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Monday, March 30, 2020

So Much for Travel



I love watching travel channels on YouTube. It was rarely things like people going on cruise ships or flying to exotic places. My channel choices were of people traveling by personal boat, van, RV, motorcycle or even by hiking. Last winter while I was recovering my health they sure helped pass the time.

Some of these channels were popular enough that the people making them earned enough income to live on. That’s a pretty sweet gig in a lot of ways. Sure beats working in an office somewhere. Now with the whole planet shutting down, nobody is traveling. The channels are putting out a lot of “this is what we do during lockdown” videos. Personally, I’ve pretty much had my fill of those episodes.

It’s going to be tough for those places that rely on tourists. My own area had a fairly strong recreational industry. Those folks aren’t going to be working for some time. Even when the restrictions are lifted it’s going to take a lot for tourists to come back. People will be hesitant to travel. Most people’s finances are taking a hit and vacations will be one of the first things to be cut from budgets.

I’m pretty much planning to stay close to home for some time. Instead of budgeting for travel, funds will be spent preparing to spend winter at home. That’s going to take a lot of planning and work. At least I’m not going to spend as much time watching travel channels.

-Sixbears

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Quarantine Days



There’s really not much going on around here and that’s a good thing. I guess the self distancing is working -so far.

My lovely wife and I are knocking out house projects. I was able able to get a little plumbing done, all using materials at hand. When you live our in the woods it only makes sense to have basic materials and parts. That’s really paying off these days. While the local hardware store is open, sticking close to home appears to be the better option.

I was able to start her car which has been unused since the beginning of December. It’s still behind a frozen wall of snow and ice, but I’m chipping away at that too.

It’s going to be interesting to see how society changes after this is all over. (Assuming it will be all over) The whole world has pretty much dropped everything to deal with the crisis. Things will not go back exactly the way they were before. You can’t unscramble an egg.

-Sixbears

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Stimulus Money



Okay . . . so the government’s handing out money. All you anti-socialists stay pure and refuse the cash. What’s that you say? This time it’s different? It’s not really Socialism. Whatever lets you sleep at night.

Personally, I’m not really into ideology.

On the other hand, I’m not sure I’m really going to get anything. It’s that just my natural pessimism coming forward? No . . . well . . . not completely. The Sixbears household is in one of those categories where we don’t have to legally file taxes. There was some sort of happy talk that people like us would eventually get some money, somehow.

Whatever.

Fortunately, my firefighter pension is still coming in. In fact, the state sent me an e-mail stating my pension fund was fine. Maybe I’d feel better about that e-mail if it wasn’t sent every three days or so. If they’d sent the e-mail out once, I’d get the impression they were trying to reassure me. When they sent it out all the time, it looks more like they are trying to reassure themselves.

A certain financial institution sent me an e-mail stating how concerned they were for my health during this crisis. How nice. A careful reading, however, revealed they were concerned that I stay healthy so I can keep making payments. News flash: if I get sick paying off their loan is the least of my concerns. My credit is already in the crapper from the last time I was in hospital so that’s not something that can be held over my head.

Now it might be be an issue if wanted a loan to buy a car. Is anybody buying cars these days? If so, why? It’s not like we can drive anywhere.

Seriously though, I hope the money gets out to those who really need it -like most of the population. We are looking at unemployment higher than during the Great Depression. Something has to be done to keep food on the table.

My lovely wife and I are still financially holding our heads above water. We are fine. Our budget is being helped by the fact we aren’t going anywhere or doing anything.

-Sixbears

Friday, March 27, 2020

My Old Fire Department



A cousin of mine retired from my old fire department a few years ago. He got a call from the department. They’ve been contacting those who’ve retired in the last five or six years. The department’s been asking if the retired guys would be willing to come back to work if too many current members get sick. Of course, they’ve stepped up and are willing to go back into harm’s way.

I’ve been out too long and went out on a disability, so they are not asking me. However, it would be hard for me to say no if asked -even knowing it would most likely kill me.

-Sixbears

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Stupidity can kill me



There are numerous examples of people behaving badly during this pandemic, be it young spring breakers, or people even throwing coronavirus parties. Heck, we can’t even get people to wash their darn hands -something they should have been doing all along anyway.

Sigh.

Being over 60 with bad lungs and no insurance, I can’t take chances.

Currently I’m quarantined in case we picked up something on the way home. It looks like our precautions, and some luck, paid off and we are fine. However, now I have to be in quarantine so some some idiot doesn’t infect me.

It’s going to be a long people of isolation and precautions. The best I can hope for is to wait this out until there’s effective treatment, a cure, or natural herd immunity develops.

For those who think this is blown way out of proportion, get back to me in a few weeks . . . if you can.

-Sixbears

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Head for the hills



Vacation homes here in the North Country have filled with folks fleeing the cities. That’s all well and good, but I wonder how many of them have brought the corona virus with them? Then there’s the fact that our local hospital can’t even take care of the locals. I just hope they will self quarantine for two weeks like we are doing.

By the way, we got almost a foot of snow overnight. Kinda bummed out to see the boat buried in snow. That’s the reason why we weren’t expecting to come north until a month or so from now.


I’ve been thinking about how the government wants a big slush fund of money to support businesses. Current proposals don’t even have many safeguards. They can pick who survives and who doesn’t. There’s a name for that sort of thing and it’s not Capitalism.

Frankly, I wouldn’t mind if a number of industries were quietly left to die. Take cruise ships for example. They are all flagged at ports of convenience to avoid US taxes and laws. Now that times are tight they want support from the US government? Those polluting disease incubators can all be scuttled as far as I’m concerned.

-Sixbears

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Normal for March



I know it’s normal for spring the North Country, but we just got snow. As I write this, there’s a good six inches on the ground and it’s still coming down. That’s why we didn’t plan on coming home for at least another month. Stuff happens. I’m going to have to shovel a path out to the road to put the trash out.

At least they are still picking up the trash. Nice that some things are working. I’ve always appreciated those workers. They don’t get the respect they deserve, especially during these troubling times.

Have you heard about the Freshman 15? New college students are likely to gain weight their first year of college, about 15 pounds. Have you heard about the Covid -19? It’s the 19 pounds you gain from stress eating and lack of exercise while quarantined. Personally, I’m still losing weight. We have plenty of food storage, but not much for snack food.

Another random bit: people are being issued travel papers. That tells me movement will be very restricted shortly. The guy who was issued papers works in a vital industry. He was instructed to keep the papers with him when traveling to work.

Now I understand the importance of limiting movement during a pandemic. However, it’s starting to feel a bit like East Germany. We are going to have to vigilant about protecting our freedoms

-Sixbears