Thur. Feb. 3, 2022 – plans change, to do list doesn’t get any shorter

By on February 3rd, 2022 in decline and fall, personal, WuFlu

Cold and damp today, getting colder as the day goes on.  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.  Like a lollypop on a car seat…   Yesterday was mostly foggy until mid morning, then overcast with occasional sun, and plenty of humidity.  Rained after dark and temps dropped from mid-60s to 45F at 1230am…

Took D1 to the Costco with me after school.  Spent some time explaining what we were looking for, what the meat costs and why, and what to look for.  Did some math (of a sort) looking at prime steak vs choice and the price difference (for only $2/pound extra we got the prime.)  Selection was very limited.  Grabbed a lamb boneless leg roast, that I’ll divide into two meals, left the rib chops as too expensive.  Hamburger was $3.99 for 88-12%.    They didn’t have any chicken but organic.  They did have “party wings” in the cooler with the other chicken parts though.  Haven’t seen that in a while.  In the dairy case, no cream at all.  No empty pallet either, so they didn’t have any when they set for the day.   Regular milk was just a half pallet.  Plenty of soy and almond based ‘not’ milk though.  But no cream.

They’ve also spread out the shelves in the cleaning supplies/diapers/TP area.   I think they took out a whole row,  but the stocker wouldn’t confirm or deny it.  Plenty of TP and even some bleach based cleaning products.  Lots of extra room between the rows.

It wasn’t crowded, and most of the people at checkout had several flats of water in their carts.  Not me though, just TP and food.  Prices were up on a lot of stuff.  Rice at 70c/# to 90c/pound, up from 50c, pancake mix went from $6/6# to $6.89 for the same bag.

Today D1 has an orthodontist appointment in mid morning, so that will mess up my schedule (I forgot about it when I moved my pickups to today.)  I’ll have to muddle through though, I guess.   More driving and running around.   At least I won’t have to hump half a van load of GS cookies…

Get out and get some stuff, then stack it high.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.

n

76 Comments and discussion on "Thur. Feb. 3, 2022 – plans change, to do list doesn’t get any shorter"

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    39F and 97%RH this am.   Chilly willy.   Only 72F in the house.  You can feel the edge… so I bumped the heat a degree or two.

    n

  2. brad says:

    Unexpected self-selection by car dealers. I sent off four emails, requesting an appointment to come and look at a car. Two prompts answers, so two appointments. No reply from the other two. Which is likely not a bad indicator of the kind of service they give in general.

    Of course, I expect the same high-pressure sales tactics as always. Car sales-critters are the same everywhere. My wife and I both agreed on the tactic: she isn't coming for this first round, so I can simply say "my wife still needs to look at it."

    1
  3. Ray Thompson says:

    Car sales-critters are the same everywhere.
     

    Lot lizards.

  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    @brad, could be they don't have any or enough stock to make it worth calling you.

    I got out some eggs I bought last week, when I was happy to see the egg cooler full….. and they are all Extra Large, in a Large carton.   I only buy Large for a long time now, and it's clear that they were out of large and filled the rest of the order with XL eggs.   Sign of the times, I guess.

    n

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    "enjoy ice drink fastly"

    Countertop ice cube maker, chine cr@p from amazon.   Amazon is turning into a fleamarket for knockoff chinese goods.

    n

    2
  6. Pecancorner says:

    Only 19F here in Brown County (and that's our high for the day), a bit warmer than the 15F predicted. We got at least an inch of liquid rain yesterday afternoon before it started coming down frozen. Everything is covered in a deep layer of ice topped with powdery snow.  I'll feed the poor little birds at least twice today. They are already at the feeding stations and it's barely light out.

    Paul is having the rest of the duck gumbo for breakfast, left over from last night. I used the frozen carcass and broth from the Aldi's duck we had in December. Also used jarred Roux. Oh my! That will be our go-to for duck "remains" (as Julia called them).  There wasn't much meat left on the bones, so I only made a small batch of gumbo, using the recipe from my mother in law's vintage spiral-bound Ralph & Kakoo's cookbook.  Their recipe is really simple: no okra, no tomato, no seasoning other than salt,  pepper, gumbo file, and, if you like, some cayenne.

    Paul has never liked my roux… he says it isn't dark enough… but the jarred stuff is fantastic. Chocolate brown. Like Mole, it has to be stirred in the jar to mix the oil in.  I'm thrilled, and will keep a jar of it in the pantry from now on.

    In the dairy case, no cream at all.  No empty pallet either, so they didn’t have any when they set for the day.   Regular milk was just a half pallet.  Plenty of soy and almond based ‘not’ milk though.  But no cream.

    I have not been able to find cream anywhere in both my shopping trips over the past 2 weeks.  No shortage of milk, and there's half and half, but not cream.  I do keep canned table cream in the pantry, so may end up using it if we run out. I just opened our last quart of fresh cream couple days ago. Fortunately, fresh cream will keep a couple of months in the fridge if it is unopened. The fat content helps , plus I suspect they irradiate all fresh milk products these days.

    1
  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    Bidding on PS5, new in damaged box, $790 with 4 hours to go.  Add 25% for tax and fees too.

    People are nuts.   "Can't eat gold      game systems.

    n

  8. Pecancorner says:

    I got out some eggs I bought last week, when I was happy to see the egg cooler full….. and they are all Extra Large, in a Large carton.   I only buy Large for a long time now, and it's clear that they were out of large and filled the rest of the order with XL eggs.   Sign of the times, I guess.

    That seems to be a seasonal thing around here, just like the price of eggs is. I've noticed it from time to time for several years – esp depends on the brand.  Even the commercial egg farms have to let the hens rest sometime.

    Unexpected self-selection by car dealers. I sent off four emails, requesting an appointment to come and look at a car. Two prompts answers, so two appointments. No reply from the other two. Which is likely not a bad indicator of the kind of service they give in general.

    That's how we chose our exterminator. Two of them had answering machines, which would have been fine, but they never returned my call.   The one we use has a live person manning the phone at all times, even if she's changing a diaper with the receiver in the crook of her neck!   

  9. Nick Flandrey says:

    @pecancorner,  I picked up a jar of roux not to long ago.  It's in the fridge waiting for me to figure out what to do with it.

    I used to stock cans of "table creme" from nestle', but after a while they turn into a puck in the can.   I didn't try to eat the puck, but I suspect you could.  It's probably a nice soft cheese…

    I got some powdered when it finally came back into stock on amazon, so I have that if needed.   I'll try HEB today and see if they have any cream.    

    Last trip they had liquid whole eggs in stock, which have been out of stock for a very long time.   I added two quarts to my freezer.   I also added a can of ground coffee at costco, as there are rumblings of coffee shortages coming due to fertilizer shortages and lack of peasants to pick the beans.  Energy inputs to roast and ship them are going up too.   The cans will last far longer than the foil bags I normally buy.

    n

  10. Pecancorner says:

    The thickening power of the jarred roux was interesting. It doesn't thicken like a flour/water mix does, but it does thicken over time. I was really skeptical by how thin it was when I first put the broth in, but after simmering for a couple of hours the consistency was perfect.   It would take about half a jar to make an ordinary batch using 2 quarts of broth. 

    The nice thing about gumbo, for us, is that it can make use of all kinds of leftovers in small amounts that might otherwise go to waste. By the time we add a ring of sausage, it really stretches a half cup of ham and a leftover chicken breast etc.

    Edit: plus of course it is served over rice, which we all have on hand! 🙂

  11. drwilliams says:

    caught the initial report on national news last night:

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2022/02/a-school-shooting-you-wont-be-hearing-about.php

    White school superintendent pulls police and metal detectors. Arrests go down—obvious win, statistics don't lie. 

    Student of color killed and two others shot by other soc’s. 

    Obvious fix: moar money  

  12. Chad says:

    Who screwed up the it's vs its and triggered all this silliness?

    Umm, Nick, have you seen the title of Monday's daynotes post? 🙂

    I got out some eggs I bought last week, when I was happy to see the egg cooler full….. and they are all Extra Large, in a Large carton.   I only buy Large for a long time now, and it's clear that they were out of large and filled the rest of the order with XL eggs.   Sign of the times, I guess.

    I was surprised (and maybe I shouldn't have been) to find that if you drive down a few country roads or ask around just how many rural and semi-rural people raise chickens and sell fresh eggs. My daughter had a friend over that mentioned something about feeding the chickens as one of her chores and I was like, "Do you sell eggs?" and without missing a beat she was like, "Yep, $3/dozen." The same week I was driving down some gravel road and passed two different farms with signs out on the road that said "fresh eggs." I may never buy store eggs again.

    Can eggs be frozen? Well, obviously they CAN be frozen. Can they be frozen, thawed, and successfully used for cooking? Probably not if you want a nice sunny-side-up egg for breakfast, but it would work if you’re just using them as an ingredient, right?

  13. MrAtoz says:

    31°F, rainy and windy this AM in San Antone. My UPSs have been clicking most of the night. The only thing that goes out is the microwave clock. The stove clock stays set no problemo. There is ice on the top bare tiny branches of the neighbors oak tree.

    PS The robo vacuum just lost power enough to say “charging”. Lights flickered.

  14. Nick Flandrey says:

    Umm, Nick, have you seen the title of Monday's daynotes post?

    —  ay yay yay…. I won't edit it.  Even though I can.  But I won't.  I'll resist……………..

    Yes, for the record, I generally think about it every time I type the letters… and also their, there, and they're because sometimes my hands type one, even though I know it's not correct.   I generally type each word pretty quickly.  My overall speed is not what it could be, but the words pop out of my fingers at a burst-y pace.   And they think they know better than the lump of fatty tissue that is nominally in charge.

    Iff'n y'all'd let me know on MONDAY, I'd've fixed it.

    n

    (now that's a lot of ' )

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  15. Nick Flandrey says:

    Can they be frozen, thawed, and successfully used for cooking? Probably not if you want a nice sunny-side-up egg for breakfast,

    —  I've only frozen one or two accidentally.  IIRC, the yolks were broken when they went into the pan.   I freeze the liquid blended ones without problems.

    n

  16. Greg Norton says:

    Bidding on PS5, new in damaged box, $790 with 4 hours to go.  Add 25% for tax and fees too.

    People are nuts.   "Can't eat gold      game systems.

    Switch is unobtainium too right now.

    Sony tried to combat PS4 end-of-life hoarding by extending the system's manufacturing another year, but that just made the resellers more aggressive about stocking up.

  17. Chad says:

    Paul has never liked my roux… he says it isn't dark enough… but the jarred stuff is fantastic. Chocolate brown. Like Mole, it has to be stirred in the jar to mix the oil in.  I'm thrilled, and will keep a jar of it in the pantry from now on.

    IIRC, rouxs lose their thickening power as they darken. You trade off thickening for that yummy dark nutty taste. I also seem to recall that making a dark roux in the oven is so much easier than trying to do it on the stovetop. I guess I'm lazy or impatient (probably both) and never could wait for a brick roux to develop on the stove.

    Growing up, my parents never used a roux for anything. They thickened everything by whisking in a slurry of flour and milk (which I think there's a different French word for, but it escapes me). I didn't even know what the heck a roux was until I was in my 20s.

    There's some great YouTube videos out there where people compare different thickening agents (flour, xantham gum, filé, arrowroot, cornstarch, etc.) and then show how they work at different temperatures and how well they reheat (getting a smooth consistency after reheating is a real challenge for a lot of thickeners).

  18. Brad says:

    @brad, could be they don't have any or enough stock to make it worth calling you.

    Could be. Then I would expect a reply to that effect, and a suggestion as to when a car would be available. 

  19. Greg Norton says:

    I attempted to return a memory module to one of Kingston's vendors this week, and the response to the RMA request stated that my account would be credited without any requirement to send the item back.

  20. EdH says:

    I attempted to return a memory module to one of Kingston's vendors this week, and the response to the RMA request stated that my account would be credited without any requirement to send the item back.

    You could ask for them to send you a $25 “Toxic Waste Disposal Fee” as well…

    1
  21. Chad says:

    I attempted to return a memory module to one of Kingston's vendors this week, and the response to the RMA request stated that my account would be credited without any requirement to send the item back.

    You could ask for them to send you a $25 "Toxic Waste Disposal Fee" as well…

    Bill them monthly for storing the return they didn't want back.

  22. Greg Norton says:

    "Starlink's New Premium Tier Is Fast But Super Expensive"

    "If you have 500 bucks per month to spend on internet service, Starlink's premium tier can be yours in Q2."

    I am fairly sure that this is the billionaire service level.

    That buys a lot of bandwidth if you are an MVNO operator like I suspect Starlink has become to supplement the satellites in urban and semi-urban areas. The disclaimer indicates that the subscriber may get 100 Mbps service like everyone else but with the capability to go up to 500 Mbps.

    5g operators get to play in the unlicensed spectrum to supplement their bandwidth. I gotta wonder how much of Starlink service will really go over satellites once the dishes start hitting the suburbs en masse. Everyone dreaming of firing the phone company may end up even more dependent on … the phone company!

    As for the $500/month subscription, it isn’t about billionares. Tony knows "Show Ya" will pay it, just like when the Jesus truck comes in at $100k … if ever.

  23. Chad says:

    @Rick or @Nick:

    Did comments for old daynotes entries disappear? I was googling up old posts from RBT on canned whole egg powder and when I got to the entries there were no comments.  See https://www.ttgnet.com/journal/2017/03/12/ for an example. Just a post with no comments.

    On a side note, the #10 cans of whole egg powder from Augason Farms that RBT mentioned were $13 are now $32 in the span of 5 years.

  24. SteveF says:

    Chad, click on the post's link (the date and title, in "header" style). Doing that on the post you linked will take you to https://www.ttgnet.com/journal/2017/03/12/sunday-12-march-2017/ , which shows the comments.

    2
  25. Chad says:

    Chad, click on the post's link (the date and title, in "header" style). Doing that on the post you linked will take you to https://www.ttgnet.com/journal/2017/03/12/sunday-12-march-2017/ , which shows the comments.

    Thank you for schooling me! 🎓

  26. MrAtoz says:

    Ack! Getting small icicles on my solar panels hanging on the fence. I may bring them in. They are rated for the “wet”. I don’t know about freezing.

    2
  27. Ray Thompson says:

    Jerry used to always say that 90% of computer problems can be traced to a bad cable. I got schooled in the rule today.

    At a client's house installing some updates and solving some computer problems. Client wanted to connect the iPad to the computer to transfer the images. No problem. Hooked up the cable, iPad was getting power, time to rock and roll. Nope. W10 said the driver was bad. OK. Install iTunes to get the latest driver, still not working. Restarted everything, still not working. Tried another USB port, nope, still not working. Uninstall the driver, try to reconnect, nope, still not working. Finally decided to try a different cable, boom, working. An hour wasted because of a cable that looked to be in excellent shape and charges devices with no issue. I guess one of the signal lines was wonky or one of the chips located in the cable failed.

    I have never had an Apple cable fail. The cable that failed is some other brand. Lesson learned. I will now take an Apple cable with me on such visits.

  28. SteveF says:

    Thank you for schooling me!

    I'm knowledgeable and helpful!

    I mean, not often, but it does happen once in a while.

    2
  29. lynn says:

    Paul is having the rest of the duck gumbo for breakfast, left over from last night. I used the frozen carcass and broth from the Aldi's duck we had in December. Also used jarred Roux. Oh my! That will be our go-to for duck "remains" (as Julia called them).  There wasn't much meat left on the bones, so I only made a small batch of gumbo, using the recipe from my mother in law's vintage spiral-bound Ralph & Kakoo's cookbook.  Their recipe is really simple: no okra, no tomato, no seasoning other than salt,  pepper, gumbo file, and, if you like, some cayenne.

    Paul has never liked my roux… he says it isn't dark enough… but the jarred stuff is fantastic. Chocolate brown. Like Mole, it has to be stirred in the jar to mix the oil in.  I'm thrilled, and will keep a jar of it in the pantry from now on.

    Duck Gumbo with cayenne sounds freaking awesome.

    Great roux is suppose to look just like Louisiana bayou water.  So dark you can't see the gators.

  30. lynn says:

    ERCOT is doing a very good job of hanging in there at a demand of 64,000 MW with a reserve of 8,500 MW at noon today.  Looks like the identification of the natural gas well heating systems has worked.  There are no grid based blackouts that I can see.  The solar is only making 3,000 MW (6,500 MW installed) but the wind turbines are making 18,000 MW (24,000 MW installed).

        https://www.ercot.com/mp

    The normal 5 pm peak is forecast to be 69,000 MW.  That is when things could get dicey as the solar falls off and people get home, turning on the heat.  My home is forecast for 25 F tonight.

    2
  31. Greg Norton says:

    Jerry used to always say that 90% of computer problems can be traced to a bad cable. I got schooled in the rule today.

    After cables was power supplies. I'm waiting on a new power supply now, hoping it will fix the lockup problems on my kids gaming PC. The CPU cooler upgrade dropped the operating temp of the chip 10 degrees C but didn't stop the random freezing as the processor workload increased.

    If power supply isn't the answer then it is probably the motherboard. Everything else has been swapped out or temporarily removed for testing purposes.

  32. lynn says:

    The crypto miners in central Texas have shutdown for the duration.  I think that they pull 300 or 400 MW at full load.  "Bitcoin Miners Go Offline To Help Texas Grid"

        https://prather2022.com/articles/bitcoin-miners-are-helping-the-texas-grid-brace-for-winter-storm-impact

    Still freaks me out to see those banks of computer racks where the old Alcoa aluminum potlines used to be.  I walked through that room a couple of times back in 1985 ?, hotter than h e double toothpicks with all of the 165 F aluminum pots going full blast making 2,000 lb aluminum pigs.

  33. lynn says:

    The wife got a 1099 for 2021 from Social Security a couple of weeks ago.  Turns out that her dad got a death benefit of one month that he had put in her name.  She had no idea so she put the check in the estate checking account.  I did not know that Social Security had a death benefit.

    Man, dying is complicated.

  34. dkreck says:

    Speaking of pricey electricity –

    https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1556002/Mercedes-Benz-car-new-battery-price-Auto-Trader-Knighton-Leicester

    15K BP for a battery

    I have a client that just bought a EQS580 MB – a bit pricey in itself.

    Always said the biggest problem with MB, BMW, and Audi was the cost to fix out of warranty. It's why there are so few old ones.  

  35. Alan says:

    >> Back when I had a high-end turntable, I had a soft brush that I used – but only if the record was visibly dusty. I certainly can't imagine squirting liquid onto the record – seems like that would make the dust stick.

    The cleaning liquid went on the brush, which had a velour-type cloth similar to a lint removal brush for clothing.

    1
  36. Alan says:

    >> @brad, could be they don't have any or enough stock to make it worth calling you.

         Could be. Then I would expect a reply to that effect, and a suggestion as to when a car would be available. 

    You forget that car salespeople rank far down the popularity list, right above politicians and lawyers.

  37. lpdbw says:

    Jerry used to always say that 90% of computer problems can be traced to a bad cable. I got schooled in the rule today.

    A war story from my days at Digital Equipment Corporation, circa 1991

    Major Aerospace Company bought a million dollar computer from us, a  VAX 9000.  Along with that computer comes 3 months of on-site software support and tuning services, provided by an expert; in this case, me.

    The 9000 went into an existing VAXCluster of 4 computers, with redundant disk controllers and every drive cabled to both controllers.  VAXClusters, of which Unix clusters are but a pale imitation, were amazing at failover.  If you had all the drives cabled to both controllers, you could lose a controller and VMS wouldn't even stutter, on any of the nodes.  Drives had "A" and "B" buttons, which were normally both enabled.  In order to balance disk I/O load between controllers, you simply go to the drives and disable "A" (or "B") for a moment, to fail the drive over to the appropriate controller.    You then reenable the other path.  It then remained that way unless you had a controller failure.

    As the tuning expert, I did a lot of study, and then decided for each and every drive, based on load, which controller they needed assigned to in order to come up with a good balance.

    One day (at lunchtime, thankfully), I took my plan into the computer room and tried to fail over some drives.  Most of the 250 users were idle at lunchtime.

    Everything went to Hades.  Fortunately, I was paying attention, and nothing crashed, although there were significant periods of hanging.

    I duly reported this to the Field Service people, and they did a thorough investigation during the next maintenance period.  It turns out that each Digital disk drive came with one Digital cable.  So to acquire the critical cables needed for the reliability of their system, they went out and bought the cheapest cables they could get from a place I have since referred to as "Joe's House of Cables".

    It turns out none of the cheap cables worked at all.  Prior to my tuning efforts, they were secure in the knowledge they had redundancy.  They were wrong.

    Major Aerospace Company was consumed by another shortly thereafter.  I'd like to blame their poor management, but there were other circumstances.  50%, at least, of the blame goes to Dick Cheney.

    1
  38. Alan says:

    >> Always said the biggest problem with MB, BMW, and Audi was the cost to fix out of warranty. It's why there are so few old ones.

    If you ever catch the early days (Thursday, Friday) of one of the Mecum auto auctions on TV, you'll see a fair number of used MBs in the 15 year old range, usually with reasonable mileage, that sell in 4 to low 5 figure range, well under their original MSRP. All nicely detailed, but oh those maintenance costs. Similarly for a number of the low mileage high-end exotics (Ferraris et al) the listings will frequently mention which 'required' services have been recently completed, and those ain't cheap either.

  39. lpdbw says:

    Man, dying is complicated.

    That's why I'm not going to do it.

    1
    2
  40. Greg Norton says:

    Always said the biggest problem with MB, BMW, and Audi was the cost to fix out of warranty. It's why there are so few old ones.  

    Parts aren't as available in this country like they are in Europe.

    BMW and MB have manufacturing infrastructure in the US, but the products made in those plants are junk. I see more BMW X5 grocery getters broken down on the side of the road around here than any other vehicle.

  41. dkreck says:

    Parts aren't as available in this country like they are in Europe.

    BMW and MB have manufacturing infrastructure in the US, but the products made in those plants are junk. I see more BMW X5 grocery getters broken down on the side of the road around here than any other vehicle.

    There are far more reliable Japanese cars that are reasonable to repair and just as nice. Toyota and Honda and their lux brands are best IMHO. They just don't have the smug factor. I'd go for a Lexus anyday over MB.

  42. Alan says:

    >> Man, dying is complicated.

    Mainly for the survivors.

  43. lynn says:

    ERCOT is doing a very good job of hanging in there at a demand of 64,000 MW with a reserve of 8,500 MW at noon today.  Looks like the identification of the natural gas well heating systems has worked.  There are no grid based blackouts that I can see.  The solar is only making 3,000 MW (6,500 MW installed) but the wind turbines are making 18,000 MW (24,000 MW installed).

        https://www.ercot.com/mp

    The normal 5 pm peak is forecast to be 69,000 MW.  That is when things could get dicey as the solar falls off and people get home, turning on the heat.  My home is forecast for 25 F tonight.

    The big question is, what is going to be the peak demand Friday morning at 8 am ?  I am going for at least 75,000 MW.   Could easily be 80,000 MW.

    When I was at TXU in the 1980s, we performed our own dispatch with about a thousand interconnects with HL&P, CP&L, City of Garland, City of Bryan, City of Austin, etc.   ERCOT back in the 1980s was three guys in Austin who we would tell everything the day after.  They certainly did not have one of our custom, hand built in Sugar Land, TX by Ferranti International, $100,000 terminals that displayed over 5,000 demand and generation points in our system. 

    Anyway, on a morning like Friday morning, we would back off all the steam units to half power at 4 am.  We would have 110 to 120 steam units (22 MW to 750 MW) online, most of them would be on 100% fuel oil as the natural gas grid was collapsed by the residential demand.  We would start all of our 30 diesels (1 MW to 2.5 MW).   Then we would be off to the races as people starting waking up and turning the electric heaters up to 70 F from 50 F.   It was not unusual for a steam unit or three to go to wide open valves as the frequency dipped and find out that the control system had an uh-oh at wide open valves (usually the fan controls for our 12 foot diameter squirrel cage fans would get behind and start belching black smoke – soot, carbon monoxide) and then trip on low oxygen if the board operator did not catch it.  By 9 am we would be taking the five peakers offline and getting ready for the 5pm peak.

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  44. TV says:

    From yesterday…

    No one would be able to drive if their perception was 15 seconds in the past 

    —  my snarky response was, have you driven lately??!!!  but in truth, they are talking about awareness and attention.   You don't need much awareness to travel at the same speed with a group of vehicles moving in the same direction.  Distracted driving, drunk driving, sleep-driving… all prove it's not only possible but common.

    The people in the study 'saw' the faces, they just didn't store them in real time, and didn't have their awareness focused on them.  If the study had asked people to watch the video and push a button when the image showed a moustache, I'm sure the results would have been different.  Of course then, the study could have had a clown walk thru the room during the video and probably no one would have 'seen' it even if it walked thru their field of view.

    There is a prof who does things like that to show how bad eye witness accounts are.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo

    n

    The video is a good illustration of (to my understanding) how your eyes and brain work.  Your actual "in focus" visual field is a very small area (a quarter at arm's length I think).  Your eyes and brain compensate for that by constantly scanning to update the whole picture, unless you focus on something, like the white T-shirts and ball passing in the video.  Your brain just remembers what is in the rest of the visual field until you stop focusing on the one area. 

    The video Nick provided a link to was shown to a room of 60 IT folks.  58 kept counting passes.  I thought that was pointless with 59 other people counting, so lazy old me just sat back and watched.  I was one of only 2 people to see the gorilla.  Folks would not believe there was a gorilla and some said it was a different video when played back to them to prove a gorilla was in the video.  NOPE, it’s how your eyes and brain work.  You are not a camera, and evolution has pulled some sneaky tricks to get sight to work.  So, it is possible parts of your entire visual field is some seconds old.  I don't know about 15, but the gorilla takes a long time to walk through.

    This is also how magicians fool you.  They get you to focus on one hand or some item or action, and while your eyes are watching that carefully they pull a quickie elsewhere that is at least partially visible, but your eyes don't see and you don’t notice because your eyes are not scanning the whole visual field at that moment.

  45. lynn says:

    "Raspberry Pi Removes Memory Limits, Unlocks Performance With 64-Bit OS"

         https://www.pcmag.com/news/64-bit-raspberry-pi-os-launches

    "The benefits of embracing 64-bit now outweigh the previous goal of maximizing compatibility."

    Yup, 64 bit computers are becoming commonplace.  128 bit computers will be out soon.

  46. Greg Norton says:

    Then we would be off to the races as people starting waking up and turning the electric heaters up to 70 F from 50 F. 

    70. Please. 74 minimum for a transplanted Floridian or Californian.

    My sister-in-law kept sneaking the thermostat to 76 one Christmas in Dallas.

    It is a God-given right of every Floridian to wear shorts on Christmas Day.

    2
  47. Greg Norton says:

    Yup, 64 bit computers are becoming commonplace.  128 bit computers will be out soon.

    Doubling integer size again would entail a performance hit not justified by the bigger memory address space as was the case in going from 32 to 64 bit.

    This has come up here before. The estimate for the total count of atoms in the universe is 2^256. We aren’t counting 2^128 of anything in the real world soon.

  48. lynn says:

    Yup, 64 bit computers are becoming commonplace.  128 bit computers will be out soon.

    Doubling integer size again would entail a performance hit not justified by the bigger memory address space as was the case in going from 32 to 64 bit.

    This has come up here before. The estimate for the total count of atoms in the universe is 2^256. We aren’t counting 2^128 of anything in the real world soon.

    And here are the specs for the new 128 bit pointers (the CHERI initiative for better application security):

    https://www.theregister.com/2022/01/21/arm_morello_testing/
    https://www.arm.com/architecture/cpu/morello
    https://developer.arm.com/documentation/ddi0606/latest
  49. Terry Losansky says:

    When my wife passed in 2015, I had no idea about social security death benefits. Not until after my daughter turned 18 and I remarried did I learn the benefits existed. Apparently, I would have received a monthly check for my daughter from my wife's contributions – for three years. I called to ask if there is any way to collect. Nope. You either know or don't. The bureaucracy does not care, there is no benefit to them to inform or serve.

    6
  50. SteveF says:

    I was one of only 2 people to see the gorilla.

    I saw it when I watched the video at a local Museum of Science. I did count the bounces or passes or whatever but also saw the doofus in the gorilla suit, and also paid attention to the real-world people entering and leaving the side room I was in, and also kept track of the my daughter and her friend in the next room.

    This constant attention to everything around me is why I have trouble writing or doing serious programming or engineering design. I can't focus on those things when someone is moving around or might be moving around.

    It is a God-given right of every Floridian to wear shorts on Christmas Day.

    -scoff- I wear shorts and either bare feet or unlaced sneakers with no socks all year, 1200 miles north of Florida. We keep the thermostat at 64 during heating season (8 months a year) and my office is normally below 60 because it's at the end of the heat duct run, sits over the garage, and is on the windward side of the house. This is utterly not balanced by my office getting into the high 90s during the summer because it has the afternoon sun shining on the wall and roof and the air conditioning doesn't do much of anything because of the aforementioned reasons.

    We aren’t counting 2^128 of anything in the real world soon.

    Joe Biden's inappropriate sniffings, verbal stumbles, and losses of temper?

    4
  51. Pecancorner says:

    Growing up, my parents never used a roux for anything. They thickened everything by whisking in a slurry of flour and milk (which I think there's a different French word for, but it escapes me). I didn't even know what the heck a roux was until I was in my 20s.

    @Chad, my family too. But, my family did not make gumbo… I'm from Oklahoma, they cooked "Upland South" aka Appalachian type foods. That's probably why I don't make roux as dark as Paul and @Lynn say it should be! 😀

    Great roux is suppose to look just like Louisiana bayou water.  So dark you can't see the gators.

    Predicted low for tonight here is now 13F, up from the 9F they were guessing this morning. It's 18F now, has been all day. Wood stove is keeping the living areas at a steady 70F perfectly. (I usually let it drop to 65F at night before adding a new overnight log. Last night, that was at 4:15 am.)

    Just fed the birds for the second time, laying seed out on top of 2" of snow and ice.   They stayed all morning this morning, getting every last crumb of sunflower seed. There was even a meadow lark! Normally they don't come into town.

  52. lpdbw says:

    Meadow Lark

    4
  53. Greg Norton says:

    And here are the specs for the new 128 bit pointers (the CHERI initiative for better application security):

    Might as well make some silicon and find the numbers.

  54. Greg Norton says:

    Joe Biden's inappropriate sniffings, verbal stumbles, and losses of temper?

    Never underestimate the ability of Microsoft to fill any amount of memory.

    3
    1
  55. Chad says:

    There was even a meadow lark! Normally they don't come into town.

    We had a western meadowlark that must have been nesting near the house last Summer. Beautiful to look at and even more beautiful to listen to. It was a real delight.

  56. paul says:

    25F now.  It was 26F this morning and blowing frozen rain or sleet (what's the difference?) and the dogs did their business quickly.

    Or course they did.  I'm bundled up and looking like a homeless dude and the dogs are out there NAKED.

    It dropped to 24 or 23 for a while.  Forecast says 14F tonight.   Now, if the wind would quit.

  57. CowboySlim says:

    Huh, I'm a block SW of the Meadowlark Golf Course.

    https://www.meadowlarkgc.com/

  58. Pecancorner says:

    We had a western meadowlark that must have been nesting near the house last Summer. Beautiful to look at and even more beautiful to listen to. It was a real delight.

    How fortunate for you! I *think* those are the ones we usually have here in summer.  The whole flock will come to my dad's feeding station, because he is out in the country. He calls them "Field Larks", because we have fields not "meadows".

    He also corrects me when I say something about "hedgerows" … he says we don't have hedgerows in this country, we have fence rows. LOL  I watch too much British TV 🙂

  59. paul says:

    My understanding is hedgerows are made with, wait for it, hedge type plants.  Holly and other things with thorns. 

    Fence rows are overgrown fences.  Same effect but with a barb wire core.

  60. Nightraker says:

    Here in the upper Midwest it got UP to 17F today. We did have a heat wave high of 48F on Tuesday.

    Made some packaged mashed potatoes with dinner.  Best by date in 2012.  Tasted fine, although looking at the ingredients there are some oils in there.  Maybe I should stack something a tad more recent.

  61. ITGuy1998 says:

    I wanted a snack today, and nothing sounded good. I have several blocks of velveta cheese in the pantry, so I opened one up. It’s been a while since I opened the last one. The use by date was late 2019. The color was a little off – darker than normal. Smell was fine. I tried a tiny bit, and it tasted ok, though the texture was odd. I tossed that brick and the others I had.

    I also saw a pack of Vienna sausages, best by Dec 2020. Seals were still good, smelled fine. Once again texture was just a little off. Tossed all of that as well. Not sure how the wife missed those two items during the big clean out last week. 

  62. MrAtoz says:

    27°F and dropping in SA. I'm off to Vegas tomorrow, if flights aren't cancelled.

  63. MrAtoz says:

    The Mandalorian

    Boba Fett

    Baby Yoda!

    Luke Skywalker!

    I have no idea where the episode was headed, but, BABY YODA! He's so green! Swoon!

  64. Greg Norton says:

    The Mandalorian

    Boba Fett

    Baby Yoda!

    Luke Skywalker!

    I have no idea where the episode was headed, but, BABY YODA! He's so green! Swoon!

    You forgot Rosario Dawson as Ashoka.

    (In my book, her “Clerks II” performance still buys her a lot of forgiveness for her politics and taste in domestic partners.)

    And Tim Olyphant is not bad as the Sheriff.

  65. Greg Norton says:

    Sideloading on iOS doesn't need to happen.

    The apps you would have to worry about the most would be from places like Facecrack and Steam.

    https://www.macrumors.com/2022/02/02/apple-sideloading-bill-malware-scams/

  66. lynn says:

    The Mandalorian

    Boba Fett

    Baby Yoda!

    Luke Skywalker!

    I have no idea where the episode was headed, but, BABY YODA! He's so green! Swoon!

    Luke needs to teach Baby Yoda that one does not eat the children of intelligent amphibians.  That big jug of frog eggs that Mrs. Frog was carrying about lost at least half of the eggs while she was on the Mandalorin's spaceship.

  67. Nick Flandrey says:

    Currently 30F on the west side of Houston.  We've been getting freezing rain since about 7pm.  I lifted the wiper blades off the windshields just in case it's still cold in the morning.

    Our small HEB had some weird gaps.  They did have cream, milk and eggs.  No 'tube' biscuits though just a big empty cooler.  There were 'tube' cinnamon rolls.   Flour and sugar were wiped out, yeast was obviously raided.  People think they'll be baking.   There were big gaps in the bread aisle but plenty still left at 6pm.

    Cat food and products were still nothing but 30 feet of empty shelves.   Frozen potato products had some gaps still.  Dried beans were wiped out.  I asked a couple of ladies why they were buying beans… because you can cook a big pot of them, they last a long time, they have a camp fire they can re-heat the beans if the electricity stays out.     I asked if they thought we'd lose power like last time, mentioned that ercot had lots of capacity online, and the one lady said she works for Reliant (the electric company, former Houston Light and Power) and they had staff on alert but didn't expect issues.  Lady clearly didn't believe her management.

    Soup section was picked over.  I got the last 12 cans of campbel's chicken noodle.  No Progresso soup left except one flavor.  Must really suk to have been left on the shelf.

    I managed to spend $250 although  I nominally went in for cream.

    n

  68. Kenneth C Mitchell says:

    "Starlink Premium" will be for apartment buildings or dormitories. It's the perfect market; charge the tenants an extra $50/month for "Free Internet!".

    Our Starlink arrived last week.  The antenna is about the size of a cookie sheet, on a small tripod mount. You'll need to download the Starlink App for your smartphone to configure it. Setup was a piece of cake. 

    The speed leaves something to be desired;  31ms ping, 62Mbps download, 15 Mbps upload. However, my antenna is TERRIBLY sited; with lots of trees and a trellis blocking the view of the satellites.  The cell phone siting guide says "Please move the antenna to a clear area!" I'm frankly surprised that it works at all right there.  I'll be moving it to the roof of the garage, and I expect MUCH better performance then. 

    This generation of StarLink systems is WiFi only; there are no ethernet ports. There WILL BE an adapter that adds one ethernet port, and you'll be able to connect a switch to get more. It's very reasonably priced, but won't be available until May. You can also purchase additional mounting hardware such as passthroughs and masts. 

    2
  69. Greg Norton says:

    This generation of StarLink systems is WiFi only; there are no ethernet ports. There WILL BE an adapter that adds one ethernet port, and you'll be able to connect a switch to get more. It's very reasonably priced, but won't be available until May. You can also purchase additional mounting hardware such as passthroughs and masts. 

    Any software to install on the client PCs?

    Are you in the boonies, urban area, or mixed?

  70. Greg Norton says:

    Cat food and products were still nothing but 30 feet of empty shelves.

    We've been using Chewy.com to keep our cat supplied with her preferred can dinner, something I'm not happy about. I have a Pets.com sock puppet as a reminder of Internet Bubble 1.0.

    My wife speculated that the cat food is probably all packed in orders in the Curbside pickup area.

  71. lynn says:

    I managed to spend $250 although  I nominally went in for cream.

    Winner ! 

    I usually go in for $50 of stuff and walk out with $100 of stuff.  Twice a week.  It used to be $40 and $80 but, you know, prices go up.

    1
  72. lynn says:

    This generation of StarLink systems is WiFi only; there are no ethernet ports. There WILL BE an adapter that adds one ethernet port, and you'll be able to connect a switch to get more. It's very reasonably priced, but won't be available until May. You can also purchase additional mounting hardware such as passthroughs and masts. 

    That sucks.  My office is all ethernet. I do have a wifi to ethernet converter for my Verizon 4G Dongle but I have never tried it out.

    My Dad got his Starlink last week but has yet to put it up with getting my mother situated.

  73. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yikes, 29F.

    n

    1
  74. lynn says:

    We are at 28 F.  I left the office at 11pm.  Everything is coated in ice including my truck.  My four mile commute home was 15 minutes because of a train.  Even the crossing arms were coated in ice.

    The wife made a chicken, rice, and cream of mushroom soup casserole for supper.  I had two helpings but Lily (my dog) borrowed XXXXXXX stole quite a bit of it.  Ok, I gave it to her because she is so darn cute.

  75. Alan says:

    >> I managed to spend $250 although I nominally went in for cream.

    @nick, hopefully you're paying for those groceries with a 'cash back' credit card. 

    For groceries I use the American Express "Blue Cash Preferred" card. 6% cash back on groceries (up to $6,000 in yearly purchases, excluding Warehouse stores), 6% back on streaming services, 3% on gas and 1% on everything else. $95 annual fee waived for the first year and a $300 bonus if you charge $3000 in the first six months. 

  76. brad says:

    A tangent on the EV front. We want to buy a wallbox (charger) that works with our solar installation. I found one that claims to do this, and have been batting emails back-and-forth with the company, trying to pry some technical details out of them. I suspect I'm talking with a sales-critter who can't be bothered to get off his butt and do something. It's ridiculously irritating, and my last email was…less than polite.

    Out of frustration, I contacted the SolarLog people – that's the device that monitors our solar installation, talks to the heating system, and _would_ talk to the wallbox, if the wallbox actually does what the adverts say it does. One round of back-and-forth, to clarify what I wanted, and within less then 1/2 hour I had the technical details.

    It's really amazing, how different companies deal with their customers.

    You forget that car salespeople rank far down the popularity list, right above politicians and lawyers.

    I think you can change that to "salespeople", and not only for cars. See above.

    Or, when we bought the land we built on: the vast majority of the realtors were incompetent, and most of them were slimeballs on top of it. The woman we bought through was the only one who actually paid attention to what we wanted to buy, instead of showing us what she wanted to sell.

    This is also how magicians fool you.  They get you to focus on one hand or some item or action, and while your eyes are watching that carefully…

    Back in the dark ages, when I did my first masters at AFIT, one of the profs was really into studying human perception. Among other things, he had studied the actual bit-rate of information flowing into your brain. His conclusion was that we have a bandwidth equivalent to 50 bits per second. Highly optimized, of course, but that's the actual throughput. 50 bits isn't very much.

    Imagine the richness of what you are seeing through your eyes right now. That must be megabytes of information! But most of it isn't actually processed. That rich visual image is 99.999% the same as it was a second ago, or a minute ago, or an hour ago. No processing required. But when something happens, your information uptake is limited to whatever can be packed into 50 bps.

    Add in the foibles and malleability of human memory, and there we are…

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