Wed. Mar. 17, 2021 – these posts were a lot shorter when I wrote them in the morning

Cool and overcast, moving toward warm and rainy.  Yesterday was overcast all day.  Light misty drizzle happened in some places, and heavier drizzle happened in others.  Neither happened in yet others.  Houston isn’t one climate, it’s dozens.

I did get a couple of things accomplished yesterday so it wasn’t a total lazy day, but I wasn’t as productive as I should be.  Time is short, and my list is long.  Kids were home all day and my wife was in the office for work.  I made one pickup and did office stuff.   Some domestic bliss too (restocking various paper products, blowing out the dust bunnies, etc).

I also got out and pruned the citrus trees.   There is some green poking through the bark of some  branches,  so I’m still hopeful.   There is a lot of dead wood though.   I wasn’t aggressive with the pruning and will probably have to do it again when I’m sure the branches aren’t coming back.    While I was working on that side of the house, I got my new blueberry bush planted.  The directions were different from the others.  They called for the roots to be spread out, and then covered with soil.   The last time I planted blueberries, I’m pretty sure that I just planted the whole root ball and soil.  I guess we’ll see if it makes a difference.

Blueberry bushes are budding leaves.  The apple tree is too.    My potted lime and orange have set fruit after flowering in the house during the deep freeze.  Man o man, did that smell nice.  I’m hoping the fruit matures, without getting eaten.  Last year, all the immature fruit disappeared over the course of a night or two.  Very suspicious.  Asparagus is sending up spears.   They are thin and scraggly but if I catch one just right, they are edible.   I planted them years ago in “window boxes” on the fence because I wanted to save the roots, and I didn’t know where I wanted the asparagus bed to be.  They’ve stayed there, sprouting every year, but usually ‘running  away’ and getting ‘ferny’ before I can even snatch a stalk.  The tomatoes and herbs my wife planted seem to be surviving so far, as is the new grape vine.  The old grape vine needs a spring pruning before it starts budding up.

I’ve got onion sets and seeds to get in the ground still.  That should get moving before it’s too late.

On top of everything else, it’s tax time and I’ve got a ton of paperwork to go through before we can file.  None of this is what I want to be doing, btw.   I want to be messing around with radios, building stuff in my shop, and working on my non-prepping hobby.    Playing around with model trains would be fun, and just reading and watching movies wouldn’t be a bad choice either.  But.   I’m a son of Martha now, at least as far as family and daily life.   Not really a burden I can lay down.

So join me on my journey.  Share the attitude if not the burden… and keep stacking.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

92 thoughts on “Wed. Mar. 17, 2021 – these posts were a lot shorter when I wrote them in the morning”


  1. charged on Tuesday with obstruction of justice after he allegedly lied to FBI agents

    As has repeatedly been stated. When asked ANYTHING by ANY federal agent say absolutely nothing beyond your name. Any other conversation should begin with “I want a lawyer”. The conversation should end with the same statement.

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  2. We’ve been watching “For All Mankind” on Apple TV+ The Soviets beat us to the Moon. With a female cosmonaut. Now ‘Murca has to up it’s space race. Hilarious alternate timeline from the 60’s on. Teddy Kennedy is elected President and didn’t murder Mary Jo Kopechne. But he has an affair with her in the White House. Worth watching in my opinion.

    We got bored with the SJW emphasis of “For All Mankind” and turned it off after the writers dismissed Werner Von Braun early on in the series. Episode 2?

    If Season Two looks promising, we’ll give it another chance.

  3. Stopping at another Publix last night for supplies before heading to the beach area, we noticed a strange operation in progress where the staff was completely stripping the dairy section of product except for the milk, around an hour before closing.

    I assume that some kind of deep cleaning was scheduled for the night, but I’ve never seen that happen before. Publix is obsessed with cleanliness so maybe it is something new added to the routine.

  4. As has repeatedly been stated. When asked ANYTHING by ANY federal agent say absolutely nothing beyond your name. Any other conversation should begin with “I want a lawyer”. The conversation should end with the same statement.

    This goes for traffic stops too. With the prevalence of dashboard cams and body cams you’re being recorded (audio and video) the entire time. So, if you get pulled over and they ask the classic, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” Always answer “No” and say as little else as possible. Otherwise, if you challenge your ticket you’ll get to hear yourself played back in court asking, “Was I speeding?” or something similarly incriminating.

    I assume that some kind of deep cleaning was scheduled for the night, but I’ve never seen that happen before. Publix is obsessed with cleanliness so maybe it is something new added to the routine.

    Or, just some BS to keep employees busy. I worked at a retail store in a mall for a while years ago and there’s a LOT of standing around staring at the wall time (or these days, staring at your phone time). Especially during off-peak season and off-peak hours (Tuesday at 2PM during a snowstorm in the 3rd week of January, for example). So, they come up with the most bizarre things (usually cleaning something really odd) to keep the employees busy and “earning” that check. That’s why you sometimes get mobbed with the “Can I help you with anything” 500 times. They’re desperately hoping you’ll rescue them from cleaning (and from boredom).

    “If you got time to lean, then you got time to clean…” lol

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  5. “I assume that some kind of deep cleaning was scheduled for the night, but I’ve never seen that happen before. Publix is obsessed with cleanliness so maybe it is something new added to the routine.”

    Or, just some BS to keep employees busy.

    A typical Publix has plenty of non-BS tasks to keep employees busy. I lived it for more than a year in high school until I got tired of scrubbing toilets and breathing various chemical fumes from terrazzo maintenance for 3-4 hours every Saturday night.


  6. We got bored with the SJW emphasis of “For All Mankind” and turned it off after the writers dismissed Werner Von Braun early on in the series. Episode 2?

    Ha ha! “Kraut bastard!” as Nixon labeled him. I’m not sure why they had the character refuse to deny he knew what was going on at Peenemünde. Maybe some bitter writers remembering Paper Clip.

  7. I agree with this:

    This goes for traffic stops too. With the prevalence of dashboard cams and body cams you’re being recorded (audio and video) the entire time. So, if you get pulled over and they ask the classic, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” Always answer “No” and say as little else as possible. Otherwise, if you challenge your ticket you’ll get to hear yourself played back in court asking, “Was I speeding?” or something similarly incriminating.

    Furthermore, if you receive a ticket, go to court as the cops do not usually go to court. For example, if one writes 10 tickets per day, can he attend court for all 10 tickets? Also, when in court all day, no tickets will be written that day.

    Furthermore, if everybody ticketed went to court for every ticket, the system would be totally choked.


  8. Furthermore, if you receive a ticket, go to court as the cops do not usually go to court

    I did for one ticket because court was downtown where I worked. Judge asked my plea, I said “not guilty”. Judge said “I think you are guilty but I will reduce the fine to $10.00.” The officer that wrote the citation was not even in court. That “favor” by the judge, plus court, costs added up to more than the amount of the original citation. And I got to waste three hours waiting in court and spend more money. The system is rigged to favor the cash flow. I did however, get to witness some incredibly stupid people.

  9. Furthermore, if you receive a ticket, go to court as the cops do not usually go to court

    I did for one ticket because court was downtown where I worked. Judge asked my plea, I said “not guilty”. Judge said “I think you are guilty but I will reduce the fine to $10.00.” The officer that wrote the citation was not even in court. That “favor” by the judge, plus court, costs added up to more than the amount of the original citation. And I got to waste three hours waiting in court and spend more money. The system is rigged to favor the cash flow. I did however, get to witness some incredibly stupid people.

    In Toronto, they setup the court dates so all the tickets for an officer were being heard the same day (maybe the same morning). That means the dodge of challenging in the hopes of getting the ticket tossed was far less likely to work as the officer was expected to show to deal with all those tickets. I have been extremely lucky in that the last 2 speeding tickets were issued to me but not filed correctly or in time by the officers so they are not on my record (no insurance rate impact) and no fine paid. I am trying to decide if this was just luck, police incompetence (or overwork), or intentional (scare them to speed down, but don’t follow-up). Any of these (of course) are “fine” with me.

  10. 71F and 72%RH with weird green light and wet streets.

    Not sorry I slept in, as my little dog visited me. I could feel his head and ears under my fingers as I scratched. The setting didn’t make sense, but the action was as familiar as breathing and a welcome, if saddening, reminder.

    n

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  11. Furthermore, if you receive a ticket, go to court as the cops do not usually go to court. For example, if one writes 10 tickets per day, can he attend court for all 10 tickets? Also, when in court all day, no tickets will be written that day.

    Tickets are an increasingly valuable source of revenue to many state and local governments, both in terms of the fines and court costs, often more than the fine as of late (and which you will pay regardless of outcome). If you receive the citation from the state’s highway patrol or law enforcement in a well-populated area, assume that the officer will be present, especially if the arraignment venue is a civic center or other large facility.

    If the officer isn’t present and has what is, in the opinion of the judge, a reasonable excuse — and what defines “reasonable” is very broad anymore — the courts are tending to issue postponements. And multiple postponements aren’t unheard of either.

    Government wants its money. Plus the insurance mafia donates generously to judges’ campaigns in the interest of “maintaining law and order”.

    It isn’t impossible to get a ticket dismissed, but the various powers involved are making it more difficult. If you go that route, make sure the hit to your insurance if found guilty justifies the time and money you will spend challenging the citation.

    I just went through the process last summer in Alabama on a “move over” ticket, as noted here. I ended up having the ticket dismissed on a technicality the court probably didn’t want discussed — no mask on Officer Friendly when he pulled me over on the Saturday before July 4th — but I ended up paying over $200 in court costs and driving school, not to mention time.

  12. What makes them think that 30% is small enough?

    Denmark will limit the number of ‘non-Western’ residents in neighbourhoods to 30% to ‘reduce the risk of religious and cultural parallel societies’

    The Social Democratic government made the announcement on Wednesday
    Each neighbourhood will be limited to a maximum of 30 percent within 10 years if the legislation passes, which it is expected to, after being discussed by parties
    Data shows 11 percent of Denmark’s 5.8 million inhabitants are of foreign origin
    Of this group, 58 percent are from a country considered ‘non-Western’
    Denmark has for years had one of Europe’s most restrictive immigration policies

    1 in 10 is where they start making noise.

    n

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  13. 1 in 10 is where they start making noise.

    1 in 10 is where they start making noise.

    Fixed it for you.

  14. got a 500 error when posting my comment.

    several times in a row

    n

  15. copied the text to this new comment in a new tab and got it again. Even though the previous comment posted.

    n

  16. how very strange. Every time I try to post the same text I get a 500 error.

    The text has a blockquote and bolded text inside the blockquote. I’ll try removing the tags

    n

  17. something in my comment triggers a 500 server error every time. I sent it to rick in email.

    n

  18. Furthermore, if you receive a ticket, go to court as the cops do not usually go to court. For example, if one writes 10 tickets per day, can he attend court for all 10 tickets? Also, when in court all day, no tickets will be written that day.

    The first isn’t true in Houston or other big cities in Texas. All the tickets written by a cop on a given day have the same court date. They show up. Most people do that if they can.

    Furthermore, if everybody ticketed went to court for every ticket, the system would be totally choked.

    The dodge the cities and counties have is defensive driving. You do defensive driving, the ticket is dismissed, but your fees are the same as if you were convicted.

    In Texas, you are entitled to a jury trial for any traffic offense. So, the system works like this:
    – you hire an attorney at a fixed fee. There are law firms that specialize in this.
    – you (and a bunch of other people) show up on your court date, and meet with the attorney.
    – while the court is waiting for everyone who isn’t contesting their ticket that is in line at the cashier to pay their tickets, they get a list from the attorneys of everyone contesting their ticket. (If you are in line at the time court is called on your ticket, you count as on time.)
    – at some point, the cashiers finish their work, and a list of who hasn’t shown up or paid their ticket is given to the judge and they issue arrest warrants.
    – the prosecutor checks who is contesting vs. the list of cops present. Once, when we were contesting a ticket of my daughter’s, the cop had been on an overnight shift because of scheduling problems and asked to go home. The prosecutor agreed, everyone with that cop on their ticket got them dismissed (including the daughter’s). If a cop doesn’t show, ticket dismissed.
    – the prosecutor picks ONE ticket to go to trial that day. Maybe 2 in rare cases.
    – every one else gets their ticket dismissed, surplus cops go on duty elsewhere.
    – the court recesses while the one case goes to trial and a jury is sent for.

    I’ve been on both sides – contesting a ticket of the daughter’s and (several times) as a juror in traffic court.

  19. @ech:

    defensive driving

    This is not a bad idea, even if you’re only trying to avoid fines and licence endorsements. Treat every other road user as if they’re an idiot, and assume they will treat you the same. That way, things shouldn’t get sporty, because there will hopefull be no reason to get annoyed.

    Also, as David Weber had one of his characters say, “Be frosty”.

    G.

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  20. On top of everything else, it’s tax time and I’ve got a ton of paperwork to go through before we can file. None of this is what I want to be doing, btw.

    @nick; is it worth ‘buying’ yourself some time for other to do items by farming out your tax prep to CPA?

  21. When I rode a sports bike, and was full of testosterone and attitude, I got ticketed in EVERY local jurisdiction. Could only do traffic school once per jurisdiction. Had to beat the ticket with wits, so I delayed my court date twice, each time asking to change the day from the one offered. Somewhere in that I shook loose from the cop and my case was dismissed. It was an EXPENSIVE ticket, so I was glad to avoid it.

    Now I just try to avoid any imperial entanglements.

    n

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  22. “farming out your tax prep to CPA? ”

    –yes. but. I’ve been doing that for a couple of decades, and quickly brought the wife around to it too. We’ve got investments, tax shelters, retirement accounts, partnerships, small business taxes, etc. The prepared paper stack is over an inch high with several schedules and support docs.

    We still have to do a lot of organizing before we send her all the support info. I’ve got $18k in invoices to go thru and do “splits” between purchases for the household and purchases for my business. Shouldn’t have to, but the auction companies use the same (business) card for payment. I’ve got mileage on two trucks to split, and there are other things too. If I stayed on top of it, it sure wouldn’t take as long all in one go, but the time involved would be the same. I’m trying this year to be better…..

    Some years, the invoices were all on the business card and were all business purchases. Easy peasy. the past year, not so much.

    n

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  23. @Lynn
    No SJW bedpan changers for you. Robots.

    Twin Peaks is well worth watching.

    Have you watched “Debris” or heard anything about it?

    I haven’t seen very many robots that could change a diaper or empty a bedpan. Maybe Summer Glau’s robot, Cameron, on The Sarah Conner Chronicles. Of course, she would probably terminate me.
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0851851/

    I have heard of Debris. Not seen it yet. We do not get any cable or over the air, streaming only.
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11640020/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    Debris is on Hulu so I watched the first five minutes to get it into my Continue field. Was very interesting.

    Twin Peaks is also on Hulu so I watched the first half hour. The acting was a little over the top but the story was good. I will continue watching.

    Warning, anytime that I like a show, it is the kiss of death. Firefly, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, etc. So I may kill Debris if I watch any more of it.


  24. Furthermore, if you receive a ticket, go to court as the cops do not usually go to court.

    Not in NYS. Every time I’ve been there so was the cop. And the judges, for the most part, are familiar with all the local traffic court lawyers that hang out outside the DMV trolling for clients. One common tactic of theirs is to fish for a postponement (or two) in hopes that the cop won’t show when it’s for only one ticket. Sometimes it works.


  25. the court recesses while the one case goes to trial and a jury is sent for.

    If I was on that jury I’d likely (silently or otherwise) invoke ‘jury nullification’ and vote “not guilty” (as long as it wasn’t a DUI or similar).

  26. More from the danish mu slim article

    ‘The term ghet to is misleading… I think it contributes to eclipsing the large amount of work that needs doing in these neighbourhoods,’ he said.

    Until now, the term was used legally to designate any neighbourhood of more than 1,000 people where more than half were of ‘non- Western’ origin, and which met at least two of four criteria.

    The four criteria are- more than 40 percent of residents are unemployed- more than 60 percent of 39-50 year-olds do not have an upper secondary education- crime rates three times higher than the national average-residents have a gross income 55 percent lower than the regional average.

    Fifteen Danish neighbourhoods currently fall into this category, and 25 others are considered ‘at risk’. The list is updated each December.

    In these neighbourhoods, misdemeanours carry double the legal penalties in place elsewhere, and daycare is mandatory for all children over the age of one or family allowances are withdrawn.

    — note that they are using daycare to attempt to change the kids and the culture. Presumably a state sponsored and overseen daycare… beware

    and given the qualifying statistics, why allow people like that in at all? How will they contribute to Danish society that will ever pay back the money spent?

    n

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  27. On top of everything else, it’s tax time and I’ve got a ton of paperwork to go through before we can file.

    Not if you are in Texas. “Victims of Texas winter storms get deadline extensions and other tax relief”
    https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/victims-of-texas-winter-storms-get-deadline-extensions-and-other-tax-relief

    “IR-2021-43, February 22, 2021”

    “WASHINGTON — Victims of this month’s winter storms in Texas will have until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.”

    “Following the recent disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS is providing this relief to the entire state of Texas. But taxpayers in other states impacted by these winter storms that receive similar FEMA disaster declarations will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.”

    “The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on February 11. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until June 15, 2021, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes 2020 individual and business returns normally due on April 15, as well as various 2020 business returns due on March 15. Among other things, this also means that affected taxpayers will have until June 15 to make 2020 IRA contributions.”

    “The June 15 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on April 15 and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on April 30. It also applies to tax-exempt organizations, operating on a calendar-year basis, that have a 2020 return due on May 17.”

    I did have one tax return due on March 15 and three due on April 15. All delayed !


  28. Victims of Texas winter storms get deadline extensions and other tax relief

    Good news, @Nick – you now have 30 more days to procrastinate your taxes !

  29. Yea! I won a copy of the Golden Treasury of Poetry on ebay for ~10. with shipping that’s half the amazon price.

    Go me!

    And thanks for the recco…

    n

  30. What makes them think that 30% is small enough?

    1 in 10 is where they start making noise.

    1 in 10 swings elections in many parts of the US now.

    Our local Congressional seat had two Subcontinent candidates in the last election, one an obvious RINO who barely landed 300 votes in the Republican primary, but the other won the nomination for the Dem side and gave the walking corpse incumbent a good run. Both had “green” initiatives in their platforms as well as open immigration.

    Fortunately, depending on how you look at the demographic, their agenda is relatively benign, but the community as a whole is still seeking political power to have the kind of advantages caste grants them back home but is meaningless here.

    Subcontinent has no interest in being an office holder for all of the voters.

    With Dell -er- Williamson County most likely receiving one of the new Texas seats taken from New York, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the next Congresscritter be someone born overseas who will hold the seat for a long time.

  31. “Subcontinent has no interest in being an office holder for all of the voters.”

    –french model. Office exists to enrich the holder. See also Louisiana.

    n

  32. “The final nail in the coffin for the US Army”
    https://gunfreezone.net/the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-for-the-us-army/

    “Col. Timothy Holman is the Army’s chief diversity officer and his aim is clear: do what he can to help open a path for future Army leaders and make the force as diverse as the nation it defends.”

    “Has anyone in the history of corporate America with the title of “diversity officer” ever made anything better?”

    Like somebody else said recently, this reminds me of the old Soviet political officers.


  33. Like somebody else said recently, this reminds me of the old Soviet political officers.

    Quite the Obola groomed perfumed prince. This guy is on is the way to a *star*. Too bad Commie Pinko Vindman was drummed out. He would be perfect for the job. I am so glad I’m retired from the United States TransArmy.

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  34. Woof! According to Hollyweirdos and the usual MSM SJW ProgLibTurd, tRump is responsible for the massage parlor shootings.

    You can’t make this shit up.

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  35. The Texas AG just wiped out Griddy customers debt. I guess we all will pay for them?

    Texas AG wipes out the electric bills for Griddy customers
    https://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/2021/03/16/texas-attorney-general-ken-paxton-wipes-out-griddy-customers-electric-bills-totaling-291-million/

    The problem is that Griddy customers did not understand the limits of their exposures. Nor did any of the customers such as Brazos Electric Coop and CPS Energy who got two billion dollar bills for four days of electricity when their normal annual bill was less than a half billion dollars.

    ERCOT screwed the pooch here big time and will eventually be dragged into the bankruptcy court by their non-payers as the generators are probably getting ansy for their payments. It appears to me that ERCOT changed their maximum level of paying for generated electricity without gaming out the cost of a extreme weather event in the winter. This is unfathomable to me since Texas has an extreme winter weather event every ten to twenty years. ERCOT was unprepared, the power generators were unprepared, and the electricity distribution networks were unprepared.

    I am impressed that ERCOT did keep the grid up. If the grid had gone down, we would just now be getting it all put back together, a month later. The last ERCOT grid down event was in the 1950s so we do not have a clue how to put it back together now, just a lot of suppositions. I was at a black start event in east Texas where we took Jacksonville, Texas down in 1988 or 1989. Just getting that small city back connected to the grid was a small disaster that we did not plan for.


  36. Just getting that small city back connected to the grid was a small disaster that we did not plan for.

    Time to decentralize and implement those mini-nukes.

  37. Just getting that small city back connected to the grid was a small disaster that we did not plan for.

    Time to decentralize and implement those mini-nukes.

    At 50 MW net each, we would need about a thousand of them in Texas. I would not hold my breath.

  38. 30% – how do you enforce that? Anyway, given the dispairtyin number of kids, that can still put foreigners in the majority in schools. Which means their kids fail to assimilate. Which is definitely not the idea.

    – – –

    Even as a nonresident, I get to file US taxes, because of a trivial amount of oil income. They “simplified” the forms. True, the 1040NR is simpler, but I had to file two new forms in addition.

    I owe $5. Wow. You’d think they would have some minimum, under which it’s declared a waste of time, so don’t bother.


  39. Woof! According to Hollyweirdos and the usual MSM SJW ProgLibTurd, tRump is responsible for the massage parlor shoo-tings.

    Shoo-ter has told police he has a ‘self-diagnosed’ sex addiction and today’s action was to eliminate sources of temptation driving his addiction. He specifically said when asked that he was not tar-getting Asians.

  40. Just got several of these errors trying to post:

    Your connection was interrupted
    A network change was detected.
    ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED

    Finally went through.

  41. “The Texas AG just wiped out Griddy customers debt. I guess we all will pay for them?”

    The problem is that Griddy customers did not understand the limits of their exposures. Nor did any of the customers such as Brazos Electric Coop and CPS Energy who got two billion dollar bills for four days of electricity when their normal annual bill was less than a half billion dollars.

    I would guess that quite a few Griddy customers understood their potential exposure and to completely wipe the debt is creating a situation where another Griddy will come along in a few years after the story is forgotten.

    At $9.95 plus wholesale price per kW Hr, I imagine Griddy customers were all smiles in Summer 2019.

    They knew.


  42. I owe $5. Wow. You’d think they would have some minimum, under which it’s declared a waste of time, so don’t bother.

    They do, sort of…if you round your numbers up/down to the nearest dollar you can technically owe up to 49 cents and as that rounds to zero not have to pay.

    Just heard on the top of the hour news that the IRS April 15th filing deadline is very likely to be delayed at least one month, and possibly more, due to the continued backlog of processing paper tax returns and taxpayer correspondence.

  43. “The Texas AG just wiped out Griddy customers debt. I guess we all will pay for them?”

    The problem is that Griddy customers did not understand the limits of their exposures. Nor did any of the customers such as Brazos Electric Coop and CPS Energy who got two billion dollar bills for four days of electricity when their normal annual bill was less than a half billion dollars.

    I would guess that quite a few Griddy customers understood their potential exposure and to completely wipe the debt is creating a situation where another Griddy will come along in a few years after the story is forgotten.

    At $9.95 plus wholesale price per kW Hr, I imagine Griddy customers were all smiles in Summer 2019.

    They knew.

    They knew that they were probably going to get hammered for a couple of hours in the summer. They did not know that they were going to get hammered for 96+ hours in the winter.

    My church buys electricity for our 150,000+ ft2 of buildings directly from ERCOT. We pay the going rate every 15 minutes, usually about $30,000/month. ERCOT gave us a short warning and turned off our electric meters at the beginning of the mess.

    I figure that there will be a New Griddy in June but with leveraging to cut the peaks.

  44. They knew that they were probably going to get hammered for a couple of hours in the summer. They did not know that they were going to get hammered for 96+ hours in the winter.

    I guess it is a matter of perspective. People usually suck in my experience, and I’m more surprised when they don’t than I am if they are, in the words of Dr. Cox on “Scrubs”, “Bastard coated bastards with bastard filling.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTbgvYPVdXE

    Ken Paxton must really be in trouble to risk putting Texas taxpayers on the hook for Griddy’s failure. The problem is that unless the Republicans dump him in the primary we’ll get a Prog loon.


  45. The problem is that Griddy customers did not understand the limits of their exposures.

    Was this not explained in the ‘fine print’ when these people signed up?

    I would guess that quite a few Griddy customers understood their potential exposure and to completely wipe the debt is creating a situation where another Griddy will come along in a few years after the story is forgotten.

    At $9.95 plus wholesale price per kW Hr, I imagine Griddy customers were all smiles in Summer 2019.

    And why should those that understood be let off the hook? IIRC this event was forecasted a number of days out – was there time for people who knew better to switch to a better option? Bread and cake??

  46. Re: Griddy, and those charges

    I’d like to understand who is the ‘first person’ in the line that is making those high-demand prices. It would seem to this dolt that that ‘first-in-line’ entity is the one that is the charging for the big prices, then passing it along down the line until it eventually gets to the consumer.

    If I am ‘manufacturing’ electricity, then the price I charge will affect everyone down the line. Wouldn’t that first entity be the one that should reduce their pricing?

  47. Re: Griddy, and those charges

    I’d like to understand who is the ‘first person’ in the line that is making those high-demand prices. It would seem to this dolt that that ‘first-in-line’ entity is the one that is the charging for the big prices, then passing it along down the line until it eventually gets to the consumer.

    If I am ‘manufacturing’ electricity, then the price I charge will affect everyone down the line. Wouldn’t that first entity be the one that should reduce their pricing?

    Just wait until the Bankruptcy Court decides who gets what. I suspect a lot of people are going to get told either accept the courts offer or, join the list of bankruptees. Please note that the list of sellers includes Exxon, Shell, Chesapeake, JP Morgan Chase, and several hundred other firms.

  48. And why should those that understood be let off the hook? IIRC this event was forecasted a number of days out – was there time for people who knew better to switch to a better option? Bread and cake??

    All of the other firms selling electricity in Texas locked their new customer windows down. They knew that Texas was going to get hammered.

  49. People must be getting their stimulus checks …
    Our usage at the Casino c0-located ATMs has gone crazy. One machine that averaged $500 a day is dispensing $15000 a day. I guess the first thing some people do with a stimulus is run to the nearest casino to g̶a̶m̶b̶l̶e̶ give it away. Our tribes retribution on the evil “white man” for taking our rotten land in Georgia and giving us rotten land in Oklahoma sitting on huge pools of oil. Ha Ha Ha.

    2

  50. Assemble bitches!

    Marvel Comics unveils its first gay Captain America

    I wonder what the Action Figure will look like? A rainbow costume with S&M / B&D accessories? Every boys hero.

  51. Since the Gov is giving me money, it’s my patriotic duty to spend it. I think that’s how it’s suppose to work.

    So let’s buy food. Walmart has Keystone Beef in the 28 oz cans. Limit two. Turkey seems to have no limit. I didn’t look at the chicken or pork. Added on some canned diced tomatoes,chili, and chicken and dumplings. Cascade and JetDry for the dishwasher.

    Free shipping. Hopefully not all totally beat to hell dented cans.

    Then, inventory. Order some more stuff.

  52. I’m going to go for replacing the window regulator in the van. I need to go buy some short bolts and a fresh tube of thread locker. Repairing the locks is beyond my skill set. Taking it to the dealer for repairs doesn’t make sense for what the van is worth.

    The truck seems to be holding coolant pressure. I topped it off today and ran it for a while while walking the dog. It hisses when I loosen the radiator cap. The oil is clean, looks new. My amateur opinion is the head gasket leak is just an exhaust leak. If I’m not leaking coolant or getting water or soot in the oil, I’m just going to drive it until it sounds like someone cut off the muffler. It’s a 2002, so what the heck.

  53. Not just retired, but recall proof… “I don’t think I could serve alongside trans soldiers after the election was stolen from my boy Trump….”

    That should do it.

    n

  54. I think we got our stimulus. We got a letter from the IRS anyway. ~$800 for two adults, and two dependent children. I thought there would be a boom. Where’s the boom?

    n

  55. Shoo-ter has told police he has a ‘self-diagnosed’ sex addiction and today’s action was to eliminate sources of temptation driving his addiction. He specifically said when asked that he was not tar-getting Asians.

    Of course that doesn’t stop the MSM from jumping right in and labelling this an Asian-American “hate crime”!? Guy goes looking for sex and the Asian Massage Parlors are not hard to find and ‘supposedly’ offer more than massages (according to a friend). Who would you expect might get sh-ot? If it happened at a few strip clubs instead (plenty of white girls) is it then a white hate crime. And ‘coincidently’, the CNN reporter on the scene just happens to be…wait for it…Asian-American!

  56. I can’t wait for the new Transformers movie: The Revenge of Fag-O-Tron: The transTransformer.

    7
  57. Sounds like a sliding scale 1-99% electricity windfall profits tax would chill things a bit. The 99% level could wait to kick in until, oh let’s say double? If they don’t like it, as them how they feel about the anti-gouging laws.

    @Nick

    A country without borders isn’t a country.

    Still a country, just not a sovereign nation.

    And as much as I cherish Reagan’s memory, he signed that first damned amnesty that got us where we are today.

    1
  58. Our usage at the Casino c0-located ATMs has gone crazy. One machine that averaged $500 a day is dispensing $15000 a day. I guess the first thing some people do with a stimulus is run to the nearest casino to g̶a̶m̶b̶l̶e̶ give it away.

    Don’t forget Playstation 5 arbitrage. Physical stores were starting to see stock sitting on shelves.

  59. Back in January, I had promised myself I would post here every day. That didn’t last very long, maybe a week. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and I got distracted.
    I only have prostate cancer, no cancer anywhere else. The doctor tells me that radiation treatments should be all we need to do. Treatments start in April. Even if the treatments don’t eliminate the cancer, many men live with this cancer for years; men die with prostate cancer, not of prostate cancer. My best friend has had it for many years so I believe this is to be true.
    The slab (78’ x54’,6 inches deep) for the shop has been poured – 60 yards of concrete. The building is on order and the construction company is waiting for delivery which is expected about the time the 30 day concrete curing time ends. The septic system will be installed during the wait. The water line is in place and electric power is approved by the Co-op that provides it- they are waiting for the building to go up so they don’t have to put in a temporary pole.
    The only issue is the wind bracing in the building. I don’t think there is enough, but the supplier disagrees. The building has three 18 foot wide bays. The center bay has cross bracing in the roof and back wall. There is also a 24 foot wide garage bay on the left end with an open front. I think there should be cross bracing in the two end walls as well at the in all the walls of the open front garage and its roof. The front of the building has 14’ walls and the rear 10 walls. The roof slope is 2-12 in front and 3-12 in back (not symmetrical- the ridge line is 12 feet from the front 24 feet from the rear). I am nervous about their calculations as the table for the floor plate bolts was short eight bolts or so.
    Been reading lot as usual but I want to post this. The book list will be long and take some time to create.

    1
  60. Twin Peaks is also on Hulu so I watched the first half hour. The acting was a little over the top but the story was good. I will continue watching.

    @Lynn – First season? You’ve never seen any of the series up until now?

    Don’t forget “Fire Walk With Me”.

    If you want a real David Lynch challenge, find a copy of “Mullholland Drive”. No streaming. DVD. Lynch tried to make a perfect film transfer with the disc. The encoding is very good.

  61. Twin Peaks is also on Hulu so I watched the first half hour. The acting was a little over the top but the story was good. I will continue watching.

    @Lynn – First season? You’ve never seen any of the series up until now?

    Don’t forget “Fire Walk With Me”.

    Yup, never seen before.

  62. The slab (78’ x54’,6 inches deep) for the shop has been poured – 60 yards of concrete. The building is on order and the construction company is waiting for delivery which is expected about the time the 30 day concrete curing time ends. The septic system will be installed during the wait. The water line is in place and electric power is approved by the Co-op that provides it- they are waiting for the building to go up so they don’t have to put in a temporary pole.

    So you are having to add a second septic system ? If so, that sucks. I just had to buy another aerator for the office septic system (this is number 2 or 3 in 10 years), another $600 down the hole.

    BTW, my office warehouse is 3,750 ft2, 75 ft by 50 ft. With a 12 inch slab poured on one day. Three 16 ft tall by 20 ft wide doors.
    https://www.winsim.com/media/8653_side.jpg

    The guy I bought the office property from parked his Caterpillar D9 bulldozers in it on a monster low boy to work on them. He had three of them for building home subdivisions and golf courses.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caterpillar_D9


  63. another $600 down the hole.

    another $600 flushed would have sounded better.

    4
  64. ” he signed that first damned amnesty ”

    –and then was betrayed on the tit for tat, iirc.

    @bob, sorry to hear about your diagnosis. My neighbor is struggling with that right now. Proton therapy was good for a couple of years, but now he’s doing chemo and it is wiping him out. I hope you have a great result. Prostate treatment is an area with a lot of different options, get advice you trust.

    wrt Twin Peaks, I missed it too. But then I missed a lot of things. Never watched Buffy. Watched firefly and Heroes (or whatever “save the cheerleader, save the world” was called) on dvd. Never watched xfiles. I’ve seen some but never watched it. Charmed either. Someone here recommended Warehouse 13, Dead Like Me, and Wonderfalls and I loved all of those, on dvd.

    I’ll let the gestalt decide if a show is worth watching, then make a decision of my own. THe list of things I haven’t watched is much longer than the list of stuff I did watch.

    n

  65. Dinner of brats boiled in beer and finished on the grill with canned german potato salad and saute’d cabbage with onion (this being the Feast of St. Patrick and all…) Not being Catholic, irish, or a drinker, and being isolated by wuflu, I forgot to mention the day… Forgot completely until hearing it on the radio.

    n

  66. Reagan’s amnesty could have been modified in a variety of ways to make the results more palatable, but the main problems with all such are that 1) by their first act of entering the country illegally, the beneficiaries demonstrate contempt for the laws of the country, and 2) jumping the queue is not only fundamentally unfair to the people legally applying, the legal entry numbers are never adjusted to compensate.

    X-Files is good. Two simultaneous story tracks: Monster of the Week and (aka Weird Stuff) and The Conspiracy. The latter is a linear serial, but the former is a succession of stand-alone episodes, with a few exceptions. The main exception is a handful of episodes that are linked by an outside investigatory group called The Lone Gunman. It’s always been my intention to binge watch that group.

    Some of the stand-alone episodes are among the best writing in suspense tlevision. A writer named Darin Morgan did some of the very best scripts, including one that was so disturbing that Fox would not rebroadcast it (Home). For sheer off-the wall, try his first, the circus episode (Humbug).

  67. @Drwilliam: What do you want for the Campbell SF book?

    @RayThompson: Vacuum Cleaner Cleaner

    @Poetry: I get almost zero from Poetry. I seldom even bother to read it any I find in prose as it adds nothing to the story for me. I struggled mightily with poetry in school. I had a couple of girls I liked that loved poetry and I truly tried to figure out what they liked about it as I did not understand anything beyond the literal words (which were confusing because the words too often were using obsolete meanings I wasn’t aware of or abbreviations that were obscure to me). I own one poetry book, written by my brother many years ago. I opened it, once; my wife enjoyed it.

    @Lynn: The shop is downhill from the house and I would have had to add pump, a second tank and expand the existing field. Easier and cheaper to add a second small system ($2200).

    Books I’ve read since the end of January:
    Kindle: “Double Dragon”, Pam Uphoff; “Sol Survivors”, Ken Benton; “A world Full of Strangers” -F, Cynthia Freeman, “The Rim”, Shattered Midnight”, and “Going Ballistic” – all As, Dorothy Grant; “Flesh and Bones” – F – I don’t read books about the planting of false memories, Paul Levine; “One Day as Lion” -F, Jonathan Hernandez; “O Shepard Speak” -A, Upton Sinclair; “Body Guard of Deception”, Samuel Marquis; Space Rogues” and “Big Ship, Lots of Guns”, John Wilker; “Debt of Loyalty”, Christopher Nuttall; “The Martian Autonomous Republic”, Jack L. Knapp; “The Sweethearts”, Lynn Russell; “Departure”, A. G. Riddle; “City of Girls”-A, Elizabeth Gilbert; “ Starshine”, “Vertigo”, and “Transcendence” -all As, G. S. Jennsen; “The Fallen Race”, Kal Spriggs.

    Other books: “Variable Star” -A, Robert Heinlein and Spider Robinson; “Hornets Nest”, Patricia Cornell; “Why Call Them Back From Heaven”, Clifford Simak; “The Past Through Tomorrow” )(includes “Methuselah’s Children”-A, Robert Heinlein; “Love of Mother-not” and “The Howling Stones”, Alan Dean Foster; “Parafaith War”, L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
    I’ve got four I’m currently reading.

    I am a ACC – NC State – basketball fan. March Madness is upon us so I probably will watch as much of it as I can find on line and get to my TV.

  68. @Bob+Sprowl

    The only issue is the wind bracing in the building. I don’t think there is enough, but the supplier disagrees. The building has three 18 foot wide bays. The center bay has cross bracing in the roof and back wall. There is also a 24 foot wide garage bay on the left end with an open front. I think there should be cross bracing in the two end walls as well at the in all the walls of the open front garage and its roof.

    More bracing. It’s one of those things that may be over-design, but only by not adding it and having a problem in future will you find out you should have.

    We lost an open-front hay shed on the farm to wind. The replacement got more bracing on the end walls

  69. @Lynn: The shop is downhill from the house and I would have had to add pump, a second tank and expand the existing field. Easier and cheaper to add a second small system ($2200).

    Gotcha, I figured that a lift system was a pain in the buttocks. I did not think of you having to increase the leach field though.

  70. @Bob+Sprowl

    @Drwilliam: What do you want for the Campbell SF book?

    I have 1,2,ans 4 in the Lost Fleet (6 total), and the first two in the follow-up series Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier. These are all spares. As I mentioned before, I’m tired of selling good books to HPB for a dime, so you can have them if you want them. Postage is only going to run about three bucks, so not worth reimbursing.

    I had both series plus the four in the Lost Stars series, which overlaps Beyond the Frontier. Sold them as a set on eBay when I got everything on ebook. Should do that with another 3-4,000, sell off the collectibles, and get down to 1-2,000 and I might have to give away a bookshelf or two.

    Trouble is, I can’t stay out of book stores and estate sales, and things like the Heinlein Signets with Szafran covers get me every time.

    @Nick
    Please give my email to Bob if he wants to send me an address to ship books.


  71. If you want a real David Lynch challenge, find a copy of “Mullholland Drive”. No streaming. DVD. Lynch tried to make a perfect film transfer with the disc. The encoding is very good.

    Worth finding IMHO. And Google says available on-demand from HBOMax if you have access.

    THe list of things I haven’t watched is much longer than the list of stuff I did watch.

    And as Netflix and Amazon keep creating new content the ‘to be watched’ list grows longer. Just finished two (6 episode) seasons of an Australian conspiracy drama show “The Code”.

  72. Kindle: “Double Dragon”, Pam Uphoff; “Sol Survivors”, Ken Benton; “A world Full of Strangers” -F, Cynthia Freeman, “The Rim”, Shattered Midnight”, and “Going Ballistic” – all As, Dorothy Grant; “Flesh and Bones” – F – I don’t read books about the planting of false memories, Paul Levine; “One Day as Lion” -F, Jonathan Hernandez; “O Shepard Speak” -A, Upton Sinclair; “Body Guard of Deception”, Samuel Marquis; Space Rogues” and “Big Ship, Lots of Guns”, John Wilker; “Debt of Loyalty”, Christopher Nuttall; “The Martian Autonomous Republic”, Jack L. Knapp; “The Sweethearts”, Lynn Russell; “Departure”, A. G. Riddle; “City of Girls”-A, Elizabeth Gilbert; “ Starshine”, “Vertigo”, and “Transcendence” -all As, G. S. Jennsen; “The Fallen Race”, Kal Spriggs.

    Other books: “Variable Star” -A, Robert Heinlein and Spider Robinson; “Hornets Nest”, Patricia Cornell; “Why Call Them Back From Heaven”, Clifford Simak; “The Past Through Tomorrow” )(includes “Methuselah’s Children”-A, Robert Heinlein; “Love of Mother-not” and “The Howling Stones”, Alan Dean Foster; “Parafaith War”, L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
    I’ve got four I’m currently reading.

    Nice list ! If you liked “Sol Survivors” then try his “Buck Out” book.
    https://www.amazon.com/Buck-Out-Ken-Benton/dp/1514666979/?tag=ttgnet-20

    I love “The Long Watch” short story in “The Past Through Tomorrow” )(includes “Methuselah’s Children”-A, Robert Heinlein. I figure that we are at most 20 years away from this horrible scenario.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long_Watch

  73. @drwilliams, I sent your email to Bob Sprowl, using the addys you both used when you signed up to comment.

    Let me know if there is an issue with the email.

    n

    and I note that wordpress or the comment widget added the + in place of the space in Bob Sprowl’s nickname. weird.

  74. @Nick
    Thanks.

    @Poetry
    Not my fave, but I would recommend:
    1) Robert Frost
    Fire and Ice
    To Build A Wall
    Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

    2) G. Legman
    The Limerick, #60 et al

    3) Samuel Coleridge
    Rime of the Ancient Mariner (This one needs an annotated version, as it was first published in 1798. Worth it, though.)

    4) e.e. cummings

    5) Piet Hein, Grooks

    And from Boy’s Life ca. 1965:

    Mother Goose – ca. 2054

    Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall
    A nonelectromagnetic ball
    All the supers’ polariscopes
    Couldn’t revitalize his isotopes

    ADDED:
    Almost forgot the ode to infinity:

    Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em,
    And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
    And the great fleas themselves, in turn have greater fleas to go on;
    While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.”
    –Augustus de Morgan, “A Budget of Paradoxes”, 1915

    (Itself a revision of Jonathan Swift’s 18th century version)

  75. “Trouble is, I can’t stay out of book stores and estate sales, and things like the Heinlein Signets with Szafran covers get me every time. ”

    –yeah that USED to be my problem. Now it’s thrift stores with “any book 50c or 3 for $1”. And they do mean ANY- 40 page quarter sized Pokemon costs the same as the 4 inch thick Oxford Dictionary of the English Language. Which I guess I should pick up for the apocalypse library next time I see one. Shouldn’t have to wait long, they’re distressingly common at the Goodwill Outlet. the sheer size kept me from buying one before now, but I realized that it has all that great history and derivation in it. That’s worth having.

    My latest pickup was someone’s 60s, 70s, early 80s pulp SF collection. Lots of early paperbacks with lurid art and famous names. I haven’t brought that box in yet as I don’t have anywhere to put it. I need another SJW purge of the shelves to make room.

    n

    1
  76. Wind has been variable and gusting all afternoon. Weather station says 11mph for that last one. All the windows are rattling in their frames, and leaves are being stripped from the live oak.

    n

  77. The only issue is the wind bracing in the building. I don’t think there is enough, but the supplier disagrees.

    Better too much than too little. Not only that, but isn’t the customer always right?

  78. Yep, I was pretty sure China Meiville would be on that list.

    There are a couple others from the same time period that I expected to see. I’ll have to browse my shelves to find them though.

    one out of fifteen for me, and one I’d sell to the first buyer with cash (signed first, and in great shape, and also desirable to some…)

    n

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