Wed. Jan. 29, 2020 – the sky is always falling and there’s always more to do

Cold and wet. [48F and wet]

We had intermittent rain all day yesterday, with some really heavy downpour in the afternoon. The rain finally stopped sometime after I got the kids in bed. I guess it watered in my garden.

Yep, finally got the plants I bought a couple of weeks ago in the ground. The broccoli had some little tiny heads starting, which is the best I’ve ever done with it, so maybe I need to container grow it. I guess we’ll see.

Fell down a rabbit hole last night with youtube. Someone in the comments at Commander Zero’s blog linked to the best way to clean and recondition cast iron cookware, and I really like the guy’s method. It is basically get the stuff super hot, using your oven’s self clean mode or a BBQ, and then wash, and oil. He got great results, and I’m going to try it on a couple of pieces, one I just picked up, and one I’ve had a hard time cleaning. I usually wire wheel the pan to get it clean, sometimes followed by vinegar bath, but it’s a lot of work and not super effective on shaped bakeware. I’ll report back on my results.

The cast iron cleaning led to where to find it (didn’t learn anything new there, he likes thrift stores), what to cook in it, and then a couple of cooking vids. First a bushcrafter cooking bread in a dutch oven, then a guy cooking squirrel- from the field dressing to the plate. I hate the company, but I love the way youtube has enabled ordinary folks to create and share their knowledge. It’s an incredible resource.

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The WuFlu situation continues to develop. More people are sick, more are dying, and the incongruities keep adding up. There is more to this story than we are being told. On a broader level, people are just starting to think about knock on effects of China being shut down. That won’t be pretty and we should start seeing disruption in supply chains any time now.

With that in mind, I hit the canned goods aisle a bit more heavily than normal, and added some pasta and rice dishes too. Spent $310, but saved $58 by buying sale items and coupons. A third of the $300 is totally discretionary spending on beer and soda and beef jerky.

Weirdly, pork is still cheap. I got pork tenderloin, 10 pound vac pac for $1/ pound. Pork shoulder roast (carnitas, or sausage meat, or sliced as ‘country’ pork chops) was $1.29/ pound.

The store had canned beans and house brand canned chili on sale, so I bought some… and they had some new brands and varieties for me to try. Some more sauce packets for the slow cooker rounded out the cart.

I’ll be headed to Costco later to fill some buckets with bulk.

In uncertain times, having food and stuff stacked is very comforting.

Stack it high. And time to change your batteries out in all your standby gear…

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

73 thoughts on “Wed. Jan. 29, 2020 – the sky is always falling and there’s always more to do”


  1. It is basically get the stuff super hot, using your oven’s self clean mode or a BBQ, and then wash, and oil.

    I’m not a fan of the oven clean method, but I do like the electrolysis method with washing soda. Takes a few days if the piece has a lot of built up crud, but it’s just sitting in the tank. I also use soybean oil for the seasoning. Linseed is better but I don’t like the smell of it baking on and it is a pain to find food grade linseed oil. Soybean is what most vegetable oil is and is available everywhere. Very important to apply multiple thin coats and bake them on at 450 F. Apply as thin a coat as possible and then wipe it with a clean dry paper towel otherwise you get runs and gummy messes.

  2. @bruce_friend, I’ve used the electrolysis method for rust removal on a number of things, but haven’t used it on cookware. If the piece is greasy I’ve found the electrolysis doesn’t work very well.

    I usually use a wire wheel in an angle grinder which works great for rust removal and pretty well on hard baked food. It doesn’t work well on bakeware, since it is very hard to get into the corners and edges. I usually end up wire wheeling anything I did in electrolysis or vinegar just to smooth it and get the flash rust off anyway.

    Soaking in vinegar works too, and can be reused several times. Not as fast as the other methods but gets into finer detail areas. Grease will retard the effect.

    I’m glad to see the resurgence of cast iron, you can get it easily and fairly cheaply at Costco and sporting goods/camping stores now, including USA made Lodge.

    I do like the old iron better, even if it does come with a bit of work needed.

    n

  3. “Apply as thin a coat as possible and then wipe it with a clean dry paper towel otherwise you get runs and gummy messes. ”

    –this, in spades. Some people imply that you should have very heavy coats, and I’ve done some pans that way. They do tend to get very uneven results, even if it can work. I’ve managed to avoid the gummy result, even when very over oiled, by using the hot oven and extra time.

    Better to do very thin coats and repeat. and for economy of time and effort, do several at once.

    nick

  4. Gee, some researchers discovered what design professionals have known since at least the dawn of the advertising age, fonts matter.

    “The choice of fonts in political campaigns could trigger unconscious bias according to a new study, which finds serif fonts are seen as more conservative and sans serif are more liberal

    Researchers at Virginia Tech interviewed 987 test subjects about fonts
    They found the subjects viewed serif fonts as slightly more conservative
    Sans serif fonts seemed more liberal to the test subjects
    Researchers found people had a more favorable view of messages written in fonts that matched their own political leaning”

    No one who’d ever worked in the real world would be surprised by this.

    n

    added- next they’ll discover that word choice and writing style can influence people! and water is wet, and fire will burn. Takes a lot of education to be that dumb.

  5. I prefer sans-serif styles, and am conservative. Dear Auntie Em, Am I normal?

    Yeah, rhetorical question. One possible explanation is that I am more reactionary than conservative. Another is that I spent many years reading low resolution screens where sans serif ruled simply because serifs would not render well.

  6. As I have said before, I was frustrated by Firefox a few years ago. At the time, I started using Chromium on Mint Linux and Chrome on Android. They have their own issues, but I liked them better. Lately, I have been using Brave on Android as a test. After a couple months, I can say I like it. Its best characteristic is its ad rejection, without triggering ad-blocker rejection on most sites. Any discussion?

  7. Brave on win8.2 was VERY slow for me. It took forever to load. That was some time ago so maybe I need to revisit that.

    n

  8. Stupid people. At my church we record on DVD each service. Why is because people would ask for copies of a service a week or so later. We now store a years worth in/on the cloud via our streaming service. I want to quit making DVD’s of the service. It is an uphill battle with the leadership of the church, many who still have VCR’s flashing 12:00.

    Another option being floated is to download each service from the streaming service shortly after the service. Keep the files on an external spinning disk drive. Space is not really an issue as each file is about 1.2 gig.

    I don’t want to do any of that. Only a couple of times have people asked for copies more than a year old. Lot of effort to download, store and keep track of for very limited use. I am fighting geriatric fear of technology.

    But, I just had a request from a person who sang a special sometime in 2017. They want a copy. The best they could guess is June, July or August. They expect me to look through 13 DVD’s to find their special. Nope, not going to happen. Give me a specific date as I am not doing the searching. Cretins.

  9. Serif vs Sans Serif vs . . . Hand writing.

    I learned to write words very early in school. Even today, if I’m taking notes and want to print and make them nice looking, nope, three words in and I’m writing. I guess I like Serif better since it tends to look more like hand writing. If I go slow, it is even legible. Most people say, “Hey, I can read your signature.”

  10. Weirdly, pork is still cheap. I got pork tenderloin, 10 pound vac pac for $1/ pound. Pork shoulder roast (carnitas, or sausage meat, or sliced as ‘country’ pork chops) was $1.29/ pound.

    Caveat emptor. We’ve had some cr*ppy ground beef from HEB in the last couple of weeks and a freezer burned pork roast sold as “fresh” at Sam’s before Christmas. Sample the “deal” before sticking in long-term storage.

    Pork is a commodity with a global market, but the Chinese own Smithfield. I have no doubt that the best pork is being sent overseas. Dunno about beef.

  11. As an aside, visiting a grandson for a birthday, we gave him a card with a written message. He asked his parents to read it since it wasn’t printed. Do schools even teach hand writing anymore?

  12. I don’t want to do any of that. Only a couple of times have people asked for copies more than a year old. Lot of effort to download, store and keep track of for very limited use. I am fighting geriatric fear of technology.

    You can automate the DVD production from the streaming service files, using either Linux or the utilities compiled under Cygwin. Manual intervention would be required to burn the disc, but that could be handled by personnel with a more limited skillset.

    I convert all kinds of video to DVD at home. As long as the anamorphic ratios aren’t funky (Wes Anderson and other non 16:9 sources), the Ffmpeg command line is fairly straightforward.

  13. As an aside, visiting a grandson for a birthday, we gave him a card with a written message. He asked his parents to read it since it wasn’t printed. Do schools even teach hand writing anymore?

    Cursive? Nope.

  14. Ray, you might ask for volunteers to watch all of the archived videos and type up a summary: subject of the sermon, special guests, special happenings, whatever. Once they’ve done that you can easily find your singer’s episode.

  15. “Cursive? Nope. ”

    –they do at our school, 4th and 5th grade

    my kids want to learn it so that they can read what my wife and I write.

    It’s way faster than printing, and faster than most people’s typing too.

    n


  16. Ray, you might ask for volunteers to watch all of the archived videos

    We have over 1,500 DVD’S in the archives. We used to record morning and evening before eliminating the evening. We have audio tapes going back 40 years, no idea on the number. Primary reason was for people to watch after the services. We can store a year on the streaming service. Better quality than the DVD. We may have 3 or 4 watch the stream during services. We may 50 to 100 watch after the services. The stream archive serves the purpose that the DVD’s provided. I see no reason to continue the DVDs but the old folks hate change.

  17. –they do at our school, 4th and 5th grade

    Private or public?

    4th and 5th grade are late.

    I have a quick mix of cursive and printing which I use to keep paper notes. I’ve worked for places where the paper made management uncomfortable, but I always left the notebooks with the company.

  18. Public, but our ISD is well regarded.

    I used yellow legal pads and black flair markers when I was working, specifically because they were NOT notebooks. Notebooks are subpoena-able, personal notes are not. Or anyway, that’s what I was told. No bound and numbered notebooks for me.

    Most places your ‘engineer’s notebook’ remains your property, even if the info and stuff you develop does not. I thought.

    n

  19. This is how far and fast the WuFlu has come…


    “China Reports First Death From New Virus

    The coronavirus, which surfaced in the city of Wuhan, has put the region on alert, but there is no evidence that it can spread among humans.”

    That’s NYTimes, Jan 10.

    Then on the 23rd–

    “Jan. 23, the same committee recommended that an emergency not be declared at that time.

    As of that date, most of what were then 800 confirmed cases in the world were in China and all 25 deaths were there. “

    This is NYTimes today…

    Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Evacuates Citizens, and Deaths Mount

    Chinese officials confirmed over 6,000 cases of the mysterious illness as foreign governments airlifted their citizens out of Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicenter.

    By The New York Times

    Right Now

    The virus shows signs of spreading overseas, with people who never visited China falling ill in Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam.
    Here’s what you need to know:


    In Japan, a tour bus driver in his 60s who had driven two different groups from Wuhan, China, was confirmed to have the coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday. The driver had no history of traveling to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

    “I think what that says is, if we can get transmission in such a setting, then we can certainly get it in the waiting room of a clinic or a hospital,” Professor Reingold said. “That’s very concerning.””

    —in 6 days we’ve gone from 800 cases to 6000 and no one credible believes that is the true extent.

    n

    The article is behind a paywall, so here it is–
    —————————————————————–

    LIVE UPDATES
    Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Evacuates Citizens, and Deaths Mount

    Chinese officials confirmed over 6,000 cases of the mysterious illness as foreign governments airlifted their citizens out of Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicenter.

    By The New York Times

    Right Now

    The virus shows signs of spreading overseas, with people who never visited China falling ill in Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam.
    Here’s what you need to know:

    W.H.O. will again weigh whether to declare a public health emergency.
    Americans evacuated from Wuhan land in Southern California.
    British Airways cancels all flights to and from China amid fears of the outbreak.
    Rise in number of cases outside China is “very concerning,” expert says.
    Villagers clash with the police over a proposed quarantine site.

    Read Updates in Chinese: 武汉疫情每日汇总中文版
    ImageIn Macau on Tuesday many shoppers wore face masks. The government has recommended that people across China wear masks to halt the spread of a dangerous coronavirus.
    In Macau on Tuesday many shoppers wore face masks. The government has recommended that people across China wear masks to halt the spread of a dangerous coronavirus.Credit…Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
    W.H.O. will again weigh whether to declare a public health emergency.

    On Thursday, the World Health Organization will again consider whether to declare the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency, the agency’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Twitter.

    On Jan. 23, the same committee recommended that an emergency not be declared at that time.

    As of that date, most of what were then 800 confirmed cases in the world were in China and all 25 deaths were there. In addition, there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China. But that is no longer the case.

    More than 130 people have now died from the mysterious new coronavirus, according to official Chinese statistics, but the real number is likely much higher. A dearth of test kits has hindered health officials ability to accurately diagnose and track the illness.

    Here’s what we know about how the disease has spread:

    ◆ China said on Wednesday that 132 people had died from the virus, which is believed to have originated in the central city of Wuhan and is spreading across the country. The previous count, on Tuesday, was 106.

    ◆ The number of confirmed cases increased to 6,065 on Wednesday, according to the World Health Organization. The number on Tuesday was 4,515, according to China’s National Health Commission.

    ◆ Thailand has reported 14 cases of infection; Hong Kong has 10; the United States, Taiwan, Australia and Macau have five each; Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia each have reported four; Japan has seven; France has four; Canada has three; Vietnam has two; and Nepal, Cambodia, Germany and the United Arab Emirates each have one.

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    Create an account or log in

    ◆ Cases recorded in Taiwan, Germany, Vietnam and Japan involved patients who had not been to China. There have been no reported deaths outside China.
    Americans evacuated from Wuhan land in Southern California.

    A flight carrying 201 Americans who had been evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, landed in Southern California shortly after 8 a.m. on Wednesday. The passengers were expected to remain at March Air Force Base until they had been screened by health authorities.

    The flight had stopped in Anchorage for several hours, where the passengers were checked by a team from the Centers for Disease Control.

    “The whole plane erupted in cheers when the crew said, ‘Welcome home to the United States,’” said Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer.

    The 201 passengers, including diplomats and businesspeople, underwent medical screening at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, the local authorities said. The plane was refueled before heading to its final destination, March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, Calif., east of Los Angeles.

    Dr. Zink said that all the passengers were screened twice during their Anchorage layover and approved by medical staff members from the Centers for Disease Control before reboarding the plane to Southern California.

    At Marsh Air Reserve Base, they will undergo additional health screenings, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services said in a statement.

    Passengers would be “temporarily housed for a period of time” after landing, the department said.

    “The pre-screening in China and the rescreening here in Anchorage were critical steps for assuring the safety of the passengers onboard the aircraft and for preventing further importation of the novel coronavirus domestically,” Alaska’s governor, Mike Dunleavy, said in a statement.

    Alaska has had no cases of the new coronavirus or people suspected of having it. But after officials announced on Monday that the plane would be taking Americans to Alaska from Wuhan, the health department said that it had activated its emergency operations center to help coordinate detection and response efforts.

    Many aircraft that transport cargo stop in Anchorage to refuel. So far this month, six cargo planes from Wuhan have landed there.

    Other countries that have evacuated or plan to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan include France, South Korea, Japan, Morocco, Germany, Kazakhstan, Britain, Canada, Russia, the Netherlands, Myanmar and Australia.
    Wuhan Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

    The virus has sickened more than 5,500 people in China and a handful in other countries.
    British Airways cancels all flights to and from China amid fears of the outbreak.

    British Airways has indefinitely suspended all flights to and from China, the airline said on Wednesday, citing advice from Britain’s Foreign Office that cautioned against all nonessential travel to China.

    “We apologize to customers for the inconvenience, but the safety of our customers and crew is always our priority,” the company said in an emailed statement.

    Other airlines have begun to scale back flights to China as the death toll and number of cases rises, but the British flag carrier, one of the world’s largest international airlines, is the first to cancel all its scheduled flights.

    The airline, based in London, makes multiple flights a week to Beijing and Shanghai.

    The low-cost Indonesian carrier Lion Air and Seoul Air of South Korea also suspended all their flights to China, The Associated Press reported.

    United Airlines and Air Canada said on Tuesday that they would reduce flights to China, canceling dozens of scheduled trips over the coming days and weeks because of a sudden drop in demand. Health officials in the United States have also warned against all nonessential travel to China.

    In Hong Kong, the authorities have reduced by half the number of flights coming into the semiautonomous region from mainland China and have also shut down rail services to the mainland. Hong Kong’s flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, has also suspended all flights to and from Wuhan through March.
    Rise in number of cases outside China is “very concerning,” expert says.

    The new coronavirus that was first discovered in China last month is showing early signs of spreading abroad, with people who never visited China during the outbreak falling ill in Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam.

    The overseas cases highlight the ability of the mysterious disease, which is believed to have originated in wild animals, to be transmitted from one person to another, increasing its chances of spreading.

    “These reports are concerning, if they stand up to scrutiny, which they certainly sound credible,” said Dr. Arthur Reingold, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Some cases that have spread outside China appear to have been spread between family members, who are at greater risk while caring for sick relatives. Other cases, however, appear to have spread between people with different connections.

    In Japan, a tour bus driver in his 60s who had driven two different groups from Wuhan, China, was confirmed to have the coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday. The driver had no history of traveling to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

    “I think what that says is, if we can get transmission in such a setting, then we can certainly get it in the waiting room of a clinic or a hospital,” Professor Reingold said. “That’s very concerning.”

    German officials said on Tuesday that a 33-year-old man from Starnberg in Bavaria was apparently infected with the coronavirus after a Jan. 21 training event with a Chinese colleague. The Chinese colleague flew home two days later. The German man was being treated under isolation while officials identified other people with whom he might have been in contact.

    Late Tuesday, health officials in Germany said three more people from the same company in Bavaria were also infected. The three were admitted to a clinic in Munich, where they were to be isolated and treated. An additional 40 people with close contact to those infected would be tested on Wednesday, officials said.

    Taiwan said on Tuesday that a man had become infected after his wife had contracted the virus while working in Wuhan. He became Taiwan’s eighth case and the first known to be transmitted locally.

    In an article published by The New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday, Vietnamese physicians reported that a 65-year-old man from Wuhan appeared to have transmitted the coronavirus to his son, 27, who was living in Long An Province, southwest of Ho Chi Minh City. The father developed a fever on Jan. 17, four days after flying to Hanoi, Vietnam, from Wuhan.

    The son met his father on Jan. 17, and by Jan. 20 he had a dry cough and fever. The father’s condition has improved, and the son is stable, the doctors wrote. None of their 28 identified close contacts, including the father’s wife, have developed symptoms of respiratory infection, they said.
    Villagers clash with the police over a proposed quarantine site.

    The police clashed on Tuesday with residents of a village in the coastal province of Fujian after it was revealed that the government planned to convert a factory into a quarantine site for patients with the dangerous coronavirus.

    Several people were reportedly arrested in the village of Dasha, where residents’ fears and anger over the proposed site spilled into the street. In videos recorded by residents, villagers are seen blocking a road and throwing wooden stools at police officers, who marched through the town in riot gear.

    Residents said they were given no warning about the plans and only learned that their village would host the sick when hospital beds and other materials began arriving.

    “The factory is only several minutes’ walk away from our village,” said one resident, Therese Zheng. “Given the lack of information from the government, there is reason that villagers are panicking.”

    The outrage in Dasha mirrors that in other Chinese cities where the government has proposed quarantine sites without first consulting those living nearby. In Hong Kong on Sunday, protesters threw Molotov cocktails into the lobby of an unoccupied public housing project that had been proposed as a quarantine area.

    A Xiapu County health official denied that villagers in Dasha were not made aware of the quarantine site and said the information had been broadcast for days.

    Another county official said the proposed quarantine site was far from residences and would be cordoned off to limit exposure. The official added that patients would be transported to the site by ambulance as a further measure to protect the community.

    As of Wednesday, there were 82 confirmed cases of the virus in Fujian Province, two of which were in Xiapu County.
    A Beijing drugstore gets a big fine for price gouging on masks.

    With demand for surgical masks on the rise in China, a drugstore in Beijing has been fined more than $400,000 by the government for charging customers roughly six times what the masks are being sold for online.

    State-run media said that the store was charging customers 850 yuan, or $122, for the masks, while they were being sold online for 143 yuan.

    Infectious disease specialists say the disposable masks, which cover the nose and mouth, can help prevent the spread of infections if they are worn properly and used consistently.

    The masks have become ubiquitous in cities across China. In Hong Kong, where the outbreak has brought back painful memories of the SARS epidemic in 2002-03, officials said that customs authorities were examining surgical masks being sold in the city for counterfeit labeling and not meeting safety standards.

    In announcing the fine against the Beijing drugstore, a government notice warned that the authorities would “continue to step up enforcement and make every effort to curb the excessive and rapid rise in protective enforcement prices.”

    Surgical masks have become so much in demand that a website advertising more fashionable versions of them warns that deliveries are at risk of being delayed.
    China’s highest court defends coronavirus whistle-blowers.

    China’s Supreme People’s Court, the country’s highest judicial body, on Tuesday posted an essay on its social media accounts defending a group of Wuhan residents who shared information about the outbreak and were subsequently accused of “spreading rumors” by the city’s police force.

    The essay does not carry the weight of an official ruling but served as a rare rebuke of the police by the country’s courts. The essay seemed to suggest that the ruling Communist Party was concerned that local officials would attempt to cover up their own failings at the risk of worsening the outbreak.

    According to Chinese news reports, among those approached by the police was a doctor who in December posted a message on WeChat, a social media platform, warning of a SARS outbreak that had sickened at least seven people, and which originated at a seafood market in Wuhan.

    SARS, or severe acute respiratory illness, was a coronavirus that rapidly spread across China in 2003 and killed 774 people in 17 countries. The Wuhan virus was later determined to be a different disease, the new coronavirus.

    The court said the initial information shared by the doctor was wrong, but “not completely fabricated” and called on the local authorities to be more tolerant of whistle-blowers who share information without malicious intent.

    Even if people believed the “rumors,” the court said, the public would only have taken precautions that “better prevent and control the novel pneumonia.”
    Scientists are racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

    Scientists are working quickly to develop a vaccine capable of stopping the new coronavirus.

    Government scientists in China, the United States and Australia, as well as those working at Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Therapeutics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals are all engaged.

    The hunt began Jan. 10, when Chinese scientists posted the genetic makeup of the virus on a public database. The next morning, researchers at the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center in Maryland went to work. Within hours, they had pinpointed the parts of the genetic code that could be used to make a vaccine.

    Historically, vaccines have been one of the greatest public health tools to prevent disease. But even as technology, genomics and global coordination have all improved, allowing researchers to move at top speed, vaccine development remains an expensive and risky process.
    Coronavirus forces some U.S. businesses operating in China to adapt.

    As the death toll from the mysterious coronavirus in China keeps rising, economic analysts have counseled caution. They say it’s too soon to sound the alarm about the impact on the world economy.

    And yet, some American companies with a big presence in China are being forced to adapt. Starbucks, for example, announced on Tuesday that it was temporarily closing half of its stores there.

    “The magnitude of the impact will depend on the duration of store closures as we work with local authorities to manage the situation and protect our partners and customers,” Pat Grismer, its chief financial officer, said during an earnings call.

    Starbucks isn’t alone. Also shuttering shops were McDonald’s and Yum China, the country’s largest restaurant company, which operates the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands in China and also controls its own brands.

    China’s travel restrictions and expanding screenings at airports around the world have also hurt business. American Airlines stock fell more than 5 percent on Tuesday.

    Hotels and resorts with properties in the affected areas, which include Macau, a special administrative region and gambling mecca, also saw the value of their shares sink. They include Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts International.

    Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton, which have several properties in China, also saw their stock prices slide.

    Other brands that are popular in China, like Estee Lauder, Nike and Tapestry, which sells Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, are likely to see a dent in earnings, bank analysts said.

    China is the world’s second largest economy.

    Reporting was contributed by Chris Buckley, Russell Goldman, Elaine Yu, Raymond Zhong, Austin Ramzy, Alexandra Stevenson, Sui-Li Wee, Miriam Jordan, Paul Mozur, Knvul Sheikh, Katie Thomas, James Gorman, Motoko Rich, Ben Dooley, Makiko Inoue, Eimi Yamamitsu and Patricia Cohen. Zoe Mou, Albee Zhang, Amber Wang, Yiwei Wang and Claire Fu contributed research.

  20. Ya’ gotta love this forum. In ~20 comments plus opening post we have we have:

    • Seasoning cast iron cookware
    • WuFlu spread
    • Fonts vs politics
    • Cursive writing
    • Problems with FireFox memory
    • Pork / beef quality and prices
    • Church DVD archives

    The term “eclectic” comes to mind. I don’t post often but I read daily. I know I can get a sound answer to any question I care to pose on this site.

  21. This headline might contain the biggest understatement of the week…

    Has coronavirus reached AFRICA? Sudan and Equatorial Guinea quarantine six patients with symptoms of the killer SARS-like infection

    Both patients – citizens of Sudan – returned from the Chinese city of Wuhan
    The unidentified man and woman are currently being monitored by doctors
    Leading scientists fear the virus could be difficult to contain if it gets to Africa

    n

  22. Cursive – my 2nd grader in a private Lutheran school is learning cursive. Her handwriting is beautiful and she loves it. Her public school friends aren’t offered the opportunity to learn it.

    Her school is closing, to my deep but unsurprised regret. I’ve been updating my schools spreadsheet. Cursive is offered at two of the other private schools in 4th grade. Why so late? Dunno. Not offered at any of the schools I spoke with that are under the public school umbrella (charters, alternatives).

    Alaska. We are all just pleased as punch to have KungFlu zip through our fair city. And we can completely trust the skill and infallible efforts of our protectors to keep us all safe and uninflected. I’m sure it will al be absolutely fine.
    /sarc

    We are minimizing our outings. We’ve already been hunkered down for cold season so not a big deal. I’ll make a run at low traffic time to bulk the pantry up a bit more. Not necessary but I’ll feel better.

  23. From @nick yesterday:

    Totally applicable for today’s times, “THE JAKARTA PANDEMIC: A Modern Thriller (Alex Fletcher)”
    https://www.amazon.com/JAKARTA-PANDEMIC-Modern-Thriller-Fletcher/dp/1796209864/?tag=ttgnet-20

    “Alex Fletcher, Iraq War veteran, has read the signs for years. With his family and home prepared to endure an extended period of seclusion, Alex thinks he’s ready for the pandemic. He’s not even close.”

    @lynn, is the Jakarta one where he and his daughter are safe, with a hidden access in the garage, but then they blow it?

    He’s got a fast satellite internet connection that mysteriously stays up?

    When he has trouble with the locals there is a very unlikely connection from his past that saves his a$$?

    ‘cuz that one p!ssed me off so bad I never read the follow on books.

    I think that was the second book in the series.

    I liked the first book because he had planned so much for a pandemic and then watched his plans all fall down. From the infected people moving into the abandoned house next door to the neighborhood watch meeting with his infected neighbors.

  24. Schools here are closed until Monday. Not for Kungflu but for other illnesses. Absenteeism at a couple of other schools in the district is running at 30%.

    AT&T is coming to the church next Wednesday to replace our copper phone lines with fiber. Apparently the fiber runs to the modem, then the phone lines out of the modem to the PBX. Those lines being regular copper pairs. AT&T says there is no need to change our current phones or PBX. AT&T is also dropping the rate per each additional line from $40 a month to $30 a month including unlimited long distance. If the church does not comply the rate for each line jumps to $117 a month. Since it is a not cost upgrade to fiber I see no issues.

    I learned cursive in school, somewhere around the second or third grade. I can still read cursive and (ahem) write cursive. I took drafting my freshman and sophomore year in high school which required learning how to print. I have basically been printing ever since, long before cursive fell out of favor. People used to remark and wonder why I printed. Probably thought I was stupid and uneducated.

    There is many things taught in school that I think are really no longer needed. The repetition of math skills because “you won’t always have a calculator”. Once the basic concept is learned, move on to better challenges. I also don’t see much use for cursive. Few people actually write anymore and are using a keyboard of some kind. Sure, learn it to read, but then move on to better things.

    I would like to see more teaching of using proper words. There, Their, They’re; Sell, Sale, Sail; Then, Than; Your, You’re; Accept, Except, etc. Basic English words that should be used properly. I see so many posts, and actual papers from college seniors, that show a complete misunderstanding of the proper word to use in a sentence.

    I would also like to see more emphasis on estimating. The detailed math can be left to a calculator that is available on every phone. Learning that a couple of numbers multiplied should be within a reasonable range. Say 233×801 should yield something about 170,000 and less than 200,000 is nice to know. If some wacky number around 16,000 is generated a person should know it is wrong.

    Basic life skills for managing money. People should understand that they don’t have enough money to buy something for $18.95 with 9.75% tax for $20.00. Estimating would help as would basic math skills. Such skills largely not being taught.

    But that is just me. Others will disagree and make compelling arguments why I am wrong.


  25. Basic life skills for managing money. People should understand that they don’t have enough money to buy something for $18.95 with 9.75% tax for $20.00. Estimating would help as would basic math skills. Such skills largely not being taught.

    I have always been amused by those that can’t figure a tip. Doesn’t matter 10%, 15%, 18% or 20%. anyone should be able to do it in their head. Round up on good service, down on poor (or just leave a nickle).

  26. AT&T is also dropping the rate per each additional line from $40 a month to $30 a month including unlimited long distance. If the church does not comply the rate for each line jumps to $117 a month. Since it is a not cost upgrade to fiber I see no issues.

    The fiber-modem-copper combination will have a UPS and lose service during an extended power outage. This may or may not be a problem since your PBX won’t have power, but it is one of the primary disadvantages.

    I’ve also heard mixed things about fax machines on such an arrangement.

    I pay $55 a month for copper at my house with a $.10/min long distance plan.

  27. Basic life skills for managing money. People should understand that they don’t have enough money to buy something for $18.95 with 9.75% tax for $20.00. Estimating would help as would basic math skills. Such skills largely not being taught.

    The skills don’t get taught because local and state governments don’t want people thinking too much about why they’re paying 9.75% once they realize what it means in less abstract terms.

    I noticed Newegg started collecting sales tax. A $54 CPU is $70 after UPS shipping and TX sales taxes. They gotta be kidding.

  28. I think cursive is a good way to develop motor skills (I still use cursive for note taking mostly). I also had *shop* in JH and learned drafting/letter printing. Typing in HS was one of my best classes. I remember laughing at peers in the Army when computers took off. Two finger pecking. LOL!


  29. may or may not be a problem since your PBX won’t have power

    Our PBX is on a UPS to maintain power. Enough to sustain almost an hour of power for the PBX. There are a couple of other items on UPS such as the data modem and the security system.

    I’ve also heard mixed things about fax machines on such an arrangement.

    I want to completely eliminate the fax number. Fax is used very little being replaced by email and scanned documents. The networked printer/copier has the capability to email (as well as fax) scanned documents. Faxing is a dead horse as far as I am concerned. I have to go before the trustees to get permission to remove the fax line. A couple of those folks still get confused by cassette players with VCR’s being a complete mystery.

    governments don’t want people thinking too much about why they’re paying 9.75%

    My biggest complaint with the sales tax in TN is that groceries are also charged sales tax. A slightly reduced rate but still taxed. That is a burden on the poor. They spend as much on groceries as I do but are charged a higher percentage of their income to accommodate those taxes. Taxes on food should be eliminated entirely.

    It is also odd that those that use the state issued debit cards are still charged tax. Thus the state is spending their money, which gets taxed, such tax being returned to the government. The rationale is so those using the state issued debit cards will not stand out as not having paid the tax. Lots of paperwork to simply move money from one state bucket to another state bucket.

    I noticed Newegg started collecting sales tax.

    All the big online merchants are doing so. One of my favorites, B&H Photo, now charges state sales tax. My next camera and lens purchase will now cost me an additional $700.00 in sales tax. This was largely because of the state of South Dakota suing Wayfair, one of the big online merchants that sells furniture and household goods.

    The idea of sales tax is to support the infrastructure of the state enjoyed by residents. Basically paying for the privilege of living in the state. If a company has no presence in the state, cannot use the infrastructure of the state, then why should a company pay for something they can never use? The states are just being greedy under the cloak of helping local merchants and leveling the playing field.

    I have no issue with paying a rental car sales tax that is almost the cost of the rental when I fly into an airport. That tax is meant to fund improvements to the airport which places the burden on the users of the facility. What I have a problem with when I rent locally is being charged the same fee for the airport. I am being penalized to support a facility I am not using.

  30. Cursive is ok. I print faster. Actually, I mix the two a bit. Some cursive letters make no sense to me. A giant #2 for Q? A funny looking O for A? The big loopy P? And T?
    So, P and then aul cursive.

    Typing in HS was a fun class. I think I hit all of 32 wpm but I didn’t fill the machine with eraser dust either. What’s the point of 70 wpm and then spending time to correct typos?
    The Royals were ok but I liked the Underwoods better. Manual.

  31. “Steven Sinofsky explains how the launch of the iPad stunned the Windows team and led to more failed Windows projects”

    Cough … WinRT … cough.

    More important than the iPad itself was the introduction of iOS 4 which supported Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) and, later, C++11 support in the development tools. Without manual management of the release/retain/autorelease in Cocoa, GUI applications for the iPad became much simpler to write than those for the Windows Tablets, and the business logic model objects ported easily between operating systems.

    Ironically, Apple ended up not being happy with the ease of moving model objects written in C++ between the various mobile platforms, hence the introduction of Swift IMHO to force a choice between platforms.

    C++11 still works really well on iOS, however. I believe it is Apple’s “secret sauce” for performance in their internally-developed apps.

  32. I’m not a big fan of canned chili. I make better. But for Frito Pie and Chili Dogs, canned is the way to go. Wolf Brand.

    I made a lazy supper a couple of weeks ago. Beef Stew. I mixed a can of Dinty Moore and a can of HEB’s option. Hill Country Fare, I think. The Best By dates had the same fonts and colors. The ridges on the cans, etc. all the same.
    Dinty Moore has a pull top. 30 or 40¢ more a can. Not a fan of pull tops but if the product is actually better, ok.

    Well, they come from the same pot in the factory. Flavor and smell identical. The HEB label had a bit more gravy and a couple of chunks less of meat and potatoes. Both about the same for carrots.

    I know it varies, I’ve had cans of Dinty Moore where I fed a third to the dogs. I don’t like carrots.

    I’m stocking the HEB brand. It’s not the price difference, it’s for the lack of a pull top.

  33. I took typing for a semester my senior year of high school because I thought it would be an easy A compared to the ‘real’ classes I was / had taken (Physics, Calculus, etc). Plus the COBOL (I think, could be wrong) class was full and sounded like a lot of work.

    Hah! Pulled down my GPA with that class – C or something equally unacceptable. Ironically it led me to have the requisite skills for a swing shift data entry job a few years later. And that directly kicked off a mostly satisfying 25+ career in IT.

    Who would have predicted that? Not 17 year old me, certainly.

  34. My son learned cursive in third grade. He goes to a public school l, thigh well did move to make sure he would be in the best schools.

    His printed handwriting is atrocious. Mine is bad, but he takes it to another level. His cursive is definitely better than his printing.

  35. I’m stocking the HEB brand. It’s not the price difference, it’s for the lack of a pull top.

    RBT did not like pull top cans for long term storage for possible failure on that cut line. Me too. Sounds like you too.


  36. In uncertain times, having food and stuff stacked is very comforting.

    Actually, at any time.

    It’s not that you must have six+ months of food in the pantry. It’s the whole “three days to payday and all I got is a can of potted meat and half a loaf of bread just at the edge of growing (hopefully) penicillin” thing.

    For me, anyway.

  37. We are in the final stages of moving to the new used house. T minus one week and counting. I have packed 15 boxes so far of my books (about halfway on that). I expect to move 150 boxes of precious stuff. I have already moved a lot of clothing and “stuff”.

    Then we get to have the old house repainted and recarpeted. Lovely, more money to spend.


  38. RBT did not like pull top cans for long term storage. Me too.

    It does seem it will be a weak spot. But the only pull top cans I have had leak are all canned fruit. Usually at the side seam. The pull top was just fine.
    [shrug]


  39. Then we get to have the old house repainted and recarpeted. Lovely, more money to spend.

    Ok, paint to cover up grubby hand prints around light switches and where the dog rubbed on the wall. And it will make the place smell new.

    Carpet? Maybe price it, offer that amount in cash to the buyer, and they can pick their own carpet.

    My thinking is you are not going to install the real nice carpet. Because money.

  40. Then we get to have the old house repainted and recarpeted. Lovely, more money to spend.

    Depending on how quickly houses move in the old neighborhood, you could probably get away with skipping the paint and carpet. With the latter, the buyers may not like what you choose to install regardless, color or quality. At least paint is cheap and easy to change if you still go that route.

    I paid $5000 to install 1800 sq ft of cr*p carpet, the PBT made from recycled soda bottles, which has zero crush resistance. It was all I could afford after we arrived from Vantucky with just enough savings for the house down payment, and that was five years ago next month.

    CSC Floors did the carpet. They’re bottom feeders, primarily for “make ready” situations (foreclosures getting resold by a bank) and remodels on the cheap, but the local reps were up front about what they sold. We actually had them back for a bathroom floor which other places wouldn’t touch because it was too small and, again, we were being cheap.

    No problems with the installs on either job — just don’t ask about the immigration status of the labor … or their kid helpers. In Florida, we had Bob’s Carpet Mart in to do our house bought in 2000, and I *swear* a chip bag was left underneath our living room carpet, right in the middle, and “Bob” didn’t want to pay for a crew to pull up the floor, remove the bag and restretch the carpet into place.

    If we stay in the house after my daughter graduates high school, we’ll have the upstairs carpet replaced with Anso, and the downstairs carpet swapped out with one of the high end faux wood products. Given the property tax rate increases as of late, however, that is a very big *if*. Texas has always been a compromise.

  41. Then we get to have the old house repainted and recarpeted. Lovely, more money to spend.

    Ok, paint to cover up grubby hand prints around light switches and where the dog rubbed on the wall. And it will make the place smell new.

    Carpet? Maybe price it, offer that amount in cash to the buyer, and they can pick their own carpet.

    My thinking is you are not going to install the real nice carpet. Because money.

    And to replace the ceiling in the game room from the 17 inch rain with the 20 ? 30 ? gallons of water dumped through there last May. The inside and outside repaint will be $10K to $12K.

    The carpet is about 800 ft2 out of a 3,400 ft2 house. The carpet is 17 years old and serious traffic wear patterns and dogs. The cost will be about $4K.

    Do not show a $450K house with stained carpet. People want move in ready. They do not want to do anything.

    The real question is the 500 ft2 back patio and pool decking. The previous owner put down non-slip coating. There are traffic wear patterns down to the bare concrete. I may have to replace that also.

  42. “Gary Gates defeats Eliz Markowitz in Texas House District 28 runoff in Fort Bend Co.”
    https://www.khou.com/article/news/local/all-eyes-on-nationally-watched-texas-house-runoff-race-in-fort-bend-county/285-72303db3-9adc-4494-ba2d-ccdb9123a86a

    This is big, real big. 58 to 42 runoff for the Repuglican over the dumbocrat in our county which voted 51% for Hillary in the 2016 election. Maybe people are waking up. Of course, it is the west side of the county whch gets more conservative as the distance grows from Houston on the east side. Kind of like Houston is a cancer.

    Bozo O’Rourke spent three weeks here campaigning for the dumbocrat. Even Doomberg showed up and knocked on doors for the dumbocrat.

  43. The executor of moms estate has slapped a crap ton of lipstick on the proverbial pig at the advice of our childhood friend / next door neighbor / current realtor. The oldest sister (lifetime friend with executor and realtor) are all delighted with the Tammy Faye makeup job taking place. It’s taken months as it’s one of California’s regions sent to crispy bits by fire in 2017 and 2019.

    My thoughts have been violently rejected and I’m not interested in fighting. The house is a 50 year old run down 1,100 sf cracker box surrounded by million dollar homes. It’s real value is that it sits on 1/4 acre instead of 5,000 sf.

    It’ll get bought as a tear down and the money and time wasted at best.

  44. No problems with the installs on either job — just don’t ask about the immigration status of the labor … or their kid helpers.

    Don’t ask about the immigration status of any of the construction workers or installers today. Or the legality of their vehicles. Or if they have insurance.

    I paid $5000 to install 1800 sq ft of cr*p carpet, the PBT made from recycled soda bottles, which has zero crush resistance.

    I paid $13,000 for 2,500 ft2 of Stainmaster top level multicolored carpet with a 3/4 inch Smart (whatever that is) pet friendly (pee, poop, vomit) pad in the new used house. I have told the wife that I was not happy with all that carpet and she told me to suck it up. And I have learned the hard way that saying “I told you so” is very bad for a marriage. It is pretty and nice cushy carpet to walk on though.

  45. My thoughts have been violently rejected and I’m not interested in fighting. The house is a 50 year old run down 1,100 sf cracker box surrounded by million dollar homes. It’s real value is that it sits on 1/4 acre instead of 5,000 sf.

    I have been continually amazed at the “Flip or Flop” tv show. They take old houses exactly like this and put lipstick all over them. Usually new pipes and new electric wiring too. And sell them for $500K to $1,000K. But it is still a very small house !
    https://www.hgtv.com/shows/flip-or-flop

  46. This is big, real big. 58 to 42 runoff for the Repuglican over the dumbocrat in our county which voted 51% for Hillary in the 2016 election. Maybe people are waking up. Of course, it is the west side of the county whch gets more conservative as the distance grows from Houston on the east side. Kind of like Houston is a cancer.

    So those are tumors underneath the lumpy roads going between the main Phoenicia store and I-10?

    I recently saw an article about a would-be Wise Latina Dem challenger to Cornyn, but the article stated that the woman’s biggest challenge was MJ Hegar already being the de facto candidate according to the party leadership, inheriting Robert Francis rolodex and CA money people.

    Our walking stiff incumbent Congressman showed how to beat Hegar and her single themed “Girls Stick Together” campaign, but, based on what happened in the last Legislative session and the ongoing Prog challenges from the city governments in Austin and San Antonio, the Republican leadership in Texas has a serious case of rectal-cranial insertion and probably won’t get the necessary wake up call before November. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cornyn goes down, endangering the top of the ticket.

    After that, who knows. Governor Ron Nirenberg? Go back 30 years in CA and would anyone have bet on a return of Jerry Brown to office?

  47. Depending on how quickly houses move in the old neighborhood, you could probably get away with skipping the paint and carpet. With the latter, the buyers may not like what you choose to install regardless, color or quality. At least paint is cheap and easy to change if you still go that route.

    House sales are slow in my neighborhood right now. I expect to put our house on the market around March 1, just as the families with school kids are getting serious about moving. The elementary school is behind our house which may be a plus. 4 bed / 4 bath / 2 car garage plus 10 ft extension / study / game room. 30,000 gal pool with 8 seat spa and waterfall on 1/3 acre. 3,400 ft2 ft at $135/ft2 is my desired sales price.

  48. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cornyn goes down, endangering the top of the ticket.

    Not as long as Trump is at the top of the ticket.

    Cornyn needs to get about ten of his fellow senators and meet with Romny in the well of the Senate after the cameras are turned off. With baseball bats.


  49. Depending on how quickly houses move in the old neighborhood, you could probably get away with skipping the paint and carpet.

    Go with the cheapest white paint you can get and hire a small crew. They’ll paint the whole inside in a weekend.

    Paint was a big draw on the sale of our Las Vegas house. I’d negotiate the carpet. Whatever you put in they’ll hate.

  50. I recently saw an article about a would-be Wise Latina Dem challenger to Cornyn, but the article stated that the woman’s biggest challenge was MJ Hegar already being the de facto candidate according to the party leadership, inheriting Robert Francis rolodex and CA money people.

    Super Tuesday primary voting is March 3, 2020 this year. So, if this MJ Hegar person does not have her ducks lined up now, she is already toast. I have not seen a commercial for her.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Tuesday
    and
    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Democrat-MJ-Hegar-raises-another-1-1M-leading-15010367.php
    and
    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Sen-John-Cornyn-raises-2-75M-and-now-has-12M-15014298.php

  51. @lynn
    Median home price is in the neighborhood of $500k
    Without the lipstick it could have sold to a hardworking middle class family for $450k probably.

    They’ve poured I don’t know how many $$$ in and are listing it for $680k.

    I don’t feel good about that.

  52. Super Tuesday primary voting is March 3, 2020 this year. So, if this MJ Hegar person does not have her ducks lined up now, she is already toast. I have not seen a commercial for her.

    Hegar inherited Robert Francis’ money people, and the campaign has been busy shooting commercial footage. Bits and pieces of this will be sliced up for 30 second spots, emphasizing/de-emphasizing the tattoos depending on the market.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xvfWx1Mj00

    Got that Robert Francis faux Hispanic thing going.

    In 2018, the famed “Doors” spots didn’t hit until June, part of a carefully orchestrated media push with CNN. Most of the ads were pretty slick until Hegar, losing in the polls by double digits, got desperate and started airing spots about her mother’s ‘abusive’ marriage *which ended when Hegar was 7 years old*.

  53. Given Lynn’s market, his house needs to be spotless and look new inside to sell, even if the quality is low.

    Jenny, I think you are correct, it’s a tear down and all the time and money is wasted. I see that around here, just a couple miles south. The kids fix up the house, because they want their parents to be well presented, and they’ve been thinking about what THEY wanted to do to the house. Developer scrapes the pad clean and sends all the new appliances and granite to Habitat or sells them on craigslist. If the houses around are double, and all new, then that’s where every house is headed.

    If a private party is doing it, they might buy the upgrade and live in it while getting their plans together for the new house. I’ve seen that too, especially in neighborhoods where the approval process takes a long time and is difficult. But yeah, if the neighborhood makes it a teardown, it’s a teardown.

    n

  54. I was taught excellent handwriting and was proud of my cursive skills. Until two years of filling in coding sheets (cobol) for the key punch girls, completely ruined me. Now I have to struggle with cursive and am blazing fast at block printing.
    Our great granddaughters school recently reintroduced cursive into the second grade curriculum.

  55. I sold our house as-is 3 weeks ago. I debated investing thousands into bathroom and flooring upgrades but settled for simply painting the exterior. The house was on the market for 6 days and I took the first asking price offer. Location was obviously a factor, we lived in a great neighborhood with parks and lakes and in the most coveted school district in the area. We close next week and I will use the proceeds to pay off my only car loan making us debt free.

  56. Tesla might just make it, especially with the new Shanghai and Berlin factories coming on line.

    Q4 2019 saw a rush to get the last of the tax credits. I’m not sure about the process involved, but, evidently, Trump “lined out” the EV tax credit extension, heavily lobbied by Tesla, in the budget deal he signed New Years Eve.

  57. I sold our house as-is 3 weeks ago. I debated investing thousands into bathroom and flooring upgrades but settled for simply painting the exterior. The house was on the market for 6 days and I took the first asking price offer. Location was obviously a factor, we lived in a great neighborhood with parks and lakes and in the most coveted school district in the area. We close next week and I will use the proceeds to pay off my only car loan making us debt free.

    Congratulations ! Especially since the old house is so far away from your new house.

    And going debt free is awesome. I’ve got our debt back up in the stratosphere again. As long as I have a job, we are ok. 95% of our debt is for our real estate and is less than half of the current value of the properties. Maybe I will have it all paid off by 2030.

  58. One target of retirement was to begin this new phase debt free. At retirement I had access to extra resources, bonuses and vacation time payments, and paid off everything. I decided that in an uncertain world I’d rather be debt free than have a little extra cash in the bank. Inflation or SHTF events can destroy our bank account or make them unavailable. I run my ATMs as retirement income and my inventory is completely liquid. In an emergency, I have access to all the bills in my ATMs, a tidy amount.
    I signed up with the local tribal clinic this week. My GP is an endocrinologist, great for my diabetes. He changed a few medications and I picked it all up at the tribal pharmacy in 15 minutes, completely free. I found I also get vision, hearing, and dental benefits. I may drop my Medicare supplement if they do everything I need.


  59. I may drop my Medicare supplement if they do everything I need.

    Drop Medicare part B in addition if your tribal stuff covers it all. I am covered by the VA but have uncertainty about providers. The rules are changing and based on the distance to my providers the VA may cover everything. If that is possible I will drop part B and the supplement.


  60. One target of retirement was to begin this new phase debt free

    I retired debt free. Takes a load off. When I was laid off in ‘93 I had a lot of debt. Six months with limited income, less than $600 a month with bills totaling $2,000 a month makes one’s orifices pucker. Made it through with $400.00 left in my accounts.

    After that I vowed to become debt free. Made it by 2010 and retired 2016. Great feeling. I could easily live on SS by just eliminating some extras.

  61. Drop Medicare part B in addition if your tribal stuff covers it all. I am covered by the VA but have uncertainty about providers. The rules are changing and based on the distance to my providers the VA may cover everything. If that is possible I will drop part B and the supplement.

    My Father-in-law had only his VA until he was 81. Then he had to go to the hospital ER for emergency gall bladder surgery. They revived him twice on the way there. He went on Medicare at that point and had to pay a huge back payment fee. Several tens of thousands of dollars. They fixed his heart too. And then straight into the nursing home for going on six years now.

    The VA still pays for his drugs but Medicare pays for everything else. The sheer volume of stuff being spent to keep him alive is simply amazing. All so he can lie in a bed, watch tv, and crap into a diaper.

  62. Our automated seismic site says we had an almost seven hour period earlier today with no aftershocks. That’s the longest I have noticed since the big ones last July. Spooky!


  63. He went on Medicare at that point and had to pay a huge back payment fee

    Yes, Medicare will go back and get all the premiums that should have been paid since the age at which a person would have gone on part B. Retirement age or when group insurance at work expired.

    The VA should have covered the cost at the hospital and there should have been no reason to go on Medicare part B. Also Medicare part A covers hospital at 80%, part B covers doctors. What what not covered by Part A should have been picked up by the VA and all of the part B expenses.

    Or am I missing something about the VA? Many of the requirements have changed regarding VA coverage and perhaps I am relating what is currently available, not years in the past.

  64. Drop Medicare part B in addition if your tribal stuff covers it all. I am covered by the VA but have uncertainty about providers. The rules are changing and based on the distance to my providers the VA may cover everything. If that is possible I will drop part B and the supplement.

    My wife has nearly walked out of the VA several times over issues with the doctors from The Subcontinent sticking together no matter what.

    Spending is up, but, in Austin at least, the primary care offered by the recycled Indian surgeons and other specialists, quickly run through mid-tier university GP residencies before joining the VA, often leaves much to be desired.

  65. Obuttwad Care, Medicare, Medicaid, VA, private insurance. What a fracking mess! All due to goobermint meddling.


  66. All due to goobermint meddling.

    You’d think people would learn, but no. What we need is more laws and regulations to fix the problems caused by previous laws and regulations. Then everything will be perfect!

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