Daily Archives: October 26, 2020

MMR and Princess Leia . . .

Jan again wants to thank everyone for the many birthday wishes that came in over the last few days. She really appreciated all the nice thoughts.

There’s been a lot of speculation recently, both in the media and in the science journals about why there is so much variation in China Virus symptoms between people of like comorbidities.

And this article from The American Journal of Medicine talks about how individuals who have had the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine seem to be at lesser risk for Virus complications.

Measles epidemics leading to measles elimination programs with mass MMR vaccination may explain part of observed international variations, suggesting that MMR vaccine may provide strong protection from COVID-19 spread and mortality.

Although the individual vaccines were in use earlier, the combined MMR shot came into use in 1971.

These findings suggest the MMR vaccine may protect against COVID-19, including high-risk individuals, such as elderly with co-morbidities, health care workers and first-responders with COVID-19 patients, especially individuals living in long-term care facilities and the related institutional staff. Clinicians who are caring for such high-risk persons should consider the benefit/cost ratios of MMR vaccination to justify use of this simple, low risk intervention to reduce COVID-19 disease, especially until a specific vaccine is approved. Clinical trials to confirm this speculation are now being conducted.

Sounds like that if you feel you might at a severe risks for the China Virus, you might consider talking to your Dr. about an MMR shot.

You may have heard about how much worse the US is doing combatting the WuFlu compared to what’s being done in Europe.

The State Of The Unions

It certainly doesn’t look like if from this chart.

And specifically, things aren’t going very well in France, either.

Virus patients now occupy more than half of France’s intensive care units, and some doctors are urging tougher restrictions after another record jump in confirmed infections.

Dr. Jean-Francois Delfraissy, head of the government’s virus advisory body, expressed surprise Monday at the “brutality” of the rise, after more than 52,000 new cases were reported Sunday.

In fact the only European country who seems have handled things properly is Sweden. Despite panicky alarms, they imposed only light restrictions and that resulted in this.

Sweden vs EU Lockdowns

Or this one comparing Sweden and Israel.

Israel v Sweden

It seems that, to paraphrase Princess Leia, “The more you lock down, the more the virus will rampage.”

Also known as  the ‘Viruses gonna virus.’ mantra.

Thought For The Day:

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” – Aesop, 600 BC 



In Savannah, GA

October 26, 2012

Bombs Away!

Today started about 11am when we headed down to Pooler, GA to tour the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum 1

We started out by going through a ‘full immersion’ show of a typical 8th Air Force bombing mission.

We begin our flight by sitting in Quonset hut and listening to the flight briefing given through a combination of video and a live presentation from a actual 8th Air Force crew member. Then it was on to an excellent movie about the flight line and preparing the B-17’s for the bombing raid.

The final presentation was multi-media presentation simulating a bombing run over Germany, complete with loud flak explosions, bright flashing lights, and even rushing wind as the bomb bay doors open.

A really moving presentation.

The 8th Air Force Museum is located in Savannah because that’s where it was born. It was activated on January 2th, 1942 at Savannah Air Base, Savannah, GA, less than one month after Pearl Harbor.

During its 3 year operational history, over 350,000 men cycled through the unit. And of that number, there were 26,000 deaths and 28,000 casualties, with the loss of over 4000 planes.

Toward the end of the war the 8th Air Force was sending out raids with over 2000 planes and 1000 fighters on a single mission to multiple targets.

It is said that by early 1945 there was nothing left to bomb in Germany. Every target of strategic or military value had been destroyed.

Leaving the presentation we walked through the many exhibits. They even had a couple of fantastic dioramas. This one depicted a raid on a German refinery. Very realistic.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum Ollfield Raid


And this one shows the 8th Air Force field at East Anglia, England.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum East Anglia


They also have a number of planes on display, including this B-17, “The City of Savannah”,

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum B-17 1


which was the 5000th plane processed through Hunter Field in Savannah in 1944.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum B-17 2


Here’s the P-51 Mustang, the most successful long ranger fighter of WWII. Its introduction allowed, for the first time, fighters to escort the bombers all the way into Germany and back out on even the longest missions.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum P51


And here’s one the P-51’s adversaries, the German bf 109.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum bf 109


They also had a few more modern planes outside. Here’s a F-4C Phantom.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum F-4C


A MiG 17A.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum MiG 17


And finally, a Boeing B-47 Stratojet, our first swept wing all-jet bomber.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum B-47

We really enjoyed the 8th Air Force Museum, especially Jan  who was an Air Force Brats.

This is a must-see when you visit Savannah.

Leaving the museum, we made a couple of Post Office and bank stops before spending some time just driving around old Savannah taking in all the old homes. Then we made a couple of trips down along the waterfront checking all the neat shops and restaurants.

By this time it was after 4pm, and with us both hungry, we headed back to Jalapeno’s Mexican Restaurant, where we ate a couple of days ago.

It was that good. So good that we both ordered exactly the same thing we got last time.

Heading back toward home, we made a Wal-Mart stop along the way. We also made a few more passes up and down some more of Savannah’s streets.

The perfect end to a great day.

Thought for the Day:

If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don’t understand, no explanation is possible.



South Texas Gate Guarding

October 26, 2013

They Broke Our Well . . .

Or at least it seems like it. They’ve been in Production here for a couple of weeks now which means they’re getting crude out, and there’s been a steady stream of tankers in and out ever since. At least until a few days ago, then things slowed down.

Now it turns out they have a problem and are going to have to redo the ‘coiled tubing’ phase again. Don’t know yet if there’s debris in the hole, or a clog of some sort. But the good thing for us is that it makes it more and more likely we’ll be able to stay at this site until we leave on the 23rd of November. Here’s hoping.

Also hopefully we’ll get a little rain (emphasis on little) in the next few days because the dust is getting really bad. Last year they had water trucks that would go though every few days and wet down the roads, but I’ve only seen that happen once, early on right after we got here.

Under the heading of Where’s Landon, he’s now firmly of the opinion he doesn’t like his picture taken. So much so that he goes out of his way to avoid the camera.

See if you can pick him out in this photo.

Where's Landon
Hint: He’s the one in the middle with his back to the camera. He stayed that way the whole time.
There's Landon

But Brandi finally got a shot when he ran up to her.

Had something a little strange happen at the Wal-Mart in Pleasanton yesterday (Friday). I was there getting groceries and also picking up Jan’s 4 prescriptions. Told the young lady that I would just pay for them when I checked out with my groceries, so she clipped one of those anti-theft thingies you see on clothes, to the bag and off I went. When I got to the checkout, the lady removed the thingie and scanned the prescriptions in. The register beeped and said “Already Scanned In”. In my mind I figured it was because the pharmacy had already started scanning them when I told them I’d pay up front. So the cashier hits a couple of keys and then scans them again. Everything went thru fine and off I went.

Later in the evening, after I went to bed, I got a voicemail from the pharmacy asking me to call them. When I did this morning they ask ‘politely’ if I had paid for the prescriptions. Told them as far as I knew I had. Said the cashier had taken the thingie off and scanned them through. I did mention about the “Already Scanned In” problem. She ask if I still had my receipt and could I check it. I said I’d dig it up and call her back.

And as it turns out I almost got $82.84 worth of free prescriptions. On the receipt it showed they were scanned in, but then immediately voided. I never noticed the price change because I had looked at the running total after they were first scanned in and the amount seemed right. I didn’t look the final total since I would have had to take my glasses off to see it on the small screen.

I told the pharmacist that I wouldn’t be back over there until next Thursday, and did she want me to just give her a credit card number over the phone. She said no problem, just take care of it when I come in next week.

And I almost got away with it.

Thought for the Day:

We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution. – Abraham Lincoln, 1859

or as my friend David Cross says:

All the monkeys need to be REPLACED AT THE SAME TIME.



Setting Up At A New East Texas Gate

October 26, 2014

We Miss Our Tree . . .

Well, we’re still settling in at our new gate, trying to get things configured like we like. Unfortunately some things we’re just going to have to not like, but put up with.

New Gate View 3

Right across the entrance way from us is a set of production tanks to store the crude coming out of the wells until a tanker comes to pick it up. Don’t know if they plan on putting a pipeline in yet. There are almost 15 wells back in here, with more on the way, so it would seem to make sense.

We’re parked parallel to the entrance to the pad so our rig faces south, and with no trees for shade, our rig AC’s are once again having to earn their keep. Not sure yet if I’ll put up the Reflectix radiant barrier in the rig windshield. Today didn’t seem too bad so I’ll give it a few days and see.

The other problem is that due to the way we’re parked here, our canopy and seating area is about 30 feet back from the road, so it’s a short hike out to the road to log people in. But the extra exercise is not the real problem. The real problem is going to be when it’s pouring down rain.

New Gate at Night

The entrance road coming from the highway is just to the left of the generator trailer.

At our old gate, the canopy was close enough to the road so that if it was raining we could stay under the edge and still check people in without getting things wet. And by ‘things’, I’m not talking about us, but the log sheets. We’ve found no workable way to keep the log sheets dry while logging in people in the rain, Jan often uses a pocket voice recorder, but this won’t work if we’re busy. It takes too long to transcribe login info when you’ve got six more trucks coming in. But we’ll work something out. We always do.

The FRC clothing has turned out to be pretty comfortable. We got the FRC T-Shirts, which although they’re long sleeve, are not too hot.

And finally, on the Landon front, here’s this.

Cool Landon


Thought for the Day:

“When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.”



Raining On The Gate

October 26, 2015

Monday Morning Coming Down . . .

And it just keeps on coming down.

Even later this afternoon, when the radar showed clear skies in the area for miles around, it was still drizzling here. It just doesn’t seem to want to let go. But it’s supposed to be just ‘Cloudy’ tomorrow, and ‘Sunny’ and 80 degrees on Wednesday.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how ‘Wet’ the ‘Cloudy’ is going to be.

But since we’ve been able to stay inside pretty much all the time, it hasn’t been a problem. All our stuff under the canopy has been staying dry, and I’ve got all the electrical connections wrapped and taped, so we haven’t had any problems with the genset’s GFCI popping.

And since our GGS service guy Todd replaced the bad sewer pump macerator last Friday,

Sewer Pump

that’s not popping the GFCI anymore, either.

We’re still waiting for our Flowback crew to show up. As it was we only had the two frack water guys come through as usual. Oh, and one guy who was lost, looking for the other frack.

He came in, said he was here to repair a pump, and headed down to the pad, which is totally black with no lights. There are light towers down there so I figured he was just going to crank one up and get his work done. But as it turned out he was just lost.

I do sometimes wonder though how some of these guys find their way around. He showed me his directions and they were correct. He just didn’t follow them. They said to turn off the main highway, go 1 mile and turn left at the ‘T’.

But he went 1 mile, turned right at the ‘T’, went another half mile and turned left onto our road.

Ya just gotta wonder.

Thought for the Day:

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” – Anonymous

You ever notice how many great things this guy Anonymous says.



Giddy On Our Gate

October 26, 2016

Jan’s All Giddy Again . . .

She got the day off.

And it looks like we’ll both have the day off tomorrow. And we’ve been told that it will probably be a couple of days before we’re reassigned to another gate..

Todd texted me this morning that I was to come in, but Jan had the day off because he had a couple of other guards he wanted to run through her gate for training. Then about 6pm he texted me that this gate was shutting down as of 6am tomorrow morning, i.e. the end of my shift. He said he hopes to have us another gate ASAP.

We already knew they were rigging down from flowback here, but there was some talk that the gate guards would stay until the completion crew came in because of all the equipment still here. But it seems that’s not going to happen.

Well, it was a nice gate while it lasted. On to the next one.

It has only taken me a few days to figure out that the person(s) who wrote this eWatch Gate Guard Logging program has/have never worked a gate with it. If they had, it wouldn’t be written this way.

In some cases, it’s just small things. Like when you have a vehicle come in, you click on the Entry box and the Entry screen comes up. So we tap the Tag# box and the keyboard comes up. But it comes up in Alpha mode and not numeric mode. So it’s another click to get there. And with the 100’s of  vehicles I’ve entered in the last four days, not one of them had a Alpha character in the last four digits of the tag number.

And it’s just a single command string in the Open Keyboard code to make it work correctly.

Yeah, it’s a small thing, but when you’re  entering dozens (or more) vehicles a day, and the driver’s are wishing you’d hurry the hell up, it’s annoying.

And it seems to sometimes lose track of people. For example, earlier this evening I had a truck come in with Antonio driving and Sergio as a passenger. Then about 10 minutes later, the truck leaves, but now Sergio is the driver and he’s left Antonio behind.

And the log shows this correctly.

But then a couple of hours later, Jorge, Jose, and Brian leave in another company truck, the same one they all entered in earlier, and now they take Antonio out with them. So on the Exit page I add Antonio as a passenger and then Exit the whole bunch.

And the log shows that Jorge, the driver, and Jose, Brian, and Antonio, passengers, all left in that vehicle. But when I now look at the Personnel log that shows everyone supposedly still onsite, Antonio is still here. And I can’t find anyway to manually get rid of him.

Then about 9:30 all 12 of one company’s trucks left in a convoy, one after the other. And there is absolutely no way to handle this on the iPad.

To Exit a vehicle, you first have to wake up the iPad (it goes to sleep automagically after a minute or so of non-use), then slide the graphic on the screen to unlock it, and then click the Exit box.

Next, from the list of everyone on site, you click on that truck, the data of which is then populated into the form. And this point you can now click Submit, the system asks “Are You Sure? You click Yes and they’re gone.

But now you’re back at the opening menu screen. And it starts all over again. Of course by this time 8 of the 12 trucks are already through the gate and off down the road. The only logical way to do this is with a pad and a pencil, and then enter it into the iPad.

But we’re told to do everything on the iPad.


Thought for the Day:

“Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.” –  Mae West



Yes, We Have No Bananas

October 26, 2017

Who Doesn’t Have Bananas For Oatmeal?

For our move down to Santa Fe, we were up about 7:30 to start packing stuff away for the trip.

We were pretty much down by 9, so we headed out to the Conroe Cracker Barrel for our traditional travel day breakfast.

Jan had her usual eggs, bacon, and hash browns,

Cracker Barrel Uncle Hershal

while I had their Oatmeal.

Cracker Barrel Oatmeal

I really wanted bananas rather than the other fruity stuff, but Cracker Barrel doesn’t have bananas. I’m sorry but it’s not really oatmeal without bananas.

Back at the rig by 10:30, after saying our goodbyes to Dave and Janice Evans, we were hitched up and on the way by 11:30. and we weren’t out of our site for 5 minutes, when someone almost immediately grabbed our site while we still hitching up.

Even through downtown Houston our trip was pretty smooth with no problems at all. Our first stop was the La Marque Buc-ee’s about 1:15 to top off our rig’s diesel tank at $2.27 a gallon, the cheapest I’ve seen recently.

After traipsing through Santa Fe neighborhoods, we pulled into the Petticoat Junction RV Park about 1:45. Finding no one around, I put in a call to the park owners and was told to take site #7. Since it was right behind us I unhitched the truck and then backed us right in.

After resting up about an hour, we drove up to Clear Lake, first to my client’s to pick up Jan’s other birthday present. This:

Instant Pot

Instant Pot 8 Qt., 6 in 1, Pressure Cooker.

So Jan’s the proud owner of an Instant Pot. Now to learn how to use it.

Then our next stop was Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, one of our long-time favorite places. We’ve been coming here since the mid-90’s when the place first opened as Thibodeaux’s. When it closed under mysterious circumstances, Floyd Landry, who had been a silent partner, and furnished all the recipes, took it over

Jan, as usual got her favorite Chicken Fried Chicken, with Fries.

Floyd's CFS

while I went with the Seafood Gumbo and a side of Floyd’s Potatoes.

Floyd's Seafood Gumbo 2

Every time I’ve been to a Floyd’s recently I’ve been alternating back and forth between the Seafood Gumbo,l which had Shrimp and Crab Meat, and the Shrimp Gumbo, which has, well, shrimp. I think I like the plain Shrimp Gumbo better. Actually I wish they offered Oysters with the Seafood Gumbo, but they don’t.

Years ago I tried to talk Floyd into making it that way , and he said it would make the gumbo too expensive. Told him he should just offer it as an extra cost option, then we could order it if we wanted to. But never could convince him.

Tomorrow it’s back to work, but with a much shorter drive. Nice.

The Word of the Day is:  Vituperate

Thought for the Day:

“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.”  – G.K. Chesterton



Rolling The Dice

October 26, 2018

A New Project . . .

I heard back from Snider Transmission with so-so news about our Dodge Dakota. There’s nothing externally wrong with the transmission, so the next step is to take a look inside. And that will cost me $300.

That’s the charge for removing it, disassembling it, and diagnosing the problem. If at that point I do decide to repair it, the $300 will apply to the bill.

But that doesn’t include putting it back together afterwards if I decide not to get it repaired. And in fact due to all the O-rings and gaskets that would have to be replaced even without actually repairing, it wouldn’t be cost-effective anyway.

But I decided to roll the dice and hope I don’t Crap out.

For a while now I’ve been trying to get my client to take a look at how they do shipping. Numerically, our order totals are pretty much equally divided between USPS and UPS. We do ship a few orders via FedEx, but they’re mostly international shipments. But money-wise, the $ totals are about 3 to 1 for UPS.

But there can be a lot of difference in shipping cost between the various methods. For example, if we ship a 10# package to New York City, NY with USPS, check out the possible differences in cost.

Via standard Priority Mail (weight-based) it would be $28.45.

Via a Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box, it would $11.60.

And via a Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A, it would be only $9.70

That’s a big range!

To make things more confusing, there’s actually a fourth shipping method called Priority Mail Cubic, that’s only based on the size of the box.

And that’s not even bringing UPS into the mix.

The problem turns out to be how to quickly and easily figure out the cheapest way to ship a package. Your variables are package weight, shipping distance (Postal Zone), and package size. And the same weight package will ship cheaper either of 4 different ways, depending on how far away it’s going.

So what we need is a program that will take the weight and the destination zip code and tell you which way is the cheapest. There are a couple of online sites that purport to do this, but mostly seem to try and get you to ship through them.

So my new project is write a program that will take the shipping weight and the destination zip and tell you the cheapest way to ship it.

I’ll probably just do the first version in Liberty BASIC since it’s quicker for prototyping, and then once the logic flow is nailed down, I may move it into something like C+. But it may work just fine in Compiled BASIC. I’ll just have to see.

But at a quick glance, the first problem I see is that the USPS charts I need, like the Domestic Zone Chart that translates Zip Codes into Postal Zones, doesn’t seem be available in computer form, just printouts. But I’ll  keep looking.

Tomorrow we’re meeting up with Miss Piper for breakfast at The Egg and I, then she and Jan are going to get Mani-Pedi’s. Well, just a Pedi for Jan.

Then Sunday we’re going up to Brandi’s in Katy and lounge around their pool while Lowell grills something.

Really looking forward to it.

Thought for the Day: Irony

Croc Irony



More of The Birthday Girl

October 26, 2019

A Big, Shiny New One . . .

Several of our readers suggested that I just chuck the old filter adapter and buy a new one. And after looking at it closer this morning, I agreed and put my order in with DieselPartsDirect this afternoon.

Oil Filter Hub Adapter

Hopefully it will be here by the end of next week so I can wrap this up.

I mentioned yesterday that I had noticed pitting in the gasket area which I thought was strange on a piece of steel like this. But then it sat outside last night and got rained on, and then this morning I noticed the white rust corrosion spotted over it.

So it wasn’t steel like I was told, but aluminum, which explains better the pitting on the surface.  And since some of the pits are along the gasket edges, I don’t want to take any chances with any leakage under pressure.

So a shiny, new one it is.

Coming from Jan’s Birthday dinner last evening, we stopped and got gas at Costco, and the price dropped again, from $2.08 two weeks ago, $2.04 last week, to $1.98 yesterday.


Also forgot to post this of the Birthday Girl yesterday.

Jan's Birthday at Saltgrass 2019

Jan and I had dinner this afternoon at our favorite Los Ramirez Mexican Restaurant. Then we made a stop by our storeroom to pick up our two electric heaters. It’s been going down in the low 50’s the last few nights, and we’re looking at the 40’s next week. Of course knowing Texas weather, we’ll have some 90’s mixed back in there again.

Finishing up, Brandi sent over this photo of Landon’s 1st Prize Halloween costume.

Landon Halloween Pug Costume 2019

Readers will remember this as his Mr. Pug persona from his Facebook page.

Great going, Landon!

Thought For The Day:

Caidyn’s No Bullying Rules

%d bloggers like this: