Wed. June 30, 2021 – summer is flying by

Hot and humid, chance of rain. We did get rain yesterday, and sun, and heat (but not terrible heat). Today should be more of the same.

Spent the day mostly indoors, doing a bunch of stuff I’ve put off too long. Paid my toll invoices for driving around without toll tags in my new truck. Put the toll tag in the truck. Did a bunch of other paperwork stuff. Played with the puppy.

Today should be a bit more active. I have to do an auction pickup, and take both kids for their Girl Scout Camp physicals. I’ve got other auction stuff to do too. I was sorting through some stuff to sell in one of the local auctions last night. She’s got a guy who buys all of one particular item that she lists, and I’ve got a bunch of them. She’s waved me off on general items since she has a huge listing backlog, but maybe I can squeeze a dozen of these in. While going through that box of stuff, I might also have found a really good score. I’ll share with the guy who gave me the box though, I’d feel bad taking it all, it’s that good a score, and there were other things in the box that should bring good money on their own.

Part of the fun of thrifting/estate/garage/yard sale hunting is the treasure hunt aspect. You literally don’t know what you will find, and sometimes you do find the treasure.

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Got my FCC license for GMRS about 10 hours after I applied. It’s a “pay the fee and get the license” application, and the license covers your whole family. The FCC isn’t issuing actual hard copies anymore, they just send a link to a pdf. I guess there is very little intrinsic value in the paper, that would make it worth forging. In any case, I’m current for GMRS again. FWIW, I got a new license rather than renew my lapsed one. There were two additional hoops to jump through and a huge fee ($210) to bring my old one current, so I just got a new one ($70 for 5 years) instead.

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There are a lot of people that would make arguments against paying for the GMRS license, working from at least 3 different points of view. Don’t care. I don’t want to give them (.gov) that handle to use against me.

——————————————————————————–

There are a lot of lists out there. My radio stuff puts me on one or more. My CERT training put me on another. My previous work clients put me on yet more lists. I’m a blogger, which probably puts me on a list. I am on lists with HPD and our Constable’s office, and the associated alumni groups. Purchasing certain items with background checks put me on a list. Visa and Mastercard probably maintain lists based on my purchase history. Amazon certainly does, and likely collaborates with .gov by compiling and selling lists. My school district has me on at least 4 lists. I’ve been to China twice so I’m on lists there, and I’m certain the US State Dept. has me on lists because of my travel to the middle east and the middle kingdom. I’m on a list in Canada, I had a work permit there for several years. I was working on a project subject to ITAR and had to go through that paperwork – that’s another list. At one point in my miss-spent youth, I’m sure I was on some other agencies’ lists as a “known associate”. There may even be criminal enterprises that have me on a list, if they do that sort of thing.

Don’t let the fact that you’ll end up on a list keep you from doing something. There are lots of us on lists, and the more there are, the more noise there is to get lost in. Use the lists to your advantage. I have access to more training activities now that I’m on a vetted list with HPD and the Constable’s Office. The CERT training is very broad based, and definitely worth trading for a spot on a list. So is ham radio. Medical training likewise.

If everyone’s the ‘biggest risk to the US’ then no one is.

Of course, be aware of when you really DON’T want to be on the list, and try to conduct at least part of your life so you don’t get on lists. Especially when it comes to stacking, you don’t want to be on the list of resources to be plundered. And since local is the new hotness, be very careful about getting on your neighbors’ lists… and consider making a few of your own.

You can think of the lists while you’re stacking.

nick

78 Comments and discussion on "Wed. June 30, 2021 – summer is flying by"

  1. Steve Mac says:

    @Nick
    Great advice on the GMRS. I plan on getting one. Just pulled out and used a set of Midland radios for a road trip and discovered they were both GMRS and FRS capable. According to wikipedia this type is no longer sold. They worked great and the AA batteries were still strong after 24 hours of use.

  2. Greg Norton says:

    “I used the Windows API CPU ID function as part of my hash for random number seeding back when I wrote VPN software. Maybe the numbers weren’t so unique after all, but I pulled so much other data about the state of a Windows machine that it shouldn’t be a problem.”

    You know, I would not put it past Microsoft to temporarily enable the CPUID instruction, grab the cpu serial number, and turn the CPUID instruction back off.

    That would require Chipzilla’s cooperation. Not impossible, but someone would have noticed long before now.

    I just assumed the switch went back to the ‘on’ position when Intel abandoned the P IV and Core emerged from the desert. The serial was there in the PIII, where I did most of my development work until I left the Death Star.

    Watch “The Last Blockbuster”. My Death Star work machine was the exact same PC that runs the store’s registers/database systems.

  3. Ray Thompson says:

    Are you freaking kidding me ? This is a clear taking of private property for public use, a violation of the fifth amendment if I have ever seen one. The landlords are not getting paid !

    Wait until some right leaning weanie decides that landlords should provide the use of empty real estate as homeless shelters. Maybe even making that spare bedroom available for some booze addled drug head to keep them off the streets. Has not happened yet, but the rent moratorium is the first step.

    If people have not been able, or willing, to pay rent for the last 12 months, why would any reasonably intelligent person think the tenant can make up that missed rent? Oh, silly me. I forgot that politicians are involved and reasonable intelligence is off the table.

    I see a lot of crying and screaming from these loser tenants about how it is not fair to make them pay back rent, or pay any rent. How they deserve to be housed properly even if they cannot pay. These people have voted themselves stuff from the gravy train. First rooms rented, er, gifted to the homeless should be Nancy Pelosi’s and AOC’s. Lots of useful space for a homeless camp.

  4. Greg Norton says:

    If people have not been able, or willing, to pay rent for the last 12 months, why would any reasonably intelligent person think the tenant can make up that missed rent? Oh, silly me. I forgot that politicians are involved and reasonable intelligence is off the table.

    Once the holiday weekend is over, the national “conversation” about the ending of the rent moratorium will begin. The Roberts Court kicked the can down the road so everyone can have a nice 4th … except, possibly, Justice Thomas.

    I use quotes because it won’t be as much exchange of ideas as it will be Psaki floating trial balloons about possible new Executive Orders and gauging response as it relates to the VA election this Fall and the Midterms next year.

    Or the CDC could punt and extend the moratorium until the end of 2021. Court’s in recess. Then what?

  5. MrAtoz says:

    We watched “Dredd” last night. I remarked the dystopian city is exactly what this moratorium will give us. PRCs, soy rations, and Baby Yoda (only if you are on the nice list).

  6. SteveF says:

    How they deserve to be housed properly even if they cannot pay.

    Hey, you #LiterallyHitler, don’t you know that safe housing is a human right? (See also the House bill from about 15 seconds after the dempanic was declared, and note the amusing circumlocution “persons experiencing homelessness”.)

  7. CowboySlim says:

    Turns out my wife’s friend doesn’t have a Tesla (or Solar City) roof installation nor a Tesla PowerWall nor any battery system. She sells power to the utility company during the day and uses power at night, and borrowed money through the installer to get it put up. I’m assured that this isn’t the same scam as everyone and his brother was running a few years ago though I can’t for the life of me see the difference.

    Somewhat similar to that which I proposed to the solar scammers and they rejected.
    1. You replace me as the utilities customer and receive and sell them power through their meter.
    2  Disconnect that meter from household wiring and connect the outlet of the existing to the inlet of the new and connect your leads inbetween the two.
    3. You retain ownership of all installed and accept the rebate that you mentioned to me, if any.
    4. Monthly, I will read the new meter, use the utility companies rate, and send you a check for 80% of what I would pay them for that which I consumed.
    5. They walked away.

  8. Ray Thompson says:

    the CDC could punt and extend the moratorium until the end of 2021

    I would really like to know who, what, or when the CDC was given legal power over personal property. Or why the CDC has any legal authority.

    4
  9. Greg Norton says:

    “the CDC could punt and extend the moratorium until the end of 2021”

    I would really like to know who, what, or when the CDC was given legal power over personal property. Or why the CDC has any legal authority.

    Kavanaugh wrote in his opinion that the CDC didn’t have the authority but he voted the swing chair with Roberts because the moratorium period was almost over.

    A forced lifting of the moratorium this weekend would have been ugly. The Court knew this when they voted months ago after hearing arguments. I doubt it was a last minute change on Kavanaugh’s part.

    Clarence Thomas gets the phone call if the moratorium is extended again and Alabama seeks another injunction.

    2
  10. MrAtoz says:

    Kavanaugh wrote in his opinion that the CDC didn’t have the authority but he voted the swing chair with Roberts because the moratorium period was almost over.

    Absolutely wrong on Kavanaugh’s part: “Uh, well, it’s ending anyway, so I’ll just turn my back on this unConstitutional edict.” The moratorium won’t end until the ProgLibTurds thing they have milked every ounce of politi-bucks from it. Judge on the Constitution and not your feelings dooshnozzle.

    2
  11. ~jim says:

    Clarence Thomas gets the phone call if the moratorium is extended again and Alabama seeks another injunction.

    If Alabama is seeking an injunction against the moratorium on rent payments, surely Thomas would side with the landlords, wouldn’t he? From what I’ve seen and heard of him, he’s pretty darned Libertarian.

  12. pecancorner says:

    don’t you know that safe housing is a human right?

    Technically, that was why “Homestead Exemptions” were invented a century or more ago: in the  belief that once people paid off their mortgage, they should not have to be in hock to the government for taxes, or to anyone else for other non-residence or non-work-related debts.  Time was in Texas that old people didn’t have to pay any tax on their property, mortgages were tightly regulated to prohibit the property from being collateral, and homeowners were allowed one horse, one wagon, one cow, etc and “the tools of their trade” safe from debtors.

    Of course, now we have residential property taxes, school taxes, and rendition taxes. The “homestead exemption” is an optional joke that those taxing entities don’t even have to offer.

    5
  13. Greg Norton says:

    “Clarence Thomas gets the phone call if the moratorium is extended again and Alabama seeks another injunction.”

    If Alabama is seeking an injunction against the moratorium on rent payments, surely Thomas would side with the landlords, wouldn’t he? From what I’ve seen and heard of him, he’s pretty darned Libertarian.

    Clarence Thomas gets the call because his District responsibilities cover FL, GA, and AL.

    Thomas politics may have been part of the calculus Kavanaugh made with his vote.

    Nothing will happen this weekend, however, which was the point.

    1
  14. drwilliams says:

    “Nothing will happen this weekend, however, which was the point“

    Just the property owners getting raped.

    2
  15. Nick+Flandrey says:

    @steve mac

    GMRS has higher allowed power levels than FRS, and some manufacturers were breaking the rules. GMRS also allows removable antennas, while FRS prohibits them.

    There is at least one nice mobile GMRS radio with good reviews and good power that is the modern equivalent of CB for a lot of people, especially the off roader community.

    It’s a nice tool to have in the box.

    N

  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    Cosby, a groundbreaking black actor who grew up in public housing in Philadelphia, made a fortune estimated at $400million during his 50 years in the entertainment industry.

    His trademark clean comedy and homespun wisdom fueled popular TV shows, books and standup acts.

    He fell from favor in his later years as he lectured the black community about family values, but was attempting a comeback when he was arrested.

    –in other words, he strayed from the plantation, and had to be punished.

    also think about all the comedians who suddenly went silent around the same time.

    n

    1
    1
  17. drwilliams says:

    Wonderful.

    He got the trial that Bill Clinton should have had.

  18. lynn says:

    “Someone should ask the Democrats where the Hamas rescue teams are?”
    https://gunfreezone.net/someone-should-ask-the-democrats-where-the-hamad-rescue-teams-are/

    “Because the Israeli rescue teams are helping in Surfside”

    True friends show up when there is trouble.

    10
  19. lynn says:

    “U.S. EPA issues warnings over Caribbean refinery shutdown plan”
    https://www.hydrocarbonprocessing.com/news/2021/06/us-epa-issues-warnings-over-caribbean-refinery-shutdown-plan

    “The Environmental Protection Agency is pressuring owners of a U.S. Virgin Islands oil refinery to get its approval for an orderly shutdown, calling into question the next steps for the process.
    Limetree Bay Energy refinery on St.Croix last week said it was preparing for an extended shutdown after failing to secure financing to continue a restart of the aged facility. Its plan included purging the processing units of gases, residual oil and products.
    But the EPA on Thursday warned Limetree Bay not to employ a defective gas-flaring unit that could create “imminent and substantial endangerment,” an EPA official said in a letter to the company. It wants the company to install air monitors and seek formal permission before gases are released.”

    Never get the USA EPA on your back. Once there, they will torment you forever.

  20. Greg Norton says:

    –in other words, he strayed from the plantation, and had to be punished.

    Without a doubt, Cosby was a creep offstage, but I don’t believe for a second that anyone was forced into anything.

    The Cosby “farewell” tour he’s now free to pursue will generate millions. He toured after being acquitted in the first trial and played to sold-out houses in most cities.

    Now The Cos has “prison” stories.

  21. lynn says:

    “Fear Spreads As Another Miami Beach Condo Tower Deemed “Unsafe””
    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/panic-spreads-another-miami-beach-condo-deemed-unsafe

    “Haunted by the recent tragedy in Surfside, some residents of ocean-side apartments in South Florida have been searching for information about the structural integrity of their condominiums. The residents of a Collins Avenue building with prior warnings in Miami Beach said they are horrified about what they found.
    The fear started after Champlain Towers South, at 8777 Collins Ave., turned into the epicenter of heartbreak and grief on Thursday morning. Some of the residents of the Champlain Towers North and East decided to evacuate.”

    Uh…

    ADD: I have no rebar in my driveway. Just concrete. Sections of it look like that pile of concrete slabs at the condo that fell. One of my 12 foot by 10 foot driveway sections is broken into seven distinct pieces. Another thing on my list of things to get fixed.

  22. Mark W says:

    Without a doubt, Cosby was a creep offstage,

    The judge doesn’t appear to have declared him innocent, just that he never should have been tried in the first place due to a prior non-prosecution agreement.

  23. lynn says:

    –in other words, he strayed from the plantation, and had to be punished.

    Without a doubt, Cosby was a creep offstage, but I don’t believe for a second that anyone was forced into anything.

    The lady who was a coach at the University said that she slept at his house many nights and even shared a bed with him. Platonically. Until he “raped” her. Give me a break.

  24. lynn says:

    The Cosby “farewell” tour he’s now free to pursue will generate millions. He toured after being acquitted in the first trial and played to sold-out houses in most cities.

    Now The Cos has “prison” stories.

    My wife would probably go to see him. Big fan.

  25. SteveF says:

    Same thing with Harvey Weinstein’s “crimes”. The women who accused him were dishonest hookers. They traded sex for a leg up in the industry. They got their chance and some did very well, and then they had regrets. They then claim that the voluntary transaction was rape.

    Why don’t we see prostitution charges filed against Gwyneth Paltrow and the rest?

  26. lynn says:

    Oh man, one of the penthouses in the fallen condo tower just sold in May for $2.9 million.
    https://www.miamicondoinvestments.com/champlain-towers-south-condos#!closed-sales

  27. Chad says:

    The moratorium won’t end until the ProgLibTurds thing they have milked every ounce of politi-bucks from it.

    They just keep creating a larger problem for themselves. They put a halt on evictions, so the normal amount of eviction start to pile up, but then you also have to add on the excess evictions from deadbeats who see it as an opportunity to live rent free and the excess caused by pandemic-related unemployment. As the moratorium end date approaches the word gets out about how many evictions are likely to be filed en masse and the left (and sympathetic portion of the middle) freak out about all those people “losing their homes” and the moratorium gets extended creating an even bigger mess at the next moratorium end date. Rinse and repeat.

    Oh man, one of the penthouses in the fallen condo tower just sold in May for $2.9 million

    Having always lived in detached housing with a yard and whatnot I never could wrap my head around the concept of BUYING what is basically an apartment. To me, that’s always just something you rent. Buying a part of a building instead of the entire building just makes my suburban head explode. You BUY the WHOLE. You RENT a PORTION.

    10
  28. lynn says:

    “Elon Musk Targets August for Global Starlink Coverage”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/elon-musk-targets-august-for-global-starlink-coverage

    “He’s also hoping to get the satellite dish cost down to $250—eventually.”

    “SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service will have global coverage (save for the North and South Poles) by August, Elon Musk said during a Tuesday keynote at Mobile World Congress.”

    “Starlink is operational in 12 countries, with more added every month, he said. It has more than 1,500 satellites up, and recently topped 69,000 users. “We’re on our way to having possibly over 500,000 users within 12 months,” Musk said.
    Because of the large “spot size” of the satellite beams, Starlink is “really meant for sparsely populated regions,” Musk said. “In high-density areas, we will be able to serve a limited number of customers.””

    “Newer satellite and launch vehicle technology will also help costs, with Starlink’s upcoming “version 1.5” satellites able to network to each other to extend coverage across the Poles, and its Starship vehicles able to bring more satellites into orbit at once. “If we succeed in not going bankrupt, then that’s great, and we can go on from there,” Musk said.”

    “He intends to sink $5-$10 billion into the company even before it hits positive cash flow. Getting there will involve bringing equipment and launch prices down. Starlink loses money on its $499 user terminals, each of which cost the company “more than $1,000,” he said.”

    He mentioned bankruptcy three times. That is unnerving.

  29. JimB says:

    One of my 12 foot by 10 foot driveway sections is broken into seven distinct pieces.

    Maybe your sections are too big. My driveway is hundreds of foot-square sections. I got a deal on them. They are actually 2″ thick high strength concrete patio pavers, and a few have cracked in the three years they have been in place. I don’t allow heavy trucks such as concrete mixers on the driveway. I have a separate truck gate.

    This was an experiment, and I am satisfied. I have lots of spares, and plan to extend the driveway and use them in other places. I like the ability to remove and replace them to dig and install anything I want. I really didn’t want a big expanse of boring concrete, even with decorative embossing. The bonus is that the installed cost was less than traditional pavers, and even the cheapest slab.

  30. Nick Flandrey says:

    The DoD is pushing hard for commercial providers of mesh networking in the sky, so they can buy time on it. I’d bet the starlink has .mil as the real and primary customer.

    n

  31. Nick Flandrey says:

    Whatever you think of him or his policies, he was ‘the adult in the room’.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/donald-rumsfeld-dead-88

    n

  32. lynn says:

    The Cosby “farewell” tour he’s now free to pursue will generate millions. He toured after being acquitted in the first trial and played to sold-out houses in most cities.

    Now The Cos has “prison” stories.

    The prison stories will be about Fat Juan, Muscles, Goggles, TwoTats, AllTats, Screamer, and Lawyerman.

  33. lynn says:

    The DoD is pushing hard for commercial providers of mesh networking in the sky, so they can buy time on it. I’d bet the starlink has .mil as the real and primary customer.

    n

    The Rural Internet guys at the FCC gave Starlink a billion dollars the other day.
    https://www.cringely.com/2021/04/20/starlink-is-a-global-isp-built-at-zero-cost-to-spacex-enabling-nasas-artemis-launch/

  34. JimB says:

    Starlink loses money on its $499 user terminals, each of which cost the company “more than $1,000,” he said.

    And they won’t work here in summer. I am not an accountant, but I think he must be including too much of the development costs in the unit cost. Another way to put it is that there doesn’t seem to be any way to put that much money in such a small box.

    As for bankruptcy, don’t forget he seems to have backing from the financial industry, who desperately want lower latency between NY and London. IIRC, that was the primary reason for doing this. The rest of the customers could get the service for free if he wanted.

    I really want this to succeed, but have not put my $100 in so far. Hope I don’t get too far back in the line.

  35. JimB says:

    I always had an irrational fondness for Donald Rumsfeld. Anyone with such a mastery of public speaking impresses me. Most of them have other good qualities. RIP.

    7
    1
  36. Nick Flandrey says:

    there doesn’t seem to be any way to put that much money in such a small box

    It’s got a phased array antenna, and some really low noise amps at a minimum, and apparently some motors… and small volume manf isn’t cheap.

    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/12/teardown-of-dishy-mcflatface-the-spacex-starlink-user-terminal/

    n

  37. Nick Flandrey says:

    I just ordered a specialty tool I need for my hobby on amazon. As more evidence of them poisoning the well, there were about 7 pages of sellers for this item, MOST of them selling the identical chinese crap with identical or small variations in packaging. I had to manually search thru to find the USA seller, with the item actually in the US. Most sellers were showing 2-3 week delivery but only after you put it in your cart.

    That is far more hoop jumping than I want to do for a $29 item I’ll use only a couple of times a year (and the real version costs 20x that).

    This is all so the sellers can make an extra dollar or two, or manipulate search results, or some other scammy thing, while the cancelled orders must be high and buyer experiences suck. And amazon doesn’t care that there are dozens of sellers with the same item clogging up the search results.

    n

  38. CowboySlim says:

    There is at least one nice mobile GMRS radio with good reviews and good power that is the modern equivalent of CB for a lot of people, especially the off roader community.

    Years ago when I did a lot of off road activity with others, my CB handle was “Old Ranger”.

    2
  39. ~jim says:

    Years ago when I did a lot of off road activity with others, my CB handle was “Old Ranger”.

    Mine was, ahem, “Cherrypicker”.

    True!

  40. MrAtoz says:

    Mine was, ahem, “Cherrypicker”.

    LOL! OK, Cos!

  41. MrAtoz says:

    I always had an irrational fondness for Donald Rumsfeld. Anyone with such a mastery of public speaking impresses me. Most of them have other good qualities. RIP.

    OK, here goes. I love Dick Cheney. Especially when he wears his evil “Raiders of the Lost Ark” SS hat. He has a lot of qualifications. If wasn’t so creepy, though.

  42. Greg Norton says:

    As for bankruptcy, don’t forget he seems to have backing from the financial industry, who desperately want lower latency between NY and London. IIRC, that was the primary reason for doing this. The rest of the customers could get the service for free if he wanted.

    Their money would be better spent laying a new fiber optic cable using as short a length as possible between the cities, similar to what the financial guys bought with the New York – Chicago cable as documented in “Flash Boys”.

    Satellite Internet is not fast or reliable enough for HFT, even when provisioned by The Real Life Tony Stark (TM).

    1
  43. Alan says:

    A few items from yesterday…

    And it isn’t just millenials. The best man at my wedding, who works *for a Wall Street clearing house* just told me how half his income comes from day trading lately. “I’ll quit if they tell us we can’t trade beyond mutual funds or they make us return to the office where my web use will be monitored.”

    Working for the clearing house, he knows why it isn’t a good idea to let the employees trade individual listings outside of funds. Their systems know where every stock share in the US market is actually held at any given moment. He doesn’t care. Everyone for themselves. This won’t end well.

    Many financial services companies are very strict in this area, to the extent of requiring monthly copies of your (and your spouse’s, if not joint) brokerage statements.

    (If you think Glassdoor, etc. are anonymous, you are kidding yourself.)

    Can you not sign up under a pseudonym?

    Your governor in New York state just killed a very cheap nuclear power plant. It will take a couple years but the replacement cost of that power is going to be high, very high.
    https://nypost.com/2021/04/28/get-ready-for-blackouts-after-cuomo-foolishly-killed-the-indian-point-plant/

    Interesting (or perhaps not) how quickly the Cuomo harassment allegations lost traction.

    Re researching job candidates online. I never searched their names.

    Always worthwhile to search your own name and when necessary (attempt to) clean things up.

    filed a lost and found with Sarasota airport (left a bag of batteries, chargers, and cables at TSA when they took it out of the bin to re-run it…)

    Just curious, was this in a Pre-Check lane?

    The eviction moratorium will be extended each month until the crisis is over. Maybe in 2030.

    Way to go Joe!

    Some states failed to get pandemic aid to renters promptly. Some spent it on other things. And some never set up an assistance program in the first place.
    https://publicintegrity.org/inequality-poverty-opportunity/covid-divide/rental-assistance-did-not-go-to-tenants-landlords/

  44. Ray Thompson says:

    I never could wrap my head around the concept of BUYING what is basically an apartment

    Along with the condominium association (HOA in disguise) can assess fees for improvements, repairs, and just something they want just because. And there is nothing much the condo owners can do about the fee.

    My driveway is hundreds of foot-square sections. I got a deal on them. They are actually 2″ thick high strength concrete patio pavers

    My driveway is 6″ thick, with rebar and fiberglass fibers in the mix. Nary a crack after many years of use. I may have cracks in the separation groves but that is as designed. That is where the concrete is supposed to crack. I have enough concrete to park 8 full size vehicles.

    Years ago when I did a lot of off road activity with others, my CB handle was “Old Ranger”.

    Mine was “Startreker”. (Sorry Mr. Atoz.) Mine generally did not do well as I got called “Star Tracker”, “Start Wrecker”. Should have gone with my wife’s choice, “Double Dumbass”.

    I just ordered a specialty tool I need for my hobby on amazon

    I too have fought that problem with Amazon. I needed a specialty tool to install and remove BNC connectors. In the video rack, especially the 40×40 matrix box, the connections are close. No way to get fingers around the connectors. The tool is mandatory. Took awhile to find a US made tool, in stock from a US supplier.

  45. lynn says:

    The eviction moratorium will be extended each month until the crisis is over. Maybe in 2030.

    Way to go Joe!

    Some states failed to get pandemic aid to renters promptly. Some spent it on other things. And some never set up an assistance program in the first place.
    https://publicintegrity.org/inequality-poverty-opportunity/covid-divide/rental-assistance-did-not-go-to-tenants-landlords/

    Note that every person shown in that article was a single mom. Where are the dads ?

    Uncle Sam has become Uncle Santa Claus. How did we get into this mess ?

  46. lynn says:

    My driveway is hundreds of foot-square sections. I got a deal on them. They are actually 2″ thick high strength concrete patio pavers

    My driveway is 6″ thick, with rebar and fiberglass fibers in the mix. Nary a crack after many years of use. I may have cracks in the separation groves but that is as designed. That is where the concrete is supposed to crack. I have enough concrete to park 8 full size vehicles.

    My driveway is big enough to park 14 or 15 full size vehicles. It is four vehicles wide before my garage. But five of my 10 foot long by 12 foot wide panels have broken. A couple of my panels have sunk into the ground by up to 4 or 5 inches. The driveway was poured in 1998 without any rebar. The road in front of my house is about eight inches above my driveway, I almost have to shift into 4WD to get up onto it.

  47. SteveF says:

    Note that every person shown in that article was a single mom. Where are the dads ?

    “I’m a strong, independent woman. I don’t need no man!”

    No, of course she doesn’t, not with governments giving her money looted primarily from men.

    Fun exercise for the reader: look up net economic impact in the US of women and of men — the net that the the average woman or man contributes to the economy versus the amount consumed. Look for similar numbers for taxes paid versus benefits received.

    I was unable to find economic impact numbers for single mothers. I suspect that they are the largest factor in driving women as a whole into negative numbers.

    Additional exercise: look at the economic numbers broken apart by race. Fun!

  48. Nick Flandrey says:

    @alan, It was the normal lane at terminal B, SRQ. I’m pretty sure that they grabbed it to run it back thru, and so it wasn’t in “my ” bins when I refilled my pockets and backback. I emptied my bins and left. I don’t usually remove it, but they were being adamant about electronics. Even had to separate the two kindles.

    Their hired service provider for lost and found told me today that they don’t have it, but I gave them the wrong day on the form. Person is going to look again for the right time and date (their online form filler time widget seems to have corrected my 3pm pick to 4pm, having noted the difference between my time zone and theirs. FCKING PROGRAMMERS.

    @lynn, if you don’t want to replace all the concrete, you can look at ‘mud jacking’ to relevel your slabs.

    n

  49. Nick Flandrey says:

    @ray, when I need pro level components or tools I look at L-com. You can order directly from them online.

    Fortunately we have Altex Electronics in Houston and they’ve got a great tool selection, and all the sorts of things installers need.

    I’ve got the tool you needed for F connectors and for BNC. My BNC one has a 14″ reach.

    n

  50. Nick Flandrey says:

    Scanner has cops working vice again tonight. Sounds like they have a sting room set up, with the girls bringing the johns to the room to be arrested.

    They’re busy.
    n

  51. JimB says:

    My driveway is 6″ thick, with rebar and fiberglass fibers in the mix. Nary a crack after many years of use. I may have cracks in the separation groves but that is as designed.

    A couple of my panels have sunk into the ground by up to 4 or 5 inches. The driveway was poured in 1998 without any rebar. The road in front of my house is about eight inches above my driveway, I almost have to shift into 4WD to get up onto it.

    Just goes to show that concrete has to be designed for the substrate. The soil here is a near ideal mixture of sand and fines. When compacted with water and dried, is very hard. I have never measured that hardness, but a pickaxe just bounces off it, and what little rain we get just runs off. A jackhammer will break it up when dry, or to dig by hand it needs to be soaked with water for a few days. Soak, scrape some off, repeat. Standing water penetrates about a half inch in 24 hours. A backhoe does break it up easily. Uncompacted, it digs easily, but trench sides cave.

    I could probably pour a 2” slab with expansion joints at 4’ intervals, and it would hold up for decades. My old driveway was a 4” unreinforced slab with no crack control grooves or expansion joints. It was approximately 30×40’ with an odd shape on one side. I wanted better, but a good concrete guy said it was unnecessary. He was right. After 40 years, it had a few hairline surface cracks. We broke it up for the new building.

  52. Alan says:

    Their hired service provider for lost and found told me today that they don’t have it, but I gave them the wrong day on the form. Person is going to look again for the right time and date (their online form filler time widget seems to have corrected my 3pm pick to 4pm, having noted the difference between my time zone and theirs.

    I guess you don’t fly often enough to justify the cost of Pre-Check? It’s been more than worth it every time I have to fly out of EWR. The first time I used it my wife didn’t want to spend the money on it and said, oh, the regular line is moving just as fast as the Pre-Check. After waiting 20 minutes for her past security I convinced her to get it.

    Hmmm, all that unclaimed stuff must wind up in an auction somewhere…where someone could bid on it 😉

  53. Mark W says:

    As for bankruptcy, don’t forget he seems to have backing from the financial industry, who desperately want lower latency between NY and London.

    I haven’t done the math but I would think a well designed switched fiber network at 100Gb or 400Gb would be faster than routed traffic via satellites. Depends on your use-case though. Mobile in Iraq needs a different solution than traders.

    The latest trick is photonic switching – no more ethernet switches, everything is switched as light depending on wavelength. Saves a few microseconds.

  54. Nick Flandrey says:

    I guess you don’t fly often enough to justify the cost of Pre-Check?

    –not anymore. Wife has it and the kids got it on their passes, but not me, and you don’t get the whole party like you used to. Outbound flight, youngest kid didn’t want to wait in line with daddy so I got the full probe and they all had to wait for me anyway. Return flight, youngest went with me, I said “I don’t want her to go thru the scanner” and we both walk thru the magnetometer. But if I want to use the magnetometer without a child, I get the full pat down and chemical sniffing. I recommend having a small child with you to save the hassle.

    n

  55. drwilliams says:

    “Took awhile to find a US made tool, in stock from a US supplier.”

    Amazon is evil. Feeding it is a choice.

    I limit my use to a) items I want to review as “verified purchaser”, or b) inexpensive stuff where they loose their shirt on Prime shipping.

    For tools made in the USA, chances are it can be ordered direct from the manufacturer. I’m using Northern Tools “ship to store” option whenever I can.

  56. lynn says:

    @lynn, if you don’t want to replace all the concrete, you can look at ‘mud jacking’ to relevel your slabs.

    n

    Already done that, twice (once me and once the previous owner). The time I did it, the three piece panel broke into seven pieces within a couple of weeks. They warned me that might happen, they were right.

  57. Ray Thompson says:

    I’ve got the tool you needed for F connectors and for BNC.

    Want to sell it?

  58. drwilliams says:

    @Lynn

    “My driveway is big enough to park 14 or 15 full size vehicles. It is four vehicles wide before my garage. But five of my 10 foot long by 12 foot wide panels have broken. A couple of my panels have sunk into the ground by up to 4 or 5 inches. The driveway was poured in 1998 without any rebar. The road in front of my house is about eight inches above my driveway, I almost have to shift into 4WD to get up onto it.”

    Sounds like the biggest problem is lack of support underneath, either because the base was inadequate and/or not properly compacted, or because groundwater is undermining it.

    If I were pouring it new I’d plan for fall/early spring, 6″ thick, skip the rebar/rewire entirely, add fiber to the mix, spec additives (Metamax metakaolin pozzolan  plus water reducer, super plasticizer and 4% calcium chloride) and curing membrane.

    No traffic on it for 14 days minimum.

    30 days after the pour I’d have expansion/control joints cut with a diamond saw every 6-8′, fill the cracks with polyurethane, and seal the surface.

    Depending on what the drainage looks like in a frog choker, I’d consider tiling the edges

    ADDED: Forgot to mention. Based on your description of concrete deterioration yesterday, it’d possible there was some dicey aggregate in the mix. Some silica aggregates chemically react with alkalis in concrete: alkali-silica reactivity. Ask if it’s a potential problem in your area. The metakaolin will help, but the best prevention is good aggregate. Being the charming person that I am, I’d let the contractor know that I’d be taking my own samples at the job site after I get a copy of the batch mix ticket.

  59. mediumwave says:

    Note that every person shown in that article was a single mom an unwed mother.

    FIFY

  60. lynn says:

    No traffic on it for 14 days minimum.

    There is no other way of getting on our property (1.2 acres). We really don’t want to drive through the four foot deep ditch next to the road. BTW, the road has no shoulders and no sidewalks. It is just a two lane country road that is limited to 30 mph but I see people running 50+ mph all the time on it. Parking on that road would be dangerous for us and our vehicles.

    One of my neighbors is getting his driveway replaced right now. They have not even poured the new concrete and it has been a week already. We have to swerve around their vehicles which are parked halfway into the street.

  61. Marcelo says:

    I’ve got the tool you needed for F connectors and for BNC.

    Want to sell it?

    Heretic. The only time a tool could be sold is when you pass away!

  62. Nick Flandrey says:

    @ray, I’ll send it to you if I can find it, I probably have more than one and I don’t do BNC anymore. Send me an email.

    I agree that amazon is evil. I looked on ebay for other sellers, and I looked at the specialty online retailer for the specialty tool. $10-30 more, and long delivery times. I only need the chinese copy for one use. I’d borrow if I could but I’m hoping to have the thing cracked open and sold by the next time I meet with my non-prepping hobby buds…

    And I know I’m trading convenience for my soul. But it’s convenient enough that it saves me both my saved up life (money) and my life going forward (time). I buy a whole lot less from them than I used to, and I try to find another seller whenever I can.

    n

  63. drwilliams says:

    @Nick

    Yup. Sometimes the best solution takes you there anyway.

    @Lynn

    Early loading leads to early failure. With your largest aggregate sized appropriately to a 6″ slab and finer aggregate graded to fill the interstitial volume (think Covey’s “Big Rocks” demo) combined with the rest, you should be able to exceed 4000 psi in 3 days. Long weekend. Probably good enough. At 14 days you’d be over 8,000 and bulletproof.

    Alternative would be to temporarily widen your drive by filling the ditch, and park next to the drive. Might have to bring in a temporary culvert. Got a backhoe?

    High early strength concrete (Type III) is too spendy for residential, so not an alternative either.

  64. drwilliams says:

    @Marcelo

    “He who dies with the most tools wins.”

    I was looking at an article in a copy of a 2010 magazine the other day. Noticed a photo in the reader’s projects column of some shop-built cabinets that were made to look like roller cabinets, right down to crackle-finish paint. They’d been in use for 20+ years, and the guy said if he built them again he’d use ball-bearing slides.

    There is no way that project makes sense with materials cost and allowing any value to your time. As @Nick said, you buy cheaper tools for one-off jobs. Then you buy cheaper storage for cheaper tools. In decently organized shop your good storage with the good tools gets the daily open/close cycle count and the rest don’t get used as much. I’ve seen some nice pro setups where the screwdriver/wrench/socket storage gets opened once in the morning  and closed at the end of the day, which saves the open/closed wear-and-tear a bunch.

    1
  65. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hazmat Release – Morris, IL
    National Watch Center
    Current Situation: At 3:00 p.m. ET on June 29, an industrial fire was reported at an old paper mill
    factory in Morris, IL (pop. 15k) (USNG: 16T CL 81966 79967). Fire officials reports that 180k to
    200k lbs. of lithium batteries are burning, and due to the nature, are going to let it burn out on its
    own. Water or foam cannot be used to suppress so the process is expected to be to fully extinguish
    today. The batteries involved in the fire range from cell phone batteries to commercial size car
    batteries. Police evacuated the immediate area.
    Lifeline Impacts:
    Safety & Security:
    ▪ Evacuations: 1,000 homes
    ▪ 1 shelter / 7 occupants (ARC Midnight Shelter Count as of 7:00 a.m. ET, June 30)
    Hazardous Material:
    ▪ 180k-200k lbs of lithium batteries burning; HAZMAT teams on scene
    o May cause release of hydrogen fluoride
    o Concentrations of this gas could lead to respiratory symptoms and/or heart/lung disease
    o In a potential worst-case scenario, there could be hazardous concentrations within several
    hundred meters of the facility

    Do you REALLY want a big pile of Li batteries in your garage???

    n

  66. Nick Flandrey says:

    @dr williams,

    some guys like to work in their shops, and some guys like to work on their shops.

    n

  67. drwilliams says:

    @Nick

    eBay isn’t far behind Amazon. I started eBay selling shortly after they started. I don’t remember but the vig was something like 4% on the first $25, then less above that. Then they put in another tier, started jacking the rates, bought PayPal and forced it on everyone (only 2.9% PLUS $0.30 do the math), did away with the tiers, got involved with shipping so they could get a piece of that from both ends, followed the river on sales tax, etc. So now for most things your pay 15% and the bad buyers and sellers run amok.

  68. lynn says:

    @Lynn

    Early loading leads to early failure. With your largest aggregate sized appropriately to a 6″ slab and finer aggregate graded to fill the interstitial volume (think Covey’s “Big Rocks” demo) combined with the rest, you should be able to exceed 4000 psi in 3 days. Long weekend. Probably good enough. At 14 days you’d be over 8,000 and bulletproof.

    Alternative would be to temporarily widen your drive by filling the ditch, and park next to the drive. Might have to bring in a temporary culvert. Got a backhoe?

    High early strength concrete (Type III) is too spendy for residential, so not an alternative either.

    Nope, no backhoe. I want one or an excavator but the wife says that I will flip it and kill myself. And all of the used ones that I have seen for less than $50K are museum pieces with severe issues (hydraulic hoses are not cheap and a pain to install !).

    My other option is to convert my driveway into a U. My concrete guy will put in the 170 feet of 12 foot wide U and another bridge over the ditch for $28,000. It is a little expensive at the moment but I am considering it. Concrete is real expensive around here since TXDOT is building 360+ lane miles of new interstate from three miles north of my house all the way to the Fort Bend County border, 30 miles to the west. And the next county over, Wharton County, has started on a new interstate project of 240+ lane miles.

  69. drwilliams says:

    @Nick

    “some guys like to work in their shops, and some guys like to work on their shops.”

    Yeah, and I shouldn’t talk too loud because many is the time I’ve toted home tools from estate sales that I didn’t need. Eventually I’ll get to the point where my will reads “and Craftsman toolchest/roller cabinet #3 with tools (see Appendix G) goes to…) etc.

  70. drwilliams says:

    @Lynn

    Had a job done a couple years ago by a medium-sized backhoe. Operator was an artist. He had a bucket and a grapple and could interchange them seamlessly.

    I know the pros, their rates are reasonable for the work done, and I just need to go to one of those places where you can play with the equipment for a couple hundred bucks and get it out of my system.

    I still want a man-lift. I figure between the use I get out of it and being particular about doing a few rentals it should pay for itself. I could probably park it in the fall so the deer get used to it and then use it as a tree stand. 😉

  71. Nick Flandrey says:

    When I worked in hollyweird I worked for the number two scenery shop in town… and that kinda colors my views on shops. I worked for a couple of others too, and built scenery and trade shows in college. I spent a LOT of time in the shop. I don’t currently have a workable or working shop, but I’ve got all the stuff stacked up 😉

    I thought I’d build out a woodworking shop, instead of a scene shop, but that hasn’t happened yet.

    n

  72. brad says:

    every person shown in that article was a single mom

    Switzerland tends to move slowly – equal rights for both genders is long since in the Constitution, but women couldn’t vote until the 1970s, and the retirement age is just now being made the same.

    Then, sometimes, we take these leaps forward. Women have just been officially informed that they had better look to their ability to support themselves, even (especially) during marriage. Get divorced, each partner is expected to be able to support themselves.

    This won’t affect child support, of course. But it might mean the kids going to the dad rather than the mom, if she can’t earn a living.

    A couple of my panels have sunk into the ground by up to 4 or 5 inches. The driveway was poured in 1998 without any rebar. The road in front of my house is about eight inches above my driveway, I almost have to shift into 4WD to get up onto it.

    If you don’t want to replace the whole shebang, what about a low-tech solution? The panels have sunk, they’re happy where they are. Just pour new panels on top of them.

  73. Greg Norton says:

    A couple of my panels have sunk into the ground by up to 4 or 5 inches. The driveway was poured in 1998 without any rebar. The road in front of my house is about eight inches above my driveway, I almost have to shift into 4WD to get up onto it.

    I have manufacturer samples of this product in two places in my yard where standing water after rain was a walking problem. Some of the manufacurer’s spotlight projects are out near Houston.

    https://www.truegridpaver.com/

    At some point, with one location, I will have to go back, pull everyting up, and raise the elevation by about an inch to get the resulting surface completely above the water, but at least I can put my trash cans away without the HOA fussing. I was in a hurry and did zero prep beyond landscape fabric under the grid.

    Rocks held in place by the grid don’t move. The surface is a lot more solid feeling than just gravel. Unfortunately, I can’t give a long term impression because the oldest install is just coming up on eighteen months IIRC. Maybe two years.

  74. ITGuy1998 says:

    https://www.truegridpaver.com/

    Thanks for that link. I might have an alternate use for that product. We have a fenced backyard, and one of our dogs has worn troughs on both sides barking at the neighbors dogs. I might look at putting this down in those areas. It might help protect the grass but will definitely keep the land from being eroded away. On one side of the yard, the dog has made a path that is 3 of 4 inches lower than the original grade.

  75. Greg Norton says:

    Thanks for that link. I might have an alternate use for that product. We have a fenced backyard, and one of our dogs has worn troughs on both sides barking at the neighbors dogs. I might look at putting this down in those areas. It might help protect the grass but will definitely keep the land from being eroded away. On one side of the yard, the dog has made a path that is 3 of 4 inches lower than the original grade. 

    The previous owners of my house had quite a menagerie going in the back yard, and they buried bricks under the fence line in an attempt to solve the problem of their dogs attempting to interact with two pit bulls who used to live next door.

    I don’t know how successful that solution was, however, long term since neither house has resident dogs anymore. Everything the previous owners did here was very surface and temporary seeming — like using drywall mesh tape to hold the heavy bathroom light fixture in place rather than opening the drywall and bracing the electrical box properly.

    Of course, they did want to leave me the problem of disposing of a 700 lb semi-permanent concrete pillar the architect husband had stashed in the back yard for a more enduring project he never got around to starting. If removal hadn’t been in the closing agreement, I’m sure the pillar would still be there.

    TrueGrid will ship samples. Four of the grid squares is quite a bit of ground and will give you an idea as to how much the product will move once in place.

  76. Greg Norton says:

    I saw two California plates and a WA State plate in the parking lot of Home Depot when we made a late run yesterday evening. I assume they were the people inside the store with masks — house closings from Memorial Day silly season are starting to happen.

    Masks on shoppers at Home Depot/Lowes never made any sense to me. I have a significant dog allergy, and I’ve not had a reaction with the animals running around our local stores — there are usually a couple. Ventilation is not a problem.

    Petsmart/Petco? Fuggedaboudit. I have a limit as to how long I can be in one of those stores.

  77. ITGuy1998 says:

    TSA PreCheck was mentioned yesterday. I’ve never used it, as I usually only fly once or twice a year. My AMEX card gives a credit for the cost, so I went ahead and got it for me and I also paid for my son. We’re going to CA on Saturday, and I figure any help on him getting through security will be a plus. We are allowed to carry though any food and drinks we want.  They better not give me any grief about my carrying a pack of 8 juice boxes…

    I’m having the boy carry his normal supplies – insulin and all his supplies, plus a couple extra juice boxes and snacks. I will carry my emergency diabetes kit, which has everything his kit has except insulin. I bought a cooling tube so I can carry a backup of each pen. If we happen to lose one backpack, we will have everything he needs in the other.

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