Sun. Dec. 26, 2021 – the stockings were hung by the chimney with care…

By on December 26th, 2021 in personal, Random Stuff, WuFlu

Cool and clear, damp though. Mid 70s if we’re lucky. Beautiful day for Christmas, with a clear blue sky and shirtsleeves weather. Beautiful Boxing Day too.

The house is a happy mess. Piles of cookies in the kitchen, piles of presents throughout the house, and the stockings scattered around, spilling their chocolate-y goodness on the couch, the chair, and the floor. Maybe we’ll get some cleaning up done. Then again, maybe not.

Taking it easy today, open to whatever comes. Maybe I’ll organize something. Maybe I’ll fix something. Maybe I’ll just watch movies. Whatever, it’ll be all good.

Treat yourselves a bit this week. Take some time amongst the hustle and bustle of year end activities. Who knows what the new year will bring. Time to smell a rose or two.

nick

69 Comments and discussion on "Sun. Dec. 26, 2021 – the stockings were hung by the chimney with care…"

  1. Greg Norton says:

    Nope, I was ready to buy her a new laptop and she decided she wanted a desktop.  I have yet to pull the trigger as she has to decide between a 20 inch to 27 inch monitor.

    If you build, just about everything will be a fixed cost except CPU and graphics card.

    For my Christmas project, I went with a Ryzen 5 5600X. I probably paid too much at $300, but I scavenged a graphics card so that's the tradeoff.

    You could probably get away with one of the Ryzen 3 or Core i3 which run 35 W TDP. Right now, however, those are not that much cheaper.

  2. Greg Norton says:

    Just finished watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.    Lotta sweaters for a movie made in 1989….  John Hughes, Chevy Chase, all the rest.  Kids were not impressed.

    I wasn't too impressed.  Couple of nice gags.  Lots of cringe.   The old guy from Pritzi's Honor. 

    "The old guy" was also in early "Seinfeld" as George's father, pre-Jerry Stiller.

    The show was probably still "The Seinfeld Chronicles" at that point. *Really* cringey stuff.

    NBC under Brandon Tartikoff used to throw all kinds of reject material on the air after May sweeps. I remember "The Seinfeld Chronicles" being one of those shows which just happened to stick around for another year.

    I’ve lost track of how many 80s outlets where I’ve seen Seinfeld doing his (even then) tired “cottonballs as tumbleweeds for cockroaches” bit, starting with HBO’s “The Investigators” circa … 1983?

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  3. Nick Flandrey says:

    About half the cast was Seinfeld alums.

    n

    74F and 84%RH.  Sunny.

    n

  4. Greg Norton says:

    About half the cast was Seinfeld alums.

    Whoever was between sitcom pilots and available in early 1989.

    I remember “The Seinfeld Chronicles” was a weird Summer show for several years before "Night Court" started running out of gas and NBC had nothing promising out of pilot season that year.

    Believe it or not, Michael Richards was the big draw early on with “Seinfeld”. He was part of the “Fridays” (ABC “Saturday Night Live” ripoff) in the early 80s, and Richards had a memorable part in the Weird Al cult flick “UHF”.

    (To be fair, “Fridays” had a lot of talent involved so “ripoff” is probably a bit harsh.)

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    What little difference a year makes: US records 151,915 new COVID infections thanks to Omicron surge – just 39,000 fewer than Christmas Day 2020 – but deaths have dropped by 72%

    • Christmas Day COVID figures show that the United States has recorded a total of 151,915 new infections – just 39,000 fewer than on December 25 2020
    • A year later diagnoses have dropped by just 26%  largely due to the prevalence of the super-contagious Omicron variant now sweeping the United States
    • America saw 1,013 deaths in the most recent 24 hours, down 72 per cent on the 2,899 recorded for the same period in 2020
    • Seven day average deaths are down too – they currently sit at 1,542, compared to 2,660 recorded for the seven days ending in December 25 2020
    • Multiple scientific studies have suggested that Omicron is up to 80 per cent less likely to lead to hospitalization, meaning deaths are also likely to remain lower.

    LITTLE difference?  The current one is a bad cold, and almost no one is dying from it. 

    n

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10345171/Christmas-Day-suicide-bomber-kills-five-people-including-two-children-eastern-Congo.html

    _I'm grateful they are reduced to attacking Congo, but I was waiting to see who'd get the Christmas visit from the murderous savages.

    n

    2
  7. Greg Norton says:

    (To be fair, “Fridays” had a lot of talent involved so “ripoff” is probably a bit harsh.)

    "Fridays" also had the best "Ronald Reagan" until Phil Hartman joined "SNL".

    "SNL" had the more memorable "Nancy Reagan", cast member Terry Sweeny in drag.

  8. ech says:

    She is still very weak but mostly very lucid (it takes her several days to shake the anesthesia). 

    Probably a combo of anesthesia and just being in the hospital. Being in a hospital is very stressful and combined with a lack of sleep, it's well known to cause a lot of confusion and mental problems, especially in the elderly. ICUs are the worst for it.

  9. ech says:

    We had a quiet Christmas, just the Good Doctor and me. Played FF XIV, watched some football. I made a pumpkin pie, stollen, and dinner. Dinner was a sous vide prime rib, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, and a nice pinot noir. Made calls to my brothers, the Good Doctor called those in her family she has contact with. Talked to The Daugher and her wife. They have 8 inches of snow and more coming. No presents, as we have too much stuff as it is. I did get the latest version of the Italian army expansion for Advanced Squad Leader (Hollow Legions) in the mail on Christmas eve, though.

  10. Greg Norton says:

    LITTLE difference?  The current one is a bad cold, and almost no one is dying from it. 

    David Tennant is back on BBC One tonight, followed by "Death in Paradise".

    It is all about the eyeballs. Even the BBC has given up on “Doctor Who” and will let Sony fix the mess.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76Ge6vO4q9Y

  11. ech says:

    This is hilarious. "Movies are made to be seen."
    https://twitter.com/weiyikes/status/1474184407703605250

    7
  12. Greg Norton says:

    Michael Richards on "Fridays" in one of the show's classic "Drugs R Us" sketches.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJtL4aJFABQ

    I forgot Larry David was on "Fridays". He's the tech installing the video game at the beginning of the sketch.

  13. Nick Flandrey says:

    @ech, tabletop gaming?

    n

  14. Greg Norton says:

    Suppy chain fun for the day — the replacement battery I ordered for the UPS on my cable modem and router suddenly showed up on Friday. I replaced the battery while the kids were occupied away from the Interwebs this morning.

    I ordered the battery from CDW in October and had reached the point where I was looking into the cancellation process if the package didn’t show soon.

    Now I'm ready for the next ice storm. My wife and I worked full schedules the whole week of the freeze in February, including Presidents' Day. I get 3-4 hours of WiFi from the UPS if the power goes out for an extended period.

  15. lynn says:

    Nope, I was ready to buy her a new laptop and she decided she wanted a desktop.  I have yet to pull the trigger as she has to decide between a 20 inch to 27 inch monitor.

    If you build, just about everything will be a fixed cost except CPU and graphics card.

    For my Christmas project, I went with a Ryzen 5 5600X. I probably paid too much at $300, but I scavenged a graphics card so that's the tradeoff.

    You could probably get away with one of the Ryzen 3 or Core i3 which run 35 W TDP. Right now, however, those are not that much cheaper.

    I have built five new machines this year so far.  I have parts to replace my home machine sitting in the breakfast nook of the house.  No more !

    So I want to buy a new machine for the daughter.  But she needs to tell me what size monitor to buy.  And I am ok with ordering it.

  16. ech says:

    @ech, tabletop gaming?

    Yes. Advanced Squad Leader covers WW 2 to Korea at squad/vehicle level. Very intricate game.

  17. SteveF says:

    A couple dozen Avalon Hill games, including the original Squad Leader with several expansion packs and Advanced Squad Leader, mysteriously got lost when the family moved into the new house while I was 1500 miles away. Yep, a bunch of games, at least a thousand of my paperback novels, several volumes of the Encyclopedia Brittanica (in the burgundy leather covers), my books from law school, some of my martial arts gear, and a bunch of tools. Mysterious, how the only stuff which wasn't important enough to keep track of was my stuff.

    One of my team members around that time used to run a game and card shop. When I grumbled at him about the disappearances he was about to cry. Most of the games hadn't been made in decades, were highly desired, and were worth a good chunk even heavily used. Not that I would sell them except in extremis, but that's not the point.

    4
  18. Nick Flandrey says:

    Well my TSA preCheck came in last night.  I got approved, which I expected.  Only took a couple of weeks.

    Still galls me that I have to pay the .gov to avoid hassle that .gov put in place.  NO ONE should have the hassle.

    n

  19. Greg Norton says:

    Still galls me that I have to pay the .gov to avoid hassle that .gov put in place.  NO ONE should have the hassle.

    Big money is involved and the TSA is unionized.

    Crotch gropings are here to stay.

    The CLEAR company is getting into vaccine passports.

    Of course, as with everything else, if a clear majority of the population was fed up and demanding change, the TSA would make adjustments. The past 20 years have been about maintaining irrational fears among the populace.

  20. MrAtoz says:

    Still galls me that I have to pay the .gov to avoid hassle that .gov put in place.  NO ONE should have the hassle.

    And then the TSA closes the preCheck line willy-nilly. "Can I get some money back…" "Shut up, peon. Proceed to the anal probe line!"

  21. Nick Flandrey says:

    Who says linux doesn't just do stuff on it's own sometimes?

    my NVR machine suddenly started going to screensaver OR possibly turning off the monitor in power saving.    Restart didn't restore it's normal behaviour either.   None of the settings have changed, and all that crap is turned off.

    Also, the second hard drive just disappeared from the file system.  Restart doesn't get it back either.

    So I selected Shut Down this time, and it just restarted.    Went down but then came back up without any interaction on my part. Tried a second time, being VERY careful to select Shut Down.   STILL came back up by itself, but this time I power switched it to off.  

    Turned it on and the second drive is still missing..l've restarted and in 10 minutes I'll see if the power saving/screensaver change survived the restart.

    F'ing computers.

    n

  22. MrAtoz says:

    The CLEAR company is getting into vaccine passports.

    Clear got m to the preCheck line toot sweet at Atlanta. preCheck at McCarran in Vegas is a crap shoot (pun) these days. At least Clear gets you to the front of the 200 people in line at the regular anal probe line.

  23. JimB says:

    Lynn, with the possible exception of my first computer, I have never bought all components of a system at once. I have spare monitors, keyboards, and other stuff. I thought everybody did that.

    I have taught several people to store their old system when they get a new one. Even older systems can fill in when there is a failure. Some components are inexpensive enough that spares are prudent.

    I also am surprised how few people can use their phones as a substitute for a full computer. The engineer in me always praised the modularity of small computer architecture, and I know that is going out of style.

    I famously hate notebooks. I have several friends who do too, but they carry them between summer and winter homes because they have never considered alternatives. I have one guy considering a NUC as a desktop substitute. He would keep a monitor and keyboard at each location, and the little NUC could fit in a big pocket. All at a cost less than a decent notebook. Modularity!

    Reminds me of "Jocularity!" MASH fans will recognize that.

    3
  24. Nick Flandrey says:

    I also am surprised how few people can use their phones as a substitute for a full computer.

    –yeah, well y'all have been subjected to my attempts when I travel.   There is so much stuff that "almost" works with various 'not computers'.  And the 'not computers' are ok for consumption, but not so good for creation, even when it's simply typing.

    n

  25. Jenny says:

    @SteveF

    I’m really sorry about the stuff “lost” (<cough> bull-mumble <cough>) in the move. As aggravated and despaired I get over the volume of stuff my husband owns, it’s not and never would be my privilege to thin it for him. That would be the height of disrespect and, if I lied about it, betrayal. Not for the value of stuff obviously, the disregard though. 
     

    Not the path to a good relationship. I suspect you have an exit plan once your chicks have flown the coop. You deserve better and situations like this suck.

  26. JimB says:

    "And the 'not computers' are ok for consumption, but not so good for creation, even when it's simply typing."

    Absolutely. Way too many examples, but one is particularly on my mind. I bought a Bluetooth keyboard at a museum backroom sale: think yard sale but with good stuff. It was something less than a dollar, so no risk. But wait, it is one of those zero travel abominations with the important navigation keys scattered where they could fit. Five minutes of using it cured me. I actually found something worse than a notebook keyboard.

  27. SteveF says:

    That would be the height of disrespect and, if I lied about it, betrayal.

    You won't be surprised to hear that you're not the first to say this. And I agree.

    3
  28. lynn says:

    I famously hate notebooks. I have several friends who do too, but they carry them between summer and winter homes because they have never considered alternatives. I have one guy considering a NUC as a desktop substitute. He would keep a monitor and keyboard at each location, and the little NUC could fit in a big pocket. All at a cost less than a decent notebook. Modularity!

    Dude, totally cool idea.  The wife is wanting to buy her a small table with a cpu nook anyway.  I can buy "Intel NUC 11 NUC11PAHi7 Home & Business Desktop Mini PC,Intel Core i7-1165G7 4-Core, 2.8 GHz – 4.7 GHz Turbo,8 Thread, 12MB Cache,16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, 28W Intel Iris X Graphics, Win 10 Pro" for $1020 from Amazon.

        https://www.amazon.com/NUC11PAHi7-Business-Desktop-PC,Intel-i7-1165G7/dp/B09BKRRT2Y//p?tag=ttgnet-20

    Shoot, that system is good enough for office duty.

  29. lynn says:

    Lynn, with the possible exception of my first computer, I have never bought all components of a system at once. I have spare monitors, keyboards, and other stuff. I thought everybody did that.

    I have taught several people to store their old system when they get a new one. Even older systems can fill in when there is a failure. Some components are inexpensive enough that spares are prudent.

    You would not believe how much old computer equipment that I have scattered all around the office and house.  Back in the 1990s, one of my son's friends came in the house, saw the three computers in the house former dining room, and declared it to be totally cool.  It has only gotten worse over the years.  The wife rarely complains so I live in a teenage paradise.

    The wife does draw the line at old mainframes though. No UNIVAC 1108s or DEC Minis allowed in the house.

    2
  30. Greg Norton says:

    Who says linux doesn't just do stuff on it's own sometimes?

    my NVR machine suddenly started going to screensaver OR possibly turning off the monitor in power saving.    Restart didn't restore it's normal behaviour either.   None of the settings have changed, and all that crap is turned off.

    Do you allow the system to update itself automatically?

    If you don’t have the automatic update turned on, it might be the power supply. Consumer grade Dell running 24/7 is going to need a new power supply after a couple of years.

    As always, check the connections to the back of the drive and the motherboard *with the power turned off*.

    Also, if you are dual booting between a modernish Windows and Linux, make sure to turn off the Fast Start feature in Windows.

  31. lynn says:

    "The Secret History of the First Microprocessor, the F-14, and Me"

         https://www.wired.com/story/secret-history-of-the-first-microprocessor-f-14/

    Neat story.  I've always thought the F-14 was a totally cool plane.

  32. MrAtoz says:

    I've always loved the F-104 Starfighter due to it's classic rocket plane look. Too bad it's many short comings doomed it. The downward ejector seat probably didn't imbue confidence.

    *edit. It was still in use by some countries during a REFORGER I was on in the 80’s. Loud.

  33. Greg Norton says:

    Neat story.  I've always thought the F-14 was a totally cool plane.

    The F-14 has never been adequately replaced.

    Messing around with JavaScript one afternoon at Death Star Labs ~ Summer 2000, we essentially invented AJAX, but no one believed that would be valuable. We knew back then that it would require lots of downloaded data to render a single page, but we underestimated consumer desire to have local GUI-level interactivity with web interfaces.

  34. Nick Flandrey says:

    @greg, no auto updates.  I freaking HATE that stuff.  I've wasted enough time over the course of my life trying to figure out why stuff changed when I didn't change it.

    Bare metal install of linux, so no dual boot issues.

    So far, it's back to honoring the power save and screen saver settings, it hasn't put the screen to sleep since I turned it back on.   One of the frustrating things is that the settings were set, same as always to NEVER SLEEP, NO POWER SAVE EVER, NO SCREENSAVER.   If I could have laser etched it into the silicon I would have.  The OS was just not following the settings anymore. 

    Still haven't looked for a physical issue with the second drive, although I can't imagine it coming unplugged by itself.

    I'm in a DNS rage at the moment.

    ROKU doesn't let you set DNS servers manually.

    ATT doesn't let you set DNS servers in the modem.

    ROKU because F YOU, you must watch the ads.

    ATT because F YOU WE OWN YOU and will log and sell your DNS history and there isn't anything you can do about it, because F YOU.  (see also ATT "DNS error Assist") mixed with a small amount of "because we made bad choices back in the day and can't deliver the triple play no one wants if you don't use our own DNS."

    What should be very easy, pointing the Roku boxes and handheld devices at a DNS service that blocks most ads is turning out to be very hard.

    n

  35. SteveF says:

    It was still in use by some countries during a REFORGER I was on in the 80’s. Loud.

    I was behind and not too far from a U-2 when it took off. Second loudest thing I ever heard, following artillery shells exploding nearby.

  36. MrAtoz says:

    Fuher FauXi:

    Dr. Fauci admits mandatory vaccines for air travel won’t make passengers safer

    Fauci says vaccine mandates for domestic travel won’t make flights safer, but he supports it anyway: “Anything that could get people more vaccinated would be welcome”

    And keep masking on planes because Sieg Heil!

  37. paul says:

    Crotch gropings are here to stay.

    What happens if I, sans underwear, drop my pants?  See?  Easy, I don't have a bomb wrapped around my dangly bits and I don't have some creep groping me.

    Though wrapping a bomb around my junk is pretty much the very last way I intend to die.  Just for the risk of a misfire.  I happen to like whipping it out to water random trees and clumps of grass.

    Not that I intend to ever get on an airplane again.  The whole rigamarole is too stupid to deal with anymore.

    Back in '78 or '79 a group of friends flew from McAllen to Austin.  Half the price of Trailways and instead of a six hour ride, there in an hour.  And you got a soda and a bag of peanuts or a cookie.  I set the metal detector off every single time.  Pull pants down (wearing underwear) enough to show my scar and it's all cool.  Same for a trip to San Diego for my sister's wedding and then to DC and a couple of trips to Hawaii.

  38. JimB says:

    "The wife does draw the line at old…

    …mainframes though. No UNIVAC 1108s or DEC Minis allowed in the house."

    As I was reading this, my brain jumped ahead at … and filled in "girlfriends!" Tells where my mind must be. Shame on me! :-p

    (Not that 1108 aren't cool.)

    5
  39. Greg Norton says:

    “So far, it’s back to honoring the power save and screen saver settings, it hasn’t put the screen to sleep since I turned it back on. One of the frustrating things is that the settings were set, same as always to NEVER SLEEP, NO POWER SAVE EVER, NO SCREENSAVER. If I could have laser etched it into the silicon I would have. The OS was just not following the settings anymore.”

    I have my Mint partition on my primary desktop set to not sleep, and it honors that setting.

    If you think Mint didn’t shutdown cleanly, check the settings and do a restart from the GUI.

    I have noticed that “shutdown -r now” from the command line causes some problems with regard to settings not being retained in various Gnome-based environments.

  40. RickH says:

    21F and very light snow at my house opposite Mutiny Bay WA. About 4-5 inches on the ground that fell starting last night.

    At least, according to my neighbors and web cams. Weather radar shows light snow now at 3pm PDT. I'm in CA. Just 45F and cloudy where I am.

    Not going to try the trip home (I-5 north) with the snow. Was planning on UT, but I-80 closed over Donner Summit (Sierra Nevada's near Truckee CA). Snow (a couple feet over the summit or more) until late Monday. Not sure if roads will be open. I do have chains for the 2019 Highlander (AWD with regular tires, not snow tires), but don't really want to put them on.

    We'll see what the roads look like on Tuesday when I check the weather reports Monday (tomorrow). Might have to do the UT next month. Snow on I84 (west from Ogden UT to Portland OR) likely even towards end of next week, especially over the Blue Mountains (between Baker City and Pendleton OR); along with other stretches that can get quite snowy (like from UT/ID on I-84 north – blizzard/whiteouts yesterday).

    Looks like I'll miss the yearly snow event at home. Enjoy it – since I don't have to be outside. I've only used the snow shovel at home three 'storms' since moving there 7 1/2 years ago.

  41. Greg Norton says:

    I'm in a DNS rage at the moment.

    ROKU doesn't let you set DNS servers manually.

    ATT doesn't let you set DNS servers in the modem.

    ROKU because F YOU, you must watch the ads.

    ATT because F YOU WE OWN YOU and will log and sell your DNS history and there isn't anything you can do about it, because F YOU.  (see also ATT "DNS error Assist") mixed with a small amount of "because we made bad choices back in the day and can't deliver the triple play no one wants if you don't use our own DNS."

    Where does the DHCP lease allocation originate? The modem?

    I always assumed Roku set DNS based on what came down with the lease, but a lot of appliances are hard coding 8.8.8.8 and 4.4.4.4 just to avoid problems. We were just as guilty of that as anyone else at the last job.

  42. Greg Norton says:

    Not going to try the trip home (I-5 north) with the snow. Was planning on UT, but I-80 closed over Donner Summit (Sierra Nevada's near Truckee CA). Snow (a couple feet over the summit or more) until late Monday. Not sure if roads will be open. I do have chains for the 2019 Highlander (AWD with regular tires, not snow tires), but don't really want to put them on.

    From what I understand, the in-laws weren't venturing north of Vancouver, WA with their Tesla Model X this weekend.

    Strict adherence to Prog doctrine means that I'm labelled a hater when I question the sanity of sitting at a charging station in Centralia, WA for 30 minutes in order to have enough charge to make it to Federal Way, where the "boss" uncle lives. However, they're not going to actually sit in a charging station in Centralia for 30 minutes since the dominant industries in the region are the Native American casino, Great Wolf Lodge, and crystal meth production/distribution.

    I’m not sure I would want to try the hairpin turns descending into the Gorge between La Grande and Pendleton this time of year. Chances are you would be fine in a Highlander, but I’d be more worried about the trucks making the descent behind me.

  43. nick flandrey says:

    Where does the DHCP lease allocation originate? The modem?

    yes, and you can't change it.

    I always assumed Roku set DNS based on what came down with the lease,

    –me to, so even though I can't change it on the roku, I thought I could change it on the modem.  Nope.  I don't want to put that stuff on a different wifi entirely, because then I couldn't stream to them from my server, without jumping thru hoops. 

    It means I can't just add a pi-hole and point them at it, either.

    I need to add  a router behind ATT, whether wifi alone or wired too, just to serve those devices with DNS of my choice.   A WAP would do it I guess.  I used to have it set up that way but the wifi from the ATT "modem" was better than what I had, so when we went to fiber I just went with the ATT wifi for convenience.

    I've got some more thinking to do.

    n

  44. Pecancorner says:

    Back in '78 or '79 a group of friends flew from McAllen to Austin.  Half the price of Trailways and instead of a six hour ride, there in an hour.  And you got a soda and a bag of peanuts or a cookie. 

    Oh, Trailways! Continental Trailways! The bus used to be a great way to travel. It was safe in the 60s and 70s – I traveled alone even as a pre-teen – and relaxing. Nice people took the bus. And the bus driver was like the captain of a ship: willing and able to enforce discipline if needed.  I saw one put a drunk off on the highway one of the rare times there was a "problem" passenger. He relayed it to the Highway Patrol with location, but he didn't even let him stay on until the next town.

    The bus is a horror show now. I've heard they are no longer reserving seats or guaranteeing a seat on any incoming connection bus.  And I guess the only passengers now are illegal aliens, criminal trustees being transferred, homeless being shipped anywhere by locals who can't house them, and poor souls that truly have no other choice.

    It's a shame. The bus used to be a good option for comfortable travel.

  45. lynn says:

    I need to add  a router behind ATT, whether wifi alone or wired too, just to serve those devices with DNS of my choice.   A WAP would do it I guess.  I used to have it set up that way but the wifi from the ATT "modem" was better than what I had, so when we went to fiber I just went with the ATT wifi for convenience.

    I use a Peplink 30 behind my two AT&T DSL modems at the office.  Kinda like this except three WAN plugins (I bought my Peplink 30 ten years ago for $300 or so).  My Peplink 30 is 100% configurable for IPv4.  It does not support IPv6 so I will have to replace it some day.

       https://www.amazon.com/Peplink-Balance-Dual-WAN-BPL-021-ACW-722/dp/B08ZZ86ZZ4//p?tag=ttgnet-20

  46. lynn says:

    I just watched the new movie "Don't Look Up" on Netflix.  With Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, etc.  The movie is the theater of the absurd.  Two astronomers find out that a comet is going to hit the Earth in seven month and people spend the entire seven months arguing about whether the comet is real or not.  Just the opposite of the "Deep Impact" movie.

       https://www.netflix.com/title/81252357

    Warning: the ending is NC-17 (full frontal nudity).

  47. Ray Thompson says:

    Just changed my DNS settings in my router to use an ad-blocking DNS service. So far a significant difference in page load times, as in faster, and no annoying ads. Will see how it goes for a few days.

    And in other news I am converting my primary desktop to W11. With a week of use on my laptop I have found no show stoppers. So I guess it is time to take the plunge.

  48. nick flandrey says:

    Hey  Ray, let us know how it goes.  I'm assuming that any service provider is tracking and selling my info (if it's free, you're the product) but maybe better them than google or att?

    The one I was looking at is 94.140.14.14   and maybe the one that blocks adult content for the kids devices.

    –I did find a secret menu on the roku boxen that will show you the connection status ( static = false, IP, Gateway, but DNS is blank. )  A status flag for static implies that it's somehow possible to set up a static ip… but the interwebs agree that it's impossible.

    n

  49. Greg Norton says:

    I need to add  a router behind ATT, whether wifi alone or wired too, just to serve those devices with DNS of my choice.   A WAP would do it I guess.  I used to have it set up that way but the wifi from the ATT "modem" was better than what I had, so when we went to fiber I just went with the ATT wifi for convenience.

    If you have Uverse, the modem serving the NAT and DHCP has preset mappings so the boxes can phone home on a regular basis. I wouldn't trust the rest of my house with those admins.

  50. Ray Thompson says:

    Hey  Ray, let us know how it goes

    I am using Alternate DNS as the service. So far I have had no issues in my limited testing. PC, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV all seem to work just fine.

    Some sites that are heavily ad driven load much quicker. Local news sites are one example, CNN is another example. Going to NBCNEWS there are still 17 sites that are being blocked by AdBlock+ whereas before there were about 50 ads blocked so some progress. I suspect some of these sites are not using DNS by direct IP address. Not much can be done about those except block the IP address in the hosts file. I am too lazy to spend that much time to chase windmills.

  51. Greg Norrton says:

    I use a Peplink 30 behind my two AT&T DSL modems at the office.  Kinda like this except three WAN plugins (I bought my Peplink 30 ten years ago for $300 or so).  My Peplink 30 is 100% configurable for IPv4.  It does not support IPv6 so I will have to replace it some day.

    My Asus will load balance another WAN connection if configured but not three.

    RT-AC66U B1. I bought it when the model was technically "obsolete", but I wanted a direct replacement for another Asus.

    The company has been very responsive with firmware updates when exploits pop up.

  52. Ray Thompson says:

    I need to add  a router behind ATT

    My system is set up with my own voice modem, then that is connected to a WiFi mesh network from ASUS. The ASUS has hundreds of configuration options, including setting a custom DNS. Devices on my network all point to the IP address of the router for DNS, which router then sends to the addresses that I have configured. Most devices are that way and will hit the gateway for DNS. PCs can be easily configured to go straight to the DNS servers. But why go to the hassle of manually changing the DNS on each PC. Easier to leave the custom DNS in the router, only one place to change, and let the PCs go to the router for DNS.

  53. Alan says:

    >> Fauci says vaccine mandates for domestic travel won’t make flights safer, but he supports it anyway: “Anything that could get people more vaccinated would be welcome”

    Certainly has his gumption. Some number of unvaxxed will really have a need to fly and will most likely capitulate to the needle.

  54. JimB says:

    "…capitulate to the needle."

    Very dark thoughts ran through my mind.

  55. Greg Norton says:

    Certainly has his gumption. Some number of unvaxxed will really have a need to fly and will most likely capitulate to the needle.

    Business travelers. Part of the 20% of the American workforce that actually does something for a living. Chances are they will have weighed the odds and opted to skip the vaccinations.

    Of course, the risk is that imposing a mandate on them will motivate quite a few to "shrug" in the Ayn Rand sense. For most of the last 10 years, Corporate America has been living on borrowed time with regard to finding sufficient quantities of people to fly on increasingly draconian expense restrictions and decreasing lifestyles due to inflation.

    Anyone spending a lot of time in the center seats on a 737 for less than $100k/year has got to be weighing their options for next year. Mandatory vaccinations will only hasten that thought process.

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  56. Ray Thompson says:

    The bus used to be a good option for comfortable travel.

    Several years ago, probably 10 or 11, wife and I took two exchange students to Washington DC on the Megabus. It was actually a good trip on the bus. Good class of people. Left Knoxville on time, made a couple of stops for food. Certainly beat driving as I was able to sleep. I think we paid $50.00 a ticket as we purchased early. Bus was full. 400 gallons of fuel, I asked.

    Megabus no longer stops in Knoxville as Knoxville wanted tax revenue from Megabus. Which Megabus promptly told Knoxville to stuff and left the market.

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  57. nick flandrey says:

    @greg, wouldn't touch uverse with an insulated 25ft pole.   FTTH, provided by Lightspeed, branded as ATT.  Bare internet service, no "triple play" as we don't use the phone or watch cable anymore.  Phone is so much of an annoyance and intrusion with nothing but spam that I'm de-forwarding it from my cell as soon as I can figure out how OOMA does it.

    @ray, yes, better to set the DNS you want at the router, but apparently, more and more providers are making that impossible.  Your DNS history has value to them, and DNS error pages give them a chance to show you an ad.  And fwiw, according to various forums, internet appliance makers are getting rid of static IP configuration.   Too hard for the end user… or too easy for the end user to set up VPN, or dns based filtering, or some other way to bypass the spying….

    n

  58. Greg Norton says:

    @greg, wouldn't touch uverse with an insulated 25ft pole.   FTTH, provided by Lightspeed, branded as ATT.  Bare internet service, no "triple play" as we don't use the phone or watch cable anymore.  Phone is so much of an annoyance and intrusion with nothing but spam that I'm de-forwarding it from my cell as soon as I can figure out how OOMA does it.

    The rumor for a decade has been that AT&T would dump legacy PacBell (California) on Frontier along with all of the Uverse infrastructure.

    Uverse was a bad idea from the beginning. We still have a lot of those equipment racks in our neighborhood, but since fiber went in, I doubt many are in use any longer.

  59. nick flandrey says:

    Does anyone remember the numbers being so high?

    Amid the crowded and chaotic scenes outside Kabul airport in August, a suicide attack slaughtered 170 Afghan civilians and 13 American service members.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10343313/Kamala-Harris-says-DEMOCRACY-biggest-threat-national-security-stands-Kabul-withdrawal.html

    Cuz that's outrageous.

    n

  60. nick flandrey says:

    Ok, that was easy.   Went to ooma com and made the changes to my forwarding.  Also increased the aggressiveness of my "block scammers" rules.   We'll see if that helps.

    n

  61. Alan says:

    >> Of course, the risk is that imposing a mandate on them will motivate quite a few to "shrug" in the Ayn Rand sense. For most of the last 10 years, Corporate America has been living on borrowed time with regard to finding sufficient quantities of people to fly on increasingly draconian expense restrictions and decreasing lifestyles due to inflation.

    Heard from a friend that works in IB that some deals can be done via Zoom, albeit in their office wearing their bespoke suits. 

  62. Jenny says:

    Well that’s two hours I won’t get back. I must not be sufficiently geeky. New Mattix movie was ‘meh’. Though I always enjoy NPH. He was less NPH-ee than usual. 
    Keanu seemed a shadow of himself. Nobody seemed all that committed to destroying things or kicking butt. 
    meh. 
     

    The popcorn was good. 

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  63. nick flandrey says:

    I traveled for work every week for years.  One year, 92 flights.  Average year was 150-200 days on the road.

    I wouldn't do that now for any money.

    Family is part of the reason, but the crazy people and non-sense rules, and the misery factor would be the cherry on the sundae.

    There is a serious shortage of people who can go out into the field and solve customer problems, no matter what the industry is.   It was short 10 years ago, and is even shorter now.

    n

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  64. Jenny says:

    @nick

    My dad was on the road most work weeks for years. Seldom home. He was irritable and nasty Sunday nights, I’m sure in anticipation of another week of travel. He fixed Hyster equipment, sold it, rep’d it, trained other mechanics to fix it. He was intelligent, with not much more than an elementary school education (kicked out when he wouldn’t let the Catholic dean beat him for writing with his left hand – knocked out the Dean snd ended his formal schooling).

    Traveling companion constantly for field work is exhausting for the employee and the whole family. 

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  65. lpdbw says:

    I did the consulting thing for 4 years, mostly flying out on Sunday and home on Thursday, trying to fit in 40 or more billable hours into Monday through Thursday noon.  The travel and long hours can be grueling. 

    My kids were grown and I was going through my divorce at the time, so it was close to ideal for that period.  I got lots of frequent flyer miles and hotel points, and I eventually got a girlfriend in Houston, even though I lived near St. Louis.  I could expense tickets to Houston on odd weekends, since it made no difference to the clients where I went when I went "home".  Eventually found permanent work in Houston and moved in with her.  That job ended in June.

    I always thought I'd go back to that in retirement; pick up a couple 3 month contracts each year and coast the rest of the year. Covid killed that.  It was getting harder anyway, that just nailed it.

    Now that my unemployment benefit has ended, it looks like I'm actually retired.  I'll probably start collecting Social Security next Summer.

  66. Greg Norton says:

    Well that’s two hours I won’t get back. I must not be sufficiently geeky. New Mattix movie was ‘meh’. Though I always enjoy NPH. He was less NPH-ee than usual. 
    Keanu seemed a shadow of himself. Nobody seemed all that committed to destroying things or kicking butt. 

    "How I Met Your Father" premieres in January. Hints abound about cameos or the possibility of Neal Patrick Harris' Barney character from the predecessor series being the "father" in question.

    Pam Fryman directed the pilot. I’ll watch regardless.

    Harris was busy across the Atlantic last year. Maybe he was jetlagged

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3fcJ8oRd64

    I assume that you and your husband have already seen "Ghostbusters: Afterlife".

    Something went wrong with the Wachowskis once they changed from being brothers to sisters.

  67. Alan says:

    >> And in other news I am converting my primary desktop to W11. With a week of use on my laptop I have found no show stoppers. So I guess it is time to take the plunge.

    @Ray, this may(?) impact you…

    https://www.windowslatest.com/2021/12/26/microsoft-confirms-another-windows-11-issue-promises-fix-in-a-future-release/

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  68. Pecancorner says:

    Several years ago, probably 10 or 11, wife and I took two exchange students to Washington DC on the Megabus. It was actually a good trip on the bus. Good class of people. Left Knoxville on time, made a couple of stops for food. Certainly beat driving as I was able to sleep. I think we paid $50.00 a ticket as we purchased early. Bus was full. 400 gallons of fuel, I asked.

    Megabus no longer stops in Knoxville as Knoxville wanted tax revenue from Megabus. Which Megabus promptly told Knoxville to stuff and left the market.

    Megabus sounds like a nice option.  I'm glad someone is keeping legitimate bus travel alive.  In Texas, they go Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston. 

    Alas, like Amtrack, they ignore everything outside Metropolis.  Although, Amtrack does at least (some years, depending) stop at some small towns between cities if there is a passenger. 

    When it comes to meaningful transportation, the route schemes all look like the Hilary Archipelago.    Every time I hear ya'll talk about the Left’s ultimate goals for eliminating private automobiles, I can envision "Red America" scraping by like Cuba keeping ancient vehicles alive, while the city dwellers cocoon in their little electromobiles.

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