I Know That Feeling, Too

Would you dine with mannequins -in the name of social distancing?

Restaurants are having to cut back on the number of people allowed inside due to social distancing and guidelines from local and state leaders.

One dining establishment uses unique stand-ins for customers to sit next to instead of an empty table.

I didn’t have to go to a national news segment to know it. I mentioned that my beautiful wife and I went to dinner on Friday. The restaurant had removed the tables in the middle of the floor and told us to sit on the same side of the booth so that people sitting in the next booth on the same side would be six feet apart (but we were so early that the other booths were not yet in use).

For the bar seating, though, instead of removing stools, they put mannequins every other seat or so. Which did trigger my uncanny valley response sometimes.

But I was able to mostly focus on the food and the company.

Springfield Makes The New York Post

But not in a good way: Two Missouri hairstylists may have exposed 147 people to coronavirus

Although it’s way up on the east side of town (from our perspective), we have taken our boys there for a haircut a time or two, but not recently.

Although my beautiful wife and I did celebrate our wedding anniversary at a restaurant in the same plaza on Friday.

I mused to my son whilst we were out running errands yesterday, if they (society, the government, so many theys, but just because I say they doesn’t mean I’m paranoid in saying it), if they want you to wear a mask because you might spread germs to someone else, when does it stop? This has happened since you were born and will happen until you die (and perhaps beyond). So when should people stop wearing masks? Later.

All Basketball Games To Be Played Under The Matterhorn

NBA says it is talking with Disney about resuming season:

The NBA is in talks with The Walt Disney Company on a single-site scenario for a resumption of play in Central Florida in late July, the clearest sign yet that the league believes the season can continue amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Basketball Players Association is also part of the talks with Disney, the league said Saturday. Games would be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a massive campus on the Disney property near Orlando.

Well, I guess not; the secret basketball court under the Matterhorn is at Disneyland in California.

I’ve Heard The Radio Commercials Already

Postal Service to review package delivery fees as Trump influence grows:

Weeks before a Republican donor and top White House ally becomes postmaster general, the U.S. Postal Service has begun a review of its package delivery contracts and lost its second-highest executive, which will leave its board of governors without any officials who predate President Trump.

The moves, confirmed by six people with knowledge of the Postal Service’s inner workings but not authorized to speak publicly, underscore how Trump is moving closer to reshaping an independent agency he has dubbed “a joke.”

The Postal Service in recent weeks has sought bids from consulting firms to reassess what it charges companies such as Amazon, UPS and FedEx to deliver products on their behalf — often in the “last mile” between a post office and a customer’s home. Higher package rates would cost shippers and online retailers billions of dollars, potentially spurring them to invest in their own distribution networks instead of relying on the Postal Service.

I heard a radio spot on Thursday telling people to call Congress to stop this sanity. At the very end, it says it’s paid for by the Package Coalition, and I said aloud to the radio, “You mean Amazon.”

Which is true:

“While we are on the subject, it is reported that the US Post Office will lose US$1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars. The Failing NY Times reports that ‘the size of the company’s lobbying staff has ballooned,’” he [President Trump] had said in a tweet.

In reaction, Amazon teamed up with retailers like Walmart, Target, and other small businesses to form The Package Coalition, a lobbying group aimed at ensuring they continue to get the cheapest possible rates for shipping their products through the USPS.

So, basically, profitable companies derive some of that profit shipping through the taxpayer-subsidized USPS, which is losing money and, apparently, should continue to do so to keep profits high.

I’m kind of glad I am the last person in the country who listens to radio.

Jolly Old England Is Getting Back To Normal

Baby ‘Murder’: One month-old baby dies as man, 26, and woman, 24, arrested for murder.
Body in Bag: Man & woman ‘caught with human torso in case as other body parts found nearby’

Well, I guess these really aren’t jobs for Miss Marple.

Also:

Tube Squeezed: Sadiq Khan ‘blackmails’ Boris with threat to cut Tube unless he gets £2bn

You can tell the ‘crisis’ is coming to a close when the elected officials greatest concern is getting more money. See also Port Authority asks for $3B bailout amid COVID-19 crisis.

We Watched The Local Flyover

So on Friday, we watched the flyover of the B2 bombers that honored….well, we have the planes, why shouldn’t we get to see them once in a while?

To be honest, it looked like a hawk.

Well, that is a hawk. We went outside about 6:18 to watch for the 6:22 flyover, and a little before the plane appeared, this hawk dove at something in the front yard of Nogglestead. It must have not liked what it saw or missed, as it flew south of Nogglestead looking for something else.

As the hawks often hunt and circle in pairs, my beautiful wife thought the B2 was the second hawk when it appeared and told the boys, no, it was a hawk.

It was the plane, the plane:

It flew east to west and banked wide to the west and south; given how high it was, it might have gone over Mount Vernon and Marshfield or Aurora as it banked.

It then flew south to north on its way home to base, probably over Springfield, Bolivar, Clinton, and maybe Sedalia.

You know, some would say that it’s a twee bit of money wastery to have military planes fly over as a salute to, what, health care providers? First responders? Grocery store stockers who haven’t had a day off in months?

But there’s little uniting in this country even amid an overhyped national emergency (see how I said “overhyped”? Clearly I am on one side). One of the few things might be, for many people yet, the sight of our military materiel and the perhaps-dormant patriotism they stir.

Meanwhile, In The Old Neighborhood

Police officer shot near I-44 and Elm in Webster Groves, suspect dead

This was about 1.3 miles as the Freightliner flies from my house in Old Trees. However, it sounds like it was on the Interstate itself, so it’s not like I could say that I pushed my baby past that very spot, although we did go through the very ornate underpass many times thirteen years ago.

At a mile away right beside the highway, we wouldn’t even have heard it if we were on the front porch swing. Which we had, by the way, and we used it despite the highway.

Finally, A Reality Show I Want To See

5 lucky elk hunters will have some competition — a mountain lion.

Unfortunately, this looks to be the limit on the elk hunting licenses that Missouri will give out this year with a side story that the Department of Conservation has found evidence of a mountain lion taking an elk without a license at all.

But I would watch five men with a gun stalking an elk whilst a mountain lion stalks all of them.

Well, no, because that might be gory and bad for one or more of the men involved.

But I would certainly get a blog post out of it.

This one.

Cue the Panic Buying and Hoarding

Hy-Vee to limit meat purchases at all locations

I’m glad I saw this before going to the grocery store later. It will give me the opportunity to buy meat. Of course, I’ve been buying, cooking, and freezing extra meat during the current unpleasantness anyway. So if I buy four today, four tomorrow, and four the next day, I’ll make out all right.

Just kidding. I don’t tend to shop at Hy-Vee that often. So I’ll be able to clean out my local grocery for an extra day or two until they follow suit.

I mean, who wants to run out of meat half way to Proxima Centauri? Not me, brother.

UPDATE: Apparently, Kroger-themed stores, too.

UPDATE 2: My local grocery has also implemented a limit of 5 meat items; however, that is the fresh meat section, where the meat is purportedly cut in the store. The processed lunch meat, sausage, and bacon section has no limit. So, yeah, I bought some extra.

Prediction

Sometime in 2021, perhaps May or June, medical suppliers will take millions of masks and protective gear, overproduced in the summer and autumn of 2020 by every medical producer, textile mill, and specialty t-shirt shop who offered masks with your favorite team or slogan on them, and stored for almost a year in vast warehouses, and bury them in a great landfill as though they were unsold copies of E.T. for the Atari 2600.

Not Exactly

Half of this headline is correct: SGF, Greene County extend stay-at-home orders, allow more curbside, delivery orders

Springfield and Greene County residents will be required to mostly stay at home until midnight May 4 in what leaders called a “half step” toward reopening the community.

Businesses previously deemed “non-essential,” such as clothing stores, vape shops and other retailers will be allowed to take curbside and delivery orders starting immediately.

The “extension” means the mandatory guidance from the local governments now conforms to the date set by the governor, whose ruling superceded the local hide-under-your-bed order. So the extension extends the foolishness to match the foolishness that takes precedence.

The more important, optimistic, and beginning to return to the old new normal is that the authorities are encouraging other small businesses to start minimal operations to begin ramping up to a hopeful burst of healthy economic activity on May 5.

Also, prediction: Cinco de Mayo parties are going to be lit this year.

That’s Not Exactly What It Says

Headline: DOJ says to ‘expect action’ on religious gatherings and social distancing regulation.

The news item comes from a tweet:

The Federal government is not going to act on religious organizations; it is looking to monitor lower governments’ actions, that is, state and local governments’ enforcement on social distancing as it regards to religious organizations.

No doubt this is in response to anecdotal stories about governments ticketing drive-in services and whatnot.

However, the oversimplification in the headline makes it sound like the Federal government itself is getting ready to crack down on churches and synagogues. But that is not my reading of it.

Ante, Upped

Schumer calls for up to $25,000 in ‘heroes’ pay for coronavirus workers

Sen. Chuck Schumer is calling for up to $25,000 in “heroes” pay for front-line health care and service industry workers as Congress pushes ahead with a new coronavirus crisis rescue package.

* * * *

Nurses, truck drivers, grocery store clerks and others are “risking their lives” to care for Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown, he said.

Ludicrous on the face, of course, but so was the $1000 checks or whatever we’re supposed to be getting to mail back to the government.

Oppose it, and you hate these workers, hey?

No word on politicos who are sheltering in front of microphones get “heroes” pay for continuing to not keep their social distance from news microphones. Heaven knows they count themselves amongst the heroes for voting to shovel Monopoly money into the wind.

Bigger corporations would be expected to foot the bill for the pay hike, he said, while the federal government would provide funding for smaller firms.

Oh, I see: Prices are going up. And you’re all fired.

Yeah, I see who cares about the working man. Not all heroes work on Capitol Hill, but those that do wear Ds.

On the other hand, I wonder how corporations will enjoy the double-whammy of lawsuits and additional expenses they’re voluntold by Democrats in Washington.

This just in: I opted to click Refresh like the fool I am.

Unfortunately, Overreaction Is Not Innoculation

I have speculated, apparently elsewhere, that early bits of preparation for coronavirus, including actions that retailers and businesses took before Official Middle Class Stay At Home/Close Your Shop/Actual Workers, Keep Doing What You’re Doing orders came out was to protect the companies against lawsuits which would inevitably come in the 21st century for those businesses and entities who were the last to take extreme action.

Welp.

Walmart sued over coronavirus death by family of deceased employee

It won’t be the last.

The Coming War with China

Perhaps the title is a little too certain, but this is the Internet, and the drive for clicks supersedes the drive for truth.

I don’t want to go all Bill Gertz here (I reviewed his book Treachery in 2005 and followed some of his columns in the Washington Post back in the day; he was/is quite the, erm, cautionary voice on China), but the plan after the Coronication is to decouple economically from a face-saving nation whose regime will be under the threat of losing the Mandate of Heaven, who faces uncertain demographics and dramatic, bad economic outlook but has a really big military, right?

So I would like to think that the Top Men are seriously thinking about what that might involve.

But, to be honest, I’m not very impressed with the Top Men and Women at this point.

UPDATE: As seen on Ace of Spades HQ later this morning, a story from the Washington Times but not Bill Gertz: Semper Modify: Marine Corps to undergo ‘radical’ overhaul in pivot to take on China.

But:

Pentagon officials argue that China’s rapidly improving military capabilities make the prospect of a traditional Iwo Jima-type shore landing exceedingly unlikely, and the Corps instead will shift its resources toward becoming a “stand-in” force that can operate within enemy range rather than fighting its way into theater from the sea.

So the Top Men are not planning a battle to liberate Taiwan is what you’re saying.

Top. Men. (And. Women.)