The craziness has continued and amplified over the last 24 hours. From a national level the biggest news was the California governor giving shelter in place orders to the entire state of 40 million+ people. Locally more restrictions came rushing in, including finally closing the beaches. The scenes of idiotic spring breakers throwing coronavirus cares to the wind got national traction and disdain. They officially closed our office to the public today so we enter day one of our new work reality with doors locked to the public. I am still pressing ahead with our office move project although doing so is requiring more and more force to do so as the systems around us are starting to slow down.
Yesterday I walked over to the campus gym even though I heard it was closed, just to verify it for myself. They had the hurricane shutters pulled down over the door, ensuring no entry was possible. To make do I walked up to the top of the parking garage and did a circuit of push ups and body weight squats that got me sucking some wind. Today I plan to spend my lunch hour riding my One Wheel Pint around, f it.
This weekend will likely have a whole lot of staying put in it as we watch the world devolve around us.
Every day it seems as if we are on a fast moving carousel as the news worsens and the restrictions tighten. Our office had started limiting the amount of customers allowed in the lobby to 10. If more than that showed up the rest had to wait outside. Now there is a very real chance the governor will close all state offices to the public altogether. The odd thing is if that happens, all of our employees are still expected to report to work, unless they are willing to burn their personal vacation or sick time to stay home. They also have the option to take unpaid leave which isn’t a very viable option for most people. If that happens it will be interesting to see how that plays out in reality since the sole focus of the majority of our staff is over the counter customer transactions. I question what exactly they would have these people do all day long. I personally always have stuff that demands my attention so it wouldn’t affect me much.
Last night I decided to fire up the live stream to talk about anything but of course Covid 19 was the big talking point. One of the things discussed was how difficult it is going to be to get the American public to buy into hard core and strict social distancing behavior. The biggest hurdle of all to me will be young people who are least likely to be severely impacted by the virus. In fact they may be carrying the virus and feel no symptoms whatsoever and that is where the danger lies.
If they don’t feel sick they will likely feel little to no need to alter their normal behavior patterns. However that shortsighted approach can result in many people that are at risk from the virus being infected from non-symptomatic carriers. EVERYONE needs to get on board with safe and sanitary practices without exception. Of course the reality is there are far too many people in the world that care about themselves and little else, especially in the United States. The end result will be more and more draconian restrictions to force people out of crowded environments but still, if individuals do not take personal responsibility for themselves we will still have a monumental problem.
If you are sheltering place and have two hours to kill feel free to watch.
Yesterday the Covid 19 pandemic had a direct impact on our little circle of existence. The gym that Cindy teaches classes at closed and the resort that Katie is a server at laid her off yesterday. This scenario is playing out all across the country and world for that matter as businesses shut down to try to lessen the spread of covid 19. American society is filled with people that literally live paycheck to paycheck. This situation could easily expand from weeks into months. Imagine the potential impact it has on so many people.
There is talk of the government cutting $1000 checks to help ease some of the immediate pain of the populace which I find myself having mixed emotions about. Yes I am happy that at least some sort of small band aid could be applied to the huge gushing wound of financial distress that is upon us. However I also find myself somewhat infuriated with the absolute hypocrisy when this goes down in the midst of the political circus we are enduring. All of these anti-entitlement, Bernie is a socialist individuals, suddenly shut their mouths when THEY now need a helping hand. The duplicity really angers me. Yes government can be clumsy, inefficient, and downright corrupt in many situations. However it is also the lifeline in times of crisis and is the primary tool behind recovery efforts. Government is what keeps society from falling apart at the seams, despite scenes of people beating each other up for toilet paper.
The only good thing I can see coming out of the covid 19 pandemic is it should fundamentally change the thinking and preparedness for outbreaks of widespread illness in the future, much like 911 changed the core fabric of national security practices, for better or for worse, depending on who you ask.
With nothing but talk of disease surrounding us I have found it is hard to not constantly be wondering if I am getting sick. Every little twinge of illness I feel seems amplified, wondering if it’s now my turn. I am sure it is mostly a pyschosomatic response. I am staying diligent with cleaning/sanitizing my hands after being in a public space and generally just being more conscious of what others around me are doing. I have said many times that I am not the type to panic and that continues to be the case but the way the world is unraveling around us can not be ignored.
So here is something non-covid 19 to make you laugh. So I have sold over 450 orders on my online 3d store. 99.9% of those transactions have been great. People like the stuff and the few issues I have had I normally can address with a smile. Well yesterday I was not smiling.
I had a model on my store that I was discontinuing for a newer version. I wanted to blow out the old ones so I did a 2 for 1 promo on the old model a few weeks ago. I sold the extras I had but forgot to update the store description. I then sold a model and sent the customer one instead of two, because I forgot about the promo. I get a rather normal email from him as follows.
Customer – Hello ..I purchased the 18xl stand…there are supposed to be two for the price of one…when will the other one arrive…
When I got the email I realized my mistake and sent him this response.
Me – Ah shit I forgot to change that text. I was doing that as I cleared out the old model. I will have to send you one of the new thicker style.
I sent this response very quickly however I then get blasted with the following.
That is the only reason I bought them… and also that is what it says….CLEARLY..YOU SEEM TO TALK AND ACT AS IF YOU DO HONEST BUSINESS….AND THIS PROBLEM ISN’T FIXED WITH CANDY…ALSO YOU MADE THAT OFFER… YOU PROBABLY CHANGED IT THIS MORNING.. BECAUSE WHEN I BOUGHT IT AND ALSO YESTERDAY IT STILL SAID TWO FOR ONE…AND THE THICKER MODEL IS ONLY TWO DOLLARS DIFFERENCE…AND ALL THAT DOESNT MATTER..WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT YOU WHERE PROMOTING…HOW ABOUT YOU BE HONEST AND DO THE RIGHT THING…AND SEND ME ANOTHER ONE…WHY BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I THOUGHT I WAS PAYING FOR…AN HONEST PERSON WOULD OF REALIZED THEIR SO CALLED MISTAKES AND WOULD SEND WHAT THE PERSON CLEARLY PAID FOR …I DIDN’T MISREAD..OR MISUNDERSTAND….AND THE RESPONSE OF AN HONEST PERSON WOULD BE..YES THAT IS WHAT IT SAID LET ME SEND YOU ANOTHER… I WOULD LIKE TO GET WHAT YOUR WEBSITE CLEARLY SAID TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE…WHEN WILL I BE RECEIVING THE OTHER ONE…ALONG WITH THE NEW TRACKING NUMBER
I was flabbergasted and initially just responded with “Wow….”
I then followed up with “I’m not sure why you felt the need to rant when I already acknowledged it was my mistake and I was going to send you another.”
I had no idea why this idiot felt the need to respond as he did. Perhaps he thought the $7.50 that I made by forgetting he was supposed to get two models was part of my grand scheme to rip off the EUC community. I had to take a breath and resist incinerating this guy with an angry email response. I simply sent him the tracking number for the additional model I was sending to which he asked when I was shipping it, which I ignored, just as I plan to ignore any further contacts by this moron.
The Covid 19 panic continued at an unabated pace with more bombshells dropping yesterday. The San Francisco area, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts are on “lockdown” where any non-essential members of the population are encouraged to basically stay home. The stock market had another crater day, dropping an unbelievable 3000 points, AFTER the fed slashed rates to ZERO. Last night Ohio cancelled their primary election which was scheduled for today. Florida has moved forward with their election which is today as well but I am sure turnout numbers will be microscopic.
I fear what we are seeing will in short order be applied nationwide. I already heard of some government offices in Florida closing shop as of yesterday. The gym Cindy teaches at is closing as of today and I think that trend will continue to grow, quickly. This is something new for all of us. For decades there have been warnings about pandemics and their potential for mass disruption of society. Whenever we get to the other side of this I can only hope there is a realignment of perspective where people realize that simply hoping/praying bad things don’t happen is not a plan.
Locally our county government declared a state of emergency. I’m not sure the impact that has on top of all of the other emergency declarations that have been landing in the last two days. When I try to wrap my head around the fiscal impact this is having around the world I am unable to do so. I once again count myself as fortunate not being in a situation where my employer could shut down, leaving me high and dry.
So the fear and panic surrounding the Covid19 outbreak has continued to intensify over the weekend with more and more cancellations and restrictions rolling in at a rapid pace. Hell even the county fair relented and closed up shop last night, almost 10 days early after pressure from state government. As part of my Saturday errands I made a pit stop at Sam’s to grab some Mexican Cokes. Just for shits and giggles I pushed the cart to the back corner of the store where paper products and bottled water are kept. The entire corner was completely barren, not a single item was to be found, amazing.
Luckily we are in a pretty solid position with ample paper towels and a whole house RO water system that makes bottled water unnecessary. The one thing we were getting a little low on was toilet paper. I was surprised when I was actually able to order some on Walmart.com which will be delivered to the house today or tomorrow. Outside of that we are in pretty good shape.
I tried to keep my routines pretty much on track despite the unraveling of society around us. I still drank DD coffee, I still went to Home Depot and Rural King, I just made sure to be conscious of what was going around me and made sure to grab the sanitizer after exiting the public spaces. On Saturday afternoon Deb came over to visit. We rode our PEVs over to the back entrance of the Fair, the closest we would come to attending it this year. She stayed for dinner. We drank some wine and watched The Post. Thanks to the wine I paid little attention to the actual movie but I guess it was B level ok.
On Sunday Deb came over again to ride. This time we were meeting Katie and the baby at Ave Maria. Cindy pushed DJ around in the stroller while Deb, Katie and I rolled around. I brought my Skydio 2 drone along to do it’s first test tracking me on an EUC. The drone for the most part did an amazing job, zipping around, over, and under obstacles in a mesmerizing fashion. The only negatives I have found so far are the battery life isn’t fantastic and the drone itself is incredibly loud, so much so that I felt badly flying anywhere near other human beings. We didn’t stay that long because it was hot as hell.
I spent several hours doing video editing during the afternoon which I also split with trying to fix a problem with one of my Prusa printers. Despite my efforts the problem remains. I ordered some parts yesterday to hopefully address the issue.
Time to buckle up for what is going to be one of the most unique times of my adulthood. Hopefully sanity can prevail in the end, but I wouldn’t count on it.
The cancellation/closure dominoes have been falling at an exponential pace due to corona virus concern. The NHL and MLB followed the NBA’s lead and announced a suspension of their seasons. The NCAA who originally planned to play games with no spectators shifted yesterday to an outright cancellation as well. When this many things are getting cancelled it applies great leverage to other similar events to do the same, anything else would make them seem irresponsible or even liable in some people’s eyes. Even Disney announced they were shutting down their parks for the time being.
Locally they have cancelled the local hockey games, the Saint Patricks Day parade, and most public gatherings for the near future. The only thing I am aware of that is still going on is the county fair which started yesterday however I expect that it will either close or have such light attendance that it will be a joke. This will be the first time in 20 years that we will not be attending the fair, which makes me sad.
In my own personal sphere I continue to be more mindful of cleaning my hands after touching any communal surfaces as well as trying to scratch my itchy face with the back of my hands/fingers whenever possible. I am also planning on modifying my gym routine which included going to old person infested Planet Fitness two days a week. Until we hit the other side of this I am going to keep my lunch time workouts exclusively at our small county gym which never has more than three or four people in there at a time. Outside of that Cindy has no interest in doing the normal public interactions we engage in like movies and eating out dinner until further notice.
This morning I had my first experience with a remote “live” teller at my credit union. My tax refund check did not get direct deposited for some reason so I had to deposit the check conventionally. The drive thru line now has these ATM looking machines at each lane where you get a video feed to a real person located in a remote call center. It was a pretty cool and seamless experience. The nice thing was the live tellers actually have extended hours compared to the normal branch, they fire up at 7AM.
This weekend we will surely be doing things that focus on avoiding people although I still see trips to Rural King and Home Depot on the horizon. Outside of that it’s enjoy the comforts and ample entertainment we have available to us at home. My next two weeks are going to be quite busy at work as we are relocating a branch, a task I always dislike. There are so many moving parts I need to keep track of and coordinate that it can get a bit maddening at times.
I shot a video about the history of my 3D printed electric unicycle stand online store last night. Check it out.
I have realized for awhile that the real threat for Covid 19 was not to me personally, as I am a healthy individual that should not be at risk for severe symptoms. The issue was the end result of worldwide fear and panic and just how disruptive it potentially could be. That reality is coming much more clearly into focus the last few days. Even Trump had to get on national TV last night and sound the alarm bell, despite the falsehoods he was propping up in the days prior where the administration downplayed the risk.
Events involving large groups of people are being cancelled left and right. Hell they even suspended the NBA season after one of their players tested positive. As of now they are planning to play the NCAA tournament without fans, which seems unreal, but I would not be shocked if they cancel that altogether as well. The virus is clearly out in the wild and spreading rapidly.
At my office there is a sign posted by the front door informing people that country government is practicing “social distancing” which involves no physical contact and trying to keep a minimum three foot barrier from other people. This is nice but I think “social lock up” would work better where unless required, you avoid situations with large groups of people.
Of course I broke that rule last night as I ventured into Costco after work. I left work early, thinking that may help me avoid some of the horde of people that have been raiding warehouse stores for the last week or two. Of course I was wrong, the parking lot was packed with people. As I pushed the cart around the aisles crowded with mostly social security collecting human beings I tried to not think about the germ factory potential that was all around me. My gym attendance is another riskier activity that I have been not abandoned at this point. I have been trying to be more diligent with cleaning while there but the reality is there so much opportunity for contaminated surfaces at a place like that, I am just rolling the dice every time I step in the door.
Speaking of rolling, the guy that spread my fill and sod was back yesterday with his “roller”. The machine looks like a mini steam roller. It’s used to push the sod firmly into the ground beneath and even out the surface. He was finishing up as I got home. I talked to him about expanding the project to bring in fill/sod to several other areas around the property that are subject to prolonged standing water during wet season. It will add up to a good chunk of money but it will be worth it to me if I can avoid needing a canoe to traverse the grounds in July/August.
The primary results from last night were confirmation that the Democratic fix is officially in, the DNC is going to ram Joe Biden down our throats whether we like it or not. By making an unapologetic effort to get other moderate candidates to lay down and toe the line behind Biden, the DNC has brought Bernie’s campaign to a grinding halt, so much so that there is wonder how long it will be until Bernie himself takes a knee.
This reversal in position is incredible in my eyes because just a couple weeks ago Joe was sort of a joke, performing poorly in every debate, strapped for cash, and misspeaking regularly in ways that make people question if his marbles are dropping out of his ears at this point. Despite all of this the DNC saw his Obama connection as something they could leverage so they are going to prop him up, Weekend at Bernie’s style, ironically.
You hear a lot of people saying that this is a repeat of 2016, when the DNC ensured Hilary got the nomination through the wonders of the slimy “super delegates” system. I see the parallels but hope there is one critical difference this year. In 2016 we had not just been subjected to four years of what history will look back upon as the most embarrassing, corrupt, and toxic presidency of all time. Hopefully that reality is enough to keep Bernie supporters from wasting their votes on can’t win candidates and enough of the sit at home voters to get off their ass to pull the lever for sanity’s sake.
Well it didn’t take long for Covid-19 to arrive locally. Two confirmed cases in Lee County died late last week. I also heard a rumor that there are some cases in local Naples hospitals that they are trying to keep out of the news. The strategy of deliberately hiding or misrepresenting the truth when it comes to a situation like this is a delicate balancing act. Lying to the public is an attempt to keep society from entering into a state of panic, something human beings revert to quite easily. However if the truth is really that ugly and the misinformation prevents people from taking as many precautions as they should, you ultimately wind up with an even bigger problem.
You already see the snowball that is forming and getting bigger every day. The stock market is imploding, travel related businesses are getting crushed, and events involving large groups of humanity are getting cancelled left and right. Basic grocery/sanitation items are being hoarded by the general public at rates faster than they can be produced. All of this has occurred with less than 1000 confirmed cases in the US.
What comes next as the virus, which has expanded far beyond containment, is the medical facilities in the country being obliterated as they are overrun with people that need medical care, both real and imagined. Imagine the repercussions if huge segments of the American workforce “self quarantine”, shutting down core services.
The good news is we have an organized, intelligent, proactive, thoughtful president who surely has a top notch response team working around the clock to minimize the crater covid-19 could potentially cause. Haha, just kidding, we are fcked. He was playing golf this weekend.
I personally am still going about my routines although I have added more hand washing/sanitizing than is the norm. I even went to the gym yesterday which is a germ factory even under normal circumstances. I looked around at the overwhelmingly elderly population that was there with me and questioned which ones were candidates to be taken out if they caught the bug.
With protective masks being basically a luxury item right now I did secure one of these buffs that can be used in various manners, including covering the nose/mouth. It isn’t medical grade obviously but it would prevent you from directly touching your mouth/nose in pubic interactions, which seems to be key. It can be washed/reused infinitely, another bonus.
Friday after work I went to Sugden Park to run for the third week in a row. It was a bit warmer than the prior two runs but still much higher on the enjoyment scale than my track runs have been historically. There are a good number of people throughout the park and wildlife as well which helps keep my mind from focusing on the discomfort my body experiences running at 52 years of age.
When I got home I got a look at my nearly $800 of sod that was put down in the chicken area. It’s bahia grass which is native but not nearly as manicured looking as St Augustine which you see a lot in Florida. The combination of the fill and sod has raised the back chicken yard even higher than “Chicken Island” which I manually built from endless bags of top soil. It felt good to finally have addressed this issue permanently. All it took was a big chunk of money.
On Saturday I was on the go all day long it seemed. I just had one chore after another to complete. In the morning I did some rearranging of the sod, taking stuff that was on the outer edge outside the fence line and covering a few exposed dirt areas inside the fence. I also set up a portable sprinkler that I was running a good portion of the weekend to revive the bahia grass which naturally goes into hibernation during Florida winters.
I originally tried to water the grass using my old hose and sprinkler Friday night. When I hooked it up and turned on the water I was baffled when I saw no water coming out of the sprinkler. So I went and unhooked the hose at the sprinkler side and was upset with what I saw, a tree frog wedged in the inlet of the sprinkler. My guess is this frog had decided to camp out in the hose which had been draped over a fence post for months. My applying water pressure wedged him into the sprinkler. He wasn’t moving but I held out hope he was alive.
I took the sprinkler up to the garage and started trying to pry open the inlet to get the frog out. It became apparent there was no way to do this delicately so I grabbed my hand held mini-sledge and started hammering away at my perfectly functional sprinkler, breaking it into pieces. I did finally get access to that inlet but when I saw the inside of it I saw the frog’s guts squished out so it was a futile effort. I felt terrible for inadvertently causing the frog’s death, seriously.
After working all morning and into the early afternoon I decided to throw car washing into the mix, washing Katie’s Prius, the Tacoma and the Tesla. I was not happy to see that bird shit that inadvertently was left on the hood of the Tesla for a prolonged period of time had put a blemish in the paint. Sure you can’t keep the car living in a bubble but it still annoyed me.
A couple months ago I was contacted by a subscriber on my YouTube channel. Dan lives in Massachusetts but he was doing a Florida road trip. He was considering buying an upgraded EUC and I owned the two choices he was considering. He was wondering if I would entertain him stopping out to test ride the wheels. I told him that was fine. Yesterday was the day we agreed to meet up.
Dan drove over four hours the night before from Deland to Naples. He arrived at our place a little before 11 on Sunday, and came bearing gifts, a DD gift card for me and a watermelon for the chickens. I told him that was very nice but not necessary. We took the melon out to the hens and chopped it up for them to hungrily consume, it was cute. Before riding we hung out at the house for a little while and talked. Dan, who is right around my age has been dealing with cancer for the last four years which he has gotten past, however it is something that has to be constantly monitored. His stories of the procedures involved with the treatment made me cringe and feel lucky I have existed to this point in life with relatively few serious health ailments.
We loaded up a bunch of wheels in the back of the Tacoma and headed out. I originally planned to go to North Collier Park but when we got there some huge car show event was going on and the parking lots were jammed. It would have been a shitty riding experience so I turned around and headed toward the Naples Greenway instead.
We had a great ride there with Dan taking turns on every wheel I brought including the 16X, 18XL, MSX, and Mten 3. I also took some time riding Dan’s Kingsong 14D, a wheel I never rode before. I was surprised how much I loved the way the little wheel felt with ample power and tons of instant torque. We had a good time with a ride that was probably around two hours in length. When we got back Dan was very appreciative of my time and said the experience was one of the highlights of his road trip so far. After riding all of the wheels he seemed to feel the 18XL was the best fit for him, a solid choice.
I got word from my sister that Griffin, who absolutely loves the 3D printed light saber I gave him was upset after he was a little too forceful extending the blade, which caused it to break. Over the weekend I printed a different version of the light saber which has a removable/replaceable blade which should be helpful in a heavy use scenario as Griffin will likely be subjecting the blade to. The great thing about 3D printed toys is you can replace them very easily.
I haven’t commented on the incredible steamrolling the DNC is attempting to perform on Bernie Sanders. The first warning shot was Pete Buttigeig, who I really liked, dropping out before Super Tuesday which made little to no sense to me, at first. When Amy Klobouchar and Mike Bloomberg dropped in the next couple days it was crystal clear what had transpired. The strong establishment segment of the Democratic party was terrified that Bernie would keep gaining momentum by winning delegates against a split of moderate candidates. Their only answer was to prop up Joe Biden as the single moderate choice.
Now I don’t dislike Joe but I certainly am not excited about him as a candidate. He has appeared downright senile at times and has performed poorly by all accounts in every debate he has participated in. It’s unfortunate but I can imagine back room meetings at the DNC where they made this plan, where they probably said the country is not ready for a female or gay candidate and Elizabeth Warren shot nuclear missiles at Bloombergs elect-ability. So they were left with Joe, the only candidate that would not challenge the status quo in any meaningful way, which is what the DNC wants.
Now don’t get me wrong, if my choice was Joe Biden as president or the stable genius, I would vote for Joe, twice if I could to end the reign of ignorance and lunacy. However my concern is if Biden is shoved down everyone’s throat two things are going to happen. Bernie’s hardcore supporters are going to throw away their vote on one of the can’t win candidates in spite, just like they did in 2016 or Old Joe isn’t going to excite the electorate enough to get the voter turnout needed to win. Either of these scenarios would be a nightmare.
I have often claimed I am a realist and that is the case with Bernie as well. I like him, I support his greater good ideals. I also know that without the majority of lobbyist owned congress being ripped out of office, Bernie’s sweeping agendas have no shot of taking hold. However, if Bernie being the candidate gets enough otherwise unmotivated potential voters off their ass and into the booth that is what matters the most at this point in history, in my opinion. Unfortunately I see the DNC’s plan as being ultimately successful, ironically dooming us to what they proclaim they want to avoid, four more years of the Perfect Big League Very Stable Genius in command.