Tuesday, March 10, 2020

At least my lockdown isn't going to be flavorless.

I was able to plant enough onion starts to save a small neighborhood. But then I realized I don't want all those people bringing their germs to my place.

I believe we for sure are going into lockdown. You don't quarantine entire cities like Beijing and all of Italy over the flu. Everything said about this virus today will not be true in 2-3 days. It has been doubling at this rate since the very beginning. South Korea is the only bright spot on earth.

The mortality rate in California seems to be running about 3.5ish. This is also consistent with the early stages in other countries. In Italy it is now 8 PERCENT. I feel we squandered all the advantage we had.

Oh - and I don't normally plug stuff - but Dixondale Farms is an awesome place for onion starts. They ship fast, and are reasonably priced for what you get. Since I don't plug stuff - I am not providing the link. You people are smart.


  1. South Korea is testing everyone, when you count all the minor cases the death rate is worse than the normal flu but not as bad when you only test the real sick folks.
    Changes are coming ....

  2. Changes are definitely coming.

    The herd is starting to uneasily stand up and peer around here in the Midwest. I predict a full-on stampede by the weekend. Costco and Sam's Club are being emptied out and the higher cost grocery chains are next. Even Whole Foods had quite the crowd over the weekend.

    About time to consider hunkering down for awhile.

    Speaking of onions, just picked up 300 sets a couple of weeks ago. We will have enough Non-GMO hybrid seeds for the garden for a couple of years. May pick up some heirloom seeds also. Disced the garden this weekend (plowed deep last fall).

    Still short canning jars and lids, but that will be taken care of tomorrow. Another 55 gallon drum of diesel and four more of gas and we should be good.

    I LIKE living out in the sticks on a dead-end road far from the blacktop.

    You might want to consider some selenium as per this article (be careful not to overdo it,though) - https://m.facebook.com/notes/richard-sexton/lipinski-2015-ebola-and-selenium-how-not-to-catch-the-2019-novel-coronavirus-201/10156477705211673/

    Take care Snark.


  3. You too Baby. And all of those reading! Hopefully everyone can check in when they can. I've sort of grown attached to you guys.

    And.... people know there are other places besides Costco to shop....... right? I have yet to see a toilet paper shortage or a water shortage.....but I'm hitting it again tomorrow. So who knows. I've been going every two days or so. I'm at the dessert stage. I've never been so thankful Mr S. can bake bread.

    By the end of this we are all going to be like children all hopped up on lucky charms.

  4. Last I heard, North Korea was showing a case fatality rate of 100%, Patient Zero having been taken out and shot.
    Hmmm. Iran likely got the virus from its close connections with China... and North Korea has close connections with Iran. Nuclear proliferation, Pestilence proliferation, whatever. The etymological meaning of "conspiracy" applies here.
    Anyway, ditto Rob: South Korea probably has the only remotely credible statistics at this point. In another couple of months, the rest of the developed world should have better stats, and enough resolved cases to get a handle on the actual CFR. By which time we'll all be dead, or not.
    It's starting to look like planting season here, if only we get some suitable breaks in the rain. Got plenty of seeds, seedlings, sets, etc.; once I'm feeling reasonably confident that we won't get frost again, it'll be time to start the victory garden!
    (I'll probably plant a small patch of wheat, just to say I did it. Bread from scratch! It's sort of a family tradition; back in the day, my father couldn't find proper sour apples for making apple pie in Palo Alto, so he obtained a seed of a suitable variety and grew his own. And, as in past years, I'll be growing meal corn of many colors.)

  5. That is definitely one way to make sure they don't break quarantine. On the bright side...... I don't think we all will die.... but we ~will~ all suffer.

  6. US! What about your infected cruise ship people! The first person to die was from YOUR area. (smile). We will just send all the cruise ship people back to you. So there. See.... this is how it starts.

  7. Hahahah. I thought you were in Placer county. Thats where the first death was.

  8. Last Thurs I was at Costco, I wanted a 25# bag of bread flour and some bulk yeast. No flour, no yeast. The empty spot was filled in with sugar.

  9. Capital of Texas RefugeeThursday, March 12, 2020 5:46:00 PM

    "... consider some selenium ..."

    Go for selenomethionine, it's better absorbed by the body, but don't over-do this because like zinc, there are upper limits.

    "... I wanted a 25# bag of bread flour ..."

    If you can make do with alternative flour, look in an Indian grocery for atta flour, it's used for making chapati and naan.

    It's usable for making bread loaves.

    BTW, I am not seeing the kinds of runs on stock at Indian grocery stores that I'm seeing elsewhere, but these stores now have limits on how much of this flour, how many bags of rice, and so forth that you can buy per transaction.

    But you could still probably pick up a 50 lb bag of atta flour right now.

    If you can build a tandoor in your backyard, then that's an even better way to use this particular type of flour so you can make Indian and Middle Eastern breads quickly.

    "... about time to consider hunkering down for awhile ..."

    Yeah ... nah.

    We asked for volunteers to go travel to the EU and to other areas close to our customers.

    Some of us have lived through SARS -- I said already this wasn't my first time participating in this particular rodeo, and that's what I meant.

    A pretty good number of people said no way, but almost as many people were open to the idea. Arrangements are being made for short-term apartments so the inevitable panic that will involve hotels can be avoided.

    And so although we're cautious, even those of us who are older are probably in OK enough shape to survive it, although we'll feel miserable for a while.

    So we're fatalistic enough to believe that we're all going to get infected by The Hong Kong Book of Kung Flu anyway, and that it's a matter of time until we do, which means why not be located where we can do some good.

    As for me, I can do some good by hauling back some supplies from places where we can still get them, starting with survival supplies in the Inter-Mountain West.

    Because I expect an over-reaction, I made some preparations that include becoming a White Van Man with a van that has advertising on the side, but with some tweaks ...

    I got the phone number printed up as a separate magnetic sign.

    That way I can change the sign to whatever local number I need it to be in order to blend in with the local scenery, even with that Wyoming plate registered to an LLC.

    Speaking of Indian food, did you know there's a pretty decent Indian joint near Mount Rushmore? Well, now you do. :-)

    "... South Korea probably has the only remotely credible statistics at this point ..."

    On the subject of China and South Korea ...

    Assembly in Switzerland and Liechtenstein is what we've been looking at, but we still need to source parts from other places.

    Some parts come from France now, others from Taiwan and South Korea.

    The South Koreans show that they're competent and serious-minded enough about this that we're likely to shift more their way.

    That's also true of the Taiwanese, and unlike China, this mess has been mostly contained within Taiwan. They have eight times the population of Washington State and yet have less than a sixth as many cases.

    Meanwhile, because of the bureaucratic incompetence of the CDC and its unwillingness to let loose of the regulatory powers that it wrangled out of previous Federal administrations, the states have been unable to commission their own production of testing kits, and so that's going to make things much worse.

    Last night while out in the Inter-Mountain West, I heard the first tell-tale cough of someone with a respiratory problem that could be COVID-19 ...

    Well, there goes the whole goddamned neighborhood then.

    It doesn't matter if you live far down a county road, BTW.

    Eventually you have to go into town for gas and other supplies, or just to coordinate the everyday business you already have to do.

  10. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, March 13, 2020 4:50:00 AM

    "A created virus ..."

    You are seriously over-thinking this. :-)

    I mean, look at you, flailing around like some Quentin Tarantino chop-socky chick of Chinese ancestry, or at least her partial namesake! Truly if you're a numbers man you'd understand that your odds of figuring out where this stuff came from are to-go from like, oh, I don't know, between 72:1 and 74:1?

    Yes, I know, never tell you the odds, So-Low Han, and yet you didn't consider this: how could incredibly ignorant yet not incredibly stupid people who lack the technology of true systematic understanding achieve such a feat decades before anyone could actually know how it's done?

    Even more importantly, how could they share that breakthrough with their own while also ensuring that the world remained completely ignorant of such a development?

    It's not like I'm asking the six most highly listed members of the list of SNPs in the Parliament of Scotland to point the way toward this truth, let alone ace it twice when it comes to its development, although maybe the head of that list might tell you something about where things have been rather than where they're going, especially in terms of a bio-political translation.

    This isn't Putin's magical here-it-is-but-here-it-isn't technology, because these particular cats were so far out there that they can escape the Russians like Cheshire cats with different accents.

    Try and try again, the Russkies were never successful with something as ambitious and as world-altering as that, even when they literally put janitors on trial.

    Seriously though, must people spell it out for you, or can you read between the lines of this I Ching hexagram?

  11. We stared a victory garden, added hens and 3 rabbits, stocked up on anything non perishable, fixed our well, bought a ton of feed and planted cannabis. Now we are pulling all cash out of the banks, buying guns, selling anything that isn’t nailed down and are getting ready to bunker down for the long haul. I think the post virus economy will be even more challenging then the virus itself. I’m glad I learned how to home brew beer. I hope that your family stays safe and that we get to have lunch together on the other side. DF