Sun. April 11, 2021 – not gonna be a day of rest for me…

Supposed to be another nice day. Yesterday turned out to be absolutely gorgeous. 92F in the sun, but cool-ish breezes and most of the day it was low 80s and dry. So I spent most of it indoors. Jeez.

I just didn’t feel great and so after my non-prepping hobby meeting, I took a nap. Or passed out from too much sugar, but I’m going with nap… After which I was pretty unproductive.

Which means today will be a scramble to get the house back in good shape before my wife gets home. Wild women and parties, gotta keep up the traditions…

Lots of shootings in the news. None of the articles mention Chicago, DC, Philly, or Baltimore. Hmm. Couldn’t be that the media has their own agenda. Nope. That would be a conspiracy theory and we know those are bad.

It was nice to see the guys in my hobby club. It was nice to get out and about and meet up socially. It makes me wonder if the control freaks will every be defeated or relent on their own. And I thank God I live in Texas.

Keep stacking. We’re going to need it.

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

89 thoughts on “Sun. April 11, 2021 – not gonna be a day of rest for me…”

  1. @ray:

    Drive safe.Hoping all goes as well as it can for you and your wife, given the circumstances.

    My second Pfizer vaccine shot is booked for this coming Friday morning, UK time. I’ll report on how it goes.

    First shot left me with a sore arm at the injection site. Nothing else worth mentioning.

    G.

     

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  2. My second Pfizer shot was easier than the first.  I must have been more relaxed for the second one.  Less pain getting the injection and less pain the next day.


  3. the phone in the house doesn’t have any working extensions

    Communications always seem like we have them covered, until tested.  Glad she figured out a solution.

    I bought this a couple months ago. It comes with one extension and I bought one extra one. Seems like the best of both worlds, as the base works even when electricity is off, and extensions can be added at will, or moved to where we need them:

    VTech CS6649 Expandable Corded/Cordless Phone System with Answering System-Caller ID/Call Waiting and Handset/Base Speakerphones” The one I bought was new, from the VTech Store, at Amazon if someone wants to add an affiliate link.

     

  4. @Ray

    Thanks for sharing the life journey of your MIL. I feel openly sharing human experiences are positive for us all. God bless your MIL, your wife and yourself.

  5. Which means today will be a scramble to get the house back in good shape before my wife gets home. Wild women and parties, gotta keep up the traditions…

    My wife rounds at the psych hospital this weekend. After nearly electrocuting myself trying to diagnose the dryer problems yesterday, I get to go look at replacements today.

    What a party.

    I may call a qualified expert for the dryer tomorrow, but he broke the hinge on the dryer control panel the last time my wife had him out, something I wasn’t aware of when I lifted the cover to listen to the timer yesterday and the panel collapsed back down on the frame with a shower of 220V sparks.

    A party with fireworks!

    I’ll stick to keeping the 120V washer patched together.

  6. We’re going to have to figure out what to do with the elder cat. If she’s alone, she howls. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a cat howl before, but – wow – she sure can develop some volume. You can stop the howling by sleeping in the room with her, but she’s on and off of you all night long. We’re running into serious sleep deprivation. Clearly, something is wrong, probably painful, but she could hang on like this for weeks or months.

    I’d like to leave her in a fenced area outside – that also seems to quiet her down – but the weather is turning seriously cold again. I mean, that would end the problem, but…can’t do that. My wife is suggesting locking her in the garage, but we need to see how cold the garage gets at night. The cat is nothing but skin-and-bones at this point, so anything below 10C (50F) is probably too cold.

    We’ve got two 18-year-olds in the house at the same time (dog and cat). Pure coincidence, but bad timing nonetheless. At least the dog is just mostly blind and deaf – still a happy camper, and mostly healthy.

    Animals shouldn’t get old.

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  7. @ray, safe journey to you, and my condolences to your wife and to you. This will be a tough and probably weird time for you as your wife will likely have a whole lot of things going on that you can only guess at. Your job is support, as best you can.

    n

  8. We’re going to have to figure out what to do with the elder cat. If she’s alone, she howls. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a cat howl before, but – wow – she sure can develop some volume. You can stop the howling by sleeping in the room with her, but she’s on and off of you all night long. We’re running into serious sleep deprivation. Clearly, something is wrong, probably painful, but she could hang on like this for weeks or months.

    Here in the US there are several brands of anti-anxiety diffuser, but more traditional calming spray wherever she sleeps may be safer than putting something new into your household’s air.

    Talk to the vet about options and maybe some bloodwork. Our cat has had some anxiety issues up until the point where we got her thyroid levels stabilized over the last few months. She has a hyper-active thyroid for which the vet suggested radiation ablation, but we did that route once before with a previous cat, the end result being another year of life before she developed esophageal cancer, my guess related to the radiation dose.

    Twice a day thyroid pills are no big deal anymore. The cat barely moves when my wife approaches her with the “popper” tool.

    Our cat still occasionally howls at night, but that is usually followed by her digging out a few “kittens” from a bag of Beanie Babies we have left from the 90s. She then goes quiet, tending to the offspring. Whatever works.

  9. @brad, that is a tough situation. A ‘pet warming pad’ might help… no matter where she ends up sleeping. And a covered bed, that she can hide in might help too.

    n

  10. 62F and sunny with only 60%RH. Not gonna be a fun day for my wife doing canoe qualifications in the lake, but super nice for me.

    kids are up, I’m up and feel more rested than I have in a week or more. Time to get to work.

    n

  11. @Ray

    Condolences and best wishes for safe travel.

    Do not compromise on getting enough sleep this week.


  12. Animals shouldn’t get old.

    Slippery slope. From where I stand, so-called animals and soi-disant humans are at the same level. One could assert, with equal moral justification, that humans shouldn’t get old.

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  13. this looks exactly like the kind of traffic stop I hear the drug surveillance teams do on the scanner all the time.

    Follow a drug suspect. “develop” probable cause (in this case, tint too dark), have a uniform do a traffic stop. See what you can see.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9458851/Shocking-moment-drug-dealer-39-jumps-truck-shoots-dead-New-Mexico-cop.html

    I’m guessing but the way the next officers on site are geared up, the medic that runs right to the officer, and the article listing them as “Homeland Security” all point to a surveillance stop. Also how quickly the chase vehicles arrive.

    And either they train differently in NM, or the officer made a bunch of mistakes. Why get the guy out of the vehicle? Why let him handle the rifle? Why look away?

    The article suddenly mentions two other men, were they in the truck? Freaking reporters suck.

    And most of all, why was the bad guy still walking around in the US?

    n


  14. A friend told me a story about himself, don’t know if it was true, but it was funny. He asked a lady if she would sleep with him for $1 million dollars. She said of course. He then said how about $2.00. She replied “I am not a prostitute”. To which the friend replied, “Yes, you are. Now we are just negotiating price”. I think it was true because he had a black eye for several days.

    That’s also been attributed to Winston Churchill.

     

  15. The article suddenly mentions two other men, were they in the truck? Freaking reporters suck.

    If I had to guess, the Mail reporters work out of an office park in Florida and just pull details/pictures from wire feeds.

    It is all about schadenfreude for the readers back home. Still cold in Britain according to my co-worker based in London.

  16. Learned to type in 8th grade on an Underwood 5.

    At my first corporate job–pre-wordprocessing–there was an elderly secretary named Lucy who typed most of my reports on a Selectric II. Blazing fast. I had a Symbol typeball and she would swap it in and out to do the degree sign and other special characters.

    When HP introduced the 7470A pen plotter in 1981 it was a game changer, putting affordable plotting on the desktop at a price point that was less than half the previous generation. I used a plotting package called Telegraph running on an IBM PC and the plotter was connected via HP-IB bus.

    The biggest problem was it was fairly slow. There were only two pens, so you had to do a manual swap for multi-color graphics. Not a problem for one chart, but I found myself on a Friday with a Monday meeting were I needed 20 copies of the report plus overhead transparencies. Darned if I was going to settle for B&W.

    I went to the office Sunday with a plan. I separated the black part of the image and plotted that separately, then ran copies on a high-end photocopier. The image was not exactly 100% to size and the size adjustment was in 1% increments, but I was able to adjust very closely using a two-step process, smaller first, then bigger. I made about 40 copies from a new ream of paper out of a new box so the humidity was uniform. Then I took the black image copies and added the color part of the graphics with the pen plotter. Two different processes in two different machines, and the registry was visibly off in some copies, so I sorted out the best and collated them with the typed portion. Probably didn’t save much time, but once the process was figured out it was a lot faster the next time.

    From inception until about 2000, HP made extremely reliable, well-built, repairable equipment. The pen plotters were relatively inexpensive on the Gillette razor model–the pen “blades” were about 1.5 inches long, seemed to have about two drops of ink, and were expensive. My favorite technical pens at the time were made by Pilot, and I would buy one each black, blue, and red and they would last for months. If I had just made the leap I probably could have gone into business on the side:

    https://www.instructables.com/Drawing-Pen-To-Plotter-Pen-Make-a-2-adapter-and-ne/

  17. old joke:

    Man walks into a swanky party and his eyes immediately lock with a beautiful young woman across the room. They walk toward each other through the crowd, meet in the middle of the room, and the woman wraps her arms around him and whispers in his ear: “For $500 I’ll do anything your want.”

    “Really!” the man says, pulling out his wallet and handing her the money. “Paint my house!”

  18. Brad wrote:

    “We’re going to have to figure out what to do with the elder cat. If she’s alone, she howls.”

    We went through this a few years ago with our 18 year old cat. It was horrific; he was in pain and really suffering. Took him to the vet, who looked at us askance, as if to say “you know what you have to do.” We loved this cat very much, but let him suffer too long because we didn’t want to let him go. Please, this is from personal experience: Let her go and ask the vet to help you with it. It will be painful for you but it is the right thing to do.

  19. From inception until about 2000, HP made extremely reliable, well-built, repairable equipment.

    The beginning of the Carly Fiorina era at HP. She ran the company into the ground and destroyed Compaq/DEC in the process.

    Fiorina came from Lucent, during a time when no one questioned how that place made money.

  20. I had fun with a surplus HP pen plotter in my kitchen in about 1992. I’d first used one in a computer class in college, circa ’85? I probably still have some of the stubby little pens in their foil bags somewhere…

    WRT doing manual assembly of stuff to get more than you could get otherwise, I had a class specifically in producing good looking renderings* quickly. It had a lot of ‘cheats’ that used what the art world calls ‘mixed media’ to get results you couldn’t get from any one process.

    The same professor taught me how to shoot stage lighting pictures on slide film and with custom processing, and some other drawing techniques that got me a full ride scholarship to grad school. Really great teacher, widely considered an @sshole by proto-snowflakes. Gave me more good training and advice than any 10 other teachers.

    I used to “print” the slides to 8×10 using a color copy machine and a slide adapter. The result looked AWESOME and was cheap at $3 per print. I still have some pix from that time in frames and they look just as good today as back then.

    n

    *rendering in this context is a term of art for a graphic image that shows what something should look like, and in this case, a stage set.

  21. @Nick

    That’s the kind of class I would have enjoyed as an “elective”.

    @Greg

    Carly Fiorina. ugh.

  22. @Greg: Thanks for the suggestions. We do have her on thyroid medication, for exactly the reason you mention. But maybe her medication needs adjusted, or something else has gone wrong. At the moment, though, I’m betting she’s just fed up with the restrictions from healing her broken leg. The splint has been off for a while, and she’s walking on it (with a huge limp). But between the continuing cold weather, and the limp (which would prevent her running very fast), we just don’t dare let her run free outside.

    I’m hoping we will finally get a real Spring after this next cold snap. It’s late in the year to still be getting hard frosts.

    @Nick: The warming pad is an excellent idea – that might make the garage tolerable. We have one…somewhere…

    @Larry: Seriously good advice. She “officially” belongs to elder son, so we’ll have to rope him in. He should be coming down in two weeks or so – that might be the time for the next vet appointment…

    AWS

    I assume y’all have read about the guy who wanted to blow up the Internet, so he was going to target some AWS building. From the coverage here, it sounds like another FBI classic: find a guy who’s mentally challenged, and plant some crazy ideas in his head. Do all the hard work for him – in this case, providing “explosive” devices. Then arrest him, and get lots of kudos for preventing a terrorist attack. Maybe the FBI agents were bored…

     

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  23. ” used what the art world calls ‘mixed media’ to get results you couldn’t get from any one process”

    –to quote myself… this still applies even now that we have effective,capable and easy to use computer tools. As a Sketchup user, I get their monthly ‘featured’ newsletter and there was an architect featured who prints his drawings and then adds color and lines by hand. It’s faster for him to do that than learn the tools (if they’re even available) in the software.

    I used to find that a lot when I was still working and doing drawing review and design work. I could get 80% of the way quickly with software, but then it was easier and faster to finish with sketching on top of an image. I did usually sketch electronically, because I was in the field and didn’t have my physical media with me. There are things I can still do faster with paint or marker than in software.

    n

  24. Oh, I forgot to complete my thought. Way back in the late 80s when I was still in school, for my lab science class, I used all the cheats and techniques together in my lab notebook. I would use the pc to graph my data, print it, alter the size with a copy machine, then add it to my handwritten lab notebook with embellishments. The TAs had never seen such good looking notebooks (their words) and it was just second nature for me at that point, and very fast. Easy A+.

    n

  25. @Greg: Thanks for the suggestions. We do have her on thyroid medication, for exactly the reason you mention. But maybe her medication needs adjusted, or something else has gone wrong.

    Our vet had us in every few months for bloodwork for a while. Now I think we’re down to every six months.

    I’ll never do the radiation ablation of the thyroid again. That is misery for the animal so the humans can avoid popping a pill in the cat’s mouth twice a day. Our cat has never looked healthier now that the pills are adjusted to the right dosage. The only lingering behavior issue is defecating on the living room rug if the litter isn’t 100% clean.

  26. “The only lingering behavior issue is defecating on the living room rug if the litter isn’t 100% clean. ”

    Make sure your slippers are locked up.

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  27. Carly Fiorina. ugh.

    In Vantucky, we lived right across the street from the HP campus where the desktop inkjet printer was invented and manufactured until the late 90s. By the time we moved to town, the campus had shrunk to 1/4 of its original workforce and was eventually sold to SEH America who only saw the facility as valuable for the industrial water rights tied to the property– a big deal in WA State.

    When we left Vantucky, the buildings were being used as a temporary school.

  28. Arrived about 30 minutes ago. Spirits are good for everyone. Thanks for all the well wishes, much appreciated.

    Stopped at Buc-ees in Temple for gas and the huge cup of Dr. Pepper for $0.69 + tax. Place was busy as usual. Next stop was San Marcos for a Whataburger. Skipped the Dr. Pepper shake.

    Shooting for a Wednesday at 1:00 graveside service, no funeral. Son will fly in, other grandsons will drive in from Houston and Roundrock. Fortunately we can stay in the MIL’s apartment at the senior facility.

    I am zonked from driving. I did stop at a place off the interstate and took a 30 minute nap. Was awoke by some local police asking if I was OK and if I had been drinking. Annoying but is good they check. I could not find a rest area that was open and I was reaching my limit. It was time to stop.

    Amazing the amount of traffic from North of Austin to past San Marcos. On a Sunday. Lot of construction south of Austin. That bridge over the river is a real choke point.


  29. At the office, I still use my 1992 Northgate Gold 102 with the 12 function keys on the left side for left handed debugging. I love it as the ultimate clacker.

    Recently cleaning up one of the computer spare parts bins I have in my shed and recall tossing a few PS/2 to USB adapters into the trash.

  30. Amazing the amount of traffic from North of Austin to past San Marcos. On a Sunday. Lot of construction south of Austin. That bridge over the river is a real choke point.

    IKEA in Round Rock to just north of the Cabela’s in Buda is misery generally, but this is a big shopping week at the factory outlet malls around Austin for upper middle class Mexican families. Plus the bars on 6th Street (just north of the bridge) have been reopened to full capacity.

    A toll road runs out east from Georgetown to Buda to bypass the mess, but you’ll pay … $12 IIRC? … a lot of money.

    San Marcos was supposedly the fallback plan for the Raiders if they couldn’t get the stadium deal done in Las Vegas. Can you imagine an NFL game day’s worth of traffic through there?

    The NFL is still eyeing San Marcos for a third Texas team in expansion. The market and the tax incentives are too lucrative to ignore.

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  31. All the comments about mixed media remind me of my experiences. I have always felt comfortable with a pencil for sketching, and can still do it if necessary. I have related here before that my dad was a special kind of draftsman, and taught me some of his skills. But. I was also an early devotee of the paperless office. Yeah, how’s that working out?!

    Anyhow, I remember that in certain fields, paper renderings have been out of use for decades. The biggest example that comes to mind is the Boeing 777, which was said to be the first airliner built with no 2D renderings on paper, i.e. drawings. All of the CAD was done in 3D, and the datasets were then iteratively massaged in modeling and analysis software to do stress, weight, CG, and the dozens of other things necessary to turn a concept into a design. When the design was done, the data was fed to the factory floor, where CAM produced the pieces. Was it perfect? Of course not, but the gains that have been made over pencil, paper, and calculators are monumental. Not only that, but going forward, evolved designs already have the advantage of a good start.

    There’s more, but I am being distracted with other stuff, and have to go.

  32. This talk about mixed media is making me lose respect for many of you. As we all know from Marshall McLuhan, the medium is the message, so you’re really talking about mixed messages, and that’s a chick thing. Fine examples of men you are…

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  33. The NFL is still eyeing San Marcos for a third Texas team in expansion. The market and the tax incentives are too lucrative to ignore.

    Jerry Jones is adamantly opposed to another team in Texas. SA and Austin are big Cowboy fan areas. The Texans ownership is probably opposed, for similar reasons. St. Louis is a possible location, though.

     

  34. “Burning cities for fun and profit”
    https://gunfreezone.net/burning-cities-for-fun-and-profit/

    “As protests broke out across the country in the name of Black Lives Matter, the group’s co-founder went on a real estate-buying binge, snagging four high-end homes for $3.2 million in the US alone, according to property records.”

    Unreal. And typical.

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  35. From an email by Arther @ http://www.disasterpreparer.com (no blog)

    “A Time to be Watchful

    A big part of being prepared is staying aware of what’s going on around you. When I was an infantry paratrooper, they taught us the mantra Stay Alert = Stay Alive. It’s served me well throughout my life, and it’s something that I taught my kids from a very young age.

    When I look at the world today, I see three growing threats:

    North Korea

    North Korea is in such dire straits that it’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, openly declared that they face unprecedented challenges. North Korea has shut its borders due to Covid-19, leaving trade greatly reduced. All this is leading to terrible food shortages and broad economic instability. During times of crises, leaders often try to take their citizens’ attention off the suffering by introducing an existential threat (aka “wagging the dog”). In this case, that “threat” would be the United States. Don’t be surprised if Kim Jong-un takes a more confrontational stance with the US, perhaps with some covert attack on an institution, vessel, or other entity in an attempt to ratchet up the tension. The country’s recent launch of two ballistic missiles were likely designed serve as a reminder that the US’s response to any such action would need to be tempered.

    Russia

    Russia has recently begun sounding the potential drums of war regarding their desire to regain control of Ukraine. There are many reasons for such a move, including control of natural gas pipelines, a strong shared history, and visions of rebuilding something akin to the old Soviet Empire. Add to that the fact that Vladimir Putin is facing public discontent, a stagnant economy, and the stresses of the Covid-19 pandemic, and you have conditions ripe for a military diversion. Signs of war are growing with the recent deaths of Ukrainian soldiers and a growing Russian military buildup near the border. The U.S. European Command recently raised its alert level to “potential imminent crisis,” a clear sign that this situation could quickly deteriorate.

    China

    China is a growing superpower, and their previous strategy of playing a long game seems to be giving way to more immediate strategic actions. The suppression of Hong Kong’s democracy is a good example. Whether it’s to redirect international attention or simply to continue its expansionary policy, China has now begun ratcheting up the military rhetoric with Taiwan. Keep in mind that the US signed the Taiwan Relations Act in which we agreed to “make available such defense articles and services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capabilities.” While the act doesn’t explicitly promise that the US would defend Taiwan, numerous presidents have made statements that could be interpreted that way.

    I originally had Iran on this list as well, but recent events seem to suggest that they are currently more interested in establishing relations with the US (for a price, of course) than they are of going to war. That could reverse at any time, however, so there’s little to celebrate just yet.

    With three growing threats, it’s almost a certainty that one or more will ultimately come to pass. I believe that President Biden, whether right or wrong, will take any of the actions discussed above (i.e., N.K. aggression, Russian invasion of Ukraine, or China attack on Taiwan) as requiring US military action. While such action might start out small, such things often get out of control.

    I don’t think that China or Russia would risk an overt military attack on the US, as it would likely result in a global nuclear war. North Korea, however, might well initiate such an attack if Kim Jong-un felt that his rule was about to end. Violent dictators do unpredictable things when they think they’re about to lose power.

    More likely, however, these countries will choose to attack our infrastructures and interests. An EMP attack would be particularly effective, since it could cripple our economy and cause widespread hardship without “looking like” a military attack. Likely, it would be initiated in such a way that it couldn’t be traced back to the originating country, probably a nuclear weapon and missile “accidentally finding their way” into the hands of a terrorist organization.

    My point in all this is that conditions are growing for various attacks against the US, whether they be cyber attacks, military confrontations, or even an EMP attack. If you haven’t already taken steps to prepare your family for hardships that might result from such confrontation, I encourage you to put together a well thought out preparedness plan. More than anything, I suggest that you to keep an eye on international events, especially on these three fronts. Each has their own unique motivations and threats, but all could affect life in the United States.

    Stay safe,

    Arthur Bradley
    Member, Disasterpreparer LLC


  36. An EMP attack would be particularly effective, since it could cripple our economy and cause widespread hardship without “looking like” a military attack.

    No, we’d know who did it. No way to disguise that. And the result would be nuclear retaliation.

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  37. And the result would be nuclear retaliation.

    With sane, patriotic, American leadership it would be.

  38. And I thank God I live in Texas.

    My friends and I were talking about that after church and Bible class this morning. We cannot believe how free and open Texas is versus the crazy going on in Michigan and other places.

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  39. It has been stated that we could harden our grid for $2B. Imagine that. Even if it would cost ten times that amount, it would be worth it. And yet, the Obummer administration officially disbanded whatever the EMP commission was called. Trump apparently didn’t reinstate it, but apparently did some stuff toward the cause. Don’t have time to look that up.

    I have some experience with hardening smaller things such as aircraft and weapons against EMP, and it was pretty easy, once we knew how to do it (isn’t that always true?) I know just enough about long distance electrical transmission to appreciate how hard it would be to harden it, but apparently some people know a lot more, and say it could be done. Get on with it!

    I don’t have much faith in electric companies that can’t even bother to clear trees from their rights of way, and instead do shutdowns when it gets windy. We are reaping the wind. 🙁

  40. Asteroid coming – about 12K miles from Earth surface:

    Small asteroid 2021 GW4 will pass extremely close to Earth on Monday, April 12, 2021. It’ll pass just 12,313 miles (19,816 km) from Earth’s surface, or about 5% the Earth-moon distance. Amateur astronomers using telescopes can see it passing the galaxy Messier 95 on the night of Sunday, April 11.

    It’ll come extremely close, far closer than geostationary satellites orbiting some 22,000 miles (35,786 km) above Earth. The small asteroid has been designated as 2021 GW4. It is estimated to be about 16 feet (5 meters) in diameter. It’s a small space rock, and there’s no risk of impact, astronomers say. NASA/JPL calculations indicate asteroid 2021 GW4 will pass at just 12,313 miles (19,816 km) from Earth’s surface, which is about 5% the Earth-moon distance.

    https://earthsky.org/space/asteroid-2021-gw4-closest-april-12-2021

  41. Oh man, that thing has adjustable shelves….. The spacing on the welded ones is always wrong for me. Why can’t they make one spaced for spray cans?

    I cut them apart and screw them to the wall with enough separation to hold what I need.

    n

  42. “Just when you thought your emergency egg nest was safe.”
    https://gunfreezone.net/just-when-you-thought-your-emergency-egg-nest-was-safe/

    “You were smart. You had saved cash, precious metals and important documents in a deposit box in a private company not affiliated with any bank or institution. The place is brimming with security and only you can access your box. Nobody can mess with your safety nest.”

    It used to be only the Mafia did this. Now the FBI does it too. Tell me again what the difference is between the two of them again ?

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  43. Jerry Jones is adamantly opposed to another team in Texas. SA and Austin are big Cowboy fan areas. The Texans ownership is probably opposed, for similar reasons. St. Louis is a possible location, though.

    San Marcos would not be about Texas/Austin/San Antonio as much as Northeast Mexico.

    Any town desiring an expansion team at this point would have to prove that they were ready to build a new $1 billion stadium.

  44. There is none. “Prove to us this property was lawfully obtained, or we keep it.”

    n

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  45. My friends and I were talking about that after church and Bible class this morning. We cannot believe how free and open Texas is versus the crazy going on in Michigan and other places.

    Try Austin/Travis County.

    When I stopped in a Harbor Freight today to get a cheap dial caliper, I got yelled at by another customer for not following the proper register line procedure. I guess I wasn’t on the right sign taped to the floor so he felt he was first.

    When the cashier just shrugged and rang up the other guy instead, I left my item on the nearest shelf and waived as I left.

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  46. It used to be only the Mafia did this. Now the FBI does it too. Tell me again what the difference is between the two of them again ?

    I thought that story came up here last week or the week before. If you get into the details, that place was flat-out weird and pricey.

    Even if you are at a “real” banking instution, safe deposit box contents are considered abandoned property regardless of whether you are current on your rental payments.

    The only items we keep in our box at the credit union are important papers. We also keep the passports there which is possibly a no-no, but my passport card is in my dresser at home.

  47. After the Harbor Freight debacle, I stopped at Home Depot to look at dryers and then made a Sam’s run.

    One gallon bottles of Member’s Mark water were back in stock but had limited supply — first time since the February storm.

    Coke products continue to be scarce at that store.

    All paper products were good, including Charmin blue.


  48. One gallon bottles of Member’s Mark

    Lol, I read that as “one gallon bottles of Makers Mark” and thought, “Gee, I gotta get me some of that!”

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  49. They are different:
    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/04/rocket-report-spacex-abandons-catching-fairings-ula-bets-on-upper-stages/

    SpaceX is building its own Starship ground equipment. Based upon photographs and videos taken in Boca Chica, Texas, SpaceX has begun to construct large ground-support equipment storage tanks for its Starship launch site. What’s notable about these tanks is that they’re made with similar processes and materials to the barrels that make up Starship vehicles.

    The benefits of cheap steel … The significance of these tanks, Teslarati reports, is that they’re another step toward bringing down the cost of launch. To build the kind of propellant farm SpaceX would need to support Mars missions, SpaceX would probably need to buy a few dozen new storage tanks at a few million dollars apiece. Instead, “SpaceX is effectively taking identical rocket parts, slightly tweaking a handful of those parts, and turning what could have been a rocket into a propellant storage tank.” (submitted by Ken the Bin)

  50. “Visualizing The Plunging Purchasing Power Of The US Dollar”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/visualizing-plunging-purchasing-power-us-dollar

    “For example, one U.S. dollar could buy 10 bottles of beer in 1933. Today, as Visual Capitalist’s Govind Bhutanda notes, it’s the cost of a small McDonald’s coffee.”

    “In other words, the purchasing power of the dollar – its value in terms of what it can buy – has decreased over time as price levels have risen.”

    Gonna go down further soon.

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  51. “Lol, I read that as “one gallon bottles of Makers Mark””

    —me too!

    Still organizing stuff that goes back into my work truck, when I get one. condensing preps into 2 bins, with truck stuff in a third. I hope anyway, not done yet.

    In the mean time, I went looking for a gasket for my 12 cup moka pot. Daughter broke the carafe on my 4 cup coffee maker, and the replacement is $30 on ebay. You need the specific pot because it activates an on off valve. I got out a big moka pot but the gasket was rotten. Rather than get out another one of my backup methods, I fixed the Krupps coffee maker by using a paperclip to hold the valve open, and now it just drips into my mug, but I want to fix the moka pot too.

    It’s a vintage italian brand so I had to measure, look at a dozen listings, and hope that the one I ordered will fit. It was $7/three, so a decent gamble. Amazing what’s available only a couple of clicks away, including pictures and measurements.

    n


  52. When I stopped in a Harbor Freight today to get a cheap dial caliper, I got yelled at by another customer for not following the proper register line procedure. I guess I wasn’t on the right sign taped to the floor so he felt he was first.

    When the cashier just shrugged and rang up the other guy instead, I left my item on the nearest shelf and waived as I left.

    @Greg; not sure how “cheap” you’re looking for but I’ve been happy with these:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017KUC6XQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1&tag=ttgnet-20

    Prime delivery tomorrow (for me).

  53. One of the projects on the floor of my office was a mini pool vac that worked for 15 seconds then never worked again. In the interest of moving it from the ??fix it??? pile to the “done” or “later” or “never” piles, I finally cut open the battery pack. Broken solder tab, and corrosion, and possibly a component that no longer holds in smoke.

    Because they are Li-ion cells, and you can’t just “charge” them, you need battery management circuitry so they don’t catch on fire….

    Looking on line for replacement cells and they are $15-30 EACH CELL. I need two for this pack. They are 22650 li-ion cells and there is $13 shipping on top of the cost.

    At that price, buying a dewalt tool pack and gutting it would be cheaper and leave me with extra cells.

    I have several ‘stick’ vacuums (electric brooms?) that are all problematic, so I think I might just go thru their packs and harvest any good cells. $15/ea, I’ll be buying every broken vac in the goodwill store! If I get one good cell, I’ll be ahead.

    n

  54. @Greg; not sure how “cheap” you’re looking for but I’ve been happy with these

    I wanted a dial/analog. It was actually going to be a gift for a friend’s son majoring in MechE who is putting together a shop at home.

    I normally avoid Harbor Freight, but I picked up a dial caliper from them in a pinch for a project a few years ago, and it works well. If the caliper gets lost or (more likely at school) stolen, it isn’t a big deal.

    The closest store was Austin weird even though it was outside the city and Travis County limits. The last time I went in one of their stores was the Temple location.

    Our next move won’t be to another tech hub.

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  55. The safe deposit place was clearly aimed at people who valued privacy, and perhaps were engaged in illegal activity. PROVE IT first, then get a court order to seize the property. Anything else is tyranny.

    n

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  56. My Northgate has an AT keyboard connector.

    Yup, and I have a few of those AT to PS/2 adapters, both with 4″ cords and a solid barrel. The solid ones won’t fit in some places.

    I’ll go you one further. I then adapt the PS/2 to USB when needed. Works fine! I have read that sometimes external power is needed for this lashup, but not so far for me. I have never seen an adapter that supports external power. I do have a situation where I use a two computer hardware only (no drivers needed) KVM switch, and the keyboard sometimes becomes unresponsive when switching. Only occasionally, which is puzzling. I just unplug-replug the USB connector from the keyboard to the KVM switch. I don’t use the video part of the KVM, because it is VGA only. My monitor has two inputs, and auto switches, or can be manually switched if both computers are sending video. Actually works pretty well.

    Reminds me of the old saying, “adapters to adapt the adapters to the adapters.” Connections, electronic and plumbing, are fun. Not so much.

  57. An EMP attack would be particularly effective, since it could cripple our economy and cause widespread hardship without “looking like” a military attack.

    No, we’d know who did it. No way to disguise that. And the result would be nuclear retaliation.

    How do you identify a ballistic nuclear missile launched from a freighter in the Gulf of Mexico into LEO ?

  58. Nick, could you use the more common 18650? I looked up that 22650, and it seems to be an oddball. I don’t have much experience with embedded cells. Also, the 22650s I found are all less than 3000 mAh, which is easily done by 18650s. You could even use protected cells, unless the current needed is a lot; don’t have specs handy. That would take care of the charging concern. Just some thoughts.

  59. I finished what mowing I’m going to do until after a bit of rain. The paths are mowed and about twentyfive feet out from the house. Today the dust was crazy. Tomorrow I’ll prep the riding mower.

    The cats are having kittens. One litter is on the stack of chairs outside the front door. On a carpet scrap. She’s cool with the kittens being petted. Her mother has hidden her share of the litter. Yep, they had kittens together. Another cat has decided one of the potted ti plants is the place to have a couple of kittens. I’m not a fan of her choice.

    The other cats? I don’t know. They hang out around the feed shed but will come eat at the house. I saw one of the calicos today. The other and their mother are somewhere. Someone is eating the cat chow…

    A bit of rain to knock down the pollen will be good.

  60. The safe deposit place was clearly aimed at people who valued privacy, and perhaps were engaged in illegal activity. PROVE IT first, then get a court order to seize the property. Anything else is tyranny.

    A court order isn’t necessary for a host entity to drill into a safe deposit box and seize the contents in the US. Some states have stricter laws than others covering the obligations of the institution with regard to the contents of the box in the event of non-payment of rent for a certain length of time, but California pretty much neutered theirs since abandoned property became a lucrative source of revenue for the state.

    The particular institution in that story was selling an illusion. LA. Beverly Hills. Gringott’s doesn’t really exist.

    Wait until gold confiscation gets rolling again. Most banks drilled their boxes when the first order came down in the 30s, and the reversal of the confiscation EO was … another EO signed by President Ford.

    My gold coins go fishing. So shiny in the sun. Drat, they keep falling in the water. I’m not as smart as those people in Beverly Hills.

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  61. It was .gov that seized the contents, not the provider.

    n

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  62. I bought a couple of knock-off Black & Decker 18 volt batteries from eBay.  Ni-MH 3600mAh.  Supposedly.

    They don’t seem to last very long in the leaf blower.  Less than the old 3.0 battery.  It seems if the old battery lets me blow leaves and oak peckers off of the deck twice, the new batteries should run a bit longer than once and then a low voltage half again.    But maybe I’m a dummy.  Maybe they need to be cycled a few times.  ?

    Anyway.  The charger seems to have decided one of the new batteries is defective.  A bit of Google gave a possible answer.  DDG just wandered around for me.  So, open the pack…. lots of mumbo-jumbo about volt meters and chopping the end off of a laptop computer power supply…. and you “pulse” the battery.  About 10 seconds at a time.  For a few minutes.   But directly to the battery bank terminals so you bypass the battery pack’s circuit board.   To get the voltage high enough for the charger to duh, charge.  I’ll try my motorcycle 1 amp charger.  And wear my glasses, too.  Or maybe just s#!t can it and buy another.

    edit:
    “2-Pack HPB18 18V Battery for Black&Decker HPB18-OPE2” for $30.69, yeah, perhaps the quality ain’t exactly “there”. 🙂

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  63. In my experience knock off battery packs are garbage. They either never provide the run times, or they fail completely quickly.

    There are a lot of B stock batteries and mislabeled cells out there.

    n

  64. Now Jeff wants to siphon off some business from Kickstarter

    Gotta keep the Lab126 guys busy/happy lest they regret leaving Apple.

    Amazon is probably going to try again with a phone or maybe an iPod Touch-type device and this is cover without admitting they made a mistake with the price tag on the first attempt.

    I didn’t hate the Fire Phone, but, granted, I picked one up for $50 during their … fire sale!

    The Amazon Phone actually had first rate photo management capability, much better than Apple even now IMHO. Of course, there was the tradeoff of the loss of privacy and Jeff knowing the details of your trips.

  65. On my flight to Vegas (Southwest). Must wear a mask at all times except to take a bite/ drink. Bandanas, neckerchiefs and masks with vents/valves NOT ALLOWED!

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  66. Looks like someone trolled antifa

    ‘Anti-fascist’ protestors in California, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania rally against ‘White Lives Matter’ marches that never materialized despite KKK’s advertisements

    More than 100 ‘anti-fascist’ protesters descended on Huntington Beach in California on Sunday to demonstrate against the ‘White Lives Matter’ rally there that never happened – just a week after residents received KKK propaganda at their homes advertising a planned march.

    n

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  67. In my experience knock off battery packs are garbage.

    Point taken. But for the price of Original battery packs, yeah, I’m going cheap and crossing my fingers.

    I have a B&D drill. It’s nice, not as strong as Old Faithful Craftsman that I bought way back in 1978, but I don’t have to run an extension cord. When I wanted a battery powered leaf blower… ok, “electric broom”, I found a B&D that used the same battery packs.

    I have an old electric leaf blower. It rocks. Dragging out a power cord is a pain in the you know where just to blow oak peckers off of the deck.

    Hey, time for StarTrek!!! M5.

  68. B&D has a poor track record with batteries. But B&D owns Dewalt, which has good batteries. Go figure.

    About the same time B&D started bringing professional-grade cordless tools to the market in the early 1990’s, they bought the German manufacturer Elu. That may be the source of Dewalts battery tech, but it sure hasn’t made it to the B&D branded tools.


  69. Now Jeff wants to siphon off some business from Kickstarter:

    I think it’s brilliant. He’s now got a gauge on demand! All he need do now is incentivise the ideas and combine the two.

    The Kindle was a sideways leap of thinking (we already had CDs with _The Greatest Works_) and equally brilliant.

    So let’s let him toss up an X-prize, throw it to the market rewarding the winners in the process, and we all benefit.

    Who knows, courtesy of Amazon you might one day be sitting there and say, “Alexa (Mr Whipple?), please wipe my….”

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  70. That reminds me… Issac Asimov once wrote a short story based on the premise that goods were delivered directly to the consumer, no “shopping” required.

    That’s about all I can remember. Ring any bells?


  71. B&D has a poor track record with batteries. But B&D owns Dewalt, which has good batteries. Go figure.

    Let’s see: B&D cheap, Dewalt top dollars. Hmmm, maybe the good batteries will never make it to B&D.


  72. California pretty much neutered theirs since abandoned property became a lucrative source of revenue for the state.

    Texas must have decided that it is lucrative for them, too. Last year or year before, I got an email “reminding” me to file a mantatory Unclaimed Property Report that I had never heard of. I called and explained that I just have a dinky Etsy shop selling vintage and  a bit of hand-cast jewelry (sometimes, when I get around to making it). Since Etsy handles the payments, I never ever have any “unclaimed” anything. They said it doesn’t matter: anyone with a Texas Sales Tax ID has to file this report every year. I have to file a null report. Online only – unlike the Sales Tax folks, they never mail anything, and there’s no option for me to file a paper form. 🙁

     

     

     

     

  73. @Pecancorner,

    I just picked up an air graver. I bought it to resell but I would love to try it out and do some engraving. I already sold the power hone and the diamond disks for sharpening the gravers though. One of the auctions last week was all the old stuff from a jewelry studio- investment casting, furnace, cnc wax carving machine, ring blanks, and the graver and power hone, along with boxes of other stuff. The actual gravers went to someone else though, I might have one still in the machine.

    So much cool stuff. I love watching youtube guys running the graver or even doing it by hand. Talk about calming…

    n

  74. In a post a few days back, someone wondered if Fauci was still wearing a mask because he was not vaccinated. I didn’t circle back at the time, but this was in an article this week:

    “In a much-photographed moment (see above), he [Fauci] got his first Moderna shot on December 22. In the months that followed, others in his age bracket followed suit.”

    https://www.businessinsider.com/fauci-how-behavior-activities-changed-after-covid-19-vaccination-2021-4

    which was linked in this article:

    “Dr. Anthony Fauci is fully vaccinated. Fauci still wears masks for some reason. And Fauci is still telling people fantastic science fiction tales about the COVID vaccine. The COVID panic train has derailed. We have three vaccines. Over 100 million Americans have received at least one dose. Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins says that based on the data, specifically the infection mortality rate, he estimates that two-thirds of the country has already had the infection. Natural immunity is something the experts do not talk about because herd immunity means the end to them telling us what to do. That was never the case. These lab coat fascists never could tell us what to do.

    The entire circus act has been revealed many times over. it’s time to shut down production. The vaccination rates, plus those with natural immunity means were probably near herd immunity. The United Kingdom is projected to clinch that benchmark on Monday. Oh, and an unpublished study by Israel’s ministry of health shows that just one dose of the Pfizer vaccine renders the subject virtually “bulletproof” from infection after four weeks. In the US, you get two shots separated by 21 days. Get the vaccine and you’re going to be fine, but it’s a personal choice.”

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2021/04/11/now-its-time-to-stop-listening-to-faucieven-liberals-are-calling-him-out-n2587728

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  75. Four hours on a plane in a mask. Ugh. And Nevada still has a State mask mandate so wear a mask everywhere.

    Faux-ci and plugs are both fully vaxxed and wear two masks. Social distance, too. Plugs walks into walls from lack of O2. Plugs EO’d all federal properties have a mask mandate.

    It’s been a year. At least in TX I can walk to my cluster mail box with no mask and not be attacked by Karens. HEB still has a mask mandate, but every store I go to I wear my face shield now with no complaints. At least I can breathe.

  76. Paperless office? Maybe it’s what you grow up with, but some things seem to work better on paper. As an example: proofreading. If I really want to find and eliminate all the last errors in a document, I have a lot better chance of finding them on paper. On the screen, somehow it’s more difficult to spot them.

    Also notes: I am always scribbling myself little notes. This works better on scraps of paper than it does on the screen. Of course, I also have notes on the screen, but there, they become “just another window” and tend to get lost under all the other windows. The sticky note next to my keyboard, listing the stuff I need to get done this morning? That’s always in sight, yet out of the way.

    A Time to be Watchful

    @Lynn: I agree with a lot of what he says, but not with his conclusion. North Korea is irrelevant, but Russia and China are working to expand their influence, no question. However, there is not any sort of military threat against the US.

    – Russia is going to re-take the Ukraine – probably true. I expect they would prefer for it to be peaceful, but we’ve already seen them use their military to help annex Crimea. They will eventually try for the rest. I don’t see why this needs to involve the US or the EU.

    – China is busy working in Asia and Africa. The biggest danger will come when China finally moves in on Taiwan. They will try to annex it peacefully, backed by lots of military intimidation. Given that defending Taiwan would be extraordinarily difficult, and the US has no military alliance with them, I expect it will go much like Hong Kong: lots of hand-wringing, but no fighting.

    In the worst case, if (when) the US decides to get involved, it will be military action happening abroad. The usual superpower adventures in other people’s back yards. Sucks to be the other people.

    One of Jerry Pournelle’s favorite subjects was “The Year Without A Summer”.

    Yeah, global warming at its best. How long will it take for people to realize that we are mostly experiencing normal climate variations, plus the continuing warming as the planet transitions out of an ice age? When they do, I’m sure all the doomsayers will humbly admit that they were wrong, and compensate everyone for all the money flushed down the collective toilet. /s

    I always have to qualify statements like that by pointing out that we shouldn’t be conducting uncontrolled experiments on the only planet we have. Dumping lots of CO2 into the atmosphere is not the very cleverest thing we could be doing, but the doomsayers always take things to eleventy!

  77. – Russia is going to re-take the Ukraine – probably true. I expect they would prefer for it to be peaceful, but we’ve already seen them use their military to help annex Crimea. They will eventually try for the rest. I don’t see why this needs to involve the US or the EU.

    The neocons have been obsessed with taking the Crimea away from Russia ever since the 2014 referendum. Obama was done at that point and unable to respond, just like with the Syrian civil war when things got sporty in the election year where Obamacare was at stake.

    Not that Mittens was going to truly repeal.

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