Pandemic Life

It has been a few weeks now since the coronavirus arrived in the United States and spread across the nation. Although I was apparently in the proximity of someone that tested positive for the virus in mid-March, I didn’t have any of the requisite symptoms. Not sure if I was just one of those with mild or few symptoms, or if I was just lucky enough to not contract the virus.

I wish I could say I could go get tested to confirm whether or not I contracted the disease. But alas, even though our Fearless Leader said that millions of tests would be available. Fortunately, local leaders including Mayor Bowser have stepped into the gap and led competently and compassionately.

Life is now full of working from home, stockpiling of groceries, and gathering of masks and sanitizing wipes. All while watching Fearless Leader transform what should be daily informational sessions into hubs of hubris and misinformation. We chose this and we are getting what we deserve. Even though he claims he isn’t responsible for this, it is us who will pay the price for what we as a country chose as our leader. Instead of competence, we chose someone whose main skill is ridiculing others. That was entertaining once upon a time, but now we need leadership, not bluster.

In the meantime, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and millions more will in the near future. This may make the 2008-2009 recession seem small in comparison. Hopefully this won’t be the case, but to be fair, we were overdue for a recession. This time, the cost to small businesses may be extreme. Only time will tell.

Welcome to the Pandemic

Unlike the swine flu pandemic, coronavirus seems to be much more serious. Schools, stores, companies, all shutting down. The Democratic debate: audience free. March Madness and the NBA season: canceled. MLB Opening Day: canceled. This is going to be a wild ride.

Aliens and Getting Old

Earlier this week, Seti@Home announced that they would no longer distribute further work (forum link). It has been a long time since I ran any distributed computing client – from early ones attempting to crack a 56-bit key (completed 1997) to Seti@Home for various groups. I think I stopped running these programs around the time I had to pay my own power bills. Coincidence I’m sure.

I certainly wasn’t as passionate as some who would overclock their main systems, run their systems 24/7 to grind out new blocks, or cobble together multiple junked systems to create a working one, but they were still fun projects to run for a period, particularly when my Pentium Pro was the fastest system on campus. Thanks Dad for encouraging the nerdiness and/or for fixing my nerd cred after coming to school with just a 486DX2 (circa 1996). Harking back to a simpler time when you had to run a wire down the hall to establish a network. And had to remember the SLI’s patrol schedule so that you could pull the cable back into the room before they noticed!