Thur. July 1, 2021 – more running around today

Still rain in the forecast, and heat, although not as much. It wasn’t actually unpleasant yesterday, although it was wet. There was a lot of regional rain, and areas of town that didn’t get any. As I was driving across town it would go from downpour to dry and back again. The bayous are filling up though.\

Today I’ve got another Dr appointment for oldest, a vet appointment for the pup, and youngest is having a play date and sleepover at a friend’s house. I’m chauffeur dad today.

Yesterday I took the kids to the doc for camp physicals. Freaking GS form was just bizarre. There was a whole section of body parts and the doc was supposed to select “satisfactory” or “not satisfactory”. No other explanation. Heart, lungs, teeth, genitalia. F me. Genitalia, not satisfactory. WTeverlovingF? Why is that an option, what does GS’ing gain from the exam and paper record, and WTF is the criteria? We got neither the exam nor a comment for that section, just a vague line drawn next to the body part in the listing. People want too damn much information that they have no business even asking for. ONE line would be sufficient– “In my professional opinion, after examining the child, I find her healthy enough to participate in GS camp activities, with the following exceptions or modifications….” That is all GS needs to know.

It’s probably too late, but take control the amount of information you reveal to third parties. Have a set of answers you can use if you like, possibly transposing digits “by accident” or shifting dates or other numbers by some set amount. Start pushing back, ask if the info is ‘requested’ or ‘required’ and push for privacy and retention policies. Refuse to answer questions that aren’t relevant.

Yeah, I know, there is a certain amount of irony in me saying that… given the nature of blogging. Still, Nick is a subset of me, and I do try to obfuscate and especially to not “out” people who are unaware of what I do here, like my siblings. The resulting prose can sometimes be very awkward, and unnatural, and I try hard to smooth it out, usually with only limited success.

Anyway, with that said…

Dinner last night was home made fried chicken and southern fried veg– green tomatoes and onion rings. Youngest child wanted to make fried chicken and even though it makes a mess and the whole house smells like fried food for 3 days, it was a lot of fun. Green tomatoes were fresh from the garden, and were delicious. I used a batter mix, cast iron “chicken fryer”, and peanut oil. Biscuits were from a tube, for time and simplicity’s sake. Good stuff. Older child thinks she’ll be able to learn cooking “just before she needs it”. Yeah, good luck with that. Like gardening, it’s both simple and hard. Unless you count the soup kitchen, post SHTF you’ll be doing your own cooking. If you don’t already have some knowledge and skills, it’s time to start practicing. There has been much discussion here about the subject, the keywords are on the right… or ask in a comment.

Maybe you can survive on re-hydrated Mountain House, or microwave popcorn alone, but most of us will need more than that. Either way, stack what you need, don’t forget the tools, and practice the skills.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

80 thoughts on “Thur. July 1, 2021 – more running around today”


  1. I want one or an excavator but the wife says that I will flip it and kill myself

    How big of an excavator do you need? The big ones are expensive, require significant maintenance, transportation is difficult, fuel is expensive.

    Have you considered a small Kubota tractor with a backhoe and loader bucket? Not that expensive, easy to operate, easy to transport, etc. If you are digging something that is larger than what the Kubota would handle then it is time to get a professional involved. Last time I looked a new tractor was about $12K, used ones slightly less.

  2. Re cooking lessons

    Focus on materials, methods & processes to get an understanding of how stuff gets prepared. Any idiot can follow a recipe, so try making those biscuits without one. Sounds like it could be a “teaching moment” with the kids. Contrary to Adam Savage’s precept, failure *is* an option, esp. in cooking because you’ll always make mistakes but if you’re smart you’ll learn from them and the biscuits will turn out better next time.

  3. I forgot to pass this along when I first saw it the other day.

    https://visitortollpass.com/

    Keep it in mind if flying through Orlando.

    If I had to guess, it is a limited test to see how many false plate-based charges the various road authorities around the city see before rolling the program out state-wide.

  4. Re any excavators, tractors, backhoes, etc. I have a friend who is a “master dirt mover.” I always hire him. He has a nice assortment of equipment, and he is well worth it.

    How do I know? About 30 years ago, another friend had a 1949 Ford 9N tractor with implements. I “helped” him overhaul the engine in exchange for using it for some finish grading. I did all the work, and he got a fully functioning tractor. Never again. See the first paragraph.

    I will say, I learned how that tractor revolutionized small farms. It was second only to the Model T in its impact on rural society. Henry was a true visionary.

    Those newfangled tractors are very capable, but I don’t want another thing to maintain.

  5. @dr williams,

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

    n

    Heh ! I resemble the working on your shop.

    At 3,750 ft2, my warehouse needs loads of TLC. And it still needs four metal halide lights to be replaced. Two outside, two inside. Maybe in the fall. Late fall when it gets down in the 60s F.
    https://www.winsim.com/lynn_replacing_warehouse_top_light.jpg
    and
    https://www.winsim.com/ceiling_of_warehouse_1.jpg
    and
    https://www.winsim.com/warehouse_west_side.jpg

  6. @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.

    Yup, I have seen awesome backhoe operators. And then there was the guy who ripped right through my buried 25 pair phone cable when he was putting in a new water well for me. It has never been the same since then.

    I rent a 35 foot reach boom lift from Aztec Rentals here in Sugar Land for $311 per 24 hours. I have rented it 5 or 6 times now in the last three years. I really don’t want to own the boom lift, too many batteries and hydraulics to take care of.
    https://www.winsim.com/truck_and_boom_lift.jpg

  7. I want one or an excavator but the wife says that I will flip it and kill myself

    How big of an excavator do you need? The big ones are expensive, require significant maintenance, transportation is difficult, fuel is expensive.

    Have you considered a small Kubota tractor with a backhoe and loader bucket? Not that expensive, easy to operate, easy to transport, etc. If you are digging something that is larger than what the Kubota would handle then it is time to get a professional involved. Last time I looked a new tractor was about $12K, used ones slightly less.

    I need to dig out my ditches and my neighbors ditches that drain to the bayou. About a half mile of ditches that are three to four feet deep. I would like to take them down another foot. Too big a job for me.

  8. Today I’ve got another Dr appointment for oldest, a vet appointment for the pup, and youngest is having a play date and sleepover at a friend’s house. I’m chauffeur dad today.

    Good thing that you got the new used Expy.

    I miss the five tons of a/c in my old Expy. The three tons of a/c in the new F-150 is great but the five tons could cool the front seats down very quickly. You got all the refrigerant in the front if you did not run the back evaporator. Just ignore the screams of your passengers.

  9. Yup, I have seen awesome backhoe operators. And then there was the guy who ripped right through my buried 25 pair phone cable when he was putting in a new water well for me. It has never been the same since then.

    Did AT&T replace the line or just splice it?

    Splicing in a high water table environment is going to always be a problem.


  10. I need to dig out my ditches and my neighbors ditches that drain to the bayou. About a half mile of ditches that are three to four feet deep. I would like to take them down another foot. Too big a job for me.

    What am I missing here? You take a shovel over there every day and dig for an hour. You get your daily workout and eventually the ditches are all done.

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  11. What am I missing here? You take a shovel over there every day and dig for an hour. You get your daily workout and eventually the ditches are all done. 

    Snakes. Gators.

    “The world needs ditch diggers too, Danny.”

    2

  12. 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.

    Are they really loosing their shirt on your Prime package if that Amazon van is already making three other stops on your block?

  13. Yup, I have seen awesome backhoe operators. And then there was the guy who ripped right through my buried 25 pair phone cable when he was putting in a new water well for me. It has never been the same since then.

    Did AT&T replace the line or just splice it?

    Splicing in a high water table environment is going to always be a problem.

    Splice. The cable is over a mile long and a home run to our CO in Booth, Texas. You can follow it on the telephone / power poles back to the CO.


  14. 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.

    The CDC’s citation:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the issuance of an Order under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

    2
  15. Yesterday I took the kids to the doc for camp physicals. Freaking GS form was just bizarre. There was a whole section of body parts and the doc was supposed to select “satisfactory” or “not satisfactory”. No other explanation. Heart, lungs, teeth, genitalia. F me. Genitalia, not satisfactory. WTeverlovingF? Why is that an option, what does GS’ing gain from the exam and paper record, and WTF is the criteria? We got neither the exam nor a comment for that section, just a vague line drawn next to the body part in the listing. People want too damn much information that they have no business even asking for. ONE line would be sufficient– “In my professional opinion, after examining the child, I find her healthy enough to participate in GS camp activities, with the following exceptions or modifications….” That is all GS needs to know.

    In these enlightened times, they probably want to know if the girl has female genitalia or male genitalia. Or both (the wife says that is incredibly rare even though there was a House episode about that).

    In other words, no girls allowed with male genitalia.


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

    Including Uncle Joe getting into the end zone with his “70 percent of all adults at least partially vaccinated” football.


  17. In other words, no girls allowed with male genitalia.

    Apparently acceptable in the “Boy Scouts”, though. 😉

    1
  18. I released version 16.09 of our software yesterday. Not sure how many lines of C++ and F77 code changed but it was several thousands. On to version 17.00 ! Unless we have an uh oh, in that case there will be a 16.09a or a 16.10 depending on the severity of the bug.

  19. In other words, no girls allowed with male genitalia.

    Apparently acceptable in the “Boy Scouts”, though.

    It is my understanding that the Boy Scouts take any and all genders nowadays.

  20. In these enlightened times, they probably want to know if the girl has female genitalia or male genitalia. Or both (the wife says that is incredibly rare even though there was a House episode about that).

    Kleinfelters? Sounds like “House” was cribbing from “Trapper John MD”. “House” cribbed from everybody.

    The transgender individual who unwittingly helped AT&T break the union in 2009 had an extremely bizarre back story she presented on the infamous “Prime Time Live” broadcast in which she claimed that she had dormant Kleinfelters which began to express itself after a bee sting.

    My wife called total BS on that and explained the reality. “He probably cooked up the cover story when he began to grow breasts and had to explain it to his wife.”

    Again, the union folded to the company demands within 24 hours. And the broadcast was delayed from two weeks earlier, when Michael Jackson died.

  21. I need to dig out my ditches and my neighbors ditches that drain to the bayou. About a half mile of ditches that are three to four feet deep. I would like to take them down another foot. Too big a job for me.

    What am I missing here? You take a shovel over there every day and dig for an hour. You get your daily workout and eventually the ditches are all done.

    Eh, no. I am not going for heart attack number three. My daily workout is a mile long walk through the neighborhood at midnight, stepping over frogs, salamanders, and snakes.

    1
  22. You take a shovel over there every day and dig for an hour. You get your daily workout and eventually the ditches are all done

    You joke, but one of the benefits of age seems to be taking the long view. In the past coue of months, I put in around 15 tons of rock into a dry stone wall, and 8 tons of gravel. A couple of hours a day, don’t look at the progress too often, and eventually – wow – it’s done.

    That said, ditch digging would not be my activity of choice. That’s why we have diggers.

  23. In these enlightened times, they probably want to know if the girl has female genitalia or male genitalia. Or both (the wife says that is incredibly rare even though there was a House episode about that).

    Kleinfelters? Sounds like House was cribbing from “Trapper John MD”.

    House episode ‘Skin Deep” from Season Two.
    https://house.fandom.com/wiki/Skin_Deep


  24. 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.

    Of course, no repercussions for prosecutor.

  25. “Splicing in a high water table environment is going to always be a problem.”

    Splice. The cable is over a mile long and a home run to our CO in Booth, Texas. You can follow it on the telephone / power poles back to the CO.

    My original 2009 strike assignment was splicer in CT except *everything* is overhead in legacy SNET. Or was.

    After the Death Star acquired SNET, they dug up the fiber which the legacy carrier had laid prior to the acquisition, in an attempt to prove a point about the superiority of Uverse and DSL.

    Yeah, that didn’t work, but, at the time, it meant that CT had the worst union jobs in the company.


  26. 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.

    So once the evictions eventually take place, and all the deadbeat tenants blacklisted, whom will the landlords rent all the vacant apartments to?

    3
  27. I read section 361, or think I did, or attempted to read section 361. This is all I found that is relevant. Section 361 is relating to the movement of people that are infected or may have been exposed. Basically quarantine individuals. But the feds and the CDC took it one step further.

    The CDC concluded that this eviction moratorium was necessary to prevent the interstate spread of
    COVID-19 because evictions could lead a sizeable portion of the population to become homeless or relocate to new congregate living situations that increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

    So the CDC decided themselves that allowing someone to be evicted was considered moving around someone that is diseased or may have been exposed. No testing or verification. Just applied to everyone. The CDC also decided that a sizable portion of the population would no longer have a place to live.

    No rationalization for the CDC to determine such level of homelessness. Thus people were allowed to not pay rent even if they were capable. No real laws were passed, just the CDC saying so.

    Landlords were now in the position of being forced to pay their tenants what is effectively welfare. A free ride on someone else’s money. The true position of a socialist democrat.

    Someone with a $1,500 a month rent, whom has not paid for 12 months, now owes a substantial rent balance of $18K. Where is that money going to come from? Most of the people do not have that amount of money laying around. The landlord is still obligated to pay taxes, maintenance and insurance on the the property. Without income where does the landlord get the money for their obligation. Especially taxes. Don’t pay the taxes, lose the property to the government.

    What the CDC has done is create an eviction crisis. When the moratorium is lifted evictions will become rampant. If I had a tenant that owed me $18K I would give them 60 days to pay up or get out, file a lien on every piece of property the tenant has, and maybe even send Knuckles Malone to even the score.

    In my opinion, the CDC way overstepped their authority and scope of section 361. With the blessings of the liberal socialist democrats. Perhaps the real goal is to impoverish the landlord and allow the government to seize property for the tax bill. As has been stated before, no one really owns their land and buildings, they are only renting from the tax authority.

    1
  28. Mother nature made a liar of me. Sunny and hot, no rain so far.

    At Dr office. 10 pages of disclosure, one for medical questions. Repeated the lie that we are in an epidemic of narcotic addiction and explained that they would be violating their oath by punishing patients for other people’s bad choices by not prescribing narcotics. Drs are getting as bad as lefty pols. At least they didn’t ask about guns in the home.

    N


  29. 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.

    @nick; did you try eBay? They make it easy to exclude non-US sellers and as far as I’ve seen their search results consistently don’t include random crap. Amazon’s (presumably AI-driven) search really sucks.

  30. @ray, it will drive out all the small landlords, and let their friends in the funds buy up all the rentals.   Biden’s tax plan will destroy inheriting  properties allowing them to be bought by the hedgies too.

     

    Wipe out the middle and make the lower even more dependent on the upper class.  All part of the long term plan.

     

    You will own nothing. And you will be happy.  Our else.

     

    N

    2
  31. “About 30 years ago, another friend had a 1949 Ford 9N tractor with implements.”

    Wohoo. That is the Ford licensed version of Harry Ferguson’s masterpiece, the little grey Irish tractor. My grandparents had one, my brother has one, and I too will have one one day. Ferguson was a genius, who solved the problem of how to efficiently attach a plough or other implement to an agricultural tractor with his three point linkage, copied by everyone ever since. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Ferguson

    That invention revolutionised agriculture, because it made mechanised tilling and harvesting viable. Along with the Haber-Bosch process for fixing Nitrogen for fertilizer, it saved untold millions worldwide from starvation.

     

    1
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  32. “He who dies with the most tools wins.”

    I like to say “if the project didn’t require a new tool then you did it the hard way.”

    At least that’s what I tell the wife as I head out the door to Home Depot.

    3
  33. 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.

    The big advantage to using Amazon – you can easily return just about anything for any reason – and now no need to box it, tape it or label it, just drop it at a UPS Store or Kohls. And I’m sure plenty of people needing a one-use tool “rent” it from them. Thank goodness for the AWS subsidies.

  34. So once the evictions eventually take place, and all the deadbeat tenants blacklisted, whom will the landlords rent all the vacant apartments to?

    I’m not sure finding tenants has ever been much of an issue. IIRC, there’s a rental shortage nationwide and has been for many many years. Just google up “US housing shortage.”

  35. The big advantage to using Amazon – you can easily return just about anything for any reason – and now no need to box it, tape it or label it, just drop it at a UPS Store or Kohls. And I’m sure plenty of people needing a one-use tool “rent” it from them. Thank goodness for the AWS subsidies.

    The “fulfilled by Amazon.com” fee is getting steep as of late. Depending on the vendor supplying the “rental”, you may be inflicting serious damage on a small business.

    Jeff will be fine.

    And Mackenzie can afford to buy a *new* Bronco to drive over the mountains.

  36. What the CDC has done is create an eviction crisis. When the moratorium is lifted evictions will become rampant. If I had a tenant that owed me $18K I would give them 60 days to pay up or get out, file a lien on every piece of property the tenant has, and maybe even send Knuckles Malone to even the score.

    That is probably what Roberts and Kavanaugh wanted to prevent from happening in Alabama this weekend after the Court adjourned yesterday for their Summer holiday.

    We’ll see if Texas ends extended unemployment on Saturday. Texas Workforce Commission (unemployment insurance) was still backlogged on appeals when I made my monthly call yesterday.


  37. The “fulfilled by Amazon.com” fee is getting steep as of late. Depending on the vendor supplying the “rental”, you may be inflicting serious damage on a small business.

    Jeff will be fine.

    And Mackenzie can afford to buy a *new* Bronco to drive over the mountains.

    I’ve resisted “renting” from Amazon so far. And if something I might legitimately have a reason to return I try to buy “Sold by Amazon.”

  38. @alan, there were ebay vendors, but they were all higher price and I didn’t sort for US only, although you can.  It’s not a guarantee that the stuff is in the US though.  And you can get stuck with a 3 week wait.

     

    n

  39. IIRC, if you want to have Amazon list your product on their website, stock your product in their warehouses, fulfill, and ship your orders it costs you about 30%. That’s the all-in price of having Amazon do it all for you (you just need to truck your stuff to Amazon). You can do lesser version of that where you just list it on Amazon but fulfill and ship the orders yourself and then you can choose whether you’re going to offer Prime. Amazon is very strict on Prime. If you ship your own stuff and it’s Prime (aka – SFP or seller-fulfilled Prime) something like 98% of packages must ship same day (if ordered by 5PM or whatever the cutoff is) or they take away your Prime status. Losing Prime on Amazon can really hit your sales and it’s one of the most commonly used filters when people are buying stuff.

    Love them or hate them, Amazon has permanently changed customer expectations in the US. People sort of assume they can have everything within a day or two and returns are no hassle. It puts a lot of pressure on smaller retailers (And, compared to Amazon, who isn’t smaller?) who can’t always afford it.

  40. Including Uncle Joe getting into the end zone with his “70 percent of all adults at least partially vaccinated” football. 

    A quick check shows only 57% vaccinated in Delaware, Scranton Joe’s stomping grounds away from DC.

  41. I had an arbitration hearing on my nine acre commercial property this afternoon. They increased the market value of the property from $850,000 last year to $999,602 this year. The $850,000 amount from last year was an arbitration amount in my favor. I brought up the fact that my neighbor behind my property had listed her 37 acre property in 2019 for $1,700,000. She eventually dropped last year to $999,000 and still did not sell the property as she unlisted it. So she started at a land value of $47,000/acre and ended up at $28,000/acre with no reasonable offers. The FBCAD has my property listed at $40,000/acre so I contested it.
    https://esearch.fbcad.org/Property/View/R34391

    The head of the arbitration board offered me a $900,000 total value settlement and I took it. That will save me almost $2,000 in property taxes. This is my third hearing with these guys and my third win. You really have to watch them. The FBCAD land adjuster was so mad that she could spit.

  42.  

     

    https://www.cisa.gov/BadPractices

     

    CISA is developing a catalog of Bad Practices that are exceptionally risky, especially in organizations supporting Critical Infrastructure or NCFs. The presence of these Bad Practices in organizations that support Critical Infrastructure or NCFs is exceptionally dangerous and increases risk to our critical infrastructure, on which we rely for national security, economic stability, and life, health, and safety of the public. Entries in the catalog will be listed here as they are added.

    Use of unsupported (or end-of-life) software in service of Critical Infrastructure and National Critical Functions is dangerous and significantly elevates risk to national security, national economic security, and national public health and safety. This dangerous practice is especially egregious in internet-accessible technologies.
    Use of known/fixed/default passwords and credentials in service of Critical Infrastructure and National Critical Functions is dangerous and significantly elevates risk to national security, national economic security, and national public health and safety. This dangerous practice is especially egregious in internet-accessible technologies.

    –took long enough…

    n

  43. “Court upholds Arizona voting restrictions, limits cases under Voting Rights Act”
    https://www.scotusblog.com/2021/07/court-upholds-arizona-voting-restrictions-limits-cases-under-voting-rights-act/

    “On the last day before its summer recess, the Supreme Court issued a major decision on voting rights that will make it more difficult to contest election regulations under the Voting Rights Act. By a vote of 6-3, the justices upheld two Arizona voting provisions that Democrats and civil rights groups challenged as disproportionately burdening minority voters. In an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, the majority outlined what it described as “guideposts” for future challenges to voting laws under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bans racial discrimination in election practices. The court’s three liberal justices dissented, with Justice Elena Kagan complaining that Thursday’s decision “undermines Section 2 and the right it provides.”
    One of the provisions at the heart of the case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, is known as the “out of precinct” policy. It requires election officials to throw out an entire ballot if it was cast at the wrong precinct. A voter whose name does not appear on the voting rolls in a particular precinct is allowed to cast a provisional ballot, but if election officials later conclude that she voted in the wrong place, her entire ballot is discarded – even if she was eligible to vote for statewide or national offices, like governor or president, for which her precinct would not matter.
    The second provision at issue bans what is sometimes called “ballot harvesting.” Enacted in 2016, a state law makes it a felony to collect and deliver another person’s ballot (with exceptions for family members, caregivers, mail carriers and election officials).”

    The scary thing is that it was only six to three.

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  44. Wohoo. That is the Ford licensed version of Harry Ferguson’s masterpiece, the little grey Irish tractor. My grandparents had one, my brother has one, and I too will have one one day. Ferguson was a genius, who solved the problem of how to efficiently attach a plough or other implement to an agricultural tractor with his three point linkage, copied by everyone ever since. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Ferguson

    That invention revolutionised agriculture, because it made mechanised tilling and harvesting viable.

    I enjoyed that interesting article. I remember reading about the Ferguson system in one of the manuals I bought for the tractor. A LOT of Ford stuff is still available, although I am more familiar with autos than tractors. That Ferguson plowing system might have been operational on the tractor I worked on, but there was no plow. IIRC, the system was turned off by a lever, and the three point hitch simply raised and lowered an implement. It did have raise, lower, and float. The Ferguson system had a big spring that operated a valve. I think it was supposed to maintain a constant plowing depth.

    The tractor had a box scraper, locally called a Fresno, which is all I used. Some of these scrapers can drag or push, and can drag a quantity of dirt and spread it over a distance, which is very handy. The tractor also had an aftermarket front loader, but it was very heavy and overwhelmed the steering. I needed to use the independent rear wheel foot brakes to steer. I removed it for my work.

    I did enjoy that tractor. It was perfect for my needs. Folks say they were underpowered, but again not for my needs. The only thing I disliked was that accessibility for maintenance was poor, a surprise for such a machine. The distributor was especially hard to work on.

  45. The scary thing is that it was only six to three. 

    The Wise Latina, Hermione Granger, and the “Roe” chair dissenting? Not surprising.

    I’m more surprised that Roberts didn’t join them. Laws allowing ballot harvesting or out-of-precinct voting are “foolish” political choices.

    My wife couldn’t believe “Souls to the polls” when I explained what that meant after one local Faux News piece on the planned Texas voting reforms recently, which include a restriction that the early voting can’t open before 1 PM on Sunday.

    We’ll see if Abbott even gets something on his desk to sign, but he is in trouble.


  46. The head of the arbitration board offered me a $900,000 total value settlement and I took it. That will save me almost $2,000 in property taxes. This is my third hearing with these guys and my third win. You really have to watch them. The FBCAD land adjuster was so mad that she could spit.

    Also confirming you can’t own land in the FUSA. Some wretched goobermint arsehole will take it if you miss $1,000’s in taxes or just $1. Our first house in SA had an IRS lien for a few dollars in taxes, which turned out to be their error. “Here’s your flimsy copy of the release, and, eff you peon, for disputing us.”

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  47. @Alan

    Amazon’s (presumably AI-driven) search really sucks dead bunnies through a straw.

    FIFY


  48. Ferguson was a genius, who solved the problem of how to efficiently attach a plough or other implement to an agricultural tractor with his three point linkage, copied by everyone ever since. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Ferguson

     

    That invention revolutionised agriculture, because it made mechanised tilling and harvesting viable.

    @Denis

    I too enjoyed the article. There’s one of those BBC _Life in Edwardian Times_ documentaries in which the heros, having used horses to plow in a previous episode, behold the splendiferous wonder of the steam-powered tractor, not without the dramatic contretemps, of course.

    Ivm agog at them old contraptions, and the ’49 Ford N would be among them if I’d ever seen one. I have marveled over Mahindra tractors in India probably just as old and a marvel of simplicity. Big beasts with every organ laid open to exposure for mechanical surgery. No wonder their ilk were called steam donkeys. Mahindra’s generators from that era are even trippier: straight-line 4 cylinder affairs with a bore of about 8″. And don’t get me started about the simplicity of the Ambassador!

    Which leads up to a discarded commercial hot water heater I saw on being hauled away from an empty storefront today. Couldn’t have been 10 years old, if that. Gas, 30 gallon tank. Side had been pulled off exposing a labarythine maze of electronics, sensors and gewgaws reminiscent of early 80’s. I wondered how much of it was devoted to ‘conservation’ and whether the benefit exceeded the expenditure in terms of energy and/or pollution. As Joe Bob Briggs would say, “I think not”.

     

  49. Well, I can’t seem to edit.

    …reminiscent of automobiles from the early 80’s.

    And thanks too, to JimB for the tractor tale.

  50. Duh! I had opened the convo in incognito mode by mistake. Let’s see if I can’t correct myself by logging in again in normal, cookie mode.

    EDIT:
    Well, I hope I don’t make that mistake again. I like being able to edit little niggles (omg! Is that ray-cist?) in style and whatnot.

    1
  51. “The Vor Game” by Lois McMaster Bujold
    https://www.amazon.com/Vor-Game-Lois-McMaster-Bujold/dp/0671720147/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number six of a sixteen book space opera series. However, some people call this a military science fiction series. There are several other books and short stories in the Vorkosigan Universe. This series won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best series in 2017. Also, several of the individual books in the series have either won awards or been nominated for awards. I have read this book several times as it is one of my favorite books. I reread the well printed and well bound used MMPB published by Baen in 1990 that I just rebought on Amazon. I paid $6 for the used MMPB on Amazon and the next one is $11. There is also a hardback from NESFA Press for $26. I have rebought the rest of the books in the series in various formats, mostly MMPB.

    Miles Vorkosigan, son of Aral Vorkosigan and Cordelia Naismith, has graduated from the Barrarayan Imperial Academy. So, at the top of his class, he is assigned to be the weatherman for an infantry base in the polar region. And things go downhill from there.

    My rating: 6 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (344 reviews)

  52. I learned to drive tractor on a Ford 8N.

    The successor to the Ford 9N was the 2N, and the 8N followed after the war and the breakup of the Ford-Ferguson agreement.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_N-series_tractor

    It’s interesting to read both wiki articles, as they demonstrate a difference in perspective and each complements the omissions of the other to some extent. It’s unfortunate that there is no good historical reference book on the Ford tractors (what’s out there concentrates on the eye-candy of restorations and has little of the nuts-and-bolts history). Ertel’s American Tractors is heavily cited in the N-series article, but the Ford coverage is only a small part of the book.

  53. @~jim

    Sometimes, our problems on the computer are “PBDAC”

    ….Problem Between Desk And Chair …


  54. Couldn’t have been 10 years old, if that. Gas, 30 gallon tank. Side had been pulled off exposing a labarythine maze of electronics, sensors and gewgaws reminiscent of early 80’s. I wondered how much of it was devoted to ‘conservation’ and whether the benefit exceeded the expenditure in terms of energy and/or pollution.

    Crunch the energy savings of 97% efficiency for a water heater which lasts ten years or at most fifteen and in practice won’t be recycled, versus a 60% efficient water heater which lasts for fifty years.

    Ditto for refrigerators. The allegedly high efficiency refrigerator we have now has a heater in the freezer compartment to keep the coils from icing up. I’ve replaced the heater three times in less than eleven years. How much energy goes into making three widgets of aluminum and copper and getting it to us? And even without those replacements, the fridge’s expected lifespan is 15 years, contrasted with many older fridges which lasted a half century or more. I have trouble believing that the energy savings make up for all that waste.

  55. It’s called “embedded cost” or “embodied cost” and it rarely gets considered unless the person is making an argument for repair (or right to repair, most recently).

     

    There is huge embodied cost in a lot of things that get scrapped for fashion, or for lack of a simple repair, or even because no maintenance was done.

    For the opposite approach, consider men’s dress shoes.   A good pair can last 50 or more years.   The cost of original manufacture gets spread over decades, instead of 5 years before the soft parts turn to goo or the pasteboard fails and a modern shoe needs to be replaced.

     

    n


  56. For the opposite approach, consider men’s dress shoes. A good pair can last 50 or more years.

    A sweet example! I had a beautiful pair of lightweight Pivetta hiking boots in the early 80s I shoulda/woulda/coulda maintained at minimal cost I’ve been missing.

    On the flip side, I’m using grandma’s cast iron and her husband’s knives…

    Cracks me up to see that a simple skillet is now a fashion fad.

  57. For the opposite approach, consider men’s dress shoes. A good pair can last 50 or more years. The cost of original manufacture gets spread over decades, instead of 5 years before the soft parts turn to goo or the pasteboard fails and a modern shoe needs to be replaced.

    A local shop just did a decent repair job on a pair of Hencho en China deck shoes I wear all the time but can’t adequately replace new.

  58. Cracks me up to see that a simple skillet is now a fashion fad. 

    When I went through Tennessee about ten years ago driving west, my wife asked me to stop in Pittsburgh and get something from the Lodge outlet for her. I don’t know exactly what the political situation is there in town, but I got the vibe that 1/2 the town wants the foundry gone and replaced with condos while the other 1/2 depends on the continuing flow of pots and pans for their livelihoods.

    I guess it is the same as anywhere else in Amercia anymore. The locals at the gas station at the exit must have been from the “condo” crowd since they weren’t forthcoming with directions to the outlet. This was pre-Google maps.

  59. I have a pair of Johnson and Murphy dress shoes that I wore in high school. A tad too small, now. I suspect that years of not being restrained by actual shoe leather as opposed to New Balance 993 and lesser running shoes is the reason.

  60. @Greg

    Hecho en Mexico = Made in Mexico

    I don’t understand why you keep saying ‘Hencho’. Am I missing something? Could you please explain?

  61. @SteveF

    They get the efficiency up by using small compressors that run all the time and wear out quickly. They get the planned obsolescence by making sure it’s not economical to replace the compressor.

    A friend of mine had to junk a wine refrigerator recently. The freon leaked out, and it was not designed for freon replacement, at least according to two separate independent repairmen. I did not need another project.

  62. Anyone else find it fascinating that election machine software is capable of commingling the counting of test ballots with actual ballots?

     

    2
  63. I don’t understand why you keep saying ‘Hencho’. Am I missing something? Could you please explain? 

    I’m being a smart a**.

    Hencho en [Country] is also a running gag with some friends about the origin of the key ingredient in Florida Key Lime Pie, the state’s official dessert.

    The Key Lime is no longer grown in commercial quantities in the state. If you buy a bottle of the juice at the grocery store to make the pie, even in Florida, Brand X “The Taste of Old Key West” is stamped Hencho en Mexico.


  64.  stamped Hencho en Mexico

    Is it really stamped like that or is it: Hecho en México ?


  65. stop in Pittsburgh and get something from the Lodge outlet for her

    I’ve driven right by there once or twice a year since 98 as that’s the route to get back to visit my parents. I’ve never stopped, though I’ve actually considered it the past couple of trips. Maybe next time…


  66. Hencho en [Country] is also a running gag with some friends about the origin of the key ingredient in Florida Key Lime Pie, the state’s official dessert.

    Ahh, thanks. The WTF? moment has been explained.


  67. Is it really stamped like that or is it: Hecho en México ?

    The accent nomenclature is relatively new, silly and frivolous. Jésu Chrísto.

    Along with the bastardization of perfectly innocent words such as concerning, impacted, conflicted, empowered, and worst of all, emboldened. 

    2
  68. We finally have the problem child source code server replacement PC up and running. And the source code repository, we use CVSNT, is up and running because we turned the Windows 10 Pro x64 Firewall OFF. But we are double NATted so I am not worried. Yet.

    Maybe some day we will grow up and move to Git. Maybe. Our source code repository is 11+ GB with 20,000+ files in the repository scattered over hundreds of sub-directories. Dates back to 2005 when we moved from PVCS since it was limited to 8.3 character file names.

  69. Gah, you’ve emboldened me to operationalize my mission statement.

     

    n

    8

  70. Anyone else find it fascinating that election machine software is capable of commingling the counting of test ballots with actual ballots?

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of folks up there in NYFC.

  71. Poor design to have that ability.   And 135K TESTS?  that’s a lot of tests….

     

    n

  72. For that matter, I find it curious that someone put all that nuclear weapon access material out in public, when ol’ slo’ joe says we’ll need nukes and F 15s to take on the .gov….  maybe not incompetence?

     

    n

  73. Police are working street racing again tonight. Not having much luck finding people breaking the law though. Only a couple of arrests so far and they’re bitching and looking to go home.
    ]
    n

  74. 1949 Ford 9N does not compute. I’m almost certain it was a 9N, so it would have been an earlier year. I know it had a front mounted distributor, not side mounted. I’ll check tomorrow  but I think I gave all files to the owner.

  75. Cool. I had no idea we have so many tractor fans among the readership. Thanks for the stories and the new links to study! After those, I can get back to planning my replacement outbuilding, with space for a Harry Ferguson.


  76. I had no idea we have so many tractor fans among the readership

    Not really a “fan”, but I have operated many tractors in my youth. We had a Ford 9N, two Ford 600’s, two John Deere whose models escape me, a CAT D2 (completely manual, no electricity, manual start). I have driven many John Deere models, Massey Ferguson, Allison Chalmers, and a few odd ball tractors that I don’t remember the name. Also ran a combine for a couple of months with no cab, A/C, out in the open with the chocking dust harvesting wheat in eastern Oregon. The odd ball tractors were generally when I was working for someone else, mostly hauling hay or setting irrigation pipe.

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