Interesting Cook Books


Over at Instapundit, Helen Smith has an Amazon link to a book titled How to Cook a Wolf. (BTW, that link should provide credit to Instapundit if you buy the book.)

That title reminded me of the first gift I bought for Mrs. Hoge. We met in New York, and for our third date we went walking around midtown Manhattan together. One of the places we stopped was a Barnes & Noble store. We found this book on the remaindered table. She thought it looked interesting, and I bought it for her.

Being Prepared


My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post up with his take on overreaction to the Wuhan virus pandemic. He points out that some of us Boomers are better prepared (mentally, at least) to deal with evaluating how we should handle risk, and that we bring a different perspective from many younger folks, especially younger media people.

That’s true, but it’s also true that underreactiong to the risk can be dangerous. Indeed, it’s smart to avoid any unnecessary risks.

I possess two qualifiers for being at increased risk of complications if I contract the virus. I’m 72 years old, and while it’s been 16 years since the last one, I’ve had three heart attacks. The NASA facility where I normally work has gone to mandatory telework, but I began working from home as soon as telework became an option. I shop at odd hours or online to avoid crowds, and I take other reasonable precautions.

More important, I was prepared to be able to take those steps well before the pandemic hit. Experience with illness and minor natural disasters led me to put in place the resources i would need to operate at home under odd circumstances.

Stacy opens his post with a discussion of the Boy Scout Motto—Be Prepared, and he writes about a couple of points of the Scout Law—A Scout is Cheerful and A Scout is Brave. I’ll add a comment based on the Scout Slogan—Do a Good Turn Daily. Part of my preparation has included setting aside resources to be able to help others. We’re going to have to help each other through this mess.

I Spent the Early Part of the Morning Shopping


I woke up early this morning, and instead of rolling over and going back to sleep until the alarm, I got up and went shopping at the neighborhood Safeway. At that time of day, the store is essentially empty, and the overnight crew is busy restocking shelves. They were almost done by the time I go there. It was interesting to see what had been picked clean and what was still seemed to be at the usual stocking levels. Bread, milk, toilet paper, processed meats, certain canned goods, and certain frozen foods were either almost or completely gone. The rice and kosher foods were depleted, but still in stock. Fresh produce was abundant. There were plenty of paper goods other than toilet paper.

I also stopped by a Trader Joe’s a bit later in the morning. The store was more crowded than usual, but almost everything was in stock. In fact, the milk section was absolutely full when I picked up a gallon of skim milk.

When Mrs. Hoge and I lived in California, we began keeping a stash of non-perishable food as part of our earthquake preparedness, and we continued to maintain that stash when we moved to the east coast. We have hurricanes here. While we’ve cycled food into and out of that stash (stuff won’t keep forever), we never had to use it because of a natural disaster. I don’t know if I’ll have to dip into it during the current disruption, but it’s there.

Meanwhile, my podcasting partner Stacy McCain has offered some useful observations on what the various levels of government are doing to address the Wuhan virus pandemic. At the end of his piece he notes that “I’ve got 28 rolls of toilet paper, and the means to defend my family against any marauding bandits.” It turns out that my son made a run to Costco just before all this broke, and one of the items on his shopping list was toilet paper. We don’t have 28 rolls, but we have more than a month’s supply. And we’re well armed.

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Meeting People at CPAC


Among the first new people I met at CPAC this year was someone who grew up in my hometown (Nashville). We would have gone to the same high school but I’m a couple of decades older. I also met someone who grew up in one of the towns where Mrs. Hoge and I had lived in California. In fact, when she was in middle school, she lived on the next street over and about two blocks down from us.

It’s a small world after all.

Slow Blogging the Week


My blog output this past week has been below normal because I’ve been dealing with a rather nasty case of acid reflux. During the first half of the week, I only got about 2 hours of sleep each night. Finally, I found a proton pump inhibitor that got the problem under control, and I’ve been catching up on sleep.

I hope to get back up to speed over the weekend, and I intend to participate in The Other Podcast on Saturday.

Christmas Traditions


I was talking with a newlywed couple while waiting for the Christmas Eve service to begin at church last night, and I asked them how they were enjoying their first Christmas together and what it was like trying to merge their two families’ Christmas traditions. So far this year, I’ve been able to enjoy most of mine.

One is ham. Not just any kind, but a proper country ham. While I didn’t buy a whole ham this year, my son William and I went out for supper after church last night to a Waffle House, and I ordered a slice.

Another is lox and bagels for breakfast, a tradition that Mrs. Hoge and I started with our first Christmas together.

And warm socks. About 20 years ago, William asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I replied, “Warm socks.” Every year since, he’s given me a pair. This year I received two pairs. Their designs are related to a pair of characters from a SF story I enjoy.

And finally, a nap. I think I’ll go take one.

Merry Christmas, everyone!