Mon. Mar. 15, 2021 – Beware! Beware poets and prognosticators

and the Ides of March….

Cooler and wet.   Probably.  Maybe.  No one really knows.   Yesterday stayed overcast and drizzly all day.  The temp dropped too, down to 58F at one point, although it was 59F when I went to bed.

Slept late, had an hour stolen from my life,* and then worked on my plumbing project in the slowest and more careful way possible.  I’ve set toilets before, but never had the constellation of parts and issues that this one had.  I got it done, no leaks, and last night it did the business without complaint.  It is very quiet, and doesn’t ever evacuate the whole bowl.  Quite different.  Seems to work though.

Then made some dinner and welcomed #2 child home from her sleepover.  Yeah.  I’m hoping we don’t get sick.  Wife decided that child needed to spend some time with a friend for her mental wellness.   Kid was very excited and had a great time.  Hopefully that worked to lighten her mood for a while.

The rain and late start kept me in for the day and definitely limited what I got done.  Still, the toilet project was on the list for a long time and now it looks like that is done-for a while anyway.

Turns out that this week is Spring Break.  Who knew?  Kids are home all week and my wife is back in the office a couple of days.  That limits my range of activities.  On the other hand, I should be able to work projects here at home.  We’ll see 😉

Time to move some other stuff forward, and organize some of the stacks.

This last week gave me a chance to work some skills.   Hands on skills are good.  Infrastructure skills are good.  Repair skills are going to be really good.  Work on some skills this week.

And of course, keep stacking.

 

n

 

*not really, but fun to play with.

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

79 thoughts on “Mon. Mar. 15, 2021 – Beware! Beware poets and prognosticators”

  1. In-law fun today in Orlando. We didn’t tell them about our trip in advance because I didn’t want our plans for yesterday nitpicked apart, and I definitely didn’t want them getting ideas about joining us at the beach starting tomorrow night.

    Our plans are Gatorland and BBQ at a hole-in-the-wall place near Universal, but we may not get away with the BBQ since the inlaws tastes run expensive in restaurants if they think they can guilt my wife to pick up the bill. The pilgrimage to the Orlando Beefy King is thus reserved for lunch tomorrow.

    Away from the Spring Break circus locations, Florida isn’t as “open” as hyped from what we’ve seen so far, but we’re avoiding Eisney World. Service is suffering everywhere. Even Publix’ bakery section was skimpy Saturday when we stopped to stock up on breakfast things and drinks.

  2. Hotel WiFi sucks in the age of Covid. Everyone has become accustomed to entertaining kids at home with HD Roku, and they bring the boxes along when they travel since most hotels now have HDMI-capable TVs.

  3. @Nick

    (I’ve got a lot of money in Fine Homebuilding and Fine woodworking mags. The best part is that you can grab a 10 year old issue and read it fresh. Fine Woodwork holds up particularly well.)

    I have a heavy duty cabinet in the shop for them. I have both as digital, but it is not the same. Also have Wood, and a goodly amount others. Popular Mechanics used to do a yearly shop issue–miss that.


  4. the geisel estate initiated the decision not to publish I guess the heirs are ok with dirty money, but not dirty laundry.

    The estate started cashing in on his creations in lots of ways he declined to do so. AFAIK, he never allowed merchandizing of his characters.

  5. The estate started cashing in on his creations in lots of ways he declined to do so. AFAIK, he never allowed merchandizing of his characters.

    The Seuss Landing at Universal Orlando Islands of Adventure park . IIRC, two of the racially insensitive characters from the “retired” books are on the walls in the Woody Woodpecker play area in the original Studios park next door.

    Even if the characters are painted over, the heirs will still get paid for use of the imagery.

    Now that I think about it, how long will it be before before Woody Woodpecker himself gets banned? Universal had plans to remove the play area a decade ago.

  6. Hotel WiFi sucks in the age of Covid.

    It was pretty annoying before COVID-19. Ever try and get on hotel wifi between 7PM and 10PM? Horrible. Always horrible. Even if you pay for the “premium wifi” instead of the free standard wifi. I’ve demanded my “premium wifi” be refunded because it was so horrible. Now, I mostly just use cellular. Heck, I’ll even hotspot my phone if I need wifi for my laptop rather than use the hotel wifi. Airport wifi is almost as bad.

  7. ” I’ll even hotspot my phone if I need wifi for my laptop rather than use the hotel wifi. Airport wifi is almost as bad.”

    –what was it JerryP used to say? The demand for a free good is infinite?

    I’ve carried my roku on trips, but never got it to work. The log in process for the hotel often doesn’t run on anything but a browser, although that’s getting better . I would sometimes be in a hotel where it only ran on IE, when I used to travel for work. I usually have a hotspot with me and all the kindles are set to use it, because they NEVER work with the hotel sign on.

    I used to carry my own little travel wifi WAP that only allowed two wifi connections. Plug it in, and good to go, no changes to my lappy. Haven’t done that for a while though. Two isn’t enough.

    n

  8. The robot vacuum I ordered arrived last weekend, so here are my early observations. What I purchased is a EUFY 11S (not the 11S MAX). I bought this because: 1) Listed as 3rd best by Consumer Reports (the 2 Roomba models rated better were 5 times the price!); 2) Price was reasonable; 3) It is “short” and will fit under most furniture (I believe anything with 2.78″ clearance); 4) It is rated 5/5 for bare floors which is what I have for bedrooms. Not so good for carpets (3/5) but I don’t care; 5) I have a EUFY electronic scale which works very well, so I have a “so far” good experience with this Chinese company.

    I have this installed upstairs and have run it on automatic where it runs for as long as it has power (at least 60 minutes – I forgot to set a timer – maybe next time), and on the single room setting which is a programmed 30 minutes. It is doing the job. Wanders around under furniture (it does fit under everything I have in those rooms – beds and dressers) and does a fine job of dust and dirt collection. Under automatic it did drag itself back to the docking station on the last dregs of power. On single room it just goes and then stops in place after 30 minutes. I assume this allows use when you don’t have the docking station in the same room. I did, but that demonstrates behavior for any room.

    So far so good. You do have to dump the dust bin on the robot after each use. This model does not have wifi but does have a remote control. Wifi would give me specific error codes and diagnostics, but this is a vacuum cleaner, not a jet engine. No wifi also means the vacuum can’t phone home to China with my house plans or any other information (I trust not the “internet of things”, especially Chinese things). More once I have had more time using this.

  9. what was it JerryP used to say? The demand for a free good is infinite?

    Good point. Though, I don’t consider free hotel wifi any more free than I do hotel electricity or the packets of coffee provided. It’s all included in the price of my room. Doubly so if I’m pay extra for a better tier of wifi.

    You do have to dump the dust bin on the robot after each use.

    That’s always been my annoyance with them. My wife’s parents gifted us a Roomba a few years ago. If you have pets or wall-to-wall carpeting then it seems like the brush always needs cleaned off and the dustbin is always full.

  10. I have come to really dislike all the bagless vacuums. I don’t understand their popularity. Were people too lazy or forgetful to have extra clean bags around? You still need consumables for the bagless- ie filters, especially the HEPA ones. Emptying the collection cup puts all that nasty fine particulate back into the air, and right in your face.

    I’ve never used a bagless that was more than a year old without noticing that they all seem to have a sour smell too. Washing doesn’t seem to help either, and it’s a filthy dirty job.

    Our next vac is going to be a miele canister with bags and extra filters.

    n

    1
  11. Emptying the collection cup puts all that nasty fine particulate back into the air, and right in your face.

    I put my bin contents when I empty into the toilet and flush the contents. I have to empty my bin every two days, which is a complete house cycle, due to the dog hair. Every week I wash the filter with soap. For the big vacuum, a Dyson bagless, I also flush the contents. Every four or five months I have to disassemble the canister and blow out the dust using compressed air outside.

    The problems with bags is that sometimes removing the bags some of the contents may get expelled depending on the removal requirements. Kirby vacuums in particular had the problem. The bags also lose effectiveness in a short period of time, long before the bag is full.

    There are tradeoffs with both systems. Pick your poison.

    And if I am in the process of cleaning my vacuum cleaner, does that make me a vacuum cleaner?

  12. Heh, got our first product order from Forks, WA. I wonder if it was Edward or Jacob.

  13. Bags may cough out some contents, but dumping the collection cup spills them ALL out…

    My client has a whole house vac and that keeps the mess out in the garage. It has a crazy long hose to manage though.

    It all beats taking the carpet outside and hitting them with a carpet beater….

    n

  14. scanner has the cops working armed robbery. the getaway vehicle was stolen in an aggravated robbery, and then the perp robbed a convenience store.

    n

  15. “Texas power retailer Griddy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy”
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/texas-power-retailer-griddy-files-173142265.html

    Saw that one coming. No customers and lots of very large bills.

    More explanation at:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-weather-griddy/texas-power-retailer-griddy-heading-for-bankruptcy-wall-street-journal-idUSKBN2B60R8

    “High gas and power bills from the Texas freeze have already forced two other firms to seek bankruptcy protection – Just Energy Group Inc and Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Inc.”

    More coming as the eventualities catch up. The big bankruptcy will be ERCOT.

    Failing to plan means planning to fail is the old saying that applies in this case.


  16. Bags may cough out some contents, but dumping the collection cup spills them ALL out…

    True, but now I just don a handy N95 mask when emptying the tank (outdoors over the trash can into a grocery bag – which, with most groceries delivered we’re running short on – don’t recall the last time we actually had to buy trash bags).
    I’m in the bagless camp – Shark DuoClean – works well for us as whole house is (okay, will soon be as soon as I get going ripping out the carpet in the bedrooms and installing LVT) all hard surfaces.

  17. Cops are surveilling some people and following some vehicles but still haven’t ID’d anyone for the robberies….

    n


  18. I have come to really dislike all the bagless vacuums. I don’t understand their popularity. Were people too lazy or forgetful to have extra clean bags around?

    I remember years ago having a Hoover that used bags and constantly having to run from store to store K-Mart, True Value Hardware, local vacuum store) to find “Type U” bags. Baffled me as to why Hoover couldn’t standardize on just a few sizes. And of course, the local vac store always stocked all the sizes, but at a premium price.

    My client has a whole house vac and that keeps the mess out in the garage. It has a crazy long hose to manage though.

    Ideally installed when the house is being built so that two inlets can be installed in larger rooms which allows a shorter, more manageable hose.


  19. Heh, got our first product order from Forks, WA. I wonder if it was Edward or Jacob.

    As Yogi said, “When you get to a fork in the road, take it”

    1
  20. Bags may cough out some contents, but dumping the collection cup spills them ALL out…

    My client has a whole house vac and that keeps the mess out in the garage. It has a crazy long hose to manage though.

    It all beats taking the carpet outside and hitting them with a carpet beater….

    Not having a big problem with dumping the cup so far, and you can just wash it out (no pets so no hair-balls) and the water damps down the dust. You will have to be careful to not soak the paper filter.

    Vacuum or no, I still take area rugs outside and beat them at least annually. No vacuum cleaner actually removes any dirt and dust that settles in deep. Not going to steam clean a wool rug sitting on a hardwood floor (and even that does not get it all). Get your mad out: Hang the rug outside and beat the “dust” out of it with an old tennis racquet or baseball bat. Scare your neighbors!!!

  21. “100 Speculative Fiction Titles to Add to Your To-Be-Read Pile” by James Davis Nicoll
    https://www.tor.com/2021/03/15/100-speculative-fiction-titles-to-add-to-your-to-be-read-pile/

    “The Mountains of Mourning by Lois McMaster Bujold (1989)” is an awesome novella. Almost as good as “Shards of Honor”.

    And the Deryni books were interesting.

    “White Trash Zombie” ??? That looks like the drek that I would read.

    I’ve read about a dozen or two on the list, I’ll pass for now on the rest.

  22. Heat pump update:

    The home warranty appointed contract is with Texaire. No call back on a followup to find the coolant leak. So I called them at 1:20pm Tejas time. The guy: “Ya, I’m just getting to the follow ups, we may get you to you tomorrow early or late. I’ll call you back.” Just getting to the followup appointments. I guess they do jack during the weekend. My trust in Texaire is not good right now. I hope this doesn’t turn into a nightmare. The first words out of the Texaire tech was “Lennox systems suck, I hate them.” I had no choice in the matter and I really don’t want to hear whining and complaining. The guy couldn’t find the leak, put in a couple of free pounds of coolant, and really should have come back Saturday. I wait with anticipation on leak detection.


  23. Baffled me as to why Hoover couldn’t standardize on just a few sizes.

    at a premium price.

    That’s why.

  24. The home warranty appointed contract is with Texaire. No call back on a followup to find the coolant leak. So I called them at 1:20pm Tejas time. The guy: “Ya, I’m just getting to the follow ups, we may get you to you tomorrow early or late. I’ll call you back.” Just getting to the followup appointments. I guess they do jack during the weekend. My trust in Texaire is not good right now. I hope this doesn’t turn into a nightmare. The first words out of the Texaire tech was “Lennox systems suck, I hate them.”

    The Tech is trying to sell you a new a/c/heat system. That is why they do the service warranties so they can get in your face to sell you a new system.


  25. “Lennox systems suck, I hate them.”

    Translation: There’s actually nothing wrong with Lennox, but I don’t know as much about them as I do others and I’m not partnered with them to get as big a kickback as possible.

  26. List of 100–

    “Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany (1975)

    It’s important to acknowledge SF’s crowd-pleasers along with its more ambitious works. Dhalgren is just such a crowd-pleaser. The inexplicably transformed city Bellona has enthralled readers for decades; the Bantam edition alone went through nineteen printings, with sales of over a million copies. [One of my advance readers asked at this point: “But how many of the people who bought it finished reading this doorstop? I didn’t.”]”

    –any list that includes this piece of cr@p from a pedophile apologist is suspect, even when they do the whole ‘left handed compliment’ thing. I suspect that some other factor, having to do with the author, is why it sold, and I DON’T think many finished it.

    n

  27. That list is 90% female authors. I read a lot of them, but I’m surprised by their prevelence in the genre, or is it just in the list?

    And I’m very glad to see this back in print. It took me literal years to find all the books in the series.

    Five-Twelfths of Heaven by Melissa Scott (1985)

    In this remarkable science-fantasy novel, starship pilot Silence Leigh’s only hope of evading the Hegemony’s relentlessly patriarchal laws lay in marriage to two complete strangers. Only after marriage does she discover all too late that she has married into the pirate collective Wrath-of-God: freedom fighters according to their members, but terrorists as far as the Hegemony is concerned.

    and holy cow, a CQY that I don’t have. She’s the queen of gentleman vampire erotica, anne rice and the sparklers are pretenders…

    Ariosto by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (1980)

    Ludovico Ariosto is a hardworking poet, eager to please his Medici patrons in an Italy unified centuries ahead of schedule. He turns to fantasy as a distraction from the grim realities of Italian federal politics. A luscious, ornate alternate history.

    n


  28. “The US Keeps Losing In Every Simulated War-Game Against China”

    I had always heard the trick to defeating China has always been starvation. They can’t feed their masses. Block inbound food shipments and within a few months you’ll have starved them into submission (or worse… desperation).

  29. These would be the same ignorant SJWs who think there weren’t any female SF&F authors before they got woke? The ones that this very list puts to the lie?

    Melissa Scott, Wilhemina Baird, Pat Cadigan, Eliz Moon, Ursula LG, and all the rest that were writing in the 80s and before would sure be surprised that there weren’t any female authors before the current crop of SJWs were born. But then there wasn’t ANY history before they were born…

    n

  30. “The US Keeps Losing In Every Simulated War-Game Against China”

    I had always heard the trick to defeating China has always been starvation. They can’t feed their masses. Block inbound food shipments and within a few months you’ll have starved them into submission (or worse… desperation).

    I am not sure that blockades work against nations who can project their weapons using ICBMs.

  31. IDK, my experiences in china suggest that they would have a VERY hard time keeping something as complex as an ICBM fleet running. They are the kings of ‘a thin veneer’ of anything. Their quality is thin and mostly about appearances. “Face” keeps anyone from bringing up problems or pointing out the issues. As a culture they won’t pay for quality, especially if it can’t be seen.

    n

  32. These would be the same ignorant SJWs who think there weren’t any female SF&F authors before they got woke? The ones that this very list puts to the lie?

    Melissa Scott, Wilhemina Baird, Pat Cadigan, Eliz Moon, Ursula LG, and all the rest that were writing in the 80s and before would sure be surprised that there weren’t any female authors before the current crop of SJWs were born. But then there wasn’t ANY history before they were born…

    n

    Don’t forget Andre Norton, Katherine Kurtz, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Anne McCaffrey who all published in the 1970s. In fact, Andre Norton might have published in the 1960s. Wrong, Andre Norton published her first book in 1934 !
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Norton


  33. I am not sure that blockades work against nations who can project their weapons using ICBMs.

    Well, at the end of the day there’s always “mutually assured destruction” to make everyone behave politely. If you have ICBMs then it really doesn’t matter whose army is bigger.

    IDK, my experiences in china suggest that they would have a VERY hard time keeping something as complex as an ICBM fleet running. They are the kings of ‘a thin veneer’ of anything. Their quality is thin and mostly about appearances.

    IIRC, Soviet nukes had similar quality/accuracy/reliability issues. They just compensated by building more. If you can only count on 1 out of every 10 warheads making it to target, then just make and launch 10x as many ICBMs as needed. Quantity over quality.

  34. While quantity has a quality of its own, I have to wonder if any of them can fly. WE have trouble keeping ours flight ready. Not that it takes more than one successful attack to ruin everyone’s day. I think we would react very badly to being nuked, and I believe we still have the capability to respond in kind. The sub commanders know what needs to be done, even if China Joe and the ho don’t.

    n

  35. even though they are continuing to try to shape the narrative, the cracks are starting to show.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9364099/Two-men-charged-assaulting-Capitol-cop-Brian-Sicknick-died-January-riot.html

    More than two months later a cause of death has still not been released publicly but investigators are said to be treating the case as a potential homicide.

    Investigators initially believed that Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, based on statements collected early in the investigation, according to two people familiar with the case.

    But as they’ve collected more evidence, the theory has evolved and investigators now believe Sicknick may have ingested a chemical substance – possibly bear spray – that may have contributed to his death, officials have said.

    Video allegedly showed Khater and Tanios standing near Sicknick and other officers on the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace during the insurrection, according to court filings obtained by the Post.

    Prosecutors said Khater could be heard telling Tanios: ‘Give me that bear s**t.’

    About nine minutes later, Khater was allegedly seen discharging chemicals believed to be bear spray into the face of Sicknick and two other officers.

    “as they’ve collected more evidence”– ie, as the available evidence puts the lie to the story…
    “Prosecutors said Khater could be heard”– heard by who? and hearsay anyway…

    –and we still don’t have the identity of the cop who shot Ashli from official sources.

    n

    4
    1
  36. “It began with a biological weapon that quickly dealt with America’s military bases and warships in the Indo-Pacific region.”

    Hmmm? I believe US doctrine is that bio-weapons are chemical weapons are nuclear weapons. I did not read any of the scenarios, but I wonder if any scenario has the US responding to bio-weapons with A-bombs on Chinese bases? Of course, that means a willingness to accept the destruction of New York (or Houston) to defend Taiwan. I don’t think the US is as willing to do this to defend Taiwan as they were to defend Western Europe. Does that give the Chinese a free pass to use such weapons? Very messy scenarios.

    If this is a purely conventional confrontation, the US needs to project power across the Pacific sufficient to deter or defeat the Chinese in their backyard. Do you think anyone could successfully prevent the US from doing whatever it wanted in the Caribbean? Cuba is a fascinating parallel to Taiwan. If the US really wanted to invade and conquer Cuba, could anyone stop the US? Even the Soviet Union if this was the 1980s or earlier?

  37. More degeneracy from the music industry…

    Is this the vilest music video ever made? R&B star Trey Songz SPITS into mouths of two kneeling women in degrading shoot which leaves fans feeling sick

    The disturbing clip of Trey Songz went viral on social media over the weekend
    The singer is seen shirtless with two women kneeling in front of him
    Songz drops a glob of spit at the women with their mouths open and tongues out
    It’s unclear when and where the clip was recorded – or how it landed online
    Fans expressed outrage over the singer’s ‘disrespectful’ , ‘disgusting’ and ‘degrading’ display
    It comes five months after Songz himself tested positive for the virus

    –this spitting into women’s mouths is common in some sub genres of pron. The article seems to be ok with it, except for the covid angle. The reactions online seem to recognize it as the degradation that it’s meant to be. But they’re still gonna play his ‘songs’.

    Some users said the singer, who is known for his graphic lyrics and has released a number of songs exclusively about sex, was acting out one of his biggest hits from 2010 – Say Aah.

    Others said the stunt showed how pop music has gone too far with provocative sexual displays – including those seen in performances at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night.

    n

  38. I tried to fix the van today. The window mech for the passenger door? Other than the wiring connector being different, the unit I bought on eBay looks like an exact fit. It’s held in with big pop-rivets. I might take it to the dealer. Might just put it all back together.

    The power locks on the van as of today are un-locking doors. I hear a relay click when trying to lock but that’s all that happens. Both door switches are good. I don’t know how Ford does it, the Chryslers I know of need the switches installed to complete the circuit. The Ford, today, with both door switches disconnected, yeah, the keyfob still works, even with the door switches disconnected. I’m baffled. But I now know the switches are fine.

    Bluebook whatever said the van was worth $400 four years ago. Yeah, just put it back together and use it for a trade in someday.

    Add:
    There are relays in the fuse box. Soldered in. I suppose a bean counter weighed the value of having sockets for relays VS replacing the entire fuse box… or vehicle…. and pissing off customers.

  39. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-9362415/Cardi-B-Megan-Thee-Stallion-Dua-Lipa-lead-63rd-Annual-Grammy-Awards-performers.html

    Megan thee stallion got ‘best new artist’. Her hit, Wet @ss P#ssy is one of the most obscene songs I’ve ever had the misfortune of hearing.

    Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, and Dua Lipa stood out from the star-studded pack while delivering ultra raunchy performances during the Grammy Awards, which included straddling each other and writhing on the stage floor.

    The artists brought some heat to the 63rd annual ceremony ass they stripped down to glitzy lingerie to perform their hit singles during the event in Los Angeles on Sunday evening.

    –bolded word from the original article

    To give viewers a taste of her own dancing abilities, Cardi performed a subtle stripper routine on the heel of a giant stiletto.

    Bringing their worlds together, Cardi was later joined by Megan, whom she collaborated with on the controversial track WAP.

    –subtle in this context probably does not mean what you think of as ‘subtle.’

    n

  40. Huh, whodda thunkit. The climate is colder than it used to be.

    Finding twigs and leaves rather than sand and rock suggests there may have been a boreal forest in the recent geological past – where the mile deep ice stands today.

    The discovery revealed the ice sheet is more fragile to climate change than thought, putting every coastal city at risk if it were to melt again, with study authors warning the Greenland ice sheet melting could see a 20ft rise in sea levels worldwide.

    ‘Greenland may seem far away,’ says author Paul Bierman, ‘but it can quickly melt, pouring enough into oceans that New York, Miami, Dhaka – will go underwater.’

    –if an ice free Greenland now would mean coastal cities underwater, where is the evidence that the coastal waterline was higher when it was ice free last time?

    n

  41. Huh, whodda thunkit. The climate is colder than it used to be.

    https://www.iceagenow.info/temperatures-were-warmer-than-today-for-most-of-the-past-10000-years/

    –if an ice free Greenland now would mean coastal cities underwater, where is the evidence that the coastal waterline was higher when it was ice free last time?

    We used to look for sharks teeth after my grandfather plowed his fields outside of Pottsboro, Texas at 550 ft elevation. They were all over the place.

  42. yes and the midwest was a vast inland sea. The largest limestone quarry in the world is near where I grew up south of Chicago…

    But is there evidence that all of FLA was underwater? Or NYC?

    And if there is, wouldn’t ice melting be Mama Gaia returning to her ‘natural’ state?

    n

  43. any one using a VR headset with their phone for any reason at all? I found one while cleaning my office, cynocular, with remote. No manual though, but I found one online.

    What do you actually do with the thing? Is there a killer game?

    n

  44. Nick, there are some VR games. I don’t know how good they are.

    There are some VR videos, used as tutorials or walkthroughs. My wife and daughter went through a couple and liked them but apparently not enough to keep looking for more.

    The main use in this household for the VR headset+phone was in using the flying drone. (Not so much lately because of the cold. Cold by our standards, not by Texans’. Why, just this afternoon I even put on a pair of gloves! In this temperature I think the batteries would last more than 15 seconds but wouldn’t bet on going over a minute.)

    We didn’t get a manual with our headset because I got it used at a yard sale. However, just set up whatever software is needed on the phone, slip the phone into the headset and get it positioned correctly, and that’s about all that was needed.

  45. sheesh
    busy afternoon

    @lynn says:
    15 March 2021 at 14:27

    “100 Speculative Fiction Titles to Add to Your To-Be-Read Pile” by James Davis Nicoll
    https://www.tor.com/2021/03/15/100-speculative-fiction-titles-to-add-to-your-to-be-read-pile/

    A few classics, but mostly an effort to retread forgettable feminist authors of the 1970’s. There’s a reason they don’t even appear as a Jeopardy! category.

    Better to read the Ballantine Adult Fantasy imprint and Lin Carter’s excellent introductions.

    Climate change. The religion of scientifically illiterate greenies and the moneypot for ethically challenged second and third-rate scientists. Meh. Next time some prat professes their righteous belief, ask them A) to explain the adiabatic lapse rate, and B) explain how the CMip5 spaghetti graph shows any skill at predicting anything. In the meantime, hardly a year goes by without something melting out of a glacier that shows that they have been much smaller in this interglacial.

    Grammys. Doubt I would recognize a single “artist” if they appeared on a street corner with an identifying sign. Doubt any could sing their way off the street corner without electronic enhancement.

  46. “Doubt I would recognize a single “artist” if they appeared on a street corner with an identifying sign”

    — I know it’s wrong, but I can only hope that some of these, or all of these, “artists” are being robbed blind by their management and label, because they are actively destroying something it took centuries to build.

    n

  47. I believe that what most of these “artists”, particularly the rappers, do can only be called “music” by stretching the term way beyond its elastic limit.

    Admittedly, my tastes pretty much stop at William Walton, and go back rapidly from there, even unto the Renaissance, and even earlier. I accept that other people have different tastes, but don’t force me to listen to them, and I won’t force you to listen to my preferences.

    Of course, certain of the younger generation will drive around with the car windows open, and the volume turned up, which generally gets a sotto voce comment of “Thanks for sharing” from me

    /sarc.

    are being robbed blind by their management and label

    A lot of them are. “Hollywood Accounting” isn’t limited to Hollyweird, I believe that the studios learned the art from the record labels.

    G.

  48. IDK, my experiences in china suggest that they would have a VERY hard time keeping something as complex as an ICBM fleet running. They are the kings of ‘a thin veneer’ of anything. Their quality is thin and mostly about appearances. “Face” keeps anyone from bringing up problems or pointing out the issues. As a culture they won’t pay for quality, especially if it can’t be seen.

    Loral helped China develop the guidance package for the ICBMs in the 90s. The rest was probably stolen.


  49. Loral helped China develop the guidance package for the ICBMs in the 90s. The rest was probably stolen.

    I imagine most of China’s technological achievements are stolen. They’ve been stealing the intellectual property of other nations for decades. We turned a blind eye forever because most times it wasn’t military secrets, so who cared? Turns out having all of our civilian technological and medical research is much more valuable than knowing the max altitude of our latest recon aircraft.

  50. I had always heard the trick to defeating China has always been starvation. They can’t feed their masses. Block inbound food shipments and within a few months you’ll have starved them into submission (or worse… desperation).

    The Chinese own Smithfield, the largest US pork processor.

    Go back to Christmas 2019, pre-Covid, and the pork quality in the US market was awful. We took pieces of meat back to Sam’s and HEB that month, including Christmas Eve dinner.

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  51. The sub commanders know what needs to be done, even if China Joe and the ho don’t.

    Do they have launch capability without confirmation from the CINC?

  52. “Do they have launch capability without confirmation from the CINC? ”

    –the only person here who could actually answer that — can’t.

    I’m sure there must be protocols for first strike responses, particularly when comms are out, and the threat level was high…

    n

  53. The chinese own stuff here like we own stuff there… without landing the army, I’d like to see them try to get all the hogs they want if hostilities go hot. Wouldn’t take much to monkey wrench the shipments either, as I’m sure there are long lists of what needs to be checked for the shipment to go right, which provide excellent instructions for what could go wrong…

    n

  54. And these sorts of discussions are much more likely to attract the attention of them than other discussions are to attract more local attention.

    n

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  55. My DVD ripping chore continues. I’m finding a lot of duplicates as I go thru the drawers and shelves. Not as many as there could be, and I can see my favs in the number of times I picked up a copy… I’m also finding a lot of stuff I forgot about but really wanted to watch. Constantine, Loopers, Jack Reacher, Smiley’s People/ Tinker Tailor soldier spy, lots of other good movies too.

    When I ripped all my CDs I found I was listening to them a lot more, because it was easy and I could see what I had. I’m hoping for the same thing with movies.

    n


  56. I’m sure there must be protocols for first strike responses, particularly when comms are out, and the threat level was high…

    During Operation Looking Glass there was a general officer airborne 24/365 that could give the strike order if all ground launch facilities had been taken out. Essentially, if you witness a first strike against the US and NORAD and DC and all the rest are obliterated, ground centers cannot be reached, and chain of command isn’t responding (CINC dead, VP dead, Speaker dead, etc.) someone was there to launch the retaliatory strike. I imagine there’s a mile long protocol before assuming that authority.


  57. My DVD ripping chore continues. I’m finding a lot of duplicates as I go thru the drawers and shelves. Not as many as there could be, and I can see my favs in the number of times I picked up a copy… I’m also finding a lot of stuff I forgot about but really wanted to watch. Constantine, Loopers, Jack Reacher, Smiley’s People/ Tinker Tailor soldier spy, lots of other good movies too.

    When I ripped all my CDs I found I was listening to them a lot more, because it was easy and I could see what I had. I’m hoping for the same thing with movies.

    Hi Nick – I find that I have a few DVDs, some BlueRay, that I should rip, both for playback and archival purposes. I know you mentioned this earlier but what software are you using to do this and any particular gotchas with that software? (I have 600 ripped CDs – ripped to FLAC – and used Exact Audio Copy to do that).

  58. “Who and What Killed George Floyd?” by Patrick J. Buchanan
    https://buchanan.org/blog/who-and-what-killed-george-floyd-142867

    “George Floyd was not choked to death. He was not asphyxiated. He was not killed by Chauvin’s knee on the side of his neck. An autopsy showed Floyd’s neck muscles were not even bruised.”

    “Floyd died when his heart stopped. Yet, he was already suffering from an enlarged heart with constricted arteries, one of five of which was 90% blocked and two others were 75% blocked.”

    “An autopsy found heavy concentrations of fentanyl in Floyd’s system and traces of methamphetamines. If Floyd had collapsed and died in the street while being wrested into the squad car, his death would have been attributed to a drug overdose and a bad heart.”

  59. @TV, on Greg’s recommendation, I’m using Handbrake to do the rip. There is an additional library you need to d/l and copy to a directory.

    I pretty much just used the defaults, I’m ripping with “fast 1080p” and it saves as .m4v

    I have been spot checking the rips, they open in windows media player, and I’ve had a couple where the audio was not synced properly. I hope there aren’t a significant number of those.

    It does a good job of finding the correct file on the disc, but has trouble with multiple episodes on the same disc. You have to name them and add them to the queue, then run the queue- or do each one individually. As far as I can tell, the workflow is not very automated. but I’m just doing it while I sit here doing other things.

    I haven’t tried any bluray discs yet, I’ve still got plenty of dvds to do. On my machine it takes about 15-30 minutes per movie, and only peaks the cpu for part of that. I’m only ripping the main movie.

    Next step is to look at using Plex as the server and clients on the other endpoints that I want to watch the stuff from.

    n

  60. Good article excepting:

    “the near-lethal dose of fentanyl in his system”

    being incorrect.

    The amount of fentanyl in his system was lethal–by several times.

    https://thewatchtowers.org/or-did-george-floyd-die-of-a-drug-overdose-fatal-fentanyl-a-forensic-analysis/

    There are lot’s of similar webpages. This one pulls a lot of information together and has footnotes. It also points out that the title of the autopsy report, which is often cited, is not supported by the report itself.

    It also cites the documentation filed by Officer Lane with regard to the training given to Minneapolis police officers. What it does not mention is that the training is required by the legal settlement of a previous case in which a person was improperly restrained and died. Expect there to be a lot of evidence about that training. I would expect a good defense attorney will introduce evidence that the restraint technique was properly applied and that there is no forensic evidence otherwise.

    Defense motioned for mistrial and change of venue today. Judge agreed to recall the seven jurors already seated, and ask about their knowledge of the $27 million settlement paid by Minneapolis to the Floyd family.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/03/chauvin-pre-trial-day-6-defense-argues-settlement-prejudice/

  61. yeah, they train them to shout “stop resisting” while they beat them too. Specifically “to establish the idea the detainee was resisting in the mind of witnesses.”

    n

    (It doesn’t take 9 minutes to suffocate, and you don’t suffocate with weight on the side of your neck. It looks bad on video, but as my bartender bouncer friend once said after taking a troublemaker out the door with one hand, “control the head and you control the body”…)

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  62. I guess I misread the article, and the two ‘artists’ did perform WAP live on the Grammy stage.

    Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s dance routine for their song WAP contained x-rated pole-dancing by the pair leading to criticism online and one anti-porn group labeled the performance as ‘hardcore’ porn. The dueling rappers left little to the imagination in their ode to female anatomy, marking the first time they’ve performed the hit live. Carlson wasn’t the only one to take offense at the routine with an anti-porn group saying the show contributed to the sexual exploitation of women’ and the ‘normalization’ of porn culture.

    Candace Owens said the performance was essentially pornography. ‘Virtually, what we were looking at last night was a lesbian sex scene being simulated on television, and this is considered feminist. ‘This feels more sinister. This is starting to me to seem like it’s not even left or right, it’s not a political issue. This seems like an attack on American values, American traditions, and you’re actually actively trying to make children aspire to things that are grotesque,’ she added, calling it a celebration of ‘perversity’,’ Owens said.

    –it is an attack. It’s been going on a long time.

    n
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9365767/Anti-porn-group-slams-Cardi-B-Megan-Thee-Stallions-explicit-pole-dancing-performance-Grammys.html

  63. Came home to a wet utility room. The wife already mopped most of the water up. I found that the drain hose from the tub to the pump had split on our ten+ year old LG WT5680HWA washing machine. I pulled on it and it ripped right off. I found the part on Big River but there seems to be a lot of cautionary tales there. But the part has a 4..5 out of 5 star rating with 526 reviews. A lot of the reviews say that the hose is directional, be careful.
    https://www.amazon.com/LG-Electronics-AEM73213001-Washing-Machine/dp/B00AXSADAQ/?tag=ttgnet-20

    LG sells the part also but does not have Amazon’s next day delivery for Prime.
    https://lgparts.com/item/8257686/LG/AEM73213001/

  64. Yikes, hope you can fix it quickly.

    It’s never a good thing to find water on the floor, where water shouldn’t be.

    n

  65. Owww… Yesterday, a Spring storm dumped 2-3 feet of heavy, wet snow. And we have appointments this afternoon, so we have to dig out. Maybe 3/4 there. I hurt. Even pacing myself, I haven’t been this physically tired in a very long time.

    I’m pretty sure that even a private-sized snow blowers wouldn’t make it through this stuff, because it’s both heavy and deep. Anyway, I haven’t seen any neighbors using their blowers. We’ll be talking to the town for next year: they have a tractor-sized blower, and I’m pretty sure they offer a service of “if there’s more than X inches, then…”.

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