Sat. Feb. 29, 2020 – Happy Birthday to any leapers out there

Cool and damp, but clear.

Yesterday stayed clear and sunny all day. Got up to comfortable shirtsleeve temps by late afternoon.

Had my truck break down during my errands yesterday. Glad I have a backup. NOT an expense or uncertainty that I want at this time. But it is what it is.

One thing I noticed today, it’s much more fun to prep for a zombie apocalypse when one isn’t happening around you. The fact that I’ve spent more than $2000 in the last week also tells me I’ve not been keeping up with where I needed to be, or been aggressive enough getting back after the rat incidents. Of course my timeline and the threat are different than my main threat. Still, I’ve had to pay full price for items I should have been able to get for less.

Some of the items are only on my “it’s coming right for us” list and wouldn’t be part of my normal prepping. 20-40 pounds of potatoes springs to mind. We just don’t eat them normally, but my “last trip to the store” list has always had potatoes and onions on it because they are cheap and last a long time. They are easy to cook and versatile. But I wouldn’t stock them in bulk. I’ll buy more if the situation warrants a real “last trip”.

Lots to do today, and sportsball tournament with the little one on top of that. I better get started.

Please see the front page of DailyMail for about 7 relevant articles about presumed community spread in Oregon, and Cali, and other developments. People are waking up to the real risk. Flip the switch in your brain- we’re in a different world and you need to align your thinking with reality. Don’t do anything life altering yet, but get prepped. If you might need it, I’ve already proved to myself that you can’t wait even two days, and one day will have you skinning by… we’re far from the only people thinking the thoughts, and many of them are acting on them.

Keep stacking. There is time left for the most critical items, food, water, defense, comfort, medical support. It’s running out rapidly though.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

48 thoughts on “Sat. Feb. 29, 2020 – Happy Birthday to any leapers out there”

  1. More in WA State, but fortunately in places where the healthcare system isn’t a trainwreck. Everett is where Boeing builds their big planes — 747, 777, and 787.

    https://www.columbian.com/news/2020/feb/28/two-new-coronavirus-cases-in-washington/

    We get calls all the time trying to get my wife to go to the trainwreck regions. The most aggressive recruiters, the ones who tell me that we used the wrong approach with regard to the Northwest last time, work out of an office in … Fort Lauderdale! I also recently had a long conversation with a woman whose office was in Buckhead (Atlanta).


  2. VMS became modern Windows. Dave Cutler saw what was coming at DEC and went to Microsoft in the early 90s IIRC.

    I had a friend who followed Dave’s career, and who told me that story. All I can say is that as an occasional user I struggled with VMS, mostly because of the constant changes and updates. I used NT, and it was like all other versions of Windows I have ever used (up to and including 2000): needed some tweaking at setup, and then ran consistently for ever after. After Win 2k, Windows seems to have joined the change-of-the-month club, like just about everything else. Jerry said it well: software never wears out. He also said that he hoped for software (OSes and applications) that, once debugged, never changed again. I wonder if, someday, people will seek out “vintage” software for its unchanging nature. I might.

    The design of most traditional musical instruments has not changed materially over the centuries, and it seems to work for musicians. Hmm, I will have to ask a friend who is both a musician and a programmer. Might make for interesting conversation.

  3. He also said that he hoped for software (OSes and applications) that, once debugged, never changed again.

    I’ve seen a lot of Unix/Motif and VB6 applications still hanging around in Corporate America, but I think those are the closest you’ll come to that standard. I used to believe that Python apps would be similarly long-lived but the 2->3 transition breaks too much.

  4. After Win 2k, Windows seems to have joined the change-of-the-month club, like just about everything else.

    Microsoft has decided to chase ad revenue and “the cloud”, just like all of the other tech companies. There isn’t any growth in providing a stable OS and the office suite “killer app” which mandated a copy on every desktop/laptop in Corporate Amercia.


  5. Microsoft has decided to chase ad revenue and “the cloud”, just like all of the other tech companies. There isn’t any growth in providing a stable OS and the office suite “killer app” which mandated a copy on every desktop/laptop in Corporate Amercia.

    I agree, sadly. No one seems to remember the “Personal” in PC.

  6. I agree, sadly. No one seems to remember the “Personal” in PC.

    Microsoft forgot that pr0n was the real “killer app” for personal computing devices and ceded the phone space to Google and Apple after ruining Nokia and, before that, Danger.

    People now watch their pr0n on their phones.

  7. Last laugh, some of that DEC hardware was still doing productive work years later. Until DEC folded. Everything comes to an end.

    VMS became modern Windows. Dave Cutler saw what was coming at DEC and went to Microsoft in the early 90s IIRC.

    Not quite but very close. It is amazing how alike that they look underneath though. Again, “Showstopper” is highly recommended just for the scenes of the MS programmers crawling through upper wire space above the suspended ceilings to interrupt the nightly Windows NT built on the 100+ machines and throw their latest code into the build. They usually managed to kill the build after the multiple source code managers had gone through heaven and hell trying to merge their changes in during the workday.
    https://www.amazon.com/Show-Stopper-Breakneck-Generation-Microsoft/dp/0029356717/

  8. Danger. Just looked it up. Don’t think I was aware of it at the time. Interesting story and products.

    I DO remember several PDAs about that time, but never wanted one because the ones I saw in others’ hands seemed too limited. Don’t think I was any worse for waiting.

  9. https://www.foxnews.com/us/person-dies-from-coronavirus-in-washington-state-first-in-the-us-health-officials-say

    not good news.

    Home from sportsball, we lost.

    Went out foraging. Got the dog food and kitty litter, but the pool store closed. I’ll hit that later. Same for costco baby wipes, just not going there on the weekend.

    I’m lowering prices on my ebay listing. Time to grab as much cash and move as much crap as quickly as possible before people stop buying. I think I’ll try another local auction too for a bunch of stuff. Move it out.

    n

  10. Happy Birthday to any leapers out there

    I didn’t catch this at first. There is such a thing as “Leaper” fandom, hardcore “Quantum Leap” fans.

  11. Took my 10 yo to my secondary space and showed her all the preps. She’s my back up for that as my wife would break out in hives at all the jumble of stuff crammed in. Brought a bunch of stuff home. There are people who might have noticed and have access, so not leaving masks out where they can be seen. Hid some, brought some home.

    n

  12. Danger. Just looked it up. Don’t think I was aware of it at the time. Interesting story and products.

    I DO remember several PDAs about that time, but never wanted one because the ones I saw in others’ hands seemed too limited. Don’t think I was any worse for waiting.

    I carried some iteration of the Sidekick for about eight years right up until Microsoft pulled the plug on the servers. AOL IM was rock solid on the Danger platform, as reliable as SMS, possibly more so, and voice call quality was excellent.

    The end of Danger came when Microsoft gave it to Roz Ho to run. She ran everything she touched at Redmond into the ground, but she delivered good schtick at conferences.

  13. I opened a can of Keystone Ground Beef last night to add to a can of spaghetti sauce. Good stuff. It tastes just like their beef but ground. I was somewhat not looking forward to find it tasted like my Mom’s browned off hamburger which was always well-done and slightly scorched.

    Now to think of what to make with the remaining 3/4 of a can. Other than eating it from the can.


  14. The end of Danger came when Microsoft gave it to Roz Ho to run. She ran everything she touched at Redmond into the ground, but she delivered good schtick at conferences.

    Well, with a name like that. 🙂

  15. “The end of Danger came when Microsoft gave it to Roz Ho to run. She ran everything she touched at Redmond into the ground, but she delivered good schtick at conferences.”

    Well, with a name like that.

    Sure, biology was at work. You might see her if you dig around in the old WWDC keynotes, circa mid-2000s, back when she was trashing Office for Mac. Jobs invited Ho onstage to demo the product.

  16. Went out foraging. Got the dog food and kitty litter, but the pool store closed. I’ll hit that later. Same for costco baby wipes, just not going there on the weekend.

    North Austin/Lakeline Sam’s was busy this afternoon, but no panic buying of anything that I noticed.

    We’re stocked like we used to do in Florida in May for hurricanes. Beyond that, we always have a bulk tub each of beans and rice which I made sure were topped off.

    @Paul — I noticed that they had plenty of Cream of Mushroom soup at Sam’s.

  17. Survey came as global stock markets continue to fall over fears about the virus.

    Stocks still aren’t cheap. I think Wall Street is using the virus excuse to throw a tantrum in order to get QE4.

  18. Wife and I did a Costco trip this morning. Everything we bought was stuff we normally use,we just bought a little more than usual (we filled up 2 carts instead of the usual one cart.)

    We stopped at Walmart on the way home for normal grocery shopping. Normal stock on everything and normal (for Walmart) activity.

    For the next few months, I’ll make sure the wife restocks stuff we use more frequently.


  19. @Paul — I noticed that they had plenty of Cream of Mushroom soup at Sam’s.

    I’m sure the local Walmart and HEB also have plenty. The point of ordering on-line was to skip the traffic and the crowds and the entire un-load your cart, bag it, and push it out to the car. An experiment in “just go pick it up”. I’ll know more Wednesday.

  20. We’ve used the WalMart ‘pick-up’ several times, with good results. Available when they said it would be ready. YMMV – probably some variations due to store personnel, but we’ll do it again.

    Slight tendency to order more on-line than at the store. But then we sometimes notice that we forgot things when we do it ‘manually’. So on-line could be better at getting everything we need.

    Have used the outside pharmacy pickup also; takes about the same time as walking in. But the ‘express checkout’ at the pharmacy is usually faster. Although I’ve seen some glaring from the people that are still waiting in line. Too bad.

  21. I had one job this weekend, to take care of the 32 year old daughter. The wife left last night to go to north Texas to attend her BFF’s husband’s funeral. And to visit her father for the first time in over a year in the nursing home in Lewisville.

    Instead, I have a cold, probably from one of the 100+ hands that I shook this week at the engineering conference. There were only 265 of us this year, I guess somebody had a cold. Hopefully not from China.

    So, my daughter actually feels good today so she has been taking care of herself. Like an idiot I gave her a hug before I thought twice (I have been trying to hug her more for her self esteem).

    The wife will be home Monday. The beatings will commence then.

    And I cannot find my Mucinex. The drug drawer got dumped into a box that has not been unloaded yet. So I am going to HEB in a while to get more. Hopefully I will not infect the entire population of Sugar Land / Richmond.

  22. My gen 1 ethernet over power line 85 mbps devices appear to be defective or broken after several years. All three were bought in 2012 according to Big River.
    https://www.amazon.com/Netgear-85Mbps-Powerline-Network-Adapter/dp/B001AZUTCS/?tag=ttgnet-20

    All I was getting from the ethernet over power line at my bedroom pc was 3 to 12 mbps. I have my Roku and pc hooked to it. Since my bedroom is behind the den where the cable internet router is, I decided to run a hard wire through the wall, straight to the ethernet / wifi switch in the den. Of course, I had to make two holes in the wall so I will be patching one some day.

    The wall has a void in it so it was a little tricky to get the ethernet cable through. But I did and the bedroom pc is now getting 240 / 7 mbps from http://www.fast.com . While the Roku is running.

  23. I suppose I’m an idiot of some kind.

    I ordered from HEB and Walmart. Walmart said the order would be ready on Tuesday after 6PM. Ok, pick it up Wednesday. And then I told HEB “noonish” Wednesday. Seems like a plan.

    The cream of mushroom soup arrived today, not the scheduled Monday. Nice. As usual FedEx dropped the box over the fence. It was well packaged, one can had a tiny dent. Like little fingernail size. But I ordered 10 cans. They sent 11.

    I sent an e-mail to Walmart. Boilerplate wall of text apologizing for almost everything since the Black Plague. No no no. I don’t need a refund. I don’t need my very slightly dented can replaced. I just want to know how to pay for the extra can.

    More boilerplate. And still, offering to replace or refund the dented can AND give me a $5 coupon for my next purchase.

    This is coming from a store that would have me arrested for shoplifting if I had put the can of soup in my pocket. Or not scanned it at the self checkout lane.

    How do they plan to make money with on-line? Er, not bother answering that.

  24. My gen 1 ethernet over power line 85 mbps devices appear to be defective or broken after several years.

    Yep. My first DirecTv box was a Sony. Very first thing I bought on eBay. I never turned it off…. it seemed to be just as warm off as on.

    New TV, new box for HD. A few months later I found the Sony box was actually worth something. I plugged it in and it was dead. It wasn’t dropped or anything like that. Oh well, I didn’t really need that $50.

    Another thought. I don’t know anything about your gen 1 stuff. But, X-10 stuff gets real flaky if the controller is on one leg of the in-coming 220v from the pole and your modules are on the other side. But if the clothes dryer, water heater, or oven are running, everything works great.

  25. 220 is so nice. In India, if they aren’t cooking with gas (or cow patties) everyone has an induction cooktop on 220 drawing 2500 or 3000 watts. Boils water in an instant. 1 cup in about 15 seconds, I kid you not.

    And tons of lead acid batteries and inverters for the power cuts. It’s a whole industry down there.

    Most folks have a countertop RO unit, too.

  26. WRT x10, there is a fix for that, I think it’s just a capacitor across the two legs in the main breaker box…

    Old gear gets old… caps dry out and change value very slowly. High speed switching is very hard on caps. Also, ROHS f’d up the solder, and they didn’t get the kinks worked out of that for a while, so there is a whole generation of gear growing tin whiskers and getting ready to fail (or has failed.)

    BTW it’s funny how ROHS became the defacto requirement even though the US never agreed. Def. EU hobbling the US tech industry when it happened. Should have just said FU and let them buy or not buy our stuff. Also, ROHS is different in different countries, esp. China. Very hard to get foreign gear certified to CHINA ROHS.

    Anyone notice that we now have a US death?? No comments?

    n

  27. Another thought. I don’t know anything about your gen 1 stuff. But, X-10 stuff gets real flaky if the controller is on one leg of the in-coming 220v from the pole and your modules are on the other side. But if the clothes dryer, water heater, or oven are running, everything works great.

    Yup, that would mean that the ethernet signals would need to go back to the circuit breaker box to be propagated to the other side. Lots more noise than if on the same leg of the 220V. And noise means less signal throughput.

  28. “Why Some COVID-19 Cases Are Worse than Others”
    https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/why-some-covid-19-cases-are-worse-than-others-67160

    “Like many other respiratory conditions, COVID-19—the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2—can vary widely among patients. The vast majority of confirmed cases are considered mild, involving mostly cold-like symptoms to mild pneumonia, according to the latest and largest set of data on the new coronavirus outbreak released February 17 by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.”

    “Fourteen percent of confirmed cases have been “severe,” involving serious pneumonia and shortness of breath. Another 5 percent of patients confirmed to have the disease developed respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multi-organ failure—what the agency calls “critical cases” potentially resulting in death. Roughly 2.3 percent of confirmed cases did result in death.”

    Ugh, sounds nasty.

    “An intriguing finding in the new data released last week is that although similar numbers of men and women have contracted SARS-CoV-2, more men are dying from the disease. The death rate for males was 2.8 percent and 1.7 percent for women. Rasmussen is quick to caution that although the data encompass nearly 45,000 patients, “that’s still not that many people to determine if there’s really a gender bias—you’d have to look at this in a much larger population of patients in a number of different countries,” she says.”

    Hey, the virus is discriminating on the basis of sex ! Who do I sue ?

  29. Walmart near me was out of hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, Lysol, and most other Clorox products. There are a lot of Asians living in the Katy, TX area that may be hearing horror stories from back home.

  30. Anyone notice that we now have a US death?? No comments?

    Any word on which hospital in Seattle?

  31. I’ve been stocking up over the past four days to ensure that we have at least three months of food and supplies, as well as convenience items. Mostly use the local chains of ShopRite and Acme, but also a lot from Walmart. I did notice that many stores are out of or low on Clorox and wipes. I was able to get 2 gallons of Clorox at Home Depot when I stopped there to pick up a tool I ordered last week. I could have bought as much as I want, but 2 gallons is probably close to a year’s supply for us. Increased our stock of canned soup, stew, chili, and tomato sauce to probably 6 month’s worth. Also added convenience items, like food storage bags and aluminum foil. Oddly, until I went to the Walmart a few towns away, I had trouble getting the large size Quaker Oats (not instant).
    I still want to get a pump to pull fuel oil from our tank to run our two diesels (Chevy 4wd Silverado 250HD and a VW Passat diesel) if we can’t get fuel locally.

    But the world situation is more than a little unsettling with the virus breakout and having food and supplies at hand brings at least some peace of mind.

    As Nick says, “Keep stacking!”

  32. We have been accelerating rebuilding our SHTF stocks since the move. We expected to take 6 to 8 months to get back to target but the world hasn’t given us the luxury of time. Spent about $2k in the last couple of weeks on canned goods, rice, beans, frozen goods and paper products. Will be sourcing 1/2 a cow from a local butcher next week. Not sure we can fit it all in our chest freezer but the MIL will take any overflow. Arguing with the wife about storing potatoes and onions in our bunker. It’s cool and dry like any root cellar but wife thinks that the vegetables will mould.
    I have plenty of salt and sugar in 5 gallon buckets. The armory is well equipped but not organized since the move. Not buying liquid Clorox. Walmart sells Evolve bleach tablets and Amazon sells GuardH tablets. Each tablet makes a gallon of Clorox strength bleach and won’t degrade over time like bottled Clorox. Upgraded our stocks of surgical gloves and opened the boxes of emergency medical supplies for inventory. Fingers crossed, things don’t get bad but we will be prepared.

  33. The wife’s sister had one of her foreign exchange students from Italy fly in last night. The young lady is 23 or 25 now. She was planning on staying for three weeks.

    They just notified her that her flight back to Italy in three weeks has been cancelled. She may be here for quite a while. It is Ok with my SIL, she regards her as her daughter that she never had.

    It is getting real out there.

  34. I am immeasurably glad to hear that you guys are taking steps and getting ready. It is very heartening.

    n

  35. Well Australia has its first death..

    A 78 year old Australian man who was on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan has died while being treated for COVID-19 in Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth.
    He was one of 164 Australians flown out of Japan and placed in isolation and is the sixth Diamond Princess passenger to have died.

    (courtesy of the UK Sun)

    That hospital is roughly 2-3 kms (1-2 miles) from me.
    We have been gradually doubling up on our shopping supplies over the last few weeks.. Just in case..
    As Nick says.. Stack high.. Stack often.. 🙂

  36. I expect to start getting some real, useful numbers now that there are cases outside of China. I expect to be horrified. I can’t imagine that China was exaggerating rather than hiding, so when the true transmissibility (looks REALLY HIGH) and lethality (jury is out if you are under 75, over that, you’re cooked) and the reinfection rate (and “sudden drop dead syndrome”) become public knowledge, all the CDC lawyerly “risk is currently low” “you don’t need a mask now” BS is going to enrage people.

    The complete radio silence about how it affects children is very strange too, BTW. I hope it means what some people have postulated, that kids get a mild form, barely even know they’re sick, and recover. NO idea what reinfection would look like in kids in that case.

    n

    Oh, and if you have pets, please get them anything that they are almost due for, and their meds for the next 6 months or more…

  37. @Mr K, that’s not good news, but it is news. I’m glad you’ve been making progress on preps.

    I’ve got a feeling africa is going to explode, India should already be stacking bodies, and the Hispanic countries are not far behind.

    One thing we’re learning, if you don’t look for it, you are unlikely to find it….

    n

  38. We have been gradually doubling up on our shopping supplies over the last few weeks.. Just in case..
    As Nick says.. Stack high.. Stack often..

    I bought about 100 cans of food and four more cases of water tonight at HEB. Usually there are jokes from the cashier about both. Not tonight, I gather a lot of people are doing the same. We were down a bit on cans and quite a bit on water due to the move on Feb 6 so I am trying to build back up now.

    One thing that I am trying to reconcile is how many propane canisters does one need ? I have four but do I need 14 ? Of course, we have a natural gas stove that requires a small amount of electricity for the ignition. Maybe the electrical grid will not go down. Which, would force the natural gas grid down.

    Right now, I would keep my vehicle gas tanks at a minimum of half full at all times.

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