Tues. Sept. 28, 2021 – not as productive as I’d hoped

By on September 28th, 2021 in ebay, march to war, WuFlu

Hot and humid again. Not quite “still” but again. Some overcast and I’m sure there was rain somewhere but my house stayed dry. Got pretty warm by late afternoon, and it was still 80F at bedtime. Today I expect some more patchy rain, some heat and humidity, and I’ll be out driving around in it.

Didn’t get as much done yesterday as I’d hoped. It’s a short work day because of picking up youngest daughter. She had a test she had to take online when she got home too, so we didn’t even get to do any work on our project. (She didn’t finish, and needed to be online proctored to finish. She’s up one grade and virtual for math rather than traveling to the middle school for the one class. For some reason on the teacher’s side, she needed more time outside of the day.) So that sucked but I did get more ebay stuff done.

I went through about 200 45 rpm records. They were jukebox records and they are almost all stuff I’d listen to at a bar. There were a couple dozen or more in the $1-3 range, most were in the $5-8 range, and a few were more than $10 sold on ebay. I’m sending them to local auction, and I’ll let him lot them. I didn’t want to miss a diamond, and I sorted them so he knows how much effort to put into each lot.

Cleaned a couple more small appliances. Listed a few items as I was going through the stuff. The phone app does make it easy to list. I have to catch myself just ID’ing stuff and putting it aside, and instead just take the pics and list it.

Today I’ve got a couple of pickups that I didn’t get to yesterday, and I’m dropping off at my local auction too. Getting stuff off the patio gets me more room for storing preps and stuff like gennies out of the direct weather. It helps me with domestic bliss, and with getting the cash I picked the stuff up for in the first place. Inventory for sales does me no good. I’m not stocking a store. I need the stuff listed and available for sale. Sounds pretty basic, but at some point I lost sight of that for a lot of the stuff. It’s a bit humbling to see stuff I put aside so long ago and didn’t do anything with it.

Time is getting short. Rhetoric on both sides is getting more threatening. Something bad will happen and there is no telling when.

Stack stuff, but make it good and useful stuff. And then stack it high.

nick

69 Comments and discussion on "Tues. Sept. 28, 2021 – not as productive as I’d hoped"

  1. brad says:

    Wow, I continue to be impressed with modern technology. Some things we thought ought to happen are finally really working. I want a second tennis racquet similar to my current one. Walked into my favorite sporting goods store, where I bought the thing a few years ago.

    There’s a gray-haired guy there, probably 60ish, wearing a headset, and working heads down on something. I don’t want to interrupt, so I wander off to the tennis racquets. No joy.

    The 60ish guy walks up, asks if he can help. I show him my existing racquet. He pulls out his phone, surfs a bit on the company website, and says “yep, sure, I can order that for you”. As we wander back, he pushes a button, says “sorry, I’m helping someone” – he’s still wearing his headset. Asks for my name and address, which he types into a screen on the phone, while we’re walking back to the register.

    At the register, everything he typed is already there. He notices I had signed up for their customer card years ago, changes it to my new address. I pay. Two hours later, I get a notice by SMS that it has been shipped.

    Wow.

    – – – – –

    Speaking of technology, anyone interested in the idea that you could actually work in virtual reality? If so, you might enjoy reading this article: it’s a guy who does exactly that. While he admits that it’s a bit of a “house of cards”, it’s stable enough that he works full-time in what sounds like a science fiction environment.

    I’d love to work that way, when I’m going to spend hours at the computer anyway. Another couple of years for the technologies to mature…maybe I’ll see it in my retirement.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    77F and 96%RH at 6am

    This year and a half will def change the world of work. Might take a while, but a whole lot of people were found to be redundant. They might still have jobs, but someone noticed. Those people will need something to do.

    Some people have an outsized impact on the company/project/product. Those people will need support.

    The idea of “workplace” must change.

    Or we might all be reading by the light of fire once again.

    It’s fragile, this thing we’ve built.

    n

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  3. brad says:

    Ok, guys, I got curious about the Spartacus letter y’all were talking about. I just read through it. I think Nick was overly polite. Here are just a couple of points:

    – Current treatment protocols (e.g. invasive ventilation) are actively harmful to patients.

    –> Well, of course invasive ventilation is harmful. However, if you are to the point of needing invasive ventilation, your other choice is to suffocate.

    – The authorities have denied the usefulness of natural immunity against COVID-19, despite the fact that natural immunity confers protection against all of the virus’s proteins, and not just one.

    –> They haven’t claimed any such thing. They have stated that they don’t yet know how long natural immunity lasts or how effective it is. Time will tell. Anecdote: As a kid, I had a severe case of mumps. Twice. Natural immunity is anything but perfect.

    – Surgical masks do not protect you from aerosols. The virus is too small…

    –> The virus doesn’t travel around all by itself, it is expelled with droplets. Thepoint of masks is to stop you from spreading droplets. Note that Japan – where people were already wearing masks when all this started – has had 13000 cases/million. That is the lowest rate of cases of any place where you can trust the reporting. Below it are only 3rd world countries and remote islands.

    – The vaccines for COVID-19 … do not prevent infection or transmission.

    –> In other news, the moon is made of green cheese. Anyway, he goes on to contradict himself by saying that the vaccines provide “imperfect” protection. Which is true of any vaccine, ever.

    Guys, don’t take people like this seriously. He’s picked up just enough knowledge to use scientific terms, but he has misunderstood a lot of it. Dunning-Kruger writ large: he knows just enough to be dangerous and to sound convincing.

    Anyway, he then wanders off into his fantasy of criminal conspiracies. I stopped reading at that point.

    – – – – –

    @Rick: I formatted all of that with nice bullet points. Looked good in the editor window, but when I posted, there were no bullets. Hence the weird dashes that I added.

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  4. Greg Norton says:

    Seen on the back of a Toyota pickup with mudders on it 50 miles south of San Antonio, “Dont blame me, I voted for Trump”.

    Seen on a flag 20 miles south of San Antone, “Trump 2024” and another flag, “F*** Biden”.

    Core San Antonio is orthodox Prog, they vote for nitwits like Mayor Nirenberg and the idiot Castro brother (okay, I know, they’re both idiots). The outlying areas, not so much.

    The problem runs up and down I35 between the downtown areas of San Antonio and Austin, and that zone includes San Marcos, Texas State, where LBJ went to school.

    Toyota pickups. San Antonio is where Toyota based the master plan to take down the F150 with the Tundra plant. It is a *very* long term plan, and they’ve taken a few lumps, including a possible recent misstep eliminating the V8 in the 2022s. Unlike the Americans, however, the Japanese learn from mistakes.

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  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    On a long enough timeline, all things are transitory, even homo sapiens.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10033745/Costco-rents-container-ships-sidestep-global-shipping-crisis.html

    Simultaneously, top retailers are facing the consequences of truck and driver shortages, leading to longer delays and higher costs.

    ‘As I discussed on last quarter’s call, inflationary factors abound,’ Galanti said. ‘Higher labor costs, higher freight costs, higher transportation demand, along with container shortages and port delays… It’s a lot of fun right now.’

    Costco’s standard rollout time for new products in its stores had doubled in some cases, he said, adding that furniture, toys, computers, video games, and appliances had the biggest delays. There were even some limited sales of toilet paper and water introduced at certain locations.

    The situation has deteriorated to the point where supermarkets have been unable to stock their shelves with products, while FedEx has had to reroute hundreds of thousands of packages.

    Costco will rent its own container ships to import products in a bid to ensure their shelves are stocked and to keep costs down as the global shipping crisis threatens the holiday shopping season.

    Costco CFO Richard Galanti said on a call with analysts last Thursday that the company had hired three ships to carry goods from Asia to the US and Canada. The move will help them avoid spending the going rate of six times the average price on shipping or renting containers through a third party, according to Galanti.

    Each ship would have the capacity to hold between 8,000 and 1,000 containers at a time. The company has also leased ‘several thousand containers for use on these ships,’ he added.

    Costco plans to carry about 10 deliveries over the next year using these ships, taking around 20 percent of its imports from Asia into account.

    Costco is not alone: the global furniture giant Ikea has purchased its own shipping containers to move merchandise. And like Costco, Walmart has also chartered ships to keep its stores well stocked ahead of the holidays.

    Speaking at a conference earlier this month, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said that supply chain problems and inventory shortages are as severe as he can remember in his 30 years in the business.

    Costco said it was paying six times for containers and shipping due to price increase on items shipped overseas; up to 8 per cent more for paper goods; as much as 11 per cent for plastic and resin products, including trash bags and cups, and 3 to 10 per cent more for apparel, reported Fox Business.

    A 40-foot container cost less than $2,000 to transport goods from Asia to the U.S. two years ago. Today, the service could cost as much as $25,000 if an importer pays a premium for on-time delivery, which is a luxury, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

    Prices also have gone up other popular products, including aluminum foil, soda, meat, oil and coffee.

    Due to a severe worldwide computer chip shortage, Galanti warned that customers should expect delays and shortages on appliances and electronics, including computers, tablets and video games.

    Galanti estimated that Costco’s price inflation for its products is now in the 3.5-4.5 per cent range, which represents an increase from last quarter’s estimate of 2.5-3.5 per cent.

    The traffic-jam at the ports, which serves as the main entry point for goods coming from China, has even directly impacted the prices for artificial Christmas trees.

    Balsam Hill, an artificial tree company based in California, is selling its four-and-a-half-foot tall Grand Canyon Cedar Tree for $499 this year. That is $199 more than the same tree cost in 2020 – a two-thirds increase in price in just 12 months.

    —even with a tree farm about 20 minutes away, I might pick up the next artificial tree I see, just in case. Been thinking about that for a week now.

    To help reduce delays for ships, the southern California ports are working with the Biden administration and the transportation department, Long Beach mayor Robert Garcia announced on Twitter.

    –if they have to involve .gov and DOT then part of the issue is RULES. Either union work rules, or TSA/CUSTOMS inspection requirements and staffing.

    in any case, this issue isn’t going anywhere for at least two more years according to the company bosses. TWO MORE YEARS of rising prices and reduced availability of goods. That sure sounds like inflation to me.

    n

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  6. Pecancorner says:

    Inventory for sales does me no good. I’m not stocking a store. I need the stuff listed and available for sale. Sounds pretty basic, but at some point I lost sight of that for a lot of the stuff.

    Forgetting to sell is an easy trap to fall into, because second hand we must buy constantly, when we see it, and always be on the hunt. We owned an antique mall, and were early eBay adopters.  But my husband harped on me constantly: “You can’t sell it out of the back room!” and that helped keep both of us on the ball to get it priced, get it out on the floor or listed for sale.

    His dad & uncle had menswear stores when he was growing up, and that was something he’d heard from his father when he worked there summers and holidays: get the merchandise out on the sales floor.   It really helped us a lot to avoid the trap so many antiquers fall into, where they just become hoarders with big dreams, and end up losing in the long run because the market moves on without them.

  7. Greg Norton says:

    in any case, this issue isn’t going anywhere for at least two more years according to the company bosses. TWO MORE YEARS of rising prices and reduced availability of goods. That sure sounds like inflation to me.

    If the Fed keeps printing the money and Congress keeps mailing the Joe Bux checks.

    Also, if the Fed keeps the mortgage market alive buying all the paper at 3% yield.

    As long as people think their stucco shacks are going to be tenbagger “investments” and 401(k) balances keep appreciating at 30% a year, the game will continue.

    I wouldn’t sweat a Christmas tree on the word of Balsam Hill. I doubt they even have their own warehouses … if they ever did. The “About Us” page on their website reads like The Legend of Jeff, Family Man, Drives a Honda.

    And MacKenzie drove the Bronco … all through the day and night … while Jeff worked on the business plan … 30 days same as cash, he finally saw the light.

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  8. ITGuy1998 says:

    I might pick up the next artificial tree I see, just in case.

    We have an artificial tree with integrated lights we got from Hobby lobby 6 or 7 years ago. A couple years ago one of the lit segments died. I strung a set of lights in the area to fill in. I went looking for a replacement tree, and holy heck, they are expensive. I can’t remember what we paid for this one, but something similar was in the range of $500. I know we got it on sale, as my wife called me with zero notice while in the store and said come down here with the truck so we can buy this tree – it’s on sale.

    Anyways, last year, I spent a long half hour cutting out the integrated lights and we just used regular stringed lights, though I did splurge and bough LED lights from Lowe’s. I think this tree will be with us for quite a while.

  9. Chad says:

    I think people tend to forget that inflation can also artificially inflate the stock market too. As the value of the dollar decreases it takes more dollars to buy goods and services (i.e. inflation). That means it also takes more of those increasingly worthless dollars to buy a share of stock. Investors (including the 401K and IRA crowd) need to realize it may simply be that it takes more dollars to buy that share of stock not because the share is worth more but because the dollar is worth less. Same for crude oil and other commodities. It may not be that supply is decreasing or demand is increasing. It may just be that the price of a barrel of crude is going up because it takes more dollars to buy it. It’s more complex than that and I certainly don’t consider myself any sort of expert in investments or finance, but I know enough to know that price increases don’t always mean something is worth more. Sometimes they mean the dollar is worth less. Now, I feel like I rambled. Anyway, you get my point. 🙂

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  10. Lynn says:

    Dad and I saw this vintage motorcycle race in Victoria last Friday. The newest motorcycle is 1929. I think it is a race to arrive there in one piece.
    https://motorcyclecannonball.com/

    I guess the message is to never throw anything away. Mom saw my grandfathers 1920 ??? Indian hanging in her cousins barn 50 years agp. Her cousin pulled the engine and made it into a lawnmower. My grandfather had wrecked it in Louisiana when the chain broke and wrapped around his leg, throwing him into the ditch around 1930.

  11. Greg Norton says:

    I think people tend to forget that inflation can also artificially inflate the stock market too. 

    Instead of doing something meaningful, a lot of American companies have spent the last decade using cheap borrowed money to buy back stock, driving share prices up.

    Again, however, as long as the 401(k) balances keep increasing with the stock market, the 20% or so of the population that remains productive in a meaningful way doesn’t care.

     

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  12. dkreck says:

    https://californiaglobe.com/articles/junipero-serra-statue-on-state-capitol-grounds-to-be-replaced-by-native-american-memorial/

    Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill over the weekend that replaces the now toppled state of Father Junipero Serra on the grounds of the State Capitol Building with a monument for Native Americans who lived in the Sacramento area before Spanish Exploration.
    According to Assembly Bill 338, authored by Assemblyman James Ramos (D-Highland), the statue of Father Junipero Serra, the Catholic friar who helped establish more than a dozen of California cities in the 1700’s, would be removed. In its place, AB 338 would have a monument for Native Americans to be erected in it’s place.

    Well lets start renaming cities too. San Francisco first. Maybe just Frisco, they’ll love that.

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  13. Nick Flandrey says:

    I know enough to know that price increases don’t always mean something is worth more. Sometimes they mean the dollar is worth less.

    –yep, price inflation due to supply and demand, or monetary inflation due to decreasing buying power of the dollar.

    FWIW, I think we are seeing true price inflation, and it is masking a large component of monetary inflation. In other words, the double whammy observed by others.

    Demand is up, supply is down, AND money is worth less.

    n

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  14. Chad says:

    Maybe just Frisco, they’ll love that.

    The locals hate of “Frisco” is what make me love using it. 🙂 It just rolls off the tongue so nicely. The full “San Francisco” is just too exhausting. Sorry, four syllables is just more than I’m willing to say in casual conversation. “San Fran” is just awkward and “SF” doesn’t flow as nicely as “LA” does. As with most major metro areas, most everyone who lives there or near there probably just refers to it as “the city.”

    The Beatles got away with it in “Sweet Little Sixteen” with the line 🎶”…On down in Frisco Bay…”🎶

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  15. Mark W says:

    Same as how no-one in San Antonio calls it San Antone. “Essay” works though.

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  16. CowboySlim says:

    San Antonio is on the maps…..San Antone is on the songs.  Check Bob Wiils, Charley Pride. George Strait and Johnny Cash.

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  17. ech says:

    Re: Costco leasing their own container ships.

    Fine, but how will they load, unload, and deliver the containers? The ports on the West Coast are jammed, there is a severe shortage of truck drivers, there is a shortage of the chassis needed to carry containers, the rail system is jammed, etc.

    It’s a classic, NP-complete, multivariate scheduling problem.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/cargo-delays-are-getting-worse-but-california-ports-still-rest-on-weekends-11632648602

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  18. ~jim says:

     

    Dow Jones adjusted for inflation.

    Whatever happened to elbow grease? I went into a humongous Fred Meyer yesterday looking for a can of Comet. Searched high and low and finally found it on the bottom shelf all by its lonesome. No Ajax, no Barkeeper’s Friend, and no Zud (like Barkeeper’s Friend on steroids). Curious. Good news is the can will last me for another five or ten years. At ¢99, what a deal!

    Inventory can’t make money, but sales do.

    Oh, and thanks to whoever recommended Brave browser/search portal. Looks just like Chrome on my Android phone, but with privacy. I’ve only seen a glimpse but I like!

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  19. SteveF says:

    Fine, but how will they load, unload, and deliver the containers?

    That was my first thought, too. Shortage of containers able to be transported to China is the only transport issue addressed by Costco’s announcement. Maybe they’re bribing the dock managers or unions to get priority on their loads.

  20. Greg Norton says:

    Fine, but how will they load, unload, and deliver the containers? The ports on the West Coast are jammed, there is a severe shortage of truck drivers, there is a shortage of the chassis needed to carry containers, the rail system is jammed, etc.

    Costco is all about the short term cash flow. They will worry about the details of unloading/transport once the containers show up off Long Beach.

    The company did a pretty good job creating a TP “shortage” this weekend to clear out what was probably a serious overstock problem based on what I saw on the backlog high shelves at our local store.

    Put up a “Limit 5” sign, and people who are there just to buy one will buy five.

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  21. nick flandrey says:

    Dang it, I was making progress on the stacks on  the patio and it started raining.  Well, pouring.

    That also means I can’t use the pickup for pickups or drop off, so stuff will be sitting in my foyer for another day at least.

    Jeez.

    n

  22. Lynn says:

    Re: Costco leasing their own container ships.

    Fine, but how will they load, unload, and deliver the containers? The ports on the West Coast are jammed, there is a severe shortage of truck drivers, there is a shortage of the chassis needed to carry containers, the rail system is jammed, etc.

    They are going to run the ships through the new deepwater Panama Canal to the ports of Galveston and Freeport. Maybe Corpus. And they may have to do some lightering at sea.

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  23. Rick H says:

    Re ‘Comet” – I usually get it at the Dollar Store. Big tall can for $1. Lasts a long time.

    Get bottles of Dawn detergent there also. Plus cans of Campbell’s Tomato Soup – larger can than you find in the store, and $1.  Some smaller bottles of BBQ sauce – name brand – $1.

    Some bargains on name-brand stuff if you look closely.

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  24. Lynn says:

    I just went to a presentation on the new hydrogen economy and infrastructure. Biden has a goal of 50% of natural gas and oil being replaced by green hydrogen by 2030. Nine years away. There are technology issues at every step of the way. The natural gas pipelines have embrittlement problems at 20%. The compressors have problems at 25%. Unreal.

    The infrastructure costs are incredible, in the trillions of dollars. And, I see opportunities for fraud at many places. Remember the old oil and new oil fiasco in the 1970s ?

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  25. Lynn says:

    That also means I can’t use the pickup for pickups or drop off, so stuff will be sitting in my foyer for another day at least.

    You need a warehouse. Otherwise the wife is going to beat you with a stick. Do you have a Willow tree ?

  26. Rick H says:

    BTW, the theme guys (Elegant Themes “Divi” theme) finally admitted that their theme code is causing the name/email field to be ‘forgotten’. Took a bit of effort to convince them. They passed it on to the developers, but don’t know when it will get fixed.

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  27. SteveF says:

    And, I see opportunities for fraud at many places.

    Remember all the fraud surrounding solar power companies? Solyndra may be the best known but it’s far from the only one.

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  28. Rick H says:

    In the meantime, progress on the theme I am writing from (mostly) scratch. Basic framework is there, mostly CSS tweaks at the moment. Enjoying the process. Although I really need to fix the “ReadingTLC” site (an update of Roberta Pournelle’s reading program). No sales there, although one person is asking when it will be fixed. Probably should have gotten it working when schools were at home last year.

    And there’s some new features for the mailing (think cheap-but-full-features MailChimp) program I wrote. The new feature will help get around Apple’s new ‘mail privacy’ process, which some think will affect accuracy of ‘open’ rates on mailings.

    But I did fix the geocode problem on the BKLNK site (some category analysis tools for self-published books on the Zon, plus Universal Book Links with affiliate codes – the [UBLs] send people to the correct Zon country store based on geolocation). The old geocode tool I was using had some limits to the free lookup. New one has looser limits that will take a while to hit.

    All interesting projects that keep me busy.

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  29. ~jim says:

    Re ‘Comet” – I usually get it at the Dollar Store. Big tall can for $1. Lasts a long time.

    Get bottles of Dawn detergent there also.

    I can’t remember the last time I bought a can of Comet. I will probably be dead before I finish this one! But I’ll have to remember that Dollar Store carries Dawn. I love their codpieces. Hmmm, yes that’s right: little frozen vacuum-wrapped filets for a dollar a piece.

    Ya’ll have a dirty mind!

  30. Greg Norton says:

    Remember all the fraud surrounding solar power companies? Solyndra may be the best known but it’s far from the only one. 

    SolarWorld in Oregon circa 2010.

    I met one of the line managers, the husband of the nurse manager who worked with my wife.

    Arrogant doesn’t begin to describe the attitude.

    The crazy thing was that not many locals were put to work in the factory as intended. Everyone was paid to relocate from other boondoggle solar projects in Arizona and California.

    I don’t doubt that part of the current semiconductor shortage is due to a bunch of old fabs in the US and Europe being repurposed to produce solar cells at uncompetitive prices a decade ago. SolarWorld’s facility was an … Analog (?) … plant in the 80s/90s IIRC, but is currently being repurposed as a server farm by NTT to take advantage of the cheap power available in that part of the Northwest.

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  31. Greg Norton says:

    In the meantime, progress on the theme I am writing from (mostly) scratch. Basic framework is there, mostly CSS tweaks at the moment. Enjoying the process. Although I really need to fix the “ReadingTLC” site (an update of Roberta Pournelle’s reading program). No sales there, although one person is asking when it will be fixed. Probably should have gotten it working when schools were at home last year.

    Does the estate still hold the IP for the reading program?

    What happened with the Chaos Manor? Was it a teardown?

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  32. Lynn says:

    I don’t doubt that part of the current semiconductor shortage is due to a bunch of old fabs in the US and Europe being repurposed to produce solar cells a decade ago.

    TI’s class 5 fab in Stafford TX (Houston) where the DSP was invented, has been turned into an open air mall and apartments. The world is crazy.

  33. nick flandrey says:


    Fine, but how will they load, unload, and deliver the containers?

    –as lynn said, probably in Houston. They’ve been building out their distribution and fulfillment warehousing for a while. Once they had to collect tax they started expanding, since there was no reason not to.

    I believe our ports still have capacity left, we’ve got good rail and highways. What you lose in travel time getting here, you get a little back for being centrally located, I’d bet. And no union longshoremen.

    n

    Still probably have teamsters though.

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  34. Greg Norton says:

    TI’s class 5 fab in Stafford TX (Houston) where the DSP was invented, has been turned into an open air mall and apartments. The world is crazy. 

    I’ve posted before that near the end of my time at the Death Star, the Bell Labs campus in Holmdel — where the transistor, the laser, and the cell phone were all invented — was slated for demolition, to be replaced by condos. Thankfully, wiser heads prevailed, but SBC certainly didn’t care.

    The rennovation that eventually happened gutted the lab and work spaces, but the buildings and offices remain, zoned for commercial/industrial use.

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  35. drwilliams says:

    ~Jim

    “I love their codpieces. Hmmm, yes that’s right: little frozen vacuum-wrapped filets for a dollar a piece.”

    Not interested in little steaks… or codpieces.

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  36. Greg Norton says:

    The infrastructure costs are incredible, in the trillions of dollars. And, I see opportunities for fraud at many places. Remember the old oil and new oil fiasco in the 1970s ? 

    Fraud is the whole point of The Green New Deal.

    So was this briefing at a place down among all the windmills along I69 heading to Boca Chica?

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  37. JimB says:

    Nick, instead of a warehouse, I repeat my suggestion of a box truck, or whatever they are really called. These are favorites of furniture stores, and come in many sizes. Some years ago, they were much cheaper than pickups here, probably because of low demand. We also had more than our share of rental firms, and at least two went out of business. I think they dumped some of their inventory on the open market until sales stopped, then moved them out of town.

    Those trucks are very roomy, and weatherproof. I have helped people several times do their own moves, and even drove one 250+ miles. It was noisy, but otherwise not bad. Yes, they are not as agile and easy to park as a PU. If that is a problem, consider a full size cargo van. Rented one of them some years ago to haul weather sensitive stuff from out of town. It was perfect, and cheap to rent, something like $30 for the day. I know it was less than 20 years ago. We have a glut of such vehicles here. YLMV.

    On another note, I think I posted here that I once considered a ~20’ flatbed truck. It was only a few years old, low miles, and in like-new shape. Five speed trans and 2-speed rear axle, sweet open hauler. It was about two thirds the price of a decent PU, a steal for what it could haul. The guy was eager to sell it, so I asked why. He was using as a commuter for a 60 mile round trip. Duh! 5 mpg and needed a two-deep parking spot. Since I was nearly done with a building project, I passed. Probably a good decision, but… Instead, I found a good PU. It cost more, but was short and comfy. I hauled quite a bit of stuff in it. Had a shell for security and weather. After 28 years of ownership, I sold it to a friend about three years ago; he loves it.

  38. Rick H says:

    Does the estate still hold the IP for the reading program?

    What happened with the Chaos Manor? Was it a teardown?

    I have a contract with Jerry to use the IP for the ReadingTLC program, with shared royalties. But never got any sales of the program. Marketing fail on my part. Contract is still valid, pretty sure. But will work with them on the update.

    As for Jerry’s house, I got a report that it was sold, but not a tear down. From a family member:

    The house has sold, and the new owners are substantially remodeling it. All of the flip-front bookcases and freestanding ones have new homes. I am afraid that none of the built-in bookcases are likely to survive.

    We think that they intend to keep the house as much as possible, as compared to the other bidders who wanted the dirt. It’s probably the best we could ask for.

    The books are in climate-controlled storage, inventoried, and ready for their next life, once we know what that is.

    His papers were donated to the UC Riverside Eaton Collection, where they will be curated and be available to researchers in the future.

    The family is intending to do an update of above info on the ChaosManor Science site, but not there yet.

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  39. Ray Thompson says:

    Subbing all week. I don’t know how the teachers do this week in and week out. Disrespectful little turds.

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  40. MrAtoz says:

    Subie is finally in the collision shop for accident repair. 5-7 biz days is the estimate. Then out to Subaru for a major service and modem replacement. I hope to get that all done before having to travel all over Tejas on gigs.

  41. Lynn says:

    The infrastructure costs are incredible, in the trillions of dollars. And, I see opportunities for fraud at many places. Remember the old oil and new oil fiasco in the 1970s ?

    Fraud is the whole point of The Green New Deal.

    So was this briefing at a place down among all the windmills along I69 heading to Boca Chica?

    I am at the San Antonio Marriot Rivercenter.
    https://gpamidstreamconvention.org/

    We are all busy as all get out as the energy demand of the USA and the world has just rebounded (the old boom and bust game).

    Several of us are trying to figure out the CO2 removal game that the government is getting ready to shovel down our throats with a snow shovel. The technology has a lot of opportunities (marketing speak).

    I just was told that the feddies are looking at a $3/kg tax credit (rebatable) for green hydrogen. There will be federal subsidies all up and down the infrastructure chain. Just like the windmills and solar.

  42. JimB says:

    From yesterday, the article on directory structure will be helpful. It answers some of my puzzlement over why Windows, Linux, Android… oh shoot, just abut all file systems, have those crazy pre-installed folders called Documents, Pictures, etc. I fought that for years, but finally gave up. Sometimes deleting them causes trouble, or is simply impossible.

    I now put my own structure in a folder in my account named folder, and just ignore them. It helps when moving files from one file system to another. Now, I can keep my own organization. Except… many apps insist on proposing those pre-installed “special” folders, and that proposal usually can’t be changed. I know enough to just navigate to where I want, but my wife constantly “forgets” and just saves. Later, she doesn’t remember where she put the file. Don’t suggest she search for the “lost” file. Most of the time, she can’t remember even the first few letters of it. Part of my instructions will be how to name files for easy recollection.

    I want to teach her folder organization. I would have thought it would be easy, but it isn’t. I have tried for years. She wants written instructions, and she will get them. It is going to be a challenge, something mentioned in the article. I will resist the idea of putting links in the instructions, because she will immediately print them, and lose the ability to use them. I give up. I also want to teach her Alt-Tab. Tried that several times.

    Oh, and ~jim: “MP3 is music, so goes in the Music folder. Duh!” Hey, whatever works for you. But, but, telling people that hasn’t helped me, and the article taught me why. It is just a different manner of thinking.

    It also might have helped me understand why the K-9 devs have resisted creating the ability to create folders. They are old Google Gmail devs, and probably hate the idea of folders. I get tags, and symbolic links, and they are useful. They just aren’t my way of working. Some also don’t propagate across file systems.

  43. TV says:

    Ok, guys, I got curious about the Spartacus letter y’all were talking about. I just read through it. I think Nick was overly polite. Here are just a couple of points:

    @Brad

    Your reaction is exactly the same as mine. Ignore whoever Spartacus may be and most of what he claims are facts and certainly any conclusions. Mis-information central.

  44. Greg Norton says:

    From yesterday, the article on directory structure will be helpful. It answers some of my puzzlement over why Windows, Linux, Android… oh shoot, just abut all file systems, have those crazy pre-installed folders called Documents, Pictures, etc. I fought that for years, but finally gave up. Sometimes deleting them causes trouble, or is simply impossible.

    On Linux, blame Gnome and derivatives trying to appeal to Windows users.

  45. JimB says:

    There will be federal subsidies all up and down the infrastructure chain. Just like the windmills and solar.

    Of course. Uncle Sugar is rich with our money, and his ability to do good is unlimited. /sarc off.

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  46. Lynn says:

    Subbing all week. I don’t know how the teachers do this week in and week out. Disrespectful little turds.

    Makes you want to bring back the dunce caps and wooden paddles, right ?

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  47. JimB says:

    On Linux, blame Gnome and derivatives trying to appeal to Windows users.

    Not so fast. I used KDE since trying Gnome (and others back in 2006. KDE had most of what I wanted, until Mint, that is. I also tried some of the more Windows-friendly distros (wish I could remember which) and didn’t like them. I LIKE Windows, but have always been a bit agnostic toward its UI. I even used to run Norton Desktop for Windows waaay back. It was OK, but not worth the trouble. Just give me an orthodox file manager like ZTree, and I am happy. The rest is just eye candy.

  48. Lynn says:

    There will be federal subsidies all up and down the infrastructure chain. Just like the windmills and solar.

    Of course. Uncle Sugar is rich with our money, and his ability to do good is unlimited. /sarc off.

    The CO2 tax is coming to the USA. There are two questions: how much and who pays. The $15/ton is out the door, the $45/ton is almost out the door, and the white house is now leaning toward $150/ton. That is $3/gallon for gasoline. Do you want to pay with cash or credit ?

    The who pays is the real issue. The refiners want the jobbers to pay and the jobbers want the refiners to pay. Plus the pipeline guys will probably collect for natural gas.

  49. paul says:

    Who pays?  You and me at the gas pump and on the utility bills.

    Like someone said, corporations don’t pay taxes, they collect them.

     

  50. MrAtoz says:

    1. Psaki and plugs and the ProgLibTurds are still claiming the cost of the $3.5 trillion boondoggle is zero. Why not make it $200 trillion and pay off all of our debt if it costs zero? Oh, yeah, because taking our money via taxes is *their* money. It’s free!!!! How can the Dumbos pass this shite with reasoning like that? Spending $3.5 trillion isn’t free. Taxes will have to go through the roof. Psaki also claims corporation won’t pass on tax increases to their consumers because it’s wrong. This is idiocy. Plus any new agencies created will have to be funded forever.

    2. Watching plugs’ Generals waffling in front of Congress is hilarious. plugsy McSpongeBrain blew it in Afghanistan and got troops killed. plugs and Milley claiming they saved us from tRump ain’t gonna fly.

    3. The border is a disaster, too. 10,000’s coming in. No vax checks, no masks, but I gotta have both or I’ll be on the WHITEY SUPREMACIST WATCH/NO FLY LIST.

    WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

    /rant off

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  51. Greg Norton says:

    @Ray – UPS just dropped off a box that feels like a book labelled “Pain Care Skills Training”, addressed to my wife.

    Return address is HBP which I assume is Harcort Brace, a textbook publisher.

    I guess that answers the question about who is doing pain management at the VA moving forward.

    The state’s militant shadow DEA means that GPs in Texas are very reluctant to get involved with that kind of care, but I guess the VA’s pharmacy avoids the problem with risk to the license.

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  52. Chad says:

    Pain Care Skills Training

    Should be a short book, “Administer opiates.”

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  53. Greg Norton says:

    What? SSL/TLS VPNs not secure? I’m shocked! Shocked!

    I told my Death Star bosses the same thing nearly 20 years ago, but they blew me off.

    Pretty solid recommendations, but FIPS pseudo-random number generator is hilariously weak and leaves the door open for NSA mischief.

    https://media.defense.gov/2021/Sep/28/2002863184/-1/-1/0/CSI_SELECTING-HARDENING-REMOTE-ACCESS-VPNS-20210928.PDF

  54. MrAtoz says:

    Oof:

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi says we need to keep the government open to ‘address the full Obama agenda of building back better’

    Is there any doubt plugsy McSpongeBrain is the “captain dunsel” of the third (-hi, +u) Obola term? Turdbola has been out of office for five years and the ProgLibTurds still think he is President. plugs has dementia and doesn’t even know what’s going on.

    “Beaux….Beaux…Beaux”

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  55. Rick H says:

    Re: an even newer theme. …. If anyone wants and advance peek (and is kind with your comments), the testing site is here: https://www.cellarweb.com/fstraptest/ .

    Basic standard screen testing is done. Responsive changes (for smaller screens) is in progress.

    Since it is a ‘live’ testing area, don’t be surprised if it changes the next time you visit. But the basic ‘bones’ are there.

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  56. Greg Norton says:

    Is there any doubt plugsy McSpongeBrain is the “captain dunsel” of the third (-hi, +u) Obola term? Turdbola has been out of office for five years and the ProgLibTurds still think he is President. plugs has dementia and doesn’t even know what’s going on. 

    The correct “Star Trek” reference is Biden as John Gill in “Patterns of Force”. Except Gill eventually woke up and did the honorable thing, buying time for Kirk/Spock at the cost of his own life. We won’t have any such luck with Scranton Joe.

    Captain Dunsel was Kirk, who proved that label wrong over the course of the episode “The Ultimate Computer”.

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  57. drwilliams says:

    I read the directory structure article linked yesterday by @dcp:

    https://www.theverge.com/22684730/students-file-folder-directory-structure-education-gen-z

    I must confess that I hadn’t heard of such a problem, and further, that I am hard-pressed to think of anything more absurd.

    Our educational system has created a generation that doesn’t know how to find their own shiite, and relies on a machine controlled by others to do so. I have to wonder what their closets look like–oh, yeah, it’s all in the laundry basket. Tool chest–that’s right, they can’t use a screwdriver ‘cuz they can’t find the manual. They can’t read maps because their phone leads them around. I doubt they can find their way around the grocery store, or get back to their car if they have one.

    A cynic could blame generational incompetence. An international 2018 study that measured eighth-graders’ “capacities to use information and computer technologies productively” proclaimed that just 2 percent of Gen Z had achieved the highest “digital native” tier of computer literacy. “Our students are in deep trouble,” one educator wrote.

    But the issue is likely not that modern students are learning fewer digital skills, but rather that they’re learning different ones. Guarín-Zapata, for all his knowledge of directory structure, doesn’t understand Instagram nearly as well as his students do, despite having had an account for a year. He’s had students try to explain the app in detail, but “I still can’t figure it out,” he complains.

    Just because they’re incompetent doesn’t mean that’s the reason.

    Here’s the reason, folks:

    The Chinese want to do the minimum amount of damage in the takeover.

    If the evil twins Google and Apple help them create a world where all the organization is in the phone, then turning the phones off breaks the system. Some people starve because they can’t get the front door open, others because they don’t drive and can’t get anywhere without Uber. None of the IoT appliances works. Then we find out what all the odd chips in the transportation system do–and my bet if that sensing no 4G/5G, they default to “off”.

    Somebody mentioned card catalogs the other day. Every library in the world could have the complete instructions for restarting civilization, but Gen Z would die off because they don’t know to start looking in LCC Class T.

  58. Kenneth C Mitchell says:

    Costco buying container ships?  Why? The shipping delays is too many ships drifting offshore WAITING to be unloaded. And not enough TRUCKS to drag those containers to their overland destinations.

  59. Marcelo says:

    Re: an even newer theme. …. If anyone wants and advance peek (and is kind with your comments), the testing site is here: https://www.cellarweb.com/fstraptest/ .

    “and is kind with your comments”. Where? Here, there, both? Details, details…

    Nice, calm and with reasonable fonts except here (meaning the editor). A bit too small.

    The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time.

    The last 10% of the project takes the other 90%.

    NO EDITS! 

    Looks good to me.

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  60. Kenneth C Mitchell says:

    “They are going to run the ships through the new deepwater Panama Canal to the ports of Galveston and Freeport. Maybe Corpus.”

    Maybe not. Looks like Galveston is almost as busy as Long Beach, which less room!

    https://www.vesselfinder.com/?p=USGLS001

    And then scroll a bit SE to see the anchorages….. and all the ships anchored OUTSIDE the anchorages…

     

  61. Lynn says:

    The CO2 tax is coming to the USA. There are two questions: how much and who pays. The $15/ton is out the door, the $45/ton is almost out the door, and the white house is now leaning toward $150/ton. That is $3/gallon for gasoline. Do you want to pay with cash or credit

    I was wrong. The $15/ton CO2 tax is back in play and may be passed this weekend.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/09/27/carbon-tax-biden-reconciliation/

    Lots of things being traded today up on the hill. Lots of things, you think it is easy to spend $3.5 trillion in a year ?

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  62. MrAtoz says:

    Captain Dunsel was Kirk, who proved that label wrong over the course of the episode “The Ultimate Computer”.

    LOL you over analyzed it. plugs is truly the part that serves no purpose.

  63. nick flandrey says:

    Welllllllllll…..

    Did my drop off.  He’s still game for more so I’m willing.  I’ll try for more Thur.  I’ve got it, I just might not be able to get it there.   I took advantage of a break in the rain to do the drop off today.

    I took giant garbage bags to cover my pickup item and it did get rained on…

    Stopped in my local HEB for a quick top up.  Milk cream bread products.   Bacon is now 31c/lb up from 24c a month ago, but down slightly from last shopping day.  Alas, no prime meat in the remainder bin.     There were coupons for instant potato products and some breakfast cereals.

    All in all, there were WAY more store brands on the shelves than usual.    Mixed bags of chips were completely sold out, about 10ft of shelf top to bottom.  Frito products/Lays were completely missing with store brands in their place.   Soda is still hit or miss, with some favorites still missing and some empty shelf space.  Bread was stocked, and bakery too.    Veg was looking a bit run down but there were choices.

    Chicken was still about $1/lb.  Beef stew meat in cubes was $5/lb so I bought some.  It’s been as high as $8.

    Cookies and crackers were well stocked, maybe better than normal.  Breakfast snacks too.   There were apples, but about half the number of varieties.   Potatoes were low stock but had several choices.

    The PA did announce that there was a truck in receiving needing emptying… so maybe it was mostly time of day.

    TP and paper towels were mostly generic and store brand.  No Charmin.

    Ice cream was well stocked for local brand Bluebell, I’m pretty sure they took over about half the area for other brands.  In the other freezer there were almost no freezer hamburgers.  Plenty of pizza.

    Lots of eggs both quantity and choices, ditto milk, but those are mostly local too.

    n

     

  64. Alan says:

    Demand is up, supply is down, AND money is worth less.

    Who will be the POTUS that signs the EO mandating the turn-in of the ‘old’ $10 bills for the ‘new’ $1 bills, old $1 bills for new dimes and so on? Plug, Kamel, Pete, Ronny D??

  65. Alan says:

    Whatever happened to elbow grease? I went into a humongous Fred Meyer yesterday looking for a can of Comet. Searched high and low and finally found it on the bottom shelf all by its lonesome. No Ajax, no Barkeeper’s Friend, and no Zud (like Barkeeper’s Friend on steroids). Curious. Good news is the can will last me for another five or ten years. At ¢99, what a deal!

    Bronco Jeff wants it only available at his ‘store’. You got a problem with that?

  66. Alan says:

    I took giant garbage bags to cover my pickup item and it did get rained on…

    @nick, have you considered a camper shell for your pickup?

  67. Lynn says:

    The guy is back sleeping in the bus stop shelter outside the Mariott Rivercenter here in San Antone. He put up plastic sheets to keep the rain out since there are no walls, just a roof and a bench. I am impressed. I am not going to complain about having to ask for extra washcloths here at La Quinta since there is no maid service.

  68. nick flandrey says:

    Ay yai yai, @rick must see color differently than I do 🙂

    I only had to zoom the text to 130% so that’s 20% better!

    I like the square corners and edges but I think I would prefer a bluer blue and not teal/aqua/green…..

    n

  69. Alan says:

    Re: an even newer theme. …. If anyone wants and advance peek (and is kind with your comments), the testing site is here: https://www.cellarweb.com/fstraptest/

    @Rick H, nice! Interesting filler text, beats lorem ipsum.

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