Mon. Mar. 8, 2021 – did some cooking and cleaning

Cool again today, and hopefully dry.   It stayed cool yesterday and was sunny and bright.   A beautiful day.  A day for . . . yardwork!

Well, my wife did some planting, and I did some cleaning.   She got some new plants into the herb garden and replaced some of the decorative stuff that froze.   She cut back the stuff we’re hoping recovers.

I raked some more leaves, especially by the citrus trees.   I shook and knocked most of the dead leaves off the trees and then I cleaned up around them.   I didn’t quite get everything bagged, I’ll have to finish later.  In the back yard my wife planted some tomatoes (and the herbs) while I picked up debris and ran the lawnmower.   Put the fire pit cooker back in the middle of the yard.   Pressure washed some spots on the patio and a few things I’d missed, basically just to run  the gas tank dry.  And then, because the firepit was just sitting right there, we decided to have a little fire.   And if we’re going to have a fire, might as well use it to cook dinner, says the 9 year old… wisdom from the mouths of babes.

So that’s what we did.   The firepit is enclosed with mesh all the way around and has a cast iron grill that you can cook on.   We re-heated beef stew, put some mushrooms in butter in foil, and grilled some kielbasa sausages.  I put a can of red beans and rice on too and that made a real nice meal with the sliced sausage.   During the blackouts we ate a couple of cans of the stuff, and gave some to the neighbors too.   Recommended.   Tasty, hearty, and easy to make.

(And of course dessert was s’mores.   We had the fire going anyway…)

Canned and ‘instant’ versions of food and ingredients should be high on your stored food list.   They take less time and less heat energy to prepare and you might be short on both of those things during your emergency.   I’ve got lots of regular rice, but during short term events, I reach for the Minute Rice.  Everything we had for dinner had already been cooked, and really just needed to be heated.

Speaking of shortcuts, for breakfast I made eggs, and biscuits with sausage gravy.   First time for me and the gravy.   It was from a can too.  Biscuits from a tube, gravy from a can, and eggs (ultimately from a chicken, but yesterday just from the store.)   The gravy was pretty good, the family all ate it and my wife got seconds.   It was FAR better than the white goo I got from a gravy packet last time I tried biscuits and gravy.  Younger daughter also got fried sliced spam.  She loves it.

So breakfast was from medium and long term storage, and dinner was from the pantry but cooked over a wood fire.    Eat what you store…   and store some stuff you don’t normally eat so that you have some novel foods if you get bored.

Cooking over a wood fire is fun when you don’t have to do it.  Practice using some of the different ways you have stacked to cook, clean, heat water, etc.  MUCH easier to do so in the daylight on a nice day, when the indoor stove is there for backup…

And of course, keep stacking the stuff you need.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

89 thoughts on “Mon. Mar. 8, 2021 – did some cooking and cleaning”

  1. 39F this morning. It was 43F when I went to sleep. That’s pretty chilly. Looks like the day will start clear at least. Supposed to be clear for a day or two.

    n


  2. Need to make sure they aren’t burning Dr Seuss books first.

    Yeah, that’s pretty unbelievable. I finally found an article that included one of the objectionable illustrations. “A Chinese man who eats with sticks”. Um…well, they do. Why is observing this in any way offensive? If anything, if a kid remarks on it, a decent parent would take the opportunity, grab a pair of chopsticks, and demonstrate.

    George Orwell must be laughing. Wasn’t it 1984 that had the government rewriting books and revising history? Or was that Huxley and Brave New World?

    I gave my sales guy $50 cash for the next days lunch

    My son started doing that with our optician, and I now follow suit. The optician found it really strange the first time. The guy is just incredibly good. Good work deserves recognition, and buying him lunch is a small enough thing to do.

    3% down mortgages are back

    Insane. The banks here are being careful, which I applaud. It’s still 20% down, unless you have some additional security or a co-signer. Also, your income still must qualify you with “normal” interest rates, not just the currently very low ones.

    – – – – –

    Garden projects galore

    I’m putting in the foundation for a tool shed. Gravel, with paving slabs on top. I put in the concrete edge on Saturday, leaving 5mm extra. Well, that wasn’t enough. The slabs aren’t quite exactly the size they’re supposed to be, so I’m going to have to shave the last row by 2mm or so. What a pain…

  3. @Brad
    One of the Dr. Seuss books was apparently pulled for use of the term “eskimo”.

    I’m telling you, I’m getting woke myself and the term “white” is really starting to be offensive to me. Pink, maybe beige, pale taupe–but sure not white. Past time to start a movement.

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  4. There wasn’t any insurance claim for flooding, and it was always serviced inland, san marcos, austin, new braunfels, but I’ll be looking carefully. I’ll be looking for silt in places where dust shouldn’t get.

    Austin down to San Marcos has experienced flooding unconnected to hurricanes several times since we’ve lived here. Hays County has wildly uneven terrain, and Austin’s flood control efforts are in constant catch up with the population growth.

    Ironically, south and east of the city have all of the growth because of the cheap land (there is a reason) and lack of organized NIMBY like the fancy lad places to the west out to Lake Travis. North is built out to Georgetown and the little cities along I35 going to Temple like their present size and have experience fighting the Trans-Texas Corridor.

    That said, one Ford dealership in South Austin on “the motor mile” has a terrible reputation in all departments if you look on Yelp. Someone may have been fed up.

  5. “3% down mortgages are back”

    Insane. The banks here are being careful, which I applaud. It’s still 20% down, unless you have some additional security or a co-signer. Also, your income still must qualify you with “normal” interest rates, not just the currently very low ones.

    When the housing bubble popped in Florida, the 3% down mortgages were not the problem you would imagine. In my immediate vicinity, the big problems came from the paper written by the military base credit unions under pressure from the local commands to help “poor” military families and retirees get in over their heads purusing “10 bagger” returns (1000% gain) on stucco shacks in Florida.

    Houses are places to live, not investments. The people with 3% down mortgages realized that better than most.

  6. Back in the day, a bank gave my newly wed friends a mortgage with 1% down, in San Diego. She was a part time teacher, he was a part time auto mechanic, freelance musician. Nuts.

    n


  7. I’m telling you, I’m getting woke myself and the term “white” is really starting to be offensive to me. Pink, maybe beige, pale taupe–but sure not white. Past time to start a movement.

    Or as Crayola used to say, “Flesh”.

  8. WRT that little inverter gennie, I looked at it briefly over a year ago.

    Check out youtube, there are a lot of repair and comparison videos about the various small gennies.

    That said, the Honda was the original, has probably millions of running hours in total, still sells like hotcakes, is the de facto standard for the category, and is a genuine solid performer.

    For infrequent use, and as a back up, saving a bit of money is probably fine. If you were getting it to run every weekend at the race track or camping, I’d recommend getting the honda, because it’s a known good solution and I’ve never heard of anyone who regretted it.

    n

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  9. They don’t want a fair trial, they want a witch burning.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9337333/At-Chauvin-trial-jury-selection-battleground.html

    Many protesters Sunday said they worry that Chauvin will walk free, but warned that this would not come without consequences.

    ‘I hope that our legal system allows all evidence to be presented and that we get a conviction, but I don’t expect it,’ Billie Jean Vanknight, a 43-year-old Black woman, told AFP.

    n

    BTW, “No justice, no peace” is a threat.

    And “protesters” ? what are they protesting? That the accused is getting a trial? They would have been called “demonstrators” in the past.

  10. ““Flesh”. ”

    –pretty sure everyone’s “flesh” is red…

    n


  11. VA loans are still 0% down, right?

    Yep. Every house I’ve owned has been a VA no money down mortgage. Since MrsAtoz is also a vet, we’ve typically owned two+ houses for 30+ years. Renting one out. This is not allowed with the VA, but to get around that all you have to say is “I’ll be living in the Leavenworth house.” After a couple of years, some bank/mort/lender will offer a deal to refi with a small savings and no money involved. You then get your VA benny back for the next house.

  12. ““Flesh”. ”
    –pretty sure everyone’s “flesh” is red…

    Mine is “Mediterranean.” Never saw that in a box of crayons.

  13. Back in the day, a bank gave my newly wed friends a mortgage with 1% down, in San Diego. She was a part time teacher, he was a part time auto mechanic, freelance musician. Nuts.

    Did they default?

  14. Long before political correctness subverted the language I had a friend that defended his “color blind” dating by saying “they’re all pink on the inside.”

    A predator might say “they’re all RED on the inside…”

    n

  15. “Did they default? ”

    –divorced and sold into a rising market before they could default.

    Giving two freelance artists with part time jobs that mortgage was nuts.

    n

  16. Re costco generator, I doubt this will help, but a data point. I slightly know someone who has a small number of trailer mounted shaved ice shacks. These are open every day, and are run on generators. They also cook hot dogs and such. One day about ten years ago, I noticed one that had a very quiet gen. It appeared to be running at a fast idle, yet the place was in full operation. I asked the most mature person there about their new-looking gen. Turned out she was the owner’s wife. She said it was a new thing called an inverter gen. It put out 5 or 7 KVA. They needed something that could start a substantial (1hp?) motor on their ice shaver, plus power everything else, and had used 7+ KVA conventional gens for years. They had bought this one for its fuel economy. A year later, they had converted all their places to these. She said they bought them directly from the source in China, and the units were as good as any they had used. They were “commercial” units, and were not cheap. Gasoline. Shacks were all electric. Why not propane? Didn’t ask. Outlier? Dunno. Sometimes the Chinese screw up and make good things.

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  17. “They don’t want a fair trial, they want a witch burning.”

    Many protesters Sunday said they worry that Chauvin will walk free, but warned that this would not come without consequences.

    They’ll get their witch burning, but not for the reasons you might think. Again, the establishment does not want too many aspects of Derek Chauvin’s planned retirement aired in court, especially with the new spending plan bailing out the immediate state/city pension problems.

  18. Giving two freelance artists with part time jobs that mortgage was nuts.

    Hmm. Interest only plus adjustable rate mortgage with a balloon payment to be guilted from family members as part of the plan.


  19. “They don’t want a fair trial, they want a witch burning.”

    I don’t see Chauvin getting convicted of any type of murder charge. Even if he killed Floyd by kneeling on his neck, how are they going to prove murder? After he doesn’t get convicted of murder, the peaceful protest will begin. By that I mean POCs will burn down their own neighborhoods for justice.

    IMHO, Chauvin was using police techniques approved by the city that hires the police. Hold them responsible and burn down city goobermint. The hounding of Chauvin will be epic. Without being able to look into his heart, I don’t know if I’m sorry for him or not.

  20. George Floyd was a “dead man walking” before the police got on the scene. That much fentanyl in his system was already fatal. Scott Adams seems pretty sure that Chauvin isn’t going to be convicted of the murder charge, which seems right to me.

    But Floyd was merely an excuse to burn down several cities, and that’s probably how it will happen again when Chauvin isn’t convicted.


  21. Even if he killed Floyd by kneeling on his neck, how are they going to prove murder?

    You think the law matters? Oh, my sweet summer child, we’re in the 2020s now.

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  22. I have no fear of car salesman.

    My experience has been that the majority of the time I know more about the car I’m interested in than they do. Was on a test drive a couple years ago when the sales guy was clicking on the touch screen explaining some feature that didn’t exist for the trim level of the car we were driving. Another time the salesman insisted that the “dealer holdback” was money the dealership had to pay out when in fact it’s money they get from the manufacturer. Then there was the time years ago when I was helping a friend lease a car and the salesman was in shock that I understood how the leasing financials worked.
    .
    Re “trade-ins” most times you’re at some disadvantage because the dealer has two levers to work. Bargain hard and get a great price on the new car and they will look to make some of that back on the trade-in value. Suddenly a PDR door ding becomes a repaint. Better off if you can sell the trade-in vehicle separately, but make sure to consider how your state will apply sales tax – in NYS for example, you only pay tax on the net sales price after the trade.
    .
    In the past the Edmunds forums have been a good source of info for buying/leasing.
    Haven’t been there lately so YMMV.
    https://forums.edmunds.com/categories/ford


  23. For infrequent use, and as a back up, saving a bit of money is probably fine.

    Yup, as a backup – “two is one…”

  24. Sitting at the dealer, won’t budge on price, I’m doing the deal. It’s a great truck. No evidence of water or of any towing either. There isn’t a mark on the hitch.

    N

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  25. ‘Never saw that in a box of crayons.’

    There was also “Indian Red”…

    We’ve touched on that here before, IIRC when RBT was still with us. That shade of red was the logo of the company that made Indian motorcycles.

    Pre-Covid, I drove by the local dealer on a regular basis for nearly six years. Lockdowns put them out of business within a few weeks.

  26. For another time sink here is a link to some pictures I took at my church during the morning services.

    http://www.raymondthompsonphotography.com/CBC/

    From my new camera with the 40-150 (80 – 300 equivalent as I use a cropped sensor) with a 1.4 teleconverter. Need to get practice with the lens before baseball gets in full swing.

  27. The current contender is this one.

    https://www.tommievaughnford.com/inventory/used-vehicles/vehicle/1FMJK1KT1HEA28458/Used-2017-Ford-Expedition-EL-Houston-TX

    It’s got heavy duty tow, low miles, the extended length- everything looks right. So why the under market price?

    I’ve asked for a test drive appointment, bc their sales dept doesn’t answer the phone.

    n

    Looks good, no wrecks on the carfax. Only 2WD. I am not sure when they dropped the limited slip for the automated wheel braking option.

    Black in Texas is gonna be warm in the summertime.

    @nick, is there any way to check the Expy for flooding damage ?
    Nick Flandrey says:
    8 March 2021 at 07:21

    There wasn’t any insurance claim for flooding, and it was always serviced inland, san marcos, austin, new braunfels, but I’ll be looking carefully. I’ll be looking for silt in places where dust shouldn’t get.

    Cool ! Sounds like you have a winner if it did not get flooded or wrecked.

    You have had good luck with used vehicles. Me, the last used vehicle I bought was a 1987 VW Jetta GLI with 50K miles on it in 1989. It ran great as long as you had the a/c turned on which retarded the timing. Otherwise that 150 hp 1.8L DOHC four stalled all the time. It was mover, I once followed a Porsche from Dallas to Houston running 130 mph for almost 200 miles. Then my oil temp hit the redline and the alarm came on so I had to back it way down. It was weird with the a/c turned on and snow on the ground.


  28. Friday: WRT my Expy, sold it. $1250…I don’t have to rush into a purchase, so I can wait a while for the right used vehicle if I need to.
    Monday: Sitting at the dealer, won’t budge on price, I’m doing the deal.
    🙂

    @nick; best of luck with the new wheels, very nice truck. And as they say on the ole CB, always keep it shiny side up.

  29. My painter dude that I gave my 2005 Eddie Bauer Expedition with the broken timing chain to is here at my office pressure washing and painting all of my buildings for me this week (an actual demand by my insurance company because of outside mildew) . He fixed the broken timing chain in the Expy and is now driving it.

  30. Long before political correctness subverted the language I had a friend that defended his “color blind” dating by saying “they’re all pink on the inside.”

    A predator might say “they’re all RED on the inside…”

    n

    My wife is reading this autobiography right now, “All Blood Runs Red: The Legendary Life of Eugene Bullard―Boxer, Pilot, Soldier, Spy”. Very impressive guy, Spad fighter pilot in WW1 and WW2 for the French.
    https://www.amazon.com/All-Blood-Runs-Red-Bullard_Boxer/dp/133501666X/?tag=ttgnet-20

  31. There are a lot of jobs that the labor rate is what makes it uneconomical. If you don’t pay for labor, sometimes the fix makes sense.

    And here I am saying I don’t need to rush in, and then bought a truck in a couple days.

    I think it’s the most luxurious thing I’ve every owned….

    n

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  32. VA loans are still 0% down, right?

    Yep. Every house I’ve owned has been a VA no money down mortgage. Since MrsAtoz is also a vet, we’ve typically owned two+ houses for 30+ years. Renting one out. This is not allowed with the VA, but to get around that all you have to say is “I’ll be living in the Leavenworth house.” After a couple of years, some bank/mort/lender will offer a deal to refi with a small savings and no money involved. You then get your VA benny back for the next house.

    My father-in-law was a disabled army vet. Forced military retirement after 17 years service and then got a disability check every month the rest of his life. He always bought his houses on the VA zero percent down, lived in them for a few months and then rented them out after refinancing, moving on to the next house with a VA loan.


  33. I think it’s the most luxurious thing I’ve every owned….

    Don’t say that to your wife.

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  34. I think it’s the most luxurious thing I’ve every owned….

    I go back and forth as to whether it was smart to let my wife’s 4Runner go with only 140,000 miles over a rack and pinion replacement cost and cosmetic issues.

    OTOH, the Exploder is much nicer for long distance driving and holds a lot more kids. Plus a rack and pinion job can be hit or miss as far as being worth the price long term on Toyotas.

  35. Scott Adams seems pretty sure that Chauvin isn’t going to be convicted of the murder charge, which seems right to me.

    Pre-meditated murder? No. However the two individuals have a history beyond cop-suspect IIRC so manslaughter wouldn’t be impossible to prove.

  36. I replied in March 6, but you may not read back that far, so repeating the reply:

    Any recommendations from the group for a robot vac?

    We’re pretty happy with our Ozmo 950. We have pets, and it does fine with the hair. We have hard floors, so I can’t speak to how it works on carpet. You do have to empty it after each run. With four pets, it runs frequently.

    Fwiw, we have an older model (Ozmo 920) on another floor – vacuums well, but screws up its map about once a month. Also an old (random walk) Roomba, but that’s just annoying compared to the more modern beasties.

    Just ordered a Eufy 11S for delivery Saturday. I will report back with initial impressions. Consumers Reports likes this model (not that great a recommendation in my recent experience, but we will see). The Roomba products scored higher but were in some case 5 times as expensive ($1000 or more for a vacuum cleaner?). The Eufy is also short enough to get under all my furniture. More when I know more.

  37. “Sure, but I’d need some gun rights first”
    https://gunfreezone.net/sure-but-id-need-some-gun-rights-first/

    “This is from the wife of the worst mayor in New York City history:”
    “As attacks on Asian American communities continue, we’re asking New Yorkers to show up for their neighbors and intervene when witnessing hateful violence or harassment. I know that can be frightening when you aren’t sure what to do or say, but you can learn.”

    Yup. You don’t jump in the middle of that nightmare without a peacemaker.

  38. “Supreme Court Stops College from Denying Christian Students’ Free Speech”
    https://www.lifenews.com/2021/03/08/supreme-court-stops-college-from-denying-christian-students-free-speech/

    “Supreme Court Stops College from Denying Christian Students’ Free Speech in 8-1 Decision — Only Dissenting Opinion is JOHN ROBERTS!”

    What the heck is wrong with John Roberts ?

    And yes, I have read the rumor that he bought his kids from Jeffrey Epstein.

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

  39. What the heck is wrong with John Roberts ?

    Roberts is consistent in that he doesn’t believe the court should be used as a means to correct “foolish” political choices. Georgia Gwinnett is a public school.

    My parents always talked about one of the reasons Reagan was elected governor of CA was Moonbeam Sr’s hands-off approach to the UC system and the potential mess brewing there if it hadn’t been corrected.

    Looking at their web page and Wikipedia article, Georgia Gwinnett strikes me as a bit of a freak show, catering to the swing voter demographic in that section of the Atlanta suburbs that decided the current Senate composition. Lots of foolish political choices get made there.

    Yeah, Biden. Trump, though …

  40. From my new camera with the 40-150 (80 – 300 equivalent as I use a cropped sensor) with a 1.4 teleconverter.

    Nice pictures, as usual, Ray. I may have forgotten, but what camera. With a 2x crop factor did you go to a four thirds format, or are you including the extender? Still confused.

  41. I may have forgotten, but what camera. With a 2x crop factor did you go to a four thirds format, or are you including the extender?

    Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III micro 4/3 camera.

    https://www.getolympus.com/us/en/digitalcameras/omd/om-d-e-m1-mark-iii.html

    Crop sensor makes the camera smaller and lighter. Generally double the lens length to get full frame equivalent. Lot of features in this model camera. All the images posted were handheld, iso 2000, f4.0 (due to 1.4 teleconverter) 1/160 shutter, incandescent white balance, various zoom settings, about 210mm with the teleconverter, equivalent of 430 mm full frame at maximum zoom.

  42. “The End of the Matter (Adventures of Pip & Flinx Book 5)” by Alan Dean Foster
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345258614/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number four (in reading order) of a fifteen book space opera with psi series. I reread the well printed and well bound MMPB published by Del Rey in 1997 that I bought used since I cannot find my copy in my packed books and there is not a new copy available now. I will continue to read through the series.

    Flinx now has own FTL spaceship, the Teacher, built and given to him by the Ulru-Ujurrians. And he is pursuing his heritage, trying to figure out what and who he is. So he takes off from Moth after visiting Mother Mastiff for Alaspin, the world where his minidrag Pip is from, with his strange new alien pet, Abalamahalamatandra.

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

    My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (111 reviews)

  43. What the heck is wrong with John Roberts ?

    Roberts is consistent in that he doesn’t believe the court should be used as a means to correct “foolish” political choices. Georgia Gwinnett is a public school.

    My parents always talked about one of the reasons Reagan was elected governor of CA was Moonbeam Sr’s hands-off approach to the UC system and the potential mess brewing there if it hadn’t been corrected.

    John Roberts is proving himself to be an idiot then. SCOTUS needs to put down any challenges to the Constitution hard. Especially the first amendment !

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  44. SCOTUS needs to put down any challenges to the Constitution hard. Especially the first amendment !

    SCOTUS has claimed power to “interpret” the Constitution since Marbury and has been failing strict construction since (at least) 1860. I believe that institution has failed its’ Constitutional function or practice most of any. Mebbee abolish it, next time.

  45. And here I am saying I don’t need to rush in, and then bought a truck in a couple days.

    I think it’s the most luxurious thing I’ve every owned….

    n

    Congrats ! And one of my warehouse tenants bought his girlfriend (they have three kids together ! ! !) a 2017 silver XLT Expedition with 60K miles over the weekend for $24K to replace their 2010 Expy with 170K miles and a leaky radiator. She refused to look at it and got mad at him for spending so much money (she is a schoolteacher).


  46. Mebbee abolish it, next time.

    And replace it with?
    Maybe Trump should have thought about adding a few more justices?
    Or do we leave that for Pres. DeSantis?

  47. And replace it with?

    Fair question. Let any 2 judges decide an issue, of max 3 proceedings. Belligerents agree on a judge before the proceeding

  48. Or do we leave that for Pres. DeSantis?

    DeSantis has to survive reelection in Florida. That isn’t guaranteed. The margin was very narrow last time, and anti-Trump Republicans are making noise about running a third party ticket.

  49. OM-D E-M1 Mark III

    Thanks, Ray, I thought so. How do you like its performance compared to your full frame (?) camera? I don’t keep up, but do see a lot of crowing from Olympus now that I am a current owner.

    I have the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Got a great deal through a relative who works for Oly Medical Imaging division. That was a while ago when the body was the latest model. I am embarrassed to say I haven’t actually used it much. I did do some tests to make sure everything works. I bought it with little notice, and have been too busy to take on something that complicated with all my other stuff going on. Like Harold (?) who got the gaming rig, I have lost some interest. I will always want to do photography, but not just now. My work has been limited to pedestrian illustration and documenting for various personal projects. I also bought it for travel, but we haven’t been anywhere since 2013. I will get up to speed and in practice before our next trip.

    And, yes, I do know that these things don’t age well. They should be used, and then replaced when the next huge leap comes. I can always buy a newer body, and have considered that. Would also like to get some more lenses.

    When I bought the body, I got just two lenses: the then-biggest “travel” zoom, the 12-100 f/4, and the 25 f/1.2. These are supposed to be very good lenses, but I need to put them on my lens charts and do some work with them to find out just how good they are. I have a small collection of old and new lenses for my Pentax K20D. That camera has been very good to me, with very consistent results I can always count on. All except for flash, but I don’t use flash much, so it is just a minor disappointment.

    I go way back with Olympus, but only owned a Pen D, which I still have. Curiosity these days, but I really liked it, and used if a lot as a secondary camera. I almost bought into the Pen F system, but didn’t. I was tired of the half frame format. I eventually bought some Pentax stuff, having chosen it over Nikon. I really liked the Nikon system’s versatility, but it was heavy and expensive. The Spotmatic was very innovative when it came out, and I used the heck out of my two bodies and small assortment of lenses. A beauty of the system was the enormous number of lenses that could be screwed onto it. I still have all those, too. I would give them to someone who would treasure them instead of scrapping them. They have very little value these days.

    And, as you said, phone cameras are getting pretty good, especially in low light. Mine sometimes astounds me enough that I can’t wait to get a newer phone. That is in the works… We do live in good times, if they can just keep the lights on.

  50. What the heck is wrong with John Roberts ?

    His dissent has a few good points:
    – lower courts had ruled the case moot because the college had changed their policy/rules to be in line with the first amendment and previous cases against public schools and universities.
    – the person bringing the suit had sustained no long-term harm. He had graduated from that school.
    – he was asking for $1 in damages. Roberts thinks this makes the case effectively moot and dismissable since there were no lasting damages (IIRC, there is a floor on the dollar amount in some federal lawsuits in the constitution).
    – he also made some arguments based in the history of common law in the US and England and their differences. This is an area of his expertise.

    So, out of step? Yes. Objectively wrong? No.

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  51. Or do we leave that for Pres. DeSantis?

    DeSantis has to survive reelection in Florida. That isn’t guaranteed. The margin was very narrow last time, and anti-Trump Republicans are making noise about running a third party ticket.

    Is it just me or do anti-Trump Republicans == RINOs ???

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  52. @ech
    I’m stealing your summary and adding numbers for reference:

    What the heck is wrong with John Roberts ?

    His dissent has a few good points:
    1– lower courts had ruled the case moot because the college had changed their policy/rules to be in line with the first amendment and previous cases against public schools and universities.
    2– the person bringing the suit had sustained no long-term harm. He had graduated from that school.
    3– he was asking for $1 in damages. Roberts thinks this makes the case effectively moot and dismissable since there were no lasting damages (IIRC, there is a floor on the dollar amount in some federal lawsuits in the constitution).
    4– he also made some arguments based in the history of common law in the US and England and their differences. This is an area of his expertise.

    So, out of step? Yes. Objectively wrong? No.

    Yup, objectively wrong. See #1 below.

    1. Moot. Court synonym for “we have and excuse not to work”. Piffle. The important part is “the college had changed their policy/rules to be in line with the first amendment”. The college had an obligation to make policy that comports with the First Amendment. Being a college, I would argue that the obligation is higher than that of other organizations. Ignoring past failures not only gives them a free pass, it also establishes a get out of jail card for future abuses. $1 may be the monetary award asked for, but it is perfectly reasonable to expect that in addition there be a court-ordered requirement that the college analyze any future policies for constitutional problems. Perhaps an outside review would be advisable.

    2. Sez who? Sounds like a denial of financial harm, which is itself questionable. How might plaintiff have otherwise invested the time spent disputing this unconsitutional policy and reaped financial rewards from doing so? More studying>higher GPA>better job offer? What about other forms of harm? Mental anguish?

    3. He should have asked for more than $1?

    4. Not going to debate history with this particular history-ignoring legal ass.

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  53. “DeSantis has to survive reelection in Florida. That isn’t guaranteed. The margin was very narrow last time, and anti-Trump Republicans are making noise about running a third party ticket.”

    Is it just me or do anti-Trump Republicans == RINOs ???

    Florida has a lot of unfulfilled ambition in the state Republican Party after narrowly winning the last three races for Governor and the 2018 Senate race with candidates who were not the establishment’s first choices for the tickets. David Jolly, the potential third party candidate for Governor, is the poster child, having his Senate aspirations squished by Little Marco in 2016.

    Now that the Legislature and FL Supreme Court are in Republican hands, the establishment doesn’t really care about DeSantis’ reelection.

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  54. Now that the Legislature and FL Supreme Court are in Republican hands, the establishment doesn’t really care about DeSantis’ reelection.

    Wow. That is disappointing.

    Would you categorize DeSantis as a conservative ? I really do not know much about him other than he seems to be an excellent governor, especially for Florida.

    I think that Trump is going to run again in 2024. But, I am not sure. And Trump sending the cease and desist letters to the GOP about using his name and image was very telling. It means that he at a minimum sees himself as kingmaker for the 2022 midterms and the 2024 election.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/03/06/trump-sends-cease-and-desist-letter-gop-organizations-stop-fundraising-off-his-name/


  55. DeSantis has to survive reelection in Florida. That isn’t guaranteed. The margin was very narrow last time, and anti-Trump Republicans are making noise about running a third party ticket.

    So I guess the Dems will pass on letting Gillum have the chance for a rematch?

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  56. What the heck is wrong with John Roberts ?

    His dissent has a few good points:
    – lower courts had ruled the case moot because the college had changed their policy/rules to be in line with the first amendment and previous cases against public schools and universities.
    – the person bringing the suit had sustained no long-term harm. He had graduated from that school.
    – he was asking for $1 in damages. Roberts thinks this makes the case effectively moot and dismissable since there were no lasting damages (IIRC, there is a floor on the dollar amount in some federal lawsuits in the constitution).
    – he also made some arguments based in the history of common law in the US and England and their differences. This is an area of his expertise.

    So, out of step? Yes. Objectively wrong? No.

    Didn’t the college arrest the young man and charge him with a crime for proselyzing his religion in the public marketplace ?

    And then when he filed a civil rights lawsuit on the college, they changed their rules and weaseled out of the case until it reached SCOTUS who jumped on them hard.

    Did the college ever apologize for arresting him ? And prosecuting him ?

    This kind of jack booted nonsense by the college needs to be put down hard. We are heading toward the outright persecution of Christians and Jews for their religious beliefs. It needs to be stopped now or else we are going tip into a National Socialist movement that will look like the 1930s Germany all over again. We already have book burnings and statues being torn down, the next step is the torching of churches and synagogues.

    And it is not the Republicans who are doing the persecuting ! It is the Democrats who are up to their same old tricks. I grew up with this crap in the South, I don’t want to live through it again.

  57. @Lynn
    “And Trump sending the cease and desist letters to the GOP about using his name and image was very telling. It means that he at a minimum sees himself as kingmaker for the 2022 midterms and the 2024 election.”

    President Trump has the right to control the use of his name for fundraising purposes, and the background to understand the importance of doing so. It’s no surprise that he sent a cease and desist letter for unauthorized use. It’s even less of a surprise when you consider the likelihood that any such monies raised would end up in a kitty that could be tapped by Mittens, Sasse, The Abortion Twins, Cheney and others who have demonstrated their both their antipathy to Trump and the whorish morals to take such monies.

  58. ” We are heading toward the outright persecution of Christians and Jews for their religious beliefs.”

    Been there for a long time right here in the USA.

    The churches are being burned in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe on a regular basis.


  59. How do you like its performance compared to your full frame (?) camera?

    I don’t have any full frame cameras. I have been with Olympus starting with 1st OM film cameras. Owned four of those, 1 OM1, 1 OM3, 2 OM4, all with power winders.

    I like the smaller format in terms of size and weight. I have the E-5 which is 4/3’s, a Mark II and the Mark III.

    The Mark III is a significant step up from the Mark II. Biggest gain is the electronic viewfinder no longer blanks in rapid shooting as it does in the Mark II. Noise levels are lower, focusing is faster, dual SD slots, one really high speed. A 15 shot burst will be written in second. The Mark II would take 5 to 6 seconds.

  60. “DeSantis has to survive reelection in Florida. That isn’t guaranteed. The margin was very narrow last time, and anti-Trump Republicans are making noise about running a third party ticket.”

    So I guess the Dems will pass on letting Gillum have the chance for a rematch?

    Andrew Gillum is done. Google for the fully story.

    Miami Beach hotel room. Friend dying of an OD. Male prostitute in the room.

    Florida dodged a bullet. But the Dems didn’t really care who they put into the Mansion beyond a few minutes past midnight on Inauguration Day 2019. Once the appointment paperwork for the Supreme Court vacancies maintaining their majority were signed, Andrew Gillum could have had all the drugs he wanted as far as they were concerned.

  61. the next step is the torching of churches and synagogues.

    –already happening, or continuing to happen.

    The un-personing is happening too. Denial of access to the public square. Denial of ability to work. Denial of humanity. Demonizing. Scapegoating. Punishing of family. It’s all started or well under way.

    And for a bunch of atheists they’re going all Old Testament with the ‘sins of the fathers’ thing about slavery and white privilege.

    n

  62. Huh, that’s weird. A item (book) disappeared from my amazon wish list. Not showing as ‘unavailable at this time’ but completely removed. There is a note “This title is no longer available” and no indication what the title was. I can’t remember either.

    wonder why? and why not leave the title and mark it unavailable?
    n

  63. Some other weirdness. ANOTHER title in a different wish list is gone too.

    All of the ceramic knives I’d listed are ‘out of stock, no idea when they’ll be back…’

    Sawyer mini filter oos.

    n

  64. @Nick
    Be on the lookout for new words:

    1984ed
    1984ing

    Usage
    Amazon probably 1984ed it. They’ve been doing a lot of 1984ing lately.


  65. Huh, that’s weird. A item (book) disappeared from my amazon wish list.

    “Your” wish list? You sure about that? Did you read all of the TOS? Just wondering…for a friend…

  66. re: Chauvin trial in Minneapolis:

    Best daily coverage is probably going to be at Legal Insurrection by Attorney Andrew F. Branca. Link to one of two threads today:

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/03/chauvin-pre-trial-day-1-3d-degree-murder-throws-wrench-into-jury-selection-process/

    The details of the second/third degree murder muddle are interesting. Until last weeks MN State Appeals Court ruling (2-1) in the Noor case, third degree was not an option based on decades of precedent.

    But the prosecution in the Chauvin case had originally tried to file third degree charges, had them thrown out by the trial judge, so had charged second degree as a fallback. Now they want the third degree reinstated.

    From Branca’s thread linked above:
    “In fact, the prosecution argued that unless certainty was achieved on the issue of third-degree murder in the Chauvin case, nothing substantive—including jury selection—should move forward, because the state ought to know whether third-degree murder was in play when they were participating in jury selection in the first place.”

    If the trail gets put on hold, my guess would be that it shifts the verdict to the very hottest part of the summer.

    It would also
    1) have the effect of greatly increasing security costs for the trial
    2) provide law enforcement with some interesting opportunities to identify bad actors staging for the acquittal riots, but the commie AG won’t let that happen.

  67. Minn, MN needs a good flushing like New Orleans. Freaking filthhole.

    Some really nice restaurants, but…

    What I want to know, what rental company stocks those 10 ft high barricades? I spent a lot of time working in live event production and while I can recognize the style from its little brother, I’ve never seen anything quite like them. I’ve never seen them in my security business trade mags either, and there are some nifty portable access control devices advertised in them.

    When the euro riot wagons with the armor and the water cannons show up, we can be sure the Republic is dead.

    n

  68. “rovide law enforcement with some interesting opportunities to identify bad actors staging for the acquittal riots”

    –from your lips to God’s ears, but I’m guessing . . . not.

    n

  69. ““Your” wish list? You sure about that?”

    –well, I’m not a teen girl trying to monetize my Tik Tok soft core porn channel, with a public wish list so people can buy me stuff….

    but I do need an easy way for family to buy me Birthday gifts. Even if it is just a list they keep and manage for me, the better to spy on my life……..

    When they’re not selling my data, they’re removing the friction from the purchase process.

    n

  70. Huh, that’s weird. A item (book) disappeared from my amazon wish list.

    Had a pre-ordered book abruptly “1984-ed” last month. A couple of days ago I found what appears to be the same book from another publisher. Some sort of tiff between the original publisher and the current one?

  71. @Nick
    Can’t think of a good restaurant in Mpls that is not a type easy to find elsewhere. After Uncle Hugo’s was torched last year I decided that I will eventually schedule one last trip to the area in the middle of the week to make two museum visits.

    New Orleans, OTOH. Lot’s of good and unique restaurants. I would like to see Pascal’s Manale again and reacquaint myself with their barbeque shrimp.

    Portland is dead to me, despite Powell’s and Deschutes and Voodoo Donuts. Not a chance, even before last year.

    Is the Moth in Dallas still good?

  72. Haven’t really spent much time in Dallas. Had a week there working for a defense contractor, when we got 14 inches of snow overnight! Not much chance to go out though. Most of the time I spent in the DFW area was at Texas Motor Speedway. Kinda outta town…

    n

    There used to be some damn fine eating in Lafayette LA though, spent 9 months there eating out every night…

  73. “Can’t think of a good restaurant in Mpls that is not a type easy to find elsewhere”

    –it’s been a few years so they are probably all gone, but there was a Thai place in the big district near the movie theatres that was stunning. and there was a tiny Indian family place outside of town, NE of the city iirc that impressed my indian partner. He could find an indian restaurant in the backwoods of TN if one existed. It was uncanny.

    n

  74. Desktop computers are truly “good enough”.

    The pc I’m using now, is 7 years or more old. Running win8.2.

    core i7-4770 at 3.40Ghz, 16Gb ram, two 24″ HD monitors.

    I’m streaming youtube video, ripping a dvd while transcoding the video, and have 30 tabs open.

    3 streams of video from surveillance cams.

    CPU is averaging 8% usage, net is 3 Mbps with spikes to 10Mbps.

    Just for laughs, I started playing a ripped dvd from the drive too. CPU went to 11%.

    The newer machine I’m using as an NVR has similar specs and is displaying/transcoding, and saving 10 HD streams from cams. I don’t remember where the system resource monitor program is in linux but it was using 65% cpu iirc when it was a windows box.

    Truly ‘good enough’ for almost anything ordinary people do.

    n

    (ok the second encoding pass just started for the DVD rip, and cpu jumped to 80%.)

  75. There is a sort of comment spam that almost rises to poetry…

    from elsewhere

    “The ten brazil hopefully disarm because gosling microscopically describe lest a obscene estimate. harmonious, cooing rabbit”

    n

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  76. I don’t have any full frame cameras. I have been with Olympus starting with 1st OM film cameras. Owned four of those, 1 OM1, 1 OM3, 2 OM4, all with power winders.

    I like the smaller format in terms of size and weight. I have the E-5 which is 4/3’s, a Mark II and the Mark III.

    The Mark III is a significant step up from the Mark II. Biggest gain is the electronic viewfinder no longer blanks in rapid shooting as it does in the Mark II. Noise levels are lower, focusing is faster, dual SD slots, one really high speed. A 15 shot burst will be written in second. The Mark II would take 5 to 6 seconds.

    Thanks, Ray. I value your direct experience with the Mark III compared with the Mark II. I don’t do sports or any rapid shooting, so the speed increase won’t matter, but lower noise is always welcome. Focus is fast enough on my Mark II. Maybe my relative will have another deal opportunity, but not likely. Since Photography is just another hobby now, I can’t justify spending too much.

    I have also considered one of the lesser bodies for trips, but haven’t looked beyond their smaller size. Probably not worth the compromises. I would likely get the Mark III or a later model and go for better quality and low light performance. Also, I only take one body and one zoom lens on trips. I like to travel light, and changing lenses under dirty conditions doesn’t appeal. I like to take good care of my equipment.

    One of my hesitations in going to this format was the lack of a high ratio zoom lens that can go wide. I use an 18-250 (27-375 equivalent) on my Pentax, and really like it. When it came out, its optical quality for such a wide ratio was a good compromise. The 12-100 on the Oly is a bit short on the long end. Probably a quibble, but I have always favored long lenses. I also like wide angles, so have been considering the 7-14, but I have a 10-20 Sigma for the Pentax, and although it is very useful, it is another lens change, so would mostly stay home. Wouldn’t we all like a 100:1 like those on a studio TV camera? Would have to be smaller size, of course. I can dream!

    I would also like a really long lens for wildlife. I don’t do that seriously, so the high cost is very hard to justify. Still dreaming. On my Spotmatics, I have an inexpensive 400 f/8 that is good optical quality, but mechanically a bit poor. Takes excellent pictures, and actually resolves slightly better with a true 2x Asahi teleconverter. I loved that lens, and even made a wooden rifle stock for it. I tried it on the K20D, and it actually performed quite well. It is a real handful, and of limited use. Taking that rifle stock out in public would probably get me in real trouble today. In the 1960s, no one even noticed.

    I don’t mean to sound like an equipment snob. I have taken lots of pictures I am proud of using limited equipment. Back in the film days, I used a normal lens for the vast majority of pictures, mostly slides. The fancier equipment makes some things possible, or even better, but most of us don’t need to do that. Still fun to experiment.

    I admire your work. It shows what is possible with affordable equipment. BTW, your church has very good lighting, and I remember you commenting on it some time ago. I go to Catholic churches, and most are not lit well. They don’t do TV or any video displays, so lighting is basic.

  77. Small tidbit, side effect of masks, lock down, etc.. Every year, doctors run some number of flu tests on patients where they think it warranted. This is, of course, somewhat subjective. Anyway, if the get a positive case, they report it to the government for statistical purposes.

    Typically, they report 4 to 5 thousand positives during the flu season. This winter, there were…zero. Not a single confirmed case of the flu. There was no flu season.

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  78. Re resource monitoring on Linux boxes, I use Stacer, gives useful stats clearly and will also clean various crud from the system of you want.

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