Ramble Log

This is my ramble about various topics. You will see them listed in reverse order that I write them so that the newest entries are on top.

NOTE: These are whatever I feel like writing. The content frequently expresses my own opinions and nothing should be considered an absolute fact. It's up to YOU to verify the validity of any thing said here.

Note also that I won't intentionally lie to you. I will always give this my best effort to be factual. If you have any questions about anything here drop me an email at: - I am NOT looking for rants, critiques, or corrections. You can expect me to ignore any of these.

The Mask - Jun 22, 2020

So much controversy over wearing a mask. It's a sometimes misunderstood situation. I'll make it simple:

I wear a mask because I respect your right to be protected from my spreading the disease.

I expect you to wear one so you can keep your germs to yourself.

If you don't wear a mask you disrespect ME by saying my rights are not important.

That should be enough on the topic.

How I'm Dealing With the Pandemic - Jun 18, 2020

With Ohio starting to 'open' up there are many businesses that are now available. I've been getting together with my friend Dave once a week (we were both really missing this) go go somewhere to have lunch and catch up on the various things happening in our lives and the world in general.

We've been to Swenson's (a drive up diner), BK Root Beer (also a drive up diner), and Farmer Boy (a generic family restaurant). The drive up diners are fine (Swenson's never closed) and except for the limited menus were pretty much what they always had been.

Farmer Boy is a different situation though. Although they did a lot of things right there were others things that made us feel a bit uncomfortable. We won't be going back there anytime soon.

So ... we're going to stick with the drive ups for now although we may go for one of the fast food drive through windows and just park somewhere nearby. That's probably something to try next week.

I also see some relaxation of things at some stores. I'm being careful but they are clearly not doing all that they were when the restrictions started. I'm being extra careful and making sure I wipe down MY cart because many places are no longer doing that.

I was shopping more but I think I'll go back to once a week for now.

This thing is certainly not over. Just look at what is happening in some of the states that have opened up without much regard for safety (Florida, Texas, Oklahoma). Things are not going well for them and they are going to be in for a lot of difficulties in the near future.

A couple of web sites for you:

The Mall - I'm Done With It - Jun 18, 2020

I was last at the mall on Monday (4 days ago) and was NOT comfortable with what I was seeing.

All was pretty much as it has been. No new openings that I could detect (many stores don't open when the mall does) but I noticed a trend that is disturbing. Although most store employees were wearing masks an increasing number were not. Some have masks but are wearing them improperly (pulled down or not covering the nose). How can I trust a store if the employees are not wearing a mask? I certainly would not visit a store in that situation. They have no respect for me, their customer, if they are not doing this simple thing to protect me.

So, I'm done with walking at the mall. I may visit on occasion just to check on how the stores are holding up but that will probably be only once a month.

It's probably not going to last much longer anyway. I'll be surprised if it stays open to the end of the year.

Peaceful Protest - Jun 8, 2020

I'm old enough to remember the protests relating to our country's involvement with the war in Vietnam. I was graduating from high school and headed off to college around that time. Although I was not particularly involved or even paying much attention I was at least aware of the protests.

I remember thinking about it and developing some opinions. First off, I was concerned that the draft might sweep me up and send me off to fight in Vietnam. I definitely didn't want anything to do with that. Deferments while attending college (which I was going to do anyway) kept me away from the conflict.

Second, I had no problem going along with peaceful protests. It is our right to protest when things don't seem right. I'm not one to get actively involved though. That's just me.

Third, I was totally against any violent protest. It does not help any cause and focuses the opponents of protest in general on the violent aspect and would tend to sway people without a well developed opinion against protest in general. Even then it seemed to me that the violent protesters were predominantly people who just wanted to smash (or steal) something.

The current situation looks at least somewhat familiar. Probably a lot familiar in some ways. I fully support the peaceful protests. I fully condemn the violent ones.

The Mall - Now Open - Jun 4, 2020

I did a drive past this afternoon and the mall is now open.

The Mall - More on Robbery (Not Looting) - Jun 4, 2020

I've watched the surveillance video and have a few observations:

  • It looks to me that there was a single person who started the 'smash and grab' operation with three others joining in as soon as he had the first counter smashed. Another person, with no mask, joined in shortly after but I'm not sure she was really a part of this. She might have been taking advantage of the situation.
  • Several other people seemed to have just wandered up and took advantage of the opportunity.
  • NOBODY seemed to intervene to stop this robbery. I'm not surprised and I know if I was there I would also be one of those who turned around and walked away too.
  • Several people out in the mall concourse took a look but kept on walking. Again, not a surprising action. I'm not blaming them. They did not know if the robbers had any weapons and decided to play it safe - a reasonable action.
  • The store owner seemed to be pretty calm about all of this. We don't have any audio so we don't know if he was screaming at them. Was the owner interested in offering any opposition? Was it company policy to not confront robbers (this would not be surprising)? Was this robbery planned (just a though)?
This all is NO reason to close down the mall. It's just an excuse to lock it down again.

Getting Back to 'Normal' - Jun 2, 2020

With restaurants and other businesses (I got a haircut!) opening back up it's now time to decide how much I really want to participate.

The pandemic is still with us and controlling it's spread is still the only way to keep it from swamping our health care system. I do think that control is possible.

Although the lockdown process in Ohio might have been more extreme than necessary it has gotten everyone's attention. Most importantly it has educated the people who are most vulnerable about what extra precautions they need to take. It has also given us all time to think about how we will deal with life when restrictions are gradually lifted. My own philosophy, currently, looks like this:

  • I'm still mostly staying at home. I have been going out more (mall walking).
  • I'm getting together, on a limited basis, with trusted friends.
  • I'm thinking about doing an occasional restaurant visit. I'm not sure about this one yet though.
  • I'm very aware about people around me and am paying close attention to how they are respecting my social distancing. If they are being stupid about it, I walk away from them.
  • I do wear a mask into any business I visit. The mask is not about protecting me, it's about protecting others. It's a sign of respect.
I expect to revise this list as time goes on and I see real movement in the statistics.

Of course the game changes dramatically if we have a solid treatment system (that keeps people from dying) and/or a viable vaccine.

There is still so much we don't know about this virus and won't come out for perhaps years down the road. One thing for sure, there will be a high demand for maternity services come December and January!

The Mall - Closed for Looting? Not Really! - Jun 2, 2020

I went to the mall today to do some walking and was confronted with a 'Closed Until Further Notice' sign. Bummer.

Looking at their website it says that they are closed because of looting - which all of the news sources and the Akron police are reporting as a theft, not a looting.

It would appear that this is a crime of opportunity and unrelated to other recent events.

In my opinion (everything on this site is my opinion!) this has nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic or the events in Minneapolis. It would seem to be some 'pent up demand' of a group of thugs and criminals who have been shut in by the coronavirus related restrictions.

Note that there is NOTHING on their Facebook page about this. It's only on their website - which is odd because their website is frequently way behind with timely information.

By the way, the store that was robbed is not what I would really call a jewelry store - it's a second (or third) tier seller of less than high end jewelry. With any luck the thieves got junk jewelry and will be laughed at by any fence they try to unload the stuff on.

The only real jewelry store that was in the mall was in the process of closing when the mall closed in March. It was completely closed up when the mall opened back up in May.

Reality of ALL Manufactured Things - May 17, 2020

Although my original thoughts on this subject right now are on coronavirus testing systems, this applies to pretty much anything that needs built. There will be, almost universally, three factors in development. For example, coronavirus testing needs:

  1. Accuracy (most important)
  2. Speed
  3. Low cost
For any system, no matter what it is, you can only pick TWO from the list of three. You cannot get all three. That means there are three possibilities. For our coronavirus example you can get:
  1. Accuracy and speed (high cost)
  2. Accuracy and low cost (but slow)
  3. Speed and low cost (with poor accuracy)
Which do you choose? Any choice without accuracy is useless. In my mind the best choice here is accuracy and low cost - particularly if I have to pay for it. I'll wait a while for the results.

The Mall Two Days Later - May 16, 2020

I went mall walking today but there were zero other mall walkers today. It is a Saturday so the mall walkers are expected to be fewer. Some actual shoppers started to show up.

Their attitude did not make me feel comfortable. The security guard for the day was NOT wearing a mask (as is required) and at least one vendor was not wearing a mask (also required) either. After only one round I decided to bail out and go home.

I made a real count today instead of figuring the losses against the count from back in January. The count from two days ago is definitely wrong. Of the 62 storefronts available, 17 (27%) at least appear to be occupied. Only 6 (10%) appear to be actually open. Some might be opening later in the day but I doubt it. A couple of these stores have signage posted that says when they are reopening.

A couple of the kiosks have closed down. Only one of the two food vendors appears to be open. I would expect both of them to be open on a Saturday.

As stores open (or disappear) I'll post updates.

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