Today Out Shopping In Sheep-afornia

In the neighborhood, folks are walking around, mask-less. Walking the dog, just walking for fresh air. Kids playing some. But the tend to stay 10 to 20 feet away from each other in family groups.

But today we went shopping. Two different shopping centers. One in Cupertino near San Jose; the other in San Jose.

Almost very person I saw had a mask on. Or, like me, was putting one on as they left the vicinity of their car. (We had ours on too…)

Stores still have signs up “Mask Required To Enter”. People still avoid getting within 6 feet of each other (even if the marks on the floor are gone, or out on the sidewalk.

For me, it was a very stark contrast. Last January I drove across the country. Sit down table service, indoors, in Arizona for dinner. Nearly nobody with a mask on at Gas Stations (hey you are already one car length apart). At the gas fill-up today, pretty much masks all around here. I think there were 2 people out of a dozen sans mask). Crossing the South, Walmart had about 50% masked / unmasked pretty much everywhere. In Florida, we went to a Beers Of The World bar and had table service for burgers and beer, no masks other than the servers.

But here in Sheep-a-fornia, even when mask mandates are gone, well, let’s just say Lefty Gotta Mask… and that’s the dominant culture…

Strange, really. Offered freedom, folks choose fear.

Me? I just put one on for stores, nothing more. They have a sign, OK, I’ll put it on. Mostly because I really don’t care. It’s their paranoia, not mine, so I humor them.

Go figure…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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43 Responses to Today Out Shopping In Sheep-afornia

  1. John Hultquist says:

    Last two lines fits me exactly.

    Most normal activities here in this rural county are mask-less.
    However, there are still folks riding a bike alone, or jogging alone, whatever,
    that have a mask on. While not many, I think there are too many to be explained by real medical conditions.
    Signs are different now in most places.
    I think Commissar Inslee has proclaimed this lockdown stuff can end on June 30th, unless he changes his mind. I sense that more and more folks are not paying attention to him.

  2. H.R. says:

    John Hultquist: “I sense that more and more folks are not paying attention to him.”

    I think we had lockdowns in my State. I don’t watch TV, listen to the radio, and I no longer take any newspapers. I didn’t get any notification by mail of any changes to rules or laws. So I really had no idea what silly pronouncements were being made. I didn’t pay any mind right from the start

    I don’t know how typical my neighborhood is, but no-one in our ‘hood wore masks around the neighborhood and we all visited each other much the same as before. The only concession to any mandates was that neighbors stood a bit farther away when they visited.

    The State let the stores do their dirty work. All of the retail stores required masks. The were a lot of us that wore ‘chin masks’ into stores, and I wrote here about my mask that I used. It was a paper mask that I attacked with a hole punch and put about twenty 1/4″ holes in it. No one ever said a thing about it.

    Many production shops and all of the trades stayed open. They did do masks, though.
    It seems to me that our ‘State’s rules’ were loosened up early, although not as early as Florida and that it was because people weren’t paying much attention to the mandates, other that some sheeple.

    I’m guessing that our Guv loosened up early on so many things just to appear to be leading, when in fact, he was trying to stay ahead of the people ignoring him so he wouldn’t look to be the fool.

  3. corsair red says:

    Some are still wearing masks in NW Florida, although far fewer than a year ago. After the first month I quit wearing one except to medical offices. What surprises me is the number of people obviously under 50 wearing one, and the parents making children wearing them. They get all their information about the world from official channels, I guess.

    Then there are the ones with a mask on below the nose. I have to resist the urge to ask, ” Why did you bother? ”

    Still way too much ” I won’t take any chances “, though.

    Joe Biden said maybe by July 4th people could gather in small groups. Governor DeSantis posted on FB photos of the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, music festival. I don’t know how many thousand people packed in a stadium having a good time, and not wearing masks. Wanted to forward those pictures to the White House

  4. Pinroot says:

    Here in NC if you’re vaccinated, you can go maskless. I don’t go a lot of places, and don’t worry too much about a mask (unless my wife is with me, in which case I wear it, more for her than for me). It seems like it’s about 50/50 mask vs unmasked. I still see the occasional person alone in their car, driving with their mask on. Who are they protecting (or protecting themselves from?).

    At work, if we provide proof of vaccination, we can go maskless. I would say that no more than 25% are maskless, although I’m sure there are a few vaccinated people who don’t want to give up the safety and security that their mask provides. (/sarc, just in case it’s needed). Needless to say, I’m still wearing one at work.

  5. John Hultquist says:

    Corsair red,
    ” Wanted to forward those pictures to the White House ”

    When George Bush the Younger was running for office the 2nd time, I sent a letter to the White House offering to donate a Chevy saddle-bag pickup (1981 model) to the campaign if He would propose changes to tort law.
    George did not respond.
    The Republican National Committee did. About 2 weeks after my letter, they sent a solicitation seeking real dollars. Not a mention of my lovely truck nor the idea of tort law changes.
    Just as I was ignored – so were they.

    I don’t think any thing or any idea can get into the White House.
    Likely everything is sent to a large building in the suburbs where a highly skilled team of well paid supporters culls the $$$ from packages and sends the rest to landfills.
    If you send digital photos, include an image of a credit card!

  6. philjourdan says:

    Store requires mask? I go elsewhere.

  7. H.R. says:

    In my State, you can go maskless if you are vaccinated. None of the businesses or even government agencies want to go near the HIPPA issue, so it is down to your choice, vaccinated or not, whether or not to wear a mask.

    The gubbmint can’t hold business or health licenses over their heads anymore because the owners just say, “We can’t ask for proof of vaccination because… HIPPA.”

    It is very interesting that most businesses have made the masks optional for employees. I’ve been some places where all the employees are masked and some where it’s scattered; some wearing masks and some not.

    I still see people in store parking lots wearing masks under a bright sunny sky. And I still see parents masking their kids (Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!)

    I am beginning to think of masks as ‘Idiot Badges’ as in, “Oh, I see you’re wearing your idiot badge today.”

  8. p.g.sharrow says:

    Idiot Badge sounds even better the Face Diaper ! LoL
    Wonder what can be argued about the VA requirements for masking, isolation, and Covid testing before any medical service can be rendered to Disabled Veterans.
    My state is being run by Pelosi’s Idiot Nephew, even he knows that the masking is just a signal that proves which side he is on.

  9. H.R. says:

    I’ve recently made 3 trips to the BMV for licenses, titles, and what not due to my truck and trailer sales and purchases.

    All the employees are wearing masks. Customers are on the honor system whether or not they should be wearing a mask.

    They have a new system where you sign in and the system will text you when the now-serving-number is about 3 away from your turn. One day I was far enough back that I figured I had a bit over an hour wait.

    It was a pleasant day and several of us were waiting outdoors. I had brought a book of Sudoku puzzles to work in case of a long wait.

    A lady came up to the door and saw the sign “Masks required unless vaccinated.” She was flustered and slightly upset because she didn’t have any masks. She was vacillating about what to do and kind of frozen in place with her hand on the door; In? Out? In? Out?

    A fellow a few feet down from the door said, “Lady, just go in and take care of your business. They don’t know and they won’t ask.” She seemed relieved and in she went.

    What I noticed that I had suspected, but hadn’t seen much confirmation in the wild, was that lady complied only because “it’s the rules.” It appeared she didn’t care one way or the other about masks, but was a ‘good citizen’ and just complied with whatever the rules are. Probably one of those people that actually come to a real stop at a Stop sign. She was only upset because she couldn’t honestly say she was vaccinated and go in without a mask.

    I have wondered how many people are out there that are like her. They’re too busy with their lives to research or pay a bit of attention to the issues, but they are good citizens and so they just follow the rules. They are honest and they have a “whatever” attitude. “Mask? Fine. No mask? Fine. Whatever.”

    They’re not believing, virtue signaling sheeple or Karens. I think “Whatevers” is the best term for them.

  10. philjourdan says:

    @P.g.sharrow – I especially like to see the idiots in cars. with windows rolled up, wearing a mask. But then I remember Half the world are idiots. SO you are going to see some every day.

  11. The True Nolan says:

    @H.R.: “I am beginning to think of masks as ‘Idiot Badges’ as in, “Oh, I see you’re wearing your idiot badge today.”

    I look at the masks as similar to the old custom of lepers wearing bells. They don’t help the leper but they warn everyone else that they should be avoided.

  12. E.M.Smith says:


    A fine sentiment once there IS an alternative store to go to…

    I don’t know if it is State, Country, or Culture, but essentially every grocery store has a “Masks required” sign still up.

    As soon as one goes down, that’s my store… (if I’m wearing a mask or not).

    For my purposes, I’m fond of being able to defeat the surveillance society cameras, so go ahead and put the mask on. I do generally take it off again as soon as back in the parking lot.

    Once driving in Florida again, I’ll have a set of the Surgical Masks (the easiest to breath ones) and I’ll be sure to put it on, even when driving alone, as I enter or leave Toll Road Plazas where they have cameras to snap the drivers photo. Same thing at the approach and departure from California Ag Inspection and Border Patrol stations. (One is on I-10 each side of El Paso a loooong way from the actual border…)

    As to using them for the intended purpose? Ah, no.

    So in restaurants, or at the mechanic, or anywhere else that isn’t “Under Surveillance” I’m devoid of mask…

  13. Pinroot says:

    The wife’s brother is in town for a few days, staying with his mother. Their sister also lives there with their mom. The sister, Karen (I’m not making that up) wants to have a dinner party Saturday night for her brother. Everybody in my wife’s family has been vaccinated (mom, sister, brother, all her kids and their spouses; I’m the only holdout). My wife says I’m invited, but Karen says I have to wear a mask the entire time I’m there. I asked if that was to protect all the vaccinated people. Even the wife thinks it’s insane. The wife even said I didn’t have to go if I don’t want to (awful damn tempting!) but I said, “wouldn’t that be rude?” (hopefully scoring me a few points with the wife). Karen also wants to invite a group of her brother’s friends, and has ordered a case (she meant to only order one roll) of CAUTION tape to segregate everybody. I’m thinking about going, just for the laughs.

  14. jim2 says:

    Pinroot – get one of those incense burners on the end of a chain like used in some churches. Fire it up when you get to the party – tell ’em it drives out the covid! :)

  15. H.R. says:

    @jim2 – LOL! Like!

    Gotta get me one o’ dem smokers.

    (Pot, instead of incense in the burner, might change the tenor of the party. Just sayin.)

  16. Pinroot says:

    @jim2 – Yeah, if you put the right items in it, the incense burner might be the way to go. Apparently sage is a good thing to burn, and has cleansing properties:

    @HR – Pot would certainly change crazy sister Karen’s tenor, especially considering that she’s usually drunk, and she’s a bit of a mean drunk. She is more tolerable when she’s vaping (pot) than when she’s drinking, but she’s never fun to be around. Saturday evening should be interesting.

  17. H.R. says:

    @Pinroot – Who needs TV?

    Sounds like you have a full lineup of entertainment for the evening. 😜

  18. another ian says:

    “Sounds like you have a full lineup of entertainment for the evening.”

    Sounds might be safer watched in front of a screen?

  19. The True Nolan says:

    @Pinroot: Go to the gathering. Take some notes and photos for evidence later. in a few years when books are written about the madness of crowds you will be able to supply some nice material.

  20. David A says:

    There is, AFAIK, no legal definition of what constitutes a mask. ( in particular I mean the gap size between threads) So a few threads in a mask shape may suffice.

    Or perhaps a mask that said, I had COVID, my immunity is better then yours.

    Brave of you to go. A button camera and mic would be very interesting.

  21. E.M.Smith says:


    Just remember to, ever so often, cough like you are hacking up a possum… then say “I’ve been trying to shake this thing for weeks…” ;-) When eveyone is looking, pull the mask down and blow your nose into a hankey you stick in a pocket 8-0

    (I’d like to say, “I’m Sorry” for that. I’d like to, but I can’t … IF I see a chain dangling, it is just demanding to be yanked! That little old Chain Yanker, Me ;-)

  22. Pinroot says:

    @All who have commented – So me, the wife and a family friend (who also isn’t vaxxed) went to visit the MiL today (sort of a trial run for tomorrow). Karen and her brother were out, so we had a nice visit with the MiL, who isn’t worried too much about us non-vaxxers. Eventually Karen and her brother got there, and Karen wanted to know who wasn’t vaxxed, family friend and I raised our hands, and Karen went and got her mask. I find it odd that she has more faith in a mask than the “vaccine”. Karen did ask the room if anyone had a problem with us non-vaxxers, and no one did (that’s when she went and got her mask).

    So, based on today’s trial run, I think if the wife is still ok with it, I’m going to pass on tomorrow’s “festivities”. It would be far too easy to push Karen’s buttons (@EM – or yank her chain, and she’s definitely got one dangling!), but then she’d just take it out on my wife, and I’d eventually have to listen to all of that. Plus, they’re all very liberal, and they always seem to find a way to turn the conversation to politics, so I have to just sit there and keep my mouth shut, since they believe everything the MSM tells them to believe, so I can’t question the narrative. One nice thing about the ‘plandemic’ is that I haven’t had to spend much time with her family. Why rush back into that? So, all things considered, I think a little ‘me time’ would be nice tomorrow night.

  23. H.R. says:

    @Pinroot: So… Saturday is pizza and beer and Jet Li movies?

    Or you can go all sophisticated, mix up a pitcher of martinis, and do a James Bond movie marathon.

    Wait! Shaken, not stirred. You’ll have to make the martinis one at a time. (Safety first! Don’t sprain your wrist. 😜)

  24. Pinroot says:

    @HR – Most likely it will either be pizza or wings with some kind of IPA (I’m liking the New England hazy ones right now). I don’t know what movie, but I’m thinking a John Wick marathon. I still haven’t seen the last one. I don’t get ‘me’ nights very often, so I need to make the most of it :)

    I would like to do a James Bond marathon some day. As a kid I saw a couple of them in the theater, but mostly I saw them on tv. I don’t think I’ve watched any of them after Sean Connery left (I did watch the George Lazenby one, so there’s that). I’ve never seen any of the Roger Moore movies or anything after (I’ve seen clips from a lot of them, but it’s not the same), so it would be quite a marathon for me :) At one time, on PlutoTV there was a James Bond movie channel, so I need to look into that and see if it still exists. In the meantime, I need to decide whether I want pizza or wings (or… BOTH!).

  25. Chiefio

    WE seem to be afraid of our own shadows.

    In the UK mortality rates have fallen to their lowest ever levels

    Covid is now only the 24th biggest cause of death as shown in one of the links from my link above.

    Yet freedom day-when we were supposed to come out of all restrictions-has been pushed back another month..

    Case rates are rising but vaccination has slashed the death rates. What are we waiting for,?

    We are relatively close to Carbis Bay where the G7 summit was held. Case rates there have soared from 50 in 100,000 to 500 in a 100,000.

    Still after all the glad handing by our elite there, I have no doubt that world leaders and their entourage all went into quarantine when they returned to their own countries. After meeting up again in close proximity in Brussels of course for the Nato summit

    Govts don’t like to relinquish control. For evidence of how we have been manipulated you might like to google The ‘Nudge’ Unit situated in Whitehall.

  26. another ian says:


  27. Another Ian

    It is a highly complicated matter involving state of the art biological processes and algorithms that would go way above your head unless you have a degree in physics and biology and maths.

    So just accept it as being an irrefutable fact ( I really don’t need to put ‘sarc’ do I?)

  28. jim2 says:

    Tony – when searched, found this.

    A government unit aimed at “nudging” people into making better life choices is to become a profit-making business.

    The Behavioural Insights Team – known as the “nudge unit” – will join with a commercial partner and become the first policy unit to be spun out of Whitehall.

    It finds ways of “nudging” people to make better choices themselves, rather than through state intervention.

    So the business will not be bound by the (alleged) restrictions on government behavior. We are seeing a lot of that in the states where corporations are cancelling peoples brands for political reasons, selling off stock in oil and coal companies, taking up liberal causes, and cutting off free speech. If they do it, they can get away with it whereas the government (allegedly) can’t.

    You can look forward to the ‘nudge’ unit being completely out of control.

  29. jim2

    I am writing an article about this as ‘dystopian;’ is the only way I can describe it.

    With apologies to Chiefio for setting out a small part of it here, but I think it is the sort of thing he will find interesting.

    —– ——

    “H L Mencken coined many memorable phrases, this being one of his best known. “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    Friedrich Hayek commented;

    ‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.”

    Are scary Hobgoblins deliberately created and set loose by Government to frighten and make compliant sectors of society and indeed whole populations? Are they used as the means to shape our thoughts and actions on key topics, by a Government deliberately promoting its own agenda which, without the fear factor might not otherwise be accepted? This article explores that premise with particular reference to Covid 19 and its ramifications on the “Climate Emergency.”

    ‘Nudging us in the ‘correct’ direction;’

    The ‘nudge’ unit was created by British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010 and now exports its ideas and techniques all round the world with offices in a variety of countries.

    By setting out and amplifying a variety of societal, medical and financial concerns, real or imaginary, Govt -here in the UK and elsewhere- are deciding they know what is best for you and for society and ‘nudging’ you in that direction.

    Covid, climate change, societal attitudes, racism, diversity. You name it and a small clique of people are transferring their own, often highly liberal ‘progressive’ views, on to you.

    “What is the Nudge Unit?

    The Nudge Unit was established in the Cabinet Office in 2010 by David Cameron’s government to apply behavioural science to public policy. The main building of the Cabinet Office is at 70 Whitehall, adjacent to Downing Street. The building connects three historically distinct properties, as well as the remains of Henry VIII’s 1530 tennis courts, part of the Palace of Whitehall, which can be seen within the building. Henry VIII, through the English Reformation, created probably the greatest changes to British society in our history and it is perhaps appropriate that- though more subtly- the nudge unit occupies space here in order to carry out changes that in due course will be as momentous and long lasting.

    The nudge unit is now owned partly by the Cabinet Office, by Nesta and by employees, it has operations across the world. Nesta describe themselves as the UK’s innovation agency for social good who “ design, test and scale new solutions to society’s biggest problems, changing millions of lives for the better.”

    The Nudge Units chief executive is Dr David Halpern, a behaviourial psychologist, former director of research at the Institute for Government, who is also the government’s What Works national adviser. He is one of the 56 individuals named by the UK government as contributing to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, focusing initially on behavioural changes such as increased handwashing.,by%20employees%2C%20it%20has%20operations%20across%20the%20world.

  30. E.M.Smith says:


    Speaking of “Fusion” cooking…

    How about a BBQ Wings Pizza? Get some wings sauce, slather a Naan bread with a layer, strip the meat off of the wings and dip in the sauce, arrange on the Naan bread. Sprinkle over with the cheese of your choice. (Onions, Peppers, Olives, Mushrooms, etc. optional as you like it).

    I think that could work…


    The UK seems more submissive than the USA. Or at least portions of the USA. I get the impression that a LOT of the folks prone to being “Uppity” to Government left the UK for the New World over the centuries… Creating a cultural (and perhaps to some extent genetic) divergence.

    @Per “Nudge”:

    Maybe it’s just me… but I’ve been subjected to so many commercials and PSAs for so long and so much Political BS that there’s NOTHING in any media that I find “motivating”. It all has no effect. At most, advertising can make me aware of some new technology being sold. It can not change my brand preferences nor “sell” me on something I’ve not already decided I want or need.

    We regularly get inundated with ads for various Causes du Jour and I do nothing. Latest batch here is trying to tell me to NOT use electricity between 4 pm and 9 pm. Don’t cook, clean, etc. Well guess what? Not going to happen. I cook dinner and wash up then. I’m still going to cook dinner then. Darkness comes, the lights go on. Hot days? The AC comes on. Waste the $Millions on PSAs to convince me otherwise if you must, but I’m not changing.

    They do manage to change my behaviour in one critical way. When I’ve seen them enough to find them obnoxious: I use the “mute” button more and eventually use the “jump to another channel”…

  31. jim2 says:

    I and we here have brought up how multiple parties of all political stripes strive to manipulate us. I’m conservative/libertarian leaning and get tons of solicitations from conservative political parties and groups. Almost all of it I find disgusting.

    And while I expect the Dimowits, socialists, and communists to lie incessantly to me, I find it 100 times worse when my own “clan” does it to me. Enough of lies and hyperbole. Quit asking me for money and actually do something to Make America Great Again!!!

  32. beththeserf says:

    Dr David Halpern alias Big Brother…

  33. Pinroot says:

    @EM – That BBQ wings pizza sounds pretty good (and simple). I’ll definitely have to try it sometime.
    However, when i do wings, I tend to get the “volcanic” (heat level) with garlic/parm sprinkled on them. Pair that with a nice beer, and I’m happy. I’m sure the garlic/parm would translate to pizza pretty well, but I don’t know about the “volcanic” part :)

    Re – the Nudge: I see that in a lot of places, although maybe in some cases, ‘nudge’ may not be the right word, but it’s close. I see a lot of commercials with inter-racial couples, and lately, the occasional same sex couple, with children. In at least the Disney, Marvel and Star Wars movies they’re talking about having characters come out as gay, trans, whatever. I look at all of that as ‘nudging’ you into accepting this as normal, when you may not feel that way. More relevant is the covid v@x. I’m seeing billboards and commercials telling you all the reasons you need to get your shot, trying to nudge people into accepting the shot as something that you must do. Back in the day, it was “support the troops!” in the latest war, it was your patriotic duty; today, it’s get the shot, it’s your patriotic duty. I think they’ve always used popular culture to ‘nudge’ (influence) people’s attitudes, opinions and beliefs, but I think/hope that more people are becoming aware of it and are tuning it out.

  34. The True Nolan says:

    @climatereason: “( I really don’t need to put ‘sarc’ do I?)”

    My experience? Yes. Put on the sarc. No matter how obvious you are in posting sarcasm, there will be someone, somewhere, somewhen, somehow who doesn’t get the clue. I think part of it is because the purported REAL news has reached a level which is hard to parody. No matter how clear the sarcasm, it just MIGHT sound real.

    For example:

  35. The True Nolan

    Truly the West is becoming a very bizarre place.


    Yes indeed, HIM! This is a short continuation of my article;

    “He wrote a book ‘Inside the nudge unit” which is subtitled “How small changes can make a big difference.”

    The nudge unit has offices in London, Manchester, Paris, New York, Singapore, Sydney, Wellington and Toronto. It has run more than 750 projects and in 2019 alone worked in 31 countries. It has conducted over 1000 workshops for governments around the world training 20000 civil servants in behavourial insights .

    Essentially Britain is teaching governments –and organisations-around the world how to follow its model of nudging citizens into doing what is ‘best’ for them as noted in the book “A state of fear’ by Laura Dodsworth.”

    Firstly I wonder if some of the most woke places on the planet WERE woke, so the nudge unit decided it was a good place to set up, or whether the nudge unit has turned them woke.

    Can I recommend the Laura Dodsworth Book which is about Covid primarily?

  36. another ian says:

    Re climatereason says:
    19 June 2021 at 11:30 am

    You didn’t mention models in the “how it is done” so probably does need the “sarc)

  37. another ian says:

    Sheep fodder

    “Ivermectin cures Covid according to The American Journal of Therapeutics”


  38. beththeserf says:

    It’s worrying, Tony. 1984 playing out!

  39. Yes Beth, with an office near you!

  40. beththeserf says:

    When nudge becomes shove… what was it in those Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals …’never let up, pick your target, freeze it , polarise it ..?’

  41. philjourdan says:

    @EMS – fortunately for us, the stores here are not full Commy yet, even with Governor Blackface. So some do require it. Most do not.

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