Sun. May 23, 2021 – another week without SHTF, hooray!

By on May 23rd, 2021 in culture, ebay, personal, prepping, WuFlu

Warm and wet, possibility of rain, probability of hot. Maybe some sun. Saturday was that way with parts of town getting a lot of rain, some none, and some a few showers.

I ran my errands,and the details are in yesterday’s comments. The best news was that I caught up with one of the local auctioneers and he’ll take more of my stuff next week.

I made a couple of good finds this week at the thrift stores, and while recounting the tale, it occurred to me that there is a bit of universal truth in the story. I make money, or live better on less, or score some great preps by RECOGNIZING or SEEING something the other guy didn’t. That is the universal truth- that by training yourself to recognize or see a particular thing, you will succeed where another fails.

Some people have been trained by their life experiences to see and avoid predators. Some to see and seize on financial opportunities. Some to see prey and victimize others. Cops are trained to see the crime. Prospectors learn to see the raw ore in the rock, and foragers train their eyes to see the mushrooms or the ginseng under a log or a leaf. People that handle a lot of cash often develop a great sensitivity and spot fakes that other people might not. Proofreaders and copy editors spot mistakes with the written word. In every endeavor, from sports to hunting,from crime fighting to committing criminal acts, people learn to see what others don’t.

The message for preppers is both simple and hard. You can learn to be more successful at every aspect of your life. Usually it takes a lot of experience and a lot of hard knocks, before you see what others don’t. Sometimes, you don’t even know that you are consciously doing it, and a good teacher or coach can draw that out, so you can expand on it and explain to someone else what you are doing, and learn to do it that much better. And that leads to the hard part. You need to practice, and you need to train, and you need feedback and coaching to shortcut the otherwise long and hard won knowledge.

Fortunately, the easier part is that there are more opportunities for learning, training, and coaching than there ever have been. Youtube (even though politically they are the enemy) hosts an astounding number of creators sharing the things they have learned the hard way. From gardening to self defense, small engine repair or electronics repair to leather working, from thrifting to crafting, sewing to welding, there is someone out there teaching you to spot the differences and see the things other people are missing.

Of course, if there is someone willing to have you learn from them in meatspace, you should do that too.

Take advantage of the time and resources available to increase your skills, no matter what they are, and to expand your abilities. It’s a lot cheaper to stack skills than 556 at this point in time too, so level up some skills, WHILE you keep stacking more stuff.

nick

66 Comments and discussion on "Sun. May 23, 2021 – another week without SHTF, hooray!"

  1. Ray Thompson says:

    The best possible use for any and all of the stamps would have been postage, since most of them were unused.

    Been there, done that. My aunt had almost a thousand dollars, face value, in stamps when she died. We found them in a safe deposit box which we had to pay to have drilled. Some were 50 years old, collectibles. Worth about half what she paid. Best advice we got from collectors was to use them for postage. It became an adventure to get the proper combination of stamps on an envelope or package. Many times exceeding the actual postage because it was easier. Took many years to go through all the stamps.

    2
  2. Greg Norton says:

    So much for 15 year old wind turbines. Not a very long life for production equipment.

    My guess is that the maintenance is eating them alive. The gearboxes have incredible stories of burning up.

    Here’s the really fun part — the carbon fiber of the blades is not recyclable and decommissioned turbines create a serious disposal problem. This has been known for a long time.

  3. Greg Norton says:

    Jay Leno has a vertical wind turbine on his garage. I have no idea how well it works.

    Whether or not it works is irrelevant. Someone has dropped a dime on Leno about “green”.

    Tim Allen too. Though, Allen pushes back. Watch the finale of “Last Man Standing” and read between the lines. What’s he really talking about? The truck? The show? His career? Real cars?

    Not too hard, though. Allen likes the Disney paychecks, and “Home Improvement” may return to the air if he’s careful.

    1
  4. Greg Norton says:

    Robert Francis for Governor 2022 has begun. Still early, but the CA money people obviously feel that Newsom surviving recall is a done deal. They’re probably right.

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/05/texas-gov-knew-of-natural-gas-shortages-days-before-blackout-blamed-wind-anyway/

    To be fair, what exactly have the Legislature and Governor done with regard to preventing a repeat?

    They certainly managed to pass more abortion restrictions.

    I’ve already received phone solicitations from Griddy-like companies hoping to fill the void with people wanting the same kind of sweet pricing scheme for their 5000 sq ft McMansions before 100s start at the end of next month. I’ll bet Griddy itself emerges from Bankruptcy and returns to operation by next Winter.

    Just in time for the primaries.

  5. JimB says:

    Jay Leno has had numerous people visit his operation and show him products. He sometimes promotes them, often to give a little guy a chance at exposure. He came from a corporate culture, and knows how the system works. I would like to think he only promotes what he thinks is good. I have seen some of his videos where he has already tried a product, and is reporting his success with it. Other times, he is eager to try something new, such as new lights for his shop. Does he get the stuff in exchange for promoting it? Certainly. Is that OK? Hmm. What about the duds we never see? Dunno. He has lawyers watching his six.

    I still wish him well. He worked hard and earned what he has.

  6. Harold+Combs says:

    The population bomb was a dud and as populations decline worldwide, the effecs will be dramatic,  catastrophic in some cases as wars will be triggered.

    Long Slide Looms for World Population, With Sweeping Ramifications
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/22/world/global-population-shrinking.html

  7. Greg Norton says:

    I still wish him well. He worked hard and earned what he has. 

    I’m not debating that. In light of the circumstances behind the Letterman firing at CBS, I’d even say that NBC made the right choices with regard to preserving “The Tonight Show” franchise in the 90s and 00s before blowing it in the last decade.

    Someone has been working all of the most observant comedy talent lately, particularly for a while last year when it looked like at least one 11:30 slot at a major network would open up this Fall.

    Leno is dangerous to the EV agenda since he has “car” cred and a mass audience.

  8. Ed says:

    So much for 15 year old wind turbines. Not a very long life for production equipment.

    At one point the Altamont Pass in California was covered with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of abandoned wind turbines, once the government subsidies ran out.

    The best solution would be to not subsidize them, second best to require a bond covering costs of dismantling and “green” recycling before issuing a building permit.

  9. MrAtoz says:

    Other times, he is eager to try something new, such as new lights for his shop.

    I saw a vid of Leno getting a demo on a mobile car stand. Awesome. A home mechanics dream.

  10. drwilliams says:

    @Greg Norton

    “Here’s the really fun part — the carbon fiber of the blades is not recyclable and decommissioned turbines create a serious disposal problem. This has been known for a long time.”

    Most blades are non-recyclable fiberglass.

    Estimated 8000 blades per year decommissioned.

    Wyoming has a facility that has accepted over 1100 blades from in-state.Interesting detail in the Snopes article on how they cut them into 40-ft lengths, then nest the pieces together for burial.

    Facilities in Iowa and South Dakota are apparently accepting out-of-state shipments. The largest windfarms are in Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and California. Makes you wonder if Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and California have plans in place or in development.

    Note that Snopes claims 20-25 year lifetime (total bs) and PS claims 15-20 (closer). Both without attribution, as they say. Reminds me of the manufacturer that was claiming a 50-year product life for a product that had only been manufactured for 7-8 years. I’d estimate 10-12 years is more realistic, but I’m willing to look at actual data.

    Claim is also made that 90% of the windmills are recyclable. Again, without attribution and would like to see the data. More interested in the total decommissioning costs, though. Blowing it up is probably less expensive than erecting, but picking up the pieces, taking them apart, transporting them to be recycled or landfilled isn’t free.

    https://principia-scientific.com/50000-tons-of-useless-wind-turbine-blades-dumped-in-the-landfill/

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/wind-turbine-blades-landfills/

    1
  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    75F and still drizzling today. Kids were up super late last night, so are still crashed out.

    The nintendo switch looks great on the big screen. They were playing Legend of Zelda. Both kids prefer games like minecraft with a “creative mode” that you just mess around building stuff. Not sure I like games without some structure, and goals to be accomplished.

    I have looked very briefly at vertical wind turbines because the fit in more places. For whatever physics, they are not as efficient, and the other ones aren’t efficient to start with, so unless it’s all you can do, or all that fits, verts are a no go. I have seen them in use on a micro scale to charge batteries for cameras along the freeway. Usually in concert with a solar panel. Like a lot of prepping, there are cases where something is better than nothing.

    n

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    re: windmills blades, why bury them?? They are essentially inert aren’t they?

    n

  13. Greg Norton says:

    The nintendo switch looks great on the big screen. They were playing Legend of Zelda. Both kids prefer games like minecraft with a “creative mode” that you just mess around building stuff. Not sure I like games without some structure, and goals to be accomplished.

    Next you will be getting hit up to run a Minecraft server. I’m not sure if those work with the Switch version of the game, however.

    The Arcade Archive “Donkey Kong” games are cheap fun which are true to the classics, but today’s kids would find them boring.

    I know I’m not the only one eagerly waiting for “Diablo II: Resurrected”, regardless of censorship. I managed to get my 20 year-old copy of “Diablo II” working on Windows 10 a few weeks ago.

  14. Nick Flandrey says:

    Man,that Ars article is really well written. It’s also almost totally empty of meaning, and intentionally designed to influence and imply more than it says.

    I see a LOT of articles like that from “lifestyle” sources. They look informed and slick, they definitely have a ‘tone’ and an agenda, although the agenda is often well hidden. The BBC is a past master of that kind of story on their radio programs.

    The real questions… do we want/need state or federal government involved in energy production and distribution more than they are? Do we REALLY think they’ll do better, or be more flexible and responsive? That is the agenda being pushed (there are other articles that push that TX needs to connect to the rest of the US, to make it easier to steal from TX in the future, no doubt.)

    Wind turbines were a factor, but only a small one [who determines “small”?]. Wind in Texas doesn’t produce as much power in the winter [still normally produces a bigger chunk than it does in CA, iirc], and regulators don’t typically rely on wind turbines to provide significant amounts of power [that’s damning right there].

    ALL the power provided by wind is outside of base… has to be because of its variable nature. In other words, YOU CAN’T COUNT ON IT, so they don’t.

    And the short term question–so what if the Gov KNEW about a possible shortage? What could he or anyone else have done? Also- very rare weather event!

    n

  15. SteveF says:

    re: windmills blades, why bury them?? They are essentially inert aren’t they?

    If they’re just sitting there above ground, they’re a constant reminder that “green” energy has significant waste and environmental costs. No, much better to bury them, even at a cost of millions of dollars, so they’ll be out of sight, out of mind, and deniable.

  16. Greg Norton says:

    And the short term question–so what if the Gov KNEW about a possible shortage? What could he or anyone else have done? Also- very rare weather event!

    A rare weather event combined with three calendar holidays — Lunar New Year, Valentines Day, and Presidents Day — as well as the pandemic. No one was on the job after 5 PM on Thursday.

    Even without the holidays ,”working” from home needs reevaluation at the state and ERCOT level for a lot of jobs in the power infrastructure.

     

  17. TV says:

    @Nick: Stamps, ugh.

    I inherited my Dad’s stamp collection. He probably spent well over $50K on this over the years. In 10 boxes in the basement. I doubt I could get $10K for the whole lot and most of that would be for selling off about $10K of mint Canadian postage at, if I am lucky, 50 cents on the dollar in bulk. That assumes someone really wants sheets of 3 and 5 cent stamps – how big an envelope do you need if postage is over a dollar these days? I also had someone offer an opinion on his US collection. Anything from roughly 1950 to present is worth its face value as postage, if mint (or again, 50 cents on the dollar in bulk).

    My brother has his JFK topicals collection and is looking to see what that might attract at auction. The whole topicals collection idea is a scam. Every two-bit country that needs a bit of cash for the treasury will issue a JFK commemorative, or maybe several, with overprints and intentional “changes”. These never get used as actual postage, they are just bait for collectors since you have to have “EVERYTHING” including all the possible variations. I suppose he enjoyed the chase but anyone thinking that it was an investment (as he claimed) is in for a rude awakening. It seems only folks older than me (and I am 60) collect stamps, and as they die more and more collections come to market for offer to fewer and fewer buyers. Ask someone under age 20 what a “stamp” or a “letter” is. Yep: no clue, never used a stamp, never sent a letter. For thrifting, unless you find something very rare (and without specialist knowledge checking stamp by stamp is a huge effort), I think the return is unlikely to be worth the time.

  18. Greg Norton says:

    That assumes someone really wants sheets of 3 and 5 cent stamps – how big an envelope do you need if postage is over a dollar these days?

    In the old days, stamps could serve as postage for packages, but the Anthrax scare and Unabomber led the Postal Service to restrict how stamps purchased anonymously for cash could be used. Even a large envelope is limited, as I found out a few years ago mailing taxes.

    If Robert Francis manages to get the Dem nomination for TX Governor in 2022, he’ll work the Kennedy nostalgia with the Boomer retirees who still want to believe in “Camelot” and fret about “What might have been” with either Bobby or, God help us, Uncle Ted as President.

    Your brother might be in luck next year. A Robert Francis state-wide win in TX, Senate or Governor, would put him in the political calculus for President Harris reelection bid.

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    Oh well, it was 50c… if there is ANY usable postage I’ll be ahead 🙂

    Put I think they are all international stamps, haven’t had a chance to even look more closely than to see that the book wasn’t empty.

    n

  20. drwilliams says:

    Seigniorage can be quite profitable to governments, as long as the coins (state quarters) and stamps (all of them) are not redeemed in use.

    When the state quarters and their successors really start to come out of the drawers, it will be entertaining to see what schemes are put forth to prevent redemption.

    As to your stamps, Nick, look at the decoupage market on eBay.

    Bought: $0.50.

    Sold: $5.00.

    Brag: “I never touch stamps unless I can make 10x on the investment.”

  21. drwilliams says:

    According to the US Mint report referenced by wikipee, the U.S made $3 billion on the state quarters program. “Create a new generation of coin collectors” my patootie.

  22. Nick Flandrey says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/22/world/global-population-shrinking.html

    Like an avalanche, the demographic forces — pushing toward more deaths than births — seem to be expanding and accelerating. Though some countries continue to see their populations grow, especially in Africa, fertility rates are falling nearly everywhere else. Demographers now predict that by the latter half of the century or possibly earlier, the global population will enter a sustained decline for the first time.

    –sarah hoyt has been advocating this theory for a couple of years- population is grossly over counted in most places.
    –of course it’s the NY Slimes, and they blow with the wind, so there is that.

    n

  23. Greg Norton says:

    According to the US Mint report referenced by wikipee, the U.S made $3 billion on the state quarters program. “Create a new generation of coin collectors” my patootie.

    Don’t forget the Presidential $1 coin program. All of the Presidential libraries operating as viable tourist attractions seem to have acquired lifetime stockpiles of the coins up through Bush 41 because the Mint limited the production runs. Most Casinos now have “frequent gambler” clubs and track spending through cards, limiting the audience for practical use of the $1 coins to vending machines.

    Maybe the Clinton coin will be a hit at adult bookstore “arcade” areas.

    I remember most Sears stores having stamp/coin collector store sublet operations back when I was growing up, and their catalogs carried the collecting supplies such as albums, coin cases, and “hinges”, making getting into the hobby simple. It would be easy to blame the decline of Sears or even the USPS, who also had collector “stores” selling starter kits in big Post Offices, but most people don’t have the attention spans for a lot of traditional hobbies anymore.

    Stamps? But the latest Baby Yoda went up for streaming this morning, and the London YouTubers already have their reviews up!

    Plus, a common story of my teenage years was addict mom/dad/kid takes the family’s multigeneration stamp/coin accumulation to a dealer for easy cash on the sly for drugs or booze. Or the collections were sold in divorce property settlements. Bitter memories. My generation (X-er) is probably the last with serious collectors in any large numbers.

  24. DadCooks says:

    The topic of “stamp collecting” today caught my eye. My late father collected commemorative stamps all of his life (94-years). “Collecting” uncanceled (uncirculated) stamps is not really stamp collecting, and the value will never be more than the face value of the stamps IF the USPS will accept them. Real stamp collecting is called philately, and real stamp collectors are called philatelists. A stamp has no value to the philatelist’s community unless it has been canceled. Many factors affect the value; rarity, condition, quality of the cancellation, etc. When my dad passed away, the “stamp club” he belonged to offered to sell/buy his collection. I do not recall the number of stamps he had, but it filled many large books. He had many highly sought-after early vintage stamps. His old canceled stamps sold for just under 6 figures.

    Another topic today, “windmills,” also caught my eye. Absent from all the ecoweenie treehugger save-the-planet don’t-eat-meat blatherers is the true cost of wind energy and solar energy. I wish I could easily lay my hands on a valid, unbiased study, but there is none. From what I have gleaned, there is absolutely NO PAYBACK or efficiency in wind or solar energy. The damage to the environment, particularly from solar panels and batteries, is far greater than fossil-fueled energy development and production. The best energy sources are hydroelectric and nuclear, that’s it, no discussion. The truth is the truth, and the wackadoos will never be convinced that they are fatally wrong.

    Grumpy older man’s two cents for today.

    1
  25. lynn says:

    So much for 15 year old wind turbines. Not a very long life for production equipment.

    My guess is that the maintenance is eating them alive. The gearboxes have incredible stories of burning up.

    Here’s the really fun part — the carbon fiber of the blades is not recyclable and decommissioned turbines create a serious disposal problem. This has been known for a long time.

    You can burn the carbon fiber and turn it into CO2. It does not burn very well though unless you are coburning natural gas or diesel.

    2
  26. drwilliams says:

    Ben Franklin stores carried a fair selection of starter supplies for coin collecting in the 50/60’s.

     

  27. lynn says:

    Jay Leno has a vertical wind turbine on his garage. I have no idea how well it works.

    Whether or not it works is irrelevant. Someone has dropped a dime on Leno about “green”.

    Jay Leno’s favorite motorcycle has helicopter gas turbine in it. Gets about 2 mpg on a good day. Melts car bumpers that get to close to him at stop lights.
    https://www.thethings.com/an-inside-look-at-jay-lenos-turbine-bike/

  28. lynn says:

    “Oregon First State To Require Vaccination Proof For Maskless Entry Into Businesses, Workplaces, & Churches”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/oregon-first-state-require-vaccination-proof-maskless-entry-businesses-workplaces

    “The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is requiring that people in workplaces, businesses, and religious sites show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to be allowed maskless entry to the facilities.”

    And so it starts. I wonder who will be next ?

  29. MrAtoz says:

    And so it starts. I wonder who will be next ?

    This must be challenged. Religious sites? Really?

    1
  30. lynn says:

    “US Army Shows Soldier’s New View With Futuristic Night-Vision Goggles ”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/us-army-shows-soldiers-new-view-futuristic-night-vision-goggles

    Dadgum ! I want XXXX need me a pair of these !

    My son tells me that the IR scope he carried on his second trip to Iraq in 2008 costs $12,000. And still does. And burned batteries like they were going out of style. 6 or 8 AA batteries an hour.

  31. Brad says:

    A rare weather event

    Yeah, about that: happens every 20 years or so. That’s not actual rare. There’s between zero and no excuse for the lack of preparedness. Criminal charges would not be out of place.

    2
  32. Alan says:

    Seigniorage can be quite profitable to governments, as long as the coins (state quarters) and stamps (all of them) are not redeemed in use.

    When the state quarters and their successors really start to come out of the drawers, it will be entertaining to see what schemes are put forth to prevent redemption.

    Last move I totaled up my stash of state quarters and it came to about $625. Looked through them for the Wisconsin ‘extra cornstalk leaf error,’ found one which I have somewhere and rolled the rest and deposited them (in a few trips) at my bank – no hesitation, no need for Coinstar. The free coin counting machines that TD Bank used to have are gone.

  33. Alan says:

    Grumpy older man’s two cents for today.

    Some folks here that will trade you a two cent stamp for those two pennies.

  34. Greg Norton says:

    And so it starts. I wonder who will be next ?

    Federal OSHA declared symptoms from workplace mandated vaccinations as “reportable”. IIRC, state OSHA overrides Feds, but I wonder if OR employers are still ultimately liable.

    As I’ve mentioned before, OR was the dry run for President Kamala Harris.

  35. Nick Flandrey says:

    Once every 20 years IS rare. Three generations of workers during those 20 years…twice in someone’s whole career.

    n

  36. Alan says:

    “The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is requiring that people in workplaces, businesses, and religious sites show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to be allowed maskless entry to the facilities.”

    And so it starts. I wonder who will be next ?

    IIRC we have 23 Dem governors so 22 other states to pick from…

  37. pecancorner says:

    I haven’t read the comments yet, but wanted to be sure to say: Good post today, Nick. I appreciate your prepping advice and nearly always learn something. Thanks for the effort it takes to write these things out.

  38. Nick Flandrey says:

    Thanks!

    n

  39. pecancorner says:

    That is the agenda being pushed (there are other articles that push that TX needs to connect to the rest of the US, to make it easier to steal from TX in the future, no doubt.)

    Absolutely, and we don’t want to be connected to the rest of the states’ grid. I’m still peeved since I found out that Mexico gets some of Texas’s power.

    Here’s the really fun part — the carbon fiber of the blades is not recyclable

    re: windmills blades, why bury them?? They are essentially inert aren’t they?

    If they’re just sitting there above ground, they’re a constant reminder that “green” energy has significant waste and environmental costs.

    I don’t understand why they can’t be recycled into some kind of building material? It seems if they can be cut up, they could be turned into blocks or used as filler?

    Re vintage unused postage: I buy “below face” stamps on eBay to use on letters and cards. I still pay our bills through the mail, and at 55 cents each, that can add up. People who send a lot of birthday cards can benefit from vintage postage. There’s a big trend for using themes & color coordination for wedding/graduation invitations and thank you notes. A square invitation, otherwise regular size/weight, costs 95 cents to mail. Those cute musical cards cost $1.20 each to mail. So vintage discount postage can be a BIG savings for some people. We should use them while we still can… it’s my understanding that some of Europe has already voided all postage stamps, and people have to use meters.

  40. Alan says:

    When the state quarters and their successors really start to come out of the drawers, it will be entertaining to see what schemes are put forth to prevent redemption.

    Any vending machine should take any US quarter. Don’t believe any adjustments were needed when the state quarters were first released. Most vending machines also don’t return the inserted coins if you hit the coin return button before completing your purchase, you’ll get other coins.

  41. Ed says:

    I was flipping through June’s Sky & Telescope here when I remembered Nicks comment earlier in the week that Machine Design was down to 45pp.

    Currently S&T is at 86.  Hemming’s is at, I think, 82.  Both down from the past, but not minuscule.  I wonder if MD is simply refusing to lower it’s advertising rates or something?

    Magazines sometimes commit suicide, Byte comes to mind.

  42. Greg Norton says:

    Any vending machine should take any US quarter. Don’t believe any adjustments were needed when the state quarters were first released. Most vending machines also don’t return the inserted coins if you hit the coin return button before completing your purchase, you’ll get other coins. 

    Phone company legend was that Bell Labs designed the current nickel-clad copper coins in 1965 to pass a series of physical tests applied when inserted into a pay phone. Any “Quarter”, “Dime”, “Nickel”, or “Half Dollar” coins made since then have to pass the same tests, regardless of physical appearance.

    From what I understand, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin and every “Dollar” since were designed in a similar manner to meet the same set of physical tests despite having different colors, edges, etc.

  43. Nick Flandrey says:

    @ed, that’s an interesting thought. All my other trade mags are greatly reduced too though.

    EC&M and Photonics Spectra have held up the best, don’t know why, but EC&M has a broad construction industry base and the same advertisers in every issue, for the most part. Photonics might just be high end and esoteric enough that they aren’t affected to the same degree, or their lag time might be longer, or their industries (telcom forex) might be more resistant to the downturn.

    In general I’ve observed them (trade mags/industry press) shrinking and growing with the general state of the economy, through a couple of cycles now and this is by far the smallest they’ve ever gotten.

    n

  44. Nick Flandrey says:

    So I don’t lose the link–

    https://www.processingmagazine.com/process-control-automation/scada/article/21216943/digital-transformation-for-1000-oil-and-natural-gas-wells

    The article was written before the pipeline ransomware shutdown, but gives a good picture of the scope of the problem with SCADA control systems and updating them. It doesn’t specifically mention that the old machines are running win98, or 95, or ME, but you can be pretty sure somewhere in their inventory they are….

    n

  45. lynn says:

    “Anti Semitic “White Supremacist” leaves poop and insults.”
    https://gunfreezone.net/anti-semitic-white-supremacist-leaves-poop-and-insults/

    “HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are investigating after, they said a man hurled antisemitic remarks to a rabbi outside a Hallandale Beach synagogue and later emptied a bag of human feces, the latest in a string of incidents that have raised concerns in South Florida’s Jewish community.”

    “Cellphone video captured the man on an electric bicycle as he went on a rant outside the Chabad of South Broward, along East Hallandale Beach Boulevard, at around 12:30 p.m., Friday.”

    ““The Jewish bastard pulled a pistol on me,” he said at one point during the tirade.”

    The shooting will start soon.

  46. Greg Norton says:

    Pokemon arbitrage in action.

    All the same generic kind of white guy. BMI. T shirt. Backwards ball cap. Gym shorts. Interesting.

    https://www.kotaku.com.au/2021/05/chaos-at-a-walmart-as-people-rush-to-buy-pokmon-cards/

  47. Greg Norton says:

    The shooting will start soon. 

    Nah. That’s the wrong part of Florida to start something with the Jewish community, and it will be dealt with quietly.

    You think Italians are the only ethnic group with a mafia and rackets?

  48. Nick Flandrey says:

    Wow, I guess I’ll be glad if my vintage cards need to be re-auctioned.

    n

  49. lynn says:

    Robert Francis for Governor 2022 has begun. Still early, but the CA money people obviously feel that Newsom surviving recall is a done deal. They’re probably right.

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/05/texas-gov-knew-of-natural-gas-shortages-days-before-blackout-blamed-wind-anyway/

    To be fair, what exactly have the Legislature and Governor done with regard to preventing a repeat?

    The problem is easily fixable. Just pay all of the fossil fuel electricity producers to keep LNG or diesel on site. Nobody wants to pay the cost, billions of dollars !

  50. lynn says:

    The real questions… do we want/need state or federal government involved in energy production and distribution more than they are? Do we REALLY think they’ll do better, or be more flexible and responsive? That is the agenda being pushed (there are other articles that push that TX needs to connect to the rest of the US, to make it easier to steal from TX in the future, no doubt.)

    Wind turbines were a factor, but only a small one [who determines “small”?]. Wind in Texas doesn’t produce as much power in the winter [still normally produces a bigger chunk than it does in CA, iirc], and regulators don’t typically rely on wind turbines to provide significant amounts of power [that’s damning right there].

    ALL the power provided by wind is outside of base… has to be because of its variable nature. In other words, YOU CAN’T COUNT ON IT, so they don’t.

    And the short term question–so what if the Gov KNEW about a possible shortage? What could he or anyone else have done? Also- very rare weather event!

    Having all of this federally subsidized electricity is distorting the market in Texas. When the market is distorted then it cannot handle extreme events.

    We have extreme cold weather events in Texas every ten years. 1983 (15 F in Sugar Land), 1989 (6 F in Sugar Land), 2001 (20 F in Sugar Land), 2010 (22 F in Sugar Land), and 2021 (11 F in Sugar Land).

    We have extreme hot weather events in Texas every ten years. 1988 (115 in Dallas during Republican National Convention), 1999 (113 F in Sugar Land on Labor Day), ???, and ???. In fact, the last extreme hot weather event I remember is 113 F in Sugar Land, Texas on Labor Day of 1999.

    If you want electricity in Texas below 32 F or above 95 F, have a plan to provide your own. The Power That Be are not going accept the responsibility that HL&P and TXU (70% of the old Texas electric generators) used to provide.

  51. lynn says:

    Your brother might be in luck next year. A Robert Francis state-wide win in TX, Senate or Governor, would put him in the political calculus for President Harris reelection bid.

    Texas is the second most populous state by far now. Lots of electoral votes, second only to California. All to the winner.

  52. Greg Norton says:

    We have extreme hot weather events in Texas every ten years. 1988 (115 in Dallas during Republican National Convention), 1999 (113 F in Sugar Land on Labor Day), ???, and ???. In fact, the last extreme hot weather event I remember is 113 F in Sugar Land, Texas on Labor Day of 1999.

    In Austin, 100s in 2019 lasted well into September, keeping with the timetable.

    1
  53. Marcelo says:

    We have extreme cold weather events in Texas every ten years. 1983 (15 F in Sugar Land), 1989 (6 F in Sugar Land), 2001 (20 F in Sugar Land), 2010 (22 F in Sugar Land), and 2021 (11 F in Sugar Land).

    If that is correct, and I am sure the politicians are aware of it, then why do you expect any action to be carried out soon? They have about 9 years for it to happen again…

    1
  54. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yep, all the whiners will be dead or moved on by then…

    n

    1
  55. Nick Flandrey says:

    Just finished dinner, but before that I was cleaning up a trash picked laptop for sale in the auction. Old dell, inspiron with Vista Home and a celeron duo. Boots faster than a modern lappy…

    Guy who threw it out was a lawyer, or at least trying to be. All the test software and docs were about law school and the Bar.

    Surprisingly little personal stuff on it. No photos, no video, nothing but work related docs. Makes me wonder if he deleted a bunch of stuff before getting rid of it. I didn’t look very hard.

    Might bring as much as $50, you never know. Computers bring more money than I would expect.

    n

  56. Nick Flandrey says:

    From our Governor’s personal newsletter…

    ANNOUNCING THE END TO FEDERAL PANDEMIC-RELATED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

    The Lone Star State has more job openings than the number of unemployment claims on file.

    There are nearly 60% more jobs open in Texas today than there were in February 2020, the month before the pandemic hit.

    Also, almost 20% of unemployment claims filed during the pandemic appear to be fraudulent.

    Texas is 100% open — it’s time to get back to work.

    and

    TEXAS DOMINATES THE DECADE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

    Texas has led the nation for the past 8 years in new economic development and corporate relocation.

    Even during the pandemic, we went from having the 10th largest economy in the world to the 9th largest economy.

    The Texas model continues to attract more businesses and jobs for Texans.

    Go Texas!

    n

    1
  57. drwilliams says:

    @pecancorner

    “I don’t understand why they can’t be recycled into some kind of building material? It seems if they can be cut up, they could be turned into blocks or used as filler?”

    A lot of research has been done, but little implementation:

    “In 2019, Global Fiberglass Solutions (GFS) became the first U.S. company to sell a product containing recycled turbine blades. The company is located in Texas, and can certify that the product is in fact being recycled by using a product tracker. Once it gets to their warehouse, the fiberglass turbine blades are then chopped up and turned into EcoPoly Pellets and EcoPoly Panels. According to a Market Insider article, GFS has also tested other products like “decking boards, warehouse pallets, parking bollards and much more.” According to the GFS website, “Once GFS processes fiberglass into raw material, we then create versatile, customized products such as composite panels, railroad ties, plastic composites, and beyond. You can order fibers or our EcoPoly pellets in bulk to make your own products.”

    https://www.nw-rei.com/2021/03/30/recycling-turbine-blades/

    I suspect the difficulty here mirrors the problem of recycling rubber tires. In the 1970’s there was a lot of research done on tire recycling, but little came of it. The primary problems were the diffuse availability (despite numerous piles of thousands of tires, and the small value of any resulting product. Tires can be recycled into an excellent paving material, for example, but there are simply not enough available to pave many miles, and getting them gathered together for processing is expensive. Natural rubber molecules are unique and effectively impossible to synthesize, but there is no good way to “un-vulcanize” a rubber tire, so doing the energy-intensive work of recovering the rubber from the steel and fibers yields a product that cannot be used to make new tires. Crumb rubber playground coverings were somewhat successful until “concerned parents” found the usual parts per trillion contaminants in their closet of anxieties.

    Another example would be PET bottles. Lots of good work went into making carpet fibers and even t-shirts, but nothing much came of it for similar reasons.

    Fiberglass turbine blades are worse. 100-ft long blades average about 100-lbs per foot with non-uniform cross-sections and are about 10-ft at the thickest point. Seems that they could be converted to some sort of architectural use, but no brilliant ideas yet. Maybe someone will incorporate a post-turbine application into the design process in the future so they can have a second life as housing modules, fish habitat, rocket fuel tanks, or something entirely new.

    In the meantime we’re left with fibers and Ecopoly pellets, which I suspect are products in search of a purpose. If someone finds a purpose they will immediately have to compete with similar products made from virgin materials at half the cost, unless the greenies can lard on a bunch of tax credits to “Save The Earth” yet again.

     

  58. Greg Norton says:

    Just finished dinner, but before that I was cleaning up a trash picked laptop for sale in the auction. Old dell, inspiron with Vista Home and a celeron duo. Boots faster than a modern lappy…

    Vista caught a lot more grief than it really deserved. Ironically, the common public complaint was resource requirements.

    I always believed the real problem was that Vista was the first Windows which tightly controlled the site license registrations with a designated administrator at each company. This limited the ability to install extra copies at home to play 64 bit Doom III.

  59. lynn says:

    Magazines sometimes commit suicide, Byte comes to mind.

    They killed Byte when they folded C/C++ User’s Journal into it. Byte lost a lot of its funkiness then and became just another computer mag.

    1
  60. lynn says:

    We have extreme cold weather events in Texas every ten years. 1983 (15 F in Sugar Land), 1989 (6 F in Sugar Land), 2001 (20 F in Sugar Land), 2010 (22 F in Sugar Land), and 2021 (11 F in Sugar Land).

    If that is correct, and I am sure the politicians are aware of it, then why do you expect any action to be carried out soon? They have about 9 years for it to happen again…

    I suspect that you understand statistics. The events can happen on back to back years. In fact, they can happen in the same season (1983-1984).

  61. Marcelo says:

    We have extreme cold weather events in Texas every ten years. 1983 (15 F in Sugar Land), 1989 (6 F in Sugar Land), 2001 (20 F in Sugar Land), 2010 (22 F in Sugar Land), and 2021 (11 F in Sugar Land).

    If that is correct, and I am sure the politicians are aware of it, then why do you expect any action to be carried out soon? They have about 9 years for it to happen again…

    I suspect that you understand statistics. The events can happen on back to back years. In fact, they can happen in the same season (1983-1984).

    I do but are you then sure that the politicians also know or care about those little details? 🙂

    1
  62. lynn says:

    We have extreme hot weather events in Texas every ten years. 1988 (115 in Dallas during Republican National Convention), 1999 (113 F in Sugar Land on Labor Day), ???, and ???. In fact, the last extreme hot weather event I remember is 113 F in Sugar Land, Texas on Labor Day of 1999.

    In Austin, 100s in 2019 lasted well into September, keeping with the timetable.

    Summer of 2011, we had many 100+ F days in Sugar Land. We were in a five story office building, about 150,000 ft2. The stupid 130 ton HVAC system for the entire building was running on a Windows 98 PC that kept on tripping at 99 F and would not restart until the temperature fell below that. Being on the fifth floor, we knew it first, usually about 2 or 3pm.

    I bought my office complex in December of 2011 and moved my primary business there in March of 2012 when our lease was up. There was no way that we were going to re-up that lease in the five story building.

    1
  63. lynn says:

    We have extreme cold weather events in Texas every ten years. 1983 (15 F in Sugar Land), 1989 (6 F in Sugar Land), 2001 (20 F in Sugar Land), 2010 (22 F in Sugar Land), and 2021 (11 F in Sugar Land).

    If that is correct, and I am sure the politicians are aware of it, then why do you expect any action to be carried out soon? They have about 9 years for it to happen again…

    I suspect that you understand statistics. The events can happen on back to back years. In fact, they can happen in the same season (1983-1984).

    I do but are you then sure that the politicians also know or care about those little details?

    I trust the politicians don’t care what happens beyond the next election and are willing to take a chance. And since the next election is in November of next year …

  64. lynn says:

    “Rumors Suggest Amazon is Offering $9 Billion for MGM”
    https://www.cordcuttersnews.com/rumors-suggest-amazon-is-offering-9-billion-for-mgm/

    “Fresh reports from The Information and Variety point to rumors of ongoing talks that include Amazon offering $9 billion to acquire storied media company MGM. At stake would be the rights to a collection of thousands of movies and episodes of TV programming, including well-known franchises like James Bond, Stargate, and Rocky.”

  65. Marcelo says:

    Might bring as much as $50, you never know. Computers bring more money than I would expect.

    If you ever come across a Surface Pro it is well worth you having a look at it. Surface Pro 3s and 4s are still being sold for several houndreds of dollars. My experience says that attached keyboards may have issues with connection and maybe the touch screens as well.

    I bought my wife a Pro 3 around 2015. It has been pounded day-in day-out to date and only this year has it shown issues on both those things.

  66. MrK says:

    I would stay clear of the Surface Pro 4. Lots of screen issues.. (I can personally attest to that) 😉

    Otherwise solid performers..

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