extra above the set cost was my profit. If someone didn’t pay, I was on the hook for that money. I remember the local payment point was the parking lot of a local church. Some old, sweaty guy in a piece of crap car would sit there and the local paper boys would come by and settle up.

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  9. kids that have no use for school can’t drop out. These kids disrupt those trying to learn wasting everyone’s time while they are disciplined and the kids does not care

    I can vouch for that having been a sub for four years, starting my fifth year. Wife has been subbing for 32 years through grade school, middle school, and now high school.

    The kids come from homes that are generally single parent, or two parents that are not married. One is drawing welfare and getting married will ruin their “free” money. The students are generally sloppily dressed, in the case of boys (which are the predominate ones) wear boots and drag their feet. A general attitude of not caring.

    Their parent(s) got through life without a high school diploma, working menial jobs. Complaining that minimum wage is not a living wage. In a position that working at any job will destroy the free stuff.

    The kids don’t do their work, disrupt class, loudest in the classroom, no respect for anyone, just wanting to do their “own thing”. Go 4-wheeling, hunting, fishing, coon hunting, anything but a productive activity.

    By state law they have to remain in school until they reach 18 or lose their drivers license. That license is a cherished item so they can drive their barely drivable pickup truck with a loud exhaust, noisy tires, and missing headlight. They see welfare as a career path as it seems to work for their parent(s).

    In my opinion, if they don’t want to be in high school, don’t make them be in high school. States position is that they are creating welfare sponges. I maintain they are already welfare sponges, just like their parents. Their disruption of the class is not fair to the students that want to learn.

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  10. This tends to be something they keep in their back pocket until they’re looking for an excuse to fire you. I spoke with our network guys and made a joke about how they probably get a ton of notices from me for trying to visit blocked websites (anything categorized gun, hunting/fishing, alcohol, or tobacco is blocked in addition to the obvious stuff like hate and porn sites plus an odd category called “questionable”). He said they don’t even look at them. They’re flooded with them all day every day. However, it’s all logged.

    Most companies’ onboarding processes these days include a “respect in the workplace” PowerPoint slide deck that acts as a blanket policy statement covering, among other things, inappropriate use of Internet and email. The logged activity can serve as proof of violation of policy if they want to fire an employee for a reason that might result in that person being able to collect unemployment.

    In Texas, it is actually hard to fire someone for being bad at their job without the employee being able to collect UI, but fire for a policy violation, and the employee is automatically ineligible for unemployment coverage through the beginning of the next job, until they earn six weeks of equivalent income to the weekly benefit or win an appeal with the Texas Workforce Commission.

    (BTW, some states are more brutal — policy violations can mean permanent bans from UI coverage. Check where you live.)

    The appeals process in Texas is currently backed up for months. It is a really bad time to risk any policy violation. I keep my pr0n surfing to a minimum on the company laptop at the new job. 🙂

  11. I worked with a young guy who had nekkid pictures of his stripper girlfriend on his company phone. How do I know? He showed them to everyone.

    Canadia, so not quite the same environment as the US.

    n


  12. If they have a GED they picked up while out of school then they can get up to two years of Community college for free.

    @Robert; “free” as in the professors donate their services, the utility company donates the power to heat/cool the classrooms, and so on? Or “free” as in from an increase in my property taxes?

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  13. Newish Intel and AMD laptops have embedded “management engine” components inside the CPUs

    @Greg: Yes, I’m familiar with the Intel management engine. I’m sure it makes some big-company IT department happy, but: what a catastrophically stupid idea.

    No one has insight into the code, so it is entirely possible – nay, probable – that the NSA has paid Intel to put a backdoor into it. And equally possible that other countries have hacked that backdoor.

    I wasn’t aware that AMD had implemented something equivalent. That’s unfortunate…

    it is actually hard to fire someone for being bad at their job without the employee being able to collect UI

    I guess I’ve been in Europe so long that I’ve forgotten how the system in the US works, but: why should it matter? Losing a job is losing a job, and unemployment is there to bridge you over for a couple of months, until you find a new one. Here, at least, it’s basically “no questions asked”.

  14. I guess I’ve been in Europe so long that I’ve forgotten how the system in the US works, but: why should it matter? Losing a job is losing a job, and unemployment is there to bridge you over for a couple of months, until you find a new one. Here, at least, it’s basically “no questions asked”.

    In the US it is essentially like this: If you got fired for cause that’s your own dumbass fault so why should you get a check? I’ve never been an employer and others on here probably know more, but I believe the former employer pays unemployment. So, it’s “salt in the wound” to fire a shitty employee for substandard performance or policy violation just to have to turn around and pay that same shitty employee unemployment. Of course, there’s also lots of times the employer is a piece of crap and says the employee was let go for cause when really it was a lay off or grudge or something else. Hence the appeals process.


  15. Good idea. I use the side burner on the gas grill to keep the smell out of the house.

    My neighbor cooks bacon on his back porch every weekend. I keep contemplating hopping the fence and grabbing a few strips. Two things my wife hates is the house smelling like bacon grease or sauerkraut. 🙂

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  16. @ITGuy1998
    I was responsible for collections. I had to pay the newspaper every other week ( I think) the money owed them. Any extra above the set cost was my profit. If someone didn’t pay, I was on the hook for that money.
    I -hated- doing collections. Some of those old farts would have you come back three, four times before they’d begrudgingly hand over their five dollars and a quarter tip for porching it every day.

    When I got my route, some of the folks had paid the previous kid ahead a year, so wouldn’t give me anything. The previous kid had spent it of course. My collections book was a mess. The previous kid kept poor records and at 11, I didn’t have a backbone to force the issue if someone claimed to have already paid while I had a full year of months on their card. The first year of that route was rough.

    Still – for an 11 year old it was pretty great. The subsequent years were pretty good. I sold more subscriptions and got my route up to 60. I used the proceeds to buy a pony. Then I used the pony to carry the papers (the canvas newspaper bag fit over her back perfectly) and on Sundays I hitched her to a vegetable cart I’d been given to deliver the fat Sunday papers. Sitting on top of a pile of papers, trotting through dark calm streets flinging them to each house, as she took the turns unprompted (she’d learned the route), was incredibly satisfying.

    That was pretty sweet.

    We would share a donut and hot chocolate after completing the route Sunday morning, in front of Circle K.

    Where is a kid going to get experience like that today? People would have vapors and CPS would take my daughter if I let her do that today. That was scarcely forty years ago.

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  17. @Chad
    Our coffee and bacon standards slipped after we became parents in our 40’s. Instant coffee and instant bacon became the norm. Low how the mighty have fallen.

    That said, risking blasphemy, the Costco KIRKLAND microwave bacon is pretty tasty and not stinky.

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  18. meh, there is a place for shelf stable microwave bacon. I haven’t used mine much since I use the costco bacon crumbles. They are shelf stable too, and are MUCH tastier. I put a sprinkle in the pan before dropping in my fried egg, for example. Don’t really need strips if I’m only cooking for myself.

    I put the crumbles in waffles too. SO GOOD!

    WRT paper routes, I had the same problems as Jenny, but no pony! The kid who sold me his route had people that owed for a whole year. I never collected, and just sold them to the next kid.

    I would load up two of the big canvas bags, put on my snowmobile suit, put the bags in a plastic tub sled and pull them down the street on snowy Sundays. I don’t remember how many people I had but it was a lot. And collecting sucked. Especially in apartment buildings. So many stinks, and weirdos answering the door in a robe…

    I did it for a couple of years, sixth grade, seventh, maybe eighth? After that I went to work in a pizzeria. Worked there all thru high school.

    n


  19. People would have vapors and CPS would take my daughter if I let her do that today

    You would be in jail on multiple charges.

    People where I live were shocked that I let my 5 year old son walk alone the half block to the video store to rent a video game. We would also let him walk a little further to the grocery store with a few dollars to buy some candy or pastry. We were shamed more than once by people whom we would tell that it is none of their business.

    That was 30 years ago. Today I am not so certain I would do the same thing. A lot has changed. Sad.

    I remember playing outside, at friend’s homes, never telling my parents, until the street lights came on then it was time to head home. I doubt my parents knew where I was or were ever really concerned. Back then the neighborhood supported, and looked out for, the kids in neighborhood. Other houses were used as hiding places for a game of “cowboys and indians” complete with cap pistols and rifles along with numerous arguments about who “shot” who first.

    That was 65 years ago and I am certain is frowned upon, maybe even illegal, certainly not politically correct today.

  20. @Jenny, a great story of your paper delivery days. It is so sad that kids have not been able to experience and learn like this for more than a couple of decades now.

    Our local paper used to be a big deal. Every neighborhood had its “kid” who ran the route and routes were handed down like gold claims. It was the rare house that did not get a paper. Now it is the rare house that gets a paper.

    About thirty years ago they built a big multi-story multi-million dollar office and brought in a new huge multi-million dollar press. Seven-day-a-week multi-section (usually 4, 6 on weekends) paper. Three years ago the paper dropped the Saturday edition and shrank to just 8 to 12 pages. The paper is now printed 90-miles away and trucked in. The huge office building and press have been repossessed. The newspaper’s office is now a storefront in a mostly empty row of stores. There is now only one reporter who drives a 20+-year-old company beater of a car.

    We have lost so much and our children have been deprived of the experiences of hard-work, delayed gratification, and reward. The progs will have an easy time herding them into the re-education camps.

    The wife and I have appointments tomorrow for our COVID-19 vaccinations. Our daughter got her’s last week as she is classified as “essential medical support” (got to keep those bills coded correctly). Our son will not be eligible under WA State “Rules” for another month to 6-weeks when the great masses get theirs.

  21. @Brad: @Chad:

    Losing a job is losing a job, and unemployment is there to bridge you over for a couple of months, until you find a new one.

    It’s essentially the same in UK. You lose your job, you go “sign on” at your local JobCentre, you get paid statutory benefits. Effectively, your “job”, until you find new employment, is to sign on at the prescribed interval (I think 2 weeks) and search. This also applies if you’ve never had a job – you sign on, the government pays you to search, requiring your signature every so often to certify that you are still searching.

    The JobCentre will expect you to attend prospective employers, whose offers they will tell you about, as part of that “search”.

    Of course, it’s still possible to be an “Andy Capp” (q.v.), but eventually you will run the risk of loss of benefit if you don’t find a job, although that takes years.

    Incidentally, that “anyone can claim” is probably the main reason Britain is considered the Promised Land by economic migrants, despite HMG’s (and to a much lesser extent) Continental governments’ attempts to stop the flow (c.f. Migrant caravans in Central America)

    G.

  22. It was probably the late 80s or early 90s when I noticed the newspaper delivery kids on bikes who put the newspaper on your front door step slowly disappear and get replaced with adults in cars flinging papers out the window and onto your front yard or street end of the driveway. The adults also had much larger routes and they probably replaced 6 kids with every 1 adult.

    I can remember friends complaining because it was raining and they’d have to bag all their papers.

  23. Mother in-law issues are increasing. She will not see 2022.

    She went to the doctor yesterday to see about the heart procedure. She was told they will not do the procedure as the cancer on her back will cause her demise before the heart causes the demise. When she left she decided she could no longer walk and had to be assisted to the bus, assisted off the bus, then drove home, and had to be assisted into the house.

    She complained she could not get to the bathroom. Then discovered a chair with wheels and she wheels herself around the house. She now wants to sell her house, her car, and move into assisted living. Marked change from just a week ago.

    Wife is going out Tuesday (01/26/2021), I will drive out later. MIL has basically resigned herself to dying and has lost the will to live. Told my wife that she is now just waiting to die. So I suspect it will not be long, maybe within a month. Once the will to live expires, the body goes down quickly.

    Already we have been given instructions of what to do with the house and the car. Get rid of both items.

    She is 88 years old, has led a good life. At least she is going out on her own terms and has resigned herself to the inevitable. All our other parents are gone so she is the last. She had 12 siblings and only two are left including her so she beat the odds.

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  24. I never had a paper round, or any other such thing, until I graduated from University, and entered full-time employment. And I was never out of work for the next 46 years, until I retired 4 years ago, so my screed above is not typed from personal knowledge.

    My daughters, especially Number 3, did have paper rounds, from the same shop, each in their turn. And No. 3, Jenny, now works full-time for that chain of shops, but at a different site.

    Did I mention that Jenny had tested positive for wuflu? It was evidently no big thing for her, because, after isolating for the prescribed period, she’s back at work, apparently none the worse for the experience.

    And I get my first jab this coming Sunday. HMG has stretched the interval beween the jabs, to 12 weeks (from 3), and $DEITY knows when I’ll get my second.

    G.

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  25. Already we have been given instructions of what to do with the house and the car. Get rid of both items.

    Memorial Day is the big real estate weekend in Austin. I’m not sure about San Antonio, but it can’t hurt to try and get the house on the market by then.

    IIRC, the car is a recent Camry. Local dealers have been looking for those to smooth over relationships with customers who bought 2018s and encountered that model years’ problems, particularly the incorrect cylinder borings, whether warranty replacement of the engine or a 1:1 swap of the vehicle. The fuel pump recall for all the recent model years still has Toyota scratching their heads, however.

  26. House will be sold as soon as possible. Not waiting for Memorial Day. Instructions from MIL have been to sell the home to a flipper. The house does need several thousand dollars of upgrades. Insulation, electrical replaced, plumbing replaced. Not something I want tackle living 1100 miles away

    Car will probably taken to CarMax and accept their offer. Or sell the car to a nephew for the price CarMax offers. Car is a 2020 Camry with less than 5K miles.

    This is not going to be a fun trip.

    When I disposed of my aunt’s property one of the items was fairly recent Mitsubishi sedan, cheaper model, low end trim package. I sold it to a used car dealership, did little bargaining as I did not have the time or patience.

    My mother was livid. She wanted the car because it was better than what she had. Mother thought I should have given her the car. I told my mother that it was my aunt’s property and I had to fiscally responsible with her assets. That money from the car would help pay for 2 months of her care. She was still angry. Relatives looking to pluck the spoils from the tree.

    My mother was sort of that way. She was on public assistance and lived in public housing. When I told her I would be getting money from the VA her response was that I should give her that money as she deserved and needed it more than me. That pretty much ended my desire to see her again.

  27. “Before His First Day Is Out, Biden Nukes 8,000 Union Jobs”
    https://www.westernjournal.com/first-day-biden-nukes-8000-union-jobs/

    “However, it was Biden’s executive order to rescind the permit for TC Energy to build the Keystone XL pipeline that may be the largest hit to the economy, costing as many as 11,000 Americans their jobs, including 8,000 union positions. (Those figures come from an October TC news release estimating the number of jobs that pipeline construction would add to the economy in 2021.)”

    How many more jobs is Beijing Biden going to kill ?

    Elections have consequences. Just ask the welders getting a pink slip today.

    My son still says that we will call this “The Greater Depression”. I had no idea that Beijing Biden was going to drive us into the economic disaster at 90 mph.

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

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  28. “However, it was Biden’s executive order to rescind the permit for TC Energy to build the Keystone XL pipeline that may be the largest hit to the economy, costing as many as 11,000 Americans their jobs, including 8,000 union positions. (Those figures come from an October TC news release estimating the number of jobs that pipeline construction would add to the economy in 2021.)”

    The Geico Gecko must be paid off for his loyalty and all the Treasuries he’s bought.

    The next shareholder letter should be interesting. Buffett isn’t above a little You Ain’t Got No Ice Cream … or in his case, Dairy Queen. He wasn’t shy about gloating, albeit in a very sly manner, after he got the Keystone XL killed the first time.

    Let the oil trains roll!


  29. Car will probably taken to CarMax and accept their offer.

    @Ray; also check online what Carvana will offer you. I’ve sold them three cars now and they have always been the highest price. Plus these were straight sales, not buying anything from them. One even had a faded hood from the Florida sun and they didn’t blink. The Carvava rep said they do this to build good will and encourage future business. I was always honest about the cars’ condition when completing the online value assessment and their in-person inspection when they came to pick up the cars took about 90 seconds. If nothing else, print out their offer as a negotiating point when you go to CarMax.

  30. I’ve been told when selling cars to a dealership not to bother fixing anything to bump the value. Your cost to repair will far exceed the amount of reduced value from the problem. Also, they will tell you they can generally fix those problems much cheaper than you can anyway. There’s no point in dropping $1000 on body work to have it increase the trade-in value by all of $100,

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  31. Good idea. I use the side burner on the gas grill to keep the smell out of the house.

    My neighbor cooks bacon on his back porch every weekend. I keep contemplating hopping the fence and grabbing a few strips. Two things my wife hates is the house smelling like bacon grease or sauerkraut.

    Dad cooks bacon in the microwave now in a plastic bag. It is actually quite good (crunchy !). I have no idea if the bacon is special or the plastic bag is special.


  32. @Ray; also check online what Carvana will offer you.

    Good idea. Thanks for the heads up.

    If nothing else, print out their offer as a negotiating point when you go to CarMax

    I have used NADA and Kelly Blue Book for negotiating in the past. Could not do that for my aunt’s chariot as I did not have internet and it was 20 years ago. A lot has changed since then.

    when selling cars to a dealership not to bother fixing anything

    Never have fixed anything when dealing with a dealership.

    Last trade in was 2003 Highlander. Had a slow leak in the A/C condenser. If left parked for more than three, maybe four, days, the battery was drained. I had the radio replaced several months earlier and the installer wired something that was always on. Of course they denied doing so and refused to fix. The vehicle also needed a new front bumper as it was fastened underneath with a screw that I installed. About $3K needed in repairs on a vehicle that was worth $5K. Of course I never told the dealer about the issues. Not my problem.

  33. Incidentally, that “anyone can claim” is probably the main reason Britain is considered the Promised Land by economic migrants, despite HMG’s (and to a much lesser extent) Continental governments’ attempts to stop the flow (c.f. Migrant caravans in Central America)

    The last time I was in the UK, one of the papers had a story about how many migrants were killed in the Chunnel walking from France to England. It was a much higher number than I believed.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_Tunnel
    and
    https://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/europe/eurotunnel-death/index.html

  34. She complained she could not get to the bathroom. Then discovered a chair with wheels and she wheels herself around the house. She now wants to sell her house, her car, and move into assisted living. Marked change from just a week ago.

    Does she know that nobody will be able to visit her in assisted living ?


  35. Dad cooks bacon in the microwave now in a plastic bag. It is actually quite good (crunchy !). I have no idea if the bacon is special or the plastic bag is special.

    I suppose the nylon cook bags like Reynolds Oven Bags would work. They’re good to 400° or so. Hmm…

  36. I’ve read that the HeelsUp ™ HARRIS/plugs admin pukes are saying “we are going ahead with a fracking ban” after denying it.

    Hey, Mr. Lynn, how soon before HeelsUp ™ HARRIS/plugs bans your software as a “Green New Deal Banned Item”? The elimination of fossil fuels must be complete!


  37. Does she know that nobody will be able to visit her in assisted living

    No one visits her now unless the wife flies out or her son drives to South San Antonio (close to Lackland) from Bryan TX. About 3.5 hours if traffic is good. She has been close to a hermit the last few years. Does not like being around people. That has kept her out of senior facilities. Her condition may be beyond that point. I think she needs assisted living. But my opinion is about as worthy as a rectum on moth.

  38. @lynn Well this “Dad Cooks” always does his bacon in the oven, even the microwave type. The radiant heat helps to bring out all the subtle and great flavors in the bacon.

    • Costco/Kirkland/Hormel microwave bacon in the oven 450°F for 10 minutes (more or less to your liking)
    • Thick cut premium bacon in the oven 450° for 20 to 30 minutes (more or less to your liking)

    I use a standard sheet pan lined with heavy-duty foil, no racks, and allow grease to congeal to make it easy to save.

    1
  39. And I get my first jab this coming Sunday. HMG has stretched the interval beween the jabs, to 12 weeks (from 3), and $DEITY knows when I’ll get my second.

    Oh, that is not good. The first jab is supposedly good for 50% immunity and the second jab takes you to 95%.

    The wife is a 16 year cancer survivor from stage 2b breast cancer. After the mastectomy at age 47 in 2005, she went to the oncologist at MDACC who was the head of breast cancer oncology at MDACC. He got her into the Herceptin drug trial, the last person of the 2,500 ladies in, since she had all four bad genes. In four ??? months they ended the drug trial and released the results. It lowered the 5 year chance of reoccurence from 65% for ladies with all the bad genes to less than 30% so they had to end the trial early and open the drug to all the ladies with the bad genes.

    When they ended the Herceptin trial, the medical supervisors in Britain refused the results and said that they were too good and had been faked. So Britain did not get the $100,000 treatment of Herceptin for HER2+ sufferers of breast cancer. I do not know if Britain ever reversed that policy.

    The only really bad side effect of the Herceptin drug is that it also attacked the heart. My wife’s heart effectiveness dropped 10% to 46% and then rebounded back to 56% after a year or so.

    1
  40. re bacon:

    Lynn, please get details on your dad microwaving bacon: special bag or just a zippable freezer bag? Have plenty of air already in it or start it out flat? Single layer or just chuck it in the bag? Normally when I fry bacon I’ll do 3-5 pounds, about 12 ounces per batch. (It’s a big skillet.) Sometimes, though, I need just a few ounces, for something else I’m cooking or for The Brat.

    DadCooks, What about fat splatter in the oven? It was bad enough the couple times I did it that I ran the oven Clean cycle afterward. I suppose that’s not a major deal, as it’s not much of my time and effort and the oven’s just heating the house, but it’s not something I want to do all the time.


  41. the medical supervisors in Britain refused the results and said that they were too good and had been faked. So Britain did not get the $100,000 treatment of Herceptin for HER2+ sufferers of breast cancer

    Pardon the cynicism, but I can’t help but wonder if the “$100,00” aspect of the treatment weighed more heavily than the voiced doubts about the trial’s legitimacy. Money and lust for power don’t explain quite every event, but they come pretty dang close.

    3
  42. Lynn, please get details on your dad microwaving bacon: special bag or just a zippable freezer bag? Have plenty of air already in it or start it out flat? Single layer or just chuck it in the bag? Normally when I fry bacon I’ll do 3-5 pounds, about 12 ounces per batch. (It’s a big skillet.) Sometimes, though, I need just a few ounces, for something else I’m cooking or for The Brat.

    Straight from my Dad:

    “Walmart
    Hormel Black Label Microwave Ready bacon
    12 oz, $8.68 per pack
    4 pieces in a ready to microwave bag. 3 bags per pack.
    It is expensive, but I use a lot less doing it this way.
    Taste is good. I cook longer to get it crispy.”

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/HORMEL-BLACK-LABEL-Microwave-Ready-Bacon-12-oz/10535984

    1
  43. 20-somethings voted in very high numbers last November.
    20-somethings voted overwhelmingly for Democrats and in particular Biden.
    20-somethings will live most of their lives with the debt and wreckage wrought by Biden and other Democrats.
    It’s nice that they’re getting what they deserve. It’s just a pity that they dragged the rest of us along with their stupidity.

    1
    9
    1
  44. @SteveF:

    DadCooks, What about fat splatter in the oven? It was bad enough the couple times I did it that I ran the oven Clean cycle afterward. I suppose that’s not a major deal, as it’s not much of my time and effort and the oven’s just heating the house, but it’s not something I want to do all the time.

    I do not have a problem with spatter or excess smoke.

    It could be that your oven is running hot and/or heating unevenly.

    My oven’s heating elements are not exposed and surround the oven cavity so the temperature is consistent top to bottom and side to side. It produces fantastic baked-goods and roasts. It is the best oven I have ever owned. It is a 20-year old top of the consumer line Whirlpool Convection Oven (seldom used) with Steam Clean (also seldom used). To get the same thing today, you have to pay a premium for pro-grade and stainless steel.

  45. Fun with batteries today. The atomic clock decided it wasn’t going to display outside temp. It’s maybe four months old and I just tossed the box away. So of course it’s going to die. I did the sync process and no luck.

    Lets check the outside unit. Spin the batteries… Nope. But the light is blinking. Hmm. Well, maybe the batteries are weak? From Dollar General, no idea how old they are. I think I got them while cleaning out Jerry’s house and he died February 2017. So at least four years old. New batteries and everything works.

    The smoke detector in the bedroom started chirping the other night. That battery was replaced today.

    All this stuff that chirps? Penny hates the sound. She tries to hide.

    While I’m going, I changed the battery for the thermometer in the hallway. It still worked but the LCD display was getting dim.

    I checked a couple of FLASHLIGHTS too. All good.

    Big exciting day. The weather is foggy at times, a bit of sprinkle, a bit of Sun but mostly cloudy. The high was 64F. Not bad for the last half of January.

    February will more than make up for any nice weather we have in January.

  46. Re: smoke alarm battery chirps: Them’s really annoying. And since the only happen about every two minutes, and there are many smoke alarms in the typical house, it’s great fun trying to figure out which one.

    So, at the last ‘chirp event’, I got my Costco package of 9v batteries, and replaced them in all of the smoke detectors. For grins, put the current M/Y on the replacement batteries, just to see how long they last.

    These are new smoke detectors installed about 2-3 years ago. Smoke detectors only are good for 10 years, and the house was older than that. The ‘test’ button only tests if the alarm goes off – doesn’t test the actual ‘smoke detection’ of the unit – gotta use real smoke for that.

    But I figured new ones were called for -based on the age of the house. Easy enough to install. Use the existing wiring with a small adapter (came with the items) because I changed brands.

  47. Thanks, Lynn and DadCooks.

    Price of microwavable bacon: ouch! But it might be worth it if I need just four ounces for something.

    Splatter in oven: We have a good (I think; it was well over $1000 eleven years ago) convection oven. Placing bacon in a single layer in baking dishes and cooking on convection roast at 425 (IIRC) left a mess. Odd. Different amount of fat in the bacon, maybe?

  48. Never liked lamb growing up in the 50s. Living in New Zealand completely changed my mind. I didn’t know what the difference was but today’s lamb is delicious. We would often eat at a Persian restaurant in Memphis that was both inexpensive and tasty. Sadly, here in Indian country I haven’t found a good Persian place. The only excellent German restaurant in 100 miles died in the covid shutdowns.

  49. Lamb. One of my favorite foods.
    A farmer friend sells her spare sheep at the end of summer. As they’ve been running their fat off teaching dogs to herd, they’re lean with excellent muscle tone. Some of the best mutton or lamb I’ve ever eaten. Even the old ewes taste good.

    I’ll have to try Costco lamb. I haven’t bought it anywhere but my farmer friend since 2010.

  50. The Australians and Canadians are growing a sheep that doesn’t produce lanolin, or produces a LOT less. The strong “lamb” taste is from the lanolin process. Thus, they can let the sheep get bigger before harvesting them, which is why we now get standing ribs, and chops that are much bigger than they were, and why I can eat it rare– purple and cool, although the texture is squishy.

    At least that’s what the chef in the ‘date night’ restaurant in Canada told me. We stayed in the hotel across the parking lot for work, and ate there most nights. Their lamb was excellent.

    The costco roasts, chops, and ribeye/tenderloin/standing rib are imported from Australia and are uniformly excellent. Boneless roast is <$7/pound, the ribs are ~$13… The triangle shaped chops are somewhere in between.

    I used to get fancy with the roast, but now I just dust with garlic powder, slide some fresh rosemary sprigs under the butchers net, against the fat, and roast according to Joy of Cooking, although I pull it MUCH earlier. I like it around 120F.

    Chops and ribs (which we call 'lamb lolipops') get a marinade of garlic, salt, pepper, oil, mint jelly, and fresh rosemary. If I have mint in the garden I use that too. Then grill fast and hot, so you get about 1/8" of grilled flavor around the sweet rare meat. I have to cover the rib bones in foil to keep them from burning. The ribs come "frenched" but I'll take off the fell and even more fat before marinading. The ribs are one of my "fancy restaurant" level meals. Serve with savory sides, roasted baby red potatoes (or the mini mixed heirloom potatoes) tossed with garlic, rosemary, kosher salt, and black pepper blended in the food processor; pan fried brussel sprouts with red onion, bacon crumble, tossed with truffle oil and salt; you know, something like that.

    n

  51. RE drwilliams – How long to a read a book before I give up on it? This is variable. I usually set it aside and try it again before I stop. Sometimes I just pick the wrong book – I do not read books that just kill people because that what bad guys do. Or the plot is stupid (to me.) Or the characters do not interest me.

    RE Free Education. It is deferred education. The student was due four years of high school. They left early; they have whatever time remains. Many will never come back.

    RE Micrwave bacon. I live alone and cooking a three strips takes as long as cooking a whole pan. Breakfast is some kind of fruit, a pastry, a couple of strips of microwave bacon or sausage and a glass of water. I haven’t had a cup of coffee since I was twenty.

    I got a my first MRI in a many years today. I NOISE was awful. I have hearing problems and I soon was holding my fingers in my ears. When it was over I couldn’t hear anything for ten or fifteen minutes. After I got in my car I just sat there for about a half hour before I did one errand and then drove home (75 miles) on the interstate in the rain in the middle lanes. I usually drive in the fast lane but not this time. I skipped a couple of other planned errands and lunch.

    Got an email raising the building steel price by 10%. It was previously raised 10% on Jan 4th so it is now undoable. Have to find an architect and see how much building I can afford.

  52. Got an email raising the building steel price by 10%. It was previously raised 10% on Jan 4th so it is now undoable. Have to find an architect and see how much building I can afford.

    Usually the steel building people have sales people who would love to help you out. The local steel building people are Mueller Inc. Don’t have a clue for your area.
    https://www.muellerinc.com/

    Most of the (cheap) steel is coming from South Korea and China so the rapidly rising cost of fuel is causing the shipping cost to rise. Most of the steel produced in the USA is specialty with high chrome, etc.


  53. doesn’t test the actual ‘smoke detection’ of the unit – gotta use real smoke for that

    Or my attempt at cooking. I use lithium batteries in the more expensive devices. The batteries don’t leak, last a long time. Last smoke detectors I got at Costco, three pack, sealed units, batteries cannot be replaced, at 10 years they start beeping and have to be replaced.

  54. ““Multiracial Whiteness””
    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/01/multiracial-whiteness.php

    ““Whiteness” is an elastic concept. It turns out that you no longer have to be white to be white. “White” basically means that you don’t swallow the nonsense being ladled out by the far Left. So, happily, people of all colors are now “white,” according to liberals. Is that unity and inclusion, or what?””

    “[T]here’s a small problem. Somehow, on their way to launching a neo-fascist takeover of the United States, the white supremacists ran out of whites. Simply looking at video of the Capitol riot, or looking at the FBI’s wanted images afterwards, makes it obvious that the mob of Trump die-hards were multiracial. The two most famous members of the Proud Boys, America’s premier ‘white nationalist’ group, are an Afro-Cuban and a Samoan. ‘Stop the Steal’ organizer Ali Alexander identifies as black and Arab. And of course, there are November’s famous exit polls, which showed that Joe Biden was carried to the White House by improving on Hillary Clinton’s support with white voters, while faltering with Hispanics and blacks.”

    These people are insane. Just insane.

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

  55. Last smoke detectors I got at Costco, three pack, sealed units, batteries cannot be replaced, at 10 years they start beeping and have to be replaced.

    I purposly purchased the unsealed-battery types, at a slightly higher cost. I didn’t want to have one beeping all the time until I could replace the whole unit. The nearest big box store is 30 minutes away. The nearest Costco is another 10 minutes farther.

    And they always chirp in the middle of the night.

    Which turned out well – one battery failed after 2-3 years.

  56. @Robert V Sprowl
    Sorry to hear that price increases have put a spike in your plans. Maybe just wait 100 days and see if the state of the economy has cooled off the steel market.

  57. Sealed units are made to be unsealed.
    I seem to recall unsoldering a few “permanent” batteries from motherboards.

    With respect to the “nark on chip” comments yesterday, how long has this been going on? Is it worthwhile looking for an older machine to use as an internet device, at least until they start pinging when you connect and denying access?


  58. I had no idea that Beijing Biden was going to drive us into the economic disaster at 90 mph.

    –really? He wasn’t shy about it.

    I noticed that ‘the uniter’ who promised to ‘work for all of you’ just reversed policies that 74 million people supported and voted for. Heck of a start toward working for ALL of us Joe. Guess we know what you meant by that if we didn’t before.

    n

  59. The 74 million don’t matter now and never did.
    But the 70 million that did vote for the serial plagiarist and weren’t paying attention about what he pledged to do and what he refused to admit he was going to do are going to see some thinning of the ranks.

    Like the 8,000 union members that lost their jobs on the Keystone XL. Some of them are yellow dog Democrats and some are not, and maybe losing $2k a week and still having to make payments on the new GMC will make some of the hard core fade color a bit as the weeks drag on.

  60. RE: Meat

    What most of us call gamy the Native Americans used to call flavor. 🙂 I wonder if we could transport some people from 150 years ago into today if they would find all of our meat incredibly bland.

    And they always chirp in the middle of the night.

    Yes! This! +1000 Grr!!!!

    My FIL was woken up at 3AM with a chirping alarm. After 10 minutes of searching he grabbed a golf club and smashed every smoke detector in the house. He has 12′ ceilings, so get on a ladder to check added to the frustration. He woke up the next morning and called a guy to come install all new ones. He’s a wealthy man and can afford to lose his temper in such ways. I just chuckle as he’s very judgy of other people doing crap like that.

  61. I have some hearing losses, and they are in the range of the chirp. I literally can’t tell which direction the chirp is coming from because I only hear it in one ear, and at a low level. I have been standing next to the thing and been unable to tell if it was the right one. I had one somewhere in the garage that I never did find, it just stopped chirping eventually.

    n

  62. “Waking a person unnecessarily should not be considered a capital crime. For a first offense, that is. ”
    RAH

  63. Hearing loss is no fun. Mine is creeping along – more and more high frequencies going. On my Braumeister (beer brewing kit), each time you’re scheduled to do something, it beeps. My wife hears it from two floors away. I can barely hear it in the next room, so I have to set reminders on my phone.

    Of course, the newer models have wifi and an app, but I’m not going to replace a perfectly functioning device just for that.

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