Houston seethes over being frozen out of federal flood funds

It is getting tiring looking at all the ways the current Texas government is, what is the word, screwing the more urban (i.e. democratic) parts of the state. Of the $1 billion in Federal funds for hurricane relief for Hurricane Harvey, Houston gets — zero. Really, the place hit hardest by the hurricane gets nothing. So where does all of this money to, and why? Hard to say right now. Officials saying is all on the up and up, that they are using official HUD guidelines. I’m very skeptical.

Houston seethes over being frozen out of federal flood funds

Red and Blue State COVID-19

Gregory Travis has done some interesting graphs comparing COVID-19 deaths and infections by county, splitting for Republican leaning and Democratic leaning counties. Not a perfect split, since many counties are close to 50%-50%, but even so, there are definite patterns.

I am very concerned about the unvaccinated in the approaching fall and winter. It could be much worse than the first wave, which occurred when COVID-19 wasn’t yet widespread and there were serious attempts to disrupt the spread. What will the reaction be when large numbers of willfully unvaccinated, who tend to oppose things like lockdowns anyway, start getting sick in large numbers?

From Twitter:

The Politics of Violence

In much of the world, running for office as an opposition candidate can be dangerous. We aren’t talking about totalitarian countries, but ones that claim to be democracies. For anyone encouraging violence or threats or violence as part of the political system in the US, look around. Is this where you want to go, because this is where we are heading? You can easily find much worse examples than Mexico. I also heard the tally is nearly 100 assassinated.

Mayoral candidate killed in Mexico; 34 dead so far

First Mow

Got my second battery in and finished up the wiring. Made more use of these wire nut clip splicer (or whatever they are called). They not only connect wires, but also secure them. Once it was all wired up I couldn’t resist a quick test. The results were mostly good, and I would say everything functions well, but I ran into a couple of hitches.

First, I was worried about the swinging of the blade unit. It did tilt forward and “dig in”, but nothing broke. I probably need to put in a spring to keep the blade unit from swinging back too far. I’m also considering cutting some of the front faces of the blade shields down a bit, exposing the blades, at least on the front side. They are underneath the mower and shouldn’t be a safety problem. Should allow better cutting. I’ll note string trimmers that use these blade do this.

Second, I blew another fuse. This is the one I have on the big line connecting the batteries. I bumped it up to 35A. It blew when I tried to move forward from a stop in the grass. Not sure how to handle this. Tempting to remove the fuse and rely on the circuit breaker.


The graveyard might not lie, but the state of Texas sure does. My gut feeling was that the recent Texas blackout was going to be on the scale of Hurricane Katrina. The official death count of 151 seemed much smaller than I expected. According to this article:

“The true number of people killed by the disastrous winter storm and power outages that devastated Texas in February is likely four or five times what the state has acknowledged so far.”


PC Upgrade

My wife has been using the same PC since the 1980s. Well, I’m have upgraded the OS several times, from MS-DOS to Windows 95 / 7 / 10. And I have moved to bigger disks a few times over the years. And changed the hardware. But there are still files on the drive with dates back in 1980s.

I recently realized the OS is somehow 32-bit, even though the processor is a relatively modern i3. And I can’t get the drivers to update to the point that the on-board WiFi and Bluetooth doesn’t work. Recently Chrome stopped working and even a reinstall wouldn’t fix it. And then there are various crashes. My plan is to start clean and install Windows 10 Pro 64-bit onto a new 1 TB SSD drive and move all my wife’s files over. I suppose you need to do this every few decades. Say a prayer for me.