Daily Archives: May 29, 2020

High Deserts and Lava Lands . . .

Trust the Experts, they say.

But which ones, I say.

The CDC or the W.H.O.?

After zig-zagging back and forth a couple of times early on, the CDC settled into pretty much an ‘all masks, all the time’ position.

However the W.H.O. has pretty much stuck to their guns the entire time, and reiterated yesterday that ‘healthy people should wear masks only if caring for coronavirus patients’.

“If you do not have any [respiratory] symptoms such as fever, cough or runny nose, you do not need to wear a mask,” said Dr. April Baller, a public health specialist for the WHO. “Masks should only be used by health care workers, caretakers or by people who are sick with symptoms of fever and cough.”

And then there’s Dr. Fauci, then and now.


…There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences — people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.


“I wear it for the reason that I believe it is effective,” Fauci told CNN. “It’s not 100 percent effective. I mean, it’s sort of respect for another person, and have that other person respect you. You wear a mask, they wear a mask, you protect each other.”

But trust the experts, right?

As more and more data comes in, the WuFlu mortality rate keeps dropping. Early on, the rate was estimated to be about 6%, much, much, higher than the seasonal flu rate. But with the latest figures, the rate has dropped precipitously.

I told Jan that to illustrate, if you flip a coin ten times, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to get ten heads in a row. But if you flip the coin 1000 times, you will get a near equal division of 500 heads and 500 tails, I.e. the Law of Large Numbers.

Well, this seems to be happening with the WuFlu. According to a new CDC release:

The CDC looked at five scenarios with a 0.4% overall mortality rate considered the best estimate. Bu the data shows a 1.3% rate of people 65+ dying from COVID while the rate for those 0-49 is 0.05 %. Here’s a link for more info: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html … @wcnc

Note that the mortality rate for the average seasonal flu is 1.26%. So it’s starting to look like the WuFlu mortality rate is not substanially higher than the 2018 rate for the seasonal flu, the one where 129,000 people died from the flu/pneumonia that year.

A number of our readers sent me copies of the recent article in the British medical journal The Lancet discrediting the use of CQ/HCQ in combatting the WuFlu. And this article caused the W.H.O. to discontinue all HCQ trials.

But as I mentioned back then, this was not a ‘real’ trial, It was not doctors seeing patients, it was a bunch of people sitting around in a conference room looking at patient’s medical records & charts. And these patients were all over the world in six different countries and 100’s of hospitals, all with different levels of care.

Well, now it’s not just me.

Scientists raise concern over hydroxychloroquine study

“This impact has led many researchers around the world to scrutinize in detail the publication in question,” said the open letter in response to the study, which was signed by a number of prominent scientists and published Thursday.

It added that this scrutiny raised “both methodological and data integrity concerns”.

One of the main concerns was a lack of information about the countries and hospitals that contributed data, which was provided by Chicago-based healthcare data analytics firm Surgisphere.

On another note, don’t know how much you’ve seen about the riots in Minneapolis, but besides the tragedy of George Floyd, you’ve got the tragedy of the individual store owners, mostly minority, who lost everything in the destruction.

One of the best (worse?) examples was a black Minneapolis firefighter who had invested everything he had in a Sports Bar. It was scheduled to open in March, but that was delayed due to the virus. But now with the lockdowns relaxed, it was scheduled in the next few days, but last night it was burned to the ground in the riots. And he has no insurance.

So figuring that someone had set up a GoFundMe site, I found this one.

Scores Sports Bar

I gave $50. I imagine anything would be appreciated.

This blog is from back in June 2011 for our first visit to Bend, OR, one of our favorite locations.

Leaving the Redmond area, we drove back through Bend to The High Desert Museum, about 5 miles south of town.

They’ve got a number of inside and outside animal exhibits, including this Chuckwalla desert lizard,


a Gila Monster,

Gila Monster

Bald Eagles,

Bald Eagles

a Grey Fox (OK, why are grey foxes red? What color are red foxes?),

Gray Fox

a Prairie Falcon,

Praire Falcon

and a River Otter.


It turns out that this Bobcat


and this Lynx


are sitting like this, patiently staring at their access doors, waiting to be fed. They know when it’s feeding time.

Beautiful animals.

Lynx 2

In another building, they had this highly-detailed 1920’s era sawmill, It took the builder 25 years to build it, and it even works.

Sawmill Model

Jan really enjoy the display of old quilts. This ‘Star’ quilt dates from 1875,

1875 Quilt

and this ‘Silk Fan’ quilt is from 1890.

1890 Quilt

While we were there, our daughter Brandi called to wish me a happy Father’s Day. Now I’m two for two.

We spent a couple of hours wandering through all the many exhibits, and really enjoyed it. The High Desert Museum is small, but very well done.

Leaving the Museum, we drove a couple of miles down the road to the Lava Lands National Forest. We’d been driving past here for the last week or so, and this was our chance to explore further.

We drove up to the entrance gate, and found out something the tourist brochure or the website hadn’t told us.

You have to have an appointment to drive to the top of the butte. There are only 10 parking spaces up there, so they ration access.

We got there about 3:10, and the time given us was 3:45. The gate guard gave us slip of paper with our time on it, and told us we could start up at 3:40. So we parked in the nearby lot and read. Jan always has a book at the ready, and I had my new Kindle with me.

Lava Butte Start Climb

At 3:40 we started our 8% grade climb up the narrow road. They don’t allow buses or RV’s up here, and meeting oncoming vehicles was very interesting.

Lava Butte Hill 1

Getting to the top, we found a nicely laid out parking area, and a Ranger checking our appointment slips. In fact, as we were getting out of our truck, the ranger was sending someone back down the road who had come up too early.

Lava Butte Parking

Since our slip said we had to leave at 4:15, we started our climb up to the top of the hill. It was a steep 100 foot trek.

Lava Butte Climb

It was interesting to see all the ground squirrels zipping around the lava fields, and although you weren’t supposed to feed them, it was obvious that they were expecting to be fed.

Lava Squirrel

Getting to the top, and still a little breathless, we were able to look back at the parking lot,

Lava Butte Parking 2

and down into the crater itself.

Lava Butte Crater

You can get a better idea from this aerial view that shows the roadway spiraling up the butte. The visitor’s center is located about 1 o’clock in this photo, along the rim of the crater.


Looking around we could see other examples of other volcanoes in the area.

Butte Volcano 1

Butte Volcano 2

Butte Volcano 3

Coming back down the butte with 5 minutes to spare, we were able to look out over the lava fields that still surround the area from the eruption over 7000 years ago.

Lava Fields

Lava Fields 2

Reaching the bottom a little after 4 pm, we decided to head back into Bend to have dinner once more at Red Robin. This is one of the best places around to get a burger, and even better, the delicious steak fries that come with your burger are unlimited. Of course the burgers are so big, you really don’t have any room for more fries, or dessert, for that matter.

While I was there, I tried logging in to their free Wi-Fi signal with my Kindle, and it worked with no problems. More and more it looks like the problem may be with my Cradlepoint router. Of course, my Blackberry and HP laptop can log in to it just fine.

Nick Russell can log in to his Cradlepoint just fine, too, although he has a CTR-1000 and I have a 500. The tell may be when we getting together with Nick and Terry later this week, and I try to log in to his router, and he tries to log in to mine.

We’ll see what happens.

We finally got home about 6 pm, a great last tourist day here in central Oregon.

Thought for the Day:

Never try to outsmart your common sense.


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