Ebola: turns out the nurse that went to Ohio from Dallas may have been symptomatic on both flights she took. CDC doesn't really know.
I'm beginning to think about referring to them as the KDK--Keystone Doctor Korps--because I feel as if the Three Stooges could have handled this situation with a lot more dexterity and competence than what we've seen from the CDC.
"Hey! I think he's got ebola!" "Shut up, you!" *poink* "Woo woo woo woo woo!"
Yeah, that's about right.
Economy: none of the news is good--none of it--and in fact it's only a question of "how bad"? The bright spot in the retail sales report was that electronics stores were hurt the least by a contraction in sales, and that's really only good news for those of us who happen to work for electronics stores.
The Fed has shot its bolt, and has nothing left with which to prime the pump--not that Keynesian pump-priming works, anyway--and the stock market has been in steady decline for nearly a week.
The price of oil is declining, too, as OPEC refuses to shut off the taps--this would be good but for the fact that the US is now a net exporter of crude oil and we get our oil from fracking, which carries an extraction cost of about $80 a barrel. Further the decline in crude oil price indicates a decline in demand (especially as supply has remained approximately constant) which further points to a softening world economy.
Meanwhile real inflation in the price of food is hanging in the double digits. Our government naturally excludes food from its inflation figure so it can claim there's little or no inflation. We continue to turn food into ethanol and do other stupid things to keep the prices of both food and energy arbitrarily high.
War: ISIS continues its rampage across the middle east and our government continues its idiotic non-response of bombing targets from 50,000 feet. That is almost worse than doing nothing at all.
All this stuff is hanging over our heads right now. Something will go wrong, and it won't take much of a failure to cause a serious disruption.
I don't have so much as an iota of confidence in the federal government to manage any of these crises. The history of the past century has demonstrated that more often than not the government fucks up everything it tries to do, and it fucks up so thoroughly that the only thing they can do is double down on their fuckups until some kind of dislocation enables them to fix it.
* * *
Enough of that. On to less depressing things.
Yesterday at work I had to deal with an employee of the store who is on short-term disability, who shows up every so often with a computer--a different one each time--wanting it fixed. The last time she was in, she sat at the counter for about two hours, asking different people to make copies of different documents for her, and chatting with people, and so on.
This time? For the past couple of weeks there have been a couple of machines sitting on a shelf in back with her name on them. The guy who was handling them is the guy who had his last day this past Saturday, and I didn't know what was going on, so when she asked me to put one in for a backup and restore, I hesitated.
I mean, okay--you work at our store, you bring me a PC to have something basic done on it, I'll do it as a courtesy, even if it's something we'd normally charge for. But when you show up about once a month--with a different computer OR TWO every time--I start to suspect that you're mooching, and as I talked to various coworkers to get some idea of how to handle this, it came to my attention that one of the machines she'd brought in previously belonged to someone else.
So she told me that the store's GM had okayed it, but that she understood that I had to get confirmation. "I texted [boss]," she said, and proceeded to sit at the counter and wait for him to text her back.
My attitude was pretty simple: if the boss called me and told me to do the job, I'd put it in, no problem. But I'm not going to give away $300 worth of services solely on her word that the boss okayed it, not when she's already brought in so many other machines.
I suspect--I suspect--that she is bringing in friends' computers: "I can take it to work and they'll fix it for you." One subcurrent of that suspicion wonders if she's not trying to make money off the deal--taking some sum of money from her friend and then getting the computer fixed for free--but I have no proof whatsoever of that. It fits, but I have no proof and I am not accusing her of anything.
Regardless, the freeloading is more than enough to make me want to refuse to do any more free work for her.
...but she was mad when I and the tech in back both said we couldn't do anything without a call from the boss. (That's what usually happens when you cut off a freeloader; they get angry that the gravy train has ended.) Eventually she left (saying she was going to browse a little) but she never came back for the computers, so I put them back on the shelf they'd formerly occupied.
This woman is (supposedly) on temporarily disability because of a back injury. I don't know how she can transfer a desktop computer from her car to a shopping cart if her back hurts so much that she can't work as a sales clerk in a retail store. She seems perfectly spry whenever I see her.
But WTF, it's not my problem.
Then there was the woman with a laptop that wouldn't power on. She's one of those people who insists that a tech support contract covers hardware, which it emphatically does not, and when told the facts of the situation, asks, "Well, what did I pay all that money for?"
I tried to reconstruct the service history from the information I had in front of me. She insisted that it had been sent out for service in May--two months after her extended warranty expired--and I told her that there was no record of it being sent anywhere. The service order from May had recommended such a repair, but it wasn't done (at least, as far as I could tell) and the only time that she'd received a hardware repair was while the thing was still covered by the PSP, in January. Otherwise, all other services she'd had done were software, covered by her tech support contract.
Of course then she wanted to talk to a manager, who proceeded to tell her all the same things that I told her, because I was fuckin' right and her unit had no hardware coverage.
Sorry; no free service for you, not when your warranty expired six months ago.
Other than the stupidity, yesterday was a pretty fair dinkum day, I have to say.
* * *
Of late--the past couple of months--I have been eating Fritos Scoops as an occasional snack. For some reason the thicker Scoops chips taste better to me than regular Fritos ever tasted, and I've come to like them better than other corn chips.
Today I noticed that Fritos have three ingredients: corn, corn oil, and salt. I think that might be why they taste so good to me; it seems that the simplest foods taste best to me. Ginzo bread--Marconi's Italian--contains a bare few ingredients (flour, salt, water, yeast, butter) and it's the best damned bread on the planet.
No preservatives, no emulsifiers, no nothin', just the things you and I would put in food we were making at home.
...I also happened to see that the chips are gluten free. So, no dicks flying around the room and exploding like on South Park.