I'm up at seven and a bit draggy today. The morning is bright.
Covid-19: Summing Up The FUD
I'm still in stasis, undecided exactly how to hit all the destinations on my calendar. I have decided to go to the FACS meeting in Calgary tomorrow and maybe go skiing on the way.
I should go to Sidney to spend some time on Cassiopeia but for some reason the airfare is prohibitive right now. I checked flying to Cabo and then flying direct to Sudbury and that is what I am going to do. I'm going nuts here.
I changed the eye doctor to Monday and am now free to go any time after that. I'll throw away my non-refundable YYC-YSB flight as it costs more to come back to Calgary than to go direct to YSB.
Batting down conspiracy theories about disease outbreaks such as that of the new coronavirus may prove counterproductive to public health efforts
In my experience changing people's minds is a fools errand, at least by any direct approach and arguing only reinforces beliefs. Sometimes it works, but often as not attempts merely reinforce the belief by bringing it strongly to mind.
As the song goes, "A man believes what he wants to believe and disregards the rest".
People are idea packrats and to get people to give up an idea, you have to give them a more shiny one-- one that presses the right buttons--and hope they'll drop the old one and not just keep both.
I'm an observer, and not a believer. Something to keep in mind is at anything you hear influences you, true or not, and it is impossible to un-hear something. Politicians know that and frame discussions by making sure the extremes are either spoken or suppressed because the people will generally pick the middle item when given a choice and moving the end points can make a formerly extreme position look less radical...
I can't believe it but I just spent five hours reserving three trips online. What a pain! I also cancelled the eye doctor.
Sunday I fly to SJD. Quite frankly, I'm going crazy here. I need a fairly high level of excitement to keep me from getting bored. I never did get back into the furnace project after the hard re-entry and being sick. If I start on it, I want to complete it.
I'm away enough that my friends have forgotten about me and my dog and cat are long gone. Jean and family are always busy with various things from volleyball to hockey and she is busy writing, so that does not provide much company, at least that rate at which I move, and it is a long boring drive up there just to sit around. C can't be counted on to walk every day and walking alone in Swalwell is boring. It is always a guess whether she will go or opt out. Just when I give up on her she wants to walk. I need to walk and I do in La Paz. Walking alone in La Paz is always interesting and I don't need companions so I walk a lot there.
I could get out to the ski hills and ski the way I did years ago, or go kiting and maybe I will in April. I should get to the coast. Rick sounds as if he could use some company on the dock in Sidney but Mexico was my choice. Maybe in May. La Paz draws me like a magnet.
I have nine days in La Paz, then a trip to Sudbury that will take the better part of two days, including the trip from La Paz to SJD, then SJD to some US stopover with an overnight, then Toronto and finally YSB. It looks like an ordeal.
Ten days in Sudbury are followed by another two-day odyssey back to La Paz arriving in time to greet Gillian, my crew for two weeks. Then two weeks cruising the Sea of Cortez on Baja Magic
I keep promising to read my back diary pages and I do try sometimes, but I'm too busy going forward to go back much. The re are times though when I need a date or a time and then a quick search is valuable.
I realise that I am ignoring the Wuflu risk in making travel plans, but there are always risks, even risks to staying home with the doors locked. Worst case, I'll cancel or alter plans, but I tend to be a bit fatalistic and figure que sera, sera.
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I'm up at seven again with a list to do before I go.
I took out four drums of ashes, shoveled coal, and brought the Crossbow sailboat inside. It had accumulated ice and snow in the cockpit and I was concerned the ice might expand and crack the fiberglass. While working outside, I noticed my neighbour going by in his horse-drawn sleigh.
At six, I drove to Calgary for the Foothills Association of Cruiser Sailors meeting. The meeting was about planning for the Fall Cruise and I have friends who want to go.
I got home at eleven and went straight to bed.
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I'm up at five and busy already. First a laundry, then flash the router I am taking to La Paz. It is an old WRT54G and I'll flash the Tomato firmware onto it for better security and management.
I got out the router and discovered that dd-wrt was already installed, so checked the setup and the job is done. It is not Tomato, but dd-wrt is good firmware.
I continue to plan travel although it seems clear that the tsunami is on its way. Sitting on planes tends to bring on colds and flu at the best of time partly due to the penalties airlines place on cancellations. People fly even if they are sick due to the cost of rescheduling and also simply because they work and have to get back. Then they go to work to keep their job...
I realise I could end up locked down in Mexico or Ontario, or infected, but that is the risk. Life involves risks and hiding from risks means barely living. I do wonder about flying across North America to visit my 101 year old Mom in a few weeks. For that matter I am in the higher risk age group, but not the racial groups with apparent highest risk. As an x-smoker, I may be vulnerable. Don't know.
By the time I go north and east the Wuflu may well be at the door. It is already getting close. "San Diego says 200 under 'medical observation'. I may be changing my plans by the time that rolls around and flights may be cancelled anyhow. Odds? At current rate of spread, 30%?
Don’t buy China’s story: The
coronavirus may have leaked from a lab
Oh! Boy! If you play with fire...
Today is my day to get ready to go tomorrow Somehow I had built it up in my mind to where it is a huge job, taking all day. It isn't All I have to do is throw a few things in a bag, tidy up, lock up and go. Not only that, I don't leave until noon tomorrow.
That means I land at SJD after the last shuttle, so I'll either have to go to the San Jose bus terminal or find a room for the night. I'm going to pack light.
I just remembered to check in. For some reason I no longer get email reminders from the airlines. I arrive at 7:15, so that will be after dark. Hmmm.
I fought with AirBNB website for almost an hour trying to reserve a room and my various attempts at payments were always refused. I finally gave up and was looking on booking.com. I happened to check my email and guess what? My reservation had been accepted even though the website had hung. Good thing I did not reserve on booking.com, too.
So I have a room and a really nice one in downtown San Jose BCS for the night. It is 14 km from SJD and fairly close to the bus station (I think), but the bus website is very unhelpful about where exactly to catch the bus so I had fun writing a query email in Spanish. I cut and pasted the ¿ from a webpage somewhere as I use an English keyboard. I did not bother with the accents although I am sure that can affect the meaning.
I'll stay the night in San Jose and explore in the morning and catch the Aguila bus to The Malecon and be home sometime in the afternoon or evening. Buses run until 2100 hours. It is a four-hour trip. EcoBaja takes three or three and a half depending on route.
I see the weather in La Paz looks warmer than when i was there last.
I got an email from my credit card company saying that they had detected suspicious activity and I should call them. I did and the fraud people are gone for the day. I assume that explains the problems paying for the room.
I tried the website to check and got a message there was a technical issue. Come back later. Trying a while later, I was able to check and could see that there were no bogus charges, so who knows? Maybe the card will work tomorrow and maybe not.
I went to bed around eleven.
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I'm up at five and I leave in seven hours. I don't have a lot to do before I go. I see I am leaving just before a dump of snow.
Last trip I was unable to forward my calls and that was a huge hassle. Today I spent over an hour trying and found that the UMIDIGI just will not do it for some reason so am getting out an old phone to see.
Looks like the Wuflu just hit the tipping point and denial is becoming impossible. Up until now, the authorities have been saying, Nothing to see here folks; just move along", but now the the MSM is covering the matter more seriously and denial is impossible. There is no sign of the thing slowing down or any reasonable prediction of it ending.
I left home at noon and by seven-thirty was at SJD. I walked out and was offered a cab at $1,000 MXN ($50 US), then $800. Nice try. I said no and walked off the airport property and summoned Uber.
Rigoroberto picked me up and dropped me near my destination for $120 MXN. I actually managed to chat with him along the way. It was in rough Spanglish but we managed. This is encouraging.
Airbnb relies on Google Maps and they are awful here. I wound up walking five blocks in the dark with the aid of a young fellow who took interest in my plight. As I have said before people here will go out of their way to make sure you get where you need to go.
I found the flat and it is gorgeous. I left my things and walked five blocks to the Six store and discovered I have lost my Mexican money and keys. I had been transferring funds on the plane and must have dropped the little change purse. Total loss is maybe $200. I reported it to Air Canada by messenger. Who knows if this will bring results.
Someone may have turned it in. Some people do that. I once found a diamond wedding ring in a Westjet seat pocket and turned it in to the pilot. This would be one time it would be nice if what goes around comes around.
I got a reply to from Air Canada and that was advice to report my loss on a web page. So, I am sitting here and filling out a lost and found form. Of course it will not take my input. My Mexican cell provider is not on the list of mandatory fields and so 'submit' just sends me back.
I expect to be in La Paz tomorrow in time for the last two days of Carnival. I have contacted Miguel on Whatsapp. He has a key to Baja Magic and replied that he will meet me and get me onboard. It is good to be back.
I went to bed at eleven.
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I woke at two and got up. The bed is very comfortable, but I was thirsty. There is no drinking water. I Google water supply safety here in San Jose and the results were less than 100% reassuring so I am boiling water. It should cool by morning. In the meantime, although there is no drinking water, there were two Bud Lights in the fridge. Any old port in a storm.
I decided to stay up a while and checked my surveillance cameras at home. All is well.
And now I am wondering, where did I lose that change purse? Is it possible that the kid picked my pocket? These jeans are quite loose and he did stand close to me looking at the phone. I don't recall having been touched but a good pickpocket has a light touch. He did seem unusually interested and friendly but that is how people are here.
At any rate if I did have my pocket picked, I was lucky because right below that purse in my pocket, if I did have it in that pocket, was my real wallet with my credit cards and ID, and fortunately my real money which I would miss and my passport are in my briefcase.
I'll never know if I left it on the plane or got my pocket picked. I'll have to be more aware. At any rate, the odds are good that I left it on the plane.
I'm going back to bed and hope to sleep. I had made a cup of coffee. Coffee often helps me sleep, but the coffee that came with the place is dynamite. Anyhow, I can now stop worrying about finding the purse.
* * * *
I slept until nine and have only three more hours in the BNB and then I am without a home, I'll be back on the street, lugging the briefcase and my backpack. I had imagined I would wander the town a bit but am reconsidering. About now, taking Uber to the bus terminal looks to be my plan.
I packed light but am toting a few things for the boat and this computer is large and heavy. I'm going to have to think again about getting a smaller, lighter one and carrying even less. I think one good backpack is the answer and maybe I should leave a computer in each home, rather than carrying all this firepower everywhere. One thing is for sure, a phone, no matter how good just will not cut it and tablets are not a lot better
For some reason my house looks warmer than I would expect although I did turn the thermostat down.
* * * *
I'm back to thinking I left the purse on the plane.
* * * *
Looking out, the day here is cool, overcast and windy so my thoughts of walking the hotel strip beach are not attractive at the moment. I checked out, walked out, and called Uber.
I arrived at the Aguila terminal about ten minutes before departure and bought a ticket. The buses are the latest big Volvos with all the amenities. My seat was near the front and I had a good look at the tourist waterfront and it is impressive. Reminds me of California. Wait. This California! California Sur.
The trip was three hours, not four and the bus filled as we moved along, stopping in Cabo San Lucas, Pescadero, Todo Santos and anywhere someone waved or wanted off.
Sitting on a bus provides a chance to turn off the noise. Even though The Queen was laying in Spanish on monitors every few seats, I was not distracted, but I did watch a bit.
Suddenly, I remembered where my money and keys were. Not being able to reach my pocket on the plane due to the seatbelt, I had put the little change purse into a side pocket in the brief case with my passport and that is something I never do. Until now.
When I arrived at The Malecon, I saw the stages and stands are being set up for another night of Carnaval. Carnaval is one reason I came when I did, but sometimes with all the other considerations, I forget.
Nights will be noisy but that is fine. Walking The Malecon is going to be a joy. Anyhow, I am home again.
Did I mention? It is good to be home.
At 8:17 I have not yet left the boat except to set up the internet. The router, which I brought with me works fabulously. When I arrived, I had a long nap, then made spaghetti. Will I go for a walk to The Malecon? Dunno. It is getting late but I can hear the festivities from a mile away.
Naomi Seibt vs. Greta Thunberg: Whom Should We Trust?
It is just coming up to midnight and I am off to bed after a full day. The loud music continues on the Malecon.
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I woke at 0630 and got up. Seems I am sleeping six hours a night lately. I did have a long nap yesterday though.
It is Carnival so I'll go walking around and see what is up. The parade starts at five and I'll be sure to watch. Predictions are for wind. Gale force winds are expected over the next three days so that makes staying in port look wise.
It is seventeen and clear here today. At home it is minus seventeen and the snow continues.
As for the Wuflu, looks like we've gone over the edge but are still in denial. What comes next?
Here, once more is a link to an excellent article that quite fully outlines the mainstream story on the Wuflu. It was dated Jan 29 but says "Updated 3:09 a.m. MST Feb. 25, 2020" so I imagine it will be kept current.
So far no authorities on the American continents are not expressing much panic, but there are signs that preparations are underway.
This morning, I installed the new radio. It replaces the defunct CD player/radio. This one has Bluetooth and USB, but guess what: it has no AM band!
Small Things: For years now this mouse which I use on occasion when traveling as been annoyingly hard to click. Today I took out my jewelers set and took it apart. Turns out the screws had loosened imperceptibly and lint had skimmed the top up a fraction, reducing the throw of the buttons by a few 1000ths. That was enough to make it a hard press. Hard to believe, but cleaning the lint and screwing it back together returned to to like-new. I should have done this ten years ago.
It's afternoon already. The boat is a mess but I am off to the bank and Chedraui. I'll remember my backpack since the stores here have jumped on the virtue-signaling bandwagon, The thin film bags that everyone re-uses are banned, but toys and all sorts of food and junk are 'way over-packaged in layers of plastic, but that is okay. Apparently.
I walked to the banco, ambling along and appreciating the stroll when I realized I had to get there by 2 and it was ten to. I sped up, went in, withdrew $6,000 (pesos) and headed for Chedruai across the street, but a collectivo came along and I got on.
Next I knew, I was at cento and a few bocks from my dentist. I walked there and made an appointment then called Uber to take me to Tailhunter. I went upstairs, sat at the rail, and ordered Tecate and fish tacos.
Next. Uber took me back to Chedruai where I bought groceries and rode back to the marina to stow the provisions.
It is 4:50 and the parade starts soon, so I am headed downtown.
I had Uber drop me downtown and I walked down to the Malecon where the crowds were lined up and waiting for the parade. The parade was as good and as loud as I remember. Mexicans know how to do it. Anyone and his cat can participate.
After the last float at passed, I walked the strip, stopping at the various stages to see the main show and the musical groups performing for the crowds.
Uber drove me home. I stayed up a while, then hit the hay.
Quote of the Day.
I woke at five. The night was warm and I did not use the heater at night or in the morning.
The day dawned bright and breezy and the port is closed due to high winds so even if I was thinking of going to the bays and islands, that is out of the question and the conditions are expected to last until the weekend.
I spent the morning cleaning the cabin sole and bilges and generally catching up. I'm trying to decide whether to re-varnish the floor boards or just apply gloss acrylic wax. The boards had been varnished previously and the varnish is scratched and peeling in spots. It not really bad, and shining the surface might just be all I need to do.
The dd-wrt wifi router I brought from home had worked flawlessly when I arrived, but today it seemed slow. I did a speed test and the wifi is dead-slow. The Ethernet connection through the same router is blazing fast, so I checked online and this a known issue. I may flash Tomato onto it yet. I am too tired to do that tonight, though.
I fried some wings for supper and started watching Blade Runner, but found it depressing. I'm going to do some Spanish and go to bed early.
But, first, I had more equipment issues: the mouse I fixed the other day was suddenly causing driver problems, or that was what I thought. Some mouse functions quit a while after a reboot and I blamed the driver. Windows 10 has a way of making old software quit working suddenly.
I restored the computer to a previous restore point but the problem persisted. But it seemed an odd coincidence so soon after the fix, so finally, looking closely, I noticed that I had put it back together with several pieces slightly out of alignment. I took the mouse apart again and aligned the parts better and now the problem is solved. I was about to buy another mouse.
Discover HIV-Like "Mutation" Which Makes Coronavirus Extremely
About now, I am really glad I am not anchored out in a bay. Tied up her in shelter at the dock, Baja Magic is rocking around a fair bit. Out there, it would be uncomfortable.
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I woke at five again. The boat is still rocking in the wind and waves.
Six more days and I am scheduled to fly to Sudbury. I have things to do here before I go. All that is assuming that we are still flying around a week from now. I expect we'll be seeing quarantines and flight cancellations before long.
The Dystopian Horror of Life
Under Quarantine in China
Today I plan to deal with the router, finish tidying and go shopping at the big box stores at the south end.
First the router.
(Later) Well, that is not going so well. I reset the router and the wifi is still slow.
I'm working on the charging system. So far not much luck. There are wires running everywhere. I know what I am looking for but cannot find it. Yet.
'Investors' have been living in Fantasyland for several years and growing ever more confident as the lies have gone unchallenged. It is ever thus.
They don't slam the door until the last sucker is onboard. The rats made their gains long since. Now the rats have left the ship and the latecomers are stuck with overpriced stocks.
I sold out in 2015 the same day I had my little heart 'event'. Actually, that event came later that day. Odd. Coincidence?
I notice his talk mentions the surfeit of savings. That is a concept most people find hard to grasp but it is very simple. In short, everybody cannot save. If everyone does, savings become less valuable because at some future date they compete for limited goods and services for what is available at the time.
So, if I save, that is good, but if you save, that is bad -- for me. Stop saving, please.
These central banker guys are no smarter than you or me. They were handed a hot potato by previous admins who were able to cheat and promise too much during a strong growth phase and are handing it on down and doing what they can to keep the the whole thing from blowing up on their watch.
Ponzi schemes always work fine and seem sound until the number of people cashing out outnumber those coming in. In pensions and stock markets that only becomes obvious when populations stop growing or many savers want to spend their 'savings' and outnumber the people actually expected to provide the goods and services the 'savings' represent.
I took the helm apart looking for the problem and then the aft bunk. I could not figure out where the circuit was interrupted, so I jumpered the regulator terminals and found that the regulator was flashing codes indicating it is working. Ah ha!
So, as a final resort, I decided to check fuses. Duh!
It turned out that one fuse was missing completely and that was the one! I think Miguel may have borrowed it when troubleshooting another circuit and forgot to replace it.
I borrowed a fuse and bingo! problem solved. That was a major worry since I want to be able to go on an extended trip when Gillian comes on March 18th (she is not replying to emails! I hope she is okay. Last I heard from her, she had pneumonia.) and not worry about batteries.
My next remaining electrical concerns are temperature sensors and re-wiring the battery monitor so it measures all the current.
At any rate, I am vastly relieved.
I watched Cheers for a while and am off to bed soon.
Doubtlessly, this is a Minsky Moment. Enjoy.
We've just had the longest bull market in history.
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I woke at four-thirty and I'm up for the day.
My biggest boat worry is over. The alternator works now, so that pressure is off. I should still check the solar, order temperature sensors, and move some connections, but the boat electrical is good to go as-is.
The fridge is not staying as cool as it should, though, so I'm assuming I need to get someone to charge it.
In the markets, the coronacrash is setting records. No one knows where this will end as there are no buyers, only sellers.
The situation is especially bad because fear had left the market and greed had taken over. People had come to believe that stocks could only go up. The market was a bubble in search of a pin. We now have the pin.
Up for the day? Not exactly. I lay down again after breakfast and dozed for an hour, listening to Spanish lessons. Now it is eight and the net is on.
My fridge is not cooling below forty degrees F. I assumed that the problem is loss of coolant, so I pulled everything out of the locker to access the refrigeration unit. It seems to run, but turns off sometimes before the fridge is colder so I don't know
Dow was down 1000 at one point this morning. The news services are running live charts.
Care to catch a falling knife? They say buy on rumour, sell on news. Hmmmm. Good luck with that.
Any buying now is likely short covering, option-related, or manipulation. The exceptions are stocks imagined to benefit from the virus with the assumption that the pandemic will stop soon.
What is not being considered, though is that consumers are tapped out financially already and they may not be able to go to work.
IMO, there is no bottom anywhere in sight for much of the economy in the short term.
This is like nothing we have seen before in a lifetime. We'll see full blown panic and traders being trampled as they run for the exits. Many are kids who have never seen a real bear market. We'll see waves of selling followed by some brave souls buying back in, followed by more waves of selling. We'll see circuit breakers cut in and maybe the markets will close.
So many people have bet the farm in this casino that the effects of this carnage will be generational.
Even the mighty Fed can't hold back the seas. We have two threads to the markets arriving at once: The rise of Bernie and the Wuflu. Add to that a highly speculative overbought market and a crash was inevitable.
Now a Wuflu case was suspected on a Winnipeg flight. I'm thinking now I should be canceling my flights to Sudbury. The last 101st birthday present I should deliver is a case of the Wuflu. I doubt I can recover my money, but sometimes when on a losing path the first and most obvious loss taken quickly is the cheapest loss.
I caught a collectivo to Chedraui and bought some groceries, but they really did not have much of what was on my list, including fuses. I walked out and saw an auto parts store across the street and walked over. Two fuses, six pesos, but no replacement radio speakers. For them I was sent to AutoZone.
Uber took me to AutoZone and I was greeted as I walked in. I asked for 6-1/2" speakers and was shown some. There were others and I asked about them. Too expensive I was told. I persisted and was told they are no better. Buy these ones. I did. I love Mexico.
I heard finally from Gillian. I had wondered because I had not heard from her. Apparently, on the second day after she arrived in New Zealand, hitchhikers stole her phone and she has been scrambling since to get her contacts restored and to get back in touch.
I walked over to the margarita party. There was a good turnout and the location is ideal, a balcony overlooking the Bay. i stayed an hour or two, then walked back home.
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Uber took me to Equipsa, 'way up Ocampo. Luckily, one of the six counter clerks speaks English.
Four of them pulled out about five similar units, studied them and decided on one. I paid 81 pesos -- $5.54 CAD -- and called Uber again.
I love Mexico.
I'm back at the boat with the new control installed. I'll have to see how well it regulates and if the range is correct. If so, problem solved.
Online reports say that the regulation is 7 degrees wide, so that means the fridge temperature will fluctuate from 32° to 39° F, and that is a pretty wide range. I'm looking for a control with closer regulation.
I cancelled my Monday dentist appointment and plan to go out to Pichilingue tomorrow early and stay overnight.
I reserved an airport hotel for the night.
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