Reality

Well, somebody’s getting new work…


For the past week or so, the local Safeway has had 6-foot-distance lines at the registers, made with painter’s tape. Today someone was pulling those up and laying down big red professionally-printed floor markers indicating where to stand, as well as little posters explaining the CDC distancing guidelines.

In addition, the glove-wearing cashier and bagger wouldn’t touch reusable bags brought in by customers, and would only bag your purchases if you paid for paper bags (naturally, the state didn’t suspend the law mandating a minimum ten-cent price per bag).

Most of the store had stabilized, with only specific brands being low or out of stock, with the usual exceptions of TP, pasta, rice, flour, yeast, and beans, which were mostly gone. Actually, yeast seems to be one of the most persistently absent items now; I have half a pound in the freezer, so I don’t need any, but either it’s being snatched up like toilet paper, or the turnover is normally so low that it’s taking a while to refill the distribution pipeline.

Or it’s being diverted primarily to commercial bakeries. Which is a distinct possibility, because they had a double-shitload of bread in stock, enough that it looked like a white-bread-themed holiday was coming up. (“Dough Is Risen!”)

I just grabbed a half-price rotisserie chicken and some celery. Most other people seemed to be in normal-shopping mode as well, although the young asian couple wearing bandanas as masks saying something about “the last time we’ll be able to buy groceries” was mildly concerning. I choose to believe they’re just too busy providing essential services to get out much during the reduced shopping hours…

In other news, my severance was direct-deposited as promised today, which even after 41% withholding is still eight mortgage payments. No sign of Cobra paperwork yet, which is the only monthly expense I can’t predict (for those outside the US, that’s “18 months continuation of your former employer’s health plan, but you pay their part as well as yours”). My regular coverage expired today, but fortunately I had just gotten a three-month refill on my prescriptions before the axe fell.

Where are all the dead homeless?


It’s been bothering me for a while now, and I haven’t found an honest number, or a journalist looking for it. WierdDave over at Ace’s place asked the same question last night, and nobody had an answer for him.

We know that San Francisco has a large number of people with poor nutrition and hygiene, no healthcare, a variety of conditions that can compromise their immune systems, unsafe and unsanitary living conditions, and a habit of disposing of their waste in the middle of the sidewalk.

And the ones who aren’t hipster techbros are long-term homeless who are older and physically debilitated by illness and addiction. Corona-chan has been out there for months now, with one of the major worldwide vectors being travel for the Chinese New Year, and SF has a rather substantial Chinatown.

So why aren’t the homeless dropping like flies?

Unrelated, It’s a Trap!, with bonus hilarious typo.

Random updates…


Got a scam text this morning telling me my Netflix billing failed, and I should visit a site in Germany to update it. Did not click.

Porch Cat turned up his nose at wet food for breakfast, the surest sign that I’m not the only one feeding him. He came around to the back door while I was grilling steaks and tried to get into the house, so I took the bag of treats to the front door to remind him of the correct location for handouts and skritches.

Got three emails from Etrade this morning informing me that all of the RSUs that matured on the 15th failed to process their sell-to-cover orders, and that I’d have to wire them the money. Called in and discovered that even people who weren’t laid off a week ago were subjected to this screwup, and that Ooma is frantically trying to fix it (while working from home, and by the way, “you’re welcome for the VPN license upgrade I installed a few hours before The Call”).

Interspecies Reviewers kept it up until the end. 8/10, would visit again.

Amazon is delivering the coffee and half my fruit a day early, with the rest coming tomorrow or Thursday. Related, here are their shelter-in-place recommendations:

The Tokyo Olympics are apparently off for this year, according to spokesman Dick Pound. Pro tip: do not search for “Dick Pound Olympics” to find updates to this story.

Opportunistic Wannabe Dictator Nancy Pelosi was thwarted, for now, in her attempt to lard up the Corona-chan stimulus bill with ballot-box-stuffing and other delights.

In pantry news, I found an unexpired Costco 6-pack of Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate brownie mix. Apparently I hid it from myself when I started my diet. Now I need to hide it from myself again…

In gaming news, someone found The Missing Link:

Times of the signs…


There were bouncers at Costco this morning, enforcing a voluntary occupancy limit. The line to get in extended all the way around the front past the car service center, in the rain. I took one look, said “screw it”, and drove to Safeway, which was decently stocked except for the usual lack of paper goods, water, pasta, and rice. I didn’t need anything but a bit of variety, so I had no difficulty finding everything I wanted. In particular, more food for the Porch Cat; in his absence, my stock had run low, and he’s my only social contact this week.

At the (self-serve) checkout, I bought this:

Personally, I’m not even pretending any more.

In other news, Nextdoor is full of scary tales of people cruising the nearby neighborhoods looking for unlocked cars and houses, trying to pop the emergency catch on garage doors to break in, and showing up in hazmat gear pretending to check your house for Corona-chan before robbing you.

I don’t believe a word of it. This is gutter-trash social media bullshit at its “finest”.

Fly the cough-free skies!


I had to make a short trip to Ohio on Friday to attend a relative’s funeral. Security at SFO was pre-9/11 in its simplicity: empty your pockets, keep your coat, belt, and shoes on, keep your laptop in your bag, and walk through the metal detector. They didn’t even have bins out to put your stuff in. Coming back from DAY today, they wanted laptops and coats in bins, but belts and shoes stayed on.

I don’t think I’ve ever been in an airport or on a plane before where no one had a cough, sneeze, or sniffle. The closest thing to a cough was the guy next to me who wolfed down his Wolfgang Puck pizza too quickly and had a short bout of reflux. Lots of hand sanitizer and wipes, very few masks on non-Asians.

The small regional planes (no such thing as a direct flight to Dayton any more) were pretty full, but the long Chicago flights were no more than 2/3 full, for which my elbows and knees were grateful.

Cheerleaders for The End Times


This week has had far too many “news” stories to count that appear to be desperately hoping for Zombie-Apocalypse-level results from Corona-chan that kill uncountable numbers of Americans, destroy the US economy, and, most importantly, keep Trump from being re-elected.

I wish I were kidding, but Paul Krugman cheering this week’s massive drop in the DOW is only a small example of the current trend in batshit crazy leftism. Even his.

The problem is, if the world doesn’t end by October, then the party that’s gone all-in for open borders, globalism, and rationed healthcare will find itself holding bake sales to pay back its campaign debts (hashtag brownies, no doubt). Their own demands, proudly broadcast, will be the best evidence that we should never let them back into any position more intellectually demanding than “wrangling the turdcutter through the sewers”.

Before Corona-chan, their primary path to victory was massive vote fraud. Now it’s Mad Max.

“Cave Johnson here. Just a reminder that the core goal of Aperture Gas-Finding Science is to find gas, so make sure you let us know if you see any. If we meet our quarterly gas-finding target, I promise you we will don our bondage gear, fuel our death cars, and drive around in circles, whooping it up and shooting arrows at people. Who is ready to rule the wasteland? Alright, start looking.”

Personally, after the coordinated character assassination of Brett Kavanaugh, I wouldn’t vote for a Democrat to clean toilets with xyr tongue.

R.I.P Terry Jones


Another Python falls.

Dear US Senate,


Make The Rubble Bounce.

Not this one:

On second thought, your time would be better spent drafting a resolution supporting lap-dancing Flintstones cosplayers. It has the gravitas that the In Peaches Mentos fund-raising telethon lacks.