Wed. June 16, 2021 – already running out of week

Maybe a bit cooler, what with the rain and thunderstorms and all… yesterday was hot and muggy, and bright sun until afternoon. The sky got a bit overcast, and by 5:30 the storm was rolling in. Temps dropped into the low 70s and the wind was whipping around. Parts of town got hammered, but here at the house we only got about a quarter inch by the gauge. Seemed like more.

Spent the day doing paper work. Finished late last night. Now it’s off to the CPA for tax filing. I also caught up on some other stuff I’d let slide, like renewing some memberships, canceling one of our TiVo boxes, messing around with the linux NVR, and filing paper. Threw a bunch out too.

Of course I took a break to play with the puppy, and the kids gave him a bath. He didn’t care for that much… but it sure gave him the zoomies, just like our other little guy.

There are more and more articles about inflation, and high prices, every day now. We’ve talked before about how quickly Venezuela went from “we might have a problem in a while” to “we are having a problem” to “tasty zebra, tasty rat.” Basically two years, and at no point was there a clear break with the past, so that you could say, “holy cow, it’s time to act.” We’ve also talked about why some people think that couldn’t happen with the US. Assertions don’t make reality though. What would you do differently if you KNEW we were in the first upward part of that curve? How much of that can you do without irrevocable changes? Think hard about doing it. In two years, runaway inflation can take it all, all your retirement savings, all the kids’ college money, all your savings, all of it. I don’t have a crystal ball, but no one else does either, and I don’t want to find myself saying “man, I wish I had just covered that bet, at least a little”.

Gold, durable goods, affordable everyday luxury items. Guns, ammo. Staples, especially ones that people don’t normally have in the cabinet, anything you need for yourself. Food. Repair and maintenance items. First aid and drugs. Those are all traditional good performers in an inflationary time.

Stack it high.

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 16, 2021 – already running out of week”

  1. Turns out that her Intel 480 GB model 535 SSD had fragged itself. Enough so we could not get it to boot anymore. We put it into two other machines which refused to talk to it and wanted to initialize it. I then put it into a USB enclosure which is usually very forgiving. No go. So tomorrow, me and my hammer will finish trashing the drive.

    None of the nearby credit unions sponsors a “shred day” event where they take paper and electronic media such as hard drives?

    The county animal shelter out here usually sponsors one every six months as part of a donation drive, but, even though the shred day is an outdoor event, Wuxu Flu hysteria put that schedule on hold.

    One corner of my attic is starting to look like “Hoarders”, with bags of paper waiting for the next shred day. The local storage facility accepts paper for destruction, charging by the pound, but, despite being fairly reasonable, I use that service rarely because the shredding gets done off site at a later time.

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  2. Tip for keeping yourself fed when everything breaks down: Before you eat a dead person that you find, check for a chinese crud vaccination card. If they have the card, don’t eat them. Don’t feed them to pigs that you’re going to eat. You just don’t know if the spike proteins will make you sick. It should be safe to mulch the person and fertilize plants.

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  3. Tip for keeping yourself fed when everything breaks down: Before you eat a dead person that you find, check for a chinese crud vaccination card. If they have the card, don’t eat them. Don’t feed them to pigs that you’re going to eat. You just don’t know if the spike proteins will make you sick. It should be safe to mulch the person and fertilize plants. 

    Don’t laugh. WA State legalized composting/mulching as a burial method for people at some point in the last couple of years. They’re always thinking ahead on the West Coast.

  4. I wasted some time with the Big River technical screening process the other night just to see if anything has changed and discuss what in-person work was available locally now that “working” from home is falling out of favor with Corporate America.

    Nothing has changed. I think the company got more out of the time expended than I did since they got to notch the “over 50” card for local/state/Federal EEO audits of their interviews.

    Whether or not I “decline to provide” information, the company has a file on me going back to a site visit I made to Seattle in early 2000. HR and the EEOC agencies can do math.

    If you want a job there, my best advice is to spend a few months playing with Hackerrank.com. Two random problems right out of that site are the core of their technical screening. In the most recent attempt Monday evening, I completed one but the results were considered suboptimal while the second problem was so badly worded that I gave up trying to decipher the intent about 15 minutes before the end of the allotted time.


  5. When a person is younger such coverage is probably not such a big deal. As one gets older the coverage becomes highly recommended. I am at that age and my next trip to Europe in 2022 will include travelers insurance for the spouse and I. Price is based on the cost of the trip. In our case the plane tickets making the cost about $300.00 to $500.00. The higher priced amount includes up to $1 million evacuation cost and includes paying 75% of the trip cost for cancellation for any reason.

    Mr. Ray could you post what company you use or will use? We used a company called Sevencorners.com for our trip to Grenada.

  6. I’ve been maskless for over two weeks now. I’ve been to Walmart, HEB, Barnes & Noble, Petco, a number of restaurants, plus other places and live to tell the tale. 

    Since Memorial Day, I go into places with a mask in hand to avoid potential problems, but I don’t wear it unless the business has a sign explicitly requiring one of everybody. The only places that do are, strangely, the UPS Store and the contract Post Office around the corner at the u-store-it.

    Masks in Home Depot, Lowes, and Sam’s have seemed ridiculous to me from Day One.

    Costco too, but their management is hip deep in the Prog orthodoxy and had to make sure Governor Inslee was reelected in WA State last Fall.

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  7. Air Fryers

    Aren’t these just convection ovens? Don’t most ovens offer convection anyway? Maybe I’m out of touch with the US market, but here that’s normal. What am I missing?

    I concur. I brought up the same point a couple of weeks ago, Brad. “Air fryers” are just countertop convection ovens.

    Maybe one could find a light material (nylon? canvas?) to use for a shade, that wouldn’t mess up the signals. The supporting frame might be a problem…

    The military covers some of their dishes in a bubble both as a protection from the elements and because the location of the satellites they point at is classified. Granted, they use much bigger dishes that are able to better penetrate that cover and any weather, but I imagine something similar could be put around a residential dish. Here’s an example you can zoom in on: https://goo.gl/maps/AqZRibfTYeSHS83f9

    now that “working” from home is falling out of favor with Corporate America.

    Greg, have you considered talking to a professional about your irrational hate of those who WFH? lol Help is out there. You just need to ask for it. 🙂

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  8. now that “working” from home is falling out of favor with Corporate America.’

    Greg, have you considered talking to a professional about your irrational hate of those who WFH? lol Help is out there. You just need to ask for it.

    It isn’t irrational. I’ve seen too much on the job, including a decade supplying IBM’s VPN tech.

    Outside of someone running a business from home or a small number of really self-motivated employees in certain industries, the concept doesn’t work.

    I do understand that the group consensus developed over the last 10 years in the US is contrary to my thinking on the subject. “Sssh, shut up, dude. The kids gotta go to soccer and there’s day trading to be done. The company is circling the drain so what’s the point?”

    I’ve never been a “dude” in 30 years. Psychoanalysis would just be a waste of time since I understand the problem. It is the core of what got me fired at the last job.

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  9. Maybe one could find a light material (nylon? canvas?) to use for a shade, that wouldn’t mess up the signals. The supporting frame might be a problem…

     

    Back in the days of the huge original satellite dishes, my brother in law was required by his HOA* to cover it with a “cozy”, that sort of disguised it as a patio umbrella.   I don’t know what material it was made of, but it looked like ordinary outdoor nylon, and was opaque. Didn’t interfere with the signal at all.

     

    *That was when I first decided to never never never buy a house in any HOA governed neighborhood. And we never did. Even our house on Lavaca Bay was free of the tyrants.

     

     

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  10. WTAF. NASA is at it again. What happened to the “best of the best”:

    SLS. One launch. Then NASAs mission for the following decade will be to remove the tooling from the three high bays of the VAB at Kennedy — one is leased out to … someone* — dismantle the three (!) launch towers either completed or in progress, and plan the next boondoggle.

    And Dr. Pournelle bemoaned Shuttle eating the dream. At least Shuttle flew.

    Pray for SpaceX and Gwynne Shotwell.

    * The lease on the single high bay has gone through several aerospace company hands via mergers and bankruptcies. I haven’t kept up since we moved out of Florida.


  11. Hunter Biden’s abstract art to sell for $500K to ‘anonymous’ and ‘confidential’ collectors says his ex-con agent, raising serious questions about WHO the buyers are

    Hunter Biden, who has no professional background as an artist, will be selling off his artwork at a solo exhibition in New York City this fall
    The 51-year-old’s ex-con art dealer Georges Berges has priced Biden’s abstract artworks between $75,000 and $500,000
    All sales of Biden’s artwork will be kept confidential
    The staggering prices of the artwork and the revelations that buyers will remain anonymous has quickly sparked fears of bribery and money laundering
    There are concerns the sales of Biden’s artwork could result in people laundering money, or anonymous buyers in places like Russia using it to avoid US sanctions
    Also fears buyers with nefarious interests could pay for the artworks in the hopes of gaining access to President Biden through his son

    —naw, couldn’t be. He’s already done the vanity book, the corporate board, the consulting fee, the partner on sketchy deals which only ever MAKE money, the nod and wink investment opportunities…. what’s left for a scheming grifter??? OH! Sell some “art”.

    n


  12. (from last Friday) Wow. Just finished both seasons of Counterpart on Amazon Prime and it’s the best show I’ve seen in ages. Someone paid for writers who could write and actors who could act instead of CGI. Whoddathunkit?

    @~jim; agreed. Just recently rewatched the first few episodes of Season 1 to get the wife caught up and then binged the rest. A series you really have to pay attention to at times to be sure which world you’re currently in and which are the “prime” characters (sometimes, but not always indicated in the closed captions). Disappointing that Season 3 was cancelled.

    Have you seen Man in the High Castle? Also involves parallel worlds.

  13. “Sssh, shut up, dude. The kids gotta go to soccer and there’s day trading to be done. The company is circling the drain so what’s the point?”

    I’m not surprised by that attitude. Hard work is generally rewarded with more hard work. Coming in under deadline usually results in unrealistic management expectations and the next deadline being moved up. Employee loyalty is rewarded with layoffs. They’ve seen great employees get laid off and complete slackers get retained. The number of people who fail upwards is shocking. Employees are realizing they’re just a number to their employer. The growing “f_ck my employer” attitude is one that US employers have earned for themselves. So, it has become an unspoken game for employees to see just how little they can do and still get a paycheck. Even the ones with a great work ethic witness the others getting away with it and lose their motivation. Heck, I know people who wait a week to tell their boss they’re done with a project just so they can spend a week coasting.

    I love the, “What are you trying to do – get us all fired? You got to slow down. Pace yourself.” scene from Big. It’s a very accurate depiction of attitudes in corporate America. Here’s a clip.

    As I’ve said before, people WFH aren’t working less. They’re doing the same amount of work as always. They just get to spend their free time doing things they want to do rather than staring at their office wall or wandering around BS’ing with coworkers. Every morning on my way to my desk I glance at one monitor after another as I pass by other cubicles. I’ve made a game out of how many people are actually doing work versus web surfing (or have been inactive so long their monitors have powered off). “I get here at 7:15 every morning!” “Umm, yea, way to show up 45 minutes early to web surf, drink coffee, and chit-chat. They should make you employee of the month.” lol

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  14. Mr. Ray could you post what company you use or will use?

    I have no idea. Will deal with that when I book the tickets. I will contact my primary insurance agent to see what, if anything, they offer.


  15. (from yesterday) I don’t know anything about the Glazer facility, and the family with their name on the building own the Yucs, PR from back in the “Rah” Morris bargain basement coaching days.

    Haven’t been to the Glazer place for some time so can’t really comment on it. It’s adjacent to (part of?) the Curtis Hixon waterfront park. City has done a decent job of extending the RiverWalk walkway alongside the Hillsborough River. There’s a small, fenced, off-leash dog park along the way if you’re bringing the pooch and a cool fountain in one of the plazas that turns into an impromptu splashpad despite the ‘do not’ signs. There’s also a Taco Bus location a couple of blocks away for a good lunch. https://taco-bus.com/stores/taco-bus-downtown-tampa/ And if you happen to be a railfan, most evenings during the week you can get up close to freight trains spotting freight cars via street-level tracks running through downtown.

  16. As I’ve said before, people WFH aren’t working less. They’re doing the same amount of work as always. They just get to spend their free time doing things they want to do rather than staring at their office wall or wandering around BS’ing with coworkers.

    Agreed. I was an early WFH, and managed a team that was mixed: some in the corporate office, some in a big office in a different state, and several others who worked from home. Several things I discovered when visiting the corp HQ:

    (1) Most people in the office arrived late due to Silicon Valley traffic, gathered and went to the Starbucks as a group for coffee, making about 45 minutes of the trip. They repeated this in the afternoon. And of course, lunch. I just walked to the kitchen before starting work at 8 am.  There were a few like me who worked in the office, but they’d have been great employees no matter where they worked from.
    (2) Those in the office, even the productive ones, spent at least a full hour each day looking for an open conference room, or strolling to meetings in other buildings, and then spent the first 20 minutes or half hour there waiting for “important” people to arrive. I just dialed in, then worked on other things while waiting for them to open the call.
    (3) Anyone seated in a different building – heck, even a different floor of the same building – might as well have been in Kalamazoo. The group in the cluster simply “forgot” about them, didn’t bother to alert them to sudden F2F meets or of changes to scheduled ones, and never ever made any effort to go see them at their desk.
    (4) Office folks might not leave until 6, but on Fridays they tended to leave the office right after lunch (after, so that they “worked” more than half a day….). They would sometimes come back to the office for emergency situations, but rarely.
    (5) Office folks got high praise from upper mgmt if they called in to a meeting “while on vacation”. Me? I could never use all my PTO because too many office people were always on vacation or “traveling for the business”. Every time I was scheduled to take off, there would inevitably be some “urgent” event with meetings that required my input.
    (6) People from other departments in the non-corp office spent way too much time concerning themselves with what my staff were doing – they could see the people, but couldn’t see their management so they “worried”.
    (7) Facilities in that non-corp office could never be bothered to alert me – or my team members – when they decided to MOVE them to a new seat. My people would come in to work and be told to clear their desks and the new place wouldn’t be available to them until several hours later. So anything they had planned for that day’s work was just shot, without warning.
    (8) I used some simple and effective ways of keeping up with whether my people were at their desks and being productive, long before video. I could go back and review at any time and “show their work”. I was more likely to know where my people were and what they were doing than office managers knew about their employees. As a result, my team was highly productive.
    (9) There ARE some people, such as Gregg has dealt with, who are not suited to work from home. Those who are lazy, can’t manage their time, or love to gossip, are really lousy when not under the constant eye of a supervisor. FWIW, such people are often not very good in-office employees either, although they may fool “management” into thinking they are.

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  17. My Canadian management and in-office group got very little done. There was a tremendous amount of walking around (big facility, test, staging, shipping, manufacture, office in several locations), going for coffee in the cafeteria, and mandatory “wellness” breaks. They had a girl with a boombox come thru twice a day and get everyone up to shake their @ss for 5-10 minutes. It took about 40 minutes for her to work thru each pod of open cubicles, so the whole floor was disrupted.

    There was a lot of sharepoint updating, moving stuff around, and other computer make work, then the leaving early for hockey or soccer, or because “Americans work too much” was astounding.

    They were struggling to account for 37.5 hours a day, and the field teams were logging 80-100 hours.

    n

  18. My Canadian management and in-office group got very little done. There was a tremendous amount of walking around (big facility, test, staging, shipping, manufacture, office in several locations), going for coffee in the cafeteria, and mandatory “wellness” breaks. They had a girl with a boombox come thru twice a day and get everyone up to shake their @ss for 5-10 minutes. It took about 40 minutes for her to work thru each pod of open cubicles, so the whole floor was disrupted. 

    My experience with Canadian management, CGI in Belton, was heads-down work all day in the office. Whether the work was relevant or not is debatable, but the floor plan and intense, active network security discouraged occupying time with a browser. The agreement with the city and Bell County for certain tax breaks, which made the office profitable, limited working from home. Plus we did a lot of financial industry work in the building and had to comply with PCI rules.

    The only really different aspects about the work environment which I figured were pure Canadian influence were:

    1. No “drug free work place” emphasis. No random tests or training videos.

    2. Almost mandatory paycheck deduction for office activities such as monthly group lunches and holiday meals under the label of a “social club”.

    3. Extreme emphasis on employee stock ownership over 401(k) investment.

    4. Paycheck based on what the management felt was appropriate for the Belton cost of living, based on their extensive involvement with local governments and various civic groups at Fort Hood.

    Certainly no boombox girl or cafeteria. The breakroom had minimal coffee service and a vending machine.

    Sharepoint yes. We had MBAs hired and promoted on the basis of quality Sharepoint work. I never thought about it being a “Canada” thing.


  19. “You Can Run Doom on a Chip From a $15 Ikea Smart Lamp”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/you-can-run-doom-on-a-chip-from-a-15-ikea-smart-lamp

    “Software engineer Nicola Wrachien demoed his creation in a video that shows the chip running a memory-optimized version of Doom over his custom hardware.”

    I don’t understand why people are doing this …

    To pass the time while waiting for the Arizona vote recount to finish??

    https://ktar.com/story/4496413/recount-done-for-2-1-million-ballots-in-audit-of-maricopa-county-election/

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  20. –yeah, a lot of things “didn’t have to happen” but do. I’d rather turn all of AZ into a prison so we could lock up the people who should be locked up (found guilty and sentenced but let out to commit more crimes and ruin more lives). It would cost less to fence AZ than stop all bad things from happening.

    Hey @nick; why picking on AZ? Why not, say, NM?

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  21. NM mostly belongs to indian tribes, and I lived in AZ for 5 years…

    And the tough sheriff with the tent prisons and pink clothes was from there.

    I’m sure there are other suitable places…. for some, a wood chipper and a biodiesel facility are the most appropriate.

    n
    \
    added- and from my visit to NM and what I see of AZ in my alumni newsletter, we’ve already lost both to the woke and the invaders.


  22. (from yesterday) Renton man charged with homicide after selling fentanyl pills to a Bellevue woman

    Wow, this is just so wrong. Am I missing something, or would he be equally culpable if he’d sold her a can of Drano and she snorted it?

    @~jim; why “so wrong”? The charge is actually “controlled substance homicide,” which fentanyl is, and Drano is not. Not to mention all the cautions and warnings on the Drano bottle. Or am I missing something here?

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  23. F-150, time to step aside…

    CEO Elon Musk predicted earlier this year that the Model Y would be the best-selling vehicle globally in 2022. “When it comes to Model Y, we think Model Y will be the best-selling car or vehicle of any kind in the world and probably next year,” he said during the Q1 2021 Earnings Call. “So I’m not 100% certain next year, but I think it’s quite likely. I’d say more likely than not that in 2022, Model Y is the best-selling car or truck of any kind in the world.”

    https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-y-long-range-demand-q3-near-sellout/


  24. Employee loyalty is rewarded with layoffs. They’ve seen great employees get laid off and complete slackers get retained. The number of people who fail upwards is shocking. Employees are realizing they’re just a number to their employer.

    Saw another example of that for myself just last Thursday. I survived the RIF myself, but I’m still shaking my head over how much institutional knowledge we lost.

    Sigh.

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  25. F-150, time to step aside…

    The RAV4 is currently the most popular vehicle sold in the US with an asterisk, due to the chip shortage.

    Total 2020 sales for just the RAV4 were over 400,000 vehicles. Even Camry sold nearly 300,000 despite the public’s lack of enthusiasm for sedans. And Ford will recover 2021 at some point. TSLA has a long way to go to catch the big companies.

    Tony needs to lay off the weed.

  26. More puppetry on display as Joe starts his post-summit presser:

    “As usual folks, they gave me a list of people I’m supposed to call on.”

    Really?? And he announces this?!?

    And did they let Putin go first so Joe could have some nap time?


  27. Saw another example of that for myself just last Thursday. I survived the RIF myself, but I’m still shaking my head over how much institutional knowledge we lost.

    My experience after 37 years at the same company doing IT is that no one is irreplacable and of late those who remain know the ‘do more with less’ mantra and that includes rebuilding the lost knowledge. In fact, sometimes those that remain get dinged for not having adequately documented the system. The whole big “DevOps” push is/was supposed to help but to many seems just to be another FOTD.

  28. Slow Joe seems to have no mental or verbal filters left. Perhaps he’s self aware enough to resent the control?

    There have been several times where I was astounded to find I was APPROVING of what he said in frank and brutal honesty. He has moments, not only of lucidity, but honesty completely unlike a career politician.

    FWIW, find a copy of Interface, by Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George, released under a pseudonym originally.

    https://www.amazon.com/Interface-Novel-Neal-Stephenson-ebook/dp/B000FCK4UY

    There’s no way William A. Cozzano can lose the upcoming presidential election. He’s a likable midwestern governor with one insidious advantage—an advantage provided by a shadowy group of backers. A biochip implanted in his head hardwires him to a computerized polling system. The mood of the electorate is channeled directly into his brain. Forget issues. Forget policy. Cozzano is more than the perfect candidate. He’s a special effect.

    The handlers use the guy’s pre-existing mental associations with the implanted chip to trigger the guy’s natural responses. One example was a bullet passing overhead, he “ducks” and verbally changes gears while speaking… A lot of Bidden’s verbal behaviour looks like triggered canned (or characteristic) responses to me. When he doesn’t have a cliche or verbal tic to fall back on, he blanks or he’s completely honest and says what he shouldn’t.

    n

  29. We have governors like Greg Abbott in Texas who are promoting mining.

    Unless they are willing to sell power for 2-3 cents/kwh, mining no longer makes financial sense. Given the hardware investment, the miners aren’t going to just want to take excess power “once in a while” – they’ll want power available (this is a wag) probably at least 12 hours a day.

    There are three classes of commercial interruptible power in Texas. The lowest class sells for about 3 cents/kwh.

  30. Starlink dishes go into “thermal shutdown” once they hit 122° Fahrenheit

    Uh-oh. Today’s high was something like 109F. I will be watching this issue before I send in my $100.

    Don’t forget that the dish has to be out in the open – so, in the sun – in order to work. Most things that might cast shade (like trees) will also interfere with the signal. So it isn’t even the ambient temperature, but the temperature in full sun that counts. So, basically the entire US South is out of luck in the summer.

    Maybe one could find a light material (nylon? canvas?) to use for a shade, that wouldn’t mess up the signals. The supporting frame might be a problem…

    Looks like Starlink is going to need a high temperature antenna with active cooling. I’ll bet that the antenna just needs a variable speed fan inside it.

  31. no one is irreplaceable

    –while this is technically true, the corollary is that some people are EXTREMELY expensive to replace. When I left bigcorp, they ended up leaving the oil and gas industry in the US, and within six months disbanded the whole group I was a part of. I’d been ‘making things work’ in the field, and when I left there was no one left to actually do the work, to make things work, or that the clients trusted.

    I could have been replaced, in theory, but there wasn’t really anyone else with my skillset, institutional knowledge, or customer history. Some of the customers I had serviced thru three different companies, and they were not willing to accept a junior guy, with no history as a replacement.

    From the customer’s point of view, after I was gone, the bigcorp turned out to not be ‘irreplaceable’ and they fired them in favor of another bigcorp.

    n

  32. The lowest class sells for about 3 cents/kwh.

    — about what I pay, with a 4c delivery charge, without any particular effort to find lower.

    n

  33. now that “working” from home is falling out of favor with Corporate America.

    Greg, have you considered talking to a professional about your irrational hate of those who WFH? lol Help is out there. You just need to ask for it.

    IIRC, Greg works from home (Austin, TX) for an out of state corporation.

    Put me in the list of corporations that hate working from home. It is a lot of work to support absent people.

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  34. There have been several times where I was astounded to find I was APPROVING of what he said in frank and brutal honesty. He has moments, not only of lucidity, but honesty completely unlike a career politician.

    I believe we’re living life-imitating-art in the “Patterns of Force” episode of original “Star Trek”.

    That “Fuhrer” was lucid at the end of the episode … shortly before he was shot by the cabal who was the real power. I’m not kidding when I say that Dr. Jill Biden is probably the one reason her husband is still alive. That and a divided Senate incapable of producing a tie breaker vote for VP the moment Kamala Harris moves up out of the chair.

  35. no one is irreplaceable

    –while this is technically true, the corollary is that some people are EXTREMELY expensive to replace. When I left bigcorp, they ended up leaving the oil and gas industry in the US, and within six months disbanded the whole group I was a part of. I’d been ‘making things work’ in the field, and when I left there was no one left to actually do the work, to make things work, or that the clients trusted.

    I could have been replaced, in theory, but there wasn’t really anyone else with my skillset, institutional knowledge, or customer history. Some of the customers I had serviced thru three different companies, and they were not willing to accept a junior guy, with no history as a replacement.

    From the customer’s point of view, after I was gone, the bigcorp turned out to not be ‘irreplaceable’ and they fired them in favor of another bigcorp.

    Where I am at one of the things on your annual review that your direct supervisor (and, in turn, their direct supervisor as well) must review is whether you’re the only person that does what you do. If so, you have to justify it. Every year. To committee. I think the idea is to make cross-training your people and hiring competent people less of a hassle than annually explaining why you’re one tragic accident or resignation away from being f’ed.

  36. The lowest class sells for about 3 cents/kwh.

    — about what I pay, with a 4c delivery charge, without any particular effort to find lower.

    n

    Nope, their TOTAL charge is 3 cents/kwh. Interruptible means that they can cut them off at any time for hours on end. Kind of like being a residential customer in Texas.

  37. There have been several times where I was astounded to find I was APPROVING of what he said in frank and brutal honesty. He has moments, not only of lucidity, but honesty completely unlike a career politician.

    I believe we’re living life-imitating-art in the “Patterns of Force” episode of original “Star Trek”.

    That “Fuhrer” was lucid at the end of the episode … shortly before he was shot by the cabal who was the real power. I’m not kidding when I say that Dr. Jill Biden is probably the one reason her husband is still alive. That and a divided Senate incapable of producing a tie breaker vote for VP the moment Kamala Harris moves up out of the chair.

    Mittens will vote for any blue dog that the dumbrocrats put up there for VP.

  38. It was def poor management on the office’s side. They were far away and never really understood the business. They were a manufacturer at heart with an assembly line approach to business when they should have been a custom design build shop (for our customers.)

    Senior management never could understand that our group was design build and customer focused, not shipping boxes of product focused.

    The projects were $500k to multi million and the customers were O&G, sovereign nations, three letter and .mil agencies, but each one was a unique project, with unique needs. They were not about selling a thousand widgets this quarter. You manage goals, sales, and people differently in those businesses.

    Occasionally I miss my client/customers, I miss solving their problems, but I do not miss working for that company.

    n

    –added- as such, they couldn’t understand the personal nature of the business, nor the timeline, or that each of us in the field had different history, training, and strengths. They really didn’t believe I (or the other field staff for that matter) was that important, that was abundantly clear when I left.

  39. Where I am at one of the things on your annual review that your direct supervisor (and, in turn, their direct supervisor as well) must review is whether you’re the only person that does what you do. If so, you have to justify it. Every year. To committee. I think the idea is to make cross-training your people and hiring competent people less of a hassle than annually explaining why you’re one tragic accident or resignation away from being f’ed.

    I guess that means no Einsteins or Bohrs allowed.

  40. Weather liars and I got it wrong today, so far anyway.

    Clear and sunny, just hit 100F in the sun, 47%RH.

    I guess there is still time for some cr@p to blow in, but it’s hot and beautiful so far.

    n

  41. plugs is the worst as witnessed by his snapping at the female CNN journalist. He is an ugly, dementia riddled, career bureaucrat. Will the M5M wake up or just keep kissing his ass? He would be dead meat without the Doctor.

    2
    1
  42. How do you F up selling dope to the addled?

    n

    that right there should be the pat case for why government can’t do as well as private enterprise.

  43. My previous employer let me go one day before an anniversary so they could pay me less severance. I believe I was collateral damage from management misbehavior even though I had nothing to do with it.

    The company that bought us a few months before never understood the technical constraints of our market and tried to solve it their way, which didn’t work. I heard that after I was let go, they messed up a lot of customer installs.

    So much for my loyalty.

  44. Thank you for the recommendations for air fryers.  I’ll look for convection toaster ovens.

    As for putting the crockpot on the back porch… not on the floor.  It was on a table.  One reason for using it outside was the smell.  If you smell a pot roast cooking all day, it’s not exciting come supper time.

    Now for the prepper report. (TM optional)

    I have a can of Auguson powdered cheese.  Like a rock.  Has a hint of the last powder from a stale bag of Cheetos.  I have a can of their powdered butter.  Nice, fresh tasting, and fluffy.  Both are the same age.

    The butter powder measures like stick butter.  Just add water.

    So 1/4 cup of butter powder into the Pryex measuring cup.  About the same of cheese powder.  I eyeballed the amount to look like the contents from a box of mac’n’cheese.  The pot of water was starting to steam.  I used some that water for the cheese/butter mix.  Used a whisk and ended with what looked like the contents of the pouch from a box of “Velveeta and Shells”.  Nasty plastic stuff.  But from a box a year past “best by”. Not bright yellow-orange.

    Tasted a little old but passable.  Better than the pouch of Velveeta goo any day.

    Boiled and drained a few handfuls of macaroni.  Added the cheese mix.  A little bit of saved pasta water.  Two cans of drained tuna.  Black pepper, salt.

    It was pretty good.  Just a small bowl leftover.

    Hey, why buy and stack the stuff if you never eat any?  Come the Mutant Zombie Attack, cooking over a camp fire just adds to the learning curve.

    2
  45. @paul, the hardness is likely caused by a lack of ‘anti-caking’ agents, like sand and cellulose… so be glad!

    I’ve got a couple of newish cases of Kraft mac n cheese that did not store well. The powders all taste ‘old’ and are smashed together and the color is changing. Too much heat during storage I think.

    I have been boiling the mac and making my own cheese with from Hoosier Hill Farm.

    I use milk or cream to make the sauce. Def benefits from butter on the mac, and salt.

    Despite the bright color, you need more than you think to get the flavor.

    It has stored well and tastes good.

    I also have powdered butter and cream from them, but availability varies.

    n

  46. @paul, the hardness is likely caused by a lack of ‘anti-caking’ agents, like sand and cellulose… so be glad!

    Less sawdust is a good thing. The next can of cheese powder will be divvied up and vac-sealed in one cup or so portions.

    Also the butter powder just because.

  47. @rick, the above is one way your amazon link thingy breaks… I added the link using the link button, but put a space after the original link. you mentioned doing that some time back, so I’m in the habit.

    No other edits, but there was clearly a conflict between the link tool and the add in.

    n

  48. How do you F up selling dope to the addled?

    Red tape. Taxes.

    One of the Chinese relations still makes big money from selling illegal weed in WA State. He didn’t have to sit on a waiting list for a retailing license, and the “sin” taxes are not his problem.

     

    1
  49. FWIW, all my attempts were from the text tab of the comments form.

    n


  50. How do you F up selling dope to the addled?

    Get the government involved.

    2
  51. FYI. Chlorine tablet powder on the end of the male private part, hurts. That is all.

    Memo to self: Wash hands thoroughly, more than once, after handling tablets before handling other objects. That is all.

    8
  52. Watch him touch his ear, adjust his “hearing aid” and then act when she stops talking…

    Sadly, “Broadcast News” has been politically incorrect for decades because hit too close to home for at least one network anchor.

    Disney owns it now. Good luck getting any acknowledgement for the 35th anniversary next year.

    1
  53. Sadly, “Broadcast News” has been politically incorrect for decades because hit too close to home for at least one network anchor.

    And at least one scene in it is not exaggerated (much): this one (the first minute-and-a-half of the clip). Picture a much younger me in the role of the production assistant doing a runner through the offices.

    G.

     

  54. That’s a great scene. Modern version would include hong kong wire work and the girl would be the hero.

    n

  55. Wow, that lantern I bought is a vintage Petromax, with carrying case, unused with all the packing material in place. $200-500 on ebay. Holy cow.

    n

  56. He’s baaaack. If there was any doubt, that all went bye bye the moment you hear the familiar voice/greeting.

    No spoilers unless you are a hardcore fan who notices a few things are … missing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHMti7u9TBE

    Forget Jeri Ryan ageing well. John DeLancie is 73. He was a doctor on “Emergency” near the end of that series’ run.

    Of course, if the rumors about “Picard” edits are true, that scene may have been shot three years ago.

  57. Ooh, the music gave me shivers, but I don’t care much about the series, no reason to even know it was coming. Been out of the trek habit for a decade or more.

    n


  58. @~jim; why “so wrong”? The charge is actually “controlled substance homicide,” which fentanyl is, and Drano is not.

    Both the sale and ingestion were made voluntarily, without force, violence, threat or deceit.

  59. @dcp

    The best times to look for another job are right after:

    a promotion and pay rise

    surviving a RIF

    losing a good manager

     

    2
  60. Both the sale and ingestion were made voluntarily, without force, violence, threat or deceit.

    But the seller thought about it, therefore a thought crime. If he hated to do the sale, it would be a hate crime.

    1
  61. Ooh, the music gave me shivers, but I don’t care much about the series, no reason to even know it was coming. Been out of the trek habit for a decade or more.

    “Piccard” really should have happened about 10 years ago. The Stage 8/9 era ran out of steam creatively, but people still watched.

  62. @Mark W

    “So much for my loyalty. ”

    I had a summer job that was a last-minute replacement for another job that fell through.

    One day I had a conversation with my immediate supervisor that included his observation, apropos of nothing, that he figured you worked and the company paid you, and it was an even exchange. It reinforced what my father told me a couple years before, that you didn’t owe a company any loyalty, even though they tried to inculcate the obligation.

     

  63. Kim du Toit was a business analyst and reporter for much of his career. Ten or fifteen years ago he wrote an essay on the “contract” between employers and employees, as practiced in the US. He said that, for the most part, employers would treat employees as assets and do their best to retain them. In exchange, employees would show considerable loyalty to the employer. That changed in the early 1980s with the rise of the Harvard Business School approach to the quarterly bottom line above all other considerations. Employees came to be viewed as expenses rather than as assets and they were dropped as soon as they became unprofitable.

    du Toit didn’t mention, at least not in that essay, the rise of the HR department in response to government regulations concerning Equal Opportunity and other resource sinks.

    Bottom line, the century-old “social contract” between employer and employee was broken. By the employers. Most managers still appeal to team loyalty in order to get more work or to discourage employees from looking for other jobs, but they offer nothing in exchange.

    This will be old hat to many of you, either because you’ve learned about US business history or because you lived through it. It was a revelation to me because I was too young to have seen loyalty coming from corporations, but du Toit’s observations matched what I’d seen myself in the 1990s.

    11
  64. Today’s been a crap day for me. I’ve been up since 3, having gotten slightly over three hours of sleep. I’m not sure what woke me but suspect it was either revving engines, sirens, or a crash on the highway half a mile from the house.

    So, aside from dragging on that basis, Things Went Wrong at work, with a database having horked and me needing to deal with the splatter, and someone needing several special runs of a program, which normally wouldn’t have been a problem but with my brain not working right it was a challenge. On top of that, the girls* were mostly good but needed to be constantly prodded to do something productive rather than just play Minecraft all day. And I was supposed to do a technical interview but got the prospective employer to push it back a day.

    * My own plus one of her school friends. She’s been with us since the end of school last Friday and would like to stay with us as much as possible for the rest of the summer. She’s a good kid** and no problem and we have room for her, but I have to wonder what’s going on that her parents don’t have a problem with it. She’s one of five kids and their house isn’t that big, so maybe they are willing to give away their second-oldest in order to have more room and less noise? Seems odd.

    ** At least for us. Contrarywise, her parents claim that our daughter is a perfect angel at their house, which I won’t gainsay even though it goes completely against my experience with her.

  65. @dcp

    The best times to look for another job are right after:

    a promotion and pay rise

    surviving a RIF

    losing a good manager

    Yup on “losing a good manager”. I had my boss get promoted to being plant manager. His replacement was a weasel scumbag who could not make things happen even though I made him shine. I had been told by buddy who made a lateral transfer to another job that I should take his old job. So I jumped and took his old job. The new boss promoted me to Senior Engineer at the tender age of 27 within a year of me going to work for him. I was the youngest senior engineer ever at the company of 16,000 people. And then I left the company after two more years and went back to software engineering.

    Six months after I left, they laid off the 5,000 person engineering department one Friday afternoon. I would have survived but my old job moved from downtown Dallas to the Operations Center 20 miles south of downtown. And I lived 17 miles north of downtown Dallas. That would have been an awesome commute.


  66. you worked and the company paid you, and it was an even exchange

    This is true, and I believe it a lot more since the last job. The current job suffers from being a medium sized corp with all the silo-ing and secrets and HR stuff that goes with it. No wokeness yet, it could be worse.

    It’s hard when you want to do a good job, but the company values the paperwork being on time more than good work.

  67. Ok, the office manager has a whole new PC. Her old Intel 2600K is out in the dumpster. It locked up twice on us this morning and I decided it was time. New case, power supply, Intel 7600K, 16 GB ram. etc, etc.

    Sigh. It costs so much money and time to get this stuff swapped out.


  68. None of the nearby credit unions sponsors a “shred day” event where they take paper and electronic media such as hard drives?

    One of the negatives of the forced WFH – no access to the office shred bins. Same for the supply closet. And come to think of it, is there a year’s worth of junk mail piled on my desk at the office? But then again, I no longer have an assigned desk. Oh how the world has changed.


  69. swap?

    In fact, I suggested that just this evening when she made the nightly call. No one seemed inclined to go along with my idea, brilliant idea though it was.

    The current job suffers from being a medium sized corp with all the silo-ing and secrets and HR stuff that goes with it. No wokeness yet, it could be worse.

    My employer’s new-ish owner is a corp, certainly more than a thousand employees total but I haven’t been able to find the size. Horridly woke, as it’s a health insurance company and almost all of the employees either are fully on board with the agenda or just shut up to avoid trouble. I’m the only one I know of who spoke up against the woke BS in the long-past days when we worked in the office. (It caused much aggravation, but I’ll note that I never started a political conversation or intentionally brought up a controversial topic; it was the libtards who simply could not keep their mouths shut about how Trump needed to be impeached and thrown in jail for life. Amusingly, when one screeching misandrist got on my nerves, I repeated back what she’d just said except that I swapped the male and female portions. She about had a case of the vapors, then ran to tell on me and get someone to fire me for sexual harrassment. Too bad for her, she started the hostile workplace environment and I told the boss and the HR person that I was prepared to file a complaint and a lawsuit if I heard another word about it.) (As I’ve mentioned, I’m keeping my eyes open for a new job, but I’m being picky. No sense in going to someplace else just as bad.)

  70. @SteveF

    Take the kid in, no questions asked, if you can. I spent a good deal of time staying at a friend’s house in my teens and I’m grateful beyond words for it. Looking back, the stability seems most important; not sure why.

  71. Lynn, you might look into virtual machines for work. Set up the basic OS, whether Windows or Mac or even Linux, and then create a VM and install your accounting and contacts software and whatever else the office manager needs. Then make a backup of the VM, followed by periodic backups. If either the machine craps out or something gets hosed in the setup, delete the VM and restore from backup.

    You can probably do the same for the developers’ environments, especially if most have pretty much the same setup.


  72. Take the kid in, no questions asked, if you can.

    We can. We have the room, and food and miscellaneous expenses aren’t a concern. Without pushing her on her home life or asking just why she wants to spend the summer with us, I’ve told her she’s welcome, so long as she wants to be here and her parents allow.

    That said, I don’t think her home life is terrible, just crowded and noisy and of course brothers and sisters are pests. And her best friend’s here. Plus, even though both girls grumble about it, I don’t think they really mind being pushed to do “learning” stuff for several hours per day because they’re both old enough and smart enough to know that being allowed to just goof around all day gets real old, real quick.

  73. Lynn, you might look into virtual machines for work. Set up the basic OS, whether Windows or Mac or even Linux, and then create a VM and install your accounting and contacts software and whatever else the office manager needs. Then make a backup of the VM, followed by periodic backups. If either the machine craps out or something gets hosed in the setup, delete the VM and restore from backup.

    You can probably do the same for the developers’ environments, especially if most have pretty much the same setup.

    I still would need a desktop for each person. I am trying to run the PCs too long, the office manager’s old PC was 9 years old.


  74. I still would need a desktop for each person.

    Yes, but switching to a new machine would consist of installing the VM software (VMWare or whatever), copying down the image, and starting it. Bada-boom, bada-bing, you’re where you were as of the point that you made the most recent backup.

    (OK, it’s not quite that simple, but it is close. You certainly shouldn’t need more than an hour to get the new machine set up, the pass-through connected so the VM could use the printers, and so on.)


  75. maybe they are willing to give away their second-oldest

    To this day I firmly believe my parents did that to me. I was the unwanted accident, 10.5 months behind my brother. My aunt and uncle needed cheap labor for the farm so it was an even trade. It was a life of hellish abuse, physical, emotional and sexual.

    4
  76. Ok, the office manager has a whole new PC. Her old Intel 2600K is out in the dumpster. It locked up twice on us this morning and I decided it was time. New case, power supply, Intel 7600K, 16 GB ram. etc, etc.

    If you used the same graphics card and still see lockups, post the info here.

    Now that tax season is over, I’m going to put my GT730 card back in my primary desktop and begin transitioning the machine to run Windows 10 full time.

    Still, the occasional reboot to Windows 7 would be useful. I don’t have the integrated graphics option since the CPU is Ye Olde Q6600.

  77. Ok, the office manager has a whole new PC. Her old Intel 2600K is out in the dumpster. It locked up twice on us this morning and I decided it was time. New case, power supply, Intel 7600K, 16 GB ram. etc, etc.

    Sigh. It costs so much money and time to get this stuff swapped out.

    I dissected the Intel 480 GB model 535 SSD. It had a Seagate controller on it that was melted. Not good and the initial reason why we were having problems.

  78. Ok, the office manager has a whole new PC. Her old Intel 2600K is out in the dumpster. It locked up twice on us this morning and I decided it was time. New case, power supply, Intel 7600K, 16 GB ram. etc, etc.

    If you used the same graphics card and still see lockups, post the info here.

    Now that tax season is over, I’m going to put my GT730 card back in my primary desktop and begin transitioning the machine to run Windows 10 full time.

    Still, the occasional reboot to Windows 7 would be useful. I don’t have the integrated graphics option since the CPU is Ye Olde Q6600.

    No graphics card. The motherboard graphics are good enough.

  79. “You will be forced to comply”
    https://gunfreezone.net/you-will-be-forced-to-comply/

    “Today it’s forcing a man to bake a gender transition cake.”
    https://adfmedia.org/case/scardina-v-masterpiece-cakeshop

    “Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop
    Description: The same attorney who filed an unsuccessful complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2017 commenced a lawsuit in state court over the same custom cake request the attorney made at that time. The request was for a custom-designed cake, pink on the inside and blue on the outside, to reflect and celebrate a gender transition. Phillips’ shop declined that request because the customer specifically requested that the cake express messages and celebrate an event in conflict with Phillips’ religious beliefs. The decision was not because of the person who requested it, as Phillips would not create a cake expressing the requested message no matter who asked for it.”

    Didn’t SCOTUS rule on this already ?

  80. Just finished watching The Box Trolls with the kids. I remembered wanting to see it when it came out, so tonight was daddy’s choice, and I chose it.

    What a very strange film. Looked like genuine stop motion animation, maybe ‘inbetweened’ with CG, but some of the strangest art direction and character design I’ve seen in a long time. Liked it, but I know why it wasn’t a box office smash, despite top talent attached, and being very well executed.

    Strange. Interesting. Some funny bits. Don’t know if I’d recommend it.

    n

  81. Scientists admitting that denying the possibility that the Wuhan lying noface Chicom coronavirus originated in the lab*:

    https://hotair.com/allahpundit/2021/06/16/scientist-who-signed-letter-supporting-lab-leak-theory-we-didnt-speak-out-sooner-because-we-didnt-want-to-ally-with-trump-n397265

    *Note: Not “lab leak”, which is the fallback position that still denies by the inherent nature of the term that the release was deliberate. See “coincidence” above.

    If  real conservatives get elected to control the Senate, House and Presidency, one of the bills that needs early passage is to recognize the ethical failure of these “denialists” and ban them from ever receiving government funds again. They lied and people died.

    4
    1
  82. Unless, we are being played.

     

    –I think it’s more likely that aliens are real and here than that slo joe is playing us.

     

    n

  83. @steve, my mom basically moved in with her best friend at around age 16.  It was a lot less permanent than the route her sisters took to get out of the house, early marriage…

    She never, and I mean NEVER talks about the home she left.  No Christmas stories, no birthday or funny time, nothing.  I was 36 before I realized I’d never heard her father or step-father’s names.

    If she wants out of her family situation, for whatever reason, and it won’t compromise you to do it informally, do what you can.

     

    n

    3

  84. I still would need a desktop for each person.

    Yes, but switching to a new machine would consist of installing the VM software (VMWare or whatever), copying down the image, and starting it. Bada-boom, bada-bing, you’re where you were as of the point that you made the most recent backup.

    (OK, it’s not quite that simple, but it is close. You certainly shouldn’t need more than an hour to get the new machine set up, the pass-through connected so the VM could use the printers, and so on.)

    And just like that you created another thing that can be a point of failure that also needs security tracking and updating. VMs in mainframes are really good. In PCs it is not the same use scenario…

    1

  85. As Mr. Nick pointed out, plugs has made us the laughing stock of the world. Do you really think China and Russia aren’t laughing at our weak-ass, simp POTUS?

    If you think the rest of the world was not laughing at, or actively disrespecting, the antics of the prior president, especially as concerns his dealings with Putin, be advised that is the reaction. Biden may not be perfect, but so far appears to be an improvement. Time will tell of course.

    1
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  86. so far appears to be an improvement.

    –ok, now you got me.

    Which parts are seen as an improvement? And do they come from a point of view that prefers a weak US or a strong US?

    Serious question, because you do have a different viewpoint…

    n


  87. Which parts are seen as an improvement? And do they come from a point of view that prefers a weak US or a strong US?

    Serious question, because you do have a different viewpoint…

    So, as a Canadian, I prefer a strong US vs. a weak US, but I think we may not agree on what is meant by strong or weak. A strong US is confident US, a leader of the developed countries that seeks to retain that leadership role via economic and diplomatic means, while holding a serious military capability in reserve for when it is needed. (Soft power is valuable, but worthless if someone calls your bluff and you got nothing to back it up). The “rules” for trade and relationships between countries are those established by and supported by the US post WW2. The expectation is that the US would continue to lead in that regard.

    The US under President Trump did not behave that way. The positions taken appeared in many cases to be mean and petty, and there seemed to be some desire to appear so publicly. From a purely Canadian view, we thought the entire NAFTA renegotiation scrap to be a fiasco. From my (Canadian) point of view the behavior was: Let’s make threats against our chief trading partner, claim the last treaty was the worst ever, spend some 18 months negotiating, including personal attacks against our government leaders when they would not comply, and eventually land on a treaty that was substantially the same as NAFTA, but was now called (in desperation, I imagine) “the best treaty ever”. This was probably a sideshow in the US, certainly in the US south where I expect your focus is (quite properly) towards Mexico (though that was part of the renegotiation too), but it was a very big deal for Canada as our relatively small economy (California’s is slightly bigger) is tied to yours, and the uncertainty was not good for Canada. This was your president throwing an ally under the bus for no reason than to show (and it was only about show) that he was “tough” on trade. Biden is so far preferable, even if he has done some things that are not good for Canada, like halting Keystone XL and not stepping in (yet) regarding the pipeline in Michigan (Line 9 I believe). That can change – he may decide to get very protectionist from a left-economic position – but he has the advantage of being predictable – cancelling Keystone XL was a campaign promise. There are other observations, but that’s enough for now.

    I try hard not to comment on US politics here, especially US domestic politics, as I am not American, and so it is not really my business. I am skating near the edge, even though this was about foreign policy.

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