Tues. April 27, 2021 – lots to do today, all about the kid’s birthday

Cooler and sunny, should be nice. Hot and humid by late afternoon yesterday, although it started cool and ended cool.

I got mom to the airport and then on home successfully. Got my auction purchase American Girl doll wardrobe touched up and ready for today (for the daughter’s birthday, not for me.) AG is crazy expensive new and has a very active resale market, btw. A couple of nicks filled with paint and a good cleaning and about $225 savings later it looks pretty good and I think she’ll squeal well up into the ultrasonic…

And I’ve got to get the dinner together– grilled chicken hearts, baby back ribs, peach or mango cobbler for dessert. I’ve got everything in the freezer but it might just be easier to buy fresh. Kid’s got eclectic tastes, but she loves my cooking 🙂

So I’m going to get started. in 3, 2, 1, …

nick

(you keep stacking)

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

78 thoughts on “Tues. April 27, 2021 – lots to do today, all about the kid’s birthday”

  1. Morning, and it’s 73F with 86%RH. Child is bursting with being double digits.

    n


  2. Carfax is freaking awesome. But it does miss some things.

    Carfax only gets what is reported to them. Sometimes it’s a decent record, sometimes it’s not. Still do your own evaluation and have a trusted mechanic check out a vehicle if you can’t.

  3. It took Carvana about a week to get my wife’s old car listed on their site. It was up for 3 days – with no pictures yet – and now shows as sale pending. Crazy.

    Added: I just checked and I guess the potential buyer backed out, as it’s listed as available again. Still no pictures. They also have some details wrong (typical of any car dealer), such as a 6 speed auto transmission, when it is a 5 speed in that model. They also list 1 key available, when I gave them all 3.


  4. close look at the Carfax shows he put 24K miles on in 9 months

    What does is really matter if the miles were put on the vehicle in six months or six years? Miles is miles. I doubt the engine and drive train really care as the wear should be close to the same. In my opinion lots of miles in a short time probably indicates interstate and long distance travel. There is less stress and wear on the components than stop and go driving in the city.

    I put 70K miles on my truck in the first three years I owned my truck. Commuting 60 miles each day. Since retiring I have put about 25K miles on my truck in five years. Most of that local driving, probably 5K pulling a heavy trailer (boat then RV).

    As for going 8K between oil changes, that is not unusual with synthetic oils. Both my Highlander and F-150 are on 10K oil change intervals. Recommended by the dealer and the service manuals.

    Or you could go to your local RV repair place and have then run an insulated power cable from the front

    I have a 12V power outlet in left rear of my 2013 Highlander. Close to the panel to access the fuel panel release and the fittings for the rear taillight. Have never used it so I don’t know if it is live all the time. Other power outlets are only live when the ignition is active. There is also the issue of providing enough current as many power outlets are fused at 15 amperes or less.

  5. I have a 12V power outlet in left rear of my 2013 Highlander. Close to the panel to access the fuel panel release and the fittings for the rear taillight. Have never used it so I don’t know if it is live all the time. Other power outlets are only live when the ignition is active. There is also the issue of providing enough current as many power outlets are fused at 15 amperes or less.

    The in-laws from CA used the 12V rear outlet in their van to run a small vacuum. They obsessed about keeping the cargo area clean when the vehicle was new. Even a trip to the store would result in the vacuum appearing.

    Now that we have the Noco, that will get plugged into the rear outlet on my wife’s Exploder for the next long distance trip.

  6. “What does is really matter if the miles were put on the vehicle in six months or six years? ”

    –If he was driving for Uber or Lyft, then there is a LOT more wear on the interior than if he did 8 cross country trips for fun… and the ford engines REALLY want to have the oil changed regularly according to everything I’ve read or seen.

    –I want to try to figure out a ‘story’ that matches what other evidence I’m seeing to see if it all makes sense. That kind of mileage is unusual, it’s more than double the national average, so what is the story? What else might be weird?

    n


  7. mRNA are not vaccines as traditionally defined.

    Yes, they are. They cause an immune reaction that produces antibodies and memory cell response from exposure to a novel protein.

    They are experimental, to the extent that most medical insurance will not cover any adverse reactions.

    Which is not true. It is NOT considered experimental by the FDA. It’s got an emergency use authorization. Life insurance and medical insurance both cover death/injury from the vaccines. In Googling around, it appears that many of the twitter and FB accounts spreading this are probably bot accounts. There are indications that the Russians are spreading disinformation again, like they did in the last two elections.

    The U.S. curve has already crossed–deaths are in deficit.

    That’s not knowable yet. The curve on the page that Lynn linked to of excess deaths isn’t “complete” until 8 weeks after the week in question. The last week in the chart that would be considered near complete is February 10, which still shows excess deaths.

    Be interesting to see what the integral is in twelve months and whether the deficit of deaths in the co-morbidities is close to the deaths due to the Wuhan lying Chicom coronavirus.

    The CDC will be taking the deaths from COVID into account when predicting the death counts on that graph. I’ve mentioned this before. Death certificates have entries for all comorbidities on them. But the cause of death is what’s important. My mother’s DC had diabetes on it, but the cause of death filled in by the attending was heart failure. So, yeah there was a case of someone in Colorado dying of a gunshot wound that had COVID on the DC. Didn’t mean they died of COVID. But the CDC uses the data on the DCs for epidemiological analysis.

    A friend that works as an actuary is doing a deep dive into the available data to come up with the years of life lost due to COVID. She has said that there will be a dip in predicted deaths in the coming years since the death rate for COVID is so skewed towards the elderly, many of whom would have died in the year or two after the pandemic started.

    Sadly, the excess deaths due to teen suicide will have no offset.

    The overall suicide rate fell last year by 6%. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2778234

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  8. There are indications that the Russians are spreading disinformation again, like they did in the last two elections.

    I think that excuse has played itself out.

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  9. Growing from one to two seats, Montana will go from being the least represented state in the union — with close to a million people in the single congressional district in 2010 — to the most well-represented. The state now has just over half a million state residents per representative after the 2020 census, significantly lower than the national average population per representative of 760,000.

    NY would not have lost a seat if the population had been 89 higher. Hah. Will they call for a recount?

    I would like to increase the size of the House. The US has the highest population per rep in the lower house (754k) by over double the next highest (Columbia at 303k) among democracies. Most countries have a house that is about equal to the cube root of the population. That would increase our House to 691. It’s worth considering. There was a proposed amendment that would have set the size of the House at one per 30k max, one per 50k minimum. That’s 6,600 to 11,000 members. That would be fun.

     

     

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  10. I think that excuse has played itself out.

    In what way? They have significant social media operations in the West, as do the Chinese.

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  11. My concerns are the experimental nature and emergency FDA approval. I read plugs is offering the unapproved AstraZeneca to Mexico, Canada, etc. We may sprout a sixth finger in two years. LOL.

    Already had the first shot of the AZ vaccine – actually the version licensed for production in India. It is not approved by the FDA, I suspect because they focus was on Pfizer, Moderna, and the J&J vaccines. You have enough of those that you don’t actually need supplies of AZ, and a 4th vaccine just complicates your supply situation for the second jab. It is approved in Europe and the UK, and is the primary vaccine in use there. About 30 million jabs so far, so practical experience, which looks excellent, trumps the lack of FDA approval. It is hardly experimental. I can understand that without FDA approval, no one in the US dares use if due to liability.

    As I have written before, if the US is not using the AZ stockpile, they can play vaccine diplomacy. India will need all their domestically produced vaccines, so Canada will not get any more from there. We will be happy to buy from the US (or however the contract with AZ is written – I believe it was a loan of vaccines for the first shipment). Help your friends/allies as you see fit. China and Russia are certainly doing that.


  12. I have a 12V power outlet in left rear of my 2013 Highlander.

    The 2013 is ‘2nd generation’. The 2016-2019 are ‘3rd generation’; 2020+ are ‘4th generation’. Model years have some minor styling changes, but the ‘generations’ have the same infrastructure (engines, transmission, safety features, etc).

    The 12v power outlet was removed in the 3rd generation series. Don’t think it’s there for the 4th generation either.

    But you want a circuit that has at least a 20a fuse, and dedicated, for a power lift on the back. You can get that on the 2019 by tapping into the 12v that is dedicated to the tow package wiring from Toyota. (Etailer.com also has one that does the same thing, but I like the OEM tow install that is more integrated into the rear bumper area, rather than tacked on underneath. Slight savings not worth it when you count in installation.)

    The 12v power outlet in the 2nd generation series is probably not a dedicated circuit, and doesn’t have the proper amperage rating. If you don’t tie into the tow wiring package, then running a dedicated (and well protected) line from the battery (with an in-line 20-30a fuse) is needed.

    Although Hamar (makes the power lift I got) says that a dedicated/added line is required, and to not tie into the vehicle wiring. The 12v line that the towing package wiring box uses is a dedicated line, though, according to the Toyota wiring diagrams I’ve seen.


  13. I think that excuse has played itself out.

    In what way? They have significant social media operations in the West, as do the Chinese.

    Agree +1000 with Ech here. You see evidence of this everywhere on social media. I see it all the time on the comment sections of articles in the Globe and Mail (Toronto newspaper). I once spent an afternoon nailing one of these guys from Russia by throwing evidence to counter his arguments (the topic was Russia, NATO and Baltic countries – he was writing BS and my Dad was Lithuanian so I got exercised) and asking: “how was the borscht today in the Kremlin cafeteria”. In the end, he actually wrote – “give me a break” and gave up. This is however, hard work, and I don’t get paid, like that a$$hole, to type in comment sections all day.

    I think (whether Russian of Chinese) they are interested in doing 2 things: 1) Causing doubt and confusion where it benefits their sponsors the most; 2) Amplifying dissension, particularly in the culture wars by posting and encouraging the most divisive views and rumours on both sides of any topic. Number 2 effects the USA the most. 2016 was almost a dream election for Putin: Trump, a divisive candidate who has never been a Republican running for the Republicans; almost getting Bernie, a divisive candidate who has never been a Democrat running for the Democrats. In the end, the sabotage (well timed releases of emails – her own damn fault for having her own server) of Hilary’s campaign was enough for her to lose the election but not the nomination. I doubt there was any fiddling with the poll results in 2016 – all the damage was done well before voting night.

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  14. IMHO any drug that is used in an *emergency* situation on the general population is an “experiment”. Any drug fully approved by our goobermint is *experimental* during its first use on the general public. Any lawsuits resulting in problems from mRNA will be squashed by the goobermint. “We all are gonna die from COVID so we had to test a new drug on you!” I do believe mRNA drugs will be of great benefit with little downsides. But how can you know for sure.

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  15. I think that excuse has played itself out.

    In what way? They have significant social media operations in the West, as do the Chinese.

    ———————

    I read that the NRA spent more on the 2016 election than the Soviets


  16. There are indications that the Russians are spreading disinformation again, like they did in the last two elections.

    “Turnabout is fair play.” The US has certainly done its share of election meddling over the last 75 years or so.

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  17. “We all are gonna die from COVID so we had to test a new drug on you!”

    Collectively, the world can’t keep a lid on its FOMO so the alternative was a truly draconian lockdown and/or camps.

    What was the FOMO which drive the most recent spike on the Subcontinent?

    I’m familiar with Daiwali (sp?) because the Subcontinent students in my grad program seemed to lose their friggin’ minds and work ethic — well, what little existed — at that time of year, but I’m not familiar with the Spring festvivals.

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  18. “Turnabout is fair play.” The US has certainly done its share of election meddling over the last 75 years or so.

    Absolutely true. Of course that would not work with the now defunct USSR. Putin is clever enough to run a country with what looks like a democracy, but actually has what I will call “Potemkin elections”. They appear fair, but any popular or legitimate challengers are weeded out long before voting day. It makes it harder to call him a dictator and have the label stick. (To be fair, he is in power during the best times the Russian people have ever had, and that does give him some legitimacy with the Russian people regardless of his faux democracy). In the meantime, he is using the West’s strengths against it. If the media is wide open, and now is no longer authoritative (due to the many voices on the internet and the ruin of the media business model due to advertising moving to Google and Facebook), he is doing what he can to delegitimize the electoral process and Western culture/society in general. We see this happening in Canada too but we are small fry. The USA is the big target.

    The Chinese on the other hand are just exerting power, both covertly via the internet and overtly via hostage diplomacy, saber-rattling, electronic theft, and trade preferences. Russia as a threat is a 2nd rate power. China is a big problem. All my opinions of course, so have at it if you want.

  19. That damn tRump and his EOs…Oh, wait:

    Biden will raise the minimum wage for 700,000 federal contract workers from $10.95 to $15 in new executive order

    One guy has just made us dirt people pay for the lives of the elite goobermint working class. It just doesn’t seem right. Almost seems illegal and unConstitutional. Any shirt(-r)house lawyers want to comment? I guess plugs can take the money from SS and Medicare in a paperwork shuffle. We are so screwed.

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  20. I don’t get paid, like that a$$hole, to type in comment sections all day.

    Hey, don’t whine at us about your poor career choice.

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  21. One guy has just made us dirt people pay for the lives of the elite goobermint working class. It just doesn’t seem right. Almost seems illegal and unConstitutional. Any shirt(-r)house lawyers want to comment? I guess plugs can take the money from SS and Medicare in a paperwork shuffle. We are so screwed. 

    The EO covers workers at companies providing contracted services, not direct Federal employees. These are people working in places like the canteen at the VA or the tour buses at Kennedy.

    The impact to the budget won’t hit until the contracts come up for rebid. Kick the can down the road.

  22. @Ech, is it fair to say that with moderna the genetic chicanery happens in your body, but with J&J&j it happens in vitro before it goes into your body?


  23. The EO covers workers at companies providing contracted services, not direct Federal employees.

    Even worse. The spending never ends. Both parties are the same. We are screwed. May The FMOD Hit DC Most Rikki-Tik.

  24. Everything is raaaacyyyyisss these days. And, I bet there is a lot more to this story.

    Like Y chromosomes?

    The last Southwest connection I took out of Denver was a freak show, especially with regard to the therapy animals.

    The upside of Covid is that I didn’t see one largeish dog on the flight to/from Tampa last month.

    The previous time we took the flight, in 2018, we walked onto the plane, and one passenger had a sizeable “Golden Doodle” at the corner of the first row, obviously intending to have the animal lay in the aisle for the duration of the trip. Seriously?

  25. “The EO covers workers at companies providing contracted services, not direct Federal employees.”

    Even worse. The spending never ends. Both parties are the same. We are screwed. May The FMOD Hit DC Most Rikki-Tik.

    If it makes you feel better, I know that more toll roads are in DC’s future.

    The State of Virginia was so successful selling the highway medians for toll roads on stretches of 95 that they want to expand the network. I95 down to Fredericksburg, the “Fredericksburg Express” is up next at the end of 2022. And Maryland now wants in on the action too from what I’ve read.

    My final project for my previous employer is paying for Australian pensions as of December.

  26. I would like to increase the size of the House. The US has the highest population per rep in the lower house (754k) by over double the next highest (Columbia at 303k) among democracies. Most countries have a house that is about equal to the cube root of the population. That would increase our House to 691. It’s worth considering. There was a proposed amendment that would have set the size of the House at one per 30k max, one per 50k minimum. That’s 6,600 to 11,000 members. That would be fun.

    Please no. 435 is enough for now.

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  27. The EO covers workers at companies providing contracted services, not direct Federal employees.

    Even worse. The spending never ends. Both parties are the same. We are screwed. May The FMOD Hit DC Most Rikki-Tik.

    Carbon taxes are coming. $1/gal gasoline and $1.10/gal diesel. Coal will be awesome since it is 80 to 90% carbon. The net effect is $0.5 trillion/year to start and doubles every year.

  28. @lynn from way up thread….

    I found the Expy in sugar land and Rosenburg for me. There are a lot fewer EL versions out there.

    I called about one, and while a 2017 with 80K isn’t that out of line, it’s been sitting on their lot since November. A close look at the carfax shows he put 24K miles on in 9 months! There was another BIG chunk of mileage went on a while later too. IDK what the guy was doing, maybe running Uber from Lake Livingston to the airport in Houston? or running drugs into Montana… and to make it even more sketchy, he starts out getting oil changes every 5K, then every 8-10k, then goes more than 20K between changes– at least as reported to carfax. Now he COULD have been doing them himself, or used a mom and pop, but if he really didn’t change the oil, that’s bad. That engine needs on-schedule oil changes. The sales girl who called me back about it confirmed that the oil change question and the bursts of high miles usage were in fact what was keeping it from selling.

    The other one I had questions about the warranty (the dealer offers only 3rd party) but also told me something new… the sales guy said for about $1700 it could be ‘certified pre owned’ and then you get a Ford warranty that was much longer than the aftermarket one. I will explore that a bit more as I prefer to deal with Ford on issues.

    n

    have I mentioned that I love carfax? And I love being able to see the original window sticker to see what is really on the vehicle (only seems to be available for some vehicles.)

    OK, Ford Certified Preowned might be worth that $1,700 in this case if you can get the Gold. Blue does not seem worth it unless you have a tranny or engine failure in the first 90 days.
    https://www.autonationfordkaty.com/cpov.htm

    “Gold Certified Vehicle Specifications:
    Ford models up to 6 years old with less than 80,000 miles
    Passed a thorough 172-point inspection
    12-Month/12,OOO-MiIe (whichever comes first) Comprehensive Limited Warranty1
    7-Year/100,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Powertrain Limited Warranty1
    24/7 Roadside Assistance2
    22,000 FordPassTM Rewards Points3 to use toward your first two maintenance visits ”

    “Blue Certified Vehicle Specifications:
    Any make and model up to 10 years old with less than 120,000 miles
    Passed a detailed 139-point inspection
    90-Day/4,OOO-Mile (whichever comes first) Comprehensive Limited Warranty1
    24/7 Roadside Assistance2
    11,000 FordPassTM Rewards Points3 to use toward your first maintenance visit”


  29. @Ech, is it fair to say that with moderna the genetic chicanery happens in your body, but with J&J&j it happens in vitro before it goes into your body?

    I have a moment so let me try. There is actually quite a good explanation of how the J&J vaccine works at the NYTimes, but that may be behind the pay wall.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/health/johnson-johnson-covid-19-vaccine.html

    In short J&J uses an Adenovirus that injects DNA into a cell, then into a cell nucleus to cause the cell to use that DNA to produce the mRNA which is used to make the Spike protein. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA so they don’t inject DNA into the nucleus, they just provide the instruction string (mRNA) to produce the Spike protein.

    If I have this correct (help from ECH much appreciated), J&J does far more “genetic chicanery” by using adenovirus to inject DNA to your cells than Pfizer/Moderna by injecting mRNA. In any event, the cells producing Spike are doomed (will be killed by your immune system by displaying Spike). I am not a cell biologist or doctor or anything like that, layman only, but that is my understanding. Adenovirus vaccines are older technology than mRNA vaccines and so people appear more worried about them. I think if they called adenovirus vaccines DNA vaccines people would freak out, but that is (sort of) what they are.

  30. “Outside the Fire: An Economic Collapse Story” by Boyd Craven III
    https://www.amazon.com/Outside-Fire-Economic-Collapse-Story/dp/1682617661/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number one of a one book economic apocalyptic fantasy series. I am hoping for a sequel or even a trilogy from the author eventually. I read the well printed and well bound trade paperback published in 2018 by Permuted Press.

    Face it, the USA is headed towards an economic apocalypse on two rails at 90 mph. At some point, things are going to cut loose and just go crazy. We have not had an economic collapse in 90+ years, my son thinks that we will call this one “The Greater Depression”. The last economic collapse was bad, we may be looking an order of magnitude worse.

    As China grows in strength, the USA weakens and so does the Dollar. The protagonist, a computer programmer, is a serious prepper and spends all his money on food stashes and growing food on his property. His residential HOA constantly fights with him and the farmer living behind him. As things heat up and the Chinese sink a USA Carrier in the South China Sea, the Dollar gets weaker and weaker. The resulting costs ripple through the population as bread, milk, and gasoline go over $10 each. Then the infrastructure of the USA fails with overwhelming layoffs and massive shortages. The federal government shuts down as nobody reports to work to be paid with worthless Dollars. Then things get bad.

    Warning: This book stops with a mild cliffhanger so I do expect a sequel at some point.

    The author has a website at:
    http://www.boydcraven.com/

    My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (84 reviews)

  31. The 12v line that the towing package wiring box uses is a dedicated line, though, according to the Toyota wiring diagrams I’ve seen

    The four pin trailer connector provides no dedicated power. The four lines are used for ground, running lights, left and right turn signal (which are also the brake lights). To get 12V dedicated power a 7 pin connector must be used. In addition to the signal lines of the four pin, power, accessory and trailer brakes are added. Thus on a Highlander to get 12V would require the 7 pin trailer connector. I have never seen a 7 pin on a Highlander or anything other than a pickup truck. Toyota does not offer a 7 pin connector for the Highlander. In the case of my F-150 it was also necessary to install a fuse to activate the 12V power circuit to the trailer connection.

    The 4 pin is generally used for light trailers or trailers with surge brakes. The 7 pin is generally used for RV’s and trailers with electric brakes and to provide battery charging power to the RV.

    The maximum towing capacity for a 2019 Highlander is 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. Generally the larger six cylinder engine. It is also generally recommended that when towing that the towing weight not exceed 80% of the maximum. I would not tow anything with a Highlander in excess of 1,000 pounds unless the trailer had brakes. A stabilized hitch for any weight higher than 1K pounds would also be needed in my opinion.

    And in other news.

    I watched the latest “The Lion King” from Disney. The animation is incredible. I watched the movie on a 4K TV. The detail was stunning and the realism was awesome. IOS 14.5 on the Apple 4K TV has an option to adjust the output sent to the TV by using an iPhone to calibrate. The setting is made once and the Apple TV will adjust the signal, color, brightness, gamma output to the TV to what is expected based on what is seen by the iPhone front camera.

    Most TVs are too blue and too bright. Same as most computer monitors. Good for doing work but not so much for processing pictures or watching a movie. To watch a movie, or view pictures, on a calibrated monitor is awesome. To see movies on a calibrated TV is really awesome.


  32. The in-laws from CA used the 12V rear outlet in their van to run a small vacuum. They obsessed about keeping the cargo area clean when the vehicle was new. Even a trip to the store would result in the vacuum appearing.

    I recall when Honda added a built-in vac to their minivan, the Odyssey. Not sure if it’s still offered.
    The high pressure compressed air hoses at the car wash (or the leaf blower at home) are faster than vacuuming. Just remember to stash the contents of the door pockets in the glove box first.


  33. There are indications that the Russians are spreading disinformation again, like they did in the last two elections.

    “Turnabout is fair play.” The US has certainly done its share of election meddling over the last 75 years or so.

    Problem is we have way too many people gullible to all the disinformation.

  34. TN’s governor has just lifted all public health orders and mask mandates across the state. There never was a state mask mandate and it was left to counties to decide. Local businesses must remove mask mandates by the end of May. Finally some sanity. Except for the hospitals which are following CDC guidelines. I guess that might be OK except I see hospitals continuing to require masks forever.

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  35. TN’s governor has just lifted all public health orders and mask mandates across the state. There never was a state mask mandate and it was left to counties to decide. Local businesses must remove mask mandates by the end of May. Finally some sanity. Except for the hospitals which are following CDC guidelines. I guess that might be OK except I see hospitals continuing to require masks forever.

    In Texas, private businesses are allowed to require masks, and most do so around Austin.

    City of Austin and Travis County wanted to keep mask mandates, and they were fighting the Governor in court. I don’t know how that ended up. The core of Austin and the hipster neighborhoods south of the river tend towards hysterics.

    Florida wasn’t as open as the press would make you believe, but when we went out to Cabbage Key, most people only wore masks on and around the main dock/marina shop.

    What are the chances TN will remain free of another lockdown?

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  36. Local businesses must remove mask mandates by the end of May.

    Can the goobernor actually force this? That’s as bad *as* a mask mandate.

    I occasionally see disgusting, unclean swine not wearing masks at H-E-B. Don’t these MAGA loving creeps know that they are breathing out germs worse than getting sprayed with the toxic, immediate death causing, DDT? I may never go to H-E-B again.

    What are the chances TN will remain free of another lockdown?

    I image even a little spike in suspected COVID symptoms will induce an immediate and complete lockdown. These little spikes are obviously caused by MAGA loving jerks. tRump is responsible!

    Has any goobernor given up this unConstitutional lockdown powers voluntarily?

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  37. @Ray – all of what you say is true (Highlander stuff). The Toyota wiring harness – installed with the Toyota OEM hitch – is a 4-pin adapter for brake/signal lights.

    The connector used for the wiring harness (a Molex – square white plastic thing) contains the turn signal wires, the brake light wire as output connectors. The input to the wiring controller (small box that you will see in the video I referenced starting at the 9:30 mark) contains the source wires for the signal and brake circuits, and a 12v power line directly from the fuse box. The wiring kit includes the box, a 30A spade fuse, and the wiring harness with the 4-pin connector for the trailer.

    Third-party places (etrailer.com is one that has all sorts of trailer parts, and reasonable pricing) provide 7-pin kits that plug into the existing wiring (via the same Molex connector that is standard install on all newer Highlanders (2018-ish-plus). All later-model Highlanders have the tow capability installed (wiring and extra oil cooler), even if the hitch is not installed.

    If you need a 7-pin connector, you have to use a 3rd party kit (like this one https://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Fit-Vehicle-Wiring/Toyota/Highlander/2019/22119.html?VehicleID=201969589 ) which includes a wiring pair you have to run to the engine battery to provide 12v to the 7-pin connector.

    My theory is that since the 12v line is already there in the Molex connector (it is used to power the converter box, and the brake/signal/running lights), you could tap off of that 12v line (plus a ground) to get a 12v 2-pin connector needed for a powered wheelchair lift, so you don’t need to run a set of wires to the engine compartment.

    I already had a 12v power cord to run to the engine compartment (big thick insulation/protection, about 5/8″ diameter) that came with the used lift I got. I mounted the 2-poin connector to the same bracket as the 4-pin connector on the Toyota dealer installed wiring/hitch.

    Note to @Lynn – if at all possible, get a powered lift, not a roll-on/roll-off ramp thing. Must more convenient. And they make a swing-away one, so that you can swing the lift away and open the tailgate. Costs a bit more, but worth it. Probably deductible as a medical expense, I’d think.

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  38. “SpaceX Tells FCC to Dismiss Claims That Starlink Will Underperform”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/spacex-tells-fcc-to-dismiss-claims-that-starlink-will-underperform

    “The FCC has received comments from trade groups and competitors critical of how Starlink will perform once more people sign on to use the network. SpaceX says the third-party analyses are flawed.”

    My Comcast cable internet at my house under performs all the time. Especially when they reboot our neighborhood server and it is down for 15 minutes at least once per week.

  39. Note to @Lynn – if at all possible, get a powered lift, not a roll-on/roll-off ramp thing. Must more convenient. And they make a swing-away one, so that you can swing the lift away and open the tailgate. Costs a bit more, but worth it. Probably deductible as a medical expense, I’d think.

    Thanks ! Yeah, those drive up on ramps looks like an accident waiting to happen. The powered lift ramp is worth the money. My daughter is perpetually dizzy and my wife is almost as klutzy as me. One of them would drive the power chair right off any elevated ramp.

  40. I went and looked at this 2008 Ford Expedition with 177,000 miles for $6,000. Pretty beat up with a broken windshield and a water filled headlight. I am going to pass for now. But it did start right up and it had cold A/C. And it is an auction car being sold by a low volume dealer. They claimed that there would be no trouble getting a inspection sticker but I wondered with that leaky headlight. Carfax said that it had been in five mild to moderate wrecks with at least one headlight replaced already.
    https://houston.craigslist.org/cto/d/sugar-land-2008-ford-expedition/7311937242.html


  41. Any lawsuits resulting in problems from mRNA will be squashed by the goobermint.

    The vaccine manufacturers are immune from lawsuits in this case. There is a fund, similar to the one for other vaccines such as flu, MMR, etc., that exists to compensate people injured by the vaccine. It’s more or less a riff on the worker’s comp system.

     

  42. @lynn, there are much better cars out there then that one.

    I think I may have found a winner, if it’s still there tomorrow.
    https://www.legacyfordtx.com/used-Rosenberg-2017-Ford-Expedition+EL-Limited-1FMJK1KT4HEA44735

    In Rosenburg- Legacy Ford.
    Dealer’s Price:
    $36,900
    Location:
    Rosenberg, TX
    Mileage:
    54,484 miles

    The alternate is this one, 2 years older, a bit less money, and fewer miles
    https://www.rsford.com/used-Houston-2015-Ford-Expedition+EL-Platinum-1FMJK1LT3FEF01028

    2015 Ford Expedition
    Rating
    Price: $33,689
    Mileage: 45,636 mi
    Location: Houston, TX
    Seller: Russell & Smith Ford

    1

  43. If I have this correct (help from ECH much appreciated), J&J does far more “genetic chicanery” by using adenovirus to inject DNA to your cells than Pfizer/Moderna by injecting mRNA. In any event, the cells producing Spike are doomed (will be killed by your immune system by displaying Spike). I am not a cell biologist or doctor or anything like that, layman only, but that is my understanding. Adenovirus vaccines are older technology than mRNA vaccines and so people appear more worried about them. I think if they called adenovirus vaccines DNA vaccines people would freak out, but that is (sort of) what they are.

    That’s pretty much it. The adenovirus is one that can’t replicate in the human body, so it won’t “run away” and keep infecting you. While the adenovirus tech is older, there have only been a few successful adenovirus vaccines. A couple for Ebola and one for a form of TB. The TB one is the only one that has been approved in the US via the normal process.

    Neither the mRNA or adenovirus vaccines alter your cellular DNA. Adenoviruses have been studied for a long time because they were hoped to be a way to do gene therapy, but have had limited success.

     

  44. A day later and my first Pfizer jab is a little sore. A little swelling that went away over night.

    Thanks for all the updates, Mr. ech. I don’t know chit about mRNA therapy, but I do have a tinfoil hat. LOL!

    1

  45. I went and looked at this 2008 Ford Expedition with 177,000 miles for $6,000. Pretty beat up with a broken windshield and a water filled headlight. I am going to pass for now. But it did start right up and it had cold A/C. And it is an auction car being sold by a low volume dealer. They claimed that there would be no trouble getting a inspection sticker but I wondered with that leaky headlight. Carfax said that it had been in five mild to moderate wrecks with at least one headlight replaced already.
    https://houston.craigslist.org/cto/d/sugar-land-2008-ford-expedition/7311937242.html

    @lynn; do you have to have an SUV? If not, would something like this suffice?
    https://www.sterlingmccalltoyotafortbend.com/inventory/used-2007-ford-focus-s-front-wheel-drive-coupe-1fafp31n77w290395

  46. @lynn; do you have to have an SUV? If not, would something like this suffice?
    https://www.sterlingmccalltoyotafortbend.com/inventory/used-2007-ford-focus-s-front-wheel-drive-coupe-1fafp31n77w290395

    I figure that anything I buy that I will need to drive it once a week to keep the battery up. I am a big guy, 6’1″ and 250 lbs. With my arthritis, it hurts to crawl into anything smaller than a medium sized SUV. I can do it if needful but not on a continuous basis.

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  47. @lynn

    I am a big guy, 6’1″ and 250 lbs.

    Me, too. I test drove a 2019 Toyota RAV4, and found the seats were not quite wide enough for my ‘wide body’. They are a bit narrower than the 2008 Highlander I was used to, and the 2019 Highlander XLE that I purchased.

    I take long trips (12-14 hours driving in one day), and weekly shopping is 20 miles away, so the wider seats of the Highlander won out over the RAV4. Plus the Highlander was a bit more ‘peppier’ with it’s bigger engine. I get 25mpg highway regularly.

     


  48. Walking through the Columbia Group’s concessions at Tampa Airport last month, I was struck by the menu for the hamburger counter, a subset of their Goody Goody Diner selection, featuring the “No fiction here” Royale With Cheese.

    (Grow up in Tampa, and you’ll recognize the Goody Goody name. Killed by condo developments but not forgotten)

    @Greg; besides the airport location the original diner was resurrected in 2016 in Hyde Park Village.

    https://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/dining/south-tampa-institution-returns-as-goody-goody-opens-in-hyde-park-village/2290596/

  49. @lynn

    I am a big guy, 6’1″ and 250 lbs.

    Me, too. I test drove a 2019 Toyota RAV4, and found the seats were not quite wide enough for my ‘wide body’. They are a bit narrower than the 2008 Highlander I was used to, and the 2019 Highlander XLE that I purchased.

    I take long trips (12-14 hours driving in one day), and weekly shopping is 20 miles away, so the wider seats of the Highlander won out over the RAV4. Plus the Highlander was a bit more ‘peppier’ with it’s bigger engine. I get 25mpg highway regularly.

    The RAV4 is based on the Corolla. The Highlander is based on the Camry.

    It kills my knees to crawl into my son’s 2020 Camry. Other than that it is an amazing car that he paid $20,000 + TTL for brand new. He gets 35+ mpg in his Camry to and from work, 17 miles each way.

  50. Some tech site news that look interesting:

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/16639/tsmc-update-2nm-in-development-3nm-4nm-on-track-for-2022

    It is not particularly surprising that TSMC’s N5 is gaining market share among adopters of leading-edge technologies. Analysts from China Renaissance estimate that TSMC’s N5 features a transistor density of around 170 million transistors per square millimeter (MTr/mm2), which if accurate, makes it the densest technology available today. By contrast, Samsung’s Foundry’s 5LPE can boast with about 125 MTr/mm2 ~130 MTr/mm2, whereas Intel’s 10 nm features an approximately 100 MTr/mm2 density.

    https://arstechnica.com/cars/2021/04/one-in-five-californian-ev-drivers-revert-to-piston-power-but-why/

    Just under four-fifths (1,458 respondents) said they planned to keep their plug-in. Of these, 1,213 had already moved on to another EV and another 245 had bought their EV after the end of its lease. But just over 20 percent (384 respondents) went back to pure internal combustion for their next vehicle (a weighted 18 percent for BEV owners and 20 percent for PHEV owners).

    https://www.windowscentral.com/windows-10-big-changes-coming-app-store

    Microsoft will allow developers to submit raw .EXE or .MSI packages to the Store, and even allow those developers to host the app and push out updates via their own CDN.

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/04/fcc-lets-spacex-cut-satellite-altitude-to-improve-starlink-speed-and-latency/

    In 2018, SpaceX received FCC approval to launch 4,425 broadband satellites at orbits of 1,110 km to 1,325 km. An FCC order in 2019 gave SpaceX permission to use a lower altitude for over 1,500 of those satellites. Today’s FCC order granting SpaceX’s additional license-change request lowers the altitude for 2,814 of the satellites, letting them orbit in the 540-570 km range.

    ……..

    SpaceX separately was granted permission in November 2018 to launch another 7,518 satellites at even lower altitudes of 335 km to 346 km.

    And 300mbps promised as well as less latency.

  51. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/04/fcc-lets-spacex-cut-satellite-altitude-to-improve-starlink-speed-and-latency/

    In 2018, SpaceX received FCC approval to launch 4,425 broadband satellites at orbits of 1,110 km to 1,325 km. An FCC order in 2019 gave SpaceX permission to use a lower altitude for over 1,500 of those satellites. Today’s FCC order granting SpaceX’s additional license-change request lowers the altitude for 2,814 of the satellites, letting them orbit in the 540-570 km range.

    ……..

    SpaceX separately was granted permission in November 2018 to launch another 7,518 satellites at even lower altitudes of 335 km to 346 km.

    And 300mbps promised as well as less latency.

    Just look for the fireballs in the sky.


  52. Just look for the fireballs in the sky.

    I’m gonna start an insurance company. 🙂

  53. @ech

    My comments before were based on some really reliable emails I got…

    No, just kidding. Based on a conversation I had with a retired classmate on Saturday. Used to be a vaccine researcher, so I’ll go with:

    mRNA are not vaccines as traditionally defined.

    As in “contain live virus or dead virus”.

    Can’t seem to find any traditional use of mRNA vaccine. Or any licensed use at all pre-Wuhan. Lot’s of “swing and a miss”.

     

    They are experimental, to the extent that most medical insurance will not cover any adverse reactions.

    Which is not true. It is NOT considered experimental by the FDA.

    Meets my definition of “experimental” when millions of people get it for the first time where approximately none got it before.

    Perhaps “most” is incorrect, but I was provided with one example of insurance not covering adverse reactions. Suggest that people check their own coverage.

    The U.S. curve has already crossed–deaths are in deficit.

    That’s not knowable yet. The curve on the page that Lynn linked to of excess deaths isn’t “complete” until 8 weeks after the week in question. The last week in the chart that would be considered near complete is February 10, which still shows excess deaths

    I didn’t use Lynn’s link, so we can stay tuned.

    It’s been estimated in published studies that that the excess deaths due to Wuhan lying Chicom coronavirus are 2/3 to 3/4 of the total, with the balance being early deaths from treatable and untreatable medical conditions. Sorting the virus from the non-virus excess deaths is going to be the subject of papers for years. So the excess deaths themselves are not, strictly speaking, knowable.

    (And as far as “knowable” is concerned, why is a positive test result still being conflated with a “case”, and why is the former still being generated by excess amplification cycles?)

    Two additional comments:

    First, both the FDA and the CDC have proven that they are not reliable sources of information where a) there are political considerations, and b) where their turf is threatened. Remember, if they had been in charge we would still be waiting for effective prophylactic treatment, subject to their “process”. (Anyone wanting insights should read (or reread) John Kenneth Galbraith’s The New Industrial State (1967). Just cross out “corporation” and insert “governmental organization”. )

    Also worth noting is their notable failures in the areas of test kit manufacture and licensing a single facility to produce two treatments. Anyone want to bet the paperwork was impeccable?

    Second, cui bono? Make it more lucrative to inflate the numbers and blame deaths and disruption on the virus, and the guaranteed result is going to be that the numbers are biased, with the goobermint digging into taxpayer pockets to fund the hospitals, nursing homes, mortuaries, mosques, and progressive ladies aid societies of the correct persuasions.

    Nice article in JAMA. Should I trust it, or is that another journal that now considers “systemic racism” a disease?

     

    2
    7
    1
  54. Nice article in JAMA. Should I trust it, or is that another journal that now considers “systemic racism” a disease?

    The AMA supported Obamacare, but the Journal is still relevant as a source of medical information.

  55. “And 300mbps promised as well as less latency.”

    Just look for the fireballs in the sky.

    I don’t see how they reach 300 Mbps in urban areas without some kind of terrestrial link.

    What’s Dish up to these days with the bandwidth and MVNO contracts they inherited from the T-Mobile/Sprint merger.

  56. Well, family fed, plus one. We’ve got an extra kid for a sleepover tonight. Grilled chicken hearts. Grilled baby back ribs, marinaded and brushed with garlic and oyster sauce. Fresh boiled green beans with onion and bacon. Mango cobbler with vanilla icecream and whipped cream for dessert (and birthday cake.) Mango was from the big mango shaped jar that Costco sells, cobbler mix was Zatarans from long term stores. I’ve got the ribs and the hearts in the freezer, but as long as I was going to the store I got fresh.

    Daughter 1 can’t stand the idea of eating hearts. Daughter 2 loves them. I love them. Wife doesn’t mind but won’t go out of her way to eat them. And to her great credit, guest child ate one and pronounced “it doesn’t taste bad at all, it tastes like chicken.”

    The grill propane tank ran dry about 2/3 of the way thru, but I have several in reserve 🙂

    Preps for the win!

    HEB was out of Charmin Blue, ramen noodles were mostly empty shelves (like every time I’ve been there in months), but most stuff was present. Pork chops on sale, so I stocked up. Soda was still limited selection, with some marginal flavors still missing, like diet ginger ale.

    n

  57. @Lynn, yeah that 2015 was sold back to the dealer. I asked and she said that most of their customers trade back in there when they are ready to upgrade.

    The 2015 would be eligible for blue CPO based on age. the 2017 is good for gold on miles and age (under 80k, less than 5 years old).

    n

    1
  58. Nice article in JAMA. Should I trust it, or is that another journal that now considers “systemic racism” a disease?

    I’d trust JAMA about as far as the NEJM:

    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMms2004740

     

    For example, despite mounting evidence that race is not a reliable proxy for genetic difference, (italics added) the belief that it is has become embedded, sometimes insidiously, within medical practice.

  59. “And 300mbps promised as well as less latency.”

    Just look for the fireballs in the sky.

    I don’t see how they reach 300 Mbps in urban areas without some kind of terrestrial link.

    What’s Dish up to these days with the bandwidth and MVNO contracts they inherited from the T-Mobile/Sprint merger.

    Musk said that they were not able to serve all of the potential clients now. But he said, give them time to experiment and try new things out. I believe him, Starlink has as their goal to become the largest ISP in the world. They will experiment with stuff until they get it to working. After all, the satellites will only stay in orbit for a max of six years then they burn up and have to be replaced. I wonder if they will run out of fuel long before that. I don’t know if the satellites have ion thrusters also but I don’t think so.

    In fact, Starlink / Musk reminds me of AT&T in the 1920s to 1960s. They actually set the world on fire and made things happen. Two of my great grandmothers were operators at AT&T and one of my wife’s grandmother’s was an operator there also. She left my wife’s father over a thousand shares which he just left to his daughters.

  60. I don’t see how they reach 300 Mbps in urban areas without some kind of terrestrial link.

    For a start, it is not meant to be urban. They get a truckload in subsidies to cover non-urban. At least that is the story today. To get that throughput it is just a matter of satellite density to customer base. The satellites communicate amongst themselves so you just distribute the load as much as possible and put as many as you need to close to saturated sites.

  61. HEB was out of Charmin Blue, ramen noodles were mostly empty shelves (like every time I’ve been there in months), but most stuff was present. Pork chops on sale, so I stocked up. Soda was still limited selection, with some marginal flavors still missing, like diet ginger ale.

    That book I reviewed earlier freaked me out. In the book, they had to live off mostly stored food for two years. Their house had a storm cellar, they filled it with food. When the Chinese sunk the George H. W. Bush Carrier in the South China Sea, he took $80,000 out of savings in cash, rented a 1,000 ft2 self storage close by their home, and filled it full of food. Plus he stored food at their church in a common storage in the basement. Do you know how much food that is ? And they ended up having to feed lots of neighbors below sustenance level. And had to fight off some of the neighbors trying to take the food from them. No FEMA presence at all due to the utter failure of the Dollar.

  62. One of the funniest things that I have done in life is to go visit my grandparents, get up at the crack at dawn at the 138 acre farm, eat breakfast, stop and drink coffee at quickie stop, drive 20 miles in to town (Sherman, Texas) and to the mall, and walk two miles with them in the mall. Drive 20 miles back to the farm, eat lunch, rest for a bit, and walk to south pasture about a half mile, get the 30 cows, and bring them back to the barn for their daily feeding.
    http://retailcomics.com/comic/january-4-2006/

    That was well over 30 years ago. That was a lot of walking. And no shooting interesting things on the farm while bringing the cows up from the south pasture even though I was carrying my Wesson .357 magnum on my right hip. I could have shot about three or four cottonmouths while walking along the creek. I hate cottonmouths.


  63. I take long trips (12-14 hours driving in one day), and weekly shopping is 20 miles away, so the wider seats of the Highlander won out over the RAV4. Plus the Highlander was a bit more ‘peppier’ with it’s bigger engine. I get 25mpg highway regularly.

    Toyota ruined the RAV4 when they stopped the V6 Sport edition – plenty of pep wit those 269 ponies under the hood. Still miss mine.


  64. I hate cottonmouth

    Jaborandi pilocarpus, available at an herb shop near you. Make a strong tea (1 oz dried:1pint) and sip after doing whatever causes cottonmouth. Cures what ails you.

    Don’t ask me how I know.

    2

  65. @Lynn, yeah that 2015 was sold back to the dealer. I asked and she said that most of their customers trade back in there when they are ready to upgrade.

    Just driven to church on Sundays.

    Reminds me when my grandfather had a stroke many years ago. He was a machinist before he retired for the American Chicle Company. The stroke prevented him from driving. He was always a very determined individual and for sure wasn’t going to let the stroke stop him from driving while he recovered. As soon as he was able he drug himself to his workshop and fashioned his own left-side gas pedal for his Dodge sedan which got him back on the road. Simpler days back then.


  66. “F**k The Police” Proclaims 32-Year-OId Livestreamer Before Killing Cop In 2AM Drunken Hit-And-Run

    by Tyler Durden
    Tuesday, Apr 27, 2021 – 10:20 PM

    A New York woman was arrested early Tuesday morning after striking and killing a veteran police officer in a New York City hit-and-run, according to the Daily Mail.

    In a nearly two-hour Facebook Live stream following the trial of ex-cop Derek Chauvin, 32-year-old Jessica Beauvais could be seen taking shots of vodka and saying “fuck the police” just hours before plowing into 43-year-old NYPD Highway Officer Anastasios Tsakos, 43, on the Long Island Expressway around 2am Tuesday morning while driving her Volkswagen on a suspended license.

    –that’s just a bit bolder than usual and hopefully not the start of a trend.

    n

  67. “F**k The Police” Proclaims 32-Year-OId Livestreamer Before Killing Cop In 2AM Drunken Hit-And-Run

    by Tyler Durden
    Tuesday, Apr 27, 2021 – 10:20 PM

    A New York woman was arrested early Tuesday morning after striking and killing a veteran police officer in a New York City hit-and-run, according to the Daily Mail.

    In a nearly two-hour Facebook Live stream following the trial of ex-cop Derek Chauvin, 32-year-old Jessica Beauvais could be seen taking shots of vodka and saying “fuck the police” just hours before plowing into 43-year-old NYPD Highway Officer Anastasios Tsakos, 43, on the Long Island Expressway around 2am Tuesday morning while driving her Volkswagen on a suspended license.

    –that’s just a bit bolder than usual and hopefully not the start of a trend.

    n

    Looks like murder to me.

    And she is apparently an alcoholic and mentally ill.

    Just think, 20 years ago people were crying for the hundreds of NYPD officers who died in 9/11.

    Where are we going ?

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