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Anything Going On with you?

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  • Anything Going On with you?

    I haven't heard much here and wondered what everyone is doing? Any at home? Working full time?

    Age has hit me, I thought if I had 3 days in a row, I would get a lot done, but I have enjoyed sitting and not being rushed. Arthritis is acting up considerably.

    But I have been trying to get my shop into shape. Dang if I don't get one thing cleaned up when suddenly I have another mess in my shop. I made two towers last year that both were two shoe boxes wide (those $1.00 plastic shoe boxes from Dollar General) and holds 10 high for 20 in each tower. That sure made a difference in me finding lots of small stuff.

    Well, I bumped one two days ago and knocked it over. Screws and parts all over the place. And I did that as I was finishing up and getting ready to help LOML with some of her stuff.

    I am rearranging things in my shop to get it better organized; I will get my lawn tractor and push mower tuned up running tomorrow. Maybe I am getting a taste of real retirement.

    OH forgot this: Last week, I talked a little about my Apple Watch:

    THAT Brings me to this: I bought an Apple Watch for the ECG on it as much as the "Fall" feature. I take it 3 or 4 times a day and it records it on my phone. I have consistently been OK! WELL, the watch has another feature too: If you fall and do not move for 1 minute, it will automatically dial 911 with your location and automatically dial those in your emergency contact list - LOML and 3 daughters. Twice today I noticed it going off. I hit something hard with a hammer this morning and had to tell it that I did not fall! This afternoon, I was cutting some large hickory chunks with an axe. It went off again. I had to stop it both times before it dialed 911. If I had had a long sleeve shirt on, I might not have noticed it until the EMT arrived, or LOML came out looking for me.

    IF you have an Apple Watch with Fall Detector, don't wear it while chopping wood or working with a forge!

    I have been consulting with lots of our pastors and churches in this rural area just south of Memphis. Most are sensible about this, but some feel this is overblown. They will learn. We are rural but we have had one death and are surrounded by counties with higher rates than us. I have been suggesting some ways of video conferencing and streaming live messages.

    My office is closed but I do go in 3 times a week for an hour or so to get mail and pay bills.
    Last edited by leehljp; 03-26-2020, 07:02 PM.
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

  • #2
    The silence here is deafening.

    Houston area infections are going up and everything is on lockdown - restaurants and bars been closed more than a week with take out the only option, most "non-essential" businesses closed or working from home. The double Whammy for Houston is the oil industry price crash - this is going to deal another huge blow to what little remains of the oil companies and the oil service companies... my former employer declared bankruptcy last fall and is still laying off people.
    Schools and colleges closed at least to April 3... more likely. Are gun stores essential?

    The streets are all pretty empty. We go out to pick up some take out food and once a week some groceries and a trip to the pharmacy for meds when necessary.

    6 miles from my grandkids - we haven't seen them in almost 2 weeks.

    We are locked out from my Mom's retirement home- they are not allowing any visitors or guests, even relatives unless its EOL situation. They are taking orders and delivering food to the rooms so all dining rooms are closed and the public lounges are locked. We call every day and If I had known I would have set up Skype or Zoom for her... now we can't get into her apartment to do it.

    My air conditioner has been broken for a while noticed while testing my Nest thermostat (unrelated to the failure) and the oncoming hot weather has made it imperative to fix; the repairman had difficulty getting parts all week and finally got it going today.

    So we are in a hunker down and wait situation. The news and the stock market are depressing and there's no sports. No march madness, no olympics, no French Open Wimbledon and no baseball, NFL or NBA. So weird.
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-26-2020, 09:08 PM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions


    • #3
      I live in a rural area North of San Antonio so not seeing a lot of people is really pretty normal. I do have a small refurbishning project going on. It's an OLD school teaching tool that has a roll-up of pictures and then letters and numbers. Wife bought it an eon ago and it got kinda roughed up by young grandkids over time. Took it apart and used alcohol and steel wool to "clean" it then put a coat of tung oil "finish" on it. Looks pretty good mostly quarter sawn white oak. Repairing the "scroll" will be a time consuming and tedious project fraught with potential for disaster. Think I tore my meniscus a few weeks ago, had the doc drain and shoot me up with steroid which was good for about 2 weeks but painful again. Have an appt that will require MRI but since elective surgery is all postponed no telling when I will get it scoped. Plays **** with my weight loss effort (been jog/walking 4 miles in these hills 4 or 5 days a week for last 10 months and lost over 50lbs)
      "Like an old desperado, I paint the town beige ..." REK
      Bade Millsap
      Bulverde, Texas
      => Bade's Personal Web Log
      => Bade's Lutherie Web Log


      • #4
        When the run on groceries and toilet tissue began, the Walmart in the town 30 miles south of us ran out of TP; I called a relative in a suburb of Memphis and he said the same thing there. I went into our local supermarkets (we are not big enough for a Walmart) and the two local supermarkets had plenty. I went to Memphis to Sams for a few things and went into Walmart there. Then came home and found more of everything here than in the Walmart store there which had twice as large of a grocery area as our supermarkets.

        It is weird with not much going on and store closed. I work with churches (kinda like a bishop but without the authority of a bishop) and none are meeting, quite a few are streaming services on FaceBook. I have helped some and introduced some small groups to Zoom. I really like Zoom and we visit with our girls and grand kids through Zoom. The video and voice is great on Zoom too, and all 4 families are able to view and talk back and forth. Love it!
        Hank Lee

        Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


        • #5
          Here in Binghamton, NY we now have five cases, three in the adjoining Johnson City, and a few in other adjoining areas. We've had two deaths, one 83 and the other 90. Nursing homes are closed to visitors, and all non-essential business and activity is closed. Total cases this afternoon in the county is now at sixteen, more than eight times what we had a week ago! So far I think we've been pretty lucky, but I think it's going to grow rapidly.

          We haven't been out of the house since last Friday, and then it was just a brief walk in and out of Walmart. Senseless, because they had no stock of the two items we were hoping to buy. Thankfully they weren't necessities. We're stocked well enough for probably another two or three weeks, and I think by that time I'll just go for either a delivery or a pickup. Hopefully the stocks will be back up a bit by then, but I've been told not to worry, because if you order the items, the stock will be there.

          Meanwhile, I really don't mind not going out. I pretty much always enjoyed some solitude and frankly staying home is a plus for me. My wife doesn't drive, and for the most part our daily outings have been at her request. Being home works fine for me and I'm back to scanning negatives and slides in digital files. It is amazing how many photographic images can be accumulated over the decades.

          It been too cold here to spend any time out in the shop, but tomorrow I think I'll finish the painting I started over a month ago.

          No one has any idea how long this pandemic is going to last, but I am guessing it will be months. There are just too many people who are not taking it serious. The traffic on my street is only slightly down and there's still some pedestrian traffic. At night, I see so many cars coming and going from the two apartment buildings up the street, that it makes me wonder what's going on up there. The county and city have both put extreme limits on travel, and the order went out today that hotels and motels MUST deny anyone who cannot prove they are a county resident! The county sheriff has also issued a statement that they will ticket any unnecessary travel. So, unless you are going for groceries or to the pharmacy, stay off the streets starting tonight.

          While we've both got plenty to keep us occupied, I now find myself just wanting to stay away from the News programs. Things are way out normal across most of our country and yet I see little Federal response other than the daily happy news from Washington. Here where we live, lots of local organizations are stepping in to produce masks, and other PPE. Our two hospitals are okay at the moment, but are concerned, as some surplus has been sent to NYC. The local National Guard is now activated too. Meanwhile, I guess the best most of us can do is follow orders and just stay in and make some time for extra prayers.


          Think it Through Before You Do!


          • #6
            OTOH, my friend in Montana who runs a farm 5 miles from the Canadian border says his life is completely unaffected by Corona Virus.
            Loring in Katy, TX USA
            If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
            BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions


            • #7
              We’ve been pretty much holed up for the last two weeks. Both of the Grandkids schools have shut down and they are doing distance learning from their home, so we aren’t helping care for them now. Their Mom (a Nurse Practitioner) is doing patient appointments from home via telephone and video conferencing. So we only see/talk to them via FaceTime. Our son is off work since his employer (Dana Corp.) is not considered critical by the state. His wife is also working from home as her employer (major health insurance company) is also practicing the social distancing thing. We text them often to keep up to date. Funny, we all live on the same county. We get groceries by using Kroger’s Klick List app. We build a shopping list on-line, put it in a cart and a couple of days later go to the store and they put our order in the trunk of the car. SWMBO has started a spring clear out and that is filling the trash totes. I’ve cleaned the workshop, fertilized the lawn, raked the mulch beds, and today, I emptied the snow thrower and hung it on the garage wall. I’m out of wood for woodworking projects, so those are just in the design phase until I can get to the hardwood store. Tonight, I started setting up a voltage meter to use on the Ryobi electric riding lawn mower so I can watch battery usage while I mow. It’s not really needed as the mower has an LED battery bar gauge, but the meter should be more accurate. I recently bought a recording watt meter to monitor how much electricity the mower actually consumes. Since this is a new type of mower, I’m using the project to see just how much cheaper the mower is to operate, maintain, and own. It was pretty nice outside here today and it was fun to see the neighbor kids out playing. It was also gratifying to see them distancing themselves from other families on the street. We have a family on the street where both parents are public school teachers and it’s fun to see Dad out with their two kids doing phys. ed. class. Stay safe and well everyone.
              Jim Frye
              The Nut in the Cellar.
              ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”


              • #8
                My company told engineers and other office workers to work from home if possible and has shut down production lines so those folks can stay home too. Our local office was suggesting telecommuting even earlier. So I've been working from home for a few weeks now. My normal commute is only a handful of miles but it's all surface streets with many un-timed traffic lights. On a good day it takes 20 minutes each way; most days it is closer to half an hour. Working from home is thus giving me about an hour extra free time each day. Adding one more hour makes all the difference in the world when it comes to actually being able to do something useful in the workshop in the evenings. I've made more progress on a pair of bedroom nightstands in the last few weeks than I had in several months.

                Streets in SoCal are empty too. Dine-in restaurants have been ordered closed by the state governor, as have bars, most entertainment venues (theaters, sports areas), barber shops and hair salons, gyms, and schools. Folks working in those places are getting hammered by the shutdown; I wonder about a friend that works in one of the airport restaurants. Restaurants that have take-out or do deliveries seem to be surviving. A coworker, during a teleconference this afternoon, mentioned getting a pizza delivered took over an hour last night - they were really backed up. Like many other folks have reported, grocery stores around here have more empty shelves than anything; TP was nowhere to be found last week. I haven't gone shopping recently so I don't know if things are any better yet. One thing I did notice is the air is cleaner - it's much easier to see the mountains on the other side of the city! We had some rain and wind recently to clean out the air, and hardly any cars on the road to re-dirty it... big difference. I've seen a lot more neighbors taking walks with their dogs (didn't know we had so many dog owners in this neighborhood!) or with kids and strollers. The big park near the central library - with a large walking and biking path - is busier than ever too.

                With the schools closed, folks are trying the home-schooling thing. For two people I know, that has been the biggest hassle/negative of the entire shelter-in-place order. Both have young boys that have zero interest in doing schoolwork at home; both moms are at wits end! The daughters are taking it in stride... but the sons are loads of trouble.



                • #9
                  My wife and I have been “on house arrest” for several weeks now. It is nice to not be in such a hurry all the time, I can’t imagine why we seem to be in the road all the time going to town 10 miles away, 1 or 2 times a day!
                  It is full time spring here with daytime highs in the mid 80s and lows around 66 f. The first week of quarantine was spent putting the garden in. Nice to work in the garden!

                  Before I started any project I wanted to clean the 2 large nano filters on my clearview dust collector. It has operated one year without a clean up. I was surprised that there was little build up. The manometer didn’t show much difference than when the filters were new, but I already had them out in the back yard! A gentle wash down and a day or 2 to dry out before I put it back together. .......

                  There are a number of projects that I have had on the back burner and putting off for several years, My wife’s 32 year old Honda 3813 2 cylinder water cooled lawn tractor needs plenty of tender loving care to make it usable for her to pull a yard cart, sweeper and some mowing. This thing is just a little car, shrunk down to something the size of a small yard tractor lawn mower, built Honda great but everything is soooo hard to get to. Now I am neck deep in a project that requires several trips to the auto parts store a day. Luckily there is a good rural parts store that supplies farmers and has access to lots of nearby parts warehouses. Every time I get something fixed and give it a test run something else shows up, now I’m into this thing over a week, and still have my dust collector to put back together!

                  Next I start on my 1990 Mazda Miata that still has the original shocks, brakes, time for a new timing belt....and who knows what else?

                  Y’all stay safe!


                  • #10
                    I ordered online for store pick-up from Northern Tools in Memphis - a replacement seat for my 20 year old Sears/Craftsman LT1000. Drove the 60 miles there and the loop around Memphis was not crowded at all. Stopped by a Walmart and it was not that crowded. I did wear my mask and gloves; saw a few others wearing masks, all women. A couple were nurses I'm guessing by their masks. I buy a box or two of masks every year and use them when cutting grass in July-Aug-Sept when it gets dusty. LOML uses them more than I do. We still have half a dozen or so.

                    I went looking for my shop masks and surprised myself. I thought I had 3; I had 5 and found several replacement filters too. Found 3 pull down face shields and my old Triton helmet with forced air cooling. The battery was still charged and the last time I remember using it was 2009 when I was still in Japan. NiCad batteries at that. Surprise, surprise. I am working on giving it a lithium battery and I have a blower that is much stronger than the one in it. I would like to make the blower system stronger and with a newer battery system. The helmet is in great shape. Here is what it looks like:
                    Hank Lee

                    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


                    • #11
                      Boy Lee, if you had walked into our local Publix wearing that Triton helmet, mask and gloves I think you would have the whole store to yourself as everyone would probably run out or hide! My wife and I went there Thursday at 8 am thinking we would beat the crowds. Wrong, the parking lot was full. We donned our N95 masks and rubber gloves. During our shopping I saw only a couple of people wearing any kind of masks and no gloves. This was a mixture of all ages and races, not just young people. Not one employee in the store wore a mask. I felt uncomfortable, not because I had on a mask and looked strange, but because evidently no one here gives a crap or thinks they are invincible and are ready for this inconvenience to be over and get their check! Our county leads the state in the death count, beating our Atlanta’s Fulton county. I believe this is the type action, or lack of action, that has gotten NY in the pickle they are currently in.
                      When I went into the auto parts store I noticed a sign on the door stating that only 2 customers allowed at a time and to maintain 6 feet from everyone. Again, funny looks when I walked in with my PPE on, when I asked the counter guy where his mask was? He said the boss sold the all to the local prison! I asked if he wanted me to bring him a mask and then asked him if he would he wear it, his reply was probably not!


                      • #12
                        My industry is deemed essential so I am still working 5 days a week. Currently employed as a truck driver in the international container import/export business. The disruption this virus has caused in international trade is seen and felt by me daily. I welcome the less traffic on the roads but would rather see a quick return of our robust economy. Year round I isolate myself from sick people and do most of the things recommended to keep myself safe. Sadly though even at 56 I am high risk due to medical conditions.
                        just another brick in the wall...


                        • cwsmith
                          cwsmith commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Let me offer you my thanks for your service! This has got to be really tough for you and others who have to be out there for long hours each and every day, in order to keep this country supplied with the essentials that we all need, whether we work or not.

                          I may well be retired, but there isn't a day that I'm forgetting how hard so many others are working to keep things going for the benefit of families like mine, as well as the businesses that are keeping their operations going; only because of the efforts of people like YOU!



                      • #13
                        We were living in an apartment in Arlington, VA while my wife was taking language training and I was able to go back into the lab (I have been teleworking for 2 years). I had my reservations but my wife urged us to go to my parents house in rural DE to ride it out--they were in FL--and we just got notice the kids' school would be closed for 4 weeks. We saw several challenges at the apartment--it was small so having all 4 of there (my wife doing video conferences practically all day for school, me needing to TW, and my kids doing online school) would be a challenge, the dog would need to be walked so that made it even harder to social distance because we'd have to use the elevator, and simply that we just weren't observing others in the building especially the young trying to social distance. While we were moving things out (we still have the majority of our stuff there), youngins were coming and going to St Pat parties while the rest of the nation started lighting up with cases.

                        So we occupied the top floor of my parents house for a week (their master suite is on the first floor) and all was good until they got back from FL. There's always been tension with my mom and my wife--usual MIL/DIL stuff--but then my Dad mentions they're trying to social distance from us and our kids...while we've been having most meals together, share most of the same space together, etc. Then there were other things my mom and dad said that just didn't sit right with me. I realize I'm not blameless either and there's more to this story, but we didn't want to deal with. I'd say I'm close with my parents and considering this just happened in the span of the past 3 days, it's still very raw. So after sharing the house for 5 days, my wife found an Airbnb outside Baltimore where we're staying for at least the next month.

                        I'm getting really good at packing up the car and bikes and I'm really glad to have the extra space of the Highlander.

                        This "new" house isn't great, but it was in our price range and has most everything we need. The whole house creaks. The basement leaks. But after 2 days my wife is visibly less stressed, my kids continue to be real troopers (VA announced the day before we left my parents house that schools will close through the end of the school year now), and I'm making do. I lead a group of six people (one who is full time remote) but I've also have the extra stress of now finding remote work for the rest of the group. My lab group is a service group for the rest of the lab so requests are essentially nil so work is essentially nil. However, we've been creative. I have all of my machines connected remotely and any personnel who want samples can access them with us driving essentially our computerized vending machine from our houses. Work has told us all to do "maximum telework" through May 1. Only people doing research on COVID-19, or have experiments that would cost us a lot of lost money if they can't be wrapped up, or have to tend to equipment should go in.

                        My lab has just started some COVID research and since my group holds all the potential therapeutics in our machine, probably within the next week someone in my group will need to go in to process them. I am now the closest to the lab and the most qualified (I'm not the boss for nothing, right?), and one of three who would be least impacted if I contracted it, so it will be me. Maybe one other can do some work-up since it will require at least 2 visits to the lab.

                        I go grocery shopping once a week now and that's really my only essential trip. I feel exceptionally fortunate that my employer has been so accommodating to the thousands of employees who don't normally telework. My wife doesn't like the distance learning but she's also getting paid through this. My kids' school sent each home with an iPad to keep them up to some level with school. But back to grocery stores and the service industry. I am so grateful they are still working but I also feel guilty every time I step foot in the store or like the other night when we got takeout for the first time. I really hope I didn't bring something in to get them sick and I just want to hug them because I also know a lot of them must be so worried for themselves getting sick but they also need that paycheck. I don't have any suggestions just that I want this over with now and when it is, I'm never going to stop thanking the nice cashiers at all the grocery stores.

                        So that's what's been going on.


                        • #14
                          Bored. Taking pictures of caterpillars in the yard with my macro lens.
                          Attached Files
                          Loring in Katy, TX USA
                          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions


                          • #15
                            Loring, the picts are not showing up for me. it could be my computer, but asking if you could check the picts you uploaded.
                            Hank Lee

                            Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!