Tues. April 7, 2020 – hope I get more done today

Cool and damp.[76F, 99%RH, concrete wet]

Yesterday was overcast all day with some rain, especially later. Not a good day for outdoor work.

Not a great day for me to do work inside to be honest. Just not feeling up to snuff. Run down is a good description. Tired. Not quite sick, but still not healthy. So I piddled around in the office and wasted time on the internet with my friends.

I did have a chance to help my 5th grader with her math homework. There are some basics we need to work on. She COUNTED rather than ADDED ’12’ during a problem. Jeez, I thought we were past that. 8yo discovered that she can read the Harry Potter books through her school online portal. She’s on her way through the fourth book today.

I almost really screwed up in the kitchen. I needed hot water for the hash browns, so I nuked a coffee cup. Whatever the cup is made of, it gets hot in the microwave. The handle was scorching hot. Due to some prior issues, it takes a while before my brain realizes that I’m holding something hot. Man, I thought I was going to have some bad damage to two of the fingers on my right hand. I got them cooled off quickly and kept ice on them for a while, much longer than normal. They hurt really bad. After a couple of hours with a cold pack, they didn’t hurt so much and they haven’t blistered. I’ll see how they look later today. I still expect them to blister at some point, given the heat, pain, and redness. I’ve got lots of burn stuff in my med kit, but it’s all for open burns, not blisters. There’s really not much you can do for blisters.

That contributed to my not getting much done during the day too.

I did do some small electronics repair and sorted out some more stuff for ebay listing. Wife has been donating and selling some kid stuff we don’t need anymore through the FB moms group. Porch pickup, electronic money transfer, and we don’t have to even say “hi”. I’ve got a craigslist guy wants to buy a tool from me, but I’m debating if it’s worth $50 to meet him at my storage unit. I suppose there is a way to do the deal with minimal exposure. I’ll wait and see if he flakes.

I’m starting to see articles about reinfection again, and articles that suggest 6 ft isn’t enough distance. Those would both be bad things.

Another article said 3 of 4 hospitals in the US surveyed are treating Covid patients already although numbers are still small. One thing we’ve seen consistently, once the numbers start rising, they tend to shoot up. Again, not a good thing.

And it looks like the CDC has an antibody test ready to deploy. Widespread use of that would be good news as we’ll get a better idea of where we are wrt the whole population exposure to wuflu. I’m getting a bad feeling that maybe we’re all just looking for reasons it’s not as bad as it could be and clutching at straws thinking that we’ve already had it. It’s a comforting idea. I’d like a chance to know for certain. I don’t expect to get a test anytime soon though.

So I’ll stay in, and try to stay safe…

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

63 thoughts on “Tues. April 7, 2020 – hope I get more done today”


  1. I did have a chance to help my 5th grader with her math homework. There are some basics we need to work on. She COUNTED rather than ADDED ’12’ during a problem. Jeez, I thought we were past that.

    If she doesn’t actively dislike math, I suggest making a game of it. Put together a bunch of addition problems, a bit random, but of slowly increasing difficulty. Challenge her to do them within a time limit. The more correct, and the faster she does them, the more “points” (or chocolate, or whatever) she wins. A couple of batches a day. If she has to do them fast, there won’t be any time for counting, so she’ll have to do the addition.

    Even better would be to find an app that does this kind of thing, since kids prefer electronics. I haven’t worked with that math level in a long time, so I can’t offer any specific suggestions…


  2. As I’ve been saying for weeks. All I know for sure is that we’re being lied to.

    Been my assertion from the very beginning. Lot of money on the line. Lot of government people more concerned about their jobs than the truth. Lots of reporters with visions of CNN dancing in their heads who see no problem in embellishing the truth.

    I suspect this entire event will turn out to be no worse than a significant flu event. Same as has occurred multiple times in the past. But this time the government has managed to seize control of people’s lives. Controlling their movement to the point of assessing fines. All based on a governor’s ruling that according to the governor “power and authority of their office”. Such power and authority I can find no actual reference in the law. The governor is not judicial nor is the governor law enforcement. But they have all established themselves in that position.

    The news media have caused people to panic, hoarding unnecessarily. State governments have learned they can declare a state of emergency over one death and get access to millions in federal funds. Local governments have learned they can do the same and get access to state money. And it is questionable that the state and local governments have had additional expenditures because of the event. “Free money” to spend on a black cultural center in the ghetto.

    And in other news. Carpet is down in wife’s work room. Apparently she grew up in a jumbled mess at home where things were just left where they were when they were finished with the item. Border line hoarding and keeping crap that is no longer needed. Stacking junk everywhere there is a space. Cleaning out her work room filled a sizable chunk of the basement. Now it all needs to go back. More junk piled everywhere. Her mother does the same thing as does her brother. Learned behavior from their parents.

    Annoying as all get out to go looking for a tool and find the wife used it last and left the tool where she finished. I am supposed to go on a hunt apparently to find the tool. But whoa is me who puts that same tool in a different location. Batteries for the drill or driver run down because she used them and did not charge them back. Found half a dozen tools in her work room when we cleared it, such tools having gone missing for years. We have four hammers and I will be darned if I know where they are located.

  3. “As I’ve been saying for weeks. All I know for sure is that we’re being lied to.”

    Been my assertion from the very beginning. Lot of money on the line. Lot of government people more concerned about their jobs than the truth. Lots of reporters with visions of CNN dancing in their heads who see no problem in embellishing the truth.

    The financial situation at my employer is no different pre-virus than post-virus, but now they have an excuse to cut raises/promotions indefinitely. It isn’t in their best interest for this to end with HEB and Home Depot both essentially intact and expanding their new tech development centers in town. Plus, does anyone really think Apple is toast? Dell?

    Ford and Boeing in trouble? What has really changed post-virus? Ford is still turning out an increasingly overpriced product with questionable longevity, and no one wants the 737Max under any name.

  4. Nick, look for “Operation Math” for iOS. It drills kids (or whoever) on +-*/ . You can choose one or do a mix of all. Choose the level. Very useful in getting kids to become more familiar with and more comfortable with and faster with basic arithmetic.


  5. Even better would be to find an app that does this kind of thing, since kids prefer electronics. I haven’t worked with that math level in a long time, so I can’t offer any specific suggestions…

    Whatever happened to rote learning of the tables?

    Such power and authority I can find no actual reference in the law.

    Throw in the militarization of police equipment, and, Gooberners on down have built in thug reaction forces. My nephew in Laredo, TX, is a police officer. They have a drone the size of a kitchen table with shotgun, beanbag, water cannon, IR attachments, etc. Over a million dollars bought by drug money. Not used to surveil the border, but citizens in the community.

  6. Because my wife and daughter have an inside view on this current situation, from a medical standpoint, I know more than I want to. Yes, we are being lied to but the numbers are being minimized. The truth is very very scary. Things are very very bad.

    The gooberment does not have a clue how to get us out of this. And if we are looking for the gooberment to provide a solution, well… NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

    Because the vast majority of the population not only has been living paycheck to paycheck for decades and they have also been grocery shopping from week to week it is no wonder that the store shelves and warehouses are empty. The supply chain is broken. No, it’s not the fault of the truckers, they are more than doing their job.

    Now that the word is going out from goobernors that everyone needs to stay put for 2-weeks. That is only going to cause another rush on the grocery stores and further exasperate the current situation.


  7. Such power and authority I can find no actual reference in the law.

    President tRump is right: we need to get back to work. The ProgLibTurds are prancing with glee at the final destruction of the FUSA. As the late, great, Mr. OFD would say, “the Commies took over without firing a shot.”

  8. @nick
    I created an Excel spreadsheet that generates simple math problems for my kid. She loathes the extra work, too bad. Too much hinges on math.

    Also started using an electronic flash card device yesterday. Jury is out on effectiveness but she fooled with it for quite awhile.
    https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Resources-Minute-Electronic-Flash/dp/B0035EQIAO?tag=ttgnet-20

    We also try to get her to chant the tables. Also a loathsome activity, yet her math speed invariably improves if she chants.

    When she complains about the difficulty of her math I now show her my math book and offer to switch. She tends to hush and return to her work. Hah.

    We haven’t found the right learning solution yet. I’m going to try a couple d10 we’ve got floating around next.

    @stevef
    I’m not a fan of iPad learning but I’m going to try the app you mentioned. Math is critical and if I have to gamefy it? Fine.

  9. My problem with all the game “learning” the school has pushed down is that they are distanced from it. The screen ‘mediates’ as in ‘gets in the middle’ in a way that you can see but is hard to describe. And, they just keep clicking until they get advanced to the next question. Immediate feedback encourages guessing. Delay encourages trying to get it right the first time. That’s what I’ve seen anyway.

    I will look at that app, because they do a fair amount on the ipads already and if I can shift that to something more effective I would like to.

    What really shocks me is how glibly they move thru the material without ever actually learning it. Because of the sophisticated (root ‘sophist’ ” thought by many to be more concerned with winning arguments than arriving at the truth”) vocabulary, and advanced concepts it LOOKS like they know more than they do. They never get the basics, before adding on all the frou frou….

    n

  10. Jenny (and anyone else with kids), the way I’ve always presented it to my kids is that math is the discriminator between good-paying jobs and lumpen jobs. Science, too, but math is the biggie. And, sure, there are the rare actors, artists, musicians, and writers who make it big, but the typical “creative” type doesn’t support herself with her art. If you want to support yourself and not rely on parents or government or spouse, learn as much math as you can.

  11. @SteveF
    math is the discriminator
    True words!
    @nick
    Game learning
    Yes, I’ve witnessed this. I haven’t found a way to articulate it – it is one if many reasons why she’s in private school. Too much gamification going on in public school.
    I think the other damaging problem is this notion that learning should be all fun all the time. That devalues and undermines the reality that effort is required, effort isn’t always fun. Results in kids (adults) who give up on something they’re perfectly capable of accomplishing once the level of effort exceeds the level of fun. Instilling the value system of “learning is its own reward” becomes an uphill battle.

    I hope it helps her see both her parents actively learning and actively putting in effort to do so.

  12. I think I related the other day that my 8yo was indignant that she’d have to continue learning things after she left school! SHE was going to graduate knowing every thing there is to know. 🙂

    n

  13. Nick, look for “Operation Math” for iOS.

    I want one for Geography!

    “In the New Math, as you know, the important thing is to understand what you’re doing rather than to get the right answer.”
    Tom Lehrer

  14. Brand new study out today, testing for Chinavirus antibodies in genpop around Seattle. Found antibodies in a teenager who was “very sick” back in December. https://vizwild.com/community-serum-antibody-testing/

    (Click the map for the details).

    Would tend to support the suspicions of many who had a “mysterious flu” back in November/December.

  15. I think I related the other day that my 8yo was indignant that she’d have to continue learning things after she left school! SHE was going to graduate knowing every thing there is to know.

    Eight? I work with people my age like that.

    It is doubly true with the diversity hire people who do nothing but drive Excel all day, but the Senior developer in my group is pretty bad. He doesn’t like digging into our log files, but when I give him a hand, he’ll fuss at me over my shoulder about some obscure Unix tool or vi command I *should* be using to search the files.

  16. Brand new study out today, testing for Chinavirus antibodies in genpop around Seattle. Found antibodies in a teenager who was “very sick” back in December.

    I’m willing to bet that universal antibody testing reveals a huge chunk of the Subcontinent expats were infected here in Austin and brought it back from trips home for Diwali. What probably saved us a bigger headache is that the companies that hire them go H1B in a big way to the point that the employees have their own subdivisions, schools, and even movie theaters in the area surrounding Dell and HPE. Plus, as Diwali ends, the US holidays get going.

    Both of my wife’s near miss exposures were Subcontinent. I don’t believe that country’s numbers for a minute.

    Chinese and other Asians on the West Coast are more spread out into the communities and make efforts to assimilate. Many try to be friendly unless they’re Mainland Chinese hunkering down in bug out pads, hiding from the ChiCom intelligence agents.

  17. Eight? I work with people my age like that.

    Some people seem to work very hard at being ignorant. Witness Governor Kemp ‘just’ finding out that you can spread COVID-19 before showing symptoms last week. It requires a huge amount of work to be that willfully ignorant.

    And people have been doing it for a long time. My step-dad’s boss, president of a Motorola Mobile Radio assembly facility, asked who Anwar Sadat was in 1981 after his assassination. I was a senior in high school and I knew who he was before the assassination.

  18. People that know everything.
    They’re called specialists.
    def Specialist – someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything there is to know about nothing.

  19. And people have been doing it for a long time. My step-dad’s boss, president of a Motorola Mobile Radio assembly facility, asked who Anwar Sadat was in 1981 after his assassination. I was a senior in high school and I knew who he was before the assassination.

    In Sunrise, FL? That place never made money and was a huge drain on those of us who paid taxes in FL … unlike Motorola.

    What a boondoggle. It is fitting that Magic Leap has most of that building now.

    BTW, if you’re seeing the images on the news (especially the Daily Mail) this week out of Sunrise, showing the cars lined up for the “food pantry”, my guess is that most of the people in the line don’t actually need the food as much as they want the free stuff.

    Wait until free testing starts in Broward. Anything free in FL, but especially that area.

    They used to line up when the circus was in town, giving away free truck loads of elephant dung.

    I’m not kidding.

    Anything. Things aren’t that bad yet. A food pantry in Marlins Park I would believe, but not Sunrise. That’s a haul from where people are truly poor.

    If you only know Florida from movies, Sunrise/Davie is where “Caddyshack” was filmed, and the cast/crew had to live at the hotel next to the golf course. The oral history of the movie states that an affordable crew was only available because the studio delayed a Jerry Lewis flick slated for production in town.

  20. I’m starting to see articles about reinfection again, and articles that suggest 6 ft isn’t enough distance. Those would both be bad things.

    They are going to try to push this to 18 months. Right past the mail in ballot federal election in the fall.

  21. And it looks like the CDC has an antibody test ready to deploy. Widespread use of that would be good news as we’ll get a better idea of where we are wrt the whole population exposure to wuflu. I’m getting a bad feeling that maybe we’re all just looking for reasons it’s not as bad as it could be and clutching at straws thinking that we’ve already had it. It’s a comforting idea. I’d like a chance to know for certain. I don’t expect to get a test anytime soon though.

    My son says the antibody test has a 40% false positive rate.

  22. The test they’re using in korea is only 70% accurate, jut mentioned in an article about relapses or reinfections. It’s cited as a reason to believe that the people testing positive after testing negative actually had an inaccurate negative… and were then released into society with a clean bill of health BTW.

    n

  23. My son says the antibody test has a 40% false positive rate.

    False positives beat false negatives. A significant number of the population would be content to never leave their homes again, and they’ll still be able to vote by mail. Keep the sick and vulnerable home, but everyone else needs to start working again.

  24. And, sure, there are the rare actors, artists, musicians, and writers who make it big, but the typical “creative” type doesn’t support herself with her art. If you want to support yourself and not rely on parents or government or spouse, learn as much math as you can.

    I have noticed that those rare actors, musicians, and writers actually work their butts off perfecting their God given skills. They may have gotten special talents in their mix but they still have to drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill. You may see them out playing around but when you watch them 24×7, they are practicing, practicing, practicing.


  25. I have noticed that those rare actors, musicians, and writers actually work their butts off perfecting their God given skills. They may have gotten special talents in their mix but they still have to drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill.

    I wrote at least two million words before I sold my first one.

  26. From BH in the Fort Bend Journal:

    “Overheard: Ran out of toilet paper and now using lettuce leaves. Today was just the tip of the iceberg. Tomorrow romaines to be seen.”

  27. I have noticed that those rare actors, musicians, and writers actually work their butts off perfecting their God given skills. They may have gotten special talents in their mix but they still have to drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill.

    I wrote at least two million words before I sold my first one.

    That 10,000 hours journey to competence is very true.

    I don’t think that I have read any of your books so far. I’ve read somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 SF/F books since I was 10 ??? Only got ten million to go.


  28. I wrote at least two million words before I sold my first one.

    That’s commonly called being an overnight success, right?

  29. Dow Jones Rips 2,674 Points Higher In 4 Days

    What if they threw a pandemic and nobody came?

    In South India, crossing a pile of elephant dung on the road is a sign of good luck. Helluva good fertilizer, too!

    In line with my thesis that herd immunity is going to show that this pandemic was practically a manufactured crisis, or one only made possible by the the herd behavior of the internet, I suspect when the final tally comes in India will remain relatively unscathed. In the final analysis most people down there will have acquired Chinese Flu and shrugged it off while the majority who do die of it probably would have croaked soon enough anyhow.

    I hope I’m not wrong. Only reliable antibody test sampling will show the truth.

  30. Just in case anyone didn’t read the link–

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8196035/Why-COVID-19-death-toll-higher-tested-die-counted.html

    Suggesting the death toll from COVID-19 may be higher than the official figures reports Levine adds: ‘It’s not just deaths in hospitals which are up.

    ‘On an average day before this crisis there were 20-25 deaths at home in NYC. Now in the midst of this pandemic the number is 200-215. *Every day*.

    ‘Early on in this crisis we were able to swab people who died at home, and thus got a coronavirus reading. But those days are long gone.

    ‘We simply don’t have the testing capacity for the large numbers dying at home.’

    –just like when we couldn’t trust the numbers from china, look to the secondary effects.

    n
    –I’m surprised there are so few ‘at home’ deaths in NYC normally. I guess they get to the hospital normally. Ask why they aren’t currently…


  31. What if they threw a pandemic and nobody came?

    The latest WH screech is: It’s coming back every year!

    It’s like the DEEEEEP STAAATE is trying to keep us peons in the fields. What business can close for 2-3 months every year except the goobermint and tax funding agencies. Public school, anyone?

  32. If this shakes up the indoctrination centers known as “public schools” that will be a good thing.

    If it puts a stake in the heart of “everyone needs to go to college” it will be a good thing.

    If it regularizes ‘work from home’ for those who want to and are able to do so effectively, it will be a good thing.

    If it gets more people to prep, ….

    If it gets the borders closed,…

    If it puts more guns in the hands of ‘the people’, ….

    If it puts us back on a cash basis for health care with true insurance instead of a pre-paid discount plan,….

    and don’t forget the racist and eugenics arguments too… because they will have some truth in them.

    n

    n

  33. If it regularizes ‘work from home’ for those who want to and are able to do so effectively, it will be a good thing.

    My experience with this is not good. The employee apparently lied to me about their working hours. And I don’t verify the working time of any of my employees.


  34. And it looks like the CDC has an antibody test ready to deploy.

    Yes, from Cellex. It’s similar to home pregnancy tests, but uses a drop of blood.

    My son says the antibody test has a 40% false positive rate.

    Not according to the documentation. It has a 94% positive detection agreement, 95% negative agreement in tests. These kinds of qualitative serology tests are pretty well understood.

  35. And it looks like the CDC has an antibody test ready to deploy.

    Yes, from Cellex. It’s similar to home pregnancy tests, but uses a drop of blood.

    What do you want to bet that people will still pee on it ?


  36. Brand new study out today, testing for Chinavirus antibodies in genpop around Seattle.

    Actually, it was in Portland, Oregon.

    I’m a little leery of putting much stock in the study. First, the person that wrote it has no affiliation listed with any medical research lab. His LinkedIn page seems to show that he is a data visualization programmer for a real estate company. Second, there is no indication that the test protocol had any review by a human subject review team. It just seems … sketchy.

    CDC is doing a few of randomized studies – random people not tested for COVID in areas with outbreaks (started), health care workers, and randomized across the US.

  37. “If it regularizes ‘work from home’ for those who want to and are able to do so effectively, it will be a good thing.”

    My experience with this is not good. The employee apparently lied to me about their working hours. And I don’t verify the working time of any of my employees.

    I spent a decade at the Death Star working on the software that enables IBM employees (among others) to work from home. My generation destroyed the concept that they could be productive working that way. The big companies know what the employees actually did with their time, and it sure wasn’t work.

    BTW, if you are an IBM employee on the NetClient, realize *everything* you do on the network goes down the tunnel and gets analyzed while the client is active. *Everything*.

    Your printer and home servers might be accessible via holes we punched in the firewall, but general Internet activity goes over the VPN, including all your pr0n. IBM shed the ISP division for a reason — employee surveillance is dicey when you’re a public provider.


  38. BTW, if you are an IBM employee on the NetClient, realize *everything* you do on the network goes down the tunnel and gets analyzed.

    It still amazes me that there is anyone who doesn’t automatically assume this happens on *any* piece of company owned equipment.

  39. Back in the mid-to-late 2000’s, I installed a web filtering software on the network at my local government workplace. At first, it was department-wide, then all computers at the local government.

    One of the features was an an analysis of time spent on the internet. The time percentage ranged from 20 to 50%. And most of those employees didn’t have a need to do internet stuff for their job duties.

    I am an advocate for working from home for those whose jobs can be done at home – why not?. It can reduce some costs.

    But allowing WFH (Work From Home) requires a bit more management oversight. The employee’s manager must have a metric of how much time the employee spends on their job duties. And that requires an understanding by management on what those job duties are.


  40. Actually, it was in Portland, Oregon.

    Yes. Apologies for the error.

    I wasn’t especially interested in the overall results of the study. It is, at this point, tiny. What I did find interesting was the discovery of the teenager with antibodies who said he had been ill in December. If true, and he was suffering from the disease then, that might add support to may who have felt they might have contracted the disease well before it was known here.

  41. Back when I worked for MegaGiant Defense Contractor, the login screen for our computers all had a statement that parsed as “This is our computer; anything & everything you do on this computer is subject to being scrutinized by us. Will can and will go so far as to report you to the prosecutors.” I was one of the vanishingly small % of the employees who ever bothered to read what I was agreeing to. Then again, far too high a % of my co-workers never read anything there were obligated to, and then maybe.

  42. Actually, it was in Portland, Oregon.

    I’m actually surprised that the numbers aren’t higher out of the Portland Metro. I have a Portland Business Journal article from last week where my wife’s former employer is on the record talking about losing 2/3 of their patient visits, and someone off the record discusses doctors going without paychecks for 3-4 months.

    Both the Measles pandemic and the infamous series of E-Coli incidents at Chipotle had origin points within a couple of miles of our rental on the Vancouver, WA side of the river.

    As I’ve written before, the waiting room of the exact office where my wife used to work was a critical hot point in the Measles situation blowing up like it did last year.

    Valentines Day morning 2019.

  43. … login screen for our computers all had a statement that parsed as “This is our computer;…

    Back when I was fixing Win95 computers I’d innocently alter the logoff .bmp to read “Its now safe to turn off your computer” from “It’s now safe to turn off your computer”

    I can’t recall anyone ever noticing.

  44. 8yo discovered that she can read the Harry Potter books through her school online portal. She’s on her way through the fourth book today.

    I am surprised that you do not have the dead tree versions. Wait, I keep on forgetting, the young prefer reading everything on their tablets and phones.

    Man, I am getting old.

  45. 8yo discovered that she can read the Harry Potter books through her school online portal. She’s on her way through the fourth book today.

    Harry Potter is the gateway drug to Terry Pratchett.

    See if “Going Postal” is still on Netflix.

  46. 8yo discovered that she can read the Harry Potter books through her school online portal. She’s on her way through the fourth book today.

    Harry Potter is the gateway drug to Terry Pratchett.

    Harry Potter is the gateway drug to … more Harry Potter. I spent about 3 weeks in 2008 or 2010 rolling through the seven books (I borrowed my daughter’s copies). We listened to the first book driving to somewhere and I was hooked.

  47. Of course I have the dead tree, and the wife had her dead tree copies…. And she read thru them with the now 10yo as bedtime stories.

    But the little one does prefer the screen for reading.

    If the screen is a kindle paperwhite, frankly so do I. Backlight and adjustable font size, plus the thing weighs the same whether you have a novella or a Peter Hamilton loaded…

    I love books, and the experience is different from reading on a screen. The smell of the pages, the feel of the paper (good or cheap), the dwindling ‘unread’ part as you move thru…. all good things. I’ve still got an extensive library of fiction. But I pretty much stopped buying books new, and only buy hardcopy for the kids, or if I see something I want at Goodwill.

    We only read from paper to the kids at night. and they both read from paper on their own too. In fact, time to read to the 8yo, from The House On Plum Creek….

    n


  48. Wait, I keep on forgetting, the young prefer reading everything on their tablets and phones.

    Not just the young, although at 74 I don’t consider myself old. I prefer screens to paper because, unlike in the Harry Potter movies, paper lacks zoom and search functions. After spending 30+ years reading a screen, I have trouble reading dead trees. First, I hate text that falls over into the binding. In newspapers and magazines, I especially HATE continuations. Just give me text that flows uninterrupted from beginning to end. If there are any figures or pictures, put them off to one side, and adjacent to the text that refers to them.

    I had a friend who had poor eyesight. I taught him how to adjust the settings on his computer so he could read. He was astounded. Before that, he sometimes printed things and put them under a camera connected to a TV, one of those expensive appliances intended for the partially sighted.

  49. I love books, and the experience is different from reading on a screen. The smell of the pages, the feel of the paper (good or cheap), the dwindling ‘unread’ part as you move thru…. all good things.

    We cross posted. I agree. I still remember books, and have many. I just don’t read them much because most of my library is reference material. Sometimes I can’t find a book with the information I need, and a few years ago I started looking things up on the web. Bingo! I sometimes challenge myself to find something I think I can’t find. Sure enough, I find it!

    I remember a few years ago, a friend said he listened to music on his tablet while he napped in his recliner. I lamented that I couldn’t find much of what I like in music. He challenged me, and I asked him to find something really obscure. Of course, he found it in seconds. Since then, I have done the same. Sometimes I can only find things on places that sell the recordings, and only have intros. More often than not, someone has posted the real thing. And, all without ever going to any of those shady sites.

  50. @Greg
    It’s been a long time since I read “Going Postal”
    We have a fairly innocent 8 year old. Any opinion on whether the film version of “Going Postal” would be enjoyable for kiddo?

    Currently watching the 1970’s Pippi Longstocking films (delicious!). Most recent modern film was “Onward” and “Frozen II”, both had bits that were a bit scarier than she preferred but she didn’t get bad dreams.

  51. I’ve been looking for copies of the Pippi Longstocking in the thrift stores for years. I might have to break down and look on ebay….

    We are thinking of introducing the 10yo to pratchett with the Tiffany Aching series (the witches, the wee free men, granny weatherwax…)

    I love the ones featuring Moist (making money,going postal, ?), but they may be a bit older, what with the werewolves and the love interest? The Hogfather and the Death series are good fun and any of the Guard series….

    Aye, if I think about it too hard, I’ll have to re-read them.

    n

  52. @jimB, I listen to more music on youtube than anywhere else.

    Their recommendation engine works really well if you watch a bunch of stuff you know you’ll like. Pretty soon, you’ll be intrigued and find yourself watching something or even a whole genre you never heard before.

    n

  53. Another story about deliberate under-counting of cases. no point in testing, just assume everyone with symptoms has it.

    n

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8197545/Pennsylvanias-Brighton-Rehabilitation-assuming-450-residents-300-staff-coronavirus.html

    and people, exponential growth means doubling every so many days. 3-4 in most places. So doubling twice in a week is RIGHT ON TARGET, not something that should be a surprise.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8197565/Michigan-sees-coronavirus-cases-TREBLE-one-week.html


  54. @jimB, I listen to more music on youtube than anywhere else.

    So do I. BTW, I listen using the Brave browser: no ads or interruptions… for now.

    When we visit my 98YO aunt, there is only TV with no DVR, so I rarely turn it ON. My wife will, but she mainly uses it as noise and light while doing her crafts. I read a lot, and find TV or music distracting. I really like quiet. While there, I miss my shop.

  55. I love books, and the experience is different from reading on a screen. The smell of the pages, the feel of the paper (good or cheap), the dwindling ‘unread’ part as you move thru…. all good things. I’ve still got an extensive library of fiction. But I pretty much stopped buying books new, and only buy hardcopy for the kids, or if I see something I want at Goodwill.

    I love dead tree books. They are a drug and a vice to me. I’ve got around 4,000 at the moment, mostly MMPB. I lost a thousand or more in The Great Flood of 1989. Almost all of my Heinleins and Asimovs of which most have been replaced over the years. I even have multiple copies of my six star books with a few at the bug out place.

    I have posted about 800 book reviews on Amazon in the last 15+ years. I am Amazon reviewer ranking #28,513 at the moment. It amazes me that I have been using Amazon for so long and did not buy any of their stock until last year. Stupid, very stupid.

    Good night, Big River is above 2,000 !
    https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/AMZN?p=AMZN&.tsrc=fin-srch

  56. @Nick
    Tiffany Aching series
    These were brilliant and I’d forgotten all about them. Thank you!
    I found the 1970’s Pippi’s on DVD or BluRay, all 4, but am resistant to paying $40. The reviews note that the conversion to BluRay trims the opener.
    Should we be so fortunate as to have a return to normalcy, we will haunt the pawn shops for them.

  57. Dang, I just ordered the Bluray… I like bluray for less money than the DVD set and didn’t look further than that.

    I remember watching them as a kid and really liking them.

    n

  58. Having done a fair bit of statistics back in the dark ages, one has to be incredibly careful with false-positive and false-negative rates. Combining these into “accuracy” presupposes a lot of knowledge that we do not currently have.

    For example: let’s say we have a really excellent test with only a 2% false-positive rate. We apply this test to the entire population. If the *actual* number of people who were exposed to COVID is 2% of the population, then *half* of the identified cases will be false positives. That is nearly useless. There’s no point in even discussing a test with a false-positive rate of 40% – that is utterly useless.

    The false-negative rate causes the same sorts of problems on the other end of the scale, but is more dangerous since it may allow infected people to walk around freely.

    What the marketing dweebs call the “accuracy rate” is anybody’s guess, because figuring out any sort of accuracy rate depends on knowing the actual numbers, and will change as the actual numbers change.

    On an average day before this crisis there were 20-25 deaths at home in NYC. Now in the midst of this pandemic the number is 200-215.

    Um…no. Using round figures: New York has a population of 10,000,000. Taking a lifespan of 80 years, there should be 350 deaths per day. According to the all-knowing internet, 20% of Americans die at home, and another 20% if you count old-age homes. That “20-25” number is nonsense.

    don’t forget the racist and eugenics arguments too

    Add in “culture”, and tie this into the schooling problems. You can’t do remote schooling, because some kids have parents who cannot or will not support them. That is a genuine problem, but it’s not one that should be solved at the expense of the kids whose parents do support their education.

    In the US, it’s the Hispanic immigrants and the inner-city blacks. Here, it’s the immigrants from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. I understand that society as a whole has an interest in seeing kids get a decent education. But – as always – there is far too much interest and investment in the left half of the bell curve, and too little in the right half.

  59. If you go hunting for the Pippi Longstocking series, keep an eye out for Mary Poppins *series*as well. I wish I still had my copies of Mary Poppins et seq. because they were quite droll and I imagine they contained not a bit of adult humor that went over my head at the time. P.L. Travers.

    (Wasn’t there a movie about her a while back?)

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