Wed. Dec. 29, 2021 – ready to see this year in the rear view…

By on December 29th, 2021 in personal, WuFlu

Damp, warm, damp, and wet. And damp.

Went to see Zoo Lights (the zoo dressed up with Christmas lights) last night and got rained on. It was so light that it just felt like heavy humidity.

It was pretty, and nice, and I was surprised by the number of foreigners and people in N95 masks. Because the whole thing is outdoors. Kids bought stuffed animals in the zoo merch store, which is probably one of the main drivers of the event. The ticket revenue doesn’t hurt either, I’m sure. No animals were seen, but there were plenty of ‘organic’ smells. And the lights were nice.

One of my siblings is in town for work, and went with us. I think I’ll just randomly change from him to her, rather than my normal attempts to avoid gender pronouns completely. He’s in town to get a new office for her firm set up here. I only mention it because she’ll be here for a few months, and I’m bound to mention him from time to time. I don’t normally use gendered pronouns to avoid outing any of my family. I’ll eventually burn for something I write here, but there isn’t any need to attract attention to family. My mom lived with my dad for 55 years, and put up with all the stuff he said, so I don’t worry too much about her, plus, she’s retired and doesn’t share my name. Anyway.

Spent the day doing my accounting for my client, answering calls from the controls guy, and getting my invoicing in order. Might be a bit much for venmo… I forgot how many days I’ve been over there. I’ll find out later today, I guess.

Also took a call from my insurance company. They are still looking to avoid paying on the claim from October when I hit the parked car. I thought they would have paid by now. It sure would have been a lot simpler if I’d just given the guy a couple hundred bucks. Might have been cheaper too if they raise my rate as a consequence. Another thing to “wait and see.” The bummer is that I won’t know if the inevitable increase is due to inflation or making the claim.

I need to get to the grocery store. Dang kids have drained every drop of my soda from the fridge and the shelves. I don’t buy it because I like soda, I buy it to carefully dispense caffeine and adjust my blood:caffeine ratio. It’s always something. Hey, maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll have meat on sale again. That would be nice, even if I don’t have any freezer space left. If the deal is good, I’ll FIND space.

Because I think food might be in shorter supply sometime soon. And I like to eat.

So I’ll be adding to the food stacks. And the gardening stacks. And the other stacks, all while trying to get rid of the inventory stacks. Quite the juggling act. You guys only have to do half of that- just keep stacking.

nick

82 Comments and discussion on "Wed. Dec. 29, 2021 – ready to see this year in the rear view…"

  1. drwilliams says:

    " Dang kids have drained every drop of my soda from the fridge and the shelves. I don’t buy it because I like soda, I buy it to carefully dispense caffeine and adjust my blood:caffeine ratio. "

    You need a back-up supply in a locked cabinet. Box labeled "Dead Spider Parts" " Dehydrated Liver" or similar.

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  2. Greg Norton says:

    It was pretty, and nice, and I was surprised by the number of foreigners and people in N95 masks. Because the whole thing is outdoors.

    A large number of people want to live masked up 24/7/365. The pandemic indulges their psychoses. At the previous previous job, the Health and Safety guy was a huge germophobe. He must be in heaven right now.

    The upside of masks outside still being so prevalent is that you have an easy way to identify the stupid and/or mentally ill.

    When I see the grocery getter drivers masked up sitting at the light in their X5 without anyone else in the car, I know to give that vehicle a wide berth. It is the equivalent of how I used to regard FAMU Rattler plates on a 3-series on the freeway in Tampa 20 years ago.

    Why is it always BMWs?

    I’m guessing X3 or Z4 with this woman, the leather interior destroyed by cigarettes.

    https://nypost.com/2021/12/27/video-shows-karen-slapping-passenger-in-delta-flight-tirade/

  3. SteveF says:

    I think I’ll just randomly change from him to her, rather than my normal attempts to avoid gender pronouns completely.

    Wouldn't it be better (or at least more entertaining) to refer to your sibling as zir? Or avoid pronouns entirely, as you said, by referring to the sibling only as The Furry. "The Furry is in town for a few months to set up a new office for The Furry's company." If The Furry objects to being referred to as The Furry, ask, "Oh, am I touching on a secret that I didn't know about?" Entertainment!

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  4. Pecancorner says:

    " Dang kids have drained every drop of my soda from the fridge and the shelves.

    ….

    You need a back-up supply in a locked cabinet. Box labeled “Dead Spider Parts” ” Dehydrated Liver” or similar.

    LOL!  When Paul and I married, my three sons were pre-teens. The first time he encountered "they ate it ALL they ate EVERYTHING", I told him to hide anything he wanted to save. He was very indignant:  "We are not the kind of people who hide food from our family." HaHa!  Needless to say, that did not last and he became a food-hider with the best of us. 😀

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  5. Greg Norton says:

    Wouldn't it be better (or at least more entertaining) to refer to your sibling as zir? Or avoid pronouns entirely, as you said, by referring to the sibling only as The Furry. "The Furry is in town for a few months to set up a new office for The Furry's company." If The Furry objects to being referred to as The Furry, ask, "Oh, am I touching on a secret that I didn't know about?" Entertainment!

    Risky in Texas. There is a large group of very wealthy TAMU alums who are into the Furry subculture. I see them at cons all the time, regardless of show theme.

    The longstanding rumor is that Robert Francis is into the subculture as well.

    Future Vice President of the United States? I wonder what he chose as his "spirit animal".

  6. Greg Norton says:

    The new job announced yesterday that the planned reopening of their large local facility on Jan. 3 isn't going to happen. Reopening has been postponed to a later date.

    My enthusiasm has waned a bit as a result. This is the second place I've had to start fresh since the pandemic started, and just getting access set up to the development servers is once again challenging. Above all else, I hate being unproductive.

    Regardless, I definitely needed a new gig. Take a look at the Advisory Board at the (now) previous job.

    https://lookingglasscyber.com/about-us/advisory-board/

    Clapper. Crowell. I'm sure the other people had deep state ties as well. In my own defense, I needed the paycheck and nobody yelled … for the most part.

    Yes, Crowell. His think tank was the first to suggest using the 25th Amendment to remove the previous President IIRC. Even if it wasn’t, they were among the leading proponents of the legal theory.

    The new place is a good resume entry that will make people ignore the trainwrecks of my time in the Northwest and my post-grad school employment with the possible exception of CGI.

    CGI was just a cr*ppy job. Out of control personalities were squelched, but only after people left.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    Mr. Greg's prediction:

    The Senator Who Could Rescue Biden’s Agenda

    Vice President Mittens.

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  8. Greg Norton says:

    Vice President Mittens.

    No. That would never fly with the Dems because he still answers to the Elders. Touchdown Jesus got his first Supreme Court seat, the Payola Seat, with Mittens’ vote, and I’m sure it was part of a complicated deal about which we will never know the full details.

    My prediction is a nomination for Vice President John Kerry with Mittens' support. Murkowski might go along too.

    Kerry and Tay-ray-sah would be told to not even think about 2024. Nelson Rockefeller redux.

    Of course, this all assumes Stretch would want to give up her place in succession with the VP chair empty.

    And the scenario only works until next November. All bets are off if the House and/or Senate change hands. We may not see a VP until 2025 if Biden lasts until next January 1.

  9. MrAtoz says:

    Kerry is Cankles 2.0. He isn't going anywhere. Too long out of office. Too rich. Too arrogant.

  10. MrAtoz says:

    What the Hell:

    Report: 150+ Killed by Suspects on Bond in Harris County, TX

    Let's go Houston!

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  11. MrAtoz says:

    Activate Virtual Signal:

    Marisa Tomei reveals that she pushed for her Spider-Man character to embark on a lesbian relationship

    I guess she needs a new kid after Spidey. Idiot.

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  12. ech says:

    Another worthless pol that made millions off his office.

    They just decided to rename the Las Vegas airport after him. My friends there, from left to right politically, are disgusted.

  13. Greg Norton says:

    Marisa Tomei reveals that she pushed for her Spider-Man character to embark on a lesbian relationship

    I guess she needs a new kid after Spidey. Idiot.

    The long standing rumor in Hollywood is that Tomei's Oscar was a mistake, with Warren Beatty reading the wrong name off of the card that night 30 years ago. Tomei was good in “My Cousin Vinny”, but the widely held belief was her nomination had more to do with ties to Bill Cosby and “A Different World” than Academy members being enthralled with her performance.

    If I had regular work as a 57 year-old actress right now, I'd keep my friggin' mouth shut.

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  14. Ray Thompson says:

    Memo to self:

    After handling squirrel proof bird food coated in hot sauce, wash hands thoroughly, multiple times, before handling the junk to piss. That is all.

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  15. Greg Norton says:

    Looking at the wonky HDMI port on my junk drawer graphics card, I didn't see any issues with the solder or dust in the connector.

    The crazy thing is that the port was never used until the last few weeks, the card spending the better part of a decade in my primary desktop with a monitor or KVM switch plugged into the VGA port.

    Ah, well, as I said, I have a work around. The chip, a GT 240, was iffy even when new. I bought it when I was broke in Vantucky and needed a card to play Starcraft II. DirectX support stops at whatever was current in 2010.

  16. Greg Norton says:

    Geesh. 50 years.

    I know that "Emergency" has a special event planned in 2022 at the LA County Fire Museum, where the trucks currently reside. I'm on their email list since seeing the vehicles from the TV show is one of the things I want to do the next time we are in LA.

    https://www.metv.com/lists/10-superb-seventies-tv-shows-turning-50-years-old-in-2022

  17. MrAtoz says:

    Scotty Kilmer is talking about Tesla repairs on his YT channel. It take 3-6 months to get parts because Tesla is using every part to build cars. Nobody else has parts. Something to think about.

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  18. nick flandrey says:

    My dad was a volunteer firefighter for our little community when I was growing up.  Emergency! made that very cool, and I loved hanging around the fire house.

    "start an IV with D5W and Ringers Lactate"….

    Loved that show.

    n

  19. nick flandrey says:

    Well, I don't have the chinaflu but I have something.   Been coughing occasionally for a week or more.  Blowing nose more, vague almost headache, tightness in chest.  Just not feeling great.   

    Was negative last week.   was negative last night.   Slept in a bit extra today. 

    Feel like I could sleep some more but I don't feel bad enough to miss the work time.

    80 and 80 today with overcast and occasional sun.

    n

  20. MrAtoz says:

    Was negative last week.   was negative last night.   Slept in a bit extra today.

    CDC Director Walensky says there is no requirement for a test after isolation because PCR tests can stay positive for up to 12 weeks.

    Thank you, goobermint hack. The goalposts are moving on a daily basis, now.

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  21. Greg Norton says:

    My dad was a volunteer firefighter for our little community when I was growing up.  Emergency! made that very cool, and I loved hanging around the fire house.

    "start an IV with D5W and Ringers Lactate"….

    Loved that show.

    Prior to "Emergency" the number of paramedic programs in the country could be counted on one hand. *Huge* impact in culture, and, IIRC, it only lasted a few seasons before being relegated to occasional TV movie events.

    The last great series from Jack Webb’s Mark IV. Webb had another run at “Dragnet” planned before he died.

    Sadly it looks like the 50th anniversary event at the museum is delayed. When you get much beyond the 45th anniversary of a TV show or movie, too many people have passed for something like that to be relevant, but, a lot of the cast is still alive.

    Bobby Troop and Julie London passed in 1999 and 2000, respectively, but I saw a recent interview with Robert Fuller. The rest were fairly young in 1972. Kevin Tighe and Randolph Mantooth are still around.

    And "Star Trek" fans take note — long before Eugene Bradford on "Days of our Lives", John DeLancie got his big break as a doctor in the "Emergency" TV movies which wrapped the series after the weekly show was cancelled.

  22. Alan says:

    >> You need a back-up supply in a locked cabinet. Box labeled "Dead Spider Parts" " Dehydrated Liver" or similar.

    "Live Spider Parts" would be even better.

    Also, you could stack some caffeine pills for 'no soda' emergencies.

  23. nick flandrey says:

    I've got some caffeinated gum, powdered iced tea, and a powdered drink called "Sparkle" that is mostly caffeine…for emergencies.   I can get a pick me up if I need to, but I prefer the metered dose of habit.

    The inconsiderate wretches will drink the last can without telling me, so I don't even know it's out.

    n

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  24. nick flandrey says:

    CDC gets it SERIOUSLY wrong: Agency significantly revises estimate of Omicron prevalence in U.S. and now says it was only responsible for 23% of all new cases in mid-December – NOT 73%

    • The CDC revised a chart showing the prevalence of the Omicron variant in the US, cutting the number of cases involving the new strain by half
    • The Omicron variant accounted for 23 percent of all cases in the week ending on December 18, as opposed to the 73 percent the agency initially reported
    • The Omicron variant accounted for 59 percent of all new cases for the week ending on December 25 
    • The Delta variant has been accounting for far more infections than the agency initially thought
    • The revision comes as the US breaks its record for daily COVID-19 cases, with a seven-day average of 254,496 cases reported on Tuesday 
    • The country's previous record was about 251,989 daily cases, reported on January 11, 2021

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10353373/CDC-slashes-estimate-Omicrons-prevalence-50-23-cases.html

    –that's what happens when you just pull numbers out of your @ss.  You can call it 'modelling' but it is really just guesses and armwaving.

    n

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  25. Clayton W. says:

    –that's what happens when you just pull numbers out of your @ss.  You can call it 'modelling' but it is really just guesses and armwaving.

    But WHICH set of numbers is wrong?    ALL the data supports Omicrom being a nothing-burger, so the hype on it has got people laughing and ignoring the rules.  If TPTB goes back to 'deadly' Wuhan Flu, maybe people will be scared again.

    Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf?  Nobody believes him.  Him being CDC, NIH, and especially Mr. Fauci.

  26. drwilliams says:

    The number snafus are intentional. It makes it impossible for any accurate after the fact assessments of the validity of any policies or actions. 

    They think. There’s no way any of these ash-holes wont spill their guts at the sight of a properly equipped questioner. 

    And if they keep pushing this vaccinate the children nonsense and create the deaths and damage that the actual science predicts, there’s going to be a whole lot of parents volunteering to be hands on help. 

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  27. lynn says:

    Dilbert: Target Market
    https://dilbert.com/strip/2021-12-29

    Ah, somebody read “Flowers For Algernon”.
    https://www.amazon.com/Flowers-Algernon-Daniel-Keyes/dp/015603008X/

  28. Greg Norton says:

    Ah, somebody read “Flowers For Algernon”.'

    Or Adams dealt with a proto Scrum Master before being cut loose from PacBell.

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  29. lynn says:

    Over The Hedge: Can One Ever Eat Too Much Pie ?

       https://www.gocomics.com/overthehedge/2021/12/29

    No.

  30. Alan says:

    >> Was negative last week.   was negative last night.   Slept in a bit extra today. 

    Hmm…

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-19-rapid-home-tests-may-not-be-as-good-at-detecting-omicron-variant-as-prior-strains-fda/

  31. lynn says:

    "China Unhappy Its Space Station Had to Dodge SpaceX Starlink Satellites"

        https://www.pcmag.com/news/china-unhappy-its-space-station-had-to-dodge-spacex-starlink-satellites

    "The Chinese space agency complained to the UN about two evasive maneuvers required to avoid 'close encounters' with orbiting Starlink devices."

    The first of many complaints. Wait until Musk gets 42,000 satellites up there. And now that we know Starlink is a sponsored DOD project, anything goes. Especially if the DOD moves GPS over to Starlink.

        https://www.militaryaerospace.com/home/article/14214826/eyes-in-the-sky-todays-military-satcom

  32. nick flandrey says:

    Well, got my known traveler number for preCheck.

    Got email that my insurance settled the claim for me hitting the parked car.  I wonder if the left hand knows what the right is doing? or if they actually closed it the day after telling me they didn't have everything they needed?

    n

  33. drwilliams says:

    What are the odds that some of those Starlink/DOD satellites have components that look amazingly like miniature Rods of Thor?

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  34. lynn says:

    The inconsiderate wretches will drink the last can without telling me, so I don't even know it's out.

    n

    Just wait until they start driving.  You will walk out to your truck and find the gas gauge BELOW empty.  "Didn't you notice that you were on empty ?".  "No ?".  "Really".  "Where did you drive to, I filled up the tank two days ago".  "Just to a friends house across town".

    And then you sweat the drive to the nearest gas station going dont run out, dont run out.

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  35. Brad says:

    Apparently there isn't a lot of evidence that the Chinese had to dodge anything. It is not unlikely that they (among other totalitarian governments) are displeased that their citizens might have access to an uncensored internet.

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  36. lynn says:

    "Vacationing Biden Is Considering COVID Vaccine Mandate for Domestic Travel"

        https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/12/vacationing-biden-considering-covid-vaccine-mandate-domestic-travel/

    Just forget about that little thing called the USA Constitution, you dictator wannabe.

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  37. Greg Norton says:

    Got email that my insurance settled the claim for me hitting the parked car.  I wonder if the left hand knows what the right is doing? or if they actually closed it the day after telling me they didn't have everything they needed?

    Everyone is "working" from home this week. In most non IT jobs, this means running errands unless they are pinged in Slack/Teams. Email is an overnight response thing anymore in my experience.

    Teams is more likely since it is monitored by HR in most large companies.

  38. SteveF says:

    Apparently there isn't a lot of evidence that the Chinese had to dodge anything.

    It's a safe assumption that every word coming from a totalitarian government is a lie.

    That certainly is the case with the US federal government, as well as the state governments of New York, Illinois, and California.

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  39. Geoff Powell says:

    @brad:

    Apparently there isn't a lot of evidence that the Chinese had to dodge anything.

    I have seen Twitter posts from the "clandestine satellite" observing community that provide what I believe is good evidence of 2 instances of manoeuvring by the Chinese space station, at times that match the Chinese claims. These are based on observations of Doppler shift on telemetry transmissions, and through them calculations of orbital parameters. Check out @planet4589 and @coastal8049, among many others.

    In short, I believe the Chinese claims. And remember, His Muskiness is arrogant, and has derided opposition to his plans. "How dare they.. How very dare they complain about what I do."

    Not to mention that Starlink satellites don’t have much, if any, manoevring delta-v capability. And there are a lot of them.

    G.

  40. Ray Thompson says:

    Spousal unit has tested positive for Covid. We have to quarantine for 5 days, or whatever number the CDC rolls on the dice of the day. I have no symptoms. Wife I guess has some. She always has some symptom of something.

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  41. Greg Norton says:

    That certainly is the case with the US federal government, as well as the state governments of New York, Illinois, and California.

    WA State. Oregon. Kentucky. Maryland.

    Virginia is still in flux.

    Plus city governments in anti-vax states where the Locust Class have descended: Austin, San Antonio, Harris County. Orlando. Miami. Tampa.

  42. Greg Norton says:

    Spousal unit has tested positive for Covid. We have to quarantine for 5 days, or whatever number the CDC rolls on the dice of the day. I have no symptoms. Wife I guess has some. She always has some symptom of something.

    I had adult onset Chicken Pox at 27. Among the symptoms pre-break out is a feeling of malaise, but working at GTE, I felt that way 24/7 so we didn't suspect anything until I got a couple of pox on my face one night, which, initially, even my wife thought was one of my strange acne manifestations.

    The pox did not itch and I did not have a fever. We didn’t get an official diagnosis until we went to a walk-in clinic for Differin, which was still prescription at the time.

    Before anyone asks, no, the vaccination was not approved until that same year, and I was told not to get the shot due to PEG issues. The pediatricians in the US fought that shot for nine years, citing that ingredient being more dangerous than a kid simply getting the disease.

    Interestingly, one of the key ingredients in the Covid mRNA shots is PEG, used to coat the gene strands to protect them during injection into the muscle.

    Another interesting factoid is that David Kessler finally got the Varicella vax approved during his tenure as head of the FDA, pushing through the pediatricians reluctance over PEG. Guess who got called out of retirement back in January as Biden started assembling his advisory team to get the mRNA shots approved outside of EUA.

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  43. lynn says:

    Apparently there isn't a lot of evidence that the Chinese had to dodge anything. It is not unlikely that they (among other totalitarian governments) are displeased that their citizens might have access to an uncensored internet.

    There are three actors with proven anti-satellite capability: the Russians, Chinese, and USA.  Certainly the Russians and Chinese are upset that their anti-satellite weapons have been obsoleted.

    And if DOD moves GPS to Starlink then that really affects the Chinese first hour of the war plans.  Shooting down the eventual 42,000 Starlink satellites is much harder than shooting down the GPS satellites.

  44. lynn says:

    Not to mention that Starlink satellites don’t have much, if any, manoevring delta-v capability. And there are a lot of them.

    Each of the Starlink satellites has five years worth of maneuvering propellant with Hall thrusters (ion) and an automatic anti-collision program.

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

  45. nick flandrey says:

    With that many sats in orbit, plus any competing systems, there is no way to avoid collisions, especially when they are intentional.  I don't have the link handy, but someone proved they could do that.

    n

  46. nick flandrey says:

    Um, do the chinese not have slanted eyes?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10349881/Advertisements-draw-flak-China-Asian-stereotypes.html

    n

    added- and that's pretty funny from some of the most racist and xenophobic people on the planet.

  47. SteveF says:

    and that's pretty funny from some of the most racist and xenophobic people on the planet

    It's an endless source of amusement to listen to them when they don't think I understand any Mandarin.

    I'm sure I'd find much the same if I understood more than a few words of Tulagu or Hindi. I'm pretty good at reading body language and intonation and such and I'm damned sure that the Indian Mafia, as a former coworker put it, is talking shit about Americans, whites, Chinese, and anyone not-them while at work.

  48. Greg Norton says:

    added- and that's pretty funny from some of the most racist and xenophobic people on the planet.

    Do a Google search on the history of the popular SE Asian toothpaste brand Darlie, now a P&G brand. I remember seeing it on a shelf in Little Saigon in Orlando in the early 90s under the original name/logo, and I regret not buying a tube just to prove that I wasn't nuts.

    Remember, some things cannot be unseen.

    Closer to home, the Chinese inlaws vote Prog — one even works for Perkins Coie! — but are fond of the word "colored" to describe African Americans. I caught the "boss" cousin using the word twice on separate occasions, and he turned beet red both times — as red as he imagined my neck to be.

  49. nick flandrey says:

    Chinese like light colored skin.  Consider darker skin to be low class.  Hence the lightening creams, rice powder makeup, and  aversion to sunlight (giant hats when outside).

    n

  50. SteveF says:

    but are fond of the word "colored" to describe African Americans

    I don't see why that would be objectionable to any rational human being. "Colored" is the same as "People of Color", the currently acceptable euphemism.

    Oh. Right. "Any rational human being". OK, so the term would give 90% of everyone a bug up their ass.

  51. nick flandrey says:

    I tried to save the newspaper in 2000 when I was in Abu Dhabi, "Gore Licks Bush", but the hotel maid threw the whole stack of papers away when cleaning one day.

    Good times.

    n

    (getting the hotel disposable version of a prayer rug and robes when I ordered breakfast off the arabic side of the room service menu was fun too.  Like a turn down service for muslims.)

  52. nick flandrey says:

    Invoiced almost $9K today.  Gotta leave some for the new year.

    n

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  53. nick flandrey says:

    and who knows, the pig might learn to sing….

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10352769/Friendly-family-mans-50-year-secret-He-fugitive-too.html

    Outlived the money and the manhunt.

    n

  54. lynn says:

    I just released version 16.12 of our chemical engineering process simulation software.  Who says that this is dead week ?  I just sent out notices to a thousand users that there was a new release.  Almost a hundred of them replied with "I am on vacation" notices.

    I am incredibly slowly porting our 850,000 lines of Fortran 77 code in the calculation engine to the newest Intel Fortran compiler.   This is my third attempt to try to move to this compiler, the other two attempts ran into compiler bugs and I gave up.  At this rate I expect to start testing in February.  I have never had a compiler or platform port last more than two weeks including testing but this compiler has significant code verification in it and is turning up bad coding all over the place.

  55. ech says:

    “ALL the data supports Omicrom being a nothing-burger, so the hype on it has got people laughing and ignoring the rules.”

    There are two possible problems, one of which has happened.

    First, given how transmissible it is, if too many people get it at once, even with a smaller hospitalization rate, it might overwhelm hospital ICU, especially in small towns. Big cities have a lot of surge capacity, small towns have effectively none. This might happen in the next two weeks, keep an eye on the UK, who are a few weeks ahead of us.

    Second, and this is happening, large ERs are getting jammed with people wanting COVID tests. A niece of The Good Doctor is an RN in a big ER in NOLA. They are begging people not to come there for tests. Wait times for the tests can be as high as 20 hours, since they go to the back of the line to be seen. And if you don’t have COVID, hanging out in an ER is a way to get it.

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  56. lynn says:

    "The Thrall of Hypno (Perry Rhodan #20)" by Clark Darlton, translated by Wendayne Ackerman
       https://www.amazon.com/Thrall-Hypno-Perry-Rhodan/dp/B0006WT706/br?tag=ttgnet-20 />

    Book number twenty of a series of one hundred and twenty-six space opera books in English. The original German books, actually pamphlets, number in the thousands. The English books started with two translated German stories per book and transitioned to one story per book with the sixth book. The German books were written from 1961 to present time, having sold two billion copies and even recently been rebooted. I read the well printed and well bound book published by Ace in 1972 that I had to be very careful with due to age. My copy is a second edition from 1974. I bought an almost complete box of Perry Rhodans a decade or two ago on ebay that I am finally getting to since I lost my original Perry Rhodans in The Great Flood of 1989. In fact, I now own book #1 to book #101, plus the Atlan books.
       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry_Rhodan

    BTW, this is actually book number 27 of the German Pamphlets. There is a very good explanation of the plot in German on this website of all of the PR books. There is automatic Google translation available for English, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, French, and Portuguese.
       https://www.perrypedia.de/wiki/Im_Banne_des_Hypno

    In this alternate universe, USSF Major Perry Rhodan and his three fellow astronauts blasted off in a three stage rocket to the Moon in 1971. The first stage of the rocket was chemical, the second and third stages were nuclear. After crashing on the Moon due to a strange radio interference, they discover a massive crashed alien spaceship with an aged male scientist (Khrest), a female commander (Thora), and a crew of 500.

    Perry Rhodan has run the mutant master from Earth to Mars. The mutant master used the three New Power destroyers that the mutant master stole to build a base and transport himself and several of his mutants. And, the mutant master has a secret mutant who can breach force shields.

    One has to remember that this book was written in German in 1962 and translated to English in 1972. Many items that came about in the 1970s and beyond such as cell phones are not reflected in the book. However, commercial aircraft commonly traveling at Mach 3 are not available to the public as talked about in the book. Niels Bohr's saying "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future" comes to mind.

    Two observations:
    1. The publisher should have put two to four of the translated stories in each book. Having two stories in the first five books worked out well. Just having one story in the book is too short and would never allow the translated books to catch up to the German originals.
    2. Anyone liking Perry Rhodan and wanting a more up to date story should read the totally awesome "Mutineer's Moon" Dahak series of three books by David Weber.
       https://www.amazon.com/Mutineers-Moon-Dahak-David-Weber/dp/0671720856/br?tag=ttgnet-20 />

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars (3 reviews)

  57. ech says:

    "Especially if the DOD moves GPS over to Starlink."

    There are technical reasons why this won't work. And the mass of the atomic clocks in the GPS satellites is considerable. Plus, at Starlink altitude, you are very susceptible to ASAT attack.

    "What are the odds that some of those Starlink/DOD satellites have components that look amazingly like miniature Rods of Thor?"

    Zero. There is no way that it would fit or be deployed without testing.

    The Starlinks that came near the Chinese station were ones that were being deorbited. Starlink currently operates at an altitude above the Chinese station, so they might pass on the way down. There was a previous incident when a Starlink approached an EU satellite on the way down without notice. Starlink said there was a problem getting a notification email to the right people in the EU.

  58. lynn says:

    "Especially if the DOD moves GPS over to Starlink."

    There are technical reasons why this won't work. And the mass of the atomic clocks in the GPS satellites is considerable. Plus, at Starlink altitude, you are very susceptible to ASAT attack.

    "SpaceX’s Starlink satellites could make US Army navigation hard to jam"
    "New research shows Elon Musk’s broadband network could work as an alternative to GPS"
        https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/28/1008972/us-army-spacex-musk-starlink-satellites-gps-unjammable-navigation/

  59. lynn says:

    "LastPass users warned their master passwords are compromised"

        https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/lastpass-users-warned-their-master-passwords-are-compromised/

    Sigh.  Another day, another cloud app getting hacked.

  60. lynn says:

    "The 10 Worst Things About Windows 11"

        https://www.pcmag.com/news/the-10-worst-things-about-windows-11

    "Microsoft’s latest operating system gets praise for its clean design and improved performance, but some users are finding fault with its feature limitations. Here's what people hate most about Windows 11."

    "1. Windows 11's Hardware Requirements Are Too High
    2. Changing Default Apps in Windows 11 Is Too Hard
    3. You Have to Sign in to a Microsoft Account to Use Windows 11 Home edition
    4. Windows 11's Start Menu Is Less Usable Than Windows 10's
    5. Window's 11's Taskbar Is Less Helpful Than Windows 10's
    6. Windows 11 "Forces" You to Use the Edge Browser
    7. Windows 11 Ditches the Action Center, and Its Replacements Stink
    8. Windows 11 Is a Step Backward for Tablets
    9. You Still Need Third-Party Antivirus With Windows 11
    10. Windows 11 Is Not Innovative"

    I am going to wait a year or two before upgrading.

  61. nick flandrey says:

    Which sounds like another failure of messaging.  What is driving the people into the ER for tests?  Fear of omicron?  Which is reported to be much milder with almost no deaths?  And yet we get the constant drumbeat of fear.

    Like in NYFC, why on earth would you stand in a line in the cold with sick people for hours to get a test?  Unless you were herded that way, driven like cattle.  Most people have no reason to get a test right this minute, and NYFC with vaxpass required has even less reason to get a test than someone who needs a negative to do something like fly.

    I must be missing something because it doesn't make sense to me.

    n

    6
  62. JimB says:

    Went to Mission Viejo for Christmas as usual. Observations: California has an indoor mask mandate from December15 through January 15. High percentage of people wearing masks in indoor public places, probably 90%. Probably at least 10% had their noses uncovered. Very few had their masks down around their throats, but quite a few had big gaps. Probably 20% had N95 type instead of surgical style.

    I made it a point to not wear  a mask in several places, and was only asked once to put one on. That was in the ordering lobby of a fast food place. I politely complied, then promptly took it off when seated in the dining area. I usually wore a mask out of courtesy in small businesses,  but not in large ones. I did not notice any dirty looks from any customers. I was practicing my Jim Rockford "I belong here" attitude, compete with eye contact and a big smile. In other words, slightly more than my usual demeanor.

    Saw a restaurant with a big banner that said We Host Large Parties. Never noticed one of those before, and AFAIK we have no restrictions on party size. Hmm, business did seem slow in some stores, but normal in others.

    As usual, both my wife and I made trips to Costco and several grocery stores. Neither of us noticed any significant shortages. There were well stocked shelves, and what seemed like the usual sales. If I am not in a hurry, I briefly talk to stockers in grocery stores. They often welcome some conversation. They said business seemed about normal for the season.

    Most of my local driving is short trips, and I keep the radio on a news station at low volume, an old habit. Fear stories abounded, but I didn't notice that in the public. Everyone seemed upbeat, in spite of frequent rain. Rain usually makes SoCalifornians grumpy, certainly me.

    That's my snapshot. I may be an optimist, but am also a worrier. Maybe it is raining Kool-Aid.

  63. Greg Norton says:

    Like in NYFC, why on earth would you stand in a line in the cold with sick people for hours to get a test?  Unless you were herded that way, driven like cattle.  Most people have no reason to get a test right this minute, and NYFC with vaxpass required has even less reason to get a test than someone who needs a negative to do something like fly.

    How many of the free home tests handed out by the city/state are showing up on EBay/Amazon?

  64. nick flandrey says:

     @JimB, if nothing else, your report highlights the variation between places, and the need for local intel.

    Thanks.

    n

  65. Greg Norton says:

    I am going to wait a year or two before upgrading.

    Windows 11 is obviously late beta quality, but I think Hollywood forced the issue of getting the OS out in sufficient quantities that the streaming services can pull the plug on earlier versions of Windows.

    Of course, now that Sony proved people will go to theaters to see something good, patching the Windows driver hole driving streaming piracy isn't as critical as it was pre-"Ghostbusters".

    The big question at this point for the studios now dependent on streaming is whether they can deliver something good enough to get people back into theaters. That may require dumping “woke”, however, and even Sony relented, putting a digital download coupon covering the 2016 all-female flick in the $150 DVD/BluRay box set for “Ghostbusters” due on Feb. 1.

  66. JimB says:

    Nick, thanks for the kind words. Left out: besides being a worrier, I am also a bit of a contrarian. I am probably stating the obvious.

  67. Greg Norton says:

    "SpaceX’s Starlink satellites could make US Army navigation hard to jam"
    "New research shows Elon Musk’s broadband network could work as an alternative to GPS"

    Starlink could work as a lower resolution backup in theory, but I imagine that the frequencies the satellites broadcast are much higher than the portion of the spectrum reserved for GPS. Isn't the ground station receiving antenna bulky?

  68. SteveF says:

    Fear of omicron?  Which is reported to be much milder with almost no deaths?  And yet we get the constant drumbeat of fear. … I must be missing something because it doesn't make sense to me.

    Can't have mail-in voting in November, 2022, if people aren't too scared to leave their homes.

    1
  69. SteveF says:

    I am also a bit of a contrarian

    No, you aren't.

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  70. JimB says:

    Ooh, SteveF, that is a high compliment indeed!

  71. RickH says:

    , SteveF, that is a high compliment indeed!

    Did you mean that perhaps many of SteveF's comments are made while high?

    1
  72. JimB says:

    "Did you mean that perhaps many of SteveF's comments are made while high?"

    Of course not. …but now that you mention it… No, never! :->

    1
  73. Ray Thompson says:

    Here's what people hate most about Windows 11

    I have been using W11 for several days now with no issues. The start menu is easily fixed with a cheap software package. Taskbar issues, alignment mostly, are easily resolved with settings. Windows Defender is still there so I don't see the need for third party AV, many of which cause their own problems.

    I have not been forced to use Edge. Some sites in fact force me to use Chrome. That is more of a site issue than W11. There is a way to install W11 without using a MS account and instead use a local account. Innovative? Who cares? I get ticked at Apple when they change things, just because, but the industry applauds the change.

    I like the folder icons as they now have color and different designs depending on the folder.

    I think most of the problems is the industry just bitching because they can. Yes, W11 should have been delayed a few months to fix some issues. That was marketing pressure and pressure from the industry.

  74. lpdbw says:

    Travel report, Covid emphasis

    I left Monday morning from Katy, headed for southern Illinois.  The tickle in my throat became a sore throat and cough.  I stopped in Texarkana, worn out, and realized I left my horse-paste at home.  Bummer.

    Next day I figured on driving through, but I got to Poplar Bluff MO and called it a day.  I medicated with coughdrops, diphenhydramine and milk, since I have no lactoferrin.  

    This morning I found a farm & home store with tubes of ivermectin horse paste for $7.99 and I bought 2.  Way cheaper the the last price I saw on Amazon.  About what I paid for it at first.

    I then completed my trip.  Along the way, I discovered that Son #2's girlfriend tested positive on Monday.  This is after hanging out Christmas with Son#3 and his fiancee and my ex and her husband.

    Just got word that Son#3 tested positive, and Son#2 is still waiting on his test result.  Ex and her husband are also positive.  I'm sure most of them are fully vaccinated.  As Michael Eades says, these are vaccine failures, not breakthrough cases.  If you were vaccinated and still got Measles, Mumps, Smallpox or Polio, I'd call that a failure.  Why not the same for covid?

    re: Masks

    Quite the culture shift here in Illinois from Texas.  I went to the pharmacy (for a pulse oximeter and a thermometer) and everyone was masked.  I went to the grocery (for chicken soup) and almost everyone was masked.

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    1
  75. Alan says:

    >> And then you sweat the drive to the nearest gas station going dont run out, dont run out.

    Nah, @nick goes to his Flammables storage cabinet, takes out on of his jerry cans and drains it into the tank. Preps, baby!

  76. SteveF says:

    I still have a gallon in the can for the lawnmower, which I need to use up. If that can was empty, I'd put the empty gas can in the car and drive to the nearest gas station, a mile and a half away. And most likely I'd make the kid(s) who drove the car until below empty come with me so they'd have the pleasure of walking up to three miles.

    In practice, there wasn't a problem with my sons running the car dry and my daughter isn't old enough to drive. Hmm, whom does that leave who would put a car with an empty tank in the driveway? Could it be the same person who goes into the other supplies and uses them up and doesn't tell me?

  77. nick flandrey says:

    Funny, just got back from dinner with my sibling, and MY truck, which we usually don't drive for family outings, was on fumes.  I don't usually let that happen, and honestly can't explain where the 1/4 tank went.

    Made it downtown and back.  I'll fill up tomorrow.  I could refill from storage, but then I'd have to deal with those cans later anyway.  Don't want to mess with all that this weekend.

    Nice dinner out.  Three tables occupied in a place with room for 20 tables inside and the same out.  Bartender, waiter, hostess, and barrista — and keeping the lights on with only 3 tables for dinner.   The food was expensive but not that expensive.  If they don't make most of their money on lunch, they're done for.

    n

  78. Ray Thompson says:

    As Michael Eades says, these are vaccine failures, not breakthrough cases.  If you were vaccinated and still got Measles, Mumps, Smallpox or Polio, I'd call that a failure.  Why not the same for covid?
     

    Good question. Wife is fully vaccinated as am I. Booster too. She still got Covid. I think I have it but don’t give a shirt(-r) about getting tested. The vaccine does not work, marks don’t work. We are being played.

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  79. Alan says:

    >> "Vacationing Biden Is Considering COVID Vaccine Mandate for Domestic Travel"

        https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/12/vacationing-biden-considering-covid-vaccine-mandate-domestic-travel/

    I guess if you're POTUS you can ignore the leash law…

    https://twitter.com/gabrielle_ake/status/1475961322563162112

    – Dogs – It is illegal for dogs to run at large at any time. The City has both a leash law and a pooper scooper law which are enforced.

    https://www.rehoboth.com/beaches-and-parks/rehoboth-beach-rules.html

  80. Alan says:

    >> 9. You Still Need Third-Party Antivirus With Windows 11

    So are folks using something other than Defender? If so, what and why?

    And presume Defender is pretty much the same for 11 vs. 10

  81. Alan says:

    >> Like in NYFC, why on earth would you stand in a line in the cold with sick people for hours to get a test? 

    There's an old joke among people that live in NYFC. "If you see a line, best to get on it as NYers wouldn't waste their time waiting if it wasn't for something good."

    Which brings up this: https://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/06/is-it-on-line-or-in-line/

  82. lynn says:

    >> 9. You Still Need Third-Party Antivirus With Windows 11

    So are folks using something other than Defender? If so, what and why?

    And presume Defender is pretty much the same for 11 vs. 10

    https://www.pcmag.com/news/the-10-worst-things-about-windows-11

    "While acknowledging that Windows Defender has improved greatly over the last few years and that Windows 11 improves security, PCMag security expert Neil Rubenking states that you still need third-party antivirus software. The redubbed Microsoft Defender Antivirus gets mixed results from independent malware testing labs and falls short of the competition in phishing protection."

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