Fri. Nov. 5, 2021 – why bother? Because I like it and it adds to my life, and hopefully the lives of others.

By on November 5th, 2021 in culture, personal, writing, WuFlu

Cool, damp, possibility of rain. The light misty drizzle continued into the morning yesterday, but then died out. It stayed pretty cool though. I wore a long sleeve shirt for the first time since spring. I had a jacket on too for part of the day. I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise for November. Forecast for today has rain possible. I hope not, as I’ve got some driving to do, and a piece of furniture to pick up.

My wife and kids will be headed to Girl Scout camp this evening, and gone through Sunday. I should be able to get some stuff done, if my body holds up. Knees, back, hands, shoulders, if things get sporty and the amount of manual labor that needs to be done increases, well that’s gonna purely suck.

I don’t know what the end game is for off grid or homestead living. In the old days, you dropped dead ‘in the harness’ so to speak, or your kids took over and you could retire in place. A modern husband/wife team can’t really expect to do the same. That was what happened at the big property I looked at. They were living off the land, but husband died, and then there was just too much to do for her to do it alone. Something to consider if your plans include high maintenance property or animals…

I’ve got pickups all over today. Total money spent will be minimal, but time, well, maybe not the best use of my time at this moment. I’ve cut way back but I still sometimes win with my opening ‘placeholder’ bid and have to pick something up that I really don’t need at the moment. Of course, the way my life works, some of those things paid off hugely later. Some I’m still waiting for the payoff.

That is life in general though. You plant some seeds, set some things in motion, and then hope for a good result later.

Get some seeds planted against the coming trouble. And stack some stuff.

nick

88 Comments and discussion on "Fri. Nov. 5, 2021 – why bother? Because I like it and it adds to my life, and hopefully the lives of others."

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    44F and 92%RH this am.   That's chilly.   Chilly willy.

    n

  2. Greg Norton says:

    My home server lives.

    The mess wasn't as bad as I feared. The power supply was kaput, but the bigger problem was that the primary disk didn't have enough space for the new Fedora 35 boot loader when the upgrade completed.

    Lesson learned. Fedora 36 will get a clean install starting with the beta.

    600 watt power supply. 35 Watt TDP CPU. The fan on the new power supply doesn't spin.

  3. Ray Thompson says:

    Not sure if they would do that if one of them were female, of course.

    Or black, or gay, or transgender, or ….

  4. Greg Norton says:

    I still don’t understand the fascination with SMS. To me, it is still an old format that was far superseded by email. I might consider something like Signal, which a friend uses. He considers it to be reasonably secure. Although I really want security and privacy, that will never be allowed to us proles. Anyone who is deluded into thinking there is any such thing is a fool. That ship sailed about 30 years ago.

    We had security and reasonable expectation of privacy with AOL IM, but that wasn't what the cool kids used.

    At a minimum, AOL IM messages required a warrant, which SMS does not.

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  5. Ray Thompson says:

    I like the asynchronous nature of SMS and that if you use it properly, it doesn't have to intrude on your life like a call does.

    Back in 1988 when I moved to TN to take another job with a company that was running the navy civilian personnel system worldwide for the Navy, subcontracted through the USAF, then through Martin Marietta, then to my company. Everyone along the way took a cut. My billable hours to the Navy was $150.00 an hour, I saw about $25.00 an hour.

    Anyway, the company had 5 inbound watts lines, cost per month for all the calls was about $25K. Lines were always busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with users requesting reports be run.

    I saw an opportunity. I developed an instant messaging system that allowed all 134 Navy bases to communicate with each other and with our facility. All passed through the mainframes (we have six of them). I then developed a deferred communication system (email I guess) that allowed all the bases and our facility to send deferred communication, send to groups, receive acknowledgements, etc. Attachments were not supported. All done on the six mainframes which communicated with each other to get messages and emails to the proper destinations.

    Took about a year to fully develop, finished at the end of 1989. Users loved it. Our phone bill, on a fixed price contract, dropped $20K a month and over the life of the contract made the company almost a million dollars.

    The users were generally given about 8-10 hours of online time a day. The rest of the 24 hours was devoted to offline batch processing. Since I was one of the developers of the system in the USAF I knew the system very well. I added some external commands to the processing that cut down on the batch processing time to about 6 hours. We were now able to give the users 18 hours of online time a day.

    About 1991 the Army paid a visit to the facility along with the USAF people that were in charge of the system. The Army was also using the same system for their civilian personnel. The Army was getting 8 hours of online time a day. When the Army found out the Navy was getting 18 hours the Army was livid with the USAF who had adamantly told the Army 8 hours was the best they could do.

    Then the Army found out about the messenger and email system. The Army slammed the USAF hard because they had no such capability. The USAF demanded the system from my company. We told the USAF since the system was not a contract deliverable, developed for the company's use and convenience, the USAF could not have the system unless they paid some big bucks, well over $1 million. The USAF declined.

    Come early 1993 when the contract was up for rebid my company lost the contract to a company in San Antonio. Even though my company bid $18 million less over 3 years, the reason my company lost was because we bid one too few support people. The same number of people that had supported the contact for six years was now suddenly one too few.

    The real reason was Jim Densberger. He had retired from the USAF, taken a GS position, same desk as his USAF, and was now retiring from civil service. He wanted another job. Plus my company had really slammed some egg on the face of the USAF and Jim Densberger who at that time was in charge of the project. The contract award was to give Jim another job and revenge against the company who had embarrassed Jim and the USAF.

    The users were livid when they did not get the messaging and email system. The USAF again demanded the code. This time the USAF was told to go pound sand.

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  6. Greg Norton says:

    The real reason was Jim Densberger. He had retired from the USAF, taken a GS position, same desk as his USAF, and was now retiring from civil service. He wanted another job. Plus my company had really slammed some egg on the face of the USAF and Jim Densberger who at that time was in charge of the project. The contract award was to give Jim another job and revenge against the company who had embarrassed Jim and the USAF.

    My direct manager at CGI was triple dipping. Army pension + civil service (cop) retirement + CGI stock purchase plan.

    He wasn't alone.

    My impression was that the Army wasn’t sad to see him leave and he was probably a lousy cop. I’m not sure exactly what happened at CGI after I left, but, during my exit interview, I turned him in to HR over my first review. A year later, he was stocking shelves at Bucee’s in Temple.

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  7. JimB says:

    JimB: My pleasure.

    With YourPhone you get SMS, and now, -apparently- calls as well using your computer. You get all the notifications that are coming up in your phone and have access to the photos.

    Given that I am deafer than a stone, my priority list would be:

     – SMS for urgent stuff. Short communication with specific ring tones that will get immediate attn.

     – Mail for normal stuff. I get a ton of mail from work and other places in 3 accounts all viewed with Outlook on my phone (and a couple of laptops).

     – Phone, if you must. Teams is preferred.

    Given that list and that I do not like typing on the phone it is not a bad app.

    Thanks again. I will give that a look. I don’t have a microphone on my desktop computer, but that could easily be added. Hmm, might also have to add a camera. See, I have been retired for *ahem* quite a while. My comms needs are minimal.

    I have used Google Voice for some years, and have noticed that I can manage it from any device. I really like the voice mail transcription to email. I can screen calls much more quickly than using a phone. Ha, I don’t get many voice mails because most of my friends communicate by email. Full circle.

    I like to say, with computers all things are possible, and it is mostly true. I just finished watching Rob Braxman’s video on phone privacy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=qhzU0NHIBrc

    I had an early interest in telephony, and played with phone patches in ham radio, then later used an Ethernet to analog phone line bridge to play in the more modern world. A lot has changed. Life is getting too full to waste time sleeping.

  8. Ray Thompson says:

    A year later, he was stocking shelves at Bucee’s in Temple.

    Probably still under qualified. I worked with a few double dippers and found that the majority were basically useless. Given jobs that were of little value and kept them from screwing up the real work. May have been the department. Several had "cross trained" from aircraft maintenance or motor pool into computers. Such cross training being nothing more than sitting in a class sleeping. When actually given a task they either could not accomplish or did so badly someone had to redo their work.

    Generally cross trained within a year of retirement. Six months cross training, yesterday could not spell programmer, now they are one. Spend another six months drinking coffee and reading the Air Force Times. Retire and get a civil service job at GS-10 or GS-11, hopefully in another department, most of the time not. Then after 10 years retire with a 30 year civil service pension plus military retirement.

    What was worse was when one of those clowns was made my supervisor. Clueless dolt who many times told me to do something the wrong way. Where upon I would do it the correct way and just keep quiet. What they wanted to accomplish in 800 lines of code I could accomplish in 10. And mine worked.

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  9. Greg Norton says:

    Probably still under qualified. I worked with a few double dippers and found that the majority were basically useless. Given jobs that were of little value and kept them from screwing up the real work. May have been the department. Several had "cross trained" from aircraft maintenance or motor pool into computers. Such cross training being nothing more than sitting in a class sleeping. When actually given a task they either could not accomplish or did so badly someone had to redo their work.

    There is a new Army command based in an office building in Downtown Austin which I strongly suspect is really about double and tripple dipping.

    As I've noted before, my wife's nephew thinks he is going to get out of the Army next year, get a Professional Development MBA, and be a tech manager in Austin or Seattle within another year.

    That kind of thought process doesn't develop in a vacuum. The commands must be feeding the kids this stuff.

  10. Pecancorner says:

    I don’t know what the end game is for off grid or homestead living. In the old days, you dropped dead ‘in the harness’ so to speak, or your kids took over and you could retire in place. A modern husband/wife team can’t really expect to do the same. That was what happened at the big property I looked at. They were living off the land, but husband died, and then there was just too much to do for her to do it alone. Something to consider if your plans include high maintenance property or animals…

    We don't keep animals, but have run into this to an extent. One thing for us is that our neighbors and local community really stepped up and helped until I was able to do my own work again.  Even the folks at city hall have been quick to offer various helps. So there is a lot to be said for making a life within a community of self reliant people.  

    Another thing is that unless the worse happens, our odds of staying "able" are increased by simply continuing to do everything ourselves. Then adding outside help only as or when needed. Use it or lose it is a very real thing.  

    Mostly it is a question of commitment. People have always hired help when the job is too big for one person.  But many times only one spouse was truly committed to the full lifestyle, and without that camaraderie, the one left simply does not have the heart for it any more. But if the one left is the committed one, they will find a way to keep on keeping on, and either acquiring help or reducing the size of the herd or garden, etc.

     

  11. Pecancorner says:

    Food Club sauce mixes were on sale this week, many for 2 for $1. They are only 1 cup vs 2 cups for the brand names, but the small size is better for just the pair of us.  I use a LOT of brown gravy mix, as well as taco mix, and Hollandaise mix.  Last night, I made pepper steak in the instant pot using McCormick's recipe that starts with brown gravy mix.  Paul does low carb, so his was over cauliflower rice, mine over brown rice. Definitely a keeper and sooooo simple.

    Going into 2020, I cooked almost everything from scratch, including condiments, and canned nearly all that we ate. I did that for many years. But I have gotten away from that somewhat, and now incorporate more store bought esp condiments, pickles, relishes, and seasonings, along with canned vegetables. The COVID shut down got me started using the seasoning/sauce mixes more, and it helps me make a nicer variety with less fuss, plus frankly usually better tasting results.

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    I stock a huge pile of sauce mix packets and gravy.   I figure if if comes down to eating rice, a little gravy for variety will go a long way.

    I also probably mentioned this before, but I added a case of these — https://www.heb.com/product-detail/libby-s-country-sausage-gravy/119607

    They are a tasty and easy addition to breakfast when it needs to be more hearty.

    n

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  13. JimB says:

    My primary use for the Your Phone app is to move pictures from my phone to my PC.  Easier than emailing them to myself.

    Huh? Why not just log onto your LAN and copy them to the computer? I have done that for years. Your phone is just a computer that can be on the LAN through Wi-Fi. It has an accessible file system, at least on Android. My only experience is with Android and a Windows phone before that. Don’t need no steenkin’ app.

    If you want to make it more convenient, use the ES File Explorer. Also used that for years, but have noticed that my new phone’s file manager can also see shares over the LAN. The old one couldn’t. See, many ways. I can’t imagine emailing a few hundred MB of photos. Would probably take all day with my slow Internet, not to mention limits on email attachments. Also, privacy issues.

    Maybe I am missing something, and that is why I like the shared ideas here. Comments?

  14. Pecancorner says:

    I stock a huge pile of sauce mix packets and gravy.   I figure if if comes down to eating rice, a little gravy for variety will go a long way.

    That is my thinking too. Then when I started making use of them, I discovered how versatile and helpful they are.

    I also probably mentioned this before, but I added a case of these — https://www.heb.com/product-detail/libby-s-country-sausage-gravy/119607

    They are a tasty and easy addition to breakfast when it needs to be more hearty.

    I've seen that on the shelves but never tried it. Will buy a can and see.  I make cream gravy from scratch, often, and only discovered the mix when there was no milk to be had during the shut-down.  This week, I'm out of the breakfast sausage we prefer, only one store has it and I am putting off going to town due to the price of gasoline. I usually keep plenty in the freezer, but it would be great to have it on hand in cans.

    Edit to add: Just clicked through and the Libby is fairly low carb too. That would make it better for Paul. I’ll definitely buy some and we’ll see how we like it.

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  15. Nick Flandrey says:

    Given that I grew up the son of a hillbilly mom, but in the north, I don't really know what biscuits and gravy, or sausage and gravy are supposed to taste like, but I like the can just fine (needs salt).

    n

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  16. Jenny says:

    They were living off the land, but husband died, and then there was just too much to do for her to do it alone. Something to consider if your plans include high maintenance property or animals…
     

    We aren't living off the land by any means, but our chickens and rabbits certainly require effort. When I set up their shelter and food/water, I did so thinking about 60 and older me. What would require the least effort and strength to maintain?

    with the rabbits, the current fabric shelter isn't sustainable. It requires too much regular interaction to keep it from collapsing from snow. Next year I'll build a pole barn and likely incorporate shelter for the chickens. We are on about 1/3 acre in town. While our lot is only 65' wide, it's very deep, and this facilitates keeping the animals away from houses. 

    The other challenge is it's a long walk downhill to reach the animals. Currently that's fine, even with snow. Will that be as fine at 60? 70? Probably not without changes. However I can put in stairs, or adjust the grade of the slope. It's sandy soil and I can modify it at my current strength level. Or pay someone to build in steps. I'll sled down and take a rope pull back up -laughter-
     

    If I lose walking as I age? I don't think rabbits and chickens will be a priority at that point -grimace-

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  17. drwilliams says:

    https://hotair.com/ed-morrissey/2021/11/05/state-shocker-did-biden-abandon-14000-americans-in-afghanistan-n427227

    Save time to fire every person at State and just hire back the few that are not worthless anti-American commie hacks. 

  18. lynn says:

    You know you're getting old when the sight of a Datsun B210 in a parking lot brings a smile to your face.

    My dad had one – a 75 coupe

    My first car was the B210's predecessor, the B110 Sunny (or in Canada, the 1200). I got that when my Mum upgraded to a B210. The B210 was also a '75 but a 4 door. The 1200 I was gifted was the 2 door fastback, and my first efforts as a shade tree mechanic was to swap the 3 speed auto for a 4 speed manual. Learned about 3 days later about putting gear oil in… it wasn't a fun lesson.

    I had a 73 Volvo 145 station wagon that my mother passed down to me.  The engine was a four cylinder tractor engine, a real piece of junk.  The analog fuel injection leaked all the time and had problems with electrical shorts.  I threw a rod in it getting flooded in one of Houston's many floods.  I did not have enough money for an car so I bought a junk engine and rebuilt it.  The rod went through the starter motor and the starter motor went through the three speed automatic torgue converter so I put a four speed manual in it. 

    Did you know that the driveshaft for the manual is longer than the driveshaft for the automatic ?  So I went back to the junkyard and got the correct driveshaft.  Then I found out that the junk four speed I bought had a tooth missing in reverse.  I learned to park pointed downhill.  With the four speed the car actually performed well but, still junk.  I got to replace the water pump every 5,000 miles or so because the bearing would go out.  My wife hated the car with a passion.  Still hates it.

  19. lpdbw says:

    re: Double- and Triple-dippers

    Not arguing with the general case, but I was doing USTRANSCOM command & control software from 1989 through 2007, and I am pleased to say I worked with Wally Ackroyd.   I only knew him as a GS in charge of the Crisis Action Team facility, but I learned later of his broader experience.

    You know, there are basically 2 kinds of Chief Master Sergeant in the  USAF.  One kind takes umbrage if you don't make certain to call him "Chief" to his face at every opportunity, and this carries over when they retire and take a GS position.  I met a couple GS types who gave the stink eye to uniform enlisted who didn't grovel.  Wally was the other kind.

    One day I was walking down a hallway with Wally (and he insisted on being called by his first name) when an NCO walked by and called him "Chief", with clear respect in his voice.  Wally was one of those who earned the respect, rather than insisting on it.

    He also related to me an instance where he was called into the CINC MAC's office to advise the General.  No shirt (-r) story. When I expressed surprise, he told me one of my favorite military stories.  "Hey, the General and I are close.  We're on a first name basis.  He calls me Wally and I call him Sir."

    So he was a retired Chief Master Sergeant, then he retired from his GS position, and they called him back for 6 months as a contractor to close out a facility.  Triple dipping, 2 pension checks and his contractor pay.

     

  20. Ray Thompson says:

    Huh? Why not just log onto your LAN and copy them to the computer?

    I just hook the charging cable to a USB port on my computer and copy the files. I don't need an app to accomplish that task. Windows sees the phone as just another file folder.

    Will that be as fine at 60? 70?

    Being 70 myself I still find myself doing a lot of things that I would not have thought possible. I still mow and weed eat, maintain the pool, wash and wax the vehicles, trim trees, etc.

    What I no longer do is go on roof (or ladder) to install Christmas lights. My doctor strictly forbid such activity. Having a couple of friends my age or younger fall from ladders with significant damage sort of cemented that decision.

    The knee replacement slowed me down more than anything. 30 days out trying to walk the sidelines of the football field to take pictures really took a toll. Last game of the season I was able to do the entire game. So I am getting better, slowly.

    Kneeling is a problem. I cannot kneel on my right knee for at least another 8 months. Strict orders from the doctor. So I sometimes have to do contortions to do some things. Just winterized the RV. That requires reaching into some cramped spaces to activate some valves and some weird positions.

  21. SteveF says:

    However I can put in stairs, or adjust the grade of the slope.

    Put in a rope pull like they have on beginner ski slopes.

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  22. JimB says:

    I just hook the charging cable to a USB port on my computer and copy the files. I don't need an app to accomplish that task. Windows sees the phone as just another file folder.

    Of course, but that is so old hat. Requires a *cable* yecch. I do mine from anywhere in the house.

    But wait, there’s more! I also open files, as long as my computer is running. Much more convenient that going to another room. I can look at stuff during boring TV that my wife insists on me viewing. Psst: don’t tell her!

    OK, just a little fun. My point is that with computers almost anything is possible. Now if I could just copy some large amounts of data from one cloud drive to another without first downloading it to my local machine over my slow Internet. Funny, I can do that with emails: I routinely move emails from one account to another entirely within the cloud.

  23. JimB says:

    Been meaning to thank RickH for putting the picture at the top of the site. It is a perfect rendering of the Thompson home, and serves as a beautiful backdrop for the title. Also, the low key treatment is just right.

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  24. Greg Norton says:

    So he was a retired Chief Master Sergeant, then he retired from his GS position, and they called him back for 6 months as a contractor to close out a facility.  Triple dipping, 2 pension checks and his contractor pay.

    I don't doubt that there are justified situations, but neither my CGI manager or my wife's nephew merit the consideration IMHO.

    My wife’s nephew in particular has a J-school degree. He has no business mucking about in IT IMHO.

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  25. Rick H says:

    @JimB

    Been meaning to thank RickH for putting the picture at the top of the site. It is a perfect rendering of the Thompson home, and serves as a beautiful backdrop for the title. Also, the low key treatment is just right.

    Thanks!  It was put there with Barbara's permission. It's actually a screen grab from Google Street View, cropped a bit, which is why it's a bit fuzzy.

    I need to get RBT's picture in the header, though. On the list, along with some minor CSS tweaks. Other projects (some with minor revenue via donations) are in the way.

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  26. Jenny says:

    @SteveF

    rope pull

    Precisely what I was thinking. The grade is mild and that would provide just enough of an assist. 
     

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  27. Jenny says:

    Getting older and livestock.

    50 lb feed sacks are going down on a sled. Between car and sled is a sturdy wheeled cart / sled. Between car and cart is gravity and swear words.

    Easy peasy. 

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  28. lynn says:

    "Ted Cruz and Chris Murphy clash on Twitter over payments to families separated at border"

        https://www.chron.com/politics/article/Ted-Cruz-Chris-Murphy-450K-immigrant-payments-16595470.php

    "The U.S. senators debated President Joe Biden's statement about the negotiation of $450,000 payments to separated families for each of their children."

    "“So @JoeBiden wants to give $450k to every illegal immigrant,” Cruz posted. “And Hunter Biden paintings ‘sell’ for $500k each. Perfect solution: give a Hunter Biden painting to every illegal immigrant. A Win-Win!” The tweet concluded with a smiley face."

    I cannot believe that anyone would want to pay illegal immigrants cash money for violating the laws of the USA.  I actually suspect most of the money would go to lawyers though.

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  29. JimB says:

    …gravity and swear words.

    Oh, I bet the swear words help a lot! Don't forget grunts and groans, plus the occasional primal scream. 🙂

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  30. Ray Thompson says:

    Of course, but that is so old hat.

    If the shoe fits ……….

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  31. Greg Norton says:

    I cannot believe that anyone would want to pay illegal immigrants cash money for violating the laws of the USA.  I actually suspect most of the money would go to lawyers though.

    I guess Catholic Charities pays for lawyers just like they covered Motel 6 and Whataburger for the obviously illegal family we saw on South Padre the night before the 4th.

    All eyes in the restaurant were on that family when they walked in, especially once the father started with the coughing.

    Maybe he "just" had TB.

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  32. MrAtoz says:

    If you had just one grenade….

    LOL! I up-thumbed. Why all the down-thumbs? LOL!

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  33. MrAtoz says:

    still mow and weed eat…

    Hash brownies? Vaping would probably be more effective.

  34. lynn says:

    If you had just one grenade….

    LOL! I up-thumbed. Why all the down-thumbs? LOL!

    The thumbs down were the people calling the Secret Service …

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  35. MrAtoz says:

    What about all those boosters plugs bought:

    Dr. Scott Gottlieb Proclaims New Pfizer Covid Drug Marks ‘The End of the Pandemic’

    Apparently, plugs has already bought millions of the pills. The Dumbos will never let go of the "pandemic" unless it has been milked dry.

  36. Rick H says:

    Why all the down-thumbs?

    Perhaps some people are not in favor of mass-casualty events of any type – no matter what their political leanings are.

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  37. Mark W says:

    I cannot believe that anyone would want to pay illegal immigrants cash money for violating the laws of the USA

    I paid to enter legally. I guess I should have walked across the border and claimed asylum.

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  38. Mark W says:

    Perhaps some people are not in favor of mass-casualty events of any type – no matter what their political leanings are.

    I think most politicians are a blight on society but I don't think we should blow them up.

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  39. Nightraker says:

    think most politicians are a blight on society but I don't think we should blow them up

    That is WAY too good for 'em!

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  40. drwilliams says:

    “If you had just one grenade….”

    and didn’t have anything larger. 

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  41. lynn says:

    "Sinopec signs China's largest long-term LNG contract with U.S. firm"

         http://www.gasprocessingnews.com/news/sinopec-signs-chinas-largest-long-term-lng-contract-with-us-firm.aspx

    "Sinopec has signed a contract with U.S. Venture Global LNG to buy 4 MMt of LNG annually for 20 years. The deal is the largest LNG long-term contract signed between Chinese and U.S. companies, Venture Global said in a statement. The LNG will be supplied from its plant in Plaquemines, Louisiana."

    One hopes that the USA firm got a good deal with market pricing uppers.  Although, more and more people are entering the LNG business.  The 20th LNG liquefaction train is now starting up in the USA, mostly for sale outside the USA in South America, Asia, and Europe.

    BTW, MMt is a million tons (M is the old term for thousand in the gas processing world). So the contract is for four million tonnes of LNG per year.

  42. Mark W says:

    There's always jail.

  43. Jenny says:

    @Greg

    My wife’s nephew in particular has a J-school degree. He has no business mucking about in IT IMHO.

    Had an interesting conversation with our friend's middle schooler. He wants to work in IT. Hates math. Does poorly in it. Smart kid with a good brain. Most subjects are a cakewalk. Math requires he exert effort and he has decided it is stupid, inapplicable, and irrelevant.

    Let him rant for awhile. Then led conversation into mediocre employees and whether he wants to be 'that guy'.

    When I saw the lightbulb go on and the revulsion at being mediocre I asked about sports and muscles and exercise. Yeah, he does those things. Doesn't like them but sees the need. Talked about the brain as needing exercise. Offered the idea that the much hated math was necessary as a training and exercises tool for the brain, that he'd be a lousy IT dude without it. That this math training would give him the muscular foundation to do the fun stuff.

    He appeared to be giving it serious consideration.

    -Then- I asked if he wanted the resources to get thru the crappy math teachers and where to see the interesting math.

    Yep.

    We will see.

    While I don't agree with education has to be fun fun fun, a teacher shouldn't be actively sucking the pleasure out of it either. This fun fun fun baloney stymies people when they hit the stuff that requires genuine effort.

    Hard work is worthwhile. Effort is worthwhile. The sheer satisfaction of mastering something is worthwhile.

    We as a society have lost sight of that truth.

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  44. Ray Thompson says:

    The thumbs down were the people calling the Secret Service …

    The thumbs down were the people calling the Secret Service …

    Fixed it for you.

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  45. SteveF says:

    Good on you, Jenny.

    I told all my kids that math is the main discriminator between good-paying jobs and poor-paying jobs. (Unless you're in the one-in-a-hundred-thousand of ability and luck to make it as an entertainer or you have the personality and hustle to really make it as a salesman or such.) They all listened (though I'm sure it pained them to have to admit that not everything I say is worthless).

    EDIT: Oh, and I’m downvoting your comment, Jenny, because it seems that all worthwhile comments here need to get at least one downvote and no one’s done that on yours yet.

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  46. lynn says:

    "Get ready for your ‘woke’ 401(k)"

        https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/get-ready-for-your-woke-401k-33950/

    "Almost exactly one year ago, the US Department of Labor issued a regulation requiring that employers and their financial advisers choose employee investment plans based solely on financial factors… and nothing else."

    "Even more specifically, the regulation prevents employers from choosing a mutual fund or ETF whose main objectives are anything other than financial, i.e. mutual funds which place social or environmental justice above investment returns."

    "The rule effectively stopped employers from injecting their personal beliefs into their employees retirement plans."

    "Yet earlier this year, new Labor Department under the administration of Hunter Biden’s dad announced that they would no longer enforce this rule."

    Why am I NOT shocked.  The Biden administration is corrupt through and through.

    And this is why people walk into retirement without enough money to live on.

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  47. lynn says:

    "Baker Hughes: US rig count up 6 to 550"

         https://www.ogj.com/drilling-production/article/14213541/baker-hughes-us-rig-count-up-6-to-550

    "The US drilling rig count increased by 5 units to reach 550 rigs working for the week ended Nov. 5, according to Baker Hughes data. The count is up 250 units from the 300 rigs working this time a year ago."

    I was wrong.  People are out there drilling new wells in the USA.  I wonder where they are getting their money from, I had a banker tell me the other day that they had a moratorium on oil and gas related loans.

  48. Greg Norton says:

    And this is why people walk into retirement without enough money to live on.

    At CGI, the company hid the 401(k) enrollment information and directed employees to the stock purchase plan.

    I eventually found the 401(k) and enrolled, but that was after six months of digging.

  49. Rick H says:

    The Search plugin authors released a fix today for their plugin that had caused a site death yesterday. Seems they forgot to include a file they included. I updated and re-enabled the plugin.

    So the Search page is back, and working.

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  50. Rick H says:

    …and updated the theme with some minor CSS fixes. Better line spacing of multi-line post headings and comment list headings.

  51. lynn says:

    "IT NEVER ENDS: New York Times Columnist Now Wants Cancel Culture To Go After Classic Rock Songs"

        https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/11/never-ends-new-york-times-columnist-now-wants-cancel-culture-go-classic-rock-songs/

    "A New York Times columnist called to cancel classic rock if the lyrics were not sufficiently "inclusive" or "just." The songs in question include Don McLean's "American Pie" and the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar.""

    A transgender journalist, enough said.

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  52. lynn says:

    "Microsoft warns Windows 11 features are failing due to its expired certificate"

        https://www.theverge.com/2021/11/4/22763641/microsoft-windows-11-expired-certificate-snipping-tool-emoji-picker-issues

    "Snipping Tool, the emoji picker, and other parts of Windows 11 are breaking"

    Windows 11 seems to be having some growing pains.  Of course, this is Microsoft that we are talking about.

  53. Mark W says:

    Microsoft is woke too. There were some recent cringey videos of presenters introducing themselves with pronouns and racial heritage. I don't care, I only want the technical info.

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  54. lynn says:

    "Tough Day for Prosecutors of Kyle Rittenhouse"

        https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/11/tough-day-prosecutors-kyle-rittenhouse/

    "The feckless Wisconsin prosecutors who are claiming that Kyle Rittenhouse murdered two men and wounded a third started the first day hearing from witnesses by figuratively shooting themselves in the foot. Testimony from the three witnesses–an FBI agent, Richie McGinniss and Ryan Balch–clearly helped defendant Rittenhouse, who insists he acted in self-defense."

    This really looks like malicious prosecution to me.

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  55. lynn says:

    I just found out that our second PPP loan was forgiven by the SBA / federal government.  My business used those two loans to pay two employees in 2020 and 2021 that otherwise would have been laid off.  That is a load off my mind.

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  56. Kenneth C Mitchell says:

    Jenny says: 

    The other challenge is it's a long walk downhill to reach the animals. Currently that's fine, even with snow. Will that be as fine at 60? 70? 

    If I lose walking as I age? 

    The key is to KEEP WALKING. I'm 71, and have no problem walking all around our acre property, or walking a couple of miles. But my wife who has always minimized her walking, now has problems walking.  Use it or lose it!

    On unstable surfaces, carry a walking stick, or a cane, ESPECIALLY in bad weather.

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  57. lynn says:

    "100,450,000: More Than 100 Million Not in Labor Force for 14th Straight Month; No Job, Not Looking"

        https://www.cnsnews.com/article/national/susan-jones/100450000-more-100-million-not-labor-force-14th-straight-month-no-job

    "(CNSNews.com) – The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Friday that 100,450,000 people in this country were not in the labor force in October, up 38,000 from the 100,412,000 in September."

    "This is the 14th straight month that this "not in the labor force" number has remained above 100,000,000."

    And the aging of the USA continues.  

    Hat tip to:

        https://drudgereport.com/

  58. Greg Norton says:

    "Snipping Tool, the emoji picker, and other parts of Windows 11 are breaking"

    Windows 11 seems to be having some growing pains.  Of course, this is Microsoft that we are talking about.

    Snipping Tool? Seriously? What does that have to do with a crypto certificate being expired unless the application is phoning home every time it runs.

    I do know that young’n’s have a little too much obsession with Berkeley Sockets as IPC, but I suspect Microsoft is collecting usage stats in Redmond … or Bangalore … or wherever Windows gets developed now.

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  59. JimB says:

    People are out there drilling new wells in the USA.  I wonder where they are getting their money from, I had a banker tell me the other day that they had a moratorium on oil and gas related loans.

    Private equity, at least some  of it.

  60. Mark W says:

    Dismantle the FBI.

    I saw that earlier. Apparently the Ashley & Brandon story was released last year but I missed it.

    Crazy family. Hunter owns the private equity that works with the Chinese. Hunter earns money, 10% to "the big guy", throws contracts to Brandon's brother, and in the meantime there's odd stuff going on between Brandon and his daughter.

  61. Greg Norton says:

    Had an interesting conversation with our friend's middle schooler. He wants to work in IT. Hates math. Does poorly in it. Smart kid with a good brain. Most subjects are a cakewalk. Math requires he exert effort and he has decided it is stupid, inapplicable, and irrelevant.

    White male? I don't recommend software/IT as a career choice. He does need to have a decent understanding of math to do *anything* that earns good money these days, however.

  62. Alan says:

    >> There's always jail.

    Still too good for them. 

    But I bet there are plenty of asphalt roads in Texas that need repaving during the summer.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zBn5aIfZElE

  63. Greg Norton says:

    Snipping Tool? Seriously? What does that have to do with a crypto certificate being expired unless the application is phoning home every time it runs.

    Now that I've been thinking about it for a while, I see why the Snipping Tool could mess around with crypto and certificates in Windows 11. In theory, the graphics stack is locked down to prevent Windows from being used to pirate the streaming services, and the Snipping Tool gets into the stack at a similar level as the video piracy toys.

    Still, considering the modern Microsoft, phoning home is probably part of the standard procedure with any bundled app. Gotta have that marketing data.

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  64. SteveF says:

    But I bet there are plenty of asphalt roads in Texas that need repaving during the summer.

    That's a terrible idea! Using corrupt politicians and other grifters as paving material will make for a very lumpy surface.

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  65. lpdbw says:

    White male? I don't recommend software/IT as a career choice.

    I concur.  The best 20 years of my career were working as a contractor in secure DOD environments, which ended up surrounding me with mostly white, mostly male, mostly heritage Americans, with a sprinkling of legal immigrants and high-IQ women, due to the requirement for a security clearance.

    It was an eye-opening experience when I transitioned to healthcare IT.  My last team was 18 people, and when I got fired there was only 1 white male left.   My chain of command went like this:  Me, WF (lead), BM (manager), East Asian(Director), BM (VP), WM (CIO). It became clear to me that White Males faced obstacles in pursuing management positions.

    Most of my team spoke ok English, but the adjacent BI team mostly did not.  It was common to overhear conversations in the hallway in Farsi/Urdu/Arabic (I can't tell them apart), Mandarin, and Hindi.  Oddly enough, the Hispanics were courteous and spoke mostly English.  Of course, they were outnumbered, too.

    I found it mildly amusing that all of the business analysts, who were supposed to be collecting our requirements and being our liaison to the customers, were the most English-challenged and had the most communication problems.  I'm convinced they got those roles because they were incompetent to actually write code.

    Fortunately, I was able to deal directly with my customers instead of using the business analysts.  Of course, they were all managers or above, and all Chinese or Hispanic with ESL.

    My step-son (sort of.  It's complicated) just entered the Electrical Engineering workforce a year ago, and that's basically IT now.  When I was in college, the 2 women in the Computer Science program were noteworthy.  At UT-Austin, I believe women outnumbered men, even in Engineering.  Certainly, their opportunities were emphasized.  

  66. Nick Flandrey says:

    Perhaps some people are not in favor of mass-casualty events of any type

    –the group in that photo were responsible for more casualties than all the terror attacks on US soil combined.

    –and the line is standard US .mil training, or it was.  If you only have one grenade, you use it on leadership (officers.)

    –if I was serious, I'd suggest that any of them that visited pedo island lose 1 in3 of genitalia for every visit, then the Morbark 2000, feet first.

    "there's always jail"

    –um, how is wishing for their deaths while in custody any different????? *cough* *Epstein* *cough*

    n

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  67. Nick Flandrey says:

    Girl Scouts are safely on their way.  Everyone signed their affidavit, release of liability, and had a negative covid rapid test.

    Traffic was extra special bad today.  SO OF COURSE I was crisscrossing downtown.

    n

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  68. Nick Flandrey says:

    paving material will make for a very lumpy surface.

    and slippery…

    n

  69. Mark W says:

    My current employer is a medium size (<1000) private business in San Antonio. The various IT teams have a mix of M/F white and non, straight and not. There is no correlation between "good" and any category.

    Management is a mix also. Upper management is very good from what I've seen, and mostly non-WM. Middle and lower management are often the type that likes spreadsheets most of all.

    My opinion is that you can do well in a technical field if you have the certifications. That doesn't get you into management unless you drink the corporate kool-aid, and then you might run into diversity issues. 

    The HR drones do tend to do the he/him thing on LinkedIn.

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  70. Mark W says:

    paving material will make for a very lumpy surface.

    and slippery…

    Greasy. Also smelly.

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  71. mediumwave says:

    White male? I don't recommend software/IT as a career choice.

    What @lpdbw wrote–in spades.

    If you have above-average intelligence, choose a career doing almost anything else!

  72. Rick H says:

    If a person is interested (and talented/competent) with computers, then there are many options for a satisfying IT career.

    I'd recommend an IT career centered on Information Security – 'defense' and 'offense'. The defense is to know how to protect a system with hardware/software. The offense is to know how to attack a system – so you can provide the proper defense.

    And part of that career is 'incident response' – how to recover from an attack and restore data with minimal impact to your business.

    I grew into infosec over the decades (from 1980's to 2015 when I retired). I had knowledge about all parts of the enterprise: hardware, software, applications, networking, anti-virus, firewalls, and more. That made me a valuable employee to my company (a local government). I did that for 23 years, and got a nice retirement package out of it.

    Retired from that job, and got another one in local government in a different state. Did that for 3 years after retiring. (I was a bit bored.)  Would have stayed there longer than 3 years – at least 5 to get vested retirements benefits), but wife's medical issues forced a move.  While I was at the second job, the medical benefits saved me a lot of money until I got old enough for Social Security and Medicare.

    I believe there are some good opportunities in 'infosec' – and good demand for that for the long term.

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  73. lynn says:

    Girl Scouts are safely on their way.  Everyone signed their affidavit, release of liability, and had a negative covid rapid test.

    Which rapid covid test did you use ?   The same one for everyone ?

    I am wondering if we should stack a few up at the office.

  74. ITGuy1998 says:

    In the government contracting world, IA (Information Assurance – think IT security) is the growth industry. My company is big. At our location, I am the project manager of multiple classified networks. I have 7 system administrators that work for me. I am not hands off. That is both by necessity, but also my design. I have no desire to let my skills grow stale. I have too many working years left.

    We handle all the normal tasks an IT department does, but with the add burden of dealing with government security rules. Read up on RMF (Risk Management Framework) if you need help falling asleep. It is a giant cluster, or rather, a wonderful example Dr. Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy. Our company has a completely separate department that handles the auditing/verification/paperwork for the classified systems. 

    You can almost name your own price working on the IA side. Everyone is looking for help, and quite a few are willing to pay. It reminds me a lot of the late 90's and early 2000's in IT. Everyone and their brother getting into it, with a small fraction actually able to do the work. Most are just chasing dollar signs. What most don't realize is that is first, second, third, and fourth, a paper pushing job. Mind numbing documentation. the other parts are just reading logs and verifying configurations. Not exciting either. I refuse to go down that path, unless I have no other choice in the future.

    IA now exists to ensure it's growth and justify it's existence. The continuous flow of additional regulations do nothing to truly enhance security.

    It's a good thing the DoD side pays well. I'll never go back to the private sector if I can help it. 

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  75. Nick Flandrey says:

    Which rapid covid test did you use ?   The same one for everyone ?

    –same for everyone.  Wife has been buying them online.  Abbott  BinaxNow

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  76. Nick Flandrey says:

    Scanner is busy.   Some big event downtown.

    I'm listening to the medical interop…

    7 people with "hand injuries" held in the LEO area.

    Multiple 911 calls, people in front of the stage being trampled.

    1, possibly more active CPR cases in the audience.

    That's in the last half hour.

    n

    Earlier they were reporting people in large groups 'rushing the gate'.

    I thought it was  a country act.  Seems pretty out of control for a country concert.

  77. Nick Flandrey says:

    Shit, they just activated a mass casualty incident.

    n

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  78. Nick Flandrey says:

    Ah, his first name fooled me.  Travis Scott, rapper.

    n

    and involved with the kar big-assians…

  79. lynn says:

    Earlier they were reporting people in large groups 'rushing the gate'.

    I thought it was  a country act.  Seems pretty out of control for a country concert.

    https://abc13.com/astroworld-festival-travis-scotts-houston-crowds-trampled/11202546/

    I did not think that they allowed no reserved seats entry anymore, especially with 100,000 tickets sold.  That always causes a problem in a big crowd.

  80. Nick Flandrey says:

    yeah, three active CPR incidents.  n

  81. Nick Flandrey says:

    no reserved seats entry

    –reporter said it was unticketed people climbing over the barricades in front of her.

    n

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  82. lynn says:

    no reserved seats entry

    –reporter said it was unticketed people climbing over the barricades in front of her.

    n

    Rapper concerts just wanna be free !

  83. Nick Flandrey says:

    shit shit shit. more active CPR cases, they just called for every available ambulance on property, with 10 headed to medical staging, including two ambulance busses.

    n

    another call for CPR in progress, no resources available to send.

  84. Nick Flandrey says:

    And yet there is no reporting.   The live stand up airing just 15 minutes ago said nothing.

    n

  85. Nick Flandrey says:

    They seem to have caught up with the rush.  Didn't need lifeflight.

    interesting tool.

    https://map.snapchat.com/@29.686666,-95.418119,16.18z

    no scenes of pandemonium, I guess it happened right in front and most people didn't even see it.

    n

    or no one uses snapchat anymore.

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  86. Jenny says:

    @Greg

    I don't recommend software/IT as a career choice.

    At 13 he wasn't going to be receptive to the middle aged white chick telling him to forego his dream job. With strong math he will develop a useful brain that will open up his choices. 
     

    @SteveF

    Down vote away, sir, down vote away.

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