Sun. Mar. 22, 2020 – moar, moar, moar….

Cool and wet. Still.

Got some stuff done yesterday, but I’m hard pressed to make a list.

I guess I did some ebay, I’ve got 8 packages waiting by the door.

I did some moving and organizing of stuff, but very little.

Rained most of the day which did limit my outdoor activity.

Managed to get a couple of things done outside- planted the new (replacement) blueberry bush, blew the pollen fuzzy caterpillar looking things off the roof, walk, and porch. MUCH easier to do when they are damp and not spraying pollen everywhere.

Spent time on the phone with a friend.

Wife and daughters did a heavy clean on the bathrooms and kitchen, especially the floors.

Wife and kids started playing Portal 2 in co-op mode. None had played before. I played through single player mode when it came out. Which was 8 years ago. Jeez time flies.

More of the same today. Piles to shift, maybe a trip to the secondary…

I need MOAR of all the things!

n

56 thoughts on “Sun. Mar. 22, 2020 – moar, moar, moar….”

  1. I think the grocery situation really varies from place to place. I’ve read some real horror stories, but my experience has actually been pretty chill by comparison.

    If you need a staple in my area, you have to be in line at HEB when the doors open at 8 AM. Even then, eggs, milk, water, and canned goods move fast. You can get meat, but nothing specific. Forget about TP or paper towels — I’m guessing that these are still viewed as potentially lucrative arbitrage items even if just at the neighborhood barter/Craigslist level.

    The lines have remained civil, however. The cops in the parking lot surf p0rn on their phones while just about everyone in line has a specific thing (singular) or things (plural but few) they are waiting to buy and get home. No panic buying beyond the TP, and HEB limits one to a customer.

    If the weather had been better yesterday, I’m wondering if half of the line would have even been there.

  2. Tyler Durden, but the pseudonym allows an interesting quote about cigarettes I haven’t seen in the open anywhere else. My wife thinks the correlation could be made, especially with the fatalities, but no one wants to deal with the politics … or jeopardize the tax revenues.

    And God forbid we perpetuate a stereotype about Chinese and Europeans smoking heavily.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/please-take-seriously-its-brutal-covid-19-survivors-speak-out

  3. I binged season 2 of “Altered Carbon” on Netflix. I really like the series. Blade Runner-esque which shows how Humanity looks like at it’s worst. I hope it gets a 3rd season. It should come out in 2025 after CV finally burns out Humanity.

  4. I don’t know why Drudge would carry this *story* from Newsweek:

    EXCLUSIVE: INSIDE THE MILITARY’S TOP SECRET PLANS IF CORONAVIRUS CRIPPLES THE GOVERNMENT

    This is totally fake. There is no “above Top Secret” “the various plans – codenamed Octagon, Freejack and Zodiac – are the underground laws to ensure government continuity” plan for the Military to take over when Congress is decimated. They quote *unnamed* sources who just happen to know about the plan. There is no Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper who will step in and save the country. The Military is going to have the same problems with CV as the rest of the population.

    I guess this is a Never-tRumper scare tactic to ensure the totally fit and sound Plugs Biden gets elected.

  5. I guess this is a Never-tRumper scare tactic to ensure the totally fit and sound Plugs Biden gets elected.

    I’m still betting brokered convention with Cuomo moving to fulfill his daddy’s ambition to be Emperor of the US with Newsom as VP/Grand Moff of the West Coast, reigning from San Francisco, maybe even the potentially vacated top floors of the Salesforce Tower. There will be a lot of rebellion to put down in the Rocky Mountain states.

    Watch Cuomo. And don’t for a minute feel sympathetic because of whatever is going on with his family, no matter how sad. If he fixes NY, fine, let him come back around again in 2024 and make his case to be President, something which he was loathe to do this year.

    If the US death rate doesn’t tick up above ~ 1% as the case count climbs or even decreases below that number, the Dems will let Plugs have his turn and take the inevitable a** beating. They’ll try to keep the House in the mean time and plan to get the Senate in 2022. Maybe even give Impeachment another go.

    Don’t laugh. I haven’t had time to listen, but the podcast app on my phone indicates having received a rare full Ted O’Baxter episode with the subject “Coronavirus Impeachment”.

    Hopefully Limbaugh is back on the air soon if for no other reason than to squelch O’Baxter’s antics in the vacuum of leadership on the air. O’Baxter at times almost sounds sympathetic to Plugs and Robert Francis as of late. Never forget O’Baxter is a big Camelot believer.

  6. As far as smoking goes, yes, it apparently does make a difference. The difference in male mortality compared to female mortality is strongly influenced by the Chinese numbers, where smoking is very much a male habit.

    Europeans as whole, though, don’t smoke all that much. That’s a dated stereotype. People forget, but Italy was the first country in Europe to prohibit smoking in restaurants. And still the Italian mortality figures are horrifying.

    We’re happily buckled down for the long haul, and I am very glad that my job can be done 100% from home-office. We still need the occasional shopping trip, since we’re not in our house and don’t have our stuff (stupid timing, ugh), but shopping will be very local and very brief. My wife is now finally persuaded to order staples for delivery, so that shopping trip can drop to every two or three weeks, if need be. And it won’t be many weeks before we have salad from the provisional garden.

  7. Europeans as whole, though, don’t smoke all that much. That’s a dated stereotype. People forget, but Italy was the first country in Europe to prohibit smoking in restaurants. And still the Italian mortality figures are horrifying.

    Okay, smoking is down among the general population, but what are the stats among the coronavirus fatalities?

    It will be a big political no-no to discuss in the US.

    Is there even a trust-worthy site that breaks down the Italian fatalities for factors such as age and pre-existing health problems — in other words, something other than the Schadenfreude-fueled and Trump axe-grinding Daily Mail?

  8. Hopefully Limbaugh is back on the air soon if for no other reason than to squelch O’Baxter’s antics in the vacuum of leadership on the air.

    I think that Rush will be gone by June. August at the latest. He has an aggressive stage 4 lung cancer. Usually gone after six months. He did not work at all last week.

    I will miss him terribly.

  9. Well, TX has over 550 cases now, up from 50 just a week ago? maybe 10 days? Still seems suspiciously low to me, even with drive thru testing. Lots of stories in the local FB groups about lack of testing or being turned down.

    Don’t get me started on the ignorant narcissists whining the Pence and his wife got a test and they didn’t. FFS he’s the backup for the most powerful man in the world, OF COURSE he gets more attention and care than a “web designer/barista” in Hoboken. Second in line to head the United States of America. Jebus wept.

    Keep in mind the speed of this thing. Italy went from 0 to 55K cases in 5 weeks. In the last month they’ve gone from 80 to 55K. They’ve closed almost 11K cases and are doing slightly better than 50-50 recoveries vs deaths. 42.6K active cases, with 7% critical. 2857 critical for 4-5K critical beds, most of which were already in use at the beginning. Apply those numbers and that schedule to your area and see where it leads you.

    Don’t get this thing.

    n

  10. Good night, New York state is really taking off. Not that many deaths though. Yet.

    A lesbian couple is making the rounds of the media outlets here in Central Texas, kvetching about testing not being accessible. Not discussed much is how the sicker 1/2 of the couple just returned from NYC. That fact just whizzes by.

    My wife noted that the virus has really taken off in places where people don’t generally want to be home in their 350 sq ft apartments.

    To be fair, I had 425 sq ft in Seattle, but I was a 40 minute bus ride from the job.

  11. Don’t get me started on the ignorant narcissists whining the Pence and his wife got a test and they didn’t. FFS he’s the backup for the most powerful man in the world, OF COURSE he gets more attention and care than a “web designer/barista” in Hoboken. Second in line to head the United States of America. Jebus wept.

    I haven’t played the O’Baxter “Coronovirus Impeachment” special, but I imagine any attempt to take Trump out before the election would have to snag Pence too and install Stretch as President to declare immediate martial law before suspending the voting.

    Maybe Pence wrote a check, a concept foreign to many in the US even if they have the money.

    Everybody where I works wants testing for the price of a co-pay, but we all have to carry an HSA with employer matching to supplement the company’s high deductible healtcare plans. I do the minimum and have $6000 accumulated in mine in just two years. My management is not generous by Hoboken or even Austin standards.

    If I was worried I had the virus, I’d write the check. I paid $800 out of that account for an MRI last year when I was concerned that the nodule left in my finger from an infection was cancer. The money can’t be used for anything else. Massage therapy if you play the game right. Warby Parker glasses, but c’mon.

    I saw a number that the unvarnished true cost of a test was $4000. Not cheap, but I would know for sure.

    To quote Lee Majors in “Ash vs. The Evil Dead”, “Sack up, Sunshine.”

  12. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes…..

    Five students at the University of Tampa have tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling for their spring break, school officials say.

    The college students were traveling together with other UT students, but the school has not specified where they went during their break.

    On Friday the University posted that initially one student test positive. Then on Saturday four more students who traveled together for break tested positive.

    Three of those students returned to campus after their spring break travels.

    Those students are now self-isolating and have not been hospitalized. It’s not clear if those pupils live on or off campus.

  13. Five students at the University of Tampa have tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling for their spring break, school officials say.

    The article omits that the University of Tampa is private, mostly a school for what the Daily Mail readers would call “complete pratts”.

    New College of Florida and Eckerd College are similar schools in the area. However, New College is now public, run by the state university system as an arms-length campus of the University of South Florida.

    Deeply religious pentecostal-type pratts used to go to Clearwater Christian College, but the trustees folded the institution a few years ago and now rent the campus to a doctor from the Subcontinent who is developing a new med school for students from India in temporary partnership with my wife’s alma matter for their cirriculum and facility expertise in return for teaching space.

  14. @Greg: Yes, there have been analyses of the Italian fatalities. I’m too lazy to hunt it down, and anyway it was in German, but an article I read yesterday analyzed 18% of the fatalities to date. Of those, only three were not old and had no pre-existing condition.

    That sounds great, however, one of the “pre-existing conditions” that they list is high blood pressure. That desperately needs a more precise definition, because hypertension can encompass a huge range, easily up to a 50% of the population if they include pre-hypertension. Does degree matter? Does it matter if it’s under control with medication? Does the choice of medication matter (apparently ACE inhibitors may be problematic)?

  15. That sounds great, however, one of the “pre-existing conditions” that they list is high blood pressure. That desperately needs a more precise definition, because hypertension can encompass a huge range, easily up to a 50% of the population if they include pre-hypertension. Does degree matter? Does it matter if it’s under control with medication? Does the choice of medication matter (apparently ACE inhibitors may be problematic)?

    I’m not sure about Italy, but the drug industry in this country wants everyone on hypertension drugs so the diagnosis bar for high blood pressure requiring medication is pretty low. Same with “high” cholesterol and statin drugs vs. a simple change in diet.

    Doctors here face the problem of the industry advertising directly to patients. “Side effects: death” is a running joke in our house whenever we see an ad on TV for a drug with potentially fatal side effects to treat a condition which wouldn’t be fatal under ordinary circumstances. The really bad push as of late are the drugs for psoriasis, one campaign featuring Cyndi Lauper.

  16. @Greg: We’re spared that, apparently. And I have no clue who Cyndi Lauper is, which is probably for the best. Advertising prescription medicine isn’t allowed here. Stuff you can just get from a pharmacist, they can advertise, and that’s annoying enough (“prostate problems”, “back pain”, etc, etc). What’s kind of funny is that, even then, there is this huge long legal disclaimer about seeking professional advice that they must read aloud in every commercial. It’s remarkable how fast they can get through it – think Texas auctioneer – it’s still understandable, but barely…

  17. Just discovered that my son and daughter-in-law most likely have the virus. DIL is a nurse in Pensacola and her symptoms began with an upset stomach and diarrhea followed by high fever and cough. She’s been sick for about 5 days and my son came down with fever and cough a couple of days ago. Neither wants to get tested. Neither is in respiratory distress and they want to stay out of the hospital unless their symptoms get worse. This is getting too close to home.

  18. Cyndi Lauper started out about the same time as Madonna. We called her “the Lauper whore” but as things go, the roles reversed and now Madonna is, well, there may be children reading here.

    Madonna has had more hits and made more money. Cyndi seems to have mellowed out other than the weird hair color.

  19. IIRC, Cyndi used to work sometimes for WWE at the wrasslin’ shows.

    Check ESPN at 4:00 PDT for WWE WrestleMania 30!

  20. My wife reported back from a Costco run — 4 ribeye steaks: $80 (no, she didn’t buy them at that price). Sirlons: $60 for about the same quantity of meat. Chicken and pork completely gone. No canned vegetables beyond Rotel and tomato-related items that she could see. Paper towels limited to Kirkland brand.

    No wonder Cramer is trying to unload the stock onto retail.

  21. One of my business partners passed away today. I worked with him for over 35 years. He was always the calm voice of reason. I will miss him very much.

  22. I saw a number that the unvarnished true cost of a test was $4000. Not cheap, but I would know for sure.

    I read somewhere that all of the 100 use test kits being distributed by the CDC are built by postdocs. That is not a cheap labor source. And evidently not very good either as the article complained that they are having missing parts and combining kits.

  23. @greg, if they were Prime, that’s about the same as my costco. If they were choice, about double a month ago.

    n

  24. Ok, found and dug out the generator transfer switch. It’s new in box, but might be missing one small internal shield. Raintight, so I can hopefully get it installed on the back of the garage instead of inside. Got the battery out of the gennie and have it on a very sophisticated West Marine charger on “Recondition” so I hope it can be saved. It was new when I had the gennie rebuilt, and was never used. Disconnected and sitting for all that time. Still had 11 volts so maybe it can be saved.

    Clearing that out got me access to the 2 drawer fire safe file cabinet I use for ammo. Put some away that I’ve been just stacking in different places, looked at some counts, and I feel ok.

    Cleaned and bleached an area that was very hard to get to. Still cleaning up after the rats. I need access to get all the things from behind the area, and to restock the shelves there. Plus, yuck needed to go. And it’s right in front of 80gal of water storage that I’m going to refresh next week.

    I’ve got cast iron in the BBQ grill baking to come clean. Couple more hours to go.

    I moved some food to the new shelves. Don’t know how the storage will be organized, but finding and putting the things in one place helps.

    Kids and wife still playing portal2.

    Light dinner tonight, thin pork chops and whatever sides I find.

    more later.

    n

  25. @greg, if they were Prime, that’s about the same as my costco. If they were choice, about double a month ago.

    My wife isn’t sure.

    Costco is a bit of a drive compared to Sam’s, and we go there for very specific things. She figured that she would take a look at the meat while she was there.

    They had plenty of Kirkland bar soap and shampoo, what she went after.

  26. Harold Combs, sorry to hear about your son and daughter-in-law. Hope they recover soon. Also hope there is immunity from having it.

  27. Lynn, sorry to hear about your business partner. Please tell his family that this extended family extends our condolences.

  28. When I’ve had to recondition cast iron I run it through the self-clean cycle of the oven. I think we discussed thus before — I use lard or strained bacon grease to season. Veg based products seem to get sticky and don’t season as well.

    @Lynn
    35 years is a long time. My thoughts are with you.

  29. I didn’t know about baking it off of the iron. It works a treat, even if I ran out of gas without finishing, most of the heavy deposits were removed. I’ve got good ‘iron, but this particular pan is Wagner Ware, -sidney- 1060, and has a silver finish. I thought it might be aluminum initially. Since I was doing other things in the back anyway, thought I’d get started on rehabbing it. I threw some other stuff in with it, shapes and bakeware that were mostly just rusted. They will need wire brushing but it looks like it will be easier after the bake off….

    n

  30. Listening to the scanner, local GMRS repeater has a nationwide checkin net going on. They’ve got our local repeater tied over the internet to a whole bunch of places. If you don’t want to be a ham for some reason, you can get a GMRS radio that does repeaters and get on a nationally linked network. Who knew?

    n

  31. “Investigation Reveals Trump Caused Mass Hysteria So He Could Go On All The Rides At Disneyland With No Lines”

    You laugh, but this can’t be the only a**hat who risked everything to ride “Rise of the Resistance” and rolled the ultimate “snake eyes”. Boarding passes in both Orlando and Anaheim simply weren’t available under normal circumstances, and Disney has successfully hyped these attractions as “Once in a lifetime” experiences.

    https://www.orlandosentinel.com/coronavirus/os-bz-coronavirus-orlando-california-man-dies-20200319-eqlafaqrwzgjrirp2pzedsbdcy-story.html

    As I wrote previously, I don’t think Disney should get a bailout unless they are forced to sell some of these properties which can only be aptly described as fetishes for a large number of people. Obsessions which may result in a number of people dying due to exposure from the a**hats.

  32. “Investigation Reveals Trump Caused Mass Hysteria So He Could Go On All The Rides At Disneyland With No Lines”

    We hit Universal years ago during the “soft” opening of Terminator 3-D. After waiting in line for about an hour, my wife and I reached the doors to the main show area when suddenly we were asked to return to the queue front and wait while a VIP group went through. We were assured that we would see the film portion even if the accompanying stunt show had to be shut down for technical reasons after the VIPs saw it.

    After some grumbling, one wise guy asked, “Who’s here? Clinton?”

    “No … Worldwide … Pants … ?” The ride attendant was female and young, maybe 18 and had no idea what that meant. “They flew in this morning from New York.”

    Everyone stopped talking and we politely waited our turn. We saw the very next show after Letterman and his staff left.

  33. @Lynn
    35 years is a long time. My thoughts are with you.

    Thanks to all. Actually, me and my business partner (I have two) have known each other for 56 years. He employed my father as a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma University in 1963. My father was the fourth professor in the Chemical Engineering department, our partner was the department head. My father and he started a Chemical Engineering Software company in 1969.

  34. @lynn
    “Investigation Reveals Trump Caused Mass Hysteria So He Could Go On All The Rides At Disneyland With No Lines”

    Y’all know Babylon Bee is satire, right?
    They publish some wickedly funny stuff and periodically fool the MSM

    —-
    And sometimes they print as satire the tragic truth:
    https://babylonbee.com/news/america-tests-positive-for-socialism

    Oh yes I know that it was satire, I thought it was cute.

    They are taking a shot at the Chinese for blaming Trump for starting the Chinese Flu.
    https://nypost.com/2020/03/12/chinese-official-blames-coronavirus-outbreak-on-us-military/


  35. After waiting in line for about an hour, my wife and I reached the doors to the main show area when suddenly we were asked to return to the queue front and wait while a VIP group went through

    Happened to me at Dulles airport in the early ‘70’s. Waited in line to check my luggage and some jerk cut in front of me. I told him to get back and wait his turn. He piped back that he was congressman so-and-so and was too important to wait. I told him to stuff it and cut back in front of him. He huffed and puffed and I just glared back at him.

    Another Congress critter thinking they are special.

    Henry B. Gonzales, Congress critter from south San Antonio, used to fly back and forth to Washington DC. I made the trip about once a month for five years. HBG was always in first class. One time a reporter asked why HBG needed first class. HBG’s response was that he worked while on the flights and thus needed more space. He lied. When I saw him he was passed out on booze and did no work whatsoever. He was a self-important lush who only got re-elected because he kept Kelly AFB open along with the civilian jobs


  36. Another Congress critter thinking they are special.

    So true. In the 90s I was flying back to Oklahoma after a week of contract work in NYC. We were on an American Airlines plane getting ready to leave O’hare for OKC at 11pm Friday night, when the pilot announced that the aircraft had equipment failure and wasn’t certified to fly. He told everyone to deplane and they would see if they could get another flight. As I was filing up the aisle toward the exit there was a commotion in first class. A young man was arguing angrily with the pilot. He demanded that the pilot fly the aircraft to OKC because the important SENATOR Boren, pointing to a fat man with a drink in his hand, was anxious to get home. We all left the aircraft except the senator and his aide who was still loudly demanding that the broken aircraft take off. We elect some really stupid people.

  37. Battery is taking a charge, so that’s good. Now to get a guy to hook everything up….

    n

  38. Y’all know Babylon Bee is satire, right?
    They publish some wickedly funny stuff and periodically fool the MSM

    Oh, sure, I knew it was satire, but the joke played on the idea that “Star Wars” and Disney are such obsessions for some people that at least one person has knowingly put the lives of many others at risk for what he felt was a “Once in a lifetime” shot at seeing the ride.

    The best satire is based in truth.

  39. He was a self-important lush who only got re-elected because he kept Kelly AFB open along with the civilian jobs

    We had the same thing in Tampa with Sam Gibbons and his successors staying in office by protecting MacDill. I’ve long believed that Tampa would be better off without the base warping local politics and the real estate market.

  40. 20 days ago I made the case against my family trip to WDW. There were 2 cases in FL and I used 4-6 days for doubling. I thought there might be 98 cases when we left FL (Sunday). In reality, it has been doubling every 3 days, and there were over 800 cases on Sunday.

    Of course the decision was made for us, but DAMN. I made the right call, but even I got the number low. It just didn’t seem likely that it would double so fast.

    But it did.

    Look at New Orleans. Freaking Mardi Gras is gonna be the death of a whole bunch of people….

    This virus is going to mainly sort for ability to delay gratification, dedication to an idea, and prudence. Oh, and youth.

    It’s almost like it was designed or something…

    n

  41. Shortwave and ham bands are much less noisy tonight, although not booming in, they are active.

    Get out your radio and start tuning around.

    https://shortwaveschedule.com/index.php?now

    Is a good site to figure out what you are hearing.

    There may come a day when you really want to hear another slant on the news….

    n

  42. Nick, after your charger finishes charging your little gennie battery, I suggest you test it. I looked up your charger, but West Marine makes many chargers. It looks like you may have one of the Promariner Pro Sport models, which does not appear to do a conductance test. No matter. Just connect a load of about 2 amps and time the discharge to 10 volts. Compare that to the amp hour rating, which is often obscure nowadays, but will probably be somewhere around 20 ah. Let your charger recharge the battery and see if the second discharge gives a higher ah result. Repeat until the battery stops increasing, usually three cycles or so. If the battery gives poor results, and does not improve after a few cycles, replace it, unless your gennie has a manual start (pull rope or kicker.) I don’t remember if that was the big whole house gennie.

    That battery sat for an unspecified number of days (weeks?) discharged, and might not be in very good condition, although I have seen exceptions. Sometimes they come back. If your gennie can be started without the battery, then no worries. If not, you obviously need a healthy battery. Also, consider permanently connecting that charger to maintain whatever battery powers the gennie. You could run wires from the battery into your garage or house to keep the charger more convenient. That way, you could temporarily use the charger for other purposes. Just make sure you charge that battery at least once a month for a day or two. Looks like a good microprocessor controlled charger.

  43. Y’all know Babylon Bee is satire, right?
    They publish some wickedly funny stuff and periodically fool the MSM

    Oh, and I actually thought that following Letterman’s VIP group seeing the ride was simultaneously cool and ironic.

    At least when Dave pulled rank, everyone on the staff went along for the ride.

  44. @jimB-

    It’s the WM Dockside 149829052 30A with engine start.

    It’s pretty slick. I’ve got other chargers for other uses too. For some reason a bunch of very sophisticated chargers came thru my auctions. It’s actually one of the lesser ones, but it’s easy to used. I’ve got butt-simple old school for when you just have to force a voltage too…

    I ran the “recondition” until about 1030pm, then switched to charge. It went into float mode and a couple hours later the voltage had increased. I’ll see where it is today. You are right that I want reliable and this probably won’t be, but I’m hoping it will do for a short while.

    n

    (it is the whole house gennie, and if I don’t find it to be reliable, maybe I can use it with the e3000 or one of the solar panels….)

  45. Today the charger showed that it was connected,but that’s all, so I hit charge, and off it went. It’s doing something.

    I’m looking for a replacement battery.

    n

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