Report from the OP, July 31, 2022

Think of this as something of a “special edition”.

I hadn’t expected to write another of these until later in the week, but one particular event really has me wondering what the heck is going on around here. I’ll get to that at the end; first I want to hit the highlights of the last four days.

As I’ve become accustomed to doing, we’re going from macro items that I’ve noticed, usually through an Intertubz site, to micro, the things I’ve seen with my own lyin’ eyes.

It seems inflation is hitting rural and small town areas the hardest, since they have to drive more and many of them heat their homes and businesses with a liquid petroleum fuel. I have to wonder if this is a feature rather than a bug, given the Great Resetters oft-stated desire to reduce and centralize the human population. Nation-wide, 40% of respondents to USA Today pool indicate they are having to cut back on various everyday items, including groceries, because of inflation.

In Canada, if you spy on your customers, you can get off for a cup of joe and a doughnut. If you have these affinity apps on your phone, consider removing them. If you can’t, for example that’s how you get 5¢ off a gallon of gas, look in your phone’s settings and set the app so it can only use location data when it’s active. On an iPhone that’s in Settings | app name | Location. I don’t know about an Android since I don’t really do Android.

Some medical employees have won a settlement against their former employeer over the employer’s discrimination against employees who had requested a religious exemption to the jab. While this isn’t a precedent-setting win, hopefully employers will take it into account. This will be important very soon as “They” are attempting to ratchet up fear over a new-ish strain of Wuflu.

In related news, a federal judge has blocked jab mandates nationwide for Air Force, Space Force and Air National Guard service members who have requested religious exemptions. I predict this will be overturned on appeal, review by SCOTUS will be rejected and the military will continue their recruiting woes, utterly ignorant of why no one wants to serve any longer.

In the micro news, another local restaurant is closing due to staffing issues. As with others, ownership by someone who is “up there” in terms of age may also be part of the decision.

After hearing a lot of reports on once-busy restaurants no longer doing the amount of business they once did, I decided to go to one in Very Bitty Burg where I’ve always had to wait for a table on Friday nights. While business was good, Mrs. Freeholder and I walked right in and sat down. There was a sign on the door that the restaurant will be closing on Saturdays at 2 PM because of staffing issues.

Gas prices continue to slowly drop, now down into the mid-$3.60s/gallon at most outlets. Diesel is almost universally at $5/gallon.

Still waiting for my pickup to come home. However, a slight break in tempatures allow us to wash two of our vehicles. That about did in the ankle. I’m behaving today in penance.

Mrs. Freeholder reports that her preferred grocery store was pretty much back to the now-normal stocking levels of “most things available but short and scattered outages with yet higher prices”. That still leaves our area better off than many.

We received 0.90″ of Rain Thursday evening and another 0.30″ since midnight today. While this doesn’t get us out of our prolonged dry spell, it helps. I attribute today’s rain to washing our vehicles. Hey, whatever works.

Now, for that item that has my ears pricked up. Today at 4:39 AM, our power went out, and oddly enough, so did our Intertubz service. Usually the Intertubz is still available even if the power is out. I have a large UPS on all of our network equipment and it will hold it up for nearly 2 hours.

I know the exact timing due to our alarm system, which lets us know about power outages. Power returned at 8:35 AM, for an outage of just under 4 hours. The timing and duration are like the occassional announced outages when our EMC has to do heavy maintenance work. However, this was not announced as far as I’m aware, and I’m signed up to get such things via text message. (Or so I thought.)

However, last year our normal line voltage was 124 volts. It might sag 1-2 volts during periods of heavy load. Early this summer, I noticed that our typical voltage was 122 volts. After this outage, it appears to be 118 volts. All of these are using the same not necessicarily accurate measuring device. The various UPSes around the house are reading from 115-118 volts. None of them measure the line frequency, which I’d love to know. I may have to consider an actual power line monitor device if this keeps up. We’re still within an acceptable voltage range, but I don’t like this trend. I can’t find anything on the EMC’s website or any of the local news organizations. I did find that messages were going to an old, disconnected phone, and that’s updated. However, you can see old notifications, and there hasn’t been an outage notification as far as I can scroll back.

It’s probably nothing at all, but these days, I feel like everything out of the normal-whatever that may be-has to be examined, lest we miss a danger signal. If I should find out anything interesting, it will be noted in a future Report.

Out here.

3 thoughts on “Report from the OP, July 31, 2022

  1. In Android 12 location settings are at Settings|Location|App location permissions. Go through each app and think carefully about whether that app really needs to know where you are. Most of mine are blocked entirely. Only a few get access when being used.

  2. Many long-time restaurants have gone under here in the WI capitol.

    Big-city grocery store stock levels look fairly normal here. The 40% increase in the price of distilled water might be an indicator of … something.

    In a previous lifetime, I had my own line voltage monitor hooked up 24/7. Continual WILD swings in voltage were the norm on major-city-power; sadly, I couldn’t monitor the power freq. I had some employer-provided gear for a bit after the official need was over, and it was quite enlightening to see the RF/AM envelope of a local radio station quite distinctly on my residential wiring. A good Tektronics oscilloscope was a joy to have. Good times.

  3. Me no gots o-scope no more (it was the company’s and when I retired they kinda insisted on getting it back…), so I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a reasonably priced (HA !) recording voltage/hertz monitor. I do have a couple of the line voltage displays you linked to but you have to be there to watch them. My security system records anything below 88 volts for >1 second so I get the alerts for that, but it don’t do hz.

    If you find something we’d appreciate a heads-up.

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