Better And Better

One of the joys of apartment living is that you are not solely responsible for your own well-being.  So when your neighborhood is suffering from “rolling” (i.e. random, lengthy and sporadic) blackouts, and the outside temperatures are well below freezing (e.g. 21°F yesterday), you can take all proper precautions that you’re told to do — conserve energy and heat, keep taps running to prevent pipes from freezing, bursting and flooding, and so on — that does not mean that your upstairs neighbors who hail from, say, Hyderabad are going to follow the same instructions precautions because such weather conditions are unknown to them and…

Yes, Gentle Readers, a water pipe burst on the top floor of our block late yesterday, flooding (and I mean flooding) all the floors below — we, of course, being on the ground floor ergo  getting all of it.

So we ended up with a foot of water in our apartment which came in through any of the various holes in our ceiling (e.g. smoke detectors, light fittings, air vents and, eventually, wall electrical sockets).  To give you an idea of the carnage, we put a tall kitchen trash can under one of the leaks, and it filled to the brim in about four minutes.

The apartment management acted in typical molasses mode, managing to turn off the water supply some two hours after said flood was reported.

It looks as though all our stuff has been destroyed:  furniture, beds, carpets, and even some of the artwork which was hanging from the (sodden) walls.  A lot of clothing has gone bye-bye as well as things like towels which we initially deployed en masse  to try to stem the water — all of course to no avail.

The guns are okay — they’re kept in a safe quite high off the floor — although I haven’t checked on their condition yet, the carpeted floor around the safe seems quite dry.  Ditto the ammo, which is kept in another safe in the garage which was mercifully spared the carnage, I think.

Right now, New Wife and I are, like refugees from some natural disaster, huddled at the long-suffering Doc Russia’s place, two suitcases of clothing between us. Thank gawd for Scotch — although I note with alarm that his J&B supply is near extinction.  (Just how much more distress must I undergo, I ask, with tears falling into my glass.)

In about six hours’ time I’ll head back to the apartment to see the full extent of the damage.  I expect all sorts of fun like frozen water (temperature as I write this:  18°F, or -8°C to those of the other persuasion) both inside and around the apartment, assuming that is that I can actually get there as we’re also having a medium-heavy snowfall which will turn to ice immediately once it hits our (un-salted) north Texas roads.

No odds on being able to get into the garage either because the power is out, the oh-so-convenient electric door-opener being suddenly not-so-convenient.

And just to add to the joy, all the neighborhood hotels are closed because there’s no power.  I managed to find an extended-stay hotel way the hell to the east from tomorrow night onward, for at least a week.  This will not help New Wife get to her job, the only consolation being that her school is closed for the rest of the week — but next week she faces a 30-mile commute instead of her regular 5-mile trip.  (Of course, what she’s going to wear is a matter of some interest;  we did manage to save at least a couple of her outfits, but they’re going to have to relax the dress code quite substantially.)

Bloody hell, even our suitcases (which are kept in a storage locker off the patio) were ruined, so we arrived at Doc’s looking like Belgian refugees circa 1940 France.  (No horse-drawn carts and no Messerschmitts strafing us, but the former was impossible as the horses would have frozen to death and the latter made unlikely because of the shitty weather.)

I’ll post pics from the disaster zone when I’m able to take some.

So it looks as though 2021 — for Your Humble Narrator, anyway — is going to vie with 2020 for the title of Shittiest Year In Memory.  It was bad enough that we had no power and were cold in the apartment;  we had made provisions (SHTF stuff) and were surviving.  Then came Noah Time, and now all bets are off.

We have renter’s insurance, of course, but even the insurance guy was unreachable yesterday because he too lives in an area which has had no power for three days.  So I’m in the dark as to what will happen next, financially speaking.

Aaaargh.  As New Wife put it:  “Come to sunny Texas, they said;  it never gets below freezing, they said.”

When we get our lives back together again, we can address the Texas power generation topic, as outlined by Tech Support 2.0 below.

Quote Of The Day

From the comments to this article:

Beverly Hills business owners have been told to board up their windows by the local police department, as officials expect rioting throughout Los Angeles following the presidential election results

And the comment:

“So what happened to all the pontificating about accepting the results of the election, or does that only play one way?”

When it comes to the Left, things only go one way:  the way they want them to go.

Everything else is “fascist”, everyone else is “Hitler”.

That’s The Spirit

In all the frenzy of Chinkvirus panic and the resulting pandemic theater (i.e wearing face condoms which, from all accounts, do little or nothing to actually prevent the spread of the virus, but like the TSA at airports, at least give the appearance of Doing Something ), we have this wonderful example of I-don’t-give-a-fuckitude from someone named Lana Del Rey:

Heheheh… if you’re going to show absolute contempt, then this is the way to do it.

Of course, the uproar has been intense:

Taking to Twitter to share their anger, one person said: ‘I cant belive lana is actually wearing this mask to…..socially interact with people..this is so irresponsible.’
A different fan put: ‘Why is she at an event with a bunch of people wearing a mesh mask??? I love Lana but this is incredibly irresponsible.’
Another follower commented: ‘LANA WEARING A MESH MASK TO AN EVENT FOR HER POETRY WTF So irresponsible.’

…etc. etc. etc.

Me, I’m just chuckling, because you know what’s coming up next, don’t you?

Wait for it…

Government regulations mandating a minimum thread count per inch for cloth face masks!

You heard it here first.

Risky Bidness

Apparently, some “experts” (standard warning applies) over in Britishland (same warning) have come up with a list of activities that carry a risk of catching Chinkvirus cooties, ranked according to risk level:

All FYI — as much of what is listed is pretty much commonsense.  I do wonder, though, how “protest march”, “rioting” and “looting” (some overlap) did not make the list.

Talking About Gear

At some point, there may come a time when we (being my Readers, myself and kindred souls) may have to suit up and sally forth to resist the forces of Evil — protecting a neighbor’s house, a local store, a statue or similar artwork, and so on.

I’ve always resisted going full “Camo Barbie” because I think that I (and anyone else) look like a complete tit, clad in wannabe-soldier gear and all that — the term “G.I. Schmo” comes to mind.  It’s all very well for actual soldiers and even for the SWAT-ies to look like that:  spare mags, water bottles, knife/bayonet etc., but while it obviously behooves you to be prepared — we’re all about that — I’m not so sure that looking like some weekend warrior is all that productive.

For one thing, you start looking like all the negative stereotypes that the Left has been demonizing for… well, forever, really.  Just as importantly, though, is that you identify yourself as a target — either to the Pantifa brigades or, more alarmingly, to a police force which doesn’t seem to care about keeping the anarchists in check, but seems perfectly willing to go after us — which isn’t so good.

Nevertheless, if this Pantifa/BLM foolishness is going to continue… let’s just say that I’m starting to change my attitude on this.  But I absolutely refuse to go the full Monty.

If all I’m going to carry is a handgun (Browning HP or 1911) then I’m okay:  I use old-style cell-phone webbing pouches to carry my spare mags, and those coupled with a trouser pocket will give me all the backup I’ll ever need.

The pouches hold either two 15-round HP mags, three 8-round 1911 mags, or two 10-round 1911 Chip McCormick 1911 mags each:  30, 24 and 20 rounds, respectively, along with whatever’s already loaded in the gun.  I don’t think I’d ever need more than one of those options, under almost any circumstances.  (And there’s the S&W 637 backup revolver, in extremis.)

The best part about all this is that it’s easily concealed under a light coat / sport coat, a “shoot-me” vest, a gilet or even just an untucked shirt.

Now add a rifle and spare mags, and you can pretty much rule out going around unnoticed.

…especially with all those spare mags.  Good grief, they look as though they’re about to repel a Taliban attack rather than a bunch of Pantifa pansies or BLM goons.

Now maybe that’s a Good Thing, because nothing says “You’re not going any further in this direction” like a wall of armed American big ol’ boy civilians like the above.  But even ignoring the optics of the situation, all that shit gets really heavy after a while — ask me how I know this — and while it’s okay for our soldiers (with the benefit of daily P.T. exercises) to hump that gear, for us Ole Pharttes and Fat Boys alike that’s not a pleasant prospect, especially as more likely than not, there won’t be much in the way of action.  Anyone who’s pushed guard duty at a base camp will know exactly what I mean.

All that said:  I probably need to look at some kind of webbing gear that, in a pinch, I could sorta-conceal under a dustcoat or similar.  There’s this lot, which seem to have much to recommend them, being that their gear is all made in the U.S.A. and not in fucking China:

And if I were to go with any of their products, it would most likely be this one, tailored for AK mags:

While quite spartan, it’s still too much, although that seems to be about as small as this item runs — I’d prefer to hump only two spare 20-round mags because once again, I don’t see me ever needing more than sixty rounds of 7.62x39mm in any kind of situation where I’m not at home.  (Also:  $80?  For webbing?)  And you can forget about any camo clothing, FFS.  Jeans and so on — “civilian” gear — will be all I ever wear unless I’m drafted into the modern equivalent of the Volkssturm.

So what think you, O My Readers:  am I way off-base here?  Or else, if the  situation calls for the scenario described above, should I just throw on the faithful old photographer’s jacket and toss an AK mag or two into the inside pockets (yes, they can hold them, I checked)?

All thoughts are welcome.

Viral Load

…or, as I called it a few days back, dosage, gets a more technical examination here (the linked article, by the way, is very dense reading, but I urge everyone to plow through it anyway.  You may learn something that prevents you from getting infected).  A sample:

What evidence do we have that viral load matters?

Three classes of evidence seem strong.

The first is that we have a strong mechanism story we can tell. Viruses take time to multiply. When the immune system detects a virus it responds. If your initial viral load is low your immune system gets a head start, so you do better.

The second category is the terrible outcomes in health care workers on the front lines. Those who are dealing with the crisis first hand are dealing with lots of intense exposures to the virus. When they do catch it, they are experiencing high death rates. High viral load is the only theory I know about so far for why this is the case. Their cases are presumably handled at least as well as others, in terms of detection, testing, treatment and what the infected do themselves. The only other issue I can think of is that they might be reluctant to rest given how urgently their help is needed.

The third category is historical precedents.

Parents infected their children with what they hoped was exactly the minimum dose [of smallpox] required to get them sick enough to develop antibodies and gain immunity. Sometimes this went wrong and the child would get sick. Thus this form of inoculation was dangerous and 1%-2% of patients died. But of those who got smallpox infections in other ways, 20%-30% of patients died. Those rates are well established.

I should point out that Doc Russia, who as an ER doctor has been treating Chinkvirus patients almost daily, fully expected to catch the virus himself, but so far [crossing fingers]  hasn’t.  All I can think of is that because his hospitals (he works in several) don’t have that many infectees compared to those in, say, London or New York, his aggregate exposure is low;  that, his age outside the at-risk group, plus his fanatical adherence to commonsense protective measures, has probably kept him well.  Which leads to the other major point in the above linked article:

The default model is that the longer and more closely you interact with an infected person, especially a symptomatic infected person, the larger your viral load.

In-household infections are presumed to be high viral load, as in the case of measles. So would be catching the infection while treating patients.

Most out-of-household infections that aren’t health care related are presumed to be low viral load. Anything outdoors is probably low viral load. Most methods that involve surfaces are probably low viral load. Infection via the air from someone there half an hour ago, to the extent this is a thing, is low viral load. Quick interactions with asymptomatic individuals are probably low viral load.

I should point out that the above are observations based on admittedly-poor data, but as we know that the level of dosage/viral load is critical in other diseases (measles, smallpox, SARS etc.), it’s not a bad deduction to assume that it’s true also of the Chinkvirus.

As with all decisions in life, the key to decision-making is risk assessment and odds-calculation.  Use all the above accordingly, as you plan your daily life.