Wed. Sept. 1, 2021 – more water under the bridge

By on September 1st, 2021 in personal, rats, why we prepare, WuFlu

Hot and humid. I’m hoping for a bit cooler in the morning so I can get the grass cut. I waited too long yesterday and it did get over 100F in the sun. It was still 84F at midnight.

Spent yesterday mostly indoors. Despite having a lot to do, I ended up doing electrical work at the house. We had some outlets in the kitchen stop working. I was too busy to look into it until yesterday, although my wife ruled out breakers, and normal things, and we figured it was probably a GFCI outlet upstream of the others. Once I pulled the cover plate off, and could see into the receptacle I figured that I’d found the problem. You are not supposed to be able to see INTO the receptacle. I had spare GFCIs in the stacks, so I set about changing it.

Shortcuts are only short for the person making it originally, and probably not even then. Freaking 10 minute job took over 2 hours because the remodeler cut every corner. Loose wire nuts, wire too short (even after it had been extended) wrong hardware used, missing box extenders, it was all there. The working position was very awkward too. I got it done, redid what I could. Figured I’d also replace a tired outlet at the end of the chain while I had the power off. More cr@p work hidden behind cover plates. Money spent, 0. Time spent, 2 hours. Smoke released, 0. Swear jars filled, 3.* I had the knowledge, the parts, and the supplies stacked so I got it done.

Also modified the wire gate we’re using to keep the doggy in the kitchen. That went surprisingly well.

Cleaned up a few things.

Found a dead rat, possibly THE dead rat, in the garage. I’ll get that cleaned up today. Poison,not trap.

Cooked dinner (discounted steak from last year, frozen mixed veg from last year, canned red beans and rice.)

Played a game for family game night.

Lots of prep items involved in my day.

Hooray for stacks of things and the knowledge to use them. Keep stacking both.

nick

*not really. I was alone so the swears went unheard and if a guy swears in the kitchen but there isn’t anyone there to hear it, did he really swear?

74 Comments and discussion on "Wed. Sept. 1, 2021 – more water under the bridge"

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    79F and 92%RH this morning. Probably not going to be much cooler today than yesterday after all.

    n

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9944971/Taliban-trail-revenge-Jihadis-start-hunt-translators-Western-troops-exit-Afghanistan.html

    n

    Taliban are on the trail of revenge: Jihadis start hunt for translators as soon as Western troops exit Afghanistan

    Taliban fighters began raiding the homes of interpreters left behind in Kabul yesterday. The insurgents wasted no time in hunting down the ‘traitors’ who helped the British.

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  3. Greg Norton 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.

    The Baroque Cycle is pretty dense. The only one of the three I’ve read completely is the second book.

    The manuscript used to be on display at EMP (or whatever they call it now) in Seattle — a six foot plus stack of paper, all written in longhand.

    “Dodge in Hell” has a similar problem to The Baroque Cycle which Stephenson attempts to address weaving real world and virtual world narratives for a while, but then he either got bored or figured that the hardcore readers knew all the virtual characters origins and proceeded purely in the virtual realm.

    I gave up on that one too. Maybe I’m old. As I stated previously, the last two big books seemed to also be shill efforts for Stephenson’s day jobs at the time. Plus “Seveneves” worked the Wise Latina meme.

    A lot of big industry people bit hard on Magic Leap. Stephenson wasn’t the only one. I have a personal theory on why, but it would probably get me cancelled. That part of South Florida definitely has a mafia and rackets.

  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    Microcenter is offering financing on TVs. starting with models totaling $2500 and all the way down to $700.

    That isn’t a good thing.

    n

  5. Greg Norton says:

    Microcenter is offering financing on TVs. starting with models totaling $2500 and all the way down to $700.

    That isn’t a good thing.

    $700 can buy a lot of TV at Sam’s or Costco if you don’t care about frills.

    Fry’s had its issues, but the chain’s bankruptcy is a sign of where that segment of retail is headed.

    When Amazon’s much-rumored department store concept finally hits, I’m willing to bet that the stores look a lot like 80s Sears, complete with large TV/video game section.

    The disappearance of the big video game area from Sears stores was not the result of the video game “crash” as much as Adam Walsh’s disappearance/murder — the last time anyone saw him, Walsh and another kid had just been physically kicked out of the Hollywood, FL Sears by a minimum wage security guard for fighting over a game, and the rest, as they say, is history..

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    the last time anyone saw him, Walsh and another kid had just been physically kicked out of the Hollywood, FL Sears

    –I was not aware of that. Hmmm.

    n

  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    From FEMA – watch the timeline over the next few days to see what arrives and when.

    Tropical Cyclone Ida
    Lifeline Impacts:
     Safety and Security: All resources assigned to Region VI are performing search and
    rescue activities
     Food, Water, Shelter: FEMA Logistics Support (Food, Water, Cots, Blankets) staged;
    Voluntary Agency Liaisons providing coordination and support for Region IV and VI
     Health and Medical: 298 ambulances arriving 9/1 to LA and MS supporting
    impacted areas
     Energy:
     LA: 883k (41.4%) (DOE Eagle-I as of 7:30 a.m. ET)
     MS: 29k (2.4%) (DOE Eagle-I as of 7:15 a.m. ET)
     Assessments and restoration ongoing; 191 generators staged or in use
    supporting impacted areas
     Communications: 911 communications in New Orleans has been restored; remain
    limited to some parishes in surrounding area
     Transportation: Most airports open with multiple flight cancellations: Lakefront
    Airport (NOLA) closed until 9/1

  8. Chad says:

    Discount Tire… 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.

    I’ve used Discount Tire before and concur that their prices and service are good. Like most places they really and try and nudge you toward what they have in stock (which is probably a combination of laziness, margin, and manufacturer relationship). I’ve found you can go to their website, order whichever tires you want, and have them delivered to whichever Discount Tire location you prefer. When they come in they’ll call you to install. No hassle on what brand or style you’re choosing when you do it that way.

    I do find the number of “discount” branded stores for tires and mattresses amusing. Two things that I think we can all agree are ridiculously overpriced for what they are. The industry seems to be aware of this, so places selling “discounted” ones are on every block.

  9. Ray Thompson says:

    Shortcuts are only short for the person making it originally, and probably not even then

    That does not make you special. Seems to be a theme in houses, even brand new houses. But especially true in ones modified by the owners.

    The mess I inherited with my house was large. The basement bathroom lights were wired into two circuits. Took me some sleuthing to figure out why I could not trip a breaker and eliminate power.

    The the issue of an electrical splice in the attic, no box, discovered when the front bay window was replaced. Found several connections in the basement ceiling that were just twisted together, no wire nuts, no electrical box.

    A new house built for some friends had switches with nothing but white wires. Nothing to indicate which was hot by remarking the wire with tape. The dryer circuit had a disconnected ground. The grounds and neutrals were all attached to the same buss bar in the electrical box. One breaker had two wires installed for the circuit. All done by a professional electrician, and inspected.

    Electrical issues seem to be the biggest issue as people don’t know what they are doing, don’t care, or are just plain stupid.

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  10. Nick Flandrey says:

    Child two home with sore throat, runny nose. Negative on the home wuflu test, but I’m not interested in sending her to school when she’s sick. Yesterday she was complaining but not much. Today she was very droopy.

    So my wife is work from home now because her office has strict guidelines about bringing sickness to the office. Which helps me as I can get out of the house.

    n

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  11. brad says:

    Taliban are on the trail of revenge

    Did you see the clip of the Afghanistan news caster? He was telling the populace that there was no reason to fear the Taliban, that everything was going to be fine. Also on camera: two goons with rifles standing behind him.

    Afghanistan: a place to avoid for the next few decades.

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    As Afghanistan begins a new era of Taliban rule, long queues outside banks and soaring prices in the bazaars of Kabul underline the multiple crises the Islamists must now deal with having recaptured the country at breakneck pace. With cash reserves running low, aid organisations cutting off funding, and skilled workers fleeing by the thousands, the country’s economy is teetering on the brink of near-total collapse. That has seen the value of its currency collapse even though hard notes are in short supply, while prices for basic goods have soared due to shortages, with the UN warning that food could run dangerously low within weeks. The threat of hyperinflation now looms large and its effects could be lethal in a country where a third of the population survives on less than $2 per day. And, in the background, lurks the threat of a serious Covid outbreak which medics say could prove ‘catastrophic’ with hospitals already overloaded and just 2 per cent of the population vaccinated.

    –I guess we’ll see how well the Towel-y ban can govern, now that they got their wish.

    n

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  13. Nick Flandrey says:

    Electrical issues seem to be the biggest issue as people don’t know what they are doing

    –because plumbing mistakes make themselves known pretty rapidly when you turn the water back on.

    n

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  14. Greg Norton says:

    I do find the number of “discount” branded stores for tires and mattresses amusing. Two things that I think we can all agree are ridiculously overpriced for what they are. The industry seems to be aware of this, so places selling “discounted” ones are on every block. 

    Mattresses are a big school fundraiser around here. The business model of the companies is to roll in, set up the sales floor in the gym, and give the school a cut of the profit. Pre-covid, you could always find a school sale on any given weekend in the Fall.

    Same mattresses delivered by the same distribution companies at a discount. The big money is from the linens, comforters, etc sold on site that weekend — not terrible quality, but steep markups.

  15. Chad says:

    I guess we’ll see how well the Towel-y ban can govern, now that they got their wish.

    Well, they are now once again an Islamic State ruled by the Koran and the will of God. So, if the people of Afghanistan have any problems then I guess they just need to pray harder. 🙄

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  16. Geoff Powell says:

    @chad:

    I guess they just need to pray harder.

    And blame the Great Satan even harder.

    G.

     

  17. MrAtoz says:

    plugsy McSpongeBrains latest speech was as bad as all the rest. Drowsy, dopey, read off a teleprompter. Says how great the Afghan runaway was, blames tRump for anything that’s wrong, brings up “Beaux” yet again. I guess the Dumbos are just phoning in Rules For Radicals strategies at this point. Of course, the sheeple of this country are dumb enough to fall for it again. Just keep repeating “a chicken Tesla in every pot” garage and plow through any shit legislature you want. Oh, yeah, Stretch refuses to allow Redumbo’s to read the 13 slain troops into the record. Bitch.

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  18. MrAtoz says:

    And no questions, yet again.

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  19. Greg Norton says:

    plugsy McSpongeBrains latest speech was as bad as all the rest. Drowsy, dopey, read off a teleprompter. Says how great the Afghan runaway was, blames tRump for anything that’s wrong, brings up “Beaux” yet again. I guess the Dumbos are just phoning in Rules For Radicals strategies at this point.

    Most people are on vacation this week. Anyone still “working” is thinking about how they will spend the long weekend.

     

  20. Mark W says:

    Anyone still “working” is thinking about how they will spend the long weekend.

    I just got assigned a major new project, 25% of which is fixing the mess left by the last guy. No slacking for me!

  21. lynn says:

    BC: Kidney Stones and Aliens
    https://www.gocomics.com/bc/2021/09/01

    Ok, I gotta wonder. What does the BC version of the Aliens movie look like ? Maybe the T-Rex and the Velociraptors mated for a hybrid ?

  22. Greg Norton says:

    Ok, I gotta wonder. What does the BC version of the Aliens movie look like ? Maybe the T-Rex and the Velociraptors mated for a hybrid ?

    Lots of painful things in “Aliens”. The person who draws BC was probably vague on purpose.

    It could be argued that more people die in the movie from other humans’ actions than the xenomorphs’ instinctive behavior.

    To quote another great movie, “Fish gotta swim, birds gotta eat.”

  23. lynn says:

    “Visualizing The Size Of The World’s Rockets, Past & Present”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/visualizing-size-worlds-rockets-past-present

    “The SpaceX Starship might be the next rocket to take humans to the moon; and while it’s not the first, and likely won’t be the last.”

    That is a LOT of rockets. And the SpaceX Starship / Booster is freaking huge. The 18 wheeler to space !

  24. Chad says:

    That is a LOT of rockets. And the SpaceX Starship / Booster is freaking huge. The 18 wheeler to space !

    This one is fun to watch too:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTPwbVqU6lc

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  25. lynn says:

    Microcenter is offering financing on TVs. starting with models totaling $2500 and all the way down to $700.

    That isn’t a good thing.

    n

    Aarons Rent To Own has been selling TVs, couches, beds, chairs, and tables on the weekly payment plan for decades ! Microcenter is just trying to grab more customers.
    https://www.aarons.com/

  26. lynn says:

    “Six States Provide 55% of US Primary Energy… (And Federal Oil & Gas Leasing to Resume!)”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/08/31/six-states-provide-55-of-us-primary-energy/

    “In 2019, the top six primary energy-producing states—Texas, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and North Dakota—accounted for 55 quadrillion British thermal units (quads), or 55% of all of the primary energy produced in the United States. In 2000, these six states had accounted for 39% of the nation’s primary energy production, indicating that primary energy production has become more concentrated to the top producing states.
    Primary energy production in the United States grew 40% from 2009 to 2019, driven largely by increased crude oil and natural gas production in Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. During that period, advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling made drilling for previously inaccessible crude oil and natural gas more economical in the United States. Between 2009 and 2019, production of primary energy more than doubled in Texas and Oklahoma, more than tripled in Pennsylvania, and more than quadrupled in North Dakota.”

    And Texas wins again !

  27. Greg Norton says:

    Aarons Rent To Own has been selling TVs, couches, beds, chairs, and tables on the weekly payment plan for decades ! Microcenter is just trying to grab more customers.

    Aarons is in trouble too. Rooms To Go is advertising 60 months 0% financing right now.

  28. ech says:

    A niece of the Good Doctor is an ER nurse in NOLA. She’s on watch and watch at the hospital, after being part of the hurricane rideout crew. Her rental house is without power, two windows broken, but the landlord has covered them up. No idea if there was internal damage to her stuff. Her son is with her ex in Baton Rouge,  again with no power.

  29. lynn says:

    Aarons Rent To Own has been selling TVs, couches, beds, chairs, and tables on the weekly payment plan for decades ! Microcenter is just trying to grab more customers.

    Aarons is in trouble too. Rooms To Go is advertising 60 months 0% financing right now.

    Every single retailer out there is in trouble except Amazon, Walmart, HEB, and Kroger.

  30. Greg Norton says:

    Every single retailer out there is in trouble except Amazon, Walmart, HEB, and Kroger. 

    Any publicly traded grocery-focused chain is in trouble. That includes Kroger.

    Kroger thinks that they are going to take on Publix in Florida.

  31. Jenny says:

    Old house is listed as of half an hour ago.

    Three items requiring a truck, and maybe another two car loads to be out of the garage.

    Plus the rabbits. Jeez, can’t believe I haven’t got the rabbits out yet.

    Our agent changed the paint and curtains inside, fixed the kitchen floor and installed the kitchen linoleum, and put in a gravel walk. Most of the rest was cleaning and tidying.

    https://www.alaskarealestate.com/Search/Property/PropertyDetail.aspx?li=21-14073

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  32. Greg Norton says:

    Old house is listed as of half an hour ago.

    Lots of memories I’ll bet.

    Austin is trying to sneak their homeless problem into the suburbs by purchasing failing business traveler hotels at the far edges of the city limits.

    As I posted the other day, the planned shelter closest to us shares a parking lot with KB Home offices and an Olive Garden, just across from a mall development that still draws large numbers of customers.

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  33. MrAtoz says:

    Any publicly traded grocery-focused chain is in trouble. That includes Kroger.

    HEB makes its money from real estate. The grocery side can’t even break even. According to my friend who is in the leadership training program there.

  34. MrAtoz says:

    Old house is listed as of half an hour ago.

    WooHoo! I forgot if I posted we sold our house in Kansas. One less thing to worry about in our Golden Years.

  35. Jenny says:

    18 years of memories. We never intended to move. Living next to a proposed homeless shelter was unacceptable given our city history of ruining adjacent neighborhoods, though.

    sneak their homeless problem into the suburbs by purchasing failing business traveler hotels

    An author I enjoy posted on her blog recently a horrible hotel experience she recently had while attending a dog event. She never said it explicitly, however it was clear from her description of the individuals causing problems they were homeless being housed in her hotel, without disclosure to the other hotel guests that that’s who was sharing the environment with them. I think that’s dirty pool and dangerous.

     

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  36. Nick Flandrey says:

    I agree. You never know who is there but you assume certain parameters, like being able to pay for it, and not being insane.

    n

  37. Nick Flandrey says:

    Kroger and Fiesta both had auctions locally selling off a whole store’s worth of fixtures, coolers, displays, etc. I think it was closed locations, not excess.

    n

  38. Greg Norton says:

    HEB makes its money from real estate. The grocery side can’t even break even. According to my friend who is in the leadership training program there. 

    HEB is also privately held which makes a big difference in terms of “acceptable” revenue growth.

     

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  39. lynn says:

    sneak their homeless problem into the suburbs by purchasing failing business traveler hotels

    An author I enjoy posted on her blog recently a horrible hotel experience she recently had while attending a dog event. She never said it explicitly, however it was clear from her description of the individuals causing problems they were homeless being housed in her hotel, without disclosure to the other hotel guests that that’s who was sharing the environment with them. I think that’s dirty pool and dangerous.

    Number one priority is you gotta be careful not to step on dirty needles in the hallways and parking lots. I speak of this from experience while living with my brother in the Montrose (central) area of Houston in 1989. I stepped on a needle in the stop-n-go parking lot and it went through my sneaker sole. I never could determine if it broke my skin but I was very unsure. I was so shook that I moved out of his apartment and into my parents house in the suburbs until I rented a house for my family.

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  40. Nick Flandrey says:

    The wall of media cheerleading seems like it might be crumbling… or at least showing a crack or two.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-9947233/COVID-infections-driven-Delta-appear-peaked-analysis-two-month-pattern.html

    COVID infections driven by Delta appear to have peaked in US amid speculation that it has followed the same two month pattern as other variants which rise for eight weeks, then fall

    Growth of Covid cases in the United States has slowed over the past two weeks, with new positive tests only rising 15 percent over the past two weeks
    In other countries, like England and India, Delta variant fueled case surges began to rapidly drop after around two months
    The United States’ Delta surge began around two months ago and the recent slow in virus spread could signal a nearing end
    Hospitals in the United States are still filled with COVID-19 patients, though, with 80% of beds currently occupied

    –Two month pattern huh? Hmm. Maybe not so much reason for panic then?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9946929/Scale-long-Covid-children-like-initially-feared.html

    Scale of long Covid in children ‘nothing like’ initially feared: One in seven have persistent symptoms three months after beating virus but most are mild, finds largest study of its kind

    University College London experts looked at almost 7,000 children aged 11 to 17
    Fourteen percent of patients had three or more symptoms after three months
    Lead researcher findings ‘reassuring’ amid fears long Covid being overreported

    –one less justification for pushing it on kids.

    n

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  41. lynn says:

    HEB makes its money from real estate. The grocery side can’t even break even. According to my friend who is in the leadership training program there.

    I find that tough to believe. Our HEB is moving six to ten 18 wheelers of stuff each day from their 65,000 ft2 store. But, they watch their prices very carefully and obviously price shop the competition (Walmart) daily. Our Krogers is 20 to 30% higher in prices than both the HEB and Walmart and you have to fight your way into the store on Sundays.

  42. Ray Thompson says:

    I had informed the church a couple of months ago that I would not be there on September 12. Seemed to not trouble upper levels. Now they have found out the person that knows a little about my job, who no longer attends the church, has refused to do the broadcast. So as of now there is no one in the church qualified, trained, experienced enough to do the broadcast.

    My pleas for help have fallen on deaf ears, or ignored. Well now the (whatever) has hit the fan. They are now panicking. To the point of asking me if I can reschedule my day away. The answer was/is/will continue to be, a firm NO.

    The issue of only a single individual being able to accomplish the task has been well known and hammered to the church leadership. At this point I don’t care if there is a broadcast and/or stream. The church got themselves into the corner, they can get themselves out of the corner. Just not on my time.

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  43. JimB says:

    18 years of memories.

    Yes. Too bad you had to move. No matter how good a new place is, the old memories never die out. Looks like a nice house. Tulips in August! Oh, Alaska. Cccold!! I remember daffodils (?) pushing through the snow in Michigan. Tulips would soon be up. Beautiful flowers, but short lived.

    You have already started making new memories in the new place. Let’s hope you can stay as long as you want.

  44. Ray Thompson says:

    And in other news I will be donating my old Surface Laptop, version 1, to some deserving child at the local high school. I no longer use the device. It will be supplied with the Surface  Dock, several adapters for video, the power supply and a carrying bag. I might be able to sell it for a few bucks but think it would be better served to someone that can use the device. One of the teachers will be choosing the individual.

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  45. Jenny says:

    @JimB

    Tulips in August! Oh, Alaska. Cccold!! I remember daffodils (?) pushing through the snow in Michigan.

    A little bit of false advertising. I provided photos of the garden in bloom, as now that we have entered September all that is left is the Delphinium and a single slowly ripening Honeycrisp apple.
    The rhubarb, crocus, and snowdrops all push up thru the snow and are early bloomers. There are several varieties of tulips blooming, they brighten the garden from April thru June. The lilac blooms somewhere around June into July. The bleeding heart goes like gang busters from May to mid-July. The harebells start around July and straggle their way thru August.
    We’ve got flowers at the old house from March to early September, most years.
    And we are eating rhubarb from May to September. Raspberries from late July to late August.

    Apples around September, though none of our apples were mature enough to do more than tease.

  46. lynn says:

    “Hurricane Ida: Most of New Orleans Still Lacks Power, Running Water”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-ida-power-is-restored-to-new-orleans-suburb-city-sets-up-cooling-stations-11630504829

    What a mess ! They still have standing water everywhere. Stuff ain’t fixable if you are standing in two foot of water, that means snakes and alligators around here. Southern Louisiana is just about the same level of swamp, maybe even more than Houston.

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

  47. Greg Norton says:

    The Yucs added another good story to the pile with “Mr. Irrelevant” making the roster.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/three-things-we-didn-e2-80-99t-expect-to-see-on-bucs-e2-80-99-initial-53-player-roster/ar-AANYK7x

  48. Nick Flandrey says:

    @ray, so I guess I can stop looking for the BNC tool? 😉

    I’m so slack.

    n

  49. Ray Thompson says:

    I guess I can stop looking for the BNC tool?

    Yep. Of course you will find it tomorrow.

  50. Nick Flandrey says:

    My daughter’s school decided that they don’t want to do the supplemental science program I was volunteering for this year. They “might” try another science program put on by a paid service. It sucks because the kids will get less exposure to science, and I won’t see all the kids. My daughter won’t get to see me in that role either, which she was really looking forward to.

    I will be trying to volunteer at D1’s school. They have mornings free for some very free form learning, and parents usually provide at least a few of the ‘classes’. Daughter wants me to do something involving ‘take aparts’ which is just stripping down technology. I want to do something involving ‘making’ by hand in some way. I’m not sure what I want to do, but harvesting parts from old tech could be part of it. Or it could be a sort of reverse How It’s Made. If we strip machines, it will def have to have a ‘systems’ approach, looking at and identifying how stuff works and how it’s put together, not just trashing stuff.

    I’d need to figure out at least a teaching arc for six weeks of daily one hour sessions.

    n

  51. Marcelo says:

    @ray, so I guess I can stop looking for the BNC tool? 

    I’m so slack.

    but have good memory or at least good ToDo lists. Better than me. 🙁

  52. lynn says:


    @ray, so I guess I can stop looking for the BNC tool?

    I’m so slack.

    but have good memory or at least good ToDo lists. Better than me.

    Nick has not hit 60 yet. 60 hits back.

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  53. Greg Norton says:

    @Lynn – When TWC initially contacts you regarding terminated employees appeals, do you receive a call from an investigator who obtains your side of the situation in a conversation or do you have to file paperwork?

    I received all of the paperwork filed so far for my case in advance of an appeal hearing on September 16, but I don’t see any response from the employer to either the initial claim giving grounds denying payment or the appeal.

  54. lynn says:

    So far today, we were 97 F at lunch time, 81 F at 3 pm with the thunderstorm, and back to 89 F with nary a cloud in the sky at 5 pm. Typical Houston summer weather.

  55. lynn says:

    @Lynn – When TWC initially contacts you regarding terminated employees appeals, do you receive a call from an investigator who obtains your side of the situation in a conversation or do you have to file paperwork?

    I received all of the paperwork filed so far for my case in advance of an appeal hearing on September 16, but I don’t see any response from the employer to the initial claim denying payment.

    We have only fought one unemployment claim in the last 20 years. They walked off the job about four years ago and said that they were working from home from now on. I said goodbye. They filed unemployment and we fought it and won. All of the appeals were phone appeals. We filed paperwork before the hearings with the TWC via email. We never could get an email address for the former employee so we mailed them a new copy. At the phone appeal, they claimed that they never got a copy and then said that their mail service was unreliable. The investigator was not impressed.

    The only time that I talked with the investigator was during the appeal phone call, they took testimony from the former employee and then took testimony from me. The investigator ignored most of our filings but keyed in on the fact that the former employee walked off the job. We won all the appeals.

  56. Nick Flandrey says:

    Well, Senor Raton has gone to his reward, and his earthly remains are now gone too. The stain on the concrete will take longer.

    n

  57. pecancorner says:

    re HEB:  We drive 50 miles just to shop at HEB in Stephenville, then turn around and come home.   And when we go to Austin, we always stop in Lampassas on the way home to go in the HEB.

    The other night about 6, my dad stopped by to drop off okra and black eyed peas he had just gathered. He said he had to run,  “we are going to Stephenville”.   Not going to see anybody, just going to HEB for groceries.

     

  58. JimB says:

    Era of leaded petrol officially over

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

    You have to distinguish between small general aviation aircraft and larger commercial and military aircraft. I would guess the big ones can still get 100/130 Avgas, which is leaded. There are very few of these still flying.

    Small general aviation aircraft are a bit more complicated. From the 1940s to approximately 1970, practically all used 80/87, which contained from zero to a small amount of tetraethyl lead (TEL.) These engines were designed with hard valve seat inserts, and worked fine. Think of 80/87 as an unleaded fuel, even though it could contain a small amount of TEL that was insufficient to lubricate valve seats.

    Somewhere in the 1970s, 100LL (one-hundred Low Lead) was introduced. It was for newer engines that required higher octane, and were designed for leaded fuel. It was considered low lead because it contained approximately one quarter of the TEL that the higher octane 100/130 did. 100LL and 80/87 were sold at most airports for a few decades.

    So… 100LL typically contains at least four times the TEL as 80/87. As newer planes began to replace older ones, 100LL became the dominant fuel, and sometimes it was the only fuel available. Older engines were granted a waiver (more likely a Supplemental Type Certificate in the vernacular, I can’t remember) to use 100LL. That’s when the trouble started. Note that while the auto industry was moving toward unleaded fuel to support catalytic converters, the aviation industry could be said to be moving in the other direction. There is a lesson here.

    The lesson is that the EPA, FAA, and the engine manufacturers agreed that older engines would be just fine using a fuel they were not designed for, engineering be damned. Hey, it just encourages people to buy new.

    We had a 1975 Cessna 150 with a Continental O-200 engine that was designed for 80/87. It was operated as a trainer out of a place that decided to stop carrying 80/87 and only carry 100LL. What could possibly go wrong? We had operated it for something like three years in this grueling service. Think touch and goes with wide open throttle, descents with closed throttle, and almost no cruising with an air cooled engine that has no thermostat. That engine was lightly stressed by design, and held up just fine until the fuel change. The first failure was frequent spark plug fouling, more of a nuisance than a safety concern. There are two plugs per cylinder and two independent magnetos. But, after a few hundred hours, we had a valve stick in its guide, resulting in power loss that could hardly be tolerated on such an underpowered plane. Not a terrible fix, but still a sign. We sold the plane to a new owner who operated it out of a place that stocked its designed-for fuel. No more problems.

    There are many stories going from one fuel to another. Older lawnmower engines are said to hate unleaded fuel, and suffer. They are mostly gone, and the new ones are redesigned. Older cars designed for leaded fuels can tolerate unleaded fuel for a while. The fix is easy: either install hardened valve seats, or replace the heads with newer ones. This is usually not a big problem for a hobbyist. Others are “encouraged” to junk their cars by our all powerful government.

    I once argued that my older cars could not be held to emissions inspections because the state banned the fuel they were certified with. Deaf ears. Eventually, CA stopped inspecting older cars, a much better solution for me.

  59. Greg Norton says:

    I find that tough to believe. Our HEB is moving six to ten 18 wheelers of stuff each day from their 65,000 ft2 store. But, they watch their prices very carefully and obviously price shop the competition (Walmart) daily. Our Krogers is 20 to 30% higher in prices than both the HEB and Walmart and you have to fight your way into the store on Sundays.

    We like Kroger, but I still think they are in serious trouble.

    Living in Vantucky, outside Portland, we shopped at Kroger’s Fred Meyer stores all the time. We even bought our first flat screen TV there — $320 for 40″ in 2012, no pitch for the extended warranty, and the guy who rang us up even asked if we wanted his help getting it into my wife’s SUV.

    The core grocery business has a 2-3% profit margin which is a hard sell on Wall Street. Kroger does better than Safeway thanks to more general merchandise and, IIRC, regional drug store chains, but any publicly traded store is going to have pressure from investors.

    Plus, the current conventional wisdom says that Amazon will eventually revolutionize groceries in some way that no one has thought of before now.

    We’ll see.

  60. Nick Flandrey says:

    Our local Kroger got colonized by homeless and panhandlers. They were a low cost item only store anyway, because the neighborhood wouldn’t support higher cost food, or nicer options.

    HEB has been steadily bringing up the quality of the food, while Kroger hasn’t.

    Despite that, HEB is still almost always cheaper than Kroger, and their house brands are better. I compare the weekly circular most weeks, and nothing compels me to go back to Kroger.

    Plus, HEB does a ton of support for the community. They donate to the schools, support sports teams, and their disaster relief is better than the red cross and held in much higher regard. They get the stores open, donate to relief pantries, and have mobile kitchens to deploy. In other words, they rock.

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  61. Alan says:

    I do find the number of “discount” branded stores for tires and mattresses amusing. Two things that I think we can all agree are ridiculously overpriced for what they are. The industry seems to be aware of this, so places selling “discounted” ones are on every block.

    One exception on the mattress front are showrooms for a few of the ‘mattress in a box’ companies. While all of them offer extended sleep on it/return it if you’re not happy policies, being able to try out a company’s various models in, what we found was, a no-pressure environment wound up with us going with a different model from the same company we had originally picked from.

  62. Nick Flandrey says:

    Oh yeah, big fire burning in Tahoe.
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  63. Greg Norton says:

    An author I enjoy posted on her blog recently a horrible hotel experience she recently had while attending a dog event. She never said it explicitly, however it was clear from her description of the individuals causing problems they were homeless being housed in her hotel, without disclosure to the other hotel guests that that’s who was sharing the environment with them. I think that’s dirty pool and dangerous.

    The Crowne Plaza in Austin is where the city stashes all of the homeless who contract Covid, complete with room service and cable TV.

    You haven’t given an update on the new job in a while. I trust things are going well.

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  64. Ray Thompson says:

    I never fully realized how draining it is recovering from major surgery. I am a lot more tired after the surgery than before. My knee is constantly about 5 degrees warmer than the rest of my leg. I can feel lumps under the skin which is scar tissue requiring massaging to keep the scarring to a minimum.

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  65. EdH says:

    Oh yeah, big fire burning in Tahoe.

    I have a brother that lives in Carson City, he says the smoke and ash is remarkable. The other day he couldn’t see to the end of his block.

    If you follow the news, and ignore the blame being placed on global warming (that all purpose excuse for government incompetence and malfeasance), it’s pretty clear that it’s a lack of brush and small growth clearance.

    They’ve known of this problem since a big fire in 1985, and have been clearing about 2000 acres a year. At that rate it would take 150 years to clear the just the Tahoe basin, by which time the initially cleared areas would have grown over again.

    A new report is that there are two dozen choppers and three water bombers. Just 3? For a fire that size, with a town in the path?

    BTW, the 747 Super Tanker was retired this spring.  And both the Martin Mars are retired.

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  66. RickH says:

    Part of the problem with the number of water ‘bombers’ used is that the smoke was too thick for air operations in most places. They were able to do some retardant drops on the SE side of the fire (by highway 89) Sunday/Monday.

    And they might have been hoping that all that granite (very minimal trees) at the outskirts of the Tahoe Basin and Echo Summit would slow things down.

    We used to have a family cabin at Strawberry on Highway 50 (just below Twin Bridges), but sold it 10-12 years ago. Nice area, right on the river. I think it survived, but several cabins just up the road at Twin Bridges were lost.

    We used to drive Pioneer Trail Rd from Lake Tahoe to where it hooked up with Highway 50. Tall pine trees, and they have been clearing the brush to leave just the tall pine trees in many sections. That helped slow the fire spread, as it wasn’t getting into the tall pine trees.

    When we had the cabin, the Forest Service required us to clear the dead pine needles 50 feet away from the cabin. Not much undergrowth back then. But all that undergrowth helps feed the fires. And that’s the main problem with the forested areas: thick undergrowth and dead trees from the pine bark beetles.  And not getting rid of that kindling.

  67. drwilliams says:

    Terry Talbot and the band, Mason Proffit [including his brother John], have a rich history in American music. In August of 1969 Mason Proffit released Terry’s first of thirty albums and changed the face of music forever. Terry was the front man and principle song writer for the band and penned their hit songs,Two Hangmen (politically charged and banned by the FCC), Eugene Pratt and Better Find Jesus. They recorded five albums on the Warner Bros. label and their opening acts included John Denver, The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, and Dan Fogelberg. Terry’s production skills and on-stage energy fused the band with the reputation as pioneers and innovators in the emerging country rock movement of the late 60’s. And as stated by Bernie Leadon and Glen Frey, The Eagles were greatly influenced by Mason Proffit and followed the design of Two Hangmen for their Hotel California.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9bdKChV9Lw

    added: fitty-three years on it takes me back. Thanks Terry and John.

  68. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’m not the only one who noticed the cracks.

    Is it just me or do I keep seeing more and more bad news about this jab horse shit?

    What I am seeing is that they try their damndest to either spin it or keep it quiet.

    We gonna be finding out either way here real soon when The Flu Season hits.

    You know, the one that disappeared last year?

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  69. drwilliams says:

    @Nick

    The effectiveness of mRNA vaccines are based on one virus characteristic. They look for a twirled mustache (aka “spike protein”), and if they don’t see it, it’s “pass, brother”.

    The first time random mutation straightens out the mustache, or waxes it, it gets a pass.

    The bodies immune system beats the shiite out of the virus, renders it into parts, and codes for the parts. Hard to tell how many parts, but more than one. Harder to fool.

  70. Jenny says:

    @Greg

    You haven’t given an update on the new job in a while. I trust things are going well.

    I love it and can’t believe I get paid when it’s so damn fun all day. I’m working primarily with MS SQL, dozens of servers and multiple versions. Several Oracle servers with quite a few databases. Project on horizon to bring Oracle current.
    working with VS Studio for SSIS and SSRS stuff. That’s been a hoot. It’s definitely Junior DBA which is perfect for me – though I’ve worked in databases since 1995ish, I haven’t done much recently. Stale. The Senior DBA position has been filled by someone I respect, have worked with before, and coincidentally is a family friend. We work well together and our skills complement each other.

    I’m working hard on my personal time to bring my skills current.

    I’m having a lot of fun and haven’t hit anything outside my skills, or outside my ability to learn, so far. Very fortunate.

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  71. Nick Flandrey says:

    @jenny, that’s awesome! Very nice to hear a success story.

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  72. brad says:

    The core grocery business has a 2-3% profit margin which is a hard sell on Wall Street.

    Who cares? As long as the business is turning a profit, or at least not losing money, they really don’t have to care what Wall Street thinks.

    Ages ago, I read an article that pointed out: There are all those sexy tech companies. One in ten turns out great, nine in ten go bankrupt. Meanwhile whatever company collects your garbage is probably just turning over a small profit, year after year after year. More people ought to ignore the hype and invest in the companies nobody ever thinks about.

    it was clear from her description of the individuals causing problems they were homeless being housed in her hotel, without disclosure to the other hotel guests

    Homeless people really need to be categorized. If it’s someone just down on their luck, needing a bit of help, a hotel is great. They also won’t make any problems. Unfortunately, that’s the smallest proportion of the homeless population.

    The drunks and addicts need to be in a treatment center. The mentally ill need therapy. Those are the two big categories, and neither of them belongs in some random hotel room.

    What I don’t understand is: why are there so many more homeless in the US now than there used to be? Back in the 60’s and 70’s – plenty of drugs available – homelessness was relatively rare. Now, it’s all over the place.

    – – – – – – – – –

    On a completely different subject: What’s with the new Texas law that lets private people sue anyone who gets an abortion, or anyone who helps? Has the legislature gone insane?

    You sue someone. If you win, you get $10k + attorneys fees. If the person you sue wins, that person gets zilch, nada, nothing.

    Whatever your view on abortion, this is an open invitation to abuse of the legal system. You may win 10k, there’s no downside risk. Unscrupulous attorneys will be all over this.

    Women who have miscarriages, and their families, will be getting sued when they’re already emotionally ripped up. Plus, what a great way to harass someone you don’t like, maybe an ex-girlfriend you want to get back at. “Gee, your honor, I’m sure she was pregnant, she must’ve gotten an abortion.” Why not?

    The anti-abortion, religious fruitcake crowd has gone totally overboard.

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