Mon. May 31, 2021 – Memorial Day

Take a moment and remember those who died in service to our country.

ARLINGTON, VA – MAY 27: Mary McHugh mourns her dead fiance Sgt. James Regan at “Section 60” of the Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2007.

Godspeed.

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

51 thoughts on “Mon. May 31, 2021 – Memorial Day”


  1. Couldn’t that be slightly ameliorated if both biological mother and father were required to show up weekly in order to get assistance?

    In some (many) cases that would involve the mother and 18 different males to account for the seven kids. And that is only the males she is able to contact. The real fathers may be long gone, prison, dead, or just nowhere to be found.

    I really like my battery powered Toro

    I really wish that EGO had produced their electric ZTR mower a year earlier. I would have purchased that rather than my current ZTR mower. My yard is too large for a walk behind mower, it would take at least two hours. Something I do not want to do in the TN heat and humidity. Electric would have been the ideal solution.

    The yard next door was 5-6 inches deep. Cut right thru it

    My ZTR is a commercial mower with the mulching conversion. The grass discharge is bolted shut and baffles are placed around each blade. Even in tall grass the mulching is so complete there are no visible grass clippings.

    I have kept up with oil changes, air filter, and blade replacement.

    I change the oil, oil filter, fuel filter and the plugs each season. Cheap maintenance. I also use 100% gas as required by the vendor and add fuel treatment. The oil in the hydrostatic drive units must be changed after 1,500 hours. Basically not in my lifetime as I use the machine about 20 hours a year.

    Newer cars, especially turbo or supercharged, put more stress on ignition components, so follow manufacturer’s specs

    Just had the 100K maintenance done on my 2014 F-150. New plugs, $16.00 each. Iridium as the engine has dual turbochargers. Also needed the coolant system flushed and the coolant replaced. That was not cheap either. Serpentine belt is just inspected and does not need to be changed until 150K miles. Apparently the stamina of those belts has increased substantially.

    I am noticing on the news that the majority of the “feel good” stories are about black people. While I applaud what these people have accomplished, it seems the reporting is being very much slanted to specific ethnic groups. I see more commercials featuring black people. I see more reporters being black people. I see a lot of female reporters. The demise of the white male in news organizations, reporting and commercials is troubling. Almost like reverse racism, but to call it that would have me tagged as racist.

    It is impossible to reverse the past. It is better to recognize the past, make certain the same less than desirable issues don’t happen again. Slavery was not good, it cannot be reversed. Treatment of black people until about 1960’s was bad, cannot be reversed. Neither should not and cannot happen again. To reward people simply based on their skin color is not right and will, and some could argue already has, will lead to a very undesirable outcome.

    To reward people who do nothing will never lift them out of the leach lifestyle and the welfare career path. Their sense of self worth will remain low. The motivation to work and support one’s self will not exist. Without a reason to learn, people will not learn. The rewarding for nothing is, in my opinion, just increasing the problems of the ghettos, not helping. And based on the size of some of those people, food stamps must provide a large amount of food each month.

  2. And before I forget, hats off to all the fallen and wounded veterans. I am a veteran myself but my contribution pales to nothing based on what many have sacrificed. Also thumbs up and a salute to all the veterans that visit this site.

  3. 78F and 77%RH with the sun shining this morning.

    We may get a beautiful day yet despite the forecasts.

    n

  4. Salute to the veterans.

    Macwhatsisname:

    “”There’s no data that says it’s not a good thing, no data that says it’s harmful. Let’s all take one for the team here.”

    is incorrect. Lots of data show harm. Lots of data show no benefit. Some evidence if benefit in specific conditions, and PPE in medical situations makes sense.

    1
  5. Spent yesterday chipping away at the list and doing normal domestic bliss activities. Cut the grass. Changed the silt filter in the fishpond/waterfeature pump. Moved stuff around. Cleaned and dusted. Did some temporary organizers in my closet.

    Watched the sequel to Pitch Perfect, which was funny but felt a bit ‘forced.’ I didn’t think it was as good as the original. I’m sure the kids will want to watch the third and final installment tonight. May or may not join them.

    Have an auction pickup this morning. I’m half expecting it to be canceled or for there to be no one there. Who works on Memorial Day? I got a reminder email from them so I’m headed that way, but if it weren’t something I REALLY want, I’d have passed. I wonder if my winning bid of 1/3 the ebay price would have needed to be higher if not for the messed up pickup? How does that fulfill the fiduciary duty to the estate? Oh well, their loss is my gain, and they picked the company.

    Better get started on my day.

    n

    added- picked the third blueberry, yea me!

  6. We may get a beautiful day yet despite the forecasts.

    Austin Energy can’t cope with it either way. Lots of power outages persist in the city from Friday’s storms.

    More severe weather is predicted for tonight in this part of Texas.

  7. Everyone should eat a TidePod every day because there’s no data that shows it’s harmful.

    But there’s lots of data, and simple common sense, saying that eating TidePods is bad for you.

    Really? Are there any peer-reviewed studies put out by the government showing that it’s bad? Eat your TidePod, you science denier!

  8. I dropped in and met with my mentor at the TV station five years after my last summer job there. I asked him about the possibility of becoming a director. That would have meant doing a lower paying job for maybe ten years while waiting for a vacancy, which I might have been willing to do. I was surprised when he told me the network had orders to give preference to Amish people, and I would not have been able to get hired for any job.

    That was 1970, so this practice has been around a while. I am glad this didn’t work out; better things did. Still, discrimination based on immutable characteristics is wrong.

  9. “”There’s no data that says it’s not a good thing, no data that says it’s harmful. Let’s all take one for the team here.”

    is incorrect. Lots of data show harm. Lots of data show no benefit. Some evidence if benefit in specific conditions, and PPE in medical situations makes sense.

    That will play well in the suburbs of Houston and the I35 corridor cities, particularly with the Dem female swing voters who decide elections elsewhere anymore.

    I still believe that, should he run for TX Governor, McConaughey will “come out” as a Republican to game that primary, however.

    1
  10. The camel will probably say something similar about our Independence Day weekend. I am tired already.

  11. Made my pickup. Stopped for donuts. Kids are rewatching Pitch Perfect again.

    n

  12. Yep, he really does say it.

    The local CBS news affiliate led the 10 PM newscast with coverage of the black members of the Texas Legislature walking out as part of a stunt yesterday evening, removing the quorum necessary to pass the voting rules overhaul. This was quickly followed by a piece on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre and video of the museum opening. Somehow, that quote didn’t make the wire service feeds.

    There seemed to be a coordinated media push to make today about being anything other than “Memorial Day”.

    And, for the record, more than a few Republican members of the Legislature were MIA last night, enabling the walkout trick to work.

  13. Inflation is what happens, when you run the printing presses full-out. Anyone who is surprised hasn’t been paying attention.

    If real inflation (as opposed to what the government reports) is under 50% cumulative over Biden’s term, I will be surprised.

  14. Economists have a term, total factor productivity, for increases in output that isn’t due to hours of labor, capital, or education. It rose about 2% per year from the 1920s to the 1970s. It’s dropped to much lower values since. Now it’s at about 0.3%. The previous growth was attributed by one economist to 5 inventions: electrification, the internal combustion engine, chemistry, telecommunications, and indoor plumbing. What is the next burst in productivity going to come from?

    Here is one set of possible breakthroughs.

    Biotech, geothermal energy, and cheap access to space are what are called out. And what could be blocking them? Regulations and bureaucratic inertia are a huge barrier.

    The biotech and space access items were known to me. I hadn’t realized we were on the cusp of closed loop deploy anywhere geothermal energy systems.

  15. The 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race riots is not only worth commemorating, it’s worth studying as one of the shameful pieces of American history that was sanitized out of the history that was taught in American schools back in the days when they bothered to teach history.

  16. The complete first paragraph:

    “Are all the significant inventions already achieved? Economist Robert Gordon identified five Great Inventions, whose discovery in the late nineteenth century powered what he deems an unrepeatable burst of economic growth between 1920 and 1970. These inventions—electrification, the internal combustion engine, chemistry, telecommunications, and indoor plumbing—were indeed far more significant than what often passes for innovation today. While some recent IT breakthroughs are important, no number of Snapchat filters can hold a candle to—well, not needing to use candles to see at night.”

    Implies decades of delay between Invention and Benefit.

    (Note that indoor plumbing was not possible until the implementation of water and sewage treatment, which is arguably the only Great Invention with a significant impetus from government)

    What is implied by the absence of:

    Penicillin and related drugs, anything to do with computers (except biological applications), “better” education, the Great Society programs, and communist/socialist governments? All long enough ago that some benefits should accrue? Do these things not have societal benefits?

    ADDED: In 1960 nuclear power was supposed to usher in the era of cheap energy. Is there a reasonable expectation that cheap energy will ever be a reality, or is the reality that energy will always be expensive through the dual efforts of the anti-technology luddites and the government regulators (some overlap on the Venn diagram)?

    2
  17. “Shards of Honor (2) (Vorkosigan Saga)” by Lois McMaster Bujold
    https://www.amazon.com/Shards-Honor-Vorkosigan-McMaster-Bujold/dp/1476781109/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number one of a sixteen book space opera series. However, some people call this a military science fiction series. There are several other books and short stories in the Vorkosigan Universe. This series won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best series in 2017. Also, several of the individual books in the series have either won awards or been nominated for awards. I have read this book several times as it is one of my favorite books. I reread the well printed and well bound trade paperback published by Baen in 2015 that I just rebought on Amazon. The original MMPB was published by Baen in 1986. I have rebought the next book in the series and may buy them all again.

    At the beginning of the book, Captain Cordelia Naismith of the Betan Planetary Survey Force is marooned on a newly discovered planet with Captain Lord Aral Vorkosigan of Barrayar, notorious as the “Butcher of Komarr”. Captain Vorkosigan is also marooned by a mutiny of his spaceship crew who, think he is dead.

    My rating: 6 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (571 reviews)

  18. I bought three tomato plants last month. Finally planted them yesterday. In pots. I emptied several pots to fill up the pots I’m using. The stuff decomposed enough to actually look and smell good. Fingers crossed for some decent tomatoes.

    I also seeded a few pots with basil and chives and thyme. Ahh… Saved seeds for basil and chives, envelope says 2008. Shrug. The thyme was store bought and said 2018. What the heck, I just bought them. More fingers crossed.

    Amazon has been spamming me with “$10 off” or some such if I use their photo storage service. Nope, ain’t doing that….

    I set up a sub-domain about 10 years ago. Installed Zenphoto with the ideal that various mail lists would have a place to share pictures. Back in the day when a 500 Kb picture when would puke your e-mail program. No interest from anyone. DreamHost changed versions of PHP and it all broke, anyway.
    So today I nuked the sub-domain’s contents and re-installed Zenphoto. Seem to works. Kind of pissy in the settings… I want more than 5 thumbnails in a row and nope, ain’t gonna do that… but it lets me change the setting. Oh well, it’s free for the brain-hurt of installing it.

    Today’s and a few more day’s task are to upload my photos to my website. Call it an “off-site back-up”. I can use Filezilla and not the clunky to me Zenphoto interface. 🙂

  19. @paul – regarding sharing photos …

    Many years ago, I created a site for sharing files – like photos –  via email, for file attachments that were too big. You’d create a message to someone, add a photo, and send the message. That would upload the file to my servers, and send the email to the recipient with a unique guid-type link that they could use to get the file. The file would be deleted after download or xx days, so didn’t clutter my hosting place.

    It worked pretty well. But, like many of my ‘million dollar’ ideas over the decades – some for web sites, some for other things –  marketing is hard, and nobody used it. And there are now other places to share large files like photos.

    I let the domain name expire. Still have the site code around here somewhere. The domain name was ‘File Hurl’, which amused me.

    Marketing web sites (and books) is hard work. I have several web sites that need better marketing. They are (IMHO) great ideas, and the web sites work like they are supposed to, but nobody knows about them. So, not getting rich on any of them. Still, creating them is fun.

    (Another ‘million dollar idea’ I had back in the 1980’s – bike racks that would attach to a tow hitch, instead of those that clamped on to your car’s rear bumper. Great idea. Nobody was doing that then. Now they are everywhere. And big business.)

  20. “The Current Legal Onslaught Is Unlikely To Limit World Oil Production Significantly”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/05/31/the-current-legal-onslaught-is-unlikely-to-limit-world-oil-production-significantly/

    “As you may be aware, a big part of the recent strategy of environmental activists supposedly to address “climate change” has been a multi-front legal onslaught against the major oil producing companies. The onslaught has included everything from hundreds of lawsuits in as many jurisdictions, restrictive new laws, regulatory initiatives, proxy contests, and much else.”

    “But take a look at oil production statistics, and it becomes clear that the major Western developed-country oil companies are just not that big a part of world production. Here is a chart at Wikipedia, with data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2020, the world averaged production of about 76 million barrels per day of petroleum liquids. (That figure represented a substantial pandemic-induced decline from a 2019 figure of over 90 million bbl/day. A big rebound is already under way.). Then, here are 2018 figures for oil production by the largest companies. The largest of the Western-developed-country majors, Exxon, produced about 2.3 million bbl/day, for a sixth place ranking and a market share of well under 3%. Ahead of Exxon were the likes of Saudi Aramco (11.0 million bbl/day), Rosneft (4.2 million bbl/day), Kuwait Petroleum (3.4 million bbl/day), National Iranian Oil Company (3.3 million bbl/day), and China National (3.0 million bbl/day). The only other Western major in the top ten was Chevron, at 1.8 million bbl/day, in ninth place, with a market share well under 2%. The top ten was rounded out by the national oil companies of Brazil, Abu Dhabi and Mexico. The top ten companies in the aggregate had a market share of under 35%, with the remainder of the market made up of hundreds of entities, many of which are small U.S. “frackers.””

    The USA is producing about 11 million bbl/day right now and dropping quickly. Get ready to pay a lot more for gasoline and other hydrocarbon based fuels, except for natural gas. Or maybe those vaunted electric cars will save us.

    We are in process of converting the USA to natural gas from liquid fuels. And from coal. We probably need to speed this conversion up.

  21. Marketing web sites (and books) is hard work. I have several web sites that need better marketing. They are (IMHO) great ideas, and the web sites work like they are supposed to, but nobody knows about them. So, not getting rich on any of them. Still, creating them is fun.

    I’ve wanted to do a homebrew Roku channel for about a decade which, among other features, would stream programs recorded on my TiVo to any TV in the house. I spent some time this morning on the backend Python code that talks to the TiVo, updating for Python 3. Maybe one decade I’ll get motivated to do a basic front end in PHP and Roku’s … BrightScript (?) … API.

    Part of the interest is creating a piece of functionality I’ve wanted for myself for a long time, but I suspect there is an untapped market for that kind of custom work, feeding media to off the shelf Roku hardware.

  22. @paul – and regarding programs that display your photos on a web page – I use a free one called SinglePHP Gallery http://sye.dk/sfpg/ .

    Simple, single-file install. Creates a thumbnail list of pix and folders. You just put the ‘index.php’ file in a web folder, along with all your pix, and it does all the rest. Creates the thumbnails, click on a picture to get a new version, navigation arrows, etc. There are configuration options to use if you want.

    I’ve used it on a lot of my family web sites that show pix.

  23. The USA is producing about 11 million bbl/day right now and dropping quickly. Get ready to pay a lot more for gasoline and other hydrocarbon based fuels, except for natural gas. Or maybe those vaunted electric cars will save us.

    As we learned in Texas this winter, the power grid will need a very expensive upgrade that no one wants to write the checks to cover in order for electric cars to work.

    Austin Energy still has customers without power from Friday night’s storms, the effects of which were very localized and happened in 80 degree weather.

    The Legislature took off most of the weekend, ahead of the fiasco last night. The only bill which passed related to February was some kind of winterization mandate.

  24. Never bet against Chipzilla.

    https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/30/22459025/intel-11th-gen-tiger-lake-processor-5g-modem-computex

    At the new job, we’ve been looking into commodity hardware for our remote date gathering nodes, and our resident ARM/AMD snob came way impressed with a new i9 he had in his lab.

    Up until recently, we were playing with the bleeding edge of AMD with 128 core CPUs and the new Zen 2 compiler switches in GCC 9 . Fun, but expensive.

    1
    1
  25. Leftovers for dinner. Some that I can’t remember when we had them got tossed. Hate to do that, but hate puking more.

    WRT inventions, a room temperature superconductor would make all kinds of things practical and possible. Fusion power. Inertia canceling fields. Anti-gravity. Significant life extension techniques. True AI. All game changers, still to be invented.
    n

    1

  26. All game changers, still to be invented

    Where is Al Gore when he is really needed?

    2

  27. Economists have a term, total factor productivity, for increases in output that isn’t due to hours of labor, capital, or education. It rose about 2% per year from the 1920s to the 1970s. It’s dropped to much lower values since. Now it’s at about 0.3%. The previous growth was attributed by one economist to 5 inventions: electrification, the internal combustion engine, chemistry, telecommunications, and indoor plumbing. What is the next burst in productivity going to come from?

    Here is one set of possible breakthroughs.

    Biotech, geothermal energy, and cheap access to space are what are called out. And what could be blocking them? Regulations and bureaucratic inertia are a huge barrier.

    The biotech and space access items were known to me. I hadn’t realized we were on the cusp of closed loop deploy anywhere geothermal energy systems.

    Let’s see…
    1. Next-gen AI
    2. Elimination of the ICE
    3. Level 5 autonomous vehicles
    4. Fix the Texas power grid
    5. Install @lynn’s gennie

    2

  28. Marketing web sites (and books) is hard work. I have several web sites that need better marketing. They are (IMHO) great ideas, and the web sites work like they are supposed to, but nobody knows about them. So, not getting rich on any of them. Still, creating them is fun.

    @Rick H – start yourself a YouTube channel to hawk your wares?

  29. Penicillin and related drugs, anything to do with computers (except biological applications), “better” education, the Great Society programs, and communist/socialist governments? All long enough ago that some benefits should accrue? Do these things not have societal benefits?

    Antibiotics and computers had significant costs connected to the productivity gains which may yet swamp the benefits. The jury is still out on those.

    I’d argue that productivity improved despite “better” education starting 50 years ago.

    Great Society and communist/socialist governments? Fuggedaboudit. Thanks to the soft authoritarianism in the traditional family structures, China achieved a critical mass where Communism kinda-sorta works, but it sure looks like old school autocracy to me. Life is good for Number One Son, but it sucks for everyone else in the family.

    1

  30. start yourself a YouTube channel to hawk your wares?

    Starting something (web site, YouTube channel, publish a book, start a home-based business, etc) is easy. Getting people to notice it is hard.

    There are (I’d guess) millions of YouTube channels. Most are not noticed by anyone.

    Marketing (anything) is hard. And doing it can be expensive.

  31. Time for a follow-up: Last year someone here had trouble with a (former) friend staying with them and then becoming a problem and not leaving. Things seemed to have resolved well, last we heard, but what was the ultimate status?

  32. Interesting interview remembering Rush Limbaugh with Tampa’s “Mark Larsen”, another, lesser-known pioneer of the genre going back to the late 80s.

    Larsen was part of the management chain that greenlit the development of Glenn Beck’s show in Tampa in the early 2000s. Love or hate Glenn Beck, now you know who to thank/blame. At least, in part.

    https://www.iheart.com/podcast/1248-beyond-the-news-wfla-inte-43128080/episode/remembering-rush-limbaugh-mark-larsen-77776822/

  33. I see tomorrow is the start of the alphabet soup queer month. Give it a rest. Keep their lifestyle to themselves. I will leave them alone if they leave me alone.

    The white heterosexual working male is becoming an endangered species.

  34. Penicillin and related drugs, anything to do with computers (except biological applications), “better” education, the Great Society programs, and communist/socialist governments? All long enough ago that some benefits should accrue? Do these things not have societal benefits?

    Antibiotics and computers had significant costs connected to the productivity gains which may yet swamp the benefits. The jury is still out on those.

    I’d argue that productivity improved despite “better” education starting 50 years ago.

    Great Society and communist/socialist governments? Fuggedaboudit. Thanks to the soft authoritarianism in the traditional family structures, China achieved a critical mass where Communism kinda-sorta works, but it sure looks like old school autocracy to me. Life is good for Number One Son, but it sucks for everyone else in the family.

    I’ll argue that computer control of industrial processes has increased the reliability and efficiency of those processes by at least 20%.

  35. Economists have a term, total factor productivity, for increases in output that isn’t due to hours of labor, capital, or education. It rose about 2% per year from the 1920s to the 1970s. It’s dropped to much lower values since. Now it’s at about 0.3%. The previous growth was attributed by one economist to 5 inventions: electrification, the internal combustion engine, chemistry, telecommunications, and indoor plumbing. What is the next burst in productivity going to come from?

    Here is one set of possible breakthroughs.
    https://www.city-journal.org/innovation-economic-growth

    Biotech, geothermal energy, and cheap access to space are what are called out. And what could be blocking them? Regulations and bureaucratic inertia are a huge barrier.

    The biotech and space access items were known to me. I hadn’t realized we were on the cusp of closed loop deploy anywhere geothermal energy systems.

    Six mile, 33,000 foot, deep wells are incredibly expensive. Many millions of dollars. My recollection of the temperature at that depth is 320 F to 350 F. Not a high heat so you would use R-134a or one of the modern refrigerants to power the turbine(s) instead of water. The pressure losses of the vapor going through six miles of vertical piping could be quite high.

  36. I’ll argue that computer control of industrial processes has increased the reliability and efficiency of those processes by at least 20%.

    With the tradeoff being the security problems, particularly during the last year when so many people attempted ad-hoc solutions to enable “working” from home.

    Still a net positive benefit … for now.

     

  37. I’ve lost the reference, but read an engineering/economic analysis of geo-thermal energy systems once. Except for a few special cases it just wasn’t competitive in the least.

  38. I’ve lost the reference, but read an engineering/economic analysis of geo-thermal energy systems once. Except for a few special cases it just wasn’t competitive in the least.

    Popular Mechanics did an article on an Alaska geothermal plant using a hot spring and a cold creek. I supply a model of it with my software. “Geothermal Power in Alaska Holds Hidden Model for Clean Energy”. Since the heat is free and the cooling for the R-134a condenser is free, the place is incredibly cheap to run even though the cycle efficiency is only 11 percent (IIRC).

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/green-tech/a2540/4245896/

  39. Until the someone’s navy blows your spaceport out of the water….

     

    n

  40. Spent the weekend with niggling chores and running a 4” wood chipper. Got thru the mass of brush in the front yard. Didn’t touch the far larger mound in the back. Oi. It’s due back early in the morning. I’ll need a plan B for the huge backyard mound. Burning is outlawed, and a steep incline increases effort and reduces options.
    Attended the Memorial Day ceremony. Usual mix of talking heads looking for an opportunity to yap, and sincere humble recognition of what true sacrifice is.

    New pup was pretty good at the event. I’ll see if I can get some pics up on my site. WordPress is aggravating and I haven’t had time to work on it. She’s a cutie. Fierce and smart. We are doomed. Daughter is getting old enough to really start understanding why we go to these things.  Had brunch at a local diner that had defied the draconian mandates last year and got stropped by the fake mayor and her cronies. Place was packed.

    Still working on getting out of the old place. My six new rabbit cages (assembly required) arrived on Memorial Day. I’m glad to have them but what a shame to be working on this important day.

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  41. Still working on getting out of the old place. My six new rabbit cages (assembly required) arrived on Memorial Day. I’m glad to have them but what a shame to be working on this important day. 

    It wasn’t work enhancing someone else’s bottom line.


  42. Since the heat is free and the cooling for the R-134a condenser is free, the place is incredibly cheap to run even though the cycle efficiency is only 11 percent (IIRC).

     

    Heh. Yeah, I think that qualifies as a “special case”.

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