Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Noted in Passing: the Opioid “Crisis” is Not Due to Prescription Drugs

I've written on the so-called opioid crisis several times in the last few years and have come to the conclusion that the narrative we're being fed simply isn't true; that the stories are manufactured for reasons that aren't necessarily clear, but that could track back to some well known politicians (hint - one of the names is associated with Arkancide).  For example a couple of years ago, Mylan, the company that makes Epinephrine injector pens - the kind used to stop anaphylactic shock in people with allergies to things like bee stings - raised the price a factor of 4x and the media howled like banshees.  The company that makes Naloxone, the drug used to stop people from dying of opioid overdose from dying, raised their price 17x and the media didn't say a word. 

Back on November 20th, the CATO institute put up an article derived from a study published November 1st in The Annals of Emergency Medicine (full text).  The study demonstrates what I've reported here from the start, the numbers of people who become addicted to prescription opioids is too small to match the overdose numbers being seen.
This prospective cohort study by researchers in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine followed 484 “opioid naïve” patients prescribed opioids for acute pain upon release from the emergency department during a six month period. The statewide prescription drug monitoring program was employed in addition to regular follow up telephone interviews. One percent (five patients) met the criteria for persistent opioid use by the end of the follow up period. Four of the five patients still had moderate or severe pain in the affected body part six months after release from the emergency department.
I'm a little surprised to find that it's as much as 1% of the group that were using the opioids persistently, but 484 patients isn't a big number and sometimes small groups give strange results.  The CATO article also talks about a much larger study with a smaller number of misusers in the British Medical Journal.  
The study comes after a much larger retrospective cohort study reported in the BMJ of more than 568,000 opioid naïve patients prescribed opioids for acute postoperative pain between 2008 and 2016. Investigators found a total misuse rate of 0.6 percent. The researchers defined “misuse” as follows:
The primary outcome was an ICD-9 (international classification of diseases, ninth revision) diagnosis code of opioid dependence, abuse, or overdose…Opioid misuse was defined as the presence of at least one of these ICD codes after discharge and encompasses a composite of a wide range of forms of misuse. We included only diagnosis codes related specifically to prescription opioids.
There is simply no correlation between opioid prescription volume and non-medical use or opioid use disorder among people age 12 and over.  Meanwhile, the restrictions on drugs that some patients need are still being withheld as policymakers and law enforcement continue to pressure health care practitioners into undertreating patients in pain. At a recent international breast cancer conference experts stated the under-prescribing of opioids to breast cancer patients in the U.S. is now comparable to treatment in third world countries.

This despite the CDC coming out this April ('19) and saying (my editing), “you guys making drug policy and passing laws got us all wrong.  Those 2016 opioid prescription guidelines we issued were supposed to be just that: guidelines.   We always figured the doctors know best what their patients need.  You doctors should treat the patients who need it for pain.”

Closing words to CATO:
Meanwhile, as prescription volume precipitously drops, the overdose rate continues apace, with fentanyl and heroin now making up the overwhelming majority of overdose deaths. And now methamphetamine is making a comeback as a major cause of drug deaths—15 years after Congress addressed the “meth crisis’ with the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act.
A clear case of, “it didn't work, so let's try it again only harder.”

Today's opioid or fentanyl addicts are not yesterday's patients.  That lie has to die.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

What About the FISA Court?

Ever since this dog-and-pony show culminating in today's articles of impeachment got started, something has been on my mind.

It's clear the FBI is corrupt at the upper most levels.  Chief Weasel Jim Comey, and the dishonor roll of his underlings: McCabe, Strzok, Page, and lots more are all partisan hacks.  We know this.  We know they used the absolutely bogus Steele dossier to justify the need to monitor American citizens to the FISA courts (overview).  Borepatch started the day with post that it's time to Disband the FBI.  Count me on board with that.  While, from all I know, the majority of the agents and lower level staff are still honorable, there's a saying in management classes (I originally heard it was taken from the mafia) that goes, “the fish rots from the head down.”  If there are systemic problems in an organization, the problem lies in the top management's offices.

What I've been saying since this whole mess started is “what about the FISA courts?”  In my mind, if they were honest and honorable, they'd bust the FBI like 13 year olds pretending to be college students at spring break in south Florida.* I'd very publicly and loudly tell the FBI, “you've proven you're not trustworthy.  Because of that, from now on there will be no warrants issued to you unless you bring 10 times the amount of justification we used to require, and you'd better have far more than one source.  You will be questioned about it relentlessly, and you'd better damned well have every last detail documented.”  Or something similar.  Let everybody know the FBI is getting their chops busted for their partisan politics.

The fact that this hasn't happened doesn't mean the FISA courts didn't slap down the FBI in some classified meetings that we're not allowed to know about.  The fact that it wasn't public, though, implies that the FISA court is just as rotten as the heads of the FBI fish.  They could have dressed them down in secret but made a public statement about how shocked - shocked! I tell you - and how appalled the court is at having been lied to by the FBI.  The fact that didn't happen tells you the FISA court needs to be disbanded, just like the FBI.  The whole Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act needs to be torn up and started again from blank paper. 

The FISA court in DC.  It's very secret, you know.

* Not that I would know anything about being a 13 year old trying to pass for a college freshman with the college babes at Spring Break.  I was at least 16.  Ok, 15.  But I swear I wasn't 13. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

There's No Such Thing as Woke Enough - Episode 9,436,954 - the Peloton Ad

Last Thursday (or Friday?) I was doing my usual wading through junk mail.  Lots of it is easy to delete this time of year. In the mail, was the daily link to PJMedia, where I saw a story called, “Cops Should Do a Wellness Check on Woman in Peloton Christmas Ad” by Stephen Kruiser, who ordinarily writes things a bit tongue in cheek.  That demanded a read.

It turns out it's a bigger story than I knew.  I don't know when the Peloton ad first appeared but it fired immediate outrage by the easily offended and made headlines far and wide.  For your convenience, I'll embed the ad here.

Kruiser went over the top with his take on it - but not as much as the wokescolds.
Her Eyes Are Blinking "H-E-L-P" in Morse Code
A quick respite from the political news slog has been delivered unto us from the most unlikely of places. Peloton -- the indoor workout bike that runs around fourteen and a half million dollars -- has released a Christmas with a creep factor so high that it has people reaching across the aisle in agreement about its awfulness.
Before sharing some words from another article he read:
Allahpundit shared his thoughts about the ad at Hot Air:
The weird part is the … eagerness with which she shows her gratitude. It’s lovely to be grateful for an expensive gift, but she’s *really* grateful and *really, really* wants her husband to know it. It’s not just that she feels compelled to record herself using the bike repeatedly over a span of many months. She looks curiously anxious doing it, even when smiling into the camera. At the end of the clip, when she finally shows him the footage, her eyes are trained on his reaction, seemingly desperate for his approval.

Is, um… How do I put this?

Is everything okay between these two?
I honestly don't see a thing wrong with the ad.  For those that don't know the details, a Peloton stationary bike is an excruciatingly high end stationary bike - almost as much as an actual, fairly high-end road bike.  I looked into Peloton once; the bikes start at $2200 and require subscription to those cycling workouts they always show in the commercials.  I think I got to $3500 before I stopped looking.  As an aside, I've been riding off and on since I was 30.  I've never once been in that position they always show of the rider sitting upright with both arms straight out to the sides. (and BTW, if you have a real bike there are several apps and websites that let you do some of what Peloton does for a few bucks.  I hear good things about one called Strava.)

Deep inside, I think we all know that most exercise equipment is a clothes rack within six months -- or six weeks.  I would think it would be considered nice - or an attempt to be nice - to gift your spouse a $3500 toy for Christmas, but that's just me.  They'd probably object to jewelry or a new car, too.  

What are people so upset about?   They call it “humiliating and misogynistic.”  They say Peloton husband giving his wife an exercise bike means he thinks she's fat and needs to drop some weight.
“This fictional frightened woman’s yearlong journey to lose the 14 ounces of water weight that her husband the good Doctor Mengele insists she musts is the Christmas miracle that a news-weary world needs.”  “Nothing says "maybe you should lose a few pounds" like gifting your already rail-thin life partner a Peloton”  and “After a year, the Peloton wife looks exactly the same.  So it's an insulting gift and completely useless.”

So much misinformation... so much stupidity...  Allahpundit gets it exactly right when he says,
The first reaction everyone has is “Why is this guy buying his gorgeous, rail-thin wife an exercise bike for Christmas? Does he think this goddess is overweight?” No. That’s why they cast the actress they did. They knew that if the wife had as much as an ounce of visible fat on her, the takeaway would have been that Peloton is encouraging dudes to pressure their significant others to drop a few. There would have been sit-ins at Peloton HQ to protest a crime against body-positivity of that magnitude. Only by casting a woman who *obviously* didn’t need to lose weight could the company semi-plausibly say, “He gave her the bike for fun and for cardiovascular fitness and for no other reason.”
Then he goes on down the path to insanity.

Lighten up people, it's a commercial. Christmas is coming. People are looking for gifts, companies are looking for sales. There's no reason for us to think that Pelton Wife didn't say the only thing she wanted for Christmas was a Peloton exercise bike. I know... I know.  It's not possible to please the wokescolds. 

A funny postscript is that actor Ryan Reynolds has a small label gin company.  In the week or two this has blown up, Ryan tracked down the actress (Monica Ruiz) to do a parody of the commercial to promote his Aviation Gin brand.  You can watch the commercial, hosted on Twitter, there.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

"Nobody Knows The Troubles I've Seen"

I ran across a group of guys singing that old spiritual song the other day.  They were all news people.*

If there's one sector of the economy that's in bust times it's the news media.  And maybe it deserves what it's getting.  According to Business Insider, 7700 people have lost their jobs in the media over the last year. 
The media industry continued to execute cuts in December and November as Gannett, Highsnobiety, and the CBC reduced headcounts.

The cuts followed large rounds of layoffs earlier in the year from companies including BuzzFeed, Verizon, and Vice Media.

The massive cuts this year represent a recent trend in media that has seen upstart companies and newspapers alike shrinking and disappearing.
Gannett is the publisher of USA Today (and our local Florida Today).  They merged with local paper giant GateHouse and both of them laid off employees.  Gannett laid off 215 while GateHouse laid off 243 between last January, May and August.  Last January 23rd, Gannett laid off 400. 

It's not just print newspapers.  Highsnobiety is some sort of “men's fashion and lifestyle” website, and of course BuzzFeed and Vice Media are web presences also.  CBC is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; they cut 35 jobs.  An attempt to relaunch Gawker failed. HuffPost laid off 13 in its video department. ThinkProgress shut down in September.

I have to agree with writer Matt Margolis at PJ Media who points out the media is very distrusted as an institution.  People are voting with their wallets.
What's the reason for the media industry doing so poorly while other sectors are experiencing a boom? I don't know; I'm sure much of it is because the media isn't adapting, but I can't dismiss the possibility that trust in the media being at historic lows is playing a part, either. A recent Gallup Poll shows that Americans "remain largely mistrustful of the mass media," and that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that much of what the media is presenting is biased, inaccurate, or misinformation.

It's worth noting here that media coverage of President Trump is 90 percent negative. Maybe the public is sick of media outlets that do public relations on behalf of the Democratic Party.
Gallup presents a graph of the combined responses for trusting the media a Great Deal and a Fair Amount.  I notice something interesting in this, besides the overall downward trend over the measurement time.

Notice the biggest drops in reported trust in the media.  I read them as the years 2000, '04, '08, '12 and '16 (although 2000 doesn't stand out as much as, say, '04 does).  Those are all Presidential election years.  It seems to me that the media reaches a crescendo of negative coverage of even RINOs like John McCain and Mittens Romney, and it stands out to people, making them trust the media even less.  It gets more revealing when you look at the same data sorted by political leanings.

Notice how the big drops in presidential years are less obvious.  Democrats had a big dip in 2000, while Republicans had the dip in 2001; is that a remnant of the hanging chad news coverage?  The Dems didn't have dips in '04, '08 and '12 while Republicans did.  Independents had dips in '08 and '12Notice also that the years since the '16 election have seen the Democrats trust in the media go up by 35%, from 51% to 69% this year, claiming either a Great Deal or a Fair Amount of trust in the media, while at the same time, Republicans went from 14% to 15%, a 7% increase but still around 25% of the Democrats' trust.   Is that because the Democrats like the media lies and the Republicans don't?  (In both cases, I'm ignoring the peaks in 2018 and treating them as transients.  It's entirely possible that in another year we'll see that the 69% and 15% numbers were also transients and we'll get slightly different answer.)  Finally, note how the last few years saw Democrat trust in the media higher than anywhere in the 22 years shown while Republican trust in the media has been in decline since 1998 and is now close to an all time low. 

* No, I really didn't come across a group of reporters singing spirituals. That's an attempt at humor.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Pearl Harbor Day

This is just a simple suggestion to take a few seconds and think of it.  Pay respect to the WWII vets who fought and died. 78 years ago this morning. 

In the last five years, I've come to find out that my brother's Father-in-Law is a WWII vet.  He's 97 now, still drives a lot, still has a sharp mind.  He was mowing his lawn the last time we talked a few years ago.  For much of the time I've known him, he worked as a bag boy at a Publix grocery store although he was a retired banker, but that ended around ten years ago.  He's the first WWII vet I've known in years.  I'll use the term, "tough old bird".  Maybe on Christmas, I can get a few stories out of him but he hasn't made one of the holiday events at my brother's house in three years, now.


To borrow the Ancient Aliens meme:

The Pearl Harbor shooting seems more like some sort of “generic murder,” one that's either due to (A) someone being FN or (B) a personal conflict.  Pensacola sounds like terrorism.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Space Ketchup

Just a couple of odds and ends... (one odd and one end?)

Rocket Lab's test flight this morning (EST) of their booster recovery approach was a success.  According to an update at CNBC:
Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck broke down the results of the test in a call with CNBC on Friday, explaining how the company got the booster through the atmosphere’s dense “wall” during reentry.

“The real challenge in this program has been ‘can we get through the wall’ and today we punched through the wall and came out the other side in great shape,” Beck said. “We knew that we had a chance of getting it through the wall and all the way down to the water but with anything reentry it’s hugely difficult to model.”
Instead of firing one of the booster's engines and adding legs, like the SpaceX Falcon9 and Heavy, Rocket Lab is testing a technology Beck calls an “aero thermal decelerator” — essentially using the atmosphere to slow down the rocket. After separating from the upper stage of the Electron rocket, which carried the spacecraft into orbit, Rocket Lab’s onboard computer guided the booster through reentry, successfully flipping it around 180 degrees.
“We maintained control of the stage and guided it through the narrow corridor with the heat shield and the right orientation, the right angle of attack,” Beck said. “And, not only we were able to hold telemetry on it all the way to impact at sea, we had tremendous amount of instrumentation on board that said the stage was very healthy when it impacted the ocean.”
The area of the Pacific around the calculated impact site was circled by an aircraft recording telemetry from the booster until it impacted the ocean at about 560 mph and disintegrated.

Looking toward the bottom of the Electron booster's first stage, shown at the top, and including a view of the curvature of the Earth and our atmosphere along the bottom.  Rocket Lab photo.

Back in mid-November when SpaceX destroyed their Starship Mark 1 prototype in Texas, there was reference to iterating to a Mark 2 or 3 as fast as humanly possible.  There was speculation among Twitter-watchers about whether it would be built in Texas or here in Florida, or if one would be built in each place.  Apparently, SpaceX has decided to pour the resources into Texas.  NASA is reporting:
The new vehicle, called Mk3, is already undergoing construction in Boca Chica. It is being built by a unified team, with many of the Florida-based crew members moving to Texas. By building Mk3 with a combined team, SpaceX believes that they can reach the first flight faster.

Consequently, most Starship operations in Florida are currently on hold. Activity at SpaceX’s Cocoa site has ground to a halt for the past several days.
With Florida-based crew being sent to Boca Chica Beach, Texas, work in Florida has slowed to a crawl, or completely stopped.  NASA reports the only work being done in Florida is the refurbishment to Pad 39A, which must be nearing completion.

SpaceX is grappling with the difficulty of getting something the size of a Starship from Cocoa to the Kennedy Space Center.  Cocoa is on the mainland of Florida while the KSC is on Merritt Island, separated from Cocoa by about a mile of Indian River Lagoon on the west, but also separated from the beach island by the Banana River Lagoon.  There are only a couple of bridges across the Indian River, they're heavily used by traffic and (it's said) not rated for the loads they would see.  Add to that Virgin Trains is currently constructing a new high speed train line through the Cocoa area, and a new bridge will soon block Starship’s transportation path to the KSC.  There are indications their answer is to move over onto the KSC.
SpaceX is currently preparing a facility at Roberts Road, inside of KSC, which is expected to eventually take over most, if not all, of the Cocoa operations. This will make transportation to the launch site considerably easier for future Starship builds in Florida.
There's no word what will become of the Cocoa facility.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

New Zealand's Rocket Lab to Test Tech for Recovering Boosters

New Zealand's successful small sat launch company, Rocket Lab, announced in August that in order to increase their vehicle launch rate they were going to move toward recovering their boosters.   Unlike their bigger competition, SpaceX, instead of landing boosters back near the launch site or on a drone ship at sea, Rocket Lab is going to use a parachute that get snagged in midair by a large helicopter.

This week's NASA reports that the upcoming 10th launch of their Electron booster will have modifications that will be needed for recovery and part of the launch mission is to test those mods.
Electron was never designed for this rather unorthodox method of recovery, so some changes have had to be made to the booster, known as a first stage block upgrade.

Although some previous flights have flown hardware or taken measurements in support of the Block upgrade. Flight 10 will be critically important because it will mark the debut flight of the block upgraded first stage.

The upgraded first staged includes a Reaction Control System (RCS), which will be used to orientate Electrons for recovery and guidance and navigation hardware such as a new S-band telemetry system and onboard flight computer. A parafoil is also included to allow for Electron to be “picked up” by the recovery helicopter on later missions, it is unknown if a parafoil is included on this flight specifically though.
The mission customers are paying for is the launch of seven small satellites into orbit.  I can't resist passing on that since this is going to be their 10th flight, the mission has been named, “Running out of Fingers,” but that bit of cleverness doesn't tell you anything about the flight.  The article on NASA has some details on everything being launched on this flight, so head on over there if you're curious what the small satellite launch business is all about. 

Concept art of the Electron booster under a parafoil chute, as it will eventually be flown.

This flight is to be launched from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand, and is scheduled for December 6th at 0756-0922 UTC, which is 2:56-4:22 AM tomorrow morning EST.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Technically Miscellaneous Odds and Ends

Today's launch of the SpaceX cargo container to the ISS was scrubbed due to high level winds.  Currently scheduled for tomorrow, 12/5 at 12:29:23 PM.

Boeing's Starliner test capsule is on its Atlas 5 at Launch Complex 41.  Liftoff is currently scheduled for Thursday, December 19, at 6:59 a.m. EST.

The combination is 172 feet tall, and you get a sense of that size in this photo, from Boeing.  Much like last year's test that SpaceX did of their Crew Dragon capsule, the Starliner test will be an unmanned flight to the ISS.  If successful, the second flight to the ISS will be manned by Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson, along with NASA astronauts Mike Fincke and Nicole Mann.

Launch dates/times from Spaceflight Now.

Finally, there was a story that both got a chuckle and a raised eyebrow with an unspoken, "seriously?  In the 20-teens?"  If you own a Hewlett Packard computer with a solid state drive, a service bulletin released on November 19th says they have a firmware version in some drives that fails after 32,768 hours, which they say works out to 3 years, 270 days 8 hours.  There is a strongly mandated software patch for owners of these Enterprise Solid State Drives. 

Some of you get it already; for those who don't recognize it: 32768 is the largest positive integer that can be expressed with 16 bits.  People who do a lot of programming see the number often enough that it gets thoroughly woven into their brain's neurons and knowing it is as much a reflex as any physiological reaction.  From the bulletin:
HPE was notified by a Solid State Drive (SSD) manufacturer of a firmware defect affecting certain SAS SSD models (reference the table below) used in a number of HPE server and storage products (i.e., HPE ProLiant, Synergy, Apollo, D3000/D6000/D6020 disk enclosures, MSA Storage, StoreEasy 1000 Storage, StoreVirtual 4335 Hybrid Storage and StoreVirtual 3000 Storage are affected).
Checking that numbers don't go out of range should be something all programmers check, and part of acceptance quality testing of all software.  The problem is that most consumer products don't get that sort of testing.  Now think of what sort of software limits might be encroached on by a self-driving car having to react to a pedestrian who's not in a crosswalk or a kid chasing a ball into a street.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Snippi Longstocking is Gonna Hate Me

Hat tip to Borepatch, for the first time I came across that memorable nickname for Greta Thunburg, the autistic, Swedish, high-school dropout and globe-trotting, full-time wokescold.  Greta gonna hate me.

I did my holiday travel by SUV, and according to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (motto: “we're from Tennessee so we're not all Nuckin' Futs.”) and posted on Political Calculations blog, the least fuel efficient way to travel is by light truck; the category which includes SUVs.

On this chart, produced by Political Calculations from the data linked here, lower is better. 

The chart shows BTUSs per passenger mile for the 40 years from 1976 to 2016.  As you can see, light trucks are at the top - the worst fuel economy.
In the chart, "Light Truck" refers to any two-axle, four wheel truck, which would include anything from pickup trucks to SUVs. "Air" refers to commercial air travel, while "Intercity Rail" in the U.S. means train travel via Amtrak.

Probably the most remarkable thing is how air travel has become less energy intensive per passenger mile than both transit buses (after 1996) and cars (after 2004). The second most remarkable thing we find is how transit buses have become worse over time.
It should be mentioned that each category is an average of everything they measured in that vehicle class.  Air travel has improved, as noted, but SUVs have improved by a bigger percentage.  Most of that was by 1991.  It's a safe bet that today's jets going into service have better fuel economy compared to 1976 jets still in service, just as today's SUVs will when compared to any 40 year old SUVs on the road.  Mine's an '09, which is right where the line jumped up (got worse) for the second to last time.

Snippi gonna hate me.  Not that I care.

(Note, that Oak Ridge file has an odd name and no extension, but if you look at it, you'll see it's a CSV file - Comma Separated Variables - that any spreadsheet program will read.  Just re-name it with a .csv extension and you'll be good.  I'm using one of the free spreadsheets, Libre Office, and it imported the file with no problems.)

Besides, she's a time traveler and just passing through.  You've seen the picture, right?  Several excellent pictures at that article. 

Edit 2050 EST:  Forgot to add one of the links I should have linked.

Monday, December 2, 2019

December is Looking to be Busy with Launches

December is looking to be a busy month on the Cape, with SpaceX potentially launching four missions in the next 29 days and Boeing adding a fifth.

The first launch is scheduled for this Wednesday, the 4th, at 12:51PM EST.  A Falcon 9 will carry the company's 19th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.  These missions deliver crew supplies and hardware; this mission will bring some science experiments to the Expedition 61 crew.  More details on the experiments at Florida Today newspaper.

The next launch will also be a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, currently scheduled for “no sooner than” December 15th.  The Falcon 9 will carry the JCSAT 18/Kacific 1 communications satellite for Japan.

The last launch I have a proposed date for is Boeing's, “no sooner than” December 17th.    The Boeing CST-100 Starliner will launch an uncrewed Orbital Flight Test (OFT) at approximately 7:45 a.m. EST (1245 GMT).

The other probable launches that don't have firm dates, but that are considered likely are both SpaceX missions.  According to NASA, SpaceX will also conduct an in-flight abort test for the Crew Dragon spacecraft in December, no date set, and the company may also seek to make its third launch of 60 Starlink satellites, a repeat of their early November launch, before the end of December. 

The in-flight abort test would launch from pad 39A on the Kennedy Space Center, which SpaceX has been busily renovating since signing a 20 year lease for the pad (long story here).  The two Falcon 9 launches are slated for Launch Complex 40 on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station side. 

The SpaceX Crew Dragon with scaffolding around the capsule for workers.  SpaceX photo, posted a couple of months ago.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

All Moved In, Still Getting Settled

As an analogy to moving into a new house, the move onto the new computer is finished enough to get back to life as normal.  There are still metaphorical boxes to unpack, small knickknacks to put in place and stuff that came with the house that needs to be gotten rid of or otherwise dealt with, but the one or 1-1/2 dozen big things are all here and working.  Thankfully, I don't have to print anything because one of those things is to get the printer on the network talking again.

My biggest problem was installing my 3D CAD program, Rhino 3D.  Although they've been at version 6 for a year, I never upgraded from 5, fully intending to force myself to learn Fusion360.  Which I never did.  It took either four or five attempts to install and one less uninstalls of everything.  Each time I got a slightly different weirdness, but that's not worth getting into.  That could become a bigger discussion in its own right.

A few installations want you reboot after you're done, most just quietly install.  Probably the slowest thing was to deleting a directory structure that I had on my backup drive but couldn't use.  It was smallish at about 16 Gigs, but almost 250,000 items.  Took two hours to delete. 

That said, did you ever think you'd be using the words “narwhal tusk” in regular conversation?  Or thinking of the merits of a narwhal tusk for everyday carry?  Or comparing a narwhal tusk to an AR-15 for ease of concealment?  Courtesy Daily Timewaster:

(although I think I read the tusk he used was over five feet long, so much longer than shown in this cartoon)

In case you hadn't noticed, Daily Timewaster has been in my reading list for a couple of weeks.