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Specialist

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Everything posted by Specialist

  1. I'm waiting to see what happens. If the quarantine requirement is still in place as of a few days before I'm scheduled to travel, I'm going to have to call the airline and reschedule, and then call the hotel and see if I can work a deal with them, based on being a very good customer for many years. (It can't hurt to try. Worst that can happen is they say "No", and I suspect that may depend on who I talk to.) On the other hand, if the government figures out just how much tourism revenue they are losing because of the quarantine requirement, they may come to their senses, remove that requirement, and things will go back to normal. My crystal ball is out of order these days.
  2. I'm scheduled to touch down at Swampypoom on 23 August or so. I screwed up and did nonrefundable unchangeable hotel reservations, and forgot to put trip insurance on them. Probably wouldn't have done any good; the indications are that everyone in the industry is trying to call COVID-19 a "force majeur" (sp?) event, and duck out on paying claims. I'm hoping that the world comes to its senses before I'm supposed to go wheels-up on the first leg.
  3. Actually, the quote is "You get the government you deserve, and you generally get it good and hard." New York City and New York State appear to be the current poster children, with New Jersey in 3rd place.
  4. Specialist

    The Covid-19 thread

    You might find this page interesting.http://www.whiov.cas.cn/105341/It is a series of job postings for the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Among other things, it strongly suggests that the Institute has been working with bat coronaviruses for quite some time.
  5. Specialist

    The Covid-19 thread

    Trump is crazy like a fox. You may have missed it, but he just played the Democrats like a Stradivarius. By saying that he, the President, had the authority to tell them when they would release their lockdowns, he caused every Democrat state governor, not to mention the DNC and the Speaker of the House and the Senate Minority Leader, and their various henchmen and yes-men and sycophants, to scream "NO YOU DON'T! YOU AREN'T A KING! *WE*, THE GOVERNORS OF THE STATES, ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT GET TO SAY THAT!" And Trump immediately backed down and let them celebrate their "victory". What the Democrats completely failed to see coming is that they have now signed up for total and complete responsibility for all the damages done by the lockdowns, and by releasing them early or late. And the best laugh of all? All 50 states are now aiming to start reopening on May 1, the exact date Trump named. Some will get their sooner: Florida is scheduled to start reopening their beaches in the next day or three. Texas is about to start reopening on a similar timeframe. Even New York is now talking about reopening at the end of this month. You may love Trump or you may hate him, but the one thing you don't dare do is underestimate him.
  6. Specialist

    The Covid-19 thread

    Factually untrue, according to a primary source. Jerry Pournelle was a professor of political science at Pepperdine University back when Reagan was Governor of California. Reagan and his people came through on a "get acquainted" visit, and various professors presented talks on their work, Jerry among them. When Jerry got to the traditional "Are there any questions?" point, Reagan said "Yes, professor, I have two questions." Reagan asked the questions, and Jerry was shocked. Reagan's questions demonstrated two things. First, he completely understood everything Jerry had discussed, in detail, and second, Reagan's knowledge of that field was not far behind Jerry's. Jerry asked, unable to control himself, how Reagan had learned that much, and Reagan replied "There is a lot of downtime on a TV or movie set, and I'm a quick study, so I don't have to spend much time learning lines. So I read books, to pass the time. I daresay, Professor, I've probably read almost as many books as you have." Jerry wrote the story up, for his online column, years later, when Reagan became President.
  7. Specialist

    Drink !

    Glenfiddich is good. One of these days, I am going to break down and buy another bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label, the nectar of the gods.
  8. I don't know quite how to break this to you, Stevie. There is a whole lot of anecdotal evidence coming in from the front lines, i.e., the hospitals and ERs where they are treating some very, very ill patients. They are giving patients the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin cocktail, because there isn't much else they can do beyond basic support and ventilator treatment, and they are seeing dramatic positive results from it. I realize you don't want to hear that, but the truth is the truth.
  9. Specialist

    The Covid-19 thread

    There are at least two antiviral drugs showing a lot of promise right now, one in Japan and one in the US. The US drug is clinical trials for something else. It is not approved for investigation for COVID-19, but a hospital in Seattle is trying it anyway, and reporting very, very good results.
  10. I had to run an errand from my hotel on Suk Soi 15 down to the Food Land on Soi 5. Being 64, and not having the easy walking range I had ten years ago, I hailed a cab. The driver was an older guy, and there was none of the usual "100 baht" nonsense. I got in. And I notice he had CLASSICAL music playing. I said "Good taste in music, thank you." He promptly identified it as Mozart. And I believe it was. It made the usual traffic jams a lot more bearable. TIT...
  11. T minus one week and counting. All that is left is to call the various banks and warn them not to freak out when they start seeing things from the other side of the planet. And pack.
  12. Eternal rest grant him, Lord, and light everlasting shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. I don't think I ever met him, but I read his writings, and he was one of the crew. He will be missed.
  13. Specialist

    Britain

    The problem with that hypothesis is that prevalence of homosexuality among males is closer to 2.5% - 3%. (Source: the LGBTQ amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the Texas sodomy law test case.)
  14. It has truly been said that "The cure for bad speech is MORE speech, not stopping speech." If you outlaw, for example, any speech about the KKK, you make it impossible for anyone to say WHY what the KKK says is wrong. You also make it difficult to point out WHO the KKK really was. AND you make it difficult to point out that even the KKK occasionally says something that, politically incorrect though it may be, damned well needs to be said. Case in point: "If it is wrong to discriminate against a black man solely because he is black, why is it not wrong to discriminate against a white man solely because he is white?" David Duke said that, in words very similar.
  15. What Stick and Flash said goes for me too.
  16. I just booked the airline ticket an hour or so ago. T minus 7 weeks and counting for a two week stay. I still have to set up the hotel in BKK and the airport hotel here the night before, and I need to call AA to set up seat assignments on the JL legs and request the J upgrade on the return transPac hop. I'm in coach on JL on the outbound transPac hop, which is better than AA MCE and *ALMOST* equivalent to AA PE. And that's BEFORE you allow for JL vs. AA flight attendants...
  17. Did he say which bars? This does sound like the sort of thing the Arab might try.
  18. Don't remind me. A few years ago, I encountered one such group. One of them was quite persistent: she/he WOULD NOT let go of my wrist. I finally had to employ a breaklock I learned many years ago. Done full speed and full power against a resisting opponent, it can break bones. I did it slowly and gently, which let him/her figure out that he/she could either let go or experience a lot of pain as his/her wrist was bent in ways it was NOT designed to bend.
  19. The first time, he got me. I didn't recognize him the second and third times. I realized who it might have been, and then recognized him when he started the game, the second time. I didn't recognize him at all the third time, except for the game, and then I realized who it had to be. I didn't remember the taxi number well enough to be certain of it, this last time. Different taxi numbers. This has happened over the course of several years. I won't swear that the third time was the same guy, but it sure sounded like him.
  20. Is there a procedure for filing a formal complaint against a taxi driver? I think this is the third time I've run into this particular clown. His modus operandi is to claim to understand where you are going, and then persistently misunderstand, until you are (ideally) a long way from your starting point AND destination. The first time, he got away with it. The second time, he tried really hard to misunderstand "Soi Cowboy" as "Soi Kow", giving up when I said "Soi yisipsahm". Tonight, after the hotel security guard told him Terminal 21, and I told him Terminal 21, he tried to claim he heard 41. When I said "Yisipet", he tried to ask "Sukhumvit?" This was after he'd driven RIGHT PAST Terminal 21. I ordered him to pull over, NOW. It took me THREE TIMES telling him to pull over and stop. He finally pulled over just short of Suk Soi 23, and I got out. Blew my plans for the trip pretty thoroughly, as I just got out of the hospital yesterday and didn't really have the walking range to get back to the skytrain station without serious rest time. I would REALLY like to see his cabbie license lifted and shredded, to force him into an honest career, like maybe a ya ba dealer.
  21. I do not currently have any capability for transferring CDs to MP3s. I'm trying to work one problem, not two.
  22. OK, my old Sony portable CD player crapped out on me, and I need to find a replacement. Good places to look? It will be playing through existing Bose headphones, so audio quality is a MUST. It will frequently be bedside, so provision for an AC adapter is a MUST. Where's a good place to shop? Obviously, I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money. (I could replace the old one for upwards of US$300, as it has long since been discontinued. NOT A CHANCE!) Suggestions welcome. Skytrain or subway or taxi access required: the doctor has put me on limited walking restriction for the duration. Thanks!
  23. "The Spy Who Dumped Me" - OK, this was just FUN. It trotted out EVERY LAST ONE of the known spy movie cliche's, and it still managed to wind up being fun to watch. "Casablanca" - Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, if memory serves me. No matter how many times I see this one, I still enjoy it, every time. It is arguably the best movie ever made.
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