Tues. May 4, 2021 – May the Fourth be with you….

We’re right on the edge of a predicted rain and thunderstorm area, so I’m hoping we don’t get it. We usually don’t. Yesterday was HOT in the sun and very humid feeling. I stayed in most of the day, because my outdoor work involves lifting and carrying, and my back is right on the edge of something bad, again. I’m really going to have to do more stretching.

I did a bunch of moving and sorting in my office. Improving my daily workspace seems both useful and wasteful at the same time. I feel like there are more impactful things to do around the house, but then I think about how nice it will be to get my desk cleaned up.* Work avoidance mode. So much easier than working.

Today will be something different, although I do need to continue the office clean out. First things first, I’ll be picking up my new truck. I will then be able to pick up a couple of things, and move some stuff back into the truck and out of the foyer. That will make room to strip everything out of the Ranger and get it in to the repair place. I want all this messing around with vehicles to be done.

Only way through is through.

And I’ll say the same for whatever bad thing is on the way. No avoiding it now, only dealing with it. Do your best to mitigate what’s been brewing for more than 6 years. Stacking will probably help.

nick

*5 monitors, 4 computers, 8 radios, vinyl cutter and laser printer, as well as storage and a couple of disk drive enclosures all visible at my main desk area.

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

84 thoughts on “Tues. May 4, 2021 – May the Fourth be with you….”

  1. 75F with 88%RH at 630am, probably gonna be hot and sticky today.

    n

  2. Those 480 volt, three phase, 1000 amp circuits are VERY expensive. The transformer is several thousand pounds itself and requires an 8 ft by 8 ft pad (IIRC).

    IIRC, my Colonel Bat Guano neighbors in FL spent $50k rewiring their garage and, thus, their house for 480V service in the garage, where they kept a very early, probably custom modded, Prius plug-in hybrid.

    In all, they spent $200k on top of a nearly $500k purchase price making the house “green”. I think they still carry the second on their current house in the boonies of Alabama because, when the SHTF in Florida, they only managed $400k selling, and they had also leveraged the house to buy a condo conversion rental property near the base.

    Sure, military credit unions, but that kind of financial mess is in everyone’s future with the mandates of the Green New Deal — lots of employment to be had installing and “inspecting”.

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  3. At some point in the last few months, Quicken switched to tracking only the cash balances and periodic adjustments to those numbers in both my legacy and current 401(k) plans through Fidelity. Securities held and transactions trading out of the funds are hidden or (I hope not) gone. WTF?

    If I can’t get that straightened out, I’ll drop the Quicken subscription and accelerate my long simmering move to Gnucash. Our IRAs at Vanguard (mine) and T. Rowe (wife’s) didn’t switch the reporting that way.

    Gotta wonder about Fidelity long term at this point. With the Death Star 401(k), State Street actually holds the account with Fidelity collecting a fee for reporting “services”.

  4. A belated THANKS to everyone that commented on my tomato issues yesterday. There’s a lot to chew on (heh) there, so i might try a combination of things, partial shade, timer controlled misting, no cages.

    The high desert summer climate is much like JimB said, 100+, single digit humidity, and often very high winds ( Sunday it was officially gusting to about 60mph).

     

  5. Back from the dealer, shiny black Expy parked in front of the house.

    Now to get all the stuff taken care of- new toll tag, sirius subscription moved, phone sync’d, log book moved, safety and preps installed….

    And the other truck can now be prepped for the repair place.

    n

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  6. giant trebuchets

    -fun for the whole family!

    n

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  7. I wonder what those “corrupt” goobermints will do with and *extra* $310 million? More mansions in Miami? Surely they would use the $$ on their citizens.

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  8. “The city of Detroit is a lost cause.”

    –Chicago too.
    n

    In Tempe in the summer, with 3% RH, you would feel cold moving into the shade. and it really was cold. Without the moisture to spread the heat, it was MUCH colder in the shade. It was so dry I could feel the moisture coming off of a glass of water on the back of my hand from 3-4ft away. Kiln dried lumber was stored indoors, or it would warp and twist as it dried out.

    I’d get in the hot tub, and the water would feel cool, because at 108F, it was COOLER than the air temp. Pool water tasted salty from all the people sweating in it. My t shirt would have salt rings all over the front and back, and I’d never have felt wet.

    yeah, super gross. But I do miss the desert.
    n

    All blue cities are lost causes.

    A salt water pool is around 3,000 TDS (total dissolved solids, ppm (parts per million)). That salt is not taste able by most people.

    The ocean is around 30,000 TDS. That salt is taste able by just about all people.

    So that hot tub was somewhere between 3,000 and 30,000 TDS due to people’s sweat. Super gross is right.

    And deserts are neat until you have to live in one. Dadgum sand gets everywhere.

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  9. giant trebuchets

    Sadly, I cannot find an online source for the Dave Barry column which launched the modern national fascination with trebuchets by profiling the people behind the machine eventually used to throw the piano on “Northern Exposure”, but the tail end of the landmark (cough) piece on car bowling from an airplane has an update proving that such a column actually existed.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1994-10-16-9410160112-story.html

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  10. Tues. May 4, 2021 – May the Fourth be with you….

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Day

    I remember two of my buddies talking me into go seeing Star Wars at the Houston Galleria Cinema in 1977. We had to wait in line for several hours around the ice skating rink before we got into one of the four huge theaters (well over 1,000 seats each). The movie was cool. Super cool. I went back in a couple of weeks and saw it again. Now it looks dated but that is ok because they so upped the game in follow-on movies.

    And I still think that “The Empire Strikes Back” is the best of the bunch. Why yes, “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones is one of my favorite songs. Why do you ask ?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4irXQhgMqg

  11. So that hot tub was somewhere between 3,000 and 30,000 TDS due to people’s sweat.

    Sweat. Yea, sure. That’s where the salt is coming from.

    “In a pool with 110,000 gallons of water, the researchers found that over the three-week period, swimmers released 7.92 gallons of urine.Today.com Article

    What is that? About 37 gallons of urine put into an outdoor public pool every Summer (in the latitudes where pools are typically only open Memorial Day to Labor Day) before they’re drained? Now. at indoor pools that are almost never drained… Just think about that.

    For puke and diarrhea, if they’re even informed or noticed it happened, they typically just let the pool’s standard sand filter do its thing and “shock” the pool with chemicals before reopening it to the public.

    If the pool water tastes salty it’s because you’re tasting it which means all of the aforementioned stuff is in your mouth. Lovely.

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  12. Now it looks dated but that is ok because they so upped the game in follow-on movies. 

    Lucas hired a real director for “The Empire Strikes Back”, still the best of the series … even though it “ends on such a down note.”

    “That’s what life is — a series of down endings.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb8MVKihBDU

    Stick around for the whole thing. Another good Kevin Smith clip inspired by “Star Wars”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L9io-b9Uew

    “What’s a Nubian? B*tch, you almost made me laugh.”

    Which reminds me — Kevin Smith also has the best staged sci-fi/fantasy conventions in his movies, including the con in the last “Jay and Silent Bob” flick. The only obvious element missing to me is Furries, but that’s mostly a Texas convention thing, y’all. 🙂

  13. Trebuchets were used twice in Northern Exposure.  Once to hurl an old piano, one of Chris’ art projects, and once to hurl a deceased  old buddy of Chris’ into the lake.

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  14. May the Fourth Be with You

    Donald Trump Jr tweeted

    2016: A New Hope

    2020: The Empire Strikes Back

    2024: The Return of the MAGA???

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  15. “That’s what life is — a series of down endings.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb8MVKihBDU

    Stick around for the whole thing. Another good Kevin Smith clip inspired by “Star Wars”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L9io-b9Uew

    “What’s a Nubian? B*tch, you almost made me laugh.”

    Kevin Smith is amusing. 🙂 Unfortunately, his movies became a little less engaging when he exhausted his pre-fame experiences for source material. Still, he interviews great and his commentary is awesome. Anytime a show is soliciting celebrity commentary on anything pop culture related they should bring in Kevin Smith every time.

    I was later than some to the Kevin Smith fandom. I didn’t even notice Clerks on the shelf in the video store. Mallrats I passed over because Shannon Doherty was plastered on the cover. Chasing Amy was another one that escaped my attention at its release. I think I finally got into it after I got my first programming job at a  small firm and all of us twentysomething coders sat around all day talking movies (and other pop culture crap). Everyone kept mentioning Kevin Smith’s “Jersey Trilogy” and I finally added the DVDs to my Netflix queue and have been hooked ever since.

  16. Trebuchets were used twice in Northern Exposure. Once to hurl an old piano, one of Chris’ art projects, and once to hurl a deceased old buddy of Chris’ into the lake. 

    I didn’t know about the second appearance. I’ve written before what the last half of the 90s were like for me — work, work, work. In retrospect, I regret that decision and putting up with management more insane than anything seen in “Dilbert” of that era.

    (Which reminds me — I’ve stated before that my last GTE manager channeled Al Pachino in “Scarface” as his management style. Guess what returned to Netflix this week!)

    The first appearance of a trebuchet in “Northern Exposure” is the same machine that inspired Dave Barry, filmed on location in Texas. The footage is very cool — the network’s money was spent well.

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  17. Anytime a show is soliciting celebrity commentary on anything pop culture related they should bring in Kevin Smith every time.

    “The Last Blockbuster” does that exact thing.

    Highly recommended. Again on Netflix.

  18. I was later than some to the Kevin Smith fandom. I didn’t even notice Clerks on the shelf in the video store. 

    I found “Clerks” because I was a “Siskel & Ebert” fan, to the point that I would tape/TiVo the show after the local Fox-owned station in Tampa started to renew the syndication license just to run the episodes at 4 AM on Sunday morning, long past peak weekend box office.

    Roger Ebert was very generous to “View Askew” in the 90s even though he wasn’t thrilled with “Mallrats”.

  19. Trebuchets were used twice in Northern Exposure. Once to hurl an old piano, one of Chris’ art projects, and once to hurl a deceased old buddy of Chris’ into the lake.

    Another show that I want to binge. I am currently binging about ten tv series instead of watching baseball this year. I just added “Alias” with Jennifer Garner to my binge list which is topped with “X Files”.

  20. Another show that I want to binge. I am currently binging about ten tv series instead of watching baseball this year. I just added “Alias” with Jennifer Garner to my binge list which is topped with “X Files”.

    If you’re doing “The X Files”, as I’ve noted before, add “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” to the list.

    Even though “Kolchak” only ran one season, it is a huge cultural touchstone. It is a must if you are binging “The X Files” *and* watched all of “The Sopranos”.

    I saw that “Alias” went to Roku Channel. Sadly, JJ Abrams collaboration with Venus Hum, “Alias” staged with Playmobil as a promotion video for the band’s “Fighting for Love” riff on the series’ theme has disappeared from Youtube.

    Houston’s pro sports teams seemed to crash hard suddenly. The latest rumors around here are the Chargers taking advantage of the football situation to flirt with a San Marcos relocation.

    San Marcos gets used just like Tampa was by MLB for 20-something years before the Rays/Diamondbacks expansion. The NFL lets it happen because they’d love to have a Super Bowl party in San Antonio but don’t see the Alamodome as anywhere near adequate — not enough places in the building to hide the hookers when configured for football. Plus only … 55,000 seats (?).

    The NFL and sportswriters would also love to see “Coach Pop” from the Spurs in an owners’ box or at least at games every home weekend. “Pop” will bring the wine.


  21. Between the alternate who said she didn’t want people coming to her house if they didn’t like the verdict, to this guy, Chauvin better get a new trial, and somewhere with a change of venue.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/undisclosed-bias-even-wapo-questions-impartiality-blm-shirt-wearing-juror-chauvin-case

    I think that TPTB don’t want a new trial. I think the best that Chauvin can hope for is for the judge to disallow the ‘aggravating factors’ and give Chauvin the minimum allowable sentence (14 years IIRC).

  22. “Earth Helpless Against Giant Asteroids As NASA Simulation Ends In Doom”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/earth-helpless-against-giant-asteroids-nasa-simulation-ends-doom

    “According to simulations conducted by leading space agencies, Earth lacks the technology to stop a massive asteroid from wiping out Europe, according to the Independent.
    The week-long exercise led by Nasa concluded that catastrophe would be unavoidable, even given six months to prepare.
    The hypothetical impact scenario, which took place during a planetary defence conference hosted by the United Nations, proved that governments are woefully unprepared for this kind of disaster. -Independent
    “If confronted with the scenario in real life, we would not be able to launch any spacecraft on such short notice with current capabilities,” said the participants.
    According to the report, the only thing humanity could do in such an event is to evacuate the area before the asteroid hit – though the scenario’s impact zone was across a large swath of North Africa and Europe.”

    Yup. As Ryk Spoor just so excitingly pointed out in his recent “Castaway Resolution” book, giant asteroids are ELE (extinction level events) for land dwellers.
    https://www.amazon.com/Castaway-Resolution-Boundary-Eric-Flint/dp/1982125322/?tag=ttgnet-20

    And my favorite asteroid movie is “Deep Impact” with “When Worlds Collide” as a close second.
    https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Impact-Blu-ray-Morgan-Freeman/dp/B002DMJLTE/?tag=ttgnet-20
    and
    https://www.amazon.com/When-Worlds-Collide-Blu-ray-Richard/dp/B091F3MT1L/?tag=ttgnet-20


  23. “If confronted with the scenario in real life, we would not be able to launch any spacecraft on such short notice with current capabilities,” said the participants.

    But was Elon there? And Bruce Willis??

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  24. I’ve been saying for a while we need to freeze Bruce Willis so he can be available in the future to save us from killer asteroids.

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  25. Years ago, I thought that bubble wrap (or the air pocket packaging) was a threat to air quality – who knows what kind of air is inside those things? That’s why I don’t allow bubble wrap or those plastic air pocket things to be popped/opened inside the house.  I always pop them outside, when there is a nice breeze to take away the probable polluted air inside.

    And then my tin-foil-hat friends worry about the possibility of using bubble wrap/air pockets to distribute air-borne disease.

    Maybe that’s a good plot for some post-apocalyptic fiction. I claim ownership of that plot first. Please forward all payments directly to me.

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  26. Another Darwin Award winner:

    We need a lot more applicants…quite a lot more…


  27. And then my tin-foil-hat friends worry about the possibility of using bubble wrap/air pockets to distribute air-borne disease.

    Maybe that’s a good plot for some post-apocalyptic fiction. I claim ownership of that plot first. Please forward all payments directly to me.

    Before you get any payments we’re still busy deciding who ‘owns’ the comments posted here…

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  28. I think that TPTB don’t want a new trial. I think the best that Chauvin can hope for is for the judge to disallow the ‘aggravating factors’ and give Chauvin the minimum allowable sentence (14 years IIRC).

    The union threw Chauvin under the bus in part for pulling back the curtain on the Minneapolis PD’s retirement benefits by failing to file to keep his Windemere retirement condo out of Florida public records. His fate is up to the judge now.

    Chauvin can’t be the only cop in the department planning a retirement that would be out of reach for better than 95% of the population.

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  29. …with “When Worlds Collide” as a close second.

    Don’t forget to read the sequel.

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  30. @alan, sorry I didn’t see that you had a comment stuck in moderation- too many links. 4 links should pass, more than that and you’ll have to let Rick or me know with a link free commment….
    n

    @lynn, it was links to possible vehicles, on saturday.

    added- looks like rick must have set it free long time ago 🙂

  31. Yikes, fell asleep for 2 hours. So sore. Had a very short power outage, and everything reset. Two UPSs in the office, both need batteries.

    🙁

    n

  32. @Lynn: Greenland 2020 is a pretty good treatment of Lucifer’s Hammer syndrome. The first hit is Tampa. 🙂

  33. I put the ring binder full of Pokemon cards in this month’s local auction with a bunch of other toy and collectable stuff. Almost every sheet had bids within minutes of listing. Most of the other lots have no bids or opening bids with over a day to go. With ~450 cards, I’m averaging <$2/card at the moment. I expect that to go higher. Unsearched and not cherry picked. First editions from the early 2000s. Played but good condition in the sleeves. Found them in a bin at the Goodwill Outlet. n

  34. New Cardigan in the house is offering endless amusement. Older dogs are slowly coming to terms with the interloper. She’s 3 months old and smart as a whip. Fortunately knows how to settle.

    Took down half a dozen trees. Dealing with detritus. Making inroads on clearing old house. The garage if doom, filled with <sarcasm>precious treasures we can’t possibly chuck</sarcasm> will be placed in storage. I’ve committed to a year. I expect we will be paying $3,000 annually to store worn out memories and outdated tech for years and years to come.
    Oh well. Happy spouse, happy house.

    I’m going to ruthlessly purge virtually everything of mine in the garage at this point.  Ditto the <sarcasm>precious treasures</sarcasm> of mine I took the trouble to move.

    We are into the voting stage of the mayoral run off. Heavy money coming from outside with goal of continuing Alaska’s inexorable purple fall. Soon we will be bluer than California.

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  35. @alan, sorry I didn’t see that you had a comment stuck in moderation- too many links. 4 links should pass, more than that and you’ll have to let Rick or me know with a link free commment….
    n

    @lynn, it was links to possible vehicles, on saturday.

    added- looks like rick must have set it free long time ago

    RickH set me free Saturday !

  36. “Running from the Deity: A Pip & Flinx Adventure” by Alan Dean Foster
    https://www.amazon.com/Running-Deity-Flinx-Adventure-Adventures/dp/0345461614/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number ten (in reading order) of a fifteen book space opera with psi series. I reread the well printed and well bound MMPB published by Del Rey in 2006 that I bought new since I cannot find my copy in my packed books. I will continue to read through the series. BTW, the next book in the series is “Bloodhype” which was published in 1983.

    Flinx has his own FTL spaceship, the Teacher, built and given to him by the Ulru-Ujurrians. Flinx and Pip have stopped on the planet of Arrawd located in the Blight, for repairs to the Teacher. Teacher lands itself on the planet and proceeds to extract the minerals needed for the repairs. I am guessing that Teacher not only has mining equipment, it also has 3D printer capabilities which is cool and needful. As usual, trouble both follows and precedes Flinx and his sidekick especially as the planet is interdicted by the Commonwealth since the inhabitants are at the beginning of their steam age.

    The reading order of Pip and Flinx:
    https://www.fantasticfiction.com/f/alan-dean-foster/pip-and-flinx/

    ADF has a website at:
    https://www.alandeanfoster.com/

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (103 reviews)

  37. I put the ring binder full of Pokemon cards in this month’s local auction with a bunch of other toy and collectable stuff. Almost every sheet had bids within minutes of listing. Most of the other lots have no bids or opening bids with over a day to go. With ~450 cards, I’m averaging <$2/card at the moment. I expect that to go higher. Unsearched and not cherry picked. First editions from the early 2000s. Played but good condition in the sleeves. Found them in a bin at the Goodwill Outlet.

    Pokemon cards are hot right now. The problem with moving them yourself is getting them graded. I just saw the story, but I don’t remember where.

    I trashed a bunch of cards and Beyblade gear cleaning up/packing to leave Vantucky. It was a somewhat irrational response to getting stuck with $8000 in packing costs for mostly cr*p (IMHO at the time) going into boxes in the first move from Tampa, including a bunch of toys my kids seemed to have lost interest in a long time ago.

    I guess I’m no different than the mothers in the 50s trashing “Spiderman No. 1” and similar collectibles.

    In my own defense, I did keep the “Star Wars” toys except for the Millenium Falcon which was missing half of the pieces. Of course, the reissued Falcon is $399 even from Target.


  38. I just added “Alias” with Jennifer Garner to my binge list which is topped with “X Files”.

    Hmmm. I wanted to like “Alias”, but there seemed to be a torture scene in every episode.  I’ve a low tolerance for that.

    Haven’t  watched “Marathon Man” since it came out in the theatre for example. Probably wouldn’t have watched it then if I’d know about that scene.

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  39. I’m going to ruthlessly purge virtually everything of mine in the garage at this point.

    OFD would be so proud! 🙂

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  40. @greg, that is how the real collectibles ended up collectible.

    Stuff like precious memories, lladro, NatGeo, everyone saved so they are common as dirt. Anything sold as a collectible isn’t, except to the first buyer.

    This lady’s auctions tend to get national buyers, and bidding is usually very late, but with one day left there is a lot of stuff with no bids at all. Beanie babies. Porcelain dolls. Advertising givaways. And surprisingly, older star wars and lego lots don’t have bids yet either. If it weren’t for the Pokemon, I’d be sweating about whether any of my stuff would sell.

    n

    https://hibid.com/catalog/279764/vintage-toys–trains–dolls-and-more-auction/?g=all-categories&cpage=6&ipp=100

    for anyone interested.

  41. I mowed somewhat less than half of the yard yesterday.  3/4 of a tank of gas in the riding mower.  I stopped because my back was starting to hurt.  Still aches.  I did get the high stuff cut down before it flowered including the dandelion sort of stuff that gets two feet tall.

    Need a couple of steers….

    The mower started “first try”.  I installed the battery, aired up my wonky front tire, turned on the gas, stuffed in my ear plugs, set the throttle, pulled the choke  and Vroom!  Nice.

    Today the thought passed “did I turn the key off after the mower stopped?”  Yeah, I added a fuel valve and filter, Briggs and Stratton* parts, on the rider after replacing the carb several years ago and on the push mower a couple of years ago.  I run both dry.

    The key was on.  But it cranked fine.

     

    *Spell check suggest “Castration” for “Stratton”.   WTF.

     

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  42. “Backblaze Drive Stats for Q1 2021”
    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/backblaze-hard-drive-stats-q1-2021/

    “As of March 31, 2021, Backblaze had 175,443 drives spread across four data centers on two continents. Of that number, there were 3,187 boot drives and 172,256 data drives. The boot drives consisted of 1,669 hard drives and 1,518 SSDs. This report will review the quarterly and lifetime failure rates for our data drives, and we’ll compare the failure rates of our HDD and SSD boot drives.”

    Whoa, they got some WDC 14 and 16 TB drives ! And 10 of the 8,400 WDC fourteen TB drives have already failed !

    They are moving to SSD drives for boot drives. They published the Lifetime failure rates. 8 out of the 1,518 SSD boot drives failed (0.65%). 559 out of the 1,669 hard boot drives failed (6.04%). “The average age of the SSD drives is 12.7 months, and the average age of the HDD drives is 49.6 months.”

    Note: The HGST drives have been really good drives compared to the Seagates which are quite good themselves.

  43. Beanie babies.

    The Ty company destroyed the value of those as collectibles by reissuing some discontinued animals. I don’t think the founder ever liked having the toys turned into “EBay Gold” arbitrage.

    We have a sack in our living room for our cat to use as anxiety relief. When she misses her kittens, she drags a few out of the bag and carries them around the house.

    “Star Wars” from the last 20 years is going to be really common, especially after “Toys R Us” liquidated their warehouses. Lego too.

  44. They are moving to SSD drives for boot drives. They published the Lifetime failure rates. 8 out of the 1,518 SSD boot drives failed (0.65%). 559 out of the 1,669 hard boot drives failed (6.04%). “The average age of the SSD drives is 12.7 months, and the average age of the HDD drives is 49.6 months.”

    Note: The HGST drives have been really good drives compared to the Seagates which are quite good themselves.

    The Linux distributions are moving to BTRFS as a default for new installs. Among other reasons is less wear and tear on SSDs in theory.

  45. I just added “Alias” with Jennifer Garner to my binge list which is topped with “X Files”.

    Hmmm. I wanted to like “Alias”, but there seemed to be a torture scene in every episode. I’ve a low tolerance for that.

    Haven’t watched “Marathon Man” since it came out in the theatre for example. Probably wouldn’t have watched it then if I’d know about that scene.

    I have only watched four episodes of Alias so far. And I don’t like the torture scenes either. I would be spilling my guts the minute the tooth extraction toolkit was revealed.

  46. I remember going to see Star Wars in 1977, on the 2nd or 3rd night I think.  The line stretched around the block at some massive old theater in San Francisco.

    I remember thinking “Finally! A Science Fiction film that looks like my imagination!!”

    Hmmm.  I just looked it up, from the location it must have been the Northpoint or Coronet theater, because when I got out it was night and all the public transportation had shut down, I had to walk a couple of miles across north SF to get to the BART station and head home.

    This was memorable only for the drunk (female) prostitute that followed me for several blocks, upset that I wasn’t a customer… “You think you’re better than me, don’t you!?!?  F*** you mister, f*** you!”

    Later SW and its sequels came to local theaters in the East Bay, but the lines were still pretty bad.


  47. I expect we will be paying $3,000 annually to store worn out memories and outdated tech for years and years to come.

    @Jenny; how big a unit do you get for $250/month? For $2,600 you can get an installed 8′ x 12′ shed from Home Depot.

    Handy Home Products Installed Majestic 8 ft. x 12 ft. Wood Storage Shed with Black Onyx Shingles
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Handy-Home-Products-Installed-Majestic-8-ft-x-12-ft-Wood-Storage-Shed-with-Black-Onyx-Shingles-60219-1/205922149
    SKU# 205922149

  48. Charlie Crist announces his entry into the soon to be pool (cesspool??) of Dems lining up to challenge DeSantis for Governor.

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  49. @ech

    “Technically Moderna and Pfizer are medical devices, not vaccines.”

    “They shifted the verbiage in the Federal Register back in October so they could approve this.”

    Nope. The source for this is an anti-vax activist. It isn’t true. It’s being spread by the “autism is caused by vaccines” crowd.

    My guess is that the source of the “October change” is a committee meeting that evaluated the criteria for EUA of the vaccines. The panel does evaluations of “medical products”, which includes drugs, vaccines, and medical devices. I also did a search of the federal register for October 2020 and there were two items related to COVID. One was revoking the authorization for use of a rapid antigen test from one company. The other was guidance documents for companies on FDA inspections during the pandemic, restarting manufacturing that was shut down during the pandemic, and how to handle drug trials that were ongoing during the pandemic.

    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-latest-antivax-false-claim-mrna-vaccines-against-covid-19-are-not-vaccines-but-medical-devices-or-gene-therapy/

     

    The source for the quote is Dr. Cole in the video link that I posted. He states explicitly that he is not an “anti-vaxxer”. The first link above, which I had read, sets up a Dr. Stoller as a straw man and has a lot of fun knocking him about using slander, guilt by association, partial quotes, perjorative labels, and all the other tools that blowhards use.

    The statement is made therein that “This claim tends to take on one of two flavors. The first is that mRNA vaccines are not “vaccines” but rather “medical devices”. This one is the easiest one to dispose of which is why I will deal with it first.” The author then proceeds to expend a few thousand words not doing so. At that point I lost interest in this particular blowhard, his bad logic, and his atrocious html.

    My interest is in Dr. Cole’s statements, not assumptions.

    For the record I also looked at the Federal Register and could not find such an action. [In doing so and opening the search up to include the “15 USC 41 or 45” reference from the link immediately above, it appeared that the search results were grossly manipulated. ]

    These both come late in the video and he was rushed to wrap up due to “time constraints”, so I’ve emailed him a couple of questions.

    The video begins with a lengthy discussion of vitamin D. He pretty much skips hydroquinone except for a couple of comments, then talks at length about ivermectin before getting into mRNA vaccines.

    One of his comments is that 70% of the population has antibodies for polyethylene glycol, a component of the mRNA capsule. Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) is poisonous, but PEG (typically with chain lengths of 100 to 3300) is ubiquitous in consumer products (make use of your next bathroom trip by reading labels), so that’s an very interesting statement.

    He doesn’t amplify, but here’s a link:

    https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.analchem.6b03437

    Considered harmless, but we have antibodies. The paper begins:

    “Circulating antibodies (Ab) that specifically bind polyethylene glycol (PEG), a biocompatible polymer routinely used in protein and nanoparticle therapeutics, have been associated with reduced efficacy of and/or adverse reactions to therapeutics modified with or containing PEG. Unlike most antidrug antibodies that are induced following initial drug dosing, anti-PEG Ab can be found in treatment-naïve individuals (i.e., individuals who have never undergone treatment with PEGylated drugs but most likely have been exposed to PEG through other means). Unfortunately, the true prevalence, quantitative levels, and Ab isotype of pre-existing anti-PEG Ab remain poorly understood. Here, using rigorously validated competitive ELISAs with engineered chimeric anti-PEG monoclonal Ab standards, we quantified the levels of anti-PEG IgM and different subclasses of anti-PEG IgG (IgG1–4) in both contemporary and historical human samples. We unexpectedly found, with 90% confidence, detectable levels of anti-PEG Ab in ∼72% of the contemporary specimens (18% IgG, 25% IgM, 30% both IgG and IgM). The vast majority of these samples contained low levels of anti-PEG Ab, with only ∼7% and ∼1% of all specimens possessing anti-PEG IgG and IgM in excess of 500 ng/mL, respectively. IgG2 was the predominant anti-PEG IgG subclass. Anti-PEG Ab’s were also observed in ∼56% of serum samples collected during 1970–1999 (20% IgG, 19% IgM, and 16% both IgG and IgM), suggesting that the presence of PEG-specific antibodies may be a longstanding phenomenon. Anti-PEG IgG levels demonstrated correlation with patient age, but not with gender or race. The widespread prevalence of pre-existing anti-PEG Ab, coupled with high Ab levels in a subset of the population, underscores the potential importance of screening patients for anti-PEG Ab levels prior to administration of therapeutics containing PEG.

  50. I expect we will be paying $3,000 annually to store worn out memories and outdated tech for years and years to come.

    @Jenny; how big a unit do you get for $250/month? For $2,600 you can get an installed 8′ x 12′ shed from Home Depot.

    Handy Home Products Installed Majestic 8 ft. x 12 ft. Wood Storage Shed with Black Onyx Shingles
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Handy-Home-Products-Installed-Majestic-8-ft-x-12-ft-Wood-Storage-Shed-with-Black-Onyx-Shingles-60219-1/205922149
    SKU# 205922149

    My impression of Anchorage, Alaska is that everything has a 100% premium in cost over the lower 48 states.

  51. Regarding any copyrightable material on this site (or any blog site), including comments, I’ve found several places with this information (emphasis added) :

    A comment is creative content owned by the person who wrote it. The owner of the blog does not have copyright ownership over comments they did not write.

    The person that writes something here, whether the daily entry that Nick does, or the comments that everyone else does, owns the content that they write. Nick and all commenters have an implicit copyright of the material they write and publish. The act of ‘publishing’ (submitting content of any kind) ‘activates’ the person’s copyright of their written material.

    ‘Fair Use’ allows others to use the content published here, as in quoting or referencing that content.

    Fair Use is the allowance made for the use of copyrighted material for the purpose of commentary, criticism, or parody.

    So, all of the content (posts, comments, etc) is copyrighted by the individual who wrote that content at the time the content is submitted/published.  “Fair Use” allows me to reference your comments, but does not give me ownership of your comments.

    It is the same as when I publish a book, printed or ebook. I can place the ‘copyright’ statement (“Copyright 2021 by Rick Hellewell, all rights reserved”) in my book, but (here in the US), when you publish something, you have copyrighted it. I don’t have to register the copyrighted material with the US Patent Office. It’s copyrighted as soon as I ‘publish’. Adding the copyright statement is a good idea, but not required here in the US. Other country’s copyright policies are different, but because this blog is published in the US, US copyright law applies here.

    I based the above information (and used their content quoted above) from this place https://www.whoishostingthis.com/resources/copyright-guide/ . The information is quite detailed.

    So, the comment about the post-apoc plot belongs to me. Your comments belong to you – as does the copyright to your comments.

    (Note: the above is not a legal opinion. It’s just an opinion.)

  52. Charlie Crist announces his entry into the soon to be pool (cesspool??) of Dems lining up to challenge DeSantis for Governor. 

    Please. Little Marco had that RINO head mounted in his trophy case a decade ago.

    Crist tried a comeback campaign for Governor in 2014, but he lost to Rick Scott, who establishment Republicans in Florida liked even less than DeSantis.

     

  53. @Alan, @Lynn

    Garage is 12×36 and full.
    $270 / month gets us an unheated 8’ x 40’ metal Connex at a facility we used 20 years ago (for much the same precious treasures, before buying a house with garage). New home has smaller garage, husband wants me parking inside and we both want to do shop stuff in said garage

    Home Depot and Lowe’s may have a wood shed, maybe two, per season.  They don’t include floors or roofing materials or hardware, typically. Ground is too frozen to put in footings, still. Another month probably. 2x4s are $7.50 and rising.

    A shed is our long term solution. Currently downed trees cover where the shed will go. In the meantime we simply must exit the house, repair things, and get it in the market. Time is flying.

    Storage is bitter, but expedient.

  54. I currently have two storage units. One is full, the other I’m drawing down with the goal of being out of it in a month. The full one is the bucket that a lot of “soon” to be sold stuff ends up in so it periodically gets a lot less full, including hopefully this week. This is in addition to the stuff stored at my house and elsewhere. Which I’m also working on getting rid of. My garage is full. Also on the list.

    I’ve had units in Cali (for all my workshop stuff, and touring stuff, when I rented a very small house, and later a smallish apartment), and in AZ, and I’ve had temporary units in TX as I got a huge bolus of auction items to work thru. In previous years, stuff actually left faster than it arrived.

    I’d just fill a shed in addition to everything else… ymmv of course.

    The goal is to get it down to stuff that is useful to ME, and a rotating stock of stuff that is actively selling.

    n

  55. My truck came without the keyless entry default code, and since I only have one key, there isn’t any way to retrieve it from the system. I recalled from more than 10 years ago that the keycode is somewhere in the vehicle as well.

    Thanks to the internet, and people willing to break monopolies on information, I was able to quickly find it and reprogram my own code into the keyless entry.

    Still have lots of settings to do. Freaking truck has wi-fi.

    n

  56. We are into the voting stage of the mayoral run off. Heavy money coming from outside with goal of continuing Alaska’s inexorable purple fall. Soon we will be bluer than California. 

    Austin had a special election on Saturday. Among the initiatives on the ballot were changes to the Mayor’s office and a partial reinstatement of the ban on homeless camping along the streets.

    The voters opted not to expand the Mayor’s powers to be more of an executive than simply head of city council, but they did approve the initiative to move his/her election to Presidential Election years, starting in 2024, guaranteeing Dem Mayors in perpetuity.

    The partial ban on homeless camping also passed. However, it gives ultimate discretion over public spaces to the city’s Parks & Rec deparment except for the places where the elites party downtown and on the UT campus.

  57. @Jenny; how big a unit do you get for $250/month? For $2,600 you can get an installed 8′ x 12′ shed from Home Depot.

    $270 / month gets us an unheated 8’ x 40’ metal Connex at a facility we used 20 years ago

    I have a 12′ x 12′ climate controlled unit for $100/month in my Great Plains state. I’m not sure if that’s a great deal, but it’s a brand new storage building/lot and only ½ mile from the house and that makes it super convenient.

    2x4s are $7.50 and rising.

    YouTube is on fire with lumber cost rage videos.

  58. @Lyn
    “Earth Helpless Against Giant Asteroids As NASA Simulation Ends In Doom”
    “The week-long exercise led by Nasa concluded that catastrophe would be unavoidable, even given six months to prepare.”

    There must be s language where NASA can be said to mean “idiots with no memories”.

    There was a similar exercise done in the 1970’s. Might have been prompted by the close approach of Icarus in 1968. IIRC, the first part of the report was basically “throw together 3 more Saturn V boosters, becasue we only have 2. Dr. Pournelle commented several times on the idiots destroying the Saturn V so the only way “forward” was the Space Shuttle.

  59. Thanks to the internet, and people willing to break monopolies on information, I was able to quickly find it and reprogram my own code into the keyless entry.

    Is this those 5 rubber pads on the driver’s door? Hopefully the code is long enough to prevent a trial/error break in?

  60. code is 5 digits, and will go into slow/antiscan time out after 35 button presses
    n

  61. Much easier to spoof the remote, or physically bypass the locks.
    n

  62. In the mid 1980’s there was a product called a CreditCard Key. White Delrin plastic unit the size of a credit card with two full-sized versions (ignition/trunk) if auto keys on a hinge. Bend it out, cut it on a regular key machine, and keep it in your wallet for when you are locked out. (photos on the internet for the curious). Dealers had them, and they got handed out at trade shows.

    Haven’t seen them on eBay for a while (haven’t looked) but I did see a lot in a locksmith auction a while back. They don’t have the chip required to start a modern car, but they work fine in a door lock or trunk.

  63. There was a similar exercise done in the 1970’s. Might have been prompted by the close approach of Icarus in 1968. IIRC, the first part of the report was basically “throw together 3 more Saturn V boosters, becasue we only have 2. Dr. Pournelle commented several times on the idiots destroying the Saturn V so the only way “forward” was the Space Shuttle. 

    Pieces of three flight-capable Saturn V rockets are in museums at NASA facilities around the country, and a fully-functional Skylab sits in the Smithsonian.

  64. AAA in SoCal used to offer those plastic keys as a perk of membership.

    I had one in my wallet for years, and they did work fine on the doors. I used it a few times.

    n


  65. … plastic keys…

    I remember seeing them in a locksmith shop years ago when I was getting some Medeco keys cut.

  66. “But in the case of Saturn they darned well did NOT want ANYONE to be able to build another Saturn which might threaten Shuttle. I don’t know if they threw the plans away — I still believe they did — but I do know for certain they took TWO working Saturns and the Skylab they could have launched and laid them down as lawn ornaments and owl roosts. You can see them, the most powerful machines ever made by mankind, at JSC and the Smithsonian, and you can see the Skylab at the Smithsonian too. Dan Goldin once told me he wept when he looked at that Skylab and Saturn at the Smithsonian. They could have been launched. Instead we built the Space Station, which is what the NASA bureaucracy wanted.”

    https://www.jerrypournelle.com/archives2/archives2mail/mail261.html#Saturn

    Flight-capable is extremely doubtful at this point, if it ever was.

    And the letter from Edward Hack contains this:

    “The problem in re-creating the Saturn V is not finding the drawings, it is finding vendors who can supply mid-1960’s vintage hardware (like guidance system components), and the fact that the launch pads and VAB have been converted to Space Shuttle use, so you have no place to launch from.”

    which moots the equipment status.

    And then there’s the question of the computer programing…

    Here’s later articles with specifics from a project at MIT in 1967. I suspect my memory is from an article in MIT Technology Review ca. 1973.

    https://www.thespacereview.com/article/3734/1

    https://www.wired.com/2012/03/mit-saves-the-world-project-icarus-1967/

  67. and from later in the JEPlink posted above, a contributor writes:

    “Just a minor correction.

    No Saturn V on display is a complete Launch Vehicle. Rather, they are all a mixture of flight and the 500F mock up. Complete displays of the Saturn V are at KSC, JSC, and MSC. A 1st Stage is at Michoud. MSC also has on display a 1:1 model of the Saturn V displayed vertically. The KSC vehicle is displayed inside and is part of a truly excellent display of the Apollo 8 Firing Room and launch.

    You are correct that the Skylab backup is at the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian has an excellent display of the business end of the Saturn V.

    Saturn IB’s are also on display at KSC and at the I-65 rest stop near the Alabama – Tennessee Border. MSC has two Saturn I’s on display as well.

    A Little Joe II is displayed at JSC and a couple of other locations. “

  68. I’ve missed the last couple days of discussions. Busy and/or unmotivated, depending on the activity. Lots of grading to do, which I’m putting off until next week. Working on garden projects (dry stone wall, etc), but that’s limited by rain.

    We finally got our rainwater tanks installed. I am going to be fascinated to see if they work: The filter is a piece of pipe that looks like it should let water flow through unhindered into the runoff – except the sides are made of screen. Apparently, water is supposed to run down the sides of the pipe and get sucked through the screen into the tank – maybe by surface tension? Hard to believe, but it’s raining today, so we’ll see…

    @Nick: Congrats on the new vehicle. I bet it’s nice to have that sorted!

    We’ve decided to wait another year before replacing our car, even though it’s getting a bit long in the tooth. Our hope is to pick up an EV used, from a fleet. So we’ll take our time looking, and probably buy next year.

    Or we could build some giant trebuchets and launch illegals back to their respective shit-holes.

    This. I really don’t understand the current process, either in the US or here in Europe. If you arrive illegally, you should just be set back across the border you crossed. If that cannot be determined, then drop them back into their country of origin. Countries that don’t accept returns – bizarre, how that’s even possible under international law – drop them in with a parachute, send them as freight, whatever works. Or take the Australian approach and pay some really horrible place to house them until they decide to go home on their own.

    “Earth Helpless Against Giant Asteroids As NASA Simulation Ends In Doom”

    Life is risk. Risk cannot be eliminated, you can only weigh severity and probability. A giant asteroid hitting earth has got to be way, way down the list of potential problems.

    precious treasures we can’t possibly chuck

    @Jenny: Yep, we know how that goes. However, after moving our personal “treasures” twice in the last 25 years without having even unpacked some of them, we’ve gotten a bit more ruthless. Hope your spouse will, as well 🙂

  69. Flight-capable is extremely doubtful at this point, if it ever was.

    No, not after sitting in the Gulf Coast states’ humidity and sun for a decade before the first shelters were contemplated.

    The shelter at JSC is still half-a**ed, open air, and leaks in the rain.

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