I had hoped to allow the “Life in the time of Wuflu” series to die a natural death, but it seems events have me outmaneuvered. I feel just like a Trump supporter in Washington, DC.
Speaking of Trump supporters, recent outings revealed that there are still a lot of Trump flags and yard signs firmly planted. I’m starting to feel bad about taking my bumper sticker off. Of course, I do have one I saved for emergencies.
The Wuflu has finally hit a little closer to me. Someone I knew many years ago has lost her mother to the Wuflu, and her father is hospitalized with it. Both were in their 80s, and I don’t know if they had any significant health issues. Thee are also a couple of members of one of my ham radio clubs who have showed up with it, but they seem to be recovering nicely, despite being in their 70s.
I remain a mask skeptic, but I do try to keep my hands clean and stay at some distance from people I don’t know. It gives a new twist to Ol’ Remus’s advice to “avoid crowds”.
Local grocery stores are well-stocked, finally. This is opposite of what many, myself included, expected to see by now. Shows what they and I know. I continue to keep things topped off. Gas prices have risen since Christmas. I continue with my new “3/4 = empty” rule. I’m not taking chances when it’s so easy to…not take chances.
My efforts to build better connections to my neighbors continue, if slowly. The weather here has been cold and yucky (by local standards), and few people are out walking the neighborhood. I’ve made a couple of walks and noticed that many folks have purchased golf carts. I’ve also noticed that no one, other than me, is burning wood for heat, and every house with a re-lined chimney has no obvious stash of wood for “just in case”. These things don’t make me so sanguine about my neighbors’ situational awareness and thought processes.
One of my next-door neighbors, who is probably the youngest homeowner in the place, is an exception. I was carrying in some firewood the other evening about dusk, and I heard a gunshot very nearby. The first thing that went through my head was that one of the local idiots was taking an out of season shot at a deer in the beanfield out back. Nope, turned out it was my neighbor and his wife, trying out a new 20 gauge shotgun. He also has a 9mm pistol of unknown parentage waiting on his pistol permit to come through.
The family is raising 3 kids on blue collar money, and that money is short. (Of course, he is still working, and that’s more than a lot of folks around here can say.) He’s never owned a gun before, but he has been shooting a few times-I took him when he was a teenager. He volunteered the information that he was concerned about his family’s safety, and his wife backed that up whole-heartedly. One more new gun owner for The Powers That Be to chew on.
We’ve lost a couple more restaurants. Pickings for Sunday evening out are getting a little thin. But it’s interesting, because some of the remaining places have the obligatory sign on the door about masks and social distancing that may or may not be honored, but they are operating at about half-seating capacity. Others are back to full seating (minus government approval, I’m sure) and some are unfortunately back to pre-Wuflu sanitation practices as well. Others are in full-bore compliance mode with the signs, enforcement thereof, at half-capacity or less and I could do surgery on one of their tables in a pinch. Those last ones seem to do less business. Go figure.
I don’t think one fast food place is open for dine-in eating. However, the drivethrus usually have a line, especially around meal time.
Local grocery stores, which had back-slid on cleanliness, are upping their game again. Honestly, that’s one positive thing about the Wuflu infestation-most places are simply cleaner than they used to be.
There are several new small businesses that have opened recently as well. I admire their courage, but question their business savvy. I wish them good luck, because they’re going to need it.
Wuflu vaccinations are happening, but I’m ineligible due to age. Mrs. Freeholder is on the list for the next round due to her being a teacher. She asked my thoughts. I told her that obviously it was her call in the end, but that I had no interest in taking the thing until field testing is complete. Give it a billion or so people stuck and no zombie apocalypse, and I’ll probably get it.
Speaking of being a teacher, all schools here are on full remote learning again. Teachers may work from home if they like. Most do.
After seeing Big Tech’s mostly successful efforts to silence or neuter free speech on the Intertubz that they don’t agree with, I’ve dusted off an old IBM laptop, ordered up an IDE-to-CompactFlash adapter and a CF card to replace the old hard drive, and downloaded a number of BBS systems from the Intertubz. I’m going to try my hand at making all this work and putting a BBS on the air via an old-fashioned phone line. One big wrinkle I see is how will other folks call, when most people have given up their landlines?
Another is figuring out a way to connect a data modem to a cell phone, which would solve the first problem. Modems are still available; USRobotics is still out there, and they make a USB modem. I found a used one cheap on fleaBay, it’s arrived and is recognized by a Windows 10 laptop. It’s correctly recognized when you download and install the driver. I’m thinking of an adapter between whatever port a given phone has and one of those modems, but that may or may not work. I have access to both iPhones and Android phones, so hopefully I can figure something out.
Yet another is how do I publicize it without compromising my own OPSEC? I’m under no illusion that an alphabet agency couldn’t find out who I am in 60 seconds or less, but I do want to make it as difficult as possible for J. Random Loser to do it. Still thinking on this one.
Some folks are working at cutting at least a few of their ties to Big Tech. I’m all but off of Facebook again. A number of us have added Signal and Telegram to our phones. We’re doing our best to make sure we can route around Big Tech’s censorship efforts. We’ve jumped on a number of alt-media social platforms, including Gab and Parler. Pity Big Tech took out Parler.
Others are working at cutting their ties to places like Amazon while others call for boycotts. Reader Jed and I have discussed the concept of boycotting, and we both conclude that you simply can’t boycott every entity that is working against us-there are too many, and you have to shop somewhere.
But you can minimize your support of those who want us silenced, marginalized, re-educated and dead. For example, since I canceled Amazon’s Prime, I use their shoping cart to hold items I need, and then check various other sites for prices. Surprisingly, I often find better prices and faster delivery on fleaBay. Yeah, it takes time to do this. I’m retired and I have more time than money. Win-win for me.
I note the national political news is even stranger than it was last week. I don’t comment on it because many of the folks over at the left are doing a better job at it than I probably could. I keep up with it, but I’m working hard to not obsess over it, and so far I’m succeeding. There is a fine line between knowing what is going on around you and drowning under the tidal wave of BS the mainstream media spews forth every day.
Speaking of not obsessing, it’s time to hit the “Publish” button. Be careful, keep your eyes and ears open, complete/top off your preps and stay away from those crowds at the imposition of the new President.