Daily Archives: September 20, 2020

Been There, Done That . . .

Jan and I have been watching a CuriosityStream show called The History of Home. And starting with Neanderthal caves, Indian pueblos, and mud huts, it segued to Versailles, King Henry VIII’s Hampton Court, and on to Hearst Castle and The Biltmore. Many of which we’ve been to.

Hampton Court

But as we were watching the segment on Hampton Court, Jan mentioned that our visit there was at the top of her Bucket List. I asked her if she’d like to go back, reminding her that during our grueling 13+ hour flight home from London, she told me that if I ever took her on a flight like this again, she’d rip my arm off and beat me to death with it, she looked at me for a long time, like she had to think about it, and then finally said “No. Been there, done that.”

So I guess I get to keep my arm(s) for a while longer.

For those of you waiting for the WuFlu vaccine –

Experts Worry After Two Cases Of Rare Spinal Illness Found Among Participants In Oxford Vaccine’s UK Trial

Two participants in an 8,000-member Oxford vaccine trial have now been diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a condition that normally afflicts one in 236,000 people. So when when two subjects in an 8000 member trial come down with it, red flags go up.

Transverse myelitis is a rare neurologic disease of the spine that causes inflammation of the spinal cord that can cause weakness or paralysis of the limbs. Which sounds like very similar to the Guillain–Barré syndrome cases that resulted from the Swine Flu vaccine back in the 1970’s.

So we’ve got the possibility of transverse myelitis with AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate.

Once again, hands up, everyone that’s going to be first in line for the WuFlu vaccine, or plan to stay in lockdown until there’s a vaccine.

.

A few days ago I posted this about the use of masks.


A recent statistical analysis done by The Ohio Star, an Ohio newspaper, showed that virus cases INCREASED after masks were mandated.

Data Show 40 Percent of Ohio Counties Experience Rise in Coronavirus Cases 7 Weeks After Mask Mandate Despite Claims by DeWine, CDC

And this is not a one-off case. The same thing showed up in Hawaii and Los Angeles County.

Masks Don't Work Hawaii

LA County Mask Cases

So maybe this video will explain why masks don’t seem to work as well as some people think, or hope.

Seeing what happens with a mask, you can just imagine how effective those face shields would be.

The weather didn’t cooperate with my Helicoil installation plans today. Although the temps were great, just barely getting into the 70’s, the on and off heavy rains put the kibosh on that idea.

And unfortunately due to the probability of incoming Tropical Storm Beta, I’ll be lucky to get back to the project before Thursday, and maybe not until Saturday.

We had dinner at Denny’s about 4pm today, and then decided to pick up some groceries at the WalMart next door since with the incoming storm/rain our normal Tuesday grocery run might not happen.

I did notice that since we were at WM earlier this week, they’ve apparently given up on the one-way aisles thing. Nobody seemed to be paying any attention to them anyway, but now all the stickers on the floor are gone too.

  .


September 20, 2009

Back in the USA…Again!

Today we finally get back to the USA…at least for this year.

The Grenville RV Park where we’ve been staying is right on the St. Lawrence River and it’s really nice.

Grenville 2

Grenville 1

 

Even Mister approves.

Mister on Guard

We left the park about 9:45 am, heading about 7 miles back in the wrong direction so we could have breakfast at the 730 Truck Stop Restaurant where we ate dinner last night. It was that good!

We normally don’t eat breakfast when we’re on the road, but this place was too good to pass up. And after a great breakfast, we finally hit the road about 11 am for the 165 mile trip to the Rome, NY area.

We went thru Customs into the US a little after noon. It was good to be back.

We did have a small problem in that I got fussed at by the Border Agent for going the wrong way.

As we approached the border crossing the signs said Autos to the left and Trucks to the right. Now, when we came back into the US at Houlton, ME last week, the signs said Autos/RV to the left and Trucks to the right, so no problem.

But when we got to the crossing here, there were no other RVs so I didn’t have an example to follow. In the past, when I have had to go thru toll booths and crossings that weren’t really meant for RVs, it was a very tight squeeze, in some cases my mirrors cleared the pillars with about an inch on each side.

So I took the safe approach and went thru the truck side. Wrong.

We did have to go thru the VACIS gamma ray scanner on our way out. This scanner X-rays the vehicle looking for hidden compartments and contraband. I guess they didn’t find anything because they let us go.

All in all, waiting in line and the inspection/scan only took about 15 minutes.

We arrived at The Landing Campground about 2:30pm and got set up. Even though there are a lot of trees in the park, I was still able to get a good satellite signal.

A couple of hours later we went to supper at Gary’s restaurant on Lake Oneida. Very good, and the lake view was great.

After we got back, we set outside out with Mister for a while so he could check out the area.

Then it was in for the night.

Tomorrow we’ll drive over to Rome to try and find where Jan and her family lived when her father was stationed at Griffiss AFB here.


Thought For The Day:

If you aren’t part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.


September 20, 2014

A Scary Night . . .

Or To Skid or Not To Skid . . .

Or The Cow Strikes Again . . .

Our son Chris called about 6 this evening with some scary news. We were expecting to hear from him because he and Linda were planning on coming up tomorrow to visit and pick up our granddaughter Piper’s laptop that I had been cleaning up.

But he said they were on their way up in this direction now because Piper was up kind of near here ATV’ing with some friends and there had been a accident and they were all being taken to the hospital in Crockett, TX, about 55 miles away, and on the east side of I-45. He said all he knew is that Piper was the least injured, but he didn’t know to what extent.

When he called I was just getting ready to go to bed, and since I knew it would take them at least 2 hours or more to get up to Crockett, I went ahead and tried to sleep, but without a lot of luck. I finally got up around 9:30 just as Chris called.

He said Piper was basically OK, just banged up, but she did have a hole in her wrist all the way to the bone. He said they were going to keep her overnight to be sure there was no damage to the tendons and ligaments and that they got everything cleaned out.

So I guess we’ll know more tomorrow.

As I mentioned a few days ago, they were originally supposed to skid our rig over to the new drill hole today, but I didn’t see any sign of that happening. Turns out it’s now scheduled for Wednesday. But we’ll see.

What I’m not quite sure about is how they’re going to do it. I was surprised to find out today that they’re skidding the rig closer to us and not away. It doesn’t look like there’s enough room between the rig and the edge of the pad to get the two cranes in place. But since we’re kind of looking uphill at the rig, the lack of room may be an optical illusion.

And of course they might plan on having the cranes down here on the road and doing it that way. I guess we’ll know on Wednesday. Or not.

Well, the cow(s) struck again this evening. When Jan went in at 11pm to go to bed, she stuck her head back out and said DirecTV was down again. So I went around the front of the rig to check it out, expecting to find the sat dome on the ground again. But this time the stand was just tilted over and the wires jerked around.

I just wish the cows would pick up their feet (hooves), and stop tripping over the wires. This time I moved the sat stand up against the sewer trailer and then routed the wires up in the air through the trees. So unless some really tall cows come by, I should be OK.

Hopefully we’ll know more about Piper’s condition tomorrow.

_________________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

“If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” — Thomas Jefferson



September 20, 2015

It’s Back!

Well, the package I sent off via USPS Priority Mail last week finally showed up in north Houston today, five days after it left Shreveport last Tuesday. So hopefully it will be delivered tomorrow down in Friendswood, but you never know.

At least it’s not still lost.

I ordered my second Mighty Mule Driveway Alarm about 11:30 last night. What’s kind of strange is that I ordered the first one last week on Sunday and it got here Tuesday. I ordered this one on Saturday and it’s coming in on Wednesday.

So the later I order, the earlier it gets here? Does that mean that if I keep going, it will get here before I even order it.

If so, that’s got drone delivery beat all to hell.

The other thing I ordered was this.

Flashlight 900 lumens

KJL Cree LED 900 lumens Flashlight

Right now Jan and I are using an UltraFire 300 lumen flashlight to check tags as vehicles come in at night, but sometimes it’s just not enough. With all the bad roads these guys travel on, the tags get really chewed up.

Yes, literally, some of them look like they’ve been chewed on. Plus in many cases, most or all of the reflective stuff has been worn off, so you need a lot of light. And hopefully this will do it.

It also may help me give some of these guys a brief lesson in ‘bright’ lights. There always few that leave their high beams on, no matter what, so maybe now I can give them a little taste of their own medicine.

Of course it  may blind them and then they run me over, so I’ll have to think about it a little more.

A neat thing about this order is how I did it. I normally just stick things in my Amazon cart, and then at some point I place the order. But this time I told my Amazon Echo to place the order from me. And she did it perfectly.

I’ll have more info on the Echo soon, but I will say it’s one of my favorite gadgets of all time.


Thought for the Day:

In my optimistic moments, I think that we verge on total chaos. But usually I’m not that optimistic.




September 20, 2016

Going Back to Kansas City . . .

Well, Amber, our PO mail carrier showed up right on time today, with our Amazon order, but tomorrow may be the real test.

Last night I ordered this Yagi directional Wi-Fi antenna to try and resolve my Internet problems.

Yagi Wi-Fi Antenna

Yagi Wi-Fi Antenna

If I can get a consistently good signal from the Company Man’s system, then I’ll be OK. The problem right now is that sometimes I’ve got 1 – 2 bars, and sometimes I’ve got 4 bars, and the desktop in the rig can’t even see the signal. So this antenna, along with a 10 ft. cable will hopefully do the trick.

Anyway, because I ordered the antenna Next Day, it’s coming by FedEx, not the PO, so we’ll see what happens. Tony, the landowner here, says UPS and FedEx have both delivered to his house at this address, and his house is about a mile down the road past us. So hopefully it will work out. But you never know.

On the same subject, I’m beginning to think that the 3G problem here is not with my Wilson system but with the Verizon 3G signal. And if that’s true, it explains a lot about all the squirrely problems I’ve had.

I have always used the Open Signal App on my phone to point me in right direction of the closest Verizon cell tower. And that’s how I knew in 2012, the last  time we used the Wilson system, that we were hitting a tower over on I-37, 19.5 miles away. Open Signal even showed me the Lat/Long coordinates of the tower itself.

But things got strange when I did the same thing this year. First off, although OS showed me the direction of the nearest Verizon tower, it also said there were NO towers nearby. And although it gave me Lat/Long coordinates, it did not give me a distance.

Hmm!

But where it really gets strange is where OS thinks the cell tower actually is. Since it wasn’t telling me the distance to the tower, I thought I’d just type the coordinates into Google Maps and see where it was really located.

And suddenly the weak signal made sense, because according to OS, we hitting a cell tower about 80 miles SW of Kansas City, MO. Now that’s a long distance phone call. Something is screwy somewhere.

OS also gives me both the actual and the relative signal strength, which in this case was –111 dBm and 56%, not a good signal at all. I had been messing with the Wilson system, but at this point it was turned off, and I’m just staring at the OS display while I’m running through ideas about what the problem was, and what else could I check.

Suddenly the signal strength readings jumped to – 93 dBm and 100%, a good signal.

WTH?

Looking up at the top of my phone display, I noticed that it had dropped back to 3G mode instead of the normal 4G. And it stayed like that for a couple of minutes, when it then jumped back to 4G and –111 dBm.

WTH?

And as of right now, a little after midnight, I have no 3G or 4G,data at all, even on my Galaxy S5 phone. And when I try to Hotspot it, I get either ‘Fatal Error: No Connection’ or “No Data Connection’. And it’s been that way for a couple of hours. But the phone call part still works just fine. So this may all be Verizon’s fault.

But as they always say when you call them, they’re working on it.

I still haven’t heard back from Colaw RV Salvage since my phone call last week about a replacement screen door latch, so I’ll try to give them a call again tomorrow.


Thought for the Day:

“The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making mistakes.” ~ Meister Eckhart



September 20, 2017

It Was A ‘1’ . . .

Today was moving day for us, for the first time in 34 days, a new record for us at a Thousand Trails park. Of course, due to Hurricane Harvey.

But since we only had a 26 mile trip, we took our time. Though Jan was up at her usual 7am or so, I managed to sleep in until about 10.

About 10:45 we drove into Conroe to have breakfast at the local Cracker Barrel, something that’s become kind of a tradition for us. And after a nice leisurely meal, we were back at the rig and on our way about 1:15 with Jan following me in the truck. Didn’t seem worthwhile to hook up for this short a distance.

We pulled into the Hillcrest RV Park in beautiful downtown Punkin about 2pm and found the small office locked, but this note on the door.

Hillcrest RV Park It's a One

At this point the discussion started. Is that site 2J, or site 27, or even site 25?

I quickly figured out that they didn’t have any ‘J’ sites, and this was parked in Site 27.

Hillcrest RV Park Site 27

So what about site 25?

Well, 25 was vacant, but it was only 30 amp and we had asked for 50amp. But we decided to park there temporarily until the owner’s came back from shopping. I tried to go ahead and at least hook up to the 30 amp so we could shut the generator off, the main breaker to the pedestal blew. The local 30 amp breaker was just fine, though.

So it was back to the generator to keep cool. When no one had showed up after an hour or so, I started walking around the park looking for 50 amp sites.

After checking out about about 6 sites toward the back, I headed back up front and found the elusive prize, a 50 amp site.

It was a “1”, not a ‘J’, and not a ‘5’, and not a ‘7’.

It was a ‘1’.

I mean, does that look like a ‘1’ to you.

Hillcrest RV Park It's a One

So here we are, happily ensconced in site #21.

Hillcrest RV Park Site 21

When I was down in Clear Lake yesterday, I picked up my new HP 4650 printer that had come in on Monday, but I didn’t set it up until this evening.

Although it’s noticeably bigger it still fits in place of my old one.

New Printer Comparison

And it was really easy to set up too.

One thing kind of neat is the swing arm that comes out to catch the paper as it is printing.

New Printer Swing Arm

Unlike most printers where you have to move it out yourself, this printer swings it out automatically when you start to print. Neat!

Tomorrow it’s back down to Clear Lake for the last time this week.

Hopefully.


Thought for the Day:

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place. – H. L. Mencken




September 20, 2018

Dodged A Bullet . . .

I mentioned yesterday that I had a dermatologist appointment this morning, and as it turns out, I’m really glad I did.

It seems that the scaliness on my head and nose that I thought might be eczema or psoriasis is actually actinic keratosis, a pre-cursor for Squamous Cell Carcinomas.

And long-time readers will remember that back in July 2014 I had a Squamous Cell removed from my head while we were up in Elkhart, IN. So it fits, I guess.

Once thing kind of interesting is that, although I could feel the scaliness, it wasn’t really visible on my scalp, so it tended to mask the problem.

The doctor used a canister of liquid nitrogen to burn off about a dozen or so ‘hot spots’ on my head and nose that he saw today. But this doesn’t get rid of the real problem. So in November, after we’re back from Florida, I’ll have a procedure called PDT (Photodynamic Therapy) to head off any further complications.

They’ll coat my head with a chemical in the form of a liquid or cream, let it dry for 30 to 60 minutes, and then expose the area to a special wavelength blue light. The pre-cancerous areas absorb the chemical more than the non-cancerous areas, and when the light is used, the chemical activates and burns the selected areas out, leaving me with a somewhat severe sunburn for a few days. And I will have to wear sunscreen and a hat (which I already do) for a few weeks.

Then in another month, I’ll have to do it again. And hopefully that will be the end of it.

Afterwards Jan and I stopped off at the BayBrook Mall-area Starbucks. It’s Fall and her favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte’s are back, so it was a must-stop. Then we made a stop by Fry’s Electronics so I could look for a replacement connector for the foot pedal for Jan’s Viking sewing machine.

I didn’t find what I needed, but I did come across something that would certainly be useful during the coming Zombie Apocalypse.

Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Kit

And  this Gerber set can be yours for only $300.

So Be Prepared!

After Fry’s we headed over to East Star Chinese Buffet for lunch, and then on to Sam’s and WalMart for a few things, and then it was home for the day.

Wrapping up, Brandi posted photos of this visitor to her backyard this afternoon.

Lizard at Brandi's 2

Lizard at Brandi's

Looks like somebody’s pet got loose. Or maybe there’s a colony of them roaming around Cinco Ranch.

Of course, big green iguanas kind of run in the family.

JanAndIguana

Here’s Jan and her new green friends when we were in Puerto Vallarta in 1997.

I’ve heard they taste like chicken. Sounds like a perfect way for Lowell to try out that new big grill they’ve got.



Thought for the Day:

Newspaper Ad in UK paper.

YORKSHIRE TERRIER. 8 years old, Hateful little bastard. Bites!




September 20, 2019

Stirring The Pot . . .

On ‘Climate Change’

This being ‘Global Climate Strike Day’, whatever that is. I thought I’d jump in and stir the pot a little. Or a lot, depending on your point of view, I guess.

First off, NOAA, you know the US Government’s Weather Bureau, says that their new system of remote weather stations shows no warming since 2005

No US Warming Since 2005

“In January 2005, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began recording temperatures at its newly built U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). USCRN includes 114 pristinely maintained temperature stations spaced relatively uniformly across the lower 48 states. NOAA selected locations that were far away from urban and land-development impacts that might artificially taint temperature readings.”

These new sensing locations were necessary because most of the old ones, some dating from the 1930’s and originally sited out in the open countryside, were now in built-up areas, next to office buildings, factories, and highways. All sources of localized heat. So NOAA decided to build a completely new system.

And that new system shows NO WARMING since 2005. So no warming in the last 14 years, and probably no real warming since the 1930’s. And this lack of warming matches up pretty well with the global satellite readings.

US Average Temp

Or how about these Global Warming ‘Facts’

Or how about the fact that ice cores going back 150,000 years show that CO2 levels lag temperature rise, and don’t lead it.

Carbon dioxide increases historically lag temperature increases. “In 1985, ice cores extracted from Greenland revealed temperatures and CO2 levels going back 150,000 years,” . . .  in 1999 it became clear that carbon dioxide rose and fell after temperatures did. By 2003, we had better data showing the lag was 800 ± 200 years. CO2 was in the back seat.”

Or how about the fact that 95% of carbon dioxide emissions come from natural sources, and not man.

Less than 5% of carbon dioxide emissions are produced by man. Web searches turn up what seems like an endless list of stories and blog posts reporting that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have reached or exceeded 415 parts per million. This has been almost universally treated as the tip of an imminent disaster, as man has pushed greenhouse gas emissions beyond a dangerous threshold.

Or there’s a study by NASA almost 20 years ago details how the main reason for cyclic climate change is the SUN. You know that big ball of flaming gas around 93 million miles away.

The sun’s rotation, orbit, and tilt, along with the earth’s rotation, orbit, and tilt says this:

If we had to sum the whole thing up in one simple phrase, it would be this: The biggest factor influencing weather and climate patterns on earth is the sun, period. Depending on the earth’s position to the sun at any given time, climate conditions are going to vary dramatically, and even create drastic abnormalities that defy everything that humans thought they knew about how the earth worked.

For more on this idea, think about it like this.

What would happen if the sun suddenly DOUBLED its output? Think it would get hotter on the earth?

What would happen if the sun suddenly HALVED its output? Think it would get colder on the earth?

What do you think?

Earth’s climate has always cyclical. Scientist have confirmed that over the 600 million year or so the earth had been almost completely covered in ice and snow at least twice, and maybe more. Called the Snowball Earth effect, these periods lasted at least 10 million years.

So what caused these?

On a most recent time scale, we know the last Ice Age ended around 10,000 years ago. During that one almost half of the US was covered in mile-deep sheets of ice.

So what causes these repeated Ice Ages, and what causes them to go away?

Maybe the sun’s orbit moving further from the earth due to these orbital variations?

And then moving back closer thousands of years later?

For more info about these orbital variations, check out this about Milankovitch Cycles

On an even more recent time scale, we have the Medieval Warming, the Little Ice Age, and even the Dust Bowl. The last one is a little controversial, but many scientists think that this is a possibility, and not the fact that farmers weren’t plowing the right way.

And recently, the ‘settled scientists’ can’t seem to keep their stories straight.

Back in the 1920’s it was Global Cooling.

Then in the 1930’s, it was Global Warming (I.e. the Dust Bowl, remember)

Next up, in the 1970’s, they ‘settled’ on Global Cooling again.

And of course, now we’ve circled back around to Global Warming again.

New York Times Climate Timeline

For more info on this, check out this article from 2006 called Fire and Ice.

Or this one entitled Climate Change Has Been A Routine Scare Tactic Since the 1930’s

Melting Glaciers

Complete with newspaper headlines.

And of course there are the ‘predictions’. Though ‘wild-ass guesses’ might be a better description.

How about these?

1967 — Stanford University expert Paul Erlich predicted “time of famines” in 1975.

1971 — A top NASA expert predicted an “ice age” by 2021.

1988 — It was predicted that the Maldives would be under water by last year.

2008 — Gore said the Arctic would be free of ice by 2013.

2009 — Prince Charles said there was just 96 months left to save the world.

For some more detail on this, check out this article, complete with newspaper articles. Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions

  
And finishing up, here’s the first 20 predictions from a list of 41 failed predictions.

  • 1967: Dire Famine Forecast By 1975
  • 1969: Everyone Will Disappear In a Cloud Of Blue Steam By 1989 (1969)
  • 1970: Ice Age By 2000
  • 1970: America Subject to Water Rationing By 1974 and Food Rationing By 1980
  • 1971: New Ice Age Coming By 2020 or 2030
  • 1972: New Ice Age By 2070
  • 1974: Space Satellites Show New Ice Age Coming Fast
  • 1974: Another Ice Age?
  • 1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life
  • 1976: Scientific Consensus Planet Cooling, Famines imminent
  • 1980: Acid Rain Kills Life In Lakes
  • 1978: No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend
  • 1988: Regional Droughts (that never happened) in 1990s
  • 1988: Temperatures in DC Will Hit Record Highs
  • 1988: Maldives Islands will Be Underwater by 2018 (they’re not)
  • 1989: Rising Sea Levels will Obliterate Nations if Nothing Done by 2000
  • 1989: New York City’s West Side Highway Underwater by 2019 (it’s not)
  • 2000: Children Won’t Know what Snow Is
  • 2002: Famine In 10 Years If We Don’t Give Up Eating Fish, Meat, and Dairy
  • 2004: Britain will Be Siberia by 2024
  • In fact, not one of these 41 predictions, made by these ‘leading Climate Changers’ has come true.

    0 for 41 is not a good record.

    OK, I’m off my soapbox. Feel free to jump in.



    Thought For The Day:

    titanicsanktoday

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