The Last Free Generation

I remember when I was younger hearing my father talk about his youth and how we had lost a lot of the freedoms in this country that he enjoyed as a boy.  At the time I couldn’t figure out what he meant.  After all, I was free.  I could go where I wanted, do what I wanted when I wanted to do it.

Until now…

Now, in the name of safety, we are prevented from going where we want, doing what we want when we want to do it.  Now, I know there are people at risk when they catch any disease and this current one is extremely contagious.  I do truly get it.  I work in a hospital.  I see the patients, I see the anxious loved ones who wait outside to talk to them on a video phone.  It is scary.  I get it.  I even have an 87 year old battling cancer living in my home.  She is very much at risk.   Heck, I’ve had pneumonia twice and could easily have died both times, I’m at risk.

And so now, to save people our government is forcing businesses to close and people to stay in their homes.  We can’t get haircuts or go out to dinner or go play golf.  However, those in positions of power are able to get haircuts, go out to dinner, and play golf.  Again, this was all done in the name of our “safety.”  But I fear they’ve had a taste, and they like what they tasted.  A population completely reliant on government.

And the media, once the champion of dissent in this country, is helping them.  All videos presenting differing viewpoints have been taken down as the Google fact-checkers have determined that these differing opinions do not represent “good science.”  A codeword meaning “agrees with the narrative”.  The fact-checkers themselves are not scientists and so aren’t qualified to decide what good science is.  Instead, they check the video for the proper political alignment.  If they don’t further the narrative of a particular political party, they are removed.  This goes for both Google and Facebook.

You are free to agree with them, but you are not free to disagree.  In fact, within my children’s life time I would not be at all surprised to see most freedoms removed in the name of safety.  They finally found an “in”.  A way to slide into socialism and have everyone cheer about it.   Americans don’t want freedom anymore, they want safety.  And that’s just sad.

And The Truth Will Set Us Free

It seems that WHO and CDC among others are fanning the flames of this current COVID-19 crisis.  The numbers are not what we were led to believe.  The current pandemic may actually be the second wave, not the first wave of infections.  The actual infection rate of COVID-19 is much higher than previously thought.  Which means the death rate is much lower than has been reported.

Here is a video from a doctor telling the full story…

Shelter In Place

Our city, county, and state have been under a shelter in place order due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the past three weeks but it seems much longer.  All non-essential businesses have been ordered to shut down.  This includes restaurants, beauty salons and supply stores, barbers, retail, and others.  Grocery stores, including convenience and liquor stores are still open.   City, county, and state parks are closed.  Churches are closed.  For the first time in our nation’s history, Christians will not be celebrating Resurrection Day (Easter) together at church.  It’s history being made.

I feel almost ashamed to admit that I haven’t been affected much by it as I have been deemed an “essential worker” due to my employment at the hospital.  In fact, other than a slight toilet paper scare, life has been somewhat easier for me.  There are far fewer people on the road making traffic conditions really light.  In fact, it is 1:30pm as I write this and there traffic overlay on Google looks absolutely surreal.  More history being made.

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I’ve noticed other “benefits” of the stay at home order; people walking more, bicycling, especially families.  They can’t go see their friends so they have been forced to spend time together.  I think that’s a pretty good thing.  I feel really bad for the folks that have been laid off, or lost their jobs because of this pandemic.  But I can’ help feeling that when we come out of this on the other side, they will get new and better jobs if they don’t get their old job back.  It’s what happened to me last time I got laid off.

For now I will just keep reporting to work at the hospital, wear my mask and gloves when I go out of my office, and clean up real good when I return.  I have been trying to limit my interaction with doctors and nurses who tend to COVID patients.  I have an elderly mother-in-law living at home with me.  I don’t want to bring anything home to her.  However, I can’t avoid all interaction with the doctors and nurses so I just do my best to clean up afterward.

History is seldom fun when you are living it.  This year will go down in the history books for sure.  I hope China’s role is remembered well and remember correctly.  But we’ll all be able to say, “I was there during the great pandemic of 2020”.  Hopefully we’ll all be able to say “I survived”.   My prayer for everyone.

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RV Contingency Plans

I’m an avid follower of RV Life blogs, and vlogs on YouTube.  I’m dreaming of the day I can travel full time.  With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic though, I’m seeing a lot of RV’ers getting stranded with no place to go.  They are understandably upset about campgrounds being shut down, public lands being closed to camping, etc.  Mostly back in the eastern USA at this point.  They are now scrambling for places to stay.  I saw one RV’er complaining about people who have homes taking RV trips.  “Uh, you could always buy a home and have a place to go back to”, I reminded him.  He gave me a flip answer about why should he own two homes.  Well that’s all fine and good but don’t complain.  People with homes have every right to be out there as much as he does.

But why do I write all this?  Because so many people enter into the RV lifestyle with no backup plans, no safety nets.  Always have an out.  Always have a plan B.  Sure it cuts into the “freedom” of the RV lifestyle.  There are people out there that earn just enough on the road to pay their bills.  They don’t earn enough to save for a rainy day.  They don’t save for medical emergencies, maintenance emergencies, or living emergencies like we’re experiencing now.  The fact is, private RV parks are open and have MANY open spaces.  But this doesn’t fit into the “cheap RV living” narrative all these YouTubers are selling.

Please, Please, PLEASE!  If you’re going to live full-time on the road, make sure you are completely ready.  Make sure you have a slush fund to deal with emergencies.  The best and most realistic discussion I have seen on this comes from a YouTube channel called Chickery’s Travels.  They posted a video recently with a very honest and frank discussion about RV contingency planning.  I leave you with that.  Travel safe!

 

 

 

COVID-19 Pandemic

I thought I should write a blog post about this so that in the future, I can remember what we went through.  As of today, the statistics are:

Coronavirus Cases:

272,804
(world wide)

Deaths:

11,311

Recovered:

90,620
As of today the situation in California is that Governor Newsom has asked all residents of the state to self-quarantine.  All non-essential businesses are closed.  Restaurants serve takeout only.  Gatherings of 10 or more people are banned.  Churches have been ordered closed, however, they are streaming their services.
I am incredibly blessed to be working at hospital which is the quintessential essential business.  We will not be closing any time soon.   God has provide us with shelter, health (so far) and I am working, unlike a lot of my neighbors.  It’s a little eery not hearing traffic noise.  The slowdowns on the freeways are gone.
I have taken today off as it was scheduled far in advance.  I expect this to be the last day off I will get until this pandemic is over.  We booked the weekend at an RV resort about 3 hours away from where we live.  It’s beautiful and peaceful here.  We can use it.
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I’m incredibly grateful to God for all He has done for me.  We are praying for the world daily.  Remember to stay safe:
Wear gloves when possible
Wash your hands frequently
Clean all surfaces periodically
Clean your computer keyboard and mouse
Clean your cell phone
God’s grace and peace to you.

Don’t Panic!

Whether your hitchhiking across the universe or just trying to go to the grocery store, don’t panic!

Wash your hands.

Don’t cough at other people.

Keep some distance from strangers.

Stay home if you’re sick.

Good things to do at any time.  Not just now that the disease du jour is making it’s way across the world.

Leap Day 2020

We get a bonus day this year.  Today, February 29th if you’re using the Gregorian calendar.  A day that only comes every 4 years.  Which if you don’t know is due to the orbit of the earth taking 364.25 days to orbit the earth so every 4 years we have to have a makeup day to make our calendar work right.  Anywho, it got me thinking about what my life situation was like on the last leap day.

For starters I had just come up with the notion of living full time in an RV.  To further that end I had just sold my airplane and took up flying powered-paragliders.  Cristy and I were looking at RV and had decided on the Solitude 384GK.  I had also changed the look of my blog to what you see today.  What I didn’t know yet was that in a few short months I was going to be told I was being laid off.  Again.

Then a whole lot of life happened and brought us to today.  It’s amazing how many things actually happened between last leap day and today.  Some are too depressing to go into.  Some are too private.  One thing that has stayed the same is our faith in a loving, gracious God.  I hinted at that faith in the “I was being laid off” link above.  We had so many questions but we knew God would take care of us.  And He did.

With all the life that happened between then and now it makes me wonder what’s going to happen in the next four years.  A few predictions:

  • Angela moves out.
  • Angela becomes engaged.
  • My boss gets a promotion.
  • I get a promotion.
  • Cristy has to deal with the loss of her mother.
  • We begin fixing up our home in preparation to sell it.
  • I have a new truck.

Those are just a few.  I wonder how wrong I’ll be?  It doesn’t matter if I’m right or wrong, we’ll still have God in charge of our destiny and that suits me just fine.

So how did we celebrate Leap day?  Just enjoyed the beautiful valley that we live by going out for a walk in the near by town of Ripon.  Now get out and enjoy the day the Lord has made!

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Cleaning Up

I whiled away the minutes this morning by cleaning various parts of my garage.  It was a very random selection process.

What’s in this box?

Whatever caught my fancy this morning is what I decided to clean up, throw out, or organize.  This all in preparation for full-time RV living.  I have a little over six years to go so there is no rush.  I just do little bits at a time when I have time.  Today’s mission was books.  We have tons of books left over from homeschooling our children.  We picked a few favorite books and set them aside.  I think this process is harder for the parents than for the children.  There were a few books that our daughter wanted to keep for the sake of that nebulous concept of “her children.”

The kids have long since stopped reading the books and playing with the toys, so why is it so hard to throw that stuff out?  It’s hard to let go of  what has taken up most of your life. It’s hard to let got of the memory of who your children were when they were young and looked up to you for everything.  But they grow up and you have to let them.  Which means you stop holding onto those things which still makes them small children in your eyes.  You have to let them become adults.  This is the goal anyway…

So now, off to the library to donate books!

Edgey Technology

Microsoft Edge is Microsoft’s next gen browser.  It’s slated to take the place of Internet Explorer.  I’ll believe that when I see it.  Be that as it may, I was surprised to learn that the next major release of Edge will be based on Chromium, the open source version of Google Chrome.  If you’ve ever run Linux, you’ve probably downloaded Chromium and I don’t need to explain what it is.  Or you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Firefox devotee and could care less.  But for the curious, Google Chrome is a commercial product supported by Google.  Chromium is pretty much the same product except that Google has released the source code to the public.  Various interested parties can use the Chromium source code and compile it for use on their particular platforms, mostly Linux variants.

Microsoft has always held it’s technology pretty close to the vest which is why I’m so surprised that they are adopting Chromium as the base for their browser update. You can read more about it here.

https://www.pcmag.com/news/371746/chromium-based-microsoft-edge-browser-launches-in-january

I’ve been using a beta-release version of the new Edge for a few days now and I have to admit I like it.  It’s like having a version of Chrome that plays nicely with Office 365 which I use at work.  It already has a section of the Microsoft App Store devoted to Edge (Chromium) extensions, bits of code you can load to expand the functionality of the Edge browser.  And more surprisingly, it allows you to load extensions from the Google Chrome store.   I’m still deciding which I like better, Chrome or the new Edge.  I’ve been a long time Chrome user but Microsoft might just ‘edge’ it out with their new offering.

 

Take Nothing For Granted

I went to my sisters memorial service yesterday. I learned a couple of things.  First is life is fleetingly short.  We can look back at all that we’ve accomplished, all we have yet to do and there is just never enough time.  The second thing is that we tend to take our loved ones for granted.  I always just figured that my sisters would always be out there… somewhere.  Living and enjoying their life.  But I took them all for granted and their lives moved on and in some cases, ended.  No one calls me, I call no one, we all just go through life with tunnel vision, interested in our own little happenings.  We have no clue what’s going on in our extended family…

I’m breaking that cycle.