Thur. June 3, 2021 – these short weeks confuse my sense of time

Wednesday stayed nice all day. We were on the edge of the forecast storm area and once again missed it. Even openweathermap.org had us getting rain around 4pm… and they were both right and wrong. Right on time I got about 4 drops on my windshield, and that was it. We got a spatter at 7pm, but never really got any significant rain. I’m hoping for similar results today.

I have a pickup or two to do, and it would be easier to drop the kids at the pool than listen to them in the car for an hour. Unfortunately my pickups are near the airports, one each, so not a short drive. Worth it though for the stuff. One estate sale netted me an item at below market, even after tax and transfer fees. Unless I missed something in the pictures, I got a good deal on something that is in high demand and somewhat short supply.

I didn’t get any ammo in the auctions this week though, as the prices are still at retail or higher, for old and mismatched rounds.

Speaking of mismatched, I have enough accessories that I can’t sell on ebay (or use myself) that I’m considering selling on gunbroker. Anyone have experience with the actual process? I mostly use them for price checking.

I’d put some of the stuff in local auctions but my “household stuff” guy shut me down for a while. I WON’T be dropping off this load until they clear out some room in their warehouse. And THAT sucks dead bunnies. I’m getting a bit desperate to move some of this stuff.

In other news, I got another dozen blueberries off the bushes yesterday. I think I’ve passed last year’s total harvest now… The tomatoes are taking over the plots and the kitchen. Now my wife is looking at taking a half bushel to the local food bank today. They supposedly take garden produce.

Speaking of food banks, the state wants to give us another SNAP card for the school lunches we won’t be getting – because school is out for the summer. I ended up using the last one to buy food and donate it to the food bank for Thanksgiving meals. I think I will do the same with this one. We qualify (regardless of income) because our kids attend schools that offer free breakfasts and lunches to every student (because we have so many kids that qualify, they give them to everyone). Bread and circuses. F the world.

And WRT the world, I don’t know WHY we’re seeing all the china flu revelations, or why FauxXi is suddenly not receiving cover from the press, but I like it. I do want to know what they are distracting us from seeing though. They’ll be reporting on it, just not emphasizing it, or featuring it. It will be there though, so they can point back to it later. Crypto and debt currently not featured… hm.

Stack what you can. Lots of people are late coming to the party but there are still seats at the table and canapes’ being passed… we’re definitely in the ‘new normal’ though. Increased prices, increased violence, increased awareness, and increased shortages. The trend lines don’t look great to me. Anyone who can offer a counter narrative, I’m willing to hear it, indeed, I WANT to hear it, but there has to be some factual basis for the narrative. I may object to the facts, or to the interpretation, but I would like to hear it, if ya got one.

In the absence of other instruction, keep stacking.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

125 thoughts on “Thur. June 3, 2021 – these short weeks confuse my sense of time”

  1. Got a call from HR after dinner tonight offering me the position. Final talk with husband, strong encouragement from him. Pulled the trigger and said yes. More stress, more fulfilling work, six month probation, raise after probation. No impact to our finances. Many databases, MS SQL and Oracle. I’m really jazzed.

    @Jenny – Cool.

    Oracle. I forsee much typing of “scott/tiger” in your future.

    You’ll see. Take whatever Oracle training opportunities your management offers.

    2
  2. Dadgumit, I really want my version of grep to be able to give multiple lines of response for any hits. I need the next line after a match. In fact, I would like to get the next 4 or 5 lines after a match. I am perusing five million lines of text in 700 files. 

    There is probably a regexp incantation with groups you could use with GNU grep to do that.

    Or step up to sed/awk.

    Or Perl. Just don’t start thinking, “Say, I could do the whole system with this language.”

    That way leads to madness. I know developers who have succumbed to that path.


  3. Just remember, “Hydrogen Wants to be Free !”.

    And it wants to burn. Explosive in concentrations of something like 5 to 95%.

    Leaks through steel. Storage and transportation requires very high pressure, ~50,00 PSI, or cryogenics. 50K PSI can take off a limb. I can’t even imagine my 75 year old mother fueling her car with hydrogen. Won’t need a black box on that car either. It will burn to the ground in a serious accident.

    There is an idiot in France that wants to store 50K PSI air to power a car in carbon fiber tanks right under the passenger compartment.

    People are stupid and never consider first order effects, let alone 2nd or 3rd.


  4. We qualify (regardless of income) because our kids attend schools that offer free breakfasts and lunches to every student (because we have so many kids that qualify, they give them to everyone). Bread and circuses.

    I actually approve of this. Feed the kids. Take a look at how much federal money is spent on the free and reduced lunch program sometime. Last time I looked, 10 or 15 years ago, it was on the order of $5.00 per school aged child in the US. Get rid of all the overhead and paperwork and just feed them all.

    They’re kids.

  5. Just remember, “Hydrogen Wants to be Free !”.

    In some sense, that’s a good thing. Being much lighter than air, hydrogen – given a chance – will rise and disappear. Inside a vehicle or building, it remains dangerous. Outside, not so much.

    For me, the biggest argument against hydrogen as a fuel is the lack of infrastructure. We have an infrastructure for distributing liquid fuels. We have an electrical grid. But we do not have an infrastructure for distributing highly compressed gaseous fuels. Add to which, actually containing the stuff is (as Clayton points out) quite a challenge. One lonely proton is small, and seeps quite happily through “solid” materials.

    One proposal that could make sense is to start with truck stops. Equip 18-wheelers to use hydrogen, and install the necessary equipment at truck stops on major trucking routes. If it’s a success, expand from there. The hydrogen can be produced anywhere you have a decent supply of water. Best would be to do it whenever the grid has excess power available. FWIW, that’s a great way to make the greenies happy, because wind farms often produce energy at times that it isn’t really needed.

    There is an idiot in France that wants to store 50K PSI air to power a car in carbon fiber tanks right under the passenger compartment.

    What could go wrong? Have a minor accident, become shrapnel.

    Second DBA I interview this morning (teleconference). I answered the tech questions pretty well. Blanked on a stupidly easy one, didn’t attempt to bluff. Made an apology, confessed the brain fart and moved on.

    I haven’t done a lot of interviews, since I try to avoid management roles, but I have done some. FWIW, that sounds like something I would like to see: honesty, instead of stupid bluffing. If your other answers were competent, they should be pleased.

    Got a call from HR after dinner tonight offering me the position.

    And…there it is! Congratulations!

    3
  6. Question for anyone who’s looked for a programming job recently:

    I’ve been kinda-sorta looking for a new job or contract for a while, not putting much effort into it but replying to some headhunter emails. Something that’s come up repeatedly, which I never saw before, is the expectation of candidates performing a very time-consuming practical programming sample before the first non-HR interview. That is, talk to a recruiter or HR person for a few minutes, then be expected to put an hour or two into online skill assessments, then be expected to put around eight hours into a coding sample. And then, if all goes well, you’ll be able to interview with tech people and managers.

    I’ve refused to put that much time into them, viewing them as either a deliberate power play by employers who think they have all the leverage or a sign that the employer has no consideration for employees’ time and personal lives and thus a likely expectation of working 70-hour weeks and dropping everything to deal with the latest managerial whim. My reasoning is that the employers’ investment in the process is a half hour or so of a grunt-level recruiter’s time and maybe a couple minutes from a senior recruiter or engineering manager, contrasted with the expectation of ten hours or more from each candidate.

    If nothing else, this doesn’t match well with the claims that employers are desperate to find qualified people and that there’s a serious talent shortage in the US (and thus a need for yet more H1-Bs).

    So, the questions: Has anyone else seen this in programming or engineering fields? Am I interpreting the expectations completely wrong?

  7. Buy a farm around Edna, Texas, or Ganado, Texas with a natural gas well on it. You can put a tap on the well for your ICE gennie. Better get two gennies though, that is a lot of hours to run them. You will need a backup when you are rebuilding the first one.

    Just make sure the mineral rights weren’t separated from the farm property at some point.

    That paperwork was the most surprising thing I found in my closing documents. Welcome to Texas.

    Residents of one of the big, fancy developments in Leander lost gas service for several hours as part of a deliberate cutoff by Atmos the first night of the ice storms in February, just as the worst weather started Sunday night/Monday morning. The issue wasn’t supply as much as Atmos being unable to maintain pressure in their lines due to a sudden intense demand spike as ERCOT started the rolling blackouts.

  8. So, the questions: Has anyone else seen this in programming or engineering fields? Am I interpreting the expectations completely wrong? 

    At the last job, before the first non-HR interview, the company required an online multiple choice C++ test followed by an “aptitude” (IQ) multiple choice exam. Whether it was fair or not, it did limit wasting the leads’/management’s time, especially the latter,where it was simply a question of figuring out the trick to passing the test.

    A coding challenge took place during the big interview — one hour on a simple program selected from a choice of three. Pre-pandemic, part of the challenge was time management since the candidate had to choose the one program which best demonstrated their knowledge of C++ but could be done in the time frame allotted in our usual office environment. During the Pandemic, that was reduced to logging into Godbolt and writing a simple program manipulating a range of numbers, simply proving you knew something about writing C and using a Unix-ish compiler.

    Eight hours is a big ask.

    1
  9. My knowledge of vaccines is still shit, but articles like this are accumulating. The COVID jabs are mecho-gene-splicing pseudo EXPERIMENTAL procedures. We are being experimented on, period. In the rush to have “not one death from COVID”, deaths from the jab just might be mounting up. It would not surprise me that certain people are susceptible to DEATH BY PFIZER.

    Vaccine researcher admits ‘big mistake,’ says spike protein is dangerous ‘toxin’

    /tinfoil hat

    4
    3
  10. “What are they trying to distract us from?” – Oh, I dunno – Iran, debt, inflation, vote audits … Take your pick!

  11. Greg, what you describe is what I’ve seen many times before, and what I consider reasonable. Short skills assessment, either online or questions asked on the phone, filters out the fakes and the bozos, of which there are many. IQ test, disguised because of the legal environment, is the single best predictor of success in a programming or engineering job. Programming sample, typically an hour while in person with tech staff or on a screen sharing program, shows that you can solve problems and lets them see a bit into your problem-solving process.

    Eight hours of “write something and if it’s impressive enough we’ll think about spending some of our valuable time on you” is, as you say, a big ask.


  12. the expectation of candidates performing a very time-consuming practical programming sample

    A couple of whiteboard exercises, or maybe a programming exercise taking under an hour – that’s pretty normal.

    More than that? No. I’ve heard of students and interns being abused this way. A good programmer can produce a substantial project in 8 hours. Not finished quality, but a solid prototype. So really, they are asking for valuable work, for free. Multiply by a lot of interviews, pick the best ideas – it’s a nice idea, if you can find suckers.

    As an experienced professional, I would say “Sure, my hourly consulting rate is X, let me send you a contract.”

    Chip shortage

    Intel made good money for decades, then they screwed the pooch. They can afford to build a couple of fabs from their reserves. At most, I would be with JerryP: Possible support via tariffs, not subsidies: Imported chips cost 10% more. The government makes money instead of spending it. Intel (and other manufacturers) can bail themselves out.

    spike protein is dangerous ‘toxin’

    Yeah, that’s great. The thing is: if you get Covid, you will be stuffed full of spike proteins. The whole point of the vaccination is to sensitize your immune system to the things in a restricted fashion.

    They talks about hundreds of people with serious side effects. That’s out of hundreds of millions of people vaccinated. That’s a lot lower rate of problems than catching the disease itself. Vaccinations aren’t entirely safe. They are, however, safer than the disease they protect you against. That’s kind of the point.

    Oh, and the professor they are interviewing? He’s a professor in the school of veterinary medicine. They had to search pretty far to find a scientist to support the desired scare-mongering.

    2
  13. Greg, what you describe is what I’ve seen many times before, and what I consider reasonable. Short skills assessment, either online or questions asked on the phone, filters out the fakes and the bozos, of which there are many. IQ test, disguised because of the legal environment, is the single best predictor of success in a programming or engineering job. Programming sample, typically an hour while in person with tech staff or on a screen sharing program, shows that you can solve problems and lets them see a bit into your problem-solving process.

    An IQ test is legal in employment screenings as long as the employer hires an experienced, certified third party to administer the test. Ironically, HR at the last job had the bigger problem with the multiple choice C++ test, and our group stopped administering that one for a while last year, leading to some questionable hiring since my immediate manager had a soft spot for TAMU alumni and/or people he could geek out with regarding one or more of his non-work interests.

    (As @Lynn pointed out yesterday, TAMU isn’t the same as it was once upon a time, but some deeply held belief systems die hard in Texas, particularly regarding colleges. It is the same in Florida with Gainesville.)


  14. A couple of whiteboard exercises, or maybe a programming exercise taking under an hour – that’s pretty normal.

    More than that? No. I’ve heard of students and interns being abused this way. A good programmer can produce a substantial project in 8 hours. Not finished quality, but a solid prototype. So really, they are asking for valuable work, for free. Multiply by a lot of interviews, pick the best ideas – it’s a nice idea, if you can find suckers.

    As an experienced professional, I would say “Sure, my hourly consulting rate is X, let me send you a contract.”

    Largely agreed, though sometimes the assignment is wide-open enough that it clearly doesn’t fill a specific company need. One I got (and which I put in about two hours, to the recruiter’s annoyance because six to eight was expected) was “Write a Java application showing that you understand interfaces, method overrides, and unit testing”. (The two hours included having to install a specific IDE and a specific unit testing package and then learning how to use the latter. This is further evidence that they’re looking for someone who can walk in and be immediately productive rather than needing to learn their tool stack on company time.)

  15. More than that? No. I’ve heard of students and interns being abused this way. A good programmer can produce a substantial project in 8 hours. Not finished quality, but a solid prototype. So really, they are asking for valuable work, for free. Multiply by a lot of interviews, pick the best ideas – it’s a nice idea, if you can find suckers.

    Interviewing for F5 Networks, I received a “code at home” exercise which asked me to write a Tcl extension function in C, delivered in patch format ready to appy to the tarball, which gave the subnet bits for which two resolved DNS addresses (think “yahoo.com”) overlapped. The work took the better part of a weekend.

    The actual calculation of the subnet was easy since an obscure call to the Linux networking API covers the functionality of calculating the subnet for numeric addresses. All that was really required was classic Stephens to resolve the DNS names and iterate through all the numeric IP address possibilities. Then the patching script.

    I don’t think it was something that went into production, but who knows. F5 was a weird interview. One really young girl, probably promoted to lead/manager too early, got all p*ssed and stormed out of the room when I couldn’t name a favorite classic data structure.

    (Like every other interview experience, I learned. I have a canned response for that question now.)

  16. @Greg

    scott / tiger, training

    I will definitely take any Oracle training opportunities. Oracle is fun and a beast. Some 15 years ago I supported Oracle 8i and 9i for two organizations. Only a couple servers but both places reported to the feds. I earned my Oracle DBA Professional cert then, tried to recert on 11g a year after the car crash, failed due to still recovering from the brain injury.

    I’ve been doing self study with Pluralsight and similar, making progress.

    I tried to be very honest about the staleness of my skills without downplaying how many years I had spent on database work, from MS SQL 4.2 thru 2008, and some experience with modern. With old school Oracle and a smattering of MySQL and Clarion for fun.

    I’ll be working very hard over the next two weeks, and beyond, getting back up to speed.

    It’s going to be fun. Stressful, as we aren’t out of the old house yet.

    —-

    Stacking, meat shortages.

    Rabbits. Just saying.

     

    2
  17. I’ve refused to put that much time into them, viewing them as either a deliberate power play by employers who think they have all the leverage or a sign that the employer has no consideration for employees’ time and personal lives and thus a likely expectation of working 70-hour weeks and dropping everything to deal with the latest managerial whim.

    I concur. They’re interviewing you, but you’re also interviewing them. Crap likes this hints at what type of organization they are.

    Drive by their offices at 6PM and see how many cars are still in their parking lot.

    I told a company to piss off once because after 6 interviews (one of which had me sitting in a conference room for an hour contributing to a project for a company I wasn’t even working for) it just wasn’t worth the hassle. I used those words too. The owner’s secretary (uhh… I mean “executive assistant”) begged me to come back in for one more interview as she was sure he was ready to offer me a contract-to-hire position. I was like, “After all that you’re not even going to offer me full-time employment but contract-to-hire instead? No thanks.” My first warning sign should have been that their owner was so involved in the hiring process of a programmer while their IT team had almost no involvement at all. That has micromanagement written all over it. I wonder how many IT idiots the owner hired based on his “gut feeling” about them and then saddled IT with their stupidity.

    I love interviewing while actively employed. There’s no pressure to get the job, so you’re very casual (almost cavalier) at the interview. Heck, I don’t even wear slacks and neckties to those interviews. Nice jeans and a polo. Don’t like it? That’s fine. That’s the sort of stuffy old school business attitude that probably makes your company a drag to work at anyway (the unenthused singing of “Happy Birthday” and the “Hawaiian Shirt Day” from Office Space come to mind – two Office Space references from me this week – go me!). There might come a job market where I’m dressed in a full business suit begging for the privilege to work 80 hours a week for a pittance, but not right now.

    I tried to be very honest about the staleness of my skills without downplaying how many years I had spent on database work, from MS SQL 4.2 thru 2008, and some experience with modern. With old school Oracle and a smattering of MySQL and Clarion for fun.

    I’ve always wanted to build an Oracle skillset, but it seems every job I’ve had has me working with MySQL, SQL Server, and DB2. Everyone seems to have Oracle, but I never seem to be in a position requiring me to consume data from Oracle. Actually, everyone seems to have everything as different vendor solutions require you use this or that, so most large companies are a mixed bag of databases. Alas, Oracle is the one that eludes me.

    Is Caché still a thing? Is it still around? I used to know a guy 13 years ago that thought Caché was God’s gift to database and in a few years we were all going to be using Caché as it was just THAT good. I don’t think I’ve heard it mentioned since then.


  18. as we aren’t out of the old house yet

    Easy, four-step solution:

    1. Craft some threatening letters to yourself.

    2. Report to the police that you’re afraid.

    3. Torch the house.

    4. Profit!

     

    2
    1
    1
  19. I tried to be very honest about the staleness of my skills without downplaying how many years I had spent on database work, from MS SQL 4.2 thru 2008, and some experience with modern. With old school Oracle and a smattering of MySQL and Clarion for fun.

    The biggest change in databases I’ve noticed in the last decade has been the rise of the open source projects running on Linux. Even Microsoft has a Linux port of SQL Server. SQL is still SQL, and I’ve successfully scaled tables and queries all the way from SQLite to MySQL to Oracle without a hitch.

    Oracle is still the big player, but their credibility took serious blows in the Java lawsuit and their consulting arm’s botched handling of implementing Cover Oregon, the state’s Obamacare exchange.

    A lot of places are starting to wonder about more cost effective alternatives as Oracle looks to squeeze more revenue out of existing customers . PostgreSQL in particular seems to be a Hot Skillz as of late, but that one does require some awareness of field formats moving from Oracle.


  20. Easy, four-step solution:

    1. Craft some threatening letters to yourself.

    2. Report to the police that you’re afraid.

    3. Torch the house.

    4. Profit!

    This comment is soon to be known as “State Exhibit A” 🙂 lol

    1
    1
  21. Thanks, all. The consensus, here, at Daily Pundit, and from acquaintances, is that the expectation is ridiculous. Oh, and as an added f-you, the “sweet spot” for salary was right at the minimum I’d consider and at least $20k below what I’d expect for the seniority and the job requirements.

    interviewing while actively employed. There’s no pressure to get the job, so you’re very casual (almost cavalier) at the interview. … There might come a job market where I’m dressed in a full business suit begging for the privilege to work 80 hours a week for a pittance, but not right now.

    Yep. I don’t much care for my current job and especially my co”work”ers, but it’s a steady paycheck.


  22. PostgreSQL in particular seems to be a Hot Skillz as of late.

    Because of big data, the increasing visibility of data science, and Postgress’s features supporting efficient machine learning.

    (“Alleged features”, I should say. I haven’t seen any notable difference between Postgress and other DBs. It’s possible that this was because our data was hundreds of thousands or a few million rows; maybe the benefits don’t kick in until you’re working with hundreds of millions.)

  23. 70F and partly sunny today, with 77%RH this morning. That’s probably due to the wetness of the ground. We got some rain through the night and thunder.

    Listening to the scanner this am, the popo is working to grab a guy in my neighborhood, about a mile from my house. They’ve got him staked out. Just heard them tell K9 to expect a call from the Gang Unit with meet up details, so the guy must be a ‘banger.

    “He didn’t have any mechanical issues with his vehicle when I checked it out this morning so we’ll have to develop some moving PC.” IE- his truck is fine, so we’ll have to wait until he does something wrong while driving to pretend it is the reason for the stop.

    n

  24. Ah, there goes FauxXi being all lawyerly again.

    “Fauci DEFENDS China and says it’s ‘far fetched to think they’d deliberately engineer something to kill themselves’ – as he doubles down on animal origins of COVID and dismisses ‘out-of-context’ smoking gun emails ”

    –yes, it is FARFETCHED to think they’d deliberately do it to themselves. Not at all farfetched to believe they’d deliberately do it to kill OTHERS and ACCIDENTALLY kill themselves.

    n

    1
  25. ‘banger in the hood is moving weed and pills. One pound of weed, 50 pills…

    n

  26. THey haven’t mentioned the actual address they’re watching. It’s probably in one of the little neighborhoods that surround my actual neighborhood. They are much less controlling, cheaper, with more rentals, and multiple households in the same house.

    Probably.

    n

  27. @Jenny:  Very happy for you!  IIRC, we discussed that we both worked with DB, SQL stuff.  I enjoyed learning and using it creatively very much.

  28. “PostgreSQL in particular seems to be a Hot Skillz as of late.”

    Because of big data, the increasing visibility of data science, and Postgress’s features supporting efficient machine learning.

    (“Alleged features”, I should say. I haven’t seen any notable difference between Postgress and other DBs. It’s possible that this was because our data was hundreds of thousands or a few million rows; maybe the benefits don’t kick in until you’re working with hundreds of millions.)

    I believe that PostgreSQL can scale to running on multiple machines or VMs easily.

    Plus Oracle owns MySQL, and the industry is increasingly concerned about Oracle’s revenue grab exercising some patent which takes out MariaDB.

    1
  29. Re grepping for previous/following lines, use -A and -B flags

    4 lines before match
    $ grep -B 4 ‘keyword’ /path/to/file.log

    4 lines after match
    $ grep -A 2 ‘keyword’ /path/to/file.log

    And combined
    $ grep -B 5 -A 2 –color ‘keyword’ /path/to/file.log

    Learn something new every day. Unix is, as Dr. Pournelle noted, a “guru full employment” act.

    Are those options specific to GNU Grep?

  30. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-9646863/The-Aussie-intimate-beauty-brand-set-launch-Kourtney-Kardashians-POOSH-website.html

    Each of the FIG products is designed to do a different thing.

    The ‘Refresh’ fragrance-free wash gently cleanses the intimate area without changing its natural scent or disrupting its moisture balance.

    The ‘Revive’ hydrating vulva mist is a quick freshen up in a bottle, and is perfect after hitting the gym.

    Finally, the ‘Restore’ vulva mask aims to hydrate, soothe and protect the delicate skin around the vulva.

    –sweet jebus

    n

    1
  31. ‘banger has done the deal, with an employee at a car dealership. Following him now, headed to a strip mall a few blocks from my house. Coincidentally the same parking lot where a previous deal took place at the Advance Auto Parts, that I listened to a couple of years ago.

    n

  32. Re grepping for previous/following lines, use -A and -B flags

    4 lines before match
    $ grep -B 4 ‘keyword’ /path/to/file.log

    4 lines after match
    $ grep -A 2 ‘keyword’ /path/to/file.log

    And combined
    $ grep -B 5 -A 2 –color ‘keyword’ /path/to/file.log

    I wish. My grep is written for the Windows command line known as the Thompson Toolkit ( http://www.tasoft.com ). Your grep is newer and has more features.

  33. So, the questions: Has anyone else seen this in programming or engineering fields? Am I interpreting the expectations completely wrong?

    At the last job, before the first non-HR interview, the company required an online multiple choice C++ test followed by an “aptitude” (IQ) multiple choice exam. Whether it was fair or not, it did limit wasting the leads’/management’s time, especially the latter,where it was simply a question of figuring out the trick to passing the test.

    A coding challenge took place during the big interview — one hour on a simple program selected from a choice of three. Pre-pandemic, part of the challenge was time management since the candidate had to choose the one program which best demonstrated their knowledge of C++ but could be done in the time frame allotted in our usual office environment. During the Pandemic, that was reduced to logging into Godbolt and writing a simple program manipulating a range of numbers, simply proving you knew something about writing C and using a Unix-ish compiler.

    Eight hours is a big ask.

    I totally agree, very big ask.

    And it looks like my skills are very out of date. Oh well, at 60, nobody is gonna hire me for a programming job. Or just about any other job. Maybe a Walmart greeter ? Or an apron guy at Home Depot.

    1
  34. “This should lead to one hell of a shake-up”
    https://gunfreezone.net/this-should-lead-to-one-hell-of-a-shake-up/

    “First of all, Americans owe Trump a huge f******* apology.
    He was right to want to fire Fauci from the beginning.
    But the big question is how do we reconcile this against the last 18 months.
    Fauci and the media tanked Trump for Biden. Then after Biden tanks the recovery we find out Fauci lied about f****** everything and Biden has to fire him.”

    The federal bureaucracy is a freaking disaster. I see no solution other than to fire everyone and start over. And I do mean everyone.

    1
    5
    1
  35. I stopped by the bank today and got a small loan, then headed to Lowe’s to get 3 2×4’s. $9.05 each. Crazy times. They did have a pallet of cedar fence pickets in stock. I haven’t seen them in two years. I used them for my first raised garden bed three years ago and they are holding up great. I had to use regular pickets on the second bed, and they are warping like crazy. I got enough pickets to replace the ones on bed #2. They were only $3 something each…

    2
  36. It’s raining in SA. I brought the two solar panels under the deck awning. The new ones are IP67 and rain shouldn’t bother them. I left them in the rain for 30m as a test. Back out if the rain stops. The morning under overcast skies, two 200W panels were delivering 25W to the battery. If I had the other two out, it would be more than enough to charge the battery and keep the Dometic going.

  37. More than that? No. I’ve heard of students and interns being abused this way. A good programmer can produce a substantial project in 8 hours. Not finished quality, but a solid prototype. So really, they are asking for valuable work, for free. Multiply by a lot of interviews, pick the best ideas – it’s a nice idea, if you can find suckers.

    Interviewing for F5 Networks, I received a “code at home” exercise which asked me to write a Tcl extension function in C, delivered in patch format ready to appy to the tarball, which gave the subnet bits for which two resolved DNS addresses (think “yahoo.com”) overlapped. The work took the better part of a weekend.

    The actual calculation of the subnet was easy since an obscure call to the Linux networking API covers the functionality of calculating the subnet for numeric addresses. All that was really required was classic Stephens to resolve the DNS names and iterate through all the numeric IP address possibilities. Then the patching script.

    I don’t think it was something that went into production, but who knows. F5 was a weird interview. One really young girl, probably promoted to lead/manager too early, got all p*ssed and stormed out of the room when I couldn’t name a favorite classic data structure.

    (Like every other interview experience, I learned. I have a canned response for that question now.)

    That sounds like you did a $10,000 job for them for free.

    And, I still sound like I am out of date. I did something remotely similar to this for our main website though. Took me way longer than a weekend.

  38. Wood prices are nuts. But it’s weirder than that. The US is importing wood like crazy from Europe. Meanwhile, some places in Europe are apparently importing from Canada.

    Sounds nutty. Probably due to subsidies somewhere distorting the markets. Anyone have actual insight?

  39. Re grepping for previous/following lines, use -A and -B flags

    4 lines before match
    $ grep -B 4 ‘keyword’ /path/to/file.log

    4 lines after match
    $ grep -A 2 ‘keyword’ /path/to/file.log

    And combined
    $ grep -B 5 -A 2 –color ‘keyword’ /path/to/file.log

    Learn something new every day. Unix is, as Dr. Pournelle noted, a “guru full employment” act.

    Are those options specific to GNU Grep?

    I remember using those grep options many years ago. Maybe on our IBM RS/6000 boxen or on our Sun workstation. Nope, the grep on my FreeBSD webserver supports those options. Neat.

    I really need to upgrade to a new unix toolkit for our development PCs. But our old TASoft unix toolkit is written in assembly and runs so fast. I once tried cygwin and it was 10X to 100X slower grepping our source code. That was almost unusable for me.

  40. Wood prices are nuts. But it’s weirder than that. The US is importing wood like crazy from Europe. Meanwhile, some places in Europe are apparently importing from Canada.

    Sounds nutty. Probably due to subsidies somewhere distorting the markets. Anyone have actual insight?

    Trump put a big import duty on Canadian lumber to the USA. Biden has refused to drop it so far.

  41. Just remember, “Hydrogen Wants to be Free !”.

    And it wants to burn. Explosive in concentrations of something like 5 to 95%.

    Leaks through steel. Storage and transportation requires very high pressure, ~50,00 PSI, or cryogenics. 50K PSI can take off a limb. I can’t even imagine my 75 year old mother fueling her car with hydrogen. Won’t need a black box on that car either. It will burn to the ground in a serious accident.

    There is an idiot in France that wants to store 50K PSI air to power a car in carbon fiber tanks right under the passenger compartment.

    People are stupid and never consider first order effects, let alone 2nd or 3rd.

    The problem is that they want to replace natural gas and coal with hydrogen. There is actually a large study that says that we can do this in Texas for just couple of hundred billion dollars. People are actually listening to this, not realizing that the current system is fairly cost effective. The hydrogen system requires just a little bit of unobtanium but people think that can be engineered out.

    Compressed air has a serious issue. You either have to remove the water from the compressed air to keep it from freezing as it expands (see Joule-Thompson) or heat the air as it expands. Either is not cheap unless you use a combusting fuel. And we are back to hydrogen.


  42. Wood prices are nuts. But it’s weirder than that. The US is importing wood like crazy from Europe. Meanwhile, some places in Europe are apparently importing from Canada.

    Sounds nutty. Probably due to subsidies somewhere distorting the markets. Anyone have actual insight?

    Trump put a big import duty on Canadian lumber to the USA. Biden has refused to drop it so far.

    I would (heehee) say tariffs not subsidies. Last I checked, a 20% tariff levied under Trump was halved due to a WTO order early this year. Of course the US Commerce department is now advising a doubling of that tariff (right back to 20%) in spite of a supply shortage (boy, is that subcommittee completely owned by the US lumber companies). I know the existing tariffs are at different rates for different companies and some of the highest rates (25%) were for companies in eastern Canada. Very easy for them to sell to Europe instead.

  43. I remember using those grep options many years ago. Maybe on our IBM RS/6000 boxen or on our Sun workstation. Nope, the grep on my FreeBSD webserver supports those options. Neat.

    I really need to upgrade to a new unix toolkit for our development PCs. But our old TASoft unix toolkit is written in assembly and runs so fast. I once tried cygwin and it was 10X to 100X slower grepping our source code. That was almost unusable for me.

    The Cygwin Posix emulation layer implemented as a DLL makes porting most Unix tools as simple as running ./configure in the top level of the unwrapped tar file. Speed is a problem, but Cygwin recently moved from 32 bit being the mainstream release to 64 bit.

    The most popular free alternative to Cygwin is MSYS, used with the MinGW port of the GCC compiler. No Posix layer involved, but not as many tools are easily ported. Grep should be simple enough, however.


  44. Just remember, “Hydrogen Wants to be Free !”.

    And it wants to burn. Explosive in concentrations of something like 5 to 95%.

    Leaks through steel. Storage and transportation requires very high pressure, ~50,00 PSI, or cryogenics. 50K PSI can take off a limb. I can’t even imagine my 75 year old mother fueling her car with hydrogen. Won’t need a black box on that car either. It will burn to the ground in a serious accident.

    There is an idiot in France that wants to store 50K PSI air to power a car in carbon fiber tanks right under the passenger compartment.

    People are stupid and never consider first order effects, let alone 2nd or 3rd.

    The problem is that they want to replace natural gas and coal with hydrogen. There is actually a large study that says that we can do this in Texas for just couple of hundred billion dollars. People are actually listening to this, not realizing that the current system is fairly cost effective. The hydrogen system requires just a little bit of unobtanium but people think that can be engineered out.

    Compressed air has a serious issue. You either have to remove the water from the compressed air to keep it from freezing as it expands (see Joule-Thompson) or heat the air as it expands. Either is not cheap unless you use a combusting fuel. And we are back to hydrogen.

    I expect the folks in Texas like the hydrogen idea because they plan to create it from methane. This makes carbon-free fuel (hydrogen) but ignores what you do with the carbon molecules released from methane to extract the hydrogen. Much of that may end up combined with oxygen (I am not a chemist) and so you have as much CO2 produced as if you just burned it, plus whatever CO2 was produced creating the energy you put into the process to extract the hydrogen. The CO2 problem is hand-waived away by saying we will store it underground (more energy expended and funds required to pump it there) if that works, or something else akin to magic. If you can’t avoid the CO2 production, why bother moving to hydrogen, never mind the specific problems with storing and transporting hydrogen raised above.

    Now if the plan is to crack hydrogen from water, you are going to need an awful lot more windmills, or solar generation, or nuclear power plants. A “blue” hydrogen solution makes sense if you have a lot of spare, cheap electrical energy (and of course can solve the storage and transport problems). Have to build those power stations first though. Maybe it is better to convert the big trucks to use methane directly – that is at least a cleaner solution than using diesel.

  45. Back from errands with only one completed. HUGE amount of rain pouring down. Decided to bail out of the errands, and pick the child up from the pool. No way were they going to swim in that downpour even if there wasn’t lightning. She was happily reading under the shelter.

    Didn’t get the two other pickups done, and really don’t see any point in doing it during a thunderstorm. To much risk to put the miles in.

    SO it’s back to paperwork and cleaning up.

    n

  46. I spent two months one high school summer studying and passing my third class commercial radiotelephone license, so I could work in broadcasting. The following summer I passed my first class license, which I still hold, thanks to the FCC removing the requirement to work a certain amount to maintain the license. Probably a hundred hours study, plus the expense of two books.

    That license, plus some specific experience, was all I needed to get an interview for the big time station summer job, which was tecnically part time. That interview included a test operating a camera, which I passed. A total of a half hour. That job was my biggest life changing experience, and helped pay for my engineering degree.

    Sounds trivial compared to a programming test, but it was a bit nerve wracking. We all have hills to climb.

  47. I never did learn to run a camera “with studio handles”. There is a ton of work running cameras for corporate meetings and demos and training if you can sit there in a suit and run a camera….

    n

  48. My mouse died today.  All of a sudden the middle wheel quit.  I can’t complain, I’ve used it enough to smooth the texture on the left button.

    Kensington.  I bought from Woot… way back in January 2007.  It was “Two-fer Tuesday”.  Six mice for $15.12 including tax and shipping.  I got my money’s worth.

    The new mouse won’t last as long unless my next PC has a ps/2 port.

  49. There is a ton of work running cameras for corporate meetings and demos and training if you can sit there in a suit and run a camera….

    Wish I had known that 25 years ago. I did a volunteer TV thing for our church, and half the staff were HS or college students. I told them about broadcasting jobs, but by then the pay, especially at small stations, was much lower. Some of them had good skills, and could have done any camera work, if they could get their foot in the door. They might not have been able to travel, though.

    I don’t keep up any more, but television used to be insanely profitable. That money trickled down to everyone, but no more. I have even seen robot studio cameras on the occasional whole-set shots. However, tech production crews are still alive. There are still opportunities.

  50. My mouse died today. All of a sudden the middle wheel quit.

    My first vision was of an actual four legged rodent which collapsed, toes up, in the spinning wheel in the cage. I really need to get out more.

    3

  51. I never did learn to run a camera “with studio handles”

    We have such handles on all the cameras at the church. Camera controls are located on the tripod handles. And those controls are expensive. Along with focus assist on the 7″ color monitors, safe zone lines, center indication, it is not too difficult. Biggest learning curve is being smooth on motion which includes zooming in/out, pans and vertical tilts. Proper framing needs to be maintained. Listening to the director, responding when required, and ignoring when the director gets confused and asks for the wrong camera to do something.

    My knowledge of framing and such comes from photography. All the other stuff I had to learn. My only qualification was I was not afraid to push buttons.

  52. “All the other stuff I had to learn. ”

    –talking with 12yo daughter about careers in the car today. This was my experience and the path thru 4 careers. Meet people, work hard and well, keep trying new things.

    n

  53. Back from the VA about my knee. They sent me to the local hospital for an X-Ray. If that does not show anything then an MRI will be scheduled. Doctor said the joint appears OK.

    I also got my Prevnar-23 vaccination. I had the Prevnar-13 several years ago. This is the newer version and recommended. My arm is quite uncomfortable at the injection site. Required to wait a month after Covid-19 injection to get the Prevnar-23.

  54. THis is from a discussion about supply chain disruptions after a hurricane–

    FEMA can support mechanisms for coordination, information sharing, and preparedness among supply chain stakeholders. Many state emergency management offices have significant capabilities but lack information access and sharing. Some of these information-sharing networks include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Critical Infrastructure Threat Information Sharing Framework and Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN), the Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs), the Sector Coordinating Councils (SCCs) and Regional Consortium Coordinating Councils. These information-sharing networks enable government agencies and responders at the local, state and federal levels to interact with industry in responding to emergencies that affect supply chains.

    –quoted here because jimminy christmas, look at all the “sharing” going on. These are SPY agencies, sharing “information” and tips, coordinating responses. Sure, I WANT some level of this to keep from actual terror attack, but think of how quickly this could be turned into the STAZI. They don’t even mention the Fusion Centers, and all the other snitch and surveillance networks that local and regional LEOs are running….

    n


  55. My first vision was of an actual four legged rodent which collapsed, toes up, in the spinning wheel in the cage. I really need to get out more.

    Ah, excellent. I just babbled typed and on re-reading decided to go with it. For possible laughs. 🙂

    I opened the mouse. Or I dissected the mouse. I cleaned out a little bit of dog hair lint from around the wheel axle. Some Penny hair, by color. Some Wilma hair by color and waviness. Yeah, and Wilma has been gone for eleven years now. Not much actually, half a pencil’s eraser worth at most if you fluff it up. Call it a 3mm tuft ‘o stuff.
    As best as I could see, the pot the wheel spins just crapped out. It looks like the wheel still spins the pot but no more “clicky”. It was never glitchy before it failed.
    Darn good for an about $3 mouse.

    1

  56. Second DBA I interview this morning (teleconference). I answered the tech questions pretty well. Blanked on a stupidly easy one, didn’t attempt to bluff. Made an apology, confessed the brain fart and moved on.

    Congrats @Jennny.

    Never underestimate the power of brain farts! 🙂


  57. these short weeks confuse my sense of time

    As they do many of my neighbors…when Monday is a legal holiday, the trash collection is on Friday, not Thursday…yet a bounty of bins at the curb this morning.

  58. Forever stamps are forever. If they aren’t counterfeit, they should work just fine.

    n

  59. I just tossed about $2.00 in $0.01 and $0.02 stamps that MIL had stashed. Not worth my time as all my other stamps are forever stamps.

  60. The Cygwin Posix emulation layer implemented as a DLL makes porting most Unix tools as simple as running ./configure in the top level of the unwrapped tar file.

    I hear you typing but I have no idea what you are saying. I do know what a tar file is.

  61. Never underestimate the power of brain farts!

    Never fart in elevator if you are the only one on the elevator. When the elevator arrives at your floor, and others get on while you get off, they will know.

    Or when furniture shopping, always fart when getting up from a foam padded couch. The next customer that sits on the couch will appreciate the effort.

    Never fart on an airplane until you are walking down the aisle to depart. Everyone behind you blames the person in front of them.

    You can thank me later for my wisdom.

  62. I also got my Prevnar-23 vaccination. I had the Prevnar-13 several years ago. This is the newer version and recommended. My arm is quite uncomfortable at the injection site. Required to wait a month after Covid-19 injection to get the Prevnar-23.

    “Vaccinations for Pneumonia: Pneumovax 23 vs. Prevnar 13”
    https://www.goodrx.com/blog/pneumovax-and-prevnar-vaccinations-for-pneumonia-what-is-the-difference/

    Dang it ! Do I have to get a vaccination for pneumonia also ? I have had pneumonia so many times that I am allergic to Penicillan and Keflex both from the frequent applications when we lived in New Jersey from 1960 to 1963. -20 F on a routine basis in Princeton.

    This getting old thing sucks. I am still freaking on the glaucoma thing.

    1
  63. these short weeks confuse my sense of time

    As they do many of my neighbors…when Monday is a legal holiday, the trash collection is on Friday, not Thursday…yet a bounty of bins at the curb this morning.

    We had trash pickup on Monday. My neighbors and I had a conversation going on http://www.NextDoor.com as none of us could remember if the trucks were running or not. Since our little community of 400 homes has remote management, we have no idea what they have contracted for lately. They sure do not tell us.

  64. My knowledge of framing and such comes from photography. All the other stuff I had to learn. My only qualification was I was not afraid to push buttons.

    I learned photography as a teen. My father was good with a camera, and let me use it. I fell for still photography. In HS, I wanted to learn the artistic aspects, and found that reading books on art helped me a lot. I have always liked composition and perspective, and learned that first. Then studio lighting. Then available light photography. Hollywood movie night scenes led me to experiment with night street photography. Then landscapes and architecture. I tried a lot of things, and kept learning. All a spare time hobby.

    I had a cousin who went to art school and became a sculptor. Although we never talked much about his art, he was a great influence.

    In college, I worked on the yearbook staff for a year. I covered events of all kinds. In that year, I shot 10k pictures. I developed most of my B&W film and made proof sheets, but no final prints. I got priceless experience, but made peanuts. About the same time, I had an opportunity to shoot for a regional magazine. The work was a snoozer, but took only an hour a month and paid five times as much as the yearbook. Taught me a valuable (!) lesson.

    So, when it came to operating a studio TV camera, it came naturally. The only challenge was live TV, and the strong desire to not screw up in a noteworthy way. We had good directors that made it easy.

    As for pushing buttons, camera was a small part of the job. The easiest was audio, and the most demanding was video. The station had high standards, and getting four cameras to match and stay matched for an hour was challenging.

    It was a great time working with top notch people. People who cared enough to help the new guy learn the ropes. Best place I ever worked.

    Final thought. TV was operation. Do it, then go home. Engineering, programming, etc. deal with projects involving problem solving. I never could leave it at the office.


  65. The only challenge was live TV, and the strong desire to not screw up in a noteworthy way

    Impossible with a bunch of volunteers. They panic when they mess up. I tell them don’t panic as there is nothing they can do as the signal has already left at high speed and cannot be caught. I tell them that no one will die when they make an error.

    In 16 years of doing the broadcast there has been only one broadcast without a mistake. Coordinating audio, four cameras, a switching operator, graphics operator is difficult. Someone once told me they really enjoy my church’s broadcast as it is real. Mistakes make it real. They likened the broadcast to watching Ted Baxter on WJM. Not sure how I should take that comment.

    1
  66. The Cygwin Posix emulation layer implemented as a DLL makes porting most Unix tools as simple as running ./configure in the top level of the unwrapped tar file.

    I hear you typing but I have no idea what you are saying. I do know what a tar file is.

    Cygwin sacrifices some speed to enable easy compilation of Unix tools that follow a certain convention to build from source shipped in *.tar files, particularly the GNU utilities.

    If you haven’t tried the 64 bit Cygwin lately, give it a spin.

  67. @ray, focus on the “they liked it” part 🙂

    n

    I loved live performance, because mostly no one knows when you get it wrong but you, and tomorrow, you have a different audience and a new way to get it wrong. (or a new chance to get it right, depending on your temperament. )

    added- I could be nervous BEFORE the show but once it started, it was all just work. And doing a live, stand up intro before every show, twice a night in Vegas gets you over a lot. MUCH better when the lights shine in your eyes and you can’t see the audience…

  68. In 16 years of doing the broadcast there has been only one broadcast without a mistake.

    Waaay ahead of me. There is no perfection on earth.

    @ray, focus on the “they liked it” part 

    True. Always smile and be polite, no matter how much you might be boiling inside.

    I loved live performance, because mostly no one knows when you get it wrong but you, and tomorrow, you have a different audience and a new way to get it wrong.

    Yesss. Our opposite was commercial production. Perfection on steroids. Fortunately, they only let their AAA team do that. Made groan men cry.

  69. wrt the stamps, when we were talking about stamp collections, there was the company that buys old postage linked…

    They pay 30-40% of face, iirc, so the price for the rolls on ebay isn’t that far out… They might have gotten them in an estate sale for free…

    n


  70. MUCH better when the lights shine in your eyes and you can’t see the audience…

    Especially since they keep telling you they’re all sitting there in their underwear.

    (Hmm, they’re, there and there all in one sentence.)

    2
  71. added- I could be nervous BEFORE the show but once it started, it was all just work. And doing a live, stand up intro before every show, twice a night in Vegas gets you over a lot. MUCH better when the lights shine in your eyes and you can’t see the audience…

    Oof. Glad I never had to do that. Oh, I had my own little equivalent, occasionally subbing for the president and introducing a show for our concert association, a friendly audience. My gimmick was to ceremoniously ask to dim the APs (the direct lights that glare) and bring up the house lights so I could see all the paying audience that made the show possible. We usually had a minute of serious business announcements, then the big intro. I sometimes tried to flub something unimportant near the end of the serious stuff to change the mood for the big intro. It was fun. However, I am no comedian. I leave that to the greats. And, flubbing an intro is death.

  72. I hear you talking here about the heir’s hair…..
    n

    1
  73. I did a lot of voice over announcements of people’s names for corporate meetings and shows. THAT is really nerve wracking. It’s so intense, that you better have every word written down, and I couldn’t do anything else but focus on reading that correctly.

    We had a funny one one time, the client’s rep came over during the rehearsal and gave the note that we had mispronounced a name. In that case, we were just playing the professionally pre-recorded announcements the client had produced. They thought it was me. 🙂 I’ve got the voice (and looks) for radio…

    (I ended up doing that guy’s name live, so that it was pronounced correctly.)

    n

  74. @Chad

    “There might come a job market where I’m dressed in a full business suit begging for the privilege to work 80 hours a week for a pittance, but not right now. ”

    No. Learn to weld.


  75. wrt the stamps, when we were talking about stamp collections, there was the company that buys old postage linked…

    They pay 30-40% of face, iirc, so the price for the rolls on ebay isn’t that far out… They might have gotten them in an estate sale for free…

    Now that I’ve had a bowl of the wife’s homemade chili I dug in a bit and I’m guessing they are likely counterfeit. Seller appears to have multiple ebay IDs all selling the same 2018 Flag stamps at the exact same price and the listings are private. Looks like at least a thousand rolls sold across the various IDs. Plus plenty of hits when googling “2018 counterfeit flag stamps.” I’ll pass.

    https://www.linns.com/news/us-stamps-postal-history/quality-of-modern-counterfeit-u.s.-stamps-keeps-improving

  76. There is an idiot in France that wants to store 50K PSI air to power a car in carbon fiber tanks right under the passenger compartment.

    People are stupid and never consider first order effects, let alone 2nd or 3rd.

    Yes, but think of the Darwin Awards that could be handed out!

    1
    1

  77. And it looks like my skills are very out of date. Oh well, at 60, nobody is gonna hire me for a programming job. Or just about any other job. Maybe a Walmart greeter ? Or an apron guy at Home Depot.

    Pick Lowe’s – you get a vest instead of an apron.

  78. Learn to weld.

    There’s welding, and then there’s welding. Try welding a fixed pipe all the way around outdoors in all weather. Or, try doing cosmetically pleasing welding on a bench, sitting on a comfy stool in air conditioning – for an hour. You need to be steady.

    No, I can’t do it, although I can make sound nice looking gas welds and sound but slightly ugly stick welds… on a good day. I never had what it takes to do production welding, nor would I want to.

    I would much rather operate a machine tool such as a lathe or mill. I could get pretty good with just a few decades of practice. Trouble is, no one wants a pretty good machinist; they want very good and fast. Good machinists are getting hard to find.

  79. ” Learn to weld. ”

    I can weld. MIG process in steel and aluminum, rod in steel. Some stainless if I have to. Brazing with gas of course too. I’m “shop taught” and don’t hold any certs which means that I can (and did) work as a ‘fabricator’ but not a welder.

    Shipyards, tanks, and pipeliners are all good money but the work is hard, hot, and very physical. A new option is to do the setup and let the robots do the welding. Still requires a certified welder, in most places, and you are working indoors.

    Specialty welding would be the tops. Either exotic processes, or micro welding, or lasers, mostly indoors under very controlled conditions.

    This guy https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjjE_TCKVDIrZUAoh_L4-5g is easy to watch, and is a great example of what an experienced freelance welder can expect to do.

    n

    (back in the day I did the majority of the structural aluminum welding on the American Gladiator tour set, and supervised a bunch that I didn’t actually do myself.)

  80. Pick Lowe’s – you get a vest instead of an apron.

    I might be able to qualify as a Homer, or maybe as a Jethro. Not sure about Lowe’s; it is 100 miles away.

  81. Reminds me…

    Two little old ladies originally from Boston were now living in Pasadena (CA, for you Texans.) One day about noon they went out on the backyard patio. “My, it’s certainly hot,” said one. The other answered, “What do you expect, we are 3000 miles from the ocean!”

    1
    2
  82. @Chad

    “There might come a job market where I’m dressed in a full business suit begging for the privilege to work 80 hours a week for a pittance, but not right now. ”

    No. Learn to weld.

    Bob, our professional welder, tried to teach me to arc weld in 1982 when I was a junior engineer at Morgan Creek Steam Electric Station. After my third attempt on an 8 ft diameter, one inch thick steel plate, he told me I was hopeless. He was not wrong. With my screwed up eyes, I could not see very well through the hood.

    I am a very good machinist though. At TAMU in 1978 – 1982, Mechanical Engineers had to pass through the campus machine shop and make a one inch diameter bolt from iron stock that would pass the teacher’s nut. Then you had to cut it down to 3/4 inch and reverse thread it. That also had to pass his nut. Then we made aluminium pulleys. And then we played with strengthening steel plate via cold rolling and hot rolling with verification of the strata via microscope and a stress machine.

  83. “Learn to weld” is just shorthand for the philosophic opposite of “Learn to code”

    Lots of different flavors. Additive machining aka 3D printing is CNC welding crossed with code. Carpentry is welding wood with nails. Others are less literal, but the point of commonality is they can’t be done from a cube 12,000 miles away.

    The basics in entering the job market used to be simple: Show up on time, dress appropriately, and don’t screw off on the job. Half the adults in the U.S. can’t do the basics. The kids know none of it, but expect $15/hr minimum. MacDonald’s is responding with robots. My response is an air fryer on the kitchen countertop.

     

  84. @Lynn

    “I am a very good machinist though. At TAMU in 1978 – 1982, Mechanical Engineers had to pass through the campus machine shop and make a one inch diameter bolt from iron stock that would pass the teacher’s nut. Then you had to cut it down to 3/4 inch and reverse thread it. That also had to pass his nut. Then we made aluminium pulleys. And then we played with strengthening steel plate via cold rolling and hot rolling with verification of the strata via microscope and a stress machine. ”

    My skills are modest, and very rusty.

    Did you intend “aluminium”?

  85. @Lynn

    “I am a very good machinist though. At TAMU in 1978 – 1982, Mechanical Engineers had to pass through the campus machine shop and make a one inch diameter bolt from iron stock that would pass the teacher’s nut. Then you had to cut it down to 3/4 inch and reverse thread it. That also had to pass his nut. Then we made aluminium pulleys. And then we played with strengthening steel plate via cold rolling and hot rolling with verification of the strata via microscope and a stress machine. ”

    My skills are modest, and very rusty.

    Did you intend “aluminium”?

    Oh yes, extremely rusty skills. I would probably turn that one inch iron stock down to nothing nowadays.

    And yes, aluminium. I have to support both aluminum inside the USA and aluminium outside the USA in my software. So, I like to mess with people about Al.

  86. I do know what a tar file is.

    A poor man’s zip file? 🙂

    Carpentry is welding wood with nails.

    Heretic! It would be glue plus nails but You Should Very Seldom need nails. Screws are the way to go. and even better to order: Screw It!

    PS: Oh wow, new edit buttons for geezers.

    2
  87. I thought I was the only one getting the ginormous edit buttons??!!

    — non sequiter — no idea why youtube algorithm thru this up but it’s pretty fascinating.

    It’s the police interview with the Parkland school shooting murderer, in the context of looking for fake or real crazy in a suspect.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwt35SEeR9w

    n

  88. @Marcelo

    Most of the glue in carpentry is in the manufactured wood. Glue is too slow, and so are screws for framing.

    Woodworking with modern glues, OTOH, is the north end of a cat going south.


  89. Maybe it is better to convert the big trucks to use methane directly – that is at least a cleaner solution than using diesel.

    1. All truck drivers must eat fast food for all on-duty meals, preferably Taco Bell
    2. All truck driver’s seats equipped with vacuum device
    3. …
    4. Methane!

  90. @Nick

    Suspect simulating crazy to a LEO simulating helpfulness and sympathy.

    Being tricky has limits.

    Brewer v. Williams, 430 U.S. 387 (1977).

  91. Police are working street racers again tonight. It’s still wet out too. Not the night to be racing all over the place.

    n


  92. @Marcelo

    Most of the glue in carpentry is in the manufactured wood. Glue is too slow, and so are screws for framing.
    Woodworking with modern glues, OTOH, is the north end of a cat going south.

    Ahhh, that is Not Carpentry. It is…. framing. And nowadays they use aluminium or steel thingies to do framing.

     

    1. Nails or Combination of Nails, Anchor and Additives
    Nails or combination of nails, metal framing anchor, and construction additives are used to fasten framing lumber and sheathing panels.

    Wood Frame Construction – Building Technology Guide – The Constructor

  93. Framing is a specialty of carpentry, like millwork or flooring–all under one union.

    hmmm…

    “construction additives”

    maybe meant adhesives?

  94. You are missing my view. I associate carpentry with furniture construction…

  95. The difference between welding metal and working with wood, if you cut the metal too short, you just weld it back.

    n

    Seriously though, with wood at current prices, I’d be looking at steel stud construction as an alternative.

  96. @Nick

    Steel stud prices have doubled every year since 2016. Prices are increasing about 10% per month this year.

  97. Woodworking. I used to do more, but not lately. I never liked traditional woodworking materials, with jointing and solid pieces that warp. I first moved to plywood, which is almost isotropic. Then did some laminating, and finally humble particle board, mostly for prototypes. I would like to do more laminating.

    Wood is a marvelous material. Modern wood products are even better. My new garage shop building has 28′ span 16″ TJI composite rafters. They mimic I-beams, with finely laminated flanges and OSB webs. They install like wood, but are more uniform. They enable an interior unobstructed by trusses. They are lighter and more earthquake resistant. Steel is better, but the local contractors don’t work with it. I like steel.

  98. — non sequiter — no idea why youtube algorithm thru this up but it’s pretty fascinating.

    It’s the police interview with the Parkland school shooting murderer, in the context of looking for fake or real crazy in a suspect.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwt35SEeR9w

    That detective is scary-good at his job!

    How he can deal with psychopaths like Cruz time after time and not go nuts himself is beyond my comprehension.

  99. I like to combine wood and steel when I build for myself. I’ve done some end tables in a mission style using steel tube for everything except the top, and using MDO plywood with a stain treatment for the top. I’ve done several variations on that over the years for different places in the house.

    I did a set of bookcases when I lived in cali, that I still use today. I compromised on the height so they would fit under the windows in my rental, and that really limited where I could put some books. They are not great bookshelves, but you could put a car on top of them without strain… I have one in my office and several in use other places.

    For shop stuff, fixtures and carts, tables, etc I will either just stick some steel tube together and shoot with clear lacquer, or use set carpentry techniques to do fast strong and light out of wood.

    Made the desk I’m sitting at right now.

    I was looking forward to doing “real” woodworking, instead of set/exhibit/display stuff, and bought the tools, but never got the woodworking part of the shop set up. Some day.

    n

  100. Construction materials prices. I recently talked to a contractor. He says materials are high, but he makes a good case for a drop a maximum of a year out. He is busy.

    I don’t understand his logic, but some of these guys can be right. It’s the other effects I fear.

    He is actually further to the right than I am. I didn’t think that was possible. Time will tell.

  101. “He is actually further to the right than I am. I didn’t think that was possible. ”

    — I’m starting to get a “F it, they can’t shoot us all” vibe from people as they are more willing to share their political beliefs. There’s a wildness building out there.

    n

  102. Nails vs screws in building  construction. My garage is a stand alone building. The walls are 2×8 balloon framing about 19′ high at the roof peak. One end of the 56′ long wall is 16′ high, and the other is 12′ high. All walls are sheathed inside and outside with 1/2″ OSB, screwed in place, then nailed for extra shear strength. The nails actually have more shear strength than the screws, but the screws prevent loosening. I asked the engineer about construction adhesive, and he said it would take a lot of labor, and would not add much strength over the fasteners, which went really fast. He likes it in subfloors for squeak resistance, but there is no loft yet. Construction techniques have evolved.

    This garage (plus shop) is 56×60, and the only interior obstruction is a 5″ square tube column in the middle. I have a lot of flexibility for interior rooms and lofts. It was a long time coming.

  103. “Vaccinations for Pneumonia: Pneumovax 23 vs. Prevnar 13”
    https://www.goodrx.com/blog/pneumovax-and-prevnar-vaccinations-for-pneumonia-what-is-the-difference/

    Dang it ! Do I have to get a vaccination for pneumonia also ?

    The CDC has it all charted out for you…

    https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/pneumo/downloads/pneumo-vaccine-timing.pdf

    Good night ! My eyes glazed over on the first page. That is crazy !

    All I got out of it is that they want me to take both vaccines.

  104. Ford has a new compact pickup coming out June 8, the Maverick.
    https://www.autoblog.com/2021/06/03/ford-maverick-pickup-confirmed/

    “Based on what we’ve seen so far, Maverick will be smaller than the Ranger and front-wheel drive (with available all-wheel drive). It appears as though it will come with either a torsion beam rear suspension or an independent setup, depending on drive configuration. Despite its unibody construction, it will likely appeal to those who miss the old compact Ranger’s smaller footprint and reasonable (for the time) frugality. ”

    List price of less than $24K. I’ll bet that it has the ecoboost four cylinder in it.

  105. @SteveF

    Easy, four-step solution:

    I shall continue to follow you for more helpful tips, sir. I’ve threatened Blazo a few times. Too intemperately to get away with it, alas.

    @Greg

    Oracle

    the places I’ve used Oracle it was overkill, but mandated by the Feds. I like how finely you can tune and tweak it (or at least 8i/9i) however I don’t think the granular level of control you can achieve is necessary in many business cases. MS SQL, MySQL, etc, are likely “good enough” for many operations.
    That being said, I’ve got a strong suspicion that when the data gets enormous or the table structure very complex, then Oracle is worth its weight in gold.

    I don’t have experience in data that complex, servers under that level of demand, so I may be talking out my hiney.

    @nick

    re FIG products

    Sweet jebus indeed. Big NOPE from this woman. Soap (unscented keep your frou- frou ) and water is just fine thank you very much.

    Explored our neighborhood a bit more with puppy tonight. After the B3 zoning (allow homeless services) / homeless licensing townhall I needed to walk off some frustration. Assembly is rushing to ram thru as much leftist excrement as they can before mew conservative mayor with veto power takes office July 1. The zoning change lowers the bar to place shelters in business zoned regions. This forwards the mission to distribute homeless through Anchorage. The licensing almost sounds good. It’s a 15 page beast with a lot of coercive elements if you don’t obey the red tape. It’s being heralded as the solution to all the bad behavior witnessed near shelters. Funny thing, out if 15 pages, two sentences directly address bad behavior with an admonition to not permit it. Specific example is no camping within a 1/4 mile of the shelter. In our case, that leaves the 8 acres of woods and local park both fair game as they are just outside that 1/4 mile. Nothing about proximity to schools or anything like that. Oh – there may not be more than one shelter per block. That was considerate.

    My husband spoke, I refrained. With the new job I may be providing tech support on a rotating basis to these folks after I complete probation. Time to lower my profile. Some good testimony tonight including a truthful polite zinger that left the entire assembly speechless and had the rest of us clapping.

    Walking with puppy – we live closer to a lake than I understood. Easy walk / bike and accessible to our daughter this summer I think. Surrounded by houses with three separate public access points. I think she will enjoy it. Water is murky and yucky looking at the muddy shore, so the fun will be limited. Still. Backyard lake.

  106. Half the adults in the U.S. can’t do the basics.

    One of the tech blogs I read had something about the new, new math. Where answers are not objective, and the need to eliminate white supremacy from mathematical calculations.

    The kind of delusional people that can think that way, having influence on kids’ education? It’s no wonder a lot of kids pass through school having learned little of consequence.

    In some sense, it’s a wealth problem. When a society is too wealthy, it can afford to support idiots and crackpots. Of course, when the idiocracy gets too big, it rather eliminates the problem of having excess wealth…

  107. I associate carpentry with furniture construction…

    Furniture construction is woodworking to me.

    Re Carpentry vs Woodworking: Sounds like different places have different connotations for the words. My grandfather in Oklahoma was a woodworker. He called himself a cabinetmaker. He never would call himself a carpenter, because he said he had never built an entire house.

     

    The zoning change lowers the bar to place shelters in business zoned regions. This forwards the mission to distribute homeless through Anchorage. …. Specific example is no camping within a 1/4 mile of the shelter. In our case, that leaves the 8 acres of woods and local park both fair game ….

    Re Homelessness in Anchorage: Jenny, how significant are the numbers ya’ll are dealing with? Is there really that much home-grown homelessness, or is most of it due to the attracive nuisance of shelters? I understand ordinary real homelessness, and employed homelessness in California cities, and the faux/pseudo-homelessness that is happening in Austin (which is rapidly losing favor even among the young left). But Alaska is in a lot of ways a different world, so I don’t understand the drivers.

     

    It’s a good life if you don’t weaken

    An old saying of my mother’s.  Always makes me smile. 🙂

  108. @pecancorner

    Re Homelessness in Anchorage

    The number varies depending on who is talking and their motivations. Probably less than 600 who are vagrants, probably total under 1,200 total. I’ve seen numbers from. 400 – 3,000. The more sweet sweet free money at stake the higher the number. A large segment of the lawbreaking portion of the homeless population are folks who behaved so badly in their home towns off the road system they got themselves literally banished. Given a forced plane trip to Anchorage and dumped on the streets with an admonition to not return or else. That segment makes up the bulk of our urban campers. They are virtually untouchable between the Ninth circuit and wokeness, and have neither desire nor willingness to be mainstreamed.

    Talking about that population gets you shouted down as a filthy despicable racist.

    Our ordinary homelessness is on the rise. Economy, housing costs, are driving factors. Anchorage has been steadily tearing out trailer parks and replacing them with attractive commercial buildings or expensive housing. In 1994 I could buy an older but ok trailer for $5,000, financed over several years if necessary, with $400 space rent that included utilities. That’s no longer an option. The shrinking trailer home inventory has driven those prices to $60k+, for that same $5k trailer but decrepit, and can’t be financed usually. Space rent is closer to $700 and may or may not include utilities. We’ve eliminated, at a guess, a couple thousand units and 6 or 8 parks.

    When trailers and parks are brought up as an option to the powers that be, they recoil in horror that a human live in what they perceive as substandard housing. Because a tent and tarp are so much better -eye roll-

Comments are closed.