Wed. April 7, 2021 – I did get a couple things done

Warmish, humid, possibly raining, and generally yucky weather. Or not. ’cause Houston!

Yesterday was pretty nice, if a bit humid. I did indoors stuff, and then spent the afternoon running around. School, bank, Post office… Daughter2’s STAAR test was fine, but a whole lot of students got to sit around for a day when the huge centralized testing program went offline. Millions of wasted learning hours…

Had to go to the bank. Hmm. Still need a mask. Felt like I was robbing the train or something. Oh, and if the bank was serious about reducing COVID risk, they’d put more than one teller in the glass box in the afternoon. We had 10 or eleven customers standing in line for half an hour, and 3 or four bank employees, all waiting on ONE teller in a not particularly large space. I was the only white person in the bank. Wypeepo don’t go into the bank anymore?

Got my cashier’s check, then it was off to the Post Office… fortunately our branch lets people just leave Priority mail on the counter and not stand in line. The lobby was full of people and the line is very slow moving at the best of times. From the beginning of this whole thing, the PO has been dirty and crowded. Still dirty, slow, and crowded. If a global pandemic won’t get them to change, who can expect anything to change them?

Everywhere I look I see people ready for the whole thing to be over. That is great if it is, and I think there is some evidence to support the idea we’re over the hump. I think far more people have had it than the numbers would suggest and we are therefore closer to ‘herd’ immunity than the fearmongers would have us believe. On the other hand, we’ve seen that every time large groups get together, cases and all the other metrics go up. I HOPE we’re at the point where that won’t happen in any big way. Like so many other times, I find myself saying “we’ll see”. *

Today should be more of the same. One of my auctions went live yesterday, so I need to work on filling bins for the next one (and driving myself mad watching the bids). I’ve certainly got plenty of stuff. I’m a bit concerned that demand for other people’s stuff is falling off. It will at some point outside of “grail” objects, it’s bound to be hard to sell collectables to people who are short on money for food. JerryP used to say he was after peoples’ beer money, not their ‘eating’ money. Almost everything I have in inventory is fully in the realm of discretionary spending. When money gets tight, that spending dries up. If you’ve been thinking about selling off some crap, I mean precious memories, do it now.

As an aside, it’s been so long since I was in the bank or used the ATM that I didn’t realize my card had expired. Took a while to figure out that the replacement was buried under stuff on my desk. LOTS of stuff expired on my birthday and I need to get on top of that. Passport, debit card, ARRL membership, non-prepping hobby org membership, and I’m sure some other stuff too. Take a second to look through your stuff and see if you will need to renew anything, and get a jump on it. Everything is taking longer these days, and you wouldn’t want to be without your CHL or ham license, or any professional memberships or licenses.

There’s always something more to consider or do. That’s why you need to get a good base in place to cover, well, the basics. Then you have time to consider the less obvious things, and build real depth in your preps.

And have stacks of stuff. Always stacks of stuff.

nick

*some translators of the story behind the link use “we’ll see” instead of the farmer’s “who knows” or “maybe”…

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

88 thoughts on “Wed. April 7, 2021 – I did get a couple things done”

  1. 72F nand 80%RH at 630. I’m up. The rest of the family? Not so much.


  2. Wypeepo don’t go into the bank anymore?

    Rarely. Our checks are direct deposited and the rare 2 or 3 times a year odd check deposit is done via mobile app.

    As an aside, it’s been so long since I was in the bank or used the ATM that I didn’t realize my card had expired.

    The exact same thing happened to me a couple months ago. I hardly ever use cash, but I needed to stop and get some as the guy I was buying a steel drum from only took cash. I stopped at the ATM and my card was declined. I called the bank and found out my card was locked for lack of use. They had to send me a new card. I asked how often I need to use the card to prevent issues in the future, and they said 4 or 5 times a month. I just nodded and said sure. I’ll try to remember to withdraw $10 every month or two and see if that works ok. I don’t use my debit card anywhere except the bank ATM. Everything goes on a credit card which gets paid off monthly.

  3. Austin was always “weird”, but it was still Texan. At least, it was when I last lived there in ’92. With the massive influx of ex-Californians and other progressives, it seems to have become another San Francisco or Portland.

    Take that BLM protest, where the protestors attack motorcycle guy for no reason: Try that in some other part of Texas, and they’d be breathing through bullet holes.

    Austin wants to be Portland, complete with rolling homeless shelter -er- light rail out to the airport. God only knows why.

    A lot of the protests last summer featured mostly white faces on the local Faux News footage. If UT had been in session, BLM may have well got the pretty white co-ed martyr incident they are seeking.

    The debate will be over on a lot of issues nationally once the girl gets shot, preferably (to BLM) by police.

    “That could be my (grand-)daughter!” plays well, even in places like The Villages in Florida.

  4. From yesterday: The car purchase is complete. It took a little longer than it should, but it got done. The wife is ecstatic. This is her dream car, so I’ve put my reservations about the top aside. Being a hard top, when it’s up, the interior noise level is as quiet as any other Lexus I’ve been in. I watched the top work yesterday from the outside for the first time. It’s a transformer. I’ve been reading about the common problems with it. Thanks for the other suggestions – I’m doing a deeper dive to understand how it works, and what preventative maintenance I can do. The absolute worst case is it gets stuck in the down position and I have to pay the dealer to get it back up (not necessarily working again). At that point, the car becomes a coupe. The wife knows this scenario is in play.

     

    I have oil filters, air filters, and wiper blade inserts coming. I’ll change all the fluids too, even using 2 jugs of Toyota’s lovely expensive red coolant. Cheap insurance.

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  5. Ok, that’s a bit weird.

    When I walked my daughter to the intersection this morning to meet her bus, I noticed two cars parked on the street with people in them. One was parked across my neighbor’s driveway. The men inside weren’t trying to hide, the windows were down on one and they were awake. My other neighbor is having a 3 season type room added to his patio, so I thought they might be construction workers getting a nap before starting work. But it got my SHARP attention.

    Mentioned it to my wife before she left, and she said ‘call the Constables’ let them check it out.

    I decided to check the cams and see when they got here, and maybe they’d start work and it would all be a non-issue.

    The guy in front (blocking the drive) pulls up at 5:43am. While I’m watching the vids, he pulls away at 7:43am, 2 hours to the minute. I couldn’t see the second guy arrive, but he left a few minutes before the other guy.

    Now I REALLY wish I’d call the deputies right away, because unless they come back and start working, there is no good explanation for their activity.

    The recorded image can’t quite get the plates as they are on the very edge of frame and 2 houses distant.

    The only other thing to be new on the street is people have moved into the rent house across the street. No moving truck though, that I noticed, and they closed all the blinds except for a small area in the middle of each (that leaves a way to see out at head level.) I’ve only seen two women there, but there are two cars. One of them left the house at about 7:15.

    It’s almost like the two cars were staking out the rent house.

    Like I said, very weird.

    n
    (and FINISH THE INSTALL of the cam to cover the end of the street just moved up the list.)

  6. Shitcago continues its downward spiral.

    From the Chicago paper–

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2021/4/6/22370141/child-shot-lake-shore-drive-grant-park-road-rage

    Lightfoot called the shooting a case of “simple, stupid road rage.” She was incredulous that adults would unleash their anger and use a gun with a child so near.

    “It’s mind boggling to me that people carry guns in the way that they do. That they use them in the way that they do. … It’s just a terrible tragedy,” she said at an unrelated news conference.

    “These were not two rival gangs … shooting at each other. This was simple, stupid road rage,” the mayor said. “I just hope that we are smarter and more committed to making sure that we set the example for our children that we want them to follow. And getting upset about a traffic incident — in whether you can merge or not — that that would result in gunfire is an absurdity to me.”

    Lightfoot said people in both cars in the incident were firing weapons.

    “There was shooting going from that car and coming to that car. That doesn’t make any sense to me,” Lightfoot said.

    –slightly different reporting from the DM, which normally glories in US shooting stories

    Boy, 2, is critically injured in Chicago after being shot in the head while riding in a car

    According to Chicago Police, the car crashed after the boy was shot in the temple near Grant Park on the city’s South Side at about 11am Tuesday
    Witnesses told police that they heard gunfire moments before the car, which traveled about two blocks after the shooting, crashed.

    Both articles conflate the previous night’s shootings in a south suburb (near where I used to live, and that I used to drive thru when in High School) that were probably gang related with the gun battle on the major north south street, and one with all the main tourist attractions. LSD at 11am doesn’t get more mainstream, or ordinary place to be.

    n

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  7. Had to go to the bank. Hmm. Still need a mask. Felt like I was robbing the train or something

    Wife and I are in the Land of Enchantment for a week away from work and H-town. We were in Taos yesterday. Signage all over town proclaiming “wear a mask in Public, it’s the law.” The majority of the dutiful sheeple were compliant. Although it has not made the national news like some of the more populace places, this state has had some of the more Draconian measures in place. Also, doubtful that there is really a law in place requiring masks, probably just the governor’s decree. We were mostly non-compliant while outdoors, but masked up when went went in businesses.

    Stopped by a new business in Taos – Gunslingers. Ex-cop from Albuquerque running the place. No masks. Nice collection 1911’s. Hope he makes it.

  8. I was the only white person in the bank. Wypeepo don’t go into the bank anymore?

    You forgot senior citizens. They do everything in person because they need to fill their day somehow. Wake up at 4:30 AM, meet up with their coffee klatsch at 6 AM, go to bank branch when it opens at 8 AM and stand in line to have the teller withdraw $20 for them rather than use the ATM, go to post office and wait in line to buy 1 stamp to place on an envelope then put envelope in outgoing mailbox, go to doctor’s appointment and discuss a dozen health issues and questions outside the scope of the appointment and occupy the doctor for 3 times as much time as was allocated putting everyone else’s appointments behind that morning, now it’s time to meet some other seniors for lunch at 11 AM, then go to grocery store and go up and down every single aisle even though they only need 3 things and then get halfway through writing a check before the cashier stops them and tells them they don’t accept checks anymore, and now it’s afternoon nap time…

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  9. @sfw, when we went to NM for spring break a couple of years ago, I considered concealed carry, since the state has reciprocity. Looking at the map though, I quickly discovered that there is so much indian land, you can’t avoid it, and they don’t honor carry permits. The highways transit indian land putting one in an instant and unavoidable quandary. You’d think a people that had been so badly treated by .gov wouldn’t be so anti-gun.

    Everywhere I looked there were social justice and socialist causes and activists. Super liberal for such a rural and frontier area.

    Beautiful country though.

    n

  10. Shitcago continues its downward spiral.

    Isn’t the city still locked down under orders from Mayor Beetlejuice?

    (Go look at her picture … I’ll wait … Now do you see it?)

    The south end of Lakeshore Drive near Jackson Park (future home of Obama’s library) was ugly when we went in March 2019, the week Beetlejuice was elected as “the first Socialist mayor of Chicago”.

    Whatever happened to the city’s plan to partially reopen Meigs?


  11. Wypeepo don’t go into the bank anymore?

    I go inside one of my two banks at least twice a week. Mostly farmers and elderly doing business in person. They removed the mask requirement a month ago. My local branch knows me by name and doesn’t require any ID when doing transactions. Same with my local post office, no lines, no waiting, no masks. One advantage of living in a very small place.

    As the spring is warming up, the sheriff has set up his food truck on weekends. Great opportunity for meatspace time.

  12. @nick

    NM does have some beautiful spots.  Wife and I both grew up here.  Am always asked if I will retire here.  Answer – NO, it’s too poor, there is little economic opportunity, and the government is too left.

    We both carry all the time here.  Haven’t really worried about the indian nation thing, but my travels don’t take me across those lands.

  13. The only other thing to be new on the street is people have moved into the rent house across the street. No moving truck though, that I noticed, and they closed all the blinds except for a small area in the middle of each (that leaves a way to see out at head level.) I’ve only seen two women there, but there are two cars. One of them left the house at about 7:15.

    What kind of cars? State on the plates?

    The holiday could have delayed the moving truck. We moved to Texas around July 4th in 2014, and the driver left the truck trailer at the company’s depot outside Albuquerque for nearly two weeks while he took time off.

  14. Back from Nashville. Wife arrived in SA before I got home. Usual jerk-wad truck drivers that take 15 miles to pass another truck while going uphill at 45 mph and stacking 50 cars behind them. The amount of truck traffic at 5:00 AM is astounding. Almost 100% of the traffic on I-40 from Knoxville to Nashville is truck traffic. Lot of trucks parked on on-ramps and off-ramps in addition to the regular rest areas.

    GPS indicated a 35 minute delay just as we got to Lebanon. GPS rerouted us on some back roads to get us on I-840 and back on to I-40. I suspect nighttime construction in that area or a wreck. Left early enough to allow for such a scenario. Wife got to the airport about 75 minutes before her flight, more than enough for Nashville.

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  15. …going into the bank…

    Besides cashier’s checks I only go in for the notary service (free for account holders vs. $10 at the UPS Store). And to grab a few free pens and some blank deposit slips – always have (working) pen and paper handy in the car.

    …Post Office…

    Thankfully my PO is fairly clean and usually well-staffed so line is usually short. They have a big canvas tub for Priority Mail drop-offs without waiting as well as a self-service postage machine. One thing that’s gone away with the pandemic is the stack of random catalogs that used to be on the table near the PO boxes that the recipients didn’t want, had picked up a couple interesting ones now and then.


  16. I called the bank and found out my card was locked for lack of use.

    Similarly with your credit cards, if you have ones you don’t regularly use it’s good to make a small purchase a couple of times a year to show activity on the account. Especially now during the pandemic some banks are reviewing peoples’ credit standing and account usgae and either reducing credit limits or summarily closing accounts that are under used.


  17. From yesterday: The car purchase is complete. It took a little longer than it should, but it got done.

    @ITGuy1998; how was the sale to Carvana, or is that still to be done?

  18. I guess it depends if you have a basement.

    Houses in Houston don’t, because of the soil and the high water table in many places.

    Most houses in Houston don’t. One of my coworkers lived in the east Rice University neighborhood on Dunstan in a 192? house. He had a 6 ft tall basement, maybe 200 ft2, where his water heater was. He had 4 ft of water in it several times when the sump pump got overwhelmed so they did not keep much down there. The house was four stories including the basement, each story was less than a 1,000 ft2. First story was kitchen, den, and dining room. Second story was two bedrooms. Third story was a big open area his two boys used as an bedroom.


  19. @ITGuy1998; how was the sale to Carvana, or is that still to be done?

    That happens Saturday at 3PM. I’ll let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed.

  20. On the average, I go to my bank branch 3 times each weekday.  I go inside to a teller after passing by the ATM on the outside next to the door as I’m too low-tech to use it.

  21. Freefall: Repetitive Checks on Spaceships
    http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff3600/fc03576.htm

    Yes, repetitive checks on spaceships is a very good thing. In fact, repetitive checks on any large machinery is a very good thing (thinking back to days of being a plant engineer and babysitting a 650,000 hp steam turbine and steam boiler).

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  22. “Star Trek: Picard | Season 2 Teaser | Paramount+”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk9F90wklRQ

    “The true final frontier is time. The new season of “Star Trek: Picard” is coming 2022, exclusively on Paramount+.”

    No, no, no, no, no, no ! Yes, Q is back !

    2022, are you freaking kidding me ? Lucille Ball would not approve of stretching this out this far. For those who do not know, Lucille Ball was the first CEO of Paramount when it was commonly known as DesilLu and the first Star Trek series was shot on the stage next to “I Love Lucy”.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desilu_Productions

  23. “Nike suspends Deshaun Watson’s endorsement following sexual misconduct allegations”
    https://www.chron.com/sports/texans/article/Deshaun-Watson-Nike-endorsement-suspended-lawsuits-16082846.php?IPID=Chron-HP-Trending

    “Twenty-two civil suits – mostly from massage therapists – have been filed against Watson alleging sexual misconduct and assault during massage sessions in 2020 and 2021. The Houston Police Department also is investigating a criminal complaint against Watson.”

    “On Tuesday, two of the women filing civil suits came forward.”

    The smoke is getting thicker with 22 women now suing him for sexual battery. And the advertisers are running away now that two of the women have outed themselves. This is personal to them and they aim to see him in jail. And want to take ALL of his money away.

    Yet there are several women saying that he has never assaulted them. I have no idea which side will win on this as Watson has now taken several hits below the water line.

  24. Anchorage mayoral election ended yesterday. Mail in ballots verified by signatures. Theoretically.
    There were three places open for “in person voting” where you could obtain a ballot and have your ID verified to vote. Many of our conservatives voted yesterday in person. Overwhelmed the unprepared (liberal run) clerks office. Two hour waits to vote.

    10,000 ballots were counted last night. Clerk has limited staff and to avoid overtime is only counting 8-5. The clerks office complained ballots had crossed off names and had to be checked by humans.

    Conservatives may have slowed down counting in multiple ways in our slowly learned distrust of the clerks office and election integrity. An instruction on the ballot said to line out and re-bubble your ballot if you made an error, and NOT to initial the correction.  I was not the only individual to speculate that it was a nifty way to “correct” a conservative ballot, line out the conservative mayoral choice then bubble the liberal mayoral choice. Surely no one would be so dastardly as to “correct” ballots between the drop boxes and the centralized counting center? Nah, never. So I “correction proofed” my ballot. I wasn’t alone.

    I dropped our ballots at lunch. There was a looong line of people waiting to vote, and a steady stream of vehicles placing ballots in the outside box.

    After work I picked up our U-box which had been in storage. I parked parallel to our house, stepped out of car to plan backing in the U-box trailer. Very careful placement of my feet did not save me from taking the hardest fall on the ice I’ve had in years. My left side is well tenderized today and my head took a hard shock. My tinfoil hat offers meager protection.

    Off work today so I can recover. I hate ice. Warm (around 34 Fahrenheit) with 0 expected Thursday. Brrr. It’s not -quite- spring. Garage stopped leaking. Once snow is gone we will get up there and make corrections to the flashing so we don’t have a repeat next year. I think I’m going to hire out the drywall repair. It’s overhead and drywall is difficult for me at the best of times.  I have not caught our garage mouse yet. He ruined 50 pounds of rabbit feed so I’m kinda ticked.

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  25. Our disabled daughter who lives with us had a zoom meeting with her infectious disease doctor this morning. Her doctor told her to get on the ball and start getting her intravenous iron treatments right away. The doctor said that her extreme anemia is causing her blood volume to drop and that is making her dizzy all the time. The daughter has been skipping her intravenous iron treatments since the first of the year since she hates going to the cancer center in Sugar Land for them.

    Plus her doctor told her to get the J&J covid vaccine. Apparently the two shot vaccines are proving to be not good for immune compromised people. But the J&J vaccine is not causing problems with her patients. I was not aware that they are that different.

  26. No, no, no, no, no, no ! Yes, Q is back !

    Among the rumored last-minute edits of the first season was the removal of an appearance of Q at the end of the finale to save Picard’s life.

  27. Plus her doctor told her to get the J&J covid vaccine. Apparently the two shot vaccines are proving to be not good for immune compromised people. But the J&J vaccine is not causing problems with her patients. I was not aware that they are that different.

    J&J is not an mRNA experiment like Moderna or Pfizer. The vaccine isn’t as effective on paper but widespread distribution will still contribute towards the goal of herd immunity.

  28. Similarly with your credit cards, if you have ones you don’t regularly use it’s good to make a small purchase a couple of times a year to show activity on the account. Especially now during the pandemic some banks are reviewing peoples’ credit standing and account usgae and either reducing credit limits or summarily closing accounts that are under used.

    My mother had an embarrassing situation because of this. It was 20ish years ago and she had a department store card she had paid off fully the previous year. Then, she was Christmas shopping probably 14 months later and went to check out at that department store using their card and the card declined. So, she went over to their customer service/credit desk (tucked in the back on another floor next to gift wrap) and they told her they closed it because she went a year without using it. So, she asked them to please reopen it. They ran her credit told her she didn’t qualify. So, a card she had for YEARS, was never late on, and had PAID OFF multiple times was closed by the issuer and then despite her longstanding history with them and immaculate payment history she was no longer credit worthy enough to have their card. Mind blowing. My mom was in tears. Horrible.

    Something similar happened to a buddy whose lease was up on a truck. He called and said he loved the car and would like to keep it. They ran his credit and he didn’t qualify. He was like, “Let me get this straight. I’ve made EVERY payment on time for the last 3 years, but because my FICO score says I’m a risk you won’t give me a loan for the residual value of the vehicle whose lease I’ve never made a late payment on?”

    I suppose that’s what happens when computers start making the decisions instead of people. The cold objectivity of the loan origination software’s algorithm provides a lot of protections for the creditor, but also leads to boneheaded things like above.

    I should note that in both instances above that the accounts in just their name were great but the ones they shared with spouses… not so much.

  29. J&J is not an mRNA experiment like Moderna or Pfizer. The vaccine isn’t as effective on paper but widespread distribution will still contribute towards the goal of herd immunity.

    F’it. Get both. 🙂 Go get your Pfizer/Moderna and then go get your J&J. Cover all your bases.

    No, no, no, no, no, no ! Yes, Q is back !

    Among the rumored last-minute edits of the first season was the removal of an appearance of Q at the end of the finale to save Picard’s life.

    I had heard, back in the day, that the actor that plays Q (John de Lancie) is a complete ass IRL. Wants crazy fees to show up at conventions. Won’t sign autographs. Etc. Etc.

  30. I had heard, back in the day, that the actor that plays Q (John de Lancie) is a complete ass IRL. Wants crazy fees to show up at conventions. Won’t sign autographs. Etc. Etc.

    John de Lancie is a big draw for a convention because of his soap opera fanbase predating “Star Trek”.

    His character on “Days of our Lives” had sci fi elements in his storyline, including a time machine.

    Autographs are so heavily arbitraged anymore that it isn’t the fans in line at the conventions, especially at the big shows which sell VIP passes to dealers without the actors seeing any of the money beyond what they charge at the table.

  31. Had to go to the bank. Hmm. Still need a mask. Felt like I was robbing the train or something. Oh, and if the bank was serious about reducing COVID risk, they’d put more than one teller in the glass box in the afternoon. We had 10 or eleven customers standing in line for half an hour, and 3 or four bank employees, all waiting on ONE teller in a not particularly large space. I was the only white person in the bank. Wypeepo don’t go into the bank anymore?

    The 7-11s in Houston had a bad robbery problem in the 1970s. The management started putting two guys with shotguns in the back of random 7-11s. The rumor was that if the robber was killed then the shotgun dudes got a bonus. The robbery problem went away.

    I would not be surprised if a bank or two have shotgun guys in the back now that the lobbies are reopening.

  32. When I walked my daughter to the intersection this morning to meet her bus, I noticed two cars parked on the street with people in them. One was parked across my neighbor’s driveway. The men inside weren’t trying to hide, the windows were down on one and they were awake. My other neighbor is having a 3 season type room added to his patio, so I thought they might be construction workers getting a nap before starting work. But it got my SHARP attention.

    Mentioned it to my wife before she left, and she said ‘call the Constables’ let them check it out.

    I decided to check the cams and see when they got here, and maybe they’d start work and it would all be a non-issue.

    The guy in front (blocking the drive) pulls up at 5:43am. While I’m watching the vids, he pulls away at 7:43am, 2 hours to the minute. I couldn’t see the second guy arrive, but he left a few minutes before the other guy.

    Now I REALLY wish I’d call the deputies right away, because unless they come back and start working, there is no good explanation for their activity.

    Guarding using plain clothes. US Marshalls.

    Be careful.

  33. A bit of an e-mail:

    You may have heard the good news about the recently passed COVID relief bill. With the passage of this new law, you may now be able to get higher tax credits to lower your current monthly premium. On average, monthly premiums for coverage through HealthCare.gov will be lower by $50 per person.

    To receive this additional financial assistance (tax credits), come back to HealthCare.gov and update your 2021 application to see what savings you qualify for now. You’ll then need to reselect your current plan so that any new savings can take effect for the remainder of the year.

    So I went. Everything was already filled in. I just changed how much SS I get.
    Bottom line, I went from paying $139 a month to $0. I looked at other plans and meh, it’s all a mess of less deductible vs more for meds vs charges for emergency room vs seeing a doctor.

  34. California’s next governor

    Schwarzenegger ended any chance Republicans had of holding serious political power in CA for at least a generation. Jenner would be a repeat, signing whatever the Assembly sent over without question.

  35. Plus her doctor told her to get the J&J covid vaccine. Apparently the two shot vaccines are proving to be not good for immune compromised people. But the J&J vaccine is not causing problems with her patients. I was not aware that they are that different.

    J&J is not an mRNA experiment like Moderna or Pfizer. The vaccine isn’t as effective on paper but widespread distribution will still contribute towards the goal of herd immunity.

    J&J is reporting that the J&J vaccine will not keep you from getting the covid but it will keep you out of the ER. They are claiming zero patients in the ERs of the USA that have had the J&J vaccine.

  36. Lynn has a point, Nick. What you should do is shoot them from a distance, get away, and watch the local news. If they report “Two US marshals killed in an ambush” you’ll know who they were.

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  37. That’s a lot like burning someone to find out if they’re a witch.

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  38. In the “shit you make up department”:

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “We’re on a good path at the border under the leadership of President Biden … We were in a very bad situation under the Trump administration.”

    The Crazed Crone ™ “Stretch” Pelosi is giving plugsy McSpongeBrain a run for his/her/its/? money. Even the Dumbocrats want plugs to stop the flow of crimmigrants. How many are in plugsy cages? Bad under tRump? Naw.

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  39. “Meet Karen.”

    Naw. That’d be: “Meet Bubbette!”

  40. “Growing Pains: Starlink Is Fast, But Don’t Expect 200Mbps All the Time”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/growing-pains-starlink-is-fast-but-dont-expect-200mbps-all-the-time

    “Data from Ookla’s Speedtest indicates the typical download speeds for Starlink fell from 80Mbps to 50Mbps before climbing back up again. Actual users say the real issue is download rate variability.”

    I am ready to try it out at the office here. Anything is better than 12/1 mbps.

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  41. Anything is better than 12/1 XXXXX 3/0.7 mbps.

    FIFM*

    *Fixed It For Me. 🙂

    “Drops to 50 Mbps.” Aw shucks. I need to sign up. Might be the only time I will be an early-ish adopter.

  42. Anything is better than 12/1 XXXXX 3/0.7 mbps.

    FIFM*

    *Fixed It For Me.

    “Drops to 50 Mbps.” Aw shucks. I need to sign up. Might be the only time I will be an early-ish adopter.

    Still gotcha beat. I share the two 12/1 mbps lines with up to seven other people using a Peplink 30. And one guy has youtube japanese anime music videos running all day. Sounds freaking horrible but he likes it.

  43. “News from the Chauvin Trial: there will be riots”
    https://gunfreezone.net/news-from-the-chauvin-trial-there-will-be-riots/

    “Prosecution visibly shaken after cross-examination of MPD force & medical experts”

    “Today was a terrible, horrible no good, very bad day for the prosecution, to a degree that I haven’t seen since the trial of George Zimmerman.”

    “If you have no more than an hour to watch the video of today’s proceedings, then I urge you to spend 44 minutes watching the cross-examination of state witness Johnny Mercil, the state’s use-of-force training expert, and 22 minutes watching the cross-examination of Nicole MacKenzie, the state’s medical care training expert. In both instances the result can only be called a train wreck of a disaster for the prosecution.”

  44. “Best Indie Science Fiction Books”
    https://best-sci-fi-books.com/best-indie-science-fiction-books/

    I have read the ultra survival story “Wool” and the wonderful hard science “The Martian” out of the five.

    I am nominating the EMP thriller “Lights Out”
    https://www.amazon.com/Lights-Out-David-Crawford/dp/0615427359/?tag=ttgnet-20

    and the amazing “We Are Legion (We Are Bob) (Bobiverse) (Volume 1)”.
    https://www.amazon.com/We-Are-Legion-Bob-Bobiverse/dp/1680680587/?tag=ttgnet-20

    ADD: I forgot to mention that the movie version of “The Martian” is simply awesome also. I loved the Hermes Earth to Mars round trip transport ship.


  45. That’s a lot like burning someone to find out if they’re a witch.

    Or you can check beforehand – tie them to a heavy weight and toss them in the lake – if they float they’re a witch and if they drown they’re not.

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  46. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “We’re on a good path at the border under the leadership of President Biden … We were in a very bad situation under the Trump administration.”

    So, huh?

    Daily Mail: Biden now wants to RESTART construction on Trump’s border wall to ‘plug gaps’ DHS head Mayorkas says.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9441641/Biden-wants-RESTART-construction-Trumps-border-wall-plug-gaps-DHS-head-Mayorkas-says.html

    1

  47. The daughter has been skipping her intravenous iron treatments since the first of the year since she hates going to the cancer center in Sugar Land for them.

    Is this something you can be trained to do for her? It’s just a matter of inserting an IV needle.

    1
  48. Does _Life on Mars_ get any better after the first couple episodes, or is it all just Odysseus trying to find his way home? I’ve heard good things about it, but I’ve heard the story before.

  49. Big Brother knows all…

    In addition to the speed at the first area of impact occurring at up to 87mph, sheriff Villanueva added the “estimated speed when the vehicle struck the tree was 75mph”.

    LASD Captain James Powers said: “The car’s so-called ‘black box’ data recorder showed Woods engaged the accelerator and never applied the brake during the incident. That could indicate he may have mistakenly hit the wrong pedal while trying to control the car.”

    Powers added: “It’s believed that when you panic or you have some sort of sudden interruption while you’re driving, your initial thought is to hit the brake and it’s believed he may have done that but hit the accelerator.”

    There were were no citations issued because there were no witnesses to the incident.

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/golf/56668821

  50. That’s a lot like burning someone to find out if they’re a witch.

    That did not work in Buffy. Amy the witch turned herself into a rat when they lit the torches under the control of the HanselGretel monster.


  51. J&J is not an mRNA experiment like Moderna or Pfizer.

    No, it’s an adenovirus experiment. It’s also a new technique for delivery of a vaccine.

     


  52. The 7-11s in Houston had a bad robbery problem in the 1970s.

    What stopped the robberies was widespread adoption of drop safes. Minimal cash in the till, so it wasn’t worth robbing.

     

  53. Various forms of liquid immersion similar to Microsoft’s have been done experimentally in the past, with varying success, but this is the first one I know of for a production operation. Looks promising. Nice advance.

  54. The 7-11s in Houston had a bad robbery problem in the 1970s.

    What stopped the robberies was widespread adoption of drop safes. Minimal cash in the till, so it wasn’t worth robbing.

    The drop safes were way cheaper than the random shotgun guys in the back of the 7-11 store. But the robbery rate had already dropped for 7-11. The robbers would hit the other corner stores first.

  55. plugs will drop his gun control EOs tomorrow. I hope a herd of lawyers are lined up to sue.

  56. @jim

    Does _Life on Mars_ get any better after the first couple episodes, or is it all just Odysseus trying to find his way home? I’ve heard good things about it, but I’ve heard the story before.

    I’d recommend the UK original.

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  57. The daughter has been skipping her intravenous iron treatments since the first of the year since she hates going to the cancer center in Sugar Land for them.

    Is this something you can be trained to do for her? It’s just a matter of inserting an IV needle.

    Please no. I suspect that it is a large bore IV needle.

    The doctor gave the daughter a stern lecture this morning about the iron infusions. And the lack of iron dropping her blood volume too was an unpleasant surprise.

    The former USMC son had to learn how to insert an IV during USMC basic training. They had to IV themselves and then a partner. Apparently it was a blood bath and lots of very nasty language.

  58. Does _Life on Mars_ get any better after the first couple episodes, or is it all just Odysseus trying to find his way home? I’ve heard good things about it, but I’ve heard the story before.

    I enjoyed the USA version but I like drek. The ending was a total surprise so be careful reading up on it as you do not want to spoil the surprise.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_on_Mars_(American_TV_series)

    I have not seen the BBC version so it may be better as Dr. Williams has mentioned.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_on_Mars_(British_TV_series)

    Is this what you are talking about ?

  59. from the Chauvin trial coverage at LI by Branca:

    from yesterday’s Day 7 coverage:

    “As noted above, Nelson also explored with Mercil whether there were circumstances in which it would be appropriate for an officer to maintain a neck restraint for a substantial period of time, and Mercil conceded that there were.

    Sometimes to maintain the neck restraint for however long it took EMS to arrive, asked Nelson? Mercil answered that he, personally, had maintained restraint on suspects for the duration required for EMS to arrive.

    To ensure the point: The state’s own use-of-force expert testified on cross that he personally had engaged in use-of-force conduct that the state had been using to demonize Chauvin as an unlawful killer. That’s not a good day for the state.”

    from today’s Day 8 coverage:

    Indeed, so effective was the testimony of the medical coordinator for the defense, that the defense has informed the court that they intend to re-call her as a defense witness when it’s the defense’s turn to present the jury with their case in chief.

    Now a week-and-a-half into the state presenting its narrative of guilt for the jury, until yesterday I would have characterized the prosecution’s performance as weak, scattered, and not entirely internally coherent—all terrible traits when one bears the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  Indeed, those are traits that foster a reasonable doubt.

    Yesterday, however, was a genuine catastrophe for the state, on a level I’ve not seen for a prosecution since the trial of George Zimmerman”

    One news video yesterday showed businesses being boarded up in downtown Minneapolis. They may have to clear cut northern Minnesota to get enough osb if this keeps up.

    Of particular irony was that one prominent building being boarded up is the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a leftist rag that has done much to contribute to the current state of Minneapolis.

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  60. from the Chauvin trial coverage at LI by Branca:

    from yesterday’s Day 7 coverage:

    “As noted above, Nelson also explored with Mercil whether there were circumstances in which it would be appropriate for an officer to maintain a neck restraint for a substantial period of time, and Mercil conceded that there were.

    Sometimes to maintain the neck restraint for however long it took EMS to arrive, asked Nelson? Mercil answered that he, personally, had maintained restraint on suspects for the duration required for EMS to arrive.

    To ensure the point: The state’s own use-of-force expert testified on cross that he personally had engaged in use-of-force conduct that the state had been using to demonize Chauvin as an unlawful killer. That’s not a good day for the state.”

    from today’s Day 8 coverage:

    “Indeed, so effective was the testimony of the medical coordinator for the defense, that the defense has informed the court that they intend to re-call her as a defense witness when it’s the defense’s turn to present the jury with their case in chief.

    Now a week-and-a-half into the state presenting its narrative of guilt for the jury, until yesterday I would have characterized the prosecution’s performance as weak, scattered, and not entirely internally coherent—all terrible traits when one bears the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Indeed, those are traits that foster a reasonable doubt.

    Yesterday, however, was a genuine catastrophe for the state, on a level I’ve not seen for a prosecution since the trial of George Zimmerman”

    One news video yesterday showed businesses being boarded up in downtown Minneapolis. They may have to clear cut northern Minnesota to get enough osb if this keeps up.

    Of particular irony was that one prominent building being boarded up is the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a leftist rag that has done much to contribute to the current state of Minneapolis.

    So this is as much a farce as I expected it to be.

    The next farce to come along is the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. But that has been delayed until November.
    https://www.npr.org/2021/03/10/975843362/kyle-rittenhouse-trial-in-kenosha-killings-delayed-until-november

  61. Farces like this were extremely effective in the hands of skilled users in the 20th century.

    It’s going to be interesting to see what preparations start in earnest when this one goes to the jury. I wonder if anyone is studying the map and thinking about demo charges on some bridges? One thing to watch for is the use of the light rail system by rioters wanting to export their work product to the ‘burbs.

    1

  62. Does _Life on Mars_ get any better after the first couple episodes, or is it all just Odysseus trying to find his way home? I’ve heard good things about it, but I’ve heard the story before.

    I’d recommend the UK original.

     

    LOVED watching it in the UK.  I didn’t know they made a US version.  Almost every American copy of a good UK show is awful.  Just look at the Office or Top Gear America.

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  63. One news video yesterday showed businesses being boarded up in downtown Minneapolis.

    James Lileks, the lone conservative voice at the Minneapolis paper, has been documenting it for weeks on his blog, The Bleat.

    As he said today

    It’s an act of submission. It cedes, in advance, the streets to people who want to break and burn.

     

    1
  64. The next farce to come along is the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. But that has been delayed until November.

    The FBI is still looking into Federal charges in the Broeanna Taylor case. If the summer gets sporty, expect an indictment for … well … something.

    1
  65. Thanks all for the tips re _Life on Mars_, esp. about the ending. I’ll retry w/ the Brit version.

    Speaking of Merry Olde England, I’m dithering on whether to get the Chambers Dictionary app for my phone and wonder if the purchase will port to my Kindles. Cor, what a boon that would be!

    1

  66. Or you can check beforehand – tie them to a heavy weight and toss them in the lake – if they float they’re a witch and if they drown they’re not.

    I suggest @Nick knock on the car window and ask the gentlemen therein to accompany him to a lake.

    1
  67. Brownell’s. a big seller of firearms and related items, sent a sale flyer with this at the top..

     

     

    From the Brownells Team
    We’re reaching out to you because we anticipate an increase in demand on the items included in this email – driven by what we believe will be executive actions likely to be taken by the Biden administration, as early as tomorrow (April 8, 2021).

    While we do not know specifically what President Biden’s actions will be, we wanted you to be aware of this increased demand – and the fact that we will NOT be raising prices.

    Brownells stands ready to fight any anti-Second Amendment action on behalf of you, our friend in freedom.

    n

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  68. Life on Mars UK is MUCH better than the US version.

    I like US The Office better, Ricky Gervais is painful to watch, and actually he’s amazingly good in that role, I just couldn’t watch it. They get to take 25 in this video without success: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAhEsq5Mj_w

    Top Gear America. So sad.

    1
  69. Re: Fortran…

    Lazy Reading has 4 links to different aspects this month,

    http://cyber.dabamos.de/blog/

    and a number of links in earlier posts.

    Of interest, an attempt to generate a ‘standard library’ and IBM releasing their compiler for free.

    An earlier post had a series of articles on using object oriented programming in Fortran…nasty.

    1
  70. An earlier post had a series of articles on using object oriented programming in Fortran…nasty.

    OOP Fortran is just wrong. If you want OOP and speed, move to C++.

  71. Even back when we still lived in Sacramento, CA, we knew that Austin was the Berkeley of Texas.  Now that we live in San Antonio, we see that it hasn’t changed much, except perhaps for the worse.

     


  72. “Microsoft is now submerging servers into liquid baths”
    https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/6/22369609/microsoft-server-cooling-liquid-immersion-cloud-racks-data-centers

    “Microsoft has moved from seafloors to flooding servers”

    I am speechless.

    3M Novec 649 hydrofluoroether. Demoed at CES two years ago.

    TANSTAAFL. Heat has to be removed from the vapor phase. There’s a condenser there somewhere.

    3M’s Fluorinert brand of perfluorocarbon liquids have been around for more than 40 years. Widely used in vapor-phase soldering in the electronics industry. IIRC, first use in computer cooling was in the Cray 2 . Takes up oxygen right nicely–you can breathe the stuff. High global warming potential, so the Novec series was developed.

    Direct liquid cooling of computer components goes back over 140 years. In the 1980’s transformers with PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls) were being replaced and the hazardous waste hysteria got to be so bad that a couple drops tracked around would cost thousands of dollars to clean up. Like the stuff had not been spilled in 100 years of use.

     

     


  73. Guarding using plain clothes. US Marshalls.

    Be careful

    Texas Rangers?
    The Lone Ranger?

  74. Looks black in near-IR.

    Will MIBLM show up on Wheel of Fortune someday?

  75. Ha.  Met the new neighbors, and they have only moved from one part of the development to my street because their house is still damaged by water from the freeze.  They are an older couple and are unlikely to be the cause of the activity today.

    Made sure my neighbors were aware of the weirdness.  On of the ladies had already noted the car and called her neighbor with a heads up in the morning.  She missed the second car though.  Very strange.

     

    n

  76. If you want to turn that dial to eleven, try <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Object-Oriented-Forth-Dick-Pountain/dp/0125635702Object-Oriented?tag=ttgnet-20 Forth.

    I like Forth. It’s great for small projects, especially on low-power processors or controllers with limited memory. I wouldn’t use it for a large project and I don’t think object orientation will help with that.

    I used a Win16 Smalltalk (Whitewater Actor) to create our Windows data storage and visualization program. Its interpreter byte engine was a garbage collecting object oriented Forth engine that ran a Mark and Sweep every ten Smalltalk instructions. Slow ? You bet. And the integers were 15 bits because it used the sign bit as an Object flag. But it worked until I ran out of the 32,768 objects.

    I tried to convert the Forth parser and interpreter from Win16 assembler to Win32 assembler but died after a week of getting nowhere. They were stealing bits from the variables and registers and using them as flags which did not easily translate from 16 bit to 32 bit. I ended up writing a Smalltalk to C++ converter and that worked beautifully. I almost made a horrible mistake of using the old Smalltalk because the C++ code ran 100X faster than the Smalltalk and used way less memory. It took me and two helpers a year to convert the 250,000 lines of Smalltalk code to C++ code, time well spent.

  77. MIB. I suppose they dress in other colors. Confusing.

    MIK. Men in Khaki.

  78. Rats. Was writing a looong post here on my phone, and managed to bump something. Poof, gone. I would like to blame the new editor, but it was my fault.

    I will be going home tomorrow, so will try to resurrect it on my computer. I have a couple links, but all the carefully written text is gone. It was pretty good, trust me. Oh well, teaches me to go back to composing in a word processor and pasting here. Too late now.

  79. I like Forth. It’s great for small projects, especially on low-power processors or controllers with limited memory. I wouldn’t use it for a large project and I don’t think object orientation will help with that.

    Forth has experienced a bit of a resurgence lately since program and interpreter can fit into the CPU cache making it useful for extreme high performance applications where script interpreting on the fly is required, but the language is another one of those Guru Full Employment (TM) platforms to borrow a label from Dr. Pournelle.

    Once the guru talks you into a Full Employment platform, good luck getting rid of him/her if it is ever necessary. We’re dealing with fallout from one of those types of decisions at the new job right now.

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