Mon. Mar. 16, 2020 – plague continues to grow, avoid people

Warm and wet.

Yesterday turned into a fine day in the late afternoon. OC and grey for most of the day, the breeze finally cleared the air for a little while.

I got a whole pallet of scrap loaded and delivered to my secondary location, where I stacked it on a pallet behind the dumpster and wrote “Free” on it. If it’s still there when this burns out, I’ll take it to the scrapyard myself. At the moment, my time is worth way more than scrap value to break it down, and more than being close to the guys at the yard for only a few bucks in ‘breakage’ if I don’t separate it. This is another case of “should have done it long ago, before China tanked.”

Getting rid of that pallet opened up a nice spot for a metal shelf unit to hold food and supplies. Going to the secondary also let me pick up two black tubs of food. I’m concerned about bringing everything home, but I’m also concerned about theft while it’s there, and not being able to access it if things continue to get restricted. Right now, I’m leaning toward bringing most of it home.


Trump and the others trying to manage this crisis are handicapped by their privilege. Yes, I’m using the SJW word, and in mostly the same way they do. US leaders are trying to calm the public down, which is a knee jerk reaction. People get excited, you try to calm them down. In this case, I think it’s entirely appropriate to buy enough food and supplies to stay the flock indoors and avoid people for a couple of months. Others disagree. Trump and TPTB have privilege that they don’t see– they won’t be going out next week to shop. They won’t be taking their lives and the lives of their loved ones into their hands and exposing themselves to a hundred potential infecteds, or touching the same surfaces 100s of dirty sick people have also touched.

I don’t care if the stores have food in a week. Or two weeks. Or if they’ll stay open somehow. I won’t be going there, and neither will Trump, Fauci, or any of the other stiffs on TV.

I won’t be going because I don’t want to get sick. I UNDERSTAND WHAT QUARANTINE MEANS. Clearly they don’t. It certainly doesn’t mean, after a week home with your sick kids, and a day after YOU start coughing, head to the Kroger for some lunchmeat and ramen. The folks at Kroger don’t want your virus shedding butt in there either.

I won’t be going out into ‘the community’ because that’s where ‘community transmission’ happens. FFS people lockdown means LOCKED DOWN. No way the queues will maintain enough separation between people. No way they’ll be wiping down surfaces and waiting 10 minutes for the virus to die before the next person touches it. YES, 10 minutes of wet time. For almost all the disinfectants.


My wife and others have said the same things, this feels weird, wrong somehow. I figure it’s because we are experienced and prepared. We’ve had PRACTICE and we have routines even — but for hurricanes, storms, earthquakes, etc NOT pandemic. We’re trained to head out for one last thing before the storm gets here. We’re used to working through a list and getting a few more things done before the storm. We’re used to checking on neighbors, making sure they have what they need and are getting ready. We’re used to cracking a bottle and grilling the freezer meat when the power is out, or sharing a meal with neighbors while the aftershocks shake. We know that there is backup out there and eventually help will arrive. We pride ourselves on not needing help, but providing it.

All that experience is WRONG for this disaster. You need to stop going to the store. Stop touching all the things. No get togethers. No casual contact. No more ‘one last thing’ if it involves people. My neighbor was out in the yard so I asked him what their plans were. He said “I’m going to hockey practice.” No, I meant for the next few weeks. “OH, I’ve been to the store 3 times, we’re good to stay home.” Then he jumped in the truck and went to join a group of people potential infecteds and play hockey. He’ll need a store to be open next week, and he’ll be walking right into what will feel like an overnight increase in infection.


Take precautions and finish up! Recognize that this IS different than all the other disasters, and don’t get caught out because of your own habits and expectations.

If you aren’t done yet, keep stacking, but do it by remote control. Don’t go out and play in it.


Sun. Mar. 15, 2020 – 3 months, not 3 weeks

Warm and wet.

Light rain started last night, after a damp and overcast day. Some moments of clear sky and nice breeze, but generally threatening all day.

My AC is working again. It took several pounds of R22 to bring the system pressure back up. I’m hoping it holds for the season.

If you haven’t been reading comments, I encourage you to do so as that’s where the good stuff is. I think of the day’s post as a topic sentence for the day, but it often ends up something completely different. It’s always interesting and civil.

Also, please check out Aesop at He’s on the front line of this in CA. I’m active in the comments over there too (if you’re interested).

After consideration, and some thought, PLEASE STOP GOING TO STORES. The curiosity factor will get you killed or sickened. All over the web I’m seeing people check in and admit they didn’t really need anything but were just curious. I admit I did it too, last week. But now, the freaking stores are full of people from the community. That’s where “community transmission” comes from! Read the Italian ICU report I linked late last night. The ONLY thing that will help when the ICU inundation starts is slowing the rate of contagion. The only thing that slows the spread is isolation.

Don’t even think about ‘get it now, while there are still beds’. Between the time to show symptoms and the normal time until it gets bad, you won’t beat the rush. Everyone with it NOW will beat you there.

I commented last night why you need at least 3 months of supplies, please take a moment and consider my timeline. If it doesn’t make sense, let me know. No need to tell me it’s overreaction, but do please keep sharing your honest thoughts. We all need to avoid any mania (beyond what some of you already believe we’re infected with, and if we are, we need to slow the spiral. If you change your mind, I’m not going to judge, I’m going to celebrate.) Getting your stock up to the three month level is about the only reason I can think of to risk going into a store at this point.

I’m also sure we are about to get some internal domestic travel restrictions. It’s already been mentioned in at least two official places. The Governor of Florida is calling for it. They will ground most of the planes at some point, the math insists on it. I expect one or both of my siblings to be stuck in FL but at least my mom will have company. No resources, but company. I don’t want to consider what that means for my family long term. No matter what YOUR belief about the validity and necessity of the measures is, this now has a life of its own, and shutting down air travel is the next step. They will likely wait until they have something they can point to for such a drastic seeming decision, so watch for that. It may be a ‘magic number’ of infected, dead, or occupied ICU beds, or it might be something external to the USA. There won’t be much if any warning, we’ve already BEEN warned. One, maybe two weeks minimum would be my guess, but it’s coming.

This sort of disaster is about the worst kind. It’s everywhere. There won’t be help coming in from outside the region, like most natural disasters. What help might be available because it won’t happen everywhere at the same time, will be held in reserve for what the outsiders know is coming to them. You are on your own. No one is coming to save you. The ONLY thing that will help is if you get immunity after having the virus. If that happens, the people with mild cases will be able to keep everything going and we’ll only lose those with acute symptoms. If you don’t get lasting immunity, or worse, get it bad the second time, better start praying for effective drugs. And soon.

With that in mind, start praying for an antibody blood test, so we can confirm who’s had it and is possibly immune. There are an increasing number of people sharing stories of having been sick in the last month, but not having the flu. Heck, I have been coughing for the last month. I don’t think I got the flu, as I never had any real fever, but I felt pretty bad for a while. It’s important to remember that there might already be, and certainly will be, a large pool of people recovered from the mild symptoms. As long as they have immunity we’ll get through this. Until we can identify them though, we need to keep everyone isolated. (and there was an article about the virus being present in lungs for 30 something days after recovery, that would be bad news if true.)

So, if you aren’t stocked up, get there. Stop going out. Time to pull it all in and hope for the best.


Fri. Mar. 13, 2020 – Friday the Thirteenth falls on a Friday this month….

Warm and damp.

Yesterday was too. Sunny and hot even. None of the threatened rain showed. Which is good. I can water the garden. I’d prefer a bit less rain so I can work outside. I’ve got a ton of stuff to reorganize and put away.

I think we’re in for the duration. Gasoline, potting soil, and some lumber are about all that is left on my list. Hitting up my secondary for more stuff might happen, but I’ll try mightily to avoid any interaction with people. I don’t think they’ll impose local lockdown or curfew for another week at least.

Speaking of which… This is not a vacation. The whole purpose of these economy destroying measures is to stop or slow the spread of the virus. It won’t do that if people keep getting together. This is the time to bunker up. Shelter in place. Hunker down. However you say it, pick a spot and go to ground.

Those soon to be 20000 cases in Italy are just ordinary folks. Community transmission is just plain folks, going about their business and then getting sick. Some desperately sick. You are ordinary folks. STOP GOING ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. Stop exposing yourself to other people. (He says, but see below.)

It will be very hard. I’ve already listed the things I’d still like to pick up, and didn’t mention the AC coil froze over again. Wife is not excited to have that keep happening while we’re locked down for weeks. So she wants to rip and replace it NOW. FFS. I’m trying to keep that from happening. SHOULD have addressed it immediately after the last problem. SHOULD HAVE. Didn’t. I would like to get the big gennie turned on and connected. STILL haven’t done that. I think maybe one more day or two max with any outside contact, and anything after that is foolhardy. It’s already later than I’d like.

Speaking of too late, I’m pretty sure both of my local auctions will be a bust. Too bad, but timing is everything. We didn’t get the week I was hoping for.

FWIW, kids are feeling better, and we’ve all started the Tamiflu. Daughter doesn’t like the taste and doesn’t want to continue. Too bad. We really don’t want to be sick or weakened now.

I hope you have all completed your preparations. We’re all about to be tested. I’m hoping we all pass… (the test, not “on”).


Thur. Mar. 12, 2020 – for some people, sh!t just got real…

Warm and damp.

Yesterday stayed overcast most of the day but then did have a bit of sunshine later.

I spent the am getting blood drawn and ‘wasting time on the internet with my friends’ and the pm running errands. I dropped off some respirators for an auction, went by my rent house and blocked up some holes where the possum was getting in, and went by my secondary location and brought some TP home. Also hid the paper products still there, and covered up some of the food and materiel as well. I don’t want it all here right now. It’s far enough away that if there were severe travel restrictions locally, I might be blocked from getting to it. That’s balanced by its purpose as a backup and offsite storage. Always tradeoffs.

Between the Houston Rodeo cancellation, Trump’s travel restrictions, and the WHO finally declaring the pandemic, some people got a very rude shock today. Add in the later celebrity and sports stars that declared they have WuFlu, and you’ve got a very upset and angry populace.

I’m thinking 5 stages of Grief for some of them.

Some of us think it’s too little too late.

Today I’m taking the kids to get swabbed for ordinary flu, just in case. I don’t usually take them to the Dr, but it’s early enough that the Tamiflu might work. School sent the oldest home with a fever, the youngest came home too. The fever is worrying. Without it, no wuflu. With it, and the cough, and the other symptoms, there’s a possibility. Neither had fever when I sent them yesterday morning. So I’ve got them at home today. I’ve got lots of groceries to put away and stuff to do. I’m going to hunker down if I can. With the kids still in school, there wasn’t a benefit to me isolating, now there is. I’ll try to keep them home Friday too, and then for Spring Break. I just hope I didn’t pick it up somewhere.

Keep stacking. Start your isolation if you think it’s time. I think it’s past time, but we finally hit my trigger- confirmed person to person in town.


(oh and for anyone crying about the Rodeo, the stupid F’ers were using VINEGAR to disinfect because they were told it does a better job on BACTERIA than bleach. I almost don’t believe it, but then the whole place is staffed with third worlders with no germ theory experience. So much fail in one place.)

Sun. Mar. 8, 2020 – when they steal an hour from our lives…

Cooler, and hopefully rain free…

Yesterday never got as warm as predicted, and at least at the Ft Bend Fairgrounds, a gorgeous morning with a fantastic sunrise ended up a gloomy blustery overcast day.

I hope today is dry so that I can work on getting the driveway cleaned up and the hamfest stuff put away for another year. I need to clear space to bring home several tubs from my secondary location. They are far enough away that a local quarantine would put them out of reach.

I still am planning as if we weren’t going to WDW next week. Wife is still planning to go, as of Friday. Our school district sends an email every day that they are cleaning and following official state and city guidance. We’re so fukced. I didn’t prepare for the last 6 years to get this stupid bug now. If this were a book, no one would believe the prepper main character going to a swapmeet ahead of a trip to Disneyworld AT SPRING BREAK during a pandemic outbreak of a deadly disease. One of the most refreshing things about John Ringo’s Black Tide Rising is that when the family gets word, they ACT. Of course they then spend another month F’ing around in NYFC waiting for things to get untenable… unlike them, we don’t have a vaccine.

Please add hand lotion to your ‘last run’ if you don’t already have a good stock. My hands are RAW. All the wiping, hand washing, and bleach are brutal on hands.

Speaking of bleach, I literally washed my cash from the swapmeet in bleach solution. I’m waiting for it to dry to count it. It left the wash water tinged beige. Just saying. Wife is doing a cookie booth later today. FFS. And I’d like to wash that money too.

Aesop points out that it’s not just the number of sick people overwhelming the medical system, it’s the lost work time as 10s or 100s of thousands are unable to work for 3-5 weeks or more. That’s a BIG hit to the economy, as china will find out.

the common AB drug that is unavailable might be doxy… it fits the description. A little birdy told me they are working on getting production up in the US but it will be ‘a while’.

For some reason, the 5 extra deodorants I thought I had in the cabinet are AWOL. It’s always something you thought was covered.

Hospitals are already conserving PPEs, and NYFC is conserving firefighters by keeping them off possible Covid calls. EMS is F’d. I guess they hope to keep fighting fires, when they come, but have written off the EMS as a lost cause.

Consider hospital staffing levels when they lose a whole ER shift to quarantine every time some joker walks in with WuFlu unannounced. Rinse and repeat for a few weeks. Now break your arm in a fall…..

Did I mention I think we’re F’d? And we have more interlocking dependencies than China, so we have more breakable systems.

Keep stacking, and turn your clock forward for the time stealers.*


*the spring forward part is for real, the time stealing government flunkies part, not so much.

Fri. Feb. 28, 2020 – and the hits just keep on coming …

Cold and clear today.

Cold yesterday. Clear and sunny but cold. Started at 37F with frost on the car windows. That’s pretty cold no matter where you are (Jenny laughs!)

Kids are home today. Water main broke and gave the ISD a reason to cancel classes. I’ve got a ton of running around to do and it will all go slower with the kids in tow. It is what it is, I guess.

WuFlu keeps on keeping on. China says it’s dying out, but I don’t think anyone believes that. Everywhere else, it is doing great. Cali has a case that looks like community transmission, although possibly a link to the flight crew or quarantine exists. Certainly casual contact if the patient can’t recall anything significant.

Iranians seem to be hit harder than others. Their death rate is pretty high. Italians too. Or at least people living in Italy.

For anyone who hasn’t internalized the numbers, Aesop breaks it down. If the lethality is 3% (which doesn’t SOUND that bad) and most people get it, one kid in every classroom will die. One or more people in most small businesses will die. 2 or more people in your family will die. 2 or more people in your circle of friends will die. 1 in every 33… That sounds a bit more ominous than “3%”. So no, NOT the FLU.

Pray it’s not really gonna spread, because just asserting that doesn’t seem like a winning strategy given the way it’s spreading. Pray that the big brains will come up with a vaccine that works on a virus that even when you have it and survive, you don’t get immunity. Pray that it’s not true that the second time you get it, your heart stops and you just fall down dead.

I’m not really much for praying, but that looks like a pretty good backup plan to me.


Mon. Feb. 24, 2020 – another week ahead- more WuFlu news

Cool and damp. [65F and pouring rain at 6am]

Yesterday stayed coolish and damp all day with overcast skies. There was a bit of light misty drizzle around 9pm, but it never really rained.

In WuFlu news, China got sloppy with their lies and now everyone is catching on to the fact they’ve been underreporting infections and deaths. If you assume the virus is exponential in china, like it is everywhere else, the numbers are truly horrifying.

South Korea is F’d. Italy went from none to ~175 in a couple of days. Deaths are starting to show up too. To make it all even worse, there is evidence some guy developed it 27 days after contact. If true, none of the quarantine, for thousands world wide, can be trusted. Potentially infectious people have been returned to their communities.

Essentially overnight Italy closed schools, churches, and canceled public events. 10 or 12 cities are under movement control. Are you ready for something like that?

The next thing to be in short supply seems to be hospital grade disinfectants and cleaners. I spot checked some that are in my local auction, and at least one is completely sold out at the manufacturer’s site. Ebay still has it and prices don’t seem extortionate yet. I’ll be a bidder locally and hopefully a winner.

Besides masks, think about shoe covers or booties. You don’t want to be tracking stuff all over your house. Think about setting up an anteroom or entryway to leave your outerwear and shoes. If the longer incubation is valid, it’s already out in our communities and we just haven’t seen the cases yet.

Think about stuff you need that only comes from China and start getting enough of that. I ordered the cameras I have been thinking about and they shipped today from stock. That won’t be true for long as imported goods start selling out.

If your employment or business depends on large gatherings of people, you might want to look hard at a situation where that doesn’t happen. If I was still doing public events and corporate training conferences, and trade shows for a living I’d be looking for something else to do, BEFORE everyone else is looking too.

This is looking less and less like a nothing burger, and more and more like a world changer.

And on a completely unrelated note, another whistleblower committed suicide. Hmmmmm.

Keep stacking.


Fri. Feb. 21, 2020 – finally Friday, yeah right, too soon

Colder and wet.

Yesterday the rain held off but the temps dropped. I started in a rain shell but ended in a middle weight Carhart jacket..

I have another busy day today. Some auction stuff, the a call with my financial advisors, a call to a roofer about the hail damage from last year, and then more auction stuff.

The wind was really gusting last night. Tarps on the “inventory” in my driveway were all flapping around all night, setting off the motion detector lights. Cams recorded a lot of flapping…

Wuflu is taking off around the world. A couple of months I think, before it’ll be everywhere in large numbers, but things will start to get weird before that. We’ll also have a chance to see it die out, if that’s gonna happen. More and more people are starting to realize the supply chain issues. I expect some stuff will start to be in short supply immediately as savvier folks start buying for the long run.

Read the article Peter wrote in the link from yesterday and consider what else might affect your personal needs. This is the time to get ahead on your meds. Also the OTC stuff you might want, especially if you have to play “Dr. Mom” to anyone. Snivel gear too. Toothbrushes, beauty supplies, hygiene products, etc. Keep in mind you might want to or have to supply some other people outside your family too. Can you really say no when Mom asks if you know where to get a box of masks? or your kid’s school friends ask about AB soap?

There are some lines in the sand with prepping that really feel different when crossed. Buying fish meds, burying a cache, buying obstetrics textbooks for your library… those things mean you are considering something beyond the next hurricane or flood. Those are the sort of things that raise an eyebrow. Think about where you are in relation to those at the moment, and consider if it’s different from last month or last year. Where do you think you’ll be in a month if things continue as they are?

Food for thought should be accompanied by food for eating.

Keep stacking.


Sat. Feb. 15, 2020 – family, work, stuff, more and more

Cold and clear, but damp. [50F and 80%RH at 9am]

Yesterday stayed cold but did get a clear blue sky for most of the day. I spent the afternoon running around.

Today, I’ve got a basketball game, housework, yard work, and I’m meeting a guy to finish an ebay sale.

So, busy like normal.

Meanwhile, the virus never sleeps. CDC is prepping the battlespace with their assurances that more WuFlu is coming to America. They have started national surveillance using the existing flu network (to find it when it breaks out), and they are reviewing existing plans for pandemic. They talked about shifting from containment to mitigation (when it gets out into the community)… and the economic effects are starting to be felt around the world.

China is going full totalitarian in their response. Lots of video getting out as people start getting desperate and seem to be saying “F it, I’m telling the world.” And still, where are all the people? Also, Don’t give up your guns.

There may be Sweet and Sour Sicken in the wild in Hawaii. There is a report that a japanese man is confirmed to have it, but never went to China, only Hawaii. Lots of asians vacation in Hawaii. Sort of tellingly, none of the new CDC surveillance efforts are in Hawaii….

And there was no further info about the planes that were intercepted in Heathrow…

Take this seriously folks. You might find you REALLY need to stay home for a month or two. We’ll have some more time, and there will be more to confirm it’s heading in that direction, but if you wait too long, all the good stuff will be gone. Like masks. Get your prescriptions filled. Get some OTC remedies for the ordinary stuff you WON”T be going to the ER or Urgent Care for when it’s full of sick people. Go through your medicine cabinet and see what you might actually have left over… build off that.

Yeah I know, zerohedge is doomer pron… I’ve lived here XX years and never evacuated before… the weather liars always get it wrong… you’ve been in full on sky is falling before and nothing came of it………..

Doesn’t mean that this isn’t really bad.

Keep stacking.


Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 – did I mention I had two extra 10yo girls last night?

Cool and rainy. [63F and 99%RH]

Rain started late last night, around 11pm. It wasn’t bad during the day with mostly overcast skies and shirtsleeve temps.

Last night was sleepover night for two of my daughter’s school friends. They were up late, scaring themselves. There is a self reinforcing behavior spiral that they get started on. Not just convincing themselves that there is a monster outside, but for other things too, like guilt. Not fun to short circuit that.

And the Girl Scout cookies arrived by the van load during the day.

I was out, doing deals and stocking up. I’ve got a craigslist sale later today. Finally.


I’ve said before, I’m treating this coronavirus as an incoming Cat5 hurricane. It FEELS a lot like the start of the zombie apocalypse in the John Ringo novels. My biggest concern is that the actions the chinese are taking do not match the numbers or the reported threat levels.

Aesop, who was a voice for MAX RESPONSE during the first Ebola epidemic is the voice of moderation in this one. He’s got training, experience, and is on the front line,so I’m not discounting his opinion. I’m considering that he’s basing it on info out of china, though, and if that info is bad, so can the conclusions be…

My personal red line for this will be the start of person to person transmission in the US. Right now, it seems that every foreign infection started in China. Once we have it in the wild in the US all bets are off.

So, touch up those preps people. And stay tuned.