Fri. Jan. 29, 2021 – time to garden

Cool, clear, and windy.  [38F at 6am- so COLD, clear, etc]  It was a bit cool yesterday, especially overnight, but once the sun came out it felt like spring.

And with spring in the air, a young man’s fancy turns to getting a garden in.

But first, I spent all of yesterday at home, except when I drove to school to get child 2.  I hit the Lowe’s on the way home to get some more of the bins I’m using to organize my food storage, and they  had vegetable garden plants.    So I bought a bunch.   They were well stocked on seedlings, and the seed display was full too.  It seems a bit early to me, but I’m going for it.

Sometime this weekend I’ll be planting all that stuff I bought.

This time, I’ll use fresh seeds, and put hardware cloth over all the beds.   I’m hoping for much better results, because then I’ll know what to blame, and how to move forward.   “Gardening” is not my thing.   Trying to grow some food to supplement my stores for my family is.  IE.  it’s not a passion, it’s a chore.  Still, I like to succeed when I try to do something.   So far my successes have been limited.  The learning curve is much steeper than I could have imagined.  Get started on your gardens, even if it’s just planning, and just a couple of pots or a window box.  Grow something.  You’ll be glad you did.

Plan for the day is to continue getting stuff out of the house, continue getting my secondary location cleaned up, and continue with all the other myriad things that take  my attention.   Including some more auction stuff.   I let a ton of stuff go by, but I did snag a couple of useful things.   I am focusing, little by little, on what’s most important.

Time for  a Costco order too.  Instacart, here I come.

Stack it up, flip it, rub it down, oh no, this world’s gonna kill me…  Or something like that.  I am a child of the 80s after all.

Seriously though, start something this weekend that you’ve been meaning to get to.  Time’s a wasting.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

96 thoughts on “Fri. Jan. 29, 2021 – time to garden”


  1. GameStop

    For anyone who haven’t looked into it, here’s a quick summary: Apparently, some hedge fund run by one of those famous superstar money managers made the mistake of publishing their huge short positions in a few companies. One of which was GameStop. There were more short positions than GameStop has shares.

    This displeased the nerds of r/wallstreetbets, and they egged each other on into a buying frenzy. They have cost the hedge fund something towards $2 billion, as it had to cover its short positions. They obviously don’t care that they are risking serious amounts of their own money here – it’s all about hating on the Wall Street insiders.

    To add fuel to the fire: many (or even most) of the traders were using the Robinhood platform. Robinhood is owned by Citadel, which is run by basically the same people as run the hedge funds. Yesterday, Robinhood made it impossible to buy shares of GameStop. This is an obvious ploy by insiders to defend their short positions. This has got to be actionable – and it’s a given that this will trigger a class action suit. (Note: I see from @MrAtoz that this has already happened.)

    Apparently another crop of shorts is due today, so it will be interesting to see what happens. If the r/wallstreetbets folks have managed to open accounts elsewhere, and those brokerages are not also playing dirty, the hedge funds will lose another $billion or two.

    While I’m not fond of AOC, I did appreciate her tweet on the subject: “Gotta admit it’s really something to see Wall Streeters with a long history of treating our economy as a casino complain about a message board of posters also treating the market as a casino”

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  2. –someone knowledgeable is feeding AOC lines. Of course, being her, she lashed out along partisan and doctrinal lines when she could have built on an olive branch…..

    Yeah, it’s a big club. etc.

    n

    Large groups, moving the market for their own reasons. Almost like they were financial insiders… oh

    –@brad, good summary.

  3. Prepping: I don’t usually look at cake mixes, but yesterday saw that Brookshire’s has Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix on sale 5 for $5. Even regular price is only $1.19. That is a Texas chain, but I’ll bet every region’s stores have something similar.

    Everybody loves brownies, and boy how comforting those could be at the right time! This mix is in a plasticky sealed pouch, and requires an egg and oil be added, along with water.

  4. The web site for the credit union I use for my direct deposit has been inaccessible for two days.

    The situation is probably a coincidence with everything else going on in the markets, but I’ll have to rethink keeping anything beyond a paycheck’s amount of money in that place. I assume the ATM still works and the checks still clear. Gotta verify that today.

    Yes, we keep separate accounts at separate institutions for direct deposit. I’ve noted here before my suspicions that my wife’s employer at Vantucky had a mechanism for monitoring the balance of the accounts at US Bank, where we used to direct my wife’s paychecks.

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  5. I once had the IRS grab my bank account on the first and only day it had high enough balance to satisfy them. Bank says ‘coincidence’ but I’m not buying it.

    n

  6. I once had the IRS grab my bank account on the first and only day it had high enough balance to satisfy them. Bank says ‘coincidence’ but I’m not buying it.

    My only outstanding issue with the IRS is $200 they owe me after we exchanged paperwork regarding a mistake I made filing taxes for 2019 involving two 1099 payments my wife received.

    Of course they will take their time with that check.

    The credit union is reporting a “sporadic” website outage on their main page.


  7. The credit union is reporting a “sporadic” website outage on their main page.

    -ransomware infection?

    n

  8. “The credit union is reporting a “sporadic” website outage on their main page. ”

    -ransomware infection?

    The credit union is small so my guess is that the website originates with some kind of clearing house for those types of services.

    I managed to access the site a few minutes ago, but now the online account access is down again.

  9. Official CDC explanation

    mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mRNA.html?ACSTrackingID=USCDC_2067-DM47392&ACSTrackingLabel=Understanding%20mRNA%20COVID-19%20Vaccines%20%7C%20COVID-19&deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM47392

    n


  10. Robinhood forcibly selling shares of GameStop without users’ consent”

    A friend in financial services in another country looked into it. It was people trading on margin. The stock dropped below the margin call amount and their position was liquidated. Depending on the account agreement, they had every right to do it. The stock has been incredibly volatile, with intraday swings of $100 happening, so a margin call is quite possible.

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  11. Official CDC explanation

    I have a voluntary test subject living under the same roof. Her second shot is due soon.

    We have tentative plans to travel this Spring, but given the current state of vaccine supply, I doubt the government can require the shots to get on an airplane before Summer. Longer if someone figures out how to do arbitrage of the shots on a mass scale.

  12. From Lynn yesterday:

    One of the brothers who rents my office warehouse tried to explain this to me yesterday. He is a professional landscaper. I immediately thought to myself, this is a bubble. He is shorting Tesla. I did not try to talk him out of it.

    An anecdote just before the crash in 1929 was a broker getting a stock tip from his shoeshine boy. The broker decided this was evidence of a bubble and it was time to get out. Not sure if this is the same thing: History doesn’t repeat but it often rhymes.

  13. BTW, here is an explanation on why Robinhood stopped customers’ trading in Gamestop and other stocks on the “meme” list.

    Yup, dig just a little and find a .gov regulation. Don’tcha just looove Dodd-Frank?


  14. Everybody loves brownies, and boy how comforting those could be at the right time! This mix is in a plasticky sealed pouch, and requires an egg and oil be added, along with water.

    I watched a bit on boxed brownie and cake mixes. Apparently, when they first came out they were all “just add water,” but they weren’t selling well. It seems that Susie Homemaker felt lazy or like she was cheating by buying a mix that just required water. So, they modified the mix so you need to add eggs and oil too. That made people feel more like they were actually cooking/baking and sales increased. lol

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  15. I watched a bit on boxed brownie and cake mixes. Apparently, when they first came out they were all “just add water,” but they weren’t selling well. It seems that Susie Homemaker felt lazy or like she was cheating by buying a mix that just required water. So, they modified the mix so you need to add eggs and oil too. That made people feel more like they were actually cooking/baking and sales increased. lol

    Premixed fats also shorten the shelf life.

    One of the Microsoft legends is that before BillG and Paul Allen managed to grow the company to the point that it was viable long term, future CEO “Monkey Boy” Ballmer used his Harvard education to redesign Duncan Hines cake mix boxes in such a way as to crowd competitors off the standard size supermarket shelf.

  16. Hint from Heloise: Gelatin makes an acceptable substitute for that egg in bakery if your hen is broody. 🙂

  17. Drove 250 miles across Texas yesterday while listening to Hank Williams, Jr. and Sr. The good life !

  18. Housewives that had never even picked up a hammer buying flip houses- that was peak house flipping bubble, just before the crash.

    n


  19. Extreme stock price volatility has the potential to expose investors to rapid and severe losses

    — um, no shirt sherlock. So does the regular market for that matter. 2008? never happened for most of the people trading today.

    n

  20. “And the first big anti-gun bill of the new Congress is out”
    https://gunfreezone.net/and-the-first-big-anti-gun-bill-of-the-new-congress-is-out/

    “To provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession and the registration of firearms, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition.
    “(a) In General.—The Attorney General, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, shall establish a system for licensing the possession of firearms or ammunition in the United States, and for the registration with the Bureau of each firearm present in the United States.”

    “This bill requires you to provide, make, model, serial number, and location of storage to a database that is available to the public. Anyone in America would know the exact content of your gun safe and where it is located.”

    Good night ! What an invasion of privacy ! What a bunch of paperwork, required annual psychological visits, and new taxes. $800 per gun per year !

    The USA will be building new federal prisons by the month.

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  21. Just back from getting covid moderna vaccine. Large horns out the side of my head. At least I can be a shaman. Pretty smooth. Forms asked me my birth gender, current gender, sexuality and preferred pronouns, along with race and ethnicity, all as a list to check off. Temptation to screw with them was somehow avoided. Sat in exam room for over 45 min because I made the mistake of answering yes to a question on healt and they had to have a nurse/prac come talk to me and she finally says, ‘If you’re ok with it so am I.’ Well hell yes or I wouldn’t be here. Wham, bam done. Could of saved about an hour if it had just avoided that question and I knew better. Brain fart I guess.
    Only about four people in there when we arrived and none when we left. Maybe they didn’t have that many to dispense.

  22. “The USA will be building new federal prisons by the month.”

    –been done before, called them ‘concentration camps’, came with a free train ride and a shower.

    n

    NOT kidding. The roundups have ALWAYS followed the registration, and then confiscation. This will guarantee a civil war.

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  23. I see HR 127 comes out of Texas, and is named for the foreign exchange student killed in a school shooting which took place in Texas a couple years ago.

    What a mess.

  24. Housewives that had never even picked up a hammer buying flip houses- that was peak house flipping bubble, just before the crash.

    Housewives? Try strippers.

    We refinanced during the bubble in Florida. My wife commented that the trainee mortgage broker helping with the paperwork probably still worked a pole at night.

    The whole decade after 9/11 was surreal. I’ve posted before about the Bat Guano neighbors making death threats over my sod. Everyone thought their stucco cr*p shacks, most purchased with military housing allowances around me, were going to 7-figure valuations.

    The military credit unions are still sitting on bad paper in the Tampa suburbs a decade later, both the local lender, Grow Financial, and Pentagon Federal.

    Watch “The Big Short” if you’ve never seen it. Ironically one of the main characters in the story is Michael Bury, who was involved with the GME games this week.

    Florida was out of control, but before you say “Yeah, Florida Man”, I’m seeing a lot of the same buildup here in the suburbs north of Austin with 3% down mortgages and loose appraisals. Texas missed the show last time, and the realtors are obviously determined to not miss out again.

  25. Drove 250 miles across Texas yesterday while listening to Hank Williams, Jr. and Sr. The good life !

    Forgot to mention that I am not sure that I can hear “Country Boy Can Survive” too many times. This song is the theme song for the prepper movement.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cQNkIrg-Tk

    My Dad was teaching my brother and I to skin a buck about 40 years ago. We found out the buck had already been shot before my brother shot it again. It had a huge belly full of pus. We stopped at that point due to the grossness and threw it on the trash pile.

    My brother-in-law was murdered by two men here in Houston for the $65 he had in his pocket back in 1982. They watched him cash his paycheck at the Pizza Hut he worked at worked at and followed him outside. You don’t want to know what I want to do to these two men.

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  26. Drove 250 miles across Texas yesterday while listening to Hank Williams, Jr. and Sr.

    Drove 250 miles halfway across Texas yesterday while listening to Hank Williams, Jr. and Sr.

    Fixed it for you. It takes a long time to get across the state of Texas.

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  27. Re GameStop et al

    Maybe not accurate but nonetheless entertaining…check out Billions streaming on Showtime.
    P.S. I just started Season 5 so no spoilers please!

  28. Housewives that had never even picked up a hammer buying flip houses- that was peak house flipping bubble, just before the crash.

    They watched several flipping and renovation shows on HGTV. That’s better than real experience! All you have to do is dress cute and swing a sledgehammer at a section of drywall for the photo op. Then you leave and contractors show up and magically do everything else.

    Maybe not accurate but nonetheless entertaining…check out Billions streaming on Showtime.
    P.S. I just started Season 5 so no spoilers please!

    I really enjoy this show.

  29. I see HR 127 comes out of Texas, and is named for the foreign exchange student killed in a school shooting which took place in Texas a couple years ago.

    Sheila Jackson Lee. Loon. Race pimp. Ironically, she rose to Congress in the blowback to the Clinton agenda in ’94 when the incumbent wasn’t bringing home the pork.

    Note the language in the bill that makes the registration database completely open to public inquiry.

  30. Went to the local (Knoxville, TN) VA audiology clinic today. My right hearing aid suddenly lost volume. Rather than a “bong” (yeh, I know) sound it was making a “tink” sound and the sounds were not as loud as they were in the past.

    Last time I had an issue I was advised to send the devices to Denver. That required waiting 5 days for shipping box, return address label had no tracking or delivery confirmation which is scary on devices that expensive. Took Denver three weeks to repair and return. And they failed to properly program the devices by programming both devices for the same ear. Had to go to the same Knoxville clinic to get them programmed properly. Was told on that visit to come to them first with issues.

    So this time I went straight to the Audiology clinic. The usual tests, checked the ears and removed ear wax, cleaned the in-ear receiver, used some suction machine to get wax out of the receiver, none of which worked. The technician then replaced the receiver. Inserted a tiny probe in an opening and the tube and receiver pulls out of the hearing aid. She inserted a new receiver and all was good. I did not know that that part could be replaced the easily.

    Now everything is back to normal. The clinic did a good job, appointment was on time and pleasant. Which has been my experience at all of the facilities.

    And on another side note my former shipments of batteries were from a company in Germany. I get 120 batteries at a time, every four months. On this last order the batteries were from Rayovac. I don’t know if this because the VA got a better price, they must buy hundreds of thousands, or if it is to appease Biden to start buying American. But for all I know Rayovac may be Chines manufactured.

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  31. The credit union is reporting a “sporadic” website outage on their main page.
    -ransomware infection?

    Solarwinds??

  32. Texas is big, 934 from South Padre Island to Texline (the Oklahoma line) and 812 miles from El Paso to Texarkana.

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  33. I drove across Texas many years ago. That was on old US66, before I40. Just checked and it is now about 178 miles on I40. Seemed longer back then. Maybe because it was in a VW Bug with a headwind. I remember there was always a grain elevator on the horizon, and by the time I got to it there was another on the horizon. Sure made it seem slow and boring. Did the same trip another time at night. Couldn’t see the grain elevators, but it wasn’t really any better, although I always liked driving at night.

    I’m sure Texas is a fine state, but that’s the only part of it I have seen. Have made connections through something like three airports, but I never count that.

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  34. Speaking of hearing aids, I have a friend who has very severe hearing loss. He does a lot of advanced hobby stuff, and buys his own hearing aids. He programs and services them himself. He says the latest high end behind-the-ear type aids are pretty much the same electronics, and can be programmed about equally well with the right software. I think he got started with this because he was dissatisfied with the programming the provider did. He said it took him some experimenting, but it was well worth it. A bonus is that he only pays about $400 for the aids, but I can’t remember if that is each or for a pair. He did say similar ones retail for about five times that, and some people pay much more. There is a lot of markup, and the business is fraught with incompetence and outright fraud, especially toward the elderly.

    I can confirm the high prices and incompetence from my experience with my 99YO aunt. After we got her to a good tech, she said it was like hearing for the first time since years before. She had aids that were only a couple years old, and they weren’t working for her because the programming was all wrong, but she didn’t know that. She had been told that the office had done all they could. We just happened to go to another nearby office, which was much better. What got me was that I looked at her recent audiograms, and her hearing loss is only moderate, and could have been easily corrected, probably by something far less expensive than what she was sold. Sheesh.

  35. Texas is half the size of Alaska but actually has most of it on the road system. Longest drive you might manage on asphalt in Alaska is perhaps 650 miles, Homer to Fairbanks. Add another couple hundred if you venture onto the haul road to Deadhorse. We’ve got three highways, nobody knows their numbers, we call them by their names instead.
    If you love love love to drive, Alaska is lacking. Well, frost heaves are pretty exciting if you like scraping your chassis and leaping your car in the air when you go a bit fast.

  36. Drove 250 miles across Texas yesterday while listening to Hank Williams, Jr. and Sr.

    Drove 250 miles halfway across Texas yesterday while listening to Hank Williams, Jr. and Sr.

    Fixed it for you. It takes a long time to get across the state of Texas.

    Not even halfway across Texas. Rosenberg to Victoria to Port Lavaca back home to Rosenberg.

    Did not even make it out of south Texas nor into central Texas.

  37. Texas is big, 934 from South Padre Island to Texline (the Oklahoma line) and 812 miles from El Paso to Texarkana.

    Yup. Them there are miles, not those wimpy kilometers that the EU uses. I usually burn 80 miles an hour once I get out of the Fort Bend County construction for I-69. Of course, the I-69 construction has spread to Wharton County, all the way to El Campo.

    They are replacing the bridges now, one bridge that flooded with an inch of water over it five or ten years ago is getting a new bridge right next to it that is at least five feet higher.

  38. I see HR 127 comes out of Texas, and is named for the foreign exchange student killed in a school shooting which took place in Texas a couple years ago.

    Sheila Jackson Lee. Loon. Race pimp. Ironically, she rose to Congress in the blowback to the Clinton agenda in ’94 when the incumbent wasn’t bringing home the pork.

    Note the language in the bill that makes the registration database completely open to public inquiry.

    I did not check the author not how many sponsors. The cost of that bill is in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Plus the cost of Civil War II which is in the trillions.

    Canada tried to put in a gun registry a decade or two ago. They gave up after spending several billion dollars. Not good for a country population 1/10th our size.

    Plus the bill outlaws all guns .50 caliber and bigger. That means that shotguns are outlawed.

  39. I drove across Texas many years ago. That was on old US66, before I40. Just checked and it is now about 178 miles on I40. Seemed longer back then. Maybe because it was in a VW Bug with a headwind. I remember there was always a grain elevator on the horizon, and by the time I got to it there was another on the horizon. Sure made it seem slow and boring. Did the same trip another time at night. Couldn’t see the grain elevators, but it wasn’t really any better, although I always liked driving at night.

    I’m sure Texas is a fine state, but that’s the only part of it I have seen. Have made connections through something like three airports, but I never count that.

    Half of the elevators down here in south Texas are rice, not grain.

    BTW, we are slowly adding two new interstates in Texas, both going east-west. I-14 is in central Texas from Deriider, LA to Fort Stockton, TX, over 600 miles. It is a bypass for the awesome I-10, the lifeblood of the USA.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_14

    And we are converting Texas Highway 59 to US I-69. About 3,000 miles from Ontario, Canada to Monterrey, Mexico if it ever gets finished. About 60 miles are under construction south of Houston, converting to Interstate quality with service roads. Going to be awesome in a 100 years.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_69


  40. He said it took him some experimenting, but it was well worth it. A bonus is that he only pays about $400 for the aids, but I can’t remember if that is each or for a pair.

    https://www.ihearmedical.com/hearing-solutions/
    These are $700/pair and have a USB interface cable available so they can be programmed at home based on an interactive hearing test. Not beyond the realm that its hackable.
    (No connection with the company, just sharing their info as they were an ‘early disrupter’ in the hearing aid business.)

  41. Hint from Heloise: Gelatin makes an acceptable substitute for that egg in bakery if your hen is broody.

    @Nightraker, I did not know that! Thanks for a great tip. I have unflavored gelatin, but it would be a great way to add extra flavors, too. Cool.

    Plus the bill outlaws all guns .50 caliber and bigger. That means that shotguns are outlawed.

    I guess they want us to use a hoe to kill rattlesnakes and copperheads.

    Texas is half the size of Alaska but actually has most of it on the road system.

    My dad has made two trips to Alaska, and the one he drove from Texas was his favorite. He loves your state! He mentioned something he saw up there earlier today. when I rode with him over to Brady.

    (As an aside, we counted the dead skunks on the way back. 31 roadkill skunks in 45 miles between Brady and Brownwood. Mating season is starting early this year. And that is only the ones that get hit: there must be a skunk in every ten square yards… hiding!)

    Texas is big, 934 from South Padre Island to Texline (the Oklahoma line) and 812 miles from El Paso to Texarkana.

    Ultimately, that was why we moved from Magnolia Beach (Port Lavaca): I was 9 hours from my mother in Oklahoma. We thought people would come visit, but we were too far away for most of them to drive down for weekends.

    Back in the days of dial-up, in Midland we had Earthlink. One day, our numbers didn’t work so I called customer service. The lady said “Oh we disconnected those local numbers, but here is one in your area code. It is in El Paso.” I said Ma’am, El Paso is 333 miles from us: it is not only long distance, it is in a different time zone! 😀

  42. BTW, we are slowly adding two new interstates in Texas, both going east-west. I-14 is in central Texas from Deriider, LA to Fort Stockton, TX, over 600 miles. It is a bypass for the awesome I-10, the lifeblood of the USA.

    *Very* slowly. The concrete beams for the ramps from I-35 NB to I-14 WB and I-14 EB to I-35 SB have been sitting outside the bingo parlor/sushi bar in Belton since I worked nearby at CGI in 2017.

    We drove up to Belton for BBQ on New Years Day. The beams still haven’t moved.

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  43. “NFL invites inauguration poet to read poem at Super Bowl and here’s an example of her horrible and offensive ‘poetry’”
    https://therightscoop.com/nfl-invites-inauguration-poet-to-read-poem-at-super-bowl-and-heres-an-example-of-her-horrible-and-offensive-poetry/

    I am going to a Super Bowl party but I am not going to watch the Super Bowl. It will be filled with this nonsense. We are going to play 42 instead.

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


  44. Canada tried to put in a gun registry a decade or two ago. They gave up after spending several billion dollars. Not good for a country population 1/10th our size.

    Specifically, Canada tried to put in a long-gun registry. Big fail as the folks that owned long-guns: hunters and farmers, were four-square against it. And yes, a billion to set up and more to operate until it was shut down. Hand guns are registered, as are their owners in Canada, and very few of them can ever get a (concealed) carry permit. There is no open carry. There are few to no complaints about the handgun registry. Whenever something bad happens (mass shooting, which is fairly rare here), the calls go up for further controls. That was the genesis of the failed long-gun registry. Generally you find that the perpetrator is using unregistered / illegal weapons (likely smuggled in from the USA – it’s a problem) and there are calls for stricter gun laws. Apparently these fools think that making something double-special illegal will discourage someone willing to commit murder in the first place.

  45. Rabbits (four, not one) were rapidly recaptured by he who whoopsed the latch. Helps they’re hand tame, it’s cold, and they’d had time to grow hungry.
    Not much fun being domestic without your food, water, shelter and buddies.

    Hmm. Wonder if we humans will fare better than the four rabbits who briefly flirted with ferality.


  46. BTW, we are slowly adding two new interstates in Texas, both going east-west.

    And there is I-2 in the Rio Grand Valley. Connecting I-69E ? at Harlingen to I-69W ? somewhere west and then to Del Rio.

    I think. The various websites are sketchy. Oh, well yes of course…. we’re talking about the RGV.

    Anyway. Once I sell Mom’s house I’ll have no reason to go south of San Antonio other than to South Padre..

  47. I always thought the free trades was a scam. I have been with Fidelity for several decades with no complaints and will be staying there.

    Trading sites with sophisticated UIs have huge costs associated with providing the service.

    Fidelity has my AT&T and Verizon 401(k) plans as well as my AT&T pension. The combined balance of those three let me trade for free, but I’ve logged in a couple of times over the last year to strange numbers in the accounts and messages from the site saying the system is overloaded.

    Still, what’s left of my post-Vantucky stock holdings are there. The numbers are definitely “beer” money.

    Fidelity handled the proxy ballot for my Apple stock this week. Voting “against” Al Gore reamaining on the board has never been more convenient.


  48. Apparently these fools think that making something double-special illegal will discourage someone willing to commit murder in the first place.

    Double bagging on a blind date works, why not for guns?

  49. Fidelity has my AT&T and Verizon 401(k) plans as well as my AT&T pension. The combined balance of those three let me trade for free, but I’ve logged in a couple of times over the last year to strange numbers in the accounts and messages from the site saying the system is overloaded.

    I created the Simple IRA plan for my primary business on Fidelity 26 years ago. Was amazingly simple to do and simple to maintain. I have an account for each employee and we just put the money there and vest immediately. No games ! No drawbacks !

    Plus my TXU pension is there also. Just 4 years and 5 months till I get my $200 pension each month ! I’ll be partying with that !

  50. I am going to a Super Bowl party but I am not going to watch the Super Bowl. It will be filled with this nonsense. We are going to play 42 instead.

    Go check out the halftime entertainment scheduled.

    I’ll watch. I’m wearing my creamsicle orange Bucco Bruce the Winking Pirate shirt today.

    Once every 15-20 years the shame lifts.

  51. I typically don’t listen to a large amount of music from one artist without switching off. I’d have to put some Alan Jackson and Johnny Cash in the mix with the Hank’s.

    There’s been a trend for the last ten years or so for bands to release large sets of backlist CD’s. I suspect they’re motivated to wring out as much money as possible for their own use rather than leave stuff locked up for the heirs to pillage (Prince?). I’ve been tempted by REO Speedwagon and BOC sets. Need to refoam some speakers first.

    On another topic, I’d like to require tracking collars on all the politicians in Washington, elected and appointed, with live mapping and a WTFIT? function for anyone they meet with. Blow a little sunshine up their backsides. I’m sure it would be just a rumor about the 10g of Semtex in each collar.

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  52. I’d like to see Brady and the Bucs win, and when they put the camera in his face for the Disneyworld endorsement, Tom looks dead center and says, “So, Bob, do you miss me now?”

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  53. I created the Simple IRA plan for my primary business on Fidelity 26 years ago. Was amazingly simple to do and simple to maintain. I have an account for each employee and we just put the money there and vest immediately. No games ! No drawbacks !

    My rollover IRA for my miscellaneous other jobs is at Vanguard.

    I went to school with people who have worked their whole careers there after graduation. John Bogle was for real.

    I worked for the telecoms for a combined 17 years so the money isn’t great, but it isn’t terrible either. No healthcare, however.

  54. I’d like to see Brady and the Bucs win, and when they put the camera in his face for the Disneyworld endorsement, Tom looks dead center and says, “So, Bob, do you miss me now?”

    Bob Kraft called Brady in the locker room in Green Bay last weekend according to numerous reports.

  55. “Orphan Star (Adventures of Pip & Flinx)” by Alan Dean Foster
    https://www.amazon.com/Orphan-Star-Adventures-Pip-Flinx/dp/0345324498/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number four of a fifteen book space opera with psi series. I read the well printed and well bound MMPB published by Del Rey in 1985. In fact, I even bought a new copy to acknowledge ADF’s righteous copyright battle with the contract breaker, Disney. I have all of the books in the series and and buying a couple of new ones for grins.

    Flinx is kidnapped by a merchant determined to learn his secrets. But instead, Flinx finds out that the merchant knows secrets about Flinx ! And in Flinx’s chase of the merchant to Hivehom and Earth, Flinx finds out quite a few secrets. And a race who should be part of the Commonwealth.

    ADF has a website at:
    https://alandeanfoster.com/

    My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (115 reviews)

  56. “Brock Pierce: ‘Turns out Robinhood has secretly been working for the Sheriff of Nottingham’”
    https://noqreport.com/2021/01/29/brock-pierce-turns-out-robinhood-has-secretly-been-working-for-the-sheriff-of-nottingham/

    “The trading app Robinhood’s real motto, according to cryptocurrency pioneer Brock Pierce, is to rob from the poor and give to the rich. The actions and events surrounding the preservation of billionaires at the expense of common investors needs to be thoroughly exposed.”

    Heh.

    And not everybody understands that when the action is free then you are the product.

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

  57. Rabbits (four, not one) were rapidly recaptured by he who whoopsed the latch. Helps they’re hand tame, it’s cold, and they’d had time to grow hungry.
    Not much fun being domestic without your food, water, shelter and buddies.

    Hmm. Wonder if we humans will fare better than the four rabbits who briefly flirted with ferality.

    I guess a lot of that will depend on whether we are cottontails or jackrabbits!

    Which brings to mind, now might be a good time to read Watership Down again.

  58. GM wants to go bankrupt by 2035. Fixed that for ya !

    GM will go bankrupt sooner than that. After that announcement, any gas-powered vehicle entering the pipeline after today will be DOA when it hits dealer showrooms.

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  59. All y’all going on about your whatevers at Fidelity and the like. Over my head.

    I have my 401k at HEB. Half HEB’s general fund, half US stocks. I changed it to half US stocks last year mostly because of the expense ratio.

    0.70% vs 0.08%. I’m not a math genius but I can tell the difference between the two.

    Anyway. I “made” almost eight grand in the last year. “Vested”.

    So looking at what the various plans pay and sort of figuring for what they charge, I changed half of my HEB General fund to the “U.S. Bond Fund” option.
    So. 25 HEB /50 Stocks /25 Bonds.

    What the heck. It all came out of my paycheck before taxes. I never had any of it in my hands.

  60. Whelp, I got to ‘5’ on the “poetry” before turning it off.

    No superbowl for me. Not for years. And then, only because I still have friends working the show, and in the business of producing commercials. I don’t recall watching last year, even the ads.

    Or was that the year with all the gold lame’ body suits and crotch shots in the half time show?

    n

  61. I have my 401k at HEB. Half HEB’s general fund, half US stocks. I changed it to half US stocks last year mostly because of the expense ratio.

    HEB stock?

    Does the family make that available to employees?

    My sister worked for Publix in Florida. Only the employees and founding family hold the stock.

  62. Texas is big, 934 from South Padre Island to Texline (the Oklahoma line)…

    Playing with Google Maps, Florida is only 848 miles from Key West to the state line near Pensacola. Coulda sworn it was more than that. I haven’t driven that route all the way, but parts on separate trips. Driving south from Atlanta and points north, crossing the FL border seems close, but it is a long drive to Ft. Lauderdale. Nice and flat, though.

    California, from Winterhaven to the state line in the far NW is 1017 miles. This is the longest distance I could find in the lower 48.

    All these are highway miles, shortest route. I played with measuring distance, but that seemed like cheating, unless flying of course.

  63. Oh, in case someone wants to know:
    SQ Miles ST Rank
    665,384 AK 1
    268,596 TX 2
    163,695 CA 3
    65,758 FL 22

  64. I always thought the free trades was a scam. I have been with Fidelity for several decades with no complaints and will be staying there.

    Trading sites with sophisticated UIs have huge costs associated with providing the service.

    Just saw that Robinhood has 1,000 employees. That is a lot of mouths to feed for a “free” product. And they had to do a capital call of $1 billion today. Wow.

    I wonder if they will still be in business on Monday ?

  65. @JimB

    I-5 inside CA (Mexico border to Oregon border) is 790-ish miles. Total length of I-5 (in US) is about 1380 miles.

  66. “John Kerry can’t figure out why oil workers don’t want to eat cake” by J. Kb
    https://gunfreezone.net/john-kerry-cant-figure-out-why-oil-workers-dont-want-to-eat-cake/

    “John Kerry, a man with a private plane and a private yacht, both which burn more fuel in an hour than the average middle class driver burns in a week and a giant mansion that consumes several times the heating and cooling energy of an average middle class house, can’t understand why oil workers with unique and valuable skills making an average of $98K per year are not happy to be laid off for the empty promise that some unspecified time in the future they will be retrained to do jobs that pay substantially less money.”

    “Maybe it will finally dawn on him when laid off oil workers who can’t feed their families, watching the solar panels they were promised they would make actually be made in China by a company that got federal subsidies to make solar panels but got an exemption to outsource production to China because the owners are buddies with Kerry, decide to weld steel plate to some old bulldozers and drive them through Kerry’s Martha’s Vinyard mansion.”

  67. “Biden Climate Executive Order: Government Vehicles to be Electric”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/01/27/biden-climate-order-government-vehicles-to-be-electric/

    “h/t Breitbart; Libertarians rejoice! Thanks to President Biden’s latest climate brainstorm, in the future the US Federal Government will only function within 200 miles of the nearest operational EV charging station, and only when a fully charged EV is available in the car pool.”

    Nice picture of a tank backed up to an electric filling station.

    When I was driving around Texas yesterday I noted the increased amount of 18 wheelers on the road. Since there are about a million 18 wheelers in the USA, I can just imagine how many batteries and electric motors it will take to repower these. Especially since the Tesla model 3 has a 130 kwh battery and the Telsa Truck (18 wheeler) has four 250 kwh batteries for a total of 1,000 kwh to give them a range of 500 miles. Those numbers just don’t work for a total replacement.

  68. GM went bankrupt more than ten years ago. Obama resuscitated it and stole the shareholder equity in Delphi to appease the unions.

    I hadn’t heard about the phone call with Kraft and Brady. The remark was facetious, inasmuch as I’m sure that Kraft misses him (and Gronkowski).

  69. @Lynn
    If the goobermint goes 100% to electric vehicles, one of the first things to happen come the revolution is the destruction of charging points.

    That’ll be after the publication of the manual that shows angle, impact point, round, and load for every type of electric vehicle to minimize the time of energy release.

    When you do a repair weld on a gas tank, the tank is filled first. Chemistry is on your side. Lithium battery chemistry is never on your side as long as there is charge.

  70. Lots of energy in those batteries. And you really only need to poke a couple of holes in them, or dent them, or let them get too hot…. And EVs typically are engineered to death to get the last bit of weight out of them. Not gonna work with armor… Or for the kinds of wear and tear .mil vehicles and trucks in general need to absorb.

    It’s a distraction anyway. Don’t allow yourself to get bogged down “go on, give them something about global warming to fight against while we gut the constitution…”

    Biden’s an empty vessel but the suits running him aren’t. They’re pretty good at playing their opponents off, or co-opting them. It’s how they got to be in charge in the first place.

    n

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  71. Trying to do a search on Amazon.
    Select Department, click Search: Department returns to All

    press FU shift and “Send 50 volts to Programmer”

  72. @Nick
    Biden is a puppet.
    Outside the basement, it will be increasingly obvious when the strings get tangled.

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  73. “Reddit Rebels’ Stock Shenanigans Just Took a Heartwarming Turn”
    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/bryan-preston/2021/01/29/reddit-rebels-stock-shenanigans-just-took-a-heartwarming-turn-n1419229

    “The week’s most bizarre, hilarious, and amazing story just took another crazy turn. Reddit’s rebels may have just saved AMC Theatres from more than half a billion in debt.”

    “AMC Theatres was just about dead as of Monday of this week. But along with GameStop and BlackBerry, Reddit’s r/wallstreetbets (WSB) targeted AMC’s stock for a revival. “We like the stock,” they said.”

    “[O]n Wednesday, a private equity firm named Silver Lake — and private equity firms are popularly considered the “bad guys” in this snobs-versus-slobs drama — elected to convert the corporate bonds it held into AMC Entertainment Holdings stock. Although the theater chain’s stock price has tumbled and soared since the move, the debt relief is permanent.”

    Wild.

  74. Trying to do a search on Amazon.
    Select Department, click Search: Department returns to All

    press FU shift and “Send 50 volts to Programmer”

    Amazon’s search sucks dead donkeys. I hate to admit it but I always use google search for stuff on amazon.


  75. And the first big anti-gun bill of the new Congress is out

    Are there enough Repub votes in the Senate to get this passed over a filibuster?


  76. Amazon’s search sucks dead donkeys.

    Sucks only if you’re a shopper. To Jeff’s PhD AI gurus it works exactly like Jeff wants it to to maximize what you spend there.

  77. @Alan
    Manchin won’t vote for it, so it may not get that far.

    If I’m looking for an item and the search comes back with 960 pieces of carp, I’m not getting my carp sifter out of the corner by the catbox.

    @Lynn
    Yup, I do that, too.
    It was info only, since I’m not ordering from Amazon except in dire need.
    Did manage to track the item I was looking for to a small company. I’ll give them a call tomorrow and order the old-fashioned way.

  78. in case someone wants to know:
    SQ Miles ST Rank
    665,384 AK 1
    268,596 TX 2
    163,695 CA 3
    65,758 FL 22

    Just out of interest and for some perspective.
    My state, Western Australia.
    2,642,753 km2 (1,020,373 sq. mi)
    Population total 2.7 million.
    (According to the wiki.. )

  79. AOSHQ ONT thread for Jan 29, 2021 contains the most disturbing and offensive photo I have ever seen.


  80. My state, Western Australia.

    Thanks. I thought so but am too lazy to look it up and then do the conversion…

  81. @Lynn
    Sorry, I went to bed.
    ONT = OverNight Thread

    The photo is After the Inauguration.

  82. Re: the flag photo:

    Hard to tell what happened without context. The flag pictured could have been discarded by people who ‘invaded’ the building. It may not be an authorized flag (a flag that was previously in the building).

    If it was left behind by the ‘interlopers’ (it was left on the floor), then it must be discarded properly. The placement of it in that trash container may have been required by the circumstances.

    And I would assume that the cleanup crew assigned to that building know the proper procedures for flag disposal.

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  83. yeah, no. There isn’t any reason at all for the flag to be tossed in a bin. Fold it, and place it to the side for disposal if it’s damaged. In the case it’s too badly damaged to be folded in the traditional manner, do your best, and place it to the side. It’s an actual flag, not a facsimile of one. If they didn’t have time to remove it from the staff and fold it, rolling it up around the staff would be fine too.

    There are reasons to observer the forms. There are good reasons for politeness and ‘customary’ greetings and responses. They are the shared rituals that bind a society together.

    This is a staff that just doesn’t care. I can’t believe they don’t know better, they chose their actions.

    I’ve got 3 damaged flags in my closet right now waiting for the next chance to take them to the Legion on a disposal day. It’s not hard to do the right thing. And it’s a lot easier than trying to explain why you didn’t.

    n

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