03 April 2020

Nugatory Revolvers

As a cavalry mage, my character would be issued some sort of .38 Revolver.

Most likely a Colt M1894...

Or an M1892 upgraded to M1984 standards.

Those are the most common, issue, sidearms in 1899.

.38 Long Colt fired from one of these does 2d-1 pi to ranges of 110/1,200 and weighs 2.5/0.2; RoF is 3 and 6 shots take 2i to reload.

Knowing about reports from The Philippines and the presence of megafauna on the other side of a spookhole...

What if he wants something heavier duty?

There are sufficient quantities of M1873 revolvers and stocks of .45 S&W to be issued this instead.

The normal 7" cavalry model does 2d-1 pi+ to ranges of 120/1,300 and weighs 2.8/0.3; RoF is 1 and six shots take 3i to reload.  Loading real .45 Colt ups the damage to 3d-2 pi+, but he'd have to come up with that out of pocket.

If he has to buy ammo out of pocket, why not the whole gun?

The Colt New Service is available in .45 Colt.  It does 3d-2 pi+ to ranges of 120/1,300 and weighs 2.8/0.3; RoF is 3 and six shots take 2i to reload.

I doubt that an andrewsarchus is going to be much intimidated by any of the three above choices.

A big one will have 34 hit points with DR of 2.  5,000 pounds of screaming carnivore, the largest meat eating mammal to walk the earth.

Max damage, hit to the vitals with .38 Long Colt...  27 points.  A major wound, to be sure, but hardly fatal.

Full load .45 Colt?  42 points!  At least a death roll and a consciousness roll.  With a HT of 13, don't count on this dropping it.

Might be better off with the carbine.

An average hit to the vitals will deal 57 points of damage, and a max roll 102.

The carbine also has a fair chance to get past the 4 DR of the skull for a brain hit, with an average damage of 68.  A max damage roll from .38 Long Colt to the brain is a mere 28, .45 Colt getting 48.

Hmmmmm, I wonder what a 37mm Hotchkiss does...

Solid does 5dx2 pi++.  Average to the BODY does 66.  Vitals would be 99.  Brain would be 124.

Don't Panic

Remember this and the link there?

Updating things for today's numbers:

There are 95,835 people in Florida with Wu Ping Cough.

That gives an infection fatality rate of a mere 0.177%

Using this as the actual number of infections and assuming it's mirroring yesterday's 14% daily increase...

It will be 43ish days to infect everyone in Florida.

Having An Effect

The rate of increase is getting smaller!

At least in Florida.

Today was just under 14% increase from yesterday.

It's been steadily decreasing for almost two weeks.

A decreasing rate is excellent news, even though that doesn't mean there's fewer new cases than yesterday.

The news is hyper focused on the number of new cases and not looking at the rate.

Clutching At Straws And Or Pearls

It'd been doubling every two days in Florida these past few.

Click here to see the daily percentage of increase in cases.

1 on March 1st.
5 on the 5th.
23 on the 9th.
77 on the 14th.
100 on the 15th.
149 on the 16th.

First reporting of deaths.

216 (unknown tested) 7 dead on the 17th.  CFR 3.24%
328 (unknown tested) 8 dead on the 18th.  CFR 2.44%
432 (unknown tested) 9 dead on the 19th.  CFR 2.08%
563 (unknown tested) 11 dead on the 20th.  CFR 1.95%

This also marks the first time the news has mentioned more testing rather than more illness is why the numbers are going up so quickly.

763 (9,338 tested) 12 dead on the 21st.  CFR 1.57%
1,007 (11,270 tested) 13 dead on the 22nd.  CFR 1.29%  Darn it, the blip collapsed.
1,227 (13,094 tested) 17 dead on the 23rd.  CFR 1.38%
1,467 (16,046 tested) 20 dead on the 24th.  CFR 1.36%
1,977 (23,723 tested) 23 dead on the 25th.  CFR 1.16%
2,484 (29,114 tested) 29 dead on the 26th.  CFR 1.18%
3,198 (33,822 tested) 46 dead on the 27th.  CFR 1.44%
4,038 (43,071 tested) 56 dead on the 28th.  CFR 1.39%
4,950 (50,528 tested) 60 dead on the 29th.  CFR 1.21%
5,704 (56,702 tested) 71 dead on the 30th.  CFR 1.24%
6,741 (64,661 tested) 85 dead on the 31st.  CFR 1.26%  Did not double in three days for the second time!
7,773 (69,265 tested) 101 dead on the 1st.  CFR 1.30%
9,008 (80,356 tested) 144 dead on the 2nd.  CFR 1.60%
10,268 (95,835 tested) 170 dead on the 3rd.  CFR 1.66%

The tiny numbers mean that the CFR will see seemingly significant swings which really aren't significant. 


This post gets bumped to the top twice a day as new numbers are published.

An interesting, and dense, report that the CFR for Wuhan might be as low as 1.4% and not the widely reported 4.5%.  If that's true then Florida is doing pretty well even with the presently diagnosed cases.

02 April 2020

Potential Good News

h/t Ace and FuzzyGeff.

Possible vaccine patch for Wu Ping Cough.

I see that it builds off research done for SARS and MERS.

Faster please! 


It's dim, but there is a sunspot in this picture.

Very dim, at about 1:30 and 1/5 from the edge.

The 300mm lens actually worked better than the 250mm for a change.


I'm world building and character creating.

I'm making an enlisted mage assigned to a cavalry unit.

It's c. 1899.

He's going to be armed like the normal trooper.

M1896 Krag-Jorgensen carbine.
M1860 light cavalry saber.

And a handgun.  Issue was the Colt M1892 in .38 Long Colt, but with megafauna thumping about, it might be "prudent" to have more puissance and go to an M1873 in .45 Colt.

He should have these things because such troops were issued them.

If I play the character I almost guarantee the saber and pistol will never be used.

I've had lots of characters take the backup guns and never need them.

Heck, I've never had to resort to using a bayonet with the 3e rules.  In 4e, where it's harder to hit, is untested.

Sidearms are nugatory.

Soviet Quality Assurance

Willard bought a case of, mostly, Century International Arms Hot-Shot branded Romanian 5.45x39mm 68gr FMJ.

Some still in its 20 round boxes, some loose.

Among the loose were 9 rounds of 1977 made Soviet State Arsenal, Frunze marked 7N6.

Someone had tried to fire two of them to no avail.

"As long as they pretend to pay us; we will pretend to work!" - Old Soviet Joke

Blogging Pro Tip

When linking to a news article, double check to see if it's behind a paywall by logging out of your subscription there before linking to it.

The link will be useless if it's behind a paywall to anyone not already subscribed...

Actually that link will be useless to subscribers too, because they will have already seen it... because they're subscribed...

It's On The Internet So It Must Be True

This is priceless, and "completely" accurate.

A Different Economic Model For Recovery

What's shut down is nearly completely because the government from up on high closed it.

Maybe for our own good, but also likely unconstitutionally.

How is this economic devastation different from the previous two?

It's not a natural market failure or correction.

It's being imposed from outside the market.

World War 2 was similar with regards to a large portion of the market as everything shifted to a war footing.

When the war ended, we got to spending and pent up demand got met.

The recovery from this could be very swift.

I hope so.

It Adds Up Fast

Assuming the current rate of increase in cases and death holds at the last daily step.

15.31% for infections and 18.82% for deaths.

Starting with 7,773 infections today we end up with 557,953 people infected by May 1st.
Starting with 101 dead people today we end up with 17,824 dead by May 1st.

That's a case fatality rate of 3.19%.  I don't think that's going to be right.

The CFR is bopping around in the low 1.x% range.  The average of all daily CFR for the past 16 days is 1.59% and that gives us a less frightening 8,871 deaths on May 1st.

The rate of increase for new infections is also coming down, so there might not even be half a million people with the disease by then.

So far, the numbers are helping my optimism.

Fingers crossed!

01 April 2020

Solar Filter

Went to see if I could get a pic of a sunspot.

The clouds made it impossible, but I still got some neat pictures with the sun-filter attached.

Sol looks positively Jovian here!

Rate Of Increase

Since the media is so damn focused on the increase in numbers maybe we should look at the daily rate.

77 on March 14th.  I didn't get the daily count before this date.
100 on the 15th. 29.9% increase
149 on the 16th.  49% increase
216 on the 17th. 45% increase
328 on the 18th.  75.9% increase
432 on the 19th.  31.7% increase
563 on the 20th.  30.3% increase
763 on the 21st.  35.5% increase
1,007 on the 22nd.  32% increase
1,227 on the 23rd.  21.8% increase
1,467 on the 24th.  19.6% increase
1,977 on the 25th.  34.8% increase
2,484 on the 26th.  25.6% increase
3,198 on the 27th.  28.7% increase
4,038 on the 28th.  26.3% increase
4,950 on the 29th.  22.6% increase
5,704 on the 30th.  15.2% increase
6,741 on the 31st.  18.2% increase
7,773 on April 1st.  15.3% increase
9,008 on April 2nd.  15.9% increase
10,268 on April 3rd.  14% increase

What about deaths?

7 dead on March 17th.
8 dead on the 18th.  14.3% increase
9 dead on the 19th.  12.5% increase
11 dead on the 20th.  22.2% increase
12 dead on the 21st.  9.1% increase
13 dead on the 22nd.  8.3% increase
17 dead on the 23rd.  30.8% increase
20 dead on the 24th.  17.6% increase
23 dead on the 25th.  15% increase
29 dead on the 26th.  26.1% increase
46 dead on the 27th.  58.6% increase
56 dead on the 28th.  21.7% increase
60 dead on the 29th.  7.1% increase
71 dead on the 30th.  18.3% increase
85 dead on the 31st.  19.7% increase
101 dead on April 1st 18.8% increase
144 dead on April 2nd.  42.6% increase
170 dead on April 3rd.  18.1% increase

Deaths are not showing any kind of pattern, but the rate of increase of infections is slowing.

Almost as if the loose restrictions in place the last three weeks have been doing some good.

If the daily percentage increase of new cases keeps falling we're past the corner and well on our way to the peak.

Fingers crossed.

Excitement! Adventure!

Half the power is out at my house.

One leg of the 240 is arcing on the pole from our drop to the transformer.

The front of the house is on.  The back is off.  Nothing running on 240 is working.

The Lovely Harvey called Duke and they said they'd have us up by 0700.

Then Marv and I noticed the arcing, she called back and they immediately put her on the emergency list.  Hopefully that means sooner than 0700.

I Wonder Why

Florida is not keeping track of people who have recovered from Wu Ping Cough.

That's very odd since most places are.

31 March 2020

Not Quite Re-Inacting

You might be able to tell from the photos that I collect militaria associated with the firearms I also accumulate.

The research is fun, but I also grok more fully the firearm when I can associate it with the gear that's supposed to accompany it.

It's why I have ALICE web gear and PASGT armor.

It's why I have my 1951/62 'Nam gear.

It's why I've started on Spanish-American War stuff.  Though I'm prolly not going to go so far as getting an actual M1892 or 1896 Carbine, I've been gathering an impression of a Rough Rider.

Living near Tampa will do that to a person.

But there's anachronisms that creep in.

The 1894 belt has a saber chape.  I don't think anyone, at least not the enlisted, in the First US Volunteer Cavalry carried their sabers.  It's not clear if they were even issued.

But I think that swords are cool and I want to get a saber hanger and saber to attach to my chape.

The saber hanger is an interesting piece of kit in and of itself.  The design dates back J.E.B Stuart and the shape of the clip and color of the leather are the only differentiation between models going from the 1859 patent (#25,684) until 1904.

I am also surprised at how many original Ames model 1840 (heavy) and 1860 (light) cavalry sabers are out there.  Some in shockingly good condition.  Reproductions vary from garbage to fighting quality.

Some of this is spurred by the world snippet that's been partially revealed by my gaming muse.

All the Ghost Dancing Indians disappeared, virtually over night, the campaign setting has found them in a geographically identical parallel Earth where Neanderthal Man was never supplanted and megafauna still exists.  Magic is well known.

I've long been known to buy the same stuff a character of mine has, just out of fun.  I'm thinking a mage-sergeant attached to a cavalry troop who's going through the gate...

I wonder where I can get custom colored stripes.  Purple would be the branch color of magery, with the branch color of the assigned unit as the border.  Purple with gold for cavalry, purple with blue for infantry, purple with red for artillery and so on.

How Long To A Trend

Florida's cases are no longer doubling every three days.

They are doubling every four for the past two...  That sounds odd to say that way.

The local media has shifted from the doubling rate to the sheer number increase from yesterday.

They're still in freak out mode.

Nine or ten days ago it stopped doubling every other day.

This is good news.

It just doesn't seem like it yet.


I think I finally thought of a reasonable use for windows in the magazines!

It's to tell how much ammo is in the pouches of the dead guys.

It's not for tracking YOUR ammo, it's for when you're policing up magazines after the battle and expecting more fighting before resupply.

As far as I know, this has never been listed as a reason to have such windows in the side of the magazine.

They're also good for when your wife asks, "does this magazine have bullets in it?"


I did a fair amount of research to get my 'Nam issue web gear period correct to my 'Nam era M16A1 recreation.

But how to show it off?

This shows the web gear well, but it's entirely too posed.

This is a more natural "just dump your gear over there" kind of pose, but you can't see much detail of the web gear.

First world problems, am I right?

How Can I Be So Callous

I expressed no concern at the idea that celebrities were being affected by Wu Ping Cough and some were even dying from it.

I was asked, "what would you do if they all died and there were no more TV shows or movies?"

My reply was flippant and we all laughed.

But I just realized just how much of my movie library is cast by corpses.

Children born during the production of many of these films are in danger of dying of old age today.

I guess if it came down to it, I'd be OK with what I already have.

But I also don't expect there to be a vacuum in entertainers for very long.

30 March 2020

Another Blip

The infection and death numbers did not double these last three days.

Sometime tomorrow will be four days to double the number of infections.

If this marks a trend, that's great!

If it's just a blip, carry on.

Alarmingly Reassuring

Doing a better job of doing the math that says what I've been saying about it being way more widespread than the number of confirmed infections.

Wow That's Low

There's a survey of scientists that's been run weekly.

They guesstimated that only 12% of infections had actually been reported.

If that's holding...

4,950 infected, 50,528 tested, 60 dead.  CFR 1.21%

Is really:

41,250 infected, 60 dead.  Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) 0.15%

That's something to be optimistic about.

Of course the scientists give varying answers and a very wide range to what percentage of total infections had been recorded.  At least it can't be worse than the number actually found positive from testing people with symptoms.

The real challenge for Florida is keeping people from the third-world (New Orleans and New York City) the fuck out.

Lots of Floridians have, for decades, been perfectly willing to murder New Yorkers for how they behaved living here for four months of the year.  Now it's not just dealing with someone being clueless and rude...

29 March 2020

Improvise Adapt Overcome

What happens when the tasting room and the pizza place next door to it change to carry-out only?

Set up in the parking lot!  Sit six feet from each other...

Then set your camera up on a tripod with the timer running!

Also fired off a shot at the moon.

Millennial's Discover They're Useless

Under quarantine millennial feminist realizes shes a useless sack of shit.

Time's Up!

The five day waiting period from that flood of new gun owners has expired and they've all had time to get their purchases home.

There wasn't even enough blood in the streets to see, let alone stain my shoes.

Absent was the popcorn like sound of gunfire as thousands (tens of thousands?) of inexperienced new gunowners fired off negligent discharge after negligent discharge.

There was no influx of emergency room patients suffering from gunshot wounds.

It's like the gun control people lie.

I know!  I, too, was shocked.


Florida, at present, is not testing anyone who isn't showing symptoms.

Just under 10% of those showing flu like symptoms are showing up positive for Wu Ping Cough.

We're managing to increase the number of tests at about the same rate the disease is spreading?

That doesn't taste right.

I think it's showing the same thing Diamond Princess was showing, most people aren't going to get it and most with it don't show symptoms while spreading it around.

Eventually, they're going to get around to testing everyone who wants tested regardless of symptoms and I think we're going to see a massive surge in positives that will drop the CFR through the deck.

Or it might not, there's a lot of old people with health problems in the state.

28 March 2020

World Snippet

Gone? What do you mean 'gone'?
The Indian agent looked like he'd eaten a frog, "Gone! Major. As in, 'they were here last night and they aren't here now' gone!"
That was self evident. Aside from my troop and the agent's people there wasn't a soul to be seen.
Even more bothersome was our mage tracking them to the center of where they'd been doing ghost dances and finding no sign they'd left. Sgt Harrison didn't mess up simple spells like that.
The question remained. Where had over a thousand Sioux gotten to if they'd not walked away from the community center, and why hadn't we seen them as we rode in?

27 March 2020

This Is A Bit Less Sunny

That's an impressive spike in reported illnesses.


Off By An Order Of Magnitude

Only 10% of cases have been tested?

Not surprised.

But it's, in an odd way, good news.

If there's ten times as many cases, then the case fatality rate is 1/10 too.

That brings it in line with everyday, normal flu and we can get back to our lives and unfuck the economy.

Conduct Unbecoming

Mr Giddings has graced the comments here before.

I'm too hot headed to deliver the kind of rebuttal that Mr Harrell dishes out.

It's long, very long, but the payoff is totally worth it if Mr Giddings has shit on you.

Living In The Future

It just hit me that ripping off 16 frames to get one so-so picture of a bat in flight is something that most people wouldn't have done back in the days of film.

First off, it's half a roll of film.

Second, only the pros had the motor drive to fire rapid fire like that.

Me?  It's only electrons and there's over 11k exposures on that 128gb card.

The battery will die long before I run out of storage.

That's kinda nifty.

It All Makes Sense Now

It's as good an explanation as any I've read.

26 March 2020

Time To Relax

I even managed to get some Earth-shine.

The M50 and the EF-S don't communicate auto-focus well at or near infinity.

I also discovered that my camera has a full-auto switch.

I ripped off 16 exposures to get this, sort of, OK pic of one of the local bats flittering around.  Program mode and auto-ISO with manual focusing.

Almost As If They Were Waiting On More Data

More and more scientists who actually deal with things like viruses and epidemics are coming forward and sounding more like my hopeful ass than Gloom and Doom Greek Poet and the panic mongers who're repeating him like he knows what he's talking about.
For example, Stanford biophysicist and Nobel laureate Michael Levitt said this week, “The real situation is not as nearly as terrible as they make it out to be.”
Last week, Levitt emphasized: “[Y]ou need to think of corona like a severe flu. It is four to eight times as strong as a common flu, and yet, most people will remain healthy and humanity will survive.”
 -- Oxford Epidemiologist: Here’s Why That Doomsday Model Is Likely Way Off

And this:
The Oxford research suggests the pandemic is in a later stage than previously thought and estimates the virus has already infected at least millions of people worldwide. In the United Kingdom, which the study focuses on, half the population would have already been infected. If accurate, that would mean transmission began around mid-January and the vast majority of cases presented mild or no symptoms. 
-- New Oxford study suggests millions of people may have already built up coronavirus immunity

We're Wondering

Marvyn has had a dry cough for a few weeks (months?) now.

It started before the scare and it's been irritating him.

Last night we were hanging out on the back porch and wondering if he's managed to catch a mild case of it.

The cough is his only symptom.

We're old enough, now, to know how our bodies react to the familiar seasonal diseases.

He's saying that he's not feeling all the other things that normally come with a cough and a cold or flu.

Now I'm starting to wonder if what appeared to be an exceptionally bad allergy season isn't a case too.

If my wild speculation that it's been here since December, then having a case shouldn't be surprising.

We're not panicking, we're curious.

We're also not going to waste a test package without more definite symptoms until said packages become more freely available.

With Little Else To Do

Watching Babylon Berlin.

It's quite good, but I need to pay a lot of attention to it in order to follow it.

It's in German, so I am reading most of it.

Interestingly it's also dusting off some synapses laid dormant.

When I left Stuttgart and the Army, I had a working knowledge of German.

About 15% of the dialog I am not reading.  I'll be curious to see if I'm reading it at all in a few episodes.

Safety Third

Stolen from Erin's Facebook page.

Mike – I just re-watched your Safety Third special on DVD. Genius. Couldn’t help but wonder your current take, since you and 7 million of your neighbors in the Bay Area have been ordered to “shelter in place.” What do you think? Is it unreasonable to wonder if this is all a giant overreaction?
Greg Marsh

Hi Greg –
It’s true. I’ve been sent to my room for the next three weeks. And yes, I do have some thoughts on the length of my sequestration, and the role of safety in the age of coronavirus.
For the uninitiated, I coined the expression “Safety Third” back in 2008, during an episode of Dirty Jobs. It was a smart-ass way for me to challenge the ubiquity of those Safety First banners, and debunk the popular notion that safety was always the most important thing on the job site.
After years of Safety First indoctrination, and a front row seat to it's unintended consequences, “Safety Third,” became a slightly subversive way for my crew and I to remind each other that our safety was in fact, our responsibility, and that no amount of compliance could ever keep us out of danger. Safety, I argued, was not a value to be “ranked,” but rather, a state of mind to be maintained. Thus, “Safety Third” became an hour-long special that stirred up a great deal of conversation around personal responsibility, risk equilibrium, and the unintended consequences of ranking Safety above everything else.
Which of course, is precisely what our leaders are doing right now.
Today, in the name of safety, the United States of America has been shut down. Which brings me to your question – are we overreacting?
I honestly don’t know. I’m not an expert, and I’m in no rush to be labelled a “virus denier.” But I am concerned that the medicine we’re prescribing might turn out to be more deadly than the virus we’re trying to kill – especially if we don’t know the criteria by which we can re-emerge from our bunkers. And I’m not alone.
Here’s a rather remarkable article I saw this morning, by a medical professor at Stanford named John Ioannidis. http://bit.ly/2QvjsWv
I think it’s vital to read and consider every word. It’s a measured, data-driven analysis of what we’re doing based on the actual evidence at hand. As the headline reads, Dr. Ioannidis believes we are making monumentally impactful decisions without reliable data. Measures this draconian, he argues, demand a lot more evidence than what we’ve seen so far.
Is he right? Beats me. But he is a very respectable doctor at a very respectable institution with some very respectable credentials.
Here too, is another article offers some context from the situation in Italy, which most of the headlines do not. http://bit.ly/2Qtva40
Apparently, 99% of those who died over there, suffered from a myriad of pre-existing conditions. Are we looking at similar numbers over here? Are 99% of those who die from this virus already sick? How many here would have succumbed if this were just a really bad flu season, and how would their deaths be reported on the news?
Again, I don’t know. But I do know that recessions and depressions can impact a country in ways no less catastrophic than a pandemic. And we are most assuredly headed for both, if we continue to operate from a “Safety First” state of mind. Because “Safety First” is never a long-term solution.
For instance, after 9/11, we grounded all the planes for a while, because we needed some time to understand what the hell was going on. And, because we were terrified by an enemy we didn’t understand. But soon, we grew weary of being scared. We introduced new protocols to eliminate as much of the risk as we could and got back to the business of living.
Back in 1939, when London was being bombarded every single day, Britons were understandably terrified. They spent their days and nights in air raid shelters, hoping and praying the German bombs didn’t fall on them. Then, after a few weeks of unrelenting terror, they too, got bored with being scared. They reopened the shops. They reopened the schools. Even as the bombs fell on them, Britons adjusted to a new set of circumstances, and got back to the business of living. Why? Because safety was no longer first.
But this too, is part of the problem. We are being bombarded everyday with facts and information with extreme urgency but no context. Imagine for a moment, if the millions of automobile accidents in America were reported on with the same frenzied, up-to-the minute drama as each new virus infection? Imagine if all 40,000 annual automotive fatalities from those accidents, were announced in the same fashion as every virus fatality. Would any of us ever drive again?
To repeat, I don’t know if we’re overacting, but the manner in which the information is being disseminated suggests the situation is already catastrophic. Is it? According to Dr. Ioannidis, we’re treating a virus that MIGHT have devastating consequences, in a way that will GUARANTEE devastating consequences.
Personally, as an avowed non-expert with a large Facebook following, I do think a temporary shutdown makes sense, while we gather more information and answer some pressing questions. Who exactly does this affect? How exactly is it passed? Can you develop an immunity? Does it mutate and if so, how often? And of course, it's worth repeating that the lockdown wont work unless everyone participates, which is easier to do in Wuhan than it is during Spring Break in this country. Consequently, people are arguing over which is worse - hundreds of thousands of dead Americans, or another Great Depression. Unfortunately, I think that misses the point. I think the worst-case scenario, is both.
Consider this from Dr. Michael Osterholm, who’s quickly becoming one of the most respected voices in this space.
“This is not going to be like a blizzard,” he said, “this is a “coronavirus winter. It will last for months and months. A lot of people have made a decision to cancel events, large meetings, schools, etc., but what they haven't thought about is what it means if they make the decision to do this now. Tens of thousands of healthcare workers have kids in school. What will that do to their ability to care for the sick? Who will watch their kids?”
Remember, this is the man whose been telling us for years exactly what’s coming. And he’s been right at every turn. But he’s also telling us that shutting down the whole country for long periods of time is not the answer.
“How exactly, do you unring that bell?" he wonders. "If you put these closures into place now, with no criteria, how do you in August, September, or whatever, say OK, we're no longer going to do this anymore? If you didn't quarantine with criteria, what’s your criteria for getting back to normal?”
As I wrote the other day, it feels to me like America is going through the five stages of grief at varying speeds. Some of us are still in denial, some are angry, some are bargaining, some are depressed, some have accepted some version of the reality in which we currently find ourselves, and all of us are trying to keep up with the latest information which is bombarding us from all sides. The evidence is obviously sparse, but it would be a mistake in my view, to not treat this thing very, very seriously. If our hospitals become overrun with virus victims, the rest of the population will have no healthcare system at all. But, it’s equally dangerous to think that a long-term shutdown is the answer.
I don’t say this lightly. I have two elderly parents solidly in the “at risk” group, and believe me, I want to do all I can to protect them. But I also know that Safety First is no way to live indefinitely. We are at base, a Safety Third nation. We can’t remain in the air raid shelter indefinitely – if we do, they’ll be no country left, when we finally emerge.
Anyway Greg, your question is not at all unreasonable.
I just wish I had a better answer.

25 March 2020


Despite various forces trying to keep us panicked and alarmed, and thus needing rescue.

The grocery store has many things in stock it lacked just two days ago.

I was able to get hamburger, for example.

The stores were putting limits on some high demand items, like flats of bottled water and paper goods.

The store manager indicated that those limits would be imposed from now until this lifts to prevent the panic clean-outs from becoming cyclical.  She also said that there was no returns allowed on those same items.

Feel Good Story Of The Year

God bless America!

Not every heroine wears a cape.  Some wear almost nothing at all.

Subtitle: Calm The Fuck Down

The Elephant and the Cat

h/t Irish

I am coming of a mind to grab a tinfoil hat and wonder if this was hyped by the Chinese to make us panic and stab our economy in the guts.

Especially so since our supposed "free" press has parroted whatever Beijing has told them to say; and was obvious about it when Xi Jinping got upset that everyone was using the traditional naming system for a new disease.

Counterpoint to the linked article: We panicked because we didn't have much data to go on when it hit our shores.

Why would we panic?  Because the data we got was unreliable.  China outright lied to us.  Italy was unable to tell the truth because of systemic failures of its reporting system.

Then there was "our" own press.  Eager to make the president look bad at any cost, they screamed 'FIRE' in our crowded theater.

Self proclaimed experts chimed in and fanned the embers until people reacted as if there was a fire.

Quote Of The Random Interval

While statistics are useful in arriving at informed decisions concerning immediate and future actions; what has happened in the case of CORVID-19 is that all of the current actions being taken, as well as all future actions, are based upon future projections based almost exclusively on worst case fantasies. Most of which are not supported by the history of similar diseases.
We do not burn down our houses if a small termite infestation is detected. We do not nuke our cities if a riot breaks out. We do not execute people for stealing a loaf of bread. So, what we have here is an outbreak of a novel disease, which closely akin to various strains of influenza, which appeared on the scene approximately 3 months ago. During this time, we have a about 700 deaths from COVID, 1/30th the number of deaths from seasonal flu in 2019-2020. Yet, we have not shut down the nation and our economy over annual flu deaths, even when the death rate is 2-3 times what it is today. So, one has to go beyond the numbers and look at WHY our leaders are doing what they are doing, in this case. It is obviously not based upon saving lives, or we would have seen the same actions in several similar outbreaks in the past as well as the annual death rate from influenza. So, it seems that a reset might be in order, including the revocation of restrictions which destroy businesses and the the economy, while we gather actual figures illustrating exactly what we are dealing with.

Mac45 in the comments here.

I Have Experience Here

A decent amount of my time as a draughtsman was in water treatment.

Waste water treatment.

If you don't have TP and cannot wipe, or must wipe with something else...

Don't flush it.

You're most likely to clog your own sewer line and incur the expense of a plumber to fix it for you.

If you get lucky and your shredded shirt makes it to the lift-station or sewer plant: you have just fucked your neighborhood and/or community.

If you don't have TP, take a shower.

Yes, it's kinda gross, but it's not as bad as you're imagining and you get cleaned and don't fuck up the infrastructure.

It'd be better if you used a bidet from a water consumption perspective, but you didn't think ahead for TP, so I know you didn't think ahead on a bidet.

24 March 2020


Steve Jackson Games has a pre-order for what looks to be an entertaining and simple dice game.


I've pre-ordered.

If it sucks, I get a passel of d6...

I Don't Have The Math

There was once a time when I could have calculated this...

763 infected (9,338 tested) on the 21st and 1,412 (15,547 tested) today.

The number of detected cases doubled and the number of tests administered went up by 50%.

This is reminding me of something from stats and it's tickling the back of my memory, but not revealing itself.

There's 21.5 million people in Florida.  0.072312% of the population has been tested.

0.00657% of the population has been found to have the Wu Ping Cough.

0.00008% of the population has died.

Yet... we're locked down.

In the 24 days we've been panicking about this, 18 people have died from it in Florida.  Current CFR in Florida is 1.27%.  It was 1.38% yesterday.  1.29% on Sunday.  1.57% on Saturday.  1.95% on Friday.  2.08% on Thursday.  2.44% on Wednesday.  3.24% a week ago.


As we get more people tested and more cases located the CFR keeps falling.  Although predictions about the future are especially hard, I think we're going to see that trend continue.

And the reason for it is that it was already out because China actively lied about it, suppressed information about it and we had two months of unfettered travel from the point of origin to the US and our tourist spots during a major Chinese holiday which brings them in droves.

I predict that we actually have about 3,655,000 cases with 2,924,000 not showing symptoms and the rest saying, "this must just be the flu" out of denial or hope because their symptoms don't seem that bad.

For the record, CFR for my back of the envelope estimate is 0.00049%.  Trivial.

Where'd I get my number?  Population of Florida times 17% which is the percentage who seem to get it in uncontrolled spaces.

We had three months for it to spread before anyone noticed and did anything.

So it's everywhere.

If it's everywhere, then the death rate isn't anything to be frightened of.

The devastation brought on us by shuttering so much business will be far worse and already is.


With approximately 14,000 people traveling from mainland China per day before the travel ban kicked in, and the Wu Ping Cough being active starting in December 2019...

Our current lock down and bad-lawmaking opportunity is closing the barn door after the horses have escaped and been slaughtered for dog food.

When you also grab the CDC's numbers for influenza like illnesses; a strong case can be made that it's been here since late December and we're on the down-slope side.

Downslope with a bit of a recent uptick.  I also noticed that uptick corresponds to a cold snap up north (could be nothing though).

There's nothing to make me think that it hasn't been out there for three months longer than we were Doing Something® and that it's been not very severe in the face of it.

What we've been seeing is a massive uptick in changing "It's like the flu, but it's not the flu" into "It's this new one from China."

It might be cynical of me, but could the reason for the panic be that the most affected are also the most votingest demographic?

UPDATE: Another explanation for the recent uptick is this is the number of reported influenza like illnesses.  With people in full follow-the-herd-off-the-cliff panic, they're heading for the doctor instead of just curling up with Nyquil and Netflix.

23 March 2020

Analog Kindle

Willard accidentally ordered two copies of Ian McCollum's new book.

After deciding that while he could hold one in each hand, he could not read two at the same time.

Thus he has bequeathed his second copy to me!

It's pretty cool and it looks excellent from a brief thumbing through.

What About 10 Yards?

Beans, in comments, mentions that 10 yards is more suitable for 16 and 20 gauge.

Does moving from 75 to 30 feet change things enough in GURPS you'd consider leaving the 12ga in the safe?

Givens: DX 10, 2 points into Guns/TL8 (Shotgun) = skill of 11.

Acc 3.

Firing 2 shots.

12ga RoF of 18 so +4 to hit.
16ga RoF of 24 so +4 to hit.
20ga RoF of 36 so +5 to hit.

10 yards gives -4 to hit.

After aiming we get an 14 to hit with 12ga and 16ga and 15 to hit with 20ga.

On average, the 12 and 16 will score 5 hits each and 20 will land 6 hits.

5 hits of 1d+1 pi from a 12ga gives 10-35 damage, average of 22.5.
5 hits of 1d+1(0.5) pi- from a 16ga gives 2-15 damage, average of 8.75.
6 hits of 1d(0.5) pi- from a 20ga gives 0-15 damage, average of 7.5.

7 points of damage is nothing to sneeze at, but it's not a one stop shot on the average 10 HP mook.
This is also illustrative of why round lead balls fell out of favor.  Bullet shaped bullets have more mass for the same diameter.  Not so easy to get them pointed in the right direction in a shotgun though...

I should also emphasize that shotguns are kind of broken in GURPS, especially as the shot size gets smaller.  Everything but 12ga 00 buck is calculated from some other stat.

1d-5(0.2) pi- is the least possible amount of damage a pellet can do, and that starts as soon as you hit small shot.

22 March 2020

Blip Counterpoint

The Great State of Florida.

Home of Florida-Man.

1,007 active cases of Wu Ping Cough.

13 deaths.

That means the CFR is presently running 1.3%.

Out of a population of 21.5 million people (not counting our snowbirds and tourists) a whopping 11,270 people have been tested.

The "what we don't know" is still looming large in the room.

But I am on the side that thinks that, thanks to Chinese lies, it's really been spreading since early December.

That would mean that way more people than 1,007 have been exposed and either caught it, or not, and very few have shown enough symptoms to bother to get checked.

We're not out of the woods, by any means, but I am thinking that shutting down the state might have been a massive overreaction.

The kind of massive overreaction that our "friends' Aesop and Peter both prayed hard for.

I hope that Dante was right.

Is 20ga A Good Choice?


Shotgun damage in GURPS is based on what a 00 buckshot pellet can do.

This is 1d+1 pi from a 12ga 2-3/4" shell.  Everything gets adjusted from this exemplar.

9 pellets of 1d+1 pi is also very effective especially since a pump shotgun can fire two per turn.

There's a problem for smaller gauges.

Genuine buckshot doesn't tier into neat layers and thus doesn't pattern well at all.

16ga 2-3/4", for example, the largest shot is #1 Buck.  GURPS doesn't consider this to be "buck" but "bird".  Thus it gets a (0.5) armor divisor and a pi- size modifier.

You do get 12 pellets at 1d+1(0.5) pi-, but that's not really making up for the lost damage against 12ga.

For 20ga the biggest sphere of lead is #2 Buck in 3".  You get 18 pellets doing 1d (0.5) pi- for your effort.

Express in more "concrete" terms.

A single pellet of 00 buck will do 2-7 points, averaging 4.5 to the body of an unarmored target.
#1 buck does 0-3 and averages 1.75.
#2 does 0-2 and averages 1.25.

If we assume our DX 10, average shotgunner has put 2 points into their Guns/TL8 (Shotgun) then they have a skill of 11.

Acc is typically 3.

Firing 2 shots from their pump shotgun...

12ga is lobbing a RoF of 18 so +4 to hit.
16ga is throwing RoF of 24 so +4 to hit.
20ga is slinging RoF 36 for a +5 to hit.

25 yards seems a fair range for all of them, and that's -7 to hit.

After aiming we get an 11 to hit with 12ga and 16ga and 12 to hit with 20ga.

On average, the 12 and 16 will score 2 hits each and 20 will land 3 hits.

On average the 12 will score 9 damage, 16 and 20 will score 3.  That (0.5) armor divisor sucking 1 hit off each pellet is a "killer" here then dividing what penetrates by two because of small piercing...

Smaller gauges suck in GURPS.

Of note:  #10 bird (GURPS Smallshot) tungsten pellets doing 1d-5(0.2) pi- and hitting with as few as three is auto-death for turkeys.  Turkey's and other small critters must have practically no hit-points.

Transition Complete

Got magazine pouches for my "advanced" body armor; aka AR500 Testudo gen2.

Moved most of the tacticool stuff from the 5-11 Tactical Purse to the plate carrier as well.

Ready for zombies or for a 2-gun armor division.

Playing around I discovered that the M4 style stock is far better than the fiberlite style while wearing the plate carrier.  I like the looks of it less, but can't deny it works better.

Also: the sun came out and kinda ruined some of my pics, I might retake them when the shadow of the garage falls on my little table.


39.2 lb. with water in the canteen. 

Two Day Blip

The rate of increase in tested and reported cases has gone from doubling every two days to doubling every three!

It's not much, but it's positive news.

I don't think it's possible to overstate that this also coincides with a massive increase in testing.

We're not just checking people who're obviously very sick.  We've started to test people who've come forward thinking they're sick.

These are good signs and I'm as shocked as anyone to discover that I'm an optimist.

Tree Frog

Someone was interested in the insects stirred up by our having a fire.

21 March 2020

Too Soon To Celebrate

But I will mention it anyways.

The number of infections in Florida had been doubling every two days.

Yesterday that appeared to slow slightly and if it continues, it's down to doubling every three days.

The reason this is very positive is the amount of testing has increased a great deal.

Increased testing and a slowing of the rate of increase is excellent news.

Fingers crossed that it's not a blip but a trend.