Wednesday, 15 February 2017

10:00 – It was 34.8F (1.5C) when I took Colin out this morning, very gray and with a light drizzle that’s to turn to snow later. Barbara is heading down to Winston shortly, where she’ll spend the night with Frances and Al and then drive back up to Sparta tomorrow afternoon. Colin and I are getting ready to have wild women and parties as soon as she leaves.

Barbara sent me a link Saturday to a PA novel that was free for the download through yesterday. I’d never heard of the author or the series, but I downloaded it just to take a look. I finally got around to looking at it last night. Very odd. It’s written in the first-person present, and reads like it was written by a 30-ish stay-at-home military wife with four kids who’s a huge fan of The Walking Dead. It turns out that’s just what it is. Her main characters are thinly-disguised variations of the main cast in TWD, and there are zombies all over the place. Not my cup of tea, but it and the rest of the series get very good reviews if that’s your kind of thing.

Interesting headline in the morning paper: “Evacuation Lifted for 200K Californians: Dam is repaired, but officials say fix may not hold” I believe that if I lived downstream of the tallest dam in the US, with more than a cubic mile of water behind it, I’d think twice about returning home after reading that headline.

I’ve seen remarkably little in the MSM about the disruption that was caused by this evacuation. I did get email from one reader who evacuated. He said things were an unmitigated fustercluck. Roads and bridges bottlenecked or completely blocked by cars that were broken down or out of gas, two-hour lines at gas stations that still had gas, which wasn’t many of them, and a trip to a friend’s home that would ordinarily have taken him 45 minutes that ended up taking eight hours.

There are a lot of takeaways here, but the biggest to my way of thinking is that it’s really, really important to keep your gas tank as full as possible. For some reason, most people let their gas tanks get down to a quarter or less before they refuel, and more than a few wait until they’re running on fumes. That makes no sense to me, given that it takes only a couple of minutes to stop at a gas station and fill up.

My 1993 Isuzu Trooper SUV has a 22.5-gallon gas tank and averages about 16 MPG real-world, for a 360-mile range. When the trip odometer gets up to 50 miles, I start thinking about filling the tank. If it gets to 100 miles, I’ll make a special trip to fill it.

Lori, our USPS carrier, drives a RHD Jeep that looks a lot like the CJ-7 I used to have. I asked her one time how much gasoline she goes through driving her stop-and-go postal route. She goes through about two-thirds of a tank per day, so she stops at the gas station every day after she finishes her route. Her Jeep is also her personal vehicle, so she starts out every morning full.

Barbara starts with a full tank when she’s heading down to Winston. She burns 5+ gallons for the round trip, so if there’s another pipeline break or some other interruption in fuel supplies, she can always get home.

February MTD kit sales revenue is already at 90% of revenue for all of 2/16, 110% of revenue for all of 2/15, and on track to match revenue for 2/14, which was our biggest February ever. Of course, this is a time of year when sales could just drop dead.

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