NY Nick
NY Nick SuperDork
6/17/24 12:12 a.m.

After 3 years of no flight issues at all the last month has been a disaster. Canceled flights, delayed flights, flight that the captain had timed out so he had to be replaced. Now sitting on the tarmac for 20 minutes at a basically closed airport while they try to find gate attendants. Ugh, sometimes business travel is for the birds. 

I purchased a half whiskey barrel planter and plastic liner from my local LowesDespot. I received a notification a few hours afterwards that my order was partially ready for pickup. The liner was available but the planter was out of stock.

Their website stated they had 12 in stock when I placed the order.

I'm going out on a limb here and guessing they didn't have a run on planters the second I ordered one.

Their website had no option to just wait for it to come back in stock so I was forced to cancel.

Duke MegaDork
6/17/24 7:25 a.m.

In reply to stanger_mussle (Supported by GRM undergarments) :

I place zero trust in any website that indicates local inventory.  It is never right.  I don't know why they even pretend because wrong information has to piss people off more than no information.


Mr_Asa MegaDork
6/17/24 7:51 a.m.

My apartment has termites.

Everywhere.  Termites.  They are in my bed.  In my dressers.  In my towels.  They are everywhere. 

I havent had a good night's sleep in about a week.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
6/17/24 7:54 a.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

berkeley that. Burn that E36 M3 to the ground. 

Mr_Asa MegaDork
6/17/24 8:28 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Im getting close, legally.  Several friends are lawyers that specialize in real estate issues/HOAs/and renter-rentee issues.

tuna55 MegaDork
6/17/24 9:27 a.m.

I am working with a good guy for the job hunting. For those who aren't memorizing my every post, I have a problem. I am a senior product development engineer at a company that makes fire protection sprinklers. There are only four or so companies in the US doing this. Profits are high. Demand is high. Market share is good. I work on long term development stuff. Some of my projects are two years long, some are five. It's a family owned company, four generations, 100 years old and change. We have 1,300 people. It's flat. There's me, my boss, my VP and then the owner. We were recently bought by a private equity firm. The owner is old and apparently none of his kids wanted it. He did the total dick move of selling to the highest bidder in private equity. I would have loved an employee owned situation, hiring a CEO and board to run it for him, and a slew of other choices. This place wants to get in and out in five years. To me, that means that they won't spend dollar one on R&D and new development, where I live. I'd survive a few layoff rounds if they came, I am by far not the weakest positioned here, but I don't want to wait for it if I can get ahead.


I have a serious interest with a smaller company closer to my house. Drive time goes from 60 minutes to 20. They do packaging for power generation for datacenters. They have been doing a few things, and happened upon this niche. Companies are plopping datacenters everywhere and need power now, and Cummins and Cat and all the other stationary power folks can sell an engine or a a generator but not the whole package, at least as efficiently as these guys can. They don't have any engineers. They want to hire me to build the team and run this new wing of the company. I've had two Teams calls and they want me in person this week.


To my mind I am looking at leaving one giant pile of stinking risk to go to another pile of risk, maybe less stinky. This new pile doesn't come with any extra dollars, maybe 5% more. I don't have a formal offer or anything, but it's these teeter-totter close calls I hate. There are no great decisions. Stress. Plenty of that.


Had a family leave the area who were really close, headed for Maine, last week. Another very close family headed out of the area for Wisconsin this week. Another family who lives abroad for five years and visits every summer just came back this past weekend, with me facilitating the move (and everything went wrong, the flight was delayed into Miami, canceled out of Miami, we had to find another van and driver for the run from the airport to his house, then the luggage got damaged, then -that- van had mechanical issues, then the next day the kid locked the rental car keys into the rental car). Stress. Lots of it.


Wife wanted a crested gecko, so we got one. He's cute. I spent a few hundred bucks because we were OK.



Then the bearded dragon had his SECOND emergency trip to the vet, $531 each, because he won't eat right. he eats, can't swallow it, "thinks" to himself, "Hey, I am not full, I'd better eat", and keeps repeating this until his mouth is clogged and he can't breathe.



Stress. Lots.


"Vacation" next week with my wife's sisters families. One of them already has a spreadsheet developed to plan activities and split expenses. Screw that. I'm bringing gin.


At least it was stupid expensive. The same sister insisted that it be close to the beach. "How about this one, it's six minutes away walking", nope, too far. Only with a rental golf cart with A/C. EACH family is spending nearly two grand for the week and it's going to suck.

tuna55 MegaDork
6/17/24 9:41 a.m.

In-person interview Thursday morning.

Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
6/17/24 9:55 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

My dad was a fire sprinkler engineer from 1956 to 2007.  My uncle started here at age 18 and retired at age 78.  Sprinklers were a big part of our life.  

The owner took the money - I sometimes don't blame him.  Our company just got sold and we're all guessing there was a $30,000,000 payout?  It made someone's day. 

dculberson MegaDork
6/17/24 9:59 a.m.

What is it with consolidation and the fire/safety industry lately? Every one of our vendors has been bought, and one has been bought twice, within the last few years. Fire extinguisher service company, gone. Fire alarm service company, gone. Other fire alarm installer, gone. All sold to national companies.

tuna55 MegaDork
6/17/24 9:59 a.m.

In reply to Datsun240ZGuy :

I wonder if we're talking about the same place, I guess we have to be. I'll send a PM.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/17/24 10:01 a.m.

We all run into knuckleheads, but these two stood out:

A: poster boy for bad bicyclist - riding in the middle of the lane even though there was abundant shoulder space. But at least he was fairly quick for a cyclist. Finally he put up his arm in a textbook right turn signal...... and turned left. 

B: It's 6 AM Monday. Thousands of bleary-eyed commuters are making our way to work. One guys nice, late model car breaks down. In this case the shoulder is inadequate, so he's sticking halfway into the lane. This is on the freeway mind you. He swings open the drivers door into 65 MPH traffic, leaves it open and walks away making a phone call. 

I genuinely hope that he loses that car door (as long as nobody gets hurt). 

budget_bandit Reader
6/17/24 10:07 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

my wife is a gin person. I find that I much prefer whiskey.

But i sympathize with your feelings. I recently returned from a visit with my in-laws, and I often wished that I had brought whiskey with me...

Mr_Asa MegaDork
6/17/24 10:10 a.m.
dculberson said:

What is it with consolidation and the fire/safety industry lately? Every one of our vendors has been bought, and one has been bought twice, within the last few years. Fire extinguisher service company, gone. Fire alarm service company, gone. Other fire alarm installer, gone. All sold to national companies.

Seeing it more and more with everything.  People that build a business get to the point where they want to get out and retire.  Large companies want to form monopolies.

tuna55 MegaDork
6/17/24 10:11 a.m.
budget_bandit said:

In reply to tuna55 :

my wife is a gin person. I find that I much prefer whiskey.

But i sympathize with your feelings. I recently returned from a visit with my in-laws, and I often wished that I had brought whiskey with me...

I like whiskey too, but gin costs the same for great gin and terrible gin, whereas whiskey prices vary too much for my budget, which is, as stated, vomited out by a lizard.

RevRico MegaDork
6/17/24 10:21 a.m.
dculberson said:

What is it with consolidation and the fire/safety industry lately? Every one of our vendors has been bought, and one has been bought twice, within the last few years. Fire extinguisher service company, gone. Fire alarm service company, gone. Other fire alarm installer, gone. All sold to national companies.

This has been a big problem locally for the last 20 years. One of my best friends has been an installer all that time, and it's getting worse and worse for the techs.

To be brutally honest, I'm surprised Allegheny county itself hasn't burned down because of the amount of unfinished, rushed, or totally ignored jobs that have resulted from all the company sales. The companies can't attract new workers that are worth a damn, but they also won't pay the people that have years of experience and knowledge nearly what they're worth, so everybody gets run ragged. 

The good techs do get good reputations though, and businesses will specifically request them for work, and even follow them company to company. 

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso UltraDork
6/17/24 12:56 p.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

Going on vacation with your in-laws is like keeping fresh fish in the refrigerator.  It really starts to stink after about the 3rd day.  I've spent the last 15 or so years on "vacation" with my wife's family and her two married brothers.  Guess who is angry all week long.  Hint.  It's not my wife's brothers.

Now, I have an agreement that I'll go on vacation with them as long as I get another week of actual vacation with my immediate family. 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
6/17/24 1:50 p.m.

The Dancer and I are going on a cruise late this summer that is to celebrate our anniversary- but it ended up that we're going to have her sister and pre-teen nephew coming along as well. We're going some places they really wanted to go and since they've never traveled internationally before (he's never been on an airplane...) The Dancer decided this way they'd not be out on their own (as much as happens on a cruise...) since we're reasonably seasoned at traveling and cruises. 

Had this trip involved much more of her family, I'd have had a lot more reservations (no pun intended) about it- but she gets along great with her sister the vast majority of the time, and I get along great with both the sister and her son (he's really into LEGO and getting into SciFi). There's of course plenty of ways things could go wrong- there's some friction with the rest of her family that is not going (including the sister's husband who just stubbornly doesn't want to travel anywhere and didn't want the sister & son going either) for example, and we don't know how the nephew will do on the long flight across the ocean- but I'm cautiously optimistic about the trip. At worst, we have our own cabins and have no guarantee we'll be anywhere near them on the ship- and they're pretty big ships. 

jimbob_racing SuperDork
6/17/24 6:08 p.m.

My wife and I have been in our house for 11 years now,  and we've never had an issue with the 100ft tall trees all around it. Our roof was looking old and had a few leaks starting so we drained our savings and had a new one installed less than a month ago.

A severe thunderstorm rolls through this afternoon and several large branches punctured the new roof and busted it all up. Are you berkeleying kidding me?

When does life stop kicking me in the teeth?


volvoclearinghouse UltimaDork
6/17/24 9:16 p.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

Pets are great, but man they suck up so much money. About a year after our dog died, I finally relented (this was back in March) and we spend a few hundred adopting a mutt. Now, every time we want to go anywhere that doggo can't, we have the privilege of spending 50 bucks a night for Rover services. Not to mention vet bills, food, squeaky toys in the shape of emojis that get destroyed in a couple of weeks, etc. 

But, at least a dog is friendly and good with the kids and a protector for the home. I can't imagine what a lizard is good for, apart from selling automotive insurance.  My condolences. 

wearymicrobe PowerDork
6/17/24 9:27 p.m.

Tax day today. It really hurt I underpaid by about 1500$ a month this year between state and fed combined. No late fees or charges but that's everything I made in cars in the last six months working on weekends. 

Sold the 63 beetle which sucks because I really liked the car but went to a good home. 

Boss has been on my case last two weeks as well because people cannot be honest which sucks. Had to put my foot down today which is going to bit me in the ass I know but it had to do it or it would never end. 

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/18/24 3:43 a.m.


I was on vacation last week. A good friend came out to NY for the first time and we did all sorts of tourist stuff with her. It was the most fun I've had in a while, and I'm really not looking forward to going back to work.  

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
6/18/24 11:08 a.m.

(very much a minor, First-World Probem rant)

For The Dancer's non-profit's show coming up in mid-July I was asked to make a couple of 'spotlight drones' for a piece on conspiracy theories. Thankfully I managed to convince her that trying to use real, flying drones would not work and instead I would make two Drones on a Schteek using the 3D printers. Most of it has come together pretty well- but I've had a quite annoying time with the light portion itself, which should be one of the simpler parts.

It's been annoying because I need lights that are a) lightweight, since they're going to be on the end of a broomstick with a 3D printed drone body,  b) fairly bright (around 1000 lumens), and c) fairly inexpensive (since this is for a non-profit, and realistically I'm not going to bother with trying to get reimbursed for this anyway). The simplest solution? Cheap, bright LED flashlights. I picked up a 2-pack of 1k lumen flashlights a few months ago for this purpose and had things pretty much worked out- until I got to the point of trying to wire up the switch for the light. You see, the problem is that for these flashlights (and I've found almost every other one out there) they have like 5 'modes'- you don't just hit the switch to turn the light on and off. No, that would make too much sense. Yes- each time you hit the button (or, as I discovered, connect power to the LED assembly at all even if you're using your own switch) it will turn the light on or off- but each time it turns on, it will cycle between the different 'modes'- in this case, 3 different intensities of solid light, a strobe setting, and a 'SOS' flash setting. 

So, I'll concede that there are instances where this would be handy- my EDC flashlights (a Wuben X-0 Knight and a Thorfire Mini) all have multiple intensity and flash settings- but with them, you have to either long-press on the button or partially depress the button (each is different) to switch modes. Pressing the button normally to turn it on and off does just that and not switch modes, unlike the cheap ones I got. 

I had to scroll through like a page a page and a half on Amazon to find some that clearly stated 'One Mode' on the box. I'm just going to have to hope they're not too different dimensionally than the ones I've got so I don't have to modify the drone file too much to use them. 

DarkMonohue SuperDork
6/18/24 1:29 p.m.

In reply to Ashyukun (Robert) :

I have an Anker Bolder flashlight for EDC/work that has that control scheme. I love the output, but it's a PITA to use compared to my old Streamlight Stinger.

Toyman! MegaDork
6/18/24 1:35 p.m.

You want to charge me $500/year to process my invoices to you? I sell about $30k/year to you so that works out to about 1.6%. Guess what. I'm going to double that 1.6% and add it to every invoice you get from now on. Since my math skills suck I will end up rounding up to 5%. Then I'm going to add another 5% just for pissing me off. 

So that $500 is going to cost you $3000+-/year. 

Now, you can take your business elsewhere and that will be fine. You might want to keep in mind while I sold you about $30k worth of materials and labor last year, I bought a little over $100k from you. If my sales go away, so do yours. 

Bend over ass hole, 'cause I'm not the one that's going to end up taking it in the ass. 



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