Mon. April 12, 2021 – a whole new week, a new beginning … [music plays]

Cool, damp, and breezy. Or warm, dry and breezy. We had both yesterday at different times, but it was generally a beautiful day. Not too many more of those before summer starts to kick our butts.

And then it will be hurricane season, which is predicted to be heavy. I bet they’d be a lot more cautious in their predictions if they were publicly flogged when they were wrong. Just sayin’.

I did get a bunch of small tasks done yesterday so it wasn’t totally unproductive. It wasn’t as much work as I thought I might get done though. I’m still having periods where I just don’t feel good. No idea why, but it’s frustrating. Call them hot flashes. Don’t really feel like exerting myself during them. If it doesn’t clear up in a week, I’ll make an appointment, but it’s not really like anything I’ve experienced before.

Today I’ll be doing more cleanup. I’ve started making visible progress and that helps motivate me, and convince my wife stuff is happening. Twofer!

Maybe I’ll get enough done to spend a few minutes on another project, getting some air guns ready for my girls. I’ve got a bunch of old pump .177 BB and pellet guns, and they need cleaning and paint or they need to be sent back to the auction. I need to move them from where they’re stacked anyway, so maybe… Sometimes having a bunch of little tasks I can peck away at makes sense, and sometimes it would be nice to focus on one thing for 8 hours. I worry sometimes that I’ve lost the ability to do that, and I used to be good at it. It’s been a while since I just cranked away at the same thing all day.

There are some things that need to be done in the garage too. I have gotten rid of some stuff to make more room for other stuff… and that needs to continue. Before it gets too hot, I need to get my A/C unit outlet wired, and the exhaust fan. I had the roofers install the fan, but haven’t had a chance to run the circuit and hook it up. Most nights are cool, but the garage holds the day’s heat, so it will help keep the temp down if I can just exhaust the hot air and draw in some cool air at the end of the day. Once all that’s done, THEN I can move some of the food shelves to the garage. There is always something to do before I can do the other thing…

So I should get the kids off to school and quit playing around on the intarwebs and get busy…

(and get busy stacking)

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

80 thoughts on “Mon. April 12, 2021 – a whole new week, a new beginning … [music plays]”

  1. 59F with 93%RH at 630.

    Openweathermap has us with broken clouds today, then a week of light rain. FEMA has us clear today with rain/tstorms for at least the next two days. I guess if I have auction stuff to drop off, I should try to do it today.

    n

  2. 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!

    When we flew to Tampa a few weeks ago, leaving Austin, the normal Southwest boarding procedure was out the window, and the call was just groups of 50. Grrr.

    The boarding process for the return flight out of Tampa was more traditional Southwest … A … B … C.

    Florida is less locked down than Texas in general. The return flight even had beverage service.

    Share your observations on the return flight compared to departing San Antonio.

  3. I hate waiting.

    I have like half-a-dozen garden projects running in parallel. Four of these are now waiting on something from other people/companies. Garden shed – delivery delayed till May. Rainwater tanks, status unknown. Fence against the crazy neighbors – waiting for a installation date. Rocks for a dry-stone wall – waiting for a delivery date. All of this stuff was ordered a month ago, some of it was ordered back in February.

    I just sent off a bunch of emails, trying to move things along. Lots of other stuff waiting on these projects – like, no point to resowing the area that’s going to be torn up by the fence installation.

    I think I’ll go dig a hole, and fill it back in.

  4. 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.

    God help us if Texas ever gets state income tax. California’s brutal enforcement of theirs would pale in comparison.

    Of course, everyone involved at the collections would still be working from home in their PJs.

  5. 6th grade math this week continues their exploration of Data Representation. Introducing Histograms and Box and Whisker Plots, and analyze data within all of the data graphs.

    Box and Whisker Plots. I swear they invent new sh!t to confuse the students every year. I had to look it up, read three web sites and I’m still not sure why you’d do one. Note that this is for sixth graders that when push comes to shove are still shaky on ARITHMETIC.

    also they are continuing their poetry module in the Language Arts class. Two nights ago when I just wanted a very short something to read with her, I picked up the Cats poems and her reaction was “I hate poetry. I hate rhyming.” About halfway thru Growltiger, when I paused, she told me to keep reading… I didn’t know they were doing poetry in school, I’ve just wanted to do more with the kids lately. I wonder what horrible cr@p they’re torturing the kids with in class? If I had a textbook, it sure would be easier to know…

    n

  6. Box and whisker plots do serve a purpose. I’m not sure they need to be pushed to eleven-year-olds.

  7. Box and Whisker Plots. I swear they invent new sh!t to confuse the students every year. I had to look it up, read three web sites and I’m still not sure why you’d do one. Note that this is for sixth graders that when push comes to shove are still shaky on ARITHMETIC.

    Six Smegma -er- Sigma. Near the end of my time at the Death Star, my immediate manager kept trying to quantify the defect reduction process using goofy cr*p like those charts so it would appear that he actually did something with his time.

    And Apple wondered why I passed on the “opportunity” when they gave me a chance to join their VPN group with the caveat it meant permanent assignment back to the same group at the Death Star with the same ex-IBM management.

    Learning skills like that will give the kids a huge head start on earning their Six Sigma Black Belts.

  8. “do serve a purpose.”

    –still not clear on what they show that a distribution or histogram wouldn’t show… and they use median instead of mean, which I’m always suspicious of.

    n

  9. And then it will be hurricane season, which is predicted to be heavy.

    I have lived in a hurricane-prone area since 1981, and there has never been a year when they predict a light season.

  10. 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.

    Wasn’t there some court case many years ago where they tried to bust a guy for soliciting because he went out and bought this lady a bunch of gifts and showed her a “night on the town” in return for sex. Basically, the judge acknowledged that in this specific case it probably was solicitation and prostitution but he couldn’t uphold it because every woman that “put out” after her husband or boyfriend bought her something nice would be guilty of prostitution.

    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.

    Keyboarding was an elective when I was in school and I elected not to take it. I started with the old “hunt and peck” style one key at a time. That evolved to using one finger but both hands so I could hunt and peck two keys at a time. As my proficiency grew and I added fingers to my hunt and peck methodology I eventually became a rapid 10-finger hunt and peck typist. I code for a living and send my fair share of written correspondence and my typing speed has never impeded my productivity. So, it’s possible to be self-taught to type your own style (even if traditional typists cringe at the sight).

    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!

    With the disposable masks I’ve found a workaround. The mask has folds/pleats to allow it to expand to the contour of your face. You can take a pair of scissors and cut small vertical slits on the inside folds of those pleats and nobody can tell and it makes breathing through them way easier. If you prefer a cloth mask, then head down to the fabric store and just find the thinnest fabric you can. I’ve seen cloth face masks that were a single layer of very thin linen. If you’re family doctor is cooperative you may be able to get a doctor’s note stating you have some pulmonary problem that prevents you from wearing a mask or a note from a psychologist stating you cannot wear a mask (due to some childhood suffocation trauma…). There’s lots of ways to make the mandatory wearing of a mask a little less annoying or avoid it altogether. I have a buddy that carries an asthma inhaler with him and when someone asks him to put a mask on he shows them the inhaler. He doesn’t have asthma and I have no idea where he got the inhaler.

    I have lived in a hurricane-prone area since 1981, and there has never been a year when they predict a light season.

    +1000

  11. And then it will be hurricane season, which is predicted to be heavy. I bet they’d be a lot more cautious in their predictions if they were publicly flogged when they were wrong.

    Every year since 2017 has been predicted to be a “heavy” hurricane season, and the first storm heading west from Africa is predicted to slam Texas a week out.

  12. The difference between mean and median is very important and should be well understood before someone leaves high school.  In fact, I think that being well grounded in basic statistics is more important than algebra (and infinitely more important than geometry proofs, but I HATE rote memorization)

    In my first college statistics course, I noted to the professor that they left out the confidence interval and the numbers didn’t ‘smell’ right.  I eventually convinced him to calculate it, rather than assume it was 95% because “that is the standard.”  It wasn’t.  It was 74%.  So much data is presented in intentionally confusing ways that it is an important skill.

    Increasing mortality by 100% means nothing if the chance was 0.01% to start with!

  13. Getting rid of a dead person is really difficult.

    Credit card companies are annoying. Call to close account, nope. Need death certificate mailed. Uh, no, not doing that. Instead I will keep the account open, toss the card in the Best Buy parking lot, let the card company send the MIL to collections. I don’t care. Jerks.

    Many people have to be called, wanting information that is questionably relevant, and putting up other road blocks.

    Fortunately the senior facility is letting us stay in the apartment until May 5. The facility considered the notice of termination of contract as April 5, basically a 30 notice. We don’t have to clean out the place as a thrift store will take everything. We are going through a few thousand pieces of paper that MIL stashed from 50 years, lots of notes and personal information that has to be shredded. She was a pack rat and kept a LOT of unnecessary stuff.

    The apartment does not need to be cleaned out by us. A thrift store will come in a take everything that is left, furniture, everything. All we have to do is take what we want and leave.

    Now comes the interesting part. If the death is COVID related there is government money will help with the funeral cost. Was asked if we wanted to death certificate to state COVID, or COVID related, to help with the cost. There is one reason the numbers are higher. Money is involved. A lot of money. I suspect a lot of deaths have been recorded as COVID because of money rather than actual facts.

    2
  14. “Was asked if we wanted to death certificate to state COVID, or COVID related, to help with the cost”

    –now that is some interesting info, not that the benefit is available but that they are asking….

    n

  15. @Ray

    Call to close account, nope.

    When I split with my ex (who had debt problems), I asked the bank to close the empty joint account – they said no – it needed both parties to request closure. I looked at their ts&cs, and rang them back, explained the problems they were leaving themselves open to, and reminded them that THEY could close the account at any time. They thought about it, and closed the account.

  16. Now comes the interesting part. If the death is COVID related there is government money will help with the funeral cost. Was asked if we wanted to death certificate to state COVID, or COVID related, to help with the cost. There is one reason the numbers are higher. Money is involved. A lot of money. I suspect a lot of deaths have been recorded as COVID because of money rather than actual facts.

    Money has definitely affected case counts. Hospitals receive more help with cost shifting for indigent care from the government if the patient tests positive for Covid so the incentive is there even if the suspicion exists that the positive is a false test result.


  17. and infinitely more important than geometry proofs

    Geometry proofs are intended to teach the habits of rigorous logical thought. So far as I can tell, 0% of high school geometry teachers over the past fifty years mention that.

  18. –now that is some interesting info, not that the benefit is available but that they are asking….

    More money for Hospice and the nursing home.

    The really interesting aspect is that Texas numbers are down in all areas despite incentives for deception.

  19. I loved HS geometry. Proofs were just a big puzzle to be solved. Given the rules, it was possible, or not. A+ helped pull up my GPA and def helped me get into my chosen college.

    n

  20. I loved HS geometry. Proofs were just a big puzzle to be solved. Given the rules, it was possible, or not. A+ helped pull up my GPA and def helped me get into my chosen college.

    A rigorous CS undergraduate cirriculum will include a class based on Michael Sipser’s “Theory of Computation”, and, done properly, the class will be impossible to pass without knowing how to write a proof. Even reading the text will be difficult since Sipser’s approach is very DIY.

    Beyond that, Calc II will be difficult to pass without knowing trig identities, and the trig identities will seem incomprehensible without understanding the geometry proving the formulas.

  21. Yup, this is exactly what we want here. better import some more child soldiers.

    Mexico’s child vigilantes: Boys as young as five are trained to use guns to fight drug gangs in violence-ravaged state

    Rising violence in Guerrero State has led community police in one indigenous community to enlist their sons to help defend the village
    Chilling pictures show youngsters armed with rifles marching through the village and army crawling along the ground
    The recruitment of children has been condemned by the government and rights groups but community leaders say it shows the desperate situation

    More than two years after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador came to power with a promise to reduce soaring levels of violence, life has only gotten more dangerous for many Mexicans.

    The country’s most violent year on record came in 2019, when more than 34,000 people were murdered nationwide.

    It’s not yet clear whether the pandemic impacted figures for 2020. In June, 2020 was on track to surpass the previous year’s figures, with 17,493 homicides during the first six months.

    The growing violence and absence of effective policing have led some, like those in Ayahualtempa, to take security measures into their own hands.

    The adult organisers of the group said the children needed to be armed to protect the community from drug gangs.

    –and for reference,

    The National System of Public Security said late Monday that 35,588 people were victims of homicides last year, 2.7 percent more than the previous year. That includes 1,006 women targeted in “femicides,” or killings committed because of the victims’ gender.

    In addition, nearly 5,000 people disappeared in Mexico in 2019 and were not found.

    Mexico has about 126M people. 35.5K is in fact “more than 34K”.

    –if I’ve done the math right, that’s ~28/100,000

    vs the US with 5/100000 according to the FBI

    So tell me again, which country has a problem with violence?

    n

    1
  22. “beautiful” — looks like she was whipped with barbed wire.

    Sooner or later, The Real Life Tony Stark (TM) will stop being useful to advance the agenda of taking people out of cars, and the ensuing class action shareholder lawsuits will be highly entertaining depending on your point of view.

    Another story hit today about what tech is doing to Austin, particularly Tony’s tech companies. I see more of these lately and can’t quite decide who is behind the press.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-08/austin-texas-ready-or-not-becomes-hot-spot-for-silicon-valley-transplants

  23. Trig was wonderfully logical.  I love math, but Geometry proofs were taught to us a rote memorization, mostly. I was probably taught it wrong.

    Calculus, of course, made great sense.  Calculus is what makes algebra make sense.  You finally how to graph functions!

  24. “beautiful” — looks like she was whipped with barbed wire.

    Sooner or later, The Real Life Tony Stark (TM) will stop being useful to advance the agenda of taking people out of cars, and the ensuing class action shareholder lawsuits will be highly entertaining depending on your point of view.

    Another story hit today about what tech is doing to Austin, particularly Tony’s tech companies. I see more of these lately and can’t quite decide who is behind the press.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-08/austin-texas-ready-or-not-becomes-hot-spot-for-silicon-valley-transplants

    I still do not understand why he did not put his new cyber factory in Smithville or Centerville. Getting people to work in those places is not very hard as all the farmers need a day job to pay for their farming hobby.

  25. “Rusty Hardin says Deshaun Watson’s sexual encounters during massages were consensual”
    https://www.chron.com/sports/texans/article/Rusty-Hardin-Deshaun-Watson-consensual-sex-massage-16089911.php

    “Deshaun Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin says he won’t dispute that the Texans quarterback ended up having sexual relations with massage therapists during some sessions, but he insists the activity always was consensual.”

    There is not going to be settlement here, Rusty Hardin is going to force the women to testify that they were molested. If this is in any way consensual, it will come out in the trial.

    For instance, apparently one of the women says that there were five sessions. Why did she come back after the first session ? This smells like a shakedown.


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

    First, there are only a few ballistic missiles that are nuclear capable and we know who makes them. Second, there are “signatures” in the fallout from nuclear weapons that can ID who made it. Also, from what I have read, the effect of an EMP weapon are grossly exaggerated in popular accounts.

  27. I greatly disliked all of the math I was taught in school. It was a factor in my dropping out of high school and going to college early.

    I was a math prodigy focusing on geometry and topology, not that anyone recognized it. In third grade I discovered fractal geometry, starting from the teacher’s off-hand observation that the New England coastline is more than 3000 miles long if you go into all of the little bays. I didn’t develop it with any rigor, of course, but when I first read a book on fractal geometry twenty years later, most of it was obvious because I’d already thought of it.

    Geometry in ninth grade was painful because the teacher was not a mathematician but only an educator who taught math. He constantly made assertions which were not supported by the axioms we were allegedly working under that day and when called on them would state that it was obvious that we could move a segment from here to there. Um, no, you’re kind of missing the point of strict proofs. I was easily able to visualize and manipulate 2-, 3-, and 4-dimensional constructs in Euclidean space and 4-D Euclidean constructs, and with difficulty visualize 4-D non-Euclidean. This further put the lie to many more of his assertions. (“No, the sum of the angles formed by line segments coming from one point do not always equal 180 degrees. Here’s an example.” “We’re working in Cartesian space.” “But that’s not stated in the postulates.” “Stop disrupting the class.”)

    “Sit down and shut up” was a running refrain in many of my classes, starting in, IIRC, third grade. I understand not wanting to throw off the pace of the class for the 20-some ordinary or slow students, but they weren’t able or willing to answer questions after class or even suggest reading for advanced students.

    I’ll give my mom credit for this: when teachers complained that they weren’t used to having their lessons challenged by the students, my mom said that if they didn’t know enough to satisfy a ten-year-old’s questions, perhaps they should find another line of work.

    2
    10
    1
  28. How do you identify a ballistic nuclear missile launched from a freighter in the Gulf of Mexico into LEO ?

    First, there are only a few ballistic missiles that are nuclear capable and we know who makes them. Second, there are “signatures” in the fallout from nuclear weapons that can ID who made it. Also, from what I have read, the effect of an EMP weapon are grossly exaggerated in popular accounts.

    Yup, less than 20 countries can hoist a 20 megaton bomb into LEO. USA, Russia, Japan, Israel, Germany, France, SpaceX, China, UAE, India, England, etc. Who did I miss ? North Korea is on the borderline, probably not yet as their current limit into LEO is about a quarter ton. Pakistan ?

    So, if somebody explodes a nuclear bomb at LEO above the USA, how are you going to get a sample ?

    I agree on the effects of an EMP. Car computers should survive it with a simple reboot, they live in electronic hell already. But the big switching yard auto transformers are the big question, nobody really knows if they can isolate themselves in time before they are damaged. Plus ERCOT is now saying that if the grid in Texas goes down for any reason, it might take a month to put back together. I am sure that the eastern and western grids will not be any simpler since they are each 2.5X the size of the Texas grid.


  29. Instead I will keep the account open, toss the card in the Best Buy parking lot, let the card company send the MIL to collections.

    They may do so immediately, and may try to put a lien on the estate. Discover is notorious for this, as I found out when my dad died.

     

  30. Credit card companies are annoying. Call to close account, nope. Need death certificate mailed. Uh, no, not doing that. Instead I will keep the account open, toss the card in the Best Buy parking lot, let the card company send the MIL to collections. I don’t care. Jerks.

    Many people have to be called, wanting information that is questionably relevant, and putting up other road blocks.

    You can actually ignore most of them (except the IRS and social security – file that deceased return and don’t spend any of her last social security check! ). Between the credit reporting agencies and other clearinghouses they will learn through IT backchannels that she is deceased.

    My dad’s AmEx called my mom 3 months after he had passed, they were aware he had passed, but they wanted to know if she wanted to “do the right thing” and pay off his balance with what she got from his life insurance. A similar thing happened with my MIL. Her pharmacy called and used that exact same phrase “do the right thing” about an outstanding balance my deceased MIL had. In both instances they were told to piss off by people much more polite than me.

    I wouldn’t bother having any mail forwarded either. Your MIL’s junk mail will haunt you forever. My MIL passed away 4 years ago and I still get catalogs in her name (all for stuff that only an elderly person with health problems would be interested in) as well as all of the junk mail for medicare supplemental and whatnot. All because my wife had her mail forward to us just before she passed.

    –now that is some interesting info, not that the benefit is available but that they are asking….

    So, we’re financially incentivizing people to lie and say a death was COVID-related. Wow. By all means, MSM, keep plastering the news with that COVID-19 death count. Fear leads to compliance.

    When I split with my ex (who had debt problems), I asked the bank to close the empty joint account – they said no – it needed both parties to request closure. I looked at their ts&cs, and rang them back, explained the problems they were leaving themselves open to, and reminded them that THEY could close the account at any time. They thought about it, and closed the account.

    You can try over-drafting it. Not by a lot. Perhaps $1. Over-drafted accounts are automatically closed at almost all banks and credit unions if their balance is not brought back to >0 within 60 days.

    “The Number of Smartphone Plans Has Doubled to 6 Billion in Last 5 Years”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/smartphone-subs-have-doubled-to-6-billion-in-last-five-years

    “New records are being set this year, with 46.5% of the world’s population owning a smartphone last year, even as sales took a tumble.”

    Wow, the world has changed. I need to think about this.

    Not surprising. Keep in mind a number of third world countries didn’t have shit for land lines or the supporting infrastructure. It was much easier and cheaper for those countries to just skip right over land lines and jump right to cellular.

  31. Re closing credit card accounts.

    Seems to me that you don’t have to tell them why you are closing the account, just that you want it closed. If pressed for a reason, you could say anything, like “I don’t shop there any more”; “I found a card with a better rate and am moving all purchases to that new card”, etc.

    Tell them that you are the primary account holder. If needed, get a female voice to verify ownership. You should know all the personal details that are required for the ‘security’ questions.

    Change the mailing address on all accounts to your address (or a PO box that you own). That way you will get any statements sent. If any are emailed, get control of that email account and work from there.

    I suspect you know much of this stuff…..but that’s what I would do. YMMV.

  32. I still do not understand why he did not put his new cyber factory in Smithville or Centerville. Getting people to work in those places is not very hard as all the farmers need a day job to pay for their farming hobby.

    Making a statement. The Gigafactory site is visible from the windows of the airport main terminal.

    Building here has always puzzled me unless, like a lot of other companies, Tesla is ultimately just here for the party. The Austin manufacturing labor pool isn’t that deep anymore, but a location in Dallas would have involved competing with GM Arlington. San Antonio would have meant taking on Toyota.

    That reminds me — the rumors out of San Antonio are that a Tundra hybrid is coming for 2021. Unfortunately, my wife’s car pool friend whose son is a master tech at the factory has been in Iowa since December dealing with his father’s estate.

  33. My brother had a life insurance policy through the NRA and when he died (fell off a cliff while hunting. What a great way to go! ) they paid out with no fuss.

    Except… the begging letters and whatnot kept coming and coming. After some months I wrote them an amusing letter, which I wish I’d saved, to the effect that he wouldn’t be sending them any more money because the guy was kaput. It must have been really funny because some gal called up to reassure me that steps would be taken but she couldn’t keep the giggles out of her voice.

    Funny memory.

  34. My father and I shared the same name. And at various times, the same address. THAT made things on the credit report interesting as the agencies just take any new info and assume it is correct. There were a LOT of “SS# updated to xxx xx xxxx” and “addresss updated to xxx” entries until we were intertwined so tightly he spent years of occasional battles straightening it out.

    I still get stuff that I’m pretty sure was meant for him, here in Texas, two years after his death.

    n

    1
  35. With my Mom’s business, it was simple.  Her Discover card was hit by the nursing home and her electric bill.  The water bill hit her checking account.

    I changed the water and electric bill to my accounts.  Easy, they are in my Dad’s name and I have the same first name.  Yep, I can sign that and just leave off the Jr.  SS and her Military pension clawed back the money.

    Discover wanted a copy of the death certificate faxed to them.  And the POA.    Nope, I don’t have a phone line and I’m not paying $3 a page at the grocery store.  After driving to town.  Plus my time.  I work cheap but I’m not spending $30+.  An e-mailed .jpg or .pdf wasn’t good enough.    Fine, you get nothing and have a nice day.

    Mil retirement sent a form letter wanting a copy of the death certificate “within 15 days” or some such.  Yeah, no.  I’m not sending you an original, you didn’t bother to include an envelope, and you already know she’s dead because you clawed back two months of pay.

    Bank of America did what they could to be butt heads and then took almost a month to send a check.

    Other than selling the house, it’s all done.  I’m listed as a co-owner so it should be simple.  I can dream.

     

     


  36. Discover is notorious for this, as I found out when my dad died.

    Discover will sue you for looking at them the wrong way.

  37. My favorite was GMAC, I think they’re called Ally now. My mom had a leased car, which I returned. They harassed me for months to pay off the rest if the lease. It the only time I have totally lost it on the phone. Poor phone agent…it wasn’t her fault, though she did voluntarily work for the company.

  38. Discover offered me a new card, IF I voluntarily paid off the balance the court had discharged….

     

    um, NO.

     

    n

    1
    1
    1
  39. My favorite was GMAC, I think they’re called Ally now. My mom had a leased car, which I returned. They harassed me for months to pay off the rest if the lease. It the only time I have totally lost it on the phone. Poor phone agent…it wasn’t her fault, though she did voluntarily work for the company.

    When GM and Chrysler went bankrupt, the US Government merged Chrysler Finance and GMAC into Ally, with the Fed holding most of the stock and writing the loan paper. IIRC, Ally went back to being publicly traded at some point.

  40. Discover will sue you for looking at them the wrong way.

    I’m old enough to remember when Sears card agreements allowed them to repossess anything, even if the cardmember was involved in Bankruptcy, thanks to their unique agreement which the courts took away at some point in the 90s.

    I saw the aftermath of a Sears carpet repossession at a house owned by a friend’s mother back in the late 80s — everything but the tack strips, even the pad.

  41. When my mother died she had a balance on Discover of ~$450. I called Discover to cancel the card. They asked who was going to pay. I said no one. They stated they would send the amount to collections. I said “that works for me and your card will be dumped in the Walmart parking. Close or lose more money, your choice.” Then hung up.


  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.”

    For fck sake, the place is in a strip mall next to a nail salon…I guess too many people short on common sense in Beverly Hills.

    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?pb=!1s0x80c2b9585e3b0b87%3A0x650af5953a0d5b45!3m1!7e115!4s%2Fmaps%2Fplace%2Fus%2Bprivate%2Bvaults%2F%4034.0591415%2C-118.3914135%2C3a%2C75y%2C201.76h%2C90t%2Fdata%3D*213m4*211e1*213m2*211sBnYGPc39ZeesDMEQjxMfUQ*212e0*214m2*213m1*211s0x80c2b9585e3b0b87%3A0x650af5953a0d5b45%3Fsa%3DX!5sus%20private%20vaults%20-%20Google%20Search!15sCgIgARICCAI&imagekey=!1e2!2sBnYGPc39ZeesDMEQjxMfUQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjVzaaJ0vnvAhVjNn0KHdyIDhoQpx8wEnoECCEQCA


  43. I’m old enough to remember when Sears card agreements allowed them to repossess anything, even if the cardmember was involved in Bankruptcy, thanks to their unique agreement which the courts took away at some point in the 90s.

    I saw the aftermath of a Sears carpet repossession at a house owned by a friend’s mother back in the late 80s — everything but the tack strips, even the pad.

    We have a large regional furniture/electronics retailer here that will come to get any furniture you charged to their store card if you file for bankruptcy. Though, it’s a little tilted… Like, they come and pick up the furniture, but only if you live within their delivery/pickup area. So, if you’ve moved, then your furniture is safe (though, perhaps if you spent enough on it they’d contract with someone to get it?). If you gifted it to someone it’s usually safe. My buddy bought his wife a laptop from there, she filed for divorce a month later, he filed for bankruptcy shortly after that, and they called and were like “Where’s the laptop? We want it back.” and he said it was a Christmas gift to his now ex-wife and gave them her contact info and they dropped the matter. So, mostly they want their stuff back if you, the name on the credit account, are still personally in possession of it and it’s not too far away. They have a bit of a local reputation for this. Local bankruptcy attorneys make it a point to tell clients that if they have an account there they will be losing anything bought with that account.

    I’m no bankruptcy attorney, but I guess most creditors have a right to lay claim to anything you acquired via the credit you are now trying to discharge through bankruptcy. However, the overwhelming majority do not. They just write it off.

  44. “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.”

    For fck sake, the place is in a strip mall next to a nail salon…I guess too many people short on common sense in Beverly Hills.

    I don’t care where the private boxes were. The government did not get a warrant for any of those rental boxes. The 4th amendment of USA Constitution is very clear on warrants and seizures. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    So, anything that is not on my person can be seized as abandoned is the current law ?
    https://lockeandwitte.com/articles/articles-on-criminal-law/search-seizure-abandoned-property.html

    This was not abandonment. These effects were stored in a rented property with the payments mostly up to date (I am guessing that the rental payments were mostly up to date).

  45. I’m no bankruptcy attorney, but I guess most creditors have a right to lay claim to anything you acquired via the credit you are now trying to discharge through bankruptcy. However, the overwhelming majority do not. They just write it off.

    Sears lost a court fight over their repossession agreement in the mid 90s, which I pin as the beginning of the end of the company.

    A lot of furniture and appliances are so lousy anymore that only really high end merchandise is worth recovering.

  46. “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.”

    For fck sake, the place is in a strip mall next to a nail salon…I guess too many people short on common sense in Beverly Hills.

    I don’t care where the private boxes were. The government did not get a warrant for any of those rental boxes. The 4th amendment of USA Constitution is very clear on warrants and seizures.

    OK, scratch this, the fibbies had a warrant. For every single box in the place ! OK, that is a little overreaching.
    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-04-02/fbi-beverly-hills-vault-search-seizure

    “Armed with a warrant, FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided the business on March 22. They took several days to go through all the boxes and move the valuables to an FBI warehouse, according to court papers. Although the warrant remains under seal, prosecutors argued Friday that the magistrate judge who approved it gave permission for the sweeping seizures.”

    Moreover, they are charging the vault owner with possession of the drugs and cash. So much for privacy. If the owner is convicted, banks will demand to see the items you are placing in your safety deposit box.


  47. the magistrate judge who approved it gave permission for the sweeping seizures.

    How does that correspond to “and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”? “Particularly describing” isn’t “all the boxes”, it’s just the boxes under suspicion.


  48. I don’t care where the private boxes were. The government did not get a warrant for any of those rental boxes.

    OK, scratch this, the fibbies had a warrant. For every single box in the place ! OK, that is a little overreaching.

    Another failure on SCOTUSs part for not defending the Constitution agains all enemies: foreign and domestic. Does “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” ring a bell? Every bill the President signs into law and SCOTUS says is Constitutional costs us a little piece of freedom.

    1
  49. Hey, stop all this whining about the Fourth Amendment. Haven’t you heard the word from the Tyrant in Chief? No amendment is absolute.

  50. “I’m no bankruptcy attorney, but I guess most creditors have a right to lay claim to anything you acquired via the credit you are now trying to discharge through bankruptcy. However, the overwhelming majority do not. ”

    –couple different things going on here.

    Credit card is credit, typically UNsecured credit. The bank (card issuer) loans you the money with no security interest in anything. CHARGE card is a finance agreement between you and the institution letting you charge an item and pay for it over time. Typically they retain an interest in the purchased property. This is how Sears used to work, and one of the reasons a Sears card was easy to get, and often the first card a household would get. Sears could approve you for the loan on the spot because they were making it. The very long receipt you used to get was in fact a financing agreement if you used your charge card. Since they retained an interest in the property, they would come get it if you defaulted. They came for a $200 chop saw, that was a couple of years old and covered in spraypaint. They came 3 times because no one was there to turn it over…

    At some point, Sears stopped issuing charge cards and their branded card became a credit card, issued by a bank somewhere (probably at heart, the same one issuing the Discover cards.) (BTW, remember that Discover was unique at the beginning and was one of the first to offer cash back or loyalty points.)

    Unsecured means just that, the bank never has an interest in what you purchase, and can’t make any claim on it. In a bankruptcy, they and all your other creditors each try to get a piece of any assets you have, that aren’t protected by law. If they get nothing, too bad.

    There is also a ‘secured’ credit card, and they were popularized by Capital One and their very predatory lending. You would put cash in an account, and they would give you a credit card with a limit closely related to that cash amount. This was a decent way to re-establish credit after a bankruptcy or other financial disaster. The fees were VERY high. To everyone who accepted the card, it looked like a standard card. It was also the only practical way for someone with no credit cards to rent cars, buy airline tickets, and stay in hotels. I had a foreign colleague with no US credit history, and he had to get one of those cards so he could travel for work.

    Bankruptcy law changed a few years ago, and I didn’t pay attention to the changes, but I’m sure they didn’t make it easier to declare BQ and keep your stuff.

    n

  51. At some point, Sears stopped issuing charge cards and their branded card became a credit card, issued by a bank somewhere (probably at heart, the same one issuing the Discover cards.) (BTW, remember that Discover was unique at the beginning and was one of the first to offer cash back or loyalty points.)

    My very bad memory says that about 1995 ???, I got a Mastercard in the mail that replaced my Sears card that I had used since 1983. I was instructed to destroy my Sears card. That Mastercard eventually became a Bank of America ??? Mastercard. I do not remember who the original issuer was.

    Discover became the new name of the entire Sears card operation in 1993 and was sold to Dean Witter according to Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discover_Financial

  52. “How does that correspond to “and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”? “Particularly describing” isn’t “all the boxes”, it’s just the boxes under suspicion. ”

     

    –exactly.  Which is why it doesn’t matter if the boxes belong to drug dealers hiding assets, or the grocery store owner down the block.  They don’t get to just seize them and go thru them looking for something to charge.   If they can do it with a private lock box company, they will do it with banks eventually.

     

    n

  53. Interesting day. MIL’s burial plot was not hers. Her brother had buried his wife in that spot. Once a body is in the spot for 24 hours, it is theirs. MIL found out and had the brother’s wife dug up and moved. But the court records never got updated. Had to find the brother and get him to sign a document saying it was OK to bury the MIL in that spot. Took several hours to get accomplished.

    Changed mailing addresses at one credit union. Other credit union’s lobby is not open. Went to the drive thru window. They can’t change addresses at the drive thru as that can only be done in the lobby which is closed. Will have to try a phone call tomorrow.

    Had one teller inform us that the POA is no longer valid when the person is deceased. I am not so certain on that aspect but really don’t know. Also found out that beneficiary takes precedent over POA as once the person dies effective immediately the beneficiary clause is active.

    It will take three to four weeks to get copies of the death certificate. Bummer. That means a lot of stuff will have to be done by mail, probably lots of documents, and other frustrations.

    Took the MIL’s car to CARMAX to get a purchase quote. The quote was for $18,000 whereas Carvana was $17,984. So close. NADA high retail was only $16,500. Interesting as the car is two model years old, is actually two years old, with 4,714 miles. Purchase price new was $18,994. So car only lost less than $1K in value over the course of two years. Quote from CARMAX is good for seven days until the close of business on the 19th as long as the condition remains the same, miles don’t matter.

  54. Hang in there Ray.  I have to say, the old line about there being nothing as queer as folks — uncle stole a burial plot?  And then MIL moved the body?  Holy crow.

     

    n

  55. Took the MIL’s car to CARMAX to get a purchase quote. The quote was for $18,000 whereas Carvana was $17,984. So close. NADA high retail was only $16,500. Interesting as the car is two model years old, is actually two years old, with 4,714 miles. Purchase price new was $18,994. So car only lost less than $1K in value over the course of two years. Quote from CARMAX is good for seven days until the close of business on the 19th as long as the condition remains the same, miles don’t matter.

    Toyota got the cylinder bores wrong on the engines going into a run of 2018 Camrys. They’ve been scrounging for low mileage 2018s and 2019s to offer swap outs to customers.

    1
  56. The END IS NIGH!

    Well, 6 months to a year.  I’ve been getting unsolicited offers on my house all year, mail and postcards, usually a sign that the CA. real estate bubble is nearing its peak.

    Today I got my first text…

     

    1
    1
  57. Box and whisker plots in 6th grade?

    Why, sure. Intro to probability first. The BWP right after they master identifying standard and Poisson distributions, calculating variance and standard deviation, confidence intervals, and Student’s t-test. Without a calculator.

    In other words, no.

    They don’t understand the concepts, and the only reason this stuff is showing up is because TI has been making 50%+ margins on graphing calculators for nearly two decades and the math instructors (who seldom understand the concepts) love justifying the expensive purchase with complicated carp that most parents don’t understand.

    @Greg mentioned Six Sigma. I went through quality rah-rah programs for years, including Phil Crosby’s Quality College (as one colleague quipped, “Quality is free but this book costs $3.95”), had a brush with the Baldridge Award but was outside the fatal radius, and got passed over for an early SS “belt” 20+ years ago in favor of a fair-haired boy with an engineering MS on the management track.

    Him and the other FHB&G got the training in a hush-hush program, until the day when it was rolled out company wide in dozens of meetings.

    After the meeting I buttonholed the FHB and said, “John, there is something off about those statistics, they are not right.” I got immediate denial and assurance that the numbers were correct.

    I did some digging and looked at the numbers. They were consistently off. I called Motorola and got to a very nice gentlemen who explained that the implementation involved an arbitrary 1.5 sigma shift, so the six was really 4.5.

    I knew a division quality manager at a company with a product line similar to Motorola, i.e., electronics. I called and asked some questions. First takeaway was that SS had some utility in some cases, but it was mainly great PR for Motorola. Second was that if your application doesn’t look a lot like Motorola’s, the utility is almost certainly a lot less.

    Later I noticed that those charts with the justifications for SS level-quality  (the “one place crash a day at O’Hare vs. one every 10 years” or “one botched operation per day…”, etc. type) were actually mixing two sigma levels. I emailed Motorola with examples and asked if they had the original docs. They never got back to me. I suspect the reason was along the lines of “No good can come of this.” From their standpoint they were probably right.

    Then along came ISO…

     


  58. Today I got my first text…

    I got a text inquiring about the house I sold last May. Wanted to make me an offer. I sent back ‘Ok but i doubt the owner will like it’. No reply. I get at least a couple of calls a week. Housing market here is very hot. Low inventory and multiple offers on most listings. Part of it is even if it’s Bakersfield it’s very affordable compared to LA only a 100 miles south. Rental market is really tough, almost nothing available.

  59. It will take three to four weeks to get copies of the death certificate. Bummer. That means a lot of stuff will have to be done by mail, probably lots of documents, and other frustrations.

    The wife’s father passed away last Sept 10. It took two months to get the death certificates. She just had the probate hearing on April 1 via Zoom and got named Executor of his will, she hired a probate lawyer last Oct 1. She already distributed his IRA, deferred annuities, and some cash to her and her sister. Now she gets to move the four houses and stocks to them. Six and half months to get anything legal done. And she just got the new SS number for his estate now that she is executor so she can file the two 2020 tax returns (Jan 1 – Sept 10 for him, Sept 11 – Dec 31 for his estate). A lot of stuff to get done.

  60. The END IS NIGH!

    Well, 6 months to a year. I’ve been getting unsolicited offers on my house all year, mail and postcards, usually a sign that the CA. real estate bubble is nearing its peak.

    Today I got my first text…

    Please ! Please ! Please ! The flippers are calling us, texting us, and mailing us on the six properties we own, sometimes 3 to 4 times a day. Plus my son’s house since they cannot find him but they can find me. I want the harassment to stop.

  61. First, you put new outgoing messages on your phones ending in

    “…and John, if it’s you calling about the house offer, please leave your personal cell phone number again, I lost it.”

    All the flippers will become “John” and leave their number.

    Then you get ten friends to help. Give each one a list of numbers to call, and the number to leave at each one.

  62. I shouldn’t have looked. The house I sold last may for $250K is showing an estimated current value of $296K. I undersold it, but that was on condition that there be no nit-picking on minor things. I did do a $500 roof repair before sale but that was it. The buyers knew I was giving them a bargin and I might have got $265K but was looking to just sell.

    Deal with death even when prepared is a real pain. Mom passed in Dec ’19. The damn financial advisor she had set up an annuity with listed The Smith Family Trust. No idea where he got that. When she set it up it was already changed to remove my dad’s name and was the Mary G Smith Trust. Setup and filed with the county clerk. Had to do affidavits and get them notarized to issue a check in the correct name. Twice. Then Wells fargo balked and had to set up a new checking account. Lawyer finally cashed the check into her trust account and issued new one in the proper trust name, at NO charge. Fifteen months from death to actual money. Now I have her house to sell. Had to have the house title straightened out but did that about two years ago. At least the market is hot.

  63. Geez. Daily Mail headline:

    KILLER COP REVEALED

    Why not just put a bullseye on her back. And her family. And her dog. Totally irresponsible reporting. Nobody is sure what happened yet.

    And what’s the name of the cop that killed that filthy WHITEY! MAGA rioter Ashli Babbitt? It’s been three months and journalists don’t give a shit. Shot point blank. Black drug thug gets wasted and it’s riot time before any investigation.


  64. It will take three to four weeks to get copies of the death certificate. Bummer. That means a lot of stuff will have to be done by mail, probably lots of documents, and other frustrations.

    Three to four weeks? Forgive me but that is absurd, and frankly horrible for the deceased’s family. Who issues the death certificate? In Ontario it is issued by the funeral home. That means it is issued upon their receiving the body of the deceased, so I had a dozen copies for my wife the day after she passed. Same for my mother and father. (In fact, in the case of my wife, whose body was sent for an autopsy, I had the certificates several days before the home received her remains).

    1

  65. Learning skills like that will give the kids a huge head start on earning their Six Sigma Black Belts.

    Is that carp still around? Came through our shop some years ago. All the old-timers quickly dubbed it yet another ‘flavor of the month’ and went back to doing real work.


  66. Instead I will keep the account open, toss the card in the Best Buy parking lot, let the card company send the MIL to collections.

    They may do so immediately, and may try to put a lien on the estate. Discover is notorious for this, as I found out when my dad died.

    Keep as much as possible out of the estate. Proper beneficiaries (including contingent) on life insurance, 401k, IRA, pension. Retitle all checking,savings and brokerage accounts to include “TOD” (transfer on death). Live in a state that provides a homestead exemption for the surviving spouse. THEN feel free to mark all mail as ‘Moved, No Forwarding Address’ and drop it in a mailbox. Be sure to black out the PO’s printed bar-code or it might just wind up redelivered to the deceased.

  67. First, you put new outgoing messages on your phones ending in

    “…and John, if it’s you calling about the house offer, please leave your personal cell phone number again, I lost it.”

    All the flippers will become “John” and leave their number.

    Then you get ten friends to help. Give each one a list of numbers to call, and the number to leave at each one.

    The flipper call banks are in Bangladesh …


  68. I wouldn’t bother having any mail forwarded either. Your MIL’s junk mail will haunt you forever. My MIL passed away 4 years ago and I still get catalogs in her name (all for stuff that only an elderly person with health problems would be interested in) as well as all of the junk mail for medicare supplemental and whatnot. All because my wife had her mail forward to us just before she passed.

    The trick here is to file a temporary change of address with the PO rather than a permanent one. From what I understand the former doesn’t go into the PO Change of Address update file that goes out to mailers, only the latter. Same works for when you move.

  69. It will take three to four weeks to get copies of the death certificate. Bummer. That means a lot of stuff will have to be done by mail, probably lots of documents, and other frustrations.

    Three to four weeks? Forgive me but that is absurd, and frankly horrible for the deceased’s family. Who issues the death certificate? In Ontario it is issued by the funeral home. That means it is issued upon their receiving the body of the deceased, so I had a dozen copies for my wife the day after she passed. Same for my mother and father. (In fact, in the case of my wife, whose body was sent for an autopsy, I had the certificates several days before the home received her remains).

    In Texas, the funeral home fills out the death certificates and then they send the originals to Austin, TX for stamping and registration by three ??? state agencies. They then send death certificates back to the funeral home who mails them to you. We are having a serious problem with bogus death certificate fraud for land deeds in Texas. The state will not release the death certificates to anyone but the funeral home for a year afterwards.


  70. You can try over-drafting it. Not by a lot. Perhaps $1. Over-drafted accounts are automatically closed at almost all banks and credit unions if their balance is not brought back to >0 within 60 days.

    And if they suckered you into having “Overdraft Protection” turned on, they’ll start adding fees, and if they’re a creepy enough bank perhaps come after you for the balance due. My bank will auto-close a savings account with a zero balance. Personally did it twice, once intentionally.

  71. “The Number of Smartphone Plans Has Doubled to 6 Billion in Last 5 Years”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/smartphone-subs-have-doubled-to-6-billion-in-last-five-years

    “New records are being set this year, with 46.5% of the world’s population owning a smartphone last year, even as sales took a tumble.”

    Wow, the world has changed. I need to think about this.

    When should we expect to see WinSim in the App Store?

    Never. I told my partners three years ago that I needed five software engineers with HOT SKILZ! working for five years to port our user interface to a IOS app and a Android app. Although, I estimated that our app would not work for long as they used to have a 10 million limit on Javascript apps in Android. My understanding is that limit has been lifted though.

    Our user interface is 450,000 lines of C++ code directly coupled to the Win32 API with over 150 dialogs. Think Excel cubed built on a diagrammatic CAD engine (like Visio). Plus another 50,000 lines of code for spreadsheet data transfer and control. Neither will move off Windows easily, the Win16 to Win32 port was hell, took me and three software engineers 18 months to complete (converted 250,000 lines of Smalltalk to 350,000 lines of C++).

    Our calculation engine is 850,000 lines of F77 and C++. The calculation engine has been ported to fourteen platforms since 1969: Univac 1108, CDC 7600, IBM MVS, IBM CMS, VAX VMS, VaxWindows, Sun BSD, Apollo Domain (both 68030 and DN 10000), IBM RS/6000, Prime Primos, PC DOS DPMI, Windows 3 / 95, PC Windows NT. I performed about half of ports starting with the CDC 7600 when I was 16 (loved that mainframe !). The calculation engine will have to sit on a server somewhere for the apps to attach to it.

    Plus the most expensive app for both IOS and Android is $999.00. Not enough. So any version will need to be a browser app so we can perform our own sales (and not give up 30% of the sale to Apple and Google)

  72. Here in UK, getting a death certificate(s) is relatively simple. After  someone dies, responsibility for registering that death devolves to a relative (spouse, child, whatever. Normally a close relative). Must be done within x days (for x small) at the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths at your local Town Hall. Needs a Cause of Death Certificate from an official person (hospital, funeral home, doctor in attendance)

    The Registrar will take the details, and enter them by hand on the official Register, in archival quality ink. This is the official record. He/she will then type the same information into a computer, and print the requested number of copies, at £3 a pop, if memory serves. These copies are what you use to tell anyone else (bank, taxman, mobile phone co., etc) that the deceased is no longer here.

    Most informees are good about returning the death cert. copy, but some aren’t. Not to mention Postie. This is why you request many copies (last time I had to do this, for my wife’s cousin, Keith, I got 6. Didn’t need them, but better safe than sorry)

    It is possible to obtain extras copies at a later date, but it’s a hassle. Ideally done at the registry of origin, in person, but can be done by post. I had this with my late mother. After she left us, I had to get a copy of my father’s death certificate (30 years old) It was… difficult.

     

    G.

     

Comments are closed.