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Update To My Fauci Post

Since I can’t figure out how to bump posts, I want to let you know that i updated my post from June 7 with more information. It’s worth a second read.

Joining The 21st Century

A repost from last year. Or encore performance if you wish. With better pictures.

Striker fired, polymer framed handguns are all the rage these days. Well, truth be told, they’ve been all the range for over 30 years, but the trend in increasing. Every manufacturer seems to have several models and some manufacturers have stopped making metal framed pistols. More will follow as metal framed guns are expensive to make due to all of the machining required.

Law enforcement agencies have pretty much replaced their metal framed guns, with only a few hold outs left. The future is polymer framed and even though I’m not a fan, they do have their purpose.

What is really hot right now are “micro” and mini sized 9mm. Personally, I often carry a sub compact Smith & Wesson Chief’s Special 9mm (CS9). It’s compact, has an aluminum alloy frame, and is 100% reliable as long as the owner maintains it.

The problem is that S&W stopped making them around 2006 or so. Plus, those that have them don’t usually sell them. I was lucky to find one at a reasonable price and I snapped it up.

Many of the major firearms manufacturers have introduced polymer framed striker fired handguns with a similar configuration.

One of those is O.F. Mossberg. Mostly known for pretty good shotguns and rifles, management at the company saw this fast growing segment of the personal defense firearm and decided that they should join the party.

What they’ve come up with is the MC1sc. If you click on that link, you’ll see that there are ten different variations of the MC1sc. There are different variations, but the basics are the same. The major difference is that are two models with a manual cross bolt safety. The one that I got has no safety and thus operates more or less (maybe less) like a double action only revolver.

I picked on up today from a not quite local dealer who had a terrific price on the MC1sc. I won’t quote it, but it’s over $100.00 below the MSRP. If you’re interested, shop around, I have the feeling that a lot of dealers are going be carrying this.

Since it’s been way too cold to go to the range and actually shoot the MC1sc, this is a none firing review.

The gun feels good in my hand, which is important. If the a firearm doesn’t fit your hand comfortably, it’s unlikely to shoot well. The pistol feels solid and well built. In fact, it feel heavier than I expected. Balance is good, even with an empty magazine. With a loaded magazine, I expect it will feel even better. The sights are over sized white dots, which even more my ancient eyeballs are easy to pick up.

As I always do, the first thing I read when I got home was to read the manual. Then, I stripped the pistol and cleaned and lubricated it. The manual is full of the usual, and legally required, dire warnings, but it also has detailed stripping, cleaning, and reassembly instructions.

One really nice feature is the “Safe Takedown System.” This system allows the striker to be removed from the back of the slide and so does not require the trigger to be pulled to strip the pistol.

Oh, I forgot to mention a feature for left handed shooters. The magazine release, and safety (if so equipped) can be reversed to make operation easier for left handed shooters. That’s a neat feature that I don’t know if any other gun has.

Cleaning and lubricating the pistol is straight forward as is reassembly. This is where the Safe Takedown System really shines.

Once I have had a chance to get to the range and do some test firing, I’ll write another post with the results.

 

Lies, Damned Lies, and Fauci

Early on in the pandemic we were assured that this was an accidental pandemic that originated in a “wet market” in Wuhan China. We were assured that it was mere coincidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was located in the same area.

Dr. Anthony Fauci poo pooed and tut tutted the conspiracy theories that this was likely an accidental release of a virus being investigated.

That was one of his early lies.

Another was that there was nothing to worry about (January 2020).

He predicted millions of deaths based on computer modeling and then when that proved wrong, he told us that computer modeling was unreliable.

On March 20th, he told us that there was no proof that HCQ was effective. That was two weeks before 6,000 doctors around the world reported that it was a highly effective treatment.

Another was his statement on masks being unnecessary.

Followed by his lie that masks were required, along with “Social Distancing” and of course hiding in our basements.

In February 2020 he said that there was no reason to shut down the economy. Followed by a statement in April saying that the President should have shut down the economy in … February.

Now we find out that Fauci was lying about what was going on at the Wuhan virus lab. He told Senator Rand Paul that he was “absolutely wrong” about the National Institutes of Health funding “Gain of Function” research on SARS viruses.

As it turns out, Fauci was lying. Money was funneled to the Wuhan lab via a non profit run by a British doctor. Fauci and the doctor the continued to lie about it until they could lie no more.

Emails released under a Freedom of Information Act request show that Fauci was worried about a lab leak early in the pandemic despite his public pronouncements to the contrary.

Fauci appears to have lied at every turn during the pandemic. From the origins, to preventative measures, to treatments, he changed his statements to enhance his image and to hurt political opponents.

Oddly, the best reporting on the emails comes from other nations. Our media seems intent on keeping Fauci’s reputation as pure as the driven snow.

Dr Anthony Fauci’s thoughts in the early days of pandemic revealed in 4000 released emails

The US’ pre-eminent Covid-19 adviser discussed the claim that the virus escaped from a Chinese laboratory in the early days of the pandemic.

The revelation comes in a trove of emails from Dr Anthony Fauci released by the US Government to BuzzfeedCNN and the Washington Post.

Dr Fauci was told the virus, close up, had “unusual features”.

The claim Covid came from a lab was widely dismissed at the time but recently new life has been breathed into the theory, with Dr Fauci himself saying he is “not convinced” Covid is all natural.

I won’t even get into the fault PCR testing that he oversaw, the over attribution of deaths to the Covid 19, or the inaccurate diagnoses of cases of Covid when patients likely had something else. Fauci was not alone in that, although he knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it.

And now we have this,

The Great Unmasking of the COVID-Origin Coverup Scheme Continues

Dr Peter Palese, a microbiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, signed the letter in the Lancet in February last year claiming the virus could only have been natural in origin and to suggest otherwise would create ‘fear, rumors, and prejudice’.

The ‘bullying’ letter, orchestrated by Dr Peter Daszak, the head of a non-profit that funnelled U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was criticized by experts for ostracizing anyone offering different opinions on the virus’ origins, dismissing them as conspiracy theorists.

…Professor Palese, 77, has made a significant U-turn, admitting all theories on how Covid came about now need proper investigating.

He told MailOnline: ‘I believe a thorough investigation about the origin of the Covid-19 virus is needed.

‘A lot of disturbing information has surfaced since the Lancet letter I signed, so I want to see answers covering all questions.’

Asked how he was originally approached to sign the letter and what new information had come to light specifically, Professor Palese declined to comment.

An apparent conspiracy among prominent “scientists” to cover up the origin of the virus and attack anyone who questioned the orthodoxy.

Fauci also lied about funding “Gain of Function” research at the very same lab that he assured us the China Virus could not have leaked from

Fauci admits ‘modest’ NIH funding of Wuhan lab but denies ‘gain of function’

Fauci admits ‘modest’ NIH funding of Wuhan lab but denies ‘gain of function’

The National Institutes of Health earmarked $600,000 for the Wuhan Institute of Virology over a five-year period to study whether bat coronaviruses could be transmitted to humans, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told lawmakers Tuesday.

Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the money was funneled to the Chinese lab through the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance to fund “a modest collaboration with very respectable Chinese scientists who were world experts on coronavirus.”

  But Fauci emphatically denied that the money went toward so-called “gain of function” research, which he described as “taking a virus that could infect humans and making it either more transmissible and/or pathogenic for humans.”

“That categorically was not done,” he insisted.

Gain of Function research can be spun different ways, but it’s becoming clear that the Chinese are exploring ways to use it to manufacture bioweapons

Peter Daszak is a great friend of Anthony Fauci. Fauci sent the money to Daszak who in turn sent it to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Who is Peter Daszak, the nonprofit exec who sent taxpayer money to Wuhan lab?

According to Fauci’s official emails, which were posted online this week by Buzzfeed Daszak wrote him on April 18, 2020, to express gratitude for Fauci’s public statements backing the theory that the coronavirus evolved naturally.

“I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Daszak wrote.

Fauci knew that his statements about natural origins were lies.

How is he not in jail awaiting trial for mass murder?

It’s likely, but we’ll never know, that Fauci’s lies caused needless suffering because of the over reaction to the virus. There were increases in suicides and overdose deaths last year into this year. People deferred needed medical care because they were terrified to go to the hospital, or make an appointment with their doctors. That’s if they could get an appointment as for months doctors, dentists, and other clinicians were unable to work because of what in retrospect were likely unnecessary lock downs.

That doesn’t even mention the people who lost their jobs permanently because the businesses that they owned or worked for are gone forever.

All based on a series of lies.

I won’t even touch (for now) upon how the pandemic was overblown in an effort to influence the 2020 Presidential election. That ties into the ongoing audits and investigations into potential voter fraud. That scandal will explode later this year at which time I’ll probably post on it.

I you had told me last fall that I’d be posting any of this, I’d have told you that you were crazy. It all seemed so far fetched, but now we’re finding out it wasn’t far fetched at all.

What other surprises will 2021 have in store for us?

The Boys From Bedford

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Today marks the 79th anniversary of the allied landings at Normandy in France. This was the start of the liberation of Europe from the grip of the Nazis. Technically, Italy was the start, but in many ways that campaign was a diversion to help put the Germans off balance and help the Russian efforts to drive them out of their country.

Included in the over 150,000 Allied troops were Thirty Four young men from the city of Bedford, VA. They were a part, a small part, of the invasion force.

All Thirty Four were in Company A of the 116th Regiment of the 29th Division of the United States Army. Company A was in the first wave of the landings and it was a bloodbath. Nothing went right initially and troops were being slaughtered in the water and on what beach there was.

The story of Able Company was well chronicled in First Wave at Omaha Beach in The Atlantic Magazine in 1960. It’s well worth the time to read it.

During that bloody morning Nineteen of the Bedford Boys were killed before they got off the beach. Nineteen of Thirty Four. Four more died in the following days.

There were 3,973 listed as residents of Bedford, VA in the 1940 Census. Imagine the impact of that type of loss of young men on a small town in rural Virginia. Or anywhere for that matter.

In 1988 a committee was formed in Bedford to build a memorial to the young men who had died on that day.

The Memorial opened on June 6, 2001. It has expanded in size and scope ever since. It’s an impressive site and has a museum as part of it. It’s well worth the trip out into the Virginia country side.

There is a website, the National D-Day Memorial  which is worth visiting if you can’t get to the actual site.

Here are a few pictures I took last summer when we were there. The website has professionally done pictures, but you’ll have to go to their website to see them.

I’m a mediocre photographer and I was using my smart phone camera, so they aren’t the best, but they will give you and idea of what is there.

The landing at Omaha

The names.

The main Memorial.

There’s a lot more to see on the 50 Acre sight and if you’re ever in the southwest corner of Virginia, it’s worth the trip to see it.

 

The Liberation Of Rome

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On 5 June, 1944, the United Stats Fifth Army under the command of General Mark Clark marched into the city of Rome.

Like many things in World War 2, this campaign had it’s origins in what we can call politics.

The first factor was that Soviet dictator Josef Stalin had been pressing British and American political leaders for a “Second Front” to help take German troops away from the “Eastern Front” where ferocious fighting was still ongoing.

The second factor was that the British and American leaders believed that taking Italy and especially Rome would force the Germans to divert more troops from guarding the French Coast.

On 3 September, 1943 the Allies invaded Italy, launching the assault from the recently captured Island of Sicily. On 8 September Italy officially surrendered and Gemany went from being an ally to a brutal invader. German troops occupied Italy and constructed a series of defensive lines in the rugged mountains that crossed Italy from coast to coast.

The fighting continued through 1943 into 1944. On 22 January, 1944 the Allies attempted an end run around the German troops by invading Anzio. What initially seemed like an easy landing turned into a tortuous blood bath with the British, American, and other nations troops losing large numbers of soldiers killed, injured, or captured.

The battle in Anzio dragged on through the winter and into May. On 23 May, Allied forces broke out of Anzio and in what is still a highly controversial decision turned northwest and marched towards Rome.

By the end of the month, the Germans had deserted the Gustav Line, leaving the way open for the Allies to march into Rome.

The Liberation of Rome was not the end of the campaign in Italy. Fighting continued right up until the end of April 1945. The Germans continued to fight from defensive line to defensive line, exacting high numbers of Allied casualties.

Making matters worse, many of the troops that originally landed in Italy were withdrawn and moved to the invasion of southern France after the D Day landings in northern France on 6 June 1944.

All of this in what Churchill called the “Soft Underbelly of Europe.”

The Liberation of Rome and arduous fighting before and after that would have been a big story, however it was all overshadowed by the landings at Normandy the next day. That became perhaps the most famous event of the war in Europe and thus people forgot about Italy and Rome.

The True Cost

4 June 1942 was not the end of the Imperial Japanese Navy. While a decisive victory that slowed the Japanese advance in the Central Pacific, the enemy continued to advance in other parts of the Pacific and China Burma India theaters of war.

The Japanese lost four of their large fleet aircraft carriers and several other ships. They also lost a lot of airplanes and more importantly, the pilots and other aircrew that were in those planes. The Japanese had a policy of not rotating experienced combat pilots back to Japan to train new pilots.

It was “fly until you did” personnel management an in the end, that was their real loss at Midway. Ships and airplanes can be replaced, but not experienced pilots.

This loss was a continuation of what started at the Battle of the Coral Sea. While the US Navy lost a fleet carrier and the Japanese lost only a light carrier, the Japanese lost a lot of experienced pilots. In addition two of it’s fleet carriers were damaged and had to return to damage for repairs. Thus, they were not available a month later to participate in the Battle of Midway. Had they and their aircrews been there it’s very likely that the Japanese would have won there.

There were still more than three years of tough fighting to be done before the Japanese were defeated. Guadalcanal was a blood bath for both sides and the issue was in doubt for many months before the Japanese were defeated.

The United States would suffer significant losses in the Pacific, including the Battle of Savo Island which was a decisive Japanese victory. Still, the tide had started to turn and the Japanese were now on the defensive in the Pacific.

A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight by Robert J. Mrazek, is the story of the men of Torpedo Squadron 8 before, during, and after the Battle of Midway. 

Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway by N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss has the account of his actions at Midway. It also has a lot of information on the pre war US Navy. Kleiss was involved in hitting three of the four carriers sunk at Midway and was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions. 

Incredible Victory: The Battle of Midway by Walter Lord. One of the, if not the first definitive history of the battle. May be a bit dated now, but it was the first book on the battle I read back when I was young. 

 

A Cat

If you own a cat or a dog you know going in that they don’t have very long life spans compared to humans. Dogs generally live between 10-14 years depending on the breed, what they are fed, and other factors. Cats can live up to 18 years, but 14-16 years seems to be the normal range.

In the case of cats, it’s very often kidney failure that causes their demise, although heart disease and Feline Leukemia are not uncommon.

We had dogs when I was young, because my father liked dogs and my mother didn’t like cats for some reason that was never made clear to me.

When I was grown, married, and had children we didn’t have any pets because I just didn’t have the time needed to properly care for one. At that point I was still a “dog person” although I always liked cats and cats seemed to like me. More than once I’d go to a friend’s house and their cat would cozy up to me. I’d hear from those various friends that their cats never liked strangers, but apparently I was an exception.

When my son was in his senior year at college he lived in an off campus apartment. He met a girl and she liked cats. In fact her mother lived on a small farm and they had several cats. At some point, my son decided he wanted a cat around the apartment. I’m pretty sure that this decision had something to do with the girlfriend as a lot of his decisions at that point in his life involved something to do with his girlfriend.

The girlfriend departed, but the cat stayed. Cute little orange Tabby guy and at some point my son had to go out of town for several days for job interviews. He asked us if the cat could stay with us while he was out of town.

Mrs. EMS Artifact, never an animal lover, agreed but Lenny had to stay downstairs in one part of the house. She didn’t want him roaming around the house, so I set up his litter box, food, water, and some toys in the room that was my office.

That lasted about two days and then Lenny had the freedom of the house and would sit with Mrs. EMS Artifact while she was upstairs in the Living Room. I’ve heard in the past that cats would gravitate to people who didn’t like them and this certainly seemed to be the case with Lenny.

In due course my son returned from his trip and and retrieved Lenny. I missed him and thought that I’d like to have a cat around the house, but was pretty sure that Mrs. EMS Artifact would object.

As is so often the case, I was wrong about that. A couple of days later Mrs. EMS Artifact mentioned that it would be nice to have a cat around. You think you know somebody.

I was given the task of finding a suitable candidate and so I turned to the internet and in due course found a shelter that had four kittens from one litter available for adoption. One of them was named Moe and being a die hard Three Stooges fan, I was immediately attracted to the cute little fellow.

We went to meet the cats and be interviewed. Not by the cat, but by the people at the shelter. We passed muster and Moe was going to be ours in a few days.

While driving home Mrs. EMS Artifact mentioned that Moe would be lonely without another cat to keep him company while she and I were at work. I looked at my wife and wondered if she had been abducted by aliens and replaced with someone who like cats.

Thus, a cat lady was born. I agreed that we could handle two cats and we called the shelter to arrange to adopt a second cat. Her name was Minnie, and she and her brother looked like twins, because they were.

An interesting thing about cats is that females can mate with more than one male and have a litter with more than one father.

So, we became a two cat family. Initially, my wife wanted to have the same rules about staying downstairs as we had with Lenny, but that didn’t last long and the soon had the run of the house.

It’s amazing how quickly you can bond with an pet.

That was in early 2005 and the cats quickly became part of the family. Minnie was the alpha cat and Moe spent a lot of time hiding in various places. He was good at it, but still affectionate when he wanted to be. Which was often at about 03:00 when he’d jump up on our bed and want to be petted. Somehow, we never minded.

All was well until early this year when Moe’s behavior changed. He was still affectionate, but didn’t have much of an appetite and didn’t want to be petted. After a few days of that I took him to the vet. The doctor couldn’t fine anything wrong with him other than the early stages of kidney disease. He prescribed a change of diet and advised us to make sure he drank a lot of water.

In a couple of weeks Moe was back to being Moe.

What lasted until the end of April, when he again lost his appetite, became morose, and his fur started to look ragged.

Early on the morning of May 1 I took him to the emergency 24 hour vet and they took him in. At the time, and actually for a couple more weeks humans weren’t allowed in with their pets. It’s a silly rule that was put in place because of Covid. I don’t understand it and frankly think it’s stupid.

A little while later the doctor called and told me that Moe wasn’t doing well and that his kidney disease had progressed rapidly. We discussed options and agree that they should attempt aggressive resuscitation and see if he got better.

He didn’t. The vet called again and said that he hadn’t responded at all and in fact was worse. I had to make a very hard decision, but I put his best interests ahead of my desire to try and prolong his life.

In due course we received his cremated remains in a very nice wooden urn.

We also learned that cats mourn. I never thought of it, but Minnie knew that he was gone, although not why. Here we are a month later and she’s started accept that he’s not coming back, but she’s still confused.

For that matter, so am I.

I don’t know how much longer we’ll have her, but we’re going to cherish the time that’s left. After that, I don’t know that we’ll adopt again. As Mrs. EMS Artifact pointed out, we’re not kids ourselves and there is a decent chance that any cats we adopt will outlive one or both of us.

Anyway, that’s the story of a cat. Here is a picture of Moe on his bear rug, which was his favorite napping spot.

 

 

Memorial Day

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“Think not about their passing, remember the glory of their spirit.”

The Court Takes A Case

The Supreme Court in today’s order list granted certiorari to a Second Amendment case. This is the first time that certiorari has been granted for a Second Amendment case in ten years.

The case 20-843 NEW YORK STATE RIFLE, ET AL. V. CORLETT, KEITH M., ET AL. concerns the requirement in New York State the a person show a need to carry a firearm for self defense. The state is the sole judge of whether or not a permit to carry a concealed weapon will be granted.

On paper at least a person denied a permit can appeal to a court to over rule that decision, but it virtually never happens.

There are about seven other states that have similar restrictions. They are known as “may issue” states and the requirements vary widely. New York and New Jersey are more like “never issue unless you’re politically connected” states. Massachusetts may or may not issue a permit depending on what the local police chief feels like doing.

The other “may issue” states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Rhode Island is actually a “shall issue” state if the permit is issued by the local town, and may issue if the permit application is filed with the Attorney General. In real effect, it’s a probably won’t issue state as some local departments refuse to even process an application. That has lead to a lot of litigation, but I’m not going to go into that now.

The grant of certiorari states the following,

The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to the following question: Whether the State’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for
self-defense violated the Second Amendment.

It’s not unusual for the Court to take a very narrow approach to cases brought before it. In this case, a favorable decision will likely require the seven may issue states to issue some sort of permit. The problem may be what restrictions the place on the permits. Which will likely lead to yet more litigation as none of those states are likely to change their laws voluntarily.

The fact that the Court granted certiorari is significant in and of itself. They have refused to take up several Second Amendment cases over the past several years, including a previous one from New York City. The city successfully convinced the Court that the case was moot as the city had changed the laws that had been challenged.

There was also a case out of Illinois that might have resulted in a similar decision as is being requested here. That was back in 2012 as I recall. Illinois was a “no issue” state at the time and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state must enact a law to allow for concealed carry or the court would decree that no permit was required for concealed carry.

Illinois was going to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court, but it appears that several other states pressured the Attorney General of the state not to do so. The fear was that “shall issue” would become the rule of law and states would lose the discretionary power.

Since certiorari was granted just today, I’d expect that the case won’t be heard until the fall session of the Supreme Court and a decision won’t be issued until about this time next year.

Hold on to you hats folks, the ride is likely to get bumpy.

Thoughts From On The Road

Mrs. EMS Artifact and I took a longish road trip starting the first week of March. We were headed for north South Carolina to spend some time with the grand kids while their parents took a vacation break.

I have enough airline points to fly around the world, or at least part way. My most used credit card is tied to a major airline so I get points whenever I use it. Since the last time either of us boarded a plane was in late 2019, there are a lot of points sitting around waiting to be used.

Given the additional PITA that flying now is, we opted to drive. I planned out a two day drive with an overnight stay in northern Virginia along Interstate 81.

Driving at this time of year can be dicey as the weather is still unsettled. It’s March, but early March can have some wild weather as anyone living north of about Florida can attest.

Fortunately, weather was a non factor for the most part.

We started out and followed a route that was mostly interstate highways. We got on I-84 along the MA/CT border and headed west. Gas prices were higher than a few weeks before, but not horrible. Well, not yet.

If you’re taking a route through CT, NY, or PA try to fuel up before hand. Ironically, NJ has pretty good prices, even though you’re not allowed to pump your own gas. Well, on paper because we stopped on Matamoras, NJ and I forgot that quirk of NJ law. I pumped my own gas in New Jersey! I’m a criminal. Well, not really as the attendant must be used to that because he gave me a thumbs up and walked away.

We took I-84 across New York to Pennsylvania. The New York State Police are very active with traffic enforcement. Waze is pretty good about safety alerts, but the troopers like to sit on the median waiting for a scoundrel to come along.

Crossing into PA, we found the PA State Police to be using pretty much the same tactics, but there are fewer of them. We didn’t notice any local agencies in either state doing traffic enforcement.

PA is cold in early March. We had some light snow.

Restaurants are open, but many will only do delivery or take out. People were walking around on the streets wearing masks even though they were alone. The Mrs. and I have eschewed wearing masks unless there is no other choice, so we notice what people are doing.

We continued on south towards Virginia and noticed that the further south we went, the more tractor trailers we noticed. At one point the Mrs. counted 25 trucks traveling in the opposite direction during a one minute period.

EVERYTHING travels by truck at some point. Diesel prices are up almost a dollar a gallon since the first of January. That’s going to effect us all at some point since everything we buy, including gas, travels by diesel truck at some point.

Be sure to thank President Biden for that and the increased price of gas for you car or truck. Prices on everything are going to rise.

Crossing into VA I set the cruise control to exactly 5MPH over the speed limit. They’ll give you that, but if you go faster you run substantial risk of meeting a VA State Trooper. Or a Sheriff’s Deputy since local agencies do traffic enforcement as well.

I think it’s 10MPH over the speed limit where they can arrest you and require you to go before a magistrate. Or so I’ve been told, but fortunately have never had the experience.

We also found that restaurants are, uh, different in VA. Some are open, but with limited seating, some only do take out or delivery. The websites aren’t all accurate, so we found out (the hard way) that a phone call is prudent before pulling up to the door.

We found an open Waffle House for breakfast. A typical WH has 2-3 cooks, 4-5 waitresses, and at least one person busing tables. These are not normal times. The one we found was empty at 08:30 except for two employees. They were taking orders, cooking, serving, running the cash register, and busing tables. Two people.

Which was okay because one other couple came in while we were dining. Mrs. EMS Artifact asked if this was normal and our waitress said that’s how it’s been for a year.

I suggested that their governor was a moron, and despite the fact that she probably wasn’t supposed to, she laughed. We felt bad and were more generous than usual with the tip.

We passed through VA into North Carolina without incident. Traffic enforcement wasn’t as vigorous there as it was in VA, so I just went with the flow of traffic. Based on a previous experience last summer, we opted not to stop in NC and drove on through to our destination.

South Carolina has far fewer restrictions than any other state we went through. Masks are only required in larger stores, restaurants operate pretty much as normal, most people don’t seem to care if you wear a mask or not.

Oddly enough, people were not keeling over in the streets from the virus. Covidiocy was really at a minimum.

After a week visiting, it was time to head back. The return trip was much the same, only with much more expensive gas prices. They had gone up about $0.50 per gallon over the week we were there. South Carolina still had the cheapest prices, but they weren’t cheap.

Thanks, President Biden.

On the return trip, we noticed even more big trucks on the road. There were very few tractors without trailers, “deadheading” as it’s known in the trade. Oh, all of the big companies had signs on their trucks looking for drivers. Which either means that they are very busy or people are leaving faster than they can replace them. One is good, one isn’t.

We’re planning another trip and unless things change dramatically in terms of what you have to do to fly, we’re likely going to do this drive again.

Here’s a hint if you ever plan to travel with firearms. AVOID the New York City area and all of New Jersey. Swing inland a bit and drive worry free as normal states don’t care if you are transiting with legally owned firearms.