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calendar   Monday - May 04, 2020

More new home reno plans

Gosh, us smart types here at our condo finally figured out that we could really simplify our renovation plans, and save a ton of money, if we just put in a stacked washer / dryer in downstairs, instead of rebuilding half the upstairs to move our side by side appliances up there. Problem with the stacked idea is that she isn’t 7 feet tall. If you stack a dryer on top of a front load washer, the dryer controls are 6 feet off the floor. Several companies (LG, Kenmore, Dexter) had dryers with the controls mounted on the bottom front panel for just this reason, but those seem to have been discontinued for the home market. The LG models I can get this way ( they call it AdaptAble™ ) are the commercial ones, with coin boxes and remote soap dispensers. Don’t need that for my house, and I don’t know if those models are even sold to the home user. Maybe stacked appliances is so 2017, eww.

It doesn’t matter if the washer / dryer costs several thousand; remodeling the upstairs would cost easily 3 times that much.

Yes, Fisher Paykel has their Euro-sized Series 7 model with this kind of base panel control, but the darn thing is puny, only 24” wide. All European appliances are undersized, even ovens and dishwashers. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/04/2020 at 01:19 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Sunday - May 03, 2020

Back online, but not much to say

Ok, the PC is set up pretty well. I had to order a special cable to power the old HD, so I’ll get to that when it shows up. I did figure out how to mount the thing in the new machine, which has a smaller, very simple case. And a minimal power supply. And no extra RAM slots. And fewer motherboard slots. Which is what you get when you buy a budget machine. But at least they stuck in a Barracuda drive, which is a really fast one for it’s size.

A couple of COVID stories in the news, one about a newylwed couple from California who went to Hawaii for their honeymoon, wouldn’t sign the acceptance form for the 14 quarantine Hawaii has going, went outside and got arrested. How stupid do you have to be to not know this is going on? How dumb is their travel service and the airline for not mentioning this as well? Sure, you want to take a honeymoon right now. Gee, tough cookies. The whole damn world is in lock down, so put that idea on pause for now. Just like these fools on cruise ships. Giant DUH. Of course there will be infected people on your boat. Of course you’re going to get stuck there for weeks. Of course no port in the world is going to let your ship dock and let you ashore. Are you brain dead, or what?

Oklahoma had a Wear A Mask rule in place for one day. Shop owners were threatened with guns and violence. Governor backed down. Guess you Oklahomians are a selfish bunch of fucktards too. Whether or not a mask does any good, if that’s the only kind of lock down they’ve got out there, then suck it the hell up. All you’re doing is showing willing, being publicly consciencous. That’s all. Is it unconstitutional? Of course. State of Emergency, duh. I don’t like it either but you go along this little bit. So get your head out of your stuck up ass already.  No, let’s watch the numbers spike like mad in OK. And my response will be ... tough shit cowboy.

And that’s about it. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/03/2020 at 08:55 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Saturday - May 02, 2020

Garden Groaner

Around here you have to protect your vegetable garden from critters. Not just a vertical fence, but with a lid too. A steel mesh awning. And so ...

image


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/02/2020 at 05:41 PM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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woo hoo!!

It seems to be a PC !!

Took a bit of set up, and I did whatever seemed obvious to retain my privacy from Microsoft etc. Installed Firefox right away. Got my contact list intact for yahoo, will work on figuring out how to get my bookmarks etc once I get the old HD set up.

But for now, it’s a functional PC, so I’m happy.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/02/2020 at 02:07 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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last tablet post I hope

Woo hoo, the new PC arrived last night.  I’m getting it set up now, figuring which cable goes where, and cleaning things up in the machine’s dusty corner. It’s a lot easier to do this than back in the day, but some things never change: I have to go buy a special cable. The video output doesn’t accept the old style cable that my monitor uses. Lucky me the monitor can uses several kinds of cable, so it’s off to the store to get an HDMI. Then I can start it up, get all the bits recognized and get the Wifi going. It was a trial finding that password on our Android phones, her old mini Mac tablet, or my Android tablet. Lucky us, we’re “wired”, so it was easy to find it on the TV when we remembered it was wifi enabled too.

Right. A quick coffee, a quicker shower, then off to Walmart to get a cable.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/02/2020 at 10:17 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Thursday - April 30, 2020

still no PC

I guess 8 days for overnight shipping is the new normal. Gak. I can mount the old drive as a secondary but I have no idea how to save all my programs. Getting the data wont be hard, but I’ve got a bunch of purchased, registered programs. Some are old too; I don’t want to buy the new versions.

I cant take much more. Suffering from acute mouse withdrawl.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/30/2020 at 05:41 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 29, 2020

life in the stick

NJ is too small to have more than one stick, so I can’t say I live in the sticks. Just the one.

But it has a lot of nature nearby. Clinton is a little town where 2 or 3 watercourses come together. The Spruce Run river merges with the South Branch of the Raritan River, just south of the Spruce Run reservoir, and picks up the Beaver Brook on the south end of downtown, just past the 2nd bridge below the little dam by our famous Red Mill. There is a wetland area south of town; instant wilderness 100 feet off the main road, unknown and ignored by the state highway thundering above it. Makes for great trout fishing; there’s always a few guys out there in waders with their fly rods.

I picked up a basic pizza down at lenny’s tonight. Coming out with the pie I saw a huge low flying bird. Around NJ that usually means a Turkey Vulture or a wild turkey, but this one was a Great Blue Heron. Massive thing, looked like a mini pterodactyl from Jurrasic Park. They fly with their necks pulled back in an S curve. It flapped over town a few times, then hovered down over the lower bridge to land in the South Branch and get his own take out. Most people are unaware of nature around them, and the only birds they know are the genus Perdue and Tyson. Beats me why. I celebrate it.

So a perfect Spring evening here. We added our own pepperoni, mushrooms, onion, and extra mozzarella to the pie, crisped it up in the oven, and gobbled that down.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/29/2020 at 07:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 28, 2020

just another day

Not too much to say. I didn’t follow the news much today other than that NYT Daily Briefing that shows up on my phone.

There was a neat story there about some lab in UK that’s going to start human trials for a COVID vaccine next month. Because, hey, they’ve got lots of financial backing right now, and it worked on a couple dozen monkeys. So let’s find 6000 uninfected people to dose and see what happens. Course, this place has not had success with their style of vaccines with malaria or MERS, but maybe the third time’s the charm. The Times worried that it might be hard for them to test if the pandemic has petered out by then. Gee thanks NYT.

The other interesting story there was the “great mystery” of why so few people have died from this disease in India. Let’s see ... lower life expectancy means there are fewer old folks around to start, almost nobody in India is well fed enough to be overweight, the place is a tropical Petri dish with almost as many endemic horrible diseases as Africa, at least half the country lives on chloroquine because of the malaria, few people go to hospitals and stay there long enough to die (they die at home), doctors and medical examiners keep lousy records, and immediate public cremation means there aren’t any bodies in morgues to study. Plus they don’t have money for all the test kits. So yeah, it’s a huge mystery.

I worked all day long, finishing up one office and getting mostly done with the second office. Patching and painting takes a long time. But today was my 5th trip in 9 days, and I’m getting tired of it. I’ll go back tomorrow or the day after to screw a chair rail to the wall and paint the other side of the lab door. Then it’s all done. Takes me longer to drive there and back than I have work to do, but you can’t rush spackle or paint.

And that’s another day in lockdown.

Oh yeah; we’re bing watching True Blood, a deep south vampire series. 70 episodes to go through. It was pretty good when we watched it when it was new. Here’s the video of the minor them music from the show. It’s kind of church music. A simple sad tune asking God for help and solace. Which the characters in the show really need as they go from one dark, gory, supernatural adventure to the next.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=myZ3_8gz63A#

Nope, haven’t figured out how to do embedded videos yet either. Sorry.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/28/2020 at 10:19 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeMiscellaneouspandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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calendar   Monday - April 27, 2020

Two good links, more painting

NJ has a really well done COVID dashboard site, updated constantly. As more data becomes available, the site adds more aspects. Hope your state has something like it.
https://nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml

The other link would be a real eye opener if the deceit and misinformation and fearmongering it outlines were new. But we’ve heard most of it many times before. It’s a long read but a good one.
https://coronavirustruths.godaddysites.com .

I heard from the doc I work for. He’s so happy with the painting and stuff I did for him he wants me to do similar for his other office.  So I’ve got a bit more work. Yay money!!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/27/2020 at 07:00 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Sunday - April 26, 2020

tablet woes

Ok, the tablet isn’t so bad. Just slow and unwieldy.  Cant wait for new pc.

I spent several days painting and cleaning. Got that office fresh and spotless.

Just for a change of pace I made the IKEA meatballs recipe tonight. Needs more spice. Needs a lot more sauce. Their recipe uses a huge roux, enough to make half a gallon of gravy. And then you simmer it until it turns into tar. Phoney. I added double the amount of liquid and it came out just right. Figures that IKEA would have an error in the instructions. Next time I’ll try a real swedish meatball recipe.

The usual SSDD crap in the news. This Daily Briefing showing up in my inbox from the NYT is informative but very biased. No kidding right?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/26/2020 at 10:35 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Thursday - April 23, 2020

old mill fresh flour

Flour Power

I haven’t figured out how to copy paste on this android device yet, so no text quotes.

There is a flour shortage in England too. Everybody stuck at home has decided to start baking. So flour is very hard to find in stores right now. It turns out that hardly 5% of all the flour milled goes to retail. Nearly all of it goes to commercial bakers, in huge amounts. Your local bakery probably buys flour a ton or more at a time. Industrial bakers buy it by the train load. Literally; it comes bulk in tanker cars. Most big mills are not set up to bag it any smaller than a 50lb sack.

The Sturminster Newton mill in Dorset England is responding to local needs. For many years they have operated as a museum, grinding perhaps a ton of flour for the tourists per year. Now they’re grinding that much in a day or two.

What makes this interesting is that the mill is ancient. There has been a water wheel powered mill on this site since the Dark Ages. 1016 or earlier. The place was already old when it was listed in the Doomsday Book. That’s William the Conqueror era. 1086-ish. Granted, the current mill was recently rebuilt in 1650, which is practically new in Olde English terms. Is it stone ground? Yes. No pictures from inside in the news story.

Pretty cool.

here’s a link to the mill

and a link to the news story

Links made by hand the old fashioned way. Hope they work. I want my mouse!!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/23/2020 at 07:36 PM   
Filed Under: • BreadMiscellaneous •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 22, 2020

New PC on the way

After most of an hour on the phone with New Delhi tech support, we concluded that my PC was on the verge of death. It only runs for 3 or 4 minutes at a time before instant death, and half that time I’m spending trying to get the wifi to work. Forget this. So I optioned out a totally killer machine, and then realized that I have no use for all that. I’m not a gamer. I don’t do any hard core large scale number crunching. So why buy it? The dying PC was red hot when new, but the world caught up. I never used a tenth it’s power.

So I bought basic PC, i5 CPU and more memory than the old one. And I can mount my current hard drive in it as a secondary,so I don’t have to transfer any data or lose any of my programs. I hope.

This will be my 4th Dell machine. Bought my first back in 1988. My company bought me the next one in 2001. I got this one in 2013. 3 computers, 22 years.  Seems pretty good to me.

It ought to be here in a week or less. Woo hoo. Until then I have to blog via my tablet. Guess I’d better find the keyboard case it has that I never use. It’s just easier.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/22/2020 at 09:54 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Time to go vegan?

The meat industry has been hit really hard by this virus. Maybe it has something to do with all the third world immigrants who work there, I can’t say.

Beef and pork processing is the worst hit, so far. Chickens to follow?

Tyson Closing Pork Plant
Several others have closed already as COVID sweeps through the meat processing industry

Tyson Foods announced Wednesday that it is suspending operations indefinitely at a large Iowa pork processing plant linked to a growing coronavirus outbreak.

The company warned that its closing of the Waterloo, Iowa, plant would be a blow to hog farmers and potentially disrupt the nation’s pork supply. Tyson had kept the plant open in recent days over the objections of the mayor and other local officials.

The plant employs nearly 3,000 workers and can process about 19,500 hogs per day, about 4% of the U.S. pork processing capacity.

More than 180 infections had been confirmed among plant workers earlier this week and officials expect that number to rise. In addition to those infected, hundreds of workers had stayed home from work out of fear of catching the virus.

The announcement comes as employers have struggled to contain the virus in large meatpacking plants, where workers toil side by side on production lines and often share locker rooms, cafeterias and rides to work. Several other packing plants have temporarily closed after large outbreaks, including a Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and a JBS USA plant in Worthington, Minnesota.

“Despite our continued efforts to keep our people safe while fulfilling our critical role of feeding American families, the combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in our decision to stop production,” Tyson Fresh Meats president Steve Stouffer said in a statement.

He warned that the closure would have “significant ramifications beyond our company” since it’s part of a supply chain that includes farmers, truckers, distributors and grocers.




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If the packing plants can’t run, then there’s no meat for anyone. If the farmers can’t sell the livestock to the packing plants then the whole industry collapses. And then we all have to start living on beans and lentils. The only other way is to send live animals to the local butchers. And we really don’t have that kind of supply chain.

A very similar situation exists for other kinds of farms too, the ones that rely on large numbers of illegals, migrants, and unskilled immigrant workers to harvest the crops. These folks seem to be getting sicker more than others. Working conditions, living conditions, overall health? I have no idea why.

So this is going to really, really suck. End of Days kind of suck.

Coronavirus pandemic ‘will cause famine of biblical proportions’

The world is facing widespread famine “of biblical proportions” because of the coronavirus pandemic, the chief of the UN’s food relief agency has warned, with a short time to act before hundreds of millions starve.

More than 30 countries in the developing world could experience widespread famine, and in 10 of those countries there are already more than 1 million people on the brink of starvation, said David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme.

“We are not talking about people going to bed hungry,” he told the Guardian in an interview. “We are talking about extreme conditions, emergency status – people literally marching to the brink of starvation. If we don’t get food to people, people will die.”

Covid-19 is likely to be sweeping through the developing world but its spread is hard to gauge. What appears to be certain is that the fragile healthcare systems of scores of developing countries will be unable to cope, and the economic disaster following in the wake of the pandemic will lead to huge strain on resources.

“This is truly more than just a pandemic – it is creating a hunger pandemic,” said Beasley. “This is a humanitarian and food catastrophe.”

Perhaps the harshest truth is that shutting down society is the wrong idea. Even if COVID-19 is far more fatal than we know. Even if 10 - 20% of the population dies from it, nationwide or worldwide. The rest of us have to continue.

Yeah, and maybe it’s time for another Upton Sinclair, to illuminate the working conditions in these plants. So that somebody can find a more healthy way of doing things, and implement that change ASAP. Because if they don’t, then it’s grow your own beans time. Which doesn’t work at all for urban dwellers.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/22/2020 at 09:33 AM   
Filed Under: • Foodpandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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wobbly but working for now

I seem to have internet on the PC again. Sort of. And the computer seems to be stable. Sort of.  Sometimes it stops dead in it’s tracks, so I unplug it, wait a bit, and try again. Sometimes it runs, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the WiFi works just fine, other times I have to run the Windows WiFi status troubleshooter.

There seems to be some kind of relationship between the WiFi functionality and the freshness of the boot. As if some value needed to ID the WiFi isn’t lasting in memory. Failing memory chip? Thermal short? I don’t know.

But for a little while at least I have a computer again. So I can check my email and hit the news sites with ease. It’s just so much easier to do this with a full size keyboard and a nice big screen.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/22/2020 at 09:23 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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