Sarah Palin is the reason compasses point North.

calendar   Tuesday - July 20, 2021

Once Again, The One And Only Post

July 22, 2021

Pandemic Panic: There’s An App For That

Food and goods shortages appearing in England because nobody is around to stock the shelves. They all went home to isolate because a government supplied contact tracing app told them to shelter in place.

The Great “Pingdemic” of 2021

Supermarkets and wholesalers in the U.K. are beginning to face shortages after the government’s official health app told hundreds of thousands of workers to self-isolate after contact with someone with COVID-19, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The “pingdemic” disruptions pose a new challenge to the highly vaccinated U.K., which is reporting more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases per day as the Delta variant tears through the country.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted virtually all pandemic restrictions in England on July 19, threatening to exacerbate the problem further.
87% of adults have received at least one vaccine dose and 68% have received two doses, per Reuters. 60% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations are among unvaccinated people, according to health officials.

Driving the news: The National Health Service’s contact tracing app that notifies people to isolate for 10 days after COVID-19 exposure has tarnished Johnson’s plan to fully reopen England’s economy.

And this is just 48 hours after PM Boris finally re-opened the economy. Hella coincidence, ain’t it?

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) - British supermarkets said on Thursday that some products were in short supply and petrol stations had been forced to close after the official health app told hundreds of thousands of workers to isolate following contact with someone with COVID-19.

British newspapers carried front-page pictures of empty shelves in supermarkets, declaring a “pingdemic”.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News the government was “very concerned” about the situation but that he did not recognise the network’s characterisation of “bare"supermarket shelves.


“It’s not bare, it’s only mostly bare!” *




Bowling Blogging !!!

We’re back in 2nd place after last night, just 2 points out of 1st with 5 weeks to go. We won 5-2 last night, first game and last, in part because of my 213 in the first game and Seamus’s 253 in the last game. Sweet. But we had a good time, and absorbed as much air conditioning as we could.


It’s A/C day !!

The crew showed up at 8:30 this morning and is getting right to work. The new condenser is HUGE, as all the high efficiency ones are. We’re going to have to cut down at least half of the rhododendron out there in the corner to make room. Oh well.

8:30 is fine by me, as I’ve been up since 5am. Kitteh Dizzy is having seizures again, a double last night, one just after we went to bed, and another one at 5am. We got some extra meds in her, she ate like a starving wolf, and is still grumpy and hiding under the bed. She goes feral for a while after each episode, and the episodes are triggered by the hormone changes when she goes into heat. Which she is doing now. We’re going to have to get her fixed and take the risk of surgery. Thank goodness she only goes into heat every few months, unlike little microcat Sniffles, who gets the urge twice as often, and then turns into Opera Cat for 10 days straight.

I’m getting as much benefit from the portable A/C unit these guys dropped off the other day, as the power will be out for a while while they do the electrical breaker box. We need a new one, the breakers are from 1978 and the power bars are all corroded. Extra expense, but it needs doing.


The new condenser is huge, quite a bit bigger than a washing machine. Horry Clap!  The air handler is going in now and then the coil goes inside it once it’s in place. The new line set was run through the fascia, not under it. Too bad. It will get covered with a multi-piece plastic affair running up the side of the unit, which is about the size of a downspout. Much easier than opening up a wall, plenty of protection, and it’s a close color match to the tan siding here.

I think they might even get done today. I am very happy.

Contractor is using Little Giant King Kombo non-conductive fiberglass ladders. “1AA” rated for 375lb, this may be the smartest ladder I’ve ever seen. Folded up, it’s a 6ft flat ladder designed to lean against a wall at a safe angle. The front legs are on locking pivots. Opened up it’s a regular step ladder, with the top plate having all the right holes and slots for holding your tools, paint buckets etc. Swing the front legs out all the way and it becomes a 13ft extension ladder. And the really sweet part is that the front legs fit between the studs on a 16"OC framed wall. Sweet. They make a larger model and a stubby one too. My ladders are good, also fiberglass, but “only” 1A rating, 300lb, which was the best when I bought them.


Dizzy cat has had 4 or 5 seizures today, most of them pretty tiny. Her spasms under the bed sound just like the workman doing the electric panel just outside the bedroom, so I didn’t notice. But now that he’s done and we have power again, YAY!!!, when she pitched a big one I noticed. And I dragged her out and held her and comforted her until it passed, and got several perforations for my trouble. After she did her eating thing ( we moved their bowls and the litter pan into the bedroom this morning to keep them out of the way ) I gave her her pheno pill and a full squirt of the keppra. And that’s all I can do. Poor kitteh.

Sniffles snuck out of the bedroom when I was comforting Dizzy, so she’s around the house somewhere. She doesn’t try to get out of the house too much, but guys are going in and out all the time. I will play cat catcher if I can.


The Covid Crap

your daily lie from the government

,CDC: VAERS shows 12,313 post-vaccination deaths ... but NO CAUSAL LINK

The CDC has stated that based on a review of the relevant information, including the death certificates, medical records, etc., the agency has declared that there are no causal links between the reports and the vaccine. Hence the federal government is on record that there are no direct ties between the events

Independent analyses have demonstrated that a sizable number of the total reported deaths have occurred within 36 hours of the administration of the vaccine. However, the government won’t acknowledge any correlation—that’s the formal declaration for now.

Any other vaccine in history that has caused as many as 100 deaths has been pulled from the market. Usually it doesn’t take anywhere near that many. But when you move the goalposts and deny reality, then all these deaths are just a random coincidence. Nothing to see here, move along.

After word got out about the 12,313 number, CDC/FDA which supervises the VAERS site, quickly cut the number in half to 6,207.

WTF. And who do they think they’re fooling at this point??


July 20, 2021

Just a little of the Covid Crap

Acquired Immunity Is Broader Than Vaccine Immunity

New study shows that the jab “protection” has some major holes in it.

a large group of prominent New York City-based researchers recently completed a study ... investigating the impact of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine as compared to natural immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen.

While noting that both the mRNA vaccine and the virus itself triggers healthy and natural, not to mention adaptive, immune responses, the New York City-based scientists found “significant qualitative differences between the two types of immune challenges.” For example, the natural immune response, that is, an individual that fell ill from SARS-CoV-2 infection, recovering on their own could be “characterized by a highly augmented interferon response,” which for the most part didn’t materialize in vaccinated recipients. This and other deltas between the two responses lead to significant questions about the differences between vaccine-induced or natural immunity to SARS-Cov-2.

Vaccine immunity is missing “High augmented interferon response” and “Dramatic upregulation of cytotoxic genes located in peripheral T cells & innate-like lymphocytes”. Also there is a marked difference in the “Clonal B & T Cells”.

The authors concluded that “far-reaching implications for immunity to SARS-CoV-2″ are implicated from their research: that is, the gap in two immune responses, transcriptional variance in the key immune populations, and the delta in maturation of adaptive immune cells call for further investigation.

But of course. No study ever says “no more research needed”. It’s always “this calls for further investigation.”

I think a whole lot of new immune system knowledge has come out of this pandemic, and a lot of that knowledge has gained public awareness. These folks no longer work in obscurity.


“O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” *
He chortled in his joy.

In which most of my stress goes away, we get a super efficient system, she gets the multi-stage tech she wants, and we get a super good price for a quality system, and we get a fast start date.

The other company (Goodman A/C system) finally got around to sending us an updated bid. Last night at 8:30pm. Srsly? They did NOT give us a start date and they did NOT verify that components were in stock or readily available. So, you lose.  I had already written the other company and told them they had the job, for the basic system choice, but that the wife had really wanted a two stage system, so maybe you could give us a HUGE break on the price?

So the Coleman A/C contractor writes back early this morning (I’m up with the birds these days since my window is open for air and the light comes in which wakes me up), that he checked his distributor and that they just got 2 of the AC19 units in. And he’ll cut us a break and take $400 off. And he start today. TODAY.

So we get a 2 ton Coleman AC19 system, a very well made two-stage condenser with a 19.5 SEER 15.5 EER system, for about $1000 more than the 2 ton Goodman GSXC18 two-stage system, a budget brand condenser that has a 18 SEER 13.5 EER rating. And the Coleman has slightly more cooling power to boot, and runs a hair more quietly.

We win. Great price, awesome contractor, super efficient system for an acceptable price, and we get it NOW.

Callooh! Callay! And a Crivens!! too.

Horry Clap I am exhausted by this whole process and so glad that it’s over. Now I just have to deal with the headaches that come with the installation.


July 19, 2021

Coolness Envy


Wish I was as cool and composed as Ms. Clover here in this weather. Right now I feel more like that grubby critter in the Mucinex ad.



I left a voice mail message and sent two emails over the weekend trying to get somebody at the one HVAC contractor to talk about the bid they emailed me at 4:45pm on Friday. Please call me. Please call me first thing Monday!!

Spoke to the woman at just after 9. Please check availability of the condenser, thermostat, and air handler. And check availability and find me a price increase for the next model up. But most importantly, PLEASE give me a real date when you can start the job.

It’s quarter to 5. Not a word all day.

My patience is running out, and that will cost us at least another $1500. But the other guy can start Wednesday, and will even drop off a portable AC unit until the job is done.

I don’t know what to do. But I know what I want to do.


Weather or not, here’s yet another A/C update

Well at least the rain is past. Pretty sure it rained every day for the past 12 days, sometimes in torrents.

We had a very lengthy discussion about our A/C options and worked out a detailed plan. Go with the much lower bid for a high tech high efficiency solution IF they can start soon, or else go with the equally efficient, older tech, quite a bit more expensive but higher quality components solution if they can’t. The “old tech” guy can start Wednesday. Both contractors are top notch and fully licensed home improvement, HVAC and electricians. Both will do a proper and precise job. Both systems are high efficiency with great warranties. But we’re sweltering here; we cannot wait 3 or 4 weeks and will spend an extra thou or two to get it done ASAP if we have to.

I’ve been spending at least 6 hours a day, every single day for the past 11 days, doing online research, making calls, and meeting with contractors. I can’t take it anymore.

!!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!!

July 16, 2021

More A/C Project

Yes, this is all I do anymore. We’re looking at a ten thousand dollar job, so I’m researching the heck out of it. And I’ve learned a tremendous amount of stuff about air conditioning that I never wanted to know.

We have one more bid in process, and one more contractor showing up tomorrow. So two more bids hopefully by early next week. One of the earlier bids we’ve rejected already, as that place did not give us a competitive price even on their budget brand system and their lack of knowledge about the HVAC world is bothersome. And these are supposed to be one of the top vendors around here, all HVACR NATE certified and they all wore booties to come in our house. And their van has a cool logo.

I’ve learned about coolant line sizes, why you need to replace an old freon (R-22) based air handler when you put in a new R410A coolant system, load calculations, quality levels, the general extreme mark up of the components, on an on. But the best thing I learned about is AHRI, a HVAC ratings place where you can look up any air conditioner (the outside thing is called a condenser, and inside the condenser is the compressor, and nearly all brands use the same 3 models of compressor made by Copeland) or air handler (the inside part, a big metal box, usually in your attic, that has a fan at one end and a radiator at the other, and a drain pan to catch condensation in the middle) and see what’s what. And this cuts through the hype. Also I’ve learned to locate, read and understand the dealer specification sheets, which tell you everything about any unit you could ever want to know. This way you can compare fan motor power, fan blade size, how big the cooling fin area is, how much coolant is inside, what pressure the system runs at, how much air can it pull over the cooling coils, on and on.

So far, out of all the brands we’ve heard about from contractors, Carrier , Bryant, Payne (all the same company), Goodman, York, Lennox, and Coleman, the Coleman single stage models seem to give the best quality bang for the buck, while the Goodman models do a pretty darn good job for quite a bit less money. The multi-stage super high efficiency models just aren’t worth it for a poorly insulated little condo like ours. And as always ... there’s always a schmoo out there trying to take your money and baffle you with BS. “Oh you don’t need new lines. The old R-22 lines are fine with a 14 SEER unit.” WRONG. Sure it will run, but using the wrong lines screws up the pressures, voids your warranty, destroys efficiency, and can take years off the life of the unit. And without a doubt, if you’re replacing an old freon system (R-22) with a new Puron system (R-410A) you want a new air handler, because the new refrigerant runs at 70% higher pressure, which could blow out an old R-22 coil. Ooops. Just what you want, a whole attic full of “let’s hope it’s not poisonous to breathe” environmentally friendly coolant. Um, no. Get a new air handler.

Sadly, none of these folks seem to have taken a chemistry class and learned the Ideal Gas Law of PV=nRT. Oh oh oh, R410A is so much better because it’s environmentally friendly, and it cools so much better. It’s “thermally efficient”!! Yeah, because of the pressure, and only because of the pressure.

The ideal gas law formula states that pressure multiplied by volume is equal to moles times the universal gas constant times temperature.

This means that when you raise the pressure (P) for the same volume of gas (V), the temperature goes up. Now add in that new systems use larger pipes than the old systems, so more coolant flow. In a radiator situation like an air conditioner, this means the same only backwards: when the liquefied gas turns back into vapor it will absorb more heat. R410A isn’t significantly any better thermally than
R-22, it just runs at much higher pressure. Outside in the condenser, it takes a bit more energy to compress the stuff back into a liquid, and it dumps that heat there. So these new systems do work better. Most of the other high efficiency gains have come from using DC motors instead of AC ones, and multi-stage compressors that can run at 65%, 40%, 25% instead of the binary on or off of 100% you get in a single stage unit. And you’ll NEVER actually save enough electricity to offset the increased cost of these units, but they do do a better job at humidity control, because the air handler’s coil stays ice cold even when the unit is just running a little, and that condenses water out of the indoor air. Dryer air feels cooler, because lower humidity lets the moisture on your skin evaporate faster.

And here in the swamp of a NJ summer, humidity control is a must. But for us, a higher SEER single stage will do a better humidity job than our old unit, without the much larger up-front cost of a mult-speed system.

And it turns out that most new air handlers are wired to be multi-speed anyway. That’s just a couple more power taps on the motor; lower volts equals less speed. You just need a more complex thermostat to use that feature, and it’s almost pointless with a single stage condenser. They’re also multi-position too, which makes sense. The fan and the coil don’t care how they’re oriented, so a vertical handler or a horizontal one are really the same thing. And swap the coolant line attaching point to the other side and a left hand unit becomes a right hand unit. And these things have had just 3 or 4 industry standard sizes for ages anyway. And most of them are modular if they have to be, so for really tight installs they can go in in pieces and get bolted together later.  Efficient production ... more profit, less parts to stock. Good for them.

Otay. Dryer vent guy came while I was writing this. So that’s all done. Paid the guy and gave him a couple bottles of cold soda to take with him. It’s beastly out there today.


July 14, 2021

A/C project

OMG, a new line set too? I have to measure and verify, but our ancient little A/C may have been built with 1/4” liquid, 1/2” suction pipes. Every single 2 ton unit out there uses 3/8” | 3/4” lines. Another headache. Rip open the walls, or take off the siding.


July 11, 2021

The Air Conditioner Saga Continues

While doing mad amounts of housework to get ready for the consultation visit from the air conditioner folks tomorrow, I’ve been doing more A/C research. These guys specialize in units from Carrier. A company called UTC owns both Carrier and Bryant, and several of the models are identical except for the grill and the badge. Same warranty, same parts, made on the same assembly line. The two companies also use the same air handlers, the part that goes inside your house. Those even share the same model numbers. But Bryrant costs 10% less, which is quite a lot of money for this kind of spendy project. So I’ve got calls in to several local HVAC shops that do Bryant, looking for bids. We’ll see if anyone calls. Even if they don’t, just playing that card ought to get me a better bid from the Carrier crew.

Air conditioners have come a long way in the past few years. What was once a binary machine - on or off - became a 2 speed machine, and is now a multi-speed machine or a variable speed one. This applies to the compressor and the air handler/coil. Some of them use “Inverter technology” which is a fancy way of saying DC current instead of AC. A DC motor can be made to run at any speed just by varying the voltage, and letting the system run at 15% power saves a lot of electricity and does a better job of dehumidifying the air and keeping a constant temperature. The top models even have variable capacity, but those are likely out of my price range. Naturally those systems cost more, so it’s a matter of figuring out if the power savings exceed the unit cost increase.

I’ve got 3 fans running here, with the windows open. The weather is cooler and it’s stopped raining, so that’s a plus. But it’s still rather warm and sticky here. I want my A/C.


The Covid Crap, again, but good news this time

Top Korean Researchers: Acquired Immunity Lasts At Least 10 Months

Well duh, right? But they proved it.

Researchers out of Korea have identified in a study that a person’s protective immune memory T cells generated while recovering from a COVID-19 infection lasts over ten months. The study is purportedly the world’s first one to investigate the development of stem-cell-like memory cells related to the novel coronavirus.
While many suspected that memory T-cells as well as neutralizing antibodies form the basis of COVID-19 protective immunity, researchers haven’t been clear on what the sustainability of memory T cells is. Thus, in this study, the research team conducted a follow-up study after 10 months in subjects recovering from the coronavirus in Korea.
The group confirmed that in most patients, regardless of the severity of the underlying coronavirus infection, they continue to produce memory T cells. They noted even after 10 months that if the memory T-cell interfaces with the COVID-19 virus antigen that they interact, multiply, and trigger protective immune functions, activating multifunctional T cells in parallel.

Interestingly, and what looks to be novel findings, the Korean research group noted that patients that recovered from COVID-19 actually developed stem cell-like memory T cells, which also possess a regenerative function bolstering memory T cells for a much longer duration.

Going forward, the Korean group will investigate how the memory T cell formation works in those currently vaccinated as well as compare memory T cells with those who have recovered naturally from COVID-19. In other words, they’re looking to see if vaccine immunity is as good as acquired immunity.

I hope they can test some of these patients at 2 years, but we’ll have to wait for that.

Here’s a link to the published study. They followed 101 recovered patients for months. About half of them were asymptomatic to mild, about half were moderate to critical, so there is a slight skew towards the sicker patients. And their responses showed strong responses from all the protective kinds of cells until about 8 months, then some of them tapered off, but never actually stopped, while other kinds remained robust.

The real bottom line is that the severity of the illness did not seem to play a roll. This is quite different from what was learned about the antibodies a year ago. They stuck around longer in people who had been sicker.

!!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!!

July 10, 2021

The Campbells Are Coming    Going

Killberry castle, owned by the Campbell clan since 1540, is up for sale. It’s a 10 bedroom affair, set near the ocean, with a billiard room and a guest cottage. Needs a bit of work but is in livable condition.

Except that it’s an actual castle, and that means no central heating. A few dozen fireplaces instead.

A 15th-century castle on the west coast of Scotland, which has been owned by the same family for almost 500 years, is up for sale for less than the average London home.

Kilberry Castle has 10 bedrooms and is set in 21 acres but has no central heating, which the current owner, Charmian Campbell, said she is used to but anyone from the South of England would “notice straight away”. Original features include a grand wooden staircase and Italian marble fireplaces.

According to the Knight Frank listing, the £650,000 castle is in need of significant restoration but Campbell said it is liveable now. Charmian, her husband John and their children moved there from London more than thirty years ago.

John’s relatives, the Campbell clan, took ownership of the estate in 1550. Kilberry Castle was burned down in 1773 and lay almost derelict until 1843 when it was restored and extended into a family home. A western wing and billiards room were added in 1873.

Arranged over four levels, connected by a grand wooden staircase and galleried landings, the castle is packed with original features.

Italian marble fireplaces can be found in the library and a drawing room, while more unusual perhaps are the horns and heads adorning the upstairs walls.

“There’s plenty of stuff in the house which we haven’t changed because we haven’t had to — history is on the walls, it’s written in the house —there has been no reason to remove any of that,” said Charmian.

Outside, there’s a separate cottage, a private woodland and a plot with recently-renewed planning consent to build a four-bedroom home.

Kilberry Bay, with its white-sand beach, is around a 10-minute walk away over neighbouring farmland.

How much is £650,000 in US dollars? Only a bit more than the video cartridge in the post below sold for. Tough decision isn’t it? (um, no)

• Killberry Bay is in Argyl, in western Scotland, and Argyl is the historic home area of the Campbell Clan. But this grand bit of stone is not the home of the clan, merely the home of one bunch of Campbells for the past 500 years.

Don’t forget this. ( “forget not”? Ne Obliviscaris! )


Far More Money Than Brains

Somebody just paid $870,000 for a $5 video game cartridge from 1987.

A sealed copy of The Legend of Zelda for the NES just sold for $870,000 at Heritage Auctions, breaking the previous record for the most expensive game ever sold (as far as I am aware, at least). That record was just raised quite a bit in April when a copy of Super Mario Bros. was auctioned for $660,000, a price that more than quadrupled the previous known record.

But it was one of a kind! And first edition!!

How do you get to be this rich and still be this foolish? Maybe it was the same person who paid $120,000 for a banana duct taped to a wall? That was even less art than this bit of garage sale crap is a valuable collectable. People are really stupid ... or maybe it’s me: watch this thing get resold for $3 million in a couple years.


I wonder how much a “first edition” Bic ballpoint pen from the early 60s is worth? The ones with the clear plastic body and the solid brass “Dyamite” points? The ones in the TV ad where they used a rifle to shoot the pen through a board, and it still wrote, “first time every time”? They used to cost 19¢. I’m sure they’re worth at least $50,000 now, even without ink. Not only was it a reliable pen, it was a weapon. So was their first lighter, which sold for $1.29 in the early 70s. The ones with the adjuster. You could peel the wind guard back, open the adjuster even more, and make a flame thrower out of them.

!!!!!!!!  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!!!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!!!!

July 09, 2021

Excessive Petrichor

Petrichor being the word for the scent of the world after it rains. And it rained here. And then some. And then some more. Tropical Storm Elsa moved up the coast and we got caught in band after band of it. It rained hard and short at least 8 times yesterday from mid-morning on, and then it rained again earlier this morning. The storm is now centered a bit south of central Long Island NY and is moving up towards New England. So it looks like the rain is past, and it’s pulling in cooler drier air behind it. Several days worth. And I’m glad because we won’t have any A/C until the week after next at the earliest. A “comfort consultant” is coming here Monday to make the sales pitch and throw prices around, but we’ve pretty much figured out what system we want. It’s tempting to look into the dehumidifier option or the UV sanitizing option, but only if they’re reasonably priced. OTOH, the place is offering 3 year financing with 0% interest, so that cuts the bite into 36 smaller pieces. Tempting.


July 08, 2021

Bowling Blogging !!


Not, not a post about Old Guys league.

A post about summer league.

We got creamed last night 0-7. I learned a new approach to tactical bowling. The team we played had one bowler with a “205” average, who threw a 744 series against us, which is nearly 250 pins per game. He may as well be a professional bowler. Two other people on the team are pretty low average, almost beginners, in the 110 - 130 range. The fourth person on their team is a newbie with a 104 average, but she wasn’t there, so she sent her brother instead as a sub. He’d never thrown a ball before, thus was bowling for average (itself a tactical advantage) and managed a 91 average for the night. So we wound up giving them 104 pins handicap, yet they beat us in scratch pins in all three games. Truly, they are a team of one, with the other three there to keep their team average in the subbasement. Very tactical. I looked through the standings sheet and noticed that there’s another team just like them on this league, only that their placeholders are a little bit better. We bowl them next week.


He’s Dead, Jim

Sweating my tail off in here today. I think the A/C gave up the ghost last night. Fan blows on the compressor outside, but the air coming out is not hot; the thing is no longer cooling. And it’s getting pretty hot and muggy inside.

The compressor is 25 years old, runs on freon. I don’t even know if it can be repaired at this point, or if an HVAC guy can fit me in. Will have to make several calls.

Update: One place called me back, they’re overloaded with work and not taking new clients. Another place can have somebody here next Friday.

Holy cats, there is money to be made in homeowner HVAC. There are a dozen companies in my general area, but it’s nowhere near enough. Around here a tech can earn $45-75,000 a year, and after a couple years can start his own business, after which the sky’s the limit. The guy in our neighborhood who runs a small HVAC company has a very nice house of more than adequate size on a nice bit of property. Put their kids through college, he has a nice boat, his wife drives a Caddy, they take fancy vacations. Not bad.

So if I was 20, maybe not a certified genius, but maybe getting tired of unloading trucks in the summer heat for $17/hr, I’d look into it. You don’t need a college degree, although plenty of community colleges over the training as part of an AAS program. So 2 years of school to learn the trade, and you can say you’re a college graduate. Start working out while learning, because some strength and stamina are likely required.

Update update: Air Professionals can come today, giving me a 5 hour window, weather dependent. And of course it’s pouring now. But the rain might cool this place down some, and it probably won’t last all day.

I see the Air Pros truck in our neighborhood all the time. Their colorful penguin is very recognizable.


Downside? They’re a Carrier dealer. If I need a new unit it will be a Carrier. Not sure if that’s a downside, but the units do cost more than a Goodman. The nice lady on the phone says it’s hard to get new units from anybody right now, another shortage, but they stocked up the common models when they could. And ours - a 2 tonner - is as common as it gets.


Gee, I wonder

Container ship catches fire and then explodes in Dubai port. Ship just arrived from Iran. Hmm...

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A container ship anchored in Dubai at one of the world’s largest ports caught fire late Wednesday, causing an explosion that sent tremors across the commercial hub of the United Arab Emirates, authorities said.

The Twitter post from Dubai’s state-run media office said the fire occurred on a ship at the huge Jebel Ali Port, which sits in the Persian Gulf on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula.

Authorities posted a video of firefighters dousing giant shipping containers. Flames could be seen rising in the background as emergency services hosed down the area.

The media office said that the fire was under control by early Thursday and that there were no immediate reports of casualties. The extent of damage caused to the port and surrounding cargo was not immediately clear.

People in Dubai recording with their phones from their high-rises posted frantic videos on social media showing a fiery ball illuminating the night sky.

Witnesses reported shaking buildings across the city. Residents of neighborhoods as far away as 25 kilometers (15 miles) felt the blast around 11:45 p.m. Associated Press journalists felt the sudden explosion rock the glass windows of their apartments.


July 07, 2021

OMG, The Ocean Is On Fire !!!

Quick, spray water on it???

PEMEX gas pipe leak fire under the Gulf Of Mexico


Underwater fire.

A fire on the ocean surface west of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula early on Friday has been extinguished, state oil company Pemex said, blaming a gas leak from an underwater pipeline for sparking the blaze captured in videos that went viral.

Bright orange flames jumping out of water resembling molten lava was dubbed an “eye of fire” on social media due to the blaze’s circular shape, as it raged a short distance from a Pemex oil platform.

The fire took more than five hours to fully put out, according to Pemex.

The fire began in an underwater pipeline that connects to a platform at Pemex’s flagship Ku Maloob Zaap oil development, the company’s most important, four sources told Reuters earlier.

Mexico’s state-owned oil company [Permex] said a fire caused by a rupture in an undersea gas pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico is over, but videos showing efforts to put out what appears to be an underwater caldron of fire live on.

The “fire in the sea” was put out at 10:45 a.m. following a gas leak about 500 feet from a drilling platform, Pemex tweeted. No injuries were reported and the company said it took about 5 hours to bring the incident under control.

The company said it used boats to pump water over the underwater blaze, although nitrogen was also used to control the fire, Reuters reports, citing a Pemex incident report.


CDC: Delta Variant Now Dominant, 51% Of All New Cases

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the more contagious delta variant as the most dominant strain in the United States, comprising the majority of cases in the country for the two weeks ending Saturday, July 3.

The prevalence of the delta variant, B.1.617.2, jumped significantly from June to the beginning of July, going from comprising 30.4 percent of the cases in mid-June and jumping to 51.7 percent for the two weeks ending in early July.

Back on May 22, Delta was 2.7%. By June 16 it was 10%. By late June it was 30%. I’m expecting it to be almost the only game in Covid Town by the end of this month.

Way back when, a couple months ago, the “70% more infectious” UK B117 Alpha variant took just under 90 days to go from 0 to dominant in the US. It took about 8 weeks to take over the UK. This one is signficantley more infectious than Alpha.

Good news is, it appears to be far less lethal. Which is really good news, as the vaccines don’t seem to slow it down much.


Haitian President Jovenel Moise Assassinated

Witnesses claimed shooter spoke with American accents in English and Spanish, and claimed to be DEA agents


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was “mortally wounded” and his wife shot during an armed attack in the early hours of Wednesday at their private residence above the hills of Port-au-Prince, the country’s acting prime minister, Claude Joseph, said.
a man wearing a neck tie and a hat: Haitian President Jovenel Moise walks on the tarmac of Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on May 7, 2020, as coronavirus aid from China arrives in a cargo plane. © PIERRE MICHEL JEAN/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS Haitian President Jovenel Moise walks on the tarmac of Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on May 7, 2020, as coronavirus aid from China arrives in a cargo plane.

Several sources told the Miami Herald that Moïse was killed during the attack, and that his wife, Martine Moïse, was shot.

In a statement from the prime minister’s office, Joseph said the attack occurred around 1 a.m. Wednesday, and some of the unidentified assailants spoke Spanish. The head of state, the statement said, was “fatally injured.”

First Lady Martine Moïse was wounded and is being treated, the statement said.

The assailants claimed to be agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, according to videos taken by people in the area of the president’s home. Moïse, 53, lives in Pelerin 5, a neighborhood just above the hills in the capital.

On the videos, someone with an American accent is heard saying in English over a megaphone, “DEA operation. Everybody stand down. DEA operation. Everybody back up, stand down.”

Sources said the assailants, one of whom spoke in English with an American accent, were not with the DEA.

“These were mercenaries,” a high-ranking Haitian government official said.

Residents reported hearing high-powered rounds fired with precision, and seeing men dressed in black running through the neighborhoods. There are also reports of a grenade going off and drones being used.

The president’s death will throw Haiti into further disarray. Moïse had faced mounting protests over his governance amid a deepening political and constitutional crisis, questions about his legitimacy and accusations that he used armed gangs to remain in power.

“There is no constitutional answer to this situation,” said Bernard Gousse, a former justice minister and legal expert.

There are only 10 elected officials in the country, all senators. Joseph, the current interim primer minister, has not been ratified by the country’s parliament and has resigned. The new prime minister Moïse appointed this week, Ariel Henry, has yet to be sworn in. There isn’t even a president of the Supreme Court: René Sylvestre, the president, died last week from COVID-19.

Haitians awoke to the news Wednesday morning in shock. Streets in the capital, normally teeming with vehicles and public buses, were empty and void of traffic. A photo of Moïse lying on the ground dead and covered in blood was circulating on social media.

No president, no actual prime minister new or old, no leader of their Supreme Court. This is a big tragic mess even for a place used to big tragic mess.

The Dominican Republic, which is the east side of the island of Hispanola, has sealed it’s border with Haiti. Are they expecting a revolution to break out? I am.



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[ old posts are now in the MORE area, “below the fold”:


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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:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

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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