Tues. Sept. 6, 2022 – more digging, more work

By on September 6th, 2022 in computing, decline and fall, lakehouse, personal

Cool to start but warming up later.    Humid of course.  It was 89F when I knocked off working yesterday, and still 80F when I went to bed.  Even though it started cool, it ended pretty warm.

Spent the day breaking rocks in the hot sun.   Didn’t fight the law.  Details in yesterday’s comments.

Today should be more work by the septic guy, and I should do a lot less to help.   If it’s reasonably cool, I’ll be in the attic running gas pipe.  If not, I’ll do something else.   There is always something else to do.

Wife and kids made it home safe.  I had a nice fire, and the shortwave bands were pretty wide open up to about 9 mhz.   Nothing much after that.   Ham bands, 40m especially, were crowded.   Didn’t hear much, too many pileups.

Early to bed, because today will be early to rise.  Don’t think it’s gonna make me wealthy, or wise, but I’m sure to learn more about septic.

Stacking up the knowledge.

Stack something, ‘cuz you never know what you’ll need.

nick

73 Comments and discussion on "Tues. Sept. 6, 2022 – more digging, more work"

  1. Greg Norton says:

    >> Most of the population can’t afford the vehicles they are driving now.

    Which is why they came to up with leasing. The F&I guys loved it with more variables to play with. Of course most everyone didn’t forsee the “one bagger” opportunity for the lessees to buy the vehicle and flip it. 

    EVs and hybrids have a lot of depreciation. Now that the Fed isn’t buying the car loan paper and rates are headed up, I’d be surprised if lease flips like that are working out well selling to anyone but a Blue Oval collector who wants to put that Lightning in his hanger-sized garage.

    Lots of things are possible when banks can write and sell 2% paper and the used market includes private equity-backed places with plenty of blank checks like Carvana.

  2. Greg Norton says:

    “Software Development is Young”

    Yes. Unfortunately, the practice is currently stuck going around in a cul-de-sac of Hot Skillz languages with LLVM back ends which end up being syntactic sugar for C++.

    We may be stuck here for at least a generation.

    Breaking the web dependence on power-hungry interpreted JavaScript and Python with layers of libraries no one truly understands may motivate some research grants towards something better.

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  3. Nick Flandrey says:

    The emergent AI in Google’s data centers will make “programming” obsolete, except as a niche….   maybe.

    74F and looking like a clear day.   Septic guy due around 8.

    Woke around 4 with terrible leg cramps.   I will be drinking a bit more electrolyte solution today.

    Back doesn’t feel too bad, hands are tired though.   Haven’t tried swinging the sledgehammer yet though…

    n

  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    Carvana, carmax, and similar companies are trying to disrupt a business model with a LOT of inertia and regulation.   To me it mostly looks like ‘lipstick and mascara’ at this point, but they are having a bigger effect.

    The two biggest- 90-100 day returns.   That is crazy good in a business full of quick flip and shady practices.   It leads to the second, between them they are sucking up all the “near new” used cars and paying more for them.  That means higher sticker for buyers too.

    So buyer gets a car they can believe in, but pays more, as the whole industry pays more.   It might also mean that anyone NOT them will be automatically viewed as suspect and shady with lesser quality goods.  We’ll see if my own experience becomes more widespread.

    Financing tricks and mind games will continue to sell new cars, but how many were sold during the Depression?   Auto parts stores and mechanics should do ok…

    n

  5. Greg Norton says:

    Carvana, carmax, and similar companies are trying to disrupt a business model with a LOT of inertia and regulation.   To me it mostly looks like ‘lipstick and mascara’ at this point, but they are having a bigger effect.

    Carvana is trying to be “first mover” with lots of private equity. Considering their current stack of legal problems, I’m not sure that they are the business model of the future.

    Carmax trades publicly, but it too has benefited from the ability to borrow lots of money at very low cost.

    A reversion to even historic norms of interest rates will crush the current Carmax business model as well.

  6. Ray Thompson says:

    Bummer. Yesterday went out to start the truck, doors would not even unlock. A quick check and it was obvious the battery was toast. A Motorcraft battery, installed about four years ago. 36 month full replacement, 100 month prorated warranty. Yeh, great. I can’t even get the truck back to the dealer and would probably pay installation anyway. Basically a wash, or cheaper, to replace the battery myself.

    Got a Diehard Gold, best Advance Auto Parts sells. Only a 36 month warranty. Seems the quality, and warranty expectations of batteries are dropping. $202.00 with core exchange of $20.00.

    Last time I had the truck serviced Ford cleaned the battery connections (and charged for it). When I went to remove the battery there was corrosion all over that huge positive connection that Ford uses. This time I used dielectric grease on both connections, wire brushed the connections, anti-corrosion pad underneath both connections, and sprayed battery terminal connection protector on the finished product. Something Ford should have accomplished.

    Odd thing about Ford. The extension of the running boards stops after replacing the battery. The default setting is OFF. Have to go into the control panel on the dash, using the steering wheel buttons, and reset the running boards to AUTO. Then the running boards extend when opening any of the doors. Why the default is not auto is a strange decision. A clueless programmer more than likely.

    Speaking of programming. I started in 1969 with IBM 1401 Assembler language. Then migrated to COBOL; did a lot of Burroughs Medium Systems Assembler; did some Honeywell Assembler, moved on to Algol (my favorite) on the B-6700; Assembly, Turbo Pascal, BASIC, Turbo C on the PC, BPL (Burroughs Programming Language); HTML, SQL, CSS, Java and Javascript (crappy languages). Along the way I developed a couple of my own languages and wrote compilers for the languages generating machine code with a target of a different platform.

    I slung code for 47 years total. Really enjoyed doing code. There were some oddball languages along the way dealing with ATM’s and teller machines. Really specific stuff, more like macros I would guess.

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  7. Clayton W. says:

    A clueless programmer more than likely.

    While I don’t disagree, I bet the Systems Engineer (is it called Systems Engineering in software circles?) is at fault.  And I am sure that it goes even higher than that.

    Typically, what I see happen is that the feature is added long after the requirements documents have been approved and the hardware and software design is mostly complete.  Then marketing comes in with the feature request more than a day late and a dollar short.  Management approves the effort, but no new resources, especially time, are added to the program.  So systems shoehorns the feature into the requirements doc on Friday afternoon.  It is reviewed on Monday morning and everyone has to update their documents in not nearly enough time.  So it is given to the intern or new hire.  Who really has NO idea, so they shoehorn it into the appropriate lower level document.  Without enough review or consideration.

    The poor slob in the trenches then has to add this feature in at the last minute and doesn’t really understand all the implications.  Of course, there is NEVER any time or money to clean up the specs and they can’t change anything in any event.  

    The next model year comes out and the previous years requirements are used, since that is complete ad already wrung out.  And the mess gets replicated and repeated.  Who cares that the customer gets annoyed 3 or 4 years later, we’ve designed 4 vehicles since then, so what do they know?

    And you can apply this model to every single field.  The only things that must get fixed are safety issues.  And maybe not even them.  🙁

  8. Greg Norton says:

    Last time I had the truck serviced Ford cleaned the battery connections (and charged for it). When I went to remove the battery there was corrosion all over that huge positive connection that Ford uses. This time I used dielectric grease on both connections, wire brushed the connections, anti-corrosion pad underneath both connections, and sprayed battery terminal connection protector on the finished product. Something Ford should have accomplished.

    The Exploder has battery connection corrosion issues, a common problem for the model and, possibly Ford. When I replaced the battery a few years ago, I did it properly, but the corrosion continued. 

    On the upside, the local mechanic replacing the terminal led to diagnosis of an alternator issue which in turn led to the discovery of the water pump leaking out of the weep hole hidden behind the alternator.

    If the mechanic hadn’t found the water pump leak, we may have been in Tennessee when the seal protecting the engine failed and the engine had a catastrophic failure. The leaking coolant probably trashed the alternator, but we only noticed the car had difficulty cranking and assumed it was the battery terminal. We almost let it slide to avoid a truncated road trip … which ended up happening anyway.

  9. Robert "Bob" Sprowl says:

    Programming:  I first programmed an UNIVAC 1050-II (Base supply computer for the Air Force   1967) as maintenance technician in machine code.  Discovered assembler on my first assignment (Cam Rahm Bay, Viet Nam) and thought, wow, that’s a big help.  

    Took FORTRAN and PL1 in college.  My next assignment was as a main frame programmer  in machine code at SAC Headquarters.  Supervised the rewrite of our compiler.  Used a dozen versions of BASIC and revised the Atari Assembler.  I have written code in Visual Basic, Turbo C++, Paradox for Windows, JAVA, and HTML. I have taken classes on COBOL, RPG, and the Intel assembly language so I could better communicate with my programming staff and consultants.  I love programming.  

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  10. Greg Norton says:

    HTML, SQL, CSS, Java and Javascript (crappy languages).

    There is a pushback against Javascript in web pages, but, unfortunately, Node.JS is gaining popularity on the server side since it makes anyone a “full stack” developer who can use npm and Docker.

    The dispute between Sun and FSF over which language was more appropriate for scripting web pages, Tcl or Guile/Scheme necessitated Netscape creating Javascript and it never went away.

    Node.JS is just reinventing the Tcl event driven wheel with far worse syntax.

  11. Ray Thompson says:

    I did it properly, but the corrosion continued

    Nice way to depress me.  A few years back the highlander battery was dead. A short in the alternator took out the battery. A tow to the dealer, $800.00 later, and all was well. I hope the truck dead battery is not in the same category.

  12. Greg Norton says:

    Nice way to depress me.  A few years back the highlander battery was dead. A short in the alternator took out the battery. A tow to the dealer, $800.00 later, and all was well. I hope the truck dead battery is not in the same category.

    Google for your truck model year and “battery cable corrosion”. It may not be a common issue.

    When I say “corrosion”, the problem was serious, where the metal of the terminal was dissolved to the point that it was barely on the battery.

    August was a $5000 month for Exploder repairs for issues which are arguably potential class action problems for Ford.

    I’ve never seen an OEM battery last more than three years. If you got four, you’re lucky. The problem was most likely the battery.

    If I had to guess, the fluid leaving the weep hole probably got into the alternator and caused that to fail.

  13. Ray Thompson says:

    When I say “corrosion”, the problem was serious, where the metal of the terminal was dissolved to the point that it was barely on the battery.

    Mine was just a bunch of the green stuff on the + connection. It was easily removed with battery cleaner. Then flushed with copious amounts of water. The connector looked to be in good condition. I have no idea what it looked like before Ford cleaned the connection. I generally no longer look under the hood of vehicles unless really necessary.

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  14. JimB says:

    @Ray, I was curious about that DieHard battery, so looked it up. I figured that the “Gold” moniker was still the top of the line, but no. They are running out of superlatives. You were right to select based on warranty. At least that will get you through any infant mortalities. I have had a couple over the years, and a full replacement for a year is good enough.

    The DieHard brand has been highly regarded for a long time, and may still be. I was a little surprised to find that Johnson Controls sold their battery division to Clarios. I will have to dig deeper when there is time. Many details affect the durability of a battery, only one of which is its design. Production facilities are important, too. Never heard of Clarios, but take that with a grain of salt.

    This might explain the slightly different look of the Walmart batteries lately. I cruise by and look at them from time to time, and they have been changing for about two or three years. Johnson used to make Walmart batteries for about the last ten years. Some say they were almost as good as the DieHard brand at a slightly lower price. Walmart is the only place in our area that has fresh stock with lots of turnover. The auto parts stores have older, higher priced stock.

    I have a Johnson (Napa brand) battery that came with my 1994 PU. It is nine years old and still going strong, although its impedance is starting to go up a little, so it might be nearing end of life. I am watching it and doing some therapy. I don’t have to depend on it, so I can gamble a little in the name of science.

    As for terminal corrosion, I have mentioned my practice here a few times. When I buy a used car, I simply remove the terminals from the battery, disassemble as much as possible, and neutralize with a baking soda solution. Dry thoroughly, and coat everything with a good silicone grease. Work the grease into all crevices, and heat as necessary if it is winter. The goal is to get complete penetration. Also coat the battery terminals. I pack a little grease in crevices as I put the terminals on the battery. Snug up the fasteners, and wipe with excess if that bothers you. I have had this treatment last for over 20 years with no attention. The key is that first treatment. Oh, and I don’t use a wire brush on the battery posts or clamps. I have a terminal reamer that leaves a smooth surface on both the battery and the clamps. Note: this is for lead clamps only. Any other material, such as the newer nickel plated copper or brass get a good inspection and replacement if they don’t look like new.

    I have never used anything other than as described above. I especially avoid the boots that cover the positive terminal. This both promotes and hides corrosion. If insulation is needed, the battery should have a cover built in, such as in the old VW application where the battery was under the back seat.

    Good luck with that new mouth to feed.

  15. EdH says:

    I’ve never seen an OEM battery last more than three years. If you got four, you’re lucky. The problem was most likely the battery.

    The 2019 Ram 1500 has the OEM battery. I have been thinking of replacing it, just because, but am unsure of what to get. Optima used to be my battery of choice, not sure it is still the best. Saw some bad reviews somewhere. My last couple of Diehards were 3 year batteries. The last Walmart battery lasted about a year.

  16. Kenneth C Mitchell says:

    When selecting vehicle batteries, I generally pick the AAA ones. After all, it’s generally the AAA tech who is right there because the car wouldn’t start, and he has batteries in his truck.  And if the replacement AAA battery dies, he gives me zero hassle about honoring the AAA warranty. 

  17. Rick H says:

    I’ve bought my last couple of batteries at WalMart. Went for the mid-level priced ones. All have worked past their warranty period. Better pricing than the chain auto parts stores. 

    I used the ‘red spray’ stuff when I installed, after cleaning the cables with the battery brush tool. Plus those felt thingys.

    All batteries should have a mfg date on them. Good to check when you are purchasing one to make sure it hasn’t been on the shelf for a while.

    Regarding the plan crash on the other side of Puget Sound from me (in Mutiny Bay, which is not really a bay, just a ‘scoop’ into that part of Widbey Island… Cliff Mass, the University of Washington weather instructor – who is quite knowledgeable and accurate, was looking at the weather nearby the crash, and noticed that there was a sudden wind direction shift and temperature drop at the time of the crash.

    Reports are that the plan did not try to do an emergency landing on the water (it’s a float plane, so able to do that), but that it went almost straight down. Flight radar records (included in his article, along with other supporting graphs and data) show the plane’s altitude and speed suddenly decreasing at the time of the crash.

    An interesting read  on whether the weather was a factor in the crash – see his blog here.  I always find his weather blog interesting, and science-based. 

    The search for survivors was suspended yesterday.

  18. Nick Flandrey says:

    Septic guy has removed an extraordinary amount of dirt, and we’re finally down to “rough finished grade”.   It was a battle to get the tree stumps out.   They are unlike anything I”ve ever seen, and he was baffled to.   One was about 3 ft x 5 ft x and a solid foot thick, all solid root.

    Found sprinkler pipes, the gas line, and a drain line that was clogged.   Supposed to be draining next to the house out to air..  but not.   So all that water was next to the house and went somewhere.  

    Lunch break then back at it.    I’m doing gas line in between removing weird pieces of metal, and taking a sawzall to the occasional root.

    n

  19. lynn says:

    We are having enormous problems with a phone sim card company in Germany, https://www.winsim.de/ .  They have really upset their customers and removed all email contact with their company.

    @Lynn: I just saw this. If it would help, here is a note that you can send to anyone complaining to you:

    Bitte bemerken Sie, dass unsere Firma WinSim in den USA gar nichts mit der Firma WinSim in Deutschland zu tun hat. Wenn Sie Probleme mit dem Dienst von WinSim in Deutschland haben, müssen Sie die Firma in Deutschland kontaktieren. Ihre Telefonnummer lautet 06181 7074 094. 

    Translation: “Please note that our company WinSim in the USA has nothing to do with the company WinSim in Germany. If you have problems with the service from WinSim in Germany, you must contact the company in Germany. Their telephone number is…”

    Thanks ! I can read about half of that.

    I suspect that the people never look at our website, they just get no response from support@winsim.de so they change the email to support@winsim.com .  Sucks.  I may have to block all unknown emails from Germany over this.

  20. EdH says:

    @RickH: Yikes, perhaps a loss of control due to weather, maybe a control surface failure…and no time to react from 1,000k.

  21. lynn says:

    Septic guy has removed an extraordinary amount of dirt, and we’re finally down to “rough finished grade”.   It was a battle to get the tree stumps out.   They are unlike anything I”ve ever seen, and he was baffled to.   One was about 3 ft x 5 ft x and a solid foot thick, all solid root.

    Found sprinkler pipes, the gas line, and a drain line that was clogged.   Supposed to be draining next to the house out to air..  but not.   So all that water was next to the house and went somewhere.  

    So are you going to have septic tonight ?

    When my septic sprinkler head broke off at the house, the other three septic sprinklers cut their flow since the fourth head was totally open.  When I walked over there, the ground was spongy, real spongy.  There was a lot of water under the grass seeing as we put a thousand gallons of water through those sprinklers every two or three days.

  22. Lynn says:

    I have been talking with my neighbor who is on the POA architectural board.  He says that we are now limited to 20% coverage of our properties with impervious coverings like concrete.  I assessed my house property last night, my lot is 51,030 ft2 and my house, garage, patios, and driveway take up 8,088 ft2.  That is 16% already covered.  That means that I can only put in 2,118 ft2 of concrete.  My huge driveway is 3,106 ft2 of that amount of current concrete.

    So I wanted to put in a U for my driveway (about 1,000 ft2), a mother in law house for my daughter (1,200 ft2), an RV garage (800 ft2) and a driveway extension for the RV garage (700 ft2).  Man, I’ve got too many wants and not enough room.

  23. Ray Thompson says:

    mother in law house for my daughter (1,200 ft2), an RV garage (800 ft2)

    Put them on pillars.

    1
  24. Lynn says:

    “WINTER IS COMING, Russian oil firm Gazprom taunts West with video showing Europe ‘freezing over’ in ‘ice age’ after Putin shuts off gas”

         https://www.the-sun.com/news/6158351/gazprom-releases-freezing-winter-video-europe-without-gas/

    “A RUSSIAN energy giant has released a video of Europe ‘freezing to death’ without Russian gas in a bid to taunt the West.”

    “Gazprom’s two-minute video comes just days after it vowed to indefinitely keep natural gas supplies to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline shut off.

    Gonna be cold in Europe this winter.  Trump warned them about this and they laughed at him.

    Hat tip to:

        https://drudgereport.com/

  25. Lynn says:

    “One of the biggest strikes in US history is brewing at UPS”

          https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/05/business/ups-teamster-union-strike/index.html

    “Contract negotiations are set to begin in the spring between UPS and the Teamsters Union ahead of their current contract’s expiration at the end of July, 2023. Already, before the talks have even started, labor experts are predicting that the drivers and package handlers will go on strike.”

    No more Brown trucks would be very bad for the economy.  My brother-in-law walked the picket line for three weeks a decade ago.

    I wonder what Biden’s handlers will do. 

  26. Lynn says:

    Vaccination: it’s a religious experience” by Alex Berenson

        https://alexberenson.substack.com/p/vaccination-its-a-religious-experience/

    “The collapse of demand for the mRNA Covid shots seems to have driven some vaccine fanatics around the bend.”

    “Today, Dr. Ashish K. Jha – the White House Covid coordinator – embraced creationism:”

    “I really believe this is why God gave us two arms, one for the flu shot and another one for the Covid shot.

    You have got to be kidding me.

    I see fascists everywhere in the USA government.

  27. Rick H says:

    As long as we are talking about vaccines, I noticed this article here:

    Therapeutic antibodies that were effective early in the pandemic have lost their efficacy as SARS-CoV-2 has changed and mutated, and more recent variants, particularly Omicron, have learned how to circumvent the antibodies our systems produce in response to vaccinations. We may be able to better guard against possible variations thanks to a new, widely neutralizing antibody created at Boston Children’s Hospital. In tests, it neutralized all known SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including all Omicron variants.

    The science is a bit above my pay grade, but an interesting approach to anti-Covid vaccines.

  28. JimB says:

    @Clayton W and others re: systems engineering for software. Part of my career, I worked in systems engineering, but it was hardware. We had some rigorous practices, and later the software people copied our best practices and added some better ones of their own. Eventually they led the practice. Of course, this is probably cyclical, like most practices. I always argued that any system should be subject to design rigor and reviews. Sometimes people listened to me. Sometimes I wished they did not.

    You are spot-on about requirements, and how last minute “features” get incorporated, especially in systems that undergo periodic update cycles. The only way to prevent this is to have everyone up and down the chain committed to a rigorous process. Yeah, I know, just words. But, I saw that happen… and not. Every project is something new and some new wrinkles. That’s why engineers are dedicated and resourceful. Management, too. Sometimes both.

    Now, some decades wiser (hopefully,) I see a solution to the “default options dilemma.” Make as much as possible controllable by the end user, but still have defaults. I have seen people trudge along with options they hate, but don’t know how to change them. Many people just assume those options can’t be changed. The more curious find ways if there are ways.

    Another solution is to have good documentation. RTFM, except nowadays there is no FM. Bothers the daylights out of my wife. I tell her she needs to develop web searching skills, er, Google-fu. She rightly says that should not be necessary. I counter with, at least there are some alternatives. She is not any happier. Me too. /rant off.

    2
  29. Greg Norton says:

    AC annual maintenance today. Only three years overdue.

    Quote on R22 is $700 for 4 lbs. 

    1
    2
  30. Greg Norton says:

    Therapeutic antibodies that were effective early in the pandemic have lost their efficacy as SARS-CoV-2 has changed and mutated, …

    The science is a bit above my pay grade, but an interesting approach to anti-Covid vaccines.

    My wife had a really bad experience with Covid so by day two after testing positive she was pulling strings to get the existing antibody infusion. Strictly anecdotal, but the difference within 24 hours was night and day. She’s also had a much shorter recovery than mine has been.

    Yes, I was jab free, but I stayed on my feet the entire time and didn’t call out sick for work once. I just have a lingering cough and some residual loss of taste/smell.

    Still jab free. Now with natural immunity!

    1
  31. Greg Norton says:

    The science is a bit above my pay grade, but an interesting approach to anti-Covid vaccines.

    Antibodies are actually old science, something my wife has been puzzled has not been a key research area from Day One.

    Of course, centuries of public health practice have been ignored in this pandemic situation.

    1
  32. Lynn says:

    As long as we are talking about vaccines, I noticed this article here:

    Therapeutic antibodies that were effective early in the pandemic have lost their efficacy as SARS-CoV-2 has changed and mutated, and more recent variants, particularly Omicron, have learned how to circumvent the antibodies our systems produce in response to vaccinations. We may be able to better guard against possible variations thanks to a new, widely neutralizing antibody created at Boston Children’s Hospital. In tests, it neutralized all known SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including all Omicron variants.

    The science is a bit above my pay grade, but an interesting approach to anti-Covid vaccines.

    I wonder what the 30 year human trial will look like.

  33. Lynn says:

    AC annual maintenance today. Only three years overdue.

    Quote on R22 is $700 for 4 lbs. 

    Cost to buy R-22, one dollar per lb.

    Cost for the USA government tax on R-22 to save the ozone, $174 per lb.

    Looks like a conspiracy to me.

  34. Lynn says:

    “Suze Orman now says you need this much in emergency savings (and psst: you’re probably not going to like it)”

        https://www.marketwatch.com/picks/suze-orman-now-says-you-need-this-much-in-emergency-savings-and-psst-youre-probably-not-going-to-like-it-01662062527?siteid=yhoof2

    “Financial experts have always urged people to create an emergency savings fund, but exactly how much should be in that fund has never been cut and dry. Recently, Suze Orman revised her advice on how much you need in an emergency fund to cover between 8 and 12 months, to 12 months worth of expenses. The reason? There’s a potential recession looming on the horizon, she says. “You know that my hope is that you work your way toward having enough set aside to cover 12 months of essential living costs. And you also know that I realize that can take time. Every month you move closer to your (new) goal is a month to celebrate your progress.”  You can see the best rates you may get on savings accounts here.”

    Wow, that is a lot of money.

  35. Lynn says:

    “MIT-led researchers develop low-cost, aluminum-based battery, with startup Avanti eyeing commercial production”

        https://www.utilitydive.com/news/mit-aluminum-batteries-avanti-nature/630790/

    “A global team of researchers led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed an alternative battery technology that uses commonplace materials like aluminum and sulfur instead of lithium and other rare metals, according to a scientific paper published last week in the journal Nature.”

    “The aluminum-sulfur batteries could be deployed for a fraction of the cost of lithium-ion batteries, and because they cannot catch fire, they do not come with the same need for cooling systems when used in large numbers, according to MIT Professor Donald Sadoway, one of the researchers behind the project.”

    I am having real trouble with the fact that the battery runs at 200 F (my guess) (93 C) to 392 F (200 C).  I am guessing that the battery needs a heater.  Other than that, we have lots of aluminum and sulfur.  I am wondering if they actually have a working battery or if this is just a computer simulation.

  36. Ray Thompson says:

    Wow, that is a lot of money.

    My wife and I could live on $2,500.00 a month if we cut back some. That would pay all utilities, taxes, insurance, cable (which we would cut back). Cell phones are only $36.00 a month including taxes. Would not eat out as much. That is less than what we get in SS. It really helps that everything is paid off with no debt.

    The problem going into recession is that things may start costing a lot more, just basics. My utilities are already rising. My usage is about the same, but the cost is 25% more than last year.

    aluminum-sulfur batteries

    I wonder if they were to catch fire if the air for a few hundred yards around would smell like a giant fart.

  37. Greg Norton says:

    My wife had a really bad experience with Covid so by day two after testing positive she was pulling strings to get the existing antibody infusion. Strictly anecdotal, but the difference within 24 hours was night and day. She’s also had a much shorter recovery than mine has been.

    BTW, I stand corrected. My wife didn’t utilize any access that was unavailable to anyone else, but she didn’t back down in the face of the “expert” recommendation for the Pfizer drug over the antibodies.

  38. drwilliams says:

    @Lynn

    check into permeable concrete for your drivewat

  39. Rick H says:

    Regarding the Mutiny Bay seaplane crash: 

    “Smash” actress Megan Hilty and her family have been left in an unimaginable situation after her sister, brother-in-law and their child all died in a plane crash.

    Lauren Hilty, Ross Mickel and their child Remy, were 3 of the 9 passengers onboard a floatplane that went down Sunday into Puget Sound near Whidbey Island in Washington … about 30 miles from Seattle. Lauren was pregnant at the time of the crash.

    3
  40. Rick H says:

    Solar powered cockroaches…

    The first thing to know about the Madagascar hissing cockroach, a black-and-brown invertebrate about as long as your forefinger, is that it lives up to its name. When it feels threatened, it squeaks out a hiss by quickly passing air through holes in its back. The result is something resembling the rattle of a snake’s tail. Weird but cool. 

    The second thing to know about the Madagascar hissing cockroach is that scientists have used it to create insect cyborgs that could one day be used to monitor the environment or help with urban search and rescue missions after a natural disaster. Also weird. Also cool.

    In a new study, published Monday in the journal Flexible Electronics, an international team of researchers revealed it has engineered a system to remotely control the legs of cockroaches from afar. 

    The system, which is basically a cockroach backpack wired into the creature’s nervous system, has a power output about 50 times higher than previous devices and is built with an ultrathin and flexible solar cell that doesn’t hinder the roach’s movement. Pressing a button sends a shock to the backpack that tricks the roach into moving a certain direction. 

    Article (including a giant picture of a the solar-powered cockroach) here

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  41. Rick H says:

    Found an interesting site that shows you when various satellites moving across the sky are visible from your location.  https://james.darpinian.com/satellites/

    The Starlink satellites will be visible to me tomorrow night – two different groups. 

    The darker the sky, the better the view. Most objects will just appear as lights, but you could use binoculars or telescopes if you got them. 

  42. Lynn says:

    Solar powered cockroaches…

    The first thing to know about the Madagascar hissing cockroach, a black-and-brown invertebrate about as long as your forefinger, is that it lives up to its name. When it feels threatened, it squeaks out a hiss by quickly passing air through holes in its back. The result is something resembling the rattle of a snake’s tail. Weird but cool. 

    The second thing to know about the Madagascar hissing cockroach is that scientists have used it to create insect cyborgs that could one day be used to monitor the environment or help with urban search and rescue missions after a natural disaster. Also weird. Also cool.

    In a new study, published Monday in the journal Flexible Electronics, an international team of researchers revealed it has engineered a system to remotely control the legs of cockroaches from afar. 

    The system, which is basically a cockroach backpack wired into the creature’s nervous system, has a power output about 50 times higher than previous devices and is built with an ultrathin and flexible solar cell that doesn’t hinder the roach’s movement. Pressing a button sends a shock to the backpack that tricks the roach into moving a certain direction. 

    Article (including a giant picture of a the solar-powered cockroach) here

    Somehow, I never thought that I would have to worry about being terminated by a robot cockroach.  Even after seeing the flesh eating cockroaches in the “Damnation Alley” movie with Jan Michael Vincent.

         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damnation_Alley_(film)

  43. Lynn says:

    @Lynn

    check into permeable concrete for your drivewat

    Can it handle my 7,000 lb Ford Truck driving on it several times a day ?

  44. Greg Norton says:

    “check into permeable concrete for your driveway”

    Can it handle my 7,000 lb Ford Truck driving on it several times a day ?

    I used two sample packs of this product around my yard in places, one a path another a pad for temporary storage of the trash cans. It seems to do the job and has held up well, but I’m not putting 7000 lbs of vehicle on the surfaces.

    https://www.truegridpaver.com/

  45. Greg Norton says:

    “Suze Orman now says you need this much in emergency savings (and psst: you’re probably not going to like it)”

    Wow, that is a lot of money.

    Makes the banksters happy since cash put into a money market fund is no longer yours following the MF Global decision.

    It would be asinine to put that much money into a money market savings account earning 0.05% interest and at the same time finance cars.

  46. drwilliams says:

    @Lynn

    check into permeable concrete for your drivewat

    “Can it handle my 7,000 lb Ford Truck driving on it several times a day ?”

    Yes, if done by an experienced installer. The first question is whether you can find one to do the job at your price point. The second is whether your code will accept it.

  47. Alan says:

    >>  While I don’t disagree, I bet the Systems Engineer (is it called Systems Engineering in software circles?) is at fault.  And I am sure that it goes even higher than that.

    Or one of their lawyers…who decided that if the default was On, some unsuspecting person might get knocked in ankle, yell ‘ouch,’ and find a class-action law firm and sue for millions in damages. 

  48. drwilliams says:

    Embalmers have been finding unexplained clots in the blood of the deceased since about May 2021 [note: date is very fuzzy]

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/kevindowneyjr/2022/09/06/embalmers-are-making-shocking-discoveries-in-the-blood-of-the-dead-n1627105

    So we haven’t heard a whisper about this for 16 months? 

    Who’s been stepping on these reports?

  49. Rick H says:

    @drwilliams – another conspiracy theory, debunked here and other places:

    Experts we talked to say there’s something to the claim about a greater incidence of blood clots, but they dismiss the idea that it’s linked to the vaccines. What embalmers are noticing, they say, could well be the effects of COVID-19 infection itself, and those effects are occurring in people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated.

    https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2022/theres-no-scientific-evidence-that-vaccines-are-responsible-for-strange-blood-clots-observed-by-embalmers/

    Abnormal clots were found in COVID-19 victims “long before vaccinations were available,” said licensed embalmer Monica Torres, of NXT Generation Mortuary Support in Phoenix, “and it is not uncommon to find dark blood clots in any deceased, not just COVID persons, who have been stored in refrigeration for a long period of time before embalming.”

    The article gives the impression that the clots are linked to the COVID-19 vaccine. But there’s no scientific evidence of such a link.

    Embalmers say they have noticed an uptick in unusual blood clots. But experts noted that the COVID-19 infection itself can cause blood vessel inflammation, damage to very small vessels, and blood clots.

  50. Rick H says:

    Article about Stable Diffusion – the open-source program that creates art from text. 

    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2022/09/with-stable-diffusion-you-may-never-believe-what-you-see-online-again/

    You can run Stable Diffusion locally yourself if you follow a series of somewhat arcane steps. For the past two weeks, we’ve been running it on a Windows PC with an Nvidia RTX 3060 12GB GPU. It can generate 512×512 images in about 10 seconds. On a 3090 Ti, that time goes down to four seconds per image. The interfaces keep evolving rapidly, too, going from crude command-line interfaces and Google Colab notebooks to more polished (but still complex) front-end GUIs, with much more polished interfaces coming soon. So if you’re not technically inclined, hold tight: Easier solutions are on the way. And if all else fails, you can try a demo online.

    The demo place will take a while, depending on how many others are accessing. There were 24 people in the queue when I started mine, but the results are very impressive after a wait of about 8 minutes. 

    Here’s another site that you can try out https://www.wombo.art/ .

    A lot of artists are worried. The results can be quite realistic.

    (Time sink warning.)

  51. Nightraker says:

    Re AI generated imagery:

    I’ve been expecting John Wayne and Humprey Bogart to reappear in major motion pictures in just a little bit.

  52. Lynn says:

    Re AI generated imagery:

    I’ve been expecting John Wayne and Humprey Bogart to reappear in major motion pictures in just a little bit.

    I watched “Big Jake” on tubi for free on Sunday.

    https://tubitv.com/

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  53. EdH says:

    Very hot here, probably 110 or so. 
     

    Just received a text  message from the state of California that I should turn things off and conserve energy… 

    If they hadn’t shut down San Onofre we probably wouldn’t be having this problem.

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  54. EdH says:

    California and Germany are neck and neck in the energy fantasies race. 

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  55. Nightraker says:

    I watched “Big Jake” on tubi for free on Sunday.

    “I thought you wuz daid!”  🙂

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  56. Lynn says:

    Very hot here, probably 110 or so. 
     

    Just received a text  message from the state of California that I should turn things off and conserve energy… 

    If they hadn’t shut down San Onofre we probably wouldn’t be having this problem.

    Sorry for that.  But San Onofre was shut down by the owner.  San Onofre has the largest nuclear steam generators in the world.  Units 2 and 3 were the last and largest nuclear reactors built with only two loops into the nuclear reactor.  The steam generators are huge and failed early.  They bought another set of steam generators which started failing after a couple of years.  The NRC demanded that the steam generators be fixed and SCE shut down the plant.

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

  57. Nick Flandrey says:

    @drwilliams, the bloodclot thing has been making the rounds for a while.   As Dr P used to say, I do these things so you don’t have to…   well, I hadn’t seen a credible enough article to link, but I had it tickle me last week.  If I’d been at home on a fat pipe, I might have done some linking.     I know that someone in the commentariat will catch things I miss, so sometimes I do delay linking.

    On a more meta level, if I had a vague “haven’t seen anything about the blood clots lately, I should check up on that” thought, and a few days later someone mentions it, is there a cycle happening, where things are brought back into discussion on a periodic basis?  And is it nefarious or just someone else thinking “been a while since I talked about xxx… ” and so then talking about it?

    n

  58. drwilliams says:

    @Rick H

    @drwilliams – another conspiracy theory, debunked here and other places

    Nope.

    And if the following sounds, strident, or a tiny bit intemperate, that’s because it is.

    First of all, give me a little credit. The Politifact link is in the page I linked to.

    Second, I read it. It uses the same hoary bullshit that they have been trotting out for the last couple of years:

    What embalmers are noticing, they say, could well be the effects of COVID-19 infection itself, and those effects are occurring in people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated.

    The article gives the impression that the clots are linked to the COVID-19 vaccine. But there’s no scientific evidence of such a link.

    So, as far as debunking, that doesn’t do the job. Far, far, from it. Might-be-this and might-be-that and can’t-tell-vaccinated-from-unvaccinated-because-we’ve-made-it-almost-impossible and the-science-is-what-we-say-today—phhht!

    Which is expected from a biased source like Politifact, but is neither here nor there, and has nothing to do with the questions I asked:

    So we haven’t heard a whisper about this for 16 months? 

    Who’s been stepping on these reports?

    We have cold, hard proof that a conspiracy has been in place–from the White House straight to Facebook and Google and other mega-corporations–to limit public inquiry about pandemic related matters.

    They went so far as to deny the existence of natural immunity, something that has been accepted in the scientific community for more than a century and is taught in grade schools. And they fired people and destroyed their careers for declining to take the jab.

    So don’t give me some carp keyed by some chorus of snot-nosed, woke, non-STEM-degreed bunch of fascist semi-government censors.

    There’s no “scientific evidence” for the existence of FJB or Hillary Clinton, either, but they seem to be drawing paychecks and making a few thousand times that on the side.

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  59. drwilliams says:

    @Nick

    the bloodclot thing has been making the rounds for a while

    I have no doubt. So what has kept it from bubbling into the general news feed?

    What has been reported to the CDC, and when, and what have they done to follow up?

    Are they too busy giving the personal injury bar a big payday from Camp Lejeune?

    ADDED:
    That last is not gratuitous. There is no “scientific evidence” that the laundry list of cancers claimed has anything to do with the exposure levels alleged in use of the water at Camp Lejeune.

  60. Nick Flandrey says:

     So what has kept it from bubbling into the general news feed?   

    – good question.   Suppression?   Or just it’s got a high squick factor?  IE it’s too gross to even think about?  Uneasiness about the source? Meaning embalmers, and our unease with things involving dead people…

    IDK, it was too weird for me to pass on immediately, or it came to my attention in a place that was very uncritical about passed along links, and a bit too credulous, so that it was a bit tainted for me.

    n

  61. Alan says:

    >> No more Brown trucks would be very bad for the economy

    Not so much for Amazon, I suspect most of their deliveries (not counting products fulfilled directly by the seller) avoid UPS and the USPS. And as the Zon is 99 99% non-union, any UPS picketing should be a non-event. 

    >> I wonder what Biden’s handlers will do. 

    Borrow Joe’s bike and make some deliveries. Mayor Pete could help out too. 

  62. Greg Norton says:

    Stallman might be a bit of a loon, but he produces useful things. A C tutorial and reference for GNU C extensions? Interesting.

    Sadly, the book source code does not compile to pdf on my Linux machines.

    https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2022-09/msg00005.html

  63. Nick Flandrey says:

    Got a lot done today.   established the new grade, so that the yard slopes AWAY from the house.   Got the lines for the drip field trenched and buried.   Exposed and crushed the old tank.    We’re committed now…..

    New tanks arrive Wed.

    System inspected Thurs.   Complete late Friday.    

    So I’ll be here for a couple more days.

    n

    (and I turned more concrete into rubble and moved a half yard to the space behind my bulkhead, under my dock.)    

  64. Alan says:

    >> I’ve bought my last couple of batteries at WalMart. Went for the mid-level priced ones. All have worked past their warranty period. Better pricing than the chain auto parts stores. 

    I’ve bought a few batteries from Advance Auto Parts using ‘order online, pick up same day in-store’ coupon codes frequently available by searching online, usually 20 or 25% off. No problems with warranty replacement as long as you have your receipt. One tip – scan your receipt onto your phone as the original on thermal paper will fade, especially sitting in the glove box. 

  65. Alan says:

    >> That last is not gratuitous. There is no “scientific evidence” that the laundry list of cancers claimed has anything to do with the exposure levels alleged in use of the water at Camp Lejeune.

    Does it really matter when there’s a big bucket of money available and the ‘usual suspects’ (lawyers) get wind of it? 

  66. Greg Norton says:

    Does it really matter when there’s a big bucket of money available and the ‘usual suspects’ (lawyers) get wind of it? 

    A lawyer isn’t necessary to get a settlement check in the Camp Lejune situation, but, IIRC, the window is closing in the near future, providing motivation for the lawyers.. 

  67. Kenneth C Mitchell says:

    Bizarre blood clots and images of them have been rolling around on Twitter for a few weeks now. 

    Don’t follow the link if you have a queasy stomach. 

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AdrianNormanDC/status/1567209720502714368

  68. drwilliams says:

    link to Professor Michaux video was posted last week:

    The Quantity of Metals Required to Manufacture Just One Generation of Renewable Technology to Phase Out Fossil Fuels

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/09/04/the-quantity-of-metals-required-to-manufacture-just-one-generation-of-renewable-technology-to-phase-out-fossil-fuels/

    there’s some additional commentary here:

    Before the video, here are a few screenshots from it. This one shows the principal metals needed for a wind and solar energy system, and compares those requirements with actual production of those commodities as of 2019, the last “normal” pre-covid year. Note that 189 years worth of copper production, 400 years of nickel production, 9,921 years of lithium production, 1,733 years of cobalt production, 29,113 years of germanium production, and so on, would be needed for the first 20 years of wind and solar installations. Then we would have to do it all over again. Talk about a lack of sustainability!

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2022/09/the-green-revolution-is-impossible.php

    Copper was discovered about 10,000 years ago, but for centuries worldwide production was limited to a few tons per year of natural copper metal. Copper smelting from ore was discovered about 8,000 years ago, but production was still very limited. The Romans managed to produce about 15,000 tons per year, but it was not until the development of smelting furnaces in the 18th century that copper production pushed much above that level.

    So the correct way of saying it as shown in the table is :

    189 years worth of copper production (2019 basis of 24, 200, 000 tons)

    But copper production today (or 2019), is at a historical high. In fact. you can crudely model the global history of copper production as starting at zero in 8000BC, increasing linearly to 100M tons 200 years ago and then increasing linearly to 24 MM tons today.

    That linear model overstates things a bit, but it’s easy to approximate as 

    0.5*10000*100 MT = 0.5*10*100 MMT =500 MMT

    plus

    0.5*200*24.1MMT = 2410 MMT

    for a total historical production of 2910 MMT.

    And the first 20 years of green fantasy requires approximately 4576 MMT.

    Or in other words, 157%, more than half again as much copper as mankind has produced since the beginning of time.

    Staggering figures right there, but then there’s this:

    https://news.yahoo.com/biden-admin-cancels-leases-copper-173000136.html

    Greenies want it, but NIMBY.

    And that’s just the copper.

    So, what’s the plan, Bidenstan?

    Where’s the “scientific evidence” that this is anything but a sick fantasy that wouldn’t last five minutes if the PLT’s hadn’t controlled the educational system for two generations?

  69. drwilliams says:

    @Alan

    Does it really matter when there’s a big bucket of money available and the ‘usual suspects’ (lawyers) get wind of it? 

    The bucket trough was filled by Congress due to the lobbying efforts of the lawyers.

    It was getting crowded at the asbestos trough and the attorneys hogs needed a stopgap until the EPA could build a new and better asbestos rule (coming soon).

  70. Nick Flandrey says:

    nighttime for nick… 

    bed is calling and I can’t resist the siren song.

    n

  71. Alan says:

    >> A lawyer isn’t necessary to get a settlement check in the Camp Lejune situation, but, IIRC, the window is closing in the near future, providing motivation for the lawyers.. 

    Ahh, that explains the barrage of ads on TV and radio. 

    And speaking of lawyer TV ads, is there really anyone left who has yet to be diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma? 

  72. Alan says:

    >> Nope that is not about my software.  My software is chemical process simulation (the analysis of what is inside the pipes).

    Ahh, didn’t realize there were more than a few out there… https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_chemical_process_simulators 

  73. brad says:

    an emergency fund to cover between 8 and 12 months, to 12 months worth of expenses

    An advantage of being near retirement is that we actually have that. Not so easy if you’re young. We were so broke in our mid-40s, trying to start and run our own business. We’d be a lot better off today, if we had never gone that route.

    The aluminum-sulfur batteries could be deployed for a fraction of the cost of lithium-ion batteries

    I’ve read up on these. It’s not a new concept, but they have apparently managed to eliminate a lot of practical problems, and they claim to be ready for real deployments. The batteries need to be heated/insulated, because they cannot work when cold. Apparently normal usage can keep them at the needed temperature, given insulation.

    However, due to the heat/insulation requirements, they only make sense in a large format. This isn’t something you’ll see in laptops and smartphones.

    Greenies want it, but NIMBY.

    The greenies here are crying into their milk. Swiss regulations give a lot of power to NIMBYism, but it looks like a lot of projects that have been blocked for ages are about to be swept through to approval on the back of the electricity mess. I just hope the government makes permanent changes to the regulations, to solve the long-term problem.

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