Tues. Aug. 31, 2021 – so. now we’re done with August.

Hot and humid. It was 85F when I went to bed, that doesn’t bode well for today. And while yesterday started cooler, it got plenty hot by afternoon. I knew I should have cut the back yard grass early. Now it’s so long, and the temps are high, and I just can’t get motivated to do it.

Plenty of stuff to do though, as usual.

Spent the day doing auction and sales stuff. Picked up D2 and did a couple of hours of together time. We spent the last part of that sorting through some thrift store bags. She likes the treasure hunt too, although she gets excited about different things. Since many of the items in the bags are things I picked up for her, or the household, she was pretty excited.

Then the other one came home and the sniping and general sororite‘ dynamic went into full effect. Joy. I understand ‘man cave’ much better now and I expect that will only strengthen. Unless they’re living in the streets taking potshots at UN blue helmets…

Freaking world does not want to settle down. Get your self set up now, while amazon delivers and things are a click away. Water collection, storage, purification, heating, and use. Electrical generation, storage, and drastically reduced use. Solar panels, charge controllers, batteries, led lights, and window air units. Fans. Shade and breeze. Food. Stored, grown, caught, processed, preserved, and eaten. Got enough salt? You can improvise a lot, but some things you need. Got books on fermentation? Any practical experience? People ALWAYS want to have a drink. What are the critical components you just can’t fake?

How does your garden grow? Seeds are small, light, available, and you need more than you think. Also, you need pesticides specific to what you are growing. Heirloom varieties, saving seed, and local knowledge. Greenhouse, seed starters, rooting compound, grow lights, heat mats, plastic sheet, depending on climate. Don’t count on it getting hotter. Don’t count on it being cooler.

What goes in must come out. Sanitation, trash disposal, pest control.

String, cord, rope. Wire. Cable. Wire rope. Chain. Webbing. Repair for all of them. Tapes and glues. Repair, reuse, recycle. Be prepared to squeeze every bit of use out of stuff.

Think about the stuff they had on the farm in 1910 and you will be close to what you need. This is my grandfather’s ax. My father replaced the handle and I replaced the head.

Doom, gloom, oh no, oh woe… and yet it fits better than cheerleading. I keep looking for reasons to be optimistic and I don’t see them. I’ve asked you guys to chime in if you see them and no one mentioned any. (SpaceX might be able to get away just in time, but they’re a long time from being a liferaft… for a while, computing applied to medicine looked poised for a huge leap, but that has cooled.) So plan to get through some bad times. I intend to.

Keep stacking.

nick

140 Comments and discussion on "Tues. Aug. 31, 2021 – so. now we’re done with August."

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    78F and 89%RH this am.

    I put the whole article up at the bottom of yesterday’s comments. I’ll kill most of it in a day or two. TL:DR? Solar is cheap because it’s not well built, the industry is full of fly by night and flash in pan manfs and resellers. Warranty means nothing if the company is gone. There is a business opportunity servicing, repairing, removing and replacing old systems.

    — you won’t likely get the life you were hoping for for your payback to work.
    n

  2. drwilliams says:

    Lousiana has moved into the double-plus ungood column.

    Prayers for all those in need.

  3. Greg Norton says:

    “New Orleans faces THREE WEEKS without electricity after Hurricane Ida downed 2,000 miles of power lines across Louisiana, as looting begins and sewage companies warn outage has stopped pumps from working”

    That part of the country invented what Warren Buffett terms “swimming naked”.

    However, as is the case with Austin, people move there for the low costs and to enjoy party without worry.

  4. brad says:

    THREE WEEKS without electricity

    I saw all the toppled power-line poles on the news. Given the costs of the Katrina clean-up, putting the electricity cables underground would have been a rounding error.

    as looting begins

    New Orleans mayor says “lock ’em up”.

    Or just shoot them on sight. Improves the gene pool, and provides be a better lesson for would-be looters the next time around. (I’m channeling SteveF, did you notice?)

  5. Greg Norton says:

    People ALWAYS want to have a drink.

    What’s this about Austin?

    The ACL festival is still planning to check vaccination status at the gates. That will be interesting.

  6. Greg Norton says:

    I saw all the toppled power-line poles on the news. Given the costs of the Katrina clean-up, putting the electricity cables underground would have been a rounding error.

    That will never happen outside of the downtown cores of the big citys and fancy lad housing developments. The water table is extremely high, and people would gripe about having their property dug up, probably for months on end.

    Plus the costs of that kind of project would have involved a lot of payola in that part of the country.

    The further you get from New Orleans the faster the recovery time from storms. As my grandmother always said, “You don’t go down to Nawlins unless you are up to no good.”

    And the city name is pronounced with two syllables whereas “Jesus” is pronounced with as many as possible.

    If you require three syllables to say the city’s name, you don’t understand. 🙂

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  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    NOLA is a ‘wretched hive of scum and villany’ if ever I saw one.

    n

  8. Greg Norton says:

    Online hour long coding test yesterday for a place I’ve been talking to for about a week. C, no C++.

    No string, vector, or stringstream classes. Ack!

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  9. Greg Norton says:

    NOLA is a ‘wretched hive of scum and villany’ if ever I saw one.

    And it isn’t just locals. My dirtbag brother’s one man contracting business, with a return mailing address at my mother’s house in FL, is still milking a FEMA contract from Katrina for networking.

    The whole country has been in on the graft for 16 years. It sucks for the people who live there, genuinely like the area, and want to build something meaningful.

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  10. lpdbw says:

    re: Solar installations

    If you want to be your own integrator, a good place to start would be Will Prowse’s channel on YouTube.

    https://www.youtube.com/c/WillProwse

    He outlines do-it-yourself from all the levels from big package purchases down to build-your-own-batteries from cells and panel arrays from pallet-load surplus.

  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    thanks for the link, putting my stacks of stuff together is bubbling up the list.

    n

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    Rawles summarizes the Ruby Ridge incident —

    August 31, 2021

    On August 31st, 1992 Randy Weaver surrendered to the Federal Authorities, ending the 10-day siege on Ruby Ridge. This is the incident that preceded the Waco siege and is known for the unconstitutional rules of engagement and overzealous actions by the jackbooted thugs of the federal authorities that resulted in the death of two innocent people– Sammy and Vicki Weaver, Randy’s son and wife. It is notable that Randy was acquitted of all charges except missing a court date and violating bail conditions on an ATF sting operation where it is suspected that Mr. Weaver did nothing wrong but that the ATF informant altered the shotguns sold to him by Weaver resulting in Weaver’s arrest. In addition, the missed court date was due to clerical errors on behalf of the court. All involved Federal agencies were publicly reprimanded, and the state of Idaho attempted to press charges against some individuals for their actions but were stymied due to federal interference.

    –I’ve asserted before that if you don’t have a solid understanding of Ruby Ridge and the assault on a religious group in Waco, you cannot understand about 1/2 the conservative rural population of America, or perhaps even more. The people that killed US citizens GOT PROMOTED. These events are foundational to the people that will be “the American Taliban.” Note that they are not YET, but the time gets nearer every day and with every turn of the screw.

    n

    “No free Wacos, No free Ruby Ridge” was the rallying cry not all that long ago.

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  13. pecancorner says:

    Water collection, storage, purification, heating, and use.

    This may become more serious for Texas/Oklahoma, as they’ve issued a La Nina watch for this fall/winter. In northern states and California, that is a good thing, but for us, La Nina brings drought. I am hoping that if a La Nina does form, the sun will remain quiet with few/no sunspots, as every little bit of cooler temperatures will help us conserve water.

    I have a 100 gallon trough and several mineral tubs for collecting rain water, but wish we could put in a gutter and BIG tank rainwater collection system.  As it is, I keep pool chlorine pellets on hand to throw in after every rain to prevent mosquitos.

    Got books on fermentation? Any practical experience? People ALWAYS want to have a drink. What are the critical components you just can’t fake?

    How does your garden grow?

    Our local water has become too expensive for me to justify gardening (plus my dad gardens with free well water less than 2 miles from us). So I am putting in a small orchard this fall/winter in the old garden area. Fruit is easy to preserve, can be dried or fermented as well as canned. Excess can be sold or bartered.  And perennials bear more heavily every year as they age, with no work required. It will take several years to produce, but there is no time like now. Planting trees and perennials in the cool gives them a much higher rate of survival. And, if we do have drought, I can carry gray water to the trees if necessary.

    Womack Nursery is close to us, so I can go pick up trees – I’ll buy most things there, and can get the largest sized for very little more than small ones. They open Dec-March, and raise all their own stock. Also found a good southern mail-order tree nursery: Willis Orchards. Everything I bought from them three years ago has thrived and is bearing fruit this year: scuppernong grapes and a crabapple that can be eaten fresh. I intend to order a few more things from them this fall.

    We’ve some huge crepe myrtle trees that are too close to the house that I plan to cut down and try coppicing, but if they die, I will replace them with dwarf versions. Crepe Myrtles are just for beauty, but I have read that their long straight smooth, round limbs make excellent tool handles. They are very strong, I’ve some saved from pruning that I use as props for the peach tree limbs each year. So I plan to keep the ones of right diameter and try them on some hoe- and rake-heads.

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  14. Nick Flandrey says:

    Today’s sitrep brief from FEMA

    Tropical Cyclone Ida
    Lifeline Impacts:
     Safety and Security: Search and Rescue teams staged; no shortfalls reported
    o LA: 2 levees overtopped
     Food, Water, Shelter:
    o LA: 155 water system outages impacting 441k people in 17 parishes
    o LA: 16 water systems under boil water advisory impacting 319k people in 9
    parishes
     Health and Medical:
    o 1,755 patients evacuated from LA and MS healthcare facilities
    o LA: Patients evacuated from 10 hospitals; 2 hospitals in process of evacuating
    o LA: 6 parishes report extensive damage; hospitals with 90% power outage in
    Assumption Parish; Orleans Parish hospitals on generators and rationing water
    and fuel
    o 140 ambulances staged in MS
    o Public Health Emergency Declaration for LA and MS, Aug 28
     Energy: 190 (+6) generators staged
    o LA: 990k (46%) customers without power (Eagle-I, as of 6:15 a.m. ET)
    o MS: 46k (4%) customers without power (Eagle-I, as of 5:45 a.m. ET)
     Communications:
    o 911 communications in New Orleans has been restored; remain limited to some
    parishes in surrounding area

  15. Nick Flandrey says:

    Go down that list above, and if you can’t provide your own needs in those areas, you should start working on that. Or planning to do without, and planning for how LONG you can do without.

    Safety and security.
    Food Water Shelter.
    Health and Medical
    Energy.
    Comms.

    n

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  16. MrAtoz says:

    Disparage plugs and this is what happens:

    ‘DISGUSTING’: Gold Star Mom of Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, Shana Chappell, suspended from Facebook/Instagram for BRUTAL letter to Biden

    I’m sure the WH and MSM are dancing with glee. Another day, another disgrace for plugs. Leaving those dogs in The Suck is par for plugsy. The MSM is trying its best to carry plugs’ water. Never forget.

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  17. pecancorner says:

    “No free Wacos, No free Ruby Ridge” was the rallying cry not all that long ago.

    Don’t forget the YFZ Ranch, in Eldorado, Texas in 2008, where the state & feds swooped in and took 440 children, operating on false claims from an “anonymous” call. The state eventually managed to convict a couple of leaders, but it was Texas CPS that traumatized all those children. The state also later confiscated the land and assets. Texas Law Enforcement does not like religious sects.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YFZ_Ranch

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  18. Nick Flandrey says:

    @pecancorner, the ham radio guys are saying we’ve turned the corner and are headed into ever increasing sunspot activity until the cycle peaks. I am pretty sure this year was cooler in general than last summer, but it’s not over yet, and anecdotes aren’t data, right?

    I’ve got a big tank I filled years ago with rainwater and treated. It’s well settled out clear, clorinated, and now sealed. I’ve got 3 open top barrels under rain gutters. I’ve got two additional 40gal tanks on wheels I can fill with rainwater or tap.

    I’ve also got an inflatable wading pool I can deploy to collect rain if it comes to that.

    I gave some serious thought to trying out a solar still type water collection arrangement last week when I made the pile of fresh tree cuttings. I didn’t have time though. That’s the sort of thing I’d do if I was a youtuber 🙂

    n

  19. JimB says:

    Thanks for posting the whole article, Nick. For the record, I didn’t say a PAY wall, just a registration wall. I was tired last night, and working on my phone, and didn’t want the hassle of record keeping to join a site. I record all sign-ups out of habit.

    That article is a good cautionary tale. A PV system is complex and costly, and maintenance can be an important ongoing need. I have read that, in general, inverters only last 10-15 years, and are a major cost of maintaining a system. As in all components, they need to be chosen wisely according to needs. The panels can vary in performance and degradation over years, and are getting so cheap that they could be replaced after a few years with newer, better ones.

    I have followed some of the PV developments, especially for home use, for many years, and the cost/benefit isn’t there for me. That’s why I haven’t taken the plunge. I spent roughly $2k on electricity in 2020, so I can’t justify spending several tens of $k for a PV system. The electric rate trend is firmly upward, however, so I am accelerating my look at options. At some point, the lines will cross.

    I have friends with similar approaches. One just took the plunge, and is sharing data with me. I will give this a couple of years to see his experience. He is the first one I know who will share details. I can only suspect why other friends are being vague. One guy was honest; he said he had a ton of cash that was sitting idle, and thought a PV system was a good place to “invest” it. At least he is using his noodle, even if I don’t agree with his reasoning. I would get more enjoyment from purchasing an old car (or likely several) for the same money.

    Our solar space heating system cost less than a couple $k in 1978, and is still going with essentially no maintenance costs. With the government subsidies (I may be proud, but am not stupid,) it broke even in about five years. It was a wise decision, especially considering that people spent more than that for water heating systems that only lasted 10-20 years. I measured our electricity consumption for water heating, and it was $99 for our first year in this house, making a solar water system have an infinite payback back when interest rates were sky high. Not saying I would have borrowed the money, but there is always a cost of capital that should be included to level the field.

  20. JimB says:

    If you want to be your own integrator, a good place to start would be Will Prowse’s channel on YouTube.

    Thanks, I will take a look. I have been trying to look at stuff that has some payback in addition to just entertainment.

  21. drwilliams says:

    $84 billion in taxpayer assets left behind.

    I suggest we start replacing it with Kirby’s salary, and tap the brass in charge for the rest.

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  22. MrAtoz says:

    We’ve been getting the copyrighted photos scam lately. Some doosh fills out our contact form informing us we are using copyrighted photos and to pay up or get sued. I think we get that scam 20 times a year.

    We’re also getting Dumbocrat “We need money” emails on all of our accounts. Politicians have no shame. They except themselves from everything. I keep marking them as SPAM on our google hosted email to no avail. The Dumbos must be very worried about Nuisance. If Larry Elder gets in, the smearing will go into overtime.

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  23. brad says:

    Our local water has become too expensive for me to justify gardening

    Drought here in late summer is common, so we put in two 1000-liter rainwater tanks. They’ve been bursting full since Spring. We won’t need them this year. We’re in the midst of the longest dry spell of the summer – so far 1-1/2 weeks – and rain is forecast for Friday. In other words, it’s been a very wet summer, to the point that the grapes have rotted on the grapevines.

    I am pretty sure this year was cooler in general than last summer, but it’s not over yet, and anecdotes aren’t data, right?

    The alarmists are claiming this was a record-breaking *hot* year in Europe. You have to love lines like “Summer 2021 could be one of the 10 warmest on record despite weeks of chilly downpours and heavy flooding.” See above: Europe had maybe 3-4 weeks of normal summer weather – the rest was cold and wet. We regularly used our wood stove in July. It only finally warmed up in August. That’s when Southern Europe had a couple of weeks of scorching weather, but they always do, and it was only a couple of weeks this year instead of a couple of months.

    La Niña would be welcome. If it brings enough cooling, maybe they won’t be able to fudge the data enough to hide it. Unlikely, I know: literally everything is a sign of catastrophic climate change.

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  24. JimB says:

    Regarding the Nuisance recall, CA allows noncitizens to vote in local elections, and mail voting is allowed without any vetting. Someone should advertise in the other states for people to vote to recall. Would be interesting.

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  25. JimB says:

    Thoughts go out to folks who have been hit by IDA. Recovery will take time, but I am always impressed by how well the utility companies muster people and equipment. Also impressed by all the volunteers.

  26. JimB says:

    RickH, getting Internal Server error. It is sensitive to the text I am posting, which I verified to be plain ASCII. Will try later.

  27. Greg Norton says:

    Regarding the Nuisance recall, CA allows noncitizens to vote in local elections, and mail voting is allowed without any vetting. Someone should advertise in the other states for people to vote to recall. Would be interesting. 

    Different states have different rules.

    In VA, the KKKlansman Governor survived four years in part because the courts have to call for the recall election, and that’s highly unlikely in his case.

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  28. Chad says:

    THREE WEEKS without electricity

    Just fly them all one-way to Houston. It worked last time. 🙂 lol

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  29. MrAtoz says:

    Chief Sh!tting Bull:

    Heap-big HYPOCRITE: Elizabeth Warren BUSTED for being maskless at indoor wedding, breaking New Mexico mask mandate

    She’ll probably say “well, it was on Tribal Lands, so no stinkin’ EO applies”. Rules for thee, not for me. If COVID is so deadly, why isn’t she wearing two masks.

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  30. Greg Norton says:

    Just fly them all one-way to Houston. It worked last time. lol

    The All Star “resorts” on the Disney property still had a bunch of Katrina refugees quietly stashed in the remote buildings in October 2005.

    Disney evac-ed us out there when a tropical storm rolled through while were were in the campground for a conference and management decided that Fort Wilderness was “unsafe”. In retrospect, we should have just driven home for the night.

  31. ~jim says:

    Is _Einstein’s Fridge_ very entertaining? Not sure if I should spend the 15 bucks because I’m fairly familiar with basic thermodynamics anyway.

    https://www.amazon.com/Einsteins-Fridge-Difference-Explains-Universe/dp/1501181319/?tag=ttgnet-20

  32. nick flandrey says:

    Just fly them all one-way to Houston. It worked last time. lol

    –please jebus NO! Took over 15 years to clear them thru the schools and get back to normal. Then we had the south of the border invasion. Our school district is crushed with the ‘newly arrived’.

    I think this time we’d accept them, but after a month we’d start forceful deportations. We do learn some lessons.

    n

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  33. nick flandrey says:

    Well Survey Monkey is all growed up apparently.

    We have changed our company name from SurveyMonkey and relaunched as Momentive. As Momentive, we continue our commitment to transparency and keeping our customers informed of updates to our terms.

    –no more silly name for us, now we can collect the real bux from investors.

    n

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  34. Greg Norton says:

    –no more silly name for us, now we can collect the real bux from investors.

    Anymore, having a net worth measured in single digit millions of dollars and dependent on a salary to pay bills is considered underachieving in the Valley. Even tens of millions is not looked at as being “rich”.

    The name change smells like VC money is involved.

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  35. Greg Norton says:

    Soon, there won’t be such a concept as a device going “offline”.

    I’ll bet that it won’t be long before those chips are in cars without anyone being aware. When I bought my 2018 Toyota, I had to sign paperwork acknowledging that the vehicle could “phone home” without me being involved, and three years is a lifetime in tech.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-30/apple-plans-to-add-satellite-features-to-iphones-for-emergencies

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  36. MrAtoz says:

    Soon, there won’t be such a concept as a device going “offline”.

    My Subie (2018) and MrsAtoz’s Battlewagon (2015) phone home all the time and tells us maintenance status. I parked uphill a couple of days ago at our storage unit, and I got a Subie email my oil was low. Looked fine when I checked it on a level surface. The new Subie “Eyesight” tech checks if you are paying attention. Probably will look for hanky-panky going on in the future and post it to OnlyFans.

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  37. nick flandrey says:

    Pretty sure my ’17 expy has several radios that phone home.

    n

  38. SteveF says:

    If COVID is so deadly, why isn’t she wearing two masks.

    You’ve seen photos of her, right? I don’t care about masks. She should be wearing two bags over her head.

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  39. Greg Norton says:

    My Subie (2018) and MrsAtoz’s Battlewagon (2015) phone home all the time and tells us maintenance status. I parked uphill a couple of days ago at our storage unit, and I got a Subie email my oil was low. Looked fine when I checked it on a level surface. The new Subie “Eyesight” tech checks if you are paying attention. Probably will look for hanky-panky going on in the future and post it to OnlyFans. 

    The insurance companies are pressuring the manufacturers to add nanny tech to the vehicles which will report driving habits to the carriers without resorting to dongles on the OBD-II port. That would be the logical application for the satellite comm.

    The dongle “Flo” offered for a while had an unfortunate side effect of frying vehicle electrical systems. The OBD-II port was never meant for continuous use with high current draws so that connection is out.

    I thought OnlyFans banned pr0n.

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  40. nick flandrey says:

    I though OnlyFans banned pr0n.

    –sounded like typical corp BS.  Buy a company because it’s the best in the market at what it does, then try to change everything.

    n

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  41. nick flandrey says:

    What does the z zz zzz emoji mean?  Boring?

    n

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  42. MrAtoz says:

    I thought OnlyFans banned pr0n.

    Creators complained to much, PR0N is baaaaacccckkkkk!

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  43. Geoff Powell says:

    I thought OnlyFans banned pr0n.

    They did, for a while. Allegedly at the behest of their payment processor, MasterCard.

    But, after the online furore, they suspended introduction of the “adult content” ban. No way of telling whether they’ll flip again.

    G.

     

  44. Greg Norton says:

    –sounded like typical corp BS. Buy a company because it’s the best in the market at what it does, then try to change everything.

    Someone big bought OnlyFans?

    I hadn’t even heard of the site before the ruckus.

    I’d jokingly suggest Disney, but most of their revenue comes from fetish material serving some obsession.

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  45. SteveF says:

    most of their revenue comes from fetish material serving some obsession

    What is the antecedent of “their”, OnlyFans or Disney?

  46. Mark W says:

    OnlyFans… so they created a business for which 90+% of the income is pr0n, then decide they don’t need pr0n any more, which would destroy the company. And then they were easily swayed back to the original business model. Makes no sense.

    Same for SurveyMonkey – they built a business around a memorable brand, and as soon as they hit it big, destroy the brand.

    There was a call center in SA that rebranded years ago to PCE – Professionals Committed to Excellence. That only lasted 2 years or less before they had to revert the name.

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  47. nick flandrey says:


    I hadn’t even heard of the site before the ruckus.

    –I only know them because one of the youtube channels I watch talks about them. It’s an asian couple that does reaction videos mostly, although she has a gaming twitch, and he’s internet famous for skyrim mods. MxR Plays.

    They got demonetized and jokingly opened an only fans account.

    By what I’ve read, most of the onlyfans accounts make beer money, but if you are Bella Thorne, you can make millions.

    n

  48. nick flandrey says:

    Effectiveness of Covid vaccines in keeping patients out of hospitals fall to as low as 75% against the Delta variant, with jabbed people over 75 at highest risk

    Effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in keeping recipients out of the hospital drops as low as 75% over time, the CDC reports
    Panel met this week to advise the CDC on its decision whether to approve COVID-19 vaccine booster in the U.S.
    White House officials announced earlier this month that they plan to roll out boosters starting September 20
    Israel has already begun th

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-9943483/Effectiveness-Covid-vaccines-against-hospitalizations-waned-time-CDC-says.html

    hmmm, what’s the difference between conspiracy theory and truth? -about 90 days?

    n

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  49. Ray Thompson says:

    Truck is back out of the hospital. Collapsed left front brake hose, fluid in, but not out. Caused the left front to drag. Dealer did not charge me labor, their cost on parts. Still $650 for all the parts. New calipers, new rotors, new pads, new hoses on both front axles. Everything in the brake system has been replaced except the master cylinder and anti-skid control valve. Apparently the rotor did not get hot enough to damage the bearings. Service person told me of one incident where a vehicle pulled in with the same issue, collapsed brake hose, where there was a small fire on the hub. $2600.00 for both issues, damaged parking brake and collapsed hose.

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  50. nick flandrey says:

    @ray, big hit, but fixing it saved a bigger hit.  And maybe a hit!

    .n

  51. pecancorner says:

    Soon, there won’t be such a concept as a device going “offline”.

    I have the wifi on my 4 yr old Win10 Dell with “connect automatically” UNchecked. I also have the computer settings to turn OFF when I power off.  Used to, when I shut it down, the wifi would disconnect, so that when I turned it back on, I also had to manually tell it to connect to wifi.

    After a recent update (it has never given me any choice, just downloads it all secretly in the background), the wifi does not disconnect, nor does the computer actually turn off when I power off/shut down. Instead, the computer behaves as though I’ve just closed the lid and put it to sleep.

    Now, the only time the wifi will disconnect is when the system gets an update that requires it to shut down all the way and then restart.   When I start it up, it takes its old 3 minutes to finish loading things, and then it tells me it can’t connect to the internet because the wifi is not connected.   This is what it should do every day when I push the power button.

    I rechecked all my settings because at first I though it might have changed them. Nope, they are still the same. So, something has changed in a hidden way to force the computer to stay on, and to remain connected to the internet at all times.

     

  52. Greg Norton says:

    What is the antecedent of “their”, OnlyFans or Disney? 

    By “their” I meant Disney. Most of The Mouse’s income derives from serving some kind of obsession, whether it be animation, theme parks, sports, comics, or “Star Wars”. What’s a pr0n site but another obsession?

  53. Alan says:

    “New Orleans faces THREE WEEKS without electricity after Hurricane Ida downed 2,000 miles of power lines across Louisiana, as looting begins and sewage companies warn outage has stopped pumps from working”

    Seems like quite a lot of infrastructure to replace in 3 or 4 weeks. And how much of the required materials are readily available? Not stuff you can pick up at Home Depot.

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  54. lynn says:

    “Man attacked by alligator in Hurricane Ida’s floodwaters”
    https://www.chron.com/weather/article/Man-attacked-by-alligator-in-Hurricane-Ida-16425285.php

    “SLIDELL, La. (AP) — A man was attacked by a large alligator while walking through floodwaters from Hurricane Ida and is now missing, a Louisiana sheriff said.”

    I will bet you that he is not at his girlfriends house. The gator probably tracked the blood smell and dragged him back in the water.

    And look at that turnaround bridge with the barge that went through it. That won’t be fixed for a year or FIVE.

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  55. pecancorner says:

    the ham radio guys are saying we’ve turned the corner and are headed into ever increasing sunspot activity until the cycle peaks. I am pretty sure this year was cooler in general than last summer, but it’s not over yet, and anecdotes aren’t data, right?

    ….

    Drought here in late summer is common, so we put in two 1000-liter rainwater tanks. They’ve been bursting full since Spring. We won’t need them this year. We’re in the midst of the longest dry spell of the summer – so far 1-1/2 weeks – and rain is forecast for Friday. In other words, it’s been a very wet summer, to the point that the grapes have rotted on the grapevines.

    Well, darn.  Still, we lag a couple years behind on the sunspots (at least, it takes a couple years of few spots to show up in cool/cold temps here). So maybe we have a year or two in cushion.

    We usually have “drought” in the summer, too.  But usually we have very high temps, with stretches of 60 to 90 days of 100F+, and  much higher temps are not uncommon in late July/August, even first half of Sept.  This summer was the coolest and wettest I recall ever in Texas in the 50 years I’ve lived here in different places.  In Brown county, it’s been mostly in the low to mid 90s, and even that didn’t start until last week of July – it was in the 80s all through June and July. We’ve also had rain at least every 2 weeks, other than one 29 day dry spell (which would be normal).

  56. Brad says:

    We have changed our company name from SurveyMonkey and relaunched as Momentive.

    Give up your well-known and descriptive name? Take on a non descriptive name invented by some overpaid marketing dweeb? That’s gotta make sense to someone, but surely not to me.

    Effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in keeping recipients out of the hospital drops as low as 75%

    75% effectiveness is a lot better than 0%.

     

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  57. lynn says:

    I was just notified that I am going to get my high pressure natural gas meter at the house in a week. Typical Centerpoint, takes weeks to get anything done. The new 190 foot gas line to the new generator requires high pressure (2 psig). And then there is a regulator at the generator.

  58. lynn says:

    Then the other one came home and the sniping and general sororite‘ dynamic went into full effect. Joy. I understand ‘man cave’ much better now and I expect that will only strengthen.

    Yes, the man cave is where YOU can hide. And you really want to hide …

  59. lynn says:

    Hot and humid. It was 85F when I went to bed, that doesn’t bode well for today. And while yesterday started cooler, it got plenty hot by afternoon. I knew I should have cut the back yard grass early. Now it’s so long, and the temps are high, and I just can’t get motivated to do it.

    My 5,300 ft2 office building has two 3.5 ton A/C units. Yesterday at about 3pm the north unit froze up, ice all over the large outside vapor line. My a/c guy came by this morning and put 4.5 lbs of R22 in it. And he put 1.5 lbs of R22 in the south unit. $650. But he just told me that the two 17 year old units still have 2 or 3 years before replacement time as it has been years since we put freon in both units.

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  60. Greg Norton says:

    After a recent update (it has never given me any choice, just downloads it all secretly in the background), the wifi does not disconnect, nor does the computer actually turn off when I power off/shut down. Instead, the computer behaves as though I’ve just closed the lid and put it to sleep.

    I run a recent vintage low-end Dell laptop as a Linux-only machine, and I’ve noticed that I cannot turn off Bluetooth permanently.

    I haven’t checked WiFi.

  61. lynn says:

    THREE WEEKS without electricity

    I saw all the toppled power-line poles on the news. Given the costs of the Katrina clean-up, putting the electricity cables underground would have been a rounding error.

    Nope. Gotta remember that the water table is about a foot higher than the land around there. They don’t bury people in the ground around there. Power lines DO NOT like water. Especially 345,000 volt power lines that require NINE FEET of isolation.

    Those 345,000 volt lines can pull 15 feet of arc, I have personally opened up the air breaker (100 turns on a 12 inch wheel) as the shift leadman is standing behind me screaming “faster, faster, faster” since we are standing 25 feet below the air breaker. Each of the three phases was throwing a lighting bolt.

  62. lynn says:

    Online hour long coding test yesterday for a place I’ve been talking to for about a week. C, no C++.

    No string, vector, or stringstream classes. Ack!

    Sounds like a realtime system. No malloc or new allowed and all three of those classes allocate memory.

  63. lynn says:

    re: Solar installations

    If you want to be your own integrator, a good place to start would be Will Prowse’s channel on YouTube.

    https://www.youtube.com/c/WillProwse

    He outlines do-it-yourself from all the levels from big package purchases down to build-your-own-batteries from cells and panel arrays from pallet-load surplus.

    I have three businesses at the moment. The last thing I want to do is take on a huge project with lots of learning and gotchas. And the only solar that I would accept is a system that runs both on grid and off grid. Every person that I have talked to about a dual purpose solar system just walks away.

    I am sure that I could have saved a lot of money by DIY but I just do not have the energy.

  64. ech says:

    I’ve heard there are some hydro projects that use off peak times to pump water uphill to reservoirs for peak load boosts.

    There are 10 in the US according to Wikipedia. A friends’ brother in law was an engineer on one in California.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pumped-storage_hydroelectric_power_stations

     

  65. ech says:

    $84 billion in taxpayer assets left behind.

    That figure is the total spent on the Afghan army by the Us over the last 20 years or so. Salaries, equipment, ammo, construction, etc. The estimates are that the armaments and military equipment left was about $10 billion worth. No matter the amount, the Afghan army folding was the real problem.

     

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  66. SteveF says:

    The Afghan army wasn’t the only group which folded.

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  67. Greg Norton says:

    “Online hour long coding test yesterday for a place I’ve been talking to for about a week. C, no C++.

    No string, vector, or stringstream classes. Ack!”

    Sounds like a realtime system. No malloc or new allowed and all three of those classes allocate memory.

    The aversion to C++ is about maintenance costs. Developers can get way too cute with C++11 std::function and std::bind.

    At the last job, the core algorithm matching car with toll tag used lots of std::bind and was undecipherable without help from the original programmer.

    The genius who created the mess ran off to work for Bethesda just before Covid started. Hot skillz!

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  68. lynn says:

    I’ve heard there are some hydro projects that use off peak times to pump water uphill to reservoirs for peak load boosts.

    There are 10 in the US according to Wikipedia. A friends’ brother in law was an engineer on one in California.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pumped-storage_hydroelectric_power_stations

    I’ve been inside the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Plant in Massachusetts. Really cool until you realize that there is a 600 foot deep lake on top of the facility. When all four turbines are running wide open, the lake level can drop several hundred feet over eight hours. Fishermen in the lake can apparently have quite a ride.
    https://www.wbur.org/news/2016/12/02/northfield-mountain-hydroelectric-station

  69. lynn says:

    “Online hour long coding test yesterday for a place I’ve been talking to for about a week. C, no C++.

    No string, vector, or stringstream classes. Ack!”

    Sounds like a realtime system. No malloc or new allowed and all three of those classes allocate memory.

    The aversion to C++ is about maintenance costs.

    That is … stupid. The std::string and std::vector classes are simply amazing and incredibly efficient.

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  70. EdH says:

    THREE WEEKS without electricity

    I wonder how many gensets we left behind in Afghanistan?

  71. EdH says:

    Apropos of gravitational storage, I seem to recall doing a problem in school physics where we had to calculate how high a lead acid battery could lift itself, assuming perfect efficiency?

    As I recall it was about 25,000’.  Gravity is weak.

  72. Chad says:

    $84 billion in taxpayer assets left behind.

    That figure is the total spent on the Afghan army by the Us over the last 20 years or so. Salaries, equipment, ammo, construction, etc. The estimates are that the armaments and military equipment left was about $10 billion worth. No matter the amount, the Afghan army folding was the real problem.

    Much of it will be rusted and collecting dust soon enough. No spare parts. No maintainers. Operators have probably all disappeared. I can only imagine what a brain drain the evacuations of the last couple of weeks have been on that country. Outside of small arms and ammo that $10B in equipment will all become mostly useless. Still a huge waste of taxpayer dollars, but not, I think, a significant threat.

  73. MrAtoz says:

    That figure is the total spent on the Afghan army by the Us over the last 20 years or so. Salaries, equipment, ammo, construction, etc. The estimates are that the armaments and military equipment left was about $10 billion worth. No matter the amount, the Afghan army folding was the real problem.

    The overall amount spent runs $2-3 trillion if I remember right. Quite the waste at this point. I wonder if we had spent not one dime how things would be different. The chickenhawks would scream “stop terrorism where it starts” or “it’s for the children”.

    There is probably already a big blackmarket for US war materials. Somebody is gonna get rich.

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  74. Chad says:

    We have changed our company name from SurveyMonkey and relaunched as Momentive.

    Give up your well-known and descriptive name? Take on a non descriptive name invented by some overpaid marketing dweeb? That’s gotta make sense to someone, but surely not to me.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone decided that SurveyMonkey was offensive to the company’s black employees.

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  75. MrAtoz says:

    Outside of small arms and ammo that $10B in equipment will all become mostly useless. Still a huge waste of taxpayer dollars, but not, I think, a significant threat.

    My worry is the blackmarket. If I wore a rag on my head, I’d be selling choppers, planes, trucks, etc as fast as I could. Especially NODs. You’re right, small arms are easy to maintain.

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  76. ech says:

    Still a huge waste of taxpayer dollars, but not, I think, a significant threat.

    The small arms (rifles, pistols, grenades, grenade launchers) are the items of use to the Taliban and on the international arms market. The mortars (82mm Russian ones, from what I read) are of some use also to someone with connections to get the rounds. The only aircraft that would be of use are the Cessnas, as they may be able to get parts on the international market. I expect the C-130s and others will get taken apart by the Chinese soon. TBH, if some of these suddenly got rapidly disassembled I’d be happy.

     

  77. Greg Norton says:

    That is … stupid. The std::string and std::vector classes are simply amazing and incredibly efficient.

    I’ve noticed std::sort can be much faster than qsort(), and std::stringstream is safer than atoi().

    I’m not going to fret about it. A lot of their system is in Java layered on top of C APIs and some custom device drivers.

    Lack of C++ just made the coding test challenging to complete in an hour.

    If time permits, my favorite off script interview question is to ask a candidate to speculate why std::sort is faster than qsort(). There is no right or wrong answer, and I’ve had some interesting guesses about what is going on inside the template.

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  78. lynn says:

    @pecancorner, the ham radio guys are saying we’ve turned the corner and are headed into ever increasing sunspot activity until the cycle peaks. I am pretty sure this year was cooler in general than last summer, but it’s not over yet, and anecdotes aren’t data, right?

    “Summer is almost over, and truth be told it wasn’t a terrible one”
    https://spacecityweather.com/summer-is-almost-over-and-truth-be-told-it-wasnt-a-terrible-one/

    My house electric bill for July was only $240. Not bad for a 3,300 ft2 one story that we keep at 72 F.

    My office electric bill for July was only $350. 5,300 ft2 two story that we keep at 73 F 24×7 with up to 8 people and 15 computers. Total electric too with an electric water heater.

  79. lynn says:

    We’ve been getting the copyrighted photos scam lately. Some doosh fills out our contact form informing us we are using copyrighted photos and to pay up or get sued. I think we get that scam 20 times a year.

    Huh, I have never gotten one of those. Of course, I do not have any contact form on my seven websites. I just say send an email to support or sales or admin or accounting.
    https://www.winsim.com/contact.html

  80. RickH says:

    I have contact forms on all the sites I built. But they are protected against bot spammer by my “FormSpammerTrap” (FST) techniques. I’ve never gotten spam via those contact forms. My technique is free to anyone that visits the FST site, and has been since 2013 when I registered the FST domain. Working on version 14 now.

    It’s quite easy to automate contact form (or any form submittals). Scrape the page, grab the form fields, figure out what page processes the form submittal (the form’s ‘target’), and use CURL or other processes to submit. Once the bot grabs the field, you don’t even need to visit the page. Just submit the form fields.

    I even have a FST plugin for WordPress sites. And another plugin that blocks automated comment spam (protecting the comment form on WP sites). Nick can tell you that it is extremely rare to get a spam message via the comment form on this site.

    Now, if I could only figure out why the 500 errors occur on comment submittal. Those are a lot harder to fix.

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  81. lynn says:

    “Social Security Costs Expected to Exceed Total Income in 2021 as Covid-19 Takes Financial Toll”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/social-security-costs-expected-to-exceed-total-income-in-2021-as-covid-19-takes-financial-toll-11630436193

    “Trustees say Social Security’s $2.9 trillion trust fund expected to be depleted in 2034, one year earlier than last year’s projection”

    “Senior administration officials also said they expect higher inflation this year will significantly boost benefits next year, estimating Social Security beneficiaries could see close to a 6% cost-of-living increase. That would be the highest annual benefit increase since 2008, when rising gas prices pushed up the cost-of-living adjustment to 5.8%, officials said.”

    Note to self, save a few bucks for when the social security well goes dry or is severely limited with means testing.

    The wife is strongly considering retiring now at 63. She just has too much to do with taking care of me and the daughter.

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

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  82. lynn says:

    Truck is back out of the hospital. Collapsed left front brake hose, fluid in, but not out. Caused the left front to drag. Dealer did not charge me labor, their cost on parts. Still $650 for all the parts. New calipers, new rotors, new pads, new hoses on both front axles. Everything in the brake system has been replaced except the master cylinder and anti-skid control valve. Apparently the rotor did not get hot enough to damage the bearings. Service person told me of one incident where a vehicle pulled in with the same issue, collapsed brake hose, where there was a small fire on the hub. $2600.00 for both issues, damaged parking brake and collapsed hose.

    Good night ! That is a lot of work for a 100K mile F-150.

    The wife called me yesterday and told me that one of the rear tires had blown out on her 2019 Toyota Highlander. The sidewall was totally ripped in two places from the rim to the tread. She called our insurance fixaflat people and they came out in 15 minutes and put on her full size spare. I had forgotten that the Highlander has a full size spare on a steel wheel, cool !

    I told her to go over to Sam’s Club to get new tires. She has 17,000 miles on her Highlander so we are going to replace all those cheap Bridgestones with some Michelin LTX M+S P245/60R18 tires. Sams Club had to order the tires though, and not cheap for $920.

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  83. Ed says:

    …estimating Social Security beneficiaries could see close to a 6% cost-of-living increase.

    Hey, I want 25% for this year, just like the food stamp people get:

    https://apnews.com/article/health-coronavirus-pandemic-9832ab299bd1a5953f305ec1ae2b8ea9

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  84. RickH says:

    @lynn … Discount Tire in my area has those tires for $212 each : https://www.discounttire.com/buy-tires/michelin-defender-ltx-m-s/p/11330 ; $836 for four.  Lots of Discount tires in your area.

    I’ve always bought my tires from them. Great tires, good pricing, free flat repair, and they credit for unused miles.

  85. Ray Thompson says:

    Good night ! That is a lot of work for a 100K mile F-150.

    Started with the parking brake. Apparently the cable has a tendency to stick inside the cable sheath. I never really used the parking brake until I acquired the camping trailer. I guess five years of no use then much use triggered the sticking. I think the problems with the front brakes were triggered by the repair on the rear. Specifically the bleeding of the rear brakes. The hose was damaged in the process causing the collapse.

    It is the first major mechanical repair. I don’t count the rear window replacement as that is not mechanical. And brakes are a wear item.

    Not as bad as a $3.5K engine replacement at 80K miles on a 1989 Astro van. Followed shortly by a $1.5K A/C repair. Passenger drivers seat mount that broke, rear fan with one speed, speed sensor on the transmission failing, rear axle seals blown at 22K miles. Vehicles can be, and are, expensive.

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  86. MrAtoz says:

    I have contact forms on all the sites I built. But they are protected against bot spammer by my “FormSpammerTrap” (FST) techniques.

    Now you tell me. Free is good.

  87. lynn says:

    “Best Modern Science Fiction Authors” by Dan Livingston
    https://best-sci-fi-books.com/best-modern-science-fiction-authors/

    I have read “Little Brother”, “Red Mars”, “To Say Nothing Of The Dog”, The MaddAdam trilogy, “The Road”, “We Are Legion”, “Leviathon Wakes”, “Ancillary Justice”, “Old Man’s War”, “The Martian”. Ten out of the 23 authors.

  88. Alan says:

    RickH, getting Internal Server error. It is sensitive to the text I am posting, which I verified to be plain ASCII. Will try later.

    I find that if a have a block of comment text that causes a 500 error trying ‘later’ still returns the error.

  89. lynn says:

    @lynn … Discount Tire in my area has those tires for $212 each : https://www.discounttire.com/buy-tires/michelin-defender-ltx-m-s/p/11330 ; $836 for four. Lots of Discount tires in your area.

    I’ve always bought my tires from them. Great tires, good pricing, free flat repair, and they credit for unused miles.

    We always get our tires from Sams Club for the last 30 years. Always a good price.

    I was wrong, she got a set of Michelin X LT A/S P245/60R18 tires. I don’t know why the price was $920, probably taxes. The other LTX tires are no longer made in 18 inch according to Sams Club.
    https://www.samsclub.com/p/245-60r18-105h-xltas-70000/prod19862133

  90. lynn says:

    Vehicles can be, and are, expensive.

    Yes. And the newest vehicles are incredibly complicated with several computers.

  91. Greg Norton says:

    “Best Modern Science Fiction Authors” by Dan Livingston

    I have read “Little Brother”, “Red Mars”, “To Say Nothing Of The Dog”, The MaddAdam trilogy, “The Road”, “We Are Legion”, “Leviathon Wakes”, “Ancillary Justice”, “Old Man’s War”, “The Martian”. Ten out of the 23 authors.

    “Cryptonomicon” is a must and should probably be in your SBR. One of the few books that survived all of our moving is my signed first edition.

    “Reamde” is also worth the time, but not SBR qualtiy. It also isn’t really sci-fi.

    “Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom” is available for free from the author’s website.

    (I did settle kharma buying a print copy for Doctorow to sign at C2E2 in 2019)

    The Mansion *is* perfect, but I do like the OpenGL upgrade to the Hitchhiking Ghosts on the East Coast. And whatever Disney did to finally pull off the Hatbox Ghost gag 50 years later in Anaheim.

  92. nick flandrey says:

    State of TX sent everyone in our kid’s school $2300 in SNAP benefits because the schools didn’t do enough feeding stations during covid summer.  The school is Title 1 or whatever they call it where over some threshold qualify for free or subsidized lunch and breakfast, so everyone gets it.  No means test.   LAST summer, the first summer of chinaflu we got $600?  Can’t recall.  3x or 4x increase.   EVERYTHING in my cart qualified on my last grocery run.  Even the snack bags and my designer soda.   The cashier said she got $2300 too and that it’s basically good for any food except prepared hot food.

    Crazy.

    n

     

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  93. Alan says:

    $84 billion in taxpayer assets left behind.

    That figure is the total spent on the Afghan army by the Us over the last 20 years or so. Salaries, equipment, ammo, construction, etc. The estimates are that the armaments and military equipment left was about $10 billion worth. No matter the amount, the Afghan army folding was the real problem.

    Nobody lifts their head off their desk in DC anymore when the dollar amounts are Billions. These days it takes Trillions to rouse them from their napping. But if I’m one day late paying my Visa bill that totals $100 it’s bam, $29 late fee.

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  94. JimB says:

    From earlier.

    Interestingly, we have underground utilities in our neighborhood. Our local power company would prefer overhead because inspection and maintenance are easier and cheaper. A few years ago, our power was shut off for a couple hours while a crew replaced a switching component in an underground vault. I talked to one of the workers, and he said they had been inspecting that component for years, and the inert gas sprung a leak, making it inoperative. It had been frozen in the ON position for a year or more. Don’t know why there needed to be a switch, but that is not the point. He said it would have been detected earlier if it had been overhead. If it had blown open, we would have been without power for longer than a couple of hours.

    We had an underground cable short near our house. The power company had to send out of town for a high power TDR tester to locate it. In the meantime, they rolled out a generator to power the houses affected. We were on the feed side of the fault, so we were only off for as long as it took to isolate the fault.

    We went through our 7.1 earthquake without any power interruptions, impressive. We don’t have damaging windstorms, and lightning is rare. Altogether, a case could be made for overhead utilities. In my almost 50 years here, major interruptions have been about equally divided between underground and overhead failures.

  95. JimB says:

    Well, that was interesting. I removed the offending text, and the comment posted successfully. I was also able to post it by itself.

  96. JimB says:

    Here is the offending text:

    We used to have about ten short outages, one minute or less, a year, but a major refurb of a substation about a year ago seems to have ended that. Fingers crossed.

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  97. JimB says:

    The editor sure is finicky.

  98. lynn says:

    “Diplomatic Immunity (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures)” by Lois McMaster Bujold
    https://www.amazon.com/Diplomatic-Immunity-Miles-Vorkosigan-Adventures/dp/0743436121/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number fifteen (in chronological order) of an eighteen 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. This book was nominated for the 2003 Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel. This is my second reading of this book. I reread the well printed and well bound new MMPB published by Baen in 2003 that I just rebought on Amazon (the fourth printing !). I have rebought the rest of the books in the series in MMPB.

    Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan is on his long delayed honeymoon with his wife Ekaterin before their two children are due to be decanted from their uterine replicators. Nearing the end of their cruise to Earth and back, a Barrayar Imperial Courier catches up with the space ship and delivers an unwelcome message. His Imperial Majesty pleads that he decamp into the courier and head at the highest speed to a 400 year old space station in Quaddie space to rescue a Komarran trade fleet. Miles and his wife do so, thus adding weeks to their journey home.

    Vorkosigan Saga (Chronological) by Lois McMaster Bujold
    https://www.goodreads.com/series/98254-vorkosigan-saga-chronological
    1. Dreamweaver’s Dilemma
    2. Falling Free
    3. Shards of Honor
    4. Barrayar
    5. The Warrior’s Apprentice
    6. The Borders of Infinity (The Mountains of Mourning, etc)
    7. The Vor Game
    8. Cetaganda
    9. Ethan Of Athos
    10. Brothers in Arms
    11. Mirror Dance
    12. Memory
    13. Komarr
    14. A Civil Campaign
    15. Diplomatic Immunity
    16. Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance
    17. CryoBurn
    18. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

    My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (405 reviews)

  99. JimB says:

    I often compose in Word offline, because I have a bunch of auto correct stuff I like, and the online editor doesn’t have them. I simply copy and paste. I like this way of working, but the new editor doesn’t support my former use of tags. If I need some formatting, I now do that in the editor. Usually, it works fine, and I have adapted to the new editor… except when it gets finnicky.

    I even made sure the text was just text by pasting it into Notepad and re-copying it before I pasted it into the editor. Weird thing to troubleshoot.

    RickH or Nick, you might want to clean up after my aborted attempts to post today. Sorry. I posted a few snippets and then deleted them, but they probably still linger somewhere. Whoo, met my match. That’s why I am not a web site designer. 🙂

  100. lynn says:

    Interestingly, we have underground utilities in our neighborhood. Our local power company would prefer overhead because inspection and maintenance are easier and cheaper. A few years ago, our power was shut off for a couple hours while a crew replaced a switching component in an underground vault. I talked to one of the workers, and he said they had been inspecting that component for years, and the inert gas sprung a leak, making it inoperative. It had been frozen in the ON position for a year or more. Don’t know why there needed to be a switch, but that is not the point. He said it would have been detected earlier if it had been overhead. If it had blown open, we would have been without power for longer than a couple of hours.

    That switch is probably how they blackout your neighborhood from the system dispatch.

    When I worked in Operations at TXU, we had a terminal in the downtown office where we could view the status of all of our power plants, all of our transmission lines, and all of our distribution lines. Our terminal was readonly, otherwise we could have flipped thousands of switches across our system. That was in the late 1980s. We did not get status on our two million electric meters as that did not happen until the 2000s.

  101. lynn says:

    “Era of leaded petrol officially over”
    https://www.hydrocarbonprocessing.com/news/2021/08/era-of-leaded-petrol-officially-over

    “When service stations in Algeria stopped providing leaded petrol in July, the use of leaded petrol ended globally. This development follows an almost two decades long campaign by the UNEP-led global Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV).
    Since 1922, the use of tetraethyllead as a petrol additive to improve engine performance has been a catastrophe for the environment and public health. By the 1970s, almost all petrol produced around the world contained lead. When the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) began its campaign to eliminate lead in petrol in 2002, it was one of the most serious environmental threats to human health.”

    Wow. I wonder how the old airplanes built before 1980 keep their valves from wearing ?

  102. lynn says:

    “NASA Scientists Present Asteroid Deflection Research”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/08/30/nasa-scientists-present-asteroid-deflection-research/

    “NASA Scientists performing experiments on actual Asteroid fragments have presented conclusions about the limits of inbound Asteroid deflection, and the need to plan for multiple “bumps” if the Asteroid is made of an unfavourable material.”

    We now have a plan to deflect annoying asteroids !

    I wonder what happens if the asteroid is too big for a “bump” ?

  103. nick flandrey says:

    You could still buy lead additive for your classic car last time I looked for it.

    n

  104. nick flandrey says:

    This is what cost him his current jobs and probably his career…. from 7 years ago on a podcast no one has ever heard of.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-9944187/Mike-Richards-FIRED-executive-producer-Jeopardy-Wheel-Fortune.html

    crude comments that he made on a podcast in 2014.

    While appearing on The Randumb Show, Richards reportedly said, ‘Ixnay on the ose-nay’ and ‘She’s not an ew-Jay.’ (Pig-Latin for ‘Nix on the nose, she’s not a Jew.’)

    He also reportedly once probed his female assistant and co-host about whether they had ever taken nude photos and said one-piece bathing suits made women look ‘frumpy and overweight.’

    In another episode, his co-host Triffon mentioned problems with her apartment, to which Richards reportedly said: ‘Does Beth live, like, in Haiti?’

    n

  105. nick flandrey says:

    One of the models, Brandi Cochran, sued FremantleMedia North America and The Price is Right Productions in 2010 over claims producers sidelined and harassed her after she became pregnant.

    Richards was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, but Cochran alleged in it that he stopped talking to her as much after she became pregnant and implied that she would have been fired had the pregnancy not been a secret.

    and

    Lanishia Cole, meanwhile, sued Richards and another producer as well as FremantleMedia North America in 2011, for wrongful termination and sexual harassment.

    She alleged that the producers berated her in front of her peers, and claimed Richards began ignoring her and favoring another model he was in a relationship with in 2009.

    The lawsuit was settled in 2013, and Richards, who denied any wrongdoing, was dismissed as a defendant before the settlement was reached.

    –named, but later dismissed. Named because he worked in management.

    I’m glad I am not in the workplace any more.

    n

  106. RickH says:

    @MrAtoZ – my FormSpammerTrap is pretty easy to implement – there’s even instructions to read.

    Simple forms are simple to do; just four PHP function calls in your contact page code, and one function with one setting (the email address to receive the message).

    But it has lots of extras that you can use to enhance the form. The basics are four fields (name, email, subject, message), but you can add more fields to it, and post-submit processes.

    Available at FormSpammerTrap(dot)com. The form there uses the process, and will send you the zip file. Have never gotten spam via that form.

  107. drwilliams says:

    @Lynn

    “Best Modern Science Fiction Authors” by Dan Livingston

    That list is pure b.s.

    Missing are:  John Ringo, David Weber, Jack Campbell, David Drake, Eric Flint, Tom Kratman, L.E. Modesitt, Neal Asher, Allen Steele, Vernor Vinge.

    That’s ten who are primarily SF, younger than Octavia Butler, and a damn sight more readable.

    It looks like a better title would be “An SF Author List Excluding Baen Books”

    1
  108. CowboySlim says:

    Every person that I have talked to about a dual purpose solar system just walks away.

    That is what I experienced.  When I expressed a contract with guaranteed savings over local electrical supplier charges, they walked away.  Solar energy is a total fraud.

    1
  109. Greg Norton says:

    I’m glad I am not in the workplace any more.

    Next week will be ugly as the C-suites and HR return from Labor Day vacations and begin implementing vaccine mandates.

  110. nick flandrey says:

    I’ve read most of the authors on the list.   And most of the one’s DrWilliams suggested.

    Dan almost always leaves old masters off, so OB was probably added to counter that.   Or because female and black.  Because that’s super important to the lefties.  See the comment for the one with the african name being pushed forward… another barely readable author, and iirc from reading her, barely SF.

    My objection would be to Anne Leckie, who’s written one trilogy and it was tedious with a one trick pony of using her for all the pronouns.  Atwood is a darling of the left because she sticks it to white male christians, but other than that, I don’t see any point to reading her.  And china boy’s work was awful, but he’s the darling of the Hugo and Tor publishing set.  (Sorry John Wilder, it’s tedious in the extreme.)   Is McCarthy’s work even SciFi?  Pretty sure I watched a movie called No Country for Old Men.  Don’t recall any SF.

    MRK  was one of the ‘puppy kickers’ and part of the Tor circle jerk around the Hugos.  I read that Lady Astronaut book as part of my voting on that Hugo and it was horrible.   I don’t know what it is with modern lefty scifi, but you can bet there will be some sort of degrading mention of sh!t or p!ss in the first 100 pages.

    I can never remember which Ian is the trade unionist who always seems to write about trade unions or union members.  I keep him on the shelf to remind me, but I can’t be arsed to get up and look…

    Either of Hamilton or Reynolds has alone written more fiction than anyone else on the list, and between them they probably out produce all the rest put together (leaving Stephenson off, he writes ’em big too.)

    I always like when Lynn links to one of Dan’s lists.  It’s a big world and some people see the tail, some see the trunk, and some see the side.   I’m sometimes flabbergasted by Dan’s choices, but I do often find something to add to my list of unread books.  Usually just in the comments and discussion though.

    n

    1
  111. Greg Norton says:

    Either of Hamilton or Reynolds has alone written more fiction than anyone else on the list, and between them they probably out produce all the rest put together (leaving Stephenson off, he writes ’em big too.

    Stephenson seemed to get bored with his own work writing the last two big books.

     

  112. lynn says:

    OK, when I turn off my house from the grid and the generator starts and synchronizes with the house in ten seconds, I lose all my clock settings. The one that really bother me are the microwave and the double oven. The 1,000 watt microwave sits on the kitchen counter top and plugs into the wall socket. The over is a built-in with 230 volt power. Any ideas on how to power these two beasties ?

  113. lynn says:

    Is McCarthy’s work even SciFi? Pretty sure I watched a movie called No Country for Old Men. Don’t recall any SF.

    McCarthy’s “The Road” is not science fiction, it is dark horror. Or at least I find it to be horror as the father is slowly dying of radiation poisoning as he escorts his son to a safe area. However both science fiction and horror categories are encompassed by the genre “Speculative Fiction”. So is Fantasy.

    And yes, “The Road” is McCarthy’s only SF book that I know of. All the rest of his books are westerns and drug runners.

  114. nick flandrey says:

    My Miele oven and microwave will ‘ride thru’ most short interruptions, but ten seconds is pretty long without a backup battery or a super cap.

    n

  115. nick flandrey says:

    Whelp, family game night has come and gone. Lightning fast round of Sequence and it’s bedtime for the whelps.

    n

  116. nick flandrey says:

    Stephenson seemed to get bored with his own work

    —too woke to hold his interest? Not one 14yo skate chick with a stinger in her *cough* lady parts…

    n

  117. drwilliams says:

    @Lynn

    Open the list to fantasy and I would add:

    Larry Correia, Simon Green, Jim Butcher, Ben Aaronovich, Kevin Hearne, Brandon Sanderson, …

    to start.

    On another topic, isn’t it fascinating the parade of expensive modern appliances that  don’t have the clock backup capability of a $10 radio forty years ago?

  118. Greg Norton says:

    “Stephenson seemed to get bored with his own work”

    —too woke to hold his interest? Not one 14yo skate chick with a stinger in her *cough* lady parts…

    Shilling for his day jobs was likely the reason.

    “Seveneves” – Blue Origin

    “Dodge in Hell” – Magic Leap

    He had to know Magic Leap was a scam but still cashed the checks.

  119. Greg Norton says:

    OK, when I turn off my house from the grid and the generator starts and synchronizes with the house in ten seconds, I lose all my clock settings. The one that really bother me are the microwave and the double oven. The 1,000 watt microwave sits on the kitchen counter top and plugs into the wall socket. The over is a built-in with 230 volt power. Any ideas on how to power these two beasties ? 

    Get a Kit Kat clock for the kitchen.

    A real one. Accept no substitutes Hecho in China.

  120. ITGuy1998 says:

    We now have a plan to deflect annoying asteroids !

    I wonder what happens if the asteroid is too big for a “bump” ?

    Take Bruce Willis out of cryo freeze. Problem solved.

  121. drwilliams says:

    That figure is the total spent on the Afghan army by the Us over the last 20 years or so. Salaries, equipment, ammo, construction, etc. The estimates are that the armaments and military equipment left was about $10 billion worth. No matter the amount, the Afghan army folding was the real problem.

    Actually “that figure”, $84 billion, if it is just the part spent on the Afghan military, pales in comparison to the $1 trillion we spent on U.S forces (and perhaps more).

    There’s a fallacy here: If we spent it on the Afghan military, we weren’t planning on taking it with us, so there’s no “left behind” at all. Any number right now is just an estimate, but as that number gets sharpened up over the next months, I think it will be $100 billion to a close order.

    The real problem is in the White House. Commander-in-chief.

    The U.S military was shipping brand-new helicopters and other equipment into Afghanistan less than two weeks ago. Try to get that list.

    They abandoned Bagram in the middle of the night and didn’t even hand the keys to the Afghanis. Kandahar was not better done in daylight. A couple thousand buildings and space for at least 10,000 troops. I’m sure there’s a beautiful argument why that isn’t $4-5 billion in military equipment before the bright-and-shiney’s are counted.

    Reuters said one administration official said, “the current intelligence assessment was that the Taliban are believed to control more than 2,000 armored vehicles, including U.S. Humvees, and up to 40 aircraft potentially including UH-60 Black Hawks, scout attack helicopters, and ScanEagle military drones.”
    While it isn’t believed the Taliban has the capability to use the more hi-tech equipment such as the Black Hawks, they were apparently able to obtain biometric equipment that identifies the Afghani’s who can do so, with chances being they will use their families as ransom to gain their cooperation.

    https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/report-biden-administration-stockpiled-weapons-in-afghanistan-just-months-before-collapse-for-the-taliban/

    Arguments that they can’t use it may be true, in part.

    Every piece of equipment that was “rendered inoperable” is equipment that is being bought new in the military budget. Almost without exception there is no reason that it could have been shipped out over the last six months in an orderly fashion and saved the taxpayer money.

    Every piece of equipment is going to be inspected by Iran, China, Russia, and whoever else the Taliban wants to cosey up to. There’s more than a few billions of dollars lost there, too.

    And here’s a prediction for you: U.S. missiles left behind in Afghanistan are going to be involved in some really bad shiite over the next few years. It’s not going to matter a one-eyed tinker’s damn when our military claims that they were “rendered inoperable”. If the bad guys manage to get one into the US, say across a southern border that is wide open, and take out a jet at a U.S. airport, “mildly spicy” is going to be the new descriptor for ghost peppers.

    Second prediction: We’re going to see videos of Taliban executing the people we promised to get out of Afghanistan. They’re going to have experts story board those videos and there will be lots of closeups of the American small arms that are used to do the job. I suspect that the main weapon will be mounted on a vehicle carefully parked to show the shiny polished Ford emblem.

    I would love to be wrong. I’m praying that I am wrong overall and in particular.

  122. drwilliams says:

    Hey, maybe we should look at the bright side: Those MRAP’s that ain’t coming back aren’t going to end up being used by Sheriff Woke to back up the county vaccinators.

  123. drwilliams says:

    @Nick

    Military denies dogs left behind, but look at the video

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2021/08/31/pentagon-we-did-not-leave-us-military-dogs-behind-n2595070

  124. lynn says:

    On another topic, isn’t it fascinating the parade of expensive modern appliances that don’t have the clock backup capability of a $10 radio forty years ago?

    I hate keeping batteries in a clock radio. They always melt on me. However, my 30 year old clock radio does have enough power to make the 10 second gap.

  125. nick flandrey says:

    Without even reading the townhall link (will soon), I already see the lawyerly parsing…

    The DM article was very clear that these are “contractor” working dogs, hired and working directly alongside our “military” working dogs.  Same job, probably handlers are all from the same pool.

    So yeah, not “military” dogs left behind.  Still dogs we trained and provided and should have brought home.

    n

  126. nick flandrey says:

    H/T to Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man for this link to Greg Ellifritz ‘s wuflu story.

    https://www.activeresponsetraining.net/escape-from-ecuador

    n

     

    1
    1
  127. nick flandrey says:

    Another link, to an article summing up our current situation and possible near future.

    John Michael Greer used to write The Archdruid Report. A peak oil guy, he nonetheless had some very interesting ideas and a well thought out worldview. He used to be one of my regular reads.

    https://www.ecosophia.net/potemkin-nation/

    . As a result we Americans live in a Potemkin nation, a land of glossy facades and false fronts covering the stark but unmentionable reality of a society in freefall.

    As the current situation in Afghanistan demonstrates, however, a Potemkin village will only stay up as long as everyone involved continues to play along. If anybody had walked up to one of the portable faux-villages Grigori Potemkin put along the route of the Empress and given one of the hovels a good hard shove, the hovel would have collapsed, and so would the entire structure of pretense that depended on it. That’s what the Taliban has just done. One good hard shove was all it took to bring down the Potemkin village of “democratic Afghanistan” that was installed at gunpoint and sustained the same way for twenty miserably wasted years.

    Sudden shocks along these lines, however, are not restricted to conveniently distant countries. One of the repeated lessons of history is that when Potemkin politics become standard operating procedure in a nation, no matter how powerful and stable that nation might look, it can come apart with astonishing speed once somebody provides the good hard shove just discussed. The sudden implosion of the Kingdom of France in 1789 and the equally abrupt collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 are two of the most famous examples, but there have been many others. In every case, what happened was that a government that had stopped solving its nation’s problems, and settled for trying to manage appearances instead, discovered the hard way that governments really do derive their power from the consent of the governed—and that this consent can be withdrawn very suddenly indeed.

    n

  128. ech says:

    I can never remember which Ian is the trade unionist who always seems to write about trade unions or union members.

    Not Iain Banks in his SF writing. his literary fiction, which I haven’t read, may have unions or members as part of the story. His major SF works are the “Culture” series, and with one exception the ones I have read have been excellent.

    I’d disagree that Weber should be on that list. I recently re-read the Honor Harrington series and there are some volumes that needed to be 50% smaller. The plots are too damn talky, with page after page of redundant exposition. The ones on the list that I have read are not only well written, but economical in their writing. (Yes, Stephenson is long, but there’s not a lot of redundancy.)

    I highly recommend Charles Stross’ “Laundry Files” series.

     

  129. nick flandrey says:

    Sky News host Andrew Bolt says it is “hard to exaggerate” how dangerously bad US President Joe Biden is.

    https://youtu.be/5KYzf-88lZk

    Still making the category error that Biddn is ‘in charge’ and making decisions.

    n

  130. lpdbw says:

    re: Weber

    The early Honor Harrington stuff was nearly magic; Horatio Hornblower in space, told by a master storyteller.  Yeah, the protaganist had a sex change, but I could deal with the girl-power aspect as long as the rest of it was ok.

    But eventually, I quit Weber, when his huge books were 3/4 boring politics, and sometimes the remaining 1/4 had no action at all.  Same applied to his Safehold series.

    The final straw was when I finished Out of the Dark and walled the book.  Haven’t read a word of his since.

    For years already, I had been saying that what Weber needed was a good editor who’d stand up to him.

     

  131. nick flandrey says:

    WRT Stephenson, I’d really like an annotated copy of the Baroque Cycle.  IDK if such a thing exists, but my english and european history isn’t good enough to identify the parallels and the slightly disguised characters, nor to separate facts from pure fiction.   Since I re-read Anathem and enjoyed the math jokes a whole lot more sober, and RECOGNIZED that there WERE math jokes, while still guessing that I’m missing some large percentage, I expect that I’d have a similar experience with the Baroque Cycle books.

    I would love for him to get back to the style of Cryptonomicon or his earlier work, with all the asides and seemingly meaningless trivia, that turns out to not be.

    n

  132. nick flandrey says:

    what Weber needed was a good editor who’d stand up to him.

    –that is true of most successful authors, JK Rowling and Steven King come to mind.

    n

  133. nick flandrey says:

    The “other Ian” I’m thinking of might be Ian McDonald.   I’m still sitting in my office and not inclined to search my stacks.

    n

  134. Alan says:

    The editor sure is finicky.

    Don’t poke a sleeping bear.

  135. Alan says:

    Almost without exception there is no reason that it could have been shipped out over the last six months in an orderly fashion and saved the taxpayer money.

    Just one reason…he lives in the big white house…

  136. Alan says:

    OnlyFans… so they created a business for which 90+% of the income is pr0n, then decide they don’t need pr0n any more, which would destroy the company. And then they were easily swayed back to the original business model. Makes no sense.

    And once there was Tumlr, and they (Verizon via Yahoo) banned all its pr0n and never reversed the decision. Tumblr lives on with lots of kitten pictures but not much else.

  137. nick flandrey says:

    Almost without exception there is no reason that it could have been shipped out over the last six months in an orderly fashion and saved the taxpayer money.

    –unfortunately, they don’t think it’s their job to save the taxpayer money. And if they get rid of their old toys, they get brand new ones. See also almost every BLM riot, where there are pix of local police cars parked where they’ll get smashed or torched, and they’re not new cars.

    n

  138. nick flandrey says:

    I admit it. This cartoon, and the feelings it evokes are stronger than my feelings for anyone human still there, who chose to go, and presumably knew there were risks, and thought the reward worth the risk.

    https://gunfreezone.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/E-IxCGsXMAEVCEt.jpeg

    n

    If nothing else, it demonstrates the power of ideas and emotions, and yes, there are so many lies we must hold back and be wary of being snared, but it fits. It seems to have happened before.

    https://sofrep.com/news/dead-working-dogs-piled-like-trash-contract-terminated-kuwait/
    https://sofrep.com/news/k2-solutions-and-their-missing-military-working-dogs/
    https://sofrep.com/news/update-to-dozens-of-working-dogs-massacred-by-eastern-securities-in-kuwait/

  139. lynn says:

    I’d disagree that Weber should be on that list. I recently re-read the Honor Harrington series and there are some volumes that needed to be 50% smaller. The plots are too damn talky, with page after page of redundant exposition. The ones on the list that I have read are not only well written, but economical in their writing. (Yes, Stephenson is long, but there’s not a lot of redundancy.)

    I would put Weber on the list just for his Dahak series alone which, is my favorite SF series of all time.
    https://www.amazon.com/Mutineers-Moon-Dahak-David-Weber/dp/0671720856/?tag=ttgnet-20

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