Sun. Feb. 14, 2021 – OMG WINTER IS COMING 111!!11!!11!!11111!!!!!!!

Cold cold and more cold.  Also cold.

34F when I went to bed.  Probably about the same when I get up.

Spent Saturday doing pickups, and a bit of ‘showing the flag.’   It was really nice to see the guys at my non-prepping hobby, and to sell a couple of things.  I don’t get as much as ebay, but it stays in the community, and I don’t have to ship or support it.   Then later at a pick up, I met and made a deal with a new auctioneer to sell stuff for me.   She says she’ll take everything I want to send her.  So I am going to start with a few bins and see how they do.

In the mean time…………

I will be getting ready for the freeze-mageddon.

I’m getting the Mr Buddy heaters out of storage.  Getting the filters and BBQ tank adapter hoses out.   Filling the extra water jugs.   The city said “don’t let you taps just run”.   NOT because that doesn’t work to keep your stuff from freezing, but because “pressure might drop and fire fighters won’t be able to fight fires.”  Their goals are not your goals.

I also need to move some of the outdoor food storage into cover, and bring home a heater for the garage.

Apparently it’s going to be Biblical.   I guess we’ll see.  Seems unlikely to me that it could possibly be as cold as they’re predicting, or last as long.  They are NEVER accurate, why would this be any different?

If I have time, I’m going to add another bulb to each tree.  9F is pretty freaking cold if we get there.  Another 60w of heat and light could save the tree.

Or not, and then I curse and moan.  I’m JUST getting fruit from the trees.  I’ve been growing those things for YEARS.  Losing them now would purely suck.

Who had nuclear winter on the scorecard for this year?

Disasters, they don’t just happen to other people.   Keep stacking.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

97 thoughts on “Sun. Feb. 14, 2021 – OMG WINTER IS COMING 111!!11!!11!!11111!!!!!!!”

  1. Our local weather liars predicted a week ago that we would have temperatures in the single digits this weekend. We will barely get below freezing. The Dark Sky app generally had it correct. But an accurate forecast does not make people watch the news or the ads. Sensationalism drives the news rather than facts.

  2. Mittens has enough bucks to pull a John Kerry. The rest will probably just pull their masks over their heads when they fly.

    Mittens still answers to The Elders, hence the vote to support the Supreme Court nominee with all of the kids even though it was Pence payola and the first Court pick for Touchdown Jesus.

  3. “What can I do to in my economic activity to minimize the benefit to the ChiComs?”

    I just want the Chinese to stop stealing my software.

    Right before I was terminated, the last job hired a Mainland Chinese national in our development group. PhD CS graduate from TAMU. My first line manager only cared about “The Ring”.

    I had my suspicions about the new hire’s motiviations, but if he turns out to be a mole, at least someone will use my software.

    Management c*rapped all over my mass simultaneous plate image download module for political reasons. My guess is that the Chinese won’t.


  4. If you want to vicariously experience extreme cold, read jack London’s To Build a Fire:

    Or read Laura Ingels Wilders Little House book “The Long Winter”. I read that to our kids decades ago and the images of frozen desperation still haunt me.


  5. The machines and their software are out there earning money for the owner. Under what circumstances is the owner absolved from any problems?

    The machines aren’t owned by Dominion. They are owned by the counties. Dominion doesn’t service them. Please read what I wrote.

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  6. Our local weather liars predicted a week ago that we would have temperatures in the single digits this weekend. We will barely get below freezing. The Dark Sky app generally had it correct. But an accurate forecast does not make people watch the news or the ads. Sensationalism drives the news rather than facts.

    Isn’t Tennessee relatively open? Can’t have that.

    Austin had a forecast low this morning for 12, but temps never budged below the 20s all night. Still, lots of ice leftover from Thursday/Friday which isn’t going anywhere.

    My sister-in-law called from Oklahoma last night. She flew/drove up there for a friend’s 50th birthday at one of the casinos and got worried about getting stuck since she has to fly out of Dallas to return to Orlando this afternoon.

    How far back was this mess predicted? They couldn’t find something to do in Dallas near the airport? Or Orlando?

  7. “To Build A Fire” is a classic that used to be ubiquitous on the reading lists for junior highs. I doubt if hs grads now recognize Jack London’s name.

    Remember the card game “Authors”? I haven’t played it for 50+ years and I bet I could smoke anyone under 30.

    FOLLOW-UP:
    When I was writing about ice melting salts the other day, I neglected to mention two things:
    1) Sodium chloride and calcium chloride are not good for plants. On walkways with plants nearby, use sand or get some magnesium chloride (check garden centers).
    2) Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are very hygroscopic. (CaCl2 is the active ingredient in Damp Rid) Both need to be kept in a tightly sealed container when not dispensing.

    I lost a bucket of mag chloride some years ago by not paying attention. Put the unused balance of a 50# bag into a 5-gallon pail, put the lid on, and put it on a pallet on the speedrack. At some point the pail was cracked by a too-close encounter with an adjacent pallet. Water got pulled in, saturated with mag chloride, then the solution leaked out and dripped on the equipment on the pallet below. Mag chloride solution is slimy and corrosive.

    My standard practice now is to line pails (o-ring seals) with heavy duty poly liners and divide moisture sensitive materials into ziploc freezer bags for storage. In some cases the bottom of the pail gets a half pound of Drierite just to make sure. I have portland cement that has been stored this way for 20+ years and has no clumping.

  8. @Nick
    I started selling on eBay more than 20 years ago. Sell-through rate was high for any auction with well-described collectibles. No photos required. Fees were low (<5%) and payment was buyer-to-seller direct–check in the mail.

    They bought PayPal, forced everyone to sign up, and then outlawed any other form of payment. Total fees got to 12.9%, with 10% to eBay and 2.9% to PP.

    Well, not quite:

    1) The PP fee was 30 cents plus 2.9%. That 30 cents adds 3% costs on a $10 sale, 1.5% on a $20 sale, 1% on a $30 sale.

    2) The eBay and PP fees extend to shipping. Worse, they also extend to the sales tax that is charged to the seller, but you as a buyer never see. NOTE: In both cases the statement format was "improved" to obfuscate this.

    3) Just to top it off, the seller gets charged an extra 1% for any sale to an OUS buyer.

    It makes sense to analyze your sales results periodically.


  9. They don’t get many of them for the effort expended.

    Police are not paid for results but for time put in.

    Their goals are not your goals.

    Quoted for truth, and should be repeated every time any orders or guidelines or (alleged) information comes from any government body.

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  10. Slept late as I was up late.

    34F at 2am, 35F at 1030am. Not freezing yet, but it does seem to be coming. The earliest arrive here was predicted for ‘freezing sleet’ late this afternoon.

    Time for pancakes!

    n

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  11. The events in “The Long Winter” – the Blizzard of 1889 – aka “Schoolhouse Blizzard” – is a major element of my latest Classic Western “Rocky’s Treasure” (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08Q1RPZQD?tag=ttgnet-20 ).

    Interesting to research that event. And reminded of it today with the snow outside my window. About 4″ total at the moment; lightly snowing this morning, but predicted to turn to rain later today, which will melt all the snow by tomorrow.

    But pretty to look at from a warm house – snow-frosted tall pine trees around my house.

  12. @ech

    The machines and their software are out there earning money for the owner. Under what circumstances is the owner absolved from any problems?

    “The machines aren’t owned by Dominion. They are owned by the counties. Dominion doesn’t service them. Please read what I wrote.”

    I did. Here’s your OP:

    HUGE DEVELOPMENT: Hand Recount Finds Dominion Owned Voting Machines Shorted EVERY REPUBLICAN Candidate in Windham, New Hampshire, 300 Votes!

    “If you read through, and Google a bit, you find that:
    – the machines were not made by Dominion
    – the equipment was originally made by Unisys after they got the design from a Canadian company
    – the company was then sold by Unisys to a subsidiary of Diebold.
    – Diebold later sold that company to a competitor
    – that competitor was forced to sell off the IP of Diebold’s company as part of an anti-trust settlement
    – the machines are relatively old and are no longer made
    – similar errors didn’t happen in other races around the state that had hand recounts. (These machines are used all over NH and many adjacent states.)
    – the NH secretary of state believes that the ballot count sheets that were turned in were incorrect.

    AND the clincher: the support and service of the AccuVote machines is not done by Dominion, but by a small company in NH, LHS Associates.”

    Machine ownership has not previously been addressed by either of us.

    My first post on the subject was:
    “The manufacturing history is irrelevant.
    The operative part of the lede is “Dominion owned”, with the implication that the owner is responsible for the software.
    If the rest of it is accurate in that Republican candidates were shorted votes–with the implication that only Republican candidates were shorted votes–then the question is whether it was done in software or through some other more traditional mechanism?”

    Going back to Thursday and the Gateway Pundit link, includes this statement:
    “Dominion (Voting Systems) owns the intellectual property of the AccuVote and its related election management system but does not manufacture the device.”

    which originated in an article that also included this statement from a Democrat candidate:

    St. Laurent, in a letter to the commission, said there were only two explanations for the bizarre variation in the vote counts — “either the machines were programmed to reflect unwarranted adjustments in multiples of 100 to the totals of all Republicans and the top voter receiver among Democrats or a significant number of ballots were double-counted during the (recount) process.” That double counting, however, did not explain, to any degree, why her count would drop by 99 votes, she said.”

    https://patch.com/new-hampshire/windham/investigators-eye-voting-devices-cards-after-windham-recount

    The issue from the beginning as I understood it, and as I posted, was with the software which is Dominion-owned.

    Eight candidates total in the election, with these discrepancies between the totals counted by the machines and the hand recounts:

    Republicans: +297, +299, +303, +298 (+5.3 to +6.2%)
    Democrats: -99, +21, +28, +18 (-2.3%, three +0.6-0.7%)

    Small sample size. Don’t need ANOVA to conclude a high likelihood that the two groups are different.

    The first-pass conclusion is that something caused the vote totals to be altered based on party affiliation.

    Such a conclusion is extremely troubling and warrants thorough investigation.

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  13. The issue from the beginning as I understood it, and as I posted, was with the software which is Dominion-owned.

    You understood what they wrote. But it’s not what is going on. LHS Associates does all the maintenance on the machines, hardware and software. Dominion may have ended up with rights to the software at some time well after NH bought the machines. But they don’t have ANYTHING to do with it now. LHS does.

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  14. So what do we know about LHS?

    n

    And because Dominion no longer is involved doesn’t mean the software is secure or unalterable.

  15. Off topic, but caught my eye because it’s on sale at costco this month….

    I am seeing a metric TON of a couple of items in the ‘returns’ auctions– air fryers, and countertop ovens.

    Seems that a whole bunch of people are really disappointed with those two items.

    n

  16. I am seeing a metric TON of a couple of items in the ‘returns’ auctions– air fryers, and countertop ovens.

    Seems that a whole bunch of people are really disappointed with those two items.

    Football season ended last weekend.

    Though, I’m not really convinced the modified toaster ovens dominating the low end in the market are really great air fryers, even for wings.

    Plus, people don’t have the kitchen counter space anymore. The air fryers are larger than the old reliable two slice toaster oven.

  17. @ech
    “Dominion may have ended up with rights to the software at some time well after NH bought the machines. But they don’t have ANYTHING to do with it now. LHS does. ”

    If Dominion is the owner of the software, then they most certainly do have something to do with it. LHS doesn’t own the software. We have no information from the article as to whether they simply pass-through software from Dominion or make alterations. What is the source of the “updates”?

    The results as quoted above make a prima facie case for further investigation.

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  18. Hope and Change !

    White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday the White House would not list Israel as a U.S. ally when asked about the relationship during her daily press briefing.

    So we “normalize” relations with Iran and snub Israel?

    Now we can retroactively impeach presidents, I vote we impeach Obama for providing aid and comfort, in the form of billions in untraceable cash, to Iran who was directly responsible for hundreds if not thousands of American deaths. Cash, which his own administration admitted would be used to fund terrorism.

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  19. US troops go one year without combat death in Afghanistan

    That’s unacceptable. Secretary of Defense Neidermeyer will correct that within the next few months.

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  20. @Greg
    I bought an air fryer for Christmas.

    After thinking long and hard about counter space, I bought one that pivots to vertical when not in use.

    I suspect that a lot of people have space issues, and a lot more have a problem with setting the controls.

    Three settings: time, temp, and mode. Mode is basically air velocity. Air can move much faster than a large convection oven, so it’s easier to dry food out.

    I’ve found that the main advantage is the greatly reduced preheat time compared to the full-size convection oven. Less than a minute compared to 20 minutes. Frozen pizza or frozen vegetables done in 15 minutes total. Halved #1 baby red potatoes in 20. Butterflied and hand-breaded chicken breast in 16-18.


  21. I am seeing a metric TON of a couple of items in the ‘returns’ auctions– air fryers, and countertop ovens.

    Seems that a whole bunch of people are really disappointed with those two items.

    Football season ended last weekend.

    Though, I’m not really convinced the modified toaster ovens dominating the low end in the market are really great air fryers, even for wings.

    Plus, people don’t have the kitchen counter space anymore. The air fryers are larger than the old reliable two slice toaster oven.

    I was looking to replace my old toaster-over (4-slice) with a newer model. NOPE. Don’t need 6 slices, don’t need air fryer. I go to Consumer Reports to get a feel for what’s good, but I am beginning to think they are compromised/corrupted. Recommended frying pan was a disaster – in spite of negative postings they still say its the best. As for toaster ovens, they like the big Breville and say it is better than expected reliability – in spite of multiple posts from owners saying just after 2 years, and warranty expiry, the fan fails. Breville will not sell the part to you, but you can send the oven in to them for a $150 repair on a $400 item. This is reliable? Stick with the cheap, simple devices.

  22. So what do we know about LHS?

    n

    And because Dominion no longer is involved doesn’t mean the software is secure or unalterable.

    No the software could be horrible. I still don’t see how this is Dominion’s problem. If you are running Windows XP (or NT, or God help you Win98) and you expose that machine to the internet, you are going to have problems as they are no longer considered secure or supported. It is your choice to continue to run insecure software and at your risk. You bear responsibility for securing them. (Were these the latest machines from any of the voting machine companies, I would say there might be something fishy.) Ask better why New Hampshire has chosen to use old and insecure voting machines? Or why such a relatively small state needs voting machines at all because they are then on the hook to keep upgrading them, and it may well be they can’t afford that.

  23. As for toaster ovens, they like the big Breville and say it is better than expected reliability – in spite of multiple posts from owners saying just after 2 years, and warranty expiry, the fan fails. Breville will not sell the part to you, but you can send the oven in to them for a $150 repair on a $400 item.

    We had a Cuisinart in Florida and Vantucky, and the digital controls didn’t survive almost two weeks in a moving truck trailer sitting in the New Mexico desert in July when we moved to Texas.

    After that, we just gave up on countertop ovens since we don’t have the counter space in our current house.


  24. Fill your gas tanks now !
    I told this to my employees Friday. And I filled my truck to the max of its 35 gallons. The wife has promised to fill her tank before the weekend is over.

    And make sure you have an appropriate siphon hose/pump if you need to tap those reserves. No fun standing outside in 10 degree weather trying to stuff a piece of garden hose into your gas filler pipe that will never fit.

  25. The kitchen oven upgrade, courtesy of Habitat for Humanity, left me with a big oven, and a small microwave/convection oven with a fold down door.

    I really like the option of using the smaller box as an oven because, as noted above, it heats up rapidly. There is an energy savings too, although I’m not actually concerned about that. Time is more important to me.

    n

    Headed out to round up all my various forms of heat.

    n


  26. The democrats just wasted a few million dollars and accomplished nothing.

    Previous impeachment trials have shown that the role of impeachment manager can bring valuable recognition to representatives and elevate their political profile.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/us/politics/house-impeachment-managers-.html

    It will be interesting to see their next line of attack.

    Not a direct Trump attack but there’s this mess to potentially deal with…
    https://thefederalist.com/2021/02/13/democrats-prepare-to-gut-medicare-and-farm-subsidies-with-billions-in-cuts/

  27. @Greg
    Cuisinart compromised their brand by putting their name on inferior appliances. I learned the hard way, then a few years ago I got interested in the company history and had it confirmed by a third-party reference.

    My original food processor, though, is going on 4o. I’ve replaced the base/motor. After I got the original I lucked into a display change at a department store and bought a pretty comprehensive set of blades and accessories, so it made sense to keep the original working.


  28. And make sure you have an appropriate siphon hose/pump if you need to tap those reserves. No fun standing outside in 10 degree weather trying to stuff a piece of garden hose into your gas filler pipe that will never fit.

    This. People still think you can stick a garden hose down the gas cap and suck out gas (thanks Hollyweird movies). I have a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/stores/GasTapper/page/AE068095-B728-4675-8B0C-737230BE273F?ref_=ast_bln%5C%22%3EGasTapper%3C%2Fa%3E&tag=ttgnet-20 that I've tried to make sure it works on all my vehicles. I store gennie gas in my car tank since it rotates a lot. I also have several empty gas containers in the garage to fill if SHTF.

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  29. Prepping:

    I have a VacMaster 215 chamber vac I got for around $300 (currently about $1,000 on Big River, yikes!) along with a FoodSaver vac for food storage. I know many of you use a FoodSaver, but if you find a VacMaster for cheap BUY IT!

    We don’t use a lot of milk, so I keep non-fat dry milk on hand. I vacuum pack most of it in mylar bags (2 qt size) and put enough dry in the bag to make 1 qt. That lasts a long time. Mix right in the bag if needed.

    VacMaster settings for a 7mil mylar bag that works for me:

    Vac time: 24s the standard
    Seal time: 3s gets a good double seal line
    Cool time: 2s
    No O2 absorber

    You can now buy <a href="https://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-Compatible-SteelPak-Textured-Embossed/dp/B07Q4RBT32/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=Mylar+Vacuum+Seal+Bags&qid=1613331801&sr=8-4&th=1%5C%22%3Emylar&tag=ttgnet-20 bags with texture like FoodSaver bags and use them with your FoodSaver.

  30. Just got a robocall from CPS to “turn down your thermostat and turn off unneeded appliances” because black/brown outs are headed to SA.

  31. @MrAtoZ

    The Link button works best if you use it on the initial comment edit screen. If you highlight a word/phrase before you click the link button, the word/phase is shown as a link, not the actual link.

    The Link button may not work nicely if you try to add a link when you edit a comment. That’s a limitation of the comment editor plugin. It’s not quite perfect, but usable if you know the limitations.

    Pasted links work just fine; are automatically converted to an HREF on comment save.

  32. Just got a robocall from CPS to “turn down your thermostat and turn off unneeded appliances” because black/brown outs are headed to SA.

    I have no doubt that the “smart” thermostats are just one software upgrade away from control by ERCOT/Oncor in emergency situations like this weekend.

    The AC contractor who came out to replace my upstairs unit’s control module a few years ago quoted me a couple of prices for new units, but he wouldn’t talk about keeping the “dumb” thermostat even though it is capable of up to 3H/2C operation.

    I know Oncor spiffs these guys, but there are a lot of AC contractors out there.

    I have gas furnaces and run 68 downstairs, 66 upstairs. I haven’t seen the EHEAT indicator on either unit in years, and the upstairs rarely runs in the Winter. IMHO I’m doing my part. IIRC the Federal Government guidelines are 65 heating and 84 cooling.

  33. It also have several empty gas containers in the garage to fill if SHTF.

    I always keep 30 gallons, in 5 gallon cans, in the annex. I rotate it into the vehicles every quarter. Good feeling to have the reserves. Also 140 gallons of propane for the generator. I love propane because you don’t have to worry about age.

    Local stations are all about the “blizzard of 2021”. Breathless live reports have replaced regular Sunday shows, an improvement in my opinion. We are told that for the first time in recorded history ALL of Texas (and Oklahoma and Arkansas) are under a winter storm watch.
    We are supposed to get a few hours reprieve from the snow tomorrow. I will try to get the wife into dialysis tomorrow if the main roads are cleared. My primary concern are the neighborhood roads that won’t be sanded. But we have to try, can’t wait till Friday for dialysis.

  34. People still think you can stick a garden hose down the gas cap and suck out gas (thanks Hollyweird movies).

    I had to remove about ten gallons from my 1997 car’s tank to change the fuel pump a few years ago. Of course, fuel pumps only fail when the tank is near full. 😉

    I tried a few things, and knew there was an antisiphon flap about two feet down the filler, at the top of the tank. I was concerned I might not be able to pull the tube out, so used a stiff nylon tube. The flap is spring loaded, and has sharp edges, based on taking one apart on another car. It did grab the tube, but I could twist and wiggle it out. I was prepared to just yank and break that tab, but didn’t have to.

    The next problem was that I couldn’t actually siphon, because the tank is too low. I used a hand pump, and it worked fine. Ever since, I have shopped for a pump like the one you linked, but $100+ is more than I am willing to pay for one use every 20 years.

    A way to get gas from a working car is to simply disconnect the fuel hose under the hood and extend it to a suitable container. Turn the ignition ON, and it will pump. On the cars that won’t run the pump with the engine not running, simply remove the fuel pump relay and insert a temporary short.

    Another possibility is to use an electric fuel pump salvaged from a car and connect it either to a tube pushed down the tank filler, or to the hose under the hood. These actually look like the one pictured in your link. They are probably cheap at wrecking yards. I have seem them built into a roll around fuel caddy.

    Finally, if I ever have to partially empty a full tank to fix a dead pump, I would consider simply disconnecting the pump discharge line and applying suction. This should work well if you have a vacuum source with a sealed collection bucket. If not, it is possible to simply drill a hole in the side of the tank near the bottom. Don’t drill it on the bottom where it might snag road debris. After the gas is out, insert a self tapping screw with a sealing washer. These will almost always last the life of the car with no leakage.

    Yes, some of these ideas are not for the unskilled, but in a bad situation can be lifesavers. Well, probably not literally.

  35. … he wouldn’t talk about keeping the “dumb” thermostat even though it is capable of up to 3H/2C operation.

    Some control boards need “special” stats. These probably have thermistors as sensors.

    I have a friend who went without AC for almost a month waiting for a blower control circuit board. I offered to try to rig something to directly turn the blower motor ON, but he didn’t want help. I’m sure you will consider this when buying a system, but most people won’t.

    Also, don’t try to use a hard contact stat with a modern variable speed blower or compressor system.

    You know not to let your dumb stat out of your possession. These are getting scarce. I have a beautiful Honeywell two stage heat and two stage cool mercury stat, and a spare for it. These can last for many decades as long as they are not mechanically or electrically damaged. They are also good for other uses, and work better (with a relay) than almost all line voltage stats.

  36. My primary concern are the neighborhood roads that won’t be sanded.

    Too bad it is (almost) impossible to get studded tires in the US.

  37. @JimB

    Studded tires are available in WA at America’s Tires: https://www.discounttire.com/tires/winter-catalog .

    Of course, there’s snow around here every winter. And you must remove the studded tires sometime in spring.

    But perhaps they aren’t available in states that don’t get snow. YMMV.

    I’ve never used studded tires. Didn’t need them in my home near Sacramento CA. Didn’t use them in Utah (near Ogden). The 2008 Highlander AWD I had there worked well on snow-packed roads. Has a “Snow” setting to give extra traction. Don’t need them here in WA – I just stay home during the yearly snow event here.

    Any AWD vehicle ought to work OK on snowy roads. Maybe even icy roads. As long as you drive slowly/carefully. And hope that others around you do the same.

  38. Just got an Emergency Alert on my phone. Bexar County (San Antone) warns “many streets are being closed due to unsafe conditions” so stay home and stay safe.

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  39. the Federal Government guidelines are 65 heating and 84 cooling

    But not in government buildings where the heat is set to 75 and the cooling is set to 72. Sometimes both at the same time.

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  40. Some control boards need “special” stats. These probably have thermistors as sensors.

    The old system with the upgraded control board was fine on the “dumb” thermostat.

    He wouldn’t talk about a new system on the same “dumb” thermostat.

  41. “the Federal Government guidelines are 65 heating and 84 cooling”

    But not in government buildings where the heat is set to 75 and the cooling is set to 72. Sometimes both at the same time.

    Doctors’ offices are the same way. It is all about the demographics filling the clerical positions.

  42. Home from my rent house and secondary. Turns out I have two of those ‘oil filled electric radiators’ so one is in the garage hopefully heating up right now. The other, bigger one I’ll hold in reserve.

    Put plastic sheet around the bottom of the rent house. Hopefully that will keep some of the wind from scouring away heat from the floor and pipes. Put the wife’s towel warmer rack under the bathroom over there. Might help. Can’t hurt. Left the tenants a Mr Buddy and a 1 pound bottle of propane. Turns out, I had a dozen bottles stored at my secondary. That was good because the Girl Scouts have been hitting my stash of 1 pound bottles here at the house. Without telling me of course…

    I saw a few snow flurries on my way out, and again at Costco on my way back. Filled 12 gallons of gas in empty cans from the secondary. Should be able to run the gennies on that alone for a couple of days, and I’ve got somewhere around 30 gallons stored here besides that. Ran out of time and will soon be out of daylight. Didn’t get a chance to start the gennies. I really need to get dinner in the oven, then add at least a light bulb heater to my covered shelves in the driveway before losing the daylight.

    We just got the emergency alert message on our phones too. Much longer message than just “stay home, roads will be bad…”

    n

  43. I saw a few snow flurries on my way out, and again at Costco on my way back

    Austin has snow. Real snow. A dusting, but not just flurries.

    21. Even Faux News weather predicts 11 for the morning.

  44. I do sympathize with the Texans’ current difficulties, what with not being used to the weather they’re getting nor having houses designed for it, but I can’t help laughing a bit. “Oh, goodness, temperatures are going to go below freezing! There might even be frost on the windshields!” I call that an unseasonably warm February day, round here.

    Temp dipped below 0F a couple mornings ago. Didn’t bother to see how cold it had gotten, simply noted that it “felt below zero” when I drove my daughter to the school bus pickup spot. Around 10AM it was up to 4. On the plus side, I saw some sun Friday. Shocked me, it did. We’ve had solid grey cover for long enough that I’d forgotten what the color blue looked like.


  45. The other, bigger one I’ll hold in reserve.

    For what?

    Put plastic sheet around the bottom of the rent house. Hopefully that will keep some of the wind from scouring away heat from the floor and pipes.

    It will. This house was skirted with lattice. I covered that with tar paper, not exactly pretty, but it did make a difference.

    I went to Marble Falls today, to Tractor Supply. Dog food. Not much traffic and I putted along at 45 to 50 MPH. Coming home I had the thought to stop at the chicken place, it’s been a couple of months. Nope. It’s a Fast Food Alley. Chicken Express, something I can never name, Burger King, Captain D’s, Taco Bell. All looked closed but Taco Bell. No chicken for me.

    Fresh batch of dog food. Smells like cookies or similar. Buddy the new dog guarded the bag until I fed the dogs.

    Snow or something blowing around like sand on the road at the beach. That has picked up and with a few snowflakes swirling around.

    Down to 14F a moment ago.


  46. hitting my stash of 1 pound bottles here at the house. Without telling me of course…

    That drives me up a wall. Go ahead and use the stuff, that’s what it’s there for, but let me know. But not only do they not tell me when something’s getting low, they actively move things around to conceal the use of the stuff.


  47. Buddy the new dog guarded the bag

    Question: would the naive observer be able to distinguish that from the dog sitting very close to the bag in hopes that it would spontaneously burst open?

    2
  48. @paul, holding the bigger heater in reserve for anyone in my tribe who might need it. My gun store buddy has to heat his garage or animals suffer, so I gave him a Mr Buddy, Big Buddy last time we had cold. It might be better though to use the electric heat as long as we have it… Or any neighbor with a furnace issue, or even us with an issue…..

    Got a 45w halogen bulb in the shelving unit in the driveway. The shelves are wrapped in plastic sheet, so there shouldn’t be much air movement to cool it down once it warms. The peanut oil is already white…

    We’re supposed to be 20s overnight tonight, so that gives me tomorrow to add some more heat to the citrus trees. And to start the gennies in the daylight (I hope.)

    I did put a couple more dozen Ahr of battery on the charger. I can run a bunch off the inverter if needed.

    Currently 31F

    n

  49. One disappointing thing, I couldn’t find my kerosene. I thought I had a 5 gallon can at my secondary location. If I did, I couldn’t find it. It has been over 13 years since I would have put it somewhere…. Kero was WAY down my list, until I bought one of those big heaters that uses a wick… I haven’t used my construction salamander heater in 15 or more years, and didn’t really expect to. I suppose I could get the kero out of it if needed.

    n

  50. $4445/MWh – this is the day to own a power plant. That’s often $20. on quiet days.

    2
  51. Wow. 222x due to supply and demand.

    If an independent gas station owner went out and bought a generator to run his pumps, paid an electrician at emergency rates to put in a transfer switch, managed to get the work inspected, offered employees a premium to come in so that the community could have a gasoline/diesel supply, then charged people $20 for an emergency allotment of 4 gallons, the screams of “PRICE GOUGING!!!” would be heard in minutes, and the constables would pass families stranded in the ditch to get there, shut him down, and make the arrest for the cameras.

    Makes you proud to be in a progressive neo-communist nation, doesn’t it?

  52. Indeed, drwilliams. In fact, anti-gouging laws are so offensive that I’m thinking that I’ll retire down in hurricaneland, buy a motel, and then keep it closed when people are driven out of their homes and need a place for the night. The brightly-lit sign will say “Vacancies – but not for you”.

    5
  53. Fill your gas tanks now !
    I told this to my employees Friday. And I filled my truck to the max of its 35 gallons. The wife has promised to fill her tank before the weekend is over.

    And make sure you have an appropriate siphon hose/pump if you need to tap those reserves. No fun standing outside in 10 degree weather trying to stuff a piece of garden hose into your gas filler pipe that will never fit.

    Got one. “GasTapper (TM Gravity Model – Liquid Transfer Gasoline Siphon Pump 18′ of Fuel Hose & Modern Car Adapter – USA Hose & Assembly”
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N5C28BO/?tag=ttgnet-20

  54. do sympathize with the Texans’ current difficulties, what with not being used to the weather they’re getting nor having houses designed for it, but I can’t help laughing a bit. “Oh, goodness, temperatures are going to go below freezing! There might even be frost on the windshields!” I call that an unseasonably warm February day, round here.

    The unusually cold weather in Austin doesn’t bother me as much as the hysteria. The NWS predicted 1 degree for tomorrow morning a week ago.

    Texas has a bullseye from the Feds and the media.


  55. GasTapper

    Ugh. Don’t tell me, let me guess: their product slogan is “Oh, man. I wanna tap that gas.”

  56. ADDED
    Compared the two GasTapper models in the links above and read the questions. In the link that Lynn posted and the two spendy 12v models there is a narrow yellow funnel-like device and some extra tubing. The description contains:

    “Equipped with a special funnel designed to open cap-less gas tanks and tanks with metal flaps, Spring end to help retain hose, 11′ of FuelFlex 65 3/8 inch Fuel line, 1/4 inch 6′ modern car adapter line for accessing difficult cars, 1/2″ 3′ guide tube to aid in modern car access ”

    The funnel is $1.99 as “FloTool 10719 Capless Gas Tank Funnel ”

    I think I’d find a 3′ length of stainless tubing to use as a dip tube. Easier to insert and you have a better feel for the end of the tube.


  57. Popular TX bumper sticker ca 1973:

    “Let them freeze in the dark.”

    Yah. I also remember Senator Cruz voting against an emergency blizzard relief package following one of the big storms in the Northeast, not that many years ago. And I remember Senator Cruz bellying up to the pork trough not that many months later for emergency hurricane relief funding.

  58. @SteveF
    Circumstances entirely different, but I couldn’t resist. At least I didn’t mention Karma’s disposition. 😉

    ca. 1973 the price of oil and gas were tightly controlled. We had a natural gas supply crisis, because the price wasn’t high enough to support exploration and development. When they took the price controls off, the crisis went away, and the price was high enough to support development of new technologies. So now we export natural gas, when we can get it by the greenies guarding our ports.

    Texas in this case is suffering from a 100-year event, whereas blizzards in the NE are much more frequent. What makes the case for federal assistance is the federal war on coal, which as Lynn pointed out made it impossible to stockpile fuel for fossil-fuel generating plants. Combined with little to no nuclear or hydro in Texas, effectively no solar or windmill power due to the season and the cold, and an independent power grid make the supply a lot less robust. I suspect there will be an investigation and a report, which will likely turn into a partisan political clusterflock.

    Which is exactly were we are headed with national energy policy.

    Not long ago the price of fuel was high and the price of corn was low, and you could drive through the corn belt and see billboards advertising corn stoves. For those not familiar, literally burning corn in a pellet-type stove because is made economic sense.

    That is seriously whack-a-doodle. I’d much rather see ads for libtard-to-fuel conversion plants, although I suspect it would not be long before they were selling their Subarus, wearing MAGA hats outside, and waiting until after midnight to read old copies of The Progressive under the covers with solar-charged flashlights. Have to root ’em out like possums.


  59. billboards advertising corn stoves … burning corn in a pellet-type stove

    … for those that like their popcorn hot and fresh?

    1
  60. Really cold weather with snow and ice is business as usual around here. Though, today was especially frigid as the subzero temps lasted all day (it’s usually a nighttime/early morning thing). They stopped sanding most roads around here years ago. Now, they just use rock salt (or some chemical equivalent) all the time. The sand creates its own driving hazards once the snow and ice melts (Especially when that sand builds up all winter long storm after storm. By Spring it’s like you’re driving on a beach.). They do pretreat and go around spraying a salt liquid on the roads before the ice/snow storm.


  61. … for those that like their popcorn hot and fresh?

    After reading that I was chuckling at the thought of a heater that uses the power of burnt microwave popcorn. The smell is horrendous, but it’s so easy anyone can do it! 🙂 lol

    1

  62. They stopped sanding most roads around here years ago.

    So they finally found a good varnish, eh?

    1
  63. I used to visit a client in Mexico. On one winter visit I mentioned something about snowplowing–they were vaguely familiar but not much. I asked if they had seen the movie “Airport” with the scene where the airport manager (Burt Lancaster) ordered the “konga line” to clear the runways. Drew a blank. I unsuccessfully looked for it on YouTube, but did find video of a 30-years newer snowplow with a wing plow. Blew them away.

    Couple weeks ago on the news they showed video of the latest: a snowplow towing a trailer plow that was offset one lane to the right. This one is a bit different but you get the idea:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJEgkbq_b2Q

    YouTube also has some video of snowplow trains.

  64. Just went from 27F to 26F. Definitely some slushy accumulation in spots.

    n


  65. Couple weeks ago on the news they showed video of the latest: a snowplow towing a trailer plow that was offset one lane to the right. This one is a bit different but you get the idea:

    We have many of those around here. They started popping up probably 7 years or so ago (or, at least, that’s when I started noticing them). Very slick. You can clear an interstate or highway fairly quickly with them.

    I am always amused at how quickly it is from the time it starts snowing until people are bitching about their neighborhood not being plowed. There’s a lot of disparity in when your neighborhood get plowed based on whether you’re part of the city and the city is doing it, outside city limits and the county is doing it, or in a development where a private contractor is doing it. I have no complaints where we live. Honestly, anyone that lives at this latitude and doesn’t have the means and driving experience to get around before the plow trucks can come through had better be a recent transplant or should be embarrassed.

  66. Down to 25F now. Not much in the way of precip. Maybe some tiny sand size particles…

    n

  67. If the ice storm does happen, just stay home and stay inside unless you absolutely have to go out. Walking on a fresh coating of ice can be a life altering and even a life ending experience. The speed with which you can go from upright to impact is frightening. You grew up in the Midwest and “know” this, Nick, but it’s a good time to get preachy with other people.

    You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
    You don’t spit into the wind
    You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
    And you don’t mess around with Jim
    And you stay off the ice, man.

  68. One trick if you’re worried about you vehicle not starting is to put a trouble light with an incandescent bulb under the hood near the battery to keep it warm. That should help those “cold cranking amps” in the morning.

  69. The reason freezing is such a big deal here, the houses aren’t built for it. At my rent house, all the supply pipes are just run in open air under the house. The house is up on blocks, and you can see right thru from one side to the other. There isn’t even any foam on the pipes. What isn’t run under the house is in the uninsulated attic. Or in the uninsulated walls. Seeing a theme here? Older houses are VERY open to the air. Our biggest problem is moisture and mold, so the more air you can get thru the structure, the better. Particularly in all the pre-1950 building stock.

    So pipes freeze and burst. Then you’ve got a mess.

    And drivers? Freaking NO experience on ice or snow. No plows. No salt. No sand. Black ice forms on the freeways. So that’s fun.

    and people? Shorts weather this aint. Most people don’t even have the clothes to go out in that kind of cold.

    All in all, a big mess.

    n

  70. Just got an Emergency Alert on my phone. Bexar County (San Antone) warns “many streets are being closed due to unsafe conditions” so stay home and stay safe.

    Monday is a federal, state, and school holiday so we may get a little reprieve by all those people staying home. But Tuesday morning is going to be colder so it may be a … humdinger. Texas hit 69,000 MW today on a freaking Sunday ! Plus the load is staying up so we are blowing through fuel like crazy.
    http://www.ercot.com/

  71. The lines are about to cross on the load/capacity graph at ercot.com

    Those line are somewhat misleading as the reserve amount (hopefully the top line !) does not include solar and wind since those two are running full out at whatever they are running. And ERCOT does not try to predict them, officially. Since the wind comes up at dusk, that makes a big difference at night time.
    http://www.ercot.com

    I am still freaked at 69,000 MW on a Sunday evening ! Looks like we are going for 80,000 MW in the morning, now that will be a trick. There is only 2,000 MW of solar which is covered in ice and 25,000 MW of wind of which 15,000 appears to be frozen up with ice of the blades (vibration issues).

  72. @Chad
    Most cars today are very tight around the battery, and even a lot of trucks. A clamp light with a 10-in aluminum reflector can be placed flat against the top of the battery. Throw a moving pad or blanket over the top to retain some heat and you get more heating than a trouble light.

    Follow up with an hour on the battery charger.

    Kat’s 22400 battery heater ($23 on Amazon) is a silicone pad with 60W of resistance heater molded in. It goes under the battery and the plug can usually be routed out the front of the car where it’s accessible without opening the hood. The last one I installed I loosened the battery hold-down, lifted up the end of the battery, and slid the pad under. Literally a five minute job.

    When a battery gets cold the full capacity is not available. At 5°F you only have 1/3 the capacity available. The colder it gets, the further it drops. The flip side is that a cold battery cannot be charged. Keeping it warm not only improves the starting capacity, it improves the charging capacity.

  73. “”Power Bills To The Moon”: Chaos, Shock As Electricity Prices Across US Explode”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/power-bills-moon-chaos-shock-electricity-prices-across-us-explode

    The natural gas spot market has gone nuts causing the electricity prices in Texas to go nuts. 100% of the peaking electricty uses natural gas, probably 70% to 80% of the electricity generation in Texas is natural gas.

    My SWAG for 69,000 MW:
    5,000 MW nuclear
    5,000 MW coal
    100 MW hydro
    3,000 MW lignite (immature coal)
    300 MW petroleum coke
    1,500 MW solar
    9,000 MW wind
    ========
    45,000 MW natural gas, diesel, and fuel oil #6 (bunker C)

    I have no idea what that split is between natural gas and diesel. Maybe 50/50 until the diesel runs out. In the Christmas 1989 with -4 F in Dallas, my old employer TXU was burning 320,000 barrels of diesel and fuel oil per day. We had 3,200,000 barrels at the start of the disaster, none at the end. Very few of the 100+ independent power producers in Texas keep reserve diesel / fuel oil on site now, too expensive.

    A barrel of diesel or fuel oil or crude is 42 gallons.

  74. $4445/MWh – this is the day to own a power plant. That’s often $20. on quiet days.

    Texas is now at 9,500 $/MWH. Looks like we are running out of diesel.

    There may not be many electricity companies left in Texas at the end of the week. I suspect that they all will be getting demand emails in the morning to increase their accounts via wire transfers at ERCOT.

  75. “Energy Trader: We’ve Officially Hit “Holy S*it Levels””
    https://www.zerohedge.com/energy/energy-emergency-texas-power-provider-warns-rotating-outages-cold-weather-tests-limits-grid

    “If you are a retailer, obligated to, lets just say, 25MW, and did not hedge (meaning you left it to get filled by ERCOT at market clearing price), you just incurred a $7.1M cost on an around the clock basis for a single day.”

    There is plenty of electricity in Texas. Just less than what we are using. I cannot tell how much because the fuel inventories are secret.

  76. Texas is now in a EEA 1 alert. Looks like the demand forecast for 9 am Monday morning is 74,000 MW but there is only gonna by 64,000 MW available. You know what happens next.
    Yup, rotating blackouts. Hold onto your butts, this is gonna get nasty. I am just hoping ERCOT can hold the north, south, and west subgrids together.
    http://www.ercot.com/

    Ah, the wind has died off to 5,000 MW at 1245 am and we have reached peak natural gas usage. We are screwed as the demand line and reserve line are getting ready to touch. If those lines touch, the entire grid will go down on a single event as units start tripping on cascade failures.

  77. “the entire grid will go down on a single event as units start tripping on cascade failures.”

    –umm, that not good.

    n

  78. And that’s us down. 145am no flicker or anything, just blackout.

    N

    2

  79. If the ice storm does happen, just stay home and stay inside unless you absolutely have to go out.

    Completely agree. But. The wife has to have dialysis about every other day. Last dialysis was Friday. If we waited for clear roads it would be next Friday. Doesn’t work. So we have to risk life and limb to get her in tomorrow before the ne t big snow event on Monday evening.

  80. Must have been local, we’re back up. Thunder and lightning though. And of course, Bill Gates and co know better than me what to do with MY pc. I shut it down on UPS, and it turned back on to do updates. In the middle of a blackout. Because duck you that’s why…

    N

    Thought I had more time to get the heat and gennie set up…

  81. It is 19 F and sleeting heavily now at 213 am. About an inch of sleet on the ground.

    I have gotten all of the 4D cell LED lanterns out and placed them accordingly.

  82. And that’s us down. 145am no flicker or anything, just blackout.

    N

    Wow, they shed 10,000 MW off the system. I was concerned that they did not have enough guts to do this right. They have enough guts.
    http://www.ercot.com/

  83. Thought I had more time to get the heat and gennie set up…

    I did not get any firewood cut up …

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