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Comment Re: A fool and their money (Witching Sticks) (Score 2, Funny) 266

A single locating flag wire bent at an angle works EVERY time for buried infastructure. Some use two wires, but I use one. It works every freaking time. Not sometimes, not occasionally, every time. I can find gas lines, water lines, sewer lines, co-axial lines, you name it and it is buried it can be found using witching sticks. The main problem is that you can not identify what you pick up while locating, which is why I then confirm the locate with some other source such as an map or line locator.

But the main point is that it works.

Comment Return to Tabletop RPGs (Score 1) 270

In the last 10 years I have slowly returned to my first true love, RPGs. Probably the main reason I returned to the old 10 side die was my kids getting old enough to enjoy games such as Shadowrun, Battletech, Gurps, Warhammer, Powers & Perils, and more. The infinite possibilities always appealed to me more, but lack of players was the drawback for me. Now I have breed a whole gaming group.

Comment Re: Shitty content. Shitty beta site. Stagnant tra (Score 0) 347

Well someone has their panties in a wringer don't they. You don't have to read the article you know. Honestly there has been stuff on of Slashdot of late that would not have made the cut a few years ago, but to say it is stooping to the reddit level is a little to steep. Maybe it is just the penalty of success. Of course Slashdot is a commercial site owned by dice. com and as such is inherently trying to draw more eyes toward its advertising.

Submission + - Is a mini ice age on the way ? (

Taco Cowboy writes: Since September of last year people already ponder what has happened to the Sun.

The Sun is in the middle of a hyperactive phase of its 11-year cycle, and suddenly it got quiet, extraordinary quiet.

With almost completely devoid of sun spots, solar flare activity has come to a halt.

The recent super cold snap that hit North America and the wet weather that hit part of Europe might be linked to the eerily quietness of the Sun.

BBC is reporting that the nearest episode of the Sun's quietness compared to the one which is happening was 100 years ago. This solar lull is baffling scientists, because right now the Sun should be awashed with activity. This giant ball of plasma should be peppered with sunspots, exploding with flares and spewing out huge clouds of charged particles into space in the form of coronal mass ejections.

"It's completely taken me and many other solar scientists by surprise," says Dr Lucie Green, from University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

Comment Re:Heavy vehicles? (Score 1) 312

There has been some standardization within states concerning Commercial driver licences. In Minnesota they are:
Class A - Commercial Combination Tractor/trailer (Lorry) over 26,000 lbs (over 11.8 metric tons)
Class B - Commercial Non combination Truck over 26,000 lbs with standard trailer (not lorry trailer)
Class C - Commercial Non combination over 10,000 lbs but less than 26,000 lbs with trailer.
Class D - Non-commercial, general licence under 26000 lbs with trailer.
Each level up qualifies you to operate at the lower level.

Each Class can then have endosements based upon usage, i.e. motorcycle, hazmat, air brakes, school bus, passenger(general bus), agricultural, etc. Each endorsement is a seperate test.
For example, I have a Class B licence with passenger endorsement and airbrakes endosement. I used to have a school bus endorsement, but let it lapse when I changed jobs. I do not need to have a commercial license for my current job (only a class D), but I keep it up to date just in case.

Comment A physical map. (Score 1) 140

Yes, that's about it. Forget satnav and smartphone GPS, I have an in-hand navigation device. One that never crashes, though I have had to chase it down across a parking lot before. When we go on family vacations (there are 7 of us mind you in one car), we don't even make reservations. If a campground is full, has too many bugs, the ranger looks at you wrongs, whatever, we just go somewhere else. It's freeing to know that you have 8 days until you have to be home, and no planned stops.

Comment Re:You NEED to take a vacation (Score 1) 140

The BWCAW is one of those wonderful places to unwind. Heck forget cell overage or tablets, we are talking no CARS! Canoe only. The last cell tower is in Ely anyway. In three weeks I go ice fishing on Mille Lacs and there is no way any internet connected device is coming along. (Ok, the GPS with the lake chip doesn't count, or else I won't find 2 1/2 mile reef. Mmmm, walleye.)

Comment Where I work I could order one right now (Score 2) 378

I work for a large municipal utility in the U.S. This last March I had the opportunity to see the Trimble X100 Gatewing mapping drone. Because the current law only limits the sale of drones to private companies, I could have walked out of the meeting with a Drone for my department if I had wanted one. We at the utility discussed putting a radio read receiver on the X100 and using it to read the radio transmitter meters that we use. Currently the technology is still too expensive to be practical, but if us at an relatively insignificant organization is seriously contemplating the usage, it is only a matter of time.

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We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan