Nothing Much Archive

in a less depressing direction

Posted April 2, 2020 By Ruth

In case it wasn’t obvious, I work an “essential service”, and since I’m reasonably young and healthy I’ve not taken advantage of the extra sick time off offered by my employer and have continued to work, and am, infact, working extra hours to help cover shifts and departments that are short people.

I cope by finding every meme that makes fun of this situation and the general public and sharing them on my FB page.

I thought I’d share them all here for you all to laugh at too if you want.  Below the fold so the folks with slower internets can decide if they want to see or not.  

Note, I did NOT create any of these, they were found online from various sources.

Also, I will add to this periodically, enjoy!

Read the remainder of this entry »

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It doesn’t work that way

Posted March 29, 2020 By Ruth

One trend I keep seeing.  People seem to believe that if we can all just properly “social distance” for a few weeks this virus will stop being an issue.

Guys, it doesn’t work that way.

IF we could do a hard lock down on everyone in the country.  No emergency services, no stores, no gas stations.  EVERYONE locked up at home.  For 3 or 4 weeks.  AND test everyone as they came out of lockdown to catch the folks who are sick with no symptoms, maybe it would work that way.

But we can’t do that.  Life doesn’t work that way.  Not to mention that here in the US of A humans are so used to having outside stimulation that they’re going out to the few stores still open just to “browse”.  Seriously.  They’re going to Home Depot and Lowes to browse paint colors.  Design their new kitchen.  Meander around and annoy the fuck out of the employees.

Best we can hope for is that this will slow down the infection rate enough that the hospitals will catch up.  As it is, once the various governments release their “stay at home” orders, I can promise that all those silent carriers of this virus are going to continue to spread it, and the infection rate is going to bloom again.

And once THAT happens the panic might just become a nightmare.  You only THINK it’s bad now.  Right now a fairly large percentage of the population are holding back their panic with the knowledge that this social distancing order is going to save us all.  The panic when they realize it doesn’t work that way is going to be seriously ugly.  Don’t let those prepper stockpiles dwindle to far, cause this summer has the potential to be really really bad.

Along those lines:

The big grocery store next to my work is kinda back to normal stocked on meats.  Kinda, it looks good, till you realize they still only have half the normal selection.  And purchase limits.  Strict purchase limits on milk and eggs mean that they’re well stocked.  There was NO CHEESE except for the weird flavors no one eats.  Dry cereal was well stocked Friday, and wonder of wonders, no purchase limits.  There were purchase limits on pasta, granola bars.  Paper products was still glaringly empty.  Frozen pre-prepared goods had no purchase limits, but the shelves were also still mostly empty.  Breads was better than it had been, but not really normal either, plus purchase limits.  Flour was marginally stocked, as in, maybe 10 bags of AP flour and that was it.

The smaller grocery on my way home is better, meats are damn close to normal.  No purchase limit signs.  Cheeses were pretty well stocked.  No paper goods to speak of, but they never carried much that way.  Freezer goods were sparse.

The Pet Supplies Plus was actually surprisingly well stocked considering that the grocery stores are basically sold out of pet supplies.  However Chewy.com is running a solid week + behind on shipping orders.  Thankfully I only rely on them for odds and ends and not foods.

My work has gotten in one (1) pallet of paper towels (it sold out in 24hrs), and one (1) pallet of toilet paper (it lasted 8hrs), both had purchase limits on them.  There is still no hand soap to be had, we’ve gotten a few cases of sanitizing wipes and they’ve sold out in hours.  No Lysol or other sanitizing sprays to speak of.  The only bleach left is a few cases of highly concentrated “outdoor bleach”.  Last I checked we were almost out of dish soap.  Cleaning supplies in general were basically gutted.

So far none of my co-workers has tested positive.  However my husband started working from home just in time, he got notified Saturday morning that a coworker in the same call center he normally works in just tested positive.  Husband’d been working from home for 12 days.  Quite a few of my coworkers are taking advantage of Home Depots offer of two weeks of PTO for anyone who needs it, and so we’re short handed, even with the shortened store hours.  Not that any of us blame those folks.  A large portion of our employees are “mature”, ie: near or over retirement age.

Deep breath folks.  And keep plugging away.

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Home Depot Reducing hours stores are open

Posted March 19, 2020 By Ruth

Press Release here.

The short form, in order to reduce staffing requirements, and hopefully spread of the virus, all Home Depots nationwide are reducing available shopping hours to 6am to 6pm, effective today.  Employees who normally work later shifts are still being scheduled for those shifts, but will now be spending extra time stocking shelves and cleaning instead of helping customers.

This is actually pretty big news.  Home Depot considers itself to be an emergency service and does its damndest to be open under all conditions.

In other news, I’m home today with the sniffles.  I don’t actually feel sick, I just have a runny nose and mild sinus pressure.  I’m fairly confident that its my sinuses, again.  But if I go into work with the sniffles we’d have half the city in a panic.  So I called out.  I don’t think I’ve EVER had a manager give me less hassle about calling out sick.  No one wants to trigger more panic right now!

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prediction

Posted March 16, 2020 By Ruth

Local grocery stores have massively empty shelves.  People are buying anything that’ll store, and alot of things that won’t, in mass quantities.  It took me 3 stops to find a gallon of milk Friday night.  Every 24hr grocery store has started closing for at least a few hours overnight so that they can clean and “restock”, except that they have nothing to stock the shelves with.

Saturday at work I had multiple customers who run local businesses in the store trying to find cleaning supplies because their usual wholesaler has informed them that their usual order has been backordered.  Guys, a local ambulance company was desperately looking for general purpose sanitizers so they could clean the ambulances between patients.  I sold him the case of Microban spray I’d just found in the no-home overheads, he said he felt bad buying the last case in the store, I informed him that if I had to call an ambulance I wanted the damn thing properly cleaned and walked him to the register.

EVERY company runs on Just In Time ordering these days.  Very few companies, including wholesalers, stock large quantities of product above and beyond what they expect to sell within a specific time frame.  The only reason Home Depot stocks as much as they do is because we ARE the supplier for a fair number of commercial enterprises.

Let me give you an example of how crazy the current buying trend is: Every year HD does a big cleaning promo in February & March.  Every year our store gets a 4’x4’x4′ pallet of oversized packages of Clorox wipes.  And EVERY year we sell barely half of that pallet, and the remainder goes clearance and us store employees stock up when they hit 75% off.  That is NOT an exaggeration.  This year?  We sold the last of that pallet of wipes two weeks ago, they never even came close to hitting the 25% off mark.  When I left work at 6pm Saturday night we were on track to sell out of bleach by the end of Sunday.  Even though we’d gotten an emergency shipment.

In order to stop the panic buying they need to refill every single shelf and KEEP THEM FULL for at least two weekends in a row.  Everyone who tried to just buy their normal groceries this past weekend and couldn’t is now going to be doing their damndest to buy an extra one as soon as possible.  The site of empty shelves, even if it’s not for the product they were going to buy, is going to continue to trigger the buying of extra.

If this problem was confined to a state.  If this problem was confined to a region, or even a corner of the country, they’d be able to have the shelves restocked, and full enough to stop the panic buying, in the space of a week.  No problem.

But this is country wide.  EVERY SINGLE  reasonably sized store (and alot of the smaller ones) in the lower 48 (and according to reports, likely Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, and Europe) has sold out of essentially the exact same things.  It’s so bad that even direct from the supplier ordering of supplies like bread flour isn’t an option, both King Arthur Flour’s and Bob’s Red Mill’s websites list their all purpose flours as out of stock until further notice.

The JIT ordering system is fucked.  I don’t think it’s physically possible for warehouses, suppliers, and even manufacturers to push enough product out to the stores fast enough to stem the panic buying in short order.

I hope to god that I’m wrong, oh god do I hope I’m wrong.  Cause if I’m right this mass hysteria is going to do more damage to this country than the damned virus.

But I don’t think I am.

On the other hand, manufacturing of all of these products just got a hell of a boost (and most of these paper products are USA made too).  The trucking companies that move all these products are all looking forward to nice paychecks.  And the timing for agriculture is damn near perfect, everyone I know is doing the math to figure out how many extra fields they can plant and how many extra meat animals they can beef up for slaughter.  If this had gone down mid-late summer agriculture would be hard put to catch up.  So it’s not all bad.  But we have to hold it together to get to that point.

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Stock up?

Posted March 11, 2020 By Ruth

News reports say everyone is stocking up on toilet paper and cleaning supplies.  But it seems to be VERY regional.  Not quite sure what to make of it.  Wegmans (a locally owned grocery chain) is specifically mentioned in local news as being sold out of TP and various cleaning products at two stores not to far from where I work.  But the Wegmans right next door to my work still had reasonably full shelves of TP yesterday (I didn’t think to look at cleaning).  And my work also sells TP, and we still have full shelves as well.

On the other hand, I hope you weren’t planning on buying Clorox/Lysol cleaning/sanitizing wipes this week:

That gaping hole on the top shelve is the HDX generic clorox wipes, and the Clorox branded wipes. The hole in the middle is the Lysol branded wipes. Lysol cleaning sprays aren’t in much better shape, what you see there is whats left in the entire store as of 4pm yesterday, and the only reason we have any left at all is cause they always send us an extra wingstack or two for the cleaning event this time of year.

That’s the hand sanitizer and hand soap shelf space. What you see is what we had left as of 4pm yesterday.

On the other hand, maybe this means that the generally unwashed masses are actually washing? Wouldn’t that be just awesome. I’m not holding my breath, but maybe this’ll result in a drop in the number of flu cases…..

Edited to add: as of the afternoon of March 11th, the toilet paper rush had finally hit my work. Interestingly I noticed that people were buying paper towels almost as much as they bought TP. But apparently the media hasn’t noticed that part yet.

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Mondays

Posted February 24, 2020 By Ruth

I needed coffee, in order to make coffee this morning.  Its gonna be one of those days today isn’t it?

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Crafty

Posted February 2, 2020 By Ruth

Ok, so part of why I’ve been so busy that I haven’t posted much is because I got a new spinning wheel back at the end of the summer.  I posted about it a couple times then I know.

I’ve been having fun with it, to put it mildly.  My mom’s christmas present was possible because of it:

I dyed the fiber
and spun it
and knitted it

I’ve been TRYING, mostly unsuccessfully, to knit up what I spin, before spinning to much more, but I’m not always successfull at it. Some of my other spinning:

bfl/silk blend
silk, alpaca, and merino
merino/silk

Dear wordpress, this post and image editor sucks ass, seriously. AND now you’ve broken the image manager. Stop it.

I swear!

Posted November 15, 2019 By Ruth

The next coworker who looks at me in amazement and says “you’re wearing HOW MANY layers of coats??!!??”* isn’t going to like me very much when I respond.

Look people.

1: This is Upstate New York.

2:Its COLD out there.  And there’s nasty white crap falling out of the sky.  (we broke cold temperature records for November this week, but not snowfall records, cause see #1)

3: I work in the Garden & Seasonal department, which means that at any random point throughout my day I can end up outside doing stuff for extended periods of time

4: because of #3 I can end up sitting still on a forklift for extended periods

5: because of #’s 4,3,2, & 1 I can go from sitting on a forklift, and freezing my ass off, to having to help toss 50lb bags of wood pellets and sweating my ass off, with no notice

6: because of #’s 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 I need to be able to pull on enough warm coat layers to keep from freezing to death, or to be able to take off just enough warm layers to keep from sweating so much that I give myself hypothermia as soon as I stop sweating.  And none of those layers are fancy pretty dress for success stuff either.  Moisture wicking, and fleece, and Carhart are your friends when you work like this.

I’ll forgive the guy who just moved up here from Florida (poor kid has had one hell of a shock this past week).  The rest of them have lived in this area for most or all of their lives.  I shouldn’t be having to explain this!

 

*The answer to how many layers I have on when its this cold is: long sleeved moisture wicking shirt, short sleeved cotton blend over shirt, long sleeved zip up fleece, quilted lined zip up Carhartt hoodie, quilted lined water resistant heavy duty Carhartt coat.  Plus a set of insulated long johns in my locker, so that when I have to go spend an hour in the cold unloading a truck I can pull those on under my jeans, its to warm in the building to wear them all the time.  Plus fur lined hat with ear flaps.  Plus two layers of gloves.

I’m failing at this blogging thing this year

Posted November 11, 2019 By Ruth

I keep meaning to do up a post weekly, and next thing I know a month as gone by.  Ooops.

Lets see.

The co-worker who was out on medical leave is back to work, and looks like he’s doing much better.  So I’m back to just working my  normal department.  Just in time for christmas crazy to start.

Garden is very done.  The peppers were holding on, then temps crashed hard, overnights of 20F is not conducive to live pepper plants.  Dammit.

It looks like we’re headed into a very wet winter.  There has been massive amounts of flooding this fall, and now that its turning cold its coming down as snow.  Which isn’t much of an improvement.

The old pool has been pulled up completely, now if only the yard would either dry out or freeze solid so that we can run a dump truck over it so we can fill the hole with gravel.

The 3D printer is in the house, we ran through two spools of filament in the space of 2 weeks.  We’re currently on a pause printing though as we are dealing with our first filament jam, and having to order parts because of it.

There’s probly more that has happened, but I’m off to work now, to sell snow shovels, salt, and snowblowers.  With a side helping of christmas glitter.  Yay.

Frost and things

Posted October 14, 2019 By Ruth

So, the saturday after I posted my last post we got a frost, and not a mild one either.  It hung around till well past 8am in any area not immediately hit by the sun.  Finished off the melons, and most of the tomatoes (a couple plants in the middle of the garden are still alive, but that’s it).  However most of the peppers held up just fine.  We’ve had a couple lighter frosts since, but again, most of the peppers are still holding on.  So with Husband’s help I rearranged my shade canopy (over some of the peppers) to a frost protection lean-to.  Here’s hoping it’ll hold things long enough actually get those peppers to ripen.

Meanwhile Apollo is delighted by the colder temps, and peeved at us for lighting up the wood burning stove to counter the chill.

Yesterday, while bringing in Arty from the fenced run, I managed to get stung by a yellow jacket.  No clue where the damn thing came from, I didn’t brush against any weeds or flowers or the like, but when I bent my arm to grab his leash it got pinched in the inside of the elbow and stung me.  Spent the rest of the day yesterday taking a max dose of benadryl, and getting stabbing pains from shoulder to knuckles every time the benadryl started to wear off.  Today it hurts less, but itches more.  Yay.

My neighbor on my north side has her property up for sale.  She’s in her upper 80’s, and her husband died a couple years ago.  The “kids” (who’re pushing retirement age themselves) have been helping care for things, but she’s decided she’s done.  She’s moved into an apartment in town and put things up for sale.  Crossing my fingers for a neighbor I can tolerate.

The co-worker who’s been out on medical leave is HOPEFULLY coming back at the end of Oct.  Crossing fingers.  The last time I saw him, over a month ago, he looked pretty damn frail, and was clearly not healing very well.  But the folks who’ve seen him more recently all agree that he’s doing MUCH better.

One of the libraries in the next county over has a Maker Lab, including 3d printers.  I’ve been going over periodically to play a bit and print things.  They put one of their older printers up for sale, it runs fine, but apparently the touch screen control pad is failing.  Normally a $2000+ machine, they’re selling it for $200.  I did a bit of checking, the manufacturer sells a replacement control panel for $80, and it appears to be a pretty straight forward swap.  So we’re buying it.