Tues. Jan. 18, 2022 – let’s get this week started…

Cool, windy, clear. 60s? Monday was all those things, getting a bit warmer in the afternoon.

Which mattered not a whit to me, as I was inside all day. Mostly I worked on modeling different remodeling options for this house. There are some that kinda make sense. I’m not sure the “move out for a year while we turn the attic into additional living space” makes sense, but for now, I’m working with it.

Lots of stuff going on in the wide world. Russia, China, and I’m sure someone else are all getting frisky. They see weakness and want to advance their own plans while they can. I think that the ‘someone else’ might be the trigger for whatever comes. Unless it’s just the continued inexorable movement toward war that finally gets there.

Pestilence, famine, war. What does Meatloaf say? “Two outta three ain’t bad.” They ain’t good either.

The need to get ready is always in tension with the inability to ‘time the market’ and be sure of WHEN you need to peak, and the need to live your life KNOWING you won’t get the timing right. Tomorrow is pretty much like today, and yesterday, most of the time, and until it isn’t. Then it’s pretty different in some really important ways, but some things will remain.

You will need to eat, drink, and keep yourself healthy. You will need to defend yourself and your stuff, probably more actively than you do now. You will still need to raise your kids, care for family members, and make a future for yourself and them. You will need to participate in whatever economy and society there is. You will probably need to do things you wouldn’t normally do. You will need to recognize when the old rules stop applying, but remember that eventually they will apply again.

One year? Two years? Five years, or ten. I don’t know, but the world will be a very different place, and not at all like yesterday, after one of those.

Stack it up. For (x+1) values of x.

n

102 Comments and discussion on "Tues. Jan. 18, 2022 – let’s get this week started…"

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    53F and 86%RH  with no sunlight yet to see what the day will look like.  at least the headlines look normal…

    n

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Their overarching characteristic is male arrogance.

    and how does that fit with the Swiss culture of personal reserve?  Or equality of the sexes?

    my only comment was that you can't be humiliated and a hero in the same sentence without a lot of dancing and arm waving.

    n

  3. Denis says:

    What does Meatloaf say? “Two outta three ain’t bad.”

    The last time I was in London for work, I was at a loose end in the evening, so I caught the "Bat out of Hell" Musical on a whim and a cheap ticket from the cut-price ticket booth in Leicester Square.

    It was astoundingly well done. Definitely recommended for anybody who remembers when Meat Loaf's hits were new… or for anybody who needs to hear them for the first time

    https://www.batoutofhellmusical.com/

    Nick, perhaps you can combine the "move out for a year for renovations" goal with the "buy a lake house retreat" goal, and move to the lake house during the attic conversion works? Better than paying rent on a temporary place…

    I certainly agree with moving out of a house where major works are going on. The one time we didn't, despite our better judgement, and purely for lack of funds to rent elsewhere, it was a major nightmare, source of spousal unhappiness, and general PITA. Also, don't fool yourselves into thinking that areas "untouched" by the works can be protected from the dust. With a lot of effort, the dust and dirt can be mitigated, not avoided.

    Otherwise, I can see some blue sky this morning. Squirrels and tits are gamboling, and there is a false promise of Spring in the air. Hard to share in the gloom and doom, even though there are lots of new omicron cases in my entourage, though none so far reported as serious. Some days, one just wants to have a positive outlook.

  4. drwilliams says:

    Their overarching characteristic is male arrogance.

    Sounds like a lot of sports figures, actors, politicians, and poo-throwing monkeys in general. 

    The Australians and the French seem to believe that it’s more important to exercise their power to force kabuki theater than to provide any flexibility in hosting athletes that are going to inject millions int the local economy. Their prerogative.  

    But the proper response of the professional organization is to cancel the tournament if “the state of the emergency” is not ready. 

    Maybe they can get good tv ratings of the nazi vaccine stormtroopers beating grandmas in the streets. 

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  5. Denis says:

    Regarding Paul's Pi-Hole…

    On the local PC mail list the subject of a Pi server for ad blocking came up.  I asked if he had any plans to configure and sell to folks like me that can't do shit+r in Linux.

    So.  For $100 delivered and configured, I now have a Pi-hole.  The thing is stupid small, like four Lucky Strikes small. 

    this is a case of where I would love somebody to do it, in true Pournelle style, so I don't have to, and tell me how.

    Like Nick, my tipping point for "the ads are too intrusive" is YouTube. It baffles me how advertisers don't understand that if they interrupt my viewing pleasure I will only and inevitably detest whatever it is they are trying to sell me.

    I did get as far as buying a mini-pc that was supposed to become a Pi-Hole, and I even installed Pi-Hole on it. Just then a friend needed a PC more than I needed a Pi-Hole, so it got scrubbed, Linux installed, and handed over. I am thinking the time might be come for a retry, but I would love for someone to do the heavy lifting and report on it first, particular how to configure exceptions on the fly…

    Paul, is your guy reliable and willing to post a unit to Europe?

  6. Denis says:

    The Australians and the French seem to believe that it’s more important to exercise their power to force kabuki theater than to provide any flexibility in hosting athletes that are going to inject millions int the local economy. Their prerogative.

    An Aussie friend of mine, fully vaccinated, travelled home as an urgency to see his mother on her death bed. His compatriots interned him in a "quarantine hotel" long enough for her to die, despite knowing of his particular circumstances. I can only imagine how he would have taken the news that an unvaccinated and demonstrably lying foreign entertainer was given an exception where he got none and no sympathy either. I believe the expression is "kinetically"… and he wouldn't have been alone.

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  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    This came in from Ameriprise financial advisors….regarding the general economic outlook for '22.

    Summary

    Virus conditions, inflation pressures and geopolitics remain prominent risks as we enter 2022. However, underlying economic conditions are in sound shape in our view, thus supportive of economic growth as conditions allow. Higher interest rates should help slowly ease inflation pressures, but the Fed could also over-tighten monetary conditions and slow growth more than intended.

    Though our outlook is favorable, this is a transition period for the U.S. economy. Similar periods have historically fostered greater financial market volatility. Consistently meeting with your Ameriprise financial advisor and maintaining a balanced, diversified portfolio should help guide you through this economic period.

    –their outlook for stocks is essentially, "there might be some good cherry-picking opportunities, but watchout, and returns will slow over the year."

    LOTS of weasel language, but a general shift from last quarter towards more caution.

    n

  8. Ray Thompson says:

    Had my hearing exam for the VA. Done at a private audiology clinic as it removes VA bias. The results were not good. My hearing has deteriorated significantly since my last exam about two years ago. That exam two years ago was to finally convince the VA that my hearing loss was real and was due to my time in the service. That got me 10% rating. This latest exam should get me to 20% rating for hearing loss. That will get me to my goal of 50% overall rating.

    This audiologist recommended different ear domes. They made a change, sound is different, not so certain it is better. What was a surprise is she said I really need to have ear molds made and the hearing aids adjusted to the ear molds. Currently the devices are almost invisible, ear molds will be really noticeable. I also suspect a lot less comfortable. I can wear my current devices 16 hours a day without discomfort and barely notice that I have them.

    Audiologist recommended that I schedule with the VA audiology department to get my current hearing aids reprogrammed. VA will not provide new devices, or ear molds, for another two years. Reprogramming and different ear domes will help.

    Between the tinnitus and hearing loss this really sucks.

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  9. SteveF says:

    Otherwise, I can see some blue sky this morning. Squirrels and tits are gamboling, and there is a false promise of Spring in the air.

    I see skies of blue
    And clouds of white
    The bright blessed day
    The dark sacred night
    And I think to myself
    What a wonderful world

    Denis, one good thing about an RPi is that every unit of each model is identical, so if you want to have someone set up a Pi-Hole for you, he can just mail you the SD card and you stick it into any Pi of the same model. Ditto for having someone set up an RPi as a media server or a Denial of Service attacker. In the case of the Pi-Hole, setting up all of your devices can't be outsourced to someone overseas, but it's not that difficult.

  10. Nick Flandrey says:

    From Schneier–

    Fake QR Codes on Parking Meters

    [2022.01.10] The City of Austin is warning about QR codes stuck to parking meters that take people to fraudulent payment sites.

    –don't click on links is still good advice

    n

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  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    Funeral is held for nine children and three adults killed in Philadelphia apartment fire likely caused by child, five, playing with a lighter that ignited a Christmas tree

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10411027/Funeral-services-held-12-killed-Philadelphia-fire.html

    — so not a space heater.  still racism though.  apparently.  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/tenants-no-choice-racism-urban-planning-fuels-high-rate-black-fire-dea-rcna11986 

    –I think he means RACE not RACISM.

    “Racism influences almost every way to die by accident in America, and it has for a long, long time,” said Jessie Singer, a journalist and author of “There Are No Accidents.” “I looked as far back as 1900, and Black people die by accident at a higher rate than white people, all accidents total. Accidents are supposed to be unpredictable, unpreventable events. If that were true, accidental deaths would be randomly distributed across the U.S., but it’s not.”

    –see the straw man?   Accidents are almost always the result of risk taking.  Sometimes the victim is not aware of the risk, because it was taken by  someone else.  Some cultures are more risk-averse than others.  Some have a different time preference.    And some, well, when someone else is paying, they call the shots.

    n

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    @ray, that does suck.  Watching my dad come out of social isolation when he finally got effective hearing aids was pretty incredible.   Save what you can.  Do whatever it takes to hear as well as possible.

    n

  13. lpdbw says:

    Djokovic has mostly learned to put a mask on his arrogance, when giving interviews and such. But the whole incident with Australia – having someone fudge his Covid test (both the date and the result), lying on his immigration form, and then being all insulted when he gets caught? It's all typical of the region. 

    Being a horrid human being does not negate the contribution exposing and fighting totalitarianism.  Larry Flynt is still a hero of free speech, in spite of the fact I believe him to be despicable.

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  14. MrAtoz says:

    Larry Flynt is still a hero of free speech, in spite of the fact I believe him to be despicable.

    He’s also still dead.

  15. MrAtoz says:

    Time to up the shot-clot definition of “fully vaccinated”:

    Israeli trial, world’s first, finds 4th dose ‘not good enough’ against Omicron

    I say go to 10 shots for basic “fully” vaccinated. Then a shot every month for the rest of your miserable COVID infected life.

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  16. Greg Norton says:

    Which mattered not a whit to me, as I was inside all day. Mostly I worked on modeling different remodeling options for this house. There are some that kinda make sense. I’m not sure the “move out for a year while we turn the attic into additional living space” makes sense, but for now, I’m working with it.

    Where would expansion put you in relation to the neighbors' home values and square footage?

  17. nick flandrey says:

    Where would expansion put you in relation to the neighbors' home values and square footage?

    depending on what we decided to do, it might add 800-1200 sqft.   There are other "story and a half" houses in our neighborhood, but few full 2 story houses, and they  are mostly concentrated in one of the other sections of the development.   We're at 2300 ft now, so 3000 – 3500 ftsq.   No uncounted basements in Houston.  We could spend $300K and still get every penny in the house back, based on what the one across the street sold for, and really we'd probably get the $300k and double our initial investment too.  There have been a couple over $700 in the "nicer" section of the development.

    One of my considerations is that if things go the way I expect them to go, I really don't want to be renting with no livable house for the next year or more. 

    n

  18. EdH says:

    this is a case of where I would love somebody to do it, in true Pournelle style, so I don't have to, and tell me how.

    Apropos to that, I saw this comment online the other day:

    ”Before you read this, please understand that I never wanted to write this document, being grossly under-qualified, but I always wanted to read it, and this was the only way.”

    I’m not mocking, I’ve actually had two Pi’s sitting around for over a year, just for this, haven’t gotten around to it.

  19. ech says:

    "Expert at Sheba Medical Center says jab raises COVID antibody levels, but there are ‘still a lot of infections’ among those who received it"

    The report is totally non-quantitative, so we'll see. All evidence to date is that vaccination drastically reduces the chance of hospitalization and death from all variants. The vaccinated that do die have almost all have been those with multiple comorbidities. And being obese doesn't seem to be as significant as some think. It's the other comorbidities that many obese have that are the problem, e.g. diabetes. In addition, those that are vaccinated are infectious for a much shorter period of time and have lower viral loads – and so are less infectious for that time. (This is based on actual measurements of virus in infected people.)

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  20. nick flandrey says:

    Even WHO says just getting more of the same shot isn't productive anymore.

    n

  21. nick flandrey says:

    Finally got TiVo to actually cancel.  I think.  In 10 days I'll know if the charge was reversed.

    They wanted that one last chance to convert me and save the account.  They'd do better if the CSR spoke native english.

    I thought I'd canceled online in early December.  Twice.   And I thought I deleted the card on file.  But they renewed my service for a year and charged the account at the end of Dec.

    The CSR didn't try very hard, but did make the offer of a reduced fee, and then mentioned the free streaming account with their streaming device.  I looked at that, but decided the old roku I have will be fine.  Saved another $40.

    Finally got email saying it's canceled anyway.

    n

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  22. MrAtoz says:

    Finally got TiVo to actually cancel.  I think.  In 10 days I'll know if the charge was reversed.

    TIVO is probably as bad as trying to cancel a SIRIUS/XM account. I think you still need to call in to cancel. The only way to stop auto-renewal on an XM account is to initially pay with a check. Then they just deluge you with snail mail and spam.

  23. ech says:

    My wife needed to look at USB-C chargers 

    Look for Anker ones, not the cheapest, but the best. I have several and they outperformed all others in charge time. I also use their cables, especially for USB-C, as lots of the cheap cables are not well made and can damage your equipment

  24. nick flandrey says:

    Yep, took "Cindi" in Mumbai to actually do it over the phone.

    They pretend you can do it online, but it didn't work for me.

    My old Roku is slow, but I'm not flipping from service to service and it plays back youtube just fine.

    n

  25. ech says:

    So why is a British terrorist in Texas terrorizing us here ?

    The woman that he demanded be released was transferred from the federal prison she was in to a federal hospital prison in Texas.

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  26. nick flandrey says:

    @ech,   funny how that worked.  Anker was one of the cheap chinese brands out of no where back in the day and they've emerged as one of the best non-OEM suppliers of accessories.

    As I take stuff apart and attempt fixes, I'm astounded by how bad the "random almost word" brands are.  Super thin wires, hand soldering, recycled components.  Minimal designs.  Cheap plastics, and cheap boards…

    n

  27. Greg Norton says:

    Look for Anker ones, not the cheapest, but the best. I have several and they outperformed all others in charge time. I also use their cables, especially for USB-C, as lots of the cheap cables are not well made and can damage your equipment

    We've had bad luck with Apple cables and AC adapters.

    Apple doesn't even ship AC adapters with many products now.

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  28. Alan says:

    >> As I take stuff apart and attempt fixes, I'm astounded by how bad the "random almost word" brands are.  Super thin wires, hand soldering, recycled components.  Minimal designs.  Cheap plastics, and cheap boards…

    They gotta make a few cents profit somewhere after Amazon collects their pound of flesh.

  29. JimB says:

    Regarding the Pi-hole, it looks like a good solution to manage undesired traffic. I will watch experience reports here, but probably would not be interested. Just another device to maintain.

    For Denis: About two or three years ago, I was considering a YouTube subscription to avoid the commercials, when a friend suggested the Brave browser. Sure enough, no commercials. Brave somehow allows commercial-free YT. There was one time for about a week that commercials came back, and a lot of people thought that Brave might be colluding with YT to allow commercials. Apparently not, because the commercials again went away, and have been gone since. Highly recommended.

  30. MrAtoz says:

    +1 on Anker chargers and cables.

    The free goobermint COVID kits are now available to order. I did mine:

    https://www.covidtests.gov

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  31. MrAtoz says:

    If you had to:

    Free goobermint COVID tests

    vs

    Free goobermint cheese

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  32. JimB says:

    Came close to buying an Anker charger, but my wife’s and my new Samsung phones came with Samsung chargers. Like my previous experience, these work very well. I also shopped for an inductive charge stand, and after looking at a lot of frogs, spend more for the Samsung brand. They have two models for our phones, a newer one that is buzzword certified as really fast and an older one that is slower and cost less. I opted for the slower ones, and am very happy. We just charge the phones overnight, and speed is not an issue. Still, the longest charge time I have noticed is just a couple hours. Those faster ones have a fan to cool the PHONE; I don’t want a charger that gets my phone hot, especially since it doesn't have a user replaceable battery.

    That non-replaceable battery is a sore point. I don’t look forward to having to send my phone away for a few days to have the battery changed. There is no local place that does that, although I would probably go to a while-you-wait place out of town. A friend buys old phones of various brands from eBay to practice (sometimes) destructive disassembly. He says the newer phones are very challenging to open and close without some level of damage.

  33. Alan says:

    >> The free goobermint COVID kits are now available to order. I did mine:

    https://www.covidtests.gov

    Ordered ours.

    I see they are using usps.com infrastructure for the order processing. Site was very responsive.

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  34. Brad says:

    Regarding the Pi-hole, it looks like a good solution to manage undesired traffic. I will watch experience reports here, but probably would not be interested. Just another device to maintain.

    Possibly more than most people want to deal with, but consider a single device running multiple services. I have a tiny PC – not a raspi, but it could be – running backups, torrents, and Owncloud. It could easily also handle being a DNS server like Pi-hole.

    While that doesn't reduce complexity, really, it does reduce the number of devices.

  35. Geoff Powell says:

    Anker is good kit, albeit I don't see the same chargers you do, since UK has a unique mains plug.

    As far as non-replaceable batteries are concerned, I believe that a battery is a consumable item, and should be changeable by the user, which would allow users to carry spares. Witness the popularity of USB power banks. I blame the fruity firm for this, and their obsession with "thin", plus bandwagon-jumping.

    That said, I retire phones when they go out of software support. I've only retired a phone because of a dud battery once – and that was a BlackBerry, even though you could change the battery. Non-OEM batteries suck dead bunnies.

    @jimb:

    Having a battery charger that provides fan cooling to the connected phone is ridiculous, but the need would be obviated by removable batteries. Like you, I charge my phone overnight, and mostly every other night, at that, because of my usage pattern.

    G.

  36. Alan says:

    >> Came close to buying an Anker charger, but my wife’s and my new Samsung phones came with Samsung chargers. Like my previous experience, these work very well. I also shopped for an inductive charge stand, and after looking at a lot of frogs, spend more for the Samsung brand. 

    I tend to buy -1 or -2 generation phones, usually from Swappa or eBay and I try to buy from private sellers who have the original box, charger and cable. I find it difficult to find OEM chargers on Amazon or eBay that aren't counterfeit and buying direct from the manufacturer can be pricey.

    I've been happy with Nekteck chargers, e.g. https://www.amazon.com/Nekteck-Charger-Foldable-Charging-Compatible/dp/B08786SHXV/

  37. Ray Thompson says:

    We've had bad luck with Apple cables and AC adapters.

    I have never had an Apple charger or cable fail. I do use Anker chargers when traveling as I can plug six cables into one device. Charges my phone, watch, ipad, wife's phone and ipad all at the same time. When in Europe I bring a much smaller device that only charges two devices. Smaller and easier to pack as space is at a premium.

    The free goobermint COVID kits are now available to order

    I also ordered mine. The site does check the address as I tried to order under my wife's name and it said address had been used. I guess USPS is a good choice if an address is to validated as USPS has all the addresses.

    Those faster ones have a fan to cool the PHONE

    It's a gimmick. The device itself controls the charging current and thus the heat. A charger can supply 100 amps but if the device will only use 3 amps, that is all the device will use. All current phones have intelligence to control the charger current and will not overheat or damage the battery.

    I believe that a battery is a consumable item, and should be changeable by the user

    Batteries in my devices have lasted five years easily. I have never had to have one replaced except when Apple did so because of a recall. The replacement was done at the Apple store and the phone suffered no damage. When a phone battery is close to dying in any of my iPhones it is time to replace the entire device.

    Apple doesn't even ship AC adapters with many products now.

    That is to reduce cost, shipping expense and respond to people who complained about landfill waste. I would be OK if Apple did not even provide a cable. I have probably four Apple chargers (which I don't use), and perhaps 10 cables. Cables are cheap, even the ones from Apple are not terribly priced. I have USB-A to Lightning and USB-C to lightning. I have a couple of cables in the truck, a couple in the car, four stashed in the RV along with a multiple outlet charger. I just don't need another charger or cable. Keep the cost down and eliminating the charger is fine with me. People that are replacing Apple devices already have chargers and cables.

  38. Alan says:

    >> As far as non-replaceable batteries are concerned, I believe that a battery is a consumable item, and should be changeable by the user, which would allow users to carry spares.

    Non-replaceable batteries probably make it easier to meet the IP (67, 68) waterproof standards.

    Years ago I helped by son do a screen replacement on a fairly simple smartphone and we barely got everything back together. I couldn't imagine doing the same with a current  smartphone. They seem to be engineered not to be repairable.

  39. Ray Thompson says:

    There have been more than 200,000 Covid-19 deaths among people age 85 and older, according to CDC data

    Uh, 85 and older, death is just a hiccup away. An ingrown toenail would put them over the edge.

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  40. Ray Thompson says:

    Free goobermint COVID tests

    Kits will not ship until the end of January. By then the Covid surge may well be over and cases on the decline. Fauxi will of course have to create/invent/concoct another variant.

  41. Greg Norton says:

    As far as non-replaceable batteries are concerned, I believe that a battery is a consumable item, and should be changeable by the user, which would allow users to carry spares. Witness the popularity of USB power banks. I blame the fruity firm for this, and their obsession with "thin", plus bandwagon-jumping.

    The fruity firm responds to customer demand. Thin plus bigger screens requires adding structure to keep the phone intact if the battery is easy to remove.

    People want their Baby Yoda on the go in the US. That's the priority.

  42. Alan says:

    All about the 'metaverse'…or maybe Nardella finally won all the hands in Freecell…

    https://www.theverge.com/2022/1/18/22889258/microsoft-activision-blizzard-xbox-acquisition-call-of-duty-overwatch

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  43. JimB says:

    Uh, 85 and older, death is just a hiccup away.

    Hey, say that when you get there! I know some 80+ year olds who can mop up the floor with much younger people. I hope to be that way some day. If so, I need to get to work. 🙂

  44. lynn says:

    Where would expansion put you in relation to the neighbors' home values and square footage?

    — depending on what we decided to do, it might add 800-1200 sqft.   There are other "story and a half" houses in our neighborhood, but few full 2 story houses, and they  are mostly concentrated in one of the other sections of the development.   We're at 2300 ft now, so 3000 – 3500 ftsq.   No uncounted basements in Houston.  We could spend $300K and still get every penny in the house back, based on what the one across the street sold for, and really we'd probably get the $300k and double our initial investment too.  There have been a couple over $700 in the "nicer" section of the development.

    One of my considerations is that if things go the way I expect them to go, I really don't want to be renting with no livable house for the next year or more. 

    n

    Good luck in finding a contractor.  There are about eight custom houses from 3,000 ft2 to 12,000 ft2 going up right now in my neighborhood of 450 homes and 530 lots.  People are building new houses and the contractors are fully employed.  Building addons is for the down times.

    And things are going to go pear shaped in June when the Chinese container ships stop arriving for a few months.

  45. Greg Norton says:

    All about the 'metaverse'…or maybe Nardella finally won all the hands in Freecell…

    Hopefully, this means something new in the Starcraft franchise, which really requires a PC with a keyboard/mouse to play effectively.

  46. Greg Norton says:

    Good luck in finding a contractor.  There are about eight custom houses from 3,000 ft2 to 12,000 ft2 going up right now in my neighborhood of 450 homes and 530 lots.  People are building new houses and the contractors are fully employed.  Building addons is for the down times.

    And things are going to go pear shaped in June when the Chinese container ships stop arriving for a few months.

    At some point, the Fed will have to stop buying all of the mortgage paper which will put a crimp in prices. 3% mortgages in a 7+% inflationary environment is a negative rate.

  47. lynn says:

    I have already got the ram and motherboard from Big River for the rebuild of my constantly rebooting file server.  Pretty good for placing my order last night at midnight. I will start building it today using one of the new power supplies and the Be Quiet case that I have in stock.

    I need to buy a lot more stuff, cases, cpus, ram, power supplies, and motherboards.  I need to replace two user PCs fairly soon.  One has a Q6450 with 6 GB of ram and the other has a Q9800 with 8 GB of ram.  Both are fairly slow PCs, especially since we are a Windows 10 Pro x64 shop now and running the 64 bit Act! program just brings a dual core pc to its knees without 16 GB of ram and an SSD.  One of the PCs is so old that it has a 1.44 MB floppy drive in it.

    You know, one would think that a million dollar business would have plenty of money for upgrades but making payroll with eight employees drives my every decision.  And my two largest customers are renewing right now and giving us hell over our pricing.  They both went through divorces in the last two years and we ended up with the weaker business, the hydrocarbon business that supplies 90% of the power needs in the world.  One of them has 40,000 employees and the other has 360,000 employees and they are screaming about every penny.  And I don't work for free.

  48. lynn says:

    So why is a British terrorist in Texas terrorizing us here ?

    The woman that he demanded be released was transferred from the federal prison she was in to a federal hospital prison in Texas.

    Dude, really ? 

    Why is a man who was deported by Britain back to Pakistan for terrorism allowed to take a plane to the USA and land here ?  What good is our terrorism watch list other than to persecute USA citizens with ?

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  49. lynn says:

    The free goobermint COVID kits are now available to order. I did mine:

    https://www.covidtests.gov

    I ordered one also.  Bob used to say if they give out free food in the apocalypse then to show up even if you have 12 person-months of food in the house.  People watch and note who is not there.

  50. SteveF says:

    making payroll with eight employees drives my every decision

    As a former employee of small companies whose owners did not set that priority, I approve!

    What good is our terrorism watch list other than to persecute USA citizens with ?

    To ask the question is to answer it.

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  51. MrAtoz says:

    You know, one would think that a million dollar business would have plenty of money for upgrades but making payroll with eight employees drives my every decision.

    That's why MrsAtoz told X employees they were going to be independent contractors in four months. YMMV. I don't draw a paycheck. She'll just take a bonus if we need moolah.

    2
  52. lynn says:

    Free goobermint COVID tests

    Kits will not ship until the end of January. By then the Covid surge may well be over and cases on the decline. Fauxi will of course have to create/invent/concoct another variant.

    Don't worry, the Chinese lab created the Omega version several months ago.  They are just waiting for the right moment and the right pansy.  Or maybe do the 12 Monkeys approach and send twelve suckers through twelve different airports.

    Is that enough conspiracy crazy for you today ?

  53. SteveF says:

    I haven't laughed this hard in a while…

    Here's a winner of a line:

    The episode was a shocking display of male entitlement.

    Is it a shocking display of male entitlement for me to hope that Kara Alaimo (Lame-o. Perfect.) develops an ovarian cyst which ruptures and kills her after 72 hours of mind-shattering agony?

    even if you have 12 person-months of food in the house.

    Hahahahaha! Those are rookie numbers.

    2
  54. lynn says:

    I haven't laughed this hard in a while…
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/18/opinions/gorsuch-youngkin-maskless-alaimo/index.html

    " Neil Gorsuch sat on the bench maskless (as he also has on other occasions), while his colleague Sonia Sotomayor — who as a diabetic is at higher risk of severe disease if she contracts Covid-19 — participated remotely from her chambers."

    You know, most adults with Type II diabetes will go into remission if they lose weight.  I have had several family members and friends practice this and prove the theory to be a fact.  If Sotomayer would drop 50 lbs, she would probably (I don't know her life situation) drop her risk.  Unfortunately, most of them put the weight back on.

  55. lynn says:

    >> As far as non-replaceable batteries are concerned, I believe that a battery is a consumable item, and should be changeable by the user, which would allow users to carry spares.

    Non-replaceable batteries probably make it easier to meet the IP (67, 68) waterproof standards.

    Years ago I helped by son do a screen replacement on a fairly simple smartphone and we barely got everything back together. I couldn't imagine doing the same with a current  smartphone. They seem to be engineered not to be repairable.

    I gave my son and father the new John Browning biography for Christmas.  One of the points that the biography makes is that thinking in 3D is incredibly difficult and rare.  John Browning usage of small spaces was so revolutionary that the USA military still uses three of his designed and built gubs from over a 100 years ago.  I am fairly sure that reliability, usability, and maintainability are three traits that are incredibly hard to put in a single device, maintainability usually gets thrown out the window first.

        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1982129212//p?tag=ttgnet-20

  56. Greg Norton says:

    They both went through divorces in the last two years and we ended up with the weaker business, the hydrocarbon business that supplies 90% of the power needs in the world.

    Literal divorces? Trophy wives are expensive in many ways. Plus Texas has jury divorces for fault assignment.

    Property settlement is still up to the judge, but the jury, if empaneled, makes a recommendation for the judge to consider.

  57. Alan says:

    New wrinkle in the (only Joe understands) supply chain circus…

    For a while now I haven't been able to find the variety of Pepperidge Farm cookies I like, yet I see their shelves fairly well stocked. I dropped an email to the company asking why and they responded that they have temporarily stopped producing certain varieties so they can use that production capacity to help meet normal demand of their most popular varieties. So no cookies for me until Uncle Joe gets this fixed. [sigh]

    4
  58. MrAtoz says:

    Beau…Beau…:

    Jen Psaki says Biden visits Delaware so often because his son and former wife are buried there

    Remember how the LSM followed tRump everywhere, not following plugs. Remember what the LSM did to Palin? Dooshnozzle moved in next to her. Toobin plays with his tube on Zoom…yawn, give him a raise. Rather lies about Bush…zzz…zzz.

    Psaki is leaving soon. Gee, I wonder where she'll end up? Probably get her own tRump bashing show.

  59. lynn says:

    They both went through divorces in the last two years and we ended up with the weaker business, the hydrocarbon business that supplies 90% of the power needs in the world.

    Literal divorces? Trophy wives are expensive in many ways. Plus Texas has jury divorces for fault assignment.

    Property settlement is still up to the judge, but the jury, if empaneled, makes a recommendation for the judge to consider.

    These are huge companies (360,000 employees and 40,000 employees) that split the companies into two companies.  Future Energy (ie renewables) and Old Energy (reliable hydrocarbons).  I call it a divorce because of the fighting over the bills and who ends up where with what.  The Future Energy companies don't have much income and the Old Energy companies are subsidizing the Future Energy companies.  Very much like a divorce.

    3
  60. Greg Norton says:

    Remember how the LSM followed tRump everywhere, not following plugs. Remember what the LSM did to Palin? Dooshnozzle moved in next to her. Toobin plays with his tube on Zoom…yawn, give him a raise. Rather lies about Bush…zzz…zzz.

    Rather paid a price, but that was back when the networks still had advertisers.

  61. Chad says:

    For a while now I haven't been able to find the variety of Pepperidge Farm cookies I like, yet I see their shelves fairly well stocked. I dropped an email to the company asking why and they responded that they have temporarily stopped producing certain varieties so they can use that production capacity to help meet normal demand of their most popular varieties. So no cookies for me until Uncle Joe gets this fixed. [sigh]

    Kudos to them for responding and with a real answer too. I am impressed.

    Frito-Lay did something similar in 2020 where they shifted their reduced production to their most popular flavors and so the others disappeared off shelves for a while.

  62. lynn says:

    The farmer neighbor who owns the fields next to my office property is plowing his fields diagonally today.  Getting ready for those February plantings, probably cotton this year.

  63. RickH says:

    Went to the local WalMart today. Stock was good in most categories. Cereal was at probably 70% of full.  Sodas (cans and quart/litre bottles) was full. Cracker/cookies was about 70%, with no soda crackers  for several weeks. Chips and bread were full. Some end caps of Campbell's 'fancy' soups at $1.79 each. Paper supplies (TP, paper towels, napkins) were full.

    Didn't look at the grains (noodles, etc) aisle, but it was very sparse last week. Many pallets of stock were waiting for the stockers to get to them. Maybe a dozen of the staff filling online orders.

    Masking is required around here; very few were unmasked.

    Plastic bags at the checkout (heavy duty/reusable/washable) are $0.08 each, as required by WA state law now. I had put a bunch of them in the car prior to the shopping trip. Of course, I left them in the car, as usual.

  64. lynn says:

    New wrinkle in the (only Joe understands) supply chain circus…

    For a while now I haven't been able to find the variety of Pepperidge Farm cookies I like, yet I see their shelves fairly well stocked. I dropped an email to the company asking why and they responded that they have temporarily stopped producing certain varieties so they can use that production capacity to help meet normal demand of their most popular varieties. So no cookies for me until Uncle Joe gets this fixed. [sigh]

    If you like something, buy it now !  When the Chinese Container ships stop showing up in June, the trucks will stop rolling and the shelves will stop filling.  People have been hoarding for two years now and it looks like they may get their justification.

    Of course, 80% ??? of fresh foods come from a 100 mile radius of the grocery stores here in Texas.  Potatoes, onions, lettuce, etc.  I did notice that our honey wheat bread has jumped to $3.12 / loaf price last Sunday.  That is not good.

    My Diet Dr. Pepper 12 packs were in stock finally and $5.46 each. I did not buy any. I am hoping for the 4 for $12.00 sale they run every 6 to 8 weeks.

  65. Greg Norton says:

    You know, one would think that a million dollar business would have plenty of money for upgrades but making payroll with eight employees drives my every decision.  And my two largest customers are renewing right now and giving us hell over our pricing. 

    If you need to send Junior Senior Developer somewhere still within close proximity to the west end of Houston, we are looking for additional developers as the ramp up for this year continues. For now, the job is still remote, but, in theory, we will be back in the building sometime this year.

    There are caveats that I'm slowly learning. Some were immediately obviousl

  66. paul says:

    You know, most adults with Type II diabetes will go into remission if they lose weight. 

    That's what the Market Ticker guy says.

    For what it's worth, I had a fridge in Cash Control because, well, I could and also if I put my lunch in the break room fridge it was usually gone when I went to lunch.  Little cube fridge.  One of the women was rather stout, two, almost three chin rolls with one flap on the elbows, and liked to keep her diabetes kit in my fridge…. because it would be there when she needed it.  As opposed to some a-hole randomly deciding Right Now We have To Clean The Fridge and tossing out everything but a bottle of Ketchup.

    She would waddle around in a not clever way because that's how she was and complain about her feet hurting.  Shrug.  "Drop a hundred pounds girlfriend" went over as well as trying to swim with with a cinder block chained to each foot.

    What jerked my chain was she would eat crap for lunch.  Like WhatABurger with large fries and the monster size soda.  A couple of Snickers.  Chow half way through a big bag of Doritos.  Then need a shot.  Just crazy.

    ruptures and kills her after 72 hours of mind-shattering agony?

    Why just 72 hours?

    Other fun… the pi-hole seems to work great.  What slips through is easy to block with Adblock Plus.  Adblock Plus is not using any filter lists other than my custom filters.  Basically, it's turned off.

    That's an interesting idea of copying the pi's memory card and using that to make another pi-hole.  As long as the hardware is the same.

    Copying is not happening on /this/ PC.  USB seems to have puked.  I can charge my phone but that's all.  The memory card reader does nothing.  DVD drive works but that connects like a hard drive.

    Waking from sleep sometimes works normally.  Sometimes it just goes to black screen.  Sometimes Win7 wakes up to the Desktop but I have no mouse.  Sometimes I do.  Sometimes I have to power cycle three times to get the "pick an option" screen with "start windows normally".

    Flip a coin.

    I need to clear some clutter so I can lay the box over and hopefully blowing out some dust (wasn't much last year) and reseating a few things will fix me.  Because I don't want to buy a new PC.  This one works fine and I don't want W10.  Which leads to Plan B.  Buy a new machine, disconnect the hard drive and plug in my SSD drive.

    Worth a try.

    2
  67. ech says:

    Uh, 85 and older, death is just a hiccup away. 

    Life expectancy for 85 was 6 years, pre-COVID.

  68. lynn says:

    My neighbor five doors down just notified us that he was jumped by three men Monday night at 1135pm when he got home from work.  The men were hidden from his view when he drove up and parked his truck.  The men pistol whipped him and took his wallet and truck.  He sent us a picture of the stitches in the back of his head.  He said he passed out as one of the men yelled that this is not the guy with the "ice", apparently a new name for meth.  There was fourth person driving a car that the three men ran to. 

    4
  69. Nightraker says:

     The men were hidden from his view when he drove up and parked his truck.

    The Argentine prepper author mentioned arriving/leaving home as prime assault time for targeted individuals after his country's financial collapse. A time of considerable distracted focus instead of situational awareness.

    3
  70. lynn says:

    "A.F. Branco Cartoon – Bidenomics"

        https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-bidenomics/

    "This is Biden’s America, empty store shelves, High gas prices, and out-of-control inflation. Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021"

    #BareShelvesBiden at work !

    2
    1
  71. Alan says:

    >>  The men were hidden from his view when he drove up and parked his truck. 

    Do you have an attached garage you can pull into in case they try again?

  72. lynn says:

    I knew that I should have taken the day off today.  The power switch on my new Antec P101 case at the office failed today when I powered my office PC down for a hard shutdown to start the week as I normally do.  It is stuck in the down position.  I looked up Antec on the intertubes but they only have an email support.   I filed a support case but the intertubes says that I will not hear anything from them.

         https://www.amazon.com/Antec-P101-Silent-Performance-Pre-Installed/dp/B07LBXP8KZ//?tag=ttgnet-20

    I switched the power and reset leads on the motherboard for now and that works.  I saw that on the intertubes, excellent suggestion. 

    I would stay away from Antec products, looks like they suck for now.  I have bought 40 or 50 cases plus power supplies from them over the years.

    Well, the intertubes were wrong.  Somebody from Antec support sent me an email last night at 1130pm wanting verification of my address.  I responded and he said that they will send me a new IO panel for my Antec case.  I suspect that the IO panel will be on a slow boat from China though.

  73. lynn says:

    >>  The men were hidden from his view when he drove up and parked his truck. 

    Do you have an attached garage you can pull into in case they try again?

    Nope, I have a detached garage that I park in usually.

    I think that the bad guys were looking to rob a drug dealer and got the wrong address.

    Man, all of my neighbors are freaking out.

  74. lynn says:

    "Teen suspect accused of shooting 16-year-old 22 times was romantically involved with victim, another girl, police say"

        https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2022/01/18/teen-suspect-accused-of-shooting-16-year-old-22-times-was-romantically-involved-with-victim-another-girl-police-say/

    "HOUSTON – Police have arrested the boyfriend of a 16-year-old girl who was fatally shot 22 times while walking her dog in a southwest Houston neighborhood."

    You have got to be kidding me.

    And not many guns have 22 cartridges in them.  That means that he probably had to reload at least once.

  75. lpdbw says:

    All this is good reason to keep your firearm on your person.

    I generally carry a 5 shot .38 Special, but I'm transitioning to my CZ-82 12 round 9mm Makarov.  It's just too likely if I ever need the gun that there will be multiple attackers.

    I'm thinking of  getting a 21st century gun, for weight and better holster selection.  I just don't like AIWB with striker-fired guns and there aren't many good choices for modern lightweight guns with hammers.

  76. Greg Norton says:

    I think that the bad guys were looking to rob a drug dealer and got the wrong address.

    We had neighbors in Florida who I suspect were drug dealers. The hilarious part is that they were really anal about the HOA rules, often siding with the ex-military Bat Guano next door neighbors about protecting that tenbagger dream.

    All cash for the house. No mortgage. Sold at the height of the bubble for about three times what we sold our house for a few years later.

  77. drwilliams says:

    Certify as adult(s)*.

    Trial in seven days.

    Verdict in 24 hours.

    Exhaust all appeals in 30 days.

    Lights out.

    On to the next worthless mf.

    *He got the gun from someone.

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    3
    1
  78. Greg Norton says:

    Man, all of my neighbors are freaking out.

    Your neighborhood is really convenient to the toll road IIRC.

  79. lynn says:

    All this is good reason to keep your firearm on your person.

    I generally carry a 5 shot .38 Special, but I'm transitioning to my CZ-82 12 round 9mm Makarov.  It's just too likely if I ever need the gun that there will be multiple attackers.

    "Aggravated assault. On the 16th at 11:35 pm I was assaulted and robbed by three armed men plus a getaway driver at the edge of my driveway but he didn’t show up until I was already getting beat. The three men were already hiding in my property, I had just gotten home from work and I was getting off my truck when I heard a guy shout, “let me see your hands or I’ll shoot you”. I thought it was my brother playing a joke until he ran up punched me and dragged me out of my truck along with his other friend I was Than beat with their guns I got pistol whipped the whole time until I went unconscious they took my car and truck keys and my wallet at the end before they ran off they shouted “we got the wrong guy let’s get out of here”. (4 men in total, 1 Hispanic, 1 African American, other 2 are unknown, drove a light gray four door car)"

    "I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone I just turned 18 and I’m a guy who has 5 years of boxing 3 years of Brazilian jiu jitsu and 2 years of wrestling I was capable of defending myself but against three armed men I was helpless I had to play it safe and let it happen especially since my parents were inside waiting I didn’t want them coming out and end up getting hurt. Please be safe, be aware of your surroundings. Keep your kids safe and on close watch I would hate for this to happen to someone else. Carry or keep it at your reach."

    3
  80. lynn says:

    Man, all of my neighbors are freaking out.

    Your neighborhood is really convenient to the toll road IIRC.

    Future toll road.  The Grand Parkway (99) is about four miles away from our neighborhood entrance.  Someday they will convert the road to the Grand Parkway but that is 10 to 20 years away.  Still, there is a 4 lane + 1 turn lane road at the entrance to our subdivision.  There are two other entrances / exits from our subdivision also so very easy access and exit.

  81. nick flandrey says:

    Back from my pickups.  All household stuff.  Well, except for the portable AC unit.  That's a prep. 

    I got carpet cleaner, draino, and pet stain treatment at one auction.   Pennies on the dollar and all stuff we use.  New.   Those sorts of things are often in box lots in the estate sales too.  Can be a HUGE amount of money spent on cleaning supplies and normal household maintenance stuff, you just don't realize it because you buy one bottle or can at a time.  Pest control and soil treatments for the garden too.  I'm always looking at the sales for that stuff.

    Thompson's Water Seal, and Kilz primer are two other things I usually buy if they're cheap.   I use the Thompsons on the fence after pressure washing, on the patio, on the porch swing, and it makes an excellent vegetation killer.    I don't buy spray paint anymore just to have it.  I only buy it if I have a need, or my stored cans exploded or leaked.   Which they do.  Which is why I don't stockpile them.

    n

  82. nick flandrey says:

    And not many guns have 22 cartridges in them. 

    there is a certain demographic that puts 33 round mags in glock 17 or 19 so they can blast away.

    n

  83. SteveF says:

    there is a certain demographic that puts 33 round mags in glock 17 or 19 so they can blast away.

    … the Amish? The Scandinavians who moved to northern Minnesota because the climate reminded them of home but the last was much more fertile? Oh, wait, I know: it's the Thai ladyboys who come to the US because lately it's more tolerant of them than Thailand.

  84. nick flandrey says:

    Conservatives slammed Penzey on social media saying they were throwing out their spices and were never buying from the company again

    –why would conservatives be buying Penzey spices anyway?   The guy in question made it very clear 5 years ago that he didn't want conservatives as customers. 

    His sister, who also runs a spice business reached out to his former customers at the time… they split the family business somehow.

    I stopped buying their stuff back then.  I will use up what's left because it would  be stupid to throw it out.

    n

  85. drwilliams says:

    3M Scotchguard pre-2000 (original PFOA chemistry)

    Fabric Protector

    Carpet Protector

    Leather Protector

    Auto Upholstery Protector

    There's also an exterior version for coats and camping gear.

  86. nick flandrey says:

    The last time I was talking about Penzey's here was almost exactly a year ago.

    https://www.ttgnet.com/journal/2021/01/21/thur-jan-21-2021-012121-yep-easily-amused/

    Lot's of good food and money saving tips in that post and the comments…

    n

  87. Greg Norton says:

    Future toll road.  The Grand Parkway (99) is about four miles away from our neighborhood entrance.  Someday they will convert the road to the Grand Parkway but that is 10 to 20 years away.

    At least until that area becomes the "affordable" housing for the Gigafactory workers.

    Maybe Tony will dig a tunnel.

  88. drwilliams says:

    “I thought it was my brother playing a joke”

    That’s called the dipstick relative tax.

  89. drwilliams says:

    Penzey pretty much lost me long ago with the “salt blend” business model: Sell dozens of different blends that are mostly salt, and charge top dollar. 

    I get most of my spices at a farm store that carries all the preserving equipment and sticks Mason jars by the truckload. 

  90. nick flandrey says:

    Hmmm.

    Visiting a Financial Center

    Our goal is to keep every financial center open, as long as it is safe to do so. However, in response to local market conditions, some Bank of America financial centers in your area may be temporarily closed.

    snip

    Closing a financial center due to weather or the current health situation is not a decision we take lightly and is only done when we are unable to operate it safely or effectively. We continue to closely monitor and are making every effort to ensure you have an open financial center within a reasonable distance.

    Email from BofA.

    n

  91. lynn says:

    Future toll road.  The Grand Parkway (99) is about four miles away from our neighborhood entrance.  Someday they will convert the road to the Grand Parkway but that is 10 to 20 years away.

    At least until that area becomes the "affordable" housing for the Gigafactory workers.

    Funny you should say that.  There is a 20,000 acre ranch just south of us.  They are reputedly getting ready to turn most of it into 50 foot lots.  The traffic around here will become a total nightmare.

    And we don’t need no stinking tunnels that flood around here. We need overpasses over the railroad tracks and I-69 (the old 59 state highway).

  92. SteveF says:

    Lynn, you can delay construction indefinitely by taking pot shots at the construction crews. #FollowMeForMoreGreatAdvice

    3
  93. drwilliams says:

    More effective to plant some old human bones with some Indian artifacts and have some ten-year-old "discover" them, but not quite remember exactly where.

    "Honest, mister! They was just stickin' right out of the ground after the big thunderstorm!"

  94. lynn says:

    More effective to plant some old human bones with some Indian artifacts and have some ten-year-old "discover" them, but not quite remember exactly where.

    "Honest, mister! They was just stickin' right out of the ground after the big thunderstorm!"

    We don’t let nothing get in the way of our roads in Texas. Not even 9,000 year old Caucasian bones in south Texas.

    https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Judge-says-TxDOT-can-move-bones-from-Grand-3860816.php

  95. lynn says:

    Speaking of gubs, "Ruger Made: Marlin 1895 SBL Lever-Action Rifle in .45-70"

        https://www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/marlin-1895-sbl-leveraction-rifle/455153

    "Ruger has announced the initial production and shipment of Ruger-made, Marlin lever-action rifles"

    SWMBO has already said no when she saw me reading the article.  Apparently I was salivating.

  96. nick flandrey says:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/experts-are-warning-empty-shelves-and-food-shortages-are-going-continue-many-weeks

    –snyder doom pron, but read the pull quotes from the industry execs. 

    –nothing every goes 'back to the way it was.'

    n

    1
  97. drwilliams says:

    This is the fight. There is no other hill. There is no other fight for which we should conserve our ammunition. The West is under siege. Freedom is under siege. American Exceptionalism is under siege.

    Can anyone look to the future and see a free America if we do not fight now?

    AoSHQ, Posted by CBD at 11:00AM

  98. drwilliams says:

    @Lynn

    This is the year of the Browning High Power.

    Three new ones announced so far.

  99. lynn says:

    @Lynn

    This is the year of the Browning High Power.

    Three new ones announced so far.

    45 years of pounding on keyboards have given me hurting, fragile wrists.  Racking just about any semi-automatic kills my wrist now.

  100. Alan says:

    >> And we don’t need no stinking tunnels that flood around here. We need overpasses over the railroad tracks and I-69 (the old 59 state highway).

    Tony will accommodate with the Tesla Model B (B as in "boat").

  101. brad says:

    My neighbor five doors down just notified us that he was jumped by three men Monday night at 1135pm when he got home from work.

    Geez. Soon y'all are going to need the kind of security I saw in all the nicer neighborhoods in South Africa. Driveways blocked by solid steel gates that open remotely, and close just as you drive through. Of course, security measures only stop casual criminals.

    I’m a guy who has 5 years of boxing 3 years of Brazilian jiu jitsu and 2 years of wrestling I was capable of defending myself but against three armed men I was helpless

    Geez. And even if he had been armed, he initially thought it was a prank by his brother, and was caught by surprise. Unlikely being armed would have helped.

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