Thursday, 3 November 2016

08:47 – Barbara left about 0740 to drive down to Winston for a doctor appointment, various shopping errands, a haircut, and lunch with a friend. I expect her back late this afternoon, so it’ll be wild women and parties for Colin and me until she returns.

Colonial’s estimate that they’ll have Pipeline One back in full service by the end of this week is looking more and more questionable with each passing day. The morning paper ran a headline that says the pipeline is still burning. After they get the fire out, they need to let it cool before they can even inspect it, let alone repair it. Unless they’ve spent this week building a bypass, I can’t see any way it’ll be back up by the day after tomorrow.

The timing of this event is very different from the one a couple months ago. In the earlier failure, the problem didn’t hit the news for ten days after the actual failure. That meant that the fuel still in the pipeline had time to reach the tank farm in Greensboro and the pipe itself was empty. This time, the break hit the news just a couple of days after the actual failure, so there’s still fuel in the pipe, still being delivered to the tank farm. That means distribution from the farm to gas stations has continued pretty much normally. Some gas stations are reporting sporadic delivery issues, but basically gas stations are still open and still selling fuel. The crunch will really hit around the 10th of this month, when resupply goes down completely. It looks to me as though analysts’ initial estimates that fuel delivery won’t be resumed until the late November through mid-December period were probably spot-on. It’s like watching a train wreck from orbit. It hasn’t happened yet, but you know it’s going to happen and there’s not a thing you can do about it. I suspect things are going to really start to bite just after Election Day. Just what we need.

Meanwhile, the election looms. Depending on the results, over the few days following the election we may see anything from business as usual to widespread violent civil unrest in the cities. If Clinton “wins”, I would expect little to no violence; if Trump wins, all bets are off. But the main point is that no matter which of the candidates is declared the winner, half the country will not accept the results. If it’s Trump declared winner, the progs, BLMers, and so on may be out in force, looting and burning. If it’s Clinton, things will be calmer in the short term, but don’t discount the burning resentment present in tens of millions of well-armed Trump supporters. No matter what happens on Tuesday, we’ll all wake up Wednesday morning to a very dangerous situation. Either way, it won’t take much to blow the lid off. We’re about as ready as we can be here to hunker down and watch the game. Are you ready wherever you are?

In terms of last-minute preps, Barbara is picking up some food at Costco today if she has time to make the stop. She’ll fill her gas tank when she gets back up to Sparta. Mine is already full. I have 15 more pounds of pasta and egg noodles on order with Walmart, which is due to arrive Monday. I also have a 400W off-grid solar power starter kit on order from Amazon, also due to arrive Monday. Other than that, we’ll just sit back and watch what happens next week.