April 2020

How California’s really flattening the curve…


Because the hipsters all had Corona-chan before it was cool, and now that everyone’s into it, they are so over it.

2:28…


Glen Campbell in his prime:

Unrelated, based on my trips to Safeway and Costco over the past two weeks, I’ve suddenly realized that there’s going to be a metric fuckton of leftover Easter candy on clearance sale soon. Pity my freezer’s full of actual food, since I consider the easter-egg form of Reese’s Cups to be the perfect balance of shell and filling, not that my doctor would approve of a freezer full of candy…

Update

There’s also a nationwide glut of chicken wings, due to the lack of sporting events and sports bars. Many of the producers aren’t set up to handle retail packaging, so they can’t easily divert them to groceries, and it likely wouldn’t help because people are apparently mostly buying main-course chicken parts rather than wings.

So, expect some serious bargains on bulk frozen wings soon.

I find most sports-bar wings overcooked and undersauced, so I prefer to make my own when gathering with friends, but since I’m not gathering with anyone right now, I’m not in the market, either. On the bright side, a reduction in the wholesale price might help improve the profit margin enough for places like Wing Stop to stay in business long enough to wait out this mess.

Duuuhpdate…

Where’s all the yeast? On friggin’ eBay at 3x markup, of course! Damn glad I bought a pound of SAF Red and stored it in the freezer last year.

One size doesn’t fit all…


Sweeping shutdown orders that fail to take into account population density, treating inner cities the same as suburbs and rural villages.

Whimsical decisions on what businesses are and aren’t essential, with no regard for practicality, sensibility, or Constitutionality.

Tons of food being thrown away because the producers and distributors that handle commercial sales have no customers.

Big-box stores allowed to remain open but restricted in what kinds of products they can sell, based on one man’s opinion of what people should be allowed to buy.

Houses of worship threatened with permanent closure unless they “voluntarily” shut down, but not applied to all religions equally.

Senior citizens standing in line at dawn for the chance to buy staples.

A black market in dog-borrowing for a chance to get out of the house.

Low-density parks and beaches shut down, because theoretically a group could show up.

And this is far from an exhaustive list; it’s just what I remembered from the past week off the top of my head.

America is getting an object lesson in centrally-planned economies and petty tyranny, and guess what? 90% of it is coming from Democrats.

Afternoon grocery update

Since I needed a few onions for my weekend recipes, I hit the second-closest Safeway. The only things completely out of stock were TP, flour, yeast, and sanitizing wipes. Everything else was present in reasonable quantity, although it looks like someone’s throwing a Tide Pod party tomorrow. Rice was abundant in packages of all sizes, so much so that there was an endcap display of jasmine rice.

The in-store bakery was keeping the shelves filled, but not getting a lot of business. In particular, the decision to create pre-packed doughnut boxes clearly wasn’t popular, because they made sure every assortment included all the unpopular crap that’s usually left over at the end of the day.

Pixiv: glasses, half-full and half-empty


Tagging for half-rim glasses is annoyingly inconsistent on Pixiv, so I ended up doing a comprehensive search for all kinds of eyewear, then manually selecting both kinds of half-rims.

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True Colors


Democrats worried about Joe Biden’s mental functionality have been suggesting that he be replaced at the convention with a stronger candidate, like NY Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Who just signed an executive order to have the National Guard sieze medical equipment from upstate hospitals to serve New York City. But don’t worry, it’s only 10% 20% of their ventilators and protective equipment. And he promises to give it all back when he’s done with it.

Dear Amazon,


Well, of course it’s gluten-free; most plastics are.

In fairness, this one is a wrong-photo problem, not the usual categorization error:

Annals of the not-very-bright, volume 37


Nintendo:
to keep people from changing the clock to cheat at Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we’ve made it impossible to transfer your save file to another Switch, back it up to our paid cloud service, or have multiple save files on a single console. If your Switch gets busted, stolen, or lost, kiss your island goodbye. For now, anyway; we’re thinking about offering a custom transfer/restore option sometime, maybe, later.
Every gaming site:
just turn off Internet time sync, and you can freely change the clock to cheat at Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

I guess now we know what the decision-makers at the WHO and CDC were up to before they got sidetracked by Corona-chan…

Dear Amazon,


While this would provide a cardio workout, I’m pretty sure it’s not a kettlebell, despite being categorized as such:

Likewise, I’m sure chicks dig this, but still, not a kettlebell:

(I was thinking of picking up a pair of nice sandbags for doing Farmer’s Walks, but shipment of exercise equipment has been indefinitely delayed pretty much everywhere; I’ll just have to make do for now by strapping 4-kilo ankle weights to my largest pair of bells)

(By the way, the “sand kettlebells” on Amazon are obvious crap; it’s telling that not a single one of them has any reviews at all. It looks like the best thing on the market is the Rogue Fitness Strongman Throw Bag, which costs more empty than a good 70-pound bell plus shipping)

Goin’ batsoup crazy…


Too soon, China, too soon:

(via)

3D cheesecake 27: indoor kittens


It turns out my cheesecake archives are surprisingly short on pictures of fully-dressed young women who are clearly inside of a home. Lots of outdoor kittens in bikinis, lots of indoor kittens in lingerie, and vast quantities of kittens in less. I guess it’s a case of au naturel selection.

Unrelated, with apologies to Jimmy Buffett…

🎶 🎶 🎶
Idlin’ the days away in my Coronaville,
  Searchin’ for hydro-oxy-chloroquine.
CNN claims that Orange Man Bad’s to blame,
  But we know … it’s all China’s fault.
🎶 🎶 🎶

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“They can’t solve any problem for you”


Finished my rewatch of Yuuna on the elliptical, and watched the first episode of Bokuben. I was left with a burning question:

Where did they hide the Lovely Angel?

Episode 2 apparently introduces Mughi…

(picture may be related)

How does this help?


The sidewalks are pretty empty in my town, with maybe one dog-walker or jogger every six blocks. They’re all wearing masks. Why?

I can understand the homeless guy begging on the street corner, since if he doesn’t have a mask and gloves, no one’s going to want to roll down their window and give him anything, but if there’s no one within a hundred yards during your outdoor rambles, you ain’t spreadin’ or bein’ spread.

(parks and beaches are, of course, closed, because people might choose to get within six feet of each other, even if they came in the same car…)

Dear Amazon,


Tell me more about your efforts to prevent price-gouging…

This is for one (1) 1-pound bag of yeast. For comparison, the best price right now is $53.99 for six bags with free shipping, a difference of 22x. The ordinary, non-panic price at King Arthur Flour would be $5.95.

The good news is that between these assholes and eBay, when legitimate suppliers restock, we’re going to have the freshest mail-order pantry goods ever. All the expiring stock will be rotting in their garages.

Unrelated, apparently Good Eats: Reloaded season two starts Monday.

Update

(now that I’ve placed my order…) King Arthur Flour has SAF Gold back in stock for $6.95/pound. Gold is a specialty yeast for high-sugar breads (because sugar sucks up the water that yeast needs), but it works fine for regular breads as well. My existing supply of Red is good for another ~25 loaves, but given the current shipping delays, if things don’t open up again by the end of April, I might need it, if only to share with deserving friends and neighbors.

Dear Unique Pretzel Company,


I approve of your decision to make a larger 16-ounce bag of your delicious Splits pretzels. However, I think perhaps you should have had the graphic design team put a bit more thought into the layout of the bag…

Also, the design for the Rings pretzels always makes me think they’re a LotR tie-in product.

Pixiv: no half measures


Glasses, full-frame and frameless. Kind of like mixing oppai and chippai, which leads to the question, “are pince-nez the loli of eyewear?”

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Thanko: USB-powered UV Mask Sanitizer


Part of their things-you-might-need-right-now page, which also includes a mask washer, a “personal air cleaner” torc that wouldn’t do jack against viruses, a desk fan that would just spread viruses, and their famous full-face pollen shield, which at least has the virtue of keeping you from touching yourself.

Choose your heroes carefully…


This grocery store magazine display explains a lot about why the publishing industry is in trouble, especially the once-relevant Life magazine. One suspects that the people who assembled the Anne Frank special griped about not getting an important assignment like Lucas or one of the Obamas. Props to Rolling Stone for making Scoldilocks look like a male Neanderthal, though.

Related, I really hate how Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen have turned into a shitty publishing mill, with endless abridged reprints, appliance-specific repackagings of previous recipes, and blatant product placement replacing serious reviews. The web site still has enough good content to be worth a membership, but I just don’t see any reason to buy their dead-tree products any more.

Time to switch brands…


To appease wokescolds, Land O Lakes butter is killing off their iconic Indian maiden. A design created by a Native American to celebrate Native Americans, that is quite popular with Native Americans, is now considered offensive by people whose only interactions with Native Americans are gambling, buying cheap cigarettes, and acquiring virtue-signalling jewelry and home decor.

Maybe they should just change the name to Trail O Tears

The primary reason I preferred it to other brands was that they were the first company I found offering half-Elgin packaging (4-tablespoon sticks, which keep better when you live alone), but that’s become fairly common now. I like Challenge butter, but they use the fatter Western-style 8TB sticks.

The worst part is, it won’t work. You never get rid of the Dane…

Adventures in petty bullshit, Safeway edition

When I left the house on Monday, the rule was that you could bring in your California-mandated reusable shopping bags to avoid the California-mandated 10-cents-or-more fee for paper bags, but you had to bag your groceries yourself. Since I prefer the self-checkout lane, that’s not an issue.

Today, while I waited for my loaf of Semolina Sandwich Bread to rise, I went to the second-closest Safeway for some diet pepsi and wet cat food. I got a cart from the sanitizing team and turned to enter the store.

Sanitizer #1:
(points to girl behind me)
J:
(pulls out earphone) “Sorry, I didn’t hear a word you just said.”
S#2:
“Reusable bags aren’t allowed in the store right now.”
J:
“Then I won’t use it.”
S#2:
“No, you’re not permitted to bring it into the store.”
J:
“And?” (replaces earphone, continues into store)

Honestly, there’s only so much petty bullshit that I’m willing to put up with. What were they going to do, get within six feet of me?

Social Distancing, Easter Edition


Corona-chan won’t be gettin’ all up in her face!

Thanko: the little dishwasher that could


I’m sorry, but if you live alone, and your apartment kitchen is so small that it doesn’t have a dishwasher, why the hell are you wasting $300 and your precious counter space on this silly thing?

Oh, wait; maybe your kitchen isn’t tiny, it’s just pretentious:

And this is really going to impress that special one-and-only guest that you can have over for dinner:

A later picture reassures the potential customer that it’s small enough (16x16x17 inches) that even women can easily lift it (30 pounds).

Random notes, Home Alone edition


Looks like King Arthur Flour has both SAF Red and Gold yeast in stock now, as well as Red Star Active Dry (2-pound bag). No flour yet (unless you need gluten-free, paleo, or almond), although they recently mentioned shipping out several million bags to retailers, and shifting some distribution from rail to truck to get it out faster. The SAF availability is interesting, since it’s made in Mexico.

Oh, and it’s reported that Trump will be temporarily banning all immigration by executive order. Throw in one about mandating in-person paper ballots, and the Left will be leaking fluids at both ends. Do H-1Bs, and Silicon Valley will suddenly discover that the skills you were looking for were with you all along.

If your fancy rice cooker includes a pressure option, turn it off before making barley rice. It will still work, but even when filled to only half capacity, cleaning up the heavily-starched water that escapes through the valve is like being a janitor on a porn shoot.

I’m keeping at best an idle eye on the stock market, because I have enough cash to stay afloat until at least October without selling any stock, as I hunt for a new job. It’s comforting to realize that even with all its ups and downs, the market is in better shape than at any point during the Obama administration.

On that note, it’s not something I need, but you can now borrow up to 100% from your 401K without penalty, with interest-only payments for 2020, or, if you got bit by Corona-chan or laid off, take a no-penalty hardship withdrawal.

Sharwood’s Red Curry sauce neither smells nor tastes like any Thai curry I’ve ever had, anywhere. Not bad, but not what I expected or wanted.

The rubber they use for Swiffer pads degrades pretty severely. I went into the garage, picked mine up, and half the pad stayed stuck to the wall. Walmart had them in stock, although it was amusing to see some of the brand-X replacements they’re stocking right now for other cleaning products.

Related, it always freaks me out a little when I clean house. I am by nature a clutter slob, and gradually accumulate piles of books, music, hobbies-in-progress, electronics, and clean laundry. I walk around them without noticing, then clean and wonder where all the space came from.

I remembered very little about a certain children’s book, to the point that my search string was “tony tina soup”.This proved to be sufficient.

If you didn’t stock your home gym a month ago, too bad. Also, don’t expect the supply chain to refill quickly, because guess where most equipment is produced and shipped from, particularly plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc? Mine’s in good shape (coughcough) because I’ve had an elliptical cross-trainer for many years that still works, and I splurged on Rogue kettlebells several years ago. My only complaint about Rogue’s product is that the handles aren’t quite wide enough to comfortably do two-handed moves, so I plan to buy Aders in some of the larger sizes (40 & 44-kilo) later this year.

Currently I’m mixing the Skogg system workouts with elliptical/anime runs and loaded carries (overhead, rack, and farmer’s walk); since I only have one each of the 28, 32, and 36-kilo bells, I’m using a 4-kilo strap-on ankle weight to create balanced pairs, and extending my distance to 60 yards (three loops around the first floor of the house).

Related, while I like the Skogg workouts, I found their 60-day challenge quite disappointing. I expected online critiques and feedback from Michael, and instead got Sue’s fad diet and a list of dubious supplements. This was several years ago, but the occasional email offer I get doesn’t suggest that it’s changed much. I hear they’ve got a book out on it, but I’ve never looked to see what’s in it.

Speaking of anime, I finished season 1 of Bokuben over the weekend, and started on season 2 last night. Fumino is best girl, but I find Mafuyu quite appealing as the grown-up choice. Also, she’s an ace with a rifle, at least when it comes to winning carnival prizes.

The entire world has been getting a fast, sharp lesson in the value, limits, and abuses of computer modeling. It’s like watching the global-warming debate play out at 1000x speed.

Amazon’s current variable-speed shipping is based on how products are classified. Surprisingly, given my long history of poking fun at their classification and recommendation systems, it seems to be mostly working:

  • Ankle compression sleeves? 3 days.
  • OXO dish scrubber? 4 days.
  • Cat treat that’s actually a relabeled cooking ingredient? 5 days.
  • Bamboo bookcase? 7 days.
  • Out-of-print book from the Heibonsha Survey Of Japanese Art (fulfilled by Amazon)? 7 days.
  • Bread knife? 12 days.
  • Bluray box sets of ZombieLand Saga and Restaurant To Another World? 22 days.
  • Cookbook? 23 days.
  • Kitchen measuring spoons? 23 days.

Related, UPS just told me I’ve got a package from Amazon coming today, which doesn’t match any of my orders. Must be a gift from someone. (the monthly order of canned fruit and coffee is late because they simply don’t have most of it; I’ll get half of the fruit in a few days)

By the way, the cookbook is the original Joy of Cooking, without the curse of having been “updated for modern tastes”, which is a bit like calling Twiggy an updated version of Cynthia Myers, when they’ve really just cut out useful fats. Far too many cookbooks sacrifice flavor and nutrition on the altar of ever-changing federal guidelines and fad diets. That said, I thought Twiggy looked pretty hot in The Blues Brothers, but she was older and looked like she was eating regularly.

While I have my issues with Trump’s reopening plan, its metrics are measurable, predictable, and based on the best medical information available at any given time. The well-defined two-week intervals offer increased confidence for people making economic decisions (such as “should I switch my commercial production facility over to retail packaging”, “can I reopen in time to make payroll”, or “am I better off breaking the lease now and declaring bankruptcy”). The plan also forces governors to make tough choices:

  1. do what Trump says.
  2. say he’s too timid, and take all the risk of an increased body count.
  3. say he’s too aggressive and lard up your plan with less-well-thought-out conditions, taking all the resposibility for lost jobs and failed businesses.
  4. cheat like crazy and hope CNN’s got your back.

The problem with 2-4 is that Trump has a daily forum to smack them around, and despite their best efforts, the mass media hasn’t been able to silence it.

Q: What actor was in both Excalibur and Krull?

A: Liam Neeson.

3d cheesecake 28: breaking quarantine


After the last set, it’s become clear that it’s cruel to keep kittens indoors in lovely Spring weather (sunny and 72°F here today), and also clear that everyone’s getting restless.

Unrelated, I filed my taxes on the 14th. My California refund was direct-deposited on the 20th, and the federal one on the 22nd. Since my 2019 income put me waaaaaay outside the range for stimulus checks, this was a pleasant surprise. As was getting refunds in the first place; I pretty much broke even last year.

Also, one of my non-essential Amazon deliveries originally promised by mid-May will instead arrive this Friday. Sorry, Brickmuppet.

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Random notes, Home Alone 2 edition


Peter Jackson owns Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The actual car, that is. Also, I don’t think I ever knew that the original novel was written by Ian Fleming, but I’m not the least bit surprised that the movie script was by Roald Dahl. I remembered Benny Hill being in it, of course.

One of the few survivors of The War On Cheesecake is the somewhat deceptively-named Big Boobs Japan. Deceptive because small ones are well-represented, as are women from countries other than Japan. The catch is that the site is hooked up with some very sketchy ad networks, making it necessary to surf with Javascript disabled. One of the most annoying tricks used is an invisible layer that covers the page so that your first click launches an ad in a pop-under, and then loads the pictures you thought you were selecting. Many pictures are hosted on external networks that have their own JS infestations that launch even more ads.

Despite this, it’s actually less annoying than a lot of sites that have recently ramped up their Google ad placement to the point that every scroll event triggers another round of ads that reflow the page; probably 2/3 of the cooking sites I’ve visited in the past few weeks have done this to their recipe pages. I’ve switched to Brave for any ad-infested site that I still want to visit, because Piholio isn’t catching the avalanche of Google ads or the BBJ nonsense, and I sometimes forget to hit my JS-disable hotkey.

That Semolina Sandwich Bread I made last week turned out to be the least-successful KAF recipe I’ve ever made, because the flavor of the sesame seeds and cornmeal overwhelmed anything else in a sandwich. I’m not sure why they had cornmeal in there to begin with, since it did nothing good for the texture, but my next loaf will use the dinner-roll recipe from the back of the bag of semolina flour, which is a completely different beast. I’m scaling the loaf size with Baker’s Percentages.

With a Perl script, of course, since I couldn’t find a BP calculator online that combined a comprehensive volume/weight conversion table, the ability to scale to arbitrary sizes like “six large hamburger buns”, and reverse-conversion of the scaled ingredients to US volume measures (although I haven’t decided where to cut off the excessive precision; “1/3 cup + 1 tbsp + ½ tsp + 1/16 tsp” is neither practical nor useful). While I was at it, I added fat and sugar percentages and the ability to download comics from the future, because I never know when to stop.

The problem with draining the swamp is that the earth has settled.

CNAME hardest hit:

PSA:

Watch out for the one with the goatee:

If the moon looks like this, check for giant spiders. Or wave motion guns:

“Too close, a little too close”


Miu Nakamura gives some perspective on the use of wide-angle lenses by glamour photographers.

Meanwhile, on Amazon Japan:

Wait, better recalibrate:

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Breadplay…


My baker’s percentage script has reached the point of being quite useful, but the code is currently a mess because I was exploring the problem space as I went (“code-doodling”). The grams-to-volume conversion has shaped up nicely, after the initial hurdle of dealing with the limitations of floating-point numbers; I’d input “2 pounds”, convert it to grams, and then convert it back to “1 pound 16 ounces”. After a few failed fudge factors, I decided to simply multiply the weight by 1.0001, which is just enough to flip the right bits without skewing the results.

My solution to the excessive-precision problem (“1/3 cup + 1 tbsp + ½ tsp + 1/16 tsp”) was to cut it off when the residue is less than 1/16 of the total weight. That is, if you need a full cup of something, you don’t care about adding something smaller than a tablespoon. I’ve considered adding “scant”, “rounded”, and “heaping” modifiers, but then I’d have to track which ingredients are liquid, because a heaping tablespoon of olive oil is… “messy”. I also decided that 1/16 tsp is so tiny that it’s not worth printing unless it’s the only measure (which means it usually only shows up for strong powdered ingredients or scaled-down recipes).

Why convert back to volume measurements in the first place? Because they’re a lot faster, and at home bread-baking sizes, only the flour really has to be weighed for consistent results. Bulky ingredients like seeds, nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips should be weighed, but won’t break the recipe if they’re off a bit. Water and milk are fine if you actually have decent measuring cups (I replaced my hit-or-miss glass ones with OXO’s squeezable silicone cups, which are accurate and pour better).

The three remaining features I want to add are conversion to/from tangzhong/yudane, scaling to preset sizes like “six large hamburger buns”, and slightly tweaking relative proportions while keeping the total weight constant, so you don’t end up with something like 1.2 eggs. The last one is the hardest, because it breaks the currently linear flow of the script, so I’ll have to create some objects and methods to encapsulate everything.

Then comes the web version, which will initially just be a standard POSTed form with pulldown menus for ingredients. Kind of messy, since I’m up to 100 distinct ingredients, and I’ll need an option for custom ingredients. I could go all AJAX-y on it, but I’m getting better at recognizing epicycles before I start working on them.

Here’s sample output for King Arthur Flour’s Japanese Milk Bread, that uses a tangzhong starter for softness and improved shelf life. They’re definitely soft, although I’ve never had a batch last long enough to test shelf life…

Ingredients
  15.0g bread flour (2 tbsp) -- tangzhong
  44.4g water (3 tbsp) -- tangzhong
  45.0g whole milk (3 tbsp) -- tangzhong
 120.0g whole milk (1/2 cup)
  56.7g unsalted butter, melted (4 tbsp)
  50.0g large egg (1)
  17.5g baker's dried milk (2 tbsp)
  49.5g sugar (1/4 cup)
   6.0g salt (1 tsp)
 300.0g bread flour (2 1/2 cup)
   9.3g instant yeast (1 tbsp)

Type         Grams  Baker's Percentage
----         -----  ------------------
TOTAL        713.5  226.5%  1 pound 9 ounces
flour        315.0  100.0%
water        236.6   75.1%
salt           6.0    1.9%
yeast          9.3    3.0%  (>1.5% too much?)
fat           55.4   17.6%
sugar         49.5   15.7%  sweet (use sugar-tolerant yeast)
egg           50.0   15.9%
tangzhong    104.4   33.1%  4.8% of flour, 1:5.6 ratio

You can see from the comments that they significantly increased the yeast to compensate for the high sugar content. Also, despite the high hydration, this isn’t a sticky dough, nor does it produce the sort of airy, irregular crumb that you’d expect, because much of the extra liquid is captured in the tangzhong (which is the whole point).

Trouble in the fields…


Nanci Griffith’s Trouble In The Fields sounds charmingly naive now, when tons of food are being destroyed by farmers because governments have shut down most of their customers, many of which will never reopen. Just sayin’.

The version I like best is Maura O’Connell’s studio recording for A Woman’s Heart 2, but this performance with her and Nanci Griffith is good, too:

(embedding disabled; thanks, youtubes!)

Metaphor alert!


My new Chinese bookcase is a shoddy knockoff of my other Chinese bookcase. Seriously. Instead of solid bamboo plywood and countersunk screws, it’s a single-ply top with edging to make it look solid in pictures, and easily-stripped screws that stick out enough to snag something. I’d have made one myself, like I did for the kitchen storage, but I really like the look of the natural-finish bamboo plywood; maybe I’ll just buy a box of tongue-and-groove bamboo flooring and use that next time.

Unrelated, the bakery department at my local Safeway is now repackaging their bread flour and selling it in 5-pound bags. Still can’t buy yeast anywhere, and not only is King Arthur Flour out again, they still haven’t shipped the order I placed 15 days ago, despite yeast going in and out of stock on their site twice since then. Fortunately I still have plenty, and the grocery stores are all fully restocked with baked goods.

I don’t need to bake bread today, but I’m doing it anyway, because I’m adapting an old family recipe for the bread machine. My mother reported that the first conversion was better than the original on the first day, but didn’t keep as well. Since the original was for 2 ~1.5-pound loaves, I could have just cut it in half, but the machine we both have can make a 2-pound loaf, and scaling to that size left me with 1.2 eggs and 4.7 tablespoons of butter, so I rounded them both down.

Version 2 converts it to tangzhong to make it stay fresh longer, and adds back the missing fat by replacing some of the milk with half-and-half.

Oh, and Safeway even had toilet paper in stock, in two Brand X varieties they’ve never carried before. Still low on most cleaning supplies, but flour and yeast are the only things selling out as fast as they show up (assuming they do; I hadn’t left the house in four days).

Related, the canned fruit Amazon had as “arriving today” yesterday was revised to “delayed, not yet shipped”. The other canned fruit, which was supposed to ship later this week, has an actual tracking number that promises a Thursday delivery. The Gevalia Mocha Latte k-cups are still just “temporarily unavailable”, but I don’t actually need more until the end of May, since I found 12-packs at Walmart to supplement my remaining supply. (they also often carry that particular brand of Splenda-sweetened canned fruit, but I’m not out of that yet, either)

My house is getting disturbingly clean. If this goes on, I’ll be out in the garage opening boxes that have been taped shut for over twenty years. I wonder what’s inside.

Anyone have apple and cherry trees on their island? I’ve got peaches, oranges, and pears.

Update

Oh, for fuck’s sake. Monterey County will require masks starting Thursday. Because standing in line without them outside of the most-sanitized stores in modern history is sure to increase the body count, which currently stands at 4 in a population of 434 thousand, with none in the past eight days, and only 144 active cases left.

On the bright side, the obviously-unconstitutional law that made it virtually impossible to buy ammunition in California was struck down, and the state’s attempt to delay the injunction was also struck down. It’s headed for the 9th circuit, but by doing his job for the past several years, Trump has made that less of a problem than it used to be for civil rights cases.

“Carousel is a lie! There is no renewal!”


The first three episodes of the second season of Good Eats: Reloaded have covered eggs, coffee, and steak. Nothing ground-breaking in any of them, but entertaining updates. I look forward to Alton’s new post-Corona-chan episodes where he comes up with uses for all the crap everyone’s been pointlessly hoarding. What can you do with a 50-pound sack of beans, ten gallons of canola oil, sixty packets of yeast, three cases of toilet paper, and 12 cake mixes?

I’m about to head out to Costco and Safeway to celebrate my last day without a maskface-covering. The county order actually says not to wear real masks, because those must be reserved for medical professionals. Except, we’ve been told to buy them for more than a month now, so should we be “donating” our non-sterile stock of N95 and Chinese-made surgical masks to anyone we see in a lab coat, and wearing dirty bandanas and hoodies instead?

The order also says that these additional restrictions are because Monterey County’s efforts to contain the zombies have been more effective than the rest of the state. It was not accompanied by an order to allow more businesses to open, or for existing businesses to loosen any other restrictions. Got a real deep thinker on our hands, here.

In other news, the walls are finally closing in… on the other guy.

Update

I was curious about a number that’s not being reported as aggressively as deaths and diagnoses: hospitalizations. The authoritative source for California says that Monterey County currently has 2 people hospitalized for Corona-chan out of 191 total (not currently-active) cases. The graphing software they’re using is actually quite nice, since it allows them to cleanly show the breakdowns by what percentage of the state population they are (cf. 77.3% of deaths statewide were 65 or older, which is 15.6% of the population). The raw data is elsewhere, and reveals that the largest number of CC-positive people hospitalized to date in Monterey County was 26, and the largest number in the ICU was 5.

Meanwhile, CA Governor Benito “Gavin” Newsom announced that it will be months before you can get a haircut. Or attend a religious service in person.

Hemp is now fully legal and has traditionally been used to make excellent rope suitable for suspending heavy weights. Like for bondage, I mean, not anything, y’know, sinister.

Unrelated Pro Tip

When a supposed food-safety site contains the phrase “lard, also known as schmaltz”, leave and never come back. Lard is rendered pork fat, schmaltz is rendered chicken fat.

Update To The Updated Update

This is a new order in New York City. Today. Not two weeks ago. Not a month ago. Today:

Cuomo orders NYC subway trains sanitized every night

Too soon, guys, too soon


Found in my mailbox last night. Given that they used my full legal name, this isn’t from any of the usual mailing lists purchased from anyone I’ve done business with. My guess is that they’re going off the property records, and figuring anyone in the same house for 20 years must have relatives to burn.

Every week that college campuses are closed, another gender identity goes extinct. Oh, the hyxmoniti!

Chika has finally persuaded me to play the stalk market:

King Arthur Flour is finally shipping the yeast I ordered on the 12th. It will arrive May 9th 12th 9th (FedEx’s tracking site has gone non-deterministic recently; wonder why…).

(and they claim that both Red and Gold are in stock again; also AP and bread flour, the first time I’ve seen those for a while…)