Wed. Feb. 26, 2020 – spreading, spreading, spreading….

Cool and damp. [48F and very windy/gusty]

It turned into a beautiful day yesterday. Clear blue sky, hot sun, nice windy breeze…. So I was working in the driveway trying to find some ebay stuff, and getting ready for my hamfest in a couple of weekends. Found some stuff I’d misplaced, found some stuff ruined by water and moisture.

There were lots of N95 masks in one of the local surplus auctions last night. They went for more than the same mask sells for on ebay. Cheap still compared to most N95s at the moment though.

The wuflu continues to spread. Now it is confirmed to be spreading out of secondary areas to third areas by person to person contact. It also may be in Brazil. CDC says it’s just a matter of ‘when’ it gets into communities here. Japan has shifted gears into a “save you what can” mode. They will be focused on treatment and controlling spread rather than preventing outbreaks. Japan and CDC both agree that most people who get it will be isolated at home and cared for at home. Are YOU prepared to do that? For a month? Without work or going out? Better think about it.

I’ve got stuff to do and shifting priorities. Number one now is top up preps. Number two is get a bunch of stuff sold while people are still buying. Number three is get stuff sold and out of the way via hamfest. Number four is get ready for the two trips my wife has us doing in the next couple of months. I’m already pretty sure I don’t want to be at Disney for spring break in March. But part of me feels like we need to do stuff while we still can, but there are risks. We’ll see how the risk picture evolves.

I don’t like pandemic prepping. Too much is determined completely by chance and the timeline is very opaque. Give me a clean hurricane any day.

It’s past time to take this seriously folks. The chances of it ending without major effects are gone. There will be major effects.

— in other news, a “german citizen” ran a vehicle into a crowd on purpose and injured a bunch of people including kids. NO FURTHER INFO about the perp. Just “german citizen”. It’s already out of the news cycle. Wonder how LONG he’s been a citizen?

Keep stacking folks. Stack it high.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

57 thoughts on “Wed. Feb. 26, 2020 – spreading, spreading, spreading….”

  1. I bought canned chicken and canned tuna yesterday at Walmart. I eat that regularly for lunch, so it will get used. I now have enough for the 3 of us for about 3 weeks, not counting any other food. I’ll pick up more this weekend.

    Coincidentally, the wife asked me this evening what do we need to get if we have to stay home for two weeks? I told her we’d go out this weekend and stock up. We could already go for a month and a half, though it wouldn’t be gourmet. It’s good to have her involved, as she is the cook. I’ll get us up to almost 3 months, with food she can/does routinely cook, and will last a while.

    I also ordered a vacuum sealer and bags/o2 absorbers from big river.

  2. Filed taxes on Sunday evening, refund has already arrived at my bank to be deposited tomorrow. 3.5 days to get my refund. Fastest I have received a refund.


  3. 3.5 days to get my refund. Fastest I have received a refund

    That is fast. I filed mine yesterday. My refund is smallish, but it will be interesting to see if it arrives that quick. Now my AL state refund? If it arrives in less than two months I’ll be genuinely shocked.

  4. Fastest I have received a refund before was six days, filed on Sunday, money in bank on Friday. When I e-filed through TurboTax I got an email within 10 minutes that my return had been accepted by the IRS. Checking the bank today the deposit is pending for the 28th, it will go into the account tonight. Thus the transaction arrived at the bank sometime late last night or early this morning.

    I had to play games again this year due to the un-affordable care act that my wife used for insurance. I had to contribute to an IRA again to keep my share of the premiums down. Without doing so I would have owed the IRS money. Last year I will have to be doing this as wife is now on Medi-Don’t-Care. My taxable income was zero, only had $12.00 withheld this year so not much. The majority, in fact almost all, of the refund is return of the premiums that were overpaid.

    That premium stuff is a scam. One has to put in all known income, some of it a guess, to determine premiums. Guess too low and a person will get slammed with owing a lot of money and a penalty to the IRS. I can understand owing for the premium shortfall, but to slam a penalty because a guess was incorrect 13 months ago is just wrong. Change jobs for more pay, get a raise, etc. and the IRS will penalize severely those on the obuttwadcare.

  5. On the light side, sometimes the news just writes itself.

    Oregon man arrested for repeatedly buying Girl Scout cookies with counterfeit money, police say

  6. Last year we had people grab the cookie booth money box and run away (not US personally.)

    The bigger threat is the cookie mom just embezzles the money.

    n

  7. The bigger threat is the cookie mom just embezzles the money.

    The dollar amounts are way too tempting when every Girl Scout has 1000 box goals and the cookies are $4/box.

  8. I don’t like pandemic prepping. Too much is determined completely by chance and the timeline is very opaque. Give me a clean hurricane any day.

    Harvey established the asinine “gas shortage” meme. For over a year afterwards, any severe weather advisory, even during the Winter, would empty the bread and water aisles and generate lines for the gas pumps at the HEB near my house. The situation has just returned to normal.

  9. US soldier in Korea has it. So does another dependent there.

    I wish that they would put the nationality of the infected in the announcement. I am very curious to see if my son’s conspiracy theory of the wuflu is targeted to protein markers in the lungs of Asian males is true. If true then we probably do not need to prep more than normal in the USA. If false then stack them high !

    I will be burning 22 to 23 gallons of gas tomorrow returning to Texas.

    On the heavy steering, I have decided that I am a pansy and need to suck it up.

    They blew the forecast here in central Oklahoma last night and we did not get any snow. Just sleet that did not stick due to the ground warmth. Should be a nice trip home tomorrow.


  10. I will be burning 22 to 23 gallons of gas tomorrow returning to Texas.

    I’m calling Greta on you.

  11. They blew the forecast here in central Oklahoma last night and we did not get any snow. Just sleet that did not stick due to the ground warmth. Should be a nice trip home tomorrow

    If the Oklahoma DOT sprayed salt on the roads without a significant winter storm afterwards, run your truck through the wash on the way home.

  12. Lynn, the fact that your F-150 is 4WD should not be significant. The power steering should be designed to compensate for the slight additional effort. Should. I still think you should either drive another one or, better still, have a good mechanic drive yours. I did notice that some electric systems have “modes” that can vary the effort. There was a switch mentioned (this was not a Ford,) but sometimes things like this can be activated by a “sport mode.” Here is one example: “…Sport Mode optimizes your 2019 Fusion’s electric power-assisted steering while also optimizing your 2019 Fusion’s transmission so that it can select lower gears to increase your torque while also enhancing the model’s responsiveness.” Doncha just looove the words “optimizing” and “enhancing”? What do these mean?? Owners manual? Have fun.

    MrAtoz, your 300ZX is certainly not unique. Practically all cars with hydraulic PS have a small valve and orifice to shunt flow back to the reservoir and reduce pressure at higher engine speeds. Besides reducing assist at highway speeds, this reduces parasitic losses and dramatically reduces the temperature of the hydraulic fluid. Many cars used small coolers, but this is only good practice, and does not replace the flow control valve.

    For the sake of completeness, I should have mentioned the nonlinear recirculating ball worm gear that GM used around the 1980s. This gave a “slow” ratio on center, but a “faster” ratio off center for quick response while making low speed maneuvers. Although this sounds good in theory, many people, myself included, did not like it. It could be hard to get used to, especially in multi car families.

  13. Ray, G4U on the prompt refund. I rarely get a refund, by design, so I have the use of the money all year. I am in no hurry to file this year as usual. Still don’t have all my paperwork, some of which doesn’t arrive until late March, or even later.

    More than refunds, I HATE filing an amended return, so I wait in an attempt to make sure there are no revisions. One year, I had a revision become available after April 15. My CPA said he would incorporate it in the following year, even though this should have triggered an amended return. He is worth his salt.

  14. If the Oklahoma DOT sprayed salt on the roads without a significant winter storm afterwards, run your truck through the wash on the way home.

    I forgot to add — Preferably one with undercarriage wash.

  15. I will be burning 22 to 23 gallons of gas tomorrow returning to Texas.

    I’m calling Greta on you.

    Shoot, I am going to report myself.

    Given her vehemence, she may have me lined up against the wall and shoot me personally.

  16. If the Oklahoma DOT sprayed salt on the roads without a significant winter storm afterwards, run your truck through the wash on the way home.

    I forgot to add — Preferably one with undercarriage wash.

    I think that Oklahoma uses good old sand on the roads for freezing weather like Texas does.


  17. I will be burning 22 to 23 gallons of gas tomorrow returning to Texas.

    May the FSM save us! Google Maps or Gas Buddy are useful on a trip, but you already knew that.

    I have wanted a service that predicts gasoline prices, and may have found one. Too little experience so far, but it seems better than others I have found. Play with this when you get home:
    fuelcaster.com

    I have the luxury of not having to buy gasoline for my PU very often. It has a 35 gallon tank, and since I drive only about 1000 miles a year, I can time when I buy. I usually try to keep it near full when prices are rising and run it down when prices are falling. It’s a trivial thing, but kinda fun. Preppers, working from large inventories, can time purchases when times are good.


  18. I rarely get a refund, by design

    I try to plan that way by carefully adjusting my withholdings. Some I cannot control. Pulling money out of my IRA with TIAA-CREF they withhold a mandatory 20%, no other options. Even though I only need 10%. This will affect my 2020 taxes.

    For 2015 through 2019 I had to use the health exchange. They estimate the amounts the individual must pay based on the stated income. Since the site is federal, they very specifically state that if a person does not properly report the income that it becomes a federal offense. I report what I think I am going to earn but there is no place to offset that by indicating contributions to IRA’s. Thus their numbers are always off for my purposes.

    she may have me lined up against the wall and shoot me personally.

    Dibbs on your truck. I will learn to live with the power steering.

  19. I have the luxury of not having to buy gasoline for my PU very often. It has a 35 gallon tank, and since I drive only about 1000 miles a year, I can time when I buy. I usually try to keep it near full when prices are rising and run it down when prices are falling. It’s a trivial thing, but kinda fun. Preppers, working from large inventories, can time purchases when times are good.

    The new f-150 has a 36 gallon tank. I drive about 15,000 miles per year so I go through quite a bit of gas. As a consumer, I love the $2.20/gal gas. As a worker in the oil and gas industry, we are having trouble making a profit.

  20. Dibbs on your truck. I will learn to live with the power steering

    Bank of America is in front of you.

  21. “Dibbs on your truck. I will learn to live with the power steering”

    Bank of America is in front of you.

    Dealer F&I weasel got BofA or did you go in with your own financing arranged?

  22. ” I will be burning 22 to 23 gallons of gas tomorrow returning to Texas.”

    I’m calling Greta on you.

    I have to return a calculator I bought from Switzerland due to some significant quality control issues, and the salesperson included wasted jet fuel as part of the guilt trip about my request for a refund.

    Seriously?

    I guess the Children of the Corn will be coming for me. I sent the package to Switzerland at lunchtime.

  23. Dealer F&I weasel got BofA or did you go in with your own financing arranged?

    I took his 5% 60 month plan for now. I may move it to a local credit union though.

  24. I love the $2.20/gal gas. As a worker in the oil and gas industry, we are having trouble making a profit.

    We were discussing Elizabeth warren here at the conference. I brought up that she wants to spend $2 million EACH to retrain us 15 million oil and gas workers for new green jobs. One of my friends popped up that he will just take the $2 million and retire. I could do that.

  25. Dealer F&I weasel got BofA or did you go in with your own financing arranged?

    I took his 5% 60 month plan for now. I may move it to a local credit union though.

    Zoinks! Yeah. Shop around when you have the time.

    I have 2.85%/60 on my Camry from the credit union where we have my wife’s paycheck deposited and keep the savings account.

    The best I could get from my own direct deposit credit union was 3.5%/60. That difference may not be worth the time/hassle, however.

    Some credit unions have in-person auto refinance events. Check the web pages of those nearest you. Maybe you’ll get a toaster for the new house along with a better rate. 🙂

  26. Will be doing a SAMS run tomorrow to top off supplies.
    Question for you experts, we have good stocks of basics but need to add eggs and milk. Any opinions about the best LTS milk & eggs (powder or substitute).
    I called my travel insurance company to ask if they covered situations related to COVID-19. The salesman said that since I purchased my coverage a week ago I was good, but anyone buying coverage this week will have policies that exclude delays, disruptions, cancellations caused by COVID-19 because now it’s a known threat. He also noted that basic coverage jumped about 30% in cost starting Monday because of expectation of losses.


  27. I’m calling Greta on you.

    She will be at Oxford University participating in practice for the coming graduation ceremony. She will be receiving a PhD in Thermodynamics and Transport Phenomena.


  28. Any opinions about the best LTS milk & eggs (powder or substitute)

    OvaEasy is reputed to be the premiere LTS egg. No opinion on any powdered milk as I assume it is all nasty except as added for cooking purpose. Yoder canned bacon is good stuff.

  29. She will be at Oxford University participating in practice for the coming graduation ceremony. She will be receiving a PhD in Thermodynamics and Transport Phenomena.

    The UK drank the Kool Aid. Sales of all internal combustion cars will end in 2040 if they stick to current plan.

    Thay may sound far away, but the models and components for that sales environment will have to start appearing in the engineering process pipeline in about a decade.

  30. I am getting mail from a couple of the credit unions. I am thinking about getting 3.04% from houston federal credit union.

    I haven’t had time to look at rates and shop around to replace the Camry, but it is on my list.

    Since I had a *non-Toyota* repair shop take care of the second round of rodent damage, the car seems to run better than it did after the dealer did the first injector harness replacement.

  31. I’m calling Greta on you.

    She will be at Oxford University participating in practice for the coming graduation ceremony. She will be receiving a PhD in Thermodynamics and Transport Phenomena.

    President AOC will be giving Greta Doomberg the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union in 2025.

  32. Wow, that is quite the list ! Everyone in the USA will become a recipient of federal largess.

    Isn’t Bernie promising an executive order to open the borders on his first day as President?

    I don’t discount the possibility of Bernie getting elected. The San Antonio talk station drive time host had someone call in the other day talking about how all of his (the caller’s) friends know Bernie is a Communist, but most of them had kids finish school in the last decade with a bunch of debt and they figure they have nothing to lose voting that way as long as Bernie will take care of their kids’ student loans.

    Everything for the snowflakes.

  33. I have to return a calculator I bought from Switzerland due to some significant quality control issues…

    QC issues with a Swiss product? Good FSM, is nothing sacred any more?

    I couldn’t resist. I remember well the time when the Swiss led the world in good watches. I still have one that is well over sixty years old and works. I wind it and watch it run about once a year. It is a no-name one that I received as a gift. Has a chrome plated brass case that is shot, but internally looks fine. I wore it for several years as a kid.

    Before anyone accuses me of failure to get rid of junk, guilty. These days, if something doesn’t take up much space, I might keep it for sentimental reasons. Heck, I might even keep a few big things. Good thing we can’t take stuff with us.

  34. I don’t have dried egg, but I stock a couple of gallons of liquid egg, frozen.

    HEB whole egg.

    https://www.heb.com/product-detail/hill-country-fare-original-real-egg/1412027

    I did get a can of powdered just in case.

    For powdered milk, Nestle Nido dry whole milk tastes like milk. Don’t get the fortified one for babies. You might have to look in a hispanic store or the hispanic foods aisle. My local asian store has it too.

    And UHT whole milk tastes like milk, slightly caramel though. It’s good on the shelf for 6 months. Check the baking aisle.

    n

  35. I went looking for some more Nido reviews here because I know I did one and not just RBT and I found this, which made me smile…

    For some reason today I’ve got the idea of a “you might be a redneck” style list for preppers, all in good fun…

    You might be taking this all too seriously if —

    – you are storing more than 25 pounds of salt
    – you have a library of books “to rebuild civilization after the collapse”
    – you count your stored food in “person-years”
    – you’ve never baked bread, but you have over 50 pounds of flour in storage
    – you’re not a Dr, but you have surgery “kits”
    – you think “Two is one and one is none” is for lightweights
    – you have more than 6 ways to cook a meal
    – you own your body weight in cast iron cookware
    – your EDC includes a backpack


    nick

    Full disclosure, MOST of these apply to me…

  36. And jeez, I was talking about this 3 years ago. The antenna is up, but not cabled, and I just installed the monitor but not the pc…

    n

    14 February 2017 at 14:57

    @greg, I’ve seen various antenna projects and pix of people decoding the imagery online, just one more thing to do I did pick up a ground plane for my UHF eggbeater antenna (16″ pizza pan) so that will get put together and installed at some point, which will open up some possibilities.

    I’ve got a tv dongle and SDR# running on my other desktop, but am not trying to decode or run any digital modes. I usually just use the waterfall to find local law enforcement to monitor.

    So many projects, so little spare time…

    n

  37. QC issues with a Swiss product? Good FSM, is nothing sacred any more?

    I’ve had other calculators from the same small company without incident, but they definitely have a DIY feel in common across everything they sell.

    My latest purchase was way too DIY. I don’t have the time to do repairs myself on a new item.

  38. And jeez, I was talking about this 3 years ago. The antenna is up, but not cabled, and I just installed the monitor but not the pc…

    SDR with the Realtek TV dongle?

    ADS-B “Out” data is the most interesting application available with minimal effort. If you want a demonstration for a science class, the ability to track airplanes with $30 of hardware and a Linux machine grabs everyone’s attention, but kids *really* get it.

    I played with dump1090 extensively for my rejected Masters thesis proposal. I ran the program on a Raspberry Pi 2 as a proof of concept for my idea for authentication of the data stream on the allocated bandwidth.


  39. @harold, did you find the name of your travel insurance policy? I need to do that before they stop writing…

    My policy is with RoamRight. I spoke with the agent today asking him about coverage of COVD-19 issues. He said that because I got the policy last week, before the company declared CIVID-19 a risk, I was covered. If I bought the same policy today COVID-19 wouldn’t be covered. Timing is everything.

  40. regarding powdered milk, here is the commanderzero post that kicked off the Nido thing…

    I grew up on Sanalac and used it through college, but the product has mostly disappeared over the last 20 years. At least, the form I knew it — a 10 pack of envelopes each making a quart — has disappeared since the parent company was absorbed into ConAgra.

    I haven’t tried the powder in the 32 oz can currently carrying the brand name.

  41. Powdered milk. Ugh.

    As a child, the only milk I ever had at home was powdered milk. Mom always bought the Kroger’s brand. I didn’t think anything of it. Drank it, used it in cereal,etc. Of course, I had real milk at school and elsewhere. I’ve never asked her why she only bought powdered milk, I guess I should rectify that.

    Actually, now that I think about it, she didn’t start buying real milk until I moved out and went to college.

  42. That’s weird.

    And I remember having real milk in school. My kids get one choice now, 1% milk. Tastes like water and about 2/3 of the kids just throw it away. I hate the waste but there isn’t really anything you can do with chalk water.

    n


  43. If I bought the same policy today COVID-19 wouldn’t be covered

    Insurance companies will figure out a way to not cover COVID-19. Terrorism, etc. The companies are not in business to lose money.

    Tax refund is now deposited, three night, 3.5 days.

    My pension from National Bancshares, where I worked for six years, has been transferred multiple times. Bought by other organizations, absorbed, whatever. Wound up at Bank of America which shocked me when they contacted me about what to do with my pension. Having never worked for them it was confusing.

    That morphed into Fidelity having the funds and disbursing the money. Today I discovered that it is now MetLife that is controlling the funds. Must be a lot of money to be made in administering pension funds. Probably gambling the pensioners will die before disbursing too much money.

  44. I’m looking at a listing on ebay for surgical masks, the ones that keep your spit in, but don’t really filter much out.

    box of 500

    Jan 27– $53-65
    Jan 28–$65
    Jan 29–$60-99
    Jan30–$99-110
    Jan31–$110
    Feb01–$1500
    Feb02–$1600
    Feb04–$2300
    until present, couple sales a week, averaging $2200 per box.

    HOLY CR@P, and his listing says “more than 10” available. Guy is raking it in.

    n

  45. My wife has an office mate going to Japan tomorrow for work. The office pretty much decided she will be working from home for a couple of weeks upon her return.

    She has another coworker that was scheduled to go to Spain. he’s probably canceling.

    It can be here in a day, or a week, or next month, but that is just one little company and there isn’t any way in hell it won’t find its way here.

    n

  46. Seems to me milk or milk products were subsidized by the Gubmint way back when, with Uncle Sam buying excess and doling it out to food stamp recipients as powdered milk or cheese.

    That would be why I remember powdered milk (Foremost, with a ‘kiss of cream’) being cheaper than fresh.

    Now it’s the reverse. I also seem to remember a method of mixing the powder so it didn’t taste so bad, but alas it’s slipped mind. Tastes better the next day, though.

  47. Milk – it was feast or famine for us. Sometimes the neighbor gave / sold us excess from their cow. Oh glorious day. Others it was the cheapest powdered mom could fine. It was ok on cereal if it was very cold.

    I don’t care to drink milk as an adult. Powdered tastes not much different from whole to me. Both gross straight, necessity for coffee.

    Fresh milk though? Oh yum! I can drink that, thank you very much!

    We had access for a couple years to fresh goats milk. That was very good. Made a lot of tasty cheeses. And my daughter never drank formula though fresh goat or powdered goat were part of her early diet.

  48. My wife has an office mate going to Japan tomorrow for work. The office pretty much decided she will be working from home for a couple of weeks upon her return.

    You know, there is no guarantee that there will be planes coming back to the USA. I would find some way to work through the intertubes.

  49. I remember “Goobermint Cheese” was available in the 60’s in my small home town. Back when margarine was illegal in Wisconsin.

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