Wed. June 9, 2021 – hope to get out of the house today

Hot. Humid. Hot. Hot enough yesterday that the air conditioner couldn’t keep up. At 12 midnight, it was still 4F hotter in the house than the setpoint. Cutting down the tree that shaded the house made a HUGE difference. We used to have a few days when it was hot enough to do that, but not when it was just in the 90s. Today should be even hotter.

I was hoping to leave the house early and get some work done at my secondary, but now my wife has scheduled the A/C guy to come by. It’s possible the system might need freon, but the coil isn’t iced… and the neighbor is having the same issue. I KNEW I wouldn’t get a week to work on my stuff. This is what we get from not doing the A/C rip and replace earlier in the year, like we talked about doing. It’s always something.

Didn’t really get much done yesterday. I ended up waiting most of the day for a guy to get back to me, and he didn’t. The thing I was going to pick up showed up in the mail though, so I’m glad I didn’t just drive down there without hearing from him first. I did work on domestic bliss. Two loads of laundry, trim and cut the backyard, cut my hair and shaved, put some groceries away, and got dinner together for the family…as well as doing two craigslist listings. I guess I did get some stuff done.

I still have to pick up the one useful tool I won, but I can do that as late as Thursday afternoon.

Thursday at 11 I’m taking the pup in for his first check up and shots. That wipes out my whole day anyway, so making a pickup in the afternoon won’t make it worse. We weighed the little guy yesterday and he was 3 pounds 1 3/8 oz. I wouldn’t have guessed that much. He did a good job doing his business outside, when taken there. Plenty of playing and sleeping throughout the day to keep him and us busy. He’s at least 10 pounds of personality.

It’s gonna be interesting with the inlaws. Trump is still living in their heads rent free. And they just toss out stuff like “making ghost guns” or “probably an Oathkeeper”. I’m treating it as anthropology to keep my sanity. They have no idea WHY they believe or say what they do. When I ask directly they start yammering and shifting around. It’s like trying to grab a fist full of jello. She’s upset that his security costs money, thinks he should be paying for all of it himself, and that he wants to live at Mar el Largo… no problem paying for Obamma et filles or the Clinton grifters’ security though. A constant diet of tv and print news has mal-educated them very thoroughly.

It makes me want to stack even more, and to buy more guns. Well meaning, generally nice, and sure that people I align with would be better off dead or in prison. They are exactly the kind of people who would turn someone in “for their own good” fully believing that they were HELPING that person. It’s terrifying seeing it up close.

You need more LIKE MINDED friends. You need more stuff. I need to pick up my pace.

Stack it high. Bad stuff IS coming.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

106 thoughts on “Wed. June 9, 2021 – hope to get out of the house today”

  1. “The last two years I lived in Florida, my rates were above $4000 annually with Citizens, the state’s carrier of last resort. When we left in 2010, the quote for the renewal was $5000.”

    @Greg; what flood zone were you in? We were one block away from Zone X (least likely to flood) so our premiums were a little less.

    I lived a few hundred yards from the highest point in Hillsborough County. N0 flood zone.

    I never filed a claim with Snoopy, even when we had two Cat 2 storm eyes cross our house. We never as much as lost a tree limb, but the Bat Guano neighbor across the street had a (neglected, untrimmed) 80 year-old live oak tree crash through his living room roof/window.

    Snoopy goosed our rates to over $2000 in 2006 before dropping us in 2007, and I spent the next three years on Citizens at ever-increasing annual renewals.

    Most homeowners in Florida have been swimming naked in terms of insurance since Jeb! was a lame duck. Thankfully, we’ve been out of it for a decade.

  2. “Automated Start Stop — think about that acronym — isn’t possible with standard transmissions, but that may go away regardless because the class actions are starting to collect members for lawsuits whose engines are croaking prematurely.

    I don’t think small beater pickups will come back, but there is a market.”

    The original Honda Insight had automated start stop with a manual transmission.

    If anyone could make that work, it would be Honda, but A.S.S. defeats the point of buying the manual. Of course, the company takes care of original owners, for decades in some cases, so reliability isn’t going to be a concern. Not many of those got sold with gas at $1 a gallon prior to 9/11.

  3. So, is it just me? I find the FBI scam with Anom horrifying.

    For those who haven’t read the story yet: The FBI (together with Australia) took over a small company that offered a “super privacy phone”. They then specifically marketed this to the criminal underworld. Of course, there was no way to exclusively market to criminals, but that was their target market.

    What the customers didn’t know was that the FBI has backdoor access to all messages sent over the phone. So they have been eavesdropping for years on the customers. What brought this all to light is that they just decided to drop the hammer: they’ve arrested several thousand people, and confiscated their property. Some hard drugs, but also lots of marijuana (which…is legal in lots of places), as well as vehicles, firearms, bank accounts – the usual tactic of seizing property, and making you prove it’s yours legally.

    So why is this horrifying? Because I am certain that the FBI never bothered with niceties like warrants. There’s just no way that they bothered with (or could even justify) a warrant for every single person who bought one of these phones. Nonetheless, they intercepted and read their messages.

    Of course, all the sites that published articles about this are applauding the FBI for its clever tactics. I posted my thoughts on a tech-site, and was promptly modded as a troll. Apparently, rights to due process and privacy are just not “in” :-/

    In related news: I am disappointed to report that Switzerland is considering an “anti-terror” law that would allow the government to arrest and imprison people for “pre-crime”, i.e., they are considered to potentially be considering a terrorist act. “Pre-crime” as in Minority Report.

    4
  4. So why is this horrifying? Because I am certain that the FBI never bothered with niceties like warrants. There’s just no way that they bothered with (or could even justify) a warrant for every single person who bought one of these phones. Nonetheless, they intercepted and read their messages.

    SMS messages are diagnostic data which can be obtained from the carriers in the US without establishing grounds in a warrant process. At worst, if the carrier doesn’t simply cooperate, the requisitie court order has a lower bar.

    The telecom co-dominium generally cooperates, however, and I don’t doubt both T-Mobile and whatever is left of Sprint at Dish also go along.

    You have no expectation of privacy with the wireless infrastructure. That’s been true since the 80s, when the rules were first laid down and the FCC licensing burden was shifted from the consumer to the carrier. The draft rules I saw in 1992, when I briefly played cell phone engineer, explicitly required that the devices had the capability to turn on voice transmissions without alerting the user.

    Just ask OJ about the implications of that “feature”.

    The legalese protecting the Feds was probably buried in the terms of service of the “secure” phone. Marketing. Still, the crooks were probably smarter than the typical C-suite exec buying garbage like SolarWinds over shots of Pappy Van Winkle served up by a busty AOC wannabe at SxSW.

    Landline phones, fax machines, and dial Internet are pretty much it if you need privacy from your telecom services. People want to believe a real life Tony Stark exists producing Whiz Bang tech in the worst way as of late.

    Things that make you say hmmm — AT&T disconnected my landline by “accident” last week, and I had to wait nearly a week for a tech to show up on Sunday (!), claim mea culpa, and reconnect the line at the switching station in my neighborhood.

    I only noticed because the political calls mysteriously stopped the weekend the Legislature adjourned. 🙂


  5. BTW2, Ms. Seattle told me that she could not believe the temperature outside today, 94 F. I told her to just wait until August and September. I told her 105 F at 80 percent humidity and she did not believe me. She asked her next counter person who agreed with me.

    Reminds me of the Sheridan quote: “If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell.”

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Philip_Sheridan

    https://the-american-catholic.com/2010/04/30/sheridan-hell-and-texas/

  6. Our Buc-ees, about a mile away from the house

    Strangely I have actually been to that Buc-ee’s. Biggest one I have ever seen is located in Katy just off I-10. Generally always stopped when traveling the southern route to/from San Antonio. But those days are over.

    my impression of Tennessee was that the state was well covered with Cracker Barrel … and big fireworks stands

    Indeed we are. Also include small churches on almost every corner. I like Cracker Barrel really well. Good, consistent food, well most of the time.

    I did eat at a Cracker Barrel in Lebanon that fell really short. Ordered roast beef and got slabs of gross looking meat with a lot of fat. Asked the manager and she said that was all they had. I ate what little I could but enjoyed the rest of the food.

    When I got home I contacted corporate with the story. A quick response by phone call. Then a week later an envelope arrives with two golden tickets. Yes, you imagined correctly, just like Willy Wonka. Tickets were good for a full meal, whatever we wanted, completely at no cost. When I presented the tickets at the register the manager was called over and she stated “we don’t see these very often”. Rang up the meals at no cost. I did leave a tip for the server as the crappy meal in Lebanon was not her fault.

    I changed from USAA to State Farm

    USAA is generally very good about paying for claims. Then they will drop the insured as quickly as possible. Or up the rates to a level that only fools would pay. Dropping coverage for a claim is not unique to USAA. The insured has now become a risk. Even calling about submitting a claim will cause a rate increase or a complete denial of renewal even though a claim was never submitted.

    What annoys me is that insurers now use credit reports to determine rates. I had applied for a credit card for my aunt, limit $200.00, to use while in assisted living. A month later I applied for a gas company credit card to get the rebates. Two months later when my policies renewed my rates went up 50%. When I demanded, in writing, to know why, it was explained that my credit score had decreased, I had two new credit cards, and therefore was considered a high risk for a claim. I had no claims, no citations, nothing on my driving record. Just two additional credit cards.

    So I did what any sensible person would do. I wrote Farmers Insurance Group a letter stating that because of the increased prices and using irrelevant information that I considered their company to be high of a risk to provide proper coverage. Therefore I was terminating my coverage as the company was no longer suitable. I also explained that I would be informing others of their tactics and highly encourage others to drop their coverage with Farmers Insurance Group.

    I changed to Travelers Insurance and was with them for several years. I dropped them when they shafted me on the accident involving a driver that was on drugs and had crappy insurance, minimum coverage, not enough. Travelers nickel and dimed me on every little thing they could find. Stated the seats were worn, nope, just a little smooth where the driver sat. Only gave me $50.00 for window tint I paid $500.00. Knocked money off because the tires had 20K miles on them. Gas tank was only 1/4 full, another $25.00 off. Scrape on the bumper caused by the tow company (car was totaled anyway), another $1,000 off. Yes, It got that petty.

    I told the adjuster I did not accept the offer. He said, fine, “take the company to court. It will cost you more in lawyer fees than will be made up in any increases. It will also take 10 months to settle. Take my offer or leave it”.

    I am now with Celina. I pay $229 a month for full coverage, maximum limits, on two vehicles, homeowners with full replacement of everything with a 25% cost overrun, travel trailer with full replacement value, and a million dollar liability policy.

  7. Currently at Veterans Memorial High School in San Antone for our second in-person program of the year. Gov. Abbott dropped school mask mandates on June 5th. Optional for losers. Our Black consultant noticed “only the Black attendees are wearing masks”. LOL.

  8. Strangely I have actually been to that Buc-ee’s. Biggest one I have ever seen is located in Katy just off I-10. Generally always stopped when traveling the southern route to/from San Antonio. But those days are over.

    Katy is famed for having what Buc-ee’s advertises as the longest car wash in the world.

    IIRC, New Braunfels is still the biggest store in the chain both in terms of square footage and gas pump count.

    A big location in Florida between Fort Myers and Naples has been teased for at least five years, but, with Buc-ee’s, it is all about tax concessions.

    Buc-ee’s would do well in SW Florida. The current options for quickly stopping along I-75 between Tampa and Miami are Publix and gas stations popular with illegal construction labor for bathing purposes.

    The Seminole Tribe, who runs the big travel stop on Alligator Alley, is probably the political obstacle for Buc-ee’s cutting a deal with the state and county governments to get a store built where property is still available out north of Naples.

  9. NOt quite as bad as yesterday, it’s only 88F and 74%RH at almost 10am. Should be nearing 100F if it was the hottest part of the year.

    Insurance is a funny product. It’s marketed to the people who pay for it, and who expect to use it, but the REAL customers of the companies are the owners and shareholders who have goals opposite the alleged customers. The company is only in business to make money for it’s owners, not to pay a bunch of claims. This makes for a very strange dynamic.

    Of course there are alternative structures that address that issue, just like credit unions arose to address issues with banks and who is their true customer.

    Come to think of it, you see this in a number of other places, like google and facebook. Hmm.

    n

  10. Katy is famed for having what Buc-ee’s advertises as the longest car wash in the world.

    I have been through that car wash. It is indeed a long car wash. Vehicle came out clean.

    New Braunfels is still the biggest store in the chain

    I have also been to that Buc-ee’s. In my mind the facility in Katy seems larger than New Braunfels. Visual impression, and memory, both of which are faulty. Web research indicates that the facility in New Braunfels is the largest convenience store in the world. The longest car wash remains with Katy.

    One the smallest Buc-ee’s I have been to is in Pearland.

    I generally stop at Buc-ee’s for the drinks which are cheap. A monster cup is only $0.89 and will last in the vehicle for several hours. The bathrooms are the best around, no competition. What Buc-ee’s loses on soft drinks they make up for in my purchase of beef jerky, Gummi Bears and other items. Nice travel break to walk around and browse (and buy).

    The only thing I wish Buc-ee’s would add would be tables outside to sit and eat the food purchased inside. There must be some reason that Buc-ee’s does not provide the tables. Perhaps discourages vagrants and other undesirables. Buc-ee’s also does not allow semi trucks on their property.

    I am certain that Crossville TN and perhaps the state, provided some tax incentives to Buc-ee’s to establish a facility in Crossville.

  11. Regarding homeowners insurance, I have had Allstate for over 40 years on home and autos. I occasionally wonder if a competitor might be cheaper or better. About every five years, I sit down in person with the local agent. I have found this to be much better than on the phone, or contacting the company directly. The agent knows the peculiarities of our area. The agent reps other companies, so I guess technically she is considered an independent agent. I always ask for options that might reduce cost, and say I want to weigh them against possible coverage improvements.

    The records on my spreadsheet only go back to 2004, good enough for this discussion. In that time, the homeowners policy has increased 79%. My spreadsheet does not account for changes I have made to the coverages, and there have been some significant ones where I increased coverage. This does not include my earthquake or other policies. No claims during this period, thank the FSM.

    There has been an upward trend starting in 2017. Over the three years (I pay annually) the premium has increased 20% total. Considering it is under $1200 annually, I am not concerned. I will watch for new increases. I know the policy is cheap, but I supplement it. The agent says I am getting the most bang/buck. Right, but I think she only reps one other major insurance company for homeowners policies.

    What makes these comparisons less informative, are all the “discounts.” There are some for having both an auto and homeowners policy, many discounts on our auto policy, and maybe some just because I am a nice guy. No, scratch that last one. One example is that I took two cars off the auto policy and put them on a Hagerty policy, using the same agent. The premiums on the remaining cars did not change, but enough discounts went away that the total was almost the same. I expected that. I get much better coverage on old cars (two 1968 models) with Hagerty.

    Insurance is a racket. I have been a victim of the industry on auto insurance in the past, and watch those #$%&*s closely. I still sometimes think I am getting screwed.

  12. One the smallest Buc-ee’s I have been to is in Pearland.

    I generally stop at Buc-ee’s for the drinks which are cheap. A monster cup is only $0.89 and will last in the vehicle for several hours. The bathrooms are the best around, no competition. What Buc-ee’s loses on soft drinks they make up for in my purchase of beef jerky, Gummi Bears and other items. Nice travel break to walk around and browse (and buy).

    The only thing I wish Buc-ee’s would add would be tables outside to sit and eat the food purchased inside. There must be some reason that Buc-ee’s does not provide the tables. Perhaps discourages vagrants and other undesirables. Buc-ee’s also does not allow semi trucks on their property.

    Small Buc-ee’s are Tiger Marts they picked up early in the chain’s existence. The Giddings location is one example.

    Buc-ee’s still does ok on the fountain drinks. At worst, there is a dime’s worth of expenses in every cup going out the door. They really score if they get you to buy the refillable mug.

    Buc-ee’s has enough crowd control problems without seating. The Robertson, AL the day after the 4th last year was beyond frightening. 5,000 people inside and out, easily, most unmasked at a time when the AL numbers were going off the charts. From what I understand, the store had to add overflow parking across the street since we visited last.

  13. RE: Homeowners Insurance

    I live in eastern Nebraska. Though, on here (and most of the Internet) I typically just refer to my geographic location as “great plains state” or “flyover state.” As there is little noteworthy difference between Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Kansas when it comes to most online discussion.

    I’ve been with USAA, for insurance, for probably 8 years now. No claims. No complaints (until now). Though, I agree with the comments about being dropped as soon as you make a claim. That’s not unique to USAA. I have a friend that couldn’t get American Family Insurance because he had two claims in 5 years and that was their limit.

    Admittedly, I am probably over-covered. I have some close friends with horror stories about how being insufficiently insured screwed them financially. That combined with the fact that when my wife and I first got married and bought our first home we were “cash poor” and not great at saving or budgeting (and honest with ourselves that we weren’t great at those things), so we typically had the lowest deductibles we could get because we were paranoid about not having the cash on hand to cover the deductible. As a result, most of our insurance is the smallest possible deductible and largest possible liability coverage. The large liability coverage doesn’t spike rates too much, but the tiny deductibles certainly do!

    I’m not a guy that hops companies every time somebody else is a buck cheaper. I know people like that. If I am happy with the company and their rates are fair (perhaps not the best, but close) then I’ll stick with them. However, a 30% increase in a single year is just ABSURD.

    I decided to chat with them about it via the USAA app on my smartphone rather than call. Pretty handy. It’s nice to sit down, prop your feet up, watch some TV, and absent-mindedly chat with customer service. lol

    The two biggest reasons for the increase, according to USAA, was that the replacement cost of my home increased (it went up all of about 8%, so that probably had a very small impact on my rate) and an increase in the rate in my state. So, I asked why such a sudden large increase in the rate in my state. I got the canned response about it being based on risk and average claims in my state and then it came out… It was in the back of my head, but then they said it… INFLATION. Let’s print more money!!! What’s next on the spending agenda, Uncle $am? Fuckers.

    I did make some adjustments that got it back to close to where it was before. Turns out we had a measly $500 deductible. I bumped that to $2000.  Also, our personal belongings coverage was crazy high. We don’t own Italian couches, Rolexes, or a collection of Lladros. So, now that it’s back down to something sane for the moment I’ll start shopping around. I have seen a lot of warnings about teaser rates. That is, great rate your first year to get you signed on as a customer and then it jumps.

    It’s probably a good time to review our auto insurance as well as we’re probably over-insured on that too and our circumstances have changed a lot in the 14 years we’ve been married.


  14. but also lots of marijuana (which…is legal in lots of places)

    In the US, legal in many states (medical and/or recreational uses) but still illegal according to the Feds, but usually not enforced.

  15. Landline phones, fax machines, and dial Internet are pretty much it if you need privacy from your telecom services.

    I wouldn’t trust them, either. I am unwilling to explain my belief in this, but life is just a little more private with my way of thinking. Come on in, the paranoia is fine!

    As for snagging the crooks without warrants and other constitutional niceties, I will cite that “everybody” cheered when Al Capone was given a ridiculously long sentence for tax evasion. The usual excuse was that the govt couldn’t get him on more serious crimes they “knew” he committed, because there were no people willing to testify. Imagine that. Two wrongs don’t make one right. Get him fair and square without cheating. Anything less makes the accusers a mob of their own.

    Not that I have much against the mob, especially in the old days. They were effective, and had a retirement plan that couldn’t be beat. 🙂


  16. Hot enough yesterday that the air conditioner couldn’t keep up. At 12 midnight, it was still 4F hotter in the house than the setpoint. Cutting down the tree that shaded the house made a HUGE difference. We used to have a few days when it was hot enough to do that, but not when it was just in the 90s.

     

    I wondered about that when you had the tree removed. Needing sun for gardening and play area is understandable. We are on two lots, and our house is heavily shaded. It makes a world of difference in keeping cool.  But sun is essential to grow anything that flowers, esp veg.  The other lot, where I garden, has only a peach tree and a small new redbud. I’ve tried gardening in the “part shade” of the back yard, and the only things that will produce are onions and garlic and greens – which we grow in the winter anyway.

     

    Because our water is so expensive, I’ve decided to fill my garden lot with fruit trees, leaving only space for a row of tomato plants in the front. Almost everything else I can buy more cheaply when factoring the cost of water into it. Plus my dad loves to garden, and has space to grow the black eyed peas and okra that are the other “essentials” we can’t buy.  Tomatoes, okra, black eyed peas, greens, onions and garlic… just add bacon and I’m set for life! 😀

     

    I won’t plant the fruit trees until fall/winter, but am planning now and selecting varieties.  I probably won’t get a harvest until 2026, so need to get cracking. I’d like an apricot tree, a couple of plums, a third peach, a second crabapple, and a Fuji apple tree.    I envy Nick’s blueberries and go back and forth over whether to plant some here, maybe in pots  with acidic potting soil, since our dirt and water are alkaline.  I’d have bought some last year, but the varieties I wanted were all sold out even at mail order.

     

     

     

  17. @Chad, good logic on insurance. Review suitability, preferably with a good independent agent, one who reps several companies. Our needs change. Most incompetent agents sell the default policy features, and these are designed for max profit. Sooprise! I know it’s painful, but analyze what YOU need and then run it past your agent. Be firm but flexible. There is no such thing as a perfect policy, rather compromises.

    I didn’t write about my auto insurance fiasco over 50 years ago, because it is no longer relevant. Part of my solution was to meet with a personal friend’s father who represented a reinsurance company. He told me some very valuable information, and it helped me greatly.

    Then I got married, moved to a different state, and my auto insurance needs changed. I found a better company. At that time, a co-worker was shopping for insurance, so we decided to compare notes. THAT was a valuable experience. He was single, but needed similar coverages on a similar car. His best quote and my worst quote were from the same agent, and vice versa. Crazy, but a lesson.


  18. I like Cracker Barrel really well. Good, consistent food, well most of the time.

    Cracker Barrel has good entrees, but most of their sides are mushy. Corn overcooked and held too long. Green beans over cooked and held too long. Whether you get mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, green beans, hashbrown casserole, or most of their other sides they all have the same texture in your mouth… mush.

    I do like their Meatloaf, Fried Catfish, and Sunday Homestyle Chicken (some of the juiciest and tastiest boneless chicken breast I’ve ever had in a restaurant). Also, the fried okra is a pretty good side if it’s fresh. I’m a sucker for dressing/stuffing so I’ll go on Thursdays sometimes just because dressing is available as a side that day. Their beef noodle and chicken noodle soups are excellent, but they don’t really have a soup schedule so it’s hit or miss on whether they have them. I did read an old review that their beef stew is superb and a hidden gem, but it was removed from the menu before I got a chance to try it so I guess I’ll never know.

    There’s a Cracker Barrel within a 10 minute interstate drive of our house, so we go about once every two weeks on average for lunch or dinner.

  19. Good summary on tires.

    Michelins were well-known to be crap in the early 1970’s. In the late 70’s Firestone had the 500 recall, replacing them with the equally ill-fated 721. Not a good decade for auto tire design, except the Goodyear F32 snow tire.

    Thanks for the kind words. And, yes, I came to know Michelin as a bad brand. But, I had good luck with one set on one of my Beetles, so decided to try them on a large car. That first set worked very well, until I abused them. After that, crap.

    A lesson is that a given tire manufacturer makes many kinds and models, and they can vary tremendously in characteristics. So, don’t buy a brand and model for a large car or pickup because someone liked them on his econobox.

    Over the years, I have had good luck with Firestone, BF Goodrich, and lately, Kumho. But, very specific models. Kumho, especially, makes some very high performance tires, and I avoid them. Their so-called “touring” tires have been good for me.

    It was said among insiders in the auto industry that Goodyear could only make excellent or very poor tires. Probably true. Back in the 1950s and 60s, Goodyear owned the OEM market, because they sold to the manufacturers for low-low prices. Not so much to you and me. I have had two different kinds of Goodyear tires that were excellent. Lucky me.

    Another trend is that it is nearly impossible to buy a model of tire for several different models of cars. They are supposedly engineered for a specific car. I suppose so, but it used to be fun to put wacky tires on a pedestrian car and greatly improve its handling. Or not. Life is getting complicated. It’s a trend. My wife hates that. Me, too.

  20. The “road rage” shooting in Cali that resulted in a child’s death has led to arrests.

    The coverage now downplays the exchange that led to the shooting.

    According to accounts from the mother and witnesses who stopped to help her, another car cut her off and she responded with a hand gesture and the car slipped in behind her and someone inside fired a shot through the rear of her car.

    Highway patrol officials had said the road rage incident stemmed from ‘a perceived unsafe lane change.’

    IE- she changed lanes without seeing or (possibly) caring that the other car was there, the shooter complained, she flipped him off, and he shot at her car. And her kid is dead. The shooter is ultimately to blame because HE took the shot. The mom started the whole thing though, and she’d still have her son if she hadn’t acted the way she did.

    There are a couple of bigger issues. Can it be murder if the guy didn’t intend to kill anyone? Can it be murder if the mom flipped him off? If it was a fight on the ground and not cars, that exchange would be disorderly conduct, engaging in fighting. Does that make them mutual combatants? Seems like the shooter and the mom would be, with the kid’s death being accidental. What a mess and all because of poor impulse control.

    n

  21. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-9666133/Margot-Robbie-builds-iron-gate-6-5million-Los-Angeles-dream-home-amid-crime-wave.html

    – ah, Cali, sun, beach, needles, fights, and piles of sh!te everywhere.

    Venice always had an edge after dark, now it’s just more visible.

    I love that ” Anti-social elements have made it dangerous to go out after dark, residents say” quote. It’s both euphemistic and distanced by the “residents say” part…

    What a freaking disaster. Those sorts of pictures are in every one of our big cities and probably a fair number of smaller and medium sized as well. How can anyone look at that and think things are fine, and will continue to be fine?

    n

  22. sadly,
    “password” 1,969,083 times in leaked databases
    123456 – 8,613,459 times in leaked databases
    1234 – 786,540 times in leaked databases

    Not surprised. I know several people for whom those lame passwords are their “I don’t give a shit about this site/service” password. I’m sure there’s also a subset of people who use those (or weak variations of them) on their employer’s network with the “that’s my employer’s problem” mindset. Never underestimate the number of people (be they customers or employees) with a don’t care attitude.


  23. Never underestimate the number of people (be they customers or employees) with a don’t care attitude.

    Bah. Who cares?

    1

  24. There are a couple of bigger issues. Can it be murder if the guy didn’t intend to kill anyone? Can it be murder if the mom flipped him off? If it was a fight on the ground and not cars, that exchange would be disorderly conduct, engaging in fighting. Does that make them mutual combatants? Seems like the shooter and the mom would be, with the kid’s death being accidental. What a mess and all because of poor impulse control.

    Regarding intent, the issue is that he intentionally pulled the trigger. (And intentionally procured a firearm, intentionally loaded it, and intentionally placed it where he could get at it while driving.) Specific intent to kill a particular individual may be required for a Murder 1 charge or may not, but some level of murder charge usually covers depraved indifference.

    Regarding the mom flipping him off, I don’t think any US state now has (or uses, anyway) “fighting words” as a defense to assault or mayhem, let alone homicide.

    But keeping going in this vein, in today’s social and legal climate, what if she’d called him a nigger before he shot? Would that excuse a homicide. Of an unintended victim? How would her or his race change those answers?

    1
  25. There are a couple of bigger issues. Can it be murder if the guy didn’t intend to kill anyone? Can it be murder if the mom flipped him off? If it was a fight on the ground and not cars, that exchange would be disorderly conduct, engaging in fighting. Does that make them mutual combatants? Seems like the shooter and the mom would be, with the kid’s death being accidental. What a mess and all because of poor impulse control.

    The finger was just a gesture, not anywhere close to a threat to the shooter’s life or even property. The shooter goes to prison for a long time under our legal system, end of story.

    Kharma would have eventually caught up with the woman in a non-lethal way, fully within the limits of the system. I’ve never seen it fail to happen with that personality type. Maybe one day Daddy comes home with a new Step Mommy, one who isn’t so gesture-y.

    Maybe Mommy is fired from her job because she was out running errands while clocking time “working” from home.

    Without a shooting, later on, maybe the German grocery getter breaks down on the side of the road — I see plenty of those situations around North Austin, particularly with X5 BMWs for some reason.

    All kinds of possibilities.

  26. I use passwords appropriate for the level of security I need, which means I have some poor ones for sites that don’t need more, such as the New York Times. I use the NYT as a proxy for all sites where nothing is at risk, but where a password is required nonetheless. Trouble is, I put some of those in a browser’s PW management feature, and Google (Chrome) yammers at me for insecure PWs. Fine, so far. BUT, IF I were to put important PWs there, Giggle would still cry wolf, so I wouldn’t know if it was for important or non-important PWs.

    I use a method that works for me, and is secure enough, but my wife doesn’t like it. She really needs a PW manager, but the thought of something bad happening keeps me from adding more complication to her computing experience. She uses one PW for most Internet sites. I have warned her, but then she writes others down and promptly loses the scrap of paper. I would too.

    I suppose I should start using one of those password manglers, but my diversion with Linux didn’t offer me anything I wanted to live with. Now, with just Windows and Android there is bound to be a solution. I want something that does NOT store my passwords in the cloud, as convenient as that might seem. Unless, of course, it can convince me it transacts everything in an encrypted manner. And we all know just how reliable encryption can be. Always something to do.

    Any suggestions?

  27. A good place to check if your email has been in a ‘breach’, or to check if your passwords have been in a data ‘breach’, is the “Have I Been Powned” site https://haveibeenpwned.com/.

    Valid site, been around for years, and well-regarded as a good place to check email/passwords risk. You can even sign up for notices about your email being in a new breach.

    Just noticed – then now will check your phone number for a data breach.

    Recommended.

  28. She’s upset that his security costs money, thinks he should be paying for all of it himself, and that he wants to live at Mar el Largo… no problem paying for Obamma et filles or the Clinton grifters’ security though. 

    Like when Obama takes up residence at the former “Magnum PI” film set/estate, the location of which has been thoroughly documented for 40 years, information available to any curious tourist, even pre-Internet.

    Kharma will catch up with the in-laws too. Last week, we found out that the Chinese relation who gets off on “You Ain’t Got No Ice Cream” games, particularly with “dopey white people”, learned that his mother needs a kidney without a family match available and no insurance beyond bare Medicare, endangering the cash flows for Number One Son from the family rackets. “Unavailable at any price” has taken on a whole new meaning for that guy.

  29. Race is a social construction! yell the libtards … until an organ transplant is needed.

    2
  30. “H-E-B changes mask policy for fully vaccinated partners”
    https://www.chron.com/coronavirus/article/H-E-B-changes-mask-policy-vaccinated-partners-16236164.php

    “The previous policy required all partners and vendors to wear face masks while at work, regardless of being fully vaccinated or not. H-E-B urged its customers to wear masks but did not mandate them.”

    Huh, first that I have heard of this. HEB runs their announcement in the store every ten minutes that all employees and customers must have masks on.

  31. It’s gonna be interesting with the inlaws. Trump is still living in their heads rent free. And they just toss out stuff like “making ghost guns” or “probably an Oathkeeper”. I’m treating it as anthropology to keep my sanity. They have no idea WHY they believe or say what they do. When I ask directly they start yammering and shifting around. It’s like trying to grab a fist full of jello. She’s upset that his security costs money, thinks he should be paying for all of it himself, and that he wants to live at Mar el Largo… no problem paying for Obamma et filles or the Clinton grifters’ security though. A constant diet of tv and print news has mal-educated them very thoroughly.

    Yet, Hunter Biden uses the n word freely (something I have never done) and the dumbrocrats ignore it.
    https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2021/06/09/media-obsessed-over-rumors-of-trump-n-word-tape-ignore-hunter-biden-texts/

    Hat tip to:
    https://thelibertydaily.com/

  32. Race is a social construction! yell the libtards … until an organ transplant is needed.

    Regardless of race, lack of a blood relative match is a big problem for someone who needs an kidney transplant.

     

  33. Huh, first that I have heard of this. HEB runs their announcement in the store every ten minutes that all employees and customers must have masks on.

    I think it depends on where your store is located as far as how rigidly HEB enforces masks.

    Living in North Austin, a tech hub suburb, the hysteria is still at a fever pitch so our HEB still has signs up indicating that masks are required for everyone.

    Publix in Florida had a lax policy for customers this time last year when we were in Fort Walton Beach for the 4th, but then they got sued by the family of one of their famed retiree bag boys when the guy died and testing revealed he passed *with* Covid in his system. On our last visit in March, the signs in Publix indicated masks being mandatory even in SW Florida where things were really starting to loosen up by Spring Break.

  34. Re blueberries.  My experience has been, 2nd year samples, 3rd year substantial samples, 4th year yeah this is going to work, 5th year (now) this is what I was looking for, and judging by a couple of neighbors it is only going to get better.  Huckleberries I put in at the same time seem to be about a year ahead.  Glad I had the foresight to put them in the year I moved in.

     

    1
  35. Well, as expected, my plans for the day got shot.

    A/C guy put about a pound of freon in the system as it wasn’t quite as cold as it should be. We talked about the new system and upgrades. He installs American Standard? No that’s not quite right, and Ruud, but can’t get AS right now. His other brand has been No Stock for months. So we’ll probably end up with Ruud. Variable speed blower, dumb thermostat. New ducts, and upsize the returns, maybe add a return. We’re right on the bubble between sizes of systems, so we might still have some choices to make.

    And he’s busy busy at the moment.

    n


  36. what if she’d called him a nigger before he shot

    Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey would be demanding her arrest and conviction. Ben Crump would be defending the shooter calling it justice and demanding the mother and city reimburse for all expenses including the cost of bullets, demanding for justice (really revenge), and otherwise seeking to get his face in the news and enrich himself.

    Any suggestions?

    I used to use Lastpass until development was shifted overseas. No thanks anymore. Plus the price kept climbing. It WAS a good product, now I don’t trust the product.

    So I opted for BitWarden. Works just as well, $10.00 a year, apps for Android and IOS, emergency access for designated individuals. I was able to import all my Lastpass passwords. I also keep my passport, driver’s license, credit card and bank account information within the BitWarden vault. The source is open source and can be viewed by others to ascertain that the code is solid. On the downside I guess nefarious people could use access to the code to their advantage. Although with lots of eyes on the code any holes would be quickly found and patched.

    Installs as an add-on to Edge and Chrome, auto fills passwords and userids, ability to contain notes on each site, generate very complicated passwords such as “E4y9KvZ9@&kZ*dZQhB*DepNS” that I never have to remember, can be accessed from any browser by going to the website.

    I recommend the product.

  37. FWIW, I had a pretty good idea that our heat load would increase a lot when we cut the tree down, and said as much to my wife. Didn’t think it would increase quite this much.

    We did go with a lighter shade for the new roof, and the new shingles are more reflective than the old, but it doesn’t seem to have made much difference.

    n

  38. Blackberries are an invasive weed here, but I killed them in one year…..
    n

    2
  39. Well, as expected, my plans for the day got shot.

    A/C guy put about a pound of freon in the system as it wasn’t quite as cold as it should be. We talked about the new system and upgrades. He installs American Standard? No that’s not quite right, and Ruud, but can’t get AS right now. His other brand has been No Stock for months. So we’ll probably end up with Ruud. Variable speed blower, dumb thermostat. New ducts, and upsize the returns, maybe add a return. We’re right on the bubble between sizes of systems, so we might still have some choices to make.

    And he’s busy busy at the moment.

    n

    I put a three ton Ruud A/C 16 SEER on the game room addition to the last house back in 2015. Worked well, in fact was overkill for the 1,200 ft2 it was cooling.

    I have a three ton Ruud A/C on the warehouse office, is a two story building about 1,000 ft2 inside the warehouse building. Was installed in 2004 and works well since I bought the office in 2011.

    Be sure to get at least 16 SEER.


  40. IE- she changed lanes without seeing or (possibly) caring that the other car was there, the shooter complained, she flipped him off, and he shot at her car. And her kid is dead. The shooter is ultimately to blame because HE took the shot. The mom started the whole thing though, and she’d still have her son if she hadn’t acted the way she did.

    Maybe she should think about getting that particular finger amputated to protect the rest of her kid(s).

    1
    1
  41. The article on the encrypted phone scam mentioned a blogger blowing the whistle on it months ago… and I think I remember seeing an article about that somewhere at the time.

    The wailing when TOR gets outed is going to make the world cry.

    n


  42. I had a pretty good idea that our heat load would increase a lot when we cut the tree down, and said as much to my wife. Didn’t think it would increase quite this much.

    “I knew it would be bad but had no idea how bad” is a recurring phenomenon. Not just with you. It’s an observation that even most pessimists aren’t pessimistic enough.

  43. From the CDC newsletter I get…

    Organizations and businesses from across the country have stepped up and responded to the President’s call to action. Already, 63% of adult Americans have gotten vaccinated, including 73% of Americans age 40 and over, and COVID-19 cases and deaths have plummeted as a result – cases are down over 90% and deaths are down over 85% since January 20th.

    The National Month of Action will include the following initiatives:

    Making it easier to get vaccinated and advancing equity

    Free childcare for individuals getting vaccinated
    Extended hours at pharmacies across the country in June to offer more flexible appointment availability

    Mobilizing the country to do more vaccination education and outreach

    Community canvassing, phone banking, text banking, and vaccination events
    “We Can Do This”

    National Vaccination Tour
    Mayors challenge to increase vaccination rates in cities across America
    Shots at the Shop – A New Initiative to Engage Black-Owned Barbershops and Beauty Salons
    Blanketing Local TV and Radio and Social Media to Get Americans the Facts and Answer Their Questions
    COVID-19 College Challenge – WhiteHouse.gov/COVIDCollegeChallenge

    Incentivizing vaccination

    Business incentives for vaccinated Americans – Americans will be able to find a list of these and other incentives on Vaccines.gov/incentives.html.

  44. A good place to check if your email has been in a ‘breach’, or to check if your passwords have been in a data ‘breach’, is the “Have I Been Powned” site

    Thanks. I’d forgotten about that.

    Would be nice to see if one of my passwords associated with a particular site has been compromised. Google seems to think a couple are, but I no independent way to verify this. Again, this is a trivial site with nothing to risk.

  45. From the CDC newsletter I get…

    Organizations and businesses from across the country have stepped up and responded to the President’s call to action. Already, 63% of adult Americans have gotten vaccinated, including 73% of Americans age 40 and over, and COVID-19 cases and deaths have plummeted as a result – cases are down over 90% and deaths are down over 85% since January 20th.

    According to our local paper, 94% of 65 or older adults in Fort Bend County have been vaccinated at least once. 83% have been double vaccinated.

    BTW, Biden is getting ready to send 500 million Pfizer doses to Africa. I wonder what the chance of that sitting on a dock somewhere in the hot sun is ?

  46. A/C guy put about a pound of freon in the system as it wasn’t quite as cold as it should be. We talked about the new system and upgrades. He installs American Standard? No that’s not quite right, and Ruud, but can’t get AS right now. His other brand has been No Stock for months. So we’ll probably end up with Ruud. Variable speed blower, dumb thermostat. New ducts, and upsize the returns, maybe add a return. We’re right on the bubble between sizes of systems, so we might still have some choices to make.

    American Standard and Trane are the same company with identical AC systems except at the very high end.

    I’ve written before that I won’t allow a proprietary thermostat protocol into my house again, including Honeywell’s Z-Wave and RedLink. American Standard’s protocol is ComfortLink. Carrier does something similar.

    If you are dependent on R22, refilling the unit will just get more expensive. My neighbor took the hit last year, shortly after the complete ban went into place.


  47. A good place to check if your email has been in a ‘breach’, or to check if your passwords have been in a data ‘breach’, is the “Have I Been Powned”

    I would say it is more of a marketing gimmick than reality. I used my email address and the site said my email had been exposed in multiple sites. My ISP I can understand. But supposedly my email was exposed in 10+ sites that I have never visited, have no idea what they are, and most certainly did not use my email address or any password. In other words, the site is just guessing.

    2
    1

  48. Huh, first that I have heard of this. HEB runs their announcement in the store every ten minutes that all employees and customers must have masks on.

    The several H-E-Bs I shop at still have their “Mask Required” signs up. I haven’t worn a mask at them for two weeks now. Nobody has Karen’d me. IMO about 1/10 of the peeps there aren’t wearing masks.

  49. So I opted for BitWarden.

    Thanks, I will give a look when I am ready. I think you mentioned it before, but I didn’t put it in my notes.


  50. …he shot at her car. And her kid is dead. … Can it be murder if the guy didn’t intend to kill anyone? Can it be murder if the mom flipped him off?

    It’s basic firearm rules: You don’t point a gun at something unless you intend to destroy it. You must what see what you are aiming at, and know what is behind it.

    The guy shoots at a car, which contains people. He killed someone. Being flipped off is no excuse. Second degree murder, cut and dried.

    Passwords

    We use KeePassX. It’s an open-source program, which I like. It doesn’t save anything to the cloud. Which is a feature, because I don’t see why I should trust someone else’s computer to be secure.

    However, if you want cloud storage, KeePassX saves everything to a single (encrypted) file. You can put the save-file in a Dropbox or whatever. In that case, do be sure to use a very strong password, since all of your eggs are in one basket.

    Solar stuff

    So, after the power failure the other day (due to a lightning strike), I randomly went and looked as solar battery prices. I had looked, when we were planning our house in 2018. Since then, prices have really plummeted. What used to cost 20k here, is now under 10k.

    Unfortunately, it would be a retrofit at this point, which makes things more expensive. Might still be worth it. I have an offer. Now I have to do the math, and – if it works out – convince my wife…

  51. The Kamel is really bolluxing it up lately to the point she may not be a viable POTUS candidate anymore. The ProgLibTurds will have to rely on Stacy “Oink” Abrams.

  52. The Kamel is really bolluxing it up lately to the point she may not be a viable POTUS candidate anymore. The ProgLibTurds will have to rely on Stacy “Oink” Abrams. 

    Stacey Abrams has to win next year and then manage a very successful Legislative term in a bipartisan way in 2023

    The backup backup is Val Demings in Florida, who just officially announced a run at Little Marco’s Senate seat since her (Demings’) Congressional district is probably history with redistricting in Florida looming.

    Florida Republicans will run redistricting controlling all three branches of state government for the first time in history. Val Demings’ Congressional seat, essentially representing the theme parks, was the result of a lawsuit filed in response to the last redistricting ten years ago, which forced a redrawing of the map in 2016.

    Mickey Mouse is literally one of Demings’ constituents.


  53. The Kamel is really bolluxing it up lately to the point she may not be a viable POTUS candidate anymore. The ProgLibTurds will have to rely on Stacy “Oink” Abrams.

    Bingo – heard the same exact point on talk radio last night (The Tom Sullivan Show).

  54. I replaced my HVAC system (heat pump, air handler) with a Trane  XV20i ) https://www.trane.com/residential/en/products/heat-pumps/xv20i/ ) . (I live in Olympic Peninsula WA, so hottest temps in summer are 85F, low humidity; winter temps down to 20F. So different that TX.)

    SEER up to 20, queit, works fairly well heating at low outside temps during winter (down to +20F), and AC during summer works well. It is much more efficient than the prior 20-year-old unit, and has reduced my electricity costs summer and winter.

    The air handler unit (also Trane) is variable speed, and quiet (it’s in the garage; insulated/wallboarded entire garage). Has a ‘smart’ thermostat that I can control with a phone app – no problems with that. Local company installed it in one day.

    Pleased with the choice. Went for the highest efficiency unit.

     


  55. The Kamel is really bolluxing it up lately to the point she may not be a viable POTUS candidate anymore. The ProgLibTurds will have to rely on Stacy “Oink” Abrams.

    My thought is that Joe won’t make it 4 years, so HeelsUp will be the incumbent warts and all.

  56. My thought is that Joe won’t make it 4 years, so HeelsUp will be the incumbent warts and all. 

    Biden will at least make it to the midterms. A replacement VP would involve a compromise at this point, and absent that happening, the chair will remain empty.

  57. Oh wait…that was Sarah WhatsHerName.

    –actually that was Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live. The lies and propaganda work. It’s why they bother.

    n

    1
  58. We did go with a lighter shade for the new roof, and the new shingles are more reflective than the old, but it doesn’t seem to have made much difference.

    That seems right. Have you measured the attic temperature before and after? Of course, this will vary throughout the day and season, so an exact measurement is a challenge. Usually, sun shining through windows is a big culprit, and shading them from the outside is best, as you unfortunately found out.

    IMHO, reflectivity is probably overplayed, but I have not done detailed calcs. Our challenge here is at night in the winter, so reflectivity is not an issue. We don’t need much insulation in the summer because we have evaporative cooling. This, in spite of having no shade. Special case; the cool air flushes hot air out. Some of you might have seen outdoor evaporative coolers at restaurants. You can sit in the cool air flow and feel comfortable.

    We recently completed a partial exterior house renovation. Before, the new garage was much better insulated than the house, but it made little difference in cooling.

    I updated my house calcs before some exterior rework. My goal was to improve winter comfort. I have a spreadsheet model for conductivity of all the exposed surfaces. I played around with windows and added insulation. The least effect was the attic. Our attic has R30, so adding a reasonable amount didn’t help much. I was a little surprised that the roof made the least difference by far. The windows were second (we already had good windows, but were changing for other reasons.) The walls were next, but it is hard to add insulation to the exterior of an existing wall without a lot of work. The biggest improvement was the 12” band of exposed uninsulated grout filled concrete block at the top of the basement, which runs about three quarters around the house. I had known that, but was surprised how much difference that made. Adding just a little insulation made a big difference.

    When it was all done, the difference was barely detectable. We did have a very mild winter. So far, spring has been mild, with a few days way above normal, but not very stressing. I was hoping for more, but am not disappointed. We did reduce air leakage, which helps in winter.

  59. @JimB

    You mentioned a spreadsheet used in your calculations. That might be interesting to share. (I’d be interested.)

    My house (in Olympic Peninsula WA) has large east facing windows (double-insulated, but 20+ years old). West-facing windows are small, as are south-facing. Attic has loose-fill insulation; walls have standard insulation (I suspect fiber). Concrete foundation; crawl space about 20-24″, plastic on ground under house.

    When we were without HVAC last winter, inside house temp was about 55F, with outside temps 25-45F.

    I suspect that it might be time to replace windows with better ones; although current ones don’t show any signs of leakage. And I really should replace the underside of the front and garage doors (both facing west); there is some leakage there. Garage is fully insulated and wall-boarded; garage door is also insulated.

  60. According to my homebuilding magazines, air movement is the biggest culprit, and getting rid of air leaks has a much higher rate of return than simple insulation. That said, there is a reason why homes in Houston are super leaky… mold. You need airflow to dry.

    I’d rather have some additional cooling costs, and more air exchanges.

    That all said, the attic was noticeably cooler today than I expected it to be. I was a bit shocked.

    The rough estimate from the AC guy is that the new blower will use half the energy as the old, and the same for the condenser… He figures our current condenser runs at 17amps and expects 10 or 11amps with a new one. He also said the new system is much better at removing moisture, which is a big plus.

    Windows are on the list….

    n

  61. The exhaust fan in the garage has made a huge difference in the heat build up in there. More even than putting foam board on the back of the metal door, and that was a huge benefit.

    n

  62. I replaced my dead central air system with a Goodman.  Made in Houston.  Their fancy brand was Amana.

    Yeah.  Wrecked it out and rebuilt.  I did it all but connecting the freon lines.  Home Depot quoted $8500.  Plus tax.  And at that, they won’t go under the house to replace/re-route the lines to get the compressor out from under the bedroom window…. no, just gonna cut and solder and run new lines along the foundation.  No telling what they would have done with the ductwork.

    I shopped a bit.  Had the entire system delivered from Florida for $3,777.00.  Inside, Outside, freon lines, heater elements.  Right to my front yard.

    Yeah.  I did good.  It did take me a couple three weeks to get it installed.  Tear out.  New slab for compressor.  Rebuilding the inside stuff.  But that’s after work and I wasn’t in a rush.

    The A/C guy inspected everything before he connected the lines…. offed me a job, too.  🙂

    Goodman.  Shop local.

     


  63. The exhaust fan in the garage has made a huge difference in the heat build up in there.

    Duh! I have a window fan in the feed shed. Yeah, it has a built in t-stat. But. 90F temp, and the fan works to keep the shed at 90F. Unlike my barn. 90F and it’s 120F on a sunny day.

    “Kiln dried” wood my ass. 🙂

  64. Goodman. Shop local.

    American Standard/Trane is in Tyler, TX. The last job had a project there, and, at first, I couldn’t figure out why such a teeny town had a toll road beltway consisting mostly of two lane asphalt. I guess they were panning ahead — more global warming means bigger demand for AC. 🙂

    Ruud is based in Atlanta but makes their AC sytems next door to Texas in Arkansas.

  65. New windows?  Did that.

    Yeah.  Everything I read was almost doom porn.  Twenty years for payback.!!!

    But what the heck.  We replaced the windows with double pane, low e, argon filled, double hung.  I think Home Depot had one level up…. and yeah, I don’t need mini blinds IN the windows.

    And as for the twenty year thing, maybe for a rent house.  But for me?  I’m not getting drafts of cold air anymore.  The bedroom doors pulled shut to the latch are not moving.

    The electric bill went down quite a bit.   I think I break even this year versus cost of windows to saving on the bills.  Eight or nine years… and now I make money.

     

     

     

  66. I’ve got Goodman at my rent house. Works. Been working for 20 plus years, with only minor issues, capacitor, fan, etc.

    n


  67. So we’ll probably end up with Ruud. Variable speed blower, dumb thermostat. New ducts, and upsize the returns, maybe add a return.

    @nick; why the new ducts? Need replacing (i.e. moldy), just better quality (i.e. less leakage) or adjustments to the air flow? If the latter, make sure it’s done by someone who knows what he’s doing when he draws up the plan. Single or multi-zoned?


  68. I’ve got Goodman at my rent house. Works. Been working for 20 plus years, with only minor issues, capacitor, fan, etc.

    Anybody with decent DIY skills should consider having a replacement start capacitor on hand and know how to replace it (i.e. make sure the power is off and the old one is discharged. One of the most common reasons for a ‘dead AC’ service call.

    Good source for info and parts:
    https://arnoldservice.com/

  69. @alan, they are 51 year old hard metal ducts, with no air sealing, and no insulation, in the un-conditioned attic space. The dampers don’t work properly either.

    But like most things it comes down to cost, it’s much cheaper to rip and replace than to strip off the current 1/4″ of foil and fiberglas ‘almost’ insulation, seal all the joints, and then insulate vs. just running direct runs. The modern practice apparently also likes home runs for each duct and not trunk and branch, with a damper in each duct at the plenum- less static pressure in the system before air comes out into the rooms?

    There have also been remodeling changes to one side of the house that were poorly done.

    I asked about zones, but with the ability to adjust airflow and pressure for each room, our single floor house doesn’t need them, nor should it need any active dampers. I prefer a system that is as passive as possible for long term longevity, so I’m good with that.

    There is ’embodied’ cost in the hard ducting but the plenum will be replaced, and a lot of fab would have to be done to get the old joined to the new, so I’m willing to lose that to save out of pocket costs. They seem and look pretty clean inside, but I know they aren’t as clean as brand new.
    n

  70. More “demands”… Kidnappers and extortionists make demands.

    More than 100 New Yorker unionized staffers, along those from other Condè Nast publications staged a protest Tuesday outside the Anna Wintour’s (inset) $12.5 million New York City townhouse. The NewsGuild-affiliated workers marched from the New York University Campus at Washington Square Park to Wintour’s townhouse on Sullivan Street chanting: ‘Bosses where Prada, workers get nada!’ The demonstration came after the New Yorker Union released a list of demands Monday, saying they were ‘on the verge of a strike’ after two and half years of bargaining.

    –your ‘fair’ wage is ZERO if you aren’t contributing to the enterprise more than you remove. Typical unions though, cutting slices off the cow, while the cow is dying.

    n


  71. The several H-E-Bs I shop at still have their “Mask Required” signs up. I haven’t worn a mask at them for two weeks now. Nobody has Karen’d me. IMO about 1/10 of the peeps there aren’t wearing masks.

    About 25% maskless at my NW SA HEB. No-one has Karen’d me either.
    50% at Lowes/Home Depot.


  72. Bitwarden

    I switched to it earlier this year following a recommendation here. Works well, cheap, easy sharing to one other user.

    It has a button on the password screen to check the password in data breach dumps. No way I know of to test every password.

  73. RE: A/C

    What I am looking for is a walk-in refrigerator with windows. I like it that cold.

  74. We use KeePassX. It’s an open-source program, which I like. It doesn’t save anything to the cloud. Which is a feature, because I don’t see why I should trust someone else’s computer to be secure.

    However, if you want cloud storage, KeePassX saves everything to a single (encrypted) file. You can put the save-file in a Dropbox or whatever. In that case, do be sure to use a very strong password, since all of your eggs are in one basket.

    Thanks, Brad. I’m accumulating these in my notes.

  75. The Kamel is really bolluxing it up lately to the point she may not be a viable POTUS candidate anymore. The ProgLibTurds will have to rely on Stacy “Oink” Abrams.

    Stacey Abrams has to win next year and then manage a very successful Legislative term in a bipartisan way in 2023

    Thanks, you just made me throw up in my mouth with the thought of the Kamel as POTUS and Stacey Abrams as VPOTUS.

  76. Kamel as POTUS and Stacey Abrams as VPOTUS.

    –at least at that point no one could deny that the USA was the FUSA.

    n

    1
  77. RE: A/C

    What I am looking for is a walk-in refrigerator with windows. I like it that cold.

    The wife and daughter are keeping our house at 71 F nowadays. They have got me addicted to it also. I sleep under two blankets with a warm dog snuggled up to me.

    And yes, I love my triple pane windows. The plastic insert is good both for sound reduction and insulation.

  78. “Stacey Abrams has to win next year and then manage a very successful Legislative term in a bipartisan way in 2023”

    Thanks, you just made me throw up in my mouth with the thought of the Kamel as POTUS and Stacey Abrams as VPOTUS.

    Oh, no, I was stating what Abrams would have to do to be the nominee for POTUS. Kamala or Abrams, Buttigieg will be VP, serving as the Deep State/CIA’s representative in the White House.

    Of course, Robert Francis would have to be in the Electoral College calculus if he defeats Abbott by a decent margin.

  79. @RickH, I won’t share my spreadsheet for two reasons. It contains too many specifics on our house, and it is not annotated much. Here is something better, a verbal description. Anyone who knows much about heat calcs and spreadsheets can roll his own, and Google is your friend. Also, it is limited, as discussed below. Here’s how.

    Get good measurements of all features of the envelope of the house: walls, windows, doors roof, etc. Everything that conducts heat to or from the house. Put all in a spreadsheet, a line for each item. I used columns for dimensions. You can get creative by tabulating the gross wall area, then subtracting the windows you will have listed separately. Annotate as you please; I don’t do much of that because I can simply look at the formulas on screen. I don’t print the results, but you could if you wish.

    Next, look up or calculate the U or R factors of all your house’s features, such as a door, a wall with specific insulation, etc. Put that in a column next to the calculated area. Since U=1/R, I simply put in two columns and have the sheet calculate the other one for easy viewing.

    Assume inside and outside temperatures, and multiply the difference by the U value of each item to get BTU/hr/sq ft/degree F. Add it up, and you have the heat conduction of the whole house in BTU/hr. You can use one temperature difference or different ones for individual rooms.

    As a refinement, I duplicated that table to the right of the first one. Then I could enter the values of the original and new items or the added insulation and compare them on the same sheet. I also created duplicate tabs of the same sheet for different options under consideration. I can pop between them on screen and see direct comparisons.

    That’s it. But wait, this is incomplete. As already mentioned, it doesn’t take into account insolation (heat gain from sun shining on a surface) or infiltration (air leaks.) That is left as an exercise for the reader. It also ignores the effect of humidity, a serious omission for some climates. There are ways to estimate these, or even measure them on an existing house.

    I did my original calcs using pencil and paper in 1975 or so. Took me a couple of evenings, and got me some good enough results, but it was tedious. Recently, I couldn’t find those paper calcs, so I just made new ones up using a spreadsheet. I prefer the latter, as it is easy to make changes and instantly see the results. The possibilities are many.

    There are precooked programs available, but I was in a hurry and have learned not to trust black box calculations with assumptions not well documented. That’s why my sheets are not good for anyone else. I did the whole spreadsheet in a couple of hours. I already had most dimensions and values, so it was just a matter of filling them in. I spent the next few hours considering alternatives and their effect on total energy loss in winter. That was all I cared about, and just really the differences caused by changes and added insulation.

    Give it a try. Maybe get a free or inexpensive program. These are often very good. I didn’t have the luxury of time, but that is another matter. If you have time, and you should make time, you can weigh tradeoffs that I didn’t even consider. If you are building a new house, please consult a pro, which is probably required, AND do some of your own calcs as a sanity check. The pro has to use approved software, and often doesn’t know anything a tax preparer would: data in, data out. Get a pro who knows the complexities and who is willing to give you good advice. Don’t forget that different climates have vastly different needs. Finally, good luck.

  80. Kamel as POTUS and Stacey Abrams as VPOTUS.

    –at least at that point no one could deny that the USA was the FUSA.

    n

    I am sorry but I have forgotten what FUSA stands for again ? And google did not work.

  81. –at least at that point no one could deny that the USA was the FUSA.

    The acronym could be interpreted several ways, but the ‘F’ in every iteration is the naughty word which ostensibly got me canned at the last job, at least the reason they gave Workforce Texas for termination.

    Linus Torvalds favorite word when talking about Nvidia.

  82. FUSA = Former United States of America

    THANK YOU !

    I knew it was something along those lines but I could not get past the word “free”.

  83. I knew it was something along those lines but I could not get past the word “free”. 

    I assumed something else, but I am not mentally well.

    I have to go back to the doctor on the 22nd after some tests and a CT scan of my heart next week.

    Sure, the doctor has good intentions, but I don’t have any interest in being fixed psychologically.

  84. Former. Not much uniting coming from “The Uniter” ol hoof in mouth Joe….

    FUSA is a bit of a meme on some of the other sites, WRSA in particular.

    n

  85. Speaking of mental illness, MIL will spread out and dry paper towels, but pours out my soda when I leave the glass in the kitchen.

    She’s incapable of leaving a bite on a plate or the table. So if there is a nice serving left over, she’ll pick at it, eating a bite or two at a time until there is too little left to save, then either declare she’s eating it because there’s too little, or she’ll throw that part away. Something isn’t right.

    n

    1
  86. Claims he was too high to remember what he did, but was cognizant enough to steal a change of clothes.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9669739/Girl-14-dies-stabbed-25-times-random-attack-skateboarding-home.html

    At the time of the attack on Paulsen, Kollie was on probation for a 2017 conviction for simple assault on a peace officer.

    Kollie had also pleaded guilty on May 7, 2021, to discharging a firearm within city limits, possessing a firearm as a felon and possessing drug paraphernalia, according to court documents.

    He was sentenced to 18 months of supervised release and 27 day in jail, which he served.

    n

    1

  87. Speaking of mental illness, MIL will spread out and dry paper towels, but pours out my soda when I leave the glass in the kitchen.

    She’s incapable of leaving a bite on a plate or the table. So if there is a nice serving left over, she’ll pick at it, eating a bite or two at a time until there is too little left to save, then either declare she’s eating it because there’s too little, or she’ll throw that part away. Something isn’t right.

    Does she hang up her teabags to dry and reuse? Does she run plastic silverware through the dishwasher? 🙂

    2
  88. @Nightraker

    The family ’71 Olds 455 was the first car I was able to borrow as a new licensee. Nimitz class rolling living room.”

    Vinyl top?


  89. Does she hang up her teabags to dry and reuse?

    I’ve been known to reuse coffee filters and I still laugh about the time I found about 1 TBS of peas my mother saved as leftovers. 🙂

    o/~ People are strange when you’re a stranger. .. o/~

  90. @JimB

    “It was said among insiders in the auto industry that Goodyear could only make excellent or very poor tires. Probably true. Back in the 1950s and 60s, Goodyear owned the OEM market, because they sold to the manufacturers for low-low prices. Not so much to you and me. I have had two different kinds of Goodyear tires that were excellent. Lucky me.”

    OEM tires were made to auto manufacturer’s specs, so the shortcomings accrue to them.

    I’ve been running Goodyear Assurance passenger tires on full-sized cars since the brand came out. Good all-weather tires. YMMV.

  91. @Nick

    from your quote above:

    “According to accounts from the mother and witnesses who stopped to help her, another car cut her off and she responded with a hand gesture and the car slipped in behind her and someone inside fired a shot through the rear of her car.”

    The way I read it, it was the other car that pulled in short in front of her and initiated the sequence. That other car then maneuvered to pull up behind her car to be able to shoot.

    I would call that a misdemeanor traffic offense, followed by a traffic maneuver that proves cold-blooded intent, and ending with a felony discharge of a weapon that resulted in felony murder.

    Same charges for the shooter and the driver, if they are not the same.

  92. @JimB

    Air infiltration can be significant. Did you have a blower door check? Likewise duct leakage can misdirect both heating and cooling.

    “The windows were second (we already had good windows, but were changing for other reasons.)”

    coated glass?

    IIRC, most effective installation of foundation insulation is to 12″ below grade, then run 12″ horizontally out from the foundation.

    EIFS (exterior insulation and finishing system) can add a lot of R-value to the walls and provide hail resistance to boot, but is pricey.

    Might be worthwhile to look at radiant barrier paint if repainting is in your future.

    The asphalt shingle industry, pigment manufacturers, and LLNL did a lot of work on the Cool Roof project. I had a lunch meeting with some of the players on another topic and when CR came up, I suggested that the geometry of the shingle surface was seriously working against them. That’s part of the reason that metal roofing market share expands every year.

    And as @Nick has discovered, a tree in the right place and 20-30 years can have huge dividends.

  93. @dr williams: The ’71 was midnight blue with black vinyl top and interior. What that car would not do was climb the parent’s driveway in snow. 2 caveats: The drive made an abrupt left hand turn around a rock garden that killed momentum and I worked nights at the time and got home before the plow guy.

  94. 73 Chrysler New Yorker, 440 with a 4 barrel, iirc, also not a good snow car, as the collection of damage from various collisions during one winter attested. HUGE trunk. HUGE interior. REALLY SCARY FAST from a rolling start. Really unique interior smell too, that I am remembering as I sit here.

    And now that I know a bit about tires, I can’t believe I got away with the abuse I put on the cheap tires that came on my Chevette in the early 80s. Sure it would only do 83mph downhill with a tail wind, but it would do a smuggler’s turn with the e-brake at 30… I’m amazed I never popped a tire, or broke a bead loose with all the high speed stuff I did to that car. Madness to do any of it in a car so rusted the floorboards had been replaced with sheet metal and carpet, and when the muffler guy got it up on the rack, he pointed out the cracks in the frame, which were never fixed. My little siblings drove it for years after that.

    There used to be a lot more ‘ruin’ in a car than there is today.

    n

  95. @dr williams: The ’71 was midnight blue with black vinyl top and interior. What that car would not do was climb the parent’s driveway in snow. 2 caveats: The drive made an abrupt left hand turn around a rock garden that killed momentum and I worked nights at the time and got home before the plow guy.

    Dad had a 1974 Oldsmobile 88, brown with a tan vinyl top. He traded it for a 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman in white with a white vinyl top and royal blue velour interior. 502 cubic inch V8 that would not pass a gas station. Well over 20 feet long with stretchout room for me and my brothers. At a year old, it got flooded in three feet of water under I-610 (Houston inner loop) on Braeswood when Meyerland (and the Meyer mansion) in Houston flooded for the first time in 1977. It always smelled mildewy after that so he traded it in on a Mercedes in 1977. I got to drive it a few times with supervision.
    https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/cadillac-fleetwood-talisman-king-of-the-dinosaurs/


  96. Does she run plastic silverware through the dishwasher?

    Wait, wait, doesn’t everybody do that? Saves water vs. washing them by hand you know…

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  97. Sometimes one wonders what top-level managers think. Or whether they actually bother…

    Our top weenies have come up with “8 cultural elements” that we are required to meet, discuss, and figure out how to support: “Organization”, “Trust”, “Responsibility”, “Opportunities”, etc., etc.. What did they do, read a beginner’s business book?

    After the required meetings, where we all pretended to care, they have now sent a mailing to all of us at home, with a nifty fold-out brochure.

    What a great way to waste time and money, while producing nothing of value. Obviously, the school administration has *way* to much time on its hands, probably because they are totally over-staffed. One colleague tried to see the positive side: “Better they waste their time on this, than on trying to tell us how to do our jobs.”

    As I approach retirement, I find I have less and less tolerance for crap like this. I barely resisted the temptation to tell them off. Another couple of years, and I won’t bother to resist…

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