Fri. Aug. 13, 2021 – Friday the 13th falls on a Friday this month

Hot and humid, some rain somewhere in town. Yesterday I managed to miss all the rain. Wherever I was it was sunny and hot, but I could see the T storm cells in the distance. Two of them parked over neighborhoods near mine for a while. LOTS of rain came down in a short time.

I spent my morning taking the puppy to the vet for the last of his vaccinations. He was very sore afterwards, and he really doesn’t like the rectal thermometer 🙂

Then I did some pickups, and spent some time talking with one of the auctioneers about taking a bunch of my stuff. He’s game. I told him about a box truck worth, and he seemed ok with that. We talk again on Monday. That would be awesome to get a huge whackload of stuff out of here at one go.

I’m really getting concerned about unloading as much as I can as quickly as I can. The pace of our slide toward violence and civil disorder/war seems to be accelerating. There are blue check mark people (ie real people) on twitter calling for the un-vaxxed to be lined up in front of ditches and machine gunned. They are saying that society should be making the unvaxxed lives miserable until they lose heart and give in. I note that they are saying these things expecting pats on the head and agreement. On the other side, parents are chasing school board members to their cars yelling at them that ‘we know where you live and we’ll find you.’ IN PERSON and on video.

Petty and violent crime are up all over the country, and respect for the law is at lows we haven’t seen in decades. That might be partly because we are no longer ruled by law, and people are waking up to that. Criminals will always see it first and act first to take advantage of it. Ordinary people, who are growing madder by the day, will start soon. Every crime or slight will carry the death penalty WROL. (or without EFFECTIVE rule of law anyway.)

Extremists are getting more extreme. Rhetoric is heating up. Interpersonal violence and official violence are increasing. Add in an invasion of literally ‘the great unwashed’ to the tune of over 1 million, all of them legally criminals, many undoubtedly actual “criminal” criminals. The world political and economic situation continues to deteriorate. When was the last time you saw an article about Greece and its financial issues? When did the EU banks have their last stress test? Anyone think those situations have been made better by the last year and a half of lockdowns and trade disruptions? Is Paris burning cars this summer? How is Venezuela doing? Cuba? How about the failed narco-state to our south?

Then look to our own issues of governance. Even the edges of the mainstream are starting to question Biddn’s mental state. His wastrel son’s laptop is the gift that keeps on giving and someone is doing mental scale balancing of Biddn’s perceived power vs. the money to be made off the scandal. No one wants to be Epsteined, but recognizing the lion is toothless makes people bolder.

Our economic situation hasn’t improved. In every other instance in history, writing a bunch of checks you can’t cover except by running the printing presses has led to inflation. History HASN’T ended. We are seeing inflation. We expect inflation. Why is it so hard to BELIEVE in the bad things inflation brings? Your fixed income becomes ZERO. Your life savings becomes ZERO. Your wages quickly drop to near zero. And in the middle of this, TPTB have decided to fire at least 30% and possibly as much as 50% of their staff with vaccine mandates. Isn’t everyone complaining about a labor shortage? How does reducing the pool of available labor help that? People have lost their minds, and are not making rational decisions. That is a VERY BAD SIGN.

I know. I’m doom and gloom. It comes with the territory. But. Show me the alternative. Make the case that things are getting better.

And if you can’t, you need to start acting. Nothing irrevocable. But there is a lot you can do before it gets to that point. People are moving. Sarah Hoyt (who we sometimes link) has. Our own Jenny saw the possible very local bad things coming and acted. RBT did several years ago. Several other bloggers I read have moved too. Lynn has his gennie installed. Others of you have taken steps too. A fair number of you have casually moved in the last couple of years…

It probably deserves more thought and a lot more words written, but I think we are past the point where a ham radio license and some Baofeng radios will help. Alternative comms ARE going to be needed, but I don’t know what it will look like yet. Alternative food, water, power, sanitation, and healthcare are going to be higher on the list. Alternative income. Alternative security arrangements. Alternatives to going to work every day. Those are the things to prioritize now.

The more stuff you have stacked, the more skills, knowledge, and trustworthy friends you have, the more ALTERNATIVES you will have.

Keep stacking what you need.

Keep your head on a swivel and your options open.

nick

70 Comments and discussion on "Fri. Aug. 13, 2021 – Friday the 13th falls on a Friday this month"

  1. drwilliams says:

    New moon Sunday.

    Tuesday evening the setting moon was two fists high over the western horizon.

    God’s fingernail.

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  2. Denis says:

    Thanks, Nick. The title reminds me of JEP and RBT. Absent friends!

  3. dcp says:

    Is it sinister to wish you all Happy Left-Hander’s Day, or merely gauche?

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  4. Greg Norton says:

    There are blue check mark people (ie real people) on twitter calling for the un-vaxxed to be lined up in front of ditches and machine gunned. They are saying that society should be making the unvaxxed lives miserable until they lose heart and give in. 

    I received an email yesterday from the performing arts center in Downtown Austin, notifying me that I will need to either show proof of vaccination or a negative test before I am admitted to an event scheduled for November.

    I told my wife last night that I will hold off on that decision to see what the numbers do over the next month. Football season will be the catalyst for a lot of stupidity, but things still looked bad in February when we made our “go” decision for Florida with plane tickets in mid-March.

    Fortunately, the center is offering requests for refunds … for now.

    Of course, Austin won’t close the bars on 6th Street again, not with the Legislature in town for redistricting and UT in session. They may “check papers” at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot however, just to avoid another shutdown.

    (That really is the name of the bar. Fittingly, the poster child for FOMO and home of multiple documented superspreader events last year.)

    I wonder how many face vaccination cards are going to circulate at the Texas Capitol Do you really think everyone in that building is vaccinated?

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  5. JimB says:

    From yesterday:

    You can set Signal as your default SMS app. When you send a message to someone, if they don’t have Signal, they will get an SMS. When you start a new message, Signal shows you how it will be sent.

    My friend mentioned that, and I consider it a nonstarter. I used to have SMS disabled by my carrier, but they reenabled it withiut my permission, so now I disable it on my phone. If I were to use an encrypted text app, I would not want it associated with my phone number. If that is not possible, then forget it. There are other reasonably secure ways to send communications.

  6. Greg Norton says:

    My friend mentioned that, and I consider it a nonstarter. I used to have SMS disabled by my carrier, but they reenabled it withiut my permission, so now I disable it on my phone. If I were to use an encrypted text app, I would not want it associated with my phone number. If that is not possible, then forget it. There are other reasonably secure ways to send communications. 

    Your options are increasingly limited on Android or iOS.

    Ironically, AOL IM probably had the best expectation of privacy of the messaging apps because the company also ran an ISP in the US, and there were lots of restrictions on what those carriers can do with user data, even that of employees.

    IBM shed Global Network in 1999 partially because of those restrictions, handing responsibility for running the ISP to AT&T in the famed services/employee swap.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    Rare burgers tonight with tomato and Hatch chilis.

    Forgot the red onion.

    Bless the gardeners.

    We were in Hatch two days ago. A family attending one of our programs invited us to their house for chow. Chili’s freshly picked from the fields. Yum. They also make their own alcoholic drink from some pear/apple hybrid. Also, yum.

  8. Nick Flandrey says:

    84F and 82%RH, trash has already been by, cleaning service is poking around the house as I write this, wife is working from home today, and later, we have D2’s “meet the teacher.” That is from 11am to 2pm, so just like everything else the district does, it’s for their convenience not that of a working parent.

    We got this from our district, and it is the most sensible communication on the subject I’ve seen yet.

    Masks are optional for students and staff. The governor of Texas and the Texas Education Agency have ordered school districts not to mandate masks in schools this year. While masks are optional, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks be worn indoors by all individuals age 2 and older. We strongly urge parents to make the best decision for their children regarding masks at school. Every child will be respected and fully supported in our schools.

    The ‘remote student’ option this year will be set up as a separate ‘school’ with all the remote kids assigned to that ‘school’. In person teachers will only have their in person classes. All the remote kids will have teachers who only teach remotely. This is likely to be a much better arrangement than the “we’re all in this together” hack job of last year.

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  9. Nick Flandrey says:

    Anyone here who still looks at legacy media sites have a comment?

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/08/us-media-goes-full-pravda-not-one-single-mainstream-outlet-reports-presidents-naked-son-hooker-complaining-russians-stealing-laptop-blackmail/

    –I’ll note that no one denies that it’s P#ssy Hunter Biddn in the videos, or that it’s his legit laptop.

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  10. Chad says:

    The remote learning crap from last year really played hell with some kids socially (in addition to the large clusterfuck that it was for pretty much everything else too). My daughter was in-school all last year and this year she was talking with a girl the first day of school who was remote all last year and the girl was seriously almost to the point of tears and was like, “all my friends have sort of moved on without me.”

  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    “all my friends have sort of moved on without me.”

    -some of that happens when they change grades anyway and should reset when she changes schools, but yeah, we made an effort to stay connected with classmates. the girlscouts helped somewhat with that.
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  12. ITGuy1998 says:

    Work has now mandated all employees must be fully vaccinated or must have tested negative for COVID within the past 7 days. You are not allowed to ask status, however. Still on the honor system. Masks must be worn by everyone. It almost seems like it’s just for show…but that would just be a conspiracy theory, right?

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  13. ech says:

    Shouldn’t we require the personnel to get flu shots?

    Some health care facilities do. Some don’t, but unvaccinated staff that have patient contact have to wear N95s. (I saw this at one hospital where my mom was a patient.) In any case, children are the major spreaders of flu in the US.

     

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  14. EdH says:

    Re SMS:

    My 2 cents.

    At least on iDevices the library that brings up the keypad is a Cocoa Foundation library, ie Apple’s.  For Apple to add a hook for keypad input would be trivial.  I have no idea if they have, but it wouldn’t be hard.

    And most other base functionality is also Apple libraries.

    Basically unless you encode on another platform, and send a picture of your encoded message, you are toast if Apple wants you to be burned.

  15. Greg Norton says:

    Work has now mandated all employees must be fully vaccinated or must have tested negative for COVID within the past 7 days. You are not allowed to ask status, however. Still on the honor system. Masks must be worn by everyone. It almost seems like it’s just for show…but that would just be a conspiracy theory, right?

    They’ve stated a clear company policy on vaccination and not showing up for work contagious. If you are found to be in willful violation of policy and terminated for that reason, your unemployment insurance eligibility is voided in a lot of states at least until you participate in an appeal hearing process. In some states, you are permanently ineligible.

    Honor system, but don’t get caught “swimming naked” as Warren Buffett describes it.

    The most likely way you are going to get caught is if you travel for the job on a non-trivial basis and the government eventually puts the unvaccinated on a “do not fly” list.

    Once the Pfizer vaccine moves from EUA to full FDA approval, the air travel restrictions will begin.

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  16. nick flandrey says:

    They are already building out the national database of vaxxed people.  I put this in a comment at Aesop’s, but I’ll repeat it here.

    Ultimately, CDC will use the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) to identify vaccine breakthrough cases. Once CDC has confirmed that a state can report vaccination history data to NNDSS, CDC will identify vaccine breakthrough cases through that system. At that time, the state health departments can stop reporting cases directly into the REDCap database. After this change, CDC will upload the available data reported to NNDSS into REDCap database for further review and confirmation by the state health department.

    –that bolded bit is a national database of the vaxxed and unvaxxed. First written reference I’ve seen to that specific bit of nastiness.

    https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/health-departments/breakthrough-cases.html

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  17. JimB says:

    Re national database of vaxxed and unvaxxed, When I got my vax at a grocery store pharmacy, I showed and they scanned my Medicare and health insurance cards. IDK where that data went, but I seriously doubt it was securely deleted after it was put to some proper use.

    That’s the problem. So many collections of our personal data, so many opportunities for the data to “escape.” Data wants to join hydrogen and be free! We are way past the notion that the only way to guarantee privacy is to not capture any data. Those of us who have had a job will never be able to slip into the shadows again, unless we disappear totally.

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  18. MrAtoz says:

    LOL I just got a cell call with area code “South Africa”. I guess the *princes* moved south.

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  19. Greg Norton says:

    –that bolded bit is a national database of the vaxxed and unvaxxed. First written reference I’ve seen to that specific bit of nastiness.

    Here’s hoping that the database work gets handed to one of the made members of the government contracting racket for the usual inept handling.

    A “passport” app on a phone would be the best case scenario, at least if you want the whole process handled poorly.

    When I clicked through to the CDC and dug around, it appears that breakthrough cases which do not result in hospitalization or death haven’t been tracked since April. Who tracks the effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing illness that should be part of the FDA approval?

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  20. MrAtoz says:

    Geez. DHS is blaming tRump for the border crisis. Are the sheeple that dumb?

    Why, yes, yes they are!

  21. MrAtoz says:

    I’m getting 4-5 calls and emails per week from CPS on how I rate on energy use. Same with water. I wonder how much energy they use making millions of calls and emails per week?

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  22. lynn says:

    Falling with style: https://youtu.be/CZeMZ3WPuLY

    See also: https://youtu.be/WhVLgTsoMhQ

    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is 50 years old this year. Released on June 30, 1971.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willy_Wonka_%26_the_Chocolate_Factory

    I watched it again in the last year. Still a great fantasy.

  23. lynn says:

    I’m getting 4-5 calls and emails per week from CPS on how I rate on energy use. Same with water. I wonder how much energy they use making millions of calls and emails per week?

    They are getting ready to hit you with a 50% rate increase and wanting to see how bad the damage will be.

    ADD: CPS still has that half billion debt to pay off from the Feb Freeze plus another half billion dollars of bills for natural gas to Exxon, Shell, etc., that they bought on the spot market at 100X regular cost.

  24. Alan says:

    Re national database of vaxxed and unvaxxed, When I got my vax at a grocery store pharmacy, I showed and they scanned my Medicare and health insurance cards. IDK where that data went, but I seriously doubt it was securely deleted after it was put to some proper use.

    You should be able to get vaxxed without showing any photo ID, health or Rx insurance cards. Just claim that you are homeless.

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  25. Greg Norton says:

    “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is 50 years old this year. Released on June 30, 1971.

    I watched it again in the last year. Still a great fantasy.

    Gene Wilder at the height of his abilities making what was, effectively, an extended commercial.

    Hopefully, you got an uncensored print. The film has been tweaked at times, and the original negative has been in the hands of my former corporate masters for the last several years.

    We saw an unsensored print as part of a kid-friendly event at a medical conference about 15 years ago, and my wife and I got a lot of stares when we couldn’t stop giggling at Wilder’s glee at dishing out justice.

    Among other classics, Time Warner has censored the Rankin Bass “The Hobbit”, but that pre-dated the Death Star buying the company.

  26. Alan says:

    …absent friends…

    Speaking of, have we heard from Harold recently?

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  27. Greg Norton says:

    I’m getting 4-5 calls and emails per week from CPS on how I rate on energy use. Same with water. I wonder how much energy they use making millions of calls and emails per week?”

    They are getting ready to hit you with a 50% rate increase and wanting to see how bad the damage will be.

    Canyon Lake reached its limits this week, and all of the communities who share the water are affected to varying degrees. Blanco went on Stage 5 restrictions since their only other source of water is their reserve tank.

    While Texas isn’t currently in drought for the most part, the lakes have been low for a while.

    Kinda weird that CPS would call about water. I thought they were power/gas.

  28. lynn says:

    “Threatening Texans with everything they want”
    https://gunfreezone.net/threatening-texans-with-everything-they-want/

    “Every Democrat should leave the state immediately.”

    If wishes were horses, Democrats would flee.

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  29. Alan says:

    …booster shots…

    CDC estimates one million people have already received a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna.

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  30. nick flandrey says:

    You should be able to get vaxxed without showing any photo ID, health or Rx insurance cards. Just claim that you are homeless.

    –they got a DNA sample attached to everyone’s name, SSN, etc with every swab. When I told my cleaning person that, she got very serious looking. IDK if they actually did, but it’s well within their ability, and you know they want to.

    They have revealed that they keep a bunch of the nasal swabs, even before covid, from flu testing. Remember when they announced that wuflu had been here longer than we thought because they found it in samples from earlier?

    REmemeber back in the day a small controversy about AIDS testing? Employers doing drug screens would be notified that an employee was positive for AIDS when the testing lab asked the employer to get permission from the employee to tell them the test results. It was cheaper to do the whole range of tests on every sample than to just do specific tests. They were also testing for stuff like hypertension and heart disease drugs, anti-psychotics and other mood altering drugs.

    The fantasy stories where wizards burn their hair and nail clippings because an enemy could collect them and then have power over the wizard have come true.

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  31. Greg Norton says:

    “Every Democrat should leave the state immediately.”

    If wishes were horses, Democrats would flee.

    They run things in the I-35 corridor. The performing arts venue requiring vaccination or tests is itself a test of crossing that line.

    The redistricting political deal this Fall will include Dell -er- Williamson County getting a permanent House seat. MJ Hegar and Robert Francis may actually win something next November.

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  32. lynn says:

    …booster shots…

    CDC estimates one million people have already received a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna.

    Thousands have probably gotten their fifth doses also.

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  33. Greg Norton says:

    –they got a DNA sample attached to everyone’s name, SSN, etc with every swab. When I told my cleaning person that, she got very serious looking. IDK if they actually did, but it’s well within their ability, and you know they want to.

    Nah. Too complicated for the usual contractor racket to manage.

    Ancestry.com. Blackstone bought them last year.

    Utah. BYU grad founders. Mormons — lots of experience dealing with genealogy data.

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  34. Greg Norton says:

    Thousands have probably gotten their fifth doses also. 

    Concierge practices now have the infrastructure to store the vaccine and connections to get the shots.

    If a third shot is mandated even to eat in restaurants in some cities/states, arbitrage begins.

    No fly list for the unvaccinated or under-vaccinated? How much money do you have to jump the line?

    It will be like getting a Passport — you can spend six weeks in the normal process or pay an expediter and get it in an afternoon in one of the cities with a State Department office like Miami.

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  35. ITGuy1998 says:

    No fly list for the unvaccinated or under-vaccinated? How much money do you have to jump the line?

    Take it further. Want to cross state lines? Proof of vaccination please. Hell, I can foresee dui, err, COVID random checkpoints to check vaccination status.

    Power has been gained during this “crisis.” It will never be relinquished.

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  36. MrAtoz says:

    Kinda weird that CPS would call about water. I thought they were power/gas.

    Yes, SAWS does wawa. I get robo calls and email from them along with CPS.

  37. nick flandrey says:

    so our local private property grabber, “judge” lina hidalgo has issued a mask requirement for schools and day care facilities.  In direct contradiction of Governor Abbott’s order.

    My school district is still following state orders.

    Didn’t someone get a preemption law passed?  There is one for gun laws in most places.

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  38. MrAtoz says:

    How will Abbott respond?

    Over to you, “Wheels”.

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  39. nick flandrey says:

    Given that the order contains ridiculous numbers, they are either too stupid to be making demands, too mendacious to be trusted, or too sloppy to hold any position of authority.

    According to the latest information available, the pandemic is surging again in our community. For the
    period of July 25 – August 8, 2021, Harris County has seen:
    ● A 332% increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases
    ● Current positivity rate is 19%
    5,122 deaths reported due to COVID-19 in Harris County
    ● A 180% increase in hospitalizations
    ● A 152% increase in ICU beds

    The actual data shows about 70 for that period according to the NYTimes widget. NYSlimes also shows 6800 deaths in Harris Co. for the whole length of the pandemic.

    The 7 day average is between 4 and 7 for that period, compared to 30-38 for Jan and Feb which was the peak after we’d learned how to treat this.

    Percentages mean exactly nothing unless the nom and denom are identified.
    Hospitals are designed to run at capacity.
    Increases in hospitalizations will continue until ultimate capacity is reached. In January the 7 day average was ~2800 and that was the absolute peak. The period noted average is ~1900. That’s only 2/3 of max.

    Take a look at the NYT chart of new cases per day. There is only one day when they have a note that there is ‘anomalous’ data, but look at the days where new cases are over 4000 and the previous day was in the mid 300s. Isn’t that anomalous? A >10X jump in one day? then back down to slightly higher than normal numbers for a few days then another 10X day… something isn’t right with those numbers.

    My point with this, and it’s been months since I looked at any numbers or graphs, we’re being lied to and manipulated AGAIN.

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  40. Greg Norton says:

    The actual data shows about 70 for that period according to the NYTimes widget. NYSlimes also shows 6800 deaths in Harris Co. for the whole length of the pandemic.

    The State of Texas Covid dashboard shows 6829 deaths in Harris Co. for the entire pandemic right now.

    The seven day moving average of daily reported deaths statewide hasn’t been above 50 since March.

    I don’t think scaring the h*ll out of Texas is the real intent right now, even though they’re doing a really good job here in Austin. The panicked emails I receive daily from the Dem beg mailing list indicate that they will have a problem in Virginia in November.

    What they’re doing is telling the Dem female voters in the DC suburbs, “You can still trust Joe and Kamala. Your McMansion and German grocery getter are safe. We know you *both* work hard for what you have. Do you want to elect a Republican and live like Texans … or Florida Man?”

    VA is a rehearsal for next November, but power outages on the scale of February could put the Texas Governors Mansion in play in time for the primaries.

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  41. paul says:

    I stumbled across the LineageOS site the other day.  Cool, they list my phone, an LG V20 on Verizon.

    What I can’t find, and I’ll put it down to my stupidity, is things like “features” and “if this sucks how do I un-do back to the factory OS”.   I have a few apps I’ve paid for that I’d like to keep, like, Torque.  I do like the Google thing where it saves my contacts.

    And silly me, will the IR emitter still work?  It’s pretty nice to be able to turn the sound down on various restaurant TVs.

    What about the second screen at the top of the main screen?

    I’ll look more.  Perhaps buy another phone on eBay to Frankenstein with.  Shrug.

  42. paul says:

    The whole two spaces after a period thing?  I do two spaces and I don’t give rat’s ass about proportional fonts or whatever “anyone” that is too lazy to hit the space bar twice after a period thinks.   I do most of my typing in (gasp) Notepad or if I want fancier, for stuff like fancy fonts and italics, Write or WordPad or whatever the heck it’s called now.

    Anyway.  HTML ignores the extra space.  And that’s why we have     🙂

    There is always a way.

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  43. EdH says:

    Since the wind is howling 30mph+ and the sky filled with a smokey haze my thoughts naturally turned to astronomy (my brain is perverse that way).

    I have been thinking about building an equatorial platform for the 10” dob and started following links. The second link took me to non-other than an excerpted chapter from RBTs “Astronomy Hacks”.

    I actually own that book, bought it when it came out in…2005. Wow. Time flies.

    It’s still available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition.

    https://www.amazon.com/Astronomy-Hacks-Tools-Observing-Night-ebook-dp-B00T8KH1VE/dp/B00T8KH1VE/ref=mt_other?_encoding=UTF8&me&qid&tag=ttgnet-20

    My bound copy is packed away, I am tempted by the kindle…

     

  44. RickH says:

    I note that today the county medical officer for my area (northern Olympic Peninsula, WA) will be requiring masks at all indoor locations (except homes) starting tomorrow.

    This will also include schools, etc. Medical offices and hospitals in the county have continued to require masks.

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  45. Greg Norton says:

    I’ll look more. Perhaps buy another phone on eBay to Frankenstein with. Shrug.

    I run a Moto G4 Play on LineageOS. If you can find one for a decent price on EBay, rooting and installing LineageOS is easy with that phone, and the hardware is powerful enough that the group behind the OS still does 17.1 nightly builds for the platform.

    The *big* downside of the Moto G4 Play is the internal GPS antenna connection is beyond wonky. That can be a problem on 17.1 since Android seems to grow more dependent on GPS with every release.

    I wouldn’t suggest messing with LineageOS on your primary phone.

  46. Greg Norton says:

    I run a Moto G4 Play on LineageOS. If you can find one for a decent price on EBay, rooting and installing LineageOS is easy with that phone, and the hardware is powerful enough that the group behind the OS still does 17.1 nightly builds for the platform.

    I forgot to add that when looking at Moto G4 Play phones on EBay, make sure that you do not get one that is “carrier locked”, where the carrier’s logo comes up on the display when booting instead of the Motorola logo.

    Ask the question of the seller. If they don’t know, make sure they will accept a return.

  47. Greg Norton says:

    I have been thinking about building an equatorial platform for the 10” dob and started following links. The second link took me to non-other than an excerpted chapter from RBTs “Astronomy Hacks”.

    I actually own that book, bought it when it came out in…2005. Wow. Time flies.

    I bought our late host’s astronomy books and two of the Home Scientist books.

    When RBT seemed to lose interest in astronomy, I was surprised.

  48. EdH says:

    When RBT seemed to lose interest in astronomy, I was surprised.

    I think I actually temporarily lost interest in it as a hobby about the same time, new job, etc., really just getting back into it since retirement last year.

    Amateur Astronomy has be an off/on thing for me since my teens anyway, so it didn’t really seem strange to me then that he moved on. A man of many interests after all.

     

  49. nick flandrey says:

    IIRC, RBT had some issues with vertigo at the time, that made observing difficult or uncomfortable.

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  50. Ray Thompson says:

    Bought a dehumidifier at Costco 14 months ago. The buttons that set the desired humidity level are not working. There is a two year warranty. I have been dealing with the manufacturer for two weeks now to get the unit fixed or replaced. They even had me disassemble part of the unit trying to resolve the issue. It takes sometimes two days for them to respond to emails.

    Finally they admitted the unit has a problem. They will send a replacement unit, only 30 pints a day, to replace my 50 pints a day unit that is defective. Uh, no thanks. I don’t know if they want the old unit back. I am not paying to send the old unit back and if Danby wants it they better provide a shipping box. But by this time I had enough of the hassles.

    Took the unit to Costco, they refunded the price no questions. I want a replacement but Costco is out and will not have any for five days. I also got the unit on sale at $40.00 off the price. The returns lady said when the new units arrive I would be able to purchase a new unit at the same $40.00 off price, in fact the original price regardless of what the new units are selling. Impressive warranty service from Costco. A pox on Danby for incredibly poor service.

    While in Costco I made a couple of observations. Almost everyone had one or two packages of toilet paper. We also had a package simply because we are close to being out. Many of the shelves in back are empty that used to store something.

    Lots of people in the store, long lines. Almost no one wearing masks.

    And in other news. Suddenly I am in charge of replacing the phones at the church. We will get rid of the PBX and go with VOIP phones. Ethernet connects to the phone, phone connects to the computer. So no running of cables. The phones can work on any internet connection, not just AT&T where we are purchasing the system. All managed via a web interface.

    Now everyone at the church will have their own private number. They will also have their own web portal to manage their phone. It will take training as the people are generally clueless about technology and computers.

    Monday I start the process of porting the existing church phone numbers to the system. These number will not be assigned to a phone, but a group of phones so that an inbound call will ring on several phones which can be configured. Phones can be configured to ring X number of times before transferring to another number, even a cell phone. I think there are four levels of phones that can be attempted.

    It is called Office@Hand by AT&T. Seems to be a nice system. We pay for each seat, $21.00 a month, with a seat being a phone that has a number. Other numbers, such as the primary church number that were on POTS, there is no charge. It will raise the church phone bill $50.00 a month but provide much more flexibility and features. The phones were $99.00 each and after three months AT&T will rebate $89.99 for each phone back to the church.

    But somehow, I got duped in the process of being in charge. Considering the staff at the church, the members (most with VCR’s still flashing 12:00), there really was not any other choice.

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  51. Ray Thompson says:

    IIRC, RBT had some issues with vertigo at the time, that made observing difficult or uncomfortable.

    He did. It was part of a larger medical issue for which he mainly ignored until it was too late. The vertigo was a symptom of a serious problem.

    It cannot be stated enough, if something doesn’t seem right, get to a doctor. Better to be safe than sorry.

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  52. Greg Norton says:

    IIRC, RBT had some issues with vertigo at the time, that made observing difficult or uncomfortable.

    The vertigo was probably a symptom of something bigger.

    I’ve had heart palpitation issues since getting canned, and I’ve been working with a doctor for several months trying to get to the bottom of the problem.

    So far, nothing beyond mild hypertension, and that’s probably related to the stress. Paper got back to me this week that the old job wasn’t just content to fire me but they may have suborned perjury in the filing with the TWC making sure I was temporarily ineligible for UI coverage at the new job.

    Kids, T-therapy is bad, m-kay.

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  53. Greg Norton says:

    He did. It was part of a larger medical issue for which he mainly ignored until it was too late. The vertigo was a symptom of a serious problem.

    It cannot be stated enough, if something doesn’t seem right, get to a doctor. Better to be safe than sorry.

    Not all doctors are Progs and/or inept, as our late host learned eventually.

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  54. lynn says:

    “COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in Texas nursing homes, and nearly half of workers are unvaccinated”
    https://www.texastribune.org/2021/08/13/coronavirus-texas-nursing-homes-staff/

    “Texas ranks 46th nationally for vaccinated nursing home residents and 33rd for vaccinated nursing home staff.”

    I have a problem with this. You should be vaccinated if you are working with old people.

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  55. lynn says:

    “‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson recalls speaking at Dusty Hill’s funeral”
    https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson-dusty-hill-funeral-divine-appointment

    “The ZZ Top bassist died unexpectedly in his sleep at his home in Houston, Texas, at age 72”

    Cool.

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  56. nick flandrey says:

    Burned my forearm, on the inside tender flesh, on the oven door whist making dinner tonight.  It hurts.  REALLY HURTS.  I’ve had a fair number of burns over the years.  Right now, this one is pretty sore.

    Did I mention it hurts?

    Oh, final update on daughter’s cut to her cheek from the dog’s tooth.  Healed completely without a mark.

    n

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  57. lynn says:

    “You’d think a guy who spent time in an internment camp wouldn’t want to treat others like second class citizens”
    https://gunfreezone.net/youd-think-a-guy-who-spent-time-in-an-internment-camp-wouldnt-want-to-treat-others-like-second-class-citizens/

    “But George is a Leftist so identifying, dehumanizing, and punishing an undesirable is what gets his juices flowing.”

    Why are the liberals so willing to throw the rest of us in the ditch and then machine gun us ?

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  58. Greg Norton says:

    I have a problem with this. You should be vaccinated if you are working with old people. 

    If the vaccine only lessens the severity of the illness and does little to stop the spread, the unvaccinated are at more risk from the old people than the other way around.

     

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  59. lynn says:

    “American Demon (Hollows)” by Kim Harrison
    https://www.amazon.com/American-Demon-Hollows-Kim-Harrison/dp/0593101421/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number fifteen (in chronological order) of a sixteen book urban fantasy series. I read the well printed and well bound MMPB published by Ace in 2021. I will buy book sixteen when it is released in MMPB.

    Rachel Morgan’s life has never been easy, being born a witch and genetically modified to be a demon as a child to save her life. And now she and Trent are fighting the religious leader of the elf race. Who, is full of horrible truths.

    The author has a blog at:
    https://kimharrison.wordpress.com/

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4,167 reviews)

  60. Greg Norton says:

    “But George is a Leftist so identifying, dehumanizing, and punishing an undesirable is what gets his juices flowing.”

    Why are the liberals so willing to throw the rest of us in the ditch and then machine gun us ?

    Been to a con lately? George Takei makes $80/autograph and $100 for a photo op.

    https://fanexpohq.com/fanexpodallas/guests/george-takei/

    Follow the money. This weekend, George is at MegaCon in Orlando despite Florida’s numbers going through the roof if the reporting is accurate. The man is shameless.

    What I find hilarious about George Takei is the hypocrisy. Go back to the start of his career or the “Star Trek” lull in the 70s, and he wasn’t ashamed to do the Asian equivalent of Stepin Fetchit dubbing “Godzilla” flicks or playing a Japanese commander on “Black Sheep Squadron”.

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  61. lynn says:

    The whole two spaces after a period thing? I do two spaces and I don’t give rat’s ass about proportional fonts or whatever “anyone” that is too lazy to hit the space bar twice after a period thinks. I do most of my typing in (gasp) Notepad or if I want fancier, for stuff like fancy fonts and italics, Write or WordPad or whatever the heck it’s called now.

    Anyway. HTML ignores the extra space. And that’s why we have  

    There is always a way.

    I always put two spaces after a period in my warning and error messages in both our Fortran and C++ code. Looks good even if the messages are written programmerese !

  62. JimB says:

    For burns, I always immediately apply very cold water (never ice) until the area goes numb. I reapply to maintain numbness for at least a half hour. That’s all I have ever needed, even for small third degree burns. Works extremely well, but probably too late for you now.

    Next best remedy is a spray that contains lidocaine and aloe vera. My wife is very sensitive to sunburn, and swears by this. I have read that lidocaine is no longer recommended, but she says it works for her, and she has no ill effects. She only uses it a couple times over a few hours, and does not need it further.

    Finally, some get relief with anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, my favorite, or ibuprofen.

    I have read recommendations to use hydrocortisone, but I don’t like it, so you will have to use your own experience.

    Good luck. As you know, burns and skin scrapes are some of the worst to endure. Old school medicine did not treat these adequately. New school appears to recognize this. I had a cousin who worked in the back office of a major burn clinic, and she said she was constantly impressed at the newer treatments for serious cases. She never elaborated.

  63. Nick Flandrey says:

    Someone has to play those characters, and if they put a white man in asian drag, they get pilloried for that too.

    There is a trend, and when you squint and look sideways to see it you won’t be unable to see it. The liberals with their wokeness are removing minorities from our everyday life. No more indian on Land o Lakes butter. No more blacks on maple syrup. There are plenty of other examples. It’s like the current version of ‘sexual liberation’. The main effect was to make more women sexually available to men, and to normalize acts that used to be niche porn that got a raised eyebrow even in the ‘adult’ store. In my observation, that didn’t benefit women much.

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  64. ~jim says:

    @Nick

    I’m still having fun going through the first 23 episodes of Julia Child’s the French Chef. I think it’s perfect for any beginning cook, even before The Joy of Cooking.

    https://www.amazon.com/French-Chef-Julia-Child/dp/B0062246R8?tag=ttgnet-20

    I’ve also been experimenting with making caramel/brittle out of just butter and sugar in the microwave. I’ve always been too scared to try it on the stove top but the microwave works damn well. Sugar is really weird and it’s fun adding sesame seeds and then peanuts. Might be fun with your kids? I don’t know.

    In addition to the Hardware Guys, I was also a moderator at Cooking For Engineers. I don’t even know if that’s still around!

  65. JimB says:

    If the vaccine only lessens the severity of the illness and does little to stop the spread, the unvaccinated are at more risk from the old people than the other way around.

    There seems to be some belief that the vaccine decreases the amount of virus emitted by the infected person, but I am not sure. I am so overloaded with misinformation that I am getting confused.

    However, there might be something better coming:

    https://forward.com/fast-forward/473296/covid-busting-hand-sanitizer-for-the-nose-goes-on-sale-in-israel/

    It contains nitric oxide, and kills a large percentage of viruses.

    See also:

    https://sanotize.com/press-releases/

    Real or hype? I leave it to others.

    As I have said recently, I am fed up with all the yelling from both sides over what works and what doesn’t. My position is that we should be trying and testing everything as fast as we can. As long as something seems to be safe, it should at least be tested. I want to see this bug hammered, but I seem to be in disagreement with TPTB.

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  66. Nick Flandrey says:

    I left some very thin layers on the inside of the oven door. I’ve had cold on it since. The weird thing is that it hurts in a much bigger area than what is red and shiny. Just brushing against a normal looking area hurts. (and because I was getting dinner on the table I delayed putting the cold on it. That was a mistake.)

    I’ll put aloe on it before bed, and in the morning. It’s not as bad looking or as big as I feared, but MAN did it hurt.

    Red and shiny, some damage to skin, some swelling. Somewhere between 1st and 2nd if I remember correctly. I’ve had worse, lots worse, and bigger. The intensity of the pain was a surprise though. Usually I’m good about getting cold on it instantly and that helps a lot. Or I’ve destroyed the part that makes it hurt. When I did it, I thought it was smaller than it turned out to be, about the size of my whole thumb. (and when it hurt, I thought it was bigger than it actually is.)

    I’ve got a lot of burn first aid, including burnjel sheets and creams, silvadine cream, etc. but that would be overkill for what this is actually looking like.

    n

  67. lynn says:

    “Who had this on their 2021 Bingo card?”
    https://gunfreezone.net/who-had-this-on-their-2021-bingo-card/

    “Al Qaeda equipped with US supplied MRAPS roll into Germany to liberate Muslims from concentration camps for the unvaccinated.”

    “That is something that now has the potential to exist.”

    I highly doubt that this will happen. But, it could now.

    This is in relation to:
    https://justthenews.com/world/middle-east/taliban-seize-4-more-provincial-capitals-now-control-nearly-70-country

  68. ~jim says:

    You know, sometimes I wonder about the wisdom of applying cold to lessen inflammation. It seems to me that by increasing blood flow and circulating lymph, leukocytes and God knows what else Mother Nature is doing her best and who are we to contradict her? It all seems logical and allopathic yeah, but is there any scientific evidence for it? Of course it would be awful hard to lineup 100 Rays and knee replacement surgery and do a study, but I wonder…

    I recently read this study in which (for example, I don’t recall the exact details) they took a hundred mice and made a 1 centimeter incision on the back of each. 50 got antibiotic cream applied to the wound and 50 didn’t. Guess which healed faster and better? Yep, the ones without antibiotic cream. Upon further investigation they found that the bacteria were competing with each other and in the process promoting healing but when you killed the bacteria off with the antibiotic cream it somehow impaired healing.

    I find that I burn much easier after passing the 50-year than I did when I was younger. I used to pluck stuff out of the oven with my bare hands and there’s no way I could do it now without burning myself.

    And why are baked potatoes so damned hot? Inquiring minds want to know!

  69. ~jim says:

    This is in relation to:

    https://justthenews.com/world/middle-east/taliban-seize-4-more-provincial-capitals-now-control-nearly-70-country

    You know, Achmed the live terrorist ought to write a book entitled _The Art of War_. People have blamed the geography of Afghanistan for what, decades now and it’s getting to be a pretty tired excuse.

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