Covid, Week 5

Been over 5 weeks since the shelter in place has be in place in Illinois.    I began working from home a week before then.  It makes me sad that our son will not have an 8th grade graduation.  He has been keeping up with school, but it is just not the same without all the real interactions with teachers and students.

On the national front, the Trump and his merry band on cronies still have no plan, want to re-open the country with no testing in place and want to trade lives for money.  Over 41,586 fatalities in the US.  We are not over the peak, not even close and I think they are lying to us.  60,000 fatalities, my ass.  If we keep it less than 500,000 I will be shocked.  I expect the second wave in 2 to 3 weeks as states relax stay at home orders.



Posted by on April 20, 2020 in COVID-19

Leave a comment

Covid 4-3-2020

April 3, 2020

At 5 tomorrow evening, it will be 2 weeks since my home state of Illinois went to a, more or less, lock-down, due to the Novel Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.  It has been three weeks now that I have been working from home.  We are all getting used to it, but it works for most things.  I am very grateful that I have a job, there have been 10 MILLION jobless claims in the last 2 weeks.

I always knew Trump would be useless in a crisis, but I didn’t know he would the THIS bad in a crisis.  There has been very little guidance at the national level, and what is coming out changes everyday and is sometimes contradicted minutes after it is said!  So far over 6,000 people have died in the US alone and I expect the total to just keep rising every day until we get some sort of national mandate. There is not point to this piecemeal crap.  All it will result in is more people killed needlessly.

So far, the whole family is healthy.  We have been taking every precaution and we have food in the house for weeks now, thankfully.  No more going out to grocery stores, which are the only thing still left open.  Every time we shop, we isolate food that can wait for days in the garage and what can’t gets wiped down with bleach to kill what we can.  We have not ordered any kind of takeout, I wish they would shut that down as well, it worries me that it is still a large vector for contagion.

I have not had any new orders in weeks, but I can’t fault anyone for being more concerned with safety and health than video games.

This upcoming Monday my son goes back to ‘school’ which will be online, probably for the rest of the year.  I feel really bad that he will probably miss his 8th grade graduation due to this madness.  All of this could of been prevented.  I can be stopped, we know it, from China and South Korea, this can be beat.  It makes me so frustrated that hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people, in the country will die because of an incompetent fool.


Posted by on April 3, 2020 in COVID-19

Leave a comment

CoronaBlog #1 3/18/2020


It is Wednesday, March 18, 2020, and COVID-19/CoronoVirus is spreading across the land. The rate of infection is a doubling of cases about every 3 days. The history books will record what is happening, but I wanted to put down what it has been like for one suburban dweller.

Last Thursday were told to get ready to be able to work from home, test your VPN connection, etc. By the time Friday rolled around, we were told on Monday, to begin working from home. Also on that Friday, the governor of Illinois ordered all schools closed as of yesterday. My son has been home the past two days and is adapting pretty well, so far. Us adults are little freaked out. Yes, the stores have been emptied of toilet paper, paper towels, and many other cleaning supplies. I took today off, I just needed a mental break to get adjusted to this social distancing. We went out late last night for a few more supplies, and out again today to complete our gathering. We are pretty well stocked, thankfully. I know they say the grocery stores will stay open, but goodness knows how long that will be the case.

All of the restaurants, bars, coffee shops, are all closed to inside customers. Just delivery and drive through. It is all just so surreal at this point. Today I sent out my last retro repair order, I had so many orders for the last few months, and now it has just dropped to nothing. I am sure it will stay like this a while. Writing this all down is therapeutic, I think I will try to post once a day to just keep this for posterity.

One thing I did notice is the how uneven the hoarding was in the stores. Paper products, cleaning supplies, old fashioned oat meal, dried beans, and for some reason, breakfast sausages are hard to come by. Bacon is plentiful. Makes no sense at all. We do not know how long this will last, or even if there will be a shelter in place order will be commanded for our state. Speaking of that, there has been really poor co-ordination at the national level. I knew Trump would be bad in a crisis, but, holy hell, not this bad.

Finally, working from home is all new to me.  I did have to go in for a few hours yesterday to run a test, but it really is a mixed bag working from home.  The commute is great and my office is setup well, but I miss the water-cooler chats and just being around work friends.  I just don’t know what will happen with employment, long term.  I am sure we are in for a recession/depression the like virtually no one alive now has seen.


Posted by on March 18, 2020 in Corona Virus Blog, COVID-19

1 Comment

“New” to me

Exploring more old technology.  Over the last few weeks, I have been exploring more outdated technology, continuing my theme of 2000’s, I have picked up an AlphaSmart 3000 and a Canon EOS Rebel XT,  from 2000 and 2005, respectively.  I already had an AphlaSmart Dana Wireless, which is awesome, but I wanted to try something simpler.  The display is small compared to the Dana, just a four line alphanumeric with no graphics at all.  It runs a very simple operating system and software, but it is very fast.  The keyboard is good, but not as good as the dana, which has a lighter touch and feels like more of a premium keyboard, but it is more that usable.  In terms of features, it has 8 file storage, spellchecker, a calculator, and that’s it.  No touchscreen, no backlight, no SD storage.  I think what most concerns me is the limited storage of the 3000.  It can hold about 100 pages of text, which should be enough, but it does not compare to my Dana, which can use 2 SD cards for storage and can hold millions of pages of text.  On the other hand, the 3000 has battery life which is rated at 700 hours!  This is amazing compared to the 20 hours on my Dana wireless.  I weighs quite a bit less as well.  Overall, I do like the 3000, the keyboard is not my favorite, but it is perfectly fine for what it is.  I have a couple of segments out on my LCD, I may open it up and see if there is a loose connection if I get a chance.

The Canon ESO Rebel XT, on the other hand, has really exceeded my expectations for a camera from 2005.  It is an eight megapixel DSLR, my first.  I never knew the fun you could have with interchangeable lenses and a much larger sensor.  Even in 2019 the photos look great.  I have already taken more than 2000 photos with this new to me camera and I am enjoying learning a whole new skill.   All of the most recent photo posts have been taken with the XT.  I’ll keep you all updated on all this ‘new’ technology works for me.  As always, if you use these devices as they were originally intended, they work perfectly and are still relevant 15 to 20 years later.


Posted by on November 12, 2019 in Computers



Lomography is a type of low fidelity photography.  You can use actual film, or a digital camera with a crappy, but delightful lens.  All the photos below were taken with a Digital Holga lens for EOS, 60mm “F8” ahem, not an F8, more like a F22, lens I paid a whopping $13 for.  Amazon Link


Posted by on November 11, 2019 in Photos

Leave a comment