Lots of March buying was ‘panic buying’ but total retail sales were still down 8.4 percent that month. That panic attack probably impacted the drastic April gross sales drop of 16.4 percent. The combined two month drop in sales was a record for the United States. It may be wishful thinking, but many experts are predicting May numbers will show an increase as more people are getting out of the home. Our thoughts are that the stockpiled supplies from early panic shopping may begin to run out and replacing those supplies will pump up sales sooner or later. Toilet paper will probably not start running out for a WHILE, noting that the panic stockpiling of this tissue continued well into at least late April. One person with knowledge of the toilet tissue issue explained the surge of buying was because more people were staying home, thus using more toilet tissue at home. He added the home variety is made differently (softer) than that in public and/or business restrooms. It took a while to get the machines making the right kind of TP. That could be true, but it sure panicked the American buying public.

The computer program ‘Zoom’ has gotten lots of buzz lately and many of us who never heard of it before now have it installed on our computers. . . . and are regular users. We found one disappointing feature recently. Always trying to figure out what makes things work, we were clicking through the inter-workings of the program when right there in front of us was a little box to click “to make me look better”. Man alive we clicked that box instantly! But alas, it didn’t do anything but blur the image from the computer camera a bit. To add insult to injury, our less than perfect picture is now randomly popping up on our computer screen throughout the day . . . . all day long. Apparently, we clicked something else in addition to the ‘make me beautiful’ box. A horrible thought just hit! Is the little camera perched up there in the frame of the computer screen broadcasting our photo all day long??? Better get out the masking tape.

That mean ole coronavirus becomes more of a reality when it hits someone you know . . . . and that has happened to us. The percentage of people getting the virus nationwide is low and the death rate even lower, but folks this ain’t the flu bug that you get over in a few days. It is something that makes many of those who do catch it very, very sick and in lots of pain before they get well. Be Safe, Wash Your Hands and Wear Your Mask . . . . it reduces the odds of you catching the bug – or giving it to others.

We are past due a haircut and Governor Ivey shattered our excuse last week when she allowed the beauty and barber shops to reopen. Dear wife Heddy made it to the hairdresser’s shop Thursday morning but our excuse for no haircut was ‘too busy’. Maybe next week. Here is some free advertising, something that normally grates on our nerves.

Microsoft has some great ideas for all ages and it is largely free, but of course you need to be running their software to make it all work. The free part comes in if you already have their (or maybe one of their) latest programs – Microsoft 365. You can set up learning activities for children ages 3-12, for free. It includes home learning templates for math, virtual field trips and other things to keep youth interested - and learning. Then there are all sorts of ideas for adults (both financially productive and for fun). Improve your writing skills (levels of training go from children to old folks), typing, second language . . . the list goes on and on. The promo also offers to open the world of movie making and music writing to anyone interested! Oh, and their promotional stuff promises free access to programs like Word, Excel, etc. for students.

The Mike Hubbard court case isn’t over yet, in spite of the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling which upheld most of the six sections of the conviction. The people of Alabama will have to wait a while longer to find out if Hubbard will really have to spend time in the state penitentiary. His attorneys have asked the Supreme Court to reconsider and reverse their ruling which upheld most of the charges. The former Alabama House of Representatives speaker was automatically removed from office upon his Circuit Court conviction.

Former President Barack Obama recently openly criticized the federal government’s response to the ongoing pandemic without naming names, and one commentator commented, “It’s both revealing and depressing that when Obama talks about grown-ups behaving like little children, we all know exactly who he’s talking about.”

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