Sun. Mar. 21, 2021 – hoping to get some stuff done.

Supposed to be cool and clear again today.  Chamber of Commerce weather yesterday.   Beautiful day to be out and about.

Returned the visiting child to her family, fed and undamaged.   Kid eats a lot for a skinny girl!   Did my errands.  Spent some time going through stuff at my secondary.  Came home.  Ate.  Wasted time on the internet with my friends.  Put the kids to bed.  Currently reading The Thread that Binds the Bones- Nina Kirriki Hoffman, with the 11 yo, and Restaurant at the End of the Universe- Douglas Adams, with the 9yo.  The 9yo was howling with laughter at tonight’s  chapter.  Even if a whole bunch goes over her head, there is enough slapstick to keep her laughing.

It’s fun to share the books.   I don’t know when they’ll stop wanting to read together at bed time, but I’m not looking forward to that day.

The school year has been very strange.  We’d gotten in the rhythm and busy-ness of school pre-corona.   There are always events, meetings, sports, coming and going.  Not so much this year.   Add in all the times we’ve been off school and it’s a completely different feeling.  Having the kids home seems normal, and when they are at school feels like the exception.   I like it.

There’s a lot of wailing and lamenting about the kids not learning anything this year.   I got news for people.   They don’t learn it in a regular year either.  You just don’t see it when it’s all taking place elsewhere, and they get passed from one test to the next.  Jerry Pournelle used to talk about it fairly frequently, and even his experiences were out of date.   The top kids will learn in spite of school.  The middle kids will learn to repeat back what the school tells them, and the lower kids will do neither.

At least with solid reading skills they can self educate when they finally get it.

With that cheery thought, I better start doing some actual stuff today.  Make hay while the sun shines and all that.

In the absence of orders, keep stacking.

nick

 

 

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

48 thoughts on “Sun. Mar. 21, 2021 – hoping to get some stuff done.”

  1. Currently reading The Thread that Binds the Bones- Nina Kirriki Hoffman, with the 11 yo, and Restaurant at the End of the Universe- Douglas Adams, with the 9yo. The 9yo was howling with laughter at tonight’s chapter. Even if a whole bunch goes over her head, there is enough slapstick to keep her laughing.

    The visit to Milliways is one of the high points of the BBC miniseries. No less than “Doctor Who”#5 himself, Peter Davison, cameos as “The Dish of the Day”, and Hotblack Desiato’s (spending the year dead for tax reasons) bodyguard is Dave Prowse without Darth Vader gear.

  2. It looks like the convention center will be 3000 boys 15-17 if I’m reading that all right, and the reporting is accurate.

    n

    Instant gang. Is there a requirement we supply a tattoo artist for invading armies, or just supplies?

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  3. The US should use this stockpile to do something similar with key partners in the Americas at the least.

    Some of the vaccine makers (not the mRNA ones) have been working with India to set up production there. India has some of the biggest vaccine manufacturing companies in the world. The mRNA vaccines take very specialized equipment and Moderna and Pfizer have all the supply of it locked up for a while.

  4. The mRNA vaccines take very specialized equipment and Moderna and Pfizer have all the supply of it locked up for a while.

    Only if they approached security very, very seriously.

  5. Niederrheiner 15 lb Rooster
    https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niederrheiner

    That’s a beautiful bird. All of our roosters have hated me because I upset their hens (taking eggs, trimming toenails) and loved my husband (the man with corn! The man with corn!)

    I forgot. The owner said that the only thing that his birds like better than raisins is bacon. And it was a hoot watching him sit cross-legged on the ground with the raisin loving hen and Rooster climbing in his lap. I was so fascinated watching them that I forgot to take a picture.

    Another thing is that their plant nursery got hit hard by the freeze in Feb. All the palms were dead. They ran kerosene heaters in the greenhouses to little avail. A real shame. They seeded a lot of new plants but they has just sprouted and were not ready for the hordes descending on them.

  6. Hadn’t thought about the knock on effect on plant nursery stocks…

    n

  7. FWIW, my buddy says there is a coming shortage of drywall and drywall mud, at least in the short term.

    n

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  8. Is there a requirement we supply a tattoo artist for invading armies, or just supplies?

    By supplies I am guessing you mean guns, knives and drugs. Throw in a tramp hooker, or a dozen, and you have the makings of slum city. All whitey’s fault.

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  9. Any 15-17 yo with tats should be an automatic reject, no ifs ands or buts.

    n

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  10. Any 15-17 yo with tats should be an automatic reject, no ifs ands or buts.

    n

    Especially the ms-13 tat across the chest. Biden seems to think that means that they are a gospel follower, the book of muerte something.

    1
  11. FWIW, my buddy says there is a coming shortage of drywall and drywall mud, at least in the short term.

    Ruh-roh. The hipsters shuttering Tampa’s drywall plant as an “eyesore” led to importation of a Chinese-made product which turned out to contain toxic waste including ash from coal power plants.

    I think the insurance companies are still trying to work out remediation after more than a decade.


  12. At least with solid reading skills they can self educate when they finally get it.

    Very important part of education, whether at home or in school.

  13. …Chinese-made product which turned out to contain toxic waste including ash from coal power plants.

    Am I the only one who remembers that “cinder blocks” were make with coal slag? Some conceete masonry units and poured concrete contain fly ash as well. Maybe the stuff sourced from Chinese boilers is more toxic? I couldn’t find much, because everything is now considered toxic. IIRC it is the beryllium comtent that is a concern. A shame, because beryllium is scarce and very useful in a lot of applications. Just don’t inhale it in dust form.

  14. Put them back across the border. For every illegal migrant you welcome, 5 more start the trip. Just like Europe and the African migrants. Send them back, make it known that they are not welcome.

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  15. Huh.

    Dodge has basically locked me out of basic functions on my 2019 Ram unless I update uConnect. Basic as in radio volume and channel.

    I would have, but now I feel my heels digging in.

    3
    1
  16. Spent the afternoon working outside and playing with the kids.

    Did some archery in the backyard. Spent some time showing the girls how to hit, and working with a heavy bag. 11yo LIKES hitting. We’re just starting with basics, and it’s a kid sized heavy bag. She’s hitting pretty good when she gets her form correct.

    Moved some compost to the side bed, and picked up some branches. I think I’ll get some seeds in that bed too.

    Looked closely at the Meyer lemon tree, and I’m not as hopeful as I was. It’s pretty dry and getting dryer. The live oak is leafing out. The blueberrys all have flowers and hopefully will set some fruit. I better get the bird net out. The peach is budding and so is the apple.

    Clearly I’m not getting anything done at my storage unit or secondary, but spending the time with the family was worth it.

    n

  17. Time with the kid(s) is more valuable than anything else.

    The boy and I replaced the two ceiling fans on the back porch yesterday. He did all the work while I gave instructions and added another pair of hands when necessary. It took 3 times as long than if I did it myself, but we both enjoyed it.


  18. Am I the only one who remembers that “cinder blocks” were make with coal slag?

    If lumber prices remain high, you might seen cinder block construction make a come back for homes. (From what I hear it never went out of style in Florida.)

  19. @JimB
    “Some conceete masonry units and poured concrete contain fly ash as well. “

    In the right proportions, fly ash can act as a pozzolan, reducing water demand and improving workability, and decreasing the final density without compromising strength. But as the raw material going into the combustion process varies, so can the fly ash properties. It’s easier to use under controlled conditions where the batch can be adjusted according to lab tests. For field applications metakaolins are probably a better choice. Both products partially replace cement which requires a lot of energy and produces a lot of carbon dioxide. Cement that is advertised as “green” typically uses one or the other.


  20. Time with the kid(s) is more valuable than anything else.

    Don’t listen to him, Nick. You can always have another kid, but if those out-of-print scifi paperbacks in the secondary location get soaked you may not be able to replace them.

    7
  21. It’s easier to use under controlled conditions where the batch can be adjusted according to lab tests.

    You mean, not like the way they do it in Korea and the PRC, where the workers just shake in stuff from one bag or another until the foreman says to stop? And then the bridge or building foundation is crumbling within five years?

    One of the other lieutenants when I was in Korea had graduated with a civil engineering degree. He spent a chunk of an afternoon watching in horror as a crew prepared and shaped the concrete for something or other. And then said he understood why all of the larger buildings looked like crap and needed constant maintenance so they wouldn’t collapse from the bottom up.


  22. Dodge has basically locked me out of basic functions on my licensed from Dodge 2019 Ram unless I update uConnect.

    FIFY.


  23. (From what I hear it never went out of style in Florida.)

    You heard correctly, still plenty built that way but now many are McMansions that are block for the first story and stick framed for the second story.

  24. @SteveF
    I’ve heard tales from other countries of cement inventories on civil projects being guarded 24/7 to prevent theft. Typical response to such theft was to “extend” the cement by using more sand. Whenever I see coverage of collapsed buildings after third-world earthquakes I take a close look. Bad design and lack of reinforcing steel are the too biggest deficiencies, but when you see crumbling concrete…

  25. Block for the first story makes sense if you may be flooded. Or prone to little brush fires.


  26. … including ash from coal power plants.

    I don’t know about drywall, but fly ash in concrete actually improves its strength.

    1
  27. Lots of cinder block houses in South Texas from the 1960s and 1970s. Cheap therefore popular. Not sure about the insulation though.


  28. The US should use this stockpile to do something similar with key partners in the Americas at the least.

    Some of the vaccine makers (not the mRNA ones) have been working with India to set up production there. India has some of the biggest vaccine manufacturing companies in the world. The mRNA vaccines take very specialized equipment and Moderna and Pfizer have all the supply of it locked up for a while.

    India is one of the biggest manufacturers of vaccines in the world. They have been setup for some time to produce the Astra Zeneca vaccine, though they are branding it as “Covishield”. They are capable of producing at least 50 million doses a month. Some of the AZ vaccine used in Canada (at least half a million doses I think) came from India.

  29. @Lynn
    “Lots of cinder block houses in South Texas from the 1960s and 1970s. Cheap therefore popular. Not sure about the insulation though. “

    Probably none. Seems like an opportunity, though. I’d like to see a cost analysis of retrofitting insulation vs. investing in wind turbines, complete with secondary effects on employment.

  30. The problem with insulating, especially as an energy saving measure, is that it is pushed as a way to extend capacity. That is, to keep from having to build more plants and infrastructure.

    And it rarely considers the impact on existing structures, or takes into account lifestyle factors.

    Google Brad Pitt homes, New Orleans to read a story about hubris, form over function, and using the latest new thing.

    The homes built, to a very high energy standard, required A/C and powered ventilation. The occupants couldn’t afford that, or preferred to have the door open… and the homes completely fell apart.

    Compare and contrast with the vernacular architectural styles and practices, and houses that are 100 years old and going strong. No mold, no rot. Tolerable without electricity.

    Just insulating isn’t enough. Just air sealing isn’t enough. The systems have to work within the constraints imposed externally, and those are rarely given enough consideration.

    n

  31. UK uses a lot of cinder block in home construction. Or did in the 80s/90s. It’s called breeze block over there and I think it’s mostly cement binder and large gravel. Assuming it’s the same thing, not 100% sure. There are current brits on here though…

  32. Nick, I meant to reply yesterday but asthma sucks so I didn’t have the brain power.

    NVR-DATA is at 2%. Which disk fills up? sda1?

  33. @Nick
    “The problem with insulating, especially as an energy saving measure, is that it is pushed as a way to extend capacity. That is, to keep from having to build more plants and infrastructure.”

    You can service the peaks with more capacity, throttle the demand with smart thermostats, brownouts or some other means, or shave/shift the peaks with insulation or equivalent measures.

    Lots of ways to insulate concrete block. Quick and dirty, albeit somewhat “latest thing” would simply be applying an IR-reflective coating to the south wall. No R-value as in traditional insulation, but nearly half the solar energy is in the IR.

    Lot’s of building in the cheap electricity era of the 1960’s abandoned traditional practices like roof overhangs, porches, even whole house swamp coolers, in favor of a 220V 20,000 BTU AC unit stuck through the block.

    Houston is notorious for roofs blackened with algae. It’s also notorious for hurricane damage. Replace the roof with the same old asphalt shingle and the algae is growing within six months with the commensurate increase in solar absorption. AR-resistant shingles have been available for 25+ years and are pretty standard for architecturals. Seems like another case where the upgrade cost would be a better investment that wind turbines.

    Reflective insulation has been used in roof construction in Canada for 30+ years (I think there was a JLC article at some point). Canada is mostly above 48°N, but such is rare in the U.S. Boggles the mind.

    Twenty-five years ago I had a product that was used in the Philippines. They were cladding buildings with Class-X gypboard and spraying a fortified acrylic coating to give impact and water resistance. Instant EIFS. Today we’d tweak it for IR, too.

  34. “Seems like another case where the upgrade cost would be a better investment that wind turbines. ”

    –that’s the argument for ‘cash for caulkers’ but they never build the additional needed generation. And unless its a gov handout, those costs are borne by two different groups.

    I’ve got radiant barrier in my attic roof sheathing, and reflective stuff in my shingles. We went a couple of shades lighter when we redid them last year hoping for some benefit from that too. I added and properly installed fiberglas batts when I had the walls open, and I’ve got batts to do a second layer in the attic over most of the house, before it gets hot. I’m only doing it because it was super cheap though. All of the house that is covered with vinyl siding got a layer of polyiso foam which helps as an air barrier and insulation, but not much. The house was built to be air conditioned, by cheap electricity.

    n

  35. @Lynn
    “Lots of cinder block houses in South Texas from the 1960s and 1970s. Cheap therefore popular. Not sure about the insulation though. “

    Probably none. Seems like an opportunity, though. I’d like to see a cost analysis of retrofitting insulation vs. investing in wind turbines, complete with secondary effects on employment.

    We lived in a cinder block house in Lake Jackson for 1.5 years in 1971/2 and then a cinder block house in the Houston barrio for a year in 1973. We went through a Cat 3 hurricane in the Lake Jackson cinder block house. Kept us safe, no problems other than the moaning wind. Both houses kept cool in the summer, warm in the winter but I have no idea of the size of the heating and cooling units. Of course, both houses were only about 1,400 to 1,600 ft2.

  36. Filled up with gas on the way home from Port Lavaca. $81 for 33 gallons for a little over 500 miles. Getting expensive but plentiful still.

  37. @mark, NVR-DATA will fill up with video files eventually because the software doesn’t do a good job of managing that, but the pc just keeps plodding along when that happens. I don’t even get a low disc space warning from the os…

    It’s the sda1 disc, with the / and the os that gets full (until a reboot, so is it REALLY full? or does something just think it is?) I can delete files on sda1 but I don’t get any space back until rebooting.

    I’m thinking about putting several gig of video files on sda1 so I can delete a couple of big files and see if that gets counted correctly. In fact, let me do that now…

    whoops, can’t. THe os thinks there isn’t any space available on the disk. I got a low disk space pop up, and when I click on “examine” it reports “Total filesysytem capacity 12.4TB (used 2.8TV available 9.6TB) and yet- clicking on any directory that is physically on the sda drive shows “o bytes available” at the bottom of the file manager window.

    Super frustrating the way Disc Usage Analyser shows a directory as 100% if it has subdirectories. F’d up if you ask me. And all the business with mnt and media… Why is one disk in mnt, and not the other? While the other is in /…/media/nvr-data/….

    n

  38. I’m getting ready to blow some sh!t up. That 4TB drive is going to be reformated to exf4 as soon as I copy off the backed up video. Then all the drives in the box will be native linux, and not coincidentally, I’ll be able to actually do stuff with those files, as I currently can’t do anything but look at or copy them because I don’t have permissions… F ME. Even when I open the directory as Admin I can’t change anything. Linux is f’d up with that ‘mounting but not actually letting you do stuff to a drive’ business. MY DATA. MINE. If you think you are protecting me, then give me a one button solution to take back the authority. MINE. NOT YOURS. I suspect it goes back to linux being a tool to get into windows disks and being thought of as a hacker tool. They changed the default behavior at some point to what it is now for what were, I;m sure, ‘good reasons’.

    I put a drive in my machine, I expect to be able to do things to it. MINE.

    n

  39. And sweet jebus why is disk to disk copy so freaking slow? I thought win10 was bad. SATA drives, supposed to be fast, over an hour to copy half a TB. 134MB/s? Shouldn’t it be at least an order of magnitude faster than that?

    n

  40. Ok, formatted exf4 and moving the files back. 183MB/s so about 30% faster. Don’t know if that is because both disks are exf4 or because there is more disk space for the os as I rebooted and suddenly have 450GB free… like always.

    n

    still, this disk to disk copy is crazy slow. It’s not going over the network or anything, all inside the box.


  41. Miami Beach has drawn many black revelers, and black church leaders have accused the police of using ‘unnecessary force’ to break up the crowds

    More than half of the more than 1,000 arrests were from out of state, said Aguila, adding many are coming ‘to engage in lawlessness and an anything goes party attitude.’

    He also noted that the crowds weren’t eating at restaurants or patronizing businesses generating badly needed tourism dollars, but merely congregating by the thousands in the street.

    n

    1

  42. At an emergency city commission meeting on Sunday, the city’s manager said the crush of spring breakers was ‘overwhelming’ the city and the measures were needed to quell ‘the potential for violence, disruption and damage to property.’

    ‘These aren’t your typical spring breakers,’ Interim City Manager Raul Aguila said, according to the Miami Herald.

    The police arrested more than 50 people on Saturday night after calling for the curfew; at least eight firearms were confiscated.

    To enforce the curfew, police have erected road blocks on major bridges leading to Miami Beach from the mainland, infuriating residents who say it took them up to four hours to return home on Saturday night.

    City officials have said the massive and unruly crowds might not be college students – and instead could be adults heading to Florida, one of the states that has fully opened amid others still clamped down with coronavirus restrictions.

    n

    1
  43. @Mark W:

    UK uses a lot of cinder block in home construction

    We do. The exact prevalence is unknown to me, since the only recent home I’ve owned (our first) was “timber-framed”.

    My present house is 1929-built, double-skinned brick (I think) with a 1 inch airgap between the skins for insulation (current practice is 2+ inches) and increasingly, cavity walls like that are being filled with expanded foam for better heat retention – I can’t do it, even though it’s subsidised. The minimum airgap is 2 inches for that.

    Breeze block is typically used for internal walls and/or the inner skin of external cavity walls, and you can’t tell it from brick because of the plasterboard cosmetic skin inside – that’s sheetrock to you.

    Timber framing, in our parlance, means they put up a factory-made two-layer timber box with lots of glass-fibre batts in between the layers, and then build a single skin of bricks around it. Gives superior insulation – when I moved to a conventionally-built house after my first daughter was born, my heating bills doubled. And it was heating – our climate in UK needs more heat in winter than cooling in summer.

    G.

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