Thur. Mar. 26, 2020 – home now, and for a while

Warm, trending to hot, and still somewhat damp.

Yesterday got pretty hot. High 80s, maybe low 90s, certainly in the sun. I was sweating almost instantly.

Made my last run to my secondary storage. Grabbed almost everything, except the weird medical and medical PPEs. I’ll donate those if they need them and will accept them. No one should have a complaint if I’m driving to get med supplies.

Now I have to get the piles sorted, and shelve the stuff. I’ve got a lot of paper goods to find a home for.

I opened a 5 pound bag of sugar with expire date of 2016. Tiny black spots. Not a lot, and only dead bugs but some, tiny little bugs. I got a second bag from the same tub, and it was 1/2 fine. One half had little black spots. Sugar doesn’t go bad, but it might have bugs…

I’ll spot check the rice and flour as needed. This was my DEEP backup from the ebola ’14 scare, and I expected that I’d have failures. So far I’ve found fewer than I expected. Cool, dark, consistent temps, and fairly dry storage conditions certainly help.

Once I’ve got everything put away, I need to continue with the generator projects and rotating the stored water. I should have all I need for the parts I’m doing. I’ve also got a couple of cams to get up. Then all the other projects that don’t involve trips to Home Depot need to be done.

Lots of cleaning and sorting, and I guess I’ll try listing stuff on ebay too. As long as people have money and hope, they’ll probably keep buying. I expect that window is short and will close soon.

Security issues are my next concern.

I hope all of you are where you need to be, or will get there soon. It’s time to pull up the drawbridge.

Stop going out and playing in it. Stay home, stay safe.

nick

87 thoughts on “Thur. Mar. 26, 2020 – home now, and for a while”

  1. WuHuFlu: Seems balanced to me

    @Lynn: Property management companies charge ~6-10% of gross rent for their services around here plus any necessary maintenance expenses that come up. You can get away with not providing a fridge or laundry equipment but then expect leak damage due to tenant dumbfuggery. Carpet and paint will have to be renewed with most every turnover.

    The largest such company around this urban market has their own in-house contractor handymen. The hourly rate is a profit center for the management company. Enough said.

    The main value of the company is in distancing yourself from the tenants, having the company qualify them and do any dunning for rent. Peace of mind via minimizing waste of your time.

    Setting a premium rent will be difficult when the market tanks and you find yourself underwater. You’ve mentioned expenses for the mechanicals in that house, factor something for the future.

    In local upper Midwest events: Spent the afternoon visiting my friend at the airport suite hotel. Occupancy is minimal and the pool and gym are closed. Still providing microwave breakfast and communal coffee in the lobby. We visited a drive thru for a meal and observed many others in steady use. Traffic is light but plentiful.

    The hotel has drastically reduced staff, 85 laid off to collect unemployment $$. Their same owner/developer but different brand hotel across the parking lot will close their restaurant this week as the occupancy is essentially zero. No kitchen suites there.

    I visited the nearby Walmart wannabe big box just after it opened in the morning. Hours are reduced from 24/7 to 8A-10P. Senior fella was sanitizing cart handles in the vestibule. Customers were scattered around the grocery, rare elsewhere. I saw only 1 masked and gloved old lady customer with a basketful of latter day primo items. Typical empty shelves in many categories. Frozen dinners gone, pizza low. Yeast gone, flour low. Ground meat wouldn’t last till noon. Potatoes rationed at 5 bags per customer, so you could get a maximum 75 pounds for about $35. 3 or 4 grabs like that would clean it out.

    My Amazon delivery was undisturbed in the lobby for a couple hours before my return.

  2. TN’s governor has just threatened everyone with enforcement if necessary. Basically stating the state has enforcement capability and will use it. No word on what enforcement would mean. Arrest if out without proper “papers”? Incarceration? Fines? What is the statute that would allow such? Failure to obey? Obey who or what? Troubling times.

  3. I wasn’t pleased to read the following Twitter comment from Neil Ferguson, the Covid-19 modeller the UK Government is basing its decisions on. (Neil is in recovery from Covid-19 infection!)

    “I’m conscious that lots of people would like to see and run the pandemic simulation code we are using to model control measures against COVID-19. To explain the background – I wrote the code (thousands of lines of undocumented C) 13+ years ago to model flu pandemics…”

    He says he is working with selected others, including Microsoft, with a view to making his logic available to others – but won’t share his current code with those asking for it. I am always concerned by a lack of openness.

  4. Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of my new to me car (15 ATS 6 speed coupe.) I’m definitely a car nut, and get the itch for something different often. This is the longest I’ve gone without at least contemplating something different. If it stays sound mechanically, I’m going to keep it for years.

    On a related note, car dealers are feeling the pressure already. I stopped at the Honda dealer a month ago to get wiper inserts. While there, I checked out a new Accord (for the wife, not me!) Yesterday I got a not-quite-desperate text from the sales guy trying to get a sale. It’s definitely a buyers market. Me? Our paid off 2015 Crosstour is perfectly fine – one of the last non turbo Hondas. As long as it isn’t wrecked, I’ll think about what to do with it when it hits 200K. It’s at 35K now…

  5. If it’s not open for review and refutation, it’s not science. At best it’s hope or mysticism, more likely it’s lies.

  6. but won’t share his current code with those asking for it. I am always concerned by a lack of openness

    Indeed. Like climate models.

    int VirusResult (int a, int b)
    [thousands of lines of code];
    return 12874; //my guess because the model doesn’t work

  7. Depressing, very depressing. Neither one of us see a way out of this mess.

    Despair is a sin.

    If the Governors of Texas and Florida continue to trust local governments and resist calls for statewide lockdowns, they’ll have a better chance of crawling out of the mess first.

    I’m kinda surprised Bell County went for a lockdown.


  8. TN’s governor has just threatened everyone with enforcement if necessary.

    Here’s where cops/troopers start getting shot at. The cops should get big batons, like in India, and just go around caning anybody in public. Except there are a lot of guns in ‘Merca.

  9. So our local Rehab and Care Center (Nursing Home) for the wealthy and well-to-do has 2 employees who are positive for COVID-19. There are also a number (unstated) of employees and “residents” who are exhibiting symptoms but will not be tested because they are all “presumed” infected. The place is on lockdown. No one in or out except for essential deliveries. The lockdown involves uniformed (and hazmat suited) city police ensuring no one in or out. Police and Sheriff’s resources are being maxed out.

    The good news? Our cats are happy and enjoying the attention of all their human servants.

  10. Wow, I must be running a bigger sleep deficit than I thought, or yesterday really took it out of me. 7am alarm, went back to bed, slept until now.

    Just now scanning headlines.

    n

  11. Reading more about the stimulus package as it now stands the wife and I will be getting $2,400.00. I am not working, thus not affected by layoffs. We both get SS and I get VA money. I still have my part time job and it will not go away. I am not affected financially by the current situation.

    I also suspect that most people that are are retired and on SS are not adversely affected. Was this even considered when the stimulus package was created.

    People in the military will also be receiving the money. Their jobs were not affected and their pay and benefits will remain. Was this even considered when the bill was drafted?

    I have also learned the stimulus money to individuals will not be taxable. I am giving serious thought to donating my money to get the tax deduction. Or maybe find a family that I know is struggling and give them the money. Career welfare leaches will not be considered. Might stand in the grocery store and pay random people’s food bill until the money is gone. Excluding those using a state issued debit card.


  12. I must be running a bigger sleep deficit than I thought

    Once you retire you begin to realize how sleep deprived you have been over the years. I now easily sleep eight to nine hours a night. Really good sleep. No longer get up in the night to pee, which I suspect was more the result of waking and deciding to pee. Took a few years to get to that point, adjust my body schedule.

  13. Without school demands and the kids needing to start their day, I’m not waking up the minute before the alarm goes off at 6. That’s a bit worrisome, but if the security situation deteriorates, I’ll be up all night and sleeping during the day.

    Quick scan of headlines before coffee and breakfast.

    This is REALLY bad news if true and applicable to us.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8155405/Up-14-cent-recovered-coronavirus-patients-China-test-positive-doctors-reveal.html

    FINALLY people are admitting the numbers that anyone with eyes can see for themselves at worldometers.info, doubling every 3 days, sometime a bit more, rarely a bit less–

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8155729/US-hospitals-scramble-additional-beds-coronavirus-cases-double-three-days.html

    Leave your shoes outside–(with a side of normalcy bias at the end)

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8153619/Infectious-disease-specialists-warn-COVID-19-survive-soles-shoes-five-days.html

    Here goes Spain–

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8155279/More-4-000-people-died-Spain-coronavirus.html

    More later when I’ve reviewed any CDC or FEMA stuff.

    n


  14. Once you retire you begin to realize how sleep deprived you have been over the years. I now easily sleep eight to nine hours a night.

    While I was unemployed recently, I would get an average of 8.5 hours. Now that I’m working again it’s more like 7 and I’m not liking it. Since WFH it’s 7.5, which is almost acceptable.

  15. Quick scan of headlines before coffee and breakfast.

    Maybe the Daily Mail should wait until after breakfast.

    I always mentally attach a caption to any Daily Mail piece: “WE LIE. WE HAD TO PAY TRUMP $3 MILLION DOLLARS IN 2017”.

    We also limit the local news because my wife’s seen at least two doctors making the rounds of the Travis-based TV stations whom she would tag as “A**hats”. The other night, she was literally shouting at the TV, “Tell them about your secret concierge practice.”

    And I’ve touched on Dr. Dena Grayson here in the last few days.

    Nothing in the media’s approach to anything has changed since Impeachment blew up in their face.

  16. but won’t share his current code with those asking for it. I am always concerned by a lack of openness

    Indeed. Like climate models.

    +1000


  17. TN’s governor has just threatened everyone with enforcement if necessary.

    I had to go out briefly last night to tweak a firewall. Took multiple virus precautions even though no-one was in the building.

    When I left at 11, there was a cop car parked in a dark spot under trees with all the lights off. San Antonio police don’t seem interested in enforcement.


  18. I now easily sleep eight to nine hours a night.

    You’re older now than you ever have been before.

    (Tautological tautologies are always true!)

    there was a cop car parked in a dark spot under trees with all the lights off.

    Did you get a picture?

    Local cops got bent out of shape ten or fifteen years ago when I took a picture of two cops sleeping in their car at about 0630 in a mall parking lot. More precisely, they got bent out of shape that I gave the picture to the newspaper and they ran it (without attribution, at their wise suggestion).


  19. You’re older now than you ever have been before.

    But younger than I will be tomorrow.

  20. When I left at 11, there was a cop car parked in a dark spot under trees with all the lights off. San Antonio police don’t seem interested in enforcement.

    San Antonio has a cr*ppy Mayor and a city government disconnected from the suburbs they can’t annex and tax into submission. Same thing with Austin.

    In Austin, the cops live in the suburbs.


  21. suburbs they can’t annex and tax into submission

    It was like that 35 years ago when I lived there. Especially the communities north east of the city. Especially Windcrest, Live Oak and Universal city. Lot of talk back then trying to get those cities annexed with promises of services and benefits. Those cities wisely have kept San Antonio at bay and have stayed independent.

    I lived in Live Oak. San Antonio offered nothing of benefit in spite of the claims. All I saw was higher taxes for services that were less. Electric rates would have gone up which is significant in that area.

  22. Things are getting spicy in Spain.

    Elderly coronavirus patients came under attack from angry youths who threw stones at a fleet of ambulances moving them to a new home in Spain.

    The Civil Guard convoy was ambushed when it arrived in the town of La Linea de la Concepcion near Gibraltar, bringing 28 patients to a new care home.

    Angry locals obstructed the convoy and stoned the vehicles before throwing Molotov cocktails at police who were guarding the home.


  23. But younger than I will be tomorrow.

    If you make it to tomorrow… Just kidding. I used to work with a guy who occasionally reminded me planes can literally fall from the sky. Extremely rare, but with his luck… He died at 43.

  24. We are thankful that we retired at the best time. I liquidated my 401k stocks in January and have a nice cushion from selling one of my rentals at the first of February. My business income has dropped dramatically but we don’t need that to live on. Unlike most people we don’t have immediate money worries. We are able to help relatives and neighbors who haven’t been as lucky.

  25. Re: Sleeping longer in retirement

    My grandmother always told me that you needed less sleep as you get older. In her 80s she would generally get 4 hours a night.
    I am 68 and just retired but still have responsibilities almost every day that get me up at 6am or earlier. This morning I didn’t have anywhere to be till noon and couldn’t stay in bed past 8. Perhaps I need more practice.

  26. @SteveF If it’s not open for review and refutation, it’s not science.

    I’m an actual scientist. Says so in my job description and on my business card. I can tell you openness is a huge part of real science. The last couple of days I’ve been putting together the “data packet” for some work for a client. This not only includes the final results but everything used to get to the final results. If a solution was made it has the record of all the lot numbers of the components that went into the solution and the CofA for each component. All my notebook pages are reviewed, signed off, and pages copied. Calculations in a spreadsheet are printed twice: with all the numbers and then with all the formulas used in each cell. All computer software is validated with test data. A thermometer was used to measure the temperature of the chemical reaction so I include the latest calibration testing data with full NIST traceability.

    The client wants all this because this is something that will be injected into some very sick people in the future. It has to be done right. This data packet will be thoroughly reviewed by more than one person. The FDA will expect this before anything gets approved.

  27. Well, JLP, all I can tell you is that you’re not doing modern science. You didn’t come up with the conclusion first, get the funding second*, and make up the data third. If you’re going to behave so unprofessionally, I don’t see that there’s any point in talking to you.

    * In some cases the first and second steps can be reversed.


  28. Did you get a picture?

    I didn’t feel like starring in an “audit” video. (S)He’s probably on my dashcam. Most likely the cop was asleep but they don’t like to be caught not doing their job and who knows where that could end up.

  29. The cops (Colonie Police Department, covering a township near Albany NY) apparently demanded that the Albany Times Union tell them who took the picture, because traveling through the mall parking lot when the mall was closed was trespassing and therefore the photographer needed to be investigated for having committed a crime. Someone from the TU called me a day or two after the photo was published and warned me to keep my head down.

    At a guess, I’d guess that the butthurt was because the photo had a timestamp, I got the car’s number, and I got an identifiable photo of one of the cops and a sorta kinda good picture of the other. (He was head back and mouth open, which was memorable but not identifiable.) Conceded, the timestamp could be fake, but the other parts were undeniable.

  30. SteveF, I do admit to frequently being unprofessional but usually in a non-PC way that horrifies my younger colleagues*. Seriously, there is a big difference between academic and private sector science. I work in the private sector: real, provable results, and done for practical reasons.

    I’m sure there is good academic science going on in some fields. But the politicized subject matter of some research almost demands the results be determined well in advance of any actual investigation.

    *I knocked over a chair in the lab and one of the research assistants rushed over thinking I had fallen. I joked that if I had really taken a tumble you would know because I would “scream like a little girl”. That elicited frowns by several of my co-workers at my binary gender insensitivity.

  31. The cops (Colonie Police Department, covering a township near Albany NY) apparently demanded that the Albany Times Union tell them who took the picture, because traveling through the mall parking lot when the mall was closed was trespassing and therefore the photographer needed to be investigated for having committed a crime. Someone from the TU called me a day or two after the photo was published and warned me to keep my head down.

    Yeah. Otherwise … Hut Hut Hut Hut Hut Hut Hut Hut.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Atks5rRqQkg

    Remember when movie comedies *tried* to take the piss out of the authorities?

    Normally the Williamson County deputies in and around our neighborhood are decent human beings, but the last one who came by to investigate some vandalism on my wife’s Exploder was the “Hut hut hut” type. Asian too, not the redneck stereotype.

  32. Very glad we have Constable’s Deputies in our neighborhoods. Since we pay them directly, they are very aware of who they actually work for.

    I’m thinking of gifting them some masks if I see them.

    They often ‘post up’ in the cul de sac to do ‘paperwork’ on the in car computers. None sleeping that I’ve ever seen, but even if they did, it wouldn’t necessarily bother me. Unlike the HPD and Sheriff’s Deputies, they don’t all work 2 other ODO jobs instead of sleeping. If they’re geared up, in the car, and in the neighborhood, they can respond when the call goes out, just like if they were interrupted doing paperwork.

    Hiding outside of patrol areas is despicable.

    All our cops are monitored for location constantly anyway, and I can’t imagine any of them being foolish enough to risk sleeping in the neighborhoods they typically patrol at night. That’s a recipe for not going home at the end of the shift. In the old days, there were lots of pix of HPD sleeping in cars DURING THE DAY, but none lately. To much tech to have much of that.

    n

  33. @lynn, add in the inflation caused by the first $2T in ‘stimulus’, and the inevitable follow on ‘stimulus’ will cause even more as the try desperately to keep the balloon from collapsing….

    If you had the money in hand, what would you do with it? If it sat empty for 2 years, what shape would you be in? (and if a few-like 100K to 500K estates and homes hit the market at essentially the same time in a year? #boomerremover)

    There are management companies specifically to run your rental properties now that weren’t around a few years ago, if you’re just parking the property until a recovery.

    I cannot afford to let the house sit empty. I need to sell it or rent it out. If I sell it, I get rid of that mortgage. And taxes, insurance, electricity, mowing, pool maintenance. The taxes are $700/month alone. And I can pay off my two vehicle loans with my equity (if there is any now).

    I have way too much experience at renting stuff out. My credit check is that you will pay me the first month rent and deposit in cash. The last time I rented my office warehouse, the guy paid me $5,000 in 100s. It gets the relationship off to a great standing, everyone knows where things are.

    My son thinks that half of the houses in the USA will be on the market in the next 24 months. I think he is too pessimistic.

  34. @Lynn: Property management companies charge ~6-10% of gross rent for their services around here plus any necessary maintenance expenses that come up. You can get away with not providing a fridge or laundry equipment but then expect leak damage due to tenant dumbfuggery. Carpet and paint will have to be renewed with most every turnover.

    The wife has three rental properties using two “Property management companies”. Her experience is blah. One of them went bankrupt last year and took two months of rent with them. They are actually real estate agents doing this on the side. Ebby Halliday in Dallas, Texas and a private label in Abilene, Texas. They both take 10% of the rent (Ebby Halliday wants a minimum of $100/month for $700/month rent, the wife set them straight on that).

    I had a house for rent with five ? six ? tenants over 12 years in Carrollton, Texas. I had to replace the carpet once because the house got flooded with one inch of rising water, FEMA gave me $2,000. I tried to put the tenant and family in a hotel, they refused. It was weird. Otherwise I never had it painted until I sold it in 2002.

    Renting out residential properties is the death of a thousand knives. If you can stand the blood loss then you are ok.

  35. We have used the same manager for our house in Kansas for 29 years. Good ones can be hard to find. I never want to deal with renting a property. Humans are disgusting.

  36. but won’t share his current code with those asking for it. I am always concerned by a lack of openness

    Indeed. Like climate models.

    int VirusResult (int a, int b)
    [thousands of lines of code];
    return 12874; //my guess because the model doesn’t work

    Dude, fist bump !

    Wait, elbow bump.

    Wait, foot bump.

    Just stay away !

  37. My son thinks that half of the houses in the USA will be on the market in the next 24 months. I think he is too pessimistic.

    Depends on location. A lot of “unicorns” are going to fail to achive what the VCs call “escape velocity”, and there will be significant consequences for real estate on the West Coast and portions of Texas, particularly my area.

  38. traveling through the mall parking lot when the mall was closed was trespassing

    Sleeping on private property, even in a police car, when the place is closed, without the property owner’s permission is also trespassing. The police do not get a free pass.

  39. They are trying to get us to stay home until August.

    That isn’t happening. By that time, we will have reliable, cheap tests to determine who really needs to stay at home.

    The Feds obviously now have tests with results in less than eight hours, in sufficient quantity that the VA can access them at will to play CYA.

    Our economic future is tied to the question is how much of the population just wants to stay home and binge Baby Yoda and “Picard”, regardless of risk. I suspect it is very large, and the Progs are ready to give it to them in return for the power in November.

    BTW, The “Picard” season finale is awesome. I will give one spoiler — no, the much-rumored on-screen flashback demise of Beverly Crusher is nowhere to be seen. Thank God. The new “Star Trek” series are too grim already.

  40. Houston just used the reverse 911 system to send out an alert that Covid cases were rising quickly and everyone needed to stay home.

    NOT an urgent emergency. Mission creep.

    n

  41. Worth a look, especially if you grok the lingo

    https://texags.com/forums/84/topics/3102444 — go aggies!

    I am an ER MD in New Orleans. Class of 98. Every one of my colleagues have now seen several hundred Covid 19 patients and this is what I think I know.

    Clinical course is predictable.
    2-11 days after exposure (day 5 on average) flu like symptoms start. Common are fever, headache, dry cough, myalgias(back pain), nausea without vomiting, abdominal discomfort with some diarrhea, loss of smell, anorexia, fatigue.

    Day 5 of symptoms- increased SOB, and bilateral viral pneumonia from direct viral damage to lung parenchyma.

    Day 10- Cytokine storm leading to acute ARDS and multiorgan failure. You can literally watch it happen in a matter of hours.

    81% mild symptoms, 14% severe symptoms requiring hospitalization, 5% critical.


  42. The police do not get a free pass.

    In practice they do.

    tests with results in less than eight hours

    What I heard earlier this week is that the CDC takes 24 hours to run the PCR job and get results but private testing companies can do it in 4.

    Aside from that quibble, it’s obvious that we’re being lied to. “Masks don’t work” is only the most obvious. If the CDC and Trump had said “Masks do work when used properly and they’re some help even if not used properly, but there aren’t enough so please don’t buy them and let the medical people have them because they can’t just stay home”, they might not have gotten the result they wanted. However, CDC lied, still didn’t get the result they wanted, and blew their credibility on every issue. “Liar in one thing, liar in everything” is a maxim for a reason.

  43. Donning tin foil hat—

    I’d love for someone to look at this and look for a ‘phone home’ function.

    It looks like at great way to surreptitiously survey for stocks of PPEs to me.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/burn-calculator.html?deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM23796

    Burn Rate Calculator

    The personal protective equipment (PPE) burn rate calculator excel icon[XLS – 39 KB] is a spreadsheet-based model that provides information for healthcare facilities to plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Similarly, non-healthcare facilities (e.g., correctional facilities) may find this tool useful for planning and optimizing PPE use as part of the response to COVID-19. This tool can also be used for planning PPE use outside the context of COVID-19, where PPE shortages may also occur due to supply chain issues related to the COVID-19 response (e.g. manufacturing facilities).

  44. Donning tin foil hat—

    I’d love for someone to look at this and look for a ‘phone home’ function.

    It looks like at great way to surreptitiously survey for stocks of PPEs to me.

    IIRC, LibreOffice doesn’t allow macros to run by default, but you can run it inside a VirtualBox Windows/Office session without a network connection if you’re worried.

    I have a hard enough time making VB networking function properly when I *want* applications to connect.

  45. “Steven Mnuchin Calls Record Unemployment Claims ‘Not Relevant’ on CNBC”
    https://www.mediaite.com/tv/steven-mnuchin-calls-record-unemployment-claims-not-relevant-on-cnbc/

    “The Labor Department reported on Thursday that unemployment claims surged to 3.283 million last week. This is an increase of 3 million when compared to the previous week. The number also breaks the Great Recession record of 665,000 in March 2009, and the all-time high of 695,000 in October 1982.”

    Gonna be 10 million unemployment claims this week.

    And some incredible percentage of boomers rushing to the Social Security office as they are laid off. I think at least 50% of boomers were still working prior to this. It may be down to 10% by June. This is the free time to lay off anyone that you want to. No documented bad behavior required or anything as everything is lost in the incredible numbers.

    The USDA Food Stamps office will be overwhelmed too.

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

  46. “Exabyte Unlocked”
    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/exabyte-unlocked/

    “We’ve reached 1.”

    “Or, by another measurement, we’ve reached 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.”

    “Yes, today, we’re announcing that we are storing 1 exabyte of customer data.”

    “What does it all mean? Well. If you ask our engineers, not much. They’ve already rocketed past this number mentally and are considering how long it will take to get to a zettabyte (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes).”

    That is over 100,000 hard disk drives. Maybe 200,000.

  47. This is the free time to lay off anyone that you want to. No documented bad behavior required or anything as everything is lost in the incredible numbers.

    Depends on the work. We’ve been deemed an “essential service” as Texas and other states we serve start scratching for every dollar of revenue possible. I’m actually working overtime tonight and have unlimited access to my office near the airport during the lockdowns in both counties relevant to my commute.

    Any thought about furloughs has to be balanced against the loss of experience and knowledge. In my case, management has never been thrilled with having me on the payroll, but the new Senior developer has zero professional experience with Unix and can barely manage vi. All of our installed systems are flavors of Linux, and just about every one of my personal machines at home either runs Linux 24/7 or is capable of booting the OS.

    (No, before anyone asks, I don’t get it, but, in theory, he knows more C++ than I do.)

    The problems which are coming have catalysts which predate the virus, but I expect that just about everyone here will be fine as far as work goes if they so desire.

  48. The USDA Food Stamps office will be overwhelmed too.

    When we left the Portland metro, 25% of the population was already on “food stamps”, but, as “Portlandia” points out, it is the place where young people go to retire so I doubt they will increase that number as much as the rest of the country catches up to where they are at currently.

    You’re going to see a lot more Papa Murphy’s stores. I’m not kidding when I say that Wendy’s was easily $50 for the four of us while living in Vantucky so the fast food which could take EBT cards was the real “King”.

  49. I still do not believe China’s numbers.

    I don’t believe India’s numbers, and a travel ban isn’t even on the table because Trump has been kissing up to them lately for some reason.

    We had two candidates from the Subcontinent running in the primary for the seat of our walking corpse Congresscritter. One, an obvious RINO was sent packing earlier this month, but the other, a Dem, is in the runoff scheduled for July working a “Girls stick together” campaign theme similar to “Doors” that played well in the neighborhoods around us in 2018.

    Bell County will have to come through again for the incumbent.

  50. Sorry, I do not believe that there is any real definitive COVID-19 test. There has not been enough time.

    IF there is a test and any real “medication” it means that the gooberments were aware of this germ warfare virus and did nothing about it.

    That is the truth and I stand by it.

  51. Sorry, I do not believe that there is any real definitive COVID-19 test. There has not been enough time.

    IF there is a test and any real “medication” it means that the gooberments were aware of this germ warfare virus and did nothing about it.

    That is the truth and I stand by it.

    My son is with you. He says that the test was really developed for SARS #1 as COVID-19 is SARS #2. It is a test of false positives.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus_disease_2019

    “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).”

  52. Topsy-turvy. My 27 year old son had to show me how to shave with an electric razor today so I can get a mask on for Dr. appointment. I’ve had a beard for 31 years so he’s never seen me without. I hope he doesn’t tell me to grow it back NOW.
    Otherwise, we are proceeding to try to start our normal seedlings for garden and friends. Try to do normal things in these exceedingly abnormal times. I think that might be the only way to survive semi sane through the next few months for most of us. Thank you all for 10 years of wisdom and wit.

  53. I’ve barely looked but why or what clears MRU lists in Win7?

    For example, I have Explorer pinned to the taskbar. And a few network folders pinned to Explorer plus a few more folders. Once in a while it all vanishes. The pinned stuff. also the Recently used. The Explorer pinned to the taskbar is still there. It doesn’t seem to be a function of re-booting. The links will be there “now” and gone tomorrow morning. It’s a mystery.

    I suppose I need to dig into the registry and save that key.

  54. An electric razor is easy. For beard or not shaving a while, the sideburn trimmer is your best friend.

    I tried using a blade way back when. Mostly just “down” with a few actual whiskers. All soaped upped and slipped sideways. Yeah, TracII scab three inches across my face. Bled a lot, too. K-Mart the next day for a Norelco double header.

  55. I suppose I need to dig into the registry and save that key.

    We still store our MRU list in our deswin.ini file in the users C:\Users\lmc\AppData\Roaming\DesignII\ directory, where lmc is my user name on my office pc. If one is running two or more instances of our app simultaneously then the MRU list can get quite interesting.

    C:\Users\lmc\AppData\Roaming\DesignII\deswin.ini

    [Recent File List]
    File1=C:\dii\des6367.psd
    File2=C:\dii\expander.psd
    File3=C:\dii\expander_1603.psd
    File4=C:\dii\expander_1602d.psd
    File5=C:\Users\lmc\AppData\Local\Temp\Q-220033 Process simulation.psd
    File6=C:\dii\A1A.PSD
    File7=C:\Users\lmc\AppData\Local\Temp\RC9579 Ammonia Rev 0 18th March -1.psd
    File8=C:\Users\lmc\AppData\Local\Temp\RC9579 Ammonia Rev 0 18th March .psd
    File9=C:\dii\no_solid_flash.psd
    File10=C:\dii\solid_flash.psd

  56. I don’t believe India’s numbers, and a travel ban isn’t even on the table because Trump has been kissing up to them lately for some reason.

    Because India is not China ?

    For some reason, Presidents either hate or love India. Same thing with China. Bill Clinton hated India and I got a visit from the FBI and CIA because of it.

  57. but, in theory, he knows more [something] than I do

    Yah, I know all about that. In any individual case it’s sometimes hard to tell if they were lying about their experience or they’re truly that clueless about how much they know compared to how much there is to know.

    One of the new hires at my employer is a senior guy, around my age, possibly more years of tech experience than I, considering that I had the military time after college. He’s got lots n lots of experience in many items relevant to our work… or so he says. Come to find out, he utterly clueless about branches in version control, why you’d want to use them, and how to use them. And many other specific skills and habits relevant to productive work in our environment. (He’s also really sloppy when it comes to writing code which meets the written requirements, but that’s not something that was specifically discussed in the interview so I won’t call him a bullshitter on that one.)

    DadCooks, if you want to shout properly you need to use ALL CAPS. It helps even more if you stick a WAKE UP AMERICA!!! in someplace near the end.

    Aside from that, I’m back and forth on whether I agree. The gear and the knowledge base are so far advanced in recent years that I can believe the virus was identified and sequenced within days, as claimed. The diagnosis, as I understand it, involves getting a deep mucus swap, breaking up the RNA/DNA, duplicating the RNA/DNA, and then comparing to the known sequence. If I got that right, existing test kits don’t need to be “tuned” to the specific virus. I don’t know of anything that trips my BS meter.

    On the other hand, we’ve heard a lot of lies and nonsense on this entire subject, and seen lots of power grabs, so I don’t unreservedly believe a single thing I’ve heard about anything related to Wuhan Whooping Cough.

  58. @SteveF said:

    DadCooks, if you want to shout properly you need to use ALL CAPS. It helps even more if you stick a WAKE UP AMERICA!!! in someplace near the end.

    Sorry, but allergies have me a little hoarse.

  59. AL schools are done for the year….er, will finish with students learning at home. I’m sure it will go swimmingly. At least our school district loans each kid a laptop. Of course, I’m sure there will be much complaining about not having internet access to use it. The 5 iPhones in the house don’t count….

  60. @RickH, too bad there is not a way to create a poll here. The polls and responses in these times would be interesting.

    Basically everything is being shut down in WA now. As I figure only grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and brewers/distilleries are going to be the only thing allowed to be open tomorrow. Notice I left off any sort of take-out or delivery of meals because the way the goobernor worded things they are now verboten too.

    I foresee the gooberment controlling access to all food supplies.

    You think things are nasty now, just wait, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  61. Come to find out, he utterly clueless about branches in version control, why you’d want to use them, and how to use them. And many other specific skills and habits relevant to productive work in our environment.

    Git is a touchy subject in a commercial environment. I’m not a fan, but I’ll concede that it is the popular choice. Merges and rebases of branches get really ugly in a complex code base like ours, however, and it never works like it does in the Apress book.

    I turned down a job last month where I would have been “enforcer” (to borrow a term from hockey) on a very old product line, simultaneously attempting to move the 60-something SMEs from zero RCS to Git and from cross-compiling in Cygwin to a real POSIX environment in a Linux flavor of some kind.

    I told management that it wouldn’t work without the “enforcer” having the power to fire people, and, even if that person did have the power, it wasn’t something I would feel comfortable doing.

  62. @DadCooks – I looked at the ‘stay-at-home’ list from WA. There are lots of exceptions that allow businesses to be open. Many businesses have reduced hours, but they are still open. I don’t see that changing.

    Any personal-service business (haircuts, fer instance) will be closed. Anything food related, or serving food-related places, are open, but driveup/drive-through only; no inside dining. Medical services (eye docs, dentist, etc) are only open for emergency work, not ‘regular maintenance’. Any recreation place (beaches, parks) are mostly closed. No shellfishing on the beaches.

    Had to get my glasses fixed Monday. Called first, then called when I was in the parking lot. Employee came out and got my glasses (needed the plastic pads replaced; one broke off). Waited about 10 minutes, and they came back (this time wearing gloves, but no mask) and gave me them.

    Otherwise, staying home. Supplies are OK here, and I usually stay home anyhow.

    As for a poll, what do you want to vote on? I used the Google Forms thing to make a poll for one of my sites. Easy enough to do. You can iFrame the code, or just provide a link to the poll. Took about 5 minutes to make a simple 2-question/5 checkbox poll.

    Easy way to make a survey via Google Forms. Also free.

  63. Yah, I know all about that. In any individual case it’s sometimes hard to tell if they were lying about their experience or they’re truly that clueless about how much they know compared to how much there is to know.

    We give on online IQ test and an in-person coding test where the applicants write a simple program in an hour in a Linux sandbox. Our management is prone to buying into what I call “story time”, accepting a candidate’s line of BS at face value, the more entertaining the better, but it is hard to argue with a completely blown coding test.

  64. On another subject : any John Christian Falkenberg fans here (Pournelle story)? The estate is wondering if they should release a ‘lost’ short story (about 100 pages) .

    If one of you is a fan of that genre, email me with details. (rhellewell@gmail.com )

  65. Basically everything is being shut down in WA now. As I figure only grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and brewers/distilleries are going to be the only thing allowed to be open tomorrow. Notice I left off any sort of take-out or delivery of meals because the way the goobernor worded things they are now verboten too.

    I foresee the gooberment controlling access to all food supplies.

    You think things are nasty now, just wait, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    The only things available at the grocery store will be salads, fresh vegetables, and fresh fruits.

  66. Rick: Yes, a Falkenberg fan. I’d buy a novella on Kindle.
    (I realize I’m not following directions. I’m a baaaad boy.)

  67. Controlling the food supply is no problem, and forcing non-elites to eat vegetarian is no problem for those with an open and unconventional approach to things.
    Vegans are grass-fed meat, after all.

  68. Git is a touchy subject in a commercial environment. I’m not a fan, but I’ll concede that it is the popular choice. Merges and rebases of branches get really ugly in a complex code base like ours, however, and it never works like it does in the Apress book.

    One of the funniest things that I ever saw XXX heard was five programmers and the system analyst meeting in her office next to mine. They were all trying to check in the same C header file and there were extreme and drastic changes. One person had not bothered to get any updates for over a year. The screaming was causing the ceiling tiles in my office to go up and down in random ripple patterns. When the scream fest was over, I felt abused. And my chest hurt from holding my laughing for so long. All five of them slammed the office door on their way out, or at least it seemed that way.

    BTW, we were using the DSEE tool on top of CVS on our Apollo machines. It actually worked well when people weren’t being stupid. Unfortunately, people were being stupid over this one header file.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Computer

    We still use CVSNT here on Windows. Works well. But we don’t branch.

  69. One of the funniest things that I ever saw XXX heard was five programmers and the system analyst meeting in her office next to mine. They were all trying to check in the same C header file and there were extreme and drastic changes

    Git is semi-intelligent about white space on the same line when merging, but it is meant for a hierarchy of benevolent dictators handling merge requests reconciling branches in a complex code base. It really doesn’t work well in democratic situations where everybody has their own ideas about coding styles like where to put the opening and closing brackets of a function.

    @Lynn – If you do have to cut to the bone in your organization, have the Junior developer get in touch with me about what’s possible at our place. The office is ~ two hours from Sugarland down I-10 and SR 71, and TPTB may be open to remote work living that close.

    Under normal circumstances, I’d say he’s much better off earning sweat equity with you.

    And get the Intern working on getting the EXE running under Wine on CentOS 8.

  70. Fan of the Legion here too. Would by an ebook, for a novella, $3 is about right. OR kindle rents…

    n

  71. Got hot here this afternoon, but gorgeous now…

    Moved a bunch of stuff. I need to get at least one more section of shelves under the patio. Took some doing to clear space.

    Hit my local storage unit and brought home all the PPEs, bucket lids, and cleaners. I have forgotten twice to bring the 3M Quat cleaner home from my secondary location so I thought I’d better get the stuff from storage.

    I ran out of shelf clips and searching for them when you don’t know the manufacturer takes some creativity and dedication. Quick search didn’t find them. I’ll look some more tonight. I can use bolts if I have to.

    Very quiet here. Feels like a hurricane with all the reduced traffic, but of course it’s not.

    Had a chat with my neighbor. They’re in for the duration. He seemed pretty up on things and was a trump supporter. Kinda surprised by that. One toddler and another on the way. I wouldn’t like to be facing a birth during this, but you don’t get to pick…

    n

  72. Had a chat with my neighbor. They’re in for the duration. He seemed pretty up on things and was a trump supporter. Kinda surprised by that. One toddler and another on the way. I wouldn’t like to be facing a birth during this, but you don’t get to pick…

    I didn’t want to be selling a house during this nightmare. And an expensive house at that.

    I have been kicking myself for not taking the $385K as is offer on Feb 10. I suddenly realized last night that it probably would have fallen through. The couple that made the offer seemed fairly skittish. Their offer was full of caveats and get outs.

    Wells Fargo finally lowered their 30 year fixed rate mortgage rate from 4.00% to 3.50% today. Hopefully people will see that and start moving. I have a 3.75% 30 year mortgage on the place right now.
    https://www.wellsfargorelo.com/relo/todaysRates.page

  73. And get the Intern working on getting the EXE running under Wine on CentOS 8

    What is special about CentOS 8 ?

    I had another prospect inquire about the MacPro today. Sigh. I feel sorry for Apple developers. Every time they catch their breath, Apple jerks the rug out from under them again with a new language and API.

  74. “Trump Suggests Americans Shouldn’t Shake Hands — Ever Again”
    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/trump-suggests-americans-shouldn-t-221802199.html

    He is probably correct. No hugs either. Or fist bumps.

    I had lunch with my mom and dad today at the office. No hugs, no hand shakes, no fist bumps. I did help my dad carry mom and her wheelchair over the front door threshold though. And back out when they left. Mom is just not stable and she has been ordered to stay off that bad leg.

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

  75. I had another prospect inquire about the MacPro today. Sigh. I feel sorry for Apple developers. Every time they catch their breath, Apple jerks the rug out from under them again with a new language and API.

    Just stay away from Swift if you decide to try it. Mac OS X has very good support for recent C++ versions, including a hybrid Obective C++, and is, for the most part, BSD Unix. The Cocoa GUI API hasn’t changed much since the NeXT days.

    The Big Nerd Ranch is probably still the place to go to get up to speed on Cocoa quickly. Alternatviely, the CEO, Aaron Hillegas publishes (or used to publish — I don’t keep up with that much anymore) the definitive book on Mac OS X GUI development.

  76. What is special about CentOS 8 ?

    CentOS is a support-free version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the OS IBM bought and Cringely talks about in a recent column.

    CentOS/RHEL is arguably the best Linux to target first because programs developed on 8 should be supported with bug fixes and security patches to the runtime dependencies for at least 10 years.


  77. He is probably correct. No hugs either. Or fist bumps.

    Stop crushing the Hispanic community.

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