Mon. Jun. 20, 2022 – ah Monday, so much potential….

By on June 20th, 2022 in decline and fall, gardening

Hot and hot.  Humid of course.  And hot.   Apparently the country is under a “heat dome”.   Used to call it ‘summer’.   There was certainly lots of ‘summer’ yesterday.   111F in the sun, near the roof…  but I’m not a roofer, so it was probably closer to 100F in the real world of my back yard.   I’ve got to get another sensor somewhere in the shade so I have a gut check on the highs.

Spent the day catching up on auction and home stuff, and opened cards for Father’s Day.  Kids are off at camp now for the week, and I’ve got stuff to do.

I did harvest about 6 more blueberries when I checked the gardens.  Heat has been hard on the tomatoes.  And everything else really, but the tomatoes and my grapefruit tree especially.   Peppers are not doing well in the heat either.   Apple tree is fully leafed in and looking strong.   Zukes and/or cukes are flowering and haven’t died yet. Grapevines are growing, which is nice.   I thought the freeze killed one of the two.  It’ll be a couple of years before I pick grapes again though.  Setbacks in the garden would have dire consequences if I was counting on it for food.   Good thing I’ve got canned veg.  🙂 And good thing I’ve got canned meat, as the local squirrel population is much reduced since we cut down the pecan tree.   There is still a lot for them to eat- oak, cherry, pine, mushrooms, and other seeds, but the pecans must have supported a dozen more than we have now.

One small change to the very local ecosystem, and a big change in the animals that depend on it.  Something to think about.

Right now, the garden is the backup to the canned goods, not the other way around, and I’m under no real illusion that I’ll get more than a couple of meals out of my current situation.  But I am learning some things.   Mainly that it’s harder than it looks!   Get started climbing the learning curve, even if it’s just in containers on the porch or in the driveway.

And because gardens are fickle, finicky things, stack the canned goods high and deep.

nick

 

66 Comments and discussion on "Mon. Jun. 20, 2022 – ah Monday, so much potential…."

  1. Ray Thompson says:

    Why is my external disk drive making noises like it is being accessed? And has been for about an hour. I checked Windows performance monitor and Windows is not accessing the drive as it is showing no activity.

    3
  2. brad says:

    @Ray: I’ve had the same experience – ain’t it great? One has no fscking idea what modern operating systems are doing, and they won’t tell you, either. Could well be some sort of file system maintenance.

    For paranoia, you might want to check that you aren’t losing files to ransomware :-/

  3. JimB says:

    Ray, does that external drive have an access light? All mine do, but some double as power lights, making interpretation harder.

    Could be activity internal to the drive. Are the power and data connections separate? Disconnect data and see what happens. Don’t assume it is the computer.

  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    Indexing service?   Whatever windows calls it when they move files to the beginning of the drive to “optimize” access speeds?  Defrag?

    I’ve got that win10 machine for the kids that wakes up, spins the disk once, and turns sound on and off, every 10 minutes by the clock.   NO idea what that is about, or why after 40 years the sound system has to make the speakers pop when it turns on.

    Freakin’ computers.

    n

    3
  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    80F at 8am…. we might be getting into the season of the 10s.  We’ll  see if we get 90F at 9am.

    n

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    Nope.   9am and only 85F.

    n

  7. Clayton W. says:

    Bah!  I got a battery powered chainsaw, Ryobi, to take out a small tree.  Shipped with 2 batteries, charger, chainsaw, blade guard, Allen wrench, and lots of instructions and warnings.  What’s missing, you ask?  Bar oil. They really need to save a few bucks on that?  Gotta run to the hardware store.

  8. Greg Norton says:

    Bah!  I got a battery powered chainsaw, Ryobi, to take out a small tree.  Shipped with 2 batteries, charger, chainsaw, blade guard, Allen wrench, and lots of instructions and warnings.  What’s missing, you ask?  Bar oil. They really need to save a few bucks on that?  Gotta run to the hardware store.

    Bar oil has been missing from low end electric chainsaws for a while. I don’t think it is a cost saving move as much as a transportation issue. All it takes is one leak in a shipping container.

    When we moved from Florida to WA State, the idiots packing our house boxed all of our detergents, and one bottle leaked. None of our stuff was damaged, but the soap went all over artwork and a motorcycle (!) belonging to the households sharing the truck with us.

    Not our problem. The packing company got really overzealous thinking my wife’s employer was paying the full bill as a writeoff. Bzzzt.

  9. MrAtoz says:

    Bah!  I got a battery powered chainsaw, Ryobi, to take out a small tree.  Shipped with 2 batteries, charger, chainsaw, blade guard, Allen wrench, and lots of instructions and warnings.  What’s missing, you ask?  Bar oil. They really need to save a few bucks on that?  Gotta run to the hardware store.

    you should call plugs. He‘ll get right on it and force them to make ‘mo oil.

    2
  10. Pecancorner says:

    Bah!  I got a battery powered chainsaw, Ryobi, to take out a small tree.  Shipped with 2 batteries, charger, chainsaw, blade guard, Allen wrench, and lots of instructions and warnings.  What’s missing, you ask?  Bar oil. They really need to save a few bucks on that?  Gotta run to the hardware store.

    I bought my corded electric chain saw at Harbor Freight. It came with a teensy bottle of chain oil, maybe 4 tablespoons. Harbor Freight sells chain saws but does not carry chain oil, so I had to go to Home Depot to get it.    

    I’ve been eying battery operated chain saws to give me a little more flexibility (although I will never cut my own cord wood. I hope.)  Will be interested to hear how you like the Ryobi one.  Now that I’ve started with their batteries (thanks again @Ray or whomever it was who posted about Ryobi Days here!),  I guess I’ll continue to acquire their tools.    

  11. Pecancorner says:

    Heat has been hard on the tomatoes. And everything else really, but the tomatoes and my grapefruit tree especially.

    I planted only 4 tomato plants, and they are not doing well.  One is a cherry tomato, which should be producing by now, but I’ve only gotten 5 tiny tomatoes. It is early for the large tomatoes, mid-July is when they should ripen, but still none of them are setting fruit yet, despite lots of blooms and enough wind to shake them around.   I used the same method my neighbor taught me, that gave me 400 lbs from 18 or 20 plants one year.   

    Spider mites have already taken hold on the tomato plants – that is a major pest, and the EPA has cancelled whatever product used to actually kill the insects. Nothing else that I’ve tried that claims to kill them actually works.    Spider mites are much worse in hot, dry years.  Normally they don’t get a foothold on the tomato plants until late July or August, but because this year is so dry, they started early.    They don’t actually kill the plants right away, the effect is to stunt the fruit, and eventually the plants die from lack of nutrition as the mites kill the leaves. 

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10933035/The-spies-posing-servants-new-book-lawyer-warns-techs-terrifying-consequences.html

    –regular readers here should be familiar with most of the instances discussed…

    n

  13. JimB says:

    In a pinch, use any oil or ATF as bar oil. I spent many years doing that on my old chain saw. Back then, I never heard of bar oil.

    Maybe worse, the guy who sold me the saw used regular SAE30 engine oil in the gasoline. Suspicious, I took the head off, and everything was like-new clean. I switched it to 50:1 synthetic motorcycle oil, and it gave me many years of service. Needs a new chain, and I am too lazy to find one. Saw is too old to be on anyone’s list. Yeah, I could take the chain off and make a few measurements, but lazy.

    Bought a plug-in electric Harbor Freight saw for $40. It only needed to last a day for my needs, but the dang thing is still going strong after two seasons of bucking limb wood for heat. Surprisingly noisy for electric.

    2
  14. lpdbw says:

    Sitting in Panera, listening to some paper American chick fleecing an Amish guy with some multi-level marketing scam.

    I feel sorry for him, but what can you do?

    She’s really smooth at sales, for someone who obviously learned English late.  He’s got “mark” showing all over.

    Curiously, in a half-hour, I haven’t heard anything about an actual product.

  15. Clayton W. says:

    you should call plugs. He‘ll get right on it and force them to make ‘mo oil.

    While forcing them out of business at the same time.

  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    hmm, starting to get a scratchy throat…

    n

  17. Jenny says:

    RE: Electric chain saws

    We’ve got a Kobalt battery chain saw. Love it.  When we had about ten mature trees taken out last year (birch, alder, cottonwood) the guys brought their gas powered. I offered my Kobalt when I saw them spending more time dicking with their tools than dropping trees. A bit of gentle mockery. I set it down, shrugged, walked away. ½ hour later they’d abaondined their gas saws and used my Kobalt. Dropped, limbed and bucked probably eight trees that day. 8-14” trunks. Went through probably six batteries, 2.5 amp to 6.0 amp. 
     

    Earlier this year we were helping prep our churches summer camp. Lots of beetle killed spruce to drop, limb, and buck. Half a dozen guys with their gas chain saws. And our Kobalt. Guess which tool was the biggest workhorse?

    Our Pastor was so effusive and pleased with the saw we bought him one. A couple weekends later he and my husband played dueling chainsaws to drop, limb and buck many more trees. 
     

    I bought it for light duty. I replace the chain ($6 cheap) before a big job. I keep it clean and well oiled. Swap the battery before it runs out, safer that way I suspect. Never had a problem. 
     

    It is light enough for me to use safely, powerful enough to make short work of 8-10” trunk (birch, spruce, cottonwood, all softwoods). 12” trunk gets to be hairy with the 14” bar. It does burn through batteries. Maybe 30-45 minutes steady work on a charge. Not a problem for us as we’ve got 6-8 charged and ready to go at any given time. 

    I haven’t paid attention to how long batteries take to recharge. I also expect my maintenance of the tool has a lot to do with it seemingly outperforming it’s gas brethren.

    3
  18. EdH says:

    Spider mites have already taken hold on the tomato plants – that is a major pest, and the EPA has cancelled whatever product used to actually kill the insects. Nothing else that I’ve tried that claims to kill them actually works.

    Yep.  I’ve  a friend that swears they  get all their “good” stuff from yard and estate sales – occasionally free if someone is moving and just wants it GONE.  Even the professional land sharks that run estate sales usually don’t haggle if you offer them pennies for “everything in the old shed”.

  19. CowboyStu says:

    From JimB:

    You’re on, and I might treat if I am in a good mood. I just hope I will be in town. Seriously, I have been out of town much more than usual since early 2022. I hope it has ended for a while. I would like to meet you. It seems I have missed too many opportunities. Life is full.

    I recall you mentioning being down here in Orange County visiting.  If so and you are coming again, I’m sure we could get together.  I’m in Huntington Beach about a mile west of thr intersection on PCH and Warner Ave.

  20. Pecancorner says:

    @Lynn, my dad really likes  the RayOVac indestructable flashlight.  A big thumbs up on that gift.    🙂

    1
  21. JimB says:

    I recall you mentioning being down here in Orange County visiting.  If so and you are coming again, I’m sure we could get together.  I’m in Huntington Beach about a mile west of thr intersection on PCH and Warner Ave.

    (Thanks for reposting. I only saw it by chance as I shifted from my phone to my computer.)

    Uhh, you must mean East, unless you live on a boat. Seriously, thanks for the invitation.

    I used to visit my 100 YO aunt in Mission Viejo, but she passed in February. That is part of why I have been so busy, although I owe much credit to other family members for taking care of a lot of that situation.

    Since my aunt was the center of a lot of family events, my wife and I wonder what changes will happen. We don’t have many relatives in the LA area, and we are not close with any. Also, a lot have died off over the years. Another effect is that we will again be able to travel: we had not considered trips as long as she was doing well, and we could see her. That situation has been going on for several years.

    We will get to your general area, but not sure when. I will let you know when we do, with plenty of notice. I would still like to buy you a PBR in that neighborhood spot you mentioned, and feel a bit guilty for missing other opportunities.

  22. paul says:

    Just curious: do you give spicy food to your dogs?

    They get everything but poultry bones and knee caps. Nothing with a hint of mold.  If it’s not good enough for me it goes into the freezer until trash day.  They get about a heaping tablespoon mixed in their dry.  Gives them some variety. 

    Penny eats around raw tomatoes and eats them sometimes.  Buddy eats them last.  Buddy really likes to eat.  Both like spaghetti sauce and chili.  They like dry roasted peanuts, don’t like raisins.  Buddy likes chocolate so no leaving any Hershey Minis on the coffee table.

    I’ve had other dogs that eat everything but raw onions. 

  23. drwilliams says:

    re: chain saws

    Stihl. Gas. 

    Their pole saw is one of the 10 best all-time purchases. 

    1
  24. Alan says:

    >> you should call plugs. He‘ll get right on it and force them to make ‘mo oil.

    Or…he’ll invoke the DPA and force them to come up with oil-free chain saw bars, maybe sorta like this.

  25. lynn says:

    “Texas plans to place charging stations for electric cars every 50 miles on most interstates”

        https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/texas-electric-vehicle-charging-stations-17253157.php

    “Texas is planning to add enough electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state to support 1 million electric vehicles with dozens of new stations to allow for easier long-distance travel.  In a draft plan released this month, the Texas Department of Transportation broke down a five-year plan to create a network of chargers throughout the state, starting along main corridors and interstate highways before building stations in rural areas.  The plan is to have charging stations every 50 miles along most non-business interstate routes.  In most other areas in the state, there will be charging stations within 70 miles, according to the plan. Each station is designed to have multiple stalls so there will likely be one available whenever someone stops to charge.  The chargers will be high-powered at 150kW, able to bring most electric vehicles from 10% to 80% in about half an hour, according to the report.” 

    “The funding is coming from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed last year, which is estimated to allocate about $408 million over five years to Texas for the purpose of expanding its electric vehicle charging network. No funds from the state budget will be used. Nationally, the goal is to create a network of 500,000 convenient and reliable electric vehicle chargers by 2030. In total from the infrastructure act, Texas is expected to receive about $35.44 billion over five years for roads, bridges, pipes, ports, broadband access and other projects.  Less than 1% of Texans’ registered vehicles are electric.  As of May 31, there were 129,010 electric vehicles registered in Texas, according to the report.”

    I would be much more impressed if the federal government was not broke.

  26. lynn says:

    @Lynn, my dad really likes  the RayOVac indestructable flashlight.  A big thumbs up on that gift.    

    Sweet, me and Ray are the flashlight whisperers !

        https://www.amazon.com/Rayovac-Virtually-Indestructible-Black-Flashlight/dp/B0716D98GQ?tag=ttgnet-20/

    2
  27. paul says:

    I looked at that knife set and “Meh, gimmick” is all I can say.   I have plenty of knives.  What do I use the most? Some steak knives I bought at the grocery store back in 1980 for $1.97 each.  Hey, that was a lot of money when you make $4.75 an hour and you have rent and utilities.  

    Plenty of weeks back then where a can of spam or tuna to go with the store brand mac and cheese was High Cotton.  Way back when my Sears card was good for $600 and a 12″ b&w TV cost $85 on sale.

    They are Veri-Veri Sharp by Imperial.  Stainless USA.  I just looked.  Serrated with serrations in the serrations. Nice and even too, both sides bevel (?) instead of one side being flat.

  28. lynn says:

    “Harris County wants to build tunnels channeling floodwater to Gulf of Mexico”

        https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/harris-county-flood-tunnels-17249695.php

    “Authorities in Harris County believe a series of tunnels underneath the region’s network of bayous could help keep floodwater out of homes and businesses during the worst of Greater Houston’s storms, and a new report released this week details their plans so far. ”

    OK, this makes sense.  And yes, it is a lot of 30 foot diameter tunnels 50+ feet below ground.

    Anyone got 5 or 6 billion dollars laying around ?

  29. lynn says:

    Nope.   9am and only 85F.

    n

    It was 100 F out here in the sticks when I drove to the office at 1 pm.

  30. nick flandrey says:

    103F in the sun at the moment.

    n

  31. MrAtoz says:

    Anyone got 5 or 6 billion dollars laying around ?

    Whrrrrrr [sound of Federal printing presses starting up…] “Money? We don’t need no stinkin’ money. We got fiat currency.

  32. lynn says:

    ERCOT is forecasting a peak load of 77,000 MW today at 4pm to 6pm.  If so, that would be a new record demand for ERCOT.  The wind turbines are making 16,000 MW right now and the solar is making 8,000 MW now.

       https://www.ercot.com/

  33. paul says:

    OK, this makes sense.  And yes, it is a lot of 30 foot diameter tunnels 50+ feet below ground.

    Seems ditches would be cheaper.  But hey, the intakes to the drain tunnels will make a handy place to dump the bodies.  

    For added fun, a storm surge can pump a lot of sea water into town.  With sharks and jelly fish. 

    2
  34. CowboyStu says:

    Uhh, you must mean East, unless you live on a boat. Seriously, thanks for the invitation.

    My apologies, my house is East of that intersection.

  35. lynn says:

    OK, this makes sense.  And yes, it is a lot of 30 foot diameter tunnels 50+ feet below ground.

    Seems ditches would be cheaper.  But hey, the intakes to the drain tunnels will make a handy place to dump the bodies.  

    For added fun, a storm surge can pump a lot of sea water into town.  With sharks and jelly fish. 

    We’ve got plenty of ditches already, they are called bayous.  So the proposal is to put enclosed ditches below the existing open ditches.  More open ditches would require significant house removal which gets political in a hurry.

    Most of Houston is more than 40 feet above sea level.  My son’s house is 45 feet above sea level, my house and office are both 81 feet.  The biggest recorded storm surge was hurricane Ike in 2008 with 24 feet.  Of course, the Galveston hurricane of 1900 was probably even bigger.   Hurricane Carla, cat 5 with 145 mph winds in 1961, was a 22 foot storm surge.

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

  36. Greg Norton says:

    “Texas plans to place charging stations for electric cars every 50 miles on most interstates”

    Is Texas going to construct every station or only in locations where chargers are otherwise unavailable?

    I suspect some kind of subsidy is involved to Tesla and, possibly, Buc-ee’s, Pilot/Flying-J, etc.

    Buc-ee’s is well known to play government subsidies, and I’ve been suspicious about Warren Buffett hustling to get Pilot/Flying-J assimiliated onto his balance sheet by 2024.

    The game is afoot.

  37. Chad says:

    Plenty of weeks back then where a can of spam or tuna to go with the store brand mac and cheese was High Cotton

    I still dice up some Spam, fry it, and mix it into my Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for old time’s sake. 🙂 That’s also a good way to use up leftover hotdogs.

    Anyone got 5 or 6 billion dollars laying around ?

    Just print some. Americans are getting used to the inflation. They like the hurt. 

    Sweet, me and Ray are the flashlight whisperers !

    https://www.amazon.com/Rayovac-Virtually-Indestructible-Black-Flashlight/dp/B0716D98GQ

    Nice looking flashlight. Probably a nice option for around the house. For travel and camping/hiking I’ve sworn off of anything black or camouflaged. Too many “cool looking” flashlights and compasses lost in the woods (especially in my youth). I’ll take yellow or fluorescent orange, please. 

    I’ve been suspicious about Warren Buffett hustling to get Pilot/Flying-J assimiliated onto his balance sheet by 2024.

    Pliot and Flying J are all over the place when it comes to their truck/travel stops. Some are huge and modern and clean. Others look like rundown filling stations. I don’t like how them and TA have gobbled up most of the ma and pa truck stops and converted their yummy greasy spoon diners into some horrid national brand.

  38. Rick H says:

    The Flying-J and Pilot stations I have stopped at on I-5 (Olympic WA to Sacramento CA) and I-5/I-84/I-15 (WA to SLC) have all been modern and are newer.  Even one in Ely NV (probably the biggest town in central/east NV) was spacious and clean.  

    Some have fast food places (national brands) inside the station (or attached), and lots of “7-11” type selection inside (plus trucker stuff). Clean restrooms, trucker showers (haven’t been in them). A few have a separate sit-down dining area.

    At least 12 gas/diesel pumps outside for Auto, lots of truck diesel in a separate area. Some have separate RV pump areas. Lots of room around the gas pumps for RV/trailers. 

    These are at major cities along the way. Always busy, but usually not overcrowded. Rarely have to wait more than one car deep. Can’t speak to travel outside those areas – those are my main travel routes.  

  39. SteveF says:

    I don’t understand why Tucker Carlson speaks so highly of [Tulsi Gabbard]

    Boob fugue.

    The funding is coming from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed last year

    The key aspect in Texas’s decision to put in a bazillion charging stations. After all, it’s a crime to not use free money if it’s waved your way.

  40. Ray Thompson says:

    does that external drive have an access light

    No, but I can hear it rattling (head movement). I have backups scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Even after the backups are complete the drive is still being active.

    Back from Dollywood. Found out I can take my DV ID and get handicap access (avoid the lines) to all the rides and reserved seating at all the shows. Found it out when we were leaving as I was curious. And the handicap thinga-muh-hoochie is good for the person plus 5 guests.

    Tomorrow is a day of rest. Then back to Pigeon Forge on Wednesday so the guests can shop at Five Oak shopping mall. Clothes are cheaper here than in Norway so they can probably find something to purchase. Then at 3:00 PM we are going to a dinner show, Pirates Voyage.

    So far I have paid for everything with no offer to pay from the mother. A little annoying as I am out several hundred dollars in tickets, meals and food. She did buy her own beer at the grocery store to bring back to the house. Dollywood tickets were guest passes as part of my season tickets so not out any real money for those. Food in Dollywood, yes, which I paid with no offer of help.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. When I have traveled to Germany our hosts have paid for everything. Of course we had their child for 10 months and perhaps there was a feeling of debt. A bargain exchange as it were. Maybe hosts are supposed to pay in their culture. Or maybe they think I am loaded.

    In Norway if the student is more than some distance (I don’t remember the exact amount) then the government pays the family about $300 a month to help with the costs of living away from home. When our Norwegian student was here she was on a very limited budget. Her mother was keeping the money rather than giving some to her daughter.

    Wednesday will be the last sponsored event. If they want to go somewhere (close) I will take them. But I am not planning anything that costs money (other than gas).

  41. Ray Thompson says:

    At least 12 gas/diesel pumps outside for Auto

    Rookie. Buc-ee’s has 200 pumps. At least 90+% of them occupied during the day. I don’t know if Buc-ee’s is open at night.

  42. Greg Norton says:

    Pliot and Flying J are all over the place when it comes to their truck/travel stops. Some are huge and modern and clean. Others look like rundown filling stations. I don’t like how them and TA have gobbled up most of the ma and pa truck stops and converted their yummy greasy spoon diners into some horrid national brand

    Once Berkshire Hathaway finishes absorbing Pilot/Flying J onto their balance sheet and kicks out the founding family, I’m sure there are plans to “allocate capital” towards cleaning up the image of the chain.

  43. SteveF says:

    Her mother was keeping the money rather than giving some to her daughter.

    See also: child support, sympathy payments from family and friends, and various government and charitable handouts for impoverished families with children

    In this general area, some number of families, by which I mean mothers raising children without the father present although some other man might have been living there, have been paid visits because the mother was spending all of the child support on herself and barely feeding or clothing the kid(s). Threats were made if the kids weren’t properly provided for starting immediately.

    While admitting to no personal knowledge of these events, I will acknowledge that neglecting or abusing children provoke an unreasoning anger in me.

  44. Rick H says:

    Once Berkshire Hathaway finishes absorbing Pilot/Flying J onto their balance sheet and kicks out the founding family, I’m sure there are plans to “allocate capital” towards cleaning up the image of the chain.

    Some RV mags/articles I have read suggest that Pilot/FlyingJ will also become more RV-friendly, some with separate RV overnight spots (away from the truckers, so a bit quieter), along with other improvements.

    Don’t have an RV or trailer at the moment. Slight chance I will get one, but gas prices are a factor in long-distance travel. And most of my travel is to the grandkids in CA and UT. Using an RV is also a bit more effort, with my spouse’s full-time oxygen needs. Yes, I know that many RVs and trailers have generators, and most RV camps have full hookups.  

    Have looked at Class C and trailers as options. But trailer would have to be smaller, since the Highlander has a 5000 towing limit, otherwise I’d have to replace it with something bigger. Class C’s are an option, but expensive – even a recent model is $45K+ plus around here. Smaller trailers are about $20-30K new. Hard to find recent used trailers, especially well-built in the GVW I need. Don’t really want one older than 8 years.

    I am also more of a ‘homebody’. Most of my travels in my decades have been ‘destination-oriented’. Not much of a ‘wandering’ traveler.

  45. NaN says:

    See also: child support, sympathy payments from family and friends, and various government and charitable handouts for impoverished families with children

    I mean, depending on state law, you’re the one screwing yourself by staying in a marriage you want out of.  Generally, the longer you stay, the more you will pay 

    2
    1
  46. Greg Norton says:

    Rookie. Buc-ee’s has 200 pumps. At least 90+% of them occupied during the day. I don’t know if Buc-ee’s is open at night.

    All Buc-ee’s are 24 hours. We hit Temple about 9 PM last night and the place was still busy.

  47. Kenneth C Mitchell says:

    And yes, it is a lot of 30 foot diameter tunnels 50+ feet below ground.

    Elon Musk’s Boring Company might be interested in that job.

  48. Greg Norton says:

    Elon Musk’s Boring Company might be interested in that job.

    Swamp. High water table.

    The Real Life Tony Stark (TM) claims that he will be able to dig a tunnel between South Padre Island, TX and his launch complex at Boca Chica, in similar terrain. Lets see that one finished first before comitting public money.

  49. nick flandrey says:

    Like the “Big Dig” in Chicago…

    n

  50. Alan says:

    >> Each station is designed to have multiple stalls so there will likely be one available whenever someone stops to charge.  The chargers will be high-powered at 150kW, able to bring most electric vehicles from 10% to 80% in about half an hour, according to the report. 

    “multiple” more than one, as few as two. 

    “likely” search ‘Supercharger waiting lines’ on YouTube. 

    “half an hour” how many times can your five-year old repeat ‘Dad, are we done charging yet’ before you lose it? 

    Fun times ahead. Btw, my wife asked me yesterday how many hydrogen filling stations there are in the US. Alexa said five.

    1
  51. SteveF says:

    Lets see that one finished first before comitting public money.

    You don’t think the tunnel to Boca Chica will be government-subsidized? We need to get our sooper sekret sats up somehow or other and we don’t want those pesky Russkies doing it even if we aren’t in a hot war with them at launch time. Of course, NASA can put up the sooper sekret sats without needing private corporations, once their latest generation launcher is finished and reliab– OK, I couldn’t finish that with a straight face.

    I am also more of a ‘homebody’.

    Likewise. I spent an awful lot of time going to an awful lot of (mostly awful) places, mostly with the Army but also for work afterward. It took most of the wanderlust out of me.

    On the other hand, I’m feeling it again, a little, and might want to spend some time driving around the US in an RV or a van pulling a camper, once The Child is grown. On the other other hand, what keeps dragging me back to NY is family issues and there’s a good chance that I’ll need to stick around to help with the elder generation even after The Child is a nominal adult, unless the elder generation does me the favor of kicking the bucket by then. No, wait, that came out wrong…

    Like the “Big Dig” in Chicago…

    I lived in Boston around 2001. That Big Dig had been under construction for ten years by that point, plus ten years of clearing away buildings and other prep work, and was barely more than halfway done. For what was planned as a four-year project, IIRC. Ah, that sweet, sweet federal money. Smells like… pockets being lined.

  52. drwilliams says:

    “huh, just got an ISE 500 error, and ‘back’ goes to an empty comment form…”

    Me, too. I had a rather long comment that was a follow-up to the SF discussion last night.

    So, take another tack:

    @Lynn

    https://studyfy.com/blog/the-10-best-sci-fi-authors-of-all-time

    [note the difference between the title and the link]

    “William Gibson, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Robert Heinlein, Ursula K. Le Guin, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, John Ringo, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Philip K. Dick.”

    “Yup, that is eleven, not ten. And that is a great group. I would like to add David Weber and Orson Scott Card to the group.”

    @nick

    – I like Ringo, but wouldn’t put him on that list. And I would have chosen his Posleen invasion or the zombie books over the Ghost/kildar/etc stories. I’m not sure I’d say he was meticulous about the science either…

    Larry Niven and the Ringworld had a bigger influence on SciFi than Ringo has had. His Known Space stuff VASTLY outclasses Ringo.

    I think you might have to do what Wheel of Fortune does with common letters, in an article like that. Start with Wells, Verne, Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, and maybe a couple others as a given, then build a list of ten on top of that… I agree that Gibson changed the world of SciFi, but Sterling, Cadigan, and a few others did too and at the same time. Heck, Alan Dean Foster did more to get SF paperbacks into readers hands than any 4 other authors…

    @lynn

    Ringo’s Kildar series crossed over into Romance and went BIG. Supposedly totally funded his retirement for 30 years and then some. Ringo was giving out free tshirts at Cons for a while saying “Oh John Ringo no !”.

    Actually my favorite Ringo series is the “Live Free or Die” series. AKA the “Maple Syrup” series.

    And I feel bad that I forgot to add Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Alan Dean Foster to the list.

    So…

    Founders: Verne, Wells. ADD: Edward Page Mitchell

    The Transition from Pulp: Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke.

    ADD: John Campbell (author and editor) and Andre Norton

    Short Story Refinement: Bradbury

    The Fifties Novel (140-180pp) Grows Up: Heinlein, Herbert

    (Kurt, I know you don’t want to be here, but Ice 9 and Billy Pilgrim–just sayin’)

    Universe Makers: Niven, Niven and Pournelle (the first writing team with personal computers), Roddenberry. Laumer.

    Post-1970 tiers get more personal preference and less agreement:

    (No Lucas is not on any list I will make. I read the novelization of his first movie before I saw the movie. If you think he deserves to be on the list with Roddenberry, my counterargument is his original opening crawl beside the rewrite from DePalma)

    Sterling invented the term cyberpunk. Gibson is often wrongly credited with inventing the subgenre. Meh. I’d rank Melissa Scott as a better cyperpunk writer. I can make a good case for Laumer having invented cyberpunk nearly 20 years earlier than the term. He also wrote two true multiverse series but he’s on the Universe Maker list for Bolos.

    Alan Dean Foster, David Drake, David Weber, James Hogan. Masters all.

    David Weber, John Ringo, and Eric Flint are ground breaking collaborationists, folling in the footsteps of Niven and Pournelle.

    L.E. Modessit, Jr. The Recluse and Imager universes are masterpieces. The latter is perhaps pure fantasy with some thermo mixed in. The former is fantasy with SF roots that show in the first book and sporadically thereafter, echoing Norton’s Witch World in more ways than one.

    Eric Flint. Universe Maker: 1632. Same as collaborationist. Editor par excellence. No one could replace Jim Baen, but thank goodness Eric was there.

  53. drwilliams says:

    another sf comment:

    I’m reading SM Anderson’s Eden Chronicles. 

    Recommended. 

  54. drwilliams says:

    “Elon Musk’s Boring Company”

    Some of his companies may be boring, but others have had some interesting layoffs lately.

  55. nick flandrey says:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/worlds-largest-cruise-ship-set-scrapyard-without-single-sail

    – maybe.  if no buyer can be found.   None has been found yet.

    I liked the cruise I did, but really  don’t want to ever do another.

    n

  56. lynn says:

    (No Lucas is not on any list I will make. I read the novelization of his first movie before I saw the movie. If you think he deserves to be on the list with Roddenberry, my counterargument is his original opening crawl beside the rewrite from DePalma)

    Alan Dean Foster ghostwrote the first Star Wars book that Lucas claimed he authored.  

    1
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  57. RickH says:

    From my vantage point ‘somewhere opposite Mutiny Bay, WA’, I see several cruise ships go by daily at around 530pm. They depart from Seattle WA, and head up to Victoria  (Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada), and then up to Alaska via the Inside Passage. I think on the return trip, they go down the coast then turn east into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca then back to Seattle.

    Some are quite large. Three this evening: “Quantum of the Seas” (1141 feet long, passenger capacity: 4100 – 4900),  “Carnival Splendor” (950 feet, passenger capacity 3000), “Disney Wonder” (940 feet, capacity 2400). I see them each evening during the summer.

    There have been larger ships in the past. Passenger capacity around 7000; don’t recall the names. But they have been regular voyages for the past couple-three weeks.

  58. drwilliams says:

    “Alan Dean Foster ghostwrote the first Star Wars book that Lucas claimed he authored.  ”

    Yup. And even Foster couldn’t make a good story out of it.

  59. nick flandrey says:

    Hah, I read the book before seeing the movie.  My parents didn’t want to let me see it, and didn’t understand the appeal.   They REALLY didn’t understand lining up to see it again and again, but that phenomenon was what I think actually convinced them that it was something to see.

    n

  60. nick flandrey says:

    The first one isn’t a bad story.  It’s just a fairy tale in space.   All the added shite in the next 8 turned a simple “farmboy becomes a hero and gets the girl” story into a “hidden prince” story with weird family stuff going on.    

    n

  61. nick flandrey says:

    WHY didn’t they go in? Chilling first image emerges from inside Texas school showing cops with rifles and ballistic shields in corridor 19 minutes after gunman entered – but they waited another FIFTY-EIGHT MINUTES to storm classroom

    • A freeze-frame from surveillance cameras inside Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, show police inside the building at 11:52am on May 24
    • The gunman, Salvador Ramos, had entered the school 19 minutes earlier, but was not shot dead until 12:50pm
    • Serious questions have been raised as to why the police did not immediately storm the school and end the massacre
    • Monday’s new detail will heap further pressure on Uvalde police as the grieving parents and relatives of the 19 children and two teachers demand answers 

    could be they didn’t want to get shot.  Could be cowardice.  Could be bad training.    

    What should be is an exit from law enforcement.

    n

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10936129/First-pic-inside-Texas-school-shows-cops-rifles-shield-NINETEEN-MINS-gunman-entered.html

    4
  62. Alan says:

    >> could be they didn’t want to get shot.  Could be cowardice.  Could be bad training.  

    So does plugs prefer dems for his protective detail?

  63. Alan says:

    >> All Buc-ee’s are 24 hours. We hit Temple about 9 PM last night and the place was still busy.

    And you can live there, kinda, sorta.

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  64. brad says:

    Could be cowardice.  Could be bad training.

    Could be bad human beings. Seriously, who can just stand by, while kids are getting shot? What kind of person is that?

    What should be is an exit from law enforcement.

    This. The problem is: they may leave Uvalde, but they will be hired the next town over. In the worst case, they’ll have to move to a different state.

    I really want to see police required to carry individual malpractice insurance. Bad cops will become uninsurable, and will be forced out.

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  65. Alan says:

    >> I really want to see police required to carry individual malpractice insurance. Bad cops will become uninsurable, and will be forced out.

    In the US the police unions would fight tooth and nail to keep this out of their contracts.

  66. Geoff Powell says:

    @stevef:

    I lived in Boston around 2001. That Big Dig had been under construction for ten years by that point, plus ten years of clearing away buildings and other prep work, and was barely more than halfway done. For what was planned as a four-year project, IIRC. Ah, that sweet, sweet federal money. Smells like… pockets being lined.

    We had a similar, albeit not so bad, situation recently here in London. The latest Tube line (the Elizabeth Line, named for H.M.) has just opened, several years late, and £4bn over budget. That’s a 55 mile long subway line, from Reading in the West, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the East, with a branch to Heathrow Airport. It goes under the centre of the city.

    I’ve travelled on it, soon after opening last month, and it’s quite swish.

    Of course, to make up for that, we have national rail strikes 3 days this week, and a Tube strike today. I’m not travelling until it’s over.

    G.

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