Monday, March 30, 2020

Odds & Ends

1.)  Every time he opens his mouth he manages to make himself look like an even bigger fool than the time before.  I am of course talking about our "con-man in chief" Donald Trump.  Hurry up, November.

2.)  What are you doing to spend the time during this period of quarantine?  Here are a few things I've been doing:
I still make dump runs.  Very little if any human contact there.
I confess to spending quite a bit of time in front of my computer or playing games with others on my iPad.  Words With Friends is the primary game.  I post a lot on Facebook.  Mostly funny stuff to lighten things up.
I workout every morning for 30-40 minutes.
We have a big yard so I've been getting outside as much as I can.  This should pick up as the weather improves. Along with that, we'll begin taking walks around the neighborhood or on hiking trails somewhere away from people.
I read a lot.  I'm on my 7th book since the start of the year.
There's always something that needs to be done around the house.  Now it's getting done.
I like doing crosswords, word jumbles and sudokus.  I usually start doing them around 11 A.M. up to lunch time.
That's about it.

3.) I just got off the phone with a good friend of mine from the Pittsburgh area of PA.  Her go-to activity is jigsaw puzzles.  She said before she knows it, four hours has gone by.  That's a long time.  I don't know if I can focus for that long.  Sandi likes them so maybe we'll give it a try.

4.)  It's almost the end of wood burning season.  So far for the heating season of 2019-2020 I've burned just about 3 cords.  I have about 5 cords on hand for next year.  Should be plenty although I usually like 2 years supply.  By the time I'm done with what I currently have I'll be very close to 80.  Will I still feel like working up a supply of wood every year after that?  Maybe not.  We were thinking of converting our fireplace where the wood stove is into a gas burning fireplace.  We already have a 500 gallon propane tank we installed for our whole house generator.  We could use that same supply for the fireplace.  Of course it defeats the purpose of free heat but it is efficient, clean and very convenient. I'll get back to you on that in 2 years.

5.) One thing that I've known all along but has been reinforced even more since the start of our self-imposed isolation-day time network TV is dreadful.  If you must watch, join Netflix or Amazon Prime and stream something.  There's lots of good stuff out there.  I especially recommend British TV.  You'll find the better ones on Acorn TV or BritBox.

6.)  One final observation.  I mentioned above that I was spending a lot of time in front of a computer.  It's during times like this that the computer really proves its value.  I'm thinking about its use in distant learning. Think about it.  Schools are closed yet schooling continues.  Many teachers and all parents are on line either teaching or providing resources.  School districts across the country are scrambling to ensure that all students have access to this tool.  I cringe at the thought of how much would be lost without the computer or the internet. 

That's enough rambling for today.  Stay healthy.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Covid19 Part Two

The coronavirus is a legitimate concern.  Most people who catch it will make a normal recovery without requiring hospitalization but the usual at risk groups need to exercise caution.  Having said that, I have been monitoring the level of hysteria on Facebook and I think a lot of people need to step back, take a breath and exercise common sense. 

I've seen posts that range from calling for martial law to cleaning out stores and hoarding.  All ridiculous. 

Social isolation is indeed important but there are times when you simply need to get out, i.e. grocery shopping, doctor's appointments, dump runs, etc.    Just don't go anywhere where there's more than a few people assembled.

Then there's the other extreme such as college spring breakers who ignore all warnings and assemble by the dozens or even hundreds not much caring about the consequences.  They are a menace and need to get a grip on reality.  Human contact is what spreads this virus.  Common sense says stay away from people as much as possible until it passes.

For now I plan to stay off of Facebook before I say something to someone that I might regret later!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Coronavirus AKA Covid19

So here we are.  The range of emotions in the general public goes from skepticism to panic.  Schools, sporting events, entertainment venues and anything else that would ordinarily attract large numbers of people have been cancelled.  The stock market has tanked and there's a general shortage of test kits.

So that's where we stand. 

Here's what I know:
1. There are more cases out there than we realize.
2. Most of the people who catch it will experience mild to moderate symptoms and eventually fully recover.
3. Take a common  sense course of action-wash hands, keep hands away from face, etc. etc. You've heard it all.
4. Elderly (like me!), children and those with a compromised immunity system are at most risk.
5. There is no vaccine for it-yet.  And there won't be one this year.

That's all I know.  But it sounds a lot like what I've been hearing about the flu which so far has impacted far more people.

The big question is how many people are going to get it. Estimates I've heard are that it could affect as many as 80% of the population.  That's a very big number.  I'm not sure what it's based on but even if it's close it's still a lot.

So I guess the lesson is don't panic.  Live your life.  Avoid crowds. Wash up. And see what happens.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

A few odds and ends

1. Saw this on Facebook.  It's perfect!

If it turns out to be Biden — as disappointed as many folks might be — please remember:
1. You're not just voting for President.
2. You're voting for who replaces RBG on the Supreme Court.
3. You're voting for the next Secretary of Education.
4. You're voting for federal judges.
5. You're voting for the rule of law.
6. You're voting for saving national parks.
7. You're voting for letting kids out of cages.
8. You're voting for clean air and clean water.
9. You're voting for scientists to be allowed to speak about climate change.
10. You're voting for what a President says and does on Twitter.
11. You're voting for housing rights.
12. You're voting for LGBTQ people to be treated with dignity.
13. You're voting for non-Christians to be able to adopt and to feel like full citizens.
14. You're voting for Dreamers.
15. You're voting so that there will be Social Security and Medicare when you retire.
16. You're voting for veterans to get the care they deserve.
17. You're voting for rural hospitals.
18. You're voting so that someone else can have health insurance.
19. You're voting for the preservation of PBS.
20. You're voting to have a President who doesn't embarrass this country every time she or he attends an international meeting.
21. And you're voting against allowing the USA to become yet another authoritarian regime.
22. You're voting for sensible gun laws.
23. You are voting for a woman’s right to choose!
No Democrat is perfect.
Your first AND second choices may have dropped out. Your third might. But the nominee, no matter who she or he is, won't be perfect. They won't pass your purity test. And yet every single one of them will be better than four more years of Trump!!!
Please be reasonable.
2. The idea of Trump & Pence gagging the scientific community and taking charge of the Coronavirus pandemic is so absurdly laughable it boggles the mind.    They're both a pair of ignoramuses who don't know a virus from a loaf of bread.  What to do about it?  Reread No. 1 above!

3. I just got an oil fill up.  Took 200 gallons and paid $1.93 per.  Last fill up was September 2019 and I paid $2.34 per.  Two reasons for such a difference.  First, this has been an unusually mild winter so far.  Second, I supplement our furnace with a wood burning stove.  By the end of the year I will have used about 400 gallons and the reason that's as high as it is is because our domestic hot water is heated by oil.  I began the year with what I thought would be enough wood for 3 years.  It's looking like I'll only have enough for next year and part of a third year.  I do have quite a bit on my property but getting it to the wood pile is always a problem.  I may have our spring cleanup people work on it.

4.  The software I use to create my website is no longer supported by my computer's operating system so I have to redesign my website using templates supplied by the company that hosts it.  Still working on it.  I'm finding it to be somewhat more difficult that I thought.  I have two months to get it done.  Updating the software is financially prohibitive.

5.  The bears are back.  I have to take the bird feeders in at night and put them back out in the morning.  When it really warms up, I'll stop feeding them altogether until next winter.

6.  It's looking more and more like Biden (Byedon) is going to be the guy for the dems.  That's fine with me.  I'd vote for a ham sandwich before I voted for Don the Con.

That's it for now.