To Mask or Not to Mask, that is the Question

Two people in face masks. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Two people in masks. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

We went to the hardware store today, a place I seem to visit weekly to pick up fasteners and other hardware, and as I parked the truck, I told my wife she didn’t need to wear her mask. This surprised her, but went with it. Sure enough, none of the employees were wearing them, and I only saw one customer wearing a mask–around her chin but not her nose or mouth.

There was some point in late January or early February when I went into the hardware store and noticed I was the only one in there wearing a mask. Ever since then, I’ve left it in the car. For my wife, It was her first public outing without a mask in months.

After we left the store, my wife commented that it felt weird not to wear her mask. Not freeing, mind you, but weird.

I’ve been wearing my mask selectively whenever I go out. I wear it to the post office and other stores where they have a sign on the door requesting it. If there is no sign, I don’t wear it.

Our next stop was the garden center, where she often goes without me. “Now, we do have to wear our masks in here,” she warned me, even though half of our browsing was outside. And sure enough, the employees and customers were all masked up, even in the outdoor area with the plants.

To Mask or Not to Mask

Both companies are privately owned stores in the same county and only a few miles apart from each other. So why the different policies? Good question. I have no idea.

Technically, our state has a mask mandate. People are required to wear masks and business are required to have employees and customers wear masks. Notice that I said “technically.” In reality, no one is checking up on them. There are no summonses being issued. I doubt the county sheriff is checking up on people.

In this rural county at least, mask wearing is falling by the wayside.

Painting the Chicken Coop

While we were out, we bought a couple cans of primer so that I can prime the T1-11 siding I will be putting on the chicken coop. I looked into renting a paint sprayer, but neither of the local tool rental places rent one—probably because people don’t clean them out very well—so I bought an inexpensive model. At less than $100, I figure it’s worth a trial run to see how well it works. The online reviews were good, although it appears I will have to thin down the paint.

The next time we have a few warm dry days in the forecast, I plan to lay the panels out and spray them on one side. Then I will wait until they dry, turn them over and spray the other side. Not only should the spraying be faster than rolling on the paint, it should provide better coverage in the deep groves of the T1-11. The priming should help keep the wood from rotting and help it resist any mess the chickens make. Once I have finished the coop, I’ll paint the exterior barn red or some other color and possibly put on some white trim.

Painting the Beehives

I’m also planning to paint the bee hives. While they come a basic white, the paint is not thick as I would like and is not on the top of bottom of the hive bodies. I plan to hit the edges where the joints are to keep water from soaking in and rotting the end pieces. My hive base is also unpainted, so I plan to hit it with a coat of paint.

By painting hive bodies and supers instead of buying them that way, I can save about $5 each. By assembling and painting my own hive bodies and frames, I can save even more. Hopefully, the paint sprayer will pay for itself,

Here’s a video that gives specifics on what to look for when painting your hives:

Prepper News Update

Here’s the latest update on the possibility of war in the Ukraine: NATO is sending 1,000 troops to the Ukraine for drills. Doesn’t sound like anywhere near enough to counter the Russian threat. As you can see in this article, which I would take with a grain of salt, some analysts believe fighting could start within a month.

Just a couple days ago, I wrote about 60 of the Fortune 500 companies that didn’t pay any taxes in 2019. In 2020, that number was down to 55. Twenty-six of those companies avoid paying taxes for the past three years or longer.

I had to include this one because it just cracks me up: AOC is one of the least effective lawmakers. None of the bills she introduced have garnered any action in committee or on the floor of congress. She’s in her second term and yet is not responsible for any laws or legislation. Out of 240 Democrats, they ranked her 230th.