Thur. Mar. 11, 2021 – nothing on my mind

Cool, overcast, and damp.   Hopefully no rain.

Yesterday saw 70s with misty drizzle in some parts of town.   I got my windshield wet a couple of times while driving around.

Did my pickups.   Honda 6500 looks complete.   Gas and water in the gas tank.  I’ll take a few minutes and drain it soon.  I’ll need a few parts if it runs, but it’s in better shape than it looks.  The ladies who run that auction company and their families have avoided wuflu so far.  I gave them a big heads up before we got going over a year ago.   They had one employee positive, but it didn’t spread.  Masks and distance work.

Today I have to get over to my mechanic and get the rest of the stuff off my old Expy.  I need the roof rack, the xm and ipod interfaces for the radio, and the car seat.   There are a few other small things left from last time too.

Then I need to check out a couple of the links you guys sent me.  Lots of eyes make it easier on me, and I’m thankful for the help.

Short shrift today.   Nothing on my mind.   Kinda interesting seeing the Royal trainwreck  and the Doxy Duchess instead of Donald Trump in every news cycle…

Keep stacking needful things.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

93 thoughts on “Thur. Mar. 11, 2021 – nothing on my mind”


  1. Is there any surcharge on EVs in Texas to compensate for the uncolllected fuel taxes?

    Nope. Worse, than that, Texas gives you five grand or something like that when you buy an EV in Texas.

    That’s true pretty much everywhere, and it’s going to have to change soon. Seem to me that the logical thing to do is either charge by mileage and weight. What I would really like to see is the weight charge being at least somewhat correct.

    Here, for example, yearly tax on a car is around $500. For large truck, roughly 10 times as much, or $5000. That’s not nearly enough on the truck, especially given that the big trucks generally spend a lot more time pounding on the roads.

    Damage to roads is the fourth power of weight, so 40-ton truck does 160000 times as much damage as a 2-ton SUV. You can’t charge that full amount, but taxes ought to be substantially higher than they are on heavier vehicles.

    Given that EVs don’t pay fuel taxes, one could argue for abolishing them altogether, and going entirely with the mileage/weight taxes.


  2. our full size bed starting caving in due to age

    That’s your story so don’t let others say otherwise.

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  3. That would be an excellent way to increase the cost of everything. EVERYTHING moves by truck at some point, and trucking companies are businesses. Businesses don’t PAY taxes, they collect them from their customers on behalf of the .gov. In other words, they will increase their prices to include the taxes and you and I will pay more. LOTS more.

    69F and 83%RH this morning.

    nodded out in my chair. Tired all out of proportion.

    n

    and I know I didn’t put a “+” in my name…

  4. test

    added- yup, it’s in the saved name field with the plus sign

  5. test

    added- fixed it in the name field and was able to post.

  6. @JimB: Lot of technological advances in the last few years. First digital camera I saw was a Sony Mavica that wrote the images to a 3.5″ floppy disc. I was impressed then. I think it was possible to get about 30 images to a disc. Considering the storage limits on a 3.5″ disc that images were lacking in quality with probably a maximum size of 48K per image.

    Now mirrorless is becoming more popular with the Canon R6, Nikon Z7 and recently announced Z9. Smaller cameras, smaller optics, 4K capability and increasingly rapid frame rates approaching and exceeding video frame rates. The shutter no longer clicks, it buzzes.

    What I have found over the years with digital is the quality of the optics has not caught up with sensor resolution. It is hard to tell someone that just bought a camera because it had a 40 megapixel sensor that the reason their images are not sharp is most likely a lens that can only resolve 10 megapixels. Even beyond their ability to hold the camera still which in itself is less of an issue due to image stabilization.

    I have always been impressed with Olympus optics. Really high quality and highly rated. However the parent Company, Olympus, is no longer in the consumer camera business as of January 2021. The camera branch has been farmed out to an equity firm so who knows what the future holds.

    I have a large investment in Olympus. Currently three camera, several lenses, a couple of flashes. I may eventually have to abandon but this is not likely. What I have should last for some time and any advances are going to be small incremental steps. Improvements in sensors, faster shutter, etc. But I don’t see those improvement affecting me much.

    I would like to see higher flash sync speed which currently sits at 1/250. I guess mechanical limitations. Even electronic shutters cannot improve as it takes a finite time to read all the pixels. Read them too fast and shutter blur becomes really obvious. The speed of the electronics have improved but at the same time the amount of data to be read has rapidly increased. More data is read faster resulting in the same sync speed issues.

    The requirement for flash is diminishing with the more sensitive sensors. Off camera flash, the user controlling the light, really adds to picture if done properly. Done improperly and the entire image is “flat”, no dimension.

    From the days of film and Kodachrome 25 (ISO 25) to ISO speeds today of 125,000. Simply amazing advances. The industry has yet to produce the resolution, color, and richness of Kodachrome 25 when used in bright outdoor conditions. It will happen. I just don’t know when. Imagine the capability of Kodachrome with an ISO of 10,000. One can hope.

  7. @rick

    :” @Ray
    – spelling error – fixed. thanks.

    And the “Ray+Thompson” – not on all of his comments, only the last couple. Which leads me to believe it was something he changed when entering the comment.

    Nope, harold had a plus too, and I did this morning as well. Maybe it was always stored that way and something in the way WP displays it changed?

    Today Ray has a “-” sign…. although that could be him joking around…

    n

    I wonder what Paul the Manc looks like? Paul+the+manc?

    n


  8. I wonder what Paul the Manc looks like? Paul+the+manc?

    @Nick
    How about this?


  9. I’m going to keep looking. And if they call tomorrow, unless there is a real warranty involved, I’m not listening.

    @nick; did the dealer ever try to reach you yesterday?

  10. I am ashamed to see that Texas is #3 with $293 billion of debt after California ($495 billion) and New York ($354 billion).

    That appears to be total government debt in the state. According to the state comptroller, the state had just under $60 billion in debt outstanding as of the last biennium and an additional $13 billion that could be issued. A large chunk of that are highway bonds that are paid by the gas taxes.

    The state government of Texas is severely constrained in borrowing and has to have every debt issue approved by the voters. Some of the unissued debt would be things like the bonds for the veteran’s land program and highways. Texas also can’t run a deficit.

    That figure must include debt from all the other issuers in the state. Counties (mine has $600 million), school districts (Houston ISD has $3 billion), community college districts (Houston has $746 million), and cities (Houston has $13 billion).

  11. @Ray
    Enjoy your posts about photography. I was on track for a photojournalism degree in 1970 after studying under professionals like Ansel Adams. Had a small business doing industrial photography and a small set of equipment and leases for my Pentax Spotmatic. Then, surprise, young love, marriage, and the need for a larger, more reliable income so I fell back on my programming experience. Left photography behind till the late 90s when I began to experiment with consumer digital devices. I had thought that retirement would give me time to get back into my first love but life has not let that happen. Two questions I have are what software do you use for post processing and do you RAW format in your camera?

  12. Today Ray has a “-” sign…. although that could be him joking around…

    Indeed.

    Made you look. A new way to entertain the masses.

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  13. Looks like wordpress is doing something weird with stored nicknames that have spaces at least the first time after whatever changed.

    Not a big deal. Even if it messes up the admin page with comment counts, it’s not a tragedy.

    @alan, nope, they never called me. I like the red/bronze one at autonation but I can’t see any warranty there either. Those seats are a strange color. The King Ranch version often has the same color seats.

    n

  14. I don’t know if we have any readers in HI, but it looks like the local disaster there is winding down.

    From FEMA

    Flooding – Hawaii
    Current Situation: Although rain and flooding continues, conditions are improving throughout the
    Hawaiian Islands. Rain is forecast through Friday causing localized flooding in streams, affecting
    bridges and low-lying areas. Flash Flood Watches are in effect for all islands until Friday evening.
    There are no unmet needs at this time.

    Lifeline Impacts:
    Safety and Security:

    ▪ Rural areas downstream Kaupakalua Dam under evacuation order; assessments ongoing
    Food, Water, Shelter:
    ▪ Shelters: All closing or demobilizing to standby today (ARC Shelter report, 7:00 a.m. ET, Mar 11)
    ▪ Evacuation Center: 1 open (Oahu) / Unknown occupants
    ▪ Six homes destroyed

    Health and Medical:
    ▪ No injuries or fatalities
    ▪ Windward Comprehensive Health Center (vaccine clinic) relocated; shots still being administered
    (Media, 10:38 p.m. ET, Mar 9)

    Transportation: (RIX, 12:14 a.m. ET, Mar 11)
    ▪ All major routes are open, with no communities isolated; alternate routes available
    ▪ Secondary Route Impacts:
    ▪ Oahu:
    o Kamehameha Hwy closed between Kualoa Ranch Pt and Regional Park due to water/debris
    o Kamehameha Hwy in front of Waimea Bay is being contra flowed due to boulders on lanes
    ▪ Maui:
    o Bridge at Peahi Road and Aloha Aina Place barricaded completely
    o Awalau Road open from Kaupakalua Road to 311 Awalau Road; bridge impassable
    o Haiku Road near Hog Back Road closed due to a fallen tree
    ▪ Kauai: Kuhio Highway closed on the Princeville-side of the Hanalei Bridge
    ▪ Hawaii Island: Route 11 limited to one lane due to several downed trees
    National Watch Center

    State/Local Response:
    ▪ HI EOC at Partial Activation (COVID-19)
    ▪ State Emergency Proclamation issued
    ▪ HI-DNR and Maui County coordinating damage assessments
    FEMA Response:
    ▪ NRCC at Level I (COVID-19); NWC is monitoring
    ▪ Region IX RRCC at Level III (COVID-19); RWC monitoring


  15. I like the red/bronze one at autonation but I can’t see any warranty there either.

    @nick; yeah, looks like only the 5 day return policy, but I’m sure they would be happy to sell you an extended warranty.

  16. Two questions I have are what software do you use for post processing and do you RAW format in your camera?

    I use Adobe Lightroom Classic. I get the Adobe Photography Plan for ~$11 a month and includes Photoshop.

    I import all the photographs from an event then copyright them in the EXIF information. Next is to go through the images and mark the ones I don’t want to keep, easily done with one keypress. Once I have made the pass the marked images are deleted. I then pick one image, white balance, adjust the exposure, remove as much noise as possible, then crop the image. Those changes are then applied to all the images using the SYNC function in Lightroom. Then each image is brought up individually and the crop adjusted to the image.

    I shoot RAW for a couple of reasons. One is that I no longer worry about white balance. RAW images are just the data from the camera and can be easily white balanced later. Second reason is that JPEG is only 8 bits per RGB value leaving a possible 256 levels for each color. RAW is 12 bits per RGB value leaving several million possible levels for each color. That gives me a couple of extra stops of exposure.

    JPEG images are also white balanced in the camera. There is not a lot of latitude for adjusting color because of the limited color bit depth. RAW removes that restriction. Local stadium lights are horrible for lighting. The white balance changes from frame to frame because of flicker. Also affects the exposure. Local, as in high school, stadium lights are really lacking in the blue component.

    That two extra stops of exposure is important in weddings. In particular the dress. Too many (I gots camera, I are photographer) images the dress is blown, a white blob. The bride paid a lot of money for that dress and the detail should show. Using some tools I have it is possible to underexpose the dress bringing out the detail while leaving the rest of the image alone. Once a highlight, such as white dress, is blown in JPEG it is impossible to recover the detail. RAW give a little more latitude.

    RAW images are large, at least four times the size of JPEG images. When storage was an issue JPEG was all that could get through a day unless several memory cards were carried. With the size of memory cards today that is no longer an issue. I can have 6K RAW images on my current card. My current camera also has two XD memory cards, one very high speed, the other regular speed thus a backup.

    Out of camera JPEG images are generally very good for most situations. If I were not shooting in burst mode at sporting events I would probably use JPEG. The noise reduction applied in the camera by it’s own firmware is very good in the newest cameras. The manufacture knows where their sensors fall short and compensate in the firmware. Not so with RAW as nothing is applied. That denoising relies on software that provides more general denoising and takes much more tweaking to get it right without loss of detail. A balancing act.

    My camera, and most others, will not apply denoising in burst mode. It just takes too much effort on the part of the CPU. Not enough time to read the sensor, denoise, and write to the memory card. Thus burst mode does not denoise in RAW or JPEG. I suspect that will change in the future as CPU’s become more powerful in the cameras.

    Most cameras have the ability to record RAW and JPEG. For events that don’t require burst mode shooting, i.e. single image per shutter press, I will shoot RAW plus JPEG. I then have the JPEG which has been denoised and the RAW if I need to adjust exposure beyond what the JPEG will allow.

    There are compelling arguments for using JPEG or RAW. All valid. Situations dictate the use in my opinion. Workflow and comfort level also become a factor.

    I use RAW and Lightroom as I sometimes have two hours to process a thousand images and pick out a few for the local papers. Color balanced, denoised, and cropped.

  17. How are we going to pay off all that state debt in Texas then ? I sure do not want a state income tax. And the sales tax is already high enough.

    The toll road business in Texas is a boomin’.

    US 183 all the way up from the Austin-Bergstrom airport to Hwy 29 north of Leander will have toll lanes, and, on our last trip to Houston, I noted that the toll lanes on I-10 are going to extend another 10 miles west out from Katy, probably planned to join the lanes planned for 71 running east from the same airport.

    Beyond Texas, Portland got DOT permission to toll all the freeway miles around the city, and I’ve noted before that VA sold the freeway medians on I-95 near DC. And New York City residents take note — they’re coming for your surface streets too.

    MaaS!

    The irony is that my former employer lost $100 million US on $460 million in sales so far this fiscal year which ends on the 31st, despite having the only real open road tolling system in the industry which will enable the state money grabs.

  18. I love my electric trains but haven’t had space to play with them. Once in a while I would push everything aside, mop the floor, and set them up in the dining room for a couple hours. I’ve got a locomotive and nifty ‘beer cars’ in Z scale by marklin, and “the Prussia” by Bachman in HO. I love the fine build of the Z and the Prussia is just an adorable train with lots of delicious detail.

    I think I’ll be able to set up something for the trains at the new place.

    If you have Lionel scale trains, the FastTrack system makes temporary setup really easy.

    I know this is heresy, but once I discovered FastTrack and bought an oval on EBay, I sent my 70s era track to Goodwill.

    I have a CocaCola promo train Lionel made in the early 70s. Every now and then, I reassemble the set and check that the engine still runs.

  19. @Brad

    Given that EVs don’t pay fuel taxes, one could argue for abolishing them altogether, and going entirely with the mileage/weight taxes.

    Abso-freaking-lutely not.
    That leads immediately to tinkering by the green weinies: preferential treatment for EV/higher charges for ICE, rates based on time and road (de facto toll on everything), daily charges, discounts/surcharges for passengers, surcharges for excess miles, unlimited storage of your location history by the state, and your vehicle being an immobile brick when it isnt reporting to the tax system, etc, etc, etc.

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  20. Had our little storm yesterday with some amazing cloudbursts in the afternoon. Couple of times it looked like the water from the pool deck would flood the patio. Sure is flat out here. Nowhere near enough but it washed everything down.
    Well last week I got tired of the wife yelling at me and got a hearing test at Costco. Not that I didn’t know. Look what years of blasting rock and roll has done for me. For Xmas this year I received a t-shirt that says ‘I may be old but at least I got to see all the cool bands’. Ok so laid down ~$2900 for a set of ReSound which I picked up Tuesday morning. Yes, they work great but I’m still not sure I want to hear everything. The increase in volume on the high notes are almost too loud. Only other issue was my tried and true Pixel 2 would not support the app so as long as I was burning money I upgraded to a Pixel 4a 5G. Phone transmits into aids and sound really good. Not sure there is anything this phone does better than the old but it’s only money, right?
    On medical, good news, saw the doc on Monday and all the poking, biopsies and scans they have done, decided there is nothing drastic going on and will just watch. PSA check in three months.
    Turn 70 this month and taking my first SSA check. Turns out since my wife had started about two years ago there was a nice lump sum spousal benefit due me. Well that pays for the hearing aids then some. Not retired so this is all gravy.
    Hell to get old but better than the alternative most times.

  21. “The increase in volume on the high notes are almost too loud”

    –they should be able to tweak the eq and processing when you do your followup visit. Or are there different presets?? my dad had 4 on his remote, conversation, music, general, and some other as well as mute.

    n

  22. Prepper fail:

    During the snowpocalypse my outside heat pump unit froze. The installer said wait until everything thaws since almost all their HP installs froze. Well, after the thaw. I didn’t check the outside unit. Now that the heat is up, the unit doesn’t come on. Installing company is coming by 6-8pm tonight to check it. Hope it is a simply repair.

    Home buying fail:

    The HP installer said the previous owner could have transferred the HP warranty for a small price, but didn’t. I am too dumb to have known or asked. Maybe I’ll check the paper work and see if it is in there. I do have an American Home Shield policy. I renewed the one the previous owner paid for on closing. The water heater repair paid for that, easily. The HP is also covered if it is dead meat, pilgrim.

  23. I do have an American Home Shield policy.

    I have never liked those but ended up paying half for this house’s. Had a water heater issue and they replaced the whole control unit. So I got my share -$75 deductible. Turns out you don’t have to drain the tank. Just turn off water and do a quick remove and insert. Water just dribbles out for lack of air coming in at top. Why some of us are just diy and not pros.

    The HP is also covered if it is dead meat, pilgrim.

    Shame if something fell on it.

  24. The HP installer said the previous owner could have transferred the HP warranty for a small price, but didn’t. I am too dumb to have known or asked. Maybe I’ll check the paper work and see if it is in there. I do have an American Home Shield policy. I renewed the one the previous owner paid for on closing. The water heater repair paid for that, easily. The HP is also covered if it is dead meat, pilgrim.

    Water heaters are commodity items so what AHS provides probably isn’t that much different than what you would buy outside of warranty, but chances are you won’t like what they offer if the heat pump needs to be replaced. They will skimp and mix/match manufacturers. One of my wife’s friends even ended up with two sets of AC coils fed by one outside unit after AHS contractors were done.

    After two botched minor jobs under AHS at our house in the first year, I didn’t renew.

  25. The company that did the AHS water replacement was great. I’ll post back on the heat pump situation. Still hoping nothing serious. Since I never thought to ask about the HP warranty, I’m glad I’ve got the AHS plan. We’ll see if it pays for itself.

  26. I do have an American Home Shield policy. I renewed the one the previous owner paid for on closing. The water heater repair paid for that, easily.

    We have an AHS policy. Generally, we like the repairmen they send our way and we’ve never had a problem with quality service. I suppose this varies wildly depending on where you live and which repairmen have contracted with AHS. We’ve even had a few repairmen tell us that the repair isn’t covered because of this or that (misuse, incorrect original installation, etc.) but said they’d take care of it anyway and write it up so AHS would cover it.

    Some things like professional plumbing has gotten so expensive that one or two plumbing service requests a year will usually make your home warranty break even.

    Be warned, have too many of those big repairs that more than pay for the AHS premiums and AHS will choose not to renew. I’m not sure what their formula is, but if what they pay repairmen each year exceeds what you pay in premiums each year for more than x years then they won’t let you renew. I knew a lady that got AHS and called them out for every damn little thing. They informed her before her first annual contract was up they would not be renewing. So, in the last month or so she filed claims for everything in the house that so much as felt like it may be about to break just to stick it to AHS. Their family income was well north of $400K/year which added to the absurdity of it all.

    If I had any AHS complaints it would be on some of the things they don’t cover. I understand why they don’t, but it’s still annoying. Things like ice makers in refrigerators and springs on garage doors.

  27. “A silent hero has passed”
    https://gunfreezone.net/a-silent-hero-has-passed/

    “Louis Ottens — the Dutch engineer credited with inventing the audio cassette tape — has died at the age of 94.”

    I am fairly sure that I still have a couple of cassette tapes from the 1970s. Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, etc. Cassette tapes were so much better than the 8 track tapes.


  28. The increase in volume on the high notes are almost too loud

    I have the same devices you obtained. Mine were 1.5 years ago so you may have a newer model.

    My experience. Yes the high sounds will be annoying for awhile. Give it time. You have not heard those sounds in quite some time and your brain adjusted. Now you are hearing new sounds. Give your brain time to adjust to the new sounds you are hearing. Six months. Then go back and get the devices adjusted/tuned to your liking. They can do amazing things with the equalization curve. It just takes time to adjust. And wear them as much as possible.

    Another recommendation is to get the box that connects to a TV via TosLink (optical) or RCA cables. Then connect your devices via Bluetooth. When you watch TV it makes a big difference in what you can hear.

    The App on the phone should have adjustments for High, Mid, and Low frequencies. You can make adjustments within a limited range. These can then be saved as presets that can be recalled at anytime.

    Don’t make any radical adjustments until your brain has had time to adjust. When I first got mine I was annoyed at the sounds I was hearing, especially high frequency. After some time I got used to it and it seemed normal. After a year I went back to the provider (the VA) and had the frequency curve adjusted. The change was minor according the audiologist. She said for the most part the equalizer curve was really close to where it should be in my case.

    I have the open domes on my devices so my ear canal is not entirely blocked. That allows outside sounds to arrive without going through the hearing device. I want the next generation of ReSound devices where there is a microphone in back and in the earpiece. But I think that requires a receiver that entirely blocks the ear canal. That may be a deal breaker.

    I am fortunate that I get my batteries at no charge from the VA. I also get ear domes and wax filters at no charge. Every six months I can get a new supply. Right now I have an excess of batteries. I opted for batteries versus rechargeable as when my batteries run low, I just pop in a new battery. With rechargeable I would have to wait for a charge and have the charger with me. Since cost was not a consideration I chose the replaceable battery option.

  29. That figure must include debt from all the other issuers in the state. Counties (mine has $600 million), school districts (Houston ISD has $3 billion), community college districts (Houston has $746 million), and cities (Houston has $13 billion).

    Maybe. Governmental entities have many cute ways of hiding debt.

    Plus, that figure does not include the cost of pension plans for the cities. I know that Houston’s and Dallas’s pension plans are severely underfunded to the tune of several billion dollars each and that the cities have approached the state about moving those costs to the state like the teacher’s and professor’s pension plans. So far the legislature has told them to pound sand.


  30. Cassette tapes were so much better than the 8 track tapes.

    You young whipper snappers never had the pleasure of 4-track systems. Those did not last long fortunately as the sound was worse than 8-track. 8-Track had annoying “feature” of changing tracks in the middle of a song producing a clunking sound. If the tape ever got wonky it was a pain to repair. Cassettes were better, generally 90 minutes (45 minutes per side), smaller, and sound much better especially with premium cassettes. Such cassettes rarely used by off the shelf recordings.

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  31. I do have an American Home Shield policy. I renewed the one the previous owner paid for on closing. The water heater repair paid for that, easily.

    I cannot remember who I had on the current house. We had the water line break three feet outside the foundation and they refused to cover it. My plumber fixed it for $200. So when renewal time came, I told them to pound sand. I get a letter from them every couple of months, I just throw it away.

  32. “A silent hero has passed”
    https://gunfreezone.net/a-silent-hero-has-passed/

    “Louis Ottens — the Dutch engineer credited with inventing the audio cassette tape — has died at the age of 94.”

    I am fairly sure that I still have a couple of cassette tapes from the 1970s. Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, etc. Cassette tapes were so much better than the 8 track tapes.

    I just remembered that I have a cassette tape of my son playing the viola for 30 minutes back when he was in middle school in 1995 ? He got moved from 2nd chair to 1st chair because of that tape. I wonder where the tape is ?

    I wonder how many billions of cassette tapes have sentimental stuff stashed on them out there ?

    Great comment, “Cassettes gave a second reason to keep a #2 pencil with you at all times…”.

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  33. From dkreck:

    Had our little storm yesterday with some amazing cloudbursts in the afternoon. Couple of times it looked like the water from the pool deck would flood the patio. Sure is flat out here. Nowhere near enough but it washed everything down.

    Then it got down here an hour, or so, later with similar results.


  34. The irony is that my former employer lost $100 million US on $460 million in sales so far this fiscal year which ends on the 31st, despite having the only real open road tolling system in the industry which will enable the state money grabs.

    Is there interoperability across all these systems? I know EZPass (NE) doesn’t recognize SunPass (FL). I presume all have ‘bill by plate’ technology if you drive through without a tag?
    And what is ‘special'(?) about the system you mention?

  35. “The irony is that my former employer lost $100 million US on $460 million in sales so far this fiscal year which ends on the 31st, despite having the only real open road tolling system in the industry which will enable the state money grabs.”

    Is there interoperability across all these systems? I know EZPass (NE) doesn’t recognize SunPass (FL). I presume all have ‘bill by plate’ technology if you drive through without a tag?
    And what is ‘special'(?) about the system you mention?

    Open road tolling eliminates the toll booths and the barriers between the lanes restricting vehicle movement while traversing the toll plaza.

    EZPass and SunPass interoperability is a political problem, not a tech issue.

  36. @Greg

    this is heresy, but once I discovered FastTrack

    Leper outcast, unclean.
    I’ve got the Bachman as a nod to sentiment, folks gave me a Bachman Prussia for Christmas as a youngster, I replaced it from eBay 15+ years ago. The Marklin Z scale was an extravagance with my first non minimum wage job. I was attracted to the table top scale of it for my studio apartment. He’s retired now, there was a gentleman who would paint your trains to look like Alaska Railroad trains – gorgeous blue and gold. Nice work, finely detailed. I enjoy the model aspects of trains but think I like the individual artistry of the trains even better. The Marklins are particularly detailed, as a good magnifying glass will show.

    Politics – Alaska has been selected as one of the first four states for CARES Act audit by the feds. Little will come of it however there’s a temptation to say ‘told you so’.

    Cassettes – I have dozens and still listen to them. I have several from friends long gone. A couple from singer / song writers who didn’t continue into the digital age. I need to hurry up and transfer them to digital. Our family used to send audio cassettes back and forth, with greetings, as an augmentation to letter writing.

    We’ve got a Crosby combo unit that plays cassettes, vinyl, DVDs, radio, and an audio jack for digital. $50 at a pawn shop a few years ago.

    Dogs are unimpressed with snow covered stairs. Child soon to remedy.

  37. Is the “Max” different from the “EL”?

    29K for a 2019? https://www.autonation.com/cars/1FMJK1JT1KEA52865

    And it is a 4×4 !

    BTW, that price is $39K, not $29K.

    Looks like the EL is now the Max.

    Looks like it has cloth seats, not leather (I do like the cloth seats in my F-150). And it has the regular trailer towing, not the HD that includes the transmission oil cooler and five row radiator.

  38. I’ve got the Bachman as a nod to sentiment, folks gave me a Bachman Prussia for Christmas as a youngster, I replaced it from eBay 15+ years ago. The Marklin Z scale was an extravagance with my first non minimum wage job. I was attracted to the table top scale of it for my studio apartment. He’s retired now, there was a gentleman who would paint your trains to look like Alaska Railroad trains – gorgeous blue and gold. Nice work, finely detailed. I enjoy the model aspects of trains but think I like the individual artistry of the trains even better. The Marklins are particularly detailed, as a good magnifying glass will show.

    A Lego enthusiast subculture exists for modeling real world train engines and cars, building rolling stock on top of the basic Lego train chassis from designs worked out in CAD packages first. I last encountered them at the annual Portland Lego show where they had an extensive amount of floor space devoted to their working displays. Nice art in a very limited medium.

  39. I have always been impressed with Olympus optics. Really high quality and highly rated. However the parent Company, Olympus, is no longer in the consumer camera business as of January 2021. The camera branch has been farmed out to an equity firm so who knows what the future holds.

    Hmm. IIRC, Pentax went through something similar shortly before I bought my K20D. Improved things. I will have to ask my relative about Olympus, as he still works for the medical imaging division.

    As for optical quality, I knew a guy back in the 1960s who moonlighted for a big camera store in Detroit. He loved testing, and had access to an optical bench at the store. He tested some of the early Pen cameras and said their lenses were better than almost anything else, regardless of price. I bought the Pen D as a second camera, and was always impressed with its overall quality, especially for an inexpensive camera. I haven’t exercised it lately, and should, but it is the only film camera I own that hasn’t needed some repair or tuneup of the shutter. Must mean something. I still have my father’s Kodak Retina Reflex III that I sent to Eastman for winterizing and a general tuneup when it was about ten years old. The Schneider lenses for that camera were superb. It still works.

    You mentioned Kodachrome II. That Retina was used for years of picture taking. Outdoor shots with that film were always great. I used to borrow it, and used it for a variety of picture taking, both color and BW. It was great in its day, but we have come a long way.

    In the late 1960s, I worked for a large company that did its own equipment manuals. Their photo group was one of the best I have seen. That’s where I got the 4×5 bug. The company encouraged their photographers to borrow company equipment and use it for hobby (non commercial) enjoyment. They had some arrangement for processing in the company’s lab. I have seen 24×36 prints, both color and BW, taken with that equipment. Large format has real advantages over 35mm. Eventually all will be overtaken by digital.

    There was also a friend of my father’s who took 2.25×3.25 slides. When projected in his living room, they were amazing. Dead tech.

    And, if you have the opportunity, take a look at some old 8×10 camera negatives or prints. Some of those were amazingly detailed. Someone showed an 8×10 print (probably a contact print) taken during the construction of Hoover Dam. It was so detailed that using a good magnifier revealed a lot of detail. We have lost some of this to convenience.

    Thanks for mentioning RAW shooting. I did experiment with that back when storage was limited. I also switched to Linux, and didn’t have any software that could work with RAW. I should revisit that. I always thought that using RAW would negate some of the in-camera processing, such as chromatic aberration correction and other lens corrections. I have used an open source app (Showphoto) that has a plug-in that corrects lens distortion for my popular lenses. I find this and other manual corrections essential for quilt photography. Quilts are sometimes photographed flat to remove distortion, but sometimes hung, which creates distortion. I sometimes have to correct this in processing, and it is a time consuming manual process to get all the lines and edges straight. One of my least favorite things.

  40. I think that I am getting played. A guy named Mohamed is emailing me and my staff about buying trit plus i plus um processing software in Canada. We have told him that we cannot sell him this without an export license from the USA State Department. Now he is emailing our resellers. Surely this is not my friends at a three letter agency looking for more patsies.


  41. A Lego enthusiast subculture exists for modeling real world train engines and cars, building rolling stock on top of the basic Lego train chassis from designs worked out in CAD packages first. I last encountered them at the annual Portland Lego show where they had an extensive amount of floor space devoted to their working displays. Nice art in a very limited medium.

    An amazing Lego artist. Saw the exhibition in Tampa back in 2017. No trains that I recall but there was one railroad-related display.
    https://www.brickartist.com/about-exhibition.html

    1
  42. Is the “Max” different from the “EL”?

    29K for a 2019? https://www.autonation.com/cars/1FMJK1JT1KEA52865

    And it is a 4×4 !

    BTW, that price is $39K, not $29K.

    Looks like the EL is now the Max.

    Looks like it has cloth seats, not leather (I do like the cloth seats in my F-150). And it has the regular trailer towing, not the HD that includes the transmission oil cooler and five row radiator.

    And once you go 4×4, you will never go back !

    I’ll bet that I have had my F-150 in 4×4 over 20 times since I got it 16 months ago. It is extremely sure footed on both ice and feral pig wallows. I have a feral pig wallow next to the warehouse and managed to get stuck in it last week while I was backing the boom lift trailer into the warehouse. A quick turn of the knob to 4Hi and I was able to back right out of the pig wallow.


  43. I am fairly sure that I still have a couple of cassette tapes from the 1970s. Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, etc.

    I still have the original Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cassette I bought in London in 1968 as well as some Phillips cassettes from 1969 that I recorded Star Trek episodes on. Those old cassettes are held together by screws not glue so you can easily fix issues.

  44. I told my radio to play “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” on the way to HEB tonight. Sgt. Pepper’s is my favorite album of all time. I was flipping through the songs to get to “When I’m Sixty-Four” and stopped here. Paul McCartney singing the foreground and John Lennon singing the backgrounds. Like one of the commenters said, this is not music, it is magic.

    The Barenaked Ladies “Enid” from their debut album “Gordon” features three separate vocal tracks in the bridge, each clearly discernible depending on where you ‘aim’ your hearing in the stereo space. The CD is a must to experience the magic since the MP3 on my iPod doesn’t work nearly as well to my ears.

    “Box Set” is still my favorite track from the disc. If you don’t get the hints about the identity of the singer in the lyrics, the rhythm section of the song practically gives it away.

    All they want is 1973. Indeed.

  45. Three weeks after one of the coldest weather in Texas in 38 years, someone on the next street over has a crew digging a pool.

    I wouldn’t care, but the jackhammer crane has been running all week during daylight hours starting at 8 AM. The hole still isn’t very large from what I can see from the street.

    At least I know my house isn’t built on unstable ground.


  46. Something is wrong with this Canadian math teacher.

    I think he\she is already adjusting for inflation. Must have been an accountant.

    1
  47. Took my 2019 Highlander into the dealer today for the fuel pump recall replacement. Requires removing one of the middle seats to drop the gas tank, and they like the tank to be less than 1/2 full.

    Only took about 3 hours for them to complete that. A lot quicker than expected. Also had them update the Entune radio software; found a technical service bulletin that required it. The big display reset once while driving down the highway; hasn’t happened since. But figured that I could complain about it, show them the TSB, and they could do the software update. No charge.

    They did try to tell me that the brake fluid was ‘dirty’ and needed flushing. I declined. (It’s a sealed system, so how would it get dirty? There’s no leak; fluid level is normal, and the cover is tight.) Wanted $180 for that. Declined.

    They also said that the 30k mile service was due (it was). Looked at the list of services, it was basically an oil and filter change. Cost $275. Declined.

    Sat in the waiting room (nice area) with my laptop. Took a walk around the lot looking at cars. Was interested in looking at a Sequoia just for fun, but they didn’t have any on the lot. A couple of Tundras and Tacomas, some Highlanders and RAV4s. About half of the cars on the lot were hybrid. Didn’t buy any.

    So, out the dealer’s door with no cost. Stopped by JiffyLube for an oil change (it was due). Their prices have gone up: $79 for a conventional 0/20 oil and filter change. And that was after a 15% discount (coupon easily found on line). Stayed in the car the whole time; that’s their cootie policy.

    Next oil change will be at WalMart. Cheaper, same oil. I could do it myself, but am willing to pay for the convenience of someone else doing it. I could do it much cheaper myself. With a bit of grunt work.

  48. Sat in the waiting room (nice area) with my laptop. Took a walk around the lot looking at cars. Was interested in looking at a Sequoia just for fun, but they didn’t have any on the lot. A couple of Tundras and Tacomas, some Highlanders and RAV4s. About half of the cars on the lot were hybrid. Didn’t buy any.

    V8s are hot right now so I’m not surprised you didn’t see a Sequoia, especially in Puget Sound.

    This is the last year for Land Cruisers.

  49. @Lynn

    I am fairly sure that I still have a couple of cassette tapes from the 1970s. Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, etc. Cassette tapes were so much better than the 8 track tapes.

    I still have cassettes, my original Akai, and the Nakamichi that I bought as an upgrade. Only tapes I ever used were TDK SA and Maxell XL I’s and II’s. IIRC, the 90 minute tapes cost me three bucks apiece in the mid-1970’s.

    I used to buy new vinyl, record to cassette, and play the cassettes. About the only cassettes that get played now are the ones that haven’t been replaced by CD. There’s a handful of mix tapes that were labor intensive to make and still sound pretty good after more than 40 years.


  50. basically an oil and filter change. Cost $275

    My dealer only charges $75 and most of that cost is the synthetic oil. I have been doing business with the dealer for a long time and trust the dealer. I got burned at one of those quick lube places. Left the drain plug slightly loose. slow drip, mostly on a trip to San Antonio. On the way back found the oil was 3.5 quarts low on a 5 quart engine. Tightened the plug, added the oil. Two weeks later a rod bearing went. Engine replacement required. Oil change place said it was not their problem. Talked to a lawyer. His cost was $4K, replacement cost $3K. So I just spread the word about the oil change place and six months later it folded. I hope it was my doing but I suspect not.

  51. My wife is one who always wants to get the cars serviced before a trip. Okay, how about the week before, not the day before. But what do I know?

  52. The Max is what they call the EL now.

    @alan, the sales guy never did call to try for a save…

    autonation has 7 trucks (now 8) that I have open in tabs. at least 3 of them spent time as rentals and or lease vehicles, which might not be an issue. 2 of them had minor body damage, now fixed.

    The HD tow package is on my required list, the rest is give or take.

    Off to strip my old one for the last time.

    n

    1
  53. And I wrote that but didn’t hit post….

    So back from all that, and dinner in my belly. Tried something different. Put thick center cut pork chops in the slow cooker, added a sauce that was supposed to be a “skillet” sauce. Added water, cooked on low for 7 hours. The sauce was a mexican street food style, smokey chipotle, pineapple, cilantro. So I made a chutney of pineapple, onion, apple (for crunch), a bit of lime juice, a bit of japanese sushi vinegar (sweet), and some cilantro. Came out really nice and was a great complement to the pork. Served with the sauce from the pot over white rice. I’d make it again…

    At the mechanic’s I pulled the XM/sirius module, the ipod module, and the antenna. Remembered that I needed to pull the license plates, and that led to the add on backup camera, and then the toll tag and my CERT sticker… Pulled off my Rhino Rack. Got the last of my stuff out of the back. I’m pretty sure there is at least $20 and possibly more tucked away somewhere in the cab. I couldn’t find it though. I guess that’s a fail.

    The guy who runs the store, an immigrant from Iran, got his second covid shot yesterday and was miserable. His whole body hurt, he had a fever, and he left work early he felt so bad. He’s a pretty tough guy in reasonable shape.

    n


  54. Stopped by JiffyLube for an oil change (it was due). Their prices have gone up: $79 for a conventional 0/20 oil and filter change.

    Full synthetic changes are around $40 here.

  55. I have never been able to use a quick change place without something breaking on my vehicle. I’m gunshy at this point.

    n

    I can and have done it myself, but I don’t like the hassle of getting rid of the oil after.

    n

  56. Stopped by JiffyLube for an oil change (it was due). Their prices have gone up: $79 for a conventional 0/20 oil and filter change.

    Full synthetic changes are around $40 here.

    Where ? Kwik Kar in Greatwood is about $90 for full synthetic.

  57. Man, it is a real pain in the buttocks to write UNICODE in C++ and Fortran. Neither language was really built for it.

  58. sO, HOW IS THE PROJECT TO TRANSITION EVERYTHING TO c# GOING? 🙂

    The thumbs up/down and emojis seem not to be enough features to keep us entertained.

    AAAAND, thank God (and his appointed delegate) for the Edit feature!.

  59. Man, it is a real pain in the buttocks to write UNICODE in C++ and Fortran. Neither language was really built for it.

    Unicode has been the default character set in Tcl via UTF-16 for as long as I can remember. Other languages approach it with bolt-ons.

    This week’s work fun was learning how much CPU time Python’s JSON libraries consume. The default HTTP library, Requests, is useless.

    If any of you are using Requests in Python code, you’re burning a lot of cycles for not a lot of work.


  60. The guy who runs the store, an immigrant from Iran, got his second covid shot yesterday and was miserable. His whole body hurt, he had a fever, and he left work early he felt so bad. He’s a pretty tough guy in reasonable shape.

    Hearing more and more from people we know that it’s the second shot that can really kick ya in the butt.


  61. I have never been able to use a quick change place without something breaking on my vehicle. I’m gunshy at this point.

    All the Subauru dealers I’ve used have on service bay reserved for express service. Oil change, tire rotation, battery replacement, etc. Supposed to be in and out in 60 minutes or less. I always call before heading over to check that their not too busy. A few bucks to the service writer and the same to the tech and it’s usually 30 minutes max.

  62. Man, it is a real pain in the buttocks to write UNICODE in C++ and Fortran. Neither language was really built for it.

    Unicode has been the default character set in Tcl via UTF-16 for as long as I can remember. Other languages approach it with bolt-ons.

    This week’s work fun was learning how much CPU time Python’s JSON libraries consume. The default HTTP library, Requests, is useless.

    If any of you are using Requests in Python code, you’re burning a lot of cycles for not a lot of work.

    Yeah, those bolt-ons use three inch bolts. Keep your five foot long cheater bar handy.

    My research says that Python is totally cool for non compute intensive code. But the moment you need to do anything compute intensive, watch out ! There is an old story that Facebook was able to cut their server usage when they converted from Python to C++ on their servers using a translation tool they wrote. “HipHop for PHP: Move Fast”
    https://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2010/02/02/hiphop-for-php–move-fast/

  63. Attention Dirt People:

    plugs: “If we do our part… by July 4, there’s a good chance you, your families, and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout or a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day… Small groups will be able to get together”

    Maybe next year, if plugs is still alive, he’ll let a medium size group meet in your back yard.

    2
    3
    1
  64. Two interesting things from Israel in the Wuhan virus news:

    1) Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said Wednesday that real-world data from Israel suggests that their Covid-19 vaccine is 94 percent effective in preventing asymptomatic infections, meaning the vaccine could significantly reduce transmission.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/pfizer-covid-vaccine-cuts-transmission-coronavirus-new-real-world-study-n1260542

    2) Aspirin may protect against COVID-19, Israeli research finds

    People who take small doses are 29% less likely than others to test positive, researchers say; those who do get COVID recover faster, and with reduced aftereffects

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/03/11/israeli-study-aspirin-helps-protect-against-covid-19/

    1
  65. Heat pump update:

    Good news: The controller on the outside unit threw a code, the tech reset it and the unit powered right up. The tech was personalble, informative, knowledgeable and gave me recommendations on how to get American Home Shield to spring for Lennox parts. A really great guy.

    Bad news: The tech said there is a coolant leak somewhere and I should call AHS. He guessed around $300 just for coolant and leaks should have the part replaced and NOT SOLDERED. I requested service from AHS and the new service guy comes by tomorrow between 1-4pm.

    The first guy said Lennox is switching to aluminum coils rather copper. I should request aluminum from AHS as they are cheaper and more durable. He said if the AHS service tech won’t put in for Lennox parts, call him back since parts are under warranty and I would be charged for labor. So, I have options. Hopefully the new service guy knows how to play the game.

    1
  66. Two interesting things from Israel in the Wuhan virus news:

    1) Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said Wednesday that real-world data from Israel suggests that their Covid-19 vaccine is 94 percent effective in preventing asymptomatic infections, meaning the vaccine could significantly reduce transmission.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/pfizer-covid-vaccine-cuts-transmission-coronavirus-new-real-world-study-n1260542

    2) Aspirin may protect against COVID-19, Israeli research finds

    People who take small doses are 29% less likely than others to test positive, researchers say; those who do get COVID recover faster, and with reduced aftereffects

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/03/11/israeli-study-aspirin-helps-protect-against-covid-19/

    That is fairly cool that the entire country of Israel is a clinical trial. Finding that out made me a lot more comfortable with taking the vaccine soon.

    I thought that the various vaccines only reduced the level of the COVID infection but not the COVID infection rate ?

    I take a baby aspirin every day. So much better than the Coumadin (Warfarin) that I took for several years when I had atrial fibrillation tachycardia. I still get noticeable bruises with the baby aspirin. I have not been successful in getting the wife to take a daily baby aspirin yet.

  67. My research says that Python is totally cool for non compute intensive code. But the moment you need to do anything compute intensive, watch out ! There is an old story that Facebook was able to cut their server usage when they converted from Python to C++ on their servers using a translation tool they wrote. “HipHop for PHP: Move Fast”

    Python isn’t amenable to threading which makes high performance tough, but this week I have it moving 37 MB/s in network event logs from disk to a server via HTTP Post on a single Zen2 core, translating to JSON on the fly. Unfortunately, the next iteration, quadrupling the transfer rate, will require a C++ rewrite.

    Facecrack was always a heavy PHP shop. Atlassian is big into Python.

    HipHop was deprecated in favor of their own JIT VM, HHVM. At one point HHVM would run PHP5, but Facecrack restricted the VM to running either Hack, a PHP dialect they created, or a rapidly shifting bytecode set.

    1
  68. “Is a Cold War II with China Inevitable?” by Patrick J. Buchanan
    https://buchanan.org/blog/is-a-cold-war-ii-with-china-inevitable-142861

    “Consider. During the transition, the Biden foreign policy team gave a war guarantee to Manila to fight alongside the Philippines in any clash with the Chinese over disputed rocks and reefs in the South China Sea.”

    “Tokyo was informed that its mutual security treaty with the United States that dates to the 1950s covers the uninhabited Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. But Beijing also claims these islands as her own.”

    “On the eve of his taking office, Blinken said he agreed with Mike Pompeo’s view that China’s brutal repression of the Uighurs in Xinjiang constitutes “genocide” and crimes against humanity. That latter charge is what the Nazis were hanged for at Nuremberg.”

    How do we (the USA) get out of this continuously repeating nightmare ?

    The USA looks a lot like the Titanic to me lately and there are many icebergs out there. And they just lit steam boiler #8 with this $1.9 trillion boondoggle.

    1
  69. Facecrack was always a heavy PHP shop. Atlassian is big into Python.

    HipHop was deprecated in favor of their own JIT VM, HHVM. At one point HHVM would run PHP5, but Facecrack restricted the VM to running either Hack, a PHP dialect they created, or a rapidly shifting bytecode set.

    Junior Senior Programmer has always thought highly of the Facebook technical team. But he was so unnerved by the roving SJW intimidation squads at Google that he decided to forego Facebook. He is still considering Microsoft though. His momma would kill him though if he moved to Washington state. San Fran was bad enough.

  70. @Lynn
    “How do we (the USA) get out of this continuously repeating nightmare ?”

    With regard to the treaties with the Philippines and Japan, both are pretty much bedrock obligations. Abrogating either would make our treaties not worth spit. It is certain that such an outcome is desirable to the Chinese and in addition to ridding the area of US influence is part of the overall world goal.


  71. plugs: “If we do our part… by July 4, there’s a good chance you, your families, and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout or a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day… Small groups will be able to get together”

    Nobody in DC going to tell me or the rest of my Tribe how many people we can have on our own property. I was born in an America where people wouldn’t stand for such nonsense. We had a block party last summer and visited Disney World in July.

  72. @Lynn
    “How do we (the USA) get out of this continuously repeating nightmare ?”

    With regard to the treaties with the Philippines and Japan, both are pretty much bedrock obligations. Abrogating either would make our treaties not worth spit. It is certain that such an outcome is desirable to the Chinese and in addition to ridding the area of US influence is part of the overall world goal.

    I knew that we had a treaty to protect Japan making it a protectorate. I did not know that we had the same obligation with the Philippines. Yet, the Philippines threw our naval base out several years ago, I would think that this abrogated that defense treaty.


  73. Attention Dirt People:

    plugs: “If we do our part… by July 4, there’s a good chance you, your families, and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout or a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day… Small groups will be able to get together”

    Maybe next year, if plugs is still alive, he’ll let a medium size group meet in your back yard.

    There’s money in the $1.9T package to cover the airfare for my out of town family to fly here so I can have enough people to make up a small size group, right?

  74. @Lynn
    Treaty with the Philippines was signed shortly after they became independent in 1946.

    Military base use was under treaty. Philippines wanted bigger payments for the use of Subic and Clark in the early 1990’s. No agreement was reached, and we closed them up. A shame, but very symbolic for the Filipinos to have no foreign forces in the country for the first time in 400 years. Probably would not have happened except the eruption of Pinatubo a few miles from Subic and damage to the base made the location seem less secure.

  75. Junior Senior Programmer has always thought highly of the Facebook technical team. But he was so unnerved by the roving SJW intimidation squads at Google that he decided to forego Facebook. He is still considering Microsoft though. His momma would kill him though if he moved to Washington state. San Fran was bad enough.

    Facebook has offices here, but I don’t know how much of their presence is for real tech work and how much is a write off to party on 6th Street like so many other companies.

    Real estate isn’t that much cheaper in WA State than it is in San Francisco, particularly around Seattle. I paid $1400/mo for 400 sq ft in Issaquah eight years ago, an hour bus ride to work, and so much Subcontinent packed into the surrounding apartments beyond the lease numbers that I often faced a problem parking anywhere close to my building after 7-8 PM on weeknights. In the suburbs — just around the corner from Costco’s flagship store and HQ.

    If he tries it, I don’t recommend QA/test roles thinking he’ll move internally after proving himself. Testing an over 40 ghetto on the West Coast, even at Microsoft.

    I was really reluctant to pull the plug on the last job when it became apparent that things weren’t going to end well after I returned from FL in July. I walked out of the job in Seattle after they tricked me into a QA role.

    BTW, TWC isn’t even answering their phones right now.

  76. I like monkey punching the stuff until it breaks. I once broke our company’s flagship product in gold release version with one click 🙂 Set the smug b@stards back a bit… and got my customers a better product.

    When testing control UIs or HMI displays, I like to go thru the workflow backwards. Catches a lot of ‘off by 1’ errors.

    But you have to know a bit about how the stuff works to go looking for why it breaks.

    n

  77. Cops are working street racers again. They are right down the street from my secondary location.
    Now for me to get some sleep.

    n


  78. Maternity flight suits ??? Are you freaking kidding me ?

    Military pilots wear the suits even when not flying. Mostly to show off and cut in front of lines at the commissary. Not the suits actually used in the aircraft, the “onesies” used to walk around.

  79. Maternity flight suits ??? Are you freaking kidding me ?

    I remember a couple of decades ago when the military introduced maternity BDUs. BDU stands for “Battle Dress Uniform”, so they expected obviously pregnant women to be dressed as if for combat.

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