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WanderingEng

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recent comments, posts, and shares:
WanderingEng  ·  20 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Loyalist group withdraws support for Good Friday Agreement

I visited Belfast in 2008. I remarked to an English friend I met up with that it didn't seem nearly as nice as Dublin. She said something like "yeah, it's a bit war torn still." I remember seeing news of the bombings but had completely forgotten about it.

WanderingEng  ·  23 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 3, 2021

    Lost power in an unpredictable 60 to 90 minutes on / 8 to 12 hours off for almost two and a half days.

Was this in Texas?

WanderingEng  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 3, 2021

You could maybe do 70 or 80 to Denver and then if the weather looks sketchy go south on 25 to Albuquerque or Las Cruces depending on whether 40 or 10 better meet your needs.

I've driven I-80 to Denver, and it's stunning because eastern Colorado is flat, and then as you approach Denver the Rockies increasingly loom over everything. I've also driven I-70 to Denver, and driving the length of Kansas is just what you'd expect. I prefer Nebraska, though these drives were 10-12 years ago so who knows what's changed. Probably a lot more wind turbines in Iowa and Nebraska than the last time I passed through.

WanderingEng  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 3, 2021

Scone update: I made cherry chocolate scones this week. They’re great but maybe a little too sweet.

I bought ingredients to try making chai scones which while googling spices I learned really means masala chai. I also learned there is no exact ingredient list, so I picked one to try. I ended up buying nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, and cloves. I already have cinnamon. I’m going to try adding icing to them, too, sort of to mimic a chai latte rather than just straight chai.

I need to start writing my recipes down. So far I have a bookmark from the one I started with, but I’ve strayed far from that original one.

I went on a date Saturday for the first time in a year. I think it went well, and we’ve texted a few times since then.

WanderingEng  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: His Lights Stayed on During Texas’ Storm. Now He Owes $16,752.

My opinion? This is Enron 2.0. Enron manipulated California markets by artificially withholding or limiting generation capacity. Texas learned their lesson. The lesson wasn't "don't manipulate energy markets," what they learned was "change the rules so the market collapses to your advantage."

Energy markets are a little out of my experience, but I understand the market is supposed to pay the marginal price to everyone. If the market is humming along at $20/MWh and needs more power, it looks for the next cheapest available unit. Maybe that unit has bid in at $21/MWh. It get turned on and everyone gets paid $21 instead of $20. What I'd like to know is, what unit drove a $9000 price? Is that bid realistic?

In my part of the country we saw prices around $700-$800. A bargain against $9000 in ERCOT, sure, but much more than typical $20-$40.

Why the difference? Gas price. So, was selling $2/MMBTU gas for $500/MMBTU a real reflection of cost, or was it price gouging? I suspect gas market rules allow for this kind of gouging.

The markets need to change.

Using MMBTU also needs to change because has there ever been a more antiquated measurement system? MM is million because M is the Roman numeral for thousand, so MM is thousand-thousand.

WanderingEng  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 17, 2021

I work for a utility, and they probably have a record that it's down. Maybe not, but losing track of a line outage would be unheard of.

My personal anecdote is we had some intense wind rip through our footprint back a couple years ago. Some big lines were down which also blacked out at least one substation. It took hours to even get crews to answer the phone because they were so busy with other restorations. Once they got the big lines fixed and restored that substation, the load on it was zero because every little line coming out of it was also down. It's a rural area so it got little attention in news, but the area just got smashed.

From what I see in Oregon, you have much the same thing but in higher population areas and over a bigger geographic area.

WanderingEng  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: My parents and sister are vaccinated

I agree with both "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" and being a team player. Vaccination prioritization is hugely complex and will always be flawed. Trying to second guess priorities is not unlike second guessing social distancing. Go with it and accept it's flawed but trying to do the best for everyone.

WanderingEng  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 17, 2021

    A big power line is down near the shop. The street has been closed off for more than 48 hours. No one knows if it's still live or not.

Probably not but assume it is as if your life depended on it. Also, it could be dead now but become live without warning. Do you have pictures?

Is it icing in Oregon? That's what has the lines down? I follow Shalane Flanegan (retired champion marathoner) on Instagram, and she said their power is out and has been for a bit. She's in Oregon somewhere.

WanderingEng  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 17, 2021

I made coconut butterscotch scones this week and they were amazing. I've tried chocolate peppermint scones but they never wow me.

WanderingEng  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: My parents and sister are vaccinated

    The relief is indescribable.

I couple weeks ago I went cross country skiing. When I got home I realized I hadn't thought about the pandemic for a solid two hours, and it felt great.

My parents have their first shot and have appointments for the second the first week of March.

My work put me in our state's group 1b. I don't know how to feel about that because I can work just fine from home, but if the shit hit the fan (a la Texas right now) they would probably ask me to come in. If offered I'll take it, but I don't feel that important.

WanderingEng  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: This Is Every Cyclist Who Was Killed by a Driver in 2020

I started using a tail light at the end of the 2020 season, and anecdotally it seemed like cars gave me more space. I don't know if it's the improved visibility or awareness, but I'm certainly a convert. I'll use the light all the time and will look for a good front light, too.

I don't know anyone who's been killed. Locally (maybe everywhere, not sure) people will put white painted "ghost" bikes where fatalities have occurred, and I can think of several around town.

WanderingEng  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 10, 2021

My cats are Tess and Hugo, and they are also the best cats.

WanderingEng  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 10, 2021

My cat broke the F5 button off my keyboard. He was standing on my computer when I touched the wrong thing on my phone and it started playing some video loudly. He spooked and ran, breaking off a key I almost never use. This joins my broken J key that my other cat broke a year or two ago when laying across my computer and stretching, catching a claw on the key and pulling. I got J mostly reattached.

Both keys I almost never use. The computer is nine years old so it's hard to be too fussed. I need to figure out how to snap the F5 key back on. I can see it's partially broken, but I think what's left will stick if I can figure it out.

WanderingEng  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Mining Ethereum in the Closet

I think it's worth considering the usefulness, or not, of the heat generated. In the summer, you have to pay for the GPU to heat the closet and then pay for your air conditioning to get the heat out of your home. But in the winter the heat offsets your furnace. While the electric cost is probably higher than central heating for the same unit of energy, it does add to your profit. The $10 in electric cost may have saved you $5 in natural gas.

WanderingEng  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hiring a Chief Diversity Officer Won’t Fix Your Racist Company Culture

Thanks, I really appreciate it! What you describe sounds spot-on, except for two things I see differently in my case:

1. Gossip: I don't really hear much gossip, even pre-COVID. Sort of, everyone knows who isn't very good and jokes about it in private. Though I suppose that's gossip. Most of us are engineers and at least a little introverted.

2. HR: In my case I think HR is interested because maximizing efficiency is in the company's interest. I realize maximizing efficiency isn't the same thing as individual happiness or satisfaction, but I think HR is still essentially "on my side." Not that they're not on the side of management, just they may accept my side of the coin.

I've actually done the "who are the group leaders" exercise because fundamentally my complaint is my direct supervisor is not a leader. He's probably the sixth or seventh person I'd think of leading the group after me, two others in our group, my supervisor's boss, and two former group members who took positions in another area (but that we still engage with all the time).

About the other two in my group: one is a maybe. He's the second most senior after me, and he's very capable, but he's fairly quiet in meetings. Not silent, but he never really leads a conversation. The other has only been at the company two years, and prior to being here he was in the military. He spent ~20 years being an officer, and I see the leadership in him. But he's also pretty new to everything we do. He picks it up fast, but he still has a lot to gain before he can lead a discussion.

Which feels like it leaves most of the group leadership to me, but my boss's boss is very clear about only wanting to engage with my boss, not me. My boss's boss and I used to have a good working relationship, but it's really eroded. He hired my boss into the leadership position, and the best I can come up with is he feels he needs to make it work to cover his mistake and feeling like he owes it to my boss. Which is sort of single person gossip, I guess.

WanderingEng  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 3, 2021

I'm in southern Wisconsin. I expect winter here to have highs in the mid-20s with a few rare days with temps hitting 35° when everyone rushes to get their cars washed. There should be just as many days if not more when highs are in the teens.

We probably have the most snow on the ground since 2013-14, but with such high highs it feels like this winter could end any time or the next winter will be all rain.

WanderingEng  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 3, 2021

Winter here is scary because while it's been cold and we've gotten snow, highs have been like 34° all winter. It feels like 1° higher and we'd have rain and ice, not snow.

Though it's currently 1°F at 8 AM. A morning this cold should be common.

How do you like working nights? Are you nights consistently right now? We have 24/7 rotating shift operators at work. I don't think I could do that. They work 12 hour shifts, so when they're on they have almost no personal time (arrive 30-45 minutes early, stay 15 minutes late because of shift turnover, 8 hours sleep, commute time).

WanderingEng  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hiring a Chief Diversity Officer Won’t Fix Your Racist Company Culture

I'm debating sending this to my HR contact. I've grown to be frustrated with management. It isn't a race issue (nearly everyone is white, including me), but there's a morale problem that management seems to try to portray as a non-issue with some minor token acknowledgements and no action. My company does annual employee surveys, and my group has had some poor responses several years in a row. Management looks at it and explains them away every year. I've tried talking to them about it which only got me on the shit list and told not to bring it up again. HR is the only one still listening to me. It feels like a situation analogous to what the author here describes.

WanderingEng  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Fat but fit? (N = 527662)

I suspect it's easier for someone to move from fat and inactive to fat and active than to move from fat and inactive to overweight and inactive. From the practical side of trying to help individuals, it's probably more realistic to get them to build active habits than to change dietary habits. It isn't a cure-all, but it's better than nothing.