Wed. April 8, 2020 – little of this, little of that

Cool to start, but warming, and still wet.

National forecast shows us on the edge of a system. Usually that means we don’t get it. We’ll see.

Had about 0.16 in of rain yesterday according to my weather station. It must have been in the morning, or when I was doing other things. LOTS of water in the buckets and stuff in the driveway, but that was from the last couple of days.

I put some wire mesh over my onions to keep the squirrels off. If it works tomorrow, I’ll put some over all the onions.

My potatoes are poking through the dirt in all three of my bags. Hooray! I’ll be adding soil when the shoots get a couple inches bigger. I hope this bag approach to a potato tower works. At dinner my daughter asked, “But don’t we already have a whole lot of potatoes?” “Yep, 120 pounds (wife’s eyebrows go up!) but I’ve got a longer planning horizon than most people…” Silence as that sank in. I don’t know what the fall will bring, but I know I won’t have potatoes if I don’t plant them now…

Grape vine continues to leaf and grow new canes. Blueberry plants (hard to call the scrawny things ‘bushes’) mostly have developing berries or still flowers. Meyer Lemon, lime, and orange all have developing fruit. Nothing from the window box root veggies yet though. I need to see what else I can get in the ground. The herb mix I seeded hasn’t produced anything either yet. Potted tomatoes are getting ripe. I may get two whole (small) tomatoes this year. New pepper plants and old are producing. Collards and cabbages are still alive, if not going wild. Alive is good. My remaining apple tree is leafing out. I didn’t get to replace the dead one, so without cross pollination, I guess I won’t get fruit. If nothing else, the tree will get a bit more established.

I did a bit more cleaning and organizing. Not anywhere near as much as needed. I did replace some caps and spouts on several aquatainers. I had bought replacement parts some time ago but never put them on. I need to get my water sorted and rotated, but that is frankly low priority. I did it yesterday just to get them moved and make sure I didn’t misplace the parts again.

Amazon says my can organizers shipped yesterday. I’ve been holding off any more food moving until the organizers get here, so I only have to do it a couple of times (one would be ideal, but also unlikely.)

Dinner was Taco Tuesday, frozen ground beef, envelope of mix, and fixin’s from the fridge.

I think I’m going to try some bread baking today or tomorrow. I want to try pita bread, and the polar opposite, soft dinner rolls… If I can get the dinner rolls to work, I’ll have a homemade replacement for the King’s Hawaiian rolls we eat with our pulled pork. Considering the amount of canned and frozen pork I’ve got, rolls would be a Good Thing ™.

The burns on my fingers did NOT blister today. They hurt a bit when pressed or heated, but I may have dodged a bullet. They are still red and shiny and I have to hold my coffee cup differently than normal, but I’ll take it as a win if they don’t swell up and peel.

WRT wuflu. Most of what I see says “undercounting” not “lump in everything possible” at least in the US. Look at the secondary and indirect effects for an indication where the numbers aren’t trustworthy. Hospitals are going through PPEs at an extraordinary rate. NYC has so many dead they’re stacking up, and SECURITY GUARDS have been pressed into service moving the bodies. We’re starting to see cases take off in areas where there were only a few, confirming the exponential nature, and then the math is inexorable. Don’t lose focus. We’re only a few weeks into this and we are looking at MONTHS ahead. Meanwhile, they’re making progress. An antibody test is being trialed. The ‘plasma infusion’ treatment seems promising. The HCQ and Z pak is getting widespread testing. People around the world are working on treatment, vaccine, and testing.

Stay in, stay safe, start your garden!

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

57 thoughts on “Wed. April 8, 2020 – little of this, little of that”

  1. 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?

    That’s a tough question. If the 8 year old is reading later “Harry Potter”, they aren’t going to see anything on screen worse than what is described in the Rowling books, but you might want to watch yourself first and decide. There are a couple of hangings, the werewolf gets a bit of screen time, and Claire Foy’s Dearhart smokes *a lot*.

    As far as entertainment, the golems are kid friendly and the production team brought in Andrew Sachs to portray Groat — one of his last performances, sadly. The two part series is a bit long, but it doesn’t drag like the same team’s “Hogfather”, which bored my kids by being *extremely* faithful to the book. The on-screen portrayal of the Klax is extremely well done.

    Unfortunately, it looks like Netflix lost out to “Amazon Prime” for the rights … for now.

  2. The ‘plasma infusion’ treatment seems promising.

    My wife wondered about the possibility of that last night, not knowing anything about whether tests were underway.

    One upside of the virus is that the demise of the EV fantasy won’t be long, drawn out, and painful. “Tyler Durden” byline providing cover for one of the real car journalists who have otherwise been complicit in the ponzi promoted by The Real Life Tony Stark (TM).

    https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/tesla-furloughs-majority-workers-cuts-employee-pay-through-end-q2

    I’ll concede Musk is right about the car crash statistics. I’ll stand by my earlier prediction of 20,000 dead unless the true numbers which emerge from India and the community of expats in the US showing a pattern of lies beyond reason covering unbelievably bad numbers.

    Since they didn’t use their cash to buy TSLA, Apple has a very good chance of emerging from the mess unscathed. We will even see the iPhone SE return to the market since the Burberry woman isn’t around to fuss about the stores looking like bus terminals supporting the masses buying $400 phones.

    (I can see her point, but she eliminated the Genius Bar and created the problem. I believe Tim Cook reached the same conclusion.)

  3. Stayed up too late reading, then had bad dreams keep waking me up. Finally up and caught up on the web….

    n

  4. Bernie finally dropped out of the race. I’m guessing if he’s still around he’ll be too old to be a contender in 2024. it’s amusing to see that for all their talk the Dems have put forward another old white guy. lol

  5. Bernie finally dropped out of the race. I’m guessing if he’s still around he’ll be too old to be a contender in 2024. it’s amusing to see that for all their talk the Dems have put forward another old white guy. lol

    Bernie must have the delivery date on his jet. The other detail is that, like 2016, the deal has to be cut where Mrs. Bernie remains an *unindicted* co-conspirator in the financial meltdown of that college she ran for a while.

    Someone has the goods on Mrs. Bernie, which Bubba used as leverage four years ago along with the arrangement for the lake house to keep Sanders’ mouth shut when the dime got dropped.

    Plugs is a figurehead for a coalition of Dems with an agenda who are really going to run things if he wins. Pay attention to the VP choice and any proposed cabinet members. Biden is their Bush 43 except “W” was moderately coherent during campaigns most of the time and was expected to participate in debates whereas Uncle Joe may actually get a pass.

  6. Biden, right. The D’s have just guaranteed Trump’s reelection, unless he drops dead of Corona. Sanders, however stupid his ideas, at least sounds coherent and doesn’t regularly grope young girls in public.

    One has to wonder: are the D’s this stupid, or I’d this part of a larger strategy. One should never forget that R and D are two sides of the same coin.

    On an unrelated note, I was glad to see Modley “resign”. What a dweeb.

  7. Gave myself another mullet trim today with the beard trimmer and the #2 guard. The wife very carefully did not stay around to give me helpful comments, very unusual that (must be real bad). I feel thick hair in the middle in the back so, mullet coming ! I ordered a big mirror but am half blind and Big River says that it is due April 25.

  8. One has to wonder: are the D’s this stupid, or I’d this part of a larger strategy. One should never forget that R and D are two sides of the same coin.

    Larger strategy, just like Doh-bama picking Biden for VP.

    Biden was discredited and sent to the Democrat Party’s woodshed *32 years ago* thanks to Mike Dukakis’ opposition research staff in the runup to the 1988 election. Wikipedia or Google have the details if you want the gory details.

    Biden was kept around a useful idiot to the power brokers in the party because he was centrist, loyal, and capable of making a coherent point on stage or in a debate until recently.

    When we call him Plugs around here, it is short for the moniker Plugs McKenzie, a take off on Spuds McKenzie, the mascot for Bud Light in the mid-late 80s. Even the satire on Biden is old.


  9. The D’s have just guaranteed Trump’s reelection, unless he drops dead of Corona.

    Voting by mail, my good fellow.

  10. “Farmers are panic-buying to keep America’s 95 million cows fed”
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/news/farmers-are-panic-buying-to-keep-america-e2-80-99s-95-million-cows-fed/ar-BB12jy9v

    “Keeping America’s 95 million cows, 77 million pigs, and 9 billion chickens fed isn’t as simple as it may seem. Farmers are worried their feed mills could close as employees get sick or that their slaughterhouses could slow production, forcing them to keep animals for longer. They’re also concerned that a shortage of trucks, which are being waylaid to supply supermarkets, could make it harder for farm supplies to reach them.”

    Everyone is prepping now. And 95 million cows eat a LOT of feed. My grandfather fed his 25+ cow once a day after they grazed all day, it was a big job, took a couple of hours.

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

  11. @lynn, welcome to the Bad-Hair Club for Men 😉 “It looks good from the front!” Keep practicing ….

    n

  12. Mucking out the barn so you can see the concrete is a big job every day, too. Ask me how I know.

  13. We have now had seven SARS-2, COVID-19, related deaths in Fort Bend County. 418 are infected. No recorded value of how many have recovered. In a county of over 800,000 people.

    We are destroying our economy for this ?

  14. Mucking out the barn so you can see the concrete is a big job every day, too. Ask me how I know.

    Grandad never allowed the cows in the barn. That was for hay (ask me how I know that you can stack hay bales 25 ft tall), mice, rats, and cats. And cattle cubes in 60 lb sacks.

  15. “Kushner’s team seeks national coronavirus surveillance system”
    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/07/kushner-coronavirus-surveillance-174165

    “Critics worry about a Patriot Act for health care, raising concerns about patient privacy and civil liberties.”

    I seem to remember SCOTUS finding a right to privacy in the USA Constitution back in the 1970s concerning a Jane Doe. I wonder if we still have that right ? I wonder what that surveillance could be extended to ? Firearms ? Weight ? Dogs ?

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

  16. “The Senate’s Plan To Save Small Businesses Is Already Failing, And Mnuchin Just Made It Worse”
    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/08/the-senates-plan-to-save-small-businesses-is-already-failing-and-mnuchin-just-made-it-worse/

    “Remember the deal the president signed to save America’s small businesses from ruin during the government’s coronavirus shutdown? The one hammered out by the Senate and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin over weeks of tense negotiation while Americans worriedly watched, hoping good news might come before a depression does? The details are out of Treasury now, and it looks like it isn’t going to work for a large number of small business owners after all.”

    Yup, we are screwed. I applied for the loan on Monday and worked through the numbers in my mind. It will be difficult to thread the needle.


  17. We are destroying our economy for this ?

    Exactly. How many billions are the airlines getting? Too big to fail? How many small businesses could use the money? And, the airlines are saying that’s not enough. Goodbye, FUSA. Say “Hello” to Commissar *Shot Girl*. Illegals need $$, too.

    I hope tRump says “fcuk it” at the end of the week. Reopen the country. No Chinee, though.

  18. “We are destroying our economy for this ? ”

    –The economy has been on the eve of destruction for at least the last two years. The wuflu is just the trigger. Remember? Giant bubble? Everything inflated? Monitization of all the things? What can’t continue won’t??

    We’ve been WAY overdue.

    Am I happy about it? No. We were going to be owners in a thriving business, now we’re minority (very minor) shareholders in a business that will probably be crushed by wuflu. We’ve got most of our net wealth in cash, which can be inflated away with the ‘stroke of a pen’.

    It’s funny that everyone is projecting current conditions into extraordinary predictions both for liberty, and for the economy, but can’t or won’t do the same for KungFlu. At least with the kungflu we have charts and math to support the thesis, as well as historical fact from other places. We’re not doing ANY of the things for any number that passed, or is current- we’re doing it because of what the math tells us will happen in the future if we don’t. We went from essentially none to 400K in roughly a month. Where will we be in another month?

    NYC vs LA. UK vs Italy/France. Sweden vs Norway. Other places are running the experiment, what happens if you don’t actually isolate people? Hopefully, we’ll learn from their experiences. NYC has more deaths than Hubei, btw… which one is lying? What does it mean if they are?

    n

  19. “IHS: North American E&P companies cut spending 36% in 2020”
    https://www.ogj.com/general-interest/economics-markets/article/14173646/ihs-north-american-ep-companies-cut-spending-36-in-2020

    “North American E&P companies plan to reduce spending in 2020 by 36% relative to 2019 levels, translating to a $24.4-billion cut in 2020 compared to last year, according to IHS Herold calculations.”

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. More cuts are coming, way more. And not just in the oil patch.

  20. NYC vs LA. UK vs Italy/France. Sweden vs Norway. Other places are running the experiment, what happens if you don’t actually isolate people? Hopefully, we’ll learn from their experiences. NYC has more deaths than Hubei, btw… which one is lying? What does it mean if they are?

    I don’t think that you can isolate NYC. Ten plus million people living in less than ten square miles. Elevators, common HVAC systems, common front doors, etc, etc, etc.


  21. we’re doing it because of what the math tells us will happen in the future

    How are those atmospheric temperature models working out for you?

  22. How are those atmospheric temperature models working out for you?

    Heh. Exactly. We just don’t have the data to model either one realistically.

  23. We went from essentially none to 400K in roughly a month. Where will we be in another month?

    600k to 1 million if the testing really starts rolling and the sick and vulnerable camp their happy a**es at home. The number of asymptomatic infections will be in the 10s of millions if the pattern from SARS holds true.

  24. Not using models. Just historical data. Exponential growth until it tapers off.

    n

  25. We went from essentially none to 400K in roughly a month. Where will we be in another month?

    600k to 1 million if the testing really starts rolling and the sick and vulnerable camp their happy a**es at home. The number of asymptomatic infections will be in the 10s of millions if the pattern from SARS holds true.

    I think that tens of millions have already had it in the USA alone.

    This thing looks so catching that someone sneezes in China and someone gets it in Los Angeles.

  26. “Texas Anti-Vaxxers Fear Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines More Than the Virus Itself”
    https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/texas-anti-vaxxers-fear-mandatory-coronavirus-vaccines/

    “A vaccine for the novel coronavirus is likely at least a year away, but the state’s large anti-vaccine community is ready to resist it.”

    Yup. I know three moms who are anti-vaxxers with 14 kids between them. None of their kids have been vaccinated for anything. They home school their kids so they are not in the system. A battle is coming.

  27. What’s “E & P”?

    My guess is “Energy and Petroleum” but that seems redundant.

  28. This thing looks so catching that someone sneezes in China and someone gets it in Los Angeles.

    Live in any major city on the West Coast and you’ll see the reason.

    The Mainland Chinese dream is a ghost house appreciating in value in Palo Alto and the kids attending Stanford.

    I wish I had grabbed one of those real estate brochures when I saw them on the bulletin board in the Asian market outside Portland.

    Ironically, Portland may be the exception to the rule. The weather is too miserable there in Winter, and the WA side of the Metro is a mess economically.

  29. >”What’s “E & P”?”
    Exploration & Production

    Yup. We also call it upstream (below the well head, exploration), midstream (production, well head to the market (refinery, chemical plant, etc)), and downstream (refinery processing to customer, chemical plant processing to the customer). We usually work in the midstream and the downstream.

  30. Missy is buried. With a cheese stick, a couple of cookies and Someone (not me) brought her a squeaky toy. Nine years and four months of “wonderful”.

    Penny is not amused. Where is her buddy?
    I suppose I’m in the market for a puppy… something that gets to about 40 pounds. So, no Yorkies. She will appear when it is time.

    I suppose I’m out of shape. My inner thighs are killing me. Must be from sitting on the laundry room floor all night. If it was from digging the hole I think my back and arms would hurt. [shrug]

    The dash cluster for the truck arrived on Monday. A couple of days early. Er, I had other things happening… Installed it today. Heh, I knew I had a couple of bulbs out. Obviously more than a couple. It sure is pretty.
    The fog/driving lights? I didn’t know there was a light on the headlight switch showing they were turned on.
    I had to re-program the locks to not toot the horn when locking. Some folks like that, I don’t. I can still hear the locks locking and see the lights blinking.
    The hardest part was getting a couple of screws in that go through the cluster trim into the dash. It’s a weird angle and you pretty much have use just a bit to get the screws started.

    Waiting for the LED bulbs for the a/c controls. And then I’m done. Until whatever happens next. Getting the a/c fixed is on the list. The freon leaks out.

  31. How are those atmospheric temperature models working out for you?

    Heh. Exactly. We just don’t have the data to model either one realistically.

    Hey, I saw on the news that they routinely measure the average temperature to the thousandth of a degree Celsius. Simply amazing, simply amazing to this old engineer who started measuring fluid temperatures with foot long glass mercury thermometers graduated in two degrees Fahrenheit shoved into a nasty old thermowell.

    In other words, I don’t believe them. Their error bars have got to be at least a half degree Celsius. I don’t believe that all of their temperature measuring devices are calibrated RTDs.

  32. Waiting for the LED bulbs for the a/c controls. And then I’m done. Until whatever happens next. Getting the a/c fixed is on the list. The freon leaks out.

    It was 90 F here in the wilds of west Fort Bend County today. Freaking muggy too.


  33. It was 90 F here in the wilds of west Fort Bend County today. Freaking muggy too.

    91 F a few minutes ago. Insanely muggy this morning. It’s better now. Forecast says pretty much “it’s gonna rain like hell this afternoon” but it’s not happening yet.

  34. Currently 91F with 68%RH and a feels like of 108.

    Nicely shaded in the back yard, so I mowed the grass, did some garden, adjusted a downspout for a rain water barrel, and crepe murdered the crepe’ myrtles. I also trimmed back the trees around the utility lines. HUGE piles of branches to go out in two weeks. They’ll just stay a pile until then.

    I used my dewalt battery sawzall with a pruning blade. Thing is as fast as a chainsaw and way quieter and safer.

    I’m soaked in sweat.

    n

  35. It was 90 F here in the wilds of west Fort Bend County today. Freaking muggy too.

    90s and humid. April in Tampa.

    I made a run to the bank to deposit a refund check from Amex. Someone spent the month of February in one of the Hilton budget chains in Hawaii, charging the room to my wife’s card despite multiple phone calls to dispute the charges and request a block on the account every time another set of nights went on the card.

    I don’t think Amex really cared that much because I accidentally overpaid the last bill by a few hundred bucks which they got to keep for a couple of weeks until the check arrived and I took it to the bank. Figure a couple more days for the check to clear.

    Nice racket. Print the bill before the dispute credits get applied. My wife had a bunch of professional association renewals in February so I wasn’t immediately concerned about the number and only caught the overpayment when I had time to reconcile later.

  36. @paul
    Missy
    Gosh I’m sorry. It’s a special kind of hurt when we lose these guys.

  37. Not using models. Just historical data. Exponential growth until it tapers off.

    So you’re extrapolating. What’s the difference?

  38. HUGE difference between modeling and extrapolating a simple curve. One is basic math, and one has an unknown number of factors and assumptions baked in. One is single variable, one is multiple, and the complexity and “knowability” is orders of magnitude…

    Any model reflects the biases and judgement of the modeler, a simple curve is just that.

    We know that in real life exponential growth slows and ends when some external condition is met. Trying to account for those external conditions would be modeling. IE at what point will the available victims in the population be reduced to the point that the doubling rate must slow? The modeler has to make assumptions about starting conditions, percentages of already infected, immunities, lengths of time for various stages….

    Climate models, enourmously complex, yet startlingly naive (like not accounting for ocean temps, or water vapor in the air, or albedo from ice, or assuming you can assign a temp for a whole country….) Area under a curve or slope of a line, simple math…

    n

  39. Missy is buried. With a cheese stick, a couple of cookies and Someone (not me) brought her a squeaky toy. Nine years and four months of “wonderful”.

    Penny is not amused. Where is her buddy?
    I suppose I’m in the market for a puppy… something that gets to about 40 pounds. So, no Yorkies. She will appear when it is time.

    So sorry for you and Penny. And the squeaky toys are the best.

    Hopefully Penny will take to the puppy well when she shows up.

  40. I made a run to the bank to deposit a refund check from Amex. Someone spent the month of February in one of the Hilton budget chains in Hawaii, charging the room to my wife’s card despite multiple phone calls to dispute the charges and request a block on the account every time another set of nights went on the card.

    I had a guy in Europe charging a website on my Amex a decade or two ago. $800+/month. Me and Amex argued about it for three months before I threatened to cancel the card since they were not sending me a new card posthaste. I got a new card.

  41. @paul
    Missy
    Gosh I’m sorry. It’s a special kind of hurt when we lose these guys.

    Sorry about your friend.

    I have a vet trip in the morning for blood work on our cat. I guess I should consider it a positive sign that I have to wake up early to wrangle and sedate her so she’s docile enough for them to take the blood.

    The cat loves people. Everyone … except the vet and his techs.


  42. Penny is not amused. Where is her buddy?

    Paul, I am sorry for your loss. Maybe we will be reunited with our four legged family members some day. You are not alone burying comfort items with Missy. The ancients did it. Maybe an archeologist will discover Missy’s grave in the far future and be amused by the squeaky toy.

    Penny needs her family more than ever right now. Animals grieve too.


  43. The cat loves people. Everyone … except the vet and his techs.

    Our last cat was feral, born to some friends less than a mile away. He was the only one they could not tame, and so was to go to a shelter. His adoption was highly unlikely, so we took him. Only took a couple of weeks to get him used to us. Best cat ever, but was very wary of people. He only let two or three people approach him in his sixteen years. Hated to go to the vet, but, mysteriously, he cooperated once there. Never bit or scratched. Animals are amazing sometimes.

  44. I was looking over some of the Hurricane Harvey stuff with RBT and OFD back in August 2017. I wonder what they would think about this crazy crazy screwup of a pandemic ?


  45. I guess I should consider it a positive sign that I have to wake up early to wrangle and sedate her so she’s docile enough for them to take the blood.

    Just thought. We have a friend who has been a vet tech, and who has done pet sitting. She recommended Feliway calming spray, which worked extremely well when we had to transport our cat for vet visits near the end. In addition to hating the animal hospital, he hated riding in a car. Wish we had discovered it years ago.

  46. “US virus deaths may top 80,000 despite confinement: study”

    https://news.yahoo.com/us-virus-deaths-may-top-80-000-despite-161924116.html

    “Coronavirus death toll estimate is lowered from 82,000 to 60,000 and the peak day for death is brought forward to April 12 where more than 2,200 Americans are predicted to die in 24 hours, new data shows”
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8201007/New-projections-scale-coronavirus-death-toll-60-000.html

    “The estimated death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is now expected to be 60,000, not 82,000, in the next four months, new data shows”

    So we have gone from one million expected deaths to 2.2 million expected deaths to 200,000 expected deaths to 80,000 expected deaths to 60,000 expected deaths in the past four weeks. This is crazy.


  47. So we have gone from one million expected deaths to 2.2 million expected deaths to 200,000 expected deaths to 80,000 expected deaths to 60,000 expected deaths in the past four weeks. This is crazy.

    I’d say this is progress. As the remediations are applied and new numbers recorded to plug into the models the output changes. This is exactly what we expect from a dynamic system.

  48. So we have gone from one million expected deaths to 2.2 million expected deaths to 200,000 expected deaths to 80,000 expected deaths to 60,000 expected deaths in the past four weeks. This is crazy.

    My wife was scheduled to go to the big VA hospital in Temple on Monday for 7 days of 12 hour shifts, but that has been put on hold.

    The problem at the hospital in Temple isn’t the virus as much as the surge in mental health and substance abuse admissions related to the shutdowns.

  49. HUGE difference between modeling and extrapolating a simple curve. One is basic math, and one has an unknown number of factors and assumptions baked in.

    What’s the formula for your simple curve? Are the variables not assumptions? ‘Nuf said.

  50. So we have gone from one million expected deaths to 2.2 million expected deaths to 200,000 expected deaths to 80,000 expected deaths to 60,000 expected deaths in the past four weeks. This is crazy.

    I’d say this is progress. As the remediations are applied and new numbers recorded to plug into the models the output changes. This is exactly what we expect from a dynamic system.

    This looks like a classic scare tactic system to me by using huge numbers to start and then moderating then down severely.

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