Sat. July 18, 2020 – funny the things that sometimes pop in your head

Hot and humid.  Really.  No kidding.  Hot. 🙂

Yesterday was hot until the rain, then slightly less hot for a while, until the hot caught back  up.  It was pretty late before we got back down into the 80s.

As predicted no real work got done in the garage or driveway while I was running errands.   The kids did play in the pool for a while.  Between my wife forgetting and overfilling the pool, and then 2 inches  of rain, there has been a LOT of sloshing out.

In order to push myself to actually finish the garage/freezer/workbench reorg, I ordered a good bit of food that will end up frozen.  I also did my normal replenishing.  Not much extra canned meat or dry goods, we’re pretty good on them.  Meat and frozen fruit and veg are what needs building up.  I really hope I don’t end up screwing up another order’s worth of food.

I’m still filling other holes and gaps in long term preps.   I’m trying to improve my stores of things I can get cheaply now, but would be very dear if there was a collapse, or long term interruption to “normal” life.  To that end, and because it’s what’s in the auctions, I’ve been buying safety gear and PPEs.  This auction I got several boxes of safety glasses.  Some tinted brown for outdoor work, some clear.  I previously got a huge selection of clear with bifocal lenses.  They are great for carpentry or soldering, both activities that need safety glasses.  Safety glasses are an expendable, and you should have extra.  Same with gloves, and workboots.  Good fitting ones are essential or you won’t wear them.

Hearing protection and respiratory protection I took care of last year.  I have several boxes of foam ear plugs and I’m set for a while on N95 masks and organic vapor cartridge based respirators.   I even managed to pick up some more tyvek painter’s suits.

I’m also considering what I would need to multiply my strength, just like in the old days.  I’ve got very good block and fall setups with synthetic rope and a lot of rigging supplies from a previous career.  I picked up a dozen spools of 550 cord in various colors at Habitat a couple of years ago, and I’ve added some rope when it became available.  Chain and chain binders are incredibly expensive for some reason.  Chaining my forklift into a trailer would cost about a quarter of what I paid for the forklift if I did it with new, so I’ve been watching for ways to reduce that cost.

If I had more land, I’d be looking for gardening power tools.  Prepping the soil takes a lot of work and any way to make that easier increases your chances of getting a good result.  I wouldn’t turn down some things, but as I don’t have space or the need, I’m not looking for them.  Some of you might be in a different place.

Basic plumbing, electrical, automotive and hardware supplies on hand will save a trip to the store, and can be the difference between a disaster and a disturbance.  Of course you need to know what to do with them, but there are lots of resources available to help with that too.  This is a good time to practice as you can still get help if it all goes pear shaped.

Like RBT, I came to consider that, outside of our normal disasters – hurricanes here in Houston – the most likely scenario was an economic collapse or a long slow decline.  Civil disorder, up to a civil war was in there somewhere, with global pandemic as a longshot.  Pandemic has been a focus of the CDC for a long time (and I constantly referred people to their pandemic preparedness pages as a resource for general disaster prepping), and with ebola in 2014 being in Dallas, I moved that up my list DRAMATICALLY.   Panic buy fits pretty well.  Of course, ebola wasn’t an issue for us here, by the skin of our teeth, but the preps have served me well in what the CDC said was this inevitable pandemic.  (Why was the CDC so ill prepared when this was something they’ve been pushing for a decade?  I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.)

So here we are, living in one of the longshot scenarios, generally doing better than we thought.  Which is awesome.  Unlike some places, we’re not stacking bodies in the streets.  But we are also clearly (to me anyway) in the beginning stages of economic collapse.  Supply lines are disrupted.  Prices are fluctuating.  Markets are being distorted by outside forces and have become increasingly decoupled from fundamentals and become more and more like gambling in a casino.  Everything is slightly worse than before.

Trash isn’t getting picked up as quickly.  Dumping is more common.  Maintenance is being deferred by civic units and individuals (with the caveat that individuals with the means have had more time than usual to do ‘projects’ around the house.  The guy with no job isn’t putting up sheds, and painting the siding though, but he might be powerwashing the driveway…)  Graffiti and tags are more visible and common, and stay in place longer.  Crime increases.  Violence for no reason increases.  Civil discourse becomes more shrill.  People contract their focus and concerns to more local issues.  People’s tolerance for the other, the different, decreases.  Behaviors become more extreme.  Tempers get short.

Any of that sounding familiar?

Given where I think we’re headed, it makes sense to me to stock up on the kinds of things I’m stocking.   I wouldn’t FOCUS on them, as there is still a chance of avoiding the worst aspects of the decline.  But it won’t hurt to start putting them aside, especially at low cost and low effort.  This assumes you have the basics in place.   Water, food, shelter, defense, medical, and money.  Huge piles of tangibles will probably buy you any of the things you need, so money is the best prep, but money is in kinda short supply too at this point for most people.

Periods of great change are scary.  Lots of destruction.  But there are also always opportunities too.  Crime goes up, and the guy who can weld burglar bars gets busy.   Some people are finding ways to prosper in this moment.  I believe hard times, however you want to define that, are coming.  If you don’t, if you think good times are coming, I’d like to hear why you feel that way.   Could be I’m missing something important.

Outside of figuring out what that something is, I’m going to keep stacking.  I think you should too.  I know it’s getting repetitive, but really and truly I think you can improve your situation and I WANT you to.  It’s made a world of difference in my life.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

54 thoughts on “Sat. July 18, 2020 – funny the things that sometimes pop in your head”

  1. “Oh no. The coronavirus is acting more and more like the common cold.”

    –which is only not dangerous to us today because it has ALREADY killed everyone that was susceptible. The wuflu hasn’t done that yet. It’s gonna kill a lot of people before it gets to the point that most folks who are left won’t worry about dying from it.

    Sick people aren’t staying home. What’s the solution, then?

    This weekend will be spent burning through the incubation time from exposures during the holiday weekend. Then we’ll get a reprieve until mid-September, after Labor Day, numbers going up again just in time to justify closing the schools if not for 2020-21 entirely then certainly through January.

    The news reports around Austin keep beating on the idea of giving teachers the option to just not teach this year … but at full pay of course.


  2. giving teachers the option to just not teach this year … but at full pay of course

    Of course. Imagine not paying the salaries of two thousand teachers at an average of $60K a year. That would be a budget surplus of $120 million. Add in the cost of transportation and there is probably another $20 million or so. Then not having to pay the higher utilities at the facilities and there is another $20 million. Of course the multiple levels of administrators will keep their jobs and continue to benefit from doing nothing.

    The school boards and counties have to keep spending that tax money. A surplus in excess of $150 million would result in screams from taxpayers of a tax reduction. We all know that no government agency has ever reduced, or rescinded, any tax.

    I don’t think any government employee has suffered during this pandemic. I have not heard of any layoffs in any government agency. Still have 12 people fixing a pothole with 11 of them standing around. Paperwork monkeys are still shuffling paper moving it from one side of their desk to the other side (left side on even days, right side on odd days). Lots of layoffs and loss of jobs in the private sector.

  3. Of course. Imagine not paying the salaries of two thousand teachers at an average of $60K a year. That would be a budget surplus of $120 million. Add in the cost of transportation and there is probably another $20 million or so. Then not having to pay the higher utilities at the facilities and there is another $20 million. Of course the multiple levels of administrators will keep their jobs and continue to benefit from doing nothing.

    $60k. If that is the teacher’s *salary* then the true cost of the headcount is somewhere between $120k and $150k if you add in insurance costs, taxes, and admin overhead.

    Just my mediocre health insurance to cover four people where I currently work, requiring an HSA to manage the $3000 deductible, not nearly as generous as the average teacher’s, costs $27,000/year according to my W-2.


  4. you add in insurance costs, taxes, and admin overhead

    The administration overhead would remain as the multiple layers of administration would keep their generally useless jobs. Certainly the clods in the IT staff would continue as always, doing little to nothing taking three hours to replace an ethernet jack (I witnessed that). I suspect the insurance would remain in coverage as the administration layers would be on the same policy and none of them would give that up. Nor would they think to go to the insurance company to reduce the headcount and maybe cannot because it is a contract. Taxes such as Medicare, SS and FICA would be part of the $60K salary. All that would be saved is the employers contribution to Medicare and SS.

    But what do I know?

  5. But what do I know?

    If our insurance deal followed the template of the way other services get purchased, the plans are through either a friend (Citrix) or family member (travel agency) of the family who owns the company.

    Regardless of final numbers, paying a teacher to do absolutely nothing is a lot to ask when $10k annual property tax bills, 50% education, aren’t uncommon where we live, and the houses are not that fancy or large.

    The new Apple campus going up in Austin is really going to hurt in terms of taxes. In addition to raising the assessed value of the housing within reasonable driving distance — we’re about 10 minutes away — the campus backs up to the local ISD’s state-of-the-art performing arts center which will inevitably get booked for corporate events. The school system is going to need a new venue … or five, one for each high school. We’re already hearing the rumblings.

  6. My kids will be lucky to finish their Micro Biology degrees at UNLV. The Uni still hasn’t finalized in person, remote, online, etc., classes. Imagine getting a STEM degree, but with no lab time. Our goobermint is destroying the country, not COVID. Dorms aren’t opening, another revenue loss. Tuition is the same, books cost the same (plus $60 to rent an online book, Geez). STEM will die a quick death in the FUSA. Apple is still popping out new stuff. Think those Chinese slave factories are social isolating? Tim “I’m Gay!” Cook will tell you yes. He is full of shirt.

  7. In TX the performing arts centers are required spending, if the ISD wants to spend money on sports…. They also go a long way toward feeding my kids, and they reflect my degree and interests so I’m always going to be biased about them. I’m GLAD the ISDs are required by law to spend the money on the Arts that they spend on sports. I’d also happily cut out ALL that spending if push came to shove.

    I can give a very compelling speech about how the performing arts teaches kids to work in today’s world (team based, project based, field work, etc), and about all the ‘odd’ kids that wash up on the shore there, and even to a much lesser extent how the arts are necessary for our souls.

    I’m sure a sports fan could give the same speech about team sports. No one wants their own ox gored.

    The fact is though that in hard times, cuts will need to be made. If our schools are the wrong shape and size physically to deal with groups in the age of wuflu, then they will have to change and the frills will have to go. 5-7 weeks of “earth science” for kids that can’t add, or use a ruler, or write is a luxury. Lots of the state mandated curriculum will have to go.

    Just like there is no will to cut sports, there is no will to cut the AGW warmening nonsense, the SEL nonsense, the prog agenda nonsense or any of the other stuff superfluous to teaching kids the three ‘R’s.

    n

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  8. In TX the performing arts centers are required spending, if the ISD wants to spend money on sports….

    By “sports”, of course, you mean $80 million dollar HOK-designed stadiums.

    The Round Rock ISD has one shared by the four existing high schools and, occasionally, minor league soccer, but, naturally, each of the high schools want a stadium of their own. The district got burned with one bond issue that included two such facilities being rejected.

    Currently, the stadium parking is dominated by the local Dodge dealer’s unsold inventory.

    The ISD did get a bond issue through last election year, but they had to trim all the extras out. The last two issues have done nothing to alleviate overcrowding at my kids middle school while the newest 6-8 grade building sits half empty in the H1B neighborhood around the corner, and I can’t be the only parent noticing things like that.

  9. “By “sports”, of course, you mean $80 million dollar HOK-designed stadiums.”

    –yup, although, like buying ‘surplus’ from the ISD and selling it on for a profit is MY business model, (and I consider it a way to get some of my tax money back) getting a chunk of the money spent by the ISDs for buildings, stadiums, and performing arts centers is my wife’s company’s model… along with thousands of other contractors working on ISD projects. ISD spending feeds a LOT of families.

    In fairness to HOK, once the ISD decides they want a stadium, they don’t really have too many choices of consultant/architect/designer who are capable of providing a usable product. While there is a lot of gilding the lily in any vanity project, if you don’t get experienced people involved you risk misspending all the money on a building that doesn’t work. I’ve seen that happen with ‘world renowned’ architects in theaters.

    n

  10. @lynn,

    Newly retired University of North Dakota provost is fatally shot ‘by two teenage boys during a botched robbery attempt while he was out walking with his wife

    Tom DiLorenzo, 63, was fatally shot during a robbery attempt Friday morning
    Police said he was with his wife when they were approached at gunpoint
    The two men who stopped them demanded money, before shooting DiLorenzo
    Police said they arrested teen boys, 15 and 16, in connection with the crime

    — you might want a headlamp FLASHLIGHT to keep your hands free on your nightly walks, and get ready to drop the leash…

    n

  11. –or it could be that the house parties have been going on for years, and the sheriff sees a new source of funding and attention if he ties it to wuflu.

    Broward. That’s the Sheriff appointed by the Governor to take over for the fired a**hat whose policies led to the Parkland mass shooting being far worse than it should have been.

    I believe this is an election year, and the appointed Sheriff is an African American man hoping to win the office in a county dominated by white liberal Jewish voters, and, increasingly, Hispanics.

    Both of those groups harbor a lot of racism, regardless of what they say in public, and a fair number of voters wouldn’t mind if the old Sheriff came back, regardless of competence, given the alternative.

    Florida, however, like Texas, does have a serious problem with people desiring to get their drink on at any cost.

    UPDATE: The story was about the house parties in Osceola. I’ve seen similar stories about Broward and just assumed the Daily Mail got lazy again.

    Osceola house parties are old news. It used to be old Florida houses on multi-acre properties in the middle of nowhere, but using vacation rental neighborhoods is new. Just wait until the AirBNB superhosts start getting foreclosed and the properties sit empty. Fun times!

    Disney obliterated Downton Orlando’s nightlife starting 30 years ago with Pleasure Island. Then, about 10 years ago, when they got tired of the “urban youts” making trouble on their property, abrubtly shut down the night clubs and rebuilt their entertainment area as “Disney Springs”.

    Florida. Party has to go somewhere, and the bars are shut down.

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  12. It’s unclear when or where the video was captured, although the people in the video appear to be American.

    Why? Were they fat?

    I wasn’t able to view the video without loosening up the script blockers and other browser protections, so maybe it was the accents.

    My wife and I had lunch in a city park one day. She’d brought a pie tin with a quarter of a store-bought pumpkin pie. (Not as good as home made, but free pumpkin pie is free pumpkin pie.) A squirrel came up and sat up as I was eating. I ignored it. It scampered back and forth and got a bit closer. I ignored it. It chittered a bit, ran a circle around the bench, and sat up only a foot or so from my feet. I ignored it. I finished the pie. The squirrel ran back and forth and started sniffing the ground between my feet. I ignored it as my wife threw away the pie tin. As we left, I saw the squirrel jumping up on the bench to sniff and look, jumping back down to check for anything it might have missed. Worst day in that squirrel’s life.

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  13. I had a squirrel steal a bag of peanut m&ms out of my backpack one day when I was climbing north of Scottsdale AZ. Little bugger snuck over to the pack, which was on a rock, looked around inside, then tugged out the bag that was surely as heavy as the squirrel.

    They are the cutest little thieves….

    n

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  14. Oh no. The coronavirus is acting more and more like the common cold.”

    –which is only not dangerous to us today because it has ALREADY killed everyone that was susceptible. The wuflu hasn’t done that yet. It’s gonna kill a lot of people before it gets to the point that most folks who are left won’t worry about dying from it.

    The question is, will we need to get vaccine booster shots every 4 to 6 months ? That ain’t gonna happen.

    A lot more people with compromised immune systems, including yours truly, are going to get sick. And some of those are going to die.

    My wife has had her father in a nursing home for six years now. She last saw him in early March. She calls him and he cries because no one visits him. The Nursing home locked down in March. This disease would kill him in days.

    When the nursing homes are reopened to visitors, it is going to be a bloodbath.

  15. Sam’s Club run today. Green beans in non-foodservice (in other words, normal) can size continue to be unobtainium.

    The change today is that the 50 lb sacks of dried pinto beans which sat virtually untouched the last four months are suddenly all gone.

    Also, the canned chicken was back to “Limit One”, but they didn’t seem to lack for supply. I’ve never seen it out of stock at my local Sam’s during this situation.

    My wife did the HEB run. She’s getting irritated with the Curbside shopping staff swooping in and emptying entire shelves to fill orders ahead of her when she wants just one of something.

  16. “Oh no. The coronavirus is acting more and more like the common cold.”

    –which is only not dangerous to us today because it has ALREADY killed everyone that was susceptible. The wuflu hasn’t done that yet. It’s gonna kill a lot of people before it gets to the point that most folks who are left won’t worry about dying from it.

    Sick people aren’t staying home. What’s the solution, then?

    Oh, it is much worse that that. There are a HUGE number of asymptomatic people wandering around the place. The CDC thinks 35% of the infections are asymptomatic. I have read of situations of 90%.

    My friend’s daughter in law had her second baby Thursday morning. She tested positive for SARS-COV-2 on Monday. No symptoms at all. The baby is super cute !

    My friend and his wife are in 14 day quarantine since they are taking care of their grandson, kid #1, also in quarantine. Nobody in the group has any symptoms whatsoever.

  17. $60k. If that is the teacher’s *salary* then the true cost of the headcount is somewhere between $120k and $150k if you add in insurance costs, taxes, and admin overhead.

    Just my mediocre health insurance to cover four people where I currently work, requiring an HSA to manage the $3000 deductible, not nearly as generous as the average teacher’s, costs $27,000/year according to my W-2.

    Yup. I am paying $850/month, $10,200/year, for each empoyee on our 14 person BCBS silver PPO plan. Not cheap. Dependents are about 25% less than employees.

  18. Costco order arrived from instacart. For some reason they couldn’t fill it last night, so I scheduled it for 3-5 today.

    20# chicken legs, lots of bratwurst, some other stuff. I think I didn’t adjust quantities or they are doing smaller bundles on some stuff. The Thomas’ English muffins used to be a 4 pack, but I only got a 2 pack. The King’s Hawaiian rolls are smaller pack than before too, if I’m not mistaken. (2×16 and I thought they were 2x 24)

    I was able to get the 3 gallon pack of clorox bleach, and two of the six packs of canned chicken chunks.

    Which reminds me, amazon has small cans of Keystone Turkey back in stock.

    n

  19. It’s hard to judge if the liars in the Iranian regime are anywhere close to the truth, but why on earth would the exaggerate this number?

    From the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, which for a time had the second highest infection rate after China during the early phase of the global pandemic, it was widely believed that authorities there were severely downplaying the true number of cases. But it was also understood the country’s already hurting and strained health system would lack for testing and proper care, given also there was a world shortage of test kits.

    President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday confirmed much of this prior skepticism toward Iran’s official case count. He dropped a bombshell statement which if true means Iran far surpasses America’s case count (at over 3.6 million), currently the most infected country in the world.

    Rouhani said a whopping 25 million Iranians have likely been infected with the coronavirus, in the first such statement of its kind affirming that Iran’s true numbers are far higher than the official current figure of 271,606.

    –that’s an astounding number.

    n

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  20. Oh, it is much worse that that. There are a HUGE number of asymptomatic people wandering around the place. The CDC thinks 35% of the infections are asymptomatic. I have read of situations of 90%.

    My friend’s daughter in law had her second baby Thursday morning. She tested positive for SARS-COV-2 on Monday. No symptoms at all. The baby is super cute !

    My friend and his wife are in 14 day quarantine since they are taking care of their grandson, kid #1, also in quarantine. Nobody in the group has any symptoms whatsoever.

    I watched Ron DeSantis’ news conference this afternoon, and he talked about the very limited rates of transmission from kids to adults, attempting to defend his position of reopening the schools in FL in the face of challenges from the teachers’ unions and, in the context of the reporter’s question, an open letter to the Governor from a pediatrician association.

    The Governor pointed out that kids are also more likely to be asymptomatic. Really asymptomatic.

    It is possible that someone has a mild case and recovers, but my wife’s annecdotal experience with patients over the last few months is that the rate of that happening is very low and only among people for whom standard flu wouldn’t be a big deal. Liars, for whatever reason, are a lot more common.

  21. It’s hard to judge if the liars in the Iranian regime are anywhere close to the truth, but why on earth would the exaggerate this number?

    Kinda surprising that the virus went that far that fast in Iran. It is still an advanced country, and, as Dr. Pournelle frequently pointed out, Persians are not Arabs.

  22. For God’s sake, NO!

    Hydroxychloroquine makes my wife nervous since patients have to be carefully monitored, and that aspect of the medication doesn’t get discussed much. Trump would get blamed for the inevitable deaths.

    Plus, the drug would become unobtainium immediately as arbitrage would be more profitable than Formula 409.

    https://townhall.com/columnists/johnandandyschlafly/2020/07/15/hydroxychloroquine-should-be-available-over-the-counter-n2572496

  23. It’s been unobtainium thru secondary channels since 3 minutes after the first press reports. I get a list every month of stuff that is and isn’t available to people and almost everything is “out of stock, no date for refill”. HCQ was gone when I got around to checking 3 days afterwards. Completely gone.

    n

    As for the ‘carefully monitored’ it’s widely given as an antimalarial to travellers with no oversight, and who are about to travel to some shirthole where malaria is a problem. I understand that there CAN be serious side effects, and the risk of same was enough to keep my sibling from taking it, just before the wuflu outbreak, during visits to a dozen shirtholes…. but the MDs had no problem handing them out like candy before this.

    n

  24. ” It is still an advanced country”

    –um, not so much. Under the mad mullahs there has been a distinct step backwards a century or so, and it was never that advanced to start with. Got any chip fabs? They’ve got ONE nuclear power plant. They export fruit and raw materials.

    when I was in Abu Dhabi at the souk, they were selling iran-made ‘microwave’ ovens. I looked at one, and it was literally an ezbake oven. It used an incandescent light bulb for cooking heat. Everything else in the iranian souk was worse than china crap, even the crap so bad china can’t export it. .

    n

  25. It’s been unobtainium thru secondary channels since 3 minutes after the first press reports. I get a list every month of stuff that is and isn’t available to people and almost everything is “out of stock, no date for refill”. HCQ was gone when I got around to checking 3 days afterwards. Completely gone.

    The Feds have a supply. It is made available for Lupus and Malaria patients through the right channels. General distributors like McKesson aren’t going to have it.

    Different doctors have varying comfort zones when it comes to prescribing. The order of magnitude difference in demand for Adderal in Texas is one of the reasons my wife isn’t in private practice any longer. A lot of doctors just waive the ADD patients through and deal with the consequences later; a determined individual will chew up too much of a day justifying their case, especially if reselling the med is profitable.

  26. Just got three 8 oz bottles of Purell for $39 plus $6 shipping from Big River. It has a real strong alcohol smell but it feels right when I used it. I figure that it fell off the back of a truck. Now the item is no longer available from Big River.

    If you want specific name brand items now, you are going to have to pay for them. Welcome to the new real.

  27. I’m so old that I remember when Americans mocked or pitied Russians for having to pass word via the grapevine that some store just got in a shipment of potatoes or light bulbs.

  28. The Thomas’ English muffins used to be a 4 pack, but I only got a 2 pack. The King’s Hawaiian rolls are smaller pack than before too, if I’m not mistaken. (2×16 and I thought they were 2x 24)

    Welcome to the European sizing of products. The manufacturers have been aching to get the USA to use the sizing everyone else in the world uses. More packaging, less product.

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  29. –um, not so much. Under the mad mullahs there has been a distinct step backwards a century or so, and it was never that advanced to start with. Got any chip fabs? They’ve got ONE nuclear power plant. They export fruit and raw materials.

    I believe that they are advanced enough to cripple or even sink a carrier. That’s the point that any “war” with the US would be over since the public support would evaporate with the appearance of the footage on CNN of the Lincoln or one of her sister ships under tow out of the Gulf with a big smoking hole in the side.

    Libya was a huge wake up call to North Korea and the Mullahs.

  30. “The Thomas’ English muffins used to be a 4 pack, but I only got a 2 pack. The King’s Hawaiian rolls are smaller pack than before too, if I’m not mistaken. (2×16 and I thought they were 2x 24)”

    Welcome to the European sizing of products. The manufacturers have been aching to get the USA to use the sizing everyone else in the world uses. More packaging, less product.

    King’s Hawaiian has been advertising heavily as of late, particularly during the 10:30 and 11 PM “Big Bang Theory” repeats on weeknights here in Austin.

    I rarely saw a commercial from them prior to the last month. Maybe during the runup to Thanksgiving, but not much beyond that.

  31. It is possible that someone has a mild case and recovers, but my wife’s annecdotal experience with patients over the last few months is that the rate of that happening is very low and only among people for whom standard flu wouldn’t be a big deal. Liars, for whatever reason, are a lot more common.

    Yes. After watching and reading the entire gamut, I (with zero medical training) think your wife’s experience is likely the actual situation. The number of liars about it all is astounding. Scads of people are pretending to have had COVID-19 “months ago” yet they have never been tested, and certainly weren’t tested at the time. It is the excuse they use to stubbornly refuse to wear masks. As many on the other side of that coin insist they have anything but Wuhan Coronavirus, and refuse to be tested if they can get away without going to the doctor. Even the 17 yr old “member of the wedding” who exposed my cousin and others who had been carefully isolating all this time, had symptoms and was tested BECAUSE she had symptoms. But she and her parent lied and did not tell anyone she was awaiting results because she wanted to go to the party. She told everyone there that she was sick with “allergies”.


  32. I watched Ron DeSantis’ news conference this afternoon, and he talked about the very limited rates of transmission from kids to adults, attempting to defend his position of reopening the schools in FL

    And then the Gub’ner said ‘he is not closing gyms because he thinks people who go to them are “even less at risk for the coronavirus” because they are staying healthy and working out.’

  33. And then the Gub’ner said ‘he is not closing gyms because he thinks people who go to them are “even less at risk for the coronavirus” because they are staying healthy and working out.’

    One weekend, take a trip out to visit the Buc-ee’s just across the Alabama-Florida border from Pensacola. Once you see that madhouse, it is hard to justify closing gyms because of the threat they pose to public health.

    Take your mask. No one else in there will have one.

    Alternatively, a big bar/restaurant in Destin will suffice, but nothing scared me more that week than Buc-ee’s, and I’m not into the hysteria about the virus.

  34. And, locally no one carries any good manila rope of any size or strength either. I ran into a similar problem when I wanted to hang a clothesline last year: locally, there was nothing suitable for a permanent outdoor line.

    Because…Amazon. Although I was able to find my size HVAC filters on sale at the local ACE Hardware for less than Big River, and bought the max allowed per customer for stock, plus curbside pickup.

    Diet Pepsi in cans has been OOS at our Costco for at least several weeks now. Also as usual, no canned green beans, and oddly enough (or not), no non-stick fry pans sets which I always recall seeing on the shelf. Was able to get similar from Target, again with curbside pickup.

    One of the things that is hard to stockpile effectively is two part epoxy adhesive. It will eventually kick off in the tube over time. I try to pick up a package every so often so I have a fresh one if I need it. I haven’t picked one up recently enough I guess. I’ll be using other glues on the dresser, but it would have been nice to use some epoxy on certain of the repairs. Super glue will also get hard in the tubes, and super glue is incredibly useful.

    @nick, is this due to oxygen infiltration or just the normal shelf life of these adhesives? Can any of them safely be frozen?

  35. @alan, I don’t know if the hardener migrates thru the plastic, or if the part a simply hardens over time even without the ‘hardener’. The crazy glue is even more of a mystery, as it’s in a metal tube sealed with a metal seal, and it will still harden given enough time.

    n

  36. Epoxies are heat sensitive. 70F is ideal. Anything much above that is going to shorten the shelf life, and much time above 90 is going to drastically shorten it. If you have kits with separate epoxy and hardener, store them separately.

    Cyanoacrylates cure with moisture. Metal tubes generally last longer, but they are only as good as the crimp on the bottom. Freezing in a sealed glass jar can greatly extend the life. Even better if you back fill with dry nitrogen, or vacuum seal in plastic first.

  37. I’m so old that I remember when Americans mocked or pitied Russians for having to pass word via the grapevine that some store just got in a shipment of potatoes or light bulbs.

    I remember “When Boris Yeltsin went grocery shopping in Clear Lake”
    https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bayarea/news/article/When-Boris-Yeltsin-went-grocery-shopping-in-Clear-5759129.php

    “In 1989 Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s wide-eyed trip to a Clear Lake grocery store led to the downfall of communism.”

    “It was Sept. 16, 1989, and Yeltsin, then newly-elected to the new Soviet parliament and the Supreme Soviet, had just visited Johnson Space Center.”

    “At JSC, Yeltsin visited mission control and a mock-up of a space station. According to Houston Chronicle reporter Stefanie Asin, it wasn’t all the screens, dials, and wonder at NASA that blew up his skirt, it was the unscheduled trip inside a nearby Randall’s location.”

    “Yeltsin, then 58, “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” wrote Asin. He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. supermarkets, “there would be a revolution.””

    1
  38. I’m so old that I remember when Americans mocked or pitied Russians for having to pass word via the grapevine that some store just got in a shipment of potatoes or light bulbs.

    Walmart had Bush’s canned blackeyed peas so I bought ten. But they did not have Bush’s refried black beans. Bummer.

  39. @drwilliams, thanks, that is good info! With my new freezer I’ll have room to put some stuff in it that isn’t food…

    Currently, like the majority of my preps, the adhesives are mostly in my garage and routinely see temps above 100F. It wouldn’t be hard or expensive to put a couple dozen small tubes of crazy glue in a peanut butter jar, and freeze it.

    My project today, finishing the repairs on daughter 1’s new dresser called for some 5 minute epoxy which I had to buy fresh. I used the whole syringe so I don’t have to worry about the remainder going off this time.

    For normal “Daddy can you fix this” stuff I keep thin and gel crazy glues, with a spray accelerator for difficult materials. I also sometimes use white or yellow elmers, depending on material. Sometimes I even need the foaming gap filling of Gorilla glue… Rarely do I use epoxy, but for bigger structural repairs on tough to bond materials it can’t be beat.

    I’ve got small amounts of really specialty adhesives too, mostly picked up “just in case”, stuff like appliance enamel repair, glass bonding UV activated glue, and “plastic weld”. I’ve got some JB Weld logs and of course red and blue loctite….

    Even if I lose some unused, I think it’s easier and cheaper in time to buy a couple specialty glues when I’m at the store anyway. Try to save the trip later as that can be the longest part of the repair.

    n

  40. As I’m moving and organizing in the garage, the weirdest thing I’ve got in my adhesives box is muffler repair sealant. I bought it to try making ‘penny stoves’ and never used it. A couple muffler clamps, an old tin can, and some of that smeared around and you’re stealthy again….

    n

  41. and why on earth would I have found those videos? Well, I was looking to see if anyone had used UV curing dental material to repair porcelain figures… Found that you can do it with milliput and paint, a special epoxy, and some ‘cold glaze’.

    And an incredible amount of patience.

    n

  42. @Nick, I have used muffler repair sealant since the 1960s, not only for repair, but to coat tubing slip joints to seal and make disassembly easy. Vibration, preferably an air hammer, turns it back to powder for easy disassembly. I have never found rust in joints so treated.

    It is mostly sodium silicate, sometimes with inert fillers. It is sold as a thin paste or as powder. Both seem to last forever, but don’t let the paste dry out. Add a little water before that happens.

    The stuff has many uses as a refeactory sealant in stoves, and anywhere there is high heat. It converts to a glassy, brittle substance that prrotects ferrous metals from corrosion. Truly an old fashioned material that is still useful.

  43. @JimB “Truly an old fashioned material that is still useful. ”

    Sodium silicate (aka water glass) is a family of chemicals (along with potassium and magnesium silicates) that is in common use but largely unrecognized. It is the glue that holds corrugated cardboard together, sealer for concrete, binder for molds used in sand casting, and constituent of laundry detergents. A few years ago it was the agent used to permanently disable auto engines that the government purchased in the clunkers program.

    It can be used to preserve eggs for months without refrigeration. It can even act a a fire retarding agent (particularly when used with borax) when painted on wood surfaces.

    PQ Corporation has been making these materials in the U.S. since the mid-1800’s. This link provides some good background:

    https://www.pqcorp.com/docs/default-source/recommended-literature/pq-corporation/sodium-silicate-liquids/sodiumsilicates.pdf

    And there are a number of decent YouTube videos.

    Look for 38-40% Type N (3.22 ratio) if you want to experiment. Shop around for price. It’s heavier than water at 11.6 lbs/gallon, so shipping is significant. Best current price online is about $25 plus tax.

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