1.120 car, nukes, RDP, grocery order

Tuesday, 3/31/2020

One thing I did this morning was to go down to the garage and run the car. Well, I went twice. First time, I stopped in the lobby, informed the desk person what I was going to do, so she would know it was legit to buzz me back in from the garage — i.e. I would not be violating the single-entry protocol. So down to the basement level, through the four heavy doors to the garage, and realize… that I didn’t have the car key.

Prior to two weeks ago, I always had the car key in my left front pocket. But then, realizing I wouldn’t be driving anywhere soon, I put it on the desk. So. Get buzzed in, up to 6, walk the hall, get the key, back to the first floor, explain why I am going to the garage again. Sympathetic laughter from the desk person. Back to garage. Car seems fine, but I start it and let it idle 5 minutes.

Next I explored the question, can I sanitize paper in the microwave? I distributed all these grocery order forms. Tomorrow morning I will collect them from the clipboard in the lounge and have to amalgamate the order. Later I will be getting checks from all those people. In each case, paper that has been handled by others. I read the virus is detectable on paper for 2 or more days. Chinese banks are using UV light on money and also letting it rest for 14 days.

Now, detectable is not the same things as infectious. What is detected is the RNA, but that doesn’t mean it was part of a functional virus. Maybe the virus degrades but leaves its RNA guts behind. Also, it is highly unlikely that any of my 6th floor neighbors are infectious. But you can’t be sure! So I would like to definitively sterilize the order forms and the checks. Obvious idea: microwave them! Would it work? Consulting the googles produces a lot of contradictory answers. Nobody has done the research to really know.

Lots of people pompously state that obviously not, because microwaves only heat water molecules. That’s not true; microwaves act on polarized molecules, which water is, but also most oil and some sugars. I ran a little test. I don’t have any oil on hand, but I have some very oily peanut butter. So a dab of peanut oil on a piece of paper towel, zap 2 minutes, that oil got very hot and smelled burnt. Microwaving clean paper towel only heated it very slightly.

A virus is composed of lipid molecules wrapped around an RNA strand. Lipid molecules are strongly polarized, that is exactly why they can be assembled into a spherical coat. Microwaves ought to heat the lipid molecules, and that would destroy the virus. That’s my ignorant common sense analysis. So my plan is to pick up the order forms wearing gloves, and nuke them for 4 minutes before handling them.

Yes, I know about the woman who microwaved money and it burned. Currency has metallic stuff in the paper and in the ink. My order forms don’t. Oh, ya know, though, the MICR characters on the bottom of a check are magnetic. Hmmmm…. nope! I just microwaved a blank check for 1 minute on high. It got slightly warm to the touch but the numbers did not start glowing like the letters on Sauron’s ring — which I had kinda hoped to see.

Next thing was to investigate Remote Management software. We clearly have at least another month of not entering other apartments, so can we do remote tech support? In an hour I learned a lot about the Remote Desktop Protocol and remote management clients. I netted that out in an email to my tech support buddies, Bert and Craig.

After 7pm I collected the order forms (with gloves on), and nuked them.  This had the amusing side effect of erasing the room numbers I had written on them a Frixion erasable pen. As I learned last year, the erasable pen erases by heat.

I assembled the order, it added to just 30 items, and emailed it to the address at Edgewood market using the same email format that Marcia had used the day before.

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